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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Monday, February 3, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,821

N150

www.ngrguardiannews.com

Repair of Lagos-Ibadan road may wait till 2020 By Wole Oyebade RAFFIC-WEARY motorists T and other users of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway may not have a smooth journey soon. The reconstruction of the expressway may not be completed until 2020 as there are alleged moves by the Federal Government to start a new concession. The alarm was raised by a Lagos-based human rights organisation, Creative Chambers, while reacting to a January 21 statement credited to the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, on January 12, 2014. The minister said that the CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

Vice President Namadi Sambo (right); Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga; and Global Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), General Electric (GE), Jeff Immelt, during Immelt’s visit to the Vice President and signing of the government-to-company investment partnership between GE and FG at Aso Rock Villa in Abuja.

$50m Technology City takes off in Osun - Page 6

‘B’ Haram plots to invade Lagos in military vehicles’ By Odita Sunday N alleged plot by the terA rorist group, Boko Haram, to invade Lagos in vehicles painted with military colours has been uncovered by security operatives. The Guardian learnt at the weekend from military authorities that the group planned to attack Lagos with weapons in vehicles used by senior military officers painted with the colours of the Army, Navy or Air Force. This intelligence has made military authorities to order soldiers and naval ratings to thoroughly search vehicles

painted with military colours, including those belonging to generals. A source said: “No officer’s car painted with military colours is left out in this regard.” Some months ago, a terrorist group allegedly conveyed weapons to Lagos inside some of the numerous fuel tankers that ply major roads to the country’s former capital and indeed the nation’s commercial nerve centre. It was learnt then that in-

deed the federal and Lagos authorities were quite startled that the masterminds of the planned terror act could pile up weapons of mass destruction in the state, generally considered the safest haven for investment at the moment in the country. The state authorities, including the governor, were shown the illegal arms that the security and intelligence community’s interagency co-operation confiscated. “They were

shocked, really shocked when they were shown the level of organisational capacity of the evil ones that planned to attack Lagos…” a top source disclosed then. A two-week raid carried out some months ago by a Joint Task Force led by operatives of the Nigerian Army and State Security Service (SSS) saved residents in Lagos and Ogun states from possible attacks by the terrorists. The joint raid had led to the arrest of 42 members of the dreaded Boko Haram who

Atiku dumps PDP, joins APC- Page 8

were dislodged from the North-East by military purge carried out under emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states and had migrated to Lagos and Ogun states to regroup and plant terrorist cells. The suspects were rounded up through intelligence information by one of the supposed Boko Haram members stationed in Lagos, who unknown to the suspects, was actually planted and had their telephone numbers tracked by the military operatives. Based on intelligence reports, the suspects were

‘smoked’ out from Ibafo and Ileke new trailer garage in Ogun State, Mafoluku, Alaba, Ijora-Badia, Aviation Quarters in Mafoluku-Oshodi, Ketu and Mile Two motor parks, Orile trailer park, Lekki new extension and Bar Beach in Victoria Island. The JTF had a few months ago uncovered and dismantled the plot by the alleged terrorists to plant cells in the western part of the country with Lagos as the headquarters. Security operatives that briefed the National Assembly leaders last year about the reality of the planned inCONTINUED ON PAGE 4


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New concession may delay completion of Lagos-Ibadan road CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Federal Government was mobilising about N300 billion from private investors in a public-private partnership (PPP) for the rehabilitation of the expressway and two other major roads in the country. Creative Chambers, a member of the 1998 NGO coalition for the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, noted in a statement that the new concession could cause a major setback for the project. The statement noted that the PPP was costly “and the new arrangement that the ministry is embarking upon could delay the project delivery till 2020.” The group backed its argument with facts obtained from a paper recently presented by the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Emeka Ezeh, who explained that the ministry would have to follow best practices in PPP procurement, which involves open competition, public advertisement, no conflict of interest in selection process, negotiation, tender evaluation, appeals/complaints mechanism, dispute resolution, and procurement process review/audits, among other pre-requisites that would take some time to fulfill. In the paper entitled “PPP Procurement”, which was presented recently at the fourth Africa Public Private Partnership Conference in Abuja, Ezeh also explained that whatever PPP model being considered, “the contracting and procurement process shall be subject to the provisions of the PPP Act 2007 and the nine essential steps in public procurement

namely: procurement planning driven by proper needs assessment or business case; appropriation/sufficient budget cover; advertisement (open competitive bidding), transparent prequalification, bid submission, bid opening, bid evaluationtechnical and Financial, Tender Board/FEC approval, and contract execution.” According to Ezeh, the recommended PPP model shall be cleared by BPP to ensure that value for money, economy and transparency objectives have been met prior to submission to FEC for approval. In the paper made available to The Guardian, Ezeh pointed out the causes of some PPP failures which include “insufficient risk analysis and needs assessment (business case); inability of the actors to follow the critical steps in the basic process; government does not fully understand what they are committing to; does not understand project structure or workable contract; parties are not clear on their roles and responsibilities; not enough due diligence or feasibility study; undeclared conflict of interest, and poorly structured contracts and agreements.” While appealing to the Federal Government not to prolong the agony of Nigerians on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Creative Chambers noted that Ezeh’s observations were in tune with the submissions of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in its 2011 yearly report that identified possible reasons that led to the failure of the concession with Bi-Courtney in 2011. The commission noted in the report that the imple-

mentation of the project was delayed due to various issues that were not addressed by the Federal Government prior to the execution of the contract. While exonerating Bi-Courtney of blame for the project delay, ICRC identified some of the issues as approval for the design of the road, securing the right of way, financial model and environmental and social impact assessment. On approval for the design of the road, the report indicates that Clause 6.1 of the concession agreement identifies the concessionaire as responsible for the preparation of the preliminary design for the grantor’s review and approval.

The report says that approval for a final design was granted on May 10, 2011, two years after the concession agreement was signed. “It is evident that the scope of work was not fully documented and outline design provided before the concession was awarded,” says the report. The report reads in part: “Without an agreed design and scope of work based on the grantor’s performance and output standards, there cannot be an agreed fixed cost for the project. “Without a financial model setting out the expected project costs and revenues, financing costs cannot be determined.” According to ICRC, an envi-

ronmental and social impact assessment should have been carried out because of the extent of the refurbishment work, the proposed widening and the effect that tolling was likely to have on the property and communities along the road. The report also states that further traffic data and survey work ought to have taken place to assess the willingness and ability of the road users to pay and potential diversionary effects, adding that extended right of way ought to have been secured. “Due to the issues identified above, the project could not raise finance from any credible investor. This made it impossible for the concessionaire to meet the

conditions precedent as itemised in Article 3.3 of the concession agreement,” the report says. The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, also raised the alarm recently on the ongoing resurfacing of the expressway as against rebuilding the road. “We insist that the repair being carried out is not sufficient. We ask for a rebuilt road with six lanes on each of the northbound and southbound carriages between the interchange at Ojota in Lagos and the Sagamu interchange from where it should continue with four lanes on each side to Ojoo in Ibadan. Anything short of the above is a waste of time,” the group said in a state-

Editor, The Guardian, Martins Oloja (left); Chairman/Publisher, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru; Editor-in-Chief, Debo Adesina; the groom, Olaoluwa Agboola; the bride, Titilade Omole; bride’s parents, Prof. Wale and Sade Omole; Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi and Managing Director, The Guardian, Emeka Izeze, during the traditional engagement between Olaoluwa and Titilade in Ikeja GRA, Lagos…at the weekend. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

‘B’ Haram plots to invade Lagos in military vehicles’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 vasion of Lagos reportedly told the federal legislators that indeed the attackers had planned to cripple the economy. Former Head of State, the late Gen. Murtala Muhammed, had in 1976 recognised the strategic importance of Lagos even while he was announcing the creation of the country’s new capital, Abuja, then. His words in a national broadcast to the nation on January 3, 1976: “…Lagos will, in the foreseeable future, remain the nation’s commercial capital and one of its nerve centres. But in terms of servicing the present infrastructure alone, the committed amount of money and effort required will be such that Lagos State will not be ready to cope. “It will even be unfair to expect the state to bear this heavy burden on its own. It is therefore necessary for the Federal Government to continue to sustain the substantial investment in the area. The port facilities and other economic activities in the Lagos area have to be ex-

panded. “There is need in the circumstances for the Federal Government to maintain a special defence and security arrangement in Lagos which will henceforth be designated a special area. These arrangements will be carefully worked out and written into the new constitution. Kaduna and Port Harcourt are to be accorded similar status and designated as Special Areas…” It was learnt that the security chiefs told the federal legislators and their presiding officers that some of the attackers captured had hinted that the plot was deliberate: to cripple the nerve centre of the country’s commerce and industry, (a city that hosts the international air and sea ports) so that the nation’s economy could collapse. It was said that the insurgents had reasoned that since they had successfully crippled business operations in the North, there should be federal character in the spread of the destruction, as even the South-East and South-South geo-political zones too have been neg-

atively affected by the insurgency and kidnapping. The federal legislators were said to have been alarmed by a revelation about the sense of urgency of the insurgents to hit Lagos “just to make Nigeria ungovernable for the present administration.” The Guardian was told that the implications of targeting the very strategic Lagos Third Mainland Bridge have been worrisome to authorities at all levels. This is part of the reasons for the concerns in Abuja and Lagos. The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland. The other two are the Eko and Carter Bridges. It is the longest bridge in Africa. The Third Mainland Bridge is a vital artery of the network of federal highways and commands high patronage in Lagos Municipal Area, as it connects two of the Lagos State’s commercial hubs, Victoria Island and Ikeja. The bridge, which has about 350,000 daily users, is also a vital link to Lekki, Ajah and Epe communities. Midway through the bridge, there is a link to Herbert Macaulay

Way, Yaba. The bridge starts really from Oworonsoki, which is linked to the Oshodi–Apapa Expressway and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island. Built by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the bridge was commissioned by former Military President Ibrahim Babangida in 1990 and it measures about 11.8 km in length. The bridge posts huge economic relevance to the country as it saves commuters who shuttle between two of the state’s commercial hubs, Victoria Island and Ikeja, a lot of man-hours. It was said that the last repair of the important bridge cost the nation N1.055 billion. It is feared that if Lagos Third Mainland Bridge is destroyed, Lagos and indeed Nigeria, are destroyed. It was estimated that the cache of arms seized from the insurgents when it was reported that Boko Haram entered Lagos was capable of wreaking havoc on the vital bridge in the heart of Lagos.


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News CLO wants taxi driver’s death probed

Chad Basin lawmakers sue for peace in South Sudan, CAR

From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu ROM the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has come a call that the police should commence probe into the circumstances surrounding the death of a taxi driver in Enugu State, Mr. Chukwuma Ihezie. The organisation said the demand was necessary following complaints from the family that their son, who was arrested over alleged thrummed-up charges, died in Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) cell a few days later. The victim, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu became a taxi driver due to lack of employment. In a petition to the commissioner of police in the state, which was made available to journalists on Sunday, the CLO wondered why the police should kill the suspect instead of charging him before a court of competent jurisdiction if they felt he was guilty of the offence for which he was arrested.

From Adamu Abuh, Abuja

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Reps panel summons Okonjo-Iweala From Terhemba Daka, Abuja ISSATISFIED with the D answers provided by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi OkonjoIweala, the House of Representatives Committee on Finance has summoned her to appear before it today. In a letter summoning the minister, dated 31st January, 2014 and made available to newsmen in Abuja yesterday, Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, insisted that Okonjo-Iweala ignored some of the 50 questions raised by the committee in addition to many other alleged inconsistencies in data while responding in some of her answers. Consequently, the minister is expected to appear before the House panel today at 10.am. The letter reads in part: “Your response to the 50 questions we raised to ascertain the true state of our economy dated January 15th, 2014 was received and carefully analyzed by the Committee. “Having gone through your responses, the Committee noted that some questions were either not answered, partially answered, ignored or completely misunderstood. The Committee further noted glaring missing gaps in the responses, absence of supporting proofs to assertions and lack of relevant documents to back up the presentation as is the practice in any legislative oversight or investigation.”

EADERS of national assemLCommission blies of the Lake Chad Basin (LCBC) member-

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (left); author, Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie; presenter, Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips and Chairman of the occasion, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, Justice of the Supreme Court (Rtd), during the presentation of the book, Civil Litigation, in Lagos. PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF

NERC, EFCC plan joint move against ‘crazy’ electricity billings From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja HE Nigerian Electricity T Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are working out modalities to jointly check the increasing cases of high and unexplainable electricity billings to which consumers are being subjected. Chairman of NERC, Sam Amadi, who spoke at a power sector consultation forum with civil society organisations in Abuja at the weekend said the commission would ensure that the rules of engagement are followed in the new electricity supply arrangement in the country. According to Amadi, NERC has demanded metering plans from the distribution companies who have a duty to meter all consumers. His words: “The new owners have a responsibility to

finance metering. They are to meter consumers as part of their operations. Where they cannot do that immediately, they adopt the Credit Advance Payment for Meter Installation (CAPMI), which was designed as an alternative for customers who are willing to advance money to their distribution companies for speedy installation of prepayment meters.” He described CAPMI as a scheme approved by NERC to immediately facilitate the deployment of meters to electricity consumers and check ‘crazy bills’. Under the new system, distribution companies will refund the consumers who advance money for their meters overtime using electricity credits. Meanwhile, civil society organisations have demanded greater transparency and accountability from the power sector. The groups spoke as government engaged them in an

interactive session at the weekend to forge a closer working relationship between both parties on the realities in the sector. Some of the participants who spoke charged government to continue to see the privatized utilities as public trust, instead of leaving the nation solely at the mercy of private concerns who currently manage them. Vice President of the SocioEconomic Rights Initiative, Ray Onyegu, stressed that the new owners of the companies in the power sector should open them up for public ownership through getting shares in the utilities quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. “By so doing, the public will have a sense of ownership. Another advantage is that instead of borrowing money from banks at very high interest rates, which are passed over to consumers, they will raise money that will be interestfree. Nigerian public may fur-

ther feel a sense of duty to fight gas pipeline vandals.” Former Federal Commissioner of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission and National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Emmanuel Onwubiko, told The Guardian that the civil society forum on the power sector was long overdue. “The strategic roles of the genuine civil society stakeholders in the just concluded privatization of the electricity power sector cannot be over emphasized given that the majority of consumers of the services being rendered by the new private owners of the electricity power plants scattered in parts of Nigeria are indeed voiceless and rely solely on the intervention of the real civil society/human rights advocates and campaigners to consistently defend their fundamental rights as con-

‘No court bars Mark from reading senators’ defection letter’ From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Isaac Taiwo and Adeniyi Idowu Adunola (Lagos) HE All Progressives Congress T (APC) has said, “contrary to the misinformation being peddled in some quarters, there is no existing court order barring the 11 former PDP senators from defecting to the APC last week.” The party, in a statement issued in Ilorin on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the existing court order is to the effect that the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives should maintain the status quo concerning defecting lawmakers. ‘’What this order means is that neither the President of the

Senate nor the Speaker of the House can declare vacant the seats of the defecting lawmakers. It does not mean the letter of notification from defecting members cannot be read on the floor of the chambers,’’ it said. APC said that in view of this, the argument that the defecting senators’ letter cannot be read on the floor, so as not to contravene the Senate’s Standing Rules that precludes the upper chamber from discussing any matter that is already in court, does not apply in this case. “We are not asking that the issue of the defection should be discussed or debated on the floor of the Senate. All we are saying is that the Senate President should read the letter of notification. The coast is very

clear for this to be done, and the Senate President is duty bound to do so,” the party said. The opposition party reminded those who may somehow be engaging in wishful thinking, that the 11 senators can be tactically prevented from defecting from the PDP to the APC, to know that it is too late in the day for anyone to stall the move on the basis of a non-existent court order or a Standing Rule that will only be operational if indeed there is a court order expressly concerning the senators’ letter. ‘’The act of defection by the 11 senators took place the moment they handed their letter to the Senate President at 10 a.m on the morning of Wednesday, 29th of January 2014, whether or not the Senate

President goes ahead to read the letter. Therefore, trying to stall the defection by stonewalling on the letter or attempting to secure a dubious injunction, especially when our lawyers were not served the motion papers until about 4p.m of the same Wednesday, is like seeking to abort a pregnancy when the baby has already been born. ‘’The existing court order that the Senate President and the House Speaker should maintain the status quo actually strengthens the letter written by the senators who defected, because it says that their seats cannot be declared vacant until the issue has been determined, hence their defection letter should be read without delay,’’ APC said.

countries at the weekend expressed concern over the violent political crisis rocking Southern Sudan and Central African Republic (CAR). The lawmakers who took time to review current political issues and challenges facing particularly the African continent appealed to the warring factions in the affected countries to drop their arms and team up with the African Union (AU) in finding a lasting solution through dialogue. The parley, which was the first of its type held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja was declared open by the Convener and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. Other Speakers present include Hama Amadou of Niger, Dr. Haroun Kabadi of Republic of Chad and Baoro Theophile of Republic of Cameroun. Also presents were members of the Regional Parliamentary Committee (RPC), commissioners of the LCBC and the Executive Secretary of the LCBC. Tambuwal, while declaring the forum open, lamented the dwindling resources of the Lake Chad basin, noting that it behooves on the forum to support the ideal and drive of their respective Heads of State to save the situation in the interest of the LCBC membernations. Tambuwal reiterated the forum’s support and commitment to the ideal and drive of their respective Heads of State to save their common heritage, the Lake Chad.

Cleric tasks govt on security By Isaac Taiwo HE Bishop of the Anglican T Diocese of Lagos West, Rt. Rev. James Olusola Odedeji, has urged the Federal Government to step up action against insecurity in the nation so that Nigeria can record progress. Speaking yesterday at the installation of Venerable Abel Oluyemi Ajibodu as the 4th Dean, Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral at the church premises in Ikeja, Lagos, Odedeji, who described the state of security in the nation as very porous, also lamented the high level of youth unemployment. According to him, the only recipe for peace and stability is for the government to create employment for the jobless youth. Odedeji commended the church for her role in nation building and remarked that were it not for the church issuing warnings at various times to our leaders, the situation in the nation would have been worse.


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$50m Technology City takes off in Osun EST Africa’s biggest ICT and phone manufacturing company, RLG, has commissioned a $50 million Technology City in Ilesha, Osun State. Called the “RLG/Adulawo Technology City,” the facility will be involved in the training of youths to assemble and repair various electronic devices as well as produce the items from its facility. In addition, it is expected to create over 10,000 jobs both directly and indirectly. Speaking at the official launch of the City, Mr. Roland Agambire, Group Chairman of RLG, noted that gone were the days where oil was the mainstay of the world economy. He pointed out that ICT was the new money spinner and the RLG/Adulawo Technology City was an ambitious project that would play a major role in the technology revolution that is sure to come to Nigeria. He noted that the dream of setting up such a facility was propelled by the lead-

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ership and vision of the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, whom he stated supported the idea from the outset, especially because it has as its main goal the creation of jobs and the transfer of technology. He stated that although Africa is the wealthiest continent, it has not been able to maximise its potential. “RLG, as a Pan-African company, has the ambitious dream of creating wealth for African youths and leading them out of poverty through technology,” he said. Agambire disclosed that the company’s initial investment of $50 million was an expression of its commitment to the vision, adding that it would spend more because there was the need to expand into fabrication which would enable the facility handle more complicated electronic devices. He said that so far, 5,000 indigenes have been trained from RLG’s facility in Ghana but that the remaining 15,000 indigenes will be

trained and equipped at the new technology city. While calling on everyone to see the RLG brand as Nigerian because its products will be made here in the country, he urged all to patronise the company’s products which include phones and computers in order to help create more jobs and wealth for fellow citizens. According to him, “RLG has the best warranty policy in the country and we are also very innovative, affordable and user-friendly.” Governor Aregbesola commended RLG for its decision to invest in the state and

help create jobs. He stressed that the factory located in the Technology City will be producing mobile phones, tablets, television sets and computer systems, both desktops and laptops. “While in full production capacity, it will directly employ 800 people while over 15,000 indirect jobs will be created round the state through the enterprise from sales and repair points. It will impact the state’s economy through taxes, rates and levies, add to the state’s GDP, create wealth and bring develop-

ment to the community where it operates.” Governor Aregbesola said that the City was also a demonstration of the government’s resolve to partner with the private sector through the creation of an enabling environment and providing adequate infrastructure for rapid industrialisation and job creation. Also speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Bambo Bashorun, ICT Expert and Project Director, commended the governor for keeping alive the quest to ensure the transformation of Osun

through the use of ICT. He said the Technology City will become a hub that will impact positively on the ICT industry in Nigeria and by extension the whole of West Africa. The RLG/Adulawo Technology City has a capacity to assemble 5,000 mobile phones, and 2,500 computers daily. It has fully equipped training centre called the RLG Institute of Technology, a Research & Development Laboratory complete with a Green Technology Bio-mass plant which will provide cooking gas for the staff quarters and

S’East governors meet in Enugu By Kodilinye Obiagwu and Lawrence Njoku, Enugu N enlarged meeting of A the South-East Governors’ Forum has restated faith in working together as political leaders to move the zone forward economically and on development fronts. At the meeting held yesterday at the Enugu State Government House, there were speculations that the meeting was set to change its leadership and appoint a new chairman as its present chairman, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, would end his second term on March 17, 2014. But that was not to be. Obi told newsmen after the meeting: “We, political leaders of the South-East, met to discuss how to work together as we have been working before, and we will continue meeting.” The importance of the meeting was highlighted by the status of the people in attendance, which included min-

isters, presidential aides and some principal officers in the National Assembly. Sources close to the meeting speculated that the presence of some ministers and presidential aides from the SouthEast was an indication that the meeting could be an avenue for them to solicit support for the 2015 ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan. At the meeting were Governors Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Theodore Orji (Abia), Peter Obi (Anambra), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), and Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, who represented Governor Rochas Okorocha. Another source noted: “It was a very important meeting. For the first time in a long while, Imo State governor (Okorocha), who is now a member of the APC, sent a representative. He hasn’t bothered to attend meetings of the forum for a long time. This is an indication of the closing of ranks.”

Osun State Deputy Governor Titilayo Laoye-Tomori (left); Aregbesola and Chairman, RLG, Mr. Roland Agambire during the official launch of Adulawo Technology City in Ilesha.

Gunmen kill Islamic cleric, wife, son in Kaduna From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief

* Tambuwal, JNI mourn, condemn act

UNMEN continued their orgy of blood-letting in Kaduna State at the weekend with the murder of a renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Mohammed Auwal Albany, his wife and son, Abdallah, in Zaria. The incident that occurred on Saturday night threw the entire community into panic, as people scrambled for safety. The dead were buried in Zaria yesterday morning according to Islamic rites. Reacting to the incident, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, condemned the assassination of Sheikh Albany and two members of his family, describing the killing as dastardly, despicable and barbaric. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said the news came to him as a shock, as the deceased was a fearless scholar who went about his activities without fear or favour. While urging the security agencies to fish out those

behind the murder, Tambuwal prayed the Almighty God to grant the family the strength to bear the loss. Also, the Secretary-General of Jamatul Nasril Islam, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, has condemned the killing of the Islamic scholar and expressed fears that religious clerics were now being targeted and killed as was the case in Kano and Sokoto. Aliyu, who spoke in an interview, called on the authorities to strengthen the security network and fish out the killers of innocent souls. Meanwhile, it was sober in Zaria yesterday as Muslim clerics from all over the North continued to visit the city to condole with the inhabitants of community on the death of the scholar. Albany was on his way home alongside with his wife and son after preaching at his Salafiya Islamic Centre in Zaria when they were reportedly ambushed near Gaskiya area, less than a kilometre to his home. The attack by the unidentified gunmen left four others injured, including two

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of Albany’s sons, who are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. One of his students, Malam Sahabi Musa, told newsmen that the assailants “trailed Albany from his centre where he normally preached, some in a Golf car and others on a motorcycle, and opened fire on him and his family members when they were approaching home around 9.00 p.m.” He added: “Malam was reciting the Kalimat Shahada repeatedly before he gave up; we are so happy about that and pray to the Almighty Allah to forgive his sins and reward him with paradise. “They opened fire on them and ran away. This is reminiscent of how Sheik Jafar Adam was killed in Kano. The killers trailed him from his school where he had earlier given lectures on Islam.” Police and other security agents were seen keeping vigil at strategic parts of the city, but they were yet to come up with a statement on the Albany household.

Govt bans telecom firms’ centenary lotteries By Joseph Onyekwere HE National Lottery ReguT latory Commission (NLRC) has asked all mobile telecommunications service providers in the country to suspend all forms of short message service (SMS) promotional lotteries to enable the Federal Government conduct its Centenary Games Lottery on their platforms. According to a statement in Abuja by its Director General, Joe Ekpe, the suspension of multiple lottery schemes on telecom platforms began in January and will remain in effect till further notice. The Centenary Games Lottery is part of government’s activities lined up to mark the country’s 100 years of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by Nigeria’s first Governor-General, Sir Fredrick Lugard, in 1914. The lottery, according to NLRC, will run on MTN, Airtel, Globacom, Etisalat and Visafone. In this regard, the government has already appointed Secure Electronic Technology Plc (SET) as its centenary lottery operator to carry out the lottery on all five operators’ networks.


Monday, February 3, 2014 NEWS 7

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JTF denies plans to sell seized petroleum products

Mixed reactions trail appointment of aviation board’s members

From Anietie Akpan, Calabar

By Wole Shadare (Lagos) Omotola Oloruntobi (Abuja) and Gbenga Salau (Lagos)

ILITARY Joint Task Force M (JTF), Operation PULO Shield, has denied a report of its plan to sell seized petroleum products and trucks as published in a national newspaper of January 28, 2014 as paid advertisement. Commander of JTF, Maj.-Gen. Iliyasu Abbah, in a statement released to newsmen yesterday said the alleged sale was aimed at duping unsuspecting members of the public. Accordingly, the JTF advised members of the public to be weary of such publications, as the JTF has no business with it. “The Joint Task Force is not connected to such advertorial. The general public should therefore be informed that the advert is false and a figment of mere imagination of the publishers to dupe the general public. Nigerians are advised to disregard the advert placed by the syndicated criminals.”

IXED reactions have conM tinued to trail the composition of members of board of aviation agencies. While some welcomed the appointment, others kicked alleging that membership of certain individuals would lead to conflict of interest. The Federal Government had last week reconstituted the governing boards of her agencies of the aviation sector with the appointment of Abdullahi Waziri Tambuwal as head of the board of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). A statement from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, said President Goodluck Jonathan also approved the appointments of Olusola Oke as Chairman Governing board of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency

• Minister pledges to complete projects, committee halts sale of abandoned airplanes (NAMA), while Dr. Dan Kure is to head the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Also appointed is Yomi Akintola to head the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NMA). Four members of the boards designated to the NCAA, NAMA and FAAN are airline operators and their membership could lead to conflict of interest in a matter that affects their airline. A top official of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) who spoke under conditions of anonymity, said their appointment was a violation of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations of 2009, which they said mandates them to relinquish their position as either chairman of their airline or divest their interest before they could be considered for an appointment in the sector.

He posited that a former Director General of NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, immediately after he was appointed to oversee the affairs of the aviation regulatory body, immediately sold his shares in Afrijet Airlines and relinquished his position as a director in the carrier. An airline operator who is a niche player is a member, board of director in NCAA; another operator who began operations nearly two years ago was appointed a member of NAMA board, while the fourth, an operator of a chartered airline was appointed into the board of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the fifth, who is yet to begin operations but has been granted Air Operator Certificate (AOC) was drafted into the FAAN as a board member. Speaking to The Guardian, member, Aircraft Operators of Nigeria (AON), Mohammed Tukur, said it

was morally wrong for airline operators to be on the board of any of the aviation agencies, stressing that it would lead to conflict of interest since they still oversea the affairs of their various airlines. According to Tukur: “How do you reconcile this aberration? A member of the board of one of the agencies who still operates his airline would definitely cause the regulatory body not to take action against him even when it is glaring that he might have violated the law. “The same for other who have been appointed but still run their businesses in the aviation industry. Now that they have appointed an operator into NAMA, there will definitely be conflict of interests. If the operator err, or default in the payment of his navigational and other charges, will the managing director of that agency be willing and able to take actions to recover its revenue?

Ogun LP faction sues INEC, Daniel, others over sack From Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Abeokuta) and Joseph Onyekwere (Lagos) HE executive committee T members of the Labour Party (LP) in Ogun State have sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel, at the Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly removing them without a valid congress. The plaintiffs, Comrades Olabode Simeon, Oginni Olaposi and Arabambi Abayomi said they sued for themselves and on behalf of the committee. Joined, as respondents in the suit are the Inspector-General of Police, the DirectorGeneral State Security Service (SSS), LP and its national chairman, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, as well as LP Deputy Chairman South, Dr. Joseph Akinlaja and 22 others. Meanwhile, the secretariat of the party was burgled on Saturday night and some vital official documents, party cards and registration forms of the party were carted away.

Bishop Simeon Okar (left); Chairman, the Council of African Apostles, Bishop Tudor Bismark; The Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Bishop Mike Okonkwo; Apostle Josephat Mwingira; and Bishop Mark Karuiki, at the end of 21 days fasting and prayers for Nigeria held at TREM Headquarters in Lagos… at the weekend. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Rep, Igbo group set agenda for national conference By Bertram Nwannekanma (Lagos) and Abosede Musari and Terhemba Daka (Abuja)

Poly students mourn Okeowo

ESS than a week after L modalities for the national conference were announced,

From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City

a member of the House of Representatives and Ndi-Igbo Cultural Society of Nigeria (NCSN) have been drawing agenda for the national conference, while also commending the Federal Government for responding to the yearnings of Nigerians to have a genuine peoples’ national dialogue. Speaking for NCSN, its President Chief Udo Udeogaranya, said with the initiation of the national conference, President Goodluck Jonathan has written his name in gold and placed himself closely to great national leaders like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and others who spearheaded the country’s independence from colonial rule. In a similar vein, a member

HE National Association of T Polytechnic Students (NAPS) yesterday lamented the death of former students leader, Segun Okeowo, who they described as an example for present students leaders given his selfless struggles to raise the standard of education in Nigeria. A statement yesterday by the president of the association, Ogbonnaya Sunday, decried declining of the country’s education standard, a situation he said the late Okeowo fought to avoid, said: “While we mourn with the family of our great mentor, we say that his was a life well lived as his contribution to the growth of students movement in Nigeria is second to none.

