FDI inflow from Europe, Africa, others boosts investments in Nigeria By Chijioke Nelson IGERIA may have reN mained investors’ toast despite challenges bedeviling businesses, as investors from Europe, other African coun-
tries and Asia dominated the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) record in the country. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its Survey of Foreign Assets and Liabilities in Nigeria 2011 Report, said that the
exercise, which covered large establishments numbering 320 across the country, showed that total foreign claims on the Nigerian economy (liabilities) as at end 2011 rose to N12,729.69 billion from
N11,681.32 billion recorded in 2010. The survey, conducted by the Statistics Department of CBN in conjunction with the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority, Nigerian Investment
Promotion Commission and other collaborating agencies, was contained in the journal of Applied Statistics of the apex bank. A breakdown of the figures showed that 74.8 per cent of
the total stake came in the form of direct investment, while portfolio investment and other capital flows accounted for 10.3 per cent and 14.9 per cent, respectively. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,515
Prof. Oladipupo Akinkugbe (left), Ambassador Olu Sanu, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Mrs. Tola Aworh, Prof. Charles Aworh, Justice Titi Mabogunje and Chief Folake Solanke, cutting the centenary cake during the centenary award dinner of Ibadan Grammar School in Ibadan… on Monday.
Again, CBN plans soft loans for ailing airlines
By Wole Shadare and Chika Goodluck-Ogazi
ORRIED about the finanW cial crisis rocking the nation’s airlines, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again moved to rescue them through loans secured at low interest rates. Three years ago, the CBN organised a N100 billion worth of rescue operation the airlines have not repaid.
• Nigeria, Israel to sign air pact Meanwhile, Nigeria and Israel are holding talks over the possibility of activating the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA), which is await-
ing President Goodluck Jonathan’s assent. The approval would allow both countries to operate airline services into each other’s
territory whenever the pact is sealed. The pact is expected to be signed this year. The apex bank last week met with three aircraft manufac-
turers - Boeing Company, ATR and Embraer - which made presentations on how they would assist the country’s ailing airlines. At the meeting with CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in Abuja were representatives of Aero, Arik, Chanchangi, Overland, IRS, Medview Airlines,
Onaiyekan condemns pardon for Alamieyeseigha, Bulama– Page 7
the plane-makers and representatives of Asset Management Company (AMCON) About four airlines have reportedly been taken over by AMCON due to huge debts amounting to over N120 billion. The Federal Government through the CBN is working on how to assist the carriers acquire new aircraft at a sinCONTINUED ON PAGE 2
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Nigeria, Israel to sign air pact CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 gle digit interest rate, a departure from the past where airlines were made to pay 30 per cent interest on loans from banks. This time around, airlines, which qualify for assistance, would be expected to pay seven per cent interest on loans secured. The Guardian learnt that the bailout period for the airlines would be for 15 years at the minimum interest rate of seven per cent as against shortterm loan at two digits interest rates. Aside from start-up airline, Medview, the books of virtually all Nigerian airlines are in red, a situation that has made them economically unhealthy. The situation has equally stunted their growth and expansion. A top official of an airline who was at the meeting but who pleaded anonymity said the CBN boss insisted that three airlines, including one of the biggest ones in the country, must effect a change in its management before it could benefit from the fresh intervention being proposed by the Federal Government; a proposal that did not go down well with the chairman of the airline. Sanusi, according to the source, was also said to be irked by the running of a particular carrier with a base in the North, noting that the only way out for the airline to be rescued was to re-organise its management and come up with a good business plan for profitability. Speaking in the same vein, the Managing Director of Medview Airlines, Bankole Munir, lauded the efforts of the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, adding that what she was offering the airlines was a total package, which would allow them have direct facilities in Nigeria. Munir said that rather than give aviation intervention fund to individuals, government was purchasing aircraft to serv-
ice the regional hub and interconnectivity and to reach every corridor of this country. He confirmed that government had given window to three aircraft-makers- Boeing, ATR, and Embraer - whose presentations he said were satisfactory. The airline chief lamented the costs of operations in the sector, stressing that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other agencies should be co-opted into the cost effectiveness of the airlines. The BASA pact with Israel would help to cut travel time between Lagos and Tel Aviv just as it would afford designated airlines to operate directly between the two countries. Before now, Nigerian travellers have had to make stop-over, most times at Istanbul, Turkey, or some other countries before connecting flights to Israel. The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Mr. JohnKennedy Opara, said in Abuja recently when he accompanied the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd) and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Viola Onwuliri, to welcome the last batch of pilgrims from Israel at the end of the 2013 Easter pilgrimage that President Goodluck Jonathan, who had indicated interest to participate in the 2013 exercise, would facilitate the signing of the agreement when he visits Israel later in the year. This is coming as the Federal Government has accepted the request of Emirates Airlines to begin flight services from Abuja to Dubai. The latest approval brings to two destinations the airline would fly to in Nigeria and could bring the carrier’s frequencies to Nigeria to 18 in a week. Spokesman for the Minister of
Aviation, Joe Obi, in a statement yesterday, said Emirates expressed interest in the Abuja route and approval, via a letter from the minister dated February 14, 2013 was conveyed to the airline. According to him, “Andrew J Parker, Senior Vice President, Public, International, Industry and Environment Affairs for Emirates, acknowledged receipt and expressed gratitude for the approval. He, however, said the airline was yet to settle on a date to commence the Abuja operations He added: “Abuja is on our radar, but we do not as yet have a firm date for operation there. We are monitoring the fuel price movements and market conditions and at an opportune time, we would come up with a deployment plan for
Abuja.” He noted that with regard to Turkish Airlines, a letter conveying the minister’s approval for the airline to operate the Kano route was dated February 26, 2013, adding that on the March 20, 2013, the airline’s General Manager, Nigeria, Ali Bulut, in a letter to the minister of aviation, acknowledged the approval granted the airline, stressing that details on when the airline would commence operations on the route were currently being worked out between officials of the Ministry and Turkish Airlines. Opara said that the President had directed foreign affairs officials to make the necessary arrangements ahead of his visit, to enable him hold talks with Israel’s highest authorities over the matter.
He expressed confidence that the agreement would eventually be signed during the President’s visit to the holy land before the end of the year. BASA is an agreement, which two nations sign to allow international commercial air transport services between their territories. According to experts, there are procedures, processes and certain requirements that the Nigerian airlines need to acquire before they can be qualified to operate on foreign routes, which most of the local carriers have failed to abide. Nigeria has over 60 BASA across the globe with different countries for economic and air transportation benefits, but Nigerian airlines do not have the capacity and capability to reciprocate the pact, as only
about 15 are being serviced while the others are virtually of little benefit, except for commercial income of $20 per seat carried by the foreign airline on routes not plied by Nigerian airline. Currently, over 24 foreign countries operate flights in and out of Nigeria with over 80 frequencies. Although the agreement was signed at the time Nigeria Airways was operational and could at least reciprocate some of the frequencies operated into Nigeria from Dubai, London, Johannesburg, Kenya, United States (U.S.) and others. But now, the reverse is the case as foreign airlines continue to take undue advantage of Nigeria’s non-chalant attitude to its domestic business.
Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State) (left)and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta State) condoling with the Chairman, African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN Plc), Chief H.I.D. Awolowo, at the home of Chief Obafemi Awolowo on the death of her son and Vice Chairman of ANN Plc/Publisher of Nigerian Tribune titles, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, in Ikenne-Remo… yesterday.
National President, Vigilance Group of Nigeria, Ali Sokoto (left); National Chairman, Niggas Rehabilitation and Skills Acquisition Centre, Niga Rigasua and Executive Director, Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria, Pastor Yohanna Buru, during a Muslims and Christians reconciliation meeting in Kaduna… yesterday.
FDI inflow from Europe, Africa, others boosts investments CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The European Union countries accounted for 54.9 per cent of the total inflow, and are followed by other Africa countries with 15.8 per cent. Further analysis of the survey showed that the recipient sectors of the inward capital flows to Nigeria were the extractive industries sector, which ranked highest with 49.4 per cent, followed by manufacturing sector that received 29.1 per cent. Total stock of outward investment as at the end of 2011 was N2,377.03 billion, against N2,500.14 billion in 2010. In 2011, outward direct investment dominated with 84.1 per
cent of the total, while African countries were the preferred investment destination for Nigerian enterprises receiving 93.3 per cent of the total outflow, mostly by the banking industry. However, the survey also indicated a decline in investment flow to the economic free zones around the country. A further breakdown of the 2011 figure by category of capital showed that N9,515.34 billion or 74.75 per cent came in the form of direct investment, while portfolio investment and other capital flows accounted for N1,318.48 billion or 10.36 per cent and N1,895.87 billion or 14.89 per cent, respec-
tively. Total inward capital by originating economy in 2011 showed that N6,988.08 billion or 54.90 per cent was from the European Union countries, followed by Africa, which accounted for N2, 013.41 billion. Other regions of capital origin were Asia, with 13.97 per cent, North Atlantic and Caribbean, 11.30 per cent, North America, 3.99 per cent and other countries, 0.03 per cent. In Africa, investments from East and Central Africa dominated by 85.15 per cent, while ECOWAS sub-region accounted for 6.6 per cent, with the extractive industries sector ranking highest among the re-
cipient sectors, as it accounted for N6,285.97 billion or 49.38 per cent of the total foreign liabilities in the economy as at the end of 2011. This was followed by manufacturing, N3,704.37 billion or 29.10 per cent and transport, storage and communication, N1, 272.64 billion or 10.0 per cent. The total capital inflow at the end of 2011, showed that N9, 515. 34 billion came in the form of direct investment, representing about 74.75 per cent, while N6,656.64 billion or 69.96 per cent was in the form of equity and the balance of N2,858.70 billion or 30.04 per cent came in the form of debt.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Why progressives’ merger is inevitable, says ACN CHOING abuse of power, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has cautioned that no presidential directive or executive order can stop the coming together of progressive forces in the country to democratically take power from the People’s
Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015. ‘’No force on earth has ever been able to stop an idea which time has come, which is what the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) represents. It is therefore futile for anyone to embark on such an impos-
sible task,’’ the party said in a statement yesterday in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. ‘’Nigerians are yearning for change. Therefore targetting our leaders won’t help the disappearing behemoth,
whose so-called reconciliation efforts have even worsened its plight. Needless to say that every attempt or attack on perceived political opponents by the government and it apparatchiks will be revealed, contested and resisted.
‘’The leaders of APC know what they are up against and are mindful that the battle ahead may be rough and difficult, yet they are irrevocably committed to establishing a party that will sound the death knell of the bumbling PDP and bring develop-
Chairman, Kaduna State Standing Committee on Qua’anic Recitation, Bello Abdulqadir (left) with the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris during the committee’s visit to the Emir in Zaria …yesterday
Reps wade into $11.5b charges on SNEPCO over spill From Terhemba Daka, Abuja NDICATIONS emerged yesIRepresentatives terday that the House of Committee on Environment has begun moves to resolve the disparity in $11.5 billion administrative charge imposed on Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) by two agencies of government over the oil spill that occurred at its Bonga field off the coast of Delta and Bayelsa states on December 20, 2011. Specifically, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Management Agency (NIMASA) have asked SNEPCO to pay a total of $11.5 billion as Administrative Charges for the spill. It was learnt that NOSDRA has charged SNEPCO $5 billion, while the NIMASA is said to have been charged $6.5 billion for the same spill. The Bonga oil spill was said to have been caused by a rupture on an export hose which poured an estimated 40,000 barrels of crude oil across 950 square kilometres of water and thereby affecting the environment and the livelihood of the communities in the area. Speaking with officials of NOSDRA, NIMASA and SNEPCO at a session in Abuja last week, Chairman, Committee on Environment, Uche Ekwunife tasked both government agencies to avail
the panel with the yardstick used to determine the two amounts, adding that the Committee would resolve the issue of different penalties in collaboration with the two agencies involved. Managing Director of SNEPCO, Mr. Chike Onyekekwe said the company has always adhered to the regulations in the sector, and disclosed that the cause of the accident was still being investigated.
Mrs. Gunwa Juliana, who represented NIMASA, told the panel that the agency was denied access to samples from the spill site by the facility manager. However, Ekwunife lamented that the environment and the livelihood of the people in the area suffer whenever oil firms and government agencies argue over who was responsible for oil spills. This is even as she charged
SNEPCO to ensure that relief materials were sent to the affected communities, adding that excuses would no longer be condoned whenever oil spills occur. “This committee is of the view that oil companies have a responsibility to protect their facilities and if their pipelines become compromised either due to sabotage or equipment failure, the oil companies have a responsi-
bility to immediately clean the impacted sites. We cannot continue to sit down and watch our environment being continually degraded and our people lose their lives and sources of livelihood,” the lawmaker said. She disclosed that the panel has set up an Adhoc Committee to meet with the different stakeholders with a view to resolving the matter.
ment to Nigeria,’’ it said. ACN said it was aware, all along, that all the attempts to derail the registration of the APC, by some impostors who have been loaded down with dirty funds by their ‘ogas at the top’, were masterminded from the seat of power and the highest echelon of the PDP, by those who have totally abandoned governance for dirty politics, even though there are almost two years to go before the next elections. It described as an eye-opener but not a surprise the report carried by a national newspaper yesterday that a presidential directive, dated March 26, 2013, has been issued by the presidency for everything to be done to frustrate the merger of opposition parties. ACN recalled that in a statement it issued on January 8, 2013, it alerted the nation to the desperate measures being planned by the PDPled Federal Government to discredit and silence key opposition leaders, especially ACN leader Bola Tinubu and his CPC counterpart, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, as well as their political associates. ‘’The report by the national newspaper confirms what we already knew, including the sinister plan to stop Tinubu ahead of the 2015 elections. We will like to add that part of this plan is to hurt his business interests, scare off most of his business partners and political associates, try to pin some activities of Boko Haram on him and generally go after the leading figures including governors in the APC initiative. ‘’But there is also another plan, which is to ensure that elections either do not hold in 2015 or that they will hold under curfew. To achieve this, those who have now succumbed to a mortal fear of the APC are stoking the fire of violence across the country, either through incompetent handling of existing crisis or by instigating fresh ones. With the North-east and the Northwest in the throes of violence, the South-west is their next target in this regard, and we will reveal the full details of their shenanigans in due course,’’ the party said.
Korean firm, KEPCO takes over Egbin power plant From Mathias Okwe (Abuja) and Roseline Okere (Lagos) OVES to privatise the M power sector in the country have received a boost as the Federal Government has relinquished its 70 per cent stake in Egbin Power Plant to a Korean firm, KEPCO Energy Resources. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said yesterday in a statement that KEPCO Energy Resources has been transmitted an offer letter in respect of the Supplemental Share Purchases Agreement (SPA) for the 70 per cent sale of Federal Government’s shares in the plant at the cost of $407.3 million The statement by the BPE Head of Public Communications, Mr. Joe Anichebe in Abuja added,
‘The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) had at its second meeting for 2013 held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, approved the sale of 70 per cent of Federal Government’s shares in Egbin Power Plant to KEPCO Energy Resources at that amount. The NCP asked KEPCO to pay 51 per cent of the plant’s shares at the 2007 valuation of $549.01 million and further pay for additional 19 per cent of the shares at the current valuation of $670 million. In the letter conveying the NCP’s approval to KEPCO, acting Director-General of BPE, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, said KEPCO was expected to pay 25 per cent of the money within 15 working days on receipt of the offer letter and the balance of 75 per cent within 90
working days. In the approval, the NCP directed that the BPE reserves 10 per cent of the reminder of 30 per cent (which is three per cent) for the workers and the remaining 90 per cent of the 30 per cent shares (which is 27 per cent) to be sold to the Nigerians through Initial Public Offer (IPO) at a later date. The privatisation of the power company was earlier concluded with KEPCO Energy Resources for the sale of 51 per cent on May 17, 2007 at a price of $280 million. An initial 10 per cent of that bid price in the sum of $28 million was received at the time and an escrow agreement was entered into by committing the payment of a further 50 per cent ($140 million), of the purchase price within 90 days after
the conclusion of due diligence by the investor in accordance with the terms of the sale. However, since the initial payment of the 10 per cent, the transaction could not be concluded for the following reasons: The non-resolution of labour issues, which was a major obstacle towards the take-over of the plant; Non-delivery of a Power Purchase Agreement and final off-take price; and Nonexecution of a Gas Supply Agreement. With the establishment of clear institutional framework by the present administration for the power sector as witnessed by the operational take off of the Bulk Trader, Nigerian Electricity Liabilities Management Company (NELMCO) and the Gas Aggregator; major progress had been achieved
in addressing all the encumbrances that had hindered the transaction. As a result, the NCP in March 2012 approved the engagement of CPCS Consortium to serve as the transaction advisers in order to revalue the plant and conclude the transaction with KEPCO Energy Resources. The CPCS submitted a technical report, which stated that the plant was commissioned on May 11, 1985 with a total installed capacity of 1320 MW. Furthermore, given the need to generate sufficient revenues to enable government address the large labour liabilities due to PHCN workers, CPCS recommended that 70 per cent of the company’s shares be sold to the core investor instead of the earlier 51 per cent.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Police patrol warring Anambra, Kogi communities From Uzoma Nzeagwu, Awka OLLOWING the invasion of FAnambra Enugu-Otu Aguleri in East Local Council of Anambra State by the neighbouring Ashonwo/Odeke in Ibaji Local Council of Kogi State, the Anambra State Police Command may have dispatched a detachment of personnel to the area to maintain peace and order. Nevertheless, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Emeka Chukwuemeka, said he was not aware of any casualty suffered by any side during the fracas. He assured that they were doing everything possible to restore peace to the warring communities. Curiously, the Anambra East Local Council Transition Committee Chairman, Chinedu Obidigwe, told newsmen yesterday that Enugu-Otu Aguleri suffered loss of lives and destruction of property to the attack, hinting that they may seek justice from the court instead of taking laws into their hands.
Rufa’i tasks youths to aid good governance From John Akubo, Dutse ORRIED by the rising rate W of criminal violence in the country, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, has admonished Nigerian youths to be useful assets to the society by participating positively and actively in government transformation agenda. The minister made the call yesterday at Babura town in Babura Local Council of Jigawa State during a students’ workshop on good character and protection of government property organised by the Office of the Special Adviser on Students Affairs to Governor Sule Lamido. She commended the effort at mobilising the youths to be useful assets by developing the their necessary skills, competences and entrepreneurial abilities to enable them participate in the national economy. Speaking at the workshop, the Special Adviser on Students Affairs, Alhaji Umar Danjani, called on the youths in the state to be vigilant and safeguard all developmental projects executed for the benefit of the people.
Bayelsa to partner media on positive image From Willie Etim, Yenagoa AYELSA State Governor, SeriB ake Dickson, has said his administration was willing to partner the media in efforts at giving the state and the nation a positive image before the outside world, particularly at this challenging period. Dickson spoke when he paid a visit to the management of AIT/Ray Power at their Elebele office in Yenagoa. Describing DAAR Communications, owners of Ray Power radio and Africa Independent Television (AIT) as a dependable partner, he saluted the courage of the organisation in pioneering private broadcasting in the country and in Africa as a whole. The governor, who explained that he was at DAAR Communications to assess the level of destruction caused by last year’s flood, also used the occasion to respond to questions on government’s plan for the impending flood and other issues.
A cross-section of policemen from Lagos Command displaying their certificates of commendation after being rewarded by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) during a briefing by Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko in Lagos… on Monday.
Kaduna Reps seek quick FG’s response to attacks in community From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief OLLOWING the invasion of FLocalAtaka community in Kaura Council of Kaduna State by unknown gunmen who killed over 19 people in one fell swoop, some members of the House of Representatives have urged the Federal Government to quickly deploy troops to the troubled area to secure lives and property of the inhabitants and prevent further hostilities.
Gunmen sacked the border community of Ataka in the early hours of Easter Sunday in a shooting spree that killed 19 persons and left many severely injured. Reacting to that, national lawmakers from southern Kaduna Senatorial District held an emergency meeting and urged the federal and Kaduna state governments to deploy both police and soldiers to volatile areas to prevent escalation of the violence.
The legislators reviewed the threat of “renewed attacks in the zone” while condemning “in its entirety the renewed attacks on southern Kaduna villages, particularly the one that happened in Kaura that claimed more than 20 lives already, with four villages totally burnt down by unknown assailants.” A statement jointly signed by the lawmakers after the emergency meeting tasked the Federal Government to quickly
intervene in the unfortunate happenings in southern Kaduna. While commiserating with victims in the affected communities, they called “on all relevant government agencies to provide urgently relief materials to cushion the effect on displaced persons, particularly women and children sheltered at the various primary schools in Kaura Local Council.” They pleaded with the people of southern Kaduna “to re-
main calm, orderly and peaceful even in the face of the unnecessary attacks being visited on the people.” The lawmakers also insisted that the Federal Government should “immediately deploy stronger detachment of armed security to the affected areas to ensure peace and secure lives and property,” as they canvassed measures “to urgently bring to an end the incessant attacks on the people of the southern Kaduna.”
Soyinka, Uduaghan, Aregbesola, Bankole console Hannah Awolowo From Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Abeokuta OBEL Laureate, Prof. N Wole Soyinka, governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, were among prominent Nigerians who condoled with the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief HID Awolowo, yesterday on the death of her son, Evangelist Oluwole Awolowo. Soyinka, who had a private discussion with Mrs. Awolowo, simply wrote in the condolence register, “Please take heart.” Also yesterday, a delegation of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, led
by Chief Reuben Fasoranti, was at the country-home of the Awolowos in Ikenne, Ogun State, to condole with HID and her family over Oluwole’s death. Uduaghan told journalists that the deceased, who until his death was the publisher of the Nigerian Tribune, was a patriotic Nigerian who used the tool at his disposal to promote the unity and progress of the country. Uduaghan, who said he developed some emotional attachment to the Awolowo family because of the achievements of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, “especially in the area of free education,” which he benefited from, said the late Oluwole did his best to ensure that Nigerians
were their brothers’ keepers. “He was like an elder brother and of course, as a publisher, you know the Tribune title is quite popular in Nigeria,” Uduaghan said. “I remember on two or three occasions I had some private discussions with him and he was concerned about the unity of Nigeria. He was concerned about development of Nigeria and used the opportunity of being a publisher to propagate the unity and progress of Nigeria. Also, Aregbesola commended the Awolowo family for what he described as their spirit of endurance and strength of character, which he said Mrs. Awolowo had displayed since the demise of her only surviving son. He said: “One clear lesson is the
transience of life itself; it’s not about him but about the fact that death is a certainty that must come to every living being. “To me, the morals, the lesson here is the courage of the matriarch of this dynasty and her fortitude, her strength of character and spirit, her ability to endure this, and I will pray that the Almighty will further strengthen her, imbue her with the capacity to weather this. “It is not easy for a human being to have the experience she has had, but God in His Omniscience will provide her the capacity to bear it. We must all join in praying for her for greater fortitude. To the family, my wish and prayer is that this experience will never happen again.”
On his part, Bankole, who led a delegation that included three members of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Remmy Hazzan, John Obafemi and Job Akintan, minority leader of the assembly as well as a former member of the House of Representatives, Dave Salako, prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased. Meanwhile, the Afenifere delegation included Chief Olu Falae, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, Chief Korede Duyile, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Chief Supo Sonibare, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, Chief Oladosu Oladipo, Chief Segun Ojo, Chief Adeleke Mabinuori, Chief Pekun Awobona, Mr. Kayode Alufa, and Mr. Kole Omololu.
Plateau CPC divided over merger committee membership From Isa Abdulsalami, Jos SHARP division is tearing A the Plateau State chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) following the inauguration of a fiveman advisory committee on merger with other opposition parties at the state level. Already, a section of the state executive committee has described the committee as illegal, null and void. Leader of the intra-party opposing group and CPC state Publicity Secretary, Moses Mandong,
told journalists in Jos yesterday that the state executive committee “did not hold any official meeting with regards to the said panel.” According to him, the action was “the handiwork of the state chairman and five others, who are twisting the activities of the party to the detriment of the entire executive committee in the state.” Mandong said: “We have 22 executive committee members in the state and 15 of us are not aware of the committee and we have contacted
the national secretariat over the issue and they too were not in the picture of the said committee as merger issue is still at the national level.” He questioned the eligibility of the chairman of the merger talks, saying: “I knew the former Minister of Information and Communication, Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, as a card-carrying member of Labour Party (LP), I don’t know when he officially resigned and re-entered CPC because he was first in All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP),
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Labour Party (LP). Where does he actually belong? “We advise the said committee to stop parading themselves as representatives of the party pending the resolution of the national leadership of the party over the merger issue and urge the state chairman to call for executive committee meeting to address internal problems facing the party.” On Monday, the party inau-
gurated a five-man advisory committee on merger to represent it at talks with two others - ANPP and APGA - under the leadership of Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande. Responding to the objection to his chairmanship, however, Nakande said the said Mandong was present at the inauguration of the committee and did not protest or raise the issue of eligibility, therefore “he should go and ask the state chairman where he derived the power to set up the committee from.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Benue, nine others to enjoy solar energy soon
Police quiz Ekiti ACN chairman over murder of PDP member
From Joseph Wantu, Makurdi WING to the fact that BeO nue State has entered into memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Nigerian/German Energy Partnership agreement, the state will soon enjoy solar energy alongside nine other states in the North. The Executive Secretary, National Energy Council (NEC), Alhaji Ibrahim Njida, who made the disclosure yesterday during a courtesy call on Governor Gabriel Suswam, maintained that all the 10 states in the North have reached an understanding with the council on the provision of solar energy farms. Njida explained that Germany would generate and distribute power and embark on capacity building of the states, noting too that the scientific study of the entire North had been conducted in respect of alternative power source. He said the project was initiated to give the states independent power supply sources and disclosed that the Infrastructure Bank has been appointed as adviser. Responding, Governor Suswam said Benue indicated interest in the project because of its benefits, assuring that the state’s participation would not be a problem because a similar arrangement was made with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NPPC). He further assured that power supply in the country would improve by the end of this year. “The renewable power generation programme with NNPC will go a long way to address the perennial power challenges facing the state even though in his estimation, the on-going project is dragging slowly,” he noted.
Mahama to deliver Ekiti varsity convocation lecture From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado-Ekiti HANAIAN President, Dr. G John Dramani Mahama, will tomorrow deliver the convocation lecture at the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, at the university’s main auditorium. The lecture, the second in its series, titled: “University governance and reclaiming the lost glory: The challenges and possibilities of world class university in Africa”, according to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Oladipo Aina, is part of the 18th convocation ceremonies of the 31-year-old institution. At the ceremony, 11 students will receive first-class honours degrees out of the 4,439 that will receive certificates. Prof. Aina yesterday said 701 emerged in the second-class upper category; 2,695 in second-class lower; 970 in thirdclass and 62 in pass degree, disclosing that “748 graduating postgraduate students comprise 27 Ph.D, 302 Masters and 419 post graduate diplomas.” The Professor of Soil Science, who assumed office over a year ago, said the management, as part of its plan to reposition the school, had drawn a five-year strategic plan 2013-2018 that will assist the school in becoming a world-class institution.
From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado-Ekiti HE Ekiti State Police ComT mand yesterday quizzed the state’s Chairman of Action
Chairman, Riverdrill Group, Tonye Princewill (left); Host Comedian, Ayo Makun and a guest, Sholaye Jeremi, during AY Live Show “The Old and New Testaments”, held at Eko Hotel on Easter Sunday in Lagos
Onaiyekan condemns pardon for Alamieyeseigha, Bulama HE presidential pardon T granted former Bayelsa State governor, Depreiye Alamieyeseigha, may never go down well with most Nigerians as more high profile figures have condemned it. The latest condemnation came from the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, in his Easter message. Onaiyekan, troubled by the pardon - like many Nigerians since the news of it broke dedicated his Easter message to condemning it. President Goodluck Jonathan drew local and international anger after he granted state pardon to his former boss, Alamieyeseigha. The former governor, wanted in the United Kingdom for money laundering and convicted in Nigeria for embezzling state funds while he was in office, was pardoned alongside another convict and former head of the Bank of the North, Shettima Bulama. Bulama, like Alamieyeisegha, was investigated and later prosecuted for corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for crimes committed as head of a Nigerian bank. While many Nigerians have described it as the worst setback to the fight against corruption in the country, the controversial pardon sparked diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United States, with the Americans threatening to punish Nigeria over Jonathan’s action. The president also drew public anger for the pardon of a former army major, Bello Magaji, a homosexual rapist whom the Supreme Court jailed for five years for serially sodomising four teenage boys. Onaiyekan, who spoke to Premium Times, an on-line publication, said the pardon is a “case where moral issues is at stake, where people are condemned or liable to be condemned for breaking the law and going against moral norms.” According to the cleric, Alamieyeisegha and Bulama, and others ‘unjustly’ pardoned, ought to have shown some form of public repentance “which should be clear to everyone.”
“Furthermore, a sincere effort must be made to pay back as much as possible of what has been stolen. That money belongs to the Nigerian people and it must be given back to them (as a precondition for the pardon),” he added. The Cardinal advised the government not to forget that the issue of massive corruption in high places is of major concern to Nigerians who are fast losing confidence in the sincerity of government to turn the tide. “Pardon for high profile corruption cases will certainly
reduce further whatever is left of the confidence of the people. This has serious political and social fall-out that government cannot afford to ignore. “We must tell the truth that anger is mounting in the land, especially among the youth whose patience is running out. The clock of social tension is dangerously ticking towards explosion. The nation is in danger. What is needed are clear and visible gestures of reassurance that a real change and genuine transformation for the better has started,” he said.
Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Olajide Awe, over the murder of Mr. Ayodele Jeje at Erinjiyan Ekiti in Ekiti-West local Council Area at the weekend. Jeje, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was shot dead in Erinjiyan Ekiti, Awe’s town, at the weekend while one Mrs. Julianah Adewumi and Gbenga Adewumi were also shot by unknown gunmen while attending a PDP meeting in the town. The PDP alleged that Awe, who was a high chief in the community, led some ACN thugs to disrupt the meeting, which was summoned in preparation to receive some ACN members that were decamping to the PDP. However, the ACN leader in the state denied the allegation, saying
that the killing was a result of internal crisis in the PDP. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Victor Babayemi, confirmed that Awe was quizzed to explain his alleged involvement in the murder. According to him, “Mr. Jide Awe was invited for fact finding in respect of the killing in Erinjiyan Ekiti at the weekend.” Meanwhile, Ekiti PDP Chairman, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, told a press conference yesterday that the statement credited to Awe to the effect that the murder was caused by internal crisis in the PDP was diversionary and criminal. Ogundipe said it was unfortunate for the ACN chairman to deny the killing even when the victims could recognise him vividly among the hoodlums that attacked the community, leading to the death of one person and injury to many others.
Capital market solicitors hold elections April 9 HE Capital Market Solicitors T Association (CMSA) will host its annual general meeting at 11 am on April 9, 2013, at the Protea Hotel, Westwood, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. On that day, the current executive committee, led by Dr. Ba-
batunde Ajibade (SAN), will be making way for new executives to be elected at the event. All financial members of the association are invited to the event. They are also required to nominate members for the elections.
Ihejirika urges intelligence gathering on terrorism, Fashola, Obada charge media By Babatunde Oso (Lagos), Isa Abdulsalami (Jos), Kamal Tayo Oropo, Gbenga Salau and Florence Utor (Lagos) HE Chief of Army Staff, T Nigerian Army, Lt.-Gen. O. A. Ihejirika, has said that checking the activities of Boko Haram before they strike is critical to winning the war against terrorism in Nigeria. And to successfully do that, it will require intelligence gathering not only by the military but more coming from the citizens. He said this in Lagos yesterday at a military-media relation organised by the Nigerian Army. Ihejirika, who noted that the media is close to the people, therefore, said it should collaborate with the Army in getting intelligence information that will aid its operations in checking the activities of Boko Haram. Ihejirika maintained that any country or community whose citizens have high level of security awareness have greater chances of defeating terrorists before they carry out their dastardly acts. He said that the primary goal of terrorists is to win the attention of the media, national and foreign publics and decision makers in a government. The Chief of Army Staff noted that terrorists also carefully select the places they carry out their attacks in order to provide the best media cov-
• Group explains cause of violence in Plateau community erage. “Apart from this, terrorists use the media to publicise their political causes, convey the motives for their terrorists’ deeds and explain their rationale for resorting to violence. They also use the media to edify their leadership. The need for a professional, patriotic and responsible reporting of matters of security also caught the attention Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola and the Minister of State, Erelu Olusola Obada, both of who canvassed improved military-media relations. Fashola also queried allowing threats from leaders of groups who do not have authority of the state to get published on front page. He enjoined the media to commend the military when they make in-roads as he said sometimes the prevention of crime lies with the citizens. Obada said that relationship between the media and the military must be symbiotic. In a related development, the Association of Safety Professionals and Practitioners (ASPROP) has urged the Federal Government to return the country to the era of genuine policing which involves crime detection, thorough investigation combined with adequate funding and equipping of men of the Nigeria Police. Expressing worries over fre-
quent cases of violence in the country and numerous unsolved cases of killings, including the recent assassination of Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chinwike Asadu, its National Co-Coordinator, Mr. Lanre Ajegbomogun, said there is the need to build Nigeria’s internal security structure around the police. Ajegbomogun, who commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his excellent decision of making IG Mohammed Abubakar the police boss added: “Abubakar needed to be given the tools to succeed in the job by allowing him access the increasing security vote to adequately equip the police, train and re-train the men in the art of modern policing.” He declared his support for the scrapping of Police Ministry, which he said, constitutes a bureaucracy or bottleneck that delays fast or quick decision-making or release of funds. Meanwhile, the President of Aten Development Association (ADA) in Ganawuri Chiefdom of Riyom Local Government Council in Plateau State, Mr. Chom Bagu, yesterday in Jos at a press conference, explained circumstances that led to the violence that engulfed the area recently. According to Bagu “Some Fulani and their herds were
stopped by the Atakar of Ganawuri. That led to some exchange of gunfire. However, on Wednesday, March 20, the Ganawuri market day, while the Aten were busy at the market, the Atakar started burning houses belonging to the Fulani. “The Atar Aten quickly reported this to the Plateau State Commissioner of Police and the STF and urged the Fulani not to respond. On Thursday, March 21, the Fulani responded and burnt some Atakar houses. The Atar Aten once again visited the Police Commissioner and took with him the Ardo-Fulani Chief. On Friday, the Riyom Local Council Security Council met in Ganawuri to address the violence. In that meeting, the Atakar themselves said the violence started in Fadan Atakar and was imported into Ganawuri in Plateau State; no reasons were given for the violence at all. “We all thought the violence had ended and our chiefs were set to support a peaceful resolution of the conflict. However, on Saturday, March 23, the violence resumed when the Atakar came out with arms and attacked the Fulani, burning the few remaining houses. The Fulani avenged that Saturday night and the following Sunday with more burning and killing culminating in the total sacking of the Atakar from their settlements.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
FCT pledges world-class healthcare services for residents By Terhemba Daka, Abuja INISTER of State for FedM eral Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide, yesterday restated the Administration’s commitment to ensuring a world-class healthcare delivery in the territory. She gave the assurance while declaring open a free training organised for biomedical technicians and engineers by the FCT Administrations in collaboration with a non-profit organisation in the United States of America, Medshare. Over 50 biomedical technicians and engineers drawn from the public, private, military, police and para-military are participating in the training from April 2 to 5, 2013. The minister, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Social Development, Mrs. Uchenna Nwafor, said the provision of quality and affordable healthcare delivery remained a top priority of the administration. “The FCT Administration is committed to ensuring that the residents of the territory have the best quality of healthcare at the various levels of care. The administration is determined to achieve all of the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in FCT by 2015 and the transformation agenda of Mr. President,” she stated. She explained that the training of biomedical technicians and engineers was in tandem with the administration’s transformation agenda of providing worldclass and affordable healthcare delivery services from primary to tertiary healthcare facilities. According to her, “Effective and efficient medical practice is dependent on availability of skillful human resources, functional diagnostic medical equipment and hygienic working environment. “It is my utmost belief that this capacity building programme will generate ripples of change among biomedical technicians and engineers in handling and maintenance of our medical equipment and ensure their optimal functionality.” The Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretariat in the FCT, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya, reiterated the commitment of the FCTA to ensuring a holistic overhaul of all the public healthcare fa-
Chairman, Advisory Council of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, Rtd. Justice Mamman Nasir (left) with Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu during a peace and solidarity visit to the Emir in Bauchi …yesterday
Outgoing Niger CJ revisits his most difficult case By John Ogiji, Minna HE outgoing Chief Judge T of Niger State, Justice Jibrin Ndajiwo, has described the legal battle between the current administration of Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu and the past administration of Abdulkadir Kure as one of the most difficult cases he handled in his 22 years in office as head of the judiciary. It would be recalled that the Aliyu- led administration engaged his predecessor in legal battle with the arrest and detention of former government officials which climaxed in the setting up of judicial commission of inquiry to investigate award of contracts in the state between May 29, 1999 and May
2007. The outgoing Ndajiwo, while narrating his experience then as chief judge, at a special retirement prayer session organised for him by an Islamic organisation, Al HABIBIYYAH Islamic Society, in Minna yesterday said the political giants in Niger politics were then at each other’s throat and as a chief judge “that period was the most difficult in my 22 years in service.” According to him, “there were cases filed. In these cases, they were at each other’s throat. Virtually, all these cases, l have to decide them. So many things were said, there were innuendoes, and there was nothing people did not say. At a point, I was
afraid not of the physical harm that will happen to me, but I was afraid that if I should go wrong, what God will do to me. That was my attitude and my guiding principle in handling all the cases at the period. I thank God that after the cases were disposed off, we had peace in the state and the peace has continued to exist till now.” Justice Ndajiwo, who retired on March 29, 2013, described life in retirement as beautiful, adding that bowing out of service has brought him closer to Allah and that he has enough time now to read the Quran. “Now I have time to sleep, wake up and eat and read Quran or go back to sleep. I have time to attend to my
personal needs. I am grateful to God”. While wishing those still in service peaceful and blissful retirement, he thanked the Islamic clerics that organised the special prayers for the honour. Already, Aliyu has sworn in former First Lady, Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, as the acting Chief Judge. Aliyu said the appointment and her consequent swearing in were in conformity with the power vested in his office under Section 271 (4) of the 1999 Constitution. He said given Justice Abubakar’s impressive credentials as the most senior High Court Judge, he was confident that she will discharge her duties diligently without fear or favour.
