Issuu on Google+

TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,823

www.ngrguardiannews.com

N150

APC’s reps stall budget debate, senators okay second reading From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Terhemba Daka and Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja RUE to their earlier resolve, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives yesterday stalled the debate on the second reading of the 2014 Appropriation Bill. This forced the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, to defer the consideration of the

T

• Saraki, 10 others fail to formalise defection • Atiku will return to us, says PDP fiscal plan. Minority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, alongside members of the party, last week at a media briefing justified the directive of the APC to its members to specifically block the budget and other Ex-

ecutive bills in both houses of the National Assembly. The House which had prior to its resumption pledged to expeditiously treat and pass the budget later hesitated in listing the matter in the order paper apparently in fear of the

directive of the opposition APC to its members. The drama started just after the Leader of the House, Mulikat Adeola-Akande, moved a motion for the second reading of the bill, and a newly-defected member of the House from

the PDP to the APC, Emmanuel Jime (Benue), through a point of order challenged the propriety of debating the bill. Jime cited the breach of the Fiscal Responsibility Act which requires that the yearly budget be accompanied by the revenue and expenditure estimates of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other 29

government corporations. He cited Section 21 of the Act to buttress his argument. The section reads: “(1) The government corporations and agencies and government-owned companies listed in the Schedule to this Act (in this Act referred to as ‘the Corporations’) shall, not later than 6 months from the commencement of this Act and for every three fi-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Stakeholders seek policy on cancer treatment From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin), Chukwuma Muanya, Olushola Ricketts, Wole Oyebade (Lagos) and Emeka Anuforo (Abuja) ORRIED about the rise in cancer epidemic and the helplessness of many sufferers in the country, some stakeholders yesterday advocated a national cancer prevention and treatment policy across the country. Their concerns included the need for a Federal Government-driven national policy for comprehensive cancer centre in each of the six geopolitical zones, and at least a mobile cancer centre (MCC) in each of the 36 states and

W

CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

FG plans N100b bond for Lagos-Ibadan expressway - Page 3

NNPC faults Sanusi’s fresh claim of unremitted $20b - Page 4 My life, property under threat, says Delta SSG - Page 4 Bill Gates steps down as Microsoft’s chairman, new CEO named - Page 9

Former Heads of State, Shehu Shagari (left), Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ernest Shonekan and Gen. Yakubu Gowon, during the National Council of State meeting at the State House, Abuja… yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Gunmen kill 76 in Plateau, Kaduna, Yobe From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos) and Njadvara Musa (Damaturu) BOUT 76 persons have been killed as gunmen attacked some communities in Plateau, Kaduna and Yobe states. The attack in Plateau came less than 24 hours after a security stakeholders’ meeting was organised by the state police command to find lasting peace in the area. A source said that about 30

A

Soldiers, policemen slain, houses burnt persons were killed in two communities in Riyom Local Council of the state. An eyewitness, Mr. Rufus Gyang, told journalists yesterday: “The attackers stormed the two villages in their hundreds about 3.00 a.m. today (yesterday) and started shooting sporadically, killing innocent villagers in their sleep. “Homes belonging to villagers were burnt down by

the attackers. The names of the villages attacked are Rajak and Atakar in Riyom Local Council of the state. Nineteen were killed in Rajak while 11 were killed in Atakar.” He further said that over 60 houses were razed by the gunmen. A member representing Riyom and Majority Leader in the state House of Assembly, Daniel Dem, confirmed the

incident. He said that among those killed were two members of the Special Task Force (STF) deployed to restore law and order in the state. “As we speak, those killed have been given mass burial. Scores of persons were injured and have fled their homes to neighbouring villages in Kaduna State,” he said. Noting that the STF opera-

tives were not enough, Dem called on the Federal Government to deploy more troops to begin air surveillance in order to stop further attacks on the communities. Riyom Local Council has been a battlefield for some time now. It is also in the same local council that a Chinese contractor was killed two weeks ago. The phone of the spokesman of the STF, Capt. Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


2 | NEWS Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Soldiers, policemen slain, houses burnt in Plateau, others CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 was switched off and journalists could not get his comment on the incident. But when contacted on

phone, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Deputy Superintendent of Police Felicia Anslem confirmed the attack but could

not disclose the casualty figure as at the time of filing this report. In Kaduna yesterday, gunmen suspected to be insurgents killed at least 30 people in Kirim, Zagan and Zandyen villages bordering Plateau State and southern part of Kaduna. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Malam Aminu Lawal, faulted the purported killings in the Kaduna communities, but confirmed that there was an attack. Mr. Bulus Gwaza, a resident of Zankan, in Kaura Local Council of Kaduna State, said that about 100 gunmen came and started shooting

indiscriminately. “Right now, we have buried over 30 dead bodies and we are still looking for more in the three villages. Not a single house is standing now as I am speaking to you. They killed one policeman and one soldier. In fact, the soldiers have to run because of the guns that the attackers have. No one is in these villages, except some of us looking for bodies to bury. Please tell government to come to our help”, he said. Debunking further the level of casualties, the PPRO said: “ I have just spoken with the DPO of the area and he has not told me about any of such casualties. The

police command will address a press conference where we will give you the update on the incident in southern part of Kaduna.” Yobe State Police Commissioner, Sanusi Rufai, said yesterday that suspected armed robbers attacked traders on the Ngalda road, killing 18 of them and injuring five others in Bara village. He told reporters yesterday at the police headquarters in Damaturu that the traders were attacked on Monday at Bara, 154 kilometres west of the state capital, before the police were alerted to the incident by residents. On how the traders were killed, the police commis-

sioner said: “While traders were returning from Ngalda market, the suspected armed bandits attacked and killed 18 of them, 10 from Kukuwa and eight from Dokshi villages and snatched their money.” He added that the suspects were masked and wore army uniform. Sanusi further disclosed that a policeman attached to a quarry plant in Bara village was also shot dead by the fleeing bandits. “The Joint Task Force (JTF) and police are now combing the bush and security agents across the state are on red alert,” he said.

Saraki, 10 others fail to formalise defection CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 nancial years thereafter and not later than the end of the second quarter of every year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the minister their schedule estimates of revenue and expenditure for the next three financial years. “(2) Each of the bodies referred to in sub-section (1) of this section shall submit to the minister not later than the end of August in each financial year: “(a) a yearly budget derived from the estimates submitted in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section; and “(b) projected operating surplus which shall be prepared in line with acceptable accounting practices. “(3) The minister shall cause the estimates submitted in pursuance of sub-section (2) of this section to be attached as part of the draft Appropriation Bill to be submitted to the National Assembly.” He further argued that what was laid before the House was the abridged summary of the budget, saying that most agencies of the government were not represented in the budget, urging the House to suspend discussion on the matter. The lawmaker said that “an account of the missing $10.8 billion has not been given to Nigerians and you want us to discuss the 2014 budget?” The Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, John Enoh, countered Jime’s submissions, saying: “The Executive arm did not in any way breach the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. The Executive arm of government in the last three years has been in full compliance of the law.” He was repeatedly applauded by his colleagues as he continued speaking. “The estimates as the practice in the last three years are always accompanied by summaries and the estimates are attached. As we speak, the necessary estimates as our practice have been sent to different committees to work on. The estimates that have to do with NNPC have been sent to committees on Downstream and Upstream sectors of Petroleum Resources. The ones for the banking sector, I mean the Central Bank of Nigeria, have been sent,” he said. He added that it behoved the House to decide what to do with the budget when the consideration began. In a bid to save the day, Tambuwal laid claim to his discretionary powers to rule on such a motion without allowing a debate in line with the House Rules, and quickly set up a six-

man panel to look into the issues raised by Jime and Enoh, and to advise the “presiding officer” within 24 hours. Those on the panel include the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Albert Sam-Tsokwa; his Deputy, Ken Chikere; the Chairman, House Committee on Justice, Ahmad Ali and his Deputy, Emmanuel Nwogbo; and the Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Shehu Shagari and his Deputy, Sunday Adepoju. The House yesterday suspended plenary session for today and tomorrow to enable its APC members take part in the party’s membership registration within those two days. Legislative session will resume next week Tuesday. However, without a single voice of dissent, the Senate yesterday endorsed the 2014 Appropriation Bill. Consequently, the bill has been committed to its Committees on Appropriation and Finance. They were given 21 days within which to jointly process and submit the report for final reading and enactment. The APC’s Minority Leader in the Senate, George Akume, last week reiterated the commitment of lawmakers towards complying with the party’s directive. His words: “For those who claim that the APC’s directive is anti-people, our answer is that they should appeal to the Presidency who singularly holds the key to the resolution of this crisis. “This directive is a legitimate democratic tool aimed at restoring the rule of law and constitutionalism in Rivers State in order to save lives of Nigerian citizens. These reports are misleading as they variously misconstrue the real intendment of the APC’s directive and the action of the senators.” He added: “The APC’s directive is conditional upon the restoration of normalcy in Rivers State. A clear testimony that the Rivers’ crisis has been orchestrated by the Presidency emerged when ostensibly at his directive, the IGP deployed officers and men of the police to provide security for the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) rally in Bori, Rivers State, last Saturday. Instead of addressing the matter in packets, the Presidency should provide a wholesale solution to the situation. “APC’s senators in acknowledgment of party supremacy and the patriotic nature of this directive are fully committed and determined to comply. If filibustering does not achieve the desired objective, the party

shall resort to other democratic measures.” In his remarks, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu commended his colleagues for their contributions, stating that this had gone to confirm that the Senate was united in issues of national interest. He hoped that the lower chamber would accelerate action on the budget and commit it to relevant committees without further delay. On the smooth passage of the budget, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties, Clever Ikisikpo, told The Guardian that the budget was meant for all Nigerians and any attempt by any chamber of the National Assembly to stall its passage would spell hardship for all Nigerians. He added that the short period both chambers had issues with arriving at a common benchmark for oil, Nigerians condemned the delay. As such, he said any plan to delay the budget would pit the APC against the generality of the people. “Blocking the budget means a lot because they want to bring hardship upon the common man. In the Senate, we behave maturely and that is the reason we are able to pass the budget against all odds and till tomorrow, I don’t think we will have problems even with the clauseto-clause debate,” he said. On the increase in recurrent budget, Ikisikpo said Nigerians would continue to witness such a development as long as government continued to create jobs for the people. “We should rather look at the issue of fictitious spending and forget about recurrent being 74 per cent and capital having 26 because we need jobs to be created for the youths”, he said. Besides, a fresh hurdle yesterday stood in the path of the 11 senators who plan to defect from the PDP to the APC. The upper legislative chamber yesterday advised them to meet with Senate President David Mark for appropriate briefing on the matter. This decision was taken behind closed-doors shortly after they reconvened. Ekweremadu, who presided over the meeting, quickly directed for the commencement of a closed-door session ahead of the plenary. Mark was said to be at a Council of State meeting holding in the Villa. The meeting between Mark and the 11 defecting lawmakers was supposed to have been held on Monday but failed owing to the non-availability of most of the aggrieved senators

who were out of Abuja throughout Monday. Meanwhile, the PDP yesterday reacted to the defection of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to the APC, saying he was on a voyage and would come back to the PDP. PDP’s Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus, said this at the PDP’s national woman leaders’ strategic consultative workshop with women in media and communication under the theme “The role of the media in promoting women’s participation in politics” which was held at the party’s national secretariat. Secondus said that Atiku had done it before and the party was waiting to welcome him back. “The good thing is that the PDP is so consistent and constant that when they leave, they go on a voyage and they come back and we receive them. “I can tell you that they will go and come back and we are waiting for Atiku to go on this voyage and to come back. “He has done it before, this is not the first time and we will welcome him back when he comes because APC cannot win election, they are not firmly rooted,” he said. He expressed optimism that the PDP would emerge victorious in the 2015 general elections, adding, “we have the statistics, we have the numbers, we have the population, we will win the election. “Our party is the strongest, others are struggling. APC is just starting registration, something we did 13 years ago. It just started and cannot meet us. What APC is doing is party gymnastics.” Secondus stressed that women were free to contest for any other elective positions, adding that it was time for women to be counted and not be at the background. In her welcome address, the National Woman Leader, Kema Chikwe, charged PDP women leaders to mobilise for the party in the forthcoming general election. She cautioned the woman not to be deceived by the opposition, as the APC agenda was to do business with the nation’s oil. “PDP remains the only option to sustain Nigeria’s democracy, it was PDP yesterday, PDP today and PDP forever more. Other parties have changed names several times since 1998; nobody seems to understand what they want as they appear to have no defined goal and no defined policy. What is uppermost in their minds is how to be in power and do business with Nigeria’s oil,” Chikwe said.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | 3

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

News Kano Speaker resigns, restates loyalty to PDP

Anyaoku, Tutu, others for Africa music awards HEAD of the maiden ediA tion of the All African Music Awards (AFRIMA), a continental showpiece to celebrate the rich musical heritage of Africa and her talented artistes for the economic growth of the continent, the International Committee of AFRIMA has thrown open the process by which members of the Board of Patrons for Afrima, will emerge. The six patrons to make up the board would be selected by popular votes from the long list of illustrious Africans who have distinguished themselves in various spheres of human endeavour and social-economic life such as governance, arts and entertainment, philanthropy, business, academia and social advocacy. African citizens living on the continent or abroad, who are 50 years and above, qualify for nominations. However, incumbent public office holders are ineligible for consideration. According to a statement by a member of the International Committee and Chairman, Media Committee for AFRIMA, Mr. Steve Ayorinde: “The entire process to select the six patrons must be devoid of politics, prejudice or personal interest. Anything short of meritorious appointment can taint the awards project and rob it of its vaunted integrity and independence. “We want Africa to make this decision of choosing ‘their patrons’ for ‘their award’, rather than have patrons rammed down their throats”. Another member of the International Committee and AFRIMA’s Director of Brand Communications and Sponsorship, Matlou Tsotetsi, said further that the African public would play a vital role in selecting the six patrons in consonance with the core values of AFRIMA –FACE IT which stands for Fairness, Authenticity, Creativity, Excellence, Integrity and Transparency. The first list of nominees for the AFRIMA Board of Patrons are: Desmond Tutu (South Africa), Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Winnie MadikizelaMandela (South Africa), Kofi Annan (Ghana), Ng g wa Thiong’o (Kenya), Mohammed ‘Mo’ Ibrahim (Sudan), Emeka Anyaoku (Nigeria), Patrice Motsepe (South Africa), Alpha Oumar Konare (Mali), Dame Patience Jonathan (Nigeria), Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun (Namibia), Mohammed IbnChambas (Ghana), Joaquim Alberto Chissano (Mozambique), Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia) and Bola Tinubu (Nigeria). Since it is an all-inclusive African project with exciting programmes in the build up to the main awards ceremony on October 25, 2014, fans and followers of African music and culture on the continent or abroad can begin to send in their nominations to be added to the unveiled list. The maximum number of nominees on the long list will not exceed 50 names.

From Murtala Muhammed, Kano HE wave of political defecT tion in Kano State took a new direction yesterday as

Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd) right; former National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chieftain, Dr. Amos Akingba; Rt. Rev. Bolanle Gbonigi; Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae; the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi and others, during the opening of the Ondo State mini national conference, at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba…yesterday.

Shortage of vaccines against child-killer diseases looms By Chukwuma Muanya and Azeez Olorunlomeru

• Experts seek local production

HE Nigerian Academy of T Science (NAS) has raised alarm over risk of losing many

budget. This means that funds for immunisation can be accessed directly once the national budget has been passed. According to the October 2013 edition of the Routine Immunization and Logistics Feedback, published by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHC-

children this year to vaccine preventable diseases due to potential scarcity of the drugs, even as it called for special fund that will ensure early released of money for procurement of vaccines and facilitate sustainable local production. To address the anomaly, President of NAS and Chairman of Expert Review Committee (ERC) on Polio Eradication in Nigeria, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, in a statement yesterday called for early release of funds to ensure that the country does not experience vaccines scarcity and shortages since, for some vaccines, it takes up to six months or more between placing an order and delivery. Tomori said it is about time for Nigeria to seriously, vigorously and efficiently pursue the manufacturing of some vaccines locally and to amend the national policy to put immunisation funding on first-line charge in the yearly

DA), the anticipated scarcity dates for Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) vaccines are Diphtheria (DTP) and measles (January 2014), Bacille de Calmette et Guérin (BCG) and Hepatitis B (February 2014), Tetanus (March 2014), Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) (April 2014) and the DPT+HepB+ Haemophilus

influenzae type B vaccine (Hib) combo (May 2014). According to the latest National Health Demographic Survey (NDHS), vaccine preventable diseases still account for about 40 per cent of all childhood deaths in Nigeria. Tomori said vaccine scarcity is regular and frequent feature of health care delivery in Nigeria and has been associated with increase in under-five deaths.

Obasanjo, others absent from council meeting From Mohammed Abubakar (Abuja and Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt)

• Members endorse confab

HE first National Council of T State (NCS) meeting comprising past leaders of the

Amaechi and the Presidency has been frosty in recent times. The relationship between Obasanjo and Jonathan has also not been cordial since the exchange of open letters in which both leaders expressed strong words on personal and national issues. In a chat with State House correspondents, Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State said the Council endorsed the forthcoming

country took place yesterday with some of its statutory members absent. They included former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Also absent at the meeting were Governors Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo). The relationship between

national conference as well as the list of the new Chairman and members of the National Population Commission (NPC). Meanwhile, Amaechi has said he did not deliberately stay away from yesterday’s meeting. The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. David Iyofor, told The Guardian in Port Harcourt that Amaechi’s absence had nothing to do with the political difference between him and the president.

the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Alhaji Gambo Salau, tendered a resignation letter on the floor of the Assembly, restating undiluted loyalty to his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Announcing the resolve to relinquish the most powerful seat in the House, Salau hinted that the decision to quit was based on principle and political ideology to remain in PDP. His resignation was not unconnected with defection of 34 members of the House to All Progressives Congress (APC), which may make it difficult for him to sustain his leadership of the Assembly as PDP member. Before now, Salau was a close associate of his political mentor, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who was seen as a strong pillar of the former speaker’s political achievement since he became the leader of the legislative arm of government. In his brief address before the House, Salau said: “Honourable members and my colleagues, today I want to tender my resignation letter to step out and seize to be the Speaker of this hallow chamber. The reason for my resignation was based on principle and loyalty to remain a member of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party.” Shortly after, the House unanimously appointed former Deputy Speaker, Isyaku Ali Dan-ja, representing Mingibir Constituency as new Speaker, while former Majority Leader, Abdul Abdulhamid of Warawa Constituency, took over as new deputy Speaker. The two leaders were nominated and their nomination was seconded by members. The Minority Leader, Alhaji Maji Ahmed Gwangwazo of PDP, retains his position. With the development, APC now has 34 members while PDP sustains six members in the House

Govt plans N100b bond for Lagos-Ibadan expressway From Nkechi Onyedika and Anthony Otaru, Abuja RRANGEMENTS have been A concluded by the Federal Government to issue N100 billion bond to speedy the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Minister of Works, Mike Onolememe, who stated this yesterday in Abuja when he received  members of  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reloaded led by former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, said the measure would guarantee timely completion of the road, adding that this is how infra-

structural projects are handled around the world. According to him, the government is setting aside about N50 billion in 2014-2015 budgetary allocations for the project just as some other government institutions are setting money aside for the project. The minister who faulted those criticising government’s new plan on the road, said: “There is a calculated attempt by political opponents who have secular hatred as against national interest on the road and have been in the habit of sponsoring very spurious reports about the road, there are the never-do-well.

“The road was concessioned in 2009 to Bi-Courtney but after two years, nothing happened and Nigerians were dying daily on the road. As a responsible government through the Federal Ministry of Works, the Federal Government decided to terminate the agreement because the concessionaire failed to deliver. The concessionaire, after two years, could not even fix 1km of the road, there was no reason for a responsible government to tolerate such situation, particularly when the concessionaire decided to abandon the contract agreement and was

pursuing a brand new contract negotiation. We decided to embark on the reconstruction of the road in the interest of Nigerians by re-awarding it to Julius Berger and Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria Ltd. Today, all the failed portions of the road have disappeared while major construction work has commenced. It should be noted that government can decide how it want to fund its road projects.” Earlier, Mantu told the minister that the PDP Reloaded, in the last two months, set up six zonal inspection committees to inspect all completed and

ongoing road projects in the six geo-political zones of the country. “We are pleasantly shocked with the degree of progress made nationwide, not only that most federal roads in the six geo-political zones have been constructed or undergoing construction, the quality of work done by the contractors have not been witnessed in recent times. Another pleasant discovery is the introduction of maintenance culture on Nigerian roads as the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has been restructured to handle maintenance works on direct labour basis.”


4

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

NEWS Wednesday, February 5, 2014

NNPC faults Sanusi’s fresh claim of unremitted $20b From Azimazi Jimoh (Abuja) and Chijioke Nelson (Lagos) HE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) again disagreed with Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who claimed yesterday that $20 billion was yet to be statutorily remitted by the state-owned oil giant. It was at the resumed hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance in Abuja over the alleged unremitted $49.8 billion. The CBN governor had alleged to the committee that of

T

the $67 billion worth of transaction carried out by the NNPC, only $47 billion has been accounted for, leaving an unremitted balance of $20 billion. The committee, however, overruled the fresh charge by Sanusi, regarding alleged illegal transactions being carried out by the NNPC. Indeed, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Ahmad Mohammed Makarfi, was quick in cautioning Sanusi over what he called belated issues. “If what you said is so, we have

to establish the facts and know how much is involved. It may not be in gross terms as you said.” On alleged illegal deductions by the NNPC to pay for subsidy on petroleum, Markarfi said that the National Assembly had appropriated funds for subsidy payments, adding that it did not matter at what time the NNPC deducted the money. On its part, NNPC noted that it was not the first time the Sanusi had made wild allegations about the corporation and had turned around to ad-

Stakeholders seek policy on cancer treatment CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Among those who made the call yesterday during the take-off of “The Big War Against Cancer in Nigeria,” organised by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) Nigeria, was the Publisher of The Guardian, Mrs. Maiden AlexIbru. Others included the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Vincent Maduka; convener of CECP, Adetutu Adeleke; President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Remi Bello; Co-ordinator of the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), Dr. Kin Egwuonwu; and CECP Secretary, Dr Abia Nzelu. And as the world marks the World Cancer Day, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has raised alarm at the growing burden of cancer, stressing the need for urgent implementation of efficient prevention strategies to curb the disease. At the launch of the World Cancer Report 2014 yesterday, the IARC said the global battle against cancer would not be won with treatment alone,

but that effective prevention measures were urgently needed to prevent cancer crisis. The IARC noted that, as a consequence of growing and ageing populations, developing countries are disproportionately affected, with Africa accounting for over 60 per cent of the world’s total cases, made worse by lack of early detection and access to treatment. Director of IARC and co-editor of the book, Dr. Christopher Wild, stated: “Despite exciting advances, this report shows that we cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem. More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally.” Sharing the story of her late husband’s encounter with cancer, Mrs. Alex-Ibru told the gathering that cancer infections were more real and common than earlier thought and now demands collective efforts of all stakeholders “if we must give hope to the common man.” According to global statistics, over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer every year, and 80,000 die (10 deaths every hour). To that end, Mrs. Alex-Ibru said it was high time the gov-

ernment and the private sector in the country rallied to provide cancer prevention, detection and treatment facilities to stem the tide of helplessness in the face of the scourge. According to her, “cancer can strike anyone, whether rich or poor. I was able to give him (Alex Ibru) the best treatment money could provide, but there are millions out there who don’t have the facility or money. “That is exactly what CECP is doing, to get everyone going, including the private sector. Even if one company cannot buy a mammogram, it could take 10 companies coming together and there are thousands of them registered in this country.

mit his mistake. In a chat with journalists on the margins of the Senate Committee Hearing Room, NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu, stated that Sanusi’s claim of the existence of an unremitted $20 billion was far from the reality on ground, and this would be proved when investigations are concluded. Yakubu expressed surprise that even after extensive clarification on the matter, the CBN was still confusing the role of NPDC as part of NNPC’s upstream operations. He faulted Sanusi’s claim that NPDC’s gross earnings ought to be remitted to the Federation Account, explaining that the company is a limited liability outfit registered under CAMA to do business. His words: “Let me make this point clear, CBN is a banking outfit, not a petroleum outfit. It is therefore understandable why they keep making unsubstantiated claims, which a little understanding of the technicalities of the oil industry would have saved them from making. CBN is not an auditing outfit. But what it is doing is now auditing. We have no problem with auditing, but let the professionals, the certified bodies and agencies that are charged with this responsibility of auditing do their work.” The GMD explained that the issues raised by Sanusi were not

fresh at all and would be eventually reconciled by the InterAgency Committee established to settle the $49.8 billion saga. ‘‘Our position remains the same and we remain open to all stakeholders. These are issues that are currently before the reconciliation committee and before now, it has been a subject of monthly verification before FAAC and other stakeholders,” he stated. The GMD reiterated what the Director-General of Budget had said at the hearing that a lot of progress had been made in the reconciliation of the $10.8 billion, expressing hope that by the time the committee meets next week, the final report would be ready, and NNPC will be vindicated.     Sanusi’s statement before the committee yesterday read in part: “May I say Mr. Chairman that some of those issues raised are subject to investigations. They have to do with whether NNPC is repatriating money due to the Federation Account or not and NNPC had given a number of explanations for why money has not come. If NNPC for instance says we have sold $6 billion worth of crude belonging to NPDC, and if the CBN believes that part of that money should come to the Federation Account, it is related to this matter and it had been captured in our presentation. “We are here because they are related to the question of

whether NNPC is returning to the Federation Account, all the amount it is constitutionally and legally required to return. “I have a 20 page presentation with 30 appendages but we have to first of all agree on what has been paid into the CBN. NNPC did a presentation. We have all agreed earlier that $14 billion out of the $67 billion they shipped came in to the dollar account of the federation. “That is agreed. We have looked at FIRS numbers and we have confirmed that $16 billion paid by international oil companies to the FIRS account was not paid by the NNPC but paid by IOCs. It was the proceeds of crude lifted in the name of NNPC but sold on behalf of FIRS. That $16 billion had been confirmed by FIRS and had accepted. “There is $1.6 billion that DPR also received from IOCs which was part of that crude and which CBN had accepted. We have provided evidence in the naira crude account out of the $28 billion domestic crude shipped by the NNPC, it had repatriated $16 billion. Out of the $67 billion that has accrued to the NNPC account, we have accounted for $47 billion. “Out of the $67 billion that the NNPC shipped, $47 billion had been repatriated to the CBN. What we are talking about is the balance of the $20 billion and what explanations had been given.”

My life, property under threat, says Delta SSG • No power shift pact in the state, ex-senator Ikpo affirms From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba HE Secretary to Delta State T Government (SSG), Ovuozourie Macaulay, yesterday raised the alarm of a “very serious threat” to his life and property over the 2015 governorship election. According to him, the threats arose from an interview with journalists on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 in Asaba that was misconstrued by political

opportunists and troublemakers who do not wish the state well but want to disrupt the peace and stability. In the interview as run by The Guardian, the SSG was quoted to have said there was no power shift agreement in the state, a report he refuted, saying he was misrepresented. However, despite “my refutal and clarification, my life and property have been threatened,” Macaulay told The Guardian yesterday on the telephone. “They threatened to kill me and burn my property in Asaba.” Meanwhile, elder statesman

and former senator, Nosike Ikpo, has denied the existence of a power shift agreement among the three senatorial districts in Delta State. Delta Central political chieftain, Chief Ighoyota Amori, had also recently in an interview with The Guardian, urged his Urhobo kinsmen interested in the 2015 governorship race in the state to join it. Ikpo who spoke in his hometown of Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Council of Delta State, yesterday however said that what was agreed was that there would be power shift after 2011 just like it happened in Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and some other states. He said: “People have asked me if there was any agreement. There was no such thing as an agreement. There was nowhere where we said only central or any other zone should produce somebody. We the Anioma have always contested for the governorship of Delta State from the time of Prof. Eric Opia under the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) when he ran against Chief Felix Ibru of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).” He said that after Ibru, Chief James Ibori, also an Urhobo contested against many people from Anioma like the late Joshua Enueme whom he later appointed as commissioner, stressing that in 2007, there were well over 11 candidates from Delta North. Ikpo recalled that when the present governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan came to visit him to solicit support, he told him unequivocally that he was for a Delta North can-

didate but promised to support him if he won and that was exactly what he did.  As a principal actor in 2007, Ikpo said that all his campaign slogans were for power shift and the present PDP Chairman in Delta State, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, led the drive. However, he said that there was no question of all of the political gladiators in the state sitting down to draw up an agreement for power shift but it was understood that power would shift to Delta North after South. He condemned the “horde of political jobbers” from Delta North who he accused of creating the heat in the polity by promoting what they call Delta North Mandate for the governorship in 2015. He fumed: “Who told them? Who sent them to go and beg? Who possesses the power? Ethnic communities as I have said do not support candidates for elections but political parties. Political parties have no boundaries or ethnic group. If you are not capable of mobilising support from the other ethnic groups, you have no business to contest for the governorship.” To those who want to be governor from Delta North, Ikpo a two-time senator advised that they should go out to other senatorial districts and work hard clamouring for zoning as a basis for seeking political office are lazy politicians. He added: “They should compete with their contemporaries at the primaries and win. If any Delta North candidate wins the primaries, nobody can stop him from being governor in Delta State because we all equal stakeholders.”


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 5

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

NEWSINTERVIEW

Politicians must be wary of spikes on the path of democracy, says Umar (2) 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 HAVE already alluded to that Iideology possibility. They share similar and operate in identical fashion. It seems we are politicizing security and should we? As a retired military officer, what strategy would you recommend for defeating Boko Haram? Of course not and that is exactly what we seem to be doing by accusing some northern politicians of complicity. Do you know that there are still people up here who believe that this government is behind Boko Haram insurgency as a way of punishing the north for its non-cooperation with the Jonathan administration. Yet, others believe that the security forces are guilty of prolonging the counter insurgency fight so as to continue receiving huge security vote. All these accusations are arrant nonsense and can only succeed in diverting attention from the real culprit. Nigerians must unite against these evil forces, intent on destroying our country. Our security forces need total support and understanding in this difficult engagement. The call for the prosecution of former chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Ihijirika has the potency to demoralize our military. It is also an exercise in scapegoatism. The Gen. was not the commander in Chief when what is being alleged took place. The counter insurgency operations in North East are conducted by a combined service forces. It is therefore unfair and unjust to accuse only the COAs for any excesses. Our security personnel must exhibit the highest professional conduct in their operations, whether in the North East or any other part of the country. They must win hearts and minds of the civil population they are out to protect. People should also desist from making excuses for a group whose aim is the destruction of Nigeria. They are not, by any interpretation, representative of Islam nor are they serving the interest of Muslims. Nigeria is facing crises of disunity. How do you see us peacefully coexisting as a united country? What kind of leadership would you want to see in place and how do we come about it? I have already responded to the second part of this question. Just for emphasis, I will advise Nigerians to elect good leaders irrespective of their ethnic and religious extraction. But as you are aware elections alone cannot guarantee a functional liberal democracy. The electorate must continue to hold their leaders to account. So far we have allowed our leaders unlimited discretion with our laws, choosing which ones to obey and which to ignore or violate. There is a disturbing absence of public sanctions against erring public servants. For Nigerians to peacefully coexist, they must live their religious teachings. Love thy neighbour as thyself is a useful admonishment which, if acted on, will advance the cause of

our societal harmony. We must appreciate and respect God’s purpose in creating a diverse universe. Nigeria’s size and diversity should be a source of its strength and greatness. Unfortunately, we have so far succeeded in turning our diversity into divisions. It is a sign of our socio-political immaturity that we always place our individual self, tribe and religion above our common humanity. We have therefore failed to build a virile nation after 100 years of togetherness. This attitude will make it impossible for any section to create a cohesive and viable nation in the event of Nigeria’s disintegration. The 1914 amalgamation must be seen for what it is, a divine grace delivered through British colonialists. It cannot be a mistake since God Almighty is not associated with mistake. Most countries, particularly developed ones, are products of some form of amalgamation. They are diverse in every sense. Our internationally recognized leadership status in Africa is certainly not on account of our oil wealth but our size and other vast potentials. We must rise to the challenge of this leadership by serving as a role model to other African countries. The world can live and manage an unstable and chaotic Somalia, Mali, South Sudan, Central African Republic or any other African country for that matter but not Nigeria. We cannot afford to betray the rest of the world and God. As we approach 2015 election, all interested parties must behave responsibly. We must avoid politics of brinkmanship. The fire that has been kindled in Rivers State must be extinguished before it spreads. For interfaith cooperation and peaceful coexistence the South West provides an enviable model, worthy of emulation. INEC has just released the 2015 election time table. President Jonathan is yet to declare his interest perhaps as a result of intimidation by the opposition. With all that is happening, particularly in the area of security, would you advise him to contest the election? That is assuming he needs any advice to contest. It will amount to lack of attention to details or poor judgment if one has by now not realized that President Jonathan will almost certainly contest the 2015 election, in exercise of his constitutional right. I am really amazed that given all the other options the opposition is pursuing a most undemocratic and dangerous path of trying to intimidate or force President Jonathan out of the 2015 contest. We must have the political sense and take cognizance of the feelings of the Southern minorities and their likely reaction if one of their own is unconstitutionally prevented from contesting. The issue has since gone beyond the interest or even rights of President Jonathan. The unnecessary opposition he faced in his efforts to succeed late Yar’adua to his current plans has led to the sectionalization of the Presidential contest. He cannot surrender the right of

Umar Southern minorities just as Chief MKO Abiola could not relinquish his mandate without assaulting the dignity and rights of his Yoruba kinsmen. That unfortunately is our political reality. We must be fair. Those who believe that President Jonathan does not deserve a second term are free to campaign against him and vote another person. It is their right as it his right to offer himself for re-election. Many Nigerians are now skeptical about INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega’s, suitability or competence to deliver a free and fair 2015 election or even being the Chairman of the Electoral Commission. What is your response? I can stake my reputation and say that Professor Attahiru Jega is one of the most honest Nigerians. Absolutely no doubt, he is upright and a brilliant academic. Mistakes, yes, INEC like all other human institutions has made its own. But unlike some past INEC Chairmen Jega had tried to rectify instead of condone or cover up. Wherever he found criminality he handed over culprits to the police for prosecution. Now the problem Jega faced in all the elections he surprised is that he did not meet the unrealistic expectations of some people. Take for example the 2011 Presidential election. Most Gen. Buhari supporters were certain that their candidate would defeat Jonathan by a wide margin, when this did not happen Jega was the villain. He was Judas Iscariot. It is a measure of Jega’s neutrality that all sides are nervous with Jega still as the INEC Chairman. The man does not compromise. He will do his best to conduct a free and fair election. But there is no certainty that it will be absolutely perfect. All sides must avoid raising too many expectations to forestall violent reactions in the event of dashed hopes.

Many Nigerians, including the group known as The Patriots led by Professor Nwabueze insist on the redesigning of the country for effective governance. Do you agree with that? What do you mean by redesign? You mean restructure. Well, if it were possible to reduce

the large number of states and local governments to a manageable size I will support that. The creation of this unwieldy administrative structure has contributed immensely to our underdevelopment. Some Nigerians including former President Obasanjo have accused President Jonathan of polarizing Nigeria along ethnic and religious lines. What is your reaction? We have no evidence to suggest this. If he feels protected and appreciates the support of some of his Ijaw Kinsmen it is perhaps because of the hostility he feels from some other sections. Chief Abiola was accused of ethnicizing the struggle to claim his mandate simply because he was left with no option than to rely on the willing support of his Yoruba Kinsmen when most other sections proved unwilling or uninterested. Gen. Obasanjo’s mischievous allegation of nepotism cannot stick if we consider federal appointments under President Jonathan’s administration. For example appointments to what is considered the most important ministry, that of Petroleum. The Minister, Mrs. Diezani Madueke is Ijaw but all GMDs of NNPC have come from the North. President Yar’adua was his government’s minister of Petroleum, his adviser on Petroleum was a Northerner so also were all his NNPC GMD.

President Obasanjo was the Minister of Petroleum throughout his eight year tenure. He rejected all entreaties to relinquish the portfolio. He was assisted by Mr. Kupolokun as an adviser and GMD NNPC later. Obasanjo supervised the most corrupt oil deals the industry has ever witnessed unadvertised crude contracts, products importation and LPFO allocation scam which caused the closure of most local user companies e.g. cement and textiles companies. There is also no evidence that the Ijaws are favoured in appointments to key federal parastatals. The wealth being flaunted by some Niger Deltans is largely ill-gotten. You can blame this administration for its lack of success in stemming the rising tide of oil theft. Yes, Tompolo, Asari Dokubo and other militant leaders have benefited immensely under this administration but how different was the situation under President Obasanjo? Not only did he acquire stupendous personal wealth but he also empowered his cronies while some of the Niger Delta Militants were being arrested and incarcerated for minor infringements. I have honestly not seen any christian bias by this administration. Of course the President being a christian is enough ground for some people to be suspicious. TO BE CONTINUED


6 | NEWS Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rights group condemns Kaduna killings From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief HE Centre for Development and Rights Advocacy (CEDAR) has condemned the unending killings and violence in some parts of Kaduna State, while calling for the resignation of the Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero. In a statement by the group titled, “Unacceptable killings in Southern Kaduna, our call for emergency rule and resignation of the governor,” CEDAR Chairman, Dr. John Danfulani lamented that again, “at around 5p.m on Monday, 3rd of February 2014, a southern Kaduna community of Zangan in Attakar chiefdom in Kaura Local Council was invaded by armed men.” He explained that during the unfortunate attack, “the barbaric and coward operators killed one person, burnt down settlements, and wounded many.

