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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vol. 29, No. 12,522

www.ngrguardiannews.com

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Anyaoku, others urge dialogue before amnesty

From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Tunde Alao, Chris Irekamba , Seye Olumide (Lagos), Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin City) and Nkechi Onyedika (Abuja)

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AR from abating, the controversy over the necessity or otherwise of granting amnesty to members of terror group Boko Haram raged on yesterday. While the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, urged that dialogue must be concluded before amnesty in

• Northern Christians oppose pardon, seek compensation • Boko Haram’s leader okays peace deal order to achieve the desired result, the outgoing Bishop of Lagos West, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Peter Adebiyi, said that Nigeria would be wasting resources unless it hosts a sovereign national conference for the regions to determine their basis of co-existence. On their part, Christians under the aegis of the Northern

Elders Forum (NORSCEF) have opposed any discussion between the Federal Government and the members of Boko Haram on amnesty when nothing has been done for their victims. Also, former president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and Chairman of Patani local council of Delta State, Dr. Chris Ekiyor, has warned that the

people of Niger Delta would resist attempts to use the resources of the region to finance the proposed amnesty for Boko Haram, describing amnesty for the group as fraud. Meanwhile, a factional leader of Boko Haram, Muhammad Marwan, has said that the members of the group were ready to lay down their arms

as directed by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) in readiness for the proposed amnesty of the Federal Government. Marwan spoke in an interview during the Hausa Service of the Voice of America (VOA) monitored in Kaduna yesterday. He said that he was speaking on behalf of members of the Jamatul Ahlus sunnati lil daawati wal jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram.

In an interview with journalists in Benin City yesterday, Ekiyor said there was no basis to compare the members of Boko Haram with Niger Delta agitators, who had a clear idea of attracting government’s attention to the degradation of their area by oil explorers while poverty ravaged the people. Boko Haram’s members, he said, embarked on mass killing of Nigerians and remained faceless. Noting that 80 per cent of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Bodies of slain policemen recovered From Wille Etim, Yenagoa COMBINED team of secuA rity operatives yesterday recovered the bodies of 10 of the slain policemen along the creek of Azuzuama in Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State contrary to a media reports that perpetrators of the dastardly act went away with the bodies. Confirming the report, the State Commissioner of Police, Kingsley Omire, said it took the combined efforts of men of the Joint Security Task Force to ensure the recovery of their bodies. The state government has debunked the claim that Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) was responsible for the attack. Governor Seriake Dickson, who stated that the killings were unacceptable, noted that there was no iota of truth in the claim that MEND was responsible for the attack.

Eldest son of Olubadan of Ibadan, Prof. Femi Lana (left); palace member of staff, Akinola Ajadi; Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odugade Odulana I; and Osi Olubadan, Chief Lekan Balogun, during a briefing on Olubadan’s 99th birthday in his palace in Ibadan… yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Our concerns over PIB, by oil producers From Adamu Abuh, Terhemba Daka (Abuja), Roseline Okere and Sulaimon Salau (Lagos)

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ESPITE the Federal Government’s assurance of the benefits the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will confer on the country, stakeholders under the auspices of Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have raised fresh anxieties that the fiscal terms in the new bill could deter investments. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is to hold public

• Reps hold public hearing hearing in the six geo-political zones in the country on the PIB. In the same vein, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has faulted certain aspects of the PIB. The group said that the cost of doing business was already the highest in the world, in terms of multiple taxes, in-

cluding hydrocarbon tax, company income tax, higher rents and royalties, and levies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) levy, host community fund, and education. Accordingly, they argued that the fiscal terms as contained in the bill are not favourable as they heighten uncertainty

and endanger returns on investments. They expressed worry about the increase in the gas tax from 30 per cent to 80 per cent and increase in royalty payment on gas from seven per cent to 12.5 per cent. The LCCI group believes that the PIB gas fiscals would make the Nigerian gas sector ex-

tremely uncompetitive. Citing Brazil, Algeria, Malaysia, Norway and other oil-producing countries, they said that the 91 per cent government’s share of Net Present Value (NPV) on gas production would be the highest post-PIB. They stated: “Presently, the Brazilian government takes 51 per cent; Algeria, 65 per cent; Malaysia, 81 per cent and Norway, 75 per cent. These coun-

Thatcher for burial April 17, legacy divides UK- Page 9

tries are not operating under the types of challenges confronting the country’s oil and gas sector. “Also, comparing the global deepwater regimes, Angola investors currently pay zero per cent to the government, Brunei, 8 per cent, Indonesia, 10 per cent, Malaysia, 10 per cent, Equatorial Guinea, 12 to 16 per cent, while Nigeria currently pays 8 per cent and would be increased to 26 per cent when the PIB is passed into law.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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Reps hold public hearing on PIB CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 They said that the uncertainties surrounding the new PIB might change investors’ views on investing in Nigeria, de-

pending on how the PIB is implemented. During a courtesy visit to The Guardian in Lagos on Friday, they maintained that the OPTS

is not against the PIB, as it is necessary for the oil and gas sector, but that all stakeholders must be taken into consideration in the implementation of such reforms. The LCCI group wants government to engage an independent consultant to review the PIB and come out with its findings in order not to jeopardise the huge investments by International Oil Companies (IOCs) and indigenous operators in the sector. The OPTS, whose membership includes Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Agip, said deepwater oil production could generate $66 billion by 2025. This investment, according to them, is already being threatened with the terms in the new PIB. They said that $10 billion gas development projects were at risk, adding that Nigeria required between $50 and $60 billion to achieve 40 Giga Watts by 2020, while about 16GW are currently available. They said that lack of infrastructure across the value chain, such as gas transportation, power transmission and distribution, were major constraints, which the government needs to put into consideration before passing the PIB. According to them, the current gas pricing does not cover the cost of development in the sector. “Gas cannot be stored, infrastructure chain needs to be in place and customers need to be able to utilise the gas immediately. Power prices are still too low to make projects economically viable in order to raise the required funds to build the infrastructure chain.” The group therefore called for a system that would incentivize investment in the gas field and transportation infrastructure. They said that gas provisions in

the PIB put an already challenged Nigeria’s gas potential further at risk. It stated: “Domestic Gas Supply Obligations (DGSOs) in the PIB are merely set on the basis of a company’s gas reserves and production, without consideration of the availability of gas pipeline infrastructure or the ability of customers such as power plants to take gas volume. “There is no adjustment to the DGSOs in case prices do not guarantee reasonable rates or return to allow upstream gas projects to be developed. Stopping gas exports could undermine Nigeria’s reputation as a reliable LNG supplier, result in loss of government revenue and would not increase domestic supply as it is not possible to re-route export gas to the domestic market without building major new pipelines.” According to them, the government was gaining more from deepwater investments, as it receives a larger share of the proceeds under post-PIB, which would be increased when the bill is passed into law. The OPTS stated: “Deepwater projects are characterised by large upfront capital investment and significant technology challenges. Nigerian deepwater projects are covered under production sharing contracts and the Federal Government receives 65-70 per cent of net revenues from deepwater even though the PSCs require IOCs to make all upfront investments. “Government’s take for PSCs in Nigeria post-PIB will be among the highest in the world. These terms make all planned deepwater projects non-viable and risk Nigeria’s deepwater growth potential. With PIB resulting in no new investment, deepwater production will quickly decline.” They noted that the achieve-

ment of four million barrels per day crude oil production and 40 billion barrels in reserves by 2020 is not feasible under the new fiscal terms being proposed by the Federal Government in the PIB. According to them, it will take a daily production of 200,000bpd from the deepwater fields before year 2020 for the country to achieve the targeted four million barrels per day. They noted that the slow pace of investments in the oil and gas sector due to the uncertainty of the PIB was negatively affecting the planned production increases. The group noted that the investors were facing constraints under current fiscal terms, adding that this may result in decline in investments in new oil fields. They argued that the PIB terms would not enable the investments needed to sustain Joint Venture (JV), oil production, due to insecurity, adding that the new bill would make JV fiscals extremely uncompetitive. They said that without new investments, production would decline by 40 per cent, while production with new investments would increase by 44 per cent. On investments in deepwater, the oil majors said it could attract $66 billion worth of investments up to 2025, and add 900,000bpd, which they argued, would impact on the economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), growth and job creation. They are also worried about uncertainty surrounding renewal of current leases, nonprotection of investments, no deepwater gas terms and the absence of royalty from the PIB. According to them, some disputes are settled unilaterally by agencies, thereby preventing access to judicial or independ-

ent arbitration. The OPTS stated: “Globally, competitive climate will help realise the potential of oil and gas for the benefit of the Nigerian people. World class investment climate stimulates investment through emphasising taxes over royalties, incentivizes deepwater exploration to mitigate enormous capital, technological and exploratory risk, maximise reservoir, maximise impact on broader economy through multiplier effect on employment supply chains and derives taxation and royalty on a fair basis rather than measured wellhead.” Meanwhile, the Federal Government has allayed the fear of private investors concerning the PIB. During a presentation by a pro-PIB team led by Mr. Abiye Membere, an official of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), before editors in Lagos on March 24, 2013, the government highlighted the benefits of the bill. This is how the government’s position counters that of the private investors: OPTS - Gas: “To realise gas potential in the country, major challenges such as infrastructure and pricing need to be addressed. “There is lack of infrastructure across the value chain, such as gas transportation, power transmission and distribution. Currently realised domestic gas prices do not cover the cost of development. Massive investments are needed across the gas and power value chain. Gas cannot be stored; infrastructure chain needs to be in place and customers need to be able to utilise the gas immediately. Gas to power infrastructure development is still in its infancy. Power prices are still too low to make projects economically viable in order to raise the required funds to build the infrastructure chain.

Northern Christians oppose pardon, seek compensation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Boko Haram people were not Nigerians, Ekiyor said: “So if you are granting them amnesty, where will you get the resources with which you are going to reintegrate them? Is it the Niger Delta resources, our oil money, that will be used to integrate criminals and murderers in the North?” Commenting yesterday on the crisis in parts of northern Nigeria, Anyaoku said: “Amnesty, yes, but as a result of dialogue.” In an interview with The Guardian during the commissioning of the Millennium Housing Estate, Old Secretariat, Ikeja, which was named after him by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, Anyaoku placed dialogue before amnesty. According to him, there would be no difficulty in identifying those to dialogue with, once there is an assurance that the group’s members who come forward would not be arrested. In a state of insurgency, according to him, one is dealing with terrorists, “so, there is the need to combine the offer of amnesty with the issue of dialogue, with the hope that the militants would respect the outcome of dialogue.” While commending President Goodluck Jonathan for setting up a committee to look into the terms of the proposed amnesty, he said there should be commitment to whatever might be agreed upon. However, he regretted that “some people are comparing the agitation in Niger Delta with what is happening in the North.” During an interactive session

with reporters in his office yesterday, Adebiyi said that until the citizens come together to decide how best to govern the country, nothing would be achieved. Adebiyi said: “This is what I have said several times, there is nothing you can do to save this country until the owners of their countries come together. The politicians are not the owners, those in the National Assembly are not the owners, they were sent there, but unfortunately, they are fending for themselves. “They are enjoying themselves, earning fat salaries but cannot pay those earning N15, 000. The roads are bad and nobody cares, there is erratic power supply and 90 per cent of Nigeria’s money is being usurped by a few. There is no way Nigerians will enjoy what we want until all the ethnic groups come together to chart a course for their existence. On amnesty for Boko Haram, the cleric said there was a great difference between the Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram, noting: “The Niger Delta militants did not go to people’s homes to kill them, they did not go to any church to kill people, they did not go to any mosque to kill people. “They were fighting in the creeks, saying our land that is producing oil to service the country, we are not seeing the dividends. Our roads are bad, we don’t have good water, no good school, we are being deprived of our rights. I didn’t say they did not kill but they didn’t go to the extent of Boko Haram.”

The Northern Christians said that the government should ask those promoting amnesty for Boko Haram to produce the leaders of the group for dialogue with government, otherwise the campaign for amnesty by some of the Northern leaders may be a way of enriching some powerful individuals. In a statement issued in Kaduna yesterday, the Chairman of NORSCEF, Mathew Owojaiye, said that it was unbelievable that some of the Arewa leaders were campaigning for amnesty to be granted to Boko Haram while nobody was talking about thousands of Christians in the North who were victims of the insurgency. Owojaiye said: “Boko Haram has tried to annihilate us and our Igbo Christian brothers and now the government is talking about granting them amnesty without saying a word about the people they bombed, slaughtered and traumatized.” He queried: “Who underdeveloped the Muslim North? It is definitely not the Jonathan Government, neither the Christians in the North. It is the Northern Muslim elite that impoverished the Northern Muslim youth. The Northern Muslim elite pocketed the largesse that came to the North. Only they and their families benefitted. They turned the attention of Boko Haram to the innocent Christians in the North”. Owojaiye further lamented: “It is more annoying that instead of the elite realizing 50 per cent of their wealth to solve the poverty problem of the Mus-

lim North, they are crying and putting pressure and intimidating the Federal Government to set up a Boko Haram Commission.” Stressing that it was wickedness on the part of the Arewa leaders not to consider the plight of the families of those killed during the insurgency that ravaged the North, the NORSCEF chairman stated: “Since the post-election violence, thousands of Christians have been killed or maimed, thousands of Christian businesses have been ruined, and hundreds of churches destroyed or closed down…and nobody is talking of compensating the innocent people who have been affected. “Contemplating granting amnesty to the people who have wrought wanton destruction of lives and property in this nation is a call to other interest groups to rise up in arms against their fatherland, in order to be blessed when such an action should be treated as treason. “Intimidating the Federal Government to grant amnesty is the highest display of hypocrisy and lack of patriotism . Are such people not indirectly admitting that they are the shadows or ghosts behind Boko Haram? We totally object to even discussing amnesty when nothing has been done for the victims of Boko Haram.” “Let all who collude or sponsor Boko Haram or refuse to come to the help of Christians for political or economic reasons know that heaven is watching and nobody will go free. The blood of the Christian martyrs is crying to heaven for justice”, Owojaiye added.


NEWS | 3

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

News 22 feared dead in Yobe bus crash From Njadvara Musa, Damaturu O fewer than 22 persons were feared killed on Monday evening when a commercial bus crashed into a construction firm’s vehicle on the Potiskum-Kano Road at Dazigau Village in Yobe State. The bus, according to an eyewitness, had 20 passengers on board from Kano to Maiduguri when the driver lost control and rammed into a truck. Speaking on the incident, the Yobe Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC), Shehu Umar, said the crash occurred at Dazigau, seven kilometres to Potiskum, when the 18-seater bus crashed into a truck at about 6 p.m. According to him, the FRSC rescue team could not reach the scene due to security challenges on the MaiduguriKano Road, but “the report on the auto crash indicated that all the passengers, including the driver, died on the spot, and their bodies have been taken to the Potiskum General Hospital morgue for identification by their family members.” The FRSC boss attributed yesterday’s crash to “overspeeding to beat the 6 p.m. curfew of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the police.” He lamented that the FRSC in the state had to suspend opera-

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tion in the area and could not offer rescue operations due to the security challenges in Potiskum. “Though we do not have all the details of this auto crash,

accidents along this road have always been caused by over-speeding and reckless driving, as they are always in a rush to beat the 6 p.m. deadline in Potiskum town.”

When The Guardian visited the Potiskum hospital, where two of the accident victims were admitted, one had passed away from the injuries he sustained.

