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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,824

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Senate set to decide on defecting members From Bridget Chiedu Onochie and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HERE are strong indications that the Senate may finally decide on the fate of the 11 of its defecting members as soon as it reconvenes next week Tuesday. For two consecutive days, the upper chamber held closeddoor sessions over the matter. It adjourned sitting yesterday immediately after the twohour executive session till Tuesday next week to enable

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• Adjourns session over APC’s registration • IGP, ministerial nominees to appear next week members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) go for party registration. It was disclosed that the issue of defection topped the agenda at the session. According to an APC senator who pleaded anonymity, Senate President David Mark is likely to read the letter of de-

fection next week Tuesday when lawmakers resume from their two-day adjournment. The source added that Mark was seeking political and legal solutions to the problem at hand, particularly as they relate to serious legal implications of the defection bid.

“The thrust of the executive session was that Mark tried to find political solution to this issue of defection. He talked about the single letter of defection but you know these our  colleagues, they want to show that they are big boys former governors and all that,” he said.

Addressing reporters shortly after adjournment, Senate Spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, confirmed that the issue of defection was considered but that Mark would require further legal advice before reading the letter of defection. This, he said, was due to serious legal issues surrounding the move. He added: “In the closed-door session, matters affecting the well-being of Nigerians were discussed. Also, interest of the country was put first and the

meeting was fruitful. “I can confirm to you that the issue of defection was also discussed during the closed-door session and it was resolved that the Senate  President in particular would have to seek further legal advice because of serious legal issues thrown up during the discussion based on the interpretation of the Constitution and the Senate Standing Rule. “So, more time was given for consultations. When it reCONTINUED ON PAGE 2

PDP will be remodelled after ANC, says Mu’azu - Page 2 APC begins registration, leaders urge participation - Page 6 Lagos unveils 200 homes monthly, lists eligibility criteria - Page 12 Oyo may create new council development areas - Page 7 National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu (left); Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and elder statesman Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, during a solidarity visit by the governor and members of Delta State PDP to the former Bauchi State governor in Abuja… yesterday.

Jonathan urges service chiefs to end terrorism From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged the newly-confirmed heads of armed forces to end terrorism in the country. But the President admitted that the task of eradicating insecurity was an enormous one that required inter-agency cooperation. He spoke while decorating the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alexander Sabundu Badeh,

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• Decorates Badeh, Minimah, Jibrin, Amosu and the Chiefs of Army, Naval and Air Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Tobias Minimah, Vice Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin and Air Marshall Adesola Nunayon Amosu, at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja. The President, who reflected on the state of insecurity in the country, said the new service chiefs were coming at a most difficult moment in the

nation’s history. But he expressed confidence that with close collaboration with other sister security agencies, they would be able to end terrorism in the country. The President referred to  a quotation by the late social crusader and educationist, Dr. Tai Solarin: “I wish you what I wish myself every year. May you have rough time this year. So, I think I will wish you

what I wish myself every year and may we have rough time this period. Because none of us will sleep till the Nigerians in Borno State can sleep.” Jonathan assured the heads of the armed forces that he would be consulting them from time to time on how to check insecurity but reminded them that Nigerians were watching them and that they expected a lot from them, as

such they could not afford to fail in their new assignments. “We must not fail this country and I believe this team will work together to be assisted by other intelligence services because the war against terror must be won. I have worked with some of you in one way or another and I am convinced that we selected the right team to salvage this country at this time. You must not disappoint Nigerians.” Responding on behalf of oth-

ers, Badeh described their appointment as a reflection of the confidence that the President had in them, noting that they were not unmindful of the fact that their  appointments were a call to greater service and commitment to the defence of the territorial integrity of the country and its good people.  This is more so as it was the first time they were being CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

PDP will be remodelled after ANC, says Mu’azu From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja

HE national leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said yesterday that the party was being reorganised to attain the status of the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa. The National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Ahmad Adamu Mu’azu, who dropped the hint while stressing the virtues of grass-root politics and internal democracy to party leaders who paid him solidarity visits from Delta and Kogi states at the party secretariat in Abuja, ruled out the imposition of candidates during the forthcoming primary election of the PDP. Mu’azu said the PDP leadership would review the problems of the party with a view to finding a sustainable solution. “Our dream is to organise the party in such a way as to make it attain the status of the ANC in South Africa. We know our party has lost some ground, we must assess ourselves, we must mark ourselves, we must be true to

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ourselves, we must be sincere to ourselves nationwide and find out what is wrong. “Our constitution is right, our manifesto is right, we will improve on it. Where have we lost ground and why have we gained ground? “With absolute co-operation and collaboration with you, with prayers that you and others are doing for our party and me, I have no doubt we are going to regain our ground very soon,” he said. On the determination of PDP to eradicate the culture of candidates’ imposition, Mu’azu said: “PDP ticket belongs to God and to the people. If you want to be governor, there is nothing wrong. Even a dead man has ambition of going to heaven. So, an un-ambitious person is not worth living. So, aspire but be fair in your aspiration. “Since power belongs to God and since God gave power to the people on earth, you must go and see them. I hate to hear when somebody says to me ‘oh, am on ground’. Which ground? “Under my leadership by the grace of God and the National Working Committee, Insha Allah, by God’s grace, those of you who want to just sit down on my laps or on the lap of the President or governors hoping to secure party tickets will never be there. If a governor loves you, you should go and campaign, ensure that the party is strengthened, ensure that

the people know and love our party. Tell them who we are and tell them what the party has for them,” Mua’zu declared. The party chairman also appealed to those who left the party to return. He said: “I want to use this opportunity and medium today to appeal to those members of our party who have decided to leave for a journey to unknown destination, to a strange land where they will never be accepted as home, this is your home. Come back home, our doors are wider.” Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State who led his state delegation urged

Mua’zu to continue his peacemaking efforts and ensure that aggrieved members of the party were reached. He added that the PDP in Delta State was united because the people of the state had seen a reason to embrace it. He stressed that though the party had challenges in the past, the emergence of Mu’azu as its national chairman had made great impact on its rebuilding. He also said that Delta was solidly behind President Goodluck Jonathan and called on all Nigerians to continue to support him despite challenges.

He added that the Delta State government was making marks with its three-point agenda in all aspects of the economy. According to him, though the state is oil-producing, it is looking beyond this mineral resource as the means of sustaining its economy. This, according to him, was the reason the state government was diversifying to other areas such as agriculture. In his own remarks, Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State said Mu’azu’s efforts at reconciling aggrieved members of the party were already yielding results, adding that the development would help the party gain lost ground.

Senators urge caution, vigilance on Sanusi From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja FIFTH Republic senator and former Chairman of Committee on Senate Services, Emmanuel Anosike, has warned the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, against rubbishing the country’s economy before the international community. Anosike, who was reacting yesterday to Sanusi’s declaration that $20 billion was still missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) remittances to the CBN, said he was merely playing to the gallery. According to him, coming to the National Assembly regularly with conflicting figures is more indicting of the governor than both the Ministers of Finance and Petroleum. He noted: “A CBN governor should not be seen always

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talking in public. Rather, he should concentrate on the regulatory role of CBN.” Nevertheless, he urged the Senate not to be hasty in its investigations into the matter but to critically appraise both the NNPC and CBN books with a view to bringing the issue to a logical conclusion. Meanwhile, Senator Olubunmi Adunmi has urged Nigerians to be vigilant to ensure that the ongoing investigations are satisfactorily concluded. The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, said that time has come for Nigerians to be more interested in issues of public finance. He said the ongoing controversy vindicated his position on unremitted funds as he raised it on the floor of the Senate, which subsequently led to the controversy over uncovered missing funds.

However, Anosike insisted: “As the head of a major parastatal in the Ministry of Finance, his first communication should be to the supervising minister, who also doubles as the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy. “Coming every month to the National Assembly to give conflicting figures of unremitted oil proceeds by NNPC does not portray him as a man of integrity. He should open up a line of communication with his Finance Minister and stop being used.” He further admonished that Sanusi, instead of continuing in bringing his integrity to question before the international community, should join politics if he so wishes and stop overheating the already charged political environment.

President decorates Badeh, Minimah, Jibrin, Amosu and there so that more resources could be channelled to screened and confirmed by the prosecution of the war. The the National Assembly in line successful prosecution of any with constitutional provi- war or internal security chaland subsequent sions. He said that the Presi- lenges dent’s decision showed that restoration of peace and stabilhe was democratic. ity are crucial to any meaningAccording to him, the coun- ful development to take try is faced with a number of place. As Robert McNamara, a security challenges, the most one-time Secretary of Defence prominent of which are the of the United States of America activities of violent extremists once said, ‘In a modernising in the North-East and oil theft society, security means develin the Niger Delta. “These se- opment and without developcurity challenges are inimical ment there cannot be to any meaningful develop- security.’ Accordingly, I want ment. Accordingly, the Niger- to say that the security chalian military and other lenges in the North-East are security agencies are poised surmountable, but we must all sacrifices. more than ever before to re- make “Furthermore, I want to reasview and adopt more proactive measures to contain and sure the President and the peodefeat the enemies of our ple of Nigeria that the unity country so that Nigerians can and indivisibility of our coungo about their lawful activi- try is paramount on our ties in an atmosphere of minds.  The Armed Forces of peace and security.  Nigeria had fought once to “I want to remind us all that keep this country one, and we when a nation’s military is at are doing it again in the Northwar, it is the whole nation that East and are ready to keep reis at war.  Accordingly, we peating it.  Therefore, we must all make sacrifices here appeal to our compatriots to CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

continue to support the Nigerian military in our efforts to keep the country united and to ensure security, particularly in the North Eastern states where the state of emergency presently exists.” The defence chief stated that the emergency rule in the affected area was not intended to unduly inconvenience the people, saying it was a temporary measure that would be reviewed and lifted as soon as the circumstances that led to it were surmounted. “This is important particularly as  the 2015 general elections approach.  The Armed Forces are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that normalcy is speedily restored in the NorthEast so that Nigerians in the affected areas can resume their normal lifestyles and also, so that elections will hold in those areas in 2015.  Notwithstanding the current challenges, we remain resolute and with the help of our political masters, normalcy will be restored in the North-East soonest.”

IGP, ministerial nominees to appear next week CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 sumes on Tuesday, it would continue to look into the issue. “Under the Senate Standing Rule No. 25, only the Senate President has the power and authority to interpret anything and he has decided to seek further legal advice. “And I think it is good for the country. We are lawmakers, not lawbreakers. It was in an

attempt to seek a political solution to the problem of defection that we had the discussion at the closed-door session.  When we resume, we are also going to have further discussion. “Members had gone to court against principal officers over retention of their seats. Based on that, you cannot go to court and would not want to wait for the ruling of that

court. Anyway, we can still resolve matters amicably.” Meanwhile, the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, would be appearing before the Senate next Tuesday to account for the role of the police in the crises in Rivers State. The screening of President Goodluck Jonathan’s ministerial nominees has been slated for next Wednesday.

Buhari, army chief disagree over fight against insurgents From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief ORMER Head of State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has condemned alleged excesses of soldiers in their fight against insurgents. According to him, there is the allegation that the soldiers collect bribes at check-points and rape women during operations. But the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, said that the military and other security agencies needed support and not condemnation in their fight against insurgents. Buhari, who spoke during a Voice of America (VOA) Hausa programme monitored in Kaduna yesterday, said soldiers should return to the basics of military training by maintaining standards. “Now, there are accusations that they collect bribes at check-points, and that they rape women during operations as was the case in Borno. That was not known before. Now, if you kill one of their own, they round up and wipe out the community like what happened at Baga.” Buhari recalled that during the administration of the late Umaru Yar’Adua, he sent a plane that conveyed leaders of the Niger Delta militants to Abuja to talk and ensure peace in that region. “But everybody knows that the Boko Haram leader was arrested and killed. We all know that in times of crisis, the police should do their work and it is only when such a crisis escalates that the military comes in and they don’t round up the crisis community and kill everybody,” he said. However, Wahab who spoke at a stakeholders meeting on security, appealed to prominent individuals in the society to support the military in its quest to fight insurgency and not to be criticising them. According to him, everywhere in the world, if security agencies are discredited, the consequence is that the country will suffer and urged that they should be left out of politics as the army had enjoined its soldiers to remain apolitical. He said security was not strictly an army affair as other security agencies were equally important and sought support from the public to do their work of fighting terrorism. According to him, the army and other security agencies were not magicians and therefore, rely on useful information from members of the public in order to fight insurgency. He said their doors were open and that his commanders were always ready to receive information and react accordingly.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

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NEWS Thursday, Febuary 6, 2014

Tension in community as monarch bars women from wearing trousers, others From Chuks Collins, Awka ENSION is already brewT ing at Akwaihedi in Nnewi South Local Council of Anambra State over some alleged draconian laws unilaterally imposed by the traditional ruler of the town, Lt.-Col. Wisdom Onebunne (rtd). The new laws, allegedly made by the monarch in concert with the President-General of Akwaihedi, banned women from wearing trousers in the town or walking its streets without wearing head tie. Anyone caught contravening the rules is liable to a fine of N50,000, while failure to pay leads to indefinite banishment from the town. Meanwhile, serving members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who had gone to the community for their weekly Community Development (CD) programme, have become the first culprits, as they were allegedly assaulted and apprehended by some youths. The encounter nearly turned bloody but for the timely intervention of some other youths from the town. A corps member and one of the victims, Grace Uduak, said she was shocked when the traditional ruler allegedly pounced on her for wearing the NYSC trousers in the town. A source told newsmen that already, about 10 natives had been fined by the Igwe’s court for their mode of wor-

Court convicts mechanic, adjourns sentencing By Joseph Onyekwere FEDERAL High Court sitting in Lagos and presided by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke yesterday convicted an auto mechanic, Sulemon Ganiyu, 31, after he pleaded guilty to one-count charge of trafficking 200 grammes of hemp. He would be sentenced today. An officer with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr. Abubakar Bayero, told the court that he investigated the matter. Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Jeremiah Arenan, Bayero said the substance found on the accused was confirmed at the NDLEA laboratory as a drug. He further tendered in evidence the accused’s statement, certificate of test analysis, bulk evidence of the 200grammes of the hemp found on him and other materials. He urged the court to admit all the materials in evidence and to convict Ganiyu based on his plea and the evidence before it. However, Ganiyu pleaded for leniency, promising to desist from drug trafficking. He also told the court that though he was an auto mechanic, he needed money to pay for his accommodation. The accused was first arraigned on January 28, 2014, and was remanded in prison custody after he pleaded guilty.

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ship, which was not in line with the traditional ruler’s idea of worship. The source claimed that even policemen were not allowed to enter the community because the royal father said his traditional court would handle all domestic issues. When confronted, the monarch told newsmen that the matter has been resolved amicably but refused to give details as to whether the vexatious laws have been repealed or amended. Curiously, a member of Igwe’s cabinet has urged Governor Peter Obi to caution the Igwe and his presidentgeneral before the issue leads to bloodbath in Akwaihedi, noting that the town is secular.

President Goodluck Jonathan (third right); his deputy, Namadi Sambo (third left); Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adeshola Nunayom Amosu (left); Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tobiah Minimah; Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; and Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, during their decoration at the Presidential Villa, Abuja… yesterday.

Parties assemble Senior Advocates, as Anambra guber tribunal begins sitting From Chuks Collins, Awka O fewer than 16 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) are representing the different political parties at the ongoing Anambra State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which kicked off yesterday. Present at the sitting yesterday in Awka were the winner of the November 16, 2013 election, Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke.

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Also at the tribunal were the APGA representatives, Chief Patrick Ikwueto and Osita Nnadi, and Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu for governor-elect, Obiano, while Prof. F.C. Dike appeared for another APGA candidate, Chike Obidigbo. Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu appeared as lead counsel for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, while Emeka Ngige appeared for the APC. Adegboyega Awomolo and

Arthur Obi-Okafor were in for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chief A.O. Ajana for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), while Emmanuel Ukala, D.C De Nwigwe and Ikechukwu Ezechukwu represented the PDP candidate, Tony Nwoye. Meanwhile, there are four petitions before the threemember tribunal headed by Justice Ishaq Bello as the counsel, numbering over 100, spent a good time har-

monising their petitions yesterday. The petitions are Dr. Chike Obidigbo vs the governorelect, Willie Obiano and two others, Chris Ngige vs INEC, Obiano, APGA and ACD, PDP vs INEC and 25 others, as well as Tony Nwoye vs INEC and 25 others. No fewer than 726 witnesses have been lined up to testify at the tribunal, with APGA having about 500, while PDP and APC have 126 and 100 witnesses respectively.

Maku chides lawmakers over budget stalemate From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja OR stalling debate on the 2014 Budget in the House of Representatives, Information Minister, Labaran Maku, yesterday upbraided the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers, describing their action as a total disservice to Nigerians. The minister also came down heavily on the former chieftains of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who recently defected to the APC, describing them as “perpetual political migrants” whose interest is merely to contest elections as against building an enduring political system. If democracy is about service to the people, Maku said he was surprised at the attitude of the lawmakers “because everybody knows that once you are elected, you are no longer serving your party members. “What happens is that the party offers you a platform to stand for an election, but the real election is done by Nigerians, who may not even belong to a particular political party; who believe that you can serve them at that particular time, and not by party members.” He said he was shocked that this was happening in a period “we are making economic gains, when consistently for three years the world has said the Nigerian economy is

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Says defectors are ‘perpetual migrants’ the best managed in Africa; when policies that we lamented about in the past are now being transformed for opportunities for investments, when we moved from net importer to a net exporter of cement, when power is now an opportunity for investment because new policies have been unfolded.” He advised the lawmakers to separate narrow, negative partisan politics from the survival of the people. He admitted that every budget needed to be robustly debated by the National Assembly but not on the stand-point that their party asked them to stop passing the budget. Therefore, “Nigerians must hold them to account. They are not yet in power but are already threatening the lifewire of the country, so how can we then trust them with power? If tomorrow they come to power, what are we to expect? “This is very serious; no argument is acceptable for anybody to ask people to block a budget. So, these arguments pale into insignificance when you look at the real danger that kind of call places on the life-wire of Nigeria.” He added: “It doesn’t mean they should not stand election against the President or challenge our policies, chal-

lenging our policies is different from blocking the oxygen from flowing, because the budget is the oxygen for the economy. “So you are asking people to commit suicide because you have disagreement with the government? I think this is not the right thing to do and I am urging APC leaders to think again.” Though he expressed disappointment at some of his party members who defected to APC, he noted that their departure has created a lot of stability within the PDP. According to him, “when a number of these people were leaving PDP, I said the party would be healthier in the long run. “First of all, some of the people that have left PDP are the people that have caused all the headaches in the party, they have been the ones attacking their party, they are very quarrelsome, they have oversized egos, some of them cannot stay under the same roof with anybody for one week without the top blowing up. “If you look at their antecedents, you will see that they are migrants, they keep migrating from one place to another. So, the party needs to have members that believe in its ideology and settle down because they

believe in the party. “Meanwhile, all the parties they have gone to, none has a programme, none has any ideological focus. Even within this small period, since some of these elements left PDP, they have caused significant problem in the new party they ran to.” According to him, “there is already an explosion in APC in Kano because (Governor Rabiu) Kwankwaso went straight and took over a party he was not part of and insisted that he must be the leader, and sacked those who formed the party. “You go to Sokoto again, (Governor Aliyu) Wamakko went immediately and hijacked the party from those who formed APC in the place, who dissolved their own parties in order to form a political party that would compete with PDP. “Even from the point of view of justice, you were looking for democracy and you saw nothing wrong in going to another and hijacking the structure from them.” “So you can see they are not democrats, these are serious desperadoes who believe that unless they are in charge, nobody should be. In most of the places today, APC has two structures - the original founders and the structure of those who are god-joiners, struggling hard to displace those who formed the party.”

The parties are challenging INEC’s declaration of Obiano of APGA as winner of the November 16 Anambra governorship election. Tribunal Chairman, Justice Bello, hoped that with the number of learned silks at the tribunal, there would be a radical approach to the petitions. He said the tribunal would allow more processes to be filed at the next sitting, with the possibility of consolidating all motions to ensure expeditious proceedings.

Edo court remands killer policeman From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City ORPORAL Valentine OfuaC maka, 39, alleged to have shot and killed a truck driver, Osagie Aisagbonbuomwan last weekend, has been remanded in prison by an Ogbeson Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Benin. Ofuamaka and another police officer, now at large, allegedly committed the offence punishable under Section 324 and 316 of the Criminal Code following an argument between the two. The Chief Magistrate, Jonathan Ogbeide, declined jurisdiction on the matter due to the nature of the offence. The court then ordered the accused’s case file to be duplicated and forwarded to the Edo State Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice. Valentine’s plea was not taken and the case was adjourned to March 7, 2014 for mention.

Inspector-General of Police, Abubakar


Thursday, February 6, 2014 NEWS

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News Air Force in fresh move against terrorists

Govt appoints new scribe for fiscal commission

From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri

From Mathias Okwe, Abuja

HE 79 Composite Group of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has killed several Boko Haram terror suspects, along with the destruction of three training camps in the ongoing operation ZAMAN LAFIYA in Maiduguri metropolis and its environs. The destroyed training camps are, according to the military, located at Bulabulin, YujiwaAlagarno and Damboa axis of Borno State. The killings and destruction of training camps were contained in a statement of Group Public Relations Officer of NAF, SQ. Chris Erondu, and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri yesterday. Erondu in the statement also disclosed that the aerial bombardments of hideouts and training camps of terror suspects resulted into remarkable achievements of heavy casualties on the side of Boko Haram terrorists now retreating to neighbouring countries of Cameroun, Chad and Niger.

RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan has approved the appointment of Mr. Iliya

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‘Tenders board didn’t approve NIMASA contracts’ By Joseph Onyekwere N Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Aliyu. E. Aliyu, yesterday told a Federal High Court, Lagos that some contracts awarded at the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) were not approved by the Parastatals Tenders Board. He was testifying in the trial of former NIMASA Director-General, Raymond Omatseye, who was charged with an alleged contract scam. Aliyu, who works at the Bureau of Public Procurement, said a standard threshold is applicable to all parastatals, including NIMASA. He said the chief executive officer, who is also the parastatal’s chief accounting officer, is responsible for the threshold’s implementation. The threshold, he said, applies for goods and for works. A Director-General has a threshold of less than N2.5 million for goods and less than N5 million for works. Aliyu said there is a separate threshold for a Parastatals Tenders Board (PTB), which is N2.5 million and less than N15 million for goods, and N5 million and above, but less than N250 million for works.

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Kaduna refutes report of killings by gunmen From Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna HE Kaduna State government T has denied media reports of killings of natives by unknown gunmen in the southern part of the state, saying nobody lost his life in Kaduna this week apart from the unfortunate Manchok incident. Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs, Mr. Ben Bako, said in a statement yesterday that beyond the Manchok killings last Friday in which the government took measures to forestall future occurrences, the state has not witnessed any violence or killings.

Members of the Igbo Leaders of Thought, Admiral Ndubisi Kanu, rtd (left); Prof. Vincent Ike and Chairman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, at a meeting in Enugu… yesterday.

Wanapia as the new Secretary for the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). The approval, which takes effect from January 20th, 2014 was conveyed to Wanapia via a letter signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, according to a statement from the Commission by its Head of Public Relations, Mallam Ibrahim Mohammed. Born on April 23, 1960 in Akuwo village, Kurmi Local Council of Taraba State, Wanapia holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Bachelor of Science, Business Administration from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

Plateau court strikes out libel suit against The Guardian, Dungs From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos PLATEAU State High Court in Jos has dismissed as incompetent a case of libel and defamation brought before it by Governor David Jang and the attorney general against Col. David Dungs (rtd) and The Guardian. After carefully going through the arguments and submissions of the counsel and decided cases of superior courts of records, the judge, R.K.C. Adamu, held that the preliminary objection raised by the counsel to Dungs, Mr. Solomon Umoh (SAN), succeeded and he struck out the suit for lack of jurisdiction. “From all I have said above,

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the preliminary objection succeeds. The entire suit is incompetent before this court, rendering the court powerless to try same. Consequently, this suit is hereby struck out of this court’s list for lack of jurisdiction,” Justice Adamu declared. On March 18, 2013, the plaintiffs, by a writ of summons, filed the action, backed by a 40-paragraph statement of claims, against the defendants, seeking, among other demands, N10 billion as damages for alleged false and malicious publication contained in The Guardian of Monday October 8, 2012. On Saturday October 6, 2012, a senatorial

bye-election was held in Plateau North to fill the vacant seat occasioned by the killing of Senator Gyang Dantong. At the end of the election, Senator Gyang Pwajok was said to have won and was so declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer. He was declared to have beaten other contestants, including Col. Dungs who was said to have come second in the race. As usual, Dungs reacted to the outcome of the exercise, imputing rigging, and The Guardian published his reactions which did not go down well with the state

government, hence the suit and The Guardian was joined for publishing the alleged libelous story. On service of the writ on the defendants, the first defendant (Dungs) filed a notice of preliminary objection on the ground that the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs lacked the requisite locus standi to maintain the suit and that the third plaintiff had no cause of action. Responding, Mr. Charles Obishai (SAN) representing the plaintiffs also filed a written address in which he vehemently opposed the preliminary objection. Both counsel tried to outwit each other in legal history and de-

cided relevant cases. After arguments and counterarguments by the two senior lawyers, Justice Adamu said: “The 1st and 2nd plaintiffs are the Attorney-General of Plateau State and the Governor of Plateau State respectively, both of whom hold public offices in the executive arm of government. From the foregoing findings, they fall squarely within the meaning of the principle established in the case of Omega Bank Plc Vs Government of Ekiti State and others. That is, they lack the locus standi to bring an action against anyone in defamation and I humbly hold so.”

New genetic centre to reduce deaths from breast cancer, sickle cell By Chukwuma Muanya NEW genetic centre, which will be officially commissioned today at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), promises to reduce the more than 100,000 lives lost yearly in the country to sickle cell anaemia and much more to breast cancer. The centre, which is a collaborative effort between Chevron/Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Joint Venture and LUTH, with technical support from Department of Molecular Genetics, Antwerp University, Belgium, also promises to stop brain drain and foreign exchange the country loses in sending samples abroad, especially to United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa, for paternity test and identifying plane crash victims. Associate professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Antwerp and Chief Consultant to the LUTH/Chevron-NNPC Joint Venture Genetic Testing Cen-

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• Determine parentage • Identify plane crash victims tre, Dr. Joy Irobi-Devolder, told journalists yesterday at a seminar in LUTH on Unlocking DNA Biotechnology in Nigeria: “There are indeed several applications. It thinks this is really a wonderful opportunity because we are now in the era of human genomic sequencing and there are so many genetic diseases. “Let us take for instance a simple one, the sickle cell disease, when we know as for now 100,000 infants are dying in Nigeria every year largely because of misdiagnosis. The old technique of using haemoglobin blood count is actually not properly diagnosing the disease very well and this is why it has become important that this centre is now going to develop a genetic assay that is going to correctly diagnose every sickle cell patient. “Why it is really important is that all those people that are carrier can now actually come to the centre where

they can do prenatal or even newborn screening so that immediately they know if their child is sickle cell carrier or a real sickle cell disease and then they can start from early onset to treat the patient and not wait till when the disease is already expanded and then it becomes a rescue, and this is how you lose a lot of them. This centre is actually giving a new diagnostic estimate in the form of genetic analysis that is going to help reduce the high mortality rate of sickle cell disease in Nigeria. That is number one. “Number two is that we now see a lot of Nigerian women that are dying of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Why is this? It is because some of them do not have the opportunity or have enough finance to go abroad for genetic testing. Now, we have it in-house, in-country so that when there is a patient that knows that there is someone in the family, an auntie or the mother, who

has breast cancer, you can come to the centre and ask for genetic test because this actually increases the chance of personalized medicine.” According to the expert, it has been shown that specific mutations in BRCA gene (breast cancer gene) actually determines the type of treatment that you will be given. “So it is not just the diagnosis, this is also therapy. So, it becomes very important that it is within the country, which means it is affordable for everyone, for every Nigerian.” Irobi-Devolder said the centre will also be able to solve all disputes on paternity and maternity of an offspring. She explained: “Paternity testing is a very common assay and what it now shows is that most of the hospitals within Nigeria send the sample outside either to United Kingdom or South Africa. It is no longer required because now this centre has the capacity to do in-house parenting testing by looking at more than 26 genetic markers. What is im-

portant now is that they start sampling; they start collecting the samples.” According to the professor, “another important issue of this centre is that it is not just sending the blood sample, I am going to help them to start training all the other scientists within several of all these big hospitals so that they are able to have their own DNA Data Banking. This will make it easy to just send DNA sample to the centre for screening. So it is not all about doing paternity test, which is now in-house, you don’t have to pay so much money for taking it outside, it can be done within the country. But also, they will get sort of training on how they can isolate DNA from each sample, from blood sample, and start having your own individual hospital-based DNA storage data bank. I think it is a novel technology because paternity is something that is so common and we can now do it so comfortably in-house at this new genome centre in LUTH.”


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

6 | NEWS Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kaduna police read Riot Act to political parties

Court rules Feb 17 in Suntai’s aide’s case with police

From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief S part of its preparation to ensure that there is sanity in the conduct of the 2015 general elections, the Police have vowed to enforce the necessary provisions of the law if they resorted to the use of thugs to disrupt the peace. Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Zone 7, comprising Kaduna, Niger States and FCT, Alhaji Suleiman Abba, read the Riot Act yesterday at a meeting with the chairmen and secretaries of the various political parties in Kaduna State. According to the AIG: “I am here to discuss mainly on the issue that is ahead of us, which is the election. These issues have to do with political rallies, processions, conventions, meetings, screening of candidates and campaign issues. “I hereby request for understanding and cooperation of each and every political member on what is ahead of us. It is important to have an enabling environment to allow us regulate and maintain law and order in the country.

From-Charles Akpeji, Jalingo

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TARABA State court, A presided over by Justice D.U. Okorowo, has fixed Feb-

National Chairman, Registration Committee, All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Garba Abari (left); National Leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Acting Chairman of the party in Lagos State, Henry Ajomale and a party chieftain, Kemi Nelson, at the registration of APC membership in Ward PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI F, Ikeja, Lagos…yesterday

ruary 17 for judgment in the legal tussle between the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State on Media and Publicity, Sylvanus Y. Giwa and the state Police Commissioner, Jubril O. Adeniji. Justice Okorowo, yesterday after listening to the final submission of counsel to both parties, commended the manner they conducted themselves throughout the period of the litigation. The Guardian recalls that last year, the aide to the governor with four other persons, sued the commissioner to the court for infringing on their fundamental human rights. The five persons, whose names are Sylvanus Y.Giwa, Elhamid Ali Ibrahim, Philip R. Kamishi, Elkabir Eldio and Anderi Imbred, were said to have been unlawfully arrested and detained in the Command’s headquarters by the commissioner.

APC begins registration, leaders urge participation From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Muyiwa Adeyemi (Ado-Ekiti), Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin), Njavara Musa (Maiduguri), Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin City), Kamal Tayo Oropo, Seye Olumide (Lagos), Charles CoffieGyamfi (Abeokuta), Uzoma Nzeagwu (Awka), Ali Garba (Gombe), Eric Meya (Sokoto) and Willie Etim (Yenagoa) HE registration of memT bers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) kicked off nationwide yesterday with the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba and state governors Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara registering at their various wards. Tinubu, who registered at Ward F, Sunday Adigun Close, Alausa Ikeja, assured that the party would bring salvation to the people of Nigeria, adding that the registration clearly shows the difference between the APC and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “APC is a party for the people, the membership drive is open to all Nigerians.” Fashola and his wife, Abimbola, arrived the registration centre at State Junior Grammar School, Itolo, Surulere at about 10:37am and commenced registration at 10:40

• Baraje tasks INEC on free, fair elections • Group alleges plan to disrupt registration in Kaduna, exercise begins in Edo • Borno chapter targets 500,000 members, Anambra hails Atiku’s defection am. The exercise lasted for about 15 minutes. Speaking after his registration, the governor urged Nigerians to join him to register as members of the APC. “Nobody who wants to join the party would be left out, however, there is no compulsion. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun flagged off the exercise at Ajura Ward A in Obafemi/Owode Local Council Area where he registered at 11: 02 am. The party’s national leader, Chief Segun Osoba, also registered at his Ago-Oba, Abeokuta Ward 13. Both Amosun and Chief Olusegun Osoba, in separate interviews, maintained, “There is no formidable party that can defeat the APC in any election”. Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, after he was registered alongside his wife, Omolewa, by the Chairman, APC Registration Committee, Dr. Hassan Lawal, in Share Ward One, Share, Headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area, assured new APC members of equity, fairness and justice. Former Acting National Chairman of the Peoples

Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Kawu Baraje, at his Babaoko Ward, Ilorin, demanded for free, fair and credible elections from the Professor Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2015 polls. Edo State Deputy Governor, Pius Odubu, at his hometown, Urhomehe, Oriomwhon Local Council Area in Edo-South Senatorial District lauded the strategy adopted by the party, which he said, would ensure that only genuine persons were registered. Lagos State chapter, through the Interim Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, said the fresh registration of members offers Nigerians equal opportunity to become stakeholders in the party. Igbokwe urged all residents to make good use of the golden opportunity to become members of APC, as that will come with the added advantage of midwifing the change Nigerians are poised to make in 2015.” In Kaduna State, some concerned members of the APC, under the auspices of the Network for Change, yesterday alleged that some people were

trying to disrupt the registration process of members. Besides, former Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the party in the state, Dr. Hakeem BabaAhmed, who tendered his resignation letter last Monday, alleged that some legislators belonging to the party were bent on hijacking the APC. Leaders of the Network for Change, led by a former National Women Leader of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, alleged that the lawmakers stormed the venue of a stakeholders’ meeting with the Chairman of the Registration Committee sent from Abuja, with their supporters and allegedly disrupted the meeting when they could not have their way, leading to the suspension of the exercise in the state. Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s defection to the APC has been described as a welcome development and an indication that the APC is a fast growing and acceptable party. The Interim Secretary of APC, Anambra chapter, Chukwuma Agufugo, said yester-

day in Awka, “We welcome him. His coming over is an indication that APC is growing to take over the reigns of power. His joining the party along with his supporters will broaden the horizon of APC and take the party to the next level”. Chairman of the exercise in Gombe State and former Deputy Governor of Yobe State, Senator Goni Modu Zanna, says the party promises Nigerians good governance going by the smooth and orderly conduct of the nationwide registration exercise, which commenced yesterday. In Ekiti, the Interim Chairman of the party, Jide Awe, said in his Erijiyan Ekiti country-home that the on-going registration exercise would assist the party to further consolidate the merger of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) that was initiated in 2013. Awe added that the party was targeting no fewer than 100,000 members. Borno APC Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Auwal Hamza, addressing newsmen at State’s Hotels, Maiduguri, assured that the party has completed arrangements for the registration exercise in 3,974 centres across

the state, adding that the party was targeting over 500,000 new members. Supporters of former Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva, yesterday turned out in large numbers to welcome the opening of the party secretariat and the kick-off of the party registration exercise in the state. Prominent among the Sylva’s foot soldiers were his close aides including the former Chief of Staff, Sam Ogbuku; erstwhile political office holders and former local government council chairmen of Sagbama and Ekeremor and former party chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and militant youths loyal to General Africa Ukparisia. Also present were national officers of the APC including the national officers in charge of the membership registration exercise, Okoi Obono and Mr. A. J. Erekosima. In Sokoto State, Interim Chairman of APC, Inuwa Abdulkadir, pledged that every effort would be made to ensure that the five-day exercise was the most transparent and democratic in the nation’s history. Abdulkadir said that INEC had been appropriately informed, “so that nobody will accuse us of noncompliance with the provision of the constitution and electoral law”.

Advocacy group tasks EFCC on fresh probe of oil subsidy report By Roseline Okere N advocacy group, under the aegis of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to undertake further investigations of subsidy payments allegedly obtained under pretence by petroleum marketers as contained in the 2012 report of technical committee on payment of fuel subsidies. The petition, made available to The Guardian, was jointly signed by Mr. Femi Falana, counsel to the oil probe fol-

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low-up group, Falana & Falana Chambers; Olanrewaju Suraj of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA); Tokunbo Mumuni of the Social Economic Right Accountability Project (SERAP); Motunrayo Alaka of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and seven other members of the group. The group acknowledged the fact that selected actions on some findings and recommendations of the report have been undertaken, but however, noted that the content of the report suggests that a

number of issues bordering on official corruption were yet to be addressed. WSCIJ, therefore, urged the EFCC to investigate all companies mentioned in the report that breached the rules governing fuel subsidy administration. The advocacy group also urged the EFCC to proceed to prosecute all companies and their relevant directors and officers who its investigations found to have committed such violations. It urged the EFCC to recover not less than the total amount

of N422.6 billion in subsidy payments obtained under pretence by petroleum marketers that the report details. The group also stressed the need for the EFCC to recover the excess payment in the sum of N17,037 billion based on the inclusion of the $10 ‘trader’s margin’. The petition added: “We request that you step towards recovering excess payment of N14.021 billion as bank spread from defaulting marketing and trading companies; • “That you investigate the circumstances under which inel-

igible oil marketing and trading companies were allowed to participate in the subsidy process; • “That you prosecute the relevant Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) officials responsible for the lapses in the subsidy administration process; and • “That you investigate the reported N331.6 billion worth of kerosene subsidy payments made between June and December 2011 and take steps to prosecute offenders in all cases where your investiga-

tions uncover criminality.” The group, therefore, renewed its commitment to offer support based on competencies represented in WSCIJ to help the EFCC better achieve the task at hand. The WSCIJ, in collaboration with its partners, jointly called ‘The oil probe follow-up group’, commenced an advocacy effort to support the media and civil society to continue to demand the needed probity in the oil and gas sector as one way of promoting good governance in the country.


Thursday, February 6, 2014 NEWS 7

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Obasanjo, others for AANN summit

College suspends 26 students over cultism, others in Osun

ORMER President, OluseFthegun Obasanjo, Speaker of House of Representatives,

From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo O check indiscipline T among pupils in Osun State, 26 students of Baptist High School, Gbodofon, Osogbo have been suspended indefinitely for alleged immoral conduct, cult activities and disruption of academic programme in the institution. The suspension of the affected students came after an investigation conducted by the school authority on involvement of students in cult activities. In a related development, the Osun State Government has described as untrue claims by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Senator Iyiola Omisore, that the current administration in the state has built only 11 new schools while embarking on the demolition of the ones inherited from its predecessors. Meanwhile, Governor Aregbesola has urged Nigerians to patronize locally made products, saying doing so would boost the economy and create job opportunities. Though, teachers in the school declined comment on the matter, The Guardian, however, gathered that both male and female students were sanctioned by the school management. The students were alleged to have been involved in various atrocities including locking up teachers within the school premises for hours. The state Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) who is also the State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Saka Adesiyan, while commenting on the issue noted that the suspension order was timely and would serve as deterrent to other students. Adesiyan, while condemning the act by the students wondered what was currently happening in the school system. He said the ugly development had created bad impression in the education sector, pointing out that all stakeholders must rise to the challenge. Also, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam, has condemned what he called absurdity displayed at Baptist High School, Iwo for the series of crises and disruption of academic activities in the institution. Salaam alleged that the students were instigated for using different religious dressing codes to cause chaos in the school. A statement by his press secretary, Goke Butikakuro, said that the action of the pupils was absurd. Omisore, at a press briefing on Sunday in Osogbo, the state capital had faulted the education reform policy by Governor Rauf Aregbesola, saying the All Progressives Congress (APC) government had delivered just 11 schools after demolishing scores of school buildings that would have been useful to pupils. But reacting on the matter yesterday, the Chairman, Osun Schools Infrastructural Development Committee otherwise known as “O’ School, Lai Oyeduntan, said Omisore was economical with the truth over his claims, insisting that the state government had constructed and delivered several new school buildings to provide conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning.

Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (third right); Owa-Ale of Ikare-Akoko, Oba Samuel Adedoyin (right); Commissioner for Works, Gboye Adegbenro (second right); Caretaker Chairman, Akoko North-East Local Council, Olalekan Bada (fourth right); Olukare of Ikare-Akoko, Oba Akadiri Momoh (fourth left); Olubaka of Oka-Akoko, Oba Adebori Adeleye (third left), and others during the commissioning of the 22.5km UgbeIboropa-Ise road and the Afira bridge in Akoko North-East Local Council Area of the state… yesterday.

Oyo may create new council development areas From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan O bring governance closer T to the people, the Oyo State government is planning to create local council development areas, in addition to the 33 local councils in the state. Already, The Guardian learnt that some elders from the various geo-political zones have been mounting pressure on the governor to consider the creation of additional councils so as to accelerate development in the state. According to a top govern-

ment source, the state government had, about a year ago, commenced the process of creating the councils but had to abandon it due to political pressures. “By the time the idea of creating the development councils was abandoned, it had reached an advanced stage as the council areas had been identified and the council headquarters earmarked.” However, said the source, pressures on Governor Ajimobi to reconsider the creation of the councils have been coming from political

leaders whom the governor has high regards for. The political leaders, whom the source said recently met the governor at the Government House, had pleaded with him that the creation of the development areas would accelerate development in all the councils, as well as bring progress to the grassroots. The leaders, drawn from Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Oyo, OkeOgun and Ibarapa zones, were said to have convinced the governor on the reason to go back to the idea of creating new councils.

Groups partner to advance innovation in healthcare delivery PUBLIC-PRIVATE initiative A aimed at leveraging private sector capabilities to improve Nigeria’s health outcomes, Private Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), is partnering others to launch the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM), which aims to identify and develop innovative products, approaches, processes and technologies to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6. The initiative, which will be launched tomorrow at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, with the theme, “Creating the Nigerian Health Innovation Market Place to advance Nigeria’s progress in meeting MDGs 4, 5 and 6,” is being positioned to discover innovators, who would utilise existing technological advances to reposition healthcare delivery as is the case with certain African countries. Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of PHN, Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, said that a number of African countries like Ethiopia and Malawi have recently developed appropriate local health technologies and innovations to accelerate progress in health-related MDGs. According to him, “NHIM fo-

cuses on four inter-related core objectives: Identify promising innovations, provide market linkages and incubation support to enable health innovation achieve scale, make targeted investments in selected innovations that make it through the incubator, and build a sustainable convergence platform around health innovation. “The low application of innovation and technology in healthcare delivery is believed to be the biggest missed opportunity in transforming healthcare delivery in Nigeria. “Health innovations that exist in Nigeria tend to not attain scale or create sustainable impact due to poor support system for health innovators (lack of access to capital, business and financial management), little visibility by investors on compelling viable health innovations as well as investors and health innovators lacking the convergence platforms that create market and technical linkages.” He noted: “In order to leapfrog existing constraints and spur health innovations through a sustainable convergence platform, the Private Sector Health Alliance is leading a coalition of partners to launch the NHIM, which will

comprise three core elements - a virtual health innovation portal, health innovation hub/incubator and health innovation challenges/online hackathons.” Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, Aliko Dangote, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Jim Ovia, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Muntaqa Umar-sadiq and the Executive Director, International Partnership for Innovative Health Delivery (IPIHD), Krishna Udayakumar, will unveil different segments of the Health Innovation Marketplace during the launch. Highpoint of the launch is the unveiling of the NHIM challenge - a three-step annual challenge that seeks to spur innovation in health and encourage the application of existing technological advances to healthcare delivery. Applications to identify health innovation challenge winners will open from February 17 to March 21. PHN has developed problem statements in collaboration with NPHCDA, Saving One Million Lives Initiative, the Ministry of Communication Technology and NAFDAC. The thematic focus will be revised annually and be guided by priority public health needs.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, said the governor’s response to the leaders was positive as he urged them to sensitize their various communities on the exercise and report back on the people’s disposition to the idea of creation the local council development areas. When contacted, the Special Adviser on Media to the governor, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said he was aware that some elders in the state were conferring with the governor over the matter but was not specific on whether the development councils

Mallam Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, Central Bank Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi and Mr. Fola Adeola, are among eminent Nigerians expected at the inaugural edition of the Public Policy Lecture Series organised by the Lagos Chapter of the Alumni Association of the National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies (AANN), Kuru. The event, which is scheduled for March 11, 2014 at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, has the theme “Building Credible Electoral Process for Democratic Sustainability.” It will feature renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay as lead speaker while Chief Obasanjo will chair the event.

Girls’ college marks 51 LD students of St. Martin O De Porres Girls’ College, Onicha Olona, Delta State will today hold thanksgiving services throughout the federation as they mark their alma mater’s 51st anniversary. In a statement by the President of the Lagos chapter of the Old Girls Association, Mrs. Christy Omogbai and Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Dorothy Gbemudu, the association said it rejoices with the management, members of staff and students of the college on the occasion. It added that though the golden jubilee ceremony was postponed last year, activities earmarked for it would be observed before the end of this year.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

8 | NEWS Thursday, February 6, 2014

Journalist demands N5m compensation for assault From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan OR assaulting him while on Fwithofficial duty, a journalist Leadership, Waheed Adebayo, is demanding N5m from officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Adebayo, at the recent inauguration of the new Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, was allegedly assaulted by officials of NSCDC. Angered by the development, the journalist, through his counsel, Adebayo Shittu, wrote a letter to the Commandant of the Oyo State Command of the corps, demanding N5 million compensation for “harassment, assault and public humiliation.” The commandant was informed that should he fail to comply with the demands within 10 days of the letter, they would be left with no option than to institute an action against the Command in a court of law.

Taraba acting gov gives conditions for handing over to Suntai By Ehichioya Ezomon (Group Political Editor) and Charles Akpeji (Jalingo) ONTRARY to reports on C the lingering political crisis in Taraba State, the Acting Governor, Garba Umar, has said he is ready to hand over to Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai. However, relinquishing the position he assumed last year when the governor was involved in a plane crash would entail Governor Suntai fulfilling two conditions. One is that the recuperating governor should invite him (Umar) to render accounts of his stewardship since holding fort, and telling him (Umar) that he’s ready to assume duties. Two, the Taraba State House of Assembly, which passed a resolution, mandating Umar to assume the position of Acting Governor, must vacate that resolution.

A third arm, perhaps, is the disposal of the litigation in court in which Governor Suntai is challenging the power of the state Assembly to mandate Umar to act as acting governor even when he (Suntai) had transmitted a letter to the Assembly, informing it that he had returned from his medical trip and was ready to resume duties. The Assembly, which said it doubted the authenticity of the letter - that it was not Governor Suntai that wrote it personally - and had to set up a committee to investigate it, had adjourned sitting till March without publishing its findings on the matter. The acting governor, while fielding The Guardian’s questions through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kefas Sule, in Jalingo, denied that he was plotting to be made the substantive governor by prevent-

ing Governor Suntai from returning to power. This he could achieve, as the allegation goes, by either engineering impeachment of the governor or by subjecting him to house arrest. Indeed, a group of former commissioners and aides to Governor Suntai had written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, detailing, among others, how the acting governor allegedly held a security meeting in which plans to put the governor under house arrest were perfected. But Umar said there were no such plots, pledging to hand over power to incumbent Governor Suntai whenever he invited him to do so. According to Kefas, who went biblical, quoting the acting governor: “What Umar is waiting for is a day his boss will call him and say, ‘render to me an account of what you have

done while I was away.’ “Yes, if the governor says today, ‘My deputy, please, come; while I was away, you have administered the state on my behalf; now what have you been able to do?  “Please, let’s look at the accounts, let’s look at the records, the things you have done. Now, based on what I have seen, oh, congratulations or well done; oh, I am not satisfied with what you have done. “You know, he (governor) can tell him (deputy) his mind and say, ‘Okay, please, I am now ready to do my work,’ and the acting governor, will have no choice than to hand over power to him. That is number one.” Kefas also said that Governor Suntai had to get the consent of the state House of Assembly to return to power, stressing that it was the Assembly that gave Umar the mandate to act

in the capacity of acting governor.  He said: “Now, he (Umar) is still acting until such a time that the state House of Assembly will again say that, ‘Your Principal (Suntai) has come back and he’s strong enough to do his job or carry on with the duty of his office; please, hand over office back to him. “And he will go right away to do that.” Interestingly, both Governor Suntai and Umar’s camps debunked reports of “crisis” in the Taraba seat of government, painting a rosy relationship between governor and his deputy. As Mr. Hassan Mijinyawa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Suntai (whose responses to questions by The Guardian are credited to the governor) put it, “when you talk about crisis, what kind of crisis?”

Shitta-Bey dumps own party, joins APC By Joe Adiorho ARELY 72 hours after former B Vice President Atiku Abubakar defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), an erstwhile member of the House of Representatives and the founder and National Chairman of the Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP) Chief Rasheed Adewale ShittaBey, yesterday in Lagos declared for the APC. He declared that having followed the current political development in the country and other ancillary activities, “it has become imperative to move on to other grounds and levels in order to be relevant in the events that shape your country and the environment that you live in”. On Tuesday, at the second convention of the party, Shitta-Bey resigned his position as the national chairman, informing the delegates that he was on his way to register with the APC. “I am at this convention, February 4, 2014, resigning my position as the national chairman of the party,” he said.

Ondo LP group alleges neglect by party, govt From Niyi Bello, Akure WO months after the death of a member of House of Representatives that represented Ilaje/EseOdo Federal Constituency in Ondo State, Raphael Nomiye, his political associates and followers have cried out over alleged neglect by the ruling Labour Party (LP) in the state and the government. Nomiye, who was a chieftain of LP and close ally of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, slumped and died in his official residence in Abuja late last year. The late legislator’s followers, comprising some members of Nomiye’s family and notable politicians from the coastal area of the state, who converged on his house at Okitipupa under the aegis of Groovy Political Forum (GPF), said they met to work out modalities on how to redress the situation and sustain the legacies left behind by the deceased lawmaker.

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Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke (second left); Linus Okom (left); the state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Ntufam John Okon (right) and former deputy governor of the state, Dr. Mathias Offobeche, when Northern Leaders’ Forum visited Imoke at the Government House, Calabar

Hurdles to better healthcare, by stakeholders NADEQUATE budget allocaIonetion has been identified as of the major setbacks hindering the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage since the Federal Government introduced health insurance as an alternate and supplementary source of funding healthcare in the country almost a decade ago. Speaking in Abuja at a stakeholder meeting with the newly-appointed Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Olufemi Thomas, Chairman of the Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN), Dr. Kola Owoka, expressed concern over the inability of NHIS to cover up to five per cent of the target population since its inception, which has created an increasing need for introspection and paradigm shift. According to the Chairman of HMCAN, “the goals of universal coverage are to cover at least 90 per cent of the population by prepayment and risk pooling schemes and to put in place social assistance and social safety nets (subsidy) for

those who cannot contribute. Therefore, there must be innovative financing to increase resources for healthcare including a percentage expected from the Federation Accounts as prescribed in the National Health Bill to boost the resources available for healthcare financing in the country”.

Owoka further stressed the “need for urgent enactment of the new NHIS Act currently before the National Assembly as the appropriate legislation that will make it compulsory to get all public and private sectors to subscribe to health insurance schemes by changing “may” to “shall” in the

NHIS Act, CAP 35 of May 1999, to make it mandatory”. The HMCAN is the umbrella body of Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) in Nigeria, comprising professionals and experts in the field of health insurance. As key players in the sub-sector, Owoka was of the opinion that “many

of us have experiences of lessons-learned and best practice highlights from different countries, and therefore, capable of taking the business of health insurance to greater heights in the country. Since health insurance is the only thing we do, we have a lot of practical and theoretical ideas to share”.

Court adjourns arraignment of Lagos ex-dep gov till today By Joseph Onyekwere and Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo FEDERAL High Court in Lagos yesterday adjourned the arraignment of the former deputy governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, till today at the instance of the prosecution. In a related development, a businessman and lawyer, Fred Ajudua, was yesterday re-arraigned before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N200 million ($1.69m) fraud. When the matter came up before Justice Mohammed

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• Ajudua re-arraigned Yunusa, the prosecuting counsel, Abdullahi Dania, informed the court that the accused (Ojikutu) could not be produced in court due to some logistics challenges and, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the arraignment till today. The defence counsel, led by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and Adekunle Oyesanya (SAN), did not oppose the application for adjournment. As a result, the trial judge slated the arraignment for today. Ojikutu is slammed with a three-count charge by the po-

lice together with her son, Sampson, who is now at large, for conspiring among themselves to commit felony by obtaining the sum of N130 million from one Cajetan Okekearu. The police said she committed the offence by pretending to have a plot of land at Lekki Phase 1, to sell to Okekearu. The offence, the police said, is punishable under Section 8 (a) of the Advance-Fee-Fraud and other related offences Act, Cap. A6, Laws of the Federation, 2004. They were also accused of indeed obtaining the said sum from Okekearu, as well as stealing the money from the com-

plainant. Part of the charge reads: “That you, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu (F), and Sampson Ojikutu, now at large, on or about September 2011, at Lekki Phase 1, Victoria Island, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did obtain the sum of N130m, property of Cajetan Okekearu, under the pretence that you have a plot of land at Lekki Phase 1 to sell to the said Cajetan Okekearu, thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(1) (a), (3) of the Advance-Fee-Fraud and other fraud related Offences Act, Cap. A6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, among others.


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 | 9

PHOTONEWS

Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde (right) and the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle when the envoy visited the Commission’s office in Abuja.

Managing Consultant, DACA Consults Limited, Mr. Adebayo Ayoade (right); Guest Speaker, Olasunkade Azeez; Business Development Manager, DACA Consults Limited, Miss Ibrahim, Rasidat; Associate Consultant of the company, J. H. M. Tettehfio and Training Coordinator, Adeniyi Adegoke, during an annual open day learning programme organised by DACA Consults Limited with the theme “Talent Management through Coaching and Mentoring” in Lagos.

Chief of Staff to Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola (left); Managing Director, Osun State Investment Company, Bola Oyebamiji; Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti; Olufon of Ifon land, Oba Maruf Magbagbeola and the state Deputy Governor, Grace Laoye-Tomori, during the inauguration and presentation of NIS 306:2008 Certificate to OSICOL Waters by Standards Organisation of Nigeria in Osogbo, Osun State.

Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial district, Adegbenga Kaka (left); his wife, Oladunni and the Sopen lukale of Ijebu-Igbo, Oba Mufutau Yusuf, at the commissioning of Molusi College staff-room blocks and mosque by the senator in Ogun State.

Babaloja Agbeni Ibadan, Alhaji Adisa Ladapo (left); Trade Marketing Manager, Nutricima, Ojomo OkotieDimai and major distributors, Sadiat Adewale and Macaulay Ohikhuare, at the unveiling of Customer Reward Mega Cash Promo of Nutricima Food with trade partners in Ibadan.

Director, Mark Brooks Education, Mark Brooks (left); Director, Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Mrs. Olufunke Amba; Vice-Consul, U.S Consulate, Gene Novikov (fifth left) and Managing Director, Proven Ability Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Biyi Tunji Olugbode (right), during the annual counseling and career fair organised by the school in Lagos.

Founder/General Overseer of Powerline Bible Church, Bishop Lawrence Osagie (left) and Nollywood actor, Pastor Zack Orji, at the press briefing to mark the church’s 25th anniversary in Lagos.

Special Guest of Honour, Femi Olubanwo (left); Chairman, 20th Annual Inter-house Sports Competition, Austin Ufomba; PTA Chairman, Mrs. Maureen Awobokun; Chairman, National Academicals Sports Commission (NASCOM), Yemi Idowu, and Principal, Atlantic Hall School, Andrew Jedras, during the school’s 20th Annual Inter-house Sports Athletics Competition at Poka-Epe, Lagos.


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10 | Thursday, February 6, 2014

WorldReport No peace until Pakistan embraces Islamic law, say Taliban

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HERE was no chance of peace in Pakistan until the government embraces Islamic Sharia law and United States (U.S.)-led forces withdraw completely from neighbouring Afghanistan, negotiators representing Taliban insurgents declared yesterday Agency reports stated that the tough conditions appear to deal a blow to hopes that talks with the Pakistani government could end the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) insurgency that has rocked the nuclear-armed country since 2007. Initial peace talks failed to

get under way Tuesday when the government delegation refused to meet the militants’ negotiators, citing confusion about the make-up of their team. The two sides are expected to try to meet again today or tomorrow, though no definite arrangements have yet been made. Washington and Kabul have been deadlocked over a pact known as the Bilateral Security Agreement, which would allow some U.S. troops to stay on in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign it at present.

Political crisis in Burundi as Tutsi ministers quit ENTRAL African nation of C Burundi has been plunged deeper into a political crisis after the three government ministers from the country’s main Tutsi party resigned. The resignations of the Uprona party members upsets an increasingly delicate power-sharing arrangement between Burundi’s Hutu and Tutsi communities, who are still struggling to reconcile after decades of conflict. The Uprona party said District Development Minister JeanClaude Ndihokubwayo, Communications Minister

Leocadie Nihaza and Trade Minister Victoire Ndikumana had all walked out of the cabinet. “We refuse to cohabit with the ruling party of President Pierre Nkurunziza, which is going out of its way to destroy us,” Uprona spokesman Tatien Sibomana told AFP. The resignations follow an attempt by the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD, to force out Uprona’s party chairman Charles Nditije ahead of elections scheduled for 2015 and replace him with a sympathiser.

UN watchdog, Vatican trade words over child abuse report U

NITED Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has denounced the Vatican for failing to stamp out child abuse and allowing systematic cover-ups, calling on the Church to remove clergy suspected of raping or molesting children. But the Vatican yesterday said that it would study the damning UN report, but slammed criticism of its religious teachings as “interference”. In an unprecedented report for a UN body, a report by Agence France Presse (AFP) indicated that the Committee on the Rights of the Child slammed the Vatican for failing to live up to repeated pledges to put its house in order, and said all clergy and lay employees suspected of abuse must be turned over to the police. “The committee expresses serious concern that in dealing with child victims of different forms of abuse, the Holy See has systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the Church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims,” it said. It urged the Vatican to “immediately remove all

The committee expresses serious concern that in dealing with child victims of different forms of abuse, the Holy See has systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the Church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims.

known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes”. Committee head, Kirsten Sandberg, said that despite the Vatican’s pledges to adopt a zero tolerance approach, it was in clear breach of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. “The simple answer is yes, they are in breach of the Convention as up to now, because they haven’t done all the things that they should have done,” Sandberg told reporters. The report said the Vatican had failed to acknowledge the extent of abuse, nor taken necessary measures to protect children, and had allowed perpetrators to continue with impunity. It blasted the transfer of abusers to new parishes within

countries, and even across borders, in an attempt to cover up their crimes and remove them from the clutches of justice. But in a terse response, the Vatican said it “took note” of the report, but criticised as doctrinal interference parts of the report that questioned its stance on contraception and abortion. As well as general comments on the risks to girls of early pregnancy and clandestine abortions, the committee spotlighted the case of a nine-yearold Brazilian who was raped by her stepfather, and whose mother and doctor were excommunicated after she had a termination. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) hailed the report. “The quickest way to prevent child sexual violence by Catholic clerics is for Pope Francis to publicly remove all offenders from ministry and

harshly punish their colleagues and supervisors who enabled their crimes,” SNAP said. However, the Vatican said in a statement: “The Holy See takes note of the concluding observations on its reports, which will be submitted to a thorough study and examination... according to international law and practice.” While agreeing to study the report, the Vatican reacted strongly to what it slammed as “interference” into Church teachings on abortion and homosexuality, after the UN called on the ancient institution to modernise and amend its attitudes. The Vatican “regrets to see in some points of the concluding observations an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom.” Also, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, Silvano Tomasi, accused the UN of distorting facts in its damning report, which denounced the Church for failing to stamp out child abuse.

Kenyatta case has collapsed, defence tells ICC S judges of International Kenya’s top politician was A Criminal Court (ICC) supposed to go on trial yestermulled dropping the highprofile trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, his defence team said yesterday his crimes against humanity case before the court “has collapsed.” “The prosecution has realised that its case has collapsed,” lawyer Steven Kay told judges in The Hague, where Kenyatta faces charges for his role in the deadly 200708 post-poll violence that rocked the east African country. The ICC last month postponed Kenyatta’s trial after prosecutors said they no longer had enough evidence to put him in the dock.

day, but instead judges were listening to arguments on whether to withdraw the charges. Kenyatta, 52, is facing five counts of crimes against humanity allegedly committed under his direction in the aftermath of the disputed elections, in which prosecutors say more than 1,100 people died. In an apparent last bid to keep the case alive, prosecutors now want judges to rule that Nairobi has failed to cooperate with their investigation – especially in their request for financial statements which they say could prove Kenyatta’s role in funding the violence.

Bombs kill 33 near Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, others the latest Iraq’s worst IsixNsurge of violence in nearly years, bombings in Baghdad, including three near the heavily-fortified Green Zone and the foreign ministry, killed 33 people yesterday. The attacks, which wounded dozens more, came as security forces battle militants in the western province of Anbar, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a powerful jihadist group that has exploited the chaos in neighbouring Syria. With violence at its highest level since 2008, diplomats have urged the Shiite-led

government to reach out to Sunnis in order to undercut support for militancy, but Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has taken a hard line ahead of April’s parliamentary elections. Yesterday’s deadliest bombings, which included at least one suicide attack, struck during morning rush hour, ripping through mixed areas of the capital bordering the Green Zone, home to parliament, the prime minister’s residence and the U.S. and British embassies. The three explosions killed 25 people and wounded another 35, security officials and a medical source said.


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 | 11

Focus CCTV cameras and anti-crime battle in Lagos By Dele Fanimo and Odita Sunday WO unmarked cars screeched to a halt with T a trail of dust. Like a commando movie, occupants of the cars alighted, brandishing dangerous weapons such as AK 47 rifles, a rocket launcher and a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG). They were no soldiers. Their target: A 2013 Toyota Prado Sport Utility Vehicle. ‘‘Come down, leave the key on the ignition’’ bellowed one of the robbers. Within a twinkle of an eye, two of the robbers jumped into the snatched SUV, while others speed off with their vehicles. Fait accompli. Another successful operation to boot. Elsewhere, security communication was triggered by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, right in his office. He was actually watching the scene like nollywood movie from his office. His order. ‘‘Get them at all cost.’’ The robbers sped through Ikeja, Agege Motor Road, Dopemu, Egbeda and finally landed at a local food joint in Orisunmibare, Sasa to eat and celebrate their success. Unknown to them, the various Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras were deployed to trail them to the eatery. And with the aid of radio communication, operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command were closely monitoring them. They had indeed cordoned off the area with a particular operative known for not missing his target close to the bukateria. Having filled their stomach and oblivious of the presence of policemen, they just sauntered towards their vehicles and pronto, a hail of hot lead punctuated the hitherto quiet neighbourhood. When the dust finally settled, two armed robbers had fallen, one got injured and others escaped, but not with any of the cars. There appears to be no hiding place for criminals in Lagos State any more. The party is over, so it seems. Giving up totally on crime or outright relocation seems to be the only option for men of the underworld. Indeed, the launch of the long awaited surveillance Camera Monitoring Centre at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Control Centres and the Governor’s office, Alausa, Ikeja, has shown that the state government is sure footed in its quest to make the state unattractive for criminals. Following the launching of the project, the state government     demonstrated it has the capacity to cage these ‘men of the underworld’ With the launch, came a clarion call from the governor that every citizen should brace up to confront the menace of high-level crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping, trans-border crimes, and murder amongst others.   At the venue, security operatives and other dignitaries were elated when the governor unveiled the monitoring center. The 1,200 video wall cameras are compressed to 27 screens that can monitor activities going on in Lagos metropolis at the same time. Fashola who was impressed during the test running of the 1,200-unit camera at the State House said there was no longer a hiding place for criminals in the state. The cameras according to him, would aid security operatives in   fighting all manner of crimes. “The camera will monitor all the activities going on in the state but those who monitor it will focus on unusual behaviours. For example, if there was armed robbery going on in a particular area, the camera would focus on the robbery scene and capture the operation.  “By focusing on the scene, the camera will now capture the faces of the hoodlums, which will make the work of the police easy, as there will no longer be contention on who committed the act.” Said a source at the State House. The source further explained that the police were able to arrest those suspects who participated in Murtala Muhammed International Airport robbery last year due to footages from the cameras. The source further disclosed that the camera would be able to produce the exact photo clips of criminals. Fashola who noted that   government invest-

A CCTV monitor center ed hugely   on security, assured that Lagos was getting it right gradually in the area of security. He said the good thing was that in 2008, his government started with only one camera, which has metamorphosed into 1,200 cameras. “We know that there has been criticism and cynicism, but today, we have moved from zero to 1,200-camera state. We are still far behind because, it is still not enough for the state, but we have moved.  We have succeeded in merging our camera with the one the Federal Government donated to us.” He said. He added that his administration did not stop at camera but has improved also on the alarm systems as the camera can capture any emergency such as fire and accident scene.      According to him, “The alarm system will now notify the relevant agencies who will move to the emergency scene.  And through the camera, the activities of the officers on the scene of emergency will be monitored. “The state has also moved from eight digit telephone emergency lines to three digit ones making it very possible for citizen to memorize the lines when there is any emergency.  He said the government was committed to ensuring adequate security adding that    “The state, through the police Trust Fund, is committed to the protection of lives and property of citizens. ‘‘We will continue to sustain the tempo of our security consciousness by providing logistics for security agencies to fight crime to a reasonable standard.’’ However, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Umar Manko, who corroborated Fashola’s claims said: “With the 1,200 live video cameras in the state, criminals especially, armed robbers are in trouble.’’

Fashola

Manko

Manko said the cameras would assist his officers and men in the war against crime and criminality in Lagos. He said the government has been generous by providing equipment and logistics for the police to thrive statewide. “Our achievements would not have been possible if not for the assistance being rendered to the police by both the Federal and state governments who have provided vehicles, arms and ammunition to the police. “Lagos State has risen up to the challenges by

providing the law enforcement agencies with logistics to tackle the menace in the various parts of the states and communities. The state government further impressed residents and tax payers with its deployment of hitech surveillance camera which would monitor every nook and crannies of the metropolis from its base station in Alausa, Lagos.” The Governor is optimistic that the move would definitely enhance public security; assist with the prevention and nipping of crimes in the bud, as well as provide a means by which the public could alert the police of natural disasters as they are occurring in their communities. “The system will enable proactive and rapid response to emergency situations as well as management of information within the state. Successful implementation of this project will significantly improve public safety levels, guarantee social stability and economic development in Lagos and Nigeria.” An observer said.

“The cameras will monitor all the activities going on in the state but those who monitor it will focus on unusual behaviour. For example, if there was armed robbery going on in a particular area, the camera would focus on the robbery scene and capture the operation. 


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 www.ngrguardiannews.com

transparent balloting system because demand far outweighs supply, as government was committed to abide by the rules that would stand public scrutiny. He advised applicants to bid only for houses in the areas where they are prepared to live and not for every house that is put on the market. “We would not allow any successful applicant to rent out the houses. If you do not live in the house that you win, you would have violated our first homeowner rule and it is a ground to repossess the house, pay you off and offer it to those who really need a home. We would only allow you to rent it out after 10 years when you would have fully paid for the house.” As people eagerly await the advertised rates of the houses, it was gathered from sources in the Ministry of Housing that houses in the Emeka Anyaoku Estate, in Ikeja GRA, are going for N35 million, while the three-bedroom flats at Gbagada and other mainland areas would be offered for between N10 million and N15 million. In defence of the project cost, Fashola said: “In terms of pricing, the Lagos HOMS is about affordability and accessibility. “This is so because we have not yet found cheap or low cost cement, neither have we found low cost iron rod or low cost labour. “The continuity and sustainability of the entire project depends on our ability to build more at break-even cost without profit. Accordingly, we have applied an across the board discount of 25 percent to the total actual cost of land, infrastructure and building, which is the total cost of the home. “The houses become more competitive against what is available on the open market because there is a minimum period of 10 years swear to an affidavit that they have not got ing their application. to pay for it and the mortgage will attract a houses else-where in the contract that entitles “We also expect successful applicants to imme- maximum interest of 9.5 percent per annum.” us to repossess the house anytime, even in the diately pay a deposit of 30 percent of the cost of The governor added that prompt payment of 10th year if we have proof that a beneficiary the house they choose as their equity, while the monthly mortgages would be enforced as owned another home when he applied to the balance would be paid on a monthly basis for studies show that default of payment and diffischeme. over 10 years. Accordingly, we would match culty of repossessing houses from defaulters “In addition, only Lagos residents, not indihouse choices to applicants’ proven income have been a major disincentive to investment genes, who are tax payers will benefit. Applisources to determine eligibility and it is only eli- in the property sector by private sector develcants would be required to show us their resi- gible applicants, whose forms would go into bal- opers. dency card under the Lagos State Residents lot from which successful applicants would be Fashola stated further that the Lagos HOMS is Registration exercise. Apart from residency, picked.” not about providing a home alone, but it is applicants must show proof of payment of tax The governor explained that the final eligibili- also about a total lifestyle change. for a continuous period of five years precedty for ownership was being left to chance after a “We are moving our people from a desperation for shelter to an orderly and planned living. “Because it is a mortgage-driven scheme, we expect that people would take their jobs more seriously and apply themselves more diligently in order to retain the ability to pay the mortgage. You will lose your home if you lose your job, but we expect to see not only increased productivity but also a progressive reduction of unethical conduct in the workplace,” he said. He hinted that the ultimate plan by government is to become guaranteed purchasers to developers, who will acquire their own land and build according to specifications on agreed prices. “This way, more houses can come on stream because of the private sector participation, and government would use the Internally GeneratCommissioner for Finance and chairman, Lagos Mortgage Board, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi (right); Commissioner for Housed Revenue (IGR) from tax payers’ money to ing and member of the board, Mr. Bosun Jeje; Executive Secretary of the board, Mr. Akinola Kodjo Sagoe; and buy from developers and sell to beneficiaries Executive Directors of the board, Mrs. Bola Fashola and Mr. Bayowa Foresythe at the launch of the Lagos State on mortgage.” Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS) on Monday.

Housing for all…

Lagos unveils 200 homes monthly, lists eligibility By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor, and Tunde Alao O doubt the www.lagoshoms.gov.ng, website of the Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme would be getting hits after hits 72 hours after it was launched. The reason being that shelter is one of the intrinsic needs of man and in Lagos, there is a huge housing deficit occasioned by overpopulation. For many Lagosians, who had long stopped hoping of owning a home, the new development seems to have brought back the thought of a better future. From the 4th of March, the first of the monthly draws will be held for the first 200 homes. This number is expected to increase to 300 every month subject to the ability of the contractor to deliver the units on schedule. In Lagos millions of residents are in dire need of decent accommodation. While those who are prepared to weather the storm have found succour in slums, many unfortunate ones have fallen victim to swindlers and land grabbers in their desperate search for a place to lay their heads. Inaugurating the Lagos State Mortgage Board on Monday, Governor Babatunde Fashola took great delight at fulfilling another electioneering campaign promise. “I am proud because this project is a product of many years of grueling work, long hours and devotion by our team. “In Lagos, we hold the view that a home is not something you buy in one day, but over time in a way that your ability to acquire it is tied to your income and continued prosperity. It is an asset that outlives you. As we flag off this scheme, there are 1,104 completed homes with another 3,156 at various stages of construction,” he said. The buildings are blocks of four floors, containing 12 flats of one, two and three bedroom on each flour, in an optimal use of limited land space at Igbogbo Ikorodu, Agbowa, Gbagada, Igando, Mushin, Shitta Surulere, Ilupeju, Shogunro Ogba, Omole, Magodo, Sangotedo and Lekki. Sites yet to take off include those at Iponri, Ibeshe Ikorodu, Ajara Badagry, Sangotedo Phase II, Obele, Akerele Phase II, Oyingbo, Ilubirin and Ijora Badia. The rules of eligibility, Fashola vowed, would be strictly adhered to and enforced to ensure sustenance of the mortgage scheme. “Applicants must be first-time home owners. Only those who have never owned a home, whether acquired privately or bought from government, will be eligible,” he stated and that: “Applicants would be required to

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Mushin engages stakeholders in budget preparation required to prepare this document.” He went further to state that the people form the fulcrum of development, as pare a budget that will have direct pos- without them, nothing will be sustainable. “The resources of the council are itive impact on their lives,” Olatunde limited, there must be a scale of preferBabatunde Adepitan, chairman of ence on projects and programmes that Mushin Local Government has said. Addressing the council stakeholders are germane to the growth of the comlast week, which included traditional munity.” The council chairman appealed to resirulers, captains of industries, artisans, dents to pay their taxes as the N160 milyouth leaders, transport union leadlion generated last year was inadequate ers, traders, and representatives of to fast-track required development. Community Development AssociaOne of the stakeholders present at the tions (CDAs), Adepitan said without calling the people together, any budg- meeting, Mrs. Morakinyo Abiodun, et prepared is like building a castle in appealed to the local government to give priority attention to the Itire Primary the air. Health Centre in 2014 budget. “We are not going to make the misThe residents of Eyin-Iga in Itire take of building something on nothing. The stakeholders are the ultimate demanded for an event centre in order to Council Manager, Mushin Local Government, Mr. Rasaq Oladeji; leader of beneficiaries of this budget, this is why stop people from blocking the roads dur- the House, Awotunde Omolewu and Chairman, Babatunde Adepitan, at the stakeholders’ meeting on 2014 Budget… held last week. their suggestions, views and ideas are ing social outings. NE of the reasons for calling on “O the stakeholders before the preparation of 2014 budget is to pre-


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 13

This Is Lagos

Lagos In Brief Lagos shuts three illegal private schools HE Lagos State Government T has shut three private schools for operating illegally and contravening the guidelines on the establishment and operation of private schools in the state. Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, disclosed this yesterday at Alausa. The affected schools are Honesty Private School located at 4/6, Akintayo Akinbola Street, Surulere; Heibenah Montessori Schools at 78, Agbebi Street, Ijeshatedo in Surulere and Elyon Ambassador Private School at 3, Mabayoje Street, Oshodi. According to the commissioner, the affected schools were also operating in residential/converted structures wherein some shops were attached to the building in question without provision for special rooms and other

required facilities. She noted that besides the fact that the schools shared a fence with another registered private school, it was also discovered that they did not provide required records upon demand from officials of state Ministry of Education. She recalled that prior to the closure of the three schools, the state government had served the management of the schools notices wherein they were advised to relocate to suitable purpose-built structures for their schools and report back compliance to the Ministry of Education. The commissioner advised private school operators to always abide by the rules guiding the establishment and operation of schools in the state.

Court dissolves 20-year-old marriage N Orile-Agege Customary A Court in Lagos yesterday dissolved a 20-year-old marriage of a

Disaster waiting to happen on this pedestrian bridge at Domino Bus-stop, by KFC Restaurant on Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo Yaba. PHOTO: GODFREY OKPUGIE

LAGOS ASSEMBLY DIARY

Lawmakers to raise awareness on existing laws, legislative functions By Wole Oyebade O popularize existing laws in the state T and promote public compliance, the Lagos State House of Assembly will be

• House proceeds on four-week recess

was worried on lack of awareness on many existing laws in the state, especialtaking awareness campaign to the grass- ly among the public that should test the legislations. roots. He said: “If the people that the laws are The effort, according to the House, is also to make popular the legislative func- to defend and promote their well-being tions of the House and bring people clos- do not know about it, then it will not be effective, which is why we will be raising er to politics. awareness and sensitize the public on Meanwhile, the House has begun its what we are doing as their lawmakers. four-week recess to make up for tireless The public needs to know.” legislative engagements in the last four Olulade, who is the House Committee months. The House had in the last four months Chairman on Information, Strategy, Publicity and Security, added that one of the worked on the 2014 Appropriation bill till it was approved in January. It has also tactics to adopt is opening the Assembly to members of the public to witness legpassed three new bills, which includes islative proceedings in the Chamber. no-smoking in public places, consumer He said lawmakers would be entitled protection and emergency call comto sponsor members of their constituenmand and control bills. cies to observed proceedings. Plenary resumes on March 3, 2014. His words: “It is part of our efforts to Spokesperson for the House, Segun bring the public closer to the parliamenOlulade, told reporters that the House

tary. They really need to know the letters and spirit of legislations like no-smoking in public places, consumer protection and emergency call command and control bills, coupled with the upcoming law on lands. “Today, the public still don’t know the role of a lawmaker in government and this is also the case among elites. It is our responsibility to bring our constituents closer to the House and politics of today. The people will also see that religion is not a barrier to participating in politics and should not be a factor in its conducts.”   Commenting on the recent crisis in Lagos State University (LASU), which has been blamed on exorbitant school fees in some quarters, the lawmaker representing Epe Constituency II, explained that the state government needed enough fund to have a well established higher institution that would be the pride of Lagosians, hence the upward review of tuition. Olulade, however, said many of the students, especially the indigent ones, were not affected by the new regime in school fees. According to him, a lot of students have their money returned through bursary, as a way of encouraging our people to further their education. He declared: “When the issue of increase in school fees came up in the Lagos Assembly we made sure that those students already in the school were exempted from paying the new fees. So, we still have students, who still pay N25, 000 in LASU. Therefore, I don’t see how the crisis is related with school fees.”

pastor who had accused his wife of adultery, stealing, and threatening his life. Olufemi Adewumi, 44, who lives at 12, Ajiboye Close, Ile-Iwe, Agbado Oke-Odo, Agege, came to the court on December 12, 2013, seeking the dissolution of his marriage to Fatimo, his wife. Ruling in the case, the Court President, Adegboyega Omilola, said the marriage had broken down irreparably. “Since the inception of the hearing, the woman failed to appear before the court; a court summon was served to her, but she failed to come.

“The court cannot continue to wait for the woman that failed to honour the court. So, the marriage is dissolved today. You have ceased to be husband and wife, you shall go your separate ways unmolested,” he said. Omilola granted custody of their two children, aged 12 and 15 years, to the man. “Take care of the children and ensure you see to their wellbeing,” he said. The pastor had told the court that his wife was adulterous and kept bad company. “I caught my wife and one of her lovers in our house last year. She was not expecting me at that time, else she would not have invited her lover,” he said.

Youths charged on goal setting MANAGEMENT consultant and A life coach, Mr Kelechi Anyalechi, has advised young people to take

self-education. “You may say so many things about the country, especially that there goal setting seriously as first step are no jobs, but one thing I towards achieving great things for can encourage every young themselves. He made this known in person to do is self-education. Lagos recently at a youth seminar Personal development is key. with the theme The Power of Goals. You have got to invest in your According to him, one of the rea- personality before you can sons many young people don’t impact your world,” he said. become successful is because they Other speakers at the event don’t set goals. “They just wander included President of the through life year after year. The Nigerian Guild of Editors and only way you can measure the level Managing Director of The Sun of success is by setting goals and newspaper, Mr. Femi Adesina; there is no better time to set goals and a peak performance than the beginning of a new year.” coach, Iheanyi Ejiogu, among He further charged the youths on others.