T

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

APC suspends Nasarawa deputy governor From Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Abeokuta), Msugh Ityokura (Lafia) and Isah Ibrahim (Gusau)

• Describes Dokubo-Asari’s call to war as reckless • Resolves Ogun crisis, 251,600 members to register in Zamfara

HE All Progressives ConT gress (APC) has suspended the Deputy

ernor Tanko Al-Makura, who is said to be responsible for the deepening rift, having picked the deputy governor’s rival in his zone, Buba as the interim chairman of the APC without consulting him. Buba further said in the party’s letter suspending Luka that the state chapter of the party was intolerant to disloyalty and as such couldn’t tolerate Luka’s political romance with the PDP. However, the deputy governor, who spoke to The Guardian through his press secretary, Danjuma Joseph, as he was currently on an

Governor of Nasarawa State, Dameshi Barau Luka, for alleged anti-party activities. A statement by the state interim coordinator of the party, Stanley Buba, said the deputy governor’s alleged disloyalty to his boss as well as his romance with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were some of the reasons that led to his suspension. The deputy governor, it would be recalled has been having some misunderstandings with his boss, Gov-

overseas trip, said he has not received any suspension letter and therefore could not have been suspended from the party. Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described as “reckless, irresponsible and totally condemnable the threat by Mujahid Dokubo-Asari to levy war against Nigeria if President Goodluck Jonathan is defeated even in a free and fair election in 2015.” Mohammed said despite the attacks by oil militants in the Niger Delta and the on-

going insurgency by Boko Haram in some parts of the north, Nigeria has not witnessed a clearer and louder call to war than DokuboAsari’s senseless vituperation since the country’s civil war ended in 1970. It said Nigerians are waiting to see what the State Security Service (SSS), which recently detained for many hours APC’s Deputy National Secretary, Nasir El-Rufai, over his warning against election rigging in 2015, will do now that an ally of President Jonathan has threatened the very existence of Nigeria by saying he and his fellow militants

Edo PDP, govt bicker over 2014 budget From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City HE war of words between T the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Edo State government continued on Monday as the party faulted the 2014 budget already passed by the state House of Assembly. Addressing a press conference at the party secretariat, State Chairman of the party, Dan Orbih, condemned government plan to source about N49 billion of the total N160 billion from credit facilities, which he said would increase the debt burden of the state, just as he alleged that the budget did not give a clear plan on revamping the agriculture sector. In his reaction, State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Louis Odion, said, “This is what you get when stark economic illiterates dabble into issues they don’t understand. Agreed that Edo will augment the 2014 budget with some borrowings, what Edo PDP did not tell us is about the Federal Government that is proposing a surplus budget for 2014 and out of a N4 trillion budget for this year, it is borrowing N1 trillion. So you can see that it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.”

TMG organises stakeholders’ conference on voters’ registration

Former Managing Director of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Vincent Maduka (left); Publisher of The Guardian Newspapers, Maiden Alex-Ibru; President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce (LCC), Remi Bello and Convener, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) Nigeria, Mrs. Adetutu Adeleke at the take-off of “The big war against cancer in Nigeria,” organised by CECP in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: WOLE OYEBADE

Court hears suit against Julius Berger tomorrow By Bertram Nwannekanma

HE Transition Monitoring HE Lagos High Court, IgT Group (TMG) with supT bosere, presided over by port from the United NaJustice Jumoke Pedro will to-

tions Development Programme (UNDP)/Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) will tomorrow, February 6, 2014 host one-day stakeholders’ conference with the theme, “Stakeholders engagement of INEC on the status of continuous voters registration (CVR) ahead of the 2015 elections.” A release by TMG’s National Coordinator, Chibuike Mgbeahuruike, said the conference will draw participants from INEC as well as other critical stakeholders, including political parties, CSOs, security operatives, the media, faith-based organisations, labour, persons with disability, women and youth groups, donor agencies and members of the international community.

would cripple the economy of the country not only in the creeks but also on Nigeria’s territorial waters. And in Ogun, the crisis that rocked the APC state chapter has finally come to an end with the intervention of the national leadership. A party source disclosed to The Guardian yesterday that the leaders of the two factions – Chief Segun Osoba and Governor Ibikunle Amosun, embraced each other at the end of the meeting and pledged to work together for the unity and progress of the party. Indications that the crisis was over emerged on Monday when all the three senators and a member of the House of Representatives held a meeting presided over by Governor Amosun. The governor disclosed at Monday’s meeting convened by the party registration officials to brief its followers about the party’s registration exercise that the quarrel had been settled, adding, “All of us are now one”. Amosun reiterated that Chief Osoba is the leader of the party and appealed to all members to work towards the unity of the party by avoiding anything that could give APC a bad image. The party’s registration exercise begins tomorrow (Wednesday) and ends on Sunday. In Zamfara State, a total of 251,600 supporters are to be registered as full members of the party across the 14 local councils of the state during the five days membership registration exercise scheduled to commence from today. Briefing reporters at the state NUJ Press Centre in Gusau, the State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Birnin Magaji said the ruling party in the state was set for the commencement of the membership registration exercise and appealed to journalists to enlighten supporters of the party on the importance of the exercise.

morrow, February 6 hear a suit filed by Itoikin community in Epe Local Council against construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc over alleged environmental abuse in the community. The matter filed 10 years ago by some aggrieved members of Itoikin community against the company has had a chequered history and was eventually listed for trial following the failure of parties to settle during the Lagos State dispute resolution week organised last year by the Lagos Multi Court Door (LMC). In the suit filed by four members on behalf of the community, the sum of N1 billion is being demanded being general damages for discomfort, inconvenience and deprivation suffered as a

result of the defendant’s activities. They also sought for another N20 million as special damages to their buildings, economic trees, cash and arable crops and livestock as well as fishponds. The claimants, namely; Mr. Michael Adebayo Ogundipe, Cornelius Adekitan, Mr. S. O Oladese and Mr. Andrew Adesanya further want a declaration that Julius Berger is negligent in its manner of transporting, loading and discharging its construction materials in Itoikin community of Epe Local Council Area of Lagos. They also want among other things an order compelling the defendant to carry out a yearly environmental audit of the Itoikin community. According to their statement of claims, the claimants alleged that there was no Environmental Impact Assessment study be-

fore the defendant commenced operations at the site in 1979 as required by law, ethics and morality. They also alleged the confirmation of dust emissions on discharge and loading of crushed granite by representatives of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc at the meeting held in Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) office, which they alleged was documented by the minutes of the meeting in possession of Julius Berger. According to them, an environmental scientist conducted experiments on the soil, water and plants and confirmed heavy pollution of dust on them. They also alleged that a medical doctor and former Director General of LASEPA confirmed the harmful effects of the dust emissions on human beings and was recorded in the same minutes of the meeting held at LASEPA office, in which

abatement measure was given at the meeting, but the advice was not heeded by Julius Berger Management. “A licensed estate surveyor and valuer itemized and valued properties affected by the pollution as stated in our submission to the court by our lawyer.” But Julius Berger, in its amended statement of defence denied the allegation that its trucks generate any inordinate noise and high level of vibration causing damage to community roads and structural damage to the claimants’ buildings. The company stated that the claimants’ claim was speculative, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court. In urging the court to dismiss the suit with substantive costs, the defendant alleged that environment reports confirmed that the environment and indeed Itoikin community is not im-

paired or affected by its activities and its operations are done in conformity with acceptable environment standard and limits. The company denied having a crushed granite operation site at Itoikin but a quarry at Oghere in Ogun State, some kilometres away from Itoikin in Lagos State for granite, which is transported by trucks from there to Itoikin to be stockpiled at its yard near Itoikin bridge and River Aye. The defendant also denied the allegation that the claimants as individuals in the community have over the years evolved a system of food production gleaned from a close study and understanding of their immediate environment or derived from there a veritable source of foods, medicinal herbs, condiments for food substance for sustenance and economic well being.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

7


8 | Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

PHOTONEWS

Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed (left) congratulating newly sworn-in Special Adviser on Communication Strategy, Abdulraheem Adedoyin, at the Government House, Ilorin… yesterday.

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo (middle); Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu (right); Commissioner for Arts, Culture & Tourism, Chief Ronke Okusanya (left) and other dignitaries applauding Otunba Adebayo after cutting the cake for his 56th birthday at his residence in Iyin-Ekiti…yesterday.

Managing Director, CHI Pharmaceuticals Limited, Steve Onye (left); Director General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Paul Orhii; Managing Director, Daily Need Group, Tosin Jolayemi; Managing Director, Embassy Pharmaceuticals, Nnamdi Obi and Barrister Ijeoma Obi at the reception in honor of Orhii on his re-appointment as NAFDAC DG in Lagos. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Executive Director, South South, Skye Bank, Ibiye Ekong (left); Managing Partner, Care Organisation Public Enlightenment (COPE) Foundation, Ebun Anozie and Consultant Oncologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Anthonia Showunmi, during the Skye Bank press briefing to mark 2014 World Cancer Day in Lagos. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Managing Director, Extended Global System Limited, Obafemi Ojo (left) and Global President, Birch Freeman Old Boys Association (BIFOBA), Feyi Dinyo, at the contract award/signing ceremony for Birch Freeman High School’s N120 million multipurpose hall in Lagos.

Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah (middle) introducing the Director-General, Nigerian Aviation Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh (right) to the Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms Evelyn Oputu, during a courtesy visit to BoI.

Majority shareholder, Brands and Products, Ghana, Phillips Ayesu (left); Director, Verdant Zeal, Ade Adeniji; Managing Director of the company, Tunji Olugbodi; Director/Financial Adviser, Brands and Products, Ghana, Ato Sarpong and Company Secretary/Solicitor of the company, Robertson Kpatsa, at the official signing ceremony of acquisition of Brands and Products and Mofix of Gambia respectively in Lagos.

Specialist, Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Okanu Ibeanu (left); Nigerian Idol Season 4 Judges: Nneka Lucia Egbuna, Dare Art Alade, and Nigerian Idol host, Ill Rhymz, at the Etisalat Nigerian Idol Judges Day, held at Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

9

WorldReport Bill Gates steps down as Microsoft’s chairman, new CEO named NITED States (U.S.)-based U multinational information technology firm, Microsoft, has announced a new management transformation with its founder, Bill Gates, stepping aside as chairman to become an adviser as Indian-born Satya Nadella was named chief executive officer. A statement announcing the new management indicated that Gates “will devote more time to the company” in his new role on the board as “founder and technology adviser.” However, Indian-born Nadella, 46, who becomes the third CEO at Microsoft, has been executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise group. “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said the 58year-old Gates. Gates added that “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.” Also, John Thompson, lead independent director, will assume the job of chairman at Microsoft, which has been losing ground in the tech world amid a shift away from the traditional PC to mobile devices. Meanwhile, as Microsoft made the long-awaited an-

nouncement, U.S. stocks yesterday moved higher in early trade. About 45 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 58.62 points (0.38 percent) to 15,431.42. The broad-based S&P 500 picked up 10.05 (0.58 percent) at 1,751.94, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 27.58 (0.69 percent) at 4,024.54. Also, Microsoft shares rose 0.6 per cent. But Nadella, who takes over from the retiring Steve Ballmer, said, “Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionised the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more

Gates

Nadella

honoured to have been chosen to lead the company.” He added: “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast,

but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our

ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.” The shake-up at Microsoft drew positive responses from analysts. “I think this is a terrific development for the company,” said Greg Sterling at Opus Research. “Nadella also seems to have encouraged the new Gates role, which will be good for the company too. Personally, Nadella is a more humble and understated figure than Ballmer, which will be good for the company’s image. I also think Nadella brings a strong mix of business and technology expertise to the role.”

of a national “reconciliation commission” set up to heal the wounds of a conflict that claimed 3,000 lives after the nation’s contested elections. Ouattara has signed a presidential decree, obtained by Agence France Presse (AFP) yesterday, handing a new 12-

ing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a more united UN Security Council’s response to the “inconceivable” humanitarian plight of Syrian refugees. Merkel told a joint media briefing with Erdogan that talks with Russia and China should be held as well as with non-Security Council member, Iran, to help people fleeing the nearly three-year-old conflict. “We agree that developments in Syria are unacceptable... and that we want to further advance the unity of the

charged with complicity in the 1994 genocide began yesterday in a French court. Simbikangwa, who is paraplegic after a car crash, was arrested in 2008 while living under an alias on France’s Indian Ocean island of Mayotte. His lawyers argue that he is being made a scapegoat for the killings. France has been accused of being too slow to prosecute those allegedly linked to the genocide. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans perished over 100 days in 1994. After the genocide, many Rwandans fled to France as they share a common language and used to enjoy close diplomatic relations. Simbikangwa, 54, is accused of helping to arm ethnic Hutu militia who manned roadblocks in the capital, and instructing them about their part in the slaughter.

African police said SandOUTH they used stun grenades rubber bullets to dis-

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (right) and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach during their bilateral meeting ahead of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi…yesterday. Putin pledged that Russia would prove a hospitable host of the Winter Olympic Games which open in three days in Sochi amid a litany of concerns about its suitability as a venue. PHOTO:AFP

month mandate to the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CDVR) to “complete its work.” The group was set up in 2011 under former prime minister Charles Konan Banny, with a two-year mandate that expired in September 2013. Cote d’Ivoire descended

into chaos after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede a 2010 election to Ouattara, sparking five months of deadly running battles. Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. Human rights groups and non-governmental organisa-

tions have attacked the commission for a lack of concrete results. In response, some members of the panel have complained of a lack of sufficient financial resources and argue their task is being complicated by political and legal interference. A poll in December 2013 carried out by the CDVR showed

Merkel, Erdogan urge UN action on Syrian refugees’ plight HANCELLOR Angela C Merkel of Germany yesterday after talks with the visit-

HE landmark trial of a forT mer Rwandan intelligence chief, Pascal Simbikangwa,

South African police disperse 3,000 miners

Cote d’Ivoire government extends reconciliation efforts RESIDENT Alassane P Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire has extended the mandate

Trial of Rwandan ex-spy chief for genocide begins in Paris

international community of states, in particular on the UN Security Council,” she said. Peace talks held in Geneva last month did not provide the hoped-for humanitarian support, Merkel said, adding: “So we cannot now twiddle our thumbs but must try to speak also with Russia and China and keep in contact with Iran.” Erdogan, visiting Europe’s top economy, which is home to around three million people with Turkish roots, also called for reform of the UN Security Council to prevent one of its five permanent members being

able to block necessary action. Russia and China have vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions proposed by Western nations to increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the conflict, in which more than 136,000 people have died since it began in March 2011. The United Nations said the number of Syrian refugees has grown from 588,000 at the end of 2012 to 2.4 million in late 2013. But Syrian, Iranian and Swiss officials met in Tehran yesterday to discuss improving aid access to victims of the conflict in Syria, a dele-

gate at the talks said. The meeting, the third between the three parties since April 2013, looked at “establishing more favourable conditions for humanitarian action,” Manuel Bessler, the delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for Humanitarian Aid, told Agence France Presse (AFP). Bessler met Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his Syrian counterpart Hussameddin Ala. Tehran has been a key regional ally to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he has battled an uprising that erupted in March 2011.

that 83 per cent of Ivoiriens believed reconciliation was “possible”. Three-quarters of people surveyed believed the justice system and the army are “corrupt” and called for deep reform.

perse 3,000 “violent” striking miners yesterday in the restive platinum belt near Marikana, where 34 workers were shot dead in 2012. Police said in a statement that the striking miners “carrying dangerous weapons, such as knobkerries (clubs) and sticks, blocked the road and were threatening to remove nonstriking workers at the shaft.” Miners “threatened to attack the police with stones” and pushed officers around, the statement said, so police “were forced to use stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd”.


10

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Politics Adamawa: Jonathan’s visit and 2015 battle From Emmanuel Ande, Yola HE recent visit of President Goodluck T Jonathan to Adamawa State has raised the State’s political temperature, especially with regard to the fate and fortunes of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the coming 2015 General Elections. The recent removal from office of the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the defection of Governor Murtala Nyako to the All Progressives Congress (APC) are posing immensel dangers to the potency of the state PDP in 2015. Thus, the President’s visit, in which he spent more time on political than state matters, was seen by many as a political medication to reinject  life into the state wing of the PDP, in preparation for the 2015 elections.  President Jonathan was in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa, to commission the Nigerian Airforce Secondary School built by Air Marshall Alexander Badeh, an indigene of the state, who was recently promoted as Chief of Defence Staff. The President, who arrived at the Yola International Airport one hour behind schedule, was received by Governor Murtala Nyako.  Jonathan, accompanied by Air Marshall Badeh, Tukur, Service Chiefs and top PDP chieftains in the state, spent about one hour at the venue of the commissioning.  Driven in the same car with Governor Nyako, the President  proceeded to the Palace of the Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Alyiu Mustafa Barkindo, for royal homage. Thereafter, the convoy  moved to the Lelewa Hotel located opposite the Adamawa State Polytechnic,  near the state PDP office, Yola, venue of the party’s stakeholders meeting.  When  the President got to the venue, Governor Nyako alighted from the car and bid him farewell, while the Deputy Governor, Mr. Bala Ngillari, who is now the leader of the PDP in Adamawa, took over proceedings at the stakeholders’ meeting. The meeting, which started at about 1.00pm, lasted till after 3.00pm, had in attendance  PDP chieftains, including Tukur, Senator Jibril Aminu, and Senator Bello Tukur, the only serving senator from the state in the party.  Other party leaders were The Minister  of Women Affairs,Hajia Zainab Maina;  former Minister for Health, Dr Idi Hong; and the Special Adviser to the  President on Political Matters, Mr. Ahmed Guluk. The Guardian learnt that the President told the party leaders that the  crises in the PDP were not enough reason for five governors on the platform of the PDP to defect to the APC. “May be their defection was an act of God; it can turn out to be for the good of the party,” he was quoted by a chieftain that participated in the meeting. Mr. Justin Kalakala, the president of PDP Youths for Adamawa Southern senatorial zone, also confirmed that Jonathan assured members of  the party not to panic over the crises, saying that the PDP would become stronger after the storm. According to Kalakala, the President  reaffirmed his total commitment to rebuilding the PDP as a party that could defend the norms and values of democracy in the country. He said the President also appealed to members of the PDP in the state to remain focused and united, to ensure victory during the 2015 polls. Subsequently, the state chairman of the PDP, Mr. Joel Madaki, Senator Aminu, Deputy

Thus, the President’s visit, in which he spent more time on political than state matters, was seen by many as a political medication to re-inject life into the state wing of the PDP, in preparation for the 2015 elections

Jonathan Governor Ngillari and other speakers at the meeting endorsed the  President as the party’s candidate for the 2015 presidential election. Madaki and Ngillari assured the President that the  people of Adamawa State were behind his transformation agenda and would  continue to support him to achieve his desire to transform the country. The President reportedly concluded the meeting by ushering in two National Assembly members that decamped from the APC to the PDP in the state. They are Mr. Haske Francis Hananiya, representing Gombi/Hong federal constituency and Mr. Emmanuel T. Ganama,  representing Michika/Madagali federal constituency. According to Mallam Shehu Umar, a PDP top shot in Mayo-Belwa, the home town of Governor Nyako, Jonathan’s visit was not only to solicit support for his re-election ambition, but also to repackage Adamawa PDP  for the political battle in 2015.  He maintained that the visit  was purely designed to create an opportunity for the President to interact with members of the PDP in the State and discuss problems confronting party. Umar noted that the visit has not only restored hope in members of the party in the state, but that it has also confirmed that Jonathan would not only contest the 2015 presidential poll, “but he is well prepared to win the race.” He disclosed that the President “assured the  Adamawa PDP of his full support to ensure that the party wins all the  elections in the state come 2015.” Former PDP governorship aspirant during the  2012 election in Adamawa, Dr. Umar Ardo, said the visit of the  President was to stamp the party’s authority in the state and also to confirm the legitimacy of the state PDP executive, led by Mr. Joel Madaki. “The President’s visit has proven otherwise to those that think the PDP, without  Governor Murtala Nyako, who was a liability to the party, cannot stand or get the kind of support that the people of the state witnessed on when the President arrived in the state capital,” Ardo said. “It is now clear to even a blind man that there is no vacancy for any other political party  in Adamawa; PDP is the landlord for now.” Ardo recalled that a day before the coming of Mr. President, the state capital was adorned with APC posters and billboards, but that the following day, “all the posters and billboards disappeared.

Nyako

Badeh

It was like magic; the posters of the  President (and those of Dr. Ardo) painted the state capital.” He said the stakeholders’ endorsement of President Jonathan for the 2015  polls was to show that, “the state wing of the PDP supports Mr. President, considering his development programmes within  the short time of his administration.” “Our votes in Adamawa are intact for Mr. President, as our people are  wise, considering what happened to them in the past, when party leaders  misled them for selfish interest,” he said. On the alleged statement by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar that he would not contest for the Presidency in 2015, Ardo said that if that happened, “there would be political danger if he (Atiku) did support Jonathan.” “Atiku is a force in Nigerian politics; so, if he is not contesting and  he is not supporting Mr. President, it means we in PDP will face serious political danger, considering his wealth, political experience  and acceptability across the country,” he said, adding, “he will pose serious danger to any candidate that he opposes during the poll.” Ardo advised that for political comfort, the national leadership of the  party should work hard to bring Atiku back to the Jonathan camp, “to avoid a tough election battle in 2015.” In truth, the Adamawa PDP is almost facing political  extinction owing to its poor financial status and a leadership that  is yet to establish itself on ground following the crisis that greeted its emergence. The major financier of Adamawa PDP was former Vice President Abubakar, who is presumed to be the leader of the rebel group in the party.  Without Atiku, according to political analysts, the party “will be going to the battlefield without arms and ammunition to confront its enemies.” The state political appointees and majority of the elected members  on the platform of the PDP had abandoned it, and shown no practical commitment to a party that helped  them to achieve their political ambitions. This would constitute a thick roadblock to the victory of the party in the state if the President does not follow up with practical actions after his visit to  rescue the PDP from the claws of chieftains of the opposition APC, who appear battle-ready to crush the party in the 2015 polls. The Guardian investigations reveal that the only

PDP chieftain in the state, who since 1999 has remained a loyal member without defecting to another political party, is Dr. Umar Ardo.  According to sources, “he has spent his family funds to sustain the party, especially now that Atiku has withdrawn his  financial assistance to the party in the state.” Ardo was instrumental to the dissolution of the Alhaji Mijinyawa Kugama-led state PDP executive, which was loyal to Governor Nyako.  It was his petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that compelled the national leadership of the party to sack the Kugama executive  in line with the letter of INEC to the party. He is still at the Supreme Court, challenging the legality of Nyako’s emergence as the winner of the PDP primary election in the 2012 governorship election. The President visit proved Ardo’s standing in the party, as the stakeholders nominated him to address members of the PDP before the arrival of President Jonathan. Besides,  it was only Ardo’s posters and billboards that were placed side by side Jonathan’s posters and billboards, welcoming the President to the state.

The President’s visit has proven otherwise to those that think the PDP, without Governor Murtala Nyako, who was a liability to the party, cannot stand or get the kind of support that the people of the state witnessed on when the President arrived in the state capital. It is now clear to even a blind man that there is no vacancy for any other political party in Adamawa; PDP is the landlord for now.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

11

NEWSINTERVIEW

We’re on course in Delta, says SSG (2) •Continued from yesterday HAT about the issue of road rehabilitation? How do you know, for example that DLA is rehabilitating a road? When a road is being rehabilitated, there will be a signboard at the point that the road is taking off. A contract signboard explains the details. The contract signboard will explain if the road is completed or not. Go there and find out for yourself. As an Isoko leader, what is the stance of the Isoko nation on 2015 governorship and the role of IAN and IDU in light of the recent inauguration of Gen. Omu (rtd) as IDU PresidentGeneral? In other words, is there an Isoko collective agenda? The issue of Isoko collective agenda should go to Gen. Omu. As for Isoko Advancement Network (IAN), it was formed as a political pressure group, whose aim is to unite the Isoko people for a common goal. Because in all of these struggles, we are talking about if you are not united, what are you going to do? A disunited house cannot go anywhere. This group has been about six years old and its focus is to unite Isoko people and how to make them understand the issues in governance. And that is why you see that the first time they went out, they went to Lagos; they have been to Warri. What it did is to put all Isoko people together and let them know, this is what we know is happening in government; you too, what is your problem, how can you contribute to the development of the Isoko land? And that is what they have set out to do, and that is what they have been doing; and for me, I have no problem with that. As an Isoko man I want to know your vision and contribution to the Isoko nation in respect of projects in the last two years. I have been reading a lot about it, but I see this as an opportunity to ask you directly. Yes, I’m born by an Isoko father but I’m a Deltan. What you think I have done for the Isoko today, I have also done for other parts in this state. Not many people know the process a project passes through before it comes to actualization. And there is no project today, is just like me or anybody is saying that whatever is in Isoko today, the governor has no hand in it; but he is majorly the main brain behind it. In the same vein, for every project that has been initiated and finalized in this state, I have played a role. Then coming to your question, what is my motivation? My motivation is for Delta State to develop Delta and Isoko is a part of Delta state. Isoko is one of the five ethnic nationalities that make up Delta State. So these people are entitled to their own share of development; and in my position today, I cannot shy away from that. Some of the projects that are there, some of them are initiated directly by the state government. Some are from DESOPADEC as an oil-producing area, and some from NDDC. And like I keep telling people, yes, I do most of these things; but I see myself as a team player. I don’t personally take responsibility for everything but if it is the bad ones, yes you can credit it to me. If I go to the governor with a file and he says not approved, that is the end of that project. So, first, I will give credit to the governor who approves those projects. I

W

will also want to commend some of my colleagues, like my colleague in the House of Reps, Leo Ogor; he has played the role to make sure we have some project from the NDDC and also Solomon Ogba, who just left the position not too long ago. For the few months he was there, he did a lot of contributions, talking about the number of NDDC projects that are in Isoko now. But by and large, all of us.  My desire, like I told you, is to make Delta State great. Like when I was the Commissioner for Energy, I said every community in Delta state is entitled to light and I made sure I did that when I was there.  No matter how the community is, we did that. If PHCN refused to pass light through those wires, it’s no longer the fault of the state. But I made sure every community had light. Go and look at my records when I was Commissioner for Energy, how I allocated my transformers; I was not sectional and that is my stake, because Delta state is one and we must reduce the agitation for power and we must learn to be fair to every part of this state. Because one of the reasons people are dying to want to be in power either as governor or become president or wants somebody from their community to become a commissioner, is because we are not fair in our distribution of our amenities. The moment we are fair and we show that transparency in what we do in government, the crave to what will come to us will be reduced because you know that whether you are there or you are not there, you will get something; when I  say you, your people would be remembered. Road projects will come to you, electricity will come, water will come; so why would you want to kill yourself? So some of us who came from the different wards into government this, is what we were preaching and that is what, like I tell people, I left the service when I still have 15-16 years and what I’m doing today is still part of my average life. I’m not yet 60yrs, so I still have the time I would have spent helping government to serve the people. 2015 is very close by and I want to ask you, are you interested in governorship of Delta State in 2015 or becoming a deputy because the news is all over the place? I want to ask who has said I have come to consult him? If you want to be a governor, you go around consulting. But if you, the major media come now and say we have made you our governor, there is nothing wrong with that. But beyond that, as we talk today, I have always told people power belongs to God and God will give it to those he wants to give it. For me, I have no ambition whatever. As at this moment we are speaking here, I do not have any ambition. They have carried the story that I want to go to Senate. They have carried the story about my fighting to become deputy governor. now, they have started it that I want to become governor. all is well. The National Party Chairman of PDP resigned a few hours ago as chairman of the party, what does it portend for PDP? It is long overdue for his age and career. If you see a man that is over 60 jumping into a ring to fight, then there is an issue. His resignation is in order and portends well for PDP, not just in 2015 but also now.

Macaulay We want to get your insight on the issues of zoning I have explained that what the ordinary person is looking out for is good governance. It doesn’t really matter where the person comes from. Once you can give good governance, you will settle the problem. It is because of issues of injustices absence of fairness in the distribution of projects, and appointments that is making people want to fight to be there. If I am going to vote somebody, I am going to do so on the basis of my belief in that person; that what I feel will unite Delta State is in that person. It may not necessarily mean it’s because that person is from the North or Central or South. And for anybody who wants to govern this state, it should not be on the basis of I am from the north or south. Tell Deltans I have what it takes to manage this state; I understand the politics of this state. I know the needs of my people; not your people as Isoko, or as Anioma, but your people as Deltans. if you are able to drive this point , then we can begin to look your direction. It is a lazy man’s argument to say that because I am from so and so place, it is my turn to become governor. Many are complaining that infrastructural development in Delta state is low. I’m not aware about anybody complaining that infrastructural development in Delta state is low, I’m not aware. We are in Asaba now; look at Asaba. By which assessment is the infrastructural development in Delta is low? My governor today, if he was the one open to the giving of awards, I’m sure he would spend

the rest of his administration receiving awards. But even as much as he is being very selective, the governor is still one of the governors that is most recognized. No Delta state official goes to anywhere to negotiate for an award, you are a journalist you can go and find out. The Nigerian Gild of Editors came to this state and went round and check round; The Nigerian Medical Association spent almost a week here in Delta state; the Nigerian Army have come here for their National Council meeting. A lot of institutions and they saw with their eyes. If there is any person who is carrying such news, well, I will only be sad for such a person but you as a journalist you must be able to go round and see for yourself whether it is being assessed correctly. The first kidney Transplant that is done in this country was carried out at the Oghara Teaching Hospital. For some people, that is enough achievement for them in this country.  We have an airport. Some contractors are not doing well. What is the government doing? The issue of contractors not doing well; that is where again, I blame you my colleagues. When I say my colleagues, I don’t mean in the state Exco. I mean you journalists, because you are not doing enough. You need to be part of drawing government attention to projects that have been abandoned, to projects that are not doing well; to projects that are failing. Like you just mention this erosion matter where the road is sinking after the Mopol base, you don’t expect the SSG to go and

I have explained that what the ordinary person is looking out for is good governance. It doesn’t really matter where the person comes from. Once you can give good governance, you will settle the problem. It is because of issues of injustices absence of fairness in the distribution of projects, and appointments that is making people want to fight to be there. If I am going to vote somebody, I am going to do so on the basis of my belief in that person; that what I feel will unite Delta State is in that person. It may not necessarily mean it’s because that person is from the North or Central or South.

inspect it, you don’t expect the governor to have seen it, but if I can read it in the newspaper or watching news on TV and will know that somewhere on this road is creating a danger. So is left for me to call the commissioner for works and say, o boy we will soon start having accident on this point. But if there is no journalist to go out and nose for news, you are partly responsible for the problem as journalists. So if the road is not working you want to wait for me to go and say it, so you go and tell the contractor the SSG said your job is failing. But you saw it that the job is failing; you saw it that the road is shared into three parts and this part is failing. You have not said the man in section B is doing really well so that government can note him in case it has another job and he will be a better person to give the job. You have not said this man is not doing well so that tomorrow government will know the kind of transaction it will do with the man; but you want the SSG to be the one to say it. Deltans are worried about management of theN500 million for victims of the 2012 flood. The Committee has not been transparent enough to tell Deltans how they disbursed that money. Did you border to look into what it cost us to rehabilitate the victims during the flood time, because I know that there were emergency centers that were established throughout the state? The cost of feeding those people throughout the state, the cost of taking them back. I think you were at the Unity Hall when we started returning them; how much each person should get, whether it is a family of 10, each person is entitled to some amount. Did anybody border to calculate the figures? You are talking of cassava stem and rice fingerlings; you didn’t talk about the cost of buying food until after the flood. That money was actually meant to sustain the people; to bring them out of danger and this stage we have spent well over that amount of money. You don’t expect us to come on TV one day and start broadcasting how much we spent. We have auditors; have there been any audit alarm? We should also help to educate people, not anything they tell us we take. We, as journalists, what you write at the end of the day, just like right now, we have spent almost one hour, ten minutes talking, but what you will write; you will just take one angle that suits you. But if you now write it as a one on one it is going to explain all through. For instance, take the figure each person got as transport fare back and the figure of the trained persons; work that out alone then go to the Bureau of Special Duties and find out how much approvals of money that was paid in maintaining those camps for the period, before you start to talk of issues of all those cassava stems or no cassava stem. If we wait for 500 million then people would have been dead. Even me, out of my personal luxury, I don’t have much as a person; I spent as a person not from government coffers, in helping to rehabilitate them. At least I bought about 500 mattresses at my own personal cost. I don’t want to talk of other things that we did. So it will be a little bit insulting to government to say that some people are waiting to hear how we spent N500 million when we

spent billions. And not only so, whatever was left was handed over to the committee to sort what needed to be sorted out. We didn’t need to call a conference to say come and follow the committee to see how the communities that were flooded are being fumigated. Let us learn to be fair to government. Okpanam Road is almost cut off from the main town. What is the government doing about it?                   You know I said earlier that no matter how much you try to develop, there would never be an end to development. I manage to go to the UK sometimes and I see people carrying out rehabilitation work, which is to show there is never an end to development. One of the states that is growing fast happens to be our immediate neighbor and it is a place I go to everyday and I equally know even within the city itself, there are roads that are not motorable, even within the state capital. But if I tell you that because we are committed, we must complete every development that is not true. But talking about Okpanam road, I don’t know what explanation the commissioner gave to you; what is holding that Okpanam road is the drainage. If you go awarding that contract without the drainage work which is going on now, completed, the contract will fail, and it will amount to duplication of contract. I have personally discussed this with the governor. And we are cautious of the fact that we need to allow the drainage work to be completed so that whatever road you would want to do will be able to stand the test of time. And when you say Okpanam road, it is a section of Okpanam road which you don’t even have to lobby anybody to do because that is the area where the legislators live; that it is not being done you should know that there is something fundamental; it is not as a result of neglect. And you now go beyond that, not less than 500 meters of it is a good road. So there is something wrong why it is not being done and what is wrong is that we must complete that drainage in that area. But the road to Warri I think my first answer is clarified. Thank God now, luckily you said the governor is aware of it if we were able to get all the money we want, we will hire from everywhere there is tractor in this country to work. Now, if we would leave tomorrow you will now say Uduaghan borrowed N10 billion , at that time you will forget that some of these loans were taken because they needed to pay contractors to carryout development. But we are cautions of what we borrow; we don’t want to leave a load of debts for the next administration, we want to borrow what we can substantially pay before the terminal date of this government and if we have to do that, it means that some others projects, some other areas of need would have to suffer and when it is done the next administration would be able to continue. It is just unfortunate that some of such areas is affecting some of us today because some of the areas, some of my people also live there, so we are all affected just as some of our people live in areas that have been touched; so nobody is losing totally, nobody is gaining totally.

TO BE CONTINUED


TheGuardian

12 | Wednesday, February 5, 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 Reps’ fuss over nothing HE reported bid by the House of Representatives to take steps to ensure promotion of unity and foster peaceful co-existence in Nigeria is undoubtedly a positive step which deserves the support and active encouragement of all. That, after all, is the primary reason for its existence considering the provisions of Section 4(2) of the Constitution which define the House’s responsibility. There is no better time, in the history of this country, than now for this role to be properly played given the onslaught the unity of the country has been subjected to, leading to apprehensions about the continued survival of the country beyond 2015. Ethnic jingoists and political warlords have unleashed verbal assaults on the unity of the country with their highly incendiary and divisive remarks that remind Nigerians more about the diversity in their unity than the strength in that diversity. Against this background, whatever steps the House wants to take to bolster the unity of the country is understandable. But its present initiative, cognizable from a Bill being sponsored by Mr. Emmanuel Jime is, in range of vision and depth of conception, ill-proportioned to the end it seeks to achieve. The Bill, according to its sponsor, was triggered by the incessant clashes between nomadic herdsmen and local farmers in various parts of the country which, according to him, have claimed so many innocent lives and assumed a dangerous trend, becoming more rampant in recent times thereby requiring urgent action on the part of government. This observation is well placed and in fact faultless to the extent that it emphasises the need to take decisive steps to nip this recurring decimal in the bud. It is, however, wrong and ludicrous to castigate the Constitution as the basis of the anomaly. It is a wrong diagnosis of the problem and a sad commentary on the attitude of legislators to their statutory responsibility. Little wonder the prescription the Bill came up with as the solution to the lingering problem remains wrong. Having erroneously attributed the problem to the wrong definition of “indigeneship in Sections 25, 26 and 27 of the constitution,” the sponsor threatened to work to expunge this from the constitution and “replace it

T

with citizenship”. In his words, “The level of insecurity in the country has risen from the question of who is a settler and who is an indigene. Sections 25, 26, and 27 of the 1999 Constitution define who is an indigene and who is a citizen but this has rather caused more division and disunity”. He went on: “I will introduce a Bill to remove indigeneship from the 1999 Constitution and replace it with citizenship and let me see how anybody will tell me that I cannot live in Lafia or any other place as a citizen of Nigeria”. This is a misconception of the 1999 Constitution generally and a lamentable misrepresentation of Sections 25–27 thereof in particular. Looking at the provisions, it is clear that the sections do not say expressly or impliedly nor intend what the honourable member ascribed to them. The provisions of Chapter Three of the 1999 Constitution to which the “offensive” sections belong are outright innocuous and deal basically with the various ways of acquiring the citizenship of Nigeria. What is clearly at issue therein is not indigeneship of a community but citizenship of Nigeria which according to the constitution can either be by birth or by naturalization or by registration. By no stretch of imagination can the fears expressed in the bill be read into the chapter. And that is where the misconception lies; that is where the wrong diagnosis is embedded. Attempting to expunge or waste time on any deliberation in that regard serves no purpose at all and qualifies perfectly as too much ado about nothing. It is simply safe to say the bill speaks to nothing in the myriad of problems bedeviling Nigeria. Of course, debating the bill at all has its own collateral damage. Apart from being a waste of precious time that can be spent on more beneficial things to the country and its people, it portrays the so-called honourable members of the House of Representatives as indolent and not given to research or doing their home work properly before going to town. This is not a good image for the House collectively and for the individual members. It is absurd for members of the National Assembly, the highest law making body of the land, to give the impression that they are not familiar with the basic provisions of the 1999 Constitution, the organic law of the land. This is the same House that flaunts with eternal relish the provi-

LETTER

Open letter to OAU VC pus. Cultists threaten our col- host the NUGA event, it is impor-

IR: The Education Rights Spelled Campaign (ERC) is com- leagues and even attack them at tant your attention is called to by the terrible develop- will. We believe all these facts are the dire situation with the proments on campus to protest against the continued proscription of the Students’ Union. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is known for its secure academic environment, which has so far enhanced its position among Nigerian universities. Unfortunately, with the current insecurity on and off campus of the university, this value is steeping into thin oblivion. Only three weeks into a new semester, tens of reported theft cases stand unresolved at various security posts of the university. Some conscious Great Ife students have also apprehended several thieves and criminals who operate with pride on cam-

not new to you because the security unit of the university must have briefed you on this pathetic state of things. For us, the banning of the students’ union – largest social and political organisation of students – is directly consequential to the security degeneration on campus. Students who should ordinarily associate with the union are finding it easy to identify with cult elements because of the absence of the students’ union. An immediate restoration of the Students’ Union starting with the convocation of the electoral commission is necessary to eradicate all these ugly developments. As the university prepares to

scription of the union. The expected increase in population during this period is also likely to be accompanied by rise in vices. The role a restored students’ union can play during this period cannot be overemphasized. In view of this, the ERC is ready to start mobilising rank and file students for organised, constitutionally guaranteed actions demanding the immediate restoration of OAU students’ union. We await swift implementation of suggested solutions. • Wole Olubanji, Secretary, ERC, Ile-Ife.

sions of Section 88(1) of the Constitution which it quite often deploys to arm-twist the executive or its agencies in the name of oversight functions. Does it mean that is the only section readily assimilated by the honourable members? Granted, like every other ordinary mortal, it is not out of place for the honourable members to be unable to reel out the provisions of the constitution off hand, but where a section is relevant to the debate at hand or the bill to be sponsored, honour, probity and high sense of responsibility demand that members must familiarize themselves with that particular section. A member who wants to sponsor a bill in the hallowed chambers of the House is certainly presumed to have done his home work well by being abreast of relevant facts and, therefore, sufficiently equipped to lead reasonable discussion on the bill. His facts must perforce be correct and devoid of assumptions. It becomes more imperative when the subject of discussion is the Constitution of Nigeria. That is the only insurance against embarrassment and the insinuation of mediocrity against the honourable members. And, to cap it all, to every member is a retinue of legislative aides, handsomely rewarded by the state, to assist him or her in the performance of his or her duties.   Furthermore, the right of every Nigerian to live in any part of the federation without molestation is also adequately entrenched in the constitution, rendering superfluous or unnecessary the need for a new legislation as is now being contemplated by the House. Chapter 4 of the constitution guarantees

this and specifically provides in Sections 41 that: “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof...”  and, in Section 42 that: “A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person – (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizen of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion or political opinions are not made subject, or (b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizen of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion or political opinions”. The judicial interpretation given to these provisions is that every Nigerian, regardless of his indigeneity or where he lives has equal rights and opportunities within the federation and that he cannot be discriminated against for reasons that he is not an indigene of the community where he resides. There cannot be more elaborate and time-tested provisions than these. That this does not happen in reality has nothing to do with a dearth of legislation but inadequacies in the operation of the legislation. This perhaps is the area that requires the attention of the House. Not the enactment of a new law.   


