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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,886

www.ngrguardiannews.com

N150

Senate passes new pensions law • Imposes 10-year jail term for culprits • Rights commission to probe judge From Lemmy Ughegbe, Bridget Chiedu Onochie and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja FTER several failed atA tempts, the Senate yesterday passed the Pensions Reform Act. The new pensions law, among other things, sought to establish a uniform set of rules, regulations and standards for the administration and payments of retirement benefits. After thorough consideration of the report of its Committee on Establishment and Public Service, the Senate also approved a 10-year jail term as sanction for embezzlement or misappropriation of pension funds. The new legislation, which is titled “An Act to Repeal the Pensions Reform Act 2004 and Enact the Pensions Re-

Former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili (left); Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and his Lagos counterpart, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), during the opening session of the seventh Lagos Economic Summit (EHINGBETI 2014) with the theme: Powering the Lagos Economy: Real Opportunities, Endless Possibilities’’ in Lagos… yesterday. (STORY ON PAGE 15)

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Panic in Nigeria as Ebola virus spreads across West Africa By Chukwuma Muanya (with agency report) HERE is palpable fear among Nigerians as the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) spreads across West Africa with 137 cases and 86 deaths since January. Indeed, with confirmed cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia

T

and now Mali, who are Nigeria’s neighbours, Western Africa, is bracing against an unprecedented outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. The Guardianinvestigation revealed that most Nigerians fear that since there is no known cure or vaccine against the extremely infectious and deadly disease and

• Death toll rises to 86 with a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent, an outbreak in the country would be very devastating. The panic by Nigerians is validated by reports by the nongovernmental organisation,

Doctors Without Borders (MSF), that although death tolls in the past have been higher than in Guinea so far, such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2001 and Uganda the year before, cases

this time have been found far apart, not geographically concentrated. An epidemiologist with MSF, in Guinea, Dr. Michel Van Herp, said: “We are facing a scale that has never been seen before, looking at the number of cases in different areas.” Van Herp said: “We are facing

the most aggressive strain of Ebola, the Zaire strain. It kills more than nine out of 10 people infected.” According to a report published on Sunday by The Independent UK, when everyone is an apparent threat, a potential carrier of the deadly Ebola CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


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Senate imposes jail term for pensions thieves CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 form Act 2013 to make provision for contributory pensions scheme, is now awaiting concurrence by the House of Representatives. The law also seeks to ensure that every person who works in either the public service of the federation, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), states and local councils or the private sector, receives his retirement benefits as and when due. It will also “assist improvident individuals by ensuring that they save in order to cater for their livelihood during old age. “In the private sector, the scheme shall apply to employees who are in the employment of an organisation in which there are 15 or more employees.” The new law, among other things, also stipulates that whoever attempts to misappropriate the fund, on conviction, will be liable to the same punishment as it is prescribed for the full offence in the act; imposes N10 million fine on any pensions fund administrator which failed to meet the obligations of the contributors while each of the directors of the firm will pay N5 million each as fines and allows all monies received as penalty by the Pensions Commission to be paid into the Pensions Protection Fund which would have been established under Section 82 of the Act. In addition to payment of fines and serving the required jail terms, anyone who misappropriates pensions fund shall forfeit to the Federal Government any property, asset or fund with accrued interest on the stolen money. “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the commission may, in addition to the penalties stipulated under this Act, impose additional sanctions on the board, any director, management, manager or officer of a pensions fund administrator or pensions fund custodian that violates any of the provisions of this Act”, the new law stipulates. Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Aloysius Etok, while addressing journalists after the session, stated that those who are standing trial for embezzlement of pensions fund

would be tried under the extant law pending presidential assent to the new law. He also noted that under the new bill, a director-general of the Pensions Commission (PENCOM) must have a 15-year post-qualification experience in the field. When the committee’s report got to the chamber on the first day of presentation of the report, the committee’s recommendation of a fit and proper person was rejected and 15 years of post-qualification was adopted. “Having realised that we have slightly below 10 years professional pensions administration experience possessed by anybody in this country, we decided that if somebody must have had five years somewhere else and then have additional 10 years cognate experience in professional pensions management, that would be a fit and proper person to serve as DG. So, the current situation as contained and accepted is 15 years post-qualification experience for the post of DG, PENCOM”, Etok said. Etok noted that the problem with PENCOM management in Nigeria has been that administrators have failed to provide genuine and credible data about themselves. “The problem which PENCOM managers have continuously explained to us is that there are people who have failed to provide genuine and credible data on themselves, including their Pensions Fund Administrators (PFAs). “But with the enactment and passage of this Bill today and its expected assent by the President, all the penalties and the prescriptions contained in this Act would be followed strictly by the various agencies. “We have penalties ranging from 10 years imprisonment. For even failing to give proper information, you have to pay N500,000 daily by any agency. “And if you embezzle pension funds now, you will pay noting less than three times the amount of funds you embezzled. That is how serious this Bill has treated pension funds. If you embezzle N10,000, you are bound to pay a minimum of N30,000 and in some circumstances,

the presiding judge has the right to make you refund and even go to prison”, Etok noted. Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) yesterday said it would investigate a Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, over his purported controversial handling of a bail granted to a former Director of Pensions Account in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), Dr. Sani Teidi Shaibu. Speaking at Kuje Prison during the flag-off of the nationwide audit of prisons and other detention facilities, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Ben Angwe, said the commission would study the case file in the wake of allegations of highhandedness and corruption raised against the presiding Judge by the embattled former director. Specifically, the investigation is to establish whether the trial judge has not violated certain provisions of the Code of Conduct for judicial officers in Nigeria by his handling of the case and whether he is still a fit and proper person to occupy his exalted seat in the event a case of judicial misconduct is established against him. Shaibu, who was among the inmates that spoke to the commission, gave a graphic account of his ordeal in the hands of Justice Adeniyi whom he accused of deliberately confining him to prison. He is facing a criminal trial before Justice Ademola alongside a former member of staff of Oceanic Bank, Mr. Udusegbe Omoefe Eric, and a few other corporate persons. In the 22-count charge slammed on them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), they were accused of obtaining money by false pretence, conspiracy to commit fraud and concealing the illicit origin of stolen pension funds. Shaibu told the commission that whereas Justice Bello granted him a N10 million bail with one surety in like sum totalling N20 million when he was first arraigned over the same offence, Justice Ademola, on his own part, granted him bail in the sum of N500 million with two sureties in like sum, totalling N1.5 billion

only to later increased it to N1 billion after refusing his application for a variation of the bail conditions. He also told the commission that his case had been adjourned sine dine (indefinitely) by the trial Judge and that he had been in prison custody for 11 months after perfecting his bail conditions. It was on the basis of this that the commission said it was going to investigate the case by going through the case file to verify the claim. Another inmate that spoke to the commission was a convict, Mr. Ofem Sankara, who called for expeditious trial of Awaiting Trial Inmates (ATIs), particularly those standing trial before the suspended Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Abubakar Talba. He noted that some of the inmates have spent more than 10 years in prison custody without trial. Sankara also requested the assistance of the Executive Secretary of the NHRC to provide the prison with industrial sewing machines so as to develop their skills and keep them busy. His request was promptly granted by the Executive Secretary who promised to personally supply the machines. Also, Mr. Charles Okah who is being kept in solitary cell, decried the absence of basic facilities such as water, light and lack of good ventilation. Angwe and his team who were conducted round the prison by the Deputy Comptroller of Prisons in-charge of Kuje, Mr. Musa Tanko, assured the inmates that their problems would be addressed to make their stay in the prison profitable and in conformity with the minimum international standards. He said the aim of the exercise was to address the issues of prison congestion, infrastructure decay, and lack of access to justice, among others. Prof. Angwe further explained that Section 6 (e) of the NHRC Amendment Act 2010 empowers the commission to visit prisons and other places of detention to ascertain conditions therein and make appropriate recommendations to relevant authorities.

Death toll hits 86 as Ebola virus spreads across W’Africa CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 virus, panic inevitably rises. Joe Krishany wrote: “As rumours spread that Ebola could be caught by breathing the same air as the victims, that fear turned into violence. “Since the outbreak of the deadly strain of Zaire Ebola in Guinea in February, about 90 people have died as the disease has spread to neighbouring Sierra Leone, Liberia and Mali. The outbreak has sent shock waves through communities who know little of the disease or how it is transmitted. The cases in Mali have added to fears that it is spreading through West Africa.” A spokesman for MSF said that a treatment centre where patients were isolated in Macenta, 265 miles southeast of Guinea’s capital, Conakry, had come under attack from an “angry crowd” who accused health workers of bringing the disease to the town, where at least 14 people have died from Ebola.

MSF spokesman Sam Taylor said: “We have evacuated all our members of staff and closed the treatment centre. We’re working with the authorities to try and resolve this problem as quickly as possible so we can start treating people again.” He later told Bloomberg: “We fully understand that the outbreak of Ebola is alarming for the local population, but it is essential in the fight against the disease that patients remain in the treatment centre.” Meanwhile, trust in the authorities in Conakry reached low ebb on Friday, with many residents blaming the government for not immediately quarantining an individual who was said to have carried the virus to the capital from the remote and heavily-forested south, where the bulk of the cases are concentrated. A World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesman said 16 cases have been reported in Conakry, of which five people have died. Identified in 1976 in former

Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, this is the first time Ebola has struck in Guinea. It is also thought to have spread to Liberia, Sierra Leona and Mali. The natural host of this virus is thought to be essentially bats and other animals. Health officials have told people not to eat wild meat. Infected humans can pass the virus on through sex and direct contact with blood, mucus and other bodily fluids. Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe said: “We think the big bats who eat fruit are the main carriers, but we still have to confirm this. The only way to fight Ebola is by practising good hygiene and interrupting the train of transmission, meaning detect the disease rapidly - the people who are already infected - and isolate them.” Ebola goes from sore throat to fever, muscle pain, headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, organ failure and blood loss. Death can take from days to weeks.

Infectious Disease physician at WHO, who provides clinical care to Ebola patients in the Guinean capital, Conakry, Dr. Tom Fletcher, said: “Today’s discharge of patients shows that Ebola is not always fatal. Good, early supportive care such as hydration, nutrition and appropriate medication can have a positive impact. “…Health workers are often among the victims in the early stage of the outbreak, as they are in direct contact with infected persons. Helping them to protect themselves and also ensuring appropriate treatment for patients are key to providing equity of access to life-saving interventions”, says Dr. Fletcher. Beside clinical management, WHO, the Ministry of Health and their partners continue to implement measures to respond to the outbreak, including contact tracing, disease surveillance, laboratory work, logistics, as well as information-sharing and communication are all essential elements of the response.


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NEWS Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Agency allays fear over Abuja ‘special rainbow’ By Chukwuma Muanya (Lagos) and Emeka Anuforo (Abuja) HE National Space ReT search Development Agency (NASRDA) has allayed fears by some Abuja residents that the unusual celestial display witnessed in the city yesterday may be a sign of the end time. The Agency’s Director of Communications, Felix Alle, told The Guardian yesterday that the phenomenon is not an eclipse of the Sun but rather a ‘special rainbow’ that is heralding the rainy season. Indeed, the capital city, which had witnessed months of hot weather, had a sudden bout of rainfall on Monday night. By Tuesday morning, residents woke to see a special atmospheric feature. An ash-like patch formed

something like a circle around the sky, with flashes of rainbow around. The scenario, which lasted for a little while, was difficult to explain, as many residents stole occasional glances at the scorching sun, while battling to get better view. Alle told The Guardian that though the scenario was spectacular, it was nothing to give any body fears. He said: “ It is a special rainbow not an eclipse but far from the sun. It is a special form of rainbow and may have come because of the change in weather. “It also indicates the movement from dry to rainy season, and the volume of dust in the air from this part of Nigeria. Also, we are closer to the equator in this part of the country.”

According to bic.org, an international education service: “The light that we see coming from the sun or an electric light bulb appears to be clear and white. But it is really made up of bands or waves of colours. If we “bend” light through a round or angled surface we can break up the white beam into its colours. You can see this happen in soap bubbles, a diamond or other clear stones cut into triangular shapes or in a cut glass ornament or crystal. “The rainbow is made when the light from the sun enters the drops of falling water and is reflected back to us from the other side of the water drop. There are seven colours, which combine to make white light. These colours are called the Spectrum. We have already met six of these

From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja FORMER Aviation MinisA ter and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress

colours when we talked about the three prime colours and the colours that came between them when we mixed them. Do you remember - red orange - yellow -green - blue – purple? In the Spectrum, purple is

called “violet” and the seventh colour is a dark blue, which comes between the light blue and the violet. It is called indigo. So the rainbow, or Spectrum, is made up of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and vio-

EFCC re-arraigns oil marketers over alleged N789.6m fraud From Bertram Nwannekanma, Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo (Lagos) and Abosede Musari (Abuja) HE Economic and Financial T Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned three oil marketers: Adamu Maula, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah, before a Lagos High Court, on an alleged N789.6 million fuel subsidy fraud. Meanwhile, the EFCC has arraigned a traditional ruler, Nze Obi IV, Cornelius Nwoga, before Justice V. Agishi of the Federal High Court, Enugu, Enugu State, for allegedly perpetrating a N12 million fraud. In a related development, Justice Atinuke Ipaye of a Lagos

• Arraigns monarch • Court hears Ajudua’s bail plea May 9 High Court sitting in Ikeja will on May 9, 2014, hear application filed by alleged fraudster, Mr. Fred Ajudua, asking it for an order permitting his extrajudicial statement to be taken. The defendants were arraigned alongside their companies - Downstream Energy Sources Ltd. and Rocky Energy Ltd, on a 26-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by pretences, forgery and uttering. They were earlier arraigned on February 26, 2013, on an eight-count charge of which they pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N50 million each, with two sureties in like sum. According to the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the defendants allegedly committed the offences between March 2011 and January 2012 in Lagos. He further alleged that they fraudulently obtained N789.6 million from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 14.2 million litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) from Europe to Nigeria. The prosecutor also accused

them of forging documents, including bill of lading, certificate of quantity, certificate of origin and cargo manifest, which they allegedly used in facilitating the fraud. Jacobs said their offences contravened Section 1 (sub-sections 1,2,3) and Section 8 of the Advanced-Fee-Fraud and other related offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2006. According to him, it also contravened Sections 363 and 364 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2003. The defendants again pleaded not guilty to the charges when it was read to them yesterday. The judge ordered that they should continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted them by the court and adjourned till June 10 for trial. The EFCC stated yesterday that the monarch was arraigned on an eight-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money by pretence. The accused was alleged to have conspired with a syndicate to defraud one Okey Mar-

Fani-Kayode, at Aso Rock, declines comments

cel of the sum of N12.4 million by falsely presenting himself as a staff of Agip Oil Company and awarding a contract to construct five boreholes to Okey Marcel with the pretense that Agip Oil Company was awarding contracts for Aggah Town, Egbema, Rivers State. Other members of the syndicate (now at large) include Njoku Odili Eze, Ikechukwu Obi, Chinasa Osadebe and one Donatus Azubike alias Engineer Casmir (already convicted). The accused person pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Based on the plea of the accused, prosecuting counsel, Innocent Mbachie, asked the court to fix a date for the trial and to remand the accused in prison custody. Attempt by the defence counsel, Sunny Onyike, to move the motion for bail for his client, was opposed by prosecuting counsel on the ground that he had just been served by the court and so, would need time to respond to it”. Justice Agishi adjourned the matter to April 14, 2014, for hearing on the bail application while the accused person was remanded in prison custody. Ajudua is standing trial for allegedly defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, of about N1billion. When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, the defendant counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, said he had filed two applications before the court.

Ojo said: “The two applications dated March 31, 2014, are for bail and an order permitting the defendant’s extra-judicial statement to be taken by the complainant”. He told court that the defendant’s bail application had been served on the EFCC. In the application, Ojo urged the court to grant Ajudua bail on liberal terms, adding that there was overwhelming medical evidence that he was suffering from a life-threatening ailment. He said: “The defendant (Ajudua) is a kidney failure patient and his only surviving kidney is about to collapse. “The medical facility at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, where his health is seriously failing, cannot adequately meet his medical needs.” According to him, because of the peculiar and complicated nature of Ajudua’s ailment, he requires a specialist with Hitech medical equipment to manage his health effectively. Ojo said the defendant would abide with the terms of the bail and would not tamper with the prosecution witnesses. He also told the court that the defendant had filed another application asking for the inclusion of his extra-judicial statement in the proof of evidence. Responding, the EFCC counsel, Mr. Seidu Atteh, said he needed time to file replies to both applications, adding that they were served a few days ago. Atteh, therefore, urged the court to grant him adjournment to enable him respond to the application. The judge granted his request and adjourned the matter till May 9 for hearing of the applications.

(APC), Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday met with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa. The former minister, who fielded questions from State House Correspondents, declined comments on the object of his discussion with Jonathan in a meeting, which lasted for more than one hour. He, however, justified his visit to the seat of power, saying that as a Nigerian, he was entitled to come to the seat of power and offer his contributions to the growth of the country. Asked why he had come to the Villa, Fani-Kayode, who had been a fierce critic of Jonathan’s administration and its policies, said: “This is a Presidential Villa, the President is a President of Nigeria every single person in this country that is a Nigerian is entitled to come here from time to time, when the doors are open, to pay respect. I have done that today and I’m delighted to be here.” Asked why he referred to the Presidency as ‘wonderful people’, Fani-Kayode said: “I have always believed that every Nigerian regardless of the side of the political divide they belong, and as a Nigerian myself, I have believed that we disagree on an issue from time to time. The most important thing is for us to be able to resolve these issues, come together to move this country forward. “And I think every rightthinking responsible person should be able to do that. They should also be able to come to the villa from time to time and see how they can help to move the country forward.” He, however, refused to go into the nitty-gritty of his discussions with the President, saying, “I won’t go into that.” The former minister also parried questions on his alleged move to dump the APC. While not denying the speculation, he said: “The step that I will take will be made known to Nigerians at the right time.”

15 killed in Taraba From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo ORE than 15 persons M have been reportedly killed and scores of others injured in Jibu Village of Wukari Local Council of Taraba State yesterday in a clash between ethnic groups domiciling in the area. Twenty houses and farmlands, as well as domestic animals, were said to have been destroyed. A source, who witnessed the upheaval, said it was between the Jukun and the Fulani since the Tiv farmers that had problems with the herdsmen, have fled to Benue State. A resident of the community, who spoke with The Guardian on telephone, said: “The village, as I am talking to you right now, is on fire. Many of the houses have been brought down completely”.


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News LUTH doctors protest hike in fees, begin warning strike

NLC cautions over GDP rating

By Chukwuma Muanya

From Collins Olayinka, Abuja

EDICAL doctors in the M employ of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-

word of caution over A the rating of Nigeria as the largest economy in

Araba, led by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARDs, began a three-day warning strike yesterday with a coordinated protest against the hike in fees charged by the hospital. The other grievances included the non-implementation of new salary structure, draconian laws introduced for new resident doctors and non-implementation of skipping for Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS). The situation was confirmed to The Guardian by the newly elected President of ARD, LUTH branch, Dr. Olubunmi Omojowolo. The doctors threatened to totally shut down the hospital after the warning strike if their demands were not addressed. One of them, preferring anonymity, told The Guardian that for the past two years, they have been having problems with the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Akin Osibogun, adding: “Just last month, the medical fees were increased by over 100 per cent in most cases. “Under the new regime, any operation requiring anaesthesia costs N135,000 and above, patients on emergency are to be rejected if their relatives are not able to make down payment, which was not the case before now. “The hospital has not employed resident doctors for two years now; they just released employment letter for some newly employed resident doctors but the conditions are draconian.

Govt redeploys five perm secs From Anthony Otaru, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan yesterday approved the deployment of five permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service. In a statement in Abuja, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Buka Goni Aji, said that Mr. Linus Awute has been moved from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (General Services Office) to the Ministry of Health, while Mallam Mohammed B. Bukar leaves the Special Duties department of the same office to the General Services Office. Similarly, Mrs. Winifred OyoIta of the Ministry of Special Duties and InterGovernmental Affairs is to take charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology while Mrs. Rabi S. Jimeta moves from the Ministry of Science and Technology to the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs. Mrs. Taiye Haru of the Ministry of Environment will now resume at the Ministry of Special Duties and InterGovernmental Affairs. The Head of Civil Service of the Federation also directed that all handing and taking over should be completed on or before next Wednesday.

Illegal structures being cleared around Enerhen Junction, Warri, Delta State as the special sanitation team set up by the state government began its extra-ordinary one week clean-up of Warri and environs.

Africa has come from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). A statement signed by the Acting President of Congress, Promise Adewusi in Abuja yesterday said as cheery as the news may sound, it refused to be swayed by the logics advanced for the rating. Labour declared that the rating would have been worthy of celebration if the figure rolled out to support the upgrading relate directly to the improved standard of living of Nigerians. “Living conditions in the past couple of years have been progressively nose-diving and pathetic,” he said. Labour pointed out that economic growth without jobs and food on the table means nothing in realty.

Reps to summon Gusau, IGP over Zamfara massacre From Adamu Abuh, Bridget Chiedu Onochie and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja)

• Mark urges end to killings • Group alleges plot to wipe out Fulani

ORRIED by the spate of W lawlessness and impunity in the polity, members of

al importance moved by Ibrahim Shehu Gusau (PDP, Zamfara) was adopted at the plenary. While leading debate on the motion, the lawmaker noted that on April 3, 2014 over 30 people were ambushed and killed in the towns of YarTsaba and Birnin-Tsaba in Zurmi local council, adding that on April 5, over 200 innocent citizens were mercilessly killed in Yar-Galadima village by suspected Fulani herdsmen. Gusau particularly claimed that the gunmen, in their hundreds, operated freely for about four hours, shooting at children, traders, vigilante members, community leaders and clerics and that within a space of 72 hours, 30 people were killed in Zurmi local council. Expressing concern that the residents of many villages in the affected areas now live in persistent fear of being attacked and many have fled their homes as a result of insecurity, he claimed that “The Fulani herdsmen have gradually become more daring, well organized and wellarmed that no small units of security personnel can repel their attacks when they strike. “These groups of attackers are becoming more coordinated and if not quickly terminated can turn into yet another organised terror group which can worsen the security challenges in the country. “The above gruesome statistics were for Zamfara State

the House of Representatives have resolved to summon the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Aliyu Gusau, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, to appear before the Committee on National Security to shed light on the recent killing of over 200 people in Maru and Zurmi local councils of Zamfara State. In a related development, some Fulani, under the aegis of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, have alleged a subterranean plot to send them packing out of Nigeria. But The Guardian has learnt that in Southern part of Kaduna State, some of the leaders yesterday, signed a sixpage document resolving to end about 14 years of hostilities, especially between the Hausa-Fulani and other ethnic communities in that area. Meanwhile, the Senate President, David Mark, has urged Nigerians to honour him on his 66th birthday by ensuring that needless and senseless killings going on in some parts of the country is brought to an end. The House of Representatives also directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to immediately deliver relief materials to those affected in the Zamfara mayhem. The resolution to invite Gusau and Abubakar was taken after a motion under the matters of urgent nation-

alone. Similar incidents have been recurring in Benue and Nasarawa states where several people were killed.” The Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Nasarawa, Alhaji Mohammed Hussain, lamented the alleged recent massacre of their fellow Fulani allegedly by troops in Rugar Ardo Sodangi in Keana, Nasarawa State. Hussain, who addressed reporters at the NUJ Abuja chapter secretariat yesterday claimed that some military personnel stormed some communities in a convoy of over 10 vehicles, including armoured tanks and raided the residents of Rugar Ardo Sodangi. His words: “The soldiers met a group of our people who were there on a condolence visit and most of them were old men between 60 and 80 years and opened fire on them, killing most of them and maiming many others. Even the women were not spared as most of them were left with broken arms and limbs. Instead of shooting the women, the soldiers just grabbed them by the arm and then twisted and broke their arms and left them there writhing in pain. “Let me use this opportunity to please invite the media to visit these communities and the hospitals where these women are receiving treatment to see for themselves the atrocities visited on our people for simply being Fulani. One of the women was

heavily pregnant, yet the soldiers refused to spare her. She was manhandled and her arm broken. The raided hamlet is now full of widows and orphans. “This is simply genocide and we cannot allow this one to be swept under the carpet. We are aware there is an ongoing propaganda against the Fulani by ascribing to us crimes we neither committed nor know anything about. Our people are in the bush tendering to our cattle and it is in our best interest for peace to reign anywhere we are. Thousands of our youths have been attacked and killed; their cattle either stolen or killed. We came here with numerous pictures of the heinous crimes perpetrated against us and our cattle.” Mark said the only birthday gift acceptable to him would be a country where peace and tranquility reigns. “Somebody asked me this morning what I would like for my birthday gift and I told him it is a complete end to this needless and senseless deaths that we experience in the country today that I want. “If there is any birthday gift that I would want, it is for us to end this needless and senseless deaths that we have in the country today. “We wake every day and we hear of people being killed. First it was a single unit, two, three people died, then, tens and now hundreds. I don’t want it to go beyond this and I hope and pray that all Nigerians will ensure that we bring this needless deaths to an end,” Mark said. Mark was reacting to

encomium from his colleagues who took time to speak on his contributions to the development of democracy in the country. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, coming under the Senate Standing Order 42 and 52 on his part, prayed his colleagues to suspend other items on the Order Paper temporarily to wish the Senate President a happy birthday. Ekweremadu stated that Mark’s life has benefited the nation greatly and that he is one of the few Nigerians who have played very active roles in the nation’s political life both under the military and under democracy. He said: “I have often liken him to the biblical Paul. You recall that Paul was on the other side of faith and once he got converted on his way to Damascus. He became not just one of the greatest defenders of the faith but the most fervent, prolific and travel preacher of the gospel. “The distinguished Senate President has made his mark as a soldier of democracy even suffering persecution and going into exile at a time in defence of democracy. Today, he is a preacher and ardent promoter of democratic values. He is a practicing democrat per excellence”, he said. It was gathered that the reconciliation move in southern Kaduna was at the instance of the committee set up by the InspectorGeneral of Police to resolve intermittent clashes between herdsmen and various communities nationwide.


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NEWS Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Orji defends delay in appointment of Abia CJ From Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia ITING the need to comply C with the provisions of the Nigerian constitution, Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji has explained why it took it over three years to appoint a substantive Chief Judge (CJ) for the state. Five justices (more of females) in the state judiciary had been appointed state CJ at different times in acting capacity until Monday April 7, 2014 that a substantive CJ in the person of Justice Nnenna Chioma Oti  was sworn into office as the first state female substantive CJ after passing through due

process involving the State Judicial Service Commission, the governor, National Judicial Council and the state House of Assembly. Speaking after the oath of office was administered on the new CJ by the state Solicitor General, Mr. Enyinnaya Okezie, along with two newly appointed state justices at Michael Okpara Auditorium Monday evening, Governor Orji attributed the delay in appointing a state substantive CJ to succeed retired Justice Imo, to the need to follow due process as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria. He, however, said that serving justices of the state judiciary were appointed to act as

CJs during the period that due process of appointing a substantive CJ lasted. The governor also revealed that while the selection of a substantive CJ was in progress, he was being called upon by people of the state urging him to appoint a new CJ, adding that the callers “did not seemingly know what were involved in the appointment of a state CJ,” which appointment he explained, is not within his sole capacity as state governor. According to the governor, “the state Judicial Commission in accordance with the provision of 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria nominated and sent Jus-

tice Oti’s (the new CJ) name to the Nigeria Judicial Commission (NJC). After approval by the NJC, her name was sent to the state House of Assembly for approval before her swearing in as the new CJ today.” He charged the new CJ to strengthen and solidify the judicial system in the state towards effecting quicker dispensation of justice. The other two new justices sworn in along with the new CJ were Justices Innocent Ahunanya Nwabuogu and Eleazar Onyekachi Enwereji, who the governor counseled to abide by their oaths of office. He remarked that though Abia judicial officers performances were commendable,

there was still need for them to do better so that when the need arises for higher appointments in the national judiciary, they would be considered and elevated. The governor decried that justices of the state judiciary were excluded in the recent upgrade/elevation of some states justices to the Court of Appeal. On behalf of herself and the two new justices, the new CJ (Justice Oti), pledged to abide by their oaths of office even as she indicated that observed anomalies in the state judiciary will be addressed and commended the governor for already taking steps to transform the system especially infrastructure wise.

man in the state, Dr. Obitade Obimakinde, who spoke with the newsmen on the lingering crisis, said his colleagues at the general hospitals and primary health centres, have begun a three-day warning strike commencing from 12 midnight on Monday before the injunction was served. Obimakinde, who, however, said other colleagues from the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital and private

sector have joined in sympathies, added that the union would comply with the order as law-abiding citizens and responsible association. “He said, “we are law abiding citizens, who believes in the rule of law. Though, we have commenced on the strike before the injunction was brought to us. We are going to call a congress today (Tuesday) where decision will be taken on the matter.”