Kelechi Anyalechi, convener of the Achieve Your Goals Smarter and Faster seminar


Thursday, February 6, 2014 15

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Politicians must be wary of spikes on the path of democracy, says Umar (3) Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (Rtd.), former military governor of Kaduna State, human rights crusader and a critical and voice on public affairs, rarely grants interviews, preferring to use other channels of communication to counsel those in power. But when he decides to speak, even his ardent critics will listen. This he did when he spoke in Kuduna to Northern Bureau Chief, Saxone Akhaine, on issues of national significance. Specifically, he fielded questions on the crises and bickering among political parties and politicians; President Goodluck Jonathan and his efforts at transforming the polity and many other national issues including the forthcoming 2015 General Elections. • Continued from yesterday HE Presidency is at war with loves his country dearly. If his T the CBN Governor, Mallam aim was corrective, he should Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on his recent allegation that the NNPC had failed to remit $49.8 billion and allowing the letter addressed to the President to go public. What is your take on this? This figure has since been adjusted downwards to $10.8 billion after some reconciliation between the CBN, NNPC and Ministry of Finance. My take is that there is little or no coordination and cooperation between these federal institutions. Secondly, the NNPC has, by its delayed explanation, confirmed that it embarked on expenditure without appropriation by the National Assembly. This is simply a carry over from the President Obasanjo administration. I am sure you recall that some of us raised observation about how the NNPC was allocated 450,000 barrels of crude per day at subsidized rate of $17 per barrel when the International Market price was over $30 per barrel and our local refining capacity had fallen below 200,000 barrels per day. NNPC sold the excess at the prevailing international rate and used the proceeds to import petroleum products without due appropriation by the National Assembly. The NNPC is still using this method. What is most surprising is that Obasanjo has the audacity to criticize the system. We must return to proper budgeting. What is your reaction to the 18 page letter written to President Jonathan by former President Obasanjo in which he raised some allegations? I am shocked at the celebratory reaction to the letter by well informed citizens. The question is, what did Obasanjo intend to achieve with his libelous missive? If the aim was to publicly abuse, humiliate and diminish President Jonathan like he did to all past Nigerian leaders he could have succeed if he had not built a reputation of; as Chief Deji Fasuan had described him in his reaction to the letter thus: some people have cast Obasanjo in one conclave which is Obasanjo in government is a dictator, a small tyrant with big measure of impunity, whereas Obasanjo out of government is a model democrat, even a patriot who

have confronted President Jonathan directly. This was the recommended course of action by both Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalam Abubakar. Had he also consulted with Generals Yakubu Gowon and T.Y Danjuma, they would have counseled against an open letter as they indicated later. The claim by Gen. Obasanjo that he was left with no option because President Jonathan had failed to respond to his earlier correspondences is not credible. The truth is that Gen. Obasanjo or all other former Heads of State have unlimited access to President Jonathan as was evident in his meeting with the President in Kenya a few days after the publication of his letter. Not getting a response is different from not getting a favourable response to Obasanjo’s ludicrous and embarrassing requests. Those who celebrate and are willing to swear by this false messiah and messenger should please ask him to publicly reveal what favour he requested of the President in the last Anambra Gubernatorial election. At the height of his hubris, I wrote a letter to Almighty President Obasanjo in which I drew his attention to the promise of the good Lord of assured chastisement for those who engage in the use of His name in vain. Gen. Obasanjo was busy calling men of God idiots so he remained impervious to wise counsel. Now, having been given ample opportunity by Nigerians and showered with God’s Grace, Gen. Obasanjo failed to deliver. He so underachieved or achieved dubious success; he is currently being afflicted by his pitiable record. He has tried every trick to recreate his past to no avail. Gen. Alabi Isama has debunked his civil war hero status through the presentation of incontrovertible evidence. From presidency to the pulpit, a noble prize winner and International statesman are goals that have eluded him. He has diminished himself to the status of an angry letter writer as Mahmud Jega aptly described him. Gen. Obasanjo has seen action against elder statesmen like

At the height of his hubris, I wrote a letter to Almighty President Obasanjo in which I drew his attention to the promise of the good Lord of assured chastisement for those who engage in the use of His name in vain. Gen. Obasanjo was busy calling men of God idiots so he remained impervious to wise counsel. Now, having been given ample opportunity by Nigerians and showered with God’s Grace, Gen. Obasanjo failed to deliver. He so underachieved or achieved dubious success; he is currently being afflicted by his pitiable record

Umar Zik of Africa, the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the quintessential officer and Gentleman Gen. Yakubu Gowon and now, in the twilight of his life, he is engaged in a roforofo fight with Buruji Kashamu. How the mighty have fallen. Why have you refused to accept to serve any government since your retirement from the military in 1993? We are told that President Jonathan offered you several appointments including a Ministerial one but you turned down all, why the loss of interest in public service? I served the public as a military officer for about 23 years before I was prematurely retired, in 1993. I served the public as a military administrator Federal Housing Authority.

I served the public as a military Governor of Kaduna State for 3 years. I served in the Vanguard Group of Civil Society that prevented President Obasanjo from changing the constitution to serve for a Third and perhaps a life term as President with far reaching undesirable consequences for our democracy. As you are aware a governor takes precedence over a minister so the only position I can aspire to is the Presidency. By the Grace of God a Commissioner under my administration is current the Vice President so? I am content to remain an activist and a struggling Ostrich farmer. Please convey my regards and appreciation to the Editorials Board of The Guardian. I have a sense that their Editorials are divinely inspired. God bless.


TheGuardian

14 | Thursday, February 6, 2014

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 The 2015 electoral timetable T is not surprising that the elecIIndependent tion timetable released by the National Electoral Commission (INEC) has attracted mixed reactions from stakeholders. Going by the timetable, the Presidential/National Assembly elections will hold on February 14, 2015 and the gubernatorial/state assemblies’ elections will hold on February 28 respectively. Expectedly, the opposition parties have denied any prior consultation regarding the schedule of the elections and are critical of the arrangement that puts the presidential election first. This, they think, conveys undue advantage on the incumbent. Besides, that arrangement indeed has embedded in it, a predictable bandwagon effect, should the incumbent win the election with a possible attendant mass apathy for subsequent elections. The timetable is also seen as prejudicial to yet to be registered parties wishing to contest the elections and which the constitution allows to do so not later than a period of six months before the general elections. Above all, the timetable will heighten the tempo of politicking while actual governance is bound to take the backstage as most public officials will be inclined towards primitive and speculative activities ahead of the elections. Of course, it would be better if service would be paramount in the minds of elected leaders as opposed to perpetual jostling for power. Elections are great events everywhere in the world as they allow the electorate a periodic opportunity to express their rights of choosing those who will run the affairs of the state. In other words, investing on the governing class the required consent and legitimacy in a democratic environment is a cardinal duty in a democracy. With a history of tainted electoral process, Nigerians have justifiably become apprehensive of the future. Hence politicians and the electorate are critical of events preceding any election, as they may contain booby traps that could make or mar the processes. Elections in Nigeria have always resembled warfare, and staggered elections make sense for the foreseeable logistics problems that may arise. Indeed, there is already a prevailing trend of staggered elections following the various verdicts of election petition tribunals. This seems to lend cre-

dence to the argument of those in favour of it. Nevertheless, the INEC timetable, staggered as it were, between the Presidential/National Assembly elections and the Gubernatorial/State Assemblies’ elections is not exactly a good plan. The timetable appears to fall into the design of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and could raise the issues of the perceived partisanship of INEC. And it is on this note that the Uwais Panel on electoral reform that expressed a preference for a one-day election into all elective positions is worth re-visiting. An order in which a presidential election comes first confers undue advantage on the incumbent and could upset the outcomes in a firstpast-the-post electoral system. This will occur in ways that enthrone in power candidates with minority votes which are hardly representative of the will of the electorate. If Nigeria’s history is anything to go by, it allows ample opportunity and easy logistics for criminal elements to perpetrate fraud. Besides, elections in Nigeria have come at a huge cost to the national coffers, and staggered elections exacerbate that, and increase the strain on the financial resources of the country. The best arrangement is for all categories of election to hold in a day. First, it will save cost as all elections held in the past resulted in a repetition of the shortcomings of the previous exercise. Second, it will undermine the capacity of rigging entrepreneurs to perpetrate their nefarious activities, especially through the deployment of criminal elements from one area to another in a staggered election. Third, it will curb voter apathy that often arises from the conflicting dynamics of a staggered process. And fourth, the opportunity cost inherent in a single day election is that it allows for concentration of efforts, personnel and logistics, including security and, therefore, makes for easy monitoring. Whatever shortcomings may arise from the one-day exercise, contingency provision should be made to allow for extension of voting continuing the following day. Given the points made above, and the controversial nature of election in Nigeria, it would not be out of place for INEC to rethink the timetable it has released and in the process, do itself and the country a great deal of service.

LETTER

First Lady, initiate peace in Rivers Excellency must call all her “fight-

Excellency has to come out boldSince the 2011 elections, SandIR:Dr.hisGoodluck Ebele Jonathan ing children” (the citizens), to ly, as the “Joan of Arc” of Nigeria, wife, became the new order – it is very clear that the to call all warring parties to Father and Mother of the nation. The position of First Lady carries huge responsibility, which requires a clear understanding and even temperament. Dame Patience Jonathan is not new to the position of “First Lady,” having been so when her husband was Governor of Bayelsa State. She has so far shown a deep appreciation of her role, having initiated, and been involved in many developmental projects, with many beneficiaries appreciative of her. Peace-keeping is also a passion of hers, going by the many peace-oriented projects she has embarked on, leading up to her most recent declaration in December 2013 that she should now be known and addressed as “Mama Peace!” Violence has been rearing its head amongst us, threatening our national security, costing lives and property, at a cost to the image of the country, everyday. Rivers State, Borno, etc. have witnessed unimaginable violence that kept security apparatus working round the clock. All these negate the good intentions of Mama Peace. They are a challenge to the peace that she has devoted her energies to advocating. But the greatest litmus test that has been thrown in the path of “Mama Peace,” is the crisis in Rivers State! As the “Mother of the nation,” Her

Dame has to take charge of things in Rivers State in particular, and use her success there as a template to sue for peace in the other volatile sections of the country. Without meaning to sound sectional, Rivers State is her state of origin, and “charity,” they say, “begins at home!” It is no longer a matter of who is wrong, or who is right, or even whether these eruptions are politically motivated or not – it is now a matter of moving to save Rivers from collapse. Her

order, and foster peace and unity in Rivers State, in the true spirit of her name and calling, “Mama Peace!” With the various global awards, recognitions, and respect that she has received as a Peace and Development advocate, there is no better time to intervene positively than now. Nigeria needs peace.  • Stella Apiafi,  National Coordinator, I-Nigerian Initiative, Abuja, FCT

SOS on Oyo School of Hygiene Even at 80 years, there is to be proud of about StheIR:nothing present condition of the school. The School of Hygiene, under the control of Oyo State Ministry of Health is one tertiary institution, where both the living and learning conditions of students are sub-standard. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. For instance, inadequate hostel accommodation, limited number of classrooms, poor water supply, shortage number of lecturers are the order of the day. The halls of residence are in very disgraceful and deplorable state. There is pollution of water and air by the waste discharge from a nearby drinks factory. This terrible condition explains why students are always exposed to diseases and illness thus adversely affect their

academic output. Yet, the school management in collaboration with the state government compels the students to pay outrageous fees. The mobilization of HND 2 students for NYSC is still there unresolved. While many other Monotechnic students are going for NYSC the reverse is the case in Oyo State School of Hygiene. This is truly a graphic reflection of “anti-poor policy” of the state government. This is to use this medium to call the attention of the State Government, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to see to the plight of the students of Oyo State School of Hygiene. • Daniel Akande and Ismael Taiwo, School of Hygiene, Ibadan.


14

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Politics ‘Democracy’s survival, not Jonathan, is reason for planned impeachment clause review’ Yakubu Dogara, Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Services was the proponent of the recent Bill that sought to review and simplify the impeachment procedure of the President and the Vice President by vesting the powers to remove them solely in the National Assembly. Though the Bill did not scale through Dogara in this interview with Terhemba Daka spoke on what informed the move. He also cleared the air on insinuations that the amendment was targeted at President Goodluck Jonathan. Excerpts: OU were the prime mover of the just defeated Y Bill seeking to simplify and quicken the impeachment procedure of the President and the Vice President. What informed this move? You see, if the proposed amendment had sailed through, it would still have been very difficult to impeach and remove the President or Vice President from office. Time and space will not allow me to catalogue all the reasons that informed this Bill. But let me highlight a few of them.   Section 146 of the Constitution mentions impeachment as one of the grounds by which the Vice President may assume the office of the President but shockingly the Constitution does not provide for how the President or vice President can be impeached. Section 143 which the Bill sought to amend provides for the removal but not impeachment of the President and Vice President. So that is a huge lacuna in the Constitution that needs to be filled. Another defect of S.143 is that it only provides for the removal of the two office holders on account of gross misconduct in the performance of the “official” functions of their offices. That means “unofficial” conduct is not a ground for the removal of the two office holders, even if such unofficial conduct amounts to betrayal of the nation or serves to seriously undermine the offices they occupy. This is clearly unacceptable. Also, a fundamental requirement of our legal system is that no one can be punished for an offence until he has been tried and found guilty of that offence. The trial is supposed to be open and transparent in accordance with the requirements of the principles of natural justice. S.143 fails to provide for any form of trial. It talks only of an investigative Panel of Seven. S.143 therefore violates a fundamental pillar of our jurisprudence by requiring that the President or Vice President can be punished by impeachment and removal from office without any form of trial. S.143 also fails to clearly separate the body whose purview it is to determine the accusation. Between the National Assembly and the Panel of 7 who investigates, it is not clear who the accuser is and who the judge is. This also is a clear violation of fair hearing which is the cornerstone of our jurisprudence. The dumbest provision of S.143 is the requirement that a Panel of 7 appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) himself an appointee of the office holder who is facing impeachment and removal; has the constitutional powers to make a determination which is binding on the National Assembly and the courts. This is repugnant to the very philosophy of popular government. I can go on and on because the issues are endless. But are these defects enough to warrant the amendment? In the context of the many paradoxes and lacunas I have spoken about; absolutely, yes. In addition, we must come to see that the root cause of endemic and pervasive corruption in our dear country is S.143 of the Constitution. I make this statement with all sense of responsibility. Successive Nigerian presidents have studied and analysed this section very well and have come to the conclusion that it cannot be carried out in practical terms. That is why they operate like the medieval kings of whom it was said, “lived of themselves”. Our laws don’t count at all. Few examples will suffice. S. 80 of the Constitution is never complied with. There are multiple accounts like the Excess Crude Account that the President operates against the provision of the Constitution. The president has blatantly refused to constitute the National Procurement Council, a necessary minimum requirement of the Public procurement Act because he doesn’t want to give up the right to determine which contractor gets what. The weekly Federal Executive Council meeting has been turned into procurement meeting while crucial national issues like security are relegated to the background. The National Assembly is hamstrung as it cannot successfully invoke S. 143

Dogara of the Constitution so the culture of impunity is in the ascendency. The president wields unprecedented constitutional powers without any effective checks. As Lord Acton said, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. If the president does not obey the laws of the land what moral justification do I have to sit in Parliament to make laws that bind only lesser mortals. There is nothing like a rotten fish with a fresh head. If our society is rotten, it is because our leaders are rotten. If we are lawless, it is because our leaders are lawless. This is the challenge we are facing as a nation. Civil rule has come but democracy is still a mirage. How do we ensure that our leaders obey our laws in the absence of sanctions that can guarantee effective deterrence? Unless our leaders sit up and unless we re-fashion the democratic tools of deterrence by making impeachment and removal from office more probable than likely, we will sadly keep groping in the dark. We have an opportunity to effect these changes now and that is what compelled this Bill. What were some of the contents of the proposal? It proposed that the House would have the sole powers to impeach the president or the Vice President as the case may be in line with the tenets of representative democracy. However, the impeachment by the House would amount to no more than an indictment. After the impeachment the matter will be referred to the Senate for trial where a select group of members of the House will serve as prosecutors. To guard against procedural injustice, the CJN will preside over the trial. A two third vote of the Senate will suffice to convict and remove the office holder from office failing which the office holder survives the impeachment and retains his office. In addition, the Senate is also required to vote to bar the removed office holder from holding any position of trust in the country. If the impeachable offence involves a crime, the regular courts will additionally prosecute the removed office holder. This naturally eliminates the CJN’s panel

of 7, which is not more than a meddlesome interloper in the political process. This process is in tandem with our body of laws and guarantees fair hearing. It separates the body that accuses, the House of Representatives, from the body that tries and convicts, which is the Senate. With this are you not trying to arrogate to the legislature the absolute powers to oust the President? Impeachment is a political process involving political offences committed by politicians with political punishments. It does not fall within the sphere of ordinary jurisprudence where the normal courts hold sway. In America, it is the House that impeaches while the Senate tries and convicts. In Britain, it is the House of Commons that prosecutes while the House of Lords determines it. There is no civilized democracy that has in its Constitution the kind of draconian provisions in S.143 of our Constitution. For our democracy to be first class, we must first of all do away with second-class provisions in our Constitution and Statutes.

The root cause of endemic and pervasive corruption in our dear country is S.143 of the Constitution. I make this statement with all sense of responsibility. Successive Nigerian presidents have studied and analysed this section very well and have come to the conclusion that it cannot be carried out in practical terms

Why should we always borrow from America and other countries instead of developing our own homegrown solutions to national challenges? Unfortunately we borrowed presidential democracy from America. It is the single most important contribution of America to the art of governance. We can modify only to the extent that we do not touch the roots in order not to end up with something else. You cannot borrow an American Lincoln and attempt to use Toyota, or Range Rover’s manual to interpret and maintain it. That will be a sure recipe for disaster. Impeachment goes to the roots of democracy in that it keeps those who wield overwhelming constitutional powers in check. It checks corruption at the highest level and guarantees the fidelity of our leaders to our Constitution and laws. Any country that does not effectively provide for it risks having despots as leaders. But some people have argued that the bill is targeted at the President Jonathan, what is your take? It is ludicrous and even wicked to impute this kind of improper motive on our part without looking at the merits of what is on the table. Of course, with the culture of sycophancy which our civilian rule promotes, there is hardly anything one does that will be interpreted to be objective. Some in the opposition have claimed that we are doing the bidding of PDP by sharpening the tool of impeachment in preparation for when the opposition will produce the president. All these claims pander to vanity. How can the Parliament alter a section of the Constitution just to target an individual? The question therefore is whether what we proposed is right or wrong. If it is right, then the time is ripe now to provide for it. There will never be a time when such a radical proposal like this will not be misinterpreted. In that case the right time will never come. We must learn to abandon caution and embrace courage in taking tough decisions without which our democracy will always remained nascent. Are you disappointed that the Proposal did not scale through all the hurdles? Naturally, I felt disappointed, but I am not discouraged. However I am worried that this culture of impunity by the Executive would continue. But there is something in the character of truth that never dies. I m sure one day we will return to it. May that day not come when the overwhelming majority of our people would favour removing a President or Vice President from office. We will then come to realize that S.143 of the Constitution cannot be carried out because of its self-defeating nature and there is nothing the National Assembly can do about it. I am at pains that most of us especially the elites have not come to the conclusion that the shortcomings of S.143 of the Constitution goes to the roots of all the problems besetting our nation. If our people know the revolution this amendment will bring to our fight against corruption, lawlessness and mis-governance, there will be another round of occupy Nigeria to compel this amendment. Imagine President Obama or Prime Minister David Cameron violating the Constitution or laws of their country. The consequences are such that they cannot contemplate it. It is not the case that they are more morally upright than an average Nigerian President. The only difference is that their laws work and lawlessness even if committed by the head of government cannot be excused in their jurisdictions. Our leaders are supposed to be models as their actions speak to us louder than their words. The promise of democracy will continue to elude us until we embrace discipline and eschew lawlessness. And it must begin from the very top. There must be dire consequences for violating our laws no matter how highly placed the person(s) involved and the consequences must be real not imaginary as it is in S.143 of the Constitution.  Now is the time to halt this madness that has stultified our advancement as a nation.


TheGuardian

16 | Thursday, February 6, 2014

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 The 2015 electoral timetable T is not surprising that the elecIIndependent tion timetable released by the National Electoral Commission (INEC) has attracted mixed reactions from stakeholders. Going by the timetable, the Presidential/National Assembly elections will hold on February 14, 2015 and the gubernatorial/state assemblies’ elections will hold on February 28 respectively. Expectedly, the opposition parties have denied any prior consultation regarding the schedule of the elections and are critical of the arrangement that puts the presidential election first. This, they think, conveys undue advantage on the incumbent. Besides, that arrangement indeed has embedded in it, a predictable bandwagon effect, should the incumbent win the election with a possible attendant mass apathy for subsequent elections. The timetable is also seen as prejudicial to yet to be registered parties wishing to contest the elections and which the constitution allows to do so not later than a period of six months before the general elections. Above all, the timetable will heighten the tempo of politicking while actual governance is bound to take the backstage as most public officials will be inclined towards primitive and speculative activities ahead of the elections. Of course, it would be better if service would be paramount in the minds of elected leaders as opposed to perpetual jostling for power. Elections are great events everywhere in the world as they allow the electorate a periodic opportunity to express their rights of choosing those who will run the affairs of the state. In other words, investing on the governing class the required consent and legitimacy in a democratic environment is a cardinal duty in a democracy. With a history of tainted electoral process, Nigerians have justifiably become apprehensive of the future. Hence politicians and the electorate are critical of events preceding any election, as they may contain booby traps that could make or mar the processes. Elections in Nigeria have always resembled warfare, and staggered elections make sense for the foreseeable logistics problems that may arise. Indeed, there is already a prevailing trend of staggered elections following the various verdicts of election petition tribunals. This seems to lend cre-

dence to the argument of those in favour of it. Nevertheless, the INEC timetable, staggered as it were, between the Presidential/National Assembly elections and the Gubernatorial/State Assemblies’ elections is not exactly a good plan. The timetable appears to fall into the design of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and could raise the issues of the perceived partisanship of INEC. And it is on this note that the Uwais Panel on electoral reform that expressed a preference for a one-day election into all elective positions is worth re-visiting. An order in which a presidential election comes first confers undue advantage on the incumbent and could upset the outcomes in a firstpast-the-post electoral system. This will occur in ways that enthrone in power candidates with minority votes which are hardly representative of the will of the electorate. If Nigeria’s history is anything to go by, it allows ample opportunity and easy logistics for criminal elements to perpetrate fraud. Besides, elections in Nigeria have come at a huge cost to the national coffers, and staggered elections exacerbate that, and increase the strain on the financial resources of the country. The best arrangement is for all categories of election to hold in a day. First, it will save cost as all elections held in the past resulted in a repetition of the shortcomings of the previous exercise. Second, it will undermine the capacity of rigging entrepreneurs to perpetrate their nefarious activities, especially through the deployment of criminal elements from one area to another in a staggered election. Third, it will curb voter apathy that often arises from the conflicting dynamics of a staggered process. And fourth, the opportunity cost inherent in a single day election is that it allows for concentration of efforts, personnel and logistics, including security and, therefore, makes for easy monitoring. Whatever shortcomings may arise from the one-day exercise, contingency provision should be made to allow for extension of voting continuing the following day. Given the points made above, and the controversial nature of election in Nigeria, it would not be out of place for INEC to rethink the timetable it has released and in the process, do itself and the country a great deal of service.

LETTER

First Lady, initiate peace in Rivers Excellency must call all her “fight-

Excellency has to come out boldSince the 2011 elections, SandIR:Dr.hisGoodluck Ebele Jonathan ing children” (the citizens), to ly, as the “Joan of Arc” of Nigeria, wife, became the new order – it is very clear that the to call all warring parties to Father and Mother of the nation. The position of First Lady carries huge responsibility, which requires a clear understanding and even temperament. Dame Patience Jonathan is not new to the position of “First Lady,” having been so when her husband was Governor of Bayelsa State. She has so far shown a deep appreciation of her role, having initiated, and been involved in many developmental projects, with many beneficiaries appreciative of her. Peace-keeping is also a passion of hers, going by the many peace-oriented projects she has embarked on, leading up to her most recent declaration in December 2013 that she should now be known and addressed as “Mama Peace!” Violence has been rearing its head amongst us, threatening our national security, costing lives and property, at a cost to the image of the country, everyday. Rivers State, Borno, etc. have witnessed unimaginable violence that kept security apparatus working round the clock. All these negate the good intentions of Mama Peace. They are a challenge to the peace that she has devoted her energies to advocating. But the greatest litmus test that has been thrown in the path of “Mama Peace,” is the crisis in Rivers State! As the “Mother of the nation,” Her

Dame has to take charge of things in Rivers State in particular, and use her success there as a template to sue for peace in the other volatile sections of the country. Without meaning to sound sectional, Rivers State is her state of origin, and “charity,” they say, “begins at home!” It is no longer a matter of who is wrong, or who is right, or even whether these eruptions are politically motivated or not – it is now a matter of moving to save Rivers from collapse. Her

order, and foster peace and unity in Rivers State, in the true spirit of her name and calling, “Mama Peace!” With the various global awards, recognitions, and respect that she has received as a Peace and Development advocate, there is no better time to intervene positively than now. Nigeria needs peace.  • Stella Apiafi,  National Coordinator, I-Nigerian Initiative, Abuja, FCT

SOS on Oyo School of Hygiene Even at 80 years, there is to be proud of about StheIR:nothing present condition of the school. The School of Hygiene, under the control of Oyo State Ministry of Health is one tertiary institution, where both the living and learning conditions of students are sub-standard. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. For instance, inadequate hostel accommodation, limited number of classrooms, poor water supply, shortage number of lecturers are the order of the day. The halls of residence are in very disgraceful and deplorable state. There is pollution of water and air by the waste discharge from a nearby drinks factory. This terrible condition explains why students are always exposed to diseases and illness thus adversely affect their

academic output. Yet, the school management in collaboration with the state government compels the students to pay outrageous fees. The mobilization of HND 2 students for NYSC is still there unresolved. While many other Monotechnic students are going for NYSC the reverse is the case in Oyo State School of Hygiene. This is truly a graphic reflection of “anti-poor policy” of the state government. This is to use this medium to call the attention of the State Government, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to see to the plight of the students of Oyo State School of Hygiene. • Daniel Akande and Ismael Taiwo, School of Hygiene, Ibadan.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

17

Opinion National conference: Harvest of agitations By Eric Teniola HE certainty in the air now is that the National T Conference will hold. The uncertainty is the outcome of the conference. The Federal Government has issued two commandments on the conference. The commandments are that, the conference will last three months and that Nigeria’s unity will not be negotiated at the conference. If we say Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable and should not be discussed, what other major issues are we to discuss at the conference? Is it the Energy that has collapsed in the country in spite of Privatisation and sold to selected friends of Government, is it the economy that is in comatose, is it the corruption that has enveloped the entire nation, is it bad roads that are getting worse daily, is it the lamentable state of our health system, is it the education system that is completely grounded, is it foreign affairs where we no longer have global bearing, is it piracy on our oil or kidnapping or the insecurity generally in the country? To me, the commandments are mere proposals; for the sad aspect of a journey is that once you start you will never know how it will end. I do not expect the conference to last less than nine months. As for the issue of Nigeria’s unity as no go area, the Federal Government may not be in a position to decide. For we are approaching the conference not with joy but in sadness, frustration, anger, bitterness and disillusionment. I guess almost all the sections of this country today are angry for where we are and how things are taking shape. If it is Nigeria’s unity that is to be discussed, I am afraid many Nigerians have different interpretations on that issue. This is because the country itself is a synthetic creation and it is best acknowledged in the first stanza of our old National Anthem which says “Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.” A union cannot be forced on the people and my assumption is that the main point for holding the Confab after all is that there is no solidarity in our land. If there had been any good will among us, there should have been no need for the confab at all. On many occasions the political class keep singing the same obstinate rhythm that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable even when we know that it has been fragile and artificial since 1914. The no-go area on Nigeria’s unity which the Federal Government warned about, reminds me of the ad-hoc constitutional committee conference held between 12th- 28th 1966 and again between October 24 and November 1. The head of the secretariat that organised the conference at that time is the present Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’edo Erediuwa when he was Permanent Under- Secretary,

Federal Cabinet Office in Lagos. Opening the conference, the then Head of State, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon warned on September 12, 1966 that “You are not here to re-negotiate Nigeria’s Unity, we are one and we must remain one”. At the conference on that day were late Chief Obafemi Awolowo who led the Western Region Delegation and Alhaji Lateef Jakande who represented Lagos. The Mid-West Region Delegation was led by Chief Anthony Enahoro and the Northern Region Delegation led by Sir Kashim Ibrahim with Mallam Aminu Kano, Josiah Olawoyin and Joseph Sarwan Tarka as part of the delegation. The Eastern delegation was led by Sir. Louis Mbanefo and included Dr. Okoh Arikpo. The Eastern delegation boycotted the second session of the conference. The issue of confederation, state police, and regional autonomy dominated the conference. Of course the conference ended sine die without reaching any agreement. The same fate has bedevilled every constitutional conference in Nigeria. The same Gowon on November 30, 1966 made the following broadcast to the nation “we are all aware that the Ad Hoc Committee has been adjourned indefinitely. They had run into difficulties which made it impossible for them to meet.” In withdrawing from the conference, Chief Obafemi Awolowo gave only one condition for his further participation. On May 1, 1967, he told the Yoruba leaders of thought in Ibadan that “the people of Western Nigeria or Lagos would participate in the Ad Hoc Constitutional Committee or any similar body only on the basis of absolute equality with other Regions of the Federation”. Few days later on May 27, Gowon ordered the state of emergency in the country and Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu led Biafra to secede on May 30. The country was later plunged into a civil war. Which goes to say that Conferences may not be the only solution to our problem. In discussing Nigeria’s unity, I am always reminded by what Late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and former Premier of Northern Nigeria and the most powerful politician in the country during his era, evoked in moving his motion on self-government on March 22 at the Northern House of Assembly in Kaduna. He said on that day that ”It is true that we politicians delight in talking loosely about unity of Nigeria…What is now called Nigeria consisted of large and small communities all of which were different in their outlooks and beliefs. The advent of the British and of Western education has not materially altered the situation and these many and varied communities have not knit themselves into

composite unit…In 1914, the North and South were amalgamated though the administration of the two sections are distinctly different. Since then, no serious attempt has been made by the British or by the people themselves to come together and each section has looked upon the other with suspicion and misgiving”. And Alhaji Isa Keita in supporting him at that time said: “The mistake of 1914 has come to light and I should like to go on no further”. In his book, My Life, the same late Sir Ahmadu Bello said on page 135, “The Colonial masters who ruled Nigeria introduced a system of unitary government not for the present or future unity or wellbeing of all the indigenes of the country but for his own administrative convenience. Lord Lugard and his amalgamation were far from popular amongst us at that time”. The first statement made by the then Lt-Col. Yakubu Gowon upon assuming power on July 30, 1966 was “Suffice to say that, putting all considerations to test-political, economic, as well as social – the basis for unity is just not there or is so badly rocked, not only once but several times”. Gowon was speaking on Nigeria’s unity at that time at Ikeja Military Cantonment after Nigerian Troops led by Colonel Murtala Mohammed had conceded the leadership to him, at a charged atmosphere in the barracks. Commenting on the statement by Gowon, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Allison Ayida in his 66-page book titled, The Rise and Fall of Nigeria, said the second mistake of his life was to allow Gowon to make that statement. He wrote “The second episode occurred during the interregnum of July 29 to August 1, 1966 when for four days there was no Government in Nigeria. A group of Federal Permanent Secretaries visited Ikeja barracks amidst the ‘rising grass’ and were introduced to combat troops therein as members of the Civil Service Tribe. They played the critical role in averting the instant disintegration of Nigeria. Sometimes I am asked if the game was worth the candle or whether Nigeria should have been allowed to break up? I used to be an incurable optimist but sometimes I wonder in moments of doubt whether this is the mistake of my life. We took much risk then but others have made the supreme sacrifice for Nigeria. I still regret that the late Abdul Attah and I did not accept Col. Gowon’s invitation for us and the then Solicitor-General, Justice Kazeem to stay behind and write his ’take-over’ speech. The basis of unity is not there would not have become the albatross of the Federal propaganda effort during the Civil War and the Gowonist era of One Nigeria. I still believe this country is worth saving but only on one condition, namely that it is preserved for the benefit of all Nigerians irrespective of state of origin

or religion. There shall be no second class citizens; this should be an article of faith observed and seen to be observed scrupulously by the leadership at all levels”. In other words, Nigeria should belong to all Nigerians irrespective of culture, religion and ethnicity. If I may ask, why be part of a forced union when you are no longer being treated as an equal partner. We have seen the rise and fall of nations and empires. We are also well aware of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Yugoslavia was a strong nation under Field Marshall Tito, but in the early 1990s, the same Yugoslavia split into what we now refer to as Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and Slovenia. Urjanchai Republic was a country in south-central Russia and existed till 1914. Ottoman Empire also known as the Turkish Empire, this empire began around 1300 and expanded to include parts of contemporary Russia, Turkey, Hungary, the Balkans, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire ceased to exist in 1923 when Turkey declared independence from what remained of the empire. The Persia Empire extended from the Mediterranean Sea to India. Modern Persia was founded in the 16th Century and later became known as Iran. Also the Prussia became a Duchy in 1660 and a kingdom in the following century. At its greatest extent it includes the Northern two-thirds of Germany and Western Poland. Prussia, by World War II, a federal unit of Germany, was fully disbanded at the end of World War II. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) broke into 15 new countries in 1991. The countries were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldovia, Russia, Taikista, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The Republic of Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1836 and existed as an independent country until annexation to the United States in 1845. There is nothing new in nations rising and falling. As the nominated delegates keep arriving Abuja soon in there different traditional attires, let them be allowed to make a choice on the Nigerian union. There should be no ban or prohibition on issues to be elucidated. If divorce or separation of the union is to be desired and pleasing, so be it. • Teniola was a Director at the Presidency in Abuja. He resides in Lagos.

The Barbarians in Ejigbo By Rasheed Ojikutu HE profundity of her pains was unmistakable as three or four T bulky men stood ominously over her stark naked fragile frame. With some liquid spread over her body, she beckoned loudly to Jesus for liberation, a situation that did not elicit sympathy from her gaoler. In what looked like the final onslaught, she was floored while a man struggled to insert some strange objects into her private part. The intensity of the resulting pain could be felt through her instant confession: “Beni, mo ji ata.” (Yes, I stole the pepper), she cried uncontrollably. While she groaned, the other victim, a female who was also stark naked stared intensely at the spectacle, probably, in a state of near cardiac arrest, knowing that she is minutes away from a damning consequence. Except the brutes who perpetrated these dastardly acts, even, a hard heartedbeing would have shed tears. The predicament of these two women, who were alleged to have stolen a basket of pepper, is neither a scene from the Hollywood celebrated film “scream” nor from an equally frightening episode of “The Wrong Turn”. It was an incident that happened in the full glare of civilisation in a market located in Ejigbo area of Lagos State. The situation as recorded in a video and pasted on the Internet calls to question the current cerebral state of the Nigerian nation and tells more about the latitude with which evil is perpetrated in our country with no consequences in sight. It strengthens the position that our country has degenerated to the level where sup-

posedly humans are walking on-all-fours. Unfortunately, this incident is coming on the heels of the case of the “Aluu four” in which four young men accused of robbery were immolated in broad daylight. What, if one may ask, is wrong with us? Why have we suddenly become blood thirsty and heartless? We may continuously ask millions of questions but the answer may never come. However, we know that all is not well with our nation and like one whose body is invaded by demon, we are aware that our salvation lies in immediate exorcism of these strange invading bodies from our system. This incident and its likes make special attention on security more exigent. The aforementioned is one reason why the maximum penalty should remain glued to our statute because without it, life would become cheap and valueless. The current state of the Nigerian psyche is disturbing. Every day, the media is replete with incidents of senseless homicides, patricides, matricides and so on. Incidentally, there are few cases of suicide, an indication that perpetrators value their own lives than those of others. The type of incident in Ejigbo is not alien to the environment of contemporary Nigeria, a country where impunity reigns with heart-rendering callousness and extreme cases of man’s inhumanity to man. After all, it was in an open space on OshodiApapa Expressway that Clifford Orji set his snares to trap human beings and devour their flesh. Is it not in this same country that Nigerians are driving into the ritualists den without a trace? How many corpses of people who should be resting in peace are

exhumed from the graves with their carcass dismembered and sold for ritual purposes? The Ejigbo incident, like many others would have passed unnoticed but for the eagle eye of Joe Odumakin, and her group. Nigerians hope that with the Inspector General of Police taking over the case, this will not go the way of many unresolved cases in Nigeria. It is hoped that justice would be dispensed appropriately and timely at the end of the day. The fact that the Ejigbo incident happened around February 2013 but did not come to limelight until a year after is an indication of the failure of our security system and this is one reason why those demanding for State policing system would have an edge in the argument. Many countries of the world have passed the stage whereby a crime committed in Manchester would need a nod in Westminster before being investigated by the police. The truth is that the crime structure of our country is changing rapidly while the policing technique remains archaic and static. Who is benefiting from a centralised police system? The argument that the State government would use the security apparel against the opposition is flimsy and unfounded because the same situation is obtainable in the relationship between the Federal Government of Nigeria, who is the current supervisor of the Police and the members of the opposition. A case in point is that of the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, who alleged that he is being hounded and harassed by the State Commissioner of Police, probably with the support of the detractors in Abuja. • Professor Ojikuti is of the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos.


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Opinion Foreign investment in the power sector By Godfrey Ijebuwa T is apt to situate the origins of President GoodIinluck Jonathan’s Road Map on Power, launched August 2010, to the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 which gives legal backing to the industry reform programme. In 1999, the National Council on Privatization (NCP) instituted the Electric Power Sector Implementation Committee (EPIC) to undertake a comprehensive study of the electricity power industry. The key objective of EPIC was to prepare a power policy blueprint that will define government’s new direction for the electric power sector. One of the key outcomes of EPIC was the preparation of a draft National Electric Power Policy (NEPP) in March 2001. This policy was subsequently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September 2001. The NEPP document is primarily aimed at liberalizing the electricity industry, attract private sector investment and enthrone competition amongst participants in the electricity market. The policy envisaged a three-stage development of the electricity industry with a comprehensive change in the legal and regulatory environment of the sector. Three broad objectives of the reform of the sector are: • Attract and encourage private sector participation; • Attract capital to fund the sector; and • Ensure a level playing ground for all investors. The power sector is very capital intensive, necessitating the need to attract other parties, as government does not have the resources to meet all its burgeoning obligations. It is expected that with the introduction of a better operating environment that is efficient, effective and well regulated, private participants would be encouraged to invest in the sector. The participation of the private sector should bring about higher generation capacities through the provision of more efficient and cost effective stations and improvements in the distribution sector, such as billing

and collection, distribution networks, etc. The reform of the electric power sector in Nigeria comprises two main components – restructuring and privatisation. • Restructuring of the Nigerian power industry involved three main components: First, the change of the industry structure to stimulate competition and choice as well as promote financial accountability; second, the unbundling of power utility into the constituents functions; and third, putting in place a new commercial trading arrangement. • Privatisation, on the other hand, is the change in control and/or ownership of the utility. Given that the power sector reforms had stalled, President Jonathan, in August 2010, launched the New Roadmap. The short-term service delivery of the roadmap includes quick completion of National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP); additional NIPP transmission will boost capacity to wheel electricity; new gas pipelines to feed natural gas to plants; monitor and remove bottlenecks to on-going power projects intended to enhance the distribution system; monitor transmission projects intended to expand capacity and increase stability of the grid to reduce system collapse; close monitoring of all generation rehabilitation and stabilization projects; and privatisation of 17 out of the 18 successor companies unbundled from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN.) However, the handover of the successor companies to the core investors in November, 2013, has thrown up several challenges, the principal issue being how the investors will raise funds to meet up their capital requirements. Power sector reform is a very challenging process because in most cases the dividends of the reform and the return on investment are only realizable in the long term. The Nigerian power sector reform is even more challenging as poor performance of the sector has led to impatience which has translated to long term plans being disrupted by short term interventions which only worsen the problem.

The electricity industry reform aims at improving the overall industry efficiency through restructuring, private sector participation, and competition. The reform process will be completed when full competition in all the competitive parts of the industry, namely generation and supply, is attained. In order to fast tract the process, President Jonathan has taken the bull by the horn by convening a one-day International Conference for Facilitating Financing of Power Infrastructural Development in Nigeria with the theme “Invest in Nigeria’s Power Sector – a Rewarding Return on Investment Awaits”. This initiative is to augment the efforts of the private sector which recently took over electric power generation and distribution assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN.) The conference which holds on February 10, 2014 in Abuja will draw participants from Nigeria’s development partners, the donor community, international financial institutions, and international financiers. It aims to achieve the following: • Facilitate interaction between the new investors and local and international financial institutions to explore the available opportunities in meeting the capital expenditure (CAPEX) needs of the Nigerian power sector; • Support the creation of a sound economic expansion framework that will enhance performance across the power sector value chain; • Provide the enabling environment for potential investors in the power sector to refine their entry strategy into the Nigerian power sector; • Identify areas of need that can affect the viability of the market; •  Provide opportunity for clarifying government policies for the power sector; and • Create a sector CAPEX plan that will serve as baseline for future monitoring and evaluation of the sector participants. • According to the Chairman of the organizing committee of the conference and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Am-

bassador Godknows Igali, “Nigeria’s power sector is open to strategic partnership and investors are invited to invest.” He noted that “following the physical handover of the successor companies to the private sector investors on November 1, 2013, the burden of process optimization and capacity expansion has been shifted from the Federal Government to the new owners. Nonetheless, the Federal Government recognizes that power supply still remains a social responsibility as it is the paramount infrastructure needed for our nation building and economic development. “Ultimately, the direct beneficiaries of the fund influx are the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the Discos, Gencos, NIPPs, the emerging IPPs and other sector service providers”, Igali added The quantum challenge before the core investors of the power assets can be gleaned from a few facts from the five-year total capital expenditure (Capex) for the eleven distribution companies which are estimated at $1.8 billion. A breakdown shows that from 2013 to 2017, the Capex for the 11 Discos is $357,663,000 for each year. For Ikeja Disco alone, its annual Capex is $58,737,000 (the highest) while Yola Disco’s annual Capex is $13,133,000 (the lowest). The privatisation programme is anchored on the attainment of clearly defined goals and parameters. In the case of the PHCN Genco, capacity is expected to be ramped up from the current low levels to meet target capacities. For the Discos, the performance of the business operations of the new owners will be measured on the basis of their abilities to reduce distribution losses to loss targets specified in their business plans. The Discos will be making investments in expanding of their networks to distribute power and also in connecting new consumers to the existing network. The privatisation of the successor companies has shown that there is a strong demand from the private sector participation in the generation and distribution sectors of the electricity industry. • Ijebuwa, a power sector analyst, wrote from Abuja

Who will rescue Nigeria? By Victor Oshisada HE British Government revoked the Royal Niger Company’s charter of ruling Nigeria on December 31, 1899. On January 1, 1900, by concurrent ceremonial parades in Lokoja and Asaba, conducted at the respective places, by Brigadier-General Frederick Lugard and Sir Ralph Moor, the Protectorate of Nigeria was born. It marked the end of the beginning. By the Letters Patent and Order in Council, January 1914, the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria was set up. Since then, Nigeria trudged on until Independence on October 1, 1960. Political leaders and citizens were then looking at the future with optimism and confidence that there would be advancement. Today is the future of the time. There is an adage, “Today is the mother of tomorrow. If today is wrong, tomorrow can certainly not be right”, which is to confirm another saying, “Garbage in, garbage out”. That is, if wrong or poor quality contents are put in a container, poor contents are sure to come out of the container. The weight of our leaders’ mediocrity and unbridled greed is suffocating. Jobbery hallmarks our politics, in contrast to the famous lines of late Baroness Margaret Thatcher, “We are not in politics to ignore people’s worries, we are in politics to deal with them”. Inept leaders have been our bane from the outset. That explains why Nigerians still wallow in the morass of failures. It does not, however, mean that the nation is absolutely bereft of good leaders; there are good leaders; it is just that they are denied the opportunity to rule. The same old elements are usually recycled to power. For long, the same conservative elements are in control. Another round of general elections is at hand – by February, 2015. The People’s Democratic Party is a disappointment, causing paroxysms of hate and ill-feelings among the governed. It is the same stagnant puddles of water. Still, the members of the party have no conscience, clinging like lichen to power, since May, 1999. Citizens are tired of misrule, as the party is scheming with might and main to remain in the saddle of power, despite poor performance. It is understandable if the PDP is showcasing quality delivery. But lo and behold, this is not so. What we are witnessing is a harvest of incessant strikes by workers for the government’s unfulfilled promises. If university lecturers (ASUU) are not on lengthy strikes, medical doctors and other health workers are doing so. Who blames the fuming strikers? The strikers are aware of the magnitude of the scum and filth of corruption in the public service. The brouhaha occasioned by the recent purchase of a N255 million armoured cars, for a serving Minister, is yet to subside, The Guardian, October 18, 2013; the findings of the House of Representatives’ probe into the use of N100.561 billion allegedly disbursed to the office of the Secretary to the Government of

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the Federation (SGF) and the Federal Ministry of Information, between 2004 and 2012, are yet to be revealed, The Guardian, December 16, 2013. These two instances are monumental. What with insecurity? The recent explosion that rocked Rivers’ Court was the tip of an iceberg, The Guardian, January 7, 2014. It destroyed the Ahoada High Court and a Magistrate’s Court in Okehi. If on regular bases, courts are burnt, it indicates that justice cannot be efficiently administered. If similar arson befell the National Industrial Court that awarded N39.6 million to a woman for her unlawful sack and sexual harassment in her working place, the injuries to her fundamental rights, pride, dignity and sense of self-worth by her employers could not be rectified. If arson attack is carried out on court buildings, what hope there is for justice? The question arises, “Who shall save this country?” South Africa’s exPresident Thabo Mbeki has an answer. “Only Nigerians, not the politicians, can solve leadership problems”, in an interview with The Guardian on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Elaborating further on the statement, he added, “In as much as the politicians and elected officials must be blamed for bad governance, the de-mobilised citizenry, including unions, civil society groups and religious organizations should take greater responsibilities for the leadership problems in Nigeria and the rest of Africa”. I am inclined to reason with Thabo Mbeki. Let me discuss the items seriatim. First, the trade unions. In many countries, these have played positive roles. Britain, as the first industrial nation in the world, its trade unions played their huge political roles, with strikes as weapons for change. British Labour Party developed from the then existing trade union movement to champion and shape political developments. Also, in Germany, United States of America (U.S.) and Japan, trade unions influenced political advancements. South Africa and colonial Nigeria are no exceptions. Mr. Thabo Mbeki had his country, South Africa, in focus when he advised Nigerians on rescuing the country. The Blacks were disenfranchised and subjected to oppression, backed by apartheid laws. The South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) was formed in 1955 of non-white unions and racially mixed unions. Its officers and executive committee members were prosecuted by the government in the long South African treason trials which ended in 1961. Eventually, Black majority rule was attained. Nelson Mandela was released. In Nigeria, the roles of trade unions before Independence combined with the efforts of the nationalists. Our leaders’ political recklessness is now propelling us to the edge of the precipice. It is believed that similar patriotic efforts by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Nigeria Trade Union can redeem this country from the abyss of economic ruins. Recently, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria

urged the Federal Government to immediately caution the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Dr. Bright Okogu, against feeding the public with false information on the issue of wages of civil servants. With political will, Trade Unionism can still bare its fangs in the pursuits of developmental changes. But do the organizations possess the will? Secondly, civil society groups, including voluntary associations, firms and other corporate bodies can also play roles to correct poor leadership. It happened in India and many countries in Europe. The instruments cannot remain blunt for Nigeria. All hands ought to be on deck for poor leadership change. Thirdly, religious organisations must not be left out in leadership problems. In colonial era, there was religious nationalism which started very early. Far-sighted national leaders foresaw the possible aftermath of Christianising. They, therefore, met in 1891 and resolved, “That a purely native African Church be formed for the evangelization and amelioration of our race, to be governed by Africans”, wrote G. A. Oke in his Short History of the United African Church (1936). It is incumbent on 21st century Churches in this country to solve leadership problems in politics – roles must not be restricted to prayers alone. When politicians kneel before church founders for prayers, financial rewards alone must not be the driving force, but sustainable advice on patriotism. All the denominations of Churches must make concerted efforts to strive for leadership changes. The Romans of old had a tagline: “Ora et labora”, meaning “Pray and work”. It is when we work and pray that our objectives are attained. It is not by prayer alone. We must work towards it. I support the observation of President Goodluck Jonathan, “Over 50 per cent of politicians are not supposed to be in politics. Politics is just like some kinds of trade. More than 50 per cent of us, who are into politics, are not supposed to be politicians. For example, in the professions of nursing and teaching, people with wicked hearts and unforgiving spirits are not the kind of people who should be nurses or teachers, but we find them there. So, most of us who are in politics are not supposed to be there, because we have no other thing to do”. Well reasoned out and well said. President Jonathan hits the nail on the head, but he is among those who should not be in politics, because of his poor delivery. He has inadvertently censured himself. Therefore, he has no other option than to resign and relinquish office. Only the chastened and tested leaders can rescue this country. • Oshisada, a veteran journalist, lives at Ikorodu, Lagos.


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TheMetroSection My joy, my pains...

Briefs

• Father of quadruplets seeks financial assistance to take care of his wife and babies

The quadruplets

Their father: Emeka

From Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) E had wanted children from his marriage.  This is part of the reasons he went into the marriage with his heartthrob, Nkeiruka, two years ago. Now, this desire has come to fruition. However, rather than come one after another, the children came in multiples, at the same time. Many would, indeed, agree that this is a blessing from God. Mr. Emeka Ezeugwu, a native of Opi, in Nsukka Local Council of Enugu State also agrees that the delivery of the quadruplets by his wife, Nkeiruka on Monday, February 3, 2014 is but a blessing. However, this multiple blessing is also a source of pain to him as he never expected that their delivery would be too soon and is, therefore, asking public-spirited individuals to assist the family sustain the children. Although the wife had gone for medical examination to ascertain the true state of the babies before their delivery that fateful Monday, however, each of the examinations gave varied delivery dates for April

H

2014. “The first examination said that we should expect triplets in March this year. The second examination said quadruplets but that we should expect them in April this year. I have never been comfortable since these conflicting results started coming in because, I had looked forward to the children coming one after the other. Again, not this early”, he said. Surprisingly on Monday morning, his wife had gone into labour and was later delivered of two boys and two girls through Ceasarean section at the Mother of Christ Specialist Hospital, Ogui, Enugu. Emeka, a commercial driver with a transport company, Globis Motors Ltd, is now confronted with the financial burden of how to sustain the four kids, who were born prematurely and are being sustained through the hospital’s incubator, as well as their mother who needs thorough medication to revive her heavy loss of blood during delivery. A dejected father, who has made the premises of the hospital his second home, since it was his wife’s

I took my wife to the Mother of Christ where I was asked to deposit N50,000. I could not afford the money and pleaded with them to attain to her on the promise that I would pay later. Now the surgery has been done, the children are here but how do I afford their medication? first pregnancy, told The Guardian that each of the injections being administered “on each of the kids at every hour interval costs N2, 000.” He said that his wife was rushed back to the theatre after delivery due to excess bleeding where she was revived, adding that he never prepared that the situation would turn out that way.

Emeka said before coming to the Mother of Christ Hospital, they had gone to a private hospital within their community in Nsukka, where his wife registered for antenatal care. He said that after an examination, they were referred to the Park Lane Teaching Hospital, Enugu for a caesarian section. “On getting there as well, we were told that the facilities for the surgery were not in order. I took my wife to the Mother of Christ where I was asked to deposit N50, 000. I could not afford the money and pleaded with them to attend to her on the promise that I would pay later. Now the surgery has been done, the children are here but how do I afford their medication? That is my greatest worry for now and for which I am asking the public to assist me,” he said. Emeka, who said his wife is an apprentice training in fashion designing, was however full of gratitude to the hospital management for “saving the life of my wife even when I did not pay the initial deposit.”

Lions Club to honour Arepo monarch DIMU Silva Lions Club will Imonarch this weekend honour the of Arepo land, Oba Solomon Atanda Oyebi with a Melvin Jones Fellowship award. President of the club, Adeleke Adebesin, told The Guardian that the club’s decision to honour the monarch with Lions Club’s highest fellowship award was motivated by the monarch’s support to the club. The Oba recently donated a parcel of land in Arepo community to the club. The president also added that the club would be partnering with some corporate bodies to execute some projects, which would include building of a community health centre and bore holes.  Its executive committee would this weekend pay a visit to the Arepo’s palace for the presentation and revelation of other projects planned for the community.

Vincent Nwagboniwe for burial Saturday HE death has occurred of T Mr. Vincent Uche Nwagboniwe, aged 52 , in Lagos on January 20, 2013. His burial rites begin on Friday, February 7, 2014 with a Service of Song at 6pm at Chief Mathias Nwagboniwe’s residence , Ogbeose Village , Ewulu, Aniocha South Local Council of Delta State. He will be buried after a funeral service on Saturday, February 8 at 11.00am, at the same venue. Until his death , he was the Managing Director of BonDevine Nigeria Limited, Lagos. He is survived by wife , children and relations.

Fire destroys Kara Market in Sokoto ROPERTY worth millions P of Naira have been destroyed by fire at the popular Kara market in Sokoto. Some of the items sold at the market included grains, onions, wheat offal, kolanuts and other agricultural inputs, generators and spare parts, among others. The fire which started at about midnight on Tuesday was said to have been ignited by an electrical spark at a shop opposite the Kofar-Kade gate. Over 200 shops were razed down in the fire incident. There was, however, no loss of life or injury in the inferno. The fire was still raging when newsmen visited the scene at 6.30am yesterday. Some of the traders were able to salvage some of their wares, while others were seen guarding their property against thieves. Some traders told journalists that the spark was caused by the restoration of power supply. “There was no light at the market since 6p.m. on Tuesday. It was restored at about midnight. That was believed to be the genesis of the unfortunate fire incident,” Alhaji Musa Dan-

The burnt market

hajiya, a victim said. Another victim, Malam Yusuf Labbo, said: “We have

lost property worth hundreds of millions of Naira and cash. The fire was put

off by some good Samaritans and the victims, and we are still guarding our

salvaged items.” The Secretary of the Kola Nuts Sellers Association in Sokoto state, Mr. Shina Agboola, told NAN that the fire had caused tremendous damage at the market. Agboola said: “My association has over 108 members at the affected market and they have suffered huge losses. We are, therefore, appealing to the government to come to the aid of the victims.” The Director-General, Sokoto State Fire Service, Alhaji Harande Chedi, confirmed the incident, saying no life was lost. Chedi, however, said the service would investigate the allegation of restoration of electricity and power surge to ascertain the cause of the inferno. On his part, the DirectorGeneral of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Hassan Maccido, said the state government would set up a committee to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the fire. “The state government will also come to the aid of the victims, but the victims should regard the incident as an act of God,” he said.

Nwagboniwe

Oteju, 80, for burial ORMER shipping magnate FOteju, and lawyer, Mr. Stephen A. has died at the age of 80. A service of Songs holds at 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday, February12 at his residence, 16, D'Aberto Road, Palmgrove Estate, Lagos . A Christian wake has been scheduled for 5.00 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, at 102, Sagamu Road, Ikorodu, Lagos while interment follows "immediately after" funeral service at 102, Sagamu Road, Ikorodu, Lagos on Fed. 14.

Oteju


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20 Thursday, February 6, 2014

500 benefit from Rotary Club’s free medical check-up By Isaac Taiwo HE roll call at the Rotary T Club of Lagos-Palmgrove Estate’s Free Medical CheckUp programme, which was held at 1, Dalberto Road, Palmgrove Estate, was expectedly impressive. Men, women and children trooped to the venue from different parts of Lagos and beyond, to benefit from the free medical outreach. On ground to handle the diverse cases were a team of eight doctors, made up of diabetic specialists, orthopaedic specialists, counsellors and gender physicians. The organizer’s passion for the less-privileged, an ideal of Rotary International, was brought to the fore in their effort to ensure that everybody who turned up at the venue, was adequately attended to. Octogenarian Asiata Ajasa

and a beneficiary of successful eye surgery organized by the club in the past, was brought by her daughter, Noimat Ajasa. Probably suffering from an old age problem, Asiata complained of dislocation in one of her arms. She was grateful to the club for organizing the outreach for the benefit of the less- privileged. Haruna Ibrahim, aged 63, a security man with Patplast (Nigeria) Limited. He is diabetic and grateful to have been a beneficiary. “Though I came because of my eye problem and was told that attention to eye problem was not included in today’s camp arrangement, I presented myself for treatment on diabetes, which I had also been nursing for sometime now.” Mrs. Toyin Oloyede, 34, also took advantage of the pro-

Briefs Lawyers launch empowerment programme for women By Joseph Onyekwere HE Co-Chair, International Bar Association (IBA) African Regional Forum, Mrs Olufunmi Oluyede and the former third Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Dr Ogugua Ikpeze have launched an empowerment programme to advance the personal development of women. The initiative, Women Empowerment Now (WEN), is an international programme that promotes the advancement of women, strengthening their abilities and helping them achieve balance among their personal, family and professional lives. WEN Co-President, Beatriz Martorello, an international arbitrator and mediator, said the programme aims to reach the highest number of women possible and strengthen them regardless of their professional development and achievements. Among other objectives is to share powerful and inspirational experiences, and create specific programmes to meet the particular needs of women in reach region. WEN Vice-President Aaron Schildhaus, an international business lawyer, said the initiative would reach women through conferences in different cities and countries.

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Diva Cakes opens in Victoria Island IVA Cakes and Confections the cake shop at the fore- front D of making special moments last longer has now spread its tentacles into the hearts of Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island. The opening, which brings the number of outlets to two, was done by popular on - air - personality Dan Foster who lauded the management’s efforts at adding another shop on the Island to support its outlet on 63a Opebi Road, Ikeja. Diva Cakes which offers a variety of recipes ranging from the Diva mix- a blend of coconut, chocolate and Strawberry- to the Diva Red Velvet Cakes will deliver unforgettable moments at weddings, birthdays, special office celebrations, anniversaries, Valentine etc. Mrs. Genia Okafor, the CEO said customers would experience the rich taste of her cakes and desserts that will bring smiles to their occasions. She said cakes are available on request for people with special dietary needs. To celebrate the opening, she added, customers would enjoy a special discount of 10 per cent on every purchase from Jan 31st to Feb 15th. The shop plans a surprise for every customer who makes a purchase during the Valentine period.

Awobiyi, ex- Daily Times Editor for burial Friday HE death has occurred of former Deputy Editor of Daily T Times, Mr. Toyin Makanju. The funeral rites for the veteran Sports, Music, Production and Entertainment editor,will kick off today with Christian wake at his residence,11, Oshinkalu Close, Surulere,Lagos at 5.00 p.m. He will be buried tomorrow at the Ikoyi Cemetery after a funeral service at the Surulere Baptist Church,Ojuelegba Road, Lagos from 10.00 a.m. Makanju, popularly known as ‘’T.Mak’’ also edited the Sporting Record and The Lagos Weekend Newspapers,both in the Daily Times stable. He was married with children and grandchildren.

gramme and came along with her seven-month-old baby, Samuel. She expressed appreciation for the magnanimity of Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate. “The programme is just very good,” she said. President of the club, Venegopal Jajoo, explained that the free medical programme was carried out to ensure that residents of the community remain healthy, while also getting acquainted with their health status. “We are not unaware of the fact that little sickness can lead to a chronic disease. We believe when members of the community come for this free medical check-up, they would learn a lot of things about how to stay healthy. “In the course of the programme, whenever we discover that some people have chronic diseases that would require the attention of a specialist, we not only tell them what to do but also direct them to where to go for adequate treatment. In the situation where their problems are minor, we give them treatment and also drugs, which would carry them for two weeks. “We are aware of the common ailment of diabetics in the society and this has given rise to our club organizing a diabetic camp alongside the

President, Rotary Club of Palmgrove Estate, Venegopal Jajoo (left), incoming President, Ramesh Biswel, Madam Asiata Ajasa receiving drug from Suresh Puthera and Haruna Ibrahim, a beneficiary at the Rotary Club of LagosPHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO Palmgrove Estate’s Free Medical Check Up programme... to quantify the cost of the Jajoo disclosed that the club World Diabetic Day in the programme.” has six major camps within month of November. He added that young docthe Rotary Calendar year with “We are happy at the feedtors were always enthusiastic the star project being the eye back we always receive from to contribute their quota. surgery, which is always prebeneficiaries and we can only “Each beneficiary goes home ceded by three preliminary advise the government to aswith a drug worth between eye tests for beneficiaries. sist those that require long N1,000 and N2,000.” Asked about what the medterm treatment to include The president further anical outreach cost the club, where they would continue nounced that in furtherance the president said many peotheir treatment after we have of the club’s humanitarian ple contribute their time, taldone ours. We always advise gesture, affected members of ent and treasure to the those with cardiac ailment, the public can get free artifiprogramme, while some diabetic problem and orcial legs every week day at the manufacturers donate drugs. thopaedic cases to visit specamp ground in Palmgrove “All these make it impossible cialists,” he said. Estate.

New NAFRC boss, Morgan, resumes in Lagos By Odita Sunday HE newly appointed T Commandant of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan has resumed office with a promise to ensure quality training and reorientation of retiring military personnel. Morgan took over from Air Vice Marshal Moses Akinsanmi who has retired from service due to the appointment of his junior, Amosun as the new Chief of Air Staff. The outgoing Commandant, Akinsanmi, while handing over to Morgan advised senior officers of the command to cooperate with the new commandant in repositioning the centre. He told them: “Your new commandant is a well known person to me. We have been together for some time now. We call him Mr. Morgan. As he is succeeding me today, I am also bowing out from service having had 34 years of unblemished service to my country. I want to thank all the officers and men who cooperated with me during

my period of service here. I urge you to extend a higher level of support to my successor.” “The trying moments we had were the period that we had fire incident. We thank God that the fire incidents that we had did not kill any human being. We need more resources from gov-

ernment so that the new commandant can make more impact.” “Within the resources available to us, we have been able to upgrade the medical center, we were able to repair many roads; we also rehabilitated the fences. My predecessor started a pro-

gramme which was not in the budget but which we pursued and trained senior officers in collaboration with a Non Governmental Organization.” Morgan, who addressed his men and some retirees on training after the handing over, urged them to be diligent and disciplined.

Akinsanmi decorating Morgan at the event

Motorists warned against use of fake number plates in Enugu From Leo Sobechi, Abakaliki OTORISTS have been alerted on the consequences of procuring and using fake vehicle number plates by the Enugu Zonal Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC) Mr. Kehinde Adeleye. Mr. Adeleye handed down the warning in Abakaliki, Tuesday when he addressed officers of the Ebonyi Command of the corps in the course of his familiarization visit to the command. He disclosed that “strin-

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Awobiyi

Trade Fair Services Ltd. holds exhibition RADE Fair Services Limited, the West African regional represenT tatives offices for Messe Dusseldorf (organisers of the fair) presentation platform will occur at Sheraton Hotel & Towers on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. The scope of the fair as well as well as support services will be discussed. Exhibitors are expected from industries ranging from food and beverages, confectionary and baked goods to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, non-food consumer goods, industrial goods and related services. A host of ancillary programmes would be presented at the fair.

gent punitive measures would be taken against motorists who use the fake number plates when total enforcement starts from July1, 2014” regretting that “it is disturbing that despite the grace given to motorists to change to new, authentic number plates, many still patronize quacks who issue them with the fake number plates.” The FRSC Zonal Commander declared that the Corps would view the use of fake number plates as a criminal offence and not a

traffic offence when the enforcement commences explaining that since only the FRSC, Boards of Internal Revenue and Licensing Offices could issue the new number plates, any other source was illegitimate. He disclosed that in a bid to hasten the issuance of new national drivers’ licenses to motorists, the state would soon have up to five Information Processing Centres. Earlier, the Sector Commander of the Corps, Mr. Taiwo Eseyin, commended the zonal commander for

the visit, noting that his officers have been diligent in the execution of their duties with diligence. ���Despite the challenges that confront us,” he added, “including befitting accommodation, lack of operational vehicles among other constraints, we are still determined to reduce road accidents to the barest level”. In his remark, Chairman of Ebonyi State BIR, Mr. Joseph Ugbor, called on FRSC to check the circulation of fake number plates and drivers licenses in the state.


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Business Angst as kerosene business booms in aviation fuel market By Roseline Okere NDICATIONS emerged yesterday that some petroleum marketers have continued to sell Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) to airlines in Nigeria as aviation fuel, otherwise known as JET A1 despite warnings from the relevant authorities against such act. The illicit act has been identified as being responsible for the high cost of kerosene in the country and also a disaster waiting to happen in the aviation industry. The Guardian learnt that some marketers, some times ago sent petition to the Federal Government over the sale of kerosene to airlines by some unscrupulous oil marketing firms as aviation fuel. The particular company, which was identified by the marketers, had since retraced its steps, but the trade has

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since been thriving among some other marketers, who saw the business as lucrative. The attraction to the illicit business, The Guardian learnt, was the need to make extra profit from kerosene, which pump price is N50 per litre and sold as JET A1 fuel at over N152 per litre by some of these marketers. An authoritative source - an airline operator, confirmed the development, blaming the situation on some oil marketers. The source stated that the practice had been on for years, alleging some new entrants into the sector are being deceived with the quality of fuel sold them, hinting that the continuation of DPK to power aircraft could cause damage to engines and cause catastrophe, urging those involved in the practice to desist, just

as he urged the aviation regulatory body to ensure strict regulation of the commodity. According to the source, “it is true that this practice has been on for years, but it should not be allowed to thrive. It could endanger lives and cause huge damage to aircraft engines. Some of the new entrants into the sector are guilty of this practice. There is just little difference between DPK and JET A1 but are not of the same specifications”. In 2011, a former DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren had initiated a probe and summoned oil marketers over allegations that some of their members were selling DPK to airlines in Nigeria as aviation fuel. The matter came to a head when the Major Oil

Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Association of Petroleum Products Marketers (APPM) sent separate petitions to the Federal Government over the sale of kerosene to airlines by some unscrupulous oil marketing firms as aviation fuel. The Guardian investigation at filling stations in Lagos State revealed that kerosene is sold between N50 and 160 per litre, depending on the brand name of the filling station and the location. For instance, apart from MRS, Total, Forte Oil, a lot of other filling stations are selling kerosene at exorbitant prices. For example, FP filling station at Ejigbo-Ikotun road has been selling kerosene at N110 per litre; Nationwide, N120; and Acorn, N80 per litre. Another interesting aspect

General Manager, Rolls-Royce Motor Company Limited, Middle-East, Africa and Latin America, Ayman Ghanem (right); President/Chairman, Coscharis group, Dr. Cosmos Maduka; Managing Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Company Limited, Middle-East, Africa and Latin America, Geoff Briscoe; and Managing Director, Coscharis Motors, Samuel Josiah, at a pre media briefing on the forthcoming Rolls-Royce product launch, in Lagos, on Tuesday.

Again FBN emerges Nigeria’s top banking brand By Ade Ogidan, Business Editor

•Wells Fargo of U.S. ranked world’s number one bank

Bank of Nigeria, for FbeenIRST third consecutive year, has ranked the country’s

Guaranty Trust Bank was ranked 422 in the world from 415th position last year, while Zenith Bank inched up from 454th last year to 453rd ranking this year. Beside the three financial institutions, no other Nigerian bank made the top 500-brand ranking. According to the Africa Editor of the magazine, Paul Wallace, brand value of Nigerian banks increased by three per cent to $593 million. This made Nigeria to be among the Top 50 countries of the world by total brand value. The top 2014 10 banking brands in the world remain in America, Europe and Asia, with Wells Fargo of USA com-

number one banking brand in the latest ranking exercise conducted by The Banker Magazine of Financial Times Group and Brand Finance in the United Kingdom. According to a release by the Country Representative – Nigeria of The Banker, Kunle Ogedengbe, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank were ranked second and third respectively in Nigeria. Globally, First Bank was ranked 382 from 414th position last year. The brand value of the bank also increased to $228 million from $201 million from the preceding year.

ing from the second position last year to top the list. It was followed by HSBC (UK); Bank of America, Citi,JP Morgan, Chase (all from USA);ICBC (China); BNP Paribas (France); Santander (Spain); China Construction Bank; and Agricultural Bank of China. Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy, which advises, branded organisations on how to maximize their value through the effective management of their brands and intangible assets. According to The Top 500 Banking Brands report, Brand Finance, which compiled the ranking, used royalty relief method that values

the brand based on what would be paid to use the brand if it were owned by a third party. Courts and tax authorities recognize the method. The valuations of the brand take into account brand-specific financial and revenue data, model the market to identify market demand and the position of individual banks in the context of all other market competitors, establish the royalty rate for each bank, calculate the discount rate specific to each bank (taking account of its size, geographical presence, reputation, gearing and brand rating) and discount future royalty stream to a net present value, that is, the brand value.

of The Guardian’s investigation is that, about five of the filling stations, which adjusted their pump price to N50 per litre, seemed not to have the product in stock. A marketer, who spoke to The Guardian in confidence, said: “Go and do your own investigation and you will be able to confirm that some marketers are making quick money through the illegal business. “There was a particular popular marketer, who was involved in the trade in the past, but has stopped the trade and has since been doing business in a genuine manner. This is a disaster waiting to happen in the aviation industry if something urgent is not done about it”. Confirming the act recently, the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), identified using kerosene to fuel aircraft as one of the reasons for high cost of kerosene in the country. He named other factors as long chain of handling, smuggling because of huge arbitrage in price and use of kerosene in diesel blending. He said: "Kerosene unfortu-

nately has one of the longest chains in handling and at any point it changes hand, it is at a premium, hence the high cost at the retail end." According to him, there are two grades of Kerosene, Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) and House Hold Kerosene (HHK). "ATK is used in fuelling aircraft while HHK is used in domestic cooking and lighting homes,'' The executive secretary said it was a current global trend for refineries to produce mainly ATK for the aviation market. Stanley noted that due to the inability of Nigeria’s refineries to produce enough kerosene to meet increasing demand, it became necessary to import the ATK grades of kerosene, commonly referred to as Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK). He described DPK as a product that could blend perfectly well with diesel, noting that just blending one litre of kerosene would give the marketer N100 per litre extra profit. He identified this development as the beginning of the kerosene challenge, saying that imported kerosene often


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22 BUSINESS Thursday, February 6, 2014

MAN, stakeholders seek leeway to SMEs’ competitiveness, mortality rate By Femi Adekoya and Tolulope Okunlola HE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has the hinged the competitiveness of the real sector on adoption of strategic innovations by stakeholders in the value-chain process of manufacturing. Specifically, MAN tasked its members on the need to change from the norm and alter the approach to innovations, product development, life cycle management, supply chain operations pricing strategies and incorporate the voice of customers in their value-chain processes. Speaking ahead of the planned forum by MAN in collaboration with Gold Elsh on “Re-Engineering of Manufacturing Internal Process for Competitiveness” scheduled for Febuary 12, 2014, the Acting DirectorGeneral of MAN, Rasheed Adegbenro stated that the

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key to reducing the mortality rate of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, lies in adoption of innovative processes in their businesses. Adegbenro explained: “Many factors have been alluded to the high mortality rate of small businesses among which are weak internal processes, microscopic and undiluted ownership structure, building businesses around personalities rather than institutions, lack of competitiveness of such type of businesses.” He noted that limited access to market, lacks of innovation and near absence of corporate governance are not left aside. “In our clime, manufacturing companies are confronted with unprecedented challenges to grow business in difficult operating environment arising from long years of neglect of basic and criti-

cal infrastructures, menace of multiple taxes and levies, multiplicity of regulatory agencies, smuggling and dumping of cheap products into the country. “We need to look internally and enhance the factors within members control and reposition for competitiveness while MAN shall continue to engage the government on the exogenous factors, Adegbenro added. On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Gold Elsh, Taiwo Olukunle said the firm creates partnerships with clients for value-driven services, considering its fast developing network in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan African countries. He said: “We are poised to deliver on our mandate, encouraging competitiveness in Small and Medium scale Enterprises SMEs, and also to put a stop to business failure with a solution that

Ogun’s debt stock hits N35b By Ade Ogidan, Business Editor HE balance of infrastructure loans taken by Ogun State government, under the Ibikunle Amosun administration has been put at N35.6 billion as at the end of December 2013. Already, the administration has, since May 2011, repaid approximately N20.3 billion in capital in line with its medium term financial strategy. The debt stock profile was disclosed yesterday in Abeokuta in a statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. Adeosun said that the "figure included loans taken from banks as well as the balance of loans inherited from the past administration”. She added that “inherent in the loan profile is the sum of N1.7billion which remains unused. The unspent loan

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included counterpart funds relating to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are awaiting rollout. "The loans have been utilised to finance its investments in security, education, environment as well as the massive ongoing state-wide urban renewal programme, all of which have positively reshaped the economic and physical landscape of the state". The commissioner noted that in line with the state’s law relating to the process of obtaining loans, the House of Assembly gave approvals before the loans were obtained, stating that in the 2014 appropriation law, the House of Assembly approved that the government can source N29.3billion of its total proposed expenditure of N201billion through loans.

However, she added that the government was able to maintain the loan profile at that level because it has continued to comply with the repayment schedule which qualifies it to take new loans as it has a high level of credibility with lenders. Other commitments, according to the Adeosun, "included the N6.4billion contractor finance obligations and the N16.9billion foreign denominated long term debts advanced by the World Bank, and other multilateral agencies of which N14.4billion (86 per cent) was inherited from past administration. "It should be noted that the state is currently working with the World Bank to implement the Public Financial Management (PFM) reform programme and the government has consistently expressed its commitment to the highest standards in public accounting", she added.

would outline the poor growth of businesses. “Most businesses crumble and get forgotten when the founder dies because of lack of management staff and poor relationship with other

partners. We are actually bringing a stop to this, because businesses in the small and medium groups possess a high mortality rate in the country. “Our mission is to make

organizations build their businesses around processes and not necessarily around people (process dependent and not people dependent) hence making business trans- generational.”

FIRS seeks stay of execution on tax tribunals From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja HE Federal Inland Revenue T Services has applied to the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, praying it to stay the execution of a verdict delivered on October 30, 2013, which declared the establishment of Tax Appeal Tribunals (TATs) illegal and ordered the Finance Minister to disband them. In an application for stay of execution pending appeal, FIRS drew the court’s attention to the “monumental economic consequences” that would follow if the judgment were executed. It said the execution of the judgment could result in a serious economic crisis. In the judgment delivered by Justice Ademola Adeniyi, the court restrained the eight TATs established by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) from adjudicating on matters relating to tax and federal revenue. The court held that the existence of TATs was illegal on the ground that they were established in breach of section 251 (1) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.p The judge, among others, ordered the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to immediately disband the eight tax appeal tribunals constituted by her, saying they were illegal. A firm, TSKJ Construces Internacionals Unipessoal LDA, initiated the suit. Arguing the application Tuesday, Lucius Nwosu, SAN, for the FIRS, contended that the balance of convenience was in his client’s favour. He said “more hardship will be done to this country if all the taxes collected previously by the TATs will have to be repaid. "All the state governments will have to refund the money allocated to then in relation to the revenue from the TATs.” Nwosu also drew the court’s attention to the effect of the judgment on the fate of the staff attached to the tribunals

and those who depended on them. He admitted that the tribunal’s activities affected people’s rights but that it operated administratively and not judicially. He urged the court to stay the execution of its judgment pending the determination of the appeal by the tribunal. Responding, Babatunde Ogundipe (for the TSKJ) queried FIRS’s right to seek a stay of the judgment when it was merely a party before the tribunal and not its establishing authority. He argued that all the orders made by the court, except that in relation to cost, were merely declaratory and which could not be stayed. “The FIRS, being just a party before the tribunal, and having not set up the tribunal, cannot ask for a stay of the order disbanding the tribunals,” Ogundipe argued. He contended that nonexecutory orders were incapable of being stayed. Ogundipe urged the court to refuse the FIRS' prayer for stay of the judgment’s execution, but agreed to the court granting a conditional stay of the order as to cost. Replying on point of law, Nwosu argued that as against Ogundipe’s contention, the TATs, by virtue of the provision of Section 59 of the FIRS Act and the 5th Schedule of the Act, were part of the administrative arm of the FIRS. He added that Section 75 of the Personal Incomes Tax Act gave the TATs jurisdiction over personal incomes tax. He argued that it was not out of place for the FIRS to seek to protect its administrative arm by applying for a stay of the execution of a judgment that affected the TATs. After entertaining arguments from parties, Justice Ademola reserved judgment for a yet to be announced date. TSKJ, a non-resident taxpayer, was awarded a contract for the construction of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). In executing the con-

tract, the company established a local subsidiary - TSKJ Nigeria, which rendered logistic support service to it in the course of the contract. In compliance with the nation’s tax requirement, TSKJ filed self-assessment forms on deemed profits, meaning that its profit could not be ascertained. TSKJ also made deductions of recharges being the cost paid to its local subsidiary. FIRS disallowed the deductions on the ground that the deductions were not allowed under the turnover basis assessment. FIRS consequently issued additional assessment in respect of the wrong deductions made by TSKJ. TSKJ objected to the additional deductions and filed an appeal at the Tax Appeal Tribunal, asking that the additional assessment be set aside. In its decision, the tribunal dismissed the company's claims. It ordered TSKJ to pay $12.9 million as tax liabilities for 1997, 1998,1999,2000,2001 and 2002 to FIRS. Dissatisfied with the decision, TSKJ appealed to the Federal High Court. In the judgment, Justice Ademola upheld the argument of the company that the tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit on the ground that the FIRS (Established) Act 2007 under which the tribunal was established conflicted with the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court conferred by section 251 (1)(a) and (b) of the constitution. "The respondent counsel's arguments that Tax Appeal Tribunal created by FIRS (Established) Act 2007 as being an administrative panel and not a court affecting the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court on federal revenue and taxation of companies are mere semantics, misconceived and untenable in law in as much as their decisions affect the civil rights and obligations of companies in relation to taxation matters and revenue of the federal government."