Rivers farmers raise the alarm over killings From Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt ARMERS in Umukwa Igbo Etche in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State are being forced out of their farmlands in this crucial season following the activities of unknown people who behead their members in the community. It was gathered that four persons mostly farmers have so far been beheaded in the area, a situation which has caused pandemonium in the community and consequently, scaring the villagers from going to the farm. A resident in the community, who gave his name as Mr. Anayo said, “The situation has become very worrisome because the farming season is running out and if we do not
plant any thing now, during the harvest season, we will have nothing to harvest and that will lead to hunger and death.” He disclosed that the perpetrators of the dreadful act were strangers in the community, alleging that they must have come from the South East precisely, Anambra State. The Guardian reliably gathered that one of the hoodlums have been arrested and had confessed to have beheaded only one persons and was preparing to complete his assignment by getting extra two heads before his arrest. Grieved by the ugly development, Samuel Okere, one of the community leaders said,
it was necessary for government and security agencies to urgently lay ambush in the community to detect the whereabouts of those terrorising the people and bring them to book before it escalates like the Boko Haram issue. Okere warned that if government fails to intervene speedily, the people would be forced to handle the security challenge by themselves, which he feared might lead to serious crisis. He lamented that the problem was affecting the farmers, as their planting materials were dying, warning that the circumstances may cause food shortage and as well, affect the economic lives of the people. Some of the farmers in an interview with The Guardian ex-
pressed worry over the situation, describing it as strange and diabolical. They alleged that the development might not be unconnected with the selfish aspiration of the Nigerian politicians who are willing to do anything to get into political office. One of the embittered farmers, Mr. Francis Ibe said, “I am not used to staying at home, I get sick whenever I stay at a place but unfortunately this ugly development has forced me to stay indoor for some weeks now, my seedlings are dying and the farming season is running out, we are just helpless because we don’t want to die; if you go to the farm, those hoodlums will come and behead you.”
A police source at the Omugbolobiri Divisional police in the Council who insisted that the state police spokesman, Ben Ugwueblem was the only officer authorised to confirm such incident, noted that three persons in connection to the act have so far been arrested. But when contacted, the State Police Public Relation Officer, Mr. Ugwuegbulem promised to get feedback on the matter but failed to do so as at the time of filling this report. However, a senior officer in the State Ministry of Agriculture, who spoke in confidence said, the ministry has received information on the ugly incident, adding that efforts were being made to arrest the situation and ensure that the farmers return to work soon.
Fayemi greets Anyaoku at 80 By Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti KITI State Governor, Kayode E Fayemi, has congratulated former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku on his 80th birthday. Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, described Anyaoku as a great Nigerian who served his country with great enthusiasm and uncommon passion without expecting anything in return. The governor described Anyaoku as a leading light in diplomatic circle who contributed immensely to the emergence of Nigeria as a leading player in global politics and a respected voice in the international community.
Jos varsity graduates 50 PhD, nine first class students By Isa Abdulsalami, Jos BOUT nine graduating students of the University of Jos obtained first class in their various fields of studies, while 613 are in the Second Class upper degree bracket. The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Hayward Babale Mafuyai broke the news yesterday at a press briefing as part of activities lined up for the 26th convocation of the institution. He said out of a total of 7,946 graduating students, 50 are being awarded doctorate degrees and 67 postgraduate diplomas. Also, 5,709 are graduating with first degrees and 1,598 are awarded diplomas while 31 would receive certificates. According to him, five of the nine students graduating with First Class degrees are from the Pharmacy Department, adding that the contract for the construction of a students’ hostel has been awarded and the job is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
How Boko Haram can get amnesty, by Ahmed Christians urged not to fight back From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) and Uzoma Neagwu (Awka) OVERNOR Abdulfatah G Ahmed of Kwara State yesterday said amnesty could be
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (fifth left); Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada (sixth left); Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (sixth right); Brig.-Gen. M.A. Koleoso (fifth right); Chief of Administration, Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral, I.E. Ibas (fourth right); General Officer, Commanding 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Obi Abel Umahi (third right); Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 2 Command representing the IG, Mamman Ibrahim (right) and other officers during the opening of the interactive session on Military-Media Relations in Nigeria with the theme: “Enhancing Military-Media Relations Towards Improved Security” at the 81 Division Auditorium, Marina, Lagos…yesterday
President, Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mallam Garba Mohammed (middle); National Secretary, Mallam Shuaib Usman (left) and Chairman, NUJ, Lagos Council, Deji Elumoye, speaking with Aviation Correspondents on their arrival from Casablanca, Morocco
Osun workers suspend warning strike From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo RGANISED labour, includO ing the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiation Council (JNC) in Osun State yesterday suspended the four-day warning strike embarked on by the workers to press home the implementation of N18,000 minimum wage. The development was a fallout of a congress held yesterday at Fakunle Comprehensive High School,
Osogbo and addressed by the chairman of the NLC, Saka Adesiyan and his TUC counterpart, Francis Adetunjis. The Labour had on Saturday, directed workers in the state to proceed on the warning strike, which commenced yesterday, to protest the failure of the state government to implement the agreement reached with the JNC, consisting the NLC and the National Union of Local Governments Employees (NULGE) on the full payment of minimum wage to public servants on September 9, 2011.
Addressing workers at the congress, Adesiyan said the decision to suspend the warning strike was predicated on the readiness of the government to commence negotiation with labour over the actualisation of the agreement. The state government had, in a letter dated March 30, 2013, which was signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr. L.O Oyeniran, and forwarded to the labour hinted that “Governor Rauf Aregbesola has graciously ap-
proved the composition of members of the negotiating team on the actualisation of agreement on minimum wage in Osun State”. The NLC chairman said “following the readiness of the government to commence negotiation with the labour, the entire congress has hereby suspended the four-day warning strike. I want to tell you today that we are going to communicate the government that we have suspended the strike. So workers would resume work tomorrow (today)”.
Imo Assembly refutes bomb scare report
Yoruba group lauds plan to probe pipelines’ protection contracts
From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri
HE pan-Yoruba socio-politT ical group, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), has
MO State House of Assembly yesterday refuted report of bomb scare within the premises of the legislative arm of government last week. According to the media aide of the Speaker, Mr. Samuelson Iwuoha, nothing like that happened within the premises last week. “There was only rumour of a woman who gained entrance without the prior knowledge of authorities of the Assembly,” he said. Iwuoha advised journalists to always clear any doubt from the authorities before publishing any report on the Assembly. A strange woman was said to have gained entrance into the premises without the knowledge of security men and porters. Rumour was peddled that the woman was sponsored to destroy the premises with explosives.
By Abiodun Fanoro
lauded move by the National Assembly to probe award of contracts for protection of pipelines across the country. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, the group said: “This is a right step in the right direction as we hope that this effort will put paid to the illegal siphoning and stealing of people’s money under the guise of pipeline protection. These pipeline protection contracts are another bottomless pits, with no accountability. It is another scam, just like the petroleum subsidy regime.” The group alleged that the contracts were awarded to the cronies of those in the corridor of power. Particularly, the group alleged “it had discovered that certain individuals are being sponsored to destabilise Yorubaland with the money earned from these
contracts, through the establishment of political parties and organisations/agencies with the aim to truncate the on-going development strides in the South-West.” The group, while urging all Yoruba sons and daughters to
be at alert and look out for those that may be used to destabilse the region, vowed to defend the South-West and ward off those it described as “opportunists who are ready any day to sell off the region’s values and legacies”.
granted to the Boko Haram sect responsible for wanton destruction of lives and property in the northern part of the country if the group could bring its demands to the negotiation table. Ahmed, who spoke yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital, during an interactive session with the media, said the mode of operations of the sect should not be confused with what obtained in the Niger Delta creeks during which militant youths prevented oil exploration and almost grounded the nation’s economy. Noting that Boko Haram sect is entirely strange to Nigeria, he cautioned against giving the group different names that could lead to the destabilisation of the polity. He enjoined all Nigerians to muster enough courage to put an end to the carnage daily perpetrated by the sect. “It is an unfortunate situation in Nigeria that we are at present faced with security challenges; but in view of this, I think we should commend the Federal Government for its efforts so far on this. One thing we should avoid is to give it ethnic or religious coloration. It must be given a very critical look. Amnesty means granting parole to those who had, at one time or the other, troubled the nation or state. “In the South-South, the militants complained of subjugation, and pollution and some other environmental hazards. They showed their faces and brought their demands to the table. Even when the amnesty was initially granted to them, some people complained of the wisdom in giving amnesty to the people who had willfully destroyed the government property; today, we have peace in the area.” The governor added: “We all know that Boko Haram has nothing to do with Islam. There is nothing in Islam that supports what they are doing. Before we begin to see the relevance of forgiveness on those people, we must see what they brought to the table. Dialogue should precede amnesty. The Niger Delta came with degradation and joblessness. As long as Boko Haram sect too
is able to come up its their own demands, then amnesty is desirable.” He, however, warned that the issue of amnesty should not be mistaken for “a national cake” as no government would condone unreasonable arms’ struggles with the aim of getting amnesty. Ahmed urged the people of Kwara to see tax payment as a civic responsibility rather than a burden, as his government would not allow anyone to bear an undesirable burden of tax. On the recent demolition exercise carried out in the state, he said the action became necessary due to attempts by some people to distort the masterplan of Ilorin, especially by building shops along the rightof-way. Meanwhile, despite the mass killing of Christians and others by terrorist groups in the northern part of the country, the Assemblies of God Church Nigeria has appealed to Christians to remain calm and not to retaliate. The Coordinator and Chairman, Onitsha Zone National Easter Retreat of Assemblies of God Church Nigeria, Justice Ekumah, advised that Christians, particularly Ndigbo, should rather continue to pray for peace in Nigeria, arguing that those who killed and maimed in the name of religion were not representing God. Speaking at the end of a fourday Easter Retreat yesterday organised for members of the church in Ogidi District, Onitsha, Ekumah noted that “spilling of innocent blood must be paid back to the perpetrators at the adequate time,” adding that ‘God is a God of wisdom who must reward killers and terrorists back in their own coin”. He advised northern Christians and their Igbo brethren who have been targets for persecution to pray without ceasing, counseling that the God of peace foresees all things. In a lecture, the National Treasurer of the church, Rev. Dr. Vincent Alaje, said the aim of the retreat is to strengthen the spiritual lives of members, as well as bring together all faithful from across the nation, especially during the commemoration of Christ’s resurrection. He encouraged Christians to be patient in their sufferings, saying that God has a purpose for everything.
Crisis brews in Kwara ACN over chairman’s removal From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin RISIS is brewing in Kwara C State branch of the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) as the caretaker committee yesterday appointed Mr. Toyin Ayinla as the new state chairman, in what it called urgent attempt to reposition the opposition party. Ayinla, until yesterday, was the secretary of the six-member caretaker committee. He was appointed the chairman after the committee voted to remove the former chairman, Mr. Kayode Olawepo, according to a statement in
Ilorin yesterday. But in a swift reaction to his removal, Olawepo told The Guardian in Ilorin that the committee members acted illegally, claiming that only the national headquarters of the party has the power to remove him. “In fact, four of the committee members are with me now writing a letter to the national headquarters of the ACN to pass a vote of confidence on me,” Olawepo said. The statement quoted the committee as urging party members to support the new leadership and assuring the
public of the party’s commitment “to leading the collective yearning for good governance and continuous struggle against tyranny of the few, which is militating against the state’s human and infrastructural development.” The statement reads: “Kwara State ACN Caretaker Committee, a body charged by the National Secretariat with the day-to-day running of the party, held a special meeting in Ilorin on Tuesday where some decisions were taken to smoothen the running of and reposition the party.
“The caretaker committee, among other things, effected leadership change by appointing Mr. Toyin Ayinla as chairman in place of Mr. Kayode Olawepo. Ayinla was until yesterday secretary of the committee. Olawepo has by this decision ceased to be the chairman of the party. “All the decisions, including the suspension of the chairman, have been communicated to all the appropriate authorities, while members across the state are urged to work with the new leadership to move the party forward.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
WorldReport N’Korea moves to restart nuclear reactor to boost weapons bid ITH a view to boost its W deterrent capability, North Korea has unveiled plan to revive a mothballed nuclear reactor that can produce bomb-grade plutonium. While announcing the move yesterday, it did not repeat recent threats to attack South Korea and the United States (U.S.). But the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said the crisis over North Korea had gone too far and he appealed for dialogue and negotiation to resolve the situation. “Nuclear threats are not a game. Aggressive rhetoric and military posturing only result in counter-actions, and fuel fear and instability,” Reuters
quoted Ban, a South Korean, as telling a news conference during a visit to Andorra. The crisis flared after Pyongyang was hit with U.S. sanctions for conducting a third nuclear test in February and the United States and South Korea staged military drills that North Korea viewed as “hostile”. Pyongyang then threatened a nuclear strike on the U.S., missile strikes on its Pacific bases and war with South Korea, prompting Washington to bolster forces in the region. The state-owned KCNA news agency announced on Tuesday that North Korea would relaunch all nuclear facilities for both electricity and military uses.
Zuma rejects criticism over Central African military mission African President ShisOUTH Jacob Zuma has defended decision to send troops to Central African Republic, saying 13 soldiers killed by rebels there had died fighting for Pretoria’s foreign policy, not his party’s business interests. The South African force was involved in a nine-hour firefight with thousands of rebels who poured into Central African Republic’s (CAR) capital, Bangui, last month and seized control of the country, which has rich deposits of gold, diamonds and uranium. Zuma has faced enormous pressure over the 13 South African deaths - the worst military setback since the end of apartheid in 1994. South Africa’s opposition is
calling for a parliamentary investigation and domestic media are speculating that the troops were defending investments made by Zuma’s ruling African National Congress (ANC). The deaths have touched a nerve with a public not used to seeing flag-draped coffins being carried off planes, with many asking why Zuma sent troops to a country 3,500 kilometres away and outside South Africa’s normal sphere of influence. Zuma said the 200 troops sent in December were “heroes” sent to uphold South Africa’s foreign policy and were protecting a deployment of military trainers sent in 2007 under a military cooperation agreement.
UN General Assembly approves landmark arms trade treaty N what is being termed as an IUnited unprecedented move, the Nations (UN) General Assembly yesterday voted overwhelmingly to approve the first-ever treaty to regulate the enormous global trade in conventional weapons and for the first time linking sales to the human rights records of the buyers. The new development, according to The New York Times, came after an effort to achieve a consensus on the treaty among all 193-member states of the UN failed last week, with Iran, North Korea and Syria blocking it. The three countries, often ostracised as pariahs, contended the treaty was full of deficiencies and had been structured to be unfair to them. States exporting conventional weapons are required by the treaty to develop criteria that would link exports to
States exporting conventional weapons are required by the treaty to develop criteria that would link exports to avoiding human rights abuses, terrorism and organised crime. It would also ban shipments if they were deemed harmful to women and children. avoiding human-rights abuses, terrorism and organised crime. It would also ban shipments if they were deemed harmful to women and children. Also, countries that join the treaty would have to report publicly on sales every year. Although the treaty has no compulsory enforcement mechanism, it exposes the arms-trade process to new levels of transparency that proponents of the treaty say could help severely limit illicit weapons deals going forward. The vote was heavily lopsided in favour, with 154 supporting it – including the United States (U.S.), the lead-
ing arms exporter – and the same three nations that had blocked consensus approval last week opposing. But 23 others abstained, notably Russia and China, which are also major arms sellers globally, along with major importers like India, Pakistan and Indonesia. Those absentions called into question how effective the treaty might prove to be. Proponents of the treaty pinned their hopes on a quick ratification by a large number of countries, anticipating that would put pressure on the large countries that abstained to ascribe to it as well. The proponents noted that all those
abstaining countries had been willing to extend their consensus to the original treaty. But such significant abstentions could also signal that transforming the treaty into international law will be a more arduous process than if consensus had been achieved. Reacting, Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian envoy to the United Nations, said Russian misgivings about what he called ambiguities in the treaty, including how terms like genocide would be defined, had pushed his government to abstain. Support was particularly strong among many African countries – even if the compromise text was weaker than some had anticipated – with most governments asserting that over the long run the treaty would curb the arms sales that have fueled so many conflicts.
New head set to repair BBC’s reputation ONY Hall, the new directorT general of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) took up his post yesterday, starting the task of restoring the reputation of the world’s biggest broadcaster that has been rocked by a child sex abuse scandal. Hall arrived to tackle a bulging in-tray topped with the fallout from police investigations which concluded that the corporation’s late presenter, Jimmy Savile, was one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders. The BBC was subsequently damaged by a botched television report wrongly indicating that a lawmaker was a paedophile, sparking a shake-up in the broadcsater’s top posts.
Engulfed by the scandals, Hall’s predecessor, George Entwistle, resigned as director-general in November after just 54 days in the job. Hall, 62, a former head of BBC news, returns to the corporation after more than a decade as chief executive of the Royal Opera House. In an internal e-mail to staff, Hall said the corporation was “learning the lessons” from recent “difficult times”. “We are now winning back trust, something which will always be the most precious commodity for our organisation,” he said. “The BBC sets incredibly high standards. At our best we provide a service like no other.
‘BRICS seeks complementary rather than rival role’ NVOYS from China, Russia and South Africa have declared that ENVOYS from China, Russia and South Africa have declared thatthe fivemember BRICS is a bloc of emerging economies that is seeking a complementary role rather than rivaling any world institutions. Xinhua reported that the view was aired on Monday by the Chinese ambassador to Burundi and his Russian and South African counterparts at a media briefing after the conclusion of BRICS summit recently. The fifth BRICS summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was held on March 26-27 in Durban, South Africa, with a theme of “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for develop-
ment, integration and industrialisation”. Chinese Ambassador Yu Xuzhong, Russian Ambassador Vladimir Malyshev and South African Ambassador Oupa Manavery said the five countries decided to create a BRICS development bank and a special reserve monetary fund of $100 billion. The summit, they added, also recommended the setting up of a Business Council and a Think Tank Council for the bloc. The ambassadors noted that it was for the first time that the BRICS summit was held on the African soil and that it was also the first time the “BRICS-Africa” Dialogue Forum was held, with 15 African leaders taking part in bilateral discussions.
United States (U.S.) President Barack Obama announcing his Administration’s BRAIN – Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies – Initiative in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC…yesterday.
Obama launches brain mapping initiative to cure Alzheimer’s, others RESEARCH project to map the intricate inner mysteries of the human brain and target cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s has been launched by United States (U.S.) President Barack Obama. Obama, during the announcement of the initiative worth $100 million at the White House yesterday, said: “The most powerful computer in the world isn’t nearly as intuitive as the one we’re born with. “There’s this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked. And the BRAIN initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action.” According to agency report,
There’s this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked. And the BRAIN initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action. the research initiative, financed from Obama’s budget that will be unveiled next week, will seek to find new ways to treat, cure and prevent brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. Researchers will try to make complex pictures of the inner brain that show how individual cells and neural circuits work and interact and examine how the brain records, uses and retrieves vast amounts of information. The BRAIN – Brain Research through Advancing I n n o v a t i v e Neurotechnologies – initia-
tive will be run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation. At the White House event, Obama was introduced as “scientist in chief” by NIH Director, Francis Collins, and his administration makes the case that despite tough fiscal times, investments in science are vital. “I am glad I have been promoted to scientist in chief – given my grades in physics, I am not sure it is deserving,” the president said.
“But I hold science in proper esteem, so maybe I get some credit,” he added. However, the White House, in a statement on the project, explained: “The BRAIN Initiative will accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought. “These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores and retrieves vast quantities of information, and shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Politics Boko Haram are everywhere in Nigeria, says Tsav Alhaji Abubakar Tsav is a member of the recently constituted Northern States Governors’ Forum Committee for Reconciliation and Security. Fielding questions from journalists in Makurdi, the social critic and former Lagos State Commissioner of Police spoke on salient issues threatening Nigeria’s co-existence. Joseph Wantu was also there. HAT is the reach of the security challenges W posed by the Boko Haram insurgency? From the stories we hear, Boko Haram members are everywhere in this country. And we have various factions of the sect. We have the real Boko Haram, whose leader was killed; we have religious Boko Haram; we have economic Boko Haram and so on. If you judge from the number of people who are causing trouble in this country, you would find that they (Boko Haram) are a fraction. You go to the cities and find unemployed graduates who are roaming the streets seeking for nonexisting jobs. You drive on the road and you find children going or coming back from school and these children have hopes that when they finish school, they would get jobs but these jobs are not forthcoming. You go to the markets, social gatherings, petrol stations and the rest of them, and you find beggars and if all these people come together and cause problem, we will not have peace in this country. Are our leaders in tune with this reality? The irony is that Nigerian leaders don’t care a damn. What they are concerned about is election and re-election, political offices and money to spend. They are less concerned about the major problems confronting this country. But once there is an uprising, all of us will be consumed. But when you talk to the president, he will say he does not care a damn. That man (President Jonathan) does not know how to rule and he came in by accident. He does not know the value of rulership, and that is what the people are suffering from. And the same president wants second term in office; what Would be your advice concerning that ambition? Well, unfortunately I have no followers. If I do, I would have pleaded seriously with the PDP, my brothers, my friends, my relations and all who care to listen to, please, change him (Jonathan) and put any other person (in his position). They can put a Muslim, a Christian, a pagan, an OPC member, a Boko Haram member, a NigerDelta militant or anybody but not Jonathan because he is an accident and a disaster to this country. What is your advice to President Jonathan as a person? I have written him a letter and advised that he should not stand for election because what he had gained was enough. He is only promoting corruption. The other day, he described Alamieyeseigha as his mentor. Alamieyeseigha, a corrupt person in economic terms and who has pending cases in other parts of the world is our president’s mentor? So, his own case is just to open the safe for everybody to come and steal. We have not had corruption in this country the way we have it now and our president does not care a damn. We are in trouble and I blame our leaders who voted him in. But again, it is good that they voted him in so that at least, we will compare the difference between the minority and the other people who had ruled us. So, you are opposed to the state pardon granted former Governor Alamieyeseigha?
Tsav He (president) shouldn’t have granted Alamieyeseigha state pardon. When Diya and Adisa were tried for coup, they were not alone; there were many people who were tried along with them. Why didn’t Jonathan grant those people pardon? I think what happened is that this man just wanted to grant pardon to his former boss, Alamieyeseigha and he used others as a cover. You would recall that President Jonathan visited Borno and Yobe States recently where he said he would not grant amnesty to ghosts and faceless people. What is your opinion about it? If he is saying he will not negotiate with ghosts, what of Kabiru Sokoto who was arrested and even taken to court? Is he a ghost, too? What about those who had been arrested and hounded into detention? Are they faceless, too? What about those who they had even killed? The man lacks ideas. He does not know what to do. These people are known. The truth is that they have voted huge sums of money, as security votes and they want the situation to continue so that they will continue taking money for security votes. They want to use these security votes to contest elections. What are you, as one of the northern elders, doing about the issue of Boko Haram? I am among the 41 persons selected from all the 19 northern states to hold talks on how to find a lasting solution to this Boko Haram issue. I am not the chairman and so, I will not tell you how far we have gone. We have submitted an interim report to the government and we are preparing a final report to the government. What did you find out as the real cause(s) of the insurgency? You know as much as I do that the problem started in Maiduguri when these people (Boko Haram) lost somebody and they wanted to bury the person. Because some of them were extremists, they were riding motorcycles without crash helmets. They were confronted by the JTF and some of them were killed. They complained against the development and nothing happened. Then, an issue came when there was a major uprising and they arrested their people; like that Mohammed Yusuf, who was arrested by the army and handed over to the police, which
killed him and a former commissioner. The people waited to see what action the government would take and nothing happened. There was a time they said they charged the people to court and till now, nothing has been heard. That is why these people decided to react the way they are reacting. Now, instead of the government to seek solution to the problem, they are using force. And you know that in case of terrorism, you cannot subdue them with force. The more force you use, the more anger you arouse in them. That is why the problem is spreading and I am telling you authoritatively that they are everywhere in this country. What are the recommendations your committee has put forward? We are saying that if amnesty was granted to the Niger Delta militants, why can’t we give the same to these people (Boko Haram members? In the case of the Niger Delta militants, a lot of them have been sent overseas for training; they have given them responsible jobs and so on. Why can’t they do the same thing to these people? The militants broke our pipelines and killed so many people, too; yet they were pardoned. Why can’t they extend the same gesture to the Boko Haram sect? They did not ask them (militants) to lay down their arms before they pardoned them; they pardoned them before they laid down their arms. That is what we want Jonathan to do to the Boko Haram sect. We expected that when he went to Maiduguri, he would have granted those of them who were willing to lay down their arms unconditional amnesty. Then, government should have used them to get information about those who are still stubborn so that they would know how to get them. This was what we were expecting government to do but the man (Jonathan) went there to threaten them and to tell the elders that it is their responsibility to go and bring these people. Are the elders the head of state? It is the head of state that has taken an oath that he would do all these things. Why does the head of state want the elders to do his own job? What is the role of the police in this matter? It’s like the Inspector General of Police is not doing anything about it? The IGP has a responsibility to maintain law
and order in the country. The army is to defend the territorial integrity of this country. But they have asked the Army to take up the job of the police. In about 33 states in this country, soldiers are stationed. So, they arrest people the way they want and detain them the way they want. The SSS arrest and detain the way they want and the IGP, whose responsibility it is to enforce all laws and regulations of this country in incapacitated; he cannot tell them anything. And that is why there is controversy over the case of that Oshiomhole’s aide (Oyerinde) who was killed. The SSS is giving different evidences; the police are giving different proofs. And by law, the SSS is not supposed to interfere in such cases. That should be the job of the police to investigate and pursue the case in court. The SSS are not supposed to be seen or heard. People only need to feel them. They should be people behind the mask; that’s all. But at times, they take up investigations and that is why these cases are failing. You will never see an SSS going to court in the US. If he must do, then, he will mask himself. Therefore, they should allow the police to do their job. Give the IGP the responsibility, give him the equipment, and give him the incentive to do his job the way he should do it. If he fails, then we will say the police have failed. Now, our president is using militants to guide himself. We are really in trouble. But the greatest problem we have is that we have this Boko Haram sect is spreading all over the country. There is no state that we don’t have Boko Haram. Also, people have arms everywhere in this country. If there is the slightest upheaval, you will see how people will come out with arms. Do you see any solution to Nigeria’s problems in sight? Unless we are sincere and match our words with action, there is hardly any hope for us. The president keeps talking about waging war against corruption, and yet he is encouraging it. You say you are fighting corruption and you are granting state pardon to somebody who had been found guilty of corruption and convicted. And the man (Alamieyeseigha) has not shown any sign of remorse. Jonathan is encouraging corruption. What remains for him to do is to open the safe for everybody to come and steal money. We need to get somebody who will come and rule this state, fight corruption, and change the Nigerian currency to a new one so that all the stolen money through corruption would be lost. Do you foresee a civilian or any revolution to check this malfeasance? Well, the problem with us in this country is that everybody is afraid to die. If the civilians are planning a revolution, the same civilians will go and take sides with the government. For instance, look at this newly formed party (APC). Don’t you see when these other parties came together to form APC, two other sections came out and say their own is APC, too, just to frustrate these people. These are the people who are chopping (eating) from the government. The air is filled with news that President Jonathan is muting the idea of completely removing subsidy on oil… That will be too bad. If he does, then he is adding insult to our injury. Even the fuel that we are having is not sufficient and you come and remove subsidy? It would make us to suffer the more. But then, I feel that people behind this clamour are those importing fuel into this country because they don’t want us to have light. They want fuel to increase so that they will force us to buy and there is no increase in our salaries. Those of us who are on pension have no increase in our pension; yet, you want to remove fuel subsidy. It’s bad and I blame the Nigeria Labour Congress because, as soon as they start action now and the government calls them and gives them something, that will be the end. We all saw how successful the last fuel subsidy protest was.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
TheMetroSection I got N45 million from Airport robbery, says suspect
By Odita Sunday HE Lagos State Police Command has arrested members of the gang that allegedly robbed Murtala Muhammed International Airport last month. One of the suspects, Atoba Adeniyi, confessed that his share was only N45 million from the loot. The gang of robbers had stormed the airport and carted away millions of naira on that fateful day, killing two Inspectors of Police, an act that the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar did not take lightly. Interestingly, it was revealed that the same set of robbers- Ibikunle John, Atoba Adeniyi, Ibrahim Abdullahi, Kazeem Aderibigbe, Saheed Adekunle, Christian Joshua and Saheed Okunola, had also attacked the airport last year, carting away over $2.5m (N400million) Adeniyi, who confessed to last year’s robbery but denied taking part in the recent one, said his share was N45million. He said he had established a transport company, bought a truck, cars as well as set up other legitimate businesses. He said: “I was involved in the airport robbery in 2012. I am not naturally an armed robber. I used to be a truck driver in Bayelsa and they (the robbers), told me they needed my services. It was later I discovered that they wanted to stage a robbery. After the robbery operation, I was paid N45 million. I went back to Ibadan where I built a duplex and started a transport company. I cut all ties with the robbers and even changed my telephone line but
they found me and told me that I must come for one last operation. After the second operation that we killed two policemen, I was given N500, 000 because things did not go as planned.” Another suspect, Ibikunle John, who claimed to be a pastor, said he only prayed for the suspects and gave them spiritual charms, which would aid them in their robbery operations. He said he only met the suspects in February and had tried to dissociate himself from them but they threatened to kill him if he did not play along. According to him: “I met them through a friend, Paul, who brought
them for prayers at my church, the Way of Joy, Egbe. Later they confessed that they were robbers and threatened to kill me if I exposed them. I made them swear an oath of secrecy and also gave them some spiritual backing. I never followed them for any robbery and I still have a congregation that needs me.” A third suspect, Ibrahim Abdullahi, who is a labourer at the airport, said he was not an active member of the gang but only an informant. Abdullahi, an indigene of Plateau State, said he usually helped people to carry luggage at the airport but his earnings were too meager.
His words: “I never followed them on any operation. I only told them how they could steal money from some people at the airport that carry large amounts of cash. After the robbery in 2012, they paid me N1.5m for my cooperation.” He added: “I collected it because the amount of money I was making from pushing around trolleys was too little. Imagine, I was earning between N700 and N1000 per day. It was just too little.” The Commissioner of Police Lagos State command, Manko, said the suspects had been linked to series of robberies across the South-West. He said three vehicles as well as ammunitions had been recovered from them. According to Manko: “During last month’s robbery, two policemen were killed. However, one of the robbers, later identified as Teslim Okunola, was also killed. From the corpse, we were able to gather information that led to the arrests of other suspects.” “We recovered from them, five AK-47 rifles, four dynamites, 64 AK 47 magazines fully-loaded, two local pistols, two masks and several charms. They confessed to the robbery at the airport and others in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Kwara States as well as a robbery at First Bank and Wema Bank in Ikirun, Osun State in December 2012 as well as an attack on a bullion van in Odogbolu, Ogun State in 2012,” he further revealed. Also recovered from the suspects were three vehicles, including a van with a false layer in the boot where some of their ammunitions were kept.
Briefs Induction ceremony HE maiden induction/inT vestiture ceremony of the Corporate Institute of Risk and Safety Management holds tomorrow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos at 11.00a.m. The high point of the event will be a paper presentation on Environmental Safety: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Keynote address will be delivered by the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde
Kuye, 102, for burial OMMUNITY leader and C popular merchant, Chief Phillip Mosebe Kuye (102), the Lijoka of Ikale land, who died January 8, 2013 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, will be buried on Friday, April 5, 2013 at the family compound in Ikoya, Okitipupa Local Council, Ondo State. A service of songs holds today at 15, Kayode Olowu Street, Adesina Bus Stop, Ijeshatedo, Surulere, Lagos (6pm-8pm) while funeral service holds at St John’s Anglican Church, Aroloya, Lagos at 8am on Friday, after which the body departs for Ikoya. Guests will be entertained at the Government Field in the town.