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

13

Opinion Conspiracy of silence against ASUP By Taofeek Olaojo HE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics’ T (ASUP) strike has continued for weeks and most Nigerians seem not to care. Unlike the usual flooding of the headlines of various newspapers with news about Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) strike whenever it is on, most newspapers seem to care less about the fate of ASUP and polytechnic education by extension. The House of Representatives that is known to treat ASUU strike as a matter of national urgency seems not to give a damn about ASUP. I’m yet to see any significant television report, or coverage of the strike and its associated activities like the recent National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) protest, unlike what is obtainable during ASUU strike. Channels Television is the only television station reporting and giving the strike proper attention. Most educational activists seem to care less about the strike and the fate of polytechnic education. Even major opposition parties that usually capitalise on ASUU strike to lash out on the Federal Government, do not find ASUP strike worthy of scoring cheap political points. Worst of all is the apparent collusion of the Polytechnic Alumni Community in this conspiracy of silence against ASUP strike and polytechnic education. This is evident from their silence on various social media platforms unlike what we see during ASUU strike. The paltry number of ‘likes’ on one of the few pages on face book dedicated to the polytechnic alumni community (www.facebook.com/NigeriaPolytechnicStudentsAndAlumniCommunity)clearly demonstrates that poly graduates are reluctant in identifying with their Alma Mata because of the stigma of discrimination. This conspiracy of silence is an indication that ASUP may be fighting an already lost battle because all evidence point to the fact that the Nigerian government and the elite in general place no value on polytechnic education. Hence, the issue of dichotomy between HND and bachelor’s degree may never be resolved. The greatest effort

ever exercised to emancipate Nigeria’s polytechnics and put an end to this unjust discrimination was made during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007. I was on my one year Industrial Training during that period. I read the news about the proposal of Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, the Minister of Education, with joy, not knowing that my joy will soon be cut short when the proposal of the minister of education hits a brick-wall in the National Assembly dominated by university graduates who will stop at nothing to ensure that their poly counterparts who should naturally be partners in progress remain in the pit of discrimination. The stiffest resistance to the proposal came from the honourables and senators who had engineering background and are supposed to appreciate more than others, the role of the polytechnics in technological advancement of the nation. That bill died a natural death as a result of the refusal of the National Assembly to amend the Polytechnic Act. All hope became lost again and no one really cared except those affected like me. The discrimination later became worse with paramilitary organizations excluding HND holders from their Officer Cadre, while other government agencies, ministries and parastatals refuse to promote HND holders beyond level 14. The private sector soon followed the leading of the government by excluding HND holders from their Graduate Trainee Programmes. It is only in Nigeria that the word graduate means someone who successfully completes a course of study in a university only. All postgraduate scholarship opportunities offered by both government and the private sector exclude HND holders till date. Even the newly established Presidential Scholarship For Innovation And Development (PRESSID) that seeks to develop manpower for the technological advancement of the nation excludes HND holders. The discrimination does not end there. Most private sector organizations also discriminate against polytechnics in carrying out their corporate so-

cial responsibilities in higher institutions. Perhaps, one of the worst cases of this evil discrimination is the encounter of an HND holder with his future father in-law. His proposal to marry the daughter of a university graduate was turned down on the ground that he is an HND holder. At the family level, the discrimination is evident when parents give more money to their kids in the university than the ones in the polytechnics. In some churches, first class graduates from the university are rewarded, while relegating distinction graduates from the polytechnics to the background. HND is now a demon that no one wants to associate with. The conspiracy of silence against ASUP, its demands and by extension polytechnic education is, therefore, a fallout of the contempt with which polytechnic education is treated in Nigeria. As much as I am tempted to argue that HND is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, I will not because doing that will not change the mind of those who have already concluded otherwise before any argument is brought forward. Some might be quick to misconstrue my refusal to argue for lack of tenable argument. To such people, I’ll advise you take a first class bachelor’s degree alongside ND and HND result of a polytechnic graduate who finished with distinction at both levels to World Educational Services for international evaluation of the worth of both certificates. I’m certain the outcome of such evaluation will illuminate such biased minds and put in proper perspective the fact that HND is equivalent to bachelor’s degree. One thing is, however, clear: The discrimination against HND and neglect of polytechnic education that ASUP is agitating against is just one out of the myriads of problem ravaging the Nigerian education sector. The entire education sector, from primary to tertiary, is lacking in quality and purpose. Even the bachelor’s degrees from our universities that are touted as superior to HND are hardly recognised outside the borders of Nigeria for employment pur-

poses. While polytechnic graduates are discriminated against, the university graduates keep depreciating in quality to the extent that Ph.D holders from our universities now compete for employment as truck drivers. Education is the bedrock of development of any nation. The most developed nations of the world are the most technologically advanced nations. The United States of America, which is the most technologically advanced nation in the world, does not joke with her technical institutes. Prominent among the U.S. technical institutes is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has topped the list of world’s best universities several times. If MIT were in Nigeria, NUC would have insisted that its name be changed to Massachusetts University of Technology (MUT) or affiliate it to Havard or Stanford University because by NUC standard, an institution cannot award a degree unless it bears the name ‘university’ or is affiliated to another institution bearing the name ‘university’, as if all that matters is nomenclature and not purpose, quality and output. This points to the fact that the discrimination against HND is mainly an issue of nomenclature. One is called a diploma while the other is called a degree. One is obtained from a university while the other is obtained from a polytechnic (someone once said that ‘had it been HND stands for Higher National Degree, it would have been a hot cake’). Unless we overhaul our educational policy, and prioritize technical and vocational education, Nigeria will continue to depend on foreign technology. It is therefore safe to conclude that the conspiracy of silence against ASUP strike by the various stakeholders, that can force the necessary change proposed by ASUP in order to safeguard the future of this country, is clearly a conspiracy against Nigeria as a nation. We will continue to import the most ridiculous of things like toothpick until we give technical and vocational education its pride of place. • Olaojo, who studied Electrical Engineering at Federal Polytechnic Bida, lives in Abuja.

The grand delusion called man By Wale Olajide HERE is at the heart of what defines us as humans a comT pelling necessity to establish structures and create some order. It is simply the way we are wired. As human beings we cannot cope with formlessness. So, we set up structures and procedures and confer on them values. The structures generically are nothing else but the works and constructs of human hands. We think them out, we craft and code them. For this reason, they are essentially contingent in nature and because they are historically dated and modified as times and socio-ethical circumstances dictate, they are also arbitrary. Whatever value we ascribe to them are situational and contextual. From physical structures to spiritual, religious, liturgical to the political in forms of shades of governments, preferred ideologies of governance, the electoral processes and patterns of resource distribution, equity postures on rights and privileges and adjudication. We as humans created them only at our convenience as our needs dictate. As long as they continue to serve us and are considered useful to us towards achieving desired ends and specific purposes, we keep them. We call them valuable. When however they become useless and obsolete, they are discarded underscoring still their contingent and arbitrary natures. Everything that is predicated with value suffers this fate. They are dispensable and transitory. As human created beings we partake of the same fate. We are created and exist not as necessary items. We might as well not be (exist) and life in its fullness would go on and not miss us. Our families and communities might miss us and take some days off to celebrate or mourn, but life as that in which all created beings participate and draw their aliveness will feel nothing. Just as nothing was felt when we were born. A blunt way of putting it is that alive or dead, we do not matter or affect life. This is because human life is distinct and separate from life. The latter which we call life is the indiscriminate source from which everything that exists draws its enableness. Hence these are said to be a-live. Life however is not a-live. On the contrary, it is (eternally) simply life itself, unchanging, remote, emotionless reality that precedes every and any other created element. Human life is only a manifested form of life as distinct for example from animal or plant life. In a demonstrable way, it is how we carry on and live from day to day; eating, drinking, sleeping, making babies, acquiring properties, setting up structures to govern ourselves and distribute resources, inventing values and norms that will guarantee protection of rights and privileges, fighting wars when we disagree or get greedy, and

instituting judicial processes that can at least guarantee some peace as we lock up those who would rather be lawless. There is thus nothing of absolute necessary value about our choices, about how we live and about what we do. They could be otherwise and we would still be human creatures living our brief span on earth. How and why then have these structures that we established to serve some purposes acquired a necessary nature? Certainly it cannot be because of whatever value we confer or ascribe to them since these are dictated and governed by transitory details of history that are in themselves transient. Everything sooner or later changes yielding place to the new. I can only hazard then a deliberate denial of our status as mere two legged animal creature struggling to survive. No matter the sophistication or complexities that attend the structures that we invent and adopt, no matter the rate of the values we attached to them, no matter the sophistication of articles that we adorn our bodies with, where we sleep, what we eat, drink or smoke, no matter the height of the position we occupy in church, community, state, and nation, and whatever the social status accorded us, no matter the number of awards, medals on our chests, crowns on our heads and sandals on our feet, we are all without an exception by our status as creatures ultimately defecating elements soon to be consumed by worms. It is this basic truth that man denies as he deifies his systems and structures conferring on them the value of necessity. Rather than accept, adopt and adapt to his fate, man has since the birth of culture arrogantly enthrone himself at the apex of creation, naming himself unique because of the power of reason and communication which provide the luxury of meaning and understanding. The self praise and grand delusion and denial came full circle when man presented himself as a fitting candidate for eternal life, that is, another life after this human life where he will either live forever singing with the angels without a care since he has lived righteously here on earth or be roasting in the company of those who saw no merit in living by the Ten Commandments. Thanks to religion and its unapologetic posture as it pontificates on matters considered outside immediate human experience not excluding the persons, natures, attributes and temperaments of God, Angels, Saints and Satan. This article is not in any way suggesting that human structures have no very useful value or that the structures are barren of unique benefits. On the contrary, it is saying that whatever the value we ascribe to the structures and no matter how cogent and significant they are, they are nevertheless still

time bound, that is finite and contingent. Humans are not necessary beings neither are the structures that they erect. The former is cancelled out permanently by death and the latter discarded as obsolete. Animals, and that includes man, procreate. They mate and reproduce their own kind. The most plausible excuse or reason for this biological behaviour, though selfish, is to perpetuate their own kind and make sure that they do not become extinct. This reason is defensible and sound and valid arguments can be supplied. Left at this all would have been well as we all wait for our race to burn out. A recklessness is however attached to the behaviour, one that is not unconnected with the denial of our finitude and contingent nature. Man has since woven a cord of absolute necessity round a simple animal behaviour ordaining it as absolute. Let me reiterate that procreation is significant. A man without the ability and capability to successfully fertilize the ovum of a woman and produce babies is lacking in one of the elements that define a male man as one and vice versa for the woman who is barren. In some cultures, particularly among Africans, it is a stigma. Celibacy, besides when voluntary as with catholic priests is anathema. Churches and religious crusades are crowded daily by women searching for husbands and looking for the fruit of the womb. Herbalists are bombarded with frantic requests for sex enhancing lotions and eatables that can rescue victims from the so-called cultural shame. I thought it is simple biology. There is another side to this generic distortion which seems to suggest that the toga of necessity conferred on a simple biological detail and its adoption has so far run riot to the extent that some African nations now go cap in hand for aids to curb the scourge of infant mortality at birth and the welfare of mothers themselves after birth. It is reported that in some villages in Africa mothers deliver their babies on bare floors and fathers run away at the news of twins or triplets births. I consider it biologically insane and most certainly culturally irresponsible to continue to press the throttle of procreation, as if it is an absolute necessity, in a climate of chronic socio-economic lack. Beyond the safety net of family planning which in itself is an over indulgence with a subtle insult on the unthinking man, man’s denial of who and what he is, at the bottom, has simply been over exaggerated. Man remains essentially a superfluous element. Regardless of his denial and the attending complexities of his adopted culture, he is in his finitude ultimately food for worms. • Dr. Olajide is of the Dept of Philosophy, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

14 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Opinion Segun Okeowo: Voice against education tyranny By Lanre Arogundade HE death of Segun Okeowo, former PresiT dent of the National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS) cannot but come as sad news. As NUNS President, Segun Okeowo provided courageous leadership for the decisive students’ nationwide protest against commercialization of education by the then Olusegun Obasanjo military regime. The 1978 students’ uprising was invariably christened ‘Ali-Mon-Go’, based on the demand that the then Federal Commissioner of Education, Col, Ahmadu Alli, (later PDP Chairman under Obasanjo’s presidency) who announced the increase in tuition and feeding fees, be removed from office. The protest was met with unprecedented ferocious brutality by the Nigerian state leading to the death of many students including Akintunde Ojo at the University of Lagos, Okeowo’s campus; the banning of NUNS and of course the physical assault, arrest, detention and expulsion of Segun Okeowo. In all those prosecutorial moments Okeowo did not betray the course of Nigerian students. Understandably, his legal defence was led by the late Gani Fawehinmi, whose chambers provided temporary refuge for him as a ‘worker’ before being re-admitted to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). At Ife and despite his earlier persecution, Okeowo did not remain silent in the face of oppression. Thus, he was one of those who condemned the police killing of four students during a funeral procession at the University in 1981. Indeed he was one of those who testified to that effect before the administrative panel of enquiry set up by the Academic Staff

Union of Universities (ASUU), over the incident. Even at old age when we met at a students’ union symposium at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, Lagos over 10 years ago, he spoke militantly, sang solidarity songs and urged the students’ leaders to always defend the right to independent unionism. The political back bone of the ‘Ali-Mon-Go’ protest was however either students’ unions led by radical and left-wing students leaders or campuses where left wing organizations as well as radical and left-wing  lecturers were also active. The Obasanjo dictatorship knew this well and therefore extended its offensive to these elements many of whom were either expelled as students or dismissed as lecturers across the campuses.   But it was these elements and organizations that in the early 1980s invariably shook off the burning ashes of ‘Ali-Mon-Go’, to form the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) as successor to NUNS. Yet, soon after by 1984, NANS, now armed with a Students’ Charter of Demands, would again pick the gauntlet to embark on a nationwide protests and boycott of classes, when the Buhari-Idiagbon dictatorship, similarly acting on the dictates of the World Bank and IMF like the Obasanjo regime before it, attempted to further commercialize education, via the re-introduction of tuitions fees in the universities.  The premise of the 1978 and 1984 struggles were that instead of commercialization, what was desired and desirable for the working masses of Nigeria, was, and still is, a functional and free educational system that ensures that the potential which lies in every

Nigerian child is allowed to be realized and not extinguished by a discriminatory class educational system, which commercialization perpetuates. The established fact that not less than $500 billion, had been looted from Nigeria’s public treasury and oil revenue sources since independence, affirms the argument of we Socialists especially, that the resources exist for the funding of free education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels; and indeed one that meets all the parameters of modern educational system. The obvious obstacles are the numerous ideological weaponries of successive ruling capitalist classes in Nigeria. Whether they come in the form of commercialization, privatization or private-public-partnership, they all, ultimately, translate to putting the collectively owned wealth of the society in private few pockets while the majority are left to wonder in the wilderness of poverty. Thus, the paradox of the listing of one or two Nigerians in Forbes list of 500 richest people in the world, while over 70 per cent of the population, even by official acknowledgment, live below the poverty line of less than a dollar a day. Unfortunately, despite the heroism of Okeowo and like radically inclined students leaders, the general failure to understand the necessity of overcoming these obstacles through a focused and consistent struggle against capitalist neo-liberal policies and conditionalities, have over-time become the bane of the students and the larger labour movement. The NANS of nowadays, has in the circumstance become a platform for self-aggrandisement, whose leaders do not

mind to collaborate with any government in power no matter the level of its anti-people educational policies. State sponsored violence against and attacks on students’ activists who have tried to make students’ unionism live up to the vision of the progenitors and founders of both NUNS and NANS, has also strengthened the distasteful reign of ‘commercialists’ in the students’ movement. The proposition of Socialists is for a working-class formed and led government that uses its own pro-people ideological weaponry of democratic public or peoples’ ownership and management of societal resources, primarily through the nationalization of the commanding sectors of the economy. This will not only just make free and functional education possible, but also the realization of other major aspirations of the working masses including living wages that match the rate of inflation, affordable and functional health system, affordable and functional mass transport system, affordable mass housing system, etc On the part of students and working class activists therefore, only a re-dedication to the struggle against continued commercialization of education, which has led to the explosion of expensive private schools and universities while the public ones are left to rot; and commitment to the larger task of building a society where the commonly produced wealth is used to meet the needs of the majority and not a few elite will stand as the real vindication of the battles that the likes of Okeowo commendably fought in the Nigerian students’ movement. • Arogundade is a former NANS President and member of the Democratic Socialist Movement.

The tower as a metaphor By Godwin Adindu WO coloured birds sat complacently atop the Abia Tower T this cloudy Sunday evening. They were chatting away, oblivious of the chaos of motorists below the height of about 100 metres. The gigantic concrete tower stands at the middle of the Port Harcourt/Enugu Expressway at the interjection into Umuahia metropolis. Beyond its towering height and aesthetic grandeur, there is a quite significant meaning and message in the edifice. The imposing tower, built in Gothic cathedral designs with a concave metallic arch, is the first structure that welcomes one into the Abia State capital. With a certain reassuring air, it announces this hospitality with a bold inscription: Welcome to Abia ; God’s Own State. There are four of these inscriptions facing the four directions of the road, all written in bold white letters on a background of black metallic plates. The walls are painted in pink and light yellow colours which glow with the translucent lights overlooking the ground from the height. I see the tower as the first brand ambassador of Abia State and it has consistently lived up to this billing with the warmth and friendliness conjured into its magical designs – a quality it transmits to visitors and residents alike as they behold its majestic heights. It embraces everyone and quickly introduces the people and the style of the incumbent leadership. Since 1991 when the tower was built, it has remained a landmark structure with some architectural elegance around it. There is an effort, perhaps unconscious, to re-enact the surreal Gothic designs with its galloping pillars and the hollowness of its interior. A ring of iron bars encircles and secures it and there is a staircase that leads to the first elevation where a greenery of flowers has been laid out like a farm around it. There is a clear effort to create an enduring and beautiful statute. But, there is obviously no intension to have the tower speak in political tunes or stand as a forerunner to the style of a current political leadership. All former leaders before Governor Theodore Orji saw it as only what it is – a statute, a tower. They did not exploit the potential in the concrete object as a great image-maker for the state and for the manner of leadership. Indeed, the Abia tower is an embodiment of the Abia story – a journey through stagnation and then revival. It is an epical monument capturing a dispensation in the people’s

movement. Though a mere concrete structure, it projects the message that is Governor Orji’s travails and triumph in the corridors of power. There are coded undercurrent of meanings that signify the Ochendo revolution. It celebrates the revival and the rebirth that are the governor’s stewardship. Before 2007, the tower was a statement of stagnation. In very unmistakable terms, it told the story of the style and manner of leadership of previous governments. The tower was weather-beaten, dirty, dilapidated and literally abandoned. Happy and well-fed spiders built a mast of cobwebs around its concave parapets. The paintings wore out and the smooth surfaces peeled. The surroundings remained unkempt and overgrown with the inner pavement transforming into a defecation point for hoodlums and motor park boys around the place. Some letters of the bold inscription cleaned off and the walls cracked with neglect. It was a shoddy sight which provided a parallax view of the eight-year of Abia stagnation. In year 2000, when I accompanied some tourists, journalists and movie-makers to attend the eight-day Ugwu Abia cultural festival, the Abia tower was an eyesore. It was a demeaning testimony of neglect and stagnation and it spoke volumes about the style of the government of the day. Today, there is a new Abia tower. Cleverly, Governor Orji saw an opportunity in the tower to tell the message of his vision and the giant political strides. Upon ascension to power in 2007, he quickly renovated the tower and has consistently maintained it as a treasure for the state. Since then, the towering structure has continued to wear a new and sparkling look. It has recovered its charm and mystique. With the new paintings, the bold inscription has come alive. On the ground and around the surroundings, there is a beautiful greenery dotted with flowers. And in place of the old garbage is a beautiful arcade, which has added to the beauty of the landscape of this inroad into Umuahia. Indeed, the Abia tower of today speaks eloquently of the new Abia. The new, beautiful outlook, in abstract forms, represent the rebirth and the attendant changes that have come with the liberation. It is a testimony of the governor’s efforts transmuted in a concrete structure. This transformation has seen to the laying of a fresh foundation for Abia, an enterprise under which he converted Abia into a huge construction site. There are many sides to the message of the new tower. The

first is the testimony of the two coloured birds. The sense of order and tranquility conjured by the uniformity of the design and the paintings represent the new society of law and order which is the current status of Abia. This air of peace evokes the memory of the governor’s pragmatic struggle to create a society of law and order out of the chaos of the past. There was a time when Abia was almost like a pariah state due to the challenges posed by kidnappers. Today, Abia is an oasis of sanity in the federation. There is security in Aba, Umuahia and other parts of Abia State, a situation that has transformed Abia to a destination of choice for major national events. The JAMB, NUJ, CBN, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and other national organizations have all come to Abia to hold their conferences and retreats. This is a testimony to the success of official commitment and policy in the area of security. From being a pariah state, Abia is now a destination of choice. The second message is coming from the renovated walls of the tower. It speaks of large-scale programme of infrastructural renewal. Under this programme, Orji started by laying a totally fresh foundation for the state. With a paltry federal allocation, he has been able to build legacy projects, like the world-class Conference Centre in Umuahia, the new fourstorey Secretariat Complex, and a host of other monumental projects. The third message lay buried in the beautiful grounds and greenery of flowers around the tower. I see in this agricultural revolution and Orji’s efforts to revive the time-honoured Abia agro-economy. Under this effort, the cashew and palm tree plantations of old have been revived; involving the disbursement of N1 billion micro-credit to farmers and the establishment of liberation farms in the 17 local councils of the state. Already, 50 Abians are working at the Okeikpe farms, the pilot project of the liberation farms where plantain is being grown. The uniformity of colours and designs speak of consistency of character and the discipline and thoroughness brought to bear in governance. Orji has taught Abians that a leader can be a man of his words, that a leader’s words can be his bond; a far cry from the tradition under his predecessor. The Abia tower speaks eloquently of a time and age and of a man; a sensory metaphor about the renaissance that is government’s mission. • Adindu is the President-General of Abia Renaissance Movement (ARM)


15

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

BUSINESS Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Business Salami: NCC contradicts MTN From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja HERE seemed to be no end to the controversy T generated by former Osun state governor, Prince Olagusonye Oyinlola over the Election Petition Tribunal which ousted him from office as thre Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday contradicted claims by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited that it was mandated by law to keep call data of its customers for only three months. In its reply to a Freedom of Information Request by a former governor of Osun State, Prince Oyinlola, said: “Please note that telecoms operators are required to retain call data for a minimum period of twelve months or as otherwise directed by the commission. The directive to operators took effect from the 3rd July, 2007.” In a copy of the NCC’s letter which was signed by Josephine Amuwa, the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, for NCC’s Executive Chairman, MTN had testfied to a panel of the National Judicial Council (NJC) which investigated allegations by Oyinlola that a former President of the Court of Appeal, retired Justice Ayo Salami had communications with the leaders of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria while presiding at the appeal panel that sacked Oyinlola from office as governor of Osun State. NCC had testfied that the extant law allowed it to keep call data for only three months. In a suit filed by Oyinlola seeking to compel the Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute MTN and its directors for lying on oath, MTN in a counter affidavit deposed to by Mr Mathew Okoromi, a Senior Subscriber Fraud Analyst with the company repeated the evidence it told the NJC panel and the Special Task Force that the IGP set up in 2011 to investigate Oyinlola’s allegations. He averred thus: “I know the 2nd Respondent (MTN) duly honoured request in line with extant laws and regulations and in line with its policies and capacity constraint at the material times which limits the period within which CDRs can be stored on the 2nd Respondent’s network to typically about 3 months by releasing the CDRs to the law enforcement agencies. He continued: “The 2nd Respondent did not deliberately or otherwise, frustrate the work or mislead the NJC panel in any way. The 2nd Respondent did release through the office of the NSA and to the SSS, CDRs in CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

FDI inflows to Nigeria dip by $7b, says CBN From Mathias Okwe, Abuja

ESPITE efforts by the FederalGovernment to D attract investment into the country, a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) yesterday indicated that Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) in the country in the third quarter of the fiscal year 2013 declined considerably as both hot money and portfolio investors in the country pulled away over $7billion during the period. Giving a breakdown in the 2013 External Development Report, the apex bank revealed that as much as $4.91 billion FDI inflow was lost during the quarter while portfolio investments also declined by over $3 billion in the same period. The Report said: “ At

US$4.91 billion in Q3 2013, aggregate foreign capital inflow declined by 42.8 per cent from $8.58 billion in Q2 2013 due to the decline in both direct investment and portfolio investment inflows. Direct investment inflow declined from $1.47 billion in Q2 2013 to $0.86 billion in the review period. Similarly, portfolio investment inflow declined by 52.3 per cent from $6.52 billion in Q2 2013 to $3.11 billion in the review period. “Other investment inflows increased by 59.5 per cent from $0.58 billion in Q2 2013 to $0.93 in Q3 2013. Portfolio investment inflow remained dominant and accounted for 63.4 per cent of total foreign inflows while direct investment inflows accounted for 17.6 per cent of total. Other investment inflows

accounted for the balance.” The apex bank also revealed that available data revealed that foreign exchange inflows to the economy in Q3 2013 stood at $38.49 billion as against $38.17 billion recorded in Q2 2013 indicating a marginal increase of 0.9 per cent. Inflows through the Central Bank increased by 25.6 per cent from $9.44 billion in Q2 2013 to $11.86 billion in the review period while inflows through autonomous sources declined by 7.3 per cent to $26.64 billion. Outflows in the Q3 2013 increased by 5.6 per cent to $13.36 billion as against $12.65 billion in Q2 2013. Consequently, a net inflow of $25.14 billion was recorded in Q3 2013 as against $25.51 billion in Q2 2013 indicating a decline of 1.5 per cent. The CBN component

of foreign exchange flows recorded a net outflow of US$0.81 billion during the review period in contrast to a net inflow of US$3.1 billion in Q2 2013. The apex bank stated that the stock of external reserves as at endSeptember 2013 stood at $44.11 billion as against 44.96 billion in the preceding quarter (indicating a depletion of US$0.85 billion It gave reason for the decline in the stock: “ The depletion of reserves was mainly due to the sale of foreign exchange to authorized dealers, public sector payments and disbursements on letters of credit. The current level of external reserves could finance 10.5 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 10.2 months of import commitments as

against 10.8 months of foreign exchange disbursements and 9.5 months of import commitments recorded in Q2 2013. It continued: “ Aggregate demand for foreign exchange by the authorized dealers during the review period amounted to $9.69 billion as against $8.13 billion in Q2 2013 indicating an increase of 19.1 per cent. A total of $8.17 billion was demanded at the wDAS as against $6.84 billion in the preceding period, an increase of 19.4 per cent. Similarly, demand by the BDC operators increased by 17.5 per cent from US$1.30 billion in Q2 2013 to US$1.52 billion in the review period. The total amount supplied in Q3 2013 stood at US$9.26 billion compared with US$8.42 billion in Q2 2013.

Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema (left) Minister  for Industry, Trade & Investment Dr. Olusegun Aganga, and Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Sola David-Borha, at the 2014 Standard Bank West Africa Investors Conference in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

PEF plans payment of verified claims within one week From Collins Olayinka, Abuja

HERE were that the T Equalization

indications Petroleum Fund (Management) Board may begin to pay marketers one week after submission of their bridging claims.  Meanwhile, the Chairman of House of Representatives committee on Petroleum Downstream, Peterside Dakuku, revealed that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has passed first and second reading in the House of Representatives and is now with the ad hoc committee on PIB, assuring that the bill will be passed by the National Assembly before the end of the year.  Receiving members of the

’PIB gets to committee stage’ committee who were in PEF for oversight function in Abuja yesterday, the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Equalization (Management) Board, Mrs. Adefunke Kasali, said the Board now pays marketers within four weeks. She added that the introduction of ‘Project Aquila 2’ is intended to further fasttrack payment to marketers within one week. Her words: “We are confident that one week payment of verified claims is achievable. By the time we roll out ‘Project Aquila 2’, which is intended to monitor movement of products from the

depots to retail outlets which will enable us have the required information within a very short period of time, we should be able to make that happen. My job is to extend the charge to my staff to get ready to make that happen and I am sure within a short period of time we will achieve that feat.” The PEF boss decline to give a specific timeframe to achieving a one-week payment timeline, saying, “I won’t give a specific time frame to it but I know it is achievable and we will work to achieve the mandate.” Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the committee,

Peterside Dakuku, submitted that prompt payment of marketers within a very short period would ensure continued availability of petrol in most parts of the country at the approved price. He lauded PEF for mitigating corrupt practices in the payment of bridging costs with the introduction of ‘Project Aquila’.   “We are impressed with ‘Project Aquila’ by PEF and noticed that it has led to the reduction of infractions in the administration of equalization fund. The committee is convinced that Project Aquila has substantially addressed marketers trying to cut corners. Our concern as a committee is to ensure

that products are sold at the same price across the country irrespective of closeness or farness from the Niger Delta or coastal areas.” Dakuku called on agencies in the oil and gas sector to gear up for re-positioning on how fit into the new regime that PIB passage would midwife.  “Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is almost in transition to another phase, which is post-Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) phase. In the next oneyear we expect to have a new legal framework govern by the PIB. Therefore, there is urgent need to reposition the PEF otherwise it will find it difficult to survive and perform its functions when the PIB takes effect.” he stated


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

16

Govt pledges to unlock economic opportunities through clear policies By Helen Oji HE Federal Government T has reiterated its commitment to unlock Nigeria economic opportunities through clear policies and strategies that would facilitate economic growth. Indeed, government has also resolved to increase manufacturing sector from its bismal level of four per cent contribution to GDP to 10 per cent by 2017. This would add extra N3.5trillion to the nation’s economy and about N5 trillion to manufacturing annual revenue. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, while addressing participants at the 5TH edition of Standard Bank West African investors’ conference, organised by Stanbic IBTC stockbrokers Limited in Lagos yesterday,

explained that Nigeria has a strong and vibrant micro economic environment, which , according to him, is a foundation and basis for any investor both private and public. He explained that government has resolved to take Nigeria to a new direction that unlocks the nation’s economic potentials, driven by well articulated and detailed sectorial policies that would revolutionalize the nations’ economy. He said; “The Nigerian government knows that we have some constraints in reaching our potentials. For years, Nigeria had focused on exporting its raw materials and exporting jobs, without focusing on non oil sector like manufacturing, industry and agriculture and did not address fundamental con-

straints and as a result, businesses struggled, our products standard became weak, the stage of our infrastructure made it less competitive to run many businesses locally. “Nigeria had no well defined trade policy, and detailed industrial policy and these among others are why our country had challenges with poverty and insecurity”. Aganga explained that government has decided to use industries to diversify the economy, create jobs, increase revenue and create wealth for the nation. He pointed out that through the NRP, government identified areas with comparative advantage as well as areas that can become number one in Africa and over time be included among the top

ten globally. These areas, according to him, include the agro allied, agro processing industries, metals and solid minerals, construction among other. He added that it has also addressed issues that had held back the country from achieving significant

growth in non-oil sectors of the economy over the years. “It has also addressed the high cost of funding and provides industrial skills for productive advantage, bringing innovations to industries to enhance efficiency , improve our investment climate and promote

local patronage.’” He added that government are putting measures in place to ensure that these policies are consistent and sustained through creation of enabling laws, as well as creating enabling environment that would facilitate micro economic growth.

Stakeholders seek support for effective fiscal system By Chijioke Nelson ROM the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), came a unanimous conclusion that getting the nation’s budgetary processes right basis for effective fiscal system. At a presentations during the 2014 Federal Budget Summit, organised by the Citizens Wealth Platform, in collaboration with Ford Foundation, the DirectorGeneral of BPP, Emeka Eze, who was represented by Andrew Zibiri,admitted that the process of getting Nigeria’s fiscal plan right would start with ensuring the basic tenets of procurement, which include acquisition of goods and/or services; best possible total cost; right quantity and quality; right time and right place. He said: “The relationship between public procurement and the budget is statutory. According Section 16 (1)(b) PP Act, 2007, subject to any exemption allowed by this Act, all public procurements shall be conducted based only on

F

plans supported by prior budgetary appropriations and no procurement proceedings shall be formalised until the procuring entity has ensured that funds are available to meet the obligations. “The appropriation has to be founded on procurement planning based on proper needs assessment, as otherwise may ultimately result in misprocurement. “How well a budget is implemented by procuring entities like MDAs, to a large extent, would determine the success or otherwise failure of any budget. To have value for money in 2014 fiscal plan, the procuring entities must improve on their planning/needs assessment; and not admitting into the budget, projects not ready for execution and without detailed designs and scope, among others.” But NANTS however, said that Nigerians must brace up for the challenges that have been identified with nation’s fiscal plans, especially in monitoring of its implementation, adding that there was need to have independent figures, not just relying basically on the

ones provided by the executive. The President of NANTS, Ken Ukoha, while commending the Ministry of Trade and Investment for adopting a higher capital-recurrent expenditure ratio in 2014, however decried the country’s lack of Trade Policy, after the one it had expired in 2002, querying the basis for about 57 trade policies and agreements entered into since then and yearly fiscal plans of the ministry. Also, the Acting Chairman of FRC, Victor Muruako, observed that over the years, most countries of the world have realised the need for changes in their fiscal policy frameworks, which to a large extent is discretionery and sometimes characterised by persistent large fiscal deficit. “Lack of fiscal discipline on the part of policy makers and ineffectivenes of budget institutions, including procedures for budget formulation, approval and implementation, to mention a few, are corollary to the fiscal problems. Most countries have already overhauled their fiscal policy frameworks.

Naira sustains sliding profile, as forex reserves hit 15-month low By Chijioke Nelson with agency report HE nation’s currencyNaira, recorded another free fall yesterday, the third in the series, after the Central Bank of Nigeria lifted limits on sales of dollars to bureaus de change (BDCs) operators by the deposit money banks. Also, the country’s foreign exchange reserves dropped to a 15-month low at $42.98 billion, a development that analysts attributed to the removal of the limit placed on the BDC, which was pegged at $250,000 per week per operator by banks, beside $50,000 that CBN sells directly to them too. BDCs had complained that the persistent free fall of the nation’s currency could be

T

traced from the small supply that it gets from banks and CBN, stoking speculations on the Naira. The Naira weakened as much as 0.9 percent to the lowest level since September 16, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, perhaps prompting the apex bank to adopt the limit removal to “shore up liquidity in that segment of the foreign-exchange market. Before now, CBN had in September 2013, banned imports of foreign currency by lenders without approval. Meanwhile, “foreign capital flows dried up last year and turned negative in early 2014 amid a generalized emergingmarket foreign-exchange weakness, which is forcing the CBN to sell dollars directly to the banks,” an emerging-mar-

kets strategist in London at Standard Bank Group Limited, Samir Gadio, said yesterday. “The removal of the cap on foreign-exchange sales by banks to bureaux de changes will also bring an extra layer of foreign-exchange demand,” he said. The currency weakened 0.2 percent to 162.80 per dollar at 11:45 a.m. in the commercial capital, Lagos, extending this years drop to 1.5 percent. This compares with a 2.1 percent decline for the Tanzanian shilling, 3.7 percent for the Ghanaian cedi and 6.1 percent for the South African rand. The Ugandan shilling has strengthened 2.1 percent in the period, while the Malawian kwacha gained 1.8 percent.

NCC faults MTN on petition CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 line with its representation in paragraph 6 above. “The telecoms company repeated this false claim severally in its counter affidavit.Even the office of the AGF, which obviously had fallen for the misrepresentation by MTN also claimed that the company had complied with the law. But in its counter affidavit to the Oyinlola’s suit, deposed to by Ballah Ali of the Federal Ministry of Justice, the office of the AGF said: “ That in furtherance of paragraph 6 above, the 1st Respondent (AGF) explained that the submission of call logs for 90 days is in conso-

nance with the law. MTN had also disputed the finding of the police and described the police report as: “patently illogical, selfcontradictory, disjointed and cannot form the basis of any reasonable prosecution by any serious-minded law officer.”Oyinlola had claimed in the suit that had MTN released the call logs of communication between Salami and the ACN leaders for a period of one year, his claims that such communications indeed existed would have been made manifest. He said: “It is a shame that the office that is established to uphold the sanctity of the

law would so brazenly collude with a telecoms company to perpetrate injustice.”Oyinlola had already got the leave of court to commence proceeding for an order of mandamus to compel the AGF to proseits and MTN cute suit, the directors.In Oyinlola contended that MTN deliberately withheld communications between retired president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami and the leadership of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria from Judicial National the Council panel that investigated his petition against Salami.