C&I Leasing receives NIS ISO 9001:2008 re-certification N conformity to the requireIQuality ments outlined in the Management System Standard, C&I Leasing Plc. has received the NIS ISO 9001:2008 certification from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). The re-certification serves as an evidence of the company’s commitment to continually improving its operational performance and reiterates its ability to meet the need of its customers. C&I Leasing first received the NIS ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2010 and in line with requirements reapplied in 2013, and was found worthy for re-certificaMAN, stake-

holders seek leeway to SMEs’ competitiveness, mortality ratetion after the SON audit. The Director General/Chief Executive of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, made the presentation of the certificate recently through the office of the SON management system certification in Lagos. While receiving the certificate, the Management Representative of C&I Leasing Plc. Monday Musa said: “ The Certification will give our organisation a renewed focus in our efforts at ensuring that we provide the best services to our customers.”

C & I leasing Plc, listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, is the foremost brand for leases and other ancillary services in Nigeria. With staff strength of over 4,000 people and operational offices in key locations in Nigeria and Ghana, the company takes pride in its track record of exceptional and qualitative service delivery. Today, the C & I leasing Plc brand presence can be felt in major sectors in the Nigerian economy, providing specialized services, in Marine, Telecommunications, Oil and Gas, Equipment Rentals, Manpower Outsourcing and Transportation.


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Appointments Labour, civil society groups charges FG on security From: Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief ABOUR and Human rights LFederal leaders have asked the Government to ensure that adequate security platform exists in the country

to ensure a free and fair general elections in 2015, saying that the political bickering and insecurity challenges pose a great threat to the polls. Besides, they also argued that

the on-going cross carpeting by political chieftains in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (ACN) demonstrated that politics of ideology and purposeful plans for

national development was no longer in their agenda. The leaders of Labour Party and Civil Society Coalition in the north who spoke at a oneday interactive session organised by the National Union of

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Bank Limited, Mallam Ahmed Kuru (right); Chairman, Sir. Ogala Osoka; directors of the bank, Mrs. Asmau Sani Maikudi; Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe and Alhaji Lamis Dikko at a meeting in Lagos.

Job creation data: NBS solicits cooperation with enumerators By Chuka Odittah, Abuja O enhance valid documentation of total number of jobs created by the Federal Government, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has called on members of the public to cooperate maximally with enumerators dispatched to collate data on jobs created in the first quarter of 2014. The appeal is contained in a statement made available to the Guardian in Abuja yesterday and signed by Dr Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation. The NBS appealed to households to volunteer correct information to enumerators in order for the bureau to collate accurate statistical data that will guide government in its employment creation drive across the country. The NBS noted that the main objective of the survey is to improve available information and data on Nigerian Labour market through the application of appropriate statistical methods for tracking variability in the number of jobs created or lost every quar-

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ter. The release said the NBS, in collaboration with the National Planning Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Office of Chief Economic Adviser to the President, would conduct the survey to measure the number of jobs created within the Nigerian Economy in every quarter of a year. “The Survey seeks information on the number of people employed within the reference period by activity and types of job, demographic characteristics of the newly employed persons, among others. “It will also cover the formal and the informal sectors in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. “Beyond the numbers, the survey will assist the Government with necessary information in the formulation of employment policies in Nigeria. This Survey is therefore coming at the right time, in the light of the Transformation Agenda of the

Federal Government which has poverty reduction through employment generation as its cardinal purpose,’’ it added The statement said the survey would cover the second, third and fourth quarter of 2013 to ascertain the level of national job creation efforts and the labour force. It said that the survey would also cover the informal and formal sectors in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. “The NBS hereby solicits necessary cooperation from establishments and households for the success of this exercise, particularly in completing the questionnaires correctly. “The authority to collect data under this survey and any other social economic data on all inhabitants of Nigeria is given to the NBS by the Statistics Act of 2007. “It is with the backing of this authority of the Act that NBS field officers will be visiting the selected establishments

and households between Feb. 5 and 28, 2014, to collect the information for statistical and planning purposes,’’ it said. The NBS further said that in compliance with the Statistical Act 2007, all information collected through this survey will be held in strict confidence and used for statistical and planning purposes by the Federal Government adding that failure to give information as required would attract penalty or imprisonment as stated in the Statistics Act. “And we intend to invoke the provisions of the law if necessary to ensure compliance, including publishing names of corporations that decide to withhold information, thereby violating the statistics law. “The responsibility for generating quality data for strategic planning and development should be a collective one and not that of the Bureau alone. “The Bureau wishes to appreciate the contribution of our stakeholders in this regard and solicit for their continuous support,’’ it stated.

Servicom tasks Nigerians on demand for quality service From Collins Olayinka, Abuja  HE steady rise in the quality of service rendered by government agencies in the last few years have been made possible by the rise in demand for qualitative service, the Senior Special Assistant to the President and National Coordinator of Servicom, Sylbriks Obriki has said. Speaking at a retreat for Servicom Nodal Officers in Abuja, Obriki, pointed at developments in key sectors of the

T

Nigerian economy in the last 10 years as an indication that service delivery was gradually improving in the country. He called for attitudinal change amongst service providers as well as service receivers in order to sustain the modest gains recorded. He added: “We are talking about reform in the transport and other sectors, we often talk about reforms in the Ministry of Aviation, Finance, the IPPS, the DFID arrangement for gov-

ernment to government services, so these services are there and we are improving in our service delivery system as a nation. Railway system was not working but now railway system is working, now also you can get your WAEC results online that is to show that Nigeria is improving, I want to even inform you that my concern today as the representative of Mr. President is that what is the role of the service taker in this service

delivery programme that we are running.”    Commenting on the theme:”Team Building Key to Achieving Efficient Service Delivery,” the Servicom boss stressed that the new area of focus for the Servicom would be ways of gauging the perception of service receivers to know if they appreciate the services they have received. His words: “When you look at the mandate of Servicom is to work with serv-

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Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in conjunction with the Labour Party (LP) canvassed a more purposeful engagement among the nation’s political class that would lead to the growth of democracy in the country, rather than mere cross-carpeting for selfish political gains. The Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu faulted the present trend by which notable leaders of PDP and APC have continued to engage in the politics of decamping among themselves, saying, “this was not the practice in the politics of the first republic and second republic”. “Our great political leaders like Awo, Zik, Ahmadu Bello, Waziri Ibrahim and others were known for their politics of ideology and development, which translated to the development in education and other socio-economic benefits during their time”. Aremu argued that “ today, politicians are decamping from one party to the other for what they believe they can gain rather than rendering selfless service to the people of Nigeria”. However, he said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be commended for the credibility it has introduced to the electoral process in the country, while urging politicians to contribute their own quota to ensure a free and fair election in 2015. Aremu praised the past labour leader, Adams Oshiomhole “ who is the governor of Edo State and is living up to expectation of labour by providing purposeful leadership in that state, backed up with physical development to show for it”. He said: “we must invest more on the electoral system to produce free and fair elections. We must support INEC’s effort for free and fair election in 2015. We are encouraged with the new sense of purpose of INEC leadership to conduct free and fair election. We are encouraged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

has warned its personnel to avoid anything that could scuttle the 2015 general elections”. “The world is not just watching the commission as the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, rightly observed but the world will hold the INEC accountable for the quality of the next election in terms the organization of the polls and quality of the results produced”. Besides, Leader of the Civil Society Coalition in the North, Mallam Shehu Sani who spoke on the return of the former Governors of Kano and Sokoto States, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Alhaji Attahiru Bafawara to the PDP, said that it was unfortunate that the country was no longer governed by ideology, rather on selfish interests. Sani who is also the President of Civil Rights Congress (CRC) reminded politicians to know that “our democracy was not given to us as a present by the military, stressing that “It took a lot of struggle by labour, human rights groups and the media to ensure that the democracy we have today was won”. “Many people were jailed, maimed, killed and brutalised by the military to ensure that democracy come to reality. But today, we have seen what the country is turning into”. Meanwhile, Mallam Sani urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that and end is put to the Boko Haram menace in parts of the north. Said he: “there is insecurity that is threatening our democracy. And it’s still ranging. Some of us have attempted to offer our contribution to resolving the security challenges facing us, but instead of the government joining hands with us to end the problems, they preferred to deal with the defence contractors from Israel and China”. “And so, the problems still persist. However, I am ready to offer myself again as a solution to the present security challenges facing us, if the government is ready to to end this crisis and security challenge in the north”.


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APPOINTMENTS Thursday, February 6, 2014

Professionals seek more roles in governance From Niyi Bello, Akure HE Association of T Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), an umbrella body of about 27 associations of professionals in diverse fields of expertise, set up in 1983 “to among other things, provide solutions to the multi-dimensional human problems through multi-disciplinary approach offered by member professionals”, said yesterday that non-engagements of core experts in governance and administration is responsible for the lack of adequate development in Nigeria. The APBN, which also sought to provide a basis for liaising and transmitting to government the aggregate views of the nation’s professionals on matters of public interests, therefore urged decisionmakers in the country to always consider inputs from experts before government commitments on any issue is made. The chairman of the Ondo State branch of APBN, Dr. Mathew Ibitoye who stated specifically that “the involvement of professionals in the state is still at the low ebb” despite many representations made to the governor, said no nation can reach the heights of development except it makes used of its human resources. Ibitoye spoke at the annual award ceremony and lecture organized by the association with the theme: “Professionalism with Dynamism: A Core Requirement for Economic

Growth” with a keynote address by Dr. Pius Ademola Adebisi, the Registrar of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure. According to him, “it has been proved beyond doubt that the most developed nations of the world are the nations that make use of their professionals not only at the implementation but at the conception stage of every project or programme. “The framework of development must be such that recognizes the roles of professionals and adequately unlocks their potentials to fulfill the role if given the right environment. There is no doubt that Nigeria is endowed with qualified professionals. Unfortunately, only very few are engaged in meaningful developmental projects. Even these lucky ones are poorly remunerated.   “This explains why many of our best professionals are migrating in large numbers to other countries for job, economic and social satisfaction. For instance, it is disheartening to note that more than 21,000 Nigerian Medical Doctors are practicing in the United States of America alone whereas the same profession falls short of World Health Organisation minimum required standard of 20 physicians per 100,000 people in Nigeria. It is just like the case of a son of a butcher eating bones.” Delivering a lecture with the title of the conference theme, Adebisi said “it is dynamic professionals that can create

more jobs or reduce unemployment and by extension increase societal output of goods and services and also the wealth or income of the nation which are the kernels of economic growth. “A peep into human history will convince us further that education of which professionalism is an appendage is truly the driver of growth and development of a society in all ramifications. Man’s history is said to begin with the Early Man. This Early Man, started life on his own with the unseen or invisible master teacher (the Inner self) and experience to chart his course by the method of trial and error.  By this method he was able to establish three basic human needs – food, clothing and shelter – around which human survival is built even up till today.  “His education of that time

though done via trial and error was qualitative and functional or efficacious.  He exhibited in his trial and error method of educational qualities a la professionalism: discipline, hard work, skillfulness and integrity.  The dynamism

Secretary of Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board. He was until his appointment an Assistant Director in the Office of Head of Service, Lagos State. His appointment takes immediate effect. Balogun holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a Master’s in Public and International Affairs which he obtained from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the

sented to deserving professionals and public administrators at the ceremony where the State Commissioner for Community Development and Co-operative Services, Clement Faboyede, was

Oil workers flay govt on insecurity, payment of allowances By Yetunde Ebosele EMBERS of the Nigeria M Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have challenged the federal government to put an end to the “wanton killings of innocent Nigerians” in some parts of

Censors board gets new executive secretary HE Lagos State Government T has appointed Dele Balogun as the new Executive

he combined with it enabled him to discover fire which further granted him greater illumination and placed him on a higher plank over other creatures.” Awards of various categories were thereafter pre-

University of Lagos, Akoka respectively. He has had private and public sector experiences in different capacities spanning a period of twenty-three years which transcend journalism, marketing, advertising and public relations. He is a member of some professional bodies including the Nigerian Institute of Management, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and Nigerian Union of Journalists.

the north. Meanwhile, the union has advised relevant agencies of government to pay the security agencies their allowances as at and when due, in order not to lower their fighting spirit in the “ravaged areas”. According to the president of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, the recent killings of over 65 people is “one death too many”, pointing out that there is urgent need for the federal government to put “these dastardly acts to an end”. The Union reiterates that despite the formation of the 7th division of the Nigerian army in Borno, “ these senseless killings have continued unabated in Maiduguri and its environs”.  The Union in a statement also decried the crisis in Rivers State,” which has made the peaceful environment to become hostile again”. The statement urged    the security agents not to be partisan and should not take sides in the crisis “but should ensure law and order is maintained”.

NUPENG states that the recent overhaul of the service chiefs, which has ushered in new helmsmen, should provide a new method and approach to handling the security challenges. The Union adds that the insecurity situation is hindering the coming into the country the much needed investors from abroad, “because of the international media blitz on these killings”.  The Union states that more men, equipment and intelligence gathering should be deployed to this region to reduce the attacks. It states that modern-day technology in tracking and sensors should be deployed, adding that the “insurgents communicate, meet and train on the usage of high caliber weaponry without detection”. The Union stresses that these insurgents are not ghosts and it is therefore up to the security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities to device ways of putting a stop to “these senseless killings of innocent Nigerians”.


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‘Service delivery key to business start-ups’ GAINST the backdrop that A finance is the most important factor in setting up a business, an expert within the Nigerian retail sector have hinged the success of business start-up in the industry to effective service delivery. Indeed, stakeholders within the industry believe that adequate capacity building for the workforce is key in enhancing a retail business. This fact emerged recently at the Fidelity SME Forum, a weekly radio programme sponsored by Fidelity Bank Plc. Speaking on the topic: “Managing and Growing a Retail Business in a FastGrowing Market”, the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, SLOT Systems Limited, Nnamdi Ezeigbo said that rather than running around looking for capital to set up a business, potential entrepreneurs should focus more on how to render quality service to the customer. He said: “The most important thing when it comes to business is the question of how do you start? Most people always run around looking for startup capital and how they would raise money to start business. I think the best way to start is by rendering services and that is what I did”. Citing his business as an example, he explained that he invested in social capital when he found out that he could not raise the needed fund to start his business. “I could not have afforded to raise money to start a store as at that time, so what I did was to invest in myself, train myself and acquire the technical know- how and then with that I was able to build

what is called social capital and not financial capital”. Ezeigbo, whose company is one of the leading brands in the mobile phone sales and distribution segment of the telecommunications industry, advised

entrepreneurs to invest in the capacity development of their workforce. He acknowledged the fact that organizations are made up of people, processes and systems/infrastructure but insist-

ed that employees are the central pillar upon which any business stands. He advised entrepreneurs especially those in retail business to set aside some funds for staff training. “If you have the right

Bank joins WEconnect’s board, to promote women’s businesses By Chijioke Nelson

ECONNECT International, a global non-profit organization has appointed Access Bank Plc to its National Advisory Board. The appointment is in recognition of the bank’s contributions to the development of women entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.  The move would also strengthen the already existing commitment to sustainable economic growth by increasing opportunities for businesses owned by women. The synergy would be facilitated further as the objectives of Access Bank’s Inclusive Banking Strategy and WEconnect International seek to identify, educate, register and certify women business enterprises that are at least 51 per cent owned, managed and controlled by one or more women. The organization is the only non-profit connecting women-owned businesses with multi-nationals corporate purchasing organization, with network extending beyond the United States of America to connect women to opportunities in different parts of the world.

W

• Grows women-owned business loan portfolio to $20m By the development, Access Bank also becomes the only financial institution partner of the international womenempowerment organization, which draws its membership from over 70 countries across globe. But the bank said it is set to continuously leverage its alliances, partnerships and collaborations with reputable international organizations to promote women entrepreneurship across Africa. The Executive Director, Personal Banking Division, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, said that “With our positioning as the national champion for women banking and over 2.6 million female customers on our books, we have a responsibility to innovate and evolve strategies that will ensure women-owned businesses receive the necessary breath of life required for success while operating at global best practices.” He also reiterated the fact that the bank instituted Nigeria’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year award to encourage healthy competition amongst female

entrepreneurs and reward excellence in entrepreneurship. According to him, the bank has grown its loan portfolio of women-owned businesses to over $20 million in less than six years, which analysts have described as an indication of commitment to partnership and entrepreneurial development of women. Similarly, over 500 female entrepreneurs have benefited from the bank’s capacity development programmes and special sessions on how to grow their businesses successfully and assisted women-owned businesses to overcome the major challenges of growth and access to finance. However, the Group Head, Inclusive Banking, Access Bank, Mrs. Ope Wemi-Jones, while commenting on the appointment to the Board of WEconnect International, said: “Access Bank is encouraged by the recognition of its defining role in women entrepreneurship across sub-Saharan Africa. The bank will continue to support, promote and boost women-owned businesses dedicatedly and innovatively”.

staff and they have the right training, this will help you manage your retail store properly”, adding that, “there is a lot to do with retail management. If someone does not have the technical know –how he cannot do it well. It is not just buying and selling”. Fidelity SME Forum is a deliberate attempt by the bank to resuscitate the Small and Medium – scale Enterprises (SMEs) and create a new genera-

tion of entrepreneurs with the “I can do” spirit in Nigeria. This is not only seen as the bank’s believe in SMEs as a growth catalyst but also a clear commitment to efforts aimed at revamping the Nigerian economy. The programme, essentially seeks to empower Nigerian entrepreneurs with knowledge, know-how and expertise that will help them build successful businesses.

Servicom tasks Nigerians on demand for quality service CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 ice providers, work with the service takers which is the end users of this government policy. We are trying to look at those that receive services as part of service provider what do you use these services that you have received from government. We want a situation, which every MDA should work with other MDAs to come up with a robust service delivery system in our nation. Because if we are talking about Ministry of Education, there are some other departments or ministries that we get to complement the service delivery programme. Service delivery is all about how to improve service standard in Nigeria but the reforms are there for people to deliver services, I can’t do it alone. We have to explain the reforms to the people and monitor it whether people are making use of these reforms. If somebody who receives a service decides not to say ‘thank you’, it means there is a problem. We are there-

fore looking at people’s perception and their level of participation in the service delivery chain.” Meanwhile, Joe Abah of Bureau for Public Service Reform (BPSR) has called for the application of slight sanctions aimed at putting service providers on check. He said beyond the attitudinal reforms on both the part of service providers and receivers, Nodal Officers of Servicom units also need to assert themselves through involvement in mainstream activities.  He said: “Attitudinal change is one of the challenges of Servicom and its the attitude of both the provider and the receiver of the service, so if the giver of the service feels that they are doing the citizens a favour then that is a wrong attitude to have, if the taker of the service doesn’t complain when they get poor services that is also a poor attitude to have, attitudinal change is a key requirement if things are to improve.


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ScienceGuardian Jab to make hair grow back Around a third of women may soon be able SingCIENTISTS to grow new hair on bald- also experience hair loss, with scalps, avoiding the need many affected by female-patfor a hair transplant. Researchers have succeeded in creating new human hair in the laboratory using tiny cells that fuel its growth. The technique published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine has been used to grow new hair follicles in animals, and is now being tested on humans. The tiny cells, called dermal papillae, are found at the base of the follicles, below the skin where the hair is anchored. They provide nourishment for the follicles. In the new procedure, the cells, which are taken from donor tissue, are first cultured in the lab before being injected into the skin where hair is needed. The main type of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female-pattern hair loss. Male-pattern baldness, which affects around 6.5 million men, usually begins above the temples and can occur at any age; the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic ‘M’ shape. The hair at the top of the head also thins, progressing to baldness.

tern hair loss. This begins with gradual thinning at the parting line, followed by increasingly widespread hair loss radiating from the top of the head. However, the female hairline rarely recedes, and it is very uncommon for a woman to become bald. Male-pattern baldness is usually inherited and is thought to be caused by hair follicles being oversensitive to dihydrotestosterone, which is produced by the male hormone testosterone. As a result, the follicles shrink and eventually stop functioning. Other possible causes include physical and emotional stress, as well as medications for depression, acne, heart disease, high cholesterol, ulcers, and gout, as well as the Pill. There are no cures for male baldness, although medications can slow hair loss. Minoxidil lotion, for example, is applied to the scalp and can stimulate regrowth after about 12 weeks. There is also hair transplant surgery, where, under local anaesthetic, a small piece of scalp is removed from an area where there is plenty of hair.

How collisions made early galaxies grow huge, by study Astronomers uncover more ‘dangerous’ asteroids

New technique developed to search space dust for life’s ingredients HILE the origin of life This raises the question of W remains mysterious, how significant their supply scientists are finding more of raw material was. and more evidence that material created in space and delivered to Earth by comet and meteor impacts could have given a boost to the start of life. Some meteorites supply molecules that can be used as building blocks to make certain kinds of larger molecules that are critical for life. Researchers in a paper published online in Journal of Chromatography A have analyzed carbon-rich meteorites (carbonaceous chondrites) and found amino acids, which are used to make proteins. Proteins are among the most important molecules in life, used to make structures like hair and skin, and to speed up or regulate chemical reactions. They have also found components used to make DNA, the molecule that carries the instructions for how to build and regulate a living organism, as well as other biologically important molecules like nitrogen heterocycles, sugarrelated organic compounds, and compounds found in modern metabolism. However, these carbon-rich meteorites are relatively rare, comprising less than five per cent of recovered meteorites, and meteorites make up just a portion of the extraterrestrial material that comes to Earth. Also, the building-block molecules found in them usually have been at low concentrations, typically parts-permillion or parts-per-billion.

However, Earth constantly receives other extraterrestrial material – mostly in the form of dust from comets and asteroids. Michael Callahan of United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA’s) Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Md said: “Despite their small size, these interplanetary dust particles may have provided higher quantities and a steadier supply of extraterrestrial organic material to early Earth,” said. “Unfortunately, there have been limited studies examining their organic composition, especially with regards to biologically relevant molecules that may have been important for the origin of life, due to the miniscule size of these samples.” Callahan and his team at Goddard’s Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory have recently applied advanced technology to inspect extremely small meteorite samples for the components of life. “We found amino acids in a 360-microgram sample of the Murchison meteorite,” said Callahan. “This sample size is 1, 000 times smaller than the typical sample size used.” A microgram is one-millionth of a gram; 360 micrograms is about the weight of a few eyebrow hairs. 28.35 grams equal an ounce. “Our study was for proof-ofconcept,” adds Callahan. “Murchison is a well-studied meteorite.

Colliding spiral galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163 By Chukwuma Muanya with agency reports STRONOMERS in two sepaA rate studies have demystified more extraordinary

asteroids and how collisions made early galaxies huge. A new study published Monday in the scientific journal, Astrophysical Journal, might have demystified Big Bang. It has long puzzled scientists that there were enormously massive galaxies that were already old and no longer forming new stars in the very early universe, approximately three billion years after the Big Bang. According to Wikipedia, the Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the early development of the Universe. According to the theory, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.8 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the universe. At this time, the Universe was in an extremely hot and dense state and began expanding rapidly. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons. Now new research shows that these massive galaxies were formed by explosive star formation that was set in motion by the collision of galaxies a few billion years after the Big Bang.

Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope

Also, a new map developed by astronomers charts the size, composition, and location of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the solar system, and shows that rogue asteroids are actually more common than previously thought. Particularly in the solar system’s main asteroid belt- between Mars and Jupiter- the researchers found a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids. Galaxies are giant collections of stars, gas and dark matter. The smallest galaxies contain a few million stars, while the largest can contain several hundred billion stars. The first stars already emerged in the very early universe approx. 200 million years after the Big Bang from the gases hydrogen and helium. Gas is the raw material used to form stars. These giant clouds of gas and dust contract and eventually the gas is so compact that the pressure heats the matter so that glowing gas balls are formed, new stars are born. The stars are collected in galaxies, the first of which are a kind of baby galaxies. As long as there is gas in the galaxy, new stars are being formed. Also, a new map developed by astronomers charts the size, composition, and location of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the solar system, and shows that rogue asteroids are actually more common than previously thought. Particularly in the solar system’s main asteroid belt- between Mars and Jupiter- the researchers found

a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids. The map was published in Nature. To get an idea of how the early solar system may have formed, scientists often look to asteroids. These relics of rock and dust represent what today’s planets may have been before they differentiated into bodies of core, mantle and crust. In the 1980s, scientists’ view of the solar system’s asteroids was essentially static: Asteroids that formed near the sun remained near the sun; those that formed farther out stayed on the outskirts. But in the last decade, astronomers have detected asteroids with compositions unexpected for their locations in space: Those that looked like they formed in warmer environments were found further out in the solar system, and vice versa. Scientists considered these objects to be anomalous “rogue” asteroids. But now, a new map developed by researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Paris Observatory charts the

size, composition, and location of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the solar system, and shows that rogue asteroids are actually more common than previously thought. Particularly in the solar system’s main asteroid belt — between Mars and Jupiter- the researchers found a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids. The new asteroid map suggests that the early solar system may have undergone dramatic changes before the planets assumed their current alignment. For instance, Jupiter may have drifted closer to the sun, dragging with it a host of asteroids that originally formed in the colder edges of the solar system, before moving back out to its current position. Jupiter’s migration may have simultaneously knocked around more close-in asteroids, scattering them outward. “It’s like Jupiter bowled a strike through the asteroid belt,” says Francesca DeMeo, who did much of the mapping as a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “Everything that was there moves, so you have this melting pot of material coming from all over the solar system.” DeMeo says the new map will help theorists flesh out such theories of how the solar sys-

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32 | SCIENCEGUARDIAN Thursday, February 6, 2014

Health workers petition Jonathan over exclusion from National Conference, re-appointment of Orhii as NAFDAC’s boss By Chukwuma Muanya

EALTH workers under the • Threaten to withdraw from negotiations with govt over suspended strike H aegis of the Assembly of (NANNM), Nigeria Society of Representatives AHP and JOHESU said “they of ing to labour matters if the NAFDAC Act which provides a Healthcare Professionals (AHP) and Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan over exclusion of its professional bodies as participants at the forthcoming National Conference and the reappointment of Dr. Paul Orhii as the director general of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). AHP comprises of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Association of Medical Laboratory Science of Nigeria (AMLSCN), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives

Physiotherapists (NSP), Association of Radiographers (AR) and Health Information Managers Association of Nigeria (HIMAN). JHESU is made up of major unions including: Medical Health Workers Union (MHWU); Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP); and Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals and Research Institutes (SSAUTHRI). The Health Workers in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, HQ/JOHESU/ADM/VOL.II/314, titled “Nomination of

Professional Bodies in The Health Sector to National Conference” dated February 1, 2014, and jointly signed by Chairman, JOHESU, Dr. Ayuba P. Wabba, Secretary JOHESU, Yusuf-Badmus W. G. and President, PSN, Olumide Akintayo, asked for immediate approval to the nomination of at least three of their member bodies that is PSN, NANNM and AMLSCN to be represented at the National Conference. The Health Workers threatened to pull out from ongoing negotiation with government on injustice pertain-

NHIS poised to capture all Lagosians in 2014 S the National Health in the state. Scheme (CBSHIP), which will group A Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Ikharo stated further that in fold in all organised repositions itself to actualize the immediate directive of 30 per cent universal health coverage in Nigeria come 2015, the new Lagos Zonal Coordiator, Nasiru Ikharo, has stressed that machineries were in place to capture all Lagosians in the scheme by the end of 2014. Ikharo stated this during his maiden familiarisation meeting with members of staff of the scheme at the Lagos Zonal Office. According to Ikharo, “the drivers to capture the entire Lagos includes among others, the Community Based Social Health Insurance

trades/artisan groups and communities, all pregnant women and children under five years, all primary school pupils in public schools, the Organised Private Sectors (OPS) social Health Insurance Scheme which will fold in all incorporated organisations with employee strength of five and above, the Voluntary Contribution Social Health Insurance Scheme (VCSHIP), and all tertiary Institutions in Lagos State.” He emphasized that with the above drivers carefully crafted, it will cover all Lagosians including the vulnerable

the last quarter of 2013, strategic plans were carefully crafted and sensitisation carried out with various stakeholders in the scheme in order to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in healthcare delivery and to ensure enrollees total positive experience and satisfaction from the use of their chosen Health care Providers (HCP’s) pointing out that, the enrollees are the king in the scheme. He enjoined all the staff to key in to the vision and be useful tools in achieving the scheme’s mandate of 30 per cent coverage.

president does not immediately redress the matter. They prayed: “Your Excellency, we respectfully implore you as one of the condition precedent in our on-going negotiation with government on injustice pertaining to labour matters to immediately redress this matter by giving immediate approval to the nomination of at least three of our member bodies to be represented at the National Conference.” The letter reads: “In recent memo we pointedly drew attention of President Jonathan to “yet another in the series of unlawful appointments in the health sector, when government re-appointed Dr. Paul Orhii as Director General, NAFDAC in flagrant violation of Section 9 of the

condition precedent that the Director General of NAFDAC must have good knowledge of food and drugs. “After one of our member organisations drew attention of the federal government to this gaffe when the unlawful appointment was first made in January 2009, senior government officials persuaded the Association of Community Pharmacists which challenged the appointment in court to withdraw it on grounds that government will correct that grave injustice, which it has again rubbed on our face. “As if this was not enough, we have observed that the federal government has listed only the following professional bodies, excluding its members, as participants at the forthcoming National Conference.”

are worried that the health sector as usual has received very shabby treatment in obvious continuation of the levity and contempt with which government conventionally treats professionals in the health sector; “apart from doctors who get the status of sacred cows.” The Health Workers said they feel very slighted that true representatives of the health work force in Nigeria has been neglected, ignored and treated with disrespect for too long in the annals of national endeavours of this nature. They, however, said: “We have therefore collectively resolved that on this occasion we shall not leave this situation unchallenged.”

‘Collisions made early galaxies grow huge’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 tem evolved early in its history. She and Benoit Carry of the Paris Observatory have published details of the map in Nature. To create a comprehensive asteroid map, the researchers first analysed data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which uses a large telescope in New Mexico to take in spectral images of hundreds of thousands of galaxies. Included in the survey is data from more

than 100,000 asteroids in the solar system. DeMeo grouped these asteroids by size, location, and composition. She defined this last category by asteroids’ origins — whether in a warmer or colder environment — a characteristic that can be determined by whether an asteroid’s surface is more reflective at redder or bluer wavelengths. The team then had to account for any observational biases. While the survey includes more than 100,000

asteroids, these are the brightest such objects in the sky. Asteroids that are smaller and less reflective are much harder to pick out, meaning that an asteroid map based on observations may unintentionally leave out an entire population of asteroids. To avoid any bias in their mapping, the researchers determined that the survey most likely includes every asteroid down to a diameter of five kilometers. At this size limit, they were able to produce an accurate picture of the asteroid belt. The researchers grouped the asteroids by size and composition, and mapped them into distinct regions of the solar system where the asteroids were observed. From their map, they observed that for larger asteroids, the traditional pattern holds true: The further one gets from the sun, the colder the asteroids appear. But for smaller asteroids, this trend seems to break down. Those that look to have formed in warmer environments can be found not just close to the sun, but throughout the solar system- and asteroids that resemble colder bodies beyond Jupiter can also be found in the inner asteroid belt, closer to Mars. As the team writes in its paper, “the trickle of asteroids discovered in unexpected locations has turned into a river. We now see that all asteroid types exist in every region of the main belt.” The compositional diversity seen in this new asteroid map may add weight to a theory of planetary migration called the Grand Tack model. This model lays out a scenario in which Jupiter, within the first few million years of the solar system’s creation, migrated as close to the sun as Mars is today. During its migration, Jupiter may have moved right through the asteroid belt, scattering its contents and repopulating it with asteroids from both the inner and outer solar system before moving back out to its current position — a picture that is very different from the traditional, static view of a solar system that formed and stayed essentially in place for the past 4.5 billion years.


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NaturalHealth Teenagers who consume energy drinks more likely to use alcohol, drugs EARLY one-third of United States adolescents consume high-caffeine energy drinks or “shots,” and these teens report higher rates of alcohol, cigarette, or drug use, reports a study in the January/February Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. The same characteristics that attract young people to consume energy drinkssuch as being “sensationseeking or risk-oriented”may make them more likely to use other substances as well, suggests the new research by Yvonne M. TerryMcElrath, MSA, and colleagues of the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The researchers analyzed nationally representative data on nearly 22,000 US secondary school students (eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders). The teens were participants in the University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In response to questionnaires, about 30 per cent of teens reported using caffeine-containing energy drinks or shots. More than 40 percent said they drank regular soft drinks every day, while 20 percent drank diet soft drinks daily. Boys were more likely to use energy drinks than girls. Use was also higher for teens without two parents at home and those whose parents were less educated. Perhaps surprisingly, the youngest teens (eighth graders) were most likely to use energy drinks/shots. Students who used energy drinks/shots were also more likely to report recent use of alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs. Across age groups and with adjustment for other factors, teens who used energy drinks/shots were two or three times more likely to report other types of substance use, compared to those who didn’t use energy drinks. Soft drink consumption was also related to substance use. However, the associations were much stronger for energy drinks/shots. Energy drinks and shots are products containing high doses of caffeine, marketed as aids to increasing energy, concentration, or alertness. Studies in young adults suggest that consumption of energy drinks is associated with increased use of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco. In young adults, energy drinks have been linked to behavioral patterns of “sensation-seeking or risk orientation.” Energy drinks are often used together with alcohol, which may “mask” the intoxicating effects of alcohol.

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Novel herbal drug for wound-healing, hypertension Can extracts of local plant be the next best novel drug for treating hypertension and ‘open’ wounds? CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes. OTANICALLY called B Napoleona imperialis, the local tree or shrub that seldom grows above six metres with large leaves, belongs to the family Lecythidaceae. It is called Ukpakonrisa in Edo, Obu-anagbo and Otukuche in Igala, Isi efe that is the wood in Umuahia dialect, Akpodo in Awka dialect and Utum in the Ikwuano dialect of Igbo language. Until now, its fruits sugary pulp is reportedly used as dessert, the roots for medicinal purposes and the twigs as chewing sticks. However, an extract of a local plant, Napoleona imperialis has been shown to have better healing property than standard antibiotic in treating open wounds. Nigerian researchers in a study published in Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences found that the plant extract had a better wound healing property, 100 per cent efficacy, than a standard antibiotic, Cicatrin® by the 19th day of treatment. The study is titled “The wound healing effect of herbal ointments formulated with Napoleona imperialis.” The researchers from the faculties of pharmaceutical sciences and veterinary medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka include: C. O. Esimone, E. C. Ibezim, and K. F. Chah. The researchers wrote: “The wound healing effect of herbal ointments formulated with Napoleona imperialis (NI) embedded in different ointment bases (anionic, cationic and non-ionic) has been evaluated in vivo using the excision wound healing model, on guinea pigs. “Napoleona imperialis was extracted using methanol and the extract formulated as herbal ointments. The herbal ointments were used to treat wounds inflicted on experimental guinea pigs. The wound healing effects of the formulations were compared to that of a standard antibiotic, Cicatrin®. “In all cases, there was a progressive decrease in wound area with time, indicating an efficacy of the formulations in healing the induced wounds. By the 16th day, the ointment containing 100 mg/g of Napoleona imperialis in nonionic emulsifying ointment base showed 100 per cent healing …” Researchers have also found that oral administration of methanol extract of

Napoleona imperialis... may be useful for prevention and treatment of hypertension Napoleona imperialis may be useful for prevention and treatment of hypertension. The study published in International Journal of Biochemistry is titled “Antihypertensive Effect of Methanol Extract of Napoleona imperialis in Adrenaline Induced Hypertensive Albino Rats.” The researchers from the Department of Biochemistry, Kogi State University, Anyigba, scientifically verified the antihypertensive effect of the methanol extract of the leaf of Napoleona imperialis in adrenaline-induced hypertensive rats (AlHR) when compared with those of Propanolol in a cross over design. Napoleona imperialis leaf extract and the commercial drug (Propanolol) were administered orally and through intraperitoneal (I.P) route respectively for one week. Previous study has demonstrated antibacterial and wound healing properties of the methanol extract of Napoleona imperialis. It showed more than 90 per cent wound healing activity. Its antibacterial properties was studied against eleven chemical isolates (four strains of Staphylococcus aureus, two strains of Escherichia coli, Shigellia spp (one strains), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (one strain) and three strains of Proteus spp.

Investigation also has shown that the seeds of Napoleona imperialis are rich sources of commercial hemolytic saponins and feed ingredient. Proximate and phytochemical composition of Napoleona imperialis showed the presence of phytates, tannins alkaloids, saponins, and metabolisable energy value. The researchers from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka wrote: “… There was a general decrease in wound area upon application of the ointments and with time. By the 4th day, the animals treated with ointments containing 100 mg/g of Napoleona imperialis in anionic emulsifying ointment, all died. There was however a hundred percent (100 per cent) healing in the animals treated with ointments containing 100 mg/g of NI in cationic emulsifying agent and in the ointment containing Cicatrin powder, by the 19th day after treatment, as the wound sizes reduced to zero. “The ointment containing the negative control had the least rate of wound healing. A drug to be used for effective wound healing should be able to clear the wound by the 19th day after infliction. The death of the animals treated with the ointment containing 100 mg/g of anionic emulsifying could be attributed to contamination or adverse effect of the formulation. “… The ointments prepared

with NI in cationic emulsifying ointment base exhibited the highest initial rate of wound healing. It was followed closely by the ointment prepared with non-ionic emulsifying ointment. The control ointment containing neither NI extract nor Cicatrin® had a very low initial healing rate. By the tenth day however, all the ointment formulations showed almost the same rate of wound healing with the exception of the control ointment which maintained a very slow rate of wound healing even up to the 19th day. “The best activity was observed in the ointment containing Napoleona imperialis in cationic ointment base. This shows that Napoleona imperialis can effectively be employed as a cationic emulsifying ointment in wound healing. “Conclusively, the various ointments prepared with Napoleona imperialis exhibited a good wound healing effect comparable to those of Cicatrin®, a standard antibiotic used in wound healing. This finding thus, justifies its use in folkloric medicine for wound healing.” Meanwhile, the researchers from Kogi State University measured the effect of the extract on different biochemical parameters such as blood glucose, serum triglycerides,

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Daily intake of fizzy drink raises heart risk, doubles chance of death CIENTISTS have discovered Sexcessive an alarming link between consumption of sugar found in fizzy drinks or processed food and heartrelated deaths. They found that even one fizzy drink a day was enough to increase the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by almost a third. And for those consuming a quarter of their daily calories from sugar, the risk of heartrelated death doubled. Added sugar is that which is introduced to the processing of food products, rather than coming from natural sources such as fruit. The study was published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Dietary guidelines from the World Health Organisation recommend that added sugar should account for less than 10 per cent of calorie intake. But British campaigners are calling for an upper limit of five per cent, along with a sugary drinks tax because they say sugar is the ‘new tobacco’. Prof. Graham MacGregor, chairman of Action On Sugar, said: “This is an important study. “It clearly shows a high sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks, highlighting the need for much more focus on reducing sugar to reduce obesity and cardiovascular risk. “Not only is added sugar an unnecessary cause of calories and a cause of tooth decay, but also predisposes to strokes and heart attacks. We need to take action now.” The study, led by Dr. Quanhe Yang, from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, used US national health survey data to determine how much added sugar people were consuming. Between 2005 and 2010, added sugar accounted for at least 10 per cent of the calories consumed by more than 70 per cent of the US population. About a tenth of adults got a quarter or more of their calories from added sugar, says a report in JAMA Internal Medicine. The data was matched against heart disease mortality over a period of 14.6 years, during which 831 CVD deaths were recorded in the study group, which was representative of the population. The risk of heart-related death was 38 per cent higher for people who consumed 17 to 21 per cent of daily calories from sugar compared with those who were under 10 per cent. It was four times higher for those getting one-third or more of calories from added sugar. For those consuming a quarter of their daily calories from sugar the risk of heart-related death doubled, researchers found. Campaigners are now calling for a sugar tax - saying the substance is the new tobacco.


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SCIENCE HEALTH Thursday, February 6, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

U.S., Nigeria plan malaria vector survey in six states By Chukwuma Muanya S part of efforts geared A towards elimination of malaria from the country, a

United States-sponsored Malaria Initiative in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) are set to conduct entomological surveillance in six states of the federation. Entomological surveillance is used to determine changes in the geographical distribution and density of the vector, evaluate programmes, obtain relative measurements of the vector population over time and facilitate appropriate and timely decisions regarding interventions. Africa Indoor Residual Spraying Project (AIRS), a threeyear award funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the US Presidents’ Malaria Initiative (PMI) had in 2011 introduced and piloted a model for an Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) programme at a state/local government area level in two local government areas (LGAs) of Nasarawa State namely Nasarawa Eggon and Doma. However, Country Technical Manager, Abt Associates/USAID/PMI-AIRS Project, Nigeria, Dr. Petrus Inyama, at a Principal Investigators and Entomology Participants at a Principal Investigators and Entomology Technicians Training organised, last week, in Abuja by Africa Indoor Residual Spraying Project (AIRS), a three-year award Technicians Training organ- funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the US Presidents’ Malaria Initiative (PMI) in collaboration with National Malaria Elimination ised, last week, in Abuja in col- Programme (NMEP) laboration with NMEP said AIRS Dr. David Hoel of CDC Atlanta She said: “If we build team Officer, USAID Mission, Abuja, the first being in April to May Nigeria has, in 2014, transited expand entomological sur- Georgia who represented spirit for maximum output, Prof. Greg Ike Anyanwu, Prof. 2012, and the last in April to veillance work to six sentinel from full IRS implementation USAID stressed the need for more partners will be attract- Georgina Mwansat, Dr. Ebere May, 2013. The 2013 cycle, to entomological surveillance sites, strategically selected to vector control against malaria ed towards the fight against Nwabueze and Mr. which was very successful, represent all of the geopolitiin six sentinel sites out of the 18 in Nigeria. He said that the malaria. Furthermore, she Ogbonnaya Nwokocha, built on the experiences and cal zones of the country.” sentinel sites proposed by the Principal Assistant Director IRS at NMEP. lessons learnt from the 2012 He said that the PMI wished USAID was ready to support praised NMEP, which are domiciled in the sentinel sites set up by Investigators for their hard Inyama further explained: campaign. The exercise to continue to support NMEP universities and research instiNMEP as Nigeria moves work and commitment but “The need for capacity build- methodically demonstrated in this important area of entotutes. towards malaria elimination. advocated for the publication ing of health workers at all lev- improvements in the overall Inyama who stood in for the mological surveillance and Heoel advocated for insecti- research findings for the els on standard protocols and operationalisation of the other strategic areas of need Regional Operations Manager cide rotation in vector control world to know.” techniques that would meet campaign in the areas of Dr. Nduka Iwuchukwu, said because of her conviction that interventions as the continuPrincipal Investigator for national and international M&E, environmental complithe quest towards malaria that the sites included Epe in ous use of pyrethroids which is Jigawa Sentinel site, Dr. performance standards in ance, logistics management, Lagos State, Kirikashama in elimination in Nigeria would one of the World Health Abdulsalami Yayo, who spoke malaria control cannot be recruitment and training of not be successful without a Jigawa State, Shendam/Barkin Organisation Pesticide on behalf of his colleagues, overemphasized. Failure to spray personnel with resultLadi in Plateau State, Enugu in concerted and coordinated Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) said that resistance by both use the right tools to fight ant improvement in spray vector control efforts. Enugu State, Ikwere in Rivers To consolidate on the above- – approved insecticides by parasites and vectors has lim- malaria as approved by the techniques, enhanced BCC State and Nararawa mentioned gains of PMI’s sup- both agricultural and public ited the successes achieved in WHO, PMI, and other accredit- strategies; and in entomoloEggon/Doma in Nasarawa port to NMEP, Inyama health sectors may lead to the malaria control stressing that ed authorities, would result gy, utilized an in-house insecState. loss of susceptibility of the governments and agencies invariably in the resources tary in Keffi to ensure the supInyama said that the project enjoined participants to be insecticides due to resistance. should direct resources deployed towards this fight ply of adequate numbers of committed to this training would capture standard entoSpeaking on behalf of the aright. amounting to nothing but susceptible Anopheles gammological indicators in all the and resolve to carry out the Malaria Partners, the Director Yayo said that the training waste. To this end, we are glad biae ss (Kisumu) and wild responsibilities bestowed on six sentinel sites. “These would of Community Vision offered the opportunity to to gather Principal strains of mosquitoes for be compared by the type of them at the various sentinel Initiative Dr. Chioma Amajoh address the problem of malar- Investigators and Technicians improved entomological sites. “We believe that with malaria control interventions (popularly called Mama ia squarely as the Principal for this strategic training exer- monitoring and quality and coverage across the geopo- the correct political will and Malaria) who is also the imme- Investigators were committed cise that will be facilitated by a assurance.” litical and ecological zones of the commitment of various diate past National to the success of the pro- carefully selected team of He said that the following stakeholders, we will win the the country,” he said. Coordinator of NMEP, appreci- gramme not just because of experienced Vector Control were concomitant achievefight against malaria.” Inyama said the security chalated the PMI | AIRS Nigeria for the money but because of experts in Nigeria. ments in last year’s spray lenges in the northeast made National Coordinator, NMEP, demonstrating a model IRS in humanity. Before I go further, it is perti- cycle, which lasted for 33 days: Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe, who the site in that area to be put on Nigeria and emphasized that Head of Department, Vector nent to take us memory lane. 652 spray operations personhold. “Through activities declared open the workshop, IRS is not expensive contrary to Control Unit of the Nigeria This exercise is anchored by nel (84 per cent male; 16 per called on other esteemed planned for 2014, information global thoughts and percep- Institute for Medical Research the Africa IRS project, Nigeria, cent female) trained; A total will be collected to help the Partners of the Programme to tion since the equipment is (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, who is a President’s Malaria Initiative of 62,592 structures sprayed NMEP in making data-driven come on board this giant procured once at the start of also one of the Principal (PMI)/USAID funded project out of 64,191 structures found decisions for programming train as it is a collective the exercise. Investigators, thanked the handled by Abt Associates Inc; by the spray operators, reprevector control activities in responsibility to continue to Amajoh commended the PMI for supporting the sen- whose mandate has been to senting 97.5 per cent spray sustain the efforts and huge Nigeria,” he said. NMEP for their fight to take tinel sites and promised good implement among others, a coverage and A total populaInyama further stated: “In fur- resources already committed Nigeria towards malaria elimi- data that anybody can be demonstration IRS project in tion of 346,798, which includto this fight against malaria therance to PMI’s goal of supnation and the Federal proud of in the world. He Nigeria in two local govern- ed 16,733 pregnant women porting NMCP in the area of and its burden in Nigeria and Government for initiating the urged the NMEP to use the per- ment areas of Nasarawa state and 67,204 children under the African region in general. capacity building and systems Ezeigwe, who was represent- Integrated Test, Treat and larvi- sonnel at the training as a net- (Doma and Nasarawa Eggon). I age five were protected. strengthening, AIRS Nigeria Inyama added: “A very ed by Dr. Joe Akila, said that ciding (ITTL) programme work for Vector Surveillance wish to announce that the has organized this training to which is about to take off in Nigeria. project, which was concluded robust and standardized the federal government in colshowcase best practices in stressing that proper impleCertificates were awarded to in December last year, was suc- entomological monitoring malaria vector surveillance laboration with the other mentation of the programme participants at the end of the cessfully implemented in a based on best practices was tiers of government and the which includes evaluating the across the nation will eventu- training. way consistent with the expec- carried out; the result density of vectors in IRS-target- Roll Back Malaria (RBM) part- ally lead to the total elimina- Other dignitaries at the train- tations and stipulations of revealed the diverse species ners is committing huge ed and non- IRS targeted areas, tion and eventual eradication ing include Dr. Uwem Inyang, PMI, of course in conjunction of Anopheles mosquitoes susthe indoor/outdoor, resources to ensure the actu- of malaria in Nigeria. the Malaria Programme and collaboration with the taining the transmission of resting/biting behavior of the alization of the current malarNational malaria Elimination malaria in Nasarawa State as ia elimination goal. vectors and resistance status of Program, the Nasarawa State well as the resistance status of “If these efforts must yield malaria vectors in the selected I am made to understand that in Nigeria, there is no Ministry of Health, the Federal local mosquitoes in the interthe expected goal, the imporareas. Ministry of Environment, the vention areas. Quality assur“I am made to understand that tance of malaria vector sur- comprehensive picture of the Anopheline fauna in National Environmental and cone bioassay tests veillance cannot be over general and the malaria vectors in particular. In Standards and Regulations ance in Nigeria, there is no compreshowed that the insecticide emphasized. Therefore, I hensive picture of the Agency and the deployed (Deltamethrin) was order to create a broad body of knowledge on Enforcement Anopheline fauna in general implore all our esteemed Doma and Nasarawa Eggon effective against both susceppartners to join this effort malaria vectors, the PMI is asking the AIRS Nigeria and the malaria vectors in parLocal Government Area tible and local mosquitoes. ticular. In order to create a aimed at creating a structure, project to expand entomological surveillance work Councils, etc. This corroborates the eviwhich will enable an effective broad body of knowledge on “The project successfully con- dence of improved strategies, malaria vectors, the PMI is ask- tracking of the huge resource to six sentinel sites, strategically selected to repre- cluded two spray cycles in a standard and quality deploying the AIRS Nigeria project to inputs against the expected sent all of the geopolitical zones of the country relatively low transmission ment of personnel and mateoutcomes,” she said. zone in North Central Nigeria, rials.”


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 35


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36 | NATURAL HEALTH Thursday, February 6, 2014

UHMCTI, NAFDAC plan two-day training on herbal medicine development By Chukwuma Muanya

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Chairman Publications Committee, Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), Prof. Paul Okonkwo (left), Representative, Biological Sciences, NAS, Prof. Fola Esan, Academic Secretary, Physical Sciences, Prof. Domingo Okorie, President, NAS, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, at the official presentation of the Proceedings of the Nigerian Academy of Science in Lagos… recently.

Herb* for wound healing, hypertension validated CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 serum cholesterol, serum creatine phosphokinase, lactate dehydrogenase, pulse rate and body weight utilising standard methods. Napoleona imperialis leaf extract at the doses of 26mg/130±17g and 52mg/130±17g of body weight were given orally every morning during treatment to show the effect of dose concentration. Propanolol at a dose of 0.084mg/130±17g of body weight was injected into rats according to its pharmacokinetic parameters. The extract-administered rats had significantly lowered serum lactate dehydrogenase, creatine phosphokinase and pulse rate compared to the non-extract administered AlHR group. Blood glucose, serum triglycerides and serum cholesterol were not lowered and significantly different when compared with the control. These results suggest that oral administration of methanol extract of Napoleona imperialis may be useful for prevention and treatment of hypertension. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common disorder, which if not effectively treated results in a greatly increased probability of coronary thrombosis, stroke, and renal failure. Circulatory system diseases such as hypertensive, arteriosclerosis, and heart disease are especially prevalent in developed countries, with increasing numbers of people showing symptoms of hypertension or prehypertension. Hypertension is becoming a household disease now in developing countries, such as Nigeria. Hypertension can be caused by many factors, including increases in the volume of body fluid, resistance of the blood vessels, and other factors that elevate blood pressure. These factors induce abnormal increases in blood pressure, either alone or in combination. Antihypertensive effects have been noted with various food and natural products. Treatment of hypertension reduces cardiovascular risk, and this has been a major focus of campaigns aimed at reducing cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.

A number of international guidelines suggest that blood pressure should be reduced at least to below 160/90 mmHg to normalise cardiovascular risk in patients with hypertension. In patient at higher baseline risk of cardiovascular disease, for example those with diabetes, the recommendations are that the target blood pressure should be substantially lower than 130/85 mmHg. This recommendation is based on the view that the absolute risk of a cardiovascular event in these patients is much greater, and therefore, the absolute benefit of treatment is larger. Because of high incidence and morbidity, various drugs and regimes have been advocated for control of hypertension. Many new drugs have been introduced which may demonstrate better efficacy but posses side effects. Recently attention has been drawn or focused towards herbal and mineral preparations, which are traditionally used as potential therapeutic agents in the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases. Generally, the cytosolic enzymes lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine phosphate kinase (CPK) as well as lactate in coronary effluent are important biomarkers for myocardial ischemia in hypertension. The Kogi State University study investigated the hypotensive effect of Napoleona imperialis methanol leaf extract in adrenaline-induced hypertensive rats using serum LDH, CPK and other biochemical parameters as biomarkers. The results of the study showed that Napoleona imperialis and Propanolol significantly decreased the pulse rate of hypertensive rate. This decrease was dose dependant. The reduction in pulse rate of the hypertensive rats confirms the hypotensive effect of Napoleona imperialis leaf extract. Its reductive ability is comparative to the standard drug (Propanolol) used. It has been shown that pressure over load to the heart, such as from hypertension, results in pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Pathological cardiac hypertrophy induces a reduction of cardiac function and pathological cardiac hypertrophy result in heart

failure. It has been reported that glycolytic energy metabolism is accelerated in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy induced by pressure over load due to aortic banding or pulmonary hypertension. The heart is known to rely mostly on fat metabolism for energy, but it can also derive energy from several other substances including glucose and lactate. The effect of Napoleona imperialis extract and Propanolol on blood glucose, serum triglyceride and cholesterol level of the experimental rats showed that there was no significant decrease in blood glucose level of the experimental rats when compared with the control group for both doses of the extract. Significant decreases in serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels were observed in animals treated with the extract and Propanolol. These significant decrease in serum triglyceride and cholesterol might be due to the combined effect of the extract, increased metabolic activity of adrenaline used to induce hypertension. The researchers concluded: “In conclusion, our investigation suggests that Napoleona imperialis leaf extract has got profound hypotensive activity and this study has correlation with previously reported investigations using other plants. “The mechanism by which Napoleona imperialis lowers blood pressure is not yet fully established. However, the hypertensive effect may be due to the stimulation of muscarinic receptors of the parasympathetic nerve by the compounds or their actions as an antagonist of 2 – adrenergic receptors but it may act as Ca+ ion channel block. “The intake of Napoleona imperialis as medicine or as supplement in diet might have potential benefit in the treatment of hypertension. In this respect, herbal drugs are helpful and render encouraging results in comparison to synthetic drugs due to their fewer side effects and easy availability.” Proximate analysis by another study published in Journal of Natural Sciences Research showed that the pulp contains 9.9 per cent carbohydrate, 1.0 per cent fat, 5.05 per cent fibre,

1.3 per cent protein, 0.35 per cent ash and 87.5 per cent moisture while the jam contained 15.7 per cent carbohydrate, 0.2 per cent fat, 2.5 per cent fibre, 0.4 per cent protein, 0.25 per cent ash and 80.5 per cent moisture. Flame photometric analysis showed that the jam contained 0.16g/mg sodium and 0.13g/mg potassium. The researchers concluded: “The pulp gave a good fruit jam which revealed moderate protein and high calorific value in its proximate composition. The presence of sodium and potassium in concentrations admissible for human consumption makes the jam good for the maintenance of acid – base balance in the body. Some of the wild fruits in our locality should be utilised in the production of various other fruit based products. Since they are readily available and relatively cheap in terms of production, they can serve as a source of income for the cottage industry and also reduce unemployment among our teaming youths.” Evaluation of antimicrobial properties of ethyl acetate extract of the leaves of Napoleona imperialis published in Pharmaceutical Science International Journal of Drug Research and Technology showed that the extract demonstrated activities against certain bacteria confirming the use of the plant in ethno- pharmacology. The researchers from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, screened ethyl acetate extract of the leaves were against some microorganisms so as to ascertain this claim and to recommend it for further investigation for possible inclusion into official compendium. The phytochemical screening showed availability of alkaloid, saponins, tannins, glycosides and proteins. Ethyl acetate extract exhibited activity against E. coli, B. subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa with minimal inhibitory concentration of about 50 mg/ml for E.coli, 100 mg/ml for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 200mg/ml for B. subtilis. Yet another study published in Research Journal of Medicinal Plant has also investigated the role of medicinal plants in wound healing.

HE Universal Health Management Consultant Training Institute (UHMCTI), an accredited member of Nigeria Council of Management Development (NCMD) in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) plan to conduct a two-day workshop and training on herbal medicine development, next month, in three zones of the country. Chairman of the organising committee, Executive Director of Programme at UHMCTI and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacognosy College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL), Dr. Steve Ogbonna, said that the workshop and training aimed at developing herbal medicine in Nigeria through enhancing and improving total quality process in Herbal Medicine production and use in treatment of patients in health care system. Ogbonna said: “This training has become necessary because people are now going back to nature and embracing herbal medicine hence the increasing demands in herbal medicine. Herbal Medicine is now sought for in the treatment of various diseases especially diseases that cannot be effectively treated or controlled with orthodox medicine such as diabetes. Herbal medicine is therefore welcome as a renewed hope for masses especially the rural areas for their health challenges. “This workshop and training was therefore designed

to educate and also enhance the knowledge of herbal medicine producers in the area of herbal production and health care practitioners employing herbal medicine in health delivery.” He said that the workshop would be held in three zones as approved by the NAFDAC Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii. The workshop would held in Zone 1, which comprises Lagos zone western states on March 3 and 4, 2014; Zone 2, Kaduna zone comprising northern states on March 10 and 11, 2014 and Zone 3: Enugu zone comprising eastern states on March 24 and 25, 2014. On the workshop objective, Ogbonna said: “At the end of the workshop participants will acquire a desired knowledge, skills, and total quality management knowledge on herbal medicine treatment; also techniques and skills to improve on the herbal medicine production and usage in Nigeria.” Ogbonna said expected participants include: all health care practitioners, herbal medicine producers, herbal medicine dealers, pharmacists, doctors, nurses and medical laboratory officers, herbal medicine practitioners, and health care educators. He said the Lagos Zone workshop would be held at the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos. Participants are expected to pay a workshop fee of N40, 000 each, which covers breakfast, lunch break, including CD, workshop handout and group photograph.

Nigeria to save lives of 400,000 children, 20,000 mothers by December 2015, says UN • Assures on adequate funding for health-related MDGs By Chukwuma Muanya ITH only 695 days remaining until the deadline for achieving the globally endorsed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations (UN) SecretaryGeneral’s Special Envoy, Ray Chambers, yesterday congratulated Nigeria for its commitment to the goals and to saving 400,000 children’s and 20,000 mothers’ lives by the end of 2015. Chambers in a statement on Nigeria’s public-private acceleration plan to achieve the health mugs delivered yesterday when a remarkable coalition of government officials, private sector leaders and development partners came together to present an aligned vision for accelerating progress to achieve the health-related MDGs in Nigeria, over the remaining eight quarters said it is essential for the world to reach the goals and for Nigeria to make continued strides in improving the lives of its citizens. “These lives are, without any compare, Nigeria’s most precious commodity,” he said. The UN Special Envoy acknowledged the critical leadership of the His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Honorable Minister of Health C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu. Chambers said: “Today is a landmark day for Nigeria. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-

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moon and I are fully supportive of the unique partnership that has emerged in Nigeria between the public and the private sectors, and the Quarterly Acceleration Plan that was announced today by the Government of Nigeria, which presents business-like quarterly milestones to achieve the healthrelated MDGs, focused on the health of women and children. “I was pleased to meet with several of the visionary leaders of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN) – including Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia and Aig Aigboje-Imoukhuede – who have pledged their full commitment to partnering with the government to ensure that children do not continue to needlessly die. “In addition, we are greatly appreciative of the alignment of Nigeria’s faith leaders with these important health plans and of their commitment to the health of all Nigerians, regardless of belief.” Chambers said as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs, he is aware of the critical importance for all funding streams to align over the next eight quarters to execute this plan, state-bystate. He reassured that the international community stands ready to support Nigeria.


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LASUTH corrective ear surgery excites specialists Stories by Wole Oyebade PECIALISTS have comSconduct mended the successful of cochlear implantation in two deaf patients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos. The surgery, which was conducted at the weekend, was described as a feat for the hospital and the state government, especially her quest for comprehensive care services. The surgery was teamwork between Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists from University of Freiburg, Germany and their counterparts in LASUTH. It saw to the implantation of a hearing device, called Cochlear, to pick up sounds and converts them to impulses in the patients. The procedure has improved chances of hearing in the patients. Leader of the delegation from Germany and Chairman/Head, ENT Department University Medical Centre, University of Freiburg, Prof. Roland Laszig said the successful outcome was a sign of the hospital’s investment in equipment and quality care, without which the procedure would not have been possible. Laszig, however, added that there is the need to raise awareness on prevention rather than cure. He observed that three to five children were born with deafness everyday in Nigeria as well as in German. Laszig said: “It, therefore, raises the need for improved awareness against diseases like meningitis, correct hygiene practices and immunisation. Like other implantations, Cochlear is not cost effective and not easily affordable. So I’d say that prevention remains the better option than cure,” he said. Apparently excited, LASUTH Board Chairman, Dr Francis Williams, said it was more of a feat for the hospital as much as it empowers the patients that are recovering from deafness. Williams said: “It is good thing to find a solution to a long standing problem and

• As experts raise awareness on causes of deafness that is what the hospital in collaboration with Cochlear Foundation in Germany has done.” Leader of the LASUTH team and Consultant ENT Surgeon, Dr. Olawale Olubi explained that people could, a lot of time, be born deaf or acquire hearing loss after they had gained speech. His words: “There are two types of hearing loss. There is one where the person has not learnt any language and the other, after speech. Cochlear implant becomes useful when one’s hearing aid is not functioning. But it is best to screen hearing problems early and have the implantation early for better outcome. You don’t have to wait for too long. “In adult, when they have hearing loss or use drugs that knocks off the hearing, it is best to know whether they can recover the hearing as fast as possible and do the implantation,” Olubi said. Explaining the procedure, Olubi said the implantation was done by having a processor (on the outside) connected to a receiver device inside

the ear, connected through the electrode to the Cochlea. “This definite transmits. After doing the implant, we tested the electrode and found out that they are working automatically. “But we are not going to switch it on until about four to six weeks. When it is switched on, for those that have acquired speech before, they will definitely have great benefits. Those that have not acquired speech will still need enough time to learn the language. So you may not appreciate it immediately.” The implanted device, Cochlear, was made in Australia and adjudged the most effective of hearing device around the world. Each cost 23,000 Euros (about N5million). Each patient also paid about N1.5m for hospital and rehabilitation care services. Olubi said: “Yes the cost of the device, coupled with hospital care and rehabilitation may be expensive, but there is no quantifying the cost with changes it will bring to the life of the patient.

reference book of available drugs in Nigeria has been introduced to the medical community. The prescribing reference, also known as MIMS Nigeria, is specific to the Nigerian healthcare system and delivers up-todate drug information source on existing products in Nigeria. Editor of the reference material, Dr. Ifeanyi Okechukwu told The Guardian in Lagos that the project emerged out of the team’s urge for a compact, user-friendly prescribing guide that is specific for Nigeria. He observed that prior to MIMS Nigeria, most healthcare professionals were using the British prescribing reference, which contains information on products that are available in Britain. According to Okechukwu: “Since drug names in Nigeria are somewhat different to those in Britain, the MIMS Nigeria publisher posited that you do not need a map of London to navigate streets of Lagos,” he said. The core of MIMS Nigeria, a 319-page book, consists of

Lead Pastor, the Empowerment Assembly Church, Oregun, Lagos, Pastor Charles Abu (left), a beneficiary, Police Officer Michael Olaleye and Dr. Serah Eke of the Maxi  Specialist Eye Clinic during the church’s free medical outreach programme held in commemoration of its third year anniversary in Lagos… at the weekend.

How to stop liver failure from painkiller overdose NIVERSITY of Adelaide but nobody has known how U researchers have identified the calcium gets into the cells. The University of Adelaide a key step for the future prevention of liver failure resulting from taking too much of the everyday painkiller paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen). Published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study pinpoints a target for new treatments to prevent the potentially lethal consequences of paracetamol overdose. “Paracetamol is the most frequently used over-the-counter pain medication,” says Dr Grigori Rychkov, Senior Research Fellow in the University’s School of Medical Sciences. “Overdose of paracetamol is the most common cause of acute liver failure and the leading cause of liver damage requiring transplantation in developed countries. The precise mechanisms of liver toxicity due to paracetamol overdose, however, have remained unclear.” It has been known for a long time that paracetamol overdose is associated with toxic levels of calcium in liver cells

“Deafness has more severe disadvantage than other disabilities. For those that are deaf, the highest of intelligence they can acquire is that of a Primary school pupil. But for someone to use hearing device through school and become a professor is worth all investment in cost.” Head of Department ENT, Dr. Abimbola Adekoya also advocated that a child should be screened as soon as he or she is born to determine if the child has a hearing loss. Continuing he said, “Again, some drugs have to be used carefully so that the ears do not get damaged. What we are doing with this Cochlear implant is to improve the hearing of people who have nerve deafness. Nerve injury is one that doesn’t heal up on time unlike the case with skin injury. And if it is a severe case, nerve injury do not heal up at all. “So, we should be more careful. People who work in factories and always exposed to noise, people who are prone to abuse drugs all need to be more careful to prevent hearing impairment,” he said.

Drugs-prescribing reference book debuts in Nigeria OURTESY of a team of doc- entries (monographs) of C tors and pharmacists in the medicinal products accessible country, the first prescribing in the country. These include a

researchers have identified a channel transporting calcium across the cell membrane that is triggered by paracetamol overdose, known as Transient Receptor Potential Melanostatine2 (TRPM2). Once the channel is activated, the cells become overloaded with calcium, leading to cell death. If this continues and enough cells die, it can lead to liver failure. The research, conducted by PhD student Ehsan Kheradpezhouh, showed in laboratory studies that when the TRPM2 channel was miss-

ing or blocked, liver cells were protected from paracetamol damage. “We now have a potential drug target for treating paracetamol overdose and possibly some other liver-damaging poisonings,” says Rychkov. Currently paracetamol overdose can be effectively treated – but only if caught within 18 hours. “If we can block the TRPM2 channel we might be able to prevent the toxicity or extend this timeframe. If we can stop the calcium uptake and cell death, we’ll be giving the liver a better chance for recovery and, hopefully, preventing complete liver failure,” says Dr Rychkov.

concise summary of main prescribing information such as indications, dosage, contraindications, interactions, special-warnings and side effects as well as information about pack size. A diabetes reference supplement was published alongside MIMS Nigeria to guide healthcare professionals in the management of type-2 diabetes. Okechukwu, a pharmacist by training, added that the reference material avails information on drugs vis-à-vis their safety to breastfeeding and pregnancies, coupled with interaction with herbal products. Continuing, he said: “MIMS Nigeria is not for patent medicine dealers but for doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other medical practitioners. It will also be helpful for medical and nursing students, raising their awareness on locally available drugs. It is a quick glance for students,” he said. He, however, urged the public to source their drugs from registered pharmacists – marked by approved Rx emblem of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) – for assurance of getting quality product and non-promotion of illegal drug trade. Co-Editor of the book, Dr. Chinwe Okechukwu further explained that the drug monographs in MIMS Nigeria were based on Summary of product Characteristics (SPCs) and approved official reference sources. She said: “They are deliberately concise, so readers are strongly advised to refer to the full SPCs or contact the manufacturer or distributor when more details on the clinical significance of adverse drug reactions, contra-indications, drug interactions, overdose or special precautions are required.” MIMS Nigeria prescribing reference is published by Betterlife Media Limited, a medical communications company, led by a team of medical and pharmaceutical professionals with more than 50 years cumulative experience in clinical practice, research and marketing.


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Minister, others caution on dangers of misused chemicals By Paul Adunwoke HE Minister for Health T Professor Onybuchi Chukwu has advised Nigerians to avoid misused chemicals as well as drug abuse, saying that they are very dangerous to health and they can lead to death. The minister, who was represented by Director of medical in the Federal Ministry of Health Dr. Michael Maha noted this during sensitization seminar on globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) and drug demand reduction (DDR) for public secondary schools in Lagos State, organized by Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) held at Oriwu Model School Ikorodu, Lagos. The minister also congratulated ICCON on the effort to organize such event. “The programme is educative and it came at the right time when there is increase in drug abuse by young men, women in our society so as to find way out to it. I believe if the students who participated in this programme can put into practice the message conveyed on them in future our country will be better. These students are the leaders of tomorrow, if they can know the effect of drug abuse and pass the message to others society will be better, it is nice we start at this age to caught them young.” The acting registrar ICCON Lagos State Mrs. Taiwo Bammodu said that the programme was annual event initiated by the Institute to educate people about effect of drug abuse. Adding that Practitioners as well as users are aware that chemicals can

be both beneficial and detrimental to mankind, depending on the usage, but a man is not destroyed by what he knows but by his ignorance. “The advent of globally harmonized system (GHS) can be traced to United Nations conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which was held in 1992 in the Brazilian city of Rio de Jenairo. During that historic gathering, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and development (OECD) and various government as well as other stakeholders came together to make a declaration that globally harmonized hazard classification and compatible labeling system, including material safety data sheets and easily understandable symbols, should be available if feasible, by the year 2000. It stands to reason that the concept of GHS essentially seeks the protection of mankind and the environment through effective communication of chemical information, especially hazardous chemicals.” “In realisation the vision of the institute, the provision of Chemistry-related education and training to chemists in particular and the society at large constitutes one of the cardinal mandates of ICCON. The organisation of this sensitisation seminar is one of the fundamental components of this statutory mandate,” she said. Head of public health safety and environment ICCON Elochukwu Okonkwo said that the programme was to sensitize people on the dangers inherent in the misused

Mrs. Osunbor Helen, (left) Dr. Michael Maha, representing Minister for Health, Mrs. Rita Ojo, Acting Registrar Institute Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, ICCON, Mrs. Taiwo Bammodu, Mrs. Olubukola Obafemi, during sensitisation seminar on globally harmonised system of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) and drug demand reduction (DDR) for public secondary schools in Lagos State, organised by (ICCON) held at PHOTO: PAUL ADUNWOKE Oriwu Model Secondary School Ikorodu, Lagos. of chemicals. “If chemicals are used the way they should, it can benefit man, but because of ignorance many people misused chemicals and it leads to death. The institute has decided as corporate social responsibility to sensitize the public, workers, children, men, youths and others on the dangers of misused chemicals using globally harmonized system, which is internationally accepted concept, and we want to pass across the massage of one chemical

one symbol world wide”. “We have been sensitising old generations, we have been in Ekiti, Lagos, Kano, Onitsha, Ibadan, Uyo and Abeokuta, educating university students; now we want sensitise younger generations because we believe in caught them young, if they get sensitized at this age when they grow, there is no need of sensitizing them anymore,” he said. Chemist consultant Mr. Dan Modebe said that Nigeria planned to stop drug abuse

has failed and drug continues to come into Nigeria, adding India hemps are being cultivated in Nigeria. “Not only because of Nigeria factor, in US it failed, people will just abuse drug and go unpunished. To me we are just doing counseling to people and every year I partner with this institute to campaign against drug abuse, our farm lands; instead of people to cultivate cassava they cultivate India hemp because it is costly than cassava and it is affecting our

food production, ” he said. A student, from Luwasa Senior High Schoool Ijede Ikorodu Miss. Mary Adeshina said that she has learnt that misused of chemicals and drug abuse are very dangerous to health. “I have learnt that man cannot destroy by what he knows but what he does not know and I will pass the message to my family members and friends and I want to congratulate ICCON for this wonderful occasion,” she said.

Medical practitioners proffer ways to safe use of medicines in Nigeria By Victoria Ojugbana ORRIED by the rising death toll resulting from unsafe use of medicines in Nigeria, medical practitioners and stakeholders in the health sector in Lagos gathered to brainstorm on the challenges and to find lasting solutions to the incidence. The health stakeholders, who came together last Wednesday at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, identified that unsafe use of medicines could be caused by the patient, the medical practitioner and the care provider. Chairman, Board of Trustees, Initiative for Safe Use of Medicines (INSUM), a nongovernmental organisation, which brought the event together, Pharm Dotun Amosun, said that INSUM is to promote the safe use of medicines among Nigerian citizens. He urged drug consumers to endeavour to keep a list of the drugs they take daily, as taking too many medicines at the same time can result to drug interaction in the body system. Amosun, who noted that there is a difference between safe medicine and safe of use medicines, added that many safe medicines have been misused/abused by many patients, which have sometimes, caused damage to their body systems or resulted to death. Founder, INSUM, Pharm (Mrs.) Nneka Egbuchulam, said the passion for the wellbeing of Nigerian citizens and the consequences of drug

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misuse was a burden she had, which caused her to initiate the INSUM. Egbuchulam, who noted that the aim of the INSUM is to support measures that will enhance appropriate prescribing and dispensing of medicines in Nigeria, said it is also to collaborate with stakeholders to improve adverse drug reaction reporting and to conduct research on use of medicines within communities. The INSUM Board of Trustees chairman stated that it is the responsibility of the government of any country to control the importation of medicines and ensure that only standard, safe and unadulterated drugs are allowed to enter the nation. He urged that the National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria’s agency for controlling and regulating drug circulation, should ensure that production of fake drugs is not allowed to thrive. A Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, University of Lagos, Dr. Ibrahim Oreagba, who spoke at the occasion, noted that the abuse of medicines is the fourth to sixth largest cause of death in the country. Oreagba, who stressed the importance of pharmacovigilance in the safe use of medicines, noted that it helps all concerned in the field to effectively monitor and regulate the use of drugs in the country.

Understanding the magnitude of the problem caused by unsafe use of drugs, he said, will help drug manufacturers and users to have a better understanding of what is involved in it. Egbuchulam, who said INSUM promotes and supports the safe and appropriate use of medicines in Nigeria through advocacy, research and public education, added that public education is important because without it, people lack the knowledge and the skills that are required to make informed decisions about

using medicines wisely. She stressed that it is important to note that the consequences associated with the inappropriate use of medicines include treatment failures, adverse drug reactions and death. She said the issues surrounding the safe use of medicine involves a number of stakeholders and these include the public, the health workers and policy makers. This implies that this organization will have to reach out to these groups of people in order to make the necessary impact, Egbuchulam noted,

adding that “This will involve collaborating with health professionals, researchers, professional associations and the drug regulatory authorities.” As a pharmacist, Egbuchulam decried drug consumers being non-adherent or non-compliant to prescribed medications as tpeople often call to ask questions about their medications, noting that sometimes, they want to know the use or the dose of a medication that was prescribed for them, at other times; they want to know if they can combine a medicine

that was not prescribed for them with their prescribed medicines or what to do when they skipped their doses. Asked what prompted her to initiate the INSUM, she said: “I simply observed that people had too many questions about how to use their medicines correctly and that they often made wrong choices about their medicines. I also observed that certain category of people who were expected to use their medicines daily were often not motivated to do so and were underusing prescribed medications”.

American hospital for women, children takes off in Abuja From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja INE years after it was conN ceived, the American Specialist Hospital for Women and Children has finally taken off in Abuja. Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chuwku was optimistic that the project would contribute to checking the influx of Nigerians to hospitals abroad for treatment. One of the promoters of the project and Chief Executive Officer of GE, Mr. Jeff Immelt, said at the unveiling of models for America Hospital Limited in Abuja that the projects, which was first muted in the year 2005, would be implemented in four phases. He noted that the Project 1, which is the American Specialist Hospital for Women and Children, was the first to take off. The others

consisting of the American Medical Diagnostics Imaging and Medical Centre; the American Specialist Hospital other (otherwise known as the centre of excellence for internal medicine, cardiology, cancer, stroke, diabetes and hypertension management; the American University of Medical Sciences were at various stages of work. He noted that the focus was on the operations of Projects 1 and 2, while laying a solid foundation for the subsequent expansion of the other projects of the hospital. He said: “ American Hospital Limited is presently developing new specialist hospitals in Abuja. The goal of the American hospital is to build and effectively operate within Nigeria, state of the art medical facilities, staffed by well-

trained and highly qualified personnel who are committed to the delivery of the highest quality healthcare with professionalism, compassion and hospitality comparable with the most advanced healthcare centres in the world. “The overall objective of the project is to be foremost in ensuring that Nigerians in particular and sub-Saharan Africans in general, achieve and maintain high quality public health and longevity that is comparable with the best in the world. Also, these state of the art hospitals will also serve to promote medical tourism in Nigerian from subSaharan African in particular, European and America in general.” Chief Promoter of the project, Dr. Ifeanyo Obiakor stressed that the target

groups for the hospital were Nigerians who desire high quality healthcare, some of whom now travel overseas to Europe, USA, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, among others. His words: “Its training program for Nigerian medical doctors, residents, medical students and allied health professionals is designed to ensure that they are trained to provide American standard of high quality healthcare, and return to their communities to practice and promote a higher standard of healthcare. “While focusing on traditional curative approach to medicine, extra emphasis will be laid on preventive medicine, which will lead the nation in the improvement of national indices, and economic growth.