Our son’s journey through valley of shadow of death, by family HE birth of Destiny over a T year ago was heralded by frenetic celebrations in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Aboh Godwin. He is their third son and was simply adorable. The entire family could not contain the joy and excitement they felt. However, barely six months into his life, Destiny began to show worrisome signs. First of all, he was not growing as fast as he ought to. He did not eat enough and seemed to tire too easily. His breathing was rather rapid and he seemed to sweat too much. Mrs. Godwin is a full housewife and stays with the child longer than the father who works in a security company. She was consequently the first to notice the signs, and she brought her husband’s attention to them. “At first we thought it was an ailment that could be treated immediately at the hospital. He didn’t eat enough for our liking. We were not comfortable with the way he was growing. He was always looking weak,” Mrs. Godwin recounted. “When we got to the hospital we were told that our son would have to undergo an Echo test. This was new to us and we sought for more explanation. The doctors told us that it was necessary to do it as part of efforts to detect what was responsible for the rapid breathing. The test, according to them, would reveal the status of the heart. The doctor also revealed to the Godwins that the result would determine the kind of treatment that would be administered on their son. When they returned to the
hospital to collect the result of the test, the Godwins were told that their son had two large holes in his heart. According to the couple, it was like a death sentence had just been handed down on their adorable son who was roughly seven months old then. “I just began to cry,” recalled Mrs. Godwin. “The child was too young to have this kind of problem. He did not do anything to deserve that. Why two large holes? Many with only one hole in their hearts ended up dead. How much more a little child with too large holes in his tiny heart? I just couldn’t take it.” When they were done with crying, the Godwins asked the doctors what could be done. And their heart sank further when provided the answer to their question: It was a very complicated surgery requiring sophisticated equipment not available in Nigeria. The child’s best option was to be flown to India for a corrective heart surgery. “Somehow, we found the courage to fight for the life of our precious gift. The challenge, however, was money. My husband and I did not have the funds to take our son abroad for treatment. The money we managed to get from friends and relatives was used to get his medication and regular treatment at the hospital because he was very ill and weak,” she recalled. Mrs. Godwin described the experience as horrible and one she would not wish for her enemies. “We went to many foundations but help was not forth-
Little Destiny coming. They were telling us to wait in line, as there were many people with similar cases. Indeed, all those people surely were also passing through a hellish experience, watching a sick child struggling with life, not knowing if they would make it or not. But how could we wait when we did not know for how long our son would hold out without urgent medical intervention? It was a harrowing experience.” While waiting, hoping and praying to the Almighty to spare little Destiny’s life, a friend of Mr. Godwin told the couple that MTN Foundation could actually help them with the surgery of their son abroad. “My husband’s friend said he knew that MTN Foundation had helped many people in the past. So my husband and I decided to try it out. We wrote an application to them and to our greatest surprise they called us to inquire from
us all the information concerning our son. We were particularly surprised because we did not know anyone at MTN. After they verified all our hospital documents they gave us the sweetest message we have ever received: They would bear the cost of our son’s surgery in India,” Mrs. Godwin recounted emotionally. The Foundation’s support extended beyond the actual surgery and medication, to cover related expenses, such as the cost of obtaining passports and other travel documents, accommodation and feeding of the child and another person accompanying him. The story, however, almost ended in tragedy afterwards. Shortly on arrival at the hospital in India, Destiny suffered a heart failure. Apparently, the heart had been weakened during the wait. It was only by sheer Providence that they arrived the hospital right about the time that it decided to pack up. The couple recounted that the doctors at the hospital sprang into action, revived him and stabilized him for the major operation that would take him out of the woods completely. “Destiny was placed on a series of medications for a whole week with extensive monitoring and constant examination to ascertain the best time to open him up. On the first signs of strength and stability, he was wheeled into the theatre for the operation,” Mrs Godwin said. The surgery reportedly took hours. “I don’t know exactly the number of hours because I was scared and all I wanted
was for someone to come from the theatre to tell me that the operation was successful,” Mrs. Godwin recalled. That wish was later fulfilled as an exhausted doctor later walked in to inform the distraught mother that the operation had been successful and Destiny was going to be alright. “I thank God because MTN Foundation came at the right time. First, we would not have been able to pay for the surgery on our own. Secondly, if the Foundation hadn’t intervened at the time they did, the heart failure Destiny experienced would have happened here in Nigeria where there would have been no expert care to revive, stabilize and operate him. I am sincerely grateful to the Foundation” Mrs. Godwin said. The MTNF Director, Wale Goodluck, says the Foundation is always delighted and eager to help children with the hole-in-the-heart defect. He said the foundation was aware of the financial situation of most families in the country and the huge capital outlay involved in overseas treatment of the defect. He disclosed that the Foundation receives requests from parents whose children have severe health challenges, and also routinely responds to call for help through the electronic and print media. Since 2009, the Foundation has flown over 50 children with heart defects to India and other countries for corrective surgery. In February this year, a new set of eight beneficiaries received travel documents to India for corrective surgery.
Nnamdi Obi dies at 76 HE death has occurred of T Madam Lucy Ikuero Osayande (nee Osarenkhoe) at the age of 82. She was a prominent community leader, trader and philanthropist. She will be buried on Friday, April 5, 2013 in Eguaholor-Isi, Benin City She is survived by children among whom is Chief Ede Osayande, the former Managing Director of Cooperative Development Bank and Equitorial Trust Bank.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
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 Chinua Achebe (1930-2013) HE death of Chinualumogo Albert Achebe on March 22, 2013 marks a mortal pasT sage of one of the main icons in the world of letters. The tempest that consequently enveloped the writing industry in particular and the nation at large therefore was not unexpected. Achebe was not just the famous author of Things Fall Apart, he was proudly the father of modern African literature. Amidst the critical evaluation of his life and times, which the transition of the literary giant has engendered, Achebe deserved the deluge of praises so far showered on him. He was aptly characterised as the Iroko whose literary exploit had both national and universal validity. His demise has created a literary and moral void that would be difficult to fill. Truly, Achebe was a triple giant –literary icon, statesman and activist of the moral hue. His first major work, Things Fall Apart, (published in 1958) fundamentally simple and down to earth, captured the clash of civilization following the foray of foreigners and their colonial instrument, which eroded the African superstructure. Things Fall Apart, regarded as the most widely read book in modern African literature, has sold over 12 million copies and has been translated into over 50 languages worldwide. Also, it has been incorporated into multi-disciplinary studies and in such field as politics of development. The book, which gave a voice to African literature and in the words of Nelson Mandela, “brought Africa to the rest of the world,” earned the recognition as the best known book by a black writer in 2008. As a writer, Achebe was an acceptable face of Nigeria and worked doggedly for the nation. While many of his country men and women in high places made the country look big for nothing, he was one of the very few who made Nigeria big for something. Achebe the statesman and activist was a gauge of the conscience of the nation. The affairs of Nigeria troubled him greatly and in the same way he gave vent to his worries. Achebe was a recipient of several national and international (including literary) awards such as the Nigerian National Trophy for Literature, Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the Man Booker International Prize (2007), and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in 2010. He employed creatively the Nigerian National Order of Merit awarded to him by the Nigerian government to talk at society. For example, in 2004, he rejected the national honour under the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency on the ground of the contrived political chaos in his home state of Anambra. Similarly, he rejected the award gesture from the Jonathan presidency in 2011 due to the continuing leadership failure in the country. For him, truth was beauty, laughing and disdaining ‘those who banned inquiry and movement’. The presidency, in its tribute to him, somewhat acknowledged the unflinching principle he stood for: “The presidency believes that Prof. Achebe’s frank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs will be greatly missed at home in Nigeria, because, while others may have disagreed with his views, most Nigerians never doubted his immense patriotism and sincere commitment to the building of a greater, more united and prosperous nation that all Africans and the entire black race could be proud of.”
Editorial on corps member’s dressing IR: I read with keen interest Ssubject your editorial on the above matter, which was published on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. In it, you strongly supported the authority of the NYSC to “decamp Miss Tolulupe Ekundayo for refusing to wear a pair of trousers, part of the uniform for the scheme, at the orientation camp” as “simply in order”. I am very surprised that The Guardian, which is the flagship of modern Nigerian journalism, could rush to write an editorial on this issue without looking at the pros and cons. Usually, editorials of The Guardian are always taken with high regard because of the authoritative analyses. But on this one, I am disappointed. Indeed, NYSC has its dress code for corps members. Yet, some corps members use scarf to cover up the NYSC styled uniform. This is not part of the NYSC uniform. Though scarf has not been specified as part of NYSC uniform, some of us cherished it because it makes such ladies homely as women of culture and ethics. And up till date, nobody, not even the NYSC
authority has raised an eyebrow. It is a thing of surprise and worry for us now that Sister Tolulope has raised a fundamental issue concerning the dress code of her faith; it is as if she has committed the worst crime on earth. If she had, like other so called ‘Christian girls’ decided to wear NYSC uniform with breasts exposed and moving leg like a man then The Guardian would have seen her as keeping to the ‘framework of Nigerian law and order’. What kind of society are we building? We are indeed a pretentious nation taking sheepishly after western globalisation without knowing the implications for the youth. Our media should not allow this. If the military and the police allow the use of skirts, why would the NYSC, a para-military organisation be so rigid about the use of trousers, to the extent that The Guardian ignorantly supported it thus “NYSC is a paramilitary organisation with officially approved uniform for both men and women. Going against the established rules to please any single person or group of per-
sons would destroy the institution”. How is the NYSC more catholic (religious in the use of uniform) than the Pope (the military and the police)? The media should be cautious in propagating, ignorantly, views which can derail efforts of National Orientation Agency and indeed, what Malama Sarah Jubril, the Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values on the need for ethics and values in Nigeria. If other newspapers had written this editorial I would have ignored it, but for The Guardian newspaper, which maintains the Ibru Centre column, where ethics and values are constantly preached, one is surprised the way this editorial has derailed from the philosophy of the founder. May God save Nigeria from the spirit of “amoral globalisation” that is creeping into this country in the name of modernity? By it, the media now help the devil to promote obscenity than the cherished values we are known with. It is well with Nigeria. • Johnson Emmanuel, Abuja, FCT.
Through his works, Achebe furthered his idealism of a better society with his conviction that art is an ideal tool to create the ideal society, “a different reality from that which is given to him”. In the words of his contemporaries, Wole Soyinka and John Pepper Clark, “his works provide their enduring testimony to the domination of the human spirit over the forces of repression, bigotry and retrogression.” He was born on November 16, 1930 in Ogidi, Anambra State; educated at Church Missionary Society (CMS) School, Government College, Umuahia, and admitted to the University College, Ibadan, the first Nigerian university, in 1948 and given scholarship to study medicine. After a year, he opted for English, History and Theology and consequently lost his scholarship. On graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service. To his credit, Achebe has no fewer than 20 works, including Things fall Apart (1958), No Longer at Ease (1960), The Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966) Anthills of the Savannah (1988) and the short essay, The Problem with Nigeria (1983). He was a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts Letters, and not a few considered him deserving of the Nobel Prize. Achebe, the elephant ‘whom honour matches,’ was an institution builder. He was the founding president of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). Earlier, in 1971, he became the founding editor of Okike, one of Africa’s most influential literary magazines, where a generation of Nigerian writers found a voice. Achebe was the Series Editor of the Longman’s African Writers Series and recipient of several honorary doctorates prizes. His immense contribution to the reading culture in Nigeria is invaluable; and indeed, has inspired a generation of young writers. The currency of his works gives them eternal relevance to the Nigerian and African condition. His last work, There was a country: A Personal History of Biafra was controversial, and the controversy is by no means over. While many people saw him as telling the truth to the face, and thereby praised him for his courage, others criticized him for seemingly pandering to ethnic interests. However, more than any deconstruction of the work, the merit lies in its capacity to generate a national conversation, thereby underlining Achebe’s greatness as a literary figure. As a product of the Nigerian educational system, Achebe embodied the glorious era of the time when Nigeria’s education sector could compete with similar institutions worldwide. It was the country’s education vision and commitment that made him excel in his chosen field. A befitting honour that can be bestowed on Chinua Achebe, the man of vision, the eternal optimist about our country’s greatness, the quintessential story teller, your good Nigerian, is to restore education to its pride of place in thisChinua Achebe (1930-2013) country.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
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‘Downside risks to Nigeria’s oil production may hurt growth projection’ By Chijioke Nelson HERE may have been a T gloomy side in the realisation of the nation’s budget figures for 2013 fiscal year and a setback for growth projections, going by the findings in the report by Renaissance Capital (RenCap). RenCap, in its report titled “Downside Risk to Oil Output: Reviewing our Forecast,” said
the latest onslaught on oil installations, consequent shortfalls in production targets and ‘force majeure’ so far recorded in 2013, would affect the budget figures and directly hit the growth projections. The report noted that the Federal Government’s 2013 oil production assumption of 2.53 million barrels per day (mbpd) was already considered overly optimistic, consid-
ering that average production of 2.36mbpd in 2012 fell short of the target of 2.48mbpd. According to the report, declarations of ‘force majeure’ by oil companies in first quarter of the year due to an increase in oil theft implies further downside risk to the government’s oil production assumption. It explained that oil makes up 15 per cent of the nation’s
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), two-third of Federal Government’s revenue and over 95 per cent of export earnings, hence the risk to oil output has material implications for the Nigerian economy. Detailing its inference, the report said that the seeming recovery in oil output from the second quarter of 2012 informed RenCap’s believe
Chief Executive Officer/Consultant, Peculiar People Management, Ghandi Olaoye (left); Head of Service, Ebonyi State, Mrs. Ugo Nnachi; Programme facilitator, Dr. Myles Munroe from Bahamas, USA; and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Land and Survey, Ebonyi State, Mrs. Ann Agom Eze, at a twoday leadership retreat for top government functionaries with the theme: ‘Effective Leadership-The Foundation for State Transformation and Good Governance’, held in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
Zenith posts N102b profit, offers N1.6 dividend ENITH Bank Plc, yesterday, Z announced a profit before tax of N102.10 billion for the financial year ended December 2012, up by 51.4 Per cent from the N67.44 billion recorded in 2011. Details of the group’s audited result announced on the floors of the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed that profit after tax for the period was N100.68 billion, which represents a 106.7 per cent jump from the N48.70 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2011. The much expected result confirms the bank’s leadership position in the industry as it became the first to cross the N100 billion profit after tax mark in a financial year. The result also showed the bank maintaining its leadership position on other parameters with total assets plus contingents of N2.60 trillion, representing a 12.7 per cent increase over the N2.30 billion recorded
in 2011. Already, the directors of the bank are proposing a dividend payout of N1.60 per share. Gross earnings, according to the results, rose by 25.88 per cent from N243.94 billion to N307.08 billion, indicating an increasing market share. Also, non-performing credit facilities to total credit facilities stood at three per cent, a remarkable improvement over the six per cent recorded last year. The result was hailed by financial analysts and investors as an outstanding result, as it shows the ability of Zenith Bank to sustain its performance, raise the bar of competition and continually surpass the expectations of stakeholders Analysts lauded the bank’s increasing profitability despite the prevailing economic realities, pointing out that the earning per share of
312 kobo was reassuring to its investing public. Zenith Bank, Nigeria ’s largest bank by tier-1 capital and shareholder funds, recently listed $850 million worth of its shares on the London Stock Exchange at $6.80 each in a major step to improve liquidity in its stock through Global Depository Receipts.
By its size, that $850 million GDR listing is the largest of any Nigerian bank on the LSE to date and is expected to help Zenith Bank, with a market capitalization of $4.24 billion, access to a wide range of major institutional investors and significantly raise its international profile.
that the trend will continue into 2013. “However, floods in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a pick-up in oil theft in the first quarter of 2013 compelled us to revise our projections. We downwardly adjust our oil production projection to 2.30mbpd, from 2.45mbpd, owing to the increase in oil theft. “This implies that the growth projection of 6.9 per cent to seven per cent in 2013 is more likely, than our initial 7.1 per cent forecast,” the report said. It further noted that since 2011, Nigeria’s real GDP growth has been undermined by the underperformance of oil’s contribution to GDP, especially when it recorded zero growth and contracted by 0.8 per cent in 2012. This was largely due to a drop
in oil output from 2.42mbpd in 2010 to 2.38mbpd and 2.36mbpd in 2011. Explaining the implications of these for 2013 budget, it said: “We still expect government to meet its 2013 budget targets, but at a higher effective budget oil price. The lowerthan-targeted oil production2.53mbpd against 2.3mbpd, implies that for government to meet its budget revenue target of N3.9 trillion, the effective budget oil price would be $87pb, higher than the current budget assumption of $79pb. “This effective price is still lower than the actual oil price of $114pb in first quarter of 2013, which implies that some oil proceeds will still be directed towards the excess crude account, but less than initially projected.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
World Bank boss seeks end to extreme poverty by 2030 ORLD Bank President, Jim W Yong Kim, yesterday called for a commitment by the international community to end extreme poverty by 2030. Kim also stressed the need to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people living in developing countries in this drive. To reach that goal, Kim said the world would have to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line of $1.25 per day to three per cent globally by 2030, and raise the per capita incomes of the bottom 40 per cent of every developing country. The three per cent target marks a new goal for the
World Bank, which did not provide directly comparable numbers for the current rate of extreme poverty. The goal would help the World Bank prioritise development projects that have the biggest impact on the poorest and reduce inequality, Kim said. “Now is the time to commit to ending extreme poverty,” he said in a speech before meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 19 and 20 in Washington. “We are at an auspicious moment in history, when the successes of past decades and an increasingly favourable economic outlook combine to
give developing countries a chance - for the first time ever to end extreme poverty within a generation,” he added. The World Bank’s board will consider a new country strategy for India next week that is aimed at reducing poverty by an additional 300 million over the next several years. An estimated 50 million people were lifted out of poverty in India over the past five years. Economists have estimated the poverty rate for the developing world in 2012 at about 19 per cent, representing about 1.1 billion people. That is down from 21 per cent in 2010, or about 1.2 billion people. The overall poverty rate has been falling by about one per-
centage point a year from 1981 to 2010, according to World Bank data. The rise of countries like China, India and Brazil has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, according to the World Bank and the U.S. However, most of the success in reducing poverty has been in China, while regions such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa still struggle with high poverty levels. Fragile states, such as Afghanistan, are also still mired in poverty. World leaders have called for an end to extreme poverty, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Malawi’s
new leader, Joyce Banda. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said last month Brazil was close to eradicating extreme poverty through a flagship cash transfer programme for the poor that is being replicated in other countries. The focus on poverty targets comes as a high-level panel is working on a new global development framework that looks beyond the 2015 UN Millennium Development Goals of halving global poverty and hunger. Kim said economic growth was important but not enough to cut poverty and shrink the growing gap between rich and poor.
New development challenges like climate change threaten the livelihoods of millions of poor people, he cautioned. To reach the 2030 goal, Kim said, poorer regions such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa need sustained high growth rates and increased job creation. The goal also relies on averting economic shocks such as sharp rises in food and fuel prices. “Economic growth is vital but we can’t assume that growth at the top will trickle down. We need to create the conditions that will guarantee that the poor participate in development,” Kim said.
Pharmacists’ council tasks distributors on drug guideline By Wole Oyebade HE Pharmacists Council T of Nigeria (PCN) has urged distributors of pharmaceutical products to collaborate with the council to promote the federal government’s quest to streamline drug distribution channels through the National Drug Distribution Guideline (NDDG). Acting Registrar of the council, Gloria Abumere said that the collaboration was necessary to ensure continuous compliance to the principles of good drug distribution practice in relation to personnel, structure, facilities and procedure. Abumere said this recently when she was on tour of MDS Logistics depot in Ikeja, Lagos.
She noted that effective collaboration among stakeholders would improve the level of healthcare services in line with global best practices, “bearing in mind government’s transformation agenda that gives priority to healthcare services.” The recently launched NDDG document places emphasis on good storage and distribution. It is an attempt to create enabling environment that will “ultimately lead to the removal of most illegal channels of introducing of unwholesome medicines into the pharmaceutical distribution channel.” Abumere observed that the current uncoordinated drug distribution vis-à-vis the deficient storage practices had a far reaching negative
effect on the health index of the nation with direct conflict with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and transformation agenda of the government. She stressed that it was high time all distributors properly audited their down-liners to ensure that guidelines were strictly adhered to and in cooperation with the regulatory council. Abumere led an eight-man delegation of council officials to the MDS depot, a mega distribution centre used by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) pharmaceutical company, as part of the collaboration motive. The depot of 1, 900 sq. metre space with 2600 pallet space is the largest pharmaceutical distribution centre in the country.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Survey ranks Kano high on budget discipline From Murtala Muhammed, Kano
ANO State has been ranked top among the K states in the country in respect of budget discipline and fiscal responsibility. According to an assessment made by Transparency in Nigeria, (TIN) an affiliate of Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption, Kano adjudged the most transparent state in the out- gone fiscal year in terms of budgeting, budget implementation and monitoring. Some of the points that scored Kano high, according to TIN, were its expenditures on human capital development. These include the sponsorship of 500 graduates to 14 countries of the world to pursue second degrees in different fields; sponsorship of 100 students to Jordan to be train as pilots; sponsorship of 100 youth to study Medicine abroad, sponsorship of 100 students to study Pharmacy abroad and the provision of 67 high capacity buses for Girls’ Child Education scheme. In a release issued and made available to The Guardian, by the TIN Coordinator, North-West zone Abba Anwar, noted that Kano was ranked high after fulfilling all the assessment. The release ranked Lagos state second most budget disciplined state. The statement ranked both Nassarawa and Edo states third in the sequence. The Budget Disciplined Perception Index (BDPI) 2012/2013 assessment however put Adamawa, Bayelsa
and Enugu as worst states that lacked proper and appreciable budget discipline. According to the assessment, other key areas the survey and the assessment critically viewed are issues related to stopping leakages at the implementation stage, commitment of public officials and indeed some lingering questions that interrogate the essential foundations of budget itself”, clarified the press release. TIN challenged the perception of budget process, implementation and evaluation in line with due process, probity, transparency and accountability philosophy were so glaring for all to see and assess.
It was revealed further that, the assessment was critically viewed around government expenditures on human capital, youth and women responsive budgeting, performance in the derivation of the internally generated revenue, housing and urban renewal, the focus of budgets to sectoral targets of the State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS), among other things. The Perception Index further called on the state governments to always consider stoppage of leakages as an important aspect of any meaningful budget. Adding that, participatory budget should be encouraged by the states of the federation.
Oil prices fall on poor European data IL prices dropped yesterday West Texas Intermediate (WTI) ed to weaker a demand outlight sweet crude for May, look from the world’s largest after rising earlier in the O slipped 64 cents to $96.43 a consumer of oil.” day, as traders focused on disappointing European manufacturing data and news of record-high eurozone unemployment, analysts said. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May fell 35 cents to stand at $110.73 a barrel in late London deals and after rising by about 30 cents in morning trade. New York’s main contract,
barrel. “Manufacturing PMIs from several European countries including Italy, Spain and the UK all came in weaker than expected today,” said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at trading group GFT Markets. “This followed a disappointing US ISM Manufacturing PMI we saw yesterday, which point-
Eurozone unemployment ran at a record 12 percent in February, official data showed Tuesday, with more than 19 million people on the dole. The figures and a weak manufacturing sector report added to the gloom after data earlier this year had encouraged some hope the European economy might
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
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NIPP delivers projects in Anambra, Edo, Enugu, Delta By Sulaimon Salau HE Niger Delta Power T Holding Company Limited (NDPHC), owners of National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), has delivered eight new distribution projects in South-East and South-South geo-political zone of the country. The Managing Director of the company, James Olotu, said the NIPP projects are meant to provide improved power supply to all parts of the country. “We have said that this year will be a year of bumper harvest with NIPP projects. No part of the country is left out, so we will continue to commission projects as they are being completed in different parts of the country,” Olotu stated. A statement signed by the Deputy General Manager and Head of Communication and Public Relations, Yakubu Lawal, quoted Olotu as saying that the company is commit-
ted to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan and that of the vicePresident Namadi Sambo, who also doubles as Chairman NDPHC, to deliver all distribution projects to Nigerians by end of June this year”. Lawal listed the projects commissioned in four states to include 15MVA 33/11 distribution injection sub-station in Uluku, Edo State, 7.5MVA 33/11 distribution sub-station each in Isele Uku and Illah in Delta State respectively. Also commissioned were1x7.5MVA injection substation each in Orafite and Amichi in Anambra states in Enugu State, Olotu commissioned a 2x2.5MVA Eke distribution injection sub-station and 7.5MVA distribution injection substation in Trade Fair area of Enugu as well as 7.5MVA injection sub-station in New Heaven, Enugu state. The Managing Director/ Chief Operating Officer of
Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Effiong Umoren and his Enugu Distribution Company’s counterpart, Suleiman Yahaya, who were on the commissioning team to assist Olotu, expressed appreciation to the three tiers of government for investing in NIPP pointing out that the commissioned will boost supply to the consumers and relief existing facilities that were currently over loaded. Olotu also visited on going transmission projects in Asaba in Delta State, Awka in Anambra State, Ugwuaji and New Heaven in Enugu State. Meanwhile, as part of its project delivery strategy, Sambo has set a deadline for contractors and project consultants for end of April 2013. Sambo, in January 26 meeting with the distribution and transmission contractors gave end of June 2013 as deadline for the to deliver all distribution projects and December 2013 for all
Techno Oil begins promo on gas ECHNO Oil Ltd, Nigeria’s T foremost integrated energy company has announced an Easter price slash for its Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) customers in continuation of the company’s Going Green Revolution project. The promo, designed to reward the company’s loyal customers, commenced on March 26 and end on April 6. The LPG Manager of Techno Oil, Mr Eugene Osimiri, announced the bonanza
while unveiling the company’s Easter Promo Package at a ceremony in Lagos at the weekend. The promo, anchored on the company’s flagship 12.5kg TechnoGas cylinders is a “humble way of giving back to our customers and to show that we care,” Osimiri stated. He said that during the period of the promo, the product would be sold at a “nonresistible discounted price”.
Osimiri, while congratulating Christians on a successful Lent season, urged Techno Oil’s customers nationwide to take advantage of the promo to buy the TechnoGas 12.5kg cylinders and buy for their friends. It will be recalled that Techno Oil in its drive to sustain its Going Green Revolution, embarked on an advocacy campaign for the use of LPG at homes, rather than using kerosene and firewood.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
MoneyWatch Technological risks in banking and ‘the stitch in time’ solution
The admittance of rising technological risks in banking has been on the increase worldwide, but the impact is yet to spread to all the economies. CHIJIOKE NELSON writes on the need for the “stitch in time” approach, ahead of the looming danger.
a roll call, the threat of techLcialIKE nological risks in global finansystem has answered “present.” The rising trend has answered same, too. Ability to wreak havoc, present. Vulnerability of developing countries, present. Readiness in developing countries to counter it, absent. Nigeria inclusive, yes. The popular cliche says a stitch in time saves nine and this could mean that early preparation and effective strategy would only be the option to overcome the looming danger. Of course, the rising technological risks in financial system is real with experience in the United States of America and Russia, but the new dimension of hacking a financial institution’s system may have just begun. Recently, the Federal Reserve confirmed hack attack, containing sensitive credentials of over 4,600 banking executives. It acknowledged the attack in a statement to affected individuals and press. Although, its spokesperson said the hack’s importance was “overstated,” information security professionals that serve financial institutions said the exact opposite— and were not pleased with the Federal Reserve. The issue in context is not only the importance of the hacked items, as in the case of the Fed, but the ability to penetrate or access the acclaimed “strong code”, especially that of a world class bank from a country usually seen as the “police of the world.” Yet, experts have warned that hackers’ plans to launch massive cyber-attacks on U.S. financial institutions are not just a possibility but a ‘credible threat’. According to a report released by internet security firm McAfee, the impending attack on banks - dubbed ‘Project Blitzkrieg’ - could result in millions of dollars of losses. McAfee Labs believes that Project Blitzkrieg is a credible threat to the financial industry and appears to be moving forward as planned. According to security researchers, the hackers behind the cyber attacks on major U.S. banks have repeatedly disrupted online banking by using sophisticated and diverse tools that point to a carefully coordinated campaign. The hackers, believed to be activists in the Middle East, were highly knowledgeable about the defensive equipment used by the banks and likely spent months on reconnaissance, said several researchers interviewed by Reuters, who viewed the assaults as among the strongest and most complex the world has seen to date. The puzzle here remains whether Nigeria is immune to the attack
Lamido Sanusi, CBN governor
Ben Bernanke, Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve
of Banking Supervision, CBN and President of Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), Lagos Chapter, Mrs. Agnes Olatokunbo Martins, made the declarations at the first yearly conference on Audit and Regulatory Examination of Banking Technologies, in Lagos, recently. Given the latest incident of hacking in banks in United States and the rising threats from hackers in Russia and potentials for them to succeed, she said there was real need for banks to be encouraged to seek capacity building of this nature, where technological risks that are emerging or on the horizon are exposed, while they adequately strategise ahead of the looming danger, lamenting that despite the urgency and magnitude of the issues associated with banking, there may be few banks showing interest on the conference. “I totally agree that there is high risks of hacking in the finance world today and that is why we are encouraging conferences of this nature. Banks should not miss opportunities like these, because it is at this forum that they can actually know about the risks that are emerging or on the horizon. We cannot sit down and feel that we are protected in our tiny space, because we might just discover that at one push of the button, everything may have gone. The industry is just beginning to attach the importance required on banking technologies and the good things they can do, as well as the bad and unintended outcome HIS is amount of debt that can enough that servicing it has from them too. The awareness has be carried at any given time or become huge and difficult, retards started, but we still have much furthe maximum borrowing power of development and growth, especial- ther to go. a government. For example, this ly when the funds are not utilized “As you know, the banks use varimeasure was created under the on developmental projects or mis- ous technologies and they are not Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917, in appropriated by corrupt leaders. stagnant as they keep changing order to limit spending by the U.S. Debts can be represented by a versions. One of the challenges we government and hold the loan note, bond, mortgage or have had was keeping the banks’ President more accountable for other forms, stating repayment examiners up to speed and that is financial decisions, but since then, terms and, if applicable, interest what we are working on. CBN is the ceiling has been raised many requirements. Should Nigerian keeping itself in tune with the times. It is also called debt limit. continue to borrow, given our technological challenges through The debt of a country, when large assessed antecedents? its IT department and recruiting and if it were to be Nigeria, would we have guessed by now, with near accuracy, where the suspects were emerging from. would the magnitude of the attack not be bigger than as mentioned and as a cash society, would the attack not have targeted the funds in the institution. Just to mention few facts on ground now. Nigeria has advanced well in general acceptance of various electronic payment channels, some of which have been hacked in the past, defrauding people amounts totaling millions of Naira and at present, some are still susceptible to the same menace. Daily electronic payment transactions through the Instant Payment (NIP) and Nigerian Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) of the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) have increased significantly to about N40 billion daily. NIP and NEFT are products used by corporate organizations to make payment for huge transactions electronically, in line with the cashless policy, while as a result of the cashless policy, cheques, Point of Sale (PoS) and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) usage have continued to record huge volume and value. Recently, Head, Shared Services at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chidi Umeano said: “Banks have continued to roll out more innovative electronic payment platforms to meet customers’ expectations. The cashless policy has been very
successful in Lagos considering when we started and how far we have gone in terms of PoS deployment. When we started the cashless Lagos, we had less than 10,000 PoS in Lagos, but currently we have over 150,000 PoS machines in the state alone.” More dangerous in Nigeria’s position to the global finance industry’s technological risks stems on the fact that majority of the software being used are imported and even where some were made locally, expartriates are usually part of development. The dilemma still standswhat does it take to break into these solutions by hackers? Where will these hackers come from in our case? What will it take for the owners of these solutions or some among the developers to turn back and become hackers. How strong is the secret code for these solutions. The dangers associated with answers to these questions are that with the parlous infrastructure, security issues, modus operandi in e-fraud and escape of the fraudsters in the country, we may not realize easily when the plan is hatched and executed. The implication too might be a “big bang explosion” in the financial system, because in our system where movement of large sum is not properly regulated, a bank’s finance may be hacked and moved within hours before it is known. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has admitted technological risks in banks, due to the increasing level of electronic transactions. The Director
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specialists for the industry,” she said. Strategy against the menace would include capacity building in form of certifications. It is obvious that ones knowledge and exposure might dictate the extent of ones limit. In countries like U.S., the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification is a precondition to become bank examiner. Perhaps, that may have helped in limiting the extent of damage that the country’s financial system might have suffered. It may have also helped in tracing sources hacking. But Martins noted that presently, Nigeria has over a thousand CISA certified, saying that what the regulator is doing now is to encourage and ensure that every bank examiner and internal auditor must be technology savvy, adding that the industry is evolving and U.S. did not get there in one day. Earlier, the Chairman, Audit Committee Institute of Nigeria, Christian Ekeigwe, noted that the country has gotten some things right with regards to importation of IT audit manpower. He noted also that Nigeria is not the worst in cybercrime statistics, while there is a rise in professionalism in the number of heads of audit and examination related functions, who are members of ISACA and CISA certified. “Despite the march of progress, the inevitable increase in the adoption of technologies in banking creates legitimate audit and regulatory concerns about how these technologies amplify banking operations risks and impact on the safety and soundness of banks. Both internal audit functions in banks and examination officers in regulatory agencies want to determine whether audits and examinations provide reasonable assurance that IT risks are being addressed by appropriate risk management programmes, actions and reviews, in a manner that ensures safety and soundness of operations,” Ekeigwe said. Of note too are the carefree attitude, procrastination and suicidal belief in “what must be must be”, which are inherent in our system. People would rather wish and express more optimism for a positive outcome on an issue than seek practical measures to stem the negative tide. Yes, optimism is good and real to a certain degree, but no level of optimism can rule out realities. We cannot wish away this emerging global threat because its movement is hither thither. It does not sound alarm nor give advance notice. It is only heard when someone or organisation has been hit, just like in the United States and that is enough advance notice, not just to Nigeria, but the whole world. Optimism is re-enforced by strategies that are properly calculated, pragmatic and potentially strong to stand the test of time, even without being tested. It is usually premised on realities or assumptions and that is when optimism can face realities. We must without fail acknowledge our weaknesses and think of strategies now, whether home grown or imported before the attention of the hackers get focused on our weaknesses. This is what “a stitch in times saves nine” means.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
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The Anglo Dutch Major Provides The Stock Of Chief Executives For Most Of Africa’s Leading Independents…….