Court stops Ekiti doctors’ strike From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti HE National Industrial T Court sitting in Abuja on Monday gave an order restraining the Ekiti State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) from going ahead with its planned strike action. The President of the Court, Justice B.A. Adejumo, who gave the interim injunction restraining the doctors, said the government and the generality of the people of the state may suffer irreparable loss in terms of death that may arise from non attendant of medical doctors to their health needs if they go ahead with their strike action. The state government has dragged the NMA to the in-

dustrial court seeking an order of interim injunction restraining the association and its membership from embarking on any strike or industrial action pending the determination of the motion on notice already filed by the government, which is in the possession of the leadership of NMA, Ekiti State chapter. The state government in the suit no NICN/AD/01/2014 also sought an order restraining the doctors from taking any action that would halt, impede or prejudice the delivery of the services for which they and their members are engaged by the government to be rendered to the people and the government of Ekiti State. Justice Adejumo said, “it is the order of this court that

the defendant/respondents in this suit are hereby individually and jointly restrained from carrying out the threat contained in the Exhibit A and B respectively pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed on April 2nd, 2014 concerning this action. “In consequence, the defendants/respondents are hereby restrained from embarking on any strike or industrial action in any name called or in any manner pending the hearing and determination of the pending motion on notice.” The doctors had on Monday embarked on strike to protest what they described as excessive tax being paid by their members. However, the NMA Chair-

Delta denies ransom payment for Clark’s son ELTA State government D has denied payment of N50 million ransom for the release of Mr. Ebikeme Clark, son of Chief E. K. Clark, who was kidnapped and released a few days ago. A statement issued yesterday by Secretary to the State Government, Ovuozorie Macaulay said its attention has been drawn to a release by a group called MEND, alleging that the Delta State government parted with the sum of N500 million as ransom. “The Delta State government wishes to state categorically that it did not part with any money as ransom for the release of Ebikeme Clark. It is the policy of the government not to pay or encourage the payment of ransom by families as this encourages more kidnappings.” Continuing, the government said, “the state government has had previous cases of high profile kidnappings where the victims had been kept much longer than Ebikeme. The government did not pay any ransom. What then is so special about Ebikeme Clark that will make the state government pay ransom?

Court to rule May 7 on lawyer’s suit against PDP By Bertram Nwannekanma and Yetunde Ayobami Ojo

• Defers ruling in EFCC’s case against businessman

USTICE Atinuke Ipaye of a JIkeja Lagos High Court sitting in has fixed May 7, 2014 for

ment Elections Petitions Tribunal between November 2011 and August 2012. In another Lagos court, ruling on an application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission seeking for issuance of a bench warrant against the Managing Director of Cross Country Ltd, Mr. Bube Okorodudu, over alleged N82.8 million theftcharge was yesterday deferred to April 28.

ruling on a suit filed against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by a lawyer, Mr. Debo Adeleke, over an alleged failure of the party to pay him N10.55m professional fees. The claimant in its statement of claim before the court suit stated that he handled the cases for the PDP at the Lagos State Local Govern-

Trial judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo had earlier fixed yesterday date for ruling on the application but decided to defer it to allow the EFCC serve Cross Country (second defendant) and Car Link Ltd. (third defendants) with the said application. Okorodudu, Cross Country and Car Link Ltd. were charged on an eight-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, forgery and uttering.

Why crime rate is high, by Kumuyi From Niyi Bello, Akure HE General Overseer of the T Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM), Pastor Williams Kumuyi has identified high rate of unemployment, large population concentration especially in urban centres and lack of necessary amenities as factors responsible for the high level of criminality in Nigeria. The cleric, who spoke at a press conference to herald a three-day programme with the theme “Uncommon Divine Visitation,” which began in Akure, Ondo State capital yesterday for members of the church, drawn from the three states of Ondo, Ekiti and Kwara, said the crime rate in the country is not too different from countries with the same challenges. According to him, “there is always high criminality anywhere in the world where we have high concentration of human population. There are cities where we have population of between ten and twenty million peoples and in such places, there are bound to be criminals among the people. “In Nigeria, apart from hav-

ing high population concentration in our cities, the burden of unemployment on the average youth and the inability of authorities, both private and public to provide the necessary amenities and infrastructures to the teeming population, are reasons why we have this high rate of crimes.” Stressing that that negative happenings around the world, “not just in Nigeria, are also signal that the endtime is near,” Kumuyi urged the church to intensify efforts in the onerous task of preaching righteousness to the people “so that those hooked on crimes can change their minds for their own good and that of the society.” He said the blame of the high crime rate should not be solely put on the shoulders of religious authorities that are doing their bit to sanitise the system through the preaching of godliness but that government should strive to address some of the social challenges that are forcing some people into crime. And as the country moves gradually towards the 2015 election year, Kumuyi, who was flanked at the briefing by

senior pastors of the church at the expansive Deeper Life Grounds in Akure that was already playing host to thousands of people, advised politicians to abide by the rules of the game. According to him, “we are all created by God for different purposes. There are some of us who have the callings of politics and I want to tell those, who have the calling to involve in the art of governance, to know that it is a duty that must be carried out with the fear of God in their hearts. Speaking on controversy surrounding his church’s doctrine concerning the usage of Radio and Television, Kumuyi said, “what we are saying is that there are both negative and positive uses of everything. For the television, there are programmes designed for various segments of the population. There are programmes meant for Christians on both the radio and television, it is therefore for the Christian to listen to those programmes meant for him and distance himself from those that are not. This principle also extends to the internet.”


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014 NEWS | 7

JAMB adopts three-modal format for examinations From Kanayo Umeh, Abuja ANDIDATES for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) will write their exams in three modes - the ComputerBased Test (CBT), Dual-Based Test (DBT) and Paper Pencil Test (PPT), the Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, has disclosed. He also stated that there would be no going back on the 2015 deadline for the conduct of a full-blown CBT. According to him, the desire to fully adopt CBT has been the board’s resolve following the need to curb exam hitches like results “blackout and other forms of malpractices that have been the norm in the PPT.” According to Ojerinde, who addressed newsmen on the conduct of 2014 UTME in Abuja, “the PPT and DBT are scheduled to hold on Saturday, April 12, while CBT will commence from Saturday, May 17, 2014.” He noted that the exam would hold simultaneously in 392 examination towns in Nigeria and seven foreign centres. The foreign centres are Accra in Ghana, Buea in Republic of Cameroun, Cotonou in Re-

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West Africa Consultant, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Mr. Peter Nkanga (left); Africa Programme Co-ordinator, Susan Valentine and Editor, The Guardian, Mr. Martins Oloja during the CPJ courtesy visit to Guardian Newspapers Limited, Rutam House, Isolo, Lagos …yesterday. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON

Yero seeks engagement of locals in peace process From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief OWARDS finding a lasting T solution to the wave of community clashes in parts of the country, Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, has urged the Police Committee on Peace, Security and Reconciliation of Farmers and Herdsmen to actively engage the locals involved in the feud to get to the root of the crises. Speaking when the committee, chaired by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Michael Zokumo, paid him a courtesy visit yesterday, Yero said that it is “only through active interaction with those directly affected that the panel can identify the true causes, as well as solutions to the crises.”

According to him, “the crises are not about religion or ethnicity. They are being engineered by some people using religion just for their selfish interest.” He warned the committee against holding reconciliation meetings with the elite, claiming that they are the ones exploiting the situation for selfish ends. “The meeting should have been held in Kaura and other affected communities in order to involve people at the grassroots, so that you can sit down with the natives and Fulanis to resolve the matter,” he suggested. Nevertheless, he commended the IGP for setting up the committee, saying that dialogue remained the panacea to the nation’s present predicament. Yero dis-

Akanu Ibiam Airport terminal ready September 2015 By Ibe Uwaleke HE N11.6 billion Akanu Ibiam International Airport Terminal, Enugu, will be ready for use by September next year, according to the Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who spoke after inspecting the ongoing construction work on Monday. Ortom, who is also the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said he was impressed at the level of work done and the assurance by the contractors, China Civil Engineering Company, that the terminal would be ready by September 2015. The engineers handling the project assured the minister and his entourage that at their current speed, they would complete work on the complex on schedule. Ortom also inspected the remodeled old terminal, pilgrims’ terminal, pilots’ lodge and the general aviation building, all within the airport. He said at the end of the inspection: “I want to say that I am impressed with what I have seen. I have looked at what I have seen today on paper but had to come to see things for myself so as to talk as an authority. “You can see that the old terminal has been completed and commissioned. Work on the new terminal building, which is going to cost the Federal Government N11.6 billion, is progressively going on. I want to say here that the local content of this project is unimaginable. Over 400 Nigerians have been

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given jobs for this terminal project alone.” He added: “My engineer on site has confirmed that they have no issues with the Chinese company handling the project. I have faith in the company because I know them right back in my home state, Benue, where they did work

closed that the Kaduna State government was presently collaborating with traditional institutions to improve surveillance within their communities, in order to monitor the movements and mission of strangers. He equally urged the Zokumo Committee to also address the issue of reprisal attacks and revenge, which might emanate from such crises.

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Apo has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to pay the firm the sum and a 10 per cent interest, running from the day of the judgment until the debt is liquidated. Justice U.P. Kekemeke gave the order in the case brought against INEC by a former Editor of Daily Times, Mr. Ken Ugbechie, for the media consultancy and publishing firm. INEC was not represented in court. Counsel to the plaintiff, Agwu E. Agwu, had argued that the plaintiff was duly awarded a contract to provide media consultancy services to the defendant and that the job was satisfactorily executed, as attested to by the de-

public of Benin, London in United Kingdom, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Johannesburg in South Africa and Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire. Also, a total of 1,865 centres will be used to conduct the PPT, 133 centres for DBT and about 153 centres for CBT, Ojerinde said, noting that the board had no incidence of malpractice in any of the centres where the CBT was conducted in the 2013 UTME. Also, candidates had their results within a space of four hours of conducting the examination, he said. Meanwhile, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) announced yesterday that a total of 1,606,753 candidates applied for the 2014 UTME exam, adding that it has put all necessary arrangements in place for a hitch-free exercise. According to Ojerinde, 990,179 candidates applied for the PPT, 25,325 candidates applied for DBT while 616,574 candidates applied for CBT, a decrease of 129,139 from the total of 1,735,892 candidates that registered for the 2013 edition. Speaking further, he ex-

Champion Newspapers’ awards for Friday HAMPION Newspapers ter Obi, bagged the ‘Outrector (GMD) of Emzor PharC Limited Awards will hold standing Igbo Personality of maceuticals, are receiving on Friday, April 11, 2014 at the the Decade.’ Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, will chair the event where recipients will formally be presented with their awards. Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, emerged winner of the ‘Champion Man of the Year 2013’ and ‘Businessman of the Decade.’ In the list of awardees released in Lagos by the newspaper, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, emerged ‘Governor of the Year’ while the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Pe-

Also, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Dr. Oba Otudeko, Chief Sony Odogwu and Ambassador Raph Uwechue, are billed to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards. Uwechue, who passed on recently will be honoured posthumously. Other recipients are Chief Leo-Stan Ekeh (ICT Personality of the Year), and Engineer Ernest Nwapa (Oil and Gas Personality of the Year). The first ladies of Abia and Lagos states, Chief Mercy Odochi Orji and Dame Emmanuella Fashola as well as Dr Stella Okoli, Group Managing Di-

Journalist wins contract breach case against INEC OR breaching the payment FGodman of N7.5 million to Godson & Ventures Limited, a

• Insists on 2015 deadline for computer-based test • 1.6m candidates enroll for 2014 UTME

fendant. He urged the court to rule in favour of his client as the case falls under undefended list. According to Agwu, both he and his client had made several attempts to settle the matter amicably through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) department of INEC but such efforts were frustrated by the defendant. He argued that INEC had shown bad faith since March 26, 2014, when notice was served on the commission, yet it made no effort to respond to it. Ugbechie had dragged INEC before an Abuja High Court over the agency’s alleged refusal to pay him for contract executed. The publisher of Political Economist magazine, through his firm, Godson & Godman, had demanded N7.5 million, being the contract sum, as well as 10 per cent interest

on the judgment debt, starting from the date judgment is entered until same was liquidated. In his statement of claim, Ugbechie said his company was on January 19, 2010, awarded contract to inspire and generate expository articles, commentaries, news analysis, editorial and comments, among others, to sufficiently enlighten the electorate on all that the commission was doing to ensure a hitch-free 2011 general elections. He averred in an affidavit in support of the suit that the said contract was thoroughly verified by INEC officers after completion. According to him, despite repeated demands, the defendant has refused to pay the said N7.5 million due his company since the execution of the contract.

Heart of Gold Awards for their exemplary humanitarian services. Globacom emerged the Brand of the Year, Zenith Bank Plc is Bank of the year while Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc is the Insurance Company of the Year 2013.

plained that following the board’s determination to curb examination malpractices, JAMB would sustain the use of the biometric fingerprint to check impersonation, lateness and identification of candidates before admitting them for the examination.

Hayford Alile lecture holds April 24 HIS year’s Hayford Alile T Foundation annual lecture will hold on April 24 at the Julius Berger Hall, University of Lagos, while the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Ms Evelyn Oputu, will deliver lecture, titled, Innovating for Market Distinctiveness. According to the foundation’s Executive Secretary, Mrs. Bawo Kujore, the founder and Chairman, Fate Foundation, Mr. Fola Adeola, will chair the occasion, which also coincides with Apostle Hayford Alile’s 74th birthday. Kujore noted that qualitative education, career fulfillment and integrity have been the core values and beliefs driving the foundation’s strategy and operations.  “Since its inception, the foundation has sponsored two national lectures and a total of 12 people to the Aspiring Entrepreneurs’ Programme at the Fate Foundation,” she said. “Scholarships have also been given to three indigent students of the University of Benin, who will be graduating this year.”


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NEWS Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Activist remanded for alleged incitement against Wada From John Akubo, Lokoja LOKOJA Upper Area Court II in Kogi State has remanded human rights activist, Akwu Goodman, in prison custody for unlawful assembly, with President of the court, Clifford Oyelude, saying that the oral application for bail by his counsel would be sorted out later. Akwu had questioned the legitimacy and legality of the election and subsequent inauguration of Capt. Idris Wada as governor of the state in a protest letter to the House of Assembly. According to the prosecuting police officer, Ajengbe Oluwayomi, the accused, on March 19, “criminally conspired with and illegally led a protest to the Kogi State House of Assembly complex.” The protest, which was alleged to have incited members of the public against the governor, had indicated that Wada was occupying the seat of power in Kogi Government House illegally. The protesting group, the prosecution noted, also published the same inciting information in a national daily (not The Guardian) of March 24, 2014, “to cause disaffection and public disturbance in the state.” Leading the group under the aegis of Association for Justice and Good Governance to the Assembly Complex, Akwu had called for the implementation of the January 27 and February 17, 2012, Supreme Court judgment, which he said, called for fresh elections in the affected states which governors’ tenures were illegally elongated. Meanwhile, the former governor of the state, Ibrahim

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• Idris urges incentives for food production Idris, has asked Wada to assist the Ibaji people with modern agricultural inputs and modern equipment to enable them raise their food production capacity and shore up the state’s revenue base. Idris spoke during the Ibaji Day celebration in Lokoja, where he was honoured for constructing the road that linked them to the rest of the country. Ibaji people are yet to recover fully from the 2012 flood disaster, which destroyed their farmlands and produce. Idris said: “I am very sure that Ibaji can feed the entire country if only they are given the needed support. I will appeal that the governor should give to them all the necessary assistance to improve their dexterity in agri-

culture so that they can produce more to feed the entire nation. They are capable of doing that.” Noting that the Ibaji always speak with one voice, he advised them to uphold the virtue of oneness they have been known for. Opposing the bail application for the accused on the ground that the offences were serious and that police investigations in the matter were still ongoing, the prosecutor, Oluwayomi, said she applied for another date for mention. However, Oyelude, flanked by two other judges, held that the accused could not be granted bail. He, therefore, ordered that he be remanded at the Federal Prisons in KotonKarfe and adjourned till April 22 for mention.

LP tasks INEC on Ondo by-election result

Govt flags off ObajanaKabba-Ilorin Road next week

• ‘Electoral body’s decision may hurt Jonathan’

• Mark calls for synergy between govs, lawmakers

NDEPENDENT National ElecIbeen toral Commission (INEC) has urged to declare the Labour Party (LP’s) candidate in last Saturday’s by- election into the vacant Ilaje/ Ese-Odo seat in the Federal House of Representatives, Kolade Akinjo, winner without further delay.  The LP National Chairman, Chief Dan Iwuayanwu, who made the call, said the electoral body has no genuine reason under the law for its refusal to declare Akinjo winner since, according to the INEC records, the candidate polled the highest votes in the election. In a statement issued in Akure, the chairman said the party’s

candidate got the simple majority he needed to win the election. “INEC records show that the LP candidate won the election since he had the highest number of votes cast, we know the INEC in connivance with the Peoples Democratic Party, want to get victory through the back door and this we will not allow to happen,” the chairman said. “The leadership of the Labour Party, having received reports on the election into the Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency seat, which held on April 5, 2014, note with concern that despite the fact that

Cleric links Nigeria’s existence to prayers From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan HE Oyo State Overseer of the Deeper Christian Life Bible Church, Sola Odumosu, said on Monday that the prayer of the righteous is the key holding the country together, as other nations that have not experienced half of what Nigeria is experiencing have since been enmeshed in war and turbulence. Addressing newsmen in Ibadan where he announced

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Academics Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) chapter, during their protest in Lagos… yesterday

the church’s planned crusade in the South-West zone beginning on Friday, Odumosu said that prayer has helped in stabilising the country. He cited the successful conduct of the 2011 general election to buttress his claim, adding that prayers have considerably improved the nation’s electoral system. Odumosu expressed support for the ongoing national conference, saying that President

Goodluck Jonathan was courageous to have arranged it. However, he enjoined delegates to be open-minded and discuss freely without bias. According to him, the church’s General Overseer, Pastor W. F Kumuyi, would be ministering at the three-day crusade tagged, “Signs and Wonders from the God of Miracles,” adding that the myriad of problems confronting the nation now demands God’s swift intervention.

the Labour Party’s candidate, Kolade Akinjo, scored majority of lawful votes, that is 23,926, as against the PDP lawful votes of 22,628 and APC lawful votes of 9,232, was not declared and returned as the winner of the election. “There were returns of the outcome of the election in all the 12 wards in Ilaje Local Council Area and 9 out of the 10 wards in Ese-Odo Local Council. “The net result is that election took place in 21 out 22 wards that made up the Ilaje-Ese/Odo Federal Constituency.” He added that it was instructive that prior to the election last Saturday, no indication was given of any notice of postponement of the poll for reasons of natural disaster or emergency, declaring therefore, that this makes the provision of Section 26 (1), (2) (3) (4) and (5) of the Electoral Act 2010 irrelevant.  Section 26 says, “where a date has been picked for holding of election, and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct the election as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies, the Commission  may postpone the election and shall, in respect of

the area, or areas concerned, appoint another date for the postponement is cogent and verifiable.” Stressing that the section is not relevant in this instance, the chairman added that the provision cannot be a licence for returning officer to abort the will of the electorate and usurp the powers of the election petition tribunal in ordering election in specific areas after the conduct of elections.  He said: “Again, relevant to the issue at hand is the provisions of Section 69 of Electoral Act on the subject of declaration of result which reads that: ‘In an election to the office of the President or governor, whether or not contested and in any contested election to any other elective office, the result shall be ascertained by counting the votes cast for each candidate and subject to the provisions of Sections 133, 134 and 179 of the Constitution,  the candidate that receives the highest number of lawful votes cast shall be declared   elected by the appropriate returning officer.” He insisted that the retuning officer, therefore, neither has the power or discretion to refuse or neglect to declare the collated result.

From Kolawole Timothy, Lokoja HE re-construction of the T Obajana-Kabba-Egba-Ilorin federal highway will be formally flagged off next Thursday, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, has said. Contract for the re-construction of the road was awarded by the Federal Executive Council last year, but there has been no meaningful activity on the road. However, at the launch of Senator Nurudeen Abatemi’s youth empowerment programme in Okene, Kogi State, on Monday, Onolememen classified the road a top priority of the Federal Government. He disclosed that government has made money available for its timely completion, assuring that “work on the road project will not stop until it is completed within the time frame stipulated in the contract paper.” Meanwhile, Senate President, David Mark, has called for synergy between state governors and their respective representatives at the National Assembly, stating: “There should be no need for conflict between us, as we need each one another to provide the much-needed dividends of democracy to our people, who elected us into office.”

Court demands defendant’s statement in N1b alleged subsidy fraud case By Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo USTICE Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce adopted statements of the first defendant in an alleged N1 billion fuel subsidy fraud, Opeyemi Ajuyah. The order, made on Monday, followed an application filed by Ajuyah’s counsel, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, requesting for the statement the defendant made during interrogation, which the Commission has refused to produce since the matter began in 2012. Ajuwah, alongside her company, Majope Investment Limited, Abdullahi Alao, Arisekola Alao, Axenergy Limited and

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Olanrewaju Olalusi, is being tried for alleged N1.2 billion subsidy fraud. However, the prosecution witness, Effong Okim, under cross-examination by counsel to the third and fourth defendants, Aderemi Oguntoye, told the court that during investigation, the anti-graft agency discovered that out of the 15,000 metric tonnes of fuel imported by Axenergy in conjunction with Majope Investment and Sterling Bank as receiver, only 4,200 metric tonnes was discharged. “Oando Plc paid for 4,200 metric tonnes out of the 15,000 metric tonnes and the money was deposited with Sterling Bank, which is the receiving bank in the transac-

tion,” he said. “Investigation revealed that the remaining tonnes was not discharged but was left in the ship. Money for the remaining tonnes did not reflect in the Statements of Accounts at Sterling Bank.” The prosecution witness, under cross-examination by Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), said he did not send the Shore Tank Certificate for forensic examination but relied on reply to the letter of confirmation sent to Oando, appointed surveyors, as well as other regulatory agencies. “Our investigation did not cover the determination of disputed documents, including the Shore Tank Certificate for forensic analysis,” he stated.


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WorldReport Norway to extradite genocide suspect to Rwanda

Ukraine nervous as big powers debate fate

Norwegian court yesterday A authorised the extradition of a man suspected of being involved in the Rwandan genocide two decades ago. Eugene Nkuranyabahizi, 41, was arrested in Norway in May last year but has lived in the country since 1999. Rwanda, which formally asked for his extradition in August, wants him to stand trial over allegations that he took part in the 1994 genocide, in which 800,000 people were killed. The former teacher is accused of having participated in massacres in the areas of Nkakwa and Cyahinda, where some 7,500 people died in April 1994. The suspect, who has Burundian citizenship, denies all the charges and opposes his extradition. The district court of Stavanger in southwest Norway ruled that despite “several different explanations and observations” the allegations in the extradition request were based on “reasonable grounds”. The court also judged that the suspect’s rights would be respected in Rwanda and that he would be treated fairly by the country’s legal system. One of Nkuranyabahizi’s lawyers said his client intended to appeal the ruling.

S top diplomats from A Russia and the United States have met in Europe’s

Members of Parliament of the Svoboda party fight with Members of Parliament of the Communist party in the Ukrainian parliament during the debates focused on a law toughening responsibility for separatism…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Iran, world powers seek to intensify nuclear talks members plus deal) in May”. RAN and world powers em- manent But “the real issue is not about Iclear barked on a new round of nu- Germany want to transform a talks yesterday hoping to deal struck in November into a whether you can write the make enough progress to move up a gear and start drafting a historic final deal next month. Threatening to drive a wedge between the powers, however, is the crisis over Ukraine, which has led to the biggest standoff between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Iran and the five United Nations Security Council per-

Italy rescues 1,000 migrants on three boats TALY’S navy yesterday said it I1,000 had rescued more than migrants over the past 24 hours, as new data showed a sharp rise in asylum claims, mostly from Syrians. Italy began a navy operation “Mare Nostrum”(Our Sea) — a Latin reference to the Mediterranean — after more than 400 migrants from Eritrea and Syria perished in twin tragedies off Italian shores in October 2013. “Out of the 1,049 migrants saved, 151 were women and 91

children including three babies,” the navy said in a statement, adding that the migrants were transferred to navy ships and would arrive in Italy. Centro Astalli, a refugee centre in Rome, said in its annual report that there were 27,830 asylum claims in Italy in 2013 — 60 percent more than in 2012 — while the overall number in Europe rose by 32 percent. Most of the claims came from Syrians, it said.

permanent agreement before this temporary accord lapses on July 20. Doing so is a tall order, however, requiring both sides to tackle thorny issues that will severely test their willingness and ability to give ground to the limit. Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said that he has formed a group of legal experts to help in the “complicated, difficult and slow work” of drafting a deal. A spokesman for the powers’ chief negotiator, European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, said this round, expected to last two days, was to “explore our respective positions on each topic”. Ashton and Zarif held a working dinner on Monday evening, her spokesman added. A senior United States official involved in the talks said Friday she was “absolutely convinced” a deal could be reached and that both sides were “looking toward beginning drafting (a

Guinea’s first Ebola survivor returns to family, stigma remains ICCUPS, say doctors in H this remote corner of Guinea, are the final tell-tale sign of infection by the Ebola virus that has killed more than 100 people since an outbreak began this year. Then come profuse bleeding, circulatory shock and death. But for Rose Komano, the hiccups never came. On Saturday, the 18-year-old mother of three became the first victim to have beaten the disease in the region of Gueckedou, epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in this impoverished West African nation. In total, 98 people are thought to have died from the disease in Guinea and 10 more in neighboring Liberia, according to aid workers and governments. A market town of 220,000

people near the Liberia and Sierra Leone borders, Gueckedou’s makeshift clinic is on the front line of Guinea’s battle to contain its first outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, normally found in Central Africa. Medecins sans Frontières (MSF), a medical charity working to contain the virus, has set up two tin-roofed tents in the courtyard of the local health centre. One is for suspected Ebola cases and the other is for confirmed cases. Now, to the delight of the overworked medical staff, they are building a third tent for survivors. “When I first saw the medical staff around me in yellow and black, I was scared. I thought I was going to die,” said Komano, who buried her mother and grandmother

days earlier after they died from the disease. “I didn’t believe I would recover my health again. I was scared that I would orphan my children - like my mother did me - but now I can hold them in my arms again,” she said. Eight people have now recovered from the Ebola virus, according to medical tests. The virulent Zaire strain of the disease in Guinea has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. Lucky genes and intensive medical care helped Komano become one of the handful to escape death. Other patients were cleared to go home from the Donko hospital in Conakry last week in what the World Health Organization (WHO) dubbed “Lazarus” cases - after the Biblical figure restored to life by Jesus.

words on paper, do the drafting. It’s about the choices that Iran has to make, and some of them are very difficult.” Under the November deal, which took effect on January 20, Iran froze certain nuclear activities for six months in exchange for minor relief from sanctions hurting its economy. As part of the deal, Iran was given greater access to civilian aircraft parts and on Monday Washington said that Boeing had been issued with a temporary licence to do business with the Islamic republic.

capitals to decide Ukraine’s fate in recent weeks, there’s been a conspicuous absence: a representative from Ukraine. Russia has refused to deal with Ukraine’s new government since protests in February ousted the proRussian president. And while the West supports the fledgling leadership, it has left an impression that it’s in charge of talks with the Kremlin. Time and again through history, Ukraine has been caught in big power politics. Historians draw parallels between how Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin divided Europe at Yalta after World War II — trapping eastern European countries in the Soviet orbit. Now some Ukrainians fear history is repeating itself as they are shut out of negotiations — and sit on the sidelines waiting for a verdict. Ordinary Ukrainians are mostly grateful for Western efforts to mediate the crisis and more than anything are terrified by the prospect of war. But officials have sought to stress that Ukraine’s voice must be heard. At a news conference last week, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign, Minister Danylo

Lubkivsky insisted that decisions regarding Ukraine’s future must not be made without Kiev’s input: “No real dialogue is possible without Ukraine,” Lubkivsky said. That is why the announcement this week of high-level talks between the United States, the EU, Ukraine and Russia — expected to take place in the next 10 days — was met with hope in Kiev. Despite angry rhetoric, the West has largely accepted the reality of Russia’s takeover of Crimea. Diplomatic efforts are now focused on preventing Russia’s military incursion into the Russian-speaking east and south of Ukraine, where Moscow claims it needs to protect Russianspeakers. With thousands of Russian troops amassed near the border with Ukraine, Moscow seeks to dictate conditions: It wants to turn Ukraine into a loose federation that it can control, and is pushing for Russian to become the second official state language, on par with Ukrainian. Kiev has so far refused to cave to Moscow’s demands — as any step that dents Ukraine’s hopes of integrating with the West will be met with fierce resistance from the Maidan, the pro-Western protest movement. More than 100 people were killed in the protesters’ clashes with police.