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Severe menstrual pain, infertility linked to endometriosis •One in 10 Nigerian women at risk By Wole Oyebade GYNAECOLOGICAL disease A called endometriosis has been linked to severe men-

strual pains often experienced by some women and the “strange ailment” now accounts for about 30 per cent of all infertility cases among female folks. That was the submission of Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialists at the weekend, as they expressed concern on poor awareness of the condition among patients as well as medical practitioners. Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr Abayomi Ajayi explained that endometriosis is a medical condition in which the mucous membrane endometrium – that normally lines only the womb – is present and functioning in the ovaries or elsewhere in the body, causing severe pains. According to him: “These tissues form lesions which are most found on the ovaries and other organs within a woman’s pelvis and causes bleeding in their respective locations outside the womb. These causes inflammation and the formation of scar tissues, leading to severe pain or even infertility,” he said. The condition is as difficult to diagnose, as it is to treat. Speaking at a fund raising event for endometriosis’ commemorative awareness walk tagged: ‘million women march for endometriosis sup-

port’, Ajayi noted that while it could take up to 10 years to have the condition diagnosed in a patients in advanced countries, it is often undetected in underdeveloped countries like Nigeria. Estimate shows that one in every 10 women around the world has endometriosis, and a total of 200 million girls of puberty age and women experience its crisis, especially during menstruation. Ajayi, who is also the Endomarch Country Affiliate Partner, said: “Many don’t understand the condition or pains that sufferers feel. The symptoms though vary depending on where the growth is. It varies from having pains when urinating or defecating or when having intercourse. Everything around it is usually pain and tends to be worse during menstruation. “The agony is more when nothing is found to be wrong with the person, or she is said to be exaggerating normal menstrual pains. Patients are even referred to see the psychiatrists. But the sting is beyond words can describe. When your menstrual pains starts disrupting your normal life activities, then you need to be investigated whether you have endometriosis,” he said. Depending on the diagnosis, which is only by laparoscopy, palliative treatment could be by removing the implants through surgery and use of drugs to alleviate the pains or

Chairman Lagos University Teaching Hospital’s (LUTH) Management Board, Dr. Olatokunbo, Awolowo Dosunmu (middle), Chief Medical Director Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Akin Osibogun (right) and joint pioneer of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) in Nigeria and member LUTH Board, Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie, at the commissioning of the new Surgical Skills Training Centre and the Assisted Conception Centre & Colonoscopy Unit at LUTH… recently supported me. cated in the process. That is stop the implants from grow- was exaggerating. I became “I have thought of having drug addict, taking just anywhy we need to support peoing. the uterus and everything ple living with this condiOne of the sufferers, who thing and in large doses just else removed from my body tion,” she said. spoke with The Guardian on to relieve the pain when it just to avoid menstruation Endomarch Team Nigeria condition of anonymity, comes. and pain that comes with it. “Even when I got married, I Programme Coordinator, noted that her experience This is a challenge many Adebowale Sangosanya said with endometriosis started started going from one hospiwomen has, but suffering in the ‘million women march when she was 13 and has lived tal to another, treating all silence. I’m talking today manner of conditions, but for endometriosis support’ with it for over two decades. because I’ve been privileged coming up in March 13, 2014, She said: “Among my there was no end to the pains to take myself to specialist was part of their efforts to female siblings, I was entirely neither could I conceive. That hospitals. There are a whole raise awareness on the condidifferent. Every menstrual went on until 2006, when I lot of people out there that diagnosed of tion and provide support period was a crisis of atro- was could only settle for quacks services for people living with cious pains that no one could endometriosis. Since then, and have their destiny trunthe condition. understand. They thought I my team of specialists has

Experts task Nigerians on regular cancer checks, healthy living By Tony Nwanne S part of activities to mark the World Cancer Day, on Tuesday February 4, 2014, some medical experts have urged Nigerians to ensure that they go for regular cancer check ups to reduce the mortality rate, and to always imbibe a good healthy living habit. The call was made during the commemoration of the 2014 World Cancer Day, which was put together by Skye Bank in collaboration with Care Organisation and Public Enlightenment (COPE) Foundation in Lagos. Speaking at the event, a radio oncologist, from the Lagos Univeristy Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Anthonia Sowunmi, while stressing the importance of prevention and early detection, she was of the view that cancer affects everyone and makes no distinction between the rich and the poor or the old and the young. “Empirical studies have revealed that it is one of the leading causes of death world wide, especially in the developing countries where inadequate medical care and lack of awareness about the disease have combined to make it very deadly. There is therefore a need for a concerted effort by both the government and the private sector to collaborate to fight the scourge of cancer in our society where incidence of the disease is on the increase”, she noted. The World Cancer Day, according Sowunmi, is an avenue for stakeholders to create more awareness and make people understand that cancer can be prevented, at the same time urging different multinational companies to take a queue from what

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Skye Bank is doing towards creating awareness and providing a good healthcare facilities for Nigerians. “About 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women older than 50 years, therefore, he advised women not to trivialize any lump on their breasts even though not all lumps are cancerous. She listed causes of cervical cancer to include having multiple sexual partners; giving birth before the age of 17 years,

smoking as well as contracting other sexually-transmitted diseases pre-dispose victims to the disease”. On this occasion of the 2014 ‘World Cancer Day’, Skye Bank, in collaboration with COPE Foundation will be providing free public enlightenment to members of the public by dedicating three lines through which members of the public can learn more about cancer, its prevention, control and treatment from a team of

oncologists at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) from February 4February 7. The dedicated lines are 08137109164, 0018000004 and 08094442223. These lines will thereafter be in the custody of COPE Foundation and members of the public can relate with the foundation on their subsequent information needs on the issue. In the same, COPE Chief Executive Officer, Ebun Anozie,

noted that the partnership between Skye Bank and COPE is to facilitate the need to support the goals of the World Cancer declaration, written in 2008. For Anozie, it is pertinent to realize that cancer is the world’s leading killer disease, a serial silent killer. She was of the view that almost 4.2 million people per year die prematurely (ages 30-36) due to cancer, and in Nigeria, one out of every 11 million women

have breast cancer and 85% of them die due to late presentation. However, the Group Managing Director/ CEO of Skye Bank, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, commended the efforts of COPE in the fight against cancer in the country, adding that it was in furtherance of the firm’s commitment towards contributing to the fight against the high incidence of cancer, especially breast cancer in the country.

Stakeholders want establishment of National Cancer Institute From: Emeka Anuforo O aid research in the manT agement of cancer and bring greater hope to those affected by cancer, some stakeholders have canvassed the establishment of a National Cancer Institute. They also want a bill on cancer to be sent to the National Assembly to make it possible for Nigerians, especially the rural poor to access cancer treatment. Founder/Coordinator of the Ego Bekee International

Cancer Foundation, Mrs. Chidima Nwajimogu, noted that cancer management was getting much better, illiteracy and ignorance about cancer was still widespread in Nigeria. Spoke in Abuja at a briefing to mark the World Cancer Day. Noting that over 80 per cent of Nigerians were ignorant about cancer, and totally unaware that early detection saves lives, she lamented that cancer in Nigeria was an important problem that had

gone unrecognized, even by governments. She stressed how it is only given peripheral concern amongst numerous stakeholders; “as such more patients do not even know that they are at risk until the sickness becomes severe.” Her words: “The foundation is formed primarily to fill that gap and to improve the awareness through advocacy and education as well as serve as a resource centre, counseling center for survivors and other

relatives. “The foundation realizes that a cure for cancer involves more than simply treating the tumor. The patient’s state of mind has been found to be critical towards achieving a full recovery. Through our counseling sessions we try to resolve conflicts that patients face so that they are able to fight the disease.” Factsheets released by stakeholders in Abuja notes that whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in

some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level They noted: “For most people, a diagnosis of cancer is a life-changing event commonly evoking feelings of shock, fear, anger, sadness, loneliness and anxiety. Talking about cancer to partners, family members, friends and colleagues can help to alleviate these feelings, and yet many people find it difficult.

Running improves breast cancer survival, research finds REVIOUS studies have P shown that breast cancer survivors who meet the current exercise recommendations (2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week) are at 25 per cent lower risk for dying from breast cancer. New research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and

reported in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that exceeding the recommendations may provide greater protection, and that running may be better than walking. The study, by Berkeley Lab’s Paul Williams of the lab’s Life Sciences Division, followed 986 breast cancer survivors as part of the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Study. Thirty-three of the 714

walkers and 13 of the 272 runners died from breast cancer over nine years. When analyzed together, their risk for breast cancer mortality decreased an average of 24 per cent per metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per day of exercise, where one MET hour equals a little less than a mile of brisk walking or about twothirds of a mile of running. However, when the run-

ners and walkers were looked at separately, there was significantly less mortality in those who ran than walked. The runners’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased over 40 per cent per MET hour per day. Runners that averaged over two and a quarter miles per day were at 95 per cent lower risk for breast cancer mortality than those that did not meet the current exercise rec-

ommendations. In contrast, the walkers’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased a non-significant five per cent per MET hour per day. Williams cautions, however, that this study doesn’t disprove the benefits of walking because the number of subjects was small compared to previous research showing a benefit.


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Much ado about a National Health Bill: Why President may not sign it again Investigations reveal that the Bill will never be signed effectively into law. The vagaries of the 1999 Constitution render it impossibly compromised. Dr Tarry Asoka explains why in this article published in Africa Health Journal IGERIA is a federal counN try, where the federating units – the Governments of the 36 States and the Federal Government – derive their power and authority from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And rather peculiar to Nigeria, many of the 36 States are constituted by diverse groups of people with different political, social, and cultural affiliations that although have contributed to the survival of Nigeria as a somewhat cohesive nation, have also maintained the potential cleavages resulting from such diversity. This means that to be successful in matters of upmost interest to the citizens of the country, such as healthcare, there has to be ‘collaboration’ among these units, as well as among the myriads of stakeholders with specific interests. But from the look of things, it appears that the National Health Bill has become a victim of capture by vested interests that are also undermining the primary national intention of a ‘collaborative federalism’. The main reason for the need of an overarching national health law is to compensate for the lack of a legal mandate given to Federal, State, and Local Governments in matters concerning health by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It describes the structures and responsibilities of the three levels of government and of law and order in the country, but is not explicit on functions. Health is assumed to be a concurrent responsibility, but although Local Government Areas (LGAs) are understood to be the main implementing agencies of primary healthcare (PHC), there is only a vague reference to the LGA’s responsibility for health – ‘LGAs are responsible for the provision and maintenance of health services’ – otherwise the constitution is largely silent on health services. In addition, constitutionally the State Commissioners of Health are accountable to State Governors and not to the Federal Minister of Health, who is assumed to be responsible for the performance of the Nigeria health system. State Governors and Chairmen of LGAs frequently follow their own agendas. Although a National Council on Health (NCH) exists – whereby the Federal Minister of Health and the 36 Commissioners of Health (plus the Secretary for Health and Human Services in the Federal Capital Territory) meet to consider national health policy issues – this body is only advisory and decisions taken at this forum do not legally compel States to act as agreed. Furthermore,

Jonathan while LGAs had responsibility for PHC services in the country, they had the least capacity and resources to undertake such a task. As a result, processes for the promulgation of a National Health Act have been ongoing for over 8 years or so – since 2004. The main objective of the draft National Health Bill for the Act, which is now before the National Assembly (Federal Parliament), was to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government in relation to healthcare in the country. It was hoped that this would create a virtuous cycle of accountability and help to establish performance management within the health system. The Bill has also proposed the setting up of a National Primary Health Care Fund, which among other sources will have at least 2% of the consolidated funds from the Federation Account. Another important provision is the legal backing the National Council on Health will now have, making it the highest decision-making body on health in the country that had previously been advisory in function. It is expected that the institutional transformation of the National Council on Health would allow for a more collaborative decision-making that would be binding on all stakeholders, especially the federating States. Therefore the passage of the National Health Bill is seen as critical to health sector reform plans in Nigeria. Nonetheless, the passage of the National Health Bill has faced obstacles as there are many political and other vested interests in opposition. An earlier attempt that got the National Health Bill to the President’s table in 2011 failed to convince the President to sign the Bill into law. The current renewed efforts aimed at resolving the concerns of a broad range of stakeholders, and getting the process going again have revealed that some policies the Bill is promoting are still contentious. And despite several rounds of advocacy activities, most of these stakeholders have not

Chukwu shifted their position on these issues. A recent appraisal of the setting of the Bill by this author is very revealing. Interestingly, despite the disagreements on what should be contained in the proposed National Health Bill, virtually all stakeholder groups – health professionals, government officials, legislators, political appointees, religious groups, civil society, and the media – are strongly in support of a national health law that although may not solve all the problems and challenges of the Nigeria’s health system, in many ways signifies an important and bold step to positively turn around its fortunes. While there were divergent views among stakeholders on what should be contained in such a national health law, there were many commonalities in their expectation of this document. These include: guaranteeing citizens’ right to health; prescribing roles and responsibilities for all actors in the sector; setting minimum standards for service delivery; and providing a means of funding the health system. So what are the main touchy issues among stakeholders? To start with, some stakeholders are not happy with some specific ‘sections’ or ‘clauses’ in the proposed National Health Bill. First, an amendment of Section 1: Establishment of the National Health System, which reads – There is hereby established for the Federation; the national health system, which shall define and provide a framework for standards and regulation of health services and which shall...’ – was requested. The proponents of this amendment were asking for the inclusion of the words ‘without prejudice to the various relevant professional regulatory statues’ after the words ‘health services’, as highlighted above. They insisted that this section contravenes already existing laws guiding standards and regulation of health professional practices in the country. Secondly, they also requested the deletion of the entire section 1, sub- Section (1) - (d) set

out the rights and duties of health care providers, health workers, health establishments and users; and... – arguing that this sub-section is ambiguous and in conflict with the statutory functions of the National Council on Establishment, which is empowered by the law to prescribe duties and responsibilities for all cadres of workers in the public service. Furthermore, The appropriateness of Section 2: Functions of the Federal Ministry of Health was questioned given that this section has assigned too much power to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in a federal country such as Nigeria, where States and LGAs have been assigned considerable power and autonomy by the constitution. Stakeholders who disagree with this approach see the National Health Bill as trying to set up a command structure at the FMoH. They contend that this is an aberration in federal system of government and allege that this is a carryover from the excessive centralised hierarchical administrative structure that was established during the military era. In addition, all professional health associations desire to be represented on the National Council on Health and therefore want an amendment of Section 4: Establishment and Composition of the National Council on Health – to capture this aspiration. Another area of the proposed Bill that has got some stakeholders angry is Section 11 that deals with the establishment of the Primary Health Care Development Fund; in particular, the issue of setting aside ‘an amount not less than two per cent of the value of Consolidated Fund of the Federation’ to fund primary healthcare. This group of stakeholders contend that this is ‘unconstitutional’ and goes against the principles of federalism, since the monthly federal allocation to States and LGAs, although not mandated for any specific use, are meant to cover healthcare among other public services, arguing that what is needed is efficient utilisation of whatever funds that are made available to the

States and LGAs, and that the Federal Government may provide additional funds for healthcare on a need basis rather than legislated for. There is also some disquiet among government officials who seem to be questioning why over half of government expenditure on health is still spent at the Federal level on tertiary care, when it is at State and Local Government levels that the majority of the healthcare services are delivered. This gives the impression that they would rather prefer a re-allocation of the Federal health budget skewed in favour of financing primary healthcare (and perhaps secondary care) as against tertiary care, rather than an additional 2% of the Federation Account allocated to State and LGAs for PHC services. Finally, a certain group of stakeholders have issues with the National Health Bill only on the basis of Section 51: Prohibition of Reproductive, therapeutic Cloning of Human Kind. They are quite adamant that this section be expunged from the Bill, the reason being that the country is not sophisticated enough to handle such delicate matters with regards to experimentation in human embryos. While opposing parties on the National Health Bill secured public attention on the basis of their individual points of view, what appears to have been lost is the very reason for which a national health law was contemplated in the first place. As previously stated, the main reason for a National Health Act in Nigeria was due to the constitutional omission in delineating the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government in matters related to health. The National Health Policy had tried to set out roles and responsibilities for the different tiers of government based on the comparative advantage of each tier in terms of financial and management capacity and relative distance to users of health services. For example, States were given the responsibility of ensuring the provision of comprehensive secondary care to all its citizens, leaving tertiary and spe-

cialised care to the Federal government. In practice, what is found is competition among all the tiers of government with duplication of similar services in close proximity, leading to wastage of efforts and resources. And it was on this basis that the original National Health Bill in 2006 was initiated and framed among other topical reform issues. But a closer look at the 2012 version of the National Health Bill that is now awaiting passage by the Senate indicates that there is nothing in there to show that the proposed National Health Act will try and correct these anomalies. For example, the key issue of assigning roles and responsibilities to the three tiers of government and other stakeholders is totally missing. So also is the central place of the National Council on Health as a ‘collaborative governance mechanism’ in a federal country such as Nigeria. Therefore, one can comfortably say that the disagreements between opposing groups are largely based on self-interest and a tendency for elite capture of the outcome. Another related matter was the way and manner the last Public Hearing held in February 2013 was said to have been conducted by the Senate Committee on Health. Independent media reports noted several irregularities, but notably a conflict of interest by the main sponsor of the Bill who also presided over the event. There were also strong allegations concerning a non-governmental organisation that had hitherto been reconciling opposing parties and building consensus among stakeholders seen to be taking the side of a major proponent of the Bill. These actions called into question the level of transparency in the process itself. Putting all these together, one could further conclude that there is some evidence to suggest that the tortuous path taken by the National Health Bill since 2004 up to this moment – the controversies surrounding its initial passage by the National Assembly in 2011; failure of the Bill to receive Presidential assent; re-presentation of the Bill to the National Assembly by new sponsors; the unsatisfactory conclusion of the last Public Hearing in February 2013; and the suspension of final hearing (that could have led to its passage) by the Senate in April, 2013 – could be linked to numerous interests that seem be jostling for positions to maximally benefit from it. This behaviour could be said to have set aside the main purpose for which a Bill of this nature was being proposed in the first instance. Apart from this murky environment of the National Health Bill, there are a couple of emerging issues as to why the Bill may not get Presidential assent this time around. Firstly, in as much as the sponsors of the National Health Bill are national parliamentarians, the Bill is still considered as a private bill and therefore require a lot more effort in not only getting the President’s attention but also for him to be interested enough to support it.


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SCIENCE HEALTH Thursday, February 6, 2014

Strategies for living a disease-free life (4) S I have stated in the past, A we are what we eat and drink. I have already dealt with water in the last two weeks. Today, I am going to be looking at food. First of all, we have to understand God’s plan in creating man as it relates to the food he will eat to sustain his life on earth. We understand that God formed man from the earth and as I said last week, the composition of the minerals in the earth and of the human body is approximately the same. To develop on this statement, I will like to say that the human body is a collection of chemicals and minerals that are undergoing a continuous series of different reactions to keep man alive. The earth is therefore a reservoir of the chemicals and minerals along with the vitamins that are involved with the reactions that keep man alive. The supply of these nutrients from the earth to man is through the plants. As they pass through the plants they go through a natural refining process that eliminates whatever would be toxic to man. These nutrients are not necessarily medicine, they are naturally occurring substrates that are needed for all the biochemical reactions going on in the body and for the replenishing of deficient or used up nutrients. There is an optimum level of all the minerals in the body that should keep the body in a state of wellbeing and total absence of diseases. This is a level that supports the immune system and helps it to fight against disease-causing organisms and to efficiently

get rid of foreign bodies that find their way into the human body. This state is what I have described before as alkaline, a state that supports wellness and life. Early, after God created man He gave him what I always call the Genesis 1: 29 Diet, a diet that supports life [a blessing to man]. However like everything else, man was not satisfied with what God gave him. He decided to process and refine what God gave. Unknown to man he was adding curses and death to the diet God most graciously gave him, to support his life here on planet earth. The whole idea of processing the raw living food of Genesis 1: 29, was to extend the shelf life of the food, make it sweeter, more attractive to the eyes and

to attract more money. This is done by adding chemical preservatives, bleaching agents, colourings and other additives, which together bring in a load of chemicals, heavy metals into the body. As I stated above, God, had already passed these nutrients through a natural refining process making them safe for human consumption. As if that was not enough, daily in our kitchen we add death to the food that we eat by cooking and over-cooking them. All of these processes together rid the raw living food of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, phytonutrients and trace elements. What is left is food with high glycaemic indices (able to cause type 2

diabetes), devoid of all that is mentioned above. In eating this kind of food, the foundation for the onset of all kinds of diseases is set, at an early age. Let me repeat this statement I have made in the past: Whatever goes through the mouth is what causes diseases in man. If you eat the right food, it will give you life, while the wrong food will cause disease, decay and death. The right foods include the raw vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds and their oils, which are full of fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, etc. These foods do not put a burden on the digestive system, instead they support the digestive functions of the intestines. Because of their high fiber content they speed

up the passage of fecal matter through the colon and as they do so, they also cleanse the intestines. Put together therefore, these good, living foods, which support life do actually prevent the occurrence of diseases by preventing the buildup of waste matter in the intestines that release acid into the circulation. Furthermore, because

of their high vitamin (antioxidant) content, they readily overwhelm and neutralize the free radicals in the body and damage to the cells and tissues becomes reduced to the barest minimum, if not completely eliminated. We shall continue next week Thursday with the damaging effects of the “dead food” that we eat today.

Key to longevity depends on sex S if they needed any more A excuse, new research suggests men need their sleep if they’re to live a long life. Women, on the other hand, can live long lives despite poor sleep habits as long as they eat a diverse diet that includes vitamin B6 and plenty of vegetables. Vitamin B6 can be found in food such as meat, bananas, nuts, garlic and pistachios. Among other things, it allows the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates. The findings come from a study led by Melbourne-based Monash University which looked at how diet contributed to sleep quality and mortality among elderly men and women.

• Sleep is crucial for men while women need plenty of vitamin B6, vegetable Emeritus Professor Mark Wahlqvist from Monash University said that sleep played a more important role in men’s mortality than women’s. “Poor sleep has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease,” he said. “We found that for both genders, poor sleep was strongly correlated with poor appetite and poor perceived health.” Women, on the other hand, can livelong lives despite poor sleep habits as long as they eat a diverse diet that includes vitamin B6 and plenty of vegetables. Vitamin B6 can be

found in food such as meat, bananas, nuts, garlic and pistachios. The amount and type of sleep a person needs changes, as they get older. It isn’t always how long someone sleeps for that matters, but the quality of sleep. Someone’s need for sleep can also change from day to day depending on the challenges face. In general, Bupa suggests adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep. However, some people can function after sleeping for much less time. Chris Berka, chief executive of Advanced Brain Monitoring claims that a complete sleep cycle typically takes about 90

minutes. The rule of thumb is that you need four to five full sleep cycles. But there is no evidence that all seven to nine hours have to occur in a single bout. But the researchers also found a significant relationship between a diverse diet and sleep, particularly in women. “For women, good sleep only provides a survival advantage if they had a diverse diet,” said Wahlqvist. The study found women were almost twice as likely as men to sleep badly. Women who were poor sleepers had a lower intake of vitamin B6 from food than those whose sleep was rated ‘fair’ or

‘good’. Fair sleepers had lower iron intakes than good sleepers. Both men and women could improve their outlook by eating a more varied diet, the research said. “Sufficient dietary diversity in men could offset the adverse effect on mortality of poor sleep while women need to make sure they are eating foods high in vitamin B6,” said Walhqvist. Participants in the study who did not sleep well were also less able to chew, had poor appetites, and did less physical activity. “These characteristics could contribute to lower overall dietary quality and food and nutrient intake, especially for vegetables, protein-rich foods, and vitamin B6,” Wahlqvist said.


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Severe menstrual pain, infertility linked to endometriosis •One in 10 Nigerian women at risk By Wole Oyebade GYNAECOLOGICAL disease A called endometriosis has been linked to severe men-

strual pains often experienced by some women and the “strange ailment” now accounts for about 30 per cent of all infertility cases among female folks. That was the submission of Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialists at the weekend, as they expressed concern on poor awareness of the condition among patients as well as medical practitioners. Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr Abayomi Ajayi explained that endometriosis is a medical condition in which the mucous membrane endometrium – that normally lines only the womb – is present and functioning in the ovaries or elsewhere in the body, causing severe pains. According to him: “These tissues form lesions which are most found on the ovaries and other organs within a woman’s pelvis and causes bleeding in their respective locations outside the womb. These causes inflammation and the formation of scar tissues, leading to severe pain or even infertility,” he said. The condition is as difficult to diagnose, as it is to treat. Speaking at a fund raising event for endometriosis’ commemorative awareness walk tagged: ‘million women march for endometriosis sup-

port’, Ajayi noted that while it could take up to 10 years to have the condition diagnosed in a patients in advanced countries, it is often undetected in underdeveloped countries like Nigeria. Estimate shows that one in every 10 women around the world has endometriosis, and a total of 200 million girls of puberty age and women experience its crisis, especially during menstruation. Ajayi, who is also the Endomarch Country Affiliate Partner, said: “Many don’t understand the condition or pains that sufferers feel. The symptoms though vary depending on where the growth is. It varies from having pains when urinating or defecating or when having intercourse. Everything around it is usually pain and tends to be worse during menstruation. “The agony is more when nothing is found to be wrong with the person, or she is said to be exaggerating normal menstrual pains. Patients are even referred to see the psychiatrists. But the sting is beyond words can describe. When your menstrual pains starts disrupting your normal life activities, then you need to be investigated whether you have endometriosis,” he said. Depending on the diagnosis, which is only by laparoscopy, palliative treatment could be by removing the implants through surgery and use of drugs to alleviate the pains or

Chairman Lagos University Teaching Hospital’s (LUTH) Management Board, Dr. Olatokunbo, Awolowo Dosunmu (middle), Chief Medical Director Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Akin Osibogun (right) and joint pioneer of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) in Nigeria and member LUTH Board, Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie, at the commissioning of the new Surgical Skills Training Centre and the Assisted Conception Centre & Colonoscopy Unit at LUTH… recently supported me. cated in the process. That is stop the implants from grow- was exaggerating. I became “I have thought of having drug addict, taking just anywhy we need to support peoing. the uterus and everything ple living with this condiOne of the sufferers, who thing and in large doses just else removed from my body tion,” she said. spoke with The Guardian on to relieve the pain when it just to avoid menstruation Endomarch Team Nigeria condition of anonymity, comes. and pain that comes with it. “Even when I got married, I Programme Coordinator, noted that her experience This is a challenge many Adebowale Sangosanya said with endometriosis started started going from one hospiwomen has, but suffering in the ‘million women march when she was 13 and has lived tal to another, treating all silence. I’m talking today manner of conditions, but for endometriosis support’ with it for over two decades. because I’ve been privileged coming up in March 13, 2014, She said: “Among my there was no end to the pains to take myself to specialist was part of their efforts to female siblings, I was entirely neither could I conceive. That hospitals. There are a whole raise awareness on the condidifferent. Every menstrual went on until 2006, when I lot of people out there that diagnosed of tion and provide support period was a crisis of atro- was could only settle for quacks services for people living with cious pains that no one could endometriosis. Since then, and have their destiny trunthe condition. understand. They thought I my team of specialists has

Experts task Nigerians on regular cancer checks, healthy living By Tony Nwanne S part of activities to mark the World Cancer Day, on Tuesday February 4, 2014, some medical experts have urged Nigerians to ensure that they go for regular cancer check ups to reduce the mortality rate, and to always imbibe a good healthy living habit. The call was made during the commemoration of the 2014 World Cancer Day, which was put together by Skye Bank in collaboration with Care Organisation and Public Enlightenment (COPE) Foundation in Lagos. Speaking at the event, a radio oncologist, from the Lagos Univeristy Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Anthonia Sowunmi, while stressing the importance of prevention and early detection, she was of the view that cancer affects everyone and makes no distinction between the rich and the poor or the old and the young. “Empirical studies have revealed that it is one of the leading causes of death world wide, especially in the developing countries where inadequate medical care and lack of awareness about the disease have combined to make it very deadly. There is therefore a need for a concerted effort by both the government and the private sector to collaborate to fight the scourge of cancer in our society where incidence of the disease is on the increase”, she noted. The World Cancer Day, according Sowunmi, is an avenue for stakeholders to create more awareness and make people understand that cancer can be prevented, at the same time urging different multinational companies to take a queue from what

A

Skye Bank is doing towards creating awareness and providing a good healthcare facilities for Nigerians. “About 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women older than 50 years, therefore, he advised women not to trivialize any lump on their breasts even though not all lumps are cancerous. She listed causes of cervical cancer to include having multiple sexual partners; giving birth before the age of 17 years,

smoking as well as contracting other sexually-transmitted diseases pre-dispose victims to the disease”. On this occasion of the 2014 ‘World Cancer Day’, Skye Bank, in collaboration with COPE Foundation will be providing free public enlightenment to members of the public by dedicating three lines through which members of the public can learn more about cancer, its prevention, control and treatment from a team of

oncologists at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) from February 4February 7. The dedicated lines are 08137109164, 0018000004 and 08094442223. These lines will thereafter be in the custody of COPE Foundation and members of the public can relate with the foundation on their subsequent information needs on the issue. In the same, COPE Chief Executive Officer, Ebun Anozie,

noted that the partnership between Skye Bank and COPE is to facilitate the need to support the goals of the World Cancer declaration, written in 2008. For Anozie, it is pertinent to realize that cancer is the world’s leading killer disease, a serial silent killer. She was of the view that almost 4.2 million people per year die prematurely (ages 30-36) due to cancer, and in Nigeria, one out of every 11 million women

have breast cancer and 85% of them die due to late presentation. However, the Group Managing Director/ CEO of Skye Bank, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, commended the efforts of COPE in the fight against cancer in the country, adding that it was in furtherance of the firm’s commitment towards contributing to the fight against the high incidence of cancer, especially breast cancer in the country.

Stakeholders want establishment of National Cancer Institute From: Emeka Anuforo O aid research in the manT agement of cancer and bring greater hope to those affected by cancer, some stakeholders have canvassed the establishment of a National Cancer Institute. They also want a bill on cancer to be sent to the National Assembly to make it possible for Nigerians, especially the rural poor to access cancer treatment. Founder/Coordinator of the Ego Bekee International

Cancer Foundation, Mrs. Chidima Nwajimogu, noted that cancer management was getting much better, illiteracy and ignorance about cancer was still widespread in Nigeria. Spoke in Abuja at a briefing to mark the World Cancer Day. Noting that over 80 per cent of Nigerians were ignorant about cancer, and totally unaware that early detection saves lives, she lamented that cancer in Nigeria was an important problem that had

gone unrecognized, even by governments. She stressed how it is only given peripheral concern amongst numerous stakeholders; “as such more patients do not even know that they are at risk until the sickness becomes severe.” Her words: “The foundation is formed primarily to fill that gap and to improve the awareness through advocacy and education as well as serve as a resource centre, counseling center for survivors and other

relatives. “The foundation realizes that a cure for cancer involves more than simply treating the tumor. The patient’s state of mind has been found to be critical towards achieving a full recovery. Through our counseling sessions we try to resolve conflicts that patients face so that they are able to fight the disease.” Factsheets released by stakeholders in Abuja notes that whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in

some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level They noted: “For most people, a diagnosis of cancer is a life-changing event commonly evoking feelings of shock, fear, anger, sadness, loneliness and anxiety. Talking about cancer to partners, family members, friends and colleagues can help to alleviate these feelings, and yet many people find it difficult.

Running improves breast cancer survival, research finds REVIOUS studies have P shown that breast cancer survivors who meet the current exercise recommendations (2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week) are at 25 per cent lower risk for dying from breast cancer. New research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and

reported in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that exceeding the recommendations may provide greater protection, and that running may be better than walking. The study, by Berkeley Lab’s Paul Williams of the lab’s Life Sciences Division, followed 986 breast cancer survivors as part of the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Study. Thirty-three of the 714

walkers and 13 of the 272 runners died from breast cancer over nine years. When analyzed together, their risk for breast cancer mortality decreased an average of 24 per cent per metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per day of exercise, where one MET hour equals a little less than a mile of brisk walking or about twothirds of a mile of running. However, when the run-

ners and walkers were looked at separately, there was significantly less mortality in those who ran than walked. The runners’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased over 40 per cent per MET hour per day. Runners that averaged over two and a quarter miles per day were at 95 per cent lower risk for breast cancer mortality than those that did not meet the current exercise rec-

ommendations. In contrast, the walkers’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased a non-significant five per cent per MET hour per day. Williams cautions, however, that this study doesn’t disprove the benefits of walking because the number of subjects was small compared to previous research showing a benefit.


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Education How FUNAAB is fulfilling its mandate, by Oyewole By Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi ITH many Federal Universities struggling W to fulfill their core objectives in the face of dwindling revenues and skyrocketing expenses, one institution is holding out. According to the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUAAB), Ogun State, Prof. Olusola Bandele Oyewole, the institution was actively involved in the original concept of cassava flour over 15 years ago, while the promotion of varieties of the Ofada rice, a popular local delicacy, is also being undertaken by the institution. Affirming the several feats achieved by the 26year-old institution in an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Abeokuta recently, Oyewole said: I know that about 15 years ago, the concept of cassava flour was something that we developed here. I got the grant from the European Union (EU) and with it, we set up a pilot plant for the production of dry cassava, dry fufu and that technology has gone beyond this university now. We are now talking of cassava bread. That original concept, we were involved in it. Now, our scientists are working with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to promote cassava bread. “Not long ago, we talked about the ofada rice varieties. We are also involved in promoting these local varieties of rice in our system. We have just been made a World Bank Centre of Excellence in Agriculture. Part of what made us win that grant is not just the research that we do here, but the fact that our university, in our proposal, demonstrated our collaboration, not just with other West Africa countries, but also with local entrepreneurs. Most of the work we do here, we involve the local people, the famers.” On how the university involves local farmers in its academic activities, which also rub off on its immediate communities, Oyewole talked about the Community Based Farming Scheme, which involves four local entities which each provided 59 hectares of land. His words: “What we do there is that, we post between 100 to 200 of our 400 level students, to spend about six months in those communities. We have our researchers and personnel on ground in these places. And through this, they (students) practice agriculture within the communities. And this interaction of our students, our researchers with the local farmers, has influenced actual technology. We now have testimonies that crops that those farmers were not growing before, they now do through their interactions with us. If they have problems, they can now consult our people. We are also influencing the economic lives of those communities. They are now asking us to come and set up schools and centres of this university in those localities.” But with the existence of 50 private Universities and a dearth of doctorate holders in the Nigerian University System (NUS), made worse by the brain drain to European and American Universities, how has FUNAAB coped with the national problem. “If you talk about brain drain 10 or five years ago,” Oyewole said with a smile, “I will say yes, we were probably affected. But since I got to this position (in May, 2012), I am seeing a reverse of brain drain taking place. Our colleagues who left us some 15, 20 years ago are now applying to come back to us. Academics in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa are now reapplying to us.” What about the ratio of lecturers with doctorates in FUNAAB, which is the widely

acknowledged minimum qualification for those aspiring to teach in the Universities, the vice chancellor said: “About eight years ago, our own University took a decision that if you do not have a PhD, you cannot teach. We gave everybody in the academic cadre six years to acquire a PhD. So, in this university, over 90 per cent of our lecturers are PhD holders. “Those without doctorates are the ones we have recruited to become future academics and these are graduate assistants and assistant lecturers that are under training. And they also know that it is compulsory for them to obtain their PhD within six years.” But there is a sore point, common with all the public Universities in the country. Asked to state the exact amount the University needs yearly and how much it gets as subvention from the federal government, Oyewole gave a long explanation. “The federal government takes care of our staff salaries, remuneration 100 percent,” he began. “The government also provides little amount to take care of infrastructural development, which is not so big. And even then, only 40 to 44 per cent of that is released. “Many of the infrastructural development you are seeing around is through the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and I believe that this cuts across many Universities in the country. Beyond that, the cost of running the University now beholds the University administration to look for ways of doing it. “For example, three years ago, we were spending about three million naira every month on diesel to provide electricity. But since I came on board, we have been spending around N11 to 12 million every month, just for diesel, and we pay another three to four million naira to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), not to talk of the costs for running our vehicles. “So, we spend about N15 million every month only on energy. We also need to pay for water. So, the ability to solve these other challenges depends on how the University can generate funds. And the way we do this is through our pre-degree programmes, acceptance fees and others. We are in a situation whereby, apart from the classrooms, we need vehicles to run around. Just two months ago, we had to buy brand new vehicles for all the Deans because the vehicles they were using had been there for five years and the cost of maintaining them was getting too high. And government does not give us money to buy vehicles. We have to do it ourselves. To meet these and other running costs, we have to look for ways through our internal revenue.” So, why wouldn’t the Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities advise the Federal Government on the need to introducing tuition fees? Oyewole swiftly responded: “It will be difficult for you to find any vice chancellor that will tell the Federal government, ‘introduce school fees.’ That vice chancellor will become unpopular. I think it is a political decision that the government will need to take. In other countries, there is a way they do it. They allow students to pay normal school fees, but

the same governments would provide opportunities for scholarships and bursaries. In our country, where scholarships are not available, and even if they are, politics will be introduced into its disbursement. So, it will be difficult for anybody to say ‘introduce school fees’ at a time like this.” But he added: “What I found is this. Up till last year, our students were paying N15,000 per session, just around (US)$100. This year, because we need to provide Internet service, we charged an ICT Development Fee of N2, 000, which only the 100 Level students used to pay, but we now extended it to everybody. This year, students paid N17, 500. “The implication of this is that, many of the people who come into the University system had paid more to get primary and secondary education but, by the time they get to the university, they pay almost nothing. “In a situation, where we need to buy chemicals for teaching purposes; where the lecturers who teach students need to update their knowledge by carrying out research, you find that the needed money is not there. “You asked me how much the university needs per year. It is difficult to give you a figure, because by the time you talk of the cost of running a University, you also have the cost of doing research. A University is supposed to be a knowledge park; producing knowledge that will drive the development of the country. Unfortunately, our commitment to research is low in this country and even the society is not looking up to the university to provide the knowledge that would drive their development. We are just making efforts in this university to make sure that the research that we do impacts on the people. “But you can imagine; our students pay N17,500 per year. They just look at it as chicken change. They even pay their landlords more than they pay the University!” On how he manages the students and the other labour unions (ASUU, NASU, SSANU) the vice chancellor stated: “One good thing is that our students are well behaved. The first set of

the Students’ Union leaders that I met is the one going out now. And I did something when I resumed. I feel that, if students are well trained and well challenged to be leaders, they will deliver. “What we did was, as soon as they were sworn in, we got a company in Lagos to give them a leadership retreat. We’ve organized two of such leadership retreats and what we have been able to achieve is that, our students would start to think beyond aluta. They should start thinking of things that affect their education. Our students should be at the forefront of those clamouring for education of good quality. They should be talking about internationalization, partnerships, how to have one-year, six-month abroad programmes. I believe the type of students we are building up now will be different. “I told the Students’ Union president that any president who goes through his or her one-year presidency successfully, and could prove that he or she is a good leader, we would give that students’ leader automatic employment here. It is a way of motivating them. “I met four unions on ground. If you are a good vice chancellor, you must be able to manage the unions. It is my responsibility to see to the welfare of staff so that they can deliver. If their welfare is not well taken care of, we will have problems. “So, I have told the unions that their vision and mine are the same, which is that, we need to create the necessary conducive environment for them to deliver. But this does not mean that there will be no challenges. We are in an environment where some people may want to cut corners. We are in an environment where some people don’t want a vice chancellor to be firm and focused. But one thing is clear to everybody; that no matter what, I have a vision and I am focused on that vision. And to achieve that vision, we all need to be disciplined. If I need to take action against an erring staff, I will do it. And when I take that type of decision, my mind will be very clear that I am doing it in the interest of the University.”


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‘NYSC has fostered unity, integration in Nigeria’ XECUTIVE Secretary of the E National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie has described the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as one institution that had, over the years, fostered unity and promoted national integration in the country, despite the insecurity in some parts, that had threatened the lives of its corps members. Comparing the scheme with the Federal Government Colleges which were also established for the same purpose of promoting national unity, Okojie was of the view the unity schools have, so far recorded little success “as most students prefer to study within their home states.” Okojie spoke while receiving the newly appointed Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Johnson Bamidele Olawunmi, who visited him in Abuja recently, to familiarize himself with the workings of the commission. According to the commission’s bulletin, Okojie also maintained that the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) had remained focused, despite the military orientation of the Academy, its programmes were comparable with those of conventional universities and in line with the requirements of the Nigerian University System (NUS). He commended the cooperation between the military and the NUS

Okojie through the exemplary role of the NDA. Okojie informed the NYSC Director-General that the NUC had worked assiduously to revamp the NUS, through its accreditation and monitoring exercises, and clamping down on the activities of the degree mills. He said the Commission, in collaboration with security agents, had recorded a huge success in its campaign against fraudsters, who served as saboteurs in the system. He said there were some regulatory challenges faced by the Commission, which were being tackled with the amendment of some grey areas of the NUC’s Act, to enable it prosecute offenders of the law. The Executive Secretary also told the Director-

General that the Commission recently conducted staff and students’ audit and also embarked on and even encouraged the universities to regularly conduct certificate verifications with a bid to fishing out fraudulent persons. The exercise, he affirmed, had brought about the withdrawal of some students from the system. Okojie said that Nigerian universities were doing better than their counterparts elsewhere, especially within the African region, observing that a lot of Nigerian Professors were returning home to help develop the system. The Commission, he added, recently established the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) to help improve on the research capabilities of the academics. The Federal Government, he stated, was also sponsoring First Class graduates in selected disciplines to top 25 universities of the world, under the Presidential Special Scholarship for Innovation and Development (PRESSID), now in its second phase. He noted that the result of the test showed that private universities were doing well in providing quality education in the system. The Director-General, in his address, said that the visit was aimed at exploring ways for collaboration between the two agencies, based on obvious factors that affected their workings.


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Osaghae appointed visiting chair of Commonwealth studies HE Vice Chancellor of T Igbinedion University, Professor Eghosa E. Osaghae has been appointed to the prestigious Emeka Anyaoku Visiting Chair of Commonwealth Studies (EAVCCS) by the University of London for the 2013/2014 academic year. The EAVCCS was instituted in 2002 in honour of Chief Emeka, Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth. The competition for the chair is open to Winners of 2013 Corona Schools’ Model Teachers (holding plaques), flanked by the members of the Trust Council, during the school’s Staff Day celebration, held in Lagos recently.

Wike reiterates govt’s desire to resolve poly teachers’ strike From Kanayo Umeh, Abuja HE Federal Government T has faulted the allegation by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) that it has neglected Polytechnic Education in the country. Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike who stated this recently in Abuja while meeting with leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and members of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), stated that the minister noted that government had been in talks with the leadership of the union on how to resolve its protracted strike. The minister recalled concerted efforts made by the government to end the ongoing industrial action by the striking lecturers and for the polytechnics to be reopened for academic programmes in view of the importance federal government attached to the sector. According to the Wike: “The allegation that the government on its own chose four items cannot be true, if you are meeting with the government; government cannot solely without your agreement say they will only discuss four issues, you must concur or not before that would happen. With all due respect, we are not military government. If you bring thirteen issues and we say can we discuss four issues? And you say yes, that means the two parties agreed to discuss on four issues but you cannot turn around to say government on its own said it must only

be four issues. “The issue of the reconstitution of the board of the federal polytechnics which was done and you will agree with me that when we meet with you with the minister of labour, you gave us the assurance that if the needs assessment committee and the constitution of the governing council is on that you will go back to the classroom and that day, we meet in the night and now the composition of the board and the Needs Assessment; now what you did was to come back to us that it is not only announcing, we must go further by inaugurating and we went ahead and inaugurated these two bodies, remaining the issue of the white paper and CONTISS 15. “What is important for everybody to note here; first of all, government agreed on the issue of CONTISS 15; government is not saying that

Fashola to visit Vivian Fowler Feb 10 Lady of Lagos State, FwillIRST Mrs. Abimbola Fashola on February 10 pay a visit to Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, Oregun, Lagos. The visit is aimed at encouraging the students to imbibe the virtues of womanhood and remain focused in their academics. Director of the college, Mrs. Olufunke Amba said the visit “is part of the vision of the school on the integration and promotion of womanhood, through both academic and moral discipline.

would not be paid, government have even included it in 2014 budget because it has to do with personnel, the issue that are been worked on now is how do we pay the arrears of 20.4 billion not on issue whether government have agreed to pay or not and to start with, even when we had problem with ASUU, government did not pay ASUU money first before ASUU went back to classroom, gov-

ernment said ASUU from this period to this period, this is the amount of money that we would releases, you are giving a bad impression to students that government has released 1.2 trillion and that’s why universities went back to classroom; that is not correct. Government said in the next six years 1.2 trillion on Nigerian universities; that is based on Needs Assessment.

renowned academics from all over the world and Osaghae is the first Nigerian to be appointed. He will spend the January to April at the University of London. According to a statement by the Registrar of Igbinedion University, Mr. Edwin Okoro, the Board of Regents, Council, and the University community lauded the Vice Chancellor for “this laudable and prestigious landmark academic achievement.”

Firm donates equipment to Auchi Poly By Ijeoma Opara EPUTY President of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Mr. Bern Omo Akhigbe, has called on members to enhance the capacities of the various Survey and Geoinformatics departments in tertiary institutions across the country, to enable them turn out outstanding students, comparable to their counterparts in any part of the world. Akhigbe made the call when the Managing Director of Digital Horizon, a firm of surveyors and engineers based in

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Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mr. Akhigbe Irene, donated some survey equipment to Auchi Polytechnic recently. Akhigbe also implored other surveyors to emulate the firm’s gesture, especially in the areas of human capital development, since, according to him, the government alone cannot adequately fund the training of surveyors. Irene, who described the institution as his alma mater, also notted that his firm’s gesture was borne out his appreciation of the qualitative training he received as a student in the institution.


52 EDUCATION Thursday, February 6, 2014

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CIMA boss predicts greater investment opportunities in Nigeria By Mary Ogar ORESEEING greater economic opportunities in Nigeria based on its rapid elevation in international ratings, the Global President, Chartered Institute of Management Accountant’s (CIMA), Mr Malcolm Furber has called for predictive accounting, charging Nigerian students to acquire skills that would bring about sustainability in the economic sector. With several multi-national companies and small businesses going under as a result of the harsh economic environment, he warned that unless skilled manpower are groomed in the art of predictive accounting, businesses would continue to fail. Predicting heart warming prospects for Nigeria, he said government, businesses and all stakeholders must deplore

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more resources to bring about growth in the country. Furber, who is in Nigeria to engage relevant stakeholders on the need to promote the activities of the institute, also said: “I have witnessed massive progression since 12 years ago when I last visited. There is tremendous infrstaructural development and   there is also a sign of growing affluence among other factors.” Founded in 1919 and currently with 218,000 members and students in 177 countries, Furber said CIMA has formed a joint venture with the American Institute of CPAs to establish the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation. According to him, the CGMA is the global quality standard that further elevates the profession of management accounting. “The designation recognises the most talented

and committed management accountants with the discipline and skill to drive strong business performance.” He described Predictive Accounting as the trend “out there,” adding, “and that is the area where the skills of our members are valued.” He observed that in some countries like South Africa at the moment, companbies are sourcing for CGMA finance professionals because of their technical and business skills, which have brought sustainability into the economic sector. Stressing the need for a developing country like Nigeria to build on foundations that would ensure longterm, sustainable success, he was of the opinion that students and other stakeholders must emphasise more on the skills needed to move the country forward.

“We have seen big companies rise and fall. Unless you know where you are going and build confidence in your stakeholders through a sustainability plan for the future, only then can you move forward and make progress.” he said. Furber   further explained that CGMA designation holders “have broader skills (and) are trained to connect the dots in business activity and have the deep leadership abilities to help their colleagues understand income and costs; risks and opportunities of all kinds – not just financial. We believe we have the right formula for our members to play a central role in driving success and many business leaders agree with us.” In a recent survey conducted by the institute, he disclosed that a total of 75 per cent of CEOs surveyed acknowledged that they

would like their finance employees to obtain the CGMA designation. He advised business owners that a large percentage of value does not originate from the balance sheet but from a good intellectual capability, which is an indicator for sustainability. For prospective students who wish to take advantage of programmes offered by the institute, Furber said: “We regularly update our syllabus to ensure that our qualification reflects the ever-changing needs of business. In terms of our ‘thought leadership’ research, we are constantly scanning the horizon to ensure that our members are at the cutting edge of their profession. Our members are also obliged to adhere to codes of ethics and good conduct. Combined, this makes a winning formula that is driving business excellence

around the world.” Highlighting some the value the qualification offers students, he said, “it gives mobility around the world. The qualification is relevant and revised every five years. Our members are in high demand and we have great contributions to offer in every sector of the economy. We provide our members with the tools and skills to add value to virtually every sector.” Also, he noted that CIMA and the AICPA would be reinforcing their global profile as leaders in the science of management accounting as sponsors of the 2014 World Congress of Accountants in Italy. The Regional Director for Africa, Ms Samantha Louis spoke on the need to address the issue of skills gap by partnering with universities and other agencies in the country. According to her, CIMA’s approach is to open up partnerships with host countries by working with universities and organisations to raise standard. She said: “we are already into discussions with some universities and have had very positive responses. But there is need to work with many others in both public and private universities and colleges as well as government organisations and other professional bodies to help build skills.”

YABATECH promotes Adams, five others Deputy Registrars HE Yaba College of T Technology’s (YABATECH) Governing Council has approved the elevation of five non-academic staff to the position of Deputy Registrars. They include Mr. Adekunle Adams, who was until now, the Head, Public Relation/Principal Assistant Registrar; Mr. Isaac O. Orisasona of the Student Affairs Section; Mr. Julius A. Sonibare of the office of the Registrar; Mr. A. Julius Ogundipe from the office of the Deputy Rector, (Administration); Mrs. Titilayo Obadimu of the office of Deputy Rector, (Academics)and Mrs. Adeola Oke of the College National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Section. Adams had been playing a significant role in evolving a master-plan for the development of an efficient Public Relations department in the institution. He joined YABATECH’s Public Relations Unit in 1995 as one of its pioneer professional staff. Adams studied Mass Communications at the Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic) between 1987-1992, where he bagged National and Higher National Diplomas (Upper Credit). In 2001, he bagged his Master’s Degree in Communication Arts with emphasis in Public Relations at the University of Ibadan. He is a member of Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria; Nigerian Institute of Public Relations;Nigerian Institute of Management; Red Cross Society of Nigeria and theNational Institute of Marketing of Nigeria.


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54 EDUCATION Thursday, February 6, 2014

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Only competent teachers can deliver senior secondary curricula, says WAEC By Mary Ogar ASED on the misconcepB tion trailing the implementation of the new Senior Secondary Education curricula in Nigeria, the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) has reaffirmed that there is no aspect of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) syllabus that is not contained in the curricula. It called on critics of the new curricula to exercise patience with the implementation, stressing that it would improve over time. For those who also blame the poor performance in some subjects on the nature of the new curricula, the examination body also pointed out that the syllabus “is a concept, produced by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Agency (NERDC) and approved by the National Council on Education (NCE). Besides, some stakeholders noted that the lapses in the system such as funding, lack of facilities, competent teachers and resources among others could be corrected. Speaking at seminar organized by WAEC’s Research Department in Lagos recently, with the theme: “The New Senior Secondary Education Curriculum in Nigeria: Implication for Assessment,” the council’s Head of National Office (HNO), Mr. Charles Eguridu, said it was high time the old curriculum received a boost to befit the current pro-

gression in the country. Giving reason for the new curriculum, he explained that while children acquire skills as they grow, “these skills are over time transformed into what is now called the school system.” Describing the typical Nigerian as vocal, assertive and outspoken, he noted that before independence, the Europeans had developed for the country a curriculum designed to make Nigerians servants. According to him, when Nigeria eventually became an independent nation, it became imperative that a new curriculum be developed to make Nigerians self-sufficient . He said: “If you look at curriculum development in Nigeria, in recent times, there is now a shift from the old, to concentrate on skills development. It has become more artisan so that students can make good use of what they have learnt to carter for their need.” Eguridu endorsed the initiative by the developers of the new curriculum to include new subjects that would address some peculiar situations in the country. Acting Head, Test Development Division, Mrs. Olayinka Ajibade, who spoke extensively on “The New Senior Secondary Education Curriculum: Implication for Assessment,” affirmed that lack of awareness of the new curriculum structure, how it affects the examination body and those in the classroom necessitated the seminar

Eguridu which was intended to create enlightenment on how the structure operates. With various misconceptions, especially within the school system, she underscored the need for a proper understanding of the curriculum, which, she explained, states the expected educational outcomes in understandable and achievable terms, including an assessment on whether learning has actually taken place. She noted that most of the curricula in use in Nigerian

primary and secondary schools were developed by the NERDC between 1982 and 1985. While acknowledging that previous curricula had become outdated and were being criticized for not being in tune with present day realities, she explained that highlights of the new curriculum include English Language, General Mathematics, Civic Education and Trade/Entrepreneurial Studies. On the implications of the new curriculum structure for

assessment, she said the implementation of the new curriculum structure for senior secondary education in Nigeria requires varied and creative methods of teaching and assessing. Commenting on schoolbased assessment (SBA), which has been faulted for not being properly aligned to the curriculum and for concentrating only on lower order cognitive skills and for lack of comparability, she advised that school assessment should be broadened to include oral examination, unannounced quiz, practical work, games, projects, take home assignment, practical work and problem solving among others. Besides with the introduction of trades/entrepreneurial studies as part of the reforms of the senior secondary education curriculum, she advocated the need to expand the boundaries of SBAs. On some of the factors hampering proper implementation of the new SSE curriculum structure, she mentioned lack of proper understanding of the curriculum by members of the public, inadequate personnel, the pace of review/ development of textbooks and teachers handbook, appalling state of physical facilities, lack of vocational/ entrepreneurship centres, funding of relevant programmes, non-provision of training and low motivation of teachers, shortage of career guidance counselors and large class size. Explaining the role of WAEC, she said: “Let me first of all correct the impression that this

curriculum structure was produced by WAEC. It was produced by the NERDC at the instance of the National Council on Education (NCE). But when the NERDC produces a curricula, we produce the examination syllabus based on them.” According to her, while the new structure is different from what was initially being used, the misconception and low awareness about the entire reform is the reason why WAEC decided to mount the seminar to heighten the awareness and see how schools can get better informed and leverage on their existing facilities to start the implementation of the new curriculum. Her words: “We are not saying that everything is perfect at the moment, but then, that is one of the purposes of the seminar to see how we can move forward; how the situation can improve and be able to achieve the outcome of the new curriculum.” For those who attribute the complexities of the new curriculum as responsible for low performance in national examinations, she said: “It is too early to say that because there is no evidence but only speculations and assumptions. There may be constraints that could lead to low performance and that is why we are having this intervention so that when awareness increases and the teachers know what to do and schools know how to implement it, we believe that in the long run,

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France seeks Nigeria’s collaboration on education By Mary Ogar S the French Embassy in A Nigeria in collaboration with Tripplelink Global Solution put preparations in top gear to host the French education fair in Lagos and Abuja, the French ConsulGeneral to Nigeria, Mr. Francois Sastourne has expressed the interest of the French Government to collaborate more with the Nigerian government in the area of education. Speaking recently at a media briefing held at the French School, ‘Loius Pasteur’ in Lagos, he said education should be explored as a platform to boost relationships between the two countries. He explained that the idea of the fair is to open the door of French institutions to

Nigerian students, promote the exchange of students as well as explore the opportunity to undertake a wide range of qualitative courses ranging from law, engineering international relations and other courses in French institutions. With over a dozen French Universities and Higher education institutions expected to participate at the fair scheduled for 25th February at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja and on the 27th February at the Eko Hotel, Lagos, he said prospective students should not just see French universities as an avenue to study French language alone but should take advantage of other courses available to boost their career choices. He assured parents and prospective students that

French universities enjoy one of the best ratings in the world adding that the fair would provide a forum for the gathering of French universities and companies as well students who wish to study in France. Highlighting some of the benefits of French education, he said prospective students would have a better opportunity to understanding what it takes to study in France including proving answers to some misconceptions concerning French education. Sastourne further noted that with French companies such as Total offering scholarship to Nigerian students by training of Nigerians in different fields, collaboration between the two countries would broaden employment opportunities and enable

unemployed Nigerian youths access job vacancies in foreign missions, multi-national companies and other international agencies. Counsellor for Co-operation and Culture, Mr. Patrick Perez confirmed that In France, Nigeria is still not well known in some sectors like education. In order to strengthen the relationship, he said the French Embassy in Nigeria last year organized a one-day seminar in Paris on prospective university cooperation in Nigeria. According to him, a delegation composed of ViceChancellors and professors from renowned Nigerian universities as well as officers from the French embassy met with representatives of about twenty-five higher education

institutions from all over France. He said the aim of the seminar was to foster a better understanding of both higher education system, so as to initiate dialogue between Nigerian and French institutions in a view to developing the signing of a memorandum of understanding including convincing French institutions to promote their educational offers in Nigeria. Perez said “ the business and social development of Nigeria needs qualified labour with skills adapted in order to meet her needs. France holds many educational assets and it is our responsibility to promote the quality of our higher education.” Compared to the large number of Nigerian students studying in the United States

and United Kingdom, he said only about 309 Nigerian students are studying various courses mostly in English Language programmes in Business, Management, Engineering including Postgraduate schools and in Political Sciences faculties in France based on the 2012 statistics. With more than 900 Masters programme offered in English Language, he pointed out that the speaking of French language is not compulsory to gaining admission into the universities. According to him, the country is targeting about 500 students per year in France very soon “ we would like this French education fair to be a successful presentation of the academic world in collaboration with the French businesses present in Nigeria.”

Only competent teachers can deliver senior secondary curricula, says WAEC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 54 performance would pick up even if its poor at the beginning.” On WAEC syllabus and the new curriculum, she reiterated that the examination syllabus was developed from the curriculum stressing that there is nothing in the examination syllabus that is not contained in the curriculum. “That is why we say there must be an alignment between examination syllabuses and the curriculum so the syllabus is a sort of reflection and mirrors what is contained in the curriculum. If you take any concept listed in the examination syllabus that concept would have been

taught in either SS1, SS2 or SS3. So we don’t include anything that is outside the curriculum in the examination syllabus,” she added. She said some of the observations in the new curriculum may not qualify as lapses but rather hinged on the fact that many of the required facilities are lacking and that resources may not be available, including adequate time to deliver the new curriculum. She said: “It is now more tasking than what we use to have. It is student centered, it is activity based, so how the schools effectively manage their time to carry our all these activities matters. Are the teachers themselves competent to handle the instruc-

tions based on this new curriculum? Those are the major concerns.” She encourage schools and teachers not to wait until materials are imported from abroad before they could effectively implement the curriculum adding that there are also online resources, the internet where teachers and students can take advantage if virtual technology and other resources. Besides, she said: “We also want those who are in charge of the school system to ensure that the teacher education curriculum suits this new senior secondary education curriculum because you cannot teach what you don’t know. They have to be taught and

skilled first of all based on the new curriculum to be able to transfer that knowledge to the students.” Some teachers who spoke to The Guardian lamented on some of the shortfalls of the new curriculum. According to Mr. Kayode Salau, while the need to incorporate some vocational courses into the new curriculum is commendable, efforts should also be made on how these courses can be affectively taught to the students. He said: “The general complaint has been that as teachers, we concentrate so much on theory rather than practicals, but how do you teach wood work and other practical subjects on the board. The end

result would be that, we have a new curriculum but still operating with an old method. Initiators of the new curriculum are only concerned about paper work, but are not actually concerned about what the curriculum is meant to achieve.” As a way out, he said his school is canvassing that schools should partner with technicians and professionals in the community for the trade subjects. He called for support from government and other stakeholders to provide funds whereby local artisans in the community could be engaged to provide practical lessons to the students in different

aspect of technical or vocational studies. Mr. Zacheaus Komolafe, from Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Grammar School who admitted that there was nothing wrong with the new curriculum, however expressed worry that there are very few textbooks available on some of the new topics introduced. He said:” you can hardly find textbooks on these topics except you go on the Internet, which is not very easy in Nigeria. Also, I observed repetition of some topics. In government, the 1972 local government reform is supposed to be taught in SS2, but in SS3, you still find it there.”


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 NEWS EXTRA

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Lagos police caution on gang wars HE Lagos State Security T Council yesterday met under the chairmanship of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) with a warning to all those who get involved in gang wars to desist henceforth or face full wrath of the law. Addressing correspondents after the meeting, which took place at the Lagos House, Marina, the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Umaru Manko, said security agencies would henceforth go after the perpetrators and their sponsors, stressing that this is a warning for them in areas like Mushin, Bariga, Shomolu and all

Mimiko promises better relationship with healthcare partners N his determination Ihealthcare towards making primary fully operational in Ondo State, the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has promised a deepening relationship with healthcare delivery partners globally even as he commissioned the secretariat  complex of  the State Primary Healthcare (PHC) Development Board. The complex, which is located at Alagbaka in Akure, the state capital, according to Mimiko, is connected to public power grid with 250KVA generator and 120KVA UPS inverter system to provide energy backup for 24 hours. He added that the complex also has facilities such as ICT wares, furniture and fittings to ensure effective and better service delivery. At the commissioning yesterday, Mimiko noted that the composition of PHC under the same roof is in line with the national guidelines for more robust coordination of the system, thereby improving the quality of healthcare to the people in all the nooks and crannies of the state.  He restated his administration’s commitment to community participation in healthcare delivery system so that every community will have a stake in its healthcare challenges  and development. He said, “The Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Board is an outfit established to run an integrated primary healthcare facility and is no doubt fully poised to offer qualitative primary health care service delivery.” This, he said,  further reaffirms the government’s commitment and determination of advancing good governance in the state. Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, said that the state government had committed much resources to primary healthcare as the most effective, fair and cost effective way to organize the health system, adding that efforts would be intensified to ensure that the state is free of diseases.

other communities involved. “From today, they should have a rethink, because if they don’t, they would face the consequences,” he added. Also present during the briefing were the State Director, State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Achu Ben Olayi, Commander, NNS Beecroft, Apapa, Navy Commodore Chris Ezekobe, Commander, 9 Brigade Ikeja, Brigadier Ohifeme Ejemai, representative of Commander, 435 Base Services Group, Air Commodore Najeem Sanusi and Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Major Tunde Panox (rtd). 

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Shun unscrupulous politicians, minister warns youths From Anthony Otaru, Abuja PECIAL Duties and SAffairs Inter-Governmental Minister, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, yesterday called on Nigerian youths to be united while eschewing all forms of violence and political thuggery to usher in the needed peace that would bring rapid social-economic development to the nation.  He made the call during an advocacy visit to his office by members of the Nigerian Youths MultiStakeholders Dialogue Group, on Tuesday, in Abuja. The Group was in the minister’s office to seek his endorsement

and support for a proposed Nigerian Youth Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue Summit.  In a statement, the minister emphasized the need for the youths as potential leaders to guard against being used by unscrupulous politicians to foment trouble during elections. He noted that politicians who make use of the youths for their selfish reasons abandon them after elections. “Youths that allow themselves to be used negatively are always the losers, so don’t allow anyone use you as cannon fodder,” he stated.  He appealed to youth groups not to  sit on the

fence, but celebrate the good done by the present administration and be part of the change by seeking to be elected, as ‘change is not possible from without, but from within.’    Chairman of the group and National President of Nigerian Youth Action Coalition (NYUAC), Abdullahi Abdulmajeed, said the  multi-stakeholders dialogue body is a national, all-inclusive network of youths who are democrats and advocates for sustainable development, united and peaceful co-existence. Abdulmajeed said that their visit was in recognition of the ministry’s cen-

trality in its activities to the youths’ project. Abdullahi re-iterated the group’s readiness to support government’s efforts to restore Nigeria to its once enviable glory by saving it from the brink of disintegration and anarchy. The minister promised to support  the proposed Multi-stakeholders’ Dialogue Summit. In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, commended the group for the visit and  assured them of the Ministry’s full support to enable them actualize their visions.


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MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 05=02=2014

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MARKET INDICATORs

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SEC to enforce more stringent measures to boost investors’ confidence Exchange pledges to drive market growth in 2014 Stories by Helen Oji HE Director-General of the T securities& Exchange Commission (sEC) Ms. Arunma Oteh has revealed that the commission would focus on enforcing more stringent measures to ensure that companies comply with regulatory requirements in the market. Besides, the commission also unfolded plans to create investors’ protection guidelines this year. Oteh explained that the Commission has resolved to pursue vigorously and strengthen its enforcement in the market, which according to her would increase and sustain the confidence of both local and foreign investors’ confidence in the market. she added that the commission would also scale up investor’s education in the area of collective investment scheme. “The commission has been doing quite a lot in recent times. We took a bearing early this year and some of the initiatives we propose include more stringent enforcement measures because we know that regulation without enforcement does not help the market. “so we want to pursue vigorously our enforcement in the market and to pursue investors’ education. We did quite a lot in 2013 but this year, we are going to do more and reach out to more people. We want to seal up investors’ education in the area of collective investment scheme, tak-

ing more investors into the market, in line with Federal government financial inclusion programme. “We are also looking at increasing our efforts at bringing new listings in the market. We would be more efficient in our regulation this year.” she assured. Meanwhile the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, has assured investors that the exchange would intensify efforts toward driving the growth of the market this year in equities, fixed income and very soon in derivatives. He pointed out that the Nigerian stock Exchange would partner with the government and other key stakeholders towards ensuring that policies targeted at enhancing market growth are introduced, even as the Exchange continues to create strategy that would transform the marker from being a frontier market to an emerging market. “We want to create the kind of features you see in an emerging market; deep liquidity, very accessible market supportive by world class regulations and we have modified our strategies on the five transformation pillars to attract many listings across all facets into the market. We are not focused on companies alone but we are also looking at bringing in listings from companies, Exchange traded funds and Fixtures. We need to have liquidity in these assets class.

NSE’s market capitalisation slides further by N60 billion RANsACTIONs on the floor of T the Nigerian stock Exchange (NsE) continued on a downward note yesterday, even as more blue-chip companies depreciated in price, resulting to a further slide in market capitalisation by N60 billion. Yesterday, the market capitalisation dropped by N60 billion to N13.103 trillion from N13.163 trillion recorded on Tuesday. similarly, the NsE All share Index (AsI) slide by 186.20 basis point to 40,878. 71 points from 41064.91 traded the previous day. An analysis of transactions on the price movement chart showed that 35 stocks depreciated in price, as Guinness Nigeria Plc led losers chart shedding N2.96 kobo to close at N219.00 per share, Dangote Cement followed with a loss of N2.50 kobo to close at N238.00 per share while Conoil Plc, Nigerian Breweries and  Presco Plc depreciated by N1.99 kobo, N1.55 kobo and N1.43 kobo to close N50.00, N155.41 and N43.50 per share. Flour mills shed 0.95 kobo to close at N87.00 per share while Union Dicon dropped 0.63 per cent to close at N12.15 per share. United Bank for Africa lost 0.22 kobo to close at N8.15 per share. UPL and Evans Medical also shed 0.20 and 0.16 kobo to close at N4.15 and N3.13 per share. Conversely, 27 stocks constituted the gainers chart, led by Total Nigeria Plc with N4.50

kobo to close at N175.00 per share, Forte Oil followed with a gain of N2.81 kobo to close at N102.21 per share while Larfarge Wapco appreciated by N0.90 kobo to close at N108.90 per share. Other stocks appreciated in price were Berger Paint and Okomu oil which grew by N0.42 kobo and N0.40 kobo respectively  to close at N9.92 and N41.00 per share.                  The financial service sector traded highest volume of stocks, exchanging 158.409 million shares worth N2.019 billion in 2382 deals. Banking sub sector was the most active in the sector with account of 99.525 million shares valued at N1.561 billion in 1425 deals.           FBN Holdings was investors toast in the banking sub sector with a record of 28.443 million shares cost N412.669 million in 469 deals, followed with Zenith Bank which traded 25.855 million shares worth N594.575 million exchanged  in 266 deals. The conglomerates sector followed in activity chart with account of 20.633 shares valued at N93.930 million in 379 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria boosted activities in the sector accounting for 20.504 million shares worth N85.205 million in 329 deals.       In all investors traded 251.068 million shares worth N7.286 billion in 5200 against 407.798 million shares valued at N4.453 billion traded in 5846 deals.


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Sports Uzoenyi wants free transfer from Rangers OME-BASED Super Eagles H star, Ejike Uzoenyi has demanded a free transfer from Enugu Rangers to join South African club, Mamelodi Sundowns. Uzoenyi, who was the star of the 2014 CHAN, has stayed back in South Africa, where he is in talks with several clubs, including Sundowns and Orlando Pirates. The Most Valuable Player at the CHAN, according to MTNFootball.com, has demanded he be set free with a top management staff supporting this move. The fleet-footed left winger has through his lawyers written to Rangers for his release as a free player from the ‘Flying Antelopes’ fold in the third week of January. But pressures from some quarters did not make this achievable, which has now forced the player to write a second letter to the management of the club for his release on the condition that Rangers keep 20 per cent of his last season’ sign-on fees and issue him with an I.T.C for him to proceed to Sundowns as a free agent. Uzoenyi joined Rangers from Enyimba in the 2009/2010 sea-

son in exchange for Bishop Onyeudo and has risen steadily to be the highest paid player of ‘The Flying Antelopes.’ He has received his December 2013 salary and his January 2014 salary is scheduled for payment. Rangers’ General Manager, Paul Chibuzor, who maintains that Uzoenyi remains a player of the club, insists if he moves overseas, Rangers will get what is due to them. “We are very happy by the successes recorded by our players at the recent CHAN competition and much happier with the fact that clubs are scrambling for the services of some of them especially, Ejike Uzoenyi, who is still our player,” said the top Rangers official. “Details of any move have not been completed but when it becomes clear, we shall celebrate it. Ejike Uzoenyi is and remains a Rangers player. I am not aware of any move to deny Rangers what belongs to them.” Rangers’ Media officer, Foster Chime denied any knowledge of Uzoenyi demanding a free transfer, while calls to the player for his side of the story could not go through after several trials.

Nku plans prostrate cancer awareness campaign IGERIA’S former track and African woman to run in the N field star, Mercy Nku, is set to 100m final (1999 and 2001) of IAAF launch an awareness campaign flagship event, the World on the causes and dangers of prostrate cancer. Nku, a former African 100m champion, is a Nursing graduate from the York University in Toronto, Canada, who believes most Nigerians, especially men from the age of 50 and above, do not know they are susceptible to the disease. “Prostate cancer is a disease which only affects men. It begins to grow in the prostate - a gland in the male reproductive system,” said Nku, who also holds a Masters Degree in Health Management from the same University. “I have been hoping for an opportunity to launch this awareness campaign and I have been lucky to have some respected people in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria identify with my dream. “We will be starting the programme in Okrika in Rivers State and hope to spread the message across Nigeria.’’ Nku is particularly keen on prostrate cancer because it is prevalent in black men. “Prostate cancer is more common in black African men and black Caribbean than in white or Asian men. In the UK, black African and black Caribbean men are two or three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men. Asian men have a lower risk than white men,’’ said the former sprinter, who is on record as the second Nigerian nay

Championships. “We plan to let people know about the disease, its causes, as well as its dangers. We will also let Nigerians know symptoms of prostate cancer. “During the early stages of prostate cancer there are usually no symptoms. Most men at this stage find out they have prostate cancer after a routine check up or blood test,” Nku, who won an unprecedented four gold medal (100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x400m) for Nigeria at the second African Junior Championships in Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire in 1995, added.

Super Eagles’ Ejike Uzoenyi (left) tries to outwit Ghana’s Joshua Tijani during their 2014 CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) semifinal game at Free State Stadium, South Africa. The Enugu Rangers’ star wants a free transfer to Mamelodi Sundowns. PHOTO: MTNFOOTBALL.COM.

Nigeria’s improved global league rating validates LMC’s reforms, says Irabor HAIRMAN of the League Management Company (LMC), Nduka Irabor is a happy man right now. Irabor’s joy stems from Nigeria’s latest ranking as the fourth Strongest League in Africa by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), a development which he says is a confirmation that the league reforms the LMC began last year is having positive impact. Speaking on the IFFHS rating yesterday, Irabor said, “we are delighted because the gains of Nigeria on the listing is a validation of the work we have done these past months and we are encouraged by such good tiding coming from an independent international assessor.” On-going reforms in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was initiated in the last one year, which falls

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within the research capture period of January 1 to December 31, 2013, during which Nigeria climbed seven steps from 60th to 53rd strongest league in the world with total points of 332.50. According to the LMC chairman, “this ranking portends good for the league; it is a huge positive for the league especially now that the clubs have agreed to comply with the Licensing regulations, that the commercial corporate community is showing increasing interest in partnering with the league and at such a time the league has drawn huge followership from the youth population on social media.” Irabor sees the ranking as a precursor of the new direction the League has been moving to and he enjoined the clubs, their players and all stakeholders to build on the gains of the past season to further reposi-

tion the league. He added that while improved ranking hasn’t been the motivation for the ongoing re-engineering of all aspects of the league, “we are gratified that the effort is yielding positive results as seen in this internationally acclaimed research that presented the top 125 strongest leagues of the world. We are indeed heading back-up where we belong.” IFFHS, a research organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland computes its annual rating on the basis of all National League, FA Cup, Continental and Intercontinental results of the clubs from countries. The recent rating, according to IFFHS covers the period from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 during which the League Management Company (LMC) organised the NPFL sponsored by Globacom.

Jamaica expected to send ‘strong’ team to World Relays AMAICA is expected to send JWorld its strongest team to the IAAF Relays in The Bahamas despite not having a trial prior to the event set for May 24 and 25. President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), Dr. Warren Blake didn’t envisage any problems in team selection when he spoke with the Jamaica Observer. “We will be selecting the team the same way we have done with the Penn Relays teams that comes on a month before and the World Indoors,” said Blake.

“We write to the coaches and the athletes’ reps and get in touch with them and they will recommend which of their athletes will be available and then we choose the best team out of what is available at the time,” he noted. The first edition of the 2014 IAAF World Relays will serve as a qualifying competition for the 2015 IAAF World Championships and is expected to have more than 1,000 athletes and team officials from 40 nations for the event. The top-eight teams to place in the 4x100m and 4x400m events at the IAAF World Relays

Bahamas 2014 shall automatically qualify for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. If one or more teams in the A Final are disqualified or do not finish, their qualifying places will be taken by the top-placed finisher(s) in the B Final. Jamaica, with the incomparable Usain Bolt, have swept the 4x100m relays at the Olympic and World Championships since 2008 and are expected to dominate once again regardless of the composition of the team. Meanwhile, fans will have the chance to have a preview of the upcoming IAAF World Relays

Bahamas 2014 during a test event scheduled to be held prior to the IAAF World Relays. On May 9 & 10, young high school athletes from around the Bahamas will test the readiness of the newly built Thomas A Robinson Stadium by competing in the replica of events that will be run at the Relays. The participating teams will compete in the following test events — 4x100m, 4x200m, and 4x400m, along with a sprint medley that will include 400m, 200m, 200m, and 800m legs for the boys and 100m, 100m, 200m and 400m legs for the girls.

Beckham officially secures MLS franchise in Miami AVID Beckham has officialD ly confirmed he will own a Major League Soccer franchise located in Miami. The former England midfielder made the announcement with MLS Commissioner, Don Garber and Miami DedeCounty mayor, Carlos Gimenez, in the Florida city. “From the beginning of my career in England to today in Miami, my journey has always been driven by my incredible passion for the game,” said Beckham.  “Miami is a vibrant, diverse community that thrives on the same type of energy that fuels the international appeal of soccer, and I look forward to a dedicated, long-term partnership with this dynamic city and Major League Soccer.  “My experience with the Galaxy is what convinced me that I wanted to one day own an MLS team and it is thrilling to now see that dream coming true.” Beckham was given an option to acquire an MLS franchise at a discounted rate of 25million US dollars, as part of his deal when he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy. “We appreciate all that David has done as a player, an ambassador and as a global icon to help grow Major League Soccer,” MLS Commissioner, Don Garber said. “We are thrilled that he will be an owner, and we look forward to him helping us achieve our goal of being one of the top soccer leagues in the world.” “Miami is a unique melting pot of cultures that is brought together by one common thread, soccer,” said MiamiDade County Mayor, Carlos A. Gimenez. 


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South Africa 2014 CHAN Fall-Out

Shorunmu has no regrets over Agbim By Alex Monye Eagles goalkeepers’ trainSvoteUPER er, Ike Shorunmu has passed a of confidence on home-

Enugu Rangers say they will not renew Agbim’s contract for the 2013/2014 season.

PHOTO: MTNFOOTBALL.COM.

Adat craves purpose-built, mixed academies for female football By Eno-Abasi Sunday  HE dwindling fortunes of T female football in the country cannot just be wished away by words of the mouth, without the erection of commensurate structures to support its evolution right from the grassroots. Additionally, showering female football at that level with attention akin to what their boys counterpart are enjoying, including the introduction of U-13 and U-15 national teams, would be robust steps toward strengthening the female game at the national level. Silver winning coach at the 2010 FIFA U-21 Women’s World Cup, which held in Germany, Egan Adat gave the tips recent-

ly while reacting to Nigeria’s qualification for this year’s edition of the tourney in Canada. Adat, currently the technical adviser of Pelican Stars Football Club of Calabar, expressed regrets that female football was not making the needed progress because scant attention was paid to its development at the base, where talents are thrown up.  “Female football is not making a headway at the grassroots level and the unpleasant result of this development is bound to be felt at the national level. So I would recommend that youth programmes set up for the boys, be replicated for the girls. “If we are serious with devel-

CHAN star, Uzochukwu, eyes Brazil 2014 World Cup OME-BASED Super Eagles H defensive midfielder, Ugonna Uzochukwu, says he is ready to fight for inclusion in the squad for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. The Enugu Rangers man is among the domestic Eagles that won bronze at the just concluded African Nations Championship (Chan) in South Africa. Uzochukwu said he is heading back to his Coal City side for the 2013/14 Glo Premier League season with the aim of improving his game to chance inclusion in the World Cup list. “Yes, I will work extra hard at my club to chance a call up for the World Cup since the coach has said he would include few of us, who will keep match fitness in the team. I have no

choice but to improve on my game. “Of course, I have committed myself to Enugu Rangers for the coming season and I am prepared to do my best under the new Coach, John Obuh to ensure we have a successful season,” Uzochukwu told supersport.com. Uzochukwu approves his side’s bronze performance at the 2014 Chan competition in South Africa. “The bronze performance wasn’t entirely a bad one for us considering the fact that we participated in the championship for the first time. “Everybody expected us to win the championship, we equally wanted to win but it didn’t come through. There will be other championships in future I believe we’ll do better in subsequent events.

oping female football, there is no reason for us not to also have female football academies in different parts of the country. Alternatively, we should have mixed academies, where the girls can thrive and develop alongside the boys. Having a mixed academy will help toughen the girls as well as cause them to keep pace with the boys in terms of speed, agility and skills,” Adat stated. The former national coach continued, “Allowing young footballers to imbibe outdated tactics in unconventional atmospheres, where they initially learn the trade is not healthy for the development of the game because they would have to unlearn all that and get refined before they can keep pace with their counterparts in other parts of the world. He added that only recently, “we can recall the amount of preparation the boys in Golden Eaglets were exposed to en route to winning the FIFA World Cup in the United Arab

Emirates. If attention similar to this, and much more is given to the girls, I can assure that female football would be revolutionised in the country,” the defunct Rovers Football Club of Calabar legend said.

based national team captain and goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim, saying he has no regrets fielding the Enugu  Rangers shot-stopper ahead of   others during the just concluded African Nations Championship. Shorunmu’s expression of confidence is coming on the heels of Enugu Rangers’ decision to release the goalkeeper ahead of the 2013/2014 Glo Nigeria Premier League season. Shorunmu told The Guardian yesterday that Agbim’s ‘wonderful saves’ helped the Eagles to success at the CHAN and wondered why Nigerians would castigate a goalkeeper praised as one of the best in the competition by the organisers. He posited that some of the goals Agbim conceded could beat any goalkeeper in the world, stressing that goalkeepers are human beings after all. “Agbim should not be castigated for goals he conceded in the CHAN because he saved Nigeria on several occasions. People  are only talking about the mistakes he made without praising him for the saves he made to keep the team in the championship. “I am not saying that he did not make any mistakes, but this does not mean Agbim is a bad keeper. His saves assisted the Eagles against Mozambique, South Africa, Morocco and Zimbabwe. “The three goals Agbim conceded against Morocco were from free kicks and defensive blunders, which could beat any goalkeeper in the world,” he said, adding, “a good coach cannot change a goalkeeper in a tournament  because it is not a training  session or a friendly where you have enough time to work on the confidence of another keeper.” On the penalty shoot out loss to Ghana, where Agbim failed to stop any of the Black Stars’ kicks, Shorunmu said, “people should realize at this point that a goal-

• Rangers release CHAN Eagles’ skipper keeper and  the players are vulnerable. “The goal post is wide… you cannot expect the keeper to get it right all the time. But as a coach, you must encourage your keeper to save every ball. “For me to give Agbim the chance to mount the post in the CHAN means he has something to offer. I have my own name to protect.” On the Super Eagles’ plans for the World Cup, Shorunmu said, “we  are praying for all the players penciled down to be free from injury and be in top form  before June, which is the World Cup month. “Most teams going to Brazil would miss some of their quality players due to injury  and  the Eagles’ coaches are praying against this being the case in our team. “If Agbim is in top form and fit  he can make it to Brazil. For now, the Eagles’ coaches are on break, to resume next month for the friendly against Mexico from there we will commence preparations proper  for the World Cup.”   Meanwhile, Enugu Rangers’ Media Officer, Foster Chime, has revealed that the Flying Antelopes’ coaches have recommended that Agbim’s contract should not be renewed. “Chigozie Agbim signed a year deal with us last season which has expired. We did not renew his contract because the technical crew said his services are no longer needed,” Chime told MTNFootball.com “We have four keepers in our fold now, namely Emmanuel Daniel, Itodo, Uche Okafor and Usman Jonah.” Agbim caused a transfer controversy between Rangers and Warri Wolves last season, but he only played two matches for the Enugu side against Kano Pillars and Bayelsa United as he was mostly in the national team training camp.