Wednesday, Februar 5, 2014 17

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

TheMetroSection Prayers for the nation at TREM Apostolic Impartation service By Nike Sotade and Seye Olumide

AST Friday was a day of intense prayers and loads of ministration at the Anthony Oke, Lagos headquarters of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) as the church ended its crucial 21-day prayer and fasting session for the nation. The day also coincided with the closing of the Council of African Apostles Impartation Conference in Lagos. As early as 3.30 pm church members started trooping in from their work places and homes to witness a night of Supernatural intervention in their lives. The conference which held during the week had in attendance the chief host and Presiding Bishop of TREM Dr. Mike Okonkwo, Bishop Joe Imakando of Zambia, Dr. Mensa Otabil of Ghana and the chairman of African Apostles Bishop Tudor Bismark of Zimbabwe and other African church leaders in a meeting structured to discuss and rub minds on specific issues that affect the church in Africa. The Council of African Apostles is a body comprising of Christian leaders in the Body of Christ from African Countries. In a chat with the media on the state of the nation, especially the way politicians have been cross-carpeting from one party to another, Bishop Okonkwo observed that as they decamp, “I think one of the things they should focus on is about development and not about their individual agenda. They should go beyond party interests and begin to look at how they can improve the lot of the people. There are lots and lots of problems staring us in the face and I think it is immoral to pretend as if the citizens are not there.” He also supported the proposed national conference, which he said would

L

Pastor Chichi Bismark (left), Bishop Bismark, Bishop Okonkwo, his wife Peace, Bishop Simeon and Apostle Josephat at the TREM Apostolic Impartation Service... last Friday

help people to express their feelings, rather than bottling up their emotions, “which could implode.” “ Let the people talk, it has a way of bringing relief to them and will also spill over to the nation,” he said. The Bishop of TREM also put his full weight behind the signing of the anti-gay law by President Goodluck Jonathan. “The Bible is very clear about the issue. God made man and woman. The position of the church is very clear. We do not sup-

port homosexuality. It is unscriptural and here we don’t advocate that,” he declared. Bishop Bismark also explained that the purpose of the African church leaders’ meeting in Nigeria was to deal with the negative issues bedeviling the continent which includes the issues of governance and so on and to chart a path on “how to improve the lot of our children and grandchildren in 20 years, 30 years from now.” The heat in the polity, the persistent insecurity, religious tension and upsurge in

crime rates prompted the Bishop of TREM to declare a 21-day fasting and prayer to seek the face of the Almighty to avert further bloodshed or outbreak of religious or ethnic war in the country. In his message at the event, one of the visiting Bishops said Nigeria holds a very key position among the black nations “and it is therefore necessary that it must not erupt into any religious, political or ethnic crises.” He said the nation would definitely overcome its numerous challenges “as God saw the children of Israelites through their countless difficulties.” His prayers: “Nigeria will rise again and its citizens would realise their potentials, both spiritually and physically.” A participant at the prayer session, Kenneth Agbi said he believed in the efficacy of prayer as potent enough to neutralise whatever the enemy of the country must have planted “on, before or after 2015, which some American analysts predicted long ago would be the end of Nigeria’s unity, adding, “God who brought Nigeria together has a purpose.” While the prayer actually centered on the state of the nation, God in His dynamism also worked signs and wonders in the lives of those who attended the programme “with personal burdens.” One of them, a woman who craved anonymity, told The Guardian: “It is a great blessing for me and my family for participating in this prayer and fasting. Ever since the programme started, my condition has never remained the same.” When asked if she bothered about the state of the nation, she said, “The sea may rage, the earth may shake, but God is bigger. God’s love for Nigeria is unparalleled.”

Man, 30, to die by hanging for murder From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti N Ado Ekiti High Court yesterday sentenced a 30-year-old man, Mayowa Omolaye, to death by hanging for killing one Tayo Oluwabusuyi. He was said to have committed the crime at Igbooroke farm in Igede-Ekiti, headquarters of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Council of the state, on May 30, 2009. The prosecution had contended that the act contravened Section 316 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap 38, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004. According to the prosecution, Omolaye had allegedly con-

A

fessed to the crime, and had claimed to have cut the throat of his victim. The prosecution called seven witnesses while the accused testified by himself and had also called two witnesses. The prosecution witness had asked whether the court could act and convict the retracted confessional statement of the accused to convict him and whether by the evidence before the court, the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. Sentencing the accused, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye held that where the essential ingredients of the offence charged has

Police nab suspected killer of Enugu monarch From Lawrence  Njoku (Enugu) LMOST two years after his death, the Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police yesterday confirmed that it has arrested the gang leader in the gruesome murder of the traditional ruler of Oruku Autonomous Community, Nkanu East Local Council of the state. The Monarch, His Majesty Moses Ugwu, Ode 1 of Umuode, was murdered on October 9, 2012 at about 7.40 p.m. in his Provision Store at Akpuoga Nike by a gang of four men. Confirming the arrest of the leader of the gang, whose name was given as Ejike Mba, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Ebere Amaraizu, stated that it was made possible by intelligence information from members of the public.

A

The suspect Amaraizu said that the 26year-old suspect, who is an indigene of Oruku in Nkanu East Local Council, had been on the wanted list of the po-

lice since the incident occurred and was arrested at a public function, which he attended. He said: “The suspect who is about 26 years of age, is a kingpin of the alleged murder of the monarch. He has been at large with his gangs after the commission of the alleged murder with his gangs. Information emerged about where he attended a function and allegedly concealed his presence in Oruku also in Nkanu East Local Council of Enugu State. Our operatives acting swiftly nabbed him during the function”. He stated that the suspect would be charged to court after thorough investigations, adding that the Police would intensify manhunt for other members of his gang.

been proved “as has been done in this case”, the charge is proved beyond reasonable doubt. Justice Ogunmoye ruled that all essentials of murder had been established in the case presented by the prosecution, and said “the judgement of this court is that you be hanged by the neck until you are dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.” Omolaye was said to have been earlier convicted of assault and stealing from the same farm, where he was said to have robbed the same Oluwabusuyi. It was gathered that after leaving jail for the crime, he allegedly went back to Oluwabusuyi’s farm and killed him.

Photonews

Homeless: A young man sleeping on Railway Bridge, Ijora, Lagos...at the weekend

PHOTO: ODITA SUNDAY


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

18 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Briefs

America-based journalist, Ekerete Udoh, to launch News of the World Newspaper

Church renovates Sango Road

OTABLE journalist and Nigeria’s pioneer pop culture N writer-Ekerete Udoh, who has lived in New York City, for the past 14 years, is set to return to Nigeria with the News of the World Newspaper, expected to be on the newsstand on Sunday, February 9, 2014. Udoh, who for the past three and half years, has maintained a weekly column in Saturday’s THISDAY Newspaper appropriately entitled “Diaspora”, where he analyzes politics, pop culture and society  through a decidedly American prism, said he is excited to be back to Nigeria. “I have written numerous articles where I have advised my brethren in Diaspora not to sneer at Nigeria from the comforts of their homes in America or Europe, but to use their skills-set to add value in our collective march toward national development, in spite of the challenges that exist here. I have preached –almost to a point of sounding like a broken cord, that Nigeria is going through its own Gilded Age, and those who appropriate the opportunities that exist here, like those who did, in the United States in the late 19th Century, will reap bountiful benefits and will become the barons and inheritors of old money in the next few decades,” he said. Udoh, is also the publisher of the The Diasporan Star, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and journalism from Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and a Master’s degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics from Brooklyn College, also of the City University of New York, where he was the ‘Best Graduating Student’. The new publication is jointly promoted by Prince Chidi Ibe, who functions as the publisher . Prince Ibe, who also is the owner of Best Western Premier Hotel, in Port Harcourt himself, is  also a returnee Diasporan having lived in England for years, and is a great believer in Nigeria and its potentials for greatness. Udo

Go back to God, cleric urges Nigerians By Eno Bassey HE Founder and General T Overseer of a frontline Pentecostal church, Powerline Bible Church in Lagos, Bishop Lawrence Osagie, has advised Nigerians to go back to God and live according the true values of Christianity. Speaking at a press briefing on the forthcoming Silver Jubilee of the church, which would hold from Friday, February 7 to Sunday 9 , 2013, at the Wisdom House auditorium of the church, OdoOlowu , Ijesha, Lagos, Bishop Osagie, said the theme: The Power of the Cross, is aimed at redirecting “the body of Christ towards the main values of Christianity. Many have strayed away from the sacrifice of the cross. Many have deviated from the truth. We need to go back to where the journey beganthat is the cross. These are the values that strengthen the church. These values form the veritable vehicle through which goodness and Godliness could manifest in the world. He continued: “There was a time being born again had no colour. What we are seeing today, that is glamorous, was before colourless. People are doing all manner of things that drive people from the body of Christ. We cannot have many churches in Nigeria and yet, there is so much evil in the land, there is so much poverty in the country. Something has to be done. A Pastor/popular Nollywood actor, Zack Orji, while collaborating the Bishop’s stance, said: “The 25th anniversary celebration is to sustain an existing relationship within and outside the church.” Meanwhile, a rally is planned for Friday, February 7, from the first humble beginning of the church, a rented apartment in Agbebi area of Ijesha while love feast holds on Saturday It would be rounded off on

The road under construction By Gbenga Akinfenwa OR the past four years, Temidire Road in SangoOta, Ado-Odo Ota Local Council of Ogun State, a link road to many streets in the area has become impassable due to its decrepit state. Commuting in and out of the area has been a terrible experience for the residents. The road, which connects them to the express road, has gravely deteriorated, as blocked drainages have caused a serious damage to the road. The sorry state of the road had scared motorists, commercial motorcyclists, traders and visitors away from the area. In fact, car owners living there had devised a means of parking their cars far from home.

F

After persistent pleas to the local authorities, House of Assembly member representing the area and the state government by the Community Development Association (CDA), everyone had to resign to fate. But when hope seemed lost, the Foursquare Gospel Church, Sango-Ota District, rose to the occasion as it has embarked on a mission to rehabilitate the over 1.3km Adebayo Adebambo Crescent road and Abioro Junction to make the area more lively again. When The Guardian visited the site last week, serious work was ongoing, the blocked drainage system was undergoing dredging for easy flow of erosion, a grader was doing the necessary bulldozing of the road and other

manual works were ongoing to the delight of the residents. The Abioro junction, a link to Ijoko Road, a waterlogged area, which had been near impassable based on the horrible condition of the road is now better. In short, the community has again been opened up. With the level of work done so far, it was obvious that the church’s effort has already reopened the area to the outside world. The District Overseer of the Church, Rev. Ayomide Abraham, who spoke to The Guardian while supervising the project, described the church’s effort as a strategic partnership with government, adding that government should see it as a longing of the heart of the

people of the area to see that things are better. He noted that the sum of N500, 000 budgeted for the project was contributed by the church and individuals in the area, while urging government to take over from where the church had stopped because there is limit to what the church could do. The cleric stated that the Abioro Junction was a spot where armed robbers hijack cars and also rob people at night, adding that with the intervention such act would be controlled. He revealed that if the road was tarred, it would serve as alternative and a link road to the proposed six-lane Ijoko Road, which the state government is presently constructing.

Centre laments govt neglect of persons with disabilities By Tolulope Okunlola

HE Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD) has condemned what it called the flagrant neglect of persons with disabilities by the government, urging the National Assembly to take steps to safeguard the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities and implement programmes aimed at their full integration, participation and equal recognition. Speaking at a briefing in Lagos last Sunday, the Executive Director of CCD Mr. David Anyaele lamented that in the proposed budget of N4.6 trillion for the 2014 already presented to the National Assembly by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr.Ngozi OkonjoIweala, nothing was

T

Osagie Sunday, with a re-dedication service to be presided over by Bishop Mike Okonkwo, who incidentally, was one of the ministers (alongside Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor) who ministered at the inaugural service of the church, 25 years ago. Also, parents have been charged to be enviable, responsible, disciplined, credible role models for the family, society and the nation to positively emulate at all times. They have also been enjoined to make the society and the Nation better than they met them for others to happily appreciate God’s Divine endless inexhaustible endowments through them. These remarks were contained in the sermon delivered by the Bishop, Diocese or Ijebu West, Anglican Communion, Odogbolu, Ogun State, Rt. Revd. Babatunde Ogunbanwo at the marriage solemnisation of Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya Rtd, and Chief Mrs. Folasade Diya’s daughter, former Miss Oluwayemisi Diya, who married her amiable heartthrob, Mr. Oluwadamilola Salawu, the son of an eminent University Don, Professor Rafiu Isola Salawu and Mrs. Adetola Beatrice Salawo, at the United African Methodist Evangelical Church Cathedral, Abule Ijesha, Yaba, Lagos.

provided to take care of the needs of persons with disabilities. “We are worried that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has followed the footsteps of his predecessors, whose administrations placed no value on the lives of Nigerians with disabilities. It is the continued belief of the political class that believes in the survival of the fittest that exposes Nigerians with disabilities to exclusion, stigma, discrimination, isolation, marginalization and sometimes to untimely death. This is because they are usually too weak, poor, voiceless and helpless to confront the government for inclusion of their needs in the appropriation; even when they are appropriated it hardly gets to them.”

He said: “This is because they are usually too weak, poor, voiceless and helpless to confront the government for inclusion of their needs in the appropriation and even when they are appropriated it hardly gets to them.” “We are witnesses to the Federal Government appropriating to buy an aircraft with an initial deposit amounting to N1.52 billion, N1.5 billion for general upgrading of facilities at old Presidential Banquet Hall, N2.2 Billion for the building of new Banquet Hall inside Aso Rock Presidential Villa and other frivolities while Nigerians with disabilities die in installments.” A thorough study of the 2014 budget of Federal Line Ministries, Department and Agencies responsible for the

attainment of National Rehabilitation Policy goals for the rehabilitation of Nigerians with disabilities shows little or nothing have been budgeted for Nigerians with disabilities. He, therefore, urged the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Education to demand for provision for Nigerians with disabilities in the 2014 budget especially as it has to do with Special Education in Nigeria. The Committees on Works and Housing, Anyaele said, should also provide pedestrian walkways and bridges for persons with disabilities while the Committees on Transport should demand the plan of the ministry to ensure that public transportation systems are accessible to Nigerians with disabilities.

Kumuyi admonishes youths on discipline From Anthony Otaru, Abuja HE General Superintendent, of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry / Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor William F. Kumuyi, has called on Nigerian youths to be disciplined, peaceful and loving, which according to him, are the hallmark of national transformation. Kumuyi, who stated this in Abuja at the weekend during his visit to students of the Deeper Life High School, stated that the transformation of the students would be the end-result of the whole process of going through the school. According to him, “Discipline is the pivot of the life of

T

Kumuyi a student” adding that, “no matter how studious you are, if you don’t have discipline,

nothing will come out and you are not going to achieve anything in life. But with discipline, you will get to the mountain top.’’ The renowned man of God, who was in Abuja for several days, as a result of series of programmes in the church such as – Workers’ Strategy Congress for the Middle-Belt, FCT Great Miracle Revival Service and his regular Monday Bible Study, described a student in seven words as being ‘studious, teachable, unique, disciplined, enlightened, noteworthy and transformed.’ Kumuyi told the students that big things start in small ways also admonished them

to know that God is preparing them for great assignments and a place in the leadership of the country. He said being a ‘student’, represents completeness and being a student make the young people complete. “Those young people that never go to school will never be complete. You cannot be anything significant in life without being a student. “Discipline is the scale that strikes a balance, it is the fulcrum and the pivot of the student life. No matter how studious you are if you don’t have discipline, nothing will come out and without discipline you are not going to make anything in life,” he said.


Wednesday, Februar 5, 2014 17

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

TheMetroSection Prayers for the nation at TREM Apostolic Impartation service The heat in the polity, the persistent insecurity, religious tension and upsurge in crime AST Friday was a day of intense prayers rates prompted the Bishop of TREM to declare and loads of ministration at the Anthony a 21-day fasting and prayer to seek the face of Oke, Lagos headquarters of The Redeemed the Almighty to avert further bloodshed or Evangelical Mission (TREM) as the church outbreak of religious or ethnic war in the ended its crucial 21-day prayer and fasting country. session for the nation. The day also coinIn his message at the event, one of the visitcided with the closing of the Council of ing Bishops said Nigeria holds a very key posiAfrican Apostles Impartation Conference in tion among the black nations “and it is Lagos. therefore necessary that it must not erupt As early as 3.30 pm church members started into any religious, political or ethnic crises.” trooping in from their work places and He said the nation would definitely overhomes to witness a night of Supernatural income its numerous challenges “as God saw tervention in their lives. the children of Israelites through their countThe conference which held during the week less difficulties.” had in attendance the chief host and PresidHis prayers: “Nigeria will rise again and its citing Bishop of TREM Dr. Mike Okonkwo, izens would realise their potentials, both spirBishop Joe Imakando of Zambia, Dr. Mensa itually and physically.” Otabil of Ghana and the chairman of African A participant at the prayer session, Kenneth Apostles Bishop Tudor Bismark of Zimbabwe Agbi said he believed in the efficacy of prayer and other African church leaders in a meetas potent enough to neutralise whatever the ing structured to discuss and rub minds on enemy of the country must have planted “on, specific issues that affect the church in before or after 2015, which some American anAfrica. alysts predicted long ago would be the end of The Council of African Apostles is a body Nigeria’s unity, adding, “God who brought comprising of Christian leaders in the Body Nigeria together has a purpose.” of Christ from African Countries. While the prayer actually centered on the Pastor Chichi Bismark (left), Bishop Bismark, Bishop Okonkwo, his wife Peace, Bishop Simeon and Apostle In a chat with the media on the state of the state of the nation, God in His dynamism also Josephat at the TREM Apostolic Impartation Service... last Friday nation, especially the way politicians have worked signs and wonders in the lives of been cross-carpeting from one party to anthose who attended the programme “with church is very clear. We do not support homo- personal burdens.” conference, which he said would help people other, Bishop Okonkwo observed that as sexuality. It is unscriptural and here we don’t to express their feelings, rather than bottling they decamp, “I think one of the things they One of them, a woman who craved advocate that,” he declared. up their emotions, “which could implode.” “ should focus on is about development and anonymity, told The Guardian: “It is a great Bishop Bismark also explained that the pur- blessing for me and my family for participatLet the people talk, it has a way of bringing renot about their individual agenda. They pose of the African church leaders’ meeting in ing in this prayer and fasting. Ever since the should go beyond party interests and begin lief to them and will also spill over to the naNigeria was to deal with the negative issues tion,” he said. to look at how they can improve the lot of programme started, my condition has never bedeviling the continent which includes the remained the same.” The Bishop of TREM also put his full weight the people. There are lots and lots of probissues of governance and so on and to chart a When asked if she bothered about the state of behind the signing of the anti-gay law by Presilems staring us in the face and I think it is path on “how to improve the lot of our chilimmoral to pretend as if the citizens are not dent Goodluck Jonathan. the nation, she said, “The sea may rage, the dren and grandchildren in 20 years, 30 years earth may shake, but God is bigger. God’s love “The Bible is very clear about the issue. God there.” from now.” made man and woman. The position of the He also supported the proposed national for Nigeria is unparalleled.”

By Nike Sotade and Seye Olumide

L

Man, 30, to die by hanging for murder From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti N Ado Ekiti High Court yesterday sentenced a 30-year-old man, Mayowa Omolaye, to death by hanging for killing one Tayo Oluwabusuyi. He was said to have committed the crime at Igbooroke farm in Igede-Ekiti, headquarters of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Council of the state, on May 30, 2009. The prosecution had contended that the act contravened Section 316 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap 38, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.

A

According to the prosecution, Omolaye had allegedly confessed to the crime, and had claimed to have cut the throat of his victim. The prosecution called seven witnesses while the accused testified by himself and had also called two witnesses. The prosecution witness had asked whether the court could act and convict the retracted confessional statement of the accused to convict him and whether by the evidence before the court, the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. Sentencing the accused, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye held that where the essential ingredients of the offence charged has been

Police nab suspected killer of Enugu monarch From Lawrence  Njoku (Enugu) LMOST two years after his A death, the Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police yesterday confirmed that it has arrested the gang leader in the gruesome murder of the traditional ruler of Oruku Autonomous Community, Nkanu East Local Council of the state. The Monarch, His Majesty Moses Ugwu, Ode 1 of Umuode, was murdered on October 9, 2012 at about 7.40 p.m. in his Provision Store at Akpuoga Nike by a gang of four men. Confirming the arrest of the leader of the gang, whose name was given as Ejike Mba, Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Ebere Amaraizu, stated that it was made possible by intelligence information from

wanted list of the police since the incident occurred and was arrested at a public function, which he attended. He said: “The suspect who is about 26 years of age, is a kingpin of the alleged murder of the monarch. He has been at large with his gangs after the commission of the alleged murder with his gangs. Information emerged about where he attended a function and allegedly concealed his presence in Oruku also in Nkanu East Local Council of Enugu State. Our operatives acting swiftly nabbed him during the function”. The suspect He stated that the suspect would be charged to court members of the public. after thorough investigaAmaraizu said that the 26year-old suspect, who is an in- tions, adding that the Police digene of Oruku in Nkanu East would intensify manhunt Local Council, had been on the for other members of his

proved “as has been done in this case”, the charge is proved beyond reasonable doubt. Justice Ogunmoye ruled that all essentials of murder had been established in the case presented by the prosecution, and said “the judgement of this court is that you be hanged by the neck until you are dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.” Omolaye was said to have been earlier convicted of assault and stealing from the same farm, where he was said to have robbed the same Oluwabusuyi. It was gathered that after leaving jail for the crime, he allegedly went back to Oluwabusuyi’s farm and killed him.

Photonews

Homeless: A young man sleeping on Railway Bridge, Ijora, Lagos...at the weekend

PHOTO: ODITA SUNDAY


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, February 5, 2014

TheInsideEdge

19

Published in association with

Nigeria’s stock market looking to build on positive performance in 2013 Nigeria 3rd February, 2014


20 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 21


22 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Insurance&You

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com Published in association with


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 23

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Money Transforming banks, redefining banking: Global perspectives

Sanusi

Okonjo-Iweala

Egbiki

Change is constant and the banking industry has been acting in line with this popular conception. Indeed, the 2014 and 2015 outlook for the industry, put together by EY, formerly Ernst & Young, projects a continuous trudging for the sector. CHIJIOKE NELSONwrites. HOUGH the saying goes that “the more T things change, the more they stay the same,” developments have shown that it can only be true in some aspects of life, but not in the banking industry. At a global level, the scale of change in the industry since 2008 has been unprecedented and the industry is anything but the same. Specifically, banks have been trying to restructure themselves and rehabilitate the industry in the face of significant headwinds, with the regulatory rulebook being completely rewritten in the face of major reputational damage, while major economies have struggled to emerge from recession. Results have also reflected these challenges, with return on equity (ROE) at many banks failing to cover the cost of equity. According to a report from EY, however, from an economic perspective, equity markets are nudging record highs, Europe is finally emerging from recession, the US debt ceiling has been raised (at least for a few weeks), “Abenomics” is kick-starting the Japanese economy and China’s growth is improving. Surely that means the economic outlook is positive. But not quite. Banks are bracing themselves for the European Central Bank Asset Quality Review and must also contend with the end of its longterm refinancing operations, unless they are extended. The debt and budget situation in the U.S. is far from being resolved, and the global economy is bracing itself for the impact of the tapering when the U.S. Federal Reserve finally starts to wind down its quantitative easing programme. But the emerging markets, having benefited from investors in search of yield, may suffer disproportionately. Yet developed markets will not be immune to the effects of tapering, and banks, many of which have significant holdings in government bonds, will face capital challenges as prices fall. Complying with new regulations and operat-

As reforms take effect, the newly redefined banking industry should be able to return to its core functions and support global economic growth. Institutions will be keen to restore both reputation and profitability. Thoughts will turn to growth as banks focus on those aspects of the value chain that provide them with competitive advantage and consider collaboration with others to deliver their new business models more effectively ing within regulatory constraints has been the first priority for banks and will remain so for some time to come. However, banks must also consider how to meet the expectations of customers, shareholders and markets within those constraints. On the regulatory front, some rules remain unwritten, especially in relation to structural reform. There is also the potentially counterproductive march to regulatory nationalism. Although the mist has not cleared completely, there is more clarity in key areas and this certainty should prompt more banks to embark on much- needed strategic transformation programmes of both business and operating models. “Banks will need to incorporate enough flexibility in their models to respond to new rules as they emerge, essentially developing a strategy around remaining uncertainties. The initial focus is likely to be on ‘no regrets’ investments and initiatives. Regulation will remain the primary driver of reform for the foreseeable future, but it is not the only one. We see five unstoppable forces that we believe will drive banks to change over the next few years. “Banks’ responses to those forces will be severely constrained by regulation in all its forms but, with “wait and see” no longer a viable strategy, we expect to see more banks transition from planning to execution, and those responses will coalesce around four themes. “As reforms take effect, the newly redefined

banking industry should be able to return to its core functions and support global economic growth. Institutions will be keen to restore both reputation and profitability. Thoughts will turn to growth as banks focus on those aspects of the value chain that provide them with competitive advantage and consider collaboration with others to deliver their new business models more effectively. We also expect close monitoring of progress, particularly in areas such as culture and behavior that are difficult to measure but crucial to sustainable success and to restoring public confidence in the banking sector,” the report said. However, EY’s reports titled: “Transforming banks, redefining banking: Global banking outlook 2014 -15,” presented by its Financial Analyst and Partner in Advisory Services, Colin Daley, set out some key considerations, themes and ideas that are relevant in Nigeria and other developing banking environments. He noted that the challenge to the scenario of restored growth and profitability is how national regulators will choose to implement rules for banks’ recovery and resolution. For example, in terms of regulation, the new global standards challenge the profitability of business lines, particularly within corporate and investment banking divisions. This will mean that resolution plans and ring- fencing require wholesale structural reforms, with regulators prioritizing stability over growth; and national regulations may threaten viability of global banking model; retail customers

would require greater transparency, personalized products and seamless transition between channels; and solution to customers increasing concern about data privacy and cyber security. Other challenges have to do with technology, competition, the society, compliance failures (banks struggling to embed cultural and behavioral change), business models, customer relationships, organizations and infrastructure issues. Relating how the Basel Accord is meant to address certain issues, especially some already mentioned, another report from EY, titled: “Basel: going fourth?,” noted that although banks appear to be coping well with the capitalrelated elements of the regulations, they have to make fundamental changes to the way they do business. The first phase of Basel III has already taken off in EU member states through the Capital Requirements Directive and other countries around the world have also started to implement it, but banks have until 2019 to meet all the requirements, and the signs are that the vast majority will have little trouble in doing so. Still, they have to make big changes to their business strategies and operating models, especially because of the tougher rules on capital adequacy. Basel III broad objectives, drawn up by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, are well known. They are to improve the banking sector’s ability to absorb shocks arising from financial and economic stress by applying stricter capital and liquidity requirements; to improve risk management and governance; and to strengthen banks’ transparency and disclosures. Its capital requirements were to improve the quantity, quality, consistency and reliability of bank capital ratios around the world. Under the new framework, the minimum capital requirement remains at eight per cent of risk-weighted assets as it was under Basel II, but 4.5 per cent of

CONTINUED ON PAGE 24


THE GUARDIANwww.ngrguardiannews.com

24 MONEY Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Transforming banks, redefining banking: Global perspectives CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 that must now be Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1), the highest quality capital, compared with only two per cent under Basel II. But eight per cent is not really the minimum any more, as there are several capital add-oncapital conservation buffer, which must be CET1, of 2.5 per cent. This brings the minimum to 10.5 per cent; a surcharge for Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs), which must also be CET1, ranging from one per cent to 3.5 per cent, depending on a bank’s systemic importance. This will increase the minimum for G-SIBs to 11.5 per cent to 14 per cent; a counter-cyclical buffer, which again must be CET1, ranging from zero per cent to 2.5 per cent, among others. In addition to these add-on, which will be phased in between now and 2019, there are two other key capital requirements- capital loss absorption at the point of non-viability, in other words, capital instruments must include a clause that allows regulators to write them off, or convert them to common shares, if the bank is judged non-viable; a minimum of three per cent leverage ratio on all of a bank’s assets (including off-balance-sheet items), without any risk weighting. This serves as a backstop to the risk-based capital requirements. These rules are not binding on countries – it is up to the regulatory authorities in each country to implement them within their jurisdiction – but there is expected to be little deviation. Even the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, had earlier said that while the Basel Accord is good, not all its contents are implementable in our country. Also, Evgueni Ivantsov of lloyds Banking Group, in his just-published book “Heads or Tails: Financial Disaster, Risk Management and Survival Strategy in the World of Extreme Risk, argues that the Basel Committee missed the point by focusing on capital. They should have dealt with weaknesses in risk management. “Normally, financial institutions fail not because they have insufficient capital, but because they suffer unbearable losses. They

face losses because they cannot manage extreme risk properly by opting for reckless business strategies, flawed business models or by making unforgivable mistakes. I don’t dispute the idea of sufficiency of capital, but loss absorbency is no more than an ‘airbag’ and ‘seat belt’ for the banking industry’s passengers. Yet regulators keep on referring to the same mantra- more capital, more capital, more capital.” Speaking on the same Basel Accord, another financial analyst still argued that “meeting the capital requirements is only half the story. The other half is trying to run a profitable business when so much capital is tied up. Before the crisis, the average return on equity for banks in developed countries was about 15 per cent. Immediately after, it was in the region of 0.5 per cent. By the end of 2012, it had risen to six per cent and now, most banks are working on tar- gets for the near future of eight per cent to 10 per cent.” The need for banks to change their business models as a result of Basel III has also been advocated. The fourth annual study of risk management in banking and insurance, carried out in 2013 by EY, in conjunction with the Institute of International Finance, showed that 76 firms from 36 countries took part. “Our survey showed that banks are under a lot of pressure to mitigate falls in return on equity following the capital increases,” says Patricia Jackson, Head of Financial Regulatory Advice at EY. “As a result, 81 per cent of respondents said they are evaluating portfolios, and 44 per cent said they are exiting lines of business, up from 29 per cent on 2012.” The survey showed that capital management is being rethought. With regulatory capital now much higher than economic capital, 55 per cent of respondents said they are aligning capital allocation with regulatory capital. “It’s an enormous re-evaluation of business models,” says Ms Jackson. She noted that the retreat by banks from many activities such as infrastructure lending, project finance and energy finance is creating a gap that is increasingly being filled by the shadow banking sector. “The Basel III capital and liquidity buffers and wider uncertainty regarding future regulatory change have

led to de-leveraging and this in turn is leading shadow banking again to grow,” she writes. Many people believe that a Basel IV is a strong likelihood. That is certainly the view of Paul Tucker, former Deputy Governor of Financial Stability at the Bank of England, and now a Senior Fellow and member of the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School. In a speech given just before he left the Bank of England in October, he raised the prospect of a revision to the Basel capital framework to distinguish between capital that can absorb losses when a

bank is a going concern, namely equity – and capital that can smoothly absorb losses when the bank is a “gone concern” and goes into liquidation. “The recent G20 leaders’ summit called on the Financial Stability Board to produce plans over the coming year for the level and location of gone-concern loss-absorbing capacity in global banks and dealers,” said Tucker. If Tucker is right, those who had hoped that Basel III would be the end of the matter will have their hopes dashed, as Basel IV is around the corner.

CBN refutes duplication allegation over biometric project By Chijioke Nelson HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said its T biometric data, which is part of measures to strengthen identity management in the financial system, was not contradictory to the Federal Government’s directives on the proliferations data bases. It however, said that the Bankers’ Committee, which is pioneering the project, is working in sync with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on the integration of the biometric data to be acquired from banks beginning from February 14. The apex bank Director of Corporate Communications Department, Ugochukwu Okoroafor and his counterpart in the Banking and Payment Systems, T.O. Fatokun, who dispelled the claims on the project, explained that there was collective decision of the Bankers’ Committee and NIMC, which does not contradict the substantive directives of the government. According to the CBN directors, the bankers’ body is working assiduously with the NIMC in order to integrate both systems for the overall good of the country in its quest to rank among the top economies of the world within the current decade. On the allegation that Dermalog the company to which the biometric capture con-

tract was awarded is bankrupt, the apex bank officials reiterated that the German firm was not bankrupt. They explained that the financial institutions, which advised the committee, submitted a Due Diligence Report that did not identify any encumbrance in the financials of the company. They also wondered why such a report could be published on a matter of crucial national importance, even after the reporter had been shown evidence that Dermalog was an active and capable company with proven competence in the relevant area. Okoroafor and Fatokun also pointed out that the presence of the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Dorathee Janeteke-Wenzkel, at the contract signing ceremony lent credence and weight to the credibility of the company. Meanwhile, all is now set for the formal launch of the biometric project slated for Friday, February 14, 2014, which will see the CBN and two branches each from 10 banks go live on the portal. It will be recalled that at the signing of the agreement in November last year, the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, noted that the project, which was the culmination of a two-year long screening exercise, was not in any way incompatible with the Federal Government’s National Identity Card project.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 25

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

i-Tech&Telecoms Telecoms firms partners Discos to reduce power cost ... Target 60% cut Stories by Adeyemi Adepetun HE success of Federal GovT ernment’s privatisation of the power sector may allow telecommunications operators to reduce their cost usually incurred on power generation to their Base Transceiver Stations by as much as 60 per cent. According to investigations, telecommunications firms were already in talks with the Distribution Companies (Discos) on possible ways of having dedicated power supply to their Base Transceiver Stations. The operators including both GSM and Code Division Multiple Operators (CDMA) currently have about 25, 000 BTS spread across the country. Although, the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo told The Guardian that there was no collective discussion going on as a body with the Discos, “however, some of our members may be discussing at their various company level. We will welcome any of such initiatives because power remains very critical in the challenges that we face as an industry.” Adebayo said that ALTON wished the Discos and GenCos every success, stressing that their success would translate to overall improvement in socio-economic services and Telecom would be a major beneficiary of such. “We will continue to engage every stakeholders and the Discos inclusive in order to achieve overall success in our socio-economic development as a native in which telecom is playing a major

role,” he stated. However, the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya on Monday confirmed possible alliance by the telecommunications operators with the Discos. Ogunsanya said that some

management of the Discos had started making overtures to them (telecoms operators), saying that the operators were also ready to work with them. According to him, power generation to the cell sites usually gulp 60 per cent of

Telecoms Mast

Firm tackles malaria with mobile apps The solution, Uwaje, who is TECHNOLOGY solution ca- duce launch tomorrow in also the President of SoftLagos, explained that the pable of helping in the A central objective of MDG was ware Practitioners of Nigeria fight against malaria has been developed. It is called Malaria Destroyer Game (MDG). An indigenous Information and Technology start-up firm, Mobile Software Solutions Limited conceptualized this solution. With reports showing that malaria scourge has challenge over 50 million people in Nigeria and 500 million in Africa, Chairman of the Mobile Software Solution Limited and veteran ICT practitioner, Chris Uwaje explained that the MDG is a technology and education based Mobile Apps PsychoGame designed to save future generations from the malaria pandemic in Nigeria and across the African subregion by eradicating mosquitoes and by extension, the destruction of malaria. Uwaje, while addressing IT journalists ahead of the pro-

to deploy and apply technology capability to reach millions of people world-wide and destroy Malaria more than any other solution that had ventured to date. The solution, Uwaje said hoped to bring more to intuition the awareness on how to fight mosquitoes from the environment thereby preventing malaria and early death of African children. To amplify this concern and critical message, Mobile Software Solution, he said would unveil Prof. Pat Utomi of Centre for Values and Leadership (CVL) as the MDGTM Face of Africa at the Institute of International Affairs on February 6. The product, a full graphics animated mobile game, which runs across all mobile platforms (Apple IOS, Andriod, Blackberry, Symbian and others).

(ISPON), will be deployed online to reach 50-250 million Mobile Phones and offline on PC and Tablets to reach 20-50 million students in our Tertiary Institutions in Africa. MDGTM is the ultimate malaria monster killer of our time. Now its time for Software Nigeria to respond and we have spoken – telling our story by ourselves.

Uwaje

operators earnings, “so if an opportunity comes to us to optimise cost, especially power, we will jump at it.” The Airtel boss, who said that voice still accounted for about 70 to 80 per cent of their revenues, added that data held much revenue power for the future. He noted that it was cheaper to use power from the grid than generating it. A telecoms analyst, Kehinde Aluko explained that the recent degradation in national grid power supply had increased the pressure on generators, increased maintenance costs and outstripped local market capacity for supply of generators to telecoms operators. Aluko noted that rising running costs, widespread diesel pilferage and a myriad of state taxes, were taking a massive toll on the cash flow of mobile networks, adding that from investigation, security officials monitoring telecoms towers also estimated that around 15-20 per cent of total diesel consumption was pilfered. This move for improved power supply to the service providers was further confirmed by the Country Manager Ericsson Nigeria, Kamar

Abass, in an interview with journalists, saying that lack of power supply was a fundamental drawback to achieving superior QoS in the country. “Many operators are thinking about talking to the Discos to address the problem. If you think about Lagos, Abuja and a few other big cities, if you had dedicated generation facilities in those locations, plus the transmission to the cell sites which are mostly in the urban areas, that would solve a significant part of the problem,” he added. According to reports from the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), in 2012, mobile operators spent about N45.9 billion to fuel generators that power cell sites. A former President of ATCON, Titi Omo-Ettu had said in 2012 that the challenge of power supply and the harsh business environment in the country had led to the collapse of about 45 per cent of indigenous Information Communications Technology businesses. Omo-Ettu, who disclosed this, said that 65 ICT companies were currently “under

lock and key.” He said that about 145 indigenous operators were licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission and registered by ATCON, but that 65 of the businesses had gone under due to what he called the “vicissitudes of the business environment.” Indeed, analysts said that intense pressure from the telecoms regulator and holders of Nigeria’s 120 million mobile lines to improve Quality of Service (QoS) levels had compelled Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to look in this direction. The GSMA estimates that over 81 per cent of mobile operators’ on-grid sites suffer power outages for up to six hours a day. This situation, according to them, contributed immensely to poor QoS rendered by operators to customers on their respective networks. There are currently 11 Discos spread out across the country, and 10 of them have been fully privatised. An informed source in one of the Discos in Lagos, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that they would be open to such discussion.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

26 i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Apps development to generate $77b revenues by 2017 By Adeyemi Adepetun new research by Gartner has said that by 2017, while mobile users would provide personalised data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day, with over 268 billion downloads, this would create a revenue base of over $77 billion across all frontiers. This, according to Gartner, would make apps one of the most popular computing tools for users across the globe. According to the Research Director at Gartner, Brian Blau, mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers. “This connection to consumer services means users are constantly funnelling data through mobile apps. As users continue to adopt and interact with apps, it is their data – what they say, what they do, where they go – that is transforming the app interaction paradigm.” Quicker than you can say ‘paradigm shift’, Gartner believes that in the next three to four years, apps will no longer be simply confined to smartphones and tablets, but will impact a wider set of devices, from home appliances to cars and wearable devices. “While wearable devices will not fully rely on, or be a slave to, mobile devices, it is a way for manufacturers to keep these devices small and efficient, therefore significantly reducing device costs in favour of using apps, which are more easily maintained and updated.