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Politics Landmines, attrition ahead of APC convention By Kamal Tayo Oropo INCE the All Progressives Congress was regSInterim istered nearly eight months ago, an Executive Committee (IEC) has run the party. Its main mandate is to register party members and conduct congresses and national convention to democratically put in place all the structures, as outlined in the party constitution. In carrying out the first arm of that charge, the party, about two months ago, held a fairly successful membership registration nationwide; an exercise, which recorded far more members than it, perhaps, initially projected and planned for. The party, last Saturday, commenced its much anticipated congresses where party leaders were elected from the wards while the local government and state congresses will hold on April 12 and 23, respectively, concluding with the national convention scheduled for next month, on May 24/25. Interestingly, the APC growth in membership has been countered by attrition in its fold.  The defections and counter-defections afflicting the party are already causing ripples in the polity.  If the reported near fracas between two former governors and leaders of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, is shrouded in the rumour mills, another ugly occurrence, which almost disrupted Saturday’s ward congresses of the party in Lagos, is in the open. According to sources, the party had to make spirited efforts to disown the former Chairman of the Lagos branch of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Chief Ajibade Emiabata, who is purportedly parading himself as the chairman of the APC in the state. Barely 24 hours to the congresses, Emiabata alleged that he and chairmen of some defunct political parties (All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)), that joined to form the APC, were completely sidelined during the party’s Stakeholders’ Forum held at its secretariat on Acme Road, Ikeja, Lagos, last Wednesday. An aggrieved Emiabata said that during the meeting that lasted for hours, there was no special recognition of the other parties in the merger, as leaders of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) dominated the entire process, which, he described, as undemocratic. Thus, Emiabata urged members not to come for the ward congress, an entreaty that was ignored by the party faithful. These untoward happenings, quite early in the day in the life of the APC has prompted concerned Nigerians to ask whether the party may ultimately not go the way of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, fielding questions from The Guardian, a stalwart of the party and National Chairman of the Registration Committee, Dr. Garba Abari, while refusing to speak on the internal squabbles in the APC, said the party “is a human organisation and confrontation is part of human attributes.” Still, won’t the party end up in the same direction like its rival, PDP, which has been in serious turmoil in the last two years? Abari, who is also the APC strategist, shook his head, and said: “Personally, I think the APC will not go the way of the PDP in the sense of witnessing an implosion.” He explained that the coming of the APC has several advantages: “One, it reduces the partisan choice substantially to two tendencies. It makes the electoral contest neater, more manageable and integrates the country the more. “Two, it has, for the first time in the history of this country, made opposition parties to voluntarily surrender their identities and merged into a single party. Previously, all attempts stopped at alliances.” Yet, Abari affirmed that the coming together of the ACN, CPC, ANPP and a faction of the APGA into a single political group was not enough “to dislodge a hegemonic party like the PDP, which has misruled the country for over 15 years, killed institutions, entrenched corruption and engendered insecurity

through its policy of sheer exclusion and reducing the entire national wealth into a slush fund for the use of a negligible few.” The circumstances in which the APC came into being were compelling, with social cleavages getting wider and the geopolitical and economic fault lines becoming deeper. Never before had the country been so divided along religious, ethnic and regional lines. “Nigeria has never recorded such high incidences of poverty, illiteracy, squalor and diseases, decaying infrastructure and dying institutions as they are today,” said Abari. “Most importantly, all these are taking place in the face of enhanced revenue earnings.”  According to him, the ruling PDP had control of both the executive and legislative arms, had more state governors, ministers, chief executives of boards and parastatals, and therefore, was spread widely in crucial resource centres and could dish out favours and patronage. Thus, to effectively tackle the PDP required the opposition going in to cause structural damage of monumental proportion. This was exactly what happened.

The opposition APC snatched from the ruling party five states, including Kano, Rivers, Sokoto, Kwara and Adamawa. Even from purely numerical considerations, this is a big dent on the PDP. But the question on the lips of many watchers of the hiccups in the APC is: Can the party cohere? This question cannot be answered with a straight yes or no owing to the problems, enveloped in intrigues, playing out in the party ahead of its national convention. What to expect from the convention THEextent to which the convention will be successful or otherwise will draw from how smoothly the ward congresses go. Already, there are indications that tendencies will evolve, pulling from different directions, as the outcome of the convention will also rub off on the presidential contest. But according to APC sources, these problems are not rooted enough to cause serious structural damage to the party. Still, observers believe that geopolitical considerations, religious balancing, and putting square pegs in square holes in the selection of

Akande

Buhari

Onu

Okorocha

Tinubu

Kwakwanso

Atiku

Sheriff

party officers will be issues to occupy the convention. To gauge the outcome of the convention is to reflect on the composition of the Interim National Executive Committee (IEC) of the APC. After the formation of the party, the merging parties were asked to make nominations in the IEC. The defunct ACN sent in its best hands in the likes of Chief Bisi Akande, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Dr. Muiz Banire, Dr. Tom Ikimi and Otunba Niyi Adebayo. But the ANPP, which was run like Somalia, with each warlord carving a slice of the party for himself, sent in what a source described as a “rag-tag team.” For example, one of the ANPP leaders in the Northwest allegedly sent in his driver as a Principal Officer, while another leader from the Northeast purportedly sent in his Personal Assistant (PA) as a Principal Officer. Other ANNP leaders, save the Interim National Secretary, also sent in “all sorts of characters, many of them barely literate to occupy high positions in the party hierarchy.” The nominations of the CPC were a pot-pouri of the good and the bad, happily, mainly of the good. This kind of situation naturally can retard the progress of the party, as it has, indeed, done because of different perspectives, values, experiences, exposure and worldview of the party leaders. A source claimed that many of the faces of the party do not reflect what Nigerians are hoping to see. “In fact, many of the party leaders are liability to the party, bringing in only more money than sense into the party,” the source said. “It’s expected that this experience will not repeat itself when at the congresses and convention, only the best are expected to emerge as party leaders.” The source added: “Party leadership is, perhaps, more important than elective leadership, whether of the executive or legislature. But sacrificing competence for mediocrity, unfortunately, has been the bane of leadership at all levels in the country.” Coming to the running for the presidential slot of the APC, it appears two party leaders — General Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar — have put their candidature on the table. However, there are groups opposed to both, which “are in support of a fresh blood with no baggage but a core party man with a strong national appeal.” The search for such a personality is on, with side talks about the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal and the Kano State governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Tambuwal, given all the speculations, has not yet joined the party and may not, if the judgment of last week’s Monday, on defecting House members, is any guide. So, he is out of the reckoning for now. Similarly, the core progressives that formed or merged into the APC are reportedly opposed to the ambition of Kwankwaso. All said and done, these are not particularly good times for the APC, as there are lots of landmines and booby traps on its route. In case of discord, as it is beginning to manifest, party officials, while insisting there is no disharmony in the fold, nonetheless, vow that they will handle such eventuality, as they come to light. “First, let me say there was never any discord, the type that should bother the APC,” a party official said, adding, “even if there had been, the party constitution has made elaborate provisions to internally handle them.” Meanwhile, it is hoped that subsequent dissonance will be handled, as appropriately as the law allows, by the time such formal organs of the party like the Board of Trustees, the National Caucus and the Elders Committee come into being. Such bodies are mainly set up in political parties to manage internal dissensions. But until then, the party’s Interim Executive Committee (IEC) will continue to micro-manage centrifugal forces and issues/problems they leave in their trail.


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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 On the National Economic Council HAT Nigeria is living a lie or its rulers are living in denial is not in T doubt. In spite of touted growth and so-called rebasing of the Gross National Product (GDP), it is common knowledge that the economy is not in the best of health. The country’s foreign reserve is depleting, its proven reserve of hydrocarbon has reduced from about 45 billion barrels in 2009 to a current estimate of 35 billion barrels. Above all, the naira has received its worst bashing in recent years in the foreign exchange market at an official rate of N165 to the dollar. The minders of the national economy ought to recognise the dire straits in which Nigeria is and therefore act with utmost sense of urgency. The national economy drifts and it appears to run mostly on the remote mode dictated by foreign and personal interests. It is against this background that the recent convening of the National Economic Council by Vice President Namadi Sambo, for the first time in six months, is one more illustration of a baffling approach to governance in the country. It also shows how pettiness, vaulting ambition and the quest for power for its own sake instead of being used as a tool for service to the people are the norm now. It is the duty of the vice president to coordinate the national economy and the country’s 1999 Constitution provides for this in Part 1, Section 18 and 19 of the Third schedule which reads thus: “The National Economic Council shall comprise the following members - (a) the Vice-President who shall be the Chairman; (b) the Governor of each State of the Federation; and (c) the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria established under the Central Bank of Nigeria Decree 1991 or any enactment replacing that Decree. 19. The National Economic Council shall have power to advise the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation, and in particular on measures necessary for the co-ordination of the economic planning efforts or economic programmes of the various Governments of the Federation.” The National Economic Council (NEC) meeting holds every month and has scandalously been in abeyance for the past six months—a most telling indictment of the leaders and a perfect example of how badly run the country is. The economic base of society ought to inform the superstructure, that is the political. But on the contrary, the seeming lack of vision at all levels and a certain resource curse have undermined the health of the national economy. The NEC meeting was proposed for December last year and was put off. Again, a proposed session in January was postponed. A number of reasons, of course, may inform the tardiness with which the national economy has been run in recent times and the inability of the vice president to convene the NEC. The controversy surrounding the funds of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) and the polarisation of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum have induced inertia and diffidence on the part of the presidency. Whatever the case, the failure to hold the NEC regularly, is simply a failure of statesmanship. Interestingly, when eventually convened, the last meeting fell far short of fully addressing the most critical economic crisis facing the country. It focused solely on the bloody clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers ostensibly because it would induce food shortage, apparently a grave economic matter. But instead of finding a solution, the NEC passed the buck to the Presidency as, according to the Minister for Agriculture, the NEC simply mandated the Vice President to hold an urgent consultation with President Goodluck Jonathan with a view to convening an emergency meeting with all the affected states in quest for an immediate solution to the problem. Meetings and meetings just when urgent action is needed! It is to be stressed that the bleeding of the national economy is a most serious issue that demands urgent attention just as the menace of the herdsmen is an important national security issue. However, the coordination of the national economy is the vice-president’s key function spelt out in the basic laws of the country. In this regard, Nigerians want to know government’s plans for shoring up the dwindling fortune of the naira, what is being done about the alleged missing NNPC funds, and what is being done about the rising youth unemployment. These are serious issues in demand of better commitment and handling than they are currently getting from the country’s incumbent rulers.

LETTER

Issues in Ekiti governorship campaign not, child, weep not, edge that Fayemi has done a lot for their party and not Fayemi SletIR:myme“Weep darling, with these kisses and that he should tell the Ekiti who has become a rallying remove your tears; the electorate what he would do bet- point/symbol for a modernised ravening clouds shall not long be victorious.   They shall not long possess the sky – shall devour the stars only in apparition; Jupiter shall emerge-be patient-watch again another night – the Pleiades shall emerge.” These words are those of a father consoling his child on a beach at night in a bid give a highly importunate and crestfallen young one a lullaby to enjoy a relief from the endless cries piercing his eardrums. This is the season of politics in Ekiti State and politicians gunning for the forthcoming governorship election will use all tricks in the book including lies, blackmail, subterfuge, unrealistic promises and other devices to hoodwink the electorate. The state’s governorship contest is around the corner and many of the aspirants have resorted to telling lies all in the name of clinching the tickets of their parties.  The most egregious falsehood from the governorship motley crowd was the one spewed by a recently sacked minister. In a bid to justify his ambition, the exminister accused the Fayemi administration of doing nothing with funds accruing to the state from the Federation Account. Those of us who knew the condition Fayemi met the state in October 2010 believe that the governor had faithfully utilised the resources available to turn round the fortunes of the state in the areas of infrastructure, education, tourism, human capital development, urban renewal, agriculture, empowerment, among others. One would have thought the ex-minister would have been honest to acknowl-

ter if realises his ambition of ruling the state. Fayemi has restored Ekiti’s core values through good governance, quality and viable representation and service delivery.  I will advise all aspirants to weep

Ekiti. Ekiti people are wise, knowledgeable and discerning enough to know what is good for them and they will speak with their votes at the June 21 election. • Sina Odewale, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

MultiChoice, a fair-weather friend? IR: Subscribers Salready MultiChoice’s DStv know this:

to may That MultiChoice is unusually ‘nice’ when they want you to part with your money. That is when they put a call through to your number to know ‘how’ you are ‘doing’, akin to the Shylock that just ‘looked’ in. Note that this call is usually timed to your subscription due date. As a subscriber, I try to pay my subscription in good time. I even try to make multiple payments months in advance. So, only rarely do I get their reminder message to renew my account. But, this time around I delayed. Then, I got the reminder messages on my television. These were not enough. They were followed by a blitzkrieg on my phone. Then, you guessed right! It was the proverbial call from MultiChoice, and they had this guy on me who was trying to ‘play nice’. I knew all the tricks. Unfortunately for the caller it was during a busy period for me. I told him that I was sorry that I was quite busy. He pressed on. I reiterated that I was busy. He then asked me when he could call back. But I would not spare my time. Not this time! Still, he pressed on. This guy was now ‘in my hair’.

With a note of finality, I said, “Unless I won a jackpot, please don’t call back!” Meanwhile, DStv subscriptions keep going up, instead of coming down like what is happening in the telecoms industry, despite their huge and still increasing subscriber base. Their research and development department is not looking for a way to forestall the disappearance of signals when it rains. If you need to upgrade, if your television is not on, it won’t work. As power is not reliable, you might need to tell your family to waste fuel just to upgrade your account. Unnecessary expenses! And if nobody is at home while you are paying your subscription you need to call them when you get back home to redirect you, as most times, the SMS method, which is not free, does not work. But their number is not toll-free, either. So when you call, it is at your own cost. Remember, you still have to do some ‘waiting’ before they answer. The decoder even takes eternity to booth. But they are busy running promos or jackpots to woo even more customers, of which ‘they’ alone perhaps know ‘those’ people who have won! • Cosmas Odoemena, Lagos.


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Opinion Challenge, confrontation: Jonathan’s new year (1) By Lindsay Barrett RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan can hardly P doubt that 2014 will be the most exciting and seminal year in his political life so far. His fellow politicians, both within and outside of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have signalled that they intended to keep him on his toes. Those who forced the removal of the former Chairman of the party, the venerable and internationally respected businessman, Bamanga Tukur, at the beginning of the year instituted a benchmark of political dissent and collective disenchantment that the president must overcome as he strives to sustain forward movement on his agenda of transformation. The events surrounding this key development in the party suggested that President Jonathan’s constitutional right to contest a second term is still being regarded as a matter for debate by a substantial proportion of the party’s members even though political wisdom dictates that this issue should be put to rest as soon as possible. Now that a new chairman of the party has been installed, serious analysts of Nigerian political affairs are apprehensive over the influence that those who promote political opportunism over effective governance could have on his performance as leader of the nation in these particularly fractious times. This concern has been aggravated by the publication of former President Obasanjo’s infamous open letter, which was a self-serving and disingenuous attack on both the person and office of the president rather than the friendly constructive advice that the author claimed it to be. General Obasanjo’s stature and the role that he played in bringing Dr. Jonathan’s candidacy into being has led to this act of betrayal being portrayed by some commentators as an act of patriotic zeal. As a consequence, the

president has been challenged not only to declare his own political ambition but also to justify his occupancy of the exalted office. At this stage of his tenure this challenge is much more of a distraction than an aid to improved performance in government The plethora of complaints and consistent negative criticism being generated by some political commentators alleging that Dr. Jonathan’s tenure in office has been marked by unrelieved dysfunction is, to say the least, unfair. The truth is that Dr. Jonathan’s leadership style and his political provenance represent a change of the conventional status quo ante that the first manifestation of the new Nigerian democratic order, led by General Obasanjo, portended. Ironically Dr. Jonathan’s most impressive efforts to effect change have also become the most vulnerable targets of his detractors. While he has focused on taking concrete steps to achieve key objectives in governance, his critics have decided to focus on restoring regional compensation as the basis on which to select leadership in the polity. While this is a genuine element of popular concern in Nigeria, the efforts to force Dr. Jonathan to abandon his clear objectives simply to satisfy the appearance of regional equity in the political arena is an unfortunate development. Jonathan’s Administration has made enormous strides in certain areas of development that justify his supporters’ call for him to serve a second term in order to consolidate his initiatives. The transformation of the power sector and his initiatives in gender empowerment are particularly notable. His administration’s initiatives in agriculture as well as the provision of educational access for the less privileged are also laudable, espe-

cially since they will have a positive impact in rural communities throughout Northern Nigeria. It is particularly interesting to note that allegations of corruption levelled against his administration have been both ambiguous and general in tone whereas objective assessments of his performance cannot ignore the specific strides made in these areas of endeavour. Instead of areas of doubtful probity identified by the administration’s detractors being regarded as opportunities for corrective action in the future, if and when they are proven, they are being deployed to undermine the positive achievements of the Jonathan agenda. This suggests that it is his person and his regional origin that has become the main issue rather than the nature and performance of his role as a national leader. Empirical studies indicate that many of the accusations being levelled against the administration by the newly revived opposition have also been targeted at past regimes in even more provable instances. General Obasanjo’s letter was full of innuendoes based on allegations of misconduct against the Jonathan administration. Many of the same allegations had however been raised against the general during his own term in office. This has led to the belief expressed by several observers that his motive for writing and especially for publicising his letter is to create an atmosphere of crisis in which he will be able to play the same power brokering role that he did when he organised the ascendancy of his favoured ticket of Yar’Adua/Jonathan as his successors in office. Dr. Jonathan’s emergence as president after the demise of Umaru Musa Yar’Ádua has actually created the kind of imbroglio for the rul-

ing party that should be resolved by the deployment of internal cooperation and rational management. Unfortunately certain elements both within and outside of the party have seized the opportunity to promote a divisive agenda of regional and personal ascendancy to the detriment of the growth of national consensus and cohesion. The emergence of President Jonathan as a representative of the minority ethnic groupings of the Southsouth geo-political zone coming at this time in the existence of the Nigerian nation can be seen as a vindication of the nation’s viability. However, an attitudinal sea-change is threatening to overwhelm Nigeria’s political space as key figures in the ruling party led by an eminent founding father of the party, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, have displayed their disenchantment by abandoning the president’s party to form an alliance with his most vehement detractors in a new opposition force. The most effective response that the president can make to the challenges posed by this development is to remain focused on the central themes of good governance and to maintain those elements of his agenda that public acceptance has shown to be not only popular but also relevant to the expectations of the general populace. In confronting the challenges that have been mounted against his performance in office and his occupancy of the leadership position he must heed the symptoms of disenchantment and distrust exposed by the events in his party while at the same time reinforcing the values that form the core of his agenda of transformation. This will not be an easy task but it is a burden that the President must carry, no matter what his critics might say or do! • To be continued. Barrett wrote via daylightmedia@yahoo.com

Religion and the national cake By Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua Y experiences in Fatima College, Auchi were very refreshing especially when the Muslim students asked for perM mission to build a mosque in our Catholic School. Then the principal was a Catholic priest. The school authority considered it a noble idea even though we did not have a separate building for a chapel. We used the multipurpose hall for masses and the regular morning, afternoon and evening prayers. For us Christians, it was good news that our Muslim friends desired a Mosque at their own expense. We did not think of building a Chapel to compete with the Muslims. Rather we assisted the Muslims voluntarily in carrying blocks, fetching water and providing the required manual labour. It was as if we all grew up in an environment where our parents did not train us to be religious rivals. Later in life, it would be normal for me to see Muslims contributing even financially to the building of some of our Churches. This dream was realised in my early priestly life. When the Catholic diocese of Auchi was created, the joy of the Otaru of Auchi was manifest in the ceremonies and financial contribution to the reconstruction of the cathedral. Some Muslim Alumni of Fatima College came out to support the church in kind and cash. For us, this was no news. It was the normal way to live. In my days in Fatima College, I had a classmate who was also my roommate. We studied together but he would not say his prayers like every devout Muslim would do. We had our first term examination. I passed very well while he failed very well. He was very sad and asked me why he did not pass. I simply told him: “It is because you do not pray”. From that moment, he started going to Mosque to pray as required by Islam. We had the second term examination and both of us passed very well. What eventually gave my friend a moral conversion was very dramatic. It was on a market day! We came back from school very hungry in the afternoon. We went to the market to buy ingredients to cook. A young girl came from nowhere and gave my friend a slap saying, “Bastard, you think I will not catch you! I will kill you today”! I quickly held my friend and begged that he should not retaliate. He shouted, “O boy! I am not a Christian like you, I cannot turn the other cheek for this stupid girl, leave me to teach her a bitter lesson!” I refused to allow him fight back. Later, the girl realised that she mistook my friend for someone else yet did not apologise. We returned home. I started cooking while he was still very embarrassed and confused. Gradually, he recovered himself and we enjoyed our late lunch laughing over the incident of the “lady gladiator”. I enjoyed the way and manner students teased each other those

days, making jokes out of very serious issues! The next day, there was a loud cry not too far away from our house. Tragedy, the girl that slapped my friend was found dead in her mother’s room in the morning! What saved my friend were the testimonies of some people that witnessed the incident in the market. Each of us has a beautiful story to tell about Muslim and Christian relations in our various parts of the world but my experience with Muslim relatives, friends and colleagues in my local environment would today plunge me into “the danger of a single story” (to use the words of Chimamanda Adichie). I have narrated my encounter with so many good Muslims in some of my essays. Among my single stories are my experiences in Mali and Egypt. I stayed in a hotel in Segho, Mali. There every worker was a Muslim. They identified me as a priest because of my clerical wear yet their hospitality was extra-ordinary. You can imagine my amazement that in this same Mali where I saw good Muslims witnessed the dawn of (religious) insurgency that same year. In Cairo, Egypt, the staff that happened to be Muslims in our Hotel arranged a vehicle and a driver to take us round the city. We visited the pyramids and other beautiful places. That same year the (religious) insurgency in Egypt started. I am trying to reconcile my single stories to the stories narrated by some Christians in the northern part of Nigeria. Some of these stories are frightening and look like fictions. Other stories especially from our Muslim partners in dialogue appears to be convincing that some Christians and Muslims are allowing themselves to be used as cheap tools by a few privileged people in Nigeria to grab the National cake and positions as if it is Christianity and Islam that are in competition and unhealthy rivalry. I need further help from our northern Muslim brethren to reconcile these stories with the report that just reached us from Fr. Kelvin Obineche and Lemark Peter, the priests of St. Teresa Catholic Church Funtua in Sokoto Diocese on April 1, 2014 that on March 31, 2014 afternoon, some armed youths forced their way into the parish compound and destroyed the church and other buildings alleging that a Christian corps member insulted Prophet Mohammed. The report continued that a similar scenario had taken place on March 11, 1987 and April 18, 2011. They said that this wreckage is coming just two weeks after the completion of the renovation of the damage of 2011. Recently, a lot of conversations have been going on between Christians and Muslims. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has had two interactive sessions with Muslims of various sects this year 2014 in January and March. A lot of conversations are also going on in different groups between Christians and

Muslims. The level of openness and frankness on the side of Muslims and Christians has reached a point where the divides are able to tell each other what they like and detest in each other. Some people traced the root of the competition between Christians and Muslims to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The impression is that religious rivalry looks like a policy in the political history of Nigeria. Among the examples cited with statistics is the number of times religious traditions are mentioned in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The claim is that the word Sharia is mentioned 73 times, “Islamic” 28 times, Kadi 13 times and “Customary” 66 times, while the word “Christian” does not exist in the constitution. Others refer to the discriminations in some states in pilgrimages as if this is the obligation of federal and state governments. The way and manner Christians and Muslims make demands on government based on what is done for one religion and not done for the other is taken by some people as a basis of religious rivalry. These are only few examples of what appears to be a religious struggle and scrabble for the national cake. This attitude is affecting efficiency in so many sectors of the nation. In appointments, instead of asking if a person is competent, the first question borders on whether the candidate is a Muslim or a Christian and where the person comes from. There is the story of a Senator who is always sleeping at every session but he wakes up occasionally to ask, “Are they insulting my people”? If the answer is “no”, he would continue his slumber. A lot of people have advised that federal and state governments should not interfere with religious institutions and religious issues. If a person in government has the resources to build a Mosque or a Church, because of his or her belief, that is a different story. Religion and the share of the national cake have been identified as an indicator of religious injustice that gives birth to conflicts in Nigeria. Therefore, religious leaders should be prudent enough to know that as long as the government is involved in religious affairs, religion loses the power to be the voice of the people. Religion should serve as the moral conscience of the government. Government officials should use their religious values to promote justice, human dignity and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria. When they go astray, the religious clerics should have the courage to bring them to the right course. Let us not forget that he who pays the piper dictates the tone. • Fr. Omonokhua is the director of Mission and Dialogue of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja and Consultor of the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims (C.R.R.M), Vatican City (comonokhua@hotmail.com).