Early January this year, 16 people were also killed at the same village when a commercial bus crashed into a stationary truck while the driver was attempting to beat the 6

Special Adviser, Housing, Lagos State, Jimoh Ajao (left); Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN); former Commonwealth Secretary General, Emeka Anyaoku; Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State, Bosun Jeje; Senator Ganiyu Olarewaju Solomon and Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire during the commissioning of Ikeja Millennium Estate in honour of Emeka Anyaoku at Ikeja, Lagos …yesterday. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

HEAD of the 2015 polls, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has embarked on a major reorganisation, which will lead to the re-deployment, transfer and retirement of about 67 directors. Also, the commission’s departments are to be cut down from 26 to nine while the directorates would be pegged down to ten.

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Most affected among the directors are those with less than two years to retire. They have been offered the option of voluntary retirement or to be paid up front or face deployment. When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, confirmed the impending reorganisation, noting that some departments are to be merged to ensure service delivery.

Idowu said the re-organisation was based on recommendation by an INEC consultant (Price Water), which advised that INEC was over bloated with redundant workers. He disclosed that the civil society, gender, voter education and public affairs would now become the department of voter education, public relations and civil society. Idowu said that the new departments would be head-

ed by directors and there would also be directorates, adding that all the directors could not be accommodated with what was on ground. He assured that there were wide consultations on the issue adding that nobody in the commission would be ill treated in the exercise. He said part of the options that was put on the table was that those who had a short time left in the service were giving an option of taking

their pay upfront or stay and to be reassigned. He disclosed that the commission would soon commence continuous voter’s registration exercise in 8,809 wards in the country. He recalled that when the commission recruited workers for the exercise in 2012, only 1,500 people were engaged, adding this time around, there was need to deploy more workforces across the country.

Govt drops Abdullahi, Imam, appoints Ango Abdullahi From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja HERE was a mild drama at T the National Universities Commission (NUC) yesterday as the Federal Government dropped two pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities and re-jigged others shortly before their inauguration in Abuja. Consequently, the names of a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain from Gombe State and one-time Minister of Education, Science and Technology under the Gen. Muhammadu Buhari regime, Alhaji Yarima Abdullahi, and a two-time governorship candidate of PDP in Borno State, Kashim Ibrahim Imam, were deleted at the last minute yesterday. When the councils were announced on April 4,

Abdullahi was named the ProChancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), while Imam was initially designated as ProChancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Borno State. However, Yarima’s name was replaced with Mr. Mahmood Yahaya (SAN), a Kaduna-based legal practitioner. In the same vein, Second Republic Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Mohammed Goni, replaced Imam as UNIMAID ProChancellor. Curiously, Yahaya, who was initially named the ProChancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, was moved to Akure to pave way for a onetime Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, who became the Pro-Chancellor yesterday. The latest changes were read

out by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I as she announced the names of the chairmen and council members at the Idris Abdulkadir Auditorium of the NUC, while the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, justified the action in short interview with reporters. However, The Guardian learnt that the adjustments were ordered by the Presidency yesterday. Though it was not clear why Abdullahi’s name was dropped, that of Imam may not be unconnected with the high-wired politics from his home state, Borno, where the politician and PDP chieftains in the state are said not to be best of friends. Nevertheless, Okojie said: “What has happened today is nothing unusual as it happens anywhere, especially where government receives informa-

tion that somebody else has been somewhere, just to avoid duplication of appointment. This process will continue until we hold retreat for them.” Meanwhile, the minister charged the council members not to interfere with the dayto-day running of the universities, but concern themselves with policy issues, adopt best practices and monitor institutional projects as well as get more funding outside the government to improve facilities and infrastructure to promote teaching, research and learning in the universities. She noted that the education sector is beset with challenges that have incapacitated it from achieving set goals within record times. They include inadequate human resources and physical infrastructure, unstable academic calendar and general insecurity.

From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri N their renewed violence in IHaram Borno State, suspected Boko gunmen attacked the Damboa Market and shot dead a policeman after barricading the MaiduguriDamboa Road on two points on Monday morning. In February 18 vigilante group members were also killed at the Damboa Market by suspected gunmen for allegedly selling pork and bush meat. Damboa is 87 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the state capital and epicentre of the Islamist sect’s activities. According to a motorist, who was trapped in the barricaded road in Damboa, the gunmen continued firing gunshots at oncoming pedestrians and motorists, chanting: “God is great!” in Arabic, before the JTF rushed to the place. Meanwhile, men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yobe State clashed with an armed gang suspected to be Boko Haram members on Sunday at Tumbulgi Village, as they made to attack the military posts and a Divisional Police Station in Geidam in the afternoon. TF Spokesman, Lt. Lazarus Eli, confirmed the clash in a statement, stating that an unspecified number of gunmen were repelled by soldiers, as they made to attack military posts and police station in Geidam.

Customs boss tasks officers on security

INEC to redeploy directors, prune departments From Adamu Abuh, Abuja

Policeman killed in Borno Boko Haram attack

Others are examination malpractice and inadequate space for candidates seeking admissions, as well as decline in academic standards. Rufa’I urged them to come up with ideas that would improve their ability to generate more revenue outside government allocations. Meanwhile, she described the appointment of three deputy vice-chancellors as alien to “our system” and violates the statutes establishing the universities. In his comment, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Uche Chukwumerije, asked the councils to address the twin issues of underfunding and misuse of resources, citing the need for prudence in the universities to enable them realise the objectives for which they were established.

From Emmanuel Ande, Yola OWARDS a more effective T fight against piracy and illegal importation of goods, including weapons, the Comptroller of Eastern Command, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Buba Ibrahim, has urged his officers and men to tighten security along the waterways to avoid the smuggling of arms into the country. While addressing the marine unit of Adamawa and Taraba Command yesterday in Yola, Ibrahim said the officers operating in the command would find their job difficult if they are not dedicated to their duty considering the security challenges in the area. Ibrahim, who lamented that his men and officers were facing serious attacks from smugglers and pirates, vowed that no amount of attacks would deter them from discharging their constitutional responsibilities in the interest of the country. “Be civil but firm, don’t allow your personal relationship with people to interfere with your official duty,” he charged them. “Be watchful, especially in this area where you are operating, the security of lives in this part of the country is under threat and I don’t want to lose any of you, so you must be dedicated to your job.” Meanwhile, the customs boss said that the installation of modern equipments with scanners at all ports in the country would make it impossible for anyone to smuggle arms into the country through ports.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2 NEWS

Anger, as NLC suspends protest against pensions fraud

Court remands kidnap suspects in prison custody From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo

By Yetunde Ebosele (Lagos) and Collins Olayinka (Abuja) HAT is not possible! We “T have gone far in our mobilisation and have raised the hope of dejected pensioners too high to bark down now”. This was one of the immediate reactions to the news of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) decision to suspend the planned protests slated to take place in Abuja and Lagos this morning to demand a probe into the alleged mismanagement of the pensions fund as unearthed by the National Assembly. The NLC had last week unveiled a plan to hold rallies in Abuja and Lagos and also or-

dered workers to stay off work today as a mark of solidarity with the pensioners who have been denied their pensions benefits for many years. Speaking with The Guardian on condition of anonymity, a pensioner said he was disappointed in the present crop of leaders at the helm of affairs at the NLC. “Today (yesterday) is another sad day in my life. The first sad

day was when I lost my wife. This crop of leaders at the NLC has brought nothing to the Labour movement other than disappointment and shame. After they failed to influence the price of fuel last year January, I thought this opportunity to demonstrate their solidarity with pensioners would be grabbed with both hands, but see how they have messed up everything. How can Labour

leaders speak the truth when all they do is accepting chieftaincy titles everywhere? How many traditional titles did Adams Oshiomhole get from traditional rulers with all his good works and even as a governor?” Rising from an emergency meeting of its Central Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja yesterday, the NLC, in a statement signed by the President,

Group wants govt contacts published to check graft From Abosede Musari, Abuja NON-GOVERNMENTAL orA ganisation, Anti-Corruption Culture/Religions Group, has urged government at all levels to publish all money paid to contractors and the contracts they are meant to execute as a means of fighting corruption. The Delta State-based group led by its Chairman, Chief Benedict Ekpruke, said in a statement that since some contractors are in the habit of collecting money from government and not implementing the contracts, publishing their details will help the society to monitor and thereby bring such contractors to order. Also, the group believes that Nigeria can use culture and religion as tools to fight corruption if the success or failure of public officers is viewed as the success or failure of their communities. It, therefore, suggests that the various communities, which have their sons and daughters in government or positions of authority, should ensure that they perform for the public good. The group is of the opinion that the fight against corruption must take cognisance of the nation’s cultural and religious values.

Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), South-South Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Vincent Amadi (left); Chairman, South-South Forum of the party, Sunday Okon Ekanem; Deputy State Chairman of the party in Lagos, Ola Apena and former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, during the inauguration of the BoT of the party’s forum in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Abdulwaheed Omar and the Acting General Secretary, Chris Uyot, cited raising of a committee by the President headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, among other reasons for the sudden reversal of its position. NLC added that the Federal Government has sufficiently met the demands of the Congress and National Union of Pensioners (NUP), including the setting up of a joint committee to harmonise payments as well as resolve sundry matters connected with pensions payment and administration of pensions funds. According to the NLC, government has accepted to restore the check-off dues of the NUP, which had been withheld for one year. The joint Committee of Labour and Government, which is headed by Anyim, is charged with the responsibilities of ensuring immediate payment of all pensions arrears to deserving pensioners, resume inconclusive verification exercises of 2010/2011 that left scores of pensioners off the payroll, review of pensions payment to reflect 53.4 per cent wage increase to workers in 2010 and the payment of the N18,000 minimum wage.

Wrong federal system hampers development, says Ajimobi From Iyabo Lawal (Ibadan) and Isaac Taiwo (Lagos) OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi G of Oyo State declared yesterday that federal system as is operated in the country hampers, rather than advances development in states. He lamented specifically the lopsided revenue allocation formula, the constitutional delineation of power between the federal and state governments as well as the issue of security, all of which he said, constitute a clog in the wheel of progress of the states. In a paper titled, The Challenge of State Development in Federal Nigeria, which he presented at the Island Club, Lagos Business Session, he noted that while the Federal Government takes 52.8 per cent of all

federally-generated revenue, the 36 states and the 774 local councils share 26.72 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. “The simple implication of this is that the Federal Government is surfeit with resources while state governments face serious financial challenges,”

he said. He further claimed that education, health, infrastructure and security at the state level were borne more by states than the Federal Government. On security, the governor contended that the foundation of all development is peace and

security, stressing that this had, in essence, put the burden of security on any state government in search of development. However, he regretted that security is also the exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government.

PDP reviews ministers’ performance From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja

• Onolememen faults govs on federal roads

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fore its National Working Committee (NWC) to brief it on their performance. Works Minister, Mike Onolememen, who was the first to appear before the party’s NWC yesterday, said that some states could not be paid for the work they did on some federal roads because they failed to comply with the Public Procurement Act. Also yesterday, the leadership of the party has refuted what it called “claims that there was a rift between the National Working Committee headed by Tukur and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih.” The PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, had explained that the party was interested in the performance of every ministry because “ministers are executors of government policies that affect our manifesto”. He said ministers’ performance would to a large extent determine the extent to which government delivered good governance to the people. He however, disclosed that the sum of N20 billion had been made available to pay those states, which complied with the Act. The minister assured that the Federal Government had taken steps to avert tragedy that occurred in Lokoja (Kogi State) during last year’s flooding. Onolememen disclosed that contract for the reworking of the aspect of the road, which was flooded, had been awarded, pointing out that within the next three months, the

O measure the success of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday began a review of ministers’ performance. To this effect, the party had invited ministers to appear be-

contract would be fully executed. The minister said that much emphasis was placed on improved road infrastructure development by the President Jonathan-led administration because of its strategic importance to the economy. “Infrastructure development and economic growth are mutually reinforcing, as infrastructure development plays a vital role in wealth creation. In Nigeria, road infrastructure is central to economic growth. It is at the core of good governance and public welfare.” He disclosed that a total of 17 construction and rehabilitation projects were completed in 2012, adding that a total of 651km of road length was paved in bituminuos layers last year. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement, said: “We are aware that a group of meddle-some interlopers and political jobbers with no fixed address has been commissioned to stir up controversies and to portray the BoT as working at cross purposes with the NWC. For the avoidance of doubt, the NWC and the BoT are united and committed to providing the necessary political direction for the party.” The leadership of the party stated that the Anenih led-BoT has in no way usurped the functions of the NWC. His reconciliatory visits complement the reconciliation and consolidation tours embarked by the NWC and they have been yielding desired results.

N Osun State High Court sitA ting in Ejigbo on Monday ordered that six suspects held in connection with the abduction of wife of the House of Assembly Speaker, Mrs. Muibat Salaam, be remanded in prison custody. The suspects allegedly conspired and kidnapped the woman in front of her shop after closing at Ejigbo, the headquarters of Ejigbo Local Council. The suspects: Chukwudi Okereke, Ogbole Ochijile Elijah, Okonkwo Lucky, Chukuma Osifo, Kaikire Mahah, Uwdiunor Philip and others now at large were arrested by members of a vigilante group in Ogun State and later handed them over to the police. According to the charge sheet obtained by The Guardian, the accused are standing trial on a three-count charge of unlawful possession of fire-arms, felony and kidnapping and thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 364 (1) and (2) of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Vol. II Laws of Osun State 2002, among others.

Borno records highest number of Christian pilgrims From Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja N spite of insecurity and other Iinchallenges faced by Christians Borno, the state, during the just-concluded 2012 pilgrimage, recorded highest numbers of pilgrims sponsored by the government since its creation. The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) Executive Secretary, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the first meeting of the conference of states and the commission, vowed that the bombing of churches, burning of homes belonging to Christians and the killing of Christians will not distract the commission from pursuing its mandate. He said: “Our spirit is stronger than before to move on. We are on the move; no wave of terrorism can stop us. For the first time in the history of Borno State, in spite of the challenges, we had the highest number of pilgrims. This is quite encouraging,” Noting that over 100,000 pilgrims have passed through the commission since inception, Opara said Christian pilgrimage has become a daily song, sang everywhere in Nigeria through its constant enlightenment and sensitisation campaigns.

‘Kolade has not resigned from SURE-P’ From Mathias Okwe, Abuja HE Chairman of the Subsidy T Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr. Christopher Kolade, has not resigned his appointment. This clarification came yesterday from the SURE-P spokesman, Dr. Joel Oruche, who declared that the technocrat was still on his job. The social media were awashed with the news of Kolade’s decision to quit the SUREP job as he was said to have handed his resignation letter to President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday before he (Jonathan) travelled to Kenya for Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential inauguration. But Oruche yesterday told The Guardian: “The Chairman and I worked together throughout yesterday (Monday), planning our work schedule and even a press conference we want to address.