Glo Nigeria Premier League

Abia Warriors will be nobody’s whipping boy, says Ezeugo MEKA Ezeugo, who has the E task of guiding new boys, Abia Warriors, against the top teams in the 2013/2014 Glo Nigeria Premier League, believes his side has the quality to perform well in the elite division. The Umuahia-based side are making their debut in the domestic elite league after a successful campaign in the 2012/13 Nigeria National League Division B. They will host Kaduna United in the season’s opening match on February 23 at the Umuahia Township Stadium. Ezeugo said his side have a

shock package for any of their challengers, who will see them as easy pickings to pocket three points. “We will impress as well as make our presence felt in the Premier League. We have a shock package for our doubters, who would have counted three points in their favour before playing us. “I have a mixture of experienced and inexperienced players to prosecute our league campaign. We are looking forward to the start of the league with lot of nostalgia coming into the fray for the first time with majority of the players

Flag Officer Commanding Naval Training Command, Rear Admiral Goddy Anyankpele (middle), leading his officers and ratings in a press up exercise after a long distance trek by men of the Command to commemorate Nigerian Navy’s Quarterly Route March. PHOTO: SUNDAY ODITA.

seeing action in the elite league for the first time. “The first game holds mixed feelings to the entire players and they are looking forward to it with nothing but absolute excitement. “We are in the Premier League to compete as well as to be counted, we won’t be the whipping boys among our competitors,” the former Nigerian international defender told supersport.com. Ezeugo assured his charges will not miss the opportunity of starting the season on high against visiting Kaduna United. “First impression counts, we will strive to impress against Kaduna United, the young lads in our midst want to prove a point and they see the tie against Kaduna United as the takeoff point. “We won’t miss the chance to pick three points against Kaduna United, which will boost the players morale going into the next matches. “The pitch is already lush just waiting for the football hostilities to commence,” Ezeugo said. The Glo Premier League newcomers will continue their preseason build-up on Saturday against the former champions, Dolphins, at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt.


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SPORT Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mixed emotions trail Muhammed Ali’s 72nd birthday UHAMMAD Ali’s recent M 72nd birthday was occasion for celebration and sadness. Celebration because it allows us to reflect on the huge impact he has had on the world both in and out of the ring - sadness because his poor health means the chances of him being around for his 73rd appear slim. The sombre truth is that the days of the fighter known as The Greatest are drawing to a close. But what days they have been. Who could have predicted when that young, gangly, loose-limbed boxer from Louisville, Kentucky, took the light-heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics - dismissed by most sportswriters as lacking the technical know-how and power to make a significant impact as a professional that he was about to explode onto the world stage like a hurricane unleashed. He became not only the fastest and most beautifully aesthetic heavyweight in the history of the sport, but a thorn in the side of an Establishment under which US blacks suffered apartheid, racism and structural injustice. Who could have guessed that this young man would become a beacon of hope to millions throughout the globe, and a cultural icon whose very name would remain an inspiration over five decades on. At that first Liston fight in Miami in 1964, only a few insiders were aware of the anger, defiance and political and religious consciousness bubbling away under the surface of Cassius Clay’s playful braggadocio and exuberance. It was just after the astonishing victory where he “shook

up the world” that the 22year-old newly crowned heavyweight champion revealed that he was a member of the Nation of Islam, renamed the Black Muslims by reporters and TV broadcasters looking to court controversy. This was followed by the name change from Cassius Clay to Cassius X and finally Muhammad Ali. All of a sudden a tiny, fundamentalist religious sect became the bete noire of the US Establishment. But where the Nation of Islam connected with Ali, and for a time its most famous representative, Malcolm X, was in its assertion of defiance in the face of the undoubted history of oppression suffered by black people in the US, along with its promotion of black pride. In Ali’s possession, the heavyweight championship of the world transcended boxing, even sports. With him it assumed the mantle of political and social banner, behind which a new generation of black men and women could assemble to declare their pride in being black in defiance of a system in which their parents and grandparents had been left in no doubt they were considered inferior. Ali paid a terrible price for his apostasy. He quickly became the most hated man in America, excoriated by sportswriters, commentators, politicians, and even black leaders of the day. People lined up to attack both him and his beliefs, and ticket sales for his fights plummeted. And this was before his stance on the war in Vietnam, when after being reclassified he told a reporter that he had no quarrel with “them Vietcong.” It was a quote that

Muhammed Ali taunts Sonny Liston after knocking out the former World Heavyweight Champion. unleashed the forces of hell, with Ali openly accused of treason in newspapers across the country. Most men would have

buckled under this kind of public animus, but Ali seemed to grow in stature, finding new purpose as a torchbearer of resistance to

the war and the contradictions it exposed regarding the suppurating sore of racist injustice in his country.

For refusing the draft he was stripped of his title and faced prison. Exile from the ring followed and he spent the next three years struggling to make ends meet. But Ali’s shadow continued to loom large over the heavyweight championship, which became cheapened in his absence. At the beginning of his exile he was hated, but with the civil rights movement building to become the social phenomenon it did, and with the anti-Vietnam war movement doing likewise, three years later Ali was a folk hero, lauded where before he’d been vilified - and respected for sticking to his principles no matter the cost. His return to the ring in 1970 against Jerry Quarry in Atlanta was a seminal moment in US sporting and cultural history. Celebrities packed the ringside seats as Ali received the adulation of the thousands in attendance and the millions watching the fight on TV or listening to it on radio across the world. The legend from then on has been well recorded. The three epic fights against Joe Frazier, the unbelievable victory over George Foreman, fighting most of his first fight against Ken Norton with a broken jaw, and of course the sad decline and slide into Parkinson’s. Now, just turned 72, Muhammad Ali remains one of the few survivors from the great era of heavyweights whose names resonate even more as legends when compared to the current crop. Even more important than his achievements in the ring, however, Ali stood tall outside it at a time when blacks were still being lynched and racism was as American as apple pie. • Culled from morningstaronline.co.uk

Pa Ojidoh: Delta, Edo sports officials re-locate to Ilah, NFF mourns By Gowon Akpodonor HE leadership of Delta T State Sports Commission will today ‘re-locate’ to Ilah, home town of renowned sports administrator, Pa John Ojidoh, to meet with his family on his burial plans. Pa Ojidoh, a former chairman of the Old Bendel State Football Association, died on Monday night at the age of 87. Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, the Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Pinnick Amaju said the visit to Ilah would also comprise a powerful delegation from Edo State Sports Ministry to be led by the newly appointed Commissioner, Chris Okaeben.

• His last moment, by Pinnick “Pa Ojidoh played a significant role in our sports till his death and we have to spent the whole of tomorrow (today) with his family in Ilah. The Commissioner for Sports in Edo State is equally leading a delegation from Benin City,” he said. Pinnick revealed his last moment with Pa Ojidoh during a visit to Ilah two weeks ago. “We normally pay his a visit every two weeks. I was there two weeks ago with Davidson Owumi and midway into our discussion, Pa Ojidoh requested that he wanted to speak with Chief E.K Clark. “I placed a call across to Chief E.K Clark and in their discussion, Pa Ojidoh spoke

I placed a call across to Chief E.K Clark and in their discussion, Pa Ojidoh spoke on how Clerk protected teachers from the minority tribes in the old Bendel State in his days as Commissioner for Education. He jokingly told Clark in that phone conversation that he (Ojidoh) was two years his senior. We all laughed. He prayed for us and ended by saying that Nigeria’s sports will witness more successes this year. We will surely miss him for his fatherly advise.

on how Clerk protected teachers from the minority tribes in the old Bendel State in his days as Commissioner for Education. He jokingly told Clark in that phone conversation that he (Ojidoh) was two years his senior. We all laughed. He prayed for us and ended by saying that Nigeria’s sports will witness more successes this year. We will surely miss him for his fatherly advise,” Pinnick said. Meanwhile, NFF President, Aminu Maigari said yesterday that was shocked when told that the foremost referee, administrator and club owner had departed this world. “This is very sad news. I spoke with him over the telephone while we were in South Africa for the CHAN competition. The general secretary was always telling me that Pa Ojidoh called him also to wish the NFF and the team well in the competition. He was always sending text messages to me, advising on several areas. May his soul rest in

peace,” Maigari said. Pa Ojidoh, a Justice of the Peace and highly revered traditional chief in his native Ilah, Delta State, was a chairman of the Old Bendel State Football Association and was fully involved in the emergence of top clubs like Bendel Insurance (1994 CAF Cup winners) and New Nigerian Bank FC. He was a retired FIFA referee and also served the Nigeria Football Federation in various capacities, including heading the Disciplinary Committee. Pa Ojidoh remained in high relevance even in retirement, commentating on sporting issues and advocating for better ways and processes of doing things. Apart from Pa Ojidoh, the community of Ilah has produced some other top sports personalities for the country. The first university graduate to play for the Green Eagle, Dr. John Oganwu, hails from the town same as the present Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi. Even when he was on sick bed, Pa Ojidoh always find

time to comment on sports matters. Few days before the Super Eagles kicked off their campaign in the African Nations Cup in South Africa last year, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan paid a visit to Ojidoh in Ilah. It was Uduaghan’s first visit to Ilah. “It was on January 16, few days to Nigeria’s first match at the Nations Cup, when I visited Ojidoh at his home in Ilah. On a sick bed, he spoke on sports, recalling dates in such a manner that marveled me. “His body may be weak but his brain was still sharp. When I told him that I liked the town he quickly cut in this way: “It’s a peaceful place. The white men, the missionaries came here in 1888, before they got to Asaba. Ilah produced the first black and non- priest (Lay) to be Principal of the famous St. Gregory’s College in Obalende, Lagos. His name was Paul Amenechi. His younger brother, Patrick was first Nigerian to obtain First Class Honours in Chemistry at the University of Ibadan. Ilah produced the first West African female Architect in Joy Ugboda, an

elder sister of Mrs. Ifeajuna. Julius Chigbolu set British and Commonwealth  High Jump record in 1954 with a jump of 6.94 mark. He was from Ilah. We can go on and on about the people of Ilah. Austin Ofokwu, a one-time captain of the Eagles came from here. Stephen Keshi is from here and before Keshi was Mathew Onyema who was Eagles captain in acting capacity. I wish Keshi wins the Nations Cup so that he can be among the greats from Ilah.’’ Keshi eventually won the Nations Cup and Uduaghan hosted the team, where he commended the feat from Ilah people. He also spoke of a possibility of citing a football academy in Ilah, a promise he has fulfilled. After Team Delta won the KADA 2008 National Sports Festival in Kaduna, Governor Uduaghan rewarded the athletes and their officials in colorful ceremony in Ababa. At that ceremony, the Governor also announced the sum of N500, 000 for each of the veteran sports men like Pa Ojidoh, Tony Urhobo among others for the support given to Team Delta at the KADA Games.


SPORTS Thursday, February 6, 2014 | 79

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Ibrahimovic sends PSG into League Cup final

AC Milan, my greatest career challenge, says Taarabt DEL Taarabt believes the A greatest challenge of his career lies ahead of him after joining AC Milan. The Moroccan attacking midfielder last week joined the Italian giants on loan until the end of the season from QPR and is confident he can fulfill his potential at the San Siro and in Serie A. The 24-year-old Taarabt was presented yesterday by club vice-president Adriano Galliani and is eager to make the desired impact at Milan. “This is a big change for me,” Taarabt said. “I have played in important clubs but none like Milan. “Tottenham, QPR and Fulham are good clubs but not as organised and as professional as Milan. This is the great challenge in my career and I cannot wait to prove my quality on the pitch.” Taarabt had joined Fulham on a season-long loan from relegated QPR last summer but made just 16 appearances for the Cottagers in all competitions. “I hope this is a starting point for me,” he said. “Milan has given me this opportunity and I want to make the most of it hoping that this is the start of a long path. “I am young and I have

always been told that I have a lot of talent. These club has given me confidence and I hope I can prove my worth.” Taarabt will have plenty of motivation to do well at Milan with the club having an option to sign him on a permanent basis this summer. Galliani hopes Taarabt, who is Milan’s fourth reinforcement in the winter transfer market, can deliver. “I have always considered Taarabt a great player,” he said. “I still can’t understand how he has not been able to express his talent. “I have great hope that with our jersey he can become the player I believe he is. I hope he can become a great player with us.”

City Supporters’ Trust. Swansea began life after Laudrup on Wednesday as Garry Monk took charge of his first training session. Long-serving defender Monk, now installed as head coach, worked with first-team Coach, Alan Curtis, to put the Swansea players through their paces as preparations continued for Saturday’s south Wales derby clash against Cardiff. Swansea announced on Tuesday night the decision to part company with 49-yearold Laudrup, who had overseen a solitary win from the last 10 Barclays Premier League games. Swansea said Monk and Curtis have been put in charge “for the foreseeable future”. The Trust, which has more

Danny Graham

French League Cup final. The Sweden striker capitalised on an error by goalkeeper Remy Rio to open the scoring in the fifth minute with a shot on the half-volley. Nantes equalised with nine minutes to go when Olivier Veigneau turned in GeorgesKevin Nkoudou cross. But Ibrahimovic secured PSG’s passage when he headed home Lucas Moura’s cross in the final minute. PSG will play the winner of yesterday’s semi-final between seven-time French Ligue 1 champions Lyon and second division Troyes on 19 April. It also keeps alive PSG’s hopes of claiming a domestic double. They are five points clear of second-place Monaco in Ligue 1. “It was a real cup tie, the script is often like that,” said PSG coach Laurent Blanc. “In the second half Nantes applied more pressure, were more involved, created some chances and equalised - but in the last 10 minutes my team stepped up a gear. “We’re in the final, that’s what we were looking for and we’ve done it.”

Ibrahimovic goals take PSG near the title

Deulofeu nears Everton return VERTON Manager, Roberto E Martinez hopes to have his attacking options boosted by the return of on-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu. The teenager has been sidelined by a hamstring injury since December 14 but is now fully recovered, although his lack of match fitness will be

Swansea supporters back Laudrup’s exit ICHAEL Laudrup’s exit as M Swansea manager has been backed by the Swansea

LATAN Ibrahimovic scored Z twice as Paris St-Germain edged Nantes 2-1 to reach the

than a 20 per cent shareholding of the football club, supported the decision and called on fans to get behind Monk and the players “in the tough battles ahead”. Trust Chairman, Phil Sumbler said the Trust had been aware of “growing concerns” among the Swansea City board regarding Premier League performances. In a statement, the Trust said, “during its tenure at the club, the current board, including a representative of the Supporters’ Trust, has made key decisions which have taken the club forward, and ultimately we believe that this decision has been taken with the best interest of the club in mind.” And Sumbler added, “there has inevitably been a mixed reaction among fans to the announcement, with the club facing a critical period of key matches in three major competitions.

taken into account by Martinez ahead of Sunday’s trip to fellow Champions League-chasing rivals Tottenham. However, with leading scorer Romelu Lukaku out for at least the next month with an ankle problem having the 19-year-old Deulofeu back is a welcome boost for the Toffees Defender, Seamus Coleman, who was an unused subsitute for Saturday���s win over Aston Villa after returning from injury himself, looks

likely to start at White Hart Lane. “Everyone is massively needed. We are in a situation where a couple of players will come back from injury and that puts us in a better position than we were a couple of weeks ago,” Martinez told evertontv. “Gerard is such a positive young man and the fact he has been missed so much at Everton is a reflection of the type of person he is. “We have the game on Sunday so we will be able to

assess him as the week goes on but he is fully fit from a medical point of view. It is making sure he is match fit. “Seamus is fully fit from a medical point of view and although he was on the bench on Saturday it was too much of a risk to bring him on. January loan signing Lacina Traore is probably a week away from consideration after arriving from Monaco with a hamstring problem. “We will take our time with Lacina to make sure he is fully fit,” said Martinez.

Deuleheu

Birthday boy, Ronaldo, banned for three games EAL Madrid star, Cristiano R Ronaldo has been handed a three-match ban following his sending-off in Sunday’s Primera Division draw with Athletic Bilbao. The newly crowned FIFA Ballon d’Or winner was given a one-match suspension for the straight red card and handed a further two-match ban for a gesture he made as he left the field. Ronaldo is now set to miss the league matches against Villarreal, Getafe and Elche, although Madrid have 10 days to appeal against the decision. Ronaldo, who turned 29 yesterday, was dismissed in the 75th minute of the 1-1 draw at San Mames following an offthe-ball incident first involving Athletic captain Carlos Gurpegi and then home midfielder Ander Iturraspe. The former Manchester United man was pushed by Gurpegi after appealing for a handball in the area and responded by brushing his hand into the Athletic man’s face. Gurpegi tumbled to the turf and a melee between the teams ensued with Ronaldo and Iturraspe confronting each other.

Iturraspe ended up with a yellow card while Ronaldo was shown a straight red card - something his teammates believe was undeserved, with Xabi Alonso saying after the match, “it wasn’t aggression, the red to Cristiano Ronaldo is excessive.” Ronaldo then courted more controversy while leaving the

pitch as he was seen to slap his cheek several times, which is a mocking gesture in Spain to suggest someone has some nerve and was perceived as criticism of the officials’ decision. The Spanish football federation’s competitions committee on Wednesday announced that Ronaldo has been handed a combined

Ronaldo surprised after he was given a red card

three-match ban - one match for the incident involving Iturraspe and two more for the gesture - plus a 1200 euro fine. Ronaldo is the leading scorer in the Primera Division this season with 22 goals in 21 matches, while Madrid are third in the standings, three points behind leaders Atletico.


TheGuardian

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Don Dotun Ojon HE year 2013 was in every sense of it a tough T one for us at the individual level and even as a Nation. Avoidable deaths followed us into the year, - bad roads, crashes, fire outbreaks, dangerous political maneuvering and the likes. Today in Nigeria, unemployment has risen to a point of concern while our electricity has simply defied all known remedies. In essence, our wealth as a nation does not have any positive effect on our standard of living as a people. Our state got this bad under the rule of many who cared less about the wellbeing of the people. They are supported by those who want our good but never knew how to go about this (when nature honoured them with power). But, they both enjoy our permission as a people who only desire change but never really want it to happen. We are all just waiting for time to hasten things in our favour – that we may take our own share of the national cake. I belong to a class of people whose parents repeatedly called the leaders of the future. From Elementary school to College, Our hope of someday stepping into the leadership of the Nation was as bright in our hearts as the noonday. Nothing meant anything to us than the need to make a change by leading an exemplary lifestyle. But instead of causing a change; we got changed overnight by a force too powerful to explain. None of us could escape because we were actually sleeping and facing one direction when the evil struck. I have since then been on the lookout for solution. I climbed seven mountains and crossed nine rivers; I was with my sister who does witchcraft business in the village and have not ceased to complain to my brothers who pastor different churches in the city - they were all (surprisingly) affected too. As a result, none of them could help. Corruption, deceit, selfishness and lies are everywhere, including the supposed ‘house of God’. At every point of our celebration as a Nation, I have heard our leaders talk about reflection sober one they say. At Independence, Christmas, Democracy and any other celebration I have ever known; but I doubt if our reflection had amounted to anything meaningful to our dear land. For me, my reflection, participatory observations and logical analysis of events have made it clear that we do not understand what our problems are; we are only struggling to catch a monster we know nothing about. The reality of our challenge as a Nation is U.S. - I mean ourselves. Unfortunately, we are a people who never take responsibility. From the governors to the governed, we are known for always wanting to blame somebody for our woes. If not our stepmother, it must be the old woman in the other flat; if not the government, it must be the opposition. Or how else will you explain a situation where the Senate for example will say the Federal Government will be compelled to do something. Who is the Federal Government? Instead of the body to accept that the failure of one is the failure of all and put in place measures to prevent it, they will rather allow failure occur and pass the blame to the Executive. In the year 2013 like every other ones before it, we failed to take responsibility as individuals and as a nation. The man who committedly failed to do what was right blamed the government; the ruling party blamed the opposition for its troubles. As a result we lost the essence of our development and planted hatred in our hearts against one another. I always agree whenever people say the problem of the nation is that of Leadership. But it can only truly be if all of us agree that we are all occupying one position of leadership or the other. In this sense, when we identify leadership as our problem - we are indirectly accepting the obvious – that we are all guilty for the woes and responsible for the gains of our nation. The major problem we had in 2013 was our inability to do things right. Professor Femi Mimiko once referred to this as CC – Capacity Collapse. The governors have seemingly refused to prioritize the wellbeing of the governed and the governed are seeking all the available corner to cut in our selfish game of making ends meet. I should not sound as if the purpose of our polit-

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2013: Didn’t we also fail our leaders?

ical leadership is being fulfilled today. In fact, that our political leaders are guilty as charged is the mildest way to say the obvious. Yet, like leadership, followership is a concept that comes with responsibility. And if any is shirking in its responsibility then a failure has occurred; it does not at that point matter which of the two because they have almost the same effect on the polity. If leadership is bad, I consider it as a woe of today but if followership is bad, it becomes a woe of both now and the morrow. A governor stole N20 million from the N200 million contract he awarded - that’s fraud; the cleaner stole toilet soap from the office convenience – another fraud; the director of finance and administration will not process your paper until you ‘settle’ him – he is a thief ! Doctors leave patients to die daily in government hospitals while attending to people in their private clinics – that’s another one! Mr. Journalist slants his story in favour of the man who services him with the proverbial “brown envelope”, the bricklayers steal cement from the woman who struggles to build an apartment - barau! The bus conductor Also join our on-line conversation

always wants to hold back the balance of your money and you are made to shout before you get what rightly belongs to you. What else? From the top to the bottom, there is a total capacity collapse in the system. Yet, we point accusing fingers at a set of people because today we feel we are at the bottom, at the receiving end. No matter where we are today, I have learnt over the years that we occupy a leadership position. If not for anyone, for our children and other members of the family. Many parents today only give directive and never direction for their children to follow. As bitter as it may sound, if one does not lead well as a parent, doctor, cleaner or even as bus conductor; one cannot lead well as President. We must all see leadership as what has been given to us all and if we fail in little it becomes a problem to excel in much. On April 17, 2010, former President Ibrahim Babangida, while speaking on the Hausa service of the BBC, justified his presidential ambition with the ‘fact’ that he ‘has seen that they (the younger generation) are not capable of leading this country. How right he was after all! Have we

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really acted in a worthy way to show that we can be a super alternative if the leaders fail us? Can we point to any unique thing that differentiates us the youths from these people who bully us emotionally with the sound of siren? The very few youths who have opportunity cast aspersion on the several who have not had the opportunity. And instead of the victims to think of a way to make it better consequently, he wants to revenge.  The only thing we do right at this moment is to criticize. We criticize the man who built that narrow bridge to our community as if we would ever construct any, if we were given the contract. We criticize the man who bought a private jet as if we would not buy a dozen at once, if we had the means. Everything we do is based on selfishness. Last time in one of the South West states, a friend had invited me for a meeting aimed at unseating the governor in the election. I had thought maybe he doesn’t like his style of governance until a week later when l saw my friend openly canvassing votes for the same man he wanted out of office only a week earlier. Somebody simply said to me - ‘they have settled him’. Our agitations are worthless and are often based on what we would gain at the expense of what the society would get. The very way we are in this country simply confirms the popular saying that any society gets the kind of leadership it deserves; not what it thinks or desires or even wants. A good people deserve a great leadership and crooked ones deserve crooked leadership. That is not to say we are not a set of very great people in Nigeria, but corruption and selfishness have reduced us to what we are really not. A friend of mine once pointed at a young man whom l think would have caused bad leadership before he was employed as a civil servant but now things have changed, he rides an Infinity of high value and that friend told me the young man got the money on a crooked deal as the pay master of the ministry. In churches offerings get missing into the pockets of smart evangelists and in the shrine of Ayelala – the popular riverine goddess; the priest in 2009 was struck dead for failing to give an accurate account of 418 fowls, N64, 000 and 149,000 yards of white cloths given to her master. The goddess was believed to have been obviously angry at this high level of mismanagement that has perhaps not happened in 25 years that the woman has presided over the affairs of the shrine. There is the widespread complaint that teachers extort money from students; fuel stations hoard fuel; judges pervert truth and the nation is on the verge of collapse. Yet all these cannot be compared to the evil that awaits us if these attitudes persist. There’s no doubt that the fish starts stinking from the head. That is the truth as revealed by a Chinese proverb. Yet, many are not aware that the complexity of the head makes it so. And unlike the fish that grows from the head, leadership as a concept grows from the tail and any society that lacks an upright tail will never see an upright head. I cannot hide the fact that if leadership gives a right direction, the people will follow. After all, Nigerians who disobey laws in the country today abide by them abroad because of a system that is working. But for a system to work; it requires the input of both leadership and followership. If any fails under any guise then the future is bleak. If we as youths continue to seek corners to cut, look for men to dupe; if the old ones fail to repent from perpetration of fraud; then our nation will continue to be in trouble even if we have all the Adeboyes of this world. In 2013, our leaders didn’t pass the test of leadership neither did many of us excel in the test of patriotism. Funmi Iyanda called it the identification of what is not working well and making conscious effort to make it work. If the nation is not working well, now is the time to fix it but if we keep complaining and pursuing some selfish agenda - then, the year may not be as great as the prophets and the oracles have revealed. Ojon, a producer with TVC NEWS, Lagos Nigeria is the founder of Campaign for Patriotism. He can be reached on dojon@tvcontinental.tv 07030192692


TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,824

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Senate set to decide on defecting members From Bridget Chiedu Onochie and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HERE are strong indications that the Senate may finally decide on the fate of the 11 of its defecting members as soon as it reconvenes next week Tuesday. For two consecutive days, the upper chamber held closeddoor sessions over the matter. It adjourned sitting yesterday immediately after the twohour executive session till Tuesday next week to enable

T

• Adjourns session over APC’s registration • IGP, ministerial nominees to appear next week members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) go for party registration. It was disclosed that the issue of defection topped the agenda at the session. According to an APC senator who pleaded anonymity, Senate President David Mark is likely to read the letter of de-

fection next week Tuesday when lawmakers resume from their two-day adjournment. The source added that Mark was seeking political and legal solutions to the problem at hand, particularly as they relate to serious legal implications of the defection bid.

“The thrust of the executive session was that Mark tried to find political solution to this issue of defection. He talked about the single letter of defection but you know these our  colleagues, they want to show that they are big boys former governors and all that,” he said.

Addressing reporters shortly after adjournment, Senate Spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, confirmed that the issue of defection was considered but that Mark would require further legal advice before reading the letter of defection. This, he said, was due to serious legal issues surrounding the move. He added: “In the closed-door session, matters affecting the well-being of Nigerians were discussed. Also, interest of the country was put first and the

meeting was fruitful. “I can confirm to you that the issue of defection was also discussed during the closed-door session and it was resolved that the Senate  President in particular would have to seek further legal advice because of serious legal issues thrown up during the discussion based on the interpretation of the Constitution and the Senate Standing Rule. “So, more time was given for consultations. When it reCONTINUED ON PAGE 2

PDP will be remodelled after ANC, says Mu’azu - Page 2 APC begins registration, leaders urge participation - Page 6 Lagos unveils 200 homes monthly, lists eligibility criteria - Page 12 Oyo may create new council development areas - Page 7 National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu (left); Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and elder statesman Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, during a solidarity visit by the governor and members of Delta State PDP to the former Bauchi State governor in Abuja… yesterday.

Jonathan urges service chiefs to end terrorism From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged the newly-confirmed heads of armed forces to end terrorism in the country. But the President admitted that the task of eradicating insecurity was an enormous one that required inter-agency cooperation. He spoke while decorating the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alexander Sabundu Badeh,

P

• Decorates Badeh, Minimah, Jibrin, Amosu and the Chiefs of Army, Naval and Air Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Tobias Minimah, Vice Admiral Usman Oyibe Jibrin and Air Marshall Adesola Nunayon Amosu, at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja. The President, who reflected on the state of insecurity in the country, said the new service chiefs were coming at a most difficult moment in the

nation’s history. But he expressed confidence that with close collaboration with other sister security agencies, they would be able to end terrorism in the country. The President referred to  a quotation by the late social crusader and educationist, Dr. Tai Solarin: “I wish you what I wish myself every year. May you have rough time this year. So, I think I will wish you

what I wish myself every year and may we have rough time this period. Because none of us will sleep till the Nigerians in Borno State can sleep.” Jonathan assured the heads of the armed forces that he would be consulting them from time to time on how to check insecurity but reminded them that Nigerians were watching them and that they expected a lot from them, as

such they could not afford to fail in their new assignments. “We must not fail this country and I believe this team will work together to be assisted by other intelligence services because the war against terror must be won. I have worked with some of you in one way or another and I am convinced that we selected the right team to salvage this country at this time. You must not disappoint Nigerians.” Responding on behalf of oth-

ers, Badeh described their appointment as a reflection of the confidence that the President had in them, noting that they were not unmindful of the fact that their  appointments were a call to greater service and commitment to the defence of the territorial integrity of the country and its good people.  This is more so as it was the first time they were being CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

PDP will be remodelled after ANC, says Mu’azu From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja

HE national leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said yesterday that the party was being reorganised to attain the status of the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa. The National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Ahmad Adamu Mu’azu, who dropped the hint while stressing the virtues of grass-root politics and internal democracy to party leaders who paid him solidarity visits from Delta and Kogi states at the party secretariat in Abuja, ruled out the imposition of candidates during the forthcoming primary election of the PDP. Mu’azu said the PDP leadership would review the problems of the party with a view to finding a sustainable solution. “Our dream is to organise the party in such a way as to make it attain the status of the ANC in South Africa. We know our party has lost some ground, we must assess ourselves, we must mark ourselves, we must be true to

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ourselves, we must be sincere to ourselves nationwide and find out what is wrong. “Our constitution is right, our manifesto is right, we will improve on it. Where have we lost ground and why have we gained ground? “With absolute co-operation and collaboration with you, with prayers that you and others are doing for our party and me, I have no doubt we are going to regain our ground very soon,” he said. On the determination of PDP to eradicate the culture of candidates’ imposition, Mu’azu said: “PDP ticket belongs to God and to the people. If you want to be governor, there is nothing wrong. Even a dead man has ambition of going to heaven. So, an un-ambitious person is not worth living. So, aspire but be fair in your aspiration. “Since power belongs to God and since God gave power to the people on earth, you must go and see them. I hate to hear when somebody says to me ‘oh, am on ground’. Which ground? “Under my leadership by the grace of God and the National Working Committee, Insha Allah, by God’s grace, those of you who want to just sit down on my laps or on the lap of the President or governors hoping to secure party tickets will never be there. If a governor loves you, you should go and campaign, ensure that the party is strengthened, ensure that

the people know and love our party. Tell them who we are and tell them what the party has for them,” Mua’zu declared. The party chairman also appealed to those who left the party to return. He said: “I want to use this opportunity and medium today to appeal to those members of our party who have decided to leave for a journey to unknown destination, to a strange land where they will never be accepted as home, this is your home. Come back home, our doors are wider.” Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State who led his state delegation urged

Mua’zu to continue his peacemaking efforts and ensure that aggrieved members of the party were reached. He added that the PDP in Delta State was united because the people of the state had seen a reason to embrace it. He stressed that though the party had challenges in the past, the emergence of Mu’azu as its national chairman had made great impact on its rebuilding. He also said that Delta was solidly behind President Goodluck Jonathan and called on all Nigerians to continue to support him despite challenges.

He added that the Delta State government was making marks with its three-point agenda in all aspects of the economy. According to him, though the state is oil-producing, it is looking beyond this mineral resource as the means of sustaining its economy. This, according to him, was the reason the state government was diversifying to other areas such as agriculture. In his own remarks, Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State said Mu’azu’s efforts at reconciling aggrieved members of the party were already yielding results, adding that the development would help the party gain lost ground.

Senators urge caution, vigilance on Sanusi From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja FIFTH Republic senator and former Chairman of Committee on Senate Services, Emmanuel Anosike, has warned the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, against rubbishing the country’s economy before the international community. Anosike, who was reacting yesterday to Sanusi’s declaration that $20 billion was still missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) remittances to the CBN, said he was merely playing to the gallery. According to him, coming to the National Assembly regularly with conflicting figures is more indicting of the governor than both the Ministers of Finance and Petroleum. He noted: “A CBN governor should not be seen always

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talking in public. Rather, he should concentrate on the regulatory role of CBN.” Nevertheless, he urged the Senate not to be hasty in its investigations into the matter but to critically appraise both the NNPC and CBN books with a view to bringing the issue to a logical conclusion. Meanwhile, Senator Olubunmi Adunmi has urged Nigerians to be vigilant to ensure that the ongoing investigations are satisfactorily concluded. The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, said that time has come for Nigerians to be more interested in issues of public finance. He said the ongoing controversy vindicated his position on unremitted funds as he raised it on the floor of the Senate, which subsequently led to the controversy over uncovered missing funds.

However, Anosike insisted: “As the head of a major parastatal in the Ministry of Finance, his first communication should be to the supervising minister, who also doubles as the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy. “Coming every month to the National Assembly to give conflicting figures of unremitted oil proceeds by NNPC does not portray him as a man of integrity. He should open up a line of communication with his Finance Minister and stop being used.” He further admonished that Sanusi, instead of continuing in bringing his integrity to question before the international community, should join politics if he so wishes and stop overheating the already charged political environment.

President decorates Badeh, Minimah, Jibrin, Amosu and there so that more resources could be channelled to screened and confirmed by the prosecution of the war. The the National Assembly in line successful prosecution of any with constitutional provi- war or internal security chaland subsequent sions. He said that the Presi- lenges dent’s decision showed that restoration of peace and stabilhe was democratic. ity are crucial to any meaningAccording to him, the coun- ful development to take try is faced with a number of place. As Robert McNamara, a security challenges, the most one-time Secretary of Defence prominent of which are the of the United States of America activities of violent extremists once said, ‘In a modernising in the North-East and oil theft society, security means develin the Niger Delta. “These se- opment and without developcurity challenges are inimical ment there cannot be to any meaningful develop- security.’ Accordingly, I want ment. Accordingly, the Niger- to say that the security chalian military and other lenges in the North-East are security agencies are poised surmountable, but we must all sacrifices. more than ever before to re- make “Furthermore, I want to reasview and adopt more proactive measures to contain and sure the President and the peodefeat the enemies of our ple of Nigeria that the unity country so that Nigerians can and indivisibility of our coungo about their lawful activi- try is paramount on our ties in an atmosphere of minds.  The Armed Forces of peace and security.  Nigeria had fought once to “I want to remind us all that keep this country one, and we when a nation’s military is at are doing it again in the Northwar, it is the whole nation that East and are ready to keep reis at war.  Accordingly, we peating it.  Therefore, we must all make sacrifices here appeal to our compatriots to CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

continue to support the Nigerian military in our efforts to keep the country united and to ensure security, particularly in the North Eastern states where the state of emergency presently exists.” The defence chief stated that the emergency rule in the affected area was not intended to unduly inconvenience the people, saying it was a temporary measure that would be reviewed and lifted as soon as the circumstances that led to it were surmounted. “This is important particularly as  the 2015 general elections approach.  The Armed Forces are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that normalcy is speedily restored in the NorthEast so that Nigerians in the affected areas can resume their normal lifestyles and also, so that elections will hold in those areas in 2015.  Notwithstanding the current challenges, we remain resolute and with the help of our political masters, normalcy will be restored in the North-East soonest.”

IGP, ministerial nominees to appear next week CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 sumes on Tuesday, it would continue to look into the issue. “Under the Senate Standing Rule No. 25, only the Senate President has the power and authority to interpret anything and he has decided to seek further legal advice. “And I think it is good for the country. We are lawmakers, not lawbreakers. It was in an

attempt to seek a political solution to the problem of defection that we had the discussion at the closed-door session.  When we resume, we are also going to have further discussion. “Members had gone to court against principal officers over retention of their seats. Based on that, you cannot go to court and would not want to wait for the ruling of that

court. Anyway, we can still resolve matters amicably.” Meanwhile, the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, would be appearing before the Senate next Tuesday to account for the role of the police in the crises in Rivers State. The screening of President Goodluck Jonathan’s ministerial nominees has been slated for next Wednesday.

Buhari, army chief disagree over fight against insurgents From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief ORMER Head of State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has condemned alleged excesses of soldiers in their fight against insurgents. According to him, there is the allegation that the soldiers collect bribes at check-points and rape women during operations. But the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, said that the military and other security agencies needed support and not condemnation in their fight against insurgents. Buhari, who spoke during a Voice of America (VOA) Hausa programme monitored in Kaduna yesterday, said soldiers should return to the basics of military training by maintaining standards. “Now, there are accusations that they collect bribes at check-points, and that they rape women during operations as was the case in Borno. That was not known before. Now, if you kill one of their own, they round up and wipe out the community like what happened at Baga.” Buhari recalled that during the administration of the late Umaru Yar’Adua, he sent a plane that conveyed leaders of the Niger Delta militants to Abuja to talk and ensure peace in that region. “But everybody knows that the Boko Haram leader was arrested and killed. We all know that in times of crisis, the police should do their work and it is only when such a crisis escalates that the military comes in and they don’t round up the crisis community and kill everybody,” he said. However, Wahab who spoke at a stakeholders meeting on security, appealed to prominent individuals in the society to support the military in its quest to fight insurgency and not to be criticising them. According to him, everywhere in the world, if security agencies are discredited, the consequence is that the country will suffer and urged that they should be left out of politics as the army had enjoined its soldiers to remain apolitical. He said security was not strictly an army affair as other security agencies were equally important and sought support from the public to do their work of fighting terrorism. According to him, the army and other security agencies were not magicians and therefore, rely on useful information from members of the public in order to fight insurgency. He said their doors were open and that his commanders were always ready to receive information and react accordingly.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

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NEWS Thursday, Febuary 6, 2014

Tension in community as monarch bars women from wearing trousers, others From Chuks Collins, Awka ENSION is already brewT ing at Akwaihedi in Nnewi South Local Council of Anambra State over some alleged draconian laws unilaterally imposed by the traditional ruler of the town, Lt.-Col. Wisdom Onebunne (rtd). The new laws, allegedly made by the monarch in concert with the President-General of Akwaihedi, banned women from wearing trousers in the town or walking its streets without wearing head tie. Anyone caught contravening the rules is liable to a fine of N50,000, while failure to pay leads to indefinite banishment from the town. Meanwhile, serving members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who had gone to the community for their weekly Community Development (CD) programme, have become the first culprits, as they were allegedly assaulted and apprehended by some youths. The encounter nearly turned bloody but for the timely intervention of some other youths from the town. A corps member and one of the victims, Grace Uduak, said she was shocked when the traditional ruler allegedly pounced on her for wearing the NYSC trousers in the town. A source told newsmen that already, about 10 natives had been fined by the Igwe’s court for their mode of wor-

Court convicts mechanic, adjourns sentencing By Joseph Onyekwere FEDERAL High Court sitting in Lagos and presided by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke yesterday convicted an auto mechanic, Sulemon Ganiyu, 31, after he pleaded guilty to one-count charge of trafficking 200 grammes of hemp. He would be sentenced today. An officer with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr. Abubakar Bayero, told the court that he investigated the matter. Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Jeremiah Arenan, Bayero said the substance found on the accused was confirmed at the NDLEA laboratory as a drug. He further tendered in evidence the accused’s statement, certificate of test analysis, bulk evidence of the 200grammes of the hemp found on him and other materials. He urged the court to admit all the materials in evidence and to convict Ganiyu based on his plea and the evidence before it. However, Ganiyu pleaded for leniency, promising to desist from drug trafficking. He also told the court that though he was an auto mechanic, he needed money to pay for his accommodation. The accused was first arraigned on January 28, 2014, and was remanded in prison custody after he pleaded guilty.

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ship, which was not in line with the traditional ruler’s idea of worship. The source claimed that even policemen were not allowed to enter the community because the royal father said his traditional court would handle all domestic issues. When confronted, the monarch told newsmen that the matter has been resolved amicably but refused to give details as to whether the vexatious laws have been repealed or amended. Curiously, a member of Igwe’s cabinet has urged Governor Peter Obi to caution the Igwe and his presidentgeneral before the issue leads to bloodbath in Akwaihedi, noting that the town is secular.

President Goodluck Jonathan (third right); his deputy, Namadi Sambo (third left); Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adeshola Nunayom Amosu (left); Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tobiah Minimah; Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; and Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, during their decoration at the Presidential Villa, Abuja… yesterday.

Parties assemble Senior Advocates, as Anambra guber tribunal begins sitting From Chuks Collins, Awka O fewer than 16 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) are representing the different political parties at the ongoing Anambra State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which kicked off yesterday. Present at the sitting yesterday in Awka were the winner of the November 16, 2013 election, Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke.

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Also at the tribunal were the APGA representatives, Chief Patrick Ikwueto and Osita Nnadi, and Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu for governor-elect, Obiano, while Prof. F.C. Dike appeared for another APGA candidate, Chike Obidigbo. Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu appeared as lead counsel for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, while Emeka Ngige appeared for the APC. Adegboyega Awomolo and

Arthur Obi-Okafor were in for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chief A.O. Ajana for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), while Emmanuel Ukala, D.C De Nwigwe and Ikechukwu Ezechukwu represented the PDP candidate, Tony Nwoye. Meanwhile, there are four petitions before the threemember tribunal headed by Justice Ishaq Bello as the counsel, numbering over 100, spent a good time har-

monising their petitions yesterday. The petitions are Dr. Chike Obidigbo vs the governorelect, Willie Obiano and two others, Chris Ngige vs INEC, Obiano, APGA and ACD, PDP vs INEC and 25 others, as well as Tony Nwoye vs INEC and 25 others. No fewer than 726 witnesses have been lined up to testify at the tribunal, with APGA having about 500, while PDP and APC have 126 and 100 witnesses respectively.

Maku chides lawmakers over budget stalemate From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja OR stalling debate on the 2014 Budget in the House of Representatives, Information Minister, Labaran Maku, yesterday upbraided the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers, describing their action as a total disservice to Nigerians. The minister also came down heavily on the former chieftains of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who recently defected to the APC, describing them as “perpetual political migrants” whose interest is merely to contest elections as against building an enduring political system. If democracy is about service to the people, Maku said he was surprised at the attitude of the lawmakers “because everybody knows that once you are elected, you are no longer serving your party members. “What happens is that the party offers you a platform to stand for an election, but the real election is done by Nigerians, who may not even belong to a particular political party; who believe that you can serve them at that particular time, and not by party members.” He said he was shocked that this was happening in a period “we are making economic gains, when consistently for three years the world has said the Nigerian economy is

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Says defectors are ‘perpetual migrants’ the best managed in Africa; when policies that we lamented about in the past are now being transformed for opportunities for investments, when we moved from net importer to a net exporter of cement, when power is now an opportunity for investment because new policies have been unfolded.” He advised the lawmakers to separate narrow, negative partisan politics from the survival of the people. He admitted that every budget needed to be robustly debated by the National Assembly but not on the stand-point that their party asked them to stop passing the budget. Therefore, “Nigerians must hold them to account. They are not yet in power but are already threatening the lifewire of the country, so how can we then trust them with power? If tomorrow they come to power, what are we to expect? “This is very serious; no argument is acceptable for anybody to ask people to block a budget. So, these arguments pale into insignificance when you look at the real danger that kind of call places on the life-wire of Nigeria.” He added: “It doesn’t mean they should not stand election against the President or challenge our policies, chal-

lenging our policies is different from blocking the oxygen from flowing, because the budget is the oxygen for the economy. “So you are asking people to commit suicide because you have disagreement with the government? I think this is not the right thing to do and I am urging APC leaders to think again.” Though he expressed disappointment at some of his party members who defected to APC, he noted that their departure has created a lot of stability within the PDP. According to him, “when a number of these people were leaving PDP, I said the party would be healthier in the long run. “First of all, some of the people that have left PDP are the people that have caused all the headaches in the party, they have been the ones attacking their party, they are very quarrelsome, they have oversized egos, some of them cannot stay under the same roof with anybody for one week without the top blowing up. “If you look at their antecedents, you will see that they are migrants, they keep migrating from one place to another. So, the party needs to have members that believe in its ideology and settle down because they

believe in the party. “Meanwhile, all the parties they have gone to, none has a programme, none has any ideological focus. Even within this small period, since some of these elements left PDP, they have caused significant problem in the new party they ran to.” According to him, “there is already an explosion in APC in Kano because (Governor Rabiu) Kwankwaso went straight and took over a party he was not part of and insisted that he must be the leader, and sacked those who formed the party. “You go to Sokoto again, (Governor Aliyu) Wamakko went immediately and hijacked the party from those who formed APC in the place, who dissolved their own parties in order to form a political party that would compete with PDP. “Even from the point of view of justice, you were looking for democracy and you saw nothing wrong in going to another and hijacking the structure from them.” “So you can see they are not democrats, these are serious desperadoes who believe that unless they are in charge, nobody should be. In most of the places today, APC has two structures - the original founders and the structure of those who are god-joiners, struggling hard to displace those who formed the party.”

The parties are challenging INEC’s declaration of Obiano of APGA as winner of the November 16 Anambra governorship election. Tribunal Chairman, Justice Bello, hoped that with the number of learned silks at the tribunal, there would be a radical approach to the petitions. He said the tribunal would allow more processes to be filed at the next sitting, with the possibility of consolidating all motions to ensure expeditious proceedings.

Edo court remands killer policeman From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City ORPORAL Valentine OfuaC maka, 39, alleged to have shot and killed a truck driver, Osagie Aisagbonbuomwan last weekend, has been remanded in prison by an Ogbeson Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Benin. Ofuamaka and another police officer, now at large, allegedly committed the offence punishable under Section 324 and 316 of the Criminal Code following an argument between the two. The Chief Magistrate, Jonathan Ogbeide, declined jurisdiction on the matter due to the nature of the offence. The court then ordered the accused’s case file to be duplicated and forwarded to the Edo State Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice. Valentine’s plea was not taken and the case was adjourned to March 7, 2014 for mention.

Inspector-General of Police, Abubakar


Thursday, February 6, 2014 NEWS

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News Air Force in fresh move against terrorists

Govt appoints new scribe for fiscal commission

From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri

From Mathias Okwe, Abuja

HE 79 Composite Group of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has killed several Boko Haram terror suspects, along with the destruction of three training camps in the ongoing operation ZAMAN LAFIYA in Maiduguri metropolis and its environs. The destroyed training camps are, according to the military, located at Bulabulin, YujiwaAlagarno and Damboa axis of Borno State. The killings and destruction of training camps were contained in a statement of Group Public Relations Officer of NAF, SQ. Chris Erondu, and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri yesterday. Erondu in the statement also disclosed that the aerial bombardments of hideouts and training camps of terror suspects resulted into remarkable achievements of heavy casualties on the side of Boko Haram terrorists now retreating to neighbouring countries of Cameroun, Chad and Niger.

RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan has approved the appointment of Mr. Iliya

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‘Tenders board didn’t approve NIMASA contracts’ By Joseph Onyekwere N Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Aliyu. E. Aliyu, yesterday told a Federal High Court, Lagos that some contracts awarded at the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) were not approved by the Parastatals Tenders Board. He was testifying in the trial of former NIMASA Director-General, Raymond Omatseye, who was charged with an alleged contract scam. Aliyu, who works at the Bureau of Public Procurement, said a standard threshold is applicable to all parastatals, including NIMASA. He said the chief executive officer, who is also the parastatal’s chief accounting officer, is responsible for the threshold’s implementation. The threshold, he said, applies for goods and for works. A Director-General has a threshold of less than N2.5 million for goods and less than N5 million for works. Aliyu said there is a separate threshold for a Parastatals Tenders Board (PTB), which is N2.5 million and less than N15 million for goods, and N5 million and above, but less than N250 million for works.

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Kaduna refutes report of killings by gunmen From Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna HE Kaduna State government T has denied media reports of killings of natives by unknown gunmen in the southern part of the state, saying nobody lost his life in Kaduna this week apart from the unfortunate Manchok incident. Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs, Mr. Ben Bako, said in a statement yesterday that beyond the Manchok killings last Friday in which the government took measures to forestall future occurrences, the state has not witnessed any violence or killings.

Members of the Igbo Leaders of Thought, Admiral Ndubisi Kanu, rtd (left); Prof. Vincent Ike and Chairman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, at a meeting in Enugu… yesterday.

Wanapia as the new Secretary for the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). The approval, which takes effect from January 20th, 2014 was conveyed to Wanapia via a letter signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, according to a statement from the Commission by its Head of Public Relations, Mallam Ibrahim Mohammed. Born on April 23, 1960 in Akuwo village, Kurmi Local Council of Taraba State, Wanapia holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Bachelor of Science, Business Administration from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State.

Plateau court strikes out libel suit against The Guardian, Dungs From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos PLATEAU State High Court in Jos has dismissed as incompetent a case of libel and defamation brought before it by Governor David Jang and the attorney general against Col. David Dungs (rtd) and The Guardian. After carefully going through the arguments and submissions of the counsel and decided cases of superior courts of records, the judge, R.K.C. Adamu, held that the preliminary objection raised by the counsel to Dungs, Mr. Solomon Umoh (SAN), succeeded and he struck out the suit for lack of jurisdiction. “From all I have said above,

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the preliminary objection succeeds. The entire suit is incompetent before this court, rendering the court powerless to try same. Consequently, this suit is hereby struck out of this court’s list for lack of jurisdiction,” Justice Adamu declared. On March 18, 2013, the plaintiffs, by a writ of summons, filed the action, backed by a 40-paragraph statement of claims, against the defendants, seeking, among other demands, N10 billion as damages for alleged false and malicious publication contained in The Guardian of Monday October 8, 2012. On Saturday October 6, 2012, a senatorial

bye-election was held in Plateau North to fill the vacant seat occasioned by the killing of Senator Gyang Dantong. At the end of the election, Senator Gyang Pwajok was said to have won and was so declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer. He was declared to have beaten other contestants, including Col. Dungs who was said to have come second in the race. As usual, Dungs reacted to the outcome of the exercise, imputing rigging, and The Guardian published his reactions which did not go down well with the state

government, hence the suit and The Guardian was joined for publishing the alleged libelous story. On service of the writ on the defendants, the first defendant (Dungs) filed a notice of preliminary objection on the ground that the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs lacked the requisite locus standi to maintain the suit and that the third plaintiff had no cause of action. Responding, Mr. Charles Obishai (SAN) representing the plaintiffs also filed a written address in which he vehemently opposed the preliminary objection. Both counsel tried to outwit each other in legal history and de-

cided relevant cases. After arguments and counterarguments by the two senior lawyers, Justice Adamu said: “The 1st and 2nd plaintiffs are the Attorney-General of Plateau State and the Governor of Plateau State respectively, both of whom hold public offices in the executive arm of government. From the foregoing findings, they fall squarely within the meaning of the principle established in the case of Omega Bank Plc Vs Government of Ekiti State and others. That is, they lack the locus standi to bring an action against anyone in defamation and I humbly hold so.”

New genetic centre to reduce deaths from breast cancer, sickle cell By Chukwuma Muanya NEW genetic centre, which will be officially commissioned today at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), promises to reduce the more than 100,000 lives lost yearly in the country to sickle cell anaemia and much more to breast cancer. The centre, which is a collaborative effort between Chevron/Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Joint Venture and LUTH, with technical support from Department of Molecular Genetics, Antwerp University, Belgium, also promises to stop brain drain and foreign exchange the country loses in sending samples abroad, especially to United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa, for paternity test and identifying plane crash victims. Associate professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Antwerp and Chief Consultant to the LUTH/Chevron-NNPC Joint Venture Genetic Testing Cen-

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• Determine parentage • Identify plane crash victims tre, Dr. Joy Irobi-Devolder, told journalists yesterday at a seminar in LUTH on Unlocking DNA Biotechnology in Nigeria: “There are indeed several applications. It thinks this is really a wonderful opportunity because we are now in the era of human genomic sequencing and there are so many genetic diseases. “Let us take for instance a simple one, the sickle cell disease, when we know as for now 100,000 infants are dying in Nigeria every year largely because of misdiagnosis. The old technique of using haemoglobin blood count is actually not properly diagnosing the disease very well and this is why it has become important that this centre is now going to develop a genetic assay that is going to correctly diagnose every sickle cell patient. “Why it is really important is that all those people that are carrier can now actually come to the centre where

they can do prenatal or even newborn screening so that immediately they know if their child is sickle cell carrier or a real sickle cell disease and then they can start from early onset to treat the patient and not wait till when the disease is already expanded and then it becomes a rescue, and this is how you lose a lot of them. This centre is actually giving a new diagnostic estimate in the form of genetic analysis that is going to help reduce the high mortality rate of sickle cell disease in Nigeria. That is number one. “Number two is that we now see a lot of Nigerian women that are dying of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Why is this? It is because some of them do not have the opportunity or have enough finance to go abroad for genetic testing. Now, we have it in-house, in-country so that when there is a patient that knows that there is someone in the family, an auntie or the mother, who

has breast cancer, you can come to the centre and ask for genetic test because this actually increases the chance of personalized medicine.” According to the expert, it has been shown that specific mutations in BRCA gene (breast cancer gene) actually determines the type of treatment that you will be given. “So it is not just the diagnosis, this is also therapy. So, it becomes very important that it is within the country, which means it is affordable for everyone, for every Nigerian.” Irobi-Devolder said the centre will also be able to solve all disputes on paternity and maternity of an offspring. She explained: “Paternity testing is a very common assay and what it now shows is that most of the hospitals within Nigeria send the sample outside either to United Kingdom or South Africa. It is no longer required because now this centre has the capacity to do in-house parenting testing by looking at more than 26 genetic markers. What is im-

portant now is that they start sampling; they start collecting the samples.” According to the professor, “another important issue of this centre is that it is not just sending the blood sample, I am going to help them to start training all the other scientists within several of all these big hospitals so that they are able to have their own DNA Data Banking. This will make it easy to just send DNA sample to the centre for screening. So it is not all about doing paternity test, which is now in-house, you don’t have to pay so much money for taking it outside, it can be done within the country. But also, they will get sort of training on how they can isolate DNA from each sample, from blood sample, and start having your own individual hospital-based DNA storage data bank. I think it is a novel technology because paternity is something that is so common and we can now do it so comfortably in-house at this new genome centre in LUTH.”


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6 | NEWS Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kaduna police read Riot Act to political parties

Court rules Feb 17 in Suntai’s aide’s case with police

From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief S part of its preparation to ensure that there is sanity in the conduct of the 2015 general elections, the Police have vowed to enforce the necessary provisions of the law if they resorted to the use of thugs to disrupt the peace. Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Zone 7, comprising Kaduna, Niger States and FCT, Alhaji Suleiman Abba, read the Riot Act yesterday at a meeting with the chairmen and secretaries of the various political parties in Kaduna State. According to the AIG: “I am here to discuss mainly on the issue that is ahead of us, which is the election. These issues have to do with political rallies, processions, conventions, meetings, screening of candidates and campaign issues. “I hereby request for understanding and cooperation of each and every political member on what is ahead of us. It is important to have an enabling environment to allow us regulate and maintain law and order in the country.

From-Charles Akpeji, Jalingo

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TARABA State court, A presided over by Justice D.U. Okorowo, has fixed Feb-

National Chairman, Registration Committee, All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Garba Abari (left); National Leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Acting Chairman of the party in Lagos State, Henry Ajomale and a party chieftain, Kemi Nelson, at the registration of APC membership in Ward PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI F, Ikeja, Lagos…yesterday

ruary 17 for judgment in the legal tussle between the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State on Media and Publicity, Sylvanus Y. Giwa and the state Police Commissioner, Jubril O. Adeniji. Justice Okorowo, yesterday after listening to the final submission of counsel to both parties, commended the manner they conducted themselves throughout the period of the litigation. The Guardian recalls that last year, the aide to the governor with four other persons, sued the commissioner to the court for infringing on their fundamental human rights. The five persons, whose names are Sylvanus Y.Giwa, Elhamid Ali Ibrahim, Philip R. Kamishi, Elkabir Eldio and Anderi Imbred, were said to have been unlawfully arrested and detained in the Command’s headquarters by the commissioner.

APC begins registration, leaders urge participation From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Muyiwa Adeyemi (Ado-Ekiti), Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin), Njavara Musa (Maiduguri), Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin City), Kamal Tayo Oropo, Seye Olumide (Lagos), Charles CoffieGyamfi (Abeokuta), Uzoma Nzeagwu (Awka), Ali Garba (Gombe), Eric Meya (Sokoto) and Willie Etim (Yenagoa) HE registration of memT bers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) kicked off nationwide yesterday with the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba and state governors Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara registering at their various wards. Tinubu, who registered at Ward F, Sunday Adigun Close, Alausa Ikeja, assured that the party would bring salvation to the people of Nigeria, adding that the registration clearly shows the difference between the APC and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “APC is a party for the people, the membership drive is open to all Nigerians.” Fashola and his wife, Abimbola, arrived the registration centre at State Junior Grammar School, Itolo, Surulere at about 10:37am and commenced registration at 10:40

• Baraje tasks INEC on free, fair elections • Group alleges plan to disrupt registration in Kaduna, exercise begins in Edo • Borno chapter targets 500,000 members, Anambra hails Atiku’s defection am. The exercise lasted for about 15 minutes. Speaking after his registration, the governor urged Nigerians to join him to register as members of the APC. “Nobody who wants to join the party would be left out, however, there is no compulsion. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun flagged off the exercise at Ajura Ward A in Obafemi/Owode Local Council Area where he registered at 11: 02 am. The party’s national leader, Chief Segun Osoba, also registered at his Ago-Oba, Abeokuta Ward 13. Both Amosun and Chief Olusegun Osoba, in separate interviews, maintained, “There is no formidable party that can defeat the APC in any election”. Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, after he was registered alongside his wife, Omolewa, by the Chairman, APC Registration Committee, Dr. Hassan Lawal, in Share Ward One, Share, Headquarters of Ifelodun Local Government Area, assured new APC members of equity, fairness and justice. Former Acting National Chairman of the Peoples

Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Kawu Baraje, at his Babaoko Ward, Ilorin, demanded for free, fair and credible elections from the Professor Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2015 polls. Edo State Deputy Governor, Pius Odubu, at his hometown, Urhomehe, Oriomwhon Local Council Area in Edo-South Senatorial District lauded the strategy adopted by the party, which he said, would ensure that only genuine persons were registered. Lagos State chapter, through the Interim Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, said the fresh registration of members offers Nigerians equal opportunity to become stakeholders in the party. Igbokwe urged all residents to make good use of the golden opportunity to become members of APC, as that will come with the added advantage of midwifing the change Nigerians are poised to make in 2015.” In Kaduna State, some concerned members of the APC, under the auspices of the Network for Change, yesterday alleged that some people were

trying to disrupt the registration process of members. Besides, former Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the party in the state, Dr. Hakeem BabaAhmed, who tendered his resignation letter last Monday, alleged that some legislators belonging to the party were bent on hijacking the APC. Leaders of the Network for Change, led by a former National Women Leader of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, alleged that the lawmakers stormed the venue of a stakeholders’ meeting with the Chairman of the Registration Committee sent from Abuja, with their supporters and allegedly disrupted the meeting when they could not have their way, leading to the suspension of the exercise in the state. Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s defection to the APC has been described as a welcome development and an indication that the APC is a fast growing and acceptable party. The Interim Secretary of APC, Anambra chapter, Chukwuma Agufugo, said yester-

day in Awka, “We welcome him. His coming over is an indication that APC is growing to take over the reigns of power. His joining the party along with his supporters will broaden the horizon of APC and take the party to the next level”. Chairman of the exercise in Gombe State and former Deputy Governor of Yobe State, Senator Goni Modu Zanna, says the party promises Nigerians good governance going by the smooth and orderly conduct of the nationwide registration exercise, which commenced yesterday. In Ekiti, the Interim Chairman of the party, Jide Awe, said in his Erijiyan Ekiti country-home that the on-going registration exercise would assist the party to further consolidate the merger of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) that was initiated in 2013. Awe added that the party was targeting no fewer than 100,000 members. Borno APC Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Auwal Hamza, addressing newsmen at State’s Hotels, Maiduguri, assured that the party has completed arrangements for the registration exercise in 3,974 centres across

the state, adding that the party was targeting over 500,000 new members. Supporters of former Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva, yesterday turned out in large numbers to welcome the opening of the party secretariat and the kick-off of the party registration exercise in the state. Prominent among the Sylva’s foot soldiers were his close aides including the former Chief of Staff, Sam Ogbuku; erstwhile political office holders and former local government council chairmen of Sagbama and Ekeremor and former party chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and militant youths loyal to General Africa Ukparisia. Also present were national officers of the APC including the national officers in charge of the membership registration exercise, Okoi Obono and Mr. A. J. Erekosima. In Sokoto State, Interim Chairman of APC, Inuwa Abdulkadir, pledged that every effort would be made to ensure that the five-day exercise was the most transparent and democratic in the nation’s history. Abdulkadir said that INEC had been appropriately informed, “so that nobody will accuse us of noncompliance with the provision of the constitution and electoral law”.

Advocacy group tasks EFCC on fresh probe of oil subsidy report By Roseline Okere N advocacy group, under the aegis of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to undertake further investigations of subsidy payments allegedly obtained under pretence by petroleum marketers as contained in the 2012 report of technical committee on payment of fuel subsidies. The petition, made available to The Guardian, was jointly signed by Mr. Femi Falana, counsel to the oil probe fol-

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low-up group, Falana & Falana Chambers; Olanrewaju Suraj of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA); Tokunbo Mumuni of the Social Economic Right Accountability Project (SERAP); Motunrayo Alaka of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and seven other members of the group. The group acknowledged the fact that selected actions on some findings and recommendations of the report have been undertaken, but however, noted that the content of the report suggests that a

number of issues bordering on official corruption were yet to be addressed. WSCIJ, therefore, urged the EFCC to investigate all companies mentioned in the report that breached the rules governing fuel subsidy administration. The advocacy group also urged the EFCC to proceed to prosecute all companies and their relevant directors and officers who its investigations found to have committed such violations. It urged the EFCC to recover not less than the total amount

of N422.6 billion in subsidy payments obtained under pretence by petroleum marketers that the report details. The group also stressed the need for the EFCC to recover the excess payment in the sum of N17,037 billion based on the inclusion of the $10 ‘trader’s margin’. The petition added: “We request that you step towards recovering excess payment of N14.021 billion as bank spread from defaulting marketing and trading companies; • “That you investigate the circumstances under which inel-

igible oil marketing and trading companies were allowed to participate in the subsidy process; • “That you prosecute the relevant Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) officials responsible for the lapses in the subsidy administration process; and • “That you investigate the reported N331.6 billion worth of kerosene subsidy payments made between June and December 2011 and take steps to prosecute offenders in all cases where your investiga-

tions uncover criminality.” The group, therefore, renewed its commitment to offer support based on competencies represented in WSCIJ to help the EFCC better achieve the task at hand. The WSCIJ, in collaboration with its partners, jointly called ‘The oil probe follow-up group’, commenced an advocacy effort to support the media and civil society to continue to demand the needed probity in the oil and gas sector as one way of promoting good governance in the country.


Thursday, February 6, 2014 NEWS 7

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Obasanjo, others for AANN summit

College suspends 26 students over cultism, others in Osun

ORMER President, OluseFthegun Obasanjo, Speaker of House of Representatives,

From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo O check indiscipline T among pupils in Osun State, 26 students of Baptist High School, Gbodofon, Osogbo have been suspended indefinitely for alleged immoral conduct, cult activities and disruption of academic programme in the institution. The suspension of the affected students came after an investigation conducted by the school authority on involvement of students in cult activities. In a related development, the Osun State Government has described as untrue claims by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Senator Iyiola Omisore, that the current administration in the state has built only 11 new schools while embarking on the demolition of the ones inherited from its predecessors. Meanwhile, Governor Aregbesola has urged Nigerians to patronize locally made products, saying doing so would boost the economy and create job opportunities. Though, teachers in the school declined comment on the matter, The Guardian, however, gathered that both male and female students were sanctioned by the school management. The students were alleged to have been involved in various atrocities including locking up teachers within the school premises for hours. The state Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) who is also the State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Saka Adesiyan, while commenting on the issue noted that the suspension order was timely and would serve as deterrent to other students. Adesiyan, while condemning the act by the students wondered what was currently happening in the school system. He said the ugly development had created bad impression in the education sector, pointing out that all stakeholders must rise to the challenge. Also, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Najeem Salaam, has condemned what he called absurdity displayed at Baptist High School, Iwo for the series of crises and disruption of academic activities in the institution. Salaam alleged that the students were instigated for using different religious dressing codes to cause chaos in the school. A statement by his press secretary, Goke Butikakuro, said that the action of the pupils was absurd. Omisore, at a press briefing on Sunday in Osogbo, the state capital had faulted the education reform policy by Governor Rauf Aregbesola, saying the All Progressives Congress (APC) government had delivered just 11 schools after demolishing scores of school buildings that would have been useful to pupils. But reacting on the matter yesterday, the Chairman, Osun Schools Infrastructural Development Committee otherwise known as “O’ School, Lai Oyeduntan, said Omisore was economical with the truth over his claims, insisting that the state government had constructed and delivered several new school buildings to provide conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning.

Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (third right); Owa-Ale of Ikare-Akoko, Oba Samuel Adedoyin (right); Commissioner for Works, Gboye Adegbenro (second right); Caretaker Chairman, Akoko North-East Local Council, Olalekan Bada (fourth right); Olukare of Ikare-Akoko, Oba Akadiri Momoh (fourth left); Olubaka of Oka-Akoko, Oba Adebori Adeleye (third left), and others during the commissioning of the 22.5km UgbeIboropa-Ise road and the Afira bridge in Akoko North-East Local Council Area of the state… yesterday.

Oyo may create new council development areas From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan O bring governance closer T to the people, the Oyo State government is planning to create local council development areas, in addition to the 33 local councils in the state. Already, The Guardian learnt that some elders from the various geo-political zones have been mounting pressure on the governor to consider the creation of additional councils so as to accelerate development in the state. According to a top govern-

ment source, the state government had, about a year ago, commenced the process of creating the councils but had to abandon it due to political pressures. “By the time the idea of creating the development councils was abandoned, it had reached an advanced stage as the council areas had been identified and the council headquarters earmarked.” However, said the source, pressures on Governor Ajimobi to reconsider the creation of the councils have been coming from political

leaders whom the governor has high regards for. The political leaders, whom the source said recently met the governor at the Government House, had pleaded with him that the creation of the development areas would accelerate development in all the councils, as well as bring progress to the grassroots. The leaders, drawn from Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Oyo, OkeOgun and Ibarapa zones, were said to have convinced the governor on the reason to go back to the idea of creating new councils.

Groups partner to advance innovation in healthcare delivery PUBLIC-PRIVATE initiative A aimed at leveraging private sector capabilities to improve Nigeria’s health outcomes, Private Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), is partnering others to launch the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM), which aims to identify and develop innovative products, approaches, processes and technologies to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6. The initiative, which will be launched tomorrow at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, with the theme, “Creating the Nigerian Health Innovation Market Place to advance Nigeria’s progress in meeting MDGs 4, 5 and 6,” is being positioned to discover innovators, who would utilise existing technological advances to reposition healthcare delivery as is the case with certain African countries. Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of PHN, Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, said that a number of African countries like Ethiopia and Malawi have recently developed appropriate local health technologies and innovations to accelerate progress in health-related MDGs. According to him, “NHIM fo-

cuses on four inter-related core objectives: Identify promising innovations, provide market linkages and incubation support to enable health innovation achieve scale, make targeted investments in selected innovations that make it through the incubator, and build a sustainable convergence platform around health innovation. “The low application of innovation and technology in healthcare delivery is believed to be the biggest missed opportunity in transforming healthcare delivery in Nigeria. “Health innovations that exist in Nigeria tend to not attain scale or create sustainable impact due to poor support system for health innovators (lack of access to capital, business and financial management), little visibility by investors on compelling viable health innovations as well as investors and health innovators lacking the convergence platforms that create market and technical linkages.” He noted: “In order to leapfrog existing constraints and spur health innovations through a sustainable convergence platform, the Private Sector Health Alliance is leading a coalition of partners to launch the NHIM, which will

comprise three core elements - a virtual health innovation portal, health innovation hub/incubator and health innovation challenges/online hackathons.” Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, Aliko Dangote, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Jim Ovia, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Muntaqa Umar-sadiq and the Executive Director, International Partnership for Innovative Health Delivery (IPIHD), Krishna Udayakumar, will unveil different segments of the Health Innovation Marketplace during the launch. Highpoint of the launch is the unveiling of the NHIM challenge - a three-step annual challenge that seeks to spur innovation in health and encourage the application of existing technological advances to healthcare delivery. Applications to identify health innovation challenge winners will open from February 17 to March 21. PHN has developed problem statements in collaboration with NPHCDA, Saving One Million Lives Initiative, the Ministry of Communication Technology and NAFDAC. The thematic focus will be revised annually and be guided by priority public health needs.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, said the governor’s response to the leaders was positive as he urged them to sensitize their various communities on the exercise and report back on the people’s disposition to the idea of creation the local council development areas. When contacted, the Special Adviser on Media to the governor, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said he was aware that some elders in the state were conferring with the governor over the matter but was not specific on whether the development councils

Mallam Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, Central Bank Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi and Mr. Fola Adeola, are among eminent Nigerians expected at the inaugural edition of the Public Policy Lecture Series organised by the Lagos Chapter of the Alumni Association of the National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies (AANN), Kuru. The event, which is scheduled for March 11, 2014 at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, has the theme “Building Credible Electoral Process for Democratic Sustainability.” It will feature renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay as lead speaker while Chief Obasanjo will chair the event.

Girls’ college marks 51 LD students of St. Martin O De Porres Girls’ College, Onicha Olona, Delta State will today hold thanksgiving services throughout the federation as they mark their alma mater’s 51st anniversary. In a statement by the President of the Lagos chapter of the Old Girls Association, Mrs. Christy Omogbai and Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Dorothy Gbemudu, the association said it rejoices with the management, members of staff and students of the college on the occasion. It added that though the golden jubilee ceremony was postponed last year, activities earmarked for it would be observed before the end of this year.


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8 | NEWS Thursday, February 6, 2014

Journalist demands N5m compensation for assault From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan OR assaulting him while on Fwithofficial duty, a journalist Leadership, Waheed Adebayo, is demanding N5m from officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Adebayo, at the recent inauguration of the new Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, was allegedly assaulted by officials of NSCDC. Angered by the development, the journalist, through his counsel, Adebayo Shittu, wrote a letter to the Commandant of the Oyo State Command of the corps, demanding N5 million compensation for “harassment, assault and public humiliation.” The commandant was informed that should he fail to comply with the demands within 10 days of the letter, they would be left with no option than to institute an action against the Command in a court of law.

Taraba acting gov gives conditions for handing over to Suntai By Ehichioya Ezomon (Group Political Editor) and Charles Akpeji (Jalingo) ONTRARY to reports on C the lingering political crisis in Taraba State, the Acting Governor, Garba Umar, has said he is ready to hand over to Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai. However, relinquishing the position he assumed last year when the governor was involved in a plane crash would entail Governor Suntai fulfilling two conditions. One is that the recuperating governor should invite him (Umar) to render accounts of his stewardship since holding fort, and telling him (Umar) that he’s ready to assume duties. Two, the Taraba State House of Assembly, which passed a resolution, mandating Umar to assume the position of Acting Governor, must vacate that resolution.

A third arm, perhaps, is the disposal of the litigation in court in which Governor Suntai is challenging the power of the state Assembly to mandate Umar to act as acting governor even when he (Suntai) had transmitted a letter to the Assembly, informing it that he had returned from his medical trip and was ready to resume duties. The Assembly, which said it doubted the authenticity of the letter - that it was not Governor Suntai that wrote it personally - and had to set up a committee to investigate it, had adjourned sitting till March without publishing its findings on the matter. The acting governor, while fielding The Guardian’s questions through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kefas Sule, in Jalingo, denied that he was plotting to be made the substantive governor by prevent-

ing Governor Suntai from returning to power. This he could achieve, as the allegation goes, by either engineering impeachment of the governor or by subjecting him to house arrest. Indeed, a group of former commissioners and aides to Governor Suntai had written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, detailing, among others, how the acting governor allegedly held a security meeting in which plans to put the governor under house arrest were perfected. But Umar said there were no such plots, pledging to hand over power to incumbent Governor Suntai whenever he invited him to do so. According to Kefas, who went biblical, quoting the acting governor: “What Umar is waiting for is a day his boss will call him and say, ‘render to me an account of what you have

done while I was away.’ “Yes, if the governor says today, ‘My deputy, please, come; while I was away, you have administered the state on my behalf; now what have you been able to do?  “Please, let’s look at the accounts, let’s look at the records, the things you have done. Now, based on what I have seen, oh, congratulations or well done; oh, I am not satisfied with what you have done. “You know, he (governor) can tell him (deputy) his mind and say, ‘Okay, please, I am now ready to do my work,’ and the acting governor, will have no choice than to hand over power to him. That is number one.” Kefas also said that Governor Suntai had to get the consent of the state House of Assembly to return to power, stressing that it was the Assembly that gave Umar the mandate to act

in the capacity of acting governor.  He said: “Now, he (Umar) is still acting until such a time that the state House of Assembly will again say that, ‘Your Principal (Suntai) has come back and he’s strong enough to do his job or carry on with the duty of his office; please, hand over office back to him. “And he will go right away to do that.” Interestingly, both Governor Suntai and Umar’s camps debunked reports of “crisis” in the Taraba seat of government, painting a rosy relationship between governor and his deputy. As Mr. Hassan Mijinyawa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Suntai (whose responses to questions by The Guardian are credited to the governor) put it, “when you talk about crisis, what kind of crisis?”

Shitta-Bey dumps own party, joins APC By Joe Adiorho ARELY 72 hours after former B Vice President Atiku Abubakar defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), an erstwhile member of the House of Representatives and the founder and National Chairman of the Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP) Chief Rasheed Adewale ShittaBey, yesterday in Lagos declared for the APC. He declared that having followed the current political development in the country and other ancillary activities, “it has become imperative to move on to other grounds and levels in order to be relevant in the events that shape your country and the environment that you live in”. On Tuesday, at the second convention of the party, Shitta-Bey resigned his position as the national chairman, informing the delegates that he was on his way to register with the APC. “I am at this convention, February 4, 2014, resigning my position as the national chairman of the party,” he said.

Ondo LP group alleges neglect by party, govt From Niyi Bello, Akure WO months after the death of a member of House of Representatives that represented Ilaje/EseOdo Federal Constituency in Ondo State, Raphael Nomiye, his political associates and followers have cried out over alleged neglect by the ruling Labour Party (LP) in the state and the government. Nomiye, who was a chieftain of LP and close ally of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, slumped and died in his official residence in Abuja late last year. The late legislator’s followers, comprising some members of Nomiye’s family and notable politicians from the coastal area of the state, who converged on his house at Okitipupa under the aegis of Groovy Political Forum (GPF), said they met to work out modalities on how to redress the situation and sustain the legacies left behind by the deceased lawmaker.

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Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke (second left); Linus Okom (left); the state Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Ntufam John Okon (right) and former deputy governor of the state, Dr. Mathias Offobeche, when Northern Leaders’ Forum visited Imoke at the Government House, Calabar

Hurdles to better healthcare, by stakeholders NADEQUATE budget allocaIonetion has been identified as of the major setbacks hindering the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage since the Federal Government introduced health insurance as an alternate and supplementary source of funding healthcare in the country almost a decade ago. Speaking in Abuja at a stakeholder meeting with the newly-appointed Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Olufemi Thomas, Chairman of the Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN), Dr. Kola Owoka, expressed concern over the inability of NHIS to cover up to five per cent of the target population since its inception, which has created an increasing need for introspection and paradigm shift. According to the Chairman of HMCAN, “the goals of universal coverage are to cover at least 90 per cent of the population by prepayment and risk pooling schemes and to put in place social assistance and social safety nets (subsidy) for

those who cannot contribute. Therefore, there must be innovative financing to increase resources for healthcare including a percentage expected from the Federation Accounts as prescribed in the National Health Bill to boost the resources available for healthcare financing in the country”.

Owoka further stressed the “need for urgent enactment of the new NHIS Act currently before the National Assembly as the appropriate legislation that will make it compulsory to get all public and private sectors to subscribe to health insurance schemes by changing “may” to “shall” in the

NHIS Act, CAP 35 of May 1999, to make it mandatory”. The HMCAN is the umbrella body of Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) in Nigeria, comprising professionals and experts in the field of health insurance. As key players in the sub-sector, Owoka was of the opinion that “many

of us have experiences of lessons-learned and best practice highlights from different countries, and therefore, capable of taking the business of health insurance to greater heights in the country. Since health insurance is the only thing we do, we have a lot of practical and theoretical ideas to share”.