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14 Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Opinion Delta North and 2015 prospects By Clem Nnamdi Okonjo N the past 14 years, those who have occupied IHowever, political offices have all been “anointed”. it would appear to me that in the proposed election for political positions in 2015, “anointing” may not be sufficient for anyone to win elections for a number of reasons: one of which is the current status of parties in Delta State, Nigeria and also the increased awareness of the electorates (voters). As it is, Delta State is no longer a “single party state”. The last general elections showed that other political parties have indeed come of age and will be in serious contention in 2015. If anyone were in doubt, the performance of the DPP in 2011 effectively showed that there is a departure from the unquestioning support of the PDP as that party won the Senatorial seat for Delta central and a sizeable number of seats in the House of Assembly - the recent bye-election in the Central Senatorial District result notwithstanding. This is a very important factor that will definitely affect the outcome of the results of the governorship election in Delta state in 2015. This is especially now that APC is a reality. Delta North Senatorial District may therefore be limiting her potentials for producing the governor by holding on to the belief that once her candidate picks the governorship ticket of PDP, the district can then be assured of the seat. From my analytical prisms, I can see a picture where old allegiances and alliances will be rebuilt and re-constructed. It is rarely remembered today that in the 21 years of the existence, Delta showed leaning to progressivism. At the first and second governorship elections in the state, Felix Ibru of the SDP was elected governor. Before the creation of Delta State, Ambrose Alli of the UPN won the election in Bendel State (comprising Edo and Delta states). Most importantly the UPN won the Senatorial election in an election where Senator Nosike Ikpo emerged victorious. It is true that most of those who were in the progressive camp at those elections now call the shots in PDP. However, they have not suc-

ceeded in demolishing the progressive bent of Deltans. Any desperate group that has “what it will take” can re-awaken them. At this juncture, it is pertinent to note that these victories recorded by the progressives were never contested in electoral tribunals. This is in sharp contrast to what has happened in this present political dispensation. The PDP may therefore not be the party to beat! The point being made is that given the problems of party primaries, a determined and desperate Senatorial district will find its berth in any other party and win. Another factor that must count in deciding the fate of Delta North Senatorial district in 2015 is the choice of candidates, by which I mean who the parties choose to “anoint”. Some recent commentaries on the subject have given the impression that Delta North must continue to wallow in the parochial path of the past that pandered to some so called “known players”, in PDP. In order to sustain their continuing dominance of the political space of Delta North these known players have worked hard to ensure that other qualified persons are shut out using a combination of subterfuge, malicious gossips and character assassination. In other words, they succeeded in painting politics a dirty game. As willing tools in the hands of their Masters, from the other Senatorial Districts, they have accumulated deep pockets with which they subvert the nomination processes. It is very doubtful if they have now matured and whether they are ready to play by the democratic rules. It may therefore be too dangerous to allow them to be the only ones to carry on. The consequence is that Delta North is today saddled with a crop of marginal performers who have been incapable of lifting their senatorial district beyond their parochial whims and caprices of self, wives, sisters, brothers and villages. They have maintained the vice-like hold on the political space of the district through intimidation. It is doubtful too, given their desire to be in government at all cost, whether they have shed their propensity to play second fiddle. This is why they have al-

Another factor that must count in deciding the fate of Delta North Senatorial district in 2015 is the choice of candidates, by which I mean who the parties choose to “anoint”. Some recent commentaries on the subject have given the impression that Delta North must continue to wallow in the parochial path of the past that pandered to some so called “known players”, in PDP. ways created conditions that make politics unattractive for those that have elements of vision and are courageous to speak the truth, to compete. Unfortunately too, some of these people do not have the moral consistency that will produce the “strategic political mobility” needed to wrest power from the other Senatorial Districts in 2015. They may become the albatross to the governorship ambition of Delta North. Therefore, in order to progress beyond the rhetoric of the desirability of clinching the position in 2015, Delta North must repudiate this albatross. It must be checkmated. Although this will be no mean task, yet it is highly surmountable. Unfortunately, as at now, there are very few political elite in Delta North. Most of those parading themselves as “successful politicians”, are a struggling class of political scavengers working hard to undo each other. They are intent only on self aggrandizement. And having been recruited by politicians from the other ethnic blocks in the state, they are not our first eleven. The political leadership in Delta North today is lamentably alienated from the people, their body languages, and perceptions and deportment smirk of indolence, betrayal and selfishness. Not only have they cornered the wealth of the people, they have also become road blocks to the perquisites of modern and ideal societies. I posit therefore that in order to win governorship position in 2015, Delta North must field, at the party primary hopeful, faithful and dependable patriots, imbued with incorruptible honesty and dignified humility someone who has the education and training required to understand the nuances of the 21st

Century politics; someone with vision, doggedness and the commitment needed for the socio-economic re-engineering and who is capable of transforming the state. It is noteworthy that some of our elite are now emerging from their 12-14 years political stupor. Some of these elite have shown the capacity for undertaking the hard work, the integrity and accountability needed for good governance in other fields of human endeavour. We must field a goal-getter and a successful person whose background is impeccable and reliable. We must find a candidate with an inspiring vision to creatively free the state from the mediocre governance. Delta North must present a candidate who has vision about the height he will take the state to. The person must not be a “reluctant” candidate but one that is ready and willing to serve, the type that will generate and implement the appropriate vision(s). He must be shorn of prejudices, hate and needless populism, a deep and imaginative candidate capable of responding boldly and innovatively to challenges. Delta North is filled with capable people. We must search for them and create the enabling environment that will enable them feel free to contest. We must adopt the type of fierce challenge which Winston Churchill had to deploy to retrieve Britain from Hitler, to retrieve our Senatorial District from those who do not want to play by the rules. Finally, the search must ensure a level playing field for all interested contestants irrespective of platform. We must recruit and field our first eleven. • Sir Clem (JP) wrote the article via clemsellointernational@gmail.com

Another look at delegates’ allowance By Victor Oshisada N the scriptures, Nathanael asked Philip: “Can there any I“Come good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip replied him: and see.” With the current scenario in the political terrain, I asked myself in similar vein: “Can anything good come out of Nigeria?” Wonders will never cease. Pastor Tunde Bakare reportedly first turned down the N12 million Conference allowance to delegates. Few days thereafter, an ex-President of Nigeria Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba, echoed similar statement in allowance rejection. Third in line was Femi Falana who expressed reservations about the allowances but made the gesture that he would donate his allowance from the ongoing National Conference of N12 million to charity instead of a total rejection like the two others: “I once rejected rams and rice sent to me for Christmas by a state government, but I found out that they were not returned to the (gift) sender, they were diverted by those who brought them…Since then, I have learnt to collect such gifts and donate them to the poor, who really need them.” In essence, there is still hope for the moral rectitude of Nigerians and its progress. The N12 million allowance must not be

A good government is expected to take money from the rich, by taxation, to care for the poor, and not to take from the poor for the benefit of the rich. The configuration is pyramidal. At the base of the pyramid are the poor masses, whilst the few affluent are at the top. That is the standpoint of the public. Nigerians believe that the N12million for three-month conference is on the high side for the delegates. Their argument is that it is an indirect “bribe” for them (delegates) to do the government’s biddings.

viewed from narrow or jaundiced standpoint, but from dispassionate, understanding perspectives. By allocating as much as N4million naira per month to each of the 492 delegates, the Federal Government must have some noble intentions. One of the probable reasons is the consideration for the delegates’ comfort. I believe with their comfort comes quality job. And this can be made possible, if the delegates are generously remunerated. The Federal Government believes that if they are not adequately cared for, a shoddy performance could not be wished away. But if they are handsomely rewarded, and they put up poor services, the delegates have no excuses; they deserve to be seriously censured. Converging at Abuja for Constitutional discourse is a national service that requires huge expenses, having to strive like the Trojans. Empathy and sympathy are complementary feelings. One must empathise to be able to sympathise with the delegates. “For the delegates to suspend their engagements, personal or official, to focus on the national service, can be self-abnegation - harrowing and expensive,” the Federal Government might have reasoned. The delegates are patriotic. But those who reject the sumptuous allowance are more patriotic, because they are performing their services free of financial considerations. Their rejection of the allowance hallmarks patriotism. The trio of Pastor Bakare, Agbakoba and Falana have honestly shown that they and many others are men of considerable substance who do not require emoluments of such magnitude. Their actions belie the Biblical saying: “From those who do not have shall be collected to give those who have”, in contrast with the English stories in medieval Sherwood Forest “where the rich were made to contribute money to pay the poor”. A good government is expected to take money from the rich, by taxation, to care for the poor, and not to take from the poor for the benefit of the rich. The configuration is pyramidal. At the base of the pyramid are the poor masses, whilst the few affluent are at the top. That is the standpoint of the public. Nigerians believe that the N12million for three-month conference

is on the high side for the delegates. Their argument is that it is an indirect “bribe” for them (delegates) to do the government’s biddings. Every morning, the newsstand is a “state or national assembly” of some sorts where ordinary but concerned Nigerians converge to read newspapers and debate national issues. To them, the heavy allowance is a “bribe” to the delegates. If not, in a country where some states are defaulting on the payment of N18, 000 minimum wage for workers, the invalids are not receiving drugs or good treatment in the hospitals, exorbitant fees are paid in state universities, conference delegates are paid N4million monthly allowance. What it means is that the three who rejected the allowance are indirectly taking a swipe at the Federal Government for getting its priority wrong. They are operating on the wavelength of altruism and not of selfishness. Also, the action is indicative of the need for the Ministers and National Assembly members especially to voluntarily reduce their own pays and allowances. In effect, inflation can be minimally controlled in a country that is under the suffocating weight of mediocrity and unbridled greed. Recall the recent six months’ strike by lecturers for the underfunding of universities. The lecturers are now watching events. The calibre of the delegates also calls for consideration. Most of them are men of substance. In the past, many of them served the government in various capacities, some as captain of industries. So, it is believed that the delegates are being compensated by the Federal Government for their past services and loyalty. They are men of substance who realise what the government requires and they are prepared to serve the menu accordingly. From this last point, can it be concluded that the N12million or N7billion allowance is playing politics on the part of the Federal Government, bearing in mind that the country is entering into an election period? On the other hand, is the rejection a manifestation of patriotism or an ego display? • Oshisada, a veteran journalist, lives in Ikorodu, Lagos.


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Business Govt disburses N11b for automotive policy’s take-off From Itunu Ajayi, Abuja HE Federal Government T has disbursed over N11 billion to 33 companies in vehicle production business, to kick-off the automotive policy. The development was disclosed by the DirectorGeneral of the National Automotive Council, Aminu Jalal in Abuja, yesterday. He said only five of these companies are assembling plants while the remaining are all local content handlers that would engage in the production of tyres, motor

cycle spear parts and other sundry vehicle components. Jalal told journalists during a media chat in Abuja that the move would create a window for an affordable financial scheme for the companies to produce affordable vehicles for Nigerians, such that they would be able to buy a new vehicle assembled in the country for as low as N1.7 million. The DG, who reiterated the importance of industrialisation said no country of the world had been able to create wealth and get its people

out of poverty without industrialization and noted that Nigeria should not be an exception. He said the automobile sector provides opportunity for Nigeria to industrialise noting that importation of vehicles had only created jobs in other countries other than Nigeria, thereby making Nigerians jobless and poor. He pointed out that in 2010 alone, Nigeria expended $4 billion on importation of vehicles alone and $3.5 billion in 2012. Jalal said by the time money spent of importation of tyres and spear

parts are added, the figures are unimaginable, stressing that expenditure on vehicles and aircraft spear parts are already the second largest users of foreign exchange. He said the development of vehicle assembling plants in the country would guarantee creation of jobs and put an end to capital flight. “Our main aim is that within a short while, people would stop buying Tokunbo vehicles, we are not going to force it on people but we are encouraging assembling plants such that they would produce vehicles that peo-

ple can afford, so naturally the idea of buying Tokunbo vehicles will no longer be attractive to the people”, he added. On the littering of scrap and accidental vehicles all over the country, Jalal said though handling of such categories of vehicles was not in the automotive policy, but effort is being put in place to liaise with the Japanese governments development agency to the clear and recycle of such vehicles. According to him, “we have been pursuing a programme with the Japanese government development agency. We are collaborating to set up a pilot vehiclerecycling firm in Abuja. The FCT administration had already provided land for the plant and the machinery is already in japan to be shipped. The only thing remaining is for the Nigeria Company involved to tidy up construction on the land before the equipment is brought in”. He said this aspect is another way of job creation because Nigerians would be trained on the recycling process and some components of scrap vehicles can again be sold to other end users. “But vehicle recycling can-

not work without a vehicle recycling law. For instance, if you go to police stations, you would see all these vehicles that has been accidented and abandoned but there must be a law that would allow those vehicles to be taken and dispose of them, but so far, there is no such law in Nigeria”. On the sustainability of standards in the industry, Jalal explained that the automotive plants involved in the policy like Peugeot, Toyota would not trade their integrity for anything adding that any attempt to compromise quality would have a negative effect their reputation. “If a single person has problem with their vehicle within one year of purchase, you can be sure that the single person would tell ten others and this will have negative effect on the brand, besides there would be competition, so any company that choses to do the wrong thing would not only have itself to blame but would also fold up because no one would patronise such company”. He said by December this year, all the assembling plants would have started full operation.

Power sector privatisation will boost GDP, says Fashola OVERNOR Babatunde G Fashola of Lagos State has stated that the privatisation

Chief Executive Officer, Accenture Nigeria, Niyi Yusuf(left); Chief Executive Officer, Kakawa Discount House Limited, Laoye Jaiyeola; and Executive, Junior Achievement Nigeria, Kunbi Wuraola, during the Junior Achievement Nigeria 15th anniversary press briefing in Lagos, yesterday PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Sub-Saharan African economies to record 5.2% growth this year From Anthony Otaru, Abuja HE World Bank’s new Africa’s Pulse, in its forecast, has revealed that the economic growth in SubSaharan Africa would hit 5.2 per cent this year, against 4.7 per cent it recorded in 2013, following a boost in investment in natural resources, infrastructure and strong household spending. The Bank’s Africa’s Pulse is a bi-annual analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects Speaking to the media on Monday, in Abuja, the World Bank Group’s Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop, stated that frontier markets of Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zambia have attracted much of the net capital flows, particularly Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to the region in recent years. Diop said that in 2012, FDI inflows to these countries were $21 billion, nearly

T

seven times the amount of short and long term debt flows that these countries received. Net portfolio equity inflows to the region are largely concentrated in Nigeria and South Africa, Nigeria has seen an increase in net portfolio equity inflows from a mere $0.5 billion in 2009 to $10 billion in 2012. “With lower international food and fuel prices and prudent monetary policy, inflation slowed in the region growing at an annual rate of 6.3 per cent in 2013, compared with 10.7 per cent a year ago’’. According to him, some countries such as Ghana and Malawi have seen an uptick in inflation because of

Frontier markets of Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zambia have attracted much of the net capital flows, particularly Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to the region in recent years. depreciating currencies adding that remittances to the region also grew from 6.2 per cent to $32 billion in 2013, exceeding the record of $30 billion reached in 2011, these inflows combined with lower food prices, boosted household real incomes and spending. He however noted that strategic reforms are needed to expand young people’s access to science-based edu-

cation at both the country and the regional level and to ensure that they graduate with cutting-edge knowledge that is relevant and meets the needs of private sector employees’’. Diop further explained that a number of African countries are now routinely among the world’s fastestgrowing countries as a result of sound macro-economic reforms in recent years.

of the power sector and anticipated positive impact in the manufacturing sector would increase the state’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Fashola made the assertion yesterday at the ongoing seventh Lagos Economic Summit. He said that the state contributed about 25 per cent to the rebased national GDP with less than 1000 mega watts of electricity. The Governor stressed that the privatisation of the power sector would boost the actualisation of 10,000 mega watts of power generation, needed to drive a manufacturing-based economy in the country. “The size of an economy will not enhance its efficiency and development if that size is not properly utilised. “Adequate supply of power is a major driver of a viable economy. “The liberalisation of the power sector will increase the contribution of sectors such as agro-processing and industries to the GDP. “It will also enhance the full utilisation of potential in every state with respect to

their input to the GDP,” he said. The Governor urged the Federal Government to act as a middleman between investors in the power sector and electricity consumers, to prevent profiteering. “It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that consumers get optimum value for their money. “The Lagos State Government has been involved in power audit by matching consumer areas with the level of power access. “We are also putting strategies in place to formulate legislation and policies to protect consumers of power generated and distributed by private investors,” Fashola added. The United States Aid for International Development (USAID) Power Africa Coordinator for Nigeria, Ms Sharon Pauling, said that the organisation supported Nigeria with technical expertise in the power sector reforms. Pauling said that Power Africa would ensure that investors get access to international finance for the nation’s privatisation process.


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NLC lauds govt over GDP rebasing HE Nigeria Labour T Congress (NLC), yesterday commended the Federal Government for achieving the feat of economic rebasing which placed Nigeria’s GDP in 2013 at 89.22 per cent. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the congress Acting President, Promise Adewusi. The congress, however, urged government to ensure that the figure translated into improved living conditions, jobs, revival of industries and improvement of internal security. It noted that an economic growth without jobs and food on the table means nothing in reality. “As we commend the government for achieving the feat of economic rebasing, we urge it to ensure this figure translates into improved living conditions of its citizens. ``There should be jobs for our youths; industries must be revived; there should be improvement in the nation’s internal and national security. “For those will be the measurable indices and indicators of an enlarging and progressive economy,” the statement quoted Adewusi. ``As cheering as the news may be, congress was not completely swayed by the latest GDP figure, nationalist as it seems. “Nigeria, being the

. Seeks improved living conditions for Nigerians biggest economy in Africa, ought to make no news if vital national statistics

such as population, natural resources among others were to form the requi-

site assumptions for assessment. “More importantly, an

improved GDP will only make meaning to us in labour if it translates into improved living conditions for the ordinary Nigerian.”

The Global head of Thomson Reuters Foreign Exchange, Phil Weisberg (left); and the Head of African Operations, Sheha Shan, at a briefing session in Lagos.

The statement said that a GDP could not be said to significantly have improved if the industries were virtually shut and operating environment increasingly hostile. It said that government should worry that the performance index of industries dropped from 46.08 per cent to 25.81 per cent. The statement said that the service industry was more than 50 per cent doubled from 23.03 per cent. It added that this certainly represented a significant change in the economy, a negative change that pointed to consumption to the exclusion of production. The statement added that unemployment figures were frightening, stressing that the NLC found it necessary to warn, times without number, that government should urgently address the problem. It said that: ``So far, nothing has illustrated this fear better than the recent Immigration recruitment tragedy. ``We therefore do not need any economist or diviner to tell us that life has improved, because it has not.”

NASSI seeks tax holiday for new, small businesses HE Nigerian Association T of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) in Enugu State, yesterday,

called for tax holiday for new and small businesses in the state. The Chairman of the asso-

ciation, Benjamin Njoku, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu that a tax-free venture for

new and small businesses would ensure growth in the economy of the state. ``We are advocating tax

holiday for young and small businesses. They are starting new; allow them to operate for say three years to five years tax free so that they can stabilise. ``By the time they stabilise, they will be on the ground and they can pay tax but not so many taxes. ``Let there be one-stop shop for taxation in Enugu State so that when you go in, you pay consolidated tax and then you cover everything not the local government, ESWAMA, environment, and road safety all making you to pay multiple taxes.`` Njoku identified some of the challenges impeding the growth of small businesses in the state as multiple taxation, lack of steady power supply, fuel scarcity, and inadequate support from both state and local governments. He called on the government to initiate policies to support small businesses. On the Bank of Industry’s (BOI) N1 billion loan to small businesses, Njoku said that more than 30 small scale enterprises had benefitted from the scheme. He explained that the minimum amount so far distributed to each small business in the state was N4.5 million at an interest rate of 10 per cent in three years. ``The first and second batches of small businesses have benefitted from the BOI loan in the state,`` he said. Njoku called on citizens involved in small businesses to join the association to be able to access the loans for the growth of their businesses.


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TheMetroSection Kidnappers on the prowl in Imo

Briefs Foundation empowers walk for child-amputees

• Police arrest doctor for alleged child stealing, as nursing mothers go into hiding From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri ROM indications unfolding in different parts of the 637 autonomous communities in the 27 Local Councils of Imo state evidences are on ground that many mothers have allegedly lost their children to abductors who brandished guns and eventually disappear, dispossessing nursing mothers of their babies, in a new phenomenon of child stealing and abduction in the state. The Guardian unearthed from research conducted so far that, within about two weeks, scores of nursing mothers in different locations in the state are in hiding places, guarding their babies jealously. Within a record time of two weeks, no fewer than three reported cases of child stealing have been established, while the authorities of the state Police Command have deployed all the police arsenals to see that the babies were recovered from the hoodlums. The newly posted Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abdulmajid Ali, worried by the new sprawling social vice in the state, has dispatched his crack team known as Scorpion, in all nooks and crannies of the state. The state command is investigating the latest case of mysterious child disappearance reported by a couple, who allegedly lost one of their twins, after giving birth through a Caesarean section. According to sources who confided in The Guardian on Monday, the hitherto pregnant woman, Mrs Peter, a 200 level student of Science and Laboratory Technology of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, near Owerri, had gone to obtain the status of her pregnancy (ultra sound), whereby the medical operators gave her the result indicating that she was carrying a set of twins in her womb. As the days rolled by, the source said, the woman kept attending the regular anti-natal at same medical centre, in Umudibia, Nekede, Owerri West Local Council of the state. When the time for delivery came, the

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unknown gunmen murdered a nursing mother/ widow, disappearing into thin air with her baby, but one of the abductors was arrested by the police. The PPRO also confirmed the incident to The Guardian, warning that the CP’s strike squad, Scorpion, would be deadly with criminals. Governor Rochas Okorocha who was on his way to a council (Nwangele), branched into the scene, ordering the suspect to ensure that the baby was recovered and other fleeing suspects arrested. One Mrs. Chidinma Emmanuel, a mother of three, and tricycle operator in Owerri, is in police net over the cases of child stealing. Men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDSC) in Imo state, who caught the suspect, said she was arrested while trying to escape on April 4, with a three- year- old baby. About three weeks ago, a nursing mother in Orlu, also in Imo State, was shot in the laps as she was going to buy kerosene from her neighbour in Imo State Police Commissioner, Abdulwajid Ali the village village. Her baby was kidnapped from her. She is now lying Medical Director (names withheld), al- nurses were said to have ran away. helpless in a hospital in the state. So far, the state police command has legedly opted for CS. After the operaA few days ago, robbers stormed the arrested the medical director and is tion, as unconscious as she was, busy area of Ikenegbu Layout, Owerri, sources alleged that woman could still helping the police in useful investigation on the matter. The newly deployed entering the offices of a local tabloid in recall that two male babies (twins) Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in Owerri, Nigeria Newspoint, carting were brought out from her womb by away valuable items and cash. They the state, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a the doctor and his staff nurses. also inflicted injuries on the co-pubHowever, when the woman regained Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), lisher of the paper, Mr. Gele Agbai. confirmed to The Guardian on Monday consciousness and begun to ask after CP Ali said the fight to comb the state that the medical doctor was in their cusher second baby, she was surprisingly to fish out the criminals had begun. tody and helping with useful statetold by the doctor that she should forTwo teenage armed robbers were get what the report of the ultra sound ments. According to Enwerem: “I am confirm- killed while four others were captured told her and regard it as false. ing the incident. The medical doctor is in alive while attempting to steal two Dissatisfied by that, she quickly police custody. He is cooperating in the Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and a alerted her husband, Mr. Ebere Peter Toyota Camry. Other items found on investigation.” who came in from Lagos. He also was When asked wether the suspect has ad- them include locally made pistols, sevangered by the response from the doceral handsets and flat screen plasma mitted removing the other twin, the tor. The husband was angered largely televisions. PPRO said: “I can not say that one now. by the useful information he got from The CP said he was not in the state for That will amount to contempt of the inpeople within the hospital that the a tea party, advising people not to revestigation.” couple should ask for their complete gard him as a weak person, lesser than set of twins. While the Medical Director Another incident of child abduction oc- the immediate past CP, Mr. Muhamcurred last week in Umuleke, Okwudor, of the centre was arrested, the staff mad Musa Katsina. He warned all the Njaba Local Council of the state when criminals in the state to relocate or re-

THOUSAND people will A on Saturday, April 12, walk two kilometres to create awareness for child amputees from YMCA Building (by Mobile Filling Station), 77 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos at 7.30a.m. The Awareness walk, tagged “Out on a Limb”, is an initiative of the Irede Foundation, which is aimed at bringing the attention of the society to the challenges faced by children living without limbs and the need to appropriately care for them. The walk is free and participants will receive a free branded T-shirt. However, we hope to raise funds to empower two -amputees; hence, sponsorship is open to individual and corporate donors.

Funke Egure for burial HE death has occurred of T Mrs. Funke Egure, a.k.a Mama Peace, aged 46. A Christian wake holds on Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 4.00 pm – 5.30 and Traditional wake immediately thereafter at her residence, No. 5 Onabanjo Close, off Adamson Street, Amje Bus Stop, Alakuko Area, Lagos State On Friday April 11, 2014, corpse would be taken to Igarra, Edo State for burial. She is survived by her husband, Sunday Egure, children, brothers, sisters, aged mother and father.

Air Force calls for better military planes’ maintenance at seminar By Odita Sunday UALITY aircraft mainteQ nance topped the discussion at these year’s Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Logistics seminar held at the NAF Air Force base, Ikeja- Lagos. The event hosted experts from both civil and military aviation arena. The theme of the seminar was ‘‘Enhancing effective logistics support for air operations in the NAF through innovative approaches” while the topics addressed were “Aircraft Maintenance and Air Operations – Civil Airlines Perspective” and “Supply Chain Management and Aircraft Maintenance in the NAF and Provision of Integrated Logistics in Support of Air Operations in the NAF”. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, who was the special Guest of Honour at the seminar told participants that no Air Force all over the world could operate successfully without often maintaining its aircraft. According to Amosu, “The aim and objective of this logistics seminar are consistent with my desire and determination to consolidate on past

lofty legacies and achievements as encapsulated in my vision, ‘‘to consolidate the transformation of the Nigerian Air Force by employing innovative approaches, with a focus on joint capabilities and consideration for credible international partnerships.’’ “The timing for this seminar and the choice of the theme could not have been more apt. The theme, is indeed, germane to our contemporary combat and operational environment where non-state actors have continued to undermine the peace and security of our dear nation.” He noted that the insecurity situation caused by the insurgent group called Boko Haram calls for collaboration and synergy between all the security agencies. “This unfortunate situation brought about by the activities of armed insurgents calls for closer cooperation, collaboration and indeed building of synergy among security agencies and other stakeholders charged with the responsibility of ensuring internal stability, territorial sovereignty and corporate unity of the nation as well as

protection of lives and property. “This underlines the emphasis of my administration on joint capabilities and consideration for credible partnerships. In the face of the enormous internal security challenges and the limited resources to draw from, it is not only necessary but also essential to look inwards to find ways and means of develop-

ing appropriate strategies towards addressing the situation. “ Let me reiterate that the net effect of the complex contemporary threat equation on the capacity of the various agencies is that no single organization has the requisite level of skill or monopoly of knowledge and resources to cope with the fluid and volatile situation that we now have to

deal with. “Furthermore, in view of the prevailing security challenges and emerging threats, which have put undue pressure on our airlift capability, there is a need for us to maximize the use of available logistics elements and resources in order to provide a coordinated and integrated support to NAP operations.” Amosu said.

Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Mike Iloenyosi, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu and the former Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Olusola Petinrin at the seminar... PHOTO: ODITA SUNDAY

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Korean city hosts 2014 Fire & Safety Expo HE Daegu Metropolitan City in Korea, will host the T 11th edition of the Fire and Safety Expo for three days from April 9, 2014 at the Daegu Exhibition and Convention Center (EXCO), and the Office of the Commercial Attaché, Embassy of Korea in Lagos will be sending a trade delegation from Nigeria to attend this annual event which is Korea's largest and Asia's leading Fire and Safety Trade Show. The event, which is jointly organized by the Korea Institute of Fire Industry, Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and the Daegu Exhibition and Convention Center (EXCO), will bring together 250 foreign and domestic companies to showcase the most advanced products and high technology in the Fire and Safety Industry.


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Women urge men to respect gender equality By Seye Olumide HE 2014 International Women’s Day, marked across the globe last month, was not a tea party affair, as the women in Lagos specifically, and all over the world, said in one voice: “It is time for action to end violence against women.” Although the 2014 Women Day was not celebrated in the usual dancing and merry-making style, the women were determined more than ever before, as the 2015 elections move closer and the persistent raise in cost of living, insecurity across and crisis in governance, to press home their demand for space and opportunity to play significant roles in changing the destiny of Africa, and Nigeria in particular. Thousands of the women who gathered at the Police College, Ikeja for the event, with theme: ‘Equality for Women, Progress for All’, said that while it is not possible to force our men folk to respect the outcome of the Beijing Conference of 1995, which called for women’s empowerment and adequate representation in governance, we can as well plead with them, to allow us play some significant roles in rebuilding Nigeria.” From one group of women organisation present at the occasion to another, their stories and feelings about the state of the nation was the same. Realising the fact that Nigeria is undergoing serious challenges, the women said they and their children bore the greatest burden of the crisis in

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Adefulire-Orelope (second left) dancing with other women at the programme… the African continent over the years. One of the women leaders said one of the impediments to the growth and development of many African nations, and the black race in general, is the “back row men folks have subjected women in nation-building.” According to her: “A critical observation has revealed that nations that place premium on the roles of women in national building are making more progress in all spheres of life than those behaving otherwise.” The event was organized by

the Office of the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Adefulire-Orelope in collaboration with her boss, Babatunde Fashola and other women bodies, was aimed at pressing further for women freedom and progress across the world. Indeed, scores of women, both literate, non-literate, professionals and artisans, body of Market Women headed by the Iyaloja General, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, the First Lady of Lagos, Abimbola Fashola and others believes it is time for the country to stop the challenges confronting the coun-

try. In her opening remarks, Orelope-Adefulire asserted that the health, well-being and state of development of any society can be seen in the state of its average women. She averred that empowered women lift up society as a whole, and countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Orelope lamented that Africa society has been unfortunate “there is an increase in cases of gender based violence and inhuman treatment of women in spite of the state of technological and sociological devel-

opment, pointing to the fact that: “cases of rape, child labour, sex slavery continue to assault our sensibilities on an increase rate.” She said it is not enough to for women to agitate for gender equality “we should also seize the opportunity to showcase our resourcefulness, passion and commitment and put in our best whatever area destiny has placed us.” Mrs. Abimbola Fashola called on Nigerians to stop attributing the success of women to sexual relationships with their male bosses. She said the 2014 Women

Day, is very apt, as she urged that the women should not be prevented from doing the things that they are qualified and equipped to do simply because they are women. She said “It is unfortunate when a woman rises fast to a certain height, her proficiency in the said field is ignored. “Rather, various unpalatable premises are brought to the fore as reasons for her success,” urging Nigerians should stop alluding a woman’s success to sexual relationships with her bosses because women don’t do that to men.” A representative of the United Nations Population Fund, Dr. Omolasho Omoseyi, said the education of women and girls could not be substituted for any other thing. According to him, “Sustainable development could be promoted more effectively by educated women and girls. Although great progress has been achieved in some areas of gender equality and women empowerment, everyday 20,000 girls below the age of 18 give birth in developing countries. The percentage of girls marrying below 18 has not changed in recent years. We have to make good on our promise to women and girls.” Mr. Clem Orji, who represented Coca-Cola, said Lagos State has been playing a leading role in gender equality and indeed “this programme underscore the state’s commitment to women development.”

