TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Monday, December 30, 2013
Vol. 30, No. 12,786
Why electricity firms’ owners should recall sacked workers, by Nebo Wants DISCOs to provide 2.7m meters From Emeka Anuforo , Abuja CASE for a recall of workers sacked from the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) recently handed over to new owners has been made by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo. For Nebo, though the workers may have their own problems, they are much more familiar with their areas of operations and are capable of assisting the new firms to recover revenues. But he wants the operators of the utilities to put in place firm control measures to curb any excesses of such workers. Nebo stated this position in an interview with The Guardian. He said: “The new owners worked with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and let’s put it bluntly, 100 per cent of the workers were sacked. But it is at the instance of the new owners to retain who they want to because they are no longer under government employ. I think they CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo (left) with the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, during a courtesy visit by Sambo to the Emir’s palace in Kano… yesterday.
PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Multiple strikes loom From Collins Olayinka, Abuja ACED with the possibility of the country beginning the New Year with multiple strikes, government has scheduled a meeting with medical doctors for Friday while a parley with oil workers is slated for next week. This comes as the collapse of “Project Aquila” of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), which resulted in the fund’s inability to pay N6 billion arrears bridging costs to petroleum marketers may instigate oil marketers into going on strike very soon. Indications also emerged in Abuja at the weekend that the labour movement in Nigeria may begin an agitation for a
• Fuel scarcity likely as PEF fails to pay marketers • Why labour may demand new minimum wage • Govt moves to douse agitations, meets with doctors, others new minimum wage in the New Year. It was learnt that the agitation for increment is based on the continued slide of the Naira and the rise of inflation. The two factors are said
to have consistently eroded whatever gain the 2011 minimum wage has had on the workers’ purchasing power. The General Secretary of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated
Institutions (NASU), Peters Adeyemi, told The Guardian that the devaluation of the Naira and inflation were two factors that had affected the take-home pay of Nigerian workers thereby eroding the
gains made by the 2011 wage increase. He said: “Of course the Nigerian workers have every reason to seek an increment because the purchasing power of salaries has been eroded
Gunmen kill seven at wedding in Borno - Page 7 Africa, too rich to be supported, says Jackson Pages 10 & 11
by the continued devaluation of the national currency – Naira – and increasing inflation. The labour movement may just be looking at this issue more closely in 2014.” To prevent the threat of the oil workers to go on strike from becoming a reality in the first week of the New Year, the government has planned a meeting with Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on January 8, 2014. The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chukwuemeka Wogu, who disclosed this to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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Monday, December 30, 2013
Fuel scarcity likely as PEF fails to pay marketers CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The Guardian at the weekend, said government had not finalised on the modalities to be adopted in selling the ailing four refineries to the private sector. He explained: “If government has taken a final decision on the modalities for the sale of the refineries, why did it set up a steering committee? The composition of the committee is self-explanatory. The Minister of Petroleum Resources is the chair, the Ministers of Labour, Justice and Attorney General, Trade and Investment and others that have direct bearing on the plan are members. Nothing is concrete yet. I am supposed to be the link with the labour movement. To this end, I can confirm to you that a meeting has been slated for next week and it is aimed at smoothing the rough edges and proffering the way forward. The aim of government is to ensure that the refineries produce at optimum capacity for the benefit of the Nigerian people.” The workers’ unions are agi-
tating for a joint ownership structure of 51 and 49 per cent between government and other stakeholders such as host communities and the unions, a development which has proved successful with the Liquefied Natural Gas Bonny and other initiatives that are partly owned by government and the private sector. The sector unions are opposed to outright sale of the refineries. The Public Relations Officer of PENGASSAN, Babatunde Oke, in a text message confirmed that January 8, 2014 had been agreed for the meeting and the industry unions had been invited to the parley. Meanwhile, the collapse of “Project Aquila”, which was introduced by PEF to track the movement of fuel tankers with a view to determining the actual amount accruable to marketers in bridging costs, has led to the inability of the fund to pay about N6 billion outstanding to the marketers. Sources told The Guardian that the project, which cost the fund about N60 miilion faced difficulty as most of the tags had either not worked or simply been in short supply. Though IT Solution is provided by a foremost telecommunications company and Galaxy backbone, some of the other aspects were developed in-house. There is also disquiet at the PEF over the open tenure of the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Sharon Olufunke Kasali, who has been in office since 2007. But The Guardian learnt that
the government may not be in a hurry to replace Kasali yet. This stems from the fact the PEF does not have a future in the Nigerian oil gas arena after the passage of the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and government views removing the PEF boss as sending wrong signals and creating unnecessary anxiety in the system.
Indeed, there is no provision for bridging of products under the envisaged regime, as marketers would be expected to recover their costs from the market. The Guardian learnt that government’s plan is to distribute the workforce of PEF among agencies that would be created within the industry as soon as the PIB heralds
new direction for the sector. Recently, government replaced the Chief Executives of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) where Dr. Oluwole Oluleye took over from Darma Rabe Muttaqha while Olsten Olorunsola gave way to George Osahon as Director of the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR).
And to forestall medical doctors’ strike, the Minister of Labour and Productivity said government had scheduled a meeting with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) for January 3, 2014. The NMA is asking the government to address the anomalies in the call and clinical duty allowances and relativity.
Former Head of Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan (left); Senator Daisy Danjuma; her husband, Theophilus Danjuma; celebrant, Chief Olu Akinkugbe and wife, Janet; former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, during the 58th wedding anniversary of the Akinkugbes at the Intercontinental Hotel, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos. PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO
Nebo wants DISCOs to provide 2.7m meters CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 should recall these people because some of them are good and know how to get the money. It is better to incur some losses to get more than 80 per cent of revenues from the sector.” He went on: “The private sector is just bracing to the challenges and the challenges are a myriad because the entire market is not totally solvent. The reasons are obvious, we have an incredible metering gap that was not fully addressed before the takeover, but they very well knew that these things were there. They were not hidden from them, they did their own due diligence and they were fully aware of every situation. But where you cannot really claim to have ownership of the finances of more than 50 per cent of the market client, it leaves a lot undone. But we are not crying over spilt milk, we are trying to find ways to mitigate the consequences of this huge metering gap that was estimated to be up to 2.7 million. “It’s not easy to fill that gap within a short time, it will take time to procure, install and commission the meters. So collection of tariff has not been easy. That is one of the serious teething problems. People who are not using prepaid smart meters are being given estimated bills. Unfortunately another mistake was that the DISCO owners sacked many of the workers and some of these sacked workers were people who were very good at collecting the tariff. So you are taking over the com-
pany you don’t know where the money is and without full consideration you’ve eliminated the people who know. Granted that some of them might not be quite honest, but throwing the baby away with the bath water is not the best thing.” He also spoke on other challenges initially faced by the new electricity market. According to him: “The transition from government-dominated vertical ownership and running and transition to a private sector-driven electricity market has been seamless. There were teething problems even preceding the privatisation exercise. One of the most turbulent was the labour unions that felt that the principle of privatisation was not right for Nigeria and adduced all kinds of reasons to explain their viewpoint. After a series of meetings stretching into hundreds, if not thousands of hours, they were able to allow the process to continue to completion. Doomsayers had predicted that it would not happen, but November 1 has come and gone.” He went on: “How would the generating companies get paid if the DISCOs don’t generate money? What happens at the distribution end definitely affects the generation end because they need money to pay for the gas and the gas doesn’t come cheap. If they shut off the gas it will affect the entire system. Third, the companies did not quite fully understand, because we handed over completely without transition electricity mar-
ket (TEM) declaration by the minister. But the reason we could not declare TEM is because there are precedents. Legally, there are mandatory conditions which are precedents for the declaration of TEM and without those conditions being met, we couldn’t declare TEM but we needed to hand over because these people have paid and they wanted to take over the assets.” He said government had almost completely addressed the issue of labour settlement apart from Enugu where there were mix-ups with regard to biometric capturing. His words: “That is being addressed. About 1,000 workers still need to be taken care of and that is being done. But thankfully, NERC (the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) engaged all the participants both at the generation, distribution and transmission value chain to ensure that there is an agreement that basic interim rules were put in place, rules that had the approval and buy-in of all the market participants, the market operator, NELMCO, distribution, generation, transmission, so on. After a series of meetings, of all these stakeholders there was now agreement as to what would be holding forth until the declaration of TEM. “The major drawback we have now is the issue of lack of adequate quantities of gas needed for proper generation. If you buy a company and you are supposed to be generating 800mw like Egbin that is supposed to be generating 1,100mw and you end up gen-
erating 600mw, it’s a huge loss to the company. Part of the reason is vandalism and all kinds of unpatriotic activities. They are always steps ahead of law enforcement when they go to steal the oil because of the nature of the transport of gas. As they are stealing the oil, the condensate fills all the containers and the only way to stop that from happening and prevent disaster is to shut off the gas. Once that happens, you could imagine the amount of loss we encounter. So oil theft is milking and causing the system to hemorrhage on the eastern axis.” On the pricing for gas, he stressed: “If you were a gas supplier, you will first consider supplying gas to the person who pays you better and not only better but pays you than the person who pays you lesser and still owes you. That has been the situation all along, the power plants were getting gas at very cheap rates because government owned them and when government owes you, what do you do? “But now we have private people. We have defaulted in the past, owing gas suppliers and anytime there was a reason not to supply gas, they thanked God for it because it meant that they wouldn’t be owed but that is changing now. Since January we have paid every bill for gas and that is a strange thing happening, but it is happening because we are paying the gas bills and not only that, the tariff for gas is rising from $1.80 and will go up to $2 very soon and it will continue to appreciate.”
Monday, December 30, 2013 | 3
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News Slain Delta CPP gov candidate, Onokpite, buried From Chido Okafor, Warri HE remains of the late Delta T State governorship candidate of the Citizens Peoples Party (CPP), Chief Ogbe Onokpite was at weekend buried in his home town, Ugolo-Okpe in Okpe Local Council. Onokpite died on Saturday, November 26, 2011. His corpse, according to family source, was kept unburied for long as evidence in the quest for proper probe of the killing. The corpse of the late politician and activist arrived in UgoloOkpe at about 1:25 p.m. in an Ebony casket and an ambulance from the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City, Edo State. He was laid to rest at about 3:05 p.m. The officiating minister, Henry Ofuoye in his message advised sympathizers present to always speak the truth, as it is the only thing that would save them on the last day. He said, “it was the truth and outright refusal of oppression that led to the death of Chief Ogbe Onokpite. It is better to die as a hero of truth than to die as a deceiver and corrupt person.
Bachama traditional dancers in Adamawa State performing during the eighth Pissi Tangle Cultural Festival in Billiri Local Council of Gombe State at the weekend.
PDP backs Nwoye’s suit on Anambra gov poll From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja
• Tukur denies suing party’s NEC over alleged removal plot
ITING the need for justice and fairness, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the party was in full support of the suit filed by its candidate in the November 16, 2013 Anambra governorship election, Tony Nwoye, challenging the result of the poll. In a related development, the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur yesterday denied ever dragging the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to any court over his alleged removal plot. Besides, the PDP National Auditor, Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju, yesterday debunked a statement credited to a former member of the party, Chief Alani Akinde, that the PDP was already dead in the South West zone. The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday said Tukur stated this yesterday, adding that Nwoye has the backing of party’s National Working Committee (NWC) in his challenging the result of
the poll. The party stated this just as it declared at the weekend in Abuja that it would spring surprises in the 2015 general elections by re-capturing the South West zone despite the defection of some of its members to other political parties. It described the action of the suit filed by its Anambra candidate as a “step in the right direction and an acceptance of the directive of the National Working Committee earlier communicated to him to pursue the mandate in accordance with established democratic procedures and rules”. “The PDP is totally committed to democracy and electoral processes as stipulated by the constitution and laws of our land. This explains why we remained steadfast to the processes outlined for the Anambra governorship election and the reason for our earlier stand and directive to our candidate and members to participate in the supplementary election as directed
by INEC. “As a party committed to strengthening the institution of democracy, we believe that due process must be followed at all times to allow the laws and electoral rules run their full courses without any interruption. It is in this regard that we commend our candidate for conforming with the ideals of our great party in seeking redress at the right time and through the appropriate democratic channel,” the statement said. Expressing optimism that “justice will prevail at the end of the day”, the statement said the PDP “remains impressed by Nwoye’s credible outing, resilience and grassroots appeal which brought him to the forefront in the race despite having only two weeks to campaign”. It, therefore, charged all PDP members to close ranks and remain focused in supporting the party and the candidate.” The statement also urged the people of Anambra State to
“continue to resist attempts by the APC to turn the state into a theatre of violence and bloodshed typical of desperate politicians and bad losers who do not have the interest of the people at heart.” It further observed that the Anambra election and others so far conducted have shown that the PDP is still the preeminent party with genuine followership across the country irrespective of its challenges and the heinous designs by enemies of democracy to weaken its support base. Noting that it remains the “only party committed to national interest and unity, the PDP said it would continue to uphold the principles of justice and equity and ensure good governance for the welfare, prosperity and happiness of all Nigerians across board. Tukur, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media Affairs, Oliva Okpala, attributed the report to the handiwork of the party’s enemies,
describing it as a complete falsehood. The statement reads: “The attention of the national chairman of the PDP Bamanga Tukur has been drawn to a wrong insinuation published in one of the national dailies that he was filing a legal action to prevent the NEC of the party from removing him as chairman of the party. Tukur clearly condemns and disassociate himself from such a story as it was a complete falsehood of an idea that is unthinkable and unimaginable. He wondered how he could initiate such an action against a body he is part of and an organ of the party that has the highest say and policy making body in the party, adding “how can somebody destroy his own house? The intended legal action only exists in the minds of the writers of the false story. I am a member of the PDP NEC and I respect the body and the members.” Adeyanju said in a press briefing in Abuja, “I think he
made the statement out of ignorance, that was exactly what they did in 2011 when they rushed out of the PDP to float the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) along with their master, what happened? They failed woefully, they shamelessly returned to the PDP, this time around again, they are embarking on the same venture, they have gone to the Labour Party with their master, let us wait and see, they will fail again and again!!!” “Let me tell Chief Akinde and his co-travellers that PDP is alive in all the states in the South West Zone, we are waxing stronger on daily basis, the party will spring surprises in coming elections starting with 2014 governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states and the 2015 general elections, we will deliver the zone to PDP 100 per cent, nothing will stop us, our leaders are on the field embarking on a total reconciliation of the aggrieved members and the reports reaching us at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja are very encouraging”, Adeyanju further explained.
He, however, added that the APC may not be the necessary alternative to the ruling PDP, “the party, of course, has its shortcomings, but I think Nigerians can address whatever the challenges of the APC instead of the current ruling PDP, which has completely run short of ideas and as well drowning the country.” He also spoke on the forthcoming 100 years anniversary of Nigeria’s amalgamation, warning those fanning
the embers of disintegration “to drop such ambition but rather embrace the unity of the country.” According to him, “Some Nigerians who felt that they stand better chances than others are nursing the ambition that we should go apart, they forgot that Nigerians have benefited more by being together. The major factor responsible for our setback is not the amalgamation but bad leadership.”
Balarabe Musa asks progressives to support APC By Seye Olumide ORMER Governor of old FMusa, Kaduna State, Balarabe has stressed the need for all progressives’ politicians and other like-minded individuals to join forces with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to vote out the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 poll. Musa, while lamenting the precarious state of the nation under the PDP administra-
tion in the last 14 years, reiterated that it would amount to sheer waste of efforts for any single party to imagine winning the PDP in the next election. Speaking on the state of the nation, Musa, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday enjoined Nigerians who are worried about the dwindling state of the nation to support the APC’s bid to change the government through a democratic process.
According to him, “To defeat the PDP and its reactionaries, we may not all join the APC, but the relevant ones must support the party critically in some areas and assert their independence in others in a democratic and electoral alliance to continue the struggle based on a minimum programme for the all-round progressive development of Nigeria.” Musa further posited that like before the 2011 presidential election, “PDP has become so
arrogant and has also lost focus; to such an extent it has no concrete agenda for the development of the country.” Explaining that his position was not targeted at questioning any individual’s constitutional right to contest or not in the 2015 elections, he added: “But what is paramount is that the PDP has exhausted all it has in governance since the last 14 years and has failed, what we need now is a change.”
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4 Monday, December 30, 2013
Jonathan links nation’s woes to lack of unity From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja ITH a few days to the centenary anniversary of the country’s unification, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday in Abuja stressed the need for all Nigerians, irrespective of their differences to come together in unity, saying the diversity should be a source of strength. Speaking at the Apostolic Faith Church, Jabi Abuja, where he worshipped, the President, after listening to the sermon and songs, said that the greatest problems that the country at the moment was that of love and unity. Admitting that he was worshipping in the church for the first time, the President, however, was full of praises for the church for continuous prayers and guidance, the reasons for which things have not got to the extreme in the country. “The reason is actually to thank all of you for what you have been doing for this country, for your prayers and I always say that I will continue to
say it but for our prayers probably it would have been worse than this. “As a nation, we have our challenges, no doubt about that and anytime I look at the history of Nigeria and the challenges we face and when I read parts of the old statement about when the Israelites decided to move out of Egypt to the Promised Land, we have something quite similar. Yes, Nigeria was amalgamated by the colonial masters in 1914. Therefore, by January 1 next year, Nigeria as a state will be 100 years old. But it was not by chance, it was ordained by God. If God didn’t will it at that point, the North and South would not have come together.” He added: “The detail of the North and South coming together makes Nigeria a very great country. I use to say that Nigeria is great not because of oil, we have countries that produce more oil than Nigeria but nobody talks about them.” According to the President,
there were countries that have multi-billion dollars in reserve because of their wealth and nobody talks about them “but here we are just talking about $40,000. But the biggest to the smallest country talks about Nigeria. Why because of the diversity from the North to the South, the human and natural resources the potentials and the population that we have. “So, Nigeria is a country that has a special blessing from God. It is left for us to appreciate God and continue to pray for God’s intervention and
this country will continue to be great.” He stressed that his administration had repeatedly promised Nigerian children that it was totally committed to making sure that they meet a different Nigeria, noting: “We will collectively work hard to overcome these barriers, these feelings of oh that I am Christian; I am a Muslim; I am Hausa, I am Ijaw. “Immediately we cross that barrier and we begin to believe that we are all Nigerians and we are committed to the development of this country,
our children will surely meet a better Nigeria, we will try our best but this is not the time to reel out what we are doing or what we are not doing, otherwise they will think I am here to campaign. “But I assure you, this congregation and indeed all Nigerians that by the will of God and your support, I am here today from nowhere. “Any child of Nigeria can be where I am. I come from the smallest state in this country, even within the state, one of the smallest communities in Bayelsa State. Even within the
community, one of the smallest families, but I am here today by the grace of God. That is the type of Nigeria we want to create, a Nigeria where you can get what you want if you work hard, it is not because you know somebody who know somebody that will talk to somebody. “A Nigeria that our children, If they work hard will get whatever they want just like in other free societies like America and so on. We will work with you to help you to get to wherever you want to go.”
Iyetade Soyinka passes on HE Soyinka family has anT nounced the passing away of Iyetade Soyinka. Born on June 6, 1965 in Ibadan, she attended Staff School and Queens School, in the Oyo State capital. She read Medicine at the University of Ibadan. A statement on her death said: “Affable, intelligent and sometimes capricious,
Iyetade struggled with her health in recent years. In spite of this, she greeted every day with a smile and doted on her two children. “She took ill quite suddenly and passed away while being treated at UCH, Ibadan. “Iyetade leaves behind two children, both parents, numerous siblings, nieces and nephews.”
President Goodluck Jonathan (middle); Minister of Police Affairs, Capt. Caleb Olubolade rtd, (second right); leaders of the Apostolic Faith Church and others during last Sunday of the year church service at Apostolic Faith Church, Regional Headquarters in Jabi, Abuja…yesterday.
Mimiko set to present 2014 budget to lawmakers OVERNOR Olusegun G Mimiko will present the 2014 budget estimates to the Ondo State House of Assembly tomorrow. A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, in Akure yesterday, explained that the event will take place by 1.00 pm at the House of Assembly Complex on Igbatoro Road, Akure. It urged members of the state Executive Council, Heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) of government and other invited members of the public to attend punctually. The state government had last year presented to the legislature, a budget of N151 billion tagged: “A Caring Heart B IV,” for the 2013 fiscal year. An assessment of the last year budget proposal showed that it was N5 billion lesser than the 2012 budget, which was N156
billion Governor Mimiko said at the presentation, which was attended by top government functionaries and traditional rulers that the budget was meant to further consolidate the gains of the last four years. He said that the 2013 estimates had N73.35 billion as the recurrent expenditure while capital expenditure was estimated at N77.65 billion. The governor said N10.24 billion had been set aside for the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission out of the capital expenditure estimates. Mimiko also explained that the budget would be actualised through the N43 billion expected from statutory allocations and the Internally Generated Revenue of N12 billion. He added that N10 billion was being expected from Value Added Tax; N7 billion from Roll
Over Fund; N23 billion from bonds; and N6 billion would be sourced from grants and credit from development partners. The governor also listed other sources from where the budget would be serviced to include N10 billion from the Excess
Crude Account; Education Trust Fund, N2 billion; loans/leases, N15 billion; and sundry income/divestment, N1 billion. He also said the state was expecting N2 billion as refund from Federal Government on repair of federal roads, most of
which were in states of dilapidation before his administration intervened. Mimiko said N23.093 billion was allocated to the economic sector, while social services sector got N24.042 billion. He also said N10.515 billion was allocated to the environ-
ment and regional development sectors. “Completion of ongoing projects across the state will be given priority as the sum of N10 billion has been earmarked for the completion of road projects in 2013,” he had said.
Cross River lauds Dangote over youth empowerment, development HE focus of Dangote Group tape cutting to declare the er notable Nigerians can take Communications, Esan SunT in empowering the youth Calabar Children carnival a cue from him and use their day, said all hands should be and making them believe in open, said Dangote over the organisations to support the on deck to develop the chilthemselves was applauded by the Cross Rivers State government at the weekend. The group was described as the corporate body with the best approach to youth empowerment and development in the country. The wife of the governor, Obioma Imoke, who represented her husband at the
years has been consistent in giving back to the society, empowering the youth and serving as a good and positive role model to the youth. “Aliko Dangote has been a good and positive role models to our youth. He has shown enormous interest in youth development and empowerment and we wish oth-
youth, who are obviously the leaders of the tomorrow.” President of the Group, Aliko Dangote, however, assured of more strategic investments in the nation’s economy with focus on youth development by partnering with state governments. Dangote, represented by the General Manager, Corporate
dren to become useful for themselves and the nation. He said it was against this background that the group has been sponsoring the children segment of the carnival. The group, according to Dangote, also runs an academy, which is targetted at youth development academically.
Govt honours Anenih at 80, sites institute in Uromi From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja ICE President Mohammed V Namadi Sambo at the weekend announced Federal Government’s provisional approval for the establishment of the National Institute of Construction Technology (NICT) in Edo State. Speaking during the activities to round-off the 80th birthday of the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Anthony Anenih at St. Anthony’s Catholic Cathedral in his home town, Uromi, Sambo revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan
granted the provisional approval as a mark of appreciation of the contributions of Anenih, whom he said believes in the sovereignty, unity, indissolubility and indivisibility of this nation, as he puts Nigeria first in all he does. Sambo noted that Anenih personifies “hard work, resilience and dedication and his life is a demonstration of commitment to the service of humanity.” Recalling Anenih’s rise to prominence, he observed that “from a humble beginning, the PDP chieftain rose to the pinnacle of his professional calling by dint of hard work and perse-
verance, retiring as a Commissioner of Police after serving in various police formations and leaving behind indelible records of exemplary service.” According to Sambo, “with Tony Anenih’s entry into partisan politics as chairman of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the then old Bendel State, he carved out a niche for himself in the political lexicon of Nigeria, earning him the title of ‘Mr. Fix it.” Sambo also pointed out that, Anenih’s belief in democracy and democratic governance and his quest for the entrenchment of democracy and the rule of law “is un-
quenchable.” He recalled that Anenih was appointed the Minister of Works and Housing in 1999 and was a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) until early April 2002 when he transferred to the PDP where he became chairman of the board of trustees. In his remarks earlier, Anenih thanked God for enabling him to attain the age of 80 and expressed his gratitude to the Vice President for his presence at the occasion and particularly to the Federal Government for the proposed establishment of the NICT in Uromi. In the homily, given by Arch-
bishop Joseph Bogobiri of Kafanchan Catholic Archdiocese, the cleric advised all Nigerians to embrace peace in order to create the enabling environment for progress. “Our responsibility as a people is to keep supporting and praying for the government in power and not to castigate or destroy them.” While receiving the Vice President earlier, the Onojie of Uromi, Anselem Eidenojie, thanked the Federal Government for the development projects enjoyed by the people of the area so far. He expressed delight at the transformation agenda of the
current administration, which he said was paying off in Uromi, noting that the people of the town remained committed to the success of this administration. The royal father pledged to give President Goodluck Jonathan the necessary support to ensure his success in the 2015 polls if he decides to re-contest. Among those present at the occasion were the Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Oghiadome, Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen and the Wakilin Adamawa and member PDP BoT, Hasssan Adamu.
Monday, December 30, 2013 NEWS
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CNPP cautions APC over defecting PDP members From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu EMBERS of the Peoples M Democratic Party (PDP) defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) may no longer be welcomed if the leadership of the party (APC) hearkens to the call from the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) to stop further admission into its fold of members of the ruling party. In a statement made available to The Guardian in Enugu yesterday and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, CNPP said it is making the call in the “collective interest of our dear fatherland, so as to forestall the return of one-party system and consequently absolute powers in post-2015 general elections”. CNPP said: “We cannot forget in a hurry the granite saying of Lord Acton that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as evidenced by the imperial posture of the PDP-led Federal Government in the last 14 years, which stifled political and economic growth. “We had fervently prayed for Nigerian democracy to attain the zenith of liberal democracy, where two dominant political parties and compromise prevail. In other words, where no political party will win 2/3 of the seats in the national or state assembles and where no party wins the presidential election with more than 53 per cent of the votes cast. This is true democracy”.
We cannot forget in a hurry the granite saying of Lord Acton that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as evidenced by the imperial posture of the PDP-led Federal Government in the last 14 years, which stifled political and economic growth
BUK students return on Wednesday UTHORITIES of the Bayero A University, Kano (BUK), have directed students of the institution to return to school on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. The Deputy Registrar, (Public Relations and Protocol), Alhaji Mustapha Zaharaddeen, gave the directive in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano yesterday. Zaharaddeen said the university fixed the date for the resumption of all students after the Senate had reviewed the academic calendar of the institution. He said the students are expected to resume on the stated date unfailingly because academic activities would commence immediately. “The first semester examinations for all students will commence in two weeks’ time after resumption,” he said, advising the students to ensure strict compliance with the resumption date.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa (second right); Chairman, Ibeju-Lekki Local Council, Oluwakemi Surakat and kids at the 2013 kids fiesta in Eleko Beach, Lagos ... yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
New investors to take over Olorunsogo plant, as govt signs pact From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja FTER years of negotiations, A the Federal Government has finally signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a consortium of Chinese and Nigerian companies, SEPCo-Pacific Energy, for the Olorunsogo Phase 1 Power Plant. The transaction for the 335 megawatt power plant, which was first initiated in 2011, was the first attempt at sale of a government-owned power company to a private investor under the Federal Government’s road map for the power sector. Statistics made available to journalists revealed that the government provided 40 per cent funding for the construction of the project, while SEPCo raised 60 per cent credit financing from Chinese banks for its completion. But because the government had been unable to service the loan, it decided to turn the debt into equity for the consortium. With the agreement signed, the investor would ‘pay off’ the government for whatever it has invested in the plant, while government would finally stop servicing the loan from the Chinese banks. The Chinese and the core investors would then take over the plant with its investment now converted into equity. The PPA also guarantees gas supply to the plant, as the supplier and consumer of gas (in this gas- powered Olorunsogo Power Plant) would be bound by the terms of contract, unlike what obtained in the past when gas suppliers hesitated to supply gas to power plants because of poor pricing and government’s appetite for owing. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who supervised the signing of the agreement in Abuja at the weekend, described it as a core requirement for the declaration of the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM), an era characterised largely by contracts and respect for contracts.
• Promise to expand facility • Agreement guarantees gas supply Nebo, who expressed happiness that the agreement with the Chinese has finally pulled through, said: “It is really a thing of joy. This PPA is something that we have planned for a while now. We are so happy that the documents are ready. This is very critical because before we step into the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM), it is critical that all of these companies would have had contractual agreements dully signed. This is a step in the right direction so that once we declare TEM, nobody would say there are outstanding issues.” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Company (NBET), Rumundaka Wonodi, signed on behalf of the Board of NBET headed by Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance. He gave a background to the plants: “Between 2005 and 2007, the Federal Government had made some investments in two power plants built with equity, about 40 per cent from the Federal Government of Nigeria and 60 per cent with loan by the Chinese. Those two projects are the Olorunsogo Power Plant in Ogun State and the Omotosho Power Plant in Ondo State. “The installed capacity of each of those power plants is 307 Mega Watts. The ISO commissioning is 335MW. In the last couple of years, the Federal Government decided to divest from those assets.” In an interview with The Guardian later, Wonodi gave further insight into the deal. “The method is having the Chinese convert their loan to equity and at the same time, buy down the government’s contribution. The next in effect is that the Chinese pays for
whatever the government has invested, less some tariff costs. Some of those costs are related to the transmission infrastructure because transmission cannot be held within the power plant. Any investment in transmission is carried over to Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). “As part of that transaction, there needs to be a power purchase agreement and a gas supply agreement. The gas supply agreement was to be completed after other agreements have been signed. In the next couple of weeks, we will do the same for Omotosho.” According to him, the power purchase agreement is to allow the investors, led by Pacific Energy, finally take over. He noted that the parties have been negotiating the PPA for a while. “The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) started it, but when the Bulk Trader was established, it took over the negotiation. The tariff has been approved by the regulator. This will allow us to sign the PPA so that BPE can off-load the transaction and they make the balance of payment to the government, and then also the loan stops to run. “One other thing this does is to enable us get closer to all the requirements of the TEM, which state that every power producing asset, or any electricity supply to be made, should come under a contract. So, with this, we have this transaction come under contract so that when we get to TEM, it would be compliant. We will sign that of Omotosho in January.” On how the PPAs would improve impact on the efficiency of the plant, he explained: “You can count on that facility being available. It will be available as required. Also, with the PPA, the company can commit bet-
ter to gas supply. So, there would be gas supply. Usually, what happens is that things are done on best endeavour basis because there are no fixed contracts between parties. But with this, the power plant has a back-to-back gas supply agreement and there would be more reliability of power from this plant. “One other component of this transaction is that part of the money that would be paid by the investor, about $10.1 million, would be escrowed in the bank to support the power purchase agreement. This module was what BPE extended to the PHCN privatisation. Like I said, this transaction has been ongoing for the past years and has just been concluded. Part of the structure is that some of the proceeds would be escrowed to support the PPA.” Wonodi also spoke on why the PPA took so long to be concluded and the state of other PPAs. “One of the reasons it took this long is that it is a negotiated PPA unlike the ones that we signed with the privatisation. In this case, there were payments that needed to be made; there was valuation of assets. There was also the issue of putting the gas supply firmly in place. “We have signed eight PPAs as part of the privatisation. In the interim Electricity Market Rules, those contracts have not become effective. They will become effective as we get to TEM in March. We have signed with Afam, Geregu, Egbin, Kainji, Jebba, Shiroro, Ugele and Sapele. We have also signed with Azura, which is yet to be built. As we head to TEM, all the plants that do not yet have PPAs will have to come under contracts. “The financial structure of this is slightly different. Here, you are converting debts to equity. Initially, you are looking at a situation where you have some equity and you have some debts. Now, you are converting
that debt to equity. In terms of risk allocation, which is the obligation between the two parties, they are all different with that of the PHCN.” Chief Executive Officer of Olorunsogo Power Plant, Philip Ugwu, was optimistic that the agreement would finally put an end to the gas supply issue at the facility. He said: “In the past, gas supply was on best endeavor, just like in the village, people speak to one another with eyes and agreements could be made. But in 2005, the Federal Government decided to go into private sector-driven electricity market. The effect of that action taken in 2005 when it was presented was that all these activities came in. What it means is that we want to join the world in the path of growth, and do business the way it should be done. What this PPA has done is to give it legitimacy. It can no longer be ‘I do not know or I made mistake’. You will now be accountable to all your decisions and actions.” For the General Manager of Pacific Energy Company Limited, the core investor, Mr. Okezie Oluikpe, the deal is a huge motivation for further investment to be brought to bear on the plant. He lamented that the plant has not undergone any major maintenance since it was commissioned in 2007. “This is actually what assures us of getting back our money. In making sure that we get our money back, the funds that we loaned to buy the asset, we have to make sure that we do all necessary things and make sure that the figures are right and that there is nothing to erode our expectations. We are happy today that with the efforts of NBET that has worked night and day and the efforts of the consultants, we were able to finally come to an agreement, an understanding, which is fair to both sides. It is a huge breakthrough for us. It is delightful.
6 NEWS Monday, December 30, 2013
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RTEAN denies involvement in housing scam By Chuka Odittah, Abuja HE Road Transport T Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has raised an alarm over a non- existent housing project alleged to have been embarked upon for its members by the association, saying that such housing scheme is a phantom project intended to fleece members and the general public. In a two-page communique issued by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the RTEAN, after its 52nd national meeting and jointly signed by Comrades Abdullahi Mohammed and Abdulwahhed Adeniran, National Secretary-General and National Publicity Secretary respectively said: “Members of the general public are hereby advised to beware of the fraudulent antics in respect of a non-existing housing scheme for members of the union under the pretense of contributing N200, 000 and engaging on unsuspecting investors, vehicle manufacturers to exhibitions of their vehicle for purportedly flagging off a mass transit transport scheme for Abuja.”
Managing Director, Osun State Investment Company, Bola Oyebamiji (left); wife of the Osun State Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola and Co-ordinator, Council of Muslim Youth Organisation Sister Circle, Ikire, Salifat Aniwura during the inauguration of the Ansar-ur-deen Society of Nigeria Central Mosque in Ikire, Osun State …yesterday.
Suswam blames criminal elements for Christmas day violence From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) and Joseph Wantu (Makurdi) OVERNOR Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has exonerated Tiv farmers of Guma Local Council of the state from the Christmas/ Boxing Days mayhem that resulted in the razing down of some parts of the local council headquarter and alleged death of some herdsmen in the area. Suswam, who made the clarification to journalists yesterday at Government House, Makurdi, said the havoc was perpetrated by the criminal elements in the rural communities. “It is evidenced that in the latest clashes in the area, it is not the Tiv farmers that are causing it, it is the criminal elements in our society that are doing it. And we are set to get these criminals and hand them over to the police. These criminals are hell bent that any time we have peace in the
• Govt urged to create grazing land for Kwara Fulani herdsmen state, they will make sure that we don’t enjoy peace. This time around, once we arrest them, we will have peace once and for all,” the governor vowed. Meanwhile, renowned public commentator and President of the Afonja Descendants Union (ADU) of Ilorin community, Abdulkarim Olola Kasumu has urged the Federal Government to demarcate a grazing land for Fulani herdsmen as a way of checking incessant clashes between them and the farming communities in the country. Kasumu made the call yesterday in the wake of the recently settled clash between Yoruba people and the Fulani herdsmen in Alapa area of the Ilorin community. Suswam announced that as a step to get rid of the criminal elements in the area, government has decided to meet
with the stakeholders and form an 11-man committee headed by a retired permanent secretary, Moses Anagende to go into detail and liaise with our Fulani brothers to come out with workable solutions, so that the problem would be solved once and for all. The governor further revealed that the committee is expected to within one week get rid of those criminals and urged them to take the task serious. The local councils that comprises MINDA geopolitical axis in the state are: Makurdi, Guma, Gwer- West and GwerEast. The meeting, which was attended by prominent sons and daughters of the area, include almost all the governorship aspirants of MINDA extraction, permanent secretaries, clergymen, Tor Tiv and other royal fathers in the
area, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Samuel Ortom among others. Kasumu, who noted that the clash of the two parties has been recurrent in many parts of the country, said demarcation of a grazing land would bring a lasting solution to the crisis. The social crusader stated: “Once again the recurrent decimal of ubiquitous communal clash between Fulani cattle nomads and native farming population anywhere in the country strongly reminds the Federal Government to find lasting solution by demarcating grazing land for Fulani cattle nomads.” Kasumu said before the violent clash in Alapa area the area had long been boiling over dispute between the Fulani cattle rearers and the Yoruba farming community
over grazing land and that this dispute formed the background to the clash. The ADU president, who noted that heavy casualties were recorded in the clash, however, expressed appreciation to the Kwara State Police Command for its “timely and impartial intervention, which eventually restored normalcy into the community.” He warned that traditional and political leaders in the area should refrain from making comment that could re-awaken the crisis. “Chiefs, community leaders and politicians from the area are strongly advised to exploit the found peace occasioned by timely police intervention to forge stronger unity among the two ethnic groups in the community, they should therefore avoid careless and ill-motivated statement capable of re-opening old wounds of settled issues,” he advised.
Commuters task IG over robbery attacks on Sagamu-Ore-Benin highway By Moses Ebosele OMMUTERS and commerC cial drivers plying the Sagamu-Ore-Benin highway yesterday appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar to find permanent solution to continued armed robbery attacks along the axis. A journalist with a national newspaper, who also narrated his ordeal in an interview with The Guardian yesterday, described the situation as “horrible, sad and very shameful that such a thing continues to happen in Nigeria”. The commuters and drivers lamented that despite high security presence along the route, armed hoodlums are
having a field day dispossessing travellers of their belongings and killing some in the process. Two commercial drivers who spoke with The Guardian yesterday also advised the police boss to increase intelligence gathering efforts along the axis, pointing out that the robbers may be getting assistance from some members of communities along the axis. The journalist who volunteered to speak in anonymity said: “A scary incident happened immediately after Ore in Ondo State on my way from Benin, Edo State. It was around 4 p.m. on December 26, 2013. The expressway was blocked. I was told that it is a regular thing along that stretch of the busy expressway. It was like a dream. It
was like a war situation. How can this be happening in Nigeria?” Giving details of what happened on that fateful day, the journalist said: “The first thing I noticed about 20 minutes after the bus I was traveling in left Ore was that vehicles were not coming from the opposite direction. Suddenly, our bus stopped. The driver jumped down from the bus and ran into the bush. One of the passengers on the front seat followed immediately. When I looked forward I noticed that some young men carrying what looked like AK-47 rifle and knife were running towards our bus. I jumped down from the bus almost immediately and started running towards Ore end of the expressway. I
heard series of gunshots. It was not clear where the shots were coming from. As we were running, some vehicles made U-turn as part of measures to avoid the robbers. It took the arrival of the police before the busy expressway was cleared. The bus I was traveling in was thoroughly searched by the robbers. My bag containing my laptop, Bible, family pictures, phone and laptop charger were taken away by the hoodlums. Again, close to Shagamu we noticed that some buses were making U-turn. We later discovered that the police just succeeded in dislodging another set of rubbers from the expressway”. The two drivers who simply gave their names as Friday and Stephen for security rea-
sons alleged that some residents along the identified routes might have been collaborating with the robbers. One of the drivers who identified himself as Friday, advised the police boss to beam his searchlight on communities along that axis. According to Friday, the robbers most times use the bush pact leading to the communities for their escape. “How can they do that if they don’t either leave there or have collaborators there”. While commending the police for its efforts to rid the expressway of criminals, the second driver who identified himself as Stephen said passengers and drivers are killed on a regular basis by the hoodlum.
