TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Vol. 30, No. 12,655
Anxiety as deadline for payment for electricity utilities ends today From Emeka Anuforo (Abuja) and Roseline Okere (Lagos) ODAY is the deadline for the preferred winners of the country’s electricity distribution companies to pay the required 75 per cent balance amid anxiety over a seeming impasse between government and the buyers. The buyers last week gave strong indications that the date would not be possible, urging government to consider a further shift. Going by
• Buyers pledge to pay 75% balance • Reserved bidders may take over the pleas tendered by the buyers, delay in labour settlement makes the matter more serious, as lenders who had hitherto given them assurances of mobilising funds are now skeptical. In a twist to its earlier stance, the Roundtable of Distribu-
tion Companies (Discos), a body of private investors, said yesterday that it was working to ensure compliance. Its Chairman, Dr. Ransom Owan, told The Guardian yesterday that efforts were being made to pay up. On its part, the Bureau of
Public Enterprises (BPE) said on Monday that it would not extend today’s deadline for the payment of the outstanding 75 per cent of the bid prices for the successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) by the preferred bidders.
BPE said if they failed to pay by 5.00 p.m. today, they would lose the bids, while the reserved bidders would be invited to take over the assets. The Head of Public Communications at BPE, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe, said the agency did not have the power to extend the payment deadline. His words: “The BPE does not have the power to extend the deadline. It is the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo that has
the power to do that. This means that the council will have to meet on Wednesday to extend the deadline; but as I speak, I am not aware that such a meeting has been called.” Anichebe said government would abide by the terms and conditions in the purchase agreement. He said that as at Friday, August 16, a total of 20,304 of the 40,000 members of staff of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote (left); Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema and Minister of Communications, Omobola Johnson, during the bell ringing at the NSE in Lagos.
Jonathan to lead govt, ASUU talks From Mohammed Abubakar, Karls Tsokar, Kanayo Umeh (Abuja) and Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh (Uyo) TRONG indications SPresident emerged yesterday that Goodluck Jonathan may have personally taken charge of efforts aimed at getting striking university teachers back to work soon. Besides, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Federal Government to hon-
• APC wants 2009 pact honoured • Varsities get deadline on admission our its agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in order to end the industrial action. Meanwhile, the Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, has appealed to the ASUU to accept the offer made
by the Federal Government and call off the strike. He spoke at the African Regional Centre of Enterprise Workshop yesterday in Abuja. And the Registrar/Chief Executive of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB),
• Gunmen kill two policemen in raid on station -Page 3
Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, has directed all universities to conclude admissions on or before October 31, 2013. Jonathan met yesterday for more than two hours with the Federal Government’s officials engaged in the negotiation
with ASUU at the Presidential Villa. At the meeting were Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Anyim; Benue State Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam; Ministers of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala; Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i and Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu; Executive Secretary of the Na-
• GTB earns N124b -Page 15
tional Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, as well as the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe. The previous negotiations between the Federal Government team and the union on Tuesday last week and Monday this week at the office of the SGF failed to yield result as the teachers insisted on the implementation of the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement. Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Suswam, who chairs the imCONTINUED ON PAGE 2
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
APC wants 2009 pact with ASUU honoured CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 plementation committee of the NEEDS Assessment panel of the universities, expressed confidence that with measures so far put in place by the Federal Government, there was hope that the teachers might call off the strike soon. He also noted government’s readiness to make available N30 billion out of the N87 billion being demanded by ASUU to be disbursed as earned academic allowances to the teachers, in addition to the N100 billion for infrastructural rehabilitation in the universities. He confirmed that the Federal Government would meet with the governing councils and vice chancellors of federal universities before the end of the week to inform them of the decisions so far taken by the Federal Government. In a statement in Abuja yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said no government worth its salt could afford to play with education, because it is the path to national development. It said ASUU was not making
any fresh demand beyond the agreement it reached with the government in 2009, stressing: ‘’Agreements are meant to be honoured, and breaching them comes with some consequences.’’ APC said the strike was a further blow to the country’s educational system, which has deteriorated so much that no Nigerian university is currently listed in the top 100 universities in the world and only a few of them have made the top 100 in Africa. The party added: ‘’The N87 billion that ASUU is demanding represents earned allowances hence cannot be renegotiated. In any case, this amount pales into insignificance when placed side by side with the N1 trillion that has been spent on federal legislators in the past eight years; or the frivolity involved in a government minister travelling to China to negotiate a $1 billion loan in a chartered jet (with its attendant cost) and with a retinue of staffers who earned generous estacode in hard currency. ‘’It is an indication of the kind of priority that this Federal Government attaches to education that while it has refused to meet its own side of an agreement it reached with ASUU since 2009, it could pay out N3 trillion in non-existent fuel subsidies to fat cats, spend N10 billion yearly to maintain the jets in the presidential fleet
and do little or nothing to prevent the stealing of 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which translates to $120 million in a month, money that surely ends up in some people’s pockets! ‘’What we are saying is that if the Federal Government would reduce its profligacy and cut waste, there will be enough money to pay teachers in public universities, as well as fund research and upgrade infrastructure in such
institutions. Hungry teachers can neither teach well nor carry out research. And poorlytaught students can neither excel nor propel their nation to great heights.’’ Ojerinde spoke yesterday during the opening of the first technical committee meeting on 2013/2014 admission to degree-awarding institutions held at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. In attendance are officials saddled with admissions into
federal, state and private universities whom the registrar charged to strictly adhere to the dateline as late submission would not be entertained by the board. “I wish to inform you that the next admission exercise for the 2013/2014 academic session will come up from Monday, October 14 to Friday, October 18, 2013 at the board’s national headquarters, Bwari, Abuja”, he said . According to him, the selec-
tion for Nigerian universities has to be done because of the higher number of candidates who subscribed to these institutions. “It, therefore, implies that the next technical meeting scheduled to hold at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, from Monday, September 23 to Friday, September 27, will solely be for admission into polytechnics, monotechnics, colleges of education and innovative enterprises institutions”, he added.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali (left); Nigerian Ambassador to Portugal, Ijeoma Bushe and Director, IRI – Lunar Consult Limited, Prof. Ike Ukeji, during their working visit to the ministry in Abuja… yesterday.
Electricity bidders pledge to pay 75% balance CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 PHCN had been cleared and paid their severance benefits, totalling about N119.1 billion. Meanwhile, Ministry of Power sources said the government had rounded off the payment of severance benefits of workers of 10 power generation companies (GENCOs). A source said the payment was completed on Friday. The payment for distribution companies started two days ago (Monday), The Guardian was told. The entire payment system, sources said, would be rounded off within the next one or two weeks, much later than the August 21 contentious date. The government’s side is still considering if it should hold a stakeholders’ meeting before August 21. The new owners told The Guardian that they had not been communicated any notice for a meeting on the issue, neither had any new date been communicated to them since Tuesday when they met with Power Ministry officials. The leader of the group of new distribution companies’ preferred bidders, Owan, told The Guardian earlier at the weekend that since government had not completed labour liabilities, the thing to do was to shift the balance payment deadline until that had been achieved. He said: “We understand that severance payment for workers of the generation companies was completed by Friday and that that of distribution companies would commence on Monday. The issue of shift is also pending. Government has not announced a date. If government is unable to make a shift, we are afraid this might portend future challenges for the process. “Again, the buyers were sup-
posed to have access to the utilities for shadow management, but they didn’t. Government should hand over the utilities devoid of any encumbrances.” On other possible ways out of the impasse, he said: “Regarding the fear that government would relax on their pending obligations, perhaps, government can put up an escrow account for 30 days where buyers can put cash and government can borrow on a bridge loan and meet all obligations, then cash out the escrow.” He told The Guardian: “Also, an escrow account can be set up for the 75 per cent payment for 30 days until all the handover conditions are met by the seller, that is, the BPE. Such an action would be fair and in the public interest. The goal is to have a post-sale arrangement to the benefit of all Nigerians.” He went on: “Buyers are concerned that once government collects full payment, it would relax in meeting any outstanding obligations. An escrow payment would be an incentive to conclude a clean handover of assets that are free of all legacy issues. “ On Tuesday, private investors who emerged preferred winners premised their inability to meet up with their payment obligations on the lingering issue of payment for electricity workers. The government had earlier expected the new owners to pay their balance earlier enough to enable it use the funds to offset the severance benefits. But when this was not forthcoming, alternative sources had to be secured, according to government officials. The Disco Roundtable is also asking government to immediately release subsidy funds contained in the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) model for
each of the distribution companies to them. They described the electricity sector as an infant industry worthy of nurturing and consider giving them a tax holiday of between five and 10 years and urged further assistance. Owan asked government to conclude all labour issues and meet all conditions precedent before August 21; release subsidy fund contained in the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) model for each of the distribution companies under new owners; fund the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) adequately; issue extended five to 10 years special tax holiday for electricity distribution, similar to the telecoms start-up assistance to mitigate tariff increase and high cost; and extend the longstop date to September 21, 2013 to allow for full satisfaction of all conditions precedent items by government. His words: “It is a condition precedent (CP) that the Discos would be handed over free from all legacy liabilities. Our lenders are mindful of this and are reluctant to approve loans and condition drawdown. Therefore, it is vital for full payment obligations to the current PHCN employees be finalised by the longstop date of August 21, 2013. Lenders expect evidence of these payments before we can draw down on funds to complete our payments. “The Transition Electricity Market (TEM) will herald the start of contractual arrangements in the power sector and the automation of billing and metering operations of the Market Operator in line with the Market Rules. Three CPs remain, metering of the grid interface points; testing of the Market Operators settlement systems and process,
and constitution of a Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP). Without the completion of the CPs, NERC cannot advise the Minister of Power to declare the start of TEM. In essence, the industry agreements (power purchase agreements, vesting contracts, and transmission network agreements), which underpin industry revenue, would be deemed illegal and a nullity until the minister makes the declaration. This government policy risk makes it very challenging for the capital markets inside and outside of Nigeria to support our efforts financially.” On inadequate revenue to meet industry payments, he noted: “As at now, the Discos operate at a loss and buyers would quickly deploy their respective turn-businessaround plans. However, a cost-reflective tariff, which guarantees a regulated return and covers all industry payments is not yet producing the desired results due to systematic and structural problems. If distribution companies are unable to cover the cost of the energy delivered, then the Bulk Trader, Transmission Company and generation companies, will be adversely affected.” The Ministry of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who met with the team in Abuja, assured that government was already considering the need to call for a stakeholders’ meeting because of the nearness of the deadline dates. He said the meeting would be convened soon. On some of the issues raised by the group, he said approval had been given that part of the proceeds from the sale of 10 National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plants, about $1.6 billion, would be used to revamp the TCN and the transmission network and system.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
News FCTA to introduce entertainment levy From Terhemba Daka, Abuja
Lack of funds cripple solid minerals’ sector reform From Lillian Chukwu, Abuja
N indication emerged yesterday that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) plans to introduce entertainment levy to augment the provision of infrastructures as well as bridge the financial gap in the FCT health sector among others. FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, who also raised alarm over a huge wage bill in the FCT, disclosed the planned levy just as the FCTA rejected a proposal by some stakeholders for an upward review of charges on the services provided by hospitals in the territory.
ESPITE the importance D of the solid minerals sector as an alternative source of revenue for the country, the government seems to have neglected the committee inaugurated to implement the N47 billion solid minerals’ fund initiative. The Guardian learnt that the recently commissioned Board of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (BSMDF) has remained dormant due to lack of funds to operate.
Stakeholders lamented yesterday in Abuja, at a workshop on the solid minerals sector, hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Rock Banquet Hall, the “high level of government’s insensitivity and constant lip-service jamboree-like workshop and seminars for solid minerals sector reforms that always bear no fruit.” President of the Mining Association of Nigeria and member of the BSMDF, Sani Shehu, told The Guardian yes-
terday in Abuja that “appeal to government is the only option for us” as the committee is “in comma, we are sleeping.” He urged the Federal Government to match its words with action by providing funds for strategic committees that can tackle challenges and boost targeted solid minerals reforms in the country. Shehu said: “We were established with all excitement, everybody thought that the sector had a solution to its
problems. The critical issue is that without the funding (by government), the fund will not exist.” Earlier, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Sada, said that “the purpose for the establishment of the Fund is to support the ministry’s policy framework to develop the sector.” He cited Section 34 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and its regulations as a module for dictates of the BSMDF. Chairman of BSMDF, Linus
Adie, said the initiative “is a continuity in the spirit of reform.” Sada listed the terms of reference for the board as “monitoring the operations and evaluating the progress of the fund, advising the minister as to changes required to improve the operations of the Fund, determining the remuneration of external auditors and solicitors and publishing names of defaulters of loans granted in the national newspapers.
Oyo accuses opposition of pulling down barrier From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan HE Oyo State government T yesterday accused the opposition in the state of pulling down the barrier on the newly constructed flyover at Mokola. In a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Infrastructure, Mr. Kayode Adepoju, said it was interesting that only a few weeks ago, the opposition in the state had threatened to pull down the barrier. The Guardian, however, gathered that the barrier was demolished by a vehicle which hit it at about 2.30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. The driver of the truck has since been arrested and detained by the police. But the state government said it was working on the theory that the barrier had probably been demolished over night and the carcass was left hanging only for it to be hit by an oncoming truck. According to the statement, about three weeks ago, government had alerted the public, through a press statement, of the plan by the opposition to demolish the barrier.
Phase out of open drug markets begins By Chukwuma Muanya O check the circulation of T fake and substandard pharmaceutical products and sanitise the drug distribution network in the country, the Federal Government plans to phase out open drug markets with the establishment of Mega Drug Distribution Centres (MDDCs) across the country. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, yesterday at a meeting organised by the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to sensitise stakeholders towards the September 3, 2013 commissioning of Mega Centre Pharmaceuticals Limited, Onitsha, said: “The aim of the recently launched revised National Drug Distribution Guideline is to phase out illegal open drug markets across the country and we are determined to implement it.
The barrier of the recently inaugurated Mokola flyover that was allegedly damaged by motorist in Ibadan ... yesterday
PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM
Gunmen kill two policemen in raid on station From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) and Wole Oyebade (Lagos) UNMEN have killed two G policemen in Kajuru town, Kaduna State and wounded other people when they raided a police station. Also, over 1,000 detained Boko Haram’s suspects will soon be prosecuted in various courts. Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday urged the nation’s military defence headquarters to exercise caution in accepting claims that the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau had died. The gunmen who were said to have stormed the community at about 11.30 p.m. on Monday headed straight to the police divisional office in the town where they engaged policemen in a gun duel that lasted till yesterday morning. Besides, Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has condemned the attack and called on security operatives to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime. Yero, who visited the commu-
• Yero condemns attack • Over 1,000 detained Boko Haram’s suspects for trial • Lagos Assembly urges caution over alleged Shekau’s death nity, also assured residents in the area of the state government’s readiness to tackle criminals. Also, in a statement by his media aide, Mallam Ahmed Maiyaki, Governor Yero expressed his sympathy over the attack, saying “this ugly trend has to stop and we are committed to bringing the perpetrators of this attack to book by all means possible.” Yero condoled with the families of the slain policemen, adding that “at such sad moments, our hearts and prayers are with the immediate families of those that died in the ugly incident. We pray that the Almighty God repose their souls and give their families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.” He also commended the courage and patriotic zeal of the deceased policemen, stressing: “They died in active service to their fatherland while discharging their duties
as defenders of the people. They died as heroes.” The governor also pledged to provide assistance to all victims of the incident, adding that “the state government is to pay the hospital bills of those receiving treatment.” Also, speaking with The Guardian, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Aminu Lawal said that the Police had decided to comb the vicinity where the attack occurred in Kajuru with a view of apprehending the gunmen, adding that investigation has commenced on the incident. Leader of the investigation team of the Nigerian Defence Headquarters, Brig-Gen Abdulkadir Abubakar spoke on the planned trial yesterday in Maiduguri when he led other members to brief Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State on the detained Boko Haram insurgents in the state. He said: “I wish to also state
that the team comprises representatives of all the security agents and experts that are capable in making diligent compilation and process to ensure justice at the end of the day under the Nigerian constitution.” He said that the Defence Headquarters sent members of the investigation team to explore ways of handling cases of detained Boko Haram insurgents for judicial option; and in line with laid down rules as spelt out in the four-point terms of reference. The terms of reference, according to Abubakar, are to study the detention files of all suspected insurgents and categorise them according to their level of involvement; and to classify the detainees for prosecution or as witnesses or for further investigation, deportation or as the case may be; to determine the offences of suspects that could be either by federal or state courts; and
make any other recommendations that may be necessary. He told the governor that since the arrival of the team in Maiduguri, it has done some work, noting the colossal loss of lives and property and also the high-handed indoctrination of youth and followers of the insurgents that are committing or have committed the dastardly act. While the House commended activities of the Joint Task Force (JTF), they also said, given the sophistication of the character and violent activities of Boko Haram members, “reliance on JTF speculation can be too risky for the nation’s security.” The House in a statement signed by its Spokesman and Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Segun Olulade, stated that the Defence headquarters should not rule out the possibility of a diversionary tactics by Boko Haram members, with a view to going underground only to re-surface again after a while, thereby catching the security forces and innocent citizens unaware. The lawmakers implored
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Guardian’s Chijioke Nelson is Year 2013 Business Writer VER the weekend, The O Guardian picked another sterling prize when its MoneyWatch Reporter, Mr. Chijioke Nelson, clinched the 2013 Business Writer of the Year award. The merit title, which he won at the seventh edition of the Nigerian Media Nite-Out Award, had keen contestants from The Punch, the Nigerian Compass, The Nation and The Sun newspapers at the final level. According to the organisers, the award tracks reports overtime and makes selection based on consistency and accuracy, a method they prefer to the usual call for entries, in order to ensure consistency and credibility and ensure due reward for great efforts. The award featured eight other categories, including entertainment, society, aviation, crime, sports, politics, Editor of the Year (soft sell) and Blog/Website, among various others.
‘Eastern rail line to be ready soon’ From Leo Sobechi, Abakaliki
OPE for early completion H of the rehabilitation of Eastern rail line was rekindled recently with the deployment of locomotive and several open flat wagons from Enugu to Port Harcourt by the Eastern District of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to convey imported materials from Port Harcourt to Enugu. In a release signed by the Railway District Manager, Eastern District, Mr. Felix Chinyeaka Njoku, NRC noted with pleasure that most of the track materials required for the Eastern line rehabilitation have been imported and delivered to Port Harcourt station. He added that the successful movement of the train from Enugu to Port Harcourt confirms that the major challenges facing the rehabilitation project have been surmounted.
Director, Africa Programme, Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, Steve McDonald (left); Deputy Governor (Financial System Stability), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/Keynote Speaker at the Wilson Centre, Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu and Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University, Carl LeVan, during the centre’s programme in Washington DC, United States.
Moghalu laments Africa’s over-dependence on developed economies By Chijioke Nelson
• Seeks urgent, holistic paradigm shift
OR Nigeria and other African countries to become contributors to global prosperity instead of perennial dependants, there must be holistic paradigm shift now, says the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu. In his keynote speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC, United States (U.S.), Moghalu lamented that continuous dependence by African economies on the developed world has reduced its strategic contributions to insignificance amid the huge and inherent opportunities of
globalisation. He said that Africa as the “Last Frontier” means huge and untapped potentials on one hand, and on the other, a region with inconsequential contributions to global economic transformation, especially in terms of structure. To him, the continent is only presenting itself as a virgin land waiting for conquest by global advancements and capital, facilitated by international trade and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). Moghalu described as “negative mattering” the region’s importance as a source of raw materials and natural resources rather than a contributor to global prosperity
through its own economic transformation. He said: “We should also note that in this context (extraction of the natural resources), growth could be taking place, but no structural transformation, which creates real prosperity, is happening. “This source of importance may be in decline with the discovery of fracking and shale oil and gas. But Africa should matter as a growth pole in its own right, like Asia increasingly does. For this to happen, I argue that a paradigm shift must take place.” This is “because the status quo, based on unrestrained free markets without a conceptual grasp of the opportunities, limitations and even the different kinds of capitalism and their implications for African countries, as well as the exact role of the government and the structure of world trade, cannot create an enabling environment for Africa to matter in the world economy.” He explained: “This paradigm shift must take place in the minds of Africans first, based on new, fundamental
understandings about the world, the continent’s place in the world, and how to alter Africa’s trajectory. These understandings must then be translated into better, more effective economic and public policy, and governance.” Africa may continue to be insignificant amid its huge resources until its economies “become industrial, manufacturing economies rather than predominantly agroeconomies. This does not mean that agriculture is not important. But if we understand the definition of economic transformation correctly, then it means that the number of Africans employed by agriculture must fall sharply with a shift to industrial and service sectors as the main employers. “Then, agriculture will have to become more efficient and industrial, with mechanisation and high-yield seeds producing more with less acreage for greater number of people. This shift from agriculture to industrialisation is also important because 55 per cent of the world trade is based on manufacturing, while only seven per cent is based on agricultural produce.”
Rivers commissions $4.5m Ogoni water scheme From Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt OLLOWING the recommenof the United NaFtionsdations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in its August 2011 report, the Rivers State Government has commissioned a $4.5 million water scheme to remedy the benzene contamination of groundwater in Ogoniland. Speaking at the official commissioning of the Eleme Regional Water Supply Scheme at Alesa-Eleme, Governor Chibuike Amaechi said the scheme, which currently covers about 43 communities in
the five clans of Ogale, Alode, Agbonchia, Alesa and Aleto in Eleme Local Council, would provide potable water for the people as part of measures to save lives following the dangers enumerated in the UNEP report. He thanked Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) for its prompt supply of portable water to the people of Eleme, adding: “UNEP report recommended eight emergency measures, including immediate provision of potable water to the impacted communities to mitigate health risks.”
Music icon, Bongos Ikwue, 41 others chair govt boards From Karls Tsokar, Abuja HE Federal Government has approved the appointment of a music icon, Bongos Ikwue, and Nollywood star Kanayo O. Kanayo, alongside 40 others to chair the governing boards of its parastatals and agencies. According to a statement in Abuja yesterday by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, President Goodluck Jonathan “has approved the composition and appointments of the chairmen and members of the governing boards of the following 42 Federal Government parastatals and agencies. Chief Bongus Ikwue (Chairman, Nigerian Film Corporation, Jos), while Nollywood star, Kanayo O. Kanayo, chairs the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Studies. Cairo Ojougbo is chairman of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority while Esther Uduehi heads the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education. Chukwuemeka Ezeife is chairman of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, Prince Olusola Akanmode chairs the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Senator Abubakar Girei chairs the National Mathematical Centre, while A.J. Turner heads the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu is head of National Inland Waterways Authority, Lt.-Col. Edoh Obi (rtd) heads National Orientation Agency, Senator Nuhu Aliyu (rtd) chairs Sheda Science and Technology Complex, while Maj. Lancelot Anyanya (rtd) chairs the National Oil Spill and Detection Response Agency. Ishiaku Mshelia chairs the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Innocent Nyingirefaka heads the National Productivity Centre, Ibrahim Bio heads the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, Adamu Atta leads the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation while Felix Chukwu is boss of Federal Road Safety Commission.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Court fixes September 4 for land case From Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) N Enugu High Court sitting at Nsukka yersterday fixed hearing for September 4, in a failed land case involving Vinolet Limited, Mr. Ben Okwor and HRH, Igwe J.C. Okoli. Vinolet Limited had, through its director, Mr. Okafor Ugochukwu Demain, taken Okwor and Igwe Okoli to the police, but the duo went to court to take cover under fundamental human rights. When the suit, with No. C/484, 2013, came up at Nsukka, the Enugu State vacation judge, Justice Fidel Ngwu, adjourned hearing on the counter-affidavit motion filed by Vinolet Limited till September 4. Vinolet had reported to the Inspector General of Police that it paid the sum of N48 million to Okwor and Igwe Okoli for two plots of land located in Enugu, but later discovered that the state government had revoked the two plots. It was gathered that when the duo were invited by the police in Abuja, they instead went to court to enforce their human rights, an action Vinolet saw as a deliberate attempt to frustrate police investigation of the report against them. Consequently, Vinolet filed a counter-affidavit to stop the court from hearing the human rights application as it saw the action of the applicants as a deliberate attempt to frustrate police investigation into its report via the invocation Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rule, 2009. The two plots of land in contention are known as Plot 21 and 22, Emene Industrial Layout Enugu, which were later renumbered Plots 221 and 222, Emene Industrial Layout.
Anambra Road Marshall cautions drivers From Uzoma Nzeagwu, Awka
OORDINATOR, Special C Marshalls, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra State, Mr. Ben Osaka, has urged drivers to apply some caution when driving during the rainy season to avoid accidents. Osaka, who gave the charge in an interview with The Guardian when his unit donated a 7.5 KVA SUMEC power-generating set to the FRSC headquarters, Awka, Anambra State yesterday, also warned against extortion on the highways by Road Marshalls. He said whoever is caught would be arrested, prosecuted and dismissed. He tasked drivers to ensure they have good tyres, functioning brakes, front headlights and rear lights, use the seat-belts and avoid excessive speeding. “We advise drivers to always check the condition of their vehicles thoroughly before heading to the highway, as well as avoid over-speeding”, he added. According to him, the powergenerating set would assist the Commission address the problems of inadequate power supply, which delays their job.
Controversy trails appointment of Rivers acting CJ From Kelvin Ebiri and Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt) ONTROVERSY is trailing C the swearing-in of the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Peter N. C. Agumagu, as the Acting Chief Judge of the Rivers State by Governor Chibuike Amaechi. A group, Grassroots Democratic Initiative (GDI), has kicked against the appointment of Justice Agumagu and accused the governor of breaching Section 271(4) of the 1999 Constitution. Justice Agumagu was sworn in at a brief ceremony in Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday by Governor Amaechi following the retirement of the erstwhile Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ichechi Nwenenda Ndu, whose valedictory cere-
• Amaechi links insecurity to poverty, unemployment The appointment of the Justice came to many as a surprise because the state’s Judicial Service Commission had already approved Justice Daisy W. Okocha of the state High Court, Port Harcourt and sister to the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze C.J. Okocha (SAN), as the new Chief Judge-designate. monies held on Monday. Governor Amaechi said the new acting CJ shall be in office pending when the National Assembly approves the candidate recommended for appointment as the state CJ by the National Judicial Commission (NJC). The appointment of the Justice came to many as a surprise because the state’s Judicial Service Commission had already approved Justice Daisy W. Okocha of the state High Court, Port Harcourt and sister to the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze C.J. Okocha (SAN), as the new Chief Judge-designate. Justice Okocha would have been the first woman to be appointed as the CJ since the creation of the state in May 1967. GDI President, Mr. Bright Ameawhule, faulted the governor and the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Worgu Boms, for appointing Justice Agumagu,
who the duo said, is the most senior judge as the acting CJ. He argued that the 1999 Constitution clearly spelt out the distinction between a state High Court and a Customary Court of Appeal and the method for the appointment of judges in the two courts are also different. Ameawhule said the governor and the Attorney General violated the constitution by refusing to swear in Justice Okocha, who he described as the most senior judge in the state High Court, as the acting CJ until the procedural niceties of appointing a substantive CJ for the state have been fulfilled. He alleged that Justice Okocha has already been recognised by the state Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Council as the new substantive CJ of Rivers State and recommended to the governor. Meanwhile, Governor
PDP NEC holds emergency meeting tomorrow From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HE Peoples Democratic T Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) would tomorrow hold an emergency meeting in Abuja to, among others, resolve the controversies over some offices in the party’s national leadership. Although the party’s Acting National Secretary, Charles Akitoye, who announced the meeting was silent on the agenda, it was gathered at the Wadata National Secretariat of the PDP yesterday that the crisis rocking the party over the proposed August 24 and 31, 2013, special convention and congress to elect new national officers and national secretary for the party were issues for discussion at the NEC meeting. It was learnt that conflicting political interests over who occupies some key positions in the party’s National
The NEC meeting would attempt to resolve the controversy generated by the tenure of the current acting national officers of the party appointed last June to act for one month before the substantive national officers would be elected at a special convention earlier scheduled to hold on July 20, 2013. Working Committee (NWC) was equally threatening the August 31, 2013 special convention. A source within the party disclosed that the office of the national organising secretary, which is reserved for the North-West geo-political zone, had become a subject of serious political battle
between the Vice President and some PDP governors from the zone. It was also gathered that the NEC meeting would attempt to resolve the controversy generated by the tenure of the current acting national officers of the party appointed last June to act for one month before the substantive national officers would be elected at a special convention earlier scheduled to hold on July 20, 2013. Tomorrow’s NEC meeting, according to sources, would among others, extend the tenure of the acting national officers so that their activities could be in conformity with the party’s constitution. Meanwhile, another source also disclosed that the planned special convention might be cancelled because of series of disagreements among key party stakeholders.
Govt unveils new Building Code tomorrow, built 8,000 houses in 2012 From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HE Federal Government T has announced the public presentation tomorrow of a new Building Code as a step towards reversing the menace of building collapses in the country. Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Amma Pepple, who disclosed this while briefing the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) yesterday, lamented that the National Building Code was last reviewed in 2006. According to the minister, the Building Code is supposed to be reviewed by the government every three years, adding that the scourge of building collapses in Nigeria was not for lack of requisite laws, but for ineffectiveness in the enforcement of these laws. While reiterating the determination of the ministry to
ensure adequate delivery of housing to the teeming public in line with the PDP manifesto, Pepple disclosed that 62.7 per cent of the total N41.9 billion 2013 budget has been released to the ministry. She disclosed that the ministry has been able to deliver 8,069 houses of various categories at affordable prices to the teeming public, adding that her ministry generated the total revenue of N1.3 billion in the 2012 fiscal year.
Chibuike Amaechi has reiterated that insecurity occasioned by militancy and Boko Haram menace, would persist until government tackles social problems like poverty and unemployment. And in a bid to reduce unemployment, the governor has announced that the Rivers State government would release N5 billion to provide financial support to people who are ready to be self-reliant and innovative to borrow at subsidised low
cost to set up their own businesses. Amaechi stated this at the flag-off ceremony of the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) Job Fair 2013 in conjunction with the Ministry of Employment Generation and Empowerment in Port Harcourt yesterday. The job fair was created as a platform to screen job seekers to meet with prospective employers and employment opportunities to tackle the scourge of unemployment in the state.
Plateau House denies probe of N5b SURE-P fund From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos LATEAU State House of P Assembly has denied media reports that it has set up a committee to probe Governor Jonah Jang over missing N5 billion SURE-P fund. Speaking with journalists in Jos yesterday, the Chairman House Committee on Information, Diket Plang and Dalyop Mancha, who chaired the House Adhoc Committee on SURE–P, said the Assembly only resolved after a motion that a committee be set up to determine the level of implementation and bring to the front burner the status of SURE-P in the state.
According to them, the term of reference of the adhoc committee is to inquire the amount that accrues to the state, adding that the committee was not given the mandate to investigate or probe Governor Jang. According to them, “Our attention has been drawn to some captions in the media that the Plateau State House of Assembly is set to probe governor Jonah Jang of the state over missing N5 billion SURE-P fund. The House action is not to launch a probe or investigation as they have not received any petitions in respect to as we note that the N5billion SURE–P fund which accrues to the state is intact.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
6 | NEWS
Aregbesola woos investors to Osun From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo OVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola G of Osun State yesterday reiterated the commitment of his administration to provide the enabling environment to enhance rapid economic development of the state. He gave the assurance while declaring open a one-week trade, investment and culture conference at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), Osogbo, the sate capital. The one-week conference attracted potential investors from the United States, the African and Caribbean Business Council (ACBC) of Philadelphia, the Christian Evangelical Economic Development, Inc. (CEED) of Pittsburgh, the WURA Arts Services & Productions, LLC (WURA) of New York City and others from Nigeria.
FERMA blames worsening Lafia/Makurdi highway on paucity of funds Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (middle); Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mac John Nwodo (left) and the representative of Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Akinbode Agbaoye (right) during the third African Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) meeting held at the NUC headquarters in Abuja… yesterday.
Anxiety in Edo teaching hospital over doctor’s kidnap From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
• Lawmaker donates mobile clinic to constituency
HERE is anxiety among T doctors at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital
rector of the hospital, Prof. Akpede, on compulsory leave before the minister ordered that due process be followed. Publicity Secretary of the Movement, Okharedia Ihimekpen said the action of the board chairman is not only constituting an embarrassment to government but also creating undue tension in the locality where the teaching hospital is situated. The chairman, Senior Staff Association of University Teaching Hospitals, Research Institute and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), of the hospital, Fidelis Ogobor, who spoke to newsmen in Irrua, Esan Central Local Government on Monday, however, described the group as faceless, explaining that the outgoing CMD is on leave and denying that such development created any tension in the area. President of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of
(ISTH) in Edo State over the kidnap of their colleague, Dr. Edward Osahogie, who was reportedly abducted by unknown gunmen last weekend on his way home. The development has led to a call by the Chairman of the Board of the Hospital, Boyelayefa Debekeme, to security agents in the state to assist in fishing out those responsible for the doctor’s abduction. Meanwhile, a group, National Movement of Nigeria, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Health to immediately call Debekeme to order to allow the rule of law and due process take place in the choice of a new chief medical director for the hospital. The movement also condemned the alleged arbitrariness and illegality with which the board chairman sent the out-going Chief Medical Di-
the hospital, Dr. Charles Gigi condemned the kidnapping of their colleague by unknown gunmen on his way home from work and described the act as ignoble. He said: “The unimaginable anguish that is associated with this inhuman activity of kidnapping is not one that any individual, let alone one whose duty is the preservation of life, should experience. “The ARD ISTH strongly appeals to all concerned with security matters to do the needful to ensure prompt release of our member. We can only continue to function and ensure the good heath of the populace if our security is guaranteed.” When contacted, the Ekpoma Divisional Police Officer, Okpako Omuohowo, assured that his men were on top of the situation, as they were making frantic efforts to ensure the doctor’s release and also bring the perpetra-
tors to book. Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Uhunwonde Local Council in the House of Assembly, Elizabeth Ativie, has donated a multi-million naira mobile clinic as her contribution towards the health needs of the people of her constituency. Unveiling the mobile clinic which was specially produced in Germany and can be used in any terrain, Ativie said she procured the vehicle
after taking note of the special health needs of her constituents as people in the interior villages find it difficult to get quality healthcare. Ativie added that with the mobile clinic, “the primary healthcare coordinator in the local council area will be able to move from village to village on market days and give medical care to the people and that is why I went for this.” Ativie is a trained nurse with experience spanning over 30 years.
• Police parade 50 suspects in Benue
WARA State government K has tacitly given the option of amnesty to students of
to assist the government fish out pockets of others who are yet or unwilling to quit. In a related development in Benue State, no fewer than 50 suspected cult members were yesterday paraded at the Otukpo Divisional Police Station, after they were arrested from different locations in the night by the combined team of the vigilante personnel and the police. Addressing the suspects, Otukpo Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Francis Obinwa warned the youths against engaging in dubious activities and said some of them would be released as soon as their parents come to write undertaking for them. The DPO who expressed
post primary and tertiary institutions in the state to renounce their membership of cult groups or be prepared to leave the state. According to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed yesterday in Ilorin at the opening ceremony of the 126 regular meeting of the Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology in Nigeria (COHEADS), his government has declared “a total war” against cultism in any of the educational institutions in the state. Already, some members of the outlawed groups have allegedly renounced their membership with a promise
gratitude on the cooperation between the vigilante group and the police also commended the council chairman for providing logistics for the police and the vigilante to carry out their duties. Worried by the seeming rise in cult activities in some schools in Kwara, the House of Assembly had enacted a law, with severe penalties against persons in cultism or those linked with the activities of such persons and their groups. According to Ahmed, while addressing the COHEADS and some students of the institutions, “if you are caught in cultism, I swear by heavens, we will deal decisively with you. Some people who were deeply involved in it in the
ARELY six months after the B Lafia/Makurdi federal highway was rehabilitated, the road has become worse than its former state and has continued to record accidents almost on daily basis. However, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has abandoned the road, with its Benue State’s Chief Maintenance Engineer, William Ajuwon, stating that the road’s lifespan has expired and total rehabilitation, instead of interval maintenance, is needed. According to him, returning to maintenance work on the road is not feasible now given government’s priority to certain road projects in different parts of the country, though he denied that his office gets monthly budgetary allocation for repair works.