HUMAN RESOURCE CAPACITY
By Toyin Akinosho HEN afren announced first Oil from the Okoro field in south eastern Nigeria in June W 2008, the company had existed only for four years. The managing director of Afren Nigeria, the company’s heartland, at the time, was Egbert Imomoh, a former Deputy Managing Director at Shell who had worked briefly in London after retirement, before joining the board of the new company founded by Liberia’s Ethelbert Cooper. For a company formed by a mix of African and outside investors-even if listed in Europe-the timeliness in arrival at first oil was quite significant. The field produced 3,000BOPD from one well, while it targeted 15,000BOPD from six wells by the end of that year. (Afren now produces in excess of 50,000BOPD operated). In terms of having African businessmen launch a company and utilize indigenous human resource capacity to deliver first oil, Afren was following-at that time- on the heels of Conoil, Niger Delta Exploration and Development and Platform Petroleum, all of them owned by Nigerian investors. By 2008, these were a growing exception to the rule that African owned companies require technical partners from overseas to assist in the whole gamut from evaluating the subsurface to delivering crude at the export terminal. Note carefully: It is crucial, in this era of the third scramble, to have a critical mass of privately owned African companies, owning and operating assets, managing portfolios and producing oil by themselves. All of the four above-listed companies are run by personnel who were once Shell employees. And some of the most promising companies struggling to be in this league are run by members of this Alumni. Conoil, the biggest African owned independent, is headed by Ebi Omatsola, a former Shell Chief Geologist and an industry icon who grew the company right from the scratch, taking off from a mere idea of the maverick Nigerian businessman, Mike Adenuga. Niger Delta Exploration, the first company to be handed a marginal field and bring to first oil, has for all its 18 year history been superintended by Lai Fatona, an Imperial College trained Sedimentologist who left Shell in mid career 25 years ago to help found Geotrex, a subsurface evaluation consultancy. Most of the Marginal Field companies which have reached production are run by Shell Alumni. Frontier Oil is headed by S. Dada Thomas, a former Shell Facilities engineer; Midwestern Oil and Gas is run by Adams Okoene; Platform Petroleum, in 2008, was managed by Austin Avuru, an ex NNPC employee who likes to draw attention to his “stint at Shell”. More notably however, now that Avuru has moved upstairs to run a bigger company, Platform has a CEO with a finance background, but the technical operations are overseen by a COO, Osa Owieadolor, who spent seven years in Petroleum Engineering with Shell. Pillar Oil’s only producing well was delivered largely by a cast of retired Shell personnel, superintended by Seye Fadahunsi, a technically honed earth scientist with a Master’s degree from Hull who benefitted early from being thrown into the deep end as a P.E, the eponymous Petroleum Engineer on Shell’s rigs in the late 80s. Fadahunsi spent seven years at Shell before crossing to Statoil. Former Shell staff run the affairs in the emerging independents too. The Chief Operating Officer at FHN, partly owned by Afren, is Femi
What’s So Hot About Shell People? Houseboat In A Creek In The Niger Delta Bajomo, (who made his mark in the industry as far back as 1997 when he became the Managing Director of Shell Namibia). Oando’s E&P subsidiary, OER, the one that is buying ConocoPhillip’s assets, was run by a succession of Shell alumni(three of them, the last being Tunde Ogunnaike), before a former Schlumberger staff, Pade Durotoye, took charge two years ago. So what is it that happens, inside of the cramped, civil- service- look- alike offices on the Lagos Marina, on the spacious campus in Ogunu in Warri and in the airy estate of Rumuobiakani, in Port Harcourt, that makes Shell Nigeria a factory of oilfield entrepreneurs, for want of a better term? How come that none of the big names that have retired from other Nigerian subsidiaries of the majors is running such companies? Fatona had obviously not given that question a thought. Or rather, his take on it was in another direction. “10 to 11 years ago”, he explains, on the patio of his rambling mansion in Magodo, in the north of Lagos, “a colleague and I tried to inventorise what Shell and (the oil service company) Schlumberger had contributed in the development of entrepre-
neurial skills. Our findings were that there were more companies that had been built by Schlumberger people than by Shell people” But that is like comparing apples and oranges, he admits. Schlumberger has spawned a large stock of oilfield service companies in the engineering arena, no doubt. But the man to give you the contract for an engineering service is the man who operates an oilfield. “Up until 20 years ago”, Fatona elaborates, over chicken sandwiches and coffee, “Shell was rigorously training its people. It was significant human capital development and it was recklessly done, with no holds barred.” It was not just about training, but subsequent work deployment. Fatona provides the example of a gentleman named Kunle Adesida, a prince of Akure, the sleepy capital of Ondo State. “He came in as a biostratigrapher, came into the lab and went on to become an accomplished sedimentologist. When he grew out of the job he was made to be in charge of crude handling, a crucial job”. Adesida left the company in the second quarter of 2008 as a business development manager handling Shell’s relationship with marginal field companies. “There’s something in the company
By the time a Chevron man retires, he prefers to be a consultant, whereas if you take a Shell man, the moment he leaves, he’s thinking about building an E&P company. Agbabiaka declares, rather dramatically: The upbringing of a technical man in Shell is more rounded than in Chevron or ExxonMobil. Then even more dramatically, he says, The geologist in Shell is a better businessman than the geologist in Chevron or ExxonMobil.
that’s allowed him (Adesida) to bloom. It’s not just about training. There’s a measure of authority that comes with your responsibility”, Fatona contends. “In my first year in Shell my wells were being drilled. The cost of a well, even then, was in excess of several million dollars. It’s not just about coloured pencils. You had a field assigned to you, everything about that field is referenced to you. You defend your proposals, your wells are drilled, right in your nose”. Fatona finishes his coffee. “For all my colleagues that was the same thing; the guys that we started together; Precious Omuku, Evans Dimkpa, Sam Odumodu, Boma Jumboeach one of us had the same experience”. This is the kind of example that gets Bayo Akinpelu quite agitated. He has had the best of a career himself, both in Gulf Oil Company of Nigeria and in Chevron, which took over Gulf in the mid 80s. He was Exploration Manager at Chevron from where he retired, eight years ago, as Director of Public Affairs. He’s the founding president of the African region of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists(AAPG). “In Gulf Oil, we were trained to be geologists”, Akinpelu argues. “But your environment compelled you to know a lot about everything. If you didn’t, you won’t get a lot done. The greatest training energy that Gulf Oil deployed was on its earth scientists. That’s where they put their eggs. They were kind of laid back in training of other professionals”. It was in this privileged situation that Akinpelu was reared. “Other professionals in the company relied on earth scientists. The drilling man came to ask you what to do. We earth scientists were relied on to co-ordinate the work of other professionals. We co-ordinated reservoir management studies. Earth scientists in Gulf were the centre of things.” If the geoscientist was such a miracle worker in the then Gulf Oil, how come that old Gulf employees are not fanning out all over the place creating full E&P companies, or being asked to run them? How come Akinpelu himself has taken only a slice of the full cake? His CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
24 AFRICAN OIL&GAS REPORT
What’s So Hot About Shell People?
The Liberalisation Of Technical P Until 10 Years Ago, a mid-career African geosciU entist or reservoir engineer would throw a wild party when his benevolent employer-for the purpose of this case an E&P International Oil Company-asked him to proceed on cross posting abroad. He was being deployed to work in China’s Mohai Bay in South East Asia or somewhere across the planet in the Gulf of Mexico, outside his traditional knowledge base of the Congo Fan, the Niger Delta Basin, the West African Transform Margin, the East African Rift, or the Mediterranean Play. He could be forgiven for dreaming of an international career. But he was not going to be a “career international staff”; at least not in the way of the hundreds of thousands of his American, British, French or Italian peers who hop from one end of the earth to the other, every four or so years, like career diplomats, working in varied cultural contexts, getting into the industry’s most exciting projects and building up the CVs to qualify them for a respectable seat at a very respectable position in the company’s headquarters in Houston or The Hague or Paris. No, the African oil industry professional would return home after four years, to begin competing for supervisory or managerial job in his country, in a turf war with his western colleague, who actually owned the quota to be The Asset Manager or such elite sounding job description. Our man’s professional life was a provincial one. But the times are a changing, as they say. Today, you don’t need your company to make your career, if you want an international one. At home, new realities have ensured that the grueling turf battles are skewed in your favour. You are the local content, after all. But let’s focus on the international career. The energy industry’s considerable expansion has called for more geoscientists, drillers and engineers. An increasing number of companies are searching for new technical talent in the global oil patch. Once you focus enough on the required skills-using computer aided interpretation- from basin analysis through prospect generation to reservoir characterization, flow assurance modeling and field development. Or you’ve mastered well engineering, project management and operations, getting yourself grounded not only in technical details but as a thinker, you have qualified yourself as a career international staff. You can sit in your office and determine what to do after five years soaking up all the knowledge. Click on The Job in Saudi Aramco, or Shell in The Hague, or Petronas or CNOOC and describe what your skill set is. Remember, it pays to have the skills; to focus on upgrading your technical and managerial competencies, even through the services of third party vendors. Keep watching for how the industry is evolving. Technical conferences, like NAPE’s and SPE’s are more the key than ”jamboree” conferences which feature contractors with pancake thin ideas of the industry’s major technical challenges. Then you wouldn’t have midlife headaches; you make your employer get a headache about holding you. The Africa Oil+Gas Report is the primer of the hydrocarbon industry on the continent. It is the market leader in local contextualizing of global developments and policy issues and is the go-to medium for decision makers, whether they be international corporations or local entrepreneurs, technical enterprises or financing institutions, for useful analyses of Africa’s oil and gas industry. Published by the Festac News Press Limited since November 2001, AOGR is a monthly, 40 page hardcopy publication delivered to subscribers around the world. Its website remains www.africaoilgasreport.com and the contact email address is email@example.com. Contact telephone numbers in our West African regional headquarters in Lagos are 2348130733523, 2347062420127, 2348034449079, 234803652979, 2348023902519. Please enjoy what this edition of the Pullout has to offer. -Toyin Akinosho, Publisher
Femi Bajomo, Chief Operating Officer, FHN
Layi Fatona, Managing Director, NDEP
Egbert Imomoh took Afren To First Oil
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23
other professionals”. Agbabiaka says that the career path ensures that “by the time a Chevron man retires, he prefers to be a consultant, whereas if you take a Shell man, the moment he leaves, he’s thinking about building an E&P company”. Agbabiaka declares, rather dramatically: “The upbringing of a technical man in Shell is more rounded than in Chevron or ExxonMobil”. Then even more dramatically, he says, “The geologist in Shell is a better businessman than the geologist in Chevron or ExxonMobil”. Neither Agbabiaka nor Akinpelu agree that there is a Corporate Training Deficiency in either Shell or Chevron. ”It’s more about orientation than capability”, says Agbabiaka. The moment a Shell man retires, he’s thinking of an E&P company”. He remembers that some Shell ex-personnel invited him to join an E&P company after he left ExxonMobil, but he opted for working for them on a consultancy basis. Mr Agbabiaka has since put together his own (not E&P. but Project Management) company”. Akinpelu’s theory for the preponderance of Shell faces at the top of indigenous E&P companies is the preponderance of Shell retirees in the market. “They’ve been having retirees
life in retirement is devoted to running a reservoir audit firm. The fighter in him would have him answer that question specifically later, but this is what he said first: “In Gulf, we were told to focus on the content. It could have been a flawed model” That position: “focus on the content”, is closer to what Jide Agbabiaka thinks. Here’s another technically honed earth scientist who retired, close to a decade ago, as Executive Director at ExxonMobil Nigeria. “Those two American companies: (ExxonMobil and Chevron)”, he says “are very functionally structured, in that if you are a reservoir engineer, you are a reservoir engineer for life. And that’s the way America itself works. Even now that there’s a movement towards integration, you’re still going to be the earth scientist in a team that includes
Chevron always has good intentions: “Nobody puts on a more beautiful human development organizational chart than Chevron”, Akinpelu contends. “but will it be implemented to the letter?”
Dada Thomas, CEO of Frontier Oil
Our findings were that there were more companies that had been built by Schlumberger people than by Shell people” long before any other company”. And Shell has a way of haemorrhaging staff (my word), quality personnel or otherwise, every three years or so. “I have information that they are in another round of voluntary retirement packages as we speak”. Asked whether it is not the company’s principle of empowering its Nigerian workforce that has enabled Shell Nigeria to have a succession of Nigerian Deputy MDs for 12 years before 2004, when it then started having a Nigerian as Managing Director, Akinpelu says it is “not a reflection of the quality of Nigerians on either side (Shell or other companies). It’s more a reflection of the thoughtfulness of a company on the sensitivity of their host. “I don’t think that this is being driven by morality”, he says. “Its plain old sensitivity. I want to believe that Shell is doing it because it is the right thing. I also want to believe they think it’s a business need to please their host”. Just as Fatona is skeptical about Shell training its staff as robustly today as it did 20 years ago, so is Akinpelu uncertain about the future of human development programme in Chevron. “I am not sure that Shell is doing what they used to do in our days, Fatona argues. “When Chevron came they threw all the human development principles out of the window in the last twenty five years, since 1988”. But Chevron always has good intentions: “Nobody puts on a more beautiful human development organizational chart than Chevron”, Akinpelu contends. “but will it be implemented to the letter?” There’s some evidence that Shell still focuses on empowering Nigerians. Ademola AdeyemiBero, was Managing Director of BG the British Gas company at a time he was yet to be 45. Before he went to BG he was already Executive Director at Shell and was clearly in line to be the company’s Managing Director. Babs Omotowa became the CEO of NLNG at the age of 45. He was seconded from Shell. Much earlier, in 2008, that position had been Nigerianised. Chuma Ibeneche moved from the position of Managing Director of SNEPCO and became the first Nigerian head of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited. All three of Ibeneche’s predecessors since the company started production in 1999 were European managers imported from Shell subsidiaries elsewhere in the world. This piece is an updated version of an article published in the July 2008 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report
... Have Social Skills…Will Travel HE only person that I know in Shell, who wasn’t “T pulled out from retirement and who is doing this is Layi Fatona”, says Bayo Akinpelu, a retired Exploration Manager from Chevron. “He was pulled out of the company, early in his career, to join Geotrex, which was then like a leap into the dark. He is quite adventurous”. Akinpelu was building a case that Shell is not necessarily the de facto factory for top management of the best indigenous E&P companies. His argument is that Shell has operated producing fields in Nigeria for 55 years, building knowledgeable personnel in the process and as it periodically rolls out voluntary retirement packages, those of its employees who have spent 20+ years in the industry naturally go looking for what vacancies are
available in the growing indigenous operatorship sector. A casual look around indicates that not every indigenous company headed by Shell employees has shown up on the list of the top five indigenous companies. (By top, we mean those who deploy Nigerian technical knowhow without hunting for so called foreign technical partners, to get the oil out and deliver to the market). It so happens that the Shell alumni who run Conoil, Niger Delta Exploration and others, are some of the most widely regarded professionals around.. “If Geotrex hadn’t worked”, says Akinpelu, “Fatona would still get his job back anywhere in the industry”. “Why?”, I asked. “Because he is Layi Fatona!” (Laughter all around). Fatona himself has such fond words for Conoil’s Managing
Director Ebi Omatsola, for whom he worked while at Shell. “Ebi Omatsola’s brain is like a computer. He is always thinking. He works you. I worked for him and (former Nigerian Energy Minister Edmund) Daukoru and both of them drive you, but whereas Daukoru is all business, there’s some comradeship in the way Omatsola relates to you. It’s like Eyin boys, let’s do this thing like this.. .He drives you to excel. He may not reward you. I don’t want to make any excuses for him. If you are the type of person looking to be rewarded, you actually wouldn’t like him. But in working you, he makes you a better person”. That view of Omatsola reflects one of Fatona’s own core principles. “Whatever Shell gave to me by way of knowledge resides
CONTINUED ON PAGE 41 AUSTIN AVURU, Founding MD, PLATFORM PETROLEUM
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Addressing challenges of Nigeria’s e-Learning initiatives E-learning has become a necessary tool in the developmental agenda of progressive institutions and countries. It is employed for effective delivery of a knowledge economy. Indeed, e-learning experts in Nigeria recently gathered and brainstormed on the way forward for the country. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN reports. a library, knowledge must be kept current. It must be reLThisIKE viewed to verify its relevance and must be kept accurate. facts came to the fore at two day elearning forum, where experts in the field agreed that Nigeria’s human high-skill capacity index could be rapidly improved upon through eLearning initiatives. In addition, the experts concluded that the shrinking admission opportunities for the yearly rising number of university candidates could be effectively addressed by eLearning. Interestingly, with a population of over 160 million, Nigeria has less than 500 institutions of higher learning. On the average, only 18 out of 100 people looking for admission into higher institution get admitted every year, making it one of the most difficult places to seek higher education. Indeed, e-learning is the acquisition of knowledge and skills using electronic technology such as computers and the internet-based courseware and local and wide area networks. Globally today, e-learning has emerged as an attractive alternative for the content delivery of education, training and development because of its numerous advantages. The advent of internet and multimedia has injected a paradigm shift in education, training and development thereby resulting in easier, flexible, attractive, meaningful and effective content dissemination and assimilation without the constraint of time and location. It is therefore imperative on government to have a clear-cut policy action-plans and to encourage massive investment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for online education said the experts as part of their recommendations at the two days West Africa E-learning Conference and Exhibition organised by Baobab Media in association with Accra Institute of Technology (AIT) with the collaboration of the University of Lagos and the support of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).
At a glance
• Govt sets KPIs to monitor ICT growth…P. 26 • PFS strengthens CBN’s cheque truncation…P. 28 • Samsung Academy targets 2,000 technicians…P. 29 • Global internet slows after ‘biggest attack’…P. 30
Though Africa still lag behind as a result of lack of knowledge and awareness on the subject matter, studies have shown that e-learning delivers quality education to student who involved in it because of the ease of convenience it affords said the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Ibidapo Obe, adding that “e-learning is a concept of unlocking knowledge of teachers, according to him, since Information Technology (IT) is already transforming the world, there is no barrier to acquiring knowledge.” Also, according to the Executive Chairman at Spectrum Books Limited Mr. Dayo Ogunniyi, “e-learning is going to bail us out from the problem of degraded educational system.” He described the conventional education system as not capable of taking care of the huge amount of people wanting to be educated, stressing that demand for education has consistently increased in the last few years, but the physical infrastructures are not be enough to cater for the demand. For the President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Dr. Chris Uwaje, there is need for local knowledge advocacy, “e-lesson is very important but there is no standard. There should be standard to create lesson because IT can enhance knowledge” Uwaje also advised that since 72 per cent of Nigerians live in rural and semi-rural areas, the gospel of e-learning must be preached to them. Also, in his presentation titled ‘ICT, as a 21st Century Standard for Nigerian Teachers,’ Director of Professional Operations at the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, (TRCN), an agency under the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Steve Nwokeocha, believes that since the 21st century is best known for scientific knowledge, ICT and globalisation, those who impact knowledge must consider the pivotal role of ICT because people are now in the information society. Even though Nwokeocha’s paper analysed the above characteristics of the 21st century that make it imperative for Nigerian teachers to appreciate and use ICT tools to broaden their horizon, he was more concerned about standard of the Nigerian teachers. To him, standard is a generally accepted point of reference and standard in the context of ICT in the 21st century that places a country in advantageous position in the comity of nations. His words: “Within the teaching profession, the African continent and entire world should forge a common fronts to see that the regulation of the teaching profession has common yardsticks so that teacher’s qualifications, knowledge, competencies, values, rights and obligations are comparable across the countries.” Dr. Nwokeocha made a case for teachers to have the spirit of “teachers without borders”. The aim is to make teachers global professionals, marketable worldwide, and globally competitive. It is also to ensure that the quality of teaching and learning in one country favourably compares with the quality of teaching and learning in another. “No e-learning without eteaching” he stressed.
By and large, with the evolution of IT, learning and teaching cannot credibly take place without those involved being leaders in the handling of ICT tools. The modern world is an information society, driven by a complex set of digital device and telecommunication networks as an all-encompassing platform. The educational system needs to operate in accordance with this global standard, which makes ICT as an indispensable tool for the 21st century teaching and learning in Nigeria. ICT is one of the major contemporary factors shaping the global economy and producing rapid changes in society. It has fundamentally changed the way people learn, communicate and do business. It is also transforming the nature of education; it accelerates and deepens students’ basic skills in any schools subject especially reading, mathematics and the sciences, it challenges students to learn, be independent and hence be responsible and helps update student’s academic knowledge and instructional practices. Today’s educational world depends on ICT; there are opportunities for close co-operation with colleagues in the same or even other fields though networking and internet services; educators are challenged to new methods of acquiring knowledge through knowledge sharing and are ultimately connected to the world. The advent of internet and multimedia has injected a paradigm shift in education thereby resulting in easier, flexible, attractive, meaningful and effective content dissemination and assimilation without the constraint of time and location. According to the Director General of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Mr. A.A. Peters’ paper titled “Capacity building in e-learning for the Nigerian public sector” delivered by Mr. Bala Sambo, an administrative director at the college, he described e-learning as an approach to facilitate and enhance learning by means of personal computers, CDROMS and the Internet. He listed the benefits of e-learning to include self-paced which gives individuals a chance to speed up or slow down as necessary, self-directed allowing individuals to choose content and tools proper to their differing interests, needs and skill levels; accommodates multiple learning styles using a variety of delivery methods that are more effective to certain individuals. E-learning is envisaged to contribute to the improvement of educational skills, including time and project management. This, according to the Chairman of Baobab Media, Dr. Sola Afolabi, has the capacity to improve the flow of information at all levels of the Nigerian education system. When queried on what the outcome of the two days event will be, he said the recommendations of the conference will be presented to the Ministry of Education so that proper policies will be in place to ensure e-learning appreciation and utilisation in the country’s educational process. He also assured the over 300 participants at the two days conference and expo that the facilitators of the conference will ensure that the outcome of the forum will be made readily available to managers of the country’s educational system whether within government or the private sector.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Govt sets KPIs to monitor ICT progress By Adeyemi Adepetun O ensure Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) contributes immensely to the country’s development agenda, the Federal Government has set fresh Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor improvement in the sector. Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, who unveiled the KPIs in Lagos, recently, noted that it has become highly imperative to accord the sector huge importance in the nation’s economy. Indeed, in the new KPIs, the country’s teledensity for fixed
and mobile subscriptions, which stood at 1.5 per cent and 80.85 per cent in 2012, is expected to hit 10 per cent and 97.69 per cent by 2015 in that order. Also, the number of population with access to the internet, currently standing at around 32.40 per cent, is expected to hit 41.62 per cent by 2015. In 2011, percentage of population with internet access in Nigeria was 29 per cent. Consistent with the country’s Strategic Management Planning for ICT industry, the percentage of mobile phone coverage of rural areas is to be monitored towards ensuring
that 60 per cent is covered with ICT access by 2015 and 100 per cent by 2017. The government also released a target of what is expedited to be the cost of accessing broadband Internet services by 2015. According to the information gathered, cost of broadband subscription, which currently stands at N72, 000 for 3Gb of data package per year, is expected to witness 50 per cent reduction to N36, 000. As at 2011, the cost of access broadband internet service was around N93, 000 for 3Gb of data package per year. The KPI on speed of broadband access (Mb/s), which, as at the
Johnson end of December 2012, was still put at 1.8 megabyte per second (MB/s) is expected to increase to 5.0 Mb/s by 2015. According to available statis-
tics, Nigeria is currently said to have one of the lowest speeds in Africa, as the country is challenged in all areas of broadband access such as coverage, speed and cost. On the cost of personal computer ownership, the government has put measures in place to implement and monitors activities that will lead 12 per cent penetration up from its current 4.5 per cent while mobile devices are to hit 82 per cent penetration away from its current position of 60 per cent. In the area of mobile content and applications, the minister said verified mobile money agents; total value of mobile
money transactions and total volume of non-store shopping which currently stand at 3,000; N228 million and N77.5 billion would be closely monitored to ensure that they increase to 50,000 agents, N151 billion and N658 billion respectively. Speaking on the KPIs and targets for government Ministers, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs), Johnson said the number of government services delivered online which currently is around 30 per cent would reach 100 per cent by 2014. In 2011, the figure stood at 10 per cent.
Mobile location data ‘present anonymity risk’ EW research conducted by Scientists at the pact users’ privacy and anonymity. N Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) For example, sat-nav manufacturers have long and the Catholic University of Louvain, in been using location data from both mobile United States, has revealed that it is remarkably easy to identify a mobile phone user from just a few pieces of location information. According to them, whenever a phone is switched on, its connection to the network means its position and movement can be plotted. To them, this data is given anonymously to third parties, both to drive services for the user and to target advertisements. But a study in Scientific Reports warned that human mobility patterns are so predictable it is possible to identify a user from only four data points. The growing ubiquity of mobile phones and smartphone applications has ushered in an era in which tremendous amounts of user data have become available to the companies that operate and distribute them - sometimes released publicly as “anonymised” or aggregated data sets. These data are of extraordinary value to advertisers and service providers, but also for example to those who plan shopping centres, allocate emergency services, and a new generation of social scientists. Yet the spread and development of “location services” has outpaced the development of a clear understanding of how location data im-
phones and sat-navs themselves to improve traffic reporting, by calculating how fast users are moving on a given stretch of road. The data used in such calculations are “anonymised” - no actual mobile numbers or personal details are associated with the data. But there are some glaring examples of how nominally anonymous data can be linked back to individuals, the most striking of which occurred with a tranche of data deliberately released by AOL in 2006, outlining 20 million anonymised web searches. The New York Times did a little sleuthing in the data and was able to determine the identity of “searcher 4417749”. Recent work has increasingly shown that human’ patterns of movement, however random and unpredictable they seem to be, are actually very limited in scope and can in fact act as a kind of fingerprint for who is doing the moving. The new work details just how “low-resolution” these location data can be and still act as a unique identifier of individuals. “Mobility traces” The fairly predictable nature of human movement makes location data more unique to a given user Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Catholic University of
Louvain studied 15 months’ worth of anonymised mobile phone records for 1.5 million individuals. They found from the “mobility traces” - the evident paths of each mobile phone - that only four locations and times were enough to identify a particular user. “In the 1930s, it was shown that you need 12 points to uniquely identify and characterise a fingerprint,” said the study’s lead author YvesAlexandre de Montjoye of MIT. “What we did here is the exact same thing but with mobility traces. The way we move and the behaviour is so unique that four points are enough to identify 95 per cent of people. “We think this data is more available than people think. When you think about, for instance wi-fi or any application you start on your phone, we call up the same kind of mobility data. “When you share information, you look around you and feel like there are lots of people around - in the shopping centre or a tourist place - so you feel this isn’t sensitive information.” The team went on to quantify how “high-resolution” the data need to be - the precision to which a location is known - in order to more fully guarantee privacy. Co-author Cesar Hidalgo said that the data follow a natural mathematical pattern that could be used as an analytical guide as more location
services and high-resolution data become available. “The idea here is that there is a natural tradeoff between the resolution at which you are capturing this information and anonymity, and that this trade-off is just by virtue of resolution and the uniqueness of the pattern. “This is really fundamental in the sense that now we’re operating at high resolution, the trade-off is how useful the data are and if the data can be anonymised at all. A traffic forecasting service wouldn’t work if you had the data within a day; you need that within an
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT Ltd. Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai (left); Chairman House Committee on Information and National Orientation, Hon Buba Jibrin; Hon. Abike Dabiri-Eruwa; Hon. Babangida Ibrahim and others during a facility visit to the Ground Control Station, NIGCOMSAT Ltd in Abuja.
Sony Mobile enhances market share in Nigeria with new product By Bankole Orimisan N a bid to demystify the experiences of Nigerians in the high-end smartphone segment, Sony Mobile Communications has unveiled a new Android smartphone in mobile devices market. With the launch of its muchawaited smartphone, Xperia Z, in Lagos recently by top officials from Sony Mobile, the phone manufacturer said Nigeria now remains “our focus market because of the potential the country has and we are ready to enhance our market share.” This means Sony Mobile has
made up plans to overtake other brands such as Nokia, Samsung and even Tecno phones which already have sizable market share from low-end and high-end devices customers. Speaking on the Sony’s new flagship Android smartphone, Marketing Manager Africa, at Sony Mobile, Mr. Younes Cherkaoui, said the new Xperia Z boast of a range of unparalleled features, including a 5” Full High Definition 1080p Reality Display, Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, the Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 and a 13 megapixel
fast-capture camera. Offering the ‘best of Sony in a smartphone’, he said the device uses advanced technology from Sony’s entire range of multimedia products. “The Xperia Z is a gamechanger in smartphone technology. It has generated a great deal of excitement internationally since its official launch at the CES in Las Vegas. We anticipate the ultimate range of rich user experiences offered on this stellar model from the Xperia range to increase the momentum several times over in key African markets and Nigeria is one of
Microsoft Nigeria, Nokia collaborate on 9jApps contest launch ICROSOFT Nigeria in partM nership with Nokia has declared open its 9jApps contest, a challenge designed to empower local developers to take advantage of Microsoft’s new tools and resources. The contestants, according to the two organisations will develop locally appealing and relevant apps for the Windows platform, utilising Visual Studio 2012 and the Windows Phone SDK in addition to the Windows Azure SDK. 9japps contest is a Microsoft initiative aimed at fostering innovation and creating personality around developers and their apps, in collaboration with Nokia, Dell and CCHub Nigeria. The 9jApps contest is billed to run for three months teeingoff in the month of March and climaxing at the end of June, 2013. This contest is timed to have great impact on our next generation developer audiences by being aligned to the launch of the 4Africa Initiative Pan-Africa, and this will drive innovation and grow the local software economy, which is one of the key initiatives under the innovation pillar of the Africa Plan. Through this, and as part of the commitments announced earlier this year through the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, Microsoft said it was creating platforms for inspiring Nigerian developers – students, entrepreneurs, and independent developers – to create the next generation of amazing apps on the Windows Platform. At the press briefing to kick off the project, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Emmanuel Onyeje, said, “Nigeria is blessed with enormous talents and Microsoft is giving
our developers an opportunity to explore their potentials.” Disclosing the rationale for the project, Developer and Platform Evangelism Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Shina Oyetosho said,
“Microsoft through its 4Afrika initiative is bent on encouraging competitors to take the next step to publish their apps, whilst making some revenue from it.”
these key markets,” he said. According to him, Xperia Z’s razor sharp Reality Display, powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, brings Sony’s longstanding television expertise to the smartphone and delivers an immersive viewing experience with super brightness and clarity. “The smartphone shares capabilities with Sony digital cameras and features Exmore PS for mobile, the world’s first image sensor with High Dynamic Range (HDR) video recording for smartphones,” he added.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Achebe: There was a software icon By Chris Uwaje HE human brain is a computer. And software is a knowledge logic system. The Nigerian Knowledge Profession and Industry is grossly underestimated – due to technophobia mindset – generated by external influences! Indeed, it is the factory and wealth ecosystem in our heads. The Nigeria Knowledge industry is worth perhaps ten times (1000 per cent) more than the oil and Gas sector. All these knowledge-wares can be classified as “Knowledge Software” Nigeria has abundance knowledge – in almost all significant measurable levels of human Endeavour. Prof. Chinua Achebe is software; J.P. Clark is software; Wole Soyinka is software, Christopher Okigbo was a great poetic software; Ken Saro Wiwa was software, Nnamdi Azikiwe was Software-Nigeria/Africa, so was Aminu Kano and, Obafemi Awolowo and many millions of African knowledge giants such as Nelson Madiba Mandela, Helie Salasie., Kwame Nkrumah. Software is innovation and creativity. Indeed, there is software brain and architecture in this country populated by innovative man and women with creative knowledge. After all, Fela Anikulapo Kuti was software Art in his own right – so is Malam Maitama Sule. There is Software-Nigeria. However, one aspect is to recognise indigenous knowledge and the other is a conscious patronage of the products and services of our national software knowledge resources. Imagine if Prof. Chinua Achebe after writing ‘Things Fall Apart’ in 1958, the product was never patronised or read by Nigerians, Africans and the world at large? Imagine if this innovative knowledge-ware was never given the attention it deserved by government and business policy makers? Currently, we know that the Achebe’s knowledge Software masterpiece titled ‘Things Fall Apart’ was translated into 50 international languages and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. The above provides us with the technical and vivid alibi of the potency of Software-Nigeria and justifies the decade-long advocacy of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) for the national recognition, promotion and mandatory patronage of Software-Nigeria by Government and related stakeholders. With the demise of Prof. Achebe, I am sure that it is high time government seriously engages her ‘Technophobia Syndrome” and timely understand the critical importance of indigenous knowledge-ware and Information Technology Software in Particular – as the engine room of her transformation and devel-
Nollywood actress, Iyabo Ojo (left); Head of Gloworld, Mrs. Titi Ebinisi; Head of Corporate Sales, Globacom, Kamal Shonibare and the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Corporation, Otunba Segun Runsewe, when Globacom bags the ‘Most Innovative Company’ of the year at the City People Awards in Lagos.
PFS strengthens CBN’s cheques truncation process across Nigeria By Adeyemi Adepetun S part of ongoing efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to shorten the settlement cycle of a cheque to one day, the apex bank is working with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) and Nigeria’s leading financial services software provider, Precise Financial Systems, PFS, to achieve this objective thereby ensuring cheques presented for settlement are resolved within stipulated date across the country. PFS has implemented the cheque truncation lifecycle for the CBN. PFS and NIBSS have enabled the CBN to execute the project, as the cheque truncation platform has gone live in Lagos and Abuja. Other branches of the CBN would be concluded by the end of March, PFS said in a statement. The cheque truncation system would allow all branches of the CBN to capture all cheques in the respective branches and maintain them in a central server in Lagos. The system then allows all captured cheques from the bank to be transmitted to the clearinghouse from Lagos. According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of PFS, Mr. Yele Okeremi, the system is responsible for the processing of all inward cheques and NEFT transactions of banks. While it would address all required management reporting, its controls are guided “as the system implements all required maker checker rules of the banks”, he said. With the activation of cheque truncation regime through iTELLER platform in Nigeria, one important challenge the system has addressed is the ability of the CBN to meet the deadline for cheque truncation nationwide. Aside, the platform has also assisted the CBN to reduce cost, time and the stress involved in its cheque clearing operations, as the system removes all “logistics costs associated with clearing”. While further enumerating on the benefits of cheque truncation system, he said before the
new regime, Nigerian banks would have to send their outward cheques to respective central clearing departments by dispatch riders or bullion vans. There would not be any need for that again, as cheques can be truncated directly at the branch of deposit. “This removes time-wasting collation and photocopying exercises usually carried out at the bank branches. It also removes the need to postencode cheques, and this provides the platform to use more
agile cheque scanners for image and MICR capture”. Other benefits of the new systems, according to him, include reduction of stress and human efforts in clearing, elimination of all cheques substitution tendencies, reduction of time of consummating manual transaction thereby enabling the cashier to focus on other customer requirements as well as reduction of the man-hours required to attend to other customer’s need among others.
Titans of Tech conference gets Globacom’s backing LOBACOM has emerged as the lead sponsor of this year’s “TiG tans of Tech” night, an evening of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals in West Africa in 2013. The event, which is now in its eighth year, is billed to hold in Lagos on April 12, and would feature two sessions, namely a technology conference session early in the evening and the awards/gala night immediate afterwards. Managing Consultant, Technology Africa, organiser of the forum, Don Pedro Aganbi, while commending Globacom for expressing support for the conference, noted that it is typical of the telecommunications firm to back initiatives that portrays the country in favourable light. He stated as the telecommunications giant marks a decade of operations, it is significant that Globacom has not only commenced a massive network expansion and technical network upgrade project that will considerably enhance the quality of customer experience on the network, it is also supporting programmes that seek to expand the conversation in the telecommunication space. He remarked that the Titans of Tech conference is indeed meant to engender further growth of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector and indeed the ICT market, through the provision of a platform for constructive dialogue and opportunity to network and influence policy. According to him, “with the theme “Broadband, Data Centres and the Quest for Inclusive Society” the conference will afford the esteemed sponsors ample opportunities to reveal the extent of their investment in Nigeria and the growing need to promote access to broadband across the country.” He revealed that former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission and Director, Centre for Infrastructure Policy, Regulation and Advancement (CIPRA), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, would chair the conference. Aganbi noted that the Titans of Tech conference would provide a veritable platform for government to present its plans/policies and the private sector to provide insights into challenges, opportunities, available solutions and options in deploying infrastructure to support the emerging digital economy. In addition it is a great opportunity for networking and forging strategic partnerships amongst key stakeholders in the sector, he added.
Late Achebe opment Agenda. The argument is that ‘no foreigner’ would have written “Things Fall Apart” the way and manner it was culturally and traditionally structured and expressed by Prof. Chinua Achebe. The same logic applies to Software in the ICT Domain, which centrally focuses on the e-needs of the people and designing solutions peculiar to those needs to fulfill her development aspirations and sustainable goals. Those marketers of foreign software may be forgiven for their pathetic and blind ignorance. Recognising Software Development as a new productive knowledge frontier and potential instrument for economic empowerment and creation of wealth, ISPON advised government in 2005, to launch a nation-wide awareness campaign – based on the technical report submitted to it by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on National Software Development Initiative (NSDI). The above observation was based on a factual study recognising the acute danger in allowing the deployment of foreign software in key Federal Government functions/operations domain to foreigners. The advocacy aims to foster and promote the establishment of a National Software Development Policy and encourage the inclusion of the patronage and protection of indigenous software in the IT Bill. This will serve to improve the level of the nation’s computer knowledge and content competitiveness, as well as promote and spread the development and use of indigenous software applications and services in governance, education, health, business and industry, agriculture, transportation, public administration, law and justice, entertainment and national security. Currently, our knowledge-base and technology environment of the “new economy” is greatly influenced, under-
Ambiom Wireless to enhance internet penetration in Lagos By Bankole Orimisan N indigenous internet service provider, Ambiom Wireless, has said its services will come live this year, with Lagos State as the first beneficiary. The firm indicated that it was leveraging on superwifi technology championed by Google and Microsoft. The Managing Director, of the firm Mr. Tolulope Buraimoh, said the peculiarities of the Nigerian market had been understudied by Ambiom Wireless hence, adoption of a technology that was cost effective and
easy to use. According to him, the firm is working towards using lesser equipment to achieve seamless internet connection in the country, starting from Lagos. He said the e-commerce market in Nigeria was growing exponentially, and the firm remained committed to serving the fast growing market, adding that its connection were not limited to laptops, iPads and mobile phones. “We will go live by April 4 and we are starting from Alausa, Ikeja in Lagos. Our targets are individuals and businesses,” Buraimoh said.
