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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Vol. 30, No. 12,787

www.ngrguardiannews.com

N150

Breakthrough likely soon over crude oil search in North East From Mathias Okwe, (Assistant Business Editor, Abuja) IGERIA is set to record a N breakthrough in its search for oil mineral resources in the Lake Chad Basin of the North East region of the country. The administration of Presi-

• Minister declares zone is most beneficiary of govt’s projects • Says Yobe alone has over 80 dent Goodluck Jonathan has in the last two years invested N26 billion in this effort. The Minister of State, Finance, Yerima Lawal Ngama,

disclosed this in an interview with reporters in Abuja while speaking on the Federal Government’s projects in the zone, particularly in Yobe

and Borno states in the wake of the devastation visited on the area by Boko Haram insurgents. He said that the exploration,

which had passed the sixth phase out of 12 phases, indicated a high probability of a rich mineral deposit in the area. He noted that the commencement of oil production in the zone would be the best panacea to the insur-

gency in the zone. The minister who is from Yobe, one of the crisis-ridden states in the zone said that contrary to insinuations in certain quarters, the N2 billion Federal Government’s budget item for intervention CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Fare Thee WellYear 2013!

PDP cautions members against attacks on govs From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja ROM the People’s DemoFdaycratic Party (PDP) yestercame a warning that its members should not make statements against state governors within the party without proper authorisation.

In a statement in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the party condemned a statement made against Ebonyi State Governor Martins Elechi for allegedly opposing the proposed national conference. Elechi, according to media

reports last week, described the national conference as “a big joke, waste of time, and a distraction to Goodluck Jonathan.” The media reports were later considered as misrepresentations of Elechi’s position. The PDP through the statement further made it clear

APC wins Yobe council poll - Page 7

that it never authorised anybody to react to the reported comments of the governor. The statement as signed by Metuh, was in direct response to public comments against the alleged remark by Elechi by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin

Okupe and the PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Abubakar Jalo, separately. Metuh’s statement reads: “The attention of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party has been drawn to reports in the media wherein the PDP was

Second suicide bomber hits Russia, kills 14 - Page 9

mentioned to have commented on an earlier report credited to Governor Martins Elechi of Ebonyi State on the proposed National Conference. “We wish to clarify unequivocally that the National Working Committee of the PDP never in any manner whatsoever made or authorised any comment on the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


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2 Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PDP cautions against attacks on members CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 said report. The PDP as a wellorganised democratic insti-

tution has a duly established channel of external commu-

nication, which is carried out with the utmost sense of responsibility after due clarifications on issues. “It is therefore wrong and completely unacceptable for anybody to present statements made by individuals who are not members of the National Working Committee of the PDP on the said report as the official position of the party; more so when such statements were made without due clarifications from the governor.” It continued: “For the avoidance of doubt, the entire National Working Committee restates total commitment and respect to all our elected officials, especially PDP governors who remain strong

pillars of the party. “We restate our respect for Governor Elechi who is one of the best governors in the country and one of the leading lights behind the stability and growth of not only the PDP as a party but the institution of democracy in Nigeria generally. “Governor Elechi as a seasoned democrat and statesman played key roles in the creation of Ebonyi State and displayed famed political sagacity and grassroots appeal as the PDP South East Coordinator in the 2011 general elections. “It is therefore unacceptable to the National Working Committee for any person

under any guise whatsoever to make comments that in any way ridicule or seek to ridicule his image and portray him in bad light. “With the clarifications made by Governor Elechi on his remarks on the National Conference, it is clear to all that the comments on the statement earlier credited to the governor were uncalled for as he and the National Working Committee are indeed on the same page in supporting the proposed National Conference. “The National Working Committee therefore cautions all aides of elected officers at all levels to desist from rushing to make unneces-

sary and unprovoked statements that tend to cast aspersions on our elected officials, especially state governors who hold the sacred mandate of the people, particularly when there can be clarifications through direct contact with their principals. “All such aides must henceforth guard their actions and utterances and ensure that they do not in anyway undermine the unity and stability of the party. “In the same vein, all unathorised persons must also desist from making statements in manners that suggest such to be the official position of the National Working Committee on party issues,” the statement added.

Minister declares zone is most beneficiary of govt’s projects CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 in Yobe and Borno states to remedy the devastation by the insurgents in the area did not represent the total sum for the initiative but just a take-off grant pending the proper constitution of a committee to assess the extent of damage. In fact, he revealed that the Federal Government’s intervention in the zone was a fiveyear plan and not just a 2014 scheme. He said that he would shed more light on the oil mineral prospecting activities in the zone and otherFederal Government’s interventions in the North East zone and particularly Yobe which he said had attracted over 80 federal projects . The minister said : “ The Government of President Goodluck Jonathan has done what nobody in the history of Nigeria has done, that is the exploration of oil and gas in the zone. We know how much is being provided, before it was just talk and talk. But this government came, first year, it made provision of N16 billion to explore oil in Lake Chad and then it was followed by another N10 billion . When you are looking for oil, there are 12 phases. Right now, we are in phase six, ….the scanning has been done , all the information has been interpreted , … Go to NAPIMS, it is handling the Lake Chad Basin …, when you come to Gombe, you have ELF, you have Shell and you have Chevron, to explore oil and gas that can completely change the economy of the region . And this government has really invested much in this venture…” Still on projects, the minister said : “ This is important because before now, many people have been insinuating that the North East has been neglected in terms of projects, which as far as I am concerned is not true. Some of the biggest projects in the country today are located in the North East. Today, if you talk in terms of road network, the most expensive road in the country is the East-West Road because of the number of bridges and the terrain. The second most expensive road is the KanoMaiduguri Expressway, and that is in the North East and

government has already invested in a 330KVA line to Maiduguri from Gombe. This will ensure that the entire zone has high grid electricity supply . And right now another 132KVA line is to link Damaturu to the northern part of Yobe. This will ensure that we have constant electricity supply. This is a Federal Government’s project . The 330 KVA line has been finished. The sub-station was almost finished before all this insurgency began. Apart from that, government is doing enough in terms of other road networks. We have other several roads in all the states of the North East region. There is no state in the North East that does not have serious Federal Government’s presence or engage in the construction of at least two major roads now. And then we have the Kashimbilla Dam, we have the Daushi Sarkin Dam which is also being constructed not to talk of Mambilla . Mambilla will be one of the biggest projects in Nigeria . “ This is the only government since independence that has provided a roof over the almajiris. During our time, we sat on bare floor with dirty clothes playing with sand. But today they have uniforms and they are being treated like normal school children. And this is a very big contribution and we are very grateful to President Goodluck Jonathan for introducing the almajiri school. In Yobe alone we have six almajiri schools. Again, just recently we signed a $97 million loan with the Islamic Development Bank for states in the zone that want to establish more almajiri schools. “ On the Federal Government’s initiative in the zone, Ngawa said: “ The President has an initiative for the North East particularly states under emergency rule that have been devastated by the activities of Boko Haram. You know that the insurgency has caused destruction of schools, offices and people’s ways of life. Many people have fled those places and government has been investing a lot and doing a lot to the North East, that nobody can contradict. “ While government is working on the peace initiatives it has to look at the root causes

In fact, he revealed that the Federal Government’s intervention in the zone was a five-year plan and not just a 2014 scheme. This is the only government since independence that has provided a roof over the almajiris. During our time, we sat on bare floor with dirty clothes playing with sand. But today they have uniforms and they are being treated like normal school children. of what is happening. Principally those behind these Boko Haram youths, youths that find themselves in a hopeless situation . And if we don’t have hopeless youths they may find it difficult to recruit. The fact that they found a fertile ground in hopeless youths, that makes it easier for them to recruit people. And therefore, while peace is being restored government also has to work to alleviate the economic condition of the people in the North East especially the youth, the women and those people who you can say are commoners: people involved in one craft or another to try to ensure that they have a decent living . They can earn a decent income and this will help prevent such kind of unfortunate situation. “ While government is working on this , the President and his team thought it necessary to come up with a kind of intervention . The President visited both Borno and Yobe early this year and in the discussion he had with the people of Borno and Yobe everybody talked about massive intervention in the unfortunate situation these two states find themselves, in particular Yobe . Because if you look at all the development indices you find that the states are completely at the base and therefore government has to come to their aid not only to restore the schools that have been destroyed but they must try to make sure that they have a cushion life and that’s why the Federal Government thought of the initiative in those states. We are putting a committee in place. In fact, I wrote to the Head of Service to find somebody who is very competent, somebody who has experience in this kind of intervention to come and serve as the secretary of that initiative. I am yet to receive a

response. However, we have a small committee and contact group, we are meeting with all the multilateral agencies and other development partners. Of course, they too have interest in assisting towards bringing economic prosperity to these areas. “ This is a programme that is being conceived over time. Nobody has said that this is a 2014 programme. In fact, the programme is just taking off in 2014. The committee will be put in place in earnest in 2014 when the Head of Service has nominated a secretary. Nobody said all the Federal Government is doing in the North East is N2 billion. That’s wrong. Nobody said that. You have seen a budget line and you saw N2 billion for North East intervention, if you don’t understand come and ask us in the Federal Ministry of Finance and we would tell you what it is and give you the details and the arrangement. Right now, many parts of Adamawa Borno and Yobe, you can’t go. So how can you determine how much is required to intervene? Some local governments in Yobe, you can’t go. Is it even the right time to even go and assess? Of course we know a lot has been achieved but we hope that within this year, we can get to a point where everything will be normalised and people will go to assess the extent of damage and what is needed in terms of intervention in education, intervention in health care, intervention in water supply and all those things . “ The N2 billion in question is just one item that we think we can do even at this initial stage before we put the entire intervention proper in place which we would now present to the President and say this has been done and this is what is needed and we can do it.”


Tuesday, December 31, 2013 | 3

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News Ethnic groups want planned dialogue to tackle nation’s woes By Tunde Akinola and Ijeoma Opara GROUP of ethnic nationaliA ties under the aegis of Movement for New Nigeria (MNN) has faulted the 1914 amalgamation, saying that planned national dialogue should serve as a panacea to the ills of the North, South merger. The MNN comprises Lower Niger Congress, Federation of O’dua People, Middle belt Congress and Oporoza House. Addressing journalists at Freedom Park, Lagos yesterday, MNN coordinator, Dr. Fred Agbeyegbe said the constitutional arrangement imposed on the peoples of Nigeria first by Lugard in 1914 and currently by the Gen

Abdusalami Abubakar led regime remains the source of most of the misery of the people. He said the planned national conference is to distill a consent-based constitutional arrangement that will be the basis of the country’s association in a union. According to  Agbeyegbe, Nigeria fell into the pit of retrogression when it lost its federalism in 1966 upon the sacking of the five federating constitutions that defined the country’s union. MNN brought forward proposals as to how the nation could still be held together and the possibilities of how the people could hold on if

there is a break up without resulting in chaos.  Agbeyegbe said: “President Goodluck Jonathan has given us an opportunity which is the only way we can go about either keeping Nigeria as a country, the ethnic nationalities have to agree on the rules of co-existence  not imposed by other people and if they cannot agree, they may decide to peacefully go their separate ways. “What we have now is a situation when those elected to serve us now turn around to say that they are our masters. Do we want it to continue this way or we want it to go back to where it was when we got our independence, that every where will have their right to

continue their own autonomy over their resources and contribute to the centre to protect all of us against foreigners instead they turned around and enslaved us?”, he said. He added that the legal implication is that in a de facto situation, someone is in control but he is not in control because someone gives him authority to be in control but by virtue of acquiescence of the people, he is controlling, which means that it is either the people are afraid to talk, has left it all to God or are ignorant.  He further stressed: “In Nigeria, we have a constitution that says, who takes over the reign of government with-

Residents of Oko-Oba, Lagos, protesting against outage which has persisted in the area for months

out going through the processes set out in this constitution, has committed treason, and so many people who committed treason have become presidents, they succeeded because people did not complain and then they started ruling the way they like. We stand as a country defectively on the map, as a people who have had a terrible experience of being brought together without being consulted and as a people who might not continue in that relationship but have a new realisation that they have been cheated over time and they now want to exercise their sovereign right that is to retrieve the sovereignty that is God given.”

PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

PDP, Edo disagree over debt profile, sacked teachers, others From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City GAIN, the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state government are back to the trenches as they yesterday disagreed over the debt profile of the state, the number of teachers recently sacked by the government and status of Daniel Oikhena who few months ago hid in the tyre compartment of an Arik Air plane to Lagos. Speaking to journalists in Benin City, the PDP’s State Chairman, Dan Orbih alleged that Governor Adams Oshiomhole has failed to keep to the promises he made to the people of the

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state, including the one made to Oikhena and her mother. “Government did not fulfill the promise made to the family. People, who wanted to help them also stopped because they assumed they were being looked after by government, when it is not true. We also gathered that the mother is now terribly sick. He stated that the state government had repeatedly denied that the state was not indebted but surprisingly set aside N20 billion in the 2014 budget for debt servicing. He, therefore, challenged the state government to “as a matter of urgency declare the debt profile of Edo State so

that the citizens will know what they are in for.” Orbih also described as “tissues of lies” the sack of 836 teachers, as he said, “the state government is playing politics with the figure as not less than 3000 teachers were relieved of their jobs without plans to recruit new ones and at a time when the schools are seriously under-staffed. But in his reaction, Special Adviser (Media) to Oshiomhole, Kassim Afegbua said the government has never denied that it was owing, adding “There is no government all over the world that is self- sustaining without having to recourse to borrowing to meet up its

statutory obligation. What is bad in borrowing is borrowing without using it to do that which the borrowed fund is meant for. Since this government came on stream five years ago, we have to pay part of the inherited debt from the PDP government when they presided over the collective patrimony of Edo State. We took a bond specifically meant for the Benin water storm project which is still on-going. As we speak, Edo State debt stands between N11 and N12 billion because on a monthly basis, there is certain amount of money taken from our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to service that debt. We thought the PDP will be man enough to raise

queries about PDP states, Bayelsa State has eight local governments with a debt profile of N65 billion, they should go the Debt Management Office to check their records.” On Oikhena, he said the boy like several others on scholarship is in the boarding house so “how will you say he has been abandoned?” On teachers’ sack, Afegbua said: “We said we sacked 836, we didn’t take this decision by waking up in the morning after nightmare, we took this decision as the outcome of the holistic evaluation we did in respect of teachers’ recruitment, population, competence and qualification.”

Jonathan, Amosun, Aregbesola mourn Soyinka’s daughter   From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola yesterday commiserated with Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on the death of his daughter, Dr Iyetade Soyinka, who died at the age of 48. The President’s condolence message was contained in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati in Abuja yesterday. Noting that Iyetade’s untimely death at such a young age must be quite painful for Prof. Soyinka and his family, Jonathan prayed that God Almighty will comfort Prof. Soyinka and all others who mourn his late daughter. He urged them to take solace in the belief that Iyetade has gone away from all earthly troubles to rest for eternity in God’s bosom. In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Funmi Wakama, Amosun described the death of Iyetade as “most unfortunate and regrettable.” “It is most unfortunate that the cold hands of death has snatched away Dr. Iyetade Soyinka at the prime of her life, when her knowledge and expertise would have been invaluable to her immediate family and the society at large. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Prof. Wole Soyinka and his family at this trying period, although we know that only God can comfort him”, the governor said. Amosun, who also extended his heartfelt condolences to the mother, children and other family members of the deceased, prayed to almighty God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Aregbesola said it was a sad occurrence for the deceased to have left at her prime when she was most needed by his immediate and extended family as well as his state and country. A statement by Aregbesola’ Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon, who said there is nothing as painful for parents to lose their child, asked that the Nobel Laureate take the unfortunate incident as an act of God. “The news of Iyetade’s death came to me as shocking as it is sad. While it pains when one loses parent; it is even more painful for parents to watch their child die before their very eyes. “Iyede’s death conveys sadness to her parents, families, friends and well-wishers. We indeed lost an energetic, promising young woman in her prime. “On behalf of my family, government and people of Osun, I send our heart-felt condolences to the immediate and extended families of the deceased.


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NEWS Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Emohua Local Council Chairman, Allen Mma (left); member Representing Emohua, Ikwerre Federal Constituency, Andrew Uchendu; Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi; President General Ogbakor Ikwerre WorldWide, Prof. Augustin Ahiazu and Chief Sampson Agbaru during the 199th Convention of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organization World-Wide at Ahia Ogbakiri in Emohua Local Council at the weekend. 

FCT minister threatens to sack lazy workers From Terhemba Daka, Abuja HE Federal Capital TerritoT ry (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed, has threatened to sack any mandate secretary or director who fails to carry out his responsibilities. The minister read the riot act during an emergency meeting with the FCT Minister of State, Olajumoke Akinjide, FCT Permanent Secretary, Engr. John O. Chukwu (FNSE), some Mandate Secretaries, Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, (AMMC) and some directors

whose duties have direct bearing with the day to day running of the FCT Administration. The minister thus, gave a week ultimatum to enable improvement in the areas of environmental sanitation particularly garbage collection, street hawking, begging and commercial sex workers as well as enforcement of total ban on commercial motorcycles (okada) in designated areas. Mohammed warned that any political appointee or public servant who is not

prepared to sit-up should be prepared to be shown the way out. He lamented a situation where Ad-Hoc Committees are set up to handle jobs that are statutory in nature and attributed this to lackadaisical, nonchalant attitude and even sabotage by some workers of the administration. Mohammed warned that no worker either political appointee or public servant is indispensable as his administration would soon embark on re-assessment and re-adjustment, which is not

intended to cause pain but to make the system work more effectively. Senator Mohammed further warned that FCT Administration would not accept a situation where some secretaries and directors attempt to create loyalty and dynasty in the system rather than carrying all workers along. Akinjide reiterated that a solution must be found to these ugly problems. Speaking at the meeting, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Chukwu, also warned that the riot act sig-

nals that it is no more business as usual. Chukwu advised the workers to wake up to their responsibilities, as Abuja City management must be done effectively in tune with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. Meanwhile, the Minister has directed the Permanent Secretary to continue with the meeting to further look into all grey areas and come up with workable solutions immediately. Mohammed also directed that where necessary,

changes should be made to ensure efficiency and service delivery. Others in the meeting include Coordinator, AMMC, Secretaries of Social Development Secretariat; as well as Directors of Establishment and Training; Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Directorate of Road Traffic Services.

Contractors get ultimatum to complete Ekiti projects From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti

Al Mustapha faults Obasanjo’s comment in letter to Jonathan From Abba Anwar (Kano) ORMER Chief Security OfFHead ficer (CSO) to the late of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza alMustapha has faulted the comments of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in his letter to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan whereby he alluded to the fact that his case was manipulated to free him at the Supreme Court. Al-Mustapha said after paying special visit to the Emir

of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and some prominent Islamic clerics in the state that the former president’s comment had sought to ridicule Nigeria’s judiciary. In a brief speech at the palace of Emir Bayero, who told AlMustapha to forgive and forget all those that had hands in his travails for many years, requested that Islam is such a religion that encourages forgiveness at all times. He commended the judges that quashed the former judgment against him, de-

scribing them as competent legal luminaries and affirmed that the judgment speaks for itself. Al Mustapha maintained, “I found the allegation most laughable. Unfortunately, I repeat, it is someone’s imagination. But I have responded and I stand by that response.” On whether President Jonathan was using him in preparation for 2015, Al-

Mustapha denied that he is being used by the Presidency in pursuance of any agenda. He revealed that he has been involved in reconciling many people in the country that were hitherto not together from different sections, from Kaduna to Niger Delta and across many divides in the country. Al-Mustapha insisted that

he remained a Major in the Nigerian Army, stating that, “it is the tradition of the military that when a case is concluded by the court of law and if that individual is not indicted, the military considers such a person still their member. This is because of the enormous respect the military as an institution has for the laws of the country.”

Senator charges Amosun on federal projects By Tunde Akinola SENATOR representing A Ogun West senatorial district, Akin Odunsi, has urged Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State to ensure that political interests do not undermine the execution of federal projects in the state. Addressing journalists in Lagos yesterday, Odunsi asked Governor Amosun to wade into the issue surrounding the Ilo-Ifako bridge project in

Ado-Odo Otta Local Council. He disclosed that the IloIfako bridge was his constituency project, adding that it was backed by an Act of the National Assembly and  signed into law by the President. He added that the council should not pose a hindrance to the establishment of federal presence in the senatorial district, saying the council should look into other areas of need in the constituency

instead of duplicating efforts. According to him: “They said I did not inform the local government that I was embarking on the construction of that bridge as a constituency project. It has also been said that the state government listed the same project as part of its contribution to the development of Otta. These are not true and amount to covetousness or at worst duplicity.”

ONTRACTORS handling C the 2012 MDGs-CGS-LGAs projects in Ekiti State have been given two months ultimatum to complete and deliver their jobs or face the wrath of the law. Special Adviser to the Governor on Millennium Development Goals and Development Relations (MDGs), Mrs. Bunmi DipoSalami, gave the ultimatum at a meeting with the contractors in Ado Ekiti. Mrs. Dipo-Salami, who stated that the contracts would be executed through insurance performance bond, however, said that the contractors would be paid 30 per cent mobilisation fees to facilitate speedy execution of their projects. According to her, the projects are being funded through a tripartite arrangement involving federal, state and local councils. She advised new contractors coming on board to be committed to their jobs and strive towards achieving a cordial relationship with the MDGs office built on trust and mutual respect.


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 NEWS | 5

Military clamps down on insurgents in Borno • Gunmen kill three From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri suspected Boko ShaveOME Haram sect members attacked four villages

Representative of Inspector General of Police, Mr. Chris Olakpe (right) with families of police officers that lost their lives on duty, at the presentation of food items to their widows in Jos… yesterday

Death toll in wedding attack rises From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri HE death toll in last Saturday’s Borno village wedding attacks has risen from seven to 12 people as five of the injured victims died yesterday on their hospital beds in Maiduguri, the state capital. Seven people were killed by suspected Boko Haram gunmen at the wedding ceremony while five celebrants were taken to the hospital for treatment of the gunshot wounds they sustained in the midnight attacks. The hospital authorities told The Guardian that out of the five people that died, two had gunshot wounds on their chests and lower abdomens while the other three died due to “profuse bleeding” on the road to the hospital. . A resident of Tashan Alade, Yamta Musa, said: “The suspects, as early as 11a.m. on Saturday, had started making some suspicious movements in the village towards attacking the people at the venue of the wedding ceremony. We alerted the soldiers in Biu, but up to 8p.m. on that night, there was no response from the troops patrolling the Biu and Azare axis near the border areas with Adamawa State. “As the celebrants were making final arrangements for Sunday’s wedding, gunmen came on two motorcycles, and opened fire on the people, killing seven and injuring eight others on the spot. The injured were rushed to the Maiduguri hospital. My brother called me in the morning and said the five that had been admitted in the hospital died last night.” The Borno State Police Commissioner, Lawal Tanko, also confirmed that the five victims on admission in a hospital died yesterday. He said the bodies of the slain celebrants have been deposited at the Maiduguri hospital mortuary for identification and collection by their family members for burials. .

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on the Bama-Gwoza road axis, torching a primary school, quarry plant, and several houses in Kiva and Warabe communities where they killed three residents even as the military claimed to have carried out a major clampdown on the hoodlums. The gunmen, according to an eyewitness, also attacked Alafa and Pulka villages, 21 kilometres east of the Sambisa Forest and Bama township, 78 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri, the state capital. Speaking on the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Captain Aliyu Danja, said in continu-

Why NJC cannot dictate to Amaechi on acting CJ, by commissioner From Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt IVERS State Attorney R General and Commissioner for Justice, Worgu Boms, has said the National Judicial Council (NJC) cannot dictate to Governor Chibuike Amaechi on who to appoint as acting Chief Judge. He has also cautioned that except the NJC withdraws its threat letter to judges in Rivers State not to accept appointment as acting Chief Judge, the judiciary will remain in a quagmire. Boms argued that it would amount to abdication of constitutional responsibility if Amaechi accedes to the NJC to appoint a particular person as the substantive Chief Judge of the state. The commissioner, who spoke with journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, described as unfortunate an alleged attempt to politicise the judiciary in Rivers State. According to him, the framers of the 1999 Constitution envisaged that there might be a succession crisis in the judiciary,

hence, they had deliberately empowered the governor of a state to appoint an acting Chief Judge without recourse to anyone. The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, who said Governor Amaechi is not anyone’s boy, explained that it was wrong for the NJC to have written letters to individual judges and threatening to sanction any of them that accepts appointment as an acting Chief Judge. He wondered why the NJC did not write to individual judges in states like Osun, Adamawa and Abia, which are allegedly faced with similar situation. To this end, he said Rivers State can only appoint an acting Chief Judge when the NJC withdraws its letter. Boms also described as disheartening the comment by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (names withheld) that an Ahoada High Court ex-parte order restraining Mr. Evans Bipi from parading himself as Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly should not be

obeyed. He stressed that to counsel disobedience to court order, in whatever guise, subtly or directly, is a sad throwback to days of wanton impunity with all its consequences for the polity and an attempt to reverse the gains of modern society with its humanising influence. According to Boms, the ideal thing for any aggrieved person to do when an order unfavourable to him had been issued, is to return to same court to seek for it to be set aside. To buttress his point, he cited Babatunde versus Olatunji in 2000, where the Supreme Court was said to have declared that “the option open to a person against whom an order was made or judgment given is plain. He should apply to the court to discharge the order or appeal against the judgment that it might be set aside as the case may be. That is good sense for as long as the order or judgment existed, it must not be disobeyed.”

Boms noted that the alleged incitement of the defendant not to obey the court order must be seen in the wider context of the bitter politics of Rivers State (to remove Governor Amaechi by any means whatsoever) of which who becomes Chief Judge of Rivers State or who gets appointed now as acting Chief Judge has been made a sub-text and has become a consuming passion for some. “The Senior Advocate, who is a member of the National Judicial Council, should not use his membership of the NJC to confuse the public and attempt to infuse fear and timidity in the judicial process and judicial officers,” he said. Boms observed that as the New Year arrives and political activities heighten, politicians and eminent citizens of Rivers State extraction should be circumspect in course of trying to express their grievance with either the governor or the government, in order to preserve Rivers State.

A lot of weapons, equipment and vehicles belonging to the terrorists were also destroyed by the troops on ground and from multiple air strikes of Alfa jets that reinforced the massive repulsion and killings of insurgents. Two of our soldiers sustained injuries in Saturday’s operations against Boko Haram insurgency in this state. ation with the ongoing military operations against the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State, troops of 7 Division of Nigerian Army, supported by Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets have launched intense attacks on fleeing terror suspects in Alafa general area near the forest. He said the 30-minute joint aerial and ground bombardments in the affected area and Sambisa Forest hideouts, led to the killing of 56 terrorists, while others fled with gunshot wounds. On casualties of clashes, Capt. Danja said: “A lot of weapons, equipment and vehicles belonging to the terrorists were also destroyed by the troops on ground and from multiple air strikes of Alfa jets that reinforced the massive repulsion and killings of insurgents. Two of our soldiers sustained injuries in Saturday’s operations against Boko Haram insurgency in this state. “The multiple attacks against the insurgents at Alafa village and three others on the Bama-Gwoza road axis are part of the ongoing operations conducted by the military to ensure peaceful Christmas and New Year celebrations in Borno State,” Danja said. He said for cooperating with the military to end the insurgency, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Obidah Ethan felicitates with the good people of Borno and urged them to continue to cooperate and assist the military by providing useful information on the modus operandi of insurgents.”

Court grants bail to Briton, Nigerian in N15b fraud trial By Joseph Onyekwere FEDERAL High Court, A Lagos yesterday granted bail in the sum of N200 million each to a Briton, Gareth Wilcox and ex-Gulf Bank Managing Director, Johnson Adeyeba, facing trial over alleged N15 billion fraud. Wilcox, a former managing director of Ibom Power Company and LYK Engineering Company, is standing trial together with Adeyeba on a 21-count charge bordering on the . offence. Also charged with the accused are former legal adviser to the bank, Uche

Uwechia, Ibom Power Company and LYK Engineering Company owned by Wilcox. Ruling on the bail application yesterday, the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, granted the first and second accused bail in the sum of N200 million each, with two sureties each in like sum. The judge ruled that each of the sureties must possess landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, with two years’ tax clearance certificate and must also depose to an affidavit of means. . He also ordered the first

and second accused to deposit their international passports with the court with an undertaking not to travel outside the country, during the pendency of the suit. Also, Yunusa granted the third accused, Uwechia, bail in the sum of N100 million with two sureties in like sum, who must also possess landed property within the court’s jurisdiction and exhibit two years’ tax clearance certificate. . The judge ordered the accused to deposit his passport with the court and undertake to stay in the country during the penden-

cy of the suit. He then adjourned the case to February 26, 2014 for trial. The accused were arraigned on December 23 and had pleaded not guilty to the charge. The judge had, however, ordered their remand at the SFU pending the determination of their bail. Counsel representing the accused, on December 27, moved the applications for bail of their clients, while the court had reserved its judgment on the bail application. . In the charge, the accused were alleged to have converted over N15 billion from

the defunct bank in the guise of granting loans and overdraft facilities to various companies, without appropriate accounting records. They were alleged to have converted and appropriated a total of $55.3 million and over N3.7 billion belonging to the bank. Part of the money was also said to have been used to finance a non-existing refinery, while the others where allegedly converted to personal use. . The alleged offence is said to contravene the provisions of Section 390 of the Criminal Code, Cap A6, Laws of the Federation, 2006.


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NEWS Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LASU teachers threaten strike in Jan over 2009 pact By Gbenga Salau VEN as university lecturers E across the country recently suspended its five-month plus strike, the Academic Staff Union of Universities State Lagos (ASUU), University, (LASU) Chapter has threatened to embark on a strike next month if the Lagos State government and the management of the institution fail to implement the Federal 2009 Government/ASUU agreement, among other things. The union through its Chairman, Dr. Adekunle Idris said in Lagos yesterday at a press briefing that efforts in the last couple of months to make the management and

the representatives of the state government to see reason with the union had not yielded the desired fruits. He said that though its members are at present lecturing, it would not hesitate to go on strike if government continues to renege on its promises. The ASUU chairman said that the body’s position is based on the fact that, “Long before the national strike, the LASU Chapter of our great union had observed a number of unacceptable developments in the management of Lagos State University, which in our patriotic opinion portends great danger for the longterm prosperity of the uni-

versity if not immediately addressed.” Idris listed ten areas the union wants the state government and management of the institution to take action. They are the implementation of the Universities Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2012 in LASU and the resolution reached by the Lagos State Government with the four unions in LASU on December 31, 2010; downward review of the LASU school fees regime to enable LASU compete favourably with other public universities; abolition of the unacceptable ‘No vacancy, No promotion policy’; immediate commencement of the regu-

larisation of appointment exercise for academic staff on temporary appointment; stoppage of the purported outstanding PAYE tax liabilities planned to be deducted from staff members’ arrears of salaries and review of the deadline for the acquisition of Ph.D degree. After listing the issues, it had been engaging the management and the state government, Idris chronicled the interactions the Union has had with the management and the state government. “The Governing Council on its part has continually ignored our union’s various letters and requests by the exco to meet, with it prefer-

ring to hold town hall meetings with the generality of members even of other unions in attendance. Idris added, “Letters written to the Council were not acknowledged. Two meetings were held with the Governing Council, the second of which was used by the council to more or less read out a riot act of its plans and not for hearing us out.” He also said that the union was invited to a meeting with the AD-Hoc Committee of the Lagos State Executive Council alongside other unions where a number of promises were made by government’s team but no concrete steps have been taken to implement the promises.

Nurse slumps, dies in Edo From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City TAFF and members of the SBenin Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, City, Edo State were yesterday thrown into mourning following the reported death of a staff of the hospital, Mrs. Nkem Idemudia. This has subsequently led to the postponement of the hospital Staff Cooperative Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) as the nurse, from Delta State was said to be an active member of the cooperative society. Checks by The Guardian at the hospital revealed that Idemudia was said to have complained that she was not being promoted like her contemporaries, some of whom had risen to become Assistant Chief Nurses while she was still a Senior Nurse 1.

APC will displace PDP, says Fayemi From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head, South West Bureau, Ado Ekiti) KITI State Governor, Dr. E Kayode Fayemi has said that the All Progressives

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (second left) flanked by his Deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo (right); the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone II, David Oluwafemi Omojola (second right) and the Oyo State Police Commissioner, Muhammed Indabawa (left) during a courtesy call on the governor by the AIG at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan ... yesterday. PHOTO: OYO GOVERNMENT HOUSE

Ajimobi lauds police for curbing crime, FRSC intensifies safety campaign From John Chinaka, Abuja OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi G of Oyo State has commended the efforts of the Nigerian Police in the reduction of crimes and criminal activities in the state during the Yuletide. He made the commendation while receiving the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 11, Mr. David Oluwafemi Omojola, who was on a courtesy visit to him in his office in Ibadan yesterday. Ajimobi said statistics had shown that for the third year running, crimes and criminal activities had greatly reduced in the state during the yuletide seasons, attributing this to the effectiveness and efficiency of the police. According to him, the police are now more proactive in the discharge of their duties at curbing criminal activities in the state in particular and Nigeria as a whole, especially in the outgoing year. “The police generally in Nigeria today have become better than they used to be; they are friendlier, more strategic, more accommodating and are working closely with the people. They are very much peoplefriendly. The crop of officers we

have today are more educated, enlightened and exposed. This has helped a lot in cementing the relationship between the police and public,” he said. He attributed the successes recorded by his administration to the cooperation and support of the police, pledging that his administration would continue to collaborate with the police to further enhance their performance. “We have no choice than to work closely with the police; we are happy that more than any other year, Oyo State has been very peaceful and you can see that as the platform for all the successes we have recorded. Investors are now coming in; industries springing and infrastructure being put in place because of the peaceful atmosphere,” the governor said. The governor assured the state police command that government would provide more equipment for the police to boost the morale of the officers and men for improved performance. He stated that government had procured more Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and bulletproof jackets for the personnel of the state security outfit, Operation Burst, saying

that this would be extended to the state command of the Nigerian Police. In his remarks, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mr. David Omojola expressed appreciation of the Nigeria Police over the support of Oyo State Government, which he said had resulted in outstanding performance of the officers and men of the command. Meanwhile, disturbed by the spate of road crash fatalities involving children between 19th and 28th of December 2013, the Federal Road Safety Corps has reiterated the need for all motorists to ensure the safety of children in their vehicles even as it had intensified its awareness campaigns and patrol activities towards reversing this trend. According to the Corps, available statistics on road crashes involving children during this year’s yuletide from December 19th to 28, 2013, indicate that 20 children were killed and 75 others injured in various road crashes involving 239 children with 144 of them rescued alive by FRSC patrol operatives. This is coming on the heels of the Corps’ robust public advocacy, massive deployment of human and material resources and intensified patrol activi-

ties since December 19, 2013 which has resulted to a reduction in road crashes and fatalities in the initial five days (1923) of the 2013 yuletide special patrol, tagged “Operation Zero Tolerance” which was flagged off on December 19, 2013 and will end on January 12, 2014, in line with the Corps’ 2013 strategic goals of reducing road crashes by 20 per cent and fatalities by 30 per cent. Also, in its bid to reduce traffic crises among children, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has assured that it would introduce teachings on road safety rules to the Nigerian school curriculums. The Assistant Corp Marshal, Dennis Garba Terrang, who represented the Corp Marshal, Osita Chidoka made this known to newsmen during a workshop organised by a capacity building firm, Aquarian Consult in Abuja. According to him, there have been lots of road accidents involving children thus teaching children of road safety rules will aid them to practise them when using the roads. This he said is the reason the teaching of road safety rules have been included in school curriculums. Pursuant to this develop-

ment, the Federal Road Safety Corps has reiterated its warning to parents and other drivers who convey children on their vehicles, to ensure that children are appropriately restrained when travelling in a motor vehicle, adding that children who are under 12 years should be restrained in the rear seats, in line with the provisions of the National Road Traffic Regulations 2012 because air bags can injure or kill young children travelling in front seats, in the event of a crash. Emphasising further, the FRSC stated, “one of the most effective measures to protect occupants from injury in the event of a crash is the fitment and use of seat-belts and child restraints. Restraints save lives and reduce injury severity - all vehicle occupants should be appropriately restrained when travelling in a vehicle.” A further analysis indicate that seat belt usage reduces the risk of a fatality among front-seat passengers by 40–50 per cent and of rear-seat passengers by between 25–75 per cent while Child restraints reduce deaths among infants by approximately 70 per cent and deaths among small children by between 54 per cent

Congress (APC) is well positioned to sack the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from power at the centre. He also explained that devolution of powers, which he described as a euphemism for fiscal federalism is a major component of the APC manifesto aimed at making the masses feel the impact of governance. The governor, who spoke during his monthly media chat “Meet Your Governor”, on Sunday night said Nigerians are anxiously waiting for the change the APC will bring at the national level. According to him, “We are a government in waiting, we are not posturing, when you have 16 governors out of 36, it shows you that we are not posturing”, he stated.

Benue urges govt to build bridge across Katsina-Ala River ENUE State Government B has said that it will continue to exert concerted pressure on the Federal Government to construct a bridge across River Katsina-Ala at Buruku crossing point to reduce the frequency of boat accidents in the river. The state Commissioner for Rural Development and Cooperative, Mr. Aondowase Chia, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday, maintained that the bridge at that point of the river was long overdue owing to the traffic density. “The state government will vigorously pursue the construction of the bridge across River Katsina Ala at Buruku crossing point to reduce the water accidents on the river.” He stated even as government has adopted several measures to safeguard lives and property of travellers on that route by providing ferry boats in case of accidents, the passengers have refused to comply with safety regulations of wearing live jackets that had been provided by the state government.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013 NEWS

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Clerics hopeful of better Nigeria in 2014 By Isaac Taiwo EADING clergies have been L expressing hope of a better country where the people could shape their destinies in the New Year. The Prelate of Methodist Church, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Emeka Kanu Uche, has therefore, urged Nigerians to have faith and undivided loyalty in God who will definitely bring tremendous changes in 2014. Delivering his New Year Message, Uche said: “Let me declare to all Nigerians that because God, the mighty Man in battle is on our side, all enemies of our country will be swallowed by His righteousness in the New Year in Jesus name. However, we must all engage in self and corporate evaluation to find out where we were, where we are and where we want to be. “I do not want to be a prophet of doom, I am a prophet of hope and I believe that each one of us and our country can really rebrand. We can do well, but we should all take deliberate steps to eschew corruption and corrupting tenderness. “Les us avoid all forms of vices including dangerous politicking, religious bigotry, selfishness and whipping up tribal sentiments and rather place our country and the general welfare of the masses above self”. Also, in his New Year message, Bishop of the Diocese of Ife (Anglican Communion), the Rt. Rev. Oluranti Odubogun, has predicted that the New Year would be a year of joy.