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

EFCC counsel withdraws from trial of Lagos Speaker By Joseph Onyekwere HE trial of the Speaker, T Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, over alleged misappropriation of funds at the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday suffered a set-back following the sudden announcement of withdrawal from the case by the prosecuting counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Godwin Obla. Obla’s withdrawal was made known to the court when the case was mentioned and a representative of the EFCC, Mr. Alli Yusuf, informed the court of a letter of withdrawal written by Obla, in which he said he has withdrawn from the suit. He, therefore, prayed the court to grant three weeks’ adjournment to enable the EFCC study the file and provide another counsel to take over prosecution of the case. Obla’s decision may not be unconnected with his insistence that the trial judge should suspend proceedings so that the matter could be reassigned to another judge in view of the judge’s imminent retirement. He had expressed fear that the matter will start de novo (afresh) if the judge retires without concluding the case, a condition he said, is certain based on his conviction that the judge can’t deliver judgment before bowing out of the Bench. But in his letter, Obla attributed his withdrawal to the other matters he has. He said various days, totaling 13 in the month of April, which the court fixed for the hearing on the matter, would not be convenient for him. He said these dates would considerably constrain his ability to diligently prosecute the matter, as he has other legal proceedings before various courts and arbitral tribunals within and outside the country, which conflict with the dates fixed by the court. Obla said he had advised EFCC to retain the service of another counsel whose calendar can accommodate the dates fixed for the matter by the court. In response to the withdrawal, counsel to the defendants, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and Mr. Tunde Akinrimisi, told the court that the prosecutor had exhibited a high level of indifference in handling the matter since its commencement. According to the defence counsel, the case cannot be said to have been diligently prosecuted by Obla, who was alleged to be in the habit of asking for frivolous adjournments. They, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the charge against the defendants. In his ruling, Justice Okechukwu Okeke observed that the case had suffered numerous adjournments especially at the instance of the prosecution. He, however, said he would avail the EFCC a timeframe within which to find a replacement of the prosecutor. He, therefore, adjourned the case to April 24 at the instance of the EFCC.

Flood on Olaniyi Street, Oyingbo, after the rainfall in Lagos…yesterday

PHOTO: NAN

Bucknor-Akerele tasks Jonathan on Lagos PDP

Ondo CJ asks judges to remove F obstacles to justice delivery From Niyi Bello, Akure ATHER than waiting for R the legislative arm of the government to intervene by changing or abrogating laws that tend to pervert or prolong the administration of cases, thereby denying justice through unnecessary delays and subterfuge, the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Olasehinde Kumuyi, has charged judges to take the bull by the horns and change the laws by themselves. Kumuyi spoke yesterday at the commencement of a three-day workshop organised for judges, court administrators, lawyers and other stakeholders in the state’s temple of justice on the operation of a new set of regulations under the High Court

(Civil Procedure) Rules 2012, to remove bottlenecks on the path of speedy hearing. The new rules designed to speedy court proceedings through introduction of timesaving clauses and elements to discourage undue elongation of the process by litigants, and brought into operation last December, are said to be part of the efforts of the state judiciary to sanitise the system by ensuring quick dispensation of justice. In his address, titled: “For us not to be ruined by rules”, Justice Kumuyi said judges should be proactive in the process of speedy delivery of cases, and if necessary, change the rules that are causing the impediments since unbiased delivery of justice is the ultimate aim of the judi-

cial system. According to him, “We must not forget that the highest court in the land has stated that justice is the most important expression in the judicial system and the administration of justice. Justice in its simplistic content means quality of egalitarianism in its functional context. The proper role of a judge is to do justice between the parties before him. “If there is any rule of law, which impairs the doing of justice, then it is the province of the judge to do all he legitimately can do to avoid that rule, or even change it, so as to do justice in the case before him. He needs not wait for the Legislature to intervene because that can never be of any help in the case.

“For quite some time now, the court has moved from the regime or domain of doing technical justice to the regime or domain of doing substantial justice. This is in keeping with the jurisprudence of the wider world and its legal system. The need for courts to do substantial justice becomes more imperative in a democracy.” In the address he read to a rich gathering of members of the Bench and the Bar, Kumuyi, who disclosed that the new rules became necessary because some cases were taking up to 10 years to be concluded, said: “We do not need to hide from the fact that delays have been experienced in the settlement of disputes in our courts of recent times.

By Seye Olumide ORMER Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to intervene in the crisis rocking the Lagos chapter of the party. Speaking during the inauguration of members of the Board of Trustees (BoT), SouthSouth Forum PDP, Lagos yesterday, she said the Lagos PDP was not yet together because those parading themselves as leaders were holding it to ransom. According to her, “We should not rely on false confidence or hope that all is well with the Lagos PDP. We are not together and there is no way we can oust the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2015 if we continue the way we are at present. The current leaders are not carrying other members of the party along and that has remained a major hindrance to the growth and development of the party.”

Sambo, others urge proficiency in English as official language From Oghogho Obayuwana, Abuja ICE President Namadi Sambo and a captain of industry, Gamaliel Onosode, have exhorted civil servants and the general public to cultivate what they described as virtues of proper communication for nation-building by striving for proficiency in the use of English language that connects all stakeholders in the country. The duo gave the charge at the public presentation of two books by the retired diplomat, Ambassador Isaac Sagay, at the Tafawa Balewa Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja. According to the Vice President, since communication is the vehicle through which development and cooperation among races, ethnic groups and citizens of any nation are driven, communication rules must be observed. The books: Studies in English: The Art of Official Correspondence in the Nigerian Civil/Public Service and The Sacred Flame were recommended by a cross-section of Nigerians, including Onosode, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador

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Ignatius Olisemeka who chaired the occasion; wife of former Vice President, Titi Abubakar, as well as the Orodje of Okpe, Orue 1. Speaking through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, Sambo declared that there was no alternative to English Language as the mode of communication between the various ethnic groupings in the country. “English is our official language and if we must use it, we have an obligation to be passionate about the excellence of what we write in a way that is globally acceptable and understood,” he

said. While advocating mass literacy in Nigeria, Sambo stressed that the “values” of the books are so profound that “they are immediately recommended to all public servants, legislators, members of the executive, schools and the general public.” Reviewing the first book, the Pro- Chancellor, Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Onosode, stated that as long as the nation communicates in English, the grammar and syntax must be followed. “In view of the appalling situation of English in our country, any step taken to highlight the problems and suggest measures for improvement

should be welcomed,” he said. Reviewing the second book: The Sacred Flame - Poems, the Chairman, Byron Institute, Dr. Charles A.T. Cudjoe, stressed that it “is not a collection that anyone can finish reading. It is meant to be a daily companion...Like most book of poetry, you return to them again and again when life comes with its many surprises. Here is one more companion, a tonic for life’s wayfarer and pilgrim. What a legacy from a septuagenarian.” Author, Ambassador Sagay, said he was moved by what he called the murderous English in official circles and even in

the media. He decried the growing impression among Nigerians that there can be a sub-standard alternative, a socalled Nigerian English, which is at variance with standard English. Coming at a time British institutions are now insisting that Nigerians must take English Language examinations before coming into the United Kingdom to study, Sagay said: “There comes a time to do something about this decadence. I wrote the book to awaken Nigerians that excellence in the spoken English is not elitist and unless we remedy the anomaly, a time will come when we cannot understand our chil-


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

6 | NEWS

NPAN, NUJ, others condemn arrest of Leadership’s journalists From Iyabo Lawal (Ibadan), Lawrence Njoku (Enugu), Gbenga Salau (Lagos) and Abba Anwar (Kano) ESSAGES of condemnation and caution have continued to trail the Monday arrest of journalists from Leadership Newspapers. The media men detained by the Police, according to a statement by the Group Managing Director of the Leadership Newspaper, Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene, were Mrs. Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe, the director of human capital; Mr. Chuks Ohuegbe, managing editor; Mr. Tony Amokeodo, the group news editor; and Mr. Chibuzor Ukaibe, a political reporter. The Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigerian (NPAN) has demanded the immediate release of the journalists still being held by the police authorities while condemning in strong terms, the assault on press freedom, the 1999 Constitution and the rule of law. A press statement signed by its General Secretary, Comfort Obi, warned: “Similar intrusion now, or in the future, will not be tolerated.” NPAN said: “At the time of issuing this statement, two of the journalists are being held incommunicado, while the two released were asked to report at the Police headquarters on a daily basis.” Expressing concern and worry, Obi said: “We had thought that by now, the Police and other similar organs of state would have weaned themselves of the carry-over of military mentality of intimidation, harassment and arrest of journalists. “If the Police are convinced that the journalists breached any law, the decent thing to do

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is to charge them to court,” NPAN said. In his reaction, President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Muhammad Garba, cautioned security agencies to remember that Nigeria was now under democratic rule, not military dictatorship, as it used to be, adding that, “Our security agents should start to have a better understanding of press freedom as obtained under the current democratic dispensation.” Garba said that good working relationship should always exist between the media men and security agencies, because, according to him, both are working towards the nation’s progress and development. In a related development, Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, has described access to information as one of the cornerstones of democracy, stressing that it gives the individual the right to obtain public information in a manner that allows him to hold and express sound opinions on national issues. The governor, who stated this yesterday in an address at the South-East zonal workshop on Access to Information and Democratic Governance in Enugu, further described the Freedom of Information Act, which conferred the right of access to information on the people of Nigeria as one of the most important laws enacted under the current Federal Government administration in its pursuit of a transformation agenda for the nation. Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the arrest is the worst attack against press freedom under the Goodluck Jonathan administration and a sign of the seemingly in-

evitable descent into dictatorship. It said the arrest is also a sign of things to come, warning that the administration will increasingly seek to tamper with press freedom as it pushes its do-or-die plan to stay in power, with or without the people’s votes. Media Rights Agenda (MRA) in its reaction said it was ironic that a government, which is quite weak in virtually every other respect where it needs to be strong and decisive, has chosen to show strength in entirely the wrong area - in clamping down on the media. MRA’s Deputy Executive Director, Jennifer Onyejekwe, said: “It is totally wrong for the Police to hold the journalists hostage as a strategy for ex-

tracting their source for the information that was published.” Onyejekwe argued that journalists depend on their sources to inform the public and that their ability to do so would be compromised if they are forced to reveal confidential sources. Besides, she said, the independence of journalists will be compromised if their sources and professional materials are made available to the police. She noted that journalists have a duty to protect confidential sources as part of the framework for the protection of whistle-blowers; defending the public’s right to know; and ensuring access to information, stressing that it is in any event part of the professional

standards and ethics of the journalism profession for journalists to protect their sources of information Nigeria Voters’ Assembly, in a statement by its National President, Moshood Erubami, wondered why a civilian government would act in such a manner. Erubami stated that the arrest and detention of these journalists is a vindication of Nigerians’ belief that the country is yet to achieve democracy where the law rules and human rights are protected with everybody being equal before the law, maintaining that whatever offence the media men may have committed in a sane democracy, such should not have been beyond the interpretation of the law.

Methodist Church decries rising graft, Fashola urges partnership By Chinedum Uwaegbulam and Wole Oyebade HE Methodist Church has exT pressed concern over growing cases of corruption, especially involving highly placed Nigerians and public service. In a communiqué after the Synod organised by the Diocese of Lagos Central, held at the Wesley Circuit of the Diocese in Lagos, the Church stated: “This cankerworm continues to stain the image of Nigeria in the international community.” The document jointly signed by the Bishop, Lagos-Central Diocese, Rt. Rev. Kehinde Adeyemi; The Lay President, Mr. Timothy Aderemi Olukoga and the Synod Secretary, Very Rev. Ade Ademilua, also lamented the rising army of unemployed graduates in the nation. It castigated the rising allowances and salaries of the National Assembly members, “in

spite of the glaring suffering of the common man who has no access to potable water, good education, medical care and decent living.” According to the Synod, “there is decay everywhere with insecurity as Boko Haram, armed robbers, kidnappers and ritualists continue their killing spree.” In a related development, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola at the 2013 Synod of the Diocese of Lagos-West, Methodist Church Nigeria, Opebi Circuit, reiterated the need for Christians to partner government in its genuine drive for an egalitarian society “where no man is oppressed,” areas of effective tax drive and the fulfillment of obligations to

give hope to the hopeless. Fashola, whose message was read by the state Head of Service, Adesegun Ogunlewe, reminded the church of its important role to the community and the nation at large by complimenting government’s efforts to alleviate the suffering of the masses. He assured that with such functional cooperation and assistance from all concerned, the nation, the society and the church would witness such awesome dawn that has hitherto eluded them over the years. The four-day Synod with the theme: “What if God has not been on our side?”, was presided over by the Prelate, Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde.

Nigeria reviews plans on TB, leprosy From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja WO years after it became opT erational, the National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis and Leprosy is undergoing review by the Federal Government with assistance from local and international consultants and partners. The strategic plan, which runs from 2010 to 2015, currently guides the implementation of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP). The outcome of the evaluation, which is being conducted by teams of international experts, supported by TB experts in Nigeria, is expected to be used in restrategising programme interventions and efforts towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target by 2015. Fact sheets from the NTBLCP indicate that the programme currently runs at all tiers of government and stipulates the provision of free TB diagnosis and treatment services for anyone suspected to have TB. “The strategies are currently implanted in 4,642 health facilities, which are spread across all the local council areas and states in the country. The number of TB cases detected and treated annually has increased from 31,164 in 2002 to 97, 853 in 2012, while the country in the past seven has years has sustained the WHO leprosy elimination target of detecting and treating in 2012,” ministry officials said. Speaking at the mid-term evaluation in Abuja yesterday, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, stressed that the review would facilitate the emergence of an adjusted and reviewed National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Strategic Plan, which would be suitable for funding from government, Global Fund, USAID, Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and other partners. Represented by the Director of Family Health at the Ministry, Dr. Bridget Okoegbule, he

thanked donors and other partners who have played a role in the nation’s TB and leprosy programme. National Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Dr. Olusegun Obasanya, told The Guardian that the programme had so far provided health services in about 4,000 health facilities in the country. He said of the review meeting: “We have gone midway, though yearly we have been looking at our progress; but midway, we need to stop. If I can say so, in inverted quotes, look at what we have done, look at our achievements, our challenges and from there, re-strategise to say okay, lets look at how we have been doing, and see how we can improve our situation. This is quite routine, any good programme would do that. The essence of doing this is just what I have said. “To do this, we cannot do it ourselves. You cannot see yourself. In doing this, we have brought in our partners, consultants and about 30 international consultants. These international consultants with our partners in country are going to help us to look at all components of the programme, as well as look at new initiatives that have been on before. I mean, since we wrote the strategy plan, there have been new initiatives. We are going to look at them and see what we can do, and where these new initiatives/ innovations can be applied on the National TB Control programme.” He went on: “Now, we have been implementing the stop TB strategy. We have done a lot of work. We are providing these services in about 4,000 health facilities all over the nation. In any local council, you will get at least three, four or five centres providing TB services. This is not enough. We still have to do more. We also have to reach those that have not been reached before now. TB is a human rights issue. Everyone must have access to TB services.

Govt inaugurates federal varsities’ boards By Ajibola Amzat HE Federal Government T has inaugurated the governing councils of its 21 universities. The inauguration, which was held yesterday in Abuja, followed the approval of the appointments of the chairmen and members of the councils by President Goodluck Jonathan. Among 105 members and chairmen selected for the councils, only 13 women were included. They are Hajia Hauwa Bukar, Mrs. Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, Mrs. Chinweokwu Anyamene-Okeke, Prof. Josephine Okpoko, Princess Ethel Eweka, Mrs. Joyce Bozimo, Patience Onah Ogodo, Aisha Mamuda, Princess Taibat AdeyemiAgaba, Mrs. Uju Uzoka, Princess Gloria Frazer, Mrs. Ngozi Iheduru and Mrs. Grace Ekanem. None however, made the chairmanship. The approval is contained in a release dated April 3 from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim.

Expert faults military role over oil theft From Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt SING the military to fight U oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta will not stamp out the growing menace in the region, an environmental expert and Country Director, African Centre for Corporate Responsibilities, Mr. Austin Onuha, has said. Onuha stated this yesterday while training 40 persons on the United Nations Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital. He decried situations where oil-rich communities are overwhelmed with the presence of security personnel with the intent of protecting oil facilities. He maintained that sustainable relationship between the oil-rich communities and the oil companies remains the best way out of the ugly trend. According to him, “we should decongest our minds that the use of security men is the way out of the oil theft. It is not the number of soldiers you have in a place, we should look more at sustaining relationship to build more into the environment of peace that we already have .