These are serious issues and it was obvious that the President was not properly briefed on this issue before he went ahead with these appointments. However, a source stated that the experience of the appointees would help the sector going by their pedigree in aviation matters. Meanwhile, the plan of the FAAN to rid the airports of abandoned airplanes may have hit the rocks as a committee set up by the agency on the aircraft said it has no right to do so. It was learnt that the committee took the position following the discovery that most of the owners of the abandoned aircraft are indebted to banks and several other financial institutions in the country and abroad. The management of FAAN had early last year commenced the evacuation and cannibalisation of some abandoned aircraft scattered in various airports across the country. The evacuation and sales of the aircraft ran into a hitch when some of their owners and financial institutions indebted to by the owners insisted that the agency had no right to relocate or sell the aircraft as scrap, claiming that some of the aircraft were used as collateral. The committee, it was gathered advised the owners of the abandoned aircraft to reconcile with the banks and FAAN, maintaining that embargo were placed on most of the jets by the banks as their owners could not fulfill the agreements they had with the financial institutions. In a related development, Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, yesterday said she was committed to completing all the projects she initiated, declaring that no project under her watch would be abandoned. She spoke at the weekend in Yola Airport, at the commencement of a two-day inspection tour of the refurbished projects in airports across the country.

of the House of Representatives, David Ombugadu, who represents Akwanga/Eggon/Wamba Federal Constituency of Nasarawa State has declared support for the recently announced modalities for the national dialogue proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan, however, maintaining that the outcome of the conference must be subjected to the National Assembly for ratification. However, civil society organisation, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) faulted the powers given to the President and the Federal Government to choose some principal participants at the forthcoming national dialogue for which the Federal Government recently released the modalities. A statement from the CDD at the weekend questioned the privilege given to the President and the Federal Government to nominate at

least 184 of the 492 delegates. This figure, the organisation said represents 38 per cent of total delegates; leaving the remainder of 62 per cent to be nominated by stakeholders which it says are not well defined. “We should know that the outcome of the confab would significantly predicate on the process that gives birth to it. If the confab is for Nigerians, why should the President and FGN nominate as high as the allotted per cent? This needs to be reconsidered to advance people’s trust and confidence in the confab”, the statement read. While the CDD asked for an increase in the number of participants among people living with disability and equal participation for women, it expressed dissatisfaction with the exclusive power vested on the president to nominate persons who are not currently serving in the judiciary when there is a legal professional

body like the National Judicial Council that could take up the responsibility. “We also question the exclusive preserve of the president to nominate the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Secretary but rather propose that delegates choose from within or outside themselves at least the deputy chair and secretary”, the CDD said. Also, constitutional lawyer, James Ezike, yesterday took a swipe at the modalities, say-

ing that the conference is already dead on arrival. Ezike expressed disappointment with the turn of event on the ground that the methodology of selecting delegates as released by the government guaranteed that nothing would be achieved except that it will give politicians a breather and perhaps postpone the evil day. According to Ezike, what Nigeria needs is a conference of nationalities and not a jamboree.


8 NEWS Monday, February 3, 2014

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Kashamu moves to clear self of criminal appellation

Court orders bank to pay N324m to customers

From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja ETERMINED to absolve himself of any criminal activity in the United States of America (USA), a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Buruji Kashamu, has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, seeking to register two decisions of courts in the United Kingdom (UK), which cleared him of any criminal offence or wrong-doing. Specifically, the decisions arose in the suits - Governor of HMP Prison, Brixton Vs Government of the United States of America Ex-parte Buruji Kashamu and Government of the United States of America Vs Buruji Kashamu and delivered on October 6 and 10, 2000. In a motion ex-parte filed by his counsel, Dr. Alex Aigbe Izinyon (SAN), pursuant to Order 6 Rule 14(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Rules, 2009 Section 10(a) of the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act Cap. F.35 LFN 2004, Buruji sought to register the two judgments from the United States Court. Named as respondent to Buruji’s motion is the Attorney General of England Wales. Whereas in the judgment of October 6, 2000, District Judge Tim Workman quashed the committal order having found the proceedings against Kashamu unfair because the U.S. government concealed vital identification evidence, the judgment of October 10, 2000, which was a full trial, declared that he has no question to answer. “I am, however, satisfied that the overwhelming evidence here is such that the identification evidence, already tenuous, has now been so undermined as to make it incredible and valueless. In these circumstances, there is no prima facie case against the defendant and I propose to discharge”, District Judge Workman said. In the motion ex-parte, Izinyon prayed Justice Gabriel Kolawole to grant the applicant “the extension of time within which the applicant shall register the judgments in the suits (a) Governor of HMP Prison, Brixton Vs Government of The United States of America Exparte Buruji Kashamu and (b) Government of the United States of America Vs Buruji Kashamu and delivered on October 6 and 10, 2000. He also prayed for “an order of this honourable court for leave to issue and serve the processes filed in this suit, outside the jurisdiction of this honourable court on the respondent to wit: on the respondent’s office at 20 Victoria Street, London, England, SW1H ONF. In support of the application, he formulated 10 grounds, which include the claim that Buruji was “unaware that he needed to register the aforesaid judgments delivered in his favour by the said courts in the United Kingdom in Nigeria and out of negligence, did not obtain the services of a legal practitioner to specifically advise him on this issue until he was informed by his counsel, Dr. Izinyon, on December 10, 2013. He also averred that “the period within which the applicant should register the said judgment by virtue of the Foreign Judgments Act Cap F35 has expired. Accordingly, he said the applicant, therefore, required leave of the court “to register the said judgments out of time”.

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Chairman, American Hospital Limited (AHL), Dr. Ifeanyi Obiakor (left); Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu; Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, General Electric Global, Jeff Immelt; Olivier Stintzy and Director, American Hospital, Olatunde Ayeni, during the celebration of the Historic Partnership Agreement between AHL, GE Healthcare, Edifice Capital and unveiling of models of AHL projects in Abuja PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos NION Bank Plc has been ordered by a High Court in Plateau State to release the sum of N324 million to customers who invested over 1.5 billion in Access Investment Nigeria Limited. Union Bank Plc was said to have collected the money from depositors on behalf of the Access Investment Nigeria Limited whose whereabouts is unknown. Also last week, the Chief Judge of the state, Mr. Justice Lazarus Dakyen, retired from the judiciary after attaining the mandatory years of service, while Justice Pius Damwak was sworn in as acting Chief Judge. Mr. Justice Yakubu Dakwak of the state High Court gave the order at the weekend on the matter instituted by one Michael Anango and others on behalf of Access Investors Committee against Access Investment Nigeria Limited and Union Bank Plc. At the occasion, Governor Jonah Jang urged all arms of government to remain patriotic and continue to put in their best for the state. He acknowledged that the judiciary was the last hope of the common man.

Atiku dumps PDP, joins APC From Leo Sobechi (Abakaliki) and Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin City)

Groups back Jonathan’s re-election

FTER what he called due A consultations, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar yes-

the founders have been rebuffed. To demonstrate the seriousness of the challenges and bring public attention to them, I and some other leaders and stakeholders staged a walkout during the party’s last convention in Abuja. “As I speak, most of the issues that led to that walkout are yet to be addressed. Many founding members of the PDP, I included, continue to be marginalised and excluded from the affairs of the party. For instance, as a former Vice President, I am by virtue of the PDP constitution, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees and its National Executive Committee. However, I am not invited to the meetings of those organs nor consulted on their decisions, apparently because I dared to exercise my right to contest in the party’s primary election for a chance to be its standard-bearer in the 2011 elections. We have, therefore, concluded that the party cannot be redeemed. In short, the PDP has abandoned Nigerians, the very people who gave it life and many electoral victories. “More worrisome though is the danger posed to the continued existence of this country by this culture of impunity and arbitrariness. We continue to have threats from officially protected political extremists. Increasingly, our people are recklessly being divided along the lines of religion, ethnicity and region for political gains. Our history and those of many other countries in Africa and Eastern Europe ought to teach us that this is very dangerous and must stop. We can and we must do better. Our people deserve better. …“It is against this background that we should under-

terday resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and joined the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ahead of the 2015 poll, Edo State chapter of the PDP on Saturday met in Benin City to strategise on how to improve its electoral fortunes in the state and the country. Meanwhile, the Zonal Coordinator of National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS) Zone ‘B’, Chinonso Obasi, has said the zone would endorse President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term in office. Also, some aides of the President may have been directed to set up groups in their various states that would boost his chances of winning a second term. Atiku’s statement reads: “In 2006, as a result of my firm stand in defence of our constitution and our democracy, my supporters and I were pushed out of our party, the PDP; a party that we worked tirelessly with other compatriots to build as a vehicle to restore democracy to our country. We later returned to that party in 2009 when a new leadership of the party and the country promised a new direction, a direction of inclusiveness, of internal democracy, of an end to impunity, adherence to the rule of law and respect for the dignity of members and Nigerians. “Sadly, however, those promises have not been kept. In addition, the PDP continues to be beset with many crises, mostly leadership-induced crises. It has since lost touch with Nigerians and efforts made by many well-meaning members and stakeholders to bring it back to the vision of

stand the visit by the leaders of the APC and their invitation to me to join hands with them to save the country. Consequently, I have been consulting my supporters and associates, my family and friends for the past few weeks. My decision may not satisfy some of my friends and associates. In the end, however, I have to put the interest of our country first. This country has done so much for me personally and it deserves all that we can do to help rebuild it and serve our people better. “Following this extensive consultative process, I have, therefore, decided to cast my lot with the APC, a party of change committed to the improvement of the lives of our people and to the continued existence and development of Nigeria as one indivisible country. My resignation letter as a member of the PDP will be delivered to the party tomorrow (today). “This is the right decision. As in 2006, it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my decision. Let me emphasise that this is not about me. We have to have a country before people can aspire to lead it; but as it is today, we may be losing this country. That is not acceptable”. He continued: “I encourage my political associates and friends to register and join the APC once the registration exercise commences, so that together, we can change this country for the better. “The process of building a nation, of securing and deepening democracy is indeed difficult. And it is not a lineal process. There would be alignment and realignment of po-

litical forces. There would be ups and downs and zig-zags, triumphs and challenges. Amidst all that, patriots must remain focused and do what has to be done to save and build the country and serve our people better. “That is what I have decided to do. I will do all within my God-given powers to help the APC win elections all over Nigeria and bring true change to our country and its longsuffering people. “The PDP leaders’ meeting came on the heels of a tumultuous welcome for one of the party’s governorship aspirants, Kenneth Imansuagbon, who just returned from the United States (U.S.) for treatment after a ghastly motor accident late last year”. Led by the PDP Chairman Board of Trustee (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih and other top echelons of party, the meeting, which held behind closed-doors at Anenih’s residence, lasted for over four hours. Anenih, who was said to have chaired the meeting, however, declined comments on the issues discussed shortly after the parley came to end but mandated the state chairman of the party to talk to reporters. The Edo State PDP chairman, Dan Orbih, who addressed journalists after the meeting, said the issues discussed included fashioning a roadmap to achieving overall victory at both the state and federal House of Assembly elections. He added that they deliberated on the need for support by all and sundry in the fold for the new PDP National Chairman, Ibrahim Muazu, to enable the party record victory in the general elections slated for February next year. Orbih acknowledged the declining fortune of the party in recent times, but expressed

confidence that “the days of the All Progressives Congress of Nigeria (APC) are numbered in Edo “, stressing that the party was prepared and ready for a challenge that would provide the Edo people an alternative in its effort to run out the APC in the state. Others in the meeting included Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Ogiadomhe; Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen; members of the House of Representatives including Friday Itulah, Patrick Ikhariale, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, among others. Obasi said the move was based on the President’s track record of initiatives for youth empowerment, uplift of the tertiary education sector and transformation of the nation. He disclosed this in an interaction with journalists in Enugu yesterday, saying NANS Zone ‘B’, comprising tertiary institutions in South-East and South-South geopolitical zones, would use the opportunity of its zonal convention holding in Cross River College of Education, Akamkpa, on February 22, 2014, to persuade the President to, “as a matter of urgency, declare his intention to contest for a second term in office”. The new move played out yesterday in Benin City as a political pressure group, Consolidation Movement (CM), was inaugurated. Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Youth and Student Matters, Jude Imagwe, spoke while inaugurating the body and urged Nigerians, particularly the youth, not to give in to attempts by the opposition to take over power at all cost. He said the inauguration of the group is with the mandate to work earnestly towards the re-election of President Jonathan in 2015.


Monday, February 3, 2014 NEWS

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Don recommends death penalty for corrupt office holders

S’Court hears Obi’s suit today over 2003 guber poll From Leo Sobechi, Abakaliki HE Supreme Court will T today in Abuja hear Governor Peter Obi’s appeal against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and seven others over the suit instituted by Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, challenging his wrongful elimination from the judgment on the 2003 Anambra State governorship election. Okonkwo had, in his application for the setting aside of the Supreme Court judgment delivered on June 14, 2007, argued that “the regime which ended in May 2010, cannot be validated subsequently by another election of 2010 upon which he (Obi) is currently in office”, adding that “the law is settled that notification of invalid appointment in gazette does not make the appointment valid”.

From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos PROFESSOR of A International and Development Economics,

Creative Director, AOE Events and Entertainment Limited, Nike Oshinowo (left); New Centenary Queen, Miss Queen Ubah and Managing Director, Arik Air, Mr. Chris Ndulue, during the visit of the new Centenary Queen to Arik Headquarters in Lagos

Controversy trails Ugborodo EPZ panel From Chido Okafor, Warri HE leadership tussle in Ugborodo community, Warri South-West Council of Delta State, on Saturday deepened as the David Tonwe/Dr. Alex Ideh-led faction dumped the Federal Government’s planned peace committee and set up a 21-man Export Processing Zone (EPZ) committee. But the Thomas Ereyitomiled faction faulted the committee, saying it was illegal and not binding on the Ugborodo people. The committee was mandated to interface with the government to discuss the EPZ land grab issue, which is the bone of contention in the area. The Presidency had intervened to resolve the crisis and held a meeting with the two factions on January 10, 2014, in Abuja, which was jointly presided by the immediate past Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba and the Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. The meeting in Abuja allegedly led to the setting up of a peace committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary to Delta State Government, Mr. Ovouzurie

T

Macaulay, with heads of all the security agencies as members. It was learnt that the representatives of the two factions later met on January 14 in Asaba and that after deliberations, Macaulay announced the dissolution of the 28member Ugborodo working committee on the Ogidigben EPZ as each faction had signed an undertaking at Abuja to submit a list of 10 nominees for a planned peace panel.

The Ugborodo community, during a meeting at the weekend, which was attended by its traditional head, Wellington Ojogor and many elders, backed the Tonwe/Ideh-led faction on the installation of the EPZ committee. The installation, it was learnt, means that the David Tonwe/Dr. Alex Ideh faction has discarded the government recommendation that each faction nominates 10 members to the peace com-

mittee. However, the spiritual head of Ugborodo, Olaja Ori Benson Omadeli, who was recently released from detention over the crisis, said the real Ugborodo people decided to constitute the 21-man committee because the other faction, led by Thomas Ereyitomi, was an illegal group and that their members were not indigenes of Ugborodo and, therefore, cannot play any role in the community.

HE Lagos State University T Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has recorded a groundbreaking success in cochlear implantation to correct total deafness in two patients. The surgery, conducted at the Ikeja hospital, saw to the implantation of a hearing device called Cochlear, to pick up sounds and convert them to impulses in the patients. The procedure has therefore restored hearing in the patients, though the device

He said the same faction, who invaded the community led to the death of several persons, adding that “if these people are really from Ugborodo, would they invade and destroy their community with soldiers and kill their own people?” He said the Olu of Warri and even Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan cannot impose anyone on the community since Ugborodo was not under the Olu’s hegemony historically.

Editors mourn Obadina, want killers arrested HE Nigerian Guild of T Editors (NGE) yesterday decried the death Mr. Toyin Obadina, Deputy Editor, Saturday Newswatch, from the guns of suspected armed robbers, saying “it is not only agonising and horrendous, it is quite sickening.” In a statement by the NGE’s President, Femi Adesina, he said “All men of the fraternity of the pen, to which Obadina belonged, are revolted that a man returning home from his legitimate duty is waylaid, robbed and then shot twice in the stomach, leading to his

death later in the hospital. This once again underscores the abyss into which we have descended in Nigeria. Here, life is truly in that Hobbesian state of nature: nasty, brutish and short. “Our constitution makes it crystal clear that it is the duty of government to guarantee protection of lives and property. We recognise the yeoman’s efforts being made by the Lagos State government, but then, we are appalled at the unbridled proliferation of small arms almost throughout the

length and breadth of the country. It is most probable that our colleague, Obadina, met his end through one of such illicit weapons. The onus is on government at all levels to curb criminality. Anything less would not do.” He added: “We urge the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Umar Manko, to ensure that killers of Obadina are brought to book in the shortest possible time. “We also sympathise with the family of the deceased, N e w s w a t c h

LASUTH records breakthrough in corrective ear surgery By Wole Oyebade

9

would be switch on until four weeks, which is needed for the surgery scars to heal. The surgery was a teamwork between ENT specialists from University of Freiburg, Germany and their counterparts in LASUTH, and has been adjudged as the first successful cochlear transplant in the country. Chief Medical Director LASUTH, Prof. Adewale Oke told The Guardian yesterday that the surgery was another feat for the teaching hospital and the State in its quest for comprehensive

healthcare system. He said the cochlear implantation exercise was meant to improve hearing in cases of severe dump and deaf people. Oke said: “The mission is also the first to be carried out in Lagos State. We believe that this mission will, to a very large extent, improve self-esteem and build social confidence in patients who as a result of loss of hearing isolated themselves from societal engagements,” he said. The CMD observed that three patients actually went in for the surgery, but only

two were successful. The other patient has inflammations in the ear due to infections that were not detected earlier, therefore could not continue with the surgery. Oke expressed optimism that successful patients would be able hear very clearly, even as the facility is bound to stage more of such corrective surgeries. He added that besides the successful implantation, local capacity and knowledge level had also been enhanced through the partnership. No fewer than 20 resident doctors took part in the exercise.

Communications and Nigerian journalists in general. May God grant us all the fortitude to bear the painful loss”.

Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jos, Prof. Ishmael Ogboru, has recommended death penalty as the only way to drastically check corruption and the culture of impunity in Nigeria. Ogboru, who was delivering the 56th University of Jos Inaugural Lecture, stated that corruption, which has played a major role in Nigeria’s economic malady, is a potent vice that must be fought and reduced to the barest minimum with every air of seriousness and sincerity if real economic growth and development were to be achieved. According to him, corruption should be attacked frontally instead of merely setting up institutions that have been accused of selective treatment. Ogboru, whose lecture theme was “Episiotomy of Nigeria’s Economic Malady: Its Depth and The Way Out,” said his submission simply implied that there was the need to enact a law to the effect that once a public office holder is found guilty of corruption, he should be made to face the death penalty irrespective of who he may be. He added: “The death penalty option successfully worked in China, Vietnam and Ghana to ‘free’ the fund meant for poverty reduction efforts in the areas of agriculture and rural development. While for Ghana, J.J. Rawlings was determined to flush out corruption and so went all the way to execute his relation (brother-in-law) who was involved in corruption.”


10 Monday, February 3, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

PHOTONEWS

Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi (middle) with top management of Distell Worldwide and government officials during the laying of the foundation of initial N8.5 billion facility of Distell at Ozubulu, Anambra State.

Service Manager, Kitskoo Cloud Services Limited, Gilbert Kimeng (left); Managing Director, Tunde Fafunwa and Executive Director of the company, Monu Ogbe, during Kitskoo Cloud Services Limited’s press briefing on disaster recovery in Lagos. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON

Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Adebiyi Mabadeje (left); Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo; Executive Secretary, ALTON, Kazeem Ladepo and General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Oyeronke Oyetunde, at the signing of MoU between ALTON and Lagos State Government on Right of Way in Lagos.

Chief Executive Officer, Diva Cakes and Confections, Eugenia Okafor (left); Udy Umondak and Managing Director, Public Relations Distinction, Alero Edu, during the official opening of Diva Cakes and Confections in Lagos. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Group Country Manager, Africa Mayora Group, Ryan Alfons Kaloh (left); Managing Director, Mayolaa Strides Limited, Agbo Nwanneka and Country Manager, Inbisco Nigeria Limited, Emeka Ajoiyi, during the presentation of new delivery van to five most outstanding distributors across the country in Lagos. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Head, Expatriate and Diaspora Banking, Stanbic/IBTC Bank, Daniella Okumagba (left); Assistant Marketing Manager, ECOWAS, Western Union, Ebere Nwaolikpe; Head, Money Transfer, Enterprise Bank, Catherine Ezegwu and Product Officer, UBA Plc, Elohor Obeido, during the Western Union “MY WU” Loyalty Campaign in Lagos.

Sales Manager, UNILEVER Port Harcourt, Raphael Abadom (left); one of the distributors, Ikechukwu Igwediebube; Managing Director/CEO, UNILEVER Nigeria, Yaw Nsarkoh and another distributor, Ben Igwe, during the UNILEVER Nigeria Customers Forum 2004 in Lagos. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

The reviewer of the book, Professor Gbenga Ogunmoyela (right); author, Pastor Noruwa Edokpolo; his wife, Bridget; Pastor-in-charge of Dominion Sanctuary Province, Acmen, Pastor Femi Atoyebi and representative of Hon. Lola Akande, Obajimi Folake, during the book launch of Naked: The Mystery of Openness by Noruwa in Lagos. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU


Monday, February 3, 2014 INTERVIEW 11

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Challenges against establishing automobile assembling plant in Nigeria, by Japan’s ambassador Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ryuchi Shoji, last week led a delegation of his diplomatic team, including his wife, Anh, on a courtesy visit to The Guardian’s Rutam House. During the visit, Shoji took time to give answers to questions as well as issues raised by our senior editorial team. He spoke on Nigeria-Japan relations in the last 54 years, challenges against establishing Japanese car assembling plants in Nigeria, his country’s displacement as No. 2 industrialised economy as well as problems with China among others. Excerpts: On Nigeria-Japan’s relations. E have long-standing relations with Nigeria. Our relationship started two months after Nigeria’s independence – that means about 54 years ago. To Japan, Nigeria is the most important African country. One characteristic about our relationship is that we have so much potential and we have spent more than 50 years trying to strengthen our ties with Nigeria. At the same time, there is much more than we can do in terms of political relations and you should also know that both nations are giants in their two respective continents – Nigeria in Africa and Japan in Asia. If we can cooperate and harmonise our agendas on international affairs, then we can make a difference in the management of international organisations like United Nations (UN). In terms of economy, yes, we have potential, especially in the areas of how much we are complimentary. We have no resources, but we have a huge population and determined to work for a better life. We also have technology, know-how management and financial capability. We can make a great big difference. And what I’m doing now is to un-turn the stone to make this potential into reality. Another characteristic about our relationship is consistency in continuity. If I talk about our economic cooperation, it started in the 60s and till now, we are here to assist Nigeria. Since mid-60s, there is no interruption, except under the regime of Sani Abacha. And so, this continuity in consistency of policies is one of the characteristics of our relationship. This is symbolised by taking international conference processes and our assistance in the field of polio eradication, which started about 13-14 years ago. Since this year and last year, there is a kind of new turning-point in our relationship, especially in the field of economic relations. TICAD V (the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development) is there to endorse this strategy. In a few words, we will like to introduce more Japanese companies in Nigerian markets and more investments, so that we can really promote a win-win relationship on a bilateral basis, especially on economic fields. In this connection, I will emphasise that we will do it by our unique way. What is our unique way? As our Prime Minister Abe stressed, the Japanese company investing in foreign countries also bring with them Japanese management philosophy. What is the essence of our management philosophy? It is humancentred approach. For example, the chief executive officer (CEO) of a Japanese company must make the company as strong as its employees. Japanese companies welcome and encourage initiative coming from the bottom and also try to make best use of resources available in the companies. We believe this would be beneficial for Nigeria. In fact, Japanese companies are interested in investing in Nigeria. Last year, we had five new investment decisions taking by Japanese companies and almost every day and every week, I receive new representatives of Japanese companies who want to come and visit Nigeria looking for business opportunities. We would try hard to promote this win-win relations in trade and investment. This is one of our biggest missions endorse by our government to bring about new vista to our relations. On policy of sharing of experience and technology to tackle disaster management. After the Tsunami in 2012, we made it as part of our foreign policy to share our experience and technology with other countries to build up their capacity to resist and prevent natural disasters. We have been working hard on this. By March this year, there will another international conference, which will centre on the same issue. On lack of assembling plants for Japanese cars in Nigeria. I must commend that Nigeria provides potential for a huge and promising automobile market. And I think sometime in the future, there should be investment by Toyota and other Japanese companies in this area. But at the same time, the manufacturing automobile is a kind of complicated work. It requires for example in your type of car, 20,000 different parts. Toyota’s mission for example is not to keep cars and parts in stock for a long time. When these 20,000 parts come in for assemble, of course the quality of the parts count to maintain the quality of the cars. Therefore, every Japanese automobile manufacturer looks for a type of assembling environment. For example, if Nigeria’s supporting industries are big and could provide such required goods on time with the required qualities. What about port clearance procedure and good road condition? You don’t have enough electricity and port clearance may not take seven days or two weeks and so on. Another question is whether Nigeria’s supporting industries will develop fast enough to provide the parts the plants will need. If you look at this side of situation, the answer is very much clear. Beside the sad points, I welcome new automobile development plan that set a goal, which deserves to be pursue vigorously by Nigerian Federal Government. Because a real automobile plan takes 10 years or much more than 10 years; it is a long time project, not like the textile industry for example. I also think the goal is nice, but the Federal Government should be careful about how they will manage this process of 10 or 20 years. You can not just raise taxes and levies to stem import without considering other relevant and efficient measures. Also, you can’t force the manufacturing companies to embrace local contents without nourishing the parts industry. We think the goal is okay but this transition period should be managed very well and carefully. We should have a strategy and good plan of implementation; may be step-by-step implementation and also consistency of Federal Government’s policies. Japanese automobile companies insist on importance of consistency of policies. Having said that one, one of my objectives for visiting Lagos is to travel to Ondo and see Elizade University of Technology being managed by Chief Ade Ojo. Another mission is to consult with representatives of Japanese companies involve in automobile manufacturing and trading to involve in our assistance measures towards the realisation of the new automobile industry. We will like to provide support, especially in the field of technical assistance and training of technicians needed for the automobile industry. This will take

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Shoji time, but we like that idea. I think it can draw general support from our Japanese automobile industries. On arrangement between Nigeria and Nissan to build a model of a Nigerian car. I read it in the newspapers. It was a big news of course. But so far, while we and Japanese manufacturers are looking at those constraints, Carlos of Nissan looked at the brighter side and promised to commit his company to it. This is a great and nice news for me as ambassador of Japan. Also, we will like to make the plan a fruitful one; a sustainable one. You need not just a Nissan, you need Toyota and Honda. Our task is to create the enabling environment for those other manufacturing companies, including Nissan too, to successfully invest in Nigeria by way of setting up automobile assembling plant. But it is my position that to do so, it needs a lot of preparation; and a lot of attention should be paid to how we are going to implement the policy. We need to develop the human capability, small and medium-scale industries, management know-how should be shared, and we should go step-by-step. On Japan’s displacement as No.2 industrialised economy I am proud that we are still No.2 economy in the world. We encouraged China in the 80s and 90s to open up its economy into market economic system. China was the biggest recipient of our economic assistance. Well, they have forgotten that already and this is a fact. Economic size can be determine or influence by the size of the population. And in that sense, Nigeria could be of course not only the 20th economy of the world but one of the 10 economies. Anyway, what happen to our economy is that we have been having difficulties for almost 20 years; 20 years of economic depreciation or bubble-bust. This was accompanied with rapid appreciation of yen and that make Japanese companies’ importing management very difficult. Our economic is also being affected by the ageing population and huge public debt which has been accumulated. But now, the trend is turning in the right direction. Japanese stock market shares have increase by almost 80 per cent and too high Yen rate has been adjusted. Prime Minister Abe since his re-election has taken two bold economic policies – one monetary policy and the other is fiscal policy. This to strengthen Japanese companies’ competitiveness by stimulating entrepreneurship. And now, he is emphasising on the roles of women within the country and also outside the country. Before, half of our human resources was not utilised and he tried hard by making commitment to create a society in which women shine. And so, Prime Minister Abe is taking series of deregulation, fiscal measures, as well as measures to educate our your population to make the best use of their talents in tune with modern society. So, we expect and hope that this growth would continue this year and you will see the result in 12 or 24 months. This is sustainable. And then, we will not only come back to No.2, but will come back to our strong competitive economy in tune with knowledge society. On Abe’s commitment to double the Yen loan of equivalent of N1 billion to African countries during his recent trip. The commitment double Yen loan to Africa by Prime Minister Abe is in addition to TICAD V (the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development). The commitment is new. In any case, firstly, TICAD V is a strategy to sustain and accelerate goals and secondly, it is designed to make the goals inclusive. And also very importantly, for the acceleration of goals, it should be driven by the private sector. The role of government is also important, which is to provide the enabling environment. And it takes two to tango. For example, there is a Nigerian side of responsibility to provide enabling environment for business and on our side, we will concentrate our efforts in improving infrastructure and human capacity development in Nigeria and other African countries. When we talk about infrastructure, we are looking at our economic cooperation assistance, just as we are doing in Asia. Infrastructure is a key to private business, especially in Nigeria and more generally in other African countries. And we are ready to provide Yen loans for that purpose. We have already started discussing with the Federal Government and the first Yen loan will be provided with innovative mechanism for polio eradication. What I mean by innovative mechanism is that Nigeria may be exempted from paying back the principal or may be even the interest too, if polio eradication campaign meets such criteria. The sec-

ond one is in the field of power transmission. When you talk about power, it is not only power generation. What about the power transmission? In all this, inclusiveness is very important. We are also considering assistance in the area of water supply, small-scale industries, agriculture, health and so on. On what he think about China’s coming to Africa and approach to Japan What China is doing now is a global campaign against Japan. If you look at newspapers across the world, they are trying to advance their propaganda against Japan. This is a sad development. We believe that China and Japan are two big powers in Asia and we should cooperate rather than antagonising each other, to create common good for the region leading to prosperity and peace and security. But what China is doing is contrary, for example in the Senkaku Islands. One, China has never claimed ownership of the Island up until 1971. One year before 1971, a geographer conducted a geological survey and concluded that there is a possibility of oil reserve in that area. That triggered reaction from China. From 1895, Japan occupies that area under our administrative control and it was a peaceful occupancy according to international laws. What we are asking China is not to change the status quo by using force and coercion, but this is what they are doing with multiple intrusions into the area. The Chinese targetted missiles at our ships; this is almost an act of war and this is a kind of provocation On our position to China, our door is open for dialogue, but we stick to the principle that if there should be an issue, we need to solve it in peaceful way in accordance with international law. This is the situation and our position. On whether U.S. may go against the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which recognises Japan as the owner of the island. I don’t think so. Japan and U.S. have long-standing friendship and understanding about our policies and we are both democratic nations. Also, we shared almost the same strategic interests. I don’t think the U.S. will support China because it is against the stability of the region. The U.S. has a lot of stakes in the region, which also include Japan and other democratic nations in the region. There is no way the U.S. will sacrifice their interests and stability of the region


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POLITICS Monday, February 3, 2014

Politics PDP governors mobilise for Jonathan’s declaration  date, and pledged that as a means of halting the trend, he would not interfere with state structures of the party, which are controlled by the governors. He said he was aware that constant disagreements between the national chairman of the party and governors were usually caused by the interference in the running of the party at the state level. As a practical demonstration of his promise, Ma’azu disclosed that he had entered into agreement with his state (Bauchi) Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda. Turning to the PDP governors present during his inauguration, he said, “I won’t tamper with any of your structures, including that of Yuguda. I won’t tamper with any of your structures.” Mu’azu, a former governor of Buachi State, however, pleaded with the governors “to allow the (state) chairmen of the PDP to register everyone interested in joining the party in their states.” On the relationship between him and Yuguda, Mu’azu said:  “There is an obnoxious belief that a national chairman of the PDP is never in good terms with his state governor. I have decided to break this jinx. I will not tamper with his structures.” He thanked Yuguda for moving the motion for his nomination as national chairman, saying it was rare in the history of the PDP.