Niger CJ decries frequent transfer of police IPOs • Urges quick medical test by rape victims From John Ogiji, Minna HE Chief Judge of Niger State, Justice Fati Abubakar, has expressed dismay over the incessant transfer of Investigating and Prosecuting Police Officers (IPOs) in the
state, saying this has grossly hampered smooth administration of criminal justice. She also lamented the inability of the courts to bring to book some rapists due to delay by victims in undergoing medical test and obtaining
Kwara to move against cult members in schools From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) and Joseph Wantu (Makurdi)
From Msugh Ityokura, Lafia
time past had left the devilish group. If you are still in it, follow this path of honour by renouncing your membership, you will not be prosecuted by so doing. Complete your studies and be useful to your country. “The future of our country is not in oil or any other thing but its youth. We must realise the dream of this great nation by shunning religious bigotry, ethnic agenda and social vices. We are looking for a Nigeria where it will no longer be by state of origin but by state of residence.” Speaking on the kernel of the conference on how to reposition technological education in Nigeria, the governor urged the heads of polytechnics and colleges of technology, to sustain their harmonious relationship towards the attainment of tech-
nological development which remains a present critical need of the country. His words: “I implore you to focus on finding solutions to the critical problems of middle level manpower deficit confronting our nation, especially as it affects our educational system. Today, our labour markets are sadly saturated with unemployable graduates, youths who cannot clearly express themselves, not to talk of possessing the required skills for self-employment. As Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology who determine the direction of our technological development, there is need for you to refocus attention on quality education and business skills in order to prepare our youths for successful entrepreneurship on graduation.
medical reports immediately they are violated. Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day capacity building for 250 prosecutors and investigators of the state police command in Minna, the state capital, the Chief Judge said the constant transfer of IPOs often creates logistic problems which in turn grossly affect smooth administration of criminal justice. Lamenting the development, Abubakar said “it often causes logistic problems as IPOs who are transferred mid-way of cases are not often available when such cases are mentioned. We often have problem in getting them (IPOs) to appear for such cases”. The chief judge who was represented by Justice Musa Abdul of the state judiciary, however, admitted that the Police authority has the power and right to transfer its officers and men, she nonetheless sounded a word of caution that frequent transfer of IPOs is not in the best interest of administration of criminal justice in the country. She also observed that delay by rape victims to go for medical test and obtain medical reports immediately they are violated have stalled prosecution of many rape cases.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Bank to take customers to EFCC
Edo CRPP backs move to deregister ‘non-viable’ parties
From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba RUSTRATED by the alleged refusal of some its customers to pay back loans of over N400 million despite persistent appeals, the management of Adaigbo Micro Finance Bank Limited, Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha-South Council of Delta State, has resolved to sue about 2,000 of its customers to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The visibly angry Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Alabi Salaudeen, defended the tough decision yesterday in Ogwashi-Uku, saying taking the defaulters to the antigraft commission was the last resort after it observed that the debtors were not showing any sign of willingness to pay back the loans years after they obtained the various amounts of money.
• AP dissociates self from statement on Rivers
Benue group warns against campaigning with public funds From Joseph Wantu, Makurdi HE National President, Concerned Benue Citizens’ Coalition Group, Philip Agbese, has threatened to sue to the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) those he described as emergency politicians in Benue State who are still in the service of the government but are using public funds to campaign for 2015 political offices. Agbese, who spoke with The Guardian on behalf of the group, further called on such public servants turned politicians to quickly resign their positions in Governor Gabriel Suswam’s cabinet and come out openly to solicit support rather than being partisan, noting that such is against the Public Service Rules. “In as much as we respect the rights of every bonafide indigene of the state to aspire to occupy any office in the country, we are equally worried about the secret activities of these characters who hide under the influence of their offices to divert public funds to personal use, which is against Public Service Rules.”
Effective policing our priority, Jonathan From Mohammed Abubakar and Tsokar Karls, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has declared that effective policing of all parts of the country to guarantee safety of lives and property of the citizenry would continue to receive the attention of his administration. The President made the commitment yesterday while commissioning the newlyrenovated Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Complex located at Area 10, Garki, Abuja. The newly renovated FCID Complex was initially the Force Headquarters, when federal capital was moved from Lagos to Abuja in 1992. The project, according to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, was part of the police management team’s determination to provide decent and conducive environment for officers and men of the Force for effective and efficient policing.
From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City HE Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP) yesterday declared support for move by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties believed to be non-viable. The development came as the national leadership of Accord Party (AP) dissociated itself from a press statement purportedly issued by one Mohammed Nalado on the crisis rocking Rivers State, stating that the said Nalado-led executive of the party has been sacked since July 29, 2010. National Secretary of Accord Party, Dr. Samson Isibor, claimed, in a statement issued in Benin City, that Nalado was impersonating as he maintained that the executive led by him (Nalado) was sacked in 2010 by more than two-thirds of the party’s National Executive Council and National Working Committee over allegation of gross misconduct.
Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii (left); Director, National Drug Policy Programmes, Federal Ministry of Health, Joyce Ugwu and the Director, Chemical Evaluation Resources, NAFDAC, Mr. Momodu Segiru Momodu, at a meeting organised to sensitise stakeholders towards the commissioning of Mega Centre Pharmaceuticals Limited, Onitsha, in Lagos… yesterday PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON
Nigeria wants international community to apologise for rights violations From John Okeke, Abuja INISTER of Foreign AfM fairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, said Nigeria has been straightforward on human rights issues ever before the advent of colonialism and for this reason, the country should not be apologetic about the subject. He said rather, it was the international community that should apologise for the atrocities of the past committed. The minister, who spoke in Abuja yesterday at the international conference on hu-
• Insists on commitment to promoting human dignity man rights, human security and conflict organised by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), stressed that the European powers only came to Africa to disrupt the development of the continent. “So, I don’t want us to be apologetic about human rights; we already had human rights entrenched in our society ever before the modern day champions. So, when you discuss, you should be unapologetic. This is to demon-
strate the fact that the country does not only respect human rights but it will also remain committed to its promotion in all facets,” he said. He urged Nigerians to beware of modern day defenders of human rights, saying “for scholars and experts, it is good to talk about human rights but have you asked them to also look into their own past? How they came to Africa and took us as slaves across the ocean, disrupting the development of our own continent,
disrupting our societies. Have you asked them to account, to apologise for the atrocities of the past? But today, they are the champions. Have they atoned for their sins of the past? “I think these are questions I will want the experts that are gathered here to also find time to discuss. Because when you look at our own society in Africa, we take pride in some of these things they were talking today; we were doing them in our own soci-
ety at that time before the disruption came. We had values for family lives to belong to membership of society, freedom of thought, of speech, of belief, among others. They were all entrenched in our society and were guarded jealously. Then you have the advent of those who came and are now discriminating.” The Director General of IPCR, Dr. Joseph Golwa, who said peace was a human right, explained that part of the mandate of the institute is how best to nurture the existing relationship between human rights and conflict.
Disqualified APGA governorship aspirants express mixed feelings over screening From Chuks Collins, Uzoma Nzeagwu (Awka) and Tunde Akinola (Lagos) ISQUALIFIED governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State have expressed mixed feelings over the outcome of the screening conducted by the party’s panel last week in Abuja. Meanwhile, the governorship aspirant on the platform of the Labour Party (LP), Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, has pledged to empower and include physically-challenged indigenes in his government if elected. Ubah said his administration would ensure a level playing field for persons with disability to live productive and independent lives, by seeing to the enactment of a law to protect their rights. In a statement issued yesterday, Ubah, who is the chairman, Capital Oil and Gas Limited, said there is need to establish an agency charged with the responsibility of ensuring that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against in any government project or activity.
• Ubah pledges to lift physically challenged • APC alleges lapses in voter’s register update According to him, “Persons with disabilities will participate in all aspects of my government. They will be given equal opportunities and all the support they need to maximise their potential to become socially, economically and politically useful to themselves and the society.” While some of the APGA’s governorship aspirants, who relived their experiences at the interview, claimed that the process was fair and pledged their loyalty to the party, wishing the candidate victory at the November polls, others expressed some reservations about the conduct of the exercise. One of them, Mr. Emmanuel Nweke, said he could not say anything about the fairness of the process “because what is fair depends on the guidelines of the exercise.” But Nweke said he remained resolute in his loyalty to the party and did not intend to seek platform elsewhere. “I made my appeal where I presented my voter’s card,
they saw it and still went ahead to do a blanket disqualification. The matter of fairness does not arise because every organisation, including APGA, has its guidelines, which must be adhered to.” Mr. Oseloka Obaze, the immediate past secretary to Anambra State Government, in a statement, said his disqualification was based on ‘no-voter’s card’, which he promised to make available last Monday but was rejected by the panel. He recalled that he was not resident in Nigeria when the previous voters’ registration took place and did not possess the voter’s card, saying “that was the absolute truth and I said so under oath”. “For me, there was no other way to obtain a card but legally through INEC. The first opportunity to do so in Anambra would have been on Monday, August 19, 2013. The APGA appeal panel did not accede to my request to present the card within the 48 hours’ window”, he stated, linking this
development to why he was disqualified. He pledged to remain a loyal party man, promising to work for victory of the party at the forthcoming election. Patrick Obianwu, who emerged one of the successful candidates at the exercise, commended the panel for “carrying out their task objectively and independent of external influence.” He argued that his stand was not because he was successful but that the guidelines were clear and he was sure he met all of them. “The exercise, in my opinion, was well organised. It showed that the party is well focused. The committee was so independent, authoritative and had no regard for cheating and influence, and the members were objective. Their interest bordered on tax clearance, which every aspiring governor must possess, and source(s) of income. You must also be certified as a card-carrying member and registered with INEC and must show that you can shoulder the burden of campaigns and not rely on godfather,” he said.
And in Awka yesterday, it was complaints galore as individuals and political parties alleged lapses in the ongoing voter’s register update. Unfortunately all attempts to speak with top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), including the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukogu in Awka failed. The exercise which entered its second day in the state’s 326 wards and 4608 polling units was smooth in some places while teething problems were recorded in other places. In a reaction, the All Progressives Congress (APC) noted that the worst affected local government areas were Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ogbaru and Idemili North. According to the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Okelo Madukaife, these lapses were more in areas with dense population and stronghold of opposition parties in the state. He said: “Details before us indicate that pages of INEC papers were torn off by unknown persons in Ogidi, Idemili North Council.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, LASAA Managing Director, Mr. George Noah (in the middle) during a stakeholders meeting with representatives of the military and the police in Lagos.
Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State (right) receives Special Recognition Award for Transformation Leadership from the President of Akwa Ibom Association U.S.A., Obong Emmanuel Isong in Washington DC
Assistant Brand Manager, Dairy, Izegbuwa Izevbaye (left); Managing Director, Bridgeworld Communication, Acting Director, Fisheries, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Areola Foluke (left); PresiGboyega Akosile; Event Coordinator, Sola Bankole; Chairman Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN), dent, Nigeria Trawler Owners Association (NITOA), Joseph Omonigho Overo; Marlene Menard of United States Department of State, Office of Marine Conservation; and Jack Forrester of Engineering Technical, Department of Goody Efose during the press briefing of Nigerian Brand Expo 2013 in Lagos Commerce, United States during the verification of the use of Turtle Excluder Devices in Nigeria by US Department of State Office of Marine Conservation in Lagos.
Mentor, Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN!), Prof. Olufunmilayo Sotonade (left); Programme Manager, Muyi Aina and Project Leader for YouWin! Women and Mentoring Programme, Mrs. Snow Ogunjimi and Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ifako Ijaiye, Raphael Fadayomi (left); member Lagos State House of mentor, Mrs. Mojisola Animashaun, during the final on-boarding programme for new mentors for the Youth Enterprise in Lagos. Assembly, Saka Fafunmi; member House of Representatives, Yomi Ogunnusi; and former Chairman, Ifako Ijaye Local Council, Ademola Doherty during the flag-off of APC in Ifako Ijaye, Lagos.
Executive Director, Business Development, E-Tranzact International Plc, Sullivan Akala (left); Business Development Anglophone, West Africa, MoneyGram, Kemi Okusanya; and Operation Manager Anglophone West Africa, Seyi Bodylawson (left); Don Barber; and Leke Adenuga during a photo exhibition to commemorate the Interna- MoneyGram, Kunle Olumuyiwa during the partnership agreement signing between MoneyGram and E-Tranzact to flag off MoneyGram Goes Mobile platform in Lagos. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU tional World Photography Day at the Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos. PHOTO; CHARLES OKOLO
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
WorldReport Ex-inmates expose North Korean prison camps’ horror at UN’s inquiry ORMER inmates of North Fclaimed Korea’s prisons yesterday before a United Nations (UN) Commission of Inquiry that public executions and tortures are daily occurrences at the confinements. The inquiry, which opened in South Korea’s capital yesterday, is the first time that North Korea’s human rights record is being examined by an expert panel. But the country, now ruled by a third generation of the founding Kim family, denies that it abuses human rights. It also refuses to recognise the commission and has denied access to investigators. A report by Reuters indicated that the former inmates, who are defectors now living in South Korea, gave harrowing accounts on how guards chopped off a man’s finger, forced inmates to eat
It was the first time I had seen a newborn baby and I felt happy. But suddenly, there were footsteps and a security guard came in and told the mother to turn the baby upside down into a bowl of water. frogs and a mother to kill her own baby. “I had no idea at all ... I thought my whole hand was going to be cut off at the wrist, so I felt thankful and grateful that only my finger was cut off,” said Shin Donghyuk, punished for dropping a sewing machine. Born in a prison called Camp 14 and forced to watch the execution of his mother and brother whom he turned in for his own survival, Shin is North Korea’s best-known defector and camp survivor. He said he believed the UN panel was the only way to
improve human rights in the isolated and impoverished state. “Because the North Korean people cannot stand up with guns like Libya and Syria ... I personally think this is the first and last hope left,” Shin said. “There is a lot for them to cover up, even though they don’t admit to anything,” he added. There are 150,000 to 200,000 people in North Korean prison camps, according to independent estimates, and defectors said many inmates are malnourished or worked to death. However, after more than a
year and a half ruling North Korea, Kim Jong Un, 30, has shown few signs of changing the rigid rule of his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather and state founder, Kim Il Sung. Neither have there been signs of a thaw or loss of control inside the tightly controlled state. Jee Heon-a, 34, told the commission that from the first day of her incarceration in 1999, she discovered that salted frogs were one of the few things to eat. “Everyone’s eyes were sunken. They all looked like animals. Frogs were hung from the buttons of their clothes, put in a plastic bag and their skins peeled off,” she said. “They ate salted frogs and so did I.” Speaking softly, she took a deep breath when describing in detail how a mother was forced to kill her own baby.
Explosion leaves eight injured at U.S. naval base IGHT people were reportE edly injured in an explosion and fire yesterday morning at a United States (U.S.) Navy ammunitions depot near New Jersey shore. Fire trucks, ambulances and a medical emergency helicopter rushed to Naval Weapons Station Earle, about 45 miles from New York City. It was not immediately known if any of the injuries were serious. The explosion occurred at a Marine boat repair shop. Eight people were injured and taken to two local hospitals, according to Navy officials in Washington. It was unclear if the injured were service members or civilians. “Explosion & fire in building on base NWS #Earle.
Emergency personnel on scene. Injured taken 2 hospital,” the Navy said on its official Twitter account. Latter in a statement, Navy spokesman Mike Brady said: “The situation is stabilised. We are investigating the accident.” The eight were taken to hospitals. Seven workers suffered minor injuries, mostly from smoke inhalation, the Navy said. “The damage from the explosion was contained within the boathouse area,” the Navy’s statement said. Naval Weapons Station Earle, which supplies ordnance to the Navy’s Atlantic fleet carrier and other groups, is south of Middletown, New Jersey.
Hundreds of migrants land in Italy O fewer than 1,000 miN grants have arrived in Sicily aboard rickety boats in the past 24 hours, after braving the dangerous voyage from Africa in search of work in the European Union (EU), Italian officials said yesterday. Agency reports indicated that thousands of migrants try to reach the southern shores of Italy every summer, when Mediterranean waters are sufficiently calm for small boats to make the crossing. The migrants, from all over Africa, usually embark in Libya or Tunisia in an exodus increased by political turmoil in North Africa, the
Syrian civil war and now bloody strife in Egypt. Some 325 migrants, among them 64 women and four children, were sighted yesterday morning on a fishing boat off the coast of Porto Empedocle on Sicily’s southern coast. They were transferred to coastguard boats and taken to shore, police said. Another 230 were brought ashore after they were intercepted off the coast of the island of Lampedusa, Italy’s most southern point, while a group of about 110 reached the shores of Siracusa, in Sicily. Yesterday’s arrivals followed those of some 400 migrants on Monday afternoon.
Egypt arrests Muslim Brotherhood’s leader HE army-backed authoriT ties in Egypt yesterday detained the Muslim
Reverend Mpho Tutu (left); Vice Chancellor of the University of Stellenbosch, Professor Russel Botman; Nobel Prize Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Cynthia Brix of Gender Reconciliation International during the launching of a partnership between Tutu’s foundation and other organisations at the University of Stellenbosch Medical School, in Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa…yesterday. PHOTO:AFP
Pakistan charges Musharraf with Bhutto’s murder N what was termed as an Iagainst unprecedented move a former army chief in Pakistan, a court in the country yesterday charged ex-military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, with murder of opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, in 2007. A report by Agence France Presse (AFP) claimed that the charge against Musharraf is the first time a head of Pakistan’s army has been charged with a crime, challenging beliefs that the military is immune from prosecution and threatening to fan tensions with civilian institutions. The report indicated that while murder will be diffi-
The charge against Musharraf is the first time a head of Pakistan’s army has been charged with a crime, challenging beliefs that the military is immune from prosecution and threatening to fan tensions with civilian institutions. cult to prove, it may embolden efforts to try Musharraf for treason for seizing power in 1999 and for violating the constitution by sacking judges and imposing emergency rule in 2007. Treason can carry the death penalty. Musharraf, once the most powerful man in the nuclear-armed state, appeared
in court yesterday to deny the charges against him. “He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation for murder,” public prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar told AFP at the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi hearing the case. The 70-year-old retired general’s brief appearance was accompanied by massive security. He was protected by
scores of officers and roads leading to the court were shut down. Officials had said threats against his life were too severe for him to be charged on August 6 as initially scheduled, although he had appeared in person at an earlier hearing on July 30. The case was adjourned until August 27 although no date has been set for any trial. Meanwhile, Raza Bokhari, a spokesman for Musharraf, dismissed the indictment as “false, fabricated and fictitious” and “an undignified attempt to smear the honour and integrity of the former president”.
Brotherhood’s leader, signaling their determination to crush the group and silence protests against the ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The arrest of Mohamed Badie, 70, the Brotherhood’s general guide, followed the bloody suppression of rallies demanding the reinstatement of Egypt’s first freely elected president, who was toppled by the military last month. Egypt is enduring the worst internal strife in its modern history, with about 900 people killed, including 100 po-
lice and soldiers, after security forces broke up protest camps by Morsi’s supporters in the capital on August 14. A spokesman for a proBrotherhood alliance put the death toll amongst its followers at about 1,400. The turmoil has alarmed the United States and the European Union, but Israel and some Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia have pressed the West not to punish Cairo’s new rulers. Qatar, the only Gulf state seen as sympathetic to Morsi, sent another tanker of liquefied natural gas to energy-strapped Egypt this week despite the army takeover.
BRICS business leaders move to boost trade with Africa USINESS leaders from the B BRICS group of emerging economies met yesterday to discuss trade with Africa, insisting that the bloc’s planned development bank has not been abandoned. “Our governments are still committed to the idea of the bank, we believe that it will happen,” said Ma Zehua, the leader of China business delegation. He said the bank would play an important role in “supporting trade and investment between member states.” After their March summit in South Africa, leaders of BRICS nations – Brazil,
Russian, India and South Africa – failed to launch the much-anticipated bank. The proposed bank is meant to rival Westerndominated institutions like the World Bank. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma urged business leaders to investment in infrastructure development on the continent, calling it a “critical aspect of economic growth.” “Africa has some of the fastest growing economies in the world, and infrastructure plays an integral role in supporting growth,” said Zuma.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Politics Nobody can decide 2015 for Jonathan, says Onoja tate for power. The groups that are talking, the Northern Elders, Arewa, they are not political parties; they are socio-political cum cultural associations. So, they probably cannot install a president. At best, they are talking of supporting a candidate from the North. You don’t blame me for saying that my own people support Jonathan. This is because assuming the power comes to the North today, would you tell them to concede power to the Idoma people where I come from because I am a minority in the North and Jonathan is a minority from the South-South? Why don’t you allow him finish his second term then any other group can begin to agitate for power?
Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Anibi Onoja, former military governor of Plateau State and current chairman, Strategic Mobilisation Committee of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), is a member of the Congress for Equality and Change. He spoke to Tunde Akinola on trending issues in the polity ahead of the 2015 elections. HY did you come back to the PDP that you W abandoned a few years ago? On the issue of the party, as of today, I have not officially decamped from the ACN to PDP. But technically, I am almost in PDP because I am working for the second term of Mr. President and obviously he would want me to be in the same party with him. But as at today, I am still a member of the ACN. However, because of my position as president of the Alumni Association of the National Institute, I am not allowed to be very visible in political parties but as a citizen, I have a right to belong to a political party. But I cannot contest any election as long as I am president of the Institute, and I cannot accept any visible position from any political party. But our constitution in Kuru allows us to be partners with any government and advise that government in terms of policy formulation. But I am only a card-carrying member of ACN; I have not gone to register with APC yet, which you can interpret to mean that I am not in any political party since ACN is defunct. Will President Jonathan run by 2015, as he had not indicated interest? I am not speaking for him; he will take that decision. He has a right to run. If at that time he takes that decision that he doesn’t want to run, then a different scenario will be presented and we start to discuss. That is why I said political situations are always unpredictable. What happens today may not happen tomorrow. So, let us wait. He has the right, since he is in power now to say, ‘I will run or I will not run.’ But I want him to complete the second; that is my personal view. Having sampled the two parties, can the APC give the PDP a run for its money in the 2015 polls? I think that a couple of Nigerians were happy that we are having what is looking like an opposition because in democracy, you cannot enjoy it without a true opposition. There has to be an opposition for the game to be interesting. What APC now represents in the eyes of many Nigerians is that at least, an opposition that may likely be formidable is being formed in Nigeria to compete with the PDP. Whether it would match the might of the PDP, as a viable political opposition is too early to predict. I think it probably could in the future if it does certain things right. One, they should end the approach of name-calling and insulting Mr. President, instead of presenting themselves as a viable opposition to Nigerians, by saying we can do better in education, economy. That is what Nigerians want to hear, not insulting the person of Mr. President. I believe that is unfortunate. If they continue to do that, a lot of Nigerians would lose the sympathy that they have for the opposition coming in to compete favourably for political positions with the PDP. I believe what they should do is let Nigerians know their manifesto, what they would do in Nigeria in terms of poverty alleviation; what they intend to do with the security situation. Do they intend to do better than what Mr. President has done: the amnesty programme; the emergency rule declared to combat the menace of Boko Haram in some parts of the country. Do they have better suggestions? That is what Nigerians want to hear. And then, as a political party, they should criticise the political party (PDP), and not Mr. President. Even if you are going to criticise the President, let it not be like a personal insult, like one of them said he (Jonathan) is a kinder-
Onoja garten leader. That is a personal insult. It shouldn’t be that way. Remember the office of the President will outlive all of us. Any of them can find themselves there tomorrow. You don’t insult the person occupying the office. I believe that approach is what I am not pleased with. Isn’t it time PDP returns power to the North? Every group has a right to ask for power but I believe power is not given that way. You work for it. I want to let you know categorically here that it is not yet time for power to shift to the North. Mr. President has not done his second term. All the other Presidents were given opportunity to do their second terms and Mr. President, by virtue of the fact that he is a minority like me, it would be unfair and injustice to stop him from doing his second term. If he finishes his second term in 2019, then other areas or blocs can now begin to agitate for power shift. I think it is only fair to allow Mr. President do his second term. But we understand that the power shift is a Northern agenda and you are from the North. There is a misconception. The North of the sixties when the Sardauna was alive is no long the same North today. Let me correct that misconception. I am from Middle Belt, which is a geographical reality today. I am an active member of Congress for Equality and Change, which is a non-political association. I am also a member of the Middle Belt Forum. So, if you say I am from the North, and you are referring to the old North, yes; I am from the North. But now, the Middle Belt is a geographical reality and I am a member of the Middle Belt; I am not from the core North. When did the demarcation start? The demarcation has been there all along. It is just that the leaders that we had before, had the responsibility of making sure that we work together as the same North. But yesterday is not the same as today. People have been educated, exposed. Thus, if yesterday, some groups of persons were dictating to us, today, people will not accept the dictation of anybody. We, in the Middle Belt, are strong enough to go on our own in any situation. You said Mr. President should be allowed to go for second term, but people will ask whether it is a question of second term or performance? I believe Mr. President is doing well. This is my own opinion. Anybody has right to express his or her own opinion. Look at the sit-
uation: those who have been there before, what is extraordinary in their performance that Mr. President has not done? The President is rehabilitating the railway system, which everybody is yearning for and they are very grateful. The power situation has improved. Look at the steps he took to restore security in some parts of the North. I welcome those steps and they are very adequate. While the military are doing what they are trained for, there is a Committee on Amnesty trying to appeal to those who are belligerent in the North. With time, I am sure these things will yield peace and peace is already coming back to the North. We will still have pockets of these militants, who will be resisting but after some time, with the appeals being made by many Nigerians, and the Amnesty Committee working, day and night to ensure they attract them (to accept peace). The governor of Borno is already rehabilitating the children of the militants. The military there in Borno are even trying to embark on winning of hearts and minds of the people through pamphlets, through propaganda. So, with time, what Mr. President has put in place will yield results. Agitators for power shift to the North are pinning down Mr. President to an alleged agreement, which says he is going to run for one term, which they claimed he restated when he went to Ethiopia. Isn’t this a case of honour and integrity of a leader over his words? I am not privy to any agreement. I do not know if any agreement was signed. And I don’t think Mr. President signed any agreement with anybody. This is politics. Why there is unpredictability in political events always is because you have the mind as an individual to change your mind if you do anything depending on the situation. All I am saying is that he should be allowed to do his second term before any group can lay claims to power. I am not privy to any agreement he had with anybody. Could we say that those claim to be speaking for the North are doing so in view of perceived anger against President Jonathan, and not on behalf of the generality of the people in the zone? There could be anger in certain parts of the North. But there is no anger against Jonathan in my own Middle Belt part of the North. We support Jonathan for his second term. Every group has the fundamental right to agi-
Some groups in the North argue that the North Central is not marginalised, as alleged, having Gowon and Babangida ruling for nine and eight years, respectively; whereas Yar’Adua did two years and Shagari did four years. As such, they believe that the core North still has deficit in the power ratio. What about the people that were politically elected from the Northeast in the sixties? Add theirs. You mentioned Gowon and Babangida; those were military presidents. I am talking of democratically elected situation. Gowon was there to service the country; there was a war. I fought the war as a young officer. The Idea was that we wanted the country to be united. If he (Gowon) stayed for nine years, it was because of the exigency of the situation that made him to stay there. In Babangida’s case, it was a military time. I am talking about democratically elected presidents. Jonathan, having served four years, should be allowed to serve another four years. It is a very simple thing! In 2019, any group in the North can try towards capturing power. Like you said, it would come to the Middle Belt by that time it would be decided by Nigerians and the political parties that are working for the good of this country; you and I cannot decide it. But everybody has a right to agitate, even the Northern elders, but we, from the Middle Belt support Jonathan and we are saying he must do his second term. I am from the minority. With strict elections in this country, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, they keep winning because of numbers. God has brought us somebody from the minority who is now our President. After four years, you are asking him to go and that power should return to another place. I am saying I don’t support it as an individual. I support him doing a second term. And after that, the power can go to anywhere. Then, if we in the Middle Belt want power, we fight for it, and campaign for it by telling Nigerians why power must come to us. And if the core Northern elders want it, they have to convince Nigerians with all the available statistics as to why they want it. What of the Igbo who have only had it for six months? At that time, if the Igbo want it, they will work for it. What are your thoughts on the five Northern governors, who seem to be insisting on having their way? It is unfortunate if it is true that the five governors are insisting on having their way. I am not in the Governors’ Forum, but from what we read in the papers, the five northern governors went to Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s house. That is a show of the fact that peace is returning among the governors, maybe because of the efforts being made by our leader, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, to bring peace among the governors. The visit they made to Rivers State is unfortunate; I would not endorse that kind of visit. We believe that with time, the mechanisms provided by the PDP will solve of these issues. Everybody is supporting Mr. President; he must be allowed to do his second term. Those governors, with time, will come back to the fold. It is like a few people who are getting lost in the bush; they will come back to the town.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Tribute to Chief Tony Anenih By Matthew Hassan Kukah
Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says, Vanity of vanities, All is vanity. For so it is that man, who has wisely, skillfully and successfully toiled must leave what is his own to someone who has not toiled at all. This too, is vanity and great injustice; for what does he gain for all the toil and strain that he has undergone under the sun? What of all his laborious days, his cares of office, his restless nights? This, too, is vanity (Ecc. 1: 2, 21-3). HESE words, my dear brothers and T sisters, are taken from a reading that most Christians are familiar with. I have not chosen it for today. Rather, it is the first reading at today’s holy mass, a reading that has been read everywhere in the Catholic world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. We are therefore grateful that the reading helps in introducing our celebration of a man who has been at the centre of Nigeria’s struggle for democracy, especially in the last 20 or so years. Naturally, his role in politics has dwarfed his other contributions and pursuits in life. How he has played this role has been and will remain the subject of debate for many years to come. Chief Tony Anenih is, therefore, an eminent Nigerian and yet, to say that he is a highly eminent Nigerian is not to engage in sycophancy. For whatever reasons, the calibre of people gathered here bears testimony to this. What is more, I know that the reception will definitely parade a roll call of the first eleven of our national politics. To be at the centre of this, of course, is nothing short of being eminent. There are some incontrovertible facts, which stand out and are necessary starting points in any serious discussion about Chief Anenih, but this is neither the time nor the place to engage in such. It is not for me to assess Chief Anenih as a politician. My role here is to briefly look at his life, see what lessons it has for us and use his central role in Nigerian politics to point at some of the challenges that lie before our society. The late Pope John Paul I of blessed memory, the one who was Pope for 33 days, once said that in each of us, there are three persons. First, there is you as only you alone know yourself; there is you as your closest of friends know you and finally, there is you as only God, your Creator, knows you. Our lives are more often regulated and guided by these realities and we will continue to mean different things to different people and the measure of who we are will finally depend more on what our Creator sees in us. I only got to know him a bit more when my best friend, the late Garba Ali Madaki, worked with him as Minister of State for Works and Housing. I also got to see the deep human kindness in the Chief in how much care he took of my friend during the trying moments before his death. He stood by us and helped his widow, Kehinde, back to her feet and to life. When she was tragically killed in a car accident last year, he was there to support their devastated children. Personally, therefore, beyond the realms of politics, it is impossible to ask for a better friend. Today, Chief Anenih, like the rest of us, is, therefore, many things to many people. To properly assess him would be to go back to what the late First Lady, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, his kinswoman, once said to a journalist who interviewed her.
Anenih The journalist asked her to assess her husband, President Obasanjo. In response to that question and in a burst of brilliance, she said something to the journalist like: How do you want me to assess him? Do you want me to assess him as President of Nigeria, my husband or as a father? The journalist encouraged her, and she went on to score President Obasanjo. I really no longer remember the details. But I recall that she scored him between 80 and 90 per cent, as President, arguing that despite everything else, she lived with him and knew the sleepless nights he was spending to fix Nigeria. As a father, I think she scored him between 60 and 70 per cent. But as a husband, I think she scored him between 30 and 40 per cent on grounds of how much his schedule took him away from her. I do not know how different members of his family and his associates, friend and foe could score the Chief alike. Chief Anenih has traversed and adapted to the ever-changing landscape of Nigerian politics with a combination of unobtrusive survivalist instincts of both a chameleon and a cheetah. He has displayed an uncanny ability to adapt to the political temperatures and temperaments around him and exhibited a phenomenal staying power. From his days with the late General Shehu Yar’Adua where his skills and capacity for mobilisation and manoeuvre earned him the sobriquet of LEADER, coming to a climax in the very peaceful 1993 elections and their subsequent tragic abortion, he has remained at the centre. He remained at the side lines in the Abacha days, sprang into action after the death of the General and was a key actor in the process that led to the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which brought Chief Obasanjo to power in 1999. He has been a central force in the controversial politics that has come to define the largest political party in Africa, as PDP likes to call itself. His success in managing, manoeuvring and containing Presidents Obasanjo, President Yar’Adua of blessed and happy memory and now President Jonathan is a feat even his worst enemies must give him credit for. Outside of being of the same party, Chief Obasanjo, the late Yar’Adua and President Jonathan could not be more dissimilar as men, with their professional backgrounds, personal dispositions, cultural backgrounds or as politicians. They are great men
with contrasting, competing, conflicting and diverse temperaments, religious and political convictions, visions, backgrounds, tribes, regions, and whatever else. Yet, all these men and very many others then as now, have, at different times and for different reasons, hung their political fortunes on this one man, Chief Anenih. But it is not they alone. In truth, no matter the controversy, no other Nigerian in history, living or dead can make the claim of having been such a central and sturdy hub in the politics of the nation. Nigerians have often come to live with the myth that to be anyone or anything in Nigeria, you must be lucky enough to have been born into one of the three major ethnic groups of Hausa-Fulani, Igbo or Yoruba, enjoying royal blood directly or by transfusion. Alternatively, you must be extraordinarily wealthy. Chief Anenih’s path in life defies any of these narrow categorisations. His background and where he has come from to get this far is a lesson in commitment to the will of God. For example, the young Tony Anenih was no stranger to poverty, squalor and want like over 90 per cent of Nigerians. Although he passed the qualifying examinations to the prestigious St. Thomas’ Teacher Training College, Ibusa (Delta State), poverty erected a no-entry-wall around the entrance to keep him out. God sent him an angel of mercy in the person of Lance Corporal Omeben with whom he stayed while he engaged in rubber tapping. Chief Anenih would then go from there to join the Police Force, rise from the ranks and move on to become the first Commandant of the Police College, Ikeja. That position must have enabled him to be at a strategic position to reach out to a wide range of police recruits, who would later be at the pinnacle of their careers at different levels. How had Chief Anenih managed to place himself at the epicentre of national politics in Nigeria with no apparent clarity about who recruited him into politics, who might be referred to as his godfathers along the line. What is even more remarkable, as I have already said, is that Chief Anenih is not from any of the three ethnic groups, membership of which, many assumed would at least guarantee you an automatic and powerful constituency. He is, in fact, from one of the smallest ethic groups in Nigeria. The Esan in Edo State are a minority tribe even
in that state compared to the Bini, who are a majority tribe in Edo State but are themselves a minority tribe in the country. Here, we must pause and borrow the words of our blessed Mother when, in what has come to be known as the Magnificat, she said: My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my saviour… The Almighty works marvel for me, holy is His name. His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him. He puts forth His arm in strength and scatters the proud hearted. He casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly. He fills the starving with good things, the rich He sends empty away. Today, Chief Anenih had come to be more famously known as ‘Mr. Fix-it’. Some say it with admiration while others mouth it with approbation. What is not argued is that Chief Anenih fixes the problems he is called to manage at any particular point. The processes he adopts might be controversial and his opponents will naturally make accusations and insinuations. The fact is that, for the purposes of getting the job done, he cannot be faulted. Some might call his tactics Machiavellian or any other name. Politics, however, is a game and like all games, the challenge should be more with the referee than the styles the key actors adopt. It should, therefore, be the duty of the system to test the legality or otherwise of his actions in battle, as opposed to mere moralising. Chief Anenih reminds me of Taribo West, Super Eagles’ key defender, who had a tendency to instill fear into the eyes of strikers by his sturdy appearance and fearful looks. I think it was his coach, Mr. Westerhoff, who once said that his (Taribo’s) eyes instilled in strikers the fear of a man looking down the nozzle of a gun. For the opponents, he generated fear, for his teammates, he stopped the ball from getting into our net. If Mr. Fix-it has been able to fix it for the PDP, the next challenge is, who will fix-it for our dear country, Nigeria? This is neither the time nor the place to answer this question, but we must end with some reflections on the future of our country, given that politics is what many will remember Chief Anenih for. Let me look at five key points. First, how should Nigerian politicians see politics, self-interest and the building of a good society? How will our politicians use politics to help our citizens pursue the three pillars of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? How will politics help us realise the
vision of a society in which we really institutionalise the notion that all men and women are born equal? The life of our celebrant illustrates that we can stand on the shoulders of others to achieve our dreams, but a selfish population concerned only with self and family cannot achieve this. Beyond the realm of politics, there are many who remember the Chief for his generosity, love of others and a community builder. Secondly, how can we put politics aside and together seek to rescue the ship of state that is threatened by so many icebergs? Clearly, fixing the Nigerian problem will never be the function of mere moral exhortation. The bitterness that has come to mark our politics defeats the bipartisan goals that should guide politics in a plural society such as ours. The voices of doom that we hear, calling for, or contemplating our nation’s demise might be politically expedient for mobilisation, but we cannot use them to build a nation. When the Titanic sank, it really did not matter whether you were in first class or economy. The PDP of which the Chief is a key architect must seek to do more to create a more humane society rather than seeking to cling on to power at all cost. It must create a wider political space, subordinate to the rules of the game and prepare for a day it will lose an election. The Chief must prepare the grounds for a new generation of politicians with a different reflex to the challenges that lie ahead of our nation. Thirdly, while we pray for an end of the violence that has thwarted our national development in the last few years, let us renew our faith first in God, the giver of all good things, the one who allows His rain and sun to shine with no distinction. Who a President or a leader is, his or her vision, their integrity and patriotism are far more important than where they were born, who their forefathers were, where they worship or what their qualifications are. The politics of turn-by-turn, whose son or daughter you are, or how much you have in the bank has no redemptive value, as it merely institutionalises mediocrity. Our broken society requires those with the healer’s balm and the commitment to reposition our nation, people who possess the vision for managing diversity and making it an opportunity. Fourthly, our Chief is more or less in the sunset of his own life. He has obviously left footprints on the sands of our land. The challenge now is whether those for whom the next generation belongs will find a nation worth dying for. Our youth must now appreciate that a new world, anchored on Globalisation, has opened up new opportunities where knowledge, not godfatherism, skills not connections, opportunity not blue blood are the keys to success. We must build our country, protect it and raise it above politics. Finally, I want to join millions of other Nigerians to thank God for your life. Take the words of the Psalmist to heart when he said: I was young, now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their children begging for bread (Ps 37:25). Now is time to admonish you with the words of Moses to Aaron when he said: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord let His face shine upon you and be gracious to you (Numbers 6: 22ff). • Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, wrote this tribute on the occasion of the 80th birthday celebrations of Chief Anthony Anenih on August 4, 2013 in Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday August 21, 2013
TheMetroSection Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) early this year that heavier rains than the last year’s, which caused devastation in different parts of the country and claimed scores of lives, may occur especially in the Northwest region of the country. The village head Adamu Audu, who spoke with The Guardian at the village square lamented that such calamity should befall him and his people at this time of the year when farming activity was at its peak. Audu explained that the heavy downpour, which started at 7. 00 pm, persisted non-stop till 7. 00am the following morning leaving in its trail collapsed buildings. He said about 56 households lost 250 rooms including his palace and that of the ward head. The village head attributed the major cause of the flood to lack of drainage in the entire village. “As you can see our wives and chilSome of the displaced villages taking refuge at the village primary school. dren have been taking refuge in the primary school where our children are supposed to be taking their lessons.” “We have lost everything to the floods, I am calling on Government to come to our aid before something worse happens because the people have been exposed to mosquitoes sacked more that 50 families from council with no access road, making and other health hazards as a result From John Akubo, Dutse of the devastation.” their homes. it even more difficult for the disLOOD caused by torrential rain He commended the Dutse local Wurma village, which is about 20km placed people to receive emergency that persisted for 12 hours last council for sending 100 bags of from Dutse the state capital, is one of attention. Saturday has rendered the Vilgrains as relief. the hard-to-reach areas of Dutse local This is to confirm the prediction of lage head of Wurma homeless and Hajia Yahanazu Sumaila, one of the affected elderly women, said she woke up in the night to find herself and her bed enmeshed in the floodHREE people have been re- Mungadi, Maiyama local govThe National Emergency erosion. In Augie Local Governwaters that was reaching beyond ported dead after a heavy ernment area while 50 houses ment area, 50 houses collapsed Management Agency has her knee. downpour that began on collapsed in Augie Local Govrepeatedly warned the while four villages have been Alitini Ali said her concern then was Sunday in Birnin Kebbi, Suru ernment,” Executive Director governments of heavy displaced by erosion.” how to rescue her children so they and Augie Local Government of Kebbi State Emergency Man- Revealing that one person rainfall this year, following would not be drowned. Areas of Kebbi State. agement Agency (SEMA), Mal- died and seven others were in- predictions of the NigerThe heavy rainfall has also ian Meteorological Agency The Local Government Chairman, lam Yahaya Chindo told jured as some buildings colHonorable Sanusi Abdulazeez said rendered more than 200 peo- journalists in the north-west(NIMET) hinting at a lapsed at Anguwar Sarakuna, he has sent a team of officials from ple homeless and damaged higher rainfall than last ern state. Birnin Kebbi Local Governthe headquarters to go and quantify about 60 houses in the three year’s, which itself devas“Our findings in Jega indicate ment Area, he promised that the level of damage and shortlist aflocal governments. that five houses collapsed and SEMA would offer assistance to tated many parts of the fected victims for compensation. “Two people died in country. five villages were displaced by the displaced persons.