Yobe ex-commissioner passes on at 63 From Njadvara Musa, Damaturu ORMER Yobe State Finance FLawan Commissioner, Alhaji Mai Goroma, is dead. He died in his sleep at his Abuja residence in the early hours of yesterday. Goroma’s family member, who disclosed the passing away of the former finance commissioner, said that he died at the age of 63. The Guardian gathered from his associates that the night before his sudden death, Goroma attended to all his personal and business matters before he retired home to rest after complaining of slight headache. “It came as huge shock to us, because we had spoken with him on that day and there was no sign of ailment to suggest that he was stressed or ill,” said a political associate, Gbenga Seun. The body of late Goroma was yesterday taken to Damaturu, Yobe State capital, where he was buried.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rivers partners ECOWAS to fight malaria HE Rivers State Government has concluded arrangements to commence joint partnership with the Economic Community of West Africa States, (ECOWAS) for the production of Biolarvicides to control and eliminate malaria in the state. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker spoke yesterday at a press conference ahead of the grand breaking ceremony for the Biolarvicides Production Factory in Rivers State and Town Hall meeting on malaria elimination, which will hold in Port Harcourt tomorrow. Parker said the Joint Venture would be a 50/50 partnership between the Rivers State Government and ECOWAS, which is also capable of creating employment opportunities for over 500 indigenes of Rivers State. “When Governor Amaechi assumed office in 2007, what government was doing at that time was malaria control, and the strategy then was controlling malaria pandemic through the use of insecticide treated nets, combination treatments, indoor residual spraying, rapid diagnosis test kits, including environmental sanitation campaigns. But when we came, ECOWAS said, we can eliminate malaria, and we added to it biolaviociding. We were working with the Cuban Government through their company, Labiofam, and for some period we used aircraft to spray. Health officials were also adulticising, all in the effort to kill the larva of mosquitoes at every mosquito breeding site including standing lakes, overhead tanks etc, using biological agents to kill the larva of mosquitoes so that mosquitoes don’t re-procreate to carry the malaria parasites, that is the simple strategy that we added,” Parker said.

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Ndoma Egba gives N60m scholarship to 400 students From Anietie Akpan, Calabar ETERMINED to educate indigent students, the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN has doled out N60 million as scholarship to about 400 students from the Central Senatorial District of the state. This is a special scholarship scheme, which started 10 years ago as Victor NdomaEgba’s Scholarship Scheme, designed to take care of brilliant students who cannot afford the high cost of university education in the country. So far 300 undergraduates comprising five students and 60 post graduate students, two each from the six local government areas that constitute his constituency, have been granted N70,000 and N100,000 respectively yearly, while others in specialised studies like law and sciencerelated disciplines have also benefited from the scholarship scheme. Speaking at the presentation ceremony for the 2012/2013 beneficiaries at Channel View Hotel Calabar on Monday, the initiator of the scholarship scheme Senator Ndoma-Egba, SAN, contended that the gesture which was based on merit and indigent background, was “a deliberate effort to develop the desired human resources that will eventually take over leadership of the country from the area”.

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ACN chides Fasehun for alleged threat of violence HE Action Congress of T Nigeria (ACN) has described as worrisome and revealing the ‘fire-for-fire’ threat issued by Dr. Frederick Fasehun, in response to an earlier outcry by the party over attempts to destabilise the country, especially the South West, as part of an overall plan to plunge the nation into crisis and scuttle the 2015 elections. In a statement issued in

Abuja on yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Fasehun’s blatant threat of violence and his resort to personal attacks, in response to a statement that neither threatened violence nor attacked personality, has confirmed that the party was indeed right to have raised the alarm in the first instance. But it said no amount of

overt or covert threat or uncouth verbal attacks against its leaders will force the party to stop in its efforts to alert the nation to the do-or-die antics of those at the helm of affairs of the nation. According to the statement: ‘’Dr. Fasehun’s statement has confirmed our worst fears. We never imagined we would be proven right so fast. First, he threatened to unleash violence on those whose offence,

as it were, was alerting the country to the evil machinations of those who are scheming to destabilise the country to achieve their selfish ends. ‘’Secondly, the verbal punches he threw at ACN leaders in general and the party’s spokesman in particular, and his undisguised threat of violence against a party that has never resorted to violence for whatever reason, opened a window deep

Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (Jnr) (left), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) National Chairman, Victor Umeh and some members of the party at the late Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s cenotaph in Nnewi… on Monday.

Ekiti PDP protests posting of ACP From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado-Ekiti HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ekiti State Chapter yesterday protested the posting of the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr. Sunday Faleye to Ekiti State Police Command. The party, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar to reverse the posting because Faleye was a former Aide de Camp (ADC) to the former Governor of the state and chieftain of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Otunba Niyi Adebayo. The party alleged that the posting was a strategic and

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calculated way to rig the 2014 governorship election. In a statement signed by its State Secretary, Dr. Tope Aluko and made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the PDP said it suspected the posting, especially coming at a time when parties were preparing for 2014 election, coupled with the desperation being displayed by ACN to win re-election for Governor Kayode Fayemi. The party said: “The PDP wishes to draw the attention of the IGP to the strategic, calculative and orchestrated posting of ACP Sunday Faleye to Ekiti State Command, cur-

rently of the Federal SARS. “The posting is not only suspicious, but must have been influenced and tailored to Ekiti Command for an agenda beyond the police legitimate assignment. Mr. Sunday Faleye was the ADC to the former Governor Adeniyi Adebayo and the posting is likely to carry out hatchet and mischievous assignment as we approach the 2014 governor-

Tambuwal, Ribadu urge proper funding of police, anti-graft agencies From Abosede Musari, Abuja

IPC begins one-month media monitoring of rural areas By Omiko Awa HE International Press CenT tre (IPC), starting from April 8, has commenced a onemonth monitoring exercise on the coverage of rural poverty issues by the Nigerian media. According to the IPC Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, the main purpose of the monitoring is to assess the quality and quantity of reporting with particular reference to grassroots dwellers, who are mostly affected by poverty. Arogundade explained that the monitoring is the first component of a new project on ‘monitoring and strengthening the capacity of the media to report and mainstream rural poverty issues’ carried out by the IPC with the support of the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC).   According to him, the monitoring covers the month of April 2013 and affects six national newspapers  – The Guardian, The Punch, Daily Sun, Vanguard, The Nation and Thisday.

Arogundade said aside from the monitoring outcome being subjected to scientific analysis and used as a measuring standard of media reporting of development concerns, it would also serve as a template for subsequent dialogue with media editors and the design of appropriate capacity building programme for journalists, who report poverty issues. “The scale and insidious nature of poverty warrants new reporting approaches and strategies in order to prick the national conscience and prod governments into firmer actions. Though the media covers quite a bit of ground, but the structural causes of poverty, such as job loss, lack of economic opportunity, disability and analysis of the impact of government policy on poverty are often missing from the stories. There is therefore the need to mainstream in-depth poverty reporting into the Nigerian media agenda,” Arogundade said.

ship election. “Please, recall our several complaints in the past and recent violent activities of the ACN-led government in the state that led to the arrest and detention of the ACN state chairman, Chief Jide Awe. The posting of Mr. Faleye is unacceptable and we request that a neutral ACP be posted to avoid further blood letting and cover up by police in our state”.

into his mind, to his unbridled hatred for the party and all it stands for and to the fact that he is indeed a willing tool to be used. ‘’It never occurred to Dr. Fasehun that Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the legend, whose party he (Fasehun) is now seeking to revive in a gratuitous and self-serving act, never believed in violence and never lent himself to be used against his own people, no matter what juicy carrot was dangled before him.” It added: ‘’Thirdly, when his response to the pipeline contract issue is stripped of all semantics, he simply owned up to our accusation that the pipeline protection contract award is closely linked to the attempt to revive the UPN and, when viewed against his threats, showed that indeed, those who want to plunge the South West into crisis have found a willing tool to be used. ‘’Suffice it to say that clearly written in the statement we read out at our press conference is that freedom of association is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, that freedom should not be abused by those seeking to exploit it for the sole purpose of attacking democracy itself,’’ ACN warned. It said that for threatening violence against a party that never issued a threat of violence during the press conference in question; and for resorting to crude and unbecoming language against a party known for its decent language and principled stand on issues rather than dwelling on personal attacks, Dr. Fasehun has put himself in an awkward position, effectively asking to be held responsible for any crisis in the region. ‘’This position is not where a self-respecting elder, a patriot without patronage and a democrat without prodding ought to be found.’’

HE Speaker of the House of T Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, have called on government for proper funding of the Nigeria Police and the antigraft agencies if the nation’s twin problems of corruption and insecurity are to be surmounted. They took this position at a two-day National Conference on Corruption and National Security in Nigeria, organised by the Institute for Anti-Corruption Studies of the University of Abuja. While the Speaker called for adequate funding of anti-corruption agencies, Ribadu made case for the police. According to Tambuwal, “there is no doubt our country is faced with insecurity challenges and corruption today just like so many years back.” He admitted that the fight against corruption and insecurity is seriously giving the country a lot of sleepless nights. He stated the need to address corruption head on, starting from schools by reorienting

the younger ones on the dangers and consequences of corrupt practices. “It is a common knowledge that corruption is all over the place, ranging from institutions of higher learning themselves and virtually all sectors of our national life, so there is need for us to re-orientate ourselves and face a direction so that we can have a better society,” he said. “For me as I said we need to embark on serious re-orientation to address the challenges and there is a need for a diagnosis to properly fund the security agencies for them to have proper training to be able face terrorism especially which is a new phenomenon here. “And also for the anti-corruption agencies not only to be independent on paper but also to have adequate funding and the requisite financial muscle to face the uphill tasks of the fight against corruption,” Tambuwal said. Ribadu in his speech called for proper funding of the Nigeria Police because of its strategic position in fighting crime. He noted that nations faced with the twin problems of insecurity and corruption

hardly survive it. “I pray this will not happen in this country”, he said. “I know the root cause of all these, because I happen to be a lawyer, a police prosecutor, and have participated actively in the justice sector of Nigeria so I know how it started and how it happened. It all started when we decided not to follow the rule of law.” As a way out, he suggested massive investment in the Nigeria Police NPF. “Ladies and gentlemen let’s take these two matters very serious, corruption and insecurity, these two dangerous things are in vogue today and we are in trouble in this country and if we do not do much toward addressing them, we may lose our country and it is true, as we have seen it happen in so many countries and we should not allow it to happen,” he said. In his remarks, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, who was represented by his Director of Planning and Statistics, Mr. David Tokuru said 62 per cent of EFCC’s investigation is on public sector corruption and money laundering.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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AfricanNews Donors pledge $4 billion for Darfur’s rebuilding 18 die in fresh tribal dispute O fewer than 18 people were N killed during a tribal dispute in Darfur, a tribal leader said yesterday. The new development was revealed after donor countries pledged about $4 billion to develop the Sudan war-ravaged western region. Donors pledged to support a six-year strategy for Darfur’s development, which includes strengthening the local government and judicial systems to address the root causes of such conflicts. The meeting raised $3.6 billion in pledges, including $2.65 billion to which Khartoum is committed, said host country, Qatar, which contributed $500 million. Trouble began last week in Umm Dukhun district, on the Chad border, when a member of the Misseriya tribe shot a Salamat tribal member, international peacekeepers said. Musa al-Bashir, a Salamat leader, told Agence France Presse (AFP) a “small difference” between two people escalated into clashes outside Umm Dukhun town. “Until yesterday, the total kil-

Donors pledged to support a six-year strategy for Darfur’s development, which includes strengthening the local government and judicial systems to address the root causes of such conflicts. led from the Salamat side are 18,” he said. “Now, local leaders from both sides are trying to solve the problem and calm the situation.” He did not know how many Misseriya were killed but a leader from that tribe said that a total of 11 people, both Salamat and Misseriya, had died as of Monday. The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Monday said it received reports of clashes “with an unspecified number of victims”, after the initial shooting. Darfur’s top official, Eltigani Seisi, has said that ethnic violence is now the “major issue” in Darfur, replacing rebel attacks. In February, a member of parliament said more than 500 people from his Beni Hussein tribe died during weeks of clashes with the Rezeigat, a rival

Arab tribe, in North Darfur’s Jebel Amir area. These types of conflicts are driven largely by competition for resources such as gold or water, a United Nations official said ahead of the donors’ conference which ended on Monday in the Gulf state of Qatar. In other unrest, rebels of the Sudan Liberation Army faction led by Abdel Wahid Mohammed al-Nur said on Tuesday that their forces attacked three government camps in the Dobo area, southwest of the North Darfur state capital El Fasher. Each side claimed victory, with the army saying late Monday that it had repulsed a rebel attack on Dobo Madrassa, which is between North and South Darfur. Nur and other rebels began their uprising a decade ago against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime.

Kenya’s 4th President Uhuru Kenyatta holds a Bible as he takes the oath during his sworn-in ceremony, next to his wife Margaret Kenyatta...yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as Kenya’s president O thunderous cheers from T tens of thousands of supporters, Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday took the oath of office as Kenya’s fourth president, despite facing trial on charges of crimes against humanity. “I do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Kenya,” said Kenyatta, the son of the country’s first president, clutching a bible as he took the oath of office. Wearing a dark suit and red tie, he also pledged to “protect and uphold, the sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the people of Kenya”. Officials had to appeal for quiet as 60,000 people packed into Kenya’s national

football stadium chanted Kenyatta’s name and roared in support as they danced. William Ruto, who like Kenyatta faces trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity related to post-election violence five years ago when more than 1,100 people were killed, took the oath as vicepresident. “I will always truly and diligently serve the people and the Republic of Kenya in the office of the deputy president,” Ruto said. “I will do justice to all without fear, favour, affection and ill will,” he added. Kenyatta, one of Africa’s richest men, won the March 4 polls by

more than 800,000 votes on of his nearest rival, outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The 51-year-old is Kenya’s youngest president. Security was heavy as Kenyatta loyalists, dressed in the red colours of his party, danced as military bands played tunes to welcome the new leader and bid farewell to outgoing President Mwai Kibaki, 81, retiring after more than a decade in power. Kibaki handed over Kenya’s symbols of power — including a sword and the constitution — to Kenyatta, as both men smiled broadly and shook hands. The handover was followed by a booming 21-gun salute.

French soldiers sweep rebel stronghold in Malian desert NDER the cover of large U acacia trees, Malian militants’ camp was invisible from the sky and had probably been deserted only a few hours before the arrival of French troops in a new operation designed to root out the insurgents. The soldiers had made the discovery on day two of Operation Gustav, a hunt for Islamist fighters in a valley in northern Mali and one of France’s largest military operations during its threemonth intervention in its for-

mer colony. The soldiers of the 92nd Infantry Regiment advanced tentatively on foot in battle formation ahead of several tanks, uncovering weapons, the remnants of bivouacs, camping equipment and fuel drums. A thousand French troops backed by tanks and covered from the air had surrounded the valley near the city of Gao, thought to be a logistics base of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), at dawn on Sunday, Agence France Presse (AFP) re-

ported. A captain called Arnaud, who would not give his full name, noted the coordinates of each discovery made by his men, reminding them to touch nothing in case of booby-traps, and to await the engineering specialists. “They left the scene in a rush. They were probably informed of our movements when we left Gao,” he said. “They have left behind a lot of things they would normally carry with them. They were obviously in a hurry.” Operation Gustav comes with France preparing to withdraw three-quarters of the 4,000 troops it deployed in January to block a feared advance on the Malian capital Bamako by Al Qaeda-linked insurgents. Its intervention has driven the militants from most of their northern strongholds but Paris is preparing to hand over to a UN-mandated African force in the coming weeks, leaving just 1,000 of its troops to fight terrorism. The Malian military — poorly paid, ill-equipped and badly organised — fell apart last year in the face of an uprising by Tuareg rebels who seized the vast arid north in the chaos which followed a military coup, before losing control to well-armed Islamists.