From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HE emergence last week of former Bauchi State governor, Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu, as the  national chairman of the  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have signalled the re-emergence of governors elected on the party’s platform as de facto leaders, as far as the running of the party affair is concerned. But realising the danger of running into conflict of interest, the state chief executives have perfected plans to hurriedly fulfil their part of the political agreement they reached with President Goodluck Jonathan on the eve of Muazu’s enthronement as PDP chairman. The Guardian learnt that in their bid to avoid having a party chairman that would end up hurting their political interests, the PDP governors decided to stay united in diplomatically preventing the President from installing a chairman of his choice. The governors, along with others, agreed to collectively work for the second term bid of Jonathan, but they must first be given the opportunity to produce the party chairman. That part of the agreement fulfilled, the governors, under the banner of the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF), were also to begin immediate and serious preparations in their various states for the eventual declaration of interest by the President to seek a second term in office through the 2015 elections. A source within the forum hinted that before April, a  massive campaign that would culminate in the declaration by the President, would take shape in most of the PDP-controlled states. In a subtle defence of this arrangement on Tuesday in Abuja, the PDP-GF chair and Akwa Ibom State governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, explained why Jonathan required a second term. He said: “We urge Mr. President to go back for a second term in office. We believe strongly that the transformation agenda that he has put in place in Nigeria, in the power sector, in agric sector and other sectors will deliver good dividends of democracy to Nigerians and will lead this country to a higher level and that is why Akwa Ibom took the lead.” Akpabio also restated his loyalty to the President, pointing out that it was imperative that members of the party in his state accord him (Akpabio) similar respect. “I am here very loyal to the leader of the party at the national level, Mr. President, and you can all attest to that and I don’t make pretences about it. So, I will expect the same loyalty to be extended to me at the state level. The governor also cautioned Mu’azu. and the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) against the danger of tolerating politicians whom, he noted, had no grassroots support. “Mr. National Chairman, one of the things you should watch out for, not just from Akwa Ibom but from all the states, is the ones they call Metropolitan politicians, who come here with stories and they will tell you they can deliver everything; that they own the whole state.  “They will tell you to forget the governor, forget chairmen of councils and forget everyone that they can deliver everywhere. First, look into their history and find out where they have delivered before because some of them cannot deliver even their families. “We are not the kind of politicians to come with elders, who had been Ambassadors or who had been High Commissioners to the United Nations. Those ones don’t win election anywhere; they only win offices of the United Nations.” He said the party could only win in 2015 if members concentrate attention at the grassroots. “For us to win the presidency, we need the grassroots. Elections are done in the wards, in the villages and in the chapters. Elections are not done in offices, in the NWC in Wadata House neither do we do elections in the Villa.  “So, those who have access to the Villa and who have access to the offices here are not necessarily those that will get the votes that will put PDP in power in 2015.”

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How Mu’azu emerged

HE appointment of Mu’azu defied other T permutations that had narrowed the search for a national chairman of the PDP to

Jonathan

Akpabio

On the need for complete loyalty, Akpabio said: “One thing I know about in party politics is loyalty. You cannot be disloyal to the leadership of the party and the system and expect to come through the window to take power. It is impossible and that is what the NWC must help us to work against.” During the heated political struggle and campaigns for the chairmanship of the PDP following the exit of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the governors saw an opportunity to regain what they had lost in Tukur.

Tukur through the “arbitrary establishment of caretaker committees in place of the elected executives controlled by the governors.” Indeed, Akpabio confirmed this fear in a remark at the inauguration of Mu’azu as chairman of PDP last week. On behalf of other PDP governors, Akpabio was quick in thanking Mu’azu for promising not to tamper with the governors’ structures in the states.  He said “A few weeks ago, I had the unpleasant luck of recalling a situation that had always caused friction between the leadership of the party and the governors and I said, let us try and avoid the banana peels that had affected past chairmen.  “That banana peel has always been the conflict between the national chairman and the home state led by the governor.” “And we agreed that this was also what started the last crisis, when there was a conflict between the home state governor in Adamawa and our past national chairman.  “But of course, a lot of things came in - political jobbers came in and those who didn’t wish the party well came in and so many other issues came.  “This time around, I think the national chairman has started well. This is the first time we are getting a national chairman and the person who is proposing his nomination is his home state governor. I think this is very uncommon, extremely uncommon. “I must state the fact that the governors are ready to cooperate with the new national chairman. Be assured of our cooperation; we don’t want to lose more governors; instead, we want to gain.” In appreciating the assistance of the PDP governors, Mu’azu had said he had watched “the dwindling fortunes” of the PDP from 2003 to

The deal between PDP governors and Jonathan HE deal was full of drama and surprises! Even the President’s closest governor, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, had ruled many other aspirants out of the race when the selection committee he presided over recommended a former House of Representatives’ Majority Leader, Mohammed Wakil and a former Police Affairs Minister, Maina Waziri. But the PDP governors, through their umbrella body, the PDP Governors’ Forum, were not ready to lose out, as they did during the political manipulation that culminated in the election of Tukur as chairman of the PDP. At the centre of the issue that had always caused crisis between the PDP national chairman and the governors was the question of control of state political structures, which gave the governors the opportunity to produce all members of the state executive committee. A commissioner in one of the PDP-controlled states in the Southeast, who is very close to his governor, disclosed that the PDP governors were so desperate to produce the new party chair because of how they were treated under

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That part of the agreement fulfilled, the governors, under the banner of the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF), were also to begin immediate and serious preparations in their various states for the eventual declaration of interest by the President to seek a second term in office through the 2015 elections. A source within the forum hinted that before April, a massive campaign that would culminate in the declaration by the President, would take shape in most of the PDPcontrolled states.

states outside the immediate control of the party in the Northeast. The highly favoured states were Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, which are all controlled by governors belonging to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). The thinking was that the party should choose a formidable PDP chairman from any one of the APC-controlled states, to act as counter force to the party’s governors in the Northeast. Also, given the historical frictions between incumbent PDP governors and recent national chairmen, there were also reasonable grounds for all four PDP governors from the Northeast to object to the emergence of a national chairman from their states.  It was more shocking that Mu‘azu, known for his famous face-off with his one-time friend, Governor Isa Yuguda at the time of the 2007 gubernatorial election, became the choice of the party. Mu’azu got the job ahead of Mohammed Wakil, who was being pushed by elements around the president; and also Senator Idris Umar, who was allegedly the candidate of the First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan. According to sources, Mu’azu’s appointment was cleared first by the resolve of the PDP states chairmen to oppose any candidate sponsored by Mrs. Jonathan. Their belief was that Bamanga Tukur was sustained in office far longer than he ought to have exited by the support he allegedly received from Mrs. Jonathan and her husband, Dr. Jonathan. “This idea of the First Lady bringing somebody will be seriously resisted among the chairmen, who feel that Tukur stayed that long because of the overt support he was enjoying from the First Lady,” one the sources said. “The decision that was finally taken on Thursday (resignation of Tukur), if it had been taken about four, five months ago, the state chairmen feel that only one governor would have gone and that would have been Rotimi Amaechi. All other governors who left were complaining about Tukur and his style of administration, as characterised by the unwarranted dissolution of state excos and planting his own structures in those states. “If this decision was taken about five months ago, the party would have been saved the embarrassment of the five governors leaving at the same time.”


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Monday, February 3, 2014

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TheGuardian

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www.ngrguardiannews.com

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 For the CBN Governor to succeed S the Central Bank of Nigeria will soon come under a new governor, it is important to A reiterate to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s successor that a major part of his brief as set forth in the CBN’s enabling law since the CBN Ordinance of 1958 is the management of the national currency. Up until now, this brief has not been well carried out and the new governor must be prepared to do better. The then CBN governor in August 2007 spilled the beans following the (CBN) decision, after hanging fire for 36 years, to begin to manage the naira like focused central banks do with their respective currencies. As a first stage, the CBN set a dirty naira exchange rate to the dollar preparatory to disbursement of Federation Account (FA) dollar accruals as earned to the Federal and State Governments by means of secure dollar domiciliary accounts for conversion, as and when desired, to non-inflationary naira revenue through deposit money banks (DMBs). But vested interests in the Presidency ultra vires overturned the plan. Ever since, the apex bank has retained the avowed wrong practice. Meanwhile, the economy has continued to underperform as has been the situation for over three decades. Is the CBN expected to produce the desired results when policy-makers and vested interests force it to employ different procedures from the ones that have proved beneficial elsewhere? All CBN governors till date answered that question in the negative by kowtowing to the aforesaid forces. They consequently lost control of the economy and have all become preoccupied with futilely combating the mounting economic problems arising from the non-realisation of the set principal objects of the apex bank. Yet, under the CBN Act from its inception, the board of governors is insulated through tenured appointment from being deflected from pursuing the CBN mandate of ensuring at all times necessary condition for a vibrant and strong economy. The next governor should, therefore, possess the strength of character to break from past failures and totally commit himself or herself to actualising the objects of the CBN. Also, the prospective governor should be neither a hireling of international financial bodies (to which favours have to be repaid and subservience is owed) nor a fish out of water who, burdened by a complex borne out of personal inadequacies, will take dictation from the well-known international agencies. Additionally, those given to any form of extremism should be given a wide berth just as the country should be spared old school tie cult at the apex bank. The principal objects are interconnected. The apex bank “acts as banker and provides economic and financial advice to the Federal Government”. It should therefore, effect any advice relating to the actualisation of its objectives. The object, “to promote a sound financial system”, is undergirded by another, “to ensure monetary and price stability.” Being the monopoly producer and sole “issuer of the legal tender naira currency”, the apex bank should be mindful of the strategy of ‘either fixing the price or limiting the supply’ of this critical commodity. To ensure monetary and price stability calls for government spending based on realised revenue and, if need be, deficit funding to the tune of up to a maximum of three per cent of GDP. Although Appropriation Acts set that ceiling, there have been prevalent the marks of excessive fiscal deficit like persistent excess liquidity, high inflation, very high lending rates, sliding artificial exchange rate and so on. All these signify that the naira funds disbursed to FA beneficiaries in place of FA dollar accruals constitute deficit financing. The starting point for the next governor, therefore, is to eliminate the unintended government spending at all tiers by ensuring that FA dollar accruals are properly converted to non-inflationary realised naira revenue for government business. This will only happen when the CBN acts as focused central banks do. The August 2007 decision to allocate dollar amounts in a secure form to some beneficiaries should apply to all tiers and go into effect. Any requests by the Federal Government for funds to spend outside the budget deficit ceiling fall under temporary advances that should be dealt with in the manner stipulated in the CBN Act. The outcome will be rapid onset of monetary and price stability characterised by inflation below three per cent, prime lending rates of 6-7 per cent as well as stable and realistic exchange rate. It will put a final stop to the perennial excess liquidity-induced economic difficulties which all CBN governors to date have failed to tame. It is pertinent to note that by doing things right, last November Cote d’Ivoire, despite years of turmoil, registered 2.5 per cent inflation and Zimbabwe’s asphyxiating quintuple digit inflation that raged few years back plummeted also to 2.5 per cent. The process of converting FA dollar allocations and autonomous forex via DMBs will checkmate diversion of available foreign exchange. There will be no cause for the CBN to defend the naira. Instead, external reserves will swell. As regards the final principal object, accumulation of foreign reserves sufficient for three months’ import cover constitutes the requirements for “safeguarding the international value of the legal tender currency” and any additional forex reserves may be appropriated as Federal Government internally generated revenue for capital and other projects. That way the economy will annually independently generate for public and private investment purposes accumulated forex several times the inflow of foreign direct investment into the country (the relatively paltry amount of $8.8 billion in 2011 was highest figure ever received). The current high unemployment rate in itself calls for immediate change in the CBN method that caused it. When the CBN begins to behave as shown, the real sector will access cheap bank loans that will hardly go bad. It will undertake investments in the various sectors of the economy which as a proportion of GDP would rise rapidly from the present 36 per cent to 100 per cent and upwards. Therein lies an ever-expanding room for the private sector to create new jobs on a massive scale that will lead to double digit GDP growth rates and rapid reduction in poverty. To achieve and sustain national economic prosperity demands that the CBN works hard quietly and keeps honing its policies all the time. Therefore, it is self-indictment for the CBN governor to perch upon the rooftop to blame others for widespread poverty and the poor state of the economy. That betrays a lack of full grasp of the onerous responsibilities of the apex bank.

LETTERS

Ban able beggars IR: I read in The Guardian placed for various reasons, SDecember editorial of Monday, typically revolving around a 30, 2013 that the Kano State government has passed a bill to ban street begging in the state. Some other states had taken a similar step. The piece said many beggars later protested the ban on the streets. Street beggars are increasing in number across the country and are getting aggressive by the day – at the airports, public market places, motorparks, etc. They line the streets with their children who are not deformed in anyway. They are with these children as if to teach them the art of begging. The truth is that beggars have always existed in human society, and there is no evidence that it will end as along as poverty, homelessness, breakdown of the family system and unemployment continue. According to a research work at the University of Benin, alms giving is regarded as one of the pillars of Islam, whereby beggars are believed to bring blessings to others. Therefore, the wealthy give alms in fulfilment of religious obligation. Countries such as Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Finland, Romania, Japan, Portugal have had to deal with the menace of street begging with legal restrictions. These restrictions were

desire to preserve public order or to induce people to work rather than to beg for economic or moral reasons. Aggressive pan-handling was specifically prohibited by law in various jurisdictions in the United States and Canada. The province of Ontario introduced its Safe Streets Act in 1999 to restrict specific kinds of begging, particularly certain narrowly defined cases of “aggressive” or abusive begging. In May 2010, police in the city of Boston started cracking down on panhandling in the streets in downtown, and were conducting an educational outreach for residents advising against giving to panhandlers. The Boston police distinguished active solicita-

tion, or aggressive panhandling versus passive panhandling of which an example is opening doors at store with a cup in hand but saying nothing. In the United Kingdom, begging is illegal under the Vagrancy Act of 1824. However, it does not carry a jail sentence and is not well enforced in many cities. Although the Act applies in all public places, it is enforced more frequently on public transport. In Romania, Law 61 of 1991 forbids the persistent call for the mercy of the public, by a person who is able to work. It can be seen that begging is unacceptable in most societies of the world. Those beggars whose hands, legs, eyes, etc. are intact should think of something else to do with their life to earn a living. • Nini Echendu, Benin City, Edo State

FCT, I need compensation IR: Let me appeal to the resettlement unit of the FCDA, STerritory Minister of Federal Capital nothing positive has happened (FCT), Senator Bala after repeated calls at their Mohammed to use his good office to ensure that appropriate compensation is paid to us for losing our land and property to the railway right of way in Abuja. Five years (since 2009) have gone bye since my uncompleted property in Kubwa was taken over. After filling the necessary papers with the

office. Till date, neither payment for the structure on the land nor the replacement land has been given. For how long are we going to be waiting in silence? It appears they have forgotten us. This is a case of double loss – no compensation, no land. • Ranti Popoola, Abuja, FCT


Monday, February 3, 2014

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Opinion National security and stakeholders management By Sylvester Akhaine The situation in the North is at a crisis point, with both sides (the Nigerian military and the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram) claiming they have the upper hand. Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northern states (Yobe, Borno and Adamawa) on May 14 following an increase in the frequency of bombings by the group, an activity that stretches back to 2010. The state of emergency included an increased military presence and airstrikes on rebel strongholds. Six days after the state of emergency was announced, the military claimed to have “re-established control in several key areas”— Kate Hodges1 AILY, there are reports of threat to lives and D property or actual violation of the right to life and property of our citizens. The alarming degree informed the statement of the Lagosbased centre for Constitutionalism and demilitarization titled, ‘life, so cheap’ in its 2012 horrific report on the state of human rights in Nigeria. The advent of new militarism2, i.e. non-state insurgents, since the inception of the Fourth Republic has aggravated our national security crisis. Militant groups ranging from the Odua People’s Congress (OPC), the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Arewa Youth Congress (APC), the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and lately the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lid Da’awati Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram (BH) proliferate across the nook and crannies of our land.

At the height of its activities, the MEND reduced Nigeria’s oil export considerably by about 40 per cent and the Niger Delta region was virtually a no-go-area for business and leisure.3 While the amnesty granted to the militants by the Yar’Adua administration seemed to have returned relative calm to the enclave, the activities of Boko Haram which include frontal attacks on security formations, churches and public institutions and the consequent declaration of a state of emergency in parts of the country have further deepened our national security crisis. The prevailing crisis has had serious consequences for civil life of our citizens in places worse hit by Islamic insurgents’ activities. Economic activities and other social processes have become prostrate. Indeed, the inclement security climate has altered the existential routines of people living in the crisis areas. The declared state of emergency is meant to exert state’s sovereignty and maintain the security of lives and property in the affected areas. The central idea of community, Gemeinshaft, is security. Community is the people who live together for Mutual Assured Security (MAS). For the purpose of further exposition we may ask the relevant question: who are the stakeholders? This is addressed in what follows. Who are the stakeholders? Kenneth Goodpaster traced the currency of the term stakeholder to the early 1960s “as a deliberate play on the word ‘stockholder’ to signify that there are other parties having a stake in the decision-making of the modern publicly-held corporation in addition to those holding equity positions.”4 Professor R. Edward Freeman defines the term as: “any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives.”5 To James Mayers,

Stakeholders are those who have right or interest in a system. If you are concerned with the future of a system - the stakeholders are those you should worry about. For an organization, for example, stakeholders are any group of individuals who can affect, or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s purpose. This definition is too broad for some as it includes interested parties as well as affected parties. Some prefer to restrict the term of those who have ‘stake’, claim or vested interest - those who provide something of importance to the organization, and expect something in return… Stakeholders can be individuals, communities, social groups, organizations.6 If we leave the profit-focused terrain of corporation to the veritable Gemeinshaft and focus on the security of lives instead of the security of equity, it will become clearer that the stakeholders in a community in the context of ensuring collective security are the people. F. Tonnies in his characterisation of Gemeinshaft says it is a ‘community of fate,’ where the people share ‘both the benefits and misfortunes of life’.7 The people could be further categorised for the purpose of differentiation of state agencies from the ordinary people in the community. State agencies are the institutional managers of the community or the state. State institutions such as the police and the armed forces belong to the stakeholders circle. As a result of material production of society and the differentiated roles of the people and the state, there is an abstract/material distance of the state from the people which necessitates the state, in manner of speaking, returning back home. Primarily, it is the duty of the state to maintain security of lives and property. However, the performance of this primary role is hardly

possible with the support of the people. The people have to be won by several strategies which include direct persuasion and hegemonic struggles as well as inclusivity measures that ensure that they are part and parcel of the decision making process in the community. The material role of the security forces cannot succeed without the support of the people. The people are the guarantor of the internal security environment. Again, as we shall see below, in the basic laws of our country the roles of the various stakeholders in the state, namely, the people and state institutions are spelled out. Section 24 of the 1999 Constitution engrosses the duties of the citizens as follows: •  abide by this constitution, respect its ideal and its institutions, the National Flag, the National Anthem, the National Pledge, and legitimate authorities; •  help to embrace the power, prestige and good name of Nigeria, defend Nigeria, and render such national service as may be required; • respect the dignity of other citizens and the rights and legitimate interests of others and live in unity and harmony and in the spirit of common brotherhood; • make positive and useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides; • render assistance to appropriate and lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order; and • declare his income honestly to appropriate and lawful agencies and pay his tax promptly.8 • To be continued tomorrow • Dr. Akhaine, a visiting member of The Guardian Editorial Board, delivered this keynote address at the opening session of the training on stakeholders’ management strategy organized by Alchemy Business Intelligence (ABI) and National Orientation Agency, Lagos, November 2013.

Gas as catalyst for power supply By Richard Oshowole N interesting historical event occurred in 2009. A small A team of donor funded consultants developed a 10 Step Action Plan for Power Reform. It was circulated and reviewed amongst a few technocrats in Abuja but little was then heard of it until Vice-President Jonathan became President in May 2010 and the “spade work” transmutted   into the Roadmap for Power Sector Reform – the blueprint for the reform process which culminated in the historical sale of Nigeria’s power assets. Despite the imperfection of the process and the teething problems the private investors who have taken over PHCN assets are experiencing, the reform will be a success in the longterm. Building the confidence of investors and lenders to stake the $10 billion the sector is calculated to need in investment every year is critical to delivering the success early. Hence, attracting investors into the country’s power sector must be top priority for Nigeria as it hosts the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) in May 2014 for the first time (against South Africa’s record 17 times of hosting the WEFA). Nigeria has done a lot of the hard work required to build investor confidence – the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja is a big opportunity to start getting the cheques. By Nigerian standards, the manner in which the power sector reform was resuscitated from its comatose state and driven towards the 2013 privatisation is exceptional. A Presidential Action Committee on Power was established and the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) set up with a Special Adviser to the President on Power,  as Chairman in May 2010. By August 2010, a well-thought Roadmap to Power Sector Reform was launched to national and international acclaim. Shortly later, a Presidential Investors Retreat was held in Abuja at the Presidential Villa to demonstrate Nigeria’s seriousness about the power sector reform to the world’s major players and investors in power who attended in good numbers.   The Road Map set clear targets to be attained across the power value chain-Fuel-to-Power, Generation, Transmission, National Integrated Power Programme (NIPP) and Distribution and also a step-by-step process for regulatory and policy reforms underpinning the transition from state ownership to private sector acquisition. Progress on targets were reviewed on a weekly basis and is-

sues escalated to the Presidential Action Committee on Power which comprised key ministers and very senior government officials whose portfolios were relevant to the power sector. The fact that the President drove these weekly meetings on progress on the power sector ensured that issues received high political recognition and didn’t languish in the normal inter-ministerial gridlock.  Subject Matter Experts seconded from the international oil companies, private sector consultants funded by donor support and an assembly of talented experts who were gathered in the Secretariat of the PACP-the PTFP- made for an assembly of skills and dedication that is never found in the regular bureaucracy. It may not have been perfect, but it was very clear that Nigeria was doing things diffferently in the area of power sector reform. The promulgation of tarrifs which would ensure that investors were paid enough for power to cover the cost of their investment in generating and distributing power signalled to the world that Nigeria was ready to attract investment into power rather than have the state power monopoly pretend it is supplying power to consumers at subsidized prices. Nigeria ought to be a compelling case for investors in power. At least 50% of people in Nigeria have no access to electricity. Those that do have access do not get enough. It is often not reliable and not of the right quality. Millions want much of it for longer and want to pay less for it than they do self-generating. Whichever way you look at it, there is a huge demand for electricity in Nigeria. The roots of the problem were simply a lack of investment. It was a situation where there is a huge electricity hungry country with a huge population with an abundance of the fuel, gas, to generate power. In fact, with the world’s ninth largest gas reserves - once gas pricing is commercialised –  all the ducks are  in place for a power boom. There are other sources of power in Nigeria such as coal, major and mini hydro dams, biomass, solar as well as wind, if the wind maps are to be believed. Policy consistency has been achieved. Existing power generating assets have been sold and handed over and the NIPP plants are slated for sale in 2014. The power distribution companies have been sold. So far, so good. The scale of investment required to take Nigeria from a situation where we are now to where we might want to be is huge. South Africa generates 40,000 MWs, Brazil 100,000 MWs and Malaysia 26,000 MWs.

Nigeria struggles to produce 4,000 MWs currently. Nigeria needs billions of dollars of new investment in generation. Nigeria must develop gas reserves which are the ninth largest in the world and needs investment in gathering gas, pipelines, processing plants and metering stations to deliver it to power plants. Currently, it cannot use some 3000 MWs of installed generating capacity as a result of lack of gas and could double its generation if it had enough gas. Much of the gas is currently just burnt and totally wasted. Gas needs to be given a value and comercialised. Transmission is still in government hands; management has been contracted out for three years. Nigeria needs to transmit efficiently the insufficient power it generates, hence transmission networks need investment and expansion. New plants need to be linked to the grid. The distribution companies are now private and have detailed needs  and investment plans. The World Economic Forum on Africa Abuja 2014 is a golden opportunity to showcase the scope for investment and profits in generation and also to begin to showcase the opportunities in gas and transmission. It would be building castles in the sand and a mere talk shop if power is not at the centre of the Forum; Power to create the jobs to get Inclusive Growth. It is useful that Aliko Dangote is involved in the event; this is a businessman who self-generates some 140 MWs from Gas and uses this for power-intense sugar and cement businesses that create so many jobs in Nigeria. There is a huge demand for power in Nigeria. And there is money to be made from providing it. There are risk guarantees available from the World Bank. The overall framework is there and there is a focus at the highest levels to remove any constraints. Power creates opportunities for everyone: for scores of artisanal occupations such as welding, for manufacturers by reducing costs, for traders, restaurants, taximen and others by making it easier for cities to function at night, etc. All these create more disposable income that can be spent in the market.  The benefits are infinite. Displaying Nigeria’s huge need for power sector investment and the much-improved policy and regulatory framework is the best use Nigeria could make of hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa. • Oshowole, a consultant in Europe, Africa and Asia for over 25 years, has worked on power reform in Nigeria and was recently engaged in the Oil and Gas Sector in Angola.


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Opinion Transportation, and alternative fuel for vehicles By Chijioke Nwaozuzu HE Nigerian economy has borne the huge burT den of subsidy payments on petroleum products. Massive importation of light petroleum products (petrol, diesel, and kerosene) continues unabated because the national refineries are working sub-optimally and new ones are yet to be constructed. Recently, government announced its plan to privatize the old and mismanaged refineries, which was greeted with relief except for oil industry unions who believe that they will bear the brunt of this exercise unless proper negotiations are made to protect their interest. Towards the end of last year, government made a volte-face about the privatization plan, to the relief of unionists but, to the surprise of industry analysts. Some may ask, why the surprise? Pragmatic reasoning still suggests that the refineries should be privatized, and there are various models that could be adopted for this. However, I do not think that the preferred model is outright sale of the refineries, because the exercise is very likely to translate from public sector (government) monopoly of refineries to private sector monopoly. A private sector monopoly of refineries without an alternative fuel for our vehicles is absolutely dangerous because 170 million Nigerians are locked into the petrol/diesel ‘captive’ market and will be at the mercy of the Directors of the three refineries. You cannot pack in the garage an SUV you bought with millions of Naira, just because the price of petrol has risen to N300. There are also far more dangerous political and national security implications. Now, where does this lead us in our search for solutions towards achieving self-sufficiency in availability of petroleum products? Addressing this critical challenge would require increasing capacity for production of petroleum products (supplyside solution) and / or reducing the demand for petroleum products, particularly petrol and diesel (demand- side solution). The supply-side factors, in the case of our indigenous downstream petroleum sector tend to be more critical. The critical supply factors to be considered in the course of deregulation are improvements in the efficiency of domestic supplies; liberalization of product supplies; Brownfield refinery expansion (i.e. expansion of existing refineries); and Greenfield refinery development (i.e. new refineries construction). Loosening up all supply-side constraints can only be achieved when existing refineries are repaired, privatized and expanded; and new refineries constructed (both private and PPP-based refineries); and pipelines privatized. Conversely, demand-side factors such as products substitution with biofuels, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) etc; im-

provements in the power sector; and the use of more fuel- efficient vehicles are also important but progress in these directions may not keep pace with the urgency required to attain self-sufficiency in supplies. So most industry analysts thought! Now that government has reversed its policy of refinery privatization, and there is nothing in the horizon to suggest that new mega- refineries are being built or small and medium scale -private refineries are being commissioned, it would seem that introduction of alternative fuels for vehicles (natural gas vehicles, NGVs) is inevitable. The objective should be to integrate fuel substitution with projected refinery supply volumes after the turn-around maintenance of existing refineries have been completed. According to an industry expert and practitioner, Dr. Emeka Ene of Energia Oil Company, the introduction of compressed natural gas (CNG) fuels for public transportation and government/company vehicle fleets is a “low hanging fruit” and represents a “quick-win”. It is clear that Dr. Ene was right, but first what is this alternative fuel about, how will it impact Nigerians positively, what are the constraints, which countries have developed the use of NGVs, and how should government and private investors go about its introduction? Alternative fuels have a role to play in the demand mix for petroleum products, especially in public transportation. According to an IEA-OECD study carried out by Michael Nijboer on “The Global Use of Natural Gas- Driven Vehicles (NGVs)”, natural gas has been more competitive when compared to gasoline in regard to transmission and distribution grids, and public transportation. According to the report, there is an opportunity for simultaneous gas market development and boosting of a country’s NGV market share. CNG is produced by compressing natural gas with gas compressors to less than 1% of its volume, and then stored/distributed in hard steel containers (with cylindrical or spherical shapes) at a pressure of 200-248 bar. The cylinders are then fitted into traditional petrol or diesel-run vehicles that have either been modified or manufactured for CNG use. CNG can also be used in conjunction with another fuel, e.g. diesel or petrol (bi-fuel vehicles). NGVs are becoming popular around the world, in response to high fuel prices and environmental concerns. The use of CNG, as a ‘greener fuel’ has numerous benefits. It is more environmentally efficient for motorists and the general public. CNG emits significantly fewer air pollutants (i.e. carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, etc) than petrol/diesel. CNG is lead-free, thereby eliminating fouling of spark plugs. It mixes evenly and easily in air, being a gaseous fuel. CNG is less likely to ignite on hot surfaces because it has a nar-

row range of flammability (5-15%) and a high autoignition temperature (540 degrees centigrade). This is contrary to the safety issues that come to mind when motorists are persuaded to convert to the use of CNG gas cylinders. CNG fuel systems are specially sealed, thus preventing fuel losses from evaporation and spills. CNG vehicles have lower maintenance costs than petrol/diesel-powered vehicles. The pricing of natural gas driven vehicles is significantly lower than comparable petrol/diesel driven vehicles. Introducing NGVs will help reduce subsidy payments, eventually eliminate fuel subsidies and facilitate the deregulation of the downstream petroleum industry in Nigeria. Its impact on reducing demand for petrol and diesel is immediate and measurable. It will provide a cheaper and cleaner alternative fuel to motorists and remove them from the current ‘captive’ petrol/diesel market into which every motorist is locked-in. It will promote investment in natural gas production, CNG fuel stations, CNG production plants, CNG conversion centres and CNG conversion kits thereby creating employment for millions of unemployed citizens. It is an established fact that the price of petroleum products affects the prices of all consumer goods and services in the long run. Similarly, the introduction of a cheaper alternative fuel for public transportation and for transportation of consumer goods will lower prices of all goods and services in the long run. Also, alternative fuel transportation infrastructure can be established within a shorter timeframe (9-12 months) compared to even the smallest refinery project. The global NGV fleets as at 2013 was roughly 18 million vehicles, led by Iran with 3.5 million, Pakistan (2.79 million), Argentina (2.28 million), Brazil (1.75 million), China (1.58 million), India (1.50 million), Italy (0.82 million), Colombia (0.46 million), Uzbekistan (0.45 million), Thailand (0.42 million), etc. Among the auto manufacturers of bi-fuel cars are Toyota, Honda, Peugeot, Volkswagen, General Motors, etc. Iran has the world’s second largest natural gas reserves as at 2011, after Russia, and is now the world leader in NGVs. It is highly advisable that Nigeria, being one of the top natural gas reserve powers, with a huge population and high unemployment level should follow Iran’s lead in this respect. The same argument applies to all OPEC countries. The cost of CNG fuel storage tanks and its placement in a vehicle are the major constraints to a wider and rapid adoption of CNG as a fuel. This accounts for why the early adopters were usually government ministries and departments, public transportation vehicles, private companies/corporation fleets, etc. The government bodies and companies can quickly amortize their investment in vehicle conversions. However, the experience of

countries that have adopted NGVs is that the average cost of CNG storage tanks tends to reduce progressively as more vehicles are converted (i.e. economies of scale). In all the countries that have developed the use of CNG as alternative fuel, government was the first adopter of the idea. Therefore, the Nigerian Government needs to develop an integrated policy document for CNG-driven vehicles, and also to simplify and accelerate the process for private investors in NGV fuel stations, natural gas gathering and compression centres, and vehicle conversion centres by providing incentives. The Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have lead roles to play here. It is the responsibility of these government agencies to develop government policies, guidelines, and incentives on alternative fuels and fleet purchase. Subsequently, the MPR should rapidly escalate the policy document to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for adoption and approval. This will deliver unequivocal message to the citizens of this country about government’s responsiveness to their needs. It will also stimulate private sector investment in alternative fuels for public transportation. This should generate huge positive public reaction and fiercely boost the ratings of this administration! Government incentives would include mandatory purchase of NGVs by government ministries, agencies, and departments at national, state and local government levels. This should also include conversion of existing government vehicle fleets to CNG alternative. Government could design excise concessions or waivers on CNG conversion kits, CNG delivery trucks, and equipment for constructing CNG fuelling stations. Tax credits could be extended to gas gathering and compression companies. Private sector role On the basis of a clear government policy on NGVs and requisite incentives, the private sector can develop “green highways” driven by dual-fuel technology to interconnect public transportation between major cities. A Green Highway entails establishing alternative fuel refueling stations along specific public transport routes to boost adoption of alternative fuels. This proposal is without prejudice to the role of government in encouraging other investments in the natural gas value chain, which includes expanding LNG exports and gas-fired power generation, contemplating building gas-to-liquid (GTLs) plants, conversion of natural gas to methanol, petrochemicals, fertilizers, and gas supplies to the usual industrial and domestic users. • Dr. Nwaozuzu, a petroleum policy expert, writes from Port Harcourt.