A

“Taking the example of a fitness-tracking device, ultimately its onboard data will need to be uploaded into the cloud, processed, and then analyzed in reporting back to the user. Apps are an obvious and convenient platform to enable great products and services to be developed,” said Blau. App users are providing vast quantities of data and often accept advertising or data connectivity in exchange for access. Gartner believes mobile apps are becoming a vehicle for “cognizant computing”, in which the data gathered through the use of the apps and the analytics around it are becoming more important in both volume and value. For the Research Director at Gartner, Sandy Shen “Cognizant computing takes intelligent actions on behalf of users based on their historical data, preferences and rule. “It can predict user needs and complete tasks without users initiating the action or interfering with the service. It can take the very simplistic format of completing a recurring event such as to turn on the water heater at a preset time, or the more sophisticated format of calling the rescue services and connecting with the doctor when an emergency occurs.” Shen said that large service providers such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple were likely to have a head start in this market due to the relationship they already have with consumers, which provides them with a large repository of user data that they can analyse and predict — a key asset in cognizant computing.

Etisalat partners Thistle Praxis on sustainable conversation ability,” and would feature Prof Pai N continuance of its commitment to Consulting Limited, Ini Onuk said the corporate social responsibility and sus- Obanya as Lead Discussant. Itainable quarterly thought leadership is focusing Director, Brands and Communicanational development, the on education because economies across fastest growing and most innovative telecommunications services provider in Nigeria, Etisalat has partnered ThistlePraxis Consulting for the fourth edition of the thought leadership session, Sustainable Conversations slated for February 8, 2014 in Lagos. Sustainable Conversations is a quarterly thought leadership breakfast series that focuses on policy formation, and private/public synergies in the attainment of development for Nigeria. This quarter’s discussion is themed “Education: Building Viable Frameworks for Sustain-

tions, Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye said the company is pleased to support this initiative because “it addresses critical sectors that require urgent attention and intervention.” According to him, “Etisalat is throwing its weight behind this initiative because it would help address the critical needs of education via intellectual and analytical discussions that would point the way forward, assisting those who can and would want to intervene to know where to channel their resources to the benefit of the education sector.” Lead Consultant/CEO of ThistlePraxis

Africa recorded weak investment in education in the 1980s and this has had a negative impacted on the quality of education and the infrastructure needed to sustain knowledge. “Reversing this trend and investing in Africa’s people point to a central nexus: redevelopment in Africa’s higher education sector. If Nigeria must move out of its current situation, the private sector must support through the funding of intellectual research and inventions, and be a source for collaboration and sustainable partnerships”, she said.

Nokia increases market share with new devices OKIA has expanded its along with other popular chat N range of Asha devices with and messaging apps already the addition of three new phones known as the Nokia Asha ICE range; Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503, which come encased in a beautiful crystal layer. The devices launched in Lagos, Abuja, Benin and Port Harcourt simultaneously at the weekend, feature a new unique innovation known as layered design, achieved using the ‘dual shot’ technique which is unique to Nokia. It combines an inner layer of bold, bright colour surrounded by crystal-clear transparency. The combination adds a distinctive look to the phone’s monobody design, as well as durability. Head of Marketing, Nokia West and Central Africa, Deborah Shepard said that the new devices would be available for Nigerian customers in Easy Swap dual SIM and single SIM variants. She noted that the Easy Swap Dual SIM technology which was unique-toNokia allowed people to switch between SIM cards on the go, to get better tariffs or alternate between SIM cards for SMS, voice and data, without having to turn off the device. “In addition to the stunning new look, the Asha ICE range boast of new features and apps that will impress our customers such as the amazing swipe feature that enables people take pictures with a single swipe and share instantly on their social network with a simple tap, its colourful variants and most importantly, its affordability. For the first time, WhatsApp will also be available to Asha Platform devices

available for Asha Platform devices, such as WeChat, Line, eBuddy and Nimbuzz,” Shepard added. While the Asha 503 will be available as single SIM device, the Asha 500 and 502 will also be available in single SIM and Easy Swap dual SIM. The devices feature the updated Fastlane home screen, a unique, second screen that acts as a shortcut to the phone’s recently accessed apps, features and content, as well as future activity, such as calendar appointments. The updated screen enables live updates, which alert people to new activity through notifications on Fastlane. By clicking on the Fastlane item with new notifications, people will be directed to the relevant post, so they never miss an important update. Fastlane can be further personalised and made more private by selecting what content can appear on-screen, and by deleting unwanted Fastlane items,


i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, February 5, 2014 27

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Glo subscribers to get free 800MB data in new promo ATIONAL telecoms operator, Globacom has launched a N new high-speed Internet data promo that will instantly give double data bonus to subscribers on the network. Dubbed My Phone Double Promo, the offer will enable Glo subscribers on the My Phone Bolt plan to get more data volume to browse the Internet and download or upload data. According to Globacom’s Marketing Coordinator, Adeniyi Olukoya, with the promo, subscribers on the My Phone Bolt plan who would have received 800MB of data at the price of N2,000 will now get a double data volume of 1,600MB valid for 30 days at the same price of N2,000. “This is a great promo from Globacom designed to ensure that we deliver more value to our Glo Bolt subscribers in the New Year. With double data volumes to browse the web, they will be able to do more, thereby becoming unlimited as they work towards achieving their dreams and aspirations for the future,” he said. Olukoya explained that the new plan works like any Bolt plan and shares all the Bolt attributes as it is giftable, shareable, auto renewable and available for prepaid and post-paid subscribers. He added that this is another way Globacom empowers upwardly mobile Nigerians to remain in constant touch with the world. He encouraged those who are not yet on the network to grab this great opportunity. “All they need to do is to walk into any Gloworld shop, buy a SIM, register it and choose My Phone data plan”, he said.

A data centre

Microsoft, MOMO, others partner to develop new techpreneurs By Bankole Orimisan S part of measures targeted at improving the economic deA velopment in Nigeria and other African countries, software giant, Microsoft has joined forces with Mobile Monday Nigeria, Nokia and Verve to develop a new crop of techpreneurs with the launch of the first DevCon Alpha competition. The contest which aims to bring together app developers and designers (called Devigners) to create locally relevant, visually appealing and commercially viable apps developed on either Windows 8 Mobile or Windows Phone platforms is open to three categories of entries; existing apps from Devigners and retailers that meet the eligibility criteria and available for showcase at the closing event; apps from local Devigners that meet the contests assessment criteria and are registered in the Windows App Store; proof of concept demos from Devigners who have conceptual models of applications that can meet the DevCon criteria.

Microsoft’s partnership with Mobile Monday Nigeria is a result of the company’s 4Afrika initiative aimed at providing Africans with world class skills, access and innovation. These aims were highlighted during the DevCon Alpha launch event by Developer and Evangelism Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Oyeshina Oyetosho, where he added, “we decided to participate in the project because we noticed there is a gap in the technology ecosystem. To help close the gap, we are giving trainings, offering free access in as many ways as we can to enable developers create applications that are usable, scalable, visually appealing, locally relevant and more importantly, challenge them to monetise their creativity which we trust will make them employers of labour. This way, they can contribute their quota to the growth of the Nigerian economy”. Explaining the rationale for the project, Chairman, Mobile Money Nigeria, Tomi Davies said, “Our vision is to see Nigeria

become a key player in the technology space and what better way to achieve this than by getting our youth to create apps on the Windows platform that will compete with those of their foreign counterparts. With DevCon Alpha, we hope to begin the development of a new generation of Nigerians that will challenge the domination of foreign players in the Nigerian software market.” Speaking earlier at the event, Country Manager Verve International Oremeyi Akah said the effort is line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s push for a cash-less policy as well as offer commercial support to those developers with fantastic ideas to enable them compete internationally while solving local demands. While fielding questions at the event, Emmanuel Oluwatosin, Developer Experience Lead at Nokia West Africa explained that the competition will run for 4 weeks and the prizes of over $300,000 include marketing support for the winners.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

28 i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IBM study identifies how Africa business can overcome technology gap By Bankole Orimisan ESEARCH reveals common challenges preventing IT progress in Africa recommends steps to overcome technology roadblocks. IBM has announced the results of a new study entitled ‘Setting the pace in Africa: How IT leaders deliver on the potential of emerging technologies’, which found that while nearly 87 per cent of African IT leaders rank new technologies such as analytics, cloud, mobile and social media as being critical to business success, only 53 per cent are pushing forward with adoption. IBM’s survey findings also confirmed that 36 per cent of the African businesses embracing emerging technologies could be considered “Pacesetters” amongst their peers in terms of their focus on prioritising and rapidly adopting technologies.

R

Infinix Mobility launches Valentine promo NFINIX Mobility, a global player in the manufacturing of Imotion trendy Smartphones, has launched a valentine consumer protagged “Share the Love Promo”. The Promo, which runs between January 27 and February 12, is designed to reward the customers of Infinix phones for the Valentine season. The grand prize of the promo is an all-expense paid weekend getaway for a couple at a beautiful resort. Other prizes include a dinner for a couple at an exquisite Chinese restaurant and free movie tickets as consolation prizes. To qualify for this promo, a consumer needs to buy any of the Infinix smartphones: X502 (Alpha Marvel), X402 (Alpha Diamond) or X570 (Alpha); write a short love note to their partner, post the love note on the Infinix Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Infinix Mobile) or drop with an Infinix in-store rep while indicating the IMEI of the phone bought and their contact details. Customers with the highest likes on facebook and the customer with the best love note submitted at the Infinix in-stores will be selected. Winners will be contacted on February 13th to redeem their prizes. While speaking on the newly-launched promo, Infinix Mobility Head of Marketing, Peter Zhou said the brand believes in the strengthening of relationships and therefore wants to use the opportunity of the valentine season to re-ignite bonds between couples. “Infinix Mobility brand promise is to add fun to the way consumers communicate, work and play. In furtherance of this belief, we have designed this promo to encourage consumers to connect better with their spouses. If you look at the promo prizes —- weekend getaway, dinner for a couple and movie tickets to the cinema, they were carefully selected to re-enact their love flame. We encourage the consumers to buy the Infinix smartphones and they could be the promo lucky winners,” he added.

The survey of 180 Africa-based IT leaders across 29 industries in Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco was conducted by IBM’s Center for Applied Insights, in collaboration with the IBM Centre for CIO Leadership. African economies are expected to sustain high levels of economic growth over the next decade, boosting consumer-facing industries by an estimated $400 billion by 2020. Sectors pegged for growth include retail/wholesale, retail banking, telecommunications and tourism. This represents an enormous opportunity for African businesses – if they are prepared to seize it. However, the IBM study found that a lack of technology adoption is preventing many African businesses from achieving growth and progress. “The primary reasons for not moving on adoption were a need for technology leaders to play a greater role in strategic business leadership, a lack of IT skills development across the continent, and information security concerns,” said IBM General Manager for East Africa, Nicholas Nesbitt. African businesses identified as Pacesetters in the IBM survey take a very different approach to addressing IT concerns. For example, 85 per cent of Pacesetters link IT investments to business outcomes, compared with 67 per cent of their peers.

79 per cent of Pacesetters use metrics and scorecards to assess IT risk, compared to 46 per cent of their peers. 46 per cent of Pacesetters develop IT skills to meet future business needs, compared to 26 per cent of their peers. Forward-thinking African companies have found ways to empower their IT leaders through a cultural shift, the report adds. The Pacesetters also garner management support and view IT as integral to business strategy, not just a supporting player in the company’s success. This level of internal engagement requires clear, open communication and collaboration between IT leaders and their business peers, something the Pacesetters do 40 per cent more often, according to the IBM survey. “Africa is characterised by an innovative mindset and a billionstrong market ready for innovative products and solutions,” Nesbitt said. “Regardless of individual realities, the opportunity for business growth through IT adoption cannot be denied. The Pacesetters in Africa’s business community have seen the potential and taken action to help them realise it. With the right strategy, their peers can follow suit.”

EMC expands scope, unveils educational service centers in Nigeria By Bankole Orimisan EADING IT provider in storage hardware solutions that promote data backup and recovery and accelerate the journey to cloud computing, EMC, has created more space of its operations in Nigeria in support the growing market demand and customers needs in the country. The company is extending its educational services offering to clients in Nigeria through a brand new local training centre that will enhance customers’ readiness and ability to redefine their IT application and usage. Speaking during a news conference held in Lagos recently, Adrian McDonald, president of EMC Europe, Middle East and Africa EMC said that the expansion of its operations with the opening of a new office in Lagos had become important following the country’s position in the African IT market. He said: “The expansion of EMC’s operations in Nigeria has become imperative in light of the consistent growth of the local economy.  In addition, with 2014 set to see unprecedented change in the technology industry as one era of computing gives way to the next – built on mobile, social networking, cloud services and Big Data analytics technologies – Nigerian businesses are looking for the tools and support to help them manage this challenge and redefine the delivery of IT so that it becomes a truly competitive advantage to their business.” Another key element of EMC’s expansion in Nigeria is the launch of its new training centre in Lagos, which will deliver a comprehensive range of leading edge IT courses to businesses, channel partners and service providers, as well as EMC employees.

L

The regional manager for English Speaking West Africa, EMC, Mr. Rasheed Jimoh, described the Nigerian market as, “growing fast and technology needs are evolving as business leaders increasingly look to IT to help enable, drive and lead their strategic initiatives.  Many organisations have recognised the need to invest in cloud computing, Big Data analytics and information security solutions. EMC is keen to bring the knowledge transfer closer to Nigeria’s and West Africa professionals through our Educational Services Programs and to help our customers to effectively lead their IT and business transformation.” The company said that the courses would cover a range of systems and solutions such as EMC VNX Series high-performing unified storage, Data Domain protection storage for back-up and archive, NetWorker back-up and recovery software, VMAX enterprise storage systems, VMware, Big Data analytics and cloud computing. The training centre will host up to eight courses each quarter, catering for approximately 200 attendees from Nigeria and West Africa throughout its first year of operation. Nazim Fraijat, managing director for EMC in Levant and Emerging Africa, added that “Globally there is a fast-growing knowledge gap in the area of information storage and analytics, due in part to the rapid adoption of virtualization technologies and the emergence of cloud computing infrastructure at a rate much higher than that of the available skills in the market. Across the world organisations and IT professionals are being challenged to meet evolving business and strategic requirements, while controlling explosive data growth.”


i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, February 5, 2014 29

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

LTE deployments drive handheld, portable test equipment HE global handheld and T portable test equipment market is expected to witness technological changes and rapid growth, as the focus of end-user industries shifts to battery-operated, integrated test equipment. Improvements made in battery technology also make handheld and portable instruments more attractive. Furthermore, LTE deployments across the world will bolster the market growth as RF handheld instruments are increasingly used in installation & maintenance applications in the fields of air interfaces, access networks and network performance. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenue of $2.11 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach $2.95 billion in 2019. “The explosive growth of wireless data and the expansion of next-generation LTE, 3G and 4G wireless networks in several countries boost the use of handheld and portable instruments in field applications,” said Frost & Sullivan Measurement and Instrumentation Industry Manager Sujan Sami. “Radio frequency handheld instruments, in particular, are increasingly used in the installation and maintenance applications of air interfaces, access networks, and network performance.” However, several customers are opting for low-cost products from Chinese test vendors to reduce capital expenditure, thereby hurting the prospects of established suppliers. In fact, a number of

these Chinese companies have lifted their standards to meet customer expectations making inroads into thirdworld countries, like Egypt and Taiwan. Moreover, the continuing downturn in Europe and the bleak economic environment in Japan due to the recent nuclear disaster, limit investments in handheld and portable test equipment in these regions. As a result, global vendors will be com-

pelled to decrease prices to remain competitive. “Providing low-cost solutions that also cater to ever-growing customer needs is the key for success in this market,” iterated Sami. “Apart from enhancing the features and functionalities of handheld and portable instruments, product differentiation and brand recognition will be crucial to widen their use, especially in R&D labs.”

Terragon explores digital opportunities at 2014 MWC in Barcelona ERRAGON Group, a new T medium company in Africa is billed to have an exhibition at the upcoming Global Systems Mobile Association (GSMA) Mobile World Congress holding in Barcelona, Spain from the February 24th to 27th. Terragon, in a statement claimed that it would be the only indigenously owned Nigerian company to exhibit at the conference, which attracts the biggest players in mobile telecommunications services from across the globe. Speaking on this development, the Managing Director of Terragon Group, Elo Umeh said, “We are excited at this milestone of not only participating in the GSMA Mobile World Congress but also confident of the global competiveness of the business we have built over the last four

years. Our bouquet of services will be attractive to the international audience who are increasingly seeking innovative services, consumer insights and excellent execution, all of which we offer and have an excellent track record of service delivery within Africa. Our participation is also a reflection of the development that is coming from within the industry in Africa and the Mobile World Congress is a great opportunity to tell the story of the unprecedented growth in the Mobile industry in Africa.” Umeh added that Terragon would be showcasing its three business units each of which focuses on different facets of the digital and new media sphere ranging from Mobile advertising, content aggregation and distribution to digital media marketing and consumer engagement.


30 i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

‘Govt support critical to telecoms services’ growth’ Kamar Abass is Country Manager of Ericsson Nigeria, effective August 1, 2012. Abass joined Ericsson in 2008 as the vice-president, Marketing & Business Development for one of the organisation’s largest global customer accounts. Prior to joining Ericsson, he held various senior positions at Vodafone Group, FirstMark Communications, BT Plc, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Buchanan & Partners. In this interview with ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, he bares his mind on why quality of service remains a challenge in Nigeria, among other issues. Excerpts. AN you describe Ericsson’s operations in Nigeria and C other West African countries in 2013? My reflections on 2013 were that it was a steady year and there were a number of big formative things that were done to set the industry on a footing for growth, which will continue and potentially accelerate this year. We ended the year announcing a major Managed Services contract with MTN. This is indicative of an important trend in the Nigerian telecommunications industry, which saw a number of third party support engagements announced. We are building a very formidable ecosystem in the telecoms space where we have major companies taking major parts of the undertakings that have been for a long time considered core activities by the mobile operators. There was a strong growth in the number of customers through the year. Operators gained a very significant number of customers last year and of course, we saw quality of service staying top of the agenda and noted that operators are working hard to keep up with the demand. Data remains to come of age in Nigeria. There are data handsets and of course 3G services out there. Each operator has a well-developed 3G offering and some exciting pricing but there is still some way to go in terms of full penetration and use of data, which remains something that we look forward to in 2014. What do you think has been the greatest challenge confronting telecoms operators over quality of services? We are very conscious of the fact that they have done well since their inception in 2001to date in the areas of voice telephony, increase in subscriber number. We are also aware that they did not achieve this without some underground operations by some vendors like Ericsson providing important services. To what extent is Ericsson part of this success story that we are celebrating today in the area of voice telephony and service provision? We are the leader in second, third and fourth generation technology, 2G is predominantly voice in addition to something we call GPRS or EDGE which is lower speed data and we have provided that technology to many of the operators today (and so it’s an important part of their development). When digital telephony started in Nigeria in 2001 we were here and had operated successfully for many years, so we were natural partners of choice for many of the operators. We continue to do valuable work for them today. Today, our business is more balanced between, on the one hand technology, selling hardware, and the other hand, selling services. There is a balance between the two businesses. So that is a slight change from where we were back in the early years but we expect both directions to grow. We will continue to provide hardware and services to our customers. In addition to that, we also provide counsel to our customers, government, and regulators about what is best practice in the industry. We share what we have seen work particularly well in other countries and how we see the best examples of what has worked in other countries being applied successfully to Nigeria. As you rightly said that the industry had come a long way. We have seen a lot of improvement in the last 13 years in the kind of service operators give to subscribers. We have also seen an evolution of technology, 2G, 3G, 4G even 5G. What are the customers experience giving this transition of technology in Nigeria? Let’s start with where it was, I have often remarked about how I would walk 20 minutes to the telephone room to make a phone call home when I was in the University of Nigeria. These days, I find myself having my phone sitting on my laps so that I do not have to stretch my arm just half a metre to grab my phone. I think that is a wrong place for it but that is the nature of how accessible it is today. The fundamental part of mobile technology is that you are now calling a person not a place where you hoped that there would be someone in the vicinity of that phone. So that is a big change. Nigeria is a place where we talk and engage a lot. You will not be surprised to hear that the talking time in Nigeria is in fact among the highest in Africa It is roughly 150 minutes per SIM. It’s bigger in places like America where there is a different economic set up but 150 minutes is a very high number. So in spite of what may seem as challenges, there is still very strong demand for services. Growing to 119 million customers, the number for end of Q3, is a pretty formidable accomplishment. If we think back the days before 2000, teledensity never got into double figures whereas in the space of a mere 10 years even 5 years, there were millions and millions of people who had access to telephony. They could reach any one on the face of the earth with the handset in their hand.

Abass With all of that said, I think it’s worth stressing that many customers express a level of frustration. When designing the mobile network, you put in all the capacity you need for the most intensive demand. The point at which you estimate that demand will be highest is what you have to build your network for. For example, if everybody wants to have dinner at one time and there are 10 of you in the house, your dining table must have 10 chairs but it means that apart from the once in a month dinner for everybody, the table may not be fully used. That is the same for mobile networks. Mobile networks are dimensioned for the most intensive demand and most of the time that network is empty. I mean something like 20 per cent of all cell sites. It doesn’t matter which network. Somewhere between 20 per cent, at most, 25 per cent of all cell sites can be described as heavily used while the rest of the network is less heavily used. This is where the QoS issue comes in. Most times it really is guesswork. Well, educated guesses, guesses proven over time. But it is guess work about how you should dimension your network, and that is the challenge. And sometimes you see that there is a lot of density of people in a particular location, a lot of density in calling activity and then quality of service falls off. Unfortunately, it is those times that stick to the mind and condition our thinking. One of the real problems about where the QoS issue originates from is the legacy. When the licences were given, there was really limited backbone transmission. What happens is that, you decide where you want to cover and the next thing you do is build a transmission network so that information can travel from one site through a local hub, onto a backbone network and terminate on the other side of the extreme end. That did not exist in any meaningful sense, so it had to be built. MTN first built the Y’ellobhan, a microwave network until they encountered the difficulty with Harmattan and the winds, which obscure microwave and interfere with it. So they had to start building fibre. But fibre has its own problems in a developing country that is fast changing. Fibre all too frequently gets dug up or cut amongst changes in the landscape and so that disruption is very significant. Creating that transmission network and maintaining it remains a challenge till this day because fibre is not as readily available as people would like it to be but also where it is available it quickly gets undermined. But the other thing is that it is an enormous cost and an operational complexity. When I worked in Europe we managed spare parts for Vodafone and Vodafone had in the scope of the area we covered about 80,000 to 90,000 cell sites across seven different countries in Europe. For each of those sites, we had to hold about six or seven spare parts for each site in stock. That means we had somewhere in the region of 700,000 spare parts and a small number of those about two per cent or three per cent of those sites required external power. If you think about Nigeria 100 per cent of cell sites need alternative power source. In fact, most of them need an alternative for their alternative. So that means we are talking two diesel generators and extra batteries. That means that you consider having spare parts for all the cell sites, then you add on the parts for the generators, plus the fuelling of the generator. It just adds complexity to the point where this thing is so expensive. Frankly it’s a miracle that QoS is at the level that it is today because when one cell site goes down because of power particularly 3G sites, all the other cell sites have to expand to fill the space. When they expand, they take up more customers and the site therefore suffers because the density of customers on the site is so great that they start having QoS issues. These are the things responsible for the enormous amount of difficulties; lack of a backbone in place prior to 2000 and the need for the operators to build the backbone themselves,

and secondly the lack of power and many things going wrong. What happens when a fibre gets cut? Someone has to go there to fix it and in many cases, you need to go with security. There are some places you will not go to if the network goes down at odd hours in the night. You would have to find security, make sure you have the right spare parts, the right expertise to do the work before heading to the site. All of this work means that there are multiple points where things can go wrong. There is an enormously demanding challenge which frankly I think the operators are meeting very well and the fact that you can bring any telephone into Nigeria, slip any SIM in and begin to make a call is a fantastic achievement looking at the time we have had to do this. To improve quality there are some basic things to do. If we can improve access to power, that will solve a lot of the problems. Many of the operators are already thinking about talking to the distribution companies and doing something about it. If you think about Lagos and Abuja and few other big cities, if we had dedicated generation facilities in those cities plus transmission to the cell sites which are mostly in urban areas, that will solve a significant part of the problem and already the operators are thinking about this. I am not sure how much they are cooperating between each other but they are thinking about how they can work with the Disco’s and generating companies to get more secure access to power for their sites because burning diesel is the most single inefficient way to generate power. If you have natural gas based power from power stations delivered to sites, that will not only improve your efficiency but it will improve your availability on the site and it’s much more cost effective too. The second thing is in the area of transmission networks. I think that the government is doing some very sensible things. There is a ruling on sharing fibre infrastructure and not simply replicating it, which makes sense. I think there are some bottleneck areas where because of the nature of the bottleneck, it is hard to get a cost efficient price for access to fibre. So generally speaking, the open access arrangement is sensible because they provide for people to share. It is in a lot of people’s interest to have them share fibre because of the enormous capacity in it. All these issues mentioned above, have you ever sat with the operators advising them on what to do? Obviously the operators know this and it’s being addressed because they are talking to us all the time about it. The problem is that the bigger networks have more points of failure and that means it’s a bigger and more complex job to do. MTN has around 10, 000 base stations and that means 10, 000 more points of failure, in fact in every base station, there are about 3 to 4 points of failure and Etisalat has half the number of base stations and one third of the number of customers. Etisalat has a formidable challenge and they have done a very good job in building the network up to the standard it has gotten to. Just that MTN has a bigger problem and they also have to think carefully because there are areas in the network that you have to judge; how much capacity do I need? How many customers do I need to serve at peak period? This is just the first issue. The second one is how much service do the customers want to use each? What capacity do the operators want to give during the peak hour and that is based on what the customers want to do in the peak hour. These days, it’s a lot of things. They want to make a call, want to send a message on their blackberry, follow a link, do some research on the web, look at pictures, and watch a movie on YouTube. All these have their bandwidth demands and the level of demand is growing so fast and the operators are running as hard as they can. If somebody comes to us and says, build me a thousand sites we will be able to say yes, but if they say build me a thousand sites in a month, however much we wanted to, it will be hard. Now in Europe, we can do 500 a week. But in Nigeria, we can probably do 1, 000 may be 1, 500 a year which is a challenge, because here, the roads are not easy to travel, getting things into the country is more challenging, so is making the relevant people available, and we are training people as fast as we can. There is maturity in the industry, which will come and that maturity will give us more scale but right now, we are running as quickly as we can. We are all at the capacity of what we can do with the resources we have at the moment. You talked about alternative power supply, looking at Nigeria’s environment, what source of power supply do you think will fit into the system? I would like to think that if the baseline is diesel generators then I think that the easiest next step is really thinking about how to do a partnership with the generating companies and the discos to access power and then deliver them to the cell sites. In many of our sites we have blue batteries, which are high capacity batteries that hold the power for a long time without too many loses. In some instances we can use solar. We are hundred miles north of the equator so solar may make sense. For solar however, it is not very clever with the high capacity system. Solar is usually used where there are low energy base stations for small distances. We have not found solar to work effectively where you have got high demand of 300 to 400 watts. You will need a solar panel which is the size of a whole plot to drive a full power base station and that just doesn’t scale. For the small site, we call them rural coverage site where you want to cover two or three small villages then you can put up a low power base station with a limited reach and that will be sufficient. You have that with the battery system. This solution uses about 30 to 40 watts compared to ten times that for a full size base station.


i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, February 5, 2014 31

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

MultiChoice launches DStv Acada scheme ULTICHOICE, leading M provider of premium pay-TV on the DStv and GOtv platforms, has launched the DStv Acada Scheme, in furtherance of its effort to enrich lives. The DSTV Acada Scheme is a youth enterprise initiative, with the objective of tapping into young minds, in order to offer them an opportunity to jump start their entrepreneurial abilities. Speaking on the initiative, Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe said the scheme is a youth empowerment programme designed to assist our youth, to be economically independent. “We recognize that the Nigerian youth are the bedrock of tomorrow. They represent the collective dreams of a stable and prosperous society where business and productivity thrive.” he said. Ugbe explained that the DStv Acada initiative will give potential young entrepreneurs an opportunity to market MultiChoice products and generate funds for themselves. “In essence, these young entrepreneurs will build on our work with the youth sector to help close the generational enterprise gap” he remarked. While stating that the programme is geared towards developing the sales skills, of these young entrepreneurs,, the General Manager Marketing and Sales, MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho noted; “by the end of the calendar year we would have enabled an estimated 20 000 youth gain

President, Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN), Mrs. Martha Alade (left); Head of Department, Information and Communications Technology Unit, Our Lady of Nigeria Secondary School, Oghara, Isaac Osunde-Owie, and Principal of the school, Rev. Sr. Antoinette Opara, at the Technovation Challenge Hack Day, held in Oghara Delta State.

Facebook revenue surges 63% on strong ad sales OCIAL networking giant Sprofits Facebook has reported of $523m (£316m) and a 63 per cent increase in revenue for the fourth quarter, beating expectations. The boost in revenue was mostly due to stronger mobile advertising sales, a priority of boss Mark Zuckerberg. Advertising revenue increased 76 per cent from the same period last year, with more than half of that coming from mobile. Overall, Facebook said it had

757 million daily global users as of December 2013. For the full year for 2013, Facebook reported profits of $1.5bn and said its daily active users grew by 22 per cent. “It was a great end to the year for Facebook,” said Zuckerberg in a statement. “We’re looking forward to our next decade and to helping connect the rest of the world.” Facebook shares soared more than 10 per cent in after-hours trading on the

news. Facebook turns 10 years old next Tuesday, completing a remarkable transformation from a project started in Mr Zuckerberg’s student room to a global empire with more than 1.23 billion monthly users. Two years ago, Facebook had no revenue from mobile advertising sales. Since then, the firm has made a concerted push to spruce up its mobile app in order to woo users and advertisers.

Nigeria hosts 2014 World Electronics Forum HE Board of Directors of the T World Electronics Forum (WEF), through Consumer Electronics and Technologies Industry Association (CETIA) of Africa, has granted the Country Hosting Right (CHR) for the 19th World Electronics Forum 2014 to Nigeria. WEF has also nominated Digital Africa Global Consult Limited, headed by Dr. Evans E. Woherem, as the event organizer. The 19th World Electronics Forum is therefore to be held alongside Digital Africa 2014 in Lagos, from May 20-22, 2014. Digital Africa Global Consult is the promoter of the yearly Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition, aimed at helping Africa to transit from being merely a consumer to become a major producer of ICT products, services and innovations. WEF is the forum of CEOs and Directors of the global electronics industry associations of the leading economies of the world including USA, China, Japan, Germany, Britain, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Philippines, and Vietnam. The 18th edition was hosted by Vietnam in 2013, the 17th edition was held in Philippines in 2012, and the 16th edition has hosted by USA in 2011. President of WEF, Tony Smith, said “We look forward to bringing the decision makers of the world ICT and consumer electronics industry to Nigeria this year, and we believe that this is

a tremendous opportunity for Nigeria and the rest of Africa”. He added, “Nigeria has demonstrated its vast investment potentials by becoming the largest telecom market in Africa and the Middle East. The major goal of the 19th World Electronics Forum is therefore to engage the African telecommunications and IT markets, using Nigeria as the window”. Chairman of Digital Africa Global Consult Limited, Dr. Evans Woherem, said “We are

very delighted to use our Digital Africa platform to bring the world’s leading technology stars not only to meet hundreds of credible business leaders and entrepreneurs drawn from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, South Africa and the rest of the continent”. He reiterated that, “When it comes to the digital industry today, Africa is the last frontier and the toast of the rest of the world”.

The Host Country and the Host City of the yearly WEF have the privilege to showcase their investment potentials and opportunities to the highest-level leadership of the global electronics industry, comprising the world leading manufacturers of computers, tablets, telecom equipment, mobile phone handsets and accessories, consumer electronics, automotive electronics, aviation electronics among others.

Kitskoo prepares businesses for disaster recovery ITSKOO Cloud Services, K Nigeria’s young cloud services company in partnership with    Microsoft, Resourcery, EMC, and leading IT solution provider is organizing a one day workshop tagged: “Is your organization ready for disaster recovery?” The event is designed for heads of Information Technology departments as well as Business Unit Heads with a responsibility for key business operations. Managing Director of Kitskoo Cloud Services, Tunde Fafunwa noted that corporate data and information loss across the globe has been increasing by more than 20 per cent every year since 2009. To make matters worse, it’s estimated that about 40 per cent of companies do not have a disaster recovery plan. This data unfortunately includes businesses in Nigeria. He noted that there is a glaring need to adequately prepare Nigerian business organizations for disaster recovery.  The session addresses this critical business need. He said, “We know that many large companies and organizations in Nigeria have a disaster recovery plan. How-

ever, based on Kitskoo’s extensive discussions with a large cross-section of CIO’s, we notice that most organizations are struggling to update, improve and implement a disaster recovery plan and in many cases, the existing plan or implementation process is incomplete or out of date.” “Our job is to provide companies with the necessary services (and products where required) to successfully complete and implement a disaster recovery plan, including ensuring the integrity and “fitness for purpose” of all the critical components. Some of these components include network, security, virtualization, applications, and business processes. All of these with the right application processes are needed to effectively prepare them for the unforeseen. Also speaking, Executive Director of Kitskoo Cloud Services, Monu Ogbe noted that disaster recovery plans and processes that help organizations prepare for disruptive events transcend a few backups scattered around the organization.


32 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 33


34 i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ThE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Big data for enhanced personnel insight By Adebayo Sanni hE dynamic nature of the modern job market is fuelling the need for deeper workforce insight across all levels of a business so that managers can make proactive personnel choices that will positively impact their operations.  Today, the foundation for informed decision making lies in the vast amounts of employee data that businesses collect each day. By linking the data collected from employee behaviour and analysing it in light of their business strategy as a whole, companies can promote long term success in an increasingly competitive environment. As the proliferation of internet and social media usage in the office continues to accelerate, the volume and unstructured nature of employee data that businesses are collecting makes it increasingly difficult to treat with pre-defined models or analyse in a constructive context. In order to make all this information actionable, hR managers must extract information from these diverse sources and correlate it back to their structured company metrics data, thus enabling the development of meaningful insight. An application that extends a business’s analytic capabilities by allowing it to unite both unstructured and structured data in this way can greatly enrich its long term hR vision.  The struggle to balance short-term cost obligations while keeping abreast of long term personnel issues is one of the major challenges facing today’s hR strategists. The more informed executives are about the future, the better equipped they are to handle delicate situations in the present, and this is where data analysis can serve another meaningful, highlevel purpose. For example, unstructured data on employee sentiment gathered from yearly performance reviews can be enriched, codified and mapped out against broader company data to highlight big-picture trends in employee performance and engagement. This information can then be factored into the development of effective personnel strategies.  With the capacity to apply useful structure to a large volume of loose information, hR executives can ask themselves important new questions concerning the current and future state of their business. Perhaps just as importantly, they can intuitively know where to find the answers to these queries quickly and efficiently. The level of introspection that this ability affords them promotes a more organic hR management process, as more insightful workforce analyses give rise to more frequent and more self-aware strategic planning. This deeper insight into employee performance promotes the development of forward-looking hR strategies that will help businesses meet both present and long term challenges with confidence. Sanni is the Country Director, Oracle, Nigeria

T

A network operating centre

African software star-ups get innovation grant offer ICROSOFT Corp. has announced the five African startups M to be awarded innovation grants designed to provide the financial support needed to cross borders and empower the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs in Africa. The grant is part of the company’s 4Afrika Initiative, which was launched in February 2013 to facilitate the company’s active engagement in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness. Last year, Microsoft 4Afrika extended the Microsoft Ventures partnership program to Africa, with startup accelerator 88mph as its first partner. Through the 4Afrika Initiative, Microsoft is now extending its support to include grants to startups, selecting five startups as the first set of recipients. The startups were selected based on the uniqueness and scalability of their solutions, their business models and the relevance of the key problems they are addressing. The solutions and apps developed by the startups are relevant to consumers and the African market, ranging from agriculture, education and consumer (gaming). These startups will receive funding: access.mobile LLC from Uganda. It is a solution with key focus in the agriculture and healthcare industries, giving enterprises the ability to collect, analyze and share clear, real-time information about their operations and supply chain activity. The second is Africa 118 from Kenya. It a mobile directory services solution that helps bridge the information gap both for enterprises and consumers. In third position is Gamsole from Nigeria. It a mobile game production company creating Windows games, with downloads topping more than four million. The fourth grant award goes to Kytabu from Kenya. It a textbook leasing application for low-cost tablets. Students can save more than 60 percent of their education cost by renting their

21st Century introduces document management solutions IGERIAN information technology firm, 21st Century N Technologies Limited, has developed indigenous records and information management solutions that offer companies secure and customised document storage and management. The solutions come in built physical records management, electronics records management, business intelligence and analytics, IT escrow services as well as cheques management, the firm said on Monday. Bank of Industry, one of Nigeria’s major development financing institutions, is currently leveraging the solution which guarantees better security, confidentiality, accessibility and compliance, it added. Backed by 21st Century Technologies’ IT human and technical framework, the solutions tackle challenges relating to document management and help firms to successfully outsource the complex records and document management cycle. The firm stressed, “21st Century Technologies’ document management solution reduces the cost of commercial property and the need to store documentation for instant retrieval, regulatory compliance means that paper-based document storage competes with people for space within an organisation.” The Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Wale Ajisebutu, was quoted as saying, “Retrieving documents stored as hard copies or on microfilm absorbs time. The solution creates electronic images of documents and stores them centrally. Less time is spent locating the documents as they can be retrieved without leaving a desk.” According to him, the solution also offers a flexible indexing allowing for improved, faster and more flexible search.

textbooks on an hourly, weekly, monthly, school term or annual plan. In fifth position is Save & Buy from Nigeria. It a Web and mobile platform that enables Nigerians to save toward the purchase of items conveniently and securely through e-commerce channels. In addition to grants, Microsoft will provide technical support and mentorship to help these startups develop their businesses through the company’s Center of Expertise. This group of Microsoft technology enthusiasts focuses on using Microsoft tools and technologies to solve business problems. The 4Afrika Initiative aims to help startups break through barriers and reach new heights with the help of Microsoft’s data platform solutions, unified communications, optimized desktops and enterprise project management. According to the Director of Startup Engagement and Partnerships for 4Afrika, Amrote Abdella, “as part of the 4Afrika initiative, we are excited to be supporting startups that have developed innovative solutions that address key issues in Africa. Our support is aimed to showcase the importance of local innovation, but, more important, it highlights the great potential that African innovators have in competing with world-class developers and entrepreneurs.” Chief Executive Officer of Gamsole, Abiola Olaniran, which has already developed some of the most popular Windows Phone games in Africa, said, “the Microsoft 4Afrika innovation grant provides a great support as it helps entrepreneurs to further bootstrap their companies without giving up equity or control. It allows us to not miss out on the kind of fast growth that only major cash infusion can provide.” To the General Manager for Microsoft 4Afrika, Fernando de Sousa, “a critical success factor in driving the economic success of entrepreneurs in Africa is access to capital together with a solid incubation foundation. Microsoft 4Afrika is partnering with local organizations in creating opportunities for ‘smart capital’ to be available to our young innovators.” he explained that smart capital combines access to finance, technical skills development, business mentoring, sharing of global best practices and access to markets with the infrastructure provided by local partners to enable world-class companies to emerge from Africa.