Senator donates 19 ambulances, 500 hospital beds, others From Kolawole Timothy, Lokoja T was celebration galore in IArea Iyara, Ijumu Local Council of Kogi State, the hometown of Senator Smart Adeyemi, when he distributed medical equipment worth millions of naira to communities in his Kogi-West Senatorial District and two local council areas outside his constituency. Adeyemi also used the occasion to inform his constituents that he was not a bench warmer at the National Assembly, saying: “I have been there discussing and eventually legislating on the contemporary national issues while I also protect our cumulative political and economic interests and project our needs to the entire nation”. Items Adeyemi donated include 19 ambulances, 500 hospital beds, operation theater equipment, X-ray machines, incubators and transformers. He also used the occasion to give out 10 SUVs, three cars, while also donating 100 lockup shops for the use of business owners at the Iyara Central Market while his wife, Mrs. Yemisi Adeyemi, used her non-governmental organisation to give 50 deep freezers and 70 grinding machines to women of the local council area. According to him, “these strategic projects are targeted at improving the quality of lives of our people by making deliberate attempts to reduce mortality through the provision of access to speedy and quality healthcare services, hence the need for the ambulances. The idea is to have at least one ambulance within every locality, 15 minutes’ drive apart in the senatorial district”.

Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa (middle); Deputy Governor, Bala Ngillari (second left); Vice Chancellor, Adamawa State University, Prof. Alkassim Abba (left) and other governing board members and staff of the university, shortly after presentation of letter of award won by the university from Oxford University London to the governor in Yola…yesterday

APC wins Yobe council poll From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Niyi Bello (Akure) and Njadvara Musa (Damaturu) HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Yobe State has won last Saturday’s local council elections for the 17 chairmanship and 187 councillorship seats in the state without any incident in the troubled and emergency state. Announcing the election results at the state Independent Electoral Commission (YOSIEC) office complex, Damaturu on Sunday, the Chairman, Alhaji Muhammad Jauro Abdu, said a total of 999, 700 votes were cast by a total registered voters of 1,269,014 for the council elections in 178 wards. He, however, noted that 730,686 constitute the total invalid votes, while the presiding officers were counting the votes at the polling booths in the 17 council areas of the state. His words: “Having declared the following candidates winners for the chairmanships and councillorships in this election, the certificates of the 17 elected council chairmen are to be issued by this Electoral Commission today (Sunday) here in Damaturu so as to enable them take

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• Kaduna PDP chief urges members to unite their oaths of office tomorrow, Monday, December 30, 2013, at the Commission’s office complex.” He said the APC has also clinched the seats for the 187 councillorships in the state. The victorious chairmen, he said, include Abdullahi Kakumi for Bade Local Council Area; Bilal Yarima Gadane for Bursari Council, Alhaji Kale Muhammad (Damaturu), Alhaji Baba Ba’are (Fika), Maina Dikma Gana (Fune), Malam Mustapha Burah (Gaidam), Alhaji Kyari Batarama (Gujba), Alhaji Jibril Babale (Gulani). Other elected chairmen are Yau Usman Dachia for Jakusko Council, Bukar Girema Waro (Karasuwa), Mai Musa Machina (Machina), Alhaji Adamu Yahaya Albura (Nangere), Alhaji I. Maidami (Nguru), Yusuf Yahaya (Potiskum), Samaila M. Adamu (Tarmuwa), Yarima Lawan (Yunusari) and Abani Gambo (Yusufari). Meanwhile, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State and erstwhile National Legal Adviser of the party, Mr. Mark Jacob Nzamah, has warned leaders of the PDP in the state

to brace up for a defeat and eventually losing the state to the opposition party in the 2015 general elections if they continued with the political bickering and intra-party squabbles. He blamed party chieftains in government circles for not showing interest in the present plight of PDP in the state, saying that both the leadership of the party and government should be blamed if the party eventually loses the state to the opposition party in 2015. The former national legal adviser and party chieftain in Kaduna State, Nzamah, in a statement yesterday, pointed out that “in the face of unfolding political events in Kaduna State, it is indeed worrisome that once again, persons responsible for guiding the PDP boat through troubled times do not seem to care that the boat is threatened by critical weather conditions.” “Otherwise, how does one explain the docility, silence and inaction of these major players in the PDP to the serious events that occurred in recent days? It is an accepted fact that conflicts abound in all human associations, thus

Ondo communities petition IG, allege fraud, illegal oil refining, bunkering From Niyi Bello, Akure EADERS of oil-producing communities in the Ilaje coastal stretch of Ondo State have written a petition to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar and other security chiefs alleging criminal conspiracy in illegal oil bunkering, unauthorised refining of crude, high sea piracy and sponsorship of armed gangs and misappropriation of funds meant for community development against some high-placed officials of a multinational oil company. The community leaders, under the aegis of Ilaje AICECUM Communities, which comprised representatives

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of oil-bearing communities and traditional institutions, said if the conspirators were not immediately called to order, “the restiveness that the Niger Delta was known for could erupt in our land”. AICECUM stands for Actual Indigenous Concessional Eight-United Core Ultimate Major, which is the umbrella body of all the core oil-producing areas of the Ugbo clan of Ilaje nation, along the 80kilometer coastline of the state. The petition, which was signed by Obazuaye Eniyansoro and Soji Aladetan, AICECUM chairman and secretary, as well as High Chief John Fagbiye, the

Ajagajigi of Ugboland and the duo of Chiefs Oyetomo Andrew and Abayomi Asunmaga, who are chairman and secretary of Ugbo Council of Baales, alleged that the sum of N126 million voted by the multinational company for development in the communities has been embezzled by the named officials. The petitioners further alleged that because they asked for the release of the money from the officials, they have been subjected to a series of harassments and threats from the named officials, even as they refused to release the funds, which were to cover between 2011 and 2013.

the challenges in the Kaduna State PDP are not an exception. However, what is baffling is that an otherwise little misunderstanding has been allowed to grow into a huge ball fire that has the capacity of rubbishing every structure of the party”. Apparently referring to the exodus of PDP members to the APC last week, Mr. Nzamah said: “Officials of the PDP in Kaduna State must be held accountable and responsible for any collateral damage that befalls the party if all caution is again thrown to the wind and genuine issues of concern raised by party members and political observers are again ignored “and they are “labeled as attention-seekers”.

According to him, “available data garnered from on-thespot analysis revealed that the PDP is at its lowest rating since 1999 and unless things change, there will be a political disaster if we go into any election now.” However, in Ondo State, worried by the supremacy tussle among the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC), a group of concerned stakeholders yesterday urged caution in the management of the party “so that the mistakes of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) would not be repeated in the new platform as we approach the election year.”


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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PHOTONEWS

Vice President Namadi Sambo (left); Chairman, Board of Trustees Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih and his wives, Dame Patricia E. Anenih and Justice Maryann E. Anenih, at the thanksgiving mass for the 80th birthday of Chief Anenih at St. Anthony’s Catholic Cathedral, Uromi, Edo State

Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle); Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori (left) and Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Aromolaran, during the 2013 Iwude-Ijesha Festival, at Ereja Square, Ilesa

Finance Director, DHL, Mr. Johan Van DerMarwe (left), Zonal Commanding Officer RS2, Kab Lawal and Group Captain, Nigeria Air Force, Ikeja, Olumuyiwa Akinyele, at the Truck Safety Campaign flag-off in Lagos. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Director, Communications (Corporate Social Responsibility) Airtel Nigeria, Emeka Opara (left); Head, Faculty of School of Media and Communications, Pan Atlantic University, Richard Ikiebe and President, International Association of Business Communicators, Nigeria, Chido Nwakama, at the Chief Executive Officer/ Breakfast Meeting titled: “Leadership Communication as an Imperative for Building a Strong Corporate Culture” in Lagos PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Vivian Anipkosi (left); Managing Director, MOM’S Africa Magazine, Mary Ikoku and Molly Oshiyemi, during the MOM’S BALL celebration of achievements of working mothers in Nigeria held in Lagos

Master Brand Manager, MTN, Funmi Olaogun (left); Nollywood Actor, Norbert Young; Winner of Grand Prize in MTN Cash Smash Promo, Johnson Abanulor and representative of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Seun Atte, at the first prize presentation in the on-going MTN Cash Smash Promo in Lagos

Director, Accounts, Kaiho Sangyo Company, Nigeria Limited, Hannah Gbassa (left); Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Developing Economies (JETRO), Prof. Michikazu Kojima; President, Kaiho Sangyo Company Nigeria Limited, John Gbassa; Senior First Secretary, Japan’s Embassy, Nigeria, Takeshi Hagino; First Secretary, Japan’s Embassy, Nigeria, Kazuhito Kibana and Director, Planning and Strategy, Kaiho Sangyo Company Nigeria Limited, Gabriel Obaseki, during the Japan’s Embassy officials’ visit to Kaiho Sangyo, in Lagos.

CTO, WaveTek Nigeria Limited, Williams Uwhojega (left); EHoD Sales & Business Development Vodacom Business Nigeria, Zakari Usman; EHoD Network Operations Vodacom Business Nigeria, Vernon Van Rooyen; MD/CEO WaveTek Nigeria Limited, Kenneth Spann; AGM Sales WaveTek Nigeria Limited, Nehita Fashe; Director of Sales, Communication Systems, AOptix Technologies, Bruce Carpenter;  Marketing Analyst, WaveTek Nigeria Limited, Oluseun Arosanyin; and IP Manager Vodacom Business Nigeria, during WaveTekAOptix courtesy visit to Vodacom Business Nigeria office in Lagos.


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WorldReport Second suicide bomber hits Russia, kills 14 bomb ripped a bus apart A in Volgograd yesterday, killing 14 people in the second deadly attack blamed on suicide bombers in the southern Russian city in 24 hours and raising fears of Islamist attacks on the Winter Olympics. President Vladimir Putin, who has staked his prestige on February’s Sochi Games and dismissed threats from Chechen and other Islamist militants in the nearby North Caucasus, ordered tighter security nationwide after the morning rush-hour blast. Investigators said they believed a male suicide bomber set off the blast, a day after a similar attack killed at least 17 in the main rail station of a city that serves as a gateway to the southern wedge of Russian territory bounded by the Black and Caspian Seas and the Caucasus mountains. The blue and white trolleybus - powered by overhead electric cables - was reduced to a twisted, gutted carcass. Bodies were strewn across the street as Russians prepared to celebrate New Year, the biggest annual holiday. Windows in nearby apartments were blown out by the blast, which Russia’s foreign ministry condemned as part of a global “terrorist” campaign and welcomed a

declaration of solidarity made on Sunday by the United Nations Security Council. “For the second day, we are dying. It’s a nightmare,” a woman near the scene told Reuters, her voice trembling as she choked back tears. “What are we supposed to do, just walk now?” “Identical” shrapnel to that in the rail station indicated that the two bombs were linked, investigators said. “There was smoke and people were lying in the street,” said Olga, who works nearby. “The driver was thrown a long way. She was alive and moaning ... Her hands and clothes were bloody.”

Ivorien community in Central Africa at the Bangui International airport before their departure yesterday.

Shots fired at German ambassador’s residence in Athens NIDENTIFIED assailants U opened fire on the German ambassador’s residence in Athens with a Kalashnikov assault rifle yesterday in an attack seen as an attempt to sour relations between debt-laden Greece and its biggest creditor nation. Police said about 60 shots were fired at the high-security residence on a busy street of a northern suburb. At least four bullets were lodged in the walls of the house and four hit the metal gate of its perimeter. No one was hurt.

Anti-German sentiment has grown during Greece’s prolonged economic crisis and many of those struggling with record unemployment and falling living standards blame Germany’s insistence on fiscal rigor for their economic woes. Germany is the biggest single contributing nation to Greece’s 240-billion-euro bailouts which have kept the country afloat since 2010 and saved it from bankruptcy. Germany has at least 15 billion euros ($20.67 billion) of bilateral loans extended to Greece

Heavy weapons fire breaks out in CAR EAVY weapons fire rang H out in the north of Central African Republic’s capital Bangui early yesterday in what the government said were clashes with Christian militias. French and African troops have struggled to contain violence between Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian militias that has already killed 1,000 people this month and displaced hundreds of thousands. “There was heavy weapons fire north of Bangui for a few hours and several neighborhoods were affected,” Amy Martin, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Bangui told Reuters. A Reuters witness in the capital reported shell explosions and mortar fire, adding that it had stopped by late morning. Heavy arms fire was reported in Bangui during a twoday spike in violence which began on December 5 but reports of shooting in recent days has been limited to sporadic small arms fire. Guy-Simplice Kodegue,

spokesman for interim President, Michel Djotodia said the fresh fighting was between government forces and members of the Christian militia, known as anti-balaka after the local Sango language word for machete. He did not say whether

there had been any casualties. A local resident who didn’t wish to be named said a group of around 40 men armed with Kalashnikovs assault rifles marched through northern Bangui, despite French-led efforts to disarm the population.

as part of the bailout. No one has claimed responsibility for the 3.40 a.m. attack which police believe was carried out by members of leftist guerrilla groups. A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said at least two assailants on foot were involved. “Whoever is responsible for this act: You will not succeed in disrupting the close and friendly relations of our two countries,” said German Ambassador, Wolfgang Dold, who was at home at the time of the incident. The residence was the target of an attack in 1999 when members of the now dismantled extremist group November 17 fired a rocket-propelled grenade that hit its roof. Pictures lampooning German Chancellor, Angel Merkel are commonplace in Athens while groups opposing Greece’s bailout frequently protest outside the German Embassy. Public sector workers pelted a German diplomat with water

bottles and coffee in a protest over austerity measures last year. Yesterday’s attack drew condemnation from across the political spectrum, with the anti-bailout opposition Syriza party saying it undermined Greece’s struggle against austerity. “Who benefits from the attack?” asked Syriza lawmaker Manolis Glezos, a hero of Greek resistance to the Nazi occupation of World War Two. “Certainly not the Greek people”. “We condemn the attack but this doesn’t erase our anger at Merkel’s policy against our country,” said Terence Quick, foreign policy spokesman of the Independent Greeks, another anti-bailout party. Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras telephoned Merkel after the incident and Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said it was a “cowardly terrorist act” which targeted Greece’s image.

Congo’s army repels attacks, dozens killed ONGOLESE soldiers repulsed attacks on the airC port, a barracks and the state television headquarters in Kinshasa yesterday in what authorities said appeared to have been an assault by followers of religious leader, Paul Joseph Mukungubila. Before transmission was shut down at the state television, gunmen shouted what appeared to be a political message against President Joseph Kabila, who took office in 2001 after the assassination of his father Laurent. Government spokesman, Lambert Mende said 40 of the 70 assailants in the capital had been killed. “We have total control of the situation,” he said. “The attackers presented themselves as supporters of

Mukungubila. We are checking because this could be an attempt to fool us.” He said there were no civilian or troop casualties. Kabila’s supporters said the assault was carried out by poorly organized youths in civilian clothing with aged military equipment and appeared to be more a political statement than a serious attempt to seize power in a city of more than 9 million people. The Democratic Republic of Congo, a vast country at the heart of Africa, is struggling to emerge from decades of violence and instability, particularly in its mineral-rich east, in which millions of people have died, mostly from hunger and disease. The country is home to a

21,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO). Shortly after the clashes in Kinshasa, Congo’s army exchanged heavy fire with Mukungubila’s followers in the mining province of Katanga, more than 1,500 miles to the southeast near the border with Zambia. Witnesses said the fighting erupted after soldiers attacked Mukungubila’s church in the regional capital Lubumbashi, but calm was quickly restored. Gunmen had briefly seized the headquarters of state radio and television in Kinshasa, taking several journalists hostage. Witnesses also reported shooting at the Tshatshi military camp, close to the Defence Ministry, and at the international airport on the city’s out-

skirts. “Gedeon Mukungubila has come to free you from the slavery of the Rwandan,” said the message given on state TV in the local Lingala language, according to a Reuters reporter who saw a tape of the transmission. Gedeon is the nickname used for Mukungubila by his followers. A voice off camera could be heard to say in Lingala: “Kabila, it’s finished for him from today. He will be mocked.” Mukungubila, who calls himself ‘The prophet of the Eternal’, ran unsuccessfully for the presidency against Kabila in 2006. Opponents of Kabila, who was educated in Tanzania and Uganda, often accuse him of being a foreigner in an attempt to tarnish his reputa-

PHOTO: AFP

Israelis appeal against release of Palestinians HE families of Israeli vicT tims of Palestinian attacks appealed yesterday against the imminent release of long-serving Palestinian prisoners as part of United States-brokered peace talks, media reported. The Supreme Court has always rejected such appeals. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to the phased release of 104 Palestinian prisoners in line with commitments to the US-backed talks, which resumed in July, and previous batches were freed in August and October. The 26 prisoners expected to be released late on Monday were jailed before the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords, which formally launched the Middle East peace process, and have served 19 to 28 years for killing Israeli civilians or soldiers. The release was expected to yesterday, just days before US Secretary of State, John Kerry is due back in the region for the latest round of talks. Emotions run high on both sides over the issue of Palestinian prisoners, with Israelis viewing jailed militants as murderers and Palestinians hailing them as heroes imprisoned for fighting against the Israeli occupation. “One of the things we knew when we captured these detainees is that they needed to stay in prison for the maximum period,” Meir Indor, director of the Almagor, the Israeli group launching the appeal, told the Jerusalem Post. “These men are time bombs. Wherever they go they kill, because that’s the purpose of


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Politics ‘Nigerians, not Obasanjo, should decide Jonathan’s 2015 fate’ Alhaji Kaka Kyari Gujbawu, member of the House of Representatives, is piqued about the politicisation of security situation in states affected by the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency group. The lawmaker, who represents Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, told ADAMU ABUH and other journalists that he is unhappy with the decision of some of his colleagues to defect to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and why President Goodluck Jonathan should not be distracted by the antics of his predecessor, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. N recent decision by 37 members of O the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in House of Representatives to decamp to the APC. Let me make it abundantly clear that I remain a PDP member today and forever. It was unfortunate that my colleagues had to decamp to the rival All Progressives Congress; it was a process that commenced quite a long time ago. It would have been worse than this but for the act of statesmanship exhibited by President Goodluck Jonathan and some of our very good friends that reduced the number. Yes, it happened under Bamanga Tukur; yes, it happened under President Jonathan, but don’t forget that the PDP, as a party, is just 14 years old. And from the blues they came and took over the leadership just about two-three years ago. So, there are a lot of anger and displeasure that were building up and got imploded during this period. I don’t believe in the blame game. Of course, when we lose anything as a human being, we would regret it because they are our friends and colleagues. I am sure they are not happy they decamped to the APC. We regret the loss of material things, not to talk of our fellow lawmakers. As I told a friend elsewhere, in a relationship, it is normal to quarrel, fight, separate and it could even lead to divorce and even after divorce, we could reconcile our differences. You can see that the forces that bind us together far exceed what divides us and we have come a long way as PDP members. Believe me, wherever they are today, they won’t be as happy as they were when they were in the PDP because that is the house they built and it enabled people like us to come in and develop our political career. I assure you that you would see most of them coming back into the PDP, which is their natural place, before the 2015 polls. When they were crossing over to the APC, I was one of those that stood up to renew our loyalty to the PDP, to express our passion for the PDP and we were shouting and hailing PDP because the party is still alive, and it remains the strongest party not only in Nigeria but in Africa. It was agonising to see our members decamp but that is democracy for you and as human, everything is dynamic. But let me make this abundantly clear. Just as today you saw the other side of the divide clapping, happy that they got some of our colleagues to their side; soon, I am very sure we would be the ones that would laugh and he who laughs last, laughs best. As I am talking to you, a lot of members of the so-called APC are discontented, totally displeased with the way the APC is run. Don’t forget that PDP is the only party in Nigeria that is not owned by a person or a few persons. It is not a sole proprietorship company or a corporate outfit. But if you look at the APC, two or five proprietors came together and they dictate to everybody. You don’t find that in the PDP. On claim by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Gujbawu his widely

publicised letter that President Jonathan has a responsibility to respect his commitment to serve a single term of four years in office. In 2003, going back the memory lane, Obasanjo said he was arm-twisted to sign an agreement to serve only one term so that his second-in-command, Abubakar Atiku, should warm up to succeed him. There was an agreement that was duly signed but still, Obasanjo served two terms and he even wanted to change the Constitution to continue a third term. In this case, we are yet to see an agreement that was signed by Goodluck, to serve only a term in office. The Constitution still allows him not just to continue, but to come and seek a second term. After presenting his scorecards to Nigerians, it is left for Nigerians, who have the franchise, to decide to give him another chance or not. I think Nigerians should be allowed to decide Jonathan’s fate on this matter and not an Obasanjo. On fears by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega that elections may not hold in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe if the activities of Boko Haram persisted? We should not politicise security issues even as I will not want to join issues with my very good friend, Governor Kashim Shettima. But I am compelled to do so for the sake of the nation that I am part of and for the sake of the constituency that I represent at the National Assembly. What Dr. Jega said was very clear. He said if the status quo, what is obtained today as per the security situation continued unabated, there was nothing he could do about holding elections there. We are in a state of emergency, and I am from Borno State. Today, there is no Borno indigene that would tell you that he can traverse the 27 local governments of Borno State without the fear of being kidnapped or get killed; not even 50 per cent of Borno State. That is the situation and it is a fact. A lot of our brothers and friends are being kidnapped as I am talking; and then how do you think of going to conduct elections in that place? Do you want to expose the poor people simply because you want to remain in office? I don’t want that to happen. As my President,

Goodluck Jonathan would always say, I don’t wish for a single drop of blood to be shed to remain in office and I align myself with that. I don’t wish a single blood of any Borno person or in particular, a Maiduguri person to be shed by Boko Haram so that elections should be held for me to continue in office. On claim by the opposition APC that Jega’s position was politically motivated? I tend to get passionate when the issue of my constituency is being politicised. I know of very close friends, who were like brothers to me that had been killed by Boko Haram. My immediate elder brother was kidnapped. It was by God’s grace that we got him back. Every household in Borno, particularly in Maiduguri, has one story or the other to tell about such things and you politicise that?   Ninety-nine per cent of the Boko Haram insurgents that have so far been arrested are Kanuris from Borno State. What has the PDP or  President Goodluck (Jonathan) got to do with that? For God’s sake, we should rise up against certain primordial sentiments, not just for ephemeral purposes like trying to remain in office. The Boko Haram saga is not the conventional kind of battle that we all know. So, for you to hold the government responsible over an issue that has not come to a zero level is unfair. We should be objective. I knew that certain people were against the proclamation of the state of emergency in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa some eight or nine months ago, thinking that it had some political undertones. I had a strong misunderstanding with some of my good friends on the other side of the political divide. A lot of us still say that the civilian JTF, who collaborate with the proper JTF, has brought almost 80 per cent peace to Maiduguri that was then known as the hub of the Boko Haram insurgents. What brought about this active collaboration that it would take an unarmed civilian to go and arrest a well-armed Boko Haram member and the law supports it? It is because of the state of emergency. What do I mean by that? If not for the state of emergency, these guys are

sophisticated; they could go to the court of law to halt the activities of the civilian JTF because they can argue that under our existing laws, no civilian is empowered to go and arrest them and the court would give the verdict in that order. It takes a sagacious leader like Jonathan, who knows that this crisis is unusual that requires an unusual approach. For him to do that, he had to suspend the laws to proclaim the state of emergency. This problem, to a large extent, is a civilian issue. The Hausa proverb says you require the support of the son of the soil to reap the full benefit of any town you go to. If you must do well in an alien land, you need an indigene of the area for you to be successful. So, for the military to succeed within the very heart of the city of Maiduguri, they need the cooperation of the civilian. I speak the mind of almost all Maiduguri indigenes that it is almost like a miracle that in Maiduguri today, we can gather to celebrate either a wedding ceremony or naming ceremony. Just about four weeks ago, former military President (Ibrahim) Babangida was in Maiduguri for a wedding. Four weeks ago, believe you me, he would not have honoured the invitation in Ndimi’s house if not for the state of emergency. So, if you say that the president is not doing well, you are not being fair to him. We must acknowledge the fact that all the crises have not been solved is not the fault of Jonathan, because they didn’t start with him. He inherited them. Tackling terrorism is a huge challenge across the world. Even the United States, with its level of sophistication, is still learning the art of counter-terrorism, talkless of a country like Nigeria. We should not politicise the issue of the lives of the people that we represent. We should try and divorce politics from the sacredness of human lives. We are going to make the recommendation and I think they (Civilian JTF) deserve a national award. Even the President acknowledged that they are the new heroes of Nigeria. We await the execution of that policy. I am more convinced than ever before that we are going to make the recommendation because that is the desire of my people and I think they deserve it because even the president acknowledged the fact that they are the new heroes of Nigeria. What is the essence of the national award? It is all about recognition of our heroes. So, the president has already made the proclamation and it is a policy and we await the execution of that policy statement. On the constitutional crises that might occur when the tenure of all elective office holders expires, assuming elections do not hold in the states under emergency rule? I don’t want to say anything on this; I am a lawmaker, I am not an interpreter of the law. The Constitution, as extant now, has not foreseen a situation like this in certain parts of the country. But it has foreseen such a scenario for the whole nation. There is a provision that if elections are not held due to unforeseen circumstances, the tenure of office holders can be extended by six months, like the state of emergency. If elections are eventually held, it is okay. Else, the tenure is extended by another six months. So, the issue of the military taking over the offices or vacancies existing does not arise. Now, assuming, God forbid, that the security situation remains unabated in my area till when elections are due to hold, is there a lacuna? Certainly, there is. But certainly, when we reach the bridge, we would definitely cross it.


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TheGuardian

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Conscience Nurtured by Truth

FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011) Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816

Editorial Tacky federal budgeting process T is obvious that President Goodluck Jonathan has not transIImportantly, formed the Federal budgeting process in all his years in office. in his four years of effective Presidency, he has not imposed any verifiable discipline to the process and ethos of the budget. And that is a pity because all the promises of transformation were made loudly but the process of achieving it is often trivialised and even bastardised. No wonder it has been a poor run so far. It is a sad comment on the President’s style and an unflattering advertisement of his apathetic approach to the substance and form of the national budget that the President chose his Finance Minister to lay the budget document before the National Assembly a few hours before it closed for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Without a question on her credentials, this delegation to the Minister, and not even the Vice President, illustrates another poor dimensioning of the stature of presidential presence and duties and the amplification of the absence of good personal leadership examples. On two occasions, the President had put off, even explicably, a scheduled presentation of this document to the National Assembly. As the Minister of Finance arrived in his stead at the National Assembly, it is known that the President was hale and hearty and actually at his desk in Abuja; it was the same for the Vice President. What convenience the delegate brought is trumped by a great feeling that the President has been derelict in his duty to own, and be seen to own this all-important national document. It is even arguable that the high office of the Vice President is not sufficient to assuage such an unseemly delegation. The attitude of the Presidency negates the cardinal place of the Federal budget in the life of every Nigerian. The philosophy of the leadership, rigours, priorities of vision are central to the Federal budgets and, therefore, is far more than economic projections. In a country where government has crowded out the private sector, despite bouts of privatisation, and the public sector is the biggest business entity, the Federal budget is the oxygen of national life. It, therefore, should embody the vision and bear the imprimatur of the person Nigerians elected to the job. With the highlights of this budget yet unpublished, Nigerians are only informed of the arithmetic of benchmark price for crude oil as if that assumption of $77.5 per barrel is more strategic than the high confidence quotient in the assembling, codifying, implementation, value for money, monitoring, sanctioning that the President’s attitude and language should convey. This tardy attention to budget process implants fiscal and monetary policies that embarrass government and everyone else with growth indices sans human index growth in Nigeria. The take-off of the 2014 budget is for an indeterminate future in defiance of the President’s annual avowals, in the past three years, to present early and have the National Assembly debate the document in good time, and start implementation on January 1 as it ought to be. From the shoddy attitude of the Budget Office and the President’s embarrassing judgement, all is late about this Federal budget. The attendant multipliers and time lags portend unfavourable results all over the economic and social sectors. Only in the new year would the first page of the Minister’s presentation be read by the National Assembly and Legislative process commences thereafter. All of this is tacky and avoidable if the President identified with the yearnings of the people and adopted the budgeting process, in word and indeed, as his first responsibility tool for Nigeria.

LETTERS

Iyayi’s avoidable tragedy IR: In a system or nation spared Iyayi’s life. What we This gross aberration is also Sorder where things work and need is attitudinal re-orienta- common among bank bullion reigns, Prof. Festus tion. From the President’s and vans, politicians, traditional Iyayi, a Nigeria’s renowned economist and erudite teacher would not have died by now. Iyayi purportedly died in an accident with the convoy of the Kogi’s State governor on Lokoja-Abuja road. His death is yet another huge loss to the nation. We have lost an academic colossus and an irrepressible advocate of quality education and scholarship. For me, Iyayi’s death was very avoidable. The carelessness of government officials and their convoys on our roads is worrisome and highly condemnable. It is a show of irresponsibility and impunity This is not the first time a government convoy has killed but I think before it gets out of hand, Nigerians must raise an alarm on this official abuse. I know people die daily in road accidents but reckless government convoys are a bad example. To make matters worse, the institutions set up to check excesses on our roads are either too weak or politicized to make any meaningful impact. People learn and act more by what they see. If government and their officials obey traffic rules, others will follow. A simple observation of highway codes by the governor’s convoy would have

governor’s convoys to all other office holders like Personal Assistants, Ministers, Commissioners and Councillors, impunity reigns. It is reigning because nobody has mustered the will-power to punish recklessness. Granted that bad roads are another major contributor to road accidents, the issue of reckless driving ranked high among the casual factors. For me, I don’t have faith in FRSC because if you can arrest an ordinary citizen for breaking traffic rules, why turn blind eyes to government officials who commit same offence?

rulers and all kinds of expatriates with police or army security details. I wonder sometimes how expatriates break traffic rules with the connivance of men of the Police Force who they use to brutalise and assault fellow Nigerians. The legislature should not wait for mass action before putting in place laws that will guide these excesses. They should rise up to the challenge of good  governance that puts high premium on citizens’ welfare and security by enacting laws against this impunity. The laws must be enforced too. • Alexander Ighoro, Warri, Delta State.

Physically challenged persons as traffic wardens IR: Your publication in The lenged persons who have SDecember Guardian of Thursday, been voluntarily controlling 12, 2013, page 27 on above refers. The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola has done well by offering appointments to some physically challenged persons who have been controlling traffics at some points in Lagos, particularly Marina and Surulere. This is a welcome development.  However, I want to draw the attention of the governor to two equally physically chal-

traffic at Sanusi Fafunwa/Karimu Kotun junction for about five years in Victoria Island. In fact, any day they are not there, which of course is rare, the traffic snarl on the two streets (i.e. Sanusi Fafunwa and Karimu Kotun) is better imagined. The governor could consider extending the same good gesture to them (if not yet done) as encouragement.    Innocent Yakubu, Lagos.


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Opinion Reality check on Nigeria’s fiscal policy By Ayo Teriba The fact that the 2014-2016 MTEF projects that an increase of N17 trillion in nominal GDP between 2012 and 2016 will be accompanied by a decline in nominal Federal Government revenue and spending suggests that Nigeria’s fiscal policy has disconnected from economic reality. Urgent steps are required to reconnect the fiscal processes to the realities of current economic growth. CAREFUL reading of the ‘2014-2016 Medium A Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper: Supporting Growth and Employment Generation’, raises some grave concerns about Nigeria’s fiscal policy. All that one has to do is to relate the revenue and spending figures in the MTEF to the nominal GDP figures, which are also projected in the MTEF. The MTEF expresses only the deficits as a fraction of GDP, but all other components become even more meaningful as a faction of GDP. Worrying pictures of the fiscal trends emerge. Federal Government Account 2008-2016

Fiscal Disconnect! There is a puzzling fiscal disconnect in Nigeria as the nominal GDP is projected to grow in the MTEF from N40.5 trillion in 2012 to N57 trillion in 2016, but the nominal total revenue accruing to the Federal Government is projected to decline from N4.1 trillion in 2013 to 3.98 trillion in 2016, and the nominal total Federal Government expenditure is projected to decline from 4.987 trillion in 2013 to N4.839 trillion in 2016. An increase of N17 trillion in nominal GDP in the next three to four years to be accompanied by a decline in nominal Federal Government revenue and spending suggests that Nigeria’s fiscal policy has disconnected from economic reality. Urgent steps are required to reconnect the fiscal processes to the realities of current economic growth. Total Federal Government Retained Revenue was N3.63 trillion or 8.95% of GDP in 2012, down from 13.14% of GDP in 2008. In the 2014-2016 MTEF, it is expected to be an unlikely N4.1 trillion or 8.57% of GDP in 2013,

2008.2012 Actual Figures N’ Billions Total Revenue Total Expd. Capital Expd. Recurrent Expd. Overall Balance GDP % of GDP Total Revenue Total Expd. Capital Expd. Recurrent Expd. Overall Balance

2008 3,193 3,241 961 2,117 -47 24,296 2008 13.14 13.34 3.95 8.71 -0.20

2009 2,643 3,453 1,153 2,128 -810 24,794 2009 10.66 13.93 4.65 8.58 -3.27

2010 3,089 4,195 884 3,109 -1,105 33,985 2010 9.09 12.34 2.60 9.15 -3.25

2011 3,554 4,712 919 3,315 -1,159 37,410 2011 9.50 12.60 2.46 8.86 -3.10

Sources: 2008-2012 figures are from the 2012 Annual Report of the Central Bank of Nigeria, while the 2013-2016 projections are from the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

2013-2016 MTEF Projections 2012 3,630 4,605 875 3,325 -976 40,544 2012 8.95 11.36 2.16 8.20 -2.41

2013 4,100 4,987 1,787 2,978 -887 47,844 2013 8.57 10.42 3.74 6.22 -1.85

2014 3,583 4,495 1,178 3,084 -912 48,066 2014 7.45 9.35 2.45 6.42 -1.90

2015 3,853 4,744 1,346 3,165 -891 52,356 2015 7.36 9.06 2.57 6.05 -1.70

2016 3,981 4,839 1,388 3,218 -858 57,079 2016 6.97 8.48 2.43 5.64 1.50

N3.58 trillion or 7.45% of GDP in 2014, N3.85 trillion or 7.36% of GDP in 2015, and N3.98 trillion or 6.97% of GDP by 2016. Although the MTEF did promise to plug leakages in oil revenue and revamp the non-oil generation processes, lower

nominal revenue projection through 2016 betrays a lack of commitment to such reforms. Total Federal Government Expenditure was N4.6 trillion in 2012 or 11.36% of GDP in 2012, down from 13.34% of GDP in 2008. In the 2014-2016 MTEF it is expected to be N4.987 trillion or 10.42% of GDP in 2013, before dropping to N4.495 trillion or 9.35% of GDP in 2014, N4.744 trillion or 9.06% of GDP in 2015, and N4.839 trillion or 8.48% of GDP by 2016. Except the Government finds additional revenue to fund increased spending, promises in the MTEF to transform the economy, focus on job creation, reduce unemployment, especially of women and youth, as well as provide enabling environment for economic diversification and growth, will amount to mere attempts to play on the aspirations of Nigerians without ever delivering on them. Capital spending by the Federal Government had fallen from 3.95 % GDP in 2008 to 2.16% of GDP in 2012. Although the MTEF projects capital spending of 3.74% of GDP in 2013, indications are that only about half that level will be utilized. Of the N1.787 trillion voted for capital spending in 2013, the MTEF reveals that only about 430 billion had been utilized by the end of July, out of the 600 billion released and cash backed in the first two quarters, suggesting that total capital vote utilization in 2013 is not likely to be more than the N875 billion utilized in 2012, in spite of a capital vote that is twice as large. Fiscal strategy in the last two years has ostensibly included efforts to correct the imbalance between recurrent and capital spending, but there is no reason to expect any change in this trend through 2016. Resuscitating the capacity to implement capital projects even in the presence of adequate funding has become an urgent national economic policy challenge. Nigeria is inadvertently enduring a super tight fiscal policy regime, which the Central bank of Nigeria had incidentally quite erroneously repeatedly portrayed as ‘expansionary’ (based on reading nominal budget figures in isolation of nominal GDP) and used to justify the imposition of a

tight monetary policy regime in the last three years. The combination of inadvertently tight fiscal policy and tight monetary policy will most likely undermine growth, diversification and employment. The Nigerian fiscal process has clearly derailed and there is an urgent need to re-examine the agencies charged with fiscal policy management and reorganize them for better performance. The Federal Ministry of Finance is failing in its core duty of ensuring that nominal revenue and spending growth should at least keep pace with nominal economic growth, and now needs to be allowed to concentrate on those core functions. The revenue base will continue to dwindle if the Federal Ministry of Finance continues to be distracted by economic policy management, and the capital vote will continue to be underimplemented if the Federal Ministry of Finance continues be distracted by policy design and coordination pressures. The Federal Ministry of Finance needs to be allowed to focus on the daily pressures of revenue collection, disbursement of payments, and debt management. Economic Policy design is not necessarily the function of the treasury. This ought to be located somewhere much higher than the treasury, preferably in the Executive Office of the President. Even budget design is not necessarily the function of the treasury. This too should sensibly be located higher up in the government, preferably in the Executive Office of the President. Once the president determines his budget, the treasury and other operational agencies will implement. The US Office of Budget and Management (OMB) was transferred from the Treasury Department, where it started life as the Bureau of Budget (BOB) in 1921, to the Executive Office of the President in 1939, where the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) has also helped the President to design his economic policies since 1946. In Nigeria, the Budget Office of the Federation needs to be moved from the Ministry of Finance to the Presidency, and the parallel activities of economic policy design and coordination must also be undertaken from the Presidency.