Are gay people similar to animals? By Uchenna Ocheoha WOULD like to add my voice to the on-going discussion on the Iuary anti-gay bill, recently passed into law in Nigeria. On Friday, Jan24, Reuben Abati, the presidential spokesman; Bisi Alimi, a gay rights activist; Rev. Musa Alake, General Secretary, of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Rashidi Williams, a human rights activist; were on a television programme –“The Stream”– on Aljazeera discussing the effects of the anti-gay bill in Nigeria. I was at the bank in Ikoyi, watching while waiting for a transaction. It ended up sounding like a debate. Abati was calm and collected and gave reasons why the bill was passed into law. Rev. Alake spoke from a Christian point of view, employing common sense in buttressing his point. Bisi Alimi and Rashidi Williams particularly, spoke passionately all through the discussion. Williams stressed that the government had made gays fugitives in their own country. Alimi at some point turned on Abati, accusing him of letting the youth down, apparently because he was in support of the bill? Really, that was uncalled for. I think that rather than launching a personal attack against Abati, Alimi should have restricted his argument to the issues. The editorial of The Guardian of Wednesday, January 22, 2014 focused on issues at stake very well. It criticised the West for imposing wrong ideas on Nigeria. I agree with The Guardian Editorial that the West should allow us to live our lives the way we want. At The Stream online, I came across a comment from a black man, Dan Bishop who lives in the UK. He named several American states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah  which have criminal anti-sodomy laws. Has President Barack Obama imposed his sexual orientation opinion on all these American states before coming to Africa? Anyway beyond rejoicing that Nigeria has finally passed the anti-gay law, I think we should really reflect on whether we have

successfully banned homosexuality in Nigeria. Like Omosefe Oseghale  pointed out in her article, “Kudos on ban of same-sex marriage” in the same edition of The Guardian, these Westerners will not give easily up. They will push and push and try to come again upon us from another angle when the opportunity arises. For me, gay union is not natural. I know that some animals have been observed to exhibit homosexual behaviour. Gay activists often use this to argue against homosexuality being unnatural. Some research shows that gay people have something in the brain, different from normal people. Simon Levay gives evidence in his book Gay, straight and the reason why: The Science of Sexual orientation published in 2011. He found that a ricegrain-sized collection of nerve cells in the brain named INAH3 was significantly smaller, on average, in the gay men than in normal men. He interpreted this finding as a clue that the biological processes of brain development in a person may influence his sexual orientation.   Many others have studied the science of homosexuality like Magnus Hirschfield, a German Physician about 100years ago; a group of Dutchmen in 2010, Richard Pillard in the mid-1980s, etc. Homosexuality is abnormal. A man who has a mental illness usually does not admit that he does. Many of these people need counseling and therapy. They cannot decide this one for themselves. You wouldn’t put your four-year-old son behind the wheels to drive your family to the Park, would you? World scientists should make more effort to look into developing drugs that can help them manage their ill health. Thankfully, some of them are aware of their unfortunate situation. Levay says that many gay people realize that they are intrinsically different from normal people. Though animals may exhibit homosexual behaviour, it doesn’t make it normal. Man cannot be compared with animals in matters as this. He can reason. Have we really thought about why there are male and female? It can’t be a chance occurrence. I was appalled and indeed who wouldn’t be, when I saw as op-

tions for sex on a website that said: male, female and other. What would that ‘other’ be? We see only men and women. Is there any other kind of human being? Whoever has left this order in the universe must have a reason or plan. What we also see is that man-woman unions are fruitful, in the sense that children can come about. But man-man or womanwoman unions can never be fruitful. If homosexuality were a natural option, there would be that possibility of children coming about through such unions. A marriage between a man and a woman gives room for a loving relationship that is not selfish because their union bears fruit. Such a union has the aims of marriage in mind: The mutual love of the couple and procreation or propagation of the human species.  A gay “marriage” on the other hand is questionable. Why marry another of your sex? Are they just thinking of themselves? Does such a fruitless union make sense? There are some things we cannot determine for ourselves one of which is whether we want to be male or female. You can’t choose to be black or white and who your parents should be. You can’t choose or determine your death, I mean unless one decides to commit suicide. The well-known atheist and gay activist Christopher Hitchens, in spite of his confrontational style of debate couldn’t determine when and how he would die. In the face of death, he could only be conquered. Therefore, let us obey the laws of nature. For a person who doesn’t believe in God, he has the natural moral law in his heart to guide him. We Nigerians are saying that we do not want people with this challenge to come out in public as if it were the normal. In their poor state of mental health, they will influence our children, and if we are not careful, because there will be no end to what they insist to be ‘Gay rights’, they will start demanding the right to adopt one of our children. Let us fight on to guard our heritage, culture, convictions and normality.      • Ocheoha wrote from Lagos.


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TheMetroSection Saved by Providence, obedience… •Fire razes FGGC, Kazaure hostel as adherence to rules saved the students From John Akubo, Dutse OR the Principal of the Federal Government College, Kazaure, Hajia Patu Iyemorgan, strict adherence to rules and regulations of the school by her students paid off last Friday night when fire from an unknown source razed a section of a block of hostel in the Federal Government Girls’ College Kazaure in Jigawa State. Her joy was that no life was lost because all the students were in for their evening prep when the incident occurred. “That is why we always emphasize that students should always obey moral instructions by ensuring they are where they should be at any point in time. “It was time for their evening studies and they were all in their classes for their studies. Think of it, if any deviant student had decided to hide in the hostel to sleep, your guess would have been as good as mine.” The incident, which happened at about 9.00p.m. on Friday, destroyed the property of about 51 students of Moromi House but no life was lost. The prompt response from the Fire Service saved the second block but three rooms including mattresses and students’ property were completely destroyed. Some of the students, who spoke to The Guardian but would not want their names in print, commended the principal for her efforts in taking some of the colleagues in her car to the clinic herself. They decried the fire, which left 51 of their schoolmates with no single property except the uniforms they wore that night. According to Iyemorgan, all the relevant security agencies and the immediate community were on hand to offer assistance, which prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings. Her words: “The cause of the fire incident is yet to be ascertained as investigation is still ongoing. But obviously, it is not cooking because they don’t cook in the hostel. We give them hot water in the morning. It could be an electrical fault” She said the 51 students who were affected have been settled as the management had to make alternative accommodation for them in the other hostels.

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The burnt hostel

PHOTO: JOHN AKUBO

“It started from one bed, may be it is from what they call turare wuta.  I cannot tell exactly. We are not too sure, we are still investigating. I took some of the students who fainted out of fear to the clinic. I drove the car myself as I took them to the clinic. “I assembled the students and told them to go to their places of worship and pray. We took the roll call of students to make sure that none of them was missing.” Iyemorgan said from her little resource she has ordered for mattresses and uniforms for the affected students, adding that she would send a report when investigation is completed.

She said the incident, which started at about 9.00p.m. lasted till about 2.00a.m. She said it took the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps Commandant, Muhammad Gidado and his men, the Police and the Fire Service more than an hour to put out the fire, as he urged people to be more careful on the usage of fire. The Parents Teachers/ Association (PTA) Chairman, Alhaji Dalhat Abubakar, who was in the school for an on-the-spot assessment, said the association had made some donations for emergency relief, adding that after an emergency meeting billed for today, more concrete assistance would be made.

Monarch laments govt’s failure to compensate residents over acquired farmland • As Fayemi’s wife lays foundation for modern market in Oye-Ekiti HE Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Michael Ademolaju, has lamented that the inability of the Federal Government to compensate the agrarian town for its farmland acquired for the Federal University of Oye project has brought poverty and hunger to the land. Despite alleged entreaties to federal authorities to compensate farmers whose cash crops were destroyed when the land was acquired, he said they have not been forthcoming. The monarch bared his mind while welcoming the Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, to Oye-Ekiti for the groundbreaking and inspection of project site for the construction of a modern neighbourhood market

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in the town. He commended the Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration for extending the dividend of democracy to the community unlike his predecessors, whom he claimed failed to spare a thought for the community. Oba Ademolaju said: “I must say that hunger and poverty pervades this town now. Not because my people are lazy, because one of the things I encouraged my people to do is to embrace agriculture.” “I told them we should not rely on neighbouring communities for food crops. In fact, on my part, I sold N5000 vegetable that I harvested from my farm at the last market day.” “But things took a dra-

matic turn for our people when the FG acquired our agricultural land for the university project. Yam, maize and other cash crops were destroyed without compensation despite several appeals. This is the cause of the poverty here now.” He appealed to the government to intervene in the matter by ensuring that the community was adequately compensated for their losses, to turn around their fortunes. The monarch added that Oye had never felt the impact of successive civilian administrations in the state until Fayemi came on board. He disclosed further that virtually all projects predating the Fayemi-led adminis-

Mrs. Bisi Fayemi; Ilejemeje Local Council Caretaker Committee Chairman, Prince Bamigboye Adegoroye; Owa Iludun-Ekiti, Oba Joseph Akinola; and a Market Leader in Ilejemeje, Mrs. Victoria Falodun, during the site inspection and earthbreaking of a neighbourhood market under construction in Iye-Ekiti tration in the community were self-help projects. The monarch revealed:

“We have been responsible for everything. We have never felt the impact of gov-

ernment until recently. When I said recently you should understand.” “The market in this town, general hospital, good culvert, Post Office and others were constructed by Oye people themselves. It was when Fayemi came on board recently that everything changed. “We have seen that Fayemi’s administration is undertaking reconstruction and renovation of existing infrastructure. In some instances, he is adding and building new ones. This market is brand new.” As a royal father, he said, he was father to all political leaders irrespective of party affiliation, but emphasized that it would not stop him from commending Fayemi for his visionary leadership.

Gunmen kill 35-year-old truck driver in Edo From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin RAGEDY struck the family of Egbon in Aduwawa area of Benin City as a yet-to-be identified policeman on Saturday night shot and killed their 35-year-old son, Osagie, around Ikpoba Hill, in Benin City. The shooting of the truck driver by a policeman suspected to be of the Special Protection Unit (SPU), as he was said to be putting on a blue beret, caused outrage by onlookers and passersby who immediately blocked the entire stretch of the road around Upper Mission. The shooting was said to have hit the young man, who along with his wife, was driving against the traffic, in a heavy duty vehicle, marked DELTA 601XA, during a heavy traffic snarl caused by an accident near Ikpoba River. The incident, which almost resulted to a breakdown of law and order, was however curtailed by the intervention of a detachment of soldiers, who arrived the scene.

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The elder brother of the deceased, Efosa Egbon, told The Guardian that his younger brother had arrived from Lagos on Thursday and had gone to service his truck with a view to getting ready for another trip yesterday (Sunday) evening when the incident happened. “I was told that my brother was in the truck and because of the accident that happened in Ikpoba River, there was heavy traffic on the road and everybody was driving one way. It was in the process that two policemen in blue beret accosted my brother and attempted to force him out of the road to clear the way for their principal who was suspected to have been trapped in the traffic, but along the line, we didn’t know what happened between them and they said one of them dragged my brother down and shot him twice.” “The people who saw the way it happened rose to challenge the police and they started

throwing teargas canisters and live bullets into the air. They expended several canisters on people before they escaped”, he said.    As at yesterday morning, the Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebanjo, was at the Central Hospital before the body was deposited at the mortuary, where he assured the family of the deceased that investigation would be conducted but appealed for calm and urged them not to take the law into their hands. But the Edo State Police Command, in a release on Sunday, said the bullet that killed Osagie was from the weapon of an unidentified personnel from Special Protection Unit. The command in the release signed by its Public Relations Officer, Moses Eguavoen, said it has begun investigation on the matter. It read: “Information received by the Edo State Police Command reveals that on 01/02/2014 at about 1930hrs, one Aisagbonbuan ‘m’ aged 35 years, a driver in charge of

MAN Diesel truck (registration number DELTA AYB 601 XA) was shot dead by suspected unknown personnel of Police Special Protection Unit, while driving against traffic along Ikpoba Hill, on Benin-Auchi Expressroad, Benin City. Investigation is ongoing with a view to identifying and arresting the culprit.” “The command is by this medium requesting relations of the deceased person and members of the public to remain calm while investigation is in progress. So far, nothing suggests that any personnel of Edo State Police Command is responsible for the unwholesome act. The command also wishes to pledge its commitment to unravel the circumstances behind the killings. It is important to note that the venue of the offence is a gateway to other states in the country and therefore facilitated the escape of the passer-by personnel of the Special Protection Unit responsible for the act as stated by eye- witness at the scene.


TUC, HOMES & PROPERTY/35 developer plan 100,000 homes REDAN urges CBN to disclose for workers recapitalised mortgage banks PRIME ESTATE/33

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2014

SEC tightens measures on bond issuance by states By Chijioke Nelson, with Agency Reports TATES that are making moves to raise funds through the bond market ahead of the 2015 general elections may have multiple hurdles to cross or outright rejection. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may have

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tightened the rules for issuing bonds, even as other federal officials have been assessed less willing to approve sales ahead of the February 2015 vote. Already, analysts have said that the move now would elicit more skeptical look at each state’s debt levels and allocations from the federal

government. But in an interview with Bloomberg, the DirectorGeneral of SEC, Arunma Oteh, said: “As you come close to an election, we become tougher on the requirements for states to come to market. I don’t know how many of them will cross the hurdle this

year.” However, states were assessed as planning to pay for upgrades in infrastructure such as roads and railways, while also seeking to boost spending to end power cuts and sustain growth, forecast to be 6.7 per cent this year, according to the World Bank.

Naira sovereign debt returned 0.2 per cent this year, compared with a 2.3 per cent loss in South African rand bonds and a 0.7 per cent drop for local-currency emerging-market debt, according to a report. The extra yield investors demand to hold Nigerian dollar debt over Treasuries jumped 37 basis points this year to 330 as of January 28, compared with a 33-basis point increase in average emerging-market premiums, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes. However, the DirectorGeneral of the Debt Management Office, Abraham Nwankwo, which manages the country’s bond issuance, said that most of the 36 states in Nigeria are targeting debt sales this year.

Six states, including Lagos and Osun, sold N126 billion ($773 million) in bonds or Shariah-compliant debt last year, and 16 have outstanding bonds, according to Lagos-based ratings company Agusto & Co. In 2012, states issued N157 billion worth of bonds according to the nation’s securities regulators. But an analyst at Lagos-based FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, which has N119 billion under management, Babajide Solanke, said that “there’s a lot of corruption that goes on before the election period.” According to him, the regulators may ask states “why can’t they wait so that we can have more clarity about how those funds are dispersed” after the election.

Treasury Bills Maturity Date 08-May-14 07-Aug-14 22-Jan-15

Bid 11.80 11.90 12.20

Offer 11.55 11.65 11.

NIBOR Registrar/Chief Executive, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Rotimi Omotoso (left); Chairman, ICAN Fidelity Bank Chapter and General Manager, Lagos Bank, Emeka Obiagwu; President, ICAN, Alhaji Kabir Alkali Mohammed; Executive Director, Lagos and South West Bank, IK Mbagwu; and President, Society of Women Accountants in Nigeria (SWAN) and Executive Director, Risk Management, Fidelity Bank, Onome Olaolu, at the investiture of executives and patrons of ICAN Fidelity Bank Chapter, in Lagos, at the weekend.

FGN Bonds Description

TTM

4.00% 23-Apr-2015 13.05% 16-Aug-2016 15.10% 27-Apr-2017

1.22 2.54 3.23

Bid Price 90.00 99.10 103.40

Yield 13.08 13.47 13.74

Offer Price 90.15 99.25 103.70

Yield 12.94 13.40 13.62

Exchange Rates as at Friday, January 31 Currency US DOLLAR POUNDS STERLING EURO YEN CFA WAUA YUAN/RENMINBI RIYAL SDR

Buying (NGN) 154.75 254.8114 209.6553 1.513 0.3013 236.9715 25.5274 41.2623 237.7424

Central (NGN) 155.25 255.6347 210.3327 1.5179 0.3113 237.7371 25.6103 41.3956 238.5106

Selling (NGN) 155.75 256.458 211.0101 1.5228 0.3213 238.5028 25.6933 41.5289 239.2787

Tenor (Days) Call 7 30 60 90 180 365

Rate (%) 10.5000 10.8333 11.3750 11.7500 12.0417 12.3333 12.62


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Financial stocks buoy NSE’s turnover by N21b in one week Stories by Helen Oji TurNOvEr of 2.221 billion A shares worth N21.045 billion was exchanged in 27,855 deals last week by investors on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) in contrast to a total of 1.758 billion shares valued at N21.024 billion that changed hands in 28,949 deals during the preceding week. Specifically, the financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.260 billion shares valued at N12.021 billion traded in 14,923 deals, thus contributing 56.72 per cent and 57.12 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The consumer goods industry

followed with a turnover of 564.895 million shares worth N4.837 billion in 4,199 deals. The third place was occupied by the conglomerates industry with 134.091 million shares worth N799.312 million in 1,548 deals. Trading in the top three equities- Champion Breweries Plc, FCMB Group Plc and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (measured by volume), accounted for 775.929 million shares worth N1.956 billion in 1,563 deals, contributing 34.93 per cent and 9.30 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. Also traded during the week were 545 units of NewGold Exchange Traded Funds

(ETFs) valued at N1,080 million, executed in two deals, compared with a total of 425 units of NewGold valued at N816,000.00 transacted last week in three deals. Similarly, 4,295 units of FGN bonds valued at N4.772 million were last week traded in 10 deals, compared with a total of 1,900 units of FGN bonds valued at N1.738 mil-

lion, transacted last week in nine deals. The NSE All-Share Index and market capitalization depreciated by 3.21 per cent and 3.18 per cent to close on Friday at 40,571.62 and N13.005 trillion respectively. Likewise, all but one (NSE ASeM Index) of the NSE sectoral indices depreciated during the week.

The NSE 30 depreciated by 3.89 per cent to close at 1,845.56, NSE Consumer Goods by 3.55 perent  to close at 1,051.15, NSE Banking by 6.20 per cent to close at 415.61, NSE Insurance by 2.25 per cent to close at 148.01, NSE Oil/Gas by 11.01 per cent to close at 302.30, NSE Lotus II by 1.95 per cent  to close lower at 2,862.76 and the NSE

Industrial Goods index by 2.13 per cent   to close at 2,613.56. About 15 equities appreciated in prices during the week, lower than 44 equities of the preceding week, while 64equities depreciated in prices, higher than 43 equities of the preceding week, with 119 equities remaining unchanged, higher than 111 equities in the previous week.

Major Global Markets (U.S., Europe, Asia) DOW S&P 500 NASDAQ TR US INDEX

15,698.85 1,782.59 4,103.88 163.02

-149.76 -11.60 -19.25 -1.00

-0.94% -0.65% -0.47% -0.61%

FTSE 100 DAX CAC 40 TR EUROPE

6,510.44 9,306.48 4,165.72 167.06

-28.01 -67.00 -14.30 -1.22

-0.43% -0.71% -0.34% -0.73%

NIKKEI HANG SENG SENSEX

14,914.53 22,035.42 20,513.85

-92.53 -106.19 +15.60

-0.62% -0.48% +0.08%

Managing Director, Allied-Atlantic Distilleries Limited (AADL), Anurag Ahiman (right); Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Ogun State, Bimbola Ashiru; and Chairman, Lexcel Group, Olajide rosiji, at the commissioning of AADL’s ethanol manufacturing plant at Igbesa, Ogun State, on Thursday.

IOSCO releases report on investors, client assets’ protection IOSCO is focused on devel- information exchange and ing the roles of the intermehE International oping, implementing and cooperation in enforcement diary and the regulator in T Organization of promoting adherence to against misconduct and in protecting those assets. Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has released final report on recommendations regarding the protection of client assets, which seeks to enhance regulatory supervision of intermediaries holding client assets. The principles, according to a statement from the commission, provide guidance to regulators on how to enhance their supervision of intermediaries holding client assets by clarify-

“Many jurisdictions have rules and regulations governing client assets, although their protection regimes may vary across these jurisdictions,” the report said. It outlines the intermediary’s responsibility to ensure compliance with these rules, including through the development of risk management systems and internal controls to monitor compliance.

internationally recognized and consistent standards of regulation, oversight and enforcement in order to protect investors, maintain fair, efficient and transparent markets, and seek to address systemic risk, as well as enhancing investor protection and promote investor confidence in the integrity of securities markets. But the report also noted that through strengthened

supervision of markets and market intermediaries, where the intermediary places client assets with third parties, the intermediary should reconcile the client’s accounts and records with those of the third party. According the commission, events such as the Lehman Brothers and MF Global insolvencies have placed client asset protection regimes in the spotlight. “This is the result of investors trying to better understand the potential implications of placing their assets with particular intermediaries and in certain jurisdictions. regulators also have been seeking to address risks to client assets and how to transfer or return client assets in default, resolution or insolvency scenarios,” the report added. While the intermediary must comply with the client asset protection regimes, the regulator has a role in supervising the intermediary’s compliance with the applicable domestic rules and maintaining a regime that promotes effective safeguarding of client assets, according to the report. “IOSCO received 21 public responses to the consultation report recommendations regarding the protection of client assets, which was published in February 2013. A Feedback Statement summarizing the major issues in the comment letters and the collated responses to the most recent survey on client asset protection were also published with final report.”


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FINANCIALGUARDIAN EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

MARKET REPORT AS AT 31=1=2014

PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com


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MARKET INDICATORS

AS AT 31=1=2014

PRIMERA AFRICA


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MARKET INTELLIGENCE


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FINANCIALGUARDIAN DLM BOND WATCH: February 3, 2014

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BONDWATCH

Published in association with


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BUSINESS

Govt targets innovation, economic growth with open data initiative By Adeyemi Adepetun HE federal government T through the Ministry of Communication Technology has kicked off the Open Data Development Initiative to support the present regime’s objective of driving innovation, investment and economic growth by enabling access to government data. The initiative is a consultative and inclusive process that will open up high value datasets from across government ministries to Nigerian citizens, businesses and the rest of the world, for free. The commencement of this process, according to the Special Assistant to the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Efem Nkanga makes Nigeria the world’s first Federal Open Data Initiative to simultaneously launch inclusive and continuing consultations with both government and non-government communities on their Open Data priorities. This, she said would help to develop the country’s national open data implementation plan. According to her, the Nigeria Federal Open Data Initiative, supported by the World Bank and DFID aimed to highlight the potential efficiency, innovations and public value that could be achieved when government used technology to open its data. She disclosed that over 50 countries have launched federal-level open data initiatives, saying that the impact on economic growth could be transformative

According to her, an analysis by global consulting firm McKinsey indicated that open data generated more than $3 trillion of new economic value for the U.S. economy alone, adding that the weather data of the U.S. was worth $30 billion yearly, while the total worth of Global Positioning System (GPS) data is worth $90 billion. Speaking at the event, the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson stressed, “data is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of our life. When analysed and presented in an intelligent format, data is essential to making informed decisions that produce value. The essence of publishing nonsensitive government data online is to deliver valueadding insights that benefit citizens. “We would like to ensure that our open data initiative is driven by demand. We will be guided by the practical needs of Nigerians to ensure that Open Data fuels innovation and grows the Nigerian economy.” Nganga further explained that the launch of the initiative heralded by an Open Data Stakeholder Engagement Workshop brought together more than 120 representatives from across the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and the private and non-profit sectors to identify priorities and actions to inform the implementation of the Nigeria Federal Open Data.

Lagos BRT road extension project reaches 50% completion By Taiwo Hassan HE ongoing Mile 12T Ikorodu Road expansion has reached 50 per cent completion, the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola has said. Mobereola stated this at the agency’s fourth stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, over the weekend, affirming that LAMATA would ensure completion of the BRT extension road project this year. The LAMATA’s boss said that on completion of the N30 billion project, it would bring further development, infrastructure and business opportunities to the Ikorodu community, thus, appealing to the residents of the town to show more understanding as the agency move into the critical last phase of the World Bank assisted project. Mobereola, who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Director, Transport Safety, LAMATA, Olajide Oduyoye, explained that the road project was the single biggest and largest project ever embarked upon in Lagos

State, since its creation in 1967. According to him, the entire project was divided into three sections- rural, urban 1 and 2, adding that the rural section which started from Ajegunle to Majidun, was 60 per cent completed. The urban 1 covers Mile 12 to Ajegunle, while urban 2 covers Majidun- Ikorodu. He added that urban 2 is the most challenging and would require the cooperation of the community. He said that government was determined to bring development to all parts of the state to promote commerce, social well-being and economic development. The LAMATA boss stressed that the project was conceived to extend BRT service from Mile 12 to Ikorodu, while also improving the Ikorodu road network infrastructure. He noted that the host community would need to be patient and endure the some hardships during the construction period. He said that LAMATA would commence the building of the ultra modern market next month to cater for the traders displaced by the project.

Executive Director, WEConnect International Nigeria, Miss. Comfort Sakoma (left), Group Head, Inclusive Banking, Access Bank Plc, Mrs. OpeWemi Jones; Country Director, World Bank, Dr. Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly and Head, Inclusive Banking, Access Bank, Mrs. Titilola Familoni, at the launch of WEConnect International Nigeria, in Abuja…recently.


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lower rates regime not in sight, says report By Chijioke Nelson HE rise in loan portfolio in the third quarter of 2013 among four of the top five banks in tier one, have been projected to continue in 2014, stoking speculations of increased rates regime in the

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money market. The Renaissance Capital, in its report, said that in 2014, strong loan growth trends is expected, with further upward adjustments to lending rates, as banks try to offset the lost income from the higher Cash Reserve Ratio

• Tier two banks to struggle for profits (CRR). The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had last year, initiated the move to reduce public sector deposits with the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs)

Datacard, ChamsAccess host banks over instant issuance ATACARD Group, a secure D identification and card personalization solutions, has reiterated its commitment to helping issuers optimize their card programmes throughout the globe via instant issuance.  The company, in partnership with ChamsAccess limited – a subsidiary of Chams Plc, a technology provider for identity management and e-payment solution and systems, will be hosting a seminar specifically focused on educating financial organizations on the benefits of instant issuance and how to serve cardholders better in the region. The seminar, according to the organisers, will take place on February 5, in lagos, with focus on financial institutions that want to learn more about

how card issuance is evolving in relation to customers’ expectations. Besides, the event will discuss how instant issuance helps enhance security for issuers, enables them to expedite the card delivery process, as well as exceed customer expectations with more card choices – including various card images – that are printed and personalized on-demand in branch locations. Commenting, Regional Financial Instant Issuance Account Manager, EMEA, Datacard Group, Paul Ballington, said “currently, the company has thousands of financial branches and retail locations utilizing our flagship instant issuance software and hardware for in-branch card issuance and personalization. The number continues to grow

as issuers realize the benefits it provides to not only them, but to their cardholders as well.  “We are pleased to continue to expand our reach by working with Chams to bring this educational seminar to Nigeria so that we can continue to help educate organizations on how instant issuance is not only an advantage that all financial organizations should capitalize on, but with the competitive landscape, it is becoming a necessity to keep up with the changing market demands.” From the Managing Director, ChamsAccess Funke AlomoOluwa, the instant issuance solution has game changing benefits that include improved customer experience, reduced costs, and increased profitability for banks.

Sterling Bank’s business initiative targets SMEs’ development By Chijioke Nelson TERlING Bank Plc has Snewunfolded plans to invest in business initiatives and nurture them to become viable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as part of efforts to facilitate real growth in the Nigerian economy. The bank said small businesses remain the catalyst for real economic development anywhere in the world and would be a venture worth investing in. The bank’s Group Head, Strategy & Communications, Shina Atilola, in a statement, explained that national economic development prospects in any country was hinged on the entrepreneurial energy of vibrant SMEs as most big business concerns once grew from small scale. He noted that a team of seasoned consultants have been engaged by the bank to carefully scrutinize proposals received from members of the public, noting that the bank decided to launch the project to support those who have come up with business plans as part of their new year engagement. “Many economies- developed and developing ones have come to realize the value of small businesses. They are seen to be characterized by dynamism, witty innovations and efficiency as their small size allows faster decisionmaking process. “Small businesses are believed to be the engine room for the development of any economy because they form the bulk of business activities in a growing economy like Nigeria,” he said. Already 50 contestants have qualified for the second

round of the on-going “Meet the Executive” Project sponsored by the bank. Atilola noted that over 1,000 business plans were received from small business owners aspiring to become big entrepreneurs. “The ‘Meet the Executive’ project is designed to support new and aspiring entrepreneurs. This is in line with the bank’s purpose of enriching lives and also positioning as a prime supporter of small and medium sized businesses in the country.