Agony as Jigawa flood renders 50 families, village head homeless F
... 200 rendered homeless, three dead after heavy Kebbi rain
Briefs CLASFON conference begins tomorrow AGOS State Governor, BaL batunde Fashola (SAN), former President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chief Wole Olanipekun(SAN) and Isreali Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr.Uriel Palti are among the participants that will grace the 33th Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria(CLASFON) national conference which begins tomorrow at the Agip Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos from 10.00am.
Church holds convention HE 77th edition of Annual T Tabierorar Convention with the theme: “It is Well,” comes up tomorrow at the usual Camp Ground, Ogere, LagosIbadan Expressway. As usual, it is the grand finale of observance of 13 days of White Fasting Prayers that commenced on August 1, 2013. The Primate, Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide, His Eminence, The Most Rev. Rufus Okikiola Ositelu assures participants of uncommon blessings as usual as well as solutions to various problems at the annual programme that would attract dignitaries worldwide.
Aragbaiye, 90, for burial
commences tomorrow with Ajabue Traditional Dance round the town of Owo, followed by lying in state and wake at her residence, 26, Idimepen Street, Owo, Friday, August 23. Service of Songs takes place on August 24 at St. Patrick’s Anglican Church, Ijebu-Owo, while interment follows immediately within the church premises. Guests will be entertained at Imade College Grounds, Owo.
Police kill okada rider in Ikorodu By Odita Sunday COMMERCIAL motorcycle rider was feared dead and many others critically injured yesterday by policemen attached to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Lagos State for breaching the state’s traffic law. The incident resulted in widespread protest and wanton destruction of property worth millions of naira in the area. The Guardian gathered that the okada rider had driven through a restricted route around Ikorodu garage. In an attempt by the RRS men to arrest him, he escaped and the policemen allegedly opened fire on him. The Guardian further gathered that the RRS men fled the scene immediately they discovered that the commercial motorcycle rider had given up the ghost. An eyewitness told The Guardian that there was wild protest and destruction of public property immediately it was discovered that the motorcyclist had died. “The shooting sparked-off a protest by youths and Okada people in Ikorodu town. As I am speaking with you now, everywhere is tensed up,” he said. It was gathered that the incident compounded the usual traffic snarl in the area as colleagues of the deceased protested the killing of their colleague.
The killer policeman and his team were said to have driven off. The second victim, Babatunde, it was gathered, sustained injury on his hand. A commercial motorcyclist who simply identified himself as Michael lamented the extortion by policemen in the area, adding that he had complained many times to the police authorities about the excesses of RRS policemen. He said it was unfortunate that policemen had killed many motorcycle riders in the state since the enforcement of the traffic law began last year and no policeman had been arrested in respect of that. He said; “Haruna and his colleagues are very notorious for extortion, most times they don’t even arrest errant Okada riders. They go to places that are not restricted such as car washes or in front of bars where Okada riders park their vehicles and then they seize the bike. They take the bikes to Agric area of Ikorodu and then begin to negotiate the release of the impounded motorcycle. They usually extort between N10, 000 and N20, 000 from us before releasing our motorcycles.” It was further gathered that the commander, RRS, Hakeem Odumosu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police came to the area to restore normalcy. Odumosu was said to have promised the irate mob that justice would be served in the matter.
URIAL rites for Madam ComB fort Folake Aragbaiye who died April 28 in Owo Ondo State,
Olaiya, 69, for burial
Navy rescues another oil vessel from sea robbers By Odita Sunday AVAL operatives attached to Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT yesterday rescued another oil vessel, MT CROW and her nine-crew members from the hands of suspected sea pirates. Four of the sea robbers were also arrested after a heavy gun battle with operatives at about 10 nautical miles off the coast of Escravos, Delta State. The attack came barely 48hours after MT NORTE, another merchant ship, was rescued from the hands of about 20 heavily armed suspected pirates. The MT CROW was allegedly hijacked by a four-man gang of sea robbers at Aiyetoro area of Ondo State on August 14. As at
the time it was hijacked, the ship was said to be carrying about 200 metric tone of AGO popularly called ‘Diesel’. Parading the suspects at the Defence Jetty, Lagos, the Commander, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Chris Ezekobe said that the breakthrough was achieved following information that was received from the Regional Awareness Centre that unknown gunmen had hijacked a ship. He noted that immediately the information was received, Nigerian navy fast crafts were deployed on a search and rescue mission. “The team ran into the hijacked ship around Aiyetoro area of Ondo State. By the time it was sited, it had a speedboat tied behind the vessel. All attempts
made at getting the sea robbers to stop fell on deaf ears. It was at this juncture that the naval operatives circling the vessel opened fire. “The robbers then asked the captain of the ship to respond to the call signs made by the men of the Nigerian Navy after dumping their rifles into the sea,” he said. Commodore Ezekobe, who was optimistic that the navy was capable of rising to the new threat by pirates, said that with more war ships being added to the inventory of the Nigerian Navy, the threat would soon become a thing of the past. One of the pirates confessed that they were sent on the assignment by a man who they identified as General at Igbokoda area of Ondo state.
HE death has occurred of Mrs. T Beatrice Aina Olaiya (Nee Itagbure), who died on July 7, 2013. According to funeral arrangements released by the family, a Christian Wake service will hold tomorrow by 5pm at her residence 5, Araromi Street, off Arigbanla Street, Orile-Agege, Lagos. Her remains would be interred at the same venue after a funeral service on Friday, August 23 at the Lagos NYSC Camp parade ground, Ipaja Road by 11am. Reception of guests will also hold at the NYSC camp.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Jigawa Speaker weeps at valedictory session for deputy killed in crash From John Akubo, Dutse HE Speaker of the Jigawa State House of Assembly Honourable Adamu Ahmed Sarawa and other members wept uncontrollably yesterday at valedictory session for their colleague and Deputy Speaker Honourable Inuwa Sule Udi, who died in an auto crash last Thurs-
day. It was an emotion-laden session as tears flowed freely from the eyes of almost every member as they took their turn to pour encomiums on their late colleague. Udi who until his demise represented Ringim constituency at the Jigawa assembly for the third time,
died along with his driver Malam Mas’ud Ringim in a ghastly motor accident along Kano-Ringim road, when the driver lost control due to a heavy downpour. Emirs of Ringim and Dutse, Alhaji Sayyadi Mahmud Abubakar and Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi, as well as the
The remains of the Deputy Speaker’s car after the crash that claimed his life.
Speaker led thousands of Muslims at the funeral prayer. The funeral prayer was conducted at the Ringim mini stadium with thousands of family friends and close associates, prominent politicians and traditional rulers across the state and beyond. The deceased was buried at Ringim cemetery amid tight security. Udi died at the age of 48 leaving behind 18 children and many grandchildren. He was elected member Jigawa House of Assembly for the first term in 2003 and was elected deputy speaker in 2007. He died on his way from Abuja to Ringim at Tofai village along Kano-Ringim road around 9.30 pm. A member representing Yankwashi constituency, Honorable Abdu Dauda described late Udi as a very friendly, loyal and committed lawmaker who has contributed immensely to the passage of many bills. Every member had something good to say about the late Deputy Speaker who they described as a man of the people.
Enugu community gets new monarch By Joseph Onyekwere NUGU State Government has formally recognized Igwe Joseph Aniebonam Ogbodo as the traditional ruler of Amechi-Uwani autonomous community. Chieftaincy Affairs Commissioner Emeka Abugu handed a formal certificate of recognition to Ogbodo at a ceremony on Monday. He charged the monarch to use his position to foster peace and security in his community to ensure the state government development programmes were not hampered. He congratulated him for having been found worthy by his people and urged him to strive at all times to justify their confidence. The monarch thanked the government for the prompt recognition and pledged to dedicate his life to the service of his people. He solicited the support of “all and sundry” to succeed.
The king who is in his 70s ran a successful business with major interests in tourism and transport, and became particularly renown in the 1980s with “Small Joe Enterprises”, a metropolitan transport service company, which was dominant in the old Anambra State capital. The monarch, whose official title is Ohachirieze II of Amechi-Uwani, emerged from a keenly contested election with other contestants, earlier this year, following the demise of Igwe V.V. Chukwuegbo, Eze Chinyelugo I, in 2008. Vice President of the town’s development association, Chuks Nnam Egbo, noted at the presentation that Ogbodo’s official recognition had finally brought peace and harmony to a community previously fractionalized by the Igweship tussle. The new ruler’s coronation, the social aspect of his ascension to the throne, will take place at a later date.
Lions Club donates wheelchairs to disabled persons By Wole Oyebade N the spirit of service to humanity, Akowonjo Lions Club, District 404B, last Sunday reiterated the need for public-spirited Nigerians to support the less privileged and bring smiles to faces of those that might have been forgotten by the government. During the investiture of its 15th president in Lagos, the in-coming president of the club, Olanrewaju Adebajo, donated a set of wheelchairs to the crippled in Lagos, to flag off a series of projects outlined for execution during his one-year tenure. Speaking at the investiture, Senator Olorun-
nimbe Mamora said the humanitarian appeal and support for members of our communities were most needed at no other time than now, considering the worsening economic hardship and its effect on many families. Mamora, who chaired the occasion, noted that the less privileged are not only the people with physical disabilities, but also those that are not empowered to cater for daily survival. He said: “Yet, these are the categories of people that are among us today. The essence of good governance is to give the greatest good to the greatest number of people. But that is the challenge of politics and governance today. We must,
however, not overlook them, but extend hands of charity to them.” He charged the club to continue to render services to the state, country and humanity at large, “because that is the essence of your organisation.” District Governor, District 404B Nigeria, Yinka Bolarinwa said the club was open to public spirited Nigerians, who want to contribute to the genuine cause of promoting “Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation and Safety,” to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians. He noted that the club thrives on a pool of resources, contributed by members, to reach to the under-privileged, “hence, the more we are, the merrier.”
14 | THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Conscience Nurtured by Truth
FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011) Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816
Editorial Some more lessons from Egypt RUE to predictions, including this newspaper’s, the lingering political T impasse engulfing Egypt, sparked by divisions over the military deposition of President Mohammed Morsi, is indeed heading towards some unfathomable end. But wherever it leads, the hard lessons that should have been learnt from popular defiance, namely, that mature and sagely political craftsmanship demands inclusiveness for a stable and peaceful polity, and that the people’s power should not be taken for granted under any guise, are still unheeded. To make matters worse, what started during last week as police dispersal of a protest march in Cairo over the appointment of army officers as local governors, ended up by weekend in bloody violent clashes with security forces. Hundreds of people have so far died in the clashes and thousands reportedly injured. Despite this bloody situation, the Muslim Brotherhood has continued to call for daily protests; an incident so worrisome to the government that it was contemplating a ban of the brotherhood to avert chaos. If Egypt is to recoil from its looming march towards anarchy it must quickly forge a reconciliatory move that would involve negotiation with the deposed President Morsi. Anything short of this could cause more instability in the country and aggravate tension in the Middle East. Already, Egypt’s neighbours are worried about the instability the crisis poses on the region, and are as divided in their reaction as Egyptians. While in Lebanon, Hezbollah, which is ideologically linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, have lent their weight to the pro-Morsi protests, Israel has remained silent. On the other hand, countries like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc are calling for the rule of law, and are imploring the United Nations to take an important step to address the situation. Circumstantially, therefore, Egypt finds itself at political crossroads that infringes on its historical and diplomatic relevance to the global community. Being the biggest nation in the Arab world, ensconced strategically as a regional power in the Middle East, and also a veritable host to some of the world’s best monuments and civilizational heritage, Egypt cannot afford to fail politically. Therefore, it is in everybody’s interest not to have the largest country in the Middle East descend into chaos. It is for this reason that a proposal towards ‘reconciliation’ be encouraged and promptly pursued. Egyptians must embrace dialogue and put forward measures of inclusiveness in order to advance a broad-based government reflective of the country’s endangered unity. Every faction in the ephemeral Egyptian divide must realize that it possesses no real advantage over other groups in the beleaguered country. Embracing dialogue and working towards inclusiveness require that all parties in the crisis advance negotiation in the interest of Egypt. Whatever the political gaffes and administrative foibles of the deposed president, he is still an important actor in the ongoing crisis. The mandate to steer the ship of the Egyptian state, notwithstanding the turbulent course it has to take, was freely given by the people when he became the first democratically elected president of Egypt. Egypt’s military and interim government should exploit the opportunity of his safe-keeping to engage with him in a manner that should largely ensure no loss of face for him and the Muslim Brotherhood, while a new course is charted for the country. Considering the various interests that are going to be affected by the outcome of this exercise, Egyptians must look for good and credible negotiators; persons who empathize with the aspirations of the people, understand the timely nature of remolding Egypt socio-politically, and would not be stooges of self-seeking manipulators of the process. Egypt, at this time, hangs on the precipice as it endures a difficult transition. Yet, just as the people’s mandate to freely choose the repository of their sovereign power rests on the people, so the power to bring the country out of the morass of impending anarchy rests on the people. In this regard, the Egyptian people should recoil from the irrational bandwagon that leads to mob-crazy violence and clashes with security forces, and embrace reconciliation. To Nigeria and its people, the Egypt experience may seem far-flung, yet the derivable lessons therefrom have universal application. Given the mounting heat over 2015, the political barometer suggests that Nigeria is Egypt in the embryo. But Nigerians need not wait for a complete gestation and then get saddled with a needless ‘difficult’ transition. All, leaders and the led, should, once again, heed the lesson from Egypt: power belongs to the people and they (the people) freely repose it in trust in any government. The people should never be taken for granted.
A hold on Nigerian entrepreneurs IR: Recently, the visionary Sfounder businessman Jeff Bezos, of Amazon.com agreed to buy the Washington Post newspaper for $250 million. For a lot of people across the globe whose businesses were related to or wholly about e-commerce, that was the biggest headline of the day. For others in Nigeria, however, the real story was in the amazing progress that Mr. Bezos has made, in 19 years, from an idealistic businessman who wanted to hawk books online to a billionaire whose empire now encompasses everything from paper to steel. On that day, I wondered if such achievements had become possible in Nigeria via the e-platforms and concluded that indeed they had. They had, but for a big obstacle that may be in the way of many aspiring young Nigerians. Just a day before Bezos’s announcement, the owners of a fast growing list of e-businesses launched a hotel recommendation and booking website. It sounds like a good idea but the problem is that the objectives of the e-business line owners may not be as noble as they seem. The group appears to be in the business of killing Nigerian e-businesses by launching their own clones of these Nigerian ideas, by backing the copies with big
foreign investments. Once a home-grown e-business looks like it is gaining traction, expect a clone immediately, which will then seek to choke the original, which more often than not, is started by a brave Nigerian youth with dreams that may be similar to Mr. Bezos’s. In fact, it has been reported that the group in question, a German company seeks to target any business concept that comes out of a firm, a Lagos-based incubator. Its day-to-day direction comes directly from its headquarters in Germany. The German company has gone this far because of the negligible regulation in that sector of the economy. Recently the advertising industry came together, under the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), to properly regulate their businesses for the globalised 21st century
economy and, perhaps more importantly, to protect themselves from foreign invasion. Online business, especially at these early stages, needs that kind of safeguard. There needs to be laws protecting homegrown ideas from cannibalisation by bully foreign companies such as the German entity. Nigeria would not be the first country in the world to enact such laws. The United States, with its robust intellectual property laws, is a champion here and we may learn a few things from them. It is obvious that these laws, first and foremost, were pushed locally and internationally to protect American businesses. Of course we want foreign investment, but not at the expense of our young creative community. • Rume Obarayi, Lagos.
Cardinal Okogie said ‘Negligible’ I have read with great the clarification Sof IR:delight our Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, His Grace Anthony Cardinal Okogie to nonCatholics since Catholics are expected to already know it, in your August 12, 2013 edition. But while publishing CCC 2358, you erro-
neously wrote “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not Eligible the word our Archbishop wrote must be and is Negligible. Thank you for correcting it. • Cyril Oyakhilome, Lagos.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Business IndustryWatch P39
Paradox of Chinese invasion and Nigeria’s industrial rebirth
Curtailing oil theft, illegal bunkering via legislation
NPC unfolds N600b biometric census plan From Ade Ogidan,Abuja
CREDIBLE population cenA sus for the country may finally emerge in 2016, going by the resolve of the National Commission Population (NPC) to conduct an headcount that year, devoid of retrogressive trappings of the past and thereby break the102 year jinx, haunting the nation’s enumeration exercises. Already, there were indications that the 2016 census figures have been discarded by NPC, with directive to the commission’s legal team to stop defending “indefensive” figures from the headcount, sequel to litigations trailing the numbers. The Chairman of NPC, Eze Festus Odimegwu told journalists in Abuja yesterday that the commission would start on a clean slate to conduct a greenfield biometric census, under a N600 billion five-year expenditure plan, “to provide accurate comprehensive data for the nation’s socio-economic development”. For effect, Odimegwu said plans have been concluded to mobilise over five million Nigerians, comprising one million enumerators for the exercise, with the country delineated into 200,000 localities. Specifically, the NPC boss said N249 billion would be expended on the establishment of national registration infrastructure, vital for the creation of a data base for the country, to enthrone a new regime of fact-based planning and project implementation programme. Also, a robust logistic plan would be employed to actualise the credible census exercise, with boats, vehicles and even helicopters deployed nationwide,”to ensure that this time around, we get it
Consequently, we shall resist distractions from political and religious forces,as the success of the enumeration exercise will become the veritable tool for Nigeria’s socio-economic growth and development, on a sustainable basis right”. According to Odimegwu, the commission will remain focused and “would not be distracted in its mission”. He said: “We have the capacity to deliver on our mandate. We appreciate the challenges and realise that it is not going to be a tea party. But we have resolved to make history and deliver the first credible census figures to Nigerians. We are bringing a change to the public service landscape and that is the reason for us to achieve this remarkable feat for posterity. “Consequently, we shall resist distractions from political and religious forces,as the success of the enumeration exercise will become the veritable tool for Nigeria’s socioeconomic growth and development, on a sustainable basis”. He added: “Resistant to change is normal, but if you are doing the right thing, with requisite focus, the spirit of the good vision will see you through”. Odimegwu also disclosed that a series of trial enumeration exercises would be conducted ahead of the major headcount in 2016, to railroad a scientifically acceptable census for the country.
“We know that population variables are not static but dynamic. The commisson, under my leadership will therefore do away with politically motivated census figure
projections. We have established a strategic architecture for the exercise, which has resolved governance issues under the working template. “Essentially, data for plan-
ning would be made available to all sectors for effective socio-economic planning, which will ensure that effective actualisation of the nation’s transformation agen-
da”, he said. He described as unfortunate, the failed attempts since 1911,to get an accurate census figure for the country, saying that “now is the time to right
President and Chief Executive Officer, General Electric (GE) Nigeria, Lazarus Angbazo (left); Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Distributed Power, GE Africa, Darryl Wilson; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Entec Power and Utilities Company Limited, Akeem Agbaje, during the signing of a letter of intent in Nairobi, Kenya.
BoI restates commitment to SMEs’ financing By Femi Adekoya S online marketing busiA nesses continue to witness a steady growth, especially in the are a of consumer goods, the Bank of Industry has restated its commitment to increasing Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) access to cheap funds in the country. Indeed, the bank noted that the creation of various niches in the value-chain process has also geared the bank to look at developing products that
would address the needs of small businesses in Nigeria. Speaking at a forum on ECommerce in Nigeria, organized by the London School of Economics (LSE) Alumni Association in Lagos recently, the Executive Director, Operations, BoI, Mohammed Alkali said the bank has not deviated from its core mandate of making provisions for small businesses to drive desired growth in the real sector. He added that though the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has recently raised its stake on funds available to small businesses, BoI remains committed to making sure it disburses about 85 per cent of its funds to SMEs. He said further: “E-commerce is one area that is coming up very fast and there are lots of niches being created in the process. BoI looks at those niches and develops new products to aid the process. These niches involve valuechain processes. We remain
committed to this process. BoI’s financing strategy is designed to provide financial and business support services to existing and new industries to attain modern capabilities for the production of goods that are competitive in both domestic and external markets. “A lot funds has been disbursed to industries under BoI’s intervention programme for the SMEs sector and we would not relent in doing that.”
GTBank earns N124b, sends results to Nigerian, London Stock Exchanges UARANTY Trust Bank Plc’s G audited financial results for the half-year ended June 30, 2013 have been released to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges. A review of the June 2013 result shows positive performance across all financial indices. Gross Earnings for the half-year period of 2013 stood at N124.20 billion an increase of N10.68 billion from the N113.53 billion reported for the corresponding period in 2012. Profit Before Tax was N57.36billion, up from N53.64 billion
recorded in June 2012. The Bank reported a 2013 half year Profit After Tax of N49.01billion an increase over the N45.55 billion reported in June 2012. The Bank closed the half year ended June 2013 with Total Assets and Contingents of N2.50 trillion, customer deposits of N1.25 trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of N296.95 Billion. The Bank’s non-performing loans remained low at 3.32%. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA)
closed at 33.78% and 5.45% respectively for period ended June, 2013. The Bank is proposing interim dividend payment of N7.36 billion to Shareholders (N0.25 per ordinary share of 50 kobo each). Mr. Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director/CEO of the bank, attributed its success during the half year period to the continued support of its customers, hard work of its dedicated staff and strong corporate governance standards. He said a major objective for the bank this year is adding
value to its stakeholders through excellent customer service delivery, innovative products and value adding services. It is the bank’s beliefs that success on these fronts would enable it deepen its share of market across all sectors and improve profitability, despite today’s extremely challenging business environment. He also thanked the customers for their loyalty and staff for their continued hard work and dedication. According to a statement, the bank “has always been at the forefront of industry serv-
ice innovations in markets where it operates, having successfully replicated its culture for excellence in its subsidiaries in Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and the UK. The Bank also recently commenced the process of acquiring a 70% stake in Fina Bank of Kenya to enable it extend its reach to East Africa. The acquisition, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda will see us expand our geographical footprint into three East African Countries;
Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.” It added: “Locally, the bank’s most recent service introductions includes; the GTBank social Banking platform; a service offering pioneered by GTBank which allows people on social networks such as Facebook commence banking relationships as well as perform basic banking transactions 24/7, safely and conveniently. Furthermore, the GTTarget account - an interest bearing non-transactional account for people saving towards particular projects was also introduced.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
NDIC records N17b fraud in 3380 cases From Anthony Otaru, Abuja HE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has reported a total of 3,380 fraud cases involving the sum of N17.97 billion with expected\ contingent loss of about N4.52 billion recorded by banks 2012. The expected/contingent loss is however reported to have increased by N455 million (10.9 per cent) as against N4.072 billion reported in 2011. According to the NDIC 2012 Annual Report and Statement of Accounts made available to The Guardian yesterday in Abuja, it has so far paid a total of N6.82billion to about 528,212 insured depositors of closed banks in the year ended 31st December, 2012. Notwithstanding the 43.7 per cent increase in the num-
• Pays depositors N6.82 billion ber of reported fraud cases from 2,352 in 2011 to 3,380 in 2012, the amount involved decreased by 36.4 per cent from N28.40 billion in 2011 to N18.04 billion in 2012 this was contained in the corporation’s report for 2012. According to the report, the paid amount was slightly higher compared to the N6.68 billion paid to 527,942 insured depositors in December 31st, 2011.
Similarly, it stated that a total sum of N2.505 billion was paid to 75,322 verified depositors of 95 out of 103 closed MFBs during the year as against the sum of N2.249 billion paid to 72,062 verified depositors in 2011. Also, the sum of N73.58 billion had been paid as liquidation dividend to 250,209 depositors of DMBs as at December 31, 2012. It is pertinent to indicate that a total
Government of the State of Osun has been nominated for the Nigerian Telecom Awards 2013. The Tablet of Knowledge was nominated under the category of African Most Innovative Product of the Year. The award comes up on September 20 at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan, Lagos. Other categories of the awards includes African Telecom of the Year; African Telecom Personality of the
the maiden examination of Jaiz Bank Plc and the StanbicIBTC Non-Interest window during the year under review’’ the report noted. Accordingly, it said that Corporation in 2012 conducted routine examination of 246 microfinance banks (MFBs) out of which six were found to have closed shop. The NDIC also conducted riskbased examination of forty (40) primary mortgage banks (PMBs) in 2012 out of which three were found to have voluntarily closed shop.
MasterCard set for NIMC’s national identity pilot scheme take off By Nelson Chijioke and Adeyemi Adepetun ITH preparations now at its peak for the National Identity Number (NIN) project being handled by the National Identity
Management Commission (NIMC), the technology provider to the project, MasterCard, has restated its commitment towards accelerating the process in the country.
Opon Imo gets nomination for Africa’s ICT award HE innovative e-learning T devise, Opon Imo (tablet of knowledge) of the
of 14 out of the 34 banks-inliquidation prior to 2006 had declared a final dividend of 100 per cent of their total deposits, indicating that all depositors of the affected closed banks had fully recovered their deposits. ‘’The NDIC, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), conducted Risk-Based Examination of16 deposit money banks (DMBs) during the year. The NDIC led
the examination of six of the banks while the CBN led in 10 banks. “Furthermore, the two institutions conducted a maiden examination of the three banks acquired by AMCON, namely: Keystone Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Enterprise Bank during the year. While the CBN led the examination of Mainstreet Bank and Enterprise Bank, NDIC led the examination of Keystone Bank. The Corporation in collaboration with the CBN also conducted
Year; West Africa Mobile Operator of the Year; Computer Brand of the Year among others. Besides, in the category of ICT State of the Year, Osun also got nominated alongside Ekiti and Bauchi States. The Opon Imo tablet, which was launched on Monday 13th May, provides three major content categories: e-library, virtual classroom and an integrated test zone. The e-library contains 63 ebooks covering 17 academic subjects for examinations conducted by WAEC, NECO and
JAMB as well as non-academic subjects such as History of The Yoruba, Sexuality Education, Civic Education, Ifa on ethics and morals, enterprise education as well as hints and tips on passing SSCE. In the integrated test zone of the device, there are more than 40,000 JAMB and WAEC practice questions and answers dating back to about 10 years and mock tests in more than 51 subject areas, which approximates to 1,220 chapters, with roughly 29,000 questions referencing about 825 images.
The pilot phase is expected to provide at the initial stage, 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment capability. Addressing newsmen in Lagos, yesterday, MasterCard’s Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, Omokehinde Ojomuyide said the involvement of the company was to ensure the cards are well secured and globally acceptable, adding that “MasterCard is also saddled with the responsibility of deepening financial inclusion and promoting the cash-less initiatives.” Ojomuyide, who denied the allegation that MasterCard took away the entire contract, said the company decided to base its operations in the country, given the strategic importance of the country in the continents numerous opportunities for business and growth. According to her, the institution has identified with the country’s financial inclusion and cash-less initiative, which seek to reduce the number of the unbanked and reduce the costs associated with cash transactions. She said that the company’s experience for over 40 years of its existence would be brought to bear on the provision of services that will ensure the country financial system’s aspirations, by making payments simple, safe
and smart. She noted that the cash-less initiative was a forward-looking scheme, saying that presently, the cost of cashbased economy is between 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product of various economies. According to her, the sources of the costs include printing and distribution, security and handling, lost time associated with queuing to withdraw cash. The MasterCard’s Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, who said the card will be issued before the end of the year, noted that corruption, which is the issue in many economies today are facilitated by cash-based regime, adding that robbery, terrorism financing, kidnapping are all products of huge cash transactions, as complicates every efforts to trace the sources. She said that the company’s services and product offerings to governments include social security payments system, procurements, payrolls and revenue receipts, which are strategic for economic growth and development. She informed that the card scheme is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent. At the World Economic Forum in May, where MasterCard was selected as
technical partner to the scheme, it was announced that in its first phase, Nigerians from 16 years and above and all residents in the country for more than two years will get the new multipurpose identity card which has the capacity of about 13 different applications, including MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology that will provide cardholders with the safety, convenience and reliability of electronic payments. It was disclosed that this will have a significant and positive impact on the lives of these Nigerians who have not previously had access to financial services. It was also announced at the forum that the project will have Access Bank Plc as the pilot issuer bank for the cards and Unified Payment Services Limited (Unified Payments) as the payment processor. Other issuing banks will include United Bank for Africa, Union Bank, Zenith, Skye Bank, Unity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, First Bank and others currently signing on. The Director General and Chief Executive of the NIMC, Chris ‘E Onyemenam had said at the Forum in May, “We have chosen MasterCard to be the payment technology provider for the initial rollout of the National Identity Smart Card project because the Company has shown a commitment to furthering financial inclusion through the reduction of cash in the
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Govt plans to end rice importation by 2014 HERE were indications T that the Federal • Thailand backs production of rice, cassava Government is facilitating the massive cultivation of rice across the country with a view to stopping rice importation by 2014. According to a director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Adebisi Buhari, the government is making effort to stop the importation of rice and other products that could be produced in the country. He expressed optimism that the objective would be realised through joint efforts with communities and private firms to boost production in the country. Buari said that the government would encourage private sector involvement in the development of the agriculture sector, particularly rice production, stressing that food importation was affecting the nation negatively. He explained that the government was already collaborating with Patigi and Share Communities in Kwara to establish high capacity rice mill, to boost production. He commended the synergy between the Federal and Kwara Governments as well as other commodity associa-
tions. The director noted that the government had provided various platforms for farmers to access loans and other incentives to improve crop production in the country. He urged Nigerians to key into the ongoing transformation of the agriculture sector, to further enhance the progress being made by the government. “Nigerians should see agriculture as a veritable business to boost the economy and not a tedious endeavour. “The government, through its policies, will provide a level playing ground for prospective farmers to invest in the sector, to ensure sustainability,” Buhari said. Meanwhile, the Governor of Niger State, Babagida Aliyu, said the state government had spent N10.7 billion on the implementation of some its agricultural programmes in the past four years. Aliyu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ahmed Matane, said this at the opening of a stakeholders meeting of staple crops processing zones holding in Minna. He said his administration
spent N7.5 billion on the procurement and sale of fertiliser to members of the public at subsidised rates. He said the state government had ensured a hitchfree sale of fertiliser, adding, that had helped to boost farmers’ productivity. He said the government also procured 241 tractors at the cost of N1.5 billion for sale to cooperative groups and large- scale farmers to enhance mechanised farming. Aliyu said that his administration expended N1 billion on the implementation of commercial agriculture scheme in the state. He said the ministry of agriculture had procured and sold to members of the public, grains valued at N757 million in the past four years, adding that grains were also distributed free-of-charge to indigent members of the society. Aliyu said the state government had resuscitated the agricultural extension services to enable farmers adopt and improve on their productivity. However, the Thai Government has assured that it would support Nigeria
in its desire to boost rice and cassava production in line with the Federal G o v e r n m e n t ’ s Transformation Agenda. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru, made this known in Abuja when he received a delegation led by Dr Surappong Tovichakchaikul, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Both parties held closed door discussions aimed at improving the level of bilateral relations between both countries. Ashiru, thereafter, highlighted areas in which both parties agreed to enhance relations. “We’ve identified areas of further future cooperation, especially in the key sectors of our economic development; agriculture being one of them. “We’ve expressed the desire
to see cooperation with Thailand in terms of helping Nigeria to improve on our own rice production locally, because we want to reduce the level of our rice import from other countries. “Thailand, they have the experience, the manpower, the technical capability; they have promised to assist Nigeria in terms of adding value to our own rice production; not just rice, we’ve also discussed on adding value to our cassava production.
‘Africa’s network transition an ongoing process’ By Bankole Orimisan UALCOMM Incorporated has affirmed that the rapid transition to 3G mobile broadband is still in progress in African market. According to the chipmaker, consumers are reaping the benefits of enhanced multimedia services, competition and choice courtesy 3G. Addressing media at a meeting held in Lagos, the Managing Director West Africa, Qualcomm, Mr. Alex Dadson, said from Nigeria to Kenya and South Africa to Tanzania, 3G networks were driving substantial economic growth and underpinning
greater productivity gains. He said 3G technologies are an ideal fit for Africa’s longterm telecommunications objectives of providing highquality services through advanced and cost-effective technology, increasing teledensity and generating substantial social and economic benefits. Dadson added, “Qualcomm is firmly committed to assisting the governments of Africa in achieving these objectives. 3G also provides consumers in Africa with the freedom of mobility by being able to stay connected at all times wherever they go. 3G enables consumers to enjoy faster web browsing, faster downloads of video and music, real-time services and greater interactivity while on the move via their mobile devices or notebooks.” Commercial operators, he explained, were focusing on 3G mobile broadband platforms such as WCDMA, CDMA and HSPA in Africa because of their efficiency, superior capabilities in terms of coverage and data capacity and compelling business opportunities with greater subscriber growth and much higher average
revenue per user. The thriving 3G ecosystem, he said, included many successful operators and innovative vendors/developers motivated by the prospects of achieving significant scale, with 5,000 CDMAbased device models and 680 commercial 3G operators in 187 countries serving more than one billion 3G CDMA subscribers. He said, “As a leading enabler of the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, Qualcomm’s inclusive approach to partnership enables the industry value chain to further drive down device costs, increase wireless capabilities and make possible the promise of advanced wireless connectivity. “Qualcomm works with mobile operators, device manufacturers and application developers across the West African region to increase mobile Internet access for users and foster the industry ecosystem. Qualcomm is a technology enabler, facilitating the shift from voice-centric 2G offerings to a more data-centric 3G user experience and beyond.