Oyo traders to benefit from N300m loan ITH effect from January W 2014, traders in all the 33 local government areas of Oyo State will have access to N300 million interest-free loan. Governor Abiola Ajimobi disclosed this in Ibadan at the weekend during an interactive session he held with market men and women at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan. To ensure effectiveness, the governor said that the loan would be coordinated by members of the executives of the six umbrella bodies of the market associations in the state. Each of the bodies, according to the governor, will receive N50 million, even as he urged the associations to ensure that the loan revolved among the members.
Rep assures over completion of Abia projects MEMBER of the House of A Representatives, Arua Arunsi, has said that ongoing Federal Government projects in Nkporo community of Abia State would be completed before the 2015 general elections. Arunsi, who represents Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency of Abia, told newsmen in Nkporo, Ohafia that the projects include the 37-kilometre Abiriba-NkporoOsso-Edda road, which links Abia and Ebonyi, the 32-kilometre Ohafia-Arochukwu road and the N300-million Npkoro Water Scheme. The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen had inaugurated the N4.8-billion Abriba-Nkporo-Osso-Edda Road and the N2.8-billion Ohafia-Arochukwu Road projects on March 29. The lawmaker assured the people that the delay in the execution of the projects would soon be over, with the establishment of an asphalt plant in the area by an Italian contractor. He pointed out that the current delay was caused by difficulties in getting asphalt from Owerri in neighbouring Imo, to the project site.
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Monday, December 30, 2013 NEWS
Osun banks get ultimatum to remit taxes to govt From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo OMMERCIAL banks operatC ing in Osun State have been given December 31 deadline to settle outstanding debts amounting to about N1 billion owed the state government in form of taxes deducted from their staff, withholding taxes and other taxes and rates due to Osun State government. Acting Chairman, Osun State Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Mr. Dayo Oyebanji, who gave this directive, said the financial institutions have been given adequate time to remit the funds before the ultimatum was set. Addressing reporters yesterday in Osogbo, Oyebanji said the state government had directed the affected banks that all outstanding taxes, withholding taxes and other taxes, must be paid into the coffers of the state government on or before December 31, 2013, failure of which they would be sanctioned and delisted as agent for collection of taxes in the state. The state government was also said to have directed all banks collecting money and taxes on its behalf to, within the same period, integrate into the new e-payment system and ensure that all monies and taxes are promptly paid into the state government account for automatic revenue receipts to payers. It also frowned against alleged delay in the sweeping or remittance of money collected on behalf of the government by banks, saying that the delay in posting revenue collected on behalf of the government through e-payment system into the general revenue account, impedes flow of income.
Lar varsity to begin course in counter-terrorism From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos LATEAU State University P (now Solomon Daushep Lar University, Bokkos), named after the first civilian governor of the state, is to commence academic activities in protection and counterterrorism as soon as proposals to that effect receive the blessings of the authorities concerned. As a first step, the university has accepted proposals to open a research centre on security to be facilitated by the International Security Academy (ISA) in Israel. Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Doknan Decent Danjuma Sheni, disclosed this at the weekend when he played host to the Chief Executive Officer of ISA, Mr. Mirza David, and the Coordinator of Operation Rainbow, Air Vice Marshal Bala Danbaba (rtd). According to Sheni, a memorandum of partnership will also be entered into with the academy to demonstrate the commitment of the university to explore the new field of study in view of the growing challenges of insecurity in the country. He said that a training schedule and curriculum will be developed in such a way that undergraduates of the institution will have a credit load in homeland security as a prerequisite in their general studies course.
Members of the Catholic Men Organisation (CMO) of Christ the King Catholic Church, Akowonjo, Lagos, during the Nine Lessons and Carols of the parish.
Gunmen kill seven at wedding in Borno From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri IOLENCE erupted again in Borno State, as gunmen suspected to be of the Boko Haram sect, attacked a wedding ceremony at Tashan Alade Village in Hawul Local Council Area of the state, killing seven persons by 11 pm on Saturday. The gunmen, according to an eyewitness, stormed the village while people were making preparations for the wedding, which was to have taken place yesterday in a local church. Tashan Allude is border village with Adamawa State, 226 kilometres, south of Maiduguri, the state capital. Confirming the incident in Maiduguri, the Commissioner for Religious Affairs and Special Education, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, in a telephone interview yesterday, said the suspected gunmen last night attacked one
of the villages sharing border with Adamawa State and killed seven celebrants of a wedding that could have held yesterday at Tashan Alade. “The celebrants of the wedding travelled all the way from Maiduguri here to the village to attend a wedding at Tashan Alade, but gunmen suspected of Boko Haram sect members, thwarted the wedding, by killing seven of our people at between 11pm and midnight yesterday. I am making contacts with security agents and the police on how the suspects attacked this village, before submitting our report to the state government tomorrow (Monday). “The bodies of the slain celebrants have been deposited at the Maiduguri Hospital for identification and autopsy before they are released to family members for appro-
priate interment.” Borno State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Lawan Tanko, also said seven people were feared dead at a wedding ceremony at Tashan Alade of southern part of the state. He said no arrests have been made by either the troops of 7th Division of the Nigerian Army or Police as at yesterday. Early last month, gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents, ambushed a wedding convoy making its way back to Maiduguri on the Bama-Banki highway and shot dead at least 30 people, including the bridegroom and his family. Eyewitnesses to the attack spoke of scenes of carnage and described bodies riddled with bullets and covered in blood lying by the roadside. Bodies of the victims were later taken to the General
The celebrants of the wedding travelled all the way from Maiduguri here to the village to attend a wedding at Tashan Alade, but gunmen suspected of Boko Haram sect members, thwarted the wedding, by killing seven of our people at between 11pm and midnight yesterday. I am making contacts with security agents and the police on how the suspects attacked this village, before submitting our report to the state government tomorrow (Monday). Hospital in Maiduguri. A source at the hospital was quoted then as saying: “We have received the bodies of over 30 people suspected to have been killed while coming from a wedding. Most of them wore wedding uniforms. We are yet to ascertain who is behind such a deadly attack.” Late September, gunmen also suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists killed four people at a wedding cere-
mony in Maiduguri. The gunmen, whose number could not be ascertained, stormed the residence where the wedding was taking place behind the Green House along West End. An eyewitness, a photographer, told journalists: “They started shooting sporadically and I was there as a photographer. I jumped into a ditch and sustained minor injury but four people were hit by bullets.”
population of the country. So this is exactly what has happened. “PDP has failed the people and I make bold to say that. The PDP that I know, that I was chairman, that I was the national secretary, is no longer the PDP that it was when I was there, when many of us were there”. Asked at what point the party became embroiled in crises, he added: “It derailed because it has failed to fulfill the promises in its manifestoes. We told the people who voted us into power that we are going to give them economic freedom; we are going to give them employment, we are going to give electricity, we are going to
give quality education, we are going to give food in abundance, you and I can answer to these whether we have been able to do these”. “The PDP has the right to say what they like but the law of the land overtakes anybody’s opinion. There is a law that guides declaring seats vacant. So people should go back to the law but if PDP members are saying they are the law, they are the alpha and omega, that is part of not satisfying the aspiration of people, impunity, lawlessness, disorderliness, people just sitting down and saying that you are declaring seats vacant, it is not done. We are not in a Banana republic”.
PDP has failed Nigerians, says Baraje From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin ORMER Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, has passed a vote of no confidence on the PDP, describing it as a party, which has failed the people and is incapable of taking Nigeria to the promised land. He spoke yesterday to reporters in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, during the annual dinner of Klob 27, an Ilorinbased elite group. He said: “And let me tell you, all politicians either in Nigeria, Africa and in America, have one thing in common- aspiration and expectation. Once your aspirations and expectations are
It derailed because it has failed to fulfill the promises in its manifestoes. We told the people who voted us into power that we are going to give them economic freedom; we are going to give them employment, we are going to give electricity, we are going to give quality education, we are going to give food in abundance, you and I can answer to these whether we have been able to do these not being met, which largely may be responsible as a result of difference in ideology, you don’t have a business being in any group that is adequately representing your ideology, your belief, which may transcend into your aspiration. “Therefore, if PDP is no
longer satisfying the interests and aspirations of people that are there who are largely politicians, it is normal to change to go and fuse into other group that they think their aspiration and ideology will work; not only for themselves but for the betterment of the entire public and the
8 Monday, December 30, 2013
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Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (second left); Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (right); Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Ganiyu Johnson (left); former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Kemi Nelson (second right) and Assistant Publicity Secretary, All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State, Funsho Ologunde (right behind), during the unveiling of the plaque and handing over of reconstructed Simbiat Abiola Road, Ikeja, with Walkway, Streetlight in Lagos.
Onilado of Ilado and Inagbe, Oba Mobadenle Oyekan (left); wife of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank, Mrs. Helen Onasanya; her husband, Mr. Bisi Onasanya and Managing Director, Gran Imperio Group, Prince Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at the unveiling of the first phase of the Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure in Lagos.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (second left); the Prelate of Methodist Church, Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Uche (second right), his wife, Florence and the National Coordinator, Men’s Work Department of the church, Very Rev. (Dr.) Ademola Moradeyo, when the Prelate paid him a courtesy call in his office in Ibadan. PHOTO: OYO GOVERNMENT HOUSE.
Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State (middle right) and, Vice Chancellor, Yobe State University, Prof. Musa Alabe (center left), among others, praying during the governor’s visit to condole with Prof. Alabe over the death of his mother, Hadjiya Khadijah, who died in Damaturu.
Assistant Administrator, Little Saints Orphanage, Mrs. Tina Orobosa (left); Deputy General Manager in Nigeria, TECNO, Mr. Chidi Okonkwo; the Administrator, Little Saints Orphanage, Mrs. Bose Ogunbanjo; TECNO Lady, Miss Emmanuella Odum and TECNO Afro Santa, Mr. Ade Olanrewaju, during the presentation of Christmas gift Items to the Orphanage Home in Lagos
Head of Operations, Federal Road Safety Commission, Lagos State, Mr. Adeoye Irelewuyi (left); the Sector Commander, Mr. Chidi Nkwonta and Deputy Corps, Public Education Officer, FRSC HQ, Abuja, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, during the Operation Zero Tolerance on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
In the spirit of Christmas: Members of Rotary Club of Abuja, Gwarinpa, visited the matron and children of the Divine Wounds of Jesus Christ Orphanage, Kubwa, during which the club donated food and other items to the charity home
Chairman, Parents-Teachers Association, Babcock University Schools, Ogba, Mykell Jegede (right); the Principal, Elder Gabriel Olabode Fasanu; Chairman, Cultural Day Celebration, Darlington Olusola and guest speaker, Mrs, Francises LeoNkemaka, at the school’s Cultural Day 2013 “Unity in Diversity” in Lagos PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI .
Monday, December 30, 2013
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WorldReport Woman suicide bomber kills 14 at Russian station female suicide bomber A blew herself up in the entrance hall of a Russian
Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the apostolic palace overlooking St. Peter’s square during his Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Four injured in Egyptian army building blast bomb targeted an Egyptian military intelligence building north of Cairo yesterday, wounding four soldiers, the army said, in the second bomb attack on the security forces in the Nile Delta in less than a week. The bomb went off near an entrance to the building in the village of Anshas, 100 km (65 miles) north of Cairo in Sharkiya province. It partially destroyed the back wall of the building, the army said, describing it as a terrorist attack. It follows a suicide bomb attack on Tuesday on a police compound in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura that killed 16 people. The army-backed government has said the violence will not derail a political transi-
tion plan whose next step is a mid-January referendum on a new constitution. Yesterday’s blast, about 80 km (50 miles) north of the site of Tuesday’s bombing pointed to the widening reach of militant attacks that have become commonplace since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July. Around 350 police and soldiers have been killed in bombings and shootings since Mursi was deposed, most of them in the Sinai Peninsula, where Islamist radicals expanded into a security vacuum left by the Hosni Mubarak’s downfall in 2011. The security forces killed hundreds of Mursi’s supporters in the months after his removal, and have arrested thousands more.
Two security sources described Sunday’s bomb as an explosive device, while the state-run Nile News TV station said it was a car bomb. Sources previously said it went off in the town of Belbeis, near Anshas. Five people were wounded by a bomb that went off near a bus in Cairo on Thursday. That bomb appeared to be the first targeting civilians, though there was no claim of responsibility saying what had been targeted. The authorities say they have defused several other bombs in recent days. On Sunday, police found and defused a crude homemade bomb inside a bag left outside a university building in the Nile Delta city of Damietta.
train station yesterday, killing at least 14 people in the second deadly attack within three days as the country prepares to host the Winter Olympics. The bomber detonated her explosives in front of a metal detector just inside the main entrance of Volgograd station. Footage shown on TV showed a massive orange fireball filling the stately colonnaded hall and smoke billowing out through shattered windows. “People were lying on the ground, screaming and calling for help,” a witness, Alexander Koblyakov, told Rossiya-24 TV. “I helped carry out a police officer whose head and face were covered in blood. He couldn’t speak.” A spokesman for Russian investigators said at least 14 people were killed. The regional governor put the toll at 15. President Vladimir Putin ordered law enforcement agencies to take all necessary precautions to ensure security, his spokesman said. A federal police spokesman said measures would be tightened at stations and airports, with more officers on duty and stricter security checks. But the attack, just over two months after a female suicide bomber killed six people on a bus in the same city, raised questions about the effectiveness of security
Sudanese youths - loyal to rebel leader, Riek Machar marching on the strategic town of Bor. Armed with machetes and sticks, the “wildcard” group does not have military training, a UN spokesman told the BBC. The UN is organising surveillance flights to ascertain the group’s size, added the spokesman, Joe Contreras. At least 1,000 people have died in this month’s fighting. More than 121,600 are believed to have fled their homes.
Tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge in UN camps and reinforcements have been arriving to give them extra protection. The government has offered a ceasefire, but the army says its forces are still battling over oilfields in the north. What began as a power struggle between Machar and President Salva Kiir has taken on overtones of a tribal conflict. The Dinka, to which Kiir belongs, are pitted against the Nuer, from which Machar hails Government troops are currently in control of Bor, the capital of Jonglei state they
had taken from the rebels. The group reportedly marching on the town are part of an ethnic Nuer militia known as the White Army because of the white ash they put on their skin to protect them from insects. South Sudanese government spokesmen have been quoted as saying it numbers as many as 25,000 armed men and answers to the former vice-president, but these details have not been confirmed. The White Army seems sympathetic to Machar, but does not appear to be acting on his direct orders, said Joe Contreras, a spokesman for
agency cited a law enforcement source as saying the attacker may have come from Dagestan, the province adjacent to Chechnya that is now the center of the insurgency. The October bus bomber was from the same region. Volgograd is a city of around 1 million people, and a major transport hub in southern Russia, about 430 miles northeast of Sochi, where the Olympics will open on February 7. Insurgent leade,r Doku Umarov, a Chechen warlord, urged militants in a video posted online in July to use “maximum force” to prevent Putin staging the Olympics. On Friday, a car bomb killed three people in Pyatigorsk, close to the North Caucasus and 270 km (170 miles) east of Sochi. “We can expect more such attacks,” said Alexei Filatov, deputy head of the veterans’ association of the elite Alfa anti-terrorism unit.
Lightning kills worshippers in Malawi lightning bolt struck a A church in Malawi, killing eight worshippers and injuring several others, local media reported. Several members of the Seventh Day Adventist church in the capital Lilongwe were admitted to hospital after Saturday’s strike, the Nyasa Times said, citing witnesses, police and health officials.
It was not immediately clear whether they were injured by the lightning or in the panic to escape. “People were inside the church attending the service when the lightening stuck. I first heard a loud burst which frightened almost everybody and few minutes later I just saw a stampede,” the paper quoted a witness as saying.
No direct al-Qaeda role in Benghazi US mission attack, investigation reveals L-QAEDA had no direct A involvement in the September 2012 attack on the United States consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, according to a New York Times investigation. The US ambassador to
S’Sudan ‘wildcard’ army worries UN NITED Nations has U expressed concerns about thousands of South
measures which the Kremlin routinely orders to be increased after bombings. It could add to concerns about the government’s ability to safeguard the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The Games, which open in 40 days’ time, are a major prestige project for Putin, who wants to show how far Russia has come since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Female suicide bombers - known as ‘black widows’ because some are the relatives of dead insurgents - have carried out several attacks claimed by Islamist militants. Volgograd lies just above Russia’s restive North Caucasus region, a string of mostly Muslim provinces that includes Chechnya, where Russia has fought two wars against separatists in the past two decades. The region is beset by neardaily violence. Interfax news
the UN Mission in South Sudan, who described the group as “a volatile and unpredictable ingredient” to the unrest in South Sudan. “They do not have a military background or the discipline that you would associate with military who have been fighting under the banner of the former vice-president since this crisis began,” he told the BBC’s World Service. “They are a wildcard whose intervention in the theatre of conflict outside Bor could ratchet up the conflict even further and also put at even greater risk the lives of innocent civilians.”
Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed when gunmen stormed the compound and set it on fire. Some US Republicans accuse the Obama administration of failing to admit the involvement of terrorist groups. But the New York Times (NYT) says a local Islamist militia leader was key. The paper bases its report on months of interviews with local residents who have extensive knowledge of the events of 11 September 2012 and American officials linked to a criminal investigation. Initially, Washington said the attack grew out of violent protests against an anti-Islam video produced in the US. Later findings suggested that it was an organised attack planned by local militias. Some Republicans accused al-Qaeda of launching the assault to mark the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US.
The NYT reports that the reality was “murkier”. The assault was neither “meticulously planned”, nor “spontaneous”, though “fuelled in large part” by anger at the video. The paper’s investigation “turned up no evidence that al-Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault”. In the aftermath of the attack, Republicans repeatedly criticised the Obama administration for blaming the video protest instead of a deliberate terrorist attack. An investigation commissioned by the US state department found in December 2012 that security at the consulate had been inadequate but that there had been “no immediate, specific” intelligence pointing to threats. The NYT says the attack was led by fighters who had benefited from Western support during the uprising against long-time Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, December 30, 2013
Politics Africa, too rich to be supported, must Reverend Jesse Jackson, renowned civil rights activist, a symbol of emancipation, and the second angle of the Martin Luther King-Barack Obama triangle, spoke to The Guardian during his latest visit to Africa. Among others, he made disclosures on how Nigeria could reclaim its continental leadership role, the need for a massive economic movement in the country while insisting that as Nigerians look to 2015, there must be “a connection between your votes and your living standard,” report Foreign Affairs Editor, OGHOGHO OBAYUWANA and KARLS TSOKAR in Abuja. E know you are a friend of W Africa, and particularly that of • There should be a connection between your votes and living standard Nigeria, but at this point in time, why are you in Nigeria? One of our missions is African development, a key to global development, the resources and talents of Africa, and the environment. I cannot but express deep concern about our talent there in the Diaspora; there are more Africans in the Diaspora from Nigeria than any other place in the world. So, I have to continue to engage with Nigeria. You see the most oppressed of our family were the north of America in our struggle to try and settle down. Slavery ended 246 years; we joined the right path of the struggle and won the battle to end slavery and then our succession, the allies betrayed us, bringing in the apartheid laws and all that in South Africa in 1948. But we were kept too far apart by geography; yet, we always kept trying to reconnect. So, the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that made apartheid laws illegal was a real step in the right direction. Martin Luther King emerged the next year; two years later, (Kwame) Nkrumah, who had gone to school in America, emerged in Ghana and then all of those movements, the biggest connection and the most resourceful is in the recent, that you see Morocco, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria and The Gambia, just making connection, building relationships and trust for each other. I was here for Nigeria’s 50th anniversary. I have criss-crossed the continent a lot, at least twice: Ghana’s independence in 1957 and the 50th anniversary, South Africa and all that. So, when you asked me why I’m here, there are more than 30,000 Nigerian doctors alone in the US, which means they are AfricanAmericans doctors. I am interested a lot to mobilise these Nigerian Diaspora power. Houston is reputed to be the energy capital of the world. We can do a huge Nigerian rally of 10,000 people in Houston, Atlanta. Just a show of cultural heritage, trade stream — Nigeria is bigger. And we must see the length and breadth of this country and its wings are real wide and
so Nigerians in America, Canada, Britain and France are substantial members of this family. We are going to have a rainbow ‘football kick summer’ conference from February 11 to 14 (2014) in New York, with special attention to the African-American business stream, and I want the President (Goodluck Jonathan) to send the top of the list, the Ministers of Agriculture, Trade and Petroleum, so we can hook up there. We really should have a major Africa-America Economic Summit in Nigeria. It will be a beginning of a massive movement. Many Nigerians, who are out of the country, can’t remit resources to their relatives at home. I’ll be in Enugu, Akwa Ibom, then Calabar and Lagos. We have to mobilise for the regional African Diaspora Conference. The interesting thing is that those who tore us apart can’t keep us apart. I always say our coming together is like early in the morning; we just begin to see each other. We are a family; we make those connections. Have you met any government official since you came? Oh Yes. President Goodluck Jonathan. Several times, I have met the president. We met Governor (Seriake) Dickson, Governor (Rotimi) Amaechi, Governor (Babatunde) Fashola, and Governor Godswill Akpabio. ‘Leaders must honour their campaign promises, hence a free press is important’ HEN you meet these Nigerian W officials, what are the things you normally tell them considering the challenges we face here? We share (ideas); we are not disrespectful. We, like in America, have a president that sets the stage about development. But we are number one in poverty; we are in mortality, number one in short life expectancy; we are number one in the whole foreclosure, but we still hold the bubble of the economy because of freedom and equality; we are free
I cannot but express deep concern about our talent there in the Diaspora; there are more Africans in the Diaspora from Nigeria than any other place in the world. So, when you asked me why I’m here, there are more than 30,000 Nigerian doctors alone in the US, which means they are African-Americans doctors. I am interested a lot to mobilise these Nigerian Diaspora power. Houston is reputed to be the energy capital of the world. We can do a huge Nigerian rally of 10,000 people in Houston, Atlanta. Just a show of cultural heritage, trade stream — Nigeria is bigger.
finally. And now, there is the struggle for corporate justice and corporate know-how is the next stage. We fought for democracy and we make sure that democracy works for us. We have political democracy, economic free enterprise and the middle class. You have the right to vote, and we need to vote leaders who protect the integrity of the people’s interest. We must have checks and balances, separation of powers, transparency; a free critical press and a legitimate economic justice for all. Those must come together. We really need a free press — that’s critical not just political, a critical and analytical press; we need an upright judiciary, a good legislature, too. When the democratic machinery is working, then we have the right to vote. We must use the vote; we must make choices, informed choices; leaders must honour their campaign promises; that’s why a free press is important. It would be one man, one vote, not one million dollar, one vote. In America, we pass a decision, a situation where you can spend unlimited amount of money running a campaign; it is destroying our democracy. That was the problem Obama and (Mitt) Romney had spending billions of dollars. We got to keep fighting to make it work, to make democracy work; keep fighting to vote a leadership that can honour its campaign promises; for checks and balances, separation of powers, and a free press. An elec-
tion that is open, free, fair and transparent — all these terms make for an enduring democracy. You were
also in South Africa for the Mandela funeral. Now, how do you think African leaders, political elite can emulate and preserve the legacies of the Madiba? When they unveil the Mandela statue on Monday (December 23), I thought I should start a King statue of my own in Washington. 50 years ago, both King and Mandela were in apartheid segregation situations; they both were jailed in 1963. King had earlier got the right to vote — our right to vote. We both believed in freedom and equality; believed in corporate justice. (Yet), the paradox kept coming with its instruments. Now, Africans have amassed resources meant for development, resources that can be used for the people. We are too rich to be supported; we must democratise our economy, just as we must democratize our votes. There
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, December 30, 2013 POLITICS 11
democratise economy, says Jackson should be access to potable water; there shouldn’t be poverty in the land, and there must be a connection between your votes and your living standard. There must be conscious efforts to make things work for the people. We must separate the walls between us: high level of corruption, high level of segregation; it is illegal now. But then, there are these disparities in health care, housing, jobs, education and skills acquisition; the gaps are widening. Africa deserves a degree of respect because we are all basically the same and need to sit and figure certain things out. That’s why we are having an African-America Conference in New York, and African-America Economic Summit here in Abuja, Lagos; we are having some major activities in Atlanta, Houston, then in Chicago. Atlanta is the most possible route from America to Nigeria; there is a plane from Atlanta and Houston to Lagos non-stop. This is becoming more profitable and there would be more in the future. We have more Nigerians in these two cities. Nigeria can invest in many things. We often say we need unity, but we also need vision; without vision, we perish. In the midst of 20,000 people, a one-eyed person is in charge. We got to see that the Nigerian family is large. ‘America needs bigger trade, other economic change in Africa’ EOPLE around the world remember you as a civil rights activist. If you had become the president of the US, what would have been your African policy? Our foreign policy must not be the neighbour policy because distance has been breached by speed and brought everyone close. If you got on a plane in New York and I got on another plane in New York, one of us is going to Lagos and another to Ghana; we will get there at the same time. Or even South Africa, we are that close. It is the most resourceful market. The Chinese understand this; that’s why they are investing heavily here; Britain understands this, too; that why they colonised; the French, too, and through to slave trade. So, the resources in Africa are there. (If I were president), I should have had a much bigger trade and other such economic change throughout Africa. Africans are resourceful. Think about that. Now, Obama is in power, and people think he has some establishment problem. What’s the real-under-the-table problem that Obama has in the US? Has it really go to do with race? There are two sets of rules. For example, almost a billion people saw Mandela’s funeral the world over and the big deal is that Mandela was all about forgiveness, forgiveness. Mandela was the object of the ceremony, Barack (Obama) shook Raul Castro’s hand and it was impressive. There are two sets of rules. If Mandela could forgive and relate to Afrikaners, who locked him up for 27 years, killed his comrades and sent many others on exile — if he could forgive these people, why can’t Barack shake Raul’s hand? That was a big issue. He took pictures with the Denmark prime minister; he didn’t break some laws, it was just acts of kindness and diplomacy. He, at a stage, faced it — born of a Kenyan father; that he’s not American; he’s not a Christian, and the birth certificate (issue). Those types of mean toxic wind have been tackling him from the very beginning. But still, he overcame that out of amazing dignity, and made some basic promises. He promised to bring us out of the great economic recession, the global depression. More Americans have better health care cover. He says there are pre-conditions to be met, to be covered: if you lose your job, you are out of college and other such conditions. But the some are people filling up that they want global health care, they don’t want Obamacare. There is no such thing as
You have the right to vote, and we need to vote leaders who protect the integrity of the people’s interest. We must have checks and balances, separation of powers, transparency; a free critical press and a legitimate economic justice for all. Those must come together. We really need a free press — that’s critical not just political, a critical and analytical press; we need an upright judiciary, a good legislature, too. When the democratic machinery is working, then we have the right to vote. We must use the vote; we must make choices, informed choices. It would be one man, one vote, not one million dollars, one vote.
offer these basics. There is something that transcends politics, drinking water, food, and roads because people got to move so that they can grow, either by air, land or sea because transportation aids growth. And whatever the factor and the secrets of oil should be addressed because it’s a valuable resource, that’s a huge part of the economy. And in agriculture, Nigeria has the land and the weather to be a food exporting country, not an importer. Nigeria has no business importing food; there are grains, vegetables and fruits. Nothing comes from net export from these huge agricultural resources. Considering that Nigeria is back in the Security Council of the UN, how can that be used to make a global impact and strengthen NigeriaUS relations, economically and politically? Nigeria is a great force, yes, faced with terrorism, but it’s a challenge to the whole world. Nigeria deserves a meaningful presence and participation; it would stimulate growth positively. I feel Nigeria is a big factor in the sunrise of Africa. The seven top 10 fastest growing economies are from Africa; seven top 10 in the world! There are daily challenges, yes; but we all face them. We can instill stability, entrench transparency, better use of resources, and more mobilisation of those in the Diaspora. If 50,000 Nigerians in Britain, America, Canada and all, come home, what I am saying is that, they should have a place to stay and integrate and fit in. We must make room for the family. The doctors should be coming home at least once in a year. They are talented people; they are in Houston, Texas, and it’s a big state. Atlanta, Georgia and LA, Nigeria has big presence in these places. And they have investments there. A Nigeria-American trade network, if well established, can drive the whole of Africa. ‘Series of events in my life, time inspired me’
Obamacare; it’s just a name. Some people reject Obamacare for the healthcare plan (laughs). You then understand that that kind of toxic act by the opposition has been a factor and his dream has been interfered with. But his idea of subsidised health was a great success with dignity and strength. He re-contested and won again. How can America overcome these divisions? Because of the current contradiction again, when you see what Dr. King proposed, we pull the race-cutting curtain down; the southern push region and the most recent region. We couldn’t have had the Olympics behind the cutting curtain; you couldn’t have had CNN behind the cutting curtain and many more, the high-tech industries and the investments. We pulled the cutting curtain down; so, there are people who built from the loss. Then the confusion, the under currents; there are improvements; 18-year-olds can vote, letting go of all caprices; we can go bi-lingual, either that the rules change, which is a fact in Barack’s (Obama) winning the presidency, for example. Winning the presidency indicates that we have democratised democracy and changed the rules. Even with the pitiful legal decisions, apartheid and all that, Dr. King’s assassination, we never stopped fighting. Who got the right to vote in 1965? Blacks, white, women, 18-year-olds, students, and bi-lingual! The rule changes, that is more American. We changed the balance of power. ‘Nigeria is a big factor in the sunrise of Africa’ OMING back to Nigeria and what you norC mally tell our politicians; what should Nigeria be doing to move forward? One thing Nigeria can do is to use its Diaspora family because they are so brilliant, so talented. They are in Canada, America, France, England
and so on. They may stay there in these countries but they can be of immense value to the country, be of greater value to Nigeria. The Diaspora family should be the factor. Issues that should unite people — like every Nigerian should have drinking water — those should be a goal. Every Nigerian should have access to decent meal; all the governors should create that one, whatever podium to
Our (American) foreign policy must not be the neighbour policy because distance has been breached by speed and brought everyone close. If you got on a plane in New York and I got on another plane in New York, one of us is going to Lagos and another to Ghana; we will get there at the same time. Or even South Africa, we are that close. It is the most resourceful market. The Chinese understand this; that’s why they are investing heavily here; Britain understands this, too; that why they colonised; the French, too, and through to slave trade. So, the resources in Africa are there. (If I were president), I should have had a much bigger trade and other such economic change throughout Africa. Africans are resourceful. Think about that.
ESIDES the earlier exposure to segregation, B what has been your motivation in life — the motivation for firebrand activism despite all odds? My religion, and my personal experiences in life! My first experience to indignity, dehumanisation made me want to fight for my dignity. I was arrested trying to use a public library in 1960; I was arrested trying to use a public theatre. Our match in Washington; I was with Dr. King. I was arrested in South Africa in 1979 and many others. These series of events in my life and time inspired me. Then the victories — black liberation— Ghana got independence; Nigeria got free; blacks were named national heroes. Then Black Congressional Caucus — the 42 blacks in the American congress. I wouldn’t believe it we were not taking things for granted. Then we have a Black Governor of Massachusetts; then we have American President. In Africa, colonisation is ended; we have African heads of state; end of apartheid and the freedom. All these came in stages, big stages. Taking a good look, we really have done well. And the religious part of it, Jesus in reality was a revolutionary for poor people. Born under a base occupation in a manger, he had to be taken as a refugee by his parents to Egypt. Grew up in Nazareth in Galilee, poor, lived among the dominant Romans. But the good news to the Church, the masses, is that he healed the broken-hearted, the wounded; set the captives free. He brought succour to all who believed in him. I think that’s a big deal. I take that seriously, that is just the religious symbolism. Jesus of Galilee, not Jesus of Rome, of that small Galilee, poor without a church building. He came, defended the poor and set the captives free. His values are in me, the values of Jesus of Galilee. I am just ancient, full of great confidence in our culture.
12 Monday, December 30, 2013
Conscience Nurtured by Truth www.ngrguardiannews.com
FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011) Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816
Editorial Banning street begging HE bill passed by the Kano State House of Assembly recently prohibiting street begging in the metropolis is understandable on the ground that the phenomenon constitutes an eyesore and portrays the state in bad light. Keeping the beggars off the streets, from that perspective may be a right step. But that should not be the end. Government has a responsibility towards the beggars and people with disability. It is doubtful that the beggars would swarm the streets if the authorities had made adequate provisions for them. The beggars are human beings with body and soul. Like all Nigerians, they have a life to live, which unfortunately is hampered by the circumstances of their physical disability. The Kano State government should try to strike a balance between the need to have a clean metropolis and the welfare of the beggars. Hopefully, the new bill has a comprehensive plan on the welfare of the displaced beggars who are bona fide citizens of the state. Hundreds of thousands of physically challenged persons recently took to the streets in Kano to protest the law prohibiting street begging. The beggars who were made up of the blind, the deaf, dumb, lepers and people with all manner of disabilities assembled in front of the state high court located at Audu Bako secretariat and marched in a procession to the state House of Assembly. They chanted Allahu Akbar (God is great). Their attempt to gain entry into the state House of Assembly complex was thwarted by the combined team of the Police and National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). That enraged the beggars who clashed with the security personnel and there was free throwing of all sorts of missiles by the beggars. The fracas was brought under control when the Clerk of the state House of Assembly, Lawan Badamasy, mounted a rostrum to address the protesters. Badamasy appealed to the beggars to be respectful and law abiding. He promised to take their grievances to the House of Assembly. The beggars on their part submitted their protest letter titled: “Request for the reconsideration of the bill that banned street begging” for onward transmission to the State House of Assembly. The need to keep beggars and other disabled persons off the streets is not only an issue in Kano but also in other states. Some state governments have made feeble attempts in the past to rid the streets of beggars without first putting down a comprehensive and sustainable plan to cater for the beggars. This has made the efforts unsuccessful. For instance, the Lagos State Government has for a long time banned street begging to no avail. Routinely, its Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) brigade goes about picking beggars at street corners in Lagos and taking them to their camps or even deporting some. But no sooner were the beggars dropped at their camps than they return to the streets. Deported ones even find their way back to Lagos. It is likely that many of those displaced in Kano may end up in Lagos and other cities. The result is that beggars are ever present all over our towns and cities. The odds are high given that begging is more of a culture than an accident in the area. Enforcing the law may prove herculean except the State Government has put the necessary structures in place to contain the situation. A good welfare system is the only solution. There should be vocational and rehabilitation centres where the beggars could learn trades to be able to cater for themselves. The beggars complained that the only rehabilitation centre in Kano that trained most of their members on vocations over the past 30 years has been converted to a school by the government. If that be the case, the state has a duty to reverse this. Asking them (beggars) to keep off the streets without making adequate provisions for them would be counterproductive. It is unfortunate that in Nigeria, the system does not show much consideration for the physically challenged. That neglect gave rise to the culture of begging now blighting the society. Governments have a responsibility to all citizens. Begging will reduce if the states fulfill their responsibilities towards their citizens.
ASUU: A reflection of the decay IR: University is like the Scrops garden that nurtures the of tomorrow. What kind of a future does a nation expects that shrivels the seeds that will bear a bountiful harvest. Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was on strike because the government reneged on their 2009 agreement. When two elephants fight, the grass will suffer. The country is struggling to come out of the malaise that has bedridden the society for awful long. The strike by ASUU threatened to put the education system back into a state of comatose. The malfeasance in the Nigerian system smells to high heaven. The government is like a derailed train squeaking to get back on track. Education has totally collapsed owing to a government that lost its conscience. Officials devalued education to naira and kobo. Politicians channel the fund for education to their private accounts. University authorities will deny a student admission if he or she does not have money to pay for bribe. The list of abuses on the educa-
tion system indicates a nation that is on collision course with destiny. The products of this damaged system are like a wasted generation. Workers believe one can bribe one’s way to excellence. Underperformance becomes an acceptable norm. A bank clerk frowns at a customer for demanding a professional service. She lacks the knowledge that it is the customer that keeps the bank in business. Majority of university graduates are unemployable because they did not pick up any valuable skill as students. No wonder there is a high level of criminality in the society. Full-
The malfeasance in the Nigerian system smells to high heaven. The government is like a derailed train squeaking to get back on track. Education has totally collapsed owing to a government that lost its conscience. Officials devalued education to naira and kobo.
fledged youths roam the streets without an occupation; they will kidnap, rob, prostitute and engage in other vices for mere adventure, talkless of the necessity to survive. The opportune ones will be a leach on their families and suffer depression for feeling worthless. There is a proverb in Igbo that one does not speak with an empty stomach. Politicians guard their life like it is a bank safe. Compare the lifestyle of a lecturer and that of a legislator for example. They are both pivotal to the functioning of a civilised society. The legislator makes laws that are barely visible in the sight of the suffering masses and lives in utmost luxury. The lecturer teaches students under dilapidated roofs and lives on a salary that challenges a miser to scale through poverty. Lecturing can be compared to priesthood. You become a lecturer because you have the elevation of the human condition at heart. The future of the students is not enviable, and consequentially, the Nigerian condition worsens. Democracy allows the populace the chance to vote out a government that is not trustworthy. ASUU should be considerate. • Pius Okaneme,
Monday, December 30, 2013
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Opinion Solving world poverty through mathematics By Peter Akindele “The test of a civilisation is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” – Mohandas Ghandi IN today’s modern society, it is clear that the world has become increasingly globalised and technologically advanced. The extent, to which it is “civilised” however, is questionable. If Ghandi’s definition of civilisation is correct and is to be followed then the modern world is far from civilised. Today, in spite of the numerous advancements in science and technology, it was estimated in 2008 that 22.4 per cent of the 6,700,000,000 people (1,500,000,000) on this planet lived below the poverty line as defined by the World Bank. It is therefore essential that as a global society we seek to aid the large percentage of people who are living below the poverty line. This report will seek to explore how as we can use the various advancement in today’s society, particularly in the areas of mathematics and economics, to propose a system by which we may begin to seriously tackle the issue of world poverty. Methodology In order to tackle the issue of world poverty it is imperative to first define poverty on an international scale. The World Bank as of 2005 set the international poverty line as an income of $1.25 per day per person. This is calculated by finding the minimum amount of money needed in order to buy the basic necessities for a human being. This is what will be used in order to define world poverty in this report and therefore the problem which I am trying to tackle. Therefore when this report makes use of the term “absolute poverty,” it refers to those people who are living on less than $1.25 a day. As suggested above, the way in which this report aims to tackle world poverty will be focused on employment. Although it is tempting to try and tackle world poverty with mass wealth redistribution it is clear that the problem of world poverty cannot be solved by a mere handing out of money to people below the poverty line. It is a steady income that will allow people to live above the poverty line and it is therefore clear that the best way for this to happen is to create a system whereby employment
could be assured for the vast majority of the population. This report, however, does not assume that everyone is employable with the obvious examples of children and people that are severely disabled. This report, therefore, is focusing on how to ensure the employment of all those who are in any way employable whilst also providing for those incapable of working. The next step in seeking to tackle the issue of world poverty is to acknowledge the diversity in the world and the differing circumstances that each country faces in seeking to tackle the problem of poverty. Therefore, this report will not attempt to be a “one size fits all” solution; it will, however, through the use of two case studies, aim to show how governments may go about trying to tackle poverty in their own countries. The diversity of the different countries in the world means that the most efficient way of tackling poverty is to have governments who are aware of their unique situations to eradicate absolute poverty in their own countries. This, however, is not to suggest that these solutions are restricted to these particular countries. It is the aim of the report to show methods of solving poverty that with a little adjustment for each country would be able to work for any country in the world. For the purposes of this report, Nigeria and the United Kingdom will be used for a case study. Nigeria has been used because it is a developing country with a relatively high population, fairly low GDP and its abundance of natural resources. The United Kingdom on the other hand is a developed country with a high GDP with a relatively low population and a lack of many natural resources and has to a large extent eradicated absolute poverty. Data In order to implement the model that will be suggested in this report, it is important to have a good grasp of the current economic climate of both of the countries in question. Although there are many methods of assessing the economic health of a country, this report will make use of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). This has advantages over other measures such as GDP, since it accounts for the differences in the cost of living for differing countries. Furthermore, the World Bank level of $1.25 is set according to PPP and, therefore, it is important that this is the primary way with which the eco-
nomic health is measured. However, it is important to note that GDP does not measure the individual wealth but rather the sum total value of everything produced and, therefore, it must be used in conjunction with the percentage of people said to be living under the $1.25 poverty line. Below are the GDP PPP, GDP PPP per capita, population, unemployment rate and percentage of those living below the $1.25 poverty line threshold for both the UK and Nigeria. This will give a good picture of the current economic state of both of these countries and what would need to be changed in order to solve the issue of poverty. The following data is taken from the World Bank website: Country Nigeria United Kingdom
As can be seen from the above figures, there is a clear difference in the amount of revenue that is produced in each of these countries. Furthermore, the 68 per cent of people living under the $1.25 threshold is especially alarming. This makes it an extremely useful case study for studying how to solve world poverty as it is an especially extreme case. As such the focus will be on Nigeria on this report. The UK has been included so that it can be seen that absolute poverty, no matter how negligible, still exists in the most developed countries and is still of concern. The data for an exact percentage of those living under £1.25 a day in the UK is unavailable; however it can be assumed that it is very low and at the most one per cent. • To be continued tomorrow.