“The 50 best entries were selected from the pool, based on originality of the plans, their viability and provision of detailed information such as the required capital, cash flow and revenue projections. “Owners of the 50 proposed business plans selected will be engaged in a training programme in Enterprise Development programming Centre organised by the bank to further enrich their knowledge in the management of small businesses and writing of business plans.”

by 50 per cent, which it increased to 75 per cent this January, while retaining the Monetary Policy Rate at 12 per cent for over two years. Already, DMBs have reacted with increased lending rates, downsizing of their staff strength, reporting lower profits, especially the tier two banks, amid uncertainties over what policies the next Governor of CBN would pursue. “We expect higher CRR and cuts in commission-onturnover caps to be the primary challenges for banks in 2014. With a blended CRR, the environment does not allow for significant earnings

growth, in our view. “However, for the banks to deliver earnings growth, banks must be disciplined on the cost line; impairment charges will have to remain benign; and the risk of another year of flat-to-negative earnings growth cannot be ruled out,” the report said. According to the report, due to the continuously tightening monetary policy environment, tier two banks have struggled to improve their returns and to make a difference this year, focus must be the watchword. “Tier two banks not only need to have a clear strategic focus, in our view, but they also need to communicate this clearly to investors – an area in which Diamond and

Stanbic IBTC banks have succeeded in recent years. “We think success in this area is a function of management having both clear strategic business goals and the right people in place to drive the communication process. “Although we think the tier two banks ideally must lead the drive into retail/small and medium enterprises, given that they are structurally disadvantaged on funding costs, this is not the golden ticket. “They need to realise that with the high level of market concentration at the top, tier two banks cannot compete successfully simply by replicating the tier one banks’ model on a smaller scale,” the report added.


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Homes&Property Zamfara, UNHABITAT seal N340 million deal for urban planning projects Projects By Chinedum Uwaegbulam NDER fresh efforts to U increase the state capacity to implement participatory urban management, Zamfara Government has sealed an agreement to make a contribution of $2 million (about N340 million) to UN-Habitat over three years (2014-2016) for socio-economic and urban planning projects in selected towns and cities of the state. The overall goal of the project is to increase the state capacity to implement participatory urban management through structural planning and land reform, and to enhance the capacity of the state in handling early warning system for climate change and a holistic, strategic and systematic approach to solid waste management by using strategic planning, approaches that harness urban development, local assets and capabilities. The project will target unemployed young men and women living in urban areas.

The partnership will enable Zamfara authorities plug into UNHABITAT’s vast network of partners, relative lower cost of projects compared with private consultancies and the leveraging of funds and international aids based on the outcomes of the programme. Under the pact signed by the Zamfara State Governor, Mr. Abdul’ Aziz Yari Abubakar and UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos, the Nigerian state is expected to contribute the seed fund while the UNHabitat which provides manpower, knowledge and skills is to be responsible for receiving and administrating the funds

Clos

Abubakar

Oyeyinka

contributed for the implementation of the chosen projects namely City Structure Plan for selected cities and towns, Water and Sanitation, establishment of Zamfara Urban Observatory, and Integrated Solid Waste man-

agement programme (jointly with UNEP), and Local Economic Development Initiatives focusing on youth e m p l o y m e n t . The Urban Economic Branch will be the executing office in UN-Habitat, in collaboration

with the Scientific Advisor office and HAPSO office, Projects Office and the Africa Regional Office managing the Project. The project implementation and management shall be jointly carried out between officials of UN-

Habitat and Zamfara state government with a view to building the capacity at the local level and shall cover the period from 2014 to 2017. Governor Abubakar remarked that his state has a lot to offer and expressed optimism that the agreement with UN-Habitat would go a long way in helping them achieve their urbanisation targ e t s . “The state has a lot of potential but lacks the technical expertise and I am assuring you that my government is ready to work with UNHabitat so that we realize our full potential,” the Governor who was flanked by several members of his cabinet said. In his remarks, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Kenya who is also the Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat, Mr. Akin Oyateru commended the state for deciding to buy into UN-Habitat’s vision of the New Urban Agenda. “Shelter is one of the most important things for human beings and the way we do shelter must ensure that we help create

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Positive signs for Rivers’ real estate market as Oklen Suites berths so, the majority of major leasing markets should be on a more solid footing in 2014,” By Chinedum Uwaegbulam FTER the construction according to the global report. Similarly, the latest report freeze that accompanied the bursting of the bubble, the from the Royal Institution of real estate market in the River Chartered Surveyors (RICS) State capital, Port Harcourt also confirmed that the real may have began to peak, with estate markets around the private developers complet- world are showing more ing their projects, as demand encouraging signals as a for commercial property result of a generally improvsurge due to the renewed con- ing macro climate. RICS says fidence by key players on the that significantly, 12 month forward expectations for rents vibrant oil and gas sector. The news about the com- and capital values in some mercial real estate sector was countries are turning progresupbeat recently when the sively upbeat reflecting the estate surveying and valua- expectation that the economtion firm, Messrs Emma Wike ic recovery, now underway and Partners unveiled its will continue to gather pace. The new signs are not difN280 million new head office complex in Evo Road, ferent from what obtains in Government Reserved Area, River State capital. The Port Harcourt, which was ded- Guardian learnt that buildings icated by the Dean, that once sat empty are now Archbishop and Bishop of starting to fill up around the Niger Delta North Anglican Port Harcourt metropolis Communion of Nigeria, Most indicating a more positive Rev. Ignatius Ogboru Kattey.    outlook for commercial real It comes at the heels of a estate. Notable hotspot for comreport from Jones Lang LaSalle mercial real estate developthat says office rental growth is expected to gain momen- ment includes GRAs, Aba tum this year. “Commercial Road, Stadium Road, and real estate is now being Peter Odili Road, a new area by Industrial utilised more efficiently, lead- Trans-Amadi ing us to the view that the Layout. Some properties are upswing in occupier demand coming up within axis while is likely to be less pronounced others are already in the marthan in previous cycles. Even ket.

Real Estate

A

Oklen Suites in Evo Road, GRA, PortHarcourt, Rivers State

TUC, developer plan 100,000 homes for workers Page 33

REDAN urges CBN to disclose recapitalised mortgage banks Page 35

Experts seek Construction Industry Development Agency Page 45

The Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Emma Wike said the commercial real estate recovery is slow and steady. He predicted that as normalcy returns to the state, spending would start improving, particularly on the retail side, and giving rise to more commercial development. “Most of the companies that moved to Abuja due to insecurity situation are coming back. I know there are some vacant property, but it does not waste time in the market,” he added. One of the likely beneficiaries of the new improved real estate market is Oklen Suites. The four floor building and a penthouse was developed by Emma Wike and Partners with the collaboration of a private developer that funded the complex by 20 per cent while the firm provided 80 per cent of the facility. Specifically, the land was purchased in 2010 and construction work started in April 2012. The firm acted as project managers and supervised the building of the edifice through the assistance of quantity surveyors, engineers and architects. The building has two wings, with a total

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Dean, Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Ade Adediran; Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Ayobami Salami; Principal Partner, Femi Olomola and Company, Dr. Femi Olomola; Dean, Faculty of Clinical Services, Prof. (Mrs.) Ebunoluwa Adejuyigbe; Chairman, Committee of Deans and Dean, Faculty of Science, Prof. Wasiu Muse; Representative of the Director, Physical Planning and Development Unit, Mr. Adebayo Owolabi and Provost, College of Health Sciences, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi during the inauguration of stakeholders’ forum on OAU master plan review project

OAU inaugurates stakeholders’ forum on master plan review Physical Planning LANS by the Obafemi P Awolowo university, Ile Ife, Osun state to review its master plan was formally kick-started last week by the authorities, with the setting up a 200member stakeholders’ forum.

The stakeholders are expected to make inputs into the proposed master plan review project being undertaken by the project consultant, Messrs Femi Olomola and Company. The firm has commenced inventory of the existing services, facilities, utilities and the changes brought by trends in

development activities. The consulting town planner is also formulating concrete proposals aimed at evolving harmonious and aesthetic environment conducive to various activities taking place within the university community for a period of 15 years. The existing  master plan of

the university was prepared in 1981 while the first master plan was done in 1961. Then, the main core of the university’s master plan focused on campus development and its original plan was modified in 1963 and 1969 to accommodate growth of new facilities and increased density. The univer-

sity’ s existing land use system comprises 11,855 hectares of land. Out of it, 5,605 hectares was captured in the first master plan and additional 6,250 hectares was acquired sometime in 1973 for further develo p m e n t . Essentially, the consulting firm is expected to highlight

the problems and potentials of the sectors and sub-sectors in the campus, carrying out detailed studies of physical, economic, socio-cultural, engineering, aesthetic and ecological components and other subjects relevant to the devel-

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PRIME ESTATES

TUC, developer plan 100,000 homes for workers Projects By Tunde Alao CTIVITIES for the setting A up of the long awaited ‘Workers Housing Scheme’ were stepped up last week by the proponents, Rock of Ages Properties Limited, a subsidiary of Chicason Group and Trade Union Congress (TUC), which recently entered into a memorandum of understanding  to construct 100,000 housing units in different parts of the country. Under the scheme, known as “United Workers Housing Scheme”, the State governments are expected to provide lands, while TUC will facilitate membership registration, while Rock of Ages Properties will provide funds. The first phase of the project has started at Airport Road, Deidei Abuja with 20,000 units. Prospective subscribers to the scheme would contribute between 10-20 per cent of the total cost of their choice of residential accommodation, while the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and selected primary mortgage banks would augment the payment . Executive Director, Chicason Group,  Mr. Chux  Adike said arrangement is ongoing by the affected stakeholders on the modality, both for the delivery of the scheme and allocation. House type being proposed are  two bedroom semi-detached bungalow,

Prototype of a new house types by Royal Garden Estate, Lagos two Bedroom apartment block, three bedroom detached bungalow, three bedroom semi-detached bungalow, three bedroom apartment block, three bedroom terrace house, four bedroom terrace apartment and four bedroom semi

detached house. Plans are already on top gear to flag off the project on Thursday at Women Development Centre, Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Among the selected banks are Keystone Bank Limited, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Zenith

Bank International Plc and FCMB Bank Plc Major highlights of the scheme  include: 10 per cent deposit backed with mortgage for the 90 per cent balance,  and low interest rate; Convenient repayment plan

up to 20 years; estates to be located in the prime areas of the state with modern infrastructure. Adike added that the proposed affordable housing scheme is aimed at building decent homes across the federation for the benefit of private and public

sector works in Nigeria. Facilities to be provided include; power supply, centralized water supply system, tarred roads with work ways and drainages, ample parking spaces, street lights, recreational facilities, among others.


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HOMES & PROPERTY Ogun State to extend registration deadline for homeowners’ scheme Housing By Emmanuel Badejo O enable more property owners in the state to benefit in its homeowners’ charter initiative, the Ogun State Government may soon extend the deadline set for the registration, which going by its original plan should end this month. A senior government official, who visited one of the centres of registration in Ijoko last week

T

said there was possibility for the government to extend the deadline following request and pressure from some property owners within the state, who are appealing that they should be considered. The initiative aims at helping homeowners to regularise the legal status and documentation of their properties, whilst providing enumeration data for the medium term planning of roads, schools, hospitals and other essential services. Under the programme, owners of eligible properties built without the required approvals or illegally built on land belonging to Ogun State Government will be given a window of opportunity to obtain Building Plan Approval, Certificates of Occupancy or other title documentation. All penalties and fines are being waived and the documentation requirements have been relaxed; fees discounted to enable as many residents as possible to benefit. Reviewing the response of property owners to the government’s offer, the official, who would not want to be named, said: “The response has been impressive and in fact there is likelihood for the government to review the deadline for registration as some, who are yet to complete their property are expediting work so as to enjoy this offer.” The Guardian learnt that thousands of homeowners have responded, while many others are calling for extension. For instance, at Ota over 30,000 homeowners had shown interest while at Ijoko about over 5,000 has complied. Apart from this resolve to help property owners, the state is also on the mission to attract investors, lamenting however, that lack of documentation is preventing its property market from developing as expected and there is no accurate data on the actual number of residents in most areas for proper planning. Government encourages every property owner in the state to key into this programme, explaining that documentation confirms their true status as home owners; enables them to enjoy significant discount and, in the process, obtain proper legal titles—C of-O, Deed of Sublease—and building plan approval. “The value of the property will be enhanced and become more marketable as buyers can confidently buy when they know that title documentation is available; property with correct legal status and documents can be used as collateral for bank loans and other business transactions; disputes over ownership will be minimized in the event of death as heirs are sure of a valid inheritance; property related fraud and problems would be reduced, and residential areas will benefit from the state government’s urban renewal policy through effective planning for facilities”, the state assured. The statement however, warned that properties built under PHCN high tension cable, within the right of way of NNPC pipeline, built on flood plains, substandard or defective properties, property subject to legal dispute etc are not eligible for participation in the programme.


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HOMES & PROPERTY Stakeholders’ tasked on OAU new master plan project CONTINUED FROM PAGE 32 opment of the university. Speaking at the inauguration of Stakeholders’ Forum and Presentation of Findings in the on-going master plan review project, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Ayobami Salami urged the participants to contribute meaningfully to ensure that the university produces an enduring master plan. He said the project has been on along the vision of the founding fathers, but because of the dynamics of the time, “there is a need to review the master plan to see what can be taken or re-modified to ensure that Ife, remains Great Ife.” The Director, Physical Planning and Development Unit (PPDU), Mr. James Ayodeji, who was represented by Mr. Adebayo Owolabi explained that “ with rapid population growth and changes experienced by the university over the years as well as pressure which has led to the overstretching of academic, social, economic and infrastructural facilities, it became a necessity to undertake a review that will accommodate changes besieging the old plan.” He said: Our expectation is that after these stakeholders’

consultations, accelerated actions will be taken by the consultant to conclude the project. This include recommending strategies, policies, actions and concrete proposals aimed at improving the existing situation taking into cognizance of the university strategic plan, the university environment policy and the National University Commission (NUC) minimum standards for preparing master plan of universities.” According to the Principal Partner,  Femi Olomola and Company, Dr. Femi Olomola, the firm is adopting citizens’ participation approach in the project. “The entire university community will have a say at every stage of the project so that they will see the end product as our master plan and not their master plan,” he said. Olomola disclosed that the stakeholders’ forum members were selected from all the sectors/units within the university such as Head of Departments, Provosts, Directors of units and representative of the Vice Chancellor office, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and Regional Centre for training in

Zamfara commits to UNHABITAT’s urban planning scheme CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 jobs which are crucial in addressing the problem of youth unemployment,” he s a i d . On his part, Dr. Clos noted that Zamfara is a wellendowed state adding such wealth ought to be augmented with planned urbanisation. “I think you can take charge of urban development in your state but this comes with a shift in mentality. We should not only concentrate on construction but other economic services like banking. I am also told that agriculture is thriving in that state and it would be very important to link agricultural and urban development,” he said. Director and Chief Scientific Advisor, Prof. Oyebanji

Oyeyinka, who is the overall coordinator of the programme listed the benefits of the partnership which include Zamfara plugging into UNHABITAT’s vast network of partners, relative lower cost of projects compared with private consultancies and the leveraging of funds and international aids based on the outcomes of the p r o g r a m m e . By the signing of contribution agreement, this now brings to six the total number Nigerian states that have entered into a similar agreement with UN-Habitat. Others are Anambra, Ondo, Osun, Nassarawa and Kogi. Reports from that country indicate that several other states are also showing interest of coming on board.

Aerospace Surveys. He added that the forum members are expected to comment on findings from the studies conducted on all existing land use systems and infrastructure within the university, which will form the basis for other stages of the project. The forum will also offer recommendations on the sources of assistance in terms of funding to implement the revised master plan. Olomola further said the project has been delayed due to some unforeseen circumstances such as getting the survey plan of the 6,250 hectares of land acquired for OAU in 1979, delay by consultants to conclude studies, trade union strikes, and getting the up-todate base map of the universi-


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HOMES & PROPERTY

3INVEST plans mortgage clinic at property forum Mortgage Finance OWARDS globalising the T real estate digital space in Nigeria, 3INVEST plans to host the second edition of the Property Buyers Forum (PBF) during the 2014 Social Media Week at the Four Points by Sheraton in Lagos. The event billed for February has the theme, as “A Connected Africa is the Future”. Social Media Week is a leading media platform and worldwide event with local presence and global reach across Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia aimed at providing the best information, ideas and inspiration to help people achieve more in a hyper-connected world. The Property Buyers Forum is designed by 3INVEST to connect home sellers and buyers. This year’s edition themed “Building your property ladder” was deliberately scheduled to coincide with the Social Media week; a move that reinforces the company’s belief in the potency of Social Media. In a statement issued by the company to commemorate the start of the countdown to the 2014 edition of Property Buyers’ Forum, the Chief Executive Officer of

3Invest, Ruth Obih said “In a bid to immediately expand the awareness and demand end of the recently launched Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, we will have a Mortgage Advisory Clinic in partnership with a mortgage lending institution. Wealth and job creation are some of the benefits of attending the PBF event. “We will educate youths on how they can build a career in Real Estate following the huge job potentials NMRC promises or start a real estate business through social media”. The inaugural edition of the Property Buyers Forum was adjudged a success in all quarters as it served as a platform for developers such as UPDC, Haven Homes, Admiralty Homes, Sage Homes, Prime Water View, Kalyteros etc. to meet with potential property buyer’s thereby catalysing business transactions through the exchange of knowledge and information between Real Estate buyers and sellers. 3INVEST has been credited for driving the digitalization of practices and operation within the real estate sector and market leader in pushing real estate online says event partners.

The forum targets real estate leaders, investors and consumers including: students, homebuyers and mortgage-seekers exploring opportunities to invest in real estate. Attendees are advised to have a rudimentary knowledge of social media as well as have social media accounts so as to be able to join in the conversation which will be streamed live online. Joining 3Invest at its Social Media Week event this year are leading real estate brands such as UPDC PLC, ARM Properties PLC, Dunn Loren Merrifield, AM Facilities and Castles Magazine as they form a case study as how digital practices has contributed to their successes. 3INVEST is one of Africa’s leading real estate brands with technology driven innovations that is changing the way real estate organizations operate in this 21st century. From anchoring the first syndicated real estate show on radio to convening the power brokers in the business for the annual Real Estate Summit, 3INVEST has built a reputation in the sector as the goto company for commercial real estate services in today’s market.

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HOMES & PROPERTY

REDAN urges CBN to disclose recapitalised mortgage banks Mortgage Finance By Emmanuel Badejo HE sealed lip of the T Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over those mortgage bankers that met the required capital base has continued to pose a threat to the business of Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN). Members of REDAN expressed this fear last week in Lagos during the Real Estate Trends 2014 organised by REDAN, South West zone in Lagos at the weekend.

Besides, the developers have urged members to exercise caution when initiating and executing projects as the political campaign for 2015 draws near. The developers     are also apprehensive of the heightened momentum of re-election activities especially in Ekiti, Osun in 2014 and 2015 general elections. They also expressed concern over the delay in announcing the names of Primary Mortgage Banks that meet the N5billion capitalisation benchmark of the CBN. CBN’ s delay  by not making  it public the names of

the PMBs that meet the December 31, 2014 capitalisation   deadline, they said would affect their  businesses negatively, saying they are becoming wary now on the mortgage banks to transact business with. The developers, who gathered in Lagos at the weekend during the association’s forum deliberated on other issues that will shape and impact  their  investment, development and practice in the year. REDAN Chairman, South West zone, Mr Adeoye Akintoye, said the forum was organized to  provide insight for developers of

what they should expect in 2014 as regard government policy, opportunity available, business environment and     how to package their products. Other issues deliberated on during the forum included the newly established Mortgage Refinance Company, CBN tightening of monetary policies and foreign exchange policy; dwindling State revenue and need for aggressive IGR drive;   land reform; mortgage banks capitalization; unlocking of the pension fund; insecurity and reintroduction of tolls by the Federal Government.

While cautioning developers to be  careful  about the way they roll out projects in the election year,  REDAN President, Chief Olabode Afolayan, pointed out that   instability   associated with election year would definitely affect real estate business as successors would not like to associate with the projects or businesses initiated by their predecessors and as such want to slow down things. He appealed to developers to ensure that their transaction is within any administration lie span. Besides, he urged on the need for developers to get

all legal documents as regard their projects and do the right things, adding that whatever they have outstanding, they should try and perfect them, saying, “ This is the best time to plan your future, titles and documents.” A lecturer in the Department of  Estate Management, University of Lagos, Prof. Timothy Nubi, told the audience that the best way for real estate funding is the capital market where they can raise bond and float Real Estate Invest Trust (REIT).

African builders mull formation of continental body Housing ITH eye on the creation W of synergy among the practice and promoting excellence in the building Industry, top professionals in Africa are proposing a new platform for practitioners. The initiative is the brainchild of three African countries Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe and first meeting was held in December in Accra, Ghana. In a statement co-signed by Messrs Chuks Omeife, the immediate past President Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), representing the, Nigeria, Mr. Daniel B. Garwe, repre-

senting Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe and Mr. Rockson K.Dogbegah, representing Chartered Institute of Building/Ghana Institute of Construction, Ghana, they stated that Building professionals are worried by the various problems associated with the building industry on the African continent which include low quality work delivery and building collapses. This, according to them, cannot be allowed to continue hence the essence of the planned platform that will be proactive through training, ensuring adherence to

standard and global best practice. The major reason for this initiative according to the conveners, is for the body to become the leading continental body, promoting excellence in the building profession by bringing together practitioners for the promotion of innovation, sustainability, and global best practices in the delivery of construction services. Other reason includes; Provide leadership in the development and enhancement of the building profession in Africa and its member countries; Promote the achievement of consistently high quality service delivery

by members for the sustainable growth and development of the African continent; To strengthen technical and ethical standards of practice through peer review and adoption of global best practices and to partner with stakeholders and like-minded organizations in fostering and sustaining socio-economic development of Africa. The core values to be promoted by this body include; integrity (time, cost and quality satisfaction on all building projects) using the concept of international standards and best practice templates; Ethical conduct (transparency and protec-

tion of public interest); Continuous professional development and career development; Integration for regional development and to promote sustainability in the construction industry. “It is anticipated that member countries who subscribe to the body will derive immense benefit including, having opportunities to peer review and share industry experience and knowledge skills and technology transfers to enhance local capacity of member countries and to promoting cooperation and joint ventures collaboration”, said the statement,

which also the benefit seeks to influence government policy in favor of indigenous contractors and local practitioners and serving as a platform for continuous professional development among member countries. It informed that work has commenced immediately to ensure that this body comes on board as soon as possible. A tentative date of August 2014 has been fixed for the official inauguration and launching in Abuja, Nigeria and a progress review meeting has been slated for 26th29th of March 2014 in Harare, Zimbabwe.


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HOMES & PROPERTY Experts seek National Construction Industry Development Agency Construction By Tunde Alao construction LforEADING experts have advocated the government to prepare an enabling legislation and possibly, establish a National Construction Industry Development Agency, which will undertake a comprehensive reviews of the state of the industry and its concerns.

They believe that the construction industry should effectively play its role in the economy by realising its potential to create jobs in all parts of the country as well as stimulating business activities in other sectors of the economy. Professor George Ofori, from National University of Singapore, who spoke on “Construction Industry: Regulation and Development”at a  threeday conference organised

by the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), last week. The conference, staged by the University of Lagos (UNILAG), in collaboration with the Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom (UK),  had as its theme: “Construction in Developing Countries and its Contribution to Sustainable Development He  noted that developing nations, like Nigeria must

appoint consultants, or appoint a committee to undertake a preliminary study of the construction industry to know the strength or weakness of their workers; establish inter-ministerial steering committee to provide framework and procedures that can meet the needs of the industry; and carry out effective statistics of construction industry and cont r a c t o r s . Ofori queried: “If Nigeria

in considered as the greatest economy in West Africa, how strong are her contractors? Is there a legislation that guides professionals or contractors in the discharge of their responsibilities?” The Vice Chancellor, Professor Rahman Ade Bello, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Duro Oni also advocated the participants to develop a sustainable plans that are capable of enhancing Nigeria’s construction

Alphamead Facilities to host retail managers Facility Management NE of Nigeria’s premier O facility management company, Alphamead

Facilities and Management Services Limited, has concluded plans to host key players in Nigeria’s retail sector to a oneday seminar. During the event, the com-

pany will be partnering with Cluttons LLP, a limited liability partnership of Chartered Surveyors, based in the United Kingdom, to offer a free one-

on-one management consultancy for all levels of retail projects in Nigeria. The event, with the theme “Adopting Global Best

Practices For Retail Centre Development And Management In Nigeria”, will hold on Tuesday, at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

industry, promised that UNILAG will always collaborates with the group in all its endeavours. The Conference co-Chair, Professor Godwin Idoro, said  CIB, said was established in 1953 with the objectives of stimulating and facilitating international cooperation and information exchange in building and construction between nations and organizations that engage in technical fields of research especially research institutes. Idoro, who noted that the construction industry in Nigeria is characterized by several vices, said that no country can dream and experience development without an efficient and effective construction industry.


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HOMES & PROPERTY Lagos, Ibeju-Lekki communities parley over development plan Urban Development By Tunde Alao line with the physical IfiesNplanning law, which speci‘bottom-up approach’ in land matters, Lagos State Government last week held talks with the homeowners and residents within IbejuLekki to ensure its development plan for the area becomes a reality. The  sensitization meeting, held at the Igando Oloja’s Headquarters of Ibeju-Lekki Local Government (LGA), attracted government officials, drawn from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPPUD), and its agencies that included the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA); Lagos State Building Control Board (LABSCA); and Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority (LASURA); the leading traditional rulers from the community and local government officials among others. The meeting, aimed at sensitizing the community members of the government’s plan for the area designated as “Future of Lagos”, unfolded where major infrastructure,

Firm opens N280m office complex in Port Harcourt CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 land area of 586 square meters and built up space of 255 square meters. About 331 spaces are reserved for parking while additional space will soon be added to the entire space to increase the parking lots. The left wing has two suites, while the right wing is an open floor plan from the first to the second floor. The third floor has a balcony or projection that can be used as an office space. But it was adopted in the fourth floor occupied by the firm as visitors’ room. The third and fourth floors are similar in space and design. The pent house has an in-house training room and a rest room opened to members of staff. The property firm is already wooing prospective tenants such as banks, financial institutions and corporate entities including professional firms. Finished with a mix of special Italian ceramic tiles and granite, all the first three floors are being offered for letting. In the left wing, each of the space is 75 square meters, while the right wing is 150 square meters. Each of the wings has two conveniences and each floor has four conveniences. Other facilities provided in the complex are water treatment plant, 250 KVA generator, dedicated transformer and passenger lift. “We anticipating quick occupation by tenants, considering the location of our complex and increase in demand for commercial property by tenants. Accessibility is wonderful. From here, you can connect Oluobasanjo into Aba road or connect Sani Abacha to Ikwerre Road. It is very central and road network is fantastic,” he said.

While officials are emphasizing the need to conform to the Ibeju-Lekki master plan by individuals and developers, in view of its status as the “Future of Lagos”, but affected land owners are of the opinion that layout approval should have been incorporated in the excision document, without a different charge for the exercise amenities and other facilities are to be located. The meeting also was meant to avail the residents and land owners their responsibilities and obligations in the scheme of development in the axis. Besides, it was also intended to know the requirements that would allow the landowners possessed the landed properties government excised to them, which was one of the crucial points

of

discussion. Among major infrastructure proposed for the area,according to the Director of Development Matters, LASPPPA, Mr. Ayo Adediran include the International Airport, which land has been earmarked for its several components; light rail, International Conference Centre; Access roads; Coaster Road from Goshen Estate to the Free Trade Zone end;

Right of Way (ROA), for installations of power equipment, among others. Besides, Adediran mentioned that there are areas carved out for private estate developments, schools, hospitals, bridge that would link Ibeju Lekki to Itoikin, a community along Ijebu-Ode-Epe Road, and other public instit u t i o n s . He said the clarification became necessary in order to avoid illegal development that may result into demolition on one hand and also to intimate the people with the overall development plans in the face of allegation of unauthorized land transactions that has become prevalent in the area. Speaking at the meeting,, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban

Development , Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, while appealing for conformity with physical planning law, noted that government wanted to avoid a situation by which people would fall into the wrong hand of the law. Ayinde informed the gathering that government was conscious of these excisions, in that they are being done in view of the overall development plan of the area. Therefore, every bit of development must be in conformity with the overall plan. The Commissioner lamented that out of 99 excisions, only four beneficiaries have come with their layout plans. However, community leaders who spoke at the parley alleged that the amount government is charging was

beyond their control. A leading traditional ruler in the area,  Oba Fatai Elemoro, while asking government to reduce the fees, berated officials for acquiring a large portion of land earmarked to establish “New Lagos”, but which nothing is being done to actualize the project. Responding, Ayinde assured them that government would look into their complaints regarding the alleged exorbitant charges on layout and other sundry complaints. General Manager, LASPPPA, Mr. Rotimi Toyin Abdul, a Town Planner, while emphasizing the significance of the stakeholders’ meeting noted that achieving sustainable physical development requires “bottom-up and broad based” active participation of all whose interest are affected.


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48 MONDAY, February 3, 2013

TheEnvironment

One of oil spill sites in the Niger Delta region...a major cause of ecosystem decline

Report warns on sharp decline in global ecosystem, environmental degradation The Environment O prevent spread of enviT ronmental degradation, which poses a great threat to

the world’s land use system, leaders and environmentalists are to pursue an agenda encourage would that improved information systems, especially to monitor domestic and foreign land use foreign land use for domestic production and consumption, else several millions of landed property may be lost, a newly released report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has warned. Specifically, the report says that up to 849 million hectares of natural land - nearly the size of Brazil - may be degraded by 2050 should current trends of unsustainable land use continue. Though, the report recognised the fact that the need to feed a growing number of people globally has led to more land being converted to cropland at the expense of the world’s savannah, grassland and forests, however, the development has resulted in widespread environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity, affecting an estimated 23 per cent of global soil. Agriculture currently consumes more than 30 per cent of the world’s land area, and cropland covers around 10 per cent of global land. Between 1961 and 2007, cropland expanded by 11 per cent, a trend that continues to grow.