Oando reduces total debt by 18 per cent By Helen Oji ANDO Plc has announced O an overall debt reduction in the last twelve months from N289 billion to N236 billion, indicating a difference of N53 billion. According to a statement by the company, the reduction was achieved through the active restructuring activities the Group has embarked on over the last 12 months, even as it has impacted on the company’s net interest expense. In line with its corporate strategy for balance sheet optimization and the financing of growth initiatives in the Upstream sector, the integrated energy firm sought to raise N54.6 billion through the issuance of 4.5 million ordinary shares to existing shareholders 50 Kobo at N12 per share between December 2012 and February 2013. The proceeds from the Rights issue were earmarked for part-repayment of a N60 billion syndicated loan used to fund the acquisition of upstream assets and swamp drilling rigs, part-financing of acquisition of upstream and midstream assets by Oando’s
Upstream subsidiary, Oando Energy Resources (“OER”), and investment in working capital to support the increased level of business. A total of N62 billion total subscription was realized from its Rights Issue, indicating an oversubscription of N8 billion or 14 percent, due to high investor demand. As a result, the successful outcome of the Rights Issue, according to the statement has positioned the company to further refined its threepronged strategy to reduce debt, improve diversification in upstream, and focus on higher margins. It has also indicated its intention to increase growth margin value for shareholders in the upstream through a focused portfolio growth in production, cash margins, and improved returns on capital deployed. “The ongoing acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ entire Nigerian asset base for $1.79 billion will transform OER from a small size oil company with 4,500 bbls/day of production and 9 million barrels of oil equivalent (“MMboe”) to a midsize oil producer with close to 50,000bbls/day of production.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013 Published in association with
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
MoneyWatch Wanted: Ethical bond for Nigeria’s financial system
By Chijioke Nelson VERY financial system has its own regulaE tions governing activities, irrespective of other external and internal influences bordering on bilateral relations, foreign portfolio inflows, international laws, culture, literacy and economic development levels, among others. All of these combined form the rules and regulations, which invariably determine what morals and ethics are. Suffice it to say that even these dynamics are usually articulated, at least, to a certain degree, in the regulations. But there are questions overhang: Are morals and ethics just personal awareness and codes? Is it noble to imbibe them? Are there benefits? Are there real reasons to involve morals and ethics in business? Indeed, a mere knowledge does not in totality guarantee adherence, except through personal will. This is where the need to imbibe the “spirit” of the codes and not only the words of the codes plays off. Again, this would require efforts of individuals and groups. The current financial system’s re-engineering in the country “speaks” more of violations of these morals and ethics and the manifest dangers, which were accentuated in pretense that all was well, when in reality, nothing was a semblance of well. At the onset of the reforms, it was discovered that corporate governance codes, which were written in “black and white” were grossly abused, if not abandoned in its entirety. The result was a near collapse of the financial system and the consequences are yet to be settled even now. As at now, banks are still making provisions for the bad portfolios that resulted from the neglect of the morals and ethics years after. Before now, the abuse of these codes, even in the financial system aided money laundering activities, which eventually brought some uncomplimentary designation to the country. No doubt, the financial system benefitted from the rot at the beginning, until what seemed like nemesis turned up. At least, at a point, Nigerian banks were subjected to several procedures and protocols before they can transfer money outside the country or do transactions with their foreign counterparts. Beside reputation, there is certainly a lost business in that regime and that was not a healthy development for the economy. Of course, money laundering is facilitated majorly by the financial system. Perhaps, it is the reason for the insistence of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to audit the banking
Sanusi activities and what could possibly be a test of their current level of adherence to morals and ethics in relation to money laundering rules. Should the individuals and groups be prodded and monitored to uphold the principles of morality and ethical behaviours? For our experience as a nation so far, it is worthwhile that these codes be assimilated as though a personal trait. Evidently, the prevailing attitude is that of cooperation when the taskmaster is around and lip service when kept at bay. But the repercussions have always been detrimental and lessons are usually forgotten after the initial pains. Why would the banks need reminder to do what they are expected to do (ethical issues involved). Recently, indications emerged that the impending visit of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which listed Nigeria in its grey book, elicited directives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to banks over the state of their records and some oversight functions in their operations. The governor of the apex bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had at a conference recently, hinted that the bank would soon carryout an audit of senior officials of banks at chief levels, to ascertain their qualifications for those positions, noting that there are rules governing those positions. There were palpable fears that some in those positions may become casualties due to qualification challenges. But the same issue may have topped the agenda of FATF audit. So, why would banks allow this to happen, even for a long time, knowing the rules governing the appointment? On the other hand, why would the individual fail to develop self or the bank fail to develop the individual, knowing what is required in terms of qualification? On July 10, CBN notified banks and other financial institutions in a circular about the proposed visit of the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG), an arm of FATF, by September this year. The body, in 2009, placed the country among the grey list of nations that had not made significant progress in their Anti-Money
Lamorde Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. But, in another circular dated July 18, 2013, to banks, discount houses and development banks, the apex bank noted that some of these financial institutions do not have substantive Chief Compliance Officers (CCO), while those in the position were in acting capacity for a long period of time, which negates the importance of the office. To all intents and purpose, the scenario can easily be adjudged as a calculated move by the defaulting banks to achieve whatever they want to achieve. This is again where the issue of adherence to ethics is called to question. The Acting Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, I.T. Nwaoha, had explained that the directive to the affected institutions to appoint the CCOs, not below the grade of a General Manager, was to, among other things, enforce the provisions of the relevant Acts and circulars on money laundering at various levels of the banks. Here again, if the course (anti-money laundering) is being fought together with the financial institutions, is it not morally right for them to comply without being monitored and prodded? Note that Section 9(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, as amended, required banks to designate, at management level, CCOs in their head offices and branches, who have relevant competence, authority and independence to implement the banks’ AML/CFT compliance programme. By this Act, which governs the operations of the industry as respects money laundering, morality and ethical issues can be extracted and defaulting financial institutions are culpable. They cannot claim ignorance of this Act and have no excuse not to comply because there are many qualified, even unemployed candidates to fill that gap. While the fight to pull out the country’s name on the list is ongoing as CBN affirmed, based on the discussions at InterGovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) plenary meetings in May and FATF Public Statement
The abuse of these codes, even in the financial system aided money laundering activities, which eventually brought some uncomplimentary designation to the country. No doubt, the financial system benefitted from the rot at the beginning, until what seemed like nemesis turned up.
in June, it was agreed that Nigeria had largely addressed its action plan and improved its overall supervisory AML/CFT framework. But as a confirmation, FATF’s ICRG insisted and scheduled to conduct an on-site auditing in Nigeria by September to ascertain the claims on the processes of implementing the required reforms and actions that are underway to address the identified challenges. The group’s audit will also evaluate both public and private sector institutions’ implementation framework, while a favourable report from the auditing will enhance Nigeria chances of exiting the uncomplimentary grey list. Against this backdrop, the apex bank directed the institutions in its purview to forward the particulars of the current CCOs and letters of approval of same, obtained from Banking Supervision Department of CBN, to the Financial Policy and Regulation Department. The financial institutions are also urged to display AML/CFT notice in their banking halls; make available actual implementation and documentation of customer identification, verification requirements, customer due diligence, among others. They should also make available evidence of various trainings conducted for staff on AML/CFT issues, evidences of record keeping for a minimum of five years after severance of relationship with customers, appointment of CCOs, stating clearly their level, functions and support staff and availability of AML/CFT manual. The puzzle is still ongoing. Are banks going to comply because of the impending “August visit,” and return to status quo when the exercise is over? But it is also possible that we would be exonerated this time around by putting up all manners arrangements and cover ahead of the visit and be reversed within a short while if we fail to solidify and sustain the structure now. We are talking about the understanding of the reason for the codes or ethics, not merely the codes. Are there financial systems where these codes are really working? Though it may not be perfect anywhere, but the much that are being maintained over there have sustained those systems from being listed in the grey book. Certainly, not all the countries in the world are in that grey list and the success cannot be separated from their ability to carve a niche for themselves in adherence to ethical standards. On individual level, morals in those places would also have been above the average and it is possible in Nigeria.
THe GUARDIAn, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Sunny side of Osun’s Sukuk bond SUn State government’s audacious move O to be the first state of the federation to issue an Islamic bond may have attracted mixed feelings, even as some concerned citizens have demanded explanations. However, the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Adewale Samuel Bolorunduro, said that the concerns expressed, especially in defense of the prospects of Christians and of the economy of the state, were forthright. According to him, “all governments borrow and they must,” due to the type of responsibilities on governments’ shoulders and things that cannot wait and things which need far more money than the government realises within the given space of time. Borrowing however, must be controlled, for anything without control means of mindless destruction. But as for as a state within nigeria is concerned, borrowing is strictly regulated by the Central Bank of nigeria as well as the Federal ministry of Finance. The level of borrowing permitted to a state is relative to its monthly federal allocation, its Internally Generated Revenue, the size of its existing debt portfolio among other indicators of financial health. He noted that government borrowing is premised on the time-tested model that if credit was sourced to finance the right things like infrastructures and development of human capital, the environment was fertilised for productivity. Once such productivity was well nurtured, it matured into a stable economy with negligible unemployment and a robust base for revenue generation through taxes. This will in turn lead to a painless liquidation of existing indebtedness. Borrowing, therefore, was not the problem but the purposes of the loan. There were other details of the structure of the loan, its rate, term and moratorium etc. “I can assure you that the approach of the State Government of Osun under Governor Rauf Aregbesola to borrowing has followed a very carefully calibrated professional order. We have remained mindful of all of our moral obligations to society as well as the public perception of our actions. We have taken the pains not to borrow on conditions that will hurt the state both now and in the
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Osun State governor future. In fact, all our borrowings are framed to make things easier for the future generations as I will shortly demonstrate. “you will recall that at the inception of this administration it met an n18billion term loan that threatened to asphyxiate the state. The structure of the loan meant an acrossthe-counter interest rate in the range of n650million a month. At that time, the state’s IGR was about n300million and monthly allocation from the centre stood at about n2.5billion: all this for a state with a salary bill of n2billion. When you do the arithmetic, it becomes clear that a loan of this nature will kill the state slowly. To add, the loan was to develop six stadiums across the state. Stadiums will not add economic value except you are hosting the Olympics and the like. “ This was a strong enough trouble for us that we had to source a fresh credit line with favourable terms to liquidate that n18billion
debt as quickly as we can. The difference in the interest rates and other terms of the credit line meant a lot of savings for the state. The n30billion we raised from the capital market with terms far more publicfriendly than the commercial bank shortterm loan that was originally taken by the previous administration. All details of the bond are transparent information in public domain as records kept by the Securities and exchange Commission, SeC. “One last crucial reason a government borrow is to hedge against inflation. A road project costing n15 billion today will cost n20 in the next two years. It only makes sense to hedge against such trends so long as the interest rate on the loan is below the calculated inflation rate. “We are not signing any agreement with any Islamic personality or Islamic organisation be it local or foreign. We are not enslaving the state in any way through the issuance of this bond. Sukuk is like any other conventional bond with the only difference being its attraction of additional investors who will not support interest borrowing and vanity projects. Investors are welcome as a matter of open business without reference to their religious background. “The Sukuk is a fund not supervised or administered with Islamic system of laws or liturgy. moreover, it is regulated in the strictest terms by the nigerian Security and exchange Commission, SeC, on the same general principles by which other regular bonds are administered. Let us note that the Security and exchange Commission is at present being headed by Arumeh Otteh, a known Christian woman. “It is very important to point out that by the nature of the regulations establishing the Sukuk under the laws of nigeria as a secular state, when a person invests in the Sukuk, he becomes a bondholder, not a lender of cash. What he has in the fund is not cash but investment. The Security and exchange Commission, SeC is directly responsible for managing the relationship between the bondholders and the state government. In other words, investors have no means of relating directly with the state government
to initiate a conventional lender-borrower relationship. They must go through the SeC, following established guidelines that have weeded off sentiments that could in any form coerce or put pressures on the borrower or impose obligations that can upset the social order,” he said. To him, all these measures have been taken by the SeC in formulating the guiding laws issuance of bonds so that the danger of a sour and oppressive borrower-lender relationship developing is not given a chance, to begin with. As for our being the first state, I think it is simply that someone has to be the first. It has its downside being the first in some instances, but perhaps, it is the reluctance to have to face the fire of this type of scrutiny that have made other states draw back hitherto. Professionally speaking, however, obtaining clearance from nigerian regulatory authorities to raise a bond is not a walk in the park. It is an undertaking that passes the camel through the eye of the needle. The balance sheet of the applicant state is carefully combed in a process that takes about a year. not many states can pass that stringent test of transparency and proven financial health. “For a fact, the Sukuk bond is not administrated under an Islamic jurisprudence. The nigerian Security and exchange Commission is the sole regulator of the Sukuk bond, which it administrates under the secular laws of the federal republic. “From your perspective I can understand this concern. Any Christian who is aware on the professional character of this funding system is bound to have justifiable fears and we recognised this all along as a government. We recognise the other side of the coin furthermore; namely, the inordinate triumphalist feelings that some muslims may harbour that the Islamic religion is being institutionalised or enhanced by actions of government. I wish to restate that the only way the sukuk has to do with the Islamic religion – the only way it partakes from faith – is its non-interest nature and the fact that it cannot be used to fund enterprises that are related to prostitution and alcohol, marijuana or other vanities.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, Augut 21, 2013
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The Charmed Life Of The Explorer’s Explorer Eddie Iyamu was the authentic hero, a true Nigerian original me greatly. We had a long discussion on the way forward”. A year later, in 1984, Iyamu combined with Alex Okoli, a Shell colleague known industry-wide at By Toyin Akinosho that time as a versatile seismic Interpreter, to NEARLY fell off my chair the day he told me establish the pioneer exploration and production consulting outfit, Geotrex Systems Limited, long at our Tinubu office that he had just before the advent of the local content initiative. resigned his top Exploration Manager job at Shell”, Samuel Oluwole Ariyo recalls, again and The two of them pulled in Layi Fatona, a young, technically honed sedimentologist, again from again. Shell. He tells this personal story all the time, and every new recall is told with more excitement. By the time I joined Chevron as a trainee geologist in July 1988, Geotrex had become a legendary subThe man in the tale is Eddie Iyamu, the first surface consulting company and the troika was Nigerian to be made Exploration Manager at Shell, and the first homegrown geoscientist to considered a bespoke group of earth scientists all reach that position in any oil major operating around this segment of the oil patch. in the country. The meeting happened thirty years ago, in a spacious room, located in a three storey building, across the road from the old Central Bank headquarters. “I was still looking forward to that type of seat in my own company”, Ariyo explains. “Amidst the shock his palpably strong determination to succeed impressed
“Geotrex became the quintessential training ground for young geoscientists and engineers with most of them earning masters and doctorate degrees on the bill of the company”, according to a 2012 citation by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE). “It was a challenge for us in the early days to recommend to Management that Geotrex could do it” Ariyo says. Such was the terrain that Geotrex leaped into; Nigerians were not supposed to know enough to be technical consultants, advising Multinationals on why a well should be drilled where. Ariyo got his dream job of Exploration manager in Gulf Oil Company, (now Chevron) a few years after that meeting with Iyamu in his Tinubu office. He
By the time I joined Chevron as a trainee geologist in July 1988, Geotrex had become a legendary subsurface consulting company and the troika was considered a bespoke group of earth scientists all around this segment of the oil patch
himself became the first General Manager of Exploration of any multinational oil company in Nigeria, beating Edmund Daukoru (who became Shell’s first Nigerian GM of Exploration), to that title by some months. But Iyamu’s leap into the dark had lit up the possibilities. His sacrifice had made it possible for many others to dare. Today, the idea that you had to be a big manager in a multinational to validate your career is passé. Do you want to be the Executive Director of an E&P company which you co-founded and in which you have significant shareholding, producing a tidy volume of oil every day, or do you want to be a Managing Director of the local subsidiary of a company with headquarters in Paris, or The Hague or San Ramon, running the business largely with template from the headquarter offices? Iyamu’s exit from Shell 30 years ago, and the success he made of the move, make that question easier to answer today. There are variations of the empowerment story that Ariyo shares about Iyamu. “He felt he was seeing his dream realized through us”, remarks Tunde Afolabi, of his first meeting with Iyamu. Afolabi is the Managing Director and co-founder of Amni Petroleum, a Nigerian company with assets in the prolific South East offshore. “Layi Fatona introduced me to him as this American based friend of his with wild ideas about revolutionizing the indigenous industry. We hit it off well. He kept a close tab on our trio, Tunde, Layi and Bayo (Akinpelu). We were going to get Farm Outs from the
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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
24 AFRICAN OIL&GAS REPORT
Dark Horses Leap Ahead In Chevron’s Asset Sale HELL Nigeria, the country’s largest operator and Sflamboyant Transcorp, an ambitious firm controlled by the “Afrocapitalist” Tony Elumelu, are two of the high profile companies weeded out in the first round of the bid for Chevron’s 40% stake in three Oil Mining Leases(OMLs) in Eastern Niger Delta. The acreages are OMLs 52, 53 and 55, which contain proven oil and gas reserves of 555MMBOE, according to Chevron’s Information Memorandum, quoting the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). Also disqualified were Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, which entered the bid with South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO); Oryx, owned by the Swiss investor Jean Claude Gandur; Frontier Oil, which just commissioned a large gas plant in the country’s south east and Pillar Oil, a marginal oilfield producer. One surprising survivor is Sogenal Limited, which is neither known to have a large capital asset, nor has ever produced a single barrel of oil. Two of the 11 remaining bidders in the current round are, expectedly, Seplat, Africa’s largest homegrown hydrocarbon producing company and First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, a local subsidiary of London listed Afren Plc. Five other survivors are Seven Energy, Britannia U, First Exploration and Production Ltd, Amni International Petroleum and Sahara Energy Group. Seven Energy holds equity in a string of assets in the basin, including interests in Seplat operated OMLs 4, 38 and 41; Britannia U is the operator of the 2,200BOPD Ajapa marginal field in Chevron held OML 90, located in shallow offshore western Niger Delta. First E&P, has a 10% stake in OML 34 in Western Niger Delta, Amni owns operated and non-operated assets in Southeast offshore Niger Delta and has invested heavily in some of the consortia who’d bought the country’s power generating companies, Sahara has nary any oil production, but has invested in the power generation sale in the country. The presence of Sogenal and Brittania U among winners of the first round has thrown up questions regarding how the winners were selected. “We put in over $700Million as bid, we are a producing company with some track record, and we bid for the three leases as a package, so we think we are eminently qualified”, says one company which claims it has stronger oilfield footprint than some of those who won. The weeding was made after all the indicative offers were received on July 29, 2013, a month and half after Chevron kick-started the process by inviting 20 companies. Between June 15 and July 10 however, other companies had made it, kicking and screaming, into the bidders’ list, shooting the number to 36. Shell’s willingness to acquire one of the acreages has been widely reported in the media. The move is considered extraordinary, coming from a super-major. As a rule, companies interested in acquiring acreages from which majors are divesting in Nigeria are local firms and international independents, often as consortia. But Shell’s interest highlights the fact that the company is interested in large gas reserves to feed its ever growing impetus to export natural gas around the world. Shell and Chevron have for the past six years worked on joint field development plans for the straddling gas reservoirs in the Ohaji South field in Chevron’s OML 53 and Assa North pool in Shell’s OML 21. As such, Shell’s bid was for OML 53, which reportedly holds proven reserves of 299MMBOE (source again: Chevron’s Information Memorandum, quoting the Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)). It is not clear whether the Shell bid was rejected for its low price (reportedly $100MM) or because the company did not bid for the three blocks as a package, which Chevron would have preferred. The second round bidders are currently in the Chevron data room in Houston, doing a more exhaustive evaluation of the assets than the Information Memorandum- on which the indicative offers were made- allowed.
Eddie Iyamu was the authentic hero, a true Nigerian origi-
Iyamu, centre, with Conoil CEO Ebi Omatsola and David Richards CONTINUED ON PAGE 23 IOCs. We started with Shell, then Gulf. I have never met a man with such small eyes burning with passion and determination. He taught Layi and I a few of the tricks to deal with the IOCs, and encouraged the likes of Ebi Omatsola (Managing Director of Conoil Producing) and Chief Wole Ariyo to help us along in our quest to germinate the Indigenous Industry”. Most of the stories around Iyamu by the folks who worked with him are the fond memories of his sheer passion and energy for building human capacity. “Small as it was, Geotrex was dedicated to sending its staff to postgraduate courses in outstanding Universities like Imperial and Cambridge and I can give you five names, readily”, comments Seye Fadahunsi, who joined Geotrex with a Master’s Degree from Hull, left the company to work for Shell, then Statoil, then SAPETRO and is now executive director of
ate) of a former Shell exploration manager. I learn a lot from his benevolence and humility”. Ogunjobi has relocated to the United States with his family, but he feels gratitude to the man they call ‘The Explorer’s Explorer’ for his own good health. “I have been Diabetic (Type 1) for 17 years and if not for the benevolence of Mr. Iyamu, I would have ended quite prematurely a long time ago. But I am still a geologist and a very healthy one at that. So for me, he is not just Explorer's Explorer but a life saver extraordinaire”. That aspect of Iyamu is what Promise Egele, former reservoir engineering manager at Shell, remembers. “My wife has not and will never forget the first dinner we enjoyed a week after I got back to Lagos with her. A young, inexperienced explorationist being treated to a great dinner by the first Nigerian Exploration manager of ‘Big Shell’. That was awesome. This was in October 1981 at the then Ikoyi Hotel”.
Pillar Oil, a 2,500BOPD marginal field company which he cofounded in 2002. Some other stories are far more dramatic. “I can still hear his laughs as he walked me to a tube station in London all the way from his house”, Seyi Ogunjobi recalls. “It’s not a typical behaviour (to a new gradu-
My wife has not and will never forget the first dinner we enjoyed a week after I got back to Lagos with her. A young, inexperienced explorationist being treated to a great dinner by the first Nigerian Exploration manager of ‘Big Shell’
Last major outing, Mr and Mrs Iyamu raise a glass
Geotrex Systems provided part of the shell of the melting pot that became the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources. Sammy Olagbaju, a founding director of the company, says he first met with Iyamu about 20 years ago, “in the early days of our putting together, the predecessor company of Niger Delta Exploration & Production. Then we sought refuge, at some point, at the offices of Geotrex. Subsequently, I met him at the Annual General Meetings of ND E&P Plc”. Iyamu “donated” Fatona to Niger Delta Petroleum Resources and its twin Niger Delta Exploration and Production, the first company to win a marginal field from a multinational. For its 13 year history, Fatona has been the CEO of that company, now producing 2,5000 BOPD from the Ogbele field, and is the core company in ND Western, which bought Shell/ENI/TOTAL’s 45% stake in
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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
CompuLife Making telecoms services more accessible Apart from consumerism, good quality, lower tariffs and other services which endear customers to a brand, the ease with which same is accessed has become market strength for operators globally. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN examines efforts by operators in Nigeria to bridge this gap. Excerpts... ODAY’s market has become highly competiT tive. Customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a major driver of business strategy. The difference between those that simply survive in business and those that excel is keeping abreast of, and adjusting to the ever changing attitudes and expectations of the customers. Gone were the days, when the choices available on where and who to deal with was limited. At the time, power belonged to the business owners, customers had nowhere else to go and thus customer satisfaction was not so important. But today, things are changing very fast. Operators now seem to be aware of the huge damage poor customer satisfaction and lack of innovation can have on their businesses. Indeed, customers are becoming increasingly more demanding, less tolerant and very critical when their expectations are not being met. At the moment, customers have a lot of choices on where and who to deal with. As a result, the power has now shifted to the customer. In recognition of this fact, mobile operators have New President of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. David Adewumi (left) and immediate past President, Sir. Demola Aladekomo, during the formal handing over ceremony to continued to strive to ease the challenges with the new president in Lagos. when you see their sign and happily go there, which customers need are met, especially with in certain parts of the country poses more chalsavvy, all it takes is to locate a VTU agent in their you are disappointed when they tell you they the mobile technology. lenge than ever to the logistics of moving physical neighbourhood who they go to for instant top have run out of airtime. With this relaunch, The mobile world is full of novelties, which up of their phones. They can even take it a step recharge cards around in such locations. The there will be more impetus for agents to actihave continued to make life easier for further by securing an ongoing understanding major repercussion is that some airtime vendors vate this service and I’m sure there will be mankind. One of such novelties is the virtual run out of stocks and customers are not able to ac- with the agent so they can call him up to load more VTU agents now,” she said. top up solution, which affords users of mobile cess airtime when they need it. With virtual top their phones with the desired airtime value at Another subscriber, Alhaji Habeeb Azeez, said phones a more convenient alternative for cred- up, airtime distributors and vendors need not any time of the day. he was one of the earliest converts of the viriting their phones with airtime. For heavy-handed customers who often overphysically move recharge vouchers around and tual top up option. According to him, he had The virtual top up service is not new in Nige- they can replenish their stocks very quickly. scratch a recharge card, VTU Plus would be an two Blackberry phones and a Fastlink dongle, ria. It was first introduced in Nigeria by MTN a easy solution. Subscribers with SIMs embedded which made it quite a chore for him to At the official launch of MTN VTU Plus in Lagos, couple of years after it commenced commerin dongles, MiFis, Point of Sales Terminals, vehithe firm’s Sales and Distribution Executive, Mr. cial operation. It has undergone a series of in- Omatsola Barrow, said the product is actually the cle tracking devices and other such devices that recharge the devices every month. “Subscription for the devices fell due about the novations since then, each time acquiring first of its kind anywhere in the world because of are not used for making calls directly would par- same time every month, and I had an arrangemore capabilities and enabling customers to its built-in capabilities. “It does not exist anywhere ticularly find VTU Plus very useful. ment with an airtime vendor near my office,” do much more. Before now, apart from removing such SIMs in Europe or America,” he asserted. Very simply, the virtual top up service enables He said the innovative offering allows MTN Trade from these devices and inserting them into mo- he said. “I would call her and she would bring about N17, 000 worth of credit to me. You customers to walk to an airtime agent, pay Partners to make one single payment for stock but bile phones for the sake of recharging them, the know, I think Blackberry monthly subscripmoney and instantly have their phones credonly other way they can be loaded with credit is be able to sell 48 different products and services of tion was N3000 at the time, while the monthly ited with airtime to the value of the money via Share and Sell. With the VTU Plus, a more con- subscription for Fastlink was N10, 000 or so. I the telecommunications firm. Other immediate paid. The customer has no need for physical benefits of the offering includes effective tracking venient means of recharging the SIMs has been would use the next 30 to 40 minutes scratchrecharge cards. There is no need to input 12and monitoring of sales by both MTN and its trade provided. ing the cards and loading them. The lady digit recharge PIN into the phone to load it Doris Bassey, a fresh graduate is one of the partners, safe keeping of unsold stock in elecsometimes scratched the cards before bringwith airtime. tronic format, reduction of the cost of inventory, MTN customers thrilled by the relaunch of ing them but I still had to load the phones myThe service has just again been repackaged by enhanced speed of delivery of products and serv- MTN’s virtual top up option. MTN, giving it more capabilities to enable cus- ices to end users, elimination of losses due to theft “This is cheery news. I am a die-hard fan of VTU,” self. ” According to him, the VTU Plus launch has tomers achieve much more than before. It is of stock, and elimination of costs related to ware- she stated. “While in school, I used nothing else, hoped that other players would also come up housing, storage of vouchers and maintenance of principally because of the convenience. To be ab- made life even easier as he can now directly renew his Blackberry subscription from ATMs with such innovation. solutely honest, I also loved the five per cent dis- or VTU agents. staff. Rechristened MTN VTU Plus, the service will count I got each time I recharged my phone For the customers, the biggest benefit is clearly Shedding further light on the new capabilinot only enable customers to remotely load the convenience. With an Internet enabled mobile using the VTU option. There was a woman near ties of the virtual top up service, General Mantheir phones with any airtime denomination phone, one can actually purchase airtime directly our hostel then who was a VTU agent. Wherever I ager, Sales and Distribution, MTN, Richard of their choice, it will also allow them to puronto his phone from the comfort of one’s home or was, I always found my way back to her shop to Iweanoge, said MTN VTU Plus comes loaded chase data bundles, obtain logical PINs and buy airtime. I sometimes went for days without with 15 Blackberry Subscription Plans, 18 Data office. All one has to do is go to the website or acrenew Blackberry subscriptions. buying credit until I saw her or any other VTU cess online payment platforms to purchase the Plans, and 15 denominations of logical PINs. The means of accessing the service include vendor. But since I’ve been out of school, it’s denomination of airtime that one needs. VTU SIM through which airtime can be vended And for those who are not particularly Internet- been a little tough getting VTU agents. And even “We are positive this service will be a huge hit with our customers,” he said. directly by an airtime agent into customers’ phones; Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), by which customers can directly credit their own phones or the phones of relatives, friends and colleagues; Point of Sale (POS) terminals, which are currently spreading across the country and last year. next generation of consumers. This HE smartphone Operating Systhrough the website. Juniper’s latest report, ‘Smartmay begin the slow decline of the tem (OS) market is expected to Indeed, relaunching this service at this point phone Futures: Differentiation in Nigeria’s history, where many Nigerians are fragment further as new emerging current global OS elite. Strategies and Emerging OpportuIn terms of smartphone shipembracing the cashless culture being champi- players, such as Asha, Sailfish and nities 2013-2018’ forecasts susments, Apple and Samsung will emerging HTML5 based OS players oned by the country’s apex bank, the Central tained growth for Apple in the begin to gain ground in niche areas. continue to dominate the global Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it will give room for emerging markets over the foremarket, shipping 17 per cent more many more Internet-savvy Nigerians, especially The market globally however is excast period, with Apple expected to in the urban centres to catch the bug of online pected to continue to be dominated smartphones in 2018 than were announce a diversification in its shipped globally by all vendors in by Android and iOS. shopping, among others. product portfolio shortly. It notes Indeed, more than ever before, people are em- Juniper Research argues that these 2012. The new Juniper report found that this brings Apple closer to the that Apple and Samsung’s global new contenders will take away imbracing the comfort and convenience of getSamsung model of catering to diting things done remotely, more portant niches - focusing on cost in- smartphone shipments would hit verse set of markets utilising differnearly 800 million by the end of cost-effectively, and with less physical exertion, novation and utilising local ent models, which will maintain 2018, compared with 677 million using technology. knowledge — in synergy with the the current global dichotomy. But beyond all these, the increasing insecurity
Smartphone OS market will fragment as new players emerge T
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Spectranet boosts Nigeria’s wireless Internet access with 4G technology Internet services. Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos on OR better customer service and optimal Monday, the Chief Operating Officer, Atul Ojha spectrum utilisation, an Internet Service said that 4G LTE, Internet Wireless Broadband Provider (ISP) in Nigeria, Spectranet Limited, Network has been making strides globally and has upgraded of its network from WiMAX to 4G was brought to Nigeria by Spectranet Limited. Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. Ojha added that the transmission would start By this upgrade, Spectranet claimed to be the today across Lagos, with the hope of expanding first ISP in Nigeria to achieve this feat, adding to states including Abuja and Ibadan in the first that it hoped to use this development to better phase, which was going to be within 45 days. the country’s quest for deeper and ubiquitous
By Adeyemi Adepetun
SAP mulls solution for efficient revenue regime By Bankole Orimisan S part of efforts to live up to its promise of A making businesses run better, SAP, an enterprise application software, recently hosted a revenue management summit with stakeholders on boosting IGR by over 200 per cent year on year (YOY) with modern technology. The summit detailed participants on tax and revenue management important to stimulate economic growth. SAP is at the center of today’s technology revolution, developing innovations that not only help businesses run like never before, but also improve the lives of people everywhere. Speaking at the summit, Managing Director of SAP West Africa, Richard Edet, said: “Tax and revenue management is of tremendous importance. SAP provides organisations with better insight into business operations more quickly by analysing all the data available and enabling people to respond to changing business conditions, no matter how rapid. Organisations can make better decisions more quickly by gaining immediate access to relevant information.” He added: “This summit is an investment in people, customers, partners, industries and communities to ensure that there is sustainability, progression and fulfillment which support the overall development of the economy and SAP’s business in this region.” At the summit, Acting Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),
Kabir Mashi, delivered a paper on ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Revenue Management in Nigeria’. He applauded SAP West Africa for its foresight in hosting a summit of this nature. “SAP’s objective to bring together the key tax and revenue communities in the African continent, debate the current status on related topics, and above all, address concerns around tax collection, revenue management and related aspects is very valuable. FIRS’ partnership with SAP West Africa is an excellent illustration of how technology can be leveraged to significantly improve Public Service effectiveness’ particularly in the areas of SAP’s innovation on triple digit revenue growth and Tax and Revenue Management solution.” In a presentation titled ‘Critical success factors in implementing revenue solutions’, Mr. Onyekachi Izukame, managing partner of SAP partner C2G Consulting, explained the steps involved in an effective engagement aimed at generating revenue in this context. “A summary of the general approach for revenue generation starts from initial assessment of building tax management solution to commencing operations and then expanding scope to cover all revenue sources. The initial assessment phase consists of three parts: current state assessment and benchmarking; the conducting of options analysis and the development of a roadmap and definition of next steps. With this thorough approach, any organisation can generate and maintain rev-
The COO, who said that the second phase, which would see Spectranet connecting cities including Port Harcourt, Kano and Kaduna immediately after the first phase, noted that the rate of adoption of LTE across the globe had grown by over 200 per cent, stressing Nigeria should not be left behind in the growth. Ojha further added that 4G LTE had registered highest growth globally across various technologies and offered cutting edge experience to users, stressing that Spectranet was delivering the technology in the country on the most advanced technology, which was fast and reliable. He explained that with the technology, Spectranet’s commitment towards customer centricity, reliability, flexibility, responsiveness, innovative products and services would herald a new and exciting experience for customers in Nigeria. Based on the pattern of usage, Ojha said that the company offered high bandwidth of up to four megabytes and above with data downloads as high as 30 gigabytes and above.
The COO, who stated that the firm started operations in Nigeria about two years ago, said that 4G technology was the best technology to utilise spectrum. A statement issued on the development quoted the Director, Ezekiel Fatoye saying: “Today, reliable and fast access to the Internet is no more a luxury but a necessity. Broadband penetration has a direct impact on country’s growth, proved time and again in many countries and across continents. We at Spectranet are committed to bring ‘Best in Class’ Internet services to our country and help customers to experience and enjoy what the world is experiencing and enjoying. We have plans suiting every customer ranging from corporate to individuals and we are committed to bringing great value to every user in Nigeria.” Ojha, who said that telecommunication services required long-term commitment, listed some of the challenges confronting operators in Nigeria to include high cost of bandwidth, huge collocation cost, erratic power supply and insecurity of telecoms infrastructure.
Techno seeks amicable end to dispute By Adeyemi Adepetun OLLOWING a dispute between the Phone FMarket Dealers Association at Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos and Techno Mobile, the latter has expressed its readiness to resolve the issue amicably. According to Techno, fighting, accusations, and counter- accusations would not help to grow the phone business in the Computer Village market that had enjoyed peaceful market environment in recent years, being the largest concentration of computer and phone dealers and buyers in West Africa. President of the association of Nigeria, Computer Village, Godfrey Iyke Nwosu had alleged that Tecno, a new brand in the market was skimming to control a greater percentage of the market share, by using various means to pull down phone dealers in the market.
This accusation, led to distrust, accusations and counter accusations between Tecno and the Phone Dealers Association, a situation that compelled the association to pull down and remove all banners and billboards belonging to Tecno in the market, and vowed to make the business very uncomfortable for the Chinese company. The association also alleged that Techno masterminded the recent raid of the market by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), where several substandard and unapproved mobile phones were discovered and confiscated from the market. Grieved by the belief that Techno arranged the visit of SON to the market penultimate week, the association, last week, invited the Nigerian Immigration Service to raid Tecno, for various offenses bothering on illegal docu-
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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Internet Solutions links Nigeria, Ghana to WACS By Adeyemi Adepetun OR a better Internet experience in Nigeria, Internet Fnected Solutions (IS), the region’s connectivity provider, has conthe country to the West Africa Cable System (WACS). The Nigerian based company also plans to light up capacity in Ghana soon. “Nigeria is a very important market for us and in our African expansion plans, hooking up this country, with a huge population of over 160 million people, to the WACS having acquired significant capacity on the 5.12Tbps undersea fibre optic cable confirms our commitment to the region,” Chief Executive Officer of Internet Solutions, Nigeria, Olusola Teniola stated. According to him, connecting Nigeria to the WACS undersea cable was in line with the company’s continent-wide focus as a number of its clients in the region as well as in other parts of Africa are also expanding internationally or have established operations in these regions. Hence, they require the capabilities to connect with these key economic hubs in West Africa. “And with the new policy thrust of the Nigerian government focusing on broadband, there is bound to be a growing need to provide high speed outbound international broadband
Techno ready for talks CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26 ments of resident permit for Tecno staff that are Chinese but based in Nigeria. Displeased with the whole scenario of alleged accusations and counter accusations, Deputy General Manager, Tecno Nigeria, Mr. Chidi Okonkwo denied the allegations levelled against Techno and called for peaceful dialogue to address the issues. According to Okonwo: “Techno is a peaceful brand that is focused on market growth and will not do anything to bring down the market where it operates. We are not behind the recent raid of the market by SON. The truth is that SON is a statutory body in Nigeria and Techno cannot and will not influence its action on the market.” He explained that Tecno would not in any way plan to frustrate business in the market, and called for peaceful negotiation to address the issues at hand. “People who are not happy with the progress of our brand just want to pull down the brand for no reason. The issue at stake is not clear to us. The grouse of phone dealers association is not clear and their demand for the physical presence of our chief executive officer is not well defined,” Okonkwo said, while interacting with the press.
connectivity to the rapidly growing enterprise and small-tomedium-sized business market in the regions. “We have, therefore, strategically positioned ourselves to help the country and their region in the broadband plans,”
Teniola added. According to him, these links now offer IS clients greater diversity up the West Coast of Africa as it complements existing SAT-3 capacity.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Global database, integration software market to grow by 11.6% By Bankole Orimisan Data Corporation (IDC) has made public IandNTERNATIONAL the latest results from its Worldwide Semiannual Database Data Integration Software Tracker .