MTN promo winner recounts experience 25-year old higher National Diploma student of Bauchi State Polytechnic, Silas Daniel, who won N13 million in the on-going MTN Cash Smash Promo, said the chance has given him and the family a life time opportunity., bringing them back to prosperity. Speaking at the second prize presentation in the on-going nationwide promo in Abuja, Silas said “In fact, I am short of words, initially I couldn’t believe this, I lost my father barely two months ago, and things had been very difficult at home, we had been struggling with our finances. God has come in his miraculous way to use MTN to put us back on track. It is so unbelievable.” Also speaking at the event, Silas’ mother, Mrs. Josephine Daniel confirmed his son’s revelations. “It has not been easy since I lost my husband, God has used my son, Silas to put us back to life through MTN”, she declared. Also speaking at the event, on behalf of the telecommunications company, MTN Customer Care Manager, Abuja, Bashir Mohammed Gidado said that the company is committed to enriching the lives of its consumer in many positive ways. “One of our major principles at MTN is to enrich the lives of our teeming consumers, that is what we are further projecting through MTN Cash Smash” he said. Meanwhile, apart from the those presented with the grand prize of 13 million naira each, MTN said over 20 people were also rewarded with N2 million each while several others went home with twenty thousand naira each.

A

Okere, CWG boss inducts into ADA hE Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group Plc, Mr. Austin Okere, has been inducted into T the maiden Africa Digital Awards hall of Fame for his sterling contribution to Information and Communication Technology development in Nigeria and Africa. ADA hall is anchored by ICT Watch Africa Digital Network. In his speech at the ceremony, Okere highlighted the contributions of CWG to broadband penetration in Nigeria. he said the firm was working with the National Universities Commission and the World Bank to connect 29 universities to the information super highway through the Nigerian Research and Education Network project. he commended the activities of the Nigerian Broadband Council, as well as its target to increase broadband penetration in the immediate term to 10 per cent, and 25 per cent within the next five years. he also noted that the gap between the state governments and the telecoms operators in penetration strategy arising from Right of Way charges seems to be thawing, as the Lagos State Government under Governor Raji Fashola has seized the gauntlet by significantly slashing the perceived exorbitant fees.

EU group mulls ‘remote car-stopping device’ for police device that would enable police to stop vehicles remotely is A being considered by an EU-wide official working group, it has emerged. The feasibility of such technology is being examined by members of the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (Enlets). The technology could impact on both road safety and civil liberties. The BBC understands it would take several years for any such technical proposal to be drafted. One EU document, from December 4, sets out the Enlets 201420 work programme as including: “Remote Stopping Vehicles”. It says “this project will work on a technological solution that can be a ‘build in standard’ for all cars that enter the European market”. It is not clear what cost implications that would have for car makers. The work of Enlets is little known and has emerged in part through documents published by the civil liberties campaign group Statewatch. The December document points out that “cars on the run have proven to be dangerous for citizens” and “criminal offenders (from robbery to a simple theft) will take risks to escape after a crime. “In most cases the police are unable to chase the criminal due to the lack of efficient means to stop the vehicle safely. This project starts with the knowledge that insufficient technology tools are available to be used as part of a proportionate response.” So far there is no technical specification for the type of device that police forces may eventually use. Enlets is part of the EU Council’s Law Enforcement Working Party - an intergovernmental body helping police to fight serious and organised crime, in part by raising awareness of new technology.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

35

Focus Advancing children’s rights with new innovations By Chukwuma Muanya HE world will in November 2014 commemorate the 25th T anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and, in 2015, commemorate the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Both will be occasions to celebrate the progress made for children and to recommit to reaching the millions of children whose rights are not yet fulfilled. But a new report released last week by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) noted that reaching unreached children would require sharper focus on disparities. UNICEF declared that ‘every child counts’ and urged greater effort and innovation to identify and address the gaps that prevent the most disadvantaged of the world’s 2.2 billion children from enjoying their rights. The children’s agency also highlighted the importance of data in making progress for children and exposing the unequal access to services and protections that mars the lives of so many. The latest data released by UNICEF showed that in Nigeria, only 47 per cent of people who live in rural areas have access to improved drinking water against 75 per cent of people in the urban areas. According to the report titled “The State of the World’s Children 2014 In Numbers: Every Child Counts - Revealing disparities, advancing children’s rights,” the disparity continues even in Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence. The report noted that HIV prevalence among young girls is 1.3 per cent while only 0.7 per cent among boys. Access to education shows some disparity too in favour of boys. Net enrolment rate for boys into primary school is 60 per cent while for girls it is 55 per cent while net attendance is 72 per cent of boys and 68 per cent for girls. The latest UNICEF data noted that although vast progress has been made but reaching unreached children will require sharper focus on disparities. The report also bear witness to ongoing violations of children’s rights and called for greater effort and innovation to identify and address the gaps that prevent the most disadvantaged of the world’s 2.2 billion children from enjoying their rights. The children’s agency, in the report released yesterday, highlighted the importance of data in making progress for children and exposing the unequal access to services and protections that mars the lives of so many. Chief of UNICEF’s Data and Analytics Section, Tessa Wardlaw, said: “Data have made it possible to save and improve the lives of millions of children, especially the most deprived. Further progress can only be made if we know which children are the most neglected, where girls and boys are out of school, where disease is rampant or where basic sanitation is lacking.” The report noted that “being counted makes children visible, and this act of recognition makes it possible to address their needs and advance their rights.” It added that innovations in data collection, analysis and dissemination are making it possible to disaggregate data by such factors as location, wealth, sex, and ethnic or disability status, to include children who have been excluded or overlooked by broad averages. The report urged increased investment in innovations that right the wrong of exclusion. The report noted: “Overcoming exclusion begins with inclusive data. To improve the reach, availability and reliability of data on the deprivations with which children and their families contend, the tools of collection and analysis are constantly being modified – and new ones are being developed. This will require sustained investment and commitment.” Much of what is known about the situations of children comes from household surveys, and in particular the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS). Designed and supported by UNICEF, MICS are conducted by national statistical authorities and provide disaggregated data on a range of topics affecting children’s survival, development, rights and experience of life. To date, MICS surveys have been conducted in more than 100 countries. In the last round of MICS, interviews were completed in more than 650,000 households in 50 countries. According to the report, tremendous progress has been made since the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was signed in 1989 and in the run up to the culmination of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. UNICEF’s flagship report, The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers shows that: - Some 90 million children who would have died before reaching the age of 5 if child mortality rates had stuck at their 1990 level have, instead, lived. In large measure, this is because of progress in delivering immunizations, health, and water and sanitation services. - Improvements in nutrition have led to a 37 per cent drop in stunting since 1990. - Primary school enrolment has increased, even in the least developed countries: Whereas in 1990 only 53 in 100 children in those countries gained school admission, by 2011 the number had improved to 81 in 100. The report also noted ongoing violations of children’s rights: - Some 6.6 million children under 5 years of age died in 2012, mostly from preventable causes, in violation of their fundamental right to survive and develop. - Fifteen per cent of the world’s children are put to work that compromises their right to protection from economic exploitation and infringes on their right to learn and play.

Children of the world - Eleven per cent of girls are married before they turn 15, jeopardizing their rights to health, education and protection. Data also reveal gaps and inequities, showing the gains of development are unevenly distributed: - The world’s poorest children are nearly three (2.7) times less likely than the richest ones to have a skilled attendant at their birth, leaving them and their mothers at increased risk of birth-related complications. - In the Niger, all urban households but only 39 per cent of rural households have access to safe drinking water. - In Chad, for every 100 boys who enter secondary school, only 44 girls do – leaving them without an education and without protections and services that schools can provide. New approaches New tools and partnerships are yielding new ways to collect and share data and, in some cases, are testing old assumptions. In the absence of cost-effective, periodic and standardized water quality testing, the World Health Organization and UNICEF made ‘use of an improved water source’ a proxy for sustainable access to safe drinking water. The presence of a protected well makes it more likely that the water is safe – but until recently there was no way to be sure. Now that new, rapid, low-cost water quality testing kits are available, MICS and Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) are piloting a water quality module that will actually test households’ water for Escherichia coli. Similarly, household surveys use objective measurements to produce more accurate estimates of the prevalence of HIV and other health conditions. Previously, HIV prevalence was estimated mostly from sentinel surveillance systems that monitored pregnant women in antenatal care. In 2001, the Mali DHS included HIV testing – allowing prevalence estimates to be drawn from a nationally representative, population-based sample (now including men). This led the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and governments to adjust their official HIV prevalence estimates, and also improved understanding of the social, demographic and behavioural aspects of the pandemic. Mobile phone technologies are cutting the time it takes to assess and respond to situations affecting children. M-Trac, a health management information system in Uganda, uses text messages sent by health workers to alert public health officials to outbreaks of disease and to let them know how much medicine is on hand at health facilities so they can anticipate and resolve any shortages. Uganda also is home to Ureport, a text message-based means by which members of the public can lodge anonymous complaints about service delivery. Other efforts seek to extract useful information from satellite imagery, traffic sensors, social media, the blogosphere, online searches, mobile banking, hotline usage and other contributors to the hubbub of modern life. Numerous initiatives are exploring ways to mine such ‘big data’ for nuggets that can inform policymakers about people’s well-being and help them to pinpoint vulnerabilities. Different tools and methods will suit different purposes. Innovations in real-time data collection may not be suited to the job of monitoring global commitments, which requires nationally representative data collected in a standard format for comparison across countries and over time. But experiments like those above have the potential to solve problems at the local level. Children drive change Children are the experts on their own lives. They can contribute valuable knowledge to validate and enrich the evidence base – if

only they have a chance to be heard. They can also use knowledge that they obtain through research to effect change in their communities. Take the example of Kundapura Taluk, in India’s Karnataka state, where a dozen children drowned in unprotected irrigation areas during the 2012 monsoon. The Concerned for Working Children (CWC), a non- governmental child rights organization, reports that these deaths prompted children who survived the rains to map danger zones within the community. In the process, the children discovered that many ponds and ditches had been dug without the local government’s knowledge alongside paths frequented by children. Their findings led to the introduction of new mandatory guidelines on the use of safety enclosures, signboards and other low-cost ways to secure irrigation ponds. No further accidents were reported in 2012, and when the rains returned in 2013, not a single accident was reported in the community of more than 377,000 people. Innovations in data collection are opening new avenues for children’s participation. UNICEF, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, and Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters are developing a mapping platform that enables real-time data collection using web and mobile applications. Young people in low-income communities of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, have used mobile phones loaded with a Geographic Information System application to take geotagged photos documenting neighbourhood problems. In Rio, their vigilance has led to the removal of piled-up garbage and the repair of a bridge. Work by adolescents in Rio and in Port-au-Prince is ongoing, and in late 2013 the programme was expanded to Buenos Aires, Argentina. These examples represent significant victories for children. Children are using data to improve their own situation as well as the infrastructure and services used by their community as a whole. In the process, they are learning the power of evidence and gaining the confidence to advocate for their own rights. These examples involve serious but relatively straightforward issues. Other issues, like abuse, can be fraught with difficulty, and they highlight the need for safeguards. Although children are agents of knowledge and change when they participate in research, they are also vulnerable and dependent. They need to feel – and to be – safe and listened to. Adults involved in participatory research therefore have an obligation to ensure children’s safety and privacy. Children who disclose abuse must not be exposed to retribution by perpetrators, and children who have experienced traumatic events must not be pushed to talk about them more than is strictly necessary. Risks are worth taking only if the results benefit the child. UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. The UNICEF report reads: “Thirty years have passed since The State of the World’s Children began to publish tables of standardized global and national statistics aimed at providing a detailed picture of children’s circumstances. “Much has changed in the decades since the first indicators of child well-being were presented. But the basic idea has not: Credible data about children’s situations are critical to the improvement of their lives – and indispensable to realizing the rights of every child.


36

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Maritime NPA tasks employees on commitment to growth plan

By Moses Ebosele line with its five-year ItheNstrategic growth agenda, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has challenged employees to re-dedicate themselves to effective service delivery. Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi, who gave the charge recently at a one day seminal urged the corporation’s employees to ensure     steady growth, enhance productivity and improve efficiency at all levels. He identified employees as strategic partners in the growth plans, adding that members of the public especially stakeholders deserve the best performance from the employees. Abdullahi also used the opportunity to commend all those who contribute to the growth of the organisation over the years. In his remark, NPA’s Executive Director in charge of   Finance and Administration, Olumide Oduntan, described the oneday  seminar as  timely. According to him, the proposed five-year strategic

Umar

Abdullahi

Jonathan growth plan is expected to positively reposition the organisation for future challenges. Under the proposed growth plans, according to Oduntan, successive management of NPA will have a comprehensive document to work with, adding that terminal operators and other stakeholders are expected to benefit. In his opening remark, acting General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Planning, Femi Jegede

explained that strategic plan is a road map designed  to lead an organisation from where it is now to where it would be  in five or ten years. He described the development of a result-based accounting system as an essential first step, pointing out that the step taken by the management of NPA would bring a lasting change to the organisation in the next five years. Commenting on the five-year strategic development plan,

the Consultant, Bayo Shonibare emphasized that the implementation of the project would create a solid platform for the organisation and  stakeholders. The seminar was attended by General Managers, Port Managers, Assistant General Managers, and various heads of departments and divisions drawn from all locations of the Authority. Meanwhile, NPA has pledged to support the Kaduna Chamber of

Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA) on the Sponsorship of the 35th Kaduna Trade Fair. Abdullahi, who spoke recently when executive members of KACCIMA paid him a courtesy visit in Lagos, described Kaduna Trade Fair as one of the prestigious and pioneer Trade Fair in the north.   A press statement issued by Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs),       

Musa Iliya, quoted Abdullahi as saying that over the years, the fair has continued to attract major local and foreign investors The Managing Director thanked   KACCIMA‘s Executive for appreciating NPA’s consistent appearance at the Trade Fairs over the years, adding that  the theme of this year fair will be of great interest to the Business Development and Joint Ventures Department of the Authority.

Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello charged the new executives of the association to be guided by democratic principles   and discharge their duties effectively for shippers they represent. He also used the opportunity to call on shippers in other states of the federation to emulate the Lagos Shippers Association in order to partner the Nigerian Shippers Council

for growth. Bello advised the shippers association   to guide against admitting “charlatans masquerading as shippers” into the association. He said: “Since the inception of the council in 1978, it has been playing a major role in protecting the interests of shippers by rendering tremendous assistance to shippers in negotiating for favourable freight rate.”

competitive advantage in the market range.” CMA CGM, founded and led by Jacques R. Saadé is the world’s third largest container shipping company and has an estimated turnover of $16 billion in 2013. Operating a fleet of 428 vessels, the Group serves more than 400 ports around the world. In 2013, the Group carried 11.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). With a presence on every continent and in 150 countries through its network of 650 agencies and branch offices, the Group

employs more than 18,000 people worldwide. CMA Terminals was incorporated in 2012 as a fully owned subsidiary of CMA CGM dedicated to investment in container terminals and dry ports. The company has interests in 11 terminals for a yearly throughput of 1.1 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). CMA Terminals core business consists in investing, developing, designing, building and operating high value and common user con-

‘Nigeria loses N136b to cargo diversion in 2013’ By Moses Ebosele IGERIA lost not less than N136billion to cargo diversion to neighboring countries in 2013, President of the Lagos Shippers Association, Rev. Jonathan Nicole has said. Speaking   at the inauguration of the new executives of the association in Lagos, Nicole disclosed that Nigeria losses N24billion yearly to vessels clearance delays at the ports.

N

According to Nicole, total duties and levies paid by shippers in 2013 was N1, 113,046,000,000.00 excluding shipping and terminal fees, transportation, among others. Explaining further, he said: “30billion Naira was paid to service providers by the Nigerian Shippers during this period. Everyday a vessel stays at the port unattended we lose $30,000 a day per vessel. The amount of losses we suffer as a

nation is more than expected, how much did the shipper make? We believe this will be corrected very soon” Nicole who spoke on sundry issues explained that the primary aim of the new executive is to chart a new order for the maritime industry where all stakeholders will come together to articulate their challenges and find lasting solutions to the huge problems in the port. In his address, the

CMA Terminals acquires 25% stake in Lekki Port By Moses Ebosele MA Terminals, a subC sidiary of the CMA CGM Group, has signed an agreement with International Container Terminal Services  Incorporated  (ICTSI) for the acquisition of 25 percent of   Lekki International Container Terminal Services LFTZ Enterprise (LICTSLE) in Lagos. ICTSI  explained in a press statement that   the agreement “adds one further major milestone that has been achieved since the sign-

ing of the sub-concession for the terminal in 2012”. Under the arrangement, LICTSLE, CMA Terminals will be providing a “solution to current congestion for the local market in Nigeria and overall serve as regional transshipment hub in West Africa allowing the countries connected with the hub to grow sustainably”. With a straight-line quay of 1200m and a yard area of 66 hectares, the  facility, which is expected to be fully operational in 2017,   according to the statement “provides the

market with an annual capacity of 2.5 million Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU). This capacity will serve the Nigerian market in the long run and will ease capacity pressure. The terminal is designed to allow for further capacity growth exceeding the initial 2.5 million TEU”. CMA CGM Group Executive Officer, Farid Salem was quoted as saying the company was very pleased of the cooperation with ICTSI. Salem added: “ This major future investment is undoubtedly a great oppor-

tunity for the CMA CGM Group, through its dedicated subsidiary CMA Terminals, to further increase its presence in Nigeria, a country in continuous development”. ICTSI Senior Vice President responsible for the Africa region, Jens Floe said: “The involvement of the CMA CGM Group shows the interest in West Africa and the confidence there is in the Nigerian market with the product we provide as we will strive to become supplier of choice in West Africa as the principal transshipment hub giving our customers a sustainable

CONTINUED ON PAGE 37


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 MARITIME 37

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

CDF seeks partnership with Govt on cargo safety at ports By Moses Ebosele S part of measures to seek A federal government attention and provide a forum for enhanced dialogue, the Cargo Defence Fund (CDF) has concluded plans to partner Nigeria Insurance Association, Marine Surveyors, among other stakeholders. According to CDF, the partnership is expected to provide guide lines for the  creation of rules and regulations in cargo handling. CDF Secretary, Azuka Ogo,

explained recently in Lagos that following incessant complaints   from individual shippers and   organized private sector as well as underwriters of marine cargo on the increase   incidents of cargo loss and damage at Nigerian Ports and Terminals, a joint committee comprising of     Cargo Defence Fund, Nigerian Insurers Association, Guild of Marine Surveyors and Nigerian Ports Consultative Council  met  at a  round table parley  to discuss the  issues. According to her, the said

roundtable conference   came up with two critical questions which she identified as ‘what should be done to minimize cargo exposure to risks at the ports and what must be done to reduce incidents of delays, damage and loss of  cargoes at the Nigerian Ports?’. A press statement quoted Ogo as saying “As adopted by the communiqué of the first roundtable meeting, the Federal Government is directly involved in this second roundtable and so we are expecting a lasting solution even as port

managers from Duala in Cameron and Cotonou in Benin Republic would be coming to share their port efficiency experiences with us.” CDF explained that the   second roundtable  is expected to introduce a single window concept which will reduce substantially or eliminate human contact, ensure compliance with international conventions   and enforcement of international best practices. Others aspect according to

CDF are  urgent consideration for the implication of cargo loss to the national economy, identify   causes of increased occurrences of damage, loss and delays to cargo, the realization of objectives of Nigerian Port Reforms among others. The statement also explained that during the recent conference, the   federal government   was reminded that the industry does not have an economic regulator, adding that there is need for one to “cover sea, rail, road and air”.

It explained that the federal government was also urged to look into the Act establishing Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), adding that   the law   does not provide for the  Power of Sanction. According to the resolutions taken at the conference, high freight rate to African ports was due to inefficiencies at the various ports. It also called on service providers to improve service delivery in order to cut high cost which are transferred to consumers.

Lagos, will be combined with a state-of-the-art facilities including 14 Post-Panamax cranes,” ICTSI said in a press release signed by one CarolinCarmen Neubauer.

CMA CGM Group Executive Officer, Farid Salem, said: “We are very pleased of this cooperation with ICTSI. This major future investment is undoubtedly a great opportunity for

the CMA CGM Group, through its dedicated subsidiary CMA Terminals, to further increase its presence in Nigeria, a country in continuous development.”

The MV Marzooqah was crewed by Indians, Egyptians and Syrians and boarded by a gang of eight or nine pirates. The ship was also reported to have been attacked in 2011, but had escaped that time. European shipowners have been urging the EU to continue with its counter-piracy naval force off the Somali coast until at least 2016. The European Community Shipowners Association said that it is imperative that the naval force remain for another two years despite the fall in piracy attacks in recent years.

Earlier this month, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the principal global trade association for shipowners, issued a  policy statement highlighting the issues facing the shipping industry from Somali-based piracy during the period 2007 to 2013. “The intention is to identify lessons learned in order to shape future policy responses, wherever in the world they may be needed,” said ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe. The paper emphasises that

CMA CGA Vessel

Firm acquires 25% stake in Lekki Port CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 tainer terminals worldwide, with the objective of maximizing the synergies with CMA CGM. The team is composed of experts in finance, business control, terminal operation and design. The statement explained that ICTSI is in the business of acquiring, developing, managing and operating container ports and terminals worldwide. “With a portfolio of nearly 30 marine terminals all over the world, ICTSI has become a leading operator, innovator and pioneer in the field of operations in emerging markets, serving all global shipping lines. “After consolidating and strengthening the base and flagship operations at the Manila International Container Terminal in the Philippines, they realized the potential for an independent international terminal operator like ourselves, and launched an aggressive international and domestic expansion program in 1994.  “ICTSI is consequently perusing its growth strategy and set another milestone as operator for the future key facility in Nigeria and West Africa. Currently, ICTSI operates on around terminals with a throughput of 5.2 million TEU annually. “The track record confirms ICTSI’s ability to rapidly adapt to different operating   environments, and to add substantial value due to specialized experience in growth markets, enhancing efficiency at every level”. “With a straight-line quay of 1200m and a yard area of 66 hectares, this modern facility, which is expected to be fully

operational in 2017, provides the market with an annual capacity of 2.5 million TEU. This capacity will serve the Nigerian market in the long run and will ease capacity

pressure. The terminal is designed to allow for further capacity growth exceeding the initial 2.5 million TEU. “The advantageous location, 60 km east of metropolitan

‘Somali waters still not safe’ HE  first seizure of a large T merchant vessel by Somali pirates since 2012 has led naval forces to stress that the dangers across the Red Sea and off the eastern coast of Somalia have not gone away. The vessel, identified as the MV Marzooqah, sent a distress signal on January 18, although when it was seized it was in Eritrean territorial waters. The number of attacks by Somali pirates dropped sharply  2012, largely because of the presence of international naval forces. However

in 2013, there were still 13 reported incidents involving Somali pirates. But maritime experts have said that the problem will remain as long as gangs operating out of Somalia are not disbanded on land. Lieutenant Commander Jacqueline Sherriff, an EU NAVFOR spokeswoman said, “Because the conditions in Somalia have not changed significantly or to any great extent, we have been saying there is no room for complacency.”

Somali pirates are active and retain the capacity to attack far into the Indian Ocean. The ICS statement said that it is “premature to conclude that the crisis is over, with seafarers still held hostage in Somalia, some of whom have now been in captivity for three years.” The ship owners statement follows two reports at the end of last year from the World Bank and from Oceans Beyond Piracy that said that the naval force may be unsustainable.

Benefits of sustainable maritime transport system, by group ARITIME transport is the M backbone of world trade and globalization. Twenty-four hours a day and all year round, ships carry cargoes to all corners of the globe. According to International Maritime Organisation (IMO),this role will continue to grow with the anticipated increase in world trade in the years to come as millions of people are expected to be lifted out of poverty through improved access to basic materials, goods and products. World trade and maritime

transport are, therefore, fundamental to sustaining economic growth and spreading prosperity throughout the world, thereby fulfilling a critical social as well as an economic function. Furthermore, maritime transport will be indispensable in a sustainable future global economy as it is the most environmentally sound mode of mass transport, both in terms of energy efficiency and the prevention of pollution. These environmental, social and economic dimensions of maritime transport are equally

important and should be fully recognized in any strategy, policy, regulatory framework or action. The United   Nation (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012,    known as Rio+20, witnessed intense negotiations that resulted in the outcome document,      The document calls for a wide range of actions and also commits Governments to working towards a transition to a “green economy”. IMO recently outlined specific programmes, challenges and priorities the organiza-

tion will handle this year (2014). Speaking at the first meeting of the newly-formed IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction, IMO Secretary General,  Koji  Sekimizu  reiterated his commitment to previously-stated targets of eliminating piracy and halving maritime casualties. Sekimizu is also expected to concentrate on the  Accident Zero campaign which he launched last year in conjunction with IALA (the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities).

He also pledged more efforts to implement the Djibouti Code of Conduct with IMO’s partner organizations. Making reference to refugees and migrants, Sekimizu explained that in collaboration  with relevant organizations such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, he would personally explore new ways to help prevent the unsafe transfer of large numbers of people by sea in small vessels which do not comply with the international safety regulations established by IMO.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

38 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Industry Moving Nigeria’s manufacturing sector out of doldrums Since the power transition in 2011, the present administration has been under the limelight, with Nigerians and the world keenly watching how President Goodluck Jonathan tackles the many challenges facing the nation, such as rising inequality, worsening industrial landscape, rampant corruption, and restless society. With various reforms being initiated and implemented in the real sector, FEMI ADEKOYA examines some of such moves to get the nation back on track to industrialisation. many years, the Nigerian real sector has FdueOR continued to experience a slow-paced growth to continued dependence on the oil and gas sector, even though the real sector is often described as a key driver of many economies. Indeed, moving the manufacturing sector out of the doldrums would include enhancing the sector’s plunging capacity utilisation, perennial power constraints, lack of credit lines and policy inconsistencies, as well as an underperformance that has resulted in subdued exports and widening current account deficit. However, with moves made by the present administration to enhance the real sector’s competitiveness, industry watchers believe that the results of the transformation agenda in the real sector may soon be felt, especially as the country Jonathan mulls an increasingly diversified economy. Driving the Automotive policy through a vibrant Company Limited (ASCL) and Delta Steel Complex, (DSC) Aladja, and the Nigerian Iron steel sector With about $3.3 billion being expended yearly on Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO). Sada added that encumbering issues in the steel importation into the country, the Federal Government also sought the collaboration of steel sector were being addressed to encourstakeholders within the sector to develop strate- age investors and activate the moribund govgies that would enhance local production in the ernment-owned steel plants and iron ore mine. steel industry input. Sada also said a bill was underway at the Coming on the heels of the need to drive the implementation of the new automotive policy Federal Executive Council (FEC) and, subseas well as enhance the diversification agenda of quently, the National Assembly for enactment the government through the revival of mori- towards sanitising the steel industry that has bund industries and value-chain activities, the been without a law all along. Noting that there was nowhere in the world Federal Government urged operators in the steel sector to desist from lobbying for tariffs but con- where government fully ran steel plants, he centrate on building institutions that would said the federal government would invite the drive industrialisation, thereby increasing local private sector to operate the ASCL and the capacity utilisation, adding that incentives other steel plants on a Public Private would be provided according to the needs of the Partnership basis. Sada stated that towards facilitating the sector rather than to individuals. Indeed, the Ministries of Mines and Steel enactment of the Metallurgical Industry Development and that of Industry, Trade and Regulation Act and Regulations Manual, a Investment embarked on the move to imple- draft bill had already been produced by his ment a comprehensive backward integration ministry and fine-tuned by the Ministry of Justice. policy for the iron and steel sub-sectors. In his presentation on “Transformation of “We want to see the iron and steel sector play Minerals, Iron and Steel sub-sector for Industrial a major role in the industrial development of revolution in Nigeria”, the Minister of Industry, our country. In order to achieve this, we need Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, to partner the Ministry of Industry, Trade and explained that for the contribution of the indus- Investment by keying into the NIRP to create trial sector to export revenue to rise from its cur- the critical value chains that will drive sustainrent three per cent, efforts must be geared able industrial development”, he said. The minister also urged the stakeholders to towards effective utilisation of natural resources harness the opportunities in the coal-mining for industrialisation. According to him, Nigeria and other African sub-sector, noting that it remains useful to any countries have continued to play at the lower producer due to the potential in its use to genend of the market due to concentration on erate power. export of raw materials rather than investment Developing partnerships to boost power supply in value-addition processes. “The new automotive policy is gaining momen- With the recent unbundling of the power gentum with various interests and partnerships erating and distribution companies in the emerging. The steel sector has a huge role to play country, industry stakeholders believe that in catering for the needs of the automobile sec- electricity consumers, especially those within tor. They need raw materials from you to drive the manufacturing sector, may soon feel the growth in that sector. It is important that you effect of the power sector reforms. help match the ambition the federal govern- Only recently, the Federal Government sealed ment has for this country. That is why we have a $350m power financing deal with General come here to interact with you on better ways to Electric, to support the construction of smallscale power projects across Nigeria. drive the growth in this sector”. On his part, the Minister of Mines and Steel According to Aganga, the deal would fast-track Development, Musa Sada, noted that steel pro- the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts duction remains the fulcrum of industrialisa- towards providing adequate power supply to tion process, stalled in Nigeria by the comatose industrial zones, as well as Small and Medium state of the two steel plants, Ajaokuta Steel Enterprises across the country, in line with the

Aganga Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan. Aganga and his counterpart at the Ministry of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Global Chairman, GE, Jeff Immelt, and the Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC, Sola DavidBorha; signed on behalf of their organisations. The fund will be managed by Stanbic IBTC Nigeria. Aganga noted that the new initiative was in furtherance of the ‘Country-to-Company’ partnership between Nigeria and GE in the area of attracting investments into critical sectors of the Nigerian economy. The minister said, “We are very excited about what GE is doing in Nigeria. I was truly more excited when last year, the Global Chairman/ CEO of GE, Jeff Immelt and I signed the $1billion commitment to invest in Nigeria. In fact, that commitment became a reality when in June 2013, the ground-breaking took place in Calabar. This is a demonstration that the Country-to-Company partnership between Nigeria and GE in attracting investment into the critical sectors of our economy is on course. “Today, we are signing the $350million financing deal for small-scale power projects in Nigeria. These small-scale power projects are quicker to do because they can be accomplished within one year. What has happened today is the kind of initiative that we need to drive our economy in terms of providing power to our industrial zones across the country, especially in places like Kano where there are big textile industries, where the cost of production is not as competitive as it should be due to the lack of uninterrupted power supply.” He added, “Therefore, I am much more excited than anyone else because this initiative is aimed at financing a critical sector that will be a catalyst for our country’s economic development because it will not only support our Small and Medium Enterprises and our Industrial Revolution Plan. Finance is a big constraint for infrastructural development in Nigeria. So, having this in place will address one of the enablers to growing the power sector.” The Global Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of GE, Jeff Immelt, said the company’s interest to invest in Nigeria had been bolstered by the power sector privatisation, which he said was one of the most transparent globally. Immelt said, “GE is a global infrastructure company with businesses in 160 countries around

the world. Electricity is one of the great enablers of economic growth and development. First of all, I must commend the Nigerian government because I have visited many countries and I want to say that the privatisation programme in Nigeria is one of the best I have seen. A move recognized by the OPS Members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) have described as unprecedented the institution and implementation of some economic policies of the federal government which have helped in reviving the hitherto moribund manufacturing sector of the economy. They said that the commitment to the effective implementation of the policies has led to phenomenal increase in the local production of commodities, which before now were imported, into the country. The group under the auspices of the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN) gave kudos to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan for putting in place some broad based incentives generally geared towards reviving the moribund manufacturing sector, encourage industrialisation and create jobs. President, MAN, Chief Kola Jamodu said that government’s incentive policy, designed to encourage industrialisation, has been effective going by the new investments and jobs being created in the economy. Jamodu also commended government for agreeing to the broad base incentives for the manufacturing sector instead of narrowing them. He said: "an important reform in the incentive policy, as sought by MAN, was to broaden the incentives to a whole sector rather than issuing discretionary waivers for individual firms. This has brought transparency in the policy and created a level playing field for all players. “There is a clear evidence of the positive impact of the sector based incentives. Incentives and concessions given to the cement industry have contributed to the phenomenal increase in national cement production from less than 2 million tons in 2002 to over 20 million tons in 2013. As a result, from being a net importer, Nigeria has become a net exporter of cement. This was achieved in less than a decade. Thanks to the enabling environment fostered by government policies.”


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 INDUSTRY 39

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Reinvested mining proceeds to aid Nigeria, others’ economic diversification Stories by Femi Adekoya ITH nearly a quarter of W Nigeria and other African countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) now based on extractive resources, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has emphasized the need for resources from mining to be reinvested in infrastructure and further growth, while opening opportunities for economic diversification and transformation. Indeed, the commission noted that Africa holds the highest ration among all regions in terms of value generated from extractive resources as well as its contributions to the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), noting that between 2000 and 2008 alone, the value created from natural resources in Africa rose from $39.2 billion to $240 billion. Specifically, UNECA added that the extractives sector is expected to play a catalytic role for development in

many African countries if the resources from mining are reinvested in infrastructure and further growth. Issued on the newly created Africa Mining Vision Day, the call comes amidst a downward trend in commodity prices and in particular minerals, which has raised uncertainty on the momentum of the continent’s sustainability agenda. Industry leaders, ministers, policy-makers, members of academia and international organizations are however urging the private sector to play a stronger role in fasttracking the implementation of the African Union (AU)’s Africa Mining Vision, which aims to ensure the extractives sector can boost social and economic development across the continent. Speaking on the margins of Africa’s yearly mining conference, “Mining Indaba”, multilateral development organizations in a statement made available by UNECA, have called on the private

WTO commences implementation of Bali farm package O aid the effectiveness of implemented and to underT decisions reached at the take other work set out in the Bali conference last year, bers decisions, and it is now develof the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have commenced work on the Bali decisions. Specifically, the Bali decisions include: a strong political statement to keep export subsidies low (along with policies with equivalent effects, known collectively as “export competition”); a commitment on how to deal with a certain type of quota (known as a “tariff quota”) when imports repeatedly fall significantly below the quota limit; an agreement that the cost of building up food stocks by developing country governments, for food security, need not be counted against the country’s domestic support limits, provided certain conditions were met. The committee’s task is to oversee how these are being

oping plans for the monitoring, reviews and responsibilities, with work on export competition — essentially preparing information to examine latest developments — starting almost immediately. Meanwhile, actual or possible breaches of domestic support commitments in Costa Rica, Thailand and India continued to feature among the questions members asked each other in the meeting about how they are implementing their present commitments on agricultural subsidies and market access for farm products. Indeed, some of the questions may have implications for the Bali decisions, particularly the one on stockholding for food security.

sector to join forces with them in ensuring the revenues from mining are reinvested in people. “AMV day 2014 would be the first of a long term process of dialogues and partnership building with a view to increasing mutual understanding on how to promote sustainable devel-

opment in the extractive sector in Africa and the need for mutual benefits between host country and mining companies,” said the hosts and partners. According to the stakeholders, management of mining revenues will entail the creation of more effective public-private partnerships and

closer involvement from other stakeholders, including local communities and governments. Achieving broad-based, sustainable development means establishing the right environmental safeguards, but also fulfilling a number of economic and social priorities.

The new hub according to UNECA will help implement the African Mining Vision, which aims to ensure Africa’s mineral resources can support economic growth and development. It will translate that vision into practical solutions for reducing poverty and involving people in development.

Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Tinu Sopeju (left); General Manager OPIC, Jide Odusolu; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbola Ashiru; and General Manager, Goodwill Ceramic, Igbesa, Cheng Jiauggua, during a facility tour of the company.

‘Improved mechanisation key to production output’ MPROVING access to finanIanization cial services, training, mechand technology can transform subsistence farmers into efficient producers, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said. According to the United Nations agency, agriculture must become the engine for growth that Africa needs to eradicate hunger and boost sustainable food production. FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva noted that most of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa and have the power to change the situation, by making economic growth more inclusive as well as targeting agricultural and rural devel-

opment, women and young people. He added saying: “The challenge now is to transform the vision of a food-secure Africa into reality by tackling the multiple causes of hunger. Investing in agriculture, creating safety nets and social protection for the poor, guaranteeing the right of access to land and water resources and targeting small-holder famers and young people will be key,” he said, adding that FAO would continue to support Africa in its efforts to eradicate hunger. “More than one out of every five of its citizens is still denied the right to food. Some 75 percent of Africans

are 25 years old and under, and the population is expected to remain largely rural for the next 35 years, with women heading up many households. “Agriculture is the only sector of the economy capable of absorbing this workforce. There is no inclusive and sustainable way forward for Africa without women, youth and agriculture”. He further said governments would have the opportunity to renew their support for agricultural development, adding, “The launch of the African Year of Agriculture and Food Security is an important step towards a hunger-free and

sustainable Africa that [late South African leader] Nelson Mandela and many others have dreamed of and fought for”. “Through methods that increase production while preserving natural resources, family farming also provides a sustainable alternative to input-intensive technologies that have resulted in damage to soil quality, land, water and biodiversity, Graziano da Silva said. Already, eleven African countries, including Nigeria have met the first Millennium Development Goal hunger target to reduce by half the proportion of hungry people between 1990 and 2015.