Of Christmas, Tata and societal well-being By Abia Nzelu AR from being just a time for festivity and Fmasmerry making, the central lesson of Christis the call to sacrificial giving for the welfare of humanity, following the example of God who at Christmas gives us His best. In this article we shall attempt to meditate on the message of Christmas through the prism of the vision of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria), a non-political, non-religious private-sector driven movement for social change through philanthropy. The word philanthropy is derived from two Greek words: ‘phileo’ meaning ‘love’ and ‘anthropos’, meaning ‘humanity’. Therefore, philanthropy can be defined as giving motivated by a genuine concern for the welfare of others. Philanthropy plays a critical role in fast-tracking large-scale social change. Free of the political pressures faced by government, as well as shareholder pressures faced by corporations, private philanthropy can affect systemic factors such as public policy, innovation, institutional capacity, consumer awareness, health and education. There are some who argue that philanthropy is alien to the Nigerian character. However, this is not true at all. In fact, blacks in general are a generous race. A study conducted in the United States of America found that African Americans gave more per capita to philanthropic causes than their white compatriots. Empirical support for the predisposition of Africans to large-heartedness and generosity comes from the communal life of traditional African societies. For example, an African village woman who ran out of spices while cooking a pot of soup could go to her neighbour unannounced to seek assistance, without any doubt that she would be obliged. Nigeria has not suffered systemic collapse, in spite of the high level of corruption, unemployment and poverty, only because the few who are optimally employed run an informal voluntary welfare system for the many that are unemployed or sub-employed. Thus, the truth is that Africans (including Nigerians) are a generous people. The Christmas spirit is a primordial part of the African spirit, innate to our culture and in-
trinsic to our traditional religious beliefs. However, because our philanthropy lacks strategy, coordination, planning or focus, it is making very little impact on society at large. We need to organize our generous tendencies in such a way that it will yield high and sustainable impact on society as a whole and minimize duplication of effort and tokenism. Nigeria needs philanthropic practices that can help create a more equitable society. Our country can be transformed within half a decade or so if our giving is tailored to achieve meaningful and measureable social change. This type of giving is known as High Impact or Catalytic Philanthropy. The Tata family of India pioneered this innovative philanthropy; and the Tata Model or Tata Way forms an excellent focus for a yuletide meditation, worthy of emulation by Nigerians of all social classes. As was mentioned in our previous article in The Guardian Newspaper of the 22nd and 23rd of October, 2013, whilst Nigeria has no Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC), India has over 120 CCCs, mostly financed by the private sector. The Tata Group played a seminal role in making this possible by financing the first Comprehensive Cancer Centres in India in 1941 (6 years before India’s independence!). How did they start? Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, Tata’s early years were inspired by the spirit of nationalism. Jamsetji Tata, driven by visions of a vibrant, industrialized India, set the pace with the idea that patchwork philanthropy – giving clothes to some and food to others – was not the right approach for a robust future. He determined that the greatest good to the greatest number of his compatriots would be better served by building institutions that care. It was with this in mind that he launched the JN Tata Endowment Scheme for higher education in 1892, which supported future doctors, administrators, scientists, lawyers and engineers. By 1924 over a third of officials in the Indian Civil Service were Tata scholars. The sons of the founder proved worthy torchbearers of Jamsetji Tata’s community-centeredness. The Tata group is made up of 32 publicly listed enterprises which have a combined
market capitalization of about $106.34 billion (as at December 19, 2013), and a shareholder base of 3.9 million. Accounting for 3.2% of India’s GDP, the Tata group pioneered several industries of national importance in India: steel, power, hospitality and airlines. In more recent times, its pioneering spirit has been showcased by companies such as TCS, India’s first software company, and Tata Motors, which made India’s first indigenously developed car, the Indica, in 1998 and recently unveiled the world’s most affordable car, the Tata Nano. Interestingly, the Tatas, India’s biggest and most famous industrial family, never show up on any listing of wealthy Indians. This is because generation after generation of the family has bequeathed most of its personal wealth to charitable trusts, the Tata Trusts. Today, The Tata Group is unique among the industrial groups of the world, in that 66 per cent of the capital of the parent firm, Tata Sons Limited, is held by Tata philanthropic trusts.The fund is utilized in carrying out the Trusts’ highly impactful work. The total annual disbursal of the Trusts for 2009 and 2010 was about $100 million and is growing in tandem with the growth of the Tata Group of companies. The trusts endowed by the two sons of Jamsetji Tata include: the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (and its allied Trusts that include the JRD Tata Trust, Jamsetji Tata Trust, Tata Education Trust, Tata Social Welfare Trust, RD Trust) and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust (including its allied Navajbai Tata Trust). These together form the earliest examples of India’s legacy in institutional philanthropy. The older son, Sir Dorabji left behind all his personal wealth, including his substantial shareholdings in Tata Sons, Indian Hotels and allied companies, his landed property and his wife’s jewelry to the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT), registered in 1932. Significantly, SDTT’s early contribution to India came in the form of institution building. These institutions which are counted amongst the country’s premier institutions have made important contributions in the fields of medicine, science, and education.
They include: Tata Institution for Social Sciences or TISS (first graduate school of social work in India), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National Centre for Performing Arts, the National Institute for Advanced Studies and the Tata Memorial Hospital. About 40 per cent of the Trust’s annual budget is still allocated to support these institutions. Over the last decade, informed by multiple strategic review processes, SDTT’s activities have evolved significantly. The Trust today proactively identifies areas of need and then seeks out effective NGO partners who can help it address those issues. Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT) was established in 1919, after the untimely death of Sir Ratan Tata, younger brother of Sir Dorabji Tata. Known for his generosity, Sir Ratan bequeathed the bulk of his wealth to the Trust. The structured, strategic, and accountable approach to philanthropy by the SRTT today, was envisioned by Sir Ratan and specified in his will as follows: “To engage qualified and competent persons to investigate into matters that pertain to the social, economic or political welfare of the Indian community, the object being to design schemes of a practical nature calculated to promote the welfare of the said community, care being taken that such work is not undertaken from the stereotyped point of view but from the point of view of fresh light that is thrown from day to day by the advance of science and philosophy on problems of human well-being… No experiment and no venture should be aided or undertaken unless the scheme thereof is carefully prepared.” True to the spirit of the will, the Trust is staffed by professionals with expertise in development issues and its programmes are based on fiveyear strategic plans. As an example of how our giving can make a great difference in Nigeria, let us make reference to the crisis occasioned by the global cancer epidemic, which is the focus of the CECP-Nigeria in the 2013/2014 biennium. • To be continued tomorrow • Dr. Abia Nzelu is the Executive Secretary of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria).
14 | Monday, December 30, 2013
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Opinion Obasanjo’s critics are wrong By Victor Oshisada EFORE anything, let me explain that in the B South-West (Edo and Delta, inclusive) elders are respected, but not followed sheepishly. An elder who is on a wrong track is told to his face that he is wrong and that he should retrace steps. I must also explain that I am not an admirer of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. By extension, I am not a PDP member or politician. If anything, my politics does not exceed casting my votes at elections. So, from these clarifications, it must be deduced that this opinion piece on Obasanjo’s Letter to the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, is not based on cheap sentiment. To be guided and influenced by sentiment is deceitful; it does not right a wrong. The epistle, “Before it is too late”, published in The Guardian, December 12, 2013, headlined “Obasanjo writes Jonathan” as a front page lead, is thought-provoking. Indeed, our leaders require occasional expostulation of that nature. At homes, responsible parents offer sticks to erring children and carrots for good behaviour whenever it is desirable to do so. In my considered opinion, Chief Obasanjo is on the right track just for this once. There is a Yoruba adage that says: “Agba kii wa ni oja, ki ori omo tuntun wo”, meaning: “Before the occurrence of a catastrophe, it is incumbent on a worthy Elder to caution against it”. Some critics argue that Chief Obasanjo’s administration was worse; that Jonathan is a product of the seeds that Obasanjo planted – that is, Jonathan a chip off the old block. My own opinion is that, if a sinner turns away from his iniquities, to take Holy Orders and becomes a Reverend Father, shall we not listen to and embrace his sermon on the pulpit? Is it not a better society for all of us? In a similar vein, if a bad ex-President is now exhorting a seating President to behave well and turn over a
new leaf, is it not a better Nigeria for Nigerians? This is my perspective of Obasanjo’s letter to Jonathan. To my thinking, Chief Obasanjo, by his open epistle to President Goodluck Jonathan, is trying to make a “wake-up call” to the latter. The letter is not a destructive criticism of his worthy, but erring successor. Like the elder in my adage, the Chief is merely trying to save a bad situation in which the President is wallowing, “before it is too late”. Whenever the fortune of a nation is sliding from the sublime to the ridiculous, it is the responsibility of the elder statesmen to caution its leadership. In the letter, he touched five key areas of responsibility: Leadership of the ruling party; headship of the Federal Government or national government; as the Commander-InChief of the military; Chief Security Officer of the nation and political leader of this country, Chief Obasanjo alleges a nation adrift, as corruption stinks around him (Jonathan). Also, he warns against the President’s alleged re-election bid. Further, he condemns him for backing non-PDP candidates. Finally, exPresident Obasanjo declares the National Conference as fraught with the danger of chaos. If there is any point that is unworthy of consideration, the critics can point out. President Goodluck Jonathan is, true to his name, a lucky man. He must inspire others to come after him. He must elicit pride as a Southerner from minority area to occupy the exalted position which eluded the duo of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Among others, they were the Founding Fathers of this nation. Dr. Azikiwe ended up on the apogee of a ceremonial President, whilst Chief Awolowo’s high-water mark was as the Leader of Opposition in the First Republic. In order to satisfy the curios-
ity and possibly the query of future generations, as a matter of course, three times, the Chief tried with his might and main to attain the height, but “failed”. Here is Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on the crest of the wave, but he is unable to perform. With all due respect to Jonathan, what this writer is saying is that as the President, he has disappointed Nigerians. He may not realize his mistakes, until after relinquishing power. Then he would say, “Had I known”. At the age of 56, he is expected to be a beacon of hope, the light to lighten the down-trodden for the glory of his over-burdened Ijaw people of Bayelsa State. This admonition sounds Biblical, which it ought to be to drive home the point to our President. This writer holds no brief for Chief Obasanjo. His critics are wrong in their respective assertions, because Nigerians, particularly South-westerners (Edo and Delta, inclusive) did not spare him during his military and civilian administrations. In speeches and actions, whenever he was wrong, Yoruba, in particular, were foremost in castigating him. In the South-West, bad actions are not tolerated from our leaders. Many groups and individuals who criticise Obasanjo seek his arrest, alleging that majority of the issues raised by him in the Letter occurred during his regimes both as military Head of State and as civilian President. This writer’s response to this is that since he relinquished office, as President, he can be arrested for prosecution, if any crime is found against him. In the absence of this, he is innocent. This point that he was also guilty of the same misdeeds as Jonathan must not be continually touted to hood-wink us. The chief was scolding Jonathan, like a father would do to an erring son. That is the standpoint from which this writer views Obasanjo’s Letter. One of the
problems with us as Nigerians is our ambivalent attitude. We condemn Jonathan for his inadequacies, but at the same time, his critics are pilloried for criticising him. Where do we stand? That is ambivalence with a dash of sympathy with Jonathan for being criticised. It is possible that most compatriots are yet to read the famous epistle of Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan. It is, therefore, meet and proper to cull some Quotes therefrom: “Debate and dialogues are necessary to promote interest and work for the progress of any human institution or organization”; “As far as your responsibility as Chief Security Officer of the nation is concerned for Nigerians, a lot more needs to be done to enhance the feeling of security among them”; “Mr. President, the most important qualification for your present position is your being a Nigerian”; “Nigeria which is the Saudi of Africa in oil and gas terms is being over taken by Angola only because necessary decisions are not made timely and appropriately. Mr. President, let me again plead with you to be decisive on oil and gas sector so that Nigeria may not lag behind”; and on sycophants, “May God save leaders from sycophants. They know what they want to hear and they feed you with it essentially for their own selfish interests”. Can any of Obasanjo’s critics deny the significance of any of the above issues? Serving as a glimpse into Chief Obasanjo’s Epistle to President Jonathan, the foregoing quotes, must not be misconstrued by critics. If anything, the Letter is well intentioned by a good friend of the President. “And a good friend will tell you the truth no matter how bitter”. • Oshisada, a veteran journalist, lives in Ikorodu, Lagos
Mandela: The conscience of the world By Olumuyiwa Jimoh ELSON Rolihlahla Mandela before his glorious exit was a N symbol of how best to be human and a global standard for endurance and tolerance. His existence even when not speaking out radiated the increasing message of hope and spoke loudly of the chance for humanity to still survive only if we can but learn to share, to cooperate and to respect one another on the plank of the mutuality built on equality in order to co-create a continuously productive and fair world. His life has shown that it is more beneficial for the globe to tear down all walls of partition both artificial and natural separating the various segments of humanity. In the South Africa he created, he has shown that no part of humanity is complete without the others thus, there is a need for the global community to truly seek to allow a global complementarity as that would guarantee sustained and increased productivity and optimum welfare to all members of the global community. He has therefore through the life he led and the actions he took as a leader shown that, national, regional and international boundaries are rather not beneficial to humanity but should be torn down so that global resources of all shades can migrate freely and contribute to the overall advancement of humanity. At a time when the globe had not awakened to the realities and exigencies of the pursuit of rights especially for the global minority and the coloured communities in particular despite the tenets of the 1949 Universal Declarations of Human Rights, Mandela and his comrades confronted Apartheid regime head-on. They were basically on their own as it were given the realities of global ideological and economic alignments thus the risks to their lives were immense. Their incarceration rather than douse the embers of the struggle became the fulcrum that gave impetus to the antiapartheid struggle that eventually propelled them into attaining a free and democratic South Africa. Their suffering was therefore both painful and liberating. In all these, he endured and despite the opportunities which included personal benefits that the apartheid regime had provided for him to recant his beliefs and pursuit, he pressed on refusing to turn back on his people and a glorious South Africa which he had foreseen. It was through this doggedness that
he saved South Africans both Whites and Blacks from self-immolation and purchased for them a South Africa today that is standing tall amongst the most advanced nations of the world. His actions as the President of free South Africa is a huge lesson in forgiveness, reconciliation, Justice built on truth and equality of all races both in morals, character and mental dispositions. This began to bear fruit even in faraway climes producing in the United States of America for the first time what had hitherto been taught impossible – a black American President in Barack Obama. The Life Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela lived broke down walls and changed the perceptions of not only South Africans but the international community especially the West. He was indeed a pride to Africa and her people. In the midst of the darkness that seemed to have enveloped our great continent, he rose like a bright shining star signposting a ray of hope for a renascent Africa showing the world what they are losing for trying very hard to relegate Africa to the background. He, therefore, became the global leader without formal election. Through his demeanour, he became the bastion of the conscience of the masses of the whole world as he brought to the fore, the dominance of the force of character or the centrality of sound principles and beliefs as the motive force of leadership in all sphere of human development over crass selfishness and crude capitalist accumulation. He believed in the Unity of the peoples of his country and pursued it at whatever cost knowing that it provides the most credible and enduring basis for sustainable development in South Africa. He indeed was a blessing to his people – A gift! Deep lessons, therefore, abound in his life for Nigerian leaders if they are truly desirous of creating the ambience that is required for national transformation. Leadership is the bedrock upon which social advancement is built, and it must be driven by examples. Mandela did what he preached. Nigerian leaders must, therefore, show the way by their actions not just speech. He refused to put his hands in the tills but was content with his salary and allowances which he never influenced in anyway. Public funds were not frittered away into his pockets and this explains his run-ins with some Nigerian regimes when he expressed his sadness over the disappointment that Nigeria has become not only to its citizens but to
the African continent. Nelson Mandela has gone to be with his fathers. He was truly a messiah for the South African nation and a great brand for the black race surpassing what others before him had achieved. Our religious leaders should also learn from the life of this man who never preached from any pulpit and never espoused any of those conventional religions yet he inspired billions of people the world over. He simply entered into our lives and consciousness through his actions and not by words. As they say, actions speak louder than voice. You therefore do not preach piety and humility but live a very loud and shouting life surrounded by ostentation. If they do what they preach, Nigeria would become a far better place. Mandela combined words with actions. Our religious leaders must combine the words in the holy books with adequate actions. We shall all miss his physical presence but his candour remains with us, his pieces of advice endure for all times and the political lessons which he taught, indelible and the strategies which he adopted in skilfully negotiating with the Apartheid regime is a complete study in successful strategies for Negotiation. We mourn this great loss and the passing of this global icon. Nelson! You taught me to fight oppression no matter where it exists, Rolihlahla! You taught me to endure and be determined in the resistance of evil no matter the loss to my comfort and family; Mandela! You taught me that there is no price that is too high to pay for freedom and NELSON ROHILHA MANDELA! You taught me that oppression destroys the oppressor and the oppressed and that humanity will never be complete or whole if oppression of whatsoever kind is allowed to exist. It saddens me that we have not as a human race decided to embrace that simple lesson which Madiba taught all of us. To, therefore, immortalise this great man, we must not stop at the emotions but proceed to craft a new world order that would create a framework for all peoples of the world to participate freely in an equitable manner in the quest for global development and to freely share and access global resources. Global unity becomes central. Good bye Madiba! The one who says that struggle is his life! The great General of Umkhonto Wesizwe! Amandla! • Jimoh is Lagos State House of Assembly member representing Apapa Constituency II.
professionals forecast increased investment opportunities in real estate sector
Developing a National strategy for mass housing Delivery and slum Upgrading
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013
MainOne, Visafone, Etisalat, others jostle for N3.6b spectrum licensing By Adeyemi Adepetun NDICATIONS emerged at the Itelecommunications weekend that some firms, including MainOne Cables, Visafone Communications Limited, MTN Nigeria, Emerging Market Telecommunications firm, Etisalat might have indicated interest in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) new round of spectrum licensing targeted at improving the country’s broadband landscape. Already, the Federal Government has indicated its interest to increase broadband penetration, which is currently six per cent to 30 per cent, about five-fold increase in the next four years. By so doing, NCC has said that it will license the remaining 2.3GHz spectrum band and seven infrastructure companies (InfraCos) in 2014. The Federal Government, through the NCC had set a minimum offer price of N3.6 billion on a license for the sole provider of wholesale broadband services in Nigeria, which is expected to be sold next year in a fresh round of spectrum auctions. Indeed, a reserve price, which represents the minimum amount an item is on offer in an auction, has been fixed at N3,673,100,000 ($32million) for the 30MHz of 2.3Ghz frequency spectrum sale scheduled to be concluded by Q1 2014. The winner of the single 2.3GHz spectrum will become the sole whole-
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managing Director, Guruanty trust Bank, segun Agbaje (left); winner of mini Cooper in the bank’s students savings promo, shallom Wigwe-elisha; and the bank’s Divisional head, Lagos Island, Ibukun oderugbaike, during the presentation of the car to the winner, in Lagos. photo: ChArLes oKoLo
LCCI tasks govt on conducive business clime in 2014 By Femi Adekoya ESPITE growth recorded in D key economic indicators in 2013, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stressed the need for government to address the increasing disconnect between the impressive growth numbers, productivity, quality of life and employment in 2014. Indeed, the chamber also raised concerns about the
Flays disparity in growth, quality of life growing tension in the political space as pre- election activities gain momentum, stressing that political stability remains critical for the sustenance of investors’ confidence and the progress of the economy. According to LCCI, the omen in the outgoing year are not good enough and have created some discomfort among investors. Furthermore, the
exchange rates as at Friday, December 27
chamber urged government to address the needs of SMEs and the manufacturing sector describing them as the most troubled sector going by the negative investment sentiments expressed by the operators throughout the year. Specifically, the LCCI identified some of the most disturbing factors affecting business as infrastructure limitations, unabated influx of imported
and substandard products, poor access to credit, high cost of doing business, and the inhibitive activities of government regulatory/monitoring agencies in the country. The President of the cham-
Treasury Bills Maturity Date 27-Mar-14 05-Jun-14 04-Dec-14
ber, Alhaji Remi Bello, in the chamber’s business and economic review for 2013, emphasised the need for government to improve the ease
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Bid 12.12 11.50 11.52
Offer 11.87 11.25 11.27
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013
GTBank, ASL expand operations to Rwanda, others UARANTY Trust Bank G (GTBank) Plc and Airline Services & Logistics (ASL) Plc at the weekend announced the expansion of their business operations to Rwanda
and other East African countries. In separate notices to the investing public, ASL and GTBank stated that they have concluded plans to
commence operations in a number of African countries. ASL indicated that it has decided to expand its business into oil and gas cater-
Union Dicon’s share price rises by 161 per cent NION Dicon Salt Plc’s U share price has risen by about 161 per cent. as market consideration sustained a steady increase, following the emergence of a new core investor and management for the company. Official trading and pricing data provided by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the weekend showed that Union Dicon Salt’s share price had risen to a high of N11.60 per share, few weeks after formal announcement of the consummation of an investment and management deal involving Union Dicon Salt and CBO Capital. Union Dicon Salt’s share price had risen by about 161 per cent from its previously stagnant low of N4.22. It closed Friday at N11. The uptrend came on the heels of the emergence of
CBO Capital Partners as new core investor in Union Dicon Salt. CBO Capital Partners had acquired significant equity stake in Union Dicon Salt to become a new core minority shareholder in the salt producing company. In a deal valuing the company at N8.40 billion, CBO Capital Partners acquired 41 million ordinary shares of UDS and also simultaneously acquired an option to purchase additional 240 million ordinary shares for a consideration of N3.36 billion. Besides, CBO Capital, a Lagos-based investment and project development firm, was given a management contract to turnaround UDS. The emergence of CBO Capital as a strategic investor and the management contract are expected
to stimulate the recovery of the ailing salt company. The parties to the deals indicated that the turnaround programme for the company is being finalized with the current management of the company and implementation will commence in the first Quarter of 2014. The company had stated recently that it was concluding on a variety of strategic options for a 2014 capital expenditure requirement of N4 billion, which would be announced soon. “We are glad to have CBO on board, to rejuvenate this great company, and we shall soon announce a strategy that will involve investment of billions of Naira over the next 24 months,” Managing Director, Union Dicon Salt, Colonel Henry Mgbemena (Rtd) said.
Jostle for broadband spectrum licensing begins CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 sale provider of broadband services to other service providers in Nigeria. The time table released by the commission showed that NCC set March 14, 2014 as the deadline for the conclusion of the process of 2.3GHz frequency licensing, while that of the seven InfraCos should be completed by December. According to the NCC, a
mock auction for the 2.3GHz would hold on February 18, while the main auction would hold between February 19 and 20. The eventual winner of the frequency is expected to pay for it on March 13, while the publication of the final result on March 14 will mark the end of the process, which started with the publication of Intention to Auction/Request for Expression of Interest on
November 15, 2013. The winner of the frequency will become a wholesale national broadband provider. In an interview with The Guardian, the Chief Executive Officer of MainOne Cables, Ms. Funke Opeke said, “we would look at getting licenses for InfraCos, perhaps more than one, depending on the scope of the eventual framework that the NCC decides to implement.”
ing and provision of inflight catering in Rwanda. In line with this, ASL stated that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with third parties to set up ASL Rwanda and ASL Oil & Gas Logistics Limited as a special purpose vehicle for the Rwandan operations. GTBank, which had in July indicated acquisition bid for Kenyan banking group-Fina Bank Limited, stated that it has concluded the acquisition and obtained all necessary regulatory approvals.
GTBank is the most capitalized financial services stock at the Nigerian stock market with market capitalization of about N795 billion on board today. According to the bank, it has executed the share sale and purchase agreement with shareholders of Fina Bank, thus concluding the transaction. Consequently, Fina Bank Limited, Kenya and its subsidiaries-Fina Bank Limited, Uganda and Fina Bank Limited Rwanda will now be renamed and
rebranded as subsidiaries of GTbank. GTbank noted that the acquisition would enable it to enter East Africa through a multi-country and scalable platform, thus expanding its international presence in Sub-Saharan Africa. It pointed out that this acquisition was in line with its structured expansion programme aimed at enabling the bank to tap into the vast business opportunities that exist in the East African region.
LCCI warns against pre-election tension CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 of doing business in the country, especially in the area of inflation, saying, “we hope that this trend is sustained in 2014 because stability of the price level remains a key factor for doing business. He added: “Going forward, LCCI would like to see an inclusive and integrated agricultural sector transformation with a greater trickles down to the bottom of the pyramid within a reasonable time frame. “We encourage the drivers of this initiative to design a strategy to accommodate small farmers who account for over 90 per cent of output and activities in the sector. “However, the power situation has continued to pose even more severe challenges to business operators. There are complaints across all sectors of high energy costs especially high expenditure on diesel and maintenance of electricity generators. This has continued to take its toll on the bottom line of investors in the country. Hopefully, 2014 may hold a positive outcome for the power sector on the back of current reforms. “ On the plight of creditors, the chamber raised concerns
about the impunity with which creditors of public and private sector institutions were treated. “This has become prevalent in the economy and needs to be urgently addressed. Some SMEs have been driven to bankruptcy because of this condition as there is little regard for contractual obliga-
tions. The long, tortuous and costly judicial process has made redress from the courts a difficult option. “We therefore appeal to public and private sector organizations to honor their obligations to their creditors in good time and respect the sanctity of contractual relationships.”
Monday, December 30, 2013 17
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
TheMetroSection Racing between life and death... • Mother of six needs N7 million for kidney transplant, has donor already
Chima undergoing dialysis By Olushola Ricketts LIZABETH Chima is seriously ill. Her sickness is not the kind that would go with the swallowing of a pill. In fact, she needs N7 million to undergo kidney transplant in India in no time. She is suffering from chronic kidney disease, secondary to chronic glomerulonephritis and has since been on maintenance dialysis of N70, 000
per week. But the doctors at Gbagada General Hospital have said the only solution is for her to get a kidney transplant. Speaking with The Guardian in her residence in Ketu, Lagos, the 48-year-old woman explained that it all started in 2009 when she noticed a boil on her left leg. She pressed it and the boil disappeared into the
Dana partners Niger to de-worm pupils S part of its corporate soEdiagbonya, said that havstates earlier in the year. In A cial responsibilities, ing understood the dangers Niger, he said, 6,000 school Dana Pharmaceuticals Limof worms to the health of ited recently partnered the Niger State Ministry of Health to d-worm primary schools pupils in the state. Speaking during the flagoff of the program, the Superintendent Pharmacist of the company, Mr. Godwin
children, the company deemed it pertinent to make de-worming one of the corporate social responsibilities,” he said. He disclosed that the company had done a similar duty in Lagos and Osun
children between the ages of five and 12 would benefit from the programme. He added that the first exercise took place in Osun State in July 2013, followed by Lagos State in November 2013. The Niger State Commis-
Wife of Niger State Governor, Hajiya Jumai Babangida Aliyu, administering drug to one of the children, during the de-worming of school children by Dana Drugs Limited as part of its corporate social responsibility ...recently.
skin. “I went to the hospital because I was worried. At a private hospital at Ikotun, I was told I had ulcer. I was treated but I did not respond to treatment. After sometime, the other leg was affected too. So I knew it was serious. I went to the hospital again but this time, I was referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH),” she said. Before she knew what was the matter, every part of her had swollen and her tummy bulged like a pregnant woman. But after conducting some tests, she said the doctor could not find anything. “After that one month, I was discharged and asked to be coming for check-ups. But the doctors said they suspected a kidney problem though they were not sure because it did not show in the scan.” Due to the miniature improvement, she embarked on a journey to another private hospital in Enugu State. The doctors there could not find anything too, she admitted that she thought it was probably a “spiritual problem.” “I came back home and spent a year without any problem. That was in 2011 but the strange pains returned in 2012. I went back to that same private hospital at Ikotun and I was referred to a laboratory. It was there they noticed I had kidney problem. I was now referred to Gbagada General Hospital. Babafemi Group, a team of four doctors, were treating me there. I have been receiving treatment there for almost a year now but on the first week of August, this year, I woke up in the morning and realised that I could not use the toilet. “ I became afraid and was rushed to the hospital. I was admitted for about one month again. I was placed on dialysis every week. The doctors said my two kidneys were affected,” she lamented. At present, the trained hairdresser’s case is critical and demands urgent attention Her words: “When I wake up every morning, I am always having stomach upset and
at night, I hardly sleep. Like yesterday, I was not able to sleep. If I lie down now, I need help to stand up. The pains are too much. I cannot breathe very well. I am using this medium to call all Nigerians to help me. I need help.” Gbagada General Hospital’s medical report made available to The Guardian, stated: The above named known hypertensive, was admitted into this hospital following a complaint of blood in urine on February 24, 2012. She was assessed in the clinic and managed as a case of chronic kidney disease possibly from chronic glomerulonephritis (CGN)… She was then discharged home on 27/8/2013 to commence maintenance dialysis as an outpatient and also to see, in outpatient clinic. She is awaiting 24-hour creatinine clearance to determine her level of kidney reserve. However, clinically it seems this patient will benefit from kidney transplant.” Also, the pains and humility echoed in the voice of f her son, Henry Chima, as he narrated the severity of the situation was sympathetic. According to him, they have so far visited family and friends to see how they could raise the money but noting has come out of it. “We have decided to come to The Guardian to reach out to well-meaning Nigerians so that our mother can live again. We have a donor already.” He admitted she was not diagnosed early enough that her kidneys wee packing up. “It has not been easy not just for me but for the family. Our father died last year and she’s the only one left for us. I wish that she could live an healthy life again. We hope tNigerians would come to her rescue,” Henry cries out. Account Name: Elizabeth Chima Account Number: 0003754321 Bank: Union Bank Mobile Number: 07060439371
Briefs sioner for Health, Dr. Ibrahim Sule, said that deworming of children was one of the simple health exercises ignored by parents, he commended DANA for partnering with the state government in curbing the menace. Wife of the Niger State Governor, Hajiya Jumai Babangida Aliyu attended the occasion. The occasion was part of the Niger State’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW). Other interventions during the week included immunization, vitamin A supplementation, Antenatal Care (LLIN, SPS, Iron Folate), key household practices (hand washing), measurement of mid upper arm circumference (MUAC), birth registration and voluntary counselling and testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Goodwill messages were given by representatives of Dana Drugs Limited, World Health Organization, Niger State Ministry of Health and Hospital Services, Polio Affected Persons, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the host Local Government Authority and the Traditional Leaders.
Eziyi Idika for burial January 4 HIEF Eziyi Okorie Idika, who died on October 13, 2013, will C be buried on Saturday, January 4, 2014, at his Omaguzo residence, Asaga Ohafia after a funeral service at the All Saints Presbyterian Church, Asaga Ohafia in Ohafia Local Council of Abia State. Aged 75, he is survived by his wife, Ugo Eziyi, children and a grand child.
Firm fetes physically-challenged kids, orphans N the spirit of Christmas, member partners and staffers of Ivisited Ernst and Young (EY), a leading accounting firm, recently Atanda-Olu School for Physically and Mentally Challenged Children, Surulere and Living Fountain Orphanage, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos. According to Regional Managing Partner, EY, Henry Egbiki, they realised that one of the purposes that they exist is to create a better working world wherever they exist. He said: “For us, it is about building a better working world. We take this time every year to give back to the society and impact positively on the community and the people around us. As an organisation, we believe our higher purpose of existence is about building a better working world.” Egbiki noted that building a better working world is not all about making profit but on how you impact on lives of people too. Also, the regional manager could not hide their happiness with what they saw at the two homes. “We are motivated by the contribution of the handlers of the two homes and their dedication to their duties. Visiting places like this gives members of the organisation an opportunity to reflect and analyze situation. From what we saw, it is only by God’s grace we all are living.” “The contribution of partners and staff of EY has really made the whole day a success because the staff and partners have contributed personally to this cause,” he stressed. The Principal of Atanda-Olu School, Folashade Micheal, appreciated the firm for complementing the efforts of government “Gestures like this would help improve our work in order to make the children more presentable to the society and reduce the work load of the teachers,” she said.
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18 Monday, December 30, 2013
Rotary marks Christmas with LASUTH patients, donates equipment By Isaac Taiwo AGOS State University Teaching Hospital was agog on Christmas Day as the Rotary Club of Ikeja, in its usual tradition, visited the hospital to celebrate Christmas with patients in different wards while Father Christmas doled out gift items to each of them. Various wards were in full preparation to receive their annual guests who met them with singing and dancing while a lot of patients, too, forgot their agony. It was a spectacular scene to behold, as they were leaping with excitement to partake in the joy of Yuletide. It was also an occasion to appreciate the best staff in each department of the hospital as well as donating vital medical equipment such as Vital Monitors, Standing Sphygmomanometers, Glucometers and Strips, Digital Thermometers and wheel chairs to the management of the Hospital. Available to receive the contingent of Rotary Club of Ikeja, led by its President Goke Olayinka and overseen by the District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110 who is in charge of Lagos and Ogun States, Olugbemiga Olowu, were the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Mrs. Yewande Adeshina; Chairman, LASUTH Board, Dr. Francis Olatunde Williams, Chief Medical Director, Prof. Adewale Oke among others. Former Health Minister and Chairman, Julie Pharmacy and Past District Governor, Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi was also there.
PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO
Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, Past District Governor, Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi, President, Ikeja Rotary Club, Goke Olayinka, District Governor, Rotary Club International, District 9110, Lagos and Ogun, Olugbemiga Olowu, Chairman, LASUTH Board, Dr. Francis Olatunde Williams and Chief Medical Director, LASUTH, Prof. David Adewale Oke during the donation In his opening address, Olayinka said the visitation to LASUTH started 40 years ago and has been sustained since then. “We are here for three purposes which include fellowship with all patients because, on Christmas Day, relatives visit their people to spread the joy of Yuletide and
in line with this, the Rotary Club of Ikeja are here to put smiles on the faces of the patients. Secondly, we have Christmas gift for each patient since this is the period to give gifts and thirdly, we want to appreciate the best doctor, the best nurse and the best administrator among others.
“In addition to the above, in Rotary, we have six areas of focus, one of which is disease prevention and treatment and we are here to make donations to that area, too, based on what we call need assessment,” he said. In his remark, the Chairman, Dr. Williams said he was delighted to be at the oc-
casion for the first time and lauded the programme that started 40 years ago. “You have come to put smiles on people‘s face and I want to assure you of the fact that this hospital is a progressive one where everyone is trying to give his or her best. It is a good gesture to bring out money to do all you are
Kano traders hail GEMS, lawmakers on harmonised tax law From Murtala Mohammed, Kano HE era of physical combat and public harassment between traders and tax collectors has been practically brought to end with the passage of Tax Harmonization Law by the Kano State House of Assembly.
Before now, taxpayers particularly, the business community, were being forced to contend with outrageous and multiple levies, rates and all sorts of remittance in the name of taxation into the State and Local Council’s coffers.
Briefs Baptist Church begins Rehaboth today HE yearly programme of First Baptist Church, FESTAC T Town, Lagos tagged “Rehoboth 2014” begins today and would end on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. The theme is “I Will Soar”. The Senior Pastor of the church, Dr. Victor Akerele says “the programme is designed to enable people prevail through prayers in the New Year.” Evangelist Adeleke, Rev. Onyegbu and Rev. Tela are expected as guest ministers at the programme.
Praise Tabernacle holds cross-over service HE Redeemed Christian Church of God, Praise TabernaT cle will tomorrow hold its cross-over service at the church auditorium, Nos. 9, 10 and 12, Ebun Street, Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos at 10.00p.m. It will be preceded by a holy communion same day at 5.30p.m. Pastor Amos Emovon will minister.
ATWAP wages war on fake ‘Pure Water’ producers O bring sanity and competence and protect lives of our peoT ple, the Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) Kosofe area in conjunction with the Lagos State Government have declared total war on illegal sachet water producers popularly called ‘Pure Water’ in Kosofe Local Council and its environs. The Chairman of ATWAP in Kosofe, Mr. Hassan Olasunkanmi said: “In our bid to sanitize the industry to avoid cholera and other water-borne diseases in Lagos State, we have taken the bull by the horn to ensure that producers of table water are registered with the association and duly accredited by NAFDAC,” we have therefore declared zero tolerance on any illegal producer and as such anybody caught will be handed over to the appropriate authorities. He added: “The illegal producers are many and with time, they will disappear. No factory that is not in compliant with NAFDAC standards can operate in Kosofe area henceforth.” Accordingly, a special task force to get rid of them is on ground with the support of the government agencies and it is an ongoing exercise. He, therefore, appealed to the relevant agencies to take immediate action while warning Lagosians to be vigilant.