Solving world poverty through mathematics (2) By Peter Akindele • Continued from yesterday ROM the above facts it is clear that the United Kingdom (UK) Fthehas the revenue and already spends far more on benefits than minimum needed to provide each person who is currently out of work with the required $1.25 a day. With approximately 47.9 per cent of the UK population in employment and a minimum wage of £5 on average, it would require $15,000,000,000 per year to provide $1.25 per day for the 52.1 per cent of the population who do not work. This is far below the $330 billion that is spent each year in benefits in the UK. Even allowing for the higher living costs in the UK the amount needed to spend in order to eradicate absolute poverty as defined by the $1.25 threshold, would not exceed the $330 billion which is already being spent. Therefore the important step for the UK would be to redirect some of this money into systems that would help to discover the people who are living in the UK who are not benefitting from the extensive welfare system in the UK because of ignorance. This exact method could be adapted to any developed country with a similarly high GDP PPP per capita. Nigeria, like other such countries with low GDP PPP per capita, on the other hand would require a number of methods to deal with absolute poverty. Seeing as the revenue for Nigeria would not allow there to be such an extensive benefit scheme, as seen in the UK, the solution will focus on ending employment and therefore raising money for the far smaller percentage who would not be able to work. This would be done essentially by three ways: • The enforcement of minimum wage set at approximately 196 naira ($1.25) an hour. Although this is equal to the amount needed for a day, the minimum wage has been set for an hour such that even if a person worked only one hour a day they would have the required $1.25 per day. • Encouraging farmers to farm to sell i.e. offering financial incentives for expansion of business. This is a problem that affects not only Nigeria but many developing countries with good agricultural land. Many people farm only for themselves which not only reduces the amount that the government receives in tax but most importantly it fails to realise the opportunity for em-

ployment if farmers were encouraged to expand their business. This expansion would mean that more people would be employed and less people would then live under the $1.25 threshold. Although these financial incentives would cost the government additional money, this money could be recouped by the larger percentage of people in employment who are therefore paying income tax and raising revenue for the government. Additionally, this expansion of agriculture would lead to an increase in exported agricultural goods which would lead to further revenue for the government which could be used on a benefit system for those who could never be provided with employment. • Furthermore corporate tax within Nigeria will be halved to 15% for companies who seek to build companies in Nigeria with Nigerian employees. From a look at the statistics it is clear that Nigeria is not making use of its most important resource: its 162,000,000 population and this is largely due to the lack of industry in Nigeria. If corporate tax was halved it would encourage many of the rich in Nigeria to build companies in Nigeria and therefore create employment. In a country that is notorious for the massive divide between the wealthy and the poor, the wealth of the “super-rich” can be used in investing in Nigeria based companies that would provide mass employment. Additionally as can be seen by the 80% graduate unemployment rate it is clear that there is a large educated workforce for these new emerging companies. The cut in corporate tax would enable these Nigeria based companies to compete with similar products that are imported. The money lost in corporate tax initially will be recouped through the increase in income tax paid by the increase in employees. Additionally the increase in the number of businesses in Nigeria will allow for the maintaining of revenue from corporate tax as even though the government would receive half of the amount it received previously, the increase in the number of companies would help to maintain the same amount of revenue from corporate tax. The lower corporate tax would also invite companies from other countries to settle in Nigeria so that they can pay lower corporate tax. Seeing as this would only apply to companies with Nigerian employees it would also lead to multinational companies employing Nigerians. Furthermore, seeing as these companies would be of a large size, the 15% corporate tax

would represent a relatively large stream of revenue to the government. By employing these three main methods, not only would it rapidly decrease unemployment but it would raise revenue, largely through the increase in income tax from all the new employees. This would allow the creation of a welfare system for those who would be unable to work such as children. The amount needed to fund this welfare system would depend on the success of these measures in increasing employment. The more successful these measures are the less would be needed for the welfare system. This welfare state however is necessary. It is impossible to create a system in which the entire population is in employment as you will always have groups such as children, the elderly and the disabled, who will be unable to work. This would also apply to any country which currently does not have a welfare system in place. Any serious attempt to eradicate absolute poverty would require a system for those who are not in work. Although this report acknowledges that this would require a considerable sum, it is believed that through the implementation of the above measures, such revenue can be raised. In conclusion, it is evident that world poverty is a severe problem that still persists in today’s world despite the numerous advancements that have been made. In using both the UK and Nigeria, this report has made use of two different countries with very different circumstances. By making use of the UK, a highly developed country, and Nigeria, a country with 68 per cent of its population living in absolute poverty, the aim of the report is to show measures that could be employed to eradicate absolute poverty in any country. The measures suggested here are designed to be highly flexible and adaptable to the situation of any country. As mentioned above, this report believes that the best way to eradicate world poverty is to tackle it in each individual country. Any attempt to simply regularise finance on a world scale is prone to be inefficient as it would fail to make the best use of the specific advantages available in each country. Furthermore, it would be likely to overlook some of the particular challenges facing each country. The best system therefore is a close analysis of each country with a look to maximising its potential with the primary priority of eradicating absolute poverty in each country.


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Opinion Of Christmas, Tata and societal well-being (2) By Abia Nzelu • Continued from yesterday S you may know, in 2010, cancer took over from heart disease as THE No. 1 KILLER OF MANKIND. Cancer kills more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. It is now being diagnosed in one out of every three persons alive. Sadly, 80 per cent of cancer deaths worldwide occur in developing countries like Nigeria. Cancer is a major contributor to untimely death in Nigeria. Every year, over 100,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Nigeria out of which about 80,000 die i.e. at least 10 deaths every hour and 240 deaths every day. This means that Nigeria has one of the highest cancer death ratios in the world, since four out of every five Nigerians who have cancer die. Furthermore, cancer is not just a health issue. In addition to the prolonged mortal agony of the primary sufferer, cancer victimizes the family and the society at large. Because cancer is the most expensive disease of mankind, it often results in worsening of poverty, school drop-out, marital breakdown, loss of employment, closure of otherwise viable small and medium scale business concerns and other social problems. Therefore, tackling the cancer epidemic will ameliorate so many other multi-faceted social problems. Cancer is also a human rights issue, because more than any other disease, the rich and powerful Nigerian cancer patients who can afford care are more likely to survive it while the poor and vulnerable die. Yet the very heart of the Christmas message is that we all count; the ordinary child in the manger

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could be more important in the scheme of things than the king on the throne. This is why the CECP-Nigeria is calling on all Nigerians to support the move to take cancer prevention to the grassroots by donating towards the acquisition of 37 Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs), one for each State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. A Mobile Cancer Centre is a clinic on wheels, in which screening, follow-up and several forms of treatment (including surgeries), can take place. It includes facilities for mammography, sonology and colonoscopy. It will also contain colposcopy and cryotherapy equipment for follow-up and treatment of cervical cancer. In addition, there would be a side laboratory for prostate cancer screening as well as preventive screening against other common diseases which are known to increase the risk of cancer. These include malaria, diabetes, hepatitis, kidney disease, hypertension and HIV/AIDS. Thus the MCC would tackle the double burden of disease i.e. Communicable & Non-Communicable Diseases. This is a high impact/low-cost project, and has within it the seed for the transformation of Nigeria’s health sector. According to a study by the Harvard Medical School in the United States, the estimated savings of mobile clinics is staggering. The study found that for every dollar invested in the operation of the mobile clinics, $36 was saved in terms of management of chronic illnesses, avoided hospital visits, and prevention of diseases. For instance, cervical cancer which is virtually 100% preventable kills one precious

Nigerian woman every hour; the cost of cervical cancer screening and treatment of early cases is less than five thousand naira ($30) per woman. Thus less than ($30) could save a woman’s life - someone’s wife, sister, aunt, mother, or daughter. On the other hand, it could cost several millions of naira to treat the same cancer at the late stage with poorer outcome. It is imperative to stress at this point that one does not have to be a millionaire to be a highly impactful philanthropist. While most of us may not be as wealthy as Tata, each of us can be just as generous and philanthropic as he was. We all have a role to play. According to Bill Gates, “you do not need to be the chair of a large foundation to have an impact on the world. Risk takers need backers. Good ideas need evangelists. Forgotten communities need advocates. And whether your chief resource is volunteer time or hard-earned dollars, for a relatively small investment catalytic philanthropy can make a big impact”. Indeed, a study carried out in the United States of America found that most of the giving to charity (87%) came from the small givers, and only 13% came from the large donors. As Mother Theresa said, every contribution is a drop in the ocean; but the ocean would not be complete without that drop. For example, anyone may contribute towards the Mobile Cancer Centre project by sending the sms ‘LIFE’ to ‘44777’ at N100 per sms; or higher amount via ATM or online at www.quickteller.com using the code ‘777526’. Furthermore, the 37 mobile cancer centres would be realized if Nigerians would

join in publicizing these two codes – 44777 and 777526 within their spheres of influence. A great way of marking this Christmas season could be to become a volunteer (Connector) in support of this campaign. Similarly, individuals, families or organizations who could donate one or more of these MCCs, would have them branded in their honour. Further information is available at www.cecpng.org. Let’s ACT! Attack Cancer Together! Together we can!! In conclusion, whatever is our religion, we need to hear afresh the divine imperative in the cry of the suffering masses of Nigeria. At face value, it ought to be a thing of joy that we Nigerians are said to be the most religious people on earth, provided we embrace a life of self-giving, as a response to our professed faith. Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the Tata group of India was not a Christian – he was a Zoroastrian; yet in the aspect of unselfish generosity, he lived out the great ideals of a godly life. The giver invariably gets more than he gives, as the story of the phenomenal growth of the Tata Group illustrates. Like Winston Churchill said: “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” Goodness is the only investment that never fails. Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. Therefore, let us embrace true philanthropy, guided by the Christ-like spirit of generosity and sacrifice. It is only then that we can truly have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. • Concluded • Dr. Nzelu is the Executive Secretary of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria).

BPE: Rescuing a critical year By Johnson Udobong HE Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is one governT ment agency whose operations have hardly been crisis-free. On the contrary, most of its 14-year existence, since it was set up in 1999, can be described as one in which most achievements were recorded amid crises that ranged from mild to very serious. For this ability to make progress in spite of crisis, the agency can be regarded as one with an uncanny ability to pull itself back from the brink, though I believe it would wish its operations were rid of crisis, since that would make its work less fraught with anxiety and its achievements less complicated. Thanks to its way with crisis, the BPE has had what analysts would consider an unusually high turnover of Directors General, culminating in the tenure of its current Director General, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki. Mr. Dikki’s appointment was confirmed by President Goodluck Jonathan on January 2, 2013, about a year ago, after he served as the bureau’s Acting Director General for roughly five weeks, from November 27, 2012. Ideally, the tenure of a Director General of the Bureau should last four years. And so with its seven Directors General in about 13 years, excluding Mr. Dikki (the eighth Director General) and the period he has been at the helm, each Director General would have served an average of one year and 10 months instead of the statutory four years. This depicts what I have called a high turnover of Directors General at the bureau. And who would argue that stability rather than such rapid change of leadership, usually under controversial circumstances, could improve the image and credibility of the bureau to the general public? Those familiar with some of the events preceding Dikki’s appointment to head the BPE would appreciate why I refer to 2013 as a critical year for the bureau. For that was the year in which what is arguably its most ambitious privatisation programme so far – the privatisation of the Nigerian power sector – had to be rescued from (or be marred by) a crisis of confidence resulting from two major events.

One of the events was the problematic bid for Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (Kaduna DisCo) and Afam Power Generating Plc (Afam GenCo), two of the successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The other event was the failed attempt to cancel the contract of Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) of Canada to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), another PHCN successor company which remains under government ownership. So huge was the outcome of the crisis that resulted from the first event that it was linked to the sudden resignation of the former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji. The Manitoba crisis, on the other hand, was linked to President Goodluck Jonathan’s sack of the then Director General of the BPE, Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa.    So Dikki practically assumed office in the wake of such crises, with the expectation that he would rein in their effects and restore the confidence of the Nigerian public and the international community in the integrity of the privatisation programme.   Then, following Dikki’s assumption of office, in a move that signalled renewed confidence in the privatisation exercise, 48 firms submitted bids for Afam GenCo and Kaduna DisCo in February 2013. Twenty-nine of the bids were for Afam GenCo while 19 were for Kaduna DisCo. As Chineme Okafor wrote in a news story published in This Day of February 27, 2013, “Bids for the two PHCN companies – Afam Generation Company and Kaduna Distribution Company – were earlier cancelled following allegations of inconsistencies in the process, especially from Afam, in which former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, was controversially alleged to have vested interest.” With the new bids began what turned out to be a journey from that first cancellation to the successful privatisation of both power facilities in what has generally been seen as a transparent and credible process, whose integrity was not challenged by any of the contenders. The submission of the bids was preceded by a chain of related events controlled by the bureau, whose strict adherence to rules and deadlines must have sent a signal to the participants and observers alike about its com-

mitment to midwife a credible bid process. For instance, it kept its deadline of January 31, 2013 for the submission of Expressions of Interest (EoIs) by the prospective bidders.  Subsequently, it sent out Request for Proposals (RFPs) to the entities that submitted the EoIs by February 4, 2013, and kept to a deadline for the receipt of their responses. The proposals would convey the exact bidding structure for each of them relative to the risks and benefits from the sale of the facilities. Thus there was transparency, uniformity of procedure and a level-playing ground without which losers might have raised eyebrows at the end of the bid process. Finally, from the large pool of 48 bidders, two companies, Northwest Power Limited and Taleveras Group, emerged as preferred bidders for Kaduna DisCo and Afam GenCo respectively. With the signing of the Share Purchase Agreement with the two companies on December 23, 2013, it was apparent that the BPE was on the verge of fully rescuing a year that began with doubt about its capacity to deliver on the privatisation of Afam GenCo and Kaduna DisCo and replacing that doubt with credibility. With the signing of the Share Purchase Agreement begins the countdown to the deadlines for both Northwest Power Limited and Taleveras Group to pay the initial 25 per cent deposit of their bid sums and then the balance of 75 per cent before taking ownership of Kaduna DisCo and Afam GenCo respectively. But while we await that happy ending to the story of Kaduna DisCo and Afam GenCo, I believe it is important to note that the remarkable progress made so far in their privatisation reinforces the argument of those who think leadership can make a major difference in the life, operations, image and success of any organisation. Nor do I believe the progress would have been achieved had the new BPE leadership of Mr. Dikki not insisted on doing the right thing and playing by the rules every step of the process to the satisfaction of all the bidders and to rescue a process once marred by doubt and restore public confidence in the process as it has evidently done. • Udobong wrote from Calabar.


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Business Abia proposes N149.6b budget for 2014 From Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia); Msugh Ityokura (Lafia) and Wole Oyebade (Lagos) BIA State governor A Theodore Orji has tendered before the state’s lawmakers a N 149.6 billion budget estimate for the 2014 fiscal year. Also, Governor Tanko AlMakura of Nassarawa State has presented N114 billion appropriation bill to the state’s legislators. Meanwhile, Lagos State lawmakers have shelved the passage of the 1014 budget until the new year, over an

. Al-Makura presents N114b appropriation bill to Nassarawa legislators . Lagos lawmakers shelve passage of 2014 budget inconclusive report by its Appropriation Committee. Abia’s proposed budget shows that N87. 5 billion is for capital projects while recurrent expenditure is N62 billion indicating that hopefully, the state will get recurrent revenue of N120 billion from other sources and N21.5 billion from donor agencies. The Governor told the lawmakers at the State House of

Assembly yesterday, while presenting the budget, tagged “Budget of Legacy Consolidation,” that it would focus on acceleration of building human and physical infrastructure for job creation and eradication of poverty in the state. “We expect to achieve this through scaling up of our expenditures in education, health, agriculture, water resources, environment,

housing and support for women and youth empowerment programme and that the 2014 budget is about people and the scaling up of available basic social and infrastructural services in our state. “Also that the 2014 budget is a bold statement to transform our state in areas we consider more critical and urgent which include peace and security, infrastructural development, improved healthcare delivery, enhanced internally gener-

Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency of Nigeria (PPPRA), Reginald Stanley (left); Chief Executive Officer, Oando Marketing Plc, Abayomi Awobokun; Head, Special Projects, Oando Plc, Engr. Giwa, and Managing Director, Total Nigeria Plc, Alexis Vovk, during a tour of Oando’s new subsea jetty, in Lagos.

Customs in Nigeria, Benin Republic strategise on sub-regional security, trade facilitation By Moses Ebosele O enhance regional securiT ty and  trade facilitation,  the  Customs Area Controller (CAC)  in charge of Seme Command,  Willy Egbudin has called for stronger collaboration between  Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)  and its counterparts  in Benin Republic. Egbudin,  who spoke during his visit to  the Receveur (Head) of Benin Customs at Krake Border, Colonel Lucie Afoudah and the Commissaire de Police Seme Krake Plage, Alhaji  Waidi Akodjenou,  also emphasised   the need to strengthen ties between the police and other security agencies in both countries. Speaking through an interpreter, the CAC reminded his counterpart that customs all over the world are evolving new ways and better techniques aimed at making international trade flow with ease and ensure national and

regional security through enhanced anti smuggling procedure. He also harped on the uniting functions of customs administrations of both countries and the impacts of such unity on the social and economic lives of the people. Egbudin, according to press statement issued by the Command’s Public Relation Officer (PRO),  Ernest Olottah also  solicited  the cooperation of Benin Customs  on   “the need for proper transit of imported vehicles destined to Nigeria as a means of suppressing smuggling and boosting revenue collection”. He added that the visit was intended to consolidate on the existing inter customs cooperation between the Customs administration of both countries. Explaining further, the CAC  said: “Our modernisation drive in Nigeria Customs Service is in full

gear as our Comptroller General, Abdullahi Dikko Inde, CFR, has shown unprecedented commitment in manpower training, motivation, provision of logistics and high improvement in e-customs aimed at reducing human contacts and saving time in the clearance process. ‘’As customs officers we have national and moral responsibilities to ensure that trans border traders using the land frontiers under our watch gets the best of support and protection while transacting their businesses and traveling through our operational areas. ‘’Though our fiscal,import and export policies may differ, the international connecting roles of both customs administration cannot be downplayed while from both ends we must not lose sight of sustaining and improving regional security by intensifying our vigilance against smuggling of arms,

ammunition, unlawful drugs and other  prohibited items”. Responding (also through an interpreter), Lucie Afoudah thanked Egbudin for the visit and assured him of the continuous cooperation of his command with Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service especially in the proper transit  of imported vehicles scheduled for Nigeria. Resuming office recently as the CAC, Egbudin pledged to tackle smuggling and ensure genuine trade facilitation.‘’What is constant in life is change. We all must embrace change as things have really changed from what they used to be. We have to change with the changing times. It is no more business as usual’’ He also assured all stakeholders of his willingness to continue facilitating genuine trade without compromising national security or allowing any form of revenue leakages.

ated revenue and education”, he added. He added that achieving the sectoral objectives would enhance creation of job opportunities for youths, women as well as boost commercial and industrial activities in the state. On the Specific objectives of 2014 budget, he listed “effective allocation of scarce resources among identified critical programmes and projects as established in the state’s development blueprint which include completion of all on-going legacy projects and a plethora of new projects in critical areas of need and strengthening Abia’s revenue base, providing enabling environmemt for investors and reducing the state’s domestic debt profile,” among others. According to him, the state’s development, which he hinged on Vision 20:20:20 blueprint, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would continue to be the main focus. Al-Makura’s budget presentation, tagged “Budget of Reality” indicates that the recurrent expenditure will be slightly higher that the capital expenditure representing N59 billion and N54 billion respectively while

assuring that all projects embarked upon by his administration will be completed. “The sum of N59, 592,728,359 billion representing 52.03 per cent of the budget is earmarked for Recurrent Expenditure and the sum of N54, 952,695,984 billion representing 47.97 per cent of the total budget is earmarked as capital expenditure for the year 2014.” he said He noted that the key budgetary a provision in the 2014 appropriation for the various sectors is based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs’) guideline. Al-Makura revealed that the budget proposal will also finance free education to all citizens of the state from primary to secondary schools. It will also “grant free education from Primary to Secondary School level, as well as award of scholarship for normal children and also grant free education for disabled persons from Primary up to tertiary level.” said Al-Makura Wealth creation and job opportunities through youth and women economic empowerment pro-

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Stakeholders optimistic on marginal oil fields’ bid round By Sulaimon Salau S the indigenous oil firms brace up to acquire their share in the 31 marginal oil fields currently put up for sale by the Federal Government, stakeholders in the sector have expressed optimism that the exercise could herald a new dawn in the industry.

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The last marginal fields bid round held in 2001, was not concluded without hitches. Besides, of the 24 fields that were allocated to 31 indigenous oil companies in that exercise, eight were already producing while the others are at various stages of development. The new exercise comprises a total of 31 fields with 16 of

them located onshore, while the remaining 15 are in the continental shelf. An industry expert and a Managing Consultant at Fixital Limited, Bayo Akinpelu, said the indications from the bidding process presently raises optimism on a fair auctioning of the blocs. Akinpelu, who is also a

Director at Andora Technologies Limited, said: “We are all full of expectations that there will be a high level of transparency in the entire process. I don’t want to believe the rumours that are making rounds, because I trust the integrity of the current Director of Department of Petroleum Resources. I hope all those rumous are

Lagos lawmakers shelve passage of 2014 budget CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 grammes will equally be given adequate attention as well as exploration of the potentials for the development of the power sector through negotiations and collaboration with prospective development partners and entrepreneurs. “Wealth creation and job opportunities through our youth and women economic empowerment programmes and to harness the new transmission power infrastructure of 330KV passing through the state and also using renewable energy technologies in order to expand sources of energy in the state”, he said. For the first time in a long while, Lagos State will not get its year 2014 budget approval, until the beginning of the new fiscal year. The reason, as evident at yesterday’s plenary, was that the investigating report of the Appropriation Committee, on the proposed N476.7 billion, was

still inconclusive about two months after Governor Babatunde Fashola had presented the budget to the House. Though the said “inconclusive report” had been laid on the floor of the Assembly a week ago, raising optimism that the Y2014 would be passed yesterday, the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Mudasiru Obasa, took his colleagues by surprise when he announced that the report was inconclusive. Obasa informed the House that about 10 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were yet to submit relevant documents as demanded by the committee during their budget defence. According to Obasa: “We (the committee) will need more days to have the Appropriation Bill re-presented to the House for deliberation. Several of the MDAs had appeared but we requested for some documents that they have not brought. So we would need more days to this effect,” he

Wealth creation and job opportunities through our youth and women economic empowerment programmes and to harness the new transmission power infrastructure of 330KV passing through the state and also using renewable energy technologies in order to expand sources of energy in the state said. The MDA, still awaited by the committee, are the Eko Secondary Project; Lagos State Building Control Agency; Ministries of Housing; Works and Infrastructure; Budget and Economic Planning and Transport. Others are Lagos State Building Control Agency; Lagos State Residency Registration Agency (LASRRA); Lagos State Metropolitan Development Programme (LMDGP); Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Lottery Board. Lawmaker representing Ifako Ijaye II constituency, Ipoola Omisore said the delay was against the culture of preparing yearly budget prior to the begin-

ning of the fiscal year, adding that the House should frown at all MDAs that had impeded the House’s order of proceeding. Speaker of the House, in his ruling, stressed that the House would not proceed on recess until the appropriation bill is passed. His words: “Our budget proposal came early enough and we should not close the year and proceed on recess without passing the budget. We should direct the clerk to write the MDAs delaying us to supply those requisite information to the Committee on Budget and Economic Planning between now and Thursday.”

false and hope that the process will be transparent and that fair judgment will prevail in awarding the respective blocs. “So far, everything we have seen are very positive in that line, but I will say the technocrats are doing their best, but its left to the authorities to follow suit and ensure a successful bid round. What we have seen so far is been encouraging, fair and nice, and we hope the politicians will not let us down again because they are the ones who always let the country down.” The Managing Director, Elshcon Nigeria Limited, Emi Membere-Otaji, was also among those optimistic on the recent exercise. He said: “Having attended one of the road shows and from a direct discussion with the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, I think that the process is being handled differently this time, because the winning firms and blocs would be spread across many winners. Besides, they will get guarantee that that the firm is financially stable and has strong technical presence in the country, unlike previously where you just go and get some technical persons to write some details to pre-qualify you and then you drop them. “It seems we have learnt from previous mistakes, and I believe that it would be different this time around. If they implement and enforce the rules, the exercise would be successful, because the bottom line is implementation.

“Nigerians has a lot of politics, as we are now, we don’t need new law, but implementing the existing laws, and it would be a better country.” The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, had said that the exercise would deepen the participation of indigenous oil companies in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. Alison-Madueke, however assured that Federal Government is committed to transparency in the bid process. “About a three and a halfmonth of competitive bidding process would hold in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to openness and transparency in the conduct of business activities in the country” she stated. The bidding process commenced on December 12, 2013, and is being conducted in six key stages: Submission of application by interested companies; (December 12, 2013, − January 3, 2014); Evaluation of submitted prequalification applications; (January 6−7, 2014); Announcement and notification of prequalified companies by email; (January 17−24, 2014); Submission of detailed technical and commercial bids by prequalified companies; (Feb. 21−March 7, 2014); Evaluation of technical and commercial bids; (3 weeks March 7−28, 2014) and the  Announcement of winning bids (April 11, 2014). The overall process is anticipated to be completed in less than six months.


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TheMetroSection Briefs

Double celebration…

TUC, IIRSM hold safety workshop

• At the Akinkugbes’ 85th birthday and glorious 58th wedding anniversary

HE Trade Union Congress of T Nigeria (TUC) in conjunction with the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) recently held a health and safety workshop in Lagos. A paper entitled: Enhancing Health and Safety Management System in the Workplace - the 'Union Effect' was presented by the Chairman, IIRSM, Nigeria, Eugene Itua. Itua pointed out that despite improvements in occupational safety and health in the past years, workers have continued to suffer work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses. He noted the main responsibility of the employers was to provide safe place of work, plant, equipment and system of work. He advised the organised labour to lead in promoting better working conditions for Nigerian workers, adding that Labour Union could make a difference in providing leadership needed to ensuring that occupational risk exposures were minimized.

Foundation donates to widows, orphans By Oluwatobi Akeke NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION, Geno Hope Alive Foundation, has donated to widows, disadvantaged young women and orphans as well as families that can’t afford what they need to celebrate Christmas. Foodstuffs, clothes, provisions, toiletries and stationeries were given to the widows and orphans at the event. According to the founder of the foundation, Eno Abasi Unogu, “the mandate is to lend helping hands to various categories of people who are socially and economically disadvantaged, and to empower them through counseling, skill acquisition, training and moral support to overcome these challenges.” She urged Nigerians to extend the love of Christ by also lending helping hands to those who can’t feed themselves.

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Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru (right), the celebrant, Chief Olu Akinkugbe and his wife, Janet during their 58th wedding anniversary /85th birthday celebration PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO

By Isaac Taiwo OTHER-LUCK was loudly celeM brated in the large banquet hall on the third floor of the grand Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island on Sunday where Octogenarians, Chief Olu Akinkugbe and his spouse, Mrs. Janet Akinkugbe, referred to as unambiguous “role models,” marked their 58th Wedding Anniversary and their 85th birthdays. Chief Akinkugbe’s description of himself as a lucky person in any way cannot be faulted and the luck cannot be restricted to his successful life as an entrepreneur, but also for being very lucky to have found his bone of bone and flesh of his flesh in his marriage. “I have lived all my life without a road map. However, I have always been lucky by hearing God’s leading through the various helpers he kept on sending to me,” he said. “He that findeth a wife, findeth a good thing and obtaineth the favour of the Lord” and behind a successful man is a woman are the luck that trailed Chief Akinkugbe from his youth and up to the celebration of his 85th birthday along with his heartthrob who undoubtedly had been the pillar of support in his life. The remarkable ceremony that would live for long in the memory of well-wishers that thronged the event was full of activities right

from the beginning to the end. After the Chairman of the occasion, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.) delivered his welcome address at the exquisite event, participants which included former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of State, Ernest Shonekan, Chief Philip Asiodu, former Health Minister, Julius AdelusiAdeluyi, the Publisher of The Guardian, Mrs. Maiden Alex-Ibru, who led the cutting of the anniversary cake, among others, were treated to different lyrics by divergent performers. Dignitaries including Ambassador Olufemi Ani, Prince Peter Akintade, Mrs. Arin Afolabi, among others, gave their commendable brief encounters with Mrs. Janet Akinkugbe who all unanimously agreed is a rare mother, teacher, lover whose life is not only worthy of emulation, but should be taken as role model. Chief Asiodu who said he had known Chief Akinkugbe for over 50 years described him as a hardworking entrepreneur, faithful, honest man who, at the time of indigenization, was found worthy of being committed to the handling of many companies by the expatriates. “He is one of those who understand the ambition of Nigerians and after my retirement in 1975, he also affected my life greatly and

through him I was able to become chairman of many companies,” he recalled. In her toast to Mrs. Akinkugbe, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika said destiny has bound the duo of Chief and Mrs. Akinkugbe together and they cannot be separated. She described Mrs. Akinkugbe as priceless mother and sweet mother. “In my enquiry from the children, I was not surprised at their various comments which I totally subscribe to.” “Niyi described mummy as an ‘energetic, determined mum’ and patriarch of the family, Kunle said ‘mummy is energetic and amazing’, Kofo likens her to the virtuous woman in the Bible, industrious, extremely focused and highly organized including other all qualities of the virtuous woman,” she said. Mr. Odein Ajumogobia described Chief Akinkugbe as a gentle, handsome, elderly man he met 30 years ago, who is today a hero rightly attested to by the children. TheBest Man to the couple, 58 years ago, Chief Frank Akinrele said: “I was privileged to be the best man of the wedding we are celebrating today.” “In a similar marriage, a lot of negative reports would be unveiled, but today, we have good testimonies of this marriage and their future will be brighter than

this,” he said. Mrs. Maiden Alex-Ibru who led the cutting of the cake and described birthday cake as an integral part of birthday celebration, saying she felt humbled and highly honoured to lead the cutting of the anniversary of “her parents” who she knew at the age of 14 in Ibadan. After the cutting of the cake, one of the grandchildren, Kaline led a special rendition of a birthday song to the celebrants. In his remarks, Chief Akinkugbe described Obasanjo, Shonekan and Danjuma as patriots who made tremendous contributions to Nigeria.

He that findeth a wife, findeth a good thing and obtaineth the favour of the Lord... Behind a successful man is a woman... Today, we have good testimonies of this marriage and their future will be brighter than this

Fidau prayers for Olufunmilayo Hassan INAL burial and eighthFMadam day Fidau prayers for Olufunmilayo Shukurat Ade Hassan, who died on Thursday, December 26, holds on Friday, January 3, 2014, at 6, Okun Owa Street, Olodi Apapa, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Council, Ajegunle, Lagos. She is survived by Kudirat Fadeyi, Serifat Odebunmi, Taiwo Hassan of The Guardian, Kehinde Hassan and Idowu Hassan.

Hassan


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Rotary Club of Gbagada uplifts patients’ spirit at Christmas By Isaac Taiwo HE spirit of Christmas was high at the Gbagada General Hospital as the Rotary Club of Gbagada celebrated the Yuletide with the patients with fanfare. The club members, led by the President, Tayo Adelaja, under the auspices of the District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110 that comprising Lagos and Ogun states, Olugbemiga Olowu lifted up their spirits with assorted gifts. Present to grace occasion were the Commissioner II, Lagos State Health Services Commission, Dr. Abiola Oyeleye and to receive their hosts were the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Adekunle Idowu Dauda and the Chief Apex Nurse, Rachael Oyaide. The Club has always leaving a mark behind every year after the celebration. It donated a resuscitaire to the management of the hospital. In his welcome address, Adelaja, said the club for the past 29 years, had been in partnership with the hospital to make the patients happy by its continual visitation and donations. ‘The Club donated this building where this ceremony is taking place to the hospital as well as the incubators. “Two years ago, we donated the first resuscitaire and last year, it was an incubator at the time of the then President, Bayo Windapo. ‘Today, we have not come empty-handed but we are leaving an equipment behind, another resuscitaire, for

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Friso is celebrating Christmas and the New Year with school children across the country with Peak School Smart, a nourishing dairybased product. As part of its corporate social responsibility, the company is giving out thousands of Peak School Smart products to schools, non-governmental and charity organisations to boost end-of-year activities and to ensure that children maximize the joy of the season. In her media statement, the company’s spokeswoman, Ore Famurewa, affirmed that the gesture “is part of the company’s catch them young initiative” nationwide. She said: “We are aware

Three remanded in prison for stealing N2.5m cars By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo LAGOS Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ikeja has remanded three men in prison for alleged conspiracy and armed robbery. The trio: Adejumo Seun, 27, Adeshola Sangobiyi, 43, and Adeojo Adeyinka, 42 respectively allegedly conspired to commit armed robbery on February 12, 2012 at Alaguntan Bus Stop, Iyana Ipaja. They were remanded by Magistrate Makanju Oshodi after being arraigned by the police. The Prosecutor, Inspector Samson Ekikere said the suspects, armed with gun and other dangerous weapons, robbed one Johnbell Samuel of a Toyota Camry saloon car, valued at N1,105,000. He further said that the suspects on July 13, 2012 at Alakuko Bus Stop, robbed Mr. Akinwande Ojo and Andy Nkeng of a Nissan Sunny and a Toyota Camry car, valued at N500,000 and N900,000 respectively. According to the prosecutor, the offence is contrary to section 1(2)(a)(b) of the robbery and firearms (special provisions) act, Cap. 398 Vol. XX11 Law of Federation of Nigeria 1990 as amended. Magisrtate Oshodi subsequently ruled that the suspects be remanded in prison for 30 days pending Director of Public Prosecution’s advice.

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President, Rotary Club of Gbagada, Tayo Adelaja, District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110, Lagos and Ogun States, Olugbemiga Olowu, Chief Apex Nurse, PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO Gbagada General Hospital, Rachael Oyaide and Chief Medical Director, Gbagada General Hospital, Dr. Adekunle Dauda at the event... us to be remembered. “We are very much aware of the new development that the structures in the hospital will be given a new phase which will lead to pulling down of this building. ‘We request that any structure that replaces this building consequent upon the expansion to be named after Rotary Club of Gbagada or the Rotaractors,” he demanded. In his speech, Olowu said he was aware of the ‘marriage‘ between the Rotary Club of Gbagada and the General Hospital.

Wamco gives out Peak School Smart for Christmas FIRM, FrieslandCampina A Wamco Nigeria Plc., makers of Peak, Three Crowns and

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that everyday children have so much to learn and they need to stay alert to keep learning. “Good nutrition is very important for a child’s brain to develop and function well, hence our recent launch of Peak School Smart, a delicious ready to drink flavoured UHT milk product specially formulated for school children. “To compliment the joy of the Christmas and New Year season, we have donated thousands of Peak School Smart products to various organisations, including schools and charities. Peak School Smart provides a combination of essential macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) and micronutrients (B-vitamins, iron and iodine). These nutrients boosts proper cognitive function in children,” said Famurewa.

‘My mother, about two and a half years ago, spent her last 11 days in this hospital and I loved the way she was taken care of. ‘Rotary International is known for doing good and we will continue to do that while we implore the Lagos State Government representative here with us to communicate our request to the government to immortalize the name of the club by the retention of the Rotary Club of Gbagada’s name on any structure that replaces this building while the Club will not relent in its donation of incubators and resuscitaires that would continue to help the work in the hospital. “We now have in Rotary, monitoring and evaluation group who from time to time would visit the hospital to know how

effectively the precious equipment donated are being judiciously put into use. ‘Nurses are beautiful and radiate happiness and we implore them to continue to be humane in their ‘special call‘ to the patients‘ he said. In his comment, Oyeleja said the governor directed that his representatives should visit hospitals to spend time with patients who need upliftment as well as the management. ‘We thank the Rotary Club of Gbagada for joining us in this assignment and we will not only maintain the equipment but would deliver your message concerning your building to the appropriate quarters‘ he said. The Chief Medical Director assured the club of effective use of their previous donations and promised to maintain

the new one. The Past President Temitayo Lawal, Consultant, an Orthopaedic Surgeon expatiated on the function of the donated resuscitaire as an equipment that combines the function of also an incubator. ‘This equipment helps new babies to be healthy, regulates their temperature and assist those of them that need equipment of this nature to breath with a view to taking care of the new environment they find themselves which is necessary because of the large number of babies being born in this hospital, approximately about 3,000 a year consideration the population of Gbagada estimated at about three million‘ he said. Gbagada Rotaractors also gave donations to the hospital including a wheel chair.

Ashafa fetes Lagos children at fiesta By Seye Olumide and Wole Oyebade T was a carnival-like atmosphere in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos on Sunday, as no fewer than 2000 Lagos kids converged on the famous Eleko Beach to play, win prizes and catch fun, feeling the aura of nature. The beach, and indeed, the Eleko community, for the first time, played host to the largest convergence of funseeking kids and a handful of adults, some of whom were seeing tides of nature for the first time. Notwithstanding the warm sunny afternoon, the cool breeze drifting with the restless ocean surge made the location most inviting

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and refreshing, as much as the event was entertaining. Some kids watched in awe as adults, actually, locals of the community, played hide and seek in the heart of the ocean. For others, it was time to go horse-riding. And for about seven hours the fiesta lasted, “it was fun all the way,” the kids said. The fiesta organised by Lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Gbenga Ashafa was to felicitate with Lagos children, drawn from the nooks and crannies of the state, to party in the spirit of the season. Welcoming the kids, accompanying adults, elders of the community and party

members, Ashafa said the idea of hosting the children at this Yuletide period was borne out of his personal concern, love and care for the children.” He said: “Their innocence, genuineness and tranquility should occupy our minds and be ready to help channel their destiny towards a brighter future. But, this would be a big task without, first, making them happy; show them that they are also important; and of course that truly, they are our future leaders. I am highly delighted that this is happening today, and that we are the one doing it for them, while I enjoin all to emulate it,” Ashafa said.

Ayodeji Abiona for burial HE death has occurred of T Ayodeji Oluwatoyin Abiona (Diggy Diggy) at the age of 59. A service of songs holds on Thursday, January 2, 2014, at the Fountain of Life Church, Fountain Gardens, Bishop Street, by Ilupeju Police Station, Ilupeju, Lagos at 6.00p.m. He will be buried on Friday, January 3, at Vaults and Garden, Ikoyi, after a funeral service at the Fountain of Life Church auditorium, Industrial Avenue, Ilupeju, Lagos at 10.00a.m. He is survived by his wife, Abimbola and children: Kanyinsola and Oluwatomisin.

Abiona

Obaship tussle threatens the peace in Ondo community From Niyi Bello, Akure and commercial acSholdOCIAL tivities have been put on for about four days in Idoani, headquarters of Ose Local Council of Ondo State as a chieftaincy crisis over the ascension to the vacant throne of the Alani of Idoani, pitched members of the community against one another. The crisis reached a head during the weekend when the Oja-Oba market, which is the main commercial centre in the community, was forcibly locked up during a futile attempt to install a new monarch whose seat has been occupied by a regent for the past three years.