Court adjourns arraignment of Lagos ex-dep gov till today By Joseph Onyekwere and Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo FEDERAL High Court in Lagos yesterday adjourned the arraignment of the former deputy governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, till today at the instance of the prosecution. In a related development, a businessman and lawyer, Fred Ajudua, was yesterday re-arraigned before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N200 million ($1.69m) fraud. When the matter came up before Justice Mohammed

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• Ajudua re-arraigned Yunusa, the prosecuting counsel, Abdullahi Dania, informed the court that the accused (Ojikutu) could not be produced in court due to some logistics challenges and, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the arraignment till today. The defence counsel, led by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and Adekunle Oyesanya (SAN), did not oppose the application for adjournment. As a result, the trial judge slated the arraignment for today. Ojikutu is slammed with a three-count charge by the po-

lice together with her son, Sampson, who is now at large, for conspiring among themselves to commit felony by obtaining the sum of N130 million from one Cajetan Okekearu. The police said she committed the offence by pretending to have a plot of land at Lekki Phase 1, to sell to Okekearu. The offence, the police said, is punishable under Section 8 (a) of the Advance-Fee-Fraud and other related offences Act, Cap. A6, Laws of the Federation, 2004. They were also accused of indeed obtaining the said sum from Okekearu, as well as stealing the money from the com-

plainant. Part of the charge reads: “That you, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu (F), and Sampson Ojikutu, now at large, on or about September 2011, at Lekki Phase 1, Victoria Island, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did obtain the sum of N130m, property of Cajetan Okekearu, under the pretence that you have a plot of land at Lekki Phase 1 to sell to the said Cajetan Okekearu, thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(1) (a), (3) of the Advance-Fee-Fraud and other fraud related Offences Act, Cap. A6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, among others.


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 | 9

PHOTONEWS

Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde (right) and the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle when the envoy visited the Commission’s office in Abuja.

Managing Consultant, DACA Consults Limited, Mr. Adebayo Ayoade (right); Guest Speaker, Olasunkade Azeez; Business Development Manager, DACA Consults Limited, Miss Ibrahim, Rasidat; Associate Consultant of the company, J. H. M. Tettehfio and Training Coordinator, Adeniyi Adegoke, during an annual open day learning programme organised by DACA Consults Limited with the theme “Talent Management through Coaching and Mentoring” in Lagos.

Chief of Staff to Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola (left); Managing Director, Osun State Investment Company, Bola Oyebamiji; Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti; Olufon of Ifon land, Oba Maruf Magbagbeola and the state Deputy Governor, Grace Laoye-Tomori, during the inauguration and presentation of NIS 306:2008 Certificate to OSICOL Waters by Standards Organisation of Nigeria in Osogbo, Osun State.

Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial district, Adegbenga Kaka (left); his wife, Oladunni and the Sopen lukale of Ijebu-Igbo, Oba Mufutau Yusuf, at the commissioning of Molusi College staff-room blocks and mosque by the senator in Ogun State.

Babaloja Agbeni Ibadan, Alhaji Adisa Ladapo (left); Trade Marketing Manager, Nutricima, Ojomo OkotieDimai and major distributors, Sadiat Adewale and Macaulay Ohikhuare, at the unveiling of Customer Reward Mega Cash Promo of Nutricima Food with trade partners in Ibadan.

Director, Mark Brooks Education, Mark Brooks (left); Director, Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Mrs. Olufunke Amba; Vice-Consul, U.S Consulate, Gene Novikov (fifth left) and Managing Director, Proven Ability Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Biyi Tunji Olugbode (right), during the annual counseling and career fair organised by the school in Lagos.

Founder/General Overseer of Powerline Bible Church, Bishop Lawrence Osagie (left) and Nollywood actor, Pastor Zack Orji, at the press briefing to mark the church’s 25th anniversary in Lagos.

Special Guest of Honour, Femi Olubanwo (left); Chairman, 20th Annual Inter-house Sports Competition, Austin Ufomba; PTA Chairman, Mrs. Maureen Awobokun; Chairman, National Academicals Sports Commission (NASCOM), Yemi Idowu, and Principal, Atlantic Hall School, Andrew Jedras, during the school’s 20th Annual Inter-house Sports Athletics Competition at Poka-Epe, Lagos.


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10 | Thursday, February 6, 2014

WorldReport No peace until Pakistan embraces Islamic law, say Taliban

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HERE was no chance of peace in Pakistan until the government embraces Islamic Sharia law and United States (U.S.)-led forces withdraw completely from neighbouring Afghanistan, negotiators representing Taliban insurgents declared yesterday Agency reports stated that the tough conditions appear to deal a blow to hopes that talks with the Pakistani government could end the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) insurgency that has rocked the nuclear-armed country since 2007. Initial peace talks failed to

get under way Tuesday when the government delegation refused to meet the militants’ negotiators, citing confusion about the make-up of their team. The two sides are expected to try to meet again today or tomorrow, though no definite arrangements have yet been made. Washington and Kabul have been deadlocked over a pact known as the Bilateral Security Agreement, which would allow some U.S. troops to stay on in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign it at present.

Political crisis in Burundi as Tutsi ministers quit ENTRAL African nation of C Burundi has been plunged deeper into a political crisis after the three government ministers from the country’s main Tutsi party resigned. The resignations of the Uprona party members upsets an increasingly delicate power-sharing arrangement between Burundi’s Hutu and Tutsi communities, who are still struggling to reconcile after decades of conflict. The Uprona party said District Development Minister JeanClaude Ndihokubwayo, Communications Minister

Leocadie Nihaza and Trade Minister Victoire Ndikumana had all walked out of the cabinet. “We refuse to cohabit with the ruling party of President Pierre Nkurunziza, which is going out of its way to destroy us,” Uprona spokesman Tatien Sibomana told AFP. The resignations follow an attempt by the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD, to force out Uprona’s party chairman Charles Nditije ahead of elections scheduled for 2015 and replace him with a sympathiser.

UN watchdog, Vatican trade words over child abuse report U

NITED Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has denounced the Vatican for failing to stamp out child abuse and allowing systematic cover-ups, calling on the Church to remove clergy suspected of raping or molesting children. But the Vatican yesterday said that it would study the damning UN report, but slammed criticism of its religious teachings as “interference”. In an unprecedented report for a UN body, a report by Agence France Presse (AFP) indicated that the Committee on the Rights of the Child slammed the Vatican for failing to live up to repeated pledges to put its house in order, and said all clergy and lay employees suspected of abuse must be turned over to the police. “The committee expresses serious concern that in dealing with child victims of different forms of abuse, the Holy See has systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the Church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims,” it said. It urged the Vatican to “immediately remove all

The committee expresses serious concern that in dealing with child victims of different forms of abuse, the Holy See has systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the Church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims.

known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes”. Committee head, Kirsten Sandberg, said that despite the Vatican’s pledges to adopt a zero tolerance approach, it was in clear breach of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. “The simple answer is yes, they are in breach of the Convention as up to now, because they haven’t done all the things that they should have done,” Sandberg told reporters. The report said the Vatican had failed to acknowledge the extent of abuse, nor taken necessary measures to protect children, and had allowed perpetrators to continue with impunity. It blasted the transfer of abusers to new parishes within

countries, and even across borders, in an attempt to cover up their crimes and remove them from the clutches of justice. But in a terse response, the Vatican said it “took note” of the report, but criticised as doctrinal interference parts of the report that questioned its stance on contraception and abortion. As well as general comments on the risks to girls of early pregnancy and clandestine abortions, the committee spotlighted the case of a nine-yearold Brazilian who was raped by her stepfather, and whose mother and doctor were excommunicated after she had a termination. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) hailed the report. “The quickest way to prevent child sexual violence by Catholic clerics is for Pope Francis to publicly remove all offenders from ministry and

harshly punish their colleagues and supervisors who enabled their crimes,” SNAP said. However, the Vatican said in a statement: “The Holy See takes note of the concluding observations on its reports, which will be submitted to a thorough study and examination... according to international law and practice.” While agreeing to study the report, the Vatican reacted strongly to what it slammed as “interference” into Church teachings on abortion and homosexuality, after the UN called on the ancient institution to modernise and amend its attitudes. The Vatican “regrets to see in some points of the concluding observations an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom.” Also, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, Silvano Tomasi, accused the UN of distorting facts in its damning report, which denounced the Church for failing to stamp out child abuse.

Kenyatta case has collapsed, defence tells ICC S judges of International Kenya’s top politician was A Criminal Court (ICC) supposed to go on trial yestermulled dropping the highprofile trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, his defence team said yesterday his crimes against humanity case before the court “has collapsed.” “The prosecution has realised that its case has collapsed,” lawyer Steven Kay told judges in The Hague, where Kenyatta faces charges for his role in the deadly 200708 post-poll violence that rocked the east African country. The ICC last month postponed Kenyatta’s trial after prosecutors said they no longer had enough evidence to put him in the dock.

day, but instead judges were listening to arguments on whether to withdraw the charges. Kenyatta, 52, is facing five counts of crimes against humanity allegedly committed under his direction in the aftermath of the disputed elections, in which prosecutors say more than 1,100 people died. In an apparent last bid to keep the case alive, prosecutors now want judges to rule that Nairobi has failed to cooperate with their investigation – especially in their request for financial statements which they say could prove Kenyatta’s role in funding the violence.

Bombs kill 33 near Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, others the latest Iraq’s worst IsixNsurge of violence in nearly years, bombings in Baghdad, including three near the heavily-fortified Green Zone and the foreign ministry, killed 33 people yesterday. The attacks, which wounded dozens more, came as security forces battle militants in the western province of Anbar, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a powerful jihadist group that has exploited the chaos in neighbouring Syria. With violence at its highest level since 2008, diplomats have urged the Shiite-led

government to reach out to Sunnis in order to undercut support for militancy, but Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has taken a hard line ahead of April’s parliamentary elections. Yesterday’s deadliest bombings, which included at least one suicide attack, struck during morning rush hour, ripping through mixed areas of the capital bordering the Green Zone, home to parliament, the prime minister’s residence and the U.S. and British embassies. The three explosions killed 25 people and wounded another 35, security officials and a medical source said.


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 | 11

Focus CCTV cameras and anti-crime battle in Lagos By Dele Fanimo and Odita Sunday WO unmarked cars screeched to a halt with T a trail of dust. Like a commando movie, occupants of the cars alighted, brandishing dangerous weapons such as AK 47 rifles, a rocket launcher and a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG). They were no soldiers. Their target: A 2013 Toyota Prado Sport Utility Vehicle. ‘‘Come down, leave the key on the ignition’’ bellowed one of the robbers. Within a twinkle of an eye, two of the robbers jumped into the snatched SUV, while others speed off with their vehicles. Fait accompli. Another successful operation to boot. Elsewhere, security communication was triggered by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, right in his office. He was actually watching the scene like nollywood movie from his office. His order. ‘‘Get them at all cost.’’ The robbers sped through Ikeja, Agege Motor Road, Dopemu, Egbeda and finally landed at a local food joint in Orisunmibare, Sasa to eat and celebrate their success. Unknown to them, the various Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras were deployed to trail them to the eatery. And with the aid of radio communication, operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command were closely monitoring them. They had indeed cordoned off the area with a particular operative known for not missing his target close to the bukateria. Having filled their stomach and oblivious of the presence of policemen, they just sauntered towards their vehicles and pronto, a hail of hot lead punctuated the hitherto quiet neighbourhood. When the dust finally settled, two armed robbers had fallen, one got injured and others escaped, but not with any of the cars. There appears to be no hiding place for criminals in Lagos State any more. The party is over, so it seems. Giving up totally on crime or outright relocation seems to be the only option for men of the underworld. Indeed, the launch of the long awaited surveillance Camera Monitoring Centre at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Control Centres and the Governor’s office, Alausa, Ikeja, has shown that the state government is sure footed in its quest to make the state unattractive for criminals. Following the launching of the project, the state government     demonstrated it has the capacity to cage these ‘men of the underworld’ With the launch, came a clarion call from the governor that every citizen should brace up to confront the menace of high-level crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping, trans-border crimes, and murder amongst others.   At the venue, security operatives and other dignitaries were elated when the governor unveiled the monitoring center. The 1,200 video wall cameras are compressed to 27 screens that can monitor activities going on in Lagos metropolis at the same time. Fashola who was impressed during the test running of the 1,200-unit camera at the State House said there was no longer a hiding place for criminals in the state. The cameras according to him, would aid security operatives in   fighting all manner of crimes. “The camera will monitor all the activities going on in the state but those who monitor it will focus on unusual behaviours. For example, if there was armed robbery going on in a particular area, the camera would focus on the robbery scene and capture the operation.  “By focusing on the scene, the camera will now capture the faces of the hoodlums, which will make the work of the police easy, as there will no longer be contention on who committed the act.” Said a source at the State House. The source further explained that the police were able to arrest those suspects who participated in Murtala Muhammed International Airport robbery last year due to footages from the cameras. The source further disclosed that the camera would be able to produce the exact photo clips of criminals. Fashola who noted that   government invest-

A CCTV monitor center ed hugely   on security, assured that Lagos was getting it right gradually in the area of security. He said the good thing was that in 2008, his government started with only one camera, which has metamorphosed into 1,200 cameras. “We know that there has been criticism and cynicism, but today, we have moved from zero to 1,200-camera state. We are still far behind because, it is still not enough for the state, but we have moved.  We have succeeded in merging our camera with the one the Federal Government donated to us.” He said. He added that his administration did not stop at camera but has improved also on the alarm systems as the camera can capture any emergency such as fire and accident scene.      According to him, “The alarm system will now notify the relevant agencies who will move to the emergency scene.  And through the camera, the activities of the officers on the scene of emergency will be monitored. “The state has also moved from eight digit telephone emergency lines to three digit ones making it very possible for citizen to memorize the lines when there is any emergency.  He said the government was committed to ensuring adequate security adding that    “The state, through the police Trust Fund, is committed to the protection of lives and property of citizens. ‘‘We will continue to sustain the tempo of our security consciousness by providing logistics for security agencies to fight crime to a reasonable standard.’’ However, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Umar Manko, who corroborated Fashola’s claims said: “With the 1,200 live video cameras in the state, criminals especially, armed robbers are in trouble.’’

Fashola

Manko

Manko said the cameras would assist his officers and men in the war against crime and criminality in Lagos. He said the government has been generous by providing equipment and logistics for the police to thrive statewide. “Our achievements would not have been possible if not for the assistance being rendered to the police by both the Federal and state governments who have provided vehicles, arms and ammunition to the police. “Lagos State has risen up to the challenges by

providing the law enforcement agencies with logistics to tackle the menace in the various parts of the states and communities. The state government further impressed residents and tax payers with its deployment of hitech surveillance camera which would monitor every nook and crannies of the metropolis from its base station in Alausa, Lagos.” The Governor is optimistic that the move would definitely enhance public security; assist with the prevention and nipping of crimes in the bud, as well as provide a means by which the public could alert the police of natural disasters as they are occurring in their communities. “The system will enable proactive and rapid response to emergency situations as well as management of information within the state. Successful implementation of this project will significantly improve public safety levels, guarantee social stability and economic development in Lagos and Nigeria.” An observer said.

“The cameras will monitor all the activities going on in the state but those who monitor it will focus on unusual behaviour. For example, if there was armed robbery going on in a particular area, the camera would focus on the robbery scene and capture the operation. 


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 www.ngrguardiannews.com

transparent balloting system because demand far outweighs supply, as government was committed to abide by the rules that would stand public scrutiny. He advised applicants to bid only for houses in the areas where they are prepared to live and not for every house that is put on the market. “We would not allow any successful applicant to rent out the houses. If you do not live in the house that you win, you would have violated our first homeowner rule and it is a ground to repossess the house, pay you off and offer it to those who really need a home. We would only allow you to rent it out after 10 years when you would have fully paid for the house.” As people eagerly await the advertised rates of the houses, it was gathered from sources in the Ministry of Housing that houses in the Emeka Anyaoku Estate, in Ikeja GRA, are going for N35 million, while the three-bedroom flats at Gbagada and other mainland areas would be offered for between N10 million and N15 million. In defence of the project cost, Fashola said: “In terms of pricing, the Lagos HOMS is about affordability and accessibility. “This is so because we have not yet found cheap or low cost cement, neither have we found low cost iron rod or low cost labour. “The continuity and sustainability of the entire project depends on our ability to build more at break-even cost without profit. Accordingly, we have applied an across the board discount of 25 percent to the total actual cost of land, infrastructure and building, which is the total cost of the home. “The houses become more competitive against what is available on the open market because there is a minimum period of 10 years swear to an affidavit that they have not got ing their application. to pay for it and the mortgage will attract a houses else-where in the contract that entitles “We also expect successful applicants to imme- maximum interest of 9.5 percent per annum.” us to repossess the house anytime, even in the diately pay a deposit of 30 percent of the cost of The governor added that prompt payment of 10th year if we have proof that a beneficiary the house they choose as their equity, while the monthly mortgages would be enforced as owned another home when he applied to the balance would be paid on a monthly basis for studies show that default of payment and diffischeme. over 10 years. Accordingly, we would match culty of repossessing houses from defaulters “In addition, only Lagos residents, not indihouse choices to applicants’ proven income have been a major disincentive to investment genes, who are tax payers will benefit. Applisources to determine eligibility and it is only eli- in the property sector by private sector develcants would be required to show us their resi- gible applicants, whose forms would go into bal- opers. dency card under the Lagos State Residents lot from which successful applicants would be Fashola stated further that the Lagos HOMS is Registration exercise. Apart from residency, picked.” not about providing a home alone, but it is applicants must show proof of payment of tax The governor explained that the final eligibili- also about a total lifestyle change. for a continuous period of five years precedty for ownership was being left to chance after a “We are moving our people from a desperation for shelter to an orderly and planned living. “Because it is a mortgage-driven scheme, we expect that people would take their jobs more seriously and apply themselves more diligently in order to retain the ability to pay the mortgage. You will lose your home if you lose your job, but we expect to see not only increased productivity but also a progressive reduction of unethical conduct in the workplace,” he said. He hinted that the ultimate plan by government is to become guaranteed purchasers to developers, who will acquire their own land and build according to specifications on agreed prices. “This way, more houses can come on stream because of the private sector participation, and government would use the Internally GeneratCommissioner for Finance and chairman, Lagos Mortgage Board, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi (right); Commissioner for Housed Revenue (IGR) from tax payers’ money to ing and member of the board, Mr. Bosun Jeje; Executive Secretary of the board, Mr. Akinola Kodjo Sagoe; and buy from developers and sell to beneficiaries Executive Directors of the board, Mrs. Bola Fashola and Mr. Bayowa Foresythe at the launch of the Lagos State on mortgage.” Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS) on Monday.

Housing for all…

Lagos unveils 200 homes monthly, lists eligibility By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor, and Tunde Alao O doubt the www.lagoshoms.gov.ng, website of the Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme would be getting hits after hits 72 hours after it was launched. The reason being that shelter is one of the intrinsic needs of man and in Lagos, there is a huge housing deficit occasioned by overpopulation. For many Lagosians, who had long stopped hoping of owning a home, the new development seems to have brought back the thought of a better future. From the 4th of March, the first of the monthly draws will be held for the first 200 homes. This number is expected to increase to 300 every month subject to the ability of the contractor to deliver the units on schedule. In Lagos millions of residents are in dire need of decent accommodation. While those who are prepared to weather the storm have found succour in slums, many unfortunate ones have fallen victim to swindlers and land grabbers in their desperate search for a place to lay their heads. Inaugurating the Lagos State Mortgage Board on Monday, Governor Babatunde Fashola took great delight at fulfilling another electioneering campaign promise. “I am proud because this project is a product of many years of grueling work, long hours and devotion by our team. “In Lagos, we hold the view that a home is not something you buy in one day, but over time in a way that your ability to acquire it is tied to your income and continued prosperity. It is an asset that outlives you. As we flag off this scheme, there are 1,104 completed homes with another 3,156 at various stages of construction,” he said. The buildings are blocks of four floors, containing 12 flats of one, two and three bedroom on each flour, in an optimal use of limited land space at Igbogbo Ikorodu, Agbowa, Gbagada, Igando, Mushin, Shitta Surulere, Ilupeju, Shogunro Ogba, Omole, Magodo, Sangotedo and Lekki. Sites yet to take off include those at Iponri, Ibeshe Ikorodu, Ajara Badagry, Sangotedo Phase II, Obele, Akerele Phase II, Oyingbo, Ilubirin and Ijora Badia. The rules of eligibility, Fashola vowed, would be strictly adhered to and enforced to ensure sustenance of the mortgage scheme. “Applicants must be first-time home owners. Only those who have never owned a home, whether acquired privately or bought from government, will be eligible,” he stated and that: “Applicants would be required to

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Mushin engages stakeholders in budget preparation required to prepare this document.” He went further to state that the people form the fulcrum of development, as pare a budget that will have direct pos- without them, nothing will be sustainable. “The resources of the council are itive impact on their lives,” Olatunde limited, there must be a scale of preferBabatunde Adepitan, chairman of ence on projects and programmes that Mushin Local Government has said. Addressing the council stakeholders are germane to the growth of the comlast week, which included traditional munity.” The council chairman appealed to resirulers, captains of industries, artisans, dents to pay their taxes as the N160 milyouth leaders, transport union leadlion generated last year was inadequate ers, traders, and representatives of to fast-track required development. Community Development AssociaOne of the stakeholders present at the tions (CDAs), Adepitan said without calling the people together, any budg- meeting, Mrs. Morakinyo Abiodun, et prepared is like building a castle in appealed to the local government to give priority attention to the Itire Primary the air. Health Centre in 2014 budget. “We are not going to make the misThe residents of Eyin-Iga in Itire take of building something on nothing. The stakeholders are the ultimate demanded for an event centre in order to Council Manager, Mushin Local Government, Mr. Rasaq Oladeji; leader of beneficiaries of this budget, this is why stop people from blocking the roads dur- the House, Awotunde Omolewu and Chairman, Babatunde Adepitan, at the stakeholders’ meeting on 2014 Budget… held last week. their suggestions, views and ideas are ing social outings. NE of the reasons for calling on “O the stakeholders before the preparation of 2014 budget is to pre-


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 13

This Is Lagos

Lagos In Brief Lagos shuts three illegal private schools HE Lagos State Government T has shut three private schools for operating illegally and contravening the guidelines on the establishment and operation of private schools in the state. Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, disclosed this yesterday at Alausa. The affected schools are Honesty Private School located at 4/6, Akintayo Akinbola Street, Surulere; Heibenah Montessori Schools at 78, Agbebi Street, Ijeshatedo in Surulere and Elyon Ambassador Private School at 3, Mabayoje Street, Oshodi. According to the commissioner, the affected schools were also operating in residential/converted structures wherein some shops were attached to the building in question without provision for special rooms and other

required facilities. She noted that besides the fact that the schools shared a fence with another registered private school, it was also discovered that they did not provide required records upon demand from officials of state Ministry of Education. She recalled that prior to the closure of the three schools, the state government had served the management of the schools notices wherein they were advised to relocate to suitable purpose-built structures for their schools and report back compliance to the Ministry of Education. The commissioner advised private school operators to always abide by the rules guiding the establishment and operation of schools in the state.

Court dissolves 20-year-old marriage N Orile-Agege Customary A Court in Lagos yesterday dissolved a 20-year-old marriage of a

Disaster waiting to happen on this pedestrian bridge at Domino Bus-stop, by KFC Restaurant on Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo Yaba. PHOTO: GODFREY OKPUGIE

LAGOS ASSEMBLY DIARY

Lawmakers to raise awareness on existing laws, legislative functions By Wole Oyebade O popularize existing laws in the state T and promote public compliance, the Lagos State House of Assembly will be

• House proceeds on four-week recess

was worried on lack of awareness on many existing laws in the state, especialtaking awareness campaign to the grass- ly among the public that should test the legislations. roots. He said: “If the people that the laws are The effort, according to the House, is also to make popular the legislative func- to defend and promote their well-being tions of the House and bring people clos- do not know about it, then it will not be effective, which is why we will be raising er to politics. awareness and sensitize the public on Meanwhile, the House has begun its what we are doing as their lawmakers. four-week recess to make up for tireless The public needs to know.” legislative engagements in the last four Olulade, who is the House Committee months. The House had in the last four months Chairman on Information, Strategy, Publicity and Security, added that one of the worked on the 2014 Appropriation bill till it was approved in January. It has also tactics to adopt is opening the Assembly to members of the public to witness legpassed three new bills, which includes islative proceedings in the Chamber. no-smoking in public places, consumer He said lawmakers would be entitled protection and emergency call comto sponsor members of their constituenmand and control bills. cies to observed proceedings. Plenary resumes on March 3, 2014. His words: “It is part of our efforts to Spokesperson for the House, Segun bring the public closer to the parliamenOlulade, told reporters that the House

tary. They really need to know the letters and spirit of legislations like no-smoking in public places, consumer protection and emergency call command and control bills, coupled with the upcoming law on lands. “Today, the public still don’t know the role of a lawmaker in government and this is also the case among elites. It is our responsibility to bring our constituents closer to the House and politics of today. The people will also see that religion is not a barrier to participating in politics and should not be a factor in its conducts.”   Commenting on the recent crisis in Lagos State University (LASU), which has been blamed on exorbitant school fees in some quarters, the lawmaker representing Epe Constituency II, explained that the state government needed enough fund to have a well established higher institution that would be the pride of Lagosians, hence the upward review of tuition. Olulade, however, said many of the students, especially the indigent ones, were not affected by the new regime in school fees. According to him, a lot of students have their money returned through bursary, as a way of encouraging our people to further their education. He declared: “When the issue of increase in school fees came up in the Lagos Assembly we made sure that those students already in the school were exempted from paying the new fees. So, we still have students, who still pay N25, 000 in LASU. Therefore, I don’t see how the crisis is related with school fees.”

pastor who had accused his wife of adultery, stealing, and threatening his life. Olufemi Adewumi, 44, who lives at 12, Ajiboye Close, Ile-Iwe, Agbado Oke-Odo, Agege, came to the court on December 12, 2013, seeking the dissolution of his marriage to Fatimo, his wife. Ruling in the case, the Court President, Adegboyega Omilola, said the marriage had broken down irreparably. “Since the inception of the hearing, the woman failed to appear before the court; a court summon was served to her, but she failed to come.

“The court cannot continue to wait for the woman that failed to honour the court. So, the marriage is dissolved today. You have ceased to be husband and wife, you shall go your separate ways unmolested,” he said. Omilola granted custody of their two children, aged 12 and 15 years, to the man. “Take care of the children and ensure you see to their wellbeing,” he said. The pastor had told the court that his wife was adulterous and kept bad company. “I caught my wife and one of her lovers in our house last year. She was not expecting me at that time, else she would not have invited her lover,” he said.

Youths charged on goal setting MANAGEMENT consultant and A life coach, Mr Kelechi Anyalechi, has advised young people to take

self-education. “You may say so many things about the country, especially that there goal setting seriously as first step are no jobs, but one thing I towards achieving great things for can encourage every young themselves. He made this known in person to do is self-education. Lagos recently at a youth seminar Personal development is key. with the theme The Power of Goals. You have got to invest in your According to him, one of the rea- personality before you can sons many young people don’t impact your world,” he said. become successful is because they Other speakers at the event don’t set goals. “They just wander included President of the through life year after year. The Nigerian Guild of Editors and only way you can measure the level Managing Director of The Sun of success is by setting goals and newspaper, Mr. Femi Adesina; there is no better time to set goals and a peak performance than the beginning of a new year.” coach, Iheanyi Ejiogu, among He further charged the youths on others.

Kelechi Anyalechi, convener of the Achieve Your Goals Smarter and Faster seminar


Thursday, February 6, 2014 15

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Politicians must be wary of spikes on the path of democracy, says Umar (3) Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (Rtd.), former military governor of Kaduna State, human rights crusader and a critical and voice on public affairs, rarely grants interviews, preferring to use other channels of communication to counsel those in power. But when he decides to speak, even his ardent critics will listen. This he did when he spoke in Kuduna to Northern Bureau Chief, Saxone Akhaine, on issues of national significance. Specifically, he fielded questions on the crises and bickering among political parties and politicians; President Goodluck Jonathan and his efforts at transforming the polity and many other national issues including the forthcoming 2015 General Elections. • Continued from yesterday HE Presidency is at war with loves his country dearly. If his T the CBN Governor, Mallam aim was corrective, he should Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on his recent allegation that the NNPC had failed to remit $49.8 billion and allowing the letter addressed to the President to go public. What is your take on this? This figure has since been adjusted downwards to $10.8 billion after some reconciliation between the CBN, NNPC and Ministry of Finance. My take is that there is little or no coordination and cooperation between these federal institutions. Secondly, the NNPC has, by its delayed explanation, confirmed that it embarked on expenditure without appropriation by the National Assembly. This is simply a carry over from the President Obasanjo administration. I am sure you recall that some of us raised observation about how the NNPC was allocated 450,000 barrels of crude per day at subsidized rate of $17 per barrel when the International Market price was over $30 per barrel and our local refining capacity had fallen below 200,000 barrels per day. NNPC sold the excess at the prevailing international rate and used the proceeds to import petroleum products without due appropriation by the National Assembly. The NNPC is still using this method. What is most surprising is that Obasanjo has the audacity to criticize the system. We must return to proper budgeting. What is your reaction to the 18 page letter written to President Jonathan by former President Obasanjo in which he raised some allegations? I am shocked at the celebratory reaction to the letter by well informed citizens. The question is, what did Obasanjo intend to achieve with his libelous missive? If the aim was to publicly abuse, humiliate and diminish President Jonathan like he did to all past Nigerian leaders he could have succeed if he had not built a reputation of; as Chief Deji Fasuan had described him in his reaction to the letter thus: some people have cast Obasanjo in one conclave which is Obasanjo in government is a dictator, a small tyrant with big measure of impunity, whereas Obasanjo out of government is a model democrat, even a patriot who

have confronted President Jonathan directly. This was the recommended course of action by both Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalam Abubakar. Had he also consulted with Generals Yakubu Gowon and T.Y Danjuma, they would have counseled against an open letter as they indicated later. The claim by Gen. Obasanjo that he was left with no option because President Jonathan had failed to respond to his earlier correspondences is not credible. The truth is that Gen. Obasanjo or all other former Heads of State have unlimited access to President Jonathan as was evident in his meeting with the President in Kenya a few days after the publication of his letter. Not getting a response is different from not getting a favourable response to Obasanjo’s ludicrous and embarrassing requests. Those who celebrate and are willing to swear by this false messiah and messenger should please ask him to publicly reveal what favour he requested of the President in the last Anambra Gubernatorial election. At the height of his hubris, I wrote a letter to Almighty President Obasanjo in which I drew his attention to the promise of the good Lord of assured chastisement for those who engage in the use of His name in vain. Gen. Obasanjo was busy calling men of God idiots so he remained impervious to wise counsel. Now, having been given ample opportunity by Nigerians and showered with God’s Grace, Gen. Obasanjo failed to deliver. He so underachieved or achieved dubious success; he is currently being afflicted by his pitiable record. He has tried every trick to recreate his past to no avail. Gen. Alabi Isama has debunked his civil war hero status through the presentation of incontrovertible evidence. From presidency to the pulpit, a noble prize winner and International statesman are goals that have eluded him. He has diminished himself to the status of an angry letter writer as Mahmud Jega aptly described him. Gen. Obasanjo has seen action against elder statesmen like

At the height of his hubris, I wrote a letter to Almighty President Obasanjo in which I drew his attention to the promise of the good Lord of assured chastisement for those who engage in the use of His name in vain. Gen. Obasanjo was busy calling men of God idiots so he remained impervious to wise counsel. Now, having been given ample opportunity by Nigerians and showered with God’s Grace, Gen. Obasanjo failed to deliver. He so underachieved or achieved dubious success; he is currently being afflicted by his pitiable record

Umar Zik of Africa, the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the quintessential officer and Gentleman Gen. Yakubu Gowon and now, in the twilight of his life, he is engaged in a roforofo fight with Buruji Kashamu. How the mighty have fallen. Why have you refused to accept to serve any government since your retirement from the military in 1993? We are told that President Jonathan offered you several appointments including a Ministerial one but you turned down all, why the loss of interest in public service? I served the public as a military officer for about 23 years before I was prematurely retired, in 1993. I served the public as a military administrator Federal Housing Authority.

I served the public as a military Governor of Kaduna State for 3 years. I served in the Vanguard Group of Civil Society that prevented President Obasanjo from changing the constitution to serve for a Third and perhaps a life term as President with far reaching undesirable consequences for our democracy. As you are aware a governor takes precedence over a minister so the only position I can aspire to is the Presidency. By the Grace of God a Commissioner under my administration is current the Vice President so? I am content to remain an activist and a struggling Ostrich farmer. Please convey my regards and appreciation to the Editorials Board of The Guardian. I have a sense that their Editorials are divinely inspired. God bless.


TheGuardian

14 | Thursday, February 6, 2014

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 The 2015 electoral timetable T is not surprising that the elecIIndependent tion timetable released by the National Electoral Commission (INEC) has attracted mixed reactions from stakeholders. Going by the timetable, the Presidential/National Assembly elections will hold on February 14, 2015 and the gubernatorial/state assemblies’ elections will hold on February 28 respectively. Expectedly, the opposition parties have denied any prior consultation regarding the schedule of the elections and are critical of the arrangement that puts the presidential election first. This, they think, conveys undue advantage on the incumbent. Besides, that arrangement indeed has embedded in it, a predictable bandwagon effect, should the incumbent win the election with a possible attendant mass apathy for subsequent elections. The timetable is also seen as prejudicial to yet to be registered parties wishing to contest the elections and which the constitution allows to do so not later than a period of six months before the general elections. Above all, the timetable will heighten the tempo of politicking while actual governance is bound to take the backstage as most public officials will be inclined towards primitive and speculative activities ahead of the elections. Of course, it would be better if service would be paramount in the minds of elected leaders as opposed to perpetual jostling for power. Elections are great events everywhere in the world as they allow the electorate a periodic opportunity to express their rights of choosing those who will run the affairs of the state. In other words, investing on the governing class the required consent and legitimacy in a democratic environment is a cardinal duty in a democracy. With a history of tainted electoral process, Nigerians have justifiably become apprehensive of the future. Hence politicians and the electorate are critical of events preceding any election, as they may contain booby traps that could make or mar the processes. Elections in Nigeria have always resembled warfare, and staggered elections make sense for the foreseeable logistics problems that may arise. Indeed, there is already a prevailing trend of staggered elections following the various verdicts of election petition tribunals. This seems to lend cre-

dence to the argument of those in favour of it. Nevertheless, the INEC timetable, staggered as it were, between the Presidential/National Assembly elections and the Gubernatorial/State Assemblies’ elections is not exactly a good plan. The timetable appears to fall into the design of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and could raise the issues of the perceived partisanship of INEC. And it is on this note that the Uwais Panel on electoral reform that expressed a preference for a one-day election into all elective positions is worth re-visiting. An order in which a presidential election comes first confers undue advantage on the incumbent and could upset the outcomes in a firstpast-the-post electoral system. This will occur in ways that enthrone in power candidates with minority votes which are hardly representative of the will of the electorate. If Nigeria’s history is anything to go by, it allows ample opportunity and easy logistics for criminal elements to perpetrate fraud. Besides, elections in Nigeria have come at a huge cost to the national coffers, and staggered elections exacerbate that, and increase the strain on the financial resources of the country. The best arrangement is for all categories of election to hold in a day. First, it will save cost as all elections held in the past resulted in a repetition of the shortcomings of the previous exercise. Second, it will undermine the capacity of rigging entrepreneurs to perpetrate their nefarious activities, especially through the deployment of criminal elements from one area to another in a staggered election. Third, it will curb voter apathy that often arises from the conflicting dynamics of a staggered process. And fourth, the opportunity cost inherent in a single day election is that it allows for concentration of efforts, personnel and logistics, including security and, therefore, makes for easy monitoring. Whatever shortcomings may arise from the one-day exercise, contingency provision should be made to allow for extension of voting continuing the following day. Given the points made above, and the controversial nature of election in Nigeria, it would not be out of place for INEC to rethink the timetable it has released and in the process, do itself and the country a great deal of service.

LETTER

First Lady, initiate peace in Rivers Excellency must call all her “fight-

Excellency has to come out boldSince the 2011 elections, SandIR:Dr.hisGoodluck Ebele Jonathan ing children” (the citizens), to ly, as the “Joan of Arc” of Nigeria, wife, became the new order – it is very clear that the to call all warring parties to Father and Mother of the nation. The position of First Lady carries huge responsibility, which requires a clear understanding and even temperament. Dame Patience Jonathan is not new to the position of “First Lady,” having been so when her husband was Governor of Bayelsa State. She has so far shown a deep appreciation of her role, having initiated, and been involved in many developmental projects, with many beneficiaries appreciative of her. Peace-keeping is also a passion of hers, going by the many peace-oriented projects she has embarked on, leading up to her most recent declaration in December 2013 that she should now be known and addressed as “Mama Peace!” Violence has been rearing its head amongst us, threatening our national security, costing lives and property, at a cost to the image of the country, everyday. Rivers State, Borno, etc. have witnessed unimaginable violence that kept security apparatus working round the clock. All these negate the good intentions of Mama Peace. They are a challenge to the peace that she has devoted her energies to advocating. But the greatest litmus test that has been thrown in the path of “Mama Peace,” is the crisis in Rivers State! As the “Mother of the nation,” Her

Dame has to take charge of things in Rivers State in particular, and use her success there as a template to sue for peace in the other volatile sections of the country. Without meaning to sound sectional, Rivers State is her state of origin, and “charity,” they say, “begins at home!” It is no longer a matter of who is wrong, or who is right, or even whether these eruptions are politically motivated or not – it is now a matter of moving to save Rivers from collapse. Her

order, and foster peace and unity in Rivers State, in the true spirit of her name and calling, “Mama Peace!” With the various global awards, recognitions, and respect that she has received as a Peace and Development advocate, there is no better time to intervene positively than now. Nigeria needs peace.  • Stella Apiafi,  National Coordinator, I-Nigerian Initiative, Abuja, FCT

SOS on Oyo School of Hygiene Even at 80 years, there is to be proud of about StheIR:nothing present condition of the school. The School of Hygiene, under the control of Oyo State Ministry of Health is one tertiary institution, where both the living and learning conditions of students are sub-standard. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. For instance, inadequate hostel accommodation, limited number of classrooms, poor water supply, shortage number of lecturers are the order of the day. The halls of residence are in very disgraceful and deplorable state. There is pollution of water and air by the waste discharge from a nearby drinks factory. This terrible condition explains why students are always exposed to diseases and illness thus adversely affect their

academic output. Yet, the school management in collaboration with the state government compels the students to pay outrageous fees. The mobilization of HND 2 students for NYSC is still there unresolved. While many other Monotechnic students are going for NYSC the reverse is the case in Oyo State School of Hygiene. This is truly a graphic reflection of “anti-poor policy” of the state government. This is to use this medium to call the attention of the State Government, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to see to the plight of the students of Oyo State School of Hygiene. • Daniel Akande and Ismael Taiwo, School of Hygiene, Ibadan.


14

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Politics ‘Democracy’s survival, not Jonathan, is reason for planned impeachment clause review’ Yakubu Dogara, Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Services was the proponent of the recent Bill that sought to review and simplify the impeachment procedure of the President and the Vice President by vesting the powers to remove them solely in the National Assembly. Though the Bill did not scale through Dogara in this interview with Terhemba Daka spoke on what informed the move. He also cleared the air on insinuations that the amendment was targeted at President Goodluck Jonathan. Excerpts: OU were the prime mover of the just defeated Y Bill seeking to simplify and quicken the impeachment procedure of the President and the Vice President. What informed this move? You see, if the proposed amendment had sailed through, it would still have been very difficult to impeach and remove the President or Vice President from office. Time and space will not allow me to catalogue all the reasons that informed this Bill. But let me highlight a few of them.   Section 146 of the Constitution mentions impeachment as one of the grounds by which the Vice President may assume the office of the President but shockingly the Constitution does not provide for how the President or vice President can be impeached. Section 143 which the Bill sought to amend provides for the removal but not impeachment of the President and Vice President. So that is a huge lacuna in the Constitution that needs to be filled. Another defect of S.143 is that it only provides for the removal of the two office holders on account of gross misconduct in the performance of the “official” functions of their offices. That means “unofficial” conduct is not a ground for the removal of the two office holders, even if such unofficial conduct amounts to betrayal of the nation or serves to seriously undermine the offices they occupy. This is clearly unacceptable. Also, a fundamental requirement of our legal system is that no one can be punished for an offence until he has been tried and found guilty of that offence. The trial is supposed to be open and transparent in accordance with the requirements of the principles of natural justice. S.143 fails to provide for any form of trial. It talks only of an investigative Panel of Seven. S.143 therefore violates a fundamental pillar of our jurisprudence by requiring that the President or Vice President can be punished by impeachment and removal from office without any form of trial. S.143 also fails to clearly separate the body whose purview it is to determine the accusation. Between the National Assembly and the Panel of 7 who investigates, it is not clear who the accuser is and who the judge is. This also is a clear violation of fair hearing which is the cornerstone of our jurisprudence. The dumbest provision of S.143 is the requirement that a Panel of 7 appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) himself an appointee of the office holder who is facing impeachment and removal; has the constitutional powers to make a determination which is binding on the National Assembly and the courts. This is repugnant to the very philosophy of popular government. I can go on and on because the issues are endless. But are these defects enough to warrant the amendment? In the context of the many paradoxes and lacunas I have spoken about; absolutely, yes. In addition, we must come to see that the root cause of endemic and pervasive corruption in our dear country is S.143 of the Constitution. I make this statement with all sense of responsibility. Successive Nigerian presidents have studied and analysed this section very well and have come to the conclusion that it cannot be carried out in practical terms. That is why they operate like the medieval kings of whom it was said, “lived of themselves”. Our laws don’t count at all. Few examples will suffice. S. 80 of the Constitution is never complied with. There are multiple accounts like the Excess Crude Account that the President operates against the provision of the Constitution. The president has blatantly refused to constitute the National Procurement Council, a necessary minimum requirement of the Public procurement Act because he doesn’t want to give up the right to determine which contractor gets what. The weekly Federal Executive Council meeting has been turned into procurement meeting while crucial national issues like security are relegated to the background. The National Assembly is hamstrung as it cannot successfully invoke S. 143

Dogara of the Constitution so the culture of impunity is in the ascendency. The president wields unprecedented constitutional powers without any effective checks. As Lord Acton said, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. If the president does not obey the laws of the land what moral justification do I have to sit in Parliament to make laws that bind only lesser mortals. There is nothing like a rotten fish with a fresh head. If our society is rotten, it is because our leaders are rotten. If we are lawless, it is because our leaders are lawless. This is the challenge we are facing as a nation. Civil rule has come but democracy is still a mirage. How do we ensure that our leaders obey our laws in the absence of sanctions that can guarantee effective deterrence? Unless our leaders sit up and unless we re-fashion the democratic tools of deterrence by making impeachment and removal from office more probable than likely, we will sadly keep groping in the dark. We have an opportunity to effect these changes now and that is what compelled this Bill. What were some of the contents of the proposal? It proposed that the House would have the sole powers to impeach the president or the Vice President as the case may be in line with the tenets of representative democracy. However, the impeachment by the House would amount to no more than an indictment. After the impeachment the matter will be referred to the Senate for trial where a select group of members of the House will serve as prosecutors. To guard against procedural injustice, the CJN will preside over the trial. A two third vote of the Senate will suffice to convict and remove the office holder from office failing which the office holder survives the impeachment and retains his office. In addition, the Senate is also required to vote to bar the removed office holder from holding any position of trust in the country. If the impeachable offence involves a crime, the regular courts will additionally prosecute the removed office holder. This naturally eliminates the CJN’s panel

of 7, which is not more than a meddlesome interloper in the political process. This process is in tandem with our body of laws and guarantees fair hearing. It separates the body that accuses, the House of Representatives, from the body that tries and convicts, which is the Senate. With this are you not trying to arrogate to the legislature the absolute powers to oust the President? Impeachment is a political process involving political offences committed by politicians with political punishments. It does not fall within the sphere of ordinary jurisprudence where the normal courts hold sway. In America, it is the House that impeaches while the Senate tries and convicts. In Britain, it is the House of Commons that prosecutes while the House of Lords determines it. There is no civilized democracy that has in its Constitution the kind of draconian provisions in S.143 of our Constitution. For our democracy to be first class, we must first of all do away with second-class provisions in our Constitution and Statutes.

The root cause of endemic and pervasive corruption in our dear country is S.143 of the Constitution. I make this statement with all sense of responsibility. Successive Nigerian presidents have studied and analysed this section very well and have come to the conclusion that it cannot be carried out in practical terms

Why should we always borrow from America and other countries instead of developing our own homegrown solutions to national challenges? Unfortunately we borrowed presidential democracy from America. It is the single most important contribution of America to the art of governance. We can modify only to the extent that we do not touch the roots in order not to end up with something else. You cannot borrow an American Lincoln and attempt to use Toyota, or Range Rover’s manual to interpret and maintain it. That will be a sure recipe for disaster. Impeachment goes to the roots of democracy in that it keeps those who wield overwhelming constitutional powers in check. It checks corruption at the highest level and guarantees the fidelity of our leaders to our Constitution and laws. Any country that does not effectively provide for it risks having despots as leaders. But some people have argued that the bill is targeted at the President Jonathan, what is your take? It is ludicrous and even wicked to impute this kind of improper motive on our part without looking at the merits of what is on the table. Of course, with the culture of sycophancy which our civilian rule promotes, there is hardly anything one does that will be interpreted to be objective. Some in the opposition have claimed that we are doing the bidding of PDP by sharpening the tool of impeachment in preparation for when the opposition will produce the president. All these claims pander to vanity. How can the Parliament alter a section of the Constitution just to target an individual? The question therefore is whether what we proposed is right or wrong. If it is right, then the time is ripe now to provide for it. There will never be a time when such a radical proposal like this will not be misinterpreted. In that case the right time will never come. We must learn to abandon caution and embrace courage in taking tough decisions without which our democracy will always remained nascent. Are you disappointed that the Proposal did not scale through all the hurdles? Naturally, I felt disappointed, but I am not discouraged. However I am worried that this culture of impunity by the Executive would continue. But there is something in the character of truth that never dies. I m sure one day we will return to it. May that day not come when the overwhelming majority of our people would favour removing a President or Vice President from office. We will then come to realize that S.143 of the Constitution cannot be carried out because of its self-defeating nature and there is nothing the National Assembly can do about it. I am at pains that most of us especially the elites have not come to the conclusion that the shortcomings of S.143 of the Constitution goes to the roots of all the problems besetting our nation. If our people know the revolution this amendment will bring to our fight against corruption, lawlessness and mis-governance, there will be another round of occupy Nigeria to compel this amendment. Imagine President Obama or Prime Minister David Cameron violating the Constitution or laws of their country. The consequences are such that they cannot contemplate it. It is not the case that they are more morally upright than an average Nigerian President. The only difference is that their laws work and lawlessness even if committed by the head of government cannot be excused in their jurisdictions. Our leaders are supposed to be models as their actions speak to us louder than their words. The promise of democracy will continue to elude us until we embrace discipline and eschew lawlessness. And it must begin from the very top. There must be dire consequences for violating our laws no matter how highly placed the person(s) involved and the consequences must be real not imaginary as it is in S.143 of the Constitution.  Now is the time to halt this madness that has stultified our advancement as a nation.


TheGuardian

16 | Thursday, February 6, 2014

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 The 2015 electoral timetable T is not surprising that the elecIIndependent tion timetable released by the National Electoral Commission (INEC) has attracted mixed reactions from stakeholders. Going by the timetable, the Presidential/National Assembly elections will hold on February 14, 2015 and the gubernatorial/state assemblies’ elections will hold on February 28 respectively. Expectedly, the opposition parties have denied any prior consultation regarding the schedule of the elections and are critical of the arrangement that puts the presidential election first. This, they think, conveys undue advantage on the incumbent. Besides, that arrangement indeed has embedded in it, a predictable bandwagon effect, should the incumbent win the election with a possible attendant mass apathy for subsequent elections. The timetable is also seen as prejudicial to yet to be registered parties wishing to contest the elections and which the constitution allows to do so not later than a period of six months before the general elections. Above all, the timetable will heighten the tempo of politicking while actual governance is bound to take the backstage as most public officials will be inclined towards primitive and speculative activities ahead of the elections. Of course, it would be better if service would be paramount in the minds of elected leaders as opposed to perpetual jostling for power. Elections are great events everywhere in the world as they allow the electorate a periodic opportunity to express their rights of choosing those who will run the affairs of the state. In other words, investing on the governing class the required consent and legitimacy in a democratic environment is a cardinal duty in a democracy. With a history of tainted electoral process, Nigerians have justifiably become apprehensive of the future. Hence politicians and the electorate are critical of events preceding any election, as they may contain booby traps that could make or mar the processes. Elections in Nigeria have always resembled warfare, and staggered elections make sense for the foreseeable logistics problems that may arise. Indeed, there is already a prevailing trend of staggered elections following the various verdicts of election petition tribunals. This seems to lend cre-

dence to the argument of those in favour of it. Nevertheless, the INEC timetable, staggered as it were, between the Presidential/National Assembly elections and the Gubernatorial/State Assemblies’ elections is not exactly a good plan. The timetable appears to fall into the design of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and could raise the issues of the perceived partisanship of INEC. And it is on this note that the Uwais Panel on electoral reform that expressed a preference for a one-day election into all elective positions is worth re-visiting. An order in which a presidential election comes first confers undue advantage on the incumbent and could upset the outcomes in a firstpast-the-post electoral system. This will occur in ways that enthrone in power candidates with minority votes which are hardly representative of the will of the electorate. If Nigeria’s history is anything to go by, it allows ample opportunity and easy logistics for criminal elements to perpetrate fraud. Besides, elections in Nigeria have come at a huge cost to the national coffers, and staggered elections exacerbate that, and increase the strain on the financial resources of the country. The best arrangement is for all categories of election to hold in a day. First, it will save cost as all elections held in the past resulted in a repetition of the shortcomings of the previous exercise. Second, it will undermine the capacity of rigging entrepreneurs to perpetrate their nefarious activities, especially through the deployment of criminal elements from one area to another in a staggered election. Third, it will curb voter apathy that often arises from the conflicting dynamics of a staggered process. And fourth, the opportunity cost inherent in a single day election is that it allows for concentration of efforts, personnel and logistics, including security and, therefore, makes for easy monitoring. Whatever shortcomings may arise from the one-day exercise, contingency provision should be made to allow for extension of voting continuing the following day. Given the points made above, and the controversial nature of election in Nigeria, it would not be out of place for INEC to rethink the timetable it has released and in the process, do itself and the country a great deal of service.

LETTER

First Lady, initiate peace in Rivers Excellency must call all her “fight-

Excellency has to come out boldSince the 2011 elections, SandIR:Dr.hisGoodluck Ebele Jonathan ing children” (the citizens), to ly, as the “Joan of Arc” of Nigeria, wife, became the new order – it is very clear that the to call all warring parties to Father and Mother of the nation. The position of First Lady carries huge responsibility, which requires a clear understanding and even temperament. Dame Patience Jonathan is not new to the position of “First Lady,” having been so when her husband was Governor of Bayelsa State. She has so far shown a deep appreciation of her role, having initiated, and been involved in many developmental projects, with many beneficiaries appreciative of her. Peace-keeping is also a passion of hers, going by the many peace-oriented projects she has embarked on, leading up to her most recent declaration in December 2013 that she should now be known and addressed as “Mama Peace!” Violence has been rearing its head amongst us, threatening our national security, costing lives and property, at a cost to the image of the country, everyday. Rivers State, Borno, etc. have witnessed unimaginable violence that kept security apparatus working round the clock. All these negate the good intentions of Mama Peace. They are a challenge to the peace that she has devoted her energies to advocating. But the greatest litmus test that has been thrown in the path of “Mama Peace,” is the crisis in Rivers State! As the “Mother of the nation,” Her

Dame has to take charge of things in Rivers State in particular, and use her success there as a template to sue for peace in the other volatile sections of the country. Without meaning to sound sectional, Rivers State is her state of origin, and “charity,” they say, “begins at home!” It is no longer a matter of who is wrong, or who is right, or even whether these eruptions are politically motivated or not – it is now a matter of moving to save Rivers from collapse. Her

order, and foster peace and unity in Rivers State, in the true spirit of her name and calling, “Mama Peace!” With the various global awards, recognitions, and respect that she has received as a Peace and Development advocate, there is no better time to intervene positively than now. Nigeria needs peace.  • Stella Apiafi,  National Coordinator, I-Nigerian Initiative, Abuja, FCT

SOS on Oyo School of Hygiene Even at 80 years, there is to be proud of about StheIR:nothing present condition of the school. The School of Hygiene, under the control of Oyo State Ministry of Health is one tertiary institution, where both the living and learning conditions of students are sub-standard. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. For instance, inadequate hostel accommodation, limited number of classrooms, poor water supply, shortage number of lecturers are the order of the day. The halls of residence are in very disgraceful and deplorable state. There is pollution of water and air by the waste discharge from a nearby drinks factory. This terrible condition explains why students are always exposed to diseases and illness thus adversely affect their

academic output. Yet, the school management in collaboration with the state government compels the students to pay outrageous fees. The mobilization of HND 2 students for NYSC is still there unresolved. While many other Monotechnic students are going for NYSC the reverse is the case in Oyo State School of Hygiene. This is truly a graphic reflection of “anti-poor policy” of the state government. This is to use this medium to call the attention of the State Government, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to see to the plight of the students of Oyo State School of Hygiene. • Daniel Akande and Ismael Taiwo, School of Hygiene, Ibadan.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

17

Opinion National conference: Harvest of agitations By Eric Teniola HE certainty in the air now is that the National T Conference will hold. The uncertainty is the outcome of the conference. The Federal Government has issued two commandments on the conference. The commandments are that, the conference will last three months and that Nigeria’s unity will not be negotiated at the conference. If we say Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable and should not be discussed, what other major issues are we to discuss at the conference? Is it the Energy that has collapsed in the country in spite of Privatisation and sold to selected friends of Government, is it the economy that is in comatose, is it the corruption that has enveloped the entire nation, is it bad roads that are getting worse daily, is it the lamentable state of our health system, is it the education system that is completely grounded, is it foreign affairs where we no longer have global bearing, is it piracy on our oil or kidnapping or the insecurity generally in the country? To me, the commandments are mere proposals; for the sad aspect of a journey is that once you start you will never know how it will end. I do not expect the conference to last less than nine months. As for the issue of Nigeria’s unity as no go area, the Federal Government may not be in a position to decide. For we are approaching the conference not with joy but in sadness, frustration, anger, bitterness and disillusionment. I guess almost all the sections of this country today are angry for where we are and how things are taking shape. If it is Nigeria’s unity that is to be discussed, I am afraid many Nigerians have different interpretations on that issue. This is because the country itself is a synthetic creation and it is best acknowledged in the first stanza of our old National Anthem which says “Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.” A union cannot be forced on the people and my assumption is that the main point for holding the Confab after all is that there is no solidarity in our land. If there had been any good will among us, there should have been no need for the confab at all. On many occasions the political class keep singing the same obstinate rhythm that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable even when we know that it has been fragile and artificial since 1914. The no-go area on Nigeria’s unity which the Federal Government warned about, reminds me of the ad-hoc constitutional committee conference held between 12th- 28th 1966 and again between October 24 and November 1. The head of the secretariat that organised the conference at that time is the present Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’edo Erediuwa when he was Permanent Under- Secretary,

Federal Cabinet Office in Lagos. Opening the conference, the then Head of State, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon warned on September 12, 1966 that “You are not here to re-negotiate Nigeria’s Unity, we are one and we must remain one”. At the conference on that day were late Chief Obafemi Awolowo who led the Western Region Delegation and Alhaji Lateef Jakande who represented Lagos. The Mid-West Region Delegation was led by Chief Anthony Enahoro and the Northern Region Delegation led by Sir Kashim Ibrahim with Mallam Aminu Kano, Josiah Olawoyin and Joseph Sarwan Tarka as part of the delegation. The Eastern delegation was led by Sir. Louis Mbanefo and included Dr. Okoh Arikpo. The Eastern delegation boycotted the second session of the conference. The issue of confederation, state police, and regional autonomy dominated the conference. Of course the conference ended sine die without reaching any agreement. The same fate has bedevilled every constitutional conference in Nigeria. The same Gowon on November 30, 1966 made the following broadcast to the nation “we are all aware that the Ad Hoc Committee has been adjourned indefinitely. They had run into difficulties which made it impossible for them to meet.” In withdrawing from the conference, Chief Obafemi Awolowo gave only one condition for his further participation. On May 1, 1967, he told the Yoruba leaders of thought in Ibadan that “the people of Western Nigeria or Lagos would participate in the Ad Hoc Constitutional Committee or any similar body only on the basis of absolute equality with other Regions of the Federation”. Few days later on May 27, Gowon ordered the state of emergency in the country and Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu led Biafra to secede on May 30. The country was later plunged into a civil war. Which goes to say that Conferences may not be the only solution to our problem. In discussing Nigeria’s unity, I am always reminded by what Late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and former Premier of Northern Nigeria and the most powerful politician in the country during his era, evoked in moving his motion on self-government on March 22 at the Northern House of Assembly in Kaduna. He said on that day that ”It is true that we politicians delight in talking loosely about unity of Nigeria…What is now called Nigeria consisted of large and small communities all of which were different in their outlooks and beliefs. The advent of the British and of Western education has not materially altered the situation and these many and varied communities have not knit themselves into

composite unit…In 1914, the North and South were amalgamated though the administration of the two sections are distinctly different. Since then, no serious attempt has been made by the British or by the people themselves to come together and each section has looked upon the other with suspicion and misgiving”. And Alhaji Isa Keita in supporting him at that time said: “The mistake of 1914 has come to light and I should like to go on no further”. In his book, My Life, the same late Sir Ahmadu Bello said on page 135, “The Colonial masters who ruled Nigeria introduced a system of unitary government not for the present or future unity or wellbeing of all the indigenes of the country but for his own administrative convenience. Lord Lugard and his amalgamation were far from popular amongst us at that time”. The first statement made by the then Lt-Col. Yakubu Gowon upon assuming power on July 30, 1966 was “Suffice to say that, putting all considerations to test-political, economic, as well as social – the basis for unity is just not there or is so badly rocked, not only once but several times”. Gowon was speaking on Nigeria’s unity at that time at Ikeja Military Cantonment after Nigerian Troops led by Colonel Murtala Mohammed had conceded the leadership to him, at a charged atmosphere in the barracks. Commenting on the statement by Gowon, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Allison Ayida in his 66-page book titled, The Rise and Fall of Nigeria, said the second mistake of his life was to allow Gowon to make that statement. He wrote “The second episode occurred during the interregnum of July 29 to August 1, 1966 when for four days there was no Government in Nigeria. A group of Federal Permanent Secretaries visited Ikeja barracks amidst the ‘rising grass’ and were introduced to combat troops therein as members of the Civil Service Tribe. They played the critical role in averting the instant disintegration of Nigeria. Sometimes I am asked if the game was worth the candle or whether Nigeria should have been allowed to break up? I used to be an incurable optimist but sometimes I wonder in moments of doubt whether this is the mistake of my life. We took much risk then but others have made the supreme sacrifice for Nigeria. I still regret that the late Abdul Attah and I did not accept Col. Gowon’s invitation for us and the then Solicitor-General, Justice Kazeem to stay behind and write his ’take-over’ speech. The basis of unity is not there would not have become the albatross of the Federal propaganda effort during the Civil War and the Gowonist era of One Nigeria. I still believe this country is worth saving but only on one condition, namely that it is preserved for the benefit of all Nigerians irrespective of state of origin

or religion. There shall be no second class citizens; this should be an article of faith observed and seen to be observed scrupulously by the leadership at all levels”. In other words, Nigeria should belong to all Nigerians irrespective of culture, religion and ethnicity. If I may ask, why be part of a forced union when you are no longer being treated as an equal partner. We have seen the rise and fall of nations and empires. We are also well aware of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Yugoslavia was a strong nation under Field Marshall Tito, but in the early 1990s, the same Yugoslavia split into what we now refer to as Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and Slovenia. Urjanchai Republic was a country in south-central Russia and existed till 1914. Ottoman Empire also known as the Turkish Empire, this empire began around 1300 and expanded to include parts of contemporary Russia, Turkey, Hungary, the Balkans, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire ceased to exist in 1923 when Turkey declared independence from what remained of the empire. The Persia Empire extended from the Mediterranean Sea to India. Modern Persia was founded in the 16th Century and later became known as Iran. Also the Prussia became a Duchy in 1660 and a kingdom in the following century. At its greatest extent it includes the Northern two-thirds of Germany and Western Poland. Prussia, by World War II, a federal unit of Germany, was fully disbanded at the end of World War II. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) broke into 15 new countries in 1991. The countries were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldovia, Russia, Taikista, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The Republic of Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1836 and existed as an independent country until annexation to the United States in 1845. There is nothing new in nations rising and falling. As the nominated delegates keep arriving Abuja soon in there different traditional attires, let them be allowed to make a choice on the Nigerian union. There should be no ban or prohibition on issues to be elucidated. If divorce or separation of the union is to be desired and pleasing, so be it. • Teniola was a Director at the Presidency in Abuja. He resides in Lagos.

The Barbarians in Ejigbo By Rasheed Ojikutu HE profundity of her pains was unmistakable as three or four T bulky men stood ominously over her stark naked fragile frame. With some liquid spread over her body, she beckoned loudly to Jesus for liberation, a situation that did not elicit sympathy from her gaoler. In what looked like the final onslaught, she was floored while a man struggled to insert some strange objects into her private part. The intensity of the resulting pain could be felt through her instant confession: “Beni, mo ji ata.” (Yes, I stole the pepper), she cried uncontrollably. While she groaned, the other victim, a female who was also stark naked stared intensely at the spectacle, probably, in a state of near cardiac arrest, knowing that she is minutes away from a damning consequence. Except the brutes who perpetrated these dastardly acts, even, a hard heartedbeing would have shed tears. The predicament of these two women, who were alleged to have stolen a basket of pepper, is neither a scene from the Hollywood celebrated film “scream” nor from an equally frightening episode of “The Wrong Turn”. It was an incident that happened in the full glare of civilisation in a market located in Ejigbo area of Lagos State. The situation as recorded in a video and pasted on the Internet calls to question the current cerebral state of the Nigerian nation and tells more about the latitude with which evil is perpetrated in our country with no consequences in sight. It strengthens the position that our country has degenerated to the level where sup-

posedly humans are walking on-all-fours. Unfortunately, this incident is coming on the heels of the case of the “Aluu four” in which four young men accused of robbery were immolated in broad daylight. What, if one may ask, is wrong with us? Why have we suddenly become blood thirsty and heartless? We may continuously ask millions of questions but the answer may never come. However, we know that all is not well with our nation and like one whose body is invaded by demon, we are aware that our salvation lies in immediate exorcism of these strange invading bodies from our system. This incident and its likes make special attention on security more exigent. The aforementioned is one reason why the maximum penalty should remain glued to our statute because without it, life would become cheap and valueless. The current state of the Nigerian psyche is disturbing. Every day, the media is replete with incidents of senseless homicides, patricides, matricides and so on. Incidentally, there are few cases of suicide, an indication that perpetrators value their own lives than those of others. The type of incident in Ejigbo is not alien to the environment of contemporary Nigeria, a country where impunity reigns with heart-rendering callousness and extreme cases of man’s inhumanity to man. After all, it was in an open space on OshodiApapa Expressway that Clifford Orji set his snares to trap human beings and devour their flesh. Is it not in this same country that Nigerians are driving into the ritualists den without a trace? How many corpses of people who should be resting in peace are

exhumed from the graves with their carcass dismembered and sold for ritual purposes? The Ejigbo incident, like many others would have passed unnoticed but for the eagle eye of Joe Odumakin, and her group. Nigerians hope that with the Inspector General of Police taking over the case, this will not go the way of many unresolved cases in Nigeria. It is hoped that justice would be dispensed appropriately and timely at the end of the day. The fact that the Ejigbo incident happened around February 2013 but did not come to limelight until a year after is an indication of the failure of our security system and this is one reason why those demanding for State policing system would have an edge in the argument. Many countries of the world have passed the stage whereby a crime committed in Manchester would need a nod in Westminster before being investigated by the police. The truth is that the crime structure of our country is changing rapidly while the policing technique remains archaic and static. Who is benefiting from a centralised police system? The argument that the State government would use the security apparel against the opposition is flimsy and unfounded because the same situation is obtainable in the relationship between the Federal Government of Nigeria, who is the current supervisor of the Police and the members of the opposition. A case in point is that of the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, who alleged that he is being hounded and harassed by the State Commissioner of Police, probably with the support of the detractors in Abuja. • Professor Ojikuti is of the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos.


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Opinion Foreign investment in the power sector By Godfrey Ijebuwa T is apt to situate the origins of President GoodIinluck Jonathan’s Road Map on Power, launched August 2010, to the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 which gives legal backing to the industry reform programme. In 1999, the National Council on Privatization (NCP) instituted the Electric Power Sector Implementation Committee (EPIC) to undertake a comprehensive study of the electricity power industry. The key objective of EPIC was to prepare a power policy blueprint that will define government’s new direction for the electric power sector. One of the key outcomes of EPIC was the preparation of a draft National Electric Power Policy (NEPP) in March 2001. This policy was subsequently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in September 2001. The NEPP document is primarily aimed at liberalizing the electricity industry, attract private sector investment and enthrone competition amongst participants in the electricity market. The policy envisaged a three-stage development of the electricity industry with a comprehensive change in the legal and regulatory environment of the sector. Three broad objectives of the reform of the sector are: • Attract and encourage private sector participation; • Attract capital to fund the sector; and • Ensure a level playing ground for all investors. The power sector is very capital intensive, necessitating the need to attract other parties, as government does not have the resources to meet all its burgeoning obligations. It is expected that with the introduction of a better operating environment that is efficient, effective and well regulated, private participants would be encouraged to invest in the sector. The participation of the private sector should bring about higher generation capacities through the provision of more efficient and cost effective stations and improvements in the distribution sector, such as billing

and collection, distribution networks, etc. The reform of the electric power sector in Nigeria comprises two main components – restructuring and privatisation. • Restructuring of the Nigerian power industry involved three main components: First, the change of the industry structure to stimulate competition and choice as well as promote financial accountability; second, the unbundling of power utility into the constituents functions; and third, putting in place a new commercial trading arrangement. • Privatisation, on the other hand, is the change in control and/or ownership of the utility. Given that the power sector reforms had stalled, President Jonathan, in August 2010, launched the New Roadmap. The short-term service delivery of the roadmap includes quick completion of National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP); additional NIPP transmission will boost capacity to wheel electricity; new gas pipelines to feed natural gas to plants; monitor and remove bottlenecks to on-going power projects intended to enhance the distribution system; monitor transmission projects intended to expand capacity and increase stability of the grid to reduce system collapse; close monitoring of all generation rehabilitation and stabilization projects; and privatisation of 17 out of the 18 successor companies unbundled from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN.) However, the handover of the successor companies to the core investors in November, 2013, has thrown up several challenges, the principal issue being how the investors will raise funds to meet up their capital requirements. Power sector reform is a very challenging process because in most cases the dividends of the reform and the return on investment are only realizable in the long term. The Nigerian power sector reform is even more challenging as poor performance of the sector has led to impatience which has translated to long term plans being disrupted by short term interventions which only worsen the problem.

The electricity industry reform aims at improving the overall industry efficiency through restructuring, private sector participation, and competition. The reform process will be completed when full competition in all the competitive parts of the industry, namely generation and supply, is attained. In order to fast tract the process, President Jonathan has taken the bull by the horn by convening a one-day International Conference for Facilitating Financing of Power Infrastructural Development in Nigeria with the theme “Invest in Nigeria’s Power Sector – a Rewarding Return on Investment Awaits”. This initiative is to augment the efforts of the private sector which recently took over electric power generation and distribution assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN.) The conference which holds on February 10, 2014 in Abuja will draw participants from Nigeria’s development partners, the donor community, international financial institutions, and international financiers. It aims to achieve the following: • Facilitate interaction between the new investors and local and international financial institutions to explore the available opportunities in meeting the capital expenditure (CAPEX) needs of the Nigerian power sector; • Support the creation of a sound economic expansion framework that will enhance performance across the power sector value chain; • Provide the enabling environment for potential investors in the power sector to refine their entry strategy into the Nigerian power sector; • Identify areas of need that can affect the viability of the market; •  Provide opportunity for clarifying government policies for the power sector; and • Create a sector CAPEX plan that will serve as baseline for future monitoring and evaluation of the sector participants. • According to the Chairman of the organizing committee of the conference and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Am-

bassador Godknows Igali, “Nigeria’s power sector is open to strategic partnership and investors are invited to invest.” He noted that “following the physical handover of the successor companies to the private sector investors on November 1, 2013, the burden of process optimization and capacity expansion has been shifted from the Federal Government to the new owners. Nonetheless, the Federal Government recognizes that power supply still remains a social responsibility as it is the paramount infrastructure needed for our nation building and economic development. “Ultimately, the direct beneficiaries of the fund influx are the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the Discos, Gencos, NIPPs, the emerging IPPs and other sector service providers”, Igali added The quantum challenge before the core investors of the power assets can be gleaned from a few facts from the five-year total capital expenditure (Capex) for the eleven distribution companies which are estimated at $1.8 billion. A breakdown shows that from 2013 to 2017, the Capex for the 11 Discos is $357,663,000 for each year. For Ikeja Disco alone, its annual Capex is $58,737,000 (the highest) while Yola Disco’s annual Capex is $13,133,000 (the lowest). The privatisation programme is anchored on the attainment of clearly defined goals and parameters. In the case of the PHCN Genco, capacity is expected to be ramped up from the current low levels to meet target capacities. For the Discos, the performance of the business operations of the new owners will be measured on the basis of their abilities to reduce distribution losses to loss targets specified in their business plans. The Discos will be making investments in expanding of their networks to distribute power and also in connecting new consumers to the existing network. The privatisation of the successor companies has shown that there is a strong demand from the private sector participation in the generation and distribution sectors of the electricity industry. • Ijebuwa, a power sector analyst, wrote from Abuja

Who will rescue Nigeria? By Victor Oshisada HE British Government revoked the Royal Niger Company’s charter of ruling Nigeria on December 31, 1899. On January 1, 1900, by concurrent ceremonial parades in Lokoja and Asaba, conducted at the respective places, by Brigadier-General Frederick Lugard and Sir Ralph Moor, the Protectorate of Nigeria was born. It marked the end of the beginning. By the Letters Patent and Order in Council, January 1914, the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria was set up. Since then, Nigeria trudged on until Independence on October 1, 1960. Political leaders and citizens were then looking at the future with optimism and confidence that there would be advancement. Today is the future of the time. There is an adage, “Today is the mother of tomorrow. If today is wrong, tomorrow can certainly not be right”, which is to confirm another saying, “Garbage in, garbage out”. That is, if wrong or poor quality contents are put in a container, poor contents are sure to come out of the container. The weight of our leaders’ mediocrity and unbridled greed is suffocating. Jobbery hallmarks our politics, in contrast to the famous lines of late Baroness Margaret Thatcher, “We are not in politics to ignore people’s worries, we are in politics to deal with them”. Inept leaders have been our bane from the outset. That explains why Nigerians still wallow in the morass of failures. It does not, however, mean that the nation is absolutely bereft of good leaders; there are good leaders; it is just that they are denied the opportunity to rule. The same old elements are usually recycled to power. For long, the same conservative elements are in control. Another round of general elections is at hand – by February, 2015. The People’s Democratic Party is a disappointment, causing paroxysms of hate and ill-feelings among the governed. It is the same stagnant puddles of water. Still, the members of the party have no conscience, clinging like lichen to power, since May, 1999. Citizens are tired of misrule, as the party is scheming with might and main to remain in the saddle of power, despite poor performance. It is understandable if the PDP is showcasing quality delivery. But lo and behold, this is not so. What we are witnessing is a harvest of incessant strikes by workers for the government’s unfulfilled promises. If university lecturers (ASUU) are not on lengthy strikes, medical doctors and other health workers are doing so. Who blames the fuming strikers? The strikers are aware of the magnitude of the scum and filth of corruption in the public service. The brouhaha occasioned by the recent purchase of a N255 million armoured cars, for a serving Minister, is yet to subside, The Guardian, October 18, 2013; the findings of the House of Representatives’ probe into the use of N100.561 billion allegedly disbursed to the office of the Secretary to the Government of

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the Federation (SGF) and the Federal Ministry of Information, between 2004 and 2012, are yet to be revealed, The Guardian, December 16, 2013. These two instances are monumental. What with insecurity? The recent explosion that rocked Rivers’ Court was the tip of an iceberg, The Guardian, January 7, 2014. It destroyed the Ahoada High Court and a Magistrate’s Court in Okehi. If on regular bases, courts are burnt, it indicates that justice cannot be efficiently administered. If similar arson befell the National Industrial Court that awarded N39.6 million to a woman for her unlawful sack and sexual harassment in her working place, the injuries to her fundamental rights, pride, dignity and sense of self-worth by her employers could not be rectified. If arson attack is carried out on court buildings, what hope there is for justice? The question arises, “Who shall save this country?” South Africa’s exPresident Thabo Mbeki has an answer. “Only Nigerians, not the politicians, can solve leadership problems”, in an interview with The Guardian on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Elaborating further on the statement, he added, “In as much as the politicians and elected officials must be blamed for bad governance, the de-mobilised citizenry, including unions, civil society groups and religious organizations should take greater responsibilities for the leadership problems in Nigeria and the rest of Africa”. I am inclined to reason with Thabo Mbeki. Let me discuss the items seriatim. First, the trade unions. In many countries, these have played positive roles. Britain, as the first industrial nation in the world, its trade unions played their huge political roles, with strikes as weapons for change. British Labour Party developed from the then existing trade union movement to champion and shape political developments. Also, in Germany, United States of America (U.S.) and Japan, trade unions influenced political advancements. South Africa and colonial Nigeria are no exceptions. Mr. Thabo Mbeki had his country, South Africa, in focus when he advised Nigerians on rescuing the country. The Blacks were disenfranchised and subjected to oppression, backed by apartheid laws. The South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) was formed in 1955 of non-white unions and racially mixed unions. Its officers and executive committee members were prosecuted by the government in the long South African treason trials which ended in 1961. Eventually, Black majority rule was attained. Nelson Mandela was released. In Nigeria, the roles of trade unions before Independence combined with the efforts of the nationalists. Our leaders’ political recklessness is now propelling us to the edge of the precipice. It is believed that similar patriotic efforts by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Nigeria Trade Union can redeem this country from the abyss of economic ruins. Recently, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria

urged the Federal Government to immediately caution the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Dr. Bright Okogu, against feeding the public with false information on the issue of wages of civil servants. With political will, Trade Unionism can still bare its fangs in the pursuits of developmental changes. But do the organizations possess the will? Secondly, civil society groups, including voluntary associations, firms and other corporate bodies can also play roles to correct poor leadership. It happened in India and many countries in Europe. The instruments cannot remain blunt for Nigeria. All hands ought to be on deck for poor leadership change. Thirdly, religious organisations must not be left out in leadership problems. In colonial era, there was religious nationalism which started very early. Far-sighted national leaders foresaw the possible aftermath of Christianising. They, therefore, met in 1891 and resolved, “That a purely native African Church be formed for the evangelization and amelioration of our race, to be governed by Africans”, wrote G. A. Oke in his Short History of the United African Church (1936). It is incumbent on 21st century Churches in this country to solve leadership problems in politics – roles must not be restricted to prayers alone. When politicians kneel before church founders for prayers, financial rewards alone must not be the driving force, but sustainable advice on patriotism. All the denominations of Churches must make concerted efforts to strive for leadership changes. The Romans of old had a tagline: “Ora et labora”, meaning “Pray and work”. It is when we work and pray that our objectives are attained. It is not by prayer alone. We must work towards it. I support the observation of President Goodluck Jonathan, “Over 50 per cent of politicians are not supposed to be in politics. Politics is just like some kinds of trade. More than 50 per cent of us, who are into politics, are not supposed to be politicians. For example, in the professions of nursing and teaching, people with wicked hearts and unforgiving spirits are not the kind of people who should be nurses or teachers, but we find them there. So, most of us who are in politics are not supposed to be there, because we have no other thing to do”. Well reasoned out and well said. President Jonathan hits the nail on the head, but he is among those who should not be in politics, because of his poor delivery. He has inadvertently censured himself. Therefore, he has no other option than to resign and relinquish office. Only the chastened and tested leaders can rescue this country. • Oshisada, a veteran journalist, lives at Ikorodu, Lagos.


Thursday, February 6, 2014 19

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TheMetroSection My joy, my pains...

Briefs

• Father of quadruplets seeks financial assistance to take care of his wife and babies

The quadruplets

Their father: Emeka

From Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) E had wanted children from his marriage.  This is part of the reasons he went into the marriage with his heartthrob, Nkeiruka, two years ago. Now, this desire has come to fruition. However, rather than come one after another, the children came in multiples, at the same time. Many would, indeed, agree that this is a blessing from God. Mr. Emeka Ezeugwu, a native of Opi, in Nsukka Local Council of Enugu State also agrees that the delivery of the quadruplets by his wife, Nkeiruka on Monday, February 3, 2014 is but a blessing. However, this multiple blessing is also a source of pain to him as he never expected that their delivery would be too soon and is, therefore, asking public-spirited individuals to assist the family sustain the children. Although the wife had gone for medical examination to ascertain the true state of the babies before their delivery that fateful Monday, however, each of the examinations gave varied delivery dates for April

H

2014. “The first examination said that we should expect triplets in March this year. The second examination said quadruplets but that we should expect them in April this year. I have never been comfortable since these conflicting results started coming in because, I had looked forward to the children coming one after the other. Again, not this early”, he said. Surprisingly on Monday morning, his wife had gone into labour and was later delivered of two boys and two girls through Ceasarean section at the Mother of Christ Specialist Hospital, Ogui, Enugu. Emeka, a commercial driver with a transport company, Globis Motors Ltd, is now confronted with the financial burden of how to sustain the four kids, who were born prematurely and are being sustained through the hospital’s incubator, as well as their mother who needs thorough medication to revive her heavy loss of blood during delivery. A dejected father, who has made the premises of the hospital his second home, since it was his wife’s

I took my wife to the Mother of Christ where I was asked to deposit N50,000. I could not afford the money and pleaded with them to attain to her on the promise that I would pay later. Now the surgery has been done, the children are here but how do I afford their medication? first pregnancy, told The Guardian that each of the injections being administered “on each of the kids at every hour interval costs N2, 000.” He said that his wife was rushed back to the theatre after delivery due to excess bleeding where she was revived, adding that he never prepared that the situation would turn out that way.