Also commenting, an Executive Director of the company, Mr. Olumide Oladimeji, said payments for the firm’s services could be done online. In tandem with the country’s cash-less policy, adding that the firm was targeting Alausa as its first hotspot. According to him, the firm had MainOne, Phase 3 Telecoms and Altai as technical partners, and is building a robust customer service framework to handle its customer base. With a well advanced technology running on its network, Oladimeji said systems had been configured to handle huge traffic.
mined and controlled by foreign information system and database – where software plays a fundamental roll and viewed as the backbone of modern wealth creation and national security. Setting a national software development policy and awareness agenda therefore, is also against the backdrop that building software capacities presents immense economic opportunities for nation building. Suffice to state that Nigeria can earn $10 billion in foreign exchange yearly from the software industry. Every software-exporting country has evolved a unique industry, shaped by its own resources and situation and by the particular global opportunities presented at the time. For example, Japan exports mostly software games, India exports primarily software services to large software development shops, Ireland exports software products (created by MNCs located in-country as well as by a growing number of indigenous companies), and Israel mostly exports software technology which is subsequently productised by firms in the United States and Europe. The global software industry continues to evolve, and countries now looking to develop their national software potentials for security, exports and survivability face a different global situation, and are likely to evolve fundamentally different software industries. The current shape and dynamics of the global software industry should, therefore, inform ICT planning and policy, no matter the country’s stage of economic development. For countries with deficient infrastructure and tight resources (such as Ireland in the 1970’s), selective government initiatives have been critical to successful software industry development. Professor Chinua Achebe has lightened up the literary knowledge-ware Domain and Indigenous Software advocates can do even much more for the creation of wealth and survivability of our future. Goodnight our Professor Knowledge Emeritus and software literature enigma. Sleep well and Rest in perfect peace, because Software-Nigeria is alive. We pledge to carry on the fight with assurances of success in the human knowledge Olympiad. Uwaje is the president of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON)
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Cash-less economy: Inlaks offers mobile money, eBanking solutions By Adeyemi Adepetun NLAKS Computers Limited, an Infrastructure solutions provider in West African region and the business representative of Temenos in the Region, has reiterated her readiness to partner other stakeholders in the country’s financial sector to accelerate the success of cashless initiative. Inlak, which stated this at AITEC’s Banking and Mobile Money West African Conference held in Lagos recently, also showcased some of her latest offerings and technologies that will assist the financial services operators revolutionise Mobile Money and deliver quick return on investment. The AITEC forum, with the theme: “The Challenges and Opportunities of Mobile Money”, focused on banks great challenge in overcoming their heritage of colonial banking. Inlak said it is ready to assist in deploying latest international developments in payment technologies, best practices in IT project deployment, and trends in customer service delivery. According to Inlaks, this will avail the banks to provide for the bottom part of the pyramid, which has been badly neglected. It will be recalled that commercial banks has started addressing this market segment with mobile operators setting the pace in providing low-cost banking services. This they do not only through technological innovation, but also through a customeroriented corporate culture and service innovation. Indeed, speakers at the conference also noted that regulation and innovations have to find an optimum coexistence in order to encourage financial inclusion, positive/creative regulation rather than restrictive regulation. The conference admitted that communication is the key to avoid the increase of misinformation and misconceptions in the market. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Inlaks Computers, Femi Adeoti, in a prior interview, “Ghana’s enabling regulatory environment did not happen overnight. It took months and years, of creative dialogue, negotiation and lobbying. This was accelerated by the enlightened leadership in the Apex Bank with defined policy framework ignoring the threat of uncertainties and embracing wider societal considerations like financial inclusion. All these and beyond is present in the Nigerian economy with a much dynamic market.” Phil Sorrel of Temenos during his presentation emphasized that mobile money is a huge untapped opportunity in the country and its success hinges on the wide acceptability of mobile device. According to him, the success recorded in Kenya could also be surpassed with favourable government policy and reliable network infrastructure operators. “Mobile banking and mobile money is breaking down boundaries and with Temenos banking and cloud solutions, we can attain success in these schemes,” Sorrel concluded. Director, Sales and Strategy, Infrastructure Business Division, Tope Dare, spoke on the new technological innovations for the ATM channel around the world with focus on its enhanced operational efficiency, consumer experience and enhanced security. He briefly reviewed the history of ATM deployment in Nigeria and how more services are being accessed through ATMs. Today, ATMs can be used for cash deposit, bills payments, FOREX transactions and even cheque deposits due to digitisation, leading to the changing role of bank branches and channel convergence. He took the attendees into the future of ATM innovations highlighting the technology-facilitated changes they should expect to see in the future ATM in the areas of operational efficiency and security. The occasion also presented opportunities for bankers to share their insights into optimising customer service, operations and delivery of banking services.
Chairman of Baobab Media, Dr. Sola Afolabi, Administrative Director at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Mr. Bala Sambo and the Executive Chairman at Spectrum Books limited, Honorable Dayo Ogunniyi, at the West Africa E-learning Conference and Exhibition 2013 in Lagos.
Samsung academy targets 2,000 technicians for training by 2015 By Adeyemi Adepetun Y 2015, Samsung Electronics West Africa (SEWA), hoped to have churned about over 2000 highly skilled technicians through its recently opened engineering academy in Lagos. This target, according to SEWA’s Service Manager, Raymond Olatokun, was informed by the need to accelerate Nigeria’s technological growth and makes it very competitive globally. Olatokun said the second batches of about 100 trainees were currently undergoing trainings at the academy. Besides, Olatokun said the challenge of grey market has not been significant on the brand, stressing that several measures have been put in place to curb such negative trend. The South Korean firm has also
Firm introduces Galaxy Note 8.0, HomeSync unveiled some of its latest products, including a new tablet designed to add value to lives of its consumers whether at work or at play. The sleek new tablet, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a compact device offering convenient, multitasking capabilities and sophisticated S Pen features for the busy, modern and creative person. Speaking at a media unveiling in Lagos, Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa (SEWA), Mr. Brovo Kim, described the latest product as a slim and compact on-the-go work and play companion, which brings powerful performance and functionality support even to the most demanding of lifestyles. “The GALAXY Note 8.0 tablet has the power and advanced tech-
nology to evolve the tablet experience and ensure consumers achieve efficient multi-tasking. Using an intelligent S Pen, you can now enjoy the ease of a traditional pen and paper with the latest in Samsung notebook technological innovation, creating a sophisticated mobile experience that will enhance life on the go.” Kim said. Shedding more light on some of the features of the product, Head of Sales, Hand Held Products at Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Olumide Ojo, said the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is packed with features to engage, entertain and excite. “The GALAXY Note 8.0 supports users’ practical everyday needs. Reading Mode transforms the GALAXY Note 8.0 into an e-Book reader, providing optimal read-
ing conditions to help ensure consumers can curl up and enjoy a good book.” He added that creative multitasking with the GALAXY Note 8.0 is effortless due to its innovative Dual View feature, two multi window options that seamlessly allow consumers to facilitate multi-screen usage. “The Dual View’s split screen accommodates optimal operation of different apps, such as launching the S Note on the web browser screen and allowing content to be resized, dragged and dropped as required,” he said. Samsung also introduced its HomeSync, a home hub solution that is a shared storage fit for a family, the best entertainment experience on a big screen TV, and a new way of enjoying your HDTV through a familiar and smarter Android user experience.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Can cyber attacks pose a threat to national security? By Rock Adote N an attempt to proffer an answer, it is imperative to assert Icipline that cyber security has quickly evolved from a technical disto a strategic concept, as the world’s growing dependence on a powerful but vulnerable Internet combined with the disruptive capabilities of cyber attackers now threatens national and international security. Today’s fast-moving, state-of-the-art cyber attacks present government and Organizations with the difficult challenge of defending critical resources and vital information assets. Unfortunately, reliance on traditional firewall and antimalware mechanisms do not guarantee total protection from the sophisticated techniques today’s attackers use to shift the balance, in the same way as mobile telecom service operators can attest that not only is the sheer volume of network traffic increasing, but the mix of traffic is also changing to include web-based content into which traditional firewalls have limited visibility, such as social media transmissions, which now comprise as much as one quarter of all application traffic. In addition, globalization and the Internet have given individuals, organizations, and nations incredible new power, based on constantly developing networking technology. For everyone, students, soldiers, spies, propagandists, hackers, and terrorists – information gathering, communications, fund-raising, and public relations have been digitized and revolutionized. As a consequence, all political and military conflicts now have a cyber dimension, the size and impact of which are difficult to predict, and the battles fought in cyber-space can be more important than events taking place on the ground. As with terrorism, hackers have found success through the use and abuse of computers, databases, and the networks that interconnect has made cyber attack not an end in itself, but a powerful means to a wide variety of ends, from propaganda to espionage, from denial of service attacks, defacement of government websites, to even the destruction of critical infrastructure as seen in with the united states electrical grid last year. This proves that the ubiquity and vulnerability of the Internet have tangible political and military ramifications. In October 2012, American based anti-malware corporation Symantec forewarn that Nigeria cyber space is an easy target for cyber criminals owning to the reason that despite real incident of information security breaches authorities do not really appreciate the magnitude of cybercrime and how it can derail an economy, (http://businessdayonline.com/NG/index.php/news/76-hottopic/46610-nigeria-easy-target-for-cyber-criminals-sayssymantec) with dozens of real world cyber attacks globally against critical government infrastructures such as Chinese intelligence hack of U.S. Chamber which was undetected for Six Months in 2011, (http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/122111-chinesehack- 254327.html) and the incessant defacement of government agencies websites, (http://dailytimes.com.ng/article/efcc-ncc-websites-hacked) the novel dimensions of cyber attack as grown beyond common malware often thwarted by antimalware programs into real-time remote exploits such as a malicious office documents capable of capturing user keystrokes. The latest generation of exploits used to attack computer systems relies on extremely sophisticated evasion techniques to escape detection. The most serious of these attacks can provide the attacker with the ability to remotely initiate systemlevel commands. Hence, there is no doubt that the connectivity is currently well ahead of security, and this makes the Internet a viable delivery mechanism for perpetuating cyber attacks, as there are not only more devices connected to the Internet every day, but there are dozens of additions to the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database each month, thus contributing to the global pool of detailed vulnerabilities. A paradox in cyber security is that both big and small players have advantages as nations robust in IT exploit superior computing power and bandwidth; small countries and even lone hackers exploit the amplifying power of the Internet to attack the stronger conventional foe. Furthermore, Internetdependent nations are a tempting target because they have more to lose when the network goes down and in cyber conflict, the terrestrial distance between adversaries can be irrelevant because everyone is a next-door neighbor in cyberspace. Hardware, software, and bandwidth form the landscape, not mountains, valleys, or waterways. A view often ignored is that, hackers tend to be creative people, and they are able to exploit
such complexity to find ways to read, delete, and or modify information without proper authorization using the most powerful weapons, which are not based on strength, but logic and innovation. Till date, an attacker’s most important advantage remains a degree of anonymity. Smart hackers route attacks through countries with which a victim’s government has poor diplomatic relations or no law enforcement cooperation. In theory, even a major cyber conflict could be fought against an unknown adversary. The problem falls on Law enforcement and counter-intelligence investigations, which suffer from the fact that the Internet is an international entity, and jurisdiction, ends every time a telecommunications cable crosses a border. In the case of a state-sponsored cyber attack, international cooperation is naturally non-existent. All things considered, the current balance of cyber power favors the attacker. This stands in contrast to the historical understanding of warfare, in which the defender has traditionally enjoyed a home field advantage. Therefore, many governments may conclude that, for the foreseeable future, the best cyber defense is a good offense. First, cyber attacks may be required to defend the national infrastructures. Looking at the Stuxnet fiasco in 2010, the computer worm may have accomplished what five years of United Nations Security Council resolutions could not: disrupt Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear bomb. If true, a half-megabyte of computer code quietly substituted for air strikes by the Israeli Air Force. Moreover, Stuxnet may have been more effective than a conventional military attack and may have avoided a major international crisis over collateral damage. To some degree, the vulnerability of the Internet to such spectacular attacks will provide a strong temptation for nation-states to take advantage of computer hacking’s perceived high return-on-investment before it goes away. In 2013, cyber attacks may rise to the level of a national security threat especially when an adversary has invested a significant amount of time and effort into a creative and well-timed strike on a critical infrastructure target such as an electrical grid, financial system, air traffic control, etc. Cyber attacks appear capable of having strategic consequences; therefore, national security leadership must take them seriously. At the national and organizational levels, a good starting point is methodical risk management, including objective threat evaluation and careful resource allocation. The goal is not perfection, but the application of due diligence and common sense. Objectivity is key. Cyber attacks receive enormous media hype, in part because they involve the use of arcane tools and tactics that can be difficult to understand for those without a formal education in computer science or information technology. As dependence on IT and the Internet grow, governments should make proportional investments in network security, incident response, technical training, and international collaboration. However, because the quest for cyber security involves been abreast with trends in cyber security, there is a clear need for national security planners to prepare cyber security awareness programmes for intelligence agency personnels especially at state and federal levels. Adote, a Cyber Security and Tech. Analyst wrote from Lagos
BlackBerry to expand phone range RANGE of lower priced A BlackBerry smartphones is on the way, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has confirmed, although he declined to say when they would be launched. BlackBerry CEO, Thorsten Heins, confirmed the plans to widen the range of handsets the company offers in an interview. “In order to stay relevant, we have to build a portfolio,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “We will bring it out at the moment when we can expect the biggest market attention for
attention for these products.” Although the company has placed big bets on its future with its new BB10 operating system, the lower-range handsets are expected to be based on its older BlackBerry 7 OS where support for that OS is still strong. “We’re not excluding those markets from BlackBerry 10 because of us wanting to sell BlackBerry 7. You will see both in coexistence for awhile in those markets.” The company is targeting the holiday season for its new products - effectively giving it six months to prepare the new phones.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Combating menace of piracy in West, Central Africa By Moses Ebosele
TILL searching for a permanent solution to the menace of piracy in Central and West Africa, the Heads of States and Governments of the sub-regions including president Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, are expected to append their signatures to a new security code next month in Yaounde, Cameroon. Already, the implementation of the new code of conduct which is structured around the prevention and repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the sub-regions had been adopted at a ministerial meeting in Cotonou, Benin Republic. According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the new security code which was developed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), is in line with the United Nations Security Council resolutions 2018(2011) and 2039(2012), “which expressed concern about the threat that piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea pose to international navigation, security and the economic development of states in the region”. The new code of conduct is particularly of interest to stakeholders because of the reported drop in the activities of pirates in Somalia and an alleged upsurge in the menace in the Gulf of Guinea where Nigeria plays dominant role. Besides, Nigeria is alleged to have recorded over two dozen attacks in the first quarter (January-March) of this year, a development which according to experts is expected to increase if adequate security measures are not adopted and implemented. The Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, is apparently aware of the development and has pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to tackle alleged oil theft and other crimes along Nigeria’s waterways. According to Umar, the present administration is determined to bring the security situation under control. Also speaking last Thursday, in lagos, the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, announced the arrest of a vessel with suspected stolen crude oil on Lagos waters. Akpobolokemi was quoted as saying the vessel had been arrested and released around December last year, following a court order. “After the release of the vessel, she remained under the surveillance of NIMASA until she was found to have been involved in clandes-
tine activities within the West African coast”, Akpobolokemi added. Reviewing the security situation along Nigeria’s waterways recently, the Consul General, United States of America (USA) Embassy, Jeffrey Hawkins advised the Federal Government to tackle alleged armed attacks and oil theft along Nigeria’s waterways. Hawkins blamed the development on alleged lack of communication and cohesion among security agencies charged with the responsibility of protecting Nigeria’s waterways. He advised the Nigerian Government to develop the political will to tackle the menace, adding that since the beginning of this year, over a dozen attacks have been recorded. “Indeed, we (U.S) heard report of two dozen attacks just since January 1 of this year. The criminal activities-whether armed robbery or piracy or kidnapping extends along Nigeria’s coastline. “On February 4, in the lagos anchorage. On February 6, along the River Forcados. On February 7, off Brass. On February 10 and 11, two separate two separate attacks off Bonny. On February 17, two separate attacks, one in Lagos and one off Brass. On February 22, again off Brass, and on February 25, in Calabar Channel. And that’s just three weeks in February”, said Hawkins. He added “We (US) have talked with a lot of individuals associated with Nigeria’s maritime environment in the past few months-Nigerians and expatriate alike-and I would like to share with you some of what we have heard. “From cargo theft to kidnapping for ransom, the Gulf of Guinea is becoming known as a very dangerous place to do business. It is becoming known as a place where you must sail in convoys and where you must hire armed guards- who themselves are Nigerian police officers or sailors and rhetorically should have responsibilities other than serving as hired guns. “The Gulf is becoming known as a place where you must prepare your crew to be attacked at any time. It is becoming known as a place where maritime security enforcement is weak, when it exists at all. We have heard many accusations that entities involved in providing maritime security collude in some of the illegal activities that take place off Nigeria’s coast. “When the very bodies that are expected to protect and defend the maritime commerce that
constitutes such an essential component of this country’s economic livelihood are instead perceived to be undermining it, I think we can all agree there’s a problem”, said the Consul General. Throwing the weight of IMO behind the adoption of the new security code, IMO SecretaryGeneral Koji Sekimizu explained that IMO was ready to support the countries in the region in its implementation. “IMO has been working for a number of years with international development partners on a number of activities aimed at enhancing the ability of individual States in the region, and the wider sub-region, to build a sustainable maritime capacity and we look forward to continuing to work with them to support the implementation of this Code and to work together to repress piracy, armed robbery against ships and other illicit maritime activity off the coasts of west and central Africa,” Sekimizu said, adding “We look forward to continuing to work with the countries to assist in the implementation of this new Code.” The resolutions from the global body also encouraged the States of ECOWAS, ECCAS and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) to develop a comprehensive regional strategy and framework to counter piracy and armed robbery, including information sharing and operational coordination mechanisms in the region, and to build on existing initiatives, such as those under the auspices of IMO. Available information indicates that IMO assisted ECOWAS in the drafting of the Code, which incorporates many elements of the IMO-developed Djibouti Code of Conduct, signed by 20 States in the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden area, as well as provisions from the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a sub-regional integrated coast guard function network in West and Central Africa, developed in 2008 by IMO and the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA). . “Signatories to the Code intend to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the prevention and repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships, transnational organised crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other illegal activities at sea with a view towards: (a) sharing and reporting relevant informa-
On February 4, in the lagos anchorage. On February 6, along the River Forcados. On February 7, off Brass. On February 10 and 11, two separate attacks off Bonny. On February 17, two separate attacks, one in Lagos and one off Brass. On February 22, again off Brass, and on February 25, in Calabar Channel. And that’s just three weeks in February
tion; (b) interdicting ships and/or aircraft suspected of engaging in such illegal activities at sea; (c) ensuring that persons committing or attempting to commit illegal activities at sea are apprehended and prosecuted; and (d) facilitating proper care, treatment, and repatriation for seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to illegal activities at sea, particularly those who have been subjected to violence. A statement issued by IMO explained that while promoting regional co-operation, the Code recognizes the principles of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States and that of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other States. “IMO has been involved in technical assistance projects relating to the maritime field in the region for many years and established a regional presence in west Africa in 1999. IMO currently has two regional coordinators based in Côte d’Ivoire for west and central Africa (Francophone) and Ghana for west and central Africa (Anglophone). “More recently, IMO has been conducting a series of “table top exercises” aimed at developing and promoting a multi-agency, whole of government approach to maritime security and maritime law enforcement issues in States throughout the region. “The initial pilot exercise was held in Ghana in August 2012 with similar exercises being conducted in Equatorial Guinea, the Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Further exercises are currently scheduled for Côte d’Ivoire, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal, with more to come. “IMO is also supporting the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) and the Government of Ghana to develop the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre (MTISC) in Ghana. Following its successful operational trial during a recent naval exercise, it is intended that the MTISC will become operational as soon as possible. It is intended that the MTISC will receive and promulgate information from and to merchant shipping operating in the area in order to assist them to develop situational awareness. “Funding for this work has come from IMO’s global maritime security capacity-building programme, with particular support from the Governments of Norway and the United States of America. “In relation to piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the wider Indian Ocean, 20 States have signed the Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden , which was adopted in 2009”.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
‘How to enhance new Badagry port’s operations through rail network’ By Moses Ebosele O enhance the volume of cargo transported T by rail, significant investment must be made in advance, Chief Executive Officer, AfricaMiddle East Region of APM Terminals, Peder Sondergaard has said. According to Sondergaard, the volume of cargo transported by rail has in the last 50 years dropped by 88 per cent to ‘nearly nothing’. Speaking on the topic: “Fixing Transport & Logistics for a Globalized Nigeria” at the 2013 Nigeria Summit organised by The Economist, in lagos recently, Sondergaard said 30 years from now, Nigeria will have close to 250million inhabitants. He explained that the projection is expected to put “even more pressure on city centers, roads, rails among others. “This is an enormous opportunity. Significant
investment must be made in advance. A modernized rail network connecting Badagry to metro-Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and other city centers in the north and neighboring countries is the way forward, ” Sondergaard noted Making reference to the new Badagry mega port project, he explained that it will go a long way in solving the current logistics infrastructure challenges confronting the country. Sondergaard said: “Competition is intensifying regionally and within Nigeria while hinterland connectivity faces certain infrastructure constraints. “APM Terminals has recently invested over $200 million in Apapa and West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), Onne to improve capacity at both terminals. “However, Nigerian cargo throughput is
expected to increase at 8-10 per cent per year over the next decade. This means existing port infrastructure will be capacity constrained by around 2017. “There has been significant development at the ports since the concessioning in 2006. The waiting time of vessels at APM Terminals Apapa has gone down to zero from over 30 days (before APM Terminals started the 2006 concession) while volumes have more than doubled. That is clear proof the Nigerian port concession program has been a tremendous success for the nation. “The next phase is the most important phase to ensure Nigeria remains a market leader through a competitive port. It’s a pattern we see in other world markets where countries outgrow their city ports and need to build in a new location that addresses trade growth and city traffic issues. The country must act fast and Badagry is our solution”, he added.
APM Terminals and its consortium partners last year announced plans to develop a new greenfield mega-port project and Free Trade Zone at Badagry, 55 km west of Apapa. Sondergaard said at full build-out, the deepwater full-service port will be one of the largest in Africa with 7 km of quay and 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of dedicated yard, and will include the most modern facilities for container, bulk, liquid bulk, Ro/Ro, general cargo, oil and gas operations support and a barge terminal. “Plans for the adjoining Badagry Free Trade Zone will include a power plant, oil refinery, industrial park and warehousing and Inland Container Deport functions. The first phase of the project is scheduled to open in 2016”, Sondergaard said adding that “the Nigerian Ports Authority, Lagos State and the Nigerian Federal Government have been supportive and positive”.
Confidence in shipping sustains rising profile VERALL confidence levels O in the shipping industry recovered to their highest level for two years in the three months ended February 2013, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. It explained that there was improved expectation of freight rate increases over the next twelve months, particularly in the dry bulk sector, and greater likelihood of new investment in the industry. According to the report, in February 2013, the average confidence level expressed by respondents in the markets in which they operate was 5.8 on a scale of one (low) to 10 (high), compared to the figure of 5.6 recorded in the previous survey in November 2012. The survey was launched in May 2008 with a confidence rating of 6.8. All categories of respondent expressed increased confidence over the three-month period. The confidence rating for managers of 6.2 (up from 6 last time) was the highest since August 2010, while that for charterers was up from 5.6 to 6, the highest since November 2010. Confidence on the part of owners was up from 5.5 to 5.7 (the highest since May 2011) while for brokers the increase was from 5.3 to 5.6, the highest level in the past twelve months. Geographically, although confidence in Asia was down (from 6 to 5.6) and in North America (from 6.6 to 6.1) it was up in Europe, from 5.3 to 5.8, its highest level since August 2010. A number of respondents felt that there were positive signs that a recovery was on the way. One said, “Scrapping continues apace, and new orders have all but dried up. These are two of the main drivers for recovery, the third being demand, which will improve, with the result that we should see a measurable upturn by year-end.” Another noted, “Demand trends for seaborne trade are generally positive, and tonnage reaching obsolescence due to age and regulation will exit the market. Finance is competitive where available and, where it isn’t, owners and their ships will leave the market. Patience and strong cashflow management are essential.” In the opinion of one
Daina at Norrkoping, Sweden respondent, “This year will be crucial in determining who will be able to benefit from the upswing in the market when it happens. It will depend on the banks’ attitude towards bad debt and increased foreclosure, the increased competitiveness of Japanese shipyards, and the phasing out of uneconomical, old ship designs.” Some foresaw a continuation of difficult market conditions, such as the respondent who noted, “Last year was very difficult, and 2013 is likely to produce similarly meagre yields, so once again it will be all about trying to survive rather than moving forward.” In even more pessimistic vein, another respondent maintained, “The shipping market has been getting worse every year since 2008, and there is unlikely to be any improvement in 2013. There are still crazy ship owners ordering new ships which will hit the water in two years’ time, so the world fleet will keep increasing at a faster rate than will cargo volumes.” Elsewhere it was noted, “Be careful when selecting your counter-parties, and be happy if you are able to cover
your expenses in today’s market.” A number of respondents were constrained to comment on the role of the banks, and the situation with regard to shipping finance generally. “The lack of available finance severely restricts many good deals from getting off the ground,” said one, while another pointed out, “There may be a measurable upturn in the shipping industry by end-2013, but will the banks be with us? I doubt it.” Elsewhere it was noted: “Despite some areas for optimism in specialist niche markets, the cost of capital looks certain to increase. Moreover, there are ominous signs that the German banks will be forced to get to grips with their shipping loans, leading to an increase in enforcements and distressed sales, putting further pressure on asset prices.” Another respondent said: “It is beginning to look as if the banks are starting to foreclose, with KGs no longer defying gravity,” while another still warned, “Even if banks take action against owners who cannot meet their repayments, the ships will not disappear but will stay in the market and potentially cause
problems for other owners who have been able to survive thus far.” Fuel costs were uppermost in the thoughts of a number of respondents. While some talked about the exciting prospects for LNG propulsion, others remained concerned about the rising cost of operating with heavy fuel oil. The likelihood of respondents making a major investment or significant development over the next twelve months was up on the previous survey, on a scale of 1 to 10, from 5.4 to 5.5 – the highest level since May 2011. Owners (up from 5.7 to 5.9, the highest level since May 2011) and managers (up from 5.5 to the highest level for two years at 5.7) were more confident than in our previous survey. And although charterers recorded a fall from 6.1 to 5.7 in this regard, the percentage of charterers who assessed the likelihood of their making an investment at 7.0 out of 10.0 or higher was up by two percentage points to 46 per cent. The number of owners who thought likewise was up, also, from 44 per cent to 47 per cent. One respondent noted: “Those who are able to pur-
chase new designs of ships at competitive prices this year with delivery within the 2015 horizon should be well-positioned when the market turns. Newish ships based on old designs will very quickly become obsolete.” Geographically, expectation levels of major investments were down in Asia, from 5.7 to 5.4, and in North America (from 5.4 to 4.9), but up in Europe from 5.2 to 5.5, their highest level since May 2011. Demand trends, competition and finance costs once again featured as the top three factors cited by respondents overall as those likely to influence performance most significantly over the coming twelve months. The numbers were static for demand trends at 23 per cent, up for competition (from 18per cent to 20per cent), and unchanged in the case of finance costs at 16 per cent. Tonnage supply (up two percentage points to 13per cent) featured in fourth place, ahead of fuel costs, which were down one percentage point to 11 per cent. Demand trends remained the number one performance-affecting factor for owners, despite being down from 26 per cent to 22 per cent.
Tonnage supply featured in second place at 18 per cent (up from 17 per cent last time), followed by finance costs, up one percentage point to 16 per cent. For managers, meanwhile, competition, up from 16 per cent to 20 per cent, featured in first place, followed by demand trends (up two percentage points to 19 per cent), and finance costs, down from 19 per cent to 17 per cent. For charterers, competition again was the leading performance-affecting factor, identified as such by 31 per cent of respondents, up from 24 per cent last time. Demand trends were in second place, up 7 percentage points to 29 per cent, followed by fuel costs, up one percentage point to 18 per cent. Geographically, demand trends remained the most significant factor for respondents in Europe (unchanged at 24 per cent), and North America (up 10 percentage points to 38per cent). In Europe, competition (up two percentage points to 19per cent) featured in second place, ahead of finance costs, down one percentage CONTINUED ON PAGE 39
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Confidence in shipping peaks
Annika Benita at Hamburg waterways, Germany, recently CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38 point to 17per cent. In Asia, meanwhile, competition (up from 19per cent to 21per cent) emerged as the number one performanceaffecting factor, pushing demand trends (down two percentage points to 20per cent) into second place, ahead of fuel costs. There was a two percentagepoint fall (from 42 percent to 40per cent) in the number of respondents overall who expected finance costs to increase over the next twelve months. This is the lowest figure in the life of the survey to date. Charterers cannot seem to make up their minds in this respect. In August 2012, the number of charterers who thought that finance costs would increase rose by 18 percentage points to 52per cent. In November 2012 the figure was down by 20 percentage points to just 32per cent. Now, it has risen again, to 50per cent. The number of owners anticipating dearer finance this time was down by two percentage points to 37 per cent (the lowest figure in the life of the survey), while 41 per cent of managers thought that finance costs were likely to rise over the coming year, down 10 per cent on last time. The number of respondents in Asia anticipating an increase in finance costs was down by 4 percentage points to 38 per cent compared to last time, and the corresponding figures for Europe and North America were also down, from 43 per cent to 39 per cent , and from 43 per cent to 42 per cent respectively. In the rest of the World, meanwhile, the numbers who thought that finance costs were going to rise was up by 8 percentage points to 46 per cent . Turning to freight rates, the numbers of respondents overall who expressed an increased expectation of higher rates over the next twelve months was up in the
three main categories of tonnage covered by the survey. In the tanker sector, the numbers expecting higher rates rose by 4 percentage points to 35 per cent. Charterers were the only category to show a fall (from 31 per cent to 29 per cent) in the number of respondents anticipating a rise in tanker rates compared to the previous survey. Owners recorded a two percentage-point increase to 36 per cent, for managers the increase was from 27 per cent to 32 per cent, and for brokers from 33 per cent to 42 per cent. Geographically, the prospects for increased tanker rates were deemed lower this time by respondents in Asia (down from 35 per cent to 33per cent), static in North America at 47per cent, and up in Europe from 28 per cent to 36 per cent. In the dry bulk sector, meanwhile, there was a 19 percentage-point rise, to 50per cent, the highest figure in the life of the survey, in the overall numbers of those anticipating rate increases. Owners (up 20 percentage points to 50per cent), managers (up to 52per cent from 30per cent), and charterers (up 27 percentage points to 60per cent) were united in being more confident of dry bulk rate increases than they were in the previous survey. Even brokers (up 11 percentage points to 44per cent) were in agreement. Geographically, it was the same story. In Asia, expectations of higher dry bulk rates increased from 33 per cent to 52 per cent, in Europe from 30 per cent to 51per cent, and in North America from 28 per cent to 65 per cent. “We are very confident of bulk industry growth in the short term,” said one respondent, while another noted, “Bearing in mind the deliveries due very soon in most dry bulk sectors, and the stabilisation of demand, we expect that the dry bulk market will soon show signs of recovery.” That view was echoed by the respondent who remarked,
“We can expect higher freight levels in the second half of 2013, especially for handy size vessels.” In the container ship market, meanwhile, there was a 7 percentage-point increase, to 34 per cent, in the overall numbers expecting rates to go up. Indeed, expectation levels in relation to rate increases were up across all categories of respondent, most notably in the case of charterers (up 12 percentage points to 47per cent). Meanwhile, 36 per cent of owners (compared to 27per cent last time) and 33 per cent of managers (up 10 percentage points on last time) expected container ship rates to rise in the next 12 months. Geographically, expectations of improved rates were down in Asia (from 36 per cent to 24 per cent), but up in Europe (from 22 per cent to 38 per cent) and in North America, from 39 per cent to 40 per cent. Moore Stephens shipping partner, Richard Greiner, was quoted as saying, another small increase in confidence is very good news. “Indeed,
two successive quarters of improved confidence is in many ways more encouraging than one sizeable swing. It suggests that confidence is slowly building, indicating the start of a credible recovery”. He added: “It is still early days, but the tone of the comments from respondents this time indicates something of a sea change. Whereas previous surveys have been dominated by concerns over specific issues such as tonnage overcapacity and the economic woes in Europe and elsewhere, this time there were no similar over-arching areas of concern identified by respondents. “Indeed, the responses in many cases focused on planning for the future – for example by investing in new, fuel-efficient tonnage, exploiting new opportunities created by companies exiting the market, and exploring the possibilities for LNG as a clean fuel – rather than on compensating for past events. “Improved confidence was reflected in another increase in the expectation levels
involving potential new investments. Now is certainly a good time to invest, particularly for those who can identify a niche opportunity in a specific area, one for which there is growing demand and which is backed by a proper business plan. “The indications are that the worst of the current shipping cycle could be over. But serious challenges lie ahead. Operating costs are going up, particularly fuel and manpower, and there is the added burden of increasing operational and environmental regulation. The cost of complying with the BWM convention has still not been accurately quantified, but it will not be insignificant. Indeed, one respondent likened it to a “ticking bomb which can go off at any moment, demanding enormous investment from already cash-strapped owners, and the banks will probably not be standing in line to support them.” “Meanwhile, although freight rates still have a long way to go before they reach the levels seen at the height of the boom, the responses to the survey did reveal greater over-
all confidence in rate increases over the coming year in all three main tonnage categories. This was most evident in the dry bulk sector, where expectations of better rates were higher than at any time since the survey was launched in 2008. Although there is still a lot of new dry bulk tonnage coming into the market, scrapping levels in this sector have raced ahead, with well over 500 bulk carriers reported to have been consigned to demolition yards in 2012. “Scrapping levels in all overtonnaged sectors will need to be maintained, and improved upon, over the next twelve months, if shipping is to have a chance of returning to profitability. It is likely to be a slightly different industry which emerges from this prolonged downturn, one in which the banks will exert greater control for some time to come. Vessel values are likely to remain under pressure this year, and there is a lot of financial restructuring yet to be done. But shipping will retain its entrepreneurial flair, which is in no way undermined by operating from a stronger financial
Ivory Coast to unveil second container terminal at Abidjan VORY Coast has named a Iindustrial consortium of French groups Bollore and Bouygues and Denmark’s Maersk as the preferred bidder to operate a new container terminal, an official for one of the companies said. According to Reuters, the West African nation plans to open a second container terminal in the commercial capital Abidjan - one of Africa’s busiest ports - as part of a drive to make up ground lost to competitors during a decade-long political crisis. “This new terminal project will lift the infrastructure of
Abidjan for the benefit of the country and its population,” said Peder Sondergaard, Africa and Middle East CEO for Maersk’s APM Terminals. “We look forward to working towards developing the project together with the port authority,” he said in a statement. The new terminal will require an investment of 300 billion CFA francs ($594.41 million) over a concession term of 21 years, the statement said. New construction will include 35 hectares (86 acres) of yard along 1,100 metres of quays and will be
able to accommodate ships with a capacity of up to 8,000 20-foot containers (TEU). It is scheduled to open in 2016. The second terminal will have a transit capacity of 1.5 million TEU per year, adding to the port’s current capacity of 800,000 containers. Once a regional economic powerhouse, Ivory Coast is emerging from a decade of stagnation caused by a 2002 civil war that split the country in two. The political crisis ended with a second brief armed conflict in 2011. The economy is once again growing, buoyed by heavy invest-
ment to renew long-neglected infrastructure. Growth topped 8.5 percent in 2012, according to the International Monetary Fund, following a 4.7 percent contraction the year before. The bulk of top grower Ivory Coast’s cocoa exports pass through Abidjan, as do around 60 percent of goods entering and exiting landlocked Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Bollore subsidiary Bollore Africa Logistics has held the concession for Abidjan’s existing container terminal since 2004.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
CSRFiles Digest TM
AFRICAN OIL&GAS REPORT 41
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
SPE’s Students Technical Conference and Exhibition Starts Thursday HE Society Of Petroleum T Engineers(SPE) is presenting the 11th Students Technical Conference and Exhibition in Nsukka from Thursday April 4 to Saturday April 6, 2013. The Theme Is “Way Forward For Growing Africa’s Oil and Gas Reserves Through Human Capital Development, Technology and Sustainable Government Policies”. The Students’ conference is one of the several programmes on the SPE’s annual calendar and is the society’s signal activity for ingratiating the students community into the mores of the petroleum industry. This edition is taking place at the Princess Alexandria Auditorium of the University of Nigeria Nsukka.