Due to the general insecurity in the hitherto sleepy community, majority of the traditional kingmakers have fled the town following threats to their lives by rival groups, which had also culminated in attacks on some of their houses. The kingmakers accused some honorary chiefs and a former regent as those behind the attacks alleging that the duo wanted to force them to install one of the candidates jostling for the stool, an action they claimed was against the tradition of the community. It will be recalled that the battle for the stool had been persisting since 2010 between three lineages- the

Ologbosere, Sadibo and Owusi all from Obasunloye ruling house. Already, six candidates are battling for the stool. They are Prince Major General Olufemi Olutoye (rtd), from Ologbosere lineage, Prince Adeniran Adebiyi, Prince Agunloye Falade and Prince Ademola Falade from Sadibo lineage. Others are Prince Ademola Atewogboye and Prince Samuel Aladesunkanmi from Owusi lineage. One of the kingmakers, High Chief Gideon Adelana, the Ashewa of Idoani, who spoke to The Guardian on phone, alleged that they wanted to kidnap him but he escaped from his abduc-

tors’ hands. Narrating his ordeal, the chief said: “They wanted to kidnap me so that I will be forced to crown their candidate as the new Alani of Idoani. I saw some five men led by one Akinremi Obado popularly known as Uri ordering me that a honorary chief wants my presence in a meeting. Immediately, I responded that I would not attend a meeting that I did not receive its circular.” “When I detected that their plans was to kidnap me, I told them that I have agreed to follow them to the meeting but they should allow me to take my bath. I escaped through another door in my house. When they

could not find me, they mobilized themselves and destroyed my house. My wife reported this to the Police but up till now the police have not come to our rescue. “What we are demanding from the Sadibo lineage is that they should allow us to follow due process. We are still waiting for the council chairman to fix a date for the selection, we have written a letter to him.  They can’t impose an Oba on us when we have six candidates jostling for the seat from the three lineages. They were even saying there is nothing like kingmakers in Idoani and if there is nothing of such, why are they after us? Another kingmaker, High

Chief Sunday Oludosi said the hoodlums have prevented him from entering his house by dropping some leaves in the front of his house, which according to him was against the custom of their land. According to him: “The princes met last Friday and made a decision that a new king must be installed. It was during that meeting they ordered that the market should be closed. It was the youths who trooped out to stop the traders from operating.” When contacted, spokesman of the Ondo Police Command, Wole Ogodo, said he had not been fully briefed on the matter.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013 BUSINESS

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Uduaghan warns contractors against abandoning projects OVERNOR Emmanuel G Uduaghan of Delta has warned that his administration would no longer tolerate a situation where contractors abandoned projects in the state. Uduaghan gave the warning at the Annual Thanksgiving Service of the Iwere Kingdom held at the Foursquare Gospel Church in the palace of the Olu of Warri at the weekend. He described contractors

who failed to execute government projects within the specified time as ``wrong messengers of government who do not want the people to benefit from the dividends of democracy’’. The governor said it was government’s responsibility to ensure that the people enjoyed a decent living standard through the provision of adequate infrastructure.

``We hold a position of responsibility to improve the people`s standard of living. The problem is that we send a message and the messenger delivers it wrongly. ``Some say no government project has been awarded or executed in their area. But, I can tell you that we have awarded so many contracts which have neither been halfdone nor completely aban-

doned. ``Henceforth, anyone who stops the people from benefiting from my administration will account for it,’’ he warned. Uduaghan also warned operators of the Delta City Bus against overcharging passengers. ``The bus fares are subsidised by 50 per cent and the buses fitted with air conditioners for the benefit of the people.

``I wonder why people will be delighted in subjecting their neighbours to so much difficulty,’’ the governor said. Also at the occasion, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ayo Oritsejafor, prayed for the Itsekiri people and urged them to remain steadfast in the Lord. In his sermon, Rev. Lucky Eruebi of the Church of God

Mission, Effurun, focused on the importance of thanksgiving at all times. ``Giving thanks to the Lord has a way of moving God to do more for people,’’ he said. The service was also attended by Godsday Orubebe, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Roland Oritsejafor, a former Minister of State for Defence, and Prof. Amos Utuama, Deputy Governor, Delta.

Coscharis, Federal Palace sign pact on Jaguar XF By Taiwo Hassan OSCHARIS Motors and Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would entail a Jaguar XF as the official car for VIP customers to and from the hotel for an initial three month period. General Manager, Marketing, Coscharis Motors, Abiona Babarinde, made this disclosure at the company’s presentation of the car to the management of the hotel, in Lagos, saying that the scheme would allow all Federal Palace Hotel VIP guests to be chauffeur driven in a Jaguar XF till the end of the MoU. ‘’This unique partnership is to create more value to the delight of common premium customers of two great

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Director, Account Kaiho Sangyo Company Nigeria Limited, Hannah Gbassa (left); Senior Research Fellow institute of Developing Economies, (JETRO), Prof Michikazu Kojima; President, Kaiho Sangyo Company Nigeria Limited, John Gbassa; Senior First Secretary Japan’s Embassy, Nigeria, Takeshi Hagino; First Secretary Japan’s Embassy, Nigeria, Kazuhito Kibana and Director Planning & Strategy of the company, Gabriel Obaseki, during the visit of Japan’s Embassy officials visit to the company, in Lagos.

brands in Coscharis/Jaguar and Federal Palace Hotel’’. According to him, the objective of the scheme was to offer the same level of premium experience enjoyed by customers and prospects in the hotel, home and work life; in their driving life. “This reiterates the commitments of Coscharis Motors and Federal Palace Hotel to customer satisfaction in all areas of engagement with their customer. “Imagine driving in a sleek, dynamic, and daring car, which is a fusion of sports car styling with outstanding luxury saloon comfort; a car whose inspired engineering has won over one hundred international awards – that is the experience ownership ensures. “The XF is more than a

The XF is more than a machine, it combines Jaguar’s renowned flair for style and luxury with a genius for technological innovation, setting the standard that other sports saloons can only aspire to machine, it combines Jaguar’s renowned flair for style and luxury with a genius for technological innovation, setting the standard that other sports saloons can only aspire to,” Babarinde added. For an exceptional driving experience, different modes are available to suit the driver and rider’s preferences or the prevailing conditions.

Govt to provide incentives to 10,000 dry season rice farmers in Bauchi HE Federal Government, T yesterday, said it would provide incentives to 10,000 dry season rice farmers in Bauchi State as part of effort to ensure food security in the country.

The Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Yusuf said, in Bauchi, that the initiative would be provided under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES)

scheme. He said each farmer would receive three bags of fertiliser at 50 per cent discount and 25kg of improved rice seeds. ``The state government will

Ford partners automobile stakeholders on capacity building By Taiwo Hassan ORD Motor Limited, in FAutomedics partnership with Limited, an autoTechtronic dealership and training service provider, has organised a human capacity training programme for automobile technicians. The workshop was aimed at promoting basic diagnostics training and various computer-aided repair skills among auto technicians in the country. The session, which was held in Jabi, Abuja, attracted vari-

ous stakeholders in the automotive industry, including officials of the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Federal Road Safety Corps and a cross-section of the automechanics and auto technicians community in Abuja. The highlight of the event was the free training workshops and simulation exercises powered by Ford and the free range of auto diagnostics and repair services offered to the motoring community in Abuja and its environs. The event also provided the opportunity for a free career

counseling session for graduates from other disciplines as a platform for renewing the call for entrepreneurship skills acquisition and vocational training at the postuniversity level. The Ford simulation exercise which afforded participants the opportunity to leverage their knowledge about the accessibility and affordability of Ford car parts and the free 120,000 kilometre service promotional package currently offered by all Ford dealerships across the country.

Former Edo governor bemoans influx of imported goods former Governor of Edo, A Chief Odigie Oyegun, has said Nigerians’ penchant for imported goods had led to the closure of several local industries. Oyegun made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on yesterday. He said that the closure of these industries had rendered millions of Nigerians unemployed. The former governor also said that the erratic power supply and non-implementation of policies had also contributed to the importdependent nature of Nigerians. Oyegun urged the government to articulate policies that would grow the economy and promote local industries.

He said that government must not only institute policies that would encourage manufacturing, but also encourage businesses, particularly at the small scale level. The former governor, however, said that without improvement in power supply, policies aimed at expanding the economy would not work. According to him, without power, no economy can grow. ``Of course, this pre-supposes that we have policies that will grow the economy. ``Today, Nigeria imports even the most basic things like toothpick, toiletries and others in spite of our resources and competency of our craftsmen in this regard. ``We used to have a boost of some car assembly plants but today they are all gone because of our penchant for

``tokunbo’’ cars. ``Agriculture is there but because of oil, we jettisoned this sector,’’ he said. Oyegun said that government should ensure that most of the nation’s foreign exchange would not be spent on importation of luxury goods.. The former governor said that government should promote agriculture and bring down the costs incurred by Nigerians on rice imports. ``We are blessed in this country agriculturally with climatic zones that virtually grow any kind of crop,’’ he said. The former governor also urged the Federal Government to eradicate corruption and place emphasis on polices that would protect the local industries.

also get 40 (3HP) and 13 (7HP) water pumps at 75 per cent discount, which will serve the farmers registered for the programme. ``More than 400,000 farmers from 19 participating states are being supported with the inputs to help boost their production capacity under the 2013/2014 dry season GES scheme. ``The effort produced more than one million tonnes of rice during last year’s dry season farming with just over 200,000 farmers drawn from 10 states. ``We intend to double or even triple the production this year.

``We have already carried out sensitisation campaign across the state, identified genuine farmers, enlightened them and assessed their level of preparedness in respect of land and source of water. ``I am happy to inform you that our farmers are ready; they have prepared their lands in clusters and ready for planting. Very soon, we will commence distribution of the inputs,`` he said. The director advised the farmers to utilise the inputs to expand their production capacity, adding that the problems of processing and marketing had been addressed through value

chain initiative. He said 15 integrated rice mills had been established in Kano, Lagos, Benue, Kebbi, Jigawa, Anambra, Imo, and Niger. According to him, the mills have a combined capacity to process 850,000 tonnes of rice. ``The Federal Government, in collaboration with USAID, is also planning to establish rice collection centres across the federation for easy evacuation of paddy by the millers. ``I assure you that the government is doing everything possible to make rice farming profitable,” he said.


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INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mixed feelings trail renewed moves to join Eurozone FTER Latvia, Lithuania is A aiming to join the eurozone in 2015, completing a Baltic embrace of Europe’s troubled single currency, but other nations in the region are in no rush to adopt it. Concerns over the influence of Soviet-era master Russia and their small size prompted the Baltic trio to relish eurozone entry, but larger economies like Poland and the Czech Republic, less worried by Moscow, are more circumspect. “Other countries are more relaxed about joining, they’re looking more at the costs and benefits, rather than the Baltic attitude of joining the eurozone at any price,” Witold Orlowski, a Warsaw-based PricewaterhouseCoopers analyst and former advisor to the Polish president, told AFP. In a bid to boost stability, Baltic states including Estonia, which adopted the euro in 2011, pegged their currencies to it in 2004. Only Bulgaria has made this move among other eurozone candidates, all of which agreed to join in their EU entry deals. They include regional heavyweight Poland and the Czech Republic, which experts believe could meet eurozone entry targets on deficits and inflation within three to four years. Warsaw insists it will be euro-ready by 2015, but has been coy about pegging a target entry date. Others like Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania or Croatia have a longer road of reform ahead. “There’s no pressure” to join the eurozone in Poland and the Czech Republic, where inflation and interest rates are “pretty low,” Orlowski observed. “Both countries are quite

happy with a flexible exchange rate,” he noted, adding that the eurozone’s debt woes had also prompted a “wait and see” approach. Poland was the only EU member to avoid recession in recent years thanks largely to that flexibility, which boosted exports as its currency, the zloty, weakened against the euro during both the world financial and eurozone crises. Poland’s new Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek has put it more bluntly. “The alleged benefits of the euro area — better positioning of the economy on access to capital and its affordability, stability of foreign funding — have proved to be a fiction,” he insisted. “For Poland, I’d say (eurozone entry) most likely no sooner than 2018-2020,” said Orlowski of Warsaw’s cool approach. Struggling to emerge from recession and disinflation, the Czech Republic cherishes its ability to use monetary policy as an economic stimulus tool, something it will have to give up once inside the eurozone. Its central bank recently intervened on the forex market to weaken the koruna in a bid to boost exports and push inflation closer to the central bank’s target of 2.0 percent.

According to Czech central bank chief Miroslav Singer, Prague could adopt the euro in 2019 at the soonest, but this is not a priority for the new left-populist coalition. Smaller Lithuania is likely to achieve its entry target of January 1, 2015, according to Swedbank. “The chances of Lithuania complying with the Maastricht criteria are increasing,” it noted in a recent report. With average annual infla-

tion down to 1.3 percent, “the scenario of its entry into the eurozone in 2015 is the most plausible,” it said. But for Hungary, the timeline is decades. “We aren’t talking about the next few years, but about the next two or even three decades,” conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban said recently. Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest member, is banking on meeting eurozone entry targets within the next four

four years. Aside from Estonia, excommunist Slovenia and Slovakia already use the euro, having adopted it in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Estonia and Slovakia expect moderate growth this year. But struggling with recession, Slovenia was also recently forced to recapitalise its three largest stateowned banks, sinking under a mountain of debt.

Qatar signs aid deal worth $1.25 billion for Morocco ATAR and Morocco Q have signed an aid deal worth $1.25 billion, part of a five-year package of financial assistance extended by wealthy Gulf states to the North African kingdom to help it weather ‘Arab Spring’ protests. Four Gulf states - Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and

the United Arab Emirates agreed in 2012 to provide aid worth a total $5 billion to Morocco in the period 2012-2017 to build up its infrastructure, strengthen its economy and foster tourism. Each of the four countries has committed $1.25 billion to Morocco for the whole

five-year period. The aid is very welcome to King Mohamed - who signed the accord late on Friday with the visiting emir of Qatar - as he seeks to quell the kind of social discontent that helped to oust rulers elsewhere in North Africa, including Tunisia and Egypt.

Hollande gets court approval for 75% ‘millionaire tax’ RENCH President Francois Hollande received approval from the country’s constitutional court to proceed with his plan to tax salaries above one million euros at 75 per cent for this year and next. Under Hollande’s proposal, companies will have to pay a 50 per cent duty on wages above one million euros ($1.4 million). In combination with other taxes and social charges, the rate will amount to 75 per cent of salaries above the threshold, the court wrote in a decision published recently. “The companies that pay out remuneration above one million euros will, as expected, be called upon for an effort of solidarity on

years, according to Finance Minister Petar Tchobanov. Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta recently said that Bucharest wanted to join in 2018, the centenary of modern-day Romania as created after World War I. Having entered the EU in July, Croatians are also keen to join the eurozone, but struggling with a high debt and deficit, the government in Zagreb does not expect to be ready within the next three to

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Hollande remuneration paid in 2013 and 2014,” the Economy Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Hollande, who once said that he “didn’t like” the

rich, announced the 75 per cent tax in February 2012 as part of his presidential campaign to appeal to his Socialist base. It has become a symbol of his govern-

ment’s record-high taxation rate. A first proposal to put the change into law was turned down by the constitutional court in December last year because the tax applied to individuals and not households. The country’s top administrative court said any rate above 66 per cent would be rejected as confiscatory. Hollande revived the plan this year, making it apply to salaries and be paid by employers rather than individuals. The total amount is limited to five per cent of a company’s revenue. The court examined the proposed tax after more than 60 members of parliament and more than 60 senators filed their opposition, it said.

Morocco is under heavy pressure from international lenders to reduce its budget deficit after spending heavily on food and energy subsidies and higher public sector salaries in 2011 and 2012 to help defuse social tensions. Morocco has budgeted to receive a total $1 billion in aid from the Gulf states for 2014. It hopes to cut its budget deficit to 4.9 per cent of gross domestic product next year from an

Mohammed VI

estimated 5.5 per cent in 2013. Qatar was the last of the four Gulf states to sign the aid accord with Morocco. It was not immediately clear whether Qatar would disburse the aid installments for both 2012 and 2013, each worth $250 million, together. The Gulf states have agreed a similar package of aid, also worth a total $5 billion over a five-year period, for Jordan.


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY

Investors wary amid web stocks’ boom investors in Internet Fyear:OR stocks, it was a banner shares of many companies doubled as revenue climbed and on forecasts for rip-roaring growth in earnings. But the gains haven’t been anxiety-free, thanks to uncomfortable memories of the 1999 Internet bubble and subsequent bust. Market strategists and tech experts say the comparison is overblown. While there is the potential for a decline in some Web company stock prices that are out of line with their earnings outlook, they say there is little chance of a bloody retreat. Most importantly, this year’s stars, such as Facebook and Netflix, actually make money. Many of the web companies that were emblems of the previous era had little prospect of ever being profitable and some hardly had any revenue - basing their boasting on non-financial metrics such as numbers of eyeballs, or page clicks. The Internet and the ways people use and access it have been transformed in the past 14 years. In 1999, it was mainly through slow dial-up services using a desktop computer, now there is faster broadband and mobile access from phones and tablets. Webbased advertising has grown into a mature, viable business, and computing speeds support video and sophisticated gaming. The market is much more rational than it was in 1999, argues Jeff Dachis, who cofounded and was chief executive of Razorfish, an online ad firm that went public in 1999, and is now part of France’s Publicis Groupe. “What you had then was 100 times the volume of stock with little to none of the credibility or weight in the marketplace that a Facebook or a Twitter has today,” said Dachis. “Nobody denies now the growth of online advertising or digital marketing.” Warning signs Facebook, Google and Netflix are among the Internet companies set to finish 2013 at or near record highs. Lessweighty Web companies such as Yelp and Pandora saw their shares triple. That is not to say there aren’t warning signs. The 160-per cent gain in shares of Twitter since its November initial public offering raises awkward questions about the levels of speculative froth given the company has not yet earned a cent. Also, consumer names like Snapchat and Pinterest are raising eyebrows by garnering millions of dollars in financing at multi-billion dollar valuations - despite being decidedly in the red. According to CB Insights, there are 26 U.S. tech companies that have raised financing at valuations of $1 billion or more and that could go public in 2014, including Uber and Square. Hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who has often taken short positions on richly valued stocks, in October, asked in a letter to investors whether history was being repeated. “When ... conventional valuation methods no longer apply for many stocks, we can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu,” he said.

Still, Internet companies are trading at much cheaper valuations than their counterparts in the late 1990s. The stratospheric multiples that defined companies such as Webvan (388 times revenue in 1999) and VerticalNet (268 times sales) are unheard of recently. Twitter, which trades at 73 times its past year’s revenue, is among the most richly valued Web stocks by that measure. Google, Netflix and Salesforce.com all trade at below 10 times their trailing twelve-months’ revenue. “The end markets - Internet advertising, online retail, online travel - those markets are just dramatically more developed today than they were in ‘99, 2000,” said Mark Mahaney, who began his career covering Internet stocks in the 1990s at Morgan Stanley, working with star Internet analyst Mary Meeker. Toil and trouble The bursting of the dotcom bubble ranks among investment history’s greatest debacles. From its peak of 5123.52 on March 10, 2000, the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 78 per cent of its value in just over two-and-a-half years. Nearly 14 years later, the Nasdaq has still not regained those lofty levels even as most other major U.S. averages have surpassed previous highs, another indication that the market is far from where it was back then. The turn of the decade came replete with stories about extravagant parties, unabashed flogging of dubious names by investment professionals and startup CEOs, and tales of cash outlays that boggle the mind today, including a Super Bowl 2000 that saw nearly 20 dotcom companies spending about $1.1 million apiece on advertising spots - just before many went under. At the end of 1999, eight out of 10 of the most highly valued stocks were tech companies, led by Yahoo trading at almost 577 times projected 2000 earnings, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Fellow dotcom-era corporations America Online and Cisco Systems Inc - the latter prized because it dominated the market for networking equipment that enabled Internet connections - clocked in at 223 times and 102 times, respectively. Fast-forward to 2013, and just four dotcoms rank among the year’s 20 biggest gainers on the S&P 500, led by Netflix’s quadrupling. Yahoo is at No. 10 after having doubled. Facebook has more than doubled. Other big gainers include Best Buy and Micron Technology. “The consensus view in the market is that things are bubbly but since the valuations are not as expensive as 1999, there is room to run,” said Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist at Jones Trading. But he said that such thinking might be flawed and cautioned that using one of the most expensive periods in stock market history, as a comparison is extremely risky, with a limited reward. “When bubbles pop a large portion of the gains are erased very quickly,” O’Rourke said.

IPOS much fewer The lack of newly listed Internet stocks provides some relief for those concerned about a possible bubble. There were only five U.S. Internet IPOs in 2013, including Twitter, compared with 86 in 1999, according to Thomson Reuters data. In fact, the number of IPOs in 1999 is greater than the combined number of public offerings every year since then. Many companies may simply be waiting longer to take the plunge, debuting at a far more advanced stage of development than the wave of 1999 dotcoms. Facebook, an extreme example, went public with a valuation of more than $100 billion. “Anything and everything regardless of how asinine the business model was - was

going public and getting ridiculous valuations” back in 1999, said Ryan Jacob, chief executive of the Jacob Funds. Take eToys, the online toy store whose shares quadrupled on their debut in 1999. It spent tens of millions of dollars on pricey TV ads only to file for bankruptcy in early 2001. With low interest rates and signs that the U.S. economy is strengthening, Internet valuations could go higher in 2014 - though nowhere close to 1999 levels, Jacob said. He pointed to LinkedIn’s 14 per cent decline since more than doubling in the first nine months of the year, as sign that investors aren’t losing their heads. “You did have a part of the market that got ahead of themselves, and then took a breather” in 2013, Jacob said.

Mark Zuckerbeg, Facebook founder

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY

Anxiety rises in U.S. over imminent end of federal programme AURA Walker, a 63-year-old Lwork, paralegal, is looking for applying for at least three jobs a week since January, when she was laid off. Until today, she could count on $450 a week in federal unemployment benefits for help. Now, those checks will disappear, just as they will for 1.3 million other Americans whose emergency aid ran out recently. “Not all of us have savings and a lot of us have to take care of family because of what happened in the economy,” said Walker, of Santa Clarita, California, who shares an apartment with her unemployed son, his wife and two children. “It’s going to put my family and me out on the streets.” The programme, started during the recession, was intended to help jobless people after they exhausted state benefits, typically lasting six months. House Republicans resisted continuing the benefits without budget cuts elsewhere to cover the cost. Keeping it running another year would cost $25 billion and spur the economy enough to create about 200,000 jobs, the Congressional Budget Office estimated. “It lacks compassion for the victims of the recession and, economically, it’s shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, which backs policies that help low-income workers. “The timing is very premature. The evidence is that people who want work can’t find it.” Still Struggle While the national unemployment rate fell in November to seven per cent, after reaching as high as 10 per cent in 2009, finding work is still a struggle for many. More than onethird of the unemployed, or 4 million people, had been out of work for more than 27 weeks as of last month, according to the U.S. Labour Department. Most states provide 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. The additional federal benefits were put in place in 2008, under President George W. Bush. At its most generous, in 2012, the programme allowed the jobless to collect unemployment checks for as many as 99 weeks, including state benefits, according to the White House. It had since been scaled back to a maximum of 73 weeks in states with the highest unemployment. Opponents said that the extended benefits discourage the unemployed from accepting jobs and that the program should be curtailed, given the recovery in the nation’s labor market. ‘Make compromises’ “The economy has now been out of a recession for more than four years,” said Chris Edwards, an economist with the Cato Institute in Washington, which argues for scaling back the role of government. “These unemployment benefits are emergency benefits, but the economy is no longer in an emergency situation. People can find jobs if they are willing to moderate their wage demands and make compromises.” Lisa Cicchinelli disagrees. The

46-year-old from a suburb of Albany, New York, said that she’s been looking for work — any work — since June, when she lost her job as an administrative assistant in a doctor’s office. “I’m tired of hearing the stigma of being on unemployment that people are lazy and milking the system,” Cicchinelli said in an interview. “I never lost a job in my life. I’ve been working since I was 15 and this is the first time I had to collect anything. I am hustling and networking and going places. You can’t just sit and wait for it to come to you.” She and her husband, a state employee, have already used up all their savings. This week is the last that she can collect New York state unemployment benefits. “It was difficult enough being on unemployment,” Cicchinelli said. “Now going to nothing is extremely difficult and extremely frightening.” Jobs gap There were 3.9 million job openings across the U.S. at the end of October, according to the Labour Department. That same month, 11.3 million people were looking for work but couldn’t find it, a gap advocates say underscores the need to keep benefits flowing. Some lawmakers are pushing to reinstate the benefits. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, where the unemployment rate is nine per cent, said that it would be the first issue taken up when Congress reconvenes next month. Senators Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, and Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, are seeking to renew it for three months while Congress figures out a way to cover the cost. Failure to extend the programme will affect 1.9 million people who are forecast to use up their state benefits in the first half of 2014 before they can find work, according to the White House. Largest states The effect will be especially pronounced in the most-populous U.S. states. In New York, 102,700 people were expected to lose their benefits on December 28, said Chris White, a spokesman for the state’s labour department. In New Jersey, about 90,300 will do the same, according to estimates from Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee. More than 222,000 Californians will likewise see their benefits disappear. The loss has consequences for Cindy Snow, a former social worker whose job was eliminated in April when San Bernardino, California’s school system terminated the child-care program where she worked. Her husband, employed in the construction industry, has been without a job since 2009. They have been relying on assistance from the California Housing Finance Agency to cover a $1,424-amonth payment on their home in Beaumont, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles. When she loses her unemployment benefits, she said, the family will no longer qualify for the housing assistance. ‘Playing games’

“Why are they using us as pawns?” Snow said, referring to politicians in Washington. “They’re playing games with people’s lives.” Laura Walker, the paralegal, said that she decided to take Social Security retirement early. The $1,574-a-month is enough to cover the rent on her two-bedroom apartment. Still, without her unemployment check, there won’t be money for anything else until she — or someone else in her family — finds work. “I understand the government doesn’t want to pay for people who are taking advantage of it,” she said. “But I am not, and many other people are not.” “I just don’t know what to do, except pray.”

Job seeker

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24 Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Appointments

Wogu

Kaigama

Aremu

Raising the bar for workers’ welfare in 2014 By Yetunde Ebosele, Lagos and Collins Olayinka, Abuja   ODAY  is the last working T day of the year 2013. The  year was characterised with agitation for improved welfare package based on the dwindling state of the economy and poor public infrastructure across the country. From one part of the country to the other, workers through their various representatives  within the year spoke against hostile work environment, low pay package, joblessness and the urgent need for the federal government to diversify the nation’s economy from over dependence on crude oil as a major source of income, among others. The various issues, especially the agitation for improved standard of living is expected to remain on the front burner in 2014. Indeed, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC)  have repeatedly challenged all tiers of governments to find amicable solutions to the economic and political problems confronting the nation. According to the  Vice President of the NLC,  Issa Aremu, it is unfortunate that Nigerian political leaders have not come together to brainstorm over how the nation’s pitiable state of the economy could be re-engineered for growth, rather “they are only positioning themselves for the politics of 2015 at the expense of development and growth.” Besides, Aremu argued that

it was saddening that 53 years after Nigeria’s independence, the country still relied on oil as the mainstay of the economy, adding that, “With all the best of efforts, Nigeria’s economy is still not yet diversified.” Speaking in a similar vein, recently, TUC said: “It is no news that we got independence 53 years ago, neither is it news that not much has been achieved within these years. However, the challenges facing the country are resolvable and it must start with the unity of the country.  The proposed national conference is a step in the right direction if and only if it is done in good fate.  There is need for the people to dialogue and agree on the terms to boost the country’s unity and address her myriad of problems. Nigeria is one country in spite of its varying cultures, religion and ethnic nationalities and we can only succeed as a nation if we stay united.” According to TUC President’s Bobboi Bala Kaigama, some success have been recorded since the exit of the  colonial master though not commensurate with available resources: “One cannot deny the fact that we have recorded some landmark achievements since the colonial masters left our shores, but again, one must also make it emphatically clear that our achievement so far is not commensurate with the resources that nature has bequeathed to us.”  Speaking further, Kaigama urged politicians to reflect on the dynamism of true

democracy and work towards improving the status of the country and the citizens as 2014 comes into focus. “As we make a cross over to year 2014, politicians must reflect on the dynamics of true democracy and work towards improving the national life of the citizenry. We have come a long way, but we have longer way to go. And in this journey to nation hood, we must be conscious of the dangers ahead. One of such signs of danger is dearth of institutions. What we have today in our country is predominance of powerful individuals as presidents or heads of state, Governors, ministers, director generals, captains of industries, etc. instead of powerful institutions. No country makes progress anywhere in the world where we have powerful individuals as opposed to powerful institutions. Nigeria deserves more than she has attained so far. Nigeria is in want of committed leaders in the stature of Mandela,” he said. The General Secretary of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) Peters Adeyemi,  while assessing the outgoing year and projecting for 2014 said: “The continued slide of Naira is eroding the gains of the N18, 000 minimum wage and government must be ready to face agitation for wage increment in 2014.” Observers also described the year 2013  as one of the most frustrated years for Nigerians students especial-

ly those at the tertiary institutions such as the universities, Colleges of Education and the polytechnics. While the Academic Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU) had a prolonged strike  that lasted six months can heave a sigh of relief, agonies continue for  polytechnic teachers and their counterparts in the Colleges of Education, as there is no sign of relief yet. Adeyemi reasoned that the steady crash of the national currency means the purchasing power of the Naira has greatly reduced hence the need for government to expect agitation for wage increment as a way of mitigating the effect of inflation. The NASU scribe scored government low on performance in the out-going year saying government must change its strategies by engaging labour unions more in 2014 otherwise there will be more labour unrest in 2014. Adeyemi, who berated government for neglecting the polytechnics and Colleges of Education, said two months after the two teaching and non-teaching staff unions of the institutions declared industrial disputes, government is yet to invite them for negotiation. Adeyemi said government did little to promote industrial peace as shown in the electricity and education sector of the economy in 2013. He said: “I cannot score government high in the way it managed the labour sub-sector of the economy in the out-going year. First, the workers in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education

have been on strike for the past two months and government has not deemed it fit to invite the unions for talks. Even ordinary letter we wrote to them has not been acknowledged. This is most unfortunate for a government that intends to  join  the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020. How can the country develop when critical institutions that are key in driving the development goals are neglected?” Adeyemi, who paid glowing tributes to National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) for ensuring its members were paid before the privatisation of power utilities, berated government for not thinking its policies through first in terms of implications on workers’ welfare. His words: “We must applaud the electricity workers for standing up to government on privatization of electricity in the country. There is no way the new owners of the assets will not need the workers and must also allow unionism in the companies. How will they perform without the expertise of former workers who had cultivated huge experience over the years? They have to use them and also allow unionisation. Who would they negotiate with in terms of welfare and working conditions of workers if there are no unions?” Adeyemi said that he saw more agitations in the country in 2014 especially in the electricity, health and education sub-sector saying agitations had continued to

grow in these sectors that are most likely going to be stretched into 2014. He urged government to enter into negotiations with aggrieved unions and respect agreement while cautioning that government cannot handle the political turbulence  as the nation heads to the 2015 general elections. He added: “It is in the interest of government to ensure there is industrial peace in 2014 by respecting unions’ agitations and honour agreements.” In his review, the Secretary General of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Marcus Omokhuale, said the relations between the federal government and workers in the out-going year was not perfect but was cordial and needed an improvement in 2014. However, he took a swipe at the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu for maintaining anti-labour posture in the course of the year. He accused the minister of insincerity and alleged that the Ministry of Health failed to implement agreements reached with government, saying: “we had our worst time under this Minister of Health. All collective agreements reached with government were not implemented by the ministry.” But to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chukwuemeka Wogu, 2013 was a good year. He admitted that though the year would easily emerge as one with highest number of

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28 APPOINTMeNT Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LCCI elects new officers He Lagos Chamber of T Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has elected new officers to run its affairs for the next two years. At the chamber’s yearly general meeting, Managing Director/Chief executive Officer of CrittallHope Nigeria Limited, Aderemi Ismaila Bello,  emerged the president/chairman of council.  Until his election, he was the deputy president/chairman, Finance and General Purposes Committee of the Chamber. A chartered accountant, Bello studied at Olabisi Onabanjo University,  AgoIwoye as well as the Lagos Business School. He is a fellow of the  Institute of

Bello

Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Associate member of the  Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and member, Institute of Directors. He was also vice president/chairman, Trade Promotion Board  and also treasurer of the Lagos Chamber. Furthermore, he served as the national treasurer of Nigeria National Polio Programme Committee of Rotary International and was president, Rotary Club of Ikeja South  (from 2007 to 2008). Bello was also past district treasurer, District  9110, Rotary International, Nigeria. He is currently president of Jericho Businessmen Club,

Akande

Ibadan. Similarly, a former Minister of Industries of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr.  (Mrs.) Nike Akande was also elected deputy president. She was vice  president/chairperson of the Chamber’s Public Affairs and Advocacy  Committee. Six vice presidents also emerged at the meeting. They are Babatunde Ruwase, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, Mrs. Olu Maduka, Mr. Varkey Verghese and Mr. Suboma Ajumogobia. Mr. Sola Oyetayo was elected treasurer with Mr. Gabriel Idahosa as the deputy treasurer.


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Peoples’Digest

Published in association with

Changing a Job is a Job, (2) By Aruosa Osemwegie GPHR, SPHR

Background HE first part of this series focused on the T work and principles shared by Herminia Ibarra in her book, Working Identity. Loads of people would like to reinvent their work life but don’t know the steps to take. When they do know, they still aren’t certain of the outcomes of those steps. Herminia asserts that, “most of us know what we are trying to escape: the lockstep of a narrowly defined career, inauthentic or unstimulating work, numbing corporate politics, and a lack of time for life outside of work. Finding an alternative that truly fits, like finding one’s mission in life, cannot be accomplished overnight. It takes time, perseverance, and hard work. But effort isn’t enough; a sound method and the skill to put it into practice are also required. In the search for a career redirection, we need to devote the greater part of our time and energy to action rather than reflection, to doing instead of planning.” It tells us to give up the search for a tenpoint plan and to accept instead a crooked path. But what appears to be a mysterious, road-to-Damascus process is actually a learning-by-doing practice that any of us can adopt. We start by taking action”. In this article, we put forward another model that can be used to cross over into a new job. Introducing the 4-Point Change Model (4PCmodel) The 4PCmodel combines reflection and action. It is a useful model for anyone trying to get into a career for which the person doesn’t have prior training/education/experience. Many people leave school knowing that they do not want to work in fields that utilize that education. There is the medical doctor who doesn’t want to have anything to do with Medicine. Likewise, the Electrical-Electronics graduate who wants to do business. Or is it the architect who would rather design and build dresses? The list is endless. There is another category that could use the 4PCmodel. Those in this group have worked for many years in a particular profession/industry but something in their gut tells them that they need to get into an entirely new arena. A third set are those forced into rethinking present career choices due to an industry or organisational reshuffle or resizing. The 4PCmodel says that you enhance your desire or goal to transit when you focus on four areas simultaneously. These four areas cause a ripple effect whose outcome is much more than the sum of the parts. The usual temptation or pitfall many have is that they hope for that breakthrough moment where someone or an organisation in the desired field or profession just takes a look at them and suddenly says “You are the person we need.” E.g. imagine that you seek to transition into Information Technology from Banking. Are you hoping that suddenly (I believe in miracles by the way), an IT solutions company would just say to you, “I think you would make a good programmer.” Of course not! So what are the four areas being espoused by this model? This model claims that you can get into a new profession/industry by combining your efforts around the following: 1) Reading and Research, 2) Mentorship; 3) Academic route and 4) Work experience. The 4PCmodel: Reading and research Voracious Reading and Researching of wrong data would always produce wrong results. If you are running very fast…really fast…in the wrong direction, increasing your speed or your focus wouldn’t still get you to the right destination. However, reading and researching about your intended

field is the most important step in transiting into the industry/profession. Whilst still in your present profession, do all you can to get knowledge about the new field, chiefly through reading and research. Find out how that industry works through books, magazines, the internet etc. Understand the value delivery chain of that industry attempt to find out how they make or lose money. You must know the thought leaders in that field. You must know about recent advancements within the industry. The impact of reading is well underscored by these quotes: “Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the way in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting.” (Aldous Huxley) “You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years, except for the people you meet and the books you read.”  (Charlie “Tremendous” Jones) “The more you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.” (Dr. Seuss) “Some people will lie, cheat, steal and back-stab to get ahead... and to think, all they have to do is READ.”(Fortune) “In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.”(Ralph Waldo Emerson) Reading opens the worlds of information and possibilities. Reading provides inspiration. Reading provides intercourse with superior minds. Reading stimulates our Godgiven brains.Reading fires imagination (image in action). Reading can ignite some latent interest/talent in you.Reading can be a bridge from failure to success. The 4PCmodel: Source Mentorship Source for a mentor in the area of interest. Mentors grant us access to their knowledge, relationships, successes and mistakes. They represent a shortcut into real life experience. A potential mentor is someone who has achieved some level of success in that industry/profession – particularly the type of success that you desire. You can also source an indirect mentor: through books. This is when you deliberately read book after book by the same author. “Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.

