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TIME magazine names Okonjo-Iweala, Aliko Dangote among the world’s 100 most influential people From Anthony Otaru, Abuja EN years after its European edition honoured her as one of world’s ‘Heroes’, TIME magazine has named the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, in its yearly list one of the 100 most influential peo-

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ple in the world. The minister is in the “Leaders” category of the respected list, along with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian President Vladmir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and oth-

ers Business mogul and Forbes 25th richest man in the world, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, was also among those listed in the “Titans” category which boasts of eminent world personalities like former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary

Clinton; Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, Janet Yellen and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. In an accompanying profile, respected global activist and founder of ONE Campaign, Bono, paid tribute to the minister’s contribution to achieving the historic debt deal

with the Paris Club and the fight against corruption. He also lauded her for her work as Finance Minister, stating that “she’s got one of the toughest jobs on the planet.” Microsoft Founder, Bill Gates, in a tribute in honour of Dangote in commemoration of his listing by TIME

magazine dwelt extensively on the philanthropic gestures of the President of Dangote Group in areas of health, especially polio eradication and job creation efforts as well as praising him for his timely response to the need for a health alliance by the private sector.

TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth Friday, April 25, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,902

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Jonathan, govs, others in crucial security meeting • Deplore Nyako’s memo • APC asks President to cancel rallies From Mohammed Abubakar Abuja HE search for permanent solutions to the insecurity situation in the country took the centrestage yesterday as President Goodluck Jonathan convened an enlarged National Council of Security (NCS) meeting at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja. The meeting, which started at about 12.10 p.m. at the Council Chambers was attended by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim and the Chief of Staff (COS) to the President, Brig.-Gen. Jones Arogbofa. The leaders of the two main religious groups in the country, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and the President-General of the Nigerian

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President Goodluck Jonathan (left); Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad  Abubakar 111 and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, during the enlarged National Council of Security (NCS)meeting at the State House, Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Confab panel okays one more state for South-East From Terhemba daka and karls tsokar, Abuja

Committee on Religion denies undermining Christians

GITATION by the people of the South-East for creation of an additional state in the area to put them at par with other zones of the federation received huge support when, yesterday, the demand received the unanimous backing from members of the National Conference Committee on Political Reforms and Forms of Government. Members of the committee who took turns to make submissions on the contentious matter unanimously agreed that there was need for creation of one more state in the re-

gion in the interest of justice and fair-play and to give the people of the South-East a sense of belonging. In another development, the Secretariat of the National Conference has denied reports credited to an official of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which tends to give the impression of an attempt to undermine Christians in the National Conference. A statement issued yesterday and signed by Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications, Akpandem James, said first, it was not correct as claimed by the CAN official that the Com-

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mittee on Religion is made up of 12 Muslims and eight Christians. “That is not correct. The committee has 21 members – 11 Muslims and 10 Christians”, Akpandem wrote. He also said it would be mischievous for anybody or group to insinuate or accuse the Chairman or the leadership of the Conference of working out a script to undermine the interest of Christians in the dialogue body. “The chairmanship of committees was shared equally between the North and the South; and those that were seen as contentious com-

mittees are co-chaired by a delegate from the North and South. The two co-chairmen of the committee on Religion could not have come from the North as CAN would have wished; and it would amount to peddling ignorance to think that a Christian from the South does not know what Christians in the North are facing, as Christendom is one body. “It is unfortunate that a body like CAN, if it indeed authorised the statement, would make such frivolous and unfounded allegation against the Chairman of the Conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, to the effect that he

picked Alhaji Nurudeen Lemu as the co-Chairman of the committee, because they are from the same state.” The Political Reforms and Forms of Government Committee, however, submitted that every other region demanding the creation of more states would only get it on the basis of merit. The 30-member committee further submitted that without prejudice to states constituting the federating unit, those that wish to merge may do so in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subject to three conCONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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‘Malaria deaths in Africa drop by 49%’ – Page 3

Confab panels agree to remove immunity clause –Page 4

‘Why NNPC backs gas for industrialisation’ – Page 4 MTN makes world champions list – Page 7 WEATHER REPORT The weatherman yesterday predicted cloudy conditions with chances of rain this morning and thunderstorm in the South and inland areas in the afternoon.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

Jonathan, govs, others in crucial security meeting CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Abubakar Sa’ad III, were also in attendance. State governors present at the meeting included Theodore Orji (Abia), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Gabriel Suswam (Benue),

Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari (Zamfara), Garba Umar (Acting Governor, Taraba), Saidu Nasamu Dakingari (Kebbi), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Ibrahim Shehu Shema (Katsina), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Sullivan Chime (Enugu) and Captain Idris Wada (Kogi). The governors of Oyo, Imo, Jigawa, Rivers, Ogun, Kano, Yobe, Edo and Plateau were represented by their deputies. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, led the Service Chiefs to the meeting, which had the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar; Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Ita Ekpeyong; National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki; Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), David Paradang; Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Osita Chidoka and CommandantGeneral of National Security and Civil Defence Corps

(NSCDC), Dr. Olu Abolurin, in attendance. Also present were Ministers of Defence, Lt.-Gen. Mohammed Aliyu Gusau (rtd); Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed; Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri; Abduljelil Adesiyan, Police Affairs, Abba Moro (Interior) and Justice/Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN). The about seven hours meeting blasted Adamawa State Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako, on the memo he sent to his northern governors’ colleagues alleging genocide against the Jonathan administration. In a joint briefing of State House correspondents on the outcome, Defence Minister Aliyu Gusau, alongside Governors Mu’azu  Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Theodore Orji of Abia and Kashim Shettima of Borno, said Nyako’s memo was discussed and that the meeting resolved that the memo lacked basic facts and figures. “We also agreed that Boko Haram that is on now, is not a religious war, people should not misrepresent it to be, because both Muslims and Christians are being killed. It doesn’t discriminate against any person,” Orji said. Meanwhile, citing insensitivity, the All Progressives

Congress (APC) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to cancel the political rally being planned for him by the Adamawa PDP next Tuesday, saying the President cannot and should not be celebrating when over 200 school girls are missing. The party in a statement in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said: ‘’We hope and pray that our daughters are released safely even before Tuesday, April 29, when the rally is to be held, but until then, it is insensitive and indecent for anyone, least of all the President who is the father of the nation, to engage in any celebratory outing under any guise.’’ It added that the President must not repeat the faux pas he committed less than 24 hours after 75 of his compatriots were killed in the Nyanya bombing. ‘’All decent men and women were riled that President Jonathan went dancing at an illegal campaign stop in Kano and popping champagne corks at a birthday celebration in Ibadan when the smoke was yet to clear from the scene of the Nyanya bombing ‘’The President should not repeat the same mistake, if indeed he considered that to be one. He should see the missing girls as his own daughters and stop forthwith his illegal campaign rallies,’’ APC said.

The party said the ongoing bickering over the site of the rally in Adamawa, close to the scene of the sad abduction of the girls, is distracting from what should be a concerted national effort to find the girls and reunite them safely with their families. ‘’For a President whose aides have likened to Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and other great leaders in a patently blasphemous campaign, he should take time to ask himself how Obama would have reacted to one missing girl from any school in the United States (U.S.), not to talk of over 200 missing girls. ‘’Does President Jonathan honestly believe that Mandela, in his days as President, would have been campaigning when his compatriots are being daily bombed or abducted? Sycophancy has no limit, especially in an environment where many will disown even their children for pecuniary gains, but President Jonathan must rise above those who are justifying his insensitivity by saying the government cannot shut down so as not to give victory to Boko Haram. ‘’We are not saying the government should shut down. But the President must shut down all celebratory public outings and all political campaigns until our missing daughters are safely found and returned to their homes,’’ it said.

Confab panel on religion denies undermining Christians CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 ditions, namely: * That a majority of the twothirds of all members in each of the Houses of Assembly of each of the states, in which such merger is proposed, support by resolution, the merger; * That a referendum is conducted in each of the states proposing to merge with 75 per cent of the eligible voters in each of those states approving of the merger; and * That each House of the National Assembly, by resolution passed by a simple majority of membership of each of the Houses, approve of the merger. Addressing journalists after the committee adjourned its sitting to 10.00 a.m. on Monday, the chairman, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, said by supporting the creation of an additional state in the South-East, delegates have shown that everyone can have a win-win situation. He said: “I must thank my committee members for their maturity and ability to discern the needs of Nigerians to have more states based on merit, particularly the South-East, thereby bringing the zone at par with others. I want to indeed say to my colleagues that they have shown great understanding and they believe in a winwin option. That is the spirit we should maintain in this Conference.

“At the end of the day, we will be recommending that there should be equality of states in the various zones of the country, and then allowing the zones that have agitations across the country to decide which state should be created. “Those who make the request for the creation of more states do so because they feel marginalised where they are,” he said. Before arriving at the resolution ahead of the commencement of debates, the committee had proceeded on a five-minute coffee break following a motion by Dr. Abubakar Saddique Mohammed ostensibly to allow the delegates and members of the committee to confer with each other. At the resumption of session, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwe while making a case for the South-East, pointed out that the zone which had only five states among the 36 in the country stood at a disadvantage which, according to him, was a great challenge to the people of the area. “We don’t want to be more than other zones; we just want to be like others. I appeal to this committee to strongly take into consideration the need to bring the South-East at par with other zones in this country.” Senator Femi Okurounmu, in his argument, said there should be creation of more states to meet growing demands.

He said there should be the same number of states in every zone in the spirit of fairness. He, however, warned delegates to be mindful in order to avoid the abuse of the process. Binta Masi Garba advocated for the creation of Amana State in the North. She also supported the creation of an additional state in the South-East in the spirit of fairness. Chief Benjamin Elue from Delta State, while supporting the call for the creation of an additional state in the South-East, begged delegates to consider the long agitation of the Igbospeaking people in his state who want their own state. He said Anioma State should be carved out of the present Delta State in the interest of justice. Senator Ahmed Aruwa argued that it was outside the purview of the committee to create a state. He said the panel could only make recommendations and create an enabling environment for those agitating for more states to have their way. He said the South-East zone deserves an additional state based on merit. Yinka Odumakin said states have become tenants to the Federal Government. He said states must have the capacity to look inward and create its own revenue base instead of becoming slaves to the Feder-

al Government. He said the practice where governors come to Abuja at the end of every month to collect salaries must be discouraged. Lawrence Agubuzu, a South-East delegate, said every region should get an additional state. He, however, argued that in the new arrangement, his region should be given two states. He said the creation of additional states in the six geopolitical zones will create a better balance. Also fielding questions at the end of session, co-Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Ukara Kumalia, said in the interest of justice and fair-play, the South-East should be given an additional state. He said every other region agitating for more states must be given based on merit. He said this is needed in order to avoid abuse of the process. He said that genuine demands for the creation of states from all the other zones will be looked into and disclosed that decisions will be taken based on the merit of such demands looking at their viability, contiguity and a host of other factors that usually determine the creation of states. Kumalia further disclosed that the committee will revisit the issue of local council creation next week, and specifically address other elements such as the mode of funding, among others.


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News ‘Malaria deaths in Africa drop by 49 per cent’ By Chukwuma Muanya and Wole Oyebade EATHS arising from D malaria reduced by 49 per cent in Africa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced yesterday even as it launched a manual to help countries assess the technical, operational and financial feasibility of moving towards malaria elimination. The agency spoke ahead the World Malaria Day (WMD) holding today. Also, the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) announced in a statement yesterday a 10 per cent reduction in malaria-related deaths in under-five children. More so, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has said the “No Mosquito, No Malaria” campaign is the most effective prevention strategy to fight the scourge, which is believed to account for over 65 per cent of clinical visitations in Nigeria. However, the Lagos State Government has warned that until Nigerians embrace the right attitude to health and clean environment, all efforts to eradicate malaria pandemic might continue to yield little success. The Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, stressed that cleaner environment remains priority in eliminating breeding sites, and enjoined all to always sleep under Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs).

Vector control most effective, says PSN Lagos harps on behavioural change to eradicate disease In case of sickness, individuals must seek accurate diagnosis of malaria using Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits in hospitals and stop presumptive treatment or random use of anti-malaria drugs, the state added, while pregnant women should also get Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP) for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria during Antenatal Care (ANC) clinics. According to WHO DirectorGeneral, Dr Margaret Chan, “increased political commitment and the expansion of global malaria investments have saved some 3.3 million lives since 2000. Countries where malaria remains endemic now want to build on this success. “Since 2000, there has been a 42 per cent reduction in malaria mortality rates globally, and a 49 per cent decline in the WHO African region. This progress has led some malaria-endemic countries, even those with historically high burdens of malaria, to start exploring the possibility of elimination.” For the NMEP National Coordinator, Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe, “one area of progress in Nigeria is in the reduction in malaria-related deaths of children under-five years of age. According to the 2013 National Demographic and Health

Survey (NDHS) interim report, malaria is now responsible for two out of 10 deaths in this group of children as opposed to three out of 10 previously. “Also, the period before 2000, about 80 per cent of Nigerians resided in areas where the prevalence was well above 50 per cent. But according to a recent report, only about 15 per cent of the population lives in areas with such high prevalence. A majority (84 per cent), now lives in areas with a prevalence of between 10 to 49 per cent.” Nevertheless, PSN President, Olumide Akintayo, said in a statement yesterday that “No mosquito, no malaria” vector

control strategy is the main way to reduce malaria transmission at the community level, and the only intervention that can reduce malaria transmission from very high level to close to zero.” He urged Nigerians to take maximum advantage of free counseling on malaria in all community pharmacies in the country today. Meanwhile, WHO has disclosed that the new guide, “From Malaria Control to Malaria Elimination: A Manual for Elimination Scenario Planning,” will provide nations a comprehensive framework to assess different scenarios and timelines for moving towards elimination, depending on programme

coverage and funding availability. It noted that though “many countries have the political will to commit to elimination, technical, operational and financial obstacles remain, particularly in countries with a high disease burden.” Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme, Dr John Reeder, said, “this long-term view on malaria is critical: It is vital to plan for the period after elimination. If interventions are eased or abandoned, malaria transmission can reestablish relatively quickly in areas that are prone to the disease, leading to resurgence in infections and deaths.” Idris, who spoke ahead the WMD, despite huge investments by Roll Back Malaria partners to tackle malaria globally, African countries,

including Nigeria, remained on the receiving end of malaria sickness and deaths. He noted that notwithstanding the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos and the abundant distribution of coastal areas, “the behaviour of Lagos inhabitants still encourage the availability of stagnant water resulting in breeding sites for the anopheles mosquito. Use of mosquito-treated nets is a choice for the people, but it is also their duty to use it. “Our people must be aware that the use of LLINs, which remains one of the most effective malaria vector control methods available to date, acts as a physical barrier and prevents access to individuals sleeping under it. It is also insecticidal and kills mosquitoes which land on it, thus providing personal protection against malaria.”

Defection threats, solidarity rallies in Edo APC From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City ENSION continued yesT terday in the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the ward and council congresses, with a group led by a prominent leader of the party, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, threatening to pull out of the party. As at the time of filing this report, Ize-Iyamu, with five representatives each from the 18 local councils, were still meeting in Benin City to decide their future with the party. Nevertheless, hundreds of other party faithful trooped out in Fugar, Etsako Central local council, for a rally where they insisted that the APC remained intact and appealed that aggrieved members should rather join in building the party than defect. Speaker at the rally, who preached unity and peaceful coexistence, included Chief Julius Aloye, who hoped that the aggrieved members would return. He recalled that Ekperi people and South Uneme were refused the chairmanship of the council but remained with the party. Also, the Executive Direc-

tor of Protocols to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Joseph Akhigbe, said the turnout was overwhelming. According to him, “it is a sign that the party is intact. There is nothing like faction in Etsako Central. Though there are people who thought they will win but did not win. That does not mean faction, they are only unhappy and they will come back.

Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Alex Otti (left); Chairman and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe and Secretary of the bank, Nkechi Nwosu, during the 23rd yearly general meeting of the bank in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Ekweremadu tasks ECOWAS on terrorism, unemployment From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja HE Speaker, Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Parliament), Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has classified terrorism, militancy and youth unemployment as the greatest challenges confronting the sub-region today. To that end, he called on the new Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, to make war against terrorism and youth unemployment top priorities during his tenure. Ekweremadu made the call yesterday during a meeting with President Mahama at the Ghana State House in Accra.

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He noted: “Ghana is a very important country in this sub-region. In terms of democracy, you hold the light and we believe that emerging as chairman of ECOWAS will spread this light. “However, our greatest challenges today are terrorism, militancy and youth unemployment. It is our hope that addressing these challenges would be the top priorities of your tenure. We at the ECOWAS Parliament want to assure you of our solidarity and total support as you confront these challenges.” In his response, President Mahama said that 2015 is a very critical year, as five member-states, including Nigeria, would be holding general elections. So, he called for

concerted efforts to make them free, fair and credible. Commending Nigeria’s efforts at containing insecurity and terrorism in the subregion, he lamented the recent bomb attack at Nyanya, Abuja, and pledged to galvanize sub-regional resources and international support to ensure that terrorism and insecurity are tackled in West Africa. Ekweremadu also stressed the urgent need for a summit of Heads of State and Government of both ECOWAS and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) to build synergy and raise the capacity of member-states to combat common enemies. He made the call at the

opening of a two-day dialogue session on the challenges of border crossing and opportunities for trade and finance for ECOWAS countries, being organised by the National Institute for Legislative Studies, Abuja, for Members of the ECOWAS Parliament in Accra. The ECOWAS Speaker, who doubles as Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, emphasized that ECOWAS protocols on free movement should go hand-in-hand with adequate infrastructural and human capital capacity to police the borders. He lamented the very low intra-regional trade among West African nations, describing it as “very negligible, alarming and embarrass-

Japan to loan Nigeria $85m for polio eradication From Abosede Musari, Abuja HE Japanese Government T said yesterday it was ready to begin disbursement of $85 million loan to assist Nigeria’s effort at eradicating the polio menace once the agreement is signed. Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, disclosed this yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, noting that the agreement would be signed before fund disbursement and that the facility would be repaid within 14 years after the six years grace period.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

Confab panels agree to remove immunity clause From Terhemba Daka and Karls Tsokar (Abuja) eMBeRS of the Conference Committee on Political Matters have agreed to expunge the contentious immunity clause for the president, his vice, governors and their assistants from the constitution. however, the members yesterday gave an exception to the rule, adding that in case of civil offences, the president, vice, governor and his deputy are protected by the law. The delegates argued that detractors might take advantage of the removal of the immunity clause to institute unnecessary civil cases against executives. In a related development, members of Conference Committee on Judiciary want the government to separate the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from that of the Minister of Justice. Meanwhile, members of the Committee on Politics and electoral Matters have stressed the need for the electoral body to be truly independent of the executive, even as the 2015 election timetable has being roundly condemned as not progressive. If this recommendation is adopted by the general house during the adoption of committees’ reports, years of agitation by lawyers and other activists who have persistently called for the separation would have succeeded. The judiciary committee also recommended that the government should create constitutional courts across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, similar to Wednesday’s recommendations that Supreme Courts should be created in all the 36 states of the federation. The committee, co-chaired by Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and Senator Ken Nnamani, has the mandate to look at political parties and electoral process, the independence and autonomy of INeC, methods of election, local council elections, regulation of campaign and electoral offence among others.

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• Want separate office for AG, Justice Minister • Delegates seek INEC’s autonomy Remi Olatubora, a delegate of the committee from Ondo State in a chat with The Guardian yesterday said the election timetable set by INeC was not in the interest of the generality of the citizenry nor those seeking electoral office, as the time frame fixed for the lifting of ban on campaigns is too close to elections. he said, “every candidate should be given one year to campaign before elections. If a man wants to be president of Nigeria, he should have one clear year to go round the country, people must know who wants to be their president.

“This fire brigade approach of lifting ban when elections are almost concluded is not going too well with us in this country. We will never make progress until we allow the candidates to campaign round their constituencies, and be able to intimate people to accept their candidature.” he also said the appointment of key officials of the electoral body is one of the major things, besides the reliance of the supposed independent body on government for appointments, financing, budgeting issues and others have impeded the desire to hold

credible and reliable election in Nigeria. he, therefore, promised that one of their recommendations would be to truncate the powers of the executive over the electoral body for the good of the country and in line with what is obtained in developed climes, and hand it over to a credibly non partisan body, the National Judicial Council (NJC). Olatubora said, “We are going to recommend here that the appointment of the INeC chairman and others members of the electoral body must be by NJC. This is the body constituted by judges

who have being on the Bench for a while and are not politicians. Let them select individuals with political neutrality and credibility and the requisite knowledge to be able to handle the office. “We rather forcefully put the name independence to INeC to pretend that the body is independent. In reality, it is not. In terms of funding, they should be an autonomous institution that would not be subjected to the vagaries of the federal executive council approvals and otherwise. They should belong to the bodies that can draw from the first line charge, you deduct money meant for the Federal Government and you give to INeC their share without the politics of the Federal executive Council.

Taraba CAN blames acting gov over killings, aide disagrees From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja he Taraba State chapter of T the Christian Association of Nigeria {CAN} has accused the Acting Governor of the State, Alhaji Garba Umar, of been responsible for the ongoing killings in the state thereby calling on the house of Assembly to impeach him. Apart from beckoning on the house of Assembly to impeach him, they called on President Goodluck Jonathan to use “his good office to remove the Acting governor for his failure to protect lives and property.” But reacting to the allegations, the Special Assistant to the Acting governor on Media and Publicity, Aron Atmas, said: “It is very unfortunate that the leadership of CAN will make sweeping statements that are unsubstantiated. A responsible religion organization like CAN should not make such unsubstantiated remarks.. Briefing journalists yesterday in Jalingo, the state CAN chairman, Bishop  Timothy Yahaya, said the ongoing bloodbath is an “organized plot to exterminate Christians in the state.” They observed that “since Umar came to power , there has been crisis in the state” stressing that “ Umar is deeply in-

Northern govs, Fulani herdsmen meet volved in the ongoing crisis.” Flanked by the entire leadership of CAN in the state, it noted: “from the time the Acting governor started to pursue his parochial interest by making series of lopsided appointments without consultations with his boss on other policy matters, the end results is that the state has now been plunged into a big mess. They further stressed:“several towns and villages belonging to only Christians have been attacked, destroyed and many people have been killed while few that survive now live like destitute Nigerians where they

are taking refuge.” Wondering why should CAN that ought to ensure peace is coming out with such “ill utterance”  Atmas noted that “In Benue state CAN did not accuse Governor Gabriel Suswam of sponsoring terrorists. CAN in Taraba State is trying to divide the people in the State.” Meanwhile, the Northern Governors’ Forum yesterday night in Abuja met with the leaders of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breaders’ Association of Nigeria in a bid to halt the growing hostilities between Fulani herdsmen and native communities in the northern

part of the country. Present at the meeting were governors of Niger, Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau (deputy), Kogi, Benue, Bauchi, Kebbi, Nasarawa, and Kano (deputy). Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the forum yesterday commenced talks with leaders of the state’s chapter of Miyetti Allah in Minna as a precursor to a larger meeting, which will be called by the forum next week. The association is expected to work closely with governors to flush out criminals who masquerade as cattle breeders to inflict mayhem on innocent citizens.

‘Nigeria has 1,400 illegal border routes’ From Terhemba Daka, Karls Tsokar (Abuja) and Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos) MID the intractable inA surgencies in the North, the Comptroller-General of Immigration, David Parradang, disclosed yesterday that Nigeria has 1,400 illegal entry points even as the service lacks adequate personnel to execute its mandate. Parradang, who lamented the nation’s porous borders, told the National Conference Committee on Immigration and Related Matters that the service has 22,300 officers nationwide and needed to recruit 5,000 every year in the next five years to be able to meet the challenge. According to him, “numerous border crosses, with 1,400 illegal routes that are not adequately manned, threaten the security of the nation, while only 22,300 of us perform all the functions outlined in our Act. We require more officers and equipment. We requested for 5,000 personnel yearly for the next five years to be able to effectively control our borders, beside the provision of adequate equipment.” Nevertheless, he disclosed that plans were underway to open up 30 new border control posts in strategic locations in the country. Apparently reacting to the Boko Haram crisis in Adamawa and other Northeast states, he said that only five legal control posts exist in that region, in addition to 80 illegal routes, through

which the sect penetrates the country. Meanwhile, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, has described Governor Murtala Nyako’s recent accusation that the Federal Government was fuelling insecurity in the country as false, misleading and unfortunate. he further cautioned politicians to be mindful of the comments they make. Omeri spoke yesterday in Jos, Plateau State, after a town hall peace meeting aimed at finding sustainable solution to the incessant conflicts between pastoralists and farmers in the state. Addressing the stakeholders, who cut across indigenous tribes, religion and representatives of the Fulani herdsmen, Omeri said: “We need to show example in leadership. We need committed Nigerians who won’t leave Nigeria to Chad, Cameroun, Niger, Congo or anywhere to speak with one voice and save Nigeria from chaos before playing politics.” And worried at the level of insecurity in the country due to the activities of Boko Haram, the Youth, Adolescent Reflection Action Centre (YARAC) and Youth Network for Peace and Governance have called for the immediate resignation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the DirectorGeneral, State Security Service (SSS), for their poor handling of intelligence. They also asked the Minister of Interior to resign after the recruitment tragedy at the Nigerian Immigration Serv-

ice some time ago when many applicants lost their lives. Addressing newsmen on Wednesday, YARAC Programme Co-ordinator in Jos, Aondona Tor, urged Nigerians not to have any business with the 2015 general elections if the Federal Government and the Nigerian military do not ensure the release of the abducted school girls in Chibok, Borno State. however, the Special Task Force (STF) said that Plateau State has witnessed at least 160 attacks by unknown gunmen within the last six months, out of which over 260 people were killed and 2,501 cows rustled. Speaking at the sixth Plateau Architecture Dialogue Meeting at the cabinet office in Jos yesterday, the STF added that about 1,312 cows were recovered, alongside 88 fire-arms and 2,734 rounds of ammunition. Commander of the STF, Maj.Gen. David enetie, represented by Col. Ali Bello, said the task-force recorded 42 cases of cow rustling in the state within the period, noting: “The attacks were fuelled by activities of cow rustling, which is the major security challenge confronting the task-force in the state. “The problem is concentrated mostly in Mangu, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, Shendam, Jos South, Riyom, Langtang North and Langtang South local councils. Apart from the casualties, the task-force has recorded some successes in efforts to address cow rustling with the arrest of 15 armed dealers, who provided arms that made cattle rustling easier in the state.”

‘Why NNPC backs gas for industrialisation’ From Collins Olayinka, Abuja he Nigerian National PeT troleum Corporation (NNPC) has reiterated its determination to deliver commercial value through government’s gas revolution agenda by boosting industrialization from gas utilization. NNPC Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu, stated this during the combined opening ceremony of the corporation’s batches 073 to 079 capacity building programme in Abuja. he stressed that the corporation would deliver the initiative through gas-to-power, gas-to-industry and sufficient gas for domestic consumption. Noting that the agency is saddled with ensuring that the abundant gas value chain is explored maximally, he stressed that the corporation would do everything possible to make the gas revolution agenda succeed in every ramification. To that end, he admonished participants at the programme to come up with creative ways of dealing with the target of fully monetizing the nation’s gas resource endowment, which remains a crucial deliverable of government’s gas revolution agenda. And in a lecture entitled, “Gas Commercialization and economic Growth,” Prof. Pat Utomi said the NNPC is required to deliver on the mandate of the gasto-power strategy execution and effectiveness. According to him, there was every need for the NNPC to build human capital focused at the gas knowledge economy that will ensure domestic gas utilization and provision of strong gas infrastructure to protect the environment and bottle the gas for effective consump-

Suspected hoodlums vandalise Baraje’s property in Ilorin From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin O fewer than 10 cars alN legedly belonging to the families of the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and now a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, were damaged by suspected hoodlums that invaded his residence at Olodan’s compound, Baboko, Ilorin, Kwara State. Also, the gate to the main entrance of his house was riddled with bullet. Already, anti-riot policemen and men of the State Security Service (SSS) have taken over the residence to protect the house. Investigations revealed that the suspected hoodlums were said to have invaded the residence around 8.30pm on Wednesday, armed with dangerous weapons and smashed the windscreen of all the cars parked outside the compound of Baraje’s families. eyewitness account told journalists that the suspected hoodlums were said to have come from the Ilorin metropolis to laid siege on the premises.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Friday, April 25, 2014 NEWS | 5

Wike, boards parley to end poly teachers’, others’ strike From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief NDICATIONS have emerged Ipolytechnic that the protracted strike by and colleges of education teachers may soon end, as the Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyelsom Wike, yesterday, met with the members of the governing boards of the institutions at a retreat in Kaduna to pave way for the return of the striking lecturers to work. Others, who were part of the two-day retreat, which was declared open by the Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, also included members of the Governing Boards of the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE). Wike was optimistic that the strike by the lecturers would soon be over as government was making effort that all the students return

back to their various institutions. He further explained that just last week, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Pius Ayim met with officials of Academic Staff of Polytechnic Union (ASUP) under the umbrella of the committee set up to look into the parity between university degrees and

Higher National Diploma (HND) awarded by polytechnics. Besides, Wike said, “we should understand the importance of retreats, which sometimes makes for reflection of where we are coming from and where we are going,” pointing out that “as you are aware, education is vital to

tions, he said, “as heads of your institutions, you must judiciously utilise the funds government has made available for your various institutions.” “Council members and chairmen of councils should avoid unnecessary bickering with the day to day running and the decisions of the man-

the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in the various institutions, as a government we desire to see growth in our polytechnics and colleges of education.” According to the minister, as government was poised to ensure the re-engineering of the various tertiary institu-

Ndoma-Egba urges completion of trans African highway From Anietie Akpan, Calabar PASSIONATE appeal has A been made by the Senate Leader, Chief Victor NdomaEgba (SAN) on the African Development Bank (ADB), International communities and the Nigerian government to speed up the completion of the multi-billion Trans African Highway covering Nigeria-Cameroon-Kenya (Lagos – Mombasa). According to reports, the

10,269 kilometre Lagos–Mombasa highway’s eastern half is complete through Kenya and Uganda, where locally it is known as the Trans-Africa Highway and its western extremity in Nigeria, Cameroon and Central African Republic is mostly complete but a long missing link across DR Congo currently prevents any practical use through the middle section. Already a greater section of the road in Nigeria like the

240 kilometres from EnuguBansara-Mfum border with Cameroon are ready and in use. Speaking with reporters in Mfum yesterday at the end of the road on the Nigerian side after and inspection of some of his constituency projects, Ndoma-Egba said he started lobbying for the project with support from some of his colleagues and relevant ministries since his first term in office.

He said, ‘‘we would like to see this project completed soon to facilitate African integration and international trade. The project is supposed to go up to Mumbasa in Kenya. So I am not in a position to tell you that because I don’t know what is going on at the other end. From the point here where we are, it is completed and it was in several hundreds of millions of dollars. It is an ADB project while part of it is done by the World Bank.

Institute seeks more access for states, councils at capital market From Anthony Otaru, Abuja. HE Chartered Institute Of T Stockbrokers (CIS) has appealed to the Federal Government to give free hands to states and local councils in the country to enable them raise more funds from the Capital market beyond the current levels set by the Securities and Exchange Commission. This, it said, has become necessary following increasing level of consistent growth

rates of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) going on that level of governance. The Federal Government has till date, limited the amount of debt states and local governments can raise in the Capital markets to forestall corrupt practices, debt overhang, mass poverty and outright underdevelopment. The CIS’s President, Mr. Ariyo Olushekun made the appeal yesterday in Abuja while declaring open the 3rd Annual

National workshop organised by the Institute as part of its contributions to the nation’s economic growth, equity and sustainability. Olushekun said that the crucial role of the capital market in mobilising savings and creating wealth through investments cannot be over-emphasised. He added that time has come for governments at all levels to be involved in creatively mobilising and deploying

funds to bridge the mass infrastructural deficit needed to revamp the economy. According to him, ‘’this 3rd yearly national workshop is taking place at a time when perhaps the most current and widely discussed issue on the Nigerian economy is the rebasing of the GDP figures for 2013, which now puts an estimate of N80.3 trillion on the size of the nation’s GDP resulting in an 89 per cent jump in value and effectively placing Nigeria on the number one

spot in Africa in terms of GDP size.’’ Speaking on the theme: Update on the Transformation Agenda, Expectations from the private sector, the Chairman of Honeywell Group, who also doubles as the Chairman of the occasion, Oba Otudeko said that time has come for the public and private sector to work together to make Nigeria great notwithstanding the challenges facing the nation to become a world bigger economy.

agement. You must avoid unnecessary rancour with your management. Of course, where there are issues, government will not hesitate to make sure that the right thing is done.” Wike then urged, “all lecturers to call off their protracted strike to enable academic activities commence in the polytechnics and colleges of education,” stressing that “the Federal Government was working seriously hard to make sure that the matters

Gaya joins Kano governorship race From Murtala Muhammed, Kano ENATOR Kabiru Ibrahim Stention Gaya has disclosed his into contest the governorship election under All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State. Gaya, who is representing Kano South senatorial areas, declared his intention to run for the highest political office in Kano yesterday while inaugurating an ICT centre at the State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). Gaya, who was the first executive governor of Kano State, noted that he was inclined to pursue the political ambition as such to improve the economic wellbeing of Kano people. Gaya had earlier made public the aspiration to run for the gubernatorial seat under the defunct All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) before the recent merger and subsequent formation of the APC.

TheGuardian on Saturday

COVER

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014

National Confab Primordial Sentiments, Religious Bias Take Centre Stage S delegates to the National Conference retire to committees A stage following the appointment of committee chairmen by the conference leadership last week amid protests by some members, primordial sentiments are already recurring. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) during the week accused the conference chairman of playing an Islamic script. The Guardian speaks to some of the delegates from the different religious divides on the development that has been the bane of the country’s previous national conferences.

POLITICS

RESIGNED from the All Progressives Congress (APC) because I feel “I my ambition to return to the House of Representatives may not be realised in that party,” says Charles Odedo representing Idemili Fed-

NEWSINTERVIEW

eral Constituency of Anambra State.

HE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) recently conT ducted the manual examination for admission into higher institutions, while the electronic versions (Computer-Based Test, CBT) comes up later. JAMB’s Public Relations Officer, Fabian Benjamin, explains what informed the distinction and how the two systems will run, saying the CBT, among others, will eliminate malpractices. He also spoke about how the issue of unstable power supply will be tackled during the examination and other measures put in place to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

Healthfeature

Simple Ways To Prevent Ebola Virus

These and more in The Guardian tomorrow. Grab your copy


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6 | neWs Friday, april 25, 2014

New Court of Appeal president pledges to fight graft From Oludare Richards, Abuja he new President of the Court of appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa has assured of her commitment to fight corruption in the judiciary. speaking after her inauguration yesterday by the Chief Justice Of nigeria (CJn), Justice Mariam Mukhtar, Bulkachuwa, who becomes the 6th and first female president of the Court of appeal said, “i stand on this honour in the crusade against corruption and urge all judicial officers to get involved in the campaign against corruption in the justice sector. By doing so, we can rid the judiciary of corrupt practices.”