An SPE Technical Meeting In Lagos 2012..The Students' Conference Is Meant To Catch Them Young
HE Nigerian Association Of T Petroleum Explorationists(NAPE) NAPE Plans A Workshop On Marginal has decided, for its 2013, annual industry workshop, to tackle the subject of operational and business environment in which Nigerian marginal field operators and the country’s emerging indigenous independents are working. “We want to examine the experiences, the challenges and the successes of the Marginal Field Operators, 10 years after the licences were awarded to them”, says Adedoja Ojelabi, President Elect of NAPE and Chairman Of The Conference Planning Committee, of which the workshop is a part. “We want to understand the growth of the Nigerian indigenous E&P operating space. We want to sit down with Bankers, Lawyers, Oilfield Economists and other professionals involved in these unique aspects of value creation”. Mrs Ojelabi, herself an earth scientist
Field Scorecard/Nigerian Independents with Chevron says that speakers will include some CEOs of these companies, as well as ranking Bankers and Investment Analysts both in Nigeria and abroad. The NAPE Pre-Conference workshop was launched by NAPE in 1990, to open up the association to the general business environment. The first set of industry ‘elders’ were retiring from the multinational companies. The workshop was meant to help NAPE members interface with the larger issues of the Nigerian economy. This is where we were meant to share ideas with bankers, accountants, others; treat topics that are broader than inversion seismic attributes and basin analysis. The NAPE Annual Pre-Conference workshop was launched by NAPE in 1990, to open up the association to the general business environment. The first set of
NAPE Calls For Abstracts For 2013 Conference HE Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists(NAPE) has called for T abstracts for papers for its 31st Annual International Conference, scheduled for November 10-14 2013 at the Eko Hotel.
The theme is Stimulating Exploration and Reserves Growth In A Maturing Basin. The organization expects to receive the abstracts by July 1, 2013 and send out notice of acceptance by August 2, 2013. NAPE wants its presenters to have submitted their full papers by September 27, 2013. Sub-themes include: Seismic technologies and the development of new play concepts; rock physics models; characterization and prediction of rock properties from surface and subsurface data. Contending and competing exploration technologies, how far and how well? Reservoir management strategies for sustained production and improved recovery. Technology application and exploitation of small accumulations. Policy initiatives for enhanced exploration and reserves growth. All abstracts are to be emailed to Matthew Oton(Ph.D), of the Department of Geology at the University of Ibadan at firstname.lastname@example.org and copied email@example.com
Ghana’s Blackout: Blame The Nigerians Average supply of Natural Gas From WAGP Was Half Of Contractual Volume HE Ghanaian Government has a handy excuse for the rolling blackouts T experienced in Accra and the country’s other major cities in recent times. President John Mahama told the Press on visiting the Aboadze Plant, under construction. ‘We know that the challenges started as a result of the breakdown of the West African Gas Pipeline, which we are working to fix’ In other words: ‘Nigeria’s gas is not reaching this place in enough quantity to fire our power plants’. The Energy Minister, Joe Oteng-Adjei, told The Report, Ghana 2012: “The Primary causes for load shedding are a shortfall in power generation due to erratic supply of the gas supplied by Nigeria”. He had the facts. The supply in 2012 averaged around 55MMscf/d “instead of a contractual volume of 110MMscf/d, at an expected minimum of 90MMscf/d”. The minister admits that supply has stabilized, “but it has been consistently below the minimum 90MMscf/d and since the Volta River Authority(VRA) thermal facilities are now dual fired(light crude and gas), the unreliable supply of gas causes frequent switching between crude oil and gas. This has given rise to a number of problems”.
industry ‘elders’ were retiring from the multinational companies. The workshop was meant to help NAPE members interface with the larger issues of the Nigerian economy. This is where these technical professionals were meant to share ideas with bankers, accountants, others; treat topics that are broader than inversion seismic attributes and basin analysis. The workshop took off with the theme Indigenous Entrepreneurship in the Upstream Sector of the Nigeria Petroleum Industry in 1990. In the 23 years since, it has examined, among others, Financing The Upstream Sector, Opportunities and Risks(1991)Building Real Indigenous Capacity for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry(2001), Nigerian Content: Capacity Building and Utilization(2006), Special Workshop On The PIB(2009)and The Nigerian Content Law: Application and Implications(2010) . “We think it’s an opportune time for NAPE to invite the entire industry, as well as Nigeria’s business professionals, in Banks and related spaces, to interrogate the species named The Nigerian E&P independent and of course the “marginal field segment of the larger body of Nigerian Independents”. Members of the Committee assigned the task of delivering the workshop include Mrs Patricia Ochogbu of
Doja Ojelabi, NAPE President Elect and Chairman of the Conference Planning Committee
ExxonMobil and Messrs George Oguachuba (TOTAL), Gilbert Odior (ExxonMobil), Isaac Arowolo (Chevron), Nedo Osanyande (Shell) Bashir Koledoye (D’Harmattan Energy Services) and Austin Avuru(SEPLAT). Three of seven
member strong committee are former Presidents of NAPE. “We needed to have an influential committee to deliver a high impact workshop”, Mrs Ojelabi says.
... Have Social Skills…Will Travel CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24 fully in me until the day I die-no one will take it from me”. Fatona cannot say whether there’s universality of that recognition in Shell as a whole, or any company for that matter. But most people, it appears, would rather be promoted and reach the top in one place than grab the skill and see what they can do with it on their own. Unlike Omatsola and Fatona, who are earth scientists, Imomoh, who took Afren to First Oil, is a Petroleum Engineer. “When I joined Shell, Egbert Imomoh was already Head Petroleum Engineering in Warri. He was two or three layers above. He was controlling a vast oilfield in the west.” Fatona says that “even though Egbert was going places in Shell, you knew he was very focused on the job, he was very technical, very formal, his job came first.” “You have to be very smart to work up in Shell through your formative years and become Number 2 man”, says Seye Fadahunsi, Technical Director of Pillar Oil, a marginal field operator which produces the Umusati field(2,700BOPD). Everything seemed to have come together and dropped on Imomoh’s laps, than is the case for
Fatona and Omatsola. Fatona likens Omatsola’s role in building up Conoil to that of a building contractor. One big man comes and says “come and build this for me”. Omatsola assembled people with the skills set and, within one year of discovery, Bella (its first oil field) had come on stream. But at least there was money on the table. By contrast, the Niger Delta Exploration and Development, formed by a group of investors that came together as far back as 1991, could only legally farm into Chevron’s Ogbele field eight years later(and six years after Chevron itself had granted them provisional access). It took another five years to assemble enough finance to carry out the work programme that delivered First Oil in 2005. In Imomoh’s case, just about the time he retired, (former Nigerian Petroleum Minister) Rilwan Lukman was helping to put together the company Afren. The International Finance Corporation invested in the UK based minnow. It got to list on the (Alternative Investment Market) AIM in London. “There was money, opportunity, everything and it just needed somebody to get it going”, says Jerry Tokien, an African petroleum analyst based in Cairo. “Everything was right”. It wasn’t that easy for Austin Avuru.
After his Platform Petroleum came out with the highest grades among companies seeking government’s approval to be granted licenses for marginal fields, he had to look for money to produce the oil. “But we’d decided from the onset that we wouldn’t hunt for technical partners abroad”. Instead Platform partnered with Newcross, a firm of Nigerian investors, who provided the funds for the joint venture to pull off first oil in the space of three years from signing the Farm In Agreement. Is it happenstance that they are all former presidents of professional organizations they belong to? Omatsola and Fatona were at one time or the other Presidents of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), so was Austin Avuru, who is not a Shell alumnus. Imomoh was the first Africa Regional Director of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. This means that, in addition to the technical skills, they have leadership skills that include talent for working with people. That might be the reason more than any, why they are running some of Africa’s leading homegrown E & P companies. By Moses Aremu, Editor
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
42 AFRICAN OIL&GAS REPORT
The Delta Is In A Worse Shape Than It Seems- Part2 Concluded from last edition … From: Delta Blues, published in Repotergen/Lagos Review of Books By Helon Habila HE ex-militants, Prince especially, T were becoming more confident, belligerent, even, the further we left Port Harcourt behind. “You will see how they will respect me when we get to Nembe. I be real Prince, no be joke,” he said. His tall, gangly frame was hunkered in the front, next to the driver. In the back, Mike was in the middle between me and Commander. Commander was on the phone, “I love you,” he said, concluding his call. Yesterday’s interview had not revealed much, as I had anticipated. Both were married, Prince with four children, Commander with one child. Prince was the chairman of his village’s Ijaw Youth Council(IYC) chapter since 2001, he was a tailor by trade, he had his own business, with employees working under him. He claimed to be 45, later he admitted he was 55. He also admitted that he had never really been a militant, but as 1YC chairman, he had ex- militants under him who offered their services to oil companies for pipeline protection. They also worked with the JTF to combat piracy and to keep the peace whenever they were called upon to do so. Commander was 32. He was a fisherman by trade, but he had not been fishing for a while now. He had lost his boat, which was not really his, and its engine worth N30,000. He was still paying the owner. He had been a militant, and had obtained most of his bullet wounds at a battle with the JTF at Eleshi Oku. He had taken part in the amnesty programme — they called it “thumbprinting”, which they were required to do since most of them could neither read nor write. But like many others, his stipend of N65,000 and his other entitlements had been “sold off” to others by corrupt middle men and administrators, which was why they were in Port Harcourt to see the Barrister. “What is the name of the camp where you did your thumb- printing?” Mike had asked him. “Sagbama camp, in August 2009,” he had replied. We were approaching Yenagoa
Nigerian JTF gunboat
now. Our driver slowed down to show us the scorched carcass of a tanker — last week the tanker carrying petrol had crashed, and the fuel greedy locals had scrambled with buckets and gallons to scoop the spilling oil, but unfortunately for them the tanker had caught fire, instantly roasting over 160 people. Among them were passengers in a bus whose driver had parked by the accident site to join in the oil scooping frenzy. Mike and Prince were arguing again. The more vocal Prince grew, the more irritated and assertive Mike became. They were testing each other, these two. Commander said nothing, occasionally he would flash me an encouraging smile and say. “Master, everything will be fine.” Or, “1 love you, master.” Which at first made me a bit uncomfortable until I realized that “I love you” for him simply meant “I am with you”. We changed cars in Yenagoa and
from there to Ogbia the drive was smooth. We had a talkative driver who told us his life story, including his swimming prowess as a young man growing with his uncle in the village. Commander and Prince joined in exchanging swimming anecdotes. To these riverine people the sea was everything. They believed in its myths and superstitions, one being that a person must never negotiate payment before diving into the water to recover a lost item. “Why’?” Mike asked. “Because if you do, you go die. It means you are saying it is your power and ability that make you dive to recover the item,” the driver explained. “Well, what else?” “Na the spirits.” “What spirits?” Mike insisted. I had to keep an eye on Mike. He was getting as antsy as the militants had been in Port Harcourt. At Oloibiri we stopped briefly to take pictures of the first Oil well in the country. The sign next to
Helon Habila the capped well read: “Oloibiri Well, Drilled June 1956. 12,008 feet.” The abandoned well looked innocuous and ordinary in the morning light. I wondered if the drillers of this first well had any idea how much violence and division they were unleashing when they drilled that well. Nigeria is the seventh largest oil producer in the world, but there are many who still believe that the country would have been much better off without its oil wealth. This, of course, is idle speculation. Money doesn’t bring peace, but neither does poverty. It is people who decide to live peacefully or not. The seed discord had long been planted by Britain when it came to colonize — setting one tribe against another, one region against another. Oil only serves to lubricate that discord, it didn’t cause it. We hired a boat from Ogbia and headed into the creeks. It was raining and as the water poured into the open boat, we had to cover our heads with tarpaulin. For fifty minutes we rode through the narrow creeks, twisting and turning along its length. From beneath the tarp I could make out the stilt roots of the mangrove trees rising out of the water, their skin covered by thick black oil that settled around the roots and over the water in a thick scum. As the boat jumped and bounded over the water, many thoughts passed through my mind. One was, what the hell am I doing here? Another was, I wish I had told
my wife exactly where I was going to. Another - this came when we had been travelling over water for more than thirty minutes— I wish I had learned to swim. I couldn’t help comparing my situation with that of my main characters in Oil on Water, Zaq and Rufus. As they travelled in a boat through the sinuous, endless creeks, Zaq had asked Rufus if he knew what they were searching for? Rufus had taken the question literally and replied that they were looking for the kidnapped British woman, to which Zaq had replied, no, they were actually searching for the meaning of their story. Not the story itself, but for a meaning. How pithy and profound that passage had seemed to me when I wrote it. Now it felt hollow and pretentious. There was no meaning. There was only endless water beneath the boat, and the rain falling down, and an uncertain welcome when we got to Nembe. I also noted to myself that this position, heads covered under tarpaulin, was how hostages used to be transported by the militants; it was also how guns and rocket launchers were transported through the creeks. Which was why, just before we entered Nembe, the boatman asked us to remove the tarpaulin. We were right in front of a JTF check point. We couldn’t see them, only the tips of their guns pointed at us. He killed the boat engine and we idled past the checkpoint, our hands raised to prove we had no guns. God, I prayed, just get me out of here and I’ll be good forever and ever, amen. Later I asked, what if we hadn’t raised our hands? They would have sunk the boat, then any survivors would be arrested. “They kill our boys, this JTF people,” Commander said, the awe still discernible in his voice. “They just come and kill everyone. It was bad. Very bad.” This is the concluding part of the abridged version of the original article, first published in Reportergen, a Swiss magazine. Helon Habila won the Caine Prize For African Writing in 2001 and went on to publish three novels, the last of which is Oil On Water. He teaches creative writing at the George Mason University in Washington,
For participation in Oil & Gas section, contact: The Manager: Lagos: 01 7736351; Abuja: 07098513445
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
IndustryWatch Boosting trade integration through sealink project By Femi Adekoya ESPITE the commendable increase in trade among African nations in recent years, there have been growing concerns on the barriers to effective trade, especially among Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member nations. Such concerns have caused stakeholders to examine the sealink project as a key measure to drive trade by removing bottlenecks associated with land borders, while effectively facilitating intra-regional trade within the ECOWAS. For instance, the fact that most countries that have had sustained growth and prosperity over the years have opened up their markets to trade and investment through liberalisation, while capitalising on areas of comparative advantage, especially ones where such countries can benefit economically, is currently contested, especially in the face of barriers to trade. With many industry watchers stating that Africa’s economic development will be more difficult to achieve without a free intra-African economic and trading system, the need to address the concerns over an intra-African trade that has remained consistently low compared to its trade with other continents, has come to the fore, with the sealink project serving as a viable alternative. The sealink project attempts to address the challenges of excessive transit time and lack of adequate transportation infrastructure among states in West Africa and Central Africa, factors which stakeholders believe make cost of cross border trade and movement quite prohibitive, while becoming barriers to regional integration, improved trade flows and free movement of goods, people and services. Statistics from the World Trade Organisation still show that in most African countries, smallscale manufacturers have difficulty getting the necessary import or export licences, while traders are routinely shaken down at customs posts, with ordinary travellers often having to pay small bribes to get past police checkpoints. Trade practice leader in the African Region of the World Bank, Paul Brenton noted that removing trade barriers would lower costs and hence reduce prices. According to him, this benefits both consumers of final products, and firms that need to use materials and other inputs from abroad. He added thus, “removing trade barriers is also associated with a wider range of goods and inputs being available on the domestic market. Workers benefit as well, since jobs are likely to be created when exporting firms are able to sell more abroad, and the lower costs of inputs
allow firms to expand production. The boost to GDP is also likely to stimulate employment growth. “Certainly, some firms may find it more difficult to compete, but productive industries and firms will expand, increasing productivity and wages. Many of the key barriers to trade in the region are non-tariff barriers such as roadblocks, inefficiencies in customs procedures, poorly designed and applied standards and so on, which occur along the whole of the supply chain. Removing these barriers is of particular importance, because they just waste resources and create a wedge between producer and consumer prices.” To this end, the dedicated sealink project hopes to among other efforts, challenge of road infrastructure as well as absence of rail link within the region coupled with the comparative low budgetary cost and short implementation timeline for the project compared with a regional road / rail project, bring a good balance in cargo tonnage and unlock the opportunities in the maritime sector through effective indigenous participation, thereby stimulating maritime-related employment as well as miniminise the incidence of freight rate payment capital flight of an average of US$5 billion annually from import / export tonnages.
Recently, the Managing Director of Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) Robert Orya expressed commitment of the bank to raise $60 million in the intra-Africa shipping of goods under the regional sealink project, as part of measures to foster bilateral trade among ECOWAS countries. He said: “It is less expensive to carry a container from China to Lagos. It costs about $2500 to move products from Lagos to Douala while it costs about $3500 to move the same products from China to Lagos. If you want to take goods to Tema ports from Nigeria by road it takes six days with a lot of hassles but if you want to move it by sea, it takes 60 days because you will use European vessels to take the goods to Europe first and then bring it back to Ghana. “So, a quick win solution for us is to set up a maritime shipping company since most ECOWAS and central African countries are coastal countries. That way will liberate our countries and our businessmen and help them to keep the margins of their businesses instead of paying it to European shipping companies,” he said. Analysing the structure of the regional sealink project, he said the $1.5 million of the $61.5 million investment will go into the setting up of
the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the project; setting up of other preliminary structure of the project embarking on feasibility studies in the various countries, organising board meetings and interfacing with the various government. Orya added that the $60 million will be for actual investment of the project with $36 million which will be sourced as equity going into the procurement of vessels, equipment, office space and other infrastructure while $24 million which will be sourced as debt will go into the project as working capital to cover general and administrative expenses. Highlighting the importance of the project, the NEXIM Boss said growth of intra-ECOWAS trade has grown from 4.7 million tonnes in 1998 to 13.2 million tonnes in 2008 without any corresponding increase in road or rail transport logistic infrastructures. He noted that there is a low level of African container traffic at less than 1 per cent of the total world container traffic of over 400 million containers. He also identified the increase in West African loaded and unloaded dry cargo in million tonnages from 41.4 and 66.2 in 2009 to 53.8 and 73.2 in 2010 respectively as well as Central Africa rise from 8.5 to 9.2 and 10.9 to 11.4 respectively.
GSK partners Tetra Pak on recycling project O encourage and reinforce sustainable enviT ronmental protection attitudes through effective recycling of its products, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Plc. (GSK), in collaboration with Tetra Pak, has commenced its Ribena/Tetra Pak “Drink it, Flatten it and Bin it” campaign to such end. Specifically, the collaboration saw the firms embarking on a school based recycling project with twenty participating schools in Lagos State. The two-phased project required the children collecting as many empty Ribena packs as possible while the second phase will see the children converting some of their collections to useful items as a way of recycling them. Speaking at the commencement of the project at the Tender Stars School’s Easter funfare, in Lagos recently, Brand Manager, Ribena, Olawale Akanbi, said: “We believe that taking care of the environment is everybody’s responsibility because there is no questioning the fact that everyone is affected by the resultant effect of not doing so. And as a brand that is targeted at children, we deem it fit to start from primary schools. “The “Drink it, Flatten it and Bin it” campaign is an educational project around the values of recycling. We believe the environmental prob-
lems that the world face today can be addressed to begin with, by creating awareness on proper waste disposal and also through awareness on the recyclability of some waste forms such as empty Ribena TetraPak cartons. Ribena is a brand that is dear to its consumers especially the younger generation, and we consider primary schools the best places to start the RibenaTetra Pak Recycling Campaign. “At this stage, the children are not set in their ways; their hearts are still very impressionable; they are at the points where they are willing and eager to learn new things. Experience
shows that, they hold unto most of the habits they form at this stage.” Head Teacher of Tender Stars School, Ms. Edith Ikwor, said, “The project has so many lessons for the children to learn and we are glad that we participated. Apart from helping to bring out the creativity in the children and helping them to learn about recycling, it has also helped the children to be more responsible, which is what we desire for our pupils. It has helped to awaken in the children, the consciousness to clean up after snack time by flattening and binning their empty packs instead of waiting for their
minders to do it for them. I particular like the concept because it reinforces the lessons about keeping the environment safe and clean for all.” Already, waste management has continued to pose a major environmental problem for the country with flood and its attendant socio-economic challenges. According to the Executive Director of Nigerian Conservative Foundation (NCF), Muhtari Aminu-Kano, poor environmental management is estimated to cost Nigeria about $5 billion yearly.
Govt to register 80,000 farmers under agric support scheme HE Federal Ministry of Agriculture ``We have extended the time to of time was not as a result of inade- divided into 62 political wards with and Rural Development has reiter- Thursday, April 4, to make up for the quate materials or technical hitches, each ward headed by a trained enuT ated its resolve to register 80,000 Easter holidays. You know there was adding that the low turnout record- merator. farmers under the 2013 Growth Enhancement Support GES) Scheme. The Director of Agriculture in charge of the FCT in the ministry, Charles Momo, said that 48,000 farmers were registered under the scheme in the first quarter of the year in an exercise which was supposed to end yesterday.
no work during the period, so we decided to add three more days to make up for those days that we did not work.’’ He said the exercise, which began on March 18, was supposed to run for two weeks, to enable farmers to benefit from the scheme. Momo explained that the extension
ed during the exercise was due to the low level of awareness. ``There was not enough awareness among the farmers but on its part, the ministry has done a lot. We have gone on air to sensitise farmers and we will not stop there because the exercise continues.’’ He recalled that the FCT had been
Momo urged traditional rulers, area council authorities, religious and opinion leaders to mobilise farmers in their localities to get registered. Specifically, this year’s exercise, which was a follow-up to that of 2012, is aimed at capturing farmers who were not captured during the period.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Energy Nigeria eyes league of countries with gas-powered automobiles By Roseline Okere ITH rising global campaign for cleaner enerW gy sources, the competitive edge of Premium MotorSpirit,otherwiseknownaspetrolanddiesel, may have been waning, with focus now being gradually shifting to alternative cleaner and cheaper fuel sources. Statistics from the Petroleum Products Pricing RegulatoryAgency(PPPRA)shownthattheFederal Government spent N679 billion on fuel subsidy between January and October of 2012. Though, President Goodluck Ebere Jonathan, said recently that sufficient allocation for fuel subsidy has already been made in the 2013 budget, “therefore, there is no cause for alarm on removal of fuel subsidy”. But even then, the burden of buying fuel at the approved price of N97 remains heavy for the low-income earners. Today, there are several kinds of alternative fuels available to us. New technologies that will power the cars of the future are being developed. However, some of these technologies are still in their infancy and are not yet readily available in Nigeria. More people all over the world are also lookingforanalternativefuelsources.Andamong themanyoptionsavailableisCompressedNatural Gas (CNG), which appears to be the viable option. Worldwide, there were 14.8 million natural gas powered vehicles by 2011, with Iran having 2.86 million, Pakistan, 2.85 million; Argentina, 2.07 million; Brazil, 1.7 million; and India, 1.1 million. Several manufacturers such as Fiat, General Motors, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda and others, sell bi-fuel cars. CNG is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline (petrol), Diesel fuel, or propane/LPG. Although its combustion does produce greenhouse gases, it is a more environmentally friendly alternative to those fuels, and it is much safer than other fuels in the event of a spill (natural gas is lighter than air, and disperses quickly when released). Two indigenous firms – Nipco Plc and BORKIR International Gas and Energy Company, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, are pioneering this initiative in Nigeria to make the country the first to engage in the conversion of vehicles from the use of fuel and diesel to CNG in West Africa. Already, integrated indigenous downstream operator, Nipco Plc, has injected well over N17 billion in the provision of CNG infrastructure in a joint venture scheme with the Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. The JV scheme, which resulted in the setting up Green Gas Limited, had already inaugurated eight CNG stations and three conversion workshops in the city of Benin while more outlets are currently under construction in other parts of the country. The Managing Director, Nipco, Venkataraman Venkatapathy, said over 1,500 vehicles had been configured to use CNG as vehicular fuel which are capable of saving the nation huge sums of money that could have been expended on fuel subsidy He explained that the GGL initiative, which is the first of its kind in West Africa, was ushering-in a new era of vehicles running on CNG in Nigeria with its attendant benefits. Venkatapathy listed other infrastructure provided by the JV Company to include the laying of over 50 kilometres steel pipelines for gas distribution to the inaugurated CNG stations across the city of
Gas plant Benin in a conscious bid to guarantee access to gas to the outlets According to him, the conversion process, which takes approximately five hours, has been very smooth since 2009 when the company inaugurated its first set of stations. Venkatapathy said after conversion the vehicle could run both on petrol and natural gas, thus giving the motorist a tab switch between using CNG and petrol at will. TheNipcobosssaidinordertocreatemoreawareness of the benefits of powering vehicles with gas over petrol, GGL had continuously showed cased CNG vehicle in scores of exhibitions to enable the public see and experience vehicle that runs on petrol and CNG. He said the latest addition to the CNG revolution being undertaken by GGL was the conversion of tricycles popularly referred to as “Keke Napep” and mass transit buses in the fleet of Edo state government transport fleet popularly known as “Comrade Bus”. According to him, five Edo state mass transport buses have been running successfully on CNG for the last few months while 25 more are in the process of being converted as a further boost to natural gas usage in the state and beyond. “The CNG initiative which is the first of its kind in West Africa is receiving a lot of support from both the Federal and Edo state government, a feat that is serving as good catalyst for GGL to pursue the dream with vigour and deep sense of responsibility,” he added. He stressed that pioneering a project of that nature was a big challenge but the unwavering commitment of the Federal Government through the relevant agencies like NGC, the
Department of Petroleum Resources, among others, had spurred the firm to redouble its efforts to enable Nigerians enjoy the benefits of the friendly fuel. Also, BORKIR International Gas and Energy Company, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, which engages in gas trading, distribution and cylinder business, has entered into a partnership agreement with the NGC, to promote the conversion of vehicles from the use of fuel and diesel to CNG. Already, the company has invested N1 billion in the project and unveiled plans to increase its investment to $100 million (N15.8 billion) in the next few months. Borkir International has already built two CNG stationsandplanstobuildadditionaleightbefore the end of the year. Vice-President of the Dangote Group, Sanni Dangote, disclosed that Borkir International had already signed a contract with Dangote Cement to convert at least 5,000 of its trucks from diesel to CNG. According to him, the company plans to configure 20,000 vehicles to use CNG, as vehicular fuel, which he said, was more economically and commercially viable than the traditional use of fuel and diesel. Dangote stated: “When we looked at the numbers of vehicles and trucks in Nigeria and the volume of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and diesel that are consumed daily, we took a very good commercial decision to see how to convert our vehicles to run on gas and this intervention will bring about a cleaner environment and will be of commercial value to end users. “There is no doubt that this initiative will be more
economically and commercially viable. Nigeria is one of the largest gas producers in the world and webelievethecountrywillbesavingsomuchfrom the utilization of CNG in vehicles. “We started this initiative with Dangote Cement trucksandwealsocameupwiththeideatoexpand the conversion to commercial vehicle owners. We have done some demonstration on 25 vehicles. We have so far invested close to N1 billion with plans to inject additional $20 million before the end of the year. In a couple of months, our investment in this project will be over $100 billion. “Everybody knows that gas is a cleaner energy than diesel and petrol. We have concluded plans to ensure that the gas is available in our major roads and high ways. We will ensure that the price remain stable because we have entered into price guarantee arrangement to avoid fluctuation and it is expected to last for a long period”. Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director of NGC, Saidu Muhammed, said that the companywasinterestedinpromotingviableprojects in the gas sub-sector like the one with Dangote Group. According to him, the Federal Government has laid a solid framework for gas infrastructure expansion within the domestic market market through the Nigeria gas master plan. He added that NGC was committed to the gas master plan, which is to stimulate the multiplier effect of gas in the domestic economy, position Nigeria competitively in high value export markets and guarantee the long term energy security of Nigeria. He assured of continuous flow of gas to the various CNG plant across the country to ensure the sustainability of the initiative.
Accurate measurement critical to Nigeria’s oil, gas sector, say experts By Sulaimon Salau CCURATE measurement A and tank gauging solutions have been identified as critical factors that could aid efficiency in the nation’s oil and gas sector. Experts who spoke at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Day held by Endress+Hauser in collaboration with Prime Atlantic in Lagos recently, noted that Nigeria has lost huge amount of money to poor measure-
ment of facilities, which could have been saved through utilisationof moderngaugingtechnologies. The Department of Petroleum Resources also highlighted the importance of high-tech gauging technology, restating its commitment to ensure that best standards are adopted by the oil firms operating in the country. A top official of DPR, Tunde Adelana, said, “technology in the oil and gas industry is
dynamic,andthefactthatevery government wants cost saving through efficiency. In Nigeria, we all know that technology is moving forward and we need to move in line with that trend”. He said the DPR was working to ensure that Nigeria meets the world standard, because accurate measurement is critical, and Nigeria’s oil industry considers it important to its growth and national development. The Global Development
Manager, Oil and Gas, Reinhold Bietzker, said the company was enjoying its partnership with Prime Atlantic (an indigenous firm) and determined to grow local capacity in technology innovationsthatarekeytoproffer solutions to industry challenges. According to him, accurate measurement is one of the major challenges facing oil and gas entities across the world, but Endress+Hauser has introduced various gauging solu-
tions to save cost and guarantee efficiency. He said the new technologies, which ensures good measurement of tank farms and other facilities could save over $11.7 million yearly on application. Endress+Hauser is a major supplier of measurement instrumentation and inventory control systems for monitoring and controlling liquids during processing, transportation and storage. The Managing Director, Prime
Atlantic, Ayo Otuyalo, at the Gala Dinner, lauded Endress+Hauser for its remarkable achievements in technology innovation for about 60 years of existence. Otuyalo said the firm has shown unalloyed commitment to do business in Nigeria, adding that the partnership with Prime Atlantic ensures the group is positioned to provide world-class services to its clients.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
PIB will not drive away investments in Nigeria’s petroleum industry, says NNPC By Roseline Okere HE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has allayed fears from different quarters in the country that the 2012 Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will drive away investments. Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production, Abiye Membere, in a presentation on PIB at Editor’s forum in Lagos recently, described the notion that the 2012 PIB will drive investments away from the country as an illusion and a farce. He argued that since Nigeria remains Africa’s biggest oil producer, the country would continue to make it choice destination for investors with or without the PIB. He disclosed that the bill will set up Petroleum Host Communities Fund (PHC Fund). According to him, the PHC Fund shall be utilized for the development of the economic and social infrastructure of the communities within the petroleum producing area. He said: “Every upstream petroleum producing company shall remit on a monthly basis 10 per cent of its net profit as follows -for profit derived from upstream petroleum operations in onshore areas and in the offshore and shallow water areas, all of such remittance shall be made directly into the PHC Fund. “Where an act of vandalism, sabotage or other civil unrest occurs that causes damage to any petroleum facilities within a host community, the cost of repair of such facility shall be paid from PHC Fund entitlement unless it is established
that no member of the community is responsible. “The Minister shall, subject to the provisions of section 8 of this Act, make regulations on entitlement, governance and management structure with respect to the PHC Fund established under this Act”.
Membere added that the bill would establish national frontier exploration services department with the responsibility to promote front-end data acquisition of hydrocarbons in the frontier basins in hinterland of Nigeria. He disclosed that the bill will
also ensure generous production allowance, lower royalty rates and tax holiday for existing and new gas projects’ profitability without government having to hand out cheques to investors. He added: “There will be high production allowance to
enable a robust economics for small producers and will promote marginal field aspiration of the Federal Government. If a company has multiple marginal fields the production has to be consolidated to ensure this benefit is not abused. “Current fiscal terms whereby
government take is about the lowest among peer countries is unfair to the country. It should be noted that the 64 per cent is only projection highest achieved to date is 49 per cent. New projects used to dampen the projected 64 per cent”.
NIPCO records N125.3b turnover, plans improved fuel supply By Sulaimon Salau HE Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO), has recorded a turnover of N125.3 billion in 2012 financial year, representing a sales growth of 64 per cent from about N76.8 billion in the preceding year. The Managing Director, Nipco Plc, Venkataraman Venkatapathy, who disclosed this at the company’s yearly general meeting in Abuja, recently, said the company was able to record operational growth in the year under review despite the numerous challenges that bedeviled the downstream petroleum sector. The shareholders however, approved a profit before tax of N2.77 billion as against N2.49 billion of 2011 a leap of over 11 per cent while profit after tax rose from N2.11 billion to N2.38 billion, an increase of 13 per cent. He observed that the scores of challenges that bedeviled the downstream sector of the nation’s hydrocarbon industry accounted principally for the hitch in petroleum products supply in 2012. Venkatapathy said the challenges, some routine and others highly pernicious and
diversionary led to the serious disruptions in the overall supply of petroleum products in thecountrywiththeattendant effect on product availability at filling stations. He affirmed that the company did not only confront the challenges headlong and emerged unscathed at the end of the rigorous and excruciating exercise but also forged ahead to the delight of stakeholders. According to him, the successful emergence from the rubbles of interrogations and
probes, lends eloquent credence to the painstaking diligence deployed by the company’s management in its operations. He stressed that company was given a clean bill of health with commendations and appreciations from relevant government agencies adding that the company’s quest for professionalism and excellence did not go unnoticed as awards and recognitions continued to come in torrents for the company. The awards, he enumerated to
include: the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) best Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) compliant terminal in Lagos area where more than 80 per cent of fuel depots are located, CSR Education Support award by Lagos State Government, through Apapa Local Government, Independent Marketers Branch (IMB) of NUPENG special recognition of excellence. He expressed profound gratitude to the company’s shareholders who remained major catalyst in the phenomenal
growth of the organization even as he assured them of building on the implicit confidence reposed in the management in their quest for improved performance in 2013 and beyond. Earlier the shareholders had approved a dividend payout of N3.25 k per share for the financial year ended 31st December, 2012, 25k higher than that of 2011 with the cumulative dividend for all shareholders in the year under review standing at N609.9 million as against N563.0 million .