However, true mentoring is more than just answering occasional questions or providing ad hoc help. It is about an ongoing relationship of learning, dialogue, and challenge.” (Wikipedia). “For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out.” (Oprah Winfrey). The 4PCmodel: Acquire Work Experience This is a more obvious segment as it is the target of your entire career reinvention. And this is where a lot of people focus their thoughts and resources …and that is also why frustrations run high. This is because most times the people in the targeted industry can’t see why they should hire you. Your passion for the industry isn’t enough. They would like to see proofs of that passion and the proofs are in your pursuit of all the other three segments of the 4PCmodel. For this segment, you would need an above average knowledge of job movement tools such as resume writing, interviewing skills, and creative job search. I recommend you get a copy of the book, Getting a Job is a Job by Aruosa Osemwegie, as you would find a lot of helpful material regarding the job movement tools. Accessing a job in the target industry/profession would require that you see yourself as an apprentice. Be willing to work long hours, be willing to work with incommensurate (or nil) pay and be willing to stay the course. Remember you are working for skills and for access into that industry/profession. I’ve been working for many years and I think I’ve managed to work with some of the best people in the business,

Many routes to change your job

which has been rewarding and an apprenticeship. The 4PCmodel: Acquire Academic Resources We are in an intellectual age, an age and time of ideas. You would need to deepen your intellectual understanding of the targeted industry/profession through formal training. Get a degree, or a postgraduate degree. Attend seminars, and acquire local and international certifications. One of the best times to acquire these academic resources is while you are still in your current job. And this fourth segment is one of the critical levers of the 4PCmodel. As it turns out, it is now possible to find a seminar, certification or postgraduate qualification in virtually anything through face-to-face training or by distance learning. Conclusion You might ask, “Can I also use this model to transition into entrepreneurship?” And the answer is Yes! The only difference is that your target industry is entrepreneurship (business ownership). Start by taking some action today in any of the four segments enumerated here. Admit no excuses. I leave you with this, ““It is possible for man to educate himself without help or support from others. In fact, when we learn the art of selfeducation (learning how to learn versus how to be taught) we will find, if not create, opportunity to find success beyond our wildest dreams. Self-educated people are not dependent on others for knowledge. If they need a specialized skill, they know how to acquire it without dependence on Continued On page 27

Source: pongoresume.com


Tuesday, December 31,

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PEOPLES DIGEST

27

How Leaders Bridge the Generation Divide By Meghan M. Biro

E’RE in the middle of a historic evolutionary leap driven by digital innovation and software technology, and it has created a generational divide that holds both promise and peril for leaders, managers and HR departments. This is a large fail for those of us in the trenches fighting this ongoing employee engagement crisis. If you’ve ever watched a teenager (or younger!) on her laptop, mobile, or even iPhone, you know what I mean. She’s texting, Tweeting, Facebooking, taking a selfie, doing her homework and watching Katy Perry’s new video on her iPhone — all at the same time - without breaking a sweat! Her brain synapses are firing in whole new ways. It’s some crazy combination of scary, exhilarating, baffling, and fascinating. These emerging generations are living a world that didn’t exist a decade ago – a global digital nervous system that operates in real time. And it’s the only world they’ve ever known. For Gen Xers (large portion are leaders) and Boomers (many leaders here too), this new world can be (especially at first) daunting territory. It can be intimidating and overwhelming. What it can’t be is ignored Those of us in HR and Leadership roles have seen too many walls go up between the different generations. There’s mistrust and unease all around. The Millennials consider the Boomers a bunch of old fogeys. The Xers feel caught between. Boomers can be condescending and closed-minded. And who suffers most because of this generational dysfunction? The organization! Performance and profits! For leaders the challenge is clear: get everyone on the same page/screen. Here are five ways to break down the generational walls in your workplace culture: 1.) Foster Communication

W

Get people together, informally, to talk about the new digital reality and what it means to the individual. Xers especially can feel inadequate about their lack of social-media skills. The more dialogue the better. And it’s good for (sometimes smug and hipper-thanthou) Millennials to be exposed to other generations. Just because someone isn’t a computer whiz doesn’t mean they’re not an amazing talent. 2) Demystify The sheer volume and variety in the digital world can be overwhelming. Offer classes and training to Xers and Boomers. Pair them up with millennial mentors. Many people are shy about admitting their lack of digital skills; once they’re taught the basics, they find they love it. The goal here is build a basic comfort level across the organization. 3.)Be Flexible With Digital-Skill Levels. Some very talented people have no interest in spending endless hours on the computer. Sing their praises! Yes, they need the basic skills to connect them to the organizational nervous system and optimize their performance, but beyond that they can be Luddites. It’s SO important for HR and Leaders to understand that every talented person is different. There’s massive societal pressure these days to conform, to be plugged in online all the time. A lot of amazing people would rather spend their free time on other pursuits. 4.) Create A Baseline This is a site that unites. Something user-friendly that everyone can be a part of. This provides a foundation across the organization; it engages and inspires people. It literally puts everyone on the same page. 5.)Be True To Your Culture

Doing things together can bridge the gap

As with all business lessons, one size fits no one. You want to tailor your generational bridge-building to suit the specific needs of your enterprise. For some companies, the need is more urgent than others. Take an inventory of where things stand and develop your plan accordingly. The future is here. Techno and digital tools rule. The rules in the World of

connectedrogers.ca

Work are changing big time. All true. But optimal results depend of getting everyone comfortable, communicating, and working from the same baseline. Because the possibilities and opportunities are so vast in this new reality, the challenge is an exciting one. http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2013/10/13/five-ways-leaders-bridge-thegenerational-divide/

Changing a Job is a Job, (2) Continued from page 26

authority. Unknowingly, people are promoted by their ability to learn new skills fast. Bosses may not recognize how people learn, but they do recognize the results. People who know how to educate themselves have choices, they have the ability to advance in any endeavor. There are many ways to acquire a skill that has value to someone else. Everyone is unique and this uniqueness has value, but only the individual can explore

and discover what that uniqueness is. People who do not depend on authority for guidance can start now. People who want someone to show them the way, may never get started. Dependency on self to develop skills is a powerful skill in itself. This is the tool of super achievers.” (ref. motivation-tools.com)

FEEDBACK COLUMN We believe these articles contain great information that policy makers, business leaders, human resources practitioners and the general public can use for quality decisions. Your own reaction, positive or critical, can shed more light, in practical ways, on the body of knowledge that we are sharing. As such, your feedback is important to us.

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34 APPOINTMENT Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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Fashola tasks health workers on empathy By Wole Oyebade

of the black man or that he is inferior in terms of physiological makeup to other races, adding that many Nigerians that seek medical attention overseas do so largely because of the level of attention they receive from such places. While appreciating the recipients of various categories of outstanding performance awards in health care delivery, Fashola said the gesture would attract a healthy rivalry among the workers.

AGOS State governor, Raji Lhealth Fashola (SAN) has urged workers in the state to promote patient-centred culture, by imbibing the virtue of kindness, compassion and empathy in caring for the sick. Fashola, at the 10th State Health Merit Awards ceremony, recently held in Lagos, said cultivating the compassion culture would be easier, if workers would adopt the H.E.A.R.T acronym in treating their patients. H.E.A.R.T, according to Fashola, stands for Healthgivers, Empathise, Apologise, Respond and Thankfulness. The governor, who spoke on the theme: “Excellence in patient-centred care” said “responding with a ‘H.E.A.R.T” implies that “health givers should be attentive to their patients, empathise with them, apologise where necessary, respond to their problems and thank them.” He added that the guiding principle for all professionals in the healthcare sector

Fashola explained that the awards taken by various personalities and groups at the event were testimony of their individual and corporate commitment to excellence in patient-centred care . Awards of Excellence were presented to several health practitioners, agencies and collaborative bodies at the event, which had in attendance some members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Health,

Dr Jide Idris, Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina and Chairman, Health Service Commission (HSC), Dr Salako. Olawumi Others are Permanent Secretary, Health Service Commission (HSC), Dr Olatunji, Olufunmilayo Secretary, Permanent Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Olugbile and former Head Adesegun Service, of Ogunlewe among several stakeholders in the health sector.

LAHASCOM boss charges workers on discipline By Wole Oyebade

Fashola should be empathy for any patient in need of help, and at all times, adding that there were varying caring ways of passing messages without hurting the receiv-

He added that the guiding principle for all professionals in the healthcare sector should be empathy for any patient in need of help, and at all times, adding that there were varying caring ways of passing messages without hurting the receiver or create the impression that no one cares.

er or create the impression that no one cares. He stressed that the commitment, concern and care given or shown by health officers go a long way in assisting a patient to be relaxed in the process of being diagnosed and receiving treatment for his ailments, which re-echoes the need for attitudinal change among health care givers. Fashola said further that the remarkable feats recorded by blacks had shown that there is nothing inferior about the gene

HAIRMAN of the Lagos C State House of Assembly Service Commission, Olawale Mogaji, has urged workers of the commission to be self-disciplined in the course of carrying out their various duties. Mogaji, who gave the charge at a four-day retreat organised by the commission for its’ workers, said

there was the need for improve diligence and professionalism, if the commission must up its game and achieve its’ mandate. He stressed that workers must “live above board in all our actions and manage information well, particularly the one on major policy decisions that are crucial to the overall success of the commission.” The Chairman, however,

He stressed that workers must “live above board in all our actions and manage information well, particularly the one on major policy decisions that are crucial to the overall success of the commission.

assured the staff of their management’s commitment to capacity building and human resources development, adding that the commission was still in its infancy and faced with the need to “equip workers with the necessary knowledge and skills that would help us achieve collective success.” The retreat was organised to review the commission’s activities since its inception. Also to determine if it has lived up to expectations and as well as worked in line with its vision, mission and core values as stipulated in the establishing law.


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CIBN, varsity partner to enhance banking profession By Chijioke Nelson NDICATIONS have emerged that the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), has entered into a strategic partnership with Lagos Business School/Pan Atlantic University (LBS/PAU), to produce new breed of bankers with international benchmark. The move would also ensure professional knowledge and skills to drive the nation’s financial system, which affiliation agreement was signed between the Centre for Financial Studies (CFS), a subsidiary of CIBN and the Pan African institution. The affiliation will among other things,

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enable CFS and LBS/PAU to strategically engage in a number of activities to achieve the objectives of the CFS, which are to engage in research on topical emerging and contemporary issues in the banking and finance industry, with a view to advancing the frontiers of knowledge. The affiliation will also facilitate engagement in policy advocacy by generating position papers on relevant and topical issues in banking and finance; serve as a game changer and best-inclass-institution in the quest for upgrading the competencies of banking & finance executives not only in Nigeria, but also

RegCharles’ boss laments plight of retirees, offers assistance By Anthony Chidubem Nwachukwu MPROMPTU retirement of workers is traumatic and dislocates them from happy and gainful postservice life, as it does not allow them sufficient mental, physical and material preparedness for the challenges ahead, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of RegCharles Group, Mr. Peter Damian Mbama, has said. However, the Head of Learning and Development, Fidelity Bank Plc, Ejibe Irunna, has enjoined the bank’s retiring members of staff not to see retirement as a death sentence. Mbama, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the week-long pre-retirement training held recently at the RegCharles training facility in Lekki, Lagos, for the bank workers preparatory to their exit, regretted that Nigerians do not make proper plans for retirement. In a statement from the Head, Capacity Development, RegCharles Finance and Capital Limited, Ode A. Idoko, the GMD stressed that “Nigerians are never told about retirement and consequently do not prepare for retirement the first day they were employed,” which then culminates in large armies of retirees wallowing in abject poverty. “In Nigeria, we never prepare to start anything; we don’t plan for our work and our retirement. As soon as retirement sets in, many people get confused,” he noted. To remedy this trend, he said, the training was “designed as an interventionist measure to curb the problems associated with retirement. The pension system in Nigeria is still evolving and bedeviled by

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numerous challenges. Consequently, retirement packages cannot sustain most of the nation’s retirees. “A major consequence of this is that many of the retirees have become a social menace as some of them engage in street begging in major cities across the federation and, in some extreme cases, become complete dependents and liabilities to their former employers and relatives.” Nevertheless, Mbama assured the participants of RegCharles Group’s willingness to offer any kind of assistance they might require afterwards, stating: “Those of you who may want to start business and may require assistance, including funding, don’t hesitate to approach RegCharles. “Those who may want to start car hire services, we are ready to add money to your money to buy brand new cars, if you so desire. Our doors are open for partnership.” Meanwhile, Irunna admonished the participants to immediately start practicing what they had learnt, stressing that retirement is not a death sentence but another phase of life, which must be accepted with gratitude. “What matters is not that you are retiring but how useful and active you want to be in retirement. You have served meritoriously well. The bank wishes you the best in your future endeavours; we are here to support you in whichever way possible,” she said. The training is aimed at encouraging retired and retiring members of staff of public and private organizations to embrace micro, small and medium enterprises in order to remain active and also become employers of labour at retirement.

in the entire African continent and collaborate with universities and other institutions towards the achievement of the objectives of the centre. To this end, the Advisory Board of the CFS, made up of top professionals from the financial and other sectors of the economy was formally inaugurated by the President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Dr. Segun Aina, to enable the centre commence activities. The members of the board include the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Sarah Alade, who serves as the Chairman; ViceChancellor, Ahmadu

Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha; the DirectorGeneral, Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Prof. Olufemi Taiwo; Managing Director/Chief Executive, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Olabisi Onasanya; Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri, Dr. Cele Njoku; and Registrar/Chief Executive, CIBN, Dr. ’Uju Ogubunka; while the Administrator of the Centre, Habila Amos, serves as the Secretary of the board. Speaking at the event, Aina noted that CFS was set up to address the identified gaps in the banking and finance industry. “After identifying the

gaps, we saw the need to improve the skills and competencies of future executives in Nigerian banking and financial services industry and that was what prompted the institute to set up the CFS, which expectedly is a game changer in education and learning in the banking and finance industry”, he said. The Dean, Lagos Business School, Dr. Enase Okonedo, explained that the development would enable the two affiliating institutions to focus more on research and seminars that would further enhance the development of professionalism in the industry and indeed, the e c o n o m y . “The collaboration would

help prepare bankers to adequately deal with the challenges posed by the peculiarities in the Nigerian banking and finance industry”, she assured. But Alade, who expressed gratitude for development, noted that it would further revolutionalise research in the industry, while providing financial institutions the opportunity to have access to enough skilled workforce. “I am happy that this is happening at this time when the banking industry has put together a competency framework that defines the competency standards for people that want to occupy top positions in the industry.”


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Importance of employee counseling to organisational growth By Oluseun Babalola ANY firms today realize the M importance of attracting and retaining highly skilled, quality employees as a necessary component of their competitive advantage. One of the reasons that a quality workforce along with innovative tools for attracting and retaining has become so important is because previous sources of competitive advantage have become less important overtime. For example, previously, a firm’s success was attributed to an emphasis on product and process technology, access to financial markets, developing economies of scale & learning curves, patents, protected and regulated markets & individual attractiveness. Recently, however, some scholars have noted that these traditional sources of success are less important than in the past and emphasize that the selection and management of a quality workforce has become an increasingly critical factor to organisational success. Today, HR practitioners are busy developing new and innovative tools to attract and retain quality workforce. One such tool that soon is likely to gain popularity in the corporate world is Employee Counseling. Employee counseling is a service offered by companies to their employees. Organisations that care for their employees are perceived as more meaningful and purposeful. Every organisation has economic and social goals. Here, it is worthwhile to note some observations made by the Chairman of TAB-12 Accounting Solution in this regard. He states, “The task of leadership is to make people believe in themselves, the organisation, in the aggressive targets the organization sets. Belief comes from trust: the trust that this organisation isn’t about making one set of stakeholders better off; it is about making every one of us better off….” A firm may gain competitive advantages from Employee Counseling activities especially if its reputation and image is valuable, rare and not easily imitated. Employee counseling therefore is a very powerful tool in the hands of companies in attracting and retaining quality workforce. Although Counseling is known by many names like ‘therapy’ or ‘helping’ it is by and large, an attempt to encourage change. The counselee’s problems could be so complex that it might be difficult to see any system of help as an elegant solution. But, Counseling has shown some effectiveness over the years, as a process of helping people come through with their troubles. Counseling is a process of helping people to learn how to solve certain interpersonal, emotional and decision problems. Counselors help their counselees to ‘learn’. The criterion for success in any Counseling is real changes in behavior on the part of the counselee. Counselors are concerned that their counselees become independent problem solvers. Continued dependence on the counselor as well as others is discouraged. Counselors are concerned with habit changes that increase peoples’ satisfaction with themselves. It could be anything from helping people choos-

es a career option, becoming appropriately assertive or communicating more harmoniously with team members. Largely, Counseling has been a ‘remedial approach’. But recently there has been a slight change in emphasis, from remedial to ‘preventive’. It is rightly said, ‘half knowledge is dangerous’. People often harbor myths about the counseling process. Some false beliefs about counseling are as follows: (source: Magazine - Dignity Dialogue, 31July 2001) No human being is perfect and we all constantly fight our own inadequacies in our own ways. Working in any organization requires an individual to be geared up to face the challenges of work-life. This does not mean he/she can escape the duties and responsibilities of family life, whether married or unmarried. Not every individual is competent enough to take and manage the stress of a hectic life style. Thus, we cannot deny the fact that every individual has intra and inter-personal problems whether at work or at home. The HR function of any organisation has the most important challenging job of “making the most” of their Human Resource. An employee can give his best to the organization only if he is in a positive “frame of mind”. A mentally preoccupied or troubled individual will be in a position to give very little to his comp a n y . No successful organization will ever be free from stress among its employees. Organisation should be able to deal with stress on individuals at all levels. Here the role of Counseling comes in, where people can talk and attempt to solve their personal and work related worries. Need for employee counseling arises due to various causes in addition to stress. These causes include: to deal effectively with one’s own emotions, interpersonal problems and lack of team spirit at workplace, inability to meet job demands, over work-load, confrontation with authority, responsibility and accountability, conflicts with superiors, subordinates and management and various family problems, health problems, career problems, etc. Counseling is a process of helping an individual to help himself. Counseling, basically aims at helping individuals take charge of their lives. For this, individuals need two types of skills: ability to make decisions wisely and altering one’s own behavior to yield desirable consequences. A counselor’s job, then, becomes one of arranging appropriate learning experiences so that people develop these skills. Counselors avoid giving speeches about what should be done, but ideas for action are developed with the active co-operation of the counselee. The Counselor does not try to talk the client into feeling that the situation is hopeless. Instead, he/she encourages the client to begin taking action, the successful consequences of which would encourage the client to continue. According to Eisenberg & Delaney, the aims of counseling are as follows: 1. Understanding self 2. Making impersonal decisions 3. Setting achievable goals which enhance growth 4. Planning in the present to bring about desired future

5. Effective solutions to personal and interpersonal problems. 6. Coping with difficult situations 7. Controlling self defeating emotions 8. Acquiring effective transaction skills. 9. Acquiring ‘positive self-regard’ and a sense of optimism about one’s own ability to satisfy one’s basic needs. Counseling is discussion of an employee’s problem that usually has an emotional content to it, in order to help the employee cope with the situation better. Counseling seeks to improve employee’s mental health. People feel comfortable about themselves and about other people and are able to meet the demands of life when they are in good mental health. A primary research was carried out in the year 2002 at a manufacturing company based in Lagos, Nigeria. This public limited company has five manufacturing sites across the country and four sales divisions. This research aimed at investigating the (felt) need for employee counseling in the organisation. The design of this research study was exploratory in nature. The primary source of data collection was structured interviews, the sample being one hundred and ten (110) employees which is 20 % of the employee strength – five hundred and fifty three (553) of the corporate office of the company. The interview schedule comprised of both closed and open ended questions. A random sampling technique was used. The employee sample was 20 % of each of the divisions operating from the corporate office and was a perfect mix of managerial level employ-

ees, staff level employees and worker level employees. Some important conclusions that were derived from the research study are: • Majority of the employees of the company (61% of the sample) were unaware of the concept of Employee Counseling. Those employees who had a partially correct idea (25 % of the sample) about employee counseling knew that it was related to helping an employee in distress, advising, creating self-awareness and personality development. The remaining 14 % had an incorrect understanding about the concept. • After the researcher had explained what employee counseling was all about, 69 % of the sample agreed that there was a (perceived) need for employee counseling in the company. The reasons were many, most common ones being to assist employees solve their personal and/or work related problems and to improve the employee relationships and overall culture of the workplace. Among the 31 % who were of the viewpoint that employee counseling as an institutionalized process was not needed in the company, 57 % of this group felt that the company had a family culture and the informal relationships between the employees could be leveraged upon. • Only 22 % of the sample disagreed on the importance of employee counseling as a part of HR –systems while 78 % of the employees felt that counseling is an important HR function. • 83 % of the employees were unaware of the companies practicing Employee Counseling in

Nigeria (this could also be because the sample was a mix of managerial employees, staff level and workers) The research results indicate that majority of the sample under study responded positively to the hypothesis i.e. a need for Employee Counseling was felt and that it would benefit the organization. However, the awareness about the concept of counseling and employee counseling, particularly so was found to be exceptionally low. Organisations therefore, need the services of the following professionals:Employee Data Analyst Employee Counselor Employee Conflict and Resolution Manager Employee Stress Auditor They can function as a new department in every organisation or as a c o n s u l t a n t . Organizations are therefore advised to either train there HR personnel staff or employed a professional and qualified Employee Counselors (The Training and certification is available now in Nigeria). The way the corporate sector has opened up to the world economy, it is now high time for organisations to open up for employee-orientated HR processes like counseling, coaching and mentoring. The corporate world is changing and so are the Human Resource Management practices. It is imperative that we adapt the changing styles to manage our people better. It is not just for the benefit of the employees but in the interest of the organisation to show that ‘we Oluseun Babalola Is the MD/CEO, D-Maniels Educational Consult.


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Labour

Nted

Jonathan

Aganga

Maritime workers seek review of automotive policy By Yetunde Ebosele ARITIME Workers in the M country have called on the Federal Government to review its policy, which plans to manufacture vehicles locally. The workers, under the aegis of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), in a letter to President Goodluck Jonatthan, titled “Imminent collapse of maritime industry and job security” urged government not to be hasty in its decision but opined that all required infrastructures must be on ground to enable the policy achieve its objectives.

Besides, the union in the letter signed by its President, Anthony Nted and his General Secretary, Aham Ubani, alleged that government had embarked on the policy thrust without due consultations from stakeholders, thus implying that the welfare of Nigerians was not of paramount importance. The Union, while commending government’s desire to make Nigeria selfsufficient and less importdependent stressed that adequate plan must be put in place to ensure the viability of the scheme. According to the union,

the new tariff and levies on vehicles were too high, as they would have negative implication on jobs and revenue. MWUN observed that 95 per cent of Nigerians who worked in Roll On/Roll Off (RORO) terminal were specifically meant to handle imports and exports of vehicles. The union advised government to create the enabling environment for vehicles to either be manufactured or assembled in Nigeria. It maintained that before the policy could come on stream, there must be local production of vehicles spare parts, steady power supply

and necessary infrastructure. It also opined that the policy, if reviewed, would enhance vehicle clearance at the ports and create jobs for maritime workers. According to them: “We of the maritime workers union of Nigeria as true Nigerians are excited by the federal government’s desire to make our country self-sufficient and less import dependent. “We are, however, worried and seriously disturbed by the mode of attainment of such noble desire of self-sufficiency. A situation in which the government in apparent haste to achieve the afore-

mentioned objective without due consultation with relevant stakeholders and proper planning, portrays the government as not interested in the true welfare of the Nigerians who are supposed to benefit from the self sufficiency thrust of the government. “On vehicles, we have roll on/roll off terminals in our ports specifically built for exclusive handling of imports and exports of vehicles. In this terminal, over 95 per cent of workers are Nigerians who earn their living on RORO operations. “To the best of our knowledge most of the vehicle

assembling plants we use to have in this country no longer exist. If, therefore, the federal government is serious in having vehicles manufactured in this country and in making Nigerians patronise made in Nigeria vehicles, the first thing to do is to provide the enabling environment. “This includes local production of parts needed for the vehicle production. Steady power supply and all necessary infrastructure, which are obviously lacking today. The new prohibitive import tariff and levies on vehicle is too hasty and undesirable,” the statement read in part.

Regional health union opposes privatisation, seeks private sector partnership From Collins Olayinka, Abuja HE West African Health T Sector Unions’ Network (WAHSUN) has kicked against outright privatization of health facilities by governments in the sub-region. Rising from its 11th plenary session in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the group noted with worries the corrosive effects of privatization of health institutions on the wellbeing of the people. The regional health body said privatization, which lays emphasis on outsourcing, endangers effectiveness of the workforce. It noted that the pending health bill in Nigeria spells doom for the health sector, alleging that the document is packaged to favour medical workers against health professionals. A communiqué issued at end of the parley stated: “Public healthcare delivery is suffering greatly in Nigeria with the outsourcing of services which is crippling effectiveness as well as leading to increasing precarious work. Further, the National Health Bill remains an attempt to emasculate the roles of several health professionals, projecting just the interests of medical practitioners. WAHSUN-in-session

realises that these developments are detrimental to the health system as a whole and calls for their reversal. As alternatives, WAHSUN calls for the initiative of Public-Public Partnerships (PUPs) as credible alternatives to privatisation, while a National Health Bill which balances the interests of all the stakeholders in the health sector and is thus best equipped to deliver quality services to the public should be passed.”  WAHSUN, which draws memberships from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone as well as Rwanda from East Africa, is established with the aim of developing healthcare delivery in the region and the defence of the interests of the members of health unions. The regional union called on governments, employers and affiliate unions/associations, to formulate and implement requisite policies, and intensify education on occupational health and safety at all levels in the health sector with a view to creating awareness and reduce the incidence of work place injuries. It noted with concern how corruption undermines the potentialities for development of the productive forces on the continent and therefore called

for more concerted efforts at combating corruption by non-state actors as well as by state institutions established to curtail corrupt tendencies. The meeting said growth without development has led to increased unemployment rates across the region, particularly of young people, even as many national economies continue to grow, in a period of global economic crisis. While laundering economic growth in most countries in the region, WAHSUN called for people-centred development where growth would be jobs-driven and not based on neoliberal paradigms. It observed that the attainment of universal health coverage in Africa is very distant largely because of the qualitative and quantitative shortage of human resources for health. To reverse the disturbing trend, WAHSUN-in-session called for the training and retraining, employment and retention of more health workers towards meeting universally accepted standards of health professionals/patients ratios. WAHSUN called on Liberia government to guarantee workers’ rights to organized as enshrined in International Labour Standards.

It noted that National Minimum Wage legislation remains a very important instrument for protecting the income security of workers and has thus been universally utilised. It equally fosters mutually beneficial employers-employees relations, necessary for harmonious indus-

trial relations. WAHSUN-in-session welcomes the upward review of National Minimum Wage in Sierra Leone, and the efforts of the Rwandan government at instituting a National Minimum Wage. It added: “The sliding scale of the National Minimum Wage

with cost of living in Ghana is also quite commendable. In contradistinction to this WAHSUN observed the worrisome case in Nigeria where there are attempts by the Senate to remove the National Minimum Wage from the exclusive legislative list and calls on it status quo.”

Strike threat: Minister urges doctors to wait for 2014 budget From: Emeka Anuforo HE ministry of health has T urged doctors to be patient for the 2014 budget to be passed so that government could fulfill some of their demands. Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Amb Sani Bala made the plea in Abuja, urging the doctors under the Nigerian Medical Association ( NMA) to shelve their planned full blown strike scheduled for January 6,2014. He said: “Some of them are things that cannot be done immediately. There are things that require budgetary allocation; money. And, we are in the end of the year. The year,

financially, is almost over. Therefore, we cannot say yes, we are going to do these immediately. They are part and parcel of the government. They are civil servants, they know procedure of governance. So, we are expecting them to be more understanding and we ask for more cooperation on their part. “It is not that government is saying no to their demands; no, we are doing a lot. They are part of the process and they see what we have been doing and we are taking them along. Every stage, they are aware.It is just for them to be more patient. This is the end of the year; there is nothing anybody can do. 2014 budget has just been presented to the

National Assembly, and until it is passed, nobody can do anything; that is the reality. We expect NMA to take this into consideration. We have always been commending their maturity and their sense of patriotism. I expect that high sense of maturity to prevail in this circumstance.” The doctors had yesterday called off a five day warning strike. Some of their requests include compliance with professional hierarchy; correction of alleged inaccuracies in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS; greater commitment to universal health coverage and general infrastructure upgrade in Nigerian public hospitals.


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Healthextra

Population Council forum plans to make emergency contraception available over the counter Dismisses link with cancer

A group of researchers, clinicians, intervention programme experts, representatives of relevant government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), non-governmental organisations and media practitioners put together by Population Council to deliberate on the progress made in the provision of Emergency Contraception Pills (ECPs) in Nigeria, and the challenges faced in attempting to reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies and maternal mortality through the provision of ECPs… recently. By Chukwuma Muanya ETERMINED to reduce the D incidence of unwanted pregnancies and maternal mortality through the provision of Emergency Contraception Pills (ECPs), a group of researchers, clinicians, intervention programme experts, representatives of relevant government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), non-governmental organizations and media practitioners interested in women’s and young people’s health have called for the commodities to be included on the Essential Drugs List (EDL) and made available as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The group, which met recently in Lagos was put together by Population Council to deliberate on the progress made in the provision of ECPs in Nigeria, and the challenges faced in attempting to reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies and maternal mortality through the provision of ECPs. They dismissed reports linking EC to cancer. They, however, said: “ECs do not cause cancer.” The following resolutions were reached at the meeting: while other forms of ECs such as Intra Uterine Device (IUD) exist, this position paper avers that the use of EC pills is to be promoted because they affordable, safe, easily accessible, user friendly and user-dependent; ECPs can be used by all women and girls who have unprotected sex/are victims of sexual violence and want to avoid pregnancy; It is important that EC pills are included on the EDL; EC pills should be made available as over-thecounter drugs. The team also resolved: EC pills should be made free in public health institutions and highly subsidized in private health institutions; awareness

should be increased among all stakeholders (through the use of IEC materials, social media, peer educators; and training of all types and cadres of health providers, journalists, MDA personnel on ECPs is required. Members of the team include: Consultant Obsterician and Gynaecologist, Prof. Adeyemi Adekunle, Dr. Chris Agboghoroma, Dr. Bose Adeniran, Dr. Omolasho Omoshehin of United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Uwem Esiet, Ms. Anne Taiwo, Dr. Tunji Akintade, Dr. Olushola Ogunyele, Dr. Mike Kunuji, Dr. Adebola Hassan from United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-sponsored Strengthening Health Outcome in the Private Sector (SHOPS) Chukwuma Muanya of The Guardian Newspapers, Adesola Ayo-Aderele of The Punch Newspapers, Dr. Sylva Adebayo, Dr. Salisu Ishaku and Mr. Unumeri Godwin. According to the position paper on emergency contraception in Nigeria adopted at the meeting, in many countries of the world, Emergency Contraception (EC) is a vital option in the prevention of unwanted pregnancy particularly for victims of rape, women who run high pregnancy-related risks and other categories of women involved in unprotected sex or those whose chosen pregnancy-prevention methods (such as condom/abstinence) have failed, irrespective of the circumstances and conditions under which the event takes place. It reads: “For the purpose of clarification, EC refers to different methods that can be used to prevent pregnancy after sex. A sharp contrast between using EC and having an abortion is that while the former prevents pregnancy, the latter terminates it. EC methods include the use of several

kinds of ECPs such as Postinor 2 as well as the insertion of an IUD by an expert (that is a physician). The relative greater ease of use and access to ECPs make them the preferred option in this part of the world. “Through research, it has been established that ECPs do not have side effects beyond shortening or prolonging the menstrual cycle by one to two days. Research has also shown that they are safe (even during pregnancy, and they cannot abort pregnancies when they have taken place). ECPs have proven to be efficacious when taken within the first 72 hours after intercourse, although it is generally more efficacious the sooner they are used. “In Nigeria, ECPs had been in existence long before the use of the expression ‘EC’ in the form of Postinor (popularly known as ‘the morning after pill’). Several intervention programmes, some of which are collaborative, have worked towards providing information on the state of EC, creating awareness among stakeholders and promoting the use of EC as a life saving option. “Some of the efforts include those by PATHFINDER and Society for Family Health (SFH) in Collaboration with Population Council. In the recent past, attempts have been made by SFH, and the Population Council with a grant from the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception, to address the problem of unwanted pregnancies through the use of ECPs. “These include the ‘Day of Dialogue’ organized by the Population Council to interrogate stakeholders on the subject matter, and the UN Commission Life Saving implementation plan. The UNFPA has also estimated the ECP need for Nigeria and attempts are ongoing to scien-

tifically validate the estimates through a survey of private facilities in the 36 states. This will also help disaggregate ECP need by states of the federation. In addition, SFH has launched a system to authenticate/verify the genuineness of ECPs in order to address the problem of procuring fake ECPs.” The group, however, observed that attempts at addressing the problem of unwanted pregnancies through the use of ECPs have been faced with some enduring challenges which include: poor awareness on ECPs among all stakeholders, including practitioners, women, girls, staff of relevant MDAs; absence of a clear-cut legal framework on ECPs in Nigeria; non-inclusion of ECPs on the Essential Drugs List (EDL); and non-availability of ECPs as over-the-counter drugs. The Population Council is collaborating with national partners to review current access to emergency contraception (EC), particularly with respect to providers’ attitudes toward the method in India, Nigeria, and Senegal. The data generated will be used to develop a global advocacy strategy to improve provider support for EC access and to improve access within each country. EC has been in use for over 30 years. It is an effective and safe method to prevent pregnancy that plays a unique role as the only contraceptive method that can be used after sexual intercourse has occurred; it is particularly important for women who have been raped or coerced into sex. Because EC is effective in preventing pregnancies and is unique among other methods, EC access is an important part of overall family planning strategies.

Pfizer NEAR joins PEACE Campaign to fight cervical, breast cancers Donates Tonometers to health institutions to fight glaucoma By Chukwuma Muanya bid to support reducIandNtionabreast of deaths from cervical cancers, Pfizer NEAR partnered with PEACE Campaign to promote early detection. PEACE Campaign, an acronym for Providing Early Attention to Cervical Cancer, was born out of the need to educate women particularly on the treatable yet dangerous disease. According to Bishop (Dr.) Peace Okonkwo, founder of PEACE Campaign, “we have screened about 4,500 women; our plan is to screen at least 10,000 women in cervical and breast cancer.” Dr. Kodjo Soroh, Medical Director, Pfizer NEAR, noted, “we are happy to have PEACE Campaign as a partner as we will continue to work together to help raise awareness to contain these devastating and widespread diseases that potentially afflict and terminate the lives of millions of Nigerian women.” This collaboration is aimed at providing increased awareness on cervical and breast cancers and show women that early detection can help in reducing the number of deaths. Pfizer NEAR is committed to spreading knowledge and fostering hope in the fight against cervical and breast cancers within its region. Also, as part of its commit-

ment to healthcare and to intensify its fight against blindness in the country and increase access to screenings for patients, Pfizer has donated Tonometers to two health institutions in Nigeria, National Hospital, Abuja and Federal Medical Centre, Asaba. A Tonometer is used to check the pressure exerted by the fluid in the eyes, to ensure the eyes and optic nerves are healthy. Pfizer NEAR has been engaging stakeholders on the importance of regular eye checks to prevent blindness. These donations will help reduce the incidence of blindness through regular screenings that will help the early detection of Glaucoma” stated Dr. Kodjo Soroh, medical director, Pfizer NEAR. This has been ongoing since 2012. In a statement released by Dr. Regina Morgan, the Head of department, Ophthalmology, National Hospital, Abuja, she said “we believe this equipment will go a long way in enhancing patient management, especially our teeming Glaucoma patients.” Pfizer is committed to contributing positively to patient care in all the communities they operate in whilst exploring more opportunities with relevant stakeholders to reduce the burden of Glaucoma.

Nigerian-German Chemicals Plc launches Efferflu C ESPIRATORY infections R are more common during the Harmattan seasons. These infections may include upper and lower respiratory tract problems and the symptoms include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and fever. According to experts, well over 200 viruses are implicated in the cause of the common cold. The common cold is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract, which primarily affects the nose and it usually resolves in seven to 10 days. Symptoms are mostly due to the body’s immune response to the infection rather than to tissue destruction by the viruses themselves. Speaking on the new product that effectively cures cold and catarrh coming into the Nigerian market, Pharm. Benson Inabowa, Executive Director (Pharmaceuticals), Nigerian-German Chemicals Plc, said: “The fact that these are the most frequent infectious disease in humans with the average adult contracting two to three colds a year and the average child contracting between six and twelve, Efferflu C becomes a ready solution. “Even with nasal congestion with a build up of mucous, usually in the nose, throat, ears or chest with symptoms like a blocked and stuffy

nose, a runny nose or mucus running down the back of the throat, an irritating, persistent cough caused by excess mucus at the back of the throat, headache or facial pain caused by a blocked nose and blocked sinuses, a loss of smell and taste, temporary partial hearing loss and a crackling sensation in the middle ear and tiredness.” He further explained: “Efferflu C is composed of Paracetamol, Vitamin C and Chlorphenamine and it is stimulant free, aspirin free with no sugar. It is a costeffective symptom relief that can be dispensed with peace of mind. It is uniquely designed to help relieve symptoms associated with the common cold which come in forms of blocked nose, sinus congestion, headaches, pain and general discomfort.” He stressed: “Efferflu C Cold and Catarrh is manufactured under strict GMP (pharmaceutical standards) in a medicines control council (MCC) approved facility. The drug contains 12 effervescent tablets, three powerful ingredients, no stimulants and no aspirin. Adults and children over 12 years: one tablet every eight hours. Dissolve the tablet in a glass of water and drink immediately once the tablet has dissolved.”


44 | Tuesday, December 31, 2013 www.ngrguardiannews.com

Ogombo, amid highbrow Lekki-Epe, longs for road development A road in Ogombo. INSET: A water pump used to drain flood from the road... last week.