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WorldReport Quake kills 30 near Iran’s nuclear plant BOUT 30 people were A reportedly killed yesterday and 800 injured after a powerful earthquake struck near Iran’s Gulf port city of Bushehr but leaving Ithe country’s only nuclear power plant intact. Agency reports and residents claimed that the shocks from the quake were felt across the Gulf in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, provoking panic and the brief evacuation of some office towers. But Iran insisted yesterday it will not suspend its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent nor will it ship out its existing stockpile – two keys demands of world powers in failed nuclear talks with Tehran, Agernce France Presse (AFP) wrote. “We will continue to enrich

Tehran refuses to suspend uranium enrichment uranium to 20 percent purity as long as it is needed to fuel the Tehran research reactor,” atomic chief Feryedoon Abbasi Davani told reporters in remarks published by the ISNA news agency. Iran, he said, will neither “ship out its stockpile nor dilute the material” — which at 20 percent purity is only a few technical steps short of bombgrade enriched uranium. The two issues have been at the centre of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers in Almaty, which ended in deadlock at the weekend. The so-called group of P5+1, comprising the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany, are

engaged in a diplomatic effort to convince Iran to curb its nuclear activities in return for some sanctions relief. According to the latest report by the UN’s atomic watchdog agency, Iran has amassed 280 kilogrammes of uranium enriched to 20 percent, 115 kilos of which have been converted into fuel. Meanwhile, Bushehr provincial Governor Fereydoon Hasanvand told state television at least 30 people were killed while more than 800 people were hurt and and receiving medical attention. There were no immediate details on where the casualties occurred, but the head of Iran’s Red Crescent rescue corps, Mahmoud Mozafar,

said initial reports indicated that at least one village near Khormoj had been razed. He said major damage was probable considering the rural nature of the stricken area, home to some 12,000 inhabitants. Media reports said search and rescue teams accompanied by security forces were dispatched to the area, to which telephone connection and electricity had been cut. Tents, blankets and food have also been sent to the area, the Fars news agency reported. Meanwhile, Hasanvand told state television “no damage at all has been caused” to the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, nearly 90 kilometers (55 miles) northwest of quake’s epicenter.

Ban Ki-moon warns on N’Korea threats, foreigners in South asked to evacuate From Oghogho Obayuwana, Foreign Affairs Editor HE world should gird its T loins. Diplomats and peacemakers must work collectively to avert the looming catastrophe from one single move by authorities in North Korea. This appears to be the message sent across the globe yesterday by the United Nations Secretary General Ban KiMoon. Speaking to journalists in Rome yesterday, Ban warned that the crisis on the Korean peninsula might become “uncontrollable”. He then once again urged North Korea to tone down its “provocative rhetoric” and to keep open a joint North-South Korean industrial complex. Also yesterday, agency reports including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), said North Korea has warned foreigners in South Korea to take evacuation measures in case of war. It will be recalled that Pyongyang had earlier warned foreign missions to be prepared to leave the country, as it could no longer guarantee the safety of diplomats. The country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has also been making very bellicose threats directed against South Korea, Japan and United States (US) bases in the region. Ban said yesterday: “If any small incident is caused by

miscalculation or misjudgment, it may create an uncontrollable situation.’’ He also called for the Kaesong Industrial Complex to be kept open, calling it “one of the most successful cooperative projects between the South and North...This should not be affected by political considerations. This is a purely economic place. North Korean employees did not report for work at the complex yesterday, suspending one of the few points of co-operation between North and South Korea. Foreigners have been feeling unsafe in the country in the last two weeks. A statement attributed to Pyongyang’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee yesterday said: “The situation on the Korean peninsula is heading for a thermo-nuclear war... In the event of war, we don’t want foreigners living in South Korea to get hurt...all foreign organisations, companies and tourists to work out measures for evacuation” Foreign embassies have not immediately announced plans to evacuate, and the United Kingdom (UK) and Russian embassies have said they have no plans to shut their embassies. The United States, which has also been threatened by Pyongyang, had said there were no imminent signs of threats to American citizens.

Jordan appeals for aid to cope with ‘one million’ Syrians JALLI Mheilan, Jordan’s M health minister, made an “urgent appeal” yesterday for

Flowers and mementos left by members of the public and admirers sit outside the home of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in central London … yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Thatcher for burial April 17, legacy divides UK NITED Kingdom (UK) U stood deeply divided yesterday over the legacy of former prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, as it made preparations for the grand funeral next week of the woman known around the globe as the “Iron Lady”. However, tributes from world leaders who hailed her role in bringing down communism kept flooding in as the British government announced that Thatcher would be laid to rest on April 17 in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral. Queen Elizabeth II will lead the mourners at the ceremonial funeral, one step down from the state funeral given to legendary wartime leader, Winston Churchill, but the same honour afforded to the Queen Mother and to Princess Diana. But “Maggie” remained as polarising in death as she did in life, with violence erupting at street parties celebrating the demise of a figure who critics say destroyed millions of lives with her free-market economic policies, agency

reports indicated yesterday. Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister and longest serving premier of the 20th century, died on Monday aged 87 after suffering a stroke. She had suffered dementia for more than a decade. Foreign Secretary William Hague, a fellow Conservative, told a briefing yesterday ahead of a meeting with G8 counterparts that Britain was grateful for the condolences from around the world. “She was an inspiration to many people in other countries, not just this country, particularly people aspiring to their own freedom and democracy at a time they didn’t have it, such as behind the Iron Curtain,” Hague said. Condolence books were set up at several British embassies around the world. Pope Francis was among the latest to pay tribute to Thatcher, hailing her “promotion of freedom”. Similar tributes have come from U.S. President Barack Obama and dozens of current and former world leaders including her

Maggie remained as polarising in death as she did in life, with violence erupting at street parties celebrating the demise of a figure who critics say destroyed millions of lives with her free-market economic policies. one-time Soviet adversary Mikhail Gorbachev. Current British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said the government had agreed during a meeting with Thatcher’s family and Buckingham Palace that her funeral would take place on Wednesday next week, followed by a private cremation. “A wide and diverse range of people and groups with connections to Lady Thatcher will be invited,” it said. The queen and her husband Prince Philip will attend, Buckingham Palace said. The monarch does not usually attend funerals or memorial services of non-royals. Thatcher’s coffin will rest in the Houses of Parliament the night before the funeral and will be taken through the streets on a gun carriage to the cathedral with full military honours.

Several Conservative lawmakers have called for her to receive a full state funeral but her spokesman Lord Tim Bell said Thatcher had specifically asked not to, believing it was “not appropriate”. A private ambulance accompanied by police motorcycle outriders removed Thatcher’s body early yesterday from the luxury Ritz hotel in central London where she spent the last days of her life, an AFP photographer said. Lawmakers have been recalled to parliament this Wednesday to debate Thatcher’s legacy and will vote on a motion paying tribute to her. But trouble erupted at several parties to celebrate her death, reminiscent of the sometimes violent protests by miners, trade unions and anti-tax protesters during her

around $355 million to provide medical care for hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have sought safety in the kingdom. Mheilan told state-run Petra news agency that the total number of Syrians in Jordan had now reached one million, a sharp rise on the previous figure of more than 475,000 given by Jordanian authorities. It compares with a UN figure given last Friday of some 385,500 UN-registered Syrian refugees in Jordan, a number the UN refugee agency warned it expects to rise to 1.2 million by the end of the year. “The health situation in Jordan is still under control, but negative indications have started to appear,” the Jordanian minister said. “The health ministry needs an urgent assistance of 250 million dinars ($355 million) to address the health situation of the Syrian refugees.” In all, 1.3 million refugees have fled Syria to neighbouring countries since the conflict erupted in March 2011, the regional aid coordinator for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Panos Moumtzis, said yesterday. An additional 200,000 refugees are fleeing each month, Moumtzis added, warning that aid operations were at “breaking point.” But Al-Qaeda in Iraq admit-

ted yesterday long-held suspicions it is behind jihadists fighting Syria’s regime, as the United States stepped up its efforts to end the country’s civil war. UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, meanwhile, called on Syria to approve a United Nations mission of inspectors to probe the alleged use of chemical weapons in the spiralling two-year conflict. “The Al-Nusra Front is simply a branch of the Islamic State of Iraq,” ISI’s chief Abu Bakr alBaghdadi said in recording posted online, adding the jihadist group was fighting for an Islamic state in Syria. The groups would be combined and called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, Baghdadi said, describing AlNusra front leader Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani as “one of our soldiers”. “We chose al-Jawlani... as well as other fighters to go from Iraq to Syria... We prepared plans and work policies. We gave them money and personnel support,” said Baghdadi. His declaration came a day after an Al-Nusra-style suicide car bomb attack in the heart of the Syrian capital Damascus killed at least 15 people and wounded 146 others. It also came after Al-Qaeda’s global chief, Ayman alZawahiri, urged rebels to fight to establish an Islamic state in Syria, in an audio message posted on the Internet on Sunday.


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Politics ACF chieftain decries plot to replace Sambo in 2015 poll From: Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief

ICE Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Ambassador Ladan Shuni, has alleged that some powerful interests in the North are plotting to replace Vice President Namadi Sambo on the platform of the PDP for the 2015 presidential election. But he warned that the replacement that would be a more ambitious politician might be at loggerheads with President Goodluck Jonathan after the election. Shuni, who was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Morocco during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’ s administration, referred journalists at the weekend to a recent statement credited to elder statesman and former Minister of Agriculture, Sani Zango Daura. Daura was quoted as saying that Vice President Sambo was a powerless politician, who could not lead the North. Shuni said this was one of the indications that the region wanted Sambo out of office by 2015. The former envoy and stalwart of the ruling PDP recalled the era of Obasanjo and his Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, when the duo were also at each other’s throat over national issues, stressing that such political scenario would not augur well for the development of the country if Jonathan wins the 2015 presidency. He argued that Sambo should be commended for being loyal to Jonathan over the years, adding that the vice president had within a short period attracted developmental projects to the North. Shuni said: “It is a pity that Zango Daura is not very much aware of the various contributions Vice President Namadi Sambo has made to this

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• Says Vice President should be praised for his loyalty to Jonathan Shuni discountenanced the notion that the vice president was not so close to the northern governors, emphasising, ‘It is not true; he has a very cordial relationship with the northern governors. Every governor goes to him in Abuja. What people don’t know, they should not speculate; it is not proper. He cannot just wake up and begin to tell people of his relationship with the governors. He talked with them, he has been having dinner with them; so, he has been having cordial relationship with them. And the relationship between him and his boss is very excellent. country. May be people are expecting Sambo to do what the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, did under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo by being always at loggerheads with his boss. “I think Sambo should be commended and praised for his loyalty to his boss, President Goodluck Jonathan. I don’t think loyalty is an offence because if the president and the vice president are fighting, there will be no peace, there will be no progress.” Shuni said as the leader of the North, Sambo has contributed a lot to the North. “Talk of insecurity in the zone;

Sambo we in the ACF know the role the vice president played in peacemaking in the region,” he said. “He has been involved in the issue of dialogue with Boko Haram; he has been reaching out to every sector in the country that could bring about unity and sanity in this nation. “I don’t know, may be Zango Daura wanted Sambo to be briefing him on whatever he has done in terms of

bringing peace and economic development in the North.” Shuni maintained that as former chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, he knew the role that Sambo played in reviving the railway. His words: “It is through his (Sambo’s) effort that the Corporation was revived, and is now running through the North. Sambo

was actually going round to ensure that there is rail transportation between the North and the South. “For many years, the rail transportation was down, but when Sambo came, he focused and put a lot of interest in ensuring that the railway became effective in the North, and it has happened now. Every railway line in the North is working and the rail transportation between the North and the South is now a reality. Shuni discountenanced the notion that the vice president was not so close to the northern governors, emphasising, “It is not true; he has a very cordial relationship with the northern governors. Every governor goes to him in Abuja. “What people don’t know, they should not speculate; it is not proper. He cannot just wake up and begin to tell people of his relationship with the governors. Can they bring any evidence to show that any governor in the North or in the country does not like Sambo? “But I know that the relationship between him and the northern governors is very cordial. He talked with them, he has been having dinner with them; so, he has been having cordial relationship with them. And the relationship between him and his boss is very excellent.” Shuni said Sambo is the leader of the North, he is the leader of the PDP, and he believes in the party. “You don’t expect the vice president to descend so low to campaign in his ward during election; it is not his responsibility,” he said. “It is his responsibility to campaign for the party in the entire country. “So, it is not the fault of the vice president if he did not deliver his ward and local election; it is the fault of his supporters. After all, he delivered the

Mimiko tasks progressives on challenges facing Nigeria By Abiodun Fanoro NDO State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has said the task of rescuing the country from its myriad of socio-political problems, and re-positioning it for sustainable development, rests squarely on the progressives. Consequently, he charged the progressives to put their differences aside, synergise and work together to achieve this onerous task, whose outcome would be strategic to the future of the country. Noting that the progressives are scattered in most of the political parties in the country, he urged them to use the challenges of rescuing and growing Nigeria as a platform to come together. The governor, who expressed his passion for a united, virile and indivisible Nigeria, said the gains and benefits inherent are unquantifiable; and stressed that the progressives must play their role to ensure the realisation of this noble goal. Mimiko spoke in Owo at the launch of a book, In The Wilderness Of Life, written by Olowo of Owo, Oba David Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, and presented as part of activities to mark the 14th coronation anniversary of the Olowo. According to the governor, Owo was the logical and appropriate place to make the call, being what he called “the cradle of the progressives in Nigeria” where the defunct Action Group, which pioneered progressive politics in the country, was formed. He re-called the singular contributions of the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin, an indigene of Owo, as both the leader of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere and the famous prodemocracy movement, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). Mimiko, who many people adjudged to be a progressive, also called to mind that the ancient town played a significant role as a meeting point for the progressives under NADECO during the struggle for the country’s democratic rule in the 1990s. The governor used the occasion to express his

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government’s appreciation to the people for voting him for a second term in office, a gesture, he noted, further confirmed that the people are truly progressives and had “truly indentified a truly progressive candidate” and voted for him. With their continued support, he pledged that his administration would complete the progressive projects it had begun in the town, including the re-construction of the major roads and initiation of new ones. In his view, the progressives have the unique qualities that stand them out as the ones that could stem the socio-political tide threatening the country’s foundation. Chief among these sterling qualities were their perseverance when striving for a sustainable change; their uncommon patriotism not to compromise the ideals; their readiness to speak the truth and stand by it at all times; readiness to stand by the people at all times; their non-violent approach to solving problems and their belief, determination and commitment that money cannot buy. Mimiko noted that at critical moments in the history of the country, the progressives had risen and teamed up in defence of unity, peace and order, as it was the case now where Islamic militants and kidnappers are on the prowl. The book launch, attended by over 30 traditional rulers, including the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, was presided over by a former pro-democracy activist, Major-General Olufemi Olutoye (Rtd). Among other dignitaries were: the former Deputy Managing-Director of Nigerian-Agip Oil, Mr. Akin Aruwajoye, the secretary of the Coronation Anniversary Committee, Mr. Banji Alabi, Mr. Rotimi Ibidapo, Dr. (Mrs.) Aragbaiye,

Mimiko and Jide Tugbobo. At the actual launching of the book, the governor, represented by his former Commissioner for Special Duties, Niran Akinsuyi, commended the Olowo for writing the book and for ensuring peace and order in his kingdom. He said writing the book had gone to confirm the traditional institution as a reservoir of intellectual excellence, and that this had lent credence to the call for constitutional roles for traditional rulers in the ongoing constitutional reform. Oba Sijuade, who bought 50 copies of the book,

In Mimiko’s view, the progressives have the unique qualities that stand them out as the ones that could stem the socio-political tide threatening the country’s foundation. Chief among these sterling qualities were their perseverance when striving for a sustainable change; their uncommon patriotism not to compromise the ideals; their readiness to speak the truth and stand by it at all times; readiness to stand by the people at all times; their non-violent approach to solving problems and their belief, determination and commitment that money cannot buy.

which, he promised, to donate to the 50 traditional rulers in Osun State, commended the Olowo for placing himself as a tool for peace and development in Nigeria and in Yorubaland in particular. He described the Owo monarch as a foremost nationalist and firm believer in the unity of the country. The Ooni noted that the reign of Oba OlateruOlagbegi had been characterised by the transformation of Owo kingdom and a great leap in the quality of lives of the people. According to him, “Oba Olateru-Olagbegi is a Yoruba monarch I am proud of. He is always at the forefront of any move that will contribute to the socio-economic historical and political development of the country in general and the Yoruba race in particular. He enjoys lifting the image of the Yoruba race anywhere he goes.” He said the book is not just a personal memoir of Oba Olateru-Olagbegi, but also a documentation of the historical link between Owo and Ile-Ife. Looking at the huge turnout of traditional rulers at the occasion, the Ife monarch said apart from confirming the warm relationship the Olowo enjoys among his brother Obas, it was a statement of what a united and strengthened traditional institution at the national level could do for the country. General Olutoye, who was moved by what he described as the humility, honesty and dedication to God by the Olowo, likened him to the biblical David, who is after God’s heart. The Olowo expressed his appreciation to Governor Mimiko for his style of leadership, which has continued to make the state a haven for peace and for impacting meaningfully on the lives of people in road construction, transformation in both education and health. The Oba also gave a posthumous appreciation to the late legal icon, Chief Fredrick Rotimi Williams, who, he said, stood by his late father during his trying moments as king. It would be recalled that the reigning Oba’s father had problems with the defunct Western Regional Government, which led to his banishment and deportation.