Ijoko community decry alleged killing of their kinsmen, asks Amosun to intervene From Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta

nor Ibikunle Amosun to save them from “total elimination.” There has been obaship ESIDENTS of Ijoko Com(monarchy) tussle in the community in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Council of Ogun State munity in the last eight years, yesterday demonstrated over which has resulted in the death of over 40 people in the an alleged killing of their town. The tussle is between kinsmen. The placard-carrying demon- Oba Fatai Alani Matanmi and Oba Lasisi Aremu Ogunseye, strators who stormed the Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta Gover- who have been involved in a nor’s Office called on Gover- long run legal battle till date.

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According to their spokesperson, Chief Mrs. Kuburat Ajoke Sanni, an obaship tussle in the area had taken a fresh twist in the last two weeks as “about four of our people have been killed.” Sanni, who appealed to Governor Ibikunle Amosun to salvage them in Ijoko declared: “As a people, we don’t want Matanmi in Ijoko.”

Community policing necessary to check rising cases of baby factories, says Ogun commissioner From Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta HE Ogun State CommisT sioner for Community Development and Cooperatives, Chief Samuel Aiyedogbon has underscored the need for leaders of Community Development Associations (CDAs) in Nigeria to put in place community policing that would serve as a neighbourhood watch. The commissioner in a state- Ogun State Police Commissioner, ment signed by his Press Offi- Ikemefuna Okoye cer, Mr. Ayokunle Ewuoso in Abeokuta yesterday explained play in securing our commuthat the move, if made, would nities, our CDAs should live up go a long way in checking ris- to their expectations and should imbibe the idea of seting crime rates across the ting up neighbourhood watch country, particularly in the area of baby-making factories within their communities to stem the ugly incidents of and ritualists’ dens. Aiyedogbon who spoke while baby factories, ritual dens and reacting to the recent discov- other criminal activities. CDAs ery of a ritualist den and baby should be security concious factories in Ogun State, said and report any suspicious moves in their various comthe issue was shocking and worrisome, maintaining that munities to security agencies”, the efforts to combat such unCommissioner affirmed. wholesome developments He pointed out that the CDAs should be the concern of all need to do more than embarkand not that of the governing on self-help projects, but ment alone. “We all have major roles to should go a step further to col-

laborate with agencies to ensure all-round security of lives and property in their community, adding that “people will only be at peace to enjoy whatever amenities the CDAs provide if they are sure of safety and protection at all times.” The Commissioner advised landlords to be cautious and always ascertain the nature of businesses their tenants engage in before renting out their buildings to them, urging owners of uncompleted buildings to always ensure that the environment of such buildings are kept clean so as not to serve as “hideouts” for criminally-minded people. On the plans of his Ministry on the development, Ayedogbon affirmed that it would not fold its arms and watch this ugly trend (baby factories/ ritualist den) continue, revealing that very soon, leaders of CDAs would be invited to a meeting to fashion out ways of collaborating with other relevant stakeholders towards establishing the neighborhood watch in their respective communities across the State.

In the same vein, Chief Mrs. Nusirat Bankole Majekodunmi of Ijoko, informed that the crisis has assumed a criminal dimension that she has lost her own son, an undergraduate of the University of Ilorin, (UNILORIN) to the crisis. She added that since then, the perpetrators of the violence had fled the area, saying some of the notable personalities

that had been killed in the crisis, included: Chief Amodu, Baba Sotinoye and Mosuru Ogunseye, a son of the monarch and a father of four, who according to her, was allegedly forcefully taken away and killed and his corpse is yet be seen till date. Addressing the protesters, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Barr. Taiwo Ade-

oluwa assured them that the State government would look into the crisis, urging them to maintain peace and order to avoid another blood-shedding in the town. Adeoluwa, after receiving the protest letter from the people, added that the State government had been exploring all avenues at ensuring that lasting peace was restored to the

NBC restates commitment to sustainable recycling initiative According to Olomola, NBC’s sustainable initiatives on the environment are in the areas of water stewardship, energy, packaging and recycling. “Under our packaging vironment by supporting the maiden and recycling initiatives, NBC has invested edition of the Lagos Waste Management in environment friendly packaging Authority (LAWMA) recycling club quiz through light-weighting a number of our and exhibition themed: My Environment packaging. We introduced the ultra glass and I. The event which held at LAWMA loading packaging for the returnable glass segbay on the Lagos Island recently, aimed to ment of our sparkling soft drinks category in 2009 and the best bottle in the world build awareness and increase the recyfor the Eva water category in 2012. These cling culture amongst primary and secondary school students and had over 100 packaging are environment friendly, requiring less material for their production students from 15 public and private whilst being more durable than their schools in attendance. The educationpredecessors. based initiative was also designed to recMrs. Tolulope Adeyo, Recycling Manager ognize and reward students in Lagos for for LAWMA said that the maiden edition of their strong understanding of the envithe quiz and exhibition was to evaluate ronment and how it affects them. Ultiwhat has been learnt in the recycling clubs mately, the initiative seeks to enable the at schools and to create more awareness students imbibe a strong culture of recyon recycling among the students. cling. Mrs Adeyo said every home and office Speaking on NBC’s partnership with generates waste and LAWMA is in the busiLAWMA on the initiative, Mrs. Yanju Olomola, Head, Public Affairs and Communi- ness of waste management. She, therefore, called on all teachers, schools and parents cations, Nigerian Bottling Company said that as a business, the Coca-Cola system is to support the recycling programme. She thanked NBC for its unflinching support committed to minimising its impact on and partnership, which she affirmed the natural environment as part of its would go a long way to make a difference broader efforts to integrate socially responsible behaviour and sustainable man- in communities NBC was incorporated in November 1951 agement principle in all areas of its and is a member of Coca-Cola Hellenic AG, operation. an anchor bottler with the franchise to Lanre Awolokun High School, Gbagada emerged winner of the Quiz Competition bottle products of The Coca-Cola Company in 28 countries in North, Central and while Community Junior Secondary South Europe, Asia and Africa with over 581 School, Surulere emerged winner of the million consumers in these markets. exhibition. HE Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) T Limited has again restated its commitment to preserving and protecting the en-


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Money CBN governorship: After confirmation, what next? With the confirmation of Godwin Emefiele as the new helmsman of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), experts and stakeholders have also raised the benchmark for measuring performance against excellence. CHIJIOKE NELSON writes.

David Mark, Senate President

Dr. Sarah Alade, Ag. Governor, CBN

Emefiele

Sanusi

UST like takeovers in the banking industry, which is usually with assets and liabilities, the man- Godwin Emefiele, is conversant with the trend. This is true of the confirmation he just secured from the National Assembly- he has inherited the fame and various challenges of the apex bank. This will take effect from June this year, when he assumes office, at the expiration of the tenure of Lamido Sanusi. For emphasis sake, CBN is now associated with the multiple challenges of confidence; clear-cut definition of its independence; effective monetary policy options; alignment of monetary-fiscal policy mix; dwindling fiscal buffers; interest rate and inflation uncertainties; devaluation speculations; depositlending rate gap, currently tending towards chasm; Naira foreign exchange determination; and the controversial substitution of dollar for Naira, excess liquidity and mopping system through bond. The list continues. Already, CBN has upheld the 12 per cent Monetary Policy Rate for over 24 months, with attendant ripples extending to high interbank rate and general lending rates of the deposit money banks, with record of over 25 per cent and above. The real sector was not spared of the troubles as the operators point to the direction of the subsisting rate policy as making access to funds elusive, raising the cost of production and worst still, facilitating the “smooth passage” (mortality rate) of businesses at various levels and sectors. Argument against the substitution of the dollar for Naira has been advanced as the cause of excess liquidity in the system, while the mopping process through bond issuance is still being faulted for alleged distribution of public wealth among cronies of government and apex bank, who in turn determine the bond rates and redeeming period.  The price stability and inflation control measures have also received knocks, with arguments that it lacks innovation. Presently, monetary tightening has intensified, with the benchmark rate left retained at 12 per cent and Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) on public sector fund at 75 per cent, the committee at the last meeting decided to raise the CRR on private sector deposits to 15 per cent from 12 per cent, an indication of additional liquidity withdrawal of around N350bn based on private sector deposit estimates of NGN11.7tr. But analysts have said the market is unlikely to see the private sector deposit CRR decision as sufficient to restore dwindling Naira confidence. These challenges are already on ground waiting for

Emefiele’s philosophical “Midas” touch. CBN’s independence, still key to Emefiele, he urged the National Assembly to undertake a deep study of international norms with respect to central bank independence, while admitting that parliament had the mandate to change the existing framework. The appeal came after a proposed amendment of the CBN Act that will see the CBN Governor answerable to a Chairman of the central bank board appointed by the President and cleared by the Senate, a development that will certainly add to market concerns over the degree of independence of the apex bank in an already difficult market and institutional context. But to experts and stakeholders, who have been watching the developments, a new benchmark has already been set to match the incoming banker against all measurement of successes. To them, solution to these challenges are the way forward and a new way of tackling each issue with positive results would be the difference. For Henry Boyo, an economy analyst, who posited that the nation’s monetary policy has always been on the wrong side, tasked the new CBN helmsman to demystify the linger-

ing challenge of poverty in the midst of plenty, high interest rate, dollar-Naira substitution and wide gap between deposit and lending rates. “Emefiele should find answers to the lingering dilemma of why the country had $4 billion reserves in the 70s and 80s, but rich, while over $40 billion at present, but poor. Which country in the world ever developed at over 20 per cent lending rate to the real sector? Why is the interest rate unfavourably skewed against the deposit, in favour of the lending?” he queried. The Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, while congratulating Emefiele on the new appointment, said the first on agenda should be to sustain whatever laudable policy measures put in place under the leadership of Mallam Lamido Sanusi, which include the cash-lite policy; tough stance against corporate governance infractions; resolute commitment to the protection of depositors’ funds; firm commitment to high standards of risk management; passion for macro-economic stability; and preservation of the autonomy of the apex bank.

“However, the current tight monetary policy stance needs to be reviewed in the light of its adverse implications for private sector performance. Interest rates are still too high and this continues to be detrimental to private sector productivity, the capacity to create new jobs and preserve existing ones.  We (the chamber) therefore, call for a moderation of the current tight monetary policy stance in order to stimulate growth and improve the capacity of the private sector to create more jobs,” he said. The former CIBN President, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, who lauded the confirmation of Emefiele as a good development, given the way and manner it was conducted by the Senate, said his antecedent as a good commercial banker is worth raising confidence on.  “For me, he should be aiming at a benchmark that will meet the stability of the economy. He needs to take out time, perhaps before resuming, to study the environment he is going into, not just to go in and start making policies. He does not need to be loquacious, but see the institution as more conservative than the commercial banking, where he talks about the bank’s property and management freely.  “Emefiele should consider things Sanusi Lamido did right to emulate him and even improve on them. But he should also be fast to identify the things he got wrong to correct them or even avoid them entirely. The currency has been battered and needed strength. He should design monetary policy that will help the real sector and agriculture to bounce back, control inflation and lending rates to get the effective price stability. “For a fact, the economy is in the doldrumsmoney market is scattered, capital market on the decline, all due to wrong decision, as well as dislocations in the economy and corruption and these have accounted for the monetary instability in our country. He should be conservative, quiet and then, do things according to the law, not outside the law,” he said. The Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, said the challenges ahead of him, beside macroeconomic challenges, include repositioning the CBN as a team player under his leadership, not in the sense of condoning corruption, but ensuring coordination and harmony between the monetary and fiscal authorities, restoring the confidence of the authorities and that of the gen-

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NUGGET HEDGE: When a currency trader enters into trading with the intent to protect an existing or anticipated position from an unwanted move in the foreign exchange rates, they can be said to have entered into a forex hedge. By utilizing a forex hedge properly, especially in long and short positions with a foreign currency pair, a trader can protect self from downside and upside risks respectively. Reasons: The main reason for the use of hedge in currency trading is to limit risk. Hedging can be a bigger part of your trading plan if done carefully. It should only be used by experienced traders, who understand market swings and timing. However, playing with hedging without adequate trading experience could be a disaster for your account. Strategy: A forex hedging strategy is developed in four parts- analysis of the forex trader’s risk exposure; risk tolerance; preference of strategy; and implementation.  Risk analysis: The trader must identify what type of risks to be taken in the current or proposed position, determining the likely implications of taking the identified risks unhedged, and whether the risk is high or low in the current forex currency market. Tolerance level: In this step, the trader uses personal risk tolerance levels, to determine how much of its position need to be hedged. Really, no trade will ever have zero risk, but it is up to the trader to determine the level of risk to take, and how much to part with to contain excess risks. Determine strategy: A currency trader must determine which strategy is the most cost effective. Implement and monitor: By making sure that the strategy works the way it should, risk will stay minimized.  According to Esther Oyanna of M-Trading, “the forex currency trading market is a risky one, and hedging is just one way that traders can minimize the amount of risk they take. So, much of being a trader is about money and the risk management, but having a tool like hedging is incredibly useful.  “However, not all retail forex brokers allow for hedging within their platforms. Be sure to research fully the broker you use before beginning to trade.”

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Stakeholders, experts set agenda for Emefiele CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 eral public and creatively seek ways to reassure the executive and legislative authorities of the need to maintain the independence in the extant CBN Act. “There should be greater transparency and accountability in the management of the funds and policies of CBN. There must be clear policy implementation pathways that are not based on the rule of the thumb of the new governor. While there is need to control inflation and retain the extant single digit rate is imperative, the measures should be balanced with the challenge of growing the economy, which was abandoned by the previous leadership in terms of ensuring a reasonable lending rate. “The fact that investors and producers borrow at very high uncompetitive rates cannot allow the economy to grow; it cannot facilitate job creation, enhancement of value addition nor improve efficiencies and grow the capacity utilisation rate of industries. Access to credit at a reasonable rate for the real sector and SMEs is vital for economic growth and poverty reduction. This should therefore be one of the major policy concerns for Emefiele. “The rip-off at banks, where the deposit rate is so low and below the inflation rate is a clear way of telling Nigerians not to save. A five per cent interest on savings when inflation hovers around eight per cent is definitely a loss of money, but deposit rates should encourage savings.  Further, there should be a link between the deposit and lending rate and it should not exceed 500 basis point corridor. Getting loans at reasonable rates or getting paid a good deposit rate should not be a benefit enjoyed only by blue-chip companies and high net-worth individuals, but should be a right enjoyed without discrimination by all Nigerians who use the banking system. “Available evidence indicates that the ability of the CBN to sustain the naira from possible depreciation in 2014 and the medium term may be dependent on a monetary poli-

cy stance vis-a-vis global crude oil supply and capital flows in 2014. The poser is the reason for the depreciation of the naira despite our formerly buoyant external reserves, which can provide cover for over seven months imports and our better growth rates compared to industrialised economies over the years. Although CBN has adopted an exchange rate band for some years now, it may be imperative to try some new ideas recommended by experts and Vision 20:2020. To boost the value of the naira against major international currencies may require the avoidance of the creation of new money. “This would imply the direct allocation of foreign exchange, using dollar certificates earned from oil to the three tiers of government rather than monetising it. This is the recommendation of Vision 20:2020, which has since been ignored by monetary and fiscal policy,” Onyekpere said. An Abuja-based Development Consultant, Jide Ojo, said that if a book would be judged by its

cover, one would say that given Emefiele’s conservative mien, he would most likely not want to introduce radical reforms the kind of which typifies his predecessor’s tenure, especially as he promised to face core functions of CBN by pursuit of strong exchange rate and not devalue the nation’s currency. “He should avoid making political statements and drawing unnecessary attention to the institution he heads. Also, the ‘Father Christmas’ posture of CBN and donations to academic institutions and victims of terror, which formed part of Sanusi’s tenure, should not continue. His leadership would need to ensure that Nigerian banks and other financial institutions are fully operating on good corporate governance and obeying all CBN financial regulations to the letter,” Ojo said. According to him, there should be a pursuit of robust and professional relationships, rather that adversarial, with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Asset management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Federal

Ministry of Finance and Chartered Institute of Bankers, among others. “The high mortality rate of Nigeria’s Microfinance Banks (MFBs) must be of concern to him as they have not been able to effectively play the pivotal role assigned to it in the economy. He should introduce measures that will strengthen the operations of the MFBs, Bureau de Change (BDC) and thoroughly investigate and checkmated allegations of money laundering on the sector. “The new CBN governor must follow through the allegation of missing or unremitted funds from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation into the federation account made by his predecessor and ensure that the truth is unraveled, while working to enthrone transparency in revenue remittances in future. He should be rarely seen, sparsely heard and allow the corporate affairs department of the bank to do the job of public relations and enlightenment,” he added.

MoneyGram, Diamond Bank partner to consolidate market share By Chijioke Nelson ONEyGRAM said it partnering Diamond Bank Plc to provide premium money transfer service at strategic locations in the country. The move by the global money transfer company was also part of strategies to consolidate its presence in the Nigerian money market. However, with the new partnership, it has succeeded in creating critical active locations in major cities and communities to its existing ones. The Executive Vice-President, MoneyGram USA and Canada, Peter Ohser, said: “With Diamond Bank joining our network, we now have over 4000 active locations in Nigeria. What this means is that when your loved one sends you money from Paris, or Oslo or Moscow, or Tokyo, or New york, you can

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receive that money, in ten minutes, almost anywhere in Nigeria.” Ohser pointed out that the partnership is beyond furthering MoneyGram business interests, but a genuine way to provide a solution for a very acute need of Nigerians, at home and in the Diaspora. He explained that according to the World Bank information, remittances in 2012 injected approximately $20 billion as opposed to $ 7 billion in Foreign Direct Investments. “MoneyGram service is a critical lifeline, allowing Africa’s largest Diaspora- Nigerians, to send money home to loved ones for upkeep, healthcare and education. “Without our services and our partners, these Nigerians would fall prey to black market solutions, which are susceptible to fraud and illegality”, he noted. Also, the Vice-President Africa, MoneyGram, Herve Chomel, projected rapid market expan-

sion for MoneyGram in Nigeria, given the continuous economic growth indications the country is witnessing in the African Market recently. He therefore expressed delight in the partnership with Diamond Bank as one of the country’s rapidly expanding Banks. The Executive Director, Retail Banking, Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, disclosed that the partnership was an important milestone in providing secure and accessible money transfer services to meet the needs of the Bank’s customers. “When we began money transfer services, the initial focus was to provide efficient transfer services to our customers trading across Nigeria. So, we spent about 60 per cent of our equity in building a convenient and accessible platform. Today, we are taking it to a different dimension and widening the platform to embrace Nigerians in the Diaspora.”


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com ORMER Executive Vice Chairman of FCommission the Nigerian Communications (NCC) and Chairman of the Openmedia Group, Ernest Ndukwe has been recognised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for his contribution to global information and technologies and the work of the ITU. The recognition was conveyed to Ndukwe in a letter signed by the Secretary-General of the ITU, Hamadoun

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Former NCC boss bags ITU’s recognition, tasks Nigeria on broadband I. Toure, which underscored the leading role he has played at home and abroad, but specifically for his immense contribution in the global sphere of information and technology. The ITU is a specialized agency of the United Nations that was created to encourage international cooperation in all forms of telecommunication. Its activities include maintaining order in

the allocation of radio frequencies, setting standards on technical and operational matters, and assisting countries in developing their own telecommunication systems. The recognition of Ndukwe by the ITU therefore speaks volume of the landmark of his achievement in the Nigeria’s telecoms industry particularly for organising a hitchedfree GSM license auctioning in 2001, an

event which ushered in the much cherished telecommunications revolution in Nigeria. In his acceptance speech, Ndukwe noted that the recognition is indeed a further call to crystalize the development of ICT in Africa and greater service to humanity. He pledged to devote effort to Broadband development in Africa given that it is critical to the con-

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tinent’s Socio-economic development. He disclosed “we have recently founded a new project, the Broadband Rights Advocacy Network - Africa. This is to preserve the rights of everyone in Africa to broadband Access”.

Counting cost of counterfeit wares Counterfeting and piracy are illicit businesses in which criminal networks thrive. The magnitude and effects of this menace are of such significance that they compel strong and sustained action from governments, business and consumers. Tackling this issue of counterfeiting came to the fore last week, in Johannesbourg, South Africa at the 2014 Anti Counterfeiting Conference organised by Hewlett Packard. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN reports. ROTECTION of Intellectual Property Rights P (IPR) is an issue of high importance and increasing priority for governments. Its importance reflects the growing recognition of the key role that IP plays in promoting innovation and growth on one hand, and, on the other, increasing concern with the adverse effects that counterfeiting and piracy are having on economies and society as a whole. The broadening scope and magnitude of counterfeiting and piracy is a key issue in this regard. Today, infringing products are no longer limited to falsely branded items such as fashion clothing, sun glasses, pharmaceuticals, electronics, ICT gadgets and household materials. These products, which are often substandard, can pose significant health and safety risks to consumers. Moreover, it appears that fake products, which have traditionally been sold largely in the open markets, are finding way at increasing pace into legitimate distribution systems, and thus onto the shelves of established shops. Organised criminal groups are seen as playing an increasingly important role in this regard, benefitting significantly from highly profitable counterfeiting and piracy operations. Arguably, analysts have come to say that the growth in the use of Internet as a platform for selling products has provided a new outlet that counterfeiters and pirates have been quick to exploit. The need to therefore give priority to the menace through international co-operation to reduce commerce in counterfeit and pirated products has become imperative. Indeed, at the Pivot Conference Centre, Johannesbourg, South Africa, where over 300 delegates from Africa and some part of the globe assembled to discuss the impact of counterfeting and piracy on the world’s economy, it was established point blank that these menace have found a resting place in Africa, especially in economies including Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Egypt, Ghana among others. The forum, which had in attendance government agencies, lawyers, journalists, Interpol, HP channel partners among others, also informed that Africa is being used as a transit route for fake goods, which also poses an indirect threat to European and American markets? Economic loss of counterfeits Indeed, the assessed impact of the menace is said to be causing the global economy in international trade about $360 billion losses yearly. Beside, about $150 million is said to be lost in tax revenue each year due to counterfeits in

Source: Google major markets. Truly, the menace of counterfeiting is said to cut across virtually all the sectors of the economy, but much impacts are felt in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. According to HP’s Vice President and General Manager, MENA, Andrew Bodson, counterfeit supplies are a bigger problem than most people think, stressing that the negative effect on printing and imaging supply industry is to the tune of about $3.5 billion losses. Bodson, who said the impact harms printers, bottom line and the environment, affirmed that fight against counterfeiting and IP theft is more challenging in the ICT sector, especially in emerging markets. He revealed that from research carried out by HP, only about six per cent of its corporate customers purchased intentionally, most especially, counterfeit printer catridges, stressing that there are more forces behind the menace. Recalled that in February, the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) based in Brussels, Belgium also raised an alarm on the increasing menace of counterfeits mobile phones across the globe. The global report into the menace, otherwise known as blackmarket, MMF it informed that in 2013, about 148 million counterfeit or substandard mobile devices were sold through visible retail sites, with many more expected to be sold in unofficial retail outlets, online auction websites and in local black markets worldwide. MMF Secretary General, Micheal Milligan stated in the report, “with the average knock-off phone selling for around $45, our conservative estimate of $6 billion in illegal sales represents a massive financial loss for governments and the mobile phone industry.”

Across the EMEA region, over the last five years (2009 through 2013), HP said it has conducted around 1,600 investigations, resulting in about 1,300 enforcement actions (raids and seizures by authorities) and around 11 million units of counterfeit products and components seized, thus preventing them from being sold in the EMEA marketplace and beyond. The research found network coverage was significantly reduced as more substandard devices connected to the network, which created coverage blackspots that could only be fixed by installing 80 per cent more base stations. Impact on human capital development HP informed that about 2.5 million jobs are lost each year to counterfeiting in major economy including Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa among others. According to Simphiwe Ncwana of the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa, there was need for adequate IP rights, stressing that counterfeit and pirated product are a major challenge globally, which leads to huge job losses; tax evasions and increasing health hazards because of their inferior quality. To the Brand Protection Programme Manager for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, Jeff Kwasny, “false goods impact businesses and global trade through lost revenue, damage to brands and the negative effects on hardearned reputation and consumer confidence.” Tackling menace with governments support In his presentation, titled:”Lobbying for reforms in the administration, adjudication and enforcement of Intellectual Property Right”, Prof. Bankole Sodipo, Co-chair, African Intellec-

tual Property Group, while calling for intensed lobbying on governments to ensure adequate laws are in place to check this scourge, he stressed that most offices and companies are yet to have in place, policies on IP. Sodipo, who is also the Dean, School of Law and Security Studies, Babcock University, Ogun state, Nigeria observed that largest counterfeiting rings in Africa, which arguably come from China, stressing that yet African Union member states do not oppose China. “Chinese firms now assemble counterfeit and pirated products in Africa rather than export them from China to Africa”, he stated. The Law Professor, who advised that in the fight against counterfeiting efforts must be centralised to involve all stakeholders stressed that stemming the tide would also involve working through trade associations. He stressed that care must be taken to ensure that lobbying is not seen as neo-colonialism by foreign investors. For instance, he said HP and many others may consider a scheme to replace Chinese CONTINUED ON PAGE 26


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26 i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, April 9, 2014

C’ River partners Microsoft, others to boost Vision 20:2020 initiative From Anietie Akpan, Calabar and Ujunwa Atueyi, Lagos HE Cross River Government is partnering with software giants, Microsoft, Nokia and Dalberg to host the 2014 Innovation Forum on the role of Technology for Vision 20:2020. A statement in Calabar signed by Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication Technology, Odo Effiong said the forum was on National Vision 20:2020 and “the role that technology innovation currently plays in accelerating progress towards its achievement”. Effiong further said that the focus areas of the forum include Agriculture, Entrepreneurship and Education. He said, “the objective of the Innovation Forum remains to create a platform for public private partnerships across the widest number of stakeholders. “These include governments, businesses, academia, civil society and local entrepreneurs to brainstorm and agree initial action plans on how innovation and innovation technologies can be deployed in priority sectors”. He the industries will support the enhancement of Nigeria’s competitiveness in line with its national priorities and also through enabling cross-ministerial collaboration for driving competitiveness.

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• Software giant targets innovation in education, agriculture

The statement said that the forum would bring together key influencers, policy makers and change agents to deliberate, debate and accelerate vision to action. He said the forum comes up April 11, 2014 in Calabar and “it is our desire to use the forum to stimulate further discussions on how innovation, fueled and enabled by information

and communication technology can help shape a new Nigeria”. Furthermore, Director, Public Sector, Microsoft Nigeria, Chuma Ukeagu,hinted that various stakeholders across the country would engage in a discourse that would enhance students learning in a global world and attract youth into agriculture using technology. He reminded that education and agriculture are two-component factor that can heavily transform the nation’s economy if appropriately developed. Head, Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Nigeria, Ijeoma Abazie, remarked that any nation that cannot develop students knowledge, skills and attitude in an ICT driven manner cannot thrive adding that other developed nations have taken leverage in ICT innovations, and Nigeria cannot be left out. She said it would take a critical look on how innovation has advanced learning in other developed nations. Senior Product Manager, Nokia West Africa, Olumide Balogun, said Nokia will always identify with solutions that can be instituted to fast-track development, as there is need to improve learning and move to more mechanized farming.