By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor OR the residents of Ogombo community in Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, it is time the village shed its toga of primitive settlement and caught up with its neighbours in the Lekki-Ajah corridor, which includes Awoyaya, Sangotedo, Ibeju-Lekki, Okun-Ajah and Ajah and others. With inhabitants predominantly fishermen and farmers, Ogombo, which is estimated to have a landmass of over 2,000 hectares, is daily receiving influx of settlers from other parts of Lagos. The prospects of this relatively unpopular community look bright as the ruling families are in possession of a global Certificate-ofOccupancy (C-of-O) covering 550.11 hectares, which is more than Lagos Island. Residents claim that Ogombo is the largest community in the whole of Eti-Osa. There are many notable organisations in the neighbouring community among which is the Pan African University. Prominent corporate and individual citizens have acquired most of the plots in the adjacent areas and the community is close to the proposed site at Epe that had been mapped out for the Lagos airport and deep seaport. Residents of the place, some of whom have built impressive mansions, cannot boast to their colleagues and friends that they are living in the highbrow Lekki-Ajah axis of Lagos. The reason is that, no matter the make of your vehicle, whether sedan or sports utility, you can’t drive it to your house in the area

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because of the appalling state of the roads. The vehicles are parked at some distance away from their owners’ homes precisely at the community square, where development partially ends. After the cars are safely parked, their owners trudge through the sandy roads to their houses. For those who do not know the community, the way to the place is through Abraham Adesanya Estate and the stretch of over five kilometres is well tarred, but this terminates at the Ogombo roundabout. To the dwellers in the community who are well over 6,000, the few months of the dry season are the best time of the year. Once it is rainy season, it gets worse, as the roads become nearly impassable. A concerned resident, who is the chief executive officer of the Institute of Credit Administration (ICA), Dr. Chris Onalo, said during the rainy season, everywhere is completely flooded. “You can’t pass through Ogombo without folding up your trousers to your knees or using rain boots. You wade through the water until you get to where you park your car. To show you how terrible the situation is, even in this dry season, we are still using machine to drain water from the roads. “The whole of this area is waterlogged and this problem is beyond what community efforts can solve. We need a proper drainage system to eject water to the lagoon, apart from inner-city roads that will link the communities and reduce congestion of the LekkiEpe Expressway,” he said. It is not all bad news in the area, as Onalo gives thumbs up to the security in Ogombo. “This place is very safe. You can keep your car

anywhere and nothing would happen to it. Initially, when we came here, we were scared that typical of Lagos, they would vandalize your car or even steal it, but nothing of such has ever happened. Just a few people who bought lands close to the roundabout have the luxury of driving into their homes, for the majority of residents, the roads are not motorable and the cars are always safe where it is parked. “However, from time to time, there are pockets of incidents of petty stealing, but the security is marshaled by members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC). We also have a police divisional post in the area.” A community leader and the Supervisor for Works in the Eti-Osa East LCDA, Mr. Samad Oseni Ogunbo, told The Guardian that as a community, they have been championing for the construction of a senior secondary school for Ogombo. “What we have now is a community school that terminates at Junior Secondary School Three (JSS3). They will then be transferred to Olomu, which is in Ajah and it is a huge risk, especially now that the Lekki-Epe road has been expanded. “We record accidents daily on the road and school children are usually the victims. It was the same situation that led to the death of six pupils at Ikota recently. So, if our children can complete their secondary education here, it will reduce the influx of people going to the expressway. “In addition, a lot of traditional activities take place in many of these communities, which involve ritual killings and the most vulnerable people used for such acts are school children. We don’t want them to be exposed to this ugly culture, that is why we are appealing to govern-

A lot of traditional activities take place in many of these communities, which involve ritual killings and the most vulnerable people used for such acts are school children. We don’t want them to be exposed to this ugly culture, that is why we are appealing to government to come to our rescue. ment to come to our rescue.” Ogunbo explained that there are three existing roads that need critical attention – the Okun Ajah-Ogombo road, Ogombo-Okun Mokun road and the most important, Ogombo-Sangotedo road. “There is no need for someone going to Epe, Eleko and environs to get to Ajah when you can link the Lekki-Epe expressway from Sangotedo. The same thing applies to those coming from Epe to this area, there is no need returning to Ajah and Abraham Adesanya before getting here. “Once the road infrastructure is in place, there would be numerous development in this area and this would also benefit over 20 road settlement villages around us. On our part as a council, we have presented this to the state government and the reaction we get is some experts coming around to take pictures and measurement, but what we want is action.”

Greenfield Estate begs Fashola for drainage channels By Onyedika Agbedo ESIDENTS of Greenfield R Estate, Ago Phase 2, Okota, Lagos, has called on the Lagos State Government to assist the community in tackling the menace that lack of drainage is causing in the area. The Executive Chairman of the Greenfield Estate Com-

munity Development Association (GECDA), Prince Nixon Okwara, made the call during the estate’s annual get-together and award ceremony, which held recently. Okwara, who commended the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for his quick response to the appeal of the residents on the flooded sections of Ago-Amuwo Odofin

road, urged the governor’s intervention in the channelization of drainages in the area to the canal. He said: “The story of Greenfield Estate is that of focus and determination to succeed. Few years back, the land here was swampy. There were no access roads. But we in the estate took up the challenge and started to contribute money to sand

fill the whole place. Today, we have turned 164 hectares of swamp into a paradise of sort with the electrification of the entire area with four units of transformers. Above all, we have made the community one of the safest estates in Lagos. “At this stage of our development, we need the assistance of the Isolo Local Council Development Area and the Lagos

State Government to channel the drainages to the canal.” GECDA used the event to recognize individuals that supported in the reclaiming of the area and those who are still assisting in making the estate conducive. Alhaja Wunmi Dosumu, who represented Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Rural Development, gave assur-

ance that government would come to their aid. “We have heard a lot about the people in this estate. We have heard about all you have done to make this place habitable especially the roads you constructed. The government will do something about your drainage. I cannot tell the time but help will definitely come,” she said


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 | 45

Epileptic electricity supply frustrates recovery of outstanding PHCN bills By Godfrey Okpugie EWLY re-engaged workers of the defunct PHCN Plc (Eko Distribution Zone) now Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) Lagos are facing a tough time meeting the mandate given to them by the management of the company to recover the outstanding electricity bills owed to PHCN by consumers in Lagos. The outstanding bills estimated to be billions of naira, in the new management’s thinking, would go a long way to enhancing the fortunes of the company if recovered. In view of this, they charged the re-engaged workers from PHCN to recover the debts at

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all cost. Some of the workers who spoke to The Guardian under the condition of anonymity disclosed that the management hinged the confirmation of their re-engagement, which is currently under six months probation on their impressive performance in the old debt recovering drive. They said their aggressive efforts so far to meet target were being frustrated by consumers’ refusal to pay. They the consumers have been giving the excuse that the old era of PHCN, which was characterized by fraudulent estimated billing was now over and what they want now was an improvement in the supply of

Generating sets... coming to the rescue of epileptic power supply.

electricity from the new company, which they also expect to come up with new accurate billing system with prepaid meters devoid of fraud. “No consumer is willing to pay the old outstanding bills especially in view of the prevailing poor electricity supply in Lagos occasioned by shortage of natural gas. “They (consumers) are expecting the new PHCN owners to introduce prepaid meters, which would eradicate cheating in billing system before they can start to pay. They regard government’s handing over of electricity supply to new owners as freedom from the old the

PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

debts they owed the defunct PHCN,” said one of the sources. According to him, during the PHCN era, whenever we wanted to go out to demand payment for bills in an area, we would first restore light to the area to make the consumers to be happy and be willing to pay their bills. When we get to the area and put a ladder on a pole to disconnect their light, the consumers would not want the light that had just come to their houses to be cut off, so, they would go to the nearest PHCN’s office in the locality to pay up. But as soon as we were done with the area, the light would go off and directed to the next areas where we want to demand payment. That was the strategy that experience taught us to adopt to compel consumers to pay during the old era. But this time around, under the new regime, the existing poor electricity supply does not allow us to do that and that is frustrating our effort,” the source said. The staff, who said that they were worried about the ugly development enjoined the management to reconsider the use of their performance on old debt recovery as yardstick to confirm their probationary appointment. Efforts to get the management’s comment on the complaint were unsuccessful as the time of going to press.

Lagos to provide free transportation on New Year day By Taiwo Hassan order to ensure easy movement during the New Year IbusNholiday, the Lagos State Government is set to provide free ride to Lagosians. The free bus ride, according to a

statement by the Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola, would enable Lagosians have easy access movements across the state. Mobereola said the free bus service, which began in 2008 had helped in reducing congestion and accident on the roads during festive periods, adding that the service would run for 13 hours starting at 7am and ends at 10pm. The First BRT Cooperative, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will offer free services on Mile 12 – CMS, Mile 12 – Obalende, Mile 12 – National Stadium, Mile 2 – National Stadium, Oshodi – Obalende and Oshodi – National Stadium routes. On the Bus Franchise Scheme (BFS) corridor, free services would be offered on the Ikotun – Ikeja – Maryland, Iyana Ipaja – Maryland, Ikotun – Iyana Ipaja, Igando – Iyana Ipaja, Igando – Ikeja, and Igando – Maryland routes. He admonished those who would put their vehicles on the road to drive with care and observe all traffic rules. He urged road users especially those driving to observe speed limits and do everything in moderation. He said in the midst of celebration, basic safety measures should be observed, saying “we must all remember that only the living celebrate.”

Neighbourhood Watch alleges non-payment of five months’ salary FFICIALS of the Neighbourhood Watch in Lagos State, O particularly those posted to all secondary schools in the state have not been paid salaries since July 2013. This was confirmed to The Guardian yesterday by one Mr. Seyi, who is the co-coordinator of the outfit in Maryland. According to Seyi, it is a bleak Yuletide for the thousands of Neighbourhood Watchers, who have been owed five months’ salary. The reason for the delay is, however, not clear, though the officials are pointing accusing fingers at officials in the Ministry of Rural Development, which superintends over the activities of the community security outfit. An unnamed official, who is posted to a secondary school in Agege, said the situation has made them become beggars. “Since the last payment in July, we have been surviving on goodwill of the parents and community leaders. When that can’t do, we open up and approach people for assistance. Sometimes, we are even tempted to engage in crime or collaborate with criminals just to make ends meet and many of us are family men with many mouths to feed,” he lamented.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY DIARY

Group petitions Assembly over dehumanisation of women in Ejigbo By Wole Oyebade PRESSURE group, Women Arise for A Change Initiative, on Monday petitioned the Lagos State House of Assembly over an alleged brutality of two women by some men in Ejigbo area of the state. In the petition titled: “Dehumanization of Two Women in Ejigbo, Lagos State”, signed by the group’s president, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, and read on the floor of the Assembly, the group alleged that the women were nine months ago subjected to one of the most vicious forms of human rights abuses and the unspeakable horrors of brutality by some depraved and savage men. In a swift reaction, the House has mandated a five-man ad-hoc committee, headed by the Majority Leader, Ajibayo Adeyeye, to investigate the matter. The petitioners observed that, “there was outrage across the nation and around the world when video shots of the victims stripped naked, and being mercilessly beaten with pepper and sodomised with strange objects went viral. “As Nigerians and fellow citizens of the

world watched the horrific scenes, they wondered if these were shots taken in the dark ages of savagery and primitivism. “Strangely enough, a statement this month by the Chairman of Ejigbo LCDA, Kehinde Bamigbetan, at the height of the furore, acknowledged that this unimaginable horror took place in his domain in February this year, and that the victims were a mother and step-daughter accused of stealing pepper, and that the husband and father was a palm-wine tapper. Bamigbetan’s statement sadly to say, failed to outline the measures his office had taken since then to assure justice for the victims and ensure that the perpetrators are punished. The group, however, requested and urged the Speaker to set up an inquiry into “this shameful incident and compel the Ejigbo LCDA Chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan to share his knowledge of the crime and what he has done in tracking down the purveyors of these bestialities so that they can be brought to justice, while adequate provisions must be made to rehabilitate the victims, peradventure they survived these

cruelties.” Deliberating on the petition, member of the House representing Oshodi Isolo II, Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet, informed the House that Bamgbetan had hinted her that “the matter was not new, though the video was just released to the public. However, the local government is aware of the barbaric act and police are investigating the matter.” Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said the information had, in fact, made the matter worse, indicating that nothing was done to put perpetrators to book nine months on. Ikuforiji said: “If this truly happened in our society, particularly our state and for nine months still hearing story that police are looking into it, should get us all worried.” “If any of our chairman, as claimed in this petition, could confess that it actually happened in his domain, then it shows that something fishy is going on and we should thoroughly investigate it,” he said. The ad-hoc committee is to submit its findings to the House by January 20, 2014.

TRENDING Property search just a click away with tolet.com.ng HAT does it feels like to a prospective tenant in Lagos W having to make choices about available property by just browsing through an online site? It is joy unlimited and precious time saved visiting several estate agents, both the fake and genuine. With every aspects of our lives going digital, including shopping for secondhand items, the tortuous search for a livable apartment in a clustered Lagos has been made easier with the introduction of tolet.com.ng, an online letting agency, as property rental is just a click away. With the slogan “search, connect and live”, the site is managed by a 12-man team defined by its eclectic mix of backgrounds, marshaled by the firm’s CEO and Co-founder, Ogundipe Fikayo. With an expanded team of dedicated agents across the state, a refined user experience, genuine customer service and professional inspection personnel, the usual hassles with property lettings have been simplified, especially fitting property viewing into schedules of a busy Lagosian. ToLet.com.ng is hoping to expand to other cities while working hard to deliver exceptional services as a rental agency.


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THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Tuesday, December 31 , 2013

For The Record Practice of federalism in Africa: Nigeria’s Text of the lecture delivered by Prof Jonah Isawa Elaigwu on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

Ultimately federalism is a pragmatic and prudential technology whose applicability in different situations has depended upon different forms in which it has been adopted or adapted, and even upon the development of new innovations in its application. 1 INTRODUCTION WOULD like to thank the Board of Trustees of Imethe Goddy Jidenma Foundation, for inviting to speak on the Topic - The Practice of Federalism In Africa: The Nigerian Experience – Challenges And The Way Forward, on the occasion of the Foundation’s 3rd Biannual Lecture. Since the wave of independence in African states in 1960s, many African countries have toyed with federalism as form of government, given the heterogeneity of their population. What is federalism? What is it expected to do for a polity? To what extent is federalism a solution and yet a problem? Is there an ideal or ‘true’ federal model from which other experiences are derivable? If Nigeria has practised federalism from 1954 (even under colonial rule), what has been the nature of the travel along the federal path? What are the challenges of federalism in Nigeria and what is the way forward? In order to attempt to answer these difficult questions, we suggest that: 1. federalism is a technique of managing conflicts in a multinational state; it has no ideal form; it responds to the local demands; and it is embedded with its seed of discord; 2. only few African states have opted for federalism as a form of government because of the concern of their leaders for the consolidation of their fragile states and the political economy of federalism; 3. Nigeria is perhaps the oldest federation in Africa – having gone through a transition from a loose federation, through military rule to a highly centralized federation; 4. at the dawn of the 21st century Nigerian federalism was characterized by unitary streaks as a response to three decades of military rule; 5. there have been intense pressures from Nigerians for constitutional reforms, including the review of the legislative lists, in order to transfer many of the powers concentrated at the centre, to subnational units; 6. in the context of a new democratic polity since May 1999, new issues have emerged as a result of the explosion of subnational identities; 7. operationally, there is a friction between the federal grid and the democratic process; and 8. the quality of leadership and followership is important in effecting necessary compromises in Nigeria’s reconciliation system. B. FEDERALISM AND AFRICA Theory of Federalism We shall now turn to the concept of Federalism. A federal system of government often arises from the desire of a people to form a union without necessarily losing their identities2. Usually it is a compromise solution in multinational states between two types of self-determination – the determination to maintain a supranational framework of government which guarantees security for all in the state-nation3, on the one hand, and the self-determination of the component groups to retain their individual identities on the other4. Basically therefore, federalism “satisfies the need for cooperation in some areas, coupled with a right to separate action in others. Only federalism fulfills the desire for unity where it coexists with a determination not to smother local identity and lower power”5. Essentially, federalism provides for shared

Jonathan powers among levels, orders or tiers of government, while providing for self-rule or autonomy for subnational units. Some characteristics of a federal system of government may be identified. These include: the existence of two or more levels or orders of government; a written constitution, which distributes powers and responsibilities among orders or levels of government, while providing sources of revenue for them to carry out these functions; adequate representation of the views and members of subnational groups in policy-making institutions at the centre, such as a House of Representatives or a second legislative chamber in some countries; independent and impartial judiciary (such as a Supreme Court) to interpret the constitution; and play the role of an impartial umpire; the establishment of institutions and processes to facilitate effective intergovernmental relations or collaboration in shared areas of responsibility or overlap; As Ronald Watts6, correctly observed, it is important to take note of the political processes in which federal association takes place. This entails: making a distinction between constitutional or legal form and operational reality:- there has to be: a willingness to abide by democratic procedures; non-centralization of power – as no tier or level of government is subordinate to the other in its areas of competence; respect for the rule of law or constitutionalism. a recognition that there is no ideal federal form – and that the application of the federal solution or formula depends on: the degree of cultural diversity being reconciled; the number, size, the symmetry or asymmetry of component units; distribution of political and tax powers; mechanisms for resolving conflicts; and the electoral system, among others. In other words, there is no ‘perfect’, ‘true’ or ‘model’ federal form, from which other societies copy. Federalism is a technique for managing conflicts which adapts to local needs or colouring. In practice, no country has been able to embody all these federal principles in its traditional definition. In fact, it is generally agreed that federal systems vary in content from one country to another. The particular political colouring that a

country’s federal government takes, is often reflective of its historical experiences, its political, cultural, social, and economic environment and the disposition of its people at a particular point in time. There is no ideal model of federalism. Federalism responds to local problems. The old Whearist7 model of federal association in terms of relations among component units does not exist anywhere in the world now. As Justice Ranjit Sarkaria of India correctly observed: The classical concept of federation which envisaged two parallel governments of coordinate jurisdiction, operating in isolation from each other in watertight compartments, is no where a functional reality now. With the emergence of the Social Welfare State, the traditional theory of federalism completely lost its ground. After the First World War, it became very much a myth even in the old federations... By the middle of the Twentieth Century, federalism had come to be understood as a dynamic process of cooperation and shared action between two or more levels of government, with increasing interdependence and Centrist trends.8 The complexity of modern governance, the need for homogeneity within the state, as well as the nature of foreign trade (among other reasons) have contributed to the increase in the power of central government in most federal states, except perhaps in countries such as Belgium. The United States of America is regarded as one of the best examples of federal government in practice. The United States example, which is buttressed by various discourses documented by its founding fathers,9 has experienced adjustments over time in response to new problems and political exigencies. Thus, U.S. federalism in the 1890s or even in the 1930s is different from federalism in the U.S. of 1990 or 2013. This process of adjustment is normal. As integrative processes in a nation-state positively advance, so also will adjustments become necessary in intergovernmental relations. In addition, the complexity of modern government (thanks to technological revolution) makes the traditional concept of federalism inappropriate, especially after the Second World War. Thus, as mentioned earlier, a greater degree of interdependence of component units in a federal state has become inevitable. In the same vein, the traditional concept of ‘independence’ or ‘autonomy’ of component units has also changed. The very process of interdependence implies some erosion of that traditional concept of independence of component units. Given the U.S. experience, which in itself is very interesting and complex, many Western scholars gave the impression that unless the practice of federal government of other countries approximated the U.S. experience, they were not operating ‘federal government’. This had led to the use of the term quasi-federalism. While the U.S. experience has reflected the cardinal principles of federalism, the fact that the adoption of the federal compromise is a response to the peculiar problems of a particular nation-state operating within a particular environment, makes differences in federal experiences inevitable. The important point is that the cardinal principles of federalism are constitutionally guaranteed and practised. Perhaps Ivor Duchacek hit the nail on the head when he observed that: Using the American measuring rods, we are, however, far from suggesting that the United States federalism should be considered the only ‘true’ or ‘pure’ one. Neither do we suggest that its birth and evolution are relevant to other countries that in the twentieth century may contemplate the adoption of a federal system. Some of the characteristics and aspects of the United States federalism are so anchored in the American soil that its experiences and lessons can hardly be transplanted elsewhere. Furthermore, its record of preserving unity with diversity is much less impressive than some textbooks on American Government would have one believe.10 The experiences which led to the adoption of federalism in the U.S. differ from those of Germany (after 1945), Australia, Nigeria, Switzerland and Canada. The practice of federalism in each of these countries would reflect the local

settings and the peculiar nature of these countries. We shall return to this issue later. In addition, experiences in many federal countries show that there are many varieties in federations. There are about 24 countries which claim to be federal, while there are many others whose constitutions have federal features. Among federal countries are Nigeria, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, United States, Canada, Brazil, India, Ethiopia and Mexico. About 40% of the population of the world live in countries which claim to be federal. Let us further illustrate the point that there is no TRUE or IDEAL or PERFECT federation or federalism. The very variety of federal experiences demonstrate this. In terms of the principles and nature of the Distribution of Powers, practical experiences show that in countries with cultural diversity and sharp divides (cultural, ethnic, language and others), more powers are given to constituent units such as in Switzerland, Belgium and Canada. Yet, in similar circumstances, the constitutions of India, Canada and Spain “give the federal government sufficiently strong and yet overriding powers to resist possible tendencies to balkanization”11 As Ronald Watts showed, in terms of division of powers, there has “been considerable variation in the degree of centralization, decentralization and non-centralization in constitutional division of powers.”12 While Switzerland, Canada and Belgium appear most non-centralized, India has centrist provisions, even if still noncentralized. The United States of America has gone more centrist over time, with expanded federal government roles. Germany is centralized legislatively but highly devolutionary in administrative terms. Brazil, Spain, Nigeria and Mexico show greater dominance of the central government in the federation. Even when you look at tiers of government, there are variations. While Canada, USA, Australia, Belgium and Spain have two orders or tiers of government, Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico and Switzerland have three orders or tiers of government. In areas of legislative competence Canada and Belgium assigned exclusive roles to both the centre and subnational units. On the other hand, USA, Nigeria, Brazil, Germany, India and Mexico assigned exclusive jurisdiction to the federal legislature. The central government in these countries have powers of override with regards to matters in the Concurrent list. India has emergency powers which it has not hesitated to use with regard to subnational units. Of course, the distribution of powers is often predicated on the nature of the component units of the federation. Where legislative and executive powers apply symmetrically to all full member states or provinces, you are symmetrical federations, as seen in USA, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Mexico and Nigeria. Yet there are asymmetrical federations in which the distribution of legislative and executive powers vary in their application to full member states or provinces – as a response to centrifugal force (cultural, ethnic, religious etc) such as in Belgium, Spain and India. Finally, let us illustrate the nature of variations among federal countries by looking at the patterns of interdependence among units of government – intergovernmental relations (IGR). The essence of intergovernmental relations is to facilitate cooperation, consultation and coordination among units of government, for the purposes of conflict resolution and adaptation to changes. With regard to IGR, one can make a number of distinctions: a. Executive Federalism are found in federations in which government executives – ministers and officials collaborate, consult and negotiate over issues of mutual interest. Australia, Canada, Germany and India, illustrate active executive intergovernmental relations. b. Multiple IGR Networks are found in federations in which legislative and executive powers are separated. Often there are numerous channels of IGR. Nigeria,13 Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico and the United States exemplify this model. c. Interlocking Federalism are found (in federa-


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experience and way forward (1) Stock swings will widen in 2014 as the Fed continues to cut its bondbuying program, according to Soh. The central bank will probably reduce its purchases by $10 billion in each of its next seven meetings before ending the program in December 2014, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 41 economists conducted on December 19 tions in which the centre makes laws in which the subnational units participate) but subnational units execute or implement federal laws, such as in Switzerland and Germany. d. Cooperative Federalism – emphasizes interdependence among orders of government as they cooperate and collaborate on a number of issues. e. Competitive Federalism is also seen by some experts as useful for a federation. Here, it is assumed that competition among component units is functional to a working federation. A healthy competition does not pose a problem, but unhealthy competition beyond a threshold can be divisive and pose a danger to the federation. In essence, federations “are not static structure, rather they are dynamic and evolving systems.”14 Federations have evolved tremendously since the 1940s, and candidly, there is no true federalism anywhere in the world. Since this is not an academic audience, we have briefly discussed the controversial issues of federalism operating and its dynamic and evolving nature. Let us briefly look at federalism in Africa. Federalism in Africa As we suggested earlier, the forms of government adopted by many African countries after independence were partly the product of their colonial experiences. French and British colonial experiences differed in goals and strategies. French colonialism was culturally arrogant but racially tolerant.15 French culture was the culture or civilization into which the average African was to be assimilated. It was the culture of African ‘ancestors’ – the Gauls. Once you were assimilated into the supreme French culture, you became ‘French’. Thus Africans could sit as Deputies in the French parliament in Paris. It was unthinkable for any Anglophone African to sit in the British parliament in London. Did the French policy of assimilation actually lead to integration? The inner-city violence in France by the so-called assimilated people demonstrated that there was ‘assimilation’ without integration. While the French used Federalism as a technique of colonial administration, it was unitary at home and bequeathed unitary forms of government to her new States. Although France had operated a colonial Federation of West and Equatorial Africa, its administration was centralized and unitary. African inheritance elites at independence had less problems of challenges or threats from sub-national units in Francophone countries than their counterparts in Anglophone States. In fact, DeGaulle did not like federal solutions to problems of authority and unity arising from cultural pluralism. As he once observed:It is not certain that the concept of a Federation.... is always very good and very practical... For in fact, that consists of automatically putting together very different peoples, sometimes very different indeed, and who, in consequence, do not like it at all. One sees this in Canada, one sees this in Rhodesia, in Malaysia, in Cyprus, and one sees it in Nigeria. The only exception to this unitary government in Francophone States was Cameroon which experimented briefly with federalism after it absorbed Western Cameroon from Nigeria. The federal experiment was terminated in 1972. Similarly, the Senegal-Sudan (Mali) federation effort failed. On the other hand, British Colonial rule was

racially arrogant but culturally tolerant. The concept of Dual Mandate and Indirect Rule had embedded in them racial bigotry. The Africans were unable to attain superior British culture, so let them be on their own and do their own thing as long as they served the general purposes of colonial administration. Indirect rule not only strengthened subnational self-determination of groups, but established effective loci of opposition to the central authority after independence. In a way, British cultural tolerance created problems of centralization of authority for the inheritance elites and probably heightened cultural diversities in various states. On the other hand, it may be suggested that Anglophonic states are today more ‘autonomous’ in terms of their political and economic sovereignty or independence than their Francophone counterparts. Britain, a culturally plural country is unitary at home. However, it bequeathed to many of its ex-colonies one federal form of government or the other. This was the case in Nigeria. Nigeria is still federal and has adhered to the federal compromise even under military rule. The only brief period when the military administration of General Ironsi introduced unitary government in May 1966, there were violent reaction.17 Until recently Nigeria was the only country in Africa which was strongly attached to federalism as a compromise solution to its problems of state- and nation-building in the context of her cultural diversity, except for Tanzania. Ethiopia has now embraced the federal option, while South Africa (for historical reasons) has a unitary state with federal features. There are debates about federalism in Uganda, championed by Buganda. Kenya inherited a quasi-federal structure under the Majimbo Constitution which gave some powers to regional legislatures. However, Kenyatta and his colleagues believed that federalism had the capability for escalating interethnic tensions and eroding the power of the centre. They lobbied against federal or quasifederal institutions which were eventually reversed to unitarism in 1964. As Kenyatta observed of the 1963 Constitution: “Constitution was too rigid, expensive and unworkable”18 President Kenyatta’s party then moved on to erode the regions of “any executive and legislative duties”. It centralized regional administrations and only devolved certain functions and power to them. Ghana also inherited, in the terminal colonial period, a quasi-federal system similar to Kenya’s. Ghana became independent earlier. Nkrumah and the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) had opted for a unitary system in opposition to the proposed quasi-federal system which gave the regions some autonomy under colonial rule. He succeeded in getting a unitary constitution at independence. In Uganda, the constitution was neither federal nor unitary- it was both. In an amorphous and contradictory fashion, the British handed over to Uganda a constitution in which certain Kingdoms (such as Buganda) had federal relations with the central Government while other groups had unitary relations with the federal government. President Obote gave the system the first shock in 1965-1966. Idi Amin centralized political power under a unitary government in his 1974 administrative re-organization. While the Museveni administration has restored traditional rulership, they have no political powers. The regions have no constitutionally guaranteed powers of their own. As part of a unitary state structure, the region or province may have powers devolved to them which could be retrieved at the behest of the central government. The federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland fell apart as Nyasaland became an independent Malawi. In the same vein, Nkrumah’s panAfrican attempt to create a federation of Ghana, Mali and Guinea did not really take off. Today, two other cases of federal-type solutions to the problem of cultural diversity exist. On the East coast of Africa, the Federation of Zanzibar and Tanganyika had given birth to

Tanzania. The Tanzania case illustrates a relatively successful case of two countries merging into one under a federal grid. Is this trend likely to continue in Africa? It is doubtful. However, perhaps another variant of the federal-type solution may appeal to some states. The Senegambia confederal arrangement between the Gambia and Senegal is more economic and security-related than it is political. Its success has been a moot-point. Why did African rulers prefer unitary solutions to problems arising from their cultural pluralism? It seems to logically follow that given the cultural diversity in African States, the compromise offered by the federal system of government would have been embraced by their leaders. Why is there an overwhelming preference for a unitary system of government? As suggested above, the new leaders of independent African states had found that while the colonial governors seemed “omnipotent”, they had inherited very fragile bases of power. The fragility of central authority and the necessity to consolidate power and authority meant that structures which were mobilizational became more advantageous than structures which exhorted inter-group reconciliation. A unitary system emphasizes centralization. Sub- national units must look up to the center for their resources and power. The crises of authority which the inheritance elites experienced made them to opt for unitary solutions. The leaders were too preoccupied with the consolidation of the power of the center that they were not ready to share powers and functions with sub-national units. Secondly, it was often feared that federalism crystallized sub-national identities and often sharply defined the parameters of operation and loyalty of component units. In doing so, federalism is seen as a crisis escalator rather than a crisis dampener. Inter- ethnic, religious, geopolitical and racial dichotomies become supposedly more pronounced under a federal system. In a way the fears of the inheritance elites in Africa were genuine. After all, federalism is a paradoxical elixir to be purchased from any political market. If it provides for the security and survival of a nation (because of the very compromises it is capable of effecting), it also safeguards self-determination of parochial and/or subnational groups. As Shridath Ramphal once correctly observed: ... the foundations of feder-

Mark

alism must be laid in nationalism; but it cannot be ignored that at the heart of the nationalism lies the concept of selfdetermination. It is however a concept of double application. Secession is the claim concomitant of self-determination, which can therefore help to destroy federalism just as serves to build it.19 Thus as we have earlier suggested, federalism while serving as a mechanism for effecting compromises in a multinational state, is embedded with its own seeds of discord. Essentially, federalism is a compromise between centripetal and centrifugal forces in the political system. All federal systems experience adjustments, at different points in time, between these two extreme pulls. But the extent to which a federal system survives very much depends on the ability of the political elites in a country to maintain a delicate balance between centrifugalism and centripetalism. Excessive pulls in favour of centrifugal forces may grossly weaken the center and herald disintegration, as Nigeria found out. Yet excessive pulls toward the centre may challenge the very existence of federalism and the cocoon of relative security it provides for the members of the society. The bloody riots in Northern Nigeria in 1966 illustrate this. Perhaps the Ethiopian and Sudanese civil wars illustrate this point more dramatically. Given an already fragile central authority, African leaders did not want to add on the strains of effecting a federal delicate balance between centrifugal and centripetal pulls. While the issues of consolidation of authority related to the state-building, the fear of exacerbating conflicts on the inter-group or horizontal level, related directly to the issue of unity or nation- building. Many African leaders felt that a unitary system provided a more conducive framework for effective building of nations out of the state. They argued, for example, that the Shona-Ndebele ethnic problems would have been more sharply defined under a federal framework. Currently Zimbabwe runs a unitary system. Thirdly, while the federal solution is attractive, the political economy of federalism has made it expensive and administratively cumbersome. The cost of maintaining federal and state legislatures, the executive and in some cases, local government councils and staff, is prohibitive. In

TO BE CONTINUED


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

GlobalStocks Stocks rally to $3.7 tr record transactions in 2013 years after the equity bull marFto IVE ket started, U.S. investors returned stocks in 2013, just in time for the best relative returns versus bonds on record. Exchange-traded and mutual funds investing in shares took in about $162 billion, the most since 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Investment Company Institute. At the same time, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) climbed 29 percent, beating government debt by 32 per centage points, the widest spread since at least 1978, according to data compiled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bloomberg. Companies in the S&P 500 are worth $3.7 trillion more today than they were 12 months ago following a year when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled the curtailment of economic stimulus. The bull market, born at the depths of the credit crisis, enters its sixth year fueled by zero-percent interest rates and conviction among investors that it’s finally safe to own stock again. “The equity culture is not dead,” Joseph Quinlan, the chief market strategist at Bank of America Corp.’s U.S. Trust, said in a December 13 phone interview from New York. His firm oversees $333 billion in client assets. “We kind of lost sight of the fact that equities still provide longterm good returns.” The biggest rally since the 1990s is pulling annual gains back toward historical averages after the credit crisis wiped out $11 trillion in total U.S. market value. Everyone from Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Tony Crescenzi to MacroMarkets LLC’s Robert Shiller observed in 2009 that investors were no richer then than they were a decade earlier. S&P 500 futures expiring in March were little changed at in London yesterday. Including reinvested dividends, stocks lost about one per cent annually from 2000 through 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Adding the most recent four years brings the return to about 3.5 per cent, compared with the 6 percent mean since 1900, inflation-adjusted data compiled by the London Business School and Credit Suisse Group AG show. The S&P 500 has returned 26 per cent on an annual basis since March 2009. “There are so many doom-gloomers that got this wrong,” Michael Strauss, chief investment strategist and chief economist at Commonfund Group in Wilton, Connecticut, said by phone on Dec. 19. His firm oversees about $25 billion of assets. “The fact that there are still a lot of perma-bears pounding the table probably gives more potential of the market continuing to have days of upside surprises.” Near-unanimous buying has spurred concern investors are too complacent. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), derived from the price of contracts used to protect against share declines, retreated 31 percent this year for its biggest decrease since 2009. The gauge averaged about 14.3, the lowest reading since 2006, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It closed below its historic mean of 20.20 on all but two days of the year, ending last week at 12.46. “The equity market has been the one asset that stood out this year, the one asset that we haven’t seen volatility and we just see persistent increases

Stockbrokers at work at an Exchange without much of a decline,” Arvin Soh, a New York-based portfolio manager with GAM, said by phone on December 18. His firm manages more than $120 billion. U.S. bonds fell 3.4 percent this year, poised for the first drop since 2009. For all the losses, demand for U.S. government debt remains stronger than at any time before the financial crisis as foreign central banks, insurers and pensions are willing to finance the largest debtor nation. Investors bid for $5.75 trillion of notes in government auctions in 2013, or 2.87 times the amount sold, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The ratio is the fourth-highest since the Treasury Department began releasing the data in 1993, surpassed only in the past three years as demand peaked at 3.15 times in 2012. Before the Federal Reserve began its stimulus in 2008, the bid-to-cover ratio never exceeded 2.65 times in a year. Stock swings will widen in 2014 as the Fed continues to cut its bond-buying program, according to Soh. The central bank will probably reduce its purchases by $10 billion in each of its next seven meetings before ending the program in December 2014, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 41 economists conducted on December 19. “That makes things more challenging,” he said. “It means absolute returns that one would expect from the equity market will be lower than this year.” Earnings (BBY) growth is slowing. Profits rose about 3.8 percent per quarter this year on average, compared with 20 percent the three years before that. The slowdown pushed price-earnings ratios up about 20 percent to 17.4, an almost four-year

high. “2013 was a multiple expansion story,” Rob Eschweiler, a Houstonbased investment specialist at JPMorgan Chase Private Bank NA, which manages about $935 billion, said in a Dec. 19 phone interview. “Equities are approaching fair value range. They’re not historically expensive, but not historically cheap.” Best Buy Co., up 239 percent this year, saw its price-earnings ratio climb to 17.2 from 2 in January. The decade average was 15.9, before this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Earnings dropped 34 percent in the calendar year and are forecast to rise about 15 per cent next year. Micron (MU) Technology Inc., the largest U.S. maker of memory chips, rallied 239 percent, the third-most in the S&P 500. Price gains came even as the Boise, Idaho-based company disappointed analysts last quarter. Micron Technology is projected to return to a profit in the fiscal year ending in August. Netflix Inc. (NFLX), the world’s largest video-subscription company, led the S&P 500. The Los Gatos, California-based company jumped 297 percent as earnings surged more than analysts forecast. The S&P 500’s gain this year created more stock market value in the U.S.

than any year on record, according to data since 1990 compiled by Bloomberg. While the index advanced about two per centage points more in 1997, capitalization expanded by about $1.8 trillion less. The 34 percent rise in 1995 caused a $1.24 trillion increase in value. Individuals are just starting to buy after watching the S&P 500 climb 172 percent to surpass the five-year advance that sent the index to a record in October 2007. Mutual funds that buy American equity took in about $21 billion in 2013, according to ICI data, while ETFs received $141 billion, Bloomberg data show. Bond funds had $67 billion taken out. The preference for equities is a shift from the last four years, when about $260 billion was withdrawn from stocks and more than $1 trillion added to bonds. The S&P 500 climbed 1.3 percent to 1,841.40 last week as data from durable goods to housing and employment exceeded economists’ forecasts. “Markets have already moved, and markets lead investors,” Sam Wardwell, an investment strategist at Pioneer Investments in Boston, said in a Dec. 17 phone interview. His firm manages about $225 billion. “We started the year with people

scared to death that a lot of things could go wrong. At the end of year, the economy has really done very well.” Profits for S&P 500 companies have climbed to more than $100 a share from about $60 in 2008. They’re forecast to increase 9.7 per cent next year, almost twice the growth rate for 2013, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time, revenue will pick up, climbing 3.8 per cent in 2014, compared with 2.2 per cent this year. Gross domestic product will expand 2.6 per cent next year, up from 1.7 percent in 2013, according to the median of 78 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The unemployment rate fell to seven per cent in November, a five-year low, as weekly jobless claims held below 400,000 all year. The Fed cited the “improvement in the outlook for labor conditions” “It’s a sign of recognition that things are on the upswing and the outlook is pretty good for this coming year,” John Carey, a fund manager at Pioneer, said in a December18 telephone interview. “We can go back to thinking about corporate earnings and other things now that this to taper or not to taper debate is concluded.”

Stock swings will widen in 2014 as the Fed continues to cut its bond-buying program, according to Soh. The central bank will probably reduce its purchases by $10 billion in each of its next seven meetings before ending the program in December 2014, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 41 economists conducted on December 19


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MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 30-12-2013

PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com


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Friday, January 3, 2014

GlobalStocks Slow start to 2014 for shares, gold price rebounds ORLD share markets made a W soft start to 2014 on Thursday in the wake of disappointing data on Chinese manufacturing, while investors showed renewed appetite for commodities and the dollar as the new year got underway. Gold grabbed the limelight with a 1.5 percent jump to $1,220 an ounce, recouping just a little of the losses that made last year its worst in three decades. The buying spilled over into silver and copper, with dealers talking of demand from Chinese traders looking to pick up commodities on the cheap. The other action was in the yen, which resumed its long decline on the back of speculation the Bank of Japan will ease policy further while other central banks stay put or begin to rein in the huge amounts of cash being pumped into the economy. The drop in the yen has been viewed as positive for Japanese exports and corporate earnings, and a major reason its share markets outperformed all others last year. After China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 51.0 in December, manufacturing indices for Europe and the United States will offer more ideas on how global industry was faring into the end of last year. Figures from the euro zone set a positive early tone as they showed manufacturing growing at the fastest rate since mid-2011 in December on brisk business in Germany and Italy, though a moribund French economy continued to weigh. “With producers reporting further growth of new orders, exports and backlogs of work, the stage is set for a good start to 2014,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, which compiles the survey of purchasing managers.