Stakeholders to x-ray legal risks, regulatory challenges in oil, gas sector By Sulaimon Salau RKED by the lingering challenges in the nation’s petroleum sector, major stakeholders in the industry are set to discuss the effects of the prolonged reforms, particularly on the rising profile of local players as International Oil Companies (IOCs) divest their assets in on-shore fields. The forum tagged, the ESQ Oil & Gas Conference 2013, is the second in the series and brings together energy, finance and legal experts to examine regulatory and business issues in the Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. The Conference theme is,
“Beyond the Wave of Reforms: Opportunities and Challenges in Nigeria.” Commenting on the forthcoming programme, the Chief Executive Officer, Legal Blitz, organisers of the summit, Lere Fashola, said the two-day conference presents a dynamic forum to promote strategies for open business model, business mentorship, collaborations, ideas and knowledge sharing among industry players and networking among companies. Fashola, who is the publisher of ESQ Legal Practice Magazine, said “the Conference provides
key platform for stakeholders to discuss the recent challenges facing the Nigerian oil and gas sector, including the threat of a reduction in US importation of our crude oil. Other issues include the impending shale gas revolution, the sophistication of technologies for resource exploration and retrieval, and a rash of divestment of equity by some international oil companies in Nigeria. He said the forum would provide answer to the big question: “Does the rising presence of local players in oil & gas operations hold the key to a brighter
future for the country?” The summit will consist of well researched paper presentations and case studies by leading experts in Oil & Gas, Finance, Insurance and the legal profession, with participation drawn from several countries including Nigeria, the United Kingdom and South Africa. Speakers include, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa; Group Executive Director (Gas), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. David Ige; CEO, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, among others.
How to resolve crises in marginal field operations, by Akhiwu Lucky Akhiwu is the Managing Director of Oilflow Petroleum Services; he is also the Chairman, Oil and Gas sub-sector of Federation of South South Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture. In this interview with journalists in Lagos, he listed the challenges of marginal field operations in the country and the possible ways out. ROSELINE OKERE was there. Excerpt. The Federal Government, about 10 years ago, initiated the marginal field licences as a way of boosting the indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry. But the reality now indicated that such an initiative has not yielded much result. What are the challenges facing marginal field operators? NE of the major concerns is funding, which is an issue with the Nigerian banks. Getting fund is expensive in the market. So, most of the indigenous operators are looking at how they can get fund outside. Nigerian banks have the capacity to fund any oil and gas project, but the cost of the fund and the conditions attached to it are tough. This is one of the major concerns of the marginal oil field operators. The other one is technical strength. In one of the meetings of the South-South Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (FOSSCCIMA), we pointed out the need for indigenous companies to pull resources together to enable them have strength to execute projects. This is what the bigger International Oil Companies do. I also think the marginal field operators need to think in that same direction where they can pull funds and strength together. Days are gone when you can say you and your wife can only own a company. Now, it has to be acquisition and merger, which are just coming together to make it happen. Apart from these companies coming together to make it happen, do you think there is something the government can do to tackle these challenges? This is where the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)
and other policies come in. Government must be firmed in its decision. On the way to go, government should come out with clear-cut policy and people must abide by it. There must be rules, but when the rules are broken down, we cannot move forward. I think these set of people, who we have in government, are trying to make things happen. The new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with his group executive directors and Minister of Petroleum Resources are determined to reform the industry.Idohopethatthelegislatorswillgivethem power to realise the aspiration of the government. The PIB, which is the policy that will drive the system, has gone through the second reading and I hope that it will soon be passed into law so that things will begin to move the way it should be. From a critical point of view, can you say the marginal field initiative has been a success? Without mincing words, I must say it has been a success because some of these operators like Energia, Western Petroleum, Seplat and others have done very well. Seplat started with marginal field operation. With a smaller field, the company was producing about 1,000 barrels per day, but today, the company has moved to another level of operations. Seplat now produces between 35,000 and 40,000 barrels per day. That is a success story coming from a marginal field operator. Like I said, the key factor is: Nigerian companies must look at the strength they have. Where they have weakness, they just come together and make up for that weakness. They should be able to make a way for things to happen. Considering the fact that fund has been a major challenge to the indigenous operator, how do you hope to tackle it? We have to look at various mechanisms of generating fund. We will look at internal and external sources of funding. We will also see how we can partner with one or two companies to pull strength and resources together to achieve this milestone. There have been a lot of controversies surrounding some of the contents of the PIB, especially the Petroleum Host Community Fund, power of the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the
Akhiwu Northerners’ agitation.Whatisyourtakeinallthese issues? My take in the Petroleum Host Community Fund is that you cannot run away from it because you must give something to get something. Most of these assets are within these communities and if things are not sorted out properly, how do you operate in that location? It is practically difficult. For me, if you do not have something in your area, there is no need for such agitation. There are also mineral resources in the north, which can also be looked at. For me, we are one Nigeria and the button line is getting things sorted out the way it should be. It is not whether north or south, but this is a policy for the whole country and it must run across. If I am going to Kaduna, I am not going to get a visa to get there and so also somebody from that region, who is going to Port Harcourt, he does not need a visa to go to Port Harcourt. So, it is an issue we need to sit at the round table. I think the legislators have looked at that and they have crossed that bridge, where things must be harmonised. Do you think the Petroleum Host Community Fundshouldgoto thestategovernment or thecommunities? There should be a caveat where people must be
responsible for the management of this fund otherwise it will turn out to be an abuse of intention. I think the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has handled that issue because it is part of what the Federal Government presented to the National Assembly. That is the way to go. The communities must get something for them to give away something and that is the truth. The PIB has been delayed for several years. Can you tell us how this delay has affected the indigenous players? It has affected not only the indigenous players, but investment generally. Some of the investments have been withdrawn by the IOCs. If things are done the way they should be done, everybody will be happy. The IOCs are here to make money, but at the same time, they are also here to adhere to the policy of the government. The PIB should bring a win-win situation; everybody will come to the round table and agree on the way forward. A lot of Nigerian oil companies have moved into Ghanaian market. Is Oilflow Petroleum Services likely to move to Ghana or set up a subsidiary company in that country? As we speak, we have Oilflow Petroleum Services in Ghana. For me, it is just a question of collaboration. As we move along, projects must be done. Like I said, the time has come where Nigerian firms should come together. No one can do it alone. When you look at the multinationals, many of them can come together to execute a single project. If we want to promote local content, we must come together and also agree on the way to go. It is very simple. Can you tell us about your investment plan in Ghana? What we are looking at in Ghana is well intervention and gas utilisation, where we can turn gas to commercial purpose. As we begin to discuss with different stakeholders, we want to see how we want to make it happen as well. For us, the passion we have back home is to build local capacity. For example, we have already set up a plan to establish a diving school in Nigeria where we can train Nigerian divers.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 2/4/2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
50 CAPITAL MARKET
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 2/4/2013
NSE introduces 13 supplementary market makers By Helen Oji HE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday, introduced 13 Supplementary Market Makers (SMMs) to augment the efforts of the Primary Market Makers in providing the needed liquidity in the market for the selected stocks. The Executive Director, Business Development, of the NSE, Haruna Jalo-Waziri said the SMMs would complement the efforts of the PMMs to provide two prices or quotes for each of the stocks so that “at any point in time any body goes to the market with good stocks, they will be taken care of.” On the criteria for selecting the 13 SMMs, Jalo-Waziri said,”We thought about net
liquidity in terms of capital, we thought about compliance level, we thought about how much issues the company has done in the market, we actually looked at companies that are capable and strong enough to market make on these stocks that has been taken. “When we market make, it provides two prices for both quote, bid and offer . What happens is that it gives that stock some level of liquidity so that when you bring the stock into the market, somebody will be able to take it off you and by that, if there is no market making in a particular stock, unless there is a demand for it, you can not get it but market makers provide both demand and sup-
…as Market capitalisation rises by N261b ply end of it so that there is movement in terms of liquidity for the market.” “In terms of our goal for the $1trillion market capitalization, there are two parts to it, there will be new listings and there will be derivatives and there will also be market makers that will take us to that capitalization.” “Today, we believe that JSE is the moat stringent market in terms of framework and we believe that we are bench making against those type of Stock Exchanges and definitely, our compliance and regulatory framework is being widened . Lastweek, we launch the issuers portals and these are actually allows
us to be more investors protection friendly.” Meanwhile, transactions on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange NSE yesterday opened week on bullish trend as capitalisation increased by N261 billion. Specifically the value of equities which close at N10.733 trillion on Thursday enhanced by 2.43 per cent to N10.994 trillion. Also the NSE All Share Index ASI Increased by 815.83 basis points to 34351.87 points from 33536.24 recorded last week Thursday. The NSE daily trading result showed that investors purchased 291.264 million shares valued at N4.188 billion traded in 5317 deals, against
456.722 million shares valued at N3.580 billion exchanged in 7340 deals. An analysis of the transactions revealed that Wema Bank Plc traded the highest volume of shares for the day, exchanging 36.046 million shares worth N61.274 million, Access Bank Plc followed with account of 27.353 million share valued at N283.861 million while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated exchanged 25.603 million shares worth N363.231 million. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria took fourth position with a total of 25.165 million shares valued at N37.989 million. Further analysis of the investment indicated that Total Nigeria Plc led gainers table, appreciating by
N10.95 kobo to close at N180.00, Nestle Nigeria Plc followed with a gain of N10.02 to close at N960.02 kobo while Okomu Oil, Dangote Cement and Lafarge Wapco appreciated by N7.25 kobo, N6.50 kobo and N4.00 respectively to close at N79.75 kobo, N155.00 and N80.00. Conversely, Newgold ETF topped losers chart, dropping by N6.00 to close at N2460, Julius Berger trailed with a loss of N2.00 to close at N51.00 while NAHCO declined by N0.74 kobo to close at N6.75 kobo. Other stocks that recorded price depreciation include Livestock and Pharma Deko which loss N0.26 kobo and N0.23 kobo respectively to close at N2.41 kobo and N2.07 kobo per share.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Opinion Compliance officer in corruption struggle By Akin Oyebode most difficult if not, in fact, impossible to still IwarbeT istalking of an anti-bribery or anti-corruption in Nigeria today under the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a man who confounded even the most optimistic of his compatriots by his recent decision to grant a questionable pardon to some of the most notorious members of the nation’s rogues gallery. By thumbing his nose at Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation, due process of law and the country’s international treaty obligations, President Jonathan, whether he knows it or not, has called into question his administration’s commitment to the tenets of probity, integrity and transparency symbolized by the vaunted anti-corruption crusade in the country. However, the truth of the matter is that Nigeria’s reputation or rather, infamy as one of the world’s most corrupt countries has been further sullied by this inexplicable clean slate handed to perpetrators of what is tantamount to a grievous crime against the Nigerian people. By giving a clean bill of health to those who had made away with humongous monies that could have made tremendous difference to the niggardly circumstances of their fellow men and women, the powers-that-be are sending an odious signal to the population and the world that impunity rules in the land and that while Nigerians may be presumed equal, some Nigerians are indeed more equal than others. The transient power-wielders in the country surely “don’t give a damn” about Nigeria’s reputation among the family of nations and are prepared to do their damn worst to cheat the people and rescue their confederates from justice and their rendezvous with history. The pervasive nature of corruption in Nigeria is such that hardly has any sector, public or private, been safe from the odious virus. The rapacity of Nigeria’s kleptocracy has permeated the entire body polity, arresting each and every effort to contain it. If it is not over-invoicing, it is huge inducement for contract awards in the form of cash and other forms of gratification, outright scams as was revealed in the oil subsidy and pension rackets, embezzlement of public funds by bureaucrats as well as uncountable shenanigans hatched by numerous public office-holders. Very often, this illgotten wealth finds its way to the banks and other finance houses, which fact makes tracing easier in the event that anti-fraud and anti-corruption agencies deem it fit to stretch their dragnet to encompass these enemies of the public good. It should be reiterated that corrupt practices are not limited to the public sector. In a country like Nigeria where the private sector largely subsists of the public sector, it was felt desirable to create the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with an omnibus jurisdiction over fraudulent and corrupt practices, wherever they occur, aside from the investigative powers of the Police, ICPC and Code of Conduct Bureau. Besides, there is a plethora of laws and regulations, such as the Criminal and Penal Codes, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Act, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, Central Bank of
Nigeria Act, Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), Money Laundering Prohibition Act (MLPA), Terrorism Prevention Act (TPA), Investment and Security (SEC) Act, Code of Corporate Governance for Banks in Nigeria Post-Consolidation, Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies, etc. all of which aim to oversee and superintend good corporate behaviour in Nigeria. To the extent that the country purports to be waging an anti-corruption war, it is incumbent on all concerned officials to be abreast of the network of laws and regulations directed at curbing the incidence of corruption in Nigeria. First and foremost among such officials are Compliant Officers who have recently come into the picture in the country’s banking and financial institutions. As Thomas Hobbes intoned, law without swords is but mere words. In this vein, law bereft of enforcement becomes only a good point on paper. Accordingly, a Compliance Officer (CO) is an essential agent and component of the law enforcement process. Depending on the thrust and intendment of any legislative enactment, the law requires the support and co-operation of designated officials and indeed, the entire citizenry to ensure its efficacy. On account of the centrality of banks and other financial institutions in each and every economy, especially that of Nigeria, it is the place and function of the CO to see to it that the law and rules governing banking and other financial operations are complied with by the bank or financial institution he works for. As an official responsible to the Chief Executive Officer and, through him, to the Board of Directors, the CO is directly responsible for overseeing compliance issues within the bank so that the organisation observes demands for integrity and good corporate practice. Specifically, the role of the CO includes the following: • Oversight of the bank’s compliance with applicable rules and regulations; • Devising and maintaining appropriate systems and controls of the bank’s activities as a whole; • Exhibiting an awareness and understanding of the socio-ethical principles pertaining to the vision and mission of the organisation; • Conducting and co-ordinating inquiries and/or investigations as and when deemed necessary; • Developing audit controls and measures to ensure that correct practices are established; • Responding appropriately if a violation is discovered, including furnishing a report thereof for consideration by management or external agencies; and, • Any other matters incidental thereto. On account of their strategic and critical roles, Compliance Officers of Nigerian banks now have a definitive framework for their activities under the country’s laws and regulations. Accordingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the ultimate regulator of the banking industry and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as regulator of the capital market have put in place rules and regulations which banks and other financial players have to comply with. The Code of Corporate Governance for Banks introduced after the consolidation of banks in 2005
had as its major objective restoration of public confidence in the financial sector, bearing in mind the survey carried out by SEC, which revealed that poor corporate governance constituted one of the primary factors for the distress in the banking industry. It is instructive that Article 6.1.11 of the Code provides that the Chief Compliance Officers of banks should monitor the implementation of the Code in addition to ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering activities. Furthermore, the Code provides that the Chief Compliance Officer shall act as a whistle-blower on all illegal activities by making monthly reports thereto and certifying that he was not aware of any violation(s) of the Code. Also, Art. 32 of the Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies issued by SEC provides that every company should have a well-publicized whistle-blowing policy as well as whistle-blowing mechanism for reporting any illegal or unethical conduct. Accordingly, a senior-level officer shall be appointed and charged with the responsibility of reviewing reported cases and taking appropriate steps to redress the situation. Thus, the Chief Compliance Officer of a public bank or financial institution such as the Bank of Industry or Federal Mortgage Bank would be expected to act in this capacity. As far as the so-called anti-corruption war is concerned, it is apposite to observe that there is indeed a number of enactments aimed at arresting the incidence of corruption in the country despite the current lack of political will. As stated earlier, such enactments include the Criminal and Penal Codes, EFCC Act, BOFIA, MLPA and TPA as well as subsidiary legislation. The pivotal status of banks and other financial institutions makes it imperative that only conscientious, highly principled and incorruptible persons occupy the position of Chief Compliance Officers in the banking sub-sector. Equally important is the necessity for such persons to be up-to-date in their knowledge of requisite laws and regulations and their role in the task of ensuring their observance. Thus, the celebrated effort by government to stem the tide of bribery and corruption in the country cannot achieve much success without the active co-operation of banks’ Compliance Officers who are mandated to act in the role of whistleblowers under, inter alia, the Central Bank Act, the BOFIA, MLPA, EFCC Act and TPA. For example, s.1(2) of the MLPA provides that any transfer exceeding US$10,000 to a foreign country should be reported to the CBN and SEC within seven days of such transaction. Accordingly, the CO as whistle-blower is required to ensure strict adherence to this provision by banks in order to plug the hole, which had hitherto facilitated the hemorrhage of humongous sums from this country to foreign financial havens to the detriment of the Nigerian people. Furthermore, under the MPLA, banks and other financial institutions are required to obtain information regarding the identity of a customer and other relevant details prior to opening an account such that records thereof must be kept and transmitted to the CBN or other regulatory agencies upon demand with the stipulation that such
records may not be discarded earlier than five years after closure of the said account. The “Know Your Customer” requirement is a welcome and salutary device aimed at assisting in arresting the incidence of fraud, impersonation and sundry sharp practices by criminallyminded bank customers who would stop at nothing to deplete the country’s foreign exchange earnings. Besides, it enables investigative agencies to track accomplices and beneficiaries of unwholesome foreign exchange transactions. Accordingly, Compliance Officers must recognize the pivotal role they can play in the struggle to mitigate the “ugly and unacceptable faces” of Nigeria’s capitalism. Similarly, the CO has a role to play in uncovering illicit financial transactions by terrorists and terrorist organisations. Under S14(a) of the TPA, financial institutions are required to report all suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit within 72 hours of such transactions, if they suspect that the funds involved are derived from sources, whether legal or illegal, but intended to be used for acts of terrorism or that the funds are proceeds of a crime relating to terrorism or that the funds belong to a person, entity or organisation considered as a terrorist. This is a most important provision in view of the dimension which terrorism has since assumed in the country. As is well known, the EFCC is the organisation primarily responsible for the investigation and prosecution of persons involved in economic and financial crimes in Nigeria. It stands to reason, therefore, that the CO needs to be in constant liaison with the Operations Department of the bank in order to be put in the picture of all suspicious financial transactions so as to be able to make requisite reports thereof available to the EFCC. This is especially important in view of the fact that withholding such information from the EFCC by the designated officer may make such an officer liable to five years’ imprisonment or a fine of N500,000. Needless to say, the role of Compliance Officers in the fight against corruption is not limited to the aforementioned. They are to exercise general superintendence over banks’ compliance with all extant laws and regulations. I believe they should be able to furnish reports of any malfeasance even to the board through the managing director in a bid to obviate severe sanctions from external regulatory bodies and the resultant loss of trust by their shareholders and customers. Indeed, there is no gainsaying the fact that if COs were properly in place and had duly discharged their obligations, the shenanigans of some bank CEOs and the aftermath in 2005 through their loss of reputation in the eyes of the public as well as the sledge hammer of the CBN would, most likely, have been avoided. As our people say, the child that is bereft of proper upbringing at home is apt to endure hard knocks on the head outside! • Oyebode is Professor of Law and Chairman, Office of International Relations, Partnerships and Prospects University of Lagos.
Nigeria’s squandered opportunity By Joel Brinkley UST outside President Goodluck Jonathan’s office sat 17 ambuJiflances, just in case he or one of his aides fell ill. They were seldom, ever used. No actual health-care facility nationwide had as many, and in fact a few still have none at all. But as soon as a Nigerian newspaper took a photo of the ambulances and published a story about them, they suddenly disappeared – probably to an underground garage. Jonathan is president of Nigeria, which should be among the world’s most prosperous nations. After all, it produces an estimated 2.4 million barrels of oil each and every day. With oil now selling at $93.61 a barrel, that is $224 million in income daily. And yet many hospitals can’t afford to buy an ambulance. The reason, in my view: Nigeria is the most corrupt nation on earth. Sure, Transparency International lists almost three dozen states as more corrupt – Chad, Haiti, Laos, Yemen, Cambodia and the like. But are any of those nations as wealthy as Nigeria – taking in $81 billion annually, just from the sale of oil? No, not even one of them. So Nigeria steals and squanders more money than any other nation, making it the world’s most corrupt, by that measure. Nigerian journalist Musikilu Mojeed finds all this so discouraging. “With its geopolitical power, economic resources and middle class,” he laments, “no country (with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia and Egypt) has the power to change the course of black/African civilization like Nigeria.” After all, Nigeria is Africa’s
most populous state – and large, twice the size of California. So Nigerians are living an opportunity squandered – particularly now. Egypt is in turmoil. In just the last few days, in fact, many Egyptians have been calling for a military coup – anything to rid the state of its widely despised Muslim Brotherhood government. And a new report by the World Economic Forum ranked Egypt the least safe and secure tourist destination among 140 tourist nations evaluated. Egypt has lost its place as the Arab/African worlds’ leader, and Saudi Arabia never had it. So for Nigeria, the time is ripe. But its leaders seem interested only in stealing the state’s money to make themselves rich beyond imagining. Think about it: $81 billion a year just from the oil, while almost every local government official still tells his people the nation just doesn’t have enough money to fix the roads, schools or hospitals. (Roads are in such terrible shape that government officials generally travel any distance by helicopter.) And Nigeria’s people — well, they are as mistreated as any on earth. In only nine nations – among them Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia – do more mothers die during childbirth. And in only 10 states, including Chad, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, is the average life expectancy lower. Right now the average Nigerian’s average life span ends at 52. That may be why the median age of Nigerians is just 18. A few months ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit published an evaluation of the best places for babies to be born in 2013, given
their probable welfare as children and the chance for a safe, comfortable, prosperous life. Switzerland, Australia and Norway were the top three. The United States came in at 16th, largely because “babies will inherit the large debts of the boomer generation.” Dead last: Nigeria. “It is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013,” the report said. Even with all that wealth, only just over half the population has access to clean drinking water, and one-third to a toilet, UNICEF says. Two-thirds live below the poverty line. Only one child in four who contracts pneumonia is given antibiotics, and only about half the population is literate. The CIA also cites endemic “soil degradation; rapid deforestation; urban air and water pollution.” All this in a county whose gross domestic product stands at $236 billion a year, in the same league as Denmark, Chile, Israel and the United Arab Emirates – prosperous, successful states to be envied. Goodluck Jonathan is certainly aware of all of this. After all, taking the oath of office, he swore to “devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Nigeria. So help me God.” Well, just recently he demonstrated who he really is and what he stands for when he pardoned a former state governor who had been convicted of embezzling state funds and laundering the money. That pardon triggered a broad, angry uproar. Good luck, Mr. Jonathan. It’s time you were impeached. • Brinkley is the Hearst professional in residence at Stanford University and a Pulitzer Prize-winning former correspondent for The New York Times. He first wrote the article in the Los Angeles Times.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Opinion The great Iroko journey’s forth By Pat Utomi O you see an Iroko, not just an Iroko but D an Iroko of Irokos, king of trees rising with its fonts to the tree top levels and doing a jig, a display of the Ulaga dance as the jungle falls silent and Atilogu dancers are flat footed as they watch the Ulaga dance. The great tree whose fall will shake the forest has set flight with the eagles perched on it. The great one was in transition; the big Iroko had embarked on the journey across seven mountains and seven seas to land of his ancestors to join the ages. The immortality of Professor Chinualumogu Achebe long assured, took new meaning as his breather separated from his mortal frame last Thursday. Three scores plus 10 was promised to the normal and 10 more for the strong. The great Iroko got the quota for the strong and more, yet he was desired around for longer for the work of noble spirit, of integrity and of courage to voice truth to power was still
in high demand. Now I know it is great privilege that I gave the lecture introducing the lecturer the very last time ‘Ugo nabo’ spoke from the lectern in Nigeria at that nostalgia generating Ahajoku lecture in Owerri. How I remember calling your attention to the collapse of culture in our land and how as victim to the tyranny of drivers’ my unsolicited favourite piece of music from my driver’s preferred radio station was ‘osina nwata bulu ogalanya’. Not much has changed from that time, which is why many wished you were around a little longer to help with the redemption change. But you can lead change from yonder. After all Bob Marley’s redemption song continues to set the change for many. How it seems like yesterday, the harmattan winds of 1973/1974 at Nsukka when I watched you almost every morning pack your car by the Ansah building as I walked to my department at Nsukka. It was an American car, I recall, maybe a mercury Monarch. The simplicity of greatness as you came out in short sleeves, so forceful.
Three scores plus 10 was promised to the normal and 10 more for the strong. The great Iroko got the quota for the strong and more, yet he was desired around for longer for the work of noble spirit, of integrity and of courage to voice truth to power was still in high demand. Who knows if that did not play a role in my unquenched desire for the simple life? The simplicity did not keep us from knowing we were saying good morning routinely to a living legend, the master story-teller who let the world know who we were. Beyond the story, you were a soldier, a Buffalo soldier, fighting for our liberation from the bondage of bad leadership. The trouble with Nigeria, you wrote is leadership. Inspired by those words I founded a Centre for Values in Leadership to help young people understand leadership and prepare themselves to be effective in leadership roles. You have not left us orphans, even if we feel awed by the challenge. When you wrote Things Fall Apart we were but tod-
dlers but our country held promise that the contradictions in Things Fall Apart were yielding into a synthesis of forward movement hoped for. But the centre has not managed to hold and things are falling apart such that many say there was a country. But we are a people of hope and trust in the benefits of raising the spirit of iconic souls to the stars and drawing strength from there to reach the stars. So we send your spirit up to the heavenlies on errand for the cause of those for whose sake you stood up your whole adult life in pursuit of justice, integrity in service and generosity in human solidarity. May your journey into the ages be blessed. • Prof. Utomi, Professor of Political Economy and Entrepreneurship is founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership.
Achebe and the fight for justice By Ojemba Isu–Oko T was the second harmattan of 2012 and I was on an annual vacation when I had gone to University of Nigeria for the Isigning of my first book, Vanishing Identity. As I was passing through the hallway on ground floor, Block B, Faculty of Arts, University of Nigeria, I noticed that Room 126 was locked like few others. But what stood this room out with those locked was that looking through the big window, which had no blinds, you could easily see that cobwebs had almost obscured the transparency of the glass. The inquiry I made revealed that the spacious office – others adjourning it attest to it – had been locked for nearly a quarter of a century when the imposing building was built. Why Room 126 should be locked in such an elite institution while many lecturers are still hemmed in small offices only goes to show the stature of its former occupant: Emeritus Professor Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, who passed on on March 22, 2013 at a respectable age of 82. I have never seen any person in any profession – politics, medical and legal profession who has been accorded such respect. Thus Room 126 is the most sacred office in Nigeria, only comparable to Nelson Mandela’s prison room in Robben Island in South Africa. Achebe devoted much part of his life to fight for justice. He lived it and breathed it in all that he did. A social crusader, he evolved a philosophy of rebellion that fused Christianity with African sensibility. Twice he was awarded the third highest award in Nigeria – CFR – and like Julius Caesar, he twice rejected it. He did it, as he said, not to seek notice and popularity, but to protest the injustice in his country. In a letter he addressed to the Federal Government, he said, “I write this letter with a very heavy heart. For some time now, I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the presidency.” Seven years later in 2011, when the same award was dangled
Achebe’s fight against injustice was not only confined to his country. He took the fight to South Africa during the apartheid regime. His holistic approach in the fight against apartheid or rather, the aggregation of his holistic support for Nelson Mandela, went a long way in submerging such implicit things like indifference, fear and doubt, thus making Achebe’s approach incontrovertible. Mandela, in appreciation, was later to write that, “Achebe was the writer in whose company the prison wall fell.”