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Akwa Ibom governor reshuffles cabinet From Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo KWa ibom state government has carried out a minor cabinet reshuffle with the removal of the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bassey albert and the Commissioner for rural Development, Mr. effiong abia. similarly, six chairmen of boards have also been relieved of their duties. in statement issued by the state Commissioner for information and Communications, Mr. aniekan Umanah those board chairmen affected include, Obong sunny Udom, chairman, akwa ibom Property and investment Company limited aPiCO, Mr. Patrick ifon, chairman, akwa ibom Water Company limited, Obong Dan akai chairman, akwa ibom newspapers Corporation, aKnC.

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Nigeria risks food scarcity over farmers, herdsmen clashes, says IG From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos, Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja F the recurrent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in some parts of the country are not quickly brought to an end, the inspector-general of Police, Mr. Mohammed abubakar has expressed the fear that nigeria may have no option than to depend on other countries for food and other agricultural produce. addressing members of the Peace and reconciliation Committee with stakeholders in Jos yesterday at the Police Officers’ Mess, Jos, abubakar, who is the chairman of the committee, said the committee was set up to identify the remote and immediate causes of clashes between farmers

i

‘Taraba violence politically-motivated’ For the resources to be utilised all hands must co-operate to put an end to the recurrent clashes, stressing that the committee has so far visited five states witnessing such clashes, assuring that the security agencies are not leaving anything to chance in curtailing the situation, soliciting the support of all the stakeholders and herdsmen with a view to proffering solutions to the ugly trend. abubakar, who was represented by the Deputy inspector-general of Police in charge of Operations, Mr. Mike Zukomo, abubakar added that the country is endowed with both human and natural resources, which if properly harnessed will place nigeria among the leading

resources to be utilised all hands must co-operate to put an end to the recurrent clashes, stressing that the committee has so far visited five states witnessing such clashes, assuring that the security agencies are not leaving anything to chance in curtailing the situation, soliciting the support of all the stakeholders. in his remarks, state Com-

missioner of Police, Mr. Chris Olakpe, while calling on the people of the state to embrace peace, said that dialogue and reconciliation remain the solution to end the ugly trend, adding that there is no war without an end. Meanwhile, the senator representing Taraba south, emmanuel Bwacha, has blamed over ambitious politicians for the crises rocking the state. The lawmaker told The Guardian yesterday that the renewed violence in Wukari, which left seven people dead, was orchestrated to create the impression that Taraba south was crises-ridden and incapable of controlling power in the next general elections.

Okwu seeks reconciliation, visits Chekwas Okorie, Nwosu From Chuks Collins, Awka he national Chairman of the all Progressives grand alliance (aPga), Chief Maxi Okwu yesterday paid a visit to one of the founding fathers of the party, Chief ralph’s Okey nwosu in furtherance of his push at reconciling the members and moving the party forward. according to Okwu, this was his third visit to such former highly placed members of the party who left the party as a result of past misgivings and wrongdoings ostensibly meted out to them by those in

T

Resumes at national secretariat power, having earlier visited the party’s pioneer national Chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie and Dr. l.a. Chukwuma. Okwu appealed to nwosu and other members, who were frustrated out of the party, noting, “your efforts and labours shall not be in vain,” and appealed for their return. he pointed out that his executive having been delayed for long intends to go full steam within the next few weeks, especially now that he and his

exco have peacefully taken over the party’s national secretariat. nwosu noted, “the reason why aPga is in court (tribunal) despite being the party in power in the state was because someone was trying to play god.” he said that he felt contented when he learnt that the party leadership was going to Okwu, a man who knows the dynamics of national politics and value of political progress.

nwosu prayed, “despite the huge funds that our traducers are throwing around, Okwu will succeed. We pray that aPga is in good hands with Okwu and will succeed. i urge you all in the spirit of onye aghana nwanneya to remain focused.” anambra aPga Chairman, Chief shedrach anakwue urged member to remain focused and united, as the party looks forward to sweep the 30 state assembly seats, 3 senatorial seats and the 11 house of representative seats in the next year general elections.

Obiano charges aides on IT compliance From Chuks Collins, Awka he newly-inaugurated anambra state executive Council have taken delivery of brand new official cars immediately after they rose from the maiden exco meeting held at government house, awka yesterday. The state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, also used the meeting to advise members of the executive council, comprising commissioners and special advisers, to ensure that they were iCT-compliant to enable them keep up with the pace of his administration. The directive, according to political watchers was expected to have been part of the criteria in the screening exercise by the state assembly. The Guardian learnt that arrangements have reached advanced stage for all the political appointees to undertake a two-day retreat aimed at training them for the task ahead.

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Advertising firm wins Shell’s excellence award and leading ihasnDigenOUs advertising firm, lTC-JWT won the first prize for shell advertising global awards in the just concluded shell global Vi excellence awards. The award, which is nigeria’s shell “let’s go” Digital and Print Campaign materials that won the first prize, took place in london with all shell global offices participating. Chief executive Officer, shell Brands international, Mr. Bruno Motta  commended lTC-JWT for coming up with a brilliant and world-class work digital and print material.

TheGuardian on Sunday

RIVERS POLITICS

ER season Of Bad Politics V The Return Of CO Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

sUnDay, aPril 27, 2014

igeria is polarized, and extremely so. Those old lines of differences have resurfaced and are being widened daily by politicians. President Jonathan and some governors are working from two opposite ends; the political parties are bitterly separate, never seeing anything good in one another. religious leaders are trading blames and cursing the day the country was formed. all these at a time a common enemy is chiseling away the heart of the nation. Whatever happened to BiParTisanshiP! The Guardian explores how not to polarize a country!

n

Jonathan

Celestine Omehia —

A healing balm or more trouble for Garden City?

Nyako

BUSINESS NEWSFEATURE IBRU Amaechi

Omehia

Things the new CBn governor could do differently.

NIGERIAN DIASPORA: FOLLOW our pathfinder into an untapped offshore resource base.

These and more in The Guardian on Sunday. Grab your copy

Clergy eagers to see benefits of emergency rule in northeast.


Friday, April 25, 2014 NEWS | 7

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

MTN makes world champions list

Arewa chief faults INEC over 2015 election timetable

By Adeyemi Adepetun

From Saxone Akhaine (Northern Bureau Chief)

TN Group has been M named as the only South African company on the

REWA chieftain and the A spokesman of the Northern Delegates Forum (NDF), Mr. Anthony Sani, yesterday faulted the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, over his comments that the nation cannot conduct the 2015 general elections in one day, saying that those countries that did so in Africa successfully were not better than Nigeria. Sani advised Professor Jega to have a re-think over this comment and ensure that the 2015 elections were conducted in one day, for the purpose of strengthening Nigeria’s democracy. In a statement at the ongoing National Conference, Sani said the reason given by Jega to the effect that INEC lacks the capacity to holding all the elections in one day “is puzzling and a cause for concern.”

Bauchi female lawmaker laments suspension From Ali Garba, Bauchi HE only female lawmaker T representing Bogoro Constituency in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Hon. Rifkatu Samson Dannah, has declared that even after her apology to her colleagues in the state assembly they have refused to recall her from suspension three years after. Dannah made the revelation while receiving Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders from her constituency who paid a courtesy call at her residence in Bauchi yesterday, expressing appreciation for their support. Trouble began for Dannah when she opposed the decision to change the headquarters of Tafawa Balewa Local Council to Bununu. She said “the hurried manner the House unanimously approved the relocation without hearing from the majority of her constituents in Bogoro Constituency may have been occasioned by a decision from a meeting in which she was not privy to nor present to air her opinion.”

Mrs. Akintobi Wuraola (left); Pastor Silas Yisa; Ven. S. Igein Isemede; Chief Olu Falomo and Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, during the 34th National Prayer Breakfast by the Trustees of the Christian Laity Association of Nigeria at the Muson Centre, Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON

Minister, N’Delta monarchs, others meet over oil theft From Chido Okafor (Warri) and Abosede Musari (Abuja)

• Community, Shell bicker over ownership of flow station

N response to the nagging INiger problem of oil theft in the Delta, royal fathers and

briefed journalists at the end of the meeting. Dambatta revealed that the traditional rulers who came on the platform of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCOM), assured that the group will again in May call a conference of stakeholders to discuss the menace; how the region is affected and the way forward. Speaking on behalf of the group, National Executive Chairman, His Royal Majesty

other stakeholders in oil producing communities in the region have come together to discuss with the Federal Government and tackle the issue head on. They made this position known in a closed door meeting Wednesday night in Abuja with Minister of State for Niger Delta, Ishaku Darius, according to the ministry’s Director of Information, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta, who

Eze Akuwueze Raphael Ikegwuruka, the Ezeahurukwa II and paramount ruler of Mgbirichi Abakuru land in Imo State, said that the conference, which will hold in Abuja, will discuss how to curb oil theft in the Niger Delta and how the youths can be empowered in order to sustain the peace in the region. The minister, in his response stated that the idea of traditional rulers tackling the menace of oil theft was welcome and will help the

By Kamal Tayo Oropo and Bertram Nwannekanma rights group, LandAGOS-based the Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday urged the United Nations (UN) to “urgently intervene to secure the safe release of the 230 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, who were abducted by members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.” SERAP also wants the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) of the UN Security Council, the Special Repre-

sentative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide “international assistance and support to the Nigerian authorities to secure the release of the children and to ensure that they are back to school.” The group, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, stated that, “continuing abduction of these innocent children is having  negative impact on their well-being

• Turkey seeks better relations in construction sector ANZANIAN High CommisT sioner to Nigeria, Daniel Ole-Njoolay, has described the Boko Haram threat in Nigeria as a temporary inconvenience, which should not affect the nation’s business relations with any other country. The envoy stated this in Abuja yesterday at a press conference to announce the country’s business and investment forum billed for Friday to mark Tanzania’s 50 years of union. It would be recalled that just as Nigeria recently marked

nation overcome one of its challenges besides helping to take development to the Niger Delta. “The minister listed a number of projects the ministry is working on to empower the youths, some of which are skill acquisition centres in various locations. About 100 trainees graduated in the art of assembling smartphones and tablets recently. About 400 more will be trained.” “On the conference, the minister told them to bring the proposal that the min-

SERAP solicits UN help on abducted schoolgirls and long-term education. We are urging these bodies to move swiftly to support efforts to protect schools, teachers, and students from deliberate attack in the NorthEast of the country.” The group further urged the Nigerian government to specifically criminalize attacks on students and teachers and prohibit the use of schools for military purposes.  “We also call on the UN bodies to provide assistance in tracking attacks on schools, teachers, and students, and to help devise an effective

‘Insecurity won’t affect Nigeria-Tanzania trade ties’ By Olalekan Okusan (Lagos) and Abosede Musari (Abuja)

World Champions list. The list, compiled by analysts from American multinational financial services company, Citi Group, names global companies dominating their respective industries. Reacting to this development, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Sifiso Dabengwa said, “being named on the World Champions list is exciting and humbling, especially as MTN commemorates its 20th anniversary this year. This global recognition signifies that we continue to play a vital role in our industry.” MTN, which controls over 45 per cent of the Nigerian telecommunications market, with about 55 million subscribers, has been listed alongside iconic global companies including Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

100 years of amalgamation of its northern and southern protectorates, the Republic of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar merged in a union to form the United Republic of Tanzania 50 years ago. The union, which took place on April 26, 1964, will be celebrated tomorrow with a business forum tagged: “Tanzania-Nigeria Business and Investment Forum.” The ambassador said that Boko Haram threat and insecurity in Nigeria would definitely come to an end, adding that so far, Tanzania has not been into trade with

Nigeria because the former has been engrossed in politics and in ensuring that every part of Africa is free from foreign rule. “Now, no inch of Africa is under colonisation. So, we can do business now,” he said, while using the opportunity to woo Nigerian investors into Tanzanian economy, especially into the tourism sector. Also, Turkish Ambassador, Mustafa Pulat, has expressed the belief that fast growing developing nations like Turkey and Nigeria have potentials to boost economic ties, particularly in the construction industry.

The envoy, who spoke at the Turkish Construction forum in Lagos on Tuesday, acknowledged that Nigeria, as the fastest growing economy in Africa, has become a hub for foreign investors. He, however, said the current bilateral trade volume between the two countries stands at $1.5 billion, which he admitted, was far away from reflecting the potentials of the two nations. Pulat said Turkish construction sector is prominent in the world in terms of the total size of the projects carried out abroad, adding that the sector remains the engine room of Turkish economy, which has grown tremendously in the last two

response. We believe that while the government is in the best position to monitor attacks, it has so far not demonstrated the will or capacity to do so,” the group also said.

istry will look at it and know where to partner with them to see that the peace achieved is entrenched and sustained,” Dambatta reported. Meanwhile, angry indigenes of Letugbene community in Ekeremore Local Council of Bayelsa State, who have allegedly exhausted their patience trying to get Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) accord them ownership recognition of the firm’s Tunu flow station, have issued a 14-day ultimatum, failure which the AngloDutch oil giant would face severe consequences. Chairman and Secretary of the community, Mr. Jonah Toikiri and Mr. Job Azosibe, expressed disaffection over the alleged continued violation of court judgments, which accorded them ownership status to the flow station since 2012 by SPDC management.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

PHOTONEWS

Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji (left); his wife, Lady Mercy and wife of the Deputy Governor, Nene Ananaba, at the state’s first Easter Carnival/Cantata in Umuahia.

Group Managing Director, LeadCapital Plc, Wale Adewunmi (right); Chief Executive Officer, Lead Security and Investment (LSI), Muyiwa Adeyemi and Head of Stock Broking Services, LSI, Dolapo Ashiru, during the LeadTrader product demonstration press briefing in Lagos. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

One of the awardees, Rita Lori Ogbebor (left); Chairman, South West Civil Society Commission, Wale Adeoye and Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, during the conferment of Oodua Women Leadership Award on Ogbebor and Yoruba Political Living Legend of the Century on Aregbesola by pan Yoruba group, Oodua Nationalist Coalition in Lagos.

President, Institute of Marketing Management, GSM Zimbabwe, Professor Rukudzo Murapa; President, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Ganiyu Koledoye; Director General, Centre for Management Development (CMD), Dr. Kabri Kabo Usman; Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Institute of Marketing Management, South Africa, Kevin Mottram and Registrar/CEO, NIMN, Rev. Deji Olokesusi, during the courtesy visit to CMD.

Ongoing reconstruction by the Federal Ministry of Works on the Sokoto-Illela road and bridge, which was destroyed by flood. Vice President, Marketing, sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard, Tarek Abdelnabi (left); Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi and Vice President/Area Business Head, West Africa, MasterCard, Omokehinde Ojomuyide, at the MasterCard ‘Priceless Africa’ Win a Trip Few Can Win in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Special guest artiste Naeto C (left); one of the winners of Legend Extra Stout ticket to Dubai, Jubilee Diagboya and another special guest artiste, Terry G, during the first raffle draw to pick winners of the 2014 edition of Legend Extra Stout National Consumer promotion. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Marketing and Innovation Director, Austin Ufomba (left); Human Resources Director, Wale Adediran and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Seni Adetu, all of Guinness Nigeria Plc at the launch of Orijin at Elegushi Beach, Lagos.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Friday, April 25, 2014

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WorldReport Ukraine kills five rebels, as Putin warns of consequences KRAINIAN forces killed up U to five pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country, the Interior Ministry said yesterday, as Russian President, Vladimir Putin warned of “consequences” if Kiev used the army against its own people. Interior Ministry forces backed by the army removed three checkpoints manned by armed groups in the separatist-controlled town of Slaviansk, the ministry said in a statement. “During the armed clash up to five terrorists were eliminated,” it said, adding that one person had been wounded on the side of government forces. Under an international accord signed in Geneva last week, illegal armed groups, including the rebels occupying about a dozen public buildings in the largely Russian-speaking east, are supposed to disarm and go home. However, the Kremlin, which has deployed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine’s border, maintains it has the right to protect Russian-

speakers if they come under threat, a reason it gave for annexing the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine last month. In St Petersburg, Putin said that if the authorities in Kiev had used the army in eastern Ukraine, this would be a very serious crime against its own people. “It is just a punitive operation and it will of course incur consequences for the people making these decisions, including (an effect) on our interstate re-

lations,” Putin said in a televised meeting with regional media. The Geneva agreement, signed by Russia, the United States, Ukraine and the European Union, is already in trouble as Kiev launches its offensive to regain control of the east. East and West have put the onus on each other to ensure the accord is implemented on the ground. U.S. President, Barack Obama said earlier he

was poised to impose new sanctions on Moscow if it did not act fast to end the armed stand-off. Moscow also flexed its economic muscles in its worst stand-off with the West since the Cold War, with the government suggesting foreign firms which pull out of the country may not be able to get back in, and a source at Gazprom saying the gas exporter had slapped an additional $11.4 billion bill on Kiev.

Israel mulls reprisals, China lauds Palestinian unity deal SRAEL’S security cabinet Iretaliation met yesterday to weigh its to a unity deal struck between the Palestinian leadership and the Hamas rulers of Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted angrily to Wednesday’s agreement between the rival factions accusing Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas of choosing “Hamas, not peace”. Public radio said ministers were likely to announce fresh retaliatory measures on top

of a raft of financial sanctions unveiled this month when the Palestinians applied to join 15 international treaties. They were not expected to order a complete halt to United States-brokered peace talks with the Palestinians, however, despite the announcement by a Netanyahu aide of the cancellation of a scheduled meeting on Wednesday evening, the broadcaster said. Netanyahu’s office described the deal between Abbas and

Hamas, which opposes all peace talks with Israel, as “very serious”. But it said it was for ministers to decide whether to announce any new measures after Thursday’s meeting. “By tying itself to Hamas, the Palestinian leadership is turning its back on peace,” a Netanyahu aide said. A close aide of Netanyahu, MP Tzahi Hanegbi, said Israel was unlikely to halt the USbrokered peace talks launched in July.

UN considers South Sudan sanctions NITED Nations Security U Council members are considering sanctions on South Sudan’s warring parties, envoys said, after U.N. peacekeeping chief, Herve Ladsous demanded “serious consequences” be imposed to force an end to the violence. Ladsous and U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for human rights, Ivan Simonovic briefed the 15-member council on a recent escalation in attacks on civilians, including an ethnic massacre in the oil town of Bentiu and the killing of dozens of people who had sought refuge inside a U.N. peacekeeping base in Bor. “Unless there are serious consequences for the parties to cease the violence and engage in meaningful talks ... the toll on innocent civilians will continue to rise,” Ladsous told reporters after the closed-door council meeting. “The United Nations is doing everything it can to protect the civilians that are fleeing the violence, the war, but let us never forget that the primary responsibility for protection of civilians is with the government,” he said. Nigerian U.N. Ambassador, Joy Ogwu, president of the

council for April, said there was a lot of support among council members for pursuing sanctions on South Sudan. “I think we are ready to go down the road of sanctions,” French U.N. Ambassador, Gerard Araud told reporters. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, posted on Twitter after the briefing: “For the sake of the people of South Sudan, international community must sanction political spoilers and those who target civilians.” The United States and the European Union have already threatened South Sudan with sanctions. President Barack Obama earlier this month authorized possible targeted sanctions against those committing human rights abuses in South Sudan or undermining democracy and obstructing the peace process. More than one million people have fled their homes since fighting erupted in the world’s youngest country in December between troops backing President Salva Kiir and soldiers loyal to his sacked deputy, Riek Machar.


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10 | Friday, April 25, 2014

Politics THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE

‘Recent happenings indicate time for change is now, not tomorrow’ Wale Oshun, national chairman of Afenifere Renewal Group and former Chief Whip in the House of Representatives is a delegate at the National Conference. He spoke to Abiodun Fanoro on the uproar that greeted the constituted conference committees and the increasing security challenges in the country and the role the gathering could play in proffering solutions. LOT of ripples and uproar are greeting the constituted confab committees. What does this suggest? It is a protest against what many truly see as a grand design from the onset to frustrate any change in the status quo from the level of the committees. However, the vast majority, who were prochange, were quick to notice this surreptitious move. That was why they cried out. The outcry was about the fear that the constitution of the committees was rigged to favour those with pro-status quo agenda. But I can tell you that there is nothing to fear, whether or not the committees on restructuring, devolution of power, and state police were rigged to favour opponents of change, since whatever the committees decided would still come back to the plenary for discussion and approval. I had once been a member of the Constituent Assembly where the whole report of a committee was thrown out at the plenary. But let’s wait and see; let’s not prejudge anybody. The truth of the matter is that with what the country is going through, there must be restructuring. So, let anybody come and insist that we should continue with the status quo; surely, it would be thrown out on the floor of the plenary. What about the membership of the conference itself, any room for worries? The beauty of the conference is the ultimate fact that it is made up of a broad spectrum of people, sections and diverse professional callings, which may not obtain if the composition had been solely by ethnic nationalities consideration. Under this present composition, you have the physically challenged people, market women, artisans, youths, teachers, academicians, pensioners, retired security personnel, ethnic nationalities’ leaders, students, senior citizens, politicians, civil society group members, members from the labour movement, and such other reformist groups, as well as those who were responsible for the prostrate state of the country. Would this configuration, whose balance tilts towards the establishment, be agent of change? I think based on my interactions with a number of delegates at the conference, it is obvious that anybody that comes there with the mindset to maintain the status quo would certainly run into problem. The summary of the mood at the conference is that a change in the status quo is the only hope for the survival and future of the country. At the parley, there is a kind of admission that the time to make changes is now. Anybody who thinks that Nigeria has not seen enough problems and that it is not time for change must be living in a fool’s paradise. Even if such delegates still exist in the conference, I have no fear at all because from what I have noticed, I would say without any fear of doubt that there is a balance of forces. Many of those that came there as government nominees, who you referred to as pro-establishment, have since got their views changed by the reality on ground; so, the preponderance of views is for an urgent change. Even the Chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, in spite of the security web around him, in spite of the affluence he had acquired in the past, knows that the crises rocking the country, one of which is security, make urgent changes inevitable. If he is so secured today, he would remember that he has children whose future are tied to the Nigerian fate; he would remember that he has family members that are not covered by his own security web, except the general security scheme, which must now be part of the reform to meet today’s need of Nigerians. Could you remember any particular incident that happened since the conference took off

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• There is panic among delegates • Hidden agenda behind confab committees

Oshun that must have helped to change the mindset of some delegates? Yes, there are many of those incidents. Don’t forget that it was after the take-off of the confab that the son of Chief Edwin Clark was kidnapped. If this could happen to Chief Clark in spite of his connections, status and stature in the country, then those you called pro-establishment delegates need no sermon from anybody. What sermon does anyone who says he is proestablishment need when he or she read a story of how a cousin of President Goodluck Jonathan was kidnapped? So, you can now appreciate the concern of delegates that something has to give way. It is no longer the question of ‘I don’t want change.’ The question is what is the alternative to having change? HAT effects would last week’s sad events of W bomb blast near Abuja and the abduction of over 200 pupils have on the psyche of delegates? Those two incidents are very bad and wicked. They are, indeed, horrific and traumatic. The bomb blast was a cold murder of innocent souls that could not be justified under any guise. They were innocent and helpless Nigerians looking for their daily bread. They were also victims of the misrule and leadership decadence that has led the country to this sorry state of insecurity. Having said that, I think this deteriorated security situation dates for back, even more than one year. What I am saying is that it has been happening on consistent basis over a year ago, but what is now worrisome is the way it has been sustained in recent time. The attacks truly looked more pronounced in the last few days, but I can tell you that these sad incidents have not only sent the reality of the fear of personal insecurity to delegates,

their children and their extended family members, but in addition, it has sent a clear message to every delegate that nowhere in the capital, Abuja or any part of the country is safe. It certainly has sent a cold message to those still sitting on the fence that there is no alternative to change and that the time for change is now, not tomorrow. There is panic among delegates; nobody knows where to go, where not to go, when to move out and when not to move out. Even with those with security web around them, they are convinced that that arrangement may not be able to cover bomb blast not to talk of their children and relatives. Since last week’s incidents, President Jonathan has been holding strategic meetings with the 36 state governors. As a stakeholder, what is going to be the immediate intervention of the conference? I think we need to look beyond the surface. We should not just look at the symptoms of the problem. The question is, what were the causes of Boko Haram insurgency? We can’t solve the problem without first addressing the causative factors. I can boldly say that some of the causative factors are structural. You can see the increasing class dichotomy in Nigeria today. The very rich are going very rich, while the poor are getting poor. It is a case of worsened unemployment, the economy has collapsed, there is a massive collapse in infrastructure etc. Every economy worldwide is controlled by the productive capacity of small-scale businessmen, but today what do you find in Nigeria, small-scale businessmen have disappeared from the system. When I talked about structure, how is this relevant to Boko Haram? It is relevant in the sense that if we go back to the basic demand of members of this group, which is, that they want to be governed on the basis of their religious belief. They are seeking to have an Islamic state within their own area.

What stops an area with say 80 per cent Moslem or 80 per cent Christians if this could be established through a plebiscite, from establishing a government based on their own definition? That is why I disagree with some of my colleagues that argue that we should take away religion completely from our national life. An atheist who beliefs in no religion, his non-belief is his religion. For instance, if those who formed Boko Haram know that there is a provision for a plebiscite to determine whether or not the majority would want an Islamic State and that if this is endorsed in a plebiscite they could have their wish, probably, they might not have gone to this level of taking arms against the country. So we should take example from this missing link and do what is just, by allowing Nigerians to decide how they want to relate and by allowing the federating units to be autonomous. This in my view would prevent another Boko Haram from springing up from other regions. In the same manner, under such a provision, there should be nothing stopping a federating unit after a successful plebiscite, to say it is going to run a parliamentary system of government even if the government at the centre is running a presidential system of government. We must recognize sincerely that we are diverse people. This must be allowed to determine governance and how we co-exist. If we fail to do this, we are wasting our time, the crises would persist and we would be chasing shadow in trying to contain the aftermath. In the immediate, what could government do? I couldn’t see any immediate or urgent measure that government could resort to. If government insists on immediate measure, then it would be using former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s option in Odi and Zaki-Biam, which did not solve the problem and till tomorrow continues attracts the widest condemnation worldwide. In applying the option, President Jonathan would need to level up the entire North-East and reduce it to ashes, but don’t forget that the people there are Nigerians and the vast population are innocent people, they are not Boko Haram members. So that option would not work. In my view, the ultimate solution should be left for the National Conference, which would come out with a restructuring formula for the country that would allow the federating units to have the power to determine how each wants to be governed. A federating unit may decide to be theocratic while the centre is secular, there is nothing wrong with this. What is important is that we coexist peacefully. What is the common fear among delegates? The singular question on the lips of every delegate is, what would the government do with the report of the conference? Will the presidency be chicken-hearted and begin to wait on the legislative arm to ratify it or provide it with a legal framework? Or would the presidency be courageous enough to admit that the report holds the solution to the crises threatening to tear the country apart, and goes ahead to implement it? So the main worry is whether or not we have a presidency that is courageous enough to go the whole hog and allow the decision of the conference to hold and create an enabling environment that would make it possible to have the relevant amendment in the Constitution. Shouldn’t that have been sorted out before the take-off of the confab? That is a possibility, but don’t forget that institutions can acquire legitimacy of their own position, because it is about the people. No body could claim to be as representative as the conference. Membership of the confab in terms of equitable representation cannot be rivaled by any institution in Nigeria today. In the confab, you have a 90 years old delegate just as there is a girl of 24 years, you have professors, just as there are people with barely the first school-leaving certificate etc.


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TheGuardian

www.ngrguardiannews.com

12 | Friday, April 25, 2014

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 Merger of aviation agencies he recent merger of three key aviation agencies by the Federal Government has expectedly generated mixed reactions within the industry. While aviation operators hailed the action as a step in the right direction by bringing the agencies under one umbrella following the Steve Oronsaye panel report that made the recommendation, others, especially the workers, decry the decision as wrong-headed. Aviation, according to this group, is regulated worldwide by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA), and as such, should follow global best practices. They argued that Nigeria cannot, at this juncture, afford to suffer avoidable aviation disasters resulting from lumping critical agencies together. By the government’s plan the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMeT) would be morphed into a new Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA). The Oronsaye panel had recommended the merger and outright scrapping of some government agencies under the restructuring and rationalisation of Federal Government parastatals, commissions and agencies to reduce the cost of governance. For instance, the panel recommended that the National examinations Council (NeCO) and the National Business and Technical education Board (NABTeB) should be merged with the West African examinations Council (WAeC). This was, however, rejected by government. Instead, government accepted the recommendation that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) should continue to exist as the central examination body for admissions into universities. The panel had also recommended the reduction of the existing 263 government paratatals and agencies to 161. The White Paper released by the office of the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice rejected the recommendation that the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Voice of Nigeria (VON) be merged into one body to be known as Federal Corporation Broadcasting of Nigeria (FCBN). Also rejected, among others, was the recommendation for the merger of the economic and Financial Crimes Commission (eFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). While some of the actions of government are easy to rationalize, others are not. The merger of aviation agencies, in particular, appears not to be reasonable, hence it has attracted more public reaction. With a history of recurrent aviation disasters, Nigeria cannot afford to toy with the operation and management of the industry. everything should be done to ensure that very high standards are upheld in the industry. Coming at a time when officials of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are visiting Nigeria to reassess her Category 1 Safety Status, the merger of the agencies may raise critical questions and it is not known to what extent it would affect the reassessment. What, for instance, made the action most expedient at this time? Most countries have their civil aviation agencies as distinct bodies, which guarantee autonomy and efficiency. By this merger, wouldn’t an unwieldy internal bureaucracy affect the operation of the agencies? how would the merger enhance efficiency? It is noteworthy that the NCAA is a regulator while NAMA and NIMeT have distinct functions. Why is it necessary to merge a regulator with others in the industry? Under what framework would they operate? Why did the merger not affect the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)? The implication is that government would henceforth drive the policy as well as regulate and operate at the same time. There are, of course, many contradictions in the White Paper, which are undesirable.   It may be necessary for government to reconsider the decision. In all, government has not given teeth to the Oronsaye panel report. Most of the desirable recommendations were rejected while at the same time, some new agencies were created. This is curious. The objective of cutting the cost of governance, which informed the setting up of the panel has been defeated. The country stands to lose.

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LETTER

Nyanya: Torment of a nation Another set of Nigerians I frown strongly at Boko Haram’s continuous onslaught on SandIR:hascruel been lost to the deadly hands of the Boko innocent Nigerians. If any onslaught is to be waged at all Haram sect. It seems the bombing train has moved back to the Federal Capital Territory after many months of peace and relative tranquility. It seems also that the sect are sending a strong signal to the Federal Government that even the seat of power is not safe. What saddens me most is the scores of innocent lives wasted away again. Nyanya is one of the most populated towns in Abuja. Following the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from the city by the Federal Capital Territory administration some years ago, Nyanya played host to hundreds of thousands of middle-class families composed of civil servants, traders, farmers and a very large youth population. Anyone could have been a victim! I recall the service of a taxi driver on my recent trip to the city. I really don’t know the fate of this taxi driver. Could it be that he is one of the victims? Could it be that he is currently wallowing in pains on the hospital bed or lying lifeless in the mortuary? I pray none of these cruel fates befell him. But isn’t it time for us all to rise in unison and say

then it should be against those who constitute a threat to our collective existence and well being as a people - the thieving ruling elite who feed fat on our collective treasury and build high fences around their abode while tens of security officers watch over them leaving the masses to insecurity

“enough is enough”? We have had enough of the Boko Haram attacks. We have had enough deaths of innocent children and women! We have had enough condolence messages from Mr. President! We have said enough prayers to God. Our government must begin to account for the billions of naira budgeted for security. In the 2013 budget for instance, a total of N950 billon (which exceeds the N705 billion set aside for human capital development under education, water, agriculture and health sector) was provided for recurrent and service-wide votes for the security sector, which includes the Armed Forces, Police, National Security Adviser’s office, and the para-military services. The 2012 and 2014 security budget also fall within this frame, yet insecurity remains the order of the day. We need to begin to ask ourselves how effective the security forces have been in the fight against the Boko Haram

sect? how well has the security votes been expended on improving the lives of uniformed men? how well has it improved their living and working conditions? how well has it increased their capacity to fight crime and other insurgencies? how many guns and armours have been bought? how many surveillance cameras have been acquired? These are questions begging for answers. This Nyanya blast is the latest man’s inhumanity to man in Nigeria. I frown strongly at Boko Haram’s continuous onslaught on innocent Nigerians. If any onslaught is to be waged at all then it should be against those who constitute a threat to our collective existence and well being as a people - the thieving ruling elite who feed fat on our collective treasury and build high fences around their abode while tens of security officers watch over them leaving the masses to insecurity. As we mourn the deceased, may their gentle and innocent souls begin to torment their killers and our leaders who have failed to live up to their responsibilities. • Ewebiyi James, Lagos.


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Opinion Canonization of blessed John Paul 11, John XX111 By Raphael Igbaoyinbo OME April 27, 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday, the whole world will be focused on St. Peter’s Basilica Rome where two great Popes will be enlisted in the group of men and women who have been found worthy to become part of the heavenly hosts. They will be canonized by Pope Francis and become worthy of veneration by all. The joy this brings is immense indeed as one watches the Great Pope John Paul II who was able to step on the soil of Nigeria twice in the space of his papacy, elevated so highly. It was a privilege to have had a very close view and near touch of him when the young and dynamic Pope visited Nigeria in 1982. After the encounter the mirage that beclouded the under-teen boy about who the Pope is and what he does, disappeared, as his presence manifest every inch a person close to God and shepherd of the church in the name of Jesus Christ, as the Vicar of Christ. Blessed John Paul II’s ordination of many priests in Kaduna then, made it clear to the little boy that the Pope is one who has interest in the growth of the church. In a similar way Blessed John XXIII showed that the Pope longs to see everyone take active part in the life of the Church and her worship by convoking the Second Vatican Council between 1963-1965. The fruit of that council has brought new life and meaning to the Church today, as people of all nations, tribes, and language can now worship God in the way that appreciates and promotes their cultural heritage. They can now understand the fact that the church is for both clergy and laity, with each having its role to play. It means that in living out the Christian life and in praying, what makes Nigeria a nation and a distinctive set of people are brought in and presented to God. Hence, the Popes being canonized have interest in Nigeria and what happens to her now and in the future, especially as the 2015 elections draw near.