Specifically, the tax harmonized law has clearly spelt out categories of internally generated income, mode of remittance and timeline of payment, all in due consideration of today’s economic reality. Secretary of Kano Trade Union, Aliyu Lamin Gwale, while speaking with reporters recently, lamented the harassments being experienced in the hands of tax agents hailing the frantic efforts of Growth and Employment in States (GEMS), a non-governmental organization under Department for International Development (DFID) for facilitating the private bill before the house. Aliyu said the era when
traders were blindfolded to remit monies severally without justification and evidence of payment is gradually fading out, many thanks to the lawmakers for devoting accelerative attention. Aliyu said: “The new law is a new dawn and would give those of us in the business sector significant relief. Before our boys would always battle with the tax people from local council and even state government, Board of Internal Revenue and so on. I can go on and on. They would issue several receipts for several issues and we don’t even no whether we have pay for that or not. But for now from what I understand about the new laws
we have been enlightened and guided by the GEMS on the categories of the tax and nobody can just bill us unduly anymore,” Aliyu remarked. A tax expert with GEMS, Mukhtar Yakasai posited that the Tax Harmonization Law would significantly improve government’s internal revenue generation and bail out traders from multiple-taxation. Yakasai noted that GEMS was able to streamline tax payment to 18 categories in the new harmonized tax law, away from over 200 categories of tax traders were meant to contend with. “ I can categorically state here that harmonized taxation is the first of its kind in
doing,” he said. Commenting on the occasion, the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Oke appreciated the fact that the Rotary Club of Ikeja had been consistent for the past 40 years to put smiles on faces of patients in LASUTH. “They are always here in the morning of each Christmas Day and spend time with the patients, give them gifts and putting smiles on their faces while they also honour and reward deserving staff who are nominated and chosen from various departments.” “I pray that God would continue to grant them the grace not to relent in their effort to always come to the aid of LASUTH as well as other hospitals that would need them. Patients should always believe in God and have faith in Him that the doctor only treats while God heals,” he said. Handing over the equipment to the management, the District Governor, Olowu said, they were being given to LASUTH and the State Government. He enjoined them to make the best use of the equipment to every patient and promised that the Club would do better in the coming year. “We are still battling with the problem of polio of which Nigeria still remains one of the countries we are still having the disease. But we will not stop until we see to the total eradication, which actually is in sight,” he declared. The best doctor award went to Dr. Eyituoyo Okoturo while Henry Chukwura received award for the most valuable staff among other awards. Nigeria, sponsored by GEMS, to ensure conducive environment to grow business in Nigeria. The harmonized tax law clearly defined the mode of payment to local council in the state based on economic viability of the areas. For instance the 44 local councils have been categorized into urban, semi and rural areas”. The tax expert maintained the new law also affords tax payers with convenience of 30 days to make payment when due thereafter providing first, second, third notice of reminder after which Court cases could be instituted against defaulters. Yakasai said unlike the previous practice, tax- payers can call for review if any discrepancies is noticed.
Leap Africa initiates 24 innovators By Isaac Taiwo
WENTY-FOUR youths were celebrated at this year’s Social Innovators Programme and Awards 2013, which took place at Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. At the yearly programme organized by LEAP Africa, celebrants included Tolulope Sangosanya, a graduate of Mass Communication from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. She won 2011 LEAP Africa Annual Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards and 2012 Youth Action Net Fellow. She founded LOTS Charity Foundation, a nonprofit organization known as Dustbin Estate that caters for the needs of street kids and vulnerable children. Another innovator, Jackson
Ojodomo Akor, an undergraduate of University of Calabar, Nigeria with Business Education as his discipline in the Department of Vocational Education, is cofounder/Project Manager of Initiative for Youths with Disabilities Empowerment and Advancement (IYDEA). IYDEA empowers youths with special needs with skills required for social integration and economic status and less dependence on family. The keynote speaker, Founder of the International Youth Foundation (IYF), Rick Little in his address attributed innovations to great dreams. He disclosed the fact that most people all over the world have dreams but few get their dreams actualized
and added that there is a difference between dream and vision. According to him: “To get your dreams actualized, you have to develop the stubborn spirit never to give up on your dreams in spite of every discouraging circumstance.” “There is every tendency to be comfortable in the ‘now’ syndrome and this is where knowledge comes into play. Never stop acquiring knowledge towards your dreams and when forces start contending with your dreams, there will be the need for application of knowledge and power to pursue your dreams.” “But also, remember the fact that knowledge alone does not change behaviour and that is why you need
both the combination of knowledge and power to drive your dreams.” “You also need to consider the fact that it is necessary to stand on the shoulders of those that have succeeded in actualizing your similar dreams. Their determination, discipline and the fact that they succeeded in fulfilling your type of dreams will always stand as impetus and courage to keep you going and un-waivering assurance that you, too, can equally be an achiever. “Very few get far in this life alone: You need people who will never give up on you even when you have given up on yourself. “Above all, never give up on your dreams. It is easy to give up. It is easy to be discouraged,” he said.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013
Financial experts tie 2014 economic growth to political stability financial experts SforOME have advocated the need sustained political stability and early passage of the budget to boost the nation’s economic growth in 2014. They commended the federal government for its efforts so far in stabilising the political environment ahead of the 2015 general
Review rice importation policy, maritime operator urges govt POKESMAN, Seaport SNigeria Terminal Operators of (STOAN), Bolaji Akinola at the weekend urged the federal government to review the policy on rice importation in the interest of the nation’s economy Akinola made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He said that Nigeria was losing an average of N1billion daily to the subsisting policy on rice importation and the attendant high level smuggling of the commodity into the country. “Before January 2013, rice importers paid a 60 per cent duty, but when it was increased to 110 per cent importers shun Nigerian ports for neighbouring countries. “No rice vessel has berthed at any port in Nigeria in close to a year now. What that means is that government is losing revenue that the Customs should have collected. “The vessels just go to neighouring ports where they will pay far less duty and the smugglers end up bringing the same rice into the country illegally,” he said. He said that the policy had affected the revenue of the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service from rice import. Akinola said that the Command had so far collected only N11 million as duty on rice as against what it used to be. “The Area Controller of Apapa Customs said that rice was the highest revenue-earner for them, but this year, the Command collected only N11 million as import duty on rice. “In 2012 and 2011 about N138 billion and N135 billion respectively was collected as revenue on rice importation. You can see the monumental loss to the Nigerian government,” Akinola said. Akinola also said that it was evident that the plan to develop the local production of rice still needed time because during this Yuletide Nigerians ate imported rice and not locally produced ones. “During this celebration period people ate the same imported rice, not the one grown in Abakaliki or Ofada,” he said.
elections. The experts made the remarks in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. The Managing Director, H J Trust and Investment Ltd, Harrison Owoh said that political stability and security would be the yardstick for investments in 2014. According to him, the economy would maintain its growth once the nation was stable. He urged government to pursue friendly investment laws and stable economic policies to support growth and development. The Chief Executive Officer, Lambeth Trust & Investment Ltd., David Adonri predicted
that the economy and equities market would experience impressive growth in 2014 once the security and political environment were stabilised. Adonri said: “Global analysts foresee a very active year for the equities market in 2014 as global economies grow in all directions.” He said that good regulatory framework and improvement in corporate fundamentals would enhance investors’ confidence in the nation’s economy. Adonri also identified power, agriculture and construction as the major drivers of the Nigerian economy in 2014.
Installation and Project Maintenance Manager, Total Nig Plc, Rabiu Abdulmutaliu (left) and Employee Relations Manager Total Nig Plc, Debo Atunwa presenting a gift to Master Adeniyi Inioluwa first position winner of The Total Test during the 2013 children end of the year party in Lagos.
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Monday, December 30, 2013
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Homes&Property 2014: Professionals forecast increased investment opportunities in real estate sector Real Estate By Tunde Alao
At least three states have been identified as haven for more investment and activities in the real estate sector of the economy but professionals are also calling the government ensure it upholds principles and practices that would aid real estate practitioners
from the trend in JandUDGING the year ending tomorrow notable projects still in the pipeline, professionals within the real estate sector have expressed optimism that there would be increased investments and consequently activities within the industry in the year 2014. The forecast, notwithstanding, the seeming parlous state of the nation’s economy, would be more visible in some states like Lagos, Port Harcourt and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Indeed, the taking off the Mortgage Refinancing Corporation (MRC), launched by the government and its prospective impact on housing provision and home ownership in Nigerians has further strengthens the position that the sector will boom in the coming year. Besides, they hinted that there is so much interest in the sector from foreign investors especially in the commercial, retail and leisure and, or hospitality. The service sector is not left behind in the flurry of foreign direct investment (FDI). There is this antici-
A housing estate, UPDC Emerald’s Court, Abuja pation that capital transfer into the sector is expected to be in billions of dollars. One of the areas where exponential growth is expected is Lekki corridor, situated along the Lagos–Epe expressway, an area that has being touted as the fastest growing location in the sub-Sahara West Africa. This axis is still going to be the haven of a bubbling real estate sector this coming year, they say, citing the huge on-going infrastructural development, namely, the expansion of the expressway and the ambitious Lekki Free Trade Zone, where a new sea port and an International Airport are in the offing. Already, three major projects have been slated to commence as early as possible in 2014. These are Peninsula Mall
at Sangotedo, Royal Garden Mall and Osapa Mall. Apart from malls, major housing estate developers are already doing site clearing in preparation to commence physical development. In Port Harcourt, places such as Okuru, Orada, Diobu/Oroworukwo, Rainbow Town, Rukpokwo, Rumolumeni Trans Amadi, among others, are said to be attracting huge investment. In Abuja, apart from Maitama District, sub-urban such as Nyanya, Mabuchi, Gwagwadala and others are already earmarked for housing estate, both by the government and private developers. Commenting on what 2014 holds for real estate sector, one of the foremost Estate Surveyors and Valuers in
Nigeria Mr. Akin Olawore, who is also a development consultant and Principal Partner, Akin Olawore & Co., is full of optimism of how real estate holds the ace among other sectors of the economy in 2014. According to him, he is looking forward to a bubbling 2014 with regards to the sector. There is so much interest in the sector from Foreign investors especially in the commercial, retail and leisure / hospitality. The service sector is not left behind in the flurry of FDI as capital transfer into the sector is expected to be in billions of dollars. “In Lagos, for example, especially, along the Lekki peninsula, three malls are in the pipeline. These are Peninsula Mall at Sangotedo, Royal
Garden and Osapa Malls, all along the corridor, while a couple of islands are in the making to deliver mixed use housing estates”, said Olawore. According to him, the low income group may not directly benefit from this enthusiasm but “I am also aware that some investors are taking the gauntlet and we hope that the Mortgage Refinance Company will live up to its billing and we will get investors that will contribute to the fund to assist low middle income group”, said Olawore. He also hinted that there are moves in the pipeline in terms of revolutionary building technology and materials that will drastically reduce cost,
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Cloud of unresolved ownership dispute hangs over Lagos MOD complex Litigation By Emmanuel Badejo HE journey for the Branco family to reclaiming its property, a 12-storey building popularly known as Ministry of Defence (MOD) on Lagos Island, from the Federal Government, is by the day appearing longer than expected, as the duo are yet to come to terms over the ownership feud of the
Clobek Crown Estate offers new luxury home in Abuja Page 27
Though the original owner of the property, Branco family has won the ownership dispute at the court of first instance but the journey to taking possession is still far, as the matter is still at the Court of Appeal, Lagos imposing complex. At a time the family was savoring the victory it got at the court of first instance, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Justice rejected the judgment of a Lagos High Court, its possession order, and
appealed to the Court of Appeal, Lagos, where it is seeking for the reversal of the lower court’s conclusion. The judgment, which came twenty-two years after the bid to reclaiming the property was initiated, was delivered sometimes in 2009. Put together, the case is about 27
An artist, the first Nigerian Building Engineer, Otunba Fatai Ishola Osikoya Page 34
years old now; and it is not clear when it would be finally determined. Curiously, since the matter went on appeal, several intrigues have been playing out, either to deliberately delay the case or to totally frustrate it.
Besides, The Guardian learnt recently that, the matter may soon be resolved on outof-court arrangement. But details of how far the feuding parties have been able to mend their differences were not clear as at press time. Justice Adenike Coker, who in her verdict held that the Federal Government was a tenant on the property, thereby ordered it to pay the sum of N500 million to the adjudged owner of the prop-
Developing a National Strategy for Mass Housing Delivery and Slum Upgrading: A Worldwide Challenge for 2020 Page 35
erty. Specifically, Coker entered judgment in favour of the claimants by: * a declaration that the claimants are deemed the holders of the statutory right of occupancy in and over the property at N0 1-3 Moloney Street, Lagos by virtue of a deed of conveyance dated 19th day of July 1912 and reg-
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Monday, December 30, 2013
HOMES & PROPERTY
Govt pledges projects’ delivery as Yobe approves N12b contracts Projects From Njadvara Musa, Damaturu
The identified road projects, include the 54-kilometre Bayamari-Gashua, 75-kilometre Hadejah-Nguru, and 60-kilometre Gashua-Nguru roads, while other projects include the Maximum Prison, Gashua and School of Midwifery at Nguru townships F the commitment by an official of the Federal IGovernment is anything to go by, then the residents of Yobe State have reasons to smile in the coming year as the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama has pledged that at least six abandoned projects within the state would be fixed in 2014. The projects include roads, prisons and health centres, located at Nguru and Gashua towns respectively. The fresh commitment, which came last week by the Minister, while inspecting the projects sites, coincided with the decision of the state government to inject fresh funds into construction sector in the state, as it had awarded N12.7b contracts. Ngama, who the lamented the state of the federal government’s abandoned projects in the state, said the delay was largely due to shortage of funds. The identified road projects, include the 54-kilometre Bayamari-Gashua, 75-kilometre Hadejah-Nguru, and 60kilometre Gashua-Nguru roads, while other projects include the Maximum Prison, Gashua and School of Midwifery at Nguru townships, 245 kilometres Northwest of Damaturu, the state capital. According to the Minister, despite the security challenges in the state, the need to undergo and continue with the Federal Ministry of Information’s “Good Governance Tour”, has afforded the ministry to identify the abandoned projects in Yobe.
“The abandoned projects that include the Nguru military barracks and Gashua Maximum Prison that was initiated by former President Shehu Shagari in the 1980’s, and are due for rehabilitation and this tour has provided us with the opportunity to know the next action to take. Assuredly, these projects will be completed in the year 2014, so that the northern part of Yobe could be opened up and overcome its transportation and haulage problems”. Noting the slow pace of work on some of the roads projects, Ngama charged the contractors to exhibit seriousness in the execution of projects, as funding will no longer be an issue to abandon the projects in the state. Similarly, the Yobe State Government approved a sum N12.7b to complete some ongoing projects. Among them are the 200-bed capacity hospital and maternity and ongoing roads and hotels projects. At the end of the year State’s Executive Council (SEC), meeting, held within the Government House, Damaturu, the decision to release the money was ratified. Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the council meeting, the Commissioner for information, Alhaji Goni Fika, said the roads sector took the lion’s share of N8 billion (75 per cent) for the construction of 53-kilometre Nguru-Machina road; and three-kilometre Machina township roads at the border with Niger Republic. He said as the governor had declared a state of emergency in the health sector the sum of N3 billion was also earmarked to complete the hospital with the procurement and installations of hospital equipment and facilities for the 200-bed hospital. “The earmarking of N3 billion for the health sector, was to enable this administration furnish doctors’ and professors’ newly built 3-bedroom flats in Damaturu, the state capital, while the renovations of Maryam Abacha Maternity Hospital, is to be completed before the end of first quarter
An ongoing road construction in Yobe State of next year,” said Fika. Speaking on security at the College of Agriculture, Gujba, Goni said: “The council also approved the sum of N724 million to improve secondary and tertiary education in the state, which includes construction of perimeter wall fence at College of Agriculture Gujba and the renovation of Government Girls Secondary School in Damaturu.” He further disclosed that N26 million was also approved for the completion of the Damaturu three star Hotel and N937 million for the installation of 1000 units of single-arm solar security lights, and for the supply and installation of equipment of the newly constructed Ministry for Land and Survey in Damaturu. At the newly established School of Midwifery, Nguru, the community, through
their traditional ruler, Waziri of Nguru Emirate, expressed happiness over the location of the school in their locality. The minister urged them to ensure massive enrollment of females students into the school so as to produce enough midwives for the community. According to him, the establishments of the school at Nguru will help reduce the high maternal and child mortality rate currently experienced in the state. Other projects inspected include the Army Clinic and two blocks of nine classrooms’ Army Primary School, under construction at the 241 RECCE Battalion Nguru being undertaking by the Presidential Committee on Barrack Rehabilitation (PCBR) through the MDGs. Ngama was received at the Barrack by the Commanding
Officer, Maj. Haruna Bala Haruna, who expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of work at the clinic, but however said he was “overwhelmed” with the work at the primary school. “The quality of work here at
this primary school is beyond my expectations. I must commend Hajia Binta of MDG for this initiative. You can see that they are building entirely a new school instead of rehabilitating an existing one,” said Maj. Haruna.
Adron Homes, subscribers parley over new housing estates Projects By Tunde Alao O remove doubts on its capacity to deliver, a developer, Adron Homes and Properties Limited has held a parley with its subscribers over its ambition to build four housing estates both in Lagos and Ogun States. The housing estates are Treasure Park Gardens and Glass House Estate in Shimawa behind the Redemption Camp along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Rehoboth Park Gardens at Mawejo in IbejuLekki area of Lagos State about fifteen minutes drive from the Lekki Free Trade and Processing Zone and Grandview Estate at Atan along the Badagry-Sokoto Road in Ogun State. At a parley which was spiced with Xmas Carol, Awards and Dinner Night, held at the Event Centre, Alausa Central Business District, recently, and attended by over 1,000 subscribers and potential home
At least the developing firm, Adrom Homes is working on four residential estates, all in Lagos over which it held a parley with its subscribers, giving report on the projects owners, Adron Homes assured that it would deliver the projects on schedule. While Treasure Park and Gardens and Glass House Estate both in Shimawa currently sit at over 200acres with pockets of house developments and wonderful infrastructure; Rehoboth Treasure Park and Gardens and Grandview Estate both sit on an average of 10 acres of land. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Adron Homes and Properties Limited, Mr. Adetola Emmanuel King while addressing guests at the Xmas Carol, Awards and Dinner Night expressed utmost joy and satisfaction at what is company had achieved in less than two years. “It’s amazing to note that Adron Homes and Properties Limited will be two years in February 2014 and we already have over thirty housing units
at different stages of construction in our first estate Treasure Park and Gardens and our first landlord had actually moved in about three months ago. This is not usually the case in most estates that promise to satisfy the middle and lower segment of the housing market and we are grateful to God for that remarkable achievement”. King said this would not have been possible without a clearcut vision from and by the organisation to really help in delivering quality and affordable housing to ordinary Nigerians. “When we started, I told myself and my pioneering members that Adron Homes and Properties Limited was out to deliver affordable houses to the people and will not exist as a mere land speculator. So from the onset created an amazing soft payment plan that ensured people own land or a house in
our estate without having to pay through their nose”, he added. He explained that what the company did was to encourage potential homeowners to commit monies they ordinarily would regard as “a change” to really change their lives and own a land or a house.” The idea is to ensure that with
Andron Housing Estate
as small as the sum of N500 or N1,000 daily contribution anyone can own a land in our estate. A plot of land at Treasure Park and Gardens although currently sells for N2.5million, but as at a year and half ago when we started selling it was just N750,000 only. So with that little amount of money in daily per-
sonal savings we were able to encourage a lot of people to key into the platform we were offering them to own a house. And as I speak we have continued to increase our land-bank to be able to meet up with the ever increasing demand from ordinary Nigerians who have seen the amazing thing happening in our estates”.
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Clobek Crown Estate offers new luxury homes in Abuja Projects By Emmanuel Badejo NOTHER private residenA tial estate in the heart of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lugbe, Abuja, is set to join the ranks of housing estates in Nigeria, courtesy of a leading developing firm, Clobek Nigeria Limited. Upon completion, the developer will be delivering a tastefully 170-unit residential housing estate, christened as Clobek Crown Estate, and located along the Abuja International Airport Road, Lugbe, Abuja. Lugbe District lies along the Abuja International Airport Road and is a 15-minute equidistant drive from either the City Centre or the Abuja International Airport. The on-going expansion of the multi-dual carriage Airport road has turned Lugbe into a premium district, attracting heightened interests from both investors and home seekers desiring proximity to the City Centre while avoiding the high cost of houses/accommodation in the City. Standing on a 5-hectares land, the project has been divided into two phases, and its phase one, which should have been delivered this month was should now be ready for habitation by the end of January 2014.
According to the developer, the project came as a response to the growing need for quality housing in FCT, and it is intended to provide decent and affordable accommodation for persons of middle- income level and senior staff cadre. Head, Sales and Marketing, Clobek Nigeria Limited, Mr. David Agbo, said phase one was designed to deliver 69 units, out of which over 40 units have been sold. The house types include 4bedroom detached duplexes; 3-bedroom detached with boys’ quarters and the 2-bedroom semi-detached. Agbo added that while both the 4 and 3-bedroom is going for N25m, the 2 semidetached, is on offer at N18m only. Clobek Crown Estate is situated along the Voice Of Nigeria (VON) axis of the Airport Road and is surrounded by already developed and fully inhabited estates such as Palm Heights and TradeMore Estates. When it is fully developed, the estate will have facilities such as a medical facility, mini mart, crèche, clubhouse, beauty centre, gym, and indoor events hall and children play park. Other common services would include a 24-hour security surveillance system, 24-hour water supply, 5 dedicated transformers,
A four bedroom detached bungalow in Clobek Crown Estate, Abuja beautiful greenery, armoured cabled street lights, and internal roads cleanly landscaped with underground waste and storm drainages. Agbo added that the estate, which has elicited high buyer
Ogun urges compliance to ‘Build Right’ policy Urban Renewal By Emmanuel Badejo ETERMINED to achieve appreciable success in its dream to ensure urban renewal of its cities, the Ogun State Government has urged all homeowners and residents within the state to comply with the ‘build right’ policy it recently introduced. Adherence to the policy, according to an official of the state would ensure safety and peaceful co-existence of residents in the state. The “Build Right” campaign is a programme the state’s Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning. At a community parley organised by the Urban and Regional Planning Board for Community Development Council (CDC) to sensitise homeowners in Odeda Local Government Area, on the need to comply with the urban and regional planning law, Commissioner for Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, Mr. Gbenga Otenuga, said the policy thrust of the campaign was to deliver a safer, cleaner, friendly and livable environment. Otenuga, who was represented by the Abeokuta East Zonal Planning Officer, Mrs. Olufunmi Adegunle, affirmed that the policy, is not new, but in conformity with town planning laws as
interest due to the high quality of construction and finishing of the houses, would further strengthen its position on functional estate in Abuja, adding that, construction of phase would take off as soon as his company is done with
the first phase. Clobek Nigeria Limited is a housing estate development company incorporated in 2010 in response to filling the housing deficit in Africa. Our business is to deliver quality and affordable houses to those poorly housed.
“Our plan is to form strategic partnerships with the various key players involved in the provision of housing, including Governments, communities, financial institutions, manufacturers and suppliers of housing products and services.”
Lagos hands over Ikeja road projects
A well planned building with approved specification would ensure a beautiful environment. Apart from this, it would give enough space for road expansion when necessary and give inheritors a lease of life without rancor; documents that would give value to such property must have been obtained. obtained all over the world, meant to ensure home owners live a stress-free life. He said the law, which had been in existence before Senator Ibikunle Amosun became the Governor frowns at erecting buildings indiscriminately, adding that the need to ensure compliance to avoid demolition which could be painful informed the decision to embark on the sensitization programme. “A well planned building with approved specification would ensure a beautiful environment. Apart from this, it would give enough space for road expansion when necessary and give inheritors a lease of life without rancor; documents that would give value to such property must have been obtained. This will ensure peaceful co-existence between the inheritors as nobody would claim it from them” Gbenga Otenuga explained. Maintaining that government has zero tolerance for illegality in whatever form and was not interested in frustrating anybody. The Commissioner reminded that the law forbids people to build on drainage channels, fuel pipelines, flood plains, under high-tension cables or on lands acquired
by government for developmental purposes. He enjoined members of the CDC to get the message down to other Community Development Associations under them, urging that they should always contact relevant agencies of government to find out the status of any land before buying and also obtain necessary documents before embarking on construction. Meanwhile, a team of Development Control Officers from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development was at Ogijo in Sagamu Local government where it was discovered that some houses were built without obtaining necessary approval. Reacting to this discovery, the commissioner said as provided by the law, owners of such buildings would be served with contravention, regularization, sealing and demolition notices respectively, adding that if they fail to act, the buildings would be demolished. He reminded that penal fees payable was usually more than the initial payment for approval and regularization and therefore urged prospective developers to always follow due process to avoid sealing or outright demolition.
New commissioned road projects in Kodesoh Street
Projects ByTunde Alao As part of its urban redevelopment programme and Ikeja Model City Plan, Lagos State Government last week, formally handed over the Kodesoh Road and Simbiat Abiola Road, for public use. Kodesoh Road contract, that was awarded to Messrs HFP Engineering Nigeria Limited in October 12 2012, had as the scope of work that included clearing of Road Way, Scarification of failed asphalt surface, drainage provision and 150 milimetre of earthwork/stone base course. Others are street lighting, walkways, service ducts and lane marking. It was also designed to have 600 metres dimension and average width of 19 metres. Similarly, 550 metres’ Simbiat
Abiola Road was awarded in March 2012 to Messrs Mosefem Ventures while works commenced in August the same year. The road design provided 150 m thick crushed stone as base course and asphalt surfacing with binder course. It also has walkway, street light, service ducts and provision of median barrier. Speaking at the event, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, hinted that additional 16 road contracts has been awarded lately and that they would be completed as at when due. “The construction of these roads is a clear testimony of this administration that every inner streets in Lagos would either be rehabilitated, or constructed. It’s a fallacy that government is concentrating on the metropolis alone. We have completed
roads in Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and other semi-urban areas across the state”. Said Hamzat. Governor Babatunde Fashola, while urging the residents to ensure that the road should not be subjected to any form of abuse specifically warned against trading on the right of ways. “I noticed with a sense of disappointment that car dealers along Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way who display their cars on the setback. I am seizing this opportunity to warn them that we are not going to tolerate such practice”, he said, urging commuters to ensure that they give ways to pedestrians. He also warned against digging of the road for installation of any public utility, saying that service ducts are already available to make use of, either for water pipe, telecommunication cable or any other amenities.
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Quacks responsible for structure collapses in Nigeria, says Eboh Professional Practice By Wole Oyebode IKE a recurring decimal, concern over structure failures in the country is always feature at different forum. Just last week, Reuben Eboh, a civil engineer and Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Apapa Branch, Lagos, bares his mind on the issue, blaming the involvement of quacks in the building construction, use of substandard materials, among other factors, as being responsible for the malaise. Challenging civil engineers, as why is there too many cases of collapsed building and roads in the country, Eboh while explaining the causes of failure of infrastructure said in a situation where somebody that went to secondary school and has been involved in the construction industry for like 10 years thereby assumes to have gotten enough experience to be able to supervise an engineering project required attention. According to him, engineering project is meant to be supervised by a professional; an engineer. “But in a situation where someone did not pass through the walls of the university to be able to understand what it means to design a building; things that are involved in terms of specifications of the size of iron rod for reinforcement, quantity of cement to sand required the process and stages is uncalled for. ‘These people are working on experience that is not premised on sound engineering knowledge and that is why you have a lot building collapsing, because non-professionals are actually taking over the job of professionals. Instead of having engineer supervise an engineering project, you have an artisan, craftsman or technician supervising an engineering
project. In that case, the building must collapse”. Speaking on the roles of engineers, he said that NSE like any other professional body in the country is a body of practicing engineers, like mechanical, electrical, civil, structural and environmental engineering. The aim of the body is to advance and foster a high standard in engineering practice and its studies in Nigeria. Second, is to encourage research and development in engineering technology, with special emphasis on local materials and conditions, including the enhancement of the professional status of engineers in Nigeria. “NSE as a professional body has a code of conduct that actually interfaces with activities of Council for the Regulations of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). As a corporate member of NSE, you have a responsibility to the profession and the society and you know the implication of actually contravening the code of conduct of the professional body. That is why we want engineers to actually supervise engineering projects to be able to hold them responsible. An engineer that is registered with COREN knows the implication of getting his or her name removed from the register of the regulatory council. An engineer will certainly not compromise on the materials or structure. “The painful part of it is that average Nigerians don’t want to pay for professional services. It is not because service charge is expensive, but because he feels that he can cut corners”, he observed, adding that in engineering family, there is the lowest level where we have the artisans and the craftsmen, including technicians that have been trained at Colleges of Educations or technical colleges, technologists from the polytechnics and then the highest is the engineer that
A collapsed building in Lagos
Quacks are the people working on experience that is not premised on sound engineering knowledge and that is why there are a lot building collapsing, because non-professionals are actually taking over the job of professionals. Instead of having engineer supervise an engineering project, artisan, craftsman or technician supervising engineering project. In that case, the building must collapse. graduated from the university. However, he said it is wrong to give a project to craftsman or technician to supervise. One should know the quality of results he/she gets when you a craftsman or technician is supervising such project. To ensure effective monitoring, Apapa branch of the NSE, have a committee that is known as the Prevention of Infrastructural Failure and Analysis Committee (PIFAC), saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that infrastructures do not fail in our envi-
ronment. Our concern is prevention. That is why aside from the building, we are looking at the roads. We don’t want poor quality roads that will become death traps; or roads that its asphalt is washed away within six months. That is why we are telling our members to put an eye in ongoing constructions, wherever they are working or living, to ensure that the top grade is well treated, has the base course, the binding and wearing courses. This is to ensure that projects are done well. We have seen roads that
fail in less than six months because it is not well done. On why major projects are been undertaken by foreigners at the expense of their indigenous counterparts, he said that NSE as a body has recognized this as an anomaly and that at the headquarters of the NSE, a local content committee is to be set up at the branch levels. The whole essence of the committee is to ensure that wherever you have engineering organisation, Nigerians are actually taking major part in the running of the organisation. The fact remains that engineers have not really been given the opportunity to actually do this. Foreigners are being patronized as a result of what he described a “white-skin factor”. Anything coming from the whites tend to be more valued than ours, forgetting that we are actually better than them. That is why we have the likes of Philip
Emeguale performing so well. Here, the doyen of engineering is Sir Herbert Macaulay. On the teaching of engineering vis-à-vis the Nigerian society, Eboh explained that when it comes to engineering, there is a gap between what is taught in the secondary schools and the universities. “In the secondary schools, we have pupils understand the rudimentary of engineering. And to this effect, there must be sound knowledge of physics, chemistry and mathematics, which form the foundation of engineering studies in the university. Besides that, there is the need for sound knowledge of technical drawing, because it forms the basis of engineering drawings in the university. Without understanding of technical drawing, understanding engineering drawings becomes almost impossible.
FG, Branco family battle over Lagos MOD complex CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 July 1912 and registered as No. 106 at Page 402 in Volume 77 at the Lands Registry office, Ikeja, Lagos; * a declaration that the public officer (Forfeiture of Assets) Order N0. 33 of 1978 dated 4th of July 1977 cannot affect the claimants’ statutory right of occupancy in respect of the subject property. The protracted battle had involved representatives of the Branco family, led by Princess Sonate Akran (now late) and others, including Mr. Simon Kouvi Kappo, Miss Josephine Sessi Branco and Mrs. Michelle Toluwalope Aiyegbusi on one hand, and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Federal Minister of Environment and Housing on the other. The property, which was ravaged but not destroyed by a
fire outbreak some years ago, formerly housed top brass of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force on Moloney Street, in central Lagos. The trial Judge, taking judicial notice of absence competent statement of defence before her, had said: “In this court’s view, therefore, and as rightly submitted by Mr. Rotimi Rhode for the claimants, there was no competent statement of defence before this court and this court so holds.” However, she ruled that a preliminary objection by the second defendant, the Minister of Environment and Housing, challenging the powers of the court to entertain the matter was refused on the ground that, the issue before the court, was within its jurisdiction. On how the court arrived at awarding N500 million against the defendants, it held the testimony of an estate surveyor, Chief Charles
Adebiyi, who had been contacted to survey the property while the matter, lasted. Adebiyi was a former President of Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV). The court rehearsed the plaintiffs’ claims that the property, formed part of the freehold estate of Joaquim Francisco Devode Branco (deceased) by virtue of a Dead of Conveyance dated 19th day of July 1912 and registered as N0 106 at Page 402 in Volume 77, at the Lands Registry Office Ikeja Lagos. It noted that the executors of the estate of Late J.E.D. Branco leased the subject property to the firm Matter Brothers for terms of 50 years on the 2nd day of September 1957 and 17th day of September 1958 respectively. According to the court, Matter Brothers subsequently assigned to Lesco Properties Limited, a company owned by Mr. F.A. Ijewere
the unexpired terms of leases. Ijewere was a former staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). But the government through the public officers (forfeiture of assets) Order N0 33 1978 forfeited to and vested in itself some properties, which included the subject property purportedly on the basis that it belonged to Ijewere. The claimants’, according to the court, added that their freehold interest, now deemed a statutory right of occupancy, in and over the subject property, had never been alienated and the only interest held by Ijewere was the unexpired term of the 50 year lease. They said that in the “Last Will’ and testament of the Late J.F.D Branco dated the 14th day of June 1919, it was expressly stated that subject property was never to be sold but to remain a family property. The claimants’ said that gov-
ernment, having forfeited the acquisition of the ‘unexpired’ terms of the said leases granted Ijewere, became their lessee and are legally bound by the terms and conditions of the said leases further that the Federal Government, since becoming their lessee had willfully failed to pay any rent whatsoever for use and occupation of the said property as stipulated and required by the said leases. Pursuant to the provision of the leases, the claimants as lessors of the ‘defendants said government has a right to forfeit the leases as the defendants have been in breach of payment of rent. According to them, the arrears of rent due from the Federal Government of Nigeria from July 1977 to July 2004 at a yearly rent of 1,000 (One thousand one hundred pounds sterling) at the prevailing exchange rate of N250 to 1 amounts to N7,425,000.
“By reason of the mistaken forfeiture by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the claimants’ legal interest has been encumbered without any lawful justification.” But the defendants in their counter claims said that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Lagos in 1975 requisitioned the said property in accordance with the powers conferred on it by law and in particular sections 1, 2, 3,5,7, 8 and 10 of the Requisition and other powers Decree N0 39 of 1967. They also said that notices of the Federal Government’s intention to take possession of N0. 1-3, Moloney, Lagos and to acquire ownership thereto, were duly served on the occupiers and all other people who had interest in the property prior to the requisition order. The government also claims it is the bonafide owner of the property and that title is vest-
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First Executive Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande laying the foundation stone of NUJ building in Shomolu, Lagos as other media expecutives watch with interest
Stakeholders want collaboration among construction workers Professional Practice By Tunde Alao HE need for professionals, T artisans and suppliers of building materials to work together as a team in building industry, was the focus of discussion during the just concluded annual general meeting (AGM), of the Lagos State Bricklayers Association of Bricklayers, held at Igbogbo, Ikorodu, last week. In a lecture at the event tagged: “Role of Bricklayers in Lagos Megacity Plan and Prevention of Building Collapse in Lagos State”, President of Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, a builder, while enunciating the importance bricklayers in building construction emphasized the need for team work among other professionals and artisans. According to Awobodu, team spirit in the construction industry is inevitable and that building is a product of teamwork, hence, construction of a building could only be achieved through joint efforts contributed by professionals, artisans, gangers and suppliers. “It is naturally impossible for a member of the team to complete a building project successfully in isolation of other bodies. Bricklayer, carpenter, iron bender and other tradesmen have a joint responsibility of coupling various elements into forming a building”, he said, noting that bricklayers should not consider themselves more relevant than other tradesmen. He said if a member of the team failed to do his own part appropriately, it could create crisis in the building production process. “Therefore, construction professionals and artisans could be exemplified by the human body that functions interdependently according to the condition of
Reality on ground is that it is naturally impossible for a member of the team to complete a building project successfully in isolation of other bodies. Bricklayer, carpenter, iron bender and other tradesmen have a joint responsibility of coupling various elements into forming a building that can stand the test of time various parts of the body. In view of this, discrimination should be discouraged among construction workers of different departments or trades”, said Awobodu, who advised bricklayers on the need to specialize in the aspect of the trade they had technical advantage. For instance, he said that it would be difficult to get a bricklayer or mason that could be skillful in all areas of a trade. Some are better at block laying, while some rendering or plastering. Those who are good at setting stones or rendering should concentrate more on that area of the trade. However, he lamented the scarcity of those who are competent in laying bricks in Nigeria today, urging those in the profession to concentrate and advance their knowledge along that line rather than veer into tiling work that required a different technicality. “Bricklayers that specialized in concreting possessed more knowledge in tiling sector than those laying blocks. The concrete specialist could range a long stretch of concrete slab without the aid of spirit level and he hardly complained of backache as his body had adapted to bending position. Hence, bricklayers should know their limitations and should only work on the aspect of the trade where they possessed technical advantage and therefore, develop along that line of specialty”. (3) Paucity of Nigerian bricklayers and the ingress of for-
eign artisans In his comment, the Executive Chairman Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA, Mr. Gbenga Basanya congratulated bricklayers for coming together in an association that would make them more visible and collectively promote standard building construction in Nigeria. On the allegation that some bricklayers are engaging in block making business, he did not consider it quackery since they are the ones using the blocks to work. He enjoined professionals and artisans in the built environment to be vigilant on sites so as to reduce cases of building collapse in the country. Mr. Wole Ajifowoke, a lecturer at the Government Technical College, Ikorodu stressed on the importance of training to upgrade the standard of brick or block laying work in the country. He encouraged the bricklayers to embrace modern techniques so as to gain patronage. He informed them on the existing academic/technical process that would enable them improve on their knowledge and rise in the hierarchy of construction industry. Similarly, Mr. Kayode Fatoki, the chairman of Bricklayers Association in Lagos State promised that the association would fight quackery along with the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG). He hammered on the need for developers in the building industry to source bricklayers through the association so that workers would become traceable.