Acting Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Awawu Olumide-Sojinrin (left); Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu; Suleiman Shaibu of Microsoft Nigeria and National Technology Officer, Microsoft Nigeria, Olayinka Oni during CON hosting of nominees for the African Young person award of the Future Africa Award project in Lagos.
‘3-D technology reduces digital printing operational cost by 60 per cent’ By Adeyemi Adepetun ULTINATIONAL Concepts Limited, which expanded into the M digital print market after investing in the Kodak NexPress 3-Dimensional (3D) printing machine, has said that the technology (3D) can help firms reduce operational cost by as much as 60 per cent. The firm said the new investment has broadened and expanded its portfolio, especially in personalized print sector. Unveiling the new facilities to newsmen in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, Multinational Concepts, Mr. Andrew Esuabanga, said prior to now, the printing machines in the country were more of off-set press and digital press. Esuabanga explained that the digital press, which was an improvement on off-set press, had some printing challenges and could not manage colour separation when printing in large quantity. According to him, this challenge forced most Nigerians to take their printing jobs to South Africa and the United Kingdom, in search of quality prints from 3-D printing machines. Esuabanga described such move as disgraceful to Nigeria in the 21st century digital age. “Worried by the situation, and coupled with the challenges of
Digital Press, we went in search of a printing machine that will produce the best quality in printing and at a reduced cost, and we came across Kodak 3-D printing machine and invested in it. “The3-D machine does not only produce the highest quality, it also eliminates ‘Make Shifts’, and prints directly from computer to printer, thereby reducing cost of templates, while allowing for personalised impression on prints.” He said with 3-D printing machines, thousands of copies could be printed with good colour prints. According to him, the 3-Dimensional printing machine remained the newest print technology in the world today that prints 3000 sheets per hour. “It puts away printing plates and printing is done from computer to printer and to image. It reduces operational cost by 60 per cent and minimises wastages in using plates and running diesel for too long a time and all these are calculated into cost savings,” he explained. He added that Digital Press could only print on A2 but explained that the new 3-D printer could print on A2, A4, and banner sheets, and that the machine was limited by the creativity of the designer, which means that the user can add many forms of creativity and the machine will produce the designs, with personalised prints.
According to report, tracker monitors more than 100 key vendors across a total of 49 countries, provides biannual market size, vendor share, and forecast data for the four market segments involved – relational database management systems (RDBMS), non-relational database management systems, data integration and access software (DIA), and database development and management tools. “We expect the database and data integration market to experience year-over-year growth of 11.6 per cent in 2011, reaching a total market size of $35.5 billion,” said Wilvin Chee, associate vice president, Worldwide Software Trackers. “While the relational database management software (RDBMS) market should grow at the same rate, the best improvement will be seen in the database development and management tools (DDMT) market, where year-over-year growth of more than 300 percent is expected.” In the DDMT space, a host of countries are exhibiting strong growth in 2011, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, India, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. The RDBMS market is expected to see even more countries making strong gains, including Chile, Indonesia, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the UAE. “The need for better overall management in enterprises has expressed itself in initiatives to collect and manage high quality, trusted data for use in decision support as well as driving increasingly automated business processes,” said Carl Olofson, research vice president, Application Development and Deployment. “This has resulted in strong growth for database management systems, data quality, dynamic data movement, and other software that supports growing efforts in the areas of master data management, data governance, and enterprise data integration.” During the first half of 2011 (1H11), the three traditionally strongest vendors (Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft) further consolidated their positions with a two per cent increase in collective market share compared to a year ago. For 1H11, the three vendors now hold 75 per cent of the global market. Among them, Oracle notably outperformed the market with year-over-year growth of 22.4 per cent. Along with Oracle, HP and Information experience the best revenue growth among all the major vendors. HP has been growing consistently above market average over the past several semiannual periods, while Information has been increasing steadily with strong double-digit revenue growth. HP also had revenues above the $100 million mark for the first time in a semiannual period.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
E-PPAN ties success of e-payment regime to robust enlightenment HE Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (ET PPAN) has called for more enlightenment campaign to move the country’s electronic payment to the next level. E-PPAN said that public confidence was also critical in strengthening the process in the country. The President of E-PPAN, Mac Atasie, while present a paper at the e-payment forum organised for the public sector by the association in Abuja, said acceptability, affordability and availability are critical factor in deepening the process in the country. According to him, to pass the acceptability test, all must trust the process for any system or product developed. “The technology, control process, government legislation must also evoke confidence and accepted by all.” To achieve availability, Atasie said: “The product must be universal and accessible to all. Thus, the infrastructure must be efficient to achieve. And, of course, it must be a low cost system, so that it can be affordable by all. This is something that we must
not take for granted but collaborate to achieve and continue to preserve.” According to him, the advancement in technology and innovation has resulted in greater consumer convenience and enhanced efficiency. “However, this same technology and innovation has also new methods of perpetrating fraud that could be executed faster and with greater reach. “Cyber criminals have been active ever since the advent of the Internet and are constantly finding new ways to defraud innocent victims. Safety and security of transactions in the use of all e-payment system is fundamental in ensuring continued consumer confidence. “Thus, an important function and responsibility of the Central Bank of Nigeria amongst others is to continue to ensure that online translations can be made in a safe and efficient manner in the economy, in the pursuit of monetary and financial stabil-
A cross section of students during their training in ICT by MIND Foundation in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Interdist Alliances, Oracle introduce partner hub in Nigerian market By Syntyche Boman NTERDIST Alliance, a Platinum level memIvalue-adding ber in the Oracle PartnerNetwork and distributor, has unveiled an Oracle partner hub in Nigerian market. Speaking at the event held in Lagos recently, the Vice-President, Oracle Turkey, Central, Asia and Africa, Mr. Gurhan Kalelioglu, noted that the hub would provide a comprehensive portfolio of services to drive the growth of partner organisations and their businesses. He said that the concept of an Oracle partner hub combines Oracle’s technical knowledge with professional services and marketing support to help ensure the best possible support for partners. “Oracle has been building an extensive partner network and partner support programme around the globe. In Nigeria, collaboration with partner organisations is
part of Oracle’s success and the newly unveiled partner hub builds on this,” he explained. The Managing Director, Oracle Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Sanni, said that the hub integrated Oracle Studio, a contemporary and professional meeting place where business solutions could be demonstrated, stakeholders could meet other professionals and hold networking events. According to him, it also integrated Oracle Academy, which offered specialist training in Oracle software, hardware and engineered systems at discounted rates and Oracle ISV Migration Centre, which provided technical support for migration to Oracle software, in one location. The studio, he noted, was an impressive location to meet with clients to showcase solutions using Oracle technology, adding: “It’s open to all partners who are members of Oracle PartnerNetwork.”
Airtel, Infinix Mobility out with new products IRTEL Nigeria and Infinix Mobility, manuA facturers of trendy smartphones, have united to provide Nigerians with Internet
the telecommunications industry in Nigeria and this partnership further buttress that point. Our choice of Infinix Mobile is based access via state-of-the-art Smartphones. on its unassailable track record as reputable The smartphones named Race Max Q and device manufacturer. This clearly demonRace Bolt Q, were recently unveiled to the strates our resolve to always be in the foreworld in Monaco, France and are now availfront of technological innovations as far as able to Nigerians, who desire trendy features delivering quality service to our customers and attractive physical look for their phones. is concerned.” Both phones are equally bundled with The Co-founder of Infinix Mobility, Mr. 500MB free data for six months from Airtel to Benjamin Jiang said: “We’re very glad to further delight customers with fast and effihave partners like Airtel who is one of the cient Internet access through its widest 3.75G leaders for this industry. This collaboration network. can ensure our end users get more benefits Speaking on the partnership, Chief from the great 3.75G network through the Operating Officer/Executive Director, Airtel great 3G Smartphone.” Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava said that the colThe Vice President, Infinix Mobility, Mr. laboration by both companies was yet anoth- Jean-Alexis, while speaking on the products’ er milestone in the quest to provide introduction into the Nigerian market, said Nigerians with quality telecommunications that the need to satisfy the trendy and fashservice. ionable phone users across the world, espe“We are a company interested in ‘best in cially in Nigeria, was the driving force class’ communication solutions for behind manufacturing the two phones. Nigerians. We have blazed so many trails in
New Horizons sponsors Nigerian kids to Microsoft Worldwide competition N a bid to promote IT education and certification in Nigeria and as part of its strategic thrust to repositioning INigeria using the instrumentality of ICT, New Horizons has sponsored two students who emerged National winners in the 2013 Certiport Microsoft Specialist and Adobe Certified Associate competitions held in Lagos. The students represented Nigeria and their schools on an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C USA for the Worldwide Championship. They will join other National champions from 120 countries in Europe, America and Asia from July 31st-August 3rd, 2013 courtesy of New Horizons. This will be the 5th time in the last four year when the company will sponsor participation of Nigerian kids in International competition. The students are Master Ejidele Inioluwa Morakinyo, who was the national winner of Adobe Certified Associate competition from Doregos Private Academy and Miss. Akintilo Naomi Mopelola the national winner of Microsoft Office Specialist competition from Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls. On a yearly basis, New Horizons Nigeria organises the National Certiport competitions and sponsors the winners on an all-expense paid trip to the USA to compete with the other over 300,000 national champions from over 120 countries. This is the first time Adobe Certified Associate worldwide competition is organised and a Nigerian student participated in the debut edition. The competition started in October 2012 and students from various schools across the country competed in the competition, which also qualified them as Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Adobe Certified Associate (ACA). The Top 20 finalists with the highest scores in the International Certification Examinations were selected to compete for privilege to represent Nigeria in Washington D.C. USA. Six students amongst the 400 participants emerged first, second and third in Microsoft Office Specialist and Adobe Certified Associate categories following a hectic online real-time examination and project based work conducted at the head quarters of New Horizons Computer Systems Limited, the Top IT training institution in the country on behalf Certiport. Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the leading provider of certification exam development, delivery and programme management. As part of our contribution this year, New Horizons gave over 100 students scholarship on training and paid for their international examination voucher for the students to be able to participate in competition and increase the number of participants from Nigeria.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Google, YouTube partner programme goes live in Nigeria N sync with the determination to improve local content Ilaunched development of the Internet in Nigeria, Google Inc. has its YouTube programme in Nigeria. The programme, which is aimed at giving Nigerians opportunities to explore the benefits of the Internet, is also expected to place the country on higher pedestal among emerging markets and others. Indeed, when the local YouTube domain was launched in Nigeria in 2011, no one could have guessed the amount of impact it would make. From Musical videos, to “how-to” DIY clips, comedy skits, short movies Nigerians have been generating some of the most creatively diverse content on YouTube. To further support local creators, the YouTube Partner Programme has now been extended to Nigeria. This means that Nigerian YouTube users are now going to be able to make money on their videos, and gain access to resources and programs that can help them expand to a larger audience. “So whether it’s a banker who dreams of moonlighting as a comedian, or a young animator in UNILAG working on an animation series, or a seasoned makeup artist looking to showcase her talent to a wider audience, the YouTube Partner Programme provides an opportunity for them to share to a worldwide audience and earn money doing so” Google stated. To enroll in this programme and become a YouTube Partner, content creators will be required to sign-in in their YouTube accounts and have at least one video enabled for advertising on http://www.youtube.com/account_monetization. Content creators enrolled in the YouTube Online Partner Program will be provided with online tools and resources to improve their skills, build their online audience and most importantly monetise their videos. Google Nigeria’s Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, said: “We are excited about the amazing opportunities the YouTube Partner Programme will create for Nigerian content creators to engage and build a global audience for their content.” “This programme will definitely enrich the diversity of the YouTube community and bring more Nigerian content to the web”, she added.
Online firm launches blog for car owners, buyers By Olawunmi Ojo HEKI.COM.NG, a leading online auto website, has opened an C official blog, Cheki Express, to provide comprehensive guide and reviews on car-related matters to Nigerians. The blog aims to bring to the automotive market landscape, a refreshing change for millions of prospective auto buyers and sellers, given its focus on helping owners understand their cars better and assisting dealers to learn how to meet their customers’ needs. Speaking at the official release of Cheki Express in Lagos, the General Manager, www.cheki.com.ng, Tomi Hodonu, said the blog is aimed at car owners, buyers and sellers. Explaining the rationale behind the new initiative, Hodonu said, “we saw an opening in the market place for comprehensive guide and reviews on car-related matters written in the language that users will understand and based on the Nigerian context.” The launch of Cheki Express coincides with cheki.com.ng’s second anniversary since it began operations as an auto website and an online marketplace where the nation’s leading car dealers, importers and private sellers post their cars for sale. Its website offers an easy to use advertising medium for Nigerians to buy and sell their cars, 4WDs, vans, bikes, trucks and other vehicles. It also offers a one-stop destination for buyers of US and European imported cars, by centrally hosting cars of leading international dealers and importers to Nigeria. “We want to be a one–stop shopping, listing and information hub that caters to our stakeholders,” Hodonu added. Although the blog is not found on the parent site, it bears similar traits with it. The firm’s Brand and Marketing Manager, Jennifer Olumese gives more insight: “When you’re on Cheki Express – http://www.blog.cheki.com.ng, you can gain access to the listings on the parent site, cheki.com.ng. “The feel of the site is soft on the eyes and its navigation is flawless. The creative team has done a brilliant job to develop and curate contents that are of great relevance to users.
Specialist, Merchandising and Communication, Etisalat Nigeria, Withney Nwibani(left); Specialist, Youth Market Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Ifeoluwa Oyeyipo; Etisalat Cliqfest Star Prize Winner of a Kia Picanto, Chikelu Obijiofor, Dean of Students Affairs, Abia State Polytechnic, Mr. Ojo Obasi and Specialist, Events and Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Dayo Adeyelure, during the raffle draw prize presentation at Etisalat Cliqfest, held at Abia State Polytechnic, Aba
New NCS president to promote use of ICT tools EWLY elected President of the Nigeria Computer Society N (NCS), Prof. David Adewumi, has reiterated the commitment of the society to ensure more application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions to meeting the needs of the country. Adewunmi, who stated this at his inaugural address recently, thanked the 17th National Executive Council led by the immediate past president, Sir Demola Aladekomo, for the work done within the space of two years. He said: “I am still using the same medium to congratulate my colleagues who won the last election into the current 18th National Executive Council and welcome those who are first time comers to NEC, and also welcome the experienced NEC members on board. We need their experience to work together as a team. He said NCS would ensure the provision of digital newsletter to all registered members on happenings in the Information Technology industry in Nigeria and beyond, adding that members will, henceforth; receive their membership certificates and other documentations through couriers’ services According to him, the NCS secretariat will be restructured to meet the demand of members
Stakeholders set for Nigeria App Summit Mobile), Internet/mobile marketers/ advertisers, content LL is set for the Nigeria App Summit, which is an event that A will be bringing together the brightest minds in mobile tech- providers/ aggregators, brand managers, user interface architects, consultants, among others. nology. Over 300 of the most interesting mobile app developers, investors, company executives, entrepreneurs, brand managers, policy-makers, marketers, carriers, content developers and aggregators, advertisers, mobile devices manufacturers and the press are being targeted, according to one of the conveners, Mr. Gbolahan Olowookere. The forum slated for Lagos, he noted, is a day of in-depth discussion, debate and powerful networking on the future of mobile applications in Nigeria. He said, the forum provided huge opportunities for: entrepreneurs, operators, corporate executives, government, venture capitalists, corporate investors, third party developers (Web and
CWG boss tasks Nigeria, others on entrepreneurship development HE Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Computer attraction of capital to the region, which combined with the T Warehouse Group, Austin Okere, has said Africa needs entre- entrepreneurial acumen and the youthful population unleashpreneurship development to advance its cause in the 21st centu- es waves of economic boom.”
ry. Okere, who gave a keynote address at the fourth executive MBA graduation ceremony of the China Europe International Business School’s Africa Programme in Accra, said Africa needed to act now. Okere said: “It is better to have a thousand millionaires than ten billionaires. It is better still to have a million people with access to a hundred thousand dollars, if they can be taught how to nurture and grow it through entrepreneurial endeavour. “I like to put the story of the Computer Warehouse Group out there because such success stories contribute immensely to the
He added: “The NCS secretariat will undergo restructuring to meet the growing needs of members. Members will henceforth receive prompt attention to request/inquires. There will be an overhauling of NCS records management system. “We will liaise with Federal ministries to embarking on aggressive application of ICT tools in all government agencies.” He said there would be an expansion of membership base of NCS, as the group will be completing the establishment of NCS chapters in all states of the Federation. “With the support of the NCS NEC, we shall improve inter and intra government relationships with NCS, and build on the current visibility of NCS in Nigeria in particular and the world in general,” Adewumi said. He said: “There will be more productive working relationships with the international community, and we will maintain good working relationship with other professional groups within and outside the country. “We would respect all relationships, agreements, traditional obligations validly entered into by NCS. The main focus of NCS during my tenure with the support of NEC will be to continue to build a society whose focus would be a robust membership base.”
According to him, Africa has a rapidly-growing young population, which can bring a democratic dividend if optimally tapped, or constitute a source of social unrest, if millions of Africans continued to enter the labour market without any hope of employment. Entrepreneurship, he added, is the catalyst for economic growth as it provides the most viable vehicle for job creation. His passion for entrepreneurial advocacy, he said, stemmed from his desire to see the Human Capital gainfully engaged through sustainable Start Ups rather than chasing non-existent jobs.
He said: “To confirm your acceptance, contact nigeriaappsummit.com and specify the package required. A tax invoice for payment of 50 per cent deposit and an acceptance form will be forwarded to you to complete and return to the Summit Organiser.
Experts proffer solutions to economy’s woes at lecture XPERTS from diverse background including telecoms and E insurance would proffer solutions to the country’s economic meltdown when they converge at the 50th anniversary lecture and awards ceremony hosted by Business Journal magazine at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja. Managing Director/CEO, Nigerian ExportImport Bank (NEXIM), Mr. Roberts Orya and Group Managing Director/CEO, Royal Exchange Mr. Chike Mokwunye, would be guest speakers at the forum, which holds on September 6. Supported by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and Nigerian Export-Import Bank among others, lecture with the them ‘Is Nigeria Growing Forward or Developing Backward,’ would offer a platform for stakeholders in critical sectors of the economy to review the state of the national economy, the media industry and come up with a roadmap for sustainable future. According to the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Business Journal, PrinceCookey, the theme “is apt given the inability of the economy to createjobs and reduce high level of poverty in the country despite GrossDomestic Product (GDP) growth of between six and eight per cent per annum, according to latest figures from the government and various international financial institutions”, he said.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Focus By Collins Olayinka, Abuja ESPITE the hues and cries over gas flaring by D multinational oil firms in the Niger Delta, it appears much has not been achieved in reduc-
Fresh vista for industrial revolution through gas
ing the menace. Specifically, it appears the allure of converting this commodity to usable item does not appeal to these firms. While countries in the developed economies make good use of gas, Nigeria, perhaps remains the only oil producing country, which has failed to utilize the commodity for its industrial revolution. verted daily. There are six gas filling stations in Indeed, time was in Nigeria when gas flaring the city and the most dominant users are comwas as high as 35 per cent. Indeed, various gov- mercial taxi drivers. The impact on their daily ernments did set time lines for gas flaring reduc- economics has been significant and the expantion but those time lines were never adhere to. sion in subscription of new conversions has In most developed economies, gas has been by word of mouth to fellow taxi drivers. It assumed the driver of industrial growth, a is intended to now expand this initiative source of boosting employment generation and across the country, reducing the cost of transserve as a base for the promotion of clean and portation whilst at the same time enhancing green environment. the quality of the environment,” she said. Gas has indeed proven to be a one-swipe tool She explained that in order to achieve the that can revolutionise a country as the product aggressive drive, government is taking steps to can also be used to generate electricity to power drastically reduce gas flaring. fast trains, source of power for the industrial secThe Minister hinted that efforts at reducing tor and also power cars. gas flaring is beginning to yield fruits as gas However, recent events suggest a silver lining flaring as a percentage of gas produced has in the horizong as for the first time ever, Nigeria reduced progressively from about 28 per cent hit 1.5trillion cubic feet per day of gas produc- in 2009 to 15 per cent in 2012. tion. According to her, gas to non-power sector The Group Executive Director of Gas and Power almost doubled from 185mmcf/d to of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation 357mmcf/d, providing feedstock that has sup(NNPC), Dr. David Ige, who told The Guardian, ported the recent aggressive growth in the recently added that another 300 million cubic nation’s cement sector as well as other manufeet per day stranded in the East is yet to be evac- facturing companies. uated. And as the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) conThis disclosure may not sit well with most tinued to build more gas pipeline infrastrucNigerians who belief that the reported increase ture, indigenous companies that run on natuin gas production that should impact positively ral gas are expected to join the 200 that are on power generation has not had the desired powered by natural gas. effect as electricity production has remained Alison-Madueke also hinted that the contract erratic. for the vital 120km East-West gas pipeline Ige attempted an explanation to this paradox: crossing the River Niger has been awarded and “The generation of power is not a standalone is progressing with a target completion time thing. It involves generation, transmission and of 2015. distribution. I can talk clearly on the gas supply “Engineering work is almost complete and side. If you look at the progression over the last the contractors have mobilized significant two years, we have significantly increased gas construction equipment to site ahead of comproduction. In fact, at the moment domestic gas mencement of construction works by October. production in Nigeria is at all-time high. We are This pipeline creates a major linkage between now producing about 1.5bilion cubic feet per the huge gas reserves in the Eastern Niger day of gas, which is the highest the country has Delta and other parts of the country. When ever produced. Apart from this, we have another completed, evolving shortfalls in gas supply to 300 million that is available in the East that is power in the Western area will be adequately not utilized now. So, our gas development is and permanently mitigated with excess flows actually on the increase and it is the most from the East via this critical pipeline,” she aggressive rate. We have grown about 200 per- stressed. cent year-on-year.” While describing the Calabar-Ajaokuta-AbujaIge, however, blamed the epileptic power sup- Kano pipeline as a final element of governply in the country on failure to evacuate gas that ment infrastructure expansion, she revealed has been produced. that major engineering review of the 1000km He added that even as supply continually chase pipeline has now been concluded and plans demand, stakeholders are also taking steps to under way to jumpstart this pipeline by the increase gas generation to meet the anticipated end of the year or early 2014, which is intended increase in transmission and distribution of to open up gas access to the East and Northern power. part of Nigeria. “The generation capacity is growing everyday She added: “Over $600m is expected to be because stakeholders are bringing in new tur- deployed from Eurobonds being issued by the bines. However, I can say for sure that our cur- Ministry of Finance to jumpstart this pipeline rent gas availability is not enough for all the gen- by year end. By end 2015, gas access to Abuja erating capacity that is being built and we recog- should have been established and nize that. At any point in time, demand is going Kaduna/Kano thereafter, opening up the to be ahead of supply because demand is puling Northern half of the nation for industrial revisupply. Right now, the inability of Nigeria to talization.” have stable power supply is not as a result of According to her, the gas supplies emergency unavailability of gas but the distribution chal- initiative fast tracked gas supply additions. lenges we are still grappling with. Generation is She named some of the key achievements to far ahead of distribution and transmission,” he include major upgrade and repair works at the explained. Utorogu/Ughelli gas plants resulting in addiIge revealed that plan is also underway to bring tion of over 100mmcf/d, Oredo gas plant was additional 130million cubic feet per day aimed completed, commissioned and added at achieving two billion cubic feet per day over 100mmcf/d of gas, whilst upgrade works at the next two years. Escravos also resulted in additional He hinted that Nigeria is on strong footing to 190mmcf/d. generate, transmit and distribute 4.5 gigawatts She hinted that the Emergency Initiative is of electricity if all the supply chains are in order. still on going and additional 150mmcf/d is Apart from achieving the enviable 1.5 trillion expected by the end of the year. cubic feet per day of gas, efforts are also in top The former President of the Nigerian Society gear to further diversify the use of gas to include of Engineers (NSE), Olumuyiwa Ajibola, the introduction of compressed natural gas for decried lack of attention successive governvehicular needs. ments have given to gas utilization. Speaking in Abuja recently, the Minister of He ascribe the non-development of gas to polPetroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison- icy somersaults of government as well as Madueke, said the plan is part of the aggressive choosing the easy way out of simply relying on steps to grow gas production and make it the petrol-dollar the country generate from oil epicentre of the national economy. exploration to sustain the national economy. Her words: “Through the NNPC Joint Venture To him, the blame goes well beyond governwith NIPCO, Compressed Natural Gas for vehicu- ment neglect of gas development but also lar use has grown with the pilot initiative in include the non-involvement of Nigerian proBenin City, Edo State. Over 2000 cars now run fessionals in the gas revolution of the present on natural gas in Benin and many more get con-
Allison-Maduewe government. He argued that for gas to be developed to a sustain manner, ‘charity must begin at home’. His argument: “We must believe in the people that are here. It is the efforts of Nigerians that are would develop Nigeria. If we have to bring in foreigners, which we indeed have to because we do not have the necessary manpower here. We need to have a programme, which will enable us to be in control within a certain time frame. We cannot afford to open our doors to foreigners without control and that is why we have the Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector. But we need to practice the local content properly that will enable us get maximum benefits from our resources. Engineers are bound everywhere in Nigeria with many of them not doing anything. Not because they are ill qualified or inexperience but because there is no recognition for Nigerian engineers to show their capabilities. We have to challenge ourselves as a nation. We have to find some mutually beneficial relation-
ships with other countries that will enable us rediscover ourselves and in the process take ownership of our industries.” Ajibola hinted that indeed government has deployed gas to some industries in Lagos state, but expressed worry about the capacity to sustain the initiative. He said the NSE, which is an umbrella body for all Nigerian engineers was not consulted nor involved in the President Goodluck Jonathan’s Gas Revolution Initiative. He added: “When I was President of NSE, we wrote to the presidency requesting a meeting with government on how we can advice on where and how we can contribute to the Transformation Agenda of the President but never got an invitation until I left. We have not been involved because we have not been invited. There is too much emphasis on Nigerians in the Diaspora and foreigners. There are so many of us who are experts in gas development and technology but we are not involved in all of these efforts in our country.” End.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
MaritimeWatch Council tasks stakeholders on high transaction costs at ports By Moses Ebosele HE Nigerian Shippers T Council (NSC) has challenged stakeholders in the maritime sector to workout modalities on how to successfully tackle high cost of doing business at Nigerian ports. Addressing representatives of freight forwarders and executive members of trade associations in Lagos, Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Hassan Bello, said the numbers of complaints from port users is on the increase, adding that there is a general consensus that port cost is still on the high side despite concession exercise. “Studies carried out also support the fact that cost has continued to escalate while patronage of neigbouring ports by Nigerian shippers continue to increase thus denying the Federal Government much needed revenue from the port industry. “These are challenges that must be addressed with determination and commitment on the part of all stakeholders in the industry. This interactive session seeks to reawaken us all to the fact that the industry is dynamic,” said Bello Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Vicky Haastrup, had recently advised the Federal Government to beam its searchlight on the activities of shipping agents, freight forwarders and operatives of government agencies at the ports as part of measures to curtail high cost of doing business at the ports. Bello told the stakeholders that drastic changes in the industry affects the Customs of trade, expansion of interna-
Haastrup tional trade, advancement in technology among others are in response to the changing demands of shippers. He said the development came with different innovations such as the introduction of e-commerce to simplify pro-
cedure, multimodal transportation services as a solution to an integrated door-todoor transport services. Bello explained that NSC by its statutory function is the ombudsman in the industry. “Our desire is to create better understanding and synergy amongst shippers, freight forwarders, operators of transport modes and other stakeholders. Emphasising the strategic role of an economy and the port, Bello said increasing the quality of services in the port will not only tremendously bring down cost but will also enhance customer satisfaction. Bello added: “Increased international trade and a good business environment will no doubt give Nigerian ports competitive edge among the ports in the sub-region.” Haastrup, who is also the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of ENL Consortium, operators of Terminals A and B at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa explained recently that despite the reduction in terminal handling charges by terminal operators in 2006, cost of doing business at the port may have remained high because of the activities of other stakeholders.
Idris Umar “At the ports, there are so many factors that can militate against bringing down costs of operations. We have so many people who operate within the port system. We have the concessionaires, the ship agents, clearing agents and numerous government
agencies. “The concessionaires are not responsible for the increase in the cost of operations at the ports. There are shipping agents, clearing agents and others. Who’s looking into their activities? Shipping
New ‘bill of rights’ for seafarers comes into force “I call on all countries with more than 33 per cent of the HE International Labour stone in maritime history,” a maritime interest to ratify – T world’s gross shipping tonOrganization’s Maritime said ILO Director-General Guy if they have not yet done so – nage to enter into force. To Labour Convention 2006, has Ryder. “The product of triparformerly taken off with effect from yesterday (August 20, 2013), inaugurating a new era of decent work for seafarers and fair competition for ship owners in the global shipping industry. “This Convention is a mile-
tite dialogue and international cooperation, it enables decent working and living conditions for seafarers to be advanced, along with fair competitionforshipownersinthis, the most globalized of industries.
and urge governments and ship owners to work effectively to implement this Convention,” Ryder added. The new Convention becomes binding international law as of 20 August. It needed ratification by 30 ILO member States, representing
date, more than 45 ILO members States, representing over 75 per cent of global gross shipping tonnage have ratified the Convention. According to ILO, the Convention has the full support of the International
agents’ tariffs are even higher than terminal operators’ charges but nobody talks about that. There are a lot of charges that the ship agents are not supposed to charge but they do. Who’s looking at those things?” Haastrup asked. She said it is unfair to blame terminal operators, otherwise known as concessionaires for the cost of doing business at the port. “The concessionaires have put in a lot of investments for efficient operations. For instance, within one year that we took over, we were able to increase the turnaround of vessels by about 75 per cent; in three to four years, we had doubled that. In five to six years, we had increased the same by over 200 per cent. If you do not develop the port or you do not invest in port operations, there is no way you can achieve that”, she stated. She also blamed patronage of neighbouring ports on Federal Government policies, “ordinarily, people will not go to Republic of Benin because of high cost on the part of terminal operators. They go there because of Federal Government policies pure and simply. That is the only reason people are going to Republic of Benin”.
Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which represents seafarers, and the International Ship owners Federation(ISF),bothofwhich played a key role during the five years of its development and in the adoption of the Convention at a special ILO International Labour Conference in 2006.
APM Terminals partners NRC on container freights to Kano, Kaduna By Moses Ebosele IGERIAN Railway Corporation (NRC) in collaboration with APM Terminals have concluded arrangement on the movement of container freights from Apapa Port in Lagos to Inland Container Nigeria Limited (ICNL) depots in Kaduna and Kano states. According to the NRC, the partnership is scheduled to take-off on Friday this week with 20 wagons carrying 20 to 40 containers a trip “with the intention to making three trips a week”. NRC explained that the start ofthecontainertrafficwill help in decongesting the ports “as well as help in facilitating the establishment and use of
Inland Container Depots (ICDs) along the track corridors”. TheManagingDirectorof NRC, Adeseyi Sijuwade, an engineer, described the container traffic as a strategy demonstrating the carriage ability and readiness of the corporation to further enhance the development of the nation’s economy and to enter into partnership with organisations that require its services. “Single train haulage of 20 containers is equivalent to 20 trailers or 40 trucks on the road and this goes a long way to improve the economic, health, safety and environmental sustainability of the nation”, Sijuwade added. In a related development, the
corporation, according to a press statement issued by the NRC Assistant Director (Press), David Ndakotsu, will also commission four 1800HP locomotives and two 100-ton telescopic cranes. Meanwhile, APM Terminals has also concluded plans to deliver five new Eco-RTGs (Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes) as part of the third phase of a $135millionterminalupgrade announced earlier this year. Another five Eco-RTGs are scheduled to arrive at the Nigerian port in November. The third phase of the terminal upgrade will also see the container yard increased by 300,000 square metres. The 10 advanced eco-RTGs are being manufactured by
Finnish-based Konecranes in China, and are equipped with a laser stack profiling system which reduces the risk of loaded containers being knocked of stacks, “and will be among the very first in the worldtoofferthistechnology”. Managing Director, APM Terminals Apapa, Dallas Hampton, said: “This is a very exciting development for the terminal and for the Nigerian port industry, as we will be setting a new standard in safety and sustainable terminal operations in Africa”. The company explained that the eco-RTGs will be powered bydieselenginestoreducefuel consumption by as much as 40 per cent, when compared to the more conventional diesel
RTGs, adding that it will replace 22 reach stackers now in service, “though five will remain at the terminal for use with rail movements”. Meanwhile, Danish conglomerate, A.P. Moller-Maersk upgraded its full-year earnings forecast recently as it posted better-than-expected secondquarter profit, helped by lower costs in its shipping unit. Second-quarter net profit was $856 million, higher than analysts’ expectations of $545.79 million. In the year-earlier period, net profit was $965 million. According to the financial statement, revenue was slightly lower than expected at $14.2 billion, down from $15.4 billion in the year-earlier period.