Emeka said before coming to the Mother of Christ Hospital, they had gone to a private hospital within their community in Nsukka, where his wife registered for antenatal care. He said that after an examination, they were referred to the Park Lane Teaching Hospital, Enugu for a caesarian section. “On getting there as well, we were told that the facilities for the surgery were not in order. I took my wife to the Mother of Christ where I was asked to deposit N50, 000. I could not afford the money and pleaded with them to attend to her on the promise that I would pay later. Now the surgery has been done, the children are here but how do I afford their medication? That is my greatest worry for now and for which I am asking the public to assist me,” he said. Emeka, who said his wife is an apprentice training in fashion designing, was however full of gratitude to the hospital management for “saving the life of my wife even when I did not pay the initial deposit.”

Lions Club to honour Arepo monarch DIMU Silva Lions Club will Imonarch this weekend honour the of Arepo land, Oba Solomon Atanda Oyebi with a Melvin Jones Fellowship award. President of the club, Adeleke Adebesin, told The Guardian that the club’s decision to honour the monarch with Lions Club’s highest fellowship award was motivated by the monarch’s support to the club. The Oba recently donated a parcel of land in Arepo community to the club. The president also added that the club would be partnering with some corporate bodies to execute some projects, which would include building of a community health centre and bore holes.  Its executive committee would this weekend pay a visit to the Arepo’s palace for the presentation and revelation of other projects planned for the community.

Vincent Nwagboniwe for burial Saturday HE death has occurred of T Mr. Vincent Uche Nwagboniwe, aged 52 , in Lagos on January 20, 2013. His burial rites begin on Friday, February 7, 2014 with a Service of Song at 6pm at Chief Mathias Nwagboniwe’s residence , Ogbeose Village , Ewulu, Aniocha South Local Council of Delta State. He will be buried after a funeral service on Saturday, February 8 at 11.00am, at the same venue. Until his death , he was the Managing Director of BonDevine Nigeria Limited, Lagos. He is survived by wife , children and relations.

Fire destroys Kara Market in Sokoto ROPERTY worth millions P of Naira have been destroyed by fire at the popular Kara market in Sokoto. Some of the items sold at the market included grains, onions, wheat offal, kolanuts and other agricultural inputs, generators and spare parts, among others. The fire which started at about midnight on Tuesday was said to have been ignited by an electrical spark at a shop opposite the Kofar-Kade gate. Over 200 shops were razed down in the fire incident. There was, however, no loss of life or injury in the inferno. The fire was still raging when newsmen visited the scene at 6.30am yesterday. Some of the traders were able to salvage some of their wares, while others were seen guarding their property against thieves. Some traders told journalists that the spark was caused by the restoration of power supply. “There was no light at the market since 6p.m. on Tuesday. It was restored at about midnight. That was believed to be the genesis of the unfortunate fire incident,” Alhaji Musa Dan-

The burnt market

hajiya, a victim said. Another victim, Malam Yusuf Labbo, said: “We have

lost property worth hundreds of millions of Naira and cash. The fire was put

off by some good Samaritans and the victims, and we are still guarding our

salvaged items.” The Secretary of the Kola Nuts Sellers Association in Sokoto state, Mr. Shina Agboola, told NAN that the fire had caused tremendous damage at the market. Agboola said: “My association has over 108 members at the affected market and they have suffered huge losses. We are, therefore, appealing to the government to come to the aid of the victims.” The Director-General, Sokoto State Fire Service, Alhaji Harande Chedi, confirmed the incident, saying no life was lost. Chedi, however, said the service would investigate the allegation of restoration of electricity and power surge to ascertain the cause of the inferno. On his part, the DirectorGeneral of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Hassan Maccido, said the state government would set up a committee to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the fire. “The state government will also come to the aid of the victims, but the victims should regard the incident as an act of God,” he said.

Nwagboniwe

Oteju, 80, for burial ORMER shipping magnate FOteju, and lawyer, Mr. Stephen A. has died at the age of 80. A service of Songs holds at 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday, February12 at his residence, 16, D'Aberto Road, Palmgrove Estate, Lagos . A Christian wake has been scheduled for 5.00 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, at 102, Sagamu Road, Ikorodu, Lagos while interment follows "immediately after" funeral service at 102, Sagamu Road, Ikorodu, Lagos on Fed. 14.

Oteju


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20 Thursday, February 6, 2014

500 benefit from Rotary Club’s free medical check-up By Isaac Taiwo HE roll call at the Rotary T Club of Lagos-Palmgrove Estate’s Free Medical CheckUp programme, which was held at 1, Dalberto Road, Palmgrove Estate, was expectedly impressive. Men, women and children trooped to the venue from different parts of Lagos and beyond, to benefit from the free medical outreach. On ground to handle the diverse cases were a team of eight doctors, made up of diabetic specialists, orthopaedic specialists, counsellors and gender physicians. The organizer’s passion for the less-privileged, an ideal of Rotary International, was brought to the fore in their effort to ensure that everybody who turned up at the venue, was adequately attended to. Octogenarian Asiata Ajasa

and a beneficiary of successful eye surgery organized by the club in the past, was brought by her daughter, Noimat Ajasa. Probably suffering from an old age problem, Asiata complained of dislocation in one of her arms. She was grateful to the club for organizing the outreach for the benefit of the less- privileged. Haruna Ibrahim, aged 63, a security man with Patplast (Nigeria) Limited. He is diabetic and grateful to have been a beneficiary. “Though I came because of my eye problem and was told that attention to eye problem was not included in today’s camp arrangement, I presented myself for treatment on diabetes, which I had also been nursing for sometime now.” Mrs. Toyin Oloyede, 34, also took advantage of the pro-

Briefs Lawyers launch empowerment programme for women By Joseph Onyekwere HE Co-Chair, International Bar Association (IBA) African Regional Forum, Mrs Olufunmi Oluyede and the former third Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Dr Ogugua Ikpeze have launched an empowerment programme to advance the personal development of women. The initiative, Women Empowerment Now (WEN), is an international programme that promotes the advancement of women, strengthening their abilities and helping them achieve balance among their personal, family and professional lives. WEN Co-President, Beatriz Martorello, an international arbitrator and mediator, said the programme aims to reach the highest number of women possible and strengthen them regardless of their professional development and achievements. Among other objectives is to share powerful and inspirational experiences, and create specific programmes to meet the particular needs of women in reach region. WEN Vice-President Aaron Schildhaus, an international business lawyer, said the initiative would reach women through conferences in different cities and countries.

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Diva Cakes opens in Victoria Island IVA Cakes and Confections the cake shop at the fore- front D of making special moments last longer has now spread its tentacles into the hearts of Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island. The opening, which brings the number of outlets to two, was done by popular on - air - personality Dan Foster who lauded the management’s efforts at adding another shop on the Island to support its outlet on 63a Opebi Road, Ikeja. Diva Cakes which offers a variety of recipes ranging from the Diva mix- a blend of coconut, chocolate and Strawberry- to the Diva Red Velvet Cakes will deliver unforgettable moments at weddings, birthdays, special office celebrations, anniversaries, Valentine etc. Mrs. Genia Okafor, the CEO said customers would experience the rich taste of her cakes and desserts that will bring smiles to their occasions. She said cakes are available on request for people with special dietary needs. To celebrate the opening, she added, customers would enjoy a special discount of 10 per cent on every purchase from Jan 31st to Feb 15th. The shop plans a surprise for every customer who makes a purchase during the Valentine period.

Awobiyi, ex- Daily Times Editor for burial Friday HE death has occurred of former Deputy Editor of Daily T Times, Mr. Toyin Makanju. The funeral rites for the veteran Sports, Music, Production and Entertainment editor,will kick off today with Christian wake at his residence,11, Oshinkalu Close, Surulere,Lagos at 5.00 p.m. He will be buried tomorrow at the Ikoyi Cemetery after a funeral service at the Surulere Baptist Church,Ojuelegba Road, Lagos from 10.00 a.m. Makanju, popularly known as ‘’T.Mak’’ also edited the Sporting Record and The Lagos Weekend Newspapers,both in the Daily Times stable. He was married with children and grandchildren.

gramme and came along with her seven-month-old baby, Samuel. She expressed appreciation for the magnanimity of Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate. “The programme is just very good,” she said. President of the club, Venegopal Jajoo, explained that the free medical programme was carried out to ensure that residents of the community remain healthy, while also getting acquainted with their health status. “We are not unaware of the fact that little sickness can lead to a chronic disease. We believe when members of the community come for this free medical check-up, they would learn a lot of things about how to stay healthy. “In the course of the programme, whenever we discover that some people have chronic diseases that would require the attention of a specialist, we not only tell them what to do but also direct them to where to go for adequate treatment. In the situation where their problems are minor, we give them treatment and also drugs, which would carry them for two weeks. “We are aware of the common ailment of diabetics in the society and this has given rise to our club organizing a diabetic camp alongside the

President, Rotary Club of Palmgrove Estate, Venegopal Jajoo (left), incoming President, Ramesh Biswel, Madam Asiata Ajasa receiving drug from Suresh Puthera and Haruna Ibrahim, a beneficiary at the Rotary Club of LagosPHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO Palmgrove Estate’s Free Medical Check Up programme... to quantify the cost of the Jajoo disclosed that the club World Diabetic Day in the programme.” has six major camps within month of November. He added that young docthe Rotary Calendar year with “We are happy at the feedtors were always enthusiastic the star project being the eye back we always receive from to contribute their quota. surgery, which is always prebeneficiaries and we can only “Each beneficiary goes home ceded by three preliminary advise the government to aswith a drug worth between eye tests for beneficiaries. sist those that require long N1,000 and N2,000.” Asked about what the medterm treatment to include The president further anical outreach cost the club, where they would continue nounced that in furtherance the president said many peotheir treatment after we have of the club’s humanitarian ple contribute their time, taldone ours. We always advise gesture, affected members of ent and treasure to the those with cardiac ailment, the public can get free artifiprogramme, while some diabetic problem and orcial legs every week day at the manufacturers donate drugs. thopaedic cases to visit specamp ground in Palmgrove “All these make it impossible cialists,” he said. Estate.

New NAFRC boss, Morgan, resumes in Lagos By Odita Sunday HE newly appointed T Commandant of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan has resumed office with a promise to ensure quality training and reorientation of retiring military personnel. Morgan took over from Air Vice Marshal Moses Akinsanmi who has retired from service due to the appointment of his junior, Amosun as the new Chief of Air Staff. The outgoing Commandant, Akinsanmi, while handing over to Morgan advised senior officers of the command to cooperate with the new commandant in repositioning the centre. He told them: “Your new commandant is a well known person to me. We have been together for some time now. We call him Mr. Morgan. As he is succeeding me today, I am also bowing out from service having had 34 years of unblemished service to my country. I want to thank all the officers and men who cooperated with me during

my period of service here. I urge you to extend a higher level of support to my successor.” “The trying moments we had were the period that we had fire incident. We thank God that the fire incidents that we had did not kill any human being. We need more resources from gov-

ernment so that the new commandant can make more impact.” “Within the resources available to us, we have been able to upgrade the medical center, we were able to repair many roads; we also rehabilitated the fences. My predecessor started a pro-

gramme which was not in the budget but which we pursued and trained senior officers in collaboration with a Non Governmental Organization.” Morgan, who addressed his men and some retirees on training after the handing over, urged them to be diligent and disciplined.

Akinsanmi decorating Morgan at the event

Motorists warned against use of fake number plates in Enugu From Leo Sobechi, Abakaliki OTORISTS have been alerted on the consequences of procuring and using fake vehicle number plates by the Enugu Zonal Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC) Mr. Kehinde Adeleye. Mr. Adeleye handed down the warning in Abakaliki, Tuesday when he addressed officers of the Ebonyi Command of the corps in the course of his familiarization visit to the command. He disclosed that “strin-

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Awobiyi

Trade Fair Services Ltd. holds exhibition RADE Fair Services Limited, the West African regional represenT tatives offices for Messe Dusseldorf (organisers of the fair) presentation platform will occur at Sheraton Hotel & Towers on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. The scope of the fair as well as well as support services will be discussed. Exhibitors are expected from industries ranging from food and beverages, confectionary and baked goods to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, non-food consumer goods, industrial goods and related services. A host of ancillary programmes would be presented at the fair.

gent punitive measures would be taken against motorists who use the fake number plates when total enforcement starts from July1, 2014” regretting that “it is disturbing that despite the grace given to motorists to change to new, authentic number plates, many still patronize quacks who issue them with the fake number plates.” The FRSC Zonal Commander declared that the Corps would view the use of fake number plates as a criminal offence and not a

traffic offence when the enforcement commences explaining that since only the FRSC, Boards of Internal Revenue and Licensing Offices could issue the new number plates, any other source was illegitimate. He disclosed that in a bid to hasten the issuance of new national drivers’ licenses to motorists, the state would soon have up to five Information Processing Centres. Earlier, the Sector Commander of the Corps, Mr. Taiwo Eseyin, commended the zonal commander for

the visit, noting that his officers have been diligent in the execution of their duties with diligence. “Despite the challenges that confront us,” he added, “including befitting accommodation, lack of operational vehicles among other constraints, we are still determined to reduce road accidents to the barest level”. In his remark, Chairman of Ebonyi State BIR, Mr. Joseph Ugbor, called on FRSC to check the circulation of fake number plates and drivers licenses in the state.


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Business Angst as kerosene business booms in aviation fuel market By Roseline Okere NDICATIONS emerged yesterday that some petroleum marketers have continued to sell Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) to airlines in Nigeria as aviation fuel, otherwise known as JET A1 despite warnings from the relevant authorities against such act. The illicit act has been identified as being responsible for the high cost of kerosene in the country and also a disaster waiting to happen in the aviation industry. The Guardian learnt that some marketers, some times ago sent petition to the Federal Government over the sale of kerosene to airlines by some unscrupulous oil marketing firms as aviation fuel. The particular company, which was identified by the marketers, had since retraced its steps, but the trade has

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since been thriving among some other marketers, who saw the business as lucrative. The attraction to the illicit business, The Guardian learnt, was the need to make extra profit from kerosene, which pump price is N50 per litre and sold as JET A1 fuel at over N152 per litre by some of these marketers. An authoritative source - an airline operator, confirmed the development, blaming the situation on some oil marketers. The source stated that the practice had been on for years, alleging some new entrants into the sector are being deceived with the quality of fuel sold them, hinting that the continuation of DPK to power aircraft could cause damage to engines and cause catastrophe, urging those involved in the practice to desist, just

as he urged the aviation regulatory body to ensure strict regulation of the commodity. According to the source, “it is true that this practice has been on for years, but it should not be allowed to thrive. It could endanger lives and cause huge damage to aircraft engines. Some of the new entrants into the sector are guilty of this practice. There is just little difference between DPK and JET A1 but are not of the same specifications”. In 2011, a former DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren had initiated a probe and summoned oil marketers over allegations that some of their members were selling DPK to airlines in Nigeria as aviation fuel. The matter came to a head when the Major Oil

Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Association of Petroleum Products Marketers (APPM) sent separate petitions to the Federal Government over the sale of kerosene to airlines by some unscrupulous oil marketing firms as aviation fuel. The Guardian investigation at filling stations in Lagos State revealed that kerosene is sold between N50 and 160 per litre, depending on the brand name of the filling station and the location. For instance, apart from MRS, Total, Forte Oil, a lot of other filling stations are selling kerosene at exorbitant prices. For example, FP filling station at Ejigbo-Ikotun road has been selling kerosene at N110 per litre; Nationwide, N120; and Acorn, N80 per litre. Another interesting aspect

General Manager, Rolls-Royce Motor Company Limited, Middle-East, Africa and Latin America, Ayman Ghanem (right); President/Chairman, Coscharis group, Dr. Cosmos Maduka; Managing Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Company Limited, Middle-East, Africa and Latin America, Geoff Briscoe; and Managing Director, Coscharis Motors, Samuel Josiah, at a pre media briefing on the forthcoming Rolls-Royce product launch, in Lagos, on Tuesday.

Again FBN emerges Nigeria’s top banking brand By Ade Ogidan, Business Editor

•Wells Fargo of U.S. ranked world’s number one bank

Bank of Nigeria, for FbeenIRST third consecutive year, has ranked the country’s

Guaranty Trust Bank was ranked 422 in the world from 415th position last year, while Zenith Bank inched up from 454th last year to 453rd ranking this year. Beside the three financial institutions, no other Nigerian bank made the top 500-brand ranking. According to the Africa Editor of the magazine, Paul Wallace, brand value of Nigerian banks increased by three per cent to $593 million. This made Nigeria to be among the Top 50 countries of the world by total brand value. The top 2014 10 banking brands in the world remain in America, Europe and Asia, with Wells Fargo of USA com-

number one banking brand in the latest ranking exercise conducted by The Banker Magazine of Financial Times Group and Brand Finance in the United Kingdom. According to a release by the Country Representative – Nigeria of The Banker, Kunle Ogedengbe, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank were ranked second and third respectively in Nigeria. Globally, First Bank was ranked 382 from 414th position last year. The brand value of the bank also increased to $228 million from $201 million from the preceding year.

ing from the second position last year to top the list. It was followed by HSBC (UK); Bank of America, Citi,JP Morgan, Chase (all from USA);ICBC (China); BNP Paribas (France); Santander (Spain); China Construction Bank; and Agricultural Bank of China. Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy, which advises, branded organisations on how to maximize their value through the effective management of their brands and intangible assets. According to The Top 500 Banking Brands report, Brand Finance, which compiled the ranking, used royalty relief method that values

the brand based on what would be paid to use the brand if it were owned by a third party. Courts and tax authorities recognize the method. The valuations of the brand take into account brand-specific financial and revenue data, model the market to identify market demand and the position of individual banks in the context of all other market competitors, establish the royalty rate for each bank, calculate the discount rate specific to each bank (taking account of its size, geographical presence, reputation, gearing and brand rating) and discount future royalty stream to a net present value, that is, the brand value.

of The Guardian’s investigation is that, about five of the filling stations, which adjusted their pump price to N50 per litre, seemed not to have the product in stock. A marketer, who spoke to The Guardian in confidence, said: “Go and do your own investigation and you will be able to confirm that some marketers are making quick money through the illegal business. “There was a particular popular marketer, who was involved in the trade in the past, but has stopped the trade and has since been doing business in a genuine manner. This is a disaster waiting to happen in the aviation industry if something urgent is not done about it”. Confirming the act recently, the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), identified using kerosene to fuel aircraft as one of the reasons for high cost of kerosene in the country. He named other factors as long chain of handling, smuggling because of huge arbitrage in price and use of kerosene in diesel blending. He said: "Kerosene unfortu-

nately has one of the longest chains in handling and at any point it changes hand, it is at a premium, hence the high cost at the retail end." According to him, there are two grades of Kerosene, Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) and House Hold Kerosene (HHK). "ATK is used in fuelling aircraft while HHK is used in domestic cooking and lighting homes,'' The executive secretary said it was a current global trend for refineries to produce mainly ATK for the aviation market. Stanley noted that due to the inability of Nigeria’s refineries to produce enough kerosene to meet increasing demand, it became necessary to import the ATK grades of kerosene, commonly referred to as Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK). He described DPK as a product that could blend perfectly well with diesel, noting that just blending one litre of kerosene would give the marketer N100 per litre extra profit. He identified this development as the beginning of the kerosene challenge, saying that imported kerosene often


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22 BUSINESS Thursday, February 6, 2014

MAN, stakeholders seek leeway to SMEs’ competitiveness, mortality rate By Femi Adekoya and Tolulope Okunlola HE Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has the hinged the competitiveness of the real sector on adoption of strategic innovations by stakeholders in the value-chain process of manufacturing. Specifically, MAN tasked its members on the need to change from the norm and alter the approach to innovations, product development, life cycle management, supply chain operations pricing strategies and incorporate the voice of customers in their value-chain processes. Speaking ahead of the planned forum by MAN in collaboration with Gold Elsh on “Re-Engineering of Manufacturing Internal Process for Competitiveness” scheduled for Febuary 12, 2014, the Acting DirectorGeneral of MAN, Rasheed Adegbenro stated that the

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key to reducing the mortality rate of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, lies in adoption of innovative processes in their businesses. Adegbenro explained: “Many factors have been alluded to the high mortality rate of small businesses among which are weak internal processes, microscopic and undiluted ownership structure, building businesses around personalities rather than institutions, lack of competitiveness of such type of businesses.” He noted that limited access to market, lacks of innovation and near absence of corporate governance are not left aside. “In our clime, manufacturing companies are confronted with unprecedented challenges to grow business in difficult operating environment arising from long years of neglect of basic and criti-

cal infrastructures, menace of multiple taxes and levies, multiplicity of regulatory agencies, smuggling and dumping of cheap products into the country. “We need to look internally and enhance the factors within members control and reposition for competitiveness while MAN shall continue to engage the government on the exogenous factors, Adegbenro added. On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Gold Elsh, Taiwo Olukunle said the firm creates partnerships with clients for value-driven services, considering its fast developing network in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan African countries. He said: “We are poised to deliver on our mandate, encouraging competitiveness in Small and Medium scale Enterprises SMEs, and also to put a stop to business failure with a solution that

Ogun’s debt stock hits N35b By Ade Ogidan, Business Editor HE balance of infrastructure loans taken by Ogun State government, under the Ibikunle Amosun administration has been put at N35.6 billion as at the end of December 2013. Already, the administration has, since May 2011, repaid approximately N20.3 billion in capital in line with its medium term financial strategy. The debt stock profile was disclosed yesterday in Abeokuta in a statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. Adeosun said that the "figure included loans taken from banks as well as the balance of loans inherited from the past administration”. She added that “inherent in the loan profile is the sum of N1.7billion which remains unused. The unspent loan

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included counterpart funds relating to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are awaiting rollout. "The loans have been utilised to finance its investments in security, education, environment as well as the massive ongoing state-wide urban renewal programme, all of which have positively reshaped the economic and physical landscape of the state". The commissioner noted that in line with the state’s law relating to the process of obtaining loans, the House of Assembly gave approvals before the loans were obtained, stating that in the 2014 appropriation law, the House of Assembly approved that the government can source N29.3billion of its total proposed expenditure of N201billion through loans.

However, she added that the government was able to maintain the loan profile at that level because it has continued to comply with the repayment schedule which qualifies it to take new loans as it has a high level of credibility with lenders. Other commitments, according to the Adeosun, "included the N6.4billion contractor finance obligations and the N16.9billion foreign denominated long term debts advanced by the World Bank, and other multilateral agencies of which N14.4billion (86 per cent) was inherited from past administration. "It should be noted that the state is currently working with the World Bank to implement the Public Financial Management (PFM) reform programme and the government has consistently expressed its commitment to the highest standards in public accounting", she added.

would outline the poor growth of businesses. “Most businesses crumble and get forgotten when the founder dies because of lack of management staff and poor relationship with other

partners. We are actually bringing a stop to this, because businesses in the small and medium groups possess a high mortality rate in the country. “Our mission is to make

organizations build their businesses around processes and not necessarily around people (process dependent and not people dependent) hence making business trans- generational.”

FIRS seeks stay of execution on tax tribunals From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja HE Federal Inland Revenue T Services has applied to the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, praying it to stay the execution of a verdict delivered on October 30, 2013, which declared the establishment of Tax Appeal Tribunals (TATs) illegal and ordered the Finance Minister to disband them. In an application for stay of execution pending appeal, FIRS drew the court’s attention to the “monumental economic consequences” that would follow if the judgment were executed. It said the execution of the judgment could result in a serious economic crisis. In the judgment delivered by Justice Ademola Adeniyi, the court restrained the eight TATs established by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) from adjudicating on matters relating to tax and federal revenue. The court held that the existence of TATs was illegal on the ground that they were established in breach of section 251 (1) (a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.p The judge, among others, ordered the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to immediately disband the eight tax appeal tribunals constituted by her, saying they were illegal. A firm, TSKJ Construces Internacionals Unipessoal LDA, initiated the suit. Arguing the application Tuesday, Lucius Nwosu, SAN, for the FIRS, contended that the balance of convenience was in his client’s favour. He said “more hardship will be done to this country if all the taxes collected previously by the TATs will have to be repaid. "All the state governments will have to refund the money allocated to then in relation to the revenue from the TATs.” Nwosu also drew the court’s attention to the effect of the judgment on the fate of the staff attached to the tribunals

and those who depended on them. He admitted that the tribunal’s activities affected people’s rights but that it operated administratively and not judicially. He urged the court to stay the execution of its judgment pending the determination of the appeal by the tribunal. Responding, Babatunde Ogundipe (for the TSKJ) queried FIRS’s right to seek a stay of the judgment when it was merely a party before the tribunal and not its establishing authority. He argued that all the orders made by the court, except that in relation to cost, were merely declaratory and which could not be stayed. “The FIRS, being just a party before the tribunal, and having not set up the tribunal, cannot ask for a stay of the order disbanding the tribunals,” Ogundipe argued. He contended that nonexecutory orders were incapable of being stayed. Ogundipe urged the court to refuse the FIRS' prayer for stay of the judgment’s execution, but agreed to the court granting a conditional stay of the order as to cost. Replying on point of law, Nwosu argued that as against Ogundipe’s contention, the TATs, by virtue of the provision of Section 59 of the FIRS Act and the 5th Schedule of the Act, were part of the administrative arm of the FIRS. He added that Section 75 of the Personal Incomes Tax Act gave the TATs jurisdiction over personal incomes tax. He argued that it was not out of place for the FIRS to seek to protect its administrative arm by applying for a stay of the execution of a judgment that affected the TATs. After entertaining arguments from parties, Justice Ademola reserved judgment for a yet to be announced date. TSKJ, a non-resident taxpayer, was awarded a contract for the construction of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). In executing the con-

tract, the company established a local subsidiary - TSKJ Nigeria, which rendered logistic support service to it in the course of the contract. In compliance with the nation’s tax requirement, TSKJ filed self-assessment forms on deemed profits, meaning that its profit could not be ascertained. TSKJ also made deductions of recharges being the cost paid to its local subsidiary. FIRS disallowed the deductions on the ground that the deductions were not allowed under the turnover basis assessment. FIRS consequently issued additional assessment in respect of the wrong deductions made by TSKJ. TSKJ objected to the additional deductions and filed an appeal at the Tax Appeal Tribunal, asking that the additional assessment be set aside. In its decision, the tribunal dismissed the company's claims. It ordered TSKJ to pay $12.9 million as tax liabilities for 1997, 1998,1999,2000,2001 and 2002 to FIRS. Dissatisfied with the decision, TSKJ appealed to the Federal High Court. In the judgment, Justice Ademola upheld the argument of the company that the tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit on the ground that the FIRS (Established) Act 2007 under which the tribunal was established conflicted with the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court conferred by section 251 (1)(a) and (b) of the constitution. "The respondent counsel's arguments that Tax Appeal Tribunal created by FIRS (Established) Act 2007 as being an administrative panel and not a court affecting the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court on federal revenue and taxation of companies are mere semantics, misconceived and untenable in law in as much as their decisions affect the civil rights and obligations of companies in relation to taxation matters and revenue of the federal government."

C&I Leasing receives NIS ISO 9001:2008 re-certification N conformity to the requireIQuality ments outlined in the Management System Standard, C&I Leasing Plc. has received the NIS ISO 9001:2008 certification from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). The re-certification serves as an evidence of the company’s commitment to continually improving its operational performance and reiterates its ability to meet the need of its customers. C&I Leasing first received the NIS ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2010 and in line with requirements reapplied in 2013, and was found worthy for re-certificaMAN, stake-

holders seek leeway to SMEs’ competitiveness, mortality ratetion after the SON audit. The Director General/Chief Executive of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, made the presentation of the certificate recently through the office of the SON management system certification in Lagos. While receiving the certificate, the Management Representative of C&I Leasing Plc. Monday Musa said: “ The Certification will give our organisation a renewed focus in our efforts at ensuring that we provide the best services to our customers.”

C & I leasing Plc, listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, is the foremost brand for leases and other ancillary services in Nigeria. With staff strength of over 4,000 people and operational offices in key locations in Nigeria and Ghana, the company takes pride in its track record of exceptional and qualitative service delivery. Today, the C & I leasing Plc brand presence can be felt in major sectors in the Nigerian economy, providing specialized services, in Marine, Telecommunications, Oil and Gas, Equipment Rentals, Manpower Outsourcing and Transportation.


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Appointments Labour, civil society groups charges FG on security From: Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief ABOUR and Human rights LFederal leaders have asked the Government to ensure that adequate security platform exists in the country

to ensure a free and fair general elections in 2015, saying that the political bickering and insecurity challenges pose a great threat to the polls. Besides, they also argued that

the on-going cross carpeting by political chieftains in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (ACN) demonstrated that politics of ideology and purposeful plans for

national development was no longer in their agenda. The leaders of Labour Party and Civil Society Coalition in the north who spoke at a oneday interactive session organised by the National Union of

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Bank Limited, Mallam Ahmed Kuru (right); Chairman, Sir. Ogala Osoka; directors of the bank, Mrs. Asmau Sani Maikudi; Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe and Alhaji Lamis Dikko at a meeting in Lagos.

Job creation data: NBS solicits cooperation with enumerators By Chuka Odittah, Abuja O enhance valid documentation of total number of jobs created by the Federal Government, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has called on members of the public to cooperate maximally with enumerators dispatched to collate data on jobs created in the first quarter of 2014. The appeal is contained in a statement made available to the Guardian in Abuja yesterday and signed by Dr Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation. The NBS appealed to households to volunteer correct information to enumerators in order for the bureau to collate accurate statistical data that will guide government in its employment creation drive across the country. The NBS noted that the main objective of the survey is to improve available information and data on Nigerian Labour market through the application of appropriate statistical methods for tracking variability in the number of jobs created or lost every quar-

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ter. The release said the NBS, in collaboration with the National Planning Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Office of Chief Economic Adviser to the President, would conduct the survey to measure the number of jobs created within the Nigerian Economy in every quarter of a year. “The Survey seeks information on the number of people employed within the reference period by activity and types of job, demographic characteristics of the newly employed persons, among others. “It will also cover the formal and the informal sectors in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. “Beyond the numbers, the survey will assist the Government with necessary information in the formulation of employment policies in Nigeria. This Survey is therefore coming at the right time, in the light of the Transformation Agenda of the

Federal Government which has poverty reduction through employment generation as its cardinal purpose,’’ it added The statement said the survey would cover the second, third and fourth quarter of 2013 to ascertain the level of national job creation efforts and the labour force. It said that the survey would also cover the informal and formal sectors in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. “The NBS hereby solicits necessary cooperation from establishments and households for the success of this exercise, particularly in completing the questionnaires correctly. “The authority to collect data under this survey and any other social economic data on all inhabitants of Nigeria is given to the NBS by the Statistics Act of 2007. “It is with the backing of this authority of the Act that NBS field officers will be visiting the selected establishments

and households between Feb. 5 and 28, 2014, to collect the information for statistical and planning purposes,’’ it said. The NBS further said that in compliance with the Statistical Act 2007, all information collected through this survey will be held in strict confidence and used for statistical and planning purposes by the Federal Government adding that failure to give information as required would attract penalty or imprisonment as stated in the Statistics Act. “And we intend to invoke the provisions of the law if necessary to ensure compliance, including publishing names of corporations that decide to withhold information, thereby violating the statistics law. “The responsibility for generating quality data for strategic planning and development should be a collective one and not that of the Bureau alone. “The Bureau wishes to appreciate the contribution of our stakeholders in this regard and solicit for their continuous support,’’ it stated.

Servicom tasks Nigerians on demand for quality service From Collins Olayinka, Abuja  HE steady rise in the quality of service rendered by government agencies in the last few years have been made possible by the rise in demand for qualitative service, the Senior Special Assistant to the President and National Coordinator of Servicom, Sylbriks Obriki has said. Speaking at a retreat for Servicom Nodal Officers in Abuja, Obriki, pointed at developments in key sectors of the

T

Nigerian economy in the last 10 years as an indication that service delivery was gradually improving in the country. He called for attitudinal change amongst service providers as well as service receivers in order to sustain the modest gains recorded. He added: “We are talking about reform in the transport and other sectors, we often talk about reforms in the Ministry of Aviation, Finance, the IPPS, the DFID arrangement for gov-

ernment to government services, so these services are there and we are improving in our service delivery system as a nation. Railway system was not working but now railway system is working, now also you can get your WAEC results online that is to show that Nigeria is improving, I want to even inform you that my concern today as the representative of Mr. President is that what is the role of the service taker in this service

delivery programme that we are running.”    Commenting on the theme:”Team Building Key to Achieving Efficient Service Delivery,” the Servicom boss stressed that the new area of focus for the Servicom would be ways of gauging the perception of service receivers to know if they appreciate the services they have received. His words: “When you look at the mandate of Servicom is to work with serv-

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Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in conjunction with the Labour Party (LP) canvassed a more purposeful engagement among the nation’s political class that would lead to the growth of democracy in the country, rather than mere cross-carpeting for selfish political gains. The Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu faulted the present trend by which notable leaders of PDP and APC have continued to engage in the politics of decamping among themselves, saying, “this was not the practice in the politics of the first republic and second republic”. “Our great political leaders like Awo, Zik, Ahmadu Bello, Waziri Ibrahim and others were known for their politics of ideology and development, which translated to the development in education and other socio-economic benefits during their time”. Aremu argued that “ today, politicians are decamping from one party to the other for what they believe they can gain rather than rendering selfless service to the people of Nigeria”. However, he said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be commended for the credibility it has introduced to the electoral process in the country, while urging politicians to contribute their own quota to ensure a free and fair election in 2015. Aremu praised the past labour leader, Adams Oshiomhole “ who is the governor of Edo State and is living up to expectation of labour by providing purposeful leadership in that state, backed up with physical development to show for it”. He said: “we must invest more on the electoral system to produce free and fair elections. We must support INEC’s effort for free and fair election in 2015. We are encouraged with the new sense of purpose of INEC leadership to conduct free and fair election. We are encouraged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

has warned its personnel to avoid anything that could scuttle the 2015 general elections”. “The world is not just watching the commission as the commission’s Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, rightly observed but the world will hold the INEC accountable for the quality of the next election in terms the organization of the polls and quality of the results produced”. Besides, Leader of the Civil Society Coalition in the North, Mallam Shehu Sani who spoke on the return of the former Governors of Kano and Sokoto States, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Alhaji Attahiru Bafawara to the PDP, said that it was unfortunate that the country was no longer governed by ideology, rather on selfish interests. Sani who is also the President of Civil Rights Congress (CRC) reminded politicians to know that “our democracy was not given to us as a present by the military, stressing that “It took a lot of struggle by labour, human rights groups and the media to ensure that the democracy we have today was won”. “Many people were jailed, maimed, killed and brutalised by the military to ensure that democracy come to reality. But today, we have seen what the country is turning into”. Meanwhile, Mallam Sani urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that and end is put to the Boko Haram menace in parts of the north. Said he: “there is insecurity that is threatening our democracy. And it’s still ranging. Some of us have attempted to offer our contribution to resolving the security challenges facing us, but instead of the government joining hands with us to end the problems, they preferred to deal with the defence contractors from Israel and China”. “And so, the problems still persist. However, I am ready to offer myself again as a solution to the present security challenges facing us, if the government is ready to to end this crisis and security challenge in the north”.


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APPOINTMENTS Thursday, February 6, 2014

Professionals seek more roles in governance From Niyi Bello, Akure HE Association of T Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), an umbrella body of about 27 associations of professionals in diverse fields of expertise, set up in 1983 “to among other things, provide solutions to the multi-dimensional human problems through multi-disciplinary approach offered by member professionals”, said yesterday that non-engagements of core experts in governance and administration is responsible for the lack of adequate development in Nigeria. The APBN, which also sought to provide a basis for liaising and transmitting to government the aggregate views of the nation’s professionals on matters of public interests, therefore urged decisionmakers in the country to always consider inputs from experts before government commitments on any issue is made. The chairman of the Ondo State branch of APBN, Dr. Mathew Ibitoye who stated specifically that “the involvement of professionals in the state is still at the low ebb” despite many representations made to the governor, said no nation can reach the heights of development except it makes used of its human resources. Ibitoye spoke at the annual award ceremony and lecture organized by the association with the theme: “Professionalism with Dynamism: A Core Requirement for Economic

Growth” with a keynote address by Dr. Pius Ademola Adebisi, the Registrar of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure. According to him, “it has been proved beyond doubt that the most developed nations of the world are the nations that make use of their professionals not only at the implementation but at the conception stage of every project or programme. “The framework of development must be such that recognizes the roles of professionals and adequately unlocks their potentials to fulfill the role if given the right environment. There is no doubt that Nigeria is endowed with qualified professionals. Unfortunately, only very few are engaged in meaningful developmental projects. Even these lucky ones are poorly remunerated.   “This explains why many of our best professionals are migrating in large numbers to other countries for job, economic and social satisfaction. For instance, it is disheartening to note that more than 21,000 Nigerian Medical Doctors are practicing in the United States of America alone whereas the same profession falls short of World Health Organisation minimum required standard of 20 physicians per 100,000 people in Nigeria. It is just like the case of a son of a butcher eating bones.” Delivering a lecture with the title of the conference theme, Adebisi said “it is dynamic professionals that can create

more jobs or reduce unemployment and by extension increase societal output of goods and services and also the wealth or income of the nation which are the kernels of economic growth. “A peep into human history will convince us further that education of which professionalism is an appendage is truly the driver of growth and development of a society in all ramifications. Man’s history is said to begin with the Early Man. This Early Man, started life on his own with the unseen or invisible master teacher (the Inner self) and experience to chart his course by the method of trial and error.  By this method he was able to establish three basic human needs – food, clothing and shelter – around which human survival is built even up till today.  “His education of that time

though done via trial and error was qualitative and functional or efficacious.  He exhibited in his trial and error method of educational qualities a la professionalism: discipline, hard work, skillfulness and integrity.  The dynamism

Secretary of Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board. He was until his appointment an Assistant Director in the Office of Head of Service, Lagos State. His appointment takes immediate effect. Balogun holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a Master’s in Public and International Affairs which he obtained from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the

sented to deserving professionals and public administrators at the ceremony where the State Commissioner for Community Development and Co-operative Services, Clement Faboyede, was

Oil workers flay govt on insecurity, payment of allowances By Yetunde Ebosele EMBERS of the Nigeria M Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have challenged the federal government to put an end to the “wanton killings of innocent Nigerians” in some parts of

Censors board gets new executive secretary HE Lagos State Government T has appointed Dele Balogun as the new Executive

he combined with it enabled him to discover fire which further granted him greater illumination and placed him on a higher plank over other creatures.” Awards of various categories were thereafter pre-

University of Lagos, Akoka respectively. He has had private and public sector experiences in different capacities spanning a period of twenty-three years which transcend journalism, marketing, advertising and public relations. He is a member of some professional bodies including the Nigerian Institute of Management, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and Nigerian Union of Journalists.

the north. Meanwhile, the union has advised relevant agencies of government to pay the security agencies their allowances as at and when due, in order not to lower their fighting spirit in the “ravaged areas”. According to the president of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, the recent killings of over 65 people is “one death too many”, pointing out that there is urgent need for the federal government to put “these dastardly acts to an end”. The Union reiterates that despite the formation of the 7th division of the Nigerian army in Borno, “ these senseless killings have continued unabated in Maiduguri and its environs”.  The Union in a statement also decried the crisis in Rivers State,” which has made the peaceful environment to become hostile again”. The statement urged    the security agents not to be partisan and should not take sides in the crisis “but should ensure law and order is maintained”.

NUPENG states that the recent overhaul of the service chiefs, which has ushered in new helmsmen, should provide a new method and approach to handling the security challenges. The Union adds that the insecurity situation is hindering the coming into the country the much needed investors from abroad, “because of the international media blitz on these killings”.  The Union states that more men, equipment and intelligence gathering should be deployed to this region to reduce the attacks. It states that modern-day technology in tracking and sensors should be deployed, adding that the “insurgents communicate, meet and train on the usage of high caliber weaponry without detection”. The Union stresses that these insurgents are not ghosts and it is therefore up to the security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities to device ways of putting a stop to “these senseless killings of innocent Nigerians”.


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‘Service delivery key to business start-ups’ GAINST the backdrop that A finance is the most important factor in setting up a business, an expert within the Nigerian retail sector have hinged the success of business start-up in the industry to effective service delivery. Indeed, stakeholders within the industry believe that adequate capacity building for the workforce is key in enhancing a retail business. This fact emerged recently at the Fidelity SME Forum, a weekly radio programme sponsored by Fidelity Bank Plc. Speaking on the topic: “Managing and Growing a Retail Business in a FastGrowing Market”, the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, SLOT Systems Limited, Nnamdi Ezeigbo said that rather than running around looking for capital to set up a business, potential entrepreneurs should focus more on how to render quality service to the customer. He said: “The most important thing when it comes to business is the question of how do you start? Most people always run around looking for startup capital and how they would raise money to start business. I think the best way to start is by rendering services and that is what I did”. Citing his business as an example, he explained that he invested in social capital when he found out that he could not raise the needed fund to start his business. “I could not have afforded to raise money to start a store as at that time, so what I did was to invest in myself, train myself and acquire the technical know- how and then with that I was able to build

what is called social capital and not financial capital”. Ezeigbo, whose company is one of the leading brands in the mobile phone sales and distribution segment of the telecommunications industry, advised

entrepreneurs to invest in the capacity development of their workforce. He acknowledged the fact that organizations are made up of people, processes and systems/infrastructure but insist-

ed that employees are the central pillar upon which any business stands. He advised entrepreneurs especially those in retail business to set aside some funds for staff training. “If you have the right

Bank joins WEconnect’s board, to promote women’s businesses By Chijioke Nelson

ECONNECT International, a global non-profit organization has appointed Access Bank Plc to its National Advisory Board. The appointment is in recognition of the bank’s contributions to the development of women entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.  The move would also strengthen the already existing commitment to sustainable economic growth by increasing opportunities for businesses owned by women. The synergy would be facilitated further as the objectives of Access Bank’s Inclusive Banking Strategy and WEconnect International seek to identify, educate, register and certify women business enterprises that are at least 51 per cent owned, managed and controlled by one or more women. The organization is the only non-profit connecting women-owned businesses with multi-nationals corporate purchasing organization, with network extending beyond the United States of America to connect women to opportunities in different parts of the world.

W

• Grows women-owned business loan portfolio to $20m By the development, Access Bank also becomes the only financial institution partner of the international womenempowerment organization, which draws its membership from over 70 countries across globe. But the bank said it is set to continuously leverage its alliances, partnerships and collaborations with reputable international organizations to promote women entrepreneurship across Africa. The Executive Director, Personal Banking Division, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, said that “With our positioning as the national champion for women banking and over 2.6 million female customers on our books, we have a responsibility to innovate and evolve strategies that will ensure women-owned businesses receive the necessary breath of life required for success while operating at global best practices.” He also reiterated the fact that the bank instituted Nigeria’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year award to encourage healthy competition amongst female

entrepreneurs and reward excellence in entrepreneurship. According to him, the bank has grown its loan portfolio of women-owned businesses to over $20 million in less than six years, which analysts have described as an indication of commitment to partnership and entrepreneurial development of women. Similarly, over 500 female entrepreneurs have benefited from the bank’s capacity development programmes and special sessions on how to grow their businesses successfully and assisted women-owned businesses to overcome the major challenges of growth and access to finance. However, the Group Head, Inclusive Banking, Access Bank, Mrs. Ope Wemi-Jones, while commenting on the appointment to the Board of WEconnect International, said: “Access Bank is encouraged by the recognition of its defining role in women entrepreneurship across sub-Saharan Africa. The bank will continue to support, promote and boost women-owned businesses dedicatedly and innovatively”.

staff and they have the right training, this will help you manage your retail store properly”, adding that, “there is a lot to do with retail management. If someone does not have the technical know –how he cannot do it well. It is not just buying and selling”. Fidelity SME Forum is a deliberate attempt by the bank to resuscitate the Small and Medium – scale Enterprises (SMEs) and create a new genera-

tion of entrepreneurs with the “I can do” spirit in Nigeria. This is not only seen as the bank’s believe in SMEs as a growth catalyst but also a clear commitment to efforts aimed at revamping the Nigerian economy. The programme, essentially seeks to empower Nigerian entrepreneurs with knowledge, know-how and expertise that will help them build successful businesses.

Servicom tasks Nigerians on demand for quality service CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 ice providers, work with the service takers which is the end users of this government policy. We are trying to look at those that receive services as part of service provider what do you use these services that you have received from government. We want a situation, which every MDA should work with other MDAs to come up with a robust service delivery system in our nation. Because if we are talking about Ministry of Education, there are some other departments or ministries that we get to complement the service delivery programme. Service delivery is all about how to improve service standard in Nigeria but the reforms are there for people to deliver services, I can’t do it alone. We have to explain the reforms to the people and monitor it whether people are making use of these reforms. If somebody who receives a service decides not to say ‘thank you’, it means there is a problem. We are there-

fore looking at people’s perception and their level of participation in the service delivery chain.” Meanwhile, Joe Abah of Bureau for Public Service Reform (BPSR) has called for the application of slight sanctions aimed at putting service providers on check. He said beyond the attitudinal reforms on both the part of service providers and receivers, Nodal Officers of Servicom units also need to assert themselves through involvement in mainstream activities.  He said: “Attitudinal change is one of the challenges of Servicom and its the attitude of both the provider and the receiver of the service, so if the giver of the service feels that they are doing the citizens a favour then that is a wrong attitude to have, if the taker of the service doesn’t complain when they get poor services that is also a poor attitude to have, attitudinal change is a key requirement if things are to improve.


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ScienceGuardian Jab to make hair grow back Around a third of women may soon be able SingCIENTISTS to grow new hair on bald- also experience hair loss, with scalps, avoiding the need many affected by female-patfor a hair transplant. Researchers have succeeded in creating new human hair in the laboratory using tiny cells that fuel its growth. The technique published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine has been used to grow new hair follicles in animals, and is now being tested on humans. The tiny cells, called dermal papillae, are found at the base of the follicles, below the skin where the hair is anchored. They provide nourishment for the follicles. In the new procedure, the cells, which are taken from donor tissue, are first cultured in the lab before being injected into the skin where hair is needed. The main type of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female-pattern hair loss. Male-pattern baldness, which affects around 6.5 million men, usually begins above the temples and can occur at any age; the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic ‘M’ shape. The hair at the top of the head also thins, progressing to baldness.

tern hair loss. This begins with gradual thinning at the parting line, followed by increasingly widespread hair loss radiating from the top of the head. However, the female hairline rarely recedes, and it is very uncommon for a woman to become bald. Male-pattern baldness is usually inherited and is thought to be caused by hair follicles being oversensitive to dihydrotestosterone, which is produced by the male hormone testosterone. As a result, the follicles shrink and eventually stop functioning. Other possible causes include physical and emotional stress, as well as medications for depression, acne, heart disease, high cholesterol, ulcers, and gout, as well as the Pill. There are no cures for male baldness, although medications can slow hair loss. Minoxidil lotion, for example, is applied to the scalp and can stimulate regrowth after about 12 weeks. There is also hair transplant surgery, where, under local anaesthetic, a small piece of scalp is removed from an area where there is plenty of hair.

How collisions made early galaxies grow huge, by study Astronomers uncover more ‘dangerous’ asteroids

New technique developed to search space dust for life’s ingredients HILE the origin of life This raises the question of W remains mysterious, how significant their supply scientists are finding more of raw material was. and more evidence that material created in space and delivered to Earth by comet and meteor impacts could have given a boost to the start of life. Some meteorites supply molecules that can be used as building blocks to make certain kinds of larger molecules that are critical for life. Researchers in a paper published online in Journal of Chromatography A have analyzed carbon-rich meteorites (carbonaceous chondrites) and found amino acids, which are used to make proteins. Proteins are among the most important molecules in life, used to make structures like hair and skin, and to speed up or regulate chemical reactions. They have also found components used to make DNA, the molecule that carries the instructions for how to build and regulate a living organism, as well as other biologically important molecules like nitrogen heterocycles, sugarrelated organic compounds, and compounds found in modern metabolism. However, these carbon-rich meteorites are relatively rare, comprising less than five per cent of recovered meteorites, and meteorites make up just a portion of the extraterrestrial material that comes to Earth. Also, the building-block molecules found in them usually have been at low concentrations, typically parts-permillion or parts-per-billion.

However, Earth constantly receives other extraterrestrial material – mostly in the form of dust from comets and asteroids. Michael Callahan of United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA’s) Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Md said: “Despite their small size, these interplanetary dust particles may have provided higher quantities and a steadier supply of extraterrestrial organic material to early Earth,” said. “Unfortunately, there have been limited studies examining their organic composition, especially with regards to biologically relevant molecules that may have been important for the origin of life, due to the miniscule size of these samples.” Callahan and his team at Goddard’s Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory have recently applied advanced technology to inspect extremely small meteorite samples for the components of life. “We found amino acids in a 360-microgram sample of the Murchison meteorite,” said Callahan. “This sample size is 1, 000 times smaller than the typical sample size used.” A microgram is one-millionth of a gram; 360 micrograms is about the weight of a few eyebrow hairs. 28.35 grams equal an ounce. “Our study was for proof-ofconcept,” adds Callahan. “Murchison is a well-studied meteorite.

Colliding spiral galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163 By Chukwuma Muanya with agency reports STRONOMERS in two sepaA rate studies have demystified more extraordinary

asteroids and how collisions made early galaxies huge. A new study published Monday in the scientific journal, Astrophysical Journal, might have demystified Big Bang. It has long puzzled scientists that there were enormously massive galaxies that were already old and no longer forming new stars in the very early universe, approximately three billion years after the Big Bang. According to Wikipedia, the Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the early development of the Universe. According to the theory, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.8 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the universe. At this time, the Universe was in an extremely hot and dense state and began expanding rapidly. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons. Now new research shows that these massive galaxies were formed by explosive star formation that was set in motion by the collision of galaxies a few billion years after the Big Bang.

Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope

Also, a new map developed by astronomers charts the size, composition, and location of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the solar system, and shows that rogue asteroids are actually more common than previously thought. Particularly in the solar system’s main asteroid belt- between Mars and Jupiter- the researchers found a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids. Galaxies are giant collections of stars, gas and dark matter. The smallest galaxies contain a few million stars, while the largest can contain several hundred billion stars. The first stars already emerged in the very early universe approx. 200 million years after the Big Bang from the gases hydrogen and helium. Gas is the raw material used to form stars. These giant clouds of gas and dust contract and eventually the gas is so compact that the pressure heats the matter so that glowing gas balls are formed, new stars are born. The stars are collected in galaxies, the first of which are a kind of baby galaxies. As long as there is gas in the galaxy, new stars are being formed. Also, a new map developed by astronomers charts the size, composition, and location of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the solar system, and shows that rogue asteroids are actually more common than previously thought. Particularly in the solar system’s main asteroid belt- between Mars and Jupiter- the researchers found

a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids. The map was published in Nature. To get an idea of how the early solar system may have formed, scientists often look to asteroids. These relics of rock and dust represent what today’s planets may have been before they differentiated into bodies of core, mantle and crust. In the 1980s, scientists’ view of the solar system’s asteroids was essentially static: Asteroids that formed near the sun remained near the sun; those that formed farther out stayed on the outskirts. But in the last decade, astronomers have detected asteroids with compositions unexpected for their locations in space: Those that looked like they formed in warmer environments were found further out in the solar system, and vice versa. Scientists considered these objects to be anomalous “rogue” asteroids. But now, a new map developed by researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Paris Observatory charts the

size, composition, and location of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the solar system, and shows that rogue asteroids are actually more common than previously thought. Particularly in the solar system’s main asteroid belt — between Mars and Jupiter- the researchers found a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids. The new asteroid map suggests that the early solar system may have undergone dramatic changes before the planets assumed their current alignment. For instance, Jupiter may have drifted closer to the sun, dragging with it a host of asteroids that originally formed in the colder edges of the solar system, before moving back out to its current position. Jupiter’s migration may have simultaneously knocked around more close-in asteroids, scattering them outward. “It’s like Jupiter bowled a strike through the asteroid belt,” says Francesca DeMeo, who did much of the mapping as a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “Everything that was there moves, so you have this melting pot of material coming from all over the solar system.” DeMeo says the new map will help theorists flesh out such theories of how the solar sys-

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32 | SCIENCEGUARDIAN Thursday, February 6, 2014

Health workers petition Jonathan over exclusion from National Conference, re-appointment of Orhii as NAFDAC’s boss By Chukwuma Muanya

EALTH workers under the • Threaten to withdraw from negotiations with govt over suspended strike H aegis of the Assembly of (NANNM), Nigeria Society of Representatives AHP and JOHESU said “they of ing to labour matters if the NAFDAC Act which provides a Healthcare Professionals (AHP) and Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan over exclusion of its professional bodies as participants at the forthcoming National Conference and the reappointment of Dr. Paul Orhii as the director general of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). AHP comprises of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Association of Medical Laboratory Science of Nigeria (AMLSCN), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives

Physiotherapists (NSP), Association of Radiographers (AR) and Health Information Managers Association of Nigeria (HIMAN). JHESU is made up of major unions including: Medical Health Workers Union (MHWU); Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP); and Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals and Research Institutes (SSAUTHRI). The Health Workers in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, HQ/JOHESU/ADM/VOL.II/314, titled “Nomination of

Professional Bodies in The Health Sector to National Conference” dated February 1, 2014, and jointly signed by Chairman, JOHESU, Dr. Ayuba P. Wabba, Secretary JOHESU, Yusuf-Badmus W. G. and President, PSN, Olumide Akintayo, asked for immediate approval to the nomination of at least three of their member bodies that is PSN, NANNM and AMLSCN to be represented at the National Conference. The Health Workers threatened to pull out from ongoing negotiation with government on injustice pertain-

NHIS poised to capture all Lagosians in 2014 S the National Health in the state. Scheme (CBSHIP), which will group A Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Ikharo stated further that in fold in all organised repositions itself to actualize the immediate directive of 30 per cent universal health coverage in Nigeria come 2015, the new Lagos Zonal Coordiator, Nasiru Ikharo, has stressed that machineries were in place to capture all Lagosians in the scheme by the end of 2014. Ikharo stated this during his maiden familiarisation meeting with members of staff of the scheme at the Lagos Zonal Office. According to Ikharo, “the drivers to capture the entire Lagos includes among others, the Community Based Social Health Insurance

trades/artisan groups and communities, all pregnant women and children under five years, all primary school pupils in public schools, the Organised Private Sectors (OPS) social Health Insurance Scheme which will fold in all incorporated organisations with employee strength of five and above, the Voluntary Contribution Social Health Insurance Scheme (VCSHIP), and all tertiary Institutions in Lagos State.” He emphasized that with the above drivers carefully crafted, it will cover all Lagosians including the vulnerable

the last quarter of 2013, strategic plans were carefully crafted and sensitisation carried out with various stakeholders in the scheme in order to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in healthcare delivery and to ensure enrollees total positive experience and satisfaction from the use of their chosen Health care Providers (HCP’s) pointing out that, the enrollees are the king in the scheme. He enjoined all the staff to key in to the vision and be useful tools in achieving the scheme’s mandate of 30 per cent coverage.

president does not immediately redress the matter. They prayed: “Your Excellency, we respectfully implore you as one of the condition precedent in our on-going negotiation with government on injustice pertaining to labour matters to immediately redress this matter by giving immediate approval to the nomination of at least three of our member bodies to be represented at the National Conference.” The letter reads: “In recent memo we pointedly drew attention of President Jonathan to “yet another in the series of unlawful appointments in the health sector, when government re-appointed Dr. Paul Orhii as Director General, NAFDAC in flagrant violation of Section 9 of the

condition precedent that the Director General of NAFDAC must have good knowledge of food and drugs. “After one of our member organisations drew attention of the federal government to this gaffe when the unlawful appointment was first made in January 2009, senior government officials persuaded the Association of Community Pharmacists which challenged the appointment in court to withdraw it on grounds that government will correct that grave injustice, which it has again rubbed on our face. “As if this was not enough, we have observed that the federal government has listed only the following professional bodies, excluding its members, as participants at the forthcoming National Conference.”

are worried that the health sector as usual has received very shabby treatment in obvious continuation of the levity and contempt with which government conventionally treats professionals in the health sector; “apart from doctors who get the status of sacred cows.” The Health Workers said they feel very slighted that true representatives of the health work force in Nigeria has been neglected, ignored and treated with disrespect for too long in the annals of national endeavours of this nature. They, however, said: “We have therefore collectively resolved that on this occasion we shall not leave this situation unchallenged.”

‘Collisions made early galaxies grow huge’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 tem evolved early in its history. She and Benoit Carry of the Paris Observatory have published details of the map in Nature. To create a comprehensive asteroid map, the researchers first analysed data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which uses a large telescope in New Mexico to take in spectral images of hundreds of thousands of galaxies. Included in the survey is data from more

than 100,000 asteroids in the solar system. DeMeo grouped these asteroids by size, location, and composition. She defined this last category by asteroids’ origins — whether in a warmer or colder environment — a characteristic that can be determined by whether an asteroid’s surface is more reflective at redder or bluer wavelengths. The team then had to account for any observational biases. While the survey includes more than 100,000

asteroids, these are the brightest such objects in the sky. Asteroids that are smaller and less reflective are much harder to pick out, meaning that an asteroid map based on observations may unintentionally leave out an entire population of asteroids. To avoid any bias in their mapping, the researchers determined that the survey most likely includes every asteroid down to a diameter of five kilometers. At this size limit, they were able to produce an accurate picture of the asteroid belt. The researchers grouped the asteroids by size and composition, and mapped them into distinct regions of the solar system where the asteroids were observed. From their map, they observed that for larger asteroids, the traditional pattern holds true: The further one gets from the sun, the colder the asteroids appear. But for smaller asteroids, this trend seems to break down. Those that look to have formed in warmer environments can be found not just close to the sun, but throughout the solar system- and asteroids that resemble colder bodies beyond Jupiter can also be found in the inner asteroid belt, closer to Mars. As the team writes in its paper, “the trickle of asteroids discovered in unexpected locations has turned into a river. We now see that all asteroid types exist in every region of the main belt.” The compositional diversity seen in this new asteroid map may add weight to a theory of planetary migration called the Grand Tack model. This model lays out a scenario in which Jupiter, within the first few million years of the solar system’s creation, migrated as close to the sun as Mars is today. During its migration, Jupiter may have moved right through the asteroid belt, scattering its contents and repopulating it with asteroids from both the inner and outer solar system before moving back out to its current position — a picture that is very different from the traditional, static view of a solar system that formed and stayed essentially in place for the past 4.5 billion years.


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NaturalHealth Teenagers who consume energy drinks more likely to use alcohol, drugs EARLY one-third of United States adolescents consume high-caffeine energy drinks or “shots,” and these teens report higher rates of alcohol, cigarette, or drug use, reports a study in the January/February Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. The same characteristics that attract young people to consume energy drinkssuch as being “sensationseeking or risk-oriented”may make them more likely to use other substances as well, suggests the new research by Yvonne M. TerryMcElrath, MSA, and colleagues of the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The researchers analyzed nationally representative data on nearly 22,000 US secondary school students (eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders). The teens were participants in the University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In response to questionnaires, about 30 per cent of teens reported using caffeine-containing energy drinks or shots. More than 40 percent said they drank regular soft drinks every day, while 20 percent drank diet soft drinks daily. Boys were more likely to use energy drinks than girls. Use was also higher for teens without two parents at home and those whose parents were less educated. Perhaps surprisingly, the youngest teens (eighth graders) were most likely to use energy drinks/shots. Students who used energy drinks/shots were also more likely to report recent use of alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs. Across age groups and with adjustment for other factors, teens who used energy drinks/shots were two or three times more likely to report other types of substance use, compared to those who didn’t use energy drinks. Soft drink consumption was also related to substance use. However, the associations were much stronger for energy drinks/shots. Energy drinks and shots are products containing high doses of caffeine, marketed as aids to increasing energy, concentration, or alertness. Studies in young adults suggest that consumption of energy drinks is associated with increased use of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco. In young adults, energy drinks have been linked to behavioral patterns of “sensation-seeking or risk orientation.” Energy drinks are often used together with alcohol, which may “mask” the intoxicating effects of alcohol.

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Novel herbal drug for wound-healing, hypertension Can extracts of local plant be the next best novel drug for treating hypertension and ‘open’ wounds? CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes. OTANICALLY called B Napoleona imperialis, the local tree or shrub that seldom grows above six metres with large leaves, belongs to the family Lecythidaceae. It is called Ukpakonrisa in Edo, Obu-anagbo and Otukuche in Igala, Isi efe that is the wood in Umuahia dialect, Akpodo in Awka dialect and Utum in the Ikwuano dialect of Igbo language. Until now, its fruits sugary pulp is reportedly used as dessert, the roots for medicinal purposes and the twigs as chewing sticks. However, an extract of a local plant, Napoleona imperialis has been shown to have better healing property than standard antibiotic in treating open wounds. Nigerian researchers in a study published in Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences found that the plant extract had a better wound healing property, 100 per cent efficacy, than a standard antibiotic, Cicatrin® by the 19th day of treatment. The study is titled “The wound healing effect of herbal ointments formulated with Napoleona imperialis.” The researchers from the faculties of pharmaceutical sciences and veterinary medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka include: C. O. Esimone, E. C. Ibezim, and K. F. Chah. The researchers wrote: “The wound healing effect of herbal ointments formulated with Napoleona imperialis (NI) embedded in different ointment bases (anionic, cationic and non-ionic) has been evaluated in vivo using the excision wound healing model, on guinea pigs. “Napoleona imperialis was extracted using methanol and the extract formulated as herbal ointments. The herbal ointments were used to treat wounds inflicted on experimental guinea pigs. The wound healing effects of the formulations were compared to that of a standard antibiotic, Cicatrin®. “In all cases, there was a progressive decrease in wound area with time, indicating an efficacy of the formulations in healing the induced wounds. By the 16th day, the ointment containing 100 mg/g of Napoleona imperialis in nonionic emulsifying ointment base showed 100 per cent healing …” Researchers have also found that oral administration of methanol extract of

Napoleona imperialis... may be useful for prevention and treatment of hypertension Napoleona imperialis may be useful for prevention and treatment of hypertension. The study published in International Journal of Biochemistry is titled “Antihypertensive Effect of Methanol Extract of Napoleona imperialis in Adrenaline Induced Hypertensive Albino Rats.” The researchers from the Department of Biochemistry, Kogi State University, Anyigba, scientifically verified the antihypertensive effect of the methanol extract of the leaf of Napoleona imperialis in adrenaline-induced hypertensive rats (AlHR) when compared with those of Propanolol in a cross over design. Napoleona imperialis leaf extract and the commercial drug (Propanolol) were administered orally and through intraperitoneal (I.P) route respectively for one week. Previous study has demonstrated antibacterial and wound healing properties of the methanol extract of Napoleona imperialis. It showed more than 90 per cent wound healing activity. Its antibacterial properties was studied against eleven chemical isolates (four strains of Staphylococcus aureus, two strains of Escherichia coli, Shigellia spp (one strains), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (one strain) and three strains of Proteus spp.

Investigation also has shown that the seeds of Napoleona imperialis are rich sources of commercial hemolytic saponins and feed ingredient. Proximate and phytochemical composition of Napoleona imperialis showed the presence of phytates, tannins alkaloids, saponins, and metabolisable energy value. The researchers from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka wrote: “… There was a general decrease in wound area upon application of the ointments and with time. By the 4th day, the animals treated with ointments containing 100 mg/g of Napoleona imperialis in anionic emulsifying ointment, all died. There was however a hundred percent (100 per cent) healing in the animals treated with ointments containing 100 mg/g of NI in cationic emulsifying agent and in the ointment containing Cicatrin powder, by the 19th day after treatment, as the wound sizes reduced to zero. “The ointment containing the negative control had the least rate of wound healing. A drug to be used for effective wound healing should be able to clear the wound by the 19th day after infliction. The death of the animals treated with the ointment containing 100 mg/g of anionic emulsifying could be attributed to contamination or adverse effect of the formulation. “… The ointments prepared

with NI in cationic emulsifying ointment base exhibited the highest initial rate of wound healing. It was followed closely by the ointment prepared with non-ionic emulsifying ointment. The control ointment containing neither NI extract nor Cicatrin® had a very low initial healing rate. By the tenth day however, all the ointment formulations showed almost the same rate of wound healing with the exception of the control ointment which maintained a very slow rate of wound healing even up to the 19th day. “The best activity was observed in the ointment containing Napoleona imperialis in cationic ointment base. This shows that Napoleona imperialis can effectively be employed as a cationic emulsifying ointment in wound healing. “Conclusively, the various ointments prepared with Napoleona imperialis exhibited a good wound healing effect comparable to those of Cicatrin®, a standard antibiotic used in wound healing. This finding thus, justifies its use in folkloric medicine for wound healing.” Meanwhile, the researchers from Kogi State University measured the effect of the extract on different biochemical parameters such as blood glucose, serum triglycerides,

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Daily intake of fizzy drink raises heart risk, doubles chance of death CIENTISTS have discovered Sexcessive an alarming link between consumption of sugar found in fizzy drinks or processed food and heartrelated deaths. They found that even one fizzy drink a day was enough to increase the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by almost a third. And for those consuming a quarter of their daily calories from sugar, the risk of heartrelated death doubled. Added sugar is that which is introduced to the processing of food products, rather than coming from natural sources such as fruit. The study was published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Dietary guidelines from the World Health Organisation recommend that added sugar should account for less than 10 per cent of calorie intake. But British campaigners are calling for an upper limit of five per cent, along with a sugary drinks tax because they say sugar is the ‘new tobacco’. Prof. Graham MacGregor, chairman of Action On Sugar, said: “This is an important study. “It clearly shows a high sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks, highlighting the need for much more focus on reducing sugar to reduce obesity and cardiovascular risk. “Not only is added sugar an unnecessary cause of calories and a cause of tooth decay, but also predisposes to strokes and heart attacks. We need to take action now.” The study, led by Dr. Quanhe Yang, from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, used US national health survey data to determine how much added sugar people were consuming. Between 2005 and 2010, added sugar accounted for at least 10 per cent of the calories consumed by more than 70 per cent of the US population. About a tenth of adults got a quarter or more of their calories from added sugar, says a report in JAMA Internal Medicine. The data was matched against heart disease mortality over a period of 14.6 years, during which 831 CVD deaths were recorded in the study group, which was representative of the population. The risk of heart-related death was 38 per cent higher for people who consumed 17 to 21 per cent of daily calories from sugar compared with those who were under 10 per cent. It was four times higher for those getting one-third or more of calories from added sugar. For those consuming a quarter of their daily calories from sugar the risk of heart-related death doubled, researchers found. Campaigners are now calling for a sugar tax - saying the substance is the new tobacco.


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SCIENCE HEALTH Thursday, February 6, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

U.S., Nigeria plan malaria vector survey in six states By Chukwuma Muanya S part of efforts geared A towards elimination of malaria from the country, a

United States-sponsored Malaria Initiative in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) are set to conduct entomological surveillance in six states of the federation. Entomological surveillance is used to determine changes in the geographical distribution and density of the vector, evaluate programmes, obtain relative measurements of the vector population over time and facilitate appropriate and timely decisions regarding interventions. Africa Indoor Residual Spraying Project (AIRS), a threeyear award funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the US Presidents’ Malaria Initiative (PMI) had in 2011 introduced and piloted a model for an Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) programme at a state/local government area level in two local government areas (LGAs) of Nasarawa State namely Nasarawa Eggon and Doma. However, Country Technical Manager, Abt Associates/USAID/PMI-AIRS Project, Nigeria, Dr. Petrus Inyama, at a Principal Investigators and Entomology Participants at a Principal Investigators and Entomology Technicians Training organised, last week, in Abuja by Africa Indoor Residual Spraying Project (AIRS), a three-year award Technicians Training organ- funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the US Presidents’ Malaria Initiative (PMI) in collaboration with National Malaria Elimination ised, last week, in Abuja in col- Programme (NMEP) laboration with NMEP said AIRS Dr. David Hoel of CDC Atlanta She said: “If we build team Officer, USAID Mission, Abuja, the first being in April to May Nigeria has, in 2014, transited expand entomological sur- Georgia who represented spirit for maximum output, Prof. Greg Ike Anyanwu, Prof. 2012, and the last in April to veillance work to six sentinel from full IRS implementation USAID stressed the need for more partners will be attract- Georgina Mwansat, Dr. Ebere May, 2013. The 2013 cycle, to entomological surveillance sites, strategically selected to vector control against malaria ed towards the fight against Nwabueze and Mr. which was very successful, represent all of the geopolitiin six sentinel sites out of the 18 in Nigeria. He said that the malaria. Furthermore, she Ogbonnaya Nwokocha, built on the experiences and cal zones of the country.” sentinel sites proposed by the Principal Assistant Director IRS at NMEP. lessons learnt from the 2012 He said that the PMI wished USAID was ready to support praised NMEP, which are domiciled in the sentinel sites set up by Investigators for their hard Inyama further explained: campaign. The exercise to continue to support NMEP universities and research instiNMEP as Nigeria moves work and commitment but “The need for capacity build- methodically demonstrated in this important area of entotutes. towards malaria elimination. advocated for the publication ing of health workers at all lev- improvements in the overall Inyama who stood in for the mological surveillance and Heoel advocated for insecti- research findings for the els on standard protocols and operationalisation of the other strategic areas of need Regional Operations Manager cide rotation in vector control world to know.” techniques that would meet campaign in the areas of Dr. Nduka Iwuchukwu, said because of her conviction that interventions as the continuPrincipal Investigator for national and international M&E, environmental complithe quest towards malaria that the sites included Epe in ous use of pyrethroids which is Jigawa Sentinel site, Dr. performance standards in ance, logistics management, Lagos State, Kirikashama in elimination in Nigeria would one of the World Health Abdulsalami Yayo, who spoke malaria control cannot be recruitment and training of not be successful without a Jigawa State, Shendam/Barkin Organisation Pesticide on behalf of his colleagues, overemphasized. Failure to spray personnel with resultLadi in Plateau State, Enugu in concerted and coordinated Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) said that resistance by both use the right tools to fight ant improvement in spray vector control efforts. Enugu State, Ikwere in Rivers To consolidate on the above- – approved insecticides by parasites and vectors has lim- malaria as approved by the techniques, enhanced BCC State and Nararawa mentioned gains of PMI’s sup- both agricultural and public ited the successes achieved in WHO, PMI, and other accredit- strategies; and in entomoloEggon/Doma in Nasarawa port to NMEP, Inyama health sectors may lead to the malaria control stressing that ed authorities, would result gy, utilized an in-house insecState. loss of susceptibility of the governments and agencies invariably in the resources tary in Keffi to ensure the supInyama said that the project enjoined participants to be insecticides due to resistance. should direct resources deployed towards this fight ply of adequate numbers of committed to this training would capture standard entoSpeaking on behalf of the aright. amounting to nothing but susceptible Anopheles gammological indicators in all the and resolve to carry out the Malaria Partners, the Director Yayo said that the training waste. To this end, we are glad biae ss (Kisumu) and wild responsibilities bestowed on six sentinel sites. “These would of Community Vision offered the opportunity to to gather Principal strains of mosquitoes for be compared by the type of them at the various sentinel Initiative Dr. Chioma Amajoh address the problem of malar- Investigators and Technicians improved entomological sites. “We believe that with malaria control interventions (popularly called Mama ia squarely as the Principal for this strategic training exer- monitoring and quality and coverage across the geopo- the correct political will and Malaria) who is also the imme- Investigators were committed cise that will be facilitated by a assurance.” litical and ecological zones of the commitment of various diate past National to the success of the pro- carefully selected team of He said that the following stakeholders, we will win the the country,” he said. Coordinator of NMEP, appreci- gramme not just because of experienced Vector Control were concomitant achievefight against malaria.” Inyama said the security chalated the PMI | AIRS Nigeria for the money but because of experts in Nigeria. ments in last year’s spray lenges in the northeast made National Coordinator, NMEP, demonstrating a model IRS in humanity. Before I go further, it is perti- cycle, which lasted for 33 days: Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe, who the site in that area to be put on Nigeria and emphasized that Head of Department, Vector nent to take us memory lane. 652 spray operations personhold. “Through activities declared open the workshop, IRS is not expensive contrary to Control Unit of the Nigeria This exercise is anchored by nel (84 per cent male; 16 per called on other esteemed planned for 2014, information global thoughts and percep- Institute for Medical Research the Africa IRS project, Nigeria, cent female) trained; A total will be collected to help the Partners of the Programme to tion since the equipment is (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, who is a President’s Malaria Initiative of 62,592 structures sprayed NMEP in making data-driven come on board this giant procured once at the start of also one of the Principal (PMI)/USAID funded project out of 64,191 structures found decisions for programming train as it is a collective the exercise. Investigators, thanked the handled by Abt Associates Inc; by the spray operators, reprevector control activities in responsibility to continue to Amajoh commended the PMI for supporting the sen- whose mandate has been to senting 97.5 per cent spray sustain the efforts and huge Nigeria,” he said. NMEP for their fight to take tinel sites and promised good implement among others, a coverage and A total populaInyama further stated: “In fur- resources already committed Nigeria towards malaria elimi- data that anybody can be demonstration IRS project in tion of 346,798, which includto this fight against malaria therance to PMI’s goal of supnation and the Federal proud of in the world. He Nigeria in two local govern- ed 16,733 pregnant women porting NMCP in the area of and its burden in Nigeria and Government for initiating the urged the NMEP to use the per- ment areas of Nasarawa state and 67,204 children under the African region in general. capacity building and systems Ezeigwe, who was represent- Integrated Test, Treat and larvi- sonnel at the training as a net- (Doma and Nasarawa Eggon). I age five were protected. strengthening, AIRS Nigeria Inyama added: “A very ed by Dr. Joe Akila, said that ciding (ITTL) programme work for Vector Surveillance wish to announce that the has organized this training to which is about to take off in Nigeria. project, which was concluded robust and standardized the federal government in colshowcase best practices in stressing that proper impleCertificates were awarded to in December last year, was suc- entomological monitoring malaria vector surveillance laboration with the other mentation of the programme participants at the end of the cessfully implemented in a based on best practices was tiers of government and the which includes evaluating the across the nation will eventu- training. way consistent with the expec- carried out; the result density of vectors in IRS-target- Roll Back Malaria (RBM) part- ally lead to the total elimina- Other dignitaries at the train- tations and stipulations of revealed the diverse species ners is committing huge ed and non- IRS targeted areas, tion and eventual eradication ing include Dr. Uwem Inyang, PMI, of course in conjunction of Anopheles mosquitoes susthe indoor/outdoor, resources to ensure the actu- of malaria in Nigeria. the Malaria Programme and collaboration with the taining the transmission of resting/biting behavior of the alization of the current malarNational malaria Elimination malaria in Nasarawa State as ia elimination goal. vectors and resistance status of Program, the Nasarawa State well as the resistance status of “If these efforts must yield malaria vectors in the selected I am made to understand that in Nigeria, there is no Ministry of Health, the Federal local mosquitoes in the interthe expected goal, the imporareas. Ministry of Environment, the vention areas. Quality assur“I am made to understand that tance of malaria vector sur- comprehensive picture of the Anopheline fauna in National Environmental and cone bioassay tests veillance cannot be over general and the malaria vectors in particular. In Standards and Regulations ance in Nigeria, there is no compreshowed that the insecticide emphasized. Therefore, I hensive picture of the Agency and the deployed (Deltamethrin) was order to create a broad body of knowledge on Enforcement Anopheline fauna in general implore all our esteemed Doma and Nasarawa Eggon effective against both susceppartners to join this effort malaria vectors, the PMI is asking the AIRS Nigeria and the malaria vectors in parLocal Government Area tible and local mosquitoes. ticular. In order to create a aimed at creating a structure, project to expand entomological surveillance work Councils, etc. This corroborates the eviwhich will enable an effective broad body of knowledge on “The project successfully con- dence of improved strategies, malaria vectors, the PMI is ask- tracking of the huge resource to six sentinel sites, strategically selected to repre- cluded two spray cycles in a standard and quality deploying the AIRS Nigeria project to inputs against the expected sent all of the geopolitical zones of the country relatively low transmission ment of personnel and mateoutcomes,” she said. zone in North Central Nigeria, rials.”


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Thursday, February 6, 2014 35


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36 | NATURAL HEALTH Thursday, February 6, 2014

UHMCTI, NAFDAC plan two-day training on herbal medicine development By Chukwuma Muanya

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Chairman Publications Committee, Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), Prof. Paul Okonkwo (left), Representative, Biological Sciences, NAS, Prof. Fola Esan, Academic Secretary, Physical Sciences, Prof. Domingo Okorie, President, NAS, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, at the official presentation of the Proceedings of the Nigerian Academy of Science in Lagos… recently.

Herb* for wound healing, hypertension validated CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 serum cholesterol, serum creatine phosphokinase, lactate dehydrogenase, pulse rate and body weight utilising standard methods. Napoleona imperialis leaf extract at the doses of 26mg/130±17g and 52mg/130±17g of body weight were given orally every morning during treatment to show the effect of dose concentration. Propanolol at a dose of 0.084mg/130±17g of body weight was injected into rats according to its pharmacokinetic parameters. The extract-administered rats had significantly lowered serum lactate dehydrogenase, creatine phosphokinase and pulse rate compared to the non-extract administered AlHR group. Blood glucose, serum triglycerides and serum cholesterol were not lowered and significantly different when compared with the control. These results suggest that oral administration of methanol extract of Napoleona imperialis may be useful for prevention and treatment of hypertension. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common disorder, which if not effectively treated results in a greatly increased probability of coronary thrombosis, stroke, and renal failure. Circulatory system diseases such as hypertensive, arteriosclerosis, and heart disease are especially prevalent in developed countries, with increasing numbers of people showing symptoms of hypertension or prehypertension. Hypertension is becoming a household disease now in developing countries, such as Nigeria. Hypertension can be caused by many factors, including increases in the volume of body fluid, resistance of the blood vessels, and other factors that elevate blood pressure. These factors induce abnormal increases in blood pressure, either alone or in combination. Antihypertensive effects have been noted with various food and natural products. Treatment of hypertension reduces cardiovascular risk, and this has been a major focus of campaigns aimed at reducing cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.