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Cities for real estate investment boom in 2014 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 micro housing funding for incremental housing development. . Mr. Femi Majekodunmi, Chairman, Femi Majekodunmi & Associates, a doyen of architectural profession in Nigeria, also expressed positive reaction on the fate of real estate in 2014. His words: “My expectation of the real estate industry in Nigeria in the coming year is that it will continue its exponential growth, especially in the urban areas of our country”. Urban centres, especially, state capitals and the federal capital territory (FTC), are in this category. Although, some of them still believe that government policy in these states would have greater influence on the development of real estate, they believed however that “conventional wisdom would dictate to them that flexibility in
land administration will do them better than rigid and callous demands from investors”. Looking in retrospect, Chuks Omeife, a Fellow of the Nigeria institute of Building (NiOB), and Managing Director/CeO, Building Consult Ltd., said the year 2013 started on a very high hope and expectations giving the housing and urban development policies that was put in place by Ms Amal Pepple, the Former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. “Unfortunately her exit has created a vacuum where most of the policies she was driving would have impacted on the housing but sadly are now left hanging. Despite the above the housing sector has remained very viable due to shortage and the high demand for housing stock in the country”, he said. However based on the prevailing circumstances in the sec-
tor, Omeife admitted that the direction of the real estate sector should be in the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians. He is of the opinion that presently, there are many houses in urban centers across the country that are unoccupied due to their high cost and they will most likely remain like that through 2014 if their prices are not reviewed. “The major expectation for 2014 is the coming on board of the Mortgage refinancing corporation launched by the government and its anticipated impact on housing provision and home ownership by Nigerians. i also expect that players in the housing sector will focus attention on providing affordable houses that Nigerians can afford, if not majority of the players will tie down their fund in these costly houses they are involved in
at the moment’. His expectation is that government should try and implement the provision of existing housing and urban policies while completing the review of the National Building Code so as to push it for legislative backing in the National assembly. Besides, government must also streamline the condition for private public participation (PPP), in housing provision and performing their role in the provision of enabling environment for private sector to encourage participation in housing provision. “in all, the housing sector remains the most attractive sector to invest in, apart from providing investors necessary security, the return on investment is very encouraging and enduring while appreciating on a long term basis”, said Omeife. Another
renowned estate Surveyor, Chief Kola Akomolede, Principal Partner, Kola Akomolede &Co., also noted that it is expected that the real estate sector will witness some measure of recovery in the year 2014 for the following reasons: One, with increased availability of mortgage finance, following the injection of fund into the sector and the establishment of the MortgageRefinance company, more people will have access to mortgage which will stimulate demand for housing and in turn lead to increase in construction activities. This will also result in more demand for building materials to the benefit of building materials manufacturers and importers. Two, 2014 is the build up year for the 2015 elections. “Therefore politicians who have been keeping our money will likely bring them out and spend to mobilise people for
their support, This may put more money in the hands of people who may in turn increase the demand for housing”, he said, adding that there is the psssibility that many politicians will result to selling their properties in order to raise funds for their campaigns. This may result into many properties in the market, especially in the upper segment that may lead to lower prices in that segment. But generally, he was of the view that prices and rent will continue to rise in the lower end because of increased demand for accommodation that is not being addressed by the governments. “Nobody is paying any attention to the provision of housing for the low income as government has left housing to the private sector which is not interested in this sector because it is not as profitable as those for the high income”, concluded
Nigerite renovates Lagos Poly Architecture Studio iGeRiTe Limited, a leading building component soluN tions company has again demonstrated its commitment to corporate social responsibility as it renovated the architecture studio of the department of Architecture, Lagos State Polytechnic, ikorodu. This represents the fourth renovation work Nigerite had embarked upon in many institutions of higher learning across the country. earlier in the year, the company remodelled the Architecture studio of the Department of Architecture, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta in Ogun State. it also renovated architecture studios in University of Lagos and Yaba College of Technology in Lagos State. Speaking on the occasion of the handing over of the remodeled studio, export Manager, Mr. Segun Ayeni said, Nigerite believes that government alone cannot solve the educational needs of the country, adding that, “the private sector must also help in order to promote conducive environment for learning.” He urged the students to make the best use of the studio judiciously so that other students will also benefit from the lofty idea. Responding, Rector, Lagos State Polytechnic, Dr. Abdulazeez Abioye Lawal said, “this is the first time we are experiencing a private organisation investing in the polytechnic. it will go a long way at improving the delivery of the required knowledge and skill to our students. This is a modern studio that will also add to the rating of the polytechnic. it is an indication that we are moving in line with the current challenges and definitely, we will be able to produce the required man power for all the Nigeria business environment, not only in Nigeria but also our graduates will be in better position to compete anywhere in the world.” He advised other organisations to emulate Nigerite by ploughing back their profits into the society at large in order to discourage incessant industrial action we have been experiencing in higher institutions. Also, Head of Department, Architecture Department, Architect Ajibade Adeyemo said, “Nigerite’s gesture is a fulfilment of much expected cooperation between the industry and the academia to actually help our students to have a true feel of what it is to learn in a practical way. What they have done for us is a provision of a digitalised architectural computers studio that would expose our students to great learning.
Lagos MOD building in the eye of the storm... CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28 vested in her absolutely. Government added that since the claim of the plaintiff arose out of land that was compulsorily acquired by the government in 1975 by virtue of the Requisition and Other Powers Decree No. 39 of 1967, the Public Lands Acquisition (Miscellaneous Provisions) Decree N0. 33 of 1976 and the enabling Decree are the proper statutes applicable in this case. To them, the plaintiffs are not entitled to the declaration sought. Besides, they said the plaintiffs are not entitled to the amount or part thereof as claimed in their amended statement of claim as the property on requisition continued to vest in the Federal Military Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria absolutely.
Rector, Lagos State Polytechnic, Dr. Abdulazeez A. Lawal cutting the tape of the newly renovated Architecture studio by Nigerite Limited, while Export Manager, Segun Ayeni, (first from left), a staff of the institution and Brand Executive, Nigerite, Mr. Oluwatoyin Thomas (far right) watch at the handing over ceremony of the renovated Architecture Department of the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, Lagos, recently.
Monday, December 30, 2013
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, December 30, 2013
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013
PEOPLE & PROPERTY
An artist, the first Nigerian Building Engineer, Otunba Fatai Ishola Osikoya Housing TUNBA Osikoya Fatai Ishola, O the first Nigerian Building engineer, was born in Ijebu-Ode in 1927. He was admitted to the famous Brixton School of building, now The University of South London, in September 1952 to study Building Engineering. He was awarded the Western Region Scholarship in 1954. He graduated in the year 1957 and was admitted a member of the British Institute of Building in that year, thus becoming the first Nigerian and indeed the first African to be admitted. In 1980, he was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building. In 2001, he was admitted as a Fellow of the Association of Building Engineers in England and Wales. Pa Osikoya traversed several companies in different capacities, among them was Shell Company of West Africa (which became the National Oil and Chemical Marketing Co. Ltd., and now Conoil Plc), as a Construction Engineer, between 1962 and 1970, when he retired in June 1970, to set up his own private firm, known as Fisko Construction Engineering Co. Ltd. In 1967, when the Nigerian Institute of Building was established, Otunba Osikoya, became its first president. In April 1990, the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria was inaugurated and he was appointed the first chairman. In this interview with The Guardian’s Tunde Alao, he spoke on the rivalry between the builders and other professional bodies, especially, the architects, whom he said have not helping matters concerning the passage of building codes by the National Assembly, the way out of housing shortage in Nigeria, among other issues, Excerpts: His life and works I was a naturally gifted artist as a boy when I was at Ijebu Ode Grammar School where I had my secondary education. I was the only student that took art at the school certificate level. That was in 1947. When I left school, I worked at the Federal Treasury in Kaduna in 1948. While I was there, I had a cousin, who happened to be the father of the late First Executive Governor of Ogun State, Chief Bisi Onabanjo who took me to Kaduna. In 1950, I came to Ibadan on holiday when a colleague of mine in secondary school told me that there was a vacancy for draughtsman in his department. He urged me to apply and I took chances. Ordinarily, it was Labour Department that usually recruits people and they nominated two people, but that my friend asked me to join them for interview. The Land Officer, an European in charge, took three of us to survey department for test. When we got there, we were given drawing and other materials. We had one hour to complete the test, but within 25nminutes, I had completed the assignment. The Chief draughtsman came and asked me why I am not working and I said I
had completed the work. The man called land department in Agodi on phone and when he got through, he said, Mr. Oshikoya, you are employed. That was on a Friday and I resumed work the following Monday. Why I was in Land, I had a friend who had traveled to England that was in 1950 to study law. We used to communicate. One day he called me and said why can’t I come down to London and study architecture? I heeded the advice and I gained admission to Brighton College of Arts and Crafts, now University of London. In January 1952, I left the country for England. I had another cousin who was a lawyer and his name was Abudu. He convinced me not to study architecture, saying there is no money there and that I will make a lot of money if I can study building engineering. By that time, to fill the gap, because British academic calender was JanuarySeptember, so I started to work for Nixton &Boris. They were the one who built Cocoa House in Ibadan and Western House in Lagos. They were very impressed with my performance and they kept me, but my cousin insisted that I should study building engineering. So I enrolled at Brixton School of Building, now University of South London, where I completed my studies and I came back to Nigeria in 1957. I should add that after I spent two years in Brixton, Government of Western Region offered me scholarship. career voyage in Nigeria? When I came back, I went to Ibadan because they offered me scholarship and I must serve them, but they didn’t give me the post that was commensurate with my qualification at the Ministry of Works, but instead they posted me to the Western Nigeria Development’s corporation (WNDC). Before then, I argued against my posting and I went to meet Chief Simeon Adebo, who was then head of civil service to the government of western region, who said they should give me the post that is commensurate with my qualification. But the excuse then was that the European had already occupied the relevant posts. It was then I applied to Shell Company of Africa. My application got to them on a Monday, they replied me on Thursday and I went for interview on that Thursday and I started working the following Monday. The Western Region Government took me to court, but they lost. In Shell, I was the second Nigeria that was at their employment then, after one Mr. Badejo, who studied in America and within the period of six months, Shell saw what I was doing and they were happy with me. Before, we had builders who went to PWD, people like T.A Oni, Akin Taylor, Akin Deko, and few others. Akin Deko went to the same school I went in England, but he was
asked to go and lecture at Government College, Ibadan. Government didn’t encourage building as a course. May be those Europeans were behind the unfortunate development, I cannot say. But being the first African to become a corporate member of Institute of Building in England, when I came back, I was the only one in the country. But in 1967, when other students (six) of them, who studied in England arrived the country, such as E.O Ajala, Mr. Okikiolu and others, although they studied building in London on part time basis, but when they came they formed Institute of Building, Nigerian Branch. They tried to get those who studied locally to join them. It was at that time they heard about me and I was invited to their meetings. It was then that we formed Institute of Building, Nigerian Branch; in fact, that happened to be the first branch of Institute of Building, London. Through interaction, people got to know me and my experience became more appreciated and we were progressing very well. At the end of the year, when another election came up, we formed the Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB). In 1968, I was elected as Chairman of the association. I could remember that in my manifesto, I promised that the association will be recognized in London and after the election, I wrote to London about the newly registered association and the request for recognition was granted and I became the first president. Challenge within the professional bodies in the construction industry They see us as contractors, bricklayers and so on. When we formed NIOB, architects looked down on us, but engineers recognized us. Our boys in the ministries had a tug of war with the architects because they placed them higher than builders. But they forgot that architects dream and builders interpret the dream. Builders spend more time in the university on production, while architects spend time in design. It was a real battle but we thank God we won. Fortunately at that time, we had two of our boys who at that time were superintendent in the ministry of works one of them was Mr. Elebiju and three architects. Fortunately, when Chief Femi Okunnu became the Federal Commissioner for Works and I told him about our case, he waded in. At that time, I staged the first building exhibition at the University of Lagos, and I got the university to be on our side, because they had building department. The vice chancellor then was on our side. In 1979, UNILAG gave us a land to use and that is where they had a hostel and Department of Building. This was possible because we got people from home and abroad. It was a successful exhibition. However, when Okunnu left,
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Osikoya with wife and grand child years back
Osikoya seems ruminating on the building industry
Osikoya with family members
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HOMES & PROPERTY
Developing a National Strategy for Mass Housing Delivery and Slum Upgrading: A Worldwide Challenge for 2020
Slum: Can Nigerian win the battle?
Housing 2008, humanity witIitsNnessed a significant event in history: for the first time, the world’s urban population equaled the rural population. This historic milestone represented both a demographic change and more importantly, a social, cultural and economic transformation. This change is more remarkable considering that, two hundred years ago the world population was overwhelmingly rural, with less than three per cent living in cities. Urban growth began to accelerate in the 1950s, when the urban population accounted for roughly onethird of the world’s population. Since then, humanity has witnessed the fastest urban growth ever experienced. This urban transition will undergo further progress during the twenty-first century, with largely rural regions, mainly Asia and Africa, becoming predominantly urban. The urban transition has changed the landscape of cities in the world: in 1900, there were around a dozen cities with populations greater than one million; today, there are more than three hundred with similar or larger populations. If the twentieth century was characterized by an accelerated urban sprawl and the appearance of megacities, the twenty-first century may be considered as the century of “megac-
Although many countries have adopted an ambivalent or hostile attitude to urbanization, often with negative consequences, it appears today that this worldwide process is inevitable. It is also generally positive, as it brings a number of fundamental changes, namely: in the employment sector, from agriculture-based activities to mass production and service industries; societal values and modes of governance; in the configuration and functionality of human settlements; in the spatial scale, density and activities of cities; in the composition of social, cultural and ethnic groups; and in the extension of democratic rights, particularly women’s empowerment. Aloune Baiame, Director, Programme Division, UN Habitat, Nairobi, in this paper, attempts to espouse workable strategy for housing delivery and upgrading blighted areas, especially, in Nigeria. ities” –massive conurbations of more than 20 million people. These unprecedented changes represent a big challenge, but also a big opportunity. Urbanization has become, to a large extent, synonymous with modernization, industrialization and development. No one can deny that economic growth, social and political change, technical and scientific advances and progress are direct results of the urbanization process. Levels of income and performance on human development indicators are also strongly linked to urbanization. Even if urbanization is not happening at the same pace and forms in different regions, it is becoming a truly global experience. Despite clear growth disparities, reversals and problems, the associated benefits of urbanization speak for themselves: life expectancy, infant mortality, absolute poverty and deprivation, and other development indicators, show gener-
al improvements almost everywhere. People in both developed and developing countries live longer, healthier and more productive lives than anyone could conceive to be possible 200 hundred years ago, when the human existence was overwhelmingly rural. Although many countries have adopted an ambivalent or hostile attitude to urbanization, often with negative consequences, it appears today that this worldwide process is inevitable. It is also generally positive, as it brings a number of fundamental changes, namely: (a) in the employment sector, from agriculture-based activities to mass production and service industries; (b) in societal values and modes of governance; (c) in the configuration and functionality of human settlements; d) in the spatial scale, density and activities of cities; (e) in the composition of social, cultural and ethnic groups; and (f ) in the extension of democratic rights, particularly
women’s empowerment. Cities are a prime driving force of development and prosperity. Yet it is also evident that the prosperity generated from cities has not been equitably shared. A sizeable proportion of the urban population remains without access to the benefits that cities produce. In many cities an increased number and proportion of city residents live without improved water and/or sanitation, and in houses without sufficient living space and adequate structure. They also live without security of tenure. These places are categorized as ‘slum areas’. Today, UN-HABITAT estimates that one very ten inhabitants in the developing world live in bidonvilles, favelas, campamentos, fondouks, hurumas, vijijis, and other slum neighborhoods with different local names that are the expression of poverty, group inequality and social exclusion. From Cairo, to Mexico City, to Bombay, to Johannesburg and to Manila slum areas are
associated with various forms of discrimination, unequal access to essential social services and to participation in government. Slums are not always isolated neighborhoods. In many cities, wealth and poverty coexist in close proximity: rich, well-serviced neighborhoods and gated residential communities are often situated near dense inner-city or peri-urban slum communities. No society can claim today to be prosperous if large sections of its population are deprived of basic needs while other sections live in opulence. No city can be harmonious if some groups concentrate resources and opportunities while others remain impoverished and marginalized. “Recalling History” – Putting Slums into the Development Agenda (2000) For many years, governments and local authorities viewed slums as transient settlements that would disappear as cities developed and as the incomes of slum dwellers
improved. This was expected to happen in a sort of automatic manner. Slum improvement was considered as a by-product or an ‘after-effect’ of other policy interventions. However, evidence shows that slums continued to grow and become permanent features of urban landscapes in many places. Slums carved their way into the fabric of modern-day cities, making their mark as specific forms of inequality and exclusion. They represent the face of urban poverty, even in places that were experiencing high economic growth. As poverty, slums take different forms. In some cities, they are isolated areas or neighborhoods housing a relatively small proportion of the urban population. Often, they are relatively well integrated to the rest of the urban fabric. In some other cities, they host significantly large proportions of the urban population. Still in some other cities, particularly in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, slums spread throughout the city landscape, creating real “slum-cities”. Almost all the population lives in slum conditions and even the rich or non-slum population is affected by living in neighborhoods with inadequate urban services and poor environmental conditions. In various cities, particularly in the most deprived areas, slums exist
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013 www.ngrguardiannews.com
Osikoya, by the side of the river with his wife
Osikoya... past, present and prospects on Nigeria building industry Housing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 34 architects were happy. But as God would have it, Major General Mamman Kontagora, who happened to be an engineer later came on board and I approached him and he told me that something was missing in building and construction industry. He assured me that he would put everything right. Kontagora saw our case and he decided to put us where we belong. Don’t forget that in the building and construction sector, we have the engineers, architects, builders, land and estate surveyors and planners. All of us are playing complementary roles. When I was CORBON Chairman, I proposed a quarterly meeting of all professional bodies as regulatory bodies. We decided that all of us must be involved. While architects do the design, builders do the actual construction and structural engineers would look at the structure; while land surveyors would look at where the structure would be erected and the load it would bear. You cannot put a heavy structure on a refuse bump site. When it comes to construction, at every stage, land surveyors and structural engineers must compare the soil test to see if the load to be carried can be sustained.
Again, builders must examine all the materials and oversee the mode of construction to ensure that it conformed to specifications. Builders must see that mixture of materials is thoroughly done in line with what structural engineers prescribe. I know that we don’t have sufficient professionals. But the truth is that they don’t have to be at one site permanently, but they should visit, at least, four or six buildings on regular basis. Builders must sign at every stage of the building process. It is unfortunate that building code is yet to be passed. We sent the bill to the National Assembly, but it’s unfortunate that architects and engineers are the people that are stalling the building code to be passed. Some of the people in government are contractors without sufficient knowledge. When I was in CORBON, we went round to ensure supervision of building under construction. At that time, any supervisor that is coming from abroad must get our approval. Training the upcoming builders Past NIOB President, Director of School of Environmental Studies, Dr. Simeon Tayo Oyefeso is doing a lot. We have Yaba College of Technology and Technical College where we have training programmes. For example, in their third or fourth year in college, we get con-
tracts from Yaba College of Technology to design a project to pass it to structural engineers in the same institution. In the technical colleges, we pick bricklayers, carpenters etc, that would form a gang and ask quantity surveyors, builders, or other professional bodies to give these technicians assignment.. They can go to local governments to help them build their projects Politicians scuttle housing delivery On land administration and housing delivery, government is not doing well at all. Politicians are behind all the problems behind shortage of housing in the country. For example, I bought a land in Ketu for 42 years without headway. Government is just out to make money from land without thinking on how to make affordable housing possible. If land is so expensive, title document is expensive, how would the society get along? Besides, building materials, especially, reinforcements are of poor quality. What is Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), doing to stem the tide? How many of these materials do they see? We have a lot of problems. Research institutes are not functioning. There is a plethora of problems as far as mass housing is concerned.
Nigeria under the burden of harsh weather EVELOPING countries have D been hit hardest in the last 20 years according to one of the Climate News Network editors, Paul Brown. Brown who is in the Polish capital, host of the UN climate talks – the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reports that Haiti topped the chart as the country most at risk from extreme weather events in this year’s Global Climate Risk Index, stating that the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that left 200,000 people homeless and destroyed many crops. The ten most-affected countries in 2012, in order of seriousness, are Haiti, the Philippines, Pakistan, Madagascar, Fiji, Serbia, Samoa, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Russia and Nigeria.
The Index, released on the second day of the UN climate conference here, noted that while the damage in New York made all the headlines it was in Haiti that losses were greatest. All ten of the countries most at risk from extreme events in the 1993 to 2012 period were developing countries, emphasising the message in Warsaw that poor countries cannot cope with the increasing number of catastrophes by themselves. The major issue at the conference in the wake of the current Philippine disaster is how to finance “loss and damage” caused by an increasingly unstable climate. The index, compiled by a think tank called Germanwatch from figures supplied by the giant reinsurance company Munich Re, lists ten countries most affected in 2012 and the long-term
climate risk from loss of life and damage from 1993 to 2012. The Philippines came second in the 2012 list because of a devastating cyclone in that year and is almost certain to come number one in next year’s table because of the current crisis caused by super-typhoon Haiyan, which has killed more than 10,000 people. It is noted that the self-help capacity of countries is being overwhelmed by the scale of the climate disasters they are facing. Pakistan came third in both this year’s list and the 2011 table, showing its increasing vulnerability to floods and droughts. In the 20-year long-term risk list Honduras was first, Myanmar (Burma) second and Haiti third, reflecting a constant battering of these countries by extreme weather events.
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HOMES & PROPERTY Developing a National Strategy for Mass Housing Delivery and Slum Upgrading: A Worldwide Challenge for 2020 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 sometimes for more than three or four generations. In order to assist Member States to realize the goals of the Millennium Declaration (eight goals), the United Nations System set numerical targets for each goal, and selected appropriate indicators to monitor progress. One of these targets, which was directly extracted from the Cities without Slums Initiative contained in the Millennium Declaration, was about improving the living conditions of slum populations. This target, known as “Target 11” was integrated within Goal 7 “Ensure E n v i r o n m e n t a l Sustainability”, and aimed to – By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. The adoption of Target 11 came in response to one of the most pressing challenges of the new Millennium. By dealing with the people living in the most depressed physical conditions in the world’s cities, this target was a direct recognition that slums are a development issue which needed to be faced. It was clear that slums could not be simply considered as an unfortunate consequence of urban poverty, a manifestation of population explosion and demographic change, or even a consequence of the vast impersonal forces of globalization. In 2003, UNHABITAT and partners recognized that slums were the result of a failure of housing policies, laws and delivery systems, as well as of national and urban policies. The Global Report on Human Settlements “The Challenge of Slums” was a seminal work in this area proposing clear policies and actions to address them in a more institutional and systematic manner. In parallel, UN-HABITAT made efforts to advance in the establishment of a global monitoring system to respond to the request made by the United Nations System for the agency to assist government monitor and gradu-
ally attain the “Cities without Slums” target within the MDGs framework. In 2002, UN-HABITAT undertook the task of defining slums from a conceptual and operational point of view, proposing indicators to measure changes and improvements at local and global level. These efforts were done in close consultation with a group of world experts composed of activists, practitioners, academicians and policy makers with demonstrated experience in urban poverty issues and monitoring tools. As a result of all these efforts, in 2003, the world came to learn that the slum population was close to the one billion mark (924 million people) in the year 2001. The Agency alerted of huge variations of slum populations in the different developing regions. At that time, UNHABITAT released the staggering information that seven out of ten urban residents were slum dwellers in subSaharan Africa, the region that had the highest prevalence of slums in the world in According to the 2001. Agency, Asia region was second with four inhabitants out of every ten living in slum conditions in urban areas in Latin the same year. American and the Caribbean was the developing region with the lowest incidence of slum dwellers with one-third of the total urban population living in these precarious settlements. Obviously, important variations were found in the different sub-regions and countries inside these regions The inclusion of the slum target in the MDGs helped to focus the international community’s attention on the living conditions of the urban poor. It was perhaps for the first time explicitly recognized that slum dwellers experience multiple deprivations that are direct expressions of poverty: many of their houses are unfit for habitation and they often lack adequate food, education, health and basic services – things that the better-off take for granted. It was also admitted that frequently slum loca-
Pollulation upsurge can it be controlled?
Amma Pepple tions (neighborhoods, residential areas, etc.), are not recognized by local and central authorities and even in some places, absent from the city maps and official statistics. However, in various parts of the world these “informal” settlements were growing faster than the “formal” parts of the city. UN-HABITAT alerted in 2002 that sadly, in many cities and countries slums were still “zones of silence” or invisibility in terms of public knowledge, opinion and discussions about urban poverty. Subsequent slum estimates (2005) suggested that the number of urban residents living in slums were rapidly increasing in many developing countries, sometimes at the same rate of the urban population growth. In some regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa, Southern and Western Asia, slums were growing perhaps even faster. Making Progress in the Slum Target or Benefiting from Changes in the Slum Definition? – The Slum History around 2005 In the last five years some countries around the world have been more successful than others in reducing the number and proportion of slum dwellers. Various countries have benefited from the change in definition, which led to reduced estimates of slum households, without really implementing policies
and actions to improve the lives of slum households. Because of these two factors, the number of slum dwellers declined from 924 million in 2001 to 810 million in 2005; concomitantly, the proportion of slum dwellers in the total urban population in developing countries was reduced from 43 per cent in 2001 to 39 per cent in 2005. Reaching the Millennium Slum Target (2010) After more than 10 years of reporting that thousands of people were joining the ranks of the slum population every month in the towns and cities of the developing countries, presenting a rather negative UN-HABITAT scenario, informed to the world that in 2010 the slum target was exceeded by at least 2.2 times. Indeed, according to UNHABITAT estimates, between the year 2000 and 2010 a total 227 million people in the developing world were moved out of slum conditions. Although, when the international community adopted the Millennium Declaration and implicitly endorsed the “Cities without Slums” target in the year 2000, experts in agencies development thought that 100 million was both a significant number and a realistic target to be achieved in the next 20 years. By 2003, though, when UNHABITAT made a first estimate of the global slum population, it appeared that 100 million represented only about 10 per cent of that total, which, as we have seen, in 2001 stood at over 900 milEven though the lion. Millennium target was low and somehow poorly defined, it helped to raise awareness about the need to address ‘slums’ as specific object of intervention within an overall agenda of poverty eradication. Still, reaching the slum target 10 years ahead the deadline proved that those countries and cities that showed political will and deployed effective policies and actions could really narrow the urban divide. These countries made a difference in the lives of their urban populations. In the 2010 Edition of the State of the World’s Cities Report, UNHABITAT showed that slum improvements could also have had an impact on access
to health, education and job opportunities for those living in these deprived areas. Many countries significantly reduced both the numbers and proportions of slum dwellers. Table 2 shows that Asia was at the forefront of successful efforts to reach the Millennium slum target between the year 2000 and 2010, with governments in the region improving the lives of an estimated 172 million slum dwellers, or 75% of the total number of urban residents in the world who no longer suffer from inadequate housing. The greatest advances in this region were recorded in Southern and Eastern Asia, where 145 million people moved out of the “slum dweller” category (73 million and 72 million, respectively). Countries in South-Eastern Asia have also made significant progress with improved conditions for 33 million slum residents, or a 22 per cent decrease. Only Western Asia has failed to make a contribution as the number of slum dwellers in the sub-region increased by 12 million. On a global scale, the overall outlook was cause for optimism. The fact that an additional 227 million urban dwellers gained access to improved water and sanitation as well as to durable and less crowded housing showed that a number of countries and cities were taking the slum target seriously. This contributed to enhance the prospects for millions of people to escape poverty, disease and illiteracy, and to lead better lives thanks to a narrower urban divide. Improving slum conditions; learning from successful experiences Governments in countries that are performing well are making commitments backed by bold policy reforms; adopting urban planning measures and equitable economic policies to prevent future slum growth. Specific policy evidence drawn from UN-HABITAT show that countries performing well share many attributes that can be summarized into five: Awareness and Advocacy: Local authorities and their partners know and understand key issues related to slum upgrading and prevention. Examples of this include establishing monitoring systems and indicators to collect information and to analyze trends (Thailand, Brazil, Indonesia). It can also include developing communication strategies to disseminate messages regarding how to improve the living conditions of slum dwellers (Brazil, Mexico). With regard to advocacy by the non-governmental sector, there are examples of civil society organizations championing the positions and rights of slum dwellers and of the poor in general. Some of them act as watchdogs (Réseau Social Watch Bénin) that set themselves the task of monitoring the fulfillment of the Millennium
Development Goals and the National Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Sometimes civil society and governments’ interactions become the legislative norm or an important component of governmentfunded programmes (Mexico Hábitat y Rescate de Espacios Públicos (Reappropriation of public space). In other cases, civil society organizations, such as Shack/Slum Dwellers International, perform both an advocacy and an executing role. In all these cases, awareness and advocacy contributed to raising political commitment. Long-term Political Commitment: Consistency in political commitment is crucial for mobilizing long-term support for slum upgrading and prevention, and this only works when it is translated into progressive pro-poor reforms and better institutional coordination. Some countries demonstrated consistent political commitment over the years for large-scale slum upgrading and service provision for the urban poor (Morocco). These countries have been most successful in reducing or stabilizing slum growth rates in the last 15 years (Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand and Tunisia). Other countries, while often showing considerable political determination, performed less well due to the political upheavals of the last two decades that have somewhat undermined slum improvement efforts (Philippines). A certain number of countries showed more modest support for upgrading, having fairly recently stepped up actions to tackle slum growth (Ghana). In many other countries, political support was more moderate, translating into a certain number of sporadic actions implemented over the last 15 years in a non-systematic manner, which appeared to have held back governments’ performance in achieving the kind of turnaround in slum numbers that was seen in countries, where political commitment was consistently stronger (Tanzania, Argentina, Lebanon). Some other countries have shown signs of recent commitment to change by developing political support for slum upgrading and prevention that includes reforms in policies governing land and tenure (Burkina Faso, Senegal, Tanzania). Another indication of strong political commitment for slum improvement is the inclusion of upgrading and urban poverty reduction policies in the national development agenda (Jordan, Cameroon). Policy Reform and Institutional Strengthening, including urban planning: To have an impact, political commitments have to be translated into policy reforms. Slum improvements make a difference if they are backed by long-term strategies with realistic national targets for slum improvements, adequate budgetary allocation, and policies to meet the targets.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013
Ten environmental issues that threatened the globe in 2013 The Environment Emmanuel Badejo with agency report LL over the globe, environment is a huge resource, and therefore it is being consumed at an exponential rate. This resource, however, cannot be easily replenished. This has led to a lot of environmental concerns and issues, which need to be dealt with on a war footing. The global scenario today is fraught with drought, famines, floods and natural calamities. The frequency of such occurrences is increasing in a dramatic fashion. Here we take a look at what are the serious environmental issues the world and Nigeria, is facing today. Most of them are interlinked and might have the same cause. They are listed separately as the strategies that need to be undertaken to combat them might be different. Climate Change This is one of the most talked about environmental issues in the world. Given legitimacy by Al Gore and his documentary â€œThe Inconvenient Truthâ€?, climate change around the world remains a cause of major concern. It has wreaked havoc on some ecosystems around the world. The Inuits are one of the main races to be affected by the climate change phenomena. Their first hand reports complain of rising temperatures in summers, winters not being cold enough and the freezing land mass that cause reduction in land masses. Climate change has bought upon severe droughts in some regions. This affects their cultivation, both in pattern and quantity. The entire world is affected by it, which are far reaching in nature. Its effects are not just deadly for human beings but also for other species inhabiting this planet. Waste Management Closely linked with the rapidly growing population across the world and the rate of consumption, waste, and its management has become a major issue around the world. Waste is created in many forms, which can be broadly categorized in two forms. Some waste is biodegradable and some not so. Just the quantum of waste that is created everyday on our planet is proving to be a major source of concern. The problem takes root in our lifestyle, which is fast-moving and callous in thought and action. We need to shift our focus to reuse instead of the throwing out option. This problem manifests itself more clearly around most urban regions of the world. Quick fix solutions of landfill sites and recycling centers are not proving enough to combat it. In fact, overflowing landfill sites, especially in the developing economies around the world, are causing more serious health and environmental issues in the
These step-by-step environmental issues that affect lives and livelihood continue to threaten the world. Though some developed nations are abreast of the situation coming with series of mitigation strategy, yet, some developing nations are still lagging far behind. The question is how is Nigeria doing to tackle these problems? region. A change in perspective and in lifestyle are needed to deal with this issue at hand. Biodiversity and Land Use The term biodiversity essentially means variety of life that exists in any given area. Today with growing population and growing demand for the basic needs, biodiversity is threatened in many regions around the world. High demand for food, clothing and shelter has led to a skewed land use pattern. More land is coming under cultivation, which may lead to problems of water shortage and land salinization. This also leads to other problems like excessive mining for example. Irreparable damage is caused to other natural resources and ecosystems to fulfill this demand for more. Land use patterns are changing across the world. They might be for cultivation of food or grains or even trees, but the effects of such changes have a lasting and damaging effect on the environment making them serious environmental issues. Consumption This is a major issue that might be seen as a cause of many other environmental issues. According to some, if every human starts consuming the same amount as the developed world consumes, we will need resources of at least four Earths in a year! Consumption can be dealt in a very effective way. We definitely cannot reduce the population of the earth overnight, but we can definitely educate the masses about smart consumption. This awareness needs to be spread especially in the developing economies, who are aping the developed economies. Sustainable and smart consumption is the way for the future. Consumption patterns need to be monitored and governed in all the countries across the world to make them sustainable. New products and materials can be created to substitute the ones that might prove to be highly unsustainable and a threat. Water Scarcity Water as a commodity and a resource is very scarce. Only 2% of the water available on Earth is pure and fit for consumption. To make matters more grave, it is the most consumed resource on this planet. Water has already been the cause of many fights and strives in some regions across the world. Many regions also depend on rainfall as the source of water, with the rainfall pat-
terns changing across the world due to climate change, some regions have been affected severely with droughts and famines. At the same time, too much of rain has also caused flash floods across some regions destroying natural and man-made ecology of the region. Too much of water or too little of it both cause a problem. Also, one of the major health concerns directly linked with this environmental concern is of the access to potable water. Very few people across the world have access to potable water. This causes a grave health issue for those people inhabiting such regions. Water, its use, its availability and its changing seasonality causes it to be one of the main environmental issues across the globe. Wanton Deforestation Deforestation can be seen as a trickle down effect of increase in consumption, change in land use and also increase in quantum of waste generated. Increase in consumption of food has led to a lot of forest area being used for cultivation. Similarly, forests are also cut down for wood, which still remains a main building material in many countries. Deforestation also takes place around urban areas when they expand to accommodate more population. Creation of landfill sites is also another cause of deforestation. High demand for minerals, oil and other such resources that can be mined has also led to deforestation in different regions of the world. With deforestation a lot of endangered species have lost their natural habitats. The green cover reduces globally and causes more damage to natural ecosystems and climate system of the world. Soil erosion, dramatic climate changes and in some cases natural calamities like land slides and flash floods can be attributed, directly or indirectly to deforestation. Chemicals, Toxic Waste and Heavy Metals Lot of emissions created by humans contain high amounts of chemicals and toxins. These have an adverse effect on the environment. The problem of acid rains is a small example of the same. Some chemicals and heavy metals have a potentially fatal effect on human as well as animal life. Care needs to be taken to prevent this from happening. Stricter emission control norms and regulations need to be in place to protect fragile ecosystems as
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A typical example of forestation
Water pollution everywhere
The air is not spared from pollution
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013
Food for thought on waste over festive season periods particularFYearlyESTIVE christmas, eve and New day for many around the world is a time of plenty: stomachs full to bursting and gifts spilling out from beneath the tree as we indulge those we love. But in the days that follow, who hasn’t felt a slight twinge of guilt at the food we scrape into the bin or the old gadgets that are now going to gather dust in the cupboard or end up on the scrapheap? Don’t worry, though, for there are plenty of things you can do to dispel these nagging worries postChristmas and in the process contribute to solving some of our most pressing environmental issues, as well as save yourself some money in the process. The environmental concerns in question are those of food and electronic waste. While the last few decades have seen massive strides taken in recycling items such as paper, glassware and tins, these two areas have been left behind. A report released this month by the Solving the E-Waste Problem Initiative (StEP) predicts that e-waste will increase by almost a third to 65.4 million tonnes annually by 2017. This waste - old refrigerators, televisions, mobile phones, computers, monitors and other electronic products would fill a line of 40-tonne trucks that, sitting nose to tail, would stretch three quarters of the way around the Equator. E-waste can also pose health risks. The World Health Organization lists related hazards such as direct contact with lead, cadmium, chromium, brominated flame retardants or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); inhalation of toxic fumes; and the accumulation of chemicals in soil, water and food. Meanwhile, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its
sister organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in their Think.Eat.Save - Reduce Your Foodprint campaign this year revealed that one third of all food produced each year - equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes - is lost or wasted annually. Around 300 million tonnes of this food is discarded by producers, retailers and consumers - this food would be more than enough to feed the estimated 870 million people who face hunger each day across the globe. Not only that, but this uneaten food requires energy, water, fertilizers and land to produce. Much of it ends up on landfills, where it decomposes and releases the potent greenhouse gas methane. So, now that you have a better idea of the scale of the global challenges, why not play your part over the festive season and beyond? While the problems are not easy to solve, there are many simple actions each one of us can take that will in no way spoil our enjoyment of the festive season but will contribute to more sustainable and green choices. Food Waste Shop Smart: Plan meals, use shopping lists, buy from bulk bins, avoid impulse buys and don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need. Following these strategies might mean you don’t buy that giant turkey, and thus avoid the horror of desperately eating turkey sandwiches for the next week to try and use up the last scraps. Buy Funny Fruit: Many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or colour is deemed not “right”. Buying these perfectly good fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste. Understand Expiry Dates: Unlike “Sell-by” and “use-by”
A plate of food ... characteristic of festivity dates, “Best-before” dates are generally manufacturer suggestions for peak quality. Most foods can be safely consumed well after these dates, so some of the stocks in your fridge may well be good far beyond Christmas. Zero Down Your Fridge: Websites such as WRAP’s www.lovefoodhatewaste.com can help consumers get creative with recipes to use up anything that might go bad soon, so all those Christmas leftovers can be transformed into something tasty. Other actions include: freezing food; requesting smaller portions at restaurants; eating leftovers - whether homecooked, from restaurants or takeaway; composting food; and donating spare food to local food banks, soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters. E-Waste While everybody loves a new gadget, perhaps you can consider whether you really need to replace old electronics if they are still opera-
Checklist on enviromental issues CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38 well as health of human beings from this deadly issue. Energy Renewable or non-renewable sources of energy, their demand and consumption are a cause of environmental concern around the planet. The insatiable demand for crude oil has led to regions being exhausted of their other natural resources. The consumption of crude oil and its derivatives are directly the cause of several other environmental issues. Electricity generation and consumption seem deceptively clean, but cause a lot of damage. Any source of electricity, thermal, hydro or nuclear has a flip side of environmental problems. Even clean sources like tidal, geothermal, wind and solar can have lasting negative impacts on the environment. Ecosystems and Endangered
Species Lot of ecosystems’ is facing a complete breakdown and collapse because of extinction of some key species existing in it. The loss of these ecosystems can be catastrophic in nature. People usually take ecosystems for their aesthetic value, but the function of ecosystems and the species that exist in them can be multidimensional and extremely important to maintain an ecological balance. Conservation of ecosystems and endangered species is often neglected as an issue, but still remains a very critical environmental issue. Science of Genetics This is a very sensitive and highly debatable issue. Are we right to play God and tamper with nature? Science has helped humans a lot and has achieved lot of breakthroughs in terms of medicine, technology, health, communications, and the like. In fact, all aspects of
human life are improved tremendously with the help of science. But there seems to be a need to draw a line some place. Genetic modifications of plants, animals and probably even humans in the near future may cause more damage than good. We cannot disagree with the fact that research in genetics has improved life beyond measure, but who is to monitor the ethical side of this research? The toughest challenge is spreading awareness and educating people about the degeneration of green resources that the planet is facing. Many of the issues are caused because of the lifestyles we follow, without a sense of consequence. There is a burning need to lead a much more sustainable way of life and make more people adapt to it as soon as possible. We have only one planet, only one home, let’s not lose it to our greed!
tional. After all, it’s cool to be retro. Repair or upgrade rather than replace. Often we throw out malfunctioning or outdated electronics when local repair shops can fix them for us. Donate or sell old electronics that are still in working condition. Now that you have your new laptop or phone, you can still cash in on the old devices
and claw back some of that Christmas spend. Equally, there are bound to be plenty of charities and schools in your area that would be glad to have your old gadgets? which for others could become their first. You can also explore takeback schemes, which see many major manufactures of elec-
tronic goods offering tradein or recycling options on old goods. If your battered old phone really is beyond repair, perhaps because you dropped it in cup of tea, then locate e-waste recycling schemes in your area. Sites such as www.ecyclingcentral.com in the US list ecycling centres that will take old equipment.