Nigeria Machine Tools repositions for market growth HE Nigeria Machine T Tools Limited (NMT), a pioneer Machine Tools manufacturing Company has stated its readiness to commence full production aimed at delivering value to critical sectors of the economy. The company's Managing Director, Norbert Chukwumah in a chat with the media explained that the company has concluded plans to take its rightful place in the market, while catering to the needs of key industries in the country. Chukwumah however called for adequate support and protection from government to ensure that the company and other Nigerian manufacturing entities succeed, saying:

“the NMT, in which the Nigerian Government holds 15 per cent equity, along with the Government of India (through HMT International), which also holds another 15 per cent equity is the only machine tools manufacturing company in Nigeria and is in stiff competition with cheap foreign imports with ample prospects for future expansion and growth. According to Chukwumah, since the official handover of the then moribund company by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), massive investments have gone into transforming NMT into a modern manufacturing company with the capacity to produce a diverse range of industrial

products and services to international standards. He added: "We have upgraded our facility, acquired state of the art equipment and developed the highest level of competence in the manufacture of various products including stud bolts, flanges, machine tools, agricultural implements, municipal castings and technical training, corrosion protection and machining services. NMT is open for business and we are ready and committed to playing our own part in Nigeria's industrialisation", he added. "We intend to assume leadership of the West African market in the next three years, and we shall achieve that by focussing on the

needs of the markets and delivery of un-compromised quality in every single item that rolls out of the plant backed by projected technical staff strength of 350 by the end of the year". On some of the services being delivered by the firm, Chukwumah said: “NMTL now produces flanges and stud bolts for the oil and gas industry, assembles and manufactures machine tools, possesses extensive machining capability (utilising its numerous advanced CNC and conventional machines), assembles tractors for the agricultural sector and manufactures ancillary tractor implements.

“The foundry produces municipal castings, gratings and manhole covers, brake blocks for the railways, machine spares, ball crushers for the cement industry and quarry operators and a range of other foundry products as determined by the needs of the client. “There is also a newly installed state of the art PTFE coating plant and hot dip galvanizing shop to ensure products are finished to client specification. The company also has a flourishing fully equipped training school which is open to the public as well as for industries that require training for their technical manpower in a wide range of technical

skill sets.” On some of the challenges encountered by the firm, the NMTL boss noted that the firm continues to compete with sub-standard goods being dumped in the country. “It is thus unfortunate that the buying public still leans towards the less durable, low quality products that are dumped in the country at relatively much cheaper prices despite the bank lending rate of around 23 per cent per annum, power, security and infrastructure challenges that manufacturers have to contend with. With adequate support from government, manufacturers can drive the desired industrialisation the nation seeks”.


GUARDIANENERGY ENERGY /41

AfDB, AUC sign financing scheme for power grid, others

WEDNESDAy, FEBRUARy 5, 2014

OIL

ENERGY /42

ENERGY /43

IPMAN worries over vandalism, assures on adequate fuel supply

Ikeja Disco warns customers against touts, floats CSR scheme

POWER

GAS

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

IOCs’ earnings slide on lower oil outputs

Crude oil pipelines at a location in Niger Delta By Roseline Okere HIS is not the best of time for International Oil ComT panies (IOCs) as they continue to experience drop in quarterly profits despite increase in their respective investment profiles. For instance, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Shell spent more than $120 billion in 2013 to boost oil and gas output, but production has been declining, thereby compromising the objectives of these costs. Exxon Mobil’s fourth-quarter earnings, were down largely due to a 1.8 per cent drop in oil and gas output and project delays in Canada and Kazakhstan. Fourth quarter of 2013 earnings of the company was $8.4 billion, down by 16.1 per cent from the previous year when it was at $10 billion.  Revenues fell to $110.9 billion in fourth quarter of 2013, well below market expectations.  This is down from $114.7 billion in fourth quarter of 2012.   Shell’s fourth quarter of 2013 earnings of $2.9 billion were down from $5.6 billion for the same quarter in 2012.  Shell’s oil production was down by five per cent in 2013 to 3.25 million barrels per day, largely because of issues in Nigeria and overall natural decline in its mature oil fields.   The situation is forcing Shell

and its new Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, to rethink its strategy and start disposing of assets and refocusing this year. The company’s revenue dropped 3.3 per cent to $110.86 billion in the quarter. Also, Chevron’s global oilequivalent production for the fourth quarter fell to 2.58 million barrels a day from 2.67 million barrels a day a year earlier, hurt by lower production in the U.S. and abroad. ExxonMobil Chairman, Rex Tillerson stated: “ExxonMobil delivered strong business results in 2013 while remaining focused on improving profitability and long-term shareholder value. “Disciplined use of capital,

project execution and asset management are positioning the company to deliver sustained superior financial performance across the business cycle. “Over the next two years, ExxonMobil will start up numerous major projects delivering profitable new supplies of oil and natural gas while strengthening our refining and chemicals businesses. Chevron’s fourth-quarter profit fell 32 per cent as the energy giant reported lower global production and weaker refined products margins. Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company in market value after Exxon Mobil Corp., had previously signaled fourth-quarter global oil and

gas production was poised to decline from year-ago levels, while commodity prices were also on pace to be slightly lower. “Global crude oil prices and refining margins were generally lower in 2013 than 2012,”

Chairman and Chief Executive John Watson said. “These conditions, as well as lower gains on asset sales and higher expenses, resulted in lower earnings.” Looking to 2014, the company said it is planning to

spend about $2 billion less on capital and exploratory investments than what was expected last year. Overall, Chevron reported a profit of $4.93 billion, or $2.57 a share, down from $7.25 billion.

Explorationists exploit benefits of 4D seismic technology in Nigeria By Sulaimon Salau DOPTION of latest global technologies in the petroleum sector hit the front burner recently, as the explorationsts, under the aegisof National Association of Petroleum Explorationists

A

(NAPE) gathered in Lagos to exploit the benefits of the 4D seismic technology. 4D seismic is a well-established technique, which is making a valuable contribution to the production and development of hydrocar-

bons around the world. As the technique matured with the development of expertise and technology, there has been an evolution in its use and Nigeria is now exploit-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 42


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 ENERGY 41

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

AfDB, AUC sign financing scheme for power grid, others By Roseline Okere HE African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC) have signed a new project financing grant of $8.6 million. The projects to be financed include interconnecting power grids, completing Africa’s IT connectivity, modernizing ports, railways and road networks across Africa. The projects are expected to strengthen the capacity of African countries through their respective Regional Economic Communities (Community of Sahel-Saharan States, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community, Economic Community of Central African States, Economic Community of West African States, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Southern African Development Community and Arab Maghreb Union), as well as the AUC and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) to plan, prepare and coordinate the implementation of regional infrastructure programs and projects necessary for enhancing Africa’s physical and economic integration and socio-economic transformation with a focus on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). AfDB Vice-President, Finance, Charles Boamah and the Deputy Chairperson of the AUC, Erastus Mwencha, signed the $8.6 million three-year, capacity building grant during the meetings of the African Heads of State and Government being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia recently. Speaking at the signing, Erastus Mwencha commended the AfDB for the support and stated that “linking what we do to what affects people di-

T

rectly is critical. The AfDB has shown the way in what you do to mobilize financing for infrastructure will change Africa and the impact will go beyond projects.” He called on the need to put in place systems and processes that will help measure “people level” impact of the various interventions being undertaken by the AfDB the AUC and other players on the continent. AfDB Vice-President Charles Boamah, stated that infrastructure remains a core priority of the bank linked the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022) and that over the last six years up to 2012, the bank had invested $20 billion in infrastructure, a significant part of it in regional continental infrastructure projects. He indicated that the bank remains committed to supporting Africa build the infrastructure that will lead to the continent’s transformation, but which also impacts on inclusive growth by translating into jobs and improved lives for the majority of Africans. PIDA defines priority regional cross-border infrastructure projects in energy, water, transport and ICT intended to interconnect, integrate and transform Africa through modern infrastructure at an investment cost of $68 billion up to the year 2020. It provides the strategic framework for African stakeholders to build the infrastructure necessary for more integrated infrastructure networks to boost trade, spark growth and create jobs as well as to support regional integration and linkages into the global economy. Successful implementation of PIDA will therefore enhance Africa’s competitiveness within itself and in the global economy, while acting as a catalyst to Africa’s economic transformation.

Geoscience Technology Manager, Exxomobil, John Farre (left); Managing Dierctor/CEO, Atlantic Subface Energy Consulting Limited/Chairman of Session, Jasper Nwachukwu; President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Mrs . Adedoja Ojelabi, and Guest Speaker, David Johnston, at the NAPE’s Monthly Technical /Business meeting sponsored in Lagos.

Knocks for TCN, as poor service delivery threatens Discos By Sulaimon Salau OME of the Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) may have been trapped in the poor service delivery by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which has significantly reduced power supply to the consumers. The TCN, being managed by Manitoba under the power privatisation exercise, had earlier promised to increase the transmission network and bring efficiency into the system. Barely four months into operation, Nigerians are already feeling the heat from the perceived inefficiency of the transmission company, even as the Discos continued to groan under the unpleasant situation. This situation has drastically reduced the revenue base of the Discos, as well as sabotaging their supply capabilities to the end users. The Discos have alleged poor fault clearance by the transmission company, owing to

S

poor financing and bureaucracy to maintaining some of the equipment. This situation was also discovered on the TCN’s 133x32 MVA transmission station at Ota, Ogun State, where thousands of households and the whole industrial estate were thrown into black out for almost two months due to poor fault clearing. However, a top official of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company confirmed to The Guardian that the situation has denied the Disco huge revenue, because it ‘could not claim money for a service not delivered to the

consumers’. The source who preferred anonymity said: “We could not collect bills from that network because we were unable to supply them with power. Besides, this situation is very unpleasant for the good image of the Disco, because most consumers do not know the supply value chain, so, they believe Ibadan disco is not efficient, which is a wrong perception,” the source said. When The Guardian visited the plant, officials of TCN denied comment, claiming not authorised to speak with press. The source confirmed there was fault on the plant,

but was uncertain about when it would be cleared. Another official at the Lagos Zone explained that work has commenced on the facility, with hope that it would be restored ‘soon’. The TCN scribe appealed to the consumers for the unscheduled outage, soliciting for understanding and cooperation from the affected communities. Industries located at Ota Industrial Estate were casualties to the lingering black out. They flayed the poor service delivery, which has forced them to rely on generators for the past two months.

Govt strategises on power infrastructure financing By Roseline Okere RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has convened an international conference aimed at facilitating financing of power infrastructural development in Nigeria. The conference, which is scheduled to hold in February is aimed at augmenting the efforts of the private sector which recently took over the electric power generation and distribution assets of former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). Participants are expected to

P

be drawn within Nigeria, her development partners, the donor community, international financial institutions and international financiers. According to a statement from the Bureau of Public Enterprises, the is expected to be use to 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; to support the creation of a sound

economic expansion framework that will enhance performance across the power sector value chain; to 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 to create a sector CAPEX plan that will serve as baseline for future monitoring and evaluation of the sector participants.


42

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

ENERGY Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kenya delays new oil block licensing ENYA will delay licensing K new oil exploration blocks until a new law regu-

Division Head, Emel Advanced Power Solutions, Ritesh Kumar (left); President, Council for Renewable Energy, Nigeria, Mrs. Anita Nana Okuribido; Chief Executive Officer, Selgic Ventures Nigeria Ltd, Oluwaseun Abubakar; and VP International Business, Sinergy India, Arun K Saxena, during the official launch of Sinergy Inverters and Batteries to the Nigerian Market in Lagos.

lating the sector that is being sent to parliament by June is in force, a senior official said on Thursday. Oil discoveries in Uganda and Kenya by Britain’s Tullow Oil and gas deposits found off Tanzania and Mozambique have turned east Africa into a frontier for hydrocarbon exploration. Energy and Petroleum Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge said seven new blocks will be up for licensing once the new energy law is in place. “We are still working on the Energy Act,” he told Reuters. “We want first of all to get the policy and the Act in place which will happen before the end of this financial year, that is before June. And then from there we will be

IPMAN worries over vandalism, assures on adequate fuel supply By Sulaimon Salau ORRIED by the frequent pipeline vandalism in the country, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has disclosed its strategic partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure adequate supply of Petroleum products across the country. The National President, IPMAN, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadri, who disclosed this on Monday, advised the public to avoid panic buying of fuel, advising the public to discard the rumors of impending fuel scarcity. Abdulkadri however, appealed to marketers to live above all odds, warning that IPMAN executives would not hesitate to use internal mech-

W

anism in sanctioning erring marketers. He said: “There is no scarcity of fuel in the country, marketers and Nigerians should stop instigating wrong signals of scarcity. We are loading petroleum products adequately from all NNPC depots across the country and we don’t think there is any imminent scarcity because NNPC and PPMC have assured us of sufficient stock,” He said in spite of the unending challenges posed by pipeline vandalism and products theft, the NNPC and its subsidiary has sufficient stock of products in its marine reserve and national strategic reserve to ensure that the country remains wet with petroleum products round the clock.

“I want to assure Nigerians that the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani AlisonMadueke, through the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, and the Managing Director, PPMC, Haruna Momoh in conjunction with IPMAN have been working tirelessly to ensure that we maintained the tempo,” he said. Noting that the issue of vandalism of pipelines has posed serious menace to the country, he cautioned members of the public against any form of hoarding or panic buying of petroleum products in anticipation of scarcity. ``Whosoever understands the oil and gas sector knows that it’s a volatile sector, and any destruction of pipeline by vandals will affect the process

Sinergy introduces new power solution mechanisms By Sulaimon Salau O meet the growing energy T needs of homes and businesses in the country, Emel Advanced Power Solutions Limited (EAPS), has introduced its Sinergy brand of inverters and batteries from India to the Nigerian market. Speaking at the launch of the Sinergy products in Lagos at the weekend, Head of EAPS, Ritesh Kumar, said the products satisfy the demand of many Nigerian home owners and businesses with superior range of power backup solutions, including small to high capacity inverters and batteries that offer high efficiency. The Vice-President, Sinergy

India, Anuj Saxena, said Sinergy products are built to international standards with pure sinewave inverter technology providing reliable and stable power supply and ensuring 100 per cent safety of all appliances.  In addition, what differentiates Sinergy from other brands in the market is the winning combination of a high performing inverter and battery.” Saxena explained that Sinergy products offer a higher level of surge protection, which is a common challenge of Nigerian consumers.  Further, the in-built Auto Sense Intelligent Control (ASIC) technology, offers

S’Africa reduces 2013 electricity consumption OUTH Africa’s consumpSbytion of electricity decreased 0.5 per centt year-on-year in 2013, while the country’s yearly electricity production narrowed by 0.7 per centt over the 12 months, Statistics South Africa, has said. According to a report released by the service last week, the total volume of electricity delivered by parastatal Eskom to the provinces decreased by 0.5 per cent, or 1 064 GWh in 2013, with decreases reported in five of the nine provinces. The largest volume decreases were recorded for the North

West, which received 686 GWh less, followed by the Free State, which received 676 GWh less, and Gauteng, with 608 GWh less delivered by Eskom. In contrast, KwaZulu-Natal recorded the largest volume increase at 771 GWh over this period. Meanwhile, in December, consumption increased 1.3 per cent year-on-year, contrasting with the production of electricity for the month, which narrowed by 0.9 per cent year-on-year.

higher battery life and faster charging, resulting in significant cost savings in the long term. “In short, Sinergy offers  a stress-free power back up solution to overcome the daily challenges of insufficient power supply, living up to our brand promise of ‘powering happiness”. Kumar stressed: “We expect the Sinergy brand of power backup systems to garner a lot of attention in this market for its ability to increase selfgeneration and reduce electricity bills. Solutions of this kind will play a major role in extending the adoption of renewable energy systems in the country.”

of supply but IPMAN and PPMC are on top of the situation to bridge the gap at all times,’’ he promised. Abdulkadri said IPMAN, which controlled about 87 per cent retail outlets in the country and by extension controlling the large haulage of the sector, would also ensure that the nationwide tour on KeroDirect is continuous. “We have equally agreed with the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) to ensure payment of marketers bridging claims as at when due, which at the moment the agency is doing its best,” Abdulkadri said. Besides, he explained that the minister of petroleum had directed NNPC, PPMC in conjuction with IPMAN to ensure that kerosene gets to the masses in the nooks and crannies of the country.

able to know how to move,” Njoroge said. Oil discoveries in Kenya by Tullow and its partner Africa Oil Corp in the northwest of the country have increased inquiries from others seeking exploration blocks. In an update this month, Tullow and Africa Oil doubled the estimate of their discoveries in the South Lokichar basin to

600 million barrels. Consultants Hunton & Williams and Challenge Energy - employed by help review the law - have recommended the Act includes clearly defined policies for upstream, midstream and downstream sections to avoid overlaps and reduce inefficiency.

Explorationists exploit 4D seismic CONTINUED FROM PAGE 40 ing its numerous benefits. The Global Geophysics Coordinator, Exxon Mobil Production Company, Houston, Texas, David Johnston, who spoke at the NAPE’s Technical Meeting in Lagos at the weekend, said 4D seismic data has proven value in reservoir management, increasing reserve and recovery by locating bypassed and un-drained hydrocarbons and optimizing infill well locations and flood pattern. Enumerating the many benefits of the technology, he said the 4D seismic can also decrease operating costs by reducing uncertainty in reservoir models, optimizing competition, and minimizing the number of dry holes. He said Exxon Mobil’s 4D experience demonstrated the added value to reservoir management over a wide range of geographic areas, geologic settings and production scenarios, disclosing how the technology saved the company about $600 million from six wells that they would have drilled. NAPE President, Mrs. Adedoja Ojelabi, was optimistic that Nigeria’s oil industry is

well acquainted with new technologies used globally, and the workforce is building capacity to meet the emerging challenges. She said people are very well trained in the industry because oil finding is a very expensive business, so it’s the best thing to increase the probabilities of finding oil. “You can’t find oil on the surface so you need to go underneath the ground, therefore you need a technology to find the resources. However, the more advanced the technology, the cheaper it is to find oil. The technology may be expensive, but there is need to study the viability of the project before choosing the right technology,” she said. On the PIB, she urged the legislators to endeavor to pass the bill. “It is up to the legislators to pass the PIB. They must do their work. I believe that all sides are making contributions, we are doing ours in terms of providing the technical know-how and the implications and benefits of the PIB have been debated widely, so at this point it is up to them to pass the bill without political inferences,” she said.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 ENERGY 43

Global gas consumption may rise to 4,800bcm/y LECTRIC services company E General Electric’s (GE’s) White Paper report, ‘The Age of Gas and the Power of Networks’, predicts that global gas consumption will increase to about 4 800- billion cubic metres a year (bcm/y), rising significantly from the current figure of about 3 500 bcm/y by 2025. “The US and Canada produce a combined 25% of the world’s natural gas supplies, compared with Africa, which produces only about 4% of the world’s natural gas resources,” said GE CEO and president Tim Schweikert, who was addressing the Wits Business School Infrastructure to Support New Oil and Gas Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa seminar in October. However, he noted that great opportunities exist across the African continent, particularly in South Africa, with discoveries of offshore gas deposits and promising shale gas exploration targets in the Karoo basin. Schweikert stated that South Africa could learn a great deal from developed gas- producing regions, such as NorthEast Asia, the US and Europe, which built gas pipelines in the 1950s and were currently expanding them. “These pipelines are being ex-

panded horizontally through the expansion of the pipeline networks and vertically by linking into other energy resources, such as renewableenergy sources.” “Renewable-energy sources, such as photovoltaic- and wind-powered turbines, do not produce a constant supply of energy, owing to sunlight and wind not being continuously available. Therefore, they require support from other energy sources, such as gas, to provide them with a continuous power supply,” said Schweikert. He noted that gas and renewable energies could complement each another in a power grid, as both were relatively cost- effective and low-carbondioxide-emitting forms of power production. Schweikert stated that GE had major ongoing oil and gas operations in countries such as Angola and Nigeria, where the company was manufacturing subsea production trees, which consisted of various assemblies of valves, spools and fittings, used to monitor and control the flow of production wells and assist in offshore gas explorations as a key component of a subsea gathering systems. “The trees also manage the fluids and gas that are injected into subsea wells,” he added.

Schweikert stated that GE was also establishing offices in Mozambique to service the country’s developing oil and gas sectors. Meanwhile, the company announced one of the largest power agreements in its history last year, which entails GE supplying Algerian national electricity and gas company Sonelgaz with power generation equipment and services for six new combined-cycle power plants valued at $1.9-billion. GE’s report states that Egypt is at a critical juncture in the development of its energy system. “Egypt has the advantage of having fairly mature gas and power grids, but they are concentrated along the Nile river region. Most of Egypt’s oil and gas resources are relatively remote – in the midst of deep desert or in deep water off the coast. The existing power grid into greater Cairo and areas to the south of the city has stressed capacity at times, with reserve margins falling below 10 per cent in recent years,” states the report. GE believes that a diversified electricity strategy is an attractive option for Egypt, as fuel risk increases and new large centralised generation projects face delays.

Ikeja Disco warns customers against touts, floats CSR scheme By Sulaimon Salau HE Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) has urged all electricity consumers under its network to be vigilant and wary of touts that may be carrying out illegal assignments in their premises on behalf of the company. However, the company has begun its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) with the provision of free medical services to its customers in Ikeja and its environs. Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs), IKEDC, Pekun Adeyanju, disclosed that two touts was recently arrested in Magodo area of Ketu, where they were carrying out illegal disconnections and reconnections of electricity in the premises of some electricity

T

customers and extorting money from the unsuspecting innocent customers. According to Adeyanju, the suspects have since been handed over to the Nigerian Police at the Ojodu Police station where they are being detained, awaiting prosecution. “The Management of IKEDC wishes to advice all her esteemed customers to be vigilant and demand for the corporate identity cards of the company from anyone carrying out assignments in their premises on behalf of the company. They are also advised not to use non IKEDC technicians to carry out electrical work in their premises as the fake electricians can cause fire outbreak in their premises, leading to loss of lives and properties,” he said.

The Disco also offered free medical services to its customers at the weekend, as part of its corporate responsibility and sensitization campaign. The exercise which had over 1,000 customers in attendance provided a platform for the company to give updates on the state of power even as it continues to work with its technical partners to ensure seamless and equitable distribution of power across its network. Commending customers for their support, General Manager, Customer Service IKEDC, Mrs. Olubukola Osiberu, said the company remained committed to delivering improved services with the support of its technical partners and all classes of customers.

Trans-Saharan gas pipeline scheduled for completion by 2018 RANS-Saharan gas pipeline T project is expected to be completed by 2018, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has said. Jonathan made this known in a report on the status of the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project, presented at the 30th meeting of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee. Represented by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof Viola Onwuliri, Jonthan, renewed the special commitment of Nigeria to jump start the project, which has an estimated cost of 20 billion dollars. He said the immediate focus

for Nigeria was to connect major gas supply sources in the Niger Delta region through pipeline infrastructure that traverses the northern half of the country and delivers gas to the Nigeria/Niger border. “We have raised $450 million in Eurobonds and an additional direct equity contribution of about $250 million in support of this project. “The NNPC, which is the executor of this project has completed the concept design for the pipeline, which is an important milestone since I last provided an update on this project to the committee”. The report by the president noted that work had begun in

the acquisition of Rights of Way survey of key segments of the pipeline, while work on the environmental impact assessment study of the pipeline would soon commence. Jonathan informed the NEPAD meeting, chaired by President Macky Sall of Senegal, that the front end design of the pipeline would be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2014. “This will be followed closely by major construction activities on the Trans-Nigeria segment. “It is our expectation and aspiration that work on the Trans-Nigeria segment will be completed, as planned, by 2018”.

Donors’ financial commitment to Nigeria’s power sector to hit $2b by 2018 HE financial commitment T from donor countries to the Nigeria’s power sector is expected to hit $2 billion by 2018. Director and Representative of the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Dr. Patrick Kormawa, who made this disclosure in Abuja recently, stated in a presentation at the just concluded sixth edition of the Nigerian power summit, organised by the Ministry of Power, that the development partners have with their financial commitments, demonstrated confidence in the ability of Nigeria’s power sector to provide the country’s national economy with the needed push for further development. He listed some of the donor partners whose contributions he said have been significant in Nigeria’s power sector reforms to include; UNIDO, the World

Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), European Union and Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft fÜr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Others are the British Department for International Development (DfID) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) amongst others. Kormawa said: “Collectively, development partners in Nigeria would have contributed up to $2 billion by 2018 towards the improvement and efficiency of the power sector in Nigeria. We are confident that this will contribute significantly towards the growth and sustainability of the power sector. Evidently, Nigeria is not alone.” Kormawa also requested for adequate time from Nigerians to allow for substantial benefits

Commodities Crude Oil

96.43

-1.10%

Natural Gas 4.91

-0.77%

Gasoline

2.61

-0.94%

Heating Oil

3.01

+0.35%

Gold

1260.40

+1.61%

Silver

19.39

+1.46%

Copper

3.20

-0.66%

2014.02.03 end-of-day

!

from the privatisation of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). He added that while there are obvious post-privatisation challenges, the country should endeavour to learn from the success stories of countries like the United Kingdom , India , Bulgaria and Romania who he noted have gone through the same path with similar challenges. “We commend the commitment and success of the federal government of Nigeria in deregulating the power sector. Access to electricity is the power house of an economy; without doubt, we believe that Nigeria is one step closer towards economic prosperity and equitable growth. The United Kingdom , India and recently Bulgaria , Macedonia and Romania are significant success stories of the gains of privatisation; examples include foreign direct investment, private sector growth, infrastructure, an enabling business environment and so on. “While we celebrate their achievement, we do not disregard their challenges or the difficulties that arise post-privatisation. We know these challenges, that is why we are here today. However, in the midst of our deliberations and discussions, I’ll like to remind everyone here today from the regulator to the consumer and investor that adequate time is » Add to your site needed to substantially benefit


44

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

45


46

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 47


48 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 49

GlobalStocks Global market shares plunge ORLD shares slumped to near a four-month low yesterday, W as signs of a slowdown in the United States (U.S.) economy aggravated the anxiety caused by a sell-off in emerging markets. A report showing U.S. factory activity was weaker than expected had caused both the dollar and global equities to fall on Monday. European investors remained anxious on Tuesday after another session of sustained selling in Asia. Futures prices pointed to a 0.3 per cent rebound for Wall Street later, but a mid-morning attempt at a stabilization failed in Europe. The benchmark FTSEurofirst index FTEU3 fell 0.4 percent and headed for a third day of declines. And Europe looked almost rosy compared with Asia. Tokyo’s Nikkei N225 plunged 4 percent in its worst day since June, cementing its position as the worst performer in developed markets in

2014. MSCI’s emerging-market index MSCIEF dropped 1.4 percent, putting its losses since late October at almost 12 percent. “It does look as if developed-market equities are playing catchup with emerging markets,” Societe Generale strategist Kit Juckes said. “The dollar has somewhat run out of steam, and I suspect the focus today may well be on yen strength as well as how much further the equity market falls can go.” With a flight to safety going on, German government bonds, considered to be one of Europe’s most secure investments, saw prices hit a 6-month high. Debt from elsewhere in the region lost ground. The Australian dollar jumped after its central bank appeared to shut the door on further rate cuts. But the main focus of the currency market remained the U.S. dollar’s contest with the yen. Two factors were at play. U.S.

bond yields fell after the weak data hit the dollar, and the Nikkei’s plunge pushed up the yen. The Nikkei and yen often seesaw: as one goes up, the other goes down. The U.S. dollar appeared to be recovering, though. It was last up 0.3 percent at 101.27 yen, after hitting its lowest level since November on Monday at 100.77. Another round of strong UK construction data also left sterling looking spritely at $1.6340. Talk of policy easing by the ECB at its monthly meeting on Thursday held the euro back at $1.3509. The stock market sell-off left MSCI’s 45-country, all-world index at its lowest since October and saw the VIX .VIX, the market’s fear seismograph, jump to its highest since June. It also boosted the safe-haven appeal of gold. Spot gold was steady on at $1,258.84 an ounce,

after gaining 1.1 per cent on Monday. But three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange, a metal highly attuned to global growth, edged down to $7,020. That put it on track for its 10th straight losing session and its longest run of falls in 37 years. The Nikkei’s 4 percent dive cemented its position as 2014’s worst-performing major market. It has shed 14 percent of last year’s 50 percent boom. By comparison, the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 .SPX is down 5.8 per cent. The FTSEurofirst 300 FTEU3 fell 3.3 per cent. “With the main European indices down around 7 percent (since peaks), chatter on trading desk is about whether we are in for a ‘10 percent’ correction,” Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads in London, said in emailed comments. “The bears

have a seemingly easy target within reach and the remaining bulls will want to get out of the way.” Among other perceived safe assets, the yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes stood at 2.602 as U.S. trading loomed. It fell as low as 2.582 percent on Monday, its lowest since November 1. The dollar’s overnight weakness also provided some relief to emerging-market currencies. Turkey’s lira, Russia’s rouble, Hungary’s forint and the South African rand all edged higher. “Experienced emerging market investors would be looking at this sell down with great interest, looking to pick up quality names on the dip, but they are still in the minority for now,” said Erwin Sanft, Standard Chartered’s Hong Kong-based China equity strategist.

European shares fall again, as earnings disappoint

New York Stock Exchange

UROPEAN shares followed Asian and United E States (U.S.) markets lower yesterday on concerns about the global economic outlook and

on disappointing earnings reports from the likes of oil major BP and chip designer ARM. Stocks pared some losses, however, after better-than-expected UK construction data, which reinforced optimism about the UK economy and also sent the euro lower against the pound. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.4 per cent at 1,268.67 by 1122 GMT, retracing part of an early 0.8 per cent slide but still down more than 5.7 per cent over the last eight trading sessions. “After the falls at the open, that’s possibly the low for at least a short while, with some better construction data helping (shares higher),” Simon Clark, trader at ETX Capital said. “No one’s getting too carried away, certainly before the U.S. comes in, given how much they

can change things.” In a sign of returning calm among investors, volatility - a gauge of “fear” in sentiment retreated from a 7 month closing high despite ticking up at the open. Recent concerns over emerging markets were compounded in the previous session by an unexpected drop in U.S. factory data, which hit European equities in late trade on Monday. Wall Street extended falls after the European market close, with Japan’s Nikkei also down 4.2 percent on concerns about the U.S. economy. Europe’s worst-performing shares were earnings-driven. ARM fell 3.6 percent after royalty revenue came in below forecasts. Although this was offset by an increase in new licence sales to deliver broadly in-line results, analysts at Liberum raised concerns over the trend. “We no longer think licensing is necessarily a driver of future royalties for ARM ... Overall,

these results will continue to stoke fears of a further slowdown in ARM’s royalty trends.” Liberum said in a note. Dutch telecom company KPN opened as much as 5.7 percent lower after reporting a lower-than-expected profit following a revenue squeeze, while BP dipped 1.4 percent after fourth-quarter profits were hit by refining weakness. Out of the 18 per cent of companies on the DJ STOXX Europe 600 to have reported earnings so far, 45 percent of them have missed expectations, with the biggest negative surprises coming from the oil & gas and telecom sectors, Thomson Reuters data shows. Meanwhile, banks outperformed on Tuesday after UBS announced a higher-than-expected profit and dividend, sending its shares up 5.8 per cent. European banks have loaned in excess of $3

trillion to emerging markets, more than four times U.S. lenders and putting them at greater risk if financial market turmoil in countries such as Turkey, Brazil, India and South Africa intensifies. The risk is most acute for six European banks BBVA, Erste Bank, HSBC, Santander, Standard Chartered, and UniCredit - according to analysts. But the exposure could be a headache for the industry as a whole, just as it faces a rigorous health-check by the European Central Bank, aiming to expose weak points and restore investor confidence in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. “We think EM (emerging markets) shocks are a real concern for 2014,” said Matt Spick, analyst at Deutsche Bank. “When currency (volatility) combines with revenue slowdowns and rising bad debts, we see compounding threats to the exposed banks.”


50

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 4-02-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 MARKET REPORT 51

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

MARKET INDICATORS

AS AT 4-02-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA

L-R: Ade Bajomo, Executive Director, Market Operations & Technology of the NSE, Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Group Managing Director, Nicholas Nyamali, CEO, Wealth Management Abimbola AfolabiAjayi; and Director, Azubuike Okonkwo, during the Investment One Financial Services Limited 3rd edition of Investors’ Forum held in Lagos recently

NSE’s market capitalization depreciates by N100b By Helen Oji RANSACTIONS on the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed on a downward note yesterday, occasioned by price losses incurred by major blue chip companies, market capitalisation of the listed equities declined by N100 billion. Specifically, at the close of transaction yesterday, market capitalization fell by N100billion or 0.75 per cent to N13.163 trillion from N13.260 trillion recorded the previous day. Also the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share Index (ASI) went down by 301.51 basis points from 41366.42 points recorded on Monday to 41064.91 at the close of trading on Tuesday. Investors also exchanged 407.798 milliion shares worth N4.453 billion in 5846 deals. This is against 396.955 million shares valued at N5.449 billion exchanged the previous day in 5446 deals Analysts attributed the decline in the market growth during the period to increase in Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) on public sector funds by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The Managing Director, Global View Consult & Investment Ltd. Olaleye Williams explained that the market rally was “stalled by the CBN bombshell of CRR upward review.” “We started with a promising growth that was to herald a strong rally by the month end but were halted by the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting,” William said. He assured that the market would rebound in February with expectations of impressive results for 2013 financial year. Chief Executive Officer, Lambeth Trust & Securities Limited, David Adonri,., said the decline experienced in January was as a result of

T

What Happened? The NSE All-Share index increased by 111bps (1.11%) and closed at 41,931.63. This represents a year-to-date performance of 1.46%. Market Capitalisation also appreciated 1.11% to close at N13.436trillion. Total value traded decreased 32.51% to N3.05 billion and total volume traded decreased 10.46% to 276.44 million units. Where? At the close of trading, the banking sector represented 44.91% of the total market value traded, while the breweries sector represented 9.83%. The Top 5 stocks as a % of total market value traded were: OANDO (14.10%), ZENITHBANK (11.76%), FBNH (11.39%), NB (8.20%) and DANGCEM (6.65%).). On a volume basis, the Top 5 most traded stocks for the day were: TRANSCORP (42.30m), FIDELITYBANK (24.92m), FBNH (21.80m), OANDO (16.20m) and WAPIC (15.60m)

sales pressure mounted by both foreign and local investors. Adonri said the situation in the international capital market made foreign investors to offload their holdings in the Nigerian equities market, adding that the tight monetary policy of the CBN affected the growth of the equities market and the productive real sector. He also expressed optimism that the market would experience improved activity in February because of the activities of market makers in ensuring market stability and higher dividends. Further analysis of the investment showed that Dangote Cement led the losers chart, dropping by N2.80 to close at N240.50 kobo, International Breweries trailed with a loss of N1.04 kobbo to close at N28.95 kobo while Nigerian Breweries, Guinness Nigeria Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank depreciated by N1.01 kobo, N0.99 kobo and N0.88 kobo respectively  to close at N156.99 kobo, N221.96 kobo and N27.52 kobo. On the contrary, Nestle Nigeria Plc led gainers table, appreciating N20.00 to close at N115.00, Betaglass followed with a gain of N1.80 kobo to N19.47 kobo while Oando appreciated N1.64 kobo to close at N22.75 kobo. Other stocks that appreciated in price were Presco Plc and Larfarge Wapco N1.20 kobo and N1.00 respectively to close at N44.95 kobo and N108.00.                  The financial services sector recorded highest volume of activities trading 319.541 million shares worth N2.116 billion in 2824 deals. Banking sub sector was the most active in the sector as it exchange 121.844 million shares valued N1.801 billion in 1651 deals. Zenith bank was investors delight exchanging 41.661 million cost N964.536 million in 320 deals.


52

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Midweek Arts Igbinedion endorses Imasuen’s epic film, Invasion 1897 By Anote Ajeluorou N his continuing bold efforts to reposition Ifilmmaker the dimed glory of ancient Benin kingdom, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, visited his home city last week to garner support for the forthcoming release of his epic film, Invasion 1897, scheduled for October. It’s a film based on the historical invasion of Benin City in 1897 by the British forces that led to the worse stealing of ancient Benin bronze works and other artifacts scattered in museums and private collections abroad. It was also the invasion that led to the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of the area now known as Nigeria. At the visit to the sprawling GRA home of Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, were some cast and crew of Invasion 1897, including the lead actor, who played Oba Ovonranmwen Nogbaisi, who was deposed and exiled to Calabar, Pastor Mike Omoregbe, the traitor chief, Nosa Ehimema (Ologbose), screenwriter, Osa Elis and others. Imasuen, who would be making his second historic film on ancient Benin kingdom after Adesuwa, told the Esama that while starting out as a filmmaker, he’d told himself that he would make three films on the lives of three important personalities of the Binis – Oba Ovonramwen for ‘resisting the imperialist British’, the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa, the great Pentecostal preacher for ‘transforming the Benin generally regarded as a ‘city of blood’ to the city of God’ and one on Okada man (Igbinedion), a modern-day hero from Benin. The filmmaker told the high chief that he’d concluded work on the Oba Ovonramwen film (Invasion 1897) in London, noting, “It’s a story that will reposition the Edo man globally and to tell the world that the Europeans were not fair in their dealings with the Benin people. The history of Benin is a vibrant one. The Igun people, the people that created the bronze works that the British carted away are still there, still creating those works. The exhibition of such works can still be done to lift the value of the guild. That is why we seek your endorsement for this film”. On his part, Igbinedion thanked Imasuen and his team for the visit and said he had utmost respect for the filmmaker and what he has done in his chosen career. “I have the greatest respect for you. All over the world and in AfricaMagic, Igbo, Yoruba and now Hausa films have dominated. But we that own the culture lag behind because of lack of coordination, not that we don’t have people in Benin. We Binis must be able to harness our resources. “We make history; Benin makes history, we don’t write history. Our history is from father to son. But I’m glad you people are documenting history. You people must be praised. To write history you must get historians to research the facts. In my own case (a film about him), I’d like you to say it as it is, and

The man who played Oba Ovonramwen, Pastor Mike Omoregbe; Esama Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion and producer/director of the film, Invasion 1897, Mr. Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen at the home of Igbinedion during the courtesy visit at the weekend… in Benin City not sweeten it. We have history in Benin. In the 1930 and 40s, there were great men in Benin. Where are they today? There’s no one with as much history as we have”. As a traditional chief of the Binis, Igbinedion expressed his commitment to deepening the cultural values of his people. To this end, he would fund a committee that would help resuscitate Edo arts and culture, as a driving vehicle for development and also change the mindset of the people towards cultural matters. He recalled how the Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuade Okunade invited him three years ago to establish Ife Bronze Museum in London, and said it was a worthy venture. But the Esama expressed his bitterness with his fellow Benin chiefs, who he accused of negating the drive for reparation of stolen Benin artifacts. He asked, “The bronze the whites left behind, where are they? When some of the chiefs are hungry, they sell the arti-

facts in their custody. I help to buy from some of them to preserve them. The entire state doesn’t have as much bronze as I have in my private museum. If I tell you how much I have spent on artifacts you will open your mouth in wonder. There’s nothing in the Benin Museum”. Igbinedion commended Imasuen for his filmic efforts, and expressed his happiness for Imasuen making Oba Ovonramwen into a film and assured him of his assistance whenever it was needed. “The film is a wonderful thing. You need heavy publicity. You don’t need CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC to publicise it; it’s we Edo people that can join our mouths together to make it worldwide. I bought BENTV in London some years ago. So, I’m happy with you. Keep it up. Make hay while the sun shines; make the best use of opportunities presented to you. We need to pool our

resources together; let’s do collective, conscientious activities, contributions to make it work”. The Esama also gave indication how he would spend his 80th birthday, noted, “This year is very important to me. It’s my 80th. For one week, there will be free medical treatment for as many people as possible. I want the under-privileged to gain from what God has done for me. I saw so-called free medical treatment (eye treatment) being done under canopy somewhere and I was appalled. I want to make it big for the ordinary people”. The famous industrialist, who was one of the first indigenous people to run a motor company and first bottling company, Canada Dry, is upbeat about his coming birthday and solicits for ideas on how best he could mark it so it could benefit as much people as it could.