“We delivered a good operational result for the second quarter, thanks to improved performance in most of our businesses,’’ said group Chief Executive Officer, Nils Andersen. Explaining further, Andersen said: “Maersk Line has made strong and consistent progress and is now an industryleaderintermsofprofitability. APM Terminals continues to deliver good results, and Maersk Drilling had its best quarter ever based on strong operational performance. Oil production was relatively low, but it has bottomed out now and will return to growth in the second half of the year.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
IndustryWatch Paradox of Chinese invasion and Nigeria’s industrial rebirth Within the last decade, trade relations between Nigeria and China have witnessed a tremendous growth, with continuous efforts towards deepening the process. This growth is however not without criticisms. The first category of criticisms of the Africa-China economic relations has been termed Western-inspired, bordering on the Chinese breaking of the West’s hold on Africa-World trade, while the second consists of genuine grievances by Africans themselves concerning trade malpractices by the Asian Tiger. With renewed investments in key sectors of the nation’s economy, it is obvious that China is ready to spend big in Nigeria and run ring around African governments. The Asian country expects to leverage its own huge spending in Africa on how to compete in complex markets. China finances more infrastructure projects in Africa than the World Bank and provides billions of dollars in lowinterest loans to the continent’s emerging economies. These loans and investments are typically made in exchange for securing access to natural resources. The cost of such investments to local manufacturing remains a source of concern to stakeholders owing to some unpalatable deals of the past by the Chinese across the real sector. Will Nigeria adopt wholly China’s unconditioned approach or a more responsible engagement strategy? FEMI ADEKOYA and DEBORAH SUNMOLA write. ESPITE the negative reports in the foreign D media, investors and retail chains both foreign and local, have eager to tap from the nation’s clear potential – a large population, positive macro-economic growth and a strong appetite for consumer goods, thus, dramatically expanding their domestic retail footprint in the country. As commendable as the growing trade relations may be between Nigeria and the global markets, the growing trade imbalance and malpractices is a huge source of concern for stakeholders within the real sector of the nation’s economy. For instance, the multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) holds real economic deliverables for a country that has the potential to exploit its comparative advantage in labour and other key industries. However, the influx of finished goods to many developing countries has undermined the production capacity of many companies in such countries, Nigeria inclusive, with developed economies thriving on low trade relationships among developing economies in Africa. Unarguably, Nigeria’s manufacturing and industrial sector is yet to find a lasting solution to its various structural problems, the intrusion of Chinese businesses in the real sector has further limited the chances of quick growth of many industries. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Fact book on Nigeria for 2013 revealed that the United States is the top destination for Nigerian exports, followed by India, Brazil, Spain, and France, while on the other hand, China is the lead source for Nigerian imports, followed by the United States, the Netherlands, South Korea, and the United
Jonathan Kingdom. It is believed that an ideal transformation agenda among other things, seeks to transform the economy, through the real sector, from one characterised by low saving-investment ratio, low growth, high interest rates and taxes, low productivity and low technology into an economy of high saving-cum-investment, high technology-cum-productivity and high sustainable growth rates. Contrastingly, not much seem to have been achieved in this area. Having squandered its many years of oil proceeds through misrule and corruption, the federal government is in dire need of new avenues to create jobs and engage its teeming unemployed youths. From extractive industries to energy; from transport and infrastructure to telecommunications; and from manufacturing to Agriculture or raw materials, China holds sway in Nigeria, out-competing the West in every sense of the word. However the concerns coming from African policy makers, business leaders and real sector stakeholders who want a win-win arrangement between Africa and China should not be ignored. Against the bias that interest of the West is being protected, many of these stakeholders speak on behalf of African interests and hold no brief for Western nations. For instance, the Asian new giant had had (and, perhaps, still has) a field day in Nigeria’s energy sector, infrastructure, construction and, most recently, hospitality sectors. Its incursion saw the light of the day following the re-introduction of democracy in 1999, with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as civilian head of government. Riding on the back of home government support, Chinese companies won oil blocs, secured contracts in construction and railway projects and enjoyed consolidated grip on strategic sectors of economic growth. That was
Aganga to change when the late President Yar’Adua took the reins of power and halted some of the contracts, including proposed modern railway projects. Energy challenges notwithstanding, Chinese firms made an inroad into manufacturing, provided self-sourced power for production and created jobs in a manner that was also considered very controversial. There was high immigration rate of Chinese citizens who thronged the Murtala Muhammed International Airport to provide labour that eludes the Nigerian casual workers in most of the companies. Given the history of collaboration and partnership between Africa and China in the struggle against colonialism and imperialism, there are high expectations from the economic ties between the two blocs. These high expectations are rooted in a history of solidarity and shared aspirations. Specifically, some of the concerns border on the extractive trade in raw materials without value addition; understating the value of unexploited natural resources; bringing labour from China with low employment of locals; little or no skills or technology transfers; buying primary goods and selling Africa manufactured goods; unfair local labour practices; and cheap Chinese goods (sometimes low quality) undercutting African products. All these activities, some Africans critics contend, have contributed to the deindustrialisation and underdevelopment of Africa. In particular, the African textile and leather industries have been decimated by cheap Chinese imports. Indeed, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) had called on government to revisit its protectionist policy in order to protect existing jobs within the Distributive Trade Sector. Worried by the increasing number of nonnationals, especially Asians, in the retail seg-
Some of the concerns border on the extractive trade in raw materials without value addition; understating the value of unexploited natural resources; bringing labour from China with low employment of locals; little or no skills or technology transfers; buying primary goods and selling Africa manufactured goods; unfair local labour practices; and cheap Chinese goods (sometimes low quality) undercutting African products. All these activities, some Africans critics contend, have contributed to the deindustrialisation and underdevelopment of Africa. In particular, the African textile and leather industries have been decimated by cheap Chinese imports.
ment of the economy, especially the open markets, the Chamber, in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting recently, noted that the increasing number of expatriates in the retail segment of the economy is beginning to have a negative impact on the economy, especially in terms of employment generation. The communiqué read in part: “Council noted with concern the increasing number of non-nationals, especially Asians, in the retail segment of the economy, especially the open markets. This has resulted in the gradual crowding out of indigenous enterprises in the Distributive Trade Sector. Council therefore calls on the appropriate agencies of Government to quickly address the problem in order to protect existing jobs in the sector. Similarly, former Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and President, Abia State Think Tank Group, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, decried the high level of intrusion of Chinese businesses in the clothing and leather market, citing its effect on the Aba industrial hub. According to him, the shoe-making business, which once made the Ariara Market an African destination for footwear buyers, is being asphyxiated by poor infrastructure, low patronage and unhealthy imports from China and nearby countries. He added that China’s shoe market thrives at the expense of Nigeria’s simply because no real effort is being made to expand the sector that currently employs over 50,000 youths and contributes reasonably to Abia State government’s revenue. He noted that though foreign competitors are now able to produce neater products with the aid of effective cutting and heating machines, a situation that poses serious threat to local manufacturing, Nigerians’ penchant for foreign goods has forced local manufacturers to imitate foreign-made shoes; hence, they (Ariara shoe makers), sometimes, imprint marks like made-in-Italy on their products. He explained that made-in-Nigeria products lack competitiveness in the global market due to branding challenges and lack of acceptability in the local markets. He noted that that a lot of small businesses still do informal trade with many countries, thereby limiting the growth of small industries as well revenue to be generated from such transactions.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Energy Curtailing oil theft, illegal bunkering via legislation By Roseline Okere HE Nigerian economy is dependent on the T exploitation of crude oil and the nation’s future is very much tied to the commodity. However, the country has been plagued with widespread theft and illegal bunkering of crude oil. Coordinating Minister for the Economy/Minister of Finance, Ngozi OkonjoIweala, disclosed recently that the country was losing 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day to illegal bunkering and vandalism of oil pipelines. To tackle the menace, office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, organised a stakeholder’s conference to brainstorm on strategic measures for defeating oil theft and illegal bunkering in the country. The conference, which poised to proffer solution to the problem, paraded major stakeholders in the oil sector, such as: the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba; the Commander of Joint Task Force Operation, Pulo Shield Major General Bata Debiro; Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku; Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi; Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, Ade Abolurin; Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited Corporate Head of Security, Brian Mair; Civil Society leaders, and prominent environmentalist Reverend Nnimmo Bassey among others. The forum listed socio-economic impact of the menace to include environmental degradation, loss of economic activities for the communities, loss of revenue to the government resulting in Illegal Refinery inadequate funding for development initiatives, increased criminality in the region, lack of security due to illegal activities and infiltration and understand development in the sector. of international collaborators and bad image After exchanging views on the prevailing situation in the oil sector particularly as regards theft for the country. The Special Adviser to the President on Niger and illegal bunkering, the conference resolved Delta, Kingsley Kuku, reiterated the commit- to compliment and reinforce the efforts of all ment of President Goodluck Jonathan to curb stakeholders’ as to report illegal activities within our communities. the menace and restore sanity in the sector. On the role of oil companies/multinational He expressed the commitment of his office to partner with other stakeholders in the sector to and cooperation with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the communiqué achieve the president’s commitment. According to Kuku: “Only zero tolerance is emphasized the need to install meters at the good enough. No effort is too little and none too point of production that would measure the quantity of oil produced. big to be spared in this regard.” A communiqué issued at the end of the confer- It also stressed on the need to improve corpoence acknowledge efforts of the Nigeria Navy, rate social responsibility anchored on human the Joint Task Force, Nigeria Maritime capacity development; move the head quarters Administration and Safety Agency, the oil pro- of the oil companies to the Niger Delta; make ducing communities and various government petroleum products available for people in the agencies, which have so far worked hard to Niger Delta and at the right price; and institute a more transparent oil loading regime and stop address this problem. It identified some critical issues including forthwith the loading of plus five per cent. According to the conference, the oil majors inadequate community participation in the management of resources in their communi- should engage in community development ties, pollution of the environment, dearth of that will positively impact on the communities economic activities in the communities, were they operate. increasing criminality and insecurity of the “We should go beyond the era of building only coastlines and dearth of reliable data to assess schools and hospitals. We should involve more
The communique believed that there is need to carry out intensive and concerted campaign to curtail oil theft and as a matter of urgency immediately pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law and strengthen the law against illegal bunkering and economic sabotage with fast track prosecution and long jail terms. This, it believed will assist in the fight against crude oil theft and illegal bunkering in the country. in human capacity development”, it added. It stressed the need to provide first line of protection for their facilities; expand and keep clear pipeline right of way; encase pipeline in a minimum depth to protect against vandalism; establish joint mini-refineries to absorb illegal refineries and engage local communities and fund the immediate clean up of the Niger Delta.
The conference also expressed the need to enhance security sector collaboration with community participation; enhance intelligence gathering system with advance electronic and community input; stop the unsystematic destruction of illegal oil theft facilities which compounds environmental damage. The communique also emphasised the need for Federal Government to increase funding and equipment of the Navy, the Joint Task Force, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp and other security operatives working in the region. It also called for the facilitation of socio-economic development of the Niger Delta to curtail criminality in the oil sector; harped on theneed to immediately mandate and fund the clean up of the Niger Delta. The communique believed that there is need to carry out intensive and concerted campaign to curtail oil theft and as a matter of urgency and immediately pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law and strengthen the law against illegal bunkering and economic sabotage with fast track prosecution and long jail terms.
Indigenous firms’ yearly investments may hit $1.5b by 2014 By Sulaimon Salau HE indigenous operators in the nation’s T petroleum sector may be bracing up for a big challenge in the next few months, if the legislative framework is institutionalised as expected. However, the operators who were apparently aggrieved with the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) alleged that some factions of the legislators might have hidden agenda on the proposed oil industry reforms. Some of the stakeholders, who did not want their names in the print expressed fears that the industry might later crumble, if urgent actions were not taken to curtail the political intrigues trailing the progressive reforms. “It is a shame that they cannot pass the bill over the years. Other African nations have initi-
• Challenge sincerity of legislators over PIB ated related bills and are now at the implementation stage, but if we call ourselves the giant of Africa and we cannot do as much as some of these countries have done, I believe it’s a shame,” a top official of an indigenous firm said. The source confided in The Guardian that the indigenous firms were fully ready to take up investments both in the downstream and upstream sectors of the industry, but some factors relating to poor legislative strategies have become a major hindrance. The source said that indigenous oil and gas development had increasingly been prominent since the introduction of the marginal field pro-
gramme, and some of the companies had recorded tremendous improvement in terms of production outputs. According to him, with the right fiscal and legislative provisions and support from the International Oil Companies (IOCs), production from Nigerian independents could top 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2015/2016. Besides, he noted that annual spend by indigenous players could top $1.5Billion by 2014/2015 and possibly some of the indigenous companies joining the current big five IOCs in the near future. The Guardian learnt there are some major proj-
ects that are expected to buoy the local output (gas) in the next few years. These includes Utorogu/Ughelli Gas Plant Node 50 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfpd), NPDC Oredo Plant and Pan Ocean Ovade Plant (100mmscfpd), Projects expected by 2014includes, Sapele/Oben Plant 150mmscfpd, Seven Energy Umutu Field with 70mmscfpd, Chevron Gas Plant Compressor by-pass (200mmscfpd), Forcados/Southern Swamp 100mmscfpd by 2015, Assa North/ Ohaji South 1bscfpd expected by 2016, Okan (300mmscfpd) by 2015 among others. Another operator, who lamented the poor financing mechanism for the indigenous firms, called on all local operators to synergise on better financing options that would aid their operations.
AFRICAN OIL&GAS REPORT 41
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Eddie Iyamu was the authentic hero, a true Nigerian original CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 OML 34 in November last year. Edward Ekuase ‘Kamerun’ Iyamu (nick name ‘Kamerun’ as the young man was ‘made’ in the Cameroon where his father worked, then for the African Timber Company) was born on the 12th of June, 1936, in Benin City, the first of ten children of the late Mr & Mrs Iyamu of Oza quarters, Benin City, according to NAPE citation. He started school at the United Native African School, Benin and later moved on with his parents to Sapele where he completed his primary school education and attended the famous Edo College, Benin City, between 1951 and 1955, passing the Cambridge School Certificate Examination in Grade 1, alongside twelve others out of a student population of 26. From there he moved to Christ School, Ado-Ekiti to teach Physics before gaining admission to the then Nigerian College of Science and Technology, Zaria in 1957 for his Higher School Certificate. In 1959, he gained admission to the prestigious University College Ibadan (UCI) and graduated in 1962 with a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Physics of the University of London. Starting his professional career as a Trainee Seismologist with the Shell BP Petroleum Limited in 1962, Mr. Iyamu was elected as a Member of the Institute of Geophysics, London in 1965 and in 1966 he became Party Chief for Shell’s Swamp Crew.
Five years after graduation, in 1967 he married beautiful Miss Esther Osazuwa of Agbado Quarters, Benin City. The marriage is blessed with several children and grandchildren. In 1968, Eddie became Assistant Seismic Supervisor, SPDC Western Division, Warri and thereafter, he moved on to Data Interpretation in Lagos. Between 1972- 1974, Eddie went on cross-posting to Shell Brunei as Seismic Interpreter and returned to Nigeria in 1975 as Senior Geophysicist. In 1977 he became Chief Geophysicist, a landmark attainment in those days, and three years later, he was appointed to the exalted position of Exploration Manager. Iyamu passed away on July 22, 2013. The recollections above were weaved together from a sort of web conference. As I was writing this piece, Harold Obasohan, managing director of Century Production Limited, a Nigerian E&P company with interests in a marginal field in Bayelsa State, showed up in my office. “Have you heard of the demise of Mr Iyamu?”, he asked. Harold’s career was forged in the crucible of Geotrex Systems. His tribute to the man whose company made him was shorter than most, but has larger symbolism. “You know”, he said, “Iyamu’s lifestyle was what it means to be a truly big man. He had no airs. So sure of himself, he was the authentic Naija hero”. Takoradi Oilfield Centre1
Ghana Is 40% of Tullow’s Worldwide Production IN THE NEWS By John Ankromah
EST Africa represented 77% of W the Tullow’s 88,600 BOEPD working interest production in the first half of 2013, with Ghana alone delivering 40% of the entire volume. The 88,600BOEPD figure is up 14% from half year 2012. It helped boost first half 2013 revenue by 15% to $1.3bn and moved operating cash flow before working capital to exceed $1bn for the period. “The Jubilee field is Tullow’s flagship offshore operated asset contributing around 40% to the Group’s overall production”, Tullow remarks in a recent release. “Since late 2012, field production has steadily increased and is currently at a rate of around 110,000 BOPD. The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah,
which serves the Jubilee field, continues to perform well with a very low rate of unplanned shutdowns and an excellent safety and environmental record. Strong performance from the Jubilee field has resulted in average first half production of 104,000 BOPD”, the company reports. Tullow says that a recent water injection pump failure on the FPSO, which will be replaced before year-end, and a decision to extend the planned maintenance shutdown period will however have a short term impact on production in the second half of 2013. Production from the field is now expected to average around 95,000 BOPD for the full year. “Group 2013 full year average production forecast revised to 84-88,000 BOEPD”, Tullow says.
Oil patch Subsahara P Completes Processing In Cote A d’Ivoire’s CI-513 and CI-509 Three dimensional (3D) seismic processing has been completed for the entire 4,200 km2 survey over Blocks CI-513 and CI-509, offshore Cote d’Ivoire. African Petroleum, the Australian minnow which operates the assets, says that "final angle-stacks have been received for both CI-513 (May 2013) and CI-509 (June 2013), allowing for prospects to be matured further”. The company enthuses that the 3D “seismic data shows encouraging submarine fan leads and prospects over Blocks CI-513 and CI-509 and has confirmed the
presence of major turbidite fan syst e m s ” . In its second quarter press statement, AP claims that the Competent Persons’ Report by The ERC Equipoise includes volumes and risks for five prospects. The Company currently plans to drill one well on each Block, ‘Ayame’ in CI-513 and ‘Leraba’ in CI-509, during the second half of 2014. A P says that acquisition and processing of the 3D seismic data over a third acreage, Block CI-508, is being completed on behalf of Vitol E&P and co-venturers, “subject to a cost sharing agreement.”
Most of the stories around Iyamu by the folks who worked with him are the fond memories of his sheer passion and energy for building human capacity. “Small as it was, Geotrex was dedicated to sending its staff to postgraduate courses in outstanding Universities like Imperial and Cambridge and I can give you five names, readily”, comments Seye Fadahunsi, who joined Geotrex with a Master’s Degree from Hull, left the company to work for Shell, then Statoil, then SAPETRO and is now executive director of Pillar Oil, a 2,500BOPD marginal field company which he co-founded in 2002
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
42 AFRICAN OIL&GAS REPORT
Tackling illegal oil deals By Adedayo Ojo Nairobi to Abuja, down to FhowROM Luanda, tales abound about ordinarily easy going citizens aided by barons brazenly and illegally take natural resources which primarily belong to the state and appropriate same for personal economic benefits. This is the story of Africa's resource rich nations, blessed and cursed with diamonds, crude oil and gas and other precious stones. But there are also theft of products that aren’t natural; electric cable theft in South Africa for one, is widespread. Kenya’s cooking gas industry was recently rocked by an unprecedented increase in the illegal refilling of cooking gas coupled with theft of gas cylinders at retail outlets. The negative development was reported to have been motivated by the increase in demand of cooking gas by Kenyans and the inability of licensed independent gas operators to meet the demand, thereby resorting to illegal refilling and stealing of competitions’ unbranded gas cylinders to dispense their own products. Kenya’s challenge is not limited to the gas sector. The Kenyan Government lost millions of dollars to unscrupulous East African fuel traders who illegally resold untaxed and exported fuel from Kenya back to the Kenyan market, thereby depriving the Government and Kenya-based oil companies of revenue that would have been generated from the taxed non-exported fuel if sold. The trend is replicated in Uganda and Tanzania. Nigeria is the most prominent, on the world stage, on issues of oil theft. Ours, we are ashamed to admit, the most corrupt oil industry in Africa. And the government is as culpable as any other actor. Despite the establishment of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency initiative, NEITI, the Nigerian oil and gas industry is far from being transparent from the point of view of government transactions, policy
Oil theft in Niger Delta
implementation and patronage distribution. The continuous rise of illegal oil deals, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil refineries have ensured that Nigeria loses about $12bn worth of national revenue annually. It is estimated, that African nations lost approximately $300bn to oil theft and bunkering activities across the continent in 2012. That value will likely rise in 2013 if nothing is done to stop the activities of oil thieves. The quest for oil via illegal means has pushed the thieves to device more aggressive techniques of achieving their goals. The purchase of sophisticated firearms to protect their business interests is the only means of ensuring business continuity. The ammunition they acquire eventually find its way from the creeks to dry land and major commercial centres within the host nations, consequently accentuating the already parlous state of insecurity. Fire-
arms become common toys in the hands of miscreants. The illegal process of obtaining the crude oil also increases the state of insecurity as pipelines are vandalized and crude oil products left to flow freely, causing explosions when residents of host communities attempt to scoop their lucky supply of crude oil products. The combination of loss of revenue, insecurity caused by loose availability of arms in urban settlements, deprivation of rural dwellers in oil-producing communities have contributed to the continuous rise of poverty in the continent. To curb the menace oil natural resource thieves, the governments of affected nations have adopted strategies ranging from policy and regulatory intervention to security benchmarks. For example, the Kenyan, Ugandan and Tanzanian governments developed a ‘marker’ code that identifies exported and untaxed fuel products that have left the shores of their home countries
Dayo Ojo and are sold back into their home markets. The marker code which was implemented in 1999 by all three countries enhanced the regulation of exported/ non-exported petroleum products and also increased revenue generated from crude oil sales. The intervention has made stolen products from these countries unattractive to the international market because it also means that buyers of such products are supporters of the illegal trade. This is perhaps the direction that the Nigerian government should consider to checkmate the activities of crude oil thieves . The Nigerian government and other oil-producing African countries should consider developing a special naval unit that will operate along the continent’s shores. A cooperative, united action in this direction will surely produce effective and measurable results. Thorough prosecution of persons or individuals apprehended for oilrelated crimes is equally important. Over the years, culprits have been treated with kid-gloves or let off the hook easily. Extensive investigation capacity ought to be instituted to ensure that the barons and ‘god-fathers’, financiers, military associates are identified and charged to appropriate courts. Nigeria has identified that the war against oil thieves is not a battle it can fight alone so it recently called on other countries to request that they do not transact oil deals with
oil thieves. Extensive efforts need to be made to ensure that other countries (especially the heavy importers of crude oil) cooperate with this initiative and equally show support by apprehending any organisation or individuals that try to sell stolen crude oil to them via black market. The governments of oil producing nations in Africa also need to focus inwards and embark on mass orientation programmes that will educate their citizens on the negative impacts of the illicit businesses. This is necessary because the success of pipeline vandalism, oil bunkering, continued existence of illegal oil refineries e.t.c. would not be possible without the connivance of the inhabitants of the locations where the activities take place. In addition, government agents need to get to the creeks and understand the basic needs of the inhabitants and provide them with basic needs. The public education and sensitisation program should also incorporate the contributions of oil companies that operate within the communities. Based on the bias that they have created, the oil companies need to draw the local inhabitants closer and position them as stakeholders. The danger and menace of illegal oil deals in Africa need to take centre-stage in world discourse. It ought to become a subject of global debate just the same way that "blood diamonds" issue has become a subject of global discourse and action. As an initial step towards sanity and in order to demonstrate seriousness, oil producing nations in Africa need to first of all look inwards and purge themselves of the internal corruption that takes place on a routine basis. It is only when this is done that a legitimate request can be made for global support. Adedayo Ojo is Lead Consultant/CEO of Caritas Communications Limited, a specialist reputation strategy and corporate communication consultancy based in Lagos. Caritas is the West Africa affiliate of Regester Larkin, a pioneer reputation strategy and management consultancy with offices in London, Washington and United Arab Emirates.
For participation in Oil & Gas section, contact: The Manager: Lagos: 01 7736351; Abuja: 07098513445
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Govt moves to tighten rules on nuclear applications in petroleum industry From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja HE Nigerian Nuclear RegT ulatory Authority has unfolded moves to step up work to further regulate nuclear applications in the oil and gas industry. Acting Director-General of the agency, Dr. Martin Ogharandukun, told The Guardian that over 80 per cent of all radioactive sources imported into the country were used in the oil and gas sector for nuclear gauging, industrial radiography, and nuclear well logging amongst others. He said: “Most of these sources are itinerant and therefore they place high oversight challenges.” They also involve the risk of loss of control due to theft,
• Stakeholders seek passage of safety bill sabotage, unauthorised transfers and accidents, which could result in unintended exposure and their consequential deleterious effects. The use of radioactive sources and ionizing radiation in general in the oil and gas industry has greatly increased in recent years resulting in commensurate increase in the demand for NNRA services and oversight. “In 2009, the total number of authorisations issued by NNRA in the oil and gas sector was 252 compared to 492 issued in 2012-an increase of 95 per cent. This increase in the use of ionizing radiation in the sector has also raised
quite a number of challenges, which requires a constructive engagement between the operators and the NNRA on safety, security, radiation protection, and cost of oversight. It is in the above regards that the NNRA is organising this two day technical meeting to provide a forum for broad discussions with users of ionizing radiation sources in the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy.” He said that the meeting aimed to further enhance NNRA’s regulatory oversight of all iodizing radiation sources in the oil and gas sector.
His words: “Iodizing radiation can be from machines, xray machine for non-destructive testing and other uses or from the use of radioactive materials. Today, likewise are all away, 80 per cent of all imported radioactive sources are used in he oil and gas and many of them are itinerants. They move from one place to another. So, they post unique regulatory challenges and we want to have a stakeholders meeting just to discuss general issues regarding safety, security of radioactive sources, and also the issue of radiation protection of occupational workers and the
general public. We have a very big representation from the public, in fact statistics I have is that we have over 43 organisations represented from the oil and gas industry. We are hoping to have a very big opportunity to discuss. “You can always do things better and you do things better when you take advantage of the benefits of your experiences, so we want to share our experiences in the application of iodization radiation sources generally and see what else we can do to further improve on it. We have had very successful and beneficiary applications so far. Meanwhile, stakeholders in the science, technology and energy sectors have called on the National Assembly to hasten action on the passage of the Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards bill before it. Rising from a technical meeting on regulating nuclear applications in the oil and gas sector concluded at the weekend, representatives of relevant government agencies, executives of oil and gas, service companies, the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, and other stakeholders stressed how a Nigerian Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards Act would re-establish NNRA and also empower it to ad-
dress the dynamics in the industry like licensing the proposed Nuclear Power Plants for electricity generation in the country. The Bill for an Act to repeal the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act no. 19 of 1995 and enact the Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards Act 2009 is currently at the National Assembly and seeks to take care of additional Protocols, Conventions, International Treaties and Agreements entered into by Nigeria after the extant Act 19 of 1995 which established the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA. A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and made available to The Guardian recently noted also called for greater funding the NNRA. The technical meeting, according to the report, was predicated upon the fact that the use of radioactive sources and ionizing radiation in the oil and gas industry had greatly increased in recent years. “This increase in the use of ionizing radiation in the sector has also raised a number of challenges requiring constructive engagement between the operators and the NNRA on safety, security, radiation protection and cost of oversight,” the communiqué noted.
Firm hosts forum on oil theft, illegal bunkering in Niger Delta ROMSHY CommunicaB tion Limited has unveiled plans to host a forum
Total harps on safety standards for oil workers By Sulaimon Salau OISED to promote hazardP free operations in the petroleum downstream sector, Total Nigeria Plc, has advocated full compliance with the Health Safety Environment (HSE) standards in the industry. The Managing Director, Total, Francois Boussagol, who identified this challenge during the launch of the company’s yearly safety posters’ campaign in Lagos recently, urged the stakeholders to consider safety first before other economic benefits. The campaign, which was highly directed towards the downstream operators and the tanker drivers, emphasizes zero tolerance for poor handling of petroleum prod-
ucts, particularly during product haulage. Boussagol said: “Our dear company considers safety as the most important issue in her overall operations. It is important to note that no economic consideration shall override safety in our daily official and personal activities, hence, the initiation of various safety programmes geared at protecting lives, environment and properties.” The campaign posters parade pictures that warned drivers against over-speeding, dangerous overtaking, harsh breaking, driving under the influence of alcohol or dangerous drugs, smoking, using mobile phones while driving, siphoning of products, wrong parking on highways, among others.
The total boss, who was represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Development, Wilfred Konde, urged the road users to always obey all traffic signs and make all preventive checking before embarking on a journey. To ensure that the drivers apply the right attitude, he said the company had built the first ultra-modern drivers’ training school at Ibadan, where drivers were trained on various driving techniques, such as defensive driving, handling of hazardous products, preventive checks on trucks, personal attitude management among others. The Lagos Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nseobong Akpabio, assured that the command would continue to
synergies with corporate organisations to instill safety consciousness on road users and reduce road accidents. He applauded Total for the installing speed limit technology on their tankers, urging all other operators follow suit in other to caution drivers from over speeding. Noting that speed violation has been identified as the highest cause of road accidents in the past two years, Akpabio disclosed that the command has made it mandatory on every service organisations to install speed limit technology on their vehicles. He added that the road safety was targeting a 20 per cent reduction in road crashes and 30 per cent reduction in fatalities in 2013.
on crude oil theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta. The conference scheduled for September 12 in Lagos, is expected to bring youths across the country and sensitise them on the danger of pipeline vandalism and crude oil bunkering. According to the Managing Director of the company, Rageidah Adedimeji, industry experts such as the Chairman of Seplat, Austin Avuru and the Managing Director of Nestoil, are expected to speak at the conference. Adedimiji said that the forum was necessary due to menace of pipeline vandalism and the consequences on the environment. She urged the Federal Government to rejuvenate the nation’s ailing refineries, in other to reduce the nation’s dependence on importation. Adedimeji, said the collaboration with Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) to boost youth’s career in oil and gas sector, said that the enhancement of the nation’s refining capacity would boost opportunities for youths in the sector. Adedimeji, who is the managing director, Bromshy Communication, however canvassed for privatisation
of the country’s refineries to boost the socio-economic growth of the country. She said that when more youths were engage in the refineries, it would also reduce incessant crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the country. According to her: “If we have more refineries functioning, the country will have enough petroleum products for local consumptions, while we also export outside the country. “We need more youth participation in oil and gas sector, this will keep them away from participating in pipelines vandalism and crude oil theft. “We need to develop and motivate our youths, they need to use the talent they have got to develop themselves so as to set up their own small scale enterprises,’’ she said. She said that the company’s partnership with PETAN would soon organise a conference on youth training in oil and gas sector, which would be tailored around five key stakeholders in the oil and gas sector. “The chief executive officers of the five companies will use their own background and success story to develop and motivate the youth on how they have been able to overcome problems relating to their businesses,” she said.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 20/08/2013
50 | CAPITAL MARKET
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 20/08/2013
Market capitalisation dips by N77 billion Stories by Bukky Olajide HE market capitalisation of T the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday declined by N77 billion or 0.66 per cent to close at N11.577 trillion from the previous N11.654 trillion. The decline was due to price losses by some blue chips. The All-share Index also depreciated by 242.18 points or 0.66 per cent to close at 36,558.50 against the 36,800.68 recorded on Monday. Nigerian Breweries led the price losers’ chart by N3 to close at N166 per share. Champion came second with a loss of N1.93 to close at N17.42 per share, while Lafarge lost N1 to close at N94 per share. Zenith Bank depreciated by 99k to close at N20 per share, while Flourmill dipped by 97k to close at N76.01 per share. On the other hand, ETI topped the gainers’ chart by 30k to close at N166 per unit. GTB lost 28k to close at N25.30
per share, while OkomuOil grew by 20k to close at N44.70 per share. UPL appreciated by 19k to close at N4.29 per share, while Diamond Bank rose by 13k to close at N6.59 In all, investors exchanged 198.15 million shares worth N1.9 billion in 5,244 deals. This was in contrast to the 173.96 million shares valued at N2.5 billion exchanged in 4,382 deals on Monday. Also on Monday, at the close of the trading activities, the NSE’s All-Share Index fell by 0.5 per cent or 186.26 basis points from 36,986.94 points on Friday, to 336,800.68 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation of the listed equities shed 0.5 per cent or N59bn to close at N11.654tn,down from N11.713tn recorded in the previous session. With the exception of the NSEASeM, which closed flat at 962.31 basis points and the NSE Insurance Index, which rose by
0.8 per cent or 1.12 basis points to 140.57, all other indices closed lower. The NSE-30 Index shed 0.6 per cent or 10.67 basis points to close at 1,722.35 points, the NSE Consumer Goods Index lost 0.6 per cent or 6.77 basis points to close at 1,031.85, while the NSE
Banking Index fell by 0.5 per cent or 2.05 basis points to close at 403.15 points. Academy Press Plc led 21 other stocks on the gainers’ chart, rising by 9.66 per cent or 17 kobo to close at N.93 per share. Trans-nationwide Express Plc followed, rising by 9.52 per cent
or 10 kobo to close at N1.15 per share. Jos International Breweries Plc gained 9.48 per cent or 11 kobo to close at N1.27 per share, while Courteville Business Solutions Plc and Continental Reinsurance Plc rose by 8.70 per cent and 5.17 per cent to close at
75 kobo and N1.22 per share in that order. International Energy Insurance Company Plc, on the other hand, led 29 other stocks on the price losers’ chart. Its shares lost 9.85 per cent or 20 kobo to close at N1.83 per share.
Conoil declares half-year profit of N1.98 billion ONOIL has declared a N1.98 C billion as profit before tax for the first half of the year 2013. This was against N663.1 million recorded in the corresponding half-year period in 2012. According to a statement issued by the company, the oil marketing giant recorded 255 per cent increase in profit after tax from N450.9 million in 2012 to N1.6 billion in 2013. Revenue rose to N79.6 billion from N76.2 billion, while earnings per Share (EPS) increased
significantly from 65kobo to 230 kobo. The company attributed this sterling performance to the adoption of robust growth strategies, efficient management of resources and total elimination of waste in its operations. According to the statement, performance demonstrated the company’s resilience to overcome the overwhelming challenges in the downstream oil sector. The company assured its
shareholders of its optimism to sustain and grow the impressive performance in the remaining six months of the year. It also assured juicier returns for shareholders at the end of the current financial year. Revealing its edge, the company said it strengthened and repositioned its core businesses, with huge investments in retail network expansion, which involved building multi-million Naira mega stations across the country.