Environmentalists task regulatory agencies on enforcement capacity The Environment By Tunde Alao MIDST the numerous environmental challenges bedeviling the Nigeria and her people, experts within the sector have continued to lament the role of regulatory agencies, calling them to rise up to their task of not only supervising, but, enforcing relevant laws towards protecting the nation from further epidemic. Either in the advanced or developing economies, environment has been subjected to various abuses, some of these come either as a result of technological development, industrial growth, or deliberate human activities; a common feature in the developing clime. But while many of these countries are taking proactive measures in dealing with these abuses, experts have said that Nigeria is not doing enough. For instance, environmental abuses are having greater effects on air, water, noise, relaxation and areas. Causes of pollution of different types in Nigeria are many, though oil and gas sector, seems to have more negative impacts on the nation’s environment. In the non-oil producing areas, garbage disposal is one major source of pollution, be it on water or air, while industrial activities are no less threats to the liveable environment.
Irrespective of several programmes, experts in the environment sector have decried the impacts of the regulatory agencies, urging them to be more proactive in order to save the nation and her people from numerous challenges Use of generator as only veritable means for power supply is not helping matters. While the fume from generator plants, both domestic and industrial ones are polluting the environment, the noise emanating therefrom is no less devastating. At the local or rural level, activities of sand diggers, legal and illegal miners are on increase, affecting air, not minding their effects on the terrain. While all these are yet to be effectively addressed, noise pollution emanating from religious houses, record sellers, social gatherings and even from homes, are having a debilitating effects on the environment. But the questions being asked are whether there are regulatory agencies saddled with the responsibility of dealing with these menace and what is the basis of environmental policy in Nigeria and which agencies/bodies administer and enforce environmental laws?
Alfred Obiora Uzokwe, an expert in environmental matters, posted in the website his reservation with the ways things are being done in Nigeria. According to him, Nigeria is gradually being condemned to desolation and barrenness by sustained and unmitigated pollution of her air, land and sea; wondering what the state of the health of Nigerians would be in the next 20 years given the sustained and worsening nature of this scourge. He noted that well-meaning Nigerians, as well as visitors to the country, have had to complain about this problem and its unbridled onslaught on Nigeria and her people. “Scientists in other countries have even linked the level of pollution, in an environment, to mortality rate and life expectancy for that area. While there are currently no hard statistics available, in the Nigerian case, to buttress this argument, it is clear that when people breathe in toxic fumes, eat food laced with toxic chemicals and drink water that has traces of toxic chemicals in it, they are bound to get sick, teeter on the edge of ill health or die prematurely”, he said, lamenting that as a result of this malaise, average life expectancy for males and females in Nigeria is about 55 years and has not shown any upward swing in recent times, unlike the case in
CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013
THE ENVIRONMENT Environmentalists task regulatory agencies on enforcement capacity CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38 places like the United States where average life expectancy has pushed beyond the mid seventies. While berating the federal government of Nigeria, for not attended to this issue with the level of seriousness it deserves, he said government action has bothered on tokenism, to ward off the hue and cry from environmentalists, which the damaging nature of the results cannot be overemphasized. In the recent time, prominent Nigerians, that included Chief Philip Asiodu, Dr. Alade Adeleke, all of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), have been canvassing for the preservation of the environment, especially, Nigerian forests, that have the capacity to mit-
igate the negative consequences of the numerous environmental abuses. But disturbing are the activities of the regulatory agencies. It would be recalled that the basis of environmental policy in Nigeria is contained in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Pursuant to section 20 of the Constitution, the State is empowered to protect and improve the environment and safeguards the water, air and land, forest and wildlife of Nigeria. In addition to this, section 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act of 1992 (EIA Act) provides that the public or private sector of the economy shall not undertake or embark on or authorise projects or activities without prior consideration of the effect on the environment.
Besides, the Federal Government has promulgated various laws and regulations to safeguard the Nigerian environment. These include: Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act of 1988 (FEPAAct), to oversee National Environmental Protection (Effluent Limitation) Regulations: National Environmental Protection (Pollution Abatement in Industries and Facilities Generating Wastes) Regulations; and National Environmental Protection (Management of Solid and Hazardous Wastes) Regulations. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Act of 1992 (EIA Act). Harmful Wastes (Special Criminal Provisions etc.) Act of 1988 (Harmful Wastes Act).
Dadera williams educata Environment Club of Apata on how to plant trees
Group canvasses effective mitigation strategy, seeks success of Eko Green Climate Change By Tunde Alao O achieve milestone success in the nation’s fight against threats often associated with climate, a non-governmental organization (NGO), “Eko Green Dream”, has called on all stakeholders to close ranks towards evolving effective mitigation strategy. The group that introduced “Eko Green Dream Club”, early this year in various local governments private and public schools in Lagos State, believed that if there is right information, both residents and visitors would support every legitimate effort to address the effects of climate change one way or the other. Reviewing what her organization’s activities in 2013 and her plan for the year ahead, the Eko Green Dream Environment Ambassador to the Lagos Government, Mrs. Fadera Williams, said all available means should be adopted to ensure that Nigeria is
The maxim is that one fruit tree in the house helps solve food insecurity. One herbal tree can give a breathing space. One shade tree at the south west of a property saves cooling cost. One flowering and scented tree increase the value of a property, thus, the need for tree planting by all not lagging behind in mitigation plans against climate change. According to Williams, 2013 programmes embarked upon by the EGD were ensured that they tallied with the overall objectives of other organizations and groups, especially, Lagos government. She listed the group’s activities to include the Eko Green Dream phase 1, a pilot phase that essentially involved the distribution and planting of 5,000 trees across Lagos. Second was the enlisting of residents and gaining their commitment to nurture these trees and hence become the primary beneficiaries of the Eko green card. Eko green card, according to her is a
means by which the holder would automatically become a member of the club. “This was inaugurated at the campaign launch of the initiative that was set off on the 20th of February, 2013, at the Eko hotel and suites and it was attended by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola who was represented by Mrs Afun the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental services, with others that included Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, Commissioner for energy Mr. Taofeek Tijani, the Director of LASPARK, Local government chairman of Kosofe Local government, Igando Ikotun LCDA, and members of the academic community”.
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Monday, December 30, 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
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MONDAY, December 30, 2013
Quotes from some 2013 Except for security items like currency, arms and ammunition, anything that is traded in the world, that has a huge market here, should be allowed to come in. If you want to import Rolls Royce as local taxi here, why not. It is better you raise the tariff benchmark than to ban it.
Mike Kofi Afflu, President, West African Union of Tax Institutes
The key to a resource rich country being curse free hinges on transparency and accountability, not only in the negotiations and signing of agreements between contractors and the government, but also transparency and accountability in the management and use of the revenues emanating there from.
Val Usifoh, Chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria
As I am in Lagos, my members would be disappointed if I did not mention one piece of physical infrastructure that is in desperate need of urgent attention. That is the level transportation infrastructure from Apapa Terminal to the airportâ€ŚTrucking fuel through dense traffic for storage on site is inefficient and costly and making unscheduled technical stops to top up fuel causes schedule disruptions and inconveniences for passengers, on top of the direct costs of a technical stop.
Segun Aina, President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
The drivers that will determine changes in the reduction of practitioners in the financial services industry, not only in Nigeria, but worldwide, would include regulation, innovative products, satisfaction of customer needs, technology and such other factors.
Tony Tyler, Director-General/CEO, International Air Transport Association.
MONDAY, December 30, 2013
business interviews When people find themselves in sudden wealth, it can be quite damaging, as money tends to focus people’s minds on unhelpful ways. Most people view money as a solution, thus becoming more primitive as people don’t understand the real value and application of the money.
Agele Alufohan, President, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
Quantity surveyors are cost economists and specialist advisers to the construction industry, especially, the monetary aspect, which is the core of any project. Contractors don’t joke with us because we assess and provide what the cost of a project would be… However, Nigeria’s budgeting system is structurally defective, in the sense that budgets are done yearly based on historical method rather than needs.
Nigel Nicholson is a professor of Organisational Leadership, London Business School
Inherently, the technology is one way. I broadcast, you receive, I can’t tell when your decoder is off or on. The mobile phone is different. It is two-way communication. So technologically, we can’t do this (Pay As You Go). But also, the nature of the businesses differs and it works on different timing perspectives. You can check all other parts of the world. It is not done anywhere. It is the module of the business. You can Google to check that.
Adeola Adenikinju, Economists and Energy Economics, University of Ibadan
The future of the country in the long term will depend on a robust manufacturing sector, a highly integrated domestic economy, an innovative economy that recognises the role of human capital development that rightly positions staff to take advantage of globalisation, as well as its huge domestic market.
John Ugbe, Managing Director of Multichoice Nigeria
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Monday, December 30, 2013
Insurance ‘2013: How regulatory enforcement enhanced consumers’ confidence in industry’ By Joshua Nse HE year 2013 just about to end in a few days will be remembered in the insurance industry at a time regulators took bold and decisive measures to enforce the ‘no premium no cover’ rule stipulated in the 2003 Insurance Act. The Act has remained a paper tiger for many years, but the 2013 move resolved the problem of unpaid premium in the industry for many years. The year also saw the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) implemented the 2012 compliant accounts of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) set by the government for insurance and reinsurance entities, posing serious challenges in the industry on the ability of the underwriting companies to meet deadline requirements. Notwithstanding the challenges, however, industry chieftains told The Guardian that the robust and hard measures taken by the Commission in 2013 had changed the way insurance business were conducted in the market, thereby strengthened and enhanced public confidence in the industry. The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) had in a
… As micro-insurance initiative set to drive penetration in 2014 public notice on payment of insurance premium in the industry, said: “The Commission in enforcing the provisions of the Insurance Act 2003 has issued a directive in respect of payment and remittance of insurance premium. “To this effect, the general public is hereby put on notice that with effect from January1, 2013, the provision of insurance cover under policies issued by insurance companies shall be valid only on payment of premium in advance.” Industry players who spoke on the issues said that enforcement of the law in the underwriting of insurance contracts would impact positively in the development and growth of the industry in the provision of quality services to customers, and meeting the expectations of all stakeholders in the industry. For instance, the DirectorGeneral of the NIA, Sunday Thomas, speaking on the issue said that the association appreciated and thank our policyholders both corporate and individuals for their understanding and support for ‘no premium, no cover’ policy enforced by the indus-
try regulator, as it had brought to an end mounting volumes of premium receivables in the industry. According to him, this is a demonstration of the support for the role of insurance mechanism in mitigating risks in the national economy. He explained, however, that between 2007 and 2009, the level of outstanding premiums produced was about 30 to 40 per cent of the industry’s funds outside the system, which had a serious impact on the performance of the industry. Thomas said: “This is one of the best things that has happened in the insurance industry in Nigeria. Many of the clients have adjusted immediately and they are now embracing the new system. We know that in two to three years down the line, the culture will readily improve premium collection in the industry.” He said that the Ghanaian Insurers Association and the country’s regulator excited by the success of the policy, had solicited our assistance and we had encouraged them to implement the policy with effect from January, 2014. The NIA boss said that the
policy would enhance the performance of the industry in the payment of claims, improve the liquidity of underwriting firms, as well as meet the expectations of all stakeholders in the industry. The Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel, defending the enforcement of IFRS directives in the industry, said that we had no apologies for delaying accounts that had been submitted on time, and those that had met the criteria had been approved. “We would rather delay clearance of accounts than to allow a deceptive audited reports that are for public consumption. We will continue to do our best to approve the accounts that have met the standards,” he said. According to him, “some of you may ask why are we implementing IFRS now, it is a national policy, it is not a policy of NAICOM. The nation decided on a date for implementation of IFRS. As a regulator of the industry, what we are doing is to key into the national agenda, we are not adding or subtracting.” He said: “Let me say that one of the biggest issues we had in the insurance industry is
the question of accounts that are not trusted, accounts that are not reliable. You find from the would be investors and on enquiries, the first thing that they do is to examine audited reports of insurance companies. They don’t trust it, the figures are not adding up, the fundamentals are not real, that is why would be investors spend quality time doing forensic on an accounts that have been audited. It is not good for us as a country, it is worst for us as regulator, if we allow some audited accounts which are not good for public domain. “For us as regulator, I think one of the reasons is that we have intervened and intervention is on-going to reposition the industry to international accepted standards. The nature of audited reports that are not truthful, Nigerians and other investors are misled to buy their shares on the basis of false presentation and NAICOM is not liable for insurance company’s actions.” Daniel said: “As a result, the IFRS has come to stay and we are not offering apologies that the accounts are delayed. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and NAICOM are on to share information that what we are doing is correct and perfect.”
Managing Director, Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, Mrs. Toyin Ogunseye (left), Chairperson, Mrs. Adenike Adeniran, Company Secretary/Head of Legal, Mr. Stan Chikwendu and Vice-Chairman, Mr. Remi Babalola, during the 44th yearly general meeting of the company in Lagos.
Farmers sue radiological corporations for $3m OS Angeles-based LExchange Farmers Insurance filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California against two radiological corporations and their owners for allegedly submitting false documentation to get paid for services they didn’t pro-
vide. The civil complaint seeks restitution for unfair business practices, insurance fraud and seeks a cease and desist order to prevent the companies from engaging in alleged improper billing practices. The lawsuit alleges that
the corporations and their owners billed Farmers for 3D Rendering of MRI and CT scans that were never performed in more than 200 bodily injury and workers’ compensation claims under policies issued to Farmers policyholders. The complaint also alleges
that one of the corporations was improperly owned and structured, because a layperson was the majority owner and not a licensed physician. That would be a violation of state law. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance
Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders. Farmers Group, Inc. is wholly owned by the Zurich Insurance Group.
The Managing Director, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Oye Hassan-Odukale, in his remark at the 41st yearly general meeting of the company in Lagos, said: “NAICOM in the past three years has insisted on doing business in the market according to the rule of business, obviously it has been challenging, but to the advantage of the industry.” He added: “The year was very challenging when the industry had to grapple with ‘no premium no cover’ rule, in the past three years NAICOM insisted that underwriting companies make provisions for outstanding premiums in our balance sheet, the IFRS must be 100 per cent compliant, all these are challenges in the industry.” The Managing Director/CEO, Riskguard-Africa (Nigeria) Limited, Yemi Soladoye, commended the commission and the leadership of Fola Daniel, for the reforms he had introduced to bring sanity, professionalism into the operation of insurance business in Nigeria. According to him, the biggest achievement of the commission was that the Nigeria insurance industry had a united focus. Hitherto, it was the operators that were leading the regulators, but the regulators have now enforced the Insurance Act 2003 effectively to the advantage of the market. “For instance, the ‘no premium no cover’ rule which nobody thought could happen, came and the practitioners are now taking advantage of the rule, the compulsory insurances and other related issues are being effectively enforced in the industry, although there are challenges in the make, but it is a good sign that the future of insurance business in Nigeria is bright.” Also, the Managing Director/Chief Executive, FBN Life, Val Ojumah, commended the commission for the bold decision it had taken to enforce the provision of section 50(1) of the Insurance Act 2003, on the issue of premium payment. He said: “We support the commission wholeheartedly, it is in the best interest of the market. We have to underwrite business according to what the law stipulates as it will definitely take off our head the problem of unpaid premium in the industry.” According to him, NAICOM is the regulator, it realised the effect of the problem in the performance of the industry, therefore, it is in a better position to know the enormity of the problem and have taken steps on what is good for the market, we should co-operate with it to make it work in the interest of the industry.
Monday, December 30, 2013 INSURANCE 47
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NAICOM outlines micro-insurance distribution channels OLLOWING the release Fmicro-insurance of the guidelines for operations in Nigeria, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has outlined channels to be utilised to reach potential micro-insurance consumers. According to the guidelines, they include Cooperative Societies, MFIs, MFBs, Non-Governmental Organisations, Postal Agents, Mobile Payment System, Telecommunications, Brokers, Agents, Trade Organisations, Health Service Providers, Esusu, Adashi group, Age Grade, Faith based Organisations, Self employed market women, any other channels of distribution. Besides, micro-insurance products shall have the following features, simplicity, the policies conditions, procedures and marketing must be simple. The risk pooling method, procedures and coverage must be unambiguous and easily understood. The micro-products must be accessible to the target market in terms of purchase, premium payments and claims. Also, micro-insurance products or services shall be designed to meet the needs of clients, be beneficial, fair in price and coverage, and the delivery and distribution channels must be efficient to both the insurer and the policyholders.
Micro-insurance operators shall comply with the following prudential standards. Any micro-insurer intending to commence a specialised micro-insurance business shall have a minimum paid up share capital of N150 million for life, N200 million for general business. A specialised micro-insurer shall maintain with the Central Bank of Nigeria a statutory deposit of 10 per cent of the minimum capital requirement. Besides, it shall maintain adequate and valid reinsurance arrangements a copy of the reinsurance treaty arrangement shall be submitted to the commission on or before December 31st of the preceding year. A micro-insurer carrying on general insurance business may offer general and life micro-insurance products and vice versa, provided there is an arrangement between the general micro-insurer and life micro-insurer, whereby the life portion of the business is transferred to the life micro-insurer as the case may be. It shall be the responsibility of the general micro-insurer to settle the claims and subsequently recover the portion of the claims due from the life micro-insurer. Where such an arrangement exists, a memorandum of understanding detailing the terms of the contract between he parties shall be forwarded to the commis-
NCRIB President seeks media support for insurance awareness HE President of T Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Ayodapo Shoderu, has solicited partnership of the media to drive insurance penetration in the country. Speaking at the media chat in Lagos said, insurance penetration in this country despite the huge population was the lowest in the world, adding the industry was looking forward to partnership to bring insurance benefits to the grassroot of this country through the micro-insurance products. It is no longer news, he said, that the Nigerian insurance industry of which the broking arm was pivotal, had not been able to occupy its rightful place in the scheme of national economic development. Regretfully, as at today, the insurance industry contributes less than one per cent to the nation’s GDP. He said that among besetting challenges that had stultified the industry’s growth was limited public awareness about the industry and its services, in spite of the monumental opportunities presented by the nation’s large and growing population.
Every enduring strategy to change this paradigm must involve strategic media engagement to achieve desired success. According to him, “my administration will curry the media effectively and I implore you to complement moves in that direction through your position and in-depth reportage of the council’s events and activities at all times. On compulsory insurances, he said, “the council under my tenure will collaborate more effectively with the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to harness its benefits to members. “We intend to, among other ways, embark on lobby the State Houses of Assembly to promulgate edits that will drive public compliance with some of the provisions of the insurance products covered under the insurance law. For instance, the spate of public building collapse and the consequential human and material loss usually recorded all over the country will reduce considerably if state legislatures have in place laws compelling adherence to sections 54 and 55 of the Insurance Act.”
Deputy President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Kayode Okunoren (left), President of the Council, Ayodapo Shoderu and Treasurer of the council, Abiodun Durodola during a media chat with the NCRIB president in Lagos.
‘Multi-distribution, customer experience key to remaining competitive’ APGEMINI and Efma C introduce the new customer experience index in this sixth edition of the World Insurance Report 2013 with data from over 16,500 customers. This year’s report explores how insurers must enhance multi-distribution and customer experience to improve retention. While mobile and social media channels are gaining traction, challenges remain for insurers to provide better customer experiences and drive operational efficiency. 70 per cent of insurance customers’ loyalty at risk as retention challenges escalate, 50 per cent of insurers look to mobile and/or social media in next two years to
strengthen customer experience. The WIR 2013 is based on 16,500 customer surveys, research data from 41 markets, and interviews with 114 insurance executives. Catastrophic losses were high in 2011 and the nature of events highlighted the imperative for non-life insurers to model more accurately the potential for inter-related risks, such as the tsunami triggered by an earthquake in Japan. In everyday operations, non-life insurers have continued to focus on improving the core drivers of underwriting performance, and many have captured benefits from enhancing productivity and reducing distribution
costs. Agents and brokers are still the number one distribution channel but customer acquisition through this channel is expensive. Our research confirms customer satisfaction alone may be a deceptive gauge since the availability of products/services is not the only driver of satisfaction. In markets where satisfaction is high, customers are not necessarily pleased with their insurer relationships. Globally, 70 per cent of insurance customers report negative or neutral experiences. To address overall customer experience, insurers need extensive enhancements in sales and service based on a complete view of
customers and their perceptions, expectations, and values. With more than 50 per cent of insurers adding mobile and social media over the next two years, insurers have an opportunity to improve customer experiences. The top five key drivers for insurers to invest in the mobile channel are anytime/anywhere device demands, cross-selling/upselling opportunities, increased smartphone adoption, customer service costs and keeping up with the competition. Integration of social media strategies with traditional CRM is paving the way for new ‘social CRM,’ enabling higher customer satisfaction rates for insurers.
Lawyers decline consumers’ advocate claim HE Ontario Trial T Lawyers Association isn’t buying the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s claim to be “the real consumer advocate.” The OTLA was responding to comments made by IBC president and CEO, Don Forgeron, in November. At an IBC regulatory affairs symposium, Forgeron said politicians and insurers have fundamentally opposing views. “There is one universal law affecting us: politicians are appealing to a short-term audience. We are not. So we must lead. Insurers are no longer just business people, we are the real consumer advocates.” In a post on the association’s website OTLA’s, John Karapita called that an “amazing and audacious” claim. “Is this the same IBC that advocates so shamelessly for restrictions to the definition of
catastrophic impairment, changes that will affect the most vulnerable of these consumers they pretend to represent?” he said. “The same IBC that justifies the continued practice of subjecting claimants to intrusive and suspect medical examinations? The
same IBC that stresses the incidence of fraud in the system, to the point where the casual observer might doubt the veracity of any claimant and their entitlement to benefits?” He said the bureau represents insurers and their shareholders whose “inter-
ests lie in maximizing the return on equity.” “Most reasonable people might conclude that the core mandate of the insurance industry is not just incompatible with the consumer interest but diametrically opposed to the interests of consumers.”
World insurers hold symposium in Iowa officials say a new IforOWA insurance symposium set next year in Des Moines is aimed at bringing top industry experts to the area. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said the two-day Global Insurance Symposium will attract industry experts and regulatory authorities from around the world, the Des Moines Register reported. Gerhart said the symposium is a unique opportunity to discuss issues facing
the insurance industry. Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, said organizers were inspired by the World Food Prize and how it’s shaped agriculture in Iowa. “We thought that putting together a signature event for the insurance industry in the spring would be a very nice bookend for what the World Food Prize does in the fall,” he said. Byers said such an event will work well for Des Moines because the city has
a reputation for being an insurance industry hub. Insurance companies in the state employ more than 41,000 people, the newspaper reported. Byers said one benefit to the event is possible industry expansion in the state. The symposium will be held at the Des Moines Marriott Hotel on May 21 and 22. Gerhart said he would like the symposium, which could cost between $80,000 and $120,000, to occur annually or at least every other year.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2013
Nigerian capital market: Emerging from the challenges of global meltdown By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma IVE years after the meltdown of Fsome the Nigerian capital market, investors and operators appear to have shaken off their investment shocks by describing 2013 as the year of recovery and consolidation. The stakeholders said that their new enthusiasm about the nation’s portfolio climate stemmed from the rebound of high rate of securities transactions, the recovery of the national economy and the rising public confidence in government and governance. In the first week of December 2013, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) overall transactions grew from a loss position, recorded during the downturn in 2008, to a level, which is widely considered as one of the best in the frontier, market today. The stakeholders added that the major drivers of the market growth developed from the strict adherence to corporate governance and zero-tolerance to aberrations by the regulators in the year under review. Other key growth indicators of the market are regulatory reforms and initiatives, as well as strong financial fundamentals posted by publicly quoted companies. Apart from the licensing of market makers by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2012, the introduction of securities lending, short selling and consistent monetary policies contributed to the market stability. Specifically, the stability of the exchange rate at N157 to a dollar throughout the better part of 2013 encouraged more foreign investors to remain in the capital market, while stemming capital flights and encouraging foreign investments in local debt papers. Available securities transactions at the NSE as at December 9, 2013 showed that the equity market grew by 37.96 per cent year-to-date. The visible market growth made the Nigerian bourse to be rated the best investment destination in subSaharan Africa. The All-Share Index of the Exchange in the period under review appreciated by 37.96 per cent year-to-date to close trading at 38,738.15 points, as against the opening index of 28,078.81 points. The Index, a measure of the market direction, grew by 34.5 per cent in 2012. The market capitalisation, which opened trading for the year at N8.98 trillion, grew by N3.41 trillion to close trading on December 9 at N12.39 trillion, reflecting a growth of 37.97 per cent. In spite of the market growth, the NSE witnessed only the listing of Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) and Infinity Trust Mortgage (ITM). Providing an insight into the market performance in the period under review, Ms. Arunma Oteh, the director general of the SEC, attributed the growth to some factors. She said that the factors included the concerted efforts of operators and regulators as well as the federal government’s reforms and initiatives, aimed at boosting activities in the market.
Floor of the Nigerian Stock Market Oteh debunked claims in some quarters that the recent growth in the market would soon fizzle out, saying: “The capital market is not driven by euphoria but by fundamentals of different sectors of the economy represented on the exchange.” She said that the financial sector had recorded appreciable growth. “The banking sector is leading because globally, everybody recognises the bold steps which Nigeria took to address the challenges facing the financial sector. “Besides, many people recognise that Nigeria is, indeed, the preferred investment destination in spite of the challenges,” she said. Oteh said that SEC was monitoring the current reforms in the nation’s economy, including the government’s privatisation programme, so as to ensure that privatised companies were encouraged to get listed on the local bourse. She also said that efforts were underway to create an enabling environment for energy companies operating in the upstream and downstream sectors, as well as telecommunications companies to also get listed on the stock exchange. The former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Okechukwu Unegbu said that listed companies could also attribute the market’s growth to the activities of market makers and the impressive financial results.
Specifically, the stability of the exchange rate at N157 to a dollar throughout the better part of 2013 encouraged more foreign investors to remain in the capital market, while stemming capital flights and encouraging foreign investments in local debt papers
He, however, said that the federal government must make the national economy investor-friendly by reviewing the nation’s business laws. Unegbu also called for a reduction in the nation’s domestic debt and the effective implementation of the 2014 budget with a considerable emphasis placed on infrastructural development. On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Lambeth Trust Investment, David Adonri noted that the stock market growth this year had surpassed the performance of 2012. He said that increasing investors’ confidence and internal reforms, especially the commencement of market had affected the market positively this year. He pointed out that the stability and growth of the capital market would be sustained if the regulatory framework remained effective. Adonri, however, underscored the need for the federal government to pursue sound fiscal and monetary policies that would be marketfriendly in the years ahead. He stressed that the regulatory initiatives could only be meaningful if local investors took due advantage of new and dynamic frameworks, current market trends and improved companies’ results to increase their stakes in the bourse. Nevertheless, Dr. Doyin Salami of the Lagos Business School expressed reservations about the gains so far recorded in the market. Salami, an economist, expatiated that his queries about the muchtouted market growth were due to the dominance of the activities at the NSE by foreign portfolio investors. He said that as at December 5, 2013 foreign portfolio investment profile in the nation’s bourse amounted to
Market analysts underscore the need for regulators to quickly embark on another round of investors’ awareness campaign nationwide. They say that such awareness campaigns would be handy in efforts to assuage the fears of investors and provide the much-needed technical knowledge on the dynamics of the capital market about 13 billion dollars. Salami solicited the encouragement of domestic retail investors, even though he welcomed new foreign investments in the nation’s economy, particularly in the equities market. “Capital market regulators need to show more concern on how to improve the participation local investors in the market so as to avoid another round of meltdown in the event of investment outflow by foreign investors,” he said. Salami said that the regulators must evolve strategies and create pragmatic policies aimed at increasing local investors’ participation in the nation bourse. He added that the active engagement of domestic investors in the nation’s portfolio investment would only be visible and sustainable if concerted efforts were made to make ongoing reforms investorfriendly. He, nonetheless, described the current situation in which emphasis was placed on market automation to the detriment of local investors as a dangerous trend. In spite of the optimism and misgivings about the growth of the country’s capital market in 2013, Salami said that tangible efforts should be made to address the wan-
ing confidence of local investors in the market come 2014. He blamed the limited confidence of local investors in the market on their alleged alienation by the government in efforts to mitigate investors’ losses after the 2008 meltdown. Market analysts underscore the need for regulators to quickly embark on another round of investors’ awareness campaign nationwide. They say that such awareness campaigns would be handy in efforts to assuage the fears of investors and provide the much-needed technical knowledge on the dynamics of the capital market. The analysts also urge the federal government to honour its earlier pledge to remove market-based taxes for the system. The elimination of stamp duties and Value Added Tax (VAT), among other levies, as promised by government in December 2012, would aid efforts to create the much-needed market liquidity, they added. The analysts also urge market regulators to strengthen the Investor Protection Fund (IPF), while resolving the recurring menace of unclaimed dividends. • Joel-Nwokeoma works with News Agency of Nigeria.
Monday, December 30, 2013 49
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Focus Fresh volte-face on national dialogue By: Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief LTHOUGH the Presidential Advisory Committee on the proA posed National Conference set up by President Goodluck Jonathan has submitted its report, strong elements in the north have said that the final consensus on the national dialogue should favour the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference in order to address Nigeria’s problems. This stance is a great departure from the idea of SNC, which hitherto the conservatives in the north have opposed, and now finding serious expression and acceptance among the radical groups. The conservatives, represented by the Arewa leaders are opposed to it, the progressive and radical elements have risen to the challenge in supporting the idea to convocate the Sovereign National Conference (SNC) in order to rid the country of the negative and unprogressive tendencies that have robbed Nigeria of sustainable development and growth. This emerging scenario happens to be a great departure from the stance of the north in the recent past, that is in endorsing the position which most leaders in the south have canvassed in resolving the country’s age-long social, economic and political ills. The latest support by vocal elements from the north, for SNC was presented to the members of the Presidential Advisory Committee when they sat in Kaduna to listen to the presentation of the leaders from the north-west on how to use the National Conference initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan to uproot the debilitating factors that have been retarding the nation’s progress. It is a truism that since Nigeria ventured into democracy, those negative factors that have pre-date the present Jonathan administration, like ethnicity, religious bigotry, corruption, nepotism, violence and other related vices are still plaguing the nation today. These are the issues, which the radical elements in the region have also come to terms with their southern counterparts, saying that a subtle national conference that Jonathan envisaged, through a constitutional amendment may not be a solution to the present socio-economic and political decay, unless an SNC is convocated to address the problems. Besides, surprisingly some of the states government in the north also gave backing to some of these strong voices coming out to oppose the national dialogue proposed by President Jonathan in getting the country out of the woods to a path of development and growth. The Katsina Group, in its submission presented to the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference by its Coordinator, Alhaji Kabir Yahaya said that the “Katsina Group welcomes the idea of a national debate on the current political, economic and social arrangement in Nigeria”, pointing out that presently “there is clearly widespread dissatisfaction with the state of the nation, especially when the political leadership at all levels does not have the desired connect with the populace”. He stated that the group held a town hall meeting in Katsina where several Indigenes of the state put the problems facing the country into the front-burner and resolved that it only the patriotic convocation of a Sovereign National Conference that would offer solution to Nigeria’s problems. “ Nigeria is confronted by crippling problems including the government’s inability to guarantee the security of lives and property, corruption has assumed monumental dimensions, with the government unwilling and unable to do anything about it; terrifying levels of unemployment that is clearly beyond the capacity of government; political leaders and other cronies exhibited total and wanton disregard to the rule of law with complete impunity”. Alhaji Yahaya also argued that “ economic mismanagement of the nation is manifested by decaying infrastructure and the attendant pauperazation of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians”, stressing that “ as a consequence of this, the Katsina Group, on Monday, November 4th, 2013, convened a Town Hall meeting, which was freely attended by a wide cross section of Katsina citizens, commissioned specialist papers and provided a forum that discussed issues arising from the proposed Dialogue on the state of the nation”. According to him, “ the meeting decided in favour of the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference, with full powers and vested with unfettered freedom of action, full autonomy and the absence of no-go-areas”, saying that “ anything short of an SNC is an unnecessary waste of valuable time and resources, similar to past charades”. The group wants the proposed SNC that it’s currently canvassing to be predicated on the fact that Nigeria is constituted by territorially based states and local government areas, not geopolitical zones, and as such delegates to the SNC should be elected by universal adult suffrage, conducted and supervised by an independent electoral body. Yahaya further explained that “ since a Sovereign National Conference has not been envisaged by the current constitution and other laws of the federation, it is necessary for the National and State Assemblies to take steps to amend the constitution to accord the SNC full legal backing”. He said that consistent with this and in agreement with Professor Auwalu Hamisu Yadudu in his submission the Presidential Advisory Committee, “ an Act of National Assembly should spell out the procedure to be adopted by the SNC during its deliberations and the specific steps to be taken to subject the new constitution to a referendum for final adoption”.
Issued canvassed by the Katsina Group to be addressed by the SNC include, the size and type of government of the federation and subsequently of states and local governments; and the whole concept of elections, voting and their administration should be overhauled to serve the needs and aspirations of Nigerians and uphold the wishes of Nigerian voters. Other areas that should come before the purview of SNC are the construction of a sustainable, reliable, fair and realistic revenue allocation formula and the devolution of powers to states and local governments, in respect of Agriculture, Education, Environment, Youth, Commerce, Health etc. The position of the people represented by the Katsina Group has also been supported by the members of the Arewa Defence League, when they told the Presidential Advisory Committee on dialogue that “ the Arewa Defence League is desirous of a Sovereign National Conference that will be organised by an administration under a competent leadership with sufficient political courage to implement whatever outcome such conference would produced”. In otherwords, they expressed fears that President Jonathan administration may not be able to handle the intricacies of SNC, particularly when his leadership has not been disposed to tackle the social, economic and political problems facing the nation. Saying that the members of ADL “is fully convinced that anything short of SNC will end up been a waste of time just like previous conferences”, the group also stressed that “ ADL strongly believe that the motive behind the present administration intention to organise a National Conference less than two years to another general election in the country is politically motivated and the hidden agenda may be against the people of this country, particularly northerners with potential threat to the unity, progress and development of Nigeria. The presentation by the Arewa group which was submitted to the Committee further stated: “ the ADLis confident that the Northern Nigeria more than ever before is aware of the conspiracies against it and our people are adequately prepared to face any kind of challenge that will be thrown at them from any quarter”. Be that as it may, some of the leaders of the Arewas in the region believe that the outcry for the convocation of SNC by some elements in the north was as a result of failure of leadership at the national level and the intensity of corruption, unemployment, and poverty which President Jonathan has refused to resolve. It was on this premise that the Arewa elders and some governors in the north told members of the Advisory Committee on National Dialogue that the nation can only make meaningful progress if the Proposed Conference can resolve the problems of corruption and poor leadership in the country. The Chairman of the Political Committee of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Ahmed Gusau who made a presentation on behalf of Arewa elders before the Committee members, said that if the nation is to make substantial progress, the representation at the proposed national conference should be “ one person per local government, which will be a wider spectrum of participants that will bring in about a total of participants774 delegates”, saying that “ this process will bring about equity in the representation “. The Forum also canvassed support for the representation of other interest groups, including, traditional rulers, ACF, Northern Governors Forum, ASUU, Labour groups, Civil Society Organisation, etc.