The findings of the International Resource Panel show that the world has witnessed an unprecedented sharp decline in terrestrial ecosystem services and functions during the past decades. Forests and wetlands have been converted to agricultural land to feed growing populations but at a cost that is not sustainable The report, entitled Assessing Global Land Use: Balancing Consumption with Sustainable Supply, was produced by the International Resource Panel: a consortium of 27 internationally renowned resource scientists, 33 national governments and other groups, hosted by UNEP. UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “The findings of the International Resource Panel show that the world has witnessed an unprecedented sharp decline in terrestrial ecosystem services and functions during the past decades. Forests and wetlands have been converted to agricultural land to feed growing populations but at a cost that is not sustainable.” “Recognizing that land is a finite resource, we need to become more efficient in the ways we produce, supply and consume our land-based products. We must be able to define and adhere to the boundaries within which the world can safely operate to save millions of hectares by 2050,” he said. “Recommendations from the report are meant to inform policy and contribute to ongoing discussions on targets

and indicators for sustainable resources management as the world charts a new course for sustainable development post-2015, “ he added. The report outlines the need and options to balance consumption with sustainable production. It focuses on land-based products, such as food, fuel and fibre, and describes methods to enable countries to determine whether their consumption levels exceed sustainable supply capacities. At the same time it distinguishes between gross and net expansion of cropland. Under a business-as-usual scenario, the net expansion of cropland will range from 120 to 500 million hectares by 2050. Shifts to more protein-rich diets in developing countries and a growing demand for biofuels and biomaterials, especially in developed countries, are increasing the demand for land. The report attempts to answer the question: how much more land can be used to serve the growing demand for food and non-food biomass while keeping the consequences of land use change (e.g. deforestation) at a tolerable level? The report builds on the “Safe

Operating Space” (SOS) concept, which underpins the notion that once human activity has passed certain thresholds or tipping points, defined as “planetary boundaries”, there is a risk of irreversible and abrupt environmental change. The International Resource Panel uses the SOS concept as a starting point to understand how much more land use can occur before the risk of irreversible damage - in particular through biodiversity loss, release of carbon dioxide, disruption of water and nutrient cycles and loss of fertile soil becomes unacceptable. It calculates that the global cropland area available for supplying demand could safely increase by up to 1,640 million hectares. But warns that under business-as-usual conditions the expected global land demands by 2050 will overshoot this safe operating space. Monitoring global land use of countries and regions for their domestic consumption gives an indication of whether they have exceeded or are within their safe operating space. For the European Union, for instance, 0.31 hectares per per-

son were required in 2007. This is one-fourth more than what is domestically available in the EU, is one-third more that the globally available per person cropland in 2007, and is well above the 0.20 per person SOS target for 2030. The report says that the key causes of our global challenges are linked to unsustainable consumption levels, but in high-consuming countries only a few policy instruments address excessive consumption habits and the structures that encourage them. At the same time, with an expanding global population and a worldwide trend towards urbanization, up to 5 per cent of the global land (around 15 billion hectares) is expected to be covered by built-up areas by 2050. In many cases, built up areas expand at the expense of agricultural land, and agricultural land expands at the expense of forests, particularly in tropical regions. In addition, in the past five decades, deforestation has occurred at an average rate of about 13 million hectares per year. While the world’s average agricultural yield growth is slowing, the opportunity to increase productivity in regions with lagging yields, like sub-Saharan Africa, seems promising. Capacity building on best management practices, integrating scientific and local know-how and investing in the remediation of degraded

soils offer strong potential for maximizing yield. In high-consumption regions, more efficient and equitable use of land-based products is required. Up to 319 million hectares of land can be saved by 2050, if the world follows a combination of measures designed to keep cropland expansion within the safe operating space. The measures, as recommended are to improve land management and land use planning in order to minimize the expansion of buildup land on fertile soils; invest in the restoration of degraded land. Also recommended measures are to improve agricultural production practices to increase intensification in an ecologically and socially acceptable way; monitor global land use requirements of countries for the total consumption of agricultural goods in order to allow comparisons with the global average and sustainable supply and implications on sectoral policies; and reduce food waste and shift towards more vegetable diets and reduce the subsidization of fuel crops including the reduction and phase out of biofuel quotas in consuming countries. According to the report, more than half of the synthetic nitrogen fertilizer ever produced has been used up in the past 25 years and by 2005, the 10 largest seed corporations controlled half of all commercial seed sales; the top 5 grain


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THE ENVIRONMENT

Stakeholders express concern over shrinking of Lake Chad

Minister decries poor water sector management Water Resources From Joke Falaju, Abuja ONCERNED at the state of water management in Nigeria, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe has called on a newly established group, Water Operators Partnership (WOP), to evolve a corporate governance that would boost the sector. Speaking at the launching of WOP at the weekend in Abuja, Ochekpe bemoaned the financial loss the country has been incurring due to poor management. Apparently citing a report by the United Nation World Water Development, the Minister said it was unfortunate that Nigeria was among other African countries that lose $28.4billion annually. According to her, the loses, which represent five percent of the continent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) were recorded due to lack of access to portable water and basic sanitation. Lamenting the conditions of water supply, the Minister said water infrastructures and distribution networks were deteriorating due to poor management and neglect, she noted: “Nigeria has the lion share of this loss and the continuous delay in sector development would only make the loss large r . “Performance of the water agencies are not good, cost recovery is still a distant dream for virtually all the agencies. As at today, there is hardly any city in our country where 24/7 waste provision is guarant e e d . ” She, however, tasked the WOPNigeria to address the challenges through ensuring increased efficiency and professional management of water utilities; change the utility financial structure; and also ensure more vigorous sector governance for improved a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . She maintained that the WOP, which would serve as an umbrella body for all the 37state water boards, would among other things focus on performance appraisal and benchmarking of the water agencies towards improving their efficiencies and effectiven e s s . The World Bank Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist, Hassan Kida pointed out that the major problem facing the country was data management and utilization, noting that most water supply instrument in the country were imported, “but if we are able to know the amount of raw materials needed for water supply in the country, a lot of manufacturers would seek to establish their companies in N i g e r i a ” . He, however, assured that the apex bank was ready to partner with the country in data management and capacity buildi n g . The Chairman local organising committee, Mr. Olusola Sulola, disclosed that the aim of launching the programme in Nigeria was to improve water supply across the nation and to make the state water board more viable with a view to foster cooperation and share experience in the water sector.

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Lake Chad...reaching a deplorable state of loosing all the waters

Climate Change From Joke Falaju, Abuja ROM both the executive and legislative arm of government came last week worrisome statement over the continuous decline of Lake Chad, notwithstanding the Nigerian investments. At a workshop of the 5th meeting of the Joint Audit team on the dry up of Lake Chad last week in Abuja, the AuditorGeneral of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, attributed the deteriorating state of Lake Chad to excessive construction of dams by the federal government to human activities.

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Ukura said the water impounded by most dams in the country was channeled from Lake Chad “They are digging dam everywhere and the water channeled to most of the dam is from Lake Chad and that is why the lake has shrunk to that extent”. According to him, other remote causes included human activities, climate change among others. The Auditor-General, disclosed that a whooping $14.6billion is needed to channel water from River Bangui in Central African Republic to the Lake. He bemoaned that the lake has receded from its initial surface area of 25,000 square

kilometre to 2000 square kilometer thereby causing untold hardship on over 30million people living in the environs. Ukura pointed out that member countries have scaled up investment in the Lake Chad Basin Commission with a financial budget of Cameroon contributing 20percent, Niger 7percent, Chad 11percent, Central African Republic 4percent, Libya 18percent. He said Nigeria contributes the largest share of 40percent, disclosing that from 2008 till date, the government had contributed over N2billion to the commission. He said a joint environmental audit on the Lake is being carried out to verify if signatory

states of N’Djamena 1964 convention comply with the standards and best practices of better water and resource management with a view of restoring lake back to what it use to be. “I want to advise that the updated audit work plan be faithfully implemented so that the updated audit work plan if faithfully implemented would reverse the drying up of the Lake Chad which had declined to one tenth of its former size over the past 50years. The Senate Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, Dr. Ahmad Lawan lamented that the country has waited too long for Lake Chad to reach very deplorable state of

loosing all the waters “and its good that all the member country are doing all they could to recharge the water” he noted. “Every country will want to see a Lake Chad that is revitalized and rejuvenated so that the economy we use to experience in the 70s and 80s is brought back.” Senator Lawan from Yobe state and the first Senator to move the motion on shrinking Lake on the floor of the Senate expressed worry over the condition of the Lake, saying his people from Yobe state which is one of the border community affected by the lake are suffering”.

Lagos wades into Games Village’s sewage, water system collapse The Environment OTHERED that by the uncoB ordinated water supply and poor sewage system in Games Village, Surulere, Lagos authorities have intervened to save the situation in conformity with the State’s mega-city status.  Recently, the residents of the Games village had laid a complaint to the State government about the unhealthy situation in and around the community resulting from the absence of central water system in the Estate as well as the moribund sewage disposal system. They noted that the original design of the village included  both water and sewage treatment plants. The water treatment plant had been sold off and the sewage treatment plant was no longer being operated. This has resulted in a proliferation of boreholes, septic tanks and even blocked sewer pipes through which septage drains out into the

The state government is planning an intervention to safeguard the overall wellbeing of the residents in particular, to ensure delivery of proper water supply services to the community through central water system in order to discourage indiscriminate drilling of boreholes environment. The residents called on the state government to help address the very serious condition surrounding the estates. These issues and more were canvassed at a stakeholders’ meeting held  at the weekend, in Lagos which was co-ordinated by the Lagos State Water Commission Regulatory (LSWRC) and attended by representatives of the community and other government agencies including the Physical of Ministries Environment, Planning, Health and officials of Lagos Water Corporation. The Village, which was built in 1973 by the Federal Government to accommodate participants at the All African

Games and was subsequently sold to residents in early to mid 2000, comprises about eight Estates with over 600 homes. Chairman, LSWRC, Mr. Taiwo Sebioba, who moderated the session, said the State government’s intervention was imperative to safeguard the overall wellbeing of the community in particular and the State in general. Although the Village and existing facilities were originally built and owned by the Federal Government, he said the State government will not fold its arms to allow further degeneration of the situation to epidemic level, as the welfare of the residents is of paramount

interest to the government. Chief Executive Officer, LSWRC, Mrs. Tanwa Koya who reiterated the Commission’s mandate of ensuring proper delivery of water supply and sewerage (waste water management services) in Lagos State, noted that efforts will be made to ensure delivery of proper water supply services to the community through central water system in order to discourage indiscriminate drilling of boreholes. She noted that the Commission has a mandate to regulate the standard of drinking water in Lagos State and will do  all that she can to protect against contamination. She cited instances of water pipes in drains and gutters as a sure way of polluting drinking water and encouraged consumers to contact Lagos Water Corporation for proper connection to prevent contamination. She stated further that improper wastewater and sanitation management can also be a source of contamination of drinking water,

hence the Commission’s mandate to regulate both water supply and wastewater management in Lagos State. Also present at the Meeting was the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde. He stated that to ensure seamless operation to address the issues raised, relevant Federal Government Agencies will be consulted in view of the role they earlier played in the set up and maintenance of the village, promising that management of necessary existing infrastructures in the community like the sewage plant will receive the urgent attention of the State Government. He promised that the Ministry will start by taking a proper inventory of facilities in the area and also encouraged residents to register under the Lagos Resident Registration Scheme so that the State Government can properly plan for needed infrastructure for water supply and waste-water management.

Sulola, an engineer, pointed


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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2014

BUSINESS FINANCIALGUARDIAN Access Bank partners SMEs on growth strategies, capacity building By Femi Adekoya CCESS Bank Plc has A sought partnership with the stakeholders to drive the growth strategies in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Specifically, the bank, at the weekend, unveiled series of capacity development initiatives for contractors through innovative partnering that seeks to provide strategic solutions to enhance their operational efficiency. The bank’s Executive Director, Business Banking Division, Mrs. Titi Osuntoki, at a Power Breakfast meeting for general contractors in Lagos, said the move was designed to assist the bank validate the appropriateness of solutions recommended for the business owners with a view to enhancing the bank’s services. According to Osuntoki, “the bank aims to be a Tier 1 SME bank and seeks to achieve this through integrated partnership and provision of proactive business banking solutions which makes our contractors winners on all front.” She further revealed that the bank was equally offering other strategic business support initiatives, which ranges from capacity development to networking hub through a specialized SME desk saddled with the responsibility of providing

on field business support and financial advice. Explaining some of the growth opportunities available for general contractors in the bank, the bank’s Head, Support Desk, Diji Atoyebi, noted that with contractors accounting for 60 per cent of the capital

expenditure in Nigeria, particularly in the areas of procurement, among other services, there was a need to provide key solutions to challenges encountered by the business owners. To this end, Diji stated that some of the banking solutions have been designed to

redefine contractors-banking relationship experiences, geared towards growing their businesses and increasing their capacity to handle big projects without financial encumbrances. He identified the solutions to include MPower Salary

Account, Working Capital Finance, Payroll Management, loans and advances and financial support through asset acquisition among others. He added that with proposed solutions, the bank has been consistently positioned as the SME bank of

choice through its commitment to economic empowerment of individuals and growing entrepreneurs through partnership with identified 13 critical segments of the economy that are already benefiting from its empowerment programme.

Head of Corporate Communications, Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Theodora Amechi (left); Ag. Divisional Head, Retail Banking, Mr. Onaolapo Oyawoye; and some female corporate account holders of the bank at the WEConnect International Launch in Abuja.


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58 Monday, February 3, 2014

FINANCIALGUARDIAN

BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Extant interest rate regime inimical

Bello

PHOTOS: SOLA OJEDOKUN

Alhaji Remi Bello is the new president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). In this interview with FEMI ADEKOYA, he talks about some of the issues affecting the real sector and explains how the chamber hopes to enhance its advocacy drive in ensuring that there is ease of doing business in the country. HERE is presently a lot of anxiety about year T 2014 because like every pre-election year, the expectations are high. The LCCI has said both in the business review for 2013 and outlook for 2014, that the private sector would be the most affected by any policy or action that is taken during the year. How prepared is the private sector? What are the strategies that may be deployed to mitigate risks? The private sector as usual, is prepared to face the challenges of the economy and I believe more than ever before and that is the reason why LCCI came up with some of these risks that businesses are likely to encounter in 2014 and it is our belief that when these risks are addressed, businesses will be able to hedge most of them. The major issue for private sector, as I said earlier, is the environment. We are much hopeful that with the energy reform, with the power sector (PHCN) unbundling and the private sector now in place with regards to provision of electricity, I want to believe that the private sector is prepared. When you look at it, the president gave the new investors in the power sector June ultimatum but we believe June is too far. It’s private sector-led and a profit motivated activity, the longer it takes, the more expensive it is for the private sector. By so doing, let the energy be fixed, which I believe in the next few months, we should get this done. The moment this is done, we can be very sure that the economy will turn around. The other area has to do with the political risk. As we all know, it’s the pre-election year where, a lot of activities in terms of uncontrolled spending will be happening. There is a likelihood of inflation in the economy and when there is inflation, there is that tendency for the private sector to be able to operate more, though it will make things expensive for the citizens. I believe the private sector is going to have a better outing in 2014. You said that June was too far for people to start

getting ready to enjoy the benefit of the power sector reforms.  With the government making budgetary provision for fuelling of generators in the 2014 budget, is it not a wrong signal to the public that the power sector reforms may not work considering the amount of money spent by the real sector on diesel. People are expecting a positive turnaround but since the takeover, has worsened and taking longer. I will not want to agree with those people that are insinuating that because the appropriation bill of the federal government budget has made provision for maintenance of generators, which simply means they don’t have confidence in the reforms. I don’t think so. It will be irrational just to say because we have privatised or forced a conglomerate or because we have sold them out, there will be zero budget for electricity. Until you get it right, it will be wrong of them to say no to such allocation. There is what we call comparative analysis. You don’t just move from one region to zero. It doesn’t mean that government is not confident or we don’t believe in the reform. I believe it’s what they need to do is what they have done. The only caution I’ll just want to give, which I believe is necessary to make it work, is that the modes of operation of the electricity investors have to be looked at. The era of estimating bills should be a thing of the past totally. What they should concentrate on right now, yes, for us not to continue the same old ways; is deploy the prepaid meters. I don’t know of any private person that will invest so much in what they have and will not want to make his money back but if there’s this hidden inefficient way of ripping people off, I think the problem will persist. What should be the key priority the government should pursue now is to give mandate or marching order that the billing system should be reviewed. Even in the past, it wasn’t that they were not generating electricity, they were generating electricity but the transmission I believe

was the major challenge and when they were not effectively delivering, they can afford to charge anybody anything by estimating figures. That‘s the area they really need to address. The moment that is addressed, I believe we will achieve better results. The interest rate regime has been consistently maintained within the last two years. With expected changes at the CBN in 2014, does it look like there’s going to be a change? What should be our expectations? Unfortunately, we at the LCCI don’t believe in much change, in the sense that we know the Monetary Policy Rate is being determined by the Monetary Policy Committee. It’s not the decision of a single person, it is the decision of the committee and the committee comprises of many people. If you remove the Governor of the Central Bank, what of the other members that have always believed in retaining the MPR at the current rate. That is why we believe it will still continue for some time until some factors are no longer there. So, we are not expecting any change with the exit of the CBN governor. So, what factors will that be, because if the Bank of England and some developed economies are operating a 0.5 per cent interest rate or a near single digit interest rate, what other factors should we look at to make sure that we can move in such a direction? The interest rate cannot be solely examined; you look at other macroeconomic indices. They move in different directions, they don’t move in the same direction. When you talk of interest rate, you talk of inflation, you talk of exchange rates. It is what you will want to hold on to. Like when you are talking of the interest rate being high in the last two years but we know the exchange rate has been stabilised, the inflation has been managed to a single digit and you will recollect when we

tried to manage the interest rate to a lower rate, the inflation was on a high side, likewise the exchange rates. So, like the CBN Governor has continued to argue, it is what we will hold on to. To me, for now, when you look at it, the real sector is badly hit. I believe we should allow the exchange rate and the inflation to be determined, not necessarily being defended at all cost as the CBN has been going. We know how much they have used to shore up the naira against the dollar. This could have been brought in to manage the interest rate. If this is done, you know what it will lead to the real sector will be boosted, employment will be created; the way we are going about it, I am not totally sure it is the right way to go about it, in the sense that the real sector is suffering. Yes, like it was said the last time, most airlines have been taken over by the Asset Management Corporation (AMCON) because of the high interest rate; most of the airlines were not able to meet up and for what? The rate was so high that they couldn’t meet up. The same thing in manufacturing sector, these are the real employers; same as the agricultural sector. I think it’s an area the CBN has to look at again or the monetary policy committee, I believe so. The interest rate should not be as high as it is if we really mean to grow the economy. In the real sense and not the kind of growth we are having now. We are talking of inclusive growth because somebody will say after all, the growth we are having now is above the global average but is it an inclusive growth? Are we feeling it? No. How do you think the SME sector can be driven to make sure that they become the real growthdriver? This still boils down to what we have been talking about. The major challenge of SMEs in the country today is energy. Most industrial activities of

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FINANCIALGUARDIAN

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BUSINESS INTERVIEW

to real sector’s growth, says Bello CONTINUED FROM PAGE 58 whatever scale will require energy. Let the energy be fixed, that’s number one. The moment energy is fixed, we can now move to other areas. For instance, in terms of funding and capital requirements, there should be special provisions for SMEs in the areas of accessibility to credit facilities. When we talk of SMEs, we are talking of businesses that require maybe five – ten million naira capital but it is not in Development Financial Institutions’ programme for now. They are looking at N100 million to N200 million. So, we should have a kind of financing scheme in place, like they had in the agricultural sector, special schemes for SMEs that collateral would be somehow liberalised. They should come up with something of that nature, that kind of funding approach. Like the chamber now, we have our members that are in the SMEs, we have the MSMEs as well that can be provided with funds and guaranteed by their membership of the chamber.  Furthermore, there should be adequate training for the operators and operatives. I believe if all these are put together, the SME sector would see itself in the right place. The other issue is accessibility to land. When you want to do a project of whatever nature, you will need physical structure where you will operate and the government should assist in this area. Obtaining the approval to the title to a land could be very difficult / cumbersome. This should be addressed. What is your assessment of the nation’s Industrial Revolution Plan? Unfortunately, I won’t want to say we have seen much effect of the Industrial Revolution Plan in the sense that as long as the funding of the credit and the interest rate will be or remains what it is, 25 per cent – 30 per cent), I don’t know how you want to go about it, more so, that this plan we are talking of is around private sector funding and you have to leverage, when you leverage, definitely, the cost of doing business will be on the rise. Since we are saying government has no business in doing business, it’s not government that will do the business, even if they provide an intervention fund, it is going to bear a cost. So it still boils down to what we have been talking about, little can be achieved even with the Industrial Revolution Plan if funding is not well addressed. We have talked of energy, energy is being addressed. For the energy itself, the investors have to take the money from the bank or from wherever, they have to pay the cost and what will happen when it comes back to the consumers. Talking about the trade fair complex, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, last year, announced government’s intention to start a legal process to recover the complex from the current concessioner. What is LCCI’s position on this? The LCCI’s position remains what it has always been, the complex is a purpose built complex for nothing but for trade promotion activities. It’s unfortunate with the way it is turning out now, it is becoming a market; it’s becoming a shopping mall, a shopping centre. That wasn’t the objective. The objective of setting up that place in the ‘70s was for promotion of trade which is not what we are having there right now. What LCCI has continued to clamour for, is that the portion of the entire complex that is remaining for trade exhibition should not be seen like a profit venture but be seen as one of those ventures the government needs to be involved in, not for money making. Like I said, for promoting trade and when we look at it, it was the federal government that was organizing the annual Lagos International trade Fair until it was given to NACCIMA and NACCIMA now transferred it to LCCI as an affiliate or member of NACCIMA to continue running the annual Lagos International trade Fair on behalf of the Federal Government and since then, LCCI has been organizing the annual trade fair without any money from the government. We do it on private level, You can be very sure there is no profit we will be able to make from that kind of venture to be able to compete with somebody who had a different motive of having the exhibition ground. The motive he had in mind was for profit and no more, not even from the trade exhibition, from excising, from selling the access, selling of the

land which has been the pattern since 2008 when they took over. So what we are saying is that it should be returned to LCCI who will continue to use it for the purpose for which it was originally designed for. That is all. What we are saying is, it is not meant for profit making and there’s no way we can even run it for profit, if we want to promote trade and we need to promote trade. What is the state of affairs right now? Has there been any update? The update which I can say not from the federal end but from our own end is that, we have approached the Lagos State Government to assist in ensuring that the place is returned to LCCI. Hopefully, I believe something will eventually happen. It’s not the first time concessioning is revoked, we have seen it in other areas and I don’t think it will in anyway be different but what we are saying is that, let us correct the wrongs of the past. Looking at the infrastructural development that is still ongoing along that route, do you think it is going to be a good idea to go back to the place at this point in time? Not at all, that is why we are planning 2014 trade fair at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan where we had it last year. You see, the objective of whatever we do is our people, putting people under unnecessary stress because they want to attend trade fair is out of it. We don’t want to go into that until that place is ready, not only the infrastructure, the exhibition arena itself, until something is done about it. It may take us some time to think of going back there. Are you looking at enhancing that Business Confidence Index to accommodate some other sectors and also look at the economy in a more robust light and how can government enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria? The business confidence index is relatively new with us at LCCI. It’s not up to two years. Like you said, we can also expand; improve on it and on areas that are not being covered. The beauty of it is that the Business Confidence Index is not unilaterally prepared by the chamber; it’s the result of various information and data gathering from various sectors of the economy. So, the more we have information, the more we have the data, the better the Business Confidence Index we are likely to publish. You can be very sure we are poised; we are determined to build the confidence and be one of the best in the region. This year, government may need to ease the political arena: we should try to avoid heating the polity because it influences the economy so much. The politicians should bring up the patriotism in them so that unnecessarily, they will not heat up the polity. A situation whereby the President and the National Assembly are at each other’s throat will not augur well. Rumours should be avoided. The major area I would want government to address seriously, like we said earlier on, is that the MPR should be looked at seriously. The interest rate is very key if we really want the real sector to come up. I’ve not seen any economy in the world, especially among all the industrialised ones that we are talking of, that grows its real sector with high interest rates. If we want to propel growth (the real growth we are talking of and not the kind of growth we have been having) , something has to happen in the area of interest rate. Furthermore, there should be a new approach to security. The guerrilla war with Boko Haram should be addressed. What should be the expectation of the private sector from your tenure as the new president of the LCCI? As the new president of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), my agenda is a very simple one and it is to ensure the effectiveness of LCCI in its core mandate of advocacy. Effectiveness in the sense that the objective is nothing, but to advocate an enabling and conducive environment for businesses to thrive. The moment that is achieved, I’m okay. We are talking of the organised private sector, we are talking of the economy as a whole, and economy is made up of both the public and the private sectors. The private sector is the arm of the economy that is supposed to be the engine of growth of the economy and for this to happen, we need an enabling environment, a good environment and the chamber is set up for nothing but to advocate good public policies that will lead to this. If I’m able to achieve the effectiveness, I think I am done.

I’ve not seen any economy in the world, especially among all the industrialised ones that we are talking of, that grows its real sector with high interest rates.

If we want to propel growth (the real growth we are talking of and not the kind of growth we have been having) , something has to happen in the area of interest rate.

The private sector is the arm of the economy that is supposed to be the engine of growth of the economy and for this to happen, we need an enabling environment, a good environment and the chamber is set up for nothing but to advocate good public policies that will lead to this.


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FINANCIALGUARDIAN

INSURANCE

Nigerians want affordable products, quality services, say operators By Joshua Nse O drive insurance penetration in this country, insurance companies must provide products and services that meet the peculiar needs of consumers. Chieftains of the industry who spoke to The Guardian said that with the successful enforcement of premium collection before commencement of cover ‘no premium no cover’ in the industry, Nigerians would be yarning for products that create value for the satisfaction of their needs and affordable. The Group Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Akin Ogunbiyi, said that if you wanted to increase insurance penetration in Nigeria, we needed to look at the products and services that

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the common man could benefit to meet his needs, created value and made it affordable. He explained that insurance in Nigeria contributed 0.49 per cent to the GDP and was ranked number 66 among 88 countries of the world. The fact that we have about 170 million Nigerians, insurance contribution to GDP could equally be translated to insurance penetration. It has nothing to do with economic activity, poverty or religion. According to him, government in the last five years had actually done much to help the industry by creating enabling environment for insurance business to strive and occupy its position as one of the major contributors to the national econo-

my. He said: “A significant increase was also witnessed in the Nigerian market especially in the level of regulatory activity. In addition to the continued focus on the market development and restructuring initiatives, National Insurance Commission supervised the development of the first phase of the industry wide Enterprise Risk Management framework aimed at improving the way insurers identify measure, manage and report risks across all the business arrears.” Similarly, he said that insurance companies, as with other publicly listed and significant public interest entities were required to produce financial statements

using the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as against the Nigerian Generally Accepted Accounting Practice previously in force. By far the most significant intervention relate to the enforcement of the Insurance Act provision on collection of premium before commencement of cover. This policy will definitely result in significant increases in production and profitability of the industry. The Managing Director/CEO, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Wale Onaolapo, said that Nigerians did not need to be compelled to do what would add value to their lives, rather they should cultivate a proactive culture of sustaining their wealth and

Directors, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Prof. Pat Utomi (right); Michael Govan; Group Managing Director, Akin Ogunbiyi; and Chairman, Chief Chamberlain Oyibo, during the Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, yearly general meeting (A GM) in Lagos, at the weekend. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON

Mutual Benefits Assurance posts N5bn premium UTUAL Benefits Assurance M Plc has announced gross premium income of N5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2012, against N5.5 billion in 2011. Net premium income also reduced by three per cent from N4.7 billion recorded in 2011to N4.6 billion in 2012. The company closed the year with an underwriting profit of N2.6 billion, representing 13 per cent decrease below the 2011 result of N3.1 billion. The Chairman of the company, Chamberlain Oyibo, addressing shareholders at the 17th yearly general meeting of the company held in Lagos, said: “Without doubt, year 2012 was highly challenging. In spite of all the unanticipated domestic shocks that befell the country in the year,

our investment income recorded a significant growth by almost double of the 2011 result, moving from N486 million recorded in 2011 to N800 million in 2012, representing

64 per cent achievement. The company, he said, reported a loss of N475 million as against a profit of N885 million in 2011. Meanwhile, the asset base grew from N11 bil-

lion to N14 billion in 2012, representing 21 per cent growth. However, shareholders’ fund grew by 19 per cent from N4.1 billion in 2011 to N4.9 billion in 2012.

Standard Alliance records N2.6 billion profit ESPITE challenges in the D underwriting business, Standard Alliance Insurance Plc announced an underwriting profit of N2.6 billion from an underwriting income of N4.99 billion as against N4.25 billion realised in 2011, representing a 17.4 per cent increase in growth in underwriting income. The chairman of the company, Aliyu Yahaya Sa’ad,

addressing shareholders of the company at the 17th yearly general meeting held in Lagos, however, said that the company made a loss before tax of N1.9 billion which largely arose from a comprehensive impairment review of our trade receivables, which rose to N2.8 billion in 2012 compared to N0.783 billion in 2011. This entailed a 100 per cent write down of premium

receivables in preparation for the “no premium no cover” policy commencing in 2013. Nevertheless, he said that we generated a gross premium of N5.38 billion compared to N4.55 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 19.5 per cent. The company also experienced some growth in investment income, which grew to N208 million from N176 million in 2011.

business concerns through a consistent insurance culture, as underwriting companies are ever ready to meet all their obligations. The Managing Director/CEO, RiskGuard Africa, Yemi Soladoye, said that there was need to restore consumer trust and confidence in the Nigerian insurance sector. “There is need more than ever before to restore consumer trust and confidence mechanism, consumer protection and education have to be accorded prime place and institutional building

blocks for insurance development in Nigeria need to be put in place. According to him, thousands of direct insurance consumers are dissatisfied due to poor contract enforcement on claims and related issues. “It is very clear to the insurance companies that the premium paid is money held in trust to the policyholders and there are so many benefits, which the Nigerian policyholders are at the moment not enjoying under their motor, fire, burglary and other insurance

CIIN reiterates policy to promote education HE Chartered Insurance T Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) has assured that it would continue to reinforce the policy thrust of the council for the promotion of insurance education in Nigeria. The Director General of the institute, Kola Ahmed, speaking at the send-forth of the former Director General and other retired management staff of the institute, said that we recognise the immeasurable contributions of these gentlemen who laboured in the past to lay the foundation upon which we are building the robust structures of today. According to him, the secretariat had continued to reinforce the policy thrusts of the governing council and to ensure that the institute’s statutory objectives continue to remain in the front burners of the growth agenda from time to time. “For example, the tremendous progress at the site of the College of Insurance and Financial Management is elating. Very soon, the college will be commissioned for commencement of academic programmes. He said: “Events of the last few months since the commencement of the Presidency of Fatai Kayode Lawal, lay credence to the benefits of forthright leadership and the repositioning of the Institute for greater relevance in the promotion of insurance education in

Nigeria. “The hallmarks of the presidency include the production of an epoch-marking insurance test book for senior secondary schools in Nigeria and the planned donation of the books to over 2,000 public secondary schools in Nigeria.” It also includes the already concluded donation of insurance course books to tertiary institutions offering insurance in all the geopolitical zones of the country as a major step towards equipping the institutions better in the delivery of quality insurance education. The beneficiary institutions have applauded these gestures and have pledged greater co-operation with the institute in ensuring that insurance education is enforced across the country. The President, Fatai Lawal, promised that the council would continually improve the welfare of the secretariat staff and their work environment. According to him, the management and staff had continued to contribute meaningfully to the actualisation of the policy thrusts of council land the realisation of the overall objectives of the institute. In his remark on behalf of other retirees, Mr. Adegboyega Adepegba, thanked the institute for the honour and promised to support the institute to attain greater height.