African markets battle counterfeits CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 countefeiters in Africa, who set up ‘manufacturing plants.’ According to him, this can be done by nurtuting some local partners for local joint ventures in the assembly of HP products; supporting or setting up of a couple of regional research centres. HP’s raids and Anti Counterfeit measures Across the EMEA region, over the last five years (2009 through 2013), HP said it has conducted around 1,600 investigations, resulting in about 1,300 enforcement actions (raids and seizures by authorities) and around 11 million units of counterfeit products and components seized, thus preventing them from being sold in the EMEA marketplace and beyond. The Programme has also overseen around 4,000 unannounced inspections of HP products at the warehouses of HP Channel Partners across EMEA in the past five years (2009 through 2013), to verify that they are not selling counterfeit products to their customers. Printing and Personal Systems Africa Director, HP, Fabrice Campoy informed that the HP Anti-counterfeiting Pro-

gramme works hard to protect partners and customers, but this is only made possible through close collaboration with law enforcers around the world. “We therefore truly appreciate the cooperation of African law enforcement to helping to make this possible, and protect African customers from the inferior standards and potential risks of counterfeit”, he stated. Compoy said original HP supplies distinguish themselves by their superior quality and reliability at competitive prices, stressing that authentic HP LaserJet and HP inkjet print cartridges, unlike counterfeits, benefit from a history of investment and testing to provide superior performance and consistent results. While calling for more actions against this menace, Project Manager, Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), Tracy Sinkamba Faustin said counterfeiting is a real problem and everyones’ challenge, stressing that without the consumers, counterfeiters will not survive. Winning the war in Nigeria from SON, Channel Partners perspective To curb this growing influence in Nigeria, according to the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), which was also repre-

sented at the forum, there is need for better relationship between firms and government regulatory agencies. SON’s official, Mrs. Mosunmola Samuel, who spoke to The Guardian, said three things are critical in the fight against counterfeiting; these are consumer education; supply chain management and adequate market intelligence information from the manufacturers. Corroborating Samuel’s view, an HP Gold Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Blueshield Computers Limited, Chiediebere Ugwu, said one of the major challenges confronting the market in Nigeria has been peoples’ refusal to voluntarily give information to government and enforcement agencies that can aid in apprehending culprits in the game. Ugwu, who also said ignorance is also a challenge, stressed that some customers prefer pirated products. “Lack or delay in convicting and prosecuting culprits is also a challenge in this part of the world. Agencies like SON, Nigeria Copyright Commission; NAFDAC among others should be strengthened by laws and policies. They should also move to the streets, markets and go about to seek information that can aid them to do their jobs. Sitting in the office alone


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Digital Jewels, others unveil Nigerian Cyber Threat Barometer report By Bankole Orimisan N bid to rescue organizaIthetions from Cyber threat in country, Digital Jewels in partnership with Wolfpack Information Risk (Pty) Limited, the South African Based Information Security firm, has over the weekend in Lagos unveiled 2014 Nigerian Cyber Threat Barometer Report into the market. According to the firm, 2014 Nigerian Cyber Threat Barometer is a landmark research project conducted by Digital Jewels in partnership with Wolfpack Information Risk (Pty) Ltd , the South African based Information Security Firm that published the South African Cyber Threat Barometer report in 2012. Both research projects were funded by the British High Commission. The research included a cross section of subject matter experts drawn from key sectors of the economy: Financial Services, e-Payment companies, Telecoms, Oil and Gas, Government Agencies and Regulatory Authorities. The report highlights key findings and recommendations across three main themes: Problem Definition, Root Cause identification and Solution Exploration focused on determining the main Cyber threats facing Nigeria, as well as providing areas for the UK and Nigeria to work together to advance the security and prosperity of both countries. The Executive Officer Digital Jewels, Mrs Adedoyin Odunfa, noted that its firm hope that as this report is introduced , the analysis, findings and recommendations included

therein provide the necessary impetus for major stakeholders in the public and private sector to apply far reaching measures to positively enhance the legal and regulatory framework, citizenry awareness, process framework and technology application towards combating Cyber Abuja British High Commission, Digital Jewels and Wolf pack. launch landmark Nigeria 2014 Cyber Crime Barometer. According to US President Obama, “cyber threat is one of the serious economic and na-

tional security challenges (the US) faces as a nation” and “America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cyber security.” This captures the rising threat of cyber space to Nations, their state of development notwithstanding. Nigeria in particular, has the unfortunate toga as a beehive for cyber crime globally with the long standing 419 scams, the recent trend of defacing websites and multiple security breaches associated with the rapidly advancing epayment landscape.

Faajihub.com launches website By Adebisi Olonade HE sleek and modern looking site which was launched on the 27th of March 2014, makes it easy for those having any type of event to not only generate their free event website which can then be used to tell people about the event, amongst many other benefits, but also makes it easy for them to contact caterers, photographers, event halls and other vendors right from the comfort of their home in the vendor directory they are currently compiling. The PR officer of Faajihub.com, Motunrayo Jaiyesinmi, explained that the site is an automatic event website where once you click ‘Post Your Event’ and fill in your event details and upload pictures, your event website is generated for you, which you can then share to various social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or you can send invite to specific email contacts if you don’t want everybody to see your

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event. She further explained that it is quite interactive, so once people visit your event page, they can then see the map showing your event address, automatically offer you any items you listed on the website, confirm their attendance, vote, comment on the event, view your pictures, and even help you share the event if you allowed them to. “Making your event a success is the priority of Faajihub, if your event is coming up in 2 days time, you no longer have to worry if you haven’t sent out invites, or have no plan for the event, you can just log on to Faajihub.com, put in your details to create your website, share it/send invites to get the ball rolling. She finally added that they are giving away complimentary business pages worth N25,000 each to vendors in the event industry, event halls, bars and restaurants, so any interested businesses should hurry and claim their business pages on

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Maritime Group petitions Jonathan,seeks waiver on demurrage,rent By Moses Ebosele  HE National Council of Managing Directors of Licenced Customs Agent (NCMDLCA) has appealed to the Federal Government to grant waiver to the goods that are stalled in the port as a result of difficulties associated with the issuance of PreArrival Assessment Report (PAAR) by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). In a letter addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan and copied to the coordinating minister of the economy/minister of finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NCMDLCA explained that most goods are stalled in the port as a result of non-issuance of  PAAR coupled with other challenges associated with the process. In the letter dated March 27, 2014, National   President of N C M D L C A , Lucky   Amiwero   said there is threat of total abandonment of the goods by the import trading community, which according to him has generated the following negative implications: *Mounting payment of demurrage and rents, which resulted to huge lost to the importer and the fear of inability to pay for the huge demurrage and rent; *Gradual close down of most factories as a result of failed stocks of supply from the port, which is leading to reduction of staff strength and the increase in the level of unemployment in the country; *The loss of confidence in our port system, which will affect Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and reduce employment; *The reduction and diversion of cargo throughput and

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freight components to West African Neigbouring ports, which will be difficult to reclaim after normalcy; *Reduction in the activities of Shipping Companies, Terminal Operators and the Licensed Customs Agents/ Transporters which has started affecting the economy; *Most importers are in the verge to abandon their Cargo due to lack of funds to pay the Demurrage and Rent that is almost more than Import duty; *There is serious distortion to the Economy as a result of obstacle, impediment and

backlog of cargo clearance in the present Pre- Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) regime that has long-standing negative effect on the port system. Meanwhile, NCS has admitted 114 companies into what it described as the “Fast Track” concession platform created in the enhanced Pre-Arrival Assessment System. A press statement issued at the weekend quoted Comptroller-General of Customs, Dikko Abdullahi as saying he gave approval to the companies to encourage compliance in the conduct of

O enhance efficiency at the seaports in Africa, the Managing Director of Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT),Yehuda Kotik, has called for cooperation among major players in the service delivery chain. In a paper he delivered at the just concluded 12th Intermodal Africa 2014 exhibition and conference held in Lagos, Kotik   identified  ports authority, terminal operators, trucks operators and others are critical stakeholders in the service delivery chain. He said: “The ports authority which is saddled with the responsibility of controlling ports gate and maintaining the ports must do its job while terminal operators must provide sufficient cargo handling equipment, internal roads and computerized gates.” Kotik described   basic infrastructures, such as good road networks, effective rail system and the trucks used in getting the cargoes to their destination must be in good shape, adding that   poor infrastruc-

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tural development is capable of affecting   effective service delivery. He advised  agencies in the ports such as customs, immigration and other relevant operatives to work round the clock to achieve quick turnaround time of vessels and delivery of cargoes. According to Kotik, service delivery has to be deliberately worked, pointing out  “that the most sophisticated port with the most developed infrastructure   will achieve improved service delivery”. Explaining further during an interactive session with Journalists,   he said TICT is fully compliant with provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. “Since the take-off of operation at the port, we have not recorded any theft, not even a pen has been declared stolen. Being ISPS- compliant, we have intelligence monitoring technology systems to ensure that cargoes are secured,” he said. He added: “We handle over

automatic system check is activated which on completion generates the PAAR without recourse to the Officers of the Ruling Centre. “The declaration is instantly routed to the Green Lane and the process completed within few minutes. Such Importers can immediately take delivery of their cargo, while Customs will conduct routine Post Clearance Audit of their books. “Beneficiaries admitted into the scheme include local manufacturing companies, multinationals, auto mobile companies, telecom opera-

tors and super-market retail outlets. “The list will be reviewed periodically subject to the performance of the Importers on the compliance scale. Beneficiary companies will be published in the national dailies to enable Nigerians know those who are doing it right. “We believe publishing it will challenge those listed not to engage in  acts that will compromise their status, while putting pressure on  those that are yet to make the list”, the Comptroller-General stated. The statement signed by Customs Public Relations Officer, Wale Adeniyi,   explained that the new Fast Track System took effect last week. Amiwero said: “We hereby appeal to the Federal Government to exercise powers under the provision of Section 152 of the Customs and Excise Management Act C45 of 2004, to waive all Demurrage to the Shipping Company and Rent to the Terminal Operators. “The provision allows waiver and reduction of rent and demurrage if    the circumstance is caused by Nigeria Customs, which is the case in the delay on the issuance of the Pre- Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR). “The appeal became necessary to save the import trading community from the mounting demurrage and rents that may result to total abandonment of goods in the Port by importers due to lack of funds to pay for mounting of Demurrages and Rents, that is not their fault, which exclude them from rents and demurrage liability”.

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Kotik tasks African ports on collaboration By Moses Ebosele

International trade in Nigeria. “We have observed over time that these companies have exhibited high level of diligence in their documentations, honesty in their declarations and integrity in dealing with Customs”, he said. The statement explained that under the Fast Track Scheme, the PAAR system has been configured to  accord special recognition to the final documents belonging to the  beneficiary companies when they are uploaded by the dealer Banks. “Once the verified documents hit the Customs system, an

Since the take-off of operation at the port, we have not recorded any theft, not even a pen has been declared stolen. Being ISPScompliant, we have intelligence monitoring technology systems to ensure that cargoes are secured 400,000 TEUs annually because we use high technology and dedication in offering our services. To ensure ease of movement in and out of the terminal, we maintain a six-lane entrance gates and these gates have technological devices for proper entrance handling. “Our wealth of experience and that of Bollore, one of our shareholders operating port terminals in 42 African countries, have helped us to maintain international standards,” said Kotik.

VERGREEN’s vice-group E chairman, Marcel Chang has dismissed suggestions that it was a mistake to order so many 8,500-TEU (Twentyfoot Equivalent Units) ships just as competitors were investing in considerably larger vessels. The Taiwanese shipping line is taking delivery of thirty 8,500 TEU ships, the 18th of which was delivered  recently. “No, we think it was a correct decision,” said Chang, adding that “There is greater flexibility with the deployment of 8,500-TEU ships. “They can be utilised in many trades, including the Far East to North America, South America and Middle East routes.” Chang said the more recent decision to acquire both 13,800 and 14,000-TEU ships through lease deals reflected technological advances of more modern tonnage, and the formation of new-style alliances. Evergreen has also signed up as a full member of the CKYH Alliance on the AsiaEurope trades. “We have various forms of

Evergreen defends order for 30 new ships service co-operation with different partners, and will seek more co-operation opportunities to further enhance our service,” said Chang, who is in charge of Evergreen’s European shipping and aviation interests. Meanwhile, a major new shipyard, is to be constructed by Saudi Arabia and an international shipbuilding joint-venture partner as part of a major port expansion set to be completed in 2018-19, coupled with   a minerals hub valued at $1.8 billion, for the west-coast industrial city of Yanbu, a senior Saudi official said recently. “We have a huge project for shipbuilding. That will add another edge to industry in the country and the region,” Alaa Nassif, executive president, Royal Commission at Yanbu, told Seatrade Global on the sidelines of MEED

Petrochemicals 2014 conference in Dubai, to which he made the opening address. When asked whether vessels for construction at the new yard included offshore or dry bulk, Nassif said: “Actually, it will be both, and more than that. But it is not the time to talk about it because we are at the very early stage now of going into the detail with the company, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding companies. I cannot say who now. They have a Saudi partner.” Founded in 1975, the Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu exists to promote petrochemical and energyintensive industries at the two cities, which claim to be the largest concentrated industrial cities in the world, with a combined size of over 1,600 sq km. A third, Ras AlKhair, site of a new aluminium smelter, has been added to the charter, on the east coast north of Jubail.


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Industry Stakeholders seek channeling of FDIs to real sector Stories by Femi Adekoya O aid the growth of the T nation’s manufacturing sector, stakeholders in the real sector have urged the Federal Government to develop strategies that would see foreign direct investments (FDIs) being channeled into the sector. Specifically, the stakeholders comprising of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Export Promotion Council

(NEPC) among others urged the government to channel capital inflows to the sector as a way of relieving the sector of high interest rates from financial institutions. According to them, the continuous support of the sector through a strategic measure of ensuring that FDIs are invested in the real sector rather than in short term portfolios aid the nation’s development and growth of key sectors. Besides, the stakeholders

Honeywell trains 300 Master Bakers

urged government to seek measures to address the visa regime policy within the region in order to aid the movement of goods in the region. With the interruption of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme, the stakeholders decried the challenge of meeting non-oil export demands, especially in the face of emerging bilateral agreements like the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Speaking at an interactive session organized by the NEPC and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export

Group (MANEG) in Lagos, recently, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, expressed the need for the real sector to be supported as part of measures to drive non-oil export within the region and globally. According to him, the NEPC is considering the introduction of pre-shipment incentives to enhance export capacity of small and medium enterprises. “The present export expansion grant (EEG) designed by the Federal Government to ease the cost of production of

manufacturers was last reviewed in 2010, and efforts have been intensified to review the incentive scheme with the aim of solving the challenges faced by manufacturers. “As part of its efforts to effectively utilize the opportunity provided by the United States’ African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) incentives to subSaharan African countries, we have met with the Desk Officer in charge of AGOA in the U.S. to fashion out ways to ease the penetration of eligible AGOA products from Nigeria to the United States”.

Chairman, MAN Export Promotion Group, Tunde Oyelola raised concerns on the need for government to increase incentives for the real sector as part of measures to boost non-oil export. According to him, the potential of EEG contribution to export growth is very huge and government must exercise caution with the ongoing suspension of the scheme and the proposed review or else, the outcomes of the policy reversal may ultimately become disincentive for current and potential exporters as well as discourage those already in the scheme.

ers are also taught common

ONEYWELL Flour Mills Plc H has reiterated its com- bread faults and how to solve mitment to increasing them, basic selling, markethuman capacity development, saying it has trained 300 Master Bakers whose skills have been upgraded with multiplier positive effects on their businesses. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lanre Jaiyeola who stated this recently, in Lagos, at the 24th Certificate Award Ceremony of the Honeywell Baking School, also hinted of plans by the management to increase enrolment by about 200 per cent. The current capacity averages 20 people. The Baking School, according to him, is the company’s own way of giving back to the community by empowering bakers with modern baking skills and flour handling procedures that they can use to run their businesses more professionally and profitably. Besides, he said it is an experiential programme designed to give bakers firsthand baking training with well-trained experts in a world-class environment. “At the Honeywell Baking School, we teach bakers the science and art of baking with special focus on scaling, recipe formulation and recipe adjustment. The bak-

ing, finance and people management tips and how to maximize bakery output through the production of fresher, richer and better bread and bread varieties”, he said. He charged the graduates to utilize acquired skills, to take advantage of the huge opportunities in their businesses, saying this is an announcement to the baking world that they are ready to step up and take their businesses to the next level. “As graduates, you have had the honour of studying in a world class baking school, one that deservedly commands enormous respect among Master Bakers across the country. This is an accomplishment that your families and friends can be proud of as you are now part of an elite group of bakers who have passed through Honeywell Baking School”, he said. Commending the management for the gesture, the Class Captain, Kenneth Anyanwu said they will remain grateful to Honeywell for imparting such technical skills and knowledge on them, assuring that knowledge acquired would be applied to their businesses.

Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group, Tunde Oyelola (left); Technical Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Femi Boyede; and Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Segun Awolowo at the Interactive Session of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and MAN Export Promotion Group in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

LagMarket debuts with e-Commerce platform S part of measures to aid A convenience shopping within Lagos metropolis, LagMarket.com, an online super market has commenced operations. According to the firm, the move became necessary to further ease day-to-day shopping activities of consumers in Lagos using a different business model that encour-

ages e-Commerce while selling convenience. Managing Director of the firm, Olumide Majekodunmi in a chat with The Guardian, noted that the firm developed a business model that seeks to provide same-day delivery advantage and a seven-day return policy to deepen its market penetration in the state.

He said: “The business model has been designed to ensure that goods ordered before the noon on a particular day gets delivered that day while other requests are delivered the next day. Our product line ranges from packaged items, household items, frozen food, and cakes among others.

“To address trust issues associated with online shopping, we have initiated a seven-day return policy as well as a pay-on-delivery system to ensure that customers are properly served.” He however expressed optimism of improving product offering to consumers through innovative measures.

BoI tasks SMEs on environmental compliance, product packaging ITH the number of dutyW free and quota-free access exportable products from Nigeria to the United States market rising to 7000 under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Bank of Industry (BoI) has hinged growth of exportable items on environmental compliance and improved product packaging. Indeed, BoI tasked small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country to leverage on the benefits of environmental compliance and improved product packaging to eliminate resource waste and further drive their export aspirations. The bank, during the 4th BoI-AGOA training programme in Lagos, identified

•Nigeria exports 7000 products to U.S. under AGOA scheme some of the hindrances to the export capacities of most Nigerian SMEs to include high costs of production, lack of contractual terms adherence and ignorance of local and U.S. customs regulations. According to the Director of Training and consultancy at Environmental Practitioners' Institute of Nigeria, Olusegun Okeowo, most businesses have incurred financial losses because they failed to acquaint themselves with the necessary regulations on environmental safety. “Non-adherence to the environmental legal and regulatory framework for SMEs has resulted in several convic-

tions in the forms of imprisonment, fines or both in some instances and has also caused the outright closures of some businesses,” he said. He stated that under the Environmental Impact Assessment Act 1992, public and private sectors are not permitted to embark on some categories of projects without prior consideration of such activities on the environment. He said that in Nigeria some of the SMEs whose activities generate chemical, ignitable and solvent wastes were those in cosmetic production, printing, furniture and wood production, metal fab-

ricators, leather products manufacturing and paper manufacturing sectors among others. In her presentation, titled “breaking the jinx of poor packaging,” Victoria Ironbar of Distinct Minds Limited, noted that packaging is next to grading and branding and was essential for offering goods in safe and secure conditions for consumers. She stressed that AGOA has presented Nigerian SMEs with limitless export opportunities, which unfortunately most people will not be able to access due to inability to properly package their products.

“Most prospective customers are discouraged from patronising our products because of poor packaging; without first conducting a proper research on the best available packaging materials, most producers rush to use whatever they get to present their products and these most often than not do not meet the standards and tastes of the US markets,” she said. She also noted that most packaging materials used by local producers do not have the capacity to preserve the colour and freshness of their products, which results to further losses and discouragement for entrepreneurs. “To really get it right, one has to study the competition

especially the imported brands which can be found in most supermarkets in order to know what one is up against and then strive to do better,” she said. She also informed the participants that contrary to unfounded beliefs, quality packaging materials were inexpensive and available here in Nigeria. Earlier, Hadiza Shuaib of the BoI, urged the participants to intensify efforts to add value to local raw materials instead of just exporting them, stressing that more value added products meant more opportunities to develop the packaging sector of the Nigerian economy and boost her export potential.


42 Wednesday, April 9, 2014

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GUARDIANENERGY Power outage: Discos strategise on service delivery

Nigeria needs more high-tech tank farms

Oando expects first oil from Akepo this year

ENERGY /44

ENERGY/44

ENERGY ENERGY /44 /44

OIL

GAS

POWER

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014

www.ngrguardiannews.com; www.theguardianmobile.com

Govt introduces new standards for LPG

By Sulaimon Salau HE Federal Government T has launched new standards for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas in the country, in other to further strengthen the domestic market and enhance safety of the product nationwide. The new policy, which is expected to give consent for gas re-qualification exercise that has been the yearning of stakeholders, would also compel individuals to lose the ownership of their cylinders to the dealers. The Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, (SON), Ikemefuna

. Individuals may lose ownership of cylinders Odumodu, who unveiled the new policy in Lagos, said it was aimed to encourage gas consumption, address safety issues and promote local manufacturing of cylinders. According to him, the policy was ratified by of the council, yesterday, stipulating June this year for implementation. Besides, the policy would address the quality of gas products imported into the country, as it may review the present LPG content of Propane and Butane, and ensure that the operators

and importers are duly licensed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). Gas cylinder re-qualification is a process to satisfy the genuinety and quality of a cylinder and determine the expiry date to guard against avoidable explosion. Odumodu had earlier hinted The Guardian that: “Under the new policy, all operators must have a filling plant; Individuals will no longer own cylinders, as they will now be owned by the dealers, who must have been licensed by the DPR. This will enable us to hold somebody responsible

when there is a challenge, because the dealers will have responsibility for requalification of cylinders. “If a cylinder fails the requalification test, then the owner would need to deposit some amount and get a new cylinder from the dealer, who is now the new owner,” he explained. Odumodu stressed that the police was necessary because Nigeria was operating on outdated policy, differ from what is obtainable worldwide. “In Nigeria, the use of firewood and other similar cooking items are being discourage for cooking gas, but Today in Nigeria, we seems not to have a process, because nobody

was examining the cylinders. The cylinders have expiry date and by Nigerian standards NIS587, specifies that every cylinder must go through re-qualification every five years. That standard also providers for a 15 years live cycle of cylinders, after which it is expected to go through thorough requalification,” he said. He said the SON had reached an agreement with the stakeholders and the

Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) and Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) on the new policy. He lamented that most of the filling plants are located in Lagos, he therefore urged the marketers to expand their scope to other states and locations of the federation, to enhance gas utilization in those areas.

Crude export: Agbami, Usan, EA take the lead By Sulaimon Salau OTWITHSTANDING the apprehension on the recovery of crude supply from Libya, after an outage forced by restiveness in the country, some Nigeria grades such as Agbami, Usan and EA have taken the lead in the export programme for May. Traders at the international market said the three grades have been sold out, while more other Nigerian grades such as Qua Iboe, Erha, Brass River (three), Bonga (three) and Amenam (two) are awaiting orders. However, the force majeure on Shell’s Forcados exports was still in place, due to a re-

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cent attack on the production facility. Nigerian crude oil differentials was said to be steady, as recovering European refinery margins and low exports offset strong supply form competing grades. Speculations that Libyan supply would recover on expectations of a deal to reopen ports has pushed futures prices lower. Libyan crude competes directly with Nigerian oil as both streams are light and low in sulphur, making them ideally suited to European refineries that produce a relatively high proportion of gasoline.

Prospects of higher supply from Libya were offset by the lowest export programme from Nigeria for at least five years, according to Reuters data. European maintenance and strong supplies from other regions such as the North Sea and Kazakhstan have also kept differentials under pressure. A trader said that a recovery in refinery margins in Europe would likely be short-lived. “We’re at peak Mediterranean turnaround, so more capacity (when the refineries come back on stream) will scupper margins further,” he said.

Angola, according to sources, has sold all but around six or seven of its crude oil grades for May loading. Nigeria’s Qua Iboe, was assessed unchanged at around dated Brent plus $2.70-$2.90 a barrel. Traders said at least five cargoes of the grade were available, with only one or two spot trades done. None of the four cargoes of Erha, have been sold. “It’s offered at closer to $4 than $3 (above dated Brent),” a trader said. Other grades with multiple cargoes include Brass River (three), Bonga (three) and Amenam (two).


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

44 ENERGY Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Oando expects first oil from Akepo field this year By Sulaimon Salau HERE are indications that Oando Energy Resources (OER) may launch its first oil from the Akepo oil field this year, as the company budgeted about $3.2 million to develop an evacuation route for crude production from the field to Chevron Escravos terminal in the Niger Delta. Oando, in its fourth quarter 2013 financial statement, said the capital expenditure budget of $3.2 million represents the estimated level of required funding to support the planned growth, development and maintenance of the oil and gas field. Besides, the indigenous firm expected to commence from the Qua Ibo oil field by the fourth quarter of the year, with planned investment of $16.2 million within the year. Out of the Qua Ibo budget, it planned to spend $8.5 million on a crude processing facility; and $7.7 million on drilling and completions works on Qua Ibo 5 in 2014. The productions from the two fields are anticipated to buoy the company’s produc-

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To commence production from Qua Ibo tion (Sales) from 1.457 Million Barrels (mmb), which averaged 3,991 barrels per day (bbls/d) in 2013. Oando, in the statement however noted that the company drilled eight new development and exploration wells in 2013, adding 4,890 bpd of production capacity. However, it has progressed on construction of the 45,000 bpd Umugini pipeline, designed as an alternative evacuation route for the OML 56 asset, while the construction is expected to be completed by November 2014. According to the financial statement, the revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013, was $127.2 million, representing a six per cent decrease from the prior fiscal year. The decrease was primarily a result of increased crude losses due to crude oil theft from the OML 56 asset. The net income in the year under preview was $38.2 million, while the cash flow from operating activities was $77.4

million, prior to adjustments in working capital. The Chief Operating Officer, OER, Pade Durotoye, said: “2013 was a pivotal year for our company, as we were able to successfully secure the financing necessary to fully fund our proposed acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian upstream oil and gas business,” adding that, “This was a key accomplishment that significantly progresses our transformation into Nigeria’s leading in-

digenous upstream company.” He said the ConocoPhillips acquisition awaits consent of the minister of petroleum resources and is expected to close in April 2014. Oando holds a 40 per cent working interest in Akepo on Oil Mining Lease (OML 90). Sogenal is currently the operator of the field and OER is the technical partner. The Akepo field is located in shallow water in the Niger Delta, on an area of

26 kilometer square carved out of OML 90. OER also owns a 40 per cent participating interest in the Qua Ibo Field. The license covers an area of 14 kilometer square, carved out from OML 13. It stated that the transfer of the Group’s interest remains subject to approval by the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources. Approval of the Department of Petroleum Resources was obtained in October 2012. The field is operated by Network Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (NEPN).

Qua Ibo Marginal Field development phase 1 started with a drilling campaign in September 2012 and two (2) wells have been successfully drilled and completed; namely Qua Ibo-4 & Qua Ibo-3 ST1. Oil production from D5 reservoir is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2014 after the commissioning of the OER/NEPN crude processing facility which is currently ongoing and should be finalized in the second quarter of 2014. Production from the C4 reservoir will commence in first quarter 2015.

Power outages: Discos strategize on service delivery …Ikeja Disco upgrades customer contact centre By Sulaimon Salau ARELY five months into the post power privatisation B era, there is yet to be respite for the electricity distribution companies (Discos), as consumers continued to berate poor service delivery by the new owners of the electricity companies. Apparently irked by this situation, the discos have continued to re-strategise towards ensuring a better service delivery, although the efforts are still constrained by low power generation and transmission capacity. The two disco supplying Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve centre appear to be more affected, as some areas suffered black out for three days last week, due to faults on the 33kv circuit breaker at Sanya and Amuwo facilities in Lagos. As the concerned consumers in Amuwo Industrial area, Orile, Coker, Mosafejo, Sanya and part of Adetola, await restoration of supply, many more consumers, in Ikeja, Isolo, Mushin, Ikotun, Agege, Oshodi, Ikorodu, among others, are groaning under severe power outages.

The Eko Electricity Distribution Plc (EKEDC) has appealed to electricity consumers under its network over a threeday power outage experienced recently. A statement by the se by the company’s Assistant General Manager Public Affairs, Idemudia Godwin, explained that the power interruption became imperative in order to effect replacement of air blast type 33kv circuit breaker with SF6 modern type. He stated that the period of the outage afforded the company’s engineers in collaboration with their counterparts from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to relocate power cables from obsolete and problematic indoor switch gears to new ones. Idemudia, however expressed the company’s regrets for the inconveniences caused the by the power interruptions. Meanwhile, the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) is strategizing to enhanced customers’ experience, as it upgraded its contact center to provide solutions to customers’ queries through interactive and multilingual platforms.

‘Nigeria needs more high-tech tank farms’ By Sulaimon Salau HE need for the country to parade more intelligent high-tech petroleum tank farm that guarantee safety of products, lives and properties has been stressed. The stakeholders at the new hub for tank farms at Folarin Water Front, Ijegun-Egba, Lagos could not but establish the dire need for the country to begin to construct international standard facility such as some depot owners have built, including Emadeb Petroleum. Specifically, the newly commissioned Emadeb ultramodern petroleum depot has been described as intelligent tank farms, which places high premium on the safety of  people and the multi-billion investment in its environment. The Managing Director, Cakasa Engineering Group,

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the EPC contractor that built the facility, Philip Yaro, during a facility tour, said the depot has opened a new dimension in this technology driven business describing it as top of the range in downstream infrastructure in the country today. As an intelligent depot powered by state-of-the-art Terminal Automation System (TAS) from FMC/CSI, Enraf and Cakasa, the owner can have the status update of operations  without being physically present at his depot saying the feat is a testimony to the ingenuity, capability and competency of Nigerian engineers. Giving the technical details of the state- of- the- art equipment at the new tank farm, Yaro explained to dignitaries that Emadeb petroleum terminal is equipped with five big storage tanks with ca-

pacity to store 50 million litres of white products, adding that three of these tanks were earmarked for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) while the remaining two will store Automated Gas Oil (AGO) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK). Beside, the depot also has a fortified jetty that could berth two large vessels simultaneously with sophisticated fire-fighting equipment as well as trained personnel to wade off fire incidence of any sort and a trailer park for an average of 200 trucks. Another compliment of modern facility of this magnitude worthy of mention is the loading gantry fitted with Internet compliant accuload metering systems  that could load about 150 trucks on daily basis and equipped with auto-

matic fire resistant system feed by a big water hydrant tank. Yaro said an engineering office and workshop was built within the facility for prompt attention to any hiccup in  system operations. Chief Executive Officer, Emadeb, Mr Emmanuel Adebowale Olujimi said, he was inspired by the need to run an efficient petroleum products one stop shop distribution system adding that Emadeb Energy Services Limited remain committed to global best practices in all its  operations in the country and beyond. The Ijegun Community, however applauded the company for its Corporate Social Responsibility on construction and asphalt tarring of  two kilometer roads around the community leading to the tank farm.