A number of international guidelines suggest that blood pressure should be reduced at least to below 160/90 mmHg to normalise cardiovascular risk in patients with hypertension. In patient at higher baseline risk of cardiovascular disease, for example those with diabetes, the recommendations are that the target blood pressure should be substantially lower than 130/85 mmHg. This recommendation is based on the view that the absolute risk of a cardiovascular event in these patients is much greater, and therefore, the absolute benefit of treatment is larger. Because of high incidence and morbidity, various drugs and regimes have been advocated for control of hypertension. Many new drugs have been introduced which may demonstrate better efficacy but posses side effects. Recently attention has been drawn or focused towards herbal and mineral preparations, which are traditionally used as potential therapeutic agents in the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases. Generally, the cytosolic enzymes lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine phosphate kinase (CPK) as well as lactate in coronary effluent are important biomarkers for myocardial ischemia in hypertension. The Kogi State University study investigated the hypotensive effect of Napoleona imperialis methanol leaf extract in adrenaline-induced hypertensive rats using serum LDH, CPK and other biochemical parameters as biomarkers. The results of the study showed that Napoleona imperialis and Propanolol significantly decreased the pulse rate of hypertensive rate. This decrease was dose dependant. The reduction in pulse rate of the hypertensive rats confirms the hypotensive effect of Napoleona imperialis leaf extract. Its reductive ability is comparative to the standard drug (Propanolol) used. It has been shown that pressure over load to the heart, such as from hypertension, results in pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Pathological cardiac hypertrophy induces a reduction of cardiac function and pathological cardiac hypertrophy result in heart

failure. It has been reported that glycolytic energy metabolism is accelerated in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy induced by pressure over load due to aortic banding or pulmonary hypertension. The heart is known to rely mostly on fat metabolism for energy, but it can also derive energy from several other substances including glucose and lactate. The effect of Napoleona imperialis extract and Propanolol on blood glucose, serum triglyceride and cholesterol level of the experimental rats showed that there was no significant decrease in blood glucose level of the experimental rats when compared with the control group for both doses of the extract. Significant decreases in serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels were observed in animals treated with the extract and Propanolol. These significant decrease in serum triglyceride and cholesterol might be due to the combined effect of the extract, increased metabolic activity of adrenaline used to induce hypertension. The researchers concluded: “In conclusion, our investigation suggests that Napoleona imperialis leaf extract has got profound hypotensive activity and this study has correlation with previously reported investigations using other plants. “The mechanism by which Napoleona imperialis lowers blood pressure is not yet fully established. However, the hypertensive effect may be due to the stimulation of muscarinic receptors of the parasympathetic nerve by the compounds or their actions as an antagonist of 2 – adrenergic receptors but it may act as Ca+ ion channel block. “The intake of Napoleona imperialis as medicine or as supplement in diet might have potential benefit in the treatment of hypertension. In this respect, herbal drugs are helpful and render encouraging results in comparison to synthetic drugs due to their fewer side effects and easy availability.” Proximate analysis by another study published in Journal of Natural Sciences Research showed that the pulp contains 9.9 per cent carbohydrate, 1.0 per cent fat, 5.05 per cent fibre,

1.3 per cent protein, 0.35 per cent ash and 87.5 per cent moisture while the jam contained 15.7 per cent carbohydrate, 0.2 per cent fat, 2.5 per cent fibre, 0.4 per cent protein, 0.25 per cent ash and 80.5 per cent moisture. Flame photometric analysis showed that the jam contained 0.16g/mg sodium and 0.13g/mg potassium. The researchers concluded: “The pulp gave a good fruit jam which revealed moderate protein and high calorific value in its proximate composition. The presence of sodium and potassium in concentrations admissible for human consumption makes the jam good for the maintenance of acid – base balance in the body. Some of the wild fruits in our locality should be utilised in the production of various other fruit based products. Since they are readily available and relatively cheap in terms of production, they can serve as a source of income for the cottage industry and also reduce unemployment among our teaming youths.” Evaluation of antimicrobial properties of ethyl acetate extract of the leaves of Napoleona imperialis published in Pharmaceutical Science International Journal of Drug Research and Technology showed that the extract demonstrated activities against certain bacteria confirming the use of the plant in ethno- pharmacology. The researchers from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, screened ethyl acetate extract of the leaves were against some microorganisms so as to ascertain this claim and to recommend it for further investigation for possible inclusion into official compendium. The phytochemical screening showed availability of alkaloid, saponins, tannins, glycosides and proteins. Ethyl acetate extract exhibited activity against E. coli, B. subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa with minimal inhibitory concentration of about 50 mg/ml for E.coli, 100 mg/ml for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 200mg/ml for B. subtilis. Yet another study published in Research Journal of Medicinal Plant has also investigated the role of medicinal plants in wound healing.

HE Universal Health Management Consultant Training Institute (UHMCTI), an accredited member of Nigeria Council of Management Development (NCMD) in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) plan to conduct a two-day workshop and training on herbal medicine development, next month, in three zones of the country. Chairman of the organising committee, Executive Director of Programme at UHMCTI and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacognosy College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL), Dr. Steve Ogbonna, said that the workshop and training aimed at developing herbal medicine in Nigeria through enhancing and improving total quality process in Herbal Medicine production and use in treatment of patients in health care system. Ogbonna said: “This training has become necessary because people are now going back to nature and embracing herbal medicine hence the increasing demands in herbal medicine. Herbal Medicine is now sought for in the treatment of various diseases especially diseases that cannot be effectively treated or controlled with orthodox medicine such as diabetes. Herbal medicine is therefore welcome as a renewed hope for masses especially the rural areas for their health challenges. “This workshop and training was therefore designed

to educate and also enhance the knowledge of herbal medicine producers in the area of herbal production and health care practitioners employing herbal medicine in health delivery.” He said that the workshop would be held in three zones as approved by the NAFDAC Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii. The workshop would held in Zone 1, which comprises Lagos zone western states on March 3 and 4, 2014; Zone 2, Kaduna zone comprising northern states on March 10 and 11, 2014 and Zone 3: Enugu zone comprising eastern states on March 24 and 25, 2014. On the workshop objective, Ogbonna said: “At the end of the workshop participants will acquire a desired knowledge, skills, and total quality management knowledge on herbal medicine treatment; also techniques and skills to improve on the herbal medicine production and usage in Nigeria.” Ogbonna said expected participants include: all health care practitioners, herbal medicine producers, herbal medicine dealers, pharmacists, doctors, nurses and medical laboratory officers, herbal medicine practitioners, and health care educators. He said the Lagos Zone workshop would be held at the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos. Participants are expected to pay a workshop fee of N40, 000 each, which covers breakfast, lunch break, including CD, workshop handout and group photograph.

Nigeria to save lives of 400,000 children, 20,000 mothers by December 2015, says UN • Assures on adequate funding for health-related MDGs By Chukwuma Muanya ITH only 695 days remaining until the deadline for achieving the globally endorsed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations (UN) SecretaryGeneral’s Special Envoy, Ray Chambers, yesterday congratulated Nigeria for its commitment to the goals and to saving 400,000 children’s and 20,000 mothers’ lives by the end of 2015. Chambers in a statement on Nigeria’s public-private acceleration plan to achieve the health mugs delivered yesterday when a remarkable coalition of government officials, private sector leaders and development partners came together to present an aligned vision for accelerating progress to achieve the health-related MDGs in Nigeria, over the remaining eight quarters said it is essential for the world to reach the goals and for Nigeria to make continued strides in improving the lives of its citizens. “These lives are, without any compare, Nigeria’s most precious commodity,” he said. The UN Special Envoy acknowledged the critical leadership of the His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Honorable Minister of Health C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu. Chambers said: “Today is a landmark day for Nigeria. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-

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moon and I are fully supportive of the unique partnership that has emerged in Nigeria between the public and the private sectors, and the Quarterly Acceleration Plan that was announced today by the Government of Nigeria, which presents business-like quarterly milestones to achieve the healthrelated MDGs, focused on the health of women and children. “I was pleased to meet with several of the visionary leaders of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN) – including Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia and Aig Aigboje-Imoukhuede – who have pledged their full commitment to partnering with the government to ensure that children do not continue to needlessly die. “In addition, we are greatly appreciative of the alignment of Nigeria’s faith leaders with these important health plans and of their commitment to the health of all Nigerians, regardless of belief.” Chambers said as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs, he is aware of the critical importance for all funding streams to align over the next eight quarters to execute this plan, state-bystate. He reassured that the international community stands ready to support Nigeria.


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LASUTH corrective ear surgery excites specialists Stories by Wole Oyebade PECIALISTS have comSconduct mended the successful of cochlear implantation in two deaf patients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos. The surgery, which was conducted at the weekend, was described as a feat for the hospital and the state government, especially her quest for comprehensive care services. The surgery was teamwork between Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists from University of Freiburg, Germany and their counterparts in LASUTH. It saw to the implantation of a hearing device, called Cochlear, to pick up sounds and converts them to impulses in the patients. The procedure has improved chances of hearing in the patients. Leader of the delegation from Germany and Chairman/Head, ENT Department University Medical Centre, University of Freiburg, Prof. Roland Laszig said the successful outcome was a sign of the hospital’s investment in equipment and quality care, without which the procedure would not have been possible. Laszig, however, added that there is the need to raise awareness on prevention rather than cure. He observed that three to five children were born with deafness everyday in Nigeria as well as in German. Laszig said: “It, therefore, raises the need for improved awareness against diseases like meningitis, correct hygiene practices and immunisation. Like other implantations, Cochlear is not cost effective and not easily affordable. So I’d say that prevention remains the better option than cure,” he said. Apparently excited, LASUTH Board Chairman, Dr Francis Williams, said it was more of a feat for the hospital as much as it empowers the patients that are recovering from deafness. Williams said: “It is good thing to find a solution to a long standing problem and

• As experts raise awareness on causes of deafness that is what the hospital in collaboration with Cochlear Foundation in Germany has done.” Leader of the LASUTH team and Consultant ENT Surgeon, Dr. Olawale Olubi explained that people could, a lot of time, be born deaf or acquire hearing loss after they had gained speech. His words: “There are two types of hearing loss. There is one where the person has not learnt any language and the other, after speech. Cochlear implant becomes useful when one’s hearing aid is not functioning. But it is best to screen hearing problems early and have the implantation early for better outcome. You don’t have to wait for too long. “In adult, when they have hearing loss or use drugs that knocks off the hearing, it is best to know whether they can recover the hearing as fast as possible and do the implantation,” Olubi said. Explaining the procedure, Olubi said the implantation was done by having a processor (on the outside) connected to a receiver device inside

the ear, connected through the electrode to the Cochlea. “This definite transmits. After doing the implant, we tested the electrode and found out that they are working automatically. “But we are not going to switch it on until about four to six weeks. When it is switched on, for those that have acquired speech before, they will definitely have great benefits. Those that have not acquired speech will still need enough time to learn the language. So you may not appreciate it immediately.” The implanted device, Cochlear, was made in Australia and adjudged the most effective of hearing device around the world. Each cost 23,000 Euros (about N5million). Each patient also paid about N1.5m for hospital and rehabilitation care services. Olubi said: “Yes the cost of the device, coupled with hospital care and rehabilitation may be expensive, but there is no quantifying the cost with changes it will bring to the life of the patient.

reference book of available drugs in Nigeria has been introduced to the medical community. The prescribing reference, also known as MIMS Nigeria, is specific to the Nigerian healthcare system and delivers up-todate drug information source on existing products in Nigeria. Editor of the reference material, Dr. Ifeanyi Okechukwu told The Guardian in Lagos that the project emerged out of the team’s urge for a compact, user-friendly prescribing guide that is specific for Nigeria. He observed that prior to MIMS Nigeria, most healthcare professionals were using the British prescribing reference, which contains information on products that are available in Britain. According to Okechukwu: “Since drug names in Nigeria are somewhat different to those in Britain, the MIMS Nigeria publisher posited that you do not need a map of London to navigate streets of Lagos,” he said. The core of MIMS Nigeria, a 319-page book, consists of

Lead Pastor, the Empowerment Assembly Church, Oregun, Lagos, Pastor Charles Abu (left), a beneficiary, Police Officer Michael Olaleye and Dr. Serah Eke of the Maxi  Specialist Eye Clinic during the church’s free medical outreach programme held in commemoration of its third year anniversary in Lagos… at the weekend.

How to stop liver failure from painkiller overdose NIVERSITY of Adelaide but nobody has known how U researchers have identified the calcium gets into the cells. The University of Adelaide a key step for the future prevention of liver failure resulting from taking too much of the everyday painkiller paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen). Published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study pinpoints a target for new treatments to prevent the potentially lethal consequences of paracetamol overdose. “Paracetamol is the most frequently used over-the-counter pain medication,” says Dr Grigori Rychkov, Senior Research Fellow in the University’s School of Medical Sciences. “Overdose of paracetamol is the most common cause of acute liver failure and the leading cause of liver damage requiring transplantation in developed countries. The precise mechanisms of liver toxicity due to paracetamol overdose, however, have remained unclear.” It has been known for a long time that paracetamol overdose is associated with toxic levels of calcium in liver cells

“Deafness has more severe disadvantage than other disabilities. For those that are deaf, the highest of intelligence they can acquire is that of a Primary school pupil. But for someone to use hearing device through school and become a professor is worth all investment in cost.” Head of Department ENT, Dr. Abimbola Adekoya also advocated that a child should be screened as soon as he or she is born to determine if the child has a hearing loss. Continuing he said, “Again, some drugs have to be used carefully so that the ears do not get damaged. What we are doing with this Cochlear implant is to improve the hearing of people who have nerve deafness. Nerve injury is one that doesn’t heal up on time unlike the case with skin injury. And if it is a severe case, nerve injury do not heal up at all. “So, we should be more careful. People who work in factories and always exposed to noise, people who are prone to abuse drugs all need to be more careful to prevent hearing impairment,” he said.

Drugs-prescribing reference book debuts in Nigeria OURTESY of a team of doc- entries (monographs) of C tors and pharmacists in the medicinal products accessible country, the first prescribing in the country. These include a

researchers have identified a channel transporting calcium across the cell membrane that is triggered by paracetamol overdose, known as Transient Receptor Potential Melanostatine2 (TRPM2). Once the channel is activated, the cells become overloaded with calcium, leading to cell death. If this continues and enough cells die, it can lead to liver failure. The research, conducted by PhD student Ehsan Kheradpezhouh, showed in laboratory studies that when the TRPM2 channel was miss-

ing or blocked, liver cells were protected from paracetamol damage. “We now have a potential drug target for treating paracetamol overdose and possibly some other liver-damaging poisonings,” says Rychkov. Currently paracetamol overdose can be effectively treated – but only if caught within 18 hours. “If we can block the TRPM2 channel we might be able to prevent the toxicity or extend this timeframe. If we can stop the calcium uptake and cell death, we’ll be giving the liver a better chance for recovery and, hopefully, preventing complete liver failure,” says Dr Rychkov.

concise summary of main prescribing information such as indications, dosage, contraindications, interactions, special-warnings and side effects as well as information about pack size. A diabetes reference supplement was published alongside MIMS Nigeria to guide healthcare professionals in the management of type-2 diabetes. Okechukwu, a pharmacist by training, added that the reference material avails information on drugs vis-à-vis their safety to breastfeeding and pregnancies, coupled with interaction with herbal products. Continuing, he said: “MIMS Nigeria is not for patent medicine dealers but for doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other medical practitioners. It will also be helpful for medical and nursing students, raising their awareness on locally available drugs. It is a quick glance for students,” he said. He, however, urged the public to source their drugs from registered pharmacists – marked by approved Rx emblem of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) – for assurance of getting quality product and non-promotion of illegal drug trade. Co-Editor of the book, Dr. Chinwe Okechukwu further explained that the drug monographs in MIMS Nigeria were based on Summary of product Characteristics (SPCs) and approved official reference sources. She said: “They are deliberately concise, so readers are strongly advised to refer to the full SPCs or contact the manufacturer or distributor when more details on the clinical significance of adverse drug reactions, contra-indications, drug interactions, overdose or special precautions are required.” MIMS Nigeria prescribing reference is published by Betterlife Media Limited, a medical communications company, led by a team of medical and pharmaceutical professionals with more than 50 years cumulative experience in clinical practice, research and marketing.


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Minister, others caution on dangers of misused chemicals By Paul Adunwoke HE Minister for Health T Professor Onybuchi Chukwu has advised Nigerians to avoid misused chemicals as well as drug abuse, saying that they are very dangerous to health and they can lead to death. The minister, who was represented by Director of medical in the Federal Ministry of Health Dr. Michael Maha noted this during sensitization seminar on globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) and drug demand reduction (DDR) for public secondary schools in Lagos State, organized by Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) held at Oriwu Model School Ikorodu, Lagos. The minister also congratulated ICCON on the effort to organize such event. “The programme is educative and it came at the right time when there is increase in drug abuse by young men, women in our society so as to find way out to it. I believe if the students who participated in this programme can put into practice the message conveyed on them in future our country will be better. These students are the leaders of tomorrow, if they can know the effect of drug abuse and pass the message to others society will be better, it is nice we start at this age to caught them young.” The acting registrar ICCON Lagos State Mrs. Taiwo Bammodu said that the programme was annual event initiated by the Institute to educate people about effect of drug abuse. Adding that Practitioners as well as users are aware that chemicals can

be both beneficial and detrimental to mankind, depending on the usage, but a man is not destroyed by what he knows but by his ignorance. “The advent of globally harmonized system (GHS) can be traced to United Nations conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which was held in 1992 in the Brazilian city of Rio de Jenairo. During that historic gathering, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and development (OECD) and various government as well as other stakeholders came together to make a declaration that globally harmonized hazard classification and compatible labeling system, including material safety data sheets and easily understandable symbols, should be available if feasible, by the year 2000. It stands to reason that the concept of GHS essentially seeks the protection of mankind and the environment through effective communication of chemical information, especially hazardous chemicals.” “In realisation the vision of the institute, the provision of Chemistry-related education and training to chemists in particular and the society at large constitutes one of the cardinal mandates of ICCON. The organisation of this sensitisation seminar is one of the fundamental components of this statutory mandate,” she said. Head of public health safety and environment ICCON Elochukwu Okonkwo said that the programme was to sensitize people on the dangers inherent in the misused

Mrs. Osunbor Helen, (left) Dr. Michael Maha, representing Minister for Health, Mrs. Rita Ojo, Acting Registrar Institute Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, ICCON, Mrs. Taiwo Bammodu, Mrs. Olubukola Obafemi, during sensitisation seminar on globally harmonised system of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) and drug demand reduction (DDR) for public secondary schools in Lagos State, organised by (ICCON) held at PHOTO: PAUL ADUNWOKE Oriwu Model Secondary School Ikorodu, Lagos. of chemicals. “If chemicals are used the way they should, it can benefit man, but because of ignorance many people misused chemicals and it leads to death. The institute has decided as corporate social responsibility to sensitize the public, workers, children, men, youths and others on the dangers of misused chemicals using globally harmonized system, which is internationally accepted concept, and we want to pass across the massage of one chemical

one symbol world wide”. “We have been sensitising old generations, we have been in Ekiti, Lagos, Kano, Onitsha, Ibadan, Uyo and Abeokuta, educating university students; now we want sensitise younger generations because we believe in caught them young, if they get sensitized at this age when they grow, there is no need of sensitizing them anymore,” he said. Chemist consultant Mr. Dan Modebe said that Nigeria planned to stop drug abuse

has failed and drug continues to come into Nigeria, adding India hemps are being cultivated in Nigeria. “Not only because of Nigeria factor, in US it failed, people will just abuse drug and go unpunished. To me we are just doing counseling to people and every year I partner with this institute to campaign against drug abuse, our farm lands; instead of people to cultivate cassava they cultivate India hemp because it is costly than cassava and it is affecting our

food production, ” he said. A student, from Luwasa Senior High Schoool Ijede Ikorodu Miss. Mary Adeshina said that she has learnt that misused of chemicals and drug abuse are very dangerous to health. “I have learnt that man cannot destroy by what he knows but what he does not know and I will pass the message to my family members and friends and I want to congratulate ICCON for this wonderful occasion,” she said.

Medical practitioners proffer ways to safe use of medicines in Nigeria By Victoria Ojugbana ORRIED by the rising death toll resulting from unsafe use of medicines in Nigeria, medical practitioners and stakeholders in the health sector in Lagos gathered to brainstorm on the challenges and to find lasting solutions to the incidence. The health stakeholders, who came together last Wednesday at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos, identified that unsafe use of medicines could be caused by the patient, the medical practitioner and the care provider. Chairman, Board of Trustees, Initiative for Safe Use of Medicines (INSUM), a nongovernmental organisation, which brought the event together, Pharm Dotun Amosun, said that INSUM is to promote the safe use of medicines among Nigerian citizens. He urged drug consumers to endeavour to keep a list of the drugs they take daily, as taking too many medicines at the same time can result to drug interaction in the body system. Amosun, who noted that there is a difference between safe medicine and safe of use medicines, added that many safe medicines have been misused/abused by many patients, which have sometimes, caused damage to their body systems or resulted to death. Founder, INSUM, Pharm (Mrs.) Nneka Egbuchulam, said the passion for the wellbeing of Nigerian citizens and the consequences of drug

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misuse was a burden she had, which caused her to initiate the INSUM. Egbuchulam, who noted that the aim of the INSUM is to support measures that will enhance appropriate prescribing and dispensing of medicines in Nigeria, said it is also to collaborate with stakeholders to improve adverse drug reaction reporting and to conduct research on use of medicines within communities. The INSUM Board of Trustees chairman stated that it is the responsibility of the government of any country to control the importation of medicines and ensure that only standard, safe and unadulterated drugs are allowed to enter the nation. He urged that the National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria’s agency for controlling and regulating drug circulation, should ensure that production of fake drugs is not allowed to thrive. A Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, University of Lagos, Dr. Ibrahim Oreagba, who spoke at the occasion, noted that the abuse of medicines is the fourth to sixth largest cause of death in the country. Oreagba, who stressed the importance of pharmacovigilance in the safe use of medicines, noted that it helps all concerned in the field to effectively monitor and regulate the use of drugs in the country.

Understanding the magnitude of the problem caused by unsafe use of drugs, he said, will help drug manufacturers and users to have a better understanding of what is involved in it. Egbuchulam, who said INSUM promotes and supports the safe and appropriate use of medicines in Nigeria through advocacy, research and public education, added that public education is important because without it, people lack the knowledge and the skills that are required to make informed decisions about

using medicines wisely. She stressed that it is important to note that the consequences associated with the inappropriate use of medicines include treatment failures, adverse drug reactions and death. She said the issues surrounding the safe use of medicine involves a number of stakeholders and these include the public, the health workers and policy makers. This implies that this organization will have to reach out to these groups of people in order to make the necessary impact, Egbuchulam noted,

adding that “This will involve collaborating with health professionals, researchers, professional associations and the drug regulatory authorities.” As a pharmacist, Egbuchulam decried drug consumers being non-adherent or non-compliant to prescribed medications as tpeople often call to ask questions about their medications, noting that sometimes, they want to know the use or the dose of a medication that was prescribed for them, at other times; they want to know if they can combine a medicine

that was not prescribed for them with their prescribed medicines or what to do when they skipped their doses. Asked what prompted her to initiate the INSUM, she said: “I simply observed that people had too many questions about how to use their medicines correctly and that they often made wrong choices about their medicines. I also observed that certain category of people who were expected to use their medicines daily were often not motivated to do so and were underusing prescribed medications”.

American hospital for women, children takes off in Abuja From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja INE years after it was conN ceived, the American Specialist Hospital for Women and Children has finally taken off in Abuja. Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chuwku was optimistic that the project would contribute to checking the influx of Nigerians to hospitals abroad for treatment. One of the promoters of the project and Chief Executive Officer of GE, Mr. Jeff Immelt, said at the unveiling of models for America Hospital Limited in Abuja that the projects, which was first muted in the year 2005, would be implemented in four phases. He noted that the Project 1, which is the American Specialist Hospital for Women and Children, was the first to take off. The others

consisting of the American Medical Diagnostics Imaging and Medical Centre; the American Specialist Hospital other (otherwise known as the centre of excellence for internal medicine, cardiology, cancer, stroke, diabetes and hypertension management; the American University of Medical Sciences were at various stages of work. He noted that the focus was on the operations of Projects 1 and 2, while laying a solid foundation for the subsequent expansion of the other projects of the hospital. He said: “ American Hospital Limited is presently developing new specialist hospitals in Abuja. The goal of the American hospital is to build and effectively operate within Nigeria, state of the art medical facilities, staffed by well-

trained and highly qualified personnel who are committed to the delivery of the highest quality healthcare with professionalism, compassion and hospitality comparable with the most advanced healthcare centres in the world. “The overall objective of the project is to be foremost in ensuring that Nigerians in particular and sub-Saharan Africans in general, achieve and maintain high quality public health and longevity that is comparable with the best in the world. Also, these state of the art hospitals will also serve to promote medical tourism in Nigerian from subSaharan African in particular, European and America in general.” Chief Promoter of the project, Dr. Ifeanyo Obiakor stressed that the target

groups for the hospital were Nigerians who desire high quality healthcare, some of whom now travel overseas to Europe, USA, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, among others. His words: “Its training program for Nigerian medical doctors, residents, medical students and allied health professionals is designed to ensure that they are trained to provide American standard of high quality healthcare, and return to their communities to practice and promote a higher standard of healthcare. “While focusing on traditional curative approach to medicine, extra emphasis will be laid on preventive medicine, which will lead the nation in the improvement of national indices, and economic growth.


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Severe menstrual pain, infertility linked to endometriosis •One in 10 Nigerian women at risk By Wole Oyebade GYNAECOLOGICAL disease A called endometriosis has been linked to severe men-

strual pains often experienced by some women and the “strange ailment” now accounts for about 30 per cent of all infertility cases among female folks. That was the submission of Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialists at the weekend, as they expressed concern on poor awareness of the condition among patients as well as medical practitioners. Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr Abayomi Ajayi explained that endometriosis is a medical condition in which the mucous membrane endometrium – that normally lines only the womb – is present and functioning in the ovaries or elsewhere in the body, causing severe pains. According to him: “These tissues form lesions which are most found on the ovaries and other organs within a woman’s pelvis and causes bleeding in their respective locations outside the womb. These causes inflammation and the formation of scar tissues, leading to severe pain or even infertility,” he said. The condition is as difficult to diagnose, as it is to treat. Speaking at a fund raising event for endometriosis’ commemorative awareness walk tagged: ‘million women march for endometriosis sup-

port’, Ajayi noted that while it could take up to 10 years to have the condition diagnosed in a patients in advanced countries, it is often undetected in underdeveloped countries like Nigeria. Estimate shows that one in every 10 women around the world has endometriosis, and a total of 200 million girls of puberty age and women experience its crisis, especially during menstruation. Ajayi, who is also the Endomarch Country Affiliate Partner, said: “Many don’t understand the condition or pains that sufferers feel. The symptoms though vary depending on where the growth is. It varies from having pains when urinating or defecating or when having intercourse. Everything around it is usually pain and tends to be worse during menstruation. “The agony is more when nothing is found to be wrong with the person, or she is said to be exaggerating normal menstrual pains. Patients are even referred to see the psychiatrists. But the sting is beyond words can describe. When your menstrual pains starts disrupting your normal life activities, then you need to be investigated whether you have endometriosis,” he said. Depending on the diagnosis, which is only by laparoscopy, palliative treatment could be by removing the implants through surgery and use of drugs to alleviate the pains or

Chairman Lagos University Teaching Hospital’s (LUTH) Management Board, Dr. Olatokunbo, Awolowo Dosunmu (middle), Chief Medical Director Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Akin Osibogun (right) and joint pioneer of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) in Nigeria and member LUTH Board, Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie, at the commissioning of the new Surgical Skills Training Centre and the Assisted Conception Centre & Colonoscopy Unit at LUTH… recently supported me. cated in the process. That is stop the implants from grow- was exaggerating. I became “I have thought of having drug addict, taking just anywhy we need to support peoing. the uterus and everything ple living with this condiOne of the sufferers, who thing and in large doses just else removed from my body tion,” she said. spoke with The Guardian on to relieve the pain when it just to avoid menstruation Endomarch Team Nigeria condition of anonymity, comes. and pain that comes with it. “Even when I got married, I Programme Coordinator, noted that her experience This is a challenge many Adebowale Sangosanya said with endometriosis started started going from one hospiwomen has, but suffering in the ‘million women march when she was 13 and has lived tal to another, treating all silence. I’m talking today manner of conditions, but for endometriosis support’ with it for over two decades. because I’ve been privileged coming up in March 13, 2014, She said: “Among my there was no end to the pains to take myself to specialist was part of their efforts to female siblings, I was entirely neither could I conceive. That hospitals. There are a whole raise awareness on the condidifferent. Every menstrual went on until 2006, when I lot of people out there that diagnosed of tion and provide support period was a crisis of atro- was could only settle for quacks services for people living with cious pains that no one could endometriosis. Since then, and have their destiny trunthe condition. understand. They thought I my team of specialists has

Experts task Nigerians on regular cancer checks, healthy living By Tony Nwanne S part of activities to mark the World Cancer Day, on Tuesday February 4, 2014, some medical experts have urged Nigerians to ensure that they go for regular cancer check ups to reduce the mortality rate, and to always imbibe a good healthy living habit. The call was made during the commemoration of the 2014 World Cancer Day, which was put together by Skye Bank in collaboration with Care Organisation and Public Enlightenment (COPE) Foundation in Lagos. Speaking at the event, a radio oncologist, from the Lagos Univeristy Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Anthonia Sowunmi, while stressing the importance of prevention and early detection, she was of the view that cancer affects everyone and makes no distinction between the rich and the poor or the old and the young. “Empirical studies have revealed that it is one of the leading causes of death world wide, especially in the developing countries where inadequate medical care and lack of awareness about the disease have combined to make it very deadly. There is therefore a need for a concerted effort by both the government and the private sector to collaborate to fight the scourge of cancer in our society where incidence of the disease is on the increase”, she noted. The World Cancer Day, according Sowunmi, is an avenue for stakeholders to create more awareness and make people understand that cancer can be prevented, at the same time urging different multinational companies to take a queue from what

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Skye Bank is doing towards creating awareness and providing a good healthcare facilities for Nigerians. “About 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women older than 50 years, therefore, he advised women not to trivialize any lump on their breasts even though not all lumps are cancerous. She listed causes of cervical cancer to include having multiple sexual partners; giving birth before the age of 17 years,

smoking as well as contracting other sexually-transmitted diseases pre-dispose victims to the disease”. On this occasion of the 2014 ‘World Cancer Day’, Skye Bank, in collaboration with COPE Foundation will be providing free public enlightenment to members of the public by dedicating three lines through which members of the public can learn more about cancer, its prevention, control and treatment from a team of

oncologists at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) from February 4February 7. The dedicated lines are 08137109164, 0018000004 and 08094442223. These lines will thereafter be in the custody of COPE Foundation and members of the public can relate with the foundation on their subsequent information needs on the issue. In the same, COPE Chief Executive Officer, Ebun Anozie,

noted that the partnership between Skye Bank and COPE is to facilitate the need to support the goals of the World Cancer declaration, written in 2008. For Anozie, it is pertinent to realize that cancer is the world’s leading killer disease, a serial silent killer. She was of the view that almost 4.2 million people per year die prematurely (ages 30-36) due to cancer, and in Nigeria, one out of every 11 million women

have breast cancer and 85% of them die due to late presentation. However, the Group Managing Director/ CEO of Skye Bank, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, commended the efforts of COPE in the fight against cancer in the country, adding that it was in furtherance of the firm’s commitment towards contributing to the fight against the high incidence of cancer, especially breast cancer in the country.

Stakeholders want establishment of National Cancer Institute From: Emeka Anuforo O aid research in the manT agement of cancer and bring greater hope to those affected by cancer, some stakeholders have canvassed the establishment of a National Cancer Institute. They also want a bill on cancer to be sent to the National Assembly to make it possible for Nigerians, especially the rural poor to access cancer treatment. Founder/Coordinator of the Ego Bekee International

Cancer Foundation, Mrs. Chidima Nwajimogu, noted that cancer management was getting much better, illiteracy and ignorance about cancer was still widespread in Nigeria. Spoke in Abuja at a briefing to mark the World Cancer Day. Noting that over 80 per cent of Nigerians were ignorant about cancer, and totally unaware that early detection saves lives, she lamented that cancer in Nigeria was an important problem that had

gone unrecognized, even by governments. She stressed how it is only given peripheral concern amongst numerous stakeholders; “as such more patients do not even know that they are at risk until the sickness becomes severe.” Her words: “The foundation is formed primarily to fill that gap and to improve the awareness through advocacy and education as well as serve as a resource centre, counseling center for survivors and other

relatives. “The foundation realizes that a cure for cancer involves more than simply treating the tumor. The patient’s state of mind has been found to be critical towards achieving a full recovery. Through our counseling sessions we try to resolve conflicts that patients face so that they are able to fight the disease.” Factsheets released by stakeholders in Abuja notes that whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in

some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level They noted: “For most people, a diagnosis of cancer is a life-changing event commonly evoking feelings of shock, fear, anger, sadness, loneliness and anxiety. Talking about cancer to partners, family members, friends and colleagues can help to alleviate these feelings, and yet many people find it difficult.

Running improves breast cancer survival, research finds REVIOUS studies have P shown that breast cancer survivors who meet the current exercise recommendations (2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week) are at 25 per cent lower risk for dying from breast cancer. New research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and

reported in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that exceeding the recommendations may provide greater protection, and that running may be better than walking. The study, by Berkeley Lab’s Paul Williams of the lab’s Life Sciences Division, followed 986 breast cancer survivors as part of the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Study. Thirty-three of the 714

walkers and 13 of the 272 runners died from breast cancer over nine years. When analyzed together, their risk for breast cancer mortality decreased an average of 24 per cent per metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per day of exercise, where one MET hour equals a little less than a mile of brisk walking or about twothirds of a mile of running. However, when the run-

ners and walkers were looked at separately, there was significantly less mortality in those who ran than walked. The runners’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased over 40 per cent per MET hour per day. Runners that averaged over two and a quarter miles per day were at 95 per cent lower risk for breast cancer mortality than those that did not meet the current exercise rec-

ommendations. In contrast, the walkers’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased a non-significant five per cent per MET hour per day. Williams cautions, however, that this study doesn’t disprove the benefits of walking because the number of subjects was small compared to previous research showing a benefit.


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Much ado about a National Health Bill: Why President may not sign it again Investigations reveal that the Bill will never be signed effectively into law. The vagaries of the 1999 Constitution render it impossibly compromised. Dr Tarry Asoka explains why in this article published in Africa Health Journal IGERIA is a federal counN try, where the federating units – the Governments of the 36 States and the Federal Government – derive their power and authority from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And rather peculiar to Nigeria, many of the 36 States are constituted by diverse groups of people with different political, social, and cultural affiliations that although have contributed to the survival of Nigeria as a somewhat cohesive nation, have also maintained the potential cleavages resulting from such diversity. This means that to be successful in matters of upmost interest to the citizens of the country, such as healthcare, there has to be ‘collaboration’ among these units, as well as among the myriads of stakeholders with specific interests. But from the look of things, it appears that the National Health Bill has become a victim of capture by vested interests that are also undermining the primary national intention of a ‘collaborative federalism’. The main reason for the need of an overarching national health law is to compensate for the lack of a legal mandate given to Federal, State, and Local Governments in matters concerning health by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It describes the structures and responsibilities of the three levels of government and of law and order in the country, but is not explicit on functions. Health is assumed to be a concurrent responsibility, but although Local Government Areas (LGAs) are understood to be the main implementing agencies of primary healthcare (PHC), there is only a vague reference to the LGA’s responsibility for health – ‘LGAs are responsible for the provision and maintenance of health services’ – otherwise the constitution is largely silent on health services. In addition, constitutionally the State Commissioners of Health are accountable to State Governors and not to the Federal Minister of Health, who is assumed to be responsible for the performance of the Nigeria health system. State Governors and Chairmen of LGAs frequently follow their own agendas. Although a National Council on Health (NCH) exists – whereby the Federal Minister of Health and the 36 Commissioners of Health (plus the Secretary for Health and Human Services in the Federal Capital Territory) meet to consider national health policy issues – this body is only advisory and decisions taken at this forum do not legally compel States to act as agreed. Furthermore,

Jonathan while LGAs had responsibility for PHC services in the country, they had the least capacity and resources to undertake such a task. As a result, processes for the promulgation of a National Health Act have been ongoing for over 8 years or so – since 2004. The main objective of the draft National Health Bill for the Act, which is now before the National Assembly (Federal Parliament), was to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government in relation to healthcare in the country. It was hoped that this would create a virtuous cycle of accountability and help to establish performance management within the health system. The Bill has also proposed the setting up of a National Primary Health Care Fund, which among other sources will have at least 2% of the consolidated funds from the Federation Account. Another important provision is the legal backing the National Council on Health will now have, making it the highest decision-making body on health in the country that had previously been advisory in function. It is expected that the institutional transformation of the National Council on Health would allow for a more collaborative decision-making that would be binding on all stakeholders, especially the federating States. Therefore the passage of the National Health Bill is seen as critical to health sector reform plans in Nigeria. Nonetheless, the passage of the National Health Bill has faced obstacles as there are many political and other vested interests in opposition. An earlier attempt that got the National Health Bill to the President’s table in 2011 failed to convince the President to sign the Bill into law. The current renewed efforts aimed at resolving the concerns of a broad range of stakeholders, and getting the process going again have revealed that some policies the Bill is promoting are still contentious. And despite several rounds of advocacy activities, most of these stakeholders have not

Chukwu shifted their position on these issues. A recent appraisal of the setting of the Bill by this author is very revealing. Interestingly, despite the disagreements on what should be contained in the proposed National Health Bill, virtually all stakeholder groups – health professionals, government officials, legislators, political appointees, religious groups, civil society, and the media – are strongly in support of a national health law that although may not solve all the problems and challenges of the Nigeria’s health system, in many ways signifies an important and bold step to positively turn around its fortunes. While there were divergent views among stakeholders on what should be contained in such a national health law, there were many commonalities in their expectation of this document. These include: guaranteeing citizens’ right to health; prescribing roles and responsibilities for all actors in the sector; setting minimum standards for service delivery; and providing a means of funding the health system. So what are the main touchy issues among stakeholders? To start with, some stakeholders are not happy with some specific ‘sections’ or ‘clauses’ in the proposed National Health Bill. First, an amendment of Section 1: Establishment of the National Health System, which reads – There is hereby established for the Federation; the national health system, which shall define and provide a framework for standards and regulation of health services and which shall...’ – was requested. The proponents of this amendment were asking for the inclusion of the words ‘without prejudice to the various relevant professional regulatory statues’ after the words ‘health services’, as highlighted above. They insisted that this section contravenes already existing laws guiding standards and regulation of health professional practices in the country. Secondly, they also requested the deletion of the entire section 1, sub- Section (1) - (d) set

out the rights and duties of health care providers, health workers, health establishments and users; and... – arguing that this sub-section is ambiguous and in conflict with the statutory functions of the National Council on Establishment, which is empowered by the law to prescribe duties and responsibilities for all cadres of workers in the public service. Furthermore, The appropriateness of Section 2: Functions of the Federal Ministry of Health was questioned given that this section has assigned too much power to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in a federal country such as Nigeria, where States and LGAs have been assigned considerable power and autonomy by the constitution. Stakeholders who disagree with this approach see the National Health Bill as trying to set up a command structure at the FMoH. They contend that this is an aberration in federal system of government and allege that this is a carryover from the excessive centralised hierarchical administrative structure that was established during the military era. In addition, all professional health associations desire to be represented on the National Council on Health and therefore want an amendment of Section 4: Establishment and Composition of the National Council on Health – to capture this aspiration. Another area of the proposed Bill that has got some stakeholders angry is Section 11 that deals with the establishment of the Primary Health Care Development Fund; in particular, the issue of setting aside ‘an amount not less than two per cent of the value of Consolidated Fund of the Federation’ to fund primary healthcare. This group of stakeholders contend that this is ‘unconstitutional’ and goes against the principles of federalism, since the monthly federal allocation to States and LGAs, although not mandated for any specific use, are meant to cover healthcare among other public services, arguing that what is needed is efficient utilisation of whatever funds that are made available to the

States and LGAs, and that the Federal Government may provide additional funds for healthcare on a need basis rather than legislated for. There is also some disquiet among government officials who seem to be questioning why over half of government expenditure on health is still spent at the Federal level on tertiary care, when it is at State and Local Government levels that the majority of the healthcare services are delivered. This gives the impression that they would rather prefer a re-allocation of the Federal health budget skewed in favour of financing primary healthcare (and perhaps secondary care) as against tertiary care, rather than an additional 2% of the Federation Account allocated to State and LGAs for PHC services. Finally, a certain group of stakeholders have issues with the National Health Bill only on the basis of Section 51: Prohibition of Reproductive, therapeutic Cloning of Human Kind. They are quite adamant that this section be expunged from the Bill, the reason being that the country is not sophisticated enough to handle such delicate matters with regards to experimentation in human embryos. While opposing parties on the National Health Bill secured public attention on the basis of their individual points of view, what appears to have been lost is the very reason for which a national health law was contemplated in the first place. As previously stated, the main reason for a National Health Act in Nigeria was due to the constitutional omission in delineating the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government in matters related to health. The National Health Policy had tried to set out roles and responsibilities for the different tiers of government based on the comparative advantage of each tier in terms of financial and management capacity and relative distance to users of health services. For example, States were given the responsibility of ensuring the provision of comprehensive secondary care to all its citizens, leaving tertiary and spe-

cialised care to the Federal government. In practice, what is found is competition among all the tiers of government with duplication of similar services in close proximity, leading to wastage of efforts and resources. And it was on this basis that the original National Health Bill in 2006 was initiated and framed among other topical reform issues. But a closer look at the 2012 version of the National Health Bill that is now awaiting passage by the Senate indicates that there is nothing in there to show that the proposed National Health Act will try and correct these anomalies. For example, the key issue of assigning roles and responsibilities to the three tiers of government and other stakeholders is totally missing. So also is the central place of the National Council on Health as a ‘collaborative governance mechanism’ in a federal country such as Nigeria. Therefore, one can comfortably say that the disagreements between opposing groups are largely based on self-interest and a tendency for elite capture of the outcome. Another related matter was the way and manner the last Public Hearing held in February 2013 was said to have been conducted by the Senate Committee on Health. Independent media reports noted several irregularities, but notably a conflict of interest by the main sponsor of the Bill who also presided over the event. There were also strong allegations concerning a non-governmental organisation that had hitherto been reconciling opposing parties and building consensus among stakeholders seen to be taking the side of a major proponent of the Bill. These actions called into question the level of transparency in the process itself. Putting all these together, one could further conclude that there is some evidence to suggest that the tortuous path taken by the National Health Bill since 2004 up to this moment – the controversies surrounding its initial passage by the National Assembly in 2011; failure of the Bill to receive Presidential assent; re-presentation of the Bill to the National Assembly by new sponsors; the unsatisfactory conclusion of the last Public Hearing in February 2013; and the suspension of final hearing (that could have led to its passage) by the Senate in April, 2013 – could be linked to numerous interests that seem be jostling for positions to maximally benefit from it. This behaviour could be said to have set aside the main purpose for which a Bill of this nature was being proposed in the first instance. Apart from this murky environment of the National Health Bill, there are a couple of emerging issues as to why the Bill may not get Presidential assent this time around. Firstly, in as much as the sponsors of the National Health Bill are national parliamentarians, the Bill is still considered as a private bill and therefore require a lot more effort in not only getting the President’s attention but also for him to be interested enough to support it.


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SCIENCE HEALTH Thursday, February 6, 2014

Strategies for living a disease-free life (4) S I have stated in the past, A we are what we eat and drink. I have already dealt with water in the last two weeks. Today, I am going to be looking at food. First of all, we have to understand God’s plan in creating man as it relates to the food he will eat to sustain his life on earth. We understand that God formed man from the earth and as I said last week, the composition of the minerals in the earth and of the human body is approximately the same. To develop on this statement, I will like to say that the human body is a collection of chemicals and minerals that are undergoing a continuous series of different reactions to keep man alive. The earth is therefore a reservoir of the chemicals and minerals along with the vitamins that are involved with the reactions that keep man alive. The supply of these nutrients from the earth to man is through the plants. As they pass through the plants they go through a natural refining process that eliminates whatever would be toxic to man. These nutrients are not necessarily medicine, they are naturally occurring substrates that are needed for all the biochemical reactions going on in the body and for the replenishing of deficient or used up nutrients. There is an optimum level of all the minerals in the body that should keep the body in a state of wellbeing and total absence of diseases. This is a level that supports the immune system and helps it to fight against disease-causing organisms and to efficiently

get rid of foreign bodies that find their way into the human body. This state is what I have described before as alkaline, a state that supports wellness and life. Early, after God created man He gave him what I always call the Genesis 1: 29 Diet, a diet that supports life [a blessing to man]. However like everything else, man was not satisfied with what God gave him. He decided to process and refine what God gave. Unknown to man he was adding curses and death to the diet God most graciously gave him, to support his life here on planet earth. The whole idea of processing the raw living food of Genesis 1: 29, was to extend the shelf life of the food, make it sweeter, more attractive to the eyes and

to attract more money. This is done by adding chemical preservatives, bleaching agents, colourings and other additives, which together bring in a load of chemicals, heavy metals into the body. As I stated above, God, had already passed these nutrients through a natural refining process making them safe for human consumption. As if that was not enough, daily in our kitchen we add death to the food that we eat by cooking and over-cooking them. All of these processes together rid the raw living food of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, phytonutrients and trace elements. What is left is food with high glycaemic indices (able to cause type 2

diabetes), devoid of all that is mentioned above. In eating this kind of food, the foundation for the onset of all kinds of diseases is set, at an early age. Let me repeat this statement I have made in the past: Whatever goes through the mouth is what causes diseases in man. If you eat the right food, it will give you life, while the wrong food will cause disease, decay and death. The right foods include the raw vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds and their oils, which are full of fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, etc. These foods do not put a burden on the digestive system, instead they support the digestive functions of the intestines. Because of their high fiber content they speed

up the passage of fecal matter through the colon and as they do so, they also cleanse the intestines. Put together therefore, these good, living foods, which support life do actually prevent the occurrence of diseases by preventing the buildup of waste matter in the intestines that release acid into the circulation. Furthermore, because

of their high vitamin (antioxidant) content, they readily overwhelm and neutralize the free radicals in the body and damage to the cells and tissues becomes reduced to the barest minimum, if not completely eliminated. We shall continue next week Thursday with the damaging effects of the “dead food” that we eat today.

Key to longevity depends on sex S if they needed any more A excuse, new research suggests men need their sleep if they’re to live a long life. Women, on the other hand, can live long lives despite poor sleep habits as long as they eat a diverse diet that includes vitamin B6 and plenty of vegetables. Vitamin B6 can be found in food such as meat, bananas, nuts, garlic and pistachios. Among other things, it allows the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates. The findings come from a study led by Melbourne-based Monash University which looked at how diet contributed to sleep quality and mortality among elderly men and women.

• Sleep is crucial for men while women need plenty of vitamin B6, vegetable Emeritus Professor Mark Wahlqvist from Monash University said that sleep played a more important role in men’s mortality than women’s. “Poor sleep has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease,” he said. “We found that for both genders, poor sleep was strongly correlated with poor appetite and poor perceived health.” Women, on the other hand, can livelong lives despite poor sleep habits as long as they eat a diverse diet that includes vitamin B6 and plenty of vegetables. Vitamin B6 can be

found in food such as meat, bananas, nuts, garlic and pistachios. The amount and type of sleep a person needs changes, as they get older. It isn’t always how long someone sleeps for that matters, but the quality of sleep. Someone’s need for sleep can also change from day to day depending on the challenges face. In general, Bupa suggests adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep. However, some people can function after sleeping for much less time. Chris Berka, chief executive of Advanced Brain Monitoring claims that a complete sleep cycle typically takes about 90

minutes. The rule of thumb is that you need four to five full sleep cycles. But there is no evidence that all seven to nine hours have to occur in a single bout. But the researchers also found a significant relationship between a diverse diet and sleep, particularly in women. “For women, good sleep only provides a survival advantage if they had a diverse diet,” said Wahlqvist. The study found women were almost twice as likely as men to sleep badly. Women who were poor sleepers had a lower intake of vitamin B6 from food than those whose sleep was rated ‘fair’ or

‘good’. Fair sleepers had lower iron intakes than good sleepers. Both men and women could improve their outlook by eating a more varied diet, the research said. “Sufficient dietary diversity in men could offset the adverse effect on mortality of poor sleep while women need to make sure they are eating foods high in vitamin B6,” said Walhqvist. Participants in the study who did not sleep well were also less able to chew, had poor appetites, and did less physical activity. “These characteristics could contribute to lower overall dietary quality and food and nutrient intake, especially for vegetables, protein-rich foods, and vitamin B6,” Wahlqvist said.


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Severe menstrual pain, infertility linked to endometriosis •One in 10 Nigerian women at risk By Wole Oyebade GYNAECOLOGICAL disease A called endometriosis has been linked to severe men-

strual pains often experienced by some women and the “strange ailment” now accounts for about 30 per cent of all infertility cases among female folks. That was the submission of Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialists at the weekend, as they expressed concern on poor awareness of the condition among patients as well as medical practitioners. Medical Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, Dr Abayomi Ajayi explained that endometriosis is a medical condition in which the mucous membrane endometrium – that normally lines only the womb – is present and functioning in the ovaries or elsewhere in the body, causing severe pains. According to him: “These tissues form lesions which are most found on the ovaries and other organs within a woman’s pelvis and causes bleeding in their respective locations outside the womb. These causes inflammation and the formation of scar tissues, leading to severe pain or even infertility,” he said. The condition is as difficult to diagnose, as it is to treat. Speaking at a fund raising event for endometriosis’ commemorative awareness walk tagged: ‘million women march for endometriosis sup-

port’, Ajayi noted that while it could take up to 10 years to have the condition diagnosed in a patients in advanced countries, it is often undetected in underdeveloped countries like Nigeria. Estimate shows that one in every 10 women around the world has endometriosis, and a total of 200 million girls of puberty age and women experience its crisis, especially during menstruation. Ajayi, who is also the Endomarch Country Affiliate Partner, said: “Many don’t understand the condition or pains that sufferers feel. The symptoms though vary depending on where the growth is. It varies from having pains when urinating or defecating or when having intercourse. Everything around it is usually pain and tends to be worse during menstruation. “The agony is more when nothing is found to be wrong with the person, or she is said to be exaggerating normal menstrual pains. Patients are even referred to see the psychiatrists. But the sting is beyond words can describe. When your menstrual pains starts disrupting your normal life activities, then you need to be investigated whether you have endometriosis,” he said. Depending on the diagnosis, which is only by laparoscopy, palliative treatment could be by removing the implants through surgery and use of drugs to alleviate the pains or

Chairman Lagos University Teaching Hospital’s (LUTH) Management Board, Dr. Olatokunbo, Awolowo Dosunmu (middle), Chief Medical Director Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Akin Osibogun (right) and joint pioneer of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) in Nigeria and member LUTH Board, Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie, at the commissioning of the new Surgical Skills Training Centre and the Assisted Conception Centre & Colonoscopy Unit at LUTH… recently supported me. cated in the process. That is stop the implants from grow- was exaggerating. I became “I have thought of having drug addict, taking just anywhy we need to support peoing. the uterus and everything ple living with this condiOne of the sufferers, who thing and in large doses just else removed from my body tion,” she said. spoke with The Guardian on to relieve the pain when it just to avoid menstruation Endomarch Team Nigeria condition of anonymity, comes. and pain that comes with it. “Even when I got married, I Programme Coordinator, noted that her experience This is a challenge many Adebowale Sangosanya said with endometriosis started started going from one hospiwomen has, but suffering in the ‘million women march when she was 13 and has lived tal to another, treating all silence. I’m talking today manner of conditions, but for endometriosis support’ with it for over two decades. because I’ve been privileged coming up in March 13, 2014, She said: “Among my there was no end to the pains to take myself to specialist was part of their efforts to female siblings, I was entirely neither could I conceive. That hospitals. There are a whole raise awareness on the condidifferent. Every menstrual went on until 2006, when I lot of people out there that diagnosed of tion and provide support period was a crisis of atro- was could only settle for quacks services for people living with cious pains that no one could endometriosis. Since then, and have their destiny trunthe condition. understand. They thought I my team of specialists has

Experts task Nigerians on regular cancer checks, healthy living By Tony Nwanne S part of activities to mark the World Cancer Day, on Tuesday February 4, 2014, some medical experts have urged Nigerians to ensure that they go for regular cancer check ups to reduce the mortality rate, and to always imbibe a good healthy living habit. The call was made during the commemoration of the 2014 World Cancer Day, which was put together by Skye Bank in collaboration with Care Organisation and Public Enlightenment (COPE) Foundation in Lagos. Speaking at the event, a radio oncologist, from the Lagos Univeristy Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Anthonia Sowunmi, while stressing the importance of prevention and early detection, she was of the view that cancer affects everyone and makes no distinction between the rich and the poor or the old and the young. “Empirical studies have revealed that it is one of the leading causes of death world wide, especially in the developing countries where inadequate medical care and lack of awareness about the disease have combined to make it very deadly. There is therefore a need for a concerted effort by both the government and the private sector to collaborate to fight the scourge of cancer in our society where incidence of the disease is on the increase”, she noted. The World Cancer Day, according Sowunmi, is an avenue for stakeholders to create more awareness and make people understand that cancer can be prevented, at the same time urging different multinational companies to take a queue from what

A

Skye Bank is doing towards creating awareness and providing a good healthcare facilities for Nigerians. “About 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women older than 50 years, therefore, he advised women not to trivialize any lump on their breasts even though not all lumps are cancerous. She listed causes of cervical cancer to include having multiple sexual partners; giving birth before the age of 17 years,

smoking as well as contracting other sexually-transmitted diseases pre-dispose victims to the disease”. On this occasion of the 2014 ‘World Cancer Day’, Skye Bank, in collaboration with COPE Foundation will be providing free public enlightenment to members of the public by dedicating three lines through which members of the public can learn more about cancer, its prevention, control and treatment from a team of

oncologists at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) from February 4February 7. The dedicated lines are 08137109164, 0018000004 and 08094442223. These lines will thereafter be in the custody of COPE Foundation and members of the public can relate with the foundation on their subsequent information needs on the issue. In the same, COPE Chief Executive Officer, Ebun Anozie,

noted that the partnership between Skye Bank and COPE is to facilitate the need to support the goals of the World Cancer declaration, written in 2008. For Anozie, it is pertinent to realize that cancer is the world’s leading killer disease, a serial silent killer. She was of the view that almost 4.2 million people per year die prematurely (ages 30-36) due to cancer, and in Nigeria, one out of every 11 million women

have breast cancer and 85% of them die due to late presentation. However, the Group Managing Director/ CEO of Skye Bank, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, commended the efforts of COPE in the fight against cancer in the country, adding that it was in furtherance of the firm’s commitment towards contributing to the fight against the high incidence of cancer, especially breast cancer in the country.

Stakeholders want establishment of National Cancer Institute From: Emeka Anuforo O aid research in the manT agement of cancer and bring greater hope to those affected by cancer, some stakeholders have canvassed the establishment of a National Cancer Institute. They also want a bill on cancer to be sent to the National Assembly to make it possible for Nigerians, especially the rural poor to access cancer treatment. Founder/Coordinator of the Ego Bekee International

Cancer Foundation, Mrs. Chidima Nwajimogu, noted that cancer management was getting much better, illiteracy and ignorance about cancer was still widespread in Nigeria. Spoke in Abuja at a briefing to mark the World Cancer Day. Noting that over 80 per cent of Nigerians were ignorant about cancer, and totally unaware that early detection saves lives, she lamented that cancer in Nigeria was an important problem that had

gone unrecognized, even by governments. She stressed how it is only given peripheral concern amongst numerous stakeholders; “as such more patients do not even know that they are at risk until the sickness becomes severe.” Her words: “The foundation is formed primarily to fill that gap and to improve the awareness through advocacy and education as well as serve as a resource centre, counseling center for survivors and other

relatives. “The foundation realizes that a cure for cancer involves more than simply treating the tumor. The patient’s state of mind has been found to be critical towards achieving a full recovery. Through our counseling sessions we try to resolve conflicts that patients face so that they are able to fight the disease.” Factsheets released by stakeholders in Abuja notes that whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in

some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level They noted: “For most people, a diagnosis of cancer is a life-changing event commonly evoking feelings of shock, fear, anger, sadness, loneliness and anxiety. Talking about cancer to partners, family members, friends and colleagues can help to alleviate these feelings, and yet many people find it difficult.

Running improves breast cancer survival, research finds REVIOUS studies have P shown that breast cancer survivors who meet the current exercise recommendations (2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week) are at 25 per cent lower risk for dying from breast cancer. New research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and

reported in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that exceeding the recommendations may provide greater protection, and that running may be better than walking. The study, by Berkeley Lab’s Paul Williams of the lab’s Life Sciences Division, followed 986 breast cancer survivors as part of the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Study. Thirty-three of the 714

walkers and 13 of the 272 runners died from breast cancer over nine years. When analyzed together, their risk for breast cancer mortality decreased an average of 24 per cent per metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per day of exercise, where one MET hour equals a little less than a mile of brisk walking or about twothirds of a mile of running. However, when the run-

ners and walkers were looked at separately, there was significantly less mortality in those who ran than walked. The runners’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased over 40 per cent per MET hour per day. Runners that averaged over two and a quarter miles per day were at 95 per cent lower risk for breast cancer mortality than those that did not meet the current exercise rec-

ommendations. In contrast, the walkers’ risk for breast cancer mortality decreased a non-significant five per cent per MET hour per day. Williams cautions, however, that this study doesn’t disprove the benefits of walking because the number of subjects was small compared to previous research showing a benefit.


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Education How FUNAAB is fulfilling its mandate, by Oyewole By Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi ITH many Federal Universities struggling W to fulfill their core objectives in the face of dwindling revenues and skyrocketing expenses, one institution is holding out. According to the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUAAB), Ogun State, Prof. Olusola Bandele Oyewole, the institution was actively involved in the original concept of cassava flour over 15 years ago, while the promotion of varieties of the Ofada rice, a popular local delicacy, is also being undertaken by the institution. Affirming the several feats achieved by the 26year-old institution in an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Abeokuta recently, Oyewole said: I know that about 15 years ago, the concept of cassava flour was something that we developed here. I got the grant from the European Union (EU) and with it, we set up a pilot plant for the production of dry cassava, dry fufu and that technology has gone beyond this university now. We are now talking of cassava bread. That original concept, we were involved in it. Now, our scientists are working with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to promote cassava bread. “Not long ago, we talked about the ofada rice varieties. We are also involved in promoting these local varieties of rice in our system. We have just been made a World Bank Centre of Excellence in Agriculture. Part of what made us win that grant is not just the research that we do here, but the fact that our university, in our proposal, demonstrated our collaboration, not just with other West Africa countries, but also with local entrepreneurs. Most of the work we do here, we involve the local people, the famers.” On how the university involves local farmers in its academic activities, which also rub off on its immediate communities, Oyewole talked about the Community Based Farming Scheme, which involves four local entities which each provided 59 hectares of land. His words: “What we do there is that, we post between 100 to 200 of our 400 level students, to spend about six months in those communities. We have our researchers and personnel on ground in these places. And through this, they (students) practice agriculture within the communities. And this interaction of our students, our researchers with the local farmers, has influenced actual technology. We now have testimonies that crops that those farmers were not growing before, they now do through their interactions with us. If they have problems, they can now consult our people. We are also influencing the economic lives of those communities. They are now asking us to come and set up schools and centres of this university in those localities.” But with the existence of 50 private Universities and a dearth of doctorate holders in the Nigerian University System (NUS), made worse by the brain drain to European and American Universities, how has FUNAAB coped with the national problem. “If you talk about brain drain 10 or five years ago,” Oyewole said with a smile, “I will say yes, we were probably affected. But since I got to this position (in May, 2012), I am seeing a reverse of brain drain taking place. Our colleagues who left us some 15, 20 years ago are now applying to come back to us. Academics in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa are now reapplying to us.” What about the ratio of lecturers with doctorates in FUNAAB, which is the widely

acknowledged minimum qualification for those aspiring to teach in the Universities, the vice chancellor said: “About eight years ago, our own University took a decision that if you do not have a PhD, you cannot teach. We gave everybody in the academic cadre six years to acquire a PhD. So, in this university, over 90 per cent of our lecturers are PhD holders. “Those without doctorates are the ones we have recruited to become future academics and these are graduate assistants and assistant lecturers that are under training. And they also know that it is compulsory for them to obtain their PhD within six years.” But there is a sore point, common with all the public Universities in the country. Asked to state the exact amount the University needs yearly and how much it gets as subvention from the federal government, Oyewole gave a long explanation. “The federal government takes care of our staff salaries, remuneration 100 percent,” he began. “The government also provides little amount to take care of infrastructural development, which is not so big. And even then, only 40 to 44 per cent of that is released. “Many of the infrastructural development you are seeing around is through the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and I believe that this cuts across many Universities in the country. Beyond that, the cost of running the University now beholds the University administration to look for ways of doing it. “For example, three years ago, we were spending about three million naira every month on diesel to provide electricity. But since I came on board, we have been spending around N11 to 12 million every month, just for diesel, and we pay another three to four million naira to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), not to talk of the costs for running our vehicles. “So, we spend about N15 million every month only on energy. We also need to pay for water. So, the ability to solve these other challenges depends on how the University can generate funds. And the way we do this is through our pre-degree programmes, acceptance fees and others. We are in a situation whereby, apart from the classrooms, we need vehicles to run around. Just two months ago, we had to buy brand new vehicles for all the Deans because the vehicles they were using had been there for five years and the cost of maintaining them was getting too high. And government does not give us money to buy vehicles. We have to do it ourselves. To meet these and other running costs, we have to look for ways through our internal revenue.” So, why wouldn’t the Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities advise the Federal Government on the need to introducing tuition fees? Oyewole swiftly responded: “It will be difficult for you to find any vice chancellor that will tell the Federal government, ‘introduce school fees.’ That vice chancellor will become unpopular. I think it is a political decision that the government will need to take. In other countries, there is a way they do it. They allow students to pay normal school fees, but

the same governments would provide opportunities for scholarships and bursaries. In our country, where scholarships are not available, and even if they are, politics will be introduced into its disbursement. So, it will be difficult for anybody to say ‘introduce school fees’ at a time like this.” But he added: “What I found is this. Up till last year, our students were paying N15,000 per session, just around (US)$100. This year, because we need to provide Internet service, we charged an ICT Development Fee of N2, 000, which only the 100 Level students used to pay, but we now extended it to everybody. This year, students paid N17, 500. “The implication of this is that, many of the people who come into the University system had paid more to get primary and secondary education but, by the time they get to the university, they pay almost nothing. “In a situation, where we need to buy chemicals for teaching purposes; where the lecturers who teach students need to update their knowledge by carrying out research, you find that the needed money is not there. “You asked me how much the university needs per year. It is difficult to give you a figure, because by the time you talk of the cost of running a University, you also have the cost of doing research. A University is supposed to be a knowledge park; producing knowledge that will drive the development of the country. Unfortunately, our commitment to research is low in this country and even the society is not looking up to the university to provide the knowledge that would drive their development. We are just making efforts in this university to make sure that the research that we do impacts on the people. “But you can imagine; our students pay N17,500 per year. They just look at it as chicken change. They even pay their landlords more than they pay the University!” On how he manages the students and the other labour unions (ASUU, NASU, SSANU) the vice chancellor stated: “One good thing is that our students are well behaved. The first set of

the Students’ Union leaders that I met is the one going out now. And I did something when I resumed. I feel that, if students are well trained and well challenged to be leaders, they will deliver. “What we did was, as soon as they were sworn in, we got a company in Lagos to give them a leadership retreat. We’ve organized two of such leadership retreats and what we have been able to achieve is that, our students would start to think beyond aluta. They should start thinking of things that affect their education. Our students should be at the forefront of those clamouring for education of good quality. They should be talking about internationalization, partnerships, how to have one-year, six-month abroad programmes. I believe the type of students we are building up now will be different. “I told the Students’ Union president that any president who goes through his or her one-year presidency successfully, and could prove that he or she is a good leader, we would give that students’ leader automatic employment here. It is a way of motivating them. “I met four unions on ground. If you are a good vice chancellor, you must be able to manage the unions. It is my responsibility to see to the welfare of staff so that they can deliver. If their welfare is not well taken care of, we will have problems. “So, I have told the unions that their vision and mine are the same, which is that, we need to create the necessary conducive environment for them to deliver. But this does not mean that there will be no challenges. We are in an environment where some people may want to cut corners. We are in an environment where some people don’t want a vice chancellor to be firm and focused. But one thing is clear to everybody; that no matter what, I have a vision and I am focused on that vision. And to achieve that vision, we all need to be disciplined. If I need to take action against an erring staff, I will do it. And when I take that type of decision, my mind will be very clear that I am doing it in the interest of the University.”


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‘NYSC has fostered unity, integration in Nigeria’ XECUTIVE Secretary of the E National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie has described the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as one institution that had, over the years, fostered unity and promoted national integration in the country, despite the insecurity in some parts, that had threatened the lives of its corps members. Comparing the scheme with the Federal Government Colleges which were also established for the same purpose of promoting national unity, Okojie was of the view the unity schools have, so far recorded little success “as most students prefer to study within their home states.” Okojie spoke while receiving the newly appointed Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Johnson Bamidele Olawunmi, who visited him in Abuja recently, to familiarize himself with the workings of the commission. According to the commission’s bulletin, Okojie also maintained that the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) had remained focused, despite the military orientation of the Academy, its programmes were comparable with those of conventional universities and in line with the requirements of the Nigerian University System (NUS). He commended the cooperation between the military and the NUS

Okojie through the exemplary role of the NDA. Okojie informed the NYSC Director-General that the NUC had worked assiduously to revamp the NUS, through its accreditation and monitoring exercises, and clamping down on the activities of the degree mills. He said the Commission, in collaboration with security agents, had recorded a huge success in its campaign against fraudsters, who served as saboteurs in the system. He said there were some regulatory challenges faced by the Commission, which were being tackled with the amendment of some grey areas of the NUC’s Act, to enable it prosecute offenders of the law. The Executive Secretary also told the Director-

General that the Commission recently conducted staff and students’ audit and also embarked on and even encouraged the universities to regularly conduct certificate verifications with a bid to fishing out fraudulent persons. The exercise, he affirmed, had brought about the withdrawal of some students from the system. Okojie said that Nigerian universities were doing better than their counterparts elsewhere, especially within the African region, observing that a lot of Nigerian Professors were returning home to help develop the system. The Commission, he added, recently established the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) to help improve on the research capabilities of the academics. The Federal Government, he stated, was also sponsoring First Class graduates in selected disciplines to top 25 universities of the world, under the Presidential Special Scholarship for Innovation and Development (PRESSID), now in its second phase. He noted that the result of the test showed that private universities were doing well in providing quality education in the system. The Director-General, in his address, said that the visit was aimed at exploring ways for collaboration between the two agencies, based on obvious factors that affected their workings.


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Osaghae appointed visiting chair of Commonwealth studies HE Vice Chancellor of T Igbinedion University, Professor Eghosa E. Osaghae has been appointed to the prestigious Emeka Anyaoku Visiting Chair of Commonwealth Studies (EAVCCS) by the University of London for the 2013/2014 academic year. The EAVCCS was instituted in 2002 in honour of Chief Emeka, Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth. The competition for the chair is open to Winners of 2013 Corona Schools’ Model Teachers (holding plaques), flanked by the members of the Trust Council, during the school’s Staff Day celebration, held in Lagos recently.

Wike reiterates govt’s desire to resolve poly teachers’ strike From Kanayo Umeh, Abuja HE Federal Government T has faulted the allegation by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) that it has neglected Polytechnic Education in the country. Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike who stated this recently in Abuja while meeting with leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and members of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), stated that the minister noted that government had been in talks with the leadership of the union on how to resolve its protracted strike. The minister recalled concerted efforts made by the government to end the ongoing industrial action by the striking lecturers and for the polytechnics to be reopened for academic programmes in view of the importance federal government attached to the sector. According to the Wike: “The allegation that the government on its own chose four items cannot be true, if you are meeting with the government; government cannot solely without your agreement say they will only discuss four issues, you must concur or not before that would happen. With all due respect, we are not military government. If you bring thirteen issues and we say can we discuss four issues? And you say yes, that means the two parties agreed to discuss on four issues but you cannot turn around to say government on its own said it must only

be four issues. “The issue of the reconstitution of the board of the federal polytechnics which was done and you will agree with me that when we meet with you with the minister of labour, you gave us the assurance that if the needs assessment committee and the constitution of the governing council is on that you will go back to the classroom and that day, we meet in the night and now the composition of the board and the Needs Assessment; now what you did was to come back to us that it is not only announcing, we must go further by inaugurating and we went ahead and inaugurated these two bodies, remaining the issue of the white paper and CONTISS 15. “What is important for everybody to note here; first of all, government agreed on the issue of CONTISS 15; government is not saying that

Fashola to visit Vivian Fowler Feb 10 Lady of Lagos State, FwillIRST Mrs. Abimbola Fashola on February 10 pay a visit to Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, Oregun, Lagos. The visit is aimed at encouraging the students to imbibe the virtues of womanhood and remain focused in their academics. Director of the college, Mrs. Olufunke Amba said the visit “is part of the vision of the school on the integration and promotion of womanhood, through both academic and moral discipline.

would not be paid, government have even included it in 2014 budget because it has to do with personnel, the issue that are been worked on now is how do we pay the arrears of 20.4 billion not on issue whether government have agreed to pay or not and to start with, even when we had problem with ASUU, government did not pay ASUU money first before ASUU went back to classroom, gov-

ernment said ASUU from this period to this period, this is the amount of money that we would releases, you are giving a bad impression to students that government has released 1.2 trillion and that’s why universities went back to classroom; that is not correct. Government said in the next six years 1.2 trillion on Nigerian universities; that is based on Needs Assessment.

renowned academics from all over the world and Osaghae is the first Nigerian to be appointed. He will spend the January to April at the University of London. According to a statement by the Registrar of Igbinedion University, Mr. Edwin Okoro, the Board of Regents, Council, and the University community lauded the Vice Chancellor for “this laudable and prestigious landmark academic achievement.”

Firm donates equipment to Auchi Poly By Ijeoma Opara EPUTY President of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Mr. Bern Omo Akhigbe, has called on members to enhance the capacities of the various Survey and Geoinformatics departments in tertiary institutions across the country, to enable them turn out outstanding students, comparable to their counterparts in any part of the world. Akhigbe made the call when the Managing Director of Digital Horizon, a firm of surveyors and engineers based in

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Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mr. Akhigbe Irene, donated some survey equipment to Auchi Polytechnic recently. Akhigbe also implored other surveyors to emulate the firm’s gesture, especially in the areas of human capital development, since, according to him, the government alone cannot adequately fund the training of surveyors. Irene, who described the institution as his alma mater, also notted that his firm’s gesture was borne out his appreciation of the qualitative training he received as a student in the institution.


52 EDUCATION Thursday, February 6, 2014

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CIMA boss predicts greater investment opportunities in Nigeria By Mary Ogar ORESEEING greater economic opportunities in Nigeria based on its rapid elevation in international ratings, the Global President, Chartered Institute of Management Accountant’s (CIMA), Mr Malcolm Furber has called for predictive accounting, charging Nigerian students to acquire skills that would bring about sustainability in the economic sector. With several multi-national companies and small businesses going under as a result of the harsh economic environment, he warned that unless skilled manpower are groomed in the art of predictive accounting, businesses would continue to fail. Predicting heart warming prospects for Nigeria, he said government, businesses and all stakeholders must deplore

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more resources to bring about growth in the country. Furber, who is in Nigeria to engage relevant stakeholders on the need to promote the activities of the institute, also said: “I have witnessed massive progression since 12 years ago when I last visited. There is tremendous infrstaructural development and   there is also a sign of growing affluence among other factors.” Founded in 1919 and currently with 218,000 members and students in 177 countries, Furber said CIMA has formed a joint venture with the American Institute of CPAs to establish the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation. According to him, the CGMA is the global quality standard that further elevates the profession of management accounting. “The designation recognises the most talented

and committed management accountants with the discipline and skill to drive strong business performance.” He described Predictive Accounting as the trend “out there,” adding, “and that is the area where the skills of our members are valued.” He observed that in some countries like South Africa at the moment, companbies are sourcing for CGMA finance professionals because of their technical and business skills, which have brought sustainability into the economic sector. Stressing the need for a developing country like Nigeria to build on foundations that would ensure longterm, sustainable success, he was of the opinion that students and other stakeholders must emphasise more on the skills needed to move the country forward.

“We have seen big companies rise and fall. Unless you know where you are going and build confidence in your stakeholders through a sustainability plan for the future, only then can you move forward and make progress.” he said. Furber   further explained that CGMA designation holders “have broader skills (and) are trained to connect the dots in business activity and have the deep leadership abilities to help their colleagues understand income and costs; risks and opportunities of all kinds – not just financial. We believe we have the right formula for our members to play a central role in driving success and many business leaders agree with us.” In a recent survey conducted by the institute, he disclosed that a total of 75 per cent of CEOs surveyed acknowledged that they

would like their finance employees to obtain the CGMA designation. He advised business owners that a large percentage of value does not originate from the balance sheet but from a good intellectual capability, which is an indicator for sustainability. For prospective students who wish to take advantage of programmes offered by the institute, Furber said: “We regularly update our syllabus to ensure that our qualification reflects the ever-changing needs of business. In terms of our ‘thought leadership’ research, we are constantly scanning the horizon to ensure that our members are at the cutting edge of their profession. Our members are also obliged to adhere to codes of ethics and good conduct. Combined, this makes a winning formula that is driving business excellence

around the world.” Highlighting some the value the qualification offers students, he said, “it gives mobility around the world. The qualification is relevant and revised every five years. Our members are in high demand and we have great contributions to offer in every sector of the economy. We provide our members with the tools and skills to add value to virtually every sector.” Also, he noted that CIMA and the AICPA would be reinforcing their global profile as leaders in the science of management accounting as sponsors of the 2014 World Congress of Accountants in Italy. The Regional Director for Africa, Ms Samantha Louis spoke on the need to address the issue of skills gap by partnering with universities and other agencies in the country. According to her, CIMA’s approach is to open up partnerships with host countries by working with universities and organisations to raise standard. She said: “we are already into discussions with some universities and have had very positive responses. But there is need to work with many others in both public and private universities and colleges as well as government organisations and other professional bodies to help build skills.”

YABATECH promotes Adams, five others Deputy Registrars HE Yaba College of T Technology’s (YABATECH) Governing Council has approved the elevation of five non-academic staff to the position of Deputy Registrars. They include Mr. Adekunle Adams, who was until now, the Head, Public Relation/Principal Assistant Registrar; Mr. Isaac O. Orisasona of the Student Affairs Section; Mr. Julius A. Sonibare of the office of the Registrar; Mr. A. Julius Ogundipe from the office of the Deputy Rector, (Administration); Mrs. Titilayo Obadimu of the office of Deputy Rector, (Academics)and Mrs. Adeola Oke of the College National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Section. Adams had been playing a significant role in evolving a master-plan for the development of an efficient Public Relations department in the institution. He joined YABATECH’s Public Relations Unit in 1995 as one of its pioneer professional staff. Adams studied Mass Communications at the Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic) between 1987-1992, where he bagged National and Higher National Diplomas (Upper Credit). In 2001, he bagged his Master’s Degree in Communication Arts with emphasis in Public Relations at the University of Ibadan. He is a member of Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria; Nigerian Institute of Public Relations;Nigerian Institute of Management; Red Cross Society of Nigeria and theNational Institute of Marketing of Nigeria.


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54 EDUCATION Thursday, February 6, 2014

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Only competent teachers can deliver senior secondary curricula, says WAEC By Mary Ogar ASED on the misconcepB tion trailing the implementation of the new Senior Secondary Education curricula in Nigeria, the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) has reaffirmed that there is no aspect of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) syllabus that is not contained in the curricula. It called on critics of the new curricula to exercise patience with the implementation, stressing that it would improve over time. For those who also blame the poor performance in some subjects on the nature of the new curricula, the examination body also pointed out that the syllabus “is a concept, produced by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Agency (NERDC) and approved by the National Council on Education (NCE). Besides, some stakeholders noted that the lapses in the system such as funding, lack of facilities, competent teachers and resources among others could be corrected. Speaking at seminar organized by WAEC’s Research Department in Lagos recently, with the theme: “The New Senior Secondary Education Curriculum in Nigeria: Implication for Assessment,” the council’s Head of National Office (HNO), Mr. Charles Eguridu, said it was high time the old curriculum received a boost to befit the current pro-

gression in the country. Giving reason for the new curriculum, he explained that while children acquire skills as they grow, “these skills are over time transformed into what is now called the school system.” Describing the typical Nigerian as vocal, assertive and outspoken, he noted that before independence, the Europeans had developed for the country a curriculum designed to make Nigerians servants. According to him, when Nigeria eventually became an independent nation, it became imperative that a new curriculum be developed to make Nigerians self-sufficient . He said: “If you look at curriculum development in Nigeria, in recent times, there is now a shift from the old, to concentrate on skills development. It has become more artisan so that students can make good use of what they have learnt to carter for their need.” Eguridu endorsed the initiative by the developers of the new curriculum to include new subjects that would address some peculiar situations in the country. Acting Head, Test Development Division, Mrs. Olayinka Ajibade, who spoke extensively on “The New Senior Secondary Education Curriculum: Implication for Assessment,” affirmed that lack of awareness of the new curriculum structure, how it affects the examination body and those in the classroom necessitated the seminar

Eguridu which was intended to create enlightenment on how the structure operates. With various misconceptions, especially within the school system, she underscored the need for a proper understanding of the curriculum, which, she explained, states the expected educational outcomes in understandable and achievable terms, including an assessment on whether learning has actually taken place. She noted that most of the curricula in use in Nigerian

primary and secondary schools were developed by the NERDC between 1982 and 1985. While acknowledging that previous curricula had become outdated and were being criticized for not being in tune with present day realities, she explained that highlights of the new curriculum include English Language, General Mathematics, Civic Education and Trade/Entrepreneurial Studies. On the implications of the new curriculum structure for

assessment, she said the implementation of the new curriculum structure for senior secondary education in Nigeria requires varied and creative methods of teaching and assessing. Commenting on schoolbased assessment (SBA), which has been faulted for not being properly aligned to the curriculum and for concentrating only on lower order cognitive skills and for lack of comparability, she advised that school assessment should be broadened to include oral examination, unannounced quiz, practical work, games, projects, take home assignment, practical work and problem solving among others. Besides with the introduction of trades/entrepreneurial studies as part of the reforms of the senior secondary education curriculum, she advocated the need to expand the boundaries of SBAs. On some of the factors hampering proper implementation of the new SSE curriculum structure, she mentioned lack of proper understanding of the curriculum by members of the public, inadequate personnel, the pace of review/ development of textbooks and teachers handbook, appalling state of physical facilities, lack of