Stock Brokers European stocks .FTEU3 had started the year at a 5-1/2 year high, but an initial push higher proved shortlived despite the upbeat data as London’s FTSE .FTSE, Paris’s CAC 40 .FCHI and Frankfurt’s Dax .GDAXI dropped 0.5, 0.6 and 0.5 percent respectively. Safe-haven European benchmark German bonds were also out of favor as investors continued to shed them in favor of riskier assets, while the euro sagged to a near oneweek low as the dollar .DXY strengthened. For the major currencies the main

theme continued to be weakness in the yen. The dollar hovered near a fiveyear high versus the Japanese currency at 105.35 yen, with the focus on whether U.S. data later in the day will support the case for the Federal Reserve gradually scaling back its bond-buying stimulus. The euro steadied at 144.70 yen, having clocked up gains of 26 per cent over 2013 to reach a five-year peak of 145.67. On the dollar it was down to $1.3733, but still not far from its recent two-year peak of $1.3892.

Dealers suspect the single currency has been supported by the repatriation of funds by European banks and a large and expanding current account surplus in the euro zone. But there remains a general assumption that rising U.S. Treasury yields will eventually lift the dollar up on the euro. Yields on U.S. 10-year paper are up at two-and-a-half year highs of 3.03 per cent. Even shorter-dated rates have been rising as improving U.S. economic data justifies the Federal Reserve’s decision to start tapering

its asset-buying. Prices of German Bund futures fell to their lowest since September 2013 on Thursday as investors continued to offload the top-rated bonds in favor of riskier assets. U.S. business and jobless claims data are due later and a speech by outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday may offer some more guidance on the central bank’s tapering plans. In oil markets, U.S. crude futures were trading 22 cents higher on Thursday at $98.64 a barrel, while Brent added 20 cents to $111.00.

German Bunds fall as commodities rise ERMAN bunds fell, sending the 10G year yield to a more than threemonth high, as gold and copper led gains in commodities. European stocks declined and emerging-market shares dropped the most in three weeks after Chinese manufacturing slowed. The 10-year bund yield climbed three basis points to 1.96 per cent at 10:35 a.m. in London, while the rate on similar-maturity Italian bonds slid to the lowest since May. Gold jumped 1.7 per cent after slumping 28 percent last year and copper climbed to the highest in almost seven months. The

Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.4 percent and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index retreated 0.8 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures will start trading at 6 a.m. New York time. Turkey’s lira weakened to a record against the dollar. Reports yesterday confirmed factory output in the euro area expanded last month at the fastest pace since May 2011 as German output grew for a sixth month, while the official Chinese index dropped more than estimated in December. In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index

slipped in December from its highest level in more than two years and initial jobless claims rose last week, economists said before reports yesterday. Italian 10-year yields fell to as low as 4.02 percent, the lowest since May 28, while the rate on two-year Spanish notes fell to 1.234 percent, the least since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 1993. The rate on U.S. 10-year Treasuries (USGG10YR) was at 3.03 percent, after touching 3.05 percent, the most since July 2011. The yield on similarmaturity U.K. gilts climbed three

basis points to 3.05 per cent. The dollar strengthened to $1.3735 per euro after closing at $1.3743 on Dec. 31. It was at 105.37 yen, from 105.31 on Dec. 31. Japan’s currency traded at 144.72 per euro from 144.73 at the end of last year. The S&P GSCI gauge of 24 commodities advanced 0.3 per cent, after falling 2.2 percent last year, the first decline since 2008. Gold rose to $1,220.21 an ounce and copper increased to $7,437.50 a metric ton. West Texas Intermediate oil gained 0.4 percent to $98.81 a barrel. The Stoxx 600 fell after earlier rising

Most Indian stocks advance on rate optimism OST Indian stocks rose, led by M property companies, after a Reserve Bank of India adviser said the monetary authority will avoid further interest-rate increases if inflation slows. Godrej Properties Ltd. (GPL) jumped 9.1 per cent as the S&P BSE India Realty Index climbed to a fivemonth high. Bank of Baroda advanced for a second day. Coal India Ltd. (COAL), the world’s largest producer of the fuel, added 0.8 per cent after Morgan Stanley bought shares. Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI) climbed to a five-week high.

About two stocks rose for each one that fell on the S&P BSE 100 Index at the close in Mumbai. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) slipped 0.1 percent after advancing 9 percent in 2013. The RBI will avoid increases in the benchmark interest rate if data shows inflation fell in December, and policy makers may even have room for a reduction, Ashima Goyal, a member of the central bank’s technical advisory committee, said by phone yesterday. “Markets are taking the RBI comments as a signal that interest rates may start trending down soon,”

Kishor Ostwal, managing director at CNI Research Ltd. (CNIR), said in a phone interview today from Mumbai. “Anticipation of lower policy rates is helping property stocks and lenders.” RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan surprised economists last month by holding the benchmark rate at 7.75 percent instead of adding to increases totaling 50 basis points since taking over the central bank in September. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.8 per cent after climbing 26 per cent in 2013, the

measure’s biggest increase in four years. Oman’s MSM 30 Index rose 0.6 percent, while the TA-25 Index in Israel added 0.8 percent. Pakistan’s KSE 100 Index (KSE100) climbed 1.4 percent to a record. India’s CNX Nifty Index (NIFTY) fell less than 0.1 per cent to 6,301.65 amid trading volumes 58 per cent below the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P BSE 100 Index added less than 0.1 percent to 6,328.21 and the Sensex was at 21,140.48.

as much as 0.3 percent. The index climbed 17 percent in 2013, its largest annual gain since 2009. It reached its highest level since May 2008 on Dec. 31. Fiat SpA (F) shares surged 13 percent after the carmaker agreed to buy the remaining stake in Chrysler Group LLC that it doesn’t already own. Exor SpA, its biggest shareholder, jumped 5.7 per cent. Debenhams Plc climbed 2 percent after the retailer’s chief financial officer resigned. The stock slumped 12 percent on Dec. 31 after the company said profit will drop in the first half of the financial year. Ophir Energy Plc lost 6.8 per cent after the U.K oil and gas explorer said it didn’t find hydrocarbons at a well in Tanzania. CGG SA slipped 2.2 percent after UBS AG lowered its rating on the surveyor of oilfields. The S&P 500 (SPX) rallied 30 percent in 2013, the biggest annual jump since 1997, to close at an alltime high of 1,848.36 on Dec. 31. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong dropped 1 percent, the biggest loss since Dec. 20. Data yesterday showed China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped to a four-month low in December, while a private report today also signaled manufacturing grew at a slower pace.


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MARKET REPORT Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MARKET INDICATORS

AS AT 30-12-2013

PRIMERA AFRICA

Capital market operators link market growth in yuletide to foreign investors Transactions on NSE opens week on an upbeat By Bukky Olajide OME capital market operators, yesterday, attributed the business growth in the capital market in spite of the Christmas celebrations to activities of foreign investors. They said that the dominance of foreign investors made the market to defy the expected lull during the holidays. The Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Limited, Mallam Garba Kurfi, said that foreign investors, the major players in the market, were not carried away by year-end profit takings. Kurfi said that foreign investors were strategically taking position ahead of 2014 due to appreciable growth recorded by the market over the years. He explained that the concentration of the major players on blue chips contributed to the market growth. The Managing Director, Standard Union Securities, Sehinde Adenagbe, said that foreign investors were increasing their stakes in the market with expectations of higher returns in 2014. Adenagbe pointed out that portfolio investors did not depend on the market to celebrate Christmas or for yearend sundry expenses. He said that the reforms introduced by the market regulators boosted investor confidence. Meanwhile, the Nigerian equity market opened the week on a positive note. The NSE-All Share Index garnered 240.5 points or 0.60 percent to close at 40,472.13, bringing the YTD return to 44.1 percent. Similarly, total market capitalization improved by N76.9bn to close at N13.0 trillion. Market activity level, measured by volume and value increased by 12.4 percent and 60.3 percent to 432.7million and N3.85 billion respectively. The oil and gas Index remained the best performing, with a gain of 3.5 percent owing to sustained gain (10.2 percent) in Oando shares to close at N22.00. As a result, Oando recorded WTD, MTD and YTD return of 34.0 percent, 56.5 percent and 77.3 percent respectively. The banking sector index followed with a gain of 2.2 percent. This could be attributed to 5.4 percent price appreciation in Zenith Bank shares to close at N24.87. On the contrary, the consumer goods Index lost 0.1 percent owing to N25.00 or 2.1 percent loss on Nestle shares. Oando topped the gainers chart with a maximum gain of 10.2 per cent. Other gainers include UBA Capital (9.9 per cent), Neimeth (9.5 per cent), May &

S

Baker (6.7 percent) and Zenith Bank (5.8 percent) to close at N1.89, N1.15, N2.24 and N24.87 in that order. On the flip side, Union Dicon led the losers chart today, shedding five percent, due to profit taking. Other losers include DN Meyer (4.7 per cent), FCMB (4.5 per cent) and International Energy Insurance (3.6 percent) to close at N1.41, N3.64 and N0.54 respectively. We expect the Nigerian bourse to close the year on a positive note (2013 YTD return to remain above 40.0 percent compared to 35.4 percent it closed in 2012). The NSE All-Share Index and Market capitalisation appreciated by 668.93 points or 1.69 per cent to close at 40,231.68 against 39,562.75 achieved in the previous week. Available data showed that the market opened last week for only three days as a result of two-day public holidays declared by the Federal Government for Christmas and Boxing Day celebrations. The market capitalisation grew by N214 billion or 1.69 per cent to close at N12.875 trillion compared with N12.661 trillion posted in the preceding week . The market also appreciated by 1.88 per cent in the corresponding week. Oando led the gainers’ table on percentage terms, appreciating by 21.62 per cent or N3.55 to close at N19.97 per share. FCMB followed with a gain of 19.06 per cent or 61k to close at N3.81, while Transcorp appreciated by 16.41 per cent or 65k to close at N4.61 per share. Champion Breweries topped the losers’ chart, dropping 4.95 per cent or 88k to close at N16.91 per share. Vono Products trailed with a loss of 4.95 per cent or 9k to close at N1.73, while E-Tranzact International declined by 4.81 kobo or 13k to close at N2.56 per share. However, a turnover of 1.28 billion shares worth N6.88 billion were traded by investors in 10,761 deals last week. This was against the 2.73 billion shares valued at N18.78 billion traded in 22,228 deals in the preceding week. The financial services sector led the activity chart with 749.66 million shares worth N3.22 billion in 5,541 deals. The ICT sector followed with a turnover of 270.48 million shares valued at N137.14 million in 99 deals. The third place was occupied by the conglomerates sector with 124.84 million shares worth N626.89 million traded in 1,041 deals.

Further market statistics


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

51

Quote of the week

Law

Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue. ——Francis Bacon judicialeditor@yahoo.co.uk/ 08033151041 Desk Head: Ibe Uwaleke

‘Why Council of Legal Education may not admit Open University graduates to Law School’ For teeming students in the Law Faculty of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), the possibility of getting admission into the Nigerian Law School after graduation has remained a matter of conjecture. Though the university authorities have given assurances that it would happen, there is no evidence it would happen soon. Interestingly, in this interview with former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Chairman, Council of Legal Education (CLE) (the body vested with the power to admit students to the Law School), Chief O.C.J. Okocha (SAN), insists NOUN students can’t be admitted into the Law School for now until certain issues are addressed. He also spoke on the falling standard of legal education and the last Call to Bar ceremony held in November 2013 in Abuja.

Interview By Joseph Onyekwere N why the CLE is dilly-dallying in approvO ing the National Open University of Nigeria Law graduates for the Law School, he stated: “It is because of the way we teach at the Law School, which is clinical. We do not believe that law is a course that should be learnt by correspondence. You have to be physically there and interact with the teacher, interact with your fellow students, participate in what we call moot and mock trials; see how court operates, go to law firms and see how lawyers operate in their firms. You can’t do those by correspondence. You can’t see a lawyer addressing a court by correspondence. Even if you see it on television, it is not the same as seeing it actually happening in the open court. So that is the reason we said we cannot allow the National Open University for now to run courses in law. Things may change later when we are satisfied that they would be able to give their students what we think students at the undergraduate level need to obtain a proper LLB.” Responding on the argument that the Law School is a leveller, which admits from different law faculties and allows them to compete among themselves, he objects: “Worldwide, for you to be admitted into the Nigerian Law School, we have to be satisfied that the university that awarded you the LLB degree is a proper university. We don’t admit people who got their LLB degree by correspondence course. We have the list of accredited universities worldwide. And if we are in doubt, we may even write to the universities and ask them to furnish us with a full list of their curriculum and the core subjects they offer for the LLB degree.” Talking about allowing NOUN students to be admitted into the Law School and see if they would pass the examinations there, he said: “We are already having difficulties in the number we are admitting. Each university has a quota so that the facilities of the six campuses can accommodate them. So if we allow a floodgate, everybody comes into the Law School, where will they sit to receive tuition, where would they sit to participate in mock trials and moot. So things are being rationalised such that we can take in what we can manage.” Why can’t the NOUN be given quota as well? He responds: “No, no, no as long as they are running correspondence course, they can’t get a quota; they can’t get accreditation from the Council of Legal Education to operate a law faculty. And because their teaching is by correspondence, we do not think that that should be the standard of teaching for anybody obtaining an LLB degree.” On the fact that Open University law faculty has jettisoned correspondence and electronic examinations, he responds: “I don’t know about that. But I am telling you that Open University is running its courses by correspondence and we will not accept that; and we will not accredit them until they have proper teaching method that the Council of Legal Education can be satisfied that it is adequate and sufficient to ensure that a student coming with an LLB from an Open University is duly possessed of

that degree. His impression about the call to Bar ceremony, which took place recently, he said: “This is a very important ceremony in the life of any lawyer. The day that he is admitted into the Bar and in terms of the profession, we call it call to Bar. By this, you are admitted as a legal practitioner and you are now entitled after due enrollment in the Supreme Court to practise as a barrister and as a solicitor. The authority that is the highest in the legal profession is the Body of Benchers and it is by the authority of that body that these young lawyers are now being admitted into the profession.” On the number admitted to the profession, he said: “You know the total is 5,016. There will be three Call to Bar ceremonies. One will take place this morning, another in the afternoon while the last one will take place by 10.00 am tomorrow. During that period, all the 5,016 students would have been admitted to the legal profession.” On the Law School Endowment Fund, he said: “The endowment fund is expected to be a veritable resource. Worldwide have we discovered that leading institutions in medical, legal and engineering, that their alumni in such institutions who have made good in life had endowed funds. Funds to develop physical structures, funds to develop human resources in the universities; endow chairs for professorship and all that and endow scholarships to fund the education of less-privileged students. So the hope is that with that endowment, we can do this here and do the other there. I am glad that most of the alumni of the Nigerian Law School cheerfully rose to the occasion. The Senate President’s own class; the class of 88, gave us N150 million and the class of 85 topped their own to N155 million. Worldwide government may fund the institutions by

Okocha

about 30 to 40 per cent, then donations come in like this endowments and what we called collectibles - tuition fees and accommodations fees paid by the students themselves. Hopefully, the Law School would be sustainable for the foreseeable future. The general understanding is that the standard of legal education is falling. When he was asked about this, he said: “It is true that the standards are falling but it is the same with the standard of education in Nigeria generally. We have always maintained that what the computer bug says garbage in garbage out. If someone does not have the foundation from primary school, did not remedy that foundation in the secondary school, went through the university without that basic foundation, what do you expect? So we have always been that anxious about elevating the standard of education i n this

People in the secondary schools were competing in the JFK essay competition. And that was how we entered the university. Law requires two basic courses. The first one is English Language and the second one is Mathematics because that is a general requirement for all Nigerian universities. But the core subjects are English and Literature - courses in the humanities such as history. But I have Chemistry, Physics and Biology and you will see that most of the most successful lawyers have Mathematics as their background. Dr. Akiola Aguda of blessed memory was a Mathematician. The great Lord Denning was also a Mathematician. For us, education needs to be beefed up and the spoken words - English language, which is the basic tool of our trade, because we communicate in English Language needs to be paid attention to. This is because we study in English, write letters and briefs in English and address the court in English. So these are core subjects that need to be paid great attention to in order to ensure that the standard, which we expect from lawyers is maintained.” On what the Council of Legal Education (CLE) is doing about uplifting the dwindling standards, he stated: “The CLE has adopted what is a clinical approach to teaching. If you know what the meaning of clinic is; it is taken from the medical profession. When those students go to the hospitals and really see big patients, they are beginning to learn how to be doctors by actually being doctors in training. So this is what we are doing now - ensuring that practical knowledge is emphasised during the training in the Law School. We have also tried to establish a committee to review the curriculum of law studies in all the Nigerian universities. We have also established a quality assurance committee to ensure that the standard in all the campuses remain the same so that when a student comes out of the Law School, you can be certain that he has all the basic qualifications to start off as a practitioner.” What becomes of students who have foundational problems but managed to get themselves into the Law School, he explained: “Learning never stops. The hope is that everybody who knows that he is deficient will try and remedy his deficiency by reading more English books and books that deal with compositions

As long as they are running correspondence course, they can’t get a quota; they can’t get accreditation from the Council of Legal Education to operate a Law Faculty. And because the teaching is by correspondence, we do not think that should be the standard of teaching for anybody obtaining an LLB degree

country. I remember when I left primary school in 1964, I could compose an essay. People in my level of education the primary school where competing in international essay competition.


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LawPeople

Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit his target with his eyes closed. ---Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

By Bertram Nwannekanma Insolvency practice is an evolving legal practice, which has been embraced by many legal practitioners in Nigeria. However, lack of appropriate legal framework      to facilitate the practice has become major hiccups in this important aspect of legal practice. In this encounter, a Lagos- based Lawyer and member of  the Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria (BRIPAN), Okorie Kalu provides insight in the ranging debates for appropriate legal framework.  He also spoke on other legal matters. SKED to rate insolvency practice in Nigeria, A Kalu said it is  at its best fair. According to him, many practitioners and their principals, bank/financial lenders alike, for selfish but understandable reasons, prefer to capitalize on debt resolution enforcement options that to offer them vantage position to access assets of the business in priority to all other claims as opposed to an orderly and common approach. Even the use of available insolvency options, he said, “are tilted either towards debt recovery or liquidation of the company, while one of the most important consideration of insolvency practice, that is, business rescue, is usually ignored. “The bulk of insolvency practice in Nigeria mainly still lies in the use of secured creditor’s private enforcement procedure (receivership) which ignores in practice the in-built business rescue option presented by that option to a professional Insolvency Practitioner. The winding up, a collective procedure available mainly to unsecured creditors to liquidate the assets of the company for purpose of distribution to its pool of creditors. “So, a fair comment in response to this question would be that the practice could at best be rated as fair. “We, however, must acknowledge also the fact Okorie that in the last 10 years and by reason of the work of some associations chiefly, the Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria (BRIPAN), NBA (particularly its Section on Business Law), and ICAN, we are gradually witnessing a better understanding and better practice of insolvency. It is also pertinent to situate that Insolvency issues whether for corporate bodies or individuals (also known as bankruptcy) relate to debt resolution mechanisms when a debtor is unable to meet up with its commercial obligations. It deals with the use by an Insolvency growth and wealth creation. Practitioner of certain statutorily recognized Our laws do not take cognizance of the crossoptions/techniques to achieve (preferably) a border nature of financing and investments restoration of the business to profitable in enterprises, or provide appropriate frametrade/maximize return to creditors or with a work as to how to deal with view to ensuring an orderly collection of the protection/enforcement of foreign creditors debtor’s assets and a “fair” distribution. claims, protection/realization or orderly col“So it is known as a “collective” procedure and lection of assets of the debtor company locatin that sense it is not driven by individual ini- ed in other jurisdictions and which require tiative consideration. It is not a debt recovery realization for the benefit of all creditors. procedure where a creditor individually seeks The existing general framework under CAMA to enforce his claims through any lawful and also does not regulate the practice and the available means. profession such that there are no standards On whether there are adequate laws guiding of practice, sufficient rules of ethics and insolvency practice in the country, Okorie said accountability or even sufficient criminaliza“this is actually another issue impacting nega- tion of mismanagement/misconduct of tively on assessment of Nigerian insolvency Insolvency Practitioners to whom control practice.” over huge assets are passed that would serve “One of the major challenges of the practice of as a deterrent and also avoid other socio-ecoinsolvency in Nigeria is the lack of a proper gen- nomic effects and systemic insolvency which eral statutory framework for practice. The exist- may be caused by the acts of such individuing general framework under the 1990 als. Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) is However, generally speaking, the picture is admittedly quite archaic and inadequate. not all that bleak in terms of development of “Insufficient consideration was given to the sectoral insolvency regime. In some indusdevelopment of a robust insolvency frame- tries such as banking and capital market, work under our general commercial laws. there is marked legislative effort to create a Insolvency and particularly corporate was rela- more modern business rescue approach to tively relegated to a blend of company’s formal insolvency issues. In such cases, regulators internal restructuring schemes (schemes of –rather than insolvency practitioners- are arrangements), the private secured creditor given wide and flexible arrangement powers, procedure of receivership and the collective which they can also delegate and then try to procedure of winding up the affairs of an insol- chart the best approach to achieving turn vent company. There are insufficient articula- around. tion of mandatory rules that would “force” Asked what laws he will advocate to ensure modern law insolvency preference of business improved practice, the astute lawyer said rescue, allowance of a moratorium period to there is  need for a modern Insolvency Law enable revival of the business and maximiza- that addresses the above mentioned issues, tion of returns to creditors whilst preserving i.e. recognizes clearly business rescue as a enterprises which are instrument of economic preferred option, offers formal and less for-

‘Insolvency laws lack recognition of cross-border financing, investments’ mal orderly procedures, create conducive framework for consensual arrangements and compromises between the company and other stakeholders, that would help maximize returns to creditors, preserve businesses and encourage entrepreneurship, entrench professionalism and improve standard of performance of Insolvency practitioners and hold them accountable, create rules to properly cater for cross border aspects of insolvency thereby fostering a conducive environment for investments. On what militating factors he considers as inhibiting  Dispute Resolution, Kalu has this to day “I should think that there are many factors ranging from ability to convince clients to accept commercial solutions on account of ego, legal practitioners use of technicalities and attitude for litigation qua litigation, delays in courts. “ In all fairness, we are witnessing some progress in many ways in conventional courts in terms modern and more efficient court rules oriented towards better case management and substantive administration of justice. Take for instance in Lagos State, the 2012 High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules or the new Federal High Court practice direction of the Chief Judge which has increased by 500% the per diem penalties for delays in filing of relevant processes. Also there is increased recognition of ADR (such as mediation, arbitration and negotiations) mechanisms, which are well recognized now by our courts, complement their adjudicatory functions and assist in decongesting our courts also in the process. Asked whether he support the call for local council autonomy in the attempt to further

amend the 1999 constitution, he said  Theoretically, local council autonomy is good because it presupposes the idea of bringing government and governance to citizenry and community who best understand grassroots issues and their peculiarities in each community and therefore are also in the best position to tackle effectively with same unlike the more remote governance by State or Federal governments. Legally and constitutionally, the issue is a matter of debate and can only best be resolved perhaps on the basis of Constitutional amendment and clarification. For now the issue has been one of interpretation, which does not appear to be fully settled by the courts within the context of the existing constitutional framework. Local Governments functions are stated in the 1999 Constitution. It has been argued that Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution gives credence to the position that it is the province and mandate of state governments to “ensure” the existence of a “democratically elected local government councils under a law which provides for establishing structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.” The case of AG Abia State v AG Federation and others also comes to mind wherein the Court ruled that powers over local government tenures, finances, structures etc belonged to the state. It has been further been stretched and argued that States are also entitled to create their own Local Government. This issue was raised between the Lagos State Government and the FG over the creation of Local Council Development Areas (LCDA): in as much as one is sympathetic or leans towards such call, it remains that this is a legal issue that actually raises the issue of the nature of federalism that we currently have in Nigeria: a very liberal interpretation of the Constitution would seek to concede such powers to the State but a more purposive of approach to the provisions of the Constitution “AS IS” in our view does not necessarily reflect such independence or powers given to States. On whether he would support calls for amnesty for the Boko Haram insurgency, given the recent security challenge in the country, he said: “Nigeria’s security challenges are numerous, ranging and complex from resource related violence, ethnic/religious violence and postelection violence. “At some point, the first two categories had been perceived as terrorism. It may be argued that the amnesty policy under the Umar Musa Yar’Adua administration had led to some tangible positive results. However, I do not believe that it is a one size fit all solution because the issues are different. The bottom line is a long lasting solution. Amnesty may be a good option at some point: the question is - have we reached that point? Personally, I don’t think so. There is no easy answer, but one thing is certain. Nigeria is our country, and we will continue to offer our prayers and support and pray that the Lord would grant our President and his administration the wisdom to tackle to the multi faceted challenges that Nigeria is facing. We need peace for Nigeria to move forward and prosper and for our children to reap the dividends of democracy. QUOTE: One of the major challenges of the practice of insolvency in Nigeria is the lack of a proper general statutory framework for practice. The existing general framework under the 1990 Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) is admittedly quite archaic and inadequate.  Insufficient consideration is given to the development of a robust insolvency framework under our general commercial laws.

Do you know…

Guarantee: “A guarantee is a written undertaking made by one person to a second person to be responsible if a third person fails to perform a certain duty, e.g. pay a debt.” Royal Exchange Assurance (Nig.) Ltd. v. Aswani Textile Industries Ltd. [1992] 3 NWLR (Pt. 227) 1 at 13, [S.C.].


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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 53

FamilyLaw Do protective orders actually protect the victim of domestic violence? N many cases, yes. Studies have shown that issuing a protective order or arresting a person who commits an act of domestic violence does reduce future incidents of domestic violence. When perpetrators of domestic violence see that the police and court system will treat domestic violence seriously, many persons who commit domestic violence may be deterred from future violence. But orders of protection are not guarantees of protection or safety. For some individuals with intense anger or rage, no court order will stop their violence, and a court order might even add to the rage. Newspapers periodically carry stories of women murdered by their husband or boyfriend despite numerous arrests and orders of protection. The legal system cannot offer perfect protection, although it can reduce violence. Where does one turn for help in cases of domestic violence? In a crisis situation, a call to the police is a good place to start. Many people complain that police do not take accusations of domestic violence seriously. That can be true in some circumstances, but on the whole, police are treating domestic violence situations more seriously, and police officers are receiving increased training on the subject. The local state’s attorney or district attorney also may be able to offer some help. An increasing number of hospitals, crisis intervention programs, and social service agencies have programs to help victims of domestic violence. Agencies offering help in cases of domestic violence might be found in the Yellow Pages under “Domestic Violence Help,” “Human Services Organizations,” or “Crisis Intervention.” Children Decision to have children Who makes the decision to become a parent? The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and other cases has declared that the decision of whether or not to have a child is a very personal one and that the decision is protected by the right of privacy under the United States Constitution. This means that individuals who wish to have a child cannot be barred from doing so (unless perhaps they are incarcerated). Individuals who do not wish to have a child have a legal right to obtain and use contraceptives. What if one spouse wants children and the other does not? This is a significant emotional issue that, of course, can be very difficult. If one member of the married couple wants a child and the other does not, that could be a basis for a divorce. A disagreement on such a fundamental issue could be an “irreconcilable difference” under the no- fault divorce laws of most states. In states that have grounds for divorce based on someone being at fault, a disagreement on the question of whether to have children could be viewed as “mental cruelty,” and thus a basis for ending the marriage. Beyond divorce, remedies are limited. The courts cannot force a pregnant woman to stop the pregnancy, nor does the law require a wife to have her

I

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without. ——James C. Dobson their hospitals about other rules and about whether siblings would be allowed in the delivery room. Rights and responsibilities of parents What are the rights of parents? Parents have a right to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children. This gives them the power to make various decisions, including where to live, what school to attend, what religion to follow, and what medical treatment to obtain. Normally the state may not interfere in these decisions. Only in life-threatening or extreme situations will the courts step in to overrule parents. For example, when a child might die without the medical care that the parents refuse to provide, a judge may make the child a ward of the court and order that the care be provided. Parents have been prosecuted for withholding medical treatment from seriously ill children. This is true even in situations where parents act out of religious belief. There may be certain medical procedures, however, that the law allows “mature minors” to decide upon for themselves, even if their parents disagree. For example, parents have no absolute veto power over a minor’s decision to use contraceptives or to obtain an abortion. Parents also have the legal authority to control their children’s behavior and social lives. Children have a duty to obey their parents’ reasonable rules and commands. Parents may discipline or punish their children appropriately. They may not, however, use cruel methods or excessive force; that constitutes child abuse. PHOTO: GOOGLE What are the legal rights of children? Children have a unique status under the law. This chapter cannot explain this special status fully. However, it can point out a few of the major differences between the rights of adults and children. Most important, children have a right to be supported by their parents. At minimum, this means food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education. The law defines children as unmarried persons under the age of majority—usually eighteen—who have not left home to support themselves. The law protects children from abuse and neglect. It also entitles them to the protection of the state. Childbirth Are there any rules prohibiting parents from Children may be removed from their home if it is having their children born at home? No, at- necessary to ensure them a safe, supportive envihome births generally are an option for parents. ronment. This removal may be temporary or perThe mother should have good prenatal care, manent. and she should make sure the health care The law allows children to sue. However, in most provider believes the delivery will not pose sig- instances an adult legal representative must nificant risks to the mother or child. If the deliv- begin the suit. ery is risky for the mother or child, it is much Children accused of committing crimes are subbetter to use a hospital. Some states allow nurse- ject to the juvenile courts of their state, not the midwives to deliver children at the parents’ regular criminal justice system. (In some states, home or at a birthing center. Other states allow children accused of serious crimes who are above nurse-midwives to practice only at hospitals or a certain age—such as thirteen—may be tried in court as adults.) Juvenile courts entitle children to under the direct supervision of a physician. If the delivery is at a hospital, may the father or a only some of the due process safeguards that adults receive. In return, these courts have more sibling be present? At most hospitals, the father may be present at freedom to deal with juveniles in an effort to rehabirth. Hospitals often prefer that the father and bilitate them. mother have gone through some training before the delivery. Parents should check with TO BE CONTINUED

Legal perspectives of marriage (7) husband’s permission for an abortion. Abortion What is the current status of abortion law? As of the year 2000, women still have a right to an abortion. In the 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey reaffirmed its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that women have a constitutional right to seek an abortion during the early stages of pregnancy. States, however, do have a right to regulate how abortions are performed and states may ban abortions after the fetus is viable (able to live outside the womb) unless the mother’s life or health is endangered. The scope of regulation and funding of abortions by the government varies from state to state. In Casey, the Supreme Court held it was permissible for states to impose a 24-hour waiting period on obtaining abortions and to require a minor to have consent of one parent or a judge for an abortion.

My case against AGF, by Oyinlola: A rejoinder EFERRING to an order of a Federal High Court, Abuja, grantR ing him leave to apply for judicial review for an order of mandamus compelling the Attorney General of the Federation, (AGF) to prosecute MTN and its directors, former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has faulted the contents of an article written by one Emmanuel Onwubiko, the head of a human rights group, Human Rights Writers’ Association. The said article was published by The Guardian on Tuesday, December 24, 2013, titled: “Adoke, MTN and litigation: Matters Arising.” According to Oyinlola, ‘the article allegedly became subjudice on November 18, 2013’ when he brought the matter before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on ‘December 6, 2013 when Justice A. F.A. Ademola,’ the presiding judge pronounced on the matter by ‘granting him leave to apply for a judicial review for an order of mandamus.’ In a statement signed by his lawyer, Adeolu Oyinlola, he gave the suit number as: FHC/ABJ/CS/781/13 which order of court by Justice Adeola reads: “It is hereby ordered that leave of this court is hereby granted to the applicant to apply for judicial review by way of an order of mandamus compelling the 1st respondent to prosecute the 2nd respondent (MTN) and its directors by instituting and undertaking criminal proceedings against them for committing the offence of an attempt to suppress evidence.” It is on the strength of this order that Oyinlola sent his reaction to the said article. His response reads: “I wish to draw your

attention to the fact that an article written ostensibly  by one Emmanuel Onwubiko of an amorphous Human Rights Writers’ Association, which appeared on page 69 of today’s (Tuesday, December 24, 2013), edition of The Guardian, dwelt extensively on issues that are now before a competent court of law for determination. “For the information of your medium, Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/781/2013 between Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola (applicant) and The Attorney-General of the Federation and MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd (respondents) became subjudice on November 18, 2013.  “On December 6, 2013, Hon. Justice A.F.A Ademola granted the applicant leave to apply for judicial review by way of an order of mandamus compelling the Attorney-General to prosecute MTN and its directors by instituting and undertaking criminal proceedings against them for committing the offence of an attempt to suppress evidence.”  Hearing in the matter has been fixed for January16, 2014, (see attached court order). In point of fact, what transpired in court last Friday was reported in a couple of newspapers yesterday. “It is curious that after The Guardian turned down several attempts by Prince Oyinlola to place advertorials on this same issue before  the  Federal High Court was approached, your medium granted generous space to the author to comment on a matter that has been properly brought before Hon. Justice Adeniyi Ademola.

Oyinlola “While we concede The Guardian’s right to jealously guard its commercial interests, responsible citizens (natural and corporate) ought to respect our courts by not expressing (or allowing themselves to be used to express) views on matters that are subjudice.” 