In the statement issued to announce the result, the company emphasized: “For us, the downstream remains fundamentally attractive now, in the medium and long term. “With our clarity of direction and focus, our company’s long term success is assured”. It added: “We will sustain our improved performance and realize our aspiration to become the leading petroleum products marketer and one of the most profitable quoted companies.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Opinion North-south divide, obstacle to nation (1) By Ben Nwabueze T is a commonplace fact that Nigeria is beset by many problems; one such problem, not always Ireadily appreciated, is the Divide between the northern and southern parts of the country. Dating back to the days long before independence in 1960, but exacerbated by the advent of partisan politics, the Divide is real, very much real indeed. Until now, I was one of those who took the cohesiveness of the country for granted, naively believing that its northern and southern segments and all the ethnic groups comprised within them, having been brought together by their amalgamation in 1914 and having since then co-existed together under one common central government, have now inseparably been glued to each other by a shared life under one government, with its political processes and activities, and one economy, though not as yet a common nationality. But, first, the sense in which the term “Divide” is here used needs to be explained. It is used as meaning not just a twofold division, a bifurcation or dualism; it connotes more than that, viz a separation, by division, into two more or less exclusive segments, that is to say, a dichotomy. In other words, the effect of the 1914 Amalgamation, indeed its purpose, is to dichotomise the country from its inception; to keep its northern and southern segments apart by an imaginary, artificially created boundary line, and consequently to disunite them in interest, attitude, outlook and vision. That defines the magnitude, the enormity, of the problem bequeathed to us by Lugard and his 1914 Amalgamation. The issue of a National Conference has forced me to pierce through the surface to observe the reality beneath, and I was rather dismayed by what I discovered. The North – South Divide, as the term is defined above, is more real, and constitutes a greater threat to the unity of the country than I had realised. From the time of the 1914 amalgamation, a North – South dichotomy was created and maintained in existence in the governmental structure established for the administration of the unified country. The entire North as a single entity was governed under one regional government while two (later three) regional governments were established in the South, one for Western Nigeria (from which Mid-West Nigeria was excised in 1963) and one for Eastern Nigeria. The one single government established for the entire North as one entity remained in existence and operation until 1967 when, by the states – creation exercise of that year (courtesy an absolutist military government), it was broken into six States and by subsequent states – creation exercises into the present 19 states. Strangely enough, the idea of one “Northern Nigeria” has persisted as an entrenched fact of life, even
after it (i.e. Northern Nigeria) has ceased to be a governmental entity, with a firm hold on the thinking and vocabulary of the ruling elite and political class in that part of the country, conditioning their attitudes and views in the matter of the management of the social, political and even economic relations between the two segments of the country. They still refer to, or speak of, Northern Nigeria in public discourse of the affairs of the country. As far as I know, no one now refers to, or speaks of, Western Nigeria, Eastern Nigeria or Mid-West Nigeria; they are all now history, remembered and talked about only as a page of that history. The persistence of the idea of one Northern Nigeria is strange because there is nothing like Northern Nigeria as a sociological, cultural, linguistic or religious entity. First, the North consists, not of one tribe, but of various tribes marked apart from each other by fundamental differences in culture, customs and traditions, way of life, traditional occupation, etc, just like the tribes in the South. A significant point deserving to be mentioned is that none of the tribes comprised in Northern Nigeria as one entity constitutes a majority of the entire population as to form a nucleus around which the others are cloistered as inter-related groups. The Hausa/Fulani, if at all they are to be regarded as one tribe, are the largest single group, but they are, population-wise, a minority vis-à-vis the rest of the ethnic groups. Second, the Hausa language, though widely used, is not indigenous to many of the tribes. Third, each of the tribes inhabits and lives in its own traditional territory under its own traditional system of rule, separate from the others. Fourth, though the tribes in the True North are adherents of the Moslem religion, with a small admixture of Christians, the Moslem religion is not the common traditional religion of the entire North, since many of the tribes in the North Central Region adhere to animism as their traditional religion, with some now converting to the Christian faith. Fifth, there is no common traditional heritage, cultural or otherwise, binding together the various ethnic communities inhabiting the different territorial areas comprised in the North, such as to set them apart from those in the South. (The term “True North” is here used throughout to describe the ethnic groups or States in “Northern Nigeria” by reason of their geographical location in the north of the country, not by reason of having been arbitrarily put there as an act of gerrymandering by British colonialism.) Sixth, and perhaps more significant, from the
standpoint of geography, Northern Nigeria is not one solid, unbroken land mass sharing physical or geographical features. Many of the tribes put within it are not in the North in the geographic sense, but occupy a zone in the middle between the North and South – the Middle Belt Zone. As a zone in the middle between the North and South, they are, therefore, neither in the North nor in the South geographically. Indeed, strictly speaking, they lie, geographically, more in the South than in the North. They are grouped with the tribes in the True North, not by reason of their geographical location in the North, but simply in consequence of an act of British colonialism. These Middle Belt tribes today form the present Benue State sharing common boundaries with present Ebonyi, Enugu and Cross River States in the South; Kogi State sharing common boundaries with present Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo States in the South; Kwara State sharing common boundaries with Oyo, Osun and Ekiti States in the South; Taraba State lying close to Cross River State but separated from it by a narrow strip of Benue State territory. Significantly too, the Middle Belt States of Benue, Kogi and Kwara are separated geographically from, and have no common boundaries with, the States in the True North, as they do with those in the South; lying in-between them and the States in the True North are Niger, Nassarawa, Plateau and Taraba States located in the Central Area of Lugard’s Northern Nigeria, and whose territories stretch right across it (i.e. Northern Nigeria) and extend to the eastern and western boundaries of Nigeria. There is thus no geographical contiguity or a physical borderland between the Middle Belt States and the twelve States in the True North, namely Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno Gombe, Yobe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara. Therefore, as far as the Middle Belt States (Benue, Kogi and Kwara States) are concerned, the idea of “Northern Nigeria” as one entity has no basis in geography whatsoever, any more than it has a sociological, cultural, linguistic or religious basis; it originated and persists as a purely artificial creation and an emanation of an act of gerrymandering by Lugard as Governor-General of the colonial state of Nigeria. The States lying right across the country’s huge land mass immediately above the Middle Belt States and situated at its central area, with territories extending to the eastern and western boundaries of Nigeria (i.e. Taraba, Plateau, Nassarawa and Niger States) may, arguably, be grouped with the States in the True North as having some, albeit tenuous, sociological, cultural, linguistic and religious (as well as a geographical) nexus with them. Thus, the truth of the matter, as just stated, is that
Northern Nigeria, as one entity, came into existence entirely as an artificial creation of British colonialism. The different tribes inhabiting the various territorial areas in the North were acquired by Britain as an act of colonisation and were, for governmental purposes, brought together and administered as one entity called the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria. As one entity, the extent of its territorial area was less than what it is today. It was in 1918 after its amalgamation with the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria (1914) that Sir Frederick Lugard, as Governor-General of the unified entity, extended its territorial area south-eastwards to include a good part of the territory that previously lay in the eastern province of Southern Nigeria. But he rejected demands for a similar revision of the boundary between the North and the SouthWest, although the people of Ilorin and Kabba divisions in the North belong to the same tribal stock – Yoruba – as those in the South-West. The only concession by the British colonial government of Nigeria was the transfer of the tiny community of Otun from the North to the South-West in 1936. Nor was the Northern Nigeria/Southern Nigeria dichotomy dictated by what might be said to constitute a natural boundary between them. If one were looking for natural boundaries, the River Niger and River Benue provided the obvious ones, yet the North, with boundaries extending beyond the River Benue into the South-East, and far beyond the River Niger into the South-West, was preserved intact as it was before the 1914 amalgamation, unlike what was done in 1939 when, following the 1906 amalgamation of the hitherto two segments of Southern Nigeria, the boundary between them was drawn along the natural frontier of the River Niger. Furthermore, it might have been expected that the 1914 amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria would be followed by a general redrawing of the boundaries of the administrative divisions of the unified entity, as was done when the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and the Colony and Protectorate of Lagos were amalgamated into the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria in 1906. The pre-existing territorial structure was discarded, and the new entity was simply divided into three provinces, Eastern, Central and Western. Lugard refused to follow that precedent after the 1914 amalgamation, insisting on the preservation of Northern Nigeria as one monolithic, undivided entity. • To be continued tomorrow. • Nwabueze is professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Fashola and the dream Lagos By Oba-rotimi Olalekan HERE is no doubt that Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has performed signifT icantly well in the last six years of his tenure. The transformation the state has witnessed under his leadership is unprecedented in the history of Lagos and this is evident in the transformation of all sectors i.e. education, health, infrastructure, judiciary etc. It is this good governance that has led to the influx of Nigerians from all parts of the country to Lagos as many people want to be part of the good life that is returning to Lagos again after many years of unenviable administration. It is not uncommon to see lorries and trailers loaded with people moving into Lagos even when it is evident that most of those people coming in have nothing worthwhile to contribute to the economy of the state. It is important to say that the exodus of people from many states into Lagos could pass for a failure of governance in those other states and a sign of underperformance by those responsible for the wellbeing of their people. In recent years, there has been an upsurge of beggars of all categories (blind, lame, deaf and dumb) and lazy people on Lagos streets and looking closely, one will realise that most of these people are not Lagos indigenes nor people from
the South-West but mostly from non-Yoruba speaking states. The question we should ask ourselves as people who desire to see Lagos take her rightful place among the committee of functioning and beautiful cities is “how did these blind, lame, deaf and dumb people find their ways to Lagos? The obvious is that there seems to be an organised network of people who have turned begging to a business and feels that the unwholesome business thrives best in Lagos without inhibition and this perception has to be reversed by allowing the Lagos State Government take necessary actions within the law to rid Lagos of such social misfits who can easily be manipulated to aid and abet crime. So much has been said lately by those opposed to the relocation of some people from Anambra State and other states to their home state as well as the urban renewal being embarked on at IjoraBadiya but many of these people have not been objective in their comments. A lot of sentiments, political and ethnic colourations have tainted the expected objective analysis of what Lagos State Government did and is doing and unfortunately some NGOs seeking for recognition and relevance are not seeing things objectively too. In my objective opinion, the Lagos State Government did no wrong by helping to re-unite helpless Nigerians back to their state of origin. The fact is that there are so many people including Yorubas, Ibos,
Hausas, Fulanis and people from other ethnic groups who would have been better off living in their home state and do not have any reason being in Lagos but who are bent on staying in Lagos and at the end of the day constitute a nuisance to the society by engaging in crime or overstretching the infrastructure put in place by the government. As it obtains in other civilised climes, for us to have a Lagos of our dream, it can no longer be business as usual hence all those who mean well for Lagos should commend the action of the Lagos State Government at bringing sanity to the city environment. Local government chairmen in Lagos must also sit up as it seems that only few of them are working to serve their people well. I must however emphasise here also that there are still unresolved challenges for Governor Fashola. Notable among these challenges is the official and un-official harassment and extortion of Lagos residents by government officials and miscreants in the state. The culpable government officials involved in extortion and harassment are LASTMA officials, VIOs and local government officials. Instead of helping motorists who are in distress as a result of vehicle breakdown or people who do not know their way around Lagos, LASTMA officials are more interested in compounding the problems of mo-
torists and are always out to impound the vehicles of Nigerians at the slightest opportunity and in the process make outrageous financial demand from their victims. People are forced to part with as much as N10,000 by these thieves in uniform after they might have intimidated their victims by telling them that they will pay more if they are taken to their office. If the excesses of these government officials are not checked, the present political party in the saddle in Lagos State that has joined others to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) might lose out in subsequent elections because Lagos voters are wiser and more sophisticated than before. Politicians should also note that most Nigerians who will vote are not card carrying members of any political party hence they must be careful in their conduct. It is necessary also to let Governor Fashola know that something urgent has to be done to ease the flow of traffic from Bariga to University of Lagos. There is no reason why a road that leads to the prestigious University of Lagos should not be dualised. The truth is that Governor Fashola is being looked up to by many Nigerians to play a role at the national level if not now, definitely in the nearest future and as such he cannot afford to lose focus or get entangled in the bitter politicking going on now. • Olalekan lives in Lagos.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Opinion Letter to Ogun State governor By Tunde Fatunde WOULD want to intimate you with the deteriorating living and Iitsworking conditions within the Agbara Industrial Complex and environs. As the Chief Executive of this prosperous state, I will plead with you to find solutions to these problems. Agbara Industrial Complex is one of the growing economic nerve centres of Ogun State. Some economic experts have predicted that this area may, given the right incentives, become one of the biggest industrial hubs in West Africa. The growing investment in this area is estimated at over several billions of naira. And there are signs that the investment profile in Agbara will definitely grow. One of the obvious implications of this growth is a rising increase in taxes and other loyalties accruing to the treasury of Ogun State. It is, of course, the business community in Agbara and middle class professionals who pay these taxes to Ogun State as and when due. Members of this industrial complex, including the village communities, deserve a standing ovation. There are some issues your administration should tackle with regards to the inadequacies and hardships being faced by human beings who live and work in Agbara. I am convinced that your administration has the political will and the resources emanating from these taxes and royalties to solve these problems. Here are the problems. In the entire Agbara environs, there is no single fire fighting station. Individual factories and few wealthy individual homes have fire rudimentary fighting equipments. There are many instances when private homes in Agbara Housing and OPIC Estates rush to some of these factories and appeal for Samaritan assistance to quench burning fire. We can all better imagine a scenario of serious fire outbreak of unimaginable dimension engulfing the entire area, and no fire fighting station to our rescue. It is therefore imperative for your administration to establish, without delay, a robust fire fighting station to safeguard lives and properties here. Another threatening danger to human lives is the indiscriminate dumping of refuse and industrial wastes emanating from homes and factories. All along the main road, makeshift refuse dumps are very visible. They constitute health hazards. And human lives are slowly and quietly been infested by various diseases because of these untreated waste products. Medical doc-
tors in this area treat patients for heart , lung and skin diseases because fire is set, indiscriminately, to these dumps and human beings inhale polluted air. Your excellency should, as a matter of urgency, create appropriate site for these refuse and industrial wastes. Lagos State in collaboration with its dynamic private sector has imported adequate technologies from China and Singapore to covert these wastes to renewable energy. This process has also created, in Lagos, employment opportunities for the youth. Ogun State can take advantage of the Lagos model. Industrial and domestic wastes in Agbara can be converted easily into wealth for the state and her citizens. Still on environmental hazard, the village community near the Agbara sewage treat plant often complain about contagious and unhealthy odour from the plant. The oozing of putrid odour from the plant is dangerous to Agbara Village community whose health must be protected by all means. Good health, we all know, is wealth. Agbara Housing Estate Management must be made to conform to the proper running of its sewage plant. I suggest that your excellency mandates the Ministry of Environment to liaise with the estate management to ensure stricter compliance with established rules and regulations to safeguard the good people of Agbara community from the health hazard of the sewage plant. The biggest problem confronting Agbara and OPIC areas is lack of good roads. Your excellency, permit me to digress a bit. Recently, some international media sent their reporters to further investigate some matters between an international bank and Agbara Estate. The Estate is well known in the financial circles in London and New York as one of the promising industrial hubs of West Africa. Agbara Industrial Estate is on the internet as a growing industrial layout in Ogun State. These foreign journalists were highly disappointed with the two failed roads linking the estate. They could not believe that the goose that lays the golden eggs is not catered for. One of them, name withheld, compared the two failed roads into the estate as similar to the ones he saw in war ravaged Somalia and Liberia! They all sent their reports on the roads to their head office abroad and these confidential reports may soon be published in their media for the attention of international investors.
There is a looming disaster threatening the entire lives in Agbara and OPIC areas. Let me explain. Many of these trucks carry raw materials including chemicals from Apapa seaport and Seme border to Agbara factories. These trucks, for now, manage to get to the factories just by luck. The roads are in very bad condition. Yes, very bad. Mother luck may perhaps soon run out of all of us! Let us all examine this possible scenario. If any of the trucks carrying dangerous chemicals, as raw materials, to the factory capsizes and catches fire, no human life will be safe! Workers and inhabitants of Agbara and OPIC conurbations are confronted, everyday, with this frightening possible scenario. What is to be done? First, as Chief Executive, you should as a matter of urgency convince the Agbara Estate Management and Agbara Community to settle, out of court, all litigations preventing the rapid reconstruction of this road from the Badagry Expressway end and the industrial estate. If disaster breaks out and destroys lives and properties, your administration may be indicted for not taking any proactive measures to prevent the potential carnage staring all of us in the face any time we ply this failed road. The industrialists have, several times, given their commitment and readiness to finance the reconstruction of this road. However, the lingering legal tussle between the Estate Management and the Village community, which have been going on for the past years, have prevented the industrialists from putting down money to fix the roads. The second road into the estate from the Badagry Expressway belongs to the Federal Government. Sometime this year, FERMA, the road agency moved to site to fix the road. The agency, for unknown reason, moved out its workers and equipments. The road has further deteriorated. The same trucks carrying raw materials to the factories take this alternative road with the drivers hoping that their trucks will not capsize. We all know the usual controversies between States and Federal Government over federal roads. Your excellency could use part of the taxes and the royalties paid by these companies to fix the road. Once again, if any disaster happens, the blame will definitely be at the doorsteps of his excellency. I hope my suggestions will be looked into as soon as possible. Best Regards. • Prof. Fatunde resides in Agbara Housing Estate, Agbara, Ogun State.
Five alive in Cambridge (2) By JK Randle • Continued from yesterday. OMPLETELY out of the blue, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory openly canvassed support for President Goodluck Jonathan. He faced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria and declared: “I admire Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I have looked at his accomplishments in politics and his political antecedents and I say that this man should not just be Asiwaju of Lagos but Asiwaju of the entire Kaaro o ojiire (the Yoruba race). I want to assure you, Asiwaju, that there is a President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, who has fought more battles than any other Nigerian leader in the name of terrorism. Mr. President is here with us. In 2012, the budget for security was N900 billion; that money is enough to dualise all major roads in Nigeria. It is enough to equip our universities. If that money had entered some African countries, it would cripple the economy, but it was committed to security because of terrorism. Goodluck Jonathan can be likened to a pilot who took off and suddenly entered into turbulence. With patience and perseverance, he weathered the storm. Today, he has reached the cruising level and he is cruising towards 2015. I believe you should be with this president as a democrat and not with a dictator.” The hall went quiet initially but soon erupted into a huge ovation for Senator Smart Adeyemi. Smart guy played the smart card! A deluge of testimonies followed. The Chairman Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih was on his feet. Even though he is now approaching 90 years, he is still spritely. The best part of his testimony was when he said: “I urge parents to give proper education to their children, no matter what it costs. I shall die a happy man because I have struggled to give all my children good education. The best thing you can leave for your son and daughter is good education. It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. You may be a cleaner or a palm wine tapper but please give your children good education. If I die tomorrow, I will go happily because I struggled to educate my children.” The old man had hardly sat down when Otunba Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation magazine and former Presidential Candidate of the National Conscience Party took the microphone: “Education liberates the mind and I shall continue to struggle for the liberation of the country from the hands of the few who are milking it. Nigeria can do a lot better. We can’t abandon politics into the hands of a few and then turn round to complain. I have not been in power yet, but we will continue to do it and encourage others to join hands to liberate the country from all the socio-
political problems confronting the country.” Matters took a very lively turn when the feisty Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke gave testimony that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is not a weak president. Indeed, according to her, external factors and local impediments have been trying to scuttle the president’s ambition, which is to reposition Nigeria in the first two years of his administration. “Dr. Jonathan is neither a weak nor indecisive president. The people who hold that view have been affected by long years of military rule that made them believe that leaders must be aggressive. With his consummate passion for the progress of the country, there is no doubt that the president is leading Nigeria to its rightful destination. Some of the external factors that have compounded the President’s woes are the activities of Boko Haram in the North and kidnappers in the South. Indeed, it is impossible for the Federal Government to separate the external factors from the local impediments because they are interlinked. Also, technological advancements, including the use of mobile phones to create havoc and peddle falsehood have contributed to the problems. “The first two years of Jonathan’s administration met with tough, even threatening challenges. The Boko Haram insurgence in the North and the spate of callous kidnappings in the South could quite easily have shifted all focus away from the President’s clearly outlined transformation agenda. Ironically, however, the president seems even more inspired to steer the ship of the state to a safe point where the dignity of every Nigerian is preserved; a point where our right to contribute to productive decision-making is assured, where our balance of payment is no longer in deficit, where we do not consume more than we produce, where every Nigerian can boast a healthy standard of living, where our women take centre stage in the whole process of social and economic transformation. “While the local impediments to the president’s ambitions are unrelenting, external factors have compounded the matter further, making it impossible to separate one from the other. We now live in a world where a click of your mobile phone takes you to the global marketplace. This may seem adventurous and exciting to some, but the impact on the local market is incalculable. Mr. President is determined to fulfill all his electoral promises in the lifespan of his administration. Jonathan is already on course to deliver in excess of his commitments across all sectors of the economy.” The minister was rewarded with warm applause but the guys from “Oil and Gas” insisted on giving her a standing ovation! When matters had calmed down somewhat, Archbishop P.Y. Jatau, President of Christian Association of Nigeria (19 northern states) rose to his feet to read the following address: “As a coun-
try we continue to lack individual and institutional role models. The setting of examples is key to leadership. Our Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry was one of leadership by example. Not only did He take the time to explain to the apostles how they should live their lives, He continuously did so in the acts He did and in the way that He lived. We commend those who God has favoured and burdened with the responsibility of leadership, the example of our Lord. “In the second quarter of 2013, our beloved nation, Nigeria has continued to fixate on the ephemeral while paying scant attention to those ills that truly beset us. We are like lost sheep, only too ready to follow whatever whims occupy the public space. In the meantime our foundation is eroded and our faithfulness is dissipated. “The fundamentals of faithfulness must continue to illuminate every pillar of our nationhood: ‘in our relationships with God, with the Church, with one’s neighbours and at work, as regards duties to the state or nation’. “The parlous state of the nation’s economy continues to have a ripple effect on society at large; in particular, worrying levels of youth employment – much of it long term – has left large swatches of our population feeling that they have little or no stake in the country and its future. Such a sense of despair and disenfranchisement has the potential to lead to acts of social dysfunction and outright criminality.” Like a meteor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory burst on to the scene smoking with rage. His anger was directed at those who had slugged off his book: “Accidental Civil Servant”. According to him, the book was meant to caution Nigerians who intend to give their best to the country, to tread gently or lose their hard-earned reputation overnight. “After serving the nation for eight years, all I got was to be sent on exile for stepping on toes in the course of doing my work as a minister. Regardless, I urge Nigerians, particularly the youths not to give up on their desire to serve their country and venture into politics. It is only selfless leaders who should take charge of the affairs of the nation.” Nasir brought the roof down when he said: “You can all see that I am not a tall person. You can even say I am short. When I was pulling down illegal buildings all over Abuja, my detractors launched a vicious campaign that by the time my term as minister was over, nothing higher (taller) than me would be left standing.” The ovation was thunderous. • Concluded. • Bashorun Randle is Chairman and Chief Executive, JK Randle Professional Services Chartered Accountants.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday August 21, 2013
GlobalStocks U.S. bond yields fall from two-year peaks NITED States (U.S.) bond U yields receded from twoyear highs on Tuesday on revived safe-haven bids as prices on most world stock exchanges fell to the lowest level in over a month on concerns that less U.S. monetary stimulus will hamper global growth. Wall Street stocks bucked the downdraft in global equities, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rebounding from a four-day losing streak, the longest so far this year. The dollar fell against major currencies, hitting a six-month low against the euro, though the weaker U.S. currency helped steady gold prices. Speculation whether the U.S. Federal Reserve might shrink its bond purchases at its policy meeting next month also knocked oil prices lower, although unrest in Egypt and reduced Libyan supply stemmed a further decline. “The ongoing meltdown in regional currencies is starting to negatively influence all risk assets and, for the moment, is helping create a bid for the Treasury market,” said John Briggs, U.S. rate strategist at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut. The Federal Open Market Committee, the U.S. central bank’s policy-setting group, will release the record of its July 30-31 meeting on Wednesday. Traders anticipate the minutes will contain clues whether the Fed is on track to reduce its $85 billion monthly purchases of U.S. bonds at its September 17-18 meeting. Anxiety that U.S. policymakers would dial back the Fed’s third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, has been accompanied by worries the Fed is looking to raise short-term interest rates, even though Fed officials have assured markets that would not happen for a long time. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell to 2.834
percent, down 6 basis points from late on Monday, when it touched 2.90 percent, a level not seen since late July 2011. Treasury yields are benchmarks for domestic mortgage rates and other longterm borrowing costs. Some economists have cautioned the surge in yields since May would slow the housing recovery, auto sales and other rate-sensitive sectors in the world’s largest economy. German government bonds, Europe’s equivalent
benchmark, moved in lock step with U.S. yields, easing to 1.839 percent after topping 1.924 percent a day earlier, which was the highest level since March 2012. The spike in Treasury yields has exerted downward pressure on stocks since last week. “This has been a technical pullback (in stocks), and with the 10-year yield near 3 percent, we are pretty close to reversing it,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
Wall Street stocks opened slightly higher on Tuesday after recording their longest losing streak in 2013 as major retailers reported positive profits and outlooks. .N At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 54.88 points, or 0.37 percent, at 15,065.62. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was up 11.28 points, or 0.69 percent, at 1,657.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 33.15 points, or 0.92 percent, at 3,622.23.
Europe’s top shares .FTEU3 were down 0.94 percent, near a two-week low, while emerging stocks .MSCIEF fell 1.16 percent to trade at a five-week low, though both indexes had recovered slightly during the morning session. Broad equity losses weighed down the MSCI world share index by 0.04 percent to its lowest since July 11. With the focus on the Fed cutting stimulus, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket
of currencies .DXY, fell 0.4 percent after touching its lowest level in more than two months. The euro strengthened 0.7 percent versus the dollar at $1.3425, just a touch below its six-month high of $1.3452, while the dollar fell 0.4 percent against the Japanese yen at 97.17 yen. “The yen tends to attract buying when tensions in the market increase,” said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.
Traders at Stock Exchange
European shares hit three-week low as volatility spikes UROPEAN shares hit a threeE week low and a major volatility index jumped on Tuesday, as expectations hardened that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to scale back its monetary stimulus measures next month. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 1.4 percent to 1,207.89 points in afternoon trade, marking its lowest point in August, led down by a 1.5 percent drop in banks . The index closed 0.8 percent lower at 1,214.78 points. The FTSEurofirst 300 reached a five-year high of 1,258.09 points in late May but has since slipped on growing speculation that the Fed will soon start to reduce its month-
ly bond buying, which has driven much of the global equity rally this year by churning out cash and hitting the returns on bonds. Minutes from the Fed’s July meeting, due out on Wednesday, could make the situation clearer. Any Fed pullback could hurt growth-sensitive “cyclical” stocks. “If the Federal Reserve are to start cutting back on quantitative easing, it would be the financial sector that would take the initial hit, and defensive stocks are doing relatively well today versus cyclicals such as financials,” Manoj Ladwa, head of trading at TJM Partners, said, although he cautioned against reading too much into the session’s
moves. “The market is very thin at the moment. We’ve had a few corporate stories, from the likes of Glencore, that are not so great, but volumes are down over 10 percent on this time last year, so you expect a few exaggerated moves in the market and a bit of intraday volatility.” The Euro STOXX 50 Volatility Index surged 9.7 percent to 19.20 points, reflecting investor doubts over the near-term outlook for markets, but volume on the FTSEurofirst 300 was just 88.7 percent of an already low 90-day average. Glencore Xstrata fell 1.6 percent after taking a $7.7 billion hit on Xstrata’s mining assets, with fellow
basic materials firm BHP Billiton also down 1.6 percent after profit missed forecasts. The cyclical basic resources sector fell 1.4 percent, suffering along with other stocks that are sensitive to economic optimism. The prospect of reduced Fed stimulus has led to parallel gains in core sovereign debt yields that have made stocks less attractive to investors. Concern over the outlook for stock markets hit insurer AXA , down 3.8 percent, with investors worried about its exposure to the asset class. However, Swiss bank Reyl’s chief investment officer, Francois Savary,
categorised the current pullback as a “consolidation” as investors book profits on this year’s rally, rather than a more serious stock market collapse. “The short term is shaky, but we should still finish the year higher,” he said. Savary said he remained optimistic on the longer-term outlook for European equities due to signs that the region’s economy is recovering from the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis. He was considering adding to his European equity exposure, but felt now was not the right time as the market retreat was “not advanced enough”.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Midweek Arts Nations that promote their cultures are less inferior in today’s world, says Peruvian ex-minister Interview Last year, the immediate past Peruvian Minister of Culture, Mrs Suzana Baca, was in the country for the first time. She was in the company of former German Ambassador to Nigeria’s wife, Cecilia Maria Toledo, to perform at the yearly Operabuja musical concert. Following her encounter with African music and cultures, the first Afro descendant minister in Peruvian history was in the country again for another visit. This time, to produce a musical CD of indigenous Nigerian music — a project, she said, is aimed at changing the complex mentality of Afro descendants in South America about their cultures. In this chat with BRIDGET CHIEDU ONOCHIE, she insists that cultural promotion has correlation with economic growth and national unity. According to her, countries that promote their cultures are less inferior in today’s world. She also talks about Operabuja project and what it holds for African descendants in South America. FTER a huge success recorded at the last A Operabuja, which I was part of, my husband felt that the Abuja Metropolitan Music Society (AMEMUSO), organisers of Operabuja had performed excellently and that such performance should be documented and produced in a CD for our people in Peru. So, through the founder and director of AMEMUSO, Cecilia Toledo, we secured an invitation to come. This time, we shall be recording two CDs; one is the recreation of last year’s Operabuja while the other has to do with my private project, which will also feature AMEMUSO choir and other artists across the world. The idea is that after recording here in Hilton, which is our home and sponsor, we will take it to Peru for the post-production and we hope to bring the CD during the next concert. Thus, I would say that I am here again to make the last encounter of cultures that happened at the last concert stronger. I feel we should put our voices are together — the Peruvians and Nigerians, in the music that we share. I feel that if we put our voices together, Afro descendants in South America and Nigerians here, we will make a better world. I want this encounter of cultures that is happening in this room to be reflected in the CD and after watching the encounter in CD, Afro descendants in Peru would either come to Nigeria to watch Operabuja live or invite Operabuja to come and perform in Peru. Suzana and Operabuja Operabuja performance of last year was marvelous, far beyond my expectations from
Suzana Baca (right) with wife of former German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Maria Ceccilia Toledo... at the Operabuja last week Nigerian artists. In their performances, I observed some similarities between Nigeria’s music culture and that of Afro descendants in South America that reminded me that we are one and that this is our root. I observed some of these similarities also when the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, to last year’s Abuja Carnival invited me. That day, I disappeared into the crowd and people were afraid that something might have happened to me. But I was in the midst of the crowed, among participants in their costumes. I was dancing and crying because I felt I was from here. And this was incredible. Though we have lost all our contacts to the past, to slavery, I felt at home here. I finally understood I am from this part of the world. That is the reason I would love my fans all over the world to know about the Operabuja, how important it is and the reason they should visit Nigeria because of it. Relevance of culture to economic development Culture is the most important thing, it the basis of everything. Unfortunately, politicians in my country are not taking culture as seriously as they should because they don’t understand the point. A country without a culture is absolutely nothing; it does not have an identity. In Peru, the budget for the ministry of culture is the lowest, and ironically, Peru is very important in terms of culture. We have incredible historical monuments for humanity but government does not bring money for their developments. We have pyramids like they have in
Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem (left); Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Nico Vervelde; Creative Director, Farafina Trust, Chimamanda Adiche; and Dr. Ivara Esege at the 2013 Literary Evening by Farafina Trust, sponsored by Nigerian Breweries, held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos...last Friday
Egypt with incredible tourist destinations but our people and government don’t even feel proud of their cultural heritage. People with more cultures recognize their own values and feel proud about their past, history and heroes are more identified with unity and progress and people are less complex because they feel surer of who they are and where they are coming from. Culture is the most important thing. To build a good country, you must invest in culture — culture of your people so that they can be proud. Experience as the first black minister in the history of Peru To have a minister of Afro descendants in power in a country that is very discriminatory against the black was incredible. For me, it was a triumph to make Peruvians understand that we are all equal and love the country equally. Afterwards, they were very proud of me. I am particularly very proud that I could carry along people that were discriminated upon, that I was able
to create unity among Afro descendants. All my life, I have been fighting for the rights of black people of Afro descendants in South America. I even wrote a book with my husband about African cultural heritage that was brought to South America and how bad it could be to undermined or devalue it. Being a minister after so many years of fighting for our rights was a victory for our people. The discrimination was so strong that Afro descendants could no longer identify with Africans, but wanted to be as white as possible. This resulted in loss of identity and that is the reason this work is very important. It will make Afro descendants to feel proud about their cultures once again. They don’t know how good African culture is and how connected it is. Through this CD, they will feel proud in Peru to be Afro descendants, they will feel proud of this incredible connection with Africa, they will feel important in their country and the whole world. That is the greatest reason for this project. Achievements I was also able, for the first time in the history of the country to open the door of the culture ministry to people of other nations, especially the Indians, Afro descendants and all the countries that were discriminated against and they could make their requests and talked about their cultures and various ethnicities. Before, decisions were taken without their imput. If someone wants to flare gas near the houses of these people, they don have to consider them, so, I sponsored a Bill that challenged government officials on their abuse of power in that regard. It asked them if they would allow gas flaring to be done near their houses. The law also aimed to enlighten the different communities on how to get benefits unlike before when they were not considered for anything. I equally initiated a Bill to stop discrimination against people of other descents, it is awaiting parliamentary approval. The delay in passing the bill into law was because the country is not keen about it. Knowledge of Nigeria to take back to Peru I am very thrilled about AMEMUSO Choir. They are great artists that can interpret and sing in such a beautiful way that I have not seen before. They have excellent directors and the talents to do more things with music. They can pick up a song in one minute. I will go with the feelings that in Nigeria, everyone is a singer. I will go with this dream that the group will one day come to Peru and interpret the song in a big theatre.
ANEC 2013… Talking Nigeria Beyond Oil in Asaba CONOMIC experts, minisE ters, governors and top businessmen are billed to come up with viable suggestions on how the nation can be weaned from its age-long dependence on crude oil as the major source of its income when editors storm Asaba from August 21 to 24 for their 9th All Nigerian Editors Conference (ANEC 2013). In a release by the General Secretary of the Guild of Editors, Isaac Ighure, the theme of the four-day conference, which will be chaired by the veteran journalist and former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Segun Osoba, is, Nigeria Beyond Oil: Role of the Editor. Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, GCON, is expected to set the tone of the conference in a keynote address. Ministers listed to speak on key issues that are germane to the diversification of the economy are those of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, who will speak on The Value Chain
Roadmap; and Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke, Oil Exhaustible, Tourism Inexhaustible. Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank; and Prof. Sylvester Monye, Special Adviser to the President on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, will deliver papers on Financial Institutions In a Non-Oil Economy, and Opportunities in Non-Oil Nigeria respectively. Moderators at the high-wire event include top-notch Nigerians, such as the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Eugene Juwah; and Mr. Onyema Ugochukwu, a former Editor of the Daily Times and former governorship candidate on the ticket of the PDP in Abia State. Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, will definitely be in his element, when he mounts the rostrum to speak as the Special Guest while
Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Special Guest of Honour, in his charismatic candour, is expected to provide some food for thought in his remarks. Apart from the host governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who will deliver the welcome address, other state governors from the northern and southern parts of the country will be on hand to offer their views on the path the nation should tread in order to shed its prolonged dependence on oil. Cognizant of the fact that retirement is inevitable after a successful career as a journalist/editor, the Guild has set aside the last day of the conference for the expected 300 editors to brainstorm on Life After The Chair: The Editors’ Colloquium, a session to be facilitated by Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Daily Trust, and to be chaired by Mr. Ted Iwere, another notable journalist.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21 , 2013
ARTS | 55
Award winning drummer, Ayowumi Ayanwale... on duty at the international conference organized by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in 2011
Wande Abimbola, Ifa corpus and Yoruba culture Discourse By Tunji Olaopa NY discourse of Yoruba culture in today’s A global world of cultural flux generates both awe and worries. On the one hand, the Yoruba culture constitutes one of the significant international cultures. Yoruba culture is diasporic in terms of substance and influence. Cuba, Brazil, Puerto Rico, the United States of America, Benin Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and even unusual places like Italy, Germany, and Japan host not only people of Yoruba descent, but also Yoruba music, religious practices, dance and arts, etc. The awe of the Yoruba culture therefore derives from its multifactorial yet unique manifestations all over the world. However, the same Yoruba culture faces a serious dynamics of national and religious dissonance aggravated by the dominance of Christianity and Islam in national and global affairs. Yet, we live in a world taken over by terror and pain and war in which the function of religion has been critically bastardised and very little credible space seems left to hang on to. Any talk of religion is usually met with a loud rebuff of scorn and doubt that doubts the possibility of religion contributing anything but discord to human affairs. This is especially so within the Nigerian context which is torn apart by religious strife that has taken many lives and further damage the fragile national project of national unity. Yet diversity is for us no more a slogan, its reality. Indeed, even to be able to harness the value of transformational leadership, we require team spirit and teamwork. To realize this strength, it should be obvious; we have to demonstrate respect and tolerance towards the opinion and beliefs of others while holding on to the good things in us. We however cannot respect a belief that we do not have even modicum of knowledge about, a measure of ignorance which breeds suspicion and distrust which is at the root of terrorism and murder in the name of faith. If we are to teach tolerance to our children, they must know and appreciate the views of other people. In fact, every religion teaches man to be good and therefore, has its positive aspects. Our education system must take a lead in this regard. It is within this confounding context that Prof. Wande Abimbola — scholar, teacher, adminis-
trator, author, founder of the Ifa Heritage Institute, Nigeria and pioneer historian of Ifa — wants to inject the therapeutic message of the Ifa corpus, the core of the Yoruba culture, as the spiritual panacea for a humanistic reconsideration of our unity. However, a certain concrete and persistent apprehension remains. On the one hand, the Yoruba culture, in spite of its diasporic strength and achievements, is fast declining due to the lack of pedagogical and curricula backstopping of its relevance. On the other hand, any attempt at pursuing what seems like an ethnic project in Nigeria today remains vastly unpopular. Yet, like Francis Bacon, Prof. Abimbola would argue that “All colours will agree in the dark.” In other words, for him, since Nigeria faces a dark time in which the national project confronts its worst fear since the Civil War, all plausible national remedies should be considered. Abimbola’s remedy is simple: the Ifa corpus contains a cultural/religious dynamics that could inject a spiritual elixir into the embattled national project? Cultures generally serve an anchoring function that enables a person to cope with the vicissitudes of one’s human condition within the context of familiar cultural experience and those who make it happen. In this sense, we
become who we are by virtue of some form of cultural moulding. Any culture therefore serves a two-fold purpose—as a framework by which we perceive events, and as a compass for navigating the future. For Amiri Baraka, “‘culture’ is simply how one lives, and is connected to history by habit.” For most people today, however, religion seems to be taking over as the prism through which we perceive and orient ourselves. I understand the dynamics of a cultural and religious interface, having grown up in Awe—with its own unique place in Yoruba history—at the intersection of the Yoruba cultural and Christian religious upbringing. In fact, I benefitted from the mutual toleration which allowed me not only to go to church or follow my grandmother to the mosque (and participate in all the ceremonial and religious exercises demanded by the two religions), but also to be educated in a deep cultural training rooted in the very essence of Yoruba heritage, for which reason I celebrated Ali Mazrui’s Triple Heritage concept. I learnt and practice a social reciprocity which excluded no one. Hence my worry about the impending demise of a cultural heritage that has so much to contribute to our sense of belonging as one people in Nigeria. The religious and philosophical dynamics of the Yoruba culture constitutes its resilient core in a world of cultural flux. The core can be specifically
located in the migratory element that is intrinsic to Yoruba cosmology itself which links its diasporic spread to its unique history. For instance, the founding of the world is a function of a migration of the deities from Olódùmarè to the earth and their consequent dispersion all over the world. Furthermore, there is also a historical rendering of a myth which sees Aláàfin Aólè (c. 1789-1796) placing a legendary curse on the Yoruba: “the Yoruba people will be taken as slaves all over the earth”. This was followed by the firing of an arrow each to the four corners of the world. The challenge of this cosmological and historical fact of migrating Yoruba cultural values is essentially our ability to harness their utility for a Nigerian renaissance which facilitates a tolerant framework presently missing in the national project. Professor Abimbola’s entire life is dedicated to the enunciation of the intrinsic worth and relevance of the Ifa Corpus as a philosophico-religious panacea for religious and national harmony in Nigeria. The Ifa corpus lies at the heart of the Yoruba thought system. It contains not only the ground for validating Yoruba cosmological beliefs, social norms and cultural practices, but also serves as the basis for pathological, emotional and pharmacological diagnosis for the body and for the society. In this regard, there are two senses of Ifa which Wande Abimbola’s reputation as a sound scholar has lend credence to as a veritable framework for resuscitating a sense of unity for Nigerians. The first is Ifa as a body of knowledge and wisdom incorporated into the Ifa literary corpus established on historical, cosmological and mythological bases, and Ifa as a divinatory process that feeds on this body of wisdom. Thus, apart from its intrinsic value as a repository of traditional knowledge among the Yoruba, the Ifa literary corpus also serves, according to Prof. Wande Abimbola, as a pragmatic framework for rethinking the moral vacuum that has endangered politics as a noble profession in Nigeria: “Our indigenous ideas, values and religions are beautiful. And they work.” Wande Abimbola would recommend the tolerance principle or cognitive openness embedded in the Ifa corpus as a genuine indigenous cultural property which could stimulate the diversity project in Nigeria. We are many people attempting to be one. For instance, the Òtúrá Méjì poem illustrates Òrúnmìlà’s openness to his children becoming Muslims. Thus, for Abimbola, Ifa recognises the possibility of many people united in their respect for the individual humanity and collective destiny. In spite of my religious affinity as a Christian and avowed belief in God, I am still willing to recognise and celebrate the immanent humanism underlying the Ifa cultural framework, its deep well of values and classic wisdom gems as well as the significance of a well-founded cultural upbringing. It serves as the basis for relating and tolerating our multidimensional humanity within the context of the Nigerian state. We are therefore immediately alerted to the necessity of a pan-Nigeria consciousness springing from a sense of reciprocal spirituality that sees the humanity in another first before getting a glimpse of their differences. That is the sole message that Wande Abimbola preaches through the Ifa literary corpus. Just as his 1997 book states, Ifa Will Mend Our Broken World—the deployment of the wisdom gems contained in the Ifa corpus possesses the capacity to serve as one of the spiritual dynamics of tolerant accommodativeness we can call upon in a world dominated by terror, heartbreak, poverty, religious hatred and ethnic jingoism. If I am asked about the ultimate value of the Ifa corpus which Prof. Wande Abimbola preaches, I will say with conviction: It is the search for a spiritual bond of oneness. • Dr. Olaopa (email@example.com) is Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth Development, Abuja.