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 08-04-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com


Wednesday, April 9, 2014 MARKET REPORT 51

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

MARKET INDICATORS

AS AT 09-04-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA

NB invests N125b within five years in Nigeria …As company’s shareholders approve N34b dividend By Helen Oji and Toyin Olasinde IGERIAN Breweries Plc (NB), yesterday, announced that the company’s investment in Nigeria has hit N125 billion in the last five years. Besides, the company’s shareholders also endorsed a dividend of N34billion, translating to N4.50 per share, due to every investor of the company for the 2013 financial year. The dividend, according to the company, represents 50 per cent rise over the N3 dividend declared for the 2012 financial year. The Managing Director Nicolaas Vervelde, while addressing shareholders at the company’s 68th yearly general meeting in Lagos yesterday, explained that the investment were in capacity building, human capital development, acquisition of Sona Breweries and system upgrading. He assured shareholders that the company would increase its investment drive in the years ahead for sustainable growth and enhanced dividend, adding that the company is working with a number of entrepreneurs on how to set up cassava chain plant in Nigeria. Vervelde pointed out that the management is working hard to ensure that 60 per cent of its raw materials were sourced locally by 2018, even as the was poised to sustaining its leadership position in the market despite the challenging operating environment. Reviewing the company’s 2013 performance, the Chairman of the company, Kolawole Jamodu said: “The usual pre-election spending, as well as increased political activities as part of the run-up

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to the 2015 elections is expected to translate into more consumer spend in 2014. It is anticipated that the brewed product market would benefit from that. The stiff competition experienced in the year under review is expected to continue in 2014 with the launch of new brands and brand extension by the different players. “Already, we have taken the lead by launching a line extension for the Star brand in February 2014. The new product, Star Lite is an exciting addition to our ever expanding brand portfolio. We have again scored a first by being the pioneer in bringing such an innovative product to the Nigerian market. We have other innovations in the pipeline . “The board remains confident that with our brand, our people and our passion for excellent as well as for the consumers, we are we will placed to maintain and build on our leadership position in the market.” He explained that the company recorded a turnover of N249 billion and profit of N62.2 billion for the 2013 financial year. The audited result shows an increase of 6.3 per cent in turnover and 11.9 per cent in operating Profit over the figures achieved in 2012. He added that the total brewed product market recorded a modest growth in 2013 with the value for money segment playing a significant role in while the investments the company has made over the years and most recently with the acquisitions and subsequent merger of the acquired companies, has placed it in the best position to compete favourably.

Lead Securities unveils LeadTrader on-line trading portal By Helen Oji EAD Securities & Investment Limited, a subsidiary of LeadCapital Plc has announced the official launch of its LeadTrader on-line trading portal. The new trading platform, according to the Chairman, Lead Securities &Investment Limited, Abimbola Olashore was designed to conform with global best solutions for on-line, real –time trading of securities utilized by retail and institutional investors in the advanced economies. It also provide a secure and efficient electronic channel of buying and selling stocks on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in a transparent manner which gives investors full control over their mandates. Speaking at the launch of the platform in Lagos yesterday, he explained that ‘LeadTrders’ provides investors the convenience of executing their trades on-line through a range of devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets and other mobile devices. Olashore commended the leader ship of the NSE on its efforts towards ensuring that the Exchange was transformed into a world class

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What Happened? The NSE All-Share index increased by 66bps (0.66%) and closed at 38,881.76. This represents a year-to-date performance of 5.92%. Market Capitalisation also appreciated 0.66% to close at N12.482 trillion. Total value traded decreased 19.59% to N4.88 billion and total volume traded increased 2.68% to 354.03 million units.

Where? At the close of trading, the banking sector represented 73.69% of the total market value traded, while the breweries sector represented 11.26%. The Top 5 stocks as a % of total market value traded were: ZENITHBANK (27.70%), GUARANTY (25.23%), NB (10.39%), ETI (7.65%) and DANGCEM (2.86%). On a volume basis, the Top 5 most traded stocks for the day were: ZENITHBANK (63.91m), GAURANTY (46.27m), ETI (29.34m), FCMB (29.26m) and STERLNBANK (27.78m).

market, adding that the launch of the X-Gen trading platform, a robust 21st century technology with a Fixenabled trading capabilities as well as providing on-line real time market data to vendors since September 2013 clearly demonstrates the commitment. “Lead Securities &Investment Limits promptly responded to the initiatives of the NSE by upgrading its existing trading infrastructure to a world class trading portal. The platform offers investors a secure channel to buy and sell shares of companies listed on the NSE. Orders submitted through LeadTrder pass through a FIX compatibles Order Management System where appropriate compliance checks are in place to prevent erroneous orders going into the NSE’s trading platform. “It is integrated with the payment switch that allows investors to add funds to their brokerage account, using credit/debit cards. In addition, LeadTrader provides real time market data (bid/offer prices and volume) for informed real time trading decisions.” He said.


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Midweek Arts ‘We’re open to fresh voices’ By Anote Ajeluorou HIS may come as cheering news to new writT ers looking to have their works published and possibly avoid the self-publishing bug, as Litramed Publishers Nigeria Ltd and its literary imprint, Lantern Books, said it was open to fresh voices and would consider any good manuscript brought to it. This avowal was made recently at University of Lagos, where Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Lagos Chapter, held its second edition of Vintage Wine and Fresh Blends event. It had teacher, prolific female author and literary theorist, Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo and Lantern Books’ Editor-in-Charge of Storybooks, Miss Busayo Sawyerr on the hot seat to respond to questions from students from various secondary schools and book enthusiasts. Chairing the event was University of Lagos don, Dr. Austin Nwagbara, who remarked that the Nigerian society was in confusion with regard to its youths, adding, “We have consigned our youths to the negatives of internet scams and others. But the truth is that every society is powered by young people. Take founders of Facebook, Google, Yahoo; they were young people when they started. Every society’s change is powered by youths. We need to give them deserved attention.” Earlier, a quiz contest was held for the students and then a keenly contested performance of Prof. Ezeigbo’s poem ‘Season of Carnage’ on the Aluu four, students of University of Port Harcourt, killed in barbaric circumstances, and taken from her recent collection Dancing Masks. Students from four schools – gretech Educational Foundation, Ishori National College, Ikosi Senior High School and Lagos City College – gave the poem varying dramatic interpretations to the applause of the audience. At last, Lagos City College won; the schools were given book gifts from event sponsor, Lantern Books. The performance became the take-off point as moderator, Evelyn Osagie, prodded Ezeigbo to comment on the students’ performances of her poem. “They were absolutely wonderful in their performances,” she enthused. “The poem came

alive; the young performers did very well. The way they performed it is really good. The performances were varied and they enlarged, enriched my understanding of the tragedy I wrote about, that befell those young men at Aluu.” Ezeigbo then went on to say parents had a lot to do in encouraging young people around them to excel in whatever areas they so choose. The best way to start, she advised, was to introduce children to reading from an early age so as to start them on a good footing. She also advised schools not to leave provision of everything students need to government alone, noting, “Schools should identify students that show talent and encourage them by establishing drama and debating clubs to help nurture their talents; these clubs help to build their confidence. I’m aware that some schools now conduct creative writing classes and book festivals. This is good. One thing is clear: you can be a creative writer and still do other things as well. ANA Lagos is doing well by inducting school students to creative writing.” Ezeigbo told the young audience about her growing up years and how she received much support from her parents, who encouraged her to reach to any height she desired. She also noted that she started reading very early, as her home was filled with books. When she went to secondary school in Port Harcourt, it was the same, and she read up every book within reach, even at the school library. It was a subtle admonition to students who now cling more to mobile phones even when in class than their books. The English professor also spoke on the importance of mother tongue, as key to her writing career. Ezeigbo said but for her understanding of her native Igbo language – being able to speak and write it - she might not have gone far as a writer, stressing, “I don’t think I could have written if I wasn’t proficient in my language, Igbo. I’m currently writing an Igbo language novel on commission.” On the contentious issue of feminism, Ezeigbo restated her ‘snail-sense’ theory, as the best and fitting feminist model for the African situation. She said in Africa’s largely patriarchal society that

often treats women badly, it would be best for women to adopt the strategy of negotiation and dialogue to get what they want from their men rather than adopt a confrontational stance that often turns violent or resistance from the menfolk. She argued that the snail negotiates round any obstacle on its path by probing with its sensitive horns vulnerable points by going round the obstacle. Women, too, she averred, should adopt that option if they were to get to their desired goals. According to Ezeigbo, “I encourage women to empower themselves like I was encouraged by my parents to get education. That’s why I encourage my students – boys and girls alike. A man and a woman need to work together to move the nation forward. Women don’t have to be laidback. I had very strong women in my family; both my grandmothers were very strong women, and that inspired me to strive for anything I want. We are not laidback. The ‘Snail sense’ feminism theory says we should negotiate our differences like the snail to overcome our obstacles. There’s no doubt that our African society is highly patriarchal. Only a few men allow their daughters and wives to be the best they can be. Successful women will tell you they didn’t succeed through aggression but through negotiation and dialogue. Homes where women negotiate work better.” N her part, Lantern Books’ Sawyerr said her O publishing company was open to new writers provided they overcome the pitfall of bad writing mostly on offer from young writers, who lack capacity to self-edit nor allow others do it for them. It’s worth pointing out that Litramed is perhaps the only publisher that still successfully combines textbook publishing with literary texts. However, it’s still poor in book and author promotion. For new writers, Sawyerr said, “We are open to fresh voices. But the question we need to ask is, have those fresh voices truly found their voices? Mostly, they write in bad English; no publisher wants to touch books like that. Fresh voices truly need to have found their voices for them to stand a chance”. She tasked writers, particularly new

Akachi Ezeigbo authors, to do their work thoroughly first before approaching a publisher. She noted that 45 years of Litramed Publications Ltd is a milestone, but that there were challenges bedevilling the sector like piracy, high cost of production due to lack of power, poor reading culture further threatened by pervasive use of social media by young people at the expense of reading. Although she acknowledged that these were changing times, Sawyerr said Lantern Books was looking to opportunities in e-books, but that her company was yet to fully embrace it. She noted, “We have an open mind towards e-books; it’s our next step to development.” Speaking in the same vein, Ezeigbo also advised young writers not to rush to publish their works. She said her first novel was yet to be published till date even after having published over 30 works so far, adding, “Always tarry and improve your writing before approaching a publisher. I was rejected many times but I always strove on. Don’t give up; keep on striving and improving your skill. Writing requires persistent and consistent efforts”.

Judges emerge for 2014 Quill Awards RgANISERS of Promasidor Quill O Awards, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, has released the names of the judges for the 2014 edition of the coveted journalism awards. The panel of judges comprising seasoned practitioners will appraise entries for the awards. The list made available to the media by the company’s Head of Legal and Public Relations, Mr. Andrew Enahoro, includes distinguished professionals namely: Ambassador Patrick Dele Cole, a veteran journalist, who returns as chairman of the panel of judges; Professor Emevwo Biakolo, Dean of School of Media and Communication of the Pan Atlantic University (PAU); Kadaria Ahmed, former editor of 234 Next; Joseph Okonmah, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Lagos Chapter; and Reze Bonna, a renowned celebrity photographer and Architect. Enahoro who said the selection of MD of Promsidor, Chief Keith Richards (second left) with winners at last year’s Awards ceremony the panel was based on the high profile of the personalities with empha- ants that each of the seven categories lished the entries within April 1, 2013 have put together a panel of judges sis on their experience and integrity. of the awards (Best Report on through April 30, 2014. Our distin- with vast experience and commitHe also reiterated his company’s Nutrition, Best CSR & Industry Report guished panel of judges to select the ment to media excellence to ensure commitment to rewarding excel- of the Year, Education Reporter of the winners for the year 2013/14 will the standard of assessment is fair and thus, pick the best material to win. lence and professionalism in journal- Year, Best Photo Story of the Year, Best assess all entries,” he stated. While commending the quality of “Again, we encourage journalists to ism. Report on Children, Future Writer of He added, “Promasidor Quill Awards the Year and Brand Advocate of the most of the entries for the maiden participate and send in their entries, is committed to setting the pace on Year) seeks to reward excellent edition, he noted and expressed dis- to be professional and seek to execute rewarding journalists based on merit reportage about these issues as it con- appointment over the practice of pla- their work within ethical standards for their work and not a self-seeking cerns or affects society and industry. giarism in some of the entries, he in the industry. We would continue approach to get accolades, but a pro- He added that eligibility for the said last year’s panel noticed some to improve on the Promasidor Quill fessional platform of assessment, awards has no bias regarding the con- weak writing styles and lack of pro- Awards and its rewards for winners to recognition and reward for outstand- tent or the direction besides fulfilling fessional execution in some of the ensure it becomes the best Media works entered last year. To this end, Awards in the country.” ing journalistic work,”.  the criteria for the awards. As part of Promasidor Nigeria He reminded prospective contest“A media house must have pub- he said the organisers of the award

Limited’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, the company conceived and launched the Promasidor Quill Awards as a platform to empower and reward journalists for dedicated news reportage on Industry, Education, Corporate Social Responsibility, Children, Future Writer & Nutrition issues as well as photography all year round. An annual event that fetes journalists to a celebration of excellence and societal recognition, the award project brings more depth and rewards excellent reporting. The Quill Awards was launched at the Promasidor Media Brand Academy in March 2012 in Lagos. The commitment is to make it an annual project, possibly expanded as a continental CSR platform for Promasidor in future. According to Enahoro, Promasidor Quill Awards is committed to setting the pace on rewarding journalists for outstanding journalistic work. “We are committed to continue to grow the awards as a professional platform of assessment, recognition and reward for outstanding journalistic work. These awards seek to remind journalists of the importance of their role in society and to society, the need to encourage professionalism and appreciate outstanding work.” The 2014 edition of the awards is in tune with current technology trends. There is a new and improved website for the Quill awards (https://quillawards.promasidorng.com) to collect entries and keep journalists informed through interaction and social media integration through the years.


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Feyikogbon… drama series returns on cable HE masses counseling drama T series, Feyikogbon (aka LearnFrom-This) is back on the screen, this time on primetime DSTV’s African Magic, Channel 157. The resuscitated programme reputed to be the longest-running Yoruba Drama Series, having debuted on the defunct NTV in 1978 is the newest production credit of the veteran playwright, ‘Yinka Ogundaisi. The screening started began last week (April 3) and would run five times a week, Mondays through Fridays at 11.35am each day. Packaged into a season of 26 episodes of 30minute duration each, the production bears eloquent testimony to Ogundaisi’s impressive credentials in scripting and directing as reflected in the fuller, richer episodes all hallmarking in-depth screen playing which is a major forte of the playwright. The format of the programme story telling, while retaining its typical African moonlight tradition is now blended with elderly counseling that makes the series a delightful watch for the audience. In place of the former random story-telling style of Mogaji, the format now has a preamble sketch depicting a particular con-

temporary challenge that determines the story of the day. Amongst the story for this season is Be’kun Be’kun (Over Indulgence), which is a story of the consequences for men that see women only from the perspective of a plaything. Handsome and rich Gbajumo, not satisfied with having a happy home symbolized by a beautiful wife, Amuda, refused the pleadings of his family against a new wife who upon being married enlists the support of his mum for a medicinal charm that make Gbajumo have eyes only for him. But the medicinal charms must not be used for more than once in a 6month period! Yet Gbajumo’s insatiable appetite for women takes him to yet another lady friend who wanting the same exclusive attention also applies her own dose of the same medicinal charm on him though obtained from another herbalist. Result is disaster for Gbajumo now overdosed and torn in different directions by the powerful charms. Another story is Kosemase (House Duty) about men who think their obligations to their wives end with housekeeping allowance. What about companionship? Yet another is Akujo’gun (Inheritor) which tells the ironic story of all of us prospective corpses fighting

over the property of the deceased quite forgetting that we will also in time be dead. Akande is hell bent on inheriting the wife of his late brother but when the lady chooses his younger brother in preference to him; he goes ballistic and becomes implacable, wanting to kill the young man. The elders wanting to teach him and people of his ilk sense cleverly disarms him then arms the young man he wanted to kill to apply his dangerous weapon on him.  He immediately regains his senses and starts begging for mercy. The new series featured a blended cast of bevy of young delectable ladies and young men with the old faithfuls like Bimbo, Amuda, Ajobiewe. One of the young ladies is Ogundaisi’s daughter, Diekola who stared opposite him as his new wife in Be’kun Be’kun. She also played the lead in Kosemase and Gbangba De’kun in which she played the cheating wife that put her boyfriend in a tank of water with yet another lover made to carry the tank from her house when her husband who is supposed to have travelled surprised her and the concubines. Universal Films, Ogundaisi’s media and production outlet produced the new drama series. The company also

Ogundaisi

Rebranded Legend begins season

Afenmai masquerades on display in Edo HE artistry of a people is a T natural phenomenon that can’t be polluted by intrigues,

Winners of the promo last year celebrating in Dubai ARELY one week after its B re-launching with new bottle, Legend Extra Stout has flagged off the third edition of Real Deal National Consumer Promotion. The promotion, which began on Monday, April 7, would till Saturday, June 7, 2014. Launched in 2012, the first edition of the National Consumer Promotion saw hundreds of lucky consumers winning prizes such as TV sets, generators and millions of free Legend Extra Stout drinks, among other fabulous prizes. Last year, Legend Extra Stout however stepped up the ante in the annals of consumer promotions in Nigeria by taking 25 lucky consumers to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on an all-expense paid trip. While in Dubai, they shopped for gift items worth up to one

million in value. The lucky consumers were also taken on a special tour where they visited fascinating tourist sites during their stay. For this year’s edition, the stout brand, also known as the Real Deal, is raising the stakes by taking 30 consumers to Dubai for yet another unique shopping experience. While in the United Arab Emirates, they will also shop for prizes worth N1 million in prize value in one of Dubai’s biggest shopping malls. According to Walter Drenth, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc., Legend Extra Stout is rewarding its numerous consumers through the promotion. He said: “Legend Extra Stout is Nigeria’s fastest growing stout, and we really owe that to the numerous con-

sumers that choose this unique premium stout brand over other stout brands. This unique promo is our way of saying thank you for the patronage.” To participate in the raffle draw, consumers have to buy a bottle of Legend Extra Stout and text their names, location and the crown cork code to 31077. Thirty lucky winners will emerge through series of transparent raffle draws that would be held at different locations across the country, during the course of the promotion. In addition to the Dubai unique shopping experience, Legend Extra Stout will also be giving out N300 million worth of airtime. To qualify, consumers have to purchase 33cl or 60 cl bottles of Legend Extra Stout and text the code under the crown via SMS to 31077 and

they will instantly get N200 airtime based on their network of choice. Speaking on why the brand decided to give out a whooping N300 million worth of airtime, Mr. Drenth said: “By giving out N300 million worth of airtime, we are able to reward a wider number of our consumers with airtime. And the more bottles of Legend Extra Stout which they consume responsibly, the higher their chances of winning airtime.” While the first raffle draw is slated for Thursday, April 17, the second and third draws will be held on Friday, May 9 and Friday, May 23. Legend Extra Stout recently launched a new packaging for the product. Legend Extra Stout now comes in a new Stanoil foil with metalized labels.

politically or otherwise by influences originated by governmental or ethnical interventions: rather, the output is natural, with very sincere contributions based on events surrounding human existence. This is the focus of the second edition of the “Mass Assembly of Afenmai Masquerades and Traditional Troupes” of the people of the six Local Government Council Areas of the Edo North Senatorial District, Edo State, with the theme In the witness box: Rhythms of Drum and Gong Strokes Don’t Lie. A mounted exhibition on sculpturing, loom weaving, pottery, book publications by Afenmai authors, masquerade costume production, skin decoration formats and blacksmithing will be featured. “It is an imperative effort by the Afenmai Heritage and Cultural studies to unfold the artistic potentials of the Afenmai people that ought to be sustained in addition to emphasing the existence of the numerous available opportunities which the youths should embrace towards selfemployment rather than lazing away and insisting on government to create jobs”, said Prince Usman Abudah, Founder, Afenmai Heritage and Cultural Studies and the Artistic Director of the outing. The body inaugurated by Professor Wole Soyinka the Noble Laureate, has been invol-

ved in the promotion, propagation and the documentation of Afenmai creative concepts toward a uniformed calendar for the numerous seasonal festivals of the people. “We will continue to appeal to the six Local Government Councils to show positive interest in our efforts to unveil the creativeness of our people as demonstrated at the maiden edition held last April when the Executive Governor of the State, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole attended the outing and pointed out the genuine readiness of the state government to partner with Afenmai Heritage in showcasing the artistic themes of the people”, added the Artistic Director. A special groomed female ensemble of folklorists has been rehearsed and costumed to unfold Afenmai lyrics bothering on morality and hard work which are the pillars of success in life, Constance Bolivia Osigbemhe who has been keeping his late father’s band going will also be there. The outing is billed for Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Open Pavilion of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi at 11.am. Nobel Laureate Professor Soyinka whose feat of surprises in his movements has been in contact with the Artistic Director and there is hope of his usual surprises. The Executive Governor of the state is the Special Guest of Honour while the Royal Fathers are host fathers of the day, with His Royal Highness, Alhaji Aliru Momoh Ikelebe III, The Otaru of Auchi as the hosting Royal Father.


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Focus Amid insurgency, Jigawa’s peace elicits excitement

Lamido

Abubakar

Theophillus

From Dutse, JOHN AKUBO reports on how synergy among security agencies has reduced crime significantly in Jigawa State at the moment has confounded pundits and critics. Two reasons, however, stand out. First, there is a general consensus that Governor Sule Lamido’s disposition to rural development and the state government’s social security scheme for the physically challenged, have contributed significantly to the meaningful engagement of the youths on the one hand and had also helped in staving off social vices capable of precipitating criminal activities on the other. And with measureable development flowing to the villages, youths domiciled there are no longer migrating to the state capital in search of greener pasture. The grass in the villages is also green enough. Second, the synergy among the security agencies and other critical stakeholders, backed by the state government’s support, which complements federal allocations, is acting as a deterrent to idle minds with evil intents. Throwing more light on the miracle this synergy has engendered in an interview with The Guardian in Dutse recently, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kayode Joel Theophilus affirmed that the cooperation between the state’s Police Command and other sister security organisations has been critical to the sustained peace now being experienced in Jigawa. According to him, the beauty of it all has been in the area of intelligence sharing, which had been lacking in state, due to the unhealthy rivalry among the security agencies. He said: “This synergy is so strong that we now work hand in hand with one objective of curbing crime.” He observed that based on the outcome of what happened in Gwaram last year, when a police station and a bank were attacked, his command and other security organizations in the state were prompted to recommend the establishment of the Joint Task Force (JTF) known as Operation Salama. He said: “When the attack happened, we decided on a strategy we can use to curb crimes, like terrorism, armed robbery and others. I had put it in writing to the governor on the need to set up a Joint Task Force (JTF), like what we have in Borno, Plateau and Yobe (states), so we can use it to actually bring down crime. It was accepted and approved that the JTF should take off and it has been excellent.” He said the state government subsequently donated 22 vehicles to the JTF, adding that the police also got about five vehicles. He said the Divisional Police Headquarters in each of the 27

local Governments also got a patrol vehicle. His words: They (JTF) have achieved a lot. They have arrested a lot of people; they have smashed robbery syndicates. The government is also assisting all the DPOs with fueling the patrol vehicles. It is not enough, though, but they are managing.” He explained further that Operation Salama is made up of the State Security Service (SSS), vigilante group, hisbah, civil defence, customs, immigration, and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). “We came up with the idea and we chose the committee of about 10 that worked out the modalities. He said the task force’s patrols have greatly enhanced policing. “What they call visibility security operation is when the different security operatives are brought under one umbrella to patrol. It usually puts fear into the criminals because the army, police and others are involved. For instance, the Police Chief said there was a time Gujungu market experienced robberies every Sunday. He said: “Despite some of the strategies we put in place, they (robbers) still attacked the people, who after selling their goods, would be returning to their various destinations around 2 or 3 am. They (robbers) would waylay them (traders) and rob them of all their sales. But since Operation Salama came on board with night patrols, we have not heard of any robbery incidence along Gujungu.” Theophilus said logistic issues that initially delayed the commencement of the patrol have now been solved. He said the JTF was provided with 18 Hilux vans while the state government also pays its members their allowances. He dismissed the insinuation of the presence of Boko Haram insurgents was responsible for its inauguration, saying that it was meant to checkmate all crimes, especially armed robbery in the state. He disclosed that the first gain of the operation was when suspected armed robbers, who blocked the road to Kazaure took to their heels when the JTF was being deployed to Kazaure.

He said no arrest was made but the robbers abandoned their vehicle, which was taken to the headquarters for further investigation. Theophilus also gave a comparative analysis to explain the benefits derived from the synergy. According to him, the incidence of crime decreased in the state in 2013 when compared with 2012. Specifically, he stated that there were less theft, burglary and robbery cases in 2013 than in 2012. He stated that proactive crime strategy adopted in the state led to 2,900 raids in 2013 as against 500 in 2012. The police commissioner said the strategy contributed to the significant decline in crime incidences from 980 in 2012 to 862 in 2013, He said: “Murder cases were 21 compared to the 36 in 2012; grievous harm and wounding declined from 112 to 72; rape and indecent assault also declined from 30 to 18. Armed robbery declined from 43 to 10; Theft and other stealing cases declined from 564 to 426. Theophilus said the overall decline proved that the police in Jigawa performed better last year. He pledges that more proactive strategies would be put in place this year to further decrease the crime rate. The state’s Chief Judge, Mr Aminu Sabo Ringim corroborated Theophilus’ claims. According to him, Jigawa recorded the lowest rate of crimes among the country’s 36 States last year. Ringim, who spoke at the 2013/2014 Legal Year celebration held at the Judicial Complex in Dutse, said during the year under review (2013), only 45 criminal cases were registered at the State High Court. He said: “With nine high court judges, five Khadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal, 22 various grades of Magistrates and 73 various grades of Sharia Alkalis, the Jigawa state judiciary in the year under review received a total of 22, 735 criminal and civil cases, out of which 17, 223 cases were disposed of, with 5, 512 cases pending.” He said that based on the foregoing, the

To match his words with action, the Police Commissioner recently honoured some outstanding officers. ASP Akwaja C. Ndubuisi with identification number106854 received a commendation letter for leading the crack team of policemen that arrested the two vehicles and the suspects. Other members of the team, who also received commendation included CPL Dauda Dadi (F/No 435703); SGF Ayuba Muhammed (F/No 179987) and SGT Anthony Sabo (F/No 214994). The driver of the team, Habu Umar (F/No 270910/PC) was also commended for exhibiting skillful driving that led to the successful arrest

ITH the Boko Haram insurgency festering in W Yobe, Bauchi, and Kano states nearby, the relative peace being experienced in Jigawa state

judiciary adequately discharged its statutory duty of dispensing Justice as required in a democracy last year. Besides, the Chief Judge said the judiciary has, by the feat, contributed its quota to the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights as enshrined in the country’s constitution. According to him, since the maintenance of law and order are meant to ensure the security of the people, the judiciary would also continue to uphold it for the needed economic growth of the state. To sustain the gains already made and the current tempo, Theophilus is determined to strengthen the commitment of the men under his command. He is employing innovative strategies to motivate them. For instance, the commissioner gave commendation letters to some officers who refused to be induced by huge sums of money offered them when they (officers) arrested a lorry carrying 1,120 rolls of Indian hemp. Following a tip off, the police team had trailed the lorry to a forest in Laraba Village in Dutse local council. Interestingly, another vehicle that would take delivery of the hard drug was already stationed at the scene. The Police, on arrival, promptly arrested both vehicles and two suspects, who then offered the bribe to the officers in exchange for freedom, which they (officers) rejected. To match his words with action, the Police Commissioner recently honoured some outstanding officers. ASP Akwaja C. Ndubuisi with identification number106854 received a commendation letter for leading the crack team of policemen that arrested the two vehicles and the suspects. Other members of the team, who also received commendation included CPL Dauda Dadi (F/No 435703); SGF Ayuba Muhammed (F/No 179987) and SGT Anthony Sabo (F/No 214994). The driver of the team, Habu Umar (F/No 270910/PC) was also commended for exhibiting skillful driving that led to the successful arrest. The commissioner also honored DSP Anthony Airhuoyo, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Babura (AP/No 87515) for exhibiting courage and dedication, leading to the arrest of seven armed robbers on August 12, last year at Babura. He also commended DSP Mohammed Ibrahim (AP/No/94352) for courage and dedication to duty, leading to the arrest of four armed robbers on August 20, 2013 in Birninkudu Local council of the State. Inspector Akpabome R. Nicholas (AP/No 119673) was also commended and given a cash award of N10, 000 for taking the first position in the final examination at the Inspector General Detective College, Enugu between January and March 2012.