POLITICS 11

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How Okorocha planned my fall, by Agbaso In a ‘twinkle of an eye’, Sir Jude Agbaso was recently impeached as deputy governor of Imo State over N458m bribe. But fielding questions from Charles Ogugbuaja in Owerri, he said he was a victim of injustice and wickedness. N allegation of collecting N458m kickback O from a Lebanese road contractor, Mr. Joseph Dina of JPROS International Nigeria Limited. Joseph Dina was specially sponsored to falsely confess that he gave me bribe. If not, how could a Lebanese, who had had series of graft cases with the EFCC since 2009, boldly come out in the open to confess that he used up to 46 per cent of fully paid contract sum from Imo people’s money to give me bribe? It is unbelievable. On the other hand, how could I collect such an amount from a man I never did any favour for and was not in a position to do any favour for? The governor (Okorocha) brought the contractor. He paid him an initial N200m from his office. The permanent secretary of my former ministry, the Ministry of Works, only sent a request to the governor for formal approval of the road construction contract. The governor, instead of sending the approval to the ministry, directed, and full payment was made directly to the company for a job not yet done up to 20 per cent without the knowledge of the Ministry of Works. That was why the contractor was over-paid because the governor did not take my ministry into confidence in the payment. I only got to know about the payment four months later and when I called the contractor, he continued avoiding me. On Dina’s allegation the said bribery was for promise of future council road contracts. I did not have the powers to award contracts in Okorocha’s government. I was not in charge of local government roads. Moreover, under Okorocha’s administration, about N52m was what is being paid for a kilometre of the local government road construction and contractors complained that they hardly do good work with the price not to talk of making profit at the end of the day. Be that as it may, simple arithmetic has it that at the cost of N52m per kilometre, the total sum one can get for 15 kilometres is about N780m. How then can a contractor give me N458m bribe for a job of N780m? On Agbaso sending account details of two companies from his MTN phone for the bribery sum to be paid. I applied and got my call logs from the time the contractor claimed we had the alleged illicit communication. It was February 2012 to July 2012. As I speak to you, there is no such in the call log. Incidentally, the call logs are part of the exhibits I am prosecuting the case against my indictment and impeachment in court and I have also made some copies available to the press. Joseph Dina promised before the Simeon Iwunze-led House of Assembly committee to get his own call log but he never did. Till today, nobody, apart from me, is interested in verifying that because the only agenda was to levy false allegation against me and get rid of me. On the bank accounts of the companies the contractor said he paid the N458m into. I went to the Corporate Affairs Commission and got a certified copy of the list of the directors of the two companies. The names of the directors suggest that they are from the northern part of Nigeria. The three directors of Three Bothers Concepts Nig Ltd are Lawal Abdullahi, Umar Abubakar and Yakubu Abdullahi; that of IHSAN Bureau De Change Limited are Abdullahi Tasiu Maikano, Inuwa Sabo, Haruna Said and Musa Sule. I am not in any way related to the companies. I am not among the directors and shareholders of the company and I am not in any way linked to them. None of my friends, relations, associates, etc., is linked to the companies or to those related to the banks. Non-appearance at the seven-nan Investigation Panel set up by the state Chief Judge. I intentionally decided to shun the panel because I am still challenging the impeachment process, including the constitution, appointment and inauguration of the panel in a law court. And I personally wrote a letter to the chairman of the panel on this but the panel discountenanced the letter. If I had gone to that panel, it would have jeopardised my suit, which is against the constitu-

Agbaso

The panel did great disservice to Imo people. It only pre-occupied itself with my impeachment. Its chairman and members did not use their onerous call to serve in the panel to let the people know the whole truth of what happened to Imo people’s money. The panel was only set to play a particular script and achieve the selfish, political and malicious desires of an individual or a set of individuals. If the panel were really an investigative body that wanted to be unbiased, I think that the time they invited me was premature. tion of the panel. Even if I had gone there on merit, the panel would have still not taken my defence because it was specially detailed to sack me. The panel sat only once. Before the panel sitting, the members of the state legislature, who were already on Easter vacation, were summoned the same day the panel sat and they were anxiously waiting for the panel to submit its report. Heavy security men were detailed to both the place the panel sat and the state legislative complex. The day the panel sat was the same day it submitted its report to the legislature; it was the same day I was impeached and it was the same day the new Deputy Governor was confirmed by the same legislature. It was like that because everything was a script well written, rehearsed and dramatised. On conduct of the Investigation Panel. This is the first case in Nigeria where a public officer is begging to be investigated over corruption and the investigators bluntly refused. The Constitution stipulates that the panel has three months to investigate this matter but it chose to do it in one day. The panel did great disservice to Imo people. It only pre-occupied itself with my impeachment. Its chairman and members did not use their onerous call to serve in the panel to let the people know the whole truth of what happened to Imo people’s money. The panel was only set to play a particular script and achieve the selfish, political and malicious desires of an individual or a set of individuals. If the panel were really an investigative body that wanted to be unbiased, I think that the time they invited me was premature. I did not need to appear because the panel that already had materials of allegations against me to investigate. As an investigative panel, it was the duty of the panel to verify the allegations against me. The contractor and the state legislature gave enough particulars of allegations against me that needed verification. My accusers alleged before the panel that I sent details of bank accounts of Three Brothers Concept Ltd. and IHSAN BDC Ltd. through GSM text message to him to pay in

the said bribe sum. As a supposed unbiased and thorough panel, it needed to confirm from MTN through my call log and that of Joseph Dina. It was also alleged that I directed JPROS to pay the N458m bribe into two companies’ accounts with GTB and UBA, respectively for me. JPROS also gave details of the companies’ bank accounts. It was necessary to get at the directors of the companies and details of the companies to see if I am in any way linked to the said companies. Also, with the help of security agencies and the banks, transactions in the said accounts should have been properly investigated and possibly get at the signatories of the said accounts to see if the said sums were paid in accordingly. If the money were paid in and withdrawn, who withdrew it? It is a trite law in Nigeria that ‘he who alleges should prove’. The criminal justice of our country presumes an accused innocent until the innocence is proved otherwise. But in my case, my accusers were not ready to prove me guilty but only wanted to satisfy the selfish will of the governor. The governor, in his usual way, hoodwinked some simple-minded people, the state legislature, the Chief Judge and the panel to impeach me unlawfully. On his non-resignation over the scam. I could not have resigned over a frame-up by few selfish individuals. I know that I am innocent. If I had resigned, it would have looked like I am guilty of taking the bribe. However, I would have resigned if I had conducted myself in a manner unbecoming of a deputy governor. I would have resigned if it were the opinion of the people I held their mandate. But here is a situation where a group of persons, who wants to enshrine a dynasty in the Douglas House, wanted to sacrifice me for no just cause. I think it is better that they unlawfully impeached me the way they did so that I will have more grounds to reclaim my position from the courts in future. On progress to unravel the truth. When we discovered that the Imo House of Assembly and the seven-man Investigation Panel were not ready to investigate this matter, we took it upon ourselves to do so. My family

engaged professional, forensic, and foreign investigators and security agencies and the revelations are terrible. The alleged bribe money has been traced to Dubai and Lebanon. An aide of Governor Rochas Okorocha, Prince MacDonald-Akano, who is the governor’s Special Adviser and Chairman of the Committee on Monitoring and Implementation of Road Projects in Imo State, was made a shareholder in JPROS International Nigeria Ltd. on June 20, 2012 and allotted two (2) million shares of the company’s 10 million shares. Akano also wrote and consented to be a director of the company two days later, on June 22, 2012. The alleged N458m bribery sum was actually sent by Mr. Dina to his company accounts overseas. Mr. Dina first paid N325,000,000 into the Three Brothers Concept Ltd, GTB account. The money was used to raise the sum of $1,930,000, which was subsequently transferred through Dubai, on February 21, 2012, to Mr. Dina’s account No. LB5001400002302300179018010 with the Kaslik Branch of BLOM Bank SAL in Lebanon. The purpose of the transfer, as stated in the transfer document, was “to import construction equipment.” Mr. Dina similarly paid the second tranche of N133,000,000 into the IHSAN BDC LTD’s account No. 1015334698 with the UBA. Again, the money was used to raise $800,000 and transferred to Mr. Dina’s Account, No. AE360200000036374395130 with HSBC Middle East Ltd at Dubai Internet City, Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai. So, while Mr. Dina was accusing me of demanding and receiving a bribe of N458m, the same man and his associates in Lebanon had converted the said money. The directors, who are also the only shareholders of JPROS Nigeria Ltd, are: Joseph Dina, Aline Dina, Jean Samir Aoun and Prince MacDonaldAkano. Isn’t it fascinating to discover that a director and a major shareholder; indeed, the second highest shareholder in the company involved in this ugly defamation of character and wicked attempt to destroy the good name and image of my family is a member of Governor Okorocha’s inner circle? Akano stood quietly and loyally beside Mr. Dina, as Dina blackmailed and slandered me in my own state where I am a deputy governor, knowing well that his company, JPROS, was the guilty party in the matter. It was also found out that Prince Akano suddenly applied and became a director and a major shareholder in JPROS. Isn’t it clear that the plan was to impeach me with 2015 in mind, using Mr. Dina of JPROS and Prince Akano as the hatchet men? Here are some posers: • During my impeachment, how come the Imo House of Assembly, the Governor, the Panel, etc., did not insist on establishing the ownership of the accounts supplied by JPROS, the companies involved their directors and shareholders? What were they trying to cover? • Why did Governor Okorocha pay the contract sum to JPROS account the same period Prince Akano became a director in the company? • Isn’t it possible that the governor, who illegally approved this payment and even overpaid the contract sum straight to JPROS, connived with Akano to have the N458m laundered abroad? • Why has Prince Akano not denied these revelations but avoiding government functions? • Since these revelations came to light, what has the Imo Assembly done and why does Governor Okorocha, who claims to be fighting corruption, remain mute and is retaining Akano in his cabinet? On rumour that he is hiding from anti-graft agencies. I am not hiding. I have no intention to move to anywhere. Most of my business outfits are in Owerri. We even invited the EFCC because the Imo State Government doesn’t want any antigraft agencies to come into the matter. I think the reason is because involving anti-graft agency will expose the governor’s shoddy deals in the whole saga the more. However, I will be happy to appear before them because that will even help to vindicate me the more and possibly bring the real culprits to book. On the way forward. I thank Imo people for giving me the opportunity to serve them as a deputy governor. I promise to remain calm, law-abiding and prayerful, hoping that one day, the whole truth will completely come out. For now, I will retire to my private business, as my business has suffered greatly since I went into public service. I will also pursue the suits against my impeachment in the law courts, hoping that one day, I will get justice.


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

TheMetroSection Touching lives, motivating youths Physically-challenged Pretty set to unveil project in Ikotun, a Lagos suburb By Joseph Onyekwere

When we launched this project in 2004, we found a high population of disgruntled youths across the state, many deeply indulging in various forms of drug, prostitution and crime and all these we realized were as a result of failure of the leadership to provide them with support to build their capacity. RETTY Ogbonna, a woman living with disability is an archetype of inspiration for People Living with Disabilities (PWD). What she lost on her legs, she has on her brain. She is one of the few physically-challenged individuals who have not allowed their circumstances to weigh them down. Determined to make a difference in the society, Ogbonna, a member of Lagos Civil Society Disability Policy Partnership (LCSDPP) and the President of Reach Out And Care For Youth Organization (ROACFYO) is working tirelessly to empower Nigerian youths, especially the less- privileged. She is now preparing to unveil her grassroots project, ROACFYO in Ikotun, the headquarters of Alimosho Local Council of Lagos State on April 21. The project started in 2004 at Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State. ROACFYO is all about youth empower-

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Pretty Ogbonna

ment, taking care of the orphans, less privileged and people living with disability. The non-governmental organization also embarks on film shooting and television talk shows as well as disability talent hunt. Relishing the successes of its programmes, Ogbonna said its child abuse and Human Immunodefi-

ciency Virus (HIV) rally at Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Council was memorable, adding that many of the beneficiaries of its empowerment project are now employed while those who went through vocational training are involved in social field-work, counseling and mentoring their peers. Besides, the group had shot a film entitled: “The Hopeless Youth” and had

successfully empowered orphans in hair making skills. . “We are now bringing the programme to Ikotun and we are therefore calling on Ikotun youths to join in the programme”, she stated. She also solicited support from wellmeaning Nigerians who would love to identity with the efforts. She disclosed that her non-profit organization had already started the thematic mapping exercise in Ikotun area with a view to identifying and selecting beneficiaries of its rehabilitation project, adding that the programme targets youths across gender lines, especially those traumatized by social vices and in particular those deep into drug abuse. Ogbonna said many of the beneficiaries of the exercise are those indulging in various forms of anti-society activities, either due to lack of parental care or those who were disillusioned with insufficient support from the society to enable them go to school. She said: “When we launched this project in 2004, we found a high population of disgruntled youths across the state, many deeply indulging in various forms of drug, prostitution and crime and all these we realized were as a result of failure of the leadership to provide them with support to build their capacity.” She said she was abused at a tender age and the experience motivated her into launching the project to mentor youths who have gone through similar experience, since according to her, the society has not developed a structure that would help in addressing such abuses.

Briefs Church holds revival HE Christ Ambassadors’ SoT ciety of St Paul’s Anglican Church, off Akinyele Steet, OkeAfa, Isolo, holds its 17th anniversary revival from tomorrow to Saturday, at 5.00p.m. daily. Guest minister is Dr. Steve Ogan.