However, on the agenda of the Conference, Alhaji Gusau who was also a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development under the late Umaru Yar’adua administration, pointed out that “ it has always been the position of ACF that the security and socio-economic challenges of Nigeria have more to do with the collapse of national ideals, moral values and fall in social contract among groups and among individuals and with hype in ethnic nationalism”. “These have combined to bring about failure of leadership at all levels over the years and not with the structure of the country, not with form of government and not with the constitution. Yet, the Forum hopes some real issues that agitate the minds of some Nigerians in the interest of national unity and harmony will be deliberated upon in the conference”. Besides, in his presentation to the Committee, the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso stated that “ the people of Kano are skeptical about the genuineness and significance of convening such conference at this time of our history”. Kwankwaso who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje explained that the very day President Jonathan announced plans to hold the Confab, “ I said that it came at the wrong time, taking into consideration the myriads of challenges bedevilling our nation”. He argued that “ the problems of insecurity, corruption, poverty, unemployment and disregard to rule of law are issues that we must be resolute to resolve...To open up yet other dreadful possibilities that the expected results may not be palatable and is bound to create more devastating problems for the entire country”. Meanwhile, Former President of the Federal Court of Appeal, Retired Justice Mamman Nasir said that the problem of Zoning and Power rotation in the country should be resolved at the National Conference, saying that it was the only way to strengthen the nation’s unity and democracy. Retired Justice Nasir presented the position paper of the Katsina State Government to the members of the Presidential National Dialogue Advisory Committee. Besides, Nasir, outlined the challenges of Nigeria’s democracy, including zoning and devolution of powering which he said could be resolved at the forthcoming National Dialogue. He said: “ it now appears that the Zonal principle and structure has been accepted within the political realm of Nigeria, especially as practiced by political parties and by Government in the distribution of political appointments, offices and projects, even though this principle lacks legal basis in any laws of the federation”. Stressing that the principle would strengthen the nation democracy if legalized, Justice Nasir however added, “ the dialogue should accept zoning as a basis of political and other distribution of power, offices, resources and projects”. On the devolution of power, the former President of the Court of Appeal faulted the present excesses of power concentrated on the Federal Government, pointing out that” the concentration of power at the center needs to be devolved to other tiers of Government”. “ There should be clear delineation of power, functions and funding between the three tiers of Government...A situation where the Federal Government uses and abuses its power over states and states over local governments should be addressed, as these challenges and abuses undermine democracy in Nigeria”.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
50 Monday, December 30, 2013
Media By Mohammed Abubakar
Radio Deutsche Welle, Germany, recently marked its 50th anniversary of Hausa broadcasting to its listeners in West African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon. The occasion coincided with the 60th anniversary of the radio station as the external arm of the Pre-Unified Western Germany. In Abuja, the anniversary celebration was used to launch a new programme called Tsaka Mai Wuya, a Hausa educational drama series that deal with the day-to-day socio-cultural reality of youths, especially those in the developing countries. Head of Hausa Service of the DW, Mr. Thomas Mosch, was in Abuja recently to interact with listeners and other stakeholders on the objectives of the new programme, where he spoke on the milestones recorded by the station since establishment and the challenges as well as the future of DW Hausa Service. Excerpts: 50 years after it started broadcasting to Africa, how would you say Deutsche Welle (DW) has fared? ELL I think it has been a success story so far because since the beginning of the programme on November 4, 1963, the Hausa Service programme of DW has been a big player in the Hausa -speaking countries. In the beginning we started with 10 minutes broadcast every day, now we have two and a half hours a day so we feel that we have gained a lot of strength over the years and if we look at the impact that it had created in Africa, we see that the programmes in Hausa and other two African languages that we are broadcasting, that is Kiswahili, French, Amharic in Ethiopia and Portuguese, all these programmes have more or less like make up of all the listeners and users of DW programmes world-wide, that shows how successful it is, that it means we are reaching up to 50 million people every week in three African languages and with the Hausa programme alone we are reaching between 2030 million listeners. We think that has been a very huge success. we get a lot of positive feedbacks from our our listeners and research on the ground which we do every year indicates that our programmes are praised for very balanced content as well as educative and so we are happy and very satisfied with our situation. Why do you think Nigeria and indeed African nations have over the years placed a lot of trust on foreign radio channels, because apart from the DW, we still have the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Voice of America (VOA), Radio France International (RFI) and Radio China, all broadcasting in Hausa language. Secondly, why your interest in languages in Africa? In the beginning since this programme started, in 1960s, and of course the coming of this programme was linked to the independence of the African countries. At that time, the world was divided into two major power blocks, the western and the communist democracies and of course the main powers of these blocks were trying to reach out to the population world wide about their different views, about situations and therefore, for them it was important to get their own views of democracy, human rights and politics across the world, and since African countries had just come into the political scene, that is the newly independent countries, that was the major interest in the beginning. Nowadays, we feel that the world would be facing a lot of problems, we are all dependent on each other, therefore me needed to communicate if we want to solve the problems of the world, we need to know what the others are thinking and we need to interface with others so that we can proffer solutions for the problems we have. Look at climate change for instance, we look at terrorism and other topics and therefore, we felt Africa was also very important continent in which case, you have
50 years on, DW is breaking new grounds in broadcasting, says Mosch around 54 independent countries in the continent so it is very big block in the United Nations. So African countries have important roles if it comes to solutions to worldwide problems. Therefore, in our own interest as European countries, we should also be on the same page with Africans and not only with the elites but to know the European language aspect also with broad population because if we want to interface with the people about democracy, about human rights about women issues or education in general, we should be able to reach the masses at least those people who are influential in their communities like the teachers, the pastors, bishops the Imams and so on, and therefore, you need the African languages to get close to the people. It sounds curious why a German should be the Head of Hausa Service. Is it as a result of incompetence or absence of native speakers of the language? (Laughs) for the DW, it is very important that we get the link and the interaction between the African point of view and German point of view, and if you have Germans working within the Hausa and Kiswahili, for example, that is the only way we can create this link because we need people who understand both sides, and of course those among us in Germany who know the language, the African language, I think we can be this link between German and those issues the African listeners are interested in and
we can of course be in the heart of the Hausa Service. I see myself also as a link between editors from Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Cameron, wherever they come from and the broader concept of DW in general. And also we have to ply our language services with contents about what is happening in Africa. For instance, the issues developing in Nigeria and Niger Republics, we need to have somebody who can quickly write something about it and usually that would be in German because the main language that we are using in DW is German, so we produce a lot of manuscript in German and then the other languages, whether it is European languages or Asian languages, they make use of this German manuscript to create their reports out of it, and therefore, you also need people who are very fluent like mother-tongue level to quickly produce these manuscript, so this is another reason why it is useful if you have German heads of departments , where it is possible. How many of your German compatriots have occupy this seat before you? Actually, the picture we have now, we have had more or less really autonomous Hausa section under their own heads of departments. That was before now, but we knew because before we had senior editors in the Hausa section all of who are Hausa native speakers, we only had one head of all African languages department. There was more or less autonomy in the individual language departments they had much to con-
sume, what was given to them from the general services. So you cannot compare the former ones and therefore we didn’t have any German head of department for a long time. I think in the beginning, it was obviously African department hat we always had for all the language departments. And so now we have a very different system, and therefore you cannot compare as the two. As a matter of fact, I’m the first German and we have a similar arrangement for all the other languages in the African department headed by Germans. Are we looking at a situation where a native Hausa speaker would occupy the position you are occupying now in future? The basic thing in this case is the knowledge of the German language because it is really the core issue to this link that I talked about, and so normally we have others in other departments like, if you look at our Turkish language department and some of our south-eastern language departments, at the Brazilian department, you have native speakers there that are heading the departments because there were brought up in Germany and therefore know the language or they have come from a German cultural backgrounds from their own countries, like in Brazil for example, you have a large German minority, so you have people, who know the language as their mother-tongue. Concerning Hausa-speaking people up till now, we do not find anybody like this, especially not with the journalistic background, so we have people who have been there for a long time, but still their German language understanding is not as it should be. So what I’m driving at is that, generally if the German language background is there, it could happen, but at the moment, I don’t see anybody because, usually, the colleagues we bring into our department all have to come freshly from Africa, because we don’t find Hausas living in Germany and then at the same time being journalists, we don’t have them it is not like in Britain may be where you find Hausa speakers and then they are also journalists. There is this perception about western media slanting their reportage against Africa in spite the objectivity you earlier spoke about. Do you people at DW hear such comments and what is the station doing to douse such fears? Of course, you know we have our own ideas and values and we have to... One of the basis of our work is that we have to promote the values of how we see democracy and human rights in Germany and in some cases, of course, there might be differences with the African views. That is why we are an international broadcaster from Germany. If we would just promote the same things you have here in Africa we don’t need to be on air because we could just say, ‘okay, you have Radio Nigeria, and so there is no need for us’; so, we see that we want to exchange with our African listeners also about issues based; maybe we might have a different view. For instance, if we look at very controversial issues such as the role of the international Criminal Court (ICC), we know that a lot of Africans are very critical of the ICC. Whereas, Germany and most of us in Europe are very much in support of international justice system and of course here, there might be controversy about this. But this is very much normal in a democratic society and one can exchange the views about this. There might be other issues like the role of women in societies. In certain aspects, there might be controversies between us and most people here in Africa, and then let’s discuss about it. But our offer is, we give you our opinions; we explain them to you but we can exchange ideas about them and see whether we find a common ground. How would you project DW in the future of, say, 50 years from now? 50 years from now, I don’t know, but I think that the prospects are quite bright at the moment, because we have got a new DirectorGeneral who is very active. He is only two months on the seat; he is placing emphasis already on expanding the station. So, we know that Africa will play a big role in the future as well. And he has vowed to make DW one of the best international competitions in the world. So, I see DW much more in this direction.
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‘Multi-disciplinary skills required for Marketing Communications’ industry growth’ Tunji Olugbodi is a renowned name in the marketing communications industry. He is a Fellow of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). He started his career as a Subeditor/Judicial Correspondent with The Guardian before his foray into advertising beginning with Promoserve and Prima Garnet where he spent 15 years. He once chaired the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) AGM Committee amongst other industry responsibilities. He is also on the faculty of Financial Institutions Training Centre. He is presently the Group CEO of Verdant Zeal, a young and vibrant agency. He speaks on key issues in the marketing communications industry The industry HE marketing communication industry has evolved as a dynamic and vibrant one over the years. The key ingredients that make the industry stand out are innovation, creativity and exceptional service delivery. These notable features are displayed by the new generation agencies who are redefining the pace in the industry. The industry needs to embrace new thinking and break new grounds to remain dynamic and forward looking. The time has come for the industry to embrace innovation more than before and also remain vibrant to address the needs of the clientele. The industry is dynamic and there is need for all to leverage competencies for significant advantage. It is such that clients really want to know what we want to offer them in terms of value and expertise. This is the more reason there should be a multi disciplinary and multi dimensional approach to agency practice in terms of expertise and professional depth. About Verdant Zeal Verdant Zeal Group is a young and promising agency established to embrace innovation and invention. The agency is headed by Olugbodi after his 15 years with Prima Garnet. The agency since inception in 2007 has left no one in doubt about its mission to raise the bar in the industry. Verdant Zeal Group is renowned for its innovative approach as a platform to distinguish its offerings to clients. Verdant Zeal no doubt has leaned on the cutting edge platform to embark on a paradigm shift in the industry. In terms of professionalism and expertise, the agency stands tall as a forward looking and versatile organization. Its innovative approach is conceived to apprise clients with emerging shifts and trend analysis to develop coherent strategies to remain relevant in the market place. According to Olugbodi, the agency runs on three legs: on time, on budget and on strategy. For us, what’s made the difference really is that we seem to understand the need – state of the average client today. The average client today is not given to the niceties of long rigmarole or processes and procedures. So, in a manner of speaking, you have to be able to short-circuit or let me re-phrase, you have to be able to shorten the period of process and procedure that enables you to get an answer or a strategy or a response that can be enduring. Verdant Zeal has also deployed this within its group as it has metamorphosed into various corollary businesses. F2M (First to Market) is the experiential marketing arm of the group, Gr8 Measures Media (Media Independent), Brainbox I Media (New Media), Red Gecko (PR & Content Development) and Neo Mantra (an intellectual property company with interest in brand and events management). Through these viable business enterprises, Verdant Zeal has remained a strongly focused group. The Verdant Zeal Group was the potent force behind the Unilever brand- Close-Up Naija concert, which had over 7,000 people in attendance. The concert, which shook the entire industry, registered the imprints of Verdant Zeal as factor domo in the industry. This single event elevated the status of the brand and deepened equity for it. Attributes of a tested practitioner A tested practitioner must be passionate
about advertising, must be passionate about marketing communication, must be passionate about being able to bridge the interface between the consumers or the clients on the field and your own direct clients; people who need to make the product or service known in the market place. You need to have a helicopter ability that makes it possible for you to be able to look at things from all perspectives. You must be able to play roles other than what you represent and what you stand for in terms of your profile. A good practitioner should also stand for something and express who he is at every particular point in time. A practitioner must be able to develop communication campaigns that resonate with identified target groups regardless of his age or status in the industry. In all ramifications, a sound practitioner should be an all rounder because according to him, you should be able to attend to what makes a good brief. For him as a practitioner, his aim is to breathe fresh air into an industry that needed the desired impetus to wake up from its slumber. He has indeed achieved this with the array of clients that seeks value from the Verdant Zeal Group. It is his cherished dream to engender a definite change in the industry and there are several milestones to buttress this. For Olugbodi, the business of marketing communications is for those who can break new grounds and explore new frontiers that will deliver unique solutions that grow the bottom line. He has remained focused as a visible advocate of multidimensional and multi-disciplinary skills in marketing communications. Key success factor for industry practitioners Every practitioner needs to embrace different high grounds as against the generally held belief of a straight path to make it. His own definition of making it is relevance. This is because it is about value, it is about value proposition and it is about being able to reinvent the wheel as often as necessary without necessarily boring people. The audience should not suffer from what is referred to as audience fatigue. To be successful, that means a practitioner has worked on major campaigns that have become landmarks in the industry. A successful professional is one who has track records of innovative campaigns that were executed. What Verdant Zeal has achieved thus far Verdant Zeal has remained pro-active and also being strongly focused on delivering value. The agency is poised to reinvent the rules by showcasing exceptional creativity, which is evident in the industry. The communications campaign for Interswitch remains a key landmark. The agency deployed its creative ingenuity to simplify the brand message of such a technical company. One of the companies within the Verdant
Zeal arm, Neo Mantra organised the international fashion event “Native and Vogue” in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in September. The event, which paraded international fashion icons and top couturiers, projected not only Rivers State on the global map but also Nigeria. The event rivaled the Paris Fashion show in terms of glitz, glamour and grandeur. He was also the arrow head for the Rivers of Possibilities campaign which have been acknowledged as veritable platform that reshaped the image of Rivers state. The Opon Imo (educational initiative of Osun State Government) is another laudable event anchored by the Verdant Zeal Group amongst other groundbreaking campaigns. Future of the industry It is the belief of Olugbodi that the marketing communication industry can reach its full creative potentials. This is only possible when practitioners embrace new thinking and new direction. Olugbodi is equally passionate to ensure that the industry reaches its full potentials. He believes in protectionism in the industry, as it is visible in other countries. Though an apostle for reforms, he advocates a balance in order not to lose sight of embracing global opportunities.
Parameters should also be set to have clients have respect for professionals in the industry. In terms of training, he underscores the need for every organisation to have a longterm vision and capacity building for staff. Training according to him, will build professionalism in the industry. Olugbodi also wants older and more experienced practitioners to influence younger professionals through mentorship. This he is deeply committed to as he has young and brilliant minds he nurtures in the industry. He believes there should be collective action plan to elevate the industry beyond its present status. This informed the annual Verdant Zeal Lecture which has been a pivotal platform for charting the direction for the industry. The annual lecture has been a melting pot for intellectual discourse amongst practitioners. This feat has not been achieved even by older agencies in the industry. Olugbodi has remained focused and remained undaunted to reshape the thinking of the industry. He is set to further expand the frontiers of his professional expertise. He is indeed the Czar of innovation and creativity.
Firm unveils Nigeria’s 50 most popular brands By Gbenga Salau N evaluation exercise by the Nigerian A public, supervised by The Top 50 Brands Nigeria, has revealed the 50 most popular brands in Nigeria. The 50 most popular brands were unveiled in Lagos last week with MTN Nigeria, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and First Bank of Nigeria Plc in the top three. Top 50 Brands Nigeria is an annual selection and critical analysis of 50 most popular and healthy brands (companies) in Nigeria aimed at reviewing business performance, measuring healthiness, classification and rating. According to the Project Coordinator, Taiwo Oluboyede, the activities that led to the emergence of the 50 brands started with a nomination process where it accepted entries and reviewed them. “We received entries from both homegrown and multinationals. After a thorough evaluation of brand promises and equity, we were able to reduce the volume to the 100 most popular in Nigeria, he said”. He further said that for the popularity test,
it created shuffling online evaluation software, which allowed members of the public to select its preferred brands, noting, “This evaluation is carried out by APT Brand International Limited, a foremost brand analysis and review company, in association with V-Connect Global Services Limited and Certified Board of Administrators of Nigeria (CBAN)”. Oluboyede disclosed that the top three brands were not the project’s original idea but when it was realised that some brands were attracting some special rating, the project deemed it fit to announce the top three brands with the highest votes. “While we are presenting them (brands) based on rating points for this maiden edition, it is of note that these three brands (MTN, Coca-Cola Nigeria and First Bank Plc) were at the top in the popularity evaluation,” Oluboyede said. Also, the profile of the 50 brands has been documented in the Brand Nigeria annual journal meant to inform the public about these companies and what they do. In the journal, which was also unveiled at the brief-
ing, is a special feature on brands to watch in the coming year. “These are significantly vibrant brands with lots of promises”, Oluboyede said. These brands are, however, not listed among the top 50 brands. While mega brands such as MultiChoice (owners of DStv), Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Conoil, Wema Bank, Kia Motors, Arik Air, Aero Contractors and Channels TV were conspicuously missing. Dangote produces two brands on the list (Cement and Sugar). Four GSM companies also make the list while Punch, DAAR Group, Silverbird Group, and ThisDay are the media brands in the list. Others are Access Bank, First Bank, Berger Paints, Cadbury, Chevron Nigeria, Diamond Bank, Dufil Prima Foods (Indomie), ExxonMobil, Forte Oil, Friesland WAMCO, Golden Penny, GSK, GTBank, Guinness Nigeria, Honeywell Group, IEI Plc, Julius Berger, Lafarge WAPCO, Nestle Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Samsung, Promasidor, Nokia, Nigerian Breweries, Stanbic IBTC, Toyota Nigeria, UBA, UACN and Unilever Nigeria amongst others.
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Former Lagos State Director, Scholarship Board Office of Special Adviser on Education, Mrs. Kudirat Olabisi Odewale (left); Director of Protocol, Fatai Ajalogun; former Commissioner, Local Council Service Commission, Adekunle Oyebola and Director of Scholarship Board Office, Special Adviser on Education, Mrs. Omauton Yetunde Jegede, during the 2013 /2014 Local Scholarship Interviews and Bursary Award Interview for Law School Students in Agege, Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESHIN KUTI
Monday, December 30, 2013 PHOTONEWSEXTRA 53
NAFDAC Director, Port Inspection Directorate, Mrs. Maureen Ebigbeyi (left); Director, Narcotics and Controlled Substances, Hashim Ubale Yusuf and Director General, Paul Orhii, during a press briefing on illegal smuggling of suspected counterfeit and other substandard regulated products in Lagos. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON
Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Values in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi (left); Mr. John Paul Nnamdi, a corps member undergoing his youth service in Calabar and Public Affairs and Communications Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Clem Ugorji, during the presentation of award for Culture Reporter of the Year to Nnamdi at the 2013 edition of the Campus life Student Writers Awards sponsored by Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited in Lekki, Lagos. Wife of the host, Mrs. Olufemi Akinbiyi (left); host, Jide; and Daughter, Mrs. Ronke Akinbola, at the marking of Prince Akinbiyi 80th birthday celebration.
Managing Director, Med-View Airline, Muneer Bankole (middle); Head of Engineering, Lookman Animashaun (left) and Head of Flight Operations, Capt. Olawale Oke, at the company’s one year’s operations so far in the Aviation held at its Headquarters Ikeja, Lagos.
Principal/Chief Executive, Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Mrs. Nnenna C. Dennar (middle), during the matriculation ceremony for the 2013/2014 academic session at the Institute’s Conference Centre.
Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole; Host Community Member, Olalekan Oyegbemile; Chairman, Egbeda Local Council, Oyo State, Mufutau Oyewo; Brewery Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Goke Adeyemi and Deputy Governor Oyo State, Moses Adeyemo, during the commissioning of HAF Borehole Water Projector donated by Nigerian Breweries to Majawe community in Ibadan. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM
Chairman, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, Olanrewaju Suraju (left); Executive Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Debo Adeniran and Executive Director Labour, Health and Human Rights Development Centre, Ayo Akele, during the Informal Civil Society Organisations – Media Interactive Session organised by the Civil Society Network Against Corruption in honour of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Awardees in Lagos. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN
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For The Record From diarrhoea diseases to ulcers: In DR. Stella Smith, HoD Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBBT) Division, NIMR delivered this as an inaugural lecture, the third in its series at the 4th NIMR Annual Conference recently. The second part was published on Tuesday December 24, 2013. THER diseases caused by H. pylori infecO tion but with no confirmed cause are rosacea, diabetes, urticaria, halitosis and chronic psoriasis. The stomach has on its inside gastric juice secreted by the host on a daily basis. This gastric juice is made up of digestive enzymes and concentrated hydrochloric acid. This was actually the reason why schools of thought had it that the stomach was actually sterile with no bacteria until the advent of H pylori and that reasoning was discarded. The stomach has a thick layer of mucus that covers the stomach lining protecting it from its own gastric juice and it is in this protected region that H. pylori lives in. While staying chronically in this region, it further fights stomach acid with the production of an enzyme called urease. This urease converts urea (found abundantly in the stomach) to bicarbonate and ammonia which are bases in origin. This is how H. pylori is able to thrive chronically in the hostile acidic region of the stomach with an alkaline mantle around it. This is actually the basis for the urea breath test (UBT). Symptoms of H. pylori When H. pylori does cause symptoms, they are usually either symptoms of gastritis or peptic ulcer disease. The most common symptom of peptic ulcer disease is gnawing or burning abdominal pain, usually in the area just beneath Smith the ribs. This pain typically gets worse when the stomach is empty and improves when one The study by Mustapha et al. (2007) using his- and the authors concluded that only ingestion eats food, drinks milk, or takes an antacid. tology for the detection of H. pylori reported H. of cola nut was statistically significant, other Other symptoms may include: parameters showed no significant difference pylori in 78.5% prevalence in cases. Weight loss A further study into the age of acquisition of between the two groups (non-ulcer dyspepsia Loss of appetite H. pylori provided evidence that amongst chil- and asymptomatic). Another recent study Bloating dren under 20 years using serology, 91% were from Poland on H. pylori reinfection from diBurping positive, while under one year, 58% were posi- etary and socio-economic factors concluded Nausea tive (Holcombe et al. 1993). This shows early ac- that environmental conditions did not affect Vomiting (vomit may be bloody or look like quisition of H. pylori infection in northern H. pylori infectivity neither did smoking or alcoffee grounds) cohol intake (Jarosz et al. 2009). Nigeria. Black, tarry stools Epidemiological studies have shown however H. pylori and dyspepsia in central, Nigeria Risk factors of H. pylori Recent studies by Tanko et al 2007; 2008, from those diets high in fruits and vegetables and These include environmental influences such central Nigeria using histology showed H. py- therefore rich in vitamin C as well as other anas diet, overcrowding, poor water supply and lori colonization in 79% of cases, while in a pre- tioxidants nutrients result in lower infection hygiene, as well as individuals with type A vious study from both central and northern rates. Increased infection is as result of high salt blood group which influence the development Nigeria, H. pylori was detected in 94.5% of cases intake as well as nitrate foods. of gastric cancer and those of duodenal ulcers using anti-cagA antibodies (Rocha et al. 2001). In conclusion, from the reviews presented which are more prevalent in type O. Other risk from Nigeria it is clear that H. pylori infection is factors include being over 45 with alarm symp- H. pylori and dyspepsia from south-west Nigeria of high prevalence in Nigeria (finding 1). toms such as anaemia, gastrointestinal bleed- From the study in Lagos by Smith et al. (1999), Pathogenesis ing, and difficulty swallowing and the prevalence of H. pylori by culture was One of the strong defences H. pylori has is that unexplained weight loss. found to be 27%. The same authors in 2001, the body’s natural defences cannot reach the found the seroprevalence of H. pylori amongst bacterium in the mucus lining of the stomach. African and Nigerian epidemiology of H. pylori dyspeptic patients to be 85%, while in the same Naturally when there is an infection, the imIn the African region, the prevalence of H. py- year from Ife using CLO and histology meth- mune system sends white cells, killer T cells lori amongst dyspeptic patients ranged from ods, H. pylori was detected in 73% of cases. Sim- and other infections fighting agents, but these 44% in Mali (Austarheim et al. 2013) to 53% in ilarly the study by Lawal et al. (2007) from the does not easily get to H. pylori due to its habitat Ethiopia (Taddesse et al. 2011) to 79.8% in same Ife reported its prevalence rate to be in the stomach lining. Cameroon (Ebule et al. 2013). Amongst dyspep- 77.5%. This leads to an increase in immune response tic patients in Nigeria rates as high as 91% was which leads to death of polymorphs and a spill reported (Holcombe et al. 1993) (Finding 1). H. pylori and gastric cancer in Nigeria of their destructive compounds (superoxide Other reported cases include Morocco with Not many studies have been documented in radicals) on stomach lining cells. This eventuprevalence rate of 69.9% (Alaoui Boukhris et al. Nigeria concerning a link between H. pylori ally leads to gastritis within a few days and per2012) and South Africa with 66.1% prevalence and gastric cancer, but a few studies have re- haps eventually a peptic ulcer results. Ulcer rate (Tanih and Ndip 2013). Senegal reported ported on the relation between H. pylori and most likely develops as a result of response to 62.6% prevalence (Breurec et al. 2012). gastric cancer. A report by Ndububa et al. H. pylori infection. Amongst gastric cancer cases reported the (2001) showed that out of 6.2% of patients diprevalence in Zambia (84%) was the highest agnosed with gastric cancer, 50% were H. py- Diagnosis of H. pylori (Kayamba et al. 2013), followed by 63.2% in Libya lori positive using CLO test and histology. There are various methods for the diagnosis of (Elzouki et al. 2012). While another study by Oluwasola and Ogun- H. pylori worldwide and these methods are debiyi (2003) detected H. pylori in 17.9% of cases pendent on availability. Epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori in Nigeria using histology. Another study by Ndububa et The methods used for non-invasive (without H. pylori and dyspepsia in northern, Nigeria al. (2007) reported H. pylori to be positive in all the use of endoscopy) detection of H. pylori inIn Nigeria, dyspepsia is one of the most com- 18 gastric cancer patients studied. clude: mon gastro duodenal complaints encoun- H. pylori and environmental factors and diet in urea breath test (UBT) tered amongst both out patients and Nigeria serology using IgG antibodies, which is useful specialists clinic in Nigeria. In the early 90’s There are very few documented cases about for epidemiological studies but does not measfrom reports by Holcombe et al, from Maid- the effect of environmental factors and diet ure active infection as antibody persists for sevugari Nigeria, H. pylori was detected in 84% of on H. pylori. In fact, only one published case eral months and in some cases years. cases (Holcombe et al. 1994a); while amongst from the north (Holcombe et al. 1991) looked Helicobacter pylori stool antigen tests (HpSA) asymptomatic volunteers H. pylori was de- at diet, smoking and alcohol intake. The result using monoclonal antibody which measures tected in 80% of cases (Holcombe et al. 1994b). was compared with asymptomatic volunteers active infection.
stool-PCR, this requires screening for H. pylori DNA from stool samples and using known PCR markers for H. pylori diagnosis to detect H. pylori in the DNA. We have employed this technique for diagnosis and we got some positive results in 20.6% of the samples (Smith et al. 2012). For the invasive tests (use of endoscopy) methods include: culture CLO test kit, a urea based semi-solid medium histology gram stain PCR based methods using ureA gene, glmM gene and 16SrRNA gene of H. pylori E-tests using metronidazole, tetracycline, amoxicillin and clarithromycin Fluorescent in situ Hybridization (FISH). This is a technique that combines visual information obtained from microscopy with the precision of molecular genetics. This permits visualization and identification of individual microbial cells within their natural microhabitat or diseased tissue. Statement of the problem In Nigeria, there is no standardized method of H. pylori diagnosis. Most hospitals particularly the State and Federal hospitals either carry out CLO test and or histology. Only a few particularly the tertiary hospitals we collaborate with use the UBT test in addition. Private hospitals treat either by positive endoscopy and or use serology tests. Serology tests are not specific and do not measure active infection. They are however useful for epidemiological purposes. None of the hospitals/clinics do actual culture of H. pylori except those in collaboration with Institute’s such as ours or those with a shortterm grant to screen for H. pylori (finding 2). The first work we did was on the actual culture of H. pylori, to see if we could isolate H. pylori from biopsy specimen (Smith et al. 1999). The isolation rate was low (27%) and this could be attributable to in-experience in the culture of H. pylori aside from constant power outages. Serological tests were then carried out amongst dyspeptic patients in South West Nigeria for epidemiological purposes and a high prevalence of 85% was reported (Smith et al. 2001). The next methods was to compare the diagnostic methods we had available and affordable at that time i.e. culture, CLO and gram stain and gram stain was found the best method for diagnosis although it was not accurate. Eighty-nine (61.4%) biopsies were positive using Gram stain, 61 (42.1%) using CLO test kit and only 28 (19.3%) using culture (Oyedeji et al. 2002). This led us to look at other methods of H. pylori that would be more accurate, faster as well as relatively cheap. This study was captured in the work. The presence of H. pylori in dental plaque using Helicobacter pylori stool antigen test (HpSA) showed that all patients screened were positive for H. pylori although culture was 5% with
One of the strong defences H. pylori has is that the body’s natural defences cannot reach the bacterium in the mucus lining of the stomach. Naturally when there is an infection, the immune system sends white cells, killer T cells and other infections fighting agents, but these does not easily get to H. pylori due to its habitat in the stomach lining. This leads to an increase in immune response which leads to death of polymorphs and a spill of their destructive compounds (superoxide radicals) on stomach lining cells. This eventually leads to gastritis within a few days and perhaps eventually a peptic ulcer results. Ulcer most likely develops as a result of response to H. pylori infection
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For The Record search of an appropriate diagnosis (3) The test-and-treat strategy is appropriate in young patients with dyspepsia where the population of H. pylori prevalence is 20% and the risk of the patients having gastric cancer is low Maastricht consensus guidelines IV, Malfertheiner et al. (2012). The UBT and monoclonal antibody tests are recommended. However, in patient groups with an increased risk of gastric cancer, the ‘endoscope and treat’ strategy is preferred CLO being 56% (Smith et al. 2006). The rationale for screening for H. pylori is because one of the suggested modes of transmission is the oral-oral mode; in addition, it is possible that H. pylori could be transmitted from the stomach to the mouth through gastro-esophagal reflux (in which a small amount of the stomach’s contents is involuntarily forced up the oesophagus). We also looked at diagnosis of H. pylori using the FISH and results were reproducible and reliable, but the technique is technically demanding. This technique can detect H. pylori as well as clarithromycin or tetracycline resistances simultaneously on microscopic slides with the use of fluorescently labelled probes. In some studies, it is the ideal method when treatment failure occurs after third line therapy in the absence of effective culture of the organism. It has been found to be comparable with the E-test (Russman et al. 2001). Treatment The test-and-treat strategy is appropriate in young patients with dyspepsia where the population of H. pylori prevalence is ≥20% and the risk of the patients having gastric cancer is low Maastricht consensus guidelines IV, Malfertheiner et al. (2012). The UBT and monoclonal antibody tests are recommended. However, in patient groups with an increased risk of gastric cancer, the ‘endoscope and treat’ strategy is preferred. According to the Maastricht IV consensus report of 2012, the standard first line treatment with PPI (omeprazole), clarithromycin and amoxicillin or metronidazole for 10 – 14 days without prior susceptibility testing should be abandoned when the resistance rates is over 15-20% for clarithromycin except where there is low resistance rates. In areas of high clarithromycin resistance, bismuth-containing quadruple therapy or sequential therapy is recommended. Sequential therapy where it is PPI plus amoxicillin for 5 days followed by PPI plus clarithromycin and a nitroimidazole for a further five days. Second line therapy is used when there is failure from bismuth containing therapy as well as sequential therapy. Levofloxacin containing triple therapy is therefore recommended such as 10-day therapy of PPI-levofloxacin-amoxycillin based therapy. Third line therapy must therefore be guided by antimicrobial susceptibility testing only. Hybrid therapy was also further suggested by Graham and colleagues, which is made up of pantoprazole 40 mg/b.i.d. and amoxicillin 1 g/b.i.d. for 14 days plus 500 mg clarithromycin and 500 mg tinidazole, both twice daily for the last 7 days Generally per protocol (PP) treatment should achieve 90% eradication rate while intentionto-treat (ITT) should have an eradication rate of 85%. Any eradication rates lower than these are considered ineffective for the eradication of H. pylori. Additionally, follow up after H. pylori eradication should be done using the UBT or the monoclonal HpSA. Statement of the problem:
There are no standard consensus management guidelines for H. pylori (finding 3) in Nigeria and diagnostic methods are inconsistent and vary greatly within hospitals and clinics. Metronidazole resistances in Nigeria are as high as 98.5% to 100% from our various studies (Smith et al. 2001). With the DFG (German Research Foundation) grant which looks at ‘Correlation of H. pylori virulence factors with gastro-duodenal diseases: improvement of diagnosis and treatment’, it is hoped to achieve: The most reliable and accurate diagnostic method for H. pylori detection in Nigeria for effective patient identification. Appropriate regimen to be used for patients suffering from dyspepsia whether screened for H. pylori by endoscopy or not in line with the fact that there is no standard treatment guideline for H. pylori in Nigeria? Achieve to some level translational research with the patients. Stephen Woolf defined translational research as the ‘bench-to-bedside’ enterprise of harnessing knowledge from basic science to produce new drugs, devices and treatment options for patients’. The research work on H. pylori hopes to achieve the latter meaning of translational research i.e. harnessing knowledge from basic sciences to produce treatment options for patients (please see Prof. T. Adewole’s distinguished Guest Lecture that explains this aspect explicitly). From our study positive results are known in two of the nine tests that are done and gastroenterologists are informed within 24 h the results of the tests for appropriate treatment. This will help in reducing MDR as well as inform policy on its treatment. From the DFG work I have reached out to the community through newspaper publications to showcase the work we do on H. pylori and one of the patients who enrolled in our study is healthier and happier now because her doctor had told her previously there was no cure for ulcer and when we screened her using the various tests she had high positive values for H. pylori and was subsequently treated for it. I must say here that ulcer due to H. pylori is curable and there is no good H. pylori even though a small proportion (10 -15%) actually develop disease. It is better to test and treat for H. pylori in Nigeria particularly if there is history of ulcer in the family. The type of regimen to use in line with the Maastricht consensus on discontinued treatment of H. pylori with clarithromycin when there is a prevalence of 15 – 20% and more resistance rate to this drug. Already we have seen resistances of more than 15% to clarithromycin, 98.5% - 100% resistances to metronidazole and 30% resistances to amoxycillin. Ulcer kits containing tinidazole (same family with metronidazole) as well as clarithromycin are currently being used in Nigeria by some physicians. These are being prescribed for use amongst sufferers of H. pylori infection, it therefore stands to reason the problem associated with improper treatment as it would certainly lead to treatment failure and complications of the disease except where the cases under study are per protocol (PP). Perhaps treatment algorithms could be constituted when there is treatment failure. Finally capacity building of members of staff on improved H. pylori diagnosis as well as improved capacity in the area of molecular biology techniques. Where do we go from here/recommendations? I want to use this opportunity to plead with the government to put in place surveillance systems as well as enabling environment to encourage research and researchers to conduct research that would be of health importance to the nation as a whole. Secondly, I have been able to establish a fully functional molecular biology laboratory and I will also like to plead with the government for funding of such specialised laboratory to
look at disease surveillance and confirmation using molecular techniques. I will also like to plead with the pharmaceutical companies to work hand-in-hand with us so as to enable us achieve the desired goal of appropriate treatment of H. pylori in Nigeria not just to sell drugs to us that are not effective in the eradication of H. pylori. With the support of pharmaceutical companies, our own consensus management guidelines for H. pylori in Nigeria would be established. This would help to reduce the incidence of peptic ulcers as well as gastric cancer cases. It would also help us to better understand the reasons why most Nigerians carrying the highly virulent strains of H. pylori do not actually come down with severe diseases such as gastric cancer (the African enigma). The Emergency Preparedness and Response Research (EPR) Group which I head is looking at confirmatory methods of cholera diagnosis using molecular methods, with adequate funding we could do a lot more than what we are currently doing. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost I would like to thank God Almighty for making me what I am today from a project staff to Director. I want to appreciate my mother and my nuclear family for the love and support given to me all the way. I also want to thank the Director-General, Prof. IAO Ujah mni for the special interest he has taken in what I am doing as well as the Helicobacter pylori research. I must also express my profound gratitude to the Chairman of 4th NIMR Annual Conference, Dr. Ezechi and his team for giving me the opportunity to talk about my work in NIMR for the past 25 years. I would like to appreciate Prof. A. O. Coker who was my M.SC and PhD supervisor for his support, prayers and fatherly advice over the years. Dr. D. K. Olukoya who introduced me to the world of molecular epidemiology, Prof. L. A. Salako who challenged me in the area of publication writing when he incorporated publica-
tion as one of the primary conditions for promotion, Prof. E. M. Essien who introduced and gave me the application form for EU scholarship and subsequently visits the lab till date anytime he is in Lagos to see what I am doing. I also want to appreciate Prof. F. Megraud from France and secretary of European Helicobacter Study Group (EHSG), who whenever he meets any Nigerian in his trips always talks about me and eventually informs me. I would also like to appreciate Prof. R. Haas who I have known during my days with him on AvH fellowship and now collaborate with in the DFG grant and Dr. Monica Contreras of IVIC Venezuela who collaborated with me on the ICGEB grant, as well as NIMR management and entire workforce. I will also like to thank the following corporate bodies who have contributed to my work in NIMR: European Union Scholarship, Third World Academy of Science, INSERM fellowship, French Government for supporting two of my attendances at the annual European Helicobacter Study Group (EHSG) conferences, Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellowship, International Foundation for Science, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), KIT, Netherlands, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), IVIC, Caracas. I want to appreciate members of the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology division for the research work done so far. I want to appreciate all my colleagues and collaborators from LUTH, Unilag Akoka, LASUTH, LASU, UCH, Ibadan, OAUTHC, Ile-Ife, JUTH, Jos and Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. I have taken you through the journey so far and I would like to close with this picture below which shows my humble self with Prof. Barry Marshall, co-founder of Helicobacter pylori and Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, 2005.