before him again, maybe to test his resolve, he rejected it again, saying that; “the reasons for rejecting the offer when it was first made have not been addressed, let alone solved. It is inappropriate to offer it again to me. I must therefore regretfully decline the offer again.” He made it clear that the rejection of all these awards was not meant to slight the government but to protest the injustice in his country and home state, Anambra. He mentioned the country’s first anniversary award that he received – National Trophy for Literature. He went on to state how he received two other national honours in 1979, in the form of Nigerian National Order of Merit and the Order of the Federal Republic and the first National Creativity Award in 1999. Part of his statement in 2004 when he rejected the first award was that, “I accepted all these honours, fully aware that Nigeria was not perfect but I had a strong belief that we would outgrow our shortcomings under leaders committed to uniting our diverse peoples. Nigeria’s condition today under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence. I must register my disappointment and protest by declining to accept the high honour awarded me in the 2004 Honours list. Achebe’s fight against injustice was not only confined to his country. He took the fight to South Africa during the apartheid regime. His holistic approach in the fight against apartheid or rather, the aggregation of his holistic support for Nelson Mandela, went a long way in submerging such implicit things like indifference, fear and doubt, thus making Achebe’s approach incontrovertible. Mandela, in appreciation, was later to write that, “Achebe was the writer in whose company the prison wall fell.” Achebe, who was not formally trained in the concept of law, has used his writings to fight for justice throughout his life, more than any lawyer dead or living. But he was not the only one who opposed injustice. They were others. Rather what marked him out was unearthly confidence. That self-assurance gave him the independence to confront injustice whenever he sees one, whether under the military or civilian regime. Far back in1964, Achebe, speaking on the role of a writer in a new nation, said that, “the worst thing that can happen to any group of people is the loss of their dignity and self-respect. The writer’s duty is to help them regain it by showing them in human terms what happened to them and what they lost.” Achebe was not the first Nigerian to write a novel. Before him was the half-educated Amos Tutuola of The Palmwine Drinkard’s fame and Cyprian Ekwensi’s People of the City and Jagua Nana. The latter’s work was later to be dismissed by the late literary critic, Prof. Emmanuel Obiechina as Onitsha Market Literature. But Achebe’s fame lies in the fact that he became the first that wrote African literature in the African way. Achebe was the founding editor of the African Writers Series and Okike. Some authors are good at prose, others at poem, and the rest on poetry but Achebe was good in all, which he wrote relentlessly. He thus became one of the greatest novelists of our time, the most certain to be remembered a century from now. History will surely place him in the pantheon right next to William Shakespeare, John Milton and John Keats. More than anyone
else of his time, he wrote simple prose that was accessible to readers. The astronomer, Johannes Kepler, declared that nature loves simplicity and unity. So did Achebe. His life was marked by achievements – several books and awards – and controversies – The Trouble with Nigeria, There was a Country and rejection of awards. The moment you meet Achebe – in person or while reading any of his works – you know that your life had been touched by a unique, very precious person. He brought inspiration and light into the lives of all he met. He was the kind of person whose presence made those around him better. Whenever he wrote, he made a difference. Writing was his main purpose. Courage was his defining characteristic. Patriotism his impetus. Societies become rich through ingenuity and hard work. But they become great because they produce men and women who lead them beyond the moment. Achebe who wrote several seminal works was such a person. A writer-statesman, Achebe will be remembered with respect, affection and the special kind of gratitude reserved for those who stood by their country in times of need. He will definitely leave a big hole in the lives of millions of his fans and on the ramparts of our nation. Success may have given Achebe some satisfaction, but it didn’t soften him even when he had spinal injury arising from car accident. He kept on working hard even on wheelchair and became accessible to all. It took Achebe more than 20 years to return with a major novel, Anthills of the Savanna, in 1987, cheered up by his beleaguered fans who had waited for that long. The work would later be short-listed in Booker prize. He later picked the prestigious Man Booker Prize, edging out many heavy weights. I found him very compelling and I realized how much his personality was ingrained in his several works. His passions, desires, artistry, and obsession in his writings were fulfilling. Achebe lived a fulfilled life and in Yeats words, ‘lived to comb his gray hair,’ a rare privilege many Nigerians won’t have. In his long life he carried many burdens – leader of his family, a literary icon, voice of the voiceless, etc. Achebe’s pioneering work – Things Fall Apart – shot him to literary limelight. For decades he seemed like a writer simply waiting for the right moment to take what everybody knew was coming his way: the Nobel Prize for Literature. But it eluded him, since it is not given posthumously. His weaknesses – and his perceived arrogance of the Nobel Prize Academy – were an obstacle that even his strengths couldn’t overcome. But that failure to pick the Prize had opened the way to the true fulfilment of his talents, which was to become one of the greatest novelists the world has ever known. Things Fall Apart has been translated into more than 50 languages, including Short Hand, because of its popularity. But some critics would argue that Achebe never made it to the finish line, the ultimate any writer worth his onion would have wanted. But does it matter that he never picked the Nobel Prize? Many Nobel laureates are soon forgotten. But the Romans understood better: there can be Emperors of no consequence – and also authors whose legacies are carved in stone. Achebe was of the latter breed. Adieu, the king of African Literature.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
TheInsideEdge Nigeria 3rd April 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
MidweekArts NANTAP celebrates day, calls for cottage theatres By Omiko Awa S the art world complied to the United A Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) declaration to mark March 27, as World Theatre Day (WTD), Lagos State chapter of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) joined its counterparts across the globe in the celebration. The event was held at National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. Initiated by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), Paris, France, under UNESCO, the event aims at celebrating Theatre Arts and its relevance in global development. The celebration, which included the performances, recognition and awards to distinguished arts and culture ambassadors, also served as a platform to project policy directions for the Nigerian art and culture sectors. In 2005, NANTAP introduced into the celebration the honouring of personalities who have distinguished themselves in the advancement of the Nigerian Project. With this year’s theme being Sustainable Environment in Reaction to Climate Change, the organisation added a plus to the event with the planting of the first ‘Entertainment Tree’ at the mini garden of Queen Amina, Entrance C, National Theatre, Iganmu. This addition remains unique; it had never been done by any group to mark World Theatre Day before. In welcoming guests, NANTAP Chairman, Lagos Chapter, Eki Faith Eboigbe informed that in joining the rest of the world to celebrate the World Theatre Day (WTD) 2013, the organisation generated a generic theme in response to its immediate needs and concern, regarding the nation’s culture and environment, which is the focal point for the WTD 2013 edition. She said: “At the just-concluded 5th climate change summit by the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, the advocacy was towards local actions and implementation by a re-direction and re-application of our environment towards sustainability in line with evolution”. She added that NANTAP had continuously marked the celebration, as a platform to project policy directions for the Nigerian Art and culture sector, saying, “We recognise the contribution of culture to the development of nations; we recognise the salient role of NANTAP, as the moral conscience of the society”. Stating how the organisation could achieve this important role, Eboigbe informed that NANTAP had developed, packaged and articulating, re-orientating a toolkit tagged Live Theatre As a tool for Re-orientation. This product, she said, could help address the disconnect between government policies and the targeted public, apart from guaranteeing acceptance of the populace. “This project will heighten the perception of the citizenry towards a conscious attitudinal change, particularly the people of Lagos State towards live theatre,” she stressed.” Also, NANTAP National President, Gregory Odutayo noted that NANTAP had consistently been at the forefront of professionalism and advocacy in the industry. Drawing from Darioa Fo’s World Theatre Day message, he said, “It is obvious that we as artistes are an endangered specie. We are the voice of the voiceless, but unfortunately our voices are gradu-
GM, National Theatre, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf (left); Chairperson, Lagos NANTAP, Eki Eboigbe; DG, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Prof. Tunde Babawale who was honoured as NANTAP Distinguished Personality of the Year 2012; and art patron, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi... at the World Theatre Day commemoration held last Wednesday at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
ally being wiped out just like it happened during the great exodus of the Commedia dell’Arte players in the 6os. In Nigeria, the theatre spaces as well as the theatre audiences are gradually being dismantled. We are gradually, being deprived of the infrastructure that would enable us speak for the people.” He called on all stakeholders and admirers of theatre to help bring back live theatre, saying, “We enjoin our government, the private sector and people to embrace once again theatre-going culture. NANTAP’s cardinal objective for 2013 is re-building theatre audiences across the country so that practitioners can again start to speak for the people. And to achieve this, we need sustain-
able development for the sector. “Government must as a matter of urgency look into the establishment of cottage theatres in at least every local government in the country. For this will help bring theatre and the allied arts to the people, aside from creating employment for the vast theatre graduates that are churned out every year from our numerous universities; it is the only way to bring massive development to the sector and generate employment for the youth”. While canvassing support from government, the National President opined that Ministry of Culture and Tourism at all levels should support the works of relevant associations in the
Children-artistes of the Footprints of David performing at the occasion
PHOTOS: CHARLES OKOLO
cultural sector like NANTAP. He said associations in other sectors of the economy enjoyed subventions from their mother ministries. “Associations all over the world do not survive purely on membership dues at all. We need the support of our mother ministries as well as that of well meaning Nigerians to ensure that NANTAP as a association continues to play its role as a key stakeholder in the cultural sector,” he said. Devoid of the usual numerous performances — stage plays and dances — this year’s edition witnessed the investiture of WTD Distinguished Personality for 2013 on the DG, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Prof. Gabriel Olatunde Babawale. It also recognized Lagos State Commissioner of Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Disu Holloway, Mrs. Ego Boyo, Otunba Sola Fosudo and Mr. Dele Morakinyo as NANTAP’s Cultural Ambassadors. Also recognised were Mr. Steve Ogundele, Mr. Olu Adeniregun, Mr. Edmond Enaibe, Mrs. Hassan Adesina, Mrs. Sola Oniyiga, Mr. Kayode Odumosu, Mr. Francis Onuouchei, Mr. Zik Zulu Okafor, Mr. Abiodun Aleja, Mr. Seyi Fasuyi and Mrs. Lanre Hassan as Certified Thespians. While speaking on live theatre, the representative of Mr. Disu Holloway, Aiyetilegun Moroniranti called on practitioners to reposition themselves to enable various stakeholders to take them serious, saying, “You need to be professional in your performances; you need to take yourselves serious for government to support the sector”. As part of government’s plans for the sector, Moroniranti informed that Lagos State Government, as the custodian of culture in the state, would gladly showcase its culture and traditions to the people while jealously guiding it so as to have an enduring legacy for the coming
Seun Kuti takes Afrobeat to Ikorodu By Florence Utor OR first time, Seun Kuti will perFSaturday, form at Kunbi’s Place on April 6 to thrill Ikorodu
town folks to Afrobeat music. Kunbi’s Place is the new entertainment hub just opened in the ancient town. It is located on Lagos Road, Ikorodu and designed to provide fun and sporting fitness for all. Facilities at Kunbi’s Place include spacious playing ground for children, a 5-aside footfall pitch, an outdoor fitness gym for adults, a cafe bar and grill, a beauty and pamper suite for ladies and much more. According to the Managing Director, Kumbi Osinoiki, “We felt that Ikorodu was developing quite
quickly and we are very pleased to see the expansion of the road. We also spend a lot of time in Ikorodu, which informed the idea to open the centre. Whenever we bring our children to Ikorodu during the Christian and Muslim holidays to celebrate with our families, the children have very little to do since there was no recreational or leisure centres in the town. This made residents to go all the way out of Ikorodu to look for fun and leisure. “We also discovered that there are many professionals building their houses and living here since the cost of living in Lagos is so high; they deserve the same standards like everybody else in Lagos”. He also said that parents in Ikorodu
who usually don’t know where to send their kids during the holidays could do so now by taking them to the centre. Osinoiki assured them that there were several re-creational activities that they could benefit from at Kunbi’s Place such as music, art, drama, writing and others. Osinoiki, a professional who was involved in a franchise known as ‘Music Education for Children’ while in the United Kingdom, said he would personally supervise the sessions, saying, “I bought the license and started off music from the scratch while there, and I did that for 12 years. In the course of doing that I also gained some qualification in music education basically for children. These are the kind of activities
that parents should involve their children to help develop them mentally and physically. “I know that it is time for the children in Nigeria to have that kind of opportunity. So, I recreated the same music experience in children through Kunbi’s Club at Ikoyi as soon as I got back to Nigeria. I want to bring the same club to Ikorodu so that the Ikorodu children can enjoy the same opportunity”. Kunbi’s Place also provides the latest infrastructure for exercises to help people keep fit. On security, Osinoiki simply said, “The chairman and financier, chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, has committed a lot of resources to ensure its smooth sailing”.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Kanayo O. Kanayo (left); and Mahmood Ali Balogun during a meeting with Nollywood on Nigeria’s centenary celebration... in Lagos in February 2013
Fidelis Duker (left) and Francis Onwuchei at the centenary parley
Debate over Nollywood’s funding rages By Shaibu Husseini OT one person among the panelists at last N week’s special stampede organised by the Committee for Relevant Arts (CORA) as part of the just held 2013 edition of the iREP Documentary Film Festival wanted the N3 billion grant recently approved by President Goodluck Jonathan for the development of the film industry to be used to make films. All the four panelists - ace cinematographer Tunde Kelani, foremost movie director Mahmood Ali Balogun, producer and director Francis Onwochei, director and producer Charles Novia and President of the yearly Eko International Film Festival, Hope Obioma Opara - strongly maintained that the funds should be used to support the creation of distribution outlets for films and also to build capacity. The panelists were also unanimous in their submission that it would amount to a waste if the grant were advanced to filmmakers to make films alone, especially when there were no platforms to sell the films. President Jonathan had, at a presidential dinner to celebrate the home video industry at 20, held at the State House, Marina, Lagos on March 2nd, announced the provision of a N3 billion grant for the development of Nollywood under a scheme the President said would be called ‘Project Nollywood’. It would be the first of such grant by any government since independence. The President announced that when launched, the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, would manage the scheme. The President also gave assurance that the project would be launched in the first week of April and when it was launched, it would include grants for capacity building, commissioning of best scripts and for infrastructural development. Even though the President specifically mentioned the three key areas that would receive attention, the CORA panelists, however, said they wanted more of the money to go into solving the industry’s distribution challenge. They pointed to the fact that while India boasts of 13,000 cinema screens and South Africa 761 functional screens, Nigeria, reputed to be the second largest movie-producing country in the world, could only boast of about 35 functional cinema screens across the country. They reasoned that with more distribution outlets - cinemas and others - practitioners would be able to recoup their investment and make enough to reinvest in other productions. Kelani offered, “I won’t need any bank loan if I have outlets to show my films longer than the present cinema owners can accommodate. I just returned from a study tour of India facilitated by
the Lagos State Government and we discovered that what sustains the local industry is the earnings from cinema and not DVD sales”. Indeed, there have been so much talk around the funds that was yet to be made available to practitioners in the creative industry by two lending banks—the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM). A film, Dr. Bello, produced and directed by Tony Abulu, was reportedly made from the loan facility; also, cinemas are being constructed across the country by Filmhause Limited, run by Kene Mkparor. But practitioners complain of difficulties in accessing the $200 million intervention fund. For instance, the banks are insisting on full collateral before the loan can be granted but some of the practitioners want their intellectual properties to be admissible as collateral even when they are well aware that the stale Nigerian Copyright law does not recognise intellectual property as a basis for accessing bank loans. Even President Jonathan acknowledged he had received several complaints of inaccessibility of the funds. He, however, assured that government was in discussion with the issuing banks to redouble efforts in assisting practitioner to access the funds. He said: “I have asked NEXIM and the Bank of Industry to redouble their efforts in assisting the industry to access loans. I am aware that till date, NEXIM has extended about N766 million in loans to a number of companies involved in film production, cinemas, and distribution, with another scheduled N1.4 billion for projects in the industry. This should be sustained’’. The complaints have, however, remained in spite of the assurances by Mr. President. The banks are insistent that the rules of lending must be met, as the intervention fund is a loan and not a grant. Onwochei expressed industry frustrations thus, “They ask for collaterals that are well over the funds we need. What they are asking us to come and collect is a loan like the loans they give out to people who buy and sell. I won’t advice any filmmaker to go near those funds with BOI or NEXIM. It will be impossible to pay back the loan because of poor distribution platforms”. So, it was fitting therefore that CORA dedicated that edition to a review of experiences around funding for filmmakers. Its Secretary, Toyin Akinosho said it was necessary to find out from the practitioners themselves how they found money to make films and how they were able to repay such monies back given that there were several complaints about the activities of pirates, poor distribution and deals gone sour between filmmakers and partners. Akinosho explained that the idea for the subject of the stampede was inspired by an account by the prolific producer Charles Novia whose book Nollywood Till November narrated how a business deal between Ecobank and a group of Nollywood producers - Charles Novia, Fidelis Duker, Fred Amata
Hope-Obioma-Opara of Eko International Film Festival
and Chico Ejiro - floundered because the filmmakers alleged that Ecobank did not follow up on the massive grassroots marketing strategy it agreed with the producers at the beginning of the project dubbed ‘Project Nollywood’. Novia had, in the book and at the stampede, narrated how the bank reneged on its earlier promise to handle the marketing and distribution of the films the four filmmakers produced - Senseless, Letters to a Stranger, Caught in the Middle and Hundred Days in the Jungle - with monies provided by the bank. The plan was for the movies to be sold through the use of 10,000 Direct Sales Agents (DSA’s) in 36 states of Nigeria. The projection was that at ‘just two movies per day for thirty days’, 600,000 copies would be sold at a retail price of N300 per movie. This would translate into N180 million turnover in a month. Indeed, observers believed that if the plan had worked, it would have spearheaded a radical overhaul of the weak Idumota-Lagos, Pound Street-Aba and Iweka Road-Onitsha marketing strategy. But all those plans packed up when the bank, according to Novia, cited a Central Bank of Nigeria regulation which disallowed the bank from making their Direct Sales Agents (DSA’s) render any other services than banking. The bank thereafter outsourced the marketing to a company, which could only assure 1000 DSA’s but that arrangement too packed up. The company, according to Novia, could not even deliver 400 DSA’s. Again, that was not the story that was told outside Ecobank’s banking hall. The story was that the filmmakers couldn’t account for the funds they were given to make movies so the funds were written off while the bank swore never to do business with Nollywood again. That tale spread fast and it scared off whatever other corporate funding the motion picture industry would have had. Novia has since countered that tale in his book, further stating at the Stampede, “It was not the truth. Ecobank clearly dissed our effort. We were to make films with the monies lent us and we made the films. We also met every other condition like putting down some money. The deal failed because they reneged on their promise to handle the marketing and distribution of the movies”.
President Goodluck Jonathan two years ago. But CORA acknowledged, and rightly too, that the film industry as an economic system could not depend on a single stream of funds, which Kelani agreed was unworkable, “No, it cannot survive on a single funding stream. We must seek other funding platforms and provision of cottage cinema’s is the best way to go. A country like India boasts of over 13,000 cinema screens and a daily viewing capacity of over two million people, all watching local Indian films. Imagine what will happen to us with just 5000 screens”. The foremost cinematographer also disclosed that Lagos State Government was in the process of setting up cottage cinemas across its local government areas, saying, “I must at this juncture commend the Lagos State Government for initiating the Nollywood Upgrade Project. They have trained and are retraining practitioners and now they are working on establishing cottage cinemas across the state. That is the kind of intervention we need. Indeed, what we need now to solve distribution problems are cottage cinemas that are accessible and affordable. Our people just want to stroll out of their homes, go to a cinema in their neighborhood and watch a film for as low as N100 and N200. “The kinds of cinemas we have now are too elitist and very expensive. So, whatever monies I have been told have been provided by government should be used to develop such infrastructure”. Even Novia, Onwuchei and President, Association of Movie Producers (AMP) Zik Zulu Okafor shared similar sentiments at the stampede. They all applauded President Jonathan for the grant but they reiterated that they wanted a large chunk of the grant money devoted to establishing distribution structures. In fact Okafor proposed legalizing of film rental business so that filmmakers could be guaranteed a certain level of income stream for rental copies of films. With less than a week to the proposed formal launch this April, practitioners are anxiously awaiting the guidelines that would enable them access the fund. Some hinted at the stampede that a committee and various sub-committees should be constituted to advice government on how best the funds could be utilised. Members of the various committees are said to be meeting to arrive at guidelines for the administration of the funds.
INCE then there has not been any significant corSonlyporate investment in the movie industry. The worthy intervention, apart from the drops filmmakers get for product endorsement, is the low interest loan for entertainment announced by
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Sports Nigeria Professional Football League
GoalControl wins Confederation, World Cup contract
Stakeholders disagree over Sharks’ problems By Christian Okpara ORRIED by what they W termed the ‘systematic decimation of our club,’ some stakeholders in Sharks Football Club have called on Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, to save the club from ‘those, who want to destroy it.’ Sharks recently engaged the services of former Sunshine Stars Coach, Gbenga Ogunbote, when Super Eagles’ former gaffer, Austin Eguavoen, quit the club because he was not given a contract to support his engagement. But some former players of the club say changing the technical crew would not solve the club’s problems. On Friday, three of the club’s former players, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that the administrators of the club ‘have adopted a well charted route to destroying the club, which has been the darling of Rivers people for more than 40 years.’ According to the trio, ‘‘the way Sharks is run now negates everything that Governor Amaechi stands for and we want to let our governor know that two people are working to destroy this club.” They allege that “Sharks is run by one person, who is the general manager, accountant, secretary and he reports only to the Sports Commissioner, Fred Igwe. ‘‘What we have is a situation where the commissioner hands over the money meant for the club to the general manager, who in turn uses it the way he wants without consulting anybody. And the sort of decisions he takes baffles everybody, who knows what Sharks stands for. ‘‘Recently, the club sacked some of its long serving players, including former Super Eagles star, Victor Ezeji, former Assistant Coach, Imama Amapakabo, Usman Sani, Okiemute Odah, Kola Anubi, Victor Ezeji, Fortune Chukwudi, Ejike Bright and Gomo Onduku, on allegation that they threw a game last season,” they said. The stakeholders say the allegation against the players was just a ploy to dispense with those, who could challenge the hegemony of the general manager. ‘‘What else would Ezeji be looking for to throw a game involving a club he has served for over a decade? There are more civilised ways of dispensing with the services of any player or coach rather than branding that person a saboteur,’’ they said. The group called on Governor Amaechi to look into the Sharks’ issue and in particular constitute ‘‘a man-
agement board for the club so that there would be accountability, fairness and reason in the administration of the club. ‘‘There should, as a matter of urgency, be a total overhaul of the playing staff to get more experienced players to save the club from slipping out of the Premier League. ‘‘The governor should order a thorough audit of the club’s finances to ensure that those, who have misappropriated its funds are made to pay for their sins against Rivers State.’’ Reacting to the allegations, Rivers State’s Commissioner of Sports, Fred Igwe dismissed the charges as the last resort of some people, who want to maintain the status quo that has almost killed the club. Igwe said some people were not happy that he was trying to ensure that the club is run professionally hence they have trumped up allegations against him. “When we looked into the papers of the club, we found out that of all the players, only the Captain, Odinga Odinga, had a valid contract with Sharks. All the others were on loan from other clubs. So, we had to do the right thing by registering our own players,” he said. Supporting Igwe’s defence, the club’s Media Officer, Peter Abaje, in a release made available to The Guardian, said, “until recently, 95 per cent of Sharks players were on loan from other clubs, yet Sharks still paid their sign on fees and nothing came to the club when they moved to other clubs. “These are some of the issues we are faced with and the management is working hard to make things right.” Sharks is currently sitting at the bottom of the 20-team table after picking up four points from a possible 15 out of five games of the season.
OALCONTROL has won the G right to supply Goal-Line Technology (GLT) at the Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup. The German company will also supply their technology to the World Cup in Brazil 2014, providing the performance of the system is successful in 2013. Fourteen high-speed cameras around the pitch will be used as part of the GoalControl-4D system and this system has been chosen over rivals GoalRef, Hawk-Eye and Cairos. A statement on the FIFA website said, “following a thorough analysis of the final proposals, FIFA appointed GoalControl GmbH as GLT provider on Tuesday, 2 April, and notified all participating companies of the decision. “While all four companies had previously met the stringent technical requirements of the FIFA Quality Programme, the final decision was based on criteria relating more specifically to the tournaments in Brazil, including the company’s ability to adapt to local conditions and the compatibility of each GLT system in relation to FIFA match operations.
A change of approach has lifted Arsenal, says Ramsey Super Eagles’ captain, Joseph Yobo (left), tussles with Theofanis Gekas of Greece during the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup Group B match at the Free State Stadium in Mangaung/Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Yobo’s comments surprise Keshi UPER Eagles’ Coach, Sprised Stephen Keshi says he is surat Joseph Yobo’s comment following his exclusion from last month’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kenya in Calabar, reports supersport.com. Keshi told the website that he held talks with Yobo in South Africa during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on firstteam places. “I like the hunger Joseph is showing with regards of wanting to play for the team at every given time. But I believe that we cannot play all of our players in every game. For instance, this year we have quite a number of games and
Joseph still remains the team’s captain. “The truth is that the two boys (Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona) playing in the central defence have been doing well. So calling Yobo for a game like that of Kenya and then dropping him to the bench or out of the team would be demeaning to him. “But it is a matter I will iron out with Joseph because he is a fantastic professional. He showed that while in South Africa and we still need his experience for some of the big games we will be playing in the World Cup qualification as well as the Confederations Cup in Brazil. So he’s very
much the team captain,” he said. Yobo had expressed unhappiness during an interview with Brila FM at being snubbed for the Kenya game without notice. “We spoke just right after winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and since then we have not spoken and no one has got in touch with me since then and I feel that as the captain of the national team, I should have been informed (of being dropped for the Kenya match). “I am disappointed and feel disrespected because the coach should have called me considering my status in the team,” he said.
RSENAL midfielder, Aaron A Ramsey has cited a new approach as the main reason behind the Gunners’ recent upturn in form. The Welshman was a part of an Arsenal side that ran out 4-1 winners over Reading on Saturday, their third win on the bounce, moving the club up to two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. The 22-year-old says that the north London outfit has been working on certain facets of their game, such as their ability to start matches at their best. “In the past, we’ve been accused of starting slowly and I think that’s something we’ve changed, especially in the last month,” Ramsey told the club’s official website. “We’ve started off on the front foot, defended high up the pitch and won the ball back in dangerous areas. We did that plenty of times (against Reading).”
Zenith Bank WBL: Coaches talk tough ahead second phase By Adeyinka Adedipe S teams prepare for the secA ond phase of the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League, coaches have been talking of what to expect from their teams when the league resumes on the 2nd of next month. First Bank Coach, Adewunmi Aderemi said that reclaiming the title his team lost to First Deepwater was top of his plans. He said that his players would start training immediately they get back to Lagos from Abuja where the first phase ended on Sunday. While explaining that his team was yet to give its best, he noted that winning the top prize was his goal. “No one
goes into a contest to fail and that is my team’s driving force. What we have to do is to work hard and ensure that we win our game en route the final, where we hope to reclaim our title.” He said the team has new offensive players, who would go places once they begin to gel, adding that he was still working on creating a strong defence for the team. First Bank had won10 titles in a row until they were knocked of the top by First Deepwater Basketball that has now won the trophy since 2010 after finishing second in 2009. While Aderemi believes that his has the ability to reclaim the title, First Deepwater
Coach, Lateef Erinfolami said his team was not ready to let go the trophy. He said that his ambition was to see his girls eclipse the record of First Bank. He admitted it was a tall order but noted that his team would work hard to achieve great things in Nigeria basketball. “We have not really reached our potential this season but once the players get into their strides in the second phase, my team would be a difficult one to play against. We will resume training and make sure that we get to our usual standard by the time the league resumes next month,” he added. Though, the Nigeria Customs has a modest ambi-
tion of making it to the final round in Lagos, the border girls upset Sunshine Angels 5352 in the final game of the first round to underline their ambition of making it to the final eight. Customs’ Coach, Scott Nnaji said the victory was a step towards playing their way to the final round in Lagos. He also said that he expected his team to improve has the competition progressed and qualify for the final eight play off. “This is just the first phase and I expect my team to improve has it play more games. The final eight is our target and we will get there.” He noted results might not have favoured the promoted teams, he however, said that
they were putting up a good show. According to him, most of them have young players who will become better has the league progresses. Dolphins’ Coach, Okworogun Ochuko said that she hopes to finish among the top teams at the end of the league and take his team to the continental championship. She said, “we have many top teams in the league but my goal is to qualify my team for the continental competition after the league end. It will be tough but as a former player, I know what it takes to achieve this aim. “I am already working hard with the players so that we can realise our ambition,” she added.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
CricketWeekly ‘We must qualify Countdown To Botswana 2013 WCL Division Seven Play-Off for Division Six to stay in world circle’ By Christian Okpara HIEF Operating Officer C of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), George Wiltshire, says Nigeria must finish between the first two countries at the ICC World Cricket League Division Seven Championship, scheduled to begin in Gaborone, Botswana, on Saturday, if it must remain in the world stage of the game. Team Nigeria left Lagos for Botswana yesterday aboard a Kenya Airways flight for the competition, which will hold in Gaborone and Lobatse. Speaking on the country’s prospect at the championship, Wiltshire said Team Nigeria has all it takes to succeed in the competition because of the sort of preparation the team had before leaving for Botswana and also the favourable condition expected in the Southern African country. Wiltshire said, “we did very well last time the competition was held in Botswana in 2011 and won promotion to division six then. Among the countries we beat in 2011 was the host, Botswana, and I think the boys will repeat the feat because the conditions suit our game. “One thing going for Team Nigeria is that the games will be played on astro-turf wickets, which is the same type we have in Nigeria and our players are used to it. “One other factor is that the ICC has phased out Division Seven from the league, so if we fail to move to Division Six, we would be condemned to playing against lower teams in Africa. So, we have no choice than to succeed in Botswana.” Nigeria will rest today, train tomorrow and Friday before opening its campaign with a game against Fiji at the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) number one pitch in Gaborone. On Sunday, it will be the turn of Ghana to test Nigeria’s might on the same turf, while all the teams will rest on Monday. The host, Botswana, will confront Nigeria at the BCA’s second pitch in Gaborone on Tuesday, before the Uthe Ogbimitutored team will travel to Lobatse to meet Vanuatu on Wednesday. Thursday is rest day for all the teams, but action would resume on Friday with Nigeria coming back to Gaborone to square up to Germany. The final of the competition would hold on Saturday, the same time as the third and fourth place play-off, as well as, the fifth and sixth place decider. All the matches are scheduled to start 9.30 a.m.
Team Nigeria departs, hopeful of promotion By Christian Okpara IGERIA’S contingent to the N 2013 World Cricket League (WCL) Division Seven play-off, holding in Botswana from April 6 to 13, departed Lagos for Gaborone yesterday aboard a Kenya Airways flight. The flight, which left Lagos by 12.00 p.m, was expected to arrive in Kenya last night, where the players will spend the night, before hitting Gaborone today. In the team are 14 players, the Coach, Uthe Ogbimi, the Team Manager, Kome Agodo
and the Secretary of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Patrick Okeke. The team is expected to rest today and begin final preparation for the competition, which begins on Saturday. The players in the delegation are Captain Adekunle Adegbola, Sesan Adedeji, Saheed Akolade, Olalekan Awolowo, Olajide Bejide, Endurance Ofem, Joshua Ogunlola, Oladotun Olatunji, and Segun Olayinka. Others include Oluseye Olympio, Ademola Onikoyi, Chimezie Onwuzulike, Osita
Onwuzulike and Ricky Sharma, who, according to officials, was including in the team to steady the side. Sharma was not in the squad that fared badly in the Africa Division One League championship in Uganda early this year. NCF Chief Operating Officer, George Wiltshire is expected to join the team before its first game in Gaborone on Saturday. Speaking on the country’s chances in the competition, which will see the best two teams gaining promotion to
Division Six, Sharma said Team Nigeria has no reason to fail in Botswana. According to the Lagos Asians’ wicket keeper, “we have been training for more than one month and I think the quality of players we have in this team will see us through in Botswana. “Everybody involved in this team, including officials and players, know the importance of qualifying for Division Six hence they have all come together to prepare the squad well for the challenges.
“In Uthe Ogbimi, we have a young trainer, who played the game at the highest level. The coach knows what it means to play at this level and the players are ready to work with him for success. “The most important thing is that we are one big family, with everybody fighting for the collective success of the team. We all know what it means for Nigeria to qualify for Division Six and all of us see it as a privilege to play for Nigeria. By God’s grace and with the support of Nigerians, we shall succeed.”
Nigeria battling with Botswana, during the 2011 WCL Division Seven Championship in Gaborone.
Indian Premier League opener hit by injuries OR much of IPL 2012, FDelhi Kolkata Knight Riders and Daredevils were the form teams favoured to make it to the summit clash. Knight Riders got there and won it, putting the horrors of seasons past behind them. Daredevils always promised so much, but in 2012 they inexplicably left out top wicket-taker, Morne Morkel, from the knockout against Chennai Super Kings, a decision that contributed to their heavy defeat. The pre-season build-up has been bad news for Daredevils, who have had to suffer highprofile pullouts. Kevin Pietersen will miss the entire tournament due to a
knee injury sustained in New Zealand, while Jesse Ryder was set to fly to India before being assaulted in Christchurch. The franchise has just replaced him with the Australian batsman, Ben Rohrer, but their troubles do not end there. Virender Sehwag, who captained Daredevils last year, is also doubtful for the opening game today with a back spasm. Morkel will miss at least the first game because he is in South Africa representing Titans in the final stages of their domestic T20 competition. Mahela Jayawardene, who took over as full-time cap-
tain, will have to deal with a depleted batting line-up. Knight Riders don’t have a fully fit squad at their disposal either. Brendon McCullum is yet to join the squad in India, as he is recovering from a hamstring injury sustained during the England Tests. James Pattinson, the Australia fast bowler, is resting at home, as advised by Cricket Australia following the Test tour of India. Jacques Kallis is only just returning from injury and Gautam Gambhir, the captain, has just recovered from jaundice and insists he is fit to play from game one. On paper, Knight Riders
look the stronger side and playing at home will give them an edge. The players to watch are Mahela Jayawardene, who is coming off an injury layoff, having missed Sri Lanka’s entire home series against Bangladesh. In the absence of Pietersen and Sehwag, much will be expected from the captain, who might position himself as an opener. He wouldn’t have had much match practice going into tomorrow’s game, so his team will hope he finds his touch straightaway. Manvinder Bisla made the world sit up and take notice on May 27, 2012, the night of
the IPL final. In a high-scoring game, Bisla smashed 89 off 48 balls to stun Chennai Super Kings and help Knight Riders to the title. An aggressive toporder batsman-cum-keeper, he played only seven games for Knight Riders last season. He should expect more this year, following that knock. The teams met twice last season, both winning a game each. In the first match in Kolkata, a game reduced to 12 overs a side due to rain, Knight Riders managed 97 for 9, and Daredevils chased it down with five balls to spare. In the return match, Knight Riders hit back with a sixwicket win, with McCullum leading the way with a fifty.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
62 | SPORTS
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Success of Bundesliga sides in Europe no coincidence, says Khedira • Warns teammates against focusing only on Drogba, Sneijder EAL Madrid midfielder, R Sami Khedira believes the recent success of Bundesliga teams in Champions League is “not a coincidence.” He has also applauded youth football in Germany, admiring the dedication and success of academies in his homeland in their production of players. This season marks the first time since 2002 in which two German sides, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, have reached the quarter-finals. Schalke nearly made it three, but a 4-3 aggregate defeat to Galatasaray saw them exit the competition in the last 16. “It is not a coincidence or luck,” he told Uefa.com. “Schalke almost reached the quarter-finals. They were just a bit inexperienced. Dortmund and Bayern are very strong, not only last season but also this, and they play very well at European level. It is all thanks to the continuous development in German football. “The academies and the league give a great football education. Germany had been asleep for many years, but recently they have tried to continuously build things up. It’s bearing fruit, not only with producing great players, but also great tactics and discipline. And in the end that package makes a great team.” The 25-year-old is preparing for a Champions League clash of his own with Madrid set to take on Galatasaray today in the first-leg of their quarter-final and he outlined the differences between domestic and European football. “I think that you must be very consistent in your game. You must deliver top performances throughout the season on a certain day. In La Liga you can allow yourself a mistake, but in the Champions League you must be well prepared for that day against your opponent.” On his sides Champions League quarter-final clash with Galatasaray tonight Khedira warned his side not to focus solely on Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba. Drogba and Sneijder, who signed for the Super Liga champions in January, have stolen much of the prematch focus as they prepare to face their former Coach Jose Mourinho.
Real Madrid’s defender, Sergio Ramos (left); Ghanaian midfielder, Michael Essien (middle), and Portuguese forward, Cristiano Ronaldo take part in a training session at the Valdebebas training ground in Madrid, yesterday, on the eve of their quarter-final match against Galatasaray of Turkey. PHOTO: AFP/ DOMINIQUE FAGET But Germany international previous round following a Khedira believes los Blancos controversial red card for must be wary of the overall Nani in the second leg, and strength of Fatih Terim’s side Khedira has stressed the if they are to progress to the importance of maintaining performance levels whilst semi-finals. “Those two players (Drogba taking advantage of any and Sneijder) have brought a stroke of luck which comes new quality to the team, but your way in the competition. “It is partly true (luck is they have other great players,” he told the UEFA important). You have to be very consistent in your game Champions Le “For example (Hamit) and offer the best performAltintop, who I know, and ance of the season on a given who scored in their last day,” he went on. “In the league you can match (against Schalke). It is always difficult to play afford a mistake, but in the against Turkish teams, so we Champions League you need must focus on the whole to be well prepared for every team and take it seriously, match. Maybe you can talk not just focus on Drogba or about luck of the draw, but Snejider. If we do, I’m sure that isn’t very important because in the quarter-finals we’ll get to the semi-finals.” Madrid knocked out and semi-finals there are Manchester United in the only the best teams.”
Terim claims Real Madrid are predictable ALATASARAY Coach, Fatih G Terim has claimed “even a six-year-old” is aware of how Real Madrid play, stressing that there is little point in focusing on the Liga champions’ tactics. The Super Liga leaders face los Blancos in the quarter-finals of the Champions League to night, and although Terim admits he has studied fastidiously any recent footage of Jose Mourinho’s side, he maintains everyone knows what to expect from them. “There’s not much point talking about Real Madrid. Everyone knows what they’re about. Even a six-year-old
knows how Real plays,” Terim told Marca.com. “I always watch Real Madrid – it’s the smartest way to keep improving as a coach. I never miss any. In the last week alone, I’ve watched six or seven videos.” Terim, who also went to watch los Blancos in action against Real Mallorca, insists he intends to “play the right way” despite the formidable strength in depth of their opponents. “I saw a team that was much better than Mallorca. A cut above. They have an embarrassment of riches at the back, in midfield and up front,” he
continued. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. Even if I lose, I intend to play the right way. If we give a good account of ourselves at the (Santiago) Bernabeu, I’ll be proud of my players. Terim also lamented that Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder may not be fully fit for the clash, highlighting the match-winning abilities of the former Chelsea striker. “Drogba is a very special player, capable of proving his greatness at any moment” he added. “Granted, it’s not ideal that he and Sneijder were out of action for so long. I’d love for them to be 100 per cent.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Francis O. Nmeribe OME years ago, nobody asked a young person which career he or she would like to pursue. Parents and senior siblings most of whom had no inkling about the passion and drive of the youngster whose life was being decided upon made career decisions. These decisions were made based on the supposedly monetarily lucrative careers or careers that connoted honour such as in medicine, law and engineering to mention but a few. Even to this date, many parents, including the educated elite still brazenly or covertly try to choose careers for the children. One of my lecturers in the university recounted how his father nearly disowned him when he learned that he had gained admission to read philosophy. The old man lamented that his son was ending to no good given that he had never heard of anybody find food to eat as a philosopher. Well, philosophy was the course of study that suited my lecturer. He loved teaching. He is very good at it and all of us who passed through him loved his ability to deliver in class and in research and presentations. He has since gained several degrees in philosophy, is now a professor and travels round the world lecturing and writing books. As a person, my lecturer is highly fulfilled. What we choose to do with our lives, the careers we pursue, whether imposed upon us by patronising parents and senior siblings or chosen by ourselves also defines what we would get from life. Our careers would bear heavily on whether we end up happy or frustrated with our lives. Because of the important role our career choices play in our lives, it has become critical that these issues be well considered by all and sundry, especially the youth who have the burden of the future on their shoulders. Here are major considerations for career choice, which every youth should factor: Purpose, Passion and Service. The purpose of life A purpose also means the reason for. Generally speaking, the purpose of life is to learn to be happy. On a personal note, the purpose of your life in the material sense is your perceived reasons for your life, which becomes meaningful only when you can align your perceived reason for your material life with your innate desire to be happy. Everyone must discover his or personal purpose in life to be able to be successful in achieving it. There are strategies for discovering your life’s purpose. It is recommended that as you consider or plan your career path or change your present career, you first work to understand the purpose of life and your personal place in it. When people engage in careers outside their personal angle of the purpose of life, they end up unsatisfied with life and may end up with mental and physical health challenges that take away the joy and peace they would have had in their lives. Your passion The most positive synonyms of passion are fervor, excitement, enthusiasm, ardor and zeal. Passion is also connected to love. If while choosing a career
Those at the crossroads of finding their purpose and passion or deciding which career path they would like to follow to achieve the true enrichment of their lives are highly encouraged to engage coaches. A good coach would do better for you than you could do for yourself in discovering, pursuing and really living your purpose and using your passion to identify the career path that would lead you to successful living
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Considering your career path and change
you look inwards and find out those activities of life you are excited about or things we love to do, you would be making very wise and empowering career decisions. When people pursue a career on a subject area to which the only connection they have with it is that it makes lots of money or has social status, one is headed for a life of misery. We are all endowed with some innate passion connections to all that we can do while on earth. The key to success is to find that linkage between what we want to be and what we love to do. There are strategies for finding one’s passion in life and for connecting same to the choice of career we pursue. You may engage coaches to hold you accountable in your efforts to discover and follow your passion. On the other hand, you can research for these strategies yourself, study and practise them with equal or reasonable hope of success. Those at the crossroads of finding
their purpose and passion or deciding which career path they would like to follow to achieve the true enrichment of their lives are highly encouraged to engage coaches. A good coach would do better for you than you could do for yourself in discovering, pursuing and really living your purpose and using your passion to identify the career path that would lead you to successful living. Service as key to power Often, we fall into the trap of looking for lucrative career paths. We focus on careers that are known to have made lots of money for those who were in it. This is one of the most common mistakes of those seeking a career path or a change in their careers. The real key to choosing the right career either as a young start up person or those planning to change their careers is to focus on serving the people. Seek out what people need and find ways within your passion and purpose to provide it for them and they would
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The real key to choosing the right career either as a young start up person or those planning to change their careers is to focus on serving the people. Seek out what people need and find ways within your passion and purpose to provide it for them and they would pay you handsomely for it
pay you handsomely for it. When you serve people, they depend on you. When you serve people well, they wait for you. When people wait for you to guide them, you have power to guide them in such ways that would put money into your bank account. One popular dictum with service is that if you give 20 people something for free, you have actually set out to have 100 people pay you for the same service. What if you give that same thing free to 100 people? All the multi-millionaires and successful people you admire got their power, success and money by providing other people with what they want and getting paid for it. Therefore, as you consider a career path, think about what you can do well with your bare hands and intellect. Identify them clearly by writing them down on a paper or journal or notebook or in your computer. Then look around your neighbourhood for those who might use the idea or skill or service you have created or developed. Take it to them and offer it for free and you would be surprised with what would happen in just a matter of months that you started. All who must come to success and power must be servants first. Succeeding as a servant is the sources of obtaining the stewardship of power, success and money. In the next edition, we would be discussing how to know and establish your purpose in life and make it a tool in your success kit. • Francis O. Nmeribe is an industrial security practitioner, personal transformation coach and author, lives in Lagos.