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Blessed John XXIII who was born on November 25, 1881 and elected Pope on 20th October 1958 at the age of 76 was Pope for less than five years. He ended up being seen by the world as an authentic image of the Good Shepherd, since he was meek and gentle, enterprising and courageous, simple and active. Consequently, the faithful came to see him a reflection of the goodness of God and so began to refer to him as "the good Pope". The result of such a life is his elevation to sainthood, to remind all that goodness pays, is appreciated by God, and all should learn to be good and work for the good of all. Blessed John Paul II on his part was born in Poland in 1920 and died on April 2, 2005. He became Pope in 1978. His visits to Nigeria in 1982 and 1998 brought abundant joy and hope to most, if not all Nigerians. He was renowned for his being at home and comfortable with his humanity, knowing how to handle his emotion. This was revealed in his great courage and fearlessness in the face of challenges of life, thus, inviting others to, in total trust in God and his providence, not be afraid in life. Blessed John Paul II took Jesus’ command to Peter the Apostle in John 21: 15-18 “Feed my Lamb!” Look after my sheep!” “Feed my sheep!” seriously and travelled round the world visiting and strengthening peoples and nations, becoming the most travelled Pope. Hence he is referred to as "the Pilgrim Pope" as he made 104 foreign trips, visiting 129 countries, which sum up to a total of more than 1,167,000 km (725,000 mi). He humbly asked for forgiveness for the past and present of the Church, and also forgave those who hurt him. He had a youthful attitude to life and daily experiences in a way that electrifies those who came in contact with him, leaving them with the long-lasting effect of such an encounter. That his kind of life drove home the message

of Christ to all was seen in the multitude of people present and the numerous placards displayed at his funeral with messages like: “Saint Immediately” “Saint John Paul the Great thank you,” “Saint John Paul we love you,” “John Paul II, make him a saint immediately” and more. Whence, his canonization is finally bringing the sentiments of the people to reality. By their canonization, aimed at formally recognizing the virtuous life they led while on earth and having gone successfully through the canonization process, the two Popes already beatified and referred to as Blessed, become officially elevated to the rank of Sainthood, and have ‘Saint’ attached to their names. Hence, by canonization, part of whose requirements are two scientifically proven miracles ascribed to the intercession of the Blessed, the Church acknowledges, appreciates and makes known to all that the new Saints, having followed Christ faithfully in the journey on earth, have now become worthy to dwell with God in heaven. They are declared as examples for emulation by all, having proved themselves trustworthy by consistent fidelity to the will and commands of God. They are now declared fit for public veneration by all, and qualified to be invoked in public prayers of the Church. Other privileges canonization gives to Saints is their qualification for Churches to be dedicated in their honour as seen in church’s called St. Michael’s Church, St Faustina’s Church, and more; Mass and Divine Office are now celebrated in their honour during which they could be invoked to ‘pray for us’ on the feast day the Church assigns to them in the liturgical Calendar and at other devotional prayers; pictorial representation is then made of the new Saint with heavenly light of glory; and finally, as part of the privileges, their relics become qualified to be publicly venerated. It is indeed a glorious elevation.

Let us thus arise and heed the call of our fatherland, as the two new saints who directly or indirectly encountered and loved Nigeria and her people, encourage us to do. They remind us that the path to authentic greatness in this world, the rough but sure road that brings us face to face with the One True God in Paradise, demands only the price of love of God and fatherland, goodness, honesty, genuine hard work, willingness to embrace selfless service for the good of all. In other words, there is more to life than material wealth, for material riches without integrity is vanity. The target should be holistic wealth which has love and goodness as its springboard. They invite us to always remember that death will come on a day no one knows and so we should be ever prepared. Is it then wise to spend our lives amassing earthly goods and wealth in all forms of un-holy and self-serving ways? Is it a sign of maturity to use what is meant for the good of all for oneself alone? Is it a smack of goodness to abuse the position granted one on trust by abandoning the needs of those one is elected to serve? Is it noble to swear the Oath of Office and fail to comply with its demands? The right answer is in our hearts, in our formed consciences, in the Holy Books, in the examples of great personalities who have passed through this world. The answer is also seen in the teaching of the Church and in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. We pray therefore that the intercession of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II may bring us divine help to choose the path of selfless service as against the luring route of self-centredness and false satisfaction, now, when the election comes and always. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. •Rev. Fr. Igbaoyinbo is a priest of the Missionary Society of St. Paul, Gwagwalada Abuja.

The fuss over President Mugabe’s comments By Victor Oshisada HE second lead news-story in The Guardian, April 11, 2014, T provides much food for thought. It reads: “The Federal Government summoned Zimbabwe’s Embassy Head of Chancery in Nigeria, Stanley Kunjeku, over a statement that was purportedly credited to President Robert Mugabe which is considered uncharitable to Nigeria and her citizens”. This forms the first part of my opinion piece. Reporting further, The Guardian stated: “In related development, the Federal Government has condemned the attack on 10 of its citizens in South Africa and the looting of 25 shops owned by Nigerians by organized gangs in South Africa”. In an allusion to newspapers’ reports of March 16, 2014, it was revealed that Zimbabwean President, during his 90th birthday hosted by Service Chiefs and the Public Commission, described Zimbabweans as behaving like Nigerians who have to be corruptly paid for every service”. The Federal Government protested Mugabe’s statements. From the fore-goings, there are two different issues that are involved. First for consideration is the “uncharitable” accusation that Nigerians are corrupt. This writer finds it difficult to draw a line between telling the home truth and patriotism. “Home truth” is a true but unpleasant fact about a person, corporate body or organization and a country, usually told to them by somebody else. Patriotism is the love that one has for his country and the willingness to defend it. What patriotism is it if the home truth is told about one’s country and temper tantrums are thrown? Why should Nigerians be at daggers drawn with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, because he labeled us as being corrupt? Does it hallmark patriotism if we are applauded for our wrongdoings in which there is no abatement? And we are unabashed by the ever increasing misdeeds? Corruption inhibits progress and due process. Admittedly, President Robert Mugabe might have turned all his artillery on Nigerians as corrupt people, but even so, we must be tolerant to accept criticisms. The reality is that the uncomplimentary allusions to us must be accepted in good

spirit, if truly we are desirous of turning over a new leaf. In private life, if a neighbour criticizes and points out a misdeed to the head of another family, the ideal step to take is to strive for a change, and not to take offence- that is, feel insulted. Are we not truly corrupt? Our country is blessed with avalanche of robust media, which is good for our healthy political existence. There is no day that our print media are not awash with news-reports of corrupt practices by our political leaders. There are high and low profile corruptions. Indeed, with our leaders, promises are like piecrusts made to be broken. In most of our local government areas, facilities that are not provided are claimed to be in places. For example, roads that are not in existence are claimed to have been commissioned; bogus signboards are displayed on both ends to deceive the taxpayers that work is in progress. Invariably, it is phantom exercise to be taken with a pinch of salt. By any stretch of the imagination, there is no road construction ever to take place. If our leaders are not purchasing bulletproof cars or stealing unspent budgetary allocations, they are the embezzling or misappropriating pension funds. The leaders who dip hands into the public tills deserve to be censured locally and internationally. Being a Commonwealth country that is non-aligned, Nigeria is host to High Commissioners and Ambassadors from other nations, even as our country has its diplomats spread abroad. What do we think is the official assignment other than to spy for their home countries? The diplomats are here to monitor the goings-on and report to their home countries. Our envoys abroad perform similar duties for us. Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe is not resident in Nigeria, but his incandescent remarks are eventuated by the diplomatic despatches on his desk in Harare. Admittedly, he may be a coarse-fibred man; his wealth of experience eminently qualifies him to take a swipe at our corrupt practices. An angel rules no nation; Robert Mugabe is not one. He has problems that are peculiar to him. The land problems, plus his long rule since April 18 1980, form the albatross around his neck as a dictator. In no way do these preclude him

from pointing at the mote in others’ eye. At 90 years of age, he is managing his dictatorship and he will do so into his grave. Mugabe’s main minus is that this writer’s freedom of expression is lacking in Zimbabwe, but intact and relevant in Nigeria. This is a plus for Nigeria and President Jonathan. He said: “We (Zimbabweans) are not just like Nigeria where you have to reach your pockets to get anything done”. Nigerians’ replies are tenuous. What does it matter if, in the liberation days, Nigeria was supportive of Zimbabwe? Most regretted because Mugabe is a sitting president of a brotherly country, and most unkind and very dishonourable despite Nigeria’s support for Zimbabwe during the liberation struggles. There is no gratitude in international politics. In my considered opinion, the statements serve dual purposes of admonishing Nigeria to change. Also, the cataracts of invectives are meant to caution Zimbabweans not to derail and become poor copybook of corruption. In the natural course of events, this may be possible. It is up to us as Nigerians to be tolerant of criticisms and change from corrupt practices, instead of fuming with indignations. If external opprobrium is required to rid us of corrupt practices, pray, let us have plenty of it. The second leg of this piece is the attack on 10 of its citizens in South Africa and the looting of 25 shops owned by Nigerians by organized gangs in South Africa. This is the height of barefaced criminality. Of primordial importance is the necessity of protecting our citizens in foreign countries; failure to do so speaks ill of the President’s incompetence and phobia for the nations, which he rules. Nigeria is not even trying enough in protecting its nationals abroad. There is no Western nation that treats the life of nationals with flippancy or unconcern in foreign lands. Therefore, Nigeria is right on track for baring its fangs in protest. In this respect, President Goodluck Jonathan deserves a pat on the back for registering his protest against the criminal treatments of Nigerian nationals in South Africa. This opinion piece has the imports of offering sticks or carrots respectively to a leader whenever he is due for any. • Oshisada, a veteran journalist, lives in Ikorodu, Lagos.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Opinion Re-branding Nigeria without marketing mix  By Alade Rotimi-John HE marketing profession’s alter ego in Nigeria T is typified by its flagship institution, the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria which chequered history has expectedly conduced to both its strength and weakness.  Marketing, it must be observed, is not just a creation of law, it belongs to the legends: its origin is in the mist of tradition – the age long custom of trade of business people. The profession prides itself concerning its fixation with the value chain process which, rendered simply, is about product quality at the right or correct price.  If we now turn to firmer historical ground, our enquiry will evince or reveal the facts of an internecine struggle spanning almost two decades between the profession’s warring factions.  Happily, it was not the parties’ arms that eventually resolved the crises.  The combatants were simply exhausted by alternate periods of dominance and subjection in their fratricidal wars.  But the campaign had been disastrous leaving behind it indelible tell-tale scars.  For the profession, the consequence of these developments was a period of professional practice decline – resulting in economic and cultural exchange reverses.  Convulsed by serious crises both internally and on its frontiers, the profession began to lose the patronage of its high net-worth patrons or sponsors: many of its bewildered patrons considered the option of distancing themselves from the advertised programmes and events of the Institute.  Official relations between government and the profession plummeted or deteriorated even as young practitioners wondered if they had not mis-stepped into a wrong or jinxed profession.  It is hard to imagine that the seeds of future fissures have not been firmly planted in the interstices of the projected growth and development of this very important medium of our quest for optimal customer satisfaction and corresponding profitable returns on investment. It is important now to inquire into how best the avowed transformation programme regarding our national economy can best assist marketers and the business community in seeking to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by the socioeconomic milieu.  Marketing, properly so

considered, is not just about business-communication or the brand-building process.  These are mere tools or handmaidens for the achievement of the broad goal of harmonising the marketing process with fundamental human and economic evolution.   With the probable exception of the law profession, the marketing practice regime is unarguably the most encompassing vocation known to man.  Marketing involves or touches every facet of life – at personal, corporate and group levels.  Marketing is about demands for product and services with their satisfaction exemplifying itself in quality and brand.  Marketing, it is argued, should present or render itself intelligible in its ornate but pristine form – un-adorned with complicated theorising or mythologising.  In its dynamism, marketing continues to challenge conventional or age-long assumptions about the market place or consumer predilections – attempting to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for value through the employment of the magical brand development process.  Creativity and innovation are continually nurtured or sustained as tools for realising more value from operations.  Through ardent marketing practices, the economy is poised to promote its companies to move up the value chain thereby furthering their status or competitive advantage and making the economy’s disparate sectors a key source of the nation’s global competitiveness and industrial ardour.   The varied or variegated nature of the marketing profession has conduced to the emergence of specialist trade adjuncts or sub-class like public relations, advertising, etc. which are, in truth, windows on the world of marketing practice. Together with the mother profession, these practices further the cause of the requirement to continually create value and build the marketing community through networking, strategic brand management and the avoidance or elimination of infiltration of other professions into the marketing arena.  Orderly or programmed business growth and development are undeniably the forte of astute marketing practice. With these fiercely intimidating credentials regarding its primacy of place in the market place

or the economy first, as a stimulant for an increasingly wealthy population with specific buying needs, a steadily-growing taste for high-end consumer goods and luxury items and as a general all-round wealth creation dynamics modem, conducing to the social goal of communal peace and harmony, it is strange that the marketing institution in Nigeria is largely officially ignored, side-tracked or side-lined.  No better example of this official smug indifference to marketing is noticed than in the supposedly wide-spectrum nomination of delegates to the on-going national conference.  492 delegates have been nominated to represent various interests and groups. Out of the 27 clusters outlined in the membership composition of the conference, the President has exercised his power over 6 categories by nominating members thereof.  On their own part, stakeholders have been offered the responsibility of nominating their own respective delegates in the remaining clusters.  The organised private sector is listed to include NECA, MAN, NACCIMA, and NESG even as professional bodies’ representation is limited to NBA, NSE, CIB, NMA, NIM, NIA, ICAN, ANAN, NIPR, AAPN, NIESV, Nigeria Environmental Society and Nigeria Economic Society.  Alas! The acclaimed engine room for value creation and undisputed purveyor of business creativity, marketing innovation and ingenuous wealth generation in the mould of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria [NIMN] is visibly or glaringly missing in the list, perhaps inadvertently.  It is submitted that the central thrust of the conference’s debates and summations is the requirement to re-brand Nigeria.  Marketing tools and diagnoses are submitted to be the most fittingly suited for addressing the issues that are the objects for resolution at the conference.  Anyone who has more than a nodding acquaintance with the central place of marketing in an economy or of it as a tool of social relations will be struck by this inexcusable oversight.  In view of the constantly tense situation that pervades our system, it takes a marketing professional’s special or remarkable handling to strike the right measure or dosage regarding the necessity to project or direct business process in the direction of wealth generation, distribution, compet-

itiveness and of a fair price for products and services.  The professional marketer is not satisfied until he has exhausted the possibilities of his dynamic and near-infinite skills and tools.  Such is the kind of elemental rigour, vigour or ardour that is required at this important talk-shop.  So not only will the tribe of marketing professionals (stricto senso) be sorely missed at the conference, their operational tools will be palpably absent thereat.  There is probably a relatively gloomy conclusion on the part of government that the vicious circle in which we find ourselves is due less to economic [or marketing!] causes than the operation of our present political or democratic structure.  But the problem with Nigeria is political, constitutional, psychological and (oops!) marketing (which is rendered facetiously as “economics”).  There is a social necessity or requirement to make marketing and its principles the cornerstone of public policy direction; whatever adds value, improves growth, increases production and incomes and raises the standard of life of the citizenry is eligible to be included or added to our corpus of guiding or directive principles of state policy even as we continue to favour and re-state our advocacy for the private organisation of industry, a plural society, diversity, peculiarity, respective identity, panoply, competitiveness, multiplicity of parties and evolutionary politics.  As an important corollary to this writer’s suggested expansion of the geo-social context of the nominations to the national conference, it should be noted that it is becoming increasingly in-apt or unsuitable for any single view of the economy or of any subject matter under the social sphere to continue to exercise a stranglehold on the polity’s processes even in the notable presence of a pantheon of eminently valid views, postulations or promptings.  A multiplicity of views on the economy and of its dire straits will seem to be the defining factor of our muchvaunted forward movement towards peace and plenty.  There is a requirement to immediately summon marketing to the rescue.  This, it is submitted, is the path to Nigeria’s freedom for unleashing the wealth-creating power of enterprise, trade and marketing in the national interest. • Rotimi-John, a lawyer and commentator on public affairs, wrote from Abuja.

The task of nation-building By Kenneth Imansuangbon RESENTLY, our great country Nigeria seems to be at crossroad. P This is not first time or the second and definitely may not be the last, because human lives just like every other thing is synonymous with changes and challenges. They are inevitable and certain. Before now, the Nigerians had witnessed many leadership, socio-economic and security challenges, and had always overcome them, thereby keeping the country together for more than 100 years now. The present security challenges confronting the country predates the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. It is also a common knowledge that terrorism is now a global challenge that must be dealt with headlong and collectively for it knows no boundary, religion or party affiliation. The present terrorism challenge in Nigeria is not different from what has happened and still happening in different parts of the world. For the fact that Nigeria’s case is now restricted to some Northeast states is a confirmation of the tremendous efforts of the security agents, the people and government of the country in combating the menace. One wonders what the situation would have been by now, if the insurgents have succeeded in taking over the whole country and plunge it into deep security crisis. May be that would have been the end of the country called Nigeria; but God forbids. Whether we like it or not, be it South, North, East or West, Christian or Muslim, Nigeria is our country and will remain ours. The task or burden of building the country especially at this critical moment demands comprehensive involvement and collaboration between the leaders and the lead.    We cannot run away from it or abdicate responsibilities because of the enormous challenges, unless we are saying that we have collectively failed as a people. Solutions or panacea to the country’s problems must be eclectic, collective and committed. All hands must be on deck because the success or failure of the country has direct and great impact on all Nigerians both at home and Diaspora. Lest we forget, no place is like home and charity begins at home.      In trying to find solutions to our problems, we should be mindful and inspirational of T. Joseph Benziger, the great editor of the online Dynamic Youth Magazine’s saying that commitment never allows us to lose sight of our target. It is the battery that gives power to all types of activities. That is why it is considered most important for individuals and organisations as well. Without the help

of committed employees no organisational goal could be attained. “Without displaying firm commitments, no organisation can earn the goodwill of its customers. If the citizens are not fully committed to nation building, no country can progress and achieve peace and prosperity. This is because hurdles are those impediments, which could be removed or overcome, if only we make determined efforts. We should identify the hurdles without loss of time. We should not allow them to ruffle or discourage us. We should neither magnify nor minimise them.” The above statement should be a food-for-thought for all Nigerians at present. The ongoing blame game over insecurity and killings in the country between politicians and people from different ethnic and political divide at the moment is diversionary, divisive, ill timed and unpatriotic. It is an ill wind that blows no one any good. Great countries like America, Britain and others had their own fair share of challenges before now, but they collectively and committedly dealt with them, despite their political cum socio-cultural differences. Till date they have not fully overcome all of them, but they have managed to live together peacefully as a people. President Goodluck Jonathan will not be the president of the country forever, and the country will outlive his administration. But if Nigerians irrespective of their tribe and religion continue to be nonchalant about the challenges facing their country now, posterity and history will not judge them well as a people. This is not the time for anybody to sit on the fence, take sides or engage in pedestrian criticisms against any government or individual. It is a time of contribution and sacrifice for nation building. This is also the reason delegates at the ongoing National Conference must be mindful and conscious of what they say or do at the Conference because Nigerians and the world are watching. If past National Conferences had failed for one reason or the other, the current mood of the country and the timing of the present Conference demand that it must not fail for any reason. Delegates to the Conference were chosen based on their merit and the confidence the people had in them, so they should in return justify such confidence by coming out of the Conference with something very progressive, peaceful and developmental for the country. The delegates should realise that to whom much is given, much is expected, because Nigerians cannot afford to waste another huge taxpayers’ money for another jamboree. They should know that Nigerians have expressed worry over unguarded and inflammatory utterances of some delegates at the

Conference aimed at causing confusion or probably truncating the Conference. Some have even started fanning the ember of discord by calling for the balkanisation of the country into the North/South, but they fail to realise that no part of the world is insulated from crisis or terrorism. It is just a matter of time. Who told the people of Southern Sudan that they will not have peace today after than more a decade of war to secure independence. Balkanising the country may not be the ultimate solution to the country’s problems. Delegates at the Conference must eschew primordial sentiment, ethnic and religious bias and work towards a united country with purposeful leadership and followership that will outlive all of us and lay a solid foundation for a new Nigeria of great hope and prosperity. It would be recalled that the 2005 National Conference was brought to abrupt end after the South-South delegates staged a walkout on June 14, 2005 over the contentious derivation principle and stayed away from further proceedings.   The delegates from the oil-rich zone demanded an irreducible minimum of 50% derivation, but accepted in the interim 25% derivation with graduated increase to attain the 50% over a period of five years. But the northern delegates were opposed to it thereby splitting the conference into two opposing camps. Not even a meeting the then President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo held separately with the opposing groups could assuage their feelings. As a result of the demand, the conference ended without reaching a consensus on derivation funds, resource control and tenure of office for president and governors. Already the trend is rearing its ugly head in the ongoing National Conference as different committees moved into discussions at committee stage. It is of utmost importance for delegates to exercise caution and restraints, and be altruistic in handling all the issues slated for discussion at the committee stage. This is to avoid history repeating itself again, because it will be bad for the country if the present Conference ends like the previous ones. The unity, peace, and progress of the country supersede every other thing; Nigerians should abide by this belief and have faith and confidence in the country for a better and prosperous tomorrow. Just as former secretary general of United Nations Organisation (UNO) Mr. Kofi Anan said: “Whether our challenge is peacemaking, nationbuilding, democratisation or responding to natural or man-made disaster, we have seen that even the strongest amongst us cannot succeed alone.” • Imansuangbon, a lawyer wrote from Virginia, USA


Friday, April 25, 2014 15

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

TheMetroSection How not to eke a living... • Syndicate uses baby with serious ailment to solicit for alms in Lagos • How police rescued baby Chinasa in Lagos

Briefs SPOSAN meets tomorrow AINT Peter's College Ssociation Abeokuta Old Students’ As(SPOSAN) will tomorrow meet at the institution at 1.30p.m.

Ipoti-Ekiti meets Sunday HE monthly meeting of T Egbe Omo Ipoti-Ekiti, Lagos branch holds on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at Western College, Onike, Yaba at 3.00p.m. The Secretary of the association, Mr. Kolade Olumutimi said the meeting, which holds every last Sunday of the month at the same venue, is to discuss the development of Ipoti-Ekiti.

Money realised

RCCG donates to Nyanya I was in the village when the bomb blast victims people came and met my husFrom Abosede Musari, Abuja band. He agreed that I should go HE Redeemed Christian with them. Since August, I have TChurch of God (RCCG), Federal Capital Territory 3 been remitting money into my Province, led by Pastor Olajide and his Assistant, husband’s account and he used Oluwajobi Pastor Akinremi Bolaji, on the money to buy a motorcycle Easter Monday donated some cash gifts and provisions to and completed his abandoned victims of the Nyanya blast in hospital. building project The church members were in

Little Chinasa with her mother

The suspects By Odita Sunday HE Lagos State Police Command has uncovered a syndicate that specialises in using sick babies to beg for alms in order to enrich themselves in the metropolis. Although the leader of the group is now at large, the command has arrested six of the suspects used to prosecute the dirty deal. Explaining their modus operandi, Lagos State Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the suspects specialised in going to remote villages where they look out for children who have serious ailments. “What they do is that they convince the parents of these babies, give them fake promises and pledge to give them medical aid in the city. When they eventually bring the babies to the cities, they use them to beg for money on the streets, enrich themselves and they would never render the medical aid as promised. The woman here and her child are victims. Her baby was diagnosed of cancer of the eye.” “They brought them from Okija, Anambra State promising to take them to the hospital since August last year. They have been using this twoyear-old baby to make money since then without taking her to the hospi-

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tal as promised. They put the mother of the baby in a hotel and they would carry the baby to the market place begging for alms from unsuspecting Nigerians,” Braide said. The police image-maker said the suspects would be charged for child-trafficking and other related charges. The suspects told newsmen that their principal, who is now on the run, was the brain behind it. The leader of the group, one Chukwuka Eze from Ebonyi State said he abandoned his

cart pushing business in Mile 12, Lagos for this new one, which he said has been lucrative. According to the 24-year-old man: “After my secondary education, I started pushing cart in Mile 12, Lagos. When I was doing the business I earned lesser than what I earn now. One Mr. Samuel Ependu who is our Director introduced me into this business. He called to tell me that there was a child who has cancer and that her parents have no money to give her

a world-class treatment. I joined him in the business and I usually lead the group anytime we are going out for work. We usually take Chinasa to market areas, bus stops and traffic jam to beg for money and Nigerians don’t hesitate to give us money generously.” “My boss lodged us in a hotel. We go out everyday to make money for him. Sometimes, we make N32, 000 and other times if the business is too bad, we make N19, 000. After making all these monies, we usually remit them to my boss.” Chinasa’s mother, Mrs. Victoria Anako told The Guardian that her husband who agreed that the suspects should take the baby lured her into the business. “I was in the village when the people came and met my husband. He agreed that I should go with them. Since August, I have been remitting money into my husband’s account and he used the money to buy motorcycle and completed his abandoned building project. I did not know that they were bringing us to Lagos for the purpose of money making.” “Immediately, we left Okija last year, we were taken to Aba where they used my baby to beg. From Aba, we moved to Uyo, then Umuhia and Calabar. We left Calabar and went to Abakaliliki, then Lagos where the police eventually caught us,” she said. According to Mrs. Jessinta Nwakaego Nwaolie of Hands That Care Foundation, the non-governmental organization that handed over the suspects to the police, the suspects have been using the baby to make millions of naira since August last year without caring about her health.

three hospitals, Asokoro and Maitama General Hospitals as well as the National Hospital, Abuja, where the victims were receiving treatment. The team prayed for the quick recovery of the victims while thanking God for sparing their lives.

Tantalizers fetes Nigerian Idol finalists LEADING Quick service A restaurant, Tantalizers Plc, has pledged its readiness to keep assisting Nigerian youths in realizing their dreams as future leaders, and will be willing to back any project in that regard. The Managing Director, Mrs. Bose Ayeni made this pledge in Lagos at an event organized by the company to felicitate with the Nigerian idol Season 4 final contestants as the official food partner of the on-going Nigerian Idol project. Ayeni explained that the organizers, contestants, crew and other people involved in the Nigerian Idol project needed to be continuously revitalized and nourished during the exercise, hence Tantalizers coming in to take up that challenge. The General Manager, Business strategy and Development of Tantalizers Plc, Mr. Henry Arebun explained that the benefit of the combo meals to customers is to give them better value for their money.

HIV-positive man to be stoned to death for raping minor

Fidelis Ogunleye for burial

From Murtala Mohammed, Kano N Upper Sharia Court in Kano has sentenced one Ubale Saidu to death by stoning. Ubale Saidu, 63, who has been standing trial in the last two months for alleged rape of a 12-year –old Hauwa Mohammed, was finally found guilty and sentenced to death by stoning. Ubale Saidu, a confirmed (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) HIV-positive person, confessed to have raped Hauwa Mohammed

HE family of Adekola OgunlT eye has announced the death of Mr. Fidelis Adekola

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in Dotsa Village in Kumbotso, a suburb of Kano after an inducement. Medical examination carried out before the judgement indicated that the Primary Six Hauwa Muhammed has been infected with the deadly virus after the forceful penetration by Ubale. Ubale, who revealed to have been living with HIV/ AIDS in the last two years, lost his first and second wives, to same virus in 2011. According to informa-

tion, the wives died after a six- month interval. Delivering the judgement on Wednesday, Judge Faruq Ahmed, who directed Ubale’s sentence to death, also ordered a sum of N36 million as compensation to Hauwa’s parents, if their daughter eventually dies of HIV/ AIDS. In his account, the Judge said the judgement would be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, which is expected to forward same to Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for accent.

Cases of rape in Kano, particularly of minors, have reached an astronomical rate in the last two months. A release issued from the state Ministry of Justice accounted for more than 300 cases between January and February this year. Yet, it is believed many unreported cases of rape occur daily basis due to public stigma. However, a few cases of conviction are reported, a situation many attribute to alleged sabotage and influence.

Ogunleye. A Christian wake was held yesterday at his residence, Block 293 Flat1, Oja bus stop, Galaxy Area, Oke-Afa, Isolo. Lying in state holds today at 8.00a.m. and funeral service at 9.00a.m. at the same venue. Outing service holds on Sunday at Christ Apostolic Church, Oke-anu, Oja Bus Stop, behind Block 314 near SMA College, Low Cost Housing Estate, OkeAfa, Isolo. He is survived by his wife and children.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Randy DPO still in police detention By Odita Sunday HE Lagos State Police Command has refuted media reports that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Onikan, Lagos, Adekunle Awe, who allegedly raped a female suspect in his cell, has been released. Spokesperson of the Command, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the report that the DPO has been set free was false. He confirmed that the senior officer was still inside the cell of the Area ‘F’ Police command, Ikeja, Lagos. “The DPO is still in our detention. He is in cell at Area ‘F’ as I am speaking to you now. It is not possible to release a man with such magnitude of allegation bordering on rape.” Braide said that the Police High Command investigating panel set up to look into the matter has not submitted its report. She argued that the DPO would not have been released when the panel has just commenced investigation. “He has not been released,” she reiterated. It would be recalled that a female suspect alleged that the DPO of Onikan Police Divisional headquarters raped her in his office.

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CLAM sets up Soteria Farm Scheme O reduce unemployment rate among the Nigerian youths, the T Senior Pastor of the Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), Pastor Wole Oladiyun has promised to create job opportunities for the youths through CLAM Soteria Farm Scheme. Speaking on the activities of the scheme in Lagos, Oladiyun said that the importance of agriculture in the early 60's could not be over-emphasised, adding that the problem confronting Nigeria as a nation is the neglect of the agricultural sector, which in the past contributed over 60% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the economy. He noted that church has a role and responsibility to play towards building a new Nigeria. Oladiyun explained that the motive behind Soteria Farm is to create 10,000 jobs for the youths and also make food available for the people at a reasonable price. He stressed that the church of God must rise up to the challenges confronting the country by creating programmes that would provide job opportunities in the area of agriculture, entertainment and education. Oladiyun noted that proper planning and professionals in different fields have been put in place for the sustainability of the project

Corruption hampering Nigeria’s progress, says Awujale From Isaac Taiwo and Charles Coffie- Gyamfi, Abeokuta HE Awujale of Ijebuland, T Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, has declared that the country would not overcome its socio-economic challenges except corruption is weeded out of all strata of the Nigerian system. In an interactive session with newsmen in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, during an event organised by the Renaissance Group to mark his forthcoming 80th birthday and 55th coronation anniversary, the monarch lamented that corruption has become endemic and requires divine intervention. “Corruption has become part of our life in this country, from our leaders, and even to the Obas, there is corruption everywhere. It is the greatest problem facing us as a country, and we have to overcome it to progress,” he said. Oba Adetona emphasised that the country is rich in every aspect of human endeavour, “but corruption will not let us grow. People should refrain corruption. If we change, our leaders or

Adetona anybody coming to corrupt us will also change. “We are not making any headway substantially and economically. Only God can save us. It is endemic and pervasive everywhere, Obas are not exempted.” The Renaissance Group had earlier described the traditional ruler “as an incorruptible, transparent and equitable ruler.” In its address presented by Chief Fassy Yusuff, the group said that Oba Adetona “has been known to chastise cor-

rupt leaders and quite often to publicly denounce them.” It added that the paramount ruler “has used his sagacity and creative ingenuity to bring the traditional institution in tandem with civilisation,” stating that the old and fetish practices have been jettisoned in Ijebuland. Meanwhile, the royal celebration of 80th birthday of Nigeria’s longest reigning first-class monarch, the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona has been slated for May 4, 2014 to May 10, 2014 at Ijebu Ode. The Chairman, Sub-Publicity Committee, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo in company of other members of the SubCommittee, including Otunba Osibogun and Otunba Fassy Yusuf announced that the planned 80th birthday will run for six days including Day One, Sunday May 4, 2014, which features a Special Thanksgiving Service at the Cathedral Church of Saviour, Italowajoda-Ijasi, Ijebu Ode at noon. Tuesday, May 6, 2014 starts at 10.00 a.m. with a Coloquium on Ijebu nation, a CoffeeTable Book Presentation on

Oba Adetona, and Awards’ Ceremony and Awards for the Winners, First Runners-Up and Second Runners-Up of the Oba S.K. Adetona Essay Writing Competitions at the Tertiary institutions and Secondary Schools’ levels. The venue is Adeola Odutola Events’ Hall, Folagbade/Degun Street, Ijebu Ode. The third day ceremony on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 starts at 4.00 p.m. for final maiden edition of Awujale Adetona Football Competition at the Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium, GRA, Ijebu-Ode. Thurday, May 8, 2014 will witness the Grand Reception at the Oba Adetona Golden Jubilee Centre, IjebuOde. The reception starts at 9.00 a.m. and will feature the paying of Homage to the Awujale by Ijebu Obas, sons and daughters as well as awards by Ijebu Professional Excellence Foundation. The fifth day, Friday, May 9, is slated for Special Prayer session at the Ijebu Ode Central Mosque, Folagbade Street, Ijebu Ode between noon and 1.00 p.m. while the Grand Finale, Saturday, May 10, 2014, at the Marquee, Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu Ode.