Big Brother final without Bimp, Angelo THIOPIA’S Bimp and South nect with his spirituality and his E Africa’s Angelo fell, one week faith. On his ‘beef’ with Elikem, he short of the Grand Finale as they said “we’re just two different peowere evicted from Big Brother: The Chase during Sunday’s live eviction show. Their departure leaves Beverley, Melvin, Cleo, Dillish and Elikem in The Chase, and in contention for the USD300 000 prize next week. Big Brother did things differently this week, summoning Bimp, Dillish and Angelo to the Rendezvous Room after Elikem had revealed his ‘save & replace’ decision. Bimp was summoned onto the stage first as Angelo and Dillish awaited their fate. He told IK that his time in the house had given him the chance to recon-
ple. The week he was nominated, he was so nice to everybody and then when he became Head of House that Monday, he became a different person and that didn’t sit well with me”. Asked about his other nemesis, Pokello, he said “I think the feeling is mutual. On nomination day, I heard she had told people to nominate me. I thought this was a person I could connect with and have discussions with. I was looking forward to meeting her and she comes around and she wasn’t what I expected,” he told Africa.
Angelo was summoned from the Rendezvous Room next, joining IK on stage. IK said that he’d really gotten into the theme of The Chase, and showed a video clip of his various interactions with the ladies in the house. “I think I was just chasing my feelings and I think it’s important that you follow your feelings and not hold back. At the same time I was happy to meet Beverly, she’s a great person,” he said. “Was your relationship with Beverly inspired or desired?” quizzed IK. “I wanted it to happen, I’m glad it happened that way. Asked about being evicted by virtue of being swapped and not nominated, the
South African was philosophical. “I knew I was swapped, if I’d survived I’d have been grateful. I never went into the house for the money, I went in to represent my country and Africa and I’m still going to try and do the things I wanted to do.,” he told IK. Asked who they thought deserved to win The Chase, Angelo said it was between Melvin and Cleo, while Bimp said it would either be Melvin or Beverly. Angelo said he didn’t have any regrets about his time in the house, which Bimp seconded, saying “I came in as me, I’m leaving as me, and I just hope people are out there for me”.
THe GUarDIaN, Wednesday, august 21, 2013
sports Enyimba tackle Lobi Stars, Warri Wolves battle Akwa United for Federations Cup ticket By Christian Okpara
with all seriousness a top clash like this deserves, we know lo premier league leaders, there won’t be a second chance enyimba of aba, have a as it is a knock out stage.” tough battle in their hands looking ahead to a successful today when they meet 2003 game, lobi stars believe they winners, lobi stars, in one of can defeat enyimba despite the the semifinals of the higher rating of the ‘peoples Federation Cup. elephant.’ The game comes up at the lobi Coach, evans ogenyi told sam ogbemudia stadium, MTNfootball.com that he is not venue of the final of the 2004 afraid of enyimba and “we will edition of the competition face them with all the seriouswon then by Dolphins of port ness and the urgency the Harcourt. match requires.” although enyimba is on top He added, “I don’t dwell in the of the Glo league, while lobi past and I believe my past expestars are on the bottom wrung rience at enyimba will not of the ladder, followers of the count as most of the players I game believe that today’s worked with are no more encounter would add another there. memorable event in the “The target is to lead lobi to annals of the oldest competi- success in this competition and tion in Nigerian football. win the cup after we lost the When both teams met in the trophy last year to Heartland.” final in 2005, the game ended To get to semi-final, enyimba 1-1 with enyimba, which won defeated Nasarawa United 1-0 that year’s league, only man- in abeokuta in the quarterfinal, aging to win the cup through while lobi stars beat akwa a penalty shoot out. starlets 2-1. looking forward to success The second semifinal involves in today’s game, enyimba Warri Wolves and akwa United coach, Imama amakapabo, at the Bauchi stadium. says they would not treat lobi akwa United created a major stars with kid gloves. upset in the competition when “We are in good form, but we they beat defending champion, know that Federation Cup is Heartland of owerri, in the different from the league quarter-final of the competigames, we won’t underrate tion. lobi because for them to be in Just recently, the Uyo-based semi-final of the competition, team defeated Warri Wolves in it shows they are good,” he one of the rescheduled games said. of the league, and it has set the “We will approach the game stage for a grudge game.
Briton rejected NSC’s job offer over ‘kidnap insurance,’ says minister pened recently, when a gentleman from British, who we porTs Minister/Chairman of invited to come and work with the National sports us, insisted that we have to give Commission (NsC), Bolaji him kidnapping insurance. It abdullahi has revealed how a was ridiculous and I told him if British coach demanded for a I asked for slaughtering insurkidnap insurance cover from ance when I came to Uk, or did the Federal Government as con- we not see how people were dition for accepting to work in slaughtered on the street of london? I was angry at the Nigeria. He added that the coach later nonsense from the man asking rejected the offer to work in us to give him kidnapping insurance,” he revealed. Nigeria. arguing that the false alarm abdullahi, who is angered by the wrong impression Malawi’s over the security situation at protest to world football gov- the U.J esuene stadium was erning body, FIFa, over the state done out of mischief, the minof security in Nigeria, regrets ister stated that such alarms than an african country has have continued to portray the gone to the extent of tarnishing country as a security risk counNigeria’s image because of the try to the outside world. bid to win a game. “They were just being misThe Malawi Football chievous in petitioning FIFa association recently wrote to over insecurity in Calabar. I FIFa alleging that Calabar, don’t really know why Malawi venue of the super eagles should protest that they are World Cup qualifier against the not safe in Nigeria. If they are southern africans, is not safe afraid of losing the game, they for the game billed for should find something else as september 7. reason because super eagles “The Malawi protest reminded will beat them with more than me of an incident that hap- five goals.
From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja
Enyimba and Nasarawa United battling for a Federation Cup semifinal ticket at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta. The ‘Peoples Elephant’ will meet Lobi Stars in the first semifinal of the competition, while Warri Wolves and Akwa United will tango in Bauchi in the second game…today. PHIOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI.
Keshi invites 24 home boys, 18 overseas-based pros for Eagles/Flames World Cup qualifier Uper eagles’ Head Coach, stephen keshi has invited 24 home-based professionals and 18 overseas-based boys to camp ahead of next month’s 2014 FIFa World Cup qualify ing game against Malawi in Calabar. only five of the 24 homeboys will eventually join the 18 overseas-based stars for the big game, as well as, for the international friendly against the etalons of Burkina Faso in kaduna on september 10. Usual suspects, including goalkeeper Chigozie agbim, defenders azubuike egwuekwe, solomon kwambe and Benjamin Francis, as well as, midfielders, sunday Mba and forward Muhammad Gambo headline the homeboys’ contingent. Defensive pillar, Godfrey oboabona has been called, but will come in as an over-
seas-based professional if he is able to conclude his transfer to rizespor of Turkey in a few days. all 24 homeboys are expected at the Bolton White apartments, abuja on sunday, while the 18 europe-based stars are expected to arrive unfailingly in Calabar on september 2. “We are calling up 24 home boys in order to be able to identify new players for the 2014 african Nations Championship, for which we have already qualified,” said keshi. Goalkeepers Vincent enyeama and austin ejide, defenders efe ambrose and elderson echiejile, midfielders John Mikel obi, ogenyi onazi and Victor Moses and forwards emmanuel emenike, ahmed Musa and Brown Ideye top the list of the europe-based.
Two-goal hero against south africa in last week’s Nelson Mandela Challenge, Uche Nwofor, retains his slot while spain-based midfielder Nosa Igiebor returns for the first time since the africa Cup of Nations finals. england-based shola ameobi and lokomotiv Moscow’s obinna Nsofor also return. Nigeria, on nine points, need only avoid defeat against seven-pointer Malawi at the U. J. esuene stadium on september 7, to reach the 10team final elimination round of the african qualifying race for next year’s showpiece in Brazil. The friendly against the etalons at the ahmadu Bello stadium three days later brings together the two teams that battled for the africa Cup of Nations trophy in soccercity, Johannesburg on February 10. Nigeria won 1-0 on that day.
FIBA Africa: Nigeria takes on Mali By Adeyinka Adedipe He D’Tigers of Nigeria will T take on Mali today in its opening game of the FIBa african Championship for Men in abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. after beating african champions, Tunisia at the olympics last year, the Nigerian team will fancy it chances of lifting the Nations Cup trophy for the first time after retaining 60 per cent of the players that were at the olympics. The Malians have not been top performers in recent times but the Nigerian team must not take them for granted. Coach ayo Bakare realises this and has called on his players to put in their best in the game. He stated, “things will get better the more games we
play as a unit. I believe in the ability of this team to face any foe in any competition no matter the pedigree of such opposition. Nigerians have to be patient with us.” The longest serving member of the team, olumide oyedeji predicted a victorious outing for the team at the competition. While agreeing that the game against Mali would determine D’Tigers’ chances at the championship, oyedeji stated that everything has been put in place ensure a successful outing at the event. The Tochiki Brex Basketball Club players also admitted that the group was tough but was sure Nigeria would qualify for the next round. “This is the toughest group in the competition. Mali, are
former champions, Cameroun are emerging force while Congo has played in the olympics. We know what we are up against and we are ready to play the best basketball to emerge victorious.” oyedeji also stated that the country has a good team that can win the trophy for the first time. The players that will do battle for Nigeria are the aminu brothers, abdulwahab alade and alfarouk ajadi, andy obinna ogide, Ben Chukwukelo Uzoh, Chamberlain Nnaemeka oguchi, Gani oladimeji lawal, Ike somtochukwu Diogu, Jamaal olasewere, skipper olumide oyedeji, richard Chukwuma oruche, stanley Gumut and stan Chukwuemeka okoye.
List of players for the Brazil 2014 World Cup Qualifier Home-based professionals Goalkeepers: Chigozie agbim (enugu rangers); Daniel akpeyi (Heartland FC). Defenders: azubuike egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Godfrey oboabona (sunshine stars); solomon kwambe (sunshine stars); Umar Zango (kano pillars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC); kunle odunlami (sunshine stars); Chibuzor okonkwo (enugu rangers); Yinka adedeji (sharks FC); Ganiyu ogungbe (kwara United). Midfielders: sunday Mba (enugu rangers); solomon Jabason (akwa United); olufemi oladapo (shooting stars); etebo oghene (Warri Wolves); rabiu ali (kano pillars); Moses orkuma (lobi stars). Forwards: Muhammad Gambo (kano pillars); Ifeanyi edeh (enyimba FC); Mbah ezekiel (akwa United); Barnabas Imenger (lobi stars); Izu azuka (sunshine stars); Dimgba stanley (kwara United); osadaiye Joseph (Warri Wolves). Foreign-based players Goalkeepers: Vincent enyeama (lille FC, France); austin ejide (Hapoel Be’er sheva, Israel). Defenders: elderson echiejile (sporting Braga, portugal); efe ambrose (Celtic FC, scotland); James okwuosa (Chippa United, south africa). Midfielders: John Mikel obi (Chelsea FC, england); Fegor ogude (Valerenga FC, Norway); John ogu (academica de Coimbra, portugal); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, england); ogenyi onazi (ss lazio, Italy); Nnamdi oduamadi (aC Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (real Betis, spain). Forwards: ahmed Musa (Cska Moscow, russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo kyiv, Ukraine); shola ameobi (Newcastle United, england); emmanuel emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); obinna Nsofor (lokomotiv Moscow, russia); Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo, Netherlands).
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, AUGUST 21, 2013
SPORTS | 57
Federation Cup: Glo urges clubs to rekindle healthy rivalry HE 2013 Federation Cup teams who started the comT has advanced to the semi petition is not a mean feat,” final stage with the last four the statement said.
Ojo Onaolapo in one of his international outing for Nigeria
Lagos Table Tennis Classic: Battle for main draw places begins By Adeyinka Adedipe NE hundred and twenty O eight male and 48 female players will battle for places in the main draw of the first Lagos Table Tennis Classic at the qualifiers, which takes place tomorrow and Friday. Competition Manager, John Peters, who disclosed, this at the press conference held yesterday to herald the championship, said the men would be divided into 32 groups (four in each group) with the group winners joining 32 that are already in the main draw. The women, the according to Peters, will be divided into 16 groups of four players each. The group winners will
join the 16 that are already in the main draw of the event. In the junior boys category, 83 players would be divided into 16 groups with the group winners joining the 16 in the main draw. He also stated that the 50 players in the junior girls category would be divided into eight groups with the winners joining the eight that are already in the main draws. The event takes place at the Molade Okoya-Thomas of the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Peter, an international umpire and referee said that Lagos State met all the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) requirements for staging an international event with 15 counties
already registered, while four players are expected to get the approval of their federations before the main event begins on Monday. He said he was glad that an event, which was a dream and become reality, urging the Nigerian players to make the best use of the opportunity. The Lagos State Commissioner for Sports and President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), Wahid Oshodi said that Nigerian players must do well and upset some of the established stars that would be at the classic. He also said the competition would witness a lot of surprises, saying that plans have been put in place to ensure a
Ajagun will play regularly for Panathinaikos GREEK football expert has A told MTNFootball.com Nigeria U-20 skipper, Abduljaleel Ajagun will play regularly for broke Panathinaikos. Ajagun has jetted into Athens to do a routine medical and sign for top Greek club Panathinaikos after he shunned several offers from Croatia and Turkey soon after
the recent FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The Dolphins of Port Harcourt midfielder has been offered a four-year deal. Greek football expert Souskas Lazaros told MTNFootball.com Ajagun would get his chance at the Panathinaikos, who do not have the cash to buy older and experienced players again. “Ajagun will play regularly
for the first team at Pana because they now have many young players as they do not have the money for transfers this summer,” he said. It is reported that Pana is now several months behind in their payments to the players, while bitter rivals Olympiakos are not affected by the recession that has hit Greece. The club has won the Greek championship 20 times with their last triumph being three years ago. Last year, they finished sixth on the league table. Lazaros said Nigeria U-20 midfielder, Michael Olaitan, who has joined Olympiacos, will not be shipped out on loan as reported, but would also get his chance in the first team even though he may not enjoy a regular run. “He was the best player when Olympiacos played against Valencia in Spain in a pre-season game and so he will get his chance in the first team, but he may not be a regular starter,” he said.
hitch-free tournament. He assured that adequate security and top medical facilities have been put in place for the event. Honourary President of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), George Segun said the competition would usher in a new dawn in the development of table tennis in the country. He stated that hosting the tournament was a big plus for Nigeria and this would give more opportunities to the country to host more international competitions in future. Banji Oladapo, who in the vice president of the ATTF and NTTF said that he was excited that the sports was coming back to life after suffering from inactivity in the past. “We hope this will be the beginning of the revival of table tennis in the country,” he added.
teams squaring up for the final tickets today in Bauchi and Benin. The fixtures will see Enyimba of Aba take on Lobi Stars of Makurdi in the first semi-final match billed for the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City while giant-killer, Akwa United will attempt to prey on Warri Wolves at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi. The final match is scheduled for September 15th at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. Official telecommunications partner of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and major sponsor of Federation Cup, Globacom, has called on the four teams to put in their best as the competition gathers momentum. The company in a press statement urged the teams to rekindle a healthy competitive spirit as they vie for the final ticket on Wednesday. “Winning the trophy is the ultimate but playing at the semi-final is worthy of commendation. To have been one of the top four out of the
Globacom also urged the clubs to ensure they maintain the spirit of fair play in the remaining matches. It called on the players and officials to stoke the excitement associated with the old Challenge Cup competitions so as to encourage footballloving Nigerians to embrace local soccer competitions. “We encourage you to bring back the sweet memories of the past when healthy rivalry existed between top clubsides in the country, ”the statement noted. The company noted that Federation Cup tournaments in the seventies and eighties, which used to be known as either FA or Challenge Cup produced outstanding players who formed the bulk of Nigeria’s national teams; and urged the team managers and administrators to motivate their players towards winning this year’s edition of the tournament. The winner of the Federation Cup will represent Nigeria in the next edition of CAF Confederation Cup.
Heartland FC recalls Madu, Chukwu HE management of T Heartland FC of Owerri has lifted the indefinite suspension slammed on two of its officials, Coach Ramson Madu and Head of Protocol, Tonex Chukwu, following a controversial home loss to Enyimba Int’l of Aba last July. A statement from the club on Tuesday said that the officials were recalled following a review of the report of the panel of inquiry, which looked into the case. “The decision, which has been approved by the club Chairman, Chief Fan Ndubuoke was based on the need for all hands to be on deck in the on-going effort to navigate the fortunes of Heartland FC upwards to a comfortable position on the league table by the end of the season,” the statement read. According to the statement, both are to report back to duty immediately
but with a warning to desist from acts that tend to bring discord among the various segments of the Heartland FC family. The two were also advised to work in harmony with one another for the overall interest of Heartland FC. Last Sunday, the panel of inquiry, which looked into the case, submitted its report to the government through the chairman of Heartland FC immediately after the week 26 league game against Dolphins of Port Harcourt, which the home side won by 1-0. The statement further stated that the other members of the technical crew, who were suspended indefinitely after another home loss in the hands of Kwara Utd of Ilorin, are to continue serving their suspension till further notice.
Former Deputy President, International Table tennis Federation (ITTF), Segun George (right) President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and Commissioner For Sports, Enitan Oshodi, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, Biola Awoniya, and Executive Vice President, Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) Bolaji Oladapo at the briefing on the 1st Lagos International Table Tennis Classic in Lagos yesterday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
SPORTS | 59
Lampard says squad keen to impress ‘new teacher’, Mourinho HELSEA midfielder, Frank a hamstring problem, but C Lampard says the club’s could return for Monday’s players have all been trying trip to Manchester United,
Kompany aims for quick recovery ANCHESTER City M Captain, Vincent Kompany is hopeful of making a quick recovery after being forced out of his side’s season opener. The defender suffered what appeared to be a groin injury during City’s 4-0 Barclays Premier League defeat of Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium and left the field after 71 minutes. It was the only sour note in what was an otherwise excellent first match under new Manager, Manuel Pellegrini. But Kompany, 27, tweeted: “Team was great. I felt great. Injury is a blow after all the hard work. I’ll be back to that level in no time. Thanks for all the support!” City is currently light on central defenders with Matija Nastasic also out with an ankle problem, although Pellegrini did suggest the Serbian would be back in full training this week. With Micah Richards also missing the first game, midfielder, Javi Garcia came on to play alongside Joleon Lescott in a makeshift back line for the closing minutes. City’s only other centreback option is Dedryck Boyata, who lacked opportu-
nities under former boss Roberto Mancini and spent time on loan at Bolton and FC Twente. City has been linked with other defenders, including Real Madrid’s Pepe, but Pellegrini has given no firm indication that he intends to move back into the transfer market. Kompany’s presence is
vital to the City team and a two-month absence with a calf injury in the second half of last season proved costly in the title race. City will now await the results of a scan on the Belgium skipper. Pellegrini said, “we will see what happened with the injury. The doctor will say how many days or weeks he
will be away. I can’t tell you exactly now what happened with him but I think it is a serious injury - maybe for one or two weeks.” City travel to Cardiff next weekend and then host Hull before the September international break.
international football after World Cup 2014 before ending his playing career back in the Bundesliga. The veteran forward, who is one strike shy of Gerd Muller’s record of 68 Germany goals, left his homeland in 2011 for the Stadio Olimpico where he has continued to shine in attack despite being 35 years old. Klose has admitted that international retirement after next summer’s tournament in Brazil is likely and insists that winning the World Cup is his priority, not adding to his 14 goals to break the record of 15 times that Ronaldo s c o r e d .
“I assume (my retirement) is what will happen with regards to the national team,” he told Kicker. “The title with the team has top priority (over Ronaldo’s record). If I can win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil that
Villa reveals how to beat Barcelona AVID Villa believes that D Barcelona is weak when they concede possession and has revealed Atletico Madrid’s plans to use that to their advantage in the Supercopa de Espana. The Liga champions take on the Rojiblancos for the first piece of Spanish silverware this season today and Villa who moved from Camp Nou to Vicente Calderon this sum-
mer - believes that victory over two legs is feasible if they keep errors out of their g a m e . “Atletico will have many chances to win, but for that to happen we have to do everything perfect,” he told r e p o r t e r s . “We can’t make mistakes, play well at the back, try to keep the ball as long as possible because we know that
Barca suffer when they lose the ball, and then we can take our opportunities in attack “If you have to look for a favourite, it is Barcelona. We have to fight against that. When the match starts, we all have the same chance to win. “Just look at the statistics of recent years and the way they have started the league. We must seek our options and how we can hurt them.
while Kalas suffered a fractured leg in pre-season. Mourinho may opt to make a number of changes from the side, which began last Sunday’s 2-0 defeat of Hull, with the Old Trafford clash in mind.
Serious Balotelli good for Milan Emanuelson URBY Emanuelson believes Mario Balotelli’s curtailed bad-boy image since his return to Italy to join AC Milan can only benefit the club in their Champions League ambition this season. Balotelli is known for his light-hearted antics and welldocumented misdemeanours off the park, but Emanuelson insists the former Manchester City striker is firmly focused person now. The Dutch attacker hopes that Balotelli can continue his fine form from last season where he scored 12 goals in 13 Serie A appearances, and take the Rossoneri through to the group stages of the Champions League. “Mario is a very important player for us, one with exceptional qualities. Making goals for him and the team is very important,” he told reporters. “In the group he is a good boy, he’s always making jokes. Of course there are those crazy stories, but we don’t get so much of it. Mario has become more serious, perhaps it is also because he is back in Italy, which he likes.”
Klose lays out retirement plans forward, Miroslav LheAZIO Klose has revealed that plans to retire from
to impress their “new teacher,” Jose Mourinho. The returning manager got his second spell at Stamford Bridge off to a winning start with a convincing 2-0 win over Hull City on Sunday. Lampard says the dressing room as been inspired by Mourinho’s presence and says everyone is fighting to get into to the team. “We have a new manager and he is very demanding,” he told The Daily Mirror. “We are very aware of how he is and it’s like having a new teacher at school – that can only be a good thing when you have 22 players all wanting to play in the team. “There has been a lift. We have had a great pre-season. The young players have reacted to the manager. We can’t ask for more than that and we were raring to go from the first whistle.” Chelsea faces Aston Villa tonight with Paul Lambert’s side also in confident mood following a 3-1 opening-day win at Arsenal. “What matters now is we have to face an Aston Villa team this week that has just beaten Arsenal, so we can’t rest on our laurels,” Lampard continued. “Beating Hull has given us a boost. It’s about getting out of the blocks quickly.” Meanwhile, defenders, David Luiz and Tomas Kalas are Chelsea’s only absentees for their today’s Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge. Brazil centre-back Luiz has
Lifting this title is very important to us.” Villa insists he will put all friendship aside when he faces his former team-mates and says he plans to celebrate against the Blaugrana should he score in Wednesday’s home leg. “I have many friends and fond memories of my three years there, but when we start the game, they are my r i v a l s .
would be the greatest for me. Everything else would be secondary.” The ex-Bayern Munich striker does not want to make plans beyond 2013-14 but revealed his intention to return to the Bundesliga
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Team Nigeria eyes 10 gold medals, as attention shifts to Mauritius 2013 By Gowon Akpodonor IGERIA’S contingent to the 14th IAAF World Championship in Moscow returned to the country yesterday. The team arrived in Lagos in the afternoon with officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) beaming with smiles for its success in championship, where Blessing Okagbare’s two medals in the long jump and 200m ended Nigeria’s 14-year wait for a medal in the World Championship. With the Moscow 2013 assignment completed, the AFN says its main focus now is on how the country will do well at the fast approaching 11th African Junior Championship, which will take place in Mauritius this month end. The African Junior Championship was originally
Chelsea’s former Manager, Roberto Di Matteo, in a group picture with players of Collins Edwin FC, an academy located at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
15 schools register for Eko 2013 NISONM Games ORE than 15 schools within the Southwest have indicated their readiness for the fourth Nigeria Schools of Nursing and Midwifery Games (NISONMG), tagged: EKO 2013, to be hosted by the School of Nursing, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. The LUTH has already declared its readiness to host a memorable edition of the competition, which is being organized by National Sports Commission Southwest Zone One in conjunction with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. The competition, which is
basically for nursing students, began yesterday and would end on Sunday inside the Sports Complex of University of Lagos. The Games, according to the organisers, is featuring such events as Track and Field, Basketball, Football, Tennis and Volleyball, all in the male and female categories, while Table Tennis will feature only the male singles and doubles, female singles and doubles. The event, according to marketing partner to the organiser, Kingsize Sports Agency has been supported by corporate sponsors, who promised to support the
games that bring together all health tertiary institutions in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states together annually. “We are setting good records for this 4rd NISONM Games, which is being powered by our sponsors who promised to add glamour to this epoch game. In fact, a reputable telecommunications outfit, is still talking with us, as per this games, we are very much delighted, for all the favourable and positive responses we got on NISONM Games so far,” said Lanre Alabi, CEO, Kingsize Sports Agency, the official marketer of the Games.
scheduled for South Africa early last month, but the soured relationship between Athletics South Africa and the country’s Sport Ministry forced the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) to move it to Mauritius. The Nigerian team is currently preparing in Sapele, Delta State and one of the handlers, Coach Tobias Igwe, told The Guardian yesterday that the country could win as many as 10 gold medals “if things worked according to plans” in Mauritius. The 42 athletes and 12 coaches have been camped in Sapele since August 5. Some of the areas Coach Igwe is banking on for medals, are the female long jump, where new sensation Ese Brume is the nation’s medal hopeful. Igwe is also optimistic that the relay teams (male and female) will pick medals in the championship.
“We are hoping that our sprinters like Harry Chukwudike, Anthony Egode, Victor Ikhazoboh and Divine Oduduru should be able to live up to expectation in Mauritius. “I am also banking on the likes of Akerele Omeiza in the 200m event, Adeniji Ademola and Japhet Samuel in the 400m and Ifeanyi Atuma and Bashiru Abdullahi in the 110m hurdles. We also have Agboola Daniel in the 800m. I am sure we will do well in Mauritius,” Igwe stated. There were hints yesterday that two Nigerian athletes in the junior camp in Sapele may not make the trip to Mauritius due to age discrepancy. An official said yesterday that the country would not take the risk of featuring athletes, whose age is ‘already an issue’ at such an important competition.
Guinness ambassador, Di Matteo, advises Nigerian players on key to success HELSEA’S former Manager, Football Manager game online; improving on their tactical C Roberto Di Matteo has where they can choose their awareness and increasing urged young footballers in own team, become their own their chances of reaching the Nigeria to be more determined and work hard if they want to live their dreams in their chosen carrier. As part of his two-day tour of Nigeria, Di Matteo visited three football grounds located at the National Stadium, Surulere, CMD Playing ground Magodo and Coco playing field, Ogba. The UEFA Champions League winning coach, who was in Nigeria at the instance of Guinness Nigeria to launch a new online game- The Guinness Football Manager, was delighted at the talents he saw on display during his visit and encouraged the youths to be resilient in the path to success as there lies lots of challenges. Di Matteo encouraged the players to play the Guinness
team manager and keep up to date with modern play while they have fun. While admonishing the academy players, Di Matteo said, “you guys have ambitions and aspirations to follow in the steps of your heroes, who are professional football players. It is not an easy step to take considering the challenges, but if you are dedicated and passionate, you can fulfil your dreams.” Speaking on the abundant talents here in Nigeria, the English FA Cup winner said, “I have watched the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup and have seen that African players have lot of skills. African teams have shown in the past World Cup that they are capable of winning the World Cup because they are constantly
semi-finals or finals of the World Cup.” Di Matteo resonated his relationship with some Nigerian players and averred that an average Nigerian player has a chance of progressing wherever they are. “I signed Peter Odemwingie and he was one of the best performers for the season I signed him. I also worked with Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel at Chelsea. I have really enjoyed working with them because they are very proud people, very ambitious people. I have a very close relationship with them, to get the best from them and utilise the best attribute they have. The Guinness Football Manager is game of fun as you also manage your team,” Di Matteo said.
Ninth Cargolux Inter-Club Squash Tourney
Players shock bookmakers as other clubs join the competition H yes! I made,” was “O chairman, Lagos Country Club Squash Section, Taye Ige’s initial reaction after a grueling 3-2 victory over Mike Adekoya as the Closed category of the ninth edition of Cargolux InterClub Squash Tournament entered round two on Monday at Lagos Country Club, Ikeja. It was Ige’s second game of the night after dismissing Demola Olusunmade 3-0 in his first game. An ecstatic Ige clinched his fist and pumped air repeatedly after recording what was regarded as a major upset over the section’s current third best player in the Gold ladder. There is a wide gap in both players’ ranking as Ige is third on the Silver ladder. With the victory, Ige is through to the semi-final of the Closed category. Other players, who have also qualified for the semi-final are Funmi Bankole, who defeated Nick Eguzozie 3-1, Tobi Ogunlesi, who also beat Tolu Kolawole 3-2 and Taiwo Sanni, who trounced Imo Udo-Akagha 3-1.
Winners in the Closed category will represent the club at the Open tournament which starts on Thursday with 13 clubs, including the Squash Sections of Apapa Club, Ibadan Recreational Club, Ikoyi Club, Unilag Senior Staff Club, Cargolux Pilots, Luxemburg, Obafemi Awolowo University Squash
Club, Accra Club, Ghana, Ivory Health Club, Police College, Eagle Club, O’ Trafford Club, Uyo Club and the host, Lagos Country Club. The games involving national seeded players 1-8, national Under-16 and national Under-19 stars are scheduled for today and tomorrow.
Deji Sule (left) and Funmi Bamkole battling it out in one of the Closed category matches of the on-going Ninth Annual Cargolux Inter-Club Tournament at Lagos County Club… on Monday.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Ifeanyi Augustine E HE month of June might have come and gone but its memories remain sore in the mind of many a south-easterner, no thanks to the intrigue and drama that accompanied it. After the successful cerebration of Democracy Day at the centre, our brothers in the south-west looked forward to June 12, a date that mean more to them in democratic terms than May 29. It is seen as the day democracy was murdered in the country, after the annulment of the 1993 general election purportedly won by the candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) Chief Moshood Abiola (MKO), a man many believed lived and died for democracy. The northerners had more in their hands, the insurgency that had been a cog in the wheel of economic development of the region in recent times and had necessitated the declaration of a state of emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan on selected northern states. In the south east, it was a different ball game as people were rather apprehensive of what the period had in stock. In the major cities across the region, Enugu, Aba, Awka, Nnewi and notably, Onitsha, people gathered in twos and threes trying to substantiate a perceived rumour. Some say it was not rumour but confirmed news. The people were confused because it was not aired on the radio nor did it appear on any of the dailies. The few radio stations that did adumbrate it did so at the discretion of their presenters who for obvious reasons used such to cajole residents into participating in their programme. Nobody knew the source of the news but the thing is that it spread much more than the social media would have necessitated. Most residents went to bed on Friday, June 7, believing the next day has been set aside as Biafra day, therefore a public holiday. By who? We knew not, even those of us that cared to know got nothing for an answer. People that had tangible reasons to be not at home the following day stayed glued to their television sets that Friday night hoping to satisfy their curiosity. From the news highlight to the news proper, there was absolutely nothing on the Biafra day. The ripples it caused was not unexpected, though some remained confident that the soldiers would likely be around to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order. Augustine, a boy from Enugu State was in Nnewi that Friday to buy a motorcycle to start his okada business in the village. So on hearing that neither the Nigeria Television Authority nor Anambra Broadcasting Service could confirm the said public holiday, he left for the village in the wee hours of Saturday with renewed vigour. He had his cousin with him, and they intended on getting to their village through Ifite-Ogwari on the new motorcycle because of its proximity to their village. On getting to Onitsha, they were accosted by angry looking mobs who mounted road blocks. There were no other persons in the vicinity except the uniformed mobs which made the boys to attempt dropping something to ease their passage, thinking such had allowed others that presumably used the road easy access. But before they could alight from the motorcycle, both had taken enough slaps from the red-eyed mobs. On their vest was the inscription, ‘GREAT MASSOBIANS…..ebeano! They were taken to what looked like a hide-out, and joined with other captives (or call them victims). Armed MASSOB members cordoned off the whole place. Others busied themselves smoking and drinking, and like a military regime from a successful peace keeping mission, hummed a chorus; i ma nwudo ojukwu n’aka, meaning, ‘you can never catch Ojukwu red handed’. The scene could be likened to a clip from the emotional but award winning movie, Sometimes in April. And like the Tutsi minorities, Augustine and his cousin were sub-
The activities of the MASSOB boys in all its manifestations negate the ideological framework upon which Biafra was proposed as a sovereign state. It was to be one of peace and equal justice because of the perceived marginalisation of the region by the Nigerian government. That was the basis of the sovereignty, as proposed
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A ‘sovereign’ state of nature
jected to the most dehumanising treatment, as were others, who, in keeping with the ‘general will’, had gone about their normal business. To cut a long story short, it took the intervention of Augustine’s elder brother who came to the scene (of course, with some MASSOB mercenaries) after a phone call that cost the victim N2000, for their captors to name the conditions for their release: a non-negotiable sum of N40,000 (for both), and 24 strokes of the cane (koboko) for Augustine and 12 for his cousin. But for the thymotic spirit of the boys, it would have been a tragic end. Now to the million dollar question: Is the public holiday declared legitimate? If yes, is it binding on south easterners as Nigerians or Biafrans? Was Augustine and others who were caught in the web of MASSOB wrong to have violated a mob order? What beats the imagination of the writer is that despite the apprehension caused by the news, none of the governments of the five Eastern states deemed it necessary to make any categorical statement on the issue. Their indifference to the development is not far-fetched; there is a different sovereignty subsisting in the sovereignty. The indivisibility of sovereignty as a political concept seems not applicable to the Nigerian state. The nation’s sovereignty has conceptually gone haywire, and like the
proverbial grass that suffers when two elephants fight, the poor masses are left with no choice but to appeal to Heaven since their ‘common judge’ has inexplicably instigated them against one another. An analogy by the philosopher, Jean Jacque Rousseau is apposite; we are told that the jugglers of Japan dismember a child before the eyes of the spectators; then they throw all the members into the air one after another, and the child falls down alive and whole. The conjuring tricks of our political theorists are very like that; they first dismember the body politic by an illusion worthy of a fair, and then join it together again we know not how. In this context, the conjuring trick of the Japanese jugglers is the same as that of our political leaders who for lack of political will, encourage megalothymia citizenry. The turn of events can only prove one point; that the sovereignty of the entire nation is more laughable than confused while Biafra, by implication, is more imaginary than realisable. What could explain a situation where living a life that is in conformity with the general will, consciously or unconsciously pitch one against his fellow man— nay a particular will. For where there exist factions against a state, the will of these factions becomes general in relation to its members whereas in relation to the state, it is particular. Besides, this will (defined as the last
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People are beginning to lose their moral sense owing to the activities of these boys. The determination of what is good or bad, true or false, is now subject to a kind of situational ethical evaluation. The ethical order of society is fast losing its objective format. And though everyone seems to be aware of this social virus, only a handful may have given or could possibly give it a serious thought appetite in deliberation) of MASSOB members is against the spirit of political society. The activities of the MASSOB boys in all its manifestations negate the ideological framework upon which Biafra was proposed as a sovereign state. It was to be one of peace and equal justice because of the perceived marginalisation of the region by the Nigerian government. That was the basis of the sovereignty, as proposed. As a matter of emphasis, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, the convener of the group was explicit on its mission statement. In ‘ideal Biafra government’ a book he authored, he stated; “ours is a war anchored on non-violence. It is God’s war. I am not afraid because God has always fought just wars.” He went further to assert that, “MASSOB’s non-violent method is a source of worry to Nigeria as she ponders on how to contend with the invisible power of non-violence with which Mahatma Gandhi subdued the mighty British Empire”. That Uwazuruike has remained focused in all his victimisation by the Nigerian government begs the question on why the MASSOB boys have decided to be laws unto themselves. Charity they say begins at home. How would turning against the people that will make up the sovereignty lead to its actualisation? The men make the state and the territory sustains the men, so goes a Greek proverb. Needless to say (I am convinced many would agree with me) that the actualisation of Biafra as a sovereign state died the day the inimitable Chief Odimegwu Ojukwu (Ikemba) took his last breath (if not before). Whatever that is left of MASSOB ought to be geared towards moral reorientation of these boys because they are more than capable of setting the wheel of social integration in a cycle of decay or worst still plunge the region into a moral war. Being a member of MASSOB makes one to be dreaded among his peers in the south east today, precisely, Onitsha. In most cases, they are used as tax enforcers or debt collectors by some unscrupulous individuals. People are beginning to lose their moral sense owing to the activities of these boys. The determination of what is good or bad, true or false, is now subject to a kind of situational ethical evaluation. The ethical order of society is fast losing its objective format. And though everyone seems to be aware of this social virus, only a handful may have given or could possibly give it a serious thought. The majority seems to be adjusting too quickly to the new trend of societal disorganisation (else you are victimised like Augustine and his cousin) and are apparently quite happy and comfortable with the situation. Think of the consequences of such a situation, where moral issues are subjected to personal standard of evaluation, think of state of nature. The country has spent (and is still spending) enormous resources on an insurgent that started with ‘mere intimidation’, today the story is different. What constitutes greater fear for the writer is that Anambra State, the haven of these MASSOB boys, will be going to the polls in November. At a time when the aspirants have started identifying with sections of the people, using phrases like the students’ choice, the traders’ choice, the common man’s choice etc, unless drastic measures are taken to clamp down on the irrational activities of these boys, the aspirant that is favoured by them— the MASSOB choice, stands a good chance come March 2014. • Augustine is a postgraduate student of Unizik.