St Teresa’s old girls meet HERE will be reunion of all T old girls of St. Teresa’s College, Oke Ado, Ibadan, as part of activities to mark the school’s 80th anniversary, on Saturday, April 20, at 10.00a.m. at the school hall. For further enquiries, call Mrs. Sylvia Halim (08023222136); Mrs. Ranti Koiki (08051074921); Mrs. Joy Bateye (080530241100) and Bola Okanlawon (08027402645).

Oduwole, 92, for burial UNERAL rites for Pa Stephen Fat the Adebayo Oduwole, who died age of 92, began yesterday with a service of songs at 21, Shonibare Street, Isolo, Lagos. Another service of songs, organized by YCF members of King’s Anglican Church, Enu-Owa, Lagos, holds today at the same venue at 5.00p.m. There will be lying-in-state at 10.00a.m. and a Christian wake at 5.00p.m. tomorrow at the same venue. He will be buried on Friday after a funeral service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 3-5, Baale Street, Ijeshatedo, Isolo, at 10.00a.m. Reception is ta Holy Saviour College, Isolo. Outing Service holds on Sunday at King’s Anglican Church, EnuOwa at 10.00a.m. He is survived by children and other relations among whom are Mr. J. I. Taiwo and Mr. M. A. Oduwole.

Expectant woman feared dead as police raid train in Lagos By Odita Sunday ANDEMONIUM broke out in Ikeja, capital of Lagos yesterday, following a clash between train hikers and some men of the Nigeria Police Force. A pregnant woman and a passenger on the train with unknown identities were

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said to have been killed during the scuffle, which lasted for some hours. The pregnant woman was said to have been hit by a stone from the train hikers aimed at the policemen in an attempt to avoid possible arrest by the police. The Guardian gathered that

in recent times, hikers, some of whom are armed were said to have been attacking individuals in Lagos. In order to arrest the situation, men of the Lagos State Government enhanced security patrol popularly called Rapid

Response Squad (RRS) were said to have been stationed at the bus-stops to arrest them, only for them to resist arrest by allegedly hauling stones at the policemen. The development caused a stampede as commuters and roadside traders scampered for safety.

Although the Lagos State Police Public Relations officer, Ngozi Braide as 8.20pm denied knowledge of the incident, police sources disclosed that 19 suspects were arrested while ammunition was recovered from them. “I am not aware of the development but I will enquire and get back to you,”

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“Hence, today has been set aside for enjoyment and relaxation with your spouses and while we are doing this, we will still be doing what we know best to be doing, by empowering widows and the blind with sewing machines and

Agbogun presenting sewing machines to the widows

Missing person RS. Blessing Peter of No. 7, M Holy Mary Street, Iyana Iyesi, Ota, Ogun State, has been

Lions Club empowers widows, blind students By Isaac Taiwo S part of activities to mark its Family Ties Day 2013 recently, the Lions Club International, District 404B empowered two widows, Mrs. Victoria Ebiderem and Mrs. Roseline Perebor, with a sewing machine each and two blind men- President, Niger Delta Blind Students Association, Ben Tariye and Technical Director, Niger Delta Blind Students Association, Murphy Namah with N10,000 each. In her address at the event, which took place in Lagos, the District Governor, Stella Agbogun said: “This is a day set aside for the family of Lions to come together as a family to relax, dance, drink and do things that are interesting and bless participants with gifts.” “We appreciate you children for your endurance and co-operation with your fathers and mothers that are members of Lions Clubs who had been leaving you from time to time to attend meetings with a view to impacting on the sufferings in the society and helping the less privilege. “This year’s theme is: “Hope for the Nigerian Child” and we want to appreciate you children very well,” she said. Agbogun added: “Also for those husbands and wives that are not members of the Club, whenever your partner attends the Club meetings, they do so with a view to helping the less- privileged and we are seizing this opportunity to thank you for allowing them to do the job.”

Oduwole

money,” she said. Both widows thanked the Club for its kind gesture while the duo of Namah and Tariye said their gifts would remain indelible in their memories.

PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO

reported missing. A report made to the Police by her husband, Mr. Eneche Peter said “the 34-year-old is fair in complexion. She can speak English, Yoruba and Hausa Languages fluently and was last seen on March 4, 2013. ” “She left the Crownfit Hospital for her house to prepare food for her sick child, since then, she has not been in found,” the statement read. Any information on her whereabouts should be given to the nearest police station or call 08054477494 or 08109346088.

Peter


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Photonews

School children wading through the flooded Jebba Street, Ebute Metta (East), Lagos...yesterday

PHOTO:TOYOSI AJAYI

A vehicle overloaded with empty baskets on Zuba-Abuja Road...on Sunday

PHOTO: NAN

Kwara to rid the streets of beggars From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin. HE recent upsurge in the population of street beggars in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, may have started giving the state government some serious concern. The Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, said that “street begging is not known to any law in Nigeria,{ adding that his government would commence “prompt action” against the beggars. Ahmed, who said his government would encourage rehabilitation of such persons with the proof of being citizens of the state, disclosed that the upsurge could not be divorced from the recent actions of adjoining states’ governments against the beggars. Speaking yesterday in Ilorin in a chat with reporters, the governor said he would resist any attempt

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aimed at making the state a dumping ground for beggars. “Many of these beggars are not from here. They ran away from a state such as Lagos and came here to beg. We will not allow it, because if we do, there is no law that will back up our action. “A few days ago, when I was away for an official duty, some people under the aegis of Physically-Challenged Persons came to the Government House with their demands. They were Kwarans and that kind of demands could be listened to but for street begging, nothing of such would be allowed,” the governor said. Places such as Maraba, Tanke Junction, Kulende Junction, Gambari, Oja Oba Ipata, and Challenge junctions are daily flocked by these beggars. The development is, no

doubt, making the mockery of the daily sanitation exercise of the state government. The government has in its employment over 200 women sweepers who sweep the major streets in Ilorin everyday, except on Sundays. Although some Moslem faithful claimed that the beggars could be referred to as the poor, who should be adequately catered for, the Chief Imam of Ilorin Mohammed Bashir said the belief was erroneous. According to Bashir, Islam believes in hard work rather than begging. Besides, he said Al- Zakat should not be misconstrued as begging. For him, Al-zakat is that percentage paid in a year to any identified poor person of the payer’s choice, over the gains made in the course of a business, adding that, “begging should not be viewed as Al-Zakat.“

Senior Pastor, House On The Rock and President of the Rock Foundation, Paul Adefarasin (centre), Director of Missions, Pastor Goke Coker and journalists during a media tour of the Rock Cathedral scheduled for dedication on April PHOTO: CHRIS IREKAMBA 20 and April 21 at Lekki, Lagos… on Monday

Gaidam extends N100million lifeline to ailing indigenes OBE State Governor, Y Ibrahim Gaidam has approved the release of N100 million as special support to 21 chronically ill people in the state, whose conditions require advanced medical treatment outside the state. This includes a female police corporal, Habiba Agwam, who suffers from acute myeloid leukemia and requires a bone marrow transplant. A statement signed by Gaidam’s Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, said the governor approved the sum of N13 million for Miss Agwan to undergo the bone

marrow transplant in Singapore. Others who benefitted from the special gesture include six patients for kidney transplant, seven for spinal cord surgery, and two cases of open-heart surgery. There is also a case each for coronary angiography and bypass heart surgery and a patient for cochlear transplant. A child born as a hermaphrodite is among the beneficiaries. According to the statement, “doctors will determine which of the chromosomes is dominant in the hermaphrodite child and will do the operation accordingly.”

The governor’s special adviser said the governor gave the approval following a review of the affected cases and recommendations by the state medical board. The statement said the affected patients would receive treatment in specialized centers both within and outside the country. While the state government will continue to review and upgrade the services of its health centres, the statement concluded that the gesture by the governor was humanitarian and was designed to help people who were in dire need of such support.

Executive Director, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Olufemi Bakre (right), Chairman, Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Shamsudeen Olaleye and the Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Agbabiaka at the FCMB/Isolo LCDA inauguration of Climate Change Unit and Green Brigadge in Lagos ...yesterday. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Police charge couple, others to court for alleged child trafficking in Abia From Gordi Udeajah - Umuahia HE Abia State Police ComT mand said that it has charged five persons to court, including a couple, for childtrafficking. The Police Commissioner, Mr. Usman Tilling, told journalists in his office Monday in Umuahia, that following a tipoff to his Command on April 2, 2013, a couple, Mr. Uchechukwu Gabriel and his wife, Nneoma, were arrested for selling their new born baby girl to an unknown buyer for N200,000. The Commissioner, who said that within his 42 days in office in Abia state, out of the four reported kidnap cases, three victims were rescued and set free without any payment of ransom while efforts

to rescue the other were in progress. Giving details of the other kidnap reports, Tilli said that on March 4, 2013, following the report made by Mr. Chidiebere Samuel of Ovungwu village in Isiala Ngwa South Local Council, that on February 26, 2013, his wife Odinakachi Samuel, delivered a baby girl but connived with the nurse, Monica Benjamin, that delivered her of the baby and sold the said baby for N150,000. Similarly, that on March 6, 2013 Mrs. Ozioma Ekwelum, aged 20, of 13B Nwalozie Street, Aba, reported that her husband Onyekachi Ekwelum, aged 26, sold their only son, aged six, months whose name was given as Oluebubechukwu for N350,000 to enable him pro-

cure travel documents to Greece. He said that the said sold child had been recovered in good health and handed over to the mother while the suspects have been charged to court. In another case, the CP said that one Mr Oluchukwu Ogidi of Amaoji in IsialaNgwa South LGA reported that his wife Kelechi Amowse aged 25 years, connived with one Dr Williams Oruwa who delivered her of a baby boy and sold the said baby for N300,000. Adding that the suspects have also been charged to court, CP Tilli said that three other pregnant women whose names he listed that were harboured by the said Dr Williams were being used as prosecution witnesses.

National Sales Manager, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc., Seye Ogunwole (left), (Wing Commander, MS Ibrahim, Commanding Officer, NAF Clearing Agency; ‘Lanre Jaiyeola, Commercial Director, Honeywell; Group Capt. Ali Balogun, Commanding Officer, Receipt & Despatch and Sola Abati, Marketing Manager, Honeywell, during the presentation of Honeywell Consumer Products to the flood-affected communities in Bayelsa State through the NAF “EbinyeRin” exercise.


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TheGuardian

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 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 Taming inflation and interest rates EEPING over the problem, either as a public relations gimmick or a genuine W admission of cluelessness, has become a nauseating but defining style of Nigerian leaders. In the matter of the nation’s economy especially, those employed to fix it have a habit of shedding the most tears, as is the case with high interest rates, stifling borrowing and stunted economic growth. It is as if the words of President Goodluck Jonathan at his inauguration, that the time for lamentation was over and it was time for transformation, were hardly audible to members of his cabinet. At a dialogue with the private sector, the other day, Finance Minister of State, Yerima Ngama took the phenomenon a notch higher when he decried the prevailing high interest rates, questioning why banks charge 19 per cent interest on bonds with the rate for the private sector being between 22 and 24 per cent. He then expressed great concern about the N699 billion spent by the Federal Government in 2012 to service the national debt with the national domestic debt accounting for about 95 per cent of the total. In the face of Ngama’s lamentations, it is necessary to understand the origin of the bonds and the source of high inflation that sustains high interest rates. On 18th March 2013, the date the dialogue held, Ngama also chaired the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) that released over N972 billion as February 2013 budget allocations. Included was freshly printed N703 billion (72 per cent of the total) that was obtained from the CBN by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in substitution for about US$4.69 billion Federation Account (FA) accruals, which were withheld by the apex bank. Analytically, the injection of the N703 billion at that state was inappropriate and premature because it is tantamount to an unsolicited and inappropriate loan, an addition to the national domestic debt (notwithstanding the unrecognised, interest-free and non-repayable treatment of this class of debt over the years). It also bloats the money supply volume with inflationary implications. It is clear that this spiraling and burdensome national domestic debt accumulated from excess liquidity along with its high service cost, as well as the annual sinking fund, is completely avoidable. The debt burden arose from the faulty budget financing measures adopted by the Finance Ministry, RMAFC and CBN, which are out of tune with international best practices for infusing foreign exchange into a system following the demise in 1971 of the Bretton Woods plan of fixed exchange rates. Therefore, the option before the Federal Government is not to negotiate interest rates charged on bonds but to cancel the fake national domestic debt altogether. Firstly, only about 20 per cent of all budget spending across all tiers of government, which is made up of non-oil revenue, is funded with realised revenue. Thus the annual budgets packaged for a supposedly oil-rich country have always been implemented as if Nigeria is poor. Secondly, contrary to the claims by the Finance Ministry, the country’s annual fiscal deficit as a ratio of GDP for many years has exceeded 15 per cent. Thirdly, the economy is being buffeted by the effects of a cumulative national debt since 1971 that is now in the neighbourhood of 100 per cent of GDP. It is, therefore, not oil curse but the curse of excessive fiscal deficits substituted for oil earnings. Those are the true indices of the country’s abjectly weak economy that is persistently racked by macroeconomic instability, high inflation, high interest rates, sliding naira exchange rate, a comatose real sector, high unemployment and rising poverty. Fourthly, there has long been a wide spread between the weighted average deposit rate (invariably below 5 per cent) and the average prime lending rate (ranging from 15 per cent to 25 per cent) with maximum lending rate topping 30 per cent for most small businesses. These rates have induced a high proportion of non-performing bank loans, overhanging banking sector distress, which has saddled AMCON with an expanding portfolio of toxic assets currently put at about N6 trillion and a low ratio of bank credit to the economy as a proportion of GDP hovering around 30 per cent. Practically, all the banks will collapse in the absence of the fake national domestic debt. This is a pointer to the need to immediately replace the faulty fiscal and monetary practices. For inflation to fall to levels (below three per cent most of the time) that would allow internationally competitive interest rates to take root, Ngama and the FAAC should begin allocating Federation Account dollar accruals such as the withheld $4.69 billion in the earlier illustration through abuse-proof domiciliary dollar accounts for beneficiaries to convert to realised oil-derived naira revenue through deposit money banks. In the process, there would be no unnecessary bloating of the money supply volume, which causes excess liquidity and inflation. That is the essential first step towards implementing and achieving a succession of balanced budgets, budget surpluses and/or budget deficits below three per cent of GDP which guarantee the macroeconomic stability needed for beneficial, productive and sound management of the economy. Until the right steps are taken, the much-talked about transformation will never replace lamentations as an art in which all government officials appear determined to outdo each other.