In Niger State, grassroots’ development begins at the wards From John Ogiji, Minna ANY Nigerians have long M believed that the grassroots, villages and remote communities have long been denied necessary attention by Federal and state governments. This happens, they say, because financial and human resources that would have been used to develop such communities are appropriated by the state government leaving the smaller political units without much of the basic necessities of life. But that is now changing in Niger State where the state government’s Ward Development Programme, aimed at taking development to the people at the grassroots has been acknowledged as a success even by critics. This followed a statewide tour by the governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, shortly after his

inauguration in 2007 during which he appreciated the low level of development and complete absence of basic infrastructure at the grass root. According to the Niger State Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mallam Yusuf Tagwai: “The very beauty of the ward development projects is its design as an all encompassing and collective programme that allows for free but mandatory participation of beneficiating communities in the 274 wards in the state. “The local communities have a say in the determination of the type of projects that suit their collective needs and the rural beneficiaries are empowered by government to have a say in how funds released are disbursed.” The Guardian was told that at

the beginning, each of the 274 wards in the 25 local councils was given N500,000 which was later reviewed upward to N1million after a law institutionalizing the Wards Development Programme was passed by the State House of Assembly. Now six years after, the Ward Development Programme has become a success with over 6372 projects worth over N5 billion executed in the 274 wards and an average of 23 projects per ward. “The projects cut across all areas of development and these include, schools, boreholes, roads, furniture and electrification projects. “For the first time in the history of our state, rural communities have been given a sense of belonging. They now have a forum and opportunity to decide what they want and are involved in the process of

achieving it. It has succeeded in raising the bar in the living condition of the rural based citizens by pulling together public resources to provide water, schools, rural feeder roads, drainages and communities health care facilities.” “Relevant structures with the Ministry for Local Government as the supervising Ministry were set up, beginning with what we called Local Government Coordinating and Monitoring Committee, the Ward Development Committee with, people with the highest political position in each of the local government appointed chairmen of the fourmember coordinating and monitoring committee. “However, the beneficiary communities are given the opportunity to select a seven member committee with one of the members emerging as the

Residents operating hand pump borehole chairman. Funds are disbursed to the Local Government Committee by the Ministry and the committee in turn disburses these funds to the wards development committee,” Mallam Tagwai said. Another benefit has also emerged from the pr gramme. “Conflict resolution and crisis management are regular occur-

Gov’s wife urges Nigerians to pray for good leaders in forthcoming elections IFE of the Lagos State W Governor, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola

and not animals or Christians or Muslims,” she said. Mrs, Fashola noted that when it comes to politics, we forget the Almighty, we believe we have the money, and the manpower. “Why don’t we put God first and see ourselves first as Nigeri-

ans. Americans see themselves first as Americans, why don’t we change our orientation. Let’s forget about what divides us and be one nation,” she said. She averred that women can actually save this country if they worked towards it

hence she called on Nigerian women to “pray for the Lord to give us leaders that would be compassionate enough to remember widows, orphans and the less privileged. We pray for leaders that would be servant leaders with the heart of David.”

recently joined hundreds of Christian women to offer special prayers for the forthcoming general elections. Leading a session of prayers at the fifth National Women’s Prayer Summit organized by the Awesome Treasures Foundation (ATF), the governor’s wife supplicated for God-fearing leaders, calling on the Almighty to give to Nigeria a good servant leader to lead the country. According to her, Nigeria and the world as a whole would be a better place if everyone could raise their hands to lift the other person from poverty to prosperity. Also praying to the Almighty to see the country through the forthcoming elections, she said: “I pray for the coming election to be peaceful and ask God to give us leaders who will be very compassionate and see us as people and not as animals.” Wife of former governor of Cross River State, Onari Duke, founder, Awesome Treasures Foundation, Olajumoke A good leader sees his peoAdenowo, wife of Lagos State Governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola and Igwenwanyi Ngozi Chinwe Achebe, wife of ple as fellow human beings Obi of Onitsha during the fifth National Women’s Prayer 2014 Summit tagged “Generations” in Lagos.

She also bemoaned the campaign for Christian or Muslim leaders, urging Nigerians to vote for Godfearing leaders, irrespective of their faith or ethnic groups. Speaking on the theme of this year’s prayer summit “Generations,” the founder of ATF, Mrs Olajumoke Adenowo also called for prayers for the younger generation of Nigerians for the Lord to give them what would be their portion, asking for “precious abundance and supplies for this generation.” The foundation also seized the opportunity of the summit to mark Mrs. Fashola’s birthday with the cutting of her birthday cake while she was also presented a plaque as an honorary member of ATF. Also present were the wife of former governor of Cross River State, Mrs. Onari Duke, wife of Pastor Tunde Bakare, Mrs. Laide Bakare and Lolo Ngozi Achebe, Obi of Onitsha’s wife among other s.

rences in our communities today, adding that and there is no question that through the Ward Development Projects, this government has been able to accelerate the political socialization process at the grass roots where a majority of our population resides and this is a must in any developing democratic nation”

Deeper Life begins crusade in Warri today From Chido Okafor, Warri HE General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William F. Kumuyi, will today arrive, Warri, Delta State for a threeday (today to Sunday) miracle crusade tagged “Unforgettable Encounter with the God of Miracles,” at the expansive Deeper Life Campground, Ubeji, behind the Warri Refinery. Kumuyi will also embark on evangelical missions to several major towns in the state as well as pay courtesy call on Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. Kumuyi last visited Delta State in 1994. The crusade according to the General Overseer of the Delta region, Pastor Nkemjika Obinna, will attract hundreds of thousands of participants across the state and “will impact great transformation and blessings on the lives of Deltans. The purpose of the crusade is to bring hope to the hopeless, salvation to sinners, healing to the sick, deliverance to captive souls and succor to the poor and oppressed”.

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Business Challenges to effective power supply, by operators By Roseline Okere and Sulaiman Salau

Lagos raises concern over pipeline vandalism

OME investors in the country’s Generation and SDistribution Companies

investor in Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), Matthew Edevbie, appealed to the National Assembly to enact a strong anti-theft legislation to empower Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies to prosecute electricity vandals and customers who attack utility personnel in the cause of their duties. Edevbie spoke while receiving members of the House of Representatives Committee on commercialisation and privatisation who were in

(Gencos and Discos) have raised the alarm over the vandalisation of electricity equipment, the comatose state of electricity firms before privatisation and inadequate gas supply to power plants. These, challenges, they believed, would affect the plan of uninterrupted electricity supply in the country. Specifically, the Managing Director of Power Consortium Limited, the core

Port Harcourt in continuation of their nationwide oversight visit to various successor companies created out of the defunct PHCN. According to him, the PHEDC, among other critical achievements since taking over the DISCO in November 2013, had undertaken the construction of new 33KV lines at Trans Amadi Industrial area, re-conduction of Okrika 11KV feeder for Jokrama Communities in Ahaoda, commissioned the NIPP 1 x 15MVA 33/11KV Injection Substation at Ikot

Abasi; RVSG constructed 1x15MVA 33/11KV Injection Substation at Eleme; RVSG constructed 1x15MVA 33/11KV Injection Substation at Eliozu-Eneka; 4 units of 1 x 15MVA and 15MVA Injection Substation in Trans Amadi; 22 units of Distribution Substations, and general maintenance of the network. He however lamented that the condition of the network his company inherited was worse than envisaged and listed higher average technical, commercial and collection (ATC&C) loss than the

Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) assumption, vandalism among others as the challenges experienced by PHEDC. Also, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, Robert Dickerman, called on the Federal Government to address the problems of inadequate gas supply to the Gencos and pipelines vandalism which militate against power generation in the country. In her response, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Privatization and Commercialization, Khadija Bukar Abba-Ibrahim, stated that the purpose of the oversight tour was to assess the performance of the companies since the acquisition of the 60 percent equity in the enterprises. “It will also allow members to review the development and investment plans for improving, maintaining and stabilizing power distribution in the country. “We will like to have honest interactive discussions on the challenges with the view to intervening for the benefit of the investor and the Nigerian people,” she added. He added that her

Committee was using the visit to ascertain the level of compliance to the post acquisition development plans submitted to BPE by the core investors, challenges in implementing the Share Sale Agreement with the view to partnering with the investors to make recommendations for appropriate legislation that will help in resolving the challenges and stabilizing power generation, distribution and transmission across the country. She commended the management of the companies for their concerted efforts and well articulated plans to expand the network and urged them not to relent in their efforts at making the company a success. Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has raised concern over the rising menace of pipeline vandalism and its consequences to the national economy. The state government also warned residents on incessant building of structures and encroaching on the right of ways of petroleum pipeline routes across the state. Lagos is one of the major cities that suffer from the

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Global sukuk issuance hits $117b By Bukky Olajide with agency report UKUK issuance globally S(Dh430 has reached $117 billion billion) last year

Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa region, MSA International, Colin Oliver (second left); Managing Director/CEO, Future Concerns Group, Tony Oguike (second right); Group General Manager, Future Concerns, Eunice Ekwenugo(left); and Customer Loyalty and Distribution Director, MSA International, Hayley Arnesen during the opening of Future Concerns Safety Centre in Nigeria, held in Lekki, Lagos on Wednesday. PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU

‘Only 10% of businesses in Nigeria are automated’ By Adeyemi Adepetun XCEPT businesses, espeE cially those in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) cadre in Nigeria start to automate their processes; the benefits of globalization may elude them. Indeed, The Guardian learnt that only about 10 per cent of businesses in Nigeria have automated their processes. Already, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the total number of SMEs in Nigeria at over 17 million, with majority of them finding it very difficult to effectively play their role. According to the Managing Director, UpperLink Limited, software and ePayment Solutions Development firm, Segun Akano, businesses in Nigeria must move at a global space. Akano, who said automation of business processes owe greater growth oppor-

tunity for companies, noted that only about 10 per cent of businesses in the country have been automated. He explained that automation is an absolute necessity for any business owner who takes scaling their business and profits seriously, stressing that it is an end-to-end solution that helps positive results without manual solutions. “Automation is the process by which a business can be looked at as the sum of its processes. This involves linking all the departments, section and others together seamlessly. Simply put, automation helps to build a system that is not dependent on one person. Automation provides businesses business intelligence. The more effective the process, the more successful the business will be”, he stated. However, he said some sections of the economy like the banking sector, education

have been championing automation in the country, while calling on other sectors to follow suit, especially the SMEs. With reports stressing that most SMEs in the country face constraints including competition, infrastructure, taxes, accounting, management, marketing, economic, planning and finance, Akano urged them to key into the advantages availed by automation. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), SMEs have a significant role to play in economic development. They form the backbone of the private sector; they make up over 90 per cent of enterprises in the world and account for 50 to 60 per cent of employment. They also play an important role in generating employment and poverty alleviation. According to an SME oper-

ator in Lagos, Shola Dada, while it is important for businesses to automate, he stressed that most of the challenges the SMEs face arises from the need to have a mode of operation of the enterprise. Dada, who deals in Fast Moving Consumer Goods, listed some of these challenges include lack of effective policies or appropriate legal framework, financial constraints and access to credit, poor infrastructure and most especially, unstable power supply, lack of skilled labour and poor ethical conduct. According to him, if SMEs, which are seen as the main driving force behind job creation, export earnings, poverty reduction, wealth creation, income redistribution and reduction in income inequality can leverage automation, “they will become more efficient.”

from a total of 811 issues. According to Zawya Limited, a company that provides business intelligence and news focused on the Middle East and North Africa regions, out of the 811 issues, 175 were based on the Ijara structure. Ijara is a sharia-compliant form of mortgage similar to rent to own. The process is also known as Ijara wa Iqtina, or rent with acquisition. The word Ijara means rent in Arabic. It is however believed that a general lack of uniformly accepted standards in Islamic finance has slowed global growth of the sukuk industry. A Bahrain based International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) a non-profit industry body, has planned to develop its first standard contract template for sukuk (Islamic bonds), and aims to double the number of its standards as early as next year, The new sukuk standard will seek to address a variety of issues including primary market issuance and the use of special purpose vehicles, Alvi said. The Chief Executive of IIFM, Ijlal Ahmad Alvi, explained that a standard for leasingbased sukuk will be developed first by the IIFM, which creates specifications for Islamic finance contracts, to help harmonise industry practices, said

“Our aim is to come up with more standards — that is the focus we are trying to push for. We have five standards now and we hope to double that for next year. ‘’While ijara sukuk are popular among corporate issuers, the absence of standard documentation has spawned different versions which can limit their acceptability among Islamic investors,’’he said. The move comes after a consultation meeting in Dubai this week which identified a need for guidelines covering the ijara sukuk structure, a sharia-compliant sale and leaseback contract, as a priority. Alvi said a working group would be established after the IIFM’s board meeting in May, and it would also study other common sukuk structures such as mudaraba, wakala and musharaka, as well as convertible and exchangeable sukuk. The working group would include representatives from a wide range of Islamic banking institutions including the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), as well as the International Monetary Fund, he added. In the past two years, the IIFM has launched standard contract templates for Islamic interbank transactions and profit rate swaps. It is currently working on standards for cross-currency swaps, foreign exchange forwards and collateralised murabaha, while also consulting on credit support arrangements in Islamic finance contracts, said Alvi.


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India may emerge Nigeria’s biggest crude oil importer By Roseline Okere with agency report IGERIA’S plan to shift focus from the United N States (U.S) to the Asian market may have started realigning the import volume chart as Indian companies have started emerging as the country’s top crude oil importers. Specifically, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has bought three million barrels of West African crude oil via a tender for June lifting, including a rare purchase of Nigeria’s crude oil grade, three trade sources said. The country’s biggest refiner purchased a million barrels of crude oil from trader Glencore as a trial cargo for processing at some of its own plants, the sources said. Earlier, IOC bought a similar size parcel for December lifting for processing at plants owned by its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corporation. IOC also bought a very large crude carrier containing about a million barrels each of Nigeria’s Zafiro and Qua Iboe grades, two of the sources said. Also, Bharat Petroleum Corporation had issued its second tender to buy crude oil from Nigeria for loading on February 25 to March 5, 2014. World Oil Outlook 2013 report released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently, stated that India’s demand for crude oil is to grow by three per cent from 3.8 million barrels per day in 2013 to 3.9 million barrels per day in 2014, with Nigeria accounting for 8.2 per cent of India’s import in 2014. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

(NNPC) quarterly petroleum information also showed that in the first three quarters of last year, India was the biggest Nigeria crude oil importer with of 73.12 million barrels, equivalent of 13 per cent of Nigeria total export during the period. The NNPC’s quarterly report further showed that India crude oil imported from Nigeria in the first three quarter of 2013 was more than what US imported in the same period by 3.64 million barrels. Total imports from African countries was 11.88 million barrels. This development has however boosted the country’s crude oil import earnings, which was down for many years due to the exploitation of shale in the U.S. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its latest economic report for January, crude oil export was estimated at 1.47 mbd or 45.6 million barrels. This, the apex bank said, represented an increase of 3.5 per cent above the 1.42 mbd or 44.0 million barrels recorded in the preceding month. It stated: “Deliveries to the refineries for domestic consumption remained at 0.45 mbd or 13.95 million barrels during the review month”. Speaking on the country’s relationship with Nigeria recently, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mahesh Sachdev, said recent statistics showed that India had been buying more of Nigeria’s crude than the US over the last three months. “India will continue to cooperate with Nigeria to improve its economy and it will also assist the country in capacity building of workers in both the public and private sectors,”

Firm unfolds expansion, listing plans O aid the diversification T of its production lines, Riggs Ventures West Africa Plc, a polypropylene sacks manufacturing company, has concluded plans to further expand the installed production capacity of its plant to cater for growing market demand. Indeed, the company’s initial expansion had seen it producing cement and industrial sacks alongside the agro sacks for which it was known. Besides, with the conclusion of registration of its issued shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the firm expressed readiness for listing the shares with the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the coming months. According to a statement, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company, Yomi Tokosi, while speaking at the company’s yearly general meeting, said that having completed the first phase of the expansion programmes, there was need to harness the company’s potential by increasing once again, the installed capacity due to rising demand from its clients, which comprise mostly of

manufacturers in the country. Consequently, he said that the company has concluded plans to dispose its unissued shares to reputable institutional investors, adding that the exercise will facilitate the commencement of the next phase of the expansion, which will entail the acquisition of additional state-ofthe-art machines from the company’s equipment suppliers and technical partners, Bags Solutions worldwide, Austria. The company’s chairman, Chief Rasheed Wiliams, said that previous expansion was undertaken with the assistance of both African Export Import Bank and Nigerian Export Import Bank between 2012 and 2013. “The expansion led to the diversification of the company’s production lines with addition of cement and industrial sack to the agro sacks line, which existed prior to the expansion exercise,” he said. Speaking on behalf of other Boniface shareholders, Okezie, lauded the management for steering the ship of the company successfully through the arduous task of the initial restructuring and expansion exercise.

General Manager, FSDH Merchant Bank, Robert Ajiamah (right) Manager Director, Rilwan Belo-Osagie and Executive Director, Treasury, Olufunsho Olusanya at the pre-annual general meeting of the company held in Lagos yesterday PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON

Shell spends $44.3b on capital investment By Roseline Okere OYAL Dutch Shell Plc spent $44.3 billion on capital investment in 2013 to build and sustain its business for the future. The company disclosed in its 2013 Sustainably Report released last week that it recorded $16.5 billion income and spent $1.3 billion on research and development programme in 2013. The company generated $40.4 billion of cash flow from its operating activities in 2013. Its average organic reserves replacement ratio, which represents its ability to grow and maintain production, was around 112 per cent over the last three years. It stated: “We took the final investment decision on the Carmon Creek insitu oil project in Canada during the year. Shell has a 100 per cent working interest in this project that can potentially produce 80,000 barrels of oil a day. “Co-generation and water recycling facilities have been integrated into the design to reduce its envi-

R

ronmental impact. In 2013, we also took the final investment decision on the Gbaran Ubie Phase 2 (Shell interest 30 per cent) and the Trans-Niger pipeline loop-line projects (Shell interest 30 per cent), both in Nigeria, with a combined expected peak production of around 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a day”. Shell’s oil and gas production in 2013 was 3.2 million boe a day, down slightly from 2012. “Our sales of liquefied natural gas decreased to around 20 million tonnes. Exploration and commercial activities continued to add potential resources. This underpins our longterm growth plan”, it added. Dwelling on its scorecard in the year under review, it noted that sustainable development continued to account for 20 per cent of the company scorecard, which helps determine the annual bonus levels for all our employees, including members of the Shell Executive Committee (EC). “In 2013, the EC’s sustain-

able development measures were split evenly between Shell’s safety and environmental performance, including targeted measures covering operational spills, energy efficiency and use of fresh water. Targets are set each year by the Board’s Remuneration Committee taking into account the performance achieved in the last three years”. The company also invested over $304 million in training and development of its employees in 2013. “Our focus is on building technical capability and safetycritical competencies and skills. In 2013, we provided more than 795,000 training days for employees and some of our joint-venture partners. This included training more than 4,000 people in leadership skills”. The company said that it has ensured commitment to local procurement by buying goods and services from local suppliers and provide support to develop local businesses and skills. “For example, in 2013, we signed contracts with local suppliers to provide equip-

ment in countries such as Nigeria and Qatar. In 2013, we spent around $65 billion on goods and services worldwide. Around twothirds of this was spent in the USA, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands and Nigeria. “We estimate around $12 billion was spent in countries that have a gross domestic product of less than $15,000 a year per person, according to the UNDP Human Development Index 2013. In these countries, Shell companies spent over 80 per cent of this $12 billion with local companies. We check that our suppliers are complying with key sustainability criteria, including good working conditions. “In 2013, we conducted 72 rigorous assessments of suppliers in Africa and the Middle East; 150 in the Americas; 182 in the AsiaPacific region, and 173 in Europe to check their compliance against our Supplier Principles in areas such as human rights, labour practices and business integrity”, it added.

Lagos raises concern over pipeline vandalism CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 activities of pipeline vandals, as notorious sites such as Ijegun and Arepo area are frequently attacked thereby disrupting free-flow of products from Atlas Cove to Mosimi depot in Ogun State. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Mrs. Regina Obasa, at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos State, stressed the need to see the issue of vandalism as a national problem threatening national growth prospect with implication ranging from economic to social and political. She added that the unpatriotic act has rendered strategic depots idle and moribund for years as pipeline supplying products through them have been constantly under incessant attack by vandals result-

ing to fuel shortages and scarcity. Obasa, while reacting to the level of encroachment as presented by official of the Pipeline Product Marketing Company (PPMC), urged the Federal Government to seek new ways to solve the issue of pipeline vandalism in the country saying the time has come to evolve modern method to protect the pipelines. She said the need has become more urgent because many of the areas that were rural communities and far flung places decades ago when the pipes were laid have become urban centers thereby exposing the pipelines with the attendant dangers. The permanent secretary advised the Federal Government or its relevant

agency to come up with the gazette acquiring the right of ways as well as detail maps showing pipeline coverage and routes across the state, which will serve as a guide to relevant state government agencies involves in granting necessary developmental approvals. While emphasizing that the national value system needed to be looked into, Obasa stressed the need for government to develop a national plan for the protection of critical assets with punitive measures to serve as deterrent to others. On the part of the state government, she said the Lagos State Government will continue to enlighten its citizenry on the danger of encroaching on the pipeline right of ways. She re-echoes the readiness of the Lagos State

Government to assist the Fedral Government in whatever way to seek for an enduring solution to pipeline vandalism and encroachment on the right of way of NNPC pipelines across the State adding that the pollution of underground water and consumption of chemical that are hazardous to health by the citizenry is even more a fundamental problem than the supply of fuel to the State. She however called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the work at various oil spills locations from petroleum pipelines in the State such as Diamond Estate and Baruwa Community before the oil spills contaminates the aquifer of the entire Alimosho Local Government Area.


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Weekend

Malaria fights back Arts & Culture

– P. 27

At 50, Omolayo recounts blessings, highlights challenges of galleries

Autowheels

–P.44

2014 VW Passat pushes technology frontiers

Aviation Business

–P.46

Global travel industry to grow 5.4 per cent yearly until 2023


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20 WEEKEND Friday, April 25 , 2014

Anxiety heightens over malaria’s In commemoration of the World Malaria Day’s activities, which begin today across the globe, CHUKUMA MUANYA writes on the past feats recorded worldwide over the malaria parasite and the growing concerns about the parasite’s renewed resistance to treatment OT too long ago, 52-year-old Abraham Okonkwo suddenly N developed headache with body pains and high temperature, accompanied by a bitter taste in his mouth. He could

before treatment begins. The ACT has become the standard treatment of uncomplicated malaria. Challenges Vector control is highly dependent on a single class of insecticides, the pyrethroids. Resistance to pyrethroids has been reported in 27 countries in subSaharan Africa. Despite the National policy of ACT as the first-line treatment of uncomplicated malaria, the 2010 Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) indicates that over 70 per cent of children treated for malaria in Nigeria received chloroquine or SP. Resistance to antimalarial medicines is a recurring problem. Resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to previous generations of medicines, such as chloro-

quine and sulphadoxinepyrimethamine (SP), became widespread in the 1970s and 1980s, undermining malaria control efforts and reversing gains in child survival. In recent years, parasite resistance to artemisinins has been detected in four countries of the Greater Mekong sub-region: Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. While there are likely many factors that contribute to the emergence and spread of the resistance, the use of oral artemisinins alone, as monotherapy, is thought to be an important driver. Director General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, told The Guardian: “When treated with an

According to the most recent figures released by the National Malaria Elimination Prog6ramme (NMEP) of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), ahead of this year’s World Malaria Day (WMD), malaria ranks as number one public health problem in Nigeria and causes the death of one child every minute. It is transmitted throughout the country, accounts for 60 per cent of outpatient visits and 30 per cent of hospitalizations among children under five years.

barely eat and hardly got out of bed. His worried wife quickly took him to a nearby clinic for a proper assessment. After some tests were conducted, Abraham was diagnosed as having malaria. Malaria is the work of the single-celled Plasmodium parasites, chief of which is the Plasmodium falciparum . They spread among people through mosquito bites, invading first, the liver, then the red blood cells. The first symptoms are generic and flu-like: fever, headache, sweats and chills, vomiting. At that point, the immune system usually curtails the infection. But if the parasites spread to the kidneys, lungs and brain, things go downhill quickly. Organs start failing. Infected red blood cells clog the brain’s blood vessels, depriving it of oxygen and leading to seizures, unconsciousness and death. Abraham’s doctor prescribed a brand of the drug of choice for the treatment of malaria; Artemisin based Combination Therapy (ACT). Five days after completing the recommended dose, Abraham was still not feeling any better. He went back to the hospital and another test was done. He tested positive for malaria. What happened? Was the drug fake or substandard? Was it that Abraham did not comply with the doctor’s instruction on how to take the last medication? Or maybe he did not complete the dosage? Abraham and indeed million of Nigerians find themselves in this precarious situation. Unlike Abraham and other adults, most children under-five and pregnant women do not survive the experience. Reason: The malaria parasite and the vector, female Anopheles mosquito, have become resistant to the drug of choice, recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the treatment of malaria Burden According to the most recent figures released by the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), ahead of this year’s World Malaria Day (WMD), malaria ranks as number one public health problem in Nigeria and causes the death of one child every minute. It is transmitted throughout the country, accounts for 60 per cent of outpatient visits and 30 per cent of hospitalizations among children under five years. With an estimated population of 174.5 million people, one-quarter of all malaria cases in Africa occur in Nigeria. Besides, there are more deaths due to malaria in Nigeria than in any other country. The country also has one of the world’s highest rates of mortality for children under five; approximately one in six children dies before his or her fifth birthday. Recent data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) indicate that malaria is a risk for 97 per cent of Nigeria’s population. The remaining three per cent lives in the malaria free highlands. There are an estimated 100 million malaria cases with over 300,000 deaths per year in Nigeria. This compares with 215,000 deaths per year in Nigeria from the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS); and contributes to an estimated 11 per cent of maternal mortality. According to the data, malaria affects 3.3 billion people, or half of the world’s population, in 106 countries and territories. WHO estimates that 216 million cases of malaria occurred in 2010, 81 per cent of which was in the African region. There were 655,000 malaria deaths in 2010; 91 per cent occurred in the African Region, and 86 per cent were children under-five years. According to the world body, malaria is the third leading cause of death for children under five years worldwide, after pneumonia and diarrhoea . Nigeria is also one of the 30 Sub-Saharan African countries that account for 90 per cent of global malaria deaths. Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, and Uganda also account for nearly 50 per cent of the global malaria deaths. According to the WHO, malaria is the second leading cause of death from infectious diseases in Africa, after HIV/AIDS; and almost one out of five deaths of children underfive in Africa is also due to the disease. National Coordinator NMEP, Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe, told The Guardian yesterday: “It impoverishes our people and retards socio-economic development. Investing to defeat malaria is a wise choice with significant return on investment. It is a task that must be done and urgently too. “Malaria is a cause as well as a consequence of poverty. Consequently, it has gone beyond being a mere health issue and it constitutes a security threat in this regard. Our future as a nation depends on whether we win or malaria does in the fight we have waged against the scourge.” Prevention and treatment Scientifically proven key interventions to prevent and treat malaria include: the promotion of Long Lasting Insecticide treated Nets (LLINs); indoor residual spraying (IRS); sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP); and diagnosis and treatment. The IRS involves the coordinated, timely spraying of the interior walls of homes with insecticides that kill mosquitoes. The IPTp-SP is an effective means of reducing the effects of malaria in both the pregnant woman and her unborn child, by giving at least two doses of the drug. Prompt parasitological confirmation by microscopy or Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) is recommended for all patients with suspected malaria

oral artemisinin-based monotherapy, patients may discontinue treatment prematurely following the rapid disappearance of malaria symptoms. This results in incomplete treatment, and such patients still have persistent parasites in their blood. Without a second drug given as part of a combination (as is provided with an ACT), these resistant parasites survive and can be passed on to a mosquito and then another person. “If resistance to artemisinins develops and spreads to other large geographical areas, the public health consequences could be dire, as no alternative antimalarial medicines will be available for at least five years.” According to the WHO, the great strides made in the control of malaria are now under threat. The focus on malaria control is beginning to fade and has led to insufficient financial support. There is an annual shortage of N612 billion (US$3.6 billion), particularly across Africa, where high-burden countries are facing critical funding gaps and all the impressive gains in malaria control over the past decade are now being threatened. On the growing resistance to available treatments, Ezeigwe said: “The issue of resistance with respect to insecticides and anti-malarial medicines is a source of anxiety as well.” Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, told The Guardian: “Even in Nigeria, not everybody has bought into the idea that, our National Health Policy says the first choice for treating malaria is ACT. Some people are still prescribing Chloroquine as first choice. So we still have a lot of work to do but it is catching on. The issue of drug resistance;


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growing resistance to drugs some years ago, the WHO made it as the theme of its World Health Day. “Now the organisms are not sleeping, they are fighting back. The parasite for malaria is fighting back. What we thought we should do is that before they fully reorganize their own brigade to do the major war, which we are not even sure we will win, let’s continue the surprise attack on them. That was why we have taken a decision that we want to eliminate malaria from Nigeria.” Besides resistance, Ezeigwe said one of the major challenges regarding the fight against malaria in Nigeria is sustaining gains in the fight. She explained: “As at now, most of the resources for the malaria fight is provided by external donors. If for any reason there is disruption in this funding stream, there is bound to be resurgence and the malaria situation will become worse than previously. Therefore, we must take our destiny in our hands as a nation and ensure adequate local resource commitment towards malaria control and elimination.” Progress and WMD People across the globe will, today, take part in a wide range of activities to mark WMD. These activities will reflect on the remarkable progress that the global development community has made in combating malaria and other infectious diseases over the years. Investments in malaria control have created unprecedented momentum and yielded remarkable returns in the past years. In Africa, malaria deaths have been cut by one third within the last decade; outside of Africa, 35 out of the 53 countries affected by malaria, have reduced cases by 50 per cent within the same time period. In countries where access to malaria control interventions has improved most significantly, overall child mortality rates have fallen by approximately 20 per cent. Ezeigwe said Nigeria has made progress in the reduction in malaria-related death of children under-five years of age. According to the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) interim report, malaria is now responsible for two out of 10 deaths in this group of children, as opposed to three out of 10 that was previously the case. Also, in the period before 2000, about 80 per cent of Nigerians resided in areas where the prevalence was well above 50 per cent. But a recent report revealed that, only about 15 per cent of the population lives in areas with such a high prevalence. Majority of the population, 84 per cent, now live in areas with a prevalence of between 10 to 49 per cent. Ezeigwe said the modest achievements

did not come cheap but was made possible by the commitment of the Government of Nigeria and the cherished Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partners. “Over 60 million LLINs and over 200 million ACTs have been deployed in the country in the last several years. Repeated trainings of health care providers across the country have been undertaken, amongst other useful inputs,” she explained. Going forward Chukwu said President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that “we should also strengthen larviciding as part of the overall strategy for fighting malaria.” larviciding is an ecologically safe preventive method used to interrupt the development of larvae or pupa into adult mosquitoes. The Minister explained: “We are hoping that the National Economic Council (NEC) will quickly approve of that which will be a major victory for all Nigerians because it means that the states and the federal government will be working together towards doing larviciding along with the use of nets and other strategies. “But even the insecticides that have been used in impregnating the mosquito nets, you find out that the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, is also developing resistance. So we have a battle to do but the earlier we proceed, the better for us.” Ezeigwe said the FMoH, through the NMEP, with support from development partners has put in place measures to monitor drug and insecticide resistance, but this effort needs to be scaled up and sustained. The public health expert explained: “Currently, we have six sites for monitoring insecticide resistance for the whole country and this is grossly inadequate.” She urged State governments to set up sentinel sites to augment what is currently available. “Similarly, corporate organizations are also invited to consider sentinel sites for insecticide resistance monitoring as Corporate Social Investment option,” Ezeigwe said. She warned that every fever case is not automatically malaria. She said fever is common with several diseases of which malaria is just one; every suspected malaria case should be tested; and if confirmed by RDT or microscopy, ACT should be used to treat uncomplicated malaria. Ezeigwe also warned that chloroquine is not approved for treatment of malaria in Nigeria and that Fansidar should not be used for treating malaria but only for prevention in pregnant women. She said that sleeping inside LLINs protect against malaria and is highly recommended. To have a malaria-free pregnancy and safe delivery of a healthy baby, Ezeigwe said, every pregnant woman should have at least three courses of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy using IPTp-SP during the pregnancy beginning after the third month of pregnancy. Also, the FMoH has launched new national guidelines for implementation of interventions to eliminate malaria and lymphatic filariasis

(elephantiasis) in Nigeria. Director of Public Health, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale said that the combined nationwide strategy is the first of its kind in Africa and would allow the Federal and State Ministries of Health to efficiently protect Nigerians from the two mosquitoes transmitted parasitic diseases. She stressed that studies have revealed that the distribution of LLINs to prevent human mosquito contacts have shown a decline of lymphatic filariasis prevalence; adding that the use of community directed approaches by the two programmes would help to fast track the process of the elimination of both diseases. Okoeguale observed that the newly released guidelines would harness available resources in a cost-effective manner by taking advantage of the mosquito vector shared by malaria and lymphatic filariasis. She added that that the programme also strives to provide prompt and effective diagnosis and treatment for malaria as well as preventive treatment during pregnancy. WHO recommends the routine monitoring of antimalarial drug resistance, and supports countries to strengthen their efforts in this important area of work. In order to ensure a timely and coordinated global response to the threat of insecticide resistance, WHO has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the Global Plan for Insecticide Resistance Management in malaria vectors (GPIRM), which was released in May 2012. The GPIRM puts forward a five-pillar strategy calling on the global malaria community to: plan and implement insecticide resistance management strategies in malaria-endemic countries; ensure proper and timely entomological and resistance monitoring, and effective data management; develop new and innovative vector control tools; fill gaps in knowledge on mechanisms of insecticide resistance and the impact of current insecticide resistance management approaches; and ensure that enabling mechanisms (advocacy as well as human and financial resources) are in place. Also, the WHO said to avoid reversal of the progress made in eliminating malaria, further investment must be made to ensure that this funding gap is bridged and that the endemic countries have the resources and technical support they need. “Only then will it be possible to finish the job and see that malaria is eliminated worldwide.” However, the WHO said one of the key lessons other infectious disease control have shown is that when there is an opportunity to control the spread of a disease, it must be taken. Therefore now is the time for the malaria community to regroup, reenergise and look ahead to “invest in the future: de-

feat malaria”. The Roll Back Malaria campaign “Invest in the future: defeat malaria” will help strengthen the political will across the world and will contribute to increase the funding needed to control malaria in endemic countries. Surveillance Tracking progress is a major challenge in malaria control. Malaria surveillance systems detect only around 14 per cent of the estimated global number of cases. Stronger malaria surveillance systems are urgently needed to enable a timely and effective malaria response in endemic regions, to prevent outbreaks and resurgences, to track progress, and to hold governments and the global malaria community accountable. In April 2012, the WHO Director-General launched new global surveillance manuals for malaria control and elimination, and urged endemic countries to strengthen their surveillance systems for malaria. This was embedded in a larger call to scale up diagnostic testing, treatment and surveillance for malaria, known as WHO’s T3: Test. Treat. Track initiative. Elimination Malaria elimination is defined as interrupting local mosquito-borne malaria transmission in a defined geographical area that is zero incidences of locally contracted cases. Malaria eradication is defined as the permanent reduction to zero of the worldwide incidence of malaria infection caused by a specific agent; that is applies to a particular malaria parasite species. On the basis of reported cases for 2012, 52 countries are on track to reduce their malaria case incidence rates by 75 per cent, in line with World Health Assembly targets for 2015. Large-scale use of WHO-recommended strategies, currently available tools, strong national commitments, and coordinated efforts with partners, will enable more countries – particularly those where malaria transmission is low and unstable – to reduce their disease burden and progress towards elimination. In recent years, the WHO Director-General as having eliminated malaria has certified four countries: United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), and Armenia (2011). Vaccines against malaria There are currently no licensed vaccines against malaria or any other human parasite. One research vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum, known as RTS, S/AS01, is most advanced. This vaccine is currently being evaluated in a large clinical trial in seven countries in Africa. A WHO recommendation for use will depend on the final results from the large clinical trial. These final results are expected in late 2014, and a recommendation as to whether or not this vaccine should be added to existing malaria control tools is expected in late 2015.