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Chronicling 2013: A legal perspective By Oluyinka Oyeniji ERY interesting events have characterized V the outgoing year. Many more of them are undoubtedly novel while at other times; they look basically like scripts being acted out in a play. It would take only keen eyes and watchers to understand that even the actors are propelled by pulls beyond their control while the aftermath of curious reactions to issues leave the actors and Nigerians in general, awestruck. This year it was, when all seemed lost in Rivers State. Even moreso, that the National Assembly had to pass resolutions on the conduct of proceedings in that State House of Assembly. It was almost unheard of that the Chief Security officer of a State would be at war with another Accounting Officer for Security in a State. Even more worrisome it became that the legislators resorted to use of makeshift weapons including the symbol of authority of the House of Assembly (mace), injuring one another in the process and doing so gleefully, being publicly filmed in the process. And of course, the Governor was shut out of his own office and residence on account of preserving the security! How could we also forget the election of the leader of an association, which became more raucous than the Presidential election of a country? The Nigerian Governor’s Forum, which is not even constitutionally recognized became a tug of ideals between Governors and the Presidency. The resultant effect was a fractionalization of the noble association, which the Governors claimed was for productive interaction and sharing ideas on governance and development. The Nation battles between the figures 16 and 19 and the Association recognized by the Presidency! The nation again arrived at a curve when leading political parties decided to merge ostensibly to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. Even though led by seasoned politicians, they were in a hurry to form a mega party and would not consider the provisions of the Electoral Act as well as the Constitution. The media was informed of new name and announcement even before the basic requirements for merger were complied with. I addressed them as merging party instead of an already merged Association. The noncompliance is punishable as a criminal offence but I guess the Independent Electoral Commission and federal government controlled by the ruling party thought of the ensuing blackmail of refusal of registration and so APC was born and then legalized, in that order. Some of the purportedly merging parties’ screamed, special conventions were convened

Jonathan with special resolutions taken on the merger, secretariats were created and painted and that party has come to stay! Somewhere else, and in a very delicate sector, there were crashes and other near crashes. Even made worse by the fact that a sober ceremony became tragic when the aircraft conveying the remains of a departed statesman was involved in an air crash (Dead body get accident). Grief struck, everyone desired to identify at whose door the traded blames would finally rest. Many illustrious sons were lost to the accident. Before we could sigh, the controversial procurement of cars raised its disturbing head at the same ministry. The Nation continues to wait almost without help or a sense of direction as the Code of Conduct Bureau, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and other relevant law enforcement agencies have shirked their primary responsibility of conducting reliable investigation and enforcing the law to the letter regardless. Our dear Minister would not even resign whether to save her face, out of honour or to douse the tension. The Governor of the Central Bank cried out on non – remittance from the NNPC. This had been heralded by calls by a leader of one of the forums of Governors (no pun intended) that the Federal Ministry of Finance should account for the non – remittance. The CBN Governor reportedly spoke up; few weeks after, figures changed. Claims of having been quoted out of context rents the air, his continued occupation of the office up in the air and the Nation continues to wait. And yes, the defections. I have chosen to examine the “defectiveness” of the “defections”. It is an

attribute of a democratic society for the fundamental human rights of a citizen to be respected. It then presupposes that the defecting and defected political office holders exercised their fundamental rights for which no one could question them. Whilst no one should be bothered about the defections being the exercise of rights, one wonders whether these would cure obvious defects of the defectors. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party metamorphosed over the years with the active collaboration of defecting Governors and members of the House of Representatives. Tickets were won on the platform, how would relocating to other political parties effectively and positively affect their performances as political office holders? Residents in their respective States have not stopped complaining of non – delivery of electoral promises; yet, they are led to believe that associating with a new party which shows nothing but a new name would help perform better. I have been of the opinion that the new associations and new name are not enough factors to reinvent lost confidence and trust. At least not when some of these same party members have also shared different principles before now. An exciting example is TINUBU VS RIBADU; another is the emergence of members who have moved from different parties and across. Oshiomole, Edo State Governor was elected on the platform of Labour Party, joined ACN and now APC, Atiku Abubakar contested Presidential primaries on the platform of PDP, joined AC and contested Presidential election and now back in PDP. El – Rufai and Ribadu were appointees of PDP where they arguably excelled with their respective portfolios, the latter is a leader in the APC while the former contested Presidency under ACN. The individual cannot change, regardless of new Associations, names and acronyms. A strike like no other, long enough to dwarf the OCCUPY NIGERIA movement against the removal of subsidy back in 2012, the Association of Senior Staff Union of Universities went on strike for over 5 months. Seeming like there would never be an end in sight, blames were traded, negotiations stretching into early hours of the morning were convened and finally, agreements were signed. Pray, if the funds were always available, why would the strike be allowed in the first place? Did the Lecturers have to be pushed to calling the strike to test their will with attendant blackmails and other subtle threats? The bombs are still going off, the Federal Government through the Service and Security Chiefs continues to explore a lasting solution. Whether just carrot, carrot and stick or carrot or

stick approach, lives need to be saved. I have always questioned whether expending monies on sophisticated arms and ammunition would ensure better security rather than providing quality and qualitative employment for restive youths. I will rather just improve living conditions of law enforcement agents and that of their immediate families. That should be the impetus for getting commitment, loyalty and stamping out corruption. So Bode George was sentenced and imprisoned. It seemed the right thing to do at the time, the apex Court had since faulted that decision. What compensation does he receive? Perhaps, a State Pardon? You only pardon a convicted criminal or ex – convict, not someone who has been pronounced as having been convicted wrongly! We again woke up to the letter written by Nigeria’s great, if not greatest, OLUSEGUN OBASANJO who did not disappoint; standing up and by the letter he wrote even though it contained weighty issues, the brave one highlighted his personal grievances publicly on account of the fact that he had written prior letters to the President which were not responded to. I shuddered at his areas of concern; I continue to pray that they are infractions, which may not be backed with hard facts eventually. The Presidency responded with every due sense of maturity even though another letter got caught up in the fray. This time, a correspondence purportedly written by a daughter to her father. I continue to be befuddled by the rationale behind the publicity. Aunty Iyabo has not addressed a Press Conference to give the correspondence legitimacy. I am hoping that my identity would not be stolen or hijacked to be tied to a communication, which never originated from my mind, head or fingers in the first place. That is where we are drifting to as a country, the stage is being set! 2014 is a day away. Accusations and counter accusations trail each day and we are not all blind or deaf or mute to the patent fact that the stage is being set for 2014 and almighty 2015. America had made its own prediction before now; we have sworn to prove that Big Brother wrong. For the first time, Youths have determined to aspire for Governance regardless of obvious myths, proven facts, the enduring daunting political framework inherited by the country and experiences, which chronicle the amalgamation. If you doubt me, on January 18, 2014, Gen Voices (100,000 Youths) will speak out at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos and air what their own plans for 2015 would be. I doubt whether the political class, with all the posturing and positioning understands that their most trusted tool has developed a mind of its own and now ready to take back Nigeria. • Oyeniji is managing partner, First Chronicles

Anambra guber election: Ngige goes to tribunal against INEC, Obiano HE All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the controverT sial Anambra State Governorship Election, Dr. Chris Ngige (OON) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and four others to the Anambra State Governorship and Legislative Houses Elections Petition Tribunal at Awka. Also joined as respondents in the petition instituted by Ngige and APC are the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukaogu; the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Chief Willie Obiano, the APGA candidate in the election, and the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD). Meanwhile, the tribunal has ordered that Obiano and APGA be served by substituted means by pasting the petition on the tribunal’s notice board. The order was made on December 22, 2013 while the respondents are expected to respond within 14 days. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr. Tony Nwoye has also filed a petition at the tribunal. Mr. Nwoye was one of those disenfranchised during the election, as he and several members of his family did not find their names on the voters’ register used for the election, though they had their voters’ cards. In the petition filed by their counsel, Messrs Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), George Uwechue (SAN) and Emeka Ngige (SAN) among others, the petitioners are asking the tribunal to nullify the controversial election, claiming that it was vitiated by substantial non-compliance with mandatory statutory requirements and irregularities and that “none of the candidates in the said election was entitled to be returned.” The petitioners said they were aggrieved with the declaration of Obiano as the winner of the election and argued that while the APGA candidate did not satisfy the mandatory requirements of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended, the election was conducted in a manner which was manifestly and substantially not in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act. As a result, the petitioners have prayed the tribunal to declare that Obiano was not duly elected or returned and that his election was void. They are also asking the tribunal to determine that the use of an invalid Voters’ Register rendered the elections of 16th,

17th and 30th November, 2013 invalid by reason of non-compliance with provisions of Electoral Act 2010 as amended. Ngige and APC are also seeking a declaration that election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices and/or non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, and that Obiano was not qualified to contest the questioned election as the APGA candidate. The tribunal should declare that Obiano was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election, the petitioners prayed, and that the APGA candidate did not receive 25 percent of votes cast in two-thirds of the 21 local councils of Anambra State as required by the 1999 Constitution as amended. The petitioners therefore seek a declaration by the tribunal that “the election and return of the 3rd Respondent be nullified and a fresh election be ordered amongst the parties and candidates who contested the said election save 3rd and 4th Respondents.” Setting out the grounds on which the petition is based, the petitioners contend that the election was invalid by reason of noncompliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended and the INEC Manual for Election Officials 2013/2014, adding that the said election was marred by various acts of corrupt practices. They also argued that Obiano was not elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election, and that the APGA candidate was not qualified to contest the election. The petitioners, while outlining the particulars to the petition, said that the voters’ register used for the election “was fundamentally flawed” in that overwhelming number of registered voters were excluded from the voters’ register and were therefore disenfranchised; that INEC had repeatedly given conflicting figures as the number of registered voters in Anambra State, and that the voters’ register was grossly deficient as many registered voters in all parts of the State could not find their names on the register while photographs of minors and blurred images filled the register. They argued that “As a result of the flawed nature of the Voters’ Register including the problem of multiple registration and attendant mass disenfranchisement of voters in the election, only 442,242 voters or 24.9% were able to exercise their franchise.” Ngige and APC contend that the election was “fundamentally and irredeemably flawed” as the voters’ register “was deficient,

defective, inflated, undermined, inaccurate and therefore unreliable. The said register did not conform to the provisions of Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), thereby rendering the entire results arising from the said election void.” They stated that while INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega had issued an electronic copy of the voters’ register to participating political parties three days to the election claiming that it was to replace the earlier register, which had the ages of all registrants mistakenly reduced by two years, the petitioners discovered that the claim was false. They said that not only were the ages of some registrants reduced by more than two years, the voters’ register was riddled with photographs of minors and blurred images. According to the petitioners, other defects that affected the controversial election were missing pages from the voters’ register; void votes arising from non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and INEC Manual for the Conduct of the 2013 Anambra State Governorship Election; result sheets arising from improper accreditation of voters; lack of transparency in the State Collation of results; late arrival of materials and attendant late commencement of accreditation/voting in various places; corrupt practices, and highly inflated number of voters. The petitioners further argue that aside from manifest bias by Onukaogu against the petitioners and deliberate subversion of the order of the Tribunal by INEC, the non-swearing to the Oath of Neutrality by INEC officials and adhoc staff involved in the conduct of the election as required by law impugned the credibility of the election. According to the petitioners, the recruitment of students with ties to APGA as Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers (poll clerks) was yet another vice that afflicted the controversial election, moreso as Jega admitted at a world press conference held at Abuja on November 22, 2013 that the Commission, “in clear breach of its earlier decision, recruited adhoc staff from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka where the said Dr. Nkem Okeke was last employed before the election, with a tepid explanation that the Commission did so when it ran out of manpower.” Okeke is Obiano’s running mate in the election.


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Lingering crisis in Rivers State judiciary By Iheanyichukwu Maraizu CRISIS of succession is currentA ly rocking the Rivers State Judiciary and this, if not checked or halted forthwith, is capable of worsening the already bad political situation in the state. How it all started. On August 19, 2013, the former Chief Judge of Rivers State retired, thereby making it imperative for a successor to be appointed immediately. In the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 271 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria (as Amended), the State Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Honourable Chibuike Amaechi appointed the Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu (President of the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal) to act as the Chief Judge of the State pending the appointment of a substantive Chief Judge. It was this appointment that sparked off the controversy, which has raged unabated in the State Judiciary from August 20, 2013 when it was made till date. The appointment was criticized by powerful interests in the state hinging their criticism on the same Section 271 (4) of the Constitution on which the appointment was based in the first place. The vociferous critics who rejected the acting appointment made by the governor charged that the said Hon. Justice P. N. C. Agumagu “is not the most senior Judge of the High Court of Rivers State whom the Constitution says must be appointed to act as the Chief Judge.” They argue that the Customary Court of Appeal of which the “Hon. Justice Agumagu is the President is not part of the High Court of Rivers State.” This is notwithstanding the fact that it is part of the State Judiciary. Rivers State Government explained that the said Justice Agumagu was appointed and sworn in as a Judge of the Rivers State High Court long before the rest of his colleagues. He (Justice Agumagu) was only seconded to the Customary Court of Appeal upon its establishment. To it, (Rivers State Government) therefore, Honourable Justice Agumagu is the most senior Judge of the High Court of the State. According to Section 271 (4) of the Constitution, if the office of the Chief Judge of a state is vacant or if the person holding the office is for

any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office or until the person holding the office has assumed those functions, the Governor of the State shall appoint the most senior Judge of the High Court to perform those functions. This unambiguous provision of the Constitution will be examined later against the refusal of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to recognize the person (Hon. Justice Agumagu) appointed by the Governor to act as the Chief Judge. No one has disputed the fact that the Hon. Justice Agumagu was appointed and sworn in as a Judge of the High Court of Rivers State long before the rest of his contemporaries. What remains to be determined is whether this undisputed fact makes him the most senior Judge of the High Court of Rivers State. As has been pointed out above, the position of the Rivers State Government is that its appointee (Hon. Justice Agumagu) is the most senior Judge of the High Court of Rivers State. It (the Government therefore believes that it has satisfied the requirements of Section 271 (4) of the Constitution. The antagonists of the Government counter this position by insisting that the Customary Court of Appeal where the government’s appointee (Justice Agumagu) works is not part of the High Court. To this group therefore, the Government should do the right thing by appointing somebody from the High Court. In my very humble opinion, the proponents of this view (that is, that the Customary Court of Appeal is not part of the High Court) are wrong. In the first place, the President and other Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal are all High Court Judges. No one can be appointed to the office of a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal without being first sworn in as a High Court Judge. The only difference is in the nature of duties respectively performed by Judges of the High Court and those of the Customary Court of Appeal. Whereas Judges of the High Court handle all manner of cases (in exercise of both original and appellate jurisdictions) those of the Customary Court of Appeal only handle appeals emanating from Customary Courts. In some places, original jurisdic-

Amaechi tion has by law been conferred on Customary Courts of Appeal on specific subject matters. In the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for example, the Customary Court of Appeal Act has been amended to confer original jurisdiction (to the exclusion of any other Court) on the Customary Court of Appeal in chieftaincy disputes. Apart from the differences in the nature of their duties, there is no other difference between Judges of the High Court and those of the Customary Court of Appeal. The qualification for appointment in both cases are the same. Thus Section 271 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that for anybody to be qualified to be appointed a Judge of the High Court of a State, the person must be qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and must have been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years. Section 281 (3) of the same Constitution equally requires a person who wishes to be appointed President or a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal to be not less than ten years at the Bar. Apart from qualification, appeals from the High Court go straight to the Court of Appeal. The same thing

is applicable to appeals emanating from the Customary Court of Appeal. Customary Courts of Appeal and the High Courts have Coordinate or concurrent jurisdiction. None can therefore sit on appeal in cases emanating from the other. Section 210 of the 1999 Constitution is very clear on this point. It is needless to add that the Conditions of Service for all judicial offices are the same (see inter alia section 291 of the 1999 Constitution). I have taken the pains to highlight the foregoing points just to prove that the High Court of a State is not in any way superior to the Customary Court of Appeal of that State. In the light of this truism, there is no reason why the President of the Customary Court of Appeal cannot act as or indeed be the Chief Judge of a State. This is my humble submission and I stand to be corrected. The only thing that can disqualify the President of a Customary Court of Appeal from acting as or becoming the Chief Judge of a State is if he is not the most senior Judge in the State. In the instant case, the fact that the person appointed to act as the Chief Judge of Rivers State is the

most senior Judge in the State is not in dispute. It will therefore not only be unfair but also a dangerous precedent to disqualify him merely because he works in Customary Court of Appeal. The contention that the Customary Court of Appeal is not part of the High Court is in my respectful opinion fatally flawed. This is because the proponents of that view seem to understand the word “Court” as a building. It is apparently for this reason that they erroneously argue that the Customary Court of Appeal is not part of the High Court. This is ridiculous to say the least. Section 258 (1) of the Evidence Act 2011 defines “Court” to include all Judges and Magistrates and…. all persons legally authorized to take evidence. In the light of this statutory definition of “Court” how can it be reasonably argued that a High Court Judge is not part of the High Court merely because he works outside the building designated as High Court? Role of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in the controversy As noted above, the NJC rejected the acting appointment made by the Rivers State Governor in preference to the person it sees as the most senior Judge of the Rivers State High Court. The NJC reportedly followed up this position by writing to all the Judges in Rivers State directing them not to accept acting appointment from the Rivers State Governor or face its wrath. Needless to say that by this singular act, the NJC has worsened an already bad situation. But it is imperative to point out that the NJC lacks the power to meddle into an appointment validly made by the Governor as Section 271 (4) of the Constitution is clear as to whose duty it is to appoint an acting Chief Judge whenever a vacancy arises. More importantly, by directing the Governor as to how he should perform his constitutional duty, the NJC is in breach of the principle of Separation of Powers enshrined in the Constitution. Being a body made up of human beings, the NJC cannot lay claim to infallibility. Whenever it errs therefore (as in the instant case), the NJC should have the humility to admit its error and retrace its steps. The political situation in Rivers State is already bad enough. If the stalemate in the state judiciary is not quickly resolved, anarchy could result and only God can predict what will happen next. • Maraizu wrote in from Abuja

Appeal Court frees death row convict, 11 years after By Joseph Onyekwere OURT of Appeal, Lagos division C has freed a commercial bus driver, Tope Oluwasile after eleven years in death row at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Lagos. The appellate court in its judgment delivered on December 9, 2013 found him innocent and ordered his release. The decision followed the appeal filed by his counsel at the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP). Oluwasile was arrested on the June 30, 2002 on allegations of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death by the Lagos High Court. The case against Tope Oluwasile at the high court was that on June 30, 2002 along the Railway Line beside the Ikeja Local Government

Secretariat, he conspired to rob and indeed robbed one Sergeant Ishola Isiaka of his handset and SIM card valued at N20,000 while armed with a kitchen knife.   But Oluwasile claimed he was innocent. He stated at the trial court that he was arrested on June 30, 2002 while he was plying his trade as a commercial bus driver during a police raid at Shogunle bus stop, Ikeja. He was subsequently charged along with three other persons whom he said he only met for the first time in custody. That notwithstanding, he was convicted and sentenced to death by the trial court. As a result, his counsel (LEDAP) filed an appeal against the conviction and sentence. Following that appeal, a panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division comprising honourable Justices J. S. Ikyegh, M. M. Saulawa and C. E.

Iyizoba unanimously resolved all the issues raised at the appeal in his favour. In particularly, the court found that the case of the prosecution was not proved beyond reasonable doubt. Responding to the judgment, LEDAP national coordinator, Chino Obiagwu said it is another case that calls for an in-depth reevaluation and urgent overhauling of our Criminal Justice System, especially as it relates to the use of capital punishment due to the high and continuously growing number of wrongful convictions in the country. “In a study in 2011, LEDAP found that 46% of the cases in which appellants were sentenced to death were overturned on appeal, giving indication of a high possibility of wrongful convictions. “LEDAP uses this medium to call

Justice Bulkachuwa on the Nigerian government to reconsider its stand on the use of capital punishment by abolishing

the use of death penalty and replacing same with life imprisonment”, Obiagwu declared.


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Sports Adedeji, Gambo on medics watch list

CHAN 2014: Super Eagles ‘are weak’, says Pillars coach From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja ITH less than two weeks W to the kickoff of the Championship for African Nations (CHAN) in South Africa, it seems the Super Eagles technical crew is far from getting things right in its task of raising a solid home-based team that will make an impact in the championship. This has become necessary as the interim Coach of Kano Pillars, Abdullahi Mikaba has casted doubts over the ability of the current crop of players in Super Eagles camp to make a meaningful impact in South Africa. Maikaba, who spoke with journalists shortly after his team held the home-based Super Eagles to a 2-2 draw in a friendly game played at the Abuja National Stadium yesterday, stated that the players ‘are weak’ especially in transition, adding that such affects them in making a quick comeback after losing possession. “Super Eagles didn’t really play to my expectation. The players are weak most especially on transition. When they go for attack, they find it very difficult to come back and that is why we capitalised on the counter-attack to always catch them. The only strong point is that they are good on set pieces and their

team play level is okay. “I believe if they can work on some of these lapses, they can make Nigeria proud in the forthcoming CHAN tournament. For Kano Pillars, we are good in scoring goals but we concede a lot of goals too. That is why we intend to beef up our central defence to avert a repeat of what happened to us last season, especially now that we will be playing at the continental level,” he said. Speaking after the match, Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, who said he would no longer admit new players into the team because of time, insisted that his side was still in the building process. He noted that they are improving by the day. “The team is better today minus the ones who are injured and didn’t play the match. We will continue to work on the rest of them. As it stands now, there won’t be time to bring in new players since we are leaving next week for the CHAN tournament. “Kano Pillars gave us some good game and that is good for us as we prepare to leave for the main competition. We are still working on every department of the team. This is not a team yet. It is a group of players and so the players need to work harder before we confront Mali in our first match,” Keshi said.

EDICALLY, these are not M the best of times for Super Eagles Head Coach,

Azubuike Egwekwe of the experienced players remaining in the Super Eagles squad for the CHAN 2014 tournament in South Africa

South Africa, Ghana, others for Ochei Wheelchair basketball tourney According to the President, Territory. S the preparation gears up Wheelchair basketball chamBasketball Olopade, a former commisA for the third edition of pionship, South Africa and Wheelchair of Nigeria, sioner for Youth and Sports Victor Ochei International Republic of Benin have con- Federation

Nigeria’s Sule qualifies for World Para Table Tennis Championship By Olalekan Okusan TLANTA 1996 Olympics A bronze medalist, Nosiru Sule has secured the ticket to the 2014 World Para Table Tennis Championships holding in Beijing, China. Two Nigerian players – Sule

and Ahmed Koleosho featured in the men’s class five and class three of the African Championships held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Koleosho failed to make to the qualifying stage in his event, but Sule made Nigeria proud when beyond all odds beat top rated players to the

Nigeria’s Nosiru Sule (left) with President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy (standing) after Sule qualified for the World Championship at the African qualifiers held in Cairo, Egypt…last week.

Stephen Keshi, as the zero hour draws near for the naming of the 23-man squad for the CHAN African Nations Tourney starting January 11 in South Africa. At the last count, four players have had knocks, two serious, two very negligible to the extent that the medics have said if the technical crew picks from there will be no medical issue at CHAN. Those not on the watch list are Solomon ‘Cafu’ Kwambe, who had a good game against Gokana United in Rivers State and Umar Zango, the Kano Pillars central defender, who did not make the trip to the Port Harcourt friendly. On the flip-side, serious worries have emerged over top striker, Gambo Mohammed, who also did not travel for the game in Port Harcourt and Adeyinka Adedeji, who travelled for the game and was listed to start only to cop a hamstring injury while warming up for the start of proceedings. The medics have however not given up on the two players, who incidentally have a similar case, but chances are 50-50, as the date for the naming of the final squad for the championship draws near.

sole ticket in the category. Five players took part in the class five of the event with one of them expected to qualify for the World Championships. Egypt’s Ayman Zenati was seeded number one while his compatriot – Adel Ahmed Ahmed was rated number two with Nigeria’s Sule seeded number three among the five players. To defy the odds, Sule managed to lose a match and won three matches after beating Zenati 12-10, 12-10, 11-6, losing to Egypt’s Hassan Hefny 9-11, 711, 11-9, 5-11. But his top spot was ascertained when he defeated Egypt’s Ahmed 11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8 as well as pummeling South Africa’s Tankiso Hata 11-4, 12-10, 11-4. This performance automatically qualified Sule as the continent’s sole flagbearer in the men’s class five category at the 2014 World Championships. An excited Sule said that he was happy making to China, while appealing to the National Sports Commission (NSC) to support him in his quest to bring honour to Nigeria at the global tournament.

firmed participation in the tourney slated for February 18-22 2014 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. Lagos State team was the defending champion of the annual basketball championship been sponsored by the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Victor Ochei.

(WBFN), Bukola Olopade said that apart from South Africa and Benin Republic who have confirmed their participation, Ghana has also informed the secretariat that they will be sending two teams to the championship, which is expected to attract over twenty five teams from all states of the federation including the Federal Capital

in Ogun State, commended the sponsor, Ochei, for his interest in empowering special sport athletes and developing the game of wheelchair basketball in the country. He promised that the federation would put in place adequate arrangement that will make the tourney more glamorous.

Eagles can win CHAN 2014, Elegbeleye insists From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja ESPITE repeated alarm by D handlers of the Super Eagles that they are yet to have a team that can win the South Africa 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN), the Director General of National Sports Commission (NSC), Gbenga Elegbeleye has insisted that the team must target the top position. The Championship is billed to kick off early January next year. Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi said recently that Nigerians should not expect surprises from the team in the championship, insisting that his team had continuously been depleted by injuries and transfer of its

key players to foreign clubs. Elegbeleye, who set the target while fielding questions from the sports journalists during the opening ceremony of the Mark D Ball’ Basketball Tournament and Sports Beauty Pageant Festival in Otukpo, Benue State, hinged his expectations on the quality of players and technical crew, insisting that the Eagles can still boast of quality the players that can deliver the cup. He maintained that he is full of confidence that the Stephen Keshi-tutored boys will win the trophy. “We have one of the best coaches in Africa today and I have no doubt in my mind that the team is going to win the tournament. What gave me the

confidence is the length of camping the team had and the quality of players we are going to parade in the tournament,” he assured. Asked what country the Super Eagles should be afraid of in Brazil 2014 World Cup, he replied, “well, I don’t see why we should be afraid of any country. We are preparing and I know that anything is possible in football. We will know how to progress when tournament gets underway in Brazil. As I said earlier, we are preparing for a serious outing in Brazil.” The NSC DG assured that the commission would offer its full support to both the NFF and the Super Eagles to ensure that it lacked nothing in the quest to win the CHAN competition in South Africa.


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SPORT Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welbeck shooting Manchester United to victory against Norwich City on Saturday

My mind is on Man United, not the World Cup, says Welbeck FIFA.com were invited to the Aon Training Complex at Carrington recently to speak to England forward Danny Welbeck about his education with Manchester United, his season so far and his thoughts on the up-coming FIFA World Cup. The 23-year-old, who represented his country at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Korea Republic back in 2007, also revealed his biggest influence at United and what David Moyes has brought to the dressing room. FIFA.com: You’ve had a great footballing education here at Carrington. In terms of the players you’ve played with since you’ve been here, who has been your biggest role model? ANNY Welbeck: It’d have to be Ryan Giggs. Ever since I was a young kid growing up watching Manchester United, there have been so many inspirational players at this club. I have always looked up to Ryan Giggs and I thankfully got the chance to be training with him every single day. And then there have been players, who have really looked after me as I was coming through like Wes Brown and Darren Fletcher, who were always talking me through games and through training sessions. Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Dimitar Berbatov…there have been so many great players I’ve learned from. What’s that first experience like when you’re on the pitch alongside a role model such as Ryan Giggs? It must be quite surreal. Yes it is. Obviously growing up as a young kid in Manchester supporting Manchester United and then actually getting a chance to be on the pitch with him - and on the training pitch as well - that’s where you learn most of your football education. To see how hard he works, knowing how much he wants it, it’s that determination and motivation to keep going on. It’s that Manchester United spirit to never settle for where you are, to keep on improving and win as much as you can. It’s difficult because every single team in the Premier League now have the ability to beat each other no matter who is on the bottom of the table. One of United’s strengths time after time has been winning league after league after league. Is it difficult to find that motivation to keep winning? No, it’s not difficult at all. You see Ryan Giggs every single day at the training ground and you see his determination to win every single training game, never mind the first team competitive games! We see that drive and that desire to keep pushing on, which is a daily reminder of why we’re here. Being at a club like Manchester United, such a massive club, the pressure is there to win the games and to win trophies. That’s what we’re here to do. You’re managed by David Moyes now. What do you see so far as his major strengths? I think he knows what he wants his team to do. We go

D

through the games in meetings. We know our jobs on the pitch but I think at the moment the games have been quite unpredictable and it’s something we need to sit down together as a group and get right. We need to make sure we’re winning as many games as possible because we’re Manchester United and that’s what we’re here to do. It’s been an unpredictable season in the English Premier League. Do you think that will continue this season? I think football is always an unpredictable game. This season lots of teams have been losing games that they might have been backed to win. It’s difficult because every single team in the Premier League now have the ability to beat each other so no matter who is on the bottom of the table playing whoever is on the top of the table it’s always going to be difficult. There are no easy games in this league. You have been versatile during your time at United but which position do you think you’re at your most effective? I like to be a striker getting in behind defences. That’s where I’d really like to be playing. Growing up at Manchester United we’ve had the right upbringing and I think more or less any forward who comes through at United from the academy ranks can play in any forward positions across the front. That’s a benefit for me, and it can be a hindrance because you’re getting moved about, you don’t get your games in the position you want to be playing in but I think you have got to look at it as a positive and take it in your stride. Further down the line you might get your chance in that preferred position. You’ve already scored more goals this season then you did last season. Is that a conscious effort to be a little bit more selfish in that positive sense?

I’m not really thinking about the World Cup at the moment. My mind is set on club football and nothing else. It’s the next game and I’m not thinking too far ahead because anything can happen within a day and you never know what’s coming next

Definitely. I look back at last season when we won the league. It was one of the best seasons of my life. I was playing regularly and I felt my performance was much better than the previous season. I was playing as a left-winger. It’s not a position I really want to be playing in but I’m happy to be playing there for the team no matter what. It is difficult sometimes you say, “I’d love to come into the season and I really want to score more goals no matter where I’m playing.” I started off scoring more goals, but I picked up an injury and I’m just coming back into the swing of things now. I really want to score more goals this season. I’m not really thinking about the World Cup at the moment. My mind is set on club football and nothing else. Looking ahead to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, is this something you dream about? To play football at a World Cup at the spiritual home of football in Brazil? Of course. Growing up watching World Cups, it’s something where the whole world sits down and watches the occasion. I remember being home as a little kid watching the World Cup matches, every single game. Do any matches or tournaments spring to mind? I was 11 years of age in 2002, I had been at United for a couple of years as a young boy and I sat down to watch the games with my family, and I remember the Brazil-England game very well. Watching Brazil in that tournament was great to see. It’s something that you really want to push yourself to be involved in and hopefully that chance will come. Is it something as a professional footballer you think about frequently? Or are you in the mindset of tackling one game at a time? I’m not really thinking about the World Cup at the moment. My mind is set on club football and nothing else. It’s the next game and I’m not thinking too far ahead because anything can happen within a day and you never know what’s coming next. Who do you think will win the FIFA Ballon d’Or? I think it’ll be Cristiano Ronaldo. To produce what he’s produced every single game since he’s moved to Real Madrid I think he’s been unbelievable. Even when he was here at Manchester United, watching him in training, watching him play his games, he’s got to be the best in the world. It’s difficult to say because of Messi. Messi’s been unbelievable as well.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013 SPORTS 63

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

I risked Mikel against Liverpool, says Mourinho HELSEA Manager, Jose C Mourinho has said their league game against Liverpool was arguably  the most impressive of the season to date, as they came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, a win that keeps the Blues within two points of leaders Arsenal. “It was a big win, big opponent, big match and big respect to every player in this country because I love it, you love it, people around the world love it and the accumulation of matches is amazing,’ said Mourinho. “That’s why what happened to Ivanovic, Lampard, Allen and Sakho happened, because it’s really difficult, especially when it’s a big match and the players have to give what they have and what they don’t have. “This was a big game; from the first to the last minute there was doubt about the result, everybody giving 100 per cent. There was some good quality football and big emotion. “We deserved to win because they did nothing to score the first goal. After that our reaction in the first half was fantastic. In the second half we defended well, they hit the post with Sakho, we had some counter attack situations where we could have killed the game with Eto’o, Torres and Hazard, but we didn’t and it was hard until the last minute, but I think we deserved it. “We knew before the game if we didn’t win the distance to the leader was big because Arsenal had just won. Everything accumulated; fatigue, Ramires not playing, Mikel with flu, plus the injuries we had in the first half. All of this together makes me very happy with the level of their game. “The team did a very good job collectively, Liverpool are fantastic at building from the back, the way Brendan opens up the central defenders and puts Lucas in between them with the full backs in wide positions and the wingers inside, they are fantastic at

that, but we did very well to press them high up. “They weren’t comfortable, the goalkeeper was kicking a lot of high balls and the fluency of their game which allows the last ball to come into Suarez didn’t happen a lot. It was more about my team defending very well with 10 players than saying specifically this one or that one. Everybody played a good game.’ Liverpool had two penalty claims denied in the second half, both involving Luis Suarez, but Mourinho felt the Uruguayan went to ground too easily. “I’m always happy when I see him play because I love his quality, commitment and ambition to win, he’s a fantastic player. But this country is a special country, I’m not English or British, but I feel I have a responsibility to defend some values in football because there are more foreign managers coming here. “One of the good things is that we don’t like simulation and these situations in the box, with Azpilicueta and Eto’o, it has to be stopped or give him a yellow card, because it’s not good. “It’s not a tackle, Azpilicueta is very strong, he didn’t play against Swansea because I wanted him to play today against Sterling. I brought him to the right side, he has this situation with Suarez, who is playing every game for 90 minutes, and you can feel the difference between players who are playing every minute and the ones, who are being protected. “Suarez lost the duel with Azpilicueta, he has the ball and is leaving the box with the ball and then there is an acrobatic swimming pool jump to try and get a penalty, because he is so clever that he knows he is in the area where he has the Liverpool supporters behind. “Webb is 10 metres away and the only mistake he made was to not give him a yellow card. There should only have been one penalty in the game - Lucas on

Wenger

My boys have grown into men, says Wenger RSENE Wenger insists A his boys have grown into men after backing Premier League leaders Arsenal to maintain their impressive title challenge into the New Year. Wenger’s team ended 2013 with 82 points - more than any of their Premier League rivals - as they returned to the top of the table thanks to a hardfought 1-0 victory at Newcastle on Sunday. Seven of the last nine clubs to head into the New Year at the summit have gone on to win the English title in May. Wenger refused to let himself get carried away following a win that showed his side has the physical and mental attributes to match their

Mikel Obi and Ashley Cole in the game against Liverpool at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday

undoubted technical skills. But the Frenchman admits he was impressed by his players’ resilience as they coped admirably with the absence of Mesut Ozil, who Arsenal hope will only be out in the short-term through injury. After Olivier Giroud’s 11th goal of the season sealed victory, Gunners Manager, Wenger said, “Newcastle provided us with a big physical challenge, which we stood up to. “We showed another aspect of our game today our resilience. We threw our bodies on the line. Technically we were good but we showed a strong mentality. “There’s something in the team that’s special on that front. We’ve been questioned many times about that (resilience) but we showed our strength. “There’s a great solidarity and strength in the side. Maybe in past years the young age of the players counted against us in resisting the kind of pressure we were put under here, especially in the final 15 minutes.” Reflecting on his team’s efforts this year, Wenger added, “we finished well last season and if you look at the bigger picture in 2013 we’ve been very consistent. “We believe in ourselves and we’re determined to give our best absolutely, and to look back on this season and think ‘we’ve given our best.’ I hope it will be enough, of course, but there’s a long way to go.” Yohan Cabaye, the Newcastle midfielder who impressed against an Arsenal side he came close

to joining in the pre-season. On France international Cabaye, subject of a failed £13 million bid in August, he added, “even without Ozil and Aaron Ramsey today we still had plenty of cover with three good midfielders. “Mesut has a shoulder injury but hopefully he won’t be out for long, maybe one week, but it won’t be a long time.” Newcastle missed a chance to return to the top six after slipping to only their second defeat in 10 games. Alan Pardew felt his side deserved something for the way they set about pressuring the leaders, but insisted he was more than pleased with the 33-point return earned by his charges in the first half of

the season. “I believe we can replicate that points tally, and maybe even better it in the second half of the season. I think we can improve on that in the second half,” Pardew said. Newcastle have failed to beat Arsenal on their last seven visits to Tyneside, and Pardew added, “the margins are so fine at this level. I’m disappointed for the fans and for the players because we’ve not done much wrong to come out with a defeat against our name. “It’s frustrating we’ve not got a point. It’s just one set play that’s cost us when we’ve not defended well. A lot of my players can take massive credit from the way they’ve played, but unfortunately we’ve got nothing to show for it.” 

Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen in the match against Newcastle on Sunday


TheGuardian

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Waheed Olawole Continued from yesterday N average youth believes his/her destiny can A only be realised if he/she gains access to Western nations such as USA, England and Canada. If his potentials mature in foreign land, it is the foreign land that will be the beneficiary rather than his country of birth. It is pertinent to note that the nationalists such as Herbert Macaulay had a greater opportunity to remain in foreign countries during their youths because then the process to achieve this was simple even though discrimination was rife. In spite of this, they chose to come home and they fought for the freedom and independence we enjoy today. There is nothing bad in visiting foreign countries. In fact, it is part of education to do so, but we need an attitudinal change and new orientation about how we approach it. We must learn from the commitment and patriotism shown and displayed by young Slater of USA in the 18th century; how his adventure in England benefitted his home country. As we speak, thousands, if not millions of Nigerian youths with great potentials are across the globe working to develop other countries. They need to set a time frame for themselves to come home and transform whatever they have gained in foreign land to build Nigeria. For how long are we going to abandon our place of birth for foreign land because of one problem, challenge or the other? James Baldwin has aptly asserted, “Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed if it is not faced”. It is advisable we develop the attitude of putting Nigeria first and put it in mind that wherever we are; whatever challenge or problem the country may be facing should be our responsibility that we must solve together. The high rate of unemployment, no doubt, poses a serious challenge to youths. Employment or job opportunities have always been a reflection of a good and buoyant economy. It is the youths that benefit more if the juicy jobs are in abundance but if the reverse is the case, they suffer the effects more. Lack of job opportunities has crippled many youths, particularly graduates, from taking part or getting involved in any form to build a virile Nigeria. It is not a good omen that graduates with potentials roam the street in search of jobs several years after graduation. These jobless graduates have much potentials and talents which if identified and harnessed will go a long way to help build this country. But the fact remains that one cannot build something on nothing. The economy must be conducive first for them to be gainfully employed. Their employment will enable them to plan themselves and in turn plan positively for their dear country. In many Western countries that we strive to catch up with, the economies are so conducive that even the nongraduates are catered for. It is not surprising to see the youths in these countries doing well in their respective professions and contributing towards the course of their countries’ greatness. In America, for instance, the economy makes it possible for talents to be discovered early. So, the youths in this country find their government as a partner in progress in whatever height they aspire to attain. Many talented musicians in the American entertainment industry are youths and the fact that they engage in one lawful business or the other gives the government a kind of relief. The illustration in essence is that if the policies and programmes to make youths comfortable are neglected or handled with levity, the government itself will hardly have rest of mind as most of them will constitute a nuisance in virtually all aspects of life. The harsh economy which is having many negative effects on the country is posing a serious challenge to the youths’ willingness to participate in developing the country. It is a pity that those who are supposed to help correct so many anomalies in government were once youths and they do not bother to do anything about the present situation. There is nobody in power, no matter how powerful and

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influential, who was not once a youth. It has now become a tradition that people fight and protest against any form of oppression. However, put these same people who were victims of oppression in power or any position of influence in government, they forget so soon where they are coming from. They forget that what should be one of their major responsibilities is to put an end to suffering, cheating and oppression those in the wider society are experiencing. The nonchalant attitude of those in power towards addressing challenges facing the youths has been an obstacle. Most of the problems and challenges afore highlighted would have been drastically addressed, if the so-called people in government had done the needful. This country has had one-time activists later rising to positions in government. Their appointment or election into offices hardly had any positive effects on the plight of the youths. There is a good example of this. The Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011 fell within the age bracket of youths. It is not on

record that his actions helped the course of youths in any form. The socio-political and religious crises over the years have not only been having adverse effects on the country, they have brought disunity among the youths across the country. The social situation since independence has always facilitated and promoted all sorts of crises in the land and youths have always constituted the larger percentage of the victims. To begin with the political crisis, youths are a force to reckon with in the process of any election. Youths are seen and used as veritable tools during campaign and the election. The same youths are often brainwashed to organise protest, and in most cases demonstrate violently, if the outcome of the elections do not favour the candidates they supported. A history of election crises in the country has divided youths along the lines of political parties and this scenario has, among other factors, made it difficult for them to organise under one umbrella and speak with one voice.

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Related to this, is the religious crisis that has given the country a bad image both at home and abroad. It is saying the obvious that the destructive effects of religious crisis on the country are very serious. Unfortunately, youths are incorporated in the unprofitable and destructive religious mayhem. Before the advent of Christianity and Islam which are at the centre of this topic, various ethnic groups had and practised their respective traditional religions. It is not on record that traditional religions disunited and destabilised the various groups, rather they promoted inter tribal socio-economic and cultural relations among the people. Both Christianity and Islam all over the world are being used to strengthen man’s relationship with God and by extension with fellow man. In Nigeria, the story is different. Many atrocities such as killings, maiming, persecution and hatred have been perpetrated. If the crises are critically investigated, it will not be hard to discover that the main actors are predominantly youths. So, how can youths who are supposed to work in unison come together in the interest of the nation? They should consider it a serious issue to overcome the challenge of religious differences and promote the interest of the nation at large. Youths of this generation ought to realise in time that Western nations such as Britain and USA do not use religions as yardsticks to determine the qualities and values of their people in a bid to build their countries but their commitment and dedication towards their nations’ survival. In fact, the United States has a record of saving and accommodating millions of European nationals between 15th and 18th centuries when religious persecution was at its peak in Europe. The U.S. proclaimed freedom of religion for everybody and this gesture enabled people since then to feel free to live and work towards building America. There are several anomalies caused and promoted by the elderly people who ought to lay enduring foundation for a prosperous and effective Nigeria. These anomalies range from tribalism, self-centeredness to lack of patriotism. The youths grow up to inherit these bad traits. It is unfortunate that, as glaring as these destructive attitudes are, no generation of youths has striven to dissociate themselves from them. We keep maintaining the bad attitude and the country is paying the price of not moving forward at an expected rate. The youths in various groups that make up the country owe allegiance more to their respective ethnic groups than to the country. Under a situation like this, co-operation and unity needed more to achieve nation-building project will be an illusion. If the U.S. that was evolved from the immigration of different nationals all over the world from the 15th century, is not experiencing problems such as tribalism, why should Nigeria that has historical record of its ethnic groups originating within be promoting it? This world is standing on two legs - problem and solution. I do not think there is any problem or challenge confronting the youths in a bid to promote the ideals of nation-building that cannot be solved or overcome. Youths of this generation must realise now that for this country to grow at a fast rate, they need to disengage themselves from the bad ways old people run this nation and retain those aspects of the attitudes that are good, worthy of emulation in the interest of Nigeria. As noted earlier, all the blames cannot be laid at the doorsteps of the old and leaders, youths themselves need serious attitudinal change. They need to break or pull down the fence of tribalism; self-centeredness and unpatriotic attitudes handed over to them and allow the next generation to inherit fresh and good attitudes from them. To build a nation that will have ideals of greatness similar to those of Western nations such as Britain and the USA, youths have enormous roles to play. • Concluded. • Olawole is a historian and public affairs analyst, (08033192133, kaakaki2005@yahoo.com)


Tue 31 Dec 2013