LETTERS

Ikorodu suburb pleads on power shortage IR: Shortage of electricity is old generating sets, both Ikorodu find it difficult to get any clear figures about how Sresidents a source of headache for night and day. Many workshops, salons, much electricity was actually of Ebute-Ipakodo, Ikorodu in Lagos State as residents believe that the issue is not being given attention in the distribution of electricity supply in the state. The people continually hope that the PHCN would fix the problem after several months of groping in darkness. But this has not been. Many are surprised to learn that while electricity supply has improved in many areas in the state, the case with Ebute-Ipakodo has worsened over the years. In EbuteIpakodo noise from generators block the eardrums of residents in addition to offensive black fumes from

eateries cold-rooms and micro businesses have collapsed due to non-availability of power. Many households now resort to use of kerosene lamps and candles to light their homes. Even pupils and students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions now use candles to study, just as charcoal irons are now in vogue for ironing clothes. We wonder why we have been neglected for so long, even though bills are constantly sent, without any improvement in the supply of power to the area to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Residents of Ebute-Ipakodo,

Reformation of the judiciary The Court of Appeal is ing them and becoming Sin IR:next to the Supreme Court more acidic when the judicial hierarchy. Being an lawyers make any attempt to appellate court in such a vantage position, it is expected that judicial business will be conducted with seriousness by both the bar and the bench and with mutual respect for each other. But sadly, at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, where I practise, some of the Justices, particularly the presiding ones, are autocratic and display this uncharitable character by openly descending into the arena, shouting on lawyers appearing before them and uncouthly address-

make an explanation. This feudalistic approach to justice, which is a manifestation of corruption in another form, is a matter of concern to all lovers of free and fair judicial system untainted by any form of latent and patent bias of the adjudicators both at the trial and appellate levels. It is no gain saying the fact that the judiciary is the last hope of the oppressed, hence it is imperative that judicial officers must not only dispense justice without fear or

used in the last 13 months. Why should we have approximated data for over a year when metres are installed and they don’t record anything due to the acute power shortage? Surely, fraud is being suspected in this exercise. PHCN does not deserve a kobo from Ebute-Ipakodo residents because both in law and in morality, you only demand payment when services were rendered. We are, therefore, appealing to Governor Raji Fashola to come to our rescue. • Jonathan Abamba, Ikorodu, Lagos.

favour but they must be seen to have done so, fairly and impartially, unlike the present situation where the Rules of the Court are slanted in favour of a party to the detriment of the other or outrightly ignored as if the Justices are a law unto themselves. So, in the interest of justice and the rule of law, I hereby appeal to the Justices to ensure a level playing field for all advocates in matters placed before them for adjudication and treat counsel and litigants with the same respect accorded to them. • Femi Balogun, Lagos.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BUSINESS 15

Business IndustryWatch P38

Energy P47

Imperatives of creating enabling environment for industrial growth

Power supply worsens amid generation, distribution woes

OPEC countries’ investment in refinery project may hit $1.3tr by 2035 By Roseline Okere HE Orgnaisation of T Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has estimated global refining investment to be around $1.3 trillion by 2035. Also, the organisation expects global crude oil demand to increase from 20 million barrels per day (bpd) to 107 million bpd by 2035. According to OPEC in 2012 global refining report, $230 billion out of the estimated amount will be needed for existing projects; $300 billion for required addition projects and around $750 billion for maintenance and replacement. It added that some investments would be necessary for loading and receiving ports, related storage capacity, and to expand the retail distribution network of refined product. “Combined, midstream investment costs for the period to 2035 are estimated to be close to $1 trillion”. It stated that OPEC member countries were undertaking around 116 development projects during the five-year period 2012–2016, which corresponds to an estimated investment of about $270 billion, and demonstrates the scale of OPEC’s portfolio of projects. Most of the investment is expected to come from non-

OPEC countries, “over the medium-term, non-OPEC will need to invest an average of $95 billion each year and in the long-term, this rises to over $110 billion yearly. The reported stated: “OPEC member countries have continuously played a positive key role in satisfying the world’s energy needs, in supporting oil market stability, and investing along the whole oil supply chain in an adequate and timely manner. Even in the face of large uncertainties about future oil demand, it continues to invest heavily in exploration; development, refining and transport in order to maintain and expand supply capacities”. Speaking at the 14th International Oil Summit, Paris, France at the weekend, OPEC Secretary General, Abdalla El-Badri said that global demand for crude oil is expected to increase by more than 20 million barrels a day over the same period. It added that it would eventually reach over 107 million barrels a day by 2035. ”The reality is that fossil fuels will remain dominant in meeting energy demand for the foreseeable future. We also have the resources to meet future demand”. El-Badri allayed of development of Shale gas to OPEC crude oil demand, saying,

Technical Director, African Foundries Limited, Ravi Sharma(left); Chief Executive Officer, Sanjay Kumar; and Executive Director, Corporate Services, Uche Iwuamadi, at the media facility tour of the African Foundries at Ogijo. Ogun State, yesterday. PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU “We welcome energy diversity and an expanded energy mix. Shale gas and tight oil are positive additions. And in the US they are certainly having an impact. However, they too have an associated marginal cost; one that is higher than for convention-

al fossil fuels. We have already seen a slowdown in US shale gas drilling as natural gas prices fell. In addition, we need to be careful in estimating their potential. There have been reports that shale wells can drop off by as much as 60-90 per cent within the first year”.

Again, LCCI tasks govt on enabling business environment, job creation By Femi Adekoya HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stressed the need for government to create a conducive operating environment that would aid the growth of industries as well as encourage the inflow of foreign direct investments. Specifically, the chamber stressed the need for the Federal Government to address some business unfriendly policies in the country if the nation’s goal of reviving its industrial sector as well as enhancing international trade would become achievable. Addressing journalists at its first quarter press conference on the economy in Lagos, yesterday, the President, LCCI, Goodie Ibru, urged the government to create a conducive operating environment for investors, considering the involvement in economic transformation, inclusiveness

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of nationals in the growth process, job creation and the general improvement in the welfare of Nigerian citizens. Besides, the chamber reiterated the need for government to give due consideration to economic diverisfication, noting that recent developments in the global economy underscores such urgent need, as the risks of oil prices volatility are real. He said: “The overall growth figures showed a positive trend. We are pleased with the numbers; but we are concerned about the weak impact of the growth performance on private sector and the welfare of the Nigerian people. Virtually all business segments lamented the harsh operating environment. The power situation deteriorated as we now have a relapse into a chronic power failure. The refineries are still underperforming; unemployment level is still high and cost of fund is still

high. “The credit situation is still a major problem for investors in the economy. As in the previous quarters lending rates was well above 20 per cent. Many small and medium scale enterprises still have serious challenge in accessing credit even at this high rate. The tight credit situation is a major inhibiting factor to the capacity of domestic enterprises to take advantage of the robust Nigerian market. “We reiterate our call for both fiscal and monetary authorities to work together to ease the credit conditions, especially for the small and medium scale enterprises and more importantly domestic businesses. This is critical as well to stem the gradual crowding out of domestic entrepreneurs by foreign investors.” On the challenges encountered by many businesses from regulatory institutions and in the course of interna-

tional trade processes, Ibru urged stakeholders to review such processes to encourage trade and investments. “The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has received complaints about the burden on businesses imposed by regulatory institutions. There were complaints about overlapping regulatory approvals, delays in processing regulatory documents and product registration; bureaucratic bottlenecks and exorbitant charges. Documentation and processes for imports and exports are becoming increasingly cumbersome, leading to undue delays and cost escalation. “We urge the Competiveness Council and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) to do a process audit of international trade documentation processes with a view to reducing the bottlenecks and delays and the volume of documentation


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

16 BUSINESS

‘Nigeria can emerge big player in steel production’ By Femi Adekoya IGERIA has the potential to become a global player in the manufacture and exportation of steel products, the Chief Executive Officer of African Foundaries Limited (AFL), Sanjay Kumar, has said. Besides, Kumar noted that AFL, a member of African Industries Group, has completed plans to penetrate the Ghanaian market, following the rise of its local steel production capacity. Kumar, who made the statement while taking

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Firm targets Ghana’s iron rod market newsmen on a tour of the company’s steel mill at Ogijo, in Ogun State, yesterday, said with the commissioning of the company’s manufacturing units in Ogijo and Suleja, Niger State, the company is ready to move from a net importer of steel bar to a net exporter of high quality TMT bars. “Nigeria has abundant iron ore deposit and if the full potential of government is ploughed into its explo-

ration and exploitation, this country can begin to produce steel for export. Today, we are proud to announce the breakthrough achievement in export business of about 5000 metric tones of TMT rebar of international standard to Ghana in the first instance. With a current production capacity of about 200,000 tonnes per year, we hope to break the history of Nigeria when the nation will be exporting high quality TMT steel bar. “The potential is there for Nigeria because of her drive toward economic diversification; her manpower base; her intellectual base in metallurgy science; and because she possesses abundant natural resources for steel production. “It is without doubt that Nigeria has the capacity to become Africa’s voice in the international market place for the manufacture, mar-

keting and exportation of rods,`` Kumar said. He added that indigenous steel producing companies were doing enough to bridge the local demandsupply chain, adding that domestic rod production could reach 1, 250, 000 tonnes by 2013. Kumar urged the Federal Government to improve on the nation’s infrastructure to encourage more investors to go into the production of steel and iron rods locally. Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, African Foundries Limited, Uche Iwuamadi, said that local rod manufacturer would address the nation’s unemployment crisis. According to him, the steel making industry attracts skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour, which Nigerian has in abundance. ``Recycling of scrap metal entails getting scavengers to go get waste metal objects

It is without doubt that Nigeria has the capacity to become Africa’s voice in the international market place for the manufacture, marketing and exportation of rods...There is the need, however, for more government’s intervention in checking the importation and production of substandard building materials. and supply mills that use them to produce rods. “About 5000 people alone have been known to be gainfully employed and supplying us with the scrap metals we recycle for our production,” he said. The Technical Director of African Foundries Limited, Ravi Sharma, said that building collapse in Nigeria should not be blamed on use of substandard iron rods. He said that rods alone have not been known to be

the cause of building collapsing. “There is the need, however, for more government’s intervention in checking the importation and production of substandard building materials. We manufacture under full international certifications such as ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 and NIS 117:2004 of international certification by RINA, ones that meet the International Finance Corporation and World Bank guidelines.

Shareholders delay kick-off of NLNG’s Train Seven project By Roseline Okere IGERIA Liquified Natural N Gas Limited (NLNG) has attributed the delay in the kick-off of Train-Seven LNG project to the inability of the company’s shareholders to take the Final Investment Decision (FID). According to the company in its “2013 Facts and Figures on NLNG” made available to The Guardian, plans were at advanced stage to build Train Seven NLG project that would lift its total gas production capacity from the current 22 metric tones per annum (MTPA) of LNG to 30 mtpa. It stated that the company was currently progressing with some preliminary early site preparation work on the Train Seven project, but the project take off would be determined by how early the shareholders take the FID. According to the company, the project is expected to advance to the next stage as soon as the shareholders make the Final Investment Decision (FDI). It added: “Six trains are currently operational, the entire complex is capable of producing 22 MTPA of LNG and five

MTPA of LPG and condensates from 3.5 billion standard cubic feet per day (bcf/d) natural gas intake. “The plant has rapidly and successfully made the transition from a construction project to a stable production operation, with relentless focus on operational excellence, de-bottlenecking and regular Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM) of the assets whilst imbibing proven techniques and processes to maximize production, and manage human interferences and impacts. The company described the NLNG six-train complex as the biggest gas consumer and exporter in Nigeria with its current daily consumption of 3.5 bcf/d “All these activities are underpinned by a Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) culture that continually seeks improvements in our approach, safety and sustainable utilization of our assets. “The government aims to eliminate all flaring of gas associated with the production of oil, and NLNG continues to play a significant part in reducing gas flaring. Between 1999 and 2012, NLNG has converted about 3.3 Tcf of associated gas to export, which would have been flared. NLNG, with its 6-Train LNG complex, would be reducing gas flaring in the country. Other demands on the use of Nigeria’s gas are domestic power generation, domestic utilities and industry, as well as export gas projects such as the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPco) and potentially other future LNG projects”, the report stated. It added that the company has concluded plan to build six new vessels between 2013 and 2016 with $308 million (N80 billion). It said that the financing has being arranged in two programme of $308 million sixyear additional programme debt and a $1.1 million 12-year new vessel debt, explaining that the additional programme debt was indebtedness under the 2006 vessel financing arrangement while the new vessel debt was a fresh facility with several international banks as lenders.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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Dangote, quiet, sterling industrialist, clocks 56 By Marcel Mbamalu S Africa’s richest (actually A world’s 43rd)., but unassuming, industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, turns 56 today, his antecedents portray him as a man that has signed a pact with success. His fortunes in business have ensured he remains in global reckoning. Hardly heard loud — even in matters that directly affect him — the Kano-State-born industrialist obviously dominates the private sector like a colossus. In what appears a foretaste of what was to come, Dangote was, in 2011, announced by the Forbes Africa Magazine as Africa’s richest man. And, barely two years after that feat, he was celebrated by the same Magazine; this time, as the 43rd Richest man in the world.’ With net worth of $16.1 billion, the President of the Dangote Group moved up several notches, from the 76th position he was in 2012 to 43th, as at March 2013. Although Dangote and his over 60,000 employees are yet to celebrate this feat, the media space did and probably continues to do so. Many believe that Dangote’s decades of uninterrupted business success – which sharply contrasts with the reality of poverty in his home country, Nigeria — are fueled not so much by his industry, but by his humility and sense of purpose. Curiously, doing so much, the entrepreneur, who started out at the age of 21 (with N500,000 seed donated

by his uncle, Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata), says very little about his fortunes. Granted the industrialist continues to have the ears of governments, this privilege hardly gets into his head and is hardly ever flamboyant, even corporate events where he rightly belongs. Speaking about the business mogul, one of his employees in Lagos once said: “When pushed to talk, Dangote only talks business.” For example, Dangote recently announced that the introduction, 10 years ago, of backward integration policy, which required that cement import licences be allocated only to importers who show proof of building factories for local manufacturing, had helped the country make substantial progress in its march to selfsufficiency. Inaugurating a new six million-metric ton per annum cement factory, which was built by Sinoma, a Chinese construction company, in Ibese last year, Dangote simply gave credit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo for initiating the policy, which, according to him, had helped Nigeria move from being a net importer of cement to potential exporter. But, in those few words, he spoke volumes. Dangote’s businesses cut across virtually all sectors of the economy and his successes have always been met with controversies, ranging from accusations of undue political leverage to monopolistic tendencies. With an intimidating stature

Dangote imposed on virtually all sectors of the economy and touching nearly every aspect of human endeavour, the Kano-born business mogul appears to have demystified every impediment to success and, instead, opened up avenues for other Nigerians to eke out a living. From cement business to sugar and salt production, the unassuming President/Chief Executive Officer of the Dangote Group, owns the largest manufacturing conglomerate in Africa. Yet, his appetite for business appears insatiable. Of course, like every frontline businessman, certain policies of government that were targeted at encouraging economic growth might have turned out in Dangote’s favour; yet he

seems to be one of the very few, if not the only one, with something to show for it. Riding roughshod against the storm of criticisms, and, sometimes, unfounded suspicion, Alhaji Dangote has created a business empire that even the worst of his critics cannot gainsay. Some of his quoted companies include the Dangote Cement, Dangote Flour Mills, Dangote Sugar Refinery and National Salt Company of Nigeria. Other companies include the Green View Development Services Ltd, which manages Terminal E of the Apapa Port with activities spanning terminal and bulk cargo operations. Dangote’s cement businesses are fully integrated, and operate from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa

and Zambia. The Abajana plant prides itself as the largest in sub-Saharan region and currently produces five million metric tonnes yearly. Less than one year after the Ibese statement, the respected Forbes Africa millionaire drew attention to what he referred to as the glut being caused by Cletus Ibeto, his rivalry’s importation line; and to drive home his point, fooled the allegation with action — shutting down his Gboko plant on grounds that the “illegal importation,” which, according to Dangote, contravened the “letter and spirit” of Federal Government’s backward integration policy, was making the plant unprofitable. Ibeto returned vitriolic for vitriolic, insisting that Dangote was merely perfecting plans to enthrone and perpetuate monopoly. Also at the Ibese launch, the business mogul explained that, since the Group took over the 800,000 metric ton- Benue Cement, it had actually increased its capacity to four million metric tonnes without any technical partner. He also noted that, with the projected 10.25 million tonnes, Obajana Cement would soon