Chan

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BusinessRound-Up

In association with

NIGERIA’S MORTGAGE COMPANY SET FOR TAKE OFF

Nigeria has a housing deficit of over 17 million. By Dara Rhodes ESPITE delay from the Nigerian MortD gage Refinance Company, there is still much optimism about the company lessening the housing deficit. The Nigerian government recently gave approval for the disbursement of the 300 million dollar World Bank loan for the implementation of the company in hopes of re-

the average Nigerian and revolutionise the housing finance sector has experienced some delays as many expected it to have fully begun operations. “We are expecting to operationalise by the end of June, that’s the promise we gave to the Nigerian public and that was given by the minister. We are on track to achieve that, the board has been constituted, there’s been several board committee meetings etc, so there’s a lot going on,” he said. Nigeria currently has a deficit of over 17 million houses and the World Bank estimated the cost of bridging that gap to 59.9 trillion Naira, highlighting the significant untapped potential of the country’s real estate sector. “It’s not going to eradicate it (the deficit gap) completely but it will help significantly. As you know, we’ve talked about other issues that need to be reserved, foreclosure tightening, etc. We are working on that,” he added. While many Nigerians are hopeful that the PHOTO: Getty images mortgages will be single digits, Ayere believes that the likelihood of that depends substantially viving the mortgage industry in the country. on the monetary policy going forward. “So, if for instance MPR rates go down to six per “Since the launch, the company has embarked on its capital raising, we have also con- cent like it was before it took that dramatic rise, if it goes back to six per cent, then you can excluded the tier 2 loan from the World Bank and I can say that the tier 1 capital raising was pect mortgages will fall within the single digits. successful,” Sonnie Ayere, CEO of the Nigerian As you know, subsidies are not very sustainable. What we want to have is a model that from day Mortgage Refinance Company told CNBC one, is sustainable and that is why we wanted Africa. Nonetheless, the company which is expected something that to a certain extent is market to increase access to affordable housing for driven,” he explained. 

JOHANNESBURG WATER INTERVENES TO TACKLE CITY’S POPULATION GROWTH By Thando Matutu HE Johannesburg Water supply requires intervention to sustain the infrastructure growth of the city. “We need to look at our infrastructure asset base, there’s huge migration in to Johannesburg. There’s huge demand for basic services housing and water,” Lungile Dhlamini, Managing Director of Johannesburg Water told CNBC Africa. According to statistics South Africa, the 2011 population census recorded 4.4 million people residing in Johannesburg and the growth rate is estimated to be at 3.6 per cent .Therefore the current population is estimated at five million inhabitants. “In post 1994 South Africa, a lot of investment was sent into serving those [non-serviced] communities,” he said. While the focus was mainly to service the in-

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equalities of Apartheid, Johannesburg Water has provided 98 per cent of the citizens in the city with pipe water and 94 per cent access to sanitation. However, problems such as pipe bursts, water leakages and the growing infrastructure are a threat to the progress made since 1994. “We need a sustained investment for the future, to cater for growth in services,” explained Dhlamini. Moreover, to renew old infrastructure the establishment has allocated 40 per cent of 3.4 billion rand, for the implementation of bulk waste water treatment over the next three years. The initiative will focus on upgrading treatment plants. “The international rule is to replace two per cent of the [water pipe] network every year,”

he explained. In reference to Singapore which has the best rate of 3.5 per cent increase in renewal of their water network every year. Dhlamini described an extensive 20 year plan to achieve a two per cent increase of renewal of the water network. Johannesburg Water, plans to replace 143km of potable water pipes in 2014 and change 60km of sewage pipes in 2014. In order to maintain the Blue Drop standard for drinking water, new service reservoirs for water storage are being constructed. “We need to diversify our water resource, we are looking at rain water harvesting, the retrofitting of existing and new buildings, to promote water saving devices,” said Dhlamini.

Bank vault

PHOTO: Getty images

NIGERIAN BANK TO UPSURGE LENDING TO 50% BY 2017 By Trust Matsilele NE of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, O Fidelity Bank, has raised its lending to 50 per cent by 2017 from 28 per cent in 2013. “Our approach is total as we nurture Small to Medium Enterprises through our academy and SME centre that provides advisory services,” Ken Opara, head of managed SMEs at Fidelity Bank told CNBC Africa. Often Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) see funding as the major challenge and Fidelity Bank says it has observed that most collapse within five years after being set up, so to sustain their lifespan the financial institution is assisting with structural aspects. “Through our advisory services the SMEs have come to realise that it is not only about funding but also knowing the direction of where the enterprise is headed, having a business plan in place and also proper financial records,” he added. “We also provide access to business wisdom, access to markets and access to how they can do their business at the barest minimum cost.” The commercial bank also said it has started addressing the SMEs as a cluster not as individual business units. Fidelity Bank is targeting to assist 1,000,000 SMEs in the country by the end of the year. Some of the sectors set to benefit from the extended lending facility are in the agriculture, retail value chain, consumer moving goods, information and technology and also food and beverage industry. About 96 per cent of Nigeria businesses are SMEs, this demonstrates the critical role that such businesses have to the national economy. According to the Financial Strategy 2020 document, SMEs represent about 90 per cent of the manufacturing industrial sector in terms of number of enterprises contributing about 1 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product. Nigerian’s SMEs employs about 25 million people in the formal economy.

MTN MAKES CITI’S WORLD CHAMPIONS LIST By Wilhelmina Maboja ELECOMMUNICATIONS company MTN Group Limited was among the global companies that made it on to Citigroup’s World Champions List. “Being named on the World Champions list is exciting and humbling, especially as MTN commemorates its 20th anniversary this year. This global recognition signifies that we continue to play a vital role in our industry,” says MTN Group president and CEO Sifiso Dabengwa in a statement. MTN was listed alongside global companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Companies on the list, according to MTN, are required to have a market value in excess of 30 PHOTO: Getty Images billion rand, rank in the top three in terms of

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market share in their segment, have global reach as well as a lasting sustainable business model. Dabengwa added that MTN’s pioneering strategy continues to look at ways to enhance shareholder value and transform the lives of its customers through technology. According to the list, MTN was chosen based on its operation in 21 countries, is the number 1 player in 15 of its markets and second in the rest. “From a single licence in South Africa awarded in 1994, MTN has invested hundreds of billions of rand in state-of-the-art networks and licences to now connect 210,1 million people in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East,” MTN said. “From basic voice calls and messaging services, MTN has broadened its offering to include nu-

merous innovative communication, content and entertainment services.” Bharti Airtel also made the list for its dominant and growing presence in Africa. MTN has a 37 per cent market share in South Africa, and recorded over 40 million subscribers across its operations in 2006. The group is active in Benin, Afghanistan, Liberia and Uganda, among other countries. 


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ACTIS BUYS AFRICA’S LARGEST CREDIT BUREAU

UPDATE: CAR BOMB KILLS FOUR IN KENYAN CAPITAL OUR people were killed when a car bomb exFKenyan ploded outside a police station in the capital Nairobi on Wednesday.

By Trust Matsilele CTIS, the pan-emerging markets investor is A set to acquire 100 per cent of Compuscan, the largest independent credit bureau in Africa. Through its new acquisition, Actis has established Credit Services Holdings (CSH), a buyand-build credit services business. “Actis is backing an excellent and entrepreneurial management team and we are delighted to attract Michael Jordaan to help build the brand and take it to the next stage of growth,” said Jonathan Matthews, Director in Actis’s Johannesburg office. “Only five per cent of adults in Africa are covered by credit bureaus compared with 64 per cent in OECD countries, and many countries are still without the necessary bureau infrastructure. We are excited to be investing in Compuscan and making the first steps towards bridging that gap,” added Mathews. Michael Jordaan, formerly CEO of South Africa’s First National Bank and a leading figure in the African financial services industry, has been appointed as Chairman of CSH. Compuscan provides multiple credit data, decision analytics services and training, to over 3,500 clients including banks, telcos, retailers, microcredit institutions and insurers, across several countries including South Africa,

Actis has acquired Compuscan.

PHOTO: Actis

Namibia, Botswana, Uganda and Ethiopia. Ali Mazanderani, Actis’s Africa Investment Principal said the credit services industry had growth potential in emerging nations. “We see this as the first in a series of investments in the space and the natural next step after EMPH and Paycorp, in building financial infrastructure in the region.  Credit bureaus have the potential to reduce loan interest rates as well as decrease the number of non-performing loans, while increasing financial access, credit expansion and ultimately economic growth,” noted Mazan-

derani. With over 40 per cent of Actis’ investments located in Africa, the company has been expanding its investments in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It currently has seven billion US dollar funds under management. The pan-emerging markets investor boasts of over 120 expertise investment professionals on the ground in nine countries that identifies investment opportunities in private equity, energy and real estate.

ECONOMIC INDICATOR SUGGESTS S.AFRICA’S ECONOMY IS SLOWING DOWN By Farhaanah Mahomed HE SA leading economic indicator (LEI) T for February 2014 fell by 0.6 per cent, suggesting that South Africa’s economy is losing momentum. This is according to the South African Reserve Bank, stating that the LEI has declined in eight out of the last 12 months and on an annual basis, fell by 2.8 per cent year on year in February 2014, compared to a decline of two per cent in January. “The current trend in the leading indicator suggests that the South African economy is losing momentum and will remain under pressure during the first half of 2014. This is largely due to domestic circumstances including the impact of strike activity, higher

interest rates, falling confidence and a reduced intention to increase employment,” said Kevin Lings, chief economist at Stanlib, an African based multipurpose investment company. All the while, the global economy continues to improve steadily. He further explained that seven of the eleven components of the leading indicator fell while four increased, with the major negative contributions in February stemming from a decline in the number of residential building plans, as well as a decrease in the export commodity price index. The largest positive contributions, Lings added, was an acceleration in the 12 month rate of change in job advertisement space, fol-

lowed by an increase in the average hours worked by factory workers in the manufacturing industry. However, the LEI has a good correlation with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) leading indicator which has remained positive during the past few months. Lings therefore believes that this may be a sign that the local economy will improve. “The OECD leading indicator has remained positive during the past few months, despite some softening in economic activity in late 2013 and early 2014, which is an encouraging signal for the South African economy going into the second half of 2014 and early 2015,” he explained.

“It’s driven by the growth rates that we’re seeing in company earnings here in Kenya, cerENYA has been ranked as Africa’s fourth tainly relative to the developed world and most sought after country for mergers even across Africa. The growth rates of compaand acquisitions, a Mergermarket report nies here in quite a number of industries are has said. so attractive that international companies can pick up earnings by coming and making acquisitions here,” Edwin Burbidge, CEO of Burbidge Capital, told CNBC Africa. Burbidge added that last year, East Africa attracted roughly 34 deals across the region, majority of which were done in the financial services, natural resources and agriculture sectors. “The average size is probably somewhere between five and 20 million dollars, so by international standards it’s not huge. The exceptions to that are in the oil and gas industry in particular, where companies that have achieved a large level of resources are acquired for big numbers,” Burbidge explained. The biggest of last year’s deals in East Africa Kenya on the global map. PHOTO: Getty Images amounted to 4.2 billion dollars when China National Petroleum Corporation acquired a

By Wilhelmina Maboja

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28.57 per cent stake in Eni East Africa Spa from Eni Spa. Other notable acquisitions include South Africa’s Dimension Data and its acquisition of telecommunications company AccessKenya for 35 million dollars, whose acquisition process begun last year and has recently been finalised. According to Mergermarket’s Deal drivers Africa 2013 report, energy, mining and utilities was expected to see the greatest increase in international deal making activity between 2013 and 2014. This was followed by the consumer sector, and technology, media and telecoms sectors in third place. “A stable political environment is maybe the most important thing for international acquisitions. You have to give credit to the Kenyan political system that at the moment [has] a good level of stability, and a government that seems to be producing policies that are attractive enough for international companies to come here,” said Burbidge.

KENYA’S GROWTH RATE ATTRACTS INTERNATIONAL MERGERS ENYA is now ranked Africa’s fourth most attractive country for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) demonstrating the country’s attractiveness. The attractiveness is largely driven by the country’s growth rate as evidenced in companies’ earnings in a number of industries “A stable political environment is the most important thing for international acquisitions. Credit should be given to the Kenyan political system due to the great level of stability and the government that seems producing policies that are attractive enough for international companies,” Edward Burbidge, chief executive officer of Burbidge Capital told CNBC Africa. “There are also some reviews going on cur-

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rently in the mining and energy sectors, it is obviously extremely important that this progressive nature of policy making continues to create that attraction and the prevailing environment.” A number of deals were struck last year across East Africa in sectors such as financial services, natural resources, oil and gas and agriculture ranging from five to 20 million US dollars. According to Deal Drivers Africa, a UK based firm, over the last decade Africa has been a vibrant region for M&A activity, which has held up well even at a time of global economic uncertainty. High growth rates and corresponding rates of return have been instrumental in attracting international businesses. Also of importance is Africa’s projected six per cent growth for 2014

Police officers had earlier stopped the saloon car at traffic lights and were taking the occupants for questioning when the bomb exploded, the ministry said. Kenya’s security forces are struggling to contain a surge in bomb and gun attacks that the authorities blame on the Somali Islamist militants who killed at least 67 people when they laid siege to Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall in September. Kenyans are increasingly alarmed at the relative ease at which the militants and radicalised youths are able to carry out deadly strikes in the heart of Kenya, east Africa’s biggest economy. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. “At least 4 people dead after a saloon exploded at Pangani police station. Two of them are police officers,” the ministry said. Pangani is located next to Nairobi’s Eastleigh district, an area populated by Somalis and targeted in past bomb and grenade attacks. A second controlled detonation was carried out by bomb disposal officers shortly after the initial blast, a Reuters witness said. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta last month said the vital tourism industry was “on its knees” after attacks by al Qaeda-linked Islamist insurgents carried out in retaliation for the country’s troop deployment in neighbouring Somalia. It is common for Kenyan police to demand a ride back to police stations in vehicles they have stopped. But some Kenyan and African Twitter expressed consternation that they should get into a suspicious car at a time of heightened insecurity. “Crazy & unfortunate that #Kenya police officers would board a “suspicious” car. Not good protocol,” one Twitter user wrote.

A car exploded outside a police station in Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday. PHOTO: Getty Images

KENYA AN M&A TRAILBLAZER IN EAST AFRICA

By Trust Matsilele

www.ngrguardiannews.com

at a time when developed economies are estimated to grow at 1.2 per cent. 

Kenya's growth rate credited for international mergers. PHOTO: Getty Images

MAURITIAN INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE OPEN TO S.AFRICAN BUSINESSES By Thando Matutu FRIASIA Bank limited is offering South A African businesses the benefits of an international financial centre in Mauritius. AfriAsia Bank limited, a financial bank based in Mauritius, is offering its services to African markets as an alternative to London as an international financial centre. “Mauritius is an African country and has tailored [business] for the African market, for instance the double taxation agreements that they have with 14 African countries,” Colin Grieve, chief representative officer of Afriasia Bank South Africa, told CNBC Africa. The decision has been influenced by the economic freedom which has been taking place on the Island in the last decade. This has led to an improvement in GDP growth rate of 4.1 per cent in 2014 compared to 3.7 per cent in 2013. “The emergence of the South paradigm has led to trade between Africa and Asia. South African companies are buying into the African growth story, and are realising [they] should be looking at other financial centres closer to home,” said Grieve. The international corporate community has embraced the free economic regulations of Mauritius. According to the Ease of Doing Business Index 2013, the World Economic Forum ranked Mauritius as the number one country in Africa to conduct business practise. AfriAsia Bank limited have acquired licensing from the South African Reserve Bank to establish a financial boutique in Johannesburg and have expanded to Cape Town. The South African establishment aims to create better financial relations between South African business and Mauritian trade markets.    Mauritius is geographical placed on the south east side of Africa allowing convenient logistics for African, Asian and European entities to trade utilising Mauritian port facilities.


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VisualArts At 50, Omolayo recounts blessings, highlights challenges of galleries By Tajudeen Sowole N becoming an artist and art gallery owner, Iverse Biodun Omolayo has passed through diphases, in training and practice, which makes him versed in the fledging Nigerian visual art scene. Few days after he celebrated his 50th birthday in Lagos, recently, Omolayo shared his experience and thoughts on several aspects of art, including the challenges of being an artist, who is also in the business of art gallery.   His outlet, Biodunomolayo Gallery, which promotes works of established and new artists, also organises workshops for children and informal art training classes for adults. The gallery has been engaging participants in mentorship for nearly a decade and is regarded as a bridge between formal art school and professional practice. The artist and founder is also a pioneer member of Art Galleries Association of Nigeria (AGAN), a group of professionals whose activities and policy direction may make or break the prospects of Nigerian art market. “Clocking 50 is a wonderful experience,” he said, shortly after taking a break from the supervision of one of the activities lined up to mark his golden age.  And there is a poetic narrative to being 50. “It means that like a refined gold, one must have also gone through some moment of purification to attain the age of wisdom.” Being 50, he noted,  “tempers you as well.” At a middle age, people tend to take a retrospective view of life. For Omolayo, being alive is an unquantifiable achievement. “So, much still need to be done, but I thank God for the little I have achieved. I have realised that being alive is a great achievement too; many have died in their primes. Also at 50, it is like a first half of a football game. The next 50 means so much.” At a point in life, one crucial decision could make a lot of difference, either a regret or joy. Reviewing the ‘first half’ what crucial decision has he taken in the past that would have done differently now he is 50 and wiser? “If I were 50 in 1992, when I took the decision to resign from a bank job and become a fulltime artist, I would not have thought differently.” He boasted that as a banker, “I never lost touch with art: during weekends, I either visited art exhibitions or stay at home sketching and painting.” And when he finally chose art, being selftaught was not enough. Armed with a degree in Theatre Art from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, in 1986, becoming artist without formal certification, he thought, was an incomplete mission.  “After I left the bank job, I went back to school in 1993 to acquire formal education in art at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos,” he revealed. Basically, his sojourn at Yabatech, he disclosed, was to afford him the opportunity to understand the challenges that art students go through. Indeed, the formal art training prepared him for his current business, which includes regular interaction with young graduates of art schools and interns. “For example I now receive students from different schools, who come here on industrial attachment as well as fresh school leavers looking for jobs. My knowledge of the art academic environment comes into play,” Personally, acquiring formal education has boosted my confidence. He said, “I don’t have to feel that something is missing, even though nothing is actually missing.” Nigerian art is expanding beyond the scope of the home market, and artists are seeking promotion abroad. While it sounds great that Nigerian art is making gradual steps into the international market in Europe, it does appear that local galleries are not active to this new trend of promoting Nigerian art beyond

• How six-year-old AGAN is ‘moribund’ and ALONG underway • Why government should regulate art galleries our borders. So far, Omenka Gallery and new entrant, The Space, are the two galleries, which recently took some artists to Europe. What exactly are the challenges of galleries in Nigeria? “As a gallery owner, I can tell you that those of us in the business are in it for the passion we have for art and not about making money. There is no way you talk about business without money, but the passion for art comes first.” However, there are other important people in the business of managing a gallery, who shares no passion, yet have to get paid. “The workers that a gallery owner employs don’t share your passion, they have to be paid. The landlord of the building you rent for the gallery is not interested in your art passion, he wants his rents.” And when he argued that government needs to support the art galleries, one wondered why public funds should be used for private business. He explained: “For the art galleries to meet up with the responsibility of promoting Nigerian art, government’s support is needed to enable them face the challenges coming from the business. We can’t be talking of the international art market when we have not developed the home market fully. For example, I was at the Art Dubai Fair last year, where I interacted with local galleries. I wanted a partnership with some galleries on how to take Nigerian artists to UAE. I was told that in UAE, government policy, which focuses on promoting the local artists to international level, would not allow my proposal.” Specifically, he cited the concentration of art galleries at a spot as an example of government’s input. “I am sure you know that in Dubai, there is a place where the art galleries are located, maybe as part of government policy. And it works well with economy of scale.” Could the non-representation of artists in the Nigerian art galleries be responsible for the widening gap of confidence between the two. “Yes, there is a mutual suspicion; lack of trust between artist and gallery. Most of the artists, particularly the young ones are impatient. They are not ready to wait for galleries to sell as the pace demands. During the moribund AGAN era, we came together and tried to work out how to represent artists. But it did not work as the galleries were not ready to invest in young artists,” he informed. As crucial as the art galleries are to the development of art, home and abroad, there seems to be unresolved internal crisis in the professional body, AGAN. “There was no transparency in AGAN and few members benefitted from the resources coming from National Gallery of Art (NGA). For example, there is a budget, which only very few people know of and execute. I

think government should midwife the professional body of art galleries.” NGA, which is the nurturing of a professional body is even the problem of AGAN some observers noted. But Omolayo disagreed. “I am talking of regulation by government. Some of the galleries don’t have functional space and only exist on papers. We can’t run a true professional body that way; there should be a standard of comduct.” Currently, Alliance of Nigerian Art Galleries (ALONG), which looks like a parallel body is coming up, and Omolayo is a member. The formation of ALONG started over a year ago, but the official announcement appears to be taking longer than expected. “We are working, but taking our time. We don’t want to make the mistakes of AGAN. During AGAN era, we were using secretariat given to us by an individual, so we never had a say. But with office provided by governm e n t there will be

neutrality and we would be able to carry out our duties.” It has been observed that between art school and practice, there seems to be a disconnect, which has contributed to the exodus of young artists from practicing to taking up non-art related jobs for a living. Having seen both sides of the divide and interacted with young artists, Omolayo appears like a perfect resource person to shed light on the subject. He noted that most of the students got admission into art school on a platter of gold, so, leaving school they place less value on applying what t h e y h a v e studied. “If you get anything so easy, you may not attach much value to it.”


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Emokpae tells life’s reality with Duality Stories by Tajudeen Sowole rOM the notion that nature has two sides of a story, artist, Issac Eamokpae gets inspiration to render visual interpretation of the environment. Titled Duality, and currently showing till the end of April at the Wheatbaker, Ikoyi, Lagos, the works, which include painting and drawing exert human and environmental factors to express his thoughts on both sides of nature. In figural drawing of almost infinite lines as well as paintings that simplifies representational images, Emokpae brings his thoughts about nature into visual context. Also, in plants, the artist depicts the seasons of the year as analogy between man and his environment. Breaking the works into Monad and Autumn Series, the artist brings the spiritual angle of creation to bear in what looks like a probe into philosophy. Works such as Overexposed, Confidant, Harmony, Friends and Yellow Day – under the Monad series – dwell on the complexity of man. An inspiration the artist drew from great philosophers like Liebniz, Descartes and Santayana.  For the Autumn Series, the landscape of plants such as the weather, which is alien to the artist’s environment are also expressed in duality realm, perhaps drawing a complex similarity between wet and dry season. However, the two sides to nature, which Emokpae highlights is not lost. The real lesson here is about life and death. Plants grow and die just as new ones come with change in nature. He argued, “forms represent the semi tangible container that we call the soul and the colours are expressive of the various emotions that we all encounter in our everyday relationship.” The artist’s Duality thoughts are part of the lessons he acquired from his late father, sculptor, Er-

F

One of the Monad Series, from Isaac Emokpae’s Duality habour Emokpae. “As a second generation artist at the University of Ibadan. Subconsciously playing out duin the family, I can’t separate my ality in a subtle form, Emokpae is philosophy from my father’s,” he said, recalling that his father be- a painter and photographer. In lieved in duality of life and that fact, he has been more of a phothere can’t be one side to any- tographer since he dropped science for the art. A few months thing, either good or bad. Emokpae’s leaning towards sci- back, he held a photo exhibition entific themes is not accidental. at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, He grew up as a science student Lagos. Trained as a painter under the and ended up studying medicine

famous Abayomi Barber School, Emokpae has, however, been more pronounced in photography, working in the branding and advertising industry. But his Duality strokes and shades imply that painting has not left really him. His teacher, Barber must have been impressed when he noted in the catalogue of Duality that ‘the artist’s audacity of com-

positions, his vivacity and the fertility of his imagination show that he has personal vision.”    During the preview of the show, the curator Sandra Mbanefo-Obiago noted that Emokpae’s application of colours is mature. She added that the artist’s poetry flavour is wrapped around a myriad of humanoid shapes with large heads and playful features. Mbanefo-Obiago whose curatorial credits at The Wheatbaker included works of artists such as Nnenna Okore, Duke Asidere, and photographers Kelechi AmadiObi, Yetunde Ayeni-Babaeko and recently, Lakin Ogunbanwo said: “Emokpae’s works exist on a spectrum ranging from cartoon simplicity to opaque expressionism.” So far, The Wheatbaker as a space that supports art has maintained a camaraderie of sponsors such as Deutsche Bank described as having the largest art collection in the global banking industry and works with international museums and fairs, and ruinart, the oldest established Champagne house supporting global art events such as Art Basel Hong Kong, Miami, PAD Paris and London. Born in 1976, Emokpae has worked for clients such as the rested 234 NEXT Newspaper, Tiffany Amber, Élan, AD Consulting and other leading advertising agencies in the country. He is a recipient of the  UNESCO Save Our Treasures art competition award in 1996 and the Hasselblad Masters (semi finalist award) for Photography in 2007. Emokpae’s group shows include Peace On Earth (Save Our Earth), Ilorin (1990);  Exchange Of Our Treasures, UNESCO, France, (1997); CCIC/VI Artists, DIDI Museum, Lagos (2000); Abayomi Barber Honorary Exhibition, University of Lagos (2002); Reconstruction In Reverse, Omenka Gallery, Lagos, (2010); Body Only (2014) and solo exhibition: Genesis (2005) at Terra Kulture, Lagos.

Sensing Space … the return FTEr a very long break Defactori A Studio is back on the art exhibition circuit to continue to give ex-

Awoyemi Ajibade’s Hope, from Defactori group exhibition Sensing Space

pression to artists. The Studio is currently holding a 10-member show with the theme Sensing Spaces at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. In a joint statement, the group said, “Sensing Spaces brings to light the importance and need for communion among artists. Artists featuring in the show are Awoyemi Ajibade, Ola Balogun, Anthony Ayanu, John Akintunde, Chika Idu, Taiwo George -Taylor, Adeladan Adeshino, Ngozi Schommers, Joe Essien and Damola Adepoju. As the current Nigerian situation gives room for worries over lack of basic needs and security, Ajibade’s work titled Hope may bring respite to the people’s restless psyche. In cubism-like stylised portraiture titled Supreme Vision, Ayanu argues for God’s supremacy over man’s vision. In a country such as Nigeria where worshipping God has become a big business and an escape route for the depressed, the artist chides people who serve God to satisfy their material needs. Still on Hope, Idu focuses on the dilemma of the average African

woman, who is of marriageable age, but still searching for a husband. According to the artist, “the African lady is not only confronted with the search of husband, but is denied education and also face different forms of domestic abuse.” Defactori is not just an all men affairs, as it also offers hope for women. Schommers, the only female member of the group has been tracking the studio since her under graduate years. Currently a full member, she is not intimidated by the gender imbalance. In fact, being the youngest among the artists, she said, “it is not a disadvantage, but an opportunity to learn from established artists.” For Ajibade, the studio is all about the idea of boundless expression. Defactori Studio was last heard of in 2009, when it organised a forum tagged Place Of Art In Our Socio-Economic Environment. The well attended event, which was held at its Ebute Meta base, had the then Chairman, Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Lagos State Chapter, Olu Ajayi; President, Guild of Professional Fine Artists of Nigeria (GFA), Edosa Ogiugo; Vice President, GFA, Abiodun Olaku; Chairman, Universal Studio of Artists, Bunmi Babatunde; painter

and former art teacher, Sam Ovraiti; the late Akeem Balogun, Head of Department, Fine Art Department, Lagos State Polytechnic; and art dealer, Stephen Okonmah as resource persons. Such gathering, which was widely applauded, has been missing in the calendar of Defactori. “It has been difficult coming together since then because of individual commitment,” Ajibade, a founding member of the group explained. He, however, argued that the consistency of the group in having a pre-exhibition workshop has been met this year. “We had a workshop in January for our preparation for this exhibition.” Ayanu explained, “the workshop was about exposing our works to scrutiny ahead of the show.” Formed in 2002, Defactori had its debut show titled Fusion in 2003 at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. The group had another show, People, at the French Cultural Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, a year after and Statements at the Nimbus in 2008. Among its other outings was Passage Of Time, an exhibition of 42 works held in 2007 at Pendulum Centre for Culture and Development, Lekki, Lagos.


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Film IPTAN trains 100 ahead of digital transition Stories by Shaibu Husseini rESIdENT of the Independent Television P Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN) Osezua Stephen-Imobhio is living the dreams of the founding fathers of ITPAN. Since he assumed office as President a little over 2 years ago, Osezua, a motion picture cum theatre practitioner has led an Executive Council that has made the 22-year-old organization relevant to the needs of its members. He has also, within available resources, ensured that Nigerian producers and production professionals are accorded the opportunity and enabling environment to contribute and practice the profession. Last week, Osezua led ITPAN to go many step further in their bid to build capacity for the television and motion picture industry. With support from Panasonic and personal contribution by the officials of the association, ITPAN hosted a centenary master class for members of ITPAN and non- members alike. The oneweek training programme held at the Centre for Management development, CMd in Lagos. It attracted scores of professionals most of whom said they came to be either trained or retrained. In fact Osezua disclosed that the idea was to train and retrain “just one hundred professionals” to be drawn from across the country, just so as to tie the training into the year long Nigerian centenary commemoration, but the ITPAN President stated at a press briefing to flag of the training that they had to accommodate more than a hundred people because as he explained the ITPAN received more applications than they asked for from across the country. Flanked on both sides at the press briefing by some facilitators of the training programme including the immediate past director of stud-

ies of ITPAN Osezua Elemelin, seasoned television and movie producer Ogie Ogedemgbe and one of Nigeria’s best known female motion picture director Pat Oghre, Osezua said: “training is the hallmark of ITPAN. So I was not surprised when the secretariat informed me that we had over 200 applications from all over the country. It shows that people want to be trained and retrained and we at ITPAN will continue to do this because we want to prepare our members for the digital era. We don’t want to just be consumers of content from other countries. We want to export and to export we need more hands and we are sure producing more hands with this training programmes and others we have lined up. What we require now is enough support. Thankfully we have received support from Panasonic without which this training wouldn’t have been possible, but we need more support to do more’’ Osezua said. Ace Cinematographer and one of the founding members of ITPAN Tunde Kelani who was invited as a special guest and facilitator at the master class canvassed for support for ITPAN, which he acknowledged is ‘truly run as a professional association’. According to Kelani ‘’we didn’t set ITPAN up for people to come and be playing association politics and be massaging egos or for people to be using the association to be chasing after crumbs from successive governments, we set up ITPAN to protect our collective interest and above all to train and retrain ourselves because we realized long ago that filmmaking is dynamic and we can only meet up if we have a forum where we can meet to share ideas and learn from one another. So I am impressed with what I have seen here and the idea behind the Centenary Master Class. This is the vision of the founding fathers and I want to commend the present executives for the great work they are doing. I am proud of what you are doing and I will continue to remain an ambassador of ITPAN.

Half of a Yellow Sun in cinemas from today HE much-anticipated big Bigsam Media, HOAYS would val runs, the promoters of T budget movie Half of a show in all the cinemas in what is clearly a BritishYellow Sun (HOAYS) will begin Nigeria including Silverbird Nigerian collaboration both its Nigeria cinema run as from today. The film, an adaptation of Chimamanda Adiche’s bestselling and award-winning novel with the same title would also screen across all major cinemas in Nigeria. Popular Nigerian actress, Genevieve Nnaji has described the movie, as the biggest film she has done, yet. In a statement signed by

Genevieve

cinemas in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, and Enugu, at Genesis cinemas in Lagos and Port Harcourt, at Ozone Cinema in Lagos, at Kada Entertainment Centre in Benin and at Filmhouse Cinemas in Surulere, Lagos, Ibadan and Calabar. Said to have been produced with over 10 million US dollars, including cost of the movies screenings and festi-

in terms of the financing and the composition of the cast and crew, say they expect to have a turnover of a Million dollars in Nigerian cinemas. directed by UK-based Nigerian playwright, Biyi Bandele and produced by Yewande Sadiku, an investment banker and  Andrea Calderwood, who is best known for producing HBO’s Generation Kill and the Oscar award winning The Last King of Scotland, HOAYS had its world premiere at Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) in Canada and it features BAFTA award winner and OSCAr nominee, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Genevieve Nnaji, veteran singer Onyeka Onwenu, Wale Ojo, OC Ukeje, Tina Mba, Zack Orji, Gloria Young, Thandie Newton, Anika rose Noni, John Boyega and Joseph Mawle. Speaking in an interactive session with journalists, Genevieve Nnaji says, “Half of a Yellow Sun is one of the biggest films I have done so far, but definitely not the most challenging role I have played in movies. I have done a lot more challenging roles in Nollywood.” Chief Executive Officer of Filmone and distributor of HOAYS Kene Mkparu added “ they should expect a touching love story set in the time of war.”

President of ITPAN, Osezua Stephen-Imobhio (second right); foremost filmmaker Tunde Kelani (second left); and others at the event.

Dazzling Mirage, Tunde HIS is one good piece of T news that should lighten up the mood of foremost filmmaker Tunde Kelani especially after his experience with film pirates last week. His latest work Dazzling Mirage, which has not been premiered on home soil, will have its world premiere at the 2014 Africana Film Festival in the United States. The festival is a project of the department of Africana Studies and modern culture and media of Brown University and it is scheduled to run from April 24 to 26 and with screenings taking place at the Brown University’s rhode Island Hall. Kelani, who is still distraught over the activities of pirates who ripped his film Maami, 48 hours after it was released, confirmed to The Guardian that he was already in the United States for the special showcase. The accomplished filmmaker and Nigeria’s best known cinematographer also disclosed that he would be part of a round table discussion that will focus on Nollywood and Beyond. Adapted from a novel by Yinka Egbokhare, Dazzling Mirage tells the story of a talented young sickle-cell sufferer, played by Lala Akindoju, who struggles to overcome social

stigma, prejudice, and her own low self-esteem to achieve success at work and home. Kelani says he looks forward to the question-and-answer segment of each of the screening session as it has always afforded him the opportunity to explain his art as a filmmaker and also correct many misconceptions about developments in the Nigerian movie industry. No doubt, Kelani will touch on last week incident with film pirates, which made him declare that he might seek citizenship of another country since it was becoming difficult to do business as a filmmaker in Nigeria. Barely twenty-four hours after Kelani released Maami, on dVd, pirates ripped the film, dubbed on cheap dVd’s, inserted it in loose jackets and sold it on major streets in state capitals across Nigeria. Maami, contained in a jewel box and laminated was formally released on Monday, April14 by Ajimson Integrated Services Limited, the authorized marketers. The company had hardly finished pushing the movie across the country when the fake copies started selling for N100 as against

N300. reacting to the incident, Kelani said: “Sadly, this may be my last release in Nigeria. They have pirated Maami such that it has flooded every nook and cranny of Nigeria. Interestingly, everyone quote this miracle data about the development of Nollywood and its contribution to the Gross domestic Product. What a lie?’’ Kelani also lamented: “In the last ten years, I have tried everything to survive the attacks. I have relied on donors and well- wishers to continue to make films but each time I loose all the investments, therefore I cannot continue to live the rest of my life in this dangerous place called Nigeria’’. Kelani who feared that the Nigerian movie industry would continue to experience the menace of pirates, especially when physical distribution channels are infested by pirates whose dangerous activities are unchecked volunteered these words for aspiring filmmakers “I pity young Nigerians aspiring to become filmmakers and my advice to them is to seek other media if they have the talent.’’