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58 NEWSEXTRA Monday, December 30, 2013
More than one in 10 babies worldwide born prematurely • Kangaroo care, sugar gel key for premature babies • Scans show premature-baby brain arrested development • Boys are 14% more likely to be born prematurely than girls, study finds By Chukwuma Muanya ECENT studies suggest that more than one in 10 babies R worldwide are born prematurely, Kangaroo care and administration of sugar gel could enhance survival, boys are more likely to be born before full term, and scans show baby’s brain delayed development. A global project estimates that fifteen million babies, one in 10 births, are born prematurely every year and one million of these babies die soon after birth. The joint report, led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), noted that three quarters of deaths could be prevented with basic care. For the first time premature birth-rates have been estimated by country, with the highest risk being in Africa. A premature or preterm baby is one that is born before 37 weeks after the first day of the mother’s last period. A full term baby is when pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Forty-four organisations contributed to The Born Too Soon report, which estimated premature birth rates - the number of babies born too soon, out of the total of number of live births for 184 individual countries, in the first study of its kind. Of the 11 countries where over 15 per cent of babies are born too early, all but two are in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the report highlights it is a problem worldwide. Dr. Lale Say from the WHO said: “It is very striking to see that preterm births have a similar burden all around the world but due to different reasons. In developing countries it is due to things like infections, HIV, malaria and poor nutrition. Premature babies are likely to have developmental problems as they grow up. “In developed countries there are totally different risk factors - an older delivery age, diabetes, obesity and multiple births due to IVF.” The report also mentions caesarean sections before full term, which are not always medically needed, as a reason for increasing premature baby rates. A leading cause of death Dr. Joy Lawn, co-editor of the report and Director for Save the Children said: “This report shows the problem is much bigger than expected or realised. Being born too soon is an unrecognised killer.” In children under five, prematurity is the leading cause of death worldwide, after pneumonia. Many premature babies that do survive develop learning difficulties and visual and hearing problems. “This has been a shocker to those who work in child survival programmes - people were almost falling off their chairs when
I reported back our findings,” said Dr Lawn. “We have been working on problems identified 20 years ago. There has been progress in pneumonia, and diarrhoea as a cause of death has seen a major drop, but preterm birth has not been on anyone’s ‘to do’ list.” “There is no excuse for 80 per cent of babies, who are less than eight weeks early, to die – it is lack of food and warmth, not lack of intensive care.” Easy care Experts at the United Nation (UN) say simple and inexpensive care, like antiseptic cream to prevent cord infection, one US dollar (60 pence) steroid injections given to mothers to help foetal lung development, and antibiotics to fight infection, can help keep premature babies alive. They also advocate the use of kangaroo care - where the baby is tied, skin to skin, on the mothers’ front - which reduces infection, keeps the baby warm and makes it easy to breastfeed. This has been proven to dramatically reduce newborn death. Not surprisingly, there are big inequalities in survival rates around the world. This is highlighted in the United States (US) - as, while it is makes the top ten for the highest number of premature births in the world, it is only number 37 for deaths - because of very effective and expensive intensive care. Dr. Christopher Howson, from March of Dimes, a baby charity which collaborated on the study said: “In low income countries, more than 90 per centy of extremely preterm babies die within the first few days of life, while less than 10 per cent die in high income countries.” “However, this is a solvable problem. A number of countries, for example, Ecuador, Botswana, Turkey, Oman and Sri Lanka have halved their neonatal deaths from preterm birth through improving [care for] serious complications like infections and respiratory distress.” It is hoped the report will spotlight premature births, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and make it an urgent priority to help reach the UN Millennium Development Goal 4 set in 2000 - which calls for the reduction of young child deaths by two-thirds in 2015. Meanwhile, Lawn said that mothers carrying babies skinto-skin could significantly cut global death and disability rates from premature birth. Lawn said “kangaroo care”, not expensive intensive care, is the key. The 15 million babies every year born at or before 37 weeks gestation account for about 10 per cent of the global burden of disease, and one million of them die. Of those who survive, just under-three have moderate or
severe impairments and 4.4 per cent have mild impairments. Lawn, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), said: “The perception is you need intensive care for pre-term babies. But 85 per cent of babies born premature are six weeks early or less. They need help feeding, with temperature control and they are more prone to infection. It’s really only before 32 weeks that their lungs are immature and they need help breathing.” She added: “Unless there are those breathing problems, kangaroo care is actually better because it promotes breastfeeding and reduces infection.” United Nation (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who leads the Every Woman Every Child movement, which promotes improvements to healthcare for women and children, said: “Three-quarters of the one million babies who die each year from complications associated with prematurity could have been saved with cost-effective interventions, even without intensive care facilities.” Duncan Wilbur, from the United Kingdom (UK) charity Bliss, said: “While kangaroo care saves lives in countries such as Africa, it is also incredibly important for babies born too soon all over the world. “Here in the UK our medical technology is extremely advanced but simply giving a baby kangaroo care or skin-toskin can help make a baby’s breathing and heart rate more regular, it can help a baby’s discomfort during certain medical procedures and importantly can benefit breastfeeding and bonding between the baby and parents.” Pregnancy risks Studies to be published this weekend in the Pediatric Research journal show boys are 14 per cent more likely to be born prematurely - and boys who are premature are more likely to die or experience disability than girls. Common disabilities include learning disorders and cerebral palsy. Prof Lawn said: “One partial explanation for more preterm births among boys is that women pregnant with a boy are more likely to have placental problems, pre-eclampsia, and high blood pressure, all associated with preterm births.” She added: “Baby boys have a higher likelihood of infections, jaundice, birth complications, and congenital conditions, but the biggest risk for baby boys is due to preterm birth. “For two babies born at the same degree of prematurity, a boy will have a higher risk of death and disability compared to a girl. “Even in the womb, girls mature more rapidly than boys, which provides an advantage, because the lungs and other organs are more developed.” Meanwhile, experts say a dose of sugar given as a gel rubbed into the inside of the cheek is a cheap and effective way to protect premature babies against brain damage. Dangerously low blood sugar affects about one in 10 babies born too early. Untreated, it can cause permanent harm. Researchers from New Zealand tested the gel therapy in 242 babies under their care and, based on the results, say it should now be a first-line treatment. Their work is published in The Lancet. Dextrose gel treatment costs just over £1 per baby and is simpler to administer than glucose via a drip, say Prof Jane Harding and her team at the University of Auckland. Current treatment typically involves extra feeding and repeated blood tests to measure blood sugar levels. But many babies are admitted to intensive care and given intravenous glucose because their blood sugar remains low - a condition doctors call hypoglycaemia. The study assessed whether treatment with dextrose gel was more effective than feeding alone at reversing hypoglycaemia. Neil Marlow, from the Institute for Women’s Health at University College London, said that although dextrose gel had fallen into disuse, these findings suggested it should be resurrected as a treatment. We now had high-quality evidence that it was of value, he said. Andy Cole, chief executive of premature baby charity Bliss, said: “This is a very interesting piece of new research and we always welcome anything that has the potential to improve outcomes for babies born premature or sick. “This is a cost-effective treatment and could reduce admissions to intensive care services, which are already working at high capacity levels. “While the early results of this research show benefits to babies born with low blood sugars, it is clear there is more research to be done to implement this treatment.” Also, medical scans reveal that premature birth may interrupt vital brain development processes. Researchers at King’s College London scanned 55 premature infants and 10 babies born at full term, using a novel type of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. The brain scans showed arrested development in the premature babies at a key stage of maturation. Experts say the work, in PNAS, could further understanding, but that parents should not be alarmed by the findings. In recent decades there have been big advances in caring for premature babies, which mean most can go on to live a healthy life. The researchers say the new type of imaging - which tracks the movement of water in the brain - will enable them to explore how the disruption of key processes might cause conditions such as autism. It could also be used to monitor possible treatments to prevent brain damage. The scans showed cortical development was reduced in the preterm babies compared with those born at full term, with the greatest effect in the most premature infants - those born at about 27 weeks. The brain regions affected govern social and emotional processing, as well as memory.
Monday, December 30, 2013 59
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Sports N1.2b for Super Eagles, Falcons, others, as NFF budgets N1.58b for 2014 From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja HE Nigeria Football T Federation (NFF), has earmarked a total sum of N1.23billion for the preparation of the Super Eagles, Falcons and other national teams for all the international championships they may be involved in 2014. This is contained in the total annual budget of N1.58b, which the NFF forwarded to the Federal Government through the budget office of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja for the 2014 fiscal year. Tagged: Code 22021009 in the annual expenditure for 2014, the football federation revealed that the N1.23b would spent on all the sporting activities involving the national teams including the Super Eagles World Cup tournament and Nations Cup 2015 qualifiers and the female national teams. According to its 2014 budget, which The Guardian obtained from the budget office of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the football federation also disclosed that a total sum of N43.1m will be committed to furnish its new secretariat, which was
recently built and handed over to the federation by the Presidential Task Force on Super Eagles in June 2013. In the budget proposal, NFF equally noted that the sum of N260.142 million will be spent on workers salaries and wages, while N484.175 million will be committed to expenditure items and N299.281 million on personnel cost as N17.231 million was earmarked to settle honorarium and sitting allowances as well as refreshment for executive board members. The federation also proposed N29.783 on legal, general consulting and professional services. NFF is, however, expected to appear before the sports committee of the national assembly to defend the budget proposals when the lawmakers reconvene after the Christmas and New Year vacations.
Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker, Luis Suarez (right) wins a header in the area from a free kick that leads to the opening goal scored by Liverpool’s Slovakian defender, Martin Skrtel (second left) during the English Premier League football match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in London…yesterday. Chelsea won 2-1. PHOTO: AFP
English Premiership: Wenger relieved, as Arsenal go top Olivier Giroud’s 11th goal of the season ensured the Gunners would start 2014 at the summit the Barclays Premier League but it was in reality a scrappy win. with a 1-0 win at Newcastle. The Magpies pushed hard at the end and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny blasted a clearance straight at Loic Remy, which saw the ball run just wide of the post with time running down. problem between my agent Wenger told Sky Sports News, and the club? I cannot tell but “we were quite in control. I moved on,” he said in an “After that we subconsciously extensive special feature on only wanted to defend.” him by the top French sports The Frenchman though undermagazine. lined the more physical quali‘Vinnie,’ as he is known in ties Giroud brings to north France, joined Lille as a free London, saying, “that is what agent in 2011 from Israeli club you need in a team. Hapoel Tel-Aviv. He was “He has these qualities, that of frozen out in his first season course is very important. at Lille and had to go on loan We are small and technical...so to another Israeli club to have a player up front to counMaccabi Tel-Aviv for the 2012/13 season. However, this season the former Enyimba star, who holds a diploma in biochemistry, has shone through to go an amazing 1062 minutes From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja unbeaten in the French Ligue 1. AST year’s runners up at Lille have promptly extendthe annual Mark D Ball ed his contract till June 2017. Basketball Tournament, Benin Republic’s ASPAC club of Cotonou has regretted the clubs inability to take part in the ongoing 2013 edition, blaming it on the surprise adjustment to the country’s basketball calendar by the new board. Chief Coach of the club, Peter Favour Ahmedu told The Guardian in Otukpo that the club had already concluded its plans to honour the invitation by the organisers before the Benin Basketball Federation released the new RSENE Wenger admitted he A was a relieved man after Arsenal went back to the top of
I rejected Porto, Getafe to join Lille, Enyeama reveals Eagles’ goalkeeper, SbeenUPER Vincent Enyeama, who has in fine form lately has revealed that he turned down Porto and Spanish club Getafe to join Lille. “I had several offers from Porto and several Spanish clubs like Getafe, but I finally chose Lille because by then they were doing well on the league table and my brother, Aniekan, was also playing in France,” Enyeama told L’Equipe magazine. The 31-year-old goalkeeper also spoke about his trials at Bolton Wanderers then in the English Premier League. “I was close to signing for Bolton, but I don’t know why I didn’t because I did well at the trials. Could it have been a
terbalance that is important.” Wenger’s men enjoyed long periods of possession at St James’ Park, but were rarely able to make it count, and it took a set-piece from Theo Walcott, who was otherwise largely anonymous, to present Giroud with his big chance. Newcastle might have gone in ahead at the break had Szczesny not tipped over Moussa Sissoko’s effort or had Mathieu Debuchy’s header not come back off the crossbar. However, they were unable to sustain the pressure as they slipped to just a second defeat in 10 league outings in front of a crowd of 52,161. Everton finished 2013 on a high as Romelu Lukaku’s first goal in six games helped them to a 2-1 home victory over Southampton.
The Toffees - looking to bounce back from the Boxing Day defeat to Sunderland that had ended their hopes of going through the whole calendar year unbeaten at Goodison Park in the league - went ahead in the ninth minute when Seamus Coleman burst into the area and finished with a powerful strike. Saints substitute Gaston Ramirez equalised in the 71st minute, beating Toffees goalkeeper Joel Robles, who it appeared should have done better in his attempt to save the effort, with a shot from distance. But the hosts were back in front as Lukaku converted from James McCarthy’s pass, the on-loan Chelsea striker taking his tally for Everton this season to nine goals.
2013 `Mark D Ball’ Tournament: Benin’s ASPAC regrets absence, as teams berth in quarter-finals
time table that forced the new season to commence earlier than the planned date. Ahmed, however, noted that the absence of the Cotonou club has not taken shine off the glamour of the tournament, stressing that the organisers have maintained the standard by ensuring that top clubs are not missing in the tournament. Meanwhile, three male teams booked their quarterfinals ticket at the tournament holding in Otukpo, Benue State. Suba Sharp Shooters from Suleja, Niger State were the first to make it to the last
eight after two successful games against Pioneers Reunion of Port Harcourt and Falcons of Ilorin. The Suleja team came from behind to defeat Pioneers 3432 in the first match while Falcons fell 30-35 to hand the team its quarterfinal ticket. Full Force of Abuja sailed through after a 51-35 defeat of Saint Mark and a 60-19 whitewash of Blazers of Otukpo, in their first and second encounters. It was also a tea party for Braves of Makurdi as they moved into the last eight with the defeat of two home teams, Apa Flames and Bethlehem of Otukpo.
Lagos Football Five’s Championship debuts next year HE maiden edition of the T Lagos Football Five’s Championships will debut in 2014 as qualifiers for the 1st Football Five’s World Championship (F5WC) holding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The tournament is being organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development with over 128 teams expected to participate in the competition holding in 2014 across Lagos. According to the organisers, the competition tagged F5WC is the world’s first amateur football championship with 32 countries across the globe competing to win the ultimate prize in amateur football in 2014. The Nigeria edition will produce the country’s representative to the global championship with all-expense paid trip to Dubai to compete in the finals in June 2014. The Dubai finals will see a number of scouts from Europe’s top clubs attending to identify talents. F5WC brings together a global initiative to select talented amateur football players through regional five-a-side qualifying rounds to then compete in the Dubai 2014 finals. The tournament aims to find undiscovered talent, showcased in Dubai and gives a platform for professional football clubs to scout and sign this talent. The finals hold in Dubai in June 2014 with a number of football scouts from around the world attending.
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60 SPORTS Monday, December 30, 2013
Why Eagles still rank low in FIFA’s
Nigeria National team
In the December FIFA World Ranking released, African champions, Nigeria, dropped one step from its 36th position to 37,th eliciting doubts in the minds of Super Eagles’ followers on the accuracy of the world football governing body’s rating system. In the ranking, Nigeria maintained its fourth position on the African continent, with Cote d’Ivoire in the first position. The Ivoirians also retained their 17th position in the world with 918 points, followed by Ghana, who are second in Africa and 24th in the world with 849 points. With 800 points, Algeria maintained their third position in Africa and 26th in the world, while the fifth position in Africa is occupied by Cape Verde, who failed to qualify for the World Cup. The world’s top 10 remains the same with Spain maintaining their lead ahead of Germany and Argentina, followed by Colombia, Portugal and Uruguay. Looking at the table and the criteria used in determining countries’ positions on the log, CHRISTIAN OKPARA writes that it will take some time before Nigerians see the Super Eagles among the top 20 teams in the world. HEN the FIFA world ranking for December was released W last week, many Nigerian football fans were disappointed that instead of moving up the ladder, the Super Eagles dropped one step to the 37th position. This is a table where such teams as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Algeria are better placed than the African champions. In the race to become champions at the South Africa 2013 African Nations Cup, the Super Eagles defeated Cote d’Ivoire in the second round of the competition that Algeria fell in the first round, while Ghana was beaten in the semifinal. Nigeria’s slip from the 36th position to the 37th was not the first time, as the team in October dropped from the 33rd position to the 36.th Nigerians actually expected the Super Eagles to shoot up in ranking after the February 2013 Nations Cup final to match their status as African champions, but they were disappointed that rather than go up, the team went down the ladder. A few months before the U.S.A 1994 World Cup, Nigeria, which like now, was the African champions, was ranked in the fifth position. That position was the first time an African team would occupy such a lofty height. And so many Nigerians expected the 2013 Eagles to advance closer to that position having won the Nations Cup ahead of the better rated Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Algeria. But that was not the case. Rather, the team dropped a step lower in FIFA’s calculations. Super Eagles’ supporters believe that having qualified for
the 2014 World Cup seamlessly and done well in some friendly games, including the 2-2 draw In London with Italy, a team seen as among the elite sides of world football, it was only natural that Nigeria would move up. However, the fact is that there has been a continual slide in the rating of Nigeria by the FIFA system. In October, the Super Eagles dropped three steps from the 33rd position to the 36th spot before they dropped to the 37th this month. Following the latest development, Nigerians, including those who were once at the highest level of international football, believe that FIFA has been unfair to the African champions. Some of these football people dismiss the latest ranking by FIFA as a huge joke that should be ignored. One of the prominent voices against the latest Eagles’ position on the latest ranking is the team’s Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, who said he was shocked that Nigeria slipped in rating despite some impressive results lately. Making a case for his team, Keshi said, “we won the Africa Cup of Nations this year, qualified for the World Cup and four-time world champion, Italy, held us to a draw, so I am s u r p r i s e d . ” However, Keshi said he would not allow the team’s position in FIFA’s reckoning to dampen the spirit of the team as the World Cup approaches. “If we remain where ever we are in the ranking and keep winning and Nigerians are happy, then I am happy,” he said. Others have also joined Keshi in condemning the rankings, but there seems to be a great misunderstanding of
the ranking system. Although the ranking does not reflect Nigeria’s current strength in international football, it is a direct consequence of the depth the country’s game sank from 2010 to the time Keshi took over the Super Eagles. In a reply to The Guardian’s inquiry on the issue, FIFA officials explained there are so many criteria used in ranking nations, including the number of grade A matches each country plays within a given period. According to the body, the results of 30 international matches were taken into account for the current edition of the ranking. “In 2013, the results of 918 matches have been taken into account, many of which were friendlies (415) and more than a third of which (347) were qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. “The basic logic of these calculations is simple: any team that does well in world football wins points, which enable it to climb the world ranking. “A team’s total number of points over a four-year period is determined by adding (1) the average number of points gained from matches during the past 12 months; and (2) the average number of points gained from matches older than 12 months (depreciates yearly).” According to FIFA, the number of points that can be won in a match depends on the following factors: (1) Was the match won or drawn? (M); (2) How important was the match (ranging from a friendly match to a FIFA World Cup match)? (I); (3) How strong was the opposing team in terms of ranking position and the confederation to which they belong? (T and C); and (4) These factors are brought together in the following formula to ascertain the total number of points (P). This gives the formula that P = M x I x T x C. M is the points awarded for match result. “Teams gain three points for a victory, one point for a draw and 0 points for a defeat. In a penalty shoot-out, the winning team gains two points and the losing team gains one point. I is for the Importance of match, which means that a game is determined by its definition, whether it is a friendly match or small competitions. Victory in such games only
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fetches one point. According to FIFA, a World Cup qualifying match or confederation-level qualifier will fetch the winner 2.5, while a Confederationlevel final competition or FIFA Confederations Cup has 3.0, just as the point accruing from a FIFA World Cup final is 4.0. In determining the point for a match, FIFA also looks at the strength of opposing team based on the “formula: 200 – the ranking position of the opponents. As an exception to this formula, the team at the top of the ranking is always assigned the value 200 and the teams ranked 150th and below are assigned a minimum value of
50. “The ranking position is taken from the opponents’ ranking in the most recently published FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking,” it said. Also in calculating matches between teams from different confederations, “the mean value of the confederations to which the two competing teams belong is used. “The strength of a confederation is calculated on the basis of the number of victories by that confederation at the last three FIFA World Cup competitions. Their values are as follows: UEFA/CONMEBOL (which include teams in the European and South American confederations) 1.00, CONCACAF (North America and the Caribbean) 0.88 and the AFC/CAF (Asian and African teams) 0.86, while Oceania Federation’s teams are rated based on 0.85 value.” FIFA says the basic logic of these calculations is simple: any team that does well in world football wins points, which enable it to climb the world ranking. “A team’s total number of points over a four year period is determined by adding the average number of points gained from matches during the past 12 months and the average number of points gained from matches older than 12 months. “The calculation is limited to inter-confederation matches at the FIFA World Cup final competition concerned, which means that matches between teams from the same confederation are excluded to avoid distortion of the results. “The number of won and drawn inter-confederation matches is determined for each confederation such that a win is awarded one point and a draw is awarded half a point. “The more years you take into account, the more past efforts count and the more stable the ranking becomes.” The system, according to FIFA, does not give a team additional point if they had previously recorded points from a major victory. It added, “the team will fall in the ranking as only results over the last 12 months count in full, those from the previous year count half, while games played up to three and four years earlier have even less significance. “Teams that play fewer than five matches in the preceding 12 months have their total number of points for that year divided by five.” Explaining why the ranking is not calculated exclusively on results of major competitions, the body said it was designed to allow small associations to make it into the ranking as they rarely qualify for the top events and “it is important that friendly matches are included in the ranking for nations hosting major championships since they do not normally take part in qualifiers.” Also explaining why the strength of the Confederations are included in the calculation, FIFA said it was designed like that because matches between teams from different confederations are relatively rare, adding, “the separate regions, therefore, retain the character of autonomous and relatively closed leagues that are only partially comparable with one another. And by including the strength of the confederation, teams are consequently ranked in context.” Supporting Nigeria’s latest position in the ranking, former Super Eagles Coach, Adegboye Onigbinde says one just has to look at some of the country’s recent games to understand why the team is still lowly rated in the world. Onigbinde, a FIFA/CAF Instructor, said, “FIFA always take into consideration the level of opposition which a team play and the places of the teams on ranking table. “For example, we are saying Nigeria qualified for the World Cup, but we forget to note that Ethiopia that we defeated were lowly rated on FIFA ranking. We played an international friendly game against another lowly rated Jordan who beat us 1-0. We only had a good draw match with a highly rated Italian team in London, which was not enough to push us on the ranking. “So many Nigerians are ignorant of these technicalities of the procedure of the world ranking. I will only advice that before we’ll condemn we should have our facts right.” Supporting Onigbinde’s verdict on the quality of
Cote d’Ivoire Nationa
matches Nigeria has been involved in, sports lawyer, Sabinus Ikewuaku, believes the Super Eagles is still ranked below Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Algeria because the country is still feeling the effects of missing the 2012 African Nations Cup. “Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana played seven matches each at the 2012 Nations Cup and in that competition, they lost only one game apiece. When you calculate the games they won before that Nations Cup and the ones we lost, you would begin to understand why they are still ahead of us. “Again, go and check the quality of friendly games we have been playing.
Blatter Aside the games against Mexico and Italy, all the other ones, including the matches against Egypt, Peru, Venezuela and Jordan are not against top 20 teams. “South Africa beat Spain the other day and they have lined up another game against Brazil. Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and even Algeria play against more highly rated teams. So, it is no surprise they are so high. “But if you asked me, I would say we have not done badly. A team that came from number 56 to 37 within two years must be congratulated.”
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62 SPORTS Monday, December 30, 2013
Man City is showing title credentials, says Pellegrini ANUEL Pellegrini M believes the manner of Manchester City’s recent Premier League victories have underlined their title-winning credentials. City went top of the Premier League after beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. The victory followed Boxing Day’s 2-1 win over Liverpool and last week’s 4-2 triumph at Fulham. “I think the team that wants to win the title must have different faces,” said City boss Pellegrini. “Normally we score lots of goals here (at Etihad Stadium) and we always attack but we knew 44 hours (after facing Liverpool) we were not able to do that.” The 2011-12 Premier League champions are now two points clear of Arsenal, who played seventh-placed Newcastle yesterday. City have registered four consecutive league wins for the first time under Pellegrini
and the Chilean manager stressed the importance of winning in different circumstances after averaging four goals a game at home prior to the Palace victory. And he underlined his side’s resilience after playing so soon after the Liverpool game on Boxing Day. “The most important thing of the last three games we won (is to win in different ways),” Pellegrini told BBC Sport. “Against Fulham we were winning 2-0 very easily and in five minutes they were drawing 2-2, so to have the reaction and the personality to win again was important playing away. “After losing 1-0 to Liverpool the best team in the Premier League at that moment - we then scored two goals. And on Saturday we had the patience and the maturity as a team to win in the way we had to.” Edin Dzeko’s 50th Manchester City goal sealed a first 1-0 home victory this season and also preserved City’s 100 per cent league record at
Etihad Stadium. Pellegini’s side were also thankful to Joe Hart, who made several good saves to deny Palace despite suffering a badly cut eye in the first half after a collision with Cameron Jerome. The City boss suggested Hart should be fit enough to play against Swansea on New Year’s Day, saying: “He has a cut below his eye, but it’s not a serious problem and I think he played very well again. “I think he’s doing better now than the first part of the season that’s why I was absolutely sure that the rest would be very useful for him.” Pellegrini, who made six changes to the side that beat Liverpool, added: “We never thought it was going to be easy, the way that Crystal Palace play. “I also know that it would be impossible for the team to recover in 44 hours and after a hard game against Liverpool.” Palace manager Tony Pulis was pleased with the effort of his side despite losing for a fourth successive game. “It was a second game on the road,” he started. “Aston Villa was a draining game and then to come to what looks as though will be the champions, if anything, and put in a performance like that, was fantastic.
Crystal Palace’s Australian midfielder, Mile Jedinak (second left) vies with Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder, Vincent Kompany (centre) and Manchester City’s Spanish midfielder, Javi Garcia (right) during the English Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, at the weekend.
Chelsea need new striker, Hasselbaink charges Mourinho Chelsea forward, FsaysORMER Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Blues boss, Jose
Martinez dismisses Baines’ exit OBERTO Martinez can ously. R “guarantee” that left-back “Leighton is vital for us in the Leighton Baines will not be second half of the season.
leaving Everton during the January transfer window. Baines, who has missed Everton’s last six games due to a toe injury, was the subject of several failed bids by Manchester United during the summer. Speculation has suggested that former Everton boss David Moyes will make a fresh attempt to take the 29-yearold to Old Trafford when the window reopens. However, Martinez has no intention of letting Baines leave Goodison Park and insists the England international is ‘vital’ for the second half of the season. “In football you don’t work long term, you go window to window and I can guarantee that Leighton will be here at the end of the season,” said Martinez. “That is 100 per cent. “That is how you work from window to window - to have a stronger squad than previ-
Bryan Oviedo has been terrific, but we need Leighton and Bryan fit for us, if we are going to fight for our football dream.” One player who could be on his way out of Everton in January, though, is Croatia international striker, Nikica Jelavic, who has been the subject of enquiries from two clubs. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s game against Southampton, Martinez told evertontv, “we’ve had a couple of enquiries from two different clubs for one of our players. “Nikica Jelavic is someone, who we have made it very clear to - we’ve had a conversation and he has the World Cup around the corner. “He needs to be playing minutes and we understand that. We’ll always try to give it a good assessment of the situation but that’s not affecting anyone at the club.
Mourinho must sign a new striker in the January transfer window. Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o have scored only five Premier League goals between them this season. And Hasselbaink, who scored 69 goals for the Blues, told BBC Sport that a new front man is a “key priority”. “Jose Mourinho won’t publicly say it but we all know he is looking for another striker,” added the Dutchman. “In the summer he was looking for a striker and could not find the right one. “He has always had a very dominant person at the front at every club he has been at who used to take a lot
of pressure off the team.” Hasselbaink, 41, was a £15m club-record signing for Chelsea in 2000 from Atletico Madrid and his assessment of the current crop of strikers - who have contributed just five of their side’s 33 Premier League goals this season - is downbeat. “Yes they signed Samuel Eto’o [in the summer], but with all due respect to Eto’o he has been an absolutely magnificent footballer but he is not getting any better,” added Eto’o, who appeared on BBC Sport’s Football Focus on Saturday. “He is on his last [legs], he is getting older and he cannot play game in, game out. “Yes he can come off the bench, but he cannot lead the line.
“Torres started the season well and we all thought he was getting it back but he is not very consistent and that has been his problem at Chelsea.” In contrast title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have been scoring freely - helped by the prolific form of Sergio Aguero and
Luis Suarez. And it is this type of player Hasselbaink - who is now manager at Belgian side Royal Antwerp - believes Chelsea must sign. “They have been dominating games but they are not scoring a lot of goals and there is the problem,” he said.
Welbeck can get better, Moyes insists ANCHESTER United M Manager, David Moyes wants striker, Danny Welbeck to work on his finishing - despite watching him score the winner at Norwich City. Welbeck, 23, came on as a half-time substitute before scoring his fourth goal in
Manchester United’s English striker, Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League match against Norwich City at Carrow Road stadium in Norwich, eastern England, at the weekend. PHOTOS: AFP
five games to secure a sixth straight win for the Red Devils. “If you look at Danny now, he is a big part of Manchester United,” said Moyes. “His performance changed the game. He’s a really good player. What he needs to become now is a really good finisher.” Despite a fortunate doubledeflection creating Welbeck’s chance just before the hour mark, the England international still had to keep a cool head. But he confidently rounded goalkeeper John Ruddy to slot home. “We would have started him, but he has played a lot of games,” said Moyes of his decision to leave Welbeck out of his starting line-up. “We are trying to make sure that we give the squad the right opportunities to play and make sure we give them chances to show what they can do. “Danny has been playing very well and came on to make the difference.”
Monday, December 30, 2013 SPORT 63
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Anelka faces lengthy ban over controversial gesture ICOLAS Anelka faces a N potential minimum fivematch ban for his controversial quenelle gesture, made during West Bromwich Albion’s 3-3 draw, with West Ham on Saturday and which has subsequently been described as “disgusting” by France’s Minister for Sport, Valérie Fourneyron. The striker has been at the centre of a storm since he was spotted doing the quenelle, described by some as a “reverse Nazi salute,” while celebrating the first of his two goals for West Brom at Upton Park. The Football Association has confirmed it is investigating the matter alongside Kick It Out and it is possible that under anti-discriminatory rules introduced by the governing body in May, Anelka could be banned for five matches. That sanction could be extended, however, depending on “aggravating” factors and there remains the possibility of UEFA getting involved and handing Anelka a lengthy ban itself under Article 14 of their own disciplinary regulations. Those state that “any person who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons … on the grounds of skin colour, race, religion or ethnic origin, incurs a suspension lasting at least 10 matches.” That, however, would only kick in should Anelka join a club playing in UEFA compe-
titions. Anelka has confirmed that by placing his left arm across his chest while keeping his right arm pointed downwards, he was indeed recreating the quenelle, but insisted on Twitter that it was a “spe-
world champiShasEVEN-TIME on Michael Schumacher suffered a head injury
West Bromwich Albion’s French striker, Nicolas Anelka gestures as he celebrates scoring their second goal during the English Premier League match against West Ham United at The Boleyn Ground, Upton Park in east London at the weekend. PHOTO: AFP
However, Mertesacker, who played with Ozil at Werder Bremen, believes that total tranquility within the squad is not healthy in the development of the team. He told Bild: “It can’t just be
all happiness, peace and pancakes. If it is then you won’t develop as a team. “The good thing is that Mesut and I know each other well from our time at (Werder) Bremen. We can be honest with each other.” The Gunners host Cardiff City on New Year’s Day.
Sharapova glad to be back MARIA Sharapova admits Sandshe is glad to be back fit healthy following her injury-plagued 2013 season. The Russian hasn’t played a competitive match since damaging her shoulder at the U.S Open, the latest in a long line of problems which included a hip injury that saw her miss a number of tournaments during the summer. However, after a good rest, she is now back in full training and has set her sights on winning a second Australian Open crown in Melbourne in January. The 26-year-old has admitted in the past she has found herself growing tired of the game but after such a frustrating last 12 months, she is now looking forward to returning to the court. “Certainly when you’re doing it for so many years of your life there are moments where you felt like you need a pick-me-up,” she said. “I didn’t play for a few months, and that was the reason for me to get back out there. “I know when I’m healthy
while standing in the European elections for an anti-Zionist party. The 47-year-old has insisted that the gesture is meant as an anti-establishment protest and is not directed specifically at the Jewish community, but it has been described as “the sodomisation of victims of the Holocaust” by Alain Jakubowicz, the president of the French league against racism and antisemitism. Dieudonné has reportedly started legal proceedings against Jakubowicz for libel. France’s Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, is now considering whether to ban all public appearances by Dieudonné, who has been fined a number of times for hate speech, with the contro-
versy surrounding Anelka’s celebration hardly likely to help the so-called comedian’s cause. “Anelka’s gesture is a shocking, disgusting provocation,” said Fourneyron. “There is no place for antisemitism and incitement to hatred on the football pitch.” Anelka, who converted to Islam in 2004, has received the support of his club, with the West Brom Caretaker Manager, Keith Downing, describing the controversy surrounding his celebration as “rubbish” in the aftermath of Saturday’s fixture. “I’m aware of it but it is dedicated to a French comedian he (Anelka) knows well,” said Downing. The quenelle outrage overshadowed an excellent dis-
play by Anelka at the weekend, when the 34-year-old scored his first goals for West Brom since joining the club on a free transfer in the summer. A lengthy-ban could ultimately signal the end of what has been a consistently controversial career, which included his expulsion from the 2010 France World Cup squad in South Africa for verbally attacking the then head coach Raymond Domenech. Anelka is not the first footballer, who has been photographed doing the quenelle, with Manchester City’s Samir Nasri and Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho having also performed the gesture alongside Dieudonné. Sakho later insisted that he did not know what it meant. “I was tricked,” said the defender.
Schumacher injured in skiing accident
Mertesacker defuses Ozil row ER Mertesacker has said porters in the 6-3 defeat to P that the Arsenal squad Manchester City a fortnight cannot just be “peace and ago. pancakes” when asked about his recent on-the-field row with teammate, Mesut Ozil. The Germany defender appeared to criticise his compatriot for failing to applaude the travelling sup-
cial dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonné.” Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, however, is well known in France for maintaining antisemitic views and for having come up with the quenelle, which he first used in 2009
Sharapova how I can play and what I’m capable of doing. I needed to
get healthy. So that was the motivation on its own.”
while skiing in Meribel, France. The German, 44, who retired from F1 for a second time in 2012, was taken by helicopter to hospital in Moutiers before being moved to Grenoble. Christophe GernignonLecomte, director of the Meribel resort, told Radio Monte Carlo Sport, “he was shocked, a little shaken but conscious. “It may be a head injury but it is not very serious.” He added, “he was wearing a
helmet and banged (his head) against a rock.” Schumacher was skiing with his 14-year-old son and others in an off-piste area between two marked runs above Meribel when he fell yesterday. He was attended to by two ski patrollers, who requested helicopter evacuation to the nearby valley town of Moutiers, before he was subsequently moved to a bigger facility at Grenoble. His spokeswomen, Sabine Kehm said in a statement, “we ask for understanding that we cannot give out continuous information about
his health. “He was wearing a helmet and was not alone. No one else was involved in the fall.” Schumacher won seven world championships and secured 91 race victories during a 19-year career in Formula 1. He won two titles with Benetton, in 1994 and 1995, before switching to Ferrari in 1996 and going on to win five straight titles from 2000. The German retired in 2006, but returned in 2010 with Mercedes. After three seasons, which yielded just one podium, he quit the sport at the end of 2012.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Waheed Olawole “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember you can achieve”- Mary Kay Ash HE above saying ought to ignite fire of motiT vation in us as youths. Most of us who are youths are fond of heaping blames on our leaders, forgetting the fact that if we play our roles well and discharge our duties effectively, we will overshadow the so-called elders in various leadership positions in the project of nationbuilding. Youths, by any definition, are the most active exuberant citizens who are always within the age range of 18 and 40. Youths in any society constitute the highest percentage of the population and a force to reckon with in the process and stages of development. Their presence in any given economy gives hope that such country would get it right if the potentials of youths were properly and effectively harnessed. Youths are the hope of underdeveloped, developing and developed states of the world. There is no territory in the world with population without a category of youths forming a significant aspect of it. The only area of sharp contrast between the youths in developed countries and those of states like Nigeria is that policies are favourably formulated and institutions well designed to create an enabling environment for them to play significant roles in the project of nation-building in the so-called developed states. Nation-building, from the word itself, means all efforts or projects embarked upon by all citizens to make their country worthwhile, prosperous, pleasant, united, peaceful and buoyant to the advantage of all. We should not be deceived that building a nation is limited only to the establishment of socio-cultural, political and economic structures. It is true that developed states of the world stand on these structures. Certain elements such as co-operation, unity and friendliness, tolerance among others must be entrenched and developed before other structures highlighted above can work. Nation-building, unlike literal building, never reaches a terminal stage. It is a continuous project which every new generation will build upon and ensure its survival for the incoming generations. Youths, as noted above, are greater in size than other nationals, so also their challenges of participating effectively and meaningfully in nation-building are numerous and complex. The first and most popular obstacle in the way of Nigerian youths is the inability of the sittight leaders to create equal and enabling opportunities for all qualified youths, particularly in the business of politics. Over the years, those who have been holding the reins of power have imbibed the culture of recycling themselves. They design the system in such a way that the children of average Nigerians, with all qualifications, talents and potentials, are prevented from occupying political offices. They create a system whereby children or relatives replace them when they quit either as a result of old age or through death even if such relatives are mediocre. Since independence, it is not surprising that same names keep echoing in government. In other words, nepotism in government circles frustrates and prevents the teeming Nigerian youths who are capable of building a virile Nigeria. In the history of western nations like United States of America (USA), virtually all youths have always had relatively equal opportunities to participate in developing their nations. In the formative years of U.S, Britain was the only first and only industrialised country in the world. She hid the secrets of Industrial Revolution from the rest so that she could have an edge in the global market. A young American, Samuel Slater, the son of a commoner residing in England at the time, learnt and memorised these secrets and went back home to divulge them for his country. This was a time America was far behind Britain. By early 19th century, the brave and patriotic effort of young Slater narrowed the gap between England and
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Youths and challenges of nation-building (1)
America. This bravery and patriotism did not go unnoticed. He was appreciated and compensated. This compensation from the government encouraged and motivated other youths in other spheres of life to take project of nationbuilding as a collective responsibility. The situation is almost the other way round, and has been largely responsible for the brain drain in our country. An average youth who have qualities and potentials to develop the country seek an escape route to Europe or America for greener pastures. This is happening because the haves in government are not implementing effective policies that can favour the haves-not; the haves shield the government from the latter. This scenario, no doubt, is a big challenge to the youths, particularly to those who are willing. The instability of the educational system, coupled with the unfavourable and irregular policies of both the federal and state governments, has posed a serious challenge to youths in their
bid and willingness to participate actively in the nation-building project. All over the world, in fact, from the time immemorial, the importance of education in building a society has never been underestimated. Despite the fact that the educational system was not as wide as net and valuable before 20th century, the American patriots that sacrificed all manner of things were raised and bred through education. The likes of George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed good and uninterrupted educational system which prepared them to resist the British hegemony in the 18th century. This factor of good educational system, coupled with other related factors, finally became the tool the Americans used to free America and put her on the path of greatness. Today, the USA is hardly second to none in terms of greatness and development. From the above analysis, the importance or value of education in nation building is not in doubt. The system of education has not been
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favourable to our own youths. Strike has become a prominent feature of the system. Today, it is an illusion for a university undergraduate to say with certainty at the point of admission that after a four-year programme he would be a graduate. Incessant strikes do not only prolong the period of any course, it causes loss of concentration on the part of students. Nigerian undergraduates, unlike their counterparts in developed countries, hardly find it easy to contribute towards nation-building project. The system, it would appear, has been designed in a way that will only make it possible for the children of the rich to have access to the university education. Talk of school fees. These have skyrocketed resulting in more children of commoners stopping at secondary level. The more school fees scare youths from having access to the university education, the fewer qualitative youths with the right tools to build Nigeria. The dichotomy between the rich and poor reflects more in our educational system. The rich and influential people hardly bother if the public schools are on strike or not because their children attend schools overseas and if for any reason it has to be in Nigeria, it will be private universities where fees are unaffordable for commoners. Most of the educated elite that participated in the fight for the country’s independence joined the struggle in their youths. The likes of Hebert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo enjoyed the educational system in foreign lands which enabled them to fight a successful battle for independence back home. It is a big challenge now that the system is not effective again to encourage youths to prepare the majority for a similar big project. The brain-drain syndrome is not helping the situation at all. Though many combined factors led to this which cannot make one condemn or blame outrightly a crowd of youths living or striving to leave the country in droves. More than 70 per cent of Nigerians relocating from the country in search of greener pasture are youths. This development does not augur well for a country that is struggling to achieve greatness. We need to learn from the history of the developed countries. There were times in America that lives and living were unbearable, particularly during the time harsh policies were coming from the British hegemony. The people, out of love and patriotism, stayed back, endured the situation and finally succeeded in salvaging their country. This act of patriotism endures till this day and is largely responsible for the greatness America and Americans are enjoying today. The Nigerian youths must learn and endure to sacrifice for Nigeria. Even if you win what is greener than Green Card through visa lottery, it is obvious that it cannot change the colour of your skin. God that created you in Nigeria did so for a purpose. So, everyone has one role or the other to play in building this country and those roles will hardly be played if one is far away from his country. It is a proof of greatness and development that America is building her population through visa lottery. America has achieved virtually everything but still needs larger population to complement her achievements and this is the reason behind the visa lottery. The ideas, potentials, knowledge and experiences we ought to channel towards achieving greatness for our country are tactically and strategically attracted away in the name of visa lottery. Part of the signs of nation-building is for youths to be gainfully employed right in their own countries. This will enable them to contribute at least by paying all forms of tax. Though there is a challenge that the economy is not favourable, it is surmountable if we have the orientation of staying together to solve the problem. I have a strong conviction that the attitudes of most youths nowadays are not being geared towards promoting the ideals of nation-building. To be continued. Olawole is a historian and public affairs analyst, (08033192133, email@example.com)
Published on Jan 30, 2014