Union Assurance announces N4.3b premium OTWITHSTANDING in N the business environment, Union Assurance announced gross premium income of N4.303 billion for the year ended December 31st, 2012, an increase of 12 per cent from N3, 842 billion in 2011. Net premium income rose from N2.874 billion to N3.549 billion in 2012. Life and retail business portfolio increased by 61.7 per cent from N1.040 billion in 2011 to N1.681 billion in 2012. The Chairman of the company, Emeka Emuwa, addressing shareholders at the 14th yearly general meet-

ing in Lagos on Friday explained that the company recorded a substantial increase of 21.5 per cent in claims settlement within the period under review, recording N955 million in 2012 from N786 million in 2011. This was largely due to the occurrence of a number of one off claims. The company’s total assets grew by 2.5 per cent N9.026 billion in 2011 to N9.261 billion in 2012. The chairman predicted that 2013 promises to be an interesting and rewarding year for us all even as we grapple with stringent regulatory changes.


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FINANCIALGUARDIAN Remi Aiyela, Editor-in-Chief

editor@NOGintelligence.com www.NOGintelligence.com

UPSTREAM NEWS

Oando Secures $800 Million to Complete ConocoPhillips Acquisition HE ConocoPhillips divestment of its Nigerian assets is finally coming to a close after Oando Energy Resources (OER), the exploration and productioncompanyownedbyOandoPlc,revealedthat it had secured $800 million in loans, which will enable it to complete the acquisition of the choice assets. Oando was announced as the winner of the competitive bid for the assets in December 2012. It then embarked on a marathon fund raise for the acquisition, which is says will cost a net price of $1.5 billion. Oando has already put down a deposit of $450 million. Oando was about to run out of time in November when the American giant extended the close date by 60 days to expire on the 31st of January 2014. Now, justinthenickoftime,Oandohasmanagedtosecure the loans with which to close the deal. In view of the binding agreement for the loans, signed on the 31st of January, ConocoPhillips has extended the longstop date to 28th February 2014. The extension has come at a price after Oando agreed to pay an additional $50 million. Oando is confident of closing the deal following the binding agreements for the loans. They have secured: a) a $350 million corporate facility agreement with asyndicateof Nigerianlenders,aswellasFBNCapital Ltd and FCMB Capital Markets Ltd as the mandated leadarrangers.FBNCapitalwasthefacilityagentand financial modelling bank, while FCMB was the technical bank. First Trustees Nigeria acted as security trustee in the deal. The facility is for 72 months from the date of first draw down. Interest rate is LIBOR plus 9.5 per cent for the first 57 months, going up to 10.5 per cent thereafter. b) a $450 million reserves based lending by a group of Nigerian and international banks including Standard Chartered Bank, BNP Paribas and the Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd. Standard Chartered was the facility agent and security agent in the senior secured facility deal. Interest rate is LIBOR plus 8.5 per cent. In addition to the funding above, on the 28th of January, Oando announced a private placement on the Toronto Stock Exchange where it is listed. The offering is expected to consist of 35,070,063 common shares of the Company and 17,535,051 common share purchase warrants. The company expects gross proceeds to reach $50,000,000. The rest of the funding is coming from a convertible loan from Oando Plc, the 94.6 per cent owner of OER. Oando says that it now has all the funds it needs to close the deal before the longstop date of 28th February. They will take over ConocoPhillips' interests in all its Nigerian assets, which include interests in onshore OMLs 60, 61, 62 and 63; offshore OMLs 131 and 214 (both in deepwater); and Brass LNG.

T

experience from international companies. He is a past President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE). Amni is producing from its interests in two oil mining leases. Oil mining lease (OML) 112, the former OPL 469, located in the Eastern Niger Delta and covering 437 sq km, was granted in 1993 to the company on a sole risk basis just after its formation. OML 117 (formerly OPL 237) also in the Eastern Niger Delta and covering just 50 sq km was awarded to Amni1n 1994. The Ima field which is located over the two OMLs and has been producing since 1996. French international oil company (IOC) Total farmed into the two blocks in 2005 under which it acquired a 40 per cent interest. Under the terms of the agreement, Total relinquished its rights to the crude oil from the known reservoirs of IMA in April 2007. That means that Amni is entitled to 100% of the crude oil from these reservoirs and bears all royalties and taxes due in relation to “Ima oil”. Under the agreement, Amni is carried through the development of gas reserves (2C: 1.6TCF) until production. Total will then recover costs out of revenues from gas production. The Okoro and Setu East Fields are located in OML 112, withthetwofieldsseparatedby6.5kminawaterdepth of 5m to 14m. Total relinquished its right to participateintheOkoro/Setufields,allowingAmniandAfren EnergyResourcesLimited(asContractor)toenterinto a Production Sharing and Technical Services Agreement in March 2006, facilitating field development. In an interview in 2010 to mark his 60th birthday, Chief Afolabi said he was expecting to retire in a few years and a hitch-free succession plan would be in place to facilitate that. It seems he is not going anywhere in a hurry. Chief Afolabi is the only director currently listed on the company’s website and the industry is waiting to see who he will appoint to join him to take the new Amni to the next level.

Afren Recorded Gross Production of 60,000 Barrels in 2013

ONDON stock exchange listed Afren has issued its Lexpects latest operations update which reveals that it to deliver record financial results for 2013. The update showed it achieved sales revenue of around US$1.65 billion and operating cash flow in excess of US$1.1 billion. The company says this was driven by a year-on-year 14% increase in like-for-like net production, principally from the Ebok on oil mining lease (OML) 67 offshore and Okoro fields on OML 113 shallow offshore. Afren recorded total gross production of 59,926 boepd in 2013, with net production of 47,112 boepd. Afren and its partners will commence development of the Okoro Further Field Development, Ebok North Fault Block and Okwok (also on OML 67) in 2014. These are all expected to generate high margin cash flow for the Company. Afren is expecting gross production of approximately 62,000 bopd in 2014 (approximately 40,000 bopd net to Afren), a small increase over 2013, but this takes into account the shut down that will occur during the installation of an additional platform, as well as cost recovery on Ebok. The arrival of a rig on onshore OML 26 will also add to the slow-down in production. Afren’s Nigerian experience has been a runaway success, which has continued with the Ogo discovery on OPL 310 last year. The discovery on the offshore OPL was the largest global discovery in 2013 with P50 gross recoverable resources of 774 mmboe. The Company will now acquire 3D seismic ahead of appraisal and further exploration drilling. Osman Shahenshah, Chief Executive of Afren said: “2013 has been another exceptional year for Afren, with a combination of record financial results, production ahead of guidance and industry leading exploration success.”

DOWNSTREAM NEWS

Afolabi Executes Boardroom Coup at Amni International

HIEF Tunde Afolabi has achieved a major boardC room coup to takeover the chairmanship of indigenous major, Amni International Petroleum and Development Company. One of the most successful indigenous upstream players, Amni had retired army colonel, Sanni Bello as its chairman and Professor Edozien as its vice chairman. Now, in an astonishing move, which took the industry by surprise, Chief Afolabi, who remains the Managing Director, now becomes Chairman of the board. Afolabi is said to have paid $150 million each to Bello and Edozien for their shares in the company. It is not known whether the split was acrimonious but some are saying it was not entirely without rancor and that while the two retirees were willing to put up their shares for sale, the move from Afolabi came as a surprise. Unsurprisingly, the parties involved are remaining tight-lipped about the sale for the moment. Tunde Afolabi is a professional Geologist with over 30 years of oil and gas exploration and production

OPEC Daily Basket Price Stood at $105.09 a Barrel Thursday, 30 January 2014 HE price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood T at $105.09 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $104.57 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The basket price seems to be starting an upward climb once again after falling steadily since 23rd January when the basket price stood at $106.11. Introduced on 16 June 2005, is currently made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).

OIL&GAS WEEKLY

in association with

LEGAL NEWS

RITANNIA-U Gets Extension of Temporary B Injunction over Chevron Divestment An interim injunction issued by a Federal High

Court sitting in Lagos restraining Chevron Corporation of the United States and its Nigerian subsidiary, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) or any of its agents from negotiating the sale of Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 52, 53 and 54, with Seplat Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Limited or any other bidder has been extended. The injunction obtained by Britannia-U on the 16th of December 2013 has now been extended. The parties are due back in court on the 10th of February. Brittania-U had approached the court for intervention in December after alleging that CNL and Chevron USA had been working behind the scenes to ignore the result of the competitive bid conducted for the sale of Chevron's 40 per cent interest in the three oil blocks. The multinational oil company, by the injunction was also ordered not to execute a definitive agreement or any other agreement with Seplat or any other bidder, apart from Brittania-U. Others joined in the suit were CNL, Chevron USA, BNP Paribas Securities Corporation, Mr. Hermant Patel and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited. Sources close to the transaction said that Brittania-U had emerged as the highest bidder, offering a sum said to be somewhere between $1 billion and $1.6 billion, while Seplat and its partners came second with a combined offer of about $900 million.

LADOL Obtains Injunction Against Samsung over Egina Project

AGOS Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) the Lobtained indigenous oil and gas services provider has a temporary injunction from a Federal

High Court in Lagos. The injunction restrains Samsung Heavy Industries from excluding LADOL from the execution of the Egina floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) project. LADOL is a fully integrated offshore tax free base where oil and gas companies can get logistics support for their vessels, cargo, personnel and projects. The lawsuit stems from the June 2013 award of a $3.1 billion construction contract for the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel by Total Upstream Nigeria Limited to Samsung for the Egina Field. Following the award, LADOL revealed that it had won the bid from Samsung for a significant proportion of the steel fabrication and the integration of the FPSO topsides to be carried out at its yard in the LADOL Free Zone. At the time of the award to Samsung, NNPC/Total management was said to have taken the decision toawardtheEginaFPSOcontracttoSamsungafter a comprehensive review of the economics, the track records of the bidders and having met all the requirements of Nigerian Content Development, including 12,000-15,000 tonnes incountry fabrication of topsides. The award to LADOL was greeted with widespread allegations that LADOL lacked the requisite capacity to execute the construction of the FPSO. LADOL had to defend its capability vigorously, explaining that they won the bid from Samsung after three years of submissions, technical analyses and detailed appraisals. Now LADOL has brought in heavy hitter, Fidelis Oditah QC, SAN to lead its action against Samsung claiming in the lawsuit that it has been excluded from the contract by Samsung. LADOL has joined Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (Total), Nigerian Content Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and the Minister of Petroleum Resources in the lawsuit. The indigenous company wants the court to declare that the contract was awarded to Samsung on the basis that a significant proportion of the steel fabrication and the integration of the FPSO topsides would be carried out at LADOL’s yard in the LADOL Free Zone, Tarkwa Bay, Lagos and that the award is subject to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010. LADOL claims that Samsung bid for the contract and represented to Nigerian regulators that LADOL was its local content partner and that it obtained the contract on that basis. It is therefore not open to Samsung or Total to unilaterally exclude LADOL from the execution of the said contract. The company is also seeking an order cancelling the Egina FPSO Project contract, on the basis that the purported exclusion of LADOL from the performance/execution of the contract was a violation of the Nigerian National Content law. Any cancellation of the contract for the project is likely to cause significant delays to the $15 bil-

lion Egina deepwater development. The Egina oil field is located in oil mining lease (OML) 130, 150km off the coast of Nigeria in a water depth of up to 1,750m. The field is being developed by Total Upstream Nigeria (24%) in partnership with CNOOC (45%), Sapetro (15%) and Petrobras (16%). Egina is the third deep offshore development of Total in Nigeria. Production is scheduled to begin by the end of 2017. The oil reserves are estimated at 550 million barrels and the field is expected to produce 200,000 barrels of oil per day At the end of the hearing, Mr Justice Aneke ordered the parties not to take any steps to replace LADOL as the local partner of Samsung on the Egina FPSO Project, pending the hearing and determination of LADOL’s application for interlocutory injunctions, which is scheduled for Friday 7 February 2014.

Appeal Court Throws Out NLNG Objection to NIMASA Appeal HE long running dispute between the Nigeria T Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is continuing in the Court of Appeal. The dispute initially arose when NIMASA sought to impose some levies on NLNG, including a Sea Protection Levy, 3% freight levies on cargo exports and a 2% Cabotage levy. NLNG maintained that it was expressly exempted from payment of such levies by the NLNG Act under which it was established. NIMASA then took matters into its own hands by mounting a blockage preventing vessels from leaving or entering the Bonny Channel. The blockade was lifted after NLNG made a payment to NIMASA of the outstanding claim, but then approached the court for a judicial interpretation of the apparent conflict between the NLNG Act and the legislation on which NIMASA is relying in its claim. On the 18th of June, NLNG obtained an injunction from a Federal High Court ordering the Federal Government and its agencies, which according to NLNG, includes NIMASA, from imposing any charges or taking any steps to obtain or prevent access to NNLG owned or chartered vessels, whether in-bound or outbound from Bonny Channel. NIMASA asked the Federal High Court to discharge the interim injunction. The Court refused and so NIMASA filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal against the refusal of the Federal High Court to discharge the injunction. NLNG then filed an objection to NIMASA’s appeal. NLNG’s objection was thrown out for procedural reasons after the Appeal Court said NLNG was premature and it could not stand and that furthermore, all necessary materials like the ruling being appealed against and the notice of appeal of NIMASA were not placed before it. The

LOCAL CONTENT Aveon Wins Egina Subsea Fabrication Contract VEONOffshore Limited, a leading indigenous oil A and gas engineering and fabrication company, has been awarded a sub-contract for the fabrication of subsea structures for the Egina field, offshore Nigeria, from FMC Technologies Nigeria Ltd. FMC Technologies was awarded a $1.2bn Engineering Procurement Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) contract to provide subsea production systems for the project for the $15 billion development of Egina Field by Total Upstream Nigeria Limited. The Aveon Offshore contract for the provision of more than 5000 tons of subsea structures will be executed by the company at its fabrication yard in Rumuolumeni, near Port Harcourt. The contract will generate more than one million productive man-hours of work. The Egina field was initially planned to be developed as a subsea tieback to the Akpo floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO). Major discoveries in the area, however, led to the decision for a stand alone development of Egina. First steel forthesubseastructure'sfabricationswascutdown in December 2013, and deliveries of the structures are scheduled to begin by mid-2015. Aveon’s success is proof that the push for local content development in oil and gas is working and leading to the great strides being made by local companies in fabrication.


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Media Why broadcasters must pay up their licence fees, by NBC Issue By Kabir Alabi Garba S at Thursday, January 9, 2014, the volume of indebtedness of radio and TV stations (public and private) as well as cable and pay TV services providers to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) stood at over three trillion Naira. The huge debt is as a result of non-payment of licence fees. Before then, December 23, 2013 precisely, the NBC had issued, through paid advert in some national dailies, what it tagged ‘Notice of sanctions on defaulters against the NBC Act’. The public notice appeared with a “list of broadcast stations whose licences have lapsed but have continued to operate illegally without renewal or payment of statutory fees and levies.” The advertorial had three categories of debtors: 18 privately owned stations; 11 government owned stations; and 20 provisional licence offers that have lapsed. In the notice, the airwaves regulatory agency stated that repeated grace periods “given to every licensee to settle all outstanding licence and other statutory fees and levies have expired. Law-abiding stations have since settled their accounts with the Commission and have been issued with fresh Licence certificates.” The commission had threatened that the publication of the names of defaulters would be followed “by the enforcement of appropriate sanctions against such stations in accor-

A

dance with the NBC Act, Cap N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.” But a document stumbled upon put the debt to over three trillion naira. The least indebted station owes one million naira while the highest is eight hundred million naira. A breakdown revealed that 16 private broadcasting outlets are indebted to the broadcasting regulator to the tune of N1.7 trillion while the Nigeria Television Authority, (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, (FRCN) and 34 other state owned stations are indebted to the tune of N1.3 trillion. Even stations (radio and TV) owned by the authority of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are not immune from the indebtedness. Only stations owned by Cross Rivers and Kaduna states have a clean bill with the NBC. The top five debtor stations are Silverbird, DAAR Communication, FRCN, NTA and Niger TV/Radio while the top five states owned debtor stations are Niger, Kebbi, Borno, Plateau and Taraba. An analysis of the bill showed that two stations’ debt is about N1.4 trillion naira while the remaining thirty-seven stations shares the other N1.7 trillion naira. But at the first media parley with print journalists held in Abuja on January 9, 2014, the Director General of the NBC, Mr. Emeka Mba did not hesitate to issue what could be described as final warning. He said: “Let me say this, anyone who does not pay by the end of this month (January, 2014) will no longer be broadcaster, and that should be communicated clearly. He has not

A cross section of participants at the Digital Broadcasting Summit held in Abuja in October 2013

paid or committed to paying in a substantial manner, the licence would no longer be made available. “It is important we do this, if we do not do this now, somebody will say, closer to the election Emeka Mba was brought by the President to deal with us. So, it has to be now, I do not see any reason why you will be broadcasting without paying your licence fees.” Mba drew an analogy with driving a car without driver’s licence, saying, “if policeman catches you, you pay for it. It is simple! People need to act with some level of responsibility to the business they are involved in. You cannot be in a business and the primary thing you are supposed to do is to have a licence and what gives you a licence is paying the fees and upholding the tenets of the code. And if DG of NBC, Emeka Mba you do not have that, you are not in business.” But the push for retrieving the debt really is the digital transition that the commission is pening in our market. So, the regulator has to spearheading which require huge capital lead the way and we are doing the best we can outlay with little or nothing on grounds to with limited resources. We have not got resources and that is why we are pushing our prosecute the project. Mba made reference to this in his submis- licensees to pay up their debt.” But this is February and no licence is revoked sion at the parley while soliciting the cooperyet, despite the ‘final warning’ of January 9. ation of all stakeholders including the media Have all the debtors settled their bills? Not yet in driving the digitization to a logical end. “Even if I have a million dollar, it is not possi- as investigation by The Guardian revealed. It is ble for the regulator to do it (digitization) on gathered that shortly after the parley, a memo its own. We need the active collaboration and was issued to all stations that are yet to settle cooperation of all stakeholders group. The their bills with another one month grace to do media, broadcasters, everyone has to come to so. the party. In some other markets such as UK, The one month grace will expire on February New Zealand, you have the broadcasters lead- 16. But the commission is delighted that “staing the way, but unfortunately, it is not hap- tions are beginning to engage the NBC with payment plans to avert suspension of broadcast and possible revocation of licences.” The NBC Act expressly prescribes some grounds for revocation of licence in its Third Schedule in Paragraph 10 (a) to (k) and in Section 2 (1) (n). On non-payment of licence fees, the NBC Act states that “A licence may be revoked by the Commission … (a) where the prescribed fee has not been paid on the due date.” It is important to note that Section 12 of the NBC Act incorporates and recognizes the “Third Schedule” as the “Terms and Conditions for a licence.” Where such a condition is breached by an operator on any of those grounds despite repeated written notices by the Commission to remedy such breach, the Commission may revoke such licence. The operative word used in paragraph 10 is “may” which does not convey a mandatory obligation on the part of the Commission. Thus, the Commission may decide to adopt other alternative legal means of recovering the money or suo motu revoke the licence of that erring operator or both. The NBC Code in its paragraph 2.5 (a) titled “Licence Usage”, states that “A licence shall only be put to use on payment of a prescribed fee.” This is also a ground for renewal of such licence where the operator has complied with the terms of such licence as contained in NBC show it to the world. This is why Heineken Code paragraphs 2.6 and 2.7. A breach of these provisions will result in decided to offer its next film, The Odyssey, as an opportunity for 20 young men to show us non-renewal of the licence pursuant to parawhat they’ve got. And they are all legendary.” graphs 2.6 and 2.7, and also possible revocaThe TVC was directed by Executive Creative tion of the licence pursuant to the NBC Act Directors Mark Bernath and Eric Quennoy, paragraph 10 (k) which states that “A licence and filmed in Barcelona, Spain. Each of the may be revoked by the Commission...where a men used in the TVC has a skill that makes provision of the National Broadcasting Code him legendary in his own right and they are has been seriously breached.” And in line with the timetable of activities on all real ‘men of the world’. NorielVilela calls the music used 16 digitization announced at the January 9 parToneladas and the boat set was built on a car ley, the launch of Jos as Switchover Test City park by the beach just outside Barcelona, was held last week. The choice of Jos is Spain while the set included a 10-foot deep premised on the realization that “Plateau pool on the boat, which required a special State is compact; having a fair compliment of government-owned and privately owned diver to dive in such shallow water The advert which is already live on a variety broadcasting stations. of platforms across broadcast and digitalis With that launch, it is assumed that the mas90 seconds long,it can be viewed on sive campaign to galvanize Nigerians with YouTube along with the casting videos at digitization had commenced and this would continue until the switchover date of http://youtu.be/swagm8F4h7k. December 31, 2014.

Heineken unveils The Odyssey TVC OR the first time in the brand’s history, Ftional Heineken, the world’s leading internapremium lager beer, has changed the way it delivers its Television Commercial (TVC) content, as it unveils its latest global ad campaign, The Odyssey. The new TVC celebrates the premise that every man is legendary at something. The premium beer brand has cast non-actors in its TVC to play the role of protagonists. Created by HEINEKEN with Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, the advert follows its recent ‘Legends’ platform, which saw a series of ‘Men of the World’ who are pushed to discover their limits and overcome them. However, this is the first time that nonactors have been used in the campaign and given a stage, proving that every man has the ability to become legendary. Premiering in Lagos today, the ad follows the main character’s adventures aboard a

cruise ship as he uses his wit, charm and skills to impress his fellow passengers. Covering everything from a limbo contest, to diving perfectly into a swimming pool, to dancing the perfect conga, the advert gives real men a stage on which they can perform their skills. The advert features 20 non-actors, who were cast in an open casting, where their legendary skills were put to the test. The final 20 were picked for being masters at the skills needed for the TVC, for example diving, conga dancing and sliding down banisters. According to Walter Drenth, Marketing Director Nigerian Breweries PLC, “Our Legends campaign is an entertaining homage to our drinkers and their legendary behaviours. We are convinced that many of our drinkers out there have at least one legendary talent. They just need a chance to


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First Bank Holdings Rebrands Branding BN Holdings PLC, Nigeria’s largest finanFrefreshed cial services group, has unveiled a corporate identity for the entire group. The unveiling in Lagos was witnessed by partners, investors, the media, friends and customers of FBN Holdings. Designed to reflect the company’s strategic direction, and position it to meet the future needs of the market, the refreshed identity was rolled out across the group’s operations, including First Bank of Nigeria Limited. The announcement also marked the countdown to the celebration of another milestone in the history of FBN Holdings, the 120th anniversary celebrations. Founded in 1894 as The Bank for British West Africa, FBN Group’s FirstBank was the very first banking institution to be established in Nigeria. At the event, the CEO, FBN Holdings, Bello Maccido, said; “today’s announcement of the refreshed FBN Group’s identity is an important milestone and the culmination of much hard work. We are committed to building a financial institution that consistently supports growth and that celebrates and showcases the unique characteristics of the diverse nations on our continent. We believe that our continued success will be built on the principle that we will add value nationally, regionally and at continental level. Our customers have always come first and each and every change that we implement as a group is designed to ensure that continues.” Also commenting, the Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, enthused, “the refreshed identity embodies our internal values and

Head, Media & External Relations, Mr. Babatunde Lasaki, Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications FirstBank, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, President, Brand Journalist Association of Nigeria, Mr. Goddie Efose and Head, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Ogechukwu Udeagha at the FirstBank Brand Journalists Media Parley which took place recently. the direction we are headed in as a group, like the iconic elephant, which signifies strength and resilience, two of the greatest traits to have as an individual, as an institution and as a nation. Since launching in 1894, the FBN brand has established itself as a brand of strength and dynamism, with the vision to be the leading international finan-

Brands that serve consumers win in the market place, says CEO Unilever N order to ensure that its brand Ithrough keeps exciting the market meeting consumers needs, Unilever Nigeria last week in Lagos held a customer forum, where it interacted with its key distributors across Nigeria. The event was also used to appreciate distributors who were outstanding in 2013 with many smiling home with gifts and awards. The Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, Mr. Yaw Nsakorh, commenting on the reason for the forum, said that distributors are essential part of the business model for any organisation that is serious about serving its consumers. “They are our trade partners, we work with them to create values for our consumers so that we could build the brand essence that we are looking for. And in any true partnership, one of the things that lubricate it is recognition. “This evening is an opportunity for us to appreciate all the works that had been done across Nigeria in order to be able to express our brands appropriately and take products even to the remotest part of the country, so that our loyal consumers will be able to get them. It is also to build the basis for the future growth of the business by strengthening the relationship with our partners. “We are showing appreciation for our partnership that has continued to grow and in the process strengthen distributors businesses and our businesses. It is just a matter of policy, it is a matter of recognising that in any relationship, an acknowledgement of the contribution of each other to the solidification of the relationship is necessary and that is what we are doing.” For the consumers, he said the

They are our trade partners, we work with them to create values for our consumers so that we could build the brand essence that we are looking for. And in any true partnership, one of the things that lubricate it is recognition. company exist because of them, promising that it would continue to listen to the consumers as well as try as much to anticipate their needs from the signals that the firm sees, amplify them in order to build strong brands that provide solutions that improve their lives. “The main reason we exist is to serve consumers and provide services to improve their lives, that is what Unilever has been about since creation and that is what it would continue to be about. We believe that by so doing the consumers’ lives will improve and we would continue to grow as a business.” Nsakorh who recently took over the mantle of leadership of Unilever Nigeria disclosed that in moving forward, said that he hopes to erect more strong strategy on the foundation that his predecessor laid. He said he would be doing so because “Nigeria’s place in the global construct into the future is beyond dispute. What we want to do is to ensure that our brands are strengthened into the future, so that we shall participate in and contribute to the growth of Nigeria within the global construct. And in that effort, doing the africa’s business would become the business of our dream.”

cial services group in Sub Saharan Africa. “Our brand is at the heart of the holistic experience we seek to deliver to our stakeholders, an essential part of retaining patronage and the competitive edge that keeps us at the coveted position of market leader. Refreshing the FBN Group brand is a major milestone in a wider strategic plan to

ensure that the group is more efficient and effective in delivering on the needs of its customers. Our approach places the highest priority on the needs of our customers.” Far more than a logo, the new corporate identity is designed to ensure that the FBN Group continues to be at the forefront of the African financial services industry.

For aiding brand penetration, Inbisco rewards distributors OR helping to deepen its brand FInbisco penetration in the Nigeria market, Nigeria Limited, the commercial arm of Mayora Group, last week, rewarded distributors who recorded outstanding sales performance in 2013. At the end of the day, five of the distributors got a bus each and were presented the keys to their buses by the Country Manager, Inbisco Nigeria Limited, Mr. Emeka Ajoiyi, who said that the gesture was part of the company’s culture of rewarding excellence as well as encouraging its distributors. Ajoiyi said, “it is highly fulfilling to see some of our distributors smile home with brand new buses, which is in line with our culture of rewarding excellence and adding value to the business of our trade partners. Inbisco has a penchant for building a lasting relationship with her partners and today’s event goes to buttress the point that we care for our customers.”

The Inbisco boss disclosed that besides rewarding the distributors, who excelled in their sales target last year, the company will equally send four staff who distinguished themselves in 2013 for an exchange programme in Indonesia, the company’s head office. He said the exchange programme is part of a deliberate policy to ensure that his organisation is an employer of choice where excellence is not only rewarded, but celebrate. Ajoiyi stated that the programme was aimed at exposing the staff to international best practices while broadening their knowledge on new production techniques and market execution. Commending the distributors for their supports last year, he pleaded for more supports in the years ahead to further penetrate the Nigeria. Giving an insight into the profile of the Mayora Group, which was establish in 1977, he said it is the second largest food manufacturing compa-

ny in Indonesia, went public in 1990 and has eight business categories. CEO of Mayolaa, Mrs Agbo Nwanneka, who applauded Inbisco for the bus gift, said though it has been challenging meeting the targets, it has, however, been a wonderful experience as the company has been providing various support. She thanked the management of the firm for keeping to its promise stating she is happy and overwhelmed with joy because of the bus gift as it would aid her to provide better service to her customers. Managing Director, Hamir Investment Limited, Kano, Alhaji Hamisu Rabiu, who said he was grateful, thanked the management of the company for keeping to its promise. “This shows that the management is concerned about our business and we are going to put in more effort so that come 2014, we achieve better sales to be the number one distributor and win more than a bus,” he said.

TNS RMS opens facility to deepen brand knowledge N order to help organisations and Itheir agencies have better insight about brands through research, TNS RMS, the market leader in Consumer Research and Insight business across West, East & Central Africa has opened its first Computer Aided Telephonic Interviewing (CATI) facility in Lagos. TNS RMS being a pioneer in Market Research Industry set out three years ago on a strategy of collecting all data using digital or electronic means. Today they utilise mobile phones and tablet devices in over 75 % of their face to face fieldwork (also known as Computer Aided Personal Interviewing – CAPI) and now have added telephonic interviewing to its capability extending the ability to reach over a 100million Nigerian consumers and those in neighbouring West African markets. Historically the modus operandi

for Research Agencies is to interview consumers using a pen and paper based methodology (PAPI). This can be slow to execute due to the nature of mobilising field teams and the process involved in printing questionnaires, not to mention prone to quality issues that involves using a stringent Quality Control process. With telephonic interviewing the execution time is much quicker due to the ability to reach to reach a large number consumers quickly just by making a phone call. Additionally quality control is conducted in real time as it offers the ability to monitor interviews and check exactly what the interviewer is capturing into the system. Essentially all of this means a faster turnaround and a more cost effective solution for conducting research.

CATI may not be for every project, however, it gives TNS RMS an additional methodology to consider when designing research studies for their clients and it theory enables them to reach out to the 65% of Nigerians who now use a mobile phone to participate in research. At the heart of TNS RMS’s investment in the CATI centre is an IT system that provides full management of the interviewing process and encompasses a Dialler. The dialler enables TNS RMS to handle huge databases of phone numbers for optimal productivity. Other benefits to this capability include the ability to monitor fieldwork progress in real time and faster turn-around on reporting than other methodologies. This investment means TNS RMS are the only agency in West Africa able to offer a truly ‘state of the art’ telephone interviewing methodology.


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Labour activist joins Oyo guber race From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan ABOUR activist and retired official of the Oyo State Wing of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Olu Abiala, has formally expressed his interest in the gubernatorial ticket of the Labour Party (LP). At a meeting of the party officials presided over by the state chairman, Bashiru Apapa, held at the party’s secretariat on New Ife Road, Abiala’s political group, ‘Pace-Setter Advance Movement’ (PAM) donated a branded bus to the LP for its smooth operation. Commending the LP officials for what he called their resilience, doggedness and patience, he said: “The party started without attraction to membership because of its abject situation, it could not boast of godfathers and sponsors and so lacking in all it takes to mobilize the people for political advantage and has thus remained in opposition since this democratic dispensation. “Almost beggarly, you have consistently maintained the integrity of the party, financed the party secretariat and held the leadership together. I rejoice with you that in your abject, you remained committed to God and the people and today, God is already smiling at you, ready to give you the rest and comfort and to reward you for diligently and tenaciously holding on to Him.” Dwelling on his aspiration to lead the state, the gubernatorial hopeful charged the party leaders that the time had come to re-engineer the state and reconstruct it towards the people and to make the beauty of the environment cohere with the beauty of the people and their happiness.