Tunde kelani displaying the original and pirated copies of his film, Maami


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30 ARTS Friday, April 25, 2014

A contestant dancing

A participant playing the saxophone

A participant playing the violin

Upbeat swing for GCGT Season 4 By Gbenga Salau HE quarter finals of the Season 4 of God’s T Children’s Got Talent, (GCGT) the pioneer Christian Children’s talent hunt programme, initiated by the City of David Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Province 4 was held in Lagos last week. At the venue of the quarterfinals held at Law School, Lagos, Head, GCGT Coordinators, Pastor Sola David-Borha, gave an historical insight to the programme, narrating how the programme started at the City of David Parish about four years ago, which has now been extended to parishes under the Apapa Family of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, a collection of provinces, specially to celebrate the talents of children. “This competition is open to all the parishes in the Apapa Family of the Redeemed Church for children of ages 5 to 19. It is in response to the challenge thrown to us by the Head of the Apapa Family, Pastor ID Iluyomade, who felt that we should develop the talents and gifting in each child. He has continued to be a great support in providing facilities and adequate requirement to run this programme. “This is the fourth season and each year, it has got bigger, better and we ultimately hope that it would be taken to the entire world. From next year, we would begin to run separate editions for Nigeria, UK, US.” According to David-Borha, the competition is being built up slowly as it gets bigger because it is good to perfect something at a smaller scale before expanding it. ‘First and second year was at the City of David Parish, we made some mistakes, refined it, learnt some lessons. The third, we took it to the province, just Lagos Province 4, with over a thousand parishes. This year, we decided to expand it to the Apapa Family, with seven provinces in Nigeria. So we learn

as we go along and we have been getting better.” She said that it has been a lot of fun and excitement for the children. She further said that the church has been building the children up not to feel that it is just about the glamour. “We want to teach them that these talents were given to them by God and they have to use it for God’s glory. So this year, we started a discipleship class. Before the children compete, they spend thirty minutes understanding that this is not just about fame and money, it is about fulfilling their purpose in life and understanding why they had been given the talent.” The StanbicIBTC boss disclosed that every participant is given a certificate besides making him or her understand that they are winners though not all will make it to the grand finale. She maintained that it is a credible godly platform for children to showcase their talents and win very attractive prizes, as there are cash and non-cash gifts. “Part of the cash gift is spread over ten years for talent development or education. There is also talent development programme for the star prizewinner for one year for talent grooming.” The Brand Manager, Cocoa Beverages, Cadbury Nigeria, Mr. Mobolaji Alalade, stated that his organisation decided to partner with the organisers because it believes in the vitality of the child, nourishing them to manifest their potentials now and moving into the future. “Over the years, we keep getting excited because when they take Bournvita you see them perform better on stage. So moving forward, we would always want to be part of this, as we want children of God to manifest their talent and develop into global child. And as

they do that, they will always remember that Bournvita was part of it and will give it to their children. So we are happy to be part of it,” Alalade said. Also commenting on the programme, the visioner of the project, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, Head of Apapa Family, explained that the mission of the project is to provide a credible platform for the celebration of talent in God’s children. In his words, “God’s children’s got talent was born out of the need to help identify and nurture the diverse talents available in children across the Province”. The scope of talents being judged includes a variety of musical instruments, arts, singing dancing and others. In its fourth season, the talent hunt, which has a cumulative attendance in thousands, has over the past couple of years attracted both multinational and national sponsors across various segments. Sponsors of the 2014 edition includes Cadbury’s bournvita, First bank, RCCG The City of David, Dove media, The Riverbank School, Digital Jewels, Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management and many others. Chairman, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, (APCON) Mr. Lolu

Akinwunmi who gave the opening remarks at an earlier event to unveil the opportunities within season four said ‘GCGT tells a powerful story by both stimulating and harnessing children’s talents and bringing their dreams to fruition. “In my view, this is another tool for social development and I encourage many brands to participate”. Iluyomade further said ‘‘two of the major differentiators for the 2014 edition of God’s Children’s Got Talent is scope of coverage, as Season Four of GCGT had other UK and US based RCCG Apapa parishes participating. Also, winners of the 2014 GCGT competition will get up to 22M prizes comprising cash prizes, talent development packages and musical equipments.” Some of the judges screening the contestants are foremost music and media personalities such as Joke Silva, Sir Nwokedi of Muson centre, Tosyn Bucknor and others. Azeeza Sani, who participated in the drawing and painting competition, said it was exciting to her partaking in the programme. She said took part in what she knows how to do best. On her part, Paula Isa, did not make it to the quarterfinal stage but said it was inspiring partaking in the competition, which is why

Ayo ni o troupe during rehearsal

Drama, music as Ayo Ni O holds Choir Day tomorrow HE 41st Choir Day of T Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Ayo Ni O, will hold on

Naeto C... thrilling audience at Legend Extra Stout promo draw held last week in Lagos

April 26, 2014 at the church premises. This year’s theme is Heirs of the Covenant. According to the organisers, Heirs of the Covenant is a reminder to all Christians to stand firm in the faith, never

to look back and then be wary of the enemy’s plan to rob them of the inheritance like he did in the Garden of Eden. An insight on the format the programme will take indicates, “Our story is a mix of drama, music, poetry and a dazzling display of contemporary visual effects that follow

three Heirs of the Covenant as they stave off the challenge of the enemy who is resolute in his determination to make them forget their faith. Our story is partly told in the style of famous Broadway Musicals, but customized with indigenous songs.”


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literature A safe haven for troubled marriages Fiction By Khalid Imam OvE, friendship, studentship, marriage, landparenting, reconciliation, death, tragedy conflict — conflict between good and bad; and conflict between modernity and tradition — are the dominant themes in Maryam Abdu Usman’s debut romance novel, Tamed by Her Love. No doubt, the novel supported by Dr. Bukar Usman Foundation, is but a refreshing addition to the plethora of novels churned out of northern Nigeria. A delectable fiction, Tamed by Her Love, tells the mysterious twists and turns of the kind of ordinary lives many people live as spouses. The sweet kisses and warm hugs, the irritating nagging and the vexatious squabbles, the avoidable separations and the longing to reconcile, which, in many ways, characterize some marriages were aptly painted in the new delivery by a new voice, announcing her presence in the Nigerian literary landscape with a bang. A captivating story of a unique love relationship which, from the outset, had no tinge of smile, but in a swift twist, saw Zainab and Bamanga’s affair ending up in a blissful conjugal bond. At the beginning of their turbulent romance, Zainab and Bamanga, each being the only child of their affable and wealthy parents, were like cat and mouse. But the two lovebirds wearing garbs of different traits could be described as two coexisting opposites pulled together by the magnetic force of tenderness as if to justify the cliché that love is not a respecter of any barrier. Zainab was a decent, studious, intelligent and serious-minded girl right from her days at the college, while Bamanga, nicknamed the Mr. Red Guy on campus was a playboytype always flocking around all kinds of girls. A Casanova and heavy drinker, Bamanga was never a serious student before Zainab’s cupid held him captive. Academic excellence was to him like a grass to a starving lion, but tamed by Zainab’s irresistible love, Bamanga begins to attend lectures against the wishes of his party-going-pals, the Aminus, who, afraid of losing their sole financier, resorted to use the bait of blackmail in order to win him back to their web without success. To impress Zainab and possibly woo her to his love nest, Bamanga whose true love for her remains a silent whisper denying him sleep and making his mind restless refuses to be discouraged by Zainab’s initial unyielding stance against his persistent advances. To innocent Zainab, Bamanga was such an unserious guy to be her lover. But scolded and spurred by her two intimate secondary school buddies, Zara and Zuwaira who also doubled as her law course mates, Zainab had no better option than to open a window for Bamanga to sneak into her life. Bamanga finally wins his heartthrob but not without mountain of conditions to surmount. Not deterred by Zainab’s planted huddles, Bamanga was left with either of these two choices: to agree with Zainab’s seemingly tall order demanding him to overhaul himself to a distinct life and win her or to stick to his bad old ways and loose her forever. The wise Bamanga flows with the speeding current dictated by his untamed river of emotion. And slowly, yet delightfully his love too, with the speed of light, flooded Zainab’s drought stricken heart, satiating her thirsty throat which was yearning for an oasis called true love. Mesmerized by the sweeping waves of tenderness and destiny, Bamanga and Zainab finally wedded. And the positive

influence Zainab’s love had in reforming Bamanga’s life goes on to testify that the touch of goodness would always do away with the darkness of evil. The thread of conflict between good and bad continues in the story as the author highlights the role of good parenting. True, parenting was one of the blocks the author deftly deployed to build her novel. This point was stressed as one comes face-to-face with the comforting breeze and harmonious living in Zainab’s parental home, an experience that shapes and influences her successful marital life. While on the other hand, the absence of model parenting exemplified by parents of Zainab’s friends was denounced in the strongest of terms. The negative and destructive consequences that troubled Zara and Zuwaira’s marriages could rightly be traced to the homes they were brought up — crisis-ridden homes — where love, care and peace were in short supply like a critical patient in dire need of oxygen. The unending conflict between tradition and modernity is another striking quality of this novel in addition to its gripping narrative and simplicity of language. The skillfully woven themes of friendship, life successes and its travails, marital bliss and its hiccups, raw jealousy, naked suspicion and the sad but tragic death of the protagonist Zainab showcase the author as a sophisticated writer who could comfortably handle complex topics with ease and dexterity. To butt, one could safely say, Tamed by her Love is indeed a story that succinctly proves that in the conflict between tradition and modernity tradition could still win three away match points against modernity despite the all-conquering and formidable players modernity seems to parade in the field. This fact, a reader could readily deduce, from Maryam Abdu Usman’s novel in the way and manner the writer shows how tradition takes an upper hand against modernity. Zainab, who represented the tradition by accepting the conventional role destiny choose for a woman to be the chief executive officer in charge of the home was the one celebrated and immortalized in the novel. And by listening to her repeated sermons, her two intimate friends, Zara and Zuwaira, (representing modernity as career women who lack the time to attend to the basic needs of their immediate families) lastly ended up rediscovering the happiness that once eluded them. In the story of Bamanga and Zainab’s marital romance and pleasure, a reader, is reminded that mutual trust, faithfulness, tenderness, patience, sacrifice and friendship are the blocks and pillars with which all happy homes are erected. That selfishness, disrespect, mutual suspicion and running away from our rich African tradition, are nothing but fuel to the fire already razing

down the happiness of many homes. Besides, many a feminist critics might rightly or wrongly charge the author’s bold acceptance of the seemingly conformist idea of a hubby being the commander-in-chief at the home front by dismissing it as too submissive, conservative and primitive, if not uncivilized and unacceptable. But to the careerist females, Tamed by Her Love, has thrown a challenge that success in one’s career is not a guarantee to living a blissful and tranquil life. The tranquility of one’s heart, as we have seen in Zainab, not the careerist Zara and Zuwaira, who allowed their families to dance on the broken bottles of neglect and inadequate care speaks volumes about how the family and the home suffer from inattention. Furthermore, the veiled attempt by the author to ideologically put forward monogamy as a better marital option to polygamy in nearly all the marriages across generations in the novel betrays the feminist in her as well. And the insults, the humiliation and the trauma Dr. Bashir was subjected to for the simple ‘sin’ of marrying one of his female patients, Nafisatu reechoes the wide spread view among a vast majority of Muslim Western educated women that a co-wife is but a serpent that needs only a big stick.

Shortlist for The Caine Prize 2014 out OBEl laureate, Prof. Wole 2014. babwe) “The Intervention” in The following writers and Open Road Review; Billy KaN Soyinka, on Tuesday at the ongoing handover cere- their works have made it to the mony of World Book Capital baton from Bangkok, Thailand to Port Harcourt, Nigeria at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt announced  the shortlist for The Caine Prize

shortlist this year. Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) “Phosphorescence” in Cabin Fever; Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia) “Chicken” in Feast Famine and Potluck; Tendai Huchu (Zim-

hora (Kenya) “The Gorilla’s Apprentice” in Granta and Okwiri Oduor (Kenya) “My Father’s Head” in Feast, Famine and Potluck. Winner will emerge on July 14 in Oxford, U.K.

In the f i n a l analysis, one can’t help recommending to all spouses— especially t h o s e whose marriages are on the sharp edge of the cliff— that the bitter lessons taught in the Tamed by Her Love is that the antidotes needed to rescue any troubled marriage such as that of Zara’s or Zuwaira’s is the readiness to accept change, change which debunks the erroneous but tenaciously held claim among females that namiji ba dan goyo ba ne (meaning literarily: you cannot back a man like a child, while the actual meaning is “you cannot trust a man like an innocent child). The olive branch of reconciliation would always present itself in a marital home where the spouse mutually accepted oneself as the wings supporting the bird of their marriage to fly. Again, the parting lesson the author wants all readers not to forget is that life is not only ephemeral, but very uncertain. life’s transient nature and unpredictability could best be seen in how the merciless scissors of death cuts Zainab’s pinion leaving the befuddled Bamanga neck deep in the muddy pond of an excruciating pain, a lifeshattering pang of bereavement and bemusement. Indeed Zainab (who was wise enough to blend tradition and modernity) was a wife who could best be described as submissive, loyal, romantic, doting and always dutiful to her hubby, Bamanga. And in her, is a mirror, through which womenfolk should carefully access themselves. Talking about grammatical structures, style, plot and language, one could only but commend the author. Her elegant and simple use of language especially deserves a pat on the back. But the revised edition would require engaging editing to uproot some of the few but glaringly unpardonable typos and grammatical mistakes. One sterling quality about the work is the ability of the writer to adroitly use second person narrative style, an effective style that enlivens characterization in the novel.


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36 ARTS Friday, April 25, 2014

Tourism NTDC, private sector unite to lift domestic tourism From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja HE new leadership of Nigerian Tourism DeT velopment Corporation (NTDC) is not resting on its oars over its pledge to promote domestic tourism. In the last few months, the Director General of the Corporation, Sally Mbanefo, has engaged various stakeholders including state governments, private sector operators, community leaders as well as multinationals in collaborative efforts to develop and market Nigeria’s tourism destinations and products across the country. Recently, the Corporation entered an agreement with the Nigerian Olympic Commission, MTN Nigeria, Federal Capital Territory  Administration (FCTA) as well as Mexican Tourism Board. To encourage influx of foreign tourists into the country, the DG also reached an agreement with the Nigerian Immigration Service towards enabling tourists to obtain Visa on arrival. “The strategy is also expected to create funds to enhance the physical and information infrastructure that will support tourism value chain. “We have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with over 10 companies including Airk Airline, Heritage Bank, Gambia, Nigeria Turkish Chamber of commerce, ABC transport, VISA Reddinton to grow the tourism value chain for job creation and revenue generation”. At the recent meeting between the DG, Nigerian private sector tourism operators as well as the Mexican Tourism Board, Mbanefo said she was partnering  Mexican Tourism Board in order to enable Nigeria benefit from the country’s wealth of experience, especially in the relationship between government and the private sector operators. Director, Mexican Tourism Board, London, Milko Rivera Hope, who was in Nigeria to market Mexico’s  vast tourism potentials, had told the forum that government and the private sector operators partner equally in tourism development and marketing. He also disclosed that certain percentage of income realized from every tourist through patronage of hospitality outfits and other tourism facilities is remitted to the Tourism Board for the development of the sector. Based on this revelation, Mbanefo said she has embarked on ‘Project Fundamentalist, to enable her obtain accurate data on the influx of people, amount they spend on hotels, amount they spend on food as well as what is spent on shopping. “We keep saying that private sector must drive tourism and I was happy to hear that Mexican Tourism Board is partly owned by government and partly owned by the private sector. That is the kind of vision we have for NTDC. “So, having a technology that can give instant access to tourist information, traffic at all the borders and expenditure shops is a fundamental problem that NTDC has”, she said. The DG again beckoned on the private sector towards addressing this challenge. She felt it was not a big deal for members of the private sector to undertake the provision of equipment that will guarantee accuracy in data. “Because when you have accurate data, it will be easy to identify where the real performance is and know the shortcoming. Now, it is a big deal.  As a tourism Corporation, NTDC should be able to pinpoint the exact contribution of tourism to Gross  Domestic  Products of Nigeria. “People write that tourism has no contribution to GDP in Nigeria, that is not true. Tourism has contributions but  my task is statistics. It is a challenge but we are going to overcome it”. The DG said she does not stop at talking. In fact, there is a move towards comprehensive hotel registration exercise in Abuja to the extent that a new unit has been created for this purpose. The NTDC boss reteirated her commitment to domestic tourism development. She believed that  before inviting others to come and explore the beauty of Nigeria, Nigerians must first see and enjoy what they have. She said: “We want to live by example. We have visited several states of the federation and have so far observed that Nigeria has over 500 beautiful tourism sites. All we are aiming at is to encourage Nigerians to visit at least, one tourism site per zone. “We want to empower the local government

Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide (left); Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Mrs. Sally Mbanefo and Board Member (NTDC), Princess Miriam Onuoha at a function in Abuja last week and reduce urban migration. We want people to be in their local communities; we want to create jobs. So, we are on projects around the communities, we are collaborating with state and local governments as well as with the private sector”. Mr. Tomie Akingbogun, who was at the presentation by Mexico Tourism Board spoke on behalf of the priate sector. He believed that Nigeria will thrive in tourism when government agencies and the private sector corperate to a point where concessions are given to zero VATfor inbound conferences. “I hope our leaders and policy makers will also know that they have to invest in Nigerian tourism and support our programmes. We need to first of all, let Nigerians know the products and let us consume our products”. Akingbogun decried the court judgement in favour of Lagos State Government on tourism control. With such judgement, he said the private sector will remain under the yoke of arbitrary levies and taxes, which he feared, will combine with unstable power supply to further diminish their profit margins. He therefore called on NTDC and its mother ministry - Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orenation to unite in appealing the judgement, which he said is anti-tourism. “As I am talking now, the Lagos case against NTDC that broke down the control of the federal might on state in tourism is killing tourism in a massive way. “Both the state and the local governments are just coming with impossible taxes, levies and bills. I am telling you that if it continues like

this for another two  years, we will be nowhere, we will loose 20 years of tourism development. “I strongly believe that with one voice, NTDC can appeal that case. At least, you can run to a central point. Now, we have 36 uninterested people who just want money from the private sector and that is what is happening. “ Private sector operators from 36 states are facing the same problem whereas when NTDC was in control, we will go to them and they will listen to us. “What we are saying is that we prefer federal government control rather than state at the level of tourism we have now. Federal government needs to moderate. We are talking of 36 different impossible policies. “Even, they are telling tourism establishments to put postal stamp on every receipt. Where on earth will you get such. These are things NTDC kept away. Even Consumer Protection Agency is coming to register restaurants. Government is paying them salary and they are going about, extorting money from people. “This is getting out of hand and somebody must stop them before they kill the industry. I hope NTDC will rise up to that challenge. There must be a master plan to be carried out by the country and uncontrolled taxation is not part of the master plan. “ We were all parts of the master plan drawing and NTDC is part of it, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation is part of it and there must be a central control”, Akingbogun said. Also speaking, President, Nigeria-Mali Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine, Agriculture and Tourism, Chief Michael Awunor, who was

at the forum, observed that every Mexican sites are efficiently managed and that revenue is generated from every visitor to any of the sites. “And when you sleep in a hotel, a token is remitted to the tourism board. It might be just a token but if you multiply it by the total number of people that patronize hotels in the country, we can then imagine how much comes from there. “So, until we begin to run our tourism that way, we may never have head way. Tourism  is not developed by the government, it only provides enabling environment, assist the private sector in developing sites and allow the private sector to market and run the sites. “Look at the centenary celebration, what was the role of tourism development community the private sector. Of what value was it when it was celebrated without significant input of culture and tourism sector? What have we celebrated? Amalgamation? It is unfortunate that government is only pay lips service to tourism development in the country”. Awunor called for change of attitude to enable tourism thrive in the country. According to him, there is need for government and the private sector operators to deliberate sincerely on the way forward. “We need to change our attitude towards all these if we must move tourism forward. The way forward is to come to the drawing board. Let the practitioners meet with the government so that everybody will bring his experience to the table and then, we can have a Nigerian modern for our tourism development, bearing in mind our cultural and religious backgrounds”.

Showbiz

Ten winners emerge for Legend Extra Promo S this year’s edition of the LegA end Extra Stout National Consumer Promo kicks off, about ten persons have been picked during raffle draws held across the country. Some of the winners are: Mr. Jubilee Diagboya; Nwala Simon and Aliuhuo Vivian Chinasa from Imo State; Bishara Yohanna from Sokoto, Ernest Favour Nzelu from Abuja, Okon John Sampson from Akwa Ibom State, Kazeem Sadiku Gbenga from Ogun State and Okonofua Friday from Lagos State.

With their emergence, each has won an all-expense paid  trip to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates to shop for items worth one  million naira. One of the raffle draws was held last week during the Easter festive period. On ground to thrill guests at the event were hip-hop artistes, Terry G and Naeto C. Naeto C was the first to hit the stage and he did not disappoint, as he thrilled and got the crowd dancing to some of his popular hits such as Five & Six, the remix of Tony Montana in which

he featured D’Banj; Ten Over Ten among others. He exited the stage amidst a standing ovation, paving the way for Terry G.  Terry G was indeed in his elements as he instantly electrified the entire arena with his eccentric performance, backed up by a Hype Man. He got the crowd miming and dancing to his various hit tracks such as Oga, Yeh Oluwa, Akpako and Run Mad, among others. During his performance, he stepped into the crowd to acknowledge individuals who were frantically swaying to the rhythms of his

songs. The highlight of his performance was when he took off one of his expensive chains and handed it over to a member of the audience as a gift. The 2014 edition of the Legend Extra Stout National Consumer Promo is  an engagement scheme instituted to reward consumers of Legend Extra Stout. The thirty lucky consumers will win all expense paid trips to Dubai and will get the opportunity to shop for items worth N1 million in value at one of the biggest shopping malls in Dubai.


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ArtHouse contestants for Mr. Nigeria resume in camp

FTEr a rigorous screening exercise 20 of the contestA ants selected for the Mr. Nigeria contest will begin a five-day boot camp at the exotic Shaka resort in Eleko beach Lagos. According to the organisers, Silverbird Productions, the contestants will be groomed in all round etiquettes which would prepare them as Nigeria’s most admired gentlemen. The contestants said they were eagerly looking forward to the experience in camp and the grand finals on Saturday. The winner will drive home with a brand new car, cash prize and mouth watering international modeling contracts and opportunity to represent Nigeria at the Mr. World holding in the Netherlands later in the year. The grand finals of the Mr. Nigeria contest begins with a red carpet at 5pm and a world -class live show at 6pm at Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos.

catholic praise concert at Freedom Park

HE maiden edition of the catholic Praise concert, a T one-day gospel music concert will hold tomorrow at the Freedom Park, Lagos. conceived as a platform to promote the use of music for evangelism, the concert is expected to parade some of the best-known musical talents in the Gospel music genre.

Music business entrepreneurship session holds April 30

HE Music Business Entrepreneurship Session is initiated with the goal of educating attendees about the new global music business industry and many advantages in the digital era, exposing independent artists to the marketplace and developing a platform for emerging artists to become successful independent music business entrepreneurs. The plan is to hold the series in different cities and selected states across Nigeria. The project is a build-up to the yearly Artists 2 Music Entrepreneurs conference, starting from next year. The inaugural edition of programme will be coming up on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Compiled by Florence Utor

T

Tropical Gem studios set to release Blood in the Lagoon Storie by Florence Utor rOPIcAL Gem Studios has T announced  plans to release Teco Benson’s Blood in the Lagoon in cinemas  nationwide this year. The film has already been named one of the films to watch in 2014 by Nollywood reinvented. Set against the backdrop of dichotomies surrounding Lagos lifestyle, the film centres around George Dibiya (Okey Uzoeshi), born into abject  poverty and thrust deep into drudgeries fate has dealt him. George ekes out a living in the treacherous murky waters of the wasteland Lagos Lagoon. Just

Teco

like thousands in the many slums of Nigeria, his life story is already written and sealed by fate, even before he came into the world, which isn’t of his making. The chances of getting an education and clawing his way out of the situation become highly unlikely. But after the murder of his brother, George sets out so his brother’s dream doesn’t die. Along the way, he gets entangled with the stunningly beautiful Scarlet (Omotola JaladeEkeinde). Blood in the Lagoon is an emotionally charged and thought-provoking movie made to keep viewers captivated from the beginning to the end. The movie stars Omotola JaladeEkehinde in her first movie release since being named one of Times magazine’s 100 Most Influential People In The World, alongside African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) nominee Okey Uzoeshi, Ufuoma Ejenobor, Akin Lewis, Eddie Ugbomah and other notable actors.

A contestant at the God’s Children Got Talent (GCGT) Reality Competition 4th Season Quarter-Final,

AfricaMagic… in search of new TV stars for Tinsel Season 7 S part of its contribution A to the development of local productions of film and TV initiatives in Nigeria, AfricaMagic, the leading content provider in Africa has invited aspiring actors and actresses in the country to audition for various roles in the popular multi-camera soap opera, Tinsel and its first ever film feature initiative, AfricaMagic Original Films. The auditions are scheduled to hold simultaneously on Thursday and Friday, May 1 and 2, 2014, from 7am to 5pm at different locations across the country and neighboring country, Ghana. Venues include: Lagos — Protea Hotel Leadway (Beside Mobil Filling Station), 1 Mogambo close, Maryland Estate, Ikeja; and The SS Lounge, 7 Sapara Williams close, Off Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island. Other venues are: Ibadan, Theatre Arts Department Hall, University of Ibadan and Ghana, please visit (www.africamagic.tv) for details. The audition seeks to provide the opportunity for talented Nigerians to live their dreams of starring in the popular soap opera or in an AfricaMagic produced movie, launch their acting careers to a continental audience and is open to male, female; young and old. To audition, interested persons are required to come along with; three copies of an individual five-by-seven (5x7) coloured, non-photo shopped studio-shot portrait photograph. Since its debut to a continental audience in 2008, Tinsel, a 30-minutes series, has gone

on to win the hearts of hundreds of DStv viewers both in the country and on the continent, becoming a daily show with a widely watched omnibus on Sundays on AfricaMagic Entertainment, channel 151. currently in its sixth season, Tinsel has become a must watch for millions of DStv audiences on the African continent; a development that prompted the AfricaMagic brand to air previous seasons of the show on some of the other AfricaMagic channels and Silverbird TV to the delight of many television viewers. Tinsel is shot on location in Nigeria and is part of AfricaMagic’s local investment drive dedicated to developing the television industry in the Africa. In the wake of AfricaMagic’s many successes and its con-

tinued efforts in building and supporting the thriving African film industry, AfricaMagic in September 2013 launched its ever feature films platform, AfricaMagic Original Films which debuted on AfricaMagic Entertainment, channel 151. With a fast growing film library, the project has produced over 60 movies in the first phase of its debut and on its way to the second, prompting these auditions, to seek potential film stars and give opportunities to a wide range of film enthusiasts. Speaking on the plan to launch widely spread auditions for two of the brand’s biggest initiatives, the regional Director, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said “AfricaMagic is always excited at being a part of the fast

growing African film and television industry, we are equally excited at the opportunity to create pure African content, but more importantly, we have the chance to continue to tell the African story on a continent wide platform” adding that “this is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who truly believes he or she has what it takes to be a TV or film star and what better platform to launch an acting career, if not on the continent’s largest content provider and we are hopeful of a huge turnout at the auditions.” Tinsel and AfricaMagic Original Films are produced out of Nigeria and a testament to AfricaMagic’s commitment to the development of local content and support for skills development in Africa.

CNN’s Leading Woman profiles Mo Abudu as “Africa’s Oprah” NN  has profiled Mo c Abudu, Executive chairman and cEO of EbonyLife TV and first black woman to own a pan-African TV channel, EbonyLife TV, as one of the continent’s leading women. ‘Mo’ as she is fondly called was interviewed on ‘Leading Women’ - a show that connects it’s audience to extraordinary women in the world as a talk show host and media owner who presents the vision of a very different Africa. The show celebrates women at the top of their field, exploring their careers, lives and ideas. With EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first Global Black Entertainment and lifestyle network, Mo has won

acclaim for building a TV network creating 1,000 hours of fresh, engaging, original and premium homegrown pro-

Abudu

gramming yearly. And there are plans to unveil even more channels - all under the EbonyLife brand. calling her “Africa’s Oprah”,  cNN  notes that Mo Abudu’s greatest achievement and what makes her story remarkable is not just conquering African TV - but doing it without any prior media experience. responding to this great achievement, Mo said, “There were many knock backs along the way, many people telling me ‘you can’t do these things,” said the British-born entrepreneur in an interview with cNN’s Stephanie Busari. “But I think what’s important in life is that you believe in yourself and the things you can do.”


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ExecutiveBrief

EDITION 304

In association with TRIPPLEA ASSOCIATES LIMIED

ALHAJI AUWALU ILU:

Energising The Nation Through

Liquefied Petroleum Gas Ultimate gas Limited is one of the leading Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bottling and trading companies supplying LPG for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes and one of the indigenous LPG exporters in Nigeria. The organization has significant shares in Greenfield integrated energy services limited, one of the six off-takers appointed by Nigeria LNG for the domestic scheme. It is a fully owned Nigeria company with investment in LPG Storage System Services; these include bulk procurement of LPG from gas companies, provision of tank farm for storage, installations of delivery systems for product evacuation by LPG marketers. Alhaji Auwalu Ilu, the Chairman/Chief Executive officer of the organization is a veteran in the industry and a master stevedore. In this encounter with Nnamdi Nwokolo, Alhaji Ilu spoke on the prospects and challenges in the LPG business and other sundry issues.

going to succeed. For any person going into any type of business, it is important to understand the business, know who your customers are and always update yourself on how to grow your business. I understood that there’s quite a lot you can do with LPG, in power generation, domestic use and even in agriculture.

You came into the industry by accident, what accounts for the success of Ultimate Gas? I will say our story is successful in the sense that we are still waxing strong in business despite the daunting challenges. We are also growing gradually. Honestly, I was born into a family that is well grounded in textile business. Textile business has a very low margin but high turn over, so I was used to that as a child. I understood early that a high volume business with low margin and minimal over head cost will definitely succeed in our environment. This really helped our growth pattern and OW has the business terrain been? success. I have a feeling and the belief that LPG will grow bigger The industry has been quite challenging, but than it is today. We are waiting for I’m happy to say that the market is rapidly the big bang like the telecom expanding and a lot of people now see LPG as a business. The market is here and healthier, environmental friendly, cheaper the prospects are high. and cleaner source of cooking. Unfortunately, it is the few elites that live in urban areas What are your projections in the make use of this products. I came into LPG next couple of years? business when NNPC was promoting indige- Ultimate Gas Limited has been nous companies from going into the business. growing with the market. To be At that time I had no idea of what LPG was all sincere with you, our growth patabout. I got interested and luckily for me it tern is largely dependent on govwas also the time NERFUND was launched. I ernment policies. We’ll be one of got funding there and established my plant in the key players in the next couple Kano. However there are lots of issues; the of years. The current consumpissue of perception, the issue of affordability tion is less than 10%, the prospect and the issue of competing energy sources. of LPG is very large because the People are used to kerosene and firewood and market is there. The government it has been very difficult to get people to and industry players need to come together to change this attitudinal issue, but I am happy fashion out ways where this product will be to say that year in year out, the consumption readily available and affordable for the benefit level is increasing. Given our population this of all of us. I think there’s improvement in conis not enough, but compared to what it was sumption due to stability in the price of the some years back, it has almost doubled, so I product, steady supply and greater underthink we are making some progress and soon- standing by the people that LPG is better than er or later Nigeria will become a gas utilizer. kerosene and other fossil fuels. The startup cost of getting LPG is a big challenge because you need a cylinder, burner, What do you think government can do differregulator etc. In the rural areas a lot of people ently to help the industry? have access to firewood almost at no cost I don’t think up to 5% of Nigerians are using except the energy used in cutting it down. The LPG; it is only being used by a small segment of beauty of this product is that it now comes in the society, mostly in the urban areas by the smaller bottles and a lot of companies are pro- urban elites. We are among the least countries moting the use of this product to safeguard in cooking gas consumption in Africa. The the environment. basic thing government needs to do is to create an enabling environment for businesses to When you opted for entrepreneurship, what thrive. It is important to note that following were your phobias? the hike in the price of 12.5kilogramme LPG What I did was to know what LPG was all Cylinder in 2007, the government had directabout. My friends at the NNPC at that time did ed the NLNG Limited to set aside certain allocaa lot to enlighten me on what LPG is all about, tion of LPG for domestic consumption because I will never forget them. They took me to an the hike was caused by over-dependence on LPG plant just for me to see how a typical importation. The NLNG consequently appointplant looks like. I went all over the world to ed six companies selected during a prequalifilook at plant equipment suppliers. I really cation exercise to lift LPG from its plant in went out of my way to understand the market. Bonny which Greenfield International Energy I never had fears because I learnt very fast the was one of them. The intervention of these rudiments of the business and I understood companies and the NLNG has since crashed the market very well. The issue of failure did the price of LPG to a manageable level that is not arise. From day one, I was confident it was affordable to consumers. The government

bring in the equipment, you have to bring in the cylinders and the burners, you have to look at the pricing, there is also the issue of grants at the initial entry points; all these are already being looked at between the private sector and the Lagos State Government, and I believe the same thing is being done at the national level, the NNPC is looking at the issue seriously and I believe that very soon they will come up with a policy on it. Can we really put an end to gas flaring in the country? Gas processing is a very expensive business, so there is need for a lot of incentives, what do you do with the gas if you don’t flare it, you have to sell it, you can extract the natural gas liquid which is the butane propane that can be used for domestic purpose, but the dry gas has to go for power, how much is the price of gas as being used for power plants? Is it economical? These are some of the issues that are being addressed over time, and I think everybody is waiting on the PIB which will be able to address all these issues. how the process will be made attractive, how its utilization will be enhanced so that there will be enough market, and how you can get a commercial price for the gas that is to be produced. Because if you are going to produce gas, at what price are you going to sell it, at the price, will you be able to cover your cost of production? This is what is being addressed, the end price is being determined and its being agreed and in a way, as it is being done now there is a kind of subsidy in it so that it will attract people to come and invest in the industry, if you invest, produce and you cannot sell at a commercial price, then it does not make any economic sense. No matter what you say about gas flaring, unless it is economically viable for people to invest and process the gas, an end might not be in sight.