NTDC begins inspection of hotels, others By Bridget Chiedu Onochie O ensure that operators of hospitality outT fits adhere strictly to international best practices, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has commenced a nationwide inspection of hotels and other tourism enterprises. According to the Director General of the Corporation, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, the essence of the exercise, which began from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, is to ensure quality service delivery in line with internationally acceptable standards. She stressed that inspection of hotels was an

oversight function of the NTDC, as the apex hospitality outfit in Nigeria charged with the responsibility of ensuring efficient and effective services for both local and international tourists. She said: “The essence of this exercise is to ensure that facilities and operations of hospitality and other tourism establishments conform to international best practices. The inspectorate is supposed to be a watchdog on Hospitality & Tourism Enterprises (HTEs) with the aim of ensuring and sustaining standards. NTDC will use the inspectorate to advise, guide and/or sanction defaulters

accordingly”. She noted that hotels across the globe are rated based on stipulated internationally acceptable indicators. The inspection team is headed by Director, Hospitality and Travel Trade Department (HTT) as well as the head of Inspectorate Division, Mr. Ody Anumba. In their remarks, they stated that investigations have revealed  that a good number of hotels were operating secretly and below globally set standards. According to them, fake tourism operators that specialize in defrauding unsuspecting members of the

public in the guise of packaging foreign tours for them were in existence all over the country. “It is the aim of the Inspectorate that such outfits are exposed and have their operators prosecuted accordingly”, Anumba stated. It would be recalled that on assumption of duty last year, Mbanefo promised to grow the Tourism Value Chain as part of her three-fold strategic imperatives. It is therefore expected that the mandate given to the Inspectorate division would further complement the drive to ensure a viable hospitality industry.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014 ARTS 53

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Majek Fashek steals show at O’jez’s new outlet By Florence Utor HAT was meant to be the opening of a celebrity restaurant W eventually dovetailed into a full-blown concert when Nigeria’s king of reggae, Majek Fashek came in and took over the entire show. Majek came in company of President of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN, Alhaja Aminat Oluwaremilekun Dangaji midway into the event amid cheers from the large crowd gathered inside the cozy bowel of the new O’jez celebrity restaurant inside Ikeja Club premises, Obafemi Awololo Way, Ikeja, Lagos. It was a gathering of stars as the likes of Nollywood actor Zach Orji his wife and actress, Ngozi, Ejike Asiegbu, Leo Mezie, Okey Bakassi, Victor Osuagwu and current Chairman, Lagos Chapter of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Charles Inojie, among many others. When Inojie, who was anchor, formally declared the event open after the President of Ikeja Club, Engr. (Otunba) Olaofe Oluwanishola had cut the ribbons heralding the opening of an addition to the chains of O’jez restaurants, introduced Majek Fashek, the show took another dimension. Majek, reportedly having some health challenges in the last couple of years, now looking better, initially said he was not in the mood to perform but the crowd wouldn’t have any of that. So he took over the piano and did a solo rendition of one of his hits. As he made to leave, the crowd again resisted and so he had to pacify them with his greatest hit of all time, ‘Send Down the Rain’. That was what the audience needed to go wild, singing along with him. He had to stretch the song a bit longer to further pacify the thirsty audience. And then fast-rising comedian Elder O took over, and held everyone hostage with hilarious jokes for over 40 minutes. Okey Bakassi, in his brief remark, described the owner of O’jez as someone who is into “entertainment movement, not entertainment business because this man is a rare Nigerian with a heart of gold and a burning desire to see to the forward movement of the entertainment industry. That is why despite today being Saturday, a day most busy artistes in Nigeria would be out making money, you still find most of us here; we have to cancel some engagements to honour him. I pray God will keep him for us in the entertainment sector.” The actor and stand-up comedian announced that now that an outlet of celebrity and dancing restaurants, O’jez was now in Ikeja, the heart of Lagos, “this area will start to witness a revival in business activities because Chief Joseph Odebeatu takes with him the aura of success wherever he goes. Before O’jez opened at the National Stadium, it used to be a den of armed robbers but he braced the odds and today he has brought a new lease of life into the stadium.” The new O’jez outlet opened on February 1, 2014, inside the

Charles Inojie; Majek and Victor Osuagwu at the event premises of Ikeja Club on 23, Obafemi Awolowo Way, is an upgraded version of its parent restaurant inside the National Stadium premises, Surulere and Opebi Link Road, Opebi, all in Lagos. “We always try to outdo ourselves when we open new outlets while we upgrade old ones to meet the present day standards. So, yes, O’jez Ikeja is the new thing in celebrity restaurant in Lagos and Nigeria; a visit will convince you about what I am saying,” Chief Joseph Odebeatu, Chief Executive Officer, O’jez Groups, said in statement signed by his Media Company, Media Image Managers, MIM. O’jez Ikeja is a modest spaced restaurant with a terrace section just the right setting for outdoor persons. A large open space like that at National Stadium’s will offer the same service with a

big TV screen where live matches would be screened and live shows held. Why is O’jez always inside the premises of popular places? “O’jez is a household brand; O’jez is a national brand; that is why there is an outlet inside the National Stadium, Surulere, Ikeja Club is a world brand that has been with us for decades. So, the bottomline is, great brands always have a way of bonding together; the marriage is always natural and convenient, so don’t blame us (O’jez)”. “O’jez’ Celebrity Restaurant is opened for all classes of people; celebrities just find us very convenient and affordable aside the added value services we provide. The only place you can get good food to eat, enjoy live comedy and music as added value, all at a price that won’t kill you in Nigeria, is at O’jez,” Odobeatu boasted.

Controversy over pay TV By Emmanuel Onwubiko

Sitting over coffee in mid December last year with a group of friends while watching the Cable News Network (CNN), as it relayed the funeral rites for the departed black South African first post-apartheid leader, Mr. Nelson Mandela, we all waited to see if the current leader of the world’s largest black nationNigeria would be given the stage to address the World at that event which witnessed the participation of dozens of very prominent and preeminent global leaders, but that was not to be.  Sadly. S we debated the merits or otherwise of the South Africa’s institutional refusal to give the Nigerian President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan a speaking time at that high profile state burial for the late champion of liberation struggle in the then white minority ruled South Africa, one of us protested by saying that for President Jacob Zuma to actively undermine the international recognition of Nigeria’s role in ending the evil of apartheid regime was the single most disappointing blunder of all times for Nigeria. We also concluded that by not allowing the Nigerian leader to address the World’s audience at that funeral event for Dr. Nelson Mandela, the South African political establishment has indeed committed an unpardonable political crime. My mind then raced straight to the many successful business ventures started by South African investors in Nigeria and for which the Nigerian government created all the enabling environment for these South African business to thrive. South African businesses such as the MultiChoice Nigeria and the MTN telecommunication are some of the frontline private sector success stories in Nigeria even though most Nigerian subscribers have daily raised complaints of being systematically shortchanged and denied of the satisfactory services that they

A

ought to get from these service providers. Following a deluge of complaints lodged with them by hundreds of Nigerian subscribers, the Nigerian Consumers Protection Council only last December jointly addressed the media with the hierarchy of the Nigerian communication commission during which time they assured the Nigerian consumers of the determination of the regulatory bodies to rein in these service providers (including the South African owned businesses) who continued to render substandard and unsatisfactory services to customers.           Besides, one of my discussants also alluded to the fact that MultiChoice is doing everything possible to become a monopoly even in the area of service delivery that the Nigerian regulator-National Broadcasting Commission did not authorize them to venture into just as he argued that the newly introduced GOTV may not have being covered by the class of broadcast licence issued to the South African owned satellite pay television operator. The question that keeps resonating is why is the South African owned MulitChoice venturing into a platform that it lacked the legal backing to so do in Nigeria if the groundswell of claims in some quarters is to be believed? Another variant of the probing question is will any Nigerian owned company run in South Africa be given the open cheque as currently enjoyed by the South African Multi Choice to deviate from satellite broadcasting to terrestrial platform and/or combine both services just so as to drive away competition from a company such as StarTimes which is currently run as a  partner of the Nigerian publicly owned Nigerian Television Authority? Specifically, the emergence of Star Times into the Nigerian market was methodical. During the Africast 2008, NTA had discussions with Star Communications Network Technology of Beijing on the possibility of working together to build a pilot Digital Terrestrial transmission Television plat form. The story as told by those who should know within the hierarchy of the Nigerian Television Authority, a three man team was sent to

Rwanda to inspect a similar DTT project newly completed by star and they came back, with a favourable report based on which NTA management decided to go into the joint venture with Star. The Nigerian government it was, that gave its authorization even as the regulator – National Broadcasting Commission gave its blessing for this revolutionary marketing marriage between NTA and STARTIMES. Importantly, test transmission commenced in Lagos and Abuja in January 2010 even as the project was commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan on July 29, 2010. NTA-STAR TV Network Ltd- StarTimes is a joint venture between Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) of Nigeria and Star Communication Network CO, Limited of China and was incorporated in August 2009 as a private limited liability company. The company was officially launched on the 29th of July 2010. The immediate mandate of the joint venture is to provide pay TV services, using digital terrestrial television (DTT) technology to build a multiple frequency platform. The project intends on the long term, to expand its business concerns to include provision of advertisement and signal transfer services, mobile phone television as well as wireless internet services. Operations of StarTimes Digital Terrestrial Television (Popularly known as DTT) first commenced in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Ibadan and Port-Harcourt and in 2012 StarTimes extended her services to 11 more cities which include: Aba, Benin, Enugu, Ilorin, Jos, Kaduna, Makurdi, Onitsha, Sokoto, Uyo and Yola. It’s the desire of StarTimes to cover the remaining states before the end of 2013.  Observers who are similarly worried that MultiChoice may have introduced their services to cover transmission on the same kind of plat form dominated hitherto by STAR TIMES/NTA (which has unique licence to cover all plat forms), quickly introduced the GoTV to engage Startimes in a battle royale for customer loyalty. For the promoters, the GOTV brand was specially created to make affordable digital televi-

sion available to all. “Television viewers in sub-Saharan Africa are now set to benefit from easy access to an increased number of channels, with enhanced picture and sound quality synonymous with digital television,” the company stated in a press statement. Investigation revealed that some of the GOTV channels include: Africa Magic Movies, Africa Magic World, AfricaMagic Yoruba, AfricaMagic Hausa, E! Entertainment, Discovery World, eTV Africa, Select Sports, amongst others. From the word go, StarTimes has among others channels: Eurosports News, NTA Sport 24, BBC World, Aljazeera, Orisun, NG Gold and local and international news channels. Many of their clients have expressed delight at the high quality of service delivery. Recently, the General Manager of StarTimes  Lagos  Mr. Justin Zhang,  announced that the company’s subscriber base in the country has hit  1.5 million mark. It was also stated that It has made significant in-roads to south Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Central African Republic and Tanzania, but to mention a few. The question being asked is what class of licence does multiChoice Nigeria have and again is the South African company allowed the unending space to offer their services on all broadcasting platforms? From the chapter two of the Nigerian broadcasting code, we learnt that there are Terrestrial television licence type and satellite television licence class. Covered within the terrestrial television licence category are VHf; UHF; subscription pay TV (MMDS, cable) DVB-T and DVB-H. On the satellite television licence type, we have the following; free-to-air; subscription TV (DTH); temporary up link; DVB-S; and DVB – C. Another unanswered question is why there is so much confusion within the hierarchy of the National Broadcasting commission (NBC), which may have given MultiChoice the latitude to introduce pay television with the sole aim of seeking to create a dangerous monopoly given its dominant role in satellite television broadcasting on the African continent?  


54 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 55


56 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 57


58 | Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

PHOTONEWS EXTRA

President Goodluck Jonathan (left) with former heads of state, Ernest Shonekan; Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Yakubu Gowon. PHOTOS: STATEHOUSE

President Goodluck Jonathan (left) with Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State; Peter Obi of Anambra; Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa; Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and Theodore Orji of Abia, during the Council of State meeting.

Governors Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State; Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa; Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti during the meeting.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim (left) with Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola at the meeting.

Chief of Defence State, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (left); Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Tobiah Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu, after their first security meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja… yesterday.

Minister of Works, Arc Mike Onolememen (right) being received by the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Uku Akpolokpolor when he paid the monarch a condolence visit over the death of his eldest wife, Queen Esther… yesterday.

Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari (middle) and executive members of the newly inaugurated Sheik Alimi Islamic Foundation at the Emir’s palace in Ilorin… yesterday.

Senior Vice President Sales & Distribution, IBM, Bruno Di Leo (left); Managing Director, Bankers Warehouse Plc, Victor Hammond and Country General Manager, IBM West Africa, Taiwo Otiti, at the opening of IBM’s Innovation Centre in Lagos…yesterday.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | 59

Sports Ahead Brazil 2014 World Cup

Eagles to meet Spain, Bosnia others in pre-Mundial tourney • Keshi against 40-man list HEAD of the 2014 World Cup, A the Super Eagles will meet Spain, the United States (US) and Cote d’Ivoire in a pre-World Cup tournament shortly before the Mundial kick off. The competition, tagged: ‘Road to Brazil,’ which is being organised by the Major League Soccer (MLS), will take place in the United States from May 27 to June 10. Other countries scheduled to take part in the competition are Nigeria’s Group F opponents in the World Cup, BosniaHerzegovina Honduras and Greece, as well as Bolivia and El Salvador, who did not qualify for the World Cup. None of the countries have, however, confirmed their participation. Meanwhile, Coach Stephen Keshi has said he is not comfortable with the directive that he should name a provisional 40man squad ahead of the World Cup because the number is too large. “I don’t need a 40-man squad,” Keshi told KickOffNigeria.com. “I

just need a number that will not distract us from what we want to do, but it won’t be up to 40.” Of that number, Keshi says that up to five could come from the bronze-winning Chan team, adding, “I have from one to five players from this team that will be in that team. “Everybody will have equal opportunities to get in the team that goes to the World Cup, so everybody will have to work hard.” Despite finishing third, Keshi says he remains proud of the efforts the players put in. “They were great. People don’t realise how hard these boys worked. But they gave everything and I’m proud of them.” Just before the Super Eagles’ coach releases his team for the final World Cup preparation, the immediate past coach of the team, Samson Siasia, has made a case for the recall of Ikechukwu Uche to the national team by describing the Villarreal striker as the best goal scorer currently at the disposal of the Nigerian selectors.

Veteran sports administrator, Pa Ojidoh dies at 88 President of the Sports HE death has been Veterans Association of T announced of a veteran Nigeria, Jonathan Ogufere sports administrator, Pa John Ojidoh, who would have clocked 88 on July 19. A terse phone call from his Ilah country home in Oshimili North Local Government Area by his son, Edward, yesterday confirmed the death “ last night by 6pm” (Monday). The sad story was corroborated by his Lagos based daughter, Ngozi Iwere. Reacting to the late former administrator’s death,

described it as a colossal loss to Nigerian sports. Ogufere, who described Pa Ojidoh as a “….thoroughbred, disciplined and knowledgeable administrator,” lamented that his kind will be rare to find. Tributes also poured out from Linus Mba, General Mike Okaro, Kwame Arthur and Martins Osaile for a man fondly called “ Old Bobo” by contemporaries.

Super Eagles’ Elderson Echiejile (left) battles with Spain’s Pedro during their Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup game. Both teams will meet again in pre-World Cup friendly in the US…in May.

AFN lists entry standard for Commonwealth Games From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja HE Athletics Federation of T Nigeria (AFN) board yesterday warned all athletes in its top 10 list to henceforth fill and submit information on their location to its Abuja secretariat every quarter in line with the requirements of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF). The AFN, which threatened to sanction any athlete that failed to comply with the IAAF requirements, also released the entry standards athletes must meet to make the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Speaking yesterday while inaugurating its technical committee, which has the technical director of the federation, Navy Commodore Nesiama Omatseye as chairman, the AFN president, Solomon Ogba, said the committee members, including the new athletics

• Unveils technical committee, 2014 programme high performance Director, Eric Campbell, were carefully selected to give Nigeria the best in the sport. From the entry standards released yesterday, the AFN set a 10.25 seconds mark for any male athlete competing in the 100m, while athletes for 200m  and 400m will be expected to return at 20.80 seconds and 45.65 seconds respectively to be considered for the games The federation also set 50.50 seconds as requirement for the 400m hurdle, while the male team for the 4x100m and 4x400m relay races is expected to have an entry requirement of 39.50 seconds and 3,02.50 seconds respectively. For the female athletes, the AFN set an entry standard of 11.45 seconds for the 100m, as

well as 23.55 seconds, 52.40 seconds for the 200m and 400m respectively, while female athletes for 400m hurdles, 4x100m and 4x400m relay will be expected to return at the time of 57.90 seconds, 44.55 seconds and 3.36.60 for them to be listed for the games. The federation, which insisted that the standard must be achieved by any intending athlete from January 1, 2013 to June 15, 2014, however, lowered the entry standard for both long and high jump to encourage the listing of Nigerians jumpers, who have recently improved on the sports. In the programme of activities released by the federation, the first Golden League has been slated for the South West zone on March 12, while

Man City still favourites, says Cech HELSEA goalkeeper Petr been six points in front of us. C Cech has echoed the words This way it’s level. In my opinof his manager by claiming ion, City are still the biggest

Sponsorships and Events Manager, MTN, Dola Bamgboye (left), Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi. CEO Costain West Africa, Sherif Kabiwu (second row, right) and Chairman, Nigerian Polo Association (NPA), Tomi Asuni, observing the National Anthem at the just concluded MTN Ibadan International Polo Tournament.

that Manchester City remain title favourites. The Blues edged a heavyweight tussle at the Etihad Stadium on Monday to draw level on points with City. A 1-0 win on the road means both clubs are now two points adrift of leaders Arsenal in the battle to land the top-flight crown. Chelsea would appear to be very much in that hunt, but Jose Mourinho has claimed that his side are outsiders to prevail in a three-horse race. Cech agrees, with the experienced shot-stopper refusing to read too much into one result still there are 14 games to come. He told his personal website: “If we had lost, they would have

favourites to win the title. “Arsenal are two points above them but for us nothing changes. We are carrying on and need to confirm this win with another in the home match versus Newcastle.” While reluctant to let emotions run wild after victory at the Etihad, Cech admits that Chelsea put in a hugely-impressive display at the home of a title rival. He added; “it’s a great result and extremely important to us. We played well from start to finish and had plenty of bad luck as we hit the woodwork three times. “We could have won by a higher margin but worked hard until the final whistle was

Nigerian athletes are expected to participate in the MT SAC Relays in Walmut, Canada between the March 17 and 20, while the second AFN Golden League will take place in Ilorin on March 26. The programme also shows that the third and fourth Golden League will be hosted by Akure and Kaduna respectively, between May 10 and 25, which will be followed by IAAF world relays and African Youth Games before the final Golden League in Benin City on June 7. The Golden League has a jackpot prize of N2 million for the winner. The AFN also disclosed its decision to reintroduce the Inter-Collegiate Games among the Nigerian universities and higher institutions, which has been fixed to be hosted by either the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Warri in September.

blown and deserved to get the win.” On his part, Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho still insists his side are not serious title contenders- despite the victory over Manchester City. “I don’t agree we are title contenders,” said the 51-year-old Portuguese. “We are a team in evolution but this is the kind of performance that helps a team grow up a little tactically and mentally. It was fantastic. “We have beaten the best team, Manchester City, twice but they are the best team. I am not saying we are better than them but today we were the best team. “We do better in these big games because we love it. We love the big games and when you love it maybe you feel an extra motivation.”


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

60 | Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cricketweekly ICC revamp will benefit all stakeholders, says Clarke HE Chairman of the T England and Wales Cricket Board says an overhaul of the International Cricket Council (ICC) will give countries greater financial security. ICC members will decide on Saturday whether to give more power to the ‘Big Three’ of England, India and Australia. “If anyone thinks that international cricket was working, well they are mistaken,” said ECB boss, Giles Clarke. “If the status quo was so successful, why were so many countries in a perilous financial state?” England, India and Australia are behind a draft submission debated at the ICC’s board meeting last week, which included a number of controversial recommendations. Among them are widereaching executive powers for each of the ‘Big Three’, a new model of revenue distribution that would see the richest nations receive a greater share of ICC funds, and an end to the centralised Future Tours Programme. No vote was taken at the meeting in Dubai, although a series of “unanimously supported principles” were released. However, Pakistan and South Africa have already registered their opposition in advance of Saturday’s meeting in Singapore to discuss - and possibly vote on the proposals. Clarke is adamant changes are necessary and says all countries will profit financially if England, India and Australia are given more power to negotiate broadcasting and marketing deals on behalf of the ICC.

Kunle Adegbola takes a bow, while a team mate runs to celebrate with him after the victory over Argentina at the 2013 WCL Division Six Championship in Jersey. Nigeria is currently preparing for the WCL Division Five Championship slated for Malaysia next month. PHOTO: CRICKETEUROPE4.NET.

Ahead Malaysia 2014 WCL Division Five Championship

Team Nigeria sets training base in Sri Lanka By Christian Okpara S part of their preparaA tion for 2014 World Cricket League (WCL) Division Five Championship billed for Malaysia in March, Team

Nigeria will begin a training tour of Sri Lanka later this month. Nigeria qualified for the Division Five championship by coming second at the 2013 Division Six play-off

held and won by Jersey. Since then, the technical crew, led by Olisa Egwuatu, has been combing the country in search of suitable players for the championship, which is part of the

Tendulkar gets Bharat Ratna, India’s top honour RESIDENT Pranab P Mukherjee of India has presented the country’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, to cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar quit international cricket in November following India’s win over the West Indies in a Test in Mumbai. Tendulkar is the first sportsman to win the award and at 40 - the youngest. Previous recipients include India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and former Prime Ministers, Rajiv and Indira Gandhi. The award is made on a recommendation by the prime minister to the president. President Mukherjee pre-

sented the honour to Tendulkar and leading scientist, Prof. CNR Rao, at a ceremony at Delhi’s presidential palace - or Rashtrapati Bhavan - yesterday morning. “I will continue to bat for India even though cricket has stopped,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India after receiving the award. Tendulkar had dedicated the honour to his mother, Rajni, when he was nominated for it hours after he announced his retirement last year. Tendulkar bowed out of international cricket after his 200th Test match - 24 years and one day after his first. He played in 664 international matches, scoring

34,357 runs and making 100 centuries. He scored almost 2,500 more Test runs than the second-placed batsman, Ricky Ponting. Tendulkar was nominated to the upper house of parliament in 2012. Tendulkar said though he has retired from all forms of cricket he will continue to bat for India and will give the country “a reason to smile.” The cricketing legend was accompanied by his wife, Anjali and daughter, Sara as he received the award from President Pranab Mukherjee in a glittering ceremony at the Durbar Hall in Rashtrapati Bhavan. “I am happy with the love and affection that I have got over the years. Fortunate to be

born in this country. I know my cricket is over but I will continue to bat for India and will give the country a reason to smile,” said Tendulkar, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha last year. Tendulkar dedicated the honour to his mother and all mothers of the country, who have sacrificed their personal aspirations so that the dreams of their children are realised. “This is the biggest honour. Extremely delighted at getting this award. I want to reiterate again that I want to dedicate this award to my mother and all other mothers of India, who sacrificed their aspirations so that their children’s dreams come true,” said Tendulkar.

qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup. Egwuatu told The Guardian recently that the team has begun local camping in Abuja with some of the players discovered at the last National Championship and the home-based stars of the Jersey 2013 play-off. The Division Five Championship will hold from March 6 to March 13 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with Nigeria, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Tanzania, Malaysia and Jersey vying for the two qualification slots for the Division Four League. The third and fourth placed teams will remain in Division 5 up till 2016, while the fifth and sixth will be demoted to Division 6 championship, which holds in 2015. Egwuatu said the team will train in Abuja for one month before leaving for Sri Lanka, adding, “the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) is working round the clock to ensure that we present a successful team in Malaysia. “We plan to play some friendlies in Sri Lanka to test the boys’ readiness for the

championship before moving to Malaysia.” Lamenting the neglect of the cricket national team by the Ministry of Sports, Egwuatu said, “we were able to train and play friendlies in Cheltenham before the Division Six Championship in Jersey because Dr. John Abebe was magnanimous enough to sponsor the team to England. “Now, we are going for a higher challenge, which requires more intensive preparation but the challenge is the lack of funds to take the boys out. “Fund could be a major hindrance, so we are appealing to the private sector to come to our aid. “We are appealing to the National Sports Commission (NSC) to rally round us because what we are going for will bring honour and good image to Nigeria. “You know when you go up, the task becomes tougher, but we are hopeful that with the help from the NSC and the private sector we will be well prepared for the challenges in Malaysia,” he said.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | 61

Ahead Brazil 2014 World Cup

Nwosu wants early release of players’ list, as Keshi meets NFF By Alex Monye UPER Eagles’ former Surged Captain, Henry Nwosu has Coach Stephen Keshi to

Swimmers take to the pool during the women 100 metres breaststroke final at the Eko 2012 National Sports Festival. The NSC has warned federations to desist from entering for international competitions without its consent. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

release the list of players he intends to camp in preparation for the Brazil 2014 World Cup early to prepare the squad mentally for the build up to the Mundial. The Eagles’ Team B bronze medal finish at the just concluded  South Africa 2014 CHAN was blamed on the national side’s inadequate preparation for the competition. Speaking on the country’s preparation for the World Cup, Nwosu said Nigeria would perform creditably if the technical crew picked the best legs for the competition, adding that the friendly games lined up for the team

Swimming Federation backs NSC on consent for international competitions By Eno-Abasi Sunday HE Nigeria Swimming T Federation (NSF) says it is in sync with the  National Sports Commission (NSC) regarding the warning issued to sports federations asking them to desist from entering for international competitions without obtaining the approval of the Commission. According to the NSF, the directive has been a “longstanding instruction, which the NSC was just reiterating,” in order to ensure that it remains on the same page with the federations so as to stem any embarrassment that may accrue to the country when federations commit to international event, without the NSC’s consent. In sounding the note of caution, which became necessary in the light of the controversy that has trailed the camping of Nigeria’s volleyball team, which is preparing for an

international competition, the Director of Sports Federation and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD) of the Commission, Bolaji Ojo-Oba warned sports’ federations against observing the directive in the reverse as stiff sanctions would henceforth be visited on defaulting federations.  “Federations should not just wake up and say they are participating in international competitions. When they enter for such competitions, it is under the banner of Nigeria and so the Commission, which is the premier sports agency in the country, should be fully aware to give approval. This is essential for proper planning.” Speaking in the same vein, President of the NSF, Babatunde-Fatayi Williams, in an interview with The Guardian stressed that, “when a federation enters into an

UNIZIK lists 80-man team for OAU 2014 NUGA Games NAMDI Azikiwe N University, Awka, will present an 80-member contingent for the 24th Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA) Games, which begins at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, on February 12. The 10-day Games, earlier scheduled for October 12 to October 22, 2013, was postponed indefinitely due to the six-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU. UNIZIK’s Director of Sports, Peter Makasi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that the contingent would comprise 70 athletes and 10 officials. Makasi said the athletes would participate in 10 events at the Games and listed them as athletics, badminton, tennis, table tennis,

football, volleyball, handball, judo, taekwondo and swimming. He said the athletes had been prepared well to improve on their performance at the previous Games at the University of Benin, Benin City, where they won only a medal. He disclosed that the athletes had been in open camp since the university re-opened after the strike by ASUU on Dec. 17, 2013. The director added that the athletes and their handlers would move into closed camping for one week before departing to Ile-Ife for the competition on Feb. 12 He commended the institution’s management for encouraging the team and expressed optimism that the athletes would return with more laurels from the Games than in the previous outing.

international competition, it is Nigeria that is entering for the competition and not just the affected federation. And if you commit the government without getting its consent and the exercise ends up being a flop, it can be very embarrassing to the country.” Fatayi-Williams, who said the warning was timely in view of the fact that the emergence of new boards has brought on board new persons, who may not be familiar with the modus operandi, explained that “even after the former board of the NSF in

2008 got the hosting right for the African Junior Championship, the immediate past board, which he also headed had to formally write for permission to go ahead with the exercise. “Even when the NSC could not spearhead the updating of the swimming facility at the National Stadium, Abuja, we had to move the venue to Port Harcourt, where the state government gave us logistics and financial support.  “Also, during the hosting of the Africa Zone Two Junior Championships in Akure, Ondo State, we also got sup-

port from the state government because the NSC will, more often than not give you a token or say there is no money. And that is understandable because they have to cater for 30 sports federations, in other words, they have too many mouths to feed,” the swimming federation boss submitted. He advised his counterparts to always seek for sources of alternative funding in order to execute laudable programmes for the benefit of their sporting disciplines as waiting for the NSC to bankroll their events may not

MTN Ibadan International Polo Championship

Aregbesola, Ajimobi hail sponsors, as Kano Titans win Shoreline Cup OVERNOR Rauf G Aregbesola of Osun State and his Oyo counterpart, Abiola Ajhimobi, were among the polo enthusiasts, who were thrilled from the beginning to the final chukker as Kano Titans finally won the Ibadan Shoreline Cup at the just concluded Ibadan International Polo Championship sponsored by MTN.

Governor Ajimobi, who was visibly excited, came to the MTN sponsored polo tourney dressed in a green polo shirt, black polo cap and a canvass to go with it. He could almost pass for one of the royal-blood polo players on the pitch, while his Osun colleague, Ogbeni Aregbesola came dressed in kaftan and participated in handing out trophies to

winners of different trophies. Ibadan Briclinks won the Ade Alakija Cup, Brigadier General Rotimi Cup went to Kano Susplan, while the controversial Ibadan Shoreline Cup, which featured one of the greatest rivalries in the tournament, took three matches within three days to finally produce Kano Titans as winner.

Winner of the 2nd edition of Ships and Ports table tennis tournament, Kehinde Borokini, receiving the trophy donated by Prince Olayiwola Shittu at Apapa Club, Lagos… at the weekend.

ahead of the Mundial would help in blending the squad for the task in Brazil. He stressed that using the World Cup core players in all the warm up games would assist the Eagles’ boss to discover the lapses in his team and correct them before the competition begins, as well as aid in the proper blending of the foreign and home-based players in the team. “My advice for the coach is to start using the players he desires to take to the World Cup in the friendly games. This would guide against the issue of players not understanding themselves  on the field of play like they experienced in the CHAN. “Using the key players he needs for the World Cup in the warm up games would not stop him from adding new players to the team because he is still on a rebuilding process.” Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will meet with Keshi this week to deliberate on the programme for the World Cup. According the Super Eagles spokesman, Ben Alaiya, the meeting would dwell on the friendly games, the team’s requirements for a successful outing in Brazil, as well as other friendly games lined up for the team after the Mexico game.

Bokini retains trophy, as 2nd Ships and Ports table tennis tourney ends in Lagos STAFF of the Engineering A Department of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Kehinde Borokini has won the 2nd edition of the annual Ships & Ports Table Tennis Championship, retaining the Prince Olayiwola Shittu trophy for the second year. Borokini, who won the maiden edition of the championship last year, defeated fellow NPA staff, Jangnap Nansoh, 7-11, 11-5, 11-1. A highly elated Borokini said she hopes to win the trophy for keeps next year. A staff of ENL Consortium, Yusuf Saheed Ayinde, defeated a Maritime lawyer, Titilayo Osagie to the third place in the one-day championship, which was held at the Apapa Club, Lagos. Shortly after winning the competition, Borokini expressed appreciation to the management of Ships & Ports Communication Company for giving her the opportunity to exhibit her talent and make more friends among Maritime industry operators. She said, “this is the second time I am winning this competition. When I got here today I thought I will see people that will defeat me but I thank God for making it possible for me to win this competition for the second time.”


62 Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 63


TheGuardian

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Damola Adepeju

FRICA’s development path (in terms of A creating sustainable income, ability to live a decent life, general well-being, increased purchasing power parity, having access to basic social amenities) is different from that of Europe, America and Asia. This is because Africa lags behind on development metrics and creativity is required to catch up with others. Also, Africa is able to avoid the development challenges and phases other nations went through. For instance, countries in Africa jumped from no access to telecommunications to 650 million mobile telephone subscribers. Yet, in spite of available models to adapt to suit our needs, the continent has failed to translate her positive GDP rates to real effects for her citizens. Government inefficiencies, failure of leadership and negative effects of globalisation birthed an unintended consequence that may be a solution to our development challenges. This unintended consequence is the informal economy. World Bank reports state that this economy contributes at least 40 per cent of Africa’s GDP. Yet governments alienate its members culturally, socially and economically. Though there is no precise definition of the informal economy because it encapsulates many aspects, the International Labour Organization (ILO) defines it as “… all economic activities by workers and economic units that are – in law or in practice- not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements. Their activities are not included in the law, which means that they are operating outside the formal reach of the law; or they are not covered in practice, which means that although they are operating within the formal reach of the law, the law is not applied or not enforced; or the law discourages compliance because it is inappropriate, burdensome, or imposes excessive costs”  Therefore, street hawkers, tailors, drivers, carpenters, handymen, kiosk owners, recharge card vendors, mobile and home offices fall into this category. The informal economy exists in most African cities and Lagos, Nigeria’s melting pot has her share of vendors who survive by hawking items from recharge cards, potatoes, shoe racks, mobile phones, accessories, fruits in traffic or curb sides. In 2003, the Lagos State government set up the KAI (Kick Against Indiscipline) Brigade. “… to keep Lagos Environment Clean: by eliminating indiscriminate dump-

Therefore, street hawkers, tailors, drivers, carpenters, handymen, kiosk owners, recharge card vendors, mobile and home offices fall into this category. The informal economy exists in most African cities and Lagos, Nigeria’s melting pot has her share of vendors who survive by hawking items from recharge cards, potatoes, shoe racks, mobile phones, accessories, fruits in traffic or curb sides.

Please send reactions and feedback for YOUTH SPEAK to:

editorial@risenetworks.org and 07067976667- SMS ONLY

Criminalisation of survival

It would take a while for even a shrewd business owner to break even. It is no surprise that even businesses that can afford the legal process do not register their businesses. Lagos is not the only city faced with the problem of street vending and its attendant effects such as pollution. The arrest and seize approach of KAI has not been successful. Instead, it has alienated the government from the “poor” who now view it as elitist. Hawkers do not make enough to create sustainable income, thus even after they are caught and penalised, they return to the streets. 

ing of refuse in unauthorized places and  eliminating all forms of Street trading and hawking”. This is in line with the government’s Mega city goal. The Brigade

carries out its duties faithfully and diligently. The fear of KAI is the beginning of wisdom for most hawkers as their goods (which may not be worth more than N15,

The YOUTHSPEAK Column which is published daily is an initiative of THE GUARDIAN, and powered by RISE NETWORKS, Nigeria’s Leading Youth Development Centre, as a substantial advocacy platform available for ALL Nigerian Youth to engage Leadership at all levels, engage Society and contribute to National Discourse on diverse issues especially those that are peculiar to Nigeria. Regarding submission of articles, we welcome writers‘ contributions by way of well crafted, analytical and thought provoking opinion pieces that are concise, topical and non-defamatory! All articles (which are not expected to be more than 2000 words) should be sent to editorial@risenetworks.org To read the online Version of this same article plus past publications and to find out more about Youth Speak, please visit www.risenetworks.org/youthspeak and join the ongoing National Conversations’’. Also join our on-line conversation

RISE GROUP

@risenetworks

21676F3E

Published by Guardian Newspapers Limited, Rutam House, Isolo, Lagos Tel: 4489600, 2798269, 2798270, 07098147948, 07098147951 Fax: 4489712; Advert Hotlines: Lagos 7736351, Abuja 07098513445; Circulation Hotline: 01 4489656 All correspondence to Guardian Newspapers Limited, P.M.B. 1217, Oshodi, Lagos, Nigeria. E-mail letters@ngrguardiannews.com; www.ngrguardiannews.com

Editor: MARTINS

OLOJA

.

ABC (ISSN NO 0189-5125)

000) are confiscated in addition to other penalties that may be levied by the State. This action by the government is overkill. Rather than destroy the meager means of livelihood of certain residents, the government should first identify why people hawk. Some reasons include migration to Lagos for greener pastures, business failure (especially artisans who have learnt a skill but are unable to practice) and the cumbersome and expensive process of setting up a business. Of the three in Nigeria, Lagos ranks 25th in the World Bank’s ease of doing business Rankings. Add to these overheads such as space and electricity. It would take a while for even a shrewd business owner to break even. It is no surprise that even businesses that can afford the legal process do not register their businesses. Lagos is not the only city faced with the problem of street vending and its attendant effects such as pollution. The arrest and seize approach of KAI has not been successful. Instead, it has alienated the government from the “poor” who now view it as elitist.  Hawkers do not make enough to create sustainable income, thus even after they are caught and penalised, they return to the streets.  To address the hawking problem, the State can adapt alternatives used in other cities such as creating mobile stalls for vendors in designated areas and stipulating hours they are allowed to operate or  creating multi-shops stores  around the city where hawkers are allowed to operate. For an industry that emerged by accident and was regarded as a passing phase by scholars, the informal economy is here to stay. Governments like Lagos State should proactively harness the potentials of this sector by acknowledging it and creating conducive policies that aid its growth. This would be beneficial for both the members and the government because holding other factors constant (adequate provision of basic services) when players in the sector are able to create sustainable incomes, the government would be able to earn revenue like it does from the formal sector. • Damola Adepeju lives in Lagos deda_mola@yahoo.com


Wed 05 Feb 2014