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Front row for NDDC employee R

OBERT Kennedy College (RKC), a private educational institution in Zurich, Switzerland, has enrolled an Assistant Director at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Pius Ughakpoteni, on the Dean’s list of outstanding students. Prof. David Costa is the Dean of RKC, which partners with several universities in the United Kingdom by providing tailor-made  software for online delivery of Master’s degrees, bestowed the award on Ughakpoteni, also a prolific journalist, for his performance while studying for a Master of Arts degree in Leading Innovation and Change, MALIC. The degree was awarded by York St John University, in the UK. According to Mr. Kelly Boler, of the Dean’s Office at RKC, who announced it on the college website, Ughakpoteni was named for the award by for his outstanding performance during his MALIC studies. He said: “Ughakpoteni is both an RKC graduate and a student. He was so happy with his studies in the MALIC programme that he enrolled in the Leadership and Sustainability MBA where he is now. All of his studies come together in his work for the NDDC where he has worked for several years.” By making the Dean’s List, Ughakpoteni etched his name and that of the NDDC, in gold, as the first African to be so honoured at RKC. The award was first bestowed on Dr. Anurag Saxena, a Canadian, in 2008. Information on the col-

Boosts Africa’s profile at Swiss school

Ughakpoteni lege website shows that since then, no African has been enrolled on the Dean’s List. Reacting to the award, some of Ughakpoteni’s fellow students from Africa and other parts of the world described his achievement as highly inspiring. Mr. Djamil Remodkhan, Private Banker at Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited, said: “Ughakpoteni is inspiring a lot of people. I hope other people in his country

and other parts of the world follow his steps.” According to Mr. Michael Ogunfowora, Regional Technical Manager at MTN Nigeria, “It is good to read about a fellow country man being recognized for making the Dean’s List. It gives me great joy that leaders required to take Nigeria to greater heights are gathering at Robert Kennedy College.” Ms. Annette Levy, an educa-

tion manager in Japan, described Ughakpoteni as “an amazing role model for us.” Ughakpoteni attributed the honour to God. He said: “With God in you and you in Him all things are possible, provided you work hard and smart.” Shortly before Ughakpoteni bagged a Master’s degree at York St John University, UK offered in collaboration with and he enrolled for an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability at the University of Cumbria. However, with the earlier Master’s degree he was admitted for a doctorate degree at the Middlesex University in London. All of his studies come together in his work for the NDDC where he has worked for several years. In an interview in the college magazine, Ughakpoteni (MA, MNIM, ANIPR, MCIPR, MIPRA, MCMI, MInstLM): said: “In 2011 I took a momentous decision to go back to school for a Master’s degree in Leading Innovation and Change, MALIC, without leaving work. I started the MALIC studies at RKC on September 1, 2011. “It was a highly challenging adventure, as I studied alongside carrying out my duties as a member of the management cadre in the Niger Delta Development Commission and running a nuclear family of almost 10, but coming to RKC ignited my longstanding desire to reach the pinnacle of education. Hence, since October 2012, I have been doing an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability, also at RKC, which coursework I completed December 2013. Moreover, with the MALIC, I

have been admitted for a Doctorate degree at Middlesex University, London.” Sharing his experience of working and studying, Ughakpoteni said: “My study at RKC has deepened my insight into the different antecedents of innovation and successful change that need to be strengthened in my work and working environment. It has boosted my concern for people. It has enabled me to respect others’ perspectives, even seek contrary or novel views and value the contributions people can make no matter what their status in the organisation.” For Ughakpoteni, hard work needs to be appropriately nourished. So, he eats well too. Asked about his favourite food, he said: “It is starch and banga soup. Starch is a solid, favorite food of mine that is prepared by mixing a solution of cassava starch with a little palm oil and stirring it while over heat until it changes from fluid to solid state. Thereafter it is eaten by skilfully cutting it in lumps which are dipped, one after another, into banga soup. For me, the soup has to be densely populated with pieces of dry fish and cow head.” Guess his heroes in the working world? “I admire people who, by sheer determination, dint of hard work, and faith in God, surmount obstacles without being discouraged and work their ways to the top.” His motto? “With God in you and you in Him all things are possible, provided you work hard and smart.”


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Sports Lagos moves to sanitise Games Village’s sewage, water system HE present unco-ordinated T water supply and poor sewage system in Games

Putting CHAN team together was tough, says Keshi • We planned for penalties, Zimbabwe coach confesses Eagles’ Coach, SthatUPER Stephen Keshi has revealed the team’s technical crew spent sleepless nights working on raising a good team for the just-concluded African Nations Championship (CHAN) when members of his original team left for overseas clubs. Nigeria on Saturday beat Zimbabwe 1-0 to win the bronze medal of the competition. Libya beat Ghana on penalties to win the trophy. Reminiscing on a memorable six weeks with the homebased players, Keshi anchored the success story of the team on the support he received from the Nigeria Football Federation, and by extension the Sports Ministry, the players and members of staff of the team. Addressing the team and its officials at the weekend, Keshi thanked the NFF for supporting the Eagles, saying the players now have the opportunity to fight to be in the Brazil World Cup squad. The coach revealed that when most of the players in his original home-based squad left Nigeria to pursue professional careers abroad, the technical crew was saddled with the task of raising a new team, adding that they even had to plead with some players to remain at home just to be part of the CHAN. He singled out Ejike Uzoenyi, who became the Most Valuable Player of the CHAN 2014, for special mention, noting that at a point the player’s form dropped drastically but he listened to advise to improve and today, he has become the MVP of a major championship in world and particularly African football calendar.

Keshi thanked all his technical assistants for their invaluable advise, saying, “from Amokachi to Shorunmu and Coach Valere, we spent hours together after dinner or games just strategising and most times I come out to speak but they have been too supportive and I want to thank them.” Dayo Enebi Achor, team’s administrator got the plaudits on the part of the staff, with Keshi insisting that but for the near perfect professionalism of the staff and their self-denial for nearly two months, success no matter how little would never have been achieved. “It will be to my delight if four players from this team we have taken to CHAN can make it to the World Cup in Brazil, but you must be dedicated, respect your club coaches and make discipline your watchword,” he told the players. The team was expected to return to Nigeria yesterday. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Coach, Ian Gorowa has revealed that because one of his players was red carded in the first half of the third place game against Nigeria at the CHAN tournament, he planned for a penalty shootout to oust the Eagles but the plan failed him. “When you are down in the first quarter of a game like that and against a strong side like Nigeria you will want to make a statement by being cautious and then eventually waiting for a penalty shootout. But we defended and defended and at a point we have to cave in to the fireworks. But I was really looking forward to a penalty shoot-out that never was,’’ he said.

Former World Champion, Garry Kasparov, signing autographs for students of Queens School, Onike, Yaba, Lagos…Saturday.

Victor Anichebe’s goal denied Liverpool victory in the English Premiership at the Hawthons…yesterday

Anichebe’s strike holds Liverpool, Arsenal reclaim lead UPER Eagles’ striker, Victor Forest was inspired through- side-footed the ball with ease in Sbench Anichebe came off the out the second half and in the an unmarked position on the to earn West Brom a 78th minute stepped up to far post to give the visitors the point in a 1-1 home draw against Liverpool yesterday. Anichebe was on the pitch barely four minutes before he found the target in a second half spell that West Brom put fourth placed Liverpool under pressure to deny them a chance to replace Chelsea in third spot for at least 24 hours. Liverpool were stunned in the 67th minute when Anichebe intercepted a horrendous Kolo Toure back pass to bang in the ball leaving the Ivoirian frozen after his criminal act. West Brom goalkeeper, Ben

clear a Daniel Sturridge ball with the Liverpool striker bearing down on West Broms goal. The first 20 minutes of the first half were rather flat although West Brom midfielder, Youssouf Mulumbu gave it a bit of a glow with a goalbound volley in the 16th minute from outside box that was cleared by Steven Gerrard. Liverpool injected some life into the contest after taking the lead in the 23rd minute when Luis Suarez chipped the ball over a forest of West Brom defenders to Sturridge, who

lead. West Brom then had Foster to thank in 35th minute when he made a goal line save in the midst of a goalmouth scramble with Suarez and Toure lurking very close to the ball. Liverpool continued to pile the pressure and just seven minutes before the break, Suarez incredibly failed to knock-in from close-range an Aly Cissokho cross right in front of an inviting goal. West Brom move up one place to 16th position and two notches away from the relegation zone following the draw.

Village, Surulere, Lagos has received the attention of the state government, which has intervened to save the situation in conformity with the State’s mega-city status.  The decision was arrived at during a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, co-ordinated by the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC) and attended by representatives of the community and other government agencies, including the ministries of Physical Planning, Environment, Health and officials of Lagos Water Corporation.  The Village, which was built in 1973 by the Federal Government to accommodate participants at the All African Games and was subsequently sold to residents in early to mid 2000, comprises about eight estates with over 600 homes. Rampant in most parts of the estates are environmental issues including proliferation of boreholes, dysfunctional waste disposal and sewage system, contaminated drinking water and other related sanitation and environmental challenges. Chairman, LSWRC, Taiwo Sebioba, who moderated the session, said the State government’s intervention was imperative to safeguard the overall wellbeing of the community in particular and the state in general. Although the Village and existing facilities were originally built and owned by the Federal Government, he said the state government will not fold its arms to allow further degeneration of the situation to epidemic level, as the welfare of the residents is of paramount interest to the government. Chief Executive Officer, LSWRC, Tanwa Koya reiterated the agency’s mandate of ensuring proper delivery of water supply and sewerage (waste water management services) in Lagos State.

Kasparov lists benefits of KCF to Nigeria world chess champiFdayORMER on, Garry Kasparov, yestersaid Nigeria and Africa with its huge population and its pivot role on the continent has the capability to produce great chess players that will make a mark in the brain game if his Chess Foundation is allowed to work in the region on full scale. Speaking yesterday in Lagos, the Russian Grand master, who is the leader of a three-day working visit of Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) delegation to the country, said, ‘‘my visit to Nigeria has yielded positive results in many ways. ‘‘I had a fruitful discussions with the top hierarchy in the National Sports Commission (NSC), and they were delighted with what my Foundation

plans to do for the country. At the Ministry of Education, they were overwhelmed with the radical ideas of using their platform (Schools) to help lift the mental ability of the children at no cost. “We have to perform to their expectation and I see this as a huge challenge considering the fact that I met with many top business executives in your country who have promised to support the project.” He said with all the parties involved fulfilling their side of obligation, the project would take off by September this year and the target will be children between the ages of five to nine years. “Our target is between ages of five to nine because they have

the potentials to assimilate the basic principles and the effects in decision making mechanism begins to go flat from age 10. It will even better if we pick kids from the rural areas, who are lacking in basic education but are able to make up with the basic principle of chess as a basis to a ‘Man of their World’ in the future. The educational system here will determine how it will work here,” he pointed out. Kasparov, who became the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985 and remained the top-ranked player in the world for more than 20 years, noted that Nigeria could challenge the rest of the world if it developed its potential.

Japan, India and China were able to rise to the American challenge because they were able to exploit their respective human resources. “It is all about human factor because when you have the talents you must create the environment for it to work at optimum capacity. “The Philippines is just about half the population of Nigeria but have 15 grand masters as against Nigeria with none and same with Egypt and Morocco with notable Grand Masters too. However, the fundamental problem of Africa is that they are too isolated from the main chess arena aside Egypt and Morocco that have exploited their proximity to Europe’” he explained.


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Egwuekwe, Kwambe stay back to finalise deals From Adeyinka Adedipe, Cape Town HE benefits of participating in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) are beginning to manifest as two Super Eagles players, Azubuike Egwuekwe and Solomon Kwambe, will stay back till tomorrow to look at deals from clubs from South African, Russian and Ukrainian clubs. Egwueke, who disclosed this at the team’s hotel yesterday, said he would look at all the available deals and chose the one that would help improve his career, adding that most of his colleagues would also have the opportunity to further their careers abroad because of their good display in South Africa. “The competition was really a good one for me and my

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colleagues. It exposed me and I am happy that clubs are after my signature. But I will have to look closely at all the deals before committing myself to anyone,” he stated. The towering defender, whose heroics contributed to Nigeria’s third place finish, said he was happy with the performance of the entire team at the competition. “The players gave a good account of themselves. We didn’t start well, but at the end we went home with a bronze. It could have been better but we thank God for finishing third. The tournament has given us the needed exposure and I am glad I am part of the team,” he said. The Warri Wolves player also committed himself to the national team, saying that he would be available for the Super Eagles any time he

is needed. “Playing for the national team is a dream come true and I will always be available to play my part when called upon,” he added. Meanwhile, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun has commended the Eagles for their bronze medal effort at the just concluded CHAN in South Africa.             In a statement signed on his behalf by the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr. Lanre Tejuoso, Amosun said although the team failed to win the trophy, their performance brought joy and satisfaction to all Nigerians.                              He added that their eyecatching display despite losing to Ghana at the semi-final stage confirmed Nigeria’s rising profile in African and World football. 

  Super Eagles’ defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe.

 

 

Uzoenyi eyes Brazil 2014 World Cup place 

One of the stars of the just concluded MTN Ibadan International Polo Championship going for the chukker…on Saturday.

MTN Ibadan International Polo Fiesta

Kano Titans, Lagos Shoreline thrill fans, as battle for honours end FTER a very tense game A on Friday, which could only produce a draw, with both teams settling for five chukkas apiece and a chance to replay the next day, Lagos Shoreline and Kano Titans put up what many spectators at the MTN Ibadan Polo Tourney termed, the “final before final” on Saturday. The replay produced yet another disappointing draw in spite of the sterling performance by both teams, who settled for eight chukkas apiece. The spectators were the biggest winners of the day, as they enjoyed the thriller more than the players, with the security being saddled with the Herculean task of preventing the excited spectators from entering the polo ground while the game was still on. The two teams that competed for the coveted Ibadan Cup were by no means strangers to each other, as they had met on several occasions before now, with the teeming spectators benefitting from the excitement generated from such encounters.

Last year when both teams competed for the Majekodunmi Memorial Cup, Kano Titans came out victorious by 11 chukkas to nine. This time around, Lagos Shoreline seemed determined to rewrite history and not play second fiddle anymore. Two other matches were played on Saturday by teams made up of selected players. The first match by the selected teams saw Team B beat Team A by three chukkas to zero, while the second match had Team A defeating Team B by four chukkas to two. However, those two matches only served as appetiser for the match of the day, which was between Lagos Shoreline and Kano Titans. Other coveted trophies for grabs at the tourney were the “Ade Alakija Memorial Cup” and the “Brigadier General Rotimi Cup. The 2014 MTN Ibadan International Polo Tournament ended yesterday with Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi expected to attend along with the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola.

From Adeyinka Adedipe, Johannesburg

• Amusan hails Nigeria’s performance

OME-BASED Super H Eagles’ Man of the moment, Ejike Uzoenyi, has

hoped that his performance in South Africa would put him in the coaches’ radar as the preparation for the World Cup begins. “I am happy with what I have achieved here and I must thank my team mates and the coaches, who have helped me become a good player. The last three weeks have been eventful and I must say that I am happy to be part of the team.’’ The former Rennes of France players, who said he would have been happier if Nigeria won the trophy, admits that the third place finish wasn’t bad for a team that came together only six weeks before the event. Meanwhile, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun has commended the CHAN Eagles for their bronze

expressed his desire to be part of Stephen Keshi’s squad to the Brazil 2014 World Cup. The Rangers of Enugu winger, who won the Most Valuable Player and the second highest goal scorer awards at the just concluded African Nations Championship (CHAN), stated that he would battle for a World Cup place by putting up good performances whenever he gets a chance to play for the National team. Uzoenyi, who was also voted man of the match in three games, stated that he was glad with what he has achieved with the team and

medal effort in South Africa. .      In a statement signed on his behalf by the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr. Lanre Tejuoso, Amosun said although the team failed to win the trophy, their performance brought joy and all to satisfaction Nigerians.            He added that their eyecatching display despite losing to Ghana at the semiconfirmed stage final Nigeria’s rising profile in African and World foot. l l a b Governor Amosun did not forget to praise the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Sports National the Commission, Head Coach, Stephen Keshi and his backroom staff, as well as other stakeholders for their con-

MTN Street Soccer team begins training tour of South Africa From Olalekan Okusan, Johannesburg, South Africa HE excitement was all T over them as they arrived in the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for their fiveday training tour of South Africa. . They are the champions of the U-15 category of the year-

ly MTN Lagos Street Soccer Championship and the trip was part of their reward for emerging the winner of the c o m p e t i t i o n . The boys from Gbadebo Folarin Street in Ojokoro LCDA of Lagos were full of joy as the Airbus 340 plane touched down at the airport. . The 12-man team of 10 players, their coach and their

team manager were full of praise to MTN Nigeria Plc and Lagos State government for fulfilling their promise as most of them were flying time. first the for Ibrahim Animasahun, 10, could not hide his joy as he had thought that they would never travel having won the competition last . October.

The MTN Street Soccer squad on arrival at the Oliver Tambo International Airport.

tribution to teams modest success in the competi. i t He, therefore, call for the invitation of some of the CHAN Eagles into the main Super Eagles to fight for places in the World Cup bound team so that Nigeria can present a well-balanced squad in Brazil.

NSC warns federations over unapproved international competitions HE National Sports                 T Commission (NSC) has warned sports federations to desist from entering for international competitions without the approval of the NSC. NSC Director of Sports Federation and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD), Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba said the NSC’s endorsement is required for Sports Federations to enroll for international competitions, describing some federations decision to enter competitions without NSC’s endorsement as “wrong and a breach of established sporting procedure.” Speaking on the back drop of the controversy that has trailed the camping of Nigeria’s volleyball team, which is preparing for an international competition, Ojo-Oba said, “the Commission was unaware that they were going for any competition. As at today, we do not have any written request for funds from them.’’ He further explained that many factors determine Nigeria’s participation in international competitions. “These include available funding, sports development goals, rating of the team and others. “Federations should not just wake up and say they are participating in international competitions. When they enter for such competitions, it is under the banner of Nigeria and so the Commission, which is the premier sports agency in the country, should be fully aware and sanction it. This is essential for proper planning.”


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‘We did not take our chances,’ Moyes laments AVID Moyes felt his D Manchester United side did not deserve to lose 2-1 at Stoke, but admitted the players only have themselves to blame for not taking their chances. After Charlie Adam’s deflected free-kick had given the home side the lead, Robin van Persie restored parity early in the second half at the Britannia Stadium, and it looked like only one side would go onto to claim all three points.

However, Adam’s thunderbolt just five minutes later was enough to earn Stoke their first league win over United since Boxing Day 1984, a result Moyes felt was not entirely deserved. “I don’t know what we have to do to win. We played well today (Saturday),” Moyes said. “We lost to a wicked deflection from a free-kick and a worldy of a strike. The amount of opportunities and chances we created, we

‘First Serie A goal felt great,’ says Rami DIL Rami expressed his A jubilation at scoring his debut goal for AC Milan during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Torino and says he has settled into Serie A now. The France international secured a loan away from Valencia - where he had fallen out with the club’s hierarchy in October with an option to buy at the end of the season, but could not make his debut until January. Rami, 28, thinks the best is yet to come from him, having adjusted to the differences between Spanish and Italian football. “I am very happy for my first goal with AC Milan,” he told reporters after the match. “It was a great feeling to score today. I have known Philippe Mexes for years, and went straight to him after the goal. “La Liga is completely differ-

ent from Serie A, but now I understand how Serie A works. I have to prove I am at the required level now.” Urby Emanuelson also enjoyed a stand-out performance versus Torino and praised goalscorer Rami and new Rossoneri coach Clarence Seedorf for the impact they have made at San Siro. “Rami is a special man and a good player who always jokes with us,” the defender stated. “He played a great game tonight and scored a fine goal. “We’re doing better in every game. I still have to learn more, but I was happy with my performance tonight. “We have been with our new coach for two or three weeks now and are learning his way of playing. We must continue like this.”

should have won the game. We only have ourselves to blame for not taking those chances, but I thought it was a good performance.” United’s rhythm was disrupted on several occasions, as Jonny Evans and Phil Jones both had to leave the field with injuries, causing a mass reshuffle of the formation. But Moyes was not using that as an excuse, admitting it had little effect on the match. “We lost two centre-halves, which happens sometimes in football,” Moyes added. “But I don’t think it changed the game as we kept going and doing the right things. “Phil Jones looks like concussion, and has had a head scan, and Jonny Evans looks like he has a calf strain.” Winger Ashley Young also bemoaned a lack of good fortune on the day, insisting United were desperately unlucky not to have come away with something from the game. “Of course we’re disappointed to lose the game to a deflected shot and a goal out of the blue,” he told Sky Sports. “We’ve conceded two but look at the number of chances that we’ve created and the number of times we got to the byline and got the ball in the box but it just wasn’t to be our day.”

Ronaldo

Ronaldo hints at France sojourn, someday RISTIANO Ronaldo has C hinted he could be tempted to play in France in future should he chose to leave Real Madrid. The Portugal star, who has enjoyed another excellent campaign with 22 goals in 20 La Liga games so far, was linked with a potential switch to Paris Saint-Germain prior to signing a new contract at Santiago Bernabeu last year. Speaking on yesterday, the Blancos forward was open in discussing his footballing aspirations and, while he stressed he is keen to see out his five-year deal with the

Spanish giants, he pointed to an interest in Ligue 1. “Maybe one day I’ll be in France to live and to play. Or maybe not,” he told French football programme Telefoot. “France has always been welcoming to the Portuguese people. My mother worked there. It’s a country that I really love. All I can say about French fans is that they continue to support me. “I have a contract with Real until I am 33. I hope to stay here, I’m very happy.” Ronaldo believes PSG should be considered among the favourites to win the Champions League this sea-

son, with Laurent Blanc’s side having cruised through the group stage to set up a tie with Bayer Leverkusen. “PSG will be a contender to win the Champions League. It’s a strong team and will be hard to beat. They will be one of the favourites to win this competition.” Ronaldo claimed his second Ballon d’Or of his career last month after his sensational form in 2013, and the 28-yearold admits the emotional ceremony will live long in his memory. “Maybe people were surprised to see me cry (when I won),” he said.


TheGuardian

Monday, February 3, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Okechukwu Emeh, Jr HIS is a season of joyous celebrations, goodT will and renewal of hope. Last December, Christians all over the world celebrated Christmas, in remembrance of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the begotten Son of God and saviour of humanity, more than 2000 years ago. Now another festivity: the New Year. In the twinkling of an eye, 2013 has gone with all its ups and downs and 2014 has arrived with expectations and individual resolutions. For those who passed through agonizing times in the year that just ended, they should use this joyful occasion to be thankful to the merciful and mighty Creator for His abiding love, care and protection, which have enabled them to be alive and kicking in the New Year. Such people should be hopeful that despite the vagaries of life, it shall be well with them in the fullness of time if they are faithful. Despite the frustrations and disappointments of 2013, they should not see themselves as a failure or complete write-off. After all, failure should not always be perceived as negative or end of the road in the struggles of life, considering that it would make us to be introspective in order to identify where we made mistakes and how to make amends and forge ahead. In the unforgettable words of the late Dr. Nelson Mandela: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing but in rising every time we fail”. And for those who 2013 brought a lot of good fortunes, they should give all the honour and exaltation to our Heavenly Father for His amazing grace and loving kindness by being faithful, pious, kind-hearted and altruistic. With 2013 gone forever, we should now forget about the pains and disillusionment of that year, if there was any, and move on in the New Year with unflinching spirit of hope, optimism, perseverance, equanimity, resolve and determination in order to change things for the better. This is paramount because those who only look to the past or the present are certain to miss the future. While learning the worthy lessons of the preceding year, we should go back to the drawing board to chart a new promising course, mindful that those who fail to plan are definitely planning to fail. In this New Year, we should not continue to lament over our predicament(s) or pander to fatalistic resignation or self-pity, which rarely solve any problem but create more confusion and uncertainty. Rather, we should count on Divine help through earnest prayers, with clear conscience, while being upbeat and maintaining a momentum of grit and courage to survive and overcome, even in the face of great adversity. Needless to say, the centrality of Almighty God in surmounting the battles of life is beyond doubt. This is because in His will, as the overall sovereign of the whole universe, lies our peace, our future and our salvation. What is more, the mere mortal man, no matter how powerful, can propose and an unforeseen circumstance can dispose. Again, no one can predict tomorrow (or the future) with certainty except the all-knowing Supreme Being. This is a valid reason we should not repose all our trust in fellow human beings who can disappoint when it matters most but in the Good Lord who never fails those who worship Him whole-heartedly. On our part, in the midst of the storm of life, we should remain unperturbed, focused and resolute, relying on the resilience of the human spirit, which would see us through the darkest moments. This is because man will not merely survive but will endure. Of course, the human race never solves any of its problems, it only outlives them. What life might have taught some of us, with calm and reflection, is that those who have absolute confidence in Divine providence while working assiduously to succeed are not the likely candidates for want and even tragedy. Such people are God-fearing, spiritual, moralistic, meek, contended, compassionate, humane, benevolent, altruistic and self-effacing. To them, what matters in this transient earthly existence is not what they can always get for themselves but how to serve God without attachment to material gain(s) and give

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Thoughts on the New Year back to the society through goodwill – which is the hallmark of a meaningful and fulfilled life. We should see 2014 as a year for a new thinking. We should rethink individualism, selfishness, personal aggrandizement, greed, covetousness and avarice. Apart from undermining or destroying inter-personal relationship and imperiling both our moral and ethical values, these retrogressive factors are also responsible for the upsurge in crimes like corruption, fraud, armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, human trafficking, prostitution and crude oil theft. Rather than being obsessed with self, we should be thinking of the well-being of others and the entire society. Building such an enviable altruistic order that will rise above the confine of “me-first” syndrome, which has turned our society upside down, will require a sea change in the aspects of our altitude and behaviour that are negative or repulsive. To make 2014 eventful, we should compassionately consider the plight of the less privileged in our society – especially the unfortunate victims of deprivation, privation, poverty, alienation and economic austerity. That the level of squalor among a vast majority of our people is spiraling out of control today is not an overstatement. Those in the corridors of power at all levels in Nigeria are besought to respond swiftly and vigorously to this worrisome development through good governance and delivery of dividends of democracy by way of provision of infrastructure and social services, as well as articulation of safety nets of poverty alleviation, skill training and social opportunities. On the part of our religious bodies, especially churches and mosques, they should help build a beneficent system by channeling a sizable portion of donations made by their faithful into mitigating poverty and suffering in the land through evolving of micro credit programme and provision of affordable schools, medical centres and housing. This is of urgent necessity because according to Walter Rauschenbusch, in his doctrine of “Social Gospel”, any religion, which professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the social and economic conditions that sear the soul is a spiritually moribund religion. In the same vein, people of unimaginable wealth in Nigeria are enjoined to imbibe the noble spirit of giving by helping those who have fallen into the nadir of poverty and human degradation. They should go beyond

the quixotic and escapist exhortations of work hard and self-determination by setting aside part of their enormous wealth for charities, in the way renowned multi-billionaire Western benefactors like Bill Gates have done. Our rich and famous should not be giving donations only to religious institutions, perhaps out of showmanship, while those around them are languishing in hunger, poverty and neglect. This is not only an anathema to God but also the height of insensitivity and contempt for human worth. Notably, the escalation of violent crimes like armed robbery and kidnapping in Nigeria in recent years has shown that the rich would no longer have a place to hide when the impoverished and the deprived around them are hungry, miserable, hopeless and desperate. Suffice it to say that such crimes are symptomatic of emerging class war arising from the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, as well as fast and shocking decline of social solidarity and human compassion. John F. Kennedy, the late American President, had this dreadful scenario in mind when he warned in clear and unmistakable terms that: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich”. So, in this New Year, we should spare

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a thought for the poorest of the poor around us and think of how to engender a more harmonious society where the rich would help the poor survive and the poor ensure that the rich are safe and secure in a manner shorn of morose envy. We should also think of how to make this year a new era of vigorous spiritual revival. Despite the religious effusion of most Nigerians, as accentuated by their willingness to defend their faith at all costs and proliferation of places of worship like mushroom, it is lamentable that acts of immorality, crime and criminality have claimed a latitude as wide as they had enjoyed before – including the seemingly unheard-of developments such as kidnapping, hostage-taking, virulent ethnic nationalism, religious fanaticism, terror attack, suicide, acid bath, rape, gang rape, paedophilia (or sexual exploitation of children), the so-called baby factories and human trafficking. In addition to these awful acts are worsening of traditional crimes such as armed robbery, sea piracy, assassination, homicide, ritual murder, communal bloodshed, cultism, bribery and corruption and advance fee fraud, as well as hatred, wickedness, vengeance, inhumanity, dishonesty, selfishness, greed, jealousy and immoral acts of Sodom and Gomorrah proportions like incest, homosexualism and adultery. To confront some of these nauseating problems head-on and build a good society, we should strive to address the spiritual/moral emptiness and anomie that inform them. In this wise, we should work ceaselessly towards spirituality, which requires developing and maintaining deeper personal relationship with the Creator by worshipping Him in spirit, truth and faith. This is in contrast with religiosity, which harbours hypocrisy and bigotry and the attendant evils. It is impossible to conclude without mentioning the great significance of 2014 for our fatherland. It is exactly 100 years this year that the Northern and Southern protectorates were amalgamated by the erstwhile British colonial administrator, Sir Frederick John Jeatry Lugard, to form a country named by Flora Shaw as Nigeria, i.e. a nation state in the River Niger area. Regardless of the painful twists and turns the country has undergone since its formation as a political entity on January 1, 1914, as exemplified in bloody civil war, minority uprisings, political upheavals, military interventions of the mid-1960s through the 80s and intermittent communal pogroms, there is still hope for the future. If anything, such traumatic events and those subsisting should be seen as part of the birth pangs of our nationhood, which other countries had passed through and come out more stable, united and peaceful. In this most agitated period in our political history, marked by outburst of ethnic nationalism, religious extremism and political posturing, there is a new sense of urgency for us to put emphasis on those things that unite us as a people like our common humanity/African brotherhood, shared colonial experience and common national challenges, not ethnic, religious, cultural, political and class differences that divide. With outlandish display of will and determination, Nigerian people can build bridges of understanding across the divisions of such differences through open, frank dialogue and engagement with a view to mending fences and spreading a civilisation of love, tolerance and forbearance in the country for peace, stability and prosperity in our time. This is not the time to equivocate on the future of Nigeria, especially now when we are marking our centenary; it is time for outlining grand vision for progress in all aspects of our national life. Basically, our centenary calls for good governance, leadership accountability, democratic consolidation, relentless campaign against corruption, dutiful citizens, dynamic political class that upholds national unity and is attuned to the needs of playing according to the rules of the game, coexistence among our complex and diverse groups on equal terms, social justice, growth-oriented and inclusive economy and sustainable development. • Emeh sent this piece from Wuse 2, Abuja 08036895746, okemehjr@yahoo.com


Mon 03 Feb 2014