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Alhaji Auwalu

What do you think are the factors for business success in Nigeria? Funding is important when you want to start a business. I was lucky in the sense that the loan I got from NERFUND took less than 60 days. But beyond funding, passion is a critical factor for success. Integrity is a factor also because if people believe in you, you can get free/cheap funds to do your business. You can leverage on that to get to the next level. It is important that it is businesses that add value survive the challenges.

should start thinking of how to subsidize LPG. We spend billions of Naira in kerosene subsidy and another billions taking care of health challenges caused by kerosene and firewood but we are not looking at holistic solution to the challenges. We buy the products at the international markets. Another challenge the government needs to address is transportation of the product. For example, it is cheaper to take LPG from Bonny to Europe than to bring it to Lagos because of handling. These challenges have been there, successive governments have somehow negated their obligation towards this end. But from 2007, there’s been lot of collaboration between LNG and operators for effective service delivery.

Advice to young entrepreneurs: Young Nigerian should look around their environment and fashion out ways on how to add value to the society. The moment you begin to add value, you’ll begin to make money. There’s a lot someone can do, you need to look inwards to be able to succeed. The government cannot provide all the jobs; the youths should look around and see where they can add value. They also need to do things differently to carve a niche in their chosen field. I think the government programme (YOUWIN) is laudable and a lot more should be done even by corporate Nigeria. The banks should also set aside money to help MSME’s.

What is your organization doing to sensitize people on the use of LPG? We are engaging all the relevant stakeholders especially government at all levels. The challenge is that only Lagos State has indicated interest in the project. We are making some progress and we are achieving quite a lot. I believe that very soon the government will come up with the policy on how to utilize LPG, they have set up a lot of committees, and we’ve had a lot of seminars and a lot of presentations. So very soon this is going to be done, a lot of committees have been set up, and some of our members are involved. It is not an easy thing, there are lots of issues involved, you have to

What drives you? Honestly, it is passion that really drives me. All the businesses I’m engaged in, I went into them by accident that is after I’ve done my due diligence. When I went into stevedore, you won’t believe that prior to that time, I never knew what it was all about. I’ve not heard the word before. It was explained to mean offloading/loading of goods in a ship, I got interested and today, we are making a difference in that area. I’m happy I see people who God has used me to develop and improve their lives. I sleep early and start my day early. I’m a workaholic that I find weekends very boring. I don’t have night life.

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Friday, April 25, 2014 43

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EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

Entrepreneurial

FOOLISHNESS

“The fool who knows his foolishness is wise at any rate so far. But the fool who thinks himself wise, is a fool indeed” - Dhammapada she was a fool for repeating the same mistake twice after the first time.

How to Become a Better FOOL in Business

Why Successful Entrepreneurs Are Better FOOLS: The difference between successful entrepreBy Tito Philips, Jnr. neurs and the unsuccessful ones is this; the sucrecently got this remark from one of my cessful ones know the areas where they are startup consulting clients during one of complete Fools and the areas where they are our strategy sessions. She said; “why didn’t I complete geniuses. They never try to deceive come to you 3 years ago when I just was start- themselves into thinking otherwise. They know ing out?” I replied; “Because you didn’t think and accept their limitations as humans and it was SO necessary”. And that’s the never try to fight against it. The sincere answer. She was just unsuccessful ones act otherstarting out for the first wise. time. She was full of Here’s the bitter truth, we her dreams and had are all fools –unintelligreat ideas about gent in so many how her business was aspects of life. going to turn out. As a Successful entrepreneurs matter of fact, she had know this and consistently sufficient technical skills than most work on minimizing their foolishof her competitions; after all, she was ness by surrounding themselves with trained abroad, so why on earth smart people. They know that business is a would she need my help? Why should team sport and the team with the best she seek the counsel of a business developplayers win. To win you will need to enlist the ment consultant? Why should she pay for a help of A-players, people who would cover for strategy session? But after the second and your foolishness [unintelligence] in other areas. the third business failure, she knew someAnd there are two ways of doing this; thing was FUNDAMENTALLY wrong. She Hire employees for OPERATIONAL help knew she was missing something. And at [internal] that instance, she realized she was a fool for Hire professionals for STRATEGIC help trying it out alone the second and third [External] time. The reason she finally came to me now Trying to argue against this fact is the source of for help was because she had started and entrepreneurial foolishness. It’s ineffective, costfailed in business 2 times in the last 3 years! ly and deadly. You will end up blaming yourself! When it’s OK To be FOOLISH: How to Become a Better FOOL in Business: A fool is an unintelligent person. Somebody Fighting against your foolishness as an entreconsidered lacking good sense or judgment. preneur is in fact more foolishness. Rather, Actions taken without a good sense or judgembrace it and learn how to become a better ment is the cause of mistakes. Mistakes are fool in business as most successful entreprethe results of unintelligent actions. Mistakes neurs do. Below are the 3 guaranteed ways sucwere invented to make us better humans. cessful entrepreneurs overcome their entrepreThey reveal our foolishness [unintelligence] neurial foolishness. as humans, making us realize that we don’t 1. Identify and Accept Your Weaknesses - You and will never know it all. Mistakes and faildon’t know it all. You will never know it all. ures humble us. Now that’s absolutely Wisdom lies in identifying what you know and understandable if you are making those mis- accepting what you don’t know. Don’t feel bad takes for the first time. The first time you fail about this; it’s not your fault. It’s just nature. To or make a mistake is the only time you ensure balance and peaceful co-existence on should be proud to be a fool –unintelligent. earth, we’ve all been unequally gifted. No two But when you begin to repeat your mistakes, persons completely have the same gifts or taljust as many of us do [including me] then it’s ents. So get used to it! no longer cool to be a fool. Especially, being 2. Identify and Maximize Your Strengths - You an entrepreneur, because every mistake or are unequally gifted than most people in cerfailure costs you money [which can be tain areas, it’s your unfair advantage, MAXIMIZE replaced] and time [which can never be it. Stop magnifying your foolishness trying to replaced]. My client didn’t fail once, she play in other people’s areas of strength when failed 3 times and only then did she realize you have none. Focus on your strengths and get help with your weaknesses.

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Infotech

The Impact of Technology on Our Society

smartphones. Now, when you have something to say, all you ITHOUT a doubt, technolo- have to do is log on. gy is all around us. Technology is a major part of Quick access to information our everyday lives and it is With technology growing the hard to imagine living in a way that it is, that makes it society that does not have much easier advanced technology. The effect that the current technological advances continue to have on our lives grows more positive with every new “thing” that comes out. Here is a look at some of the impacts that technology has had on our lives.

By Ron Shimoff

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Smartphones everywhere - Ten years ago, smartphones were mostly for the elite and a majority of people under age 16 were still dependent on the old house phone. Today, there are more people with a cellular phone than there are without one. Being able to communicate is not considered to be as important as eating and sleeping. The cell phone is the last thing that they see when they go to sleep and it is the very first thing they look to grab in the morning. Smartphones make it possible for anyone to connect to everyone out there in cyber world. Apps like Twitter and Facebook now come standard in a majority of

for people to know what is going on all over the world. In the past, if you heard something big was going on, you had to rush to a television to find out what happened. Today, information is literally a click away. Believe it or not, most people learn of news breaks through websites that are constantly updated, such as twitter. If you watch the regular evening news, you may catch them encouraging the viewers to submit photos or video of news that they see happening. The built-in camera and camcorder in smart-

phones have made this possible. Children of Tomorrow Children born in this day and age have a leg up on prior generations because they are growing up in the age of growing technology. It can be a steep learning curve for older people to understand some of the new technology that is out. Younger children will not have that problem because they are playing with phones, computers and tablets before they can even talk. This means that when it comes to learning new technology, it will be second nature to them. They will be the ones who will be upgrading the technology that is currently available. Without a doubt, they will bring unforeseen changes to the world that will not have been possible without using the technology that they have been born into as a foundation to the future. The impact of technology on society is positive in almost every way. The only downside is that some people may use technology as a substitute for real human interaction. That is a fact that we should all be aware of, but it is easy to overcome. All it takes is choosing to make a call instead of sending a text.

EXECUTIVE HEALTH By Leonard SA Jones

How to Live a Balanced and Healthy Lifestyle

AKING care of your little children requires T you to be healthy. How can you play with them if you get out of breath walking up stairs? How can you take care of them when you always get sick? As a parent you need to guide them all the time and it also builds unbreakable bonds. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to stay fit and be healthy and live a balanced lifestyle. It helps you live longer and less of a chance that you will be plagued with problems and illnesses down the line. It’s not easy but it does require some dedication. What makes it important? You’re family that needs your love and care. Living a balanced lifestyle is the key to ensuring that you can have time for your work, your friends, and your family. Achieving one is easier said than to be done. But if you are determined and really try to challenge yourself, you can do it without looking back. You can start by wake up early in the morning and take your time to use the bathroom, stretch and apply your make up as you usually do everyday but earlier. The few extra minutes of quietness in the morning can be excellently therapeutic and more relaxing before the day really begins. Eat your breakfast, it is more important as it has health and energy benefits and can help increase concentration and assist weight loss. If you’re time-constrained and your hobbies include things like running, playing computer games, walking, swimming, and biking. Do this during break time. If you fell your brain is fried pause a few minutes. It will give your brain a chance to relax and reenergize, so that by the time you get back

Success Strategies By Trudy-Ann Ewan NE of the beauties of living our life on our terms is that we do not have to remain stuck doing the same things over and over again. We can always branch out and do things that catch our interests and tickle our fancy. We have the ability to explore the World and our different interests. Life is too boring to sit down doing one thing for the rest of our life, even if it is something that we love. That does not mean that we need to stop doing what we do love. We can always add on more things in order to spice up our lives. There are so many different things out there to be experienced. We owe it to ourselves to open our life to something new every so often. Many of us were raised to believe that someone who is all over the place and cannot stick to one thing is irresponsible, flighty and immature. To go one-step further, that person was looked upon as selfish and viewed as not being grounded. For years, I tried to confirm to Societies definition of what it means to be a responsible and mature Adult. My brother was the perfect example and I spent years trying to be perfect like him. I even went to University to get a Degree so that I would be viewed as sensible and levelheaded like my brother. My life was so stifled and I was sick so many times that my grades suffered. At the time, I did not realize what was contributing to my poor health. It took my Doctor to tell me that I was suffering from acute stress and if I did not cut back on my pursuits, I would be dead within six months to a year. That woke me up. I began to realize that I’m not my brother and I’ll never be “perfect” as he is. I began to get to know who TrudyAnn is, outside of her brother’s shadow and guess what, I found out that Trudy-Ann is a free spirit who loves to try many different things and is always all over the place. I have so many interests that I can hardly keep up with myself and I love it. My life is eclectic and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am my own person and so are You! When we try to live our lives based on what Society says, we will find our creativity being stifled and soon we will start to feel our lives suffocating us. That is what results in so many sickness, emotional pain and feelings of being out of balance within ourselves. There are so many people living the regurgitated life of others instead of living their true selves. There is a

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Action is the foundational key to all success. -Pablo Picasso

into your work, you would be in a more optimum and efficient mindset to tackle your work or simply close your eyes for about 5-10 minutes, think happy thoughts and when you open your eyes, straighten your body, smile and get back to work. You will be amaze at how simple things can really change your daily working habits. A healthy lifestyle is all about balance in eating nutritional and good for the body like fresh fruits and vegetables. Low-fat protein sources, and whole wheat bread and pasta, and drink at least 8 glasses of water to have a healthy diet. Also avoid food that is bad for you like refined carbohydrates, fatty foods, alcohol, etc. Getting plenty of exercise and having a positive attitude are the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. Aerobic exercise is good for your heart and your body. Pilates are great for strengthening your “core” muscles which are situated around your midsection. Yoga has a therapeutic effect and also helps to reduce your stress level. When you exercise you release different chemicals into your bloodstream that make you feel better. It is important that you engage in any kind of exercises in to your daily life to help keep you fit and maintain your weight at a healthy level. Managing stress is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle. You cannot have a healthy lifestyle if you are depress and unhappy. If you’re not able to manage stress, it can harm your body and affect your relationship with other people. Sleeping right, if you go without sleep for a period of time, every area of your life will be ultimately affected, and if it becomes a regular pattern in your life, it could threaten your health and bring down your overall performance.

Create Your Passion and Follow It Unabashedly saying that goes, “When climbing the ladder of success, make sure that it is not leaning against somebody else’s wall”... Author Unknown. Living our life based on the wishes of others will only create deep discontent within us, that is why it is so very important for us to begin creating our passion(s) and follow it unabashedly. We can’t continue to live our lives based on our family, friends and Society. We would never be happy. We also need to remove ourselves from any situation that is keeping us confined in a box. There comes a time when we need to be strong within ourselves in order to build the confidence it takes to break the cycle of sameness. What do I mean by sameness? I was recently watching a commercial for Tide Detergent Soap. One woman was placing clothing of all colours into the washer without sorting them first. Her mother, who was watching her said, “Why are you not sorting the colours? I sorted colours, my mother sorted colours and her mother sorted colours. So sorting colours should be good enough for you too”. Her daughter replied, “With Tide Detergent, I no longer have to sort colours”. When her back was turned, her mother stole some Tide Detergent. The daughter decided to break the cycle of past generations and she wasn’t afraid to step out on her own and do things differently. It is the same with us. We do not have to follow the ways of others who came before us. That’s right. We can do what makes us happy and we can have fun trying out different things. We don’t have to get tied down to doing one thing just because that will make us seem stable, responsible and mature. It is time that we define our own self and start to live our lives for ourselves and not for the external approval of others. We can begin to define our life thus giving us the freedom to begin discovering and creating our passion. Another reason why it is good to have a lot of things going on in our life is that if one thing doesn’t work out, you have something else to fall back on. Think about it. If we only had an Office Job and that was the only real thing going on in our life, can you imagine what would happen if we lost that Job? We would be devastated, because we had attached our identity to that job, so when we lose that job our identity is thus taken away from us. Now, look at another scenario.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

AutoWheels 2014 VW Passat pushes technology frontiers

Volkswagen Passat Stories by Dele Fanimo NE of the more interesting options for a midsize sedan is the 2014 Volkswagen Passat. It’s the only European car in the family sedan segment, and that heritage is evident in its clean styling, tidy, down-to-business interior design and solid, composed highway ride. It’s also one of just two sedans in this class with an optional diesel engine, and that TDI power plant returns fuel economy on par with hybrid sedans. However, there’s plenty of North American influence in VW’s family sedan as well, and indeed the Passat’s greatest attribute is the vast amount of space it offers for passengers and cargo. This spaciousness is no accident, of course, as the Volkswagen Passat is built in Tennessee expressly for the American market. Not only is this midsize VW sufficiently comfortable and serene for long road trips on U.S. highways, but you can even get it with a potent 3.6-liter V6 engine. Most Passat buyers end up with one of the more sensible engine options, of course, and to be honest we’ve never been thrilled with the base 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine’s below-average fuel economy and slightly gruff power delivery. The good news is that Volkswagen is phasing in a new, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine for the 2014 model year. It doesn’t make any more horsepower than the 2.5 engine, but there’s more torque for passing maneuvers and the 1.8T engine returns better gas mileage to boot. Initially, only SEL models will have the new engine as standard, but as the 2014 model year progresses, you can expect to see the 1.8T on all VW Passats. Still, if you’re really serious about fuel economy, the extra cost of the diesel engine on the TDI models will probably be worth it to you. Even in the face of so many competent rivals,

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though, the 2014 Volkswagen Passat comes highly recommended, especially with the 1.8T and TDI engines. Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options The 2014 Volkswagen Passat sedan is offered in four broad models broken down by engine (2.5L, 1.8T, TDI and V6), which are further subdivided into a quartet of different trim levels (S, Wolfsburg, SE, Sport and SEL). The lineup starts with the “S” base model, which comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a sixway manual driver seat with lumbar adjustment, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, audio controls on the steering wheel, cruise control, a trip computer, Bluetooth with streaming audio and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input. The Wolfsburg Edition includes the features of the S model and adds unique 16-inch alloy wheels, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a six-way power driver seat, heated front seats, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and VW’s Car-Net telematics system. Move up to the SE trim level and you get 17inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors and windshield washer nozzles, a rearview camera, rear-seat air vents, a sliding front armrest, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, upgraded gauges and displays, and an eight-speaker sound system with a touchscreen audio interface. This year’s new Passat Sport is similar to the SE but has 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles (with the automatic transmission) and special exterior

and interior styling details. Options on SE models include a sunroof or the sunroof bundled with a navigation system. On TDI SE models, 18-inch alloy wheels are also added if the sunroof is equipped, and if you equip both the sunroof and the nav system, you get foglights as well. Navigation is not available on V6 SE models, but on the upside, a ninespeaker Fender audio system is included with the optional sunroof. The SEL models include all of the above items, including an upgraded navigation system with a larger screen, hard-drive music storage and traffic updates. You also get keyless ignition/entry, remote ignition, eight-way power front seats with driver memory functions, partial leather upholstery, wood-grain interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, HD radio and a separate ski pass-through for the 60/40 rear seat. Powertrains and Performance The 2014 VW Passat is front-wheel drive and comes with a choice of four distinctly different engines. The S, SE and Wolfsburg models come with a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. You can have a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission on S and SE models, while the Wolfsburg is automatic only. In Edmunds performance testing, an automaticequipped Passat 2.5 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds, which is slower than average for the class. The EPA’s estimated fuel economy for manual-shift Passat 2.5 models is 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway), while the automatic drops to 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway). These figures are below average among midsize sedans. Volkswagen is beginning to phase the 2.5-liter engine out of the lineup in favor of a new 1.8-

liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is also rated at 170 hp but makes a more substantial 184 lb-ft of torque. Currently, the 1.8T is standard only on the Sport and SEL models. Eventually, though, it will be the base engine on all Passats, and consumers are likely to encounter both engines in 2014 models at dealerships. A six-speed automatic is standard on the SEL 1.8T, but VW will also offer the five-speed manual on the Sport and on S and SE models with the 1.8T engine. In Edmunds performance testing, the Passat 1.8T SEL went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 7.7 seconds. Fuel economy estimates are 28 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) with the automatic and 28 combined (24 city/35 highway) with the manual: good numbers for a four-cylinder midsize sedan. Those seeking maximum mpg can opt for Volkswagen’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, which produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque on SE and SEL models. Called the TDI, this diesel engine comes with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automated manual transmission (known as DSG), which takes the place of a conventional automatic. In Edmunds performance testing, the Passat TDI went from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is an excellent 35mpg combined (31 city/43 highway) for the manual and 34 mpg combined (30 city/40 highway) with the DSG. In extensive Edmunds fuel economy testing, we’ve found that the diesel VW Passat can easily surpass these numbers by 8-10 mpg. The strongest engine available on the Passat is a 3.6-liter V6, which churns out 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s optional on the SE and SEL, and the DSG automated manual transmission is standard. In Edmunds testing, a Passat 3.6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds — quick for this class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 combined (20 city/28 highway).


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Friday, April 25, 2014 AUTOWHEELS 45

Globe Motors mulls local assembly plant for Higer, other brands By Dele Fanimo HE nascent automotive T policy of Federal Government has received another boost with the plan by Globe Motors Holdings Nigeria Limited, has entered into partnership with Higer Bus Company Limited, to assemble Higer range of vehicles in Nigeria. Managing Director of Globe Motors Holdings Nigeria Limited, Mr. Victor Oguamalam, in a statement revealed that his company has signed a technical agreement with Higer Bus Company Limited of China to assemble their Higer range of buses and other Higer vehicles locally. Globe Motors Holdings Nigeria Limited has acquired over 12 Hectres of real estate in Lagos State for this purpose and is in the process of developing an assembly plant with their technical partners, Higer. The assembly plant at full capacity will produce over 22,000 vehicles yearly. Its initial annual take-off capacity is 6,000. Oguamalam who disclosed that the plant would come on stream within 18 months, further explained that though plans to set up an assembly plant have for some time now been on the table, these plans have had an added impetus due to the new Auto Policy recently announced by the Federal Government of Nigeria. According to the Managing Director, his company decided to partner Higer Bus Company because of the quality of products from Higer which are comparable to leading brands across the globe. Oguamalam stated that “after painstaking efforts and evaluation of different auto manufacturing companies, we decided to settle for Higer because of the quality of their products and the

wide range of models”. The Managing Director also disclosed that arrangements are at advanced stages with two other international Automobile Manufacturers, for assembly of their brands and products at the new Globe Motors assembly plant. Shedding more light on this, Oguamalam further disclosed that the new Globe Motors assembly plant will also introduce a completely new brand, designed, branded and manufactured to the best international standards of automobile design and engineering, solely for Globe Motors Holdings Nigeria Limited. This will give the brand a Nigerian and indigenous identity, the company stated. He added that more details would be revealed at the appropriate time. The first phase of the assembly plant project, according to Oguamalam, is projected to gulp about $120m on completion. Higer Bus Company Limited, known as “HIGER”, was established in 1998, and is one of the fastest developing bus manufacturers in China. It is well known for its innovation and provision in Research and Development. Higer’s source of technology for their buses is the No.1 Motor Manufacturer in the world, Toyota. Higer is also in conjunction with Scania, developing, manufacturing and exporting buses, of very high and international standard, to Europe. Higer sticks to “focus on safety” and develops safe buses from the points of active safety and passive safety. The company produces and sells buses and other vehicles in different countries in Africa, Middle East, Europe, South-east Asia and South America etc. With success of buses and coaches in both domestic and international

Chairman Globe Motors, William Anumudu; a Higer Official, Steve Wang; Managing Director of Globe Motors, Victor Oguamalam and another Higer official, Mr. Charles Cao markets, it embarked on LDV business including passenger van and pickup. After 15 years of difficult exploration and struggling growth, Higer has built a modern bus manufacture base covering 800,000 square meters, exporting to 85 countries and territories worldwide. Higer has over 50 series and more than 300 models covering Coaches, City Buses, New Energy Buses, Mini Buses, School Buses, bus Rapid Transit Buses (BRT), all ranging from 5m to 18m; Pick-ups, SUV’s among others. Oguamalam stated that the partnership with Higer will ensure quality and affordable buses and vehicles for Nigerians. “The buses are built to very high quality with

GM requests protection in N.Y. court against ignition switch lawsuits ENERAL Motors Co. filed a G motion in a U.S. bankruptcy court to enforce a bar on lawsuits related to ignition defects in cars sold before its 2009 bankruptcy as it fights a class-action lawsuit that seeks to set aside the restriction. The plaintiffs also filed a classaction lawsuit on Monday, seeking an order declaring that GM cannot use the bankruptcy protection to absolve itself from liabilities. The faulty ignition switch has been linked to at least 13 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles. GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009 as a different legal entity than “Old GM.” Under those terms, “New GM” shed liability for incidents predating its exit from bankruptcy, and any lawsuit related to pre-bankruptcy issues must be brought against what remains of old GM. “New GM’s recall covenant does not create a basis for the plaintiffs to sue new GM for economic damages relating to a vehicle or part sold by old GM,” the company argued in a filing on Monday in the

GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009 as a different legal entity than “Old GM.” Under those terms, “New GM” shed liability for incidents predating its exit from bankruptcy, and any lawsuit related to pre-bankruptcy issues must be brought against what remains of old GM. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Since it began to recall vehicles in February, GM has been hit by dozens of lawsuits on behalf of individuals injured or killed in crashes involving recalled cars, as well as customers who said their vehicles lost value as a result of the company’s actions. The plaintiffs have claimed they bought or leased vehicles that had the defective ignition switch and accused GM of fraudulently concealing its knowledge of the defect, saying that as a result, it was not entitled to protection from liability. “GM’s argument suggests that the U.S. Government would have agreed to extend $40 billion of taxpayer money for GM’s restructuring, and supported shielding it from

liability through the sale order, had it known of GM’s intentional misconduct,” the plaintiffs said in their lawsuit. In its filing, GM asked the court to direct the plaintiffs to cease and desist from further prosecuting against new GM claims that are barred by the bankruptcy sale order and the injunction, and also dismiss the earlier claims. GM and lawyers for the plaintiffs were not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours. In Texas and California, GM has sought a stay on litigation related to ignition claims until a judicial panel on multidistrict litigation decides on a motion to consolidate the case with other lawsuits and the bankruptcy court rules on whether the claims violate GM’s 2009 bankruptcy sale

modern features for discerning customers, and the setting up of the plant will create jobs for Nigerian youths”, he explained. Globe Motors Holdings Nigeria Limited was incorporated in Nigeria 30 years ago to carry on the business of trading in motor vehicles, from a modest beginning in Surulere to Victoria Island, Lagos and a nationwide network. The partnership with Higer is another phase in the life of

the company as the company will soon commence the assembling of Buses, SUVs and Pickups in the country. Its first workshop was established in 1997 and since then, it has evolved into an efficient after-sales centre providing after-sales and maintenance services to all customers for all its brands. Globe Motors’ new After-Sales Centre, located in Lekki is a comprehensive maintenance centre which will cater for the different brands –

Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Hyundai and Higer - under the Globe Motors Ltd. umbrella. The workshops are equipped with the most recent and sophisticated diagnostic equipment for the different brands and with over 50 work bays, a body section, alignment and balancing sections, as well as well trained and experienced mechanical staff, Globe Motors Ltd. is well posed for the challenges ahead.


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46 | Friday, April 25, 2014

Quote of the week

AviationBusiness

There would be very few accidents if the elementary rules of flying were rigidly observed and stupid risks avoided. The road hog, with whom we are all so familiar nowadays, has his counterpart in the air, so cultivate the sane mind in the sound and healthy body. — Halton (magazine, Summer 1931). ibeuwaleke2012@yahoo.com 08033151041 (SMS only)

Global travel industry to grow 5.4 per cent yearly until 2023 By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi hE global travel industry T will grow faster than world Gross Domestic Products (GDP) over the next decade, according to report. The forecasts were made in the study entitled Shaping the Future of Travel - which was published by Oxford Economics and commissioned by travel technology company Amadeus. The report was compiled by speaking to 15 top travel industry firms, including heathrow Airport, Iberia, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. According to the study, global travel will see sustained growth of 5.4 per cent per annum over the next 10 years, outpacing expected global GDP increase of 3.4 per cent in the same period. It predicted large emerging markets fuelled by rising wealth, employment and changing consumer habits that will drive the rise. This will be led by rapidly developing China, who will surpass the United States in becoming the world’s largest outbound travel market this year, and will be the biggest domestic market by 2014.

ISSUE It claimed that the number of households in China, able to afford overseas travel, has been set to increase more than double in the next 10 years. Other emerging markets such as Russia, Turkey, Brazil, India, and Indonesia, will also drive growth until 2023 the report claimed, with all registering rises of 5 per cent per annum over the next 10 years. The Associate Director, Oxford Economics, Andrew Tessler, explained that: “The global travel industry is gaining strength and changing as it emerges from the recent recession in developed countries. “China’s development is an important driver, but there are actually many more subtle factors also at play. “Shifting competitive dynamics and the persistence of new behaviours that emerged during the recession are both impacting key indicators in the sector.” The report also noted that business travel, which has suffered in recent years, will bounce back, as links between East and West stimulate new demand. “Door-to-door passenger services can be done better

by airports, and is an area for development and opportunity”. “Mobile technology is not being efficiently harnessed by the travel industry, and needs to be, to make the travel experience more pleasant, and seamless for travellers”, Tessler added The report also highlighted the impact that Low-Cost

Carriers (LCC) are having on the airline industry, and predicted there will be further expansion of them over the next decade. It said Europe was found to be the most active with 250 million passengers flying on LCC’s, followed by North America on 173 million, while Asia has grown 150 per cent over the last five

years and now averages 117 million, stressing that LCC traffic in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East has almost doubled in the period, and will continue to surge, according to the report. But Tessler, explained that: “There is still though uncertainty about the LCC model in long-haul routes, and

there may be a convergence with more traditional carriers, but there is a challenge for LCCs to operate a longhaul route as an LCC and we think there will be an element of mixing. LCC’s may also experiment with longhaul routes for accessing hub airports to pursue growth, adding costs and complexity.” 

Aviation industry contributes to nation’s GDP, generates employment, says Oduah By Ibe Uwaleke ORMER Minister of F Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah has again stressed the reason why President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is paying considerable attention to the aviation sector because of its pivotal role it plays in the nation’s economy. According to her, a sector which contributes so much to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generates massive employment should be given priority and that for her, is the reason why the President is throwing his weight behind the development programmes in the sector. “Mr. President has started mainstreaming aviation sector and that should continue because we are doing this for a very well developed aviation sector. Besides, if you look at it really, aviation is employment generating and contributes to

nation GDP. So why would it not be given priority? It should be given priority and Mr. President is doing just that”. She also said Nigeria must ensure that it does not sacrifice its development on the altar of politics if it must improve its infrastructure and better the lives of its citizens. Oduah stated this position last weekend in Enugu at an event in which she received an award from the Ikenga Award for Excellence Foundation (IAEF), for her enviable performance as Minister of Aviation and her transformation programme of the sector. The former Minister noted that Nigeria would continue to lag behind if the citizens allow political sentiments to blur their focus on the need to provide necessary infrastructure in all facets of the economy so that the country would

Getting rid of aerophobia Some of the major airlines, including Virgin and BA, offer fear of flying courses. Here, nervous flyers learn about how a plane works, how the pilots are trained, what they would do in an emergency, stages of the flight and facts about aeroplane safety. These courses normally culminate in participants actually going on a flight.

maximise its human and material resources for the benefit of all. She added that that while political interest is ephemeral, development is permanent and opportunity missed may never be regained. On how the ongoing projects she left behind would be completed, the former Minister said there is a well-articulated master plan that must be followed and which would guide all the development in the aviation industry, adding that her successor would follow the master plan, adding that anybody who deviated from that master plan would be doing a disservice to the country. “I believe my successor would follow the master plan to the letter. Really, anybody that does anything contrary to that is doing a disservice to the Nigerian people and there must be a continuation to the development of the aviation sector. It must be mainstreamed,” Oduah said. When asked her regrets, she said there was none because she was privileged to be made to serve the nation at the ministerial capacity. “It is a privilege, like I said, to serve Nigeria; to serve my

nation…a country where you have 170 million people and you were given the opportunity to serve and make a difference, you leave a footpath behind, it is not easy, it is an honour, am very grateful to Nigerians.” She said she was elated by the award and described it as the evidence that what was done at transforming the airports was appreciated; however, she attributed all the achievements to collective efforts of her and her team. Other recipients of the Ikenga

Oduah

Award for Excellence included: The former governor of Enugu State and former Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, the former Minister of Information and Culture, Professor Dora Akunyili, former Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Michael Ayegbeni Oghiadomhe and Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, an entrepreneur and owner of Innoson Motors. Others were Mrs. Nkechinyere Mba, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Cooperation

(NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, former Coach of the Super Eagles, Christian Chukwu and Nollywood Star, Bob-Manuel Udokwu. While handing over the award to Oduah, Dr Nwodo said, “When Oduah was appointed Minister of Aviation I wondered within myself what she was going to do with aviation; I thought they would have made her Minister for Petroleum. But when she went to aviation, I believe in our life time we will work very hard to get a Minister of Aviation that would match her feat.”


Friday, April 25, 2014 AVIATION BuSINESS 47

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Delta Airlines declares $213m profit for first quarter 2014 By Ibe Uwaleke ELTA Airlines has posted the first quarter 2014 net income of $213 million. This is up by $7 million from the previous year, 2013 period. Excluding special items, the airline’s quarterly result was $281 million, representing a $196 million year-over-year improvement. Total passenger revenue increased from 5 per cent to $7.7 billion, which “shows the strength of Delta’s revenue momentum even through the revenue loss from weather and a shift of the Easter holiday traffic into April”, said Ed Bastain, Delta’s Vice-President. “We see continued revenue strength as we move through the year from corporate revenue gains, the benefits of the Virgin Atlantic joint venture and improved ancillary revenues.  These initiatives, coupled with a solid demand environment, should lead to unit revenue growth in the mid-single digits for the June quarter.” Total operating expense in the quarter increased by $18 million year-over-year driven by the impact of employee investments including $79 million higher profit sharing expense.  These cost increases were almost fully offset by lower fuel expense, savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives, and receipt of a $25 million insurance claim related to Superstorm

D

• Becomes U.S. carrier with full flat-bed seating

Sandy.   In the March quarter, the company returned $176 million to shareholders.  On March 14, the company paid $51 million to shareholders, which represents a $0.06 per share quarterly dividend.  In

addition, the company repurchased four million shares at an average price of $30.94 for a total of $125 million.  The company has completed $375 million of the $500 million share repurchase plan authorized by

Delta’s Board of Directors in May 2013. Delta ended the quarter with $5.6 billion of unrestricted liquidity and adjusted net debt of $9.1 billion. The company has now achieved nearly $8 billion in

net debt reduction since 2009.  “The March quarter’s record results in the face of unprecedented weather show of the strength and resilience of Delta.  By delivering the industry’s best customer

service, operational reliability and financial performance, Delta people continue to show that they are the very best in the business,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Our work is not finished, and there is great opportunity ahead as we expect the June quarter to produce 14 – 16 per cent operating margins.  We are transforming Delta into a high-quality S&P 500 company that consistently delivers strong earnings growth and shareholder returns,” he reassured.  Meanwhile the airline has completed the installation of full flat-bed seats with directaisle access in Business-Elite across its entire international wide-body fleet, making it the only u.S. carrier to offer full flat-bed seats and the convenience of direct-aisle access on all overseas flights. The completed interior fleet modifications include all Delta Airbus A330-200/300, Boeing 767-300ER/400ER, 747400 and 777-200ER/LR aircrafts, which represent Delta’s largest interior fleet modification investment in more than a decade. With these modifications complete, Delta also is the only u.S. domestic carrier to offer personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights. The fleet modifications are Delta’s latest investment in improving the customer experience.

Shell Aviation launches airport centre programme By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi hELL Aviation has Scalled launched a program Aviation Centre of Excellence (ACE), a proposition dedicated for fixed-base operators (FBOs) and small and medium size airports. The ACE program has been designed to meet customer needs for safe and effective operations, marketing support for growth, supply security, modern up-to-date equipment, or a partner that

is easy to do business with. The marketing support element includes joint promotional and marketing materials and Shell Fuel & Fly Card. The supply security portfolio would provide customers with access to a global supply and trading network, product quality assurance procedures and experts in fuels and logistics. It added that safety operations management would give access to Shell airport operating manual,

renowned effective Shell hSSE programs, flexible operations training, dedicated technical support and inspection and assessment. Collaboration with Shell Aviation means dedicated customer care, access to AeroShell Lubricants range and Shell Water Detectors. And finally, the asset offering will also extend to supply, management and maintenance of equipment required for business operations.