SPECIAL FOCUS ON SECURITY EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES MODERN SECURITY GADGET NECESSARY TO CUB CRIME

T is no longer news that the security situation in Nigeria has worsened in the last few years. No thanks to the general security breaches which the citizen witnessed on daily basis. The nation wakes up every morning to the sad news of one gory tale of bloodletting and killing of innocent Nigerians, especially in the North East geo-political zone of the country. Even the law enforcement agencies are not spared as the police, the military and paramilitary establishments continue to be targets of terrorist attacks. Experts and keen watchers believe this scenario may lead to emergency rule therefore all hands must be on deck to check this negative development. Section 14 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that the security and welfare of the people is the primary duty of government. By this provision, the Nigerian government must is expected to rise to the occasion, however the government cannot do it alone without the co-operation of corporate bodies, communities and individuals. The stakeholders in the provision of security equipment and accessories are not left out as they provide modern security gadget that will help to protect homes, offices, business centres, amongst others, as part of their role in the security of the country. The Government at all levels, corporate bodies, as well as individuals or group patronize them in order to acquire the needed tools and gadget to secure their homes and environment. Some of these firms are Fibrecom and Habol Technologies .

I

FIBRECOM LIMITED: QUALITY ICT INFRASTRUCTURAL SUPPLIES

IBRECOM LIMITED is an Independent Nigeria Fquality Company incorporated in 1997 to fill the service gap lacking in ICT (Industrial Computer Technology) intrastructural industry today. According to the Managing Director, Mr. Christopher Egharevba, the company’s vision is to establish a distinctive, competence and unquestionably the best in the supplies of ICT Infrastructure in the Country. The core Fibrecom products and services are: Communication Cabling (Data,Voice, Video and Power Structured Cabling System) Data Center Development (Raised Floor, Access Control, Fire detection and Suppression). A Data Centre is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g, air conditioning, fire suppression) and security

devices. Fibre Optic Backbone Cabling (Supply and Installation High-rise, Campus and Metro) IP Security Surveillance System – CCTV An internet protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera Abayomi Olagundoye commonly employed for MD/CEO HT&C/Eagle-i Ltd. surveillance, and which unlike analog close circuit television (CCTV) cameras can send and receive data via a computer network and the internet FM-200 Fire Suppression System FM-200 is a water less fire protection system. The fire suppression system entails a smoke detector, control panel, FM-200 Cylinder and discharge nozzle head to suppress the fire by releasing the FM-200 agent. Network Audit, Design and Support: the certified systems engineers will use a variety of industry recognized tools to scan your Network and create a comprehensive report detailing its overall health and security. This IT systems audit will not only show exactly what needs to be corrected in order to prevent a possible compromise of network, but also detail systems inventories and graphical mapping of the network topology. Biometric and Identification System: refers to the automatic identification of a person based on his/her anatomical (e.g fingerprint iris) or behavioural (e.g signature) characteristics or traits RFID – Radio Frequency Identification: stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. The acronym refers to small electronic devices that consist of a small chip and an antenna. The chip typically is capable of carrying 2,000 bytes of data or less. The RFID device serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card; it provides a unique identifier for that object. Just as a bar code or magnetic strip must be scanned to get the information, the RFID device must be scanned to retrieve the identify information. CATV – (Structured Cable TV Solution): Cable television is a system of distributing television

programs to subscribers via Radio Frequency (RF) signals transmitted through coaxial cables or light pulses through fiber-optic cables. This contrasts with traditional broadcast television (terrestrial television) in Chris Egharevba which the MD/CEO Fibrecom Ltd. television signal is transmitted over the air by radio waves and received by a television antenna attached to the television. The organization is committed to creating total customers’ satisfaction for both internal and external customers. Fibrecom delight in meeting customer’s needs by responding to their demand and following up on how well that need are met. Mr. Egharevba opined that Fibrecom is a leader in ICT industry where customers require high quality standards and exacting product specifications. The company wide quality and timely service delivery concept is an integrated approach which guides the firm towards achieving continuous improvement through total mobilization of every functional group, department as well as individual, to ensure quality and timely service delivery. The organization is constantly seeking to reduce cost of materials and labour as well develop cost efficient designs in order to maintain Fibrecom position as an overall low-cost supplier of ICT services in Nigeria.

HABOL TECHNOLOGIES: SECURITY COMPANY WITH A DIFFERENT

T and C is an indigenous security equipment H company incorporated in 2008. Since its inception the company manages and pursues all projects with the aim to give the best professional services to all their customers. The company have seasoned professionals that places it at vantage position to provide their clients with quality products and services. HT & C unparalleled customer care which is reflected in the company’s

extensive and growing client base, maintenance of high standard ethical business behavior operating not just within the framework of the law. but also abiding by the principles of utmost integrity, honesty and courtesy to all their customers. Mr. Abayomi Olagundaye is the Managing Director of HT and C Limited and Eagle Limited which is located at No 17, Kodesho Street, Ikeja, Lagos. Their major security/Safety and other products items includes: CCTV CAMERA: CCTV provides video surveillance at both on site and remote locations. High grade crime detector. CCTV can be viewed at home, office, anywhere and at anytime via internet access. VIDEO DOOR PHONE: This picture viewing and intercome facility enables one to visualize and communicate with visitors before entry is granted into the premises. INTRUDER ALARM SYSTEM: Provides automatic round the clock protection against burglaries, with backup system in case of power failure. Raises alarm at any attempt by an intruder to break doors windows and walls. In the even of any invasion system automatically dials up a central alarm station i.e a police station FIRE ALARM: It is designed to give 24 hours protection of buildings from fire by providing early warning on fire outbreak with a backup system in case of power outage. In the even of fire outbreak, the system could automatically dial up a local fire station. FIRE EXTINGUISHER: Fire fighting device in the event of an outbreak. ACCESS CONTROL: Security access control replaces key lock mechanism for the entry or exit of particular persons. We have the following: Fingerprint Template Access IC Card Access - by inserting the card into the system available either as stand alone or as network enabled (Pc Support) time attendance machine. ELECTRICAL: Power Solution: Industrial inverters and household inverter units and batteries Earthling: Earthling of ICT mast, building earthling, general earthling solutions. Supply of electrical fittings and wiring solutions. In an interview with The Guardian Newspapers, the Managing Director of HT and C Limited Mr. Abayomi Olagundaye speaking on the current security challenges in Nigeria said the current trend in Nigeria is quite unusual as Nigerians are peace loving people. He believes that the increase in unemployment and corruptions are some of the factors responsible for the current security challenges in Nigeria. He stated further that performance of the security operatives are not enough as more of the efforts are needed now than ever before.


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Sports Organisers plan big for Remita Corporate Champions Cup

NFF to pay Eagles coaches’ salaries upfront

RGANISERS of the Remita O Corporate Champions Cup 2014, MediaVision, has

• Obuh, others to get pay next week From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja S part of its efforts to provide a conducive atmosphere for the Super Eagles’ coaches to work for success at the Brazil 2014 World Cup, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday disclosed that it would offset the coaches’ four months salary arrears, as well as to pay them their emoluments upfront up till June. The federation, which assured that the coaches would all receive their outstanding salaries today, added that the mandate has been given to ensure that all other national team coaches, including those that are no longer under its employment, but are owed outstanding salaries, are paid latest by next week. Chairman of the NFF Media Sub-Committee, Emeka Inyama, insisted in Abuja yesterday that the Federation had no issues with Super Eagles’ Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, stressing that the NFF and the coach were both working together to ensure success for the Super Eagles in Brazil. Inyama, who explained how the NFF offered Keshi the job after Samson Siasia’s sack in 2010 even when the majority of Nigerians preferred the

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employment of a foreign coach, noted that the federation had fully supported the coach in all his programmes. He also justified the recent query issued to the coach by the federation, insisting that it was done to clarify certain issues. Inyama, however, revealed that the Super Eagles’ coach has answered the query to the satisfaction of the federation and the issue has been settled. “There have been very worrying issues between the federation and the Super Eagles. It seemed as if there was war. But honestly, I want to assure you today that there is peace and no tension between the federation and coach Stephen Keshi. “Keshi is an employee of the NFF and we are his employers. We have had a wonderful working relationship since Keshi was employed. “I want to use this platform to clarify that the federation does not have any plans whatsoever to hire any other coach for the World Cup. We have confidence in Stephen Keshi and we will support him to win. “ We are focused on the World Cup and in two months time, we will go to Brazil and come back with a commendable result,” he said.

Lagos FA Cup: COD begin title defence By Adeyinka Adedipe EIGNING champions, COD United will begin the defence of their Lagos FA Cup title when they take on De Real Victorious FC in the round of 32 at the Agege Stadium tomorrow. The match is slated for 8am with both teams expected to open what the organisers, Lagos State Football Association (LSFA), has dubbed the greatest FA Cup in recent times. In other matches slated for tomorrow, Buruj FC will take on Cliques Sports Academy, while Samvic FC lock horns with Super Gold FC. Matches will resume at the Agege Stadium on Saturday with Fame FC taking on Anointed Stars at 8am, Christ Ambassador FC meeting Bolowotan, Teslim Thunder Balogun FC facing Al-Amin FC, while Ambek FC will battle with Union Bank in the final game of the day. 36 Lions and LSDPC FC will take to the Agege Stadium pitch in Sunday’s opening game, Awori United FC will battle AS Raccines, while Yobo FC will confront Amazing Grace International FC.

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On Monday at the same venue, Apapa Golden Stars will tackle Bridge FC, Nath Boys take on Messiah FC, Magath FC square up against Stationery Stores, while Divine Praise FC will battle with MFM FC. It will be First Bank against My People in the opening game on Tuesday, while CMD United will confront Collin Edwin FC.

Good tidings for Stephen Keshi and members of his technical crew, as the NFF has pledged to settle their PHOTO: AFP. salary arrears, as well as pay them their emoluments upfront up till June.

Third Kanu/Greensprings Football Camp registration begins RGANISERS of the third ediO tion of the Kanu/Greensprings Football Camp have announced the opening of registration for the programme, which features top European coaches at the youth camp. The clinic is an annual event organised by Greensprings School in collaboration with one of Africa’s most decorated footballers, Nwankwo Kanu and it is meant for children between 5 and 17 years. According to the organisers, participants in the camp holding this month at the Lekki Campus of Greensprings School, Lagos can visit www.greenspringskanufoot-

ballcamp.org for registration procedures. This year, over 100 indigenous coaches will be trained in a partnership programme with the Lagos State Football Association, while a day will also be set aside for a community outreach service by the visiting coaches from Europe. 10 coaches made up of six from England and four from the Dutch league are expected at the camp. The coaches from England are from English Premiership sides like Manchester City, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion. Speaking on the programme,

Kanu said the camp has become a resource centre for future football stars. “There is no doubt that this edition will be more exciting and resourceful, especially as we are taking participants to the next level with the introduction of coaches from Holland to complement the efforts of our coaches from England. “It is my desire that participants at this programme will be exposed to the rudiments of football as a prerequisite to developing their skills and techniques at this early stage of their lives,” the former African Footballer of the Year said.

Taekwondo: Nigeria’s Bashir bags gold in Colombia days after Uche Perez FgoldEW Chukwumerije claimed at the 2014 Belgian Open, another Nigerian, United States-based Saturday Bashir got another gold medal in the welterweight division at the 2nd Colombia International Taekwondo Championships, held in Cali, Colombia. The seven-day tournament, which ends today, had athletes from Switzerland, Philippines, Nigeria, Canada, Ghana, Benin, Chile, U.S, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, and host – Colombia in attendance. Bashir, a 2013 Korean Opens gold medalist, defeated his

opponents from Colombia 12-7 in the first fight, Chile 8-0 in the second fight, before dispatching his Ghanaian opponent, Anthony Adjetey 10-8 in the final. His opponent in the final is ranked 14th in the world and this result is a clear indication of how Team Nigeria might fare against their African counterparts in next year’s All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville. Bashir represented Nigeria at the 2013 World Team Cup, and it was his performance at the 2014 US Opens, that made him to be among the few selected athletes fully sponsored to the

championships in Colombia. “Saturday Bashir was my The sponsorship includes full teammate to the 2007 All return airfare, feeding, regis- Africa Games. He is technically tration fees, medical costs and sound, physically fit and very provision of hydration supple- hardworking. He is an athlete ments. whose profile inspires our This performance has excited young athletes, and once the Nigeria Taekwondo again, he represented Nigeria Federation (NTF) that its elite well,” the Beijing Olympics athletes are showing top form, medalist said. as the Rio 2016 Olympics is NTF President, George Ashiru, barely 28 months away.   on   behalf of the board and NTF athletes’ representative, Nigeria taekwondo communiChika Chukwumerije, hailed ty has sent his congratulations the wonderful week in which to Saturday in Colombia and personal sacrifice, determina- urged all elite athletes to contion and hardwork of Nigeria tinue to get international taekwondo’s athletes brought exposure and ranking points glory to Nigeria. wherever they can.

promised exciting moments for fans at the tournament, which kicks off on Saturday, even as the sponsors, SystemSpecs have reiterated their commitment to building a huge brand out of the tournament. Four days to the start of the tournament, Managing Director of MediaVision, Fela Bank-Olemoh, said they have perfected arrangements for a hitch-free tournament at the Onikan Stadium. “This is the flagship of Corporate football and we are determined to improve on the experience of last season when the event commenced and the partnership with Remita is a pointer that the organisation can only get better,” Bank-Olemoh noted. Also speaking on their sponsorship of the tournament, John Obaro, CEO of SystemSpecs, promoters of Remita, a leading e-payment and  e-collection and e-payroll solutions services described their involvement in the tournament as their contribution to promoting healthy living within the corporate community. “I would like to say that the Corporate Champions Cup is a perfect opportunity for SystemSpecs to contribute to the wellbeing of members of the corporate community, who are served in various ways by Remita.”

Abesan Cup enters quarterfinal, as defending champions, Midas crash EFENDING champions, D Midas FC have crashed out of the Abesan Cup after a 2-0 defeat to Three Wheelers Association Nigeria (TWAN) in the round of 16 match played at keke High School, Agege. Midas elimination means that no team has retained the title since inception in 1999. TWAN, who won the competition in 2008, face last year’s losing finalist and 2010 champion, Future Heroes in a tantalising quarterfinal clash billed for Saturday. Future Heroes defeated Medical FC 1-0 with a second half strike by Oluwafemi Anoluwapo. In other matches, Sheriff FC of Agege managed a 1-0 win over Jesus Answer Me FC to reach their fourth straight quarterfinal. They will next face Rozie FC.  Debutants, Sporting FC left it late scoring the game’s only goal against Ultimate FC in the second half of extra time courtesy of Femi Makinde’s effort. Sporting will meet Mighty Jet who surprised themselves by beating favourites, Feller 2-1 with two late goals after conceding an early goal in first half. 2011 champion, Prostars of Idimu needed an extra time winning goal from Bankole Owolabi to defeat  Peace FC 2-1.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | 63

Cricketweekly Lagos CCC League

FCC down GCIOB, Ibeju Lekki hammer Lagos Asians By Christian Okpara ATIONAL team big boy, N Kunle Adegbola, at the weekend continued to show why he is so regarded in Nigeria’s cricket circle when he guided Foundation Cricket Club 1 (FCC 1) to an eight-wicket victory over Government College Ibadan Old Boys Cricket Club (GCIOB) to keep alive their Super Four hopes at the Iris Smart Technology Club Cricket Committee (CCC) League. Adegbola, who led Nigeria to fourth-place finish at the 2013 ICC World Cricket League Division Five Championship in Malaysia, scored 56 runs off 45 balls as FCC 1 chased down a paltry 80 all out in 12.3 overs. Tight FCC 1 bowling had limited GCIOBCC to 80 all out despite Chimezie Onwuzulike’s 37 runs and Daniel Ajekun’s 23 runs, but the other batsmen in Osita Onwuzulike, Tayo Atoloye, Dayo Ogunbayo, Chibuike Iteogu, Seyi Animashaun, Sesan Adedeji and Oluwaseun Adeboro all had a bad day in the crease no thanks to Joshua Ogunlola’s four wickets, 19 runs, two maiden in 6.4 overs and Femi Oduyebo’s 3-17. Ogunlola and Oduyebo were both sublime with the balls. Victory was particularly sweet for FCC 1, who had suffered a 67-run defeat in the hands of the Mansard Insurance backed team on January 11, 2014 at the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval. “It was like a final and I am very proud of my team for giving me a perfect response after that embarrassing defeat we suffered during the first leg,” an elated Adegbola said.

Also speaking after the game, the Captain of GCIOBCC, Osita Onwuzulike, expressed his disappointment with the team’s below-par performance against FCC 1. “After claiming a 32 runs victory over league leaders Ibeju Lekki Cricket Club last weekend, I expect that we will consolidate on that achievement, but to fall like a pack of cards is totally unacceptable for a club with a great cricket history like us,” he lamented. In the other game played at the weekend, Lagos Asians Cricket Club were blown away by Ibeju Lekki Cricket Club with the Matthias Devadayal-led side getting an embarrassing 159- run defeat. The defending champions, who elected to bat first, posted an intimidating score of 313 runs for loss of eight wickets on a day middle-order batsman, Bimbo Adu, was at his best scoring 92 not out off 65 balls, which included five fours and five sixes. He was supported by national team stars, Onikoyi Ademola (73), James Chukwu (37) and Saheed Akolade 19 runs not out. Despite Sajid damage control with the ball, claiming four wickets, 27 runs, one maiden in 10 overs, ILCC 1 went ahead to record an intimidating 3138 in 50 overs. LACC in the second innings struggled to get going with the bat with Sajid’s 58 runs the best any of his team mates could muster. The duo of Endurance Ofem 4-22 and Saheed Akolade 3-11 once again justified their ratings as two of Nigeria’s most impressive bowlers with their great control of the ball.

Sri Lanka celebrating with the trophy after their victory at the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh.

PHOTO: ESPNCRICINFO.COM

ICC World Twenty20, two-tiered success By Alan Gardner REVITY and levity are at the B heart of the World T20’s success and, although the men were now in action for three weeks rather than two, there was no sense of bloating. If anything, the two distinct stages lent a freshness to one another. Cricket has long had its format wars, but the transition to a new-model World T20 seems to have been a peaceful one. Inviting a few more Associates to sit at the table - even if they were only given stools to begin with - was a rousing success, with memorable wins against Full-Member opposition for Netherlands, Hong Kong and Ireland. The first round was an uptempo tightrope walk for Bangladesh, the hosts, and Zimbabwe. The latter were sent tumbling out, pushed off balance by Ireland and then downed by a trapeze act from Netherlands. Bangladesh seemed to have converted a sense of umbrage

at effectively having to qualify for their own tournament into a storm-the-beaches show of force, winning their opening two games comfortably; then came the night when it all went wrong against Hong Kong in Chittagong. Victory for Hong Kong, the last of the 16 teams to qualify for the World T20, against a Test-playing nation - albeit one of the weakest - ought to be remembered as one of the great upsets. It sent Bangladesh into a tailspin, though it should have also provided a reality check. They were once the side that noisily celebrated the overthrow of established powers but the competition below them appears to be growing. There was little “Joy Bangla” thereafter, as qualification brought a series of heavy defeats for the national team. The locals in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet were able to enjoy the rest of the tournament, however, as the main group stages played out a series of close-fought, entertaining

matches. In the women’s event up in Sylhet, crowds thronged to the picturesque ground set in a tea garden. England and Australia, the two eventual finalists, both lost their opening games, while South Africa reached the last four for the first time with a dramatic win in their final group match against New Zealand. Bangladesh, making their debut, pulled off a memorable win over Sri Lanka to further endorse the competition’s expansion. The men’s Super 10 featured one intensely competitive group - the one with the Associate involved. After their record-breaking, genre-expanding win over Ireland to steal into the second round, Netherlands were bowled out for 39 by Sri Lanka and then should have beaten South Africa. A coolly taken victory over England in their final match provided catharsis. The Netherlands story was another vibrant thread weaved into the tournament’s tapestry,

while at the same time helped highlight how precarious life can be for cricket’s second-tier citizens. Brevity and levity are at the heart of the World T20’s success and, although the men were now in action for three weeks rather than two, there was no sense of bloating. If anything, the two distinct stages lent a freshness to one another. Nepal’s delight was unbounded by their two wins, even though they didn’t progress. Afghanistan’s chagrin at failing to make a bigger mark was equally notable. The quality level then rose as the bigger boys took their ball back. The ICC reported a resounding success on attendance figures, as the Bangladeshi people lived up to their cricket-mad reputation. All games were sold out, though whether quite that many made it through the turnstiles was harder to calculate. One problem with the format of playing the women’s semi-finals and finals before the men’s was highlighted by

how few spectators bothered to come for the early game. Increasingly, it seems, women’s T20 deserves to be sold as a proposition in its own right - an idea that will be tested with a first standalone tournament in 2018. Such is the nature of life at the ICC that it cannot be sure of retaining the 16-team men’s format in two years’ time. However, it seems certain that if T20 is to be cricket’s growth vehicle, it needs to have as many countries on board as it possibly can. Playing at global tournaments is the best way for the smaller teams to adjust and improve, be it to the increased media attention, the extra security or the pressure of competition at the highest level. Charlie Burke, Hong Kong’s coach, emphasised how important such experience was. “The one big thing that I say to the players is you’ve got to soak everything up,” he said during the first round. “It’s not every day you get to play in a World

T20 and play on such a big stage in front of cameras.” Of course, the most daring thing the ICC could do would be to introduce an even more meritocratic structure: four groups of four, with the top two progressing to the quarterfinals, from which point the competition would be a straight knockout. Theoretically, the eight grandees would all go through but the level of jeopardy would be increased. There would be mismatches but there would also be the very real chance of thrillingly unexpected reversals. The whole thing would still only take about three weeks. Sadly, TV rights being what they are, too much rides on certain teams being involved in a guaranteed number of matches, rendering such a bold move unlikely. The current set-up may be the best we can wish for but, if the 2014 World T20 taught us anything, it is that we should never stop daring to dream.


TheGuardian

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Femi Omotoyinbo Continued from yesterday (8-4-2014). HIS family democracy has gotten to a perturbing extent that the ‘rulers by-blood-ties’ are now having the audacity to influence things in the national polity. The Nigerian saga of a First Lady putting the whole nation into ignorance on the health status of the President is one. Another instance of a First Lady demanding some national funds for her private organisation gives no little credence to this. Perhaps, this frustrating puppet-control of a whole nation by family ties or wedlock influence was what led Lady Bird Johnson (19122007) of the United States to unknowingly reiterate a theme in Plato’s Republic which says, “a politician ought to be born a foundling and remain a bachelor.” Another thing to consider about this ill-phenomenon is that it is naturally unnecessary. It is clear enough that necessity overrides capacity. But unfortunately the office of the First Lady is outside necessity. In any democratic setup, the absence of President or the totality of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) spells doom for the nation. This is due to the necessity of such positions. The office of the First Lady, let alone being unconstitutional, is unnecessary and thus warrants no investments in virtue of national regards or funds. Gender polarity is of little importance in any modern system of governing. The nation is far from a chess board where an almost immobile king needs an accompaniment of a body-guard queen. Even if it will be likened to a chess board; the dearth of the queen is not proximately conclusive for a checkmate. The 13th of October, 2005 to the 29th of May 2007 should have about an interval of 17 months. That is one-year plus with no sound political upheaval; but loo, there was an absence of the office of the First lady in Nigeria. It is highly probable that the President then might not even select anyone for such office if he was allowed his prehensile third term bid. This article is having no political or misogynous intent; but it simply re-emphasises the truth that the office of the First Lady is as good as not existing at all. Two more counterexamples will be viewed to finalise this part of the discussion. Since the formal recognition of the Citta del Vaticano (Vatican City) in 1992 the Popes have been successful in their position without being flanked by any feminine attachment. Even in Nigeria, there were monumental achievements during the tenure of Moses Adasu as the Executive Governor of Benue State in 1992: whereas the state was without any encumbrance of a First Lady. All these simply connote that the office is not necessary. To put the last straw on the camel’s back; this article will assert that the notion of First Lady is gender biased. It is in every way antithetical to the feminist concept of gender equality or the noble ideal of gender advancement. The notion of First Lady is gender biased from two perspectives: On the one hand, it is matriarchal and on the other hand, it is patriarchal. On the matriarchal side, the office of the First Lady re-echoes the natural fragility of the feminine gender. It positions women as sterile to contend, win and occupy such posts of colossal responsibility. They are not fit to be local councils’ chairperson, governors or the president. Women are, therefore, fashionable attachments in political circles: they are the “second sex” and will always play the second fiddle. This probably gives reason to the view of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929 - 1994) (wife of a U.S. president) that: “The one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady. It sounds like a saddle horse.” On the patriarchal side, the office of the First Lady is gender biased because no such office exists when the role is to be played by the masculine gender. Even if it exists it does not have much affluence like the feminine counterpart.

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First Ladyship: A democratic misrepresentation (2)

There are female presidents and leaders in this contemporaneous times (instances include: Argentine Isabel Peron, the German Angela Merkel; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Indian Pratibha Patil, Austrian Julia Gillard and the Joyce Banda of Malawi among others) and it is possible to have gay presidents in the nearest future. None of these can be predicted to produce an office of the first gentleman as compared to the office of the First Lady. This simply shows that the office of the First Lady should be done away with before crises erupt. It is important to express the truth that this article has no derry on anyone. Its truths are veridical and obviously universal. This article stands on the Nichomachean ethics of Aristotle that “what the law does not expressly condone; it denies.” It is indeed historical that the office of the

First Lady has been granted liberties despite being informal. John F. Kennedy was once quoted as saying a similar thing: “Each president’s wife, since she is not bound by constitutionally defined duties, should fulfil her responsibilities according to the dictates of her own temperament and capabilities.” But the fact stands that the office of the First Lady is not the post of a class captain of a primary school that needs no check and balances. According to Mia E. Casey of Hofstra University, New York: “The office of the First Lady is sensitive because of their unsanctioned status they have had the difficult task of defining a position that is not official, but that remains one of the most integral parts of any president’s administration.” The office of First Lady may have its own national impacts; so the duties should not be left in the hands of individuals to craft or

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The office of First Lady may have its own national impacts; so the duties should not be left in the hands of individuals to craft or define. Since no principles guide the existence of the office, the occupants are silently licensed to be detrimental to the unity in the families, the economy of the nation, the justice in the political circles and even the constitution. That is why this article advocates for the deletion of the office or its formal inclusion into the constitution

define. Since no principles guide the existence of the office, the occupants are silently licensed to be detrimental to the unity in the families, the economy of the nation, the justice in the political circles and even the constitution. That is why this article advocates for the deletion of the office or its formal inclusion into the constitution. The Ministry of Women Affairs is enough to give the nation its feminine impacts or receive funds for the creation of such impacts. No other bodies should receive perpetual funding directly from the government in virtue of salary or any emoluments for similar reasons. Most of the countries whose democracies have grown grey hairs tacitly bear the scars of this democratic misrepresentation till this hour. It may be an immense debacle if the galloping horse will not learn from the pitiful strides of the preceding horse. If the conscience of the Nigerian House of Assembly supports that the reduction in their emoluments is not necessary to revamp our economy; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should leave them to God. But let us look at the feminine leak that we have reflexly allowed. With the rate of radical developments now, the electorate should strive to oppose the status quo before the occupants of the unconstitutional office began to benefit from Section 84, subsection 5 of the honourable 1999 Constitution. If we genuinely love our country, it is important for the electorate to also observe the home circles of any political candidate before they are deemed fit for a political mandate. If this issue is left unaddressed, sooner or later, the nation and the citizens will have a deuce to pay for it. Concluded.


Wed 09 April 2014