Shell Aviation has already successfully implemented the ACE program at key European locations such as Gothenburg City Airport in Sweden, Gazipaca in Turkey, Zurich in Switzerland and Roskilde in Denmark and others. Airport Director, Copenhagen Airport, Roskilde, Lars Lip, said: “Being part of the global Shell Aviation network supports our strategy to market Copenhagen Airport,

Roskilde, as the preferred Global Aviation (GA) airport in Denmark. Shell actively promotes Copenhagen Airport, Roskilde, to new and existing customers.” Ioannis Topsikalidis, European Sales Manager for Shell Aviation, commented: “We are proud to announce this new exciting proposition that brings a great deal of benefits to FBOs and airports globally. At Shell Aviation, we are not just, fuels and lubricants supplier

but a partner that is easy to do business with and offers a package of support. It is our job to ensure our customers have the latest tools and help available to improve their operations and achieve excellence in what they do.” The ACE program will make it easier for customers to understand the wide range of services that Shell Aviation offers. We are committed to the GA sector and want to be your partner of choice.

NahcoAviance emerges air cargo company of year, 2013 IGERIAN Aviation N handling Company Plc, (NAhCO Aviance) has clinched the “Cargo Company of the Year 2013 award” at the 6th Nigeria Aviation (NIGAV) Conference, Exhibition and Awards held at the Tinapa Resort, Cross Rivers State. With the latest award, Nahco Aviance has become a twotime back-to- back winner of

the NIGAV awards, having won the “handling Company of the Year award” at the 2012 edition. The annual event is organized by FCI International Limited and it seeks to recognise companies, organisations and individuals for best practices and outstanding contributions towards developing the aviation industry and related activi-

ties. Some of the achievements that qualified the company for the award include its strong and exceptional corporate governance, broad working knowledge of the nation’s aviation industry, certification and membership of various international aviation bodies, quality service delivery, impressive clientele base and ownership and

operation of the largest warehouse in sub-Sahara Africa. Over the years, Nahco

Aviance has continued to garner awards from notable sources. It currently holds awards of African Airlines

Association (AFRAA), Industrial Training Funds (ITF), amongst others.

SAA tasks travel agencies on provision of excellent services By Ibe Uwaleke OuTh African Airways (SAA), has tasked teeming travel agencies in Nigeria to continue to provide excellent travel perks to Nigerian travellers. The airline, in its biennial Billings Settlement Plan forum for travel agencies in Lagos encouraged the travel agencies to go a step further in meeting global standards to ensure travellers satisfaction.

S

Thobi Duma, SAA Country manager Nigeria while speaking at the event said travellers are willing to pay travel agencies which provide excellent one-stop travel shop services. According to Thobi, “the essence of the forum is to educate and enlighten the travel agents on the latest development concerning South African Airways particularly agency commission, fare structure and rules including SAA voyager loyalty

programme.” She mentioned that the forum also provides opportunity for the travel agencies to interface and share feedback with the SAA Nigeria officials. “In as much as we want to update them about SAA brand and product, this forum gives them the opportunity to share with us those challenges they are facing with regard to carrying out their various duties as it relates to SAA,” Thobi stated.”

Special Adviser to Cross River State Governor on Public Transportation, Mr. Edem Ekong (left), presenting the 2013 air cargo company of the year award to Head, Business Development and Marketing, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Mr. Sanya Onayoade, during an event organized by FCI International Limited in Tinapa, Cross River State… recently


48 | Friday, April 25, 2014

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FridayWorship By Afis A. Oladosu

Continued from April 18th 2014 In the name of the Almighty, the “Surely, the religion with Allah is ISLAM,complete submission”... Qur’an 3:19 Beneficent the Merciful “The Messenger believes in the Guidance revealed to him from his Lord and so do the Believers. They all believe in the Almighty, His angels, His books and His Messengers. They say: “We do not discriminate against anyone of His Messengers.” And they say: “We hear and and dishonesty were the very spirit of suc- Jesus, which was spilled, according to the the idea or notion of salvation. we obey. Grant us your forgiveness, O cess. Thus, Jesus Christ became an enemy Bible, on the cross. Without his death and Thus while my Christian compatriots Lord; to You we shall all return”. (Q2: 285) within. To hate him is to be popular; to resurrection the whole idea of ‘claim’ Jesus as their saviour, I affirm my

Reflections on Maryam, Jesus Christ and the Easter (2)

seek to kill him is to show commitment Christianity

becomes

invalid. belief in Him too as a stakeholder in my

RETHREN, Maryam received the word B and she became pregnant; the fetus to the hideous principles, which under- On this occasion therefore, due respect spiritual world. In that sense, you could came to the world as a male child, the gird the then Jewish society. Ultimately, and reverence, in line with the Quranic very well refer to me as a Muslimchild became a man, the man eventually became Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ). “This is opprobrium” the Jews shouted. “This is impossible” they chorused. “In response she merely pointed towards the baby. They said: “How can we talk to a babe in the cradle?” Whereupon the baby spoke out: “I am indeed a servant of the Almighty. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. His blessing is with me wherever I go. He has commanded me to establish Salat (Muslim prayer) and give Zakah (charity to the poor) as long as I shall live. He has exhorted me to honor my mother and has not made me domineering, hard to deal with. Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I shall die and the day I shall be raised to life again.” Such was Jesus the son of Mary, and this is the True statement about him concerning which they are in doubt. (Q19:27-34). Now dear brethren, the above speaks to the story behind the story of the birth of Prophet Isa (a.s). But the message he brought to the Jewish nation equally led to controversy. How could a man enjoin justice, egalitarianism and sincerity in the worship of the Almighty in a society where injustice, oppression of the poor

the Jewish authorities announced it had killed him on the cross. It is this event and his subsequent rising after the third day, both of which the Quran negates (Q4: 157158) which informs the celebration of the Easter every year. In other words, dear compatriots, Easter is associated with the belief in Christendom that Jesus Christ is the saviour of humanity. Brethren, our Christian compatriots equally hold the belief that the Almighty God is Just and that in effect, it is incumbent on Him to punish every sin and every infraction of His laws. Brethren our Christian compatriots further hold that in order that humanity can have access to Heaven, in order to rescue humanity from the abyss of eternal damnation the Almighty sent the sinless Jesus Christ to the world and cause him to die on the cross as ransom for humanity and that only those who believe in and acknowledge this shall have eternal salvation. This belief is premised on yet another principle, which is that no human being can live a good enough life to warrant entry into God’s presence in heaven except through the redemptive blood of

injunction, is expected from Muslims for Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ). But what else other than reverence and respect is expected from you for a man who Islam equally regards as a saviour, though not through a redemptive sacrifice. What else other than honour and reverence does Islam expects from Muslims for a man whose conduct and carriage call attention to other prophets of the Almighty all of who lived sinless lives and were torchbearers of the highest moral standard for the whole of humanity. What else other than reverence do we expect from Muslims for Prophet Isa whose birth is Quranized as miraculous and one whose vocation is the invocation of miraculous ministrations? In other words, contrary to the oft-celebrated conflictual interface between the cross and the crescent, there is unequivocal scriptural consensus between the Quran and the Bible around awesome aspects of Jesus life including his nature, birth by a chaste woman and his performance of miracles. Thus, the primary differences between Muslims and Christians about the historical Jesus are only his divinity and his death and by implication

Christian. But in referring to me as such, you would have to note that I am equally an Ibrahimian (believer in the message of Prophet Ibrahim, a.s), a Musaian (believer in the message of Prophet Musa, a.s) and a Nuhian (believer in the message of Prophet Nuh, a.s). While referring to me as a Muslim-Christian, dear sister, you are ‘condemned’, as it were, to yield space to my identity as a strict follower of the message brought by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). In other words, I lay claim to and identify with all the prophets and guides sent by the Almighty to the world as saviours, through their deliverance of God’s messages to humanity. The universal message that all the prophets delivered and which instructs mankind about knowing and approaching God, distinguishing truth from falsehood, and distinguishing right from wrong actions, is what Muslims consider as the “Gospel” that Jesus delivered and that saves. The Quranic warrant for this posture can be found in Q2: 285 where the Almighty says: “The Messenger believes in the guidance revealed to Him from his Lord and so do the Believers. They

all believe in the Almighty, His angels, His books and His Messengers. They say: “We do not discriminate against anyone of His Messengers.” And they say: “We hear and we obey. Grant us Your forgiveness, O Lord; to You we shall all return.” In another portion of the Quran, the Almighty says in reference to what is expected of the Muslims in relation to other scriptures sent by the Almighty to the world: “Say:  We believe in Allah and that which was revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes; and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we are submitters” (Q3:84) But one thing constantly catches my attention in the life of Prophet Isa on earth. First, he was said to have been questioned one day: “why don’t you get married”? He responded, as usual with wisdom and decorum: “we prefer the plenitude of the hereafter”. In other words, Prophet Isa never built a cathedral of materialism as is common in our world today. He never built mansions and estates all of which raise questions about our claim to faith in him and his ministry. He led a life, which was tempered by the certainty of the ephemerality of life on earth and the eternity of life hereafter. Or what other interpretation do you give to the Biblical reading that he rode a donkey to Jerusalem? Would Jesus Christ have purchased a private jet were he to be alive today? If indeed the Easter occupies the core of the Christian faith such should include the opportunity it provides for my compatriots to return to His message. If Jesus were to appear today, are you actually ready to meet with him? CONCLUDE (08122465111 for texts only) Oladosu A. Afis Ph.D


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Friday, April 25, 2014 49


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Friday, April 25, 2014

MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 24-04-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com


Friday, April 25, 2014 MARKeT RePORT

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MARKeT INDICATORS

AS AT 25-04-2014

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PRIMeRA AFRICA

Financial stocks buoy NSe’s turnover by N5.3b Stories by Helen Oji eAvy transactions in the H shares of some banks in the financial service sub-sector, yesterday lifted the volume of shares traded, as investors bought 1.045 billion shares worth N15.000 billion in 4543 deals against 356.517 million shares valued at N5.271 billion exchanged hands the previous day  in 5221 deals.        Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the banking subsector was the most active stock in volume terms with 1.3 billion shares worth N11 billion in 1,623 deals. A breakdown of the investment showed that United Bank for Africa (UBA) was the most active stock for the day, exchanging 580.051 million shares valued at N3.973 billion, FBN Holdings followed with account of 160.733 million shares worth N2.031 billion while Zenith Bank traded 130.726 million shares cost N3.035 billion. Wema Bank also sold 22.241 million shares valued at N22.240 million while Access Bank traded 21.142 million shares worth N187.096 million.  Consequently, the market capitalisation of listed equi-

ties went down by N60 billion or 0.46 per cent to N12.829 trillion from N12.889 trillion recorded the previous day. Also the NSe All Share Index (ASI) dropped by 182.19 basis points to 39011.90 points from 39194.09 points traded on Wednesday.      Further breakdown of the trading showed that Seplat recorded the highest loss for the day, declining by N29.99 kobo to close at N597.01 kobo, Total Nigeria Plc trailed with a loss of N6.70 kobo to close at N161.20 kobo while Dangote Cement depreciated by N2.00 to close at N228.00. Other stocks that recorded price depreciation were Nigerian Breweries and Mobil Oil Plc which loss N1.99 kobo and N0.99 kobo respectively to close at N148.00 and N122.10 kobo.                        Conversely, Presco Plc led the gainers’ table during the day, enhancing by N1.00 to close at N43.00, Unilever Nigeria Plc followed with a gain of N0.65 kobo to close at N47.15 kobo while FBN Holdings gained N0.62 kobo to close at N13.21 kobo. ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Zenith International Bank Plc appreciated by N0.30 each to close at N13.60 kobo and N23.50 kobo respectively.     

FSDH Merchant Bank declares N978.1 million dividend He board of directors of T FSDH Merchant Bank Limited has announced a dividend of N978.18 million, culminating to 35 kobo dividend due to every investor of the company for the 2013 financial year. This amount is higher than N698.7 million, which translates to 25 kobo per share declared in the previous year. Addressing Journalists during the pre-AGM briefing of the company in Lagos yesterday, the Managing Director of the Bank, Rilwan Belo-Osagie explained that the total asset size of the bank stood at N83 billion while shareholders fund increased from N22.7 billion in 2012 to N23.7billion during the year under review. The Group, according to him, achieved a profit before tax (PBT) of N2.066 billion, which represents a decline of 8.9 per cent from N2.27 billion posted in 2012. The bank’s profit after tax attributable to the group was N2.62 billion, which is 17.9per cent slide, when compared to N3.19 billion achieved in previous year. earnings per share (ePS) for the group stood at 93 kobo, which is 25 kobo less than the 118 kobo posted in 2012. Belo-Osagie attributed the decline in profitability was as a result of three major factors: start up challenges, increase in operational expenses and the tight monetary policy stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Though the bank officially started operations as a merchant bank on January 15 2013, for most part of the first and second quarters of the year we operated more as a discount house as opposed to a merchant bank. This was because once we got the merchant banking licence, we had to subsequently apply to the CBN for a foreign exchange dealership licence. “Approval for this was received in April and we then started dealing in foreign exchange in May 2013. Furthermore, we had to open foreign correspondent banking accounts. This process can be rather lengthy due to the enhanced due diligence that is carried out by foreign banks before commencing business relationships with banks in frontier markets. ‘This was on account of staff related costs and other administrative expenses. As part of our drive to operationalise our conversion from a discount house to a merchant bank, there was the need to bring in new skills and experience, especially in areas where as a discount house we were not appropriately skilled.” He explained that the benefits of the previous year investments in restructuring, new recruitment, marketing and diversification are already impacting positively on the bottom-line, while assuring investors of improved performance and better returns in the next financial year.


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Sports Six Nigerians join others, as Airtel Rising Stars clinic kicks off in Rwanda

NFF denies sharing from coaches’ salaries

most outstanding SeredIxNigerian talents discovduring the 2013 edition of the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 National Championship will participate in a week-long football clinic, featuring academy coaches and a club legend from Arsenal FC of England. The six players, who will fly Nigeria’s flag at the one-week soccer clinic in Rwanda, include Rilwan Adeleke (Best Goal Keeper, Male), Olu Gabriel (Highest Goal Scorer, Male) and Wisdom Uforo (Most Valuable Player, Male). Others are Augustina Boniface (Best Goal Keeper, Female), Falegon Joy (Highest Goal Scorer, Female) and Kafayat Shittu (MVP, Female). The Arsenal Soccer Clinic will run from April 28 to May 2, 2014. The Nigerian contingent will be joined at the football clinic by their counterparts from Ghana, Zambia, Uganda and the host country, Rwanda. While in Rwanda, they will be tutored by a team of UEFAlicenced coaches and football experts from the Arsenal youth development system who will be expected to transfer their rich experience to the players. Speaking about his prospects at the Clinic, Olu Gabriel, who incidentally will be travelling out of the country for the first time said the clinic will offer him the much needed exposure to improve as a player. “The clinic will provide me an opportunity put in my very best, work very hard and learn from the Arsenal coaches who are renowned for developing young players like me,” he said. Also speaking, Kafayat Shittu, who emerged MVP at the national championship said the Arsenal Clinic will help her become a better player in the future.

HIS appears like a season of T denials at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Moses.

ICTOR Moses believed Liverpool were going to V win the Premier League from the first day he arrived on loan from Chelsea. “When I first came here, I knew that Liverpool were going to win the league,” he says. “Honest! Even when I spoke to the press, I said that we would win it.” “Just from seeing the way everyone trained, that first training session, and the games that I played in early on, I could see the quality that we have here. “There is huge talent at this club, and I knew that this team could go far. We are in a

ITTF releases programme for Lagos Tour world’s best became a reality on Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya, when the duo of Ibrahim Umar (male) and Rophia Jimoh secured their places at the 2014 ITTF World Hopes Week, Challenge holding in Otocec, Slovenia. The teenagers competed against their counterparts in the continent and emerged champions in the boys and girls singles and were rewarded with slots in the eight-man team expected to hoist Africa’s flag at the global tournament. Aside the tournament, the participants went through an intensive four-day training under the supervision of a top ITTF tactician, who taught the kids the basics of the game. The accompanied coach of each team was also engaged

any of our Coaches. “I really want the persons vending these  scandalous and scurrilous stories go to town with the facts available to them. We would like to see those facts. “We pay all our coaches what is due to them in salaries, allowances and bonuses. For salaries, they are paid less the appropriate Personal Income Tax and directly into their bank accounts. The said tax is then paid directly to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, and the records are there for anyone to verify.” He said the purpose of the rumours is to derail Nigeria’s 2014 FIFA World Cup plan after all other methods by the detractors have failed woefully. “Otherwise, why is the issue only just propping up less than 50 days to the opening match of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil?

I believe Liverpool will win league, says Moses

Nigeria qualifies for 2014 ITTF World Hopes Week, Challenge in Slovenia N opportunity for A Nigeria’s youngsters to rub shoulders with the

There has been so much rumour about events at the Glass House that the NFF yesterday felt it was necessary to answer to some of them. Yesterday, the NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu, was forced to come out against the allegation that officials of the Federation get shares from the national teams’ coaches’ salaries and allowances. He described the allegation as ‘totally senseless and baseless,’ while describing as idle souls the sources of the allegations. Amadu challenged the proponents of the allegations to bring out the facts. “I want to say without mincing words that nobody in the NFF, not among members of the executive committee, or the management, or staff, or the sub-Committees, have been sharing any money with

•‘We didn’t lie on team list’

in training session. The Nigeria four-man team was made up of Michael Obayanmi, Ibrahim Umar (male) and Rophia Jimoh and Habibat Olawale (female) and Coach Friday Abah accompanied them. Meanwhile, to acquaint countries about the staging of the 2014 Lagos World Tour, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) yesterday released the official prospectus for the tournament holding in June this year. The world table tennis ruling body has also uploaded the prospectus on its website for the 214 national associations. According to the ITTF Director of Competitions, Karl Jindrak, the Lagos World Tour, tagged Nigeria Open is one of the Challenge Series listed by ITTF on its 2014 calendar.

position now where if we win the rest of our games, we will win the Premier League. That’s not a bad position to be in, is it?” Moses won’t feature in Sunday’s potential title decider at Anfield and wants to go back to Stamford Bridge to fight for his place. “It will be strange for me, but they’re the rules,” he says. “I will train this week as normal.

My job is just to make sure I stay fit, because we have other big games coming up, which I want to be involved in. I just have to work hard and to help the team as best I can. “I’m a Chelsea player. I came to Liverpool to do a professional job for them but I’m going back to Chelsea at the end of the season to try and fight for my spot.” Meanwhile, Liverpool manag-

er, Brendan Rodgers, claims owners Fenway Sports Group are delighted with the progress being made at Anfield. Principal owner, John W Henry and chairman, Tom Werner, were both in attendance for the crucial victory over Manchester City 10 days ago, which strengthened the Reds’ grip at the top of the Premier League.

WAFU B Tourney: Eaglets to face Benin in semifinal The Golden Eaglets will meet Benin Republic in one of the semifinals of the ongoing WAFU B Tournament at the Stade Municipal in Togo today. The WAFU B tourney is an Under-17 competition for teams from t ECOWAS region. The Nigeria-Benin clash would kick off at 3:00 pm local time (4:00pm Nigerian time) to be followed immediately with

the game between hosts Togo and Mali in the other semi-final at the same venue. The winner of both clashes would meet in Sunday’s finale while losers contest for the third place match. The Golden Eaglets are the only team at the tournament with a 100 per cent record so far and Coach Emmanuel Amuneke remains upbeat that his team would continue with

their winning streak. “It is our objective to win all our matches here and gradually, we are working towards our target,” the former Barcelona’s winger said. “I am impressed about the performance of the boys so far and I keep reminding them that nobody is going to dash them victory as such, we would keep working hard to win this tournament.”

International Relations Manager Feyenoord Rotterdam, Gido Vader (right) explaining his team’s mission in Lagos during a media session to herald the youth football development partnership with the Shell Petroleum Development Company in Lagos, Nigeria…on Wednesday. With him are former Super Eagles’ star, Mike Obiku and Jan Gosgens. The team is in Lagos to train finalists in the NNPC/Shell Cup football championship for Nigerian secondary schools.

“We are not deterred. The NFF is fully focused on the task of preparing the Super Eagles adequately for a brilliant outing at the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. Nothing can distract us.” Also coming in to defend the Federation, Technical Committee Chairman, Chris Green, denied the report in some national dailies that the NFF and Coach Stephen Keshi lied to Nigerians about the provisional list of Super Eagles for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals. The report had claimed that Coach Keshi did not submit any list at Tuesday’s Technical Committee meeting and that the NFF and Keshi tried to manage ‘a bad case’. He said: “There was no bad case at all. We met with Coach Keshi and we discussed the programme of preparation for the World Cup, and everyone was happy. “It was wrong for anyone to say that NFF and Keshi lied to Nigerians. We are responsible citizens and diligent in what we do, and will never take the nation and its people for a ride. “The list of players is ready. As we said, Coach Keshi is making more consultations and the list will be released next week. We have not defaulted in any way, because the deadline for the submission of provisional list of 30 players to remains May 13.”

Yobo resumes training on Monday UPER Eagles’ Captain, Sreturn Joseph Yobo, is expected to to training on Monday, according to Norwich’s caretaker coach, Neil Adams.    He  will, however, miss the Premier League trip to Manchester United as he is undergoing further treatment on a calf injury. Adams confirmed yesterday lunchtime Yobo could return for the penultimate game at Chelsea to bolster the club’s survival push. “Joseph is still having treatment on his calf but we are hopeful of getting him back in on Monday. He still has a problem and he wont be ready for this weekend,” Adams said.  Yobo’s imminent return will be a big boost to Super Eagles’ gaffer, Stephen Keshi, who is reportedly worried about the health of some of the players he intends taking to Brazil for the World Cup.  Yobo’s form for Norwich since he made the switch from Turkey has been impressive and local watchers of the sport are convinced he would be a quality addition to the team.  A former Nigeria defender, Efetobore Sodje, is also convinced the former Everton defender will be a great addition to the team Keshi intends to take to Brazil.   


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Egwero, Ogunmola strengthen Team Nigeria’s relay team in Philadelphia By Gowon Akpodonor HE arrival of sprinter, Ogho-Oghene Egwero and quarter miller, Tobi Ogunmola in Team Nigeria’s athletics camp for the ongoing Penn Relay in Philadelphia, USA, is a big relief to the team, the Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, has said. Team Nigeria’s athletics team featured at the Mount SAC Relay last weekend in California with the women 4x400 relay team posting an impressive time of 3. 28 seconds, which currently ranks No. 3 in the world leading time. The men’s relay team could not do well at the Mount SAC Relays, but Nesiama, who is with the athletes in Philadelphia, told The Guardian yesterday that with the arrival of the duo of

T

Egwero and Ogunmola, there is hope the men would do well in the Penn Relay, which will end tomorrow. While Egwero is expected to add bite to the men’s 4x100m relay team, AFN is banking on Ogunmola to give the 4x400m quartet the needed push it requires to be among the world best. In March this year, the quartet of Ogunmola, Noah Akwu, Salihu Isah and Cristian Morton ran an impressive time of 3.02.95 seconds in the 4x400m at the World Championship in Sopot, Poland. While responding to an email from The Guardian yesterday, Nesiama wrote: “Things are shaping up here. The team did fairly well at Mt SAC being it’s first time competing together. The entire athletes were tested to know their physical and psychological strength at competition level. Hence, we weren’t expecting to achieve

our optimum performance at Mt SAC Relays. “However, with the team now strengthened by the addition of two experienced athletes, Egwero and Ogunmola, we can start seeing what their strength would look like. We will use the Penn Relays to assess that. “For the women, the 4x400m team at 3.28s is very strong and could stand against any opposition in the world at the moment. Their performance is currently ranked No. 3 in world leading ranking,” Nesiama added. Former Olympic and world champion, America’s Maurice Greene, is currently in-charge of Team Nigeria’s relay team. He was appointed recently by the AFN as its relay coordinator ahead the IAAF World relay in Bahamas, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the African Athletics Championship in Morocco later in the year.

Greensprings/Kanu Football Camp opens with 100 coaches HE third T Greensprings/Kanu Annual Football Camp kicks

Nigeria’s speed star, Ogho-Oghene Egwero competes in the 100m race at the last Commonwealth Games in India. He is expected to lead Team Nigeria’s 4x100m relay team to success in the on-going Penn Relay in Philadelphia, USA.

Teams jostle for points as DStv Basketball League second round begins By Adeyinka Adedipe HE second round of the T DStv Premier Basketball League will begin today, with the 16 teams in the Atlantic and Savannah conferences continuing the battles for the top prize. In the Atlantic Conference, Union Bank Basketball Club will take on Nigeria Customs in the opening game at the sports hall of the National Stadium. The Scott Nnaji-led Customs were beaten at home by visiting Oluyole Warriors last weekend and would be hoping for a favourable result today. However, they are up

against an inform Union Bank team that have shaken off their early season disappointment to beat leaders, Islanders last week and stay fourth on the log. Despite this change in fortune, Customs are no pushovers as they have also caused a few upsets in the first stanza. In one of the other games this weekend, Islanders of Lagos are expected to pick the two points at stake when they take on bottom-placed Police Baton. Islanders won five of their seven first round games and a victory in today’s game would cement their place on the top of the table.

However, the Islanders would have to be careful against a Police team that could prove difficult to beat on a good day. The Police Baton have been their own worst enemy this season, as they have allowed tactical indiscipline to hold them back. They have the penchant to lose concentration towards the end of the games, a trait, which Islanders could take advantage of to secure victory in today’s game.

off this weekend with a coaching clinic for 100 coaches, who will undergo intensive training at the oneweek clinic. The two-day training for coaches drawn from across the state  is in partnership with the Lagos State Football Association. It would be followed by the clinic to be handled by European coaches from England and Netherlands. According to the Director of Education, Harry McFaul, the training would help to update the knowledge of the coaches, as well as expose them to the latest techniques in the game. The training will hold on Saturday and Sunday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium,

Surulere. The outstanding coaches during the training session are expected to join the foreign coaches for the main clinic, which will commence on Monday April 28. The main camp  will open on Sunday April 27 when participants in the camp are expected to arrive.   The foreign coaches will also embark on a community sports clinic at Mosan Okunola Local Council

Sharks tops Premier League Glo hails refs ITLE sponsor of Glo T Premier League, Globacom, has commended Nigerian referees for the high level of professionalism they have exhibited so far

Remita Corporate Champions Cup

Etisalat meet Skye Bank, as veterans face Rufai’s challenge battle of Telecom Games A and Bankers Games champions will highlight the finals of the 2014 Remita Corporate Champions’ Cup this Sunday at the Campos Square Stadium, with a Peter Rufai challenge as the lead side attraction of the closing ceremony. Etisalat, the Nigeria Telecoms Games Champion, and Skye Bank, the Nigeria Bankers Games Champion are pitched in this battle of corporate football champi-

ons after stopping their respective opponents in the eight team tournament. To reach the finals, Etisalat fought back from 2-1 to beat Nestle Plc, 3-2 while Skye Bank were dragged into extra time to win 2-1 against PZ Cussons who had led 1-0 at interval. While Etisalat are determined to win the trophy at first try, Skye Bank are eager to exorcise the ghost of their loss to defending Champions Sovereign Trust Insurance (STI) last season.

Development Area of Lagos, where over 500 youths will have an intensive clinic, watched by thousands of members of their community. The European coaches will thereafter move to Osun State to conduct another clinic for youths in the state. According to Super Eagles former star, Nwankwo Kanu, the camp has become a resource centre for future football stars.

Some of the kids warming up during the 2013 edition of the Greensprings/Kanu Football Camp.

this season. The company applauded the match officials for their unbiased officiating and posited that the pre-season seminars organised for the match officials seemed to have impacted positively on their officiating. “It is gratifying that our referees have performed creditably well so far as shown by the level of decisions taken on the pitch,” Globacom said in a statement in Lagos on yesterday. “It is our hope that the impressive record will be sustained, not only to ensure that the Glo League is smooth sailing till the end of the season, but also to showcase the potentials of Nigerian referees which will ultimately lead to international recognition and increased participation at international competitions,” the statement added. “If we have exported some of the best players abroad, we should be able to do the same thing with the referees in due course,” the statement said.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Nnamdi Ojiego HE appointment and inauguration of Chief T Eze Duruiheoma, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), as the chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), by President Goodluck Jonathan could be said to be timely. The appointment became necessary to avoid an unnecessary lapse between the new chairman and his predecessor, Eze Festus Odimegwu who resigned his appointment recently; and to allow the commission enough time to prepare for a successful and credible census in 2016. Nigerians from all walks of life are looking forward to a credible headcount come 2016 as previous exercises have been arguably marred with irregularities. The immediate past chairman of the commission, Odumegwu was quoted as saying that the entire census conducted in the country was fraudulent. Already, we have a case where the Census Tribunal recently ruled that 20 local government areas in Lagos were not properly counted in the 2006 exercise, thereby giving credence to Odimegwu’s assertions. However, the issue of whether previous census figures were manipulated, fraudulent or not credible should not be part of Duruiheoma’s job.  His job as stipulated by the laws of the Federation and its statutory powers is to collect, collate, analyse and disseminate population and demographic data in the country. This simply means to conduct a credible census and announce the results without anyone tampering with any of the processes. Therefore, as Duruiheoma takes over the mantle of leadership at the NPC, it will be fair to remind him of the tasks and challenges ahead to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessors. To start with, he should quickly identify whether there are laws that need to be amended as noted by Odimegwu. This is the hour to

Furthermore, he should avoid occasions and events designed to derail and damage the credibility of the 2016 census exercise. Likewise, the NPC boss should be watchful of his spokespersons, aides, commissioners and representatives to avoid situations where they may make press statements or comments that will affect the credibility of the NPC or the 2016 exercise. Please send reactions and feedback for YOUTH SPEAK to: To achieve a successful headcount, he should editorial@risenetworks.org and 07067976667- SMS ONLY take advantage of the current rapid technological advancement to conduct a free, fair and credible census for the country. Most of his predecessors didn’t have this advantage. Nigeria needs a credible and well organised census. So preparations should start now, not tomorrow.   Everyone needs to be counted from that street hawker in Ajegunle to those studious students in hostels faraway in the bushes of university towns.   More attention should be focused to count those in the rectify any flaws in the system, not in 2015 creeks, coastal areas, farms and deserts. or 2016. There should be no falsification of figures or The new chairman should be wary of the intentional attempt not to creditably count already charged political atmosphere due some areas because of exaggerated, political to fair and unfair intrigues being deployed or religious sentiments that may benefit the by certain elements of the political class. interest of only a few individuals. No nation Therefore, he should avoid having politican progress without a credible census data. cians, or anyone whose godfather is a Nigeria needs a credible, free and fair census politician, to be among his team. data based on equity and justice. Politicians are desperate and they can To achieve this, all hands must be on deck. plant loyalists in commission to fight it Major stakeholders such as the National from within or issue statements to discredOrientation Agency, the Media and the civil it it.  We have witnessed it in other Federal society groups among others should partner Government ministries and institutions; with the NPC to create awareness and educate at present, everything is being politicised the populace on the essence of the exercise against national interest. This, if allowed in and why every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, the commission, may spell doom for the religion or social status must take part in the unity, future and progress of the nation. forthcoming census. Duruiheoma should also understand that Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Finally, it is a patriotic act of reminder for the commission does not need the support Chief Eze Duruiheoma Duruiheoma to see himself as a patriot, techof any godfather from the South, West, East nocrat and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. or Northern parts of the country to suc- portive than the Federal Government and • Nnamdi Ojiego, a journalist and social comceed; as no godfather will be more sup- the Nigerian masses. mentator, wrote from Lagos.

2016 census and tasks before the new NPC boss

A dysfunctional educational system By Chiedu Uche Okoye AS our educational system not gone to the H dogs? Who doesn’t know that many university graduates cannot write job application letters? It is that bad. So, the declaration of an emergency in our education sector is long overdue. But, sadly, our political leaders are behaving in a way that tends to suggest that they are not aware that functional educational system is critical to our national development. There is a nexus between a functional educational system and national development. Only people with skills and knowledge can drive our developmental initiatives. A good educational system imbues those that pass through it with nationalistic fervor and a sense of patriotism. A patriotic person puts the interests of his nation first while serving his country. Educated and well behaved citizens can help in no small ways to accelerate their country’s national development. So, we need to call the government’s attention to the issues troubling our educational system. There is no gain-saying the fact that our educational systems at different levels are dysfunctional. Are those that impart knowledge to our pupils in primary schools knowledgeable and morally upright? Many teachers in governmentowned primary schools across the country are illiterate. These teachers secured their teaching employments either by offering bribes to the employers or through cronyism. The inability of a teacher in Edo State to read a court affidavit she had sworn illustrates graphically the rot in our educational system. The incident happened when Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State was inspecting schools in the state. It was widely

reported in the media, then. It is an irrefutable fact that many teachers who were recruited into our public primary schools were not subjected to standard oral and written tests before their recruitment. It is improvident, injudicious and wicked for us to put our children in the care of academic dwarfs and moral midgets. Primary education is pivotal to children’s educational progress. Children or pupils build on the knowledge they acquired in primary schools as they go further in their academic pursuits. What obtains at the primary school level replicates itself at the post-primary school level. That is why parents, even seemingly educated ones, hire surrogate and mercenary students to write such examinations as

SSSCE and NECO for their children. The students cannot pass these examinations by themselves as they’re not properly taught by their half-baked teachers. Is this immoral act of aiding and abetting examination malpractice being perpetrated by parents for the benefits of their children not akin to socialising and initiating our young ones into a culture of corruption? Not surprising, the cancer of corruption has afflicted our body politic. Our universities, which are microcosms of our society, are riddled with unconscionable corrupt deeds, too. Some unscrupulous lecturers trade grades for sexual gratification or money. And, those students who are not mentally and psychologically prepared for the riguors of university education join cult-

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

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groups and brow-beat their lecturers with their memberships of the cult-groups into awarding them high grades in their courses. The moral decadence that characterizes our tertiary institutions is a reflection of the moral malaise that has afflicted our country. More so, researches are seldom carried out by university teachers now. They moonlight to earn more money, instead. Consequently, some lecturers dictate 20-year-old notes to their students. Yet, universities ought to be the bastion of learning and researches. Lecturers should be conducting or carrying out researches in their fields of specialisation. But, the reverse obtains in most schools. Can we achieve sustainable national development when our schools are in disarray? Now, industrial action has become a component of our university school system. Lecturers do down tools on the grounds that the Federal Government has reneged on their agreements. Industrial action paralyses academic activities for which universities are set up. No responsible government fails to meet its financial obligations to the universities, knowing that education is the cornerstone of national development. But, does the Federal Government’s budgetary allocation for education meet UNO’s stipulation? Are our universities adequately funded so as to ensure that they function optimally? If our leaders want to make Nigeria one of the top 20 best economies in 2020, they should tackle the issues of our education holistically and sincerely. A functional educational system is the key to sustainable national growth. • Chiedu Okoye, a poet, lives at Uruowulu Obosi, Anambra State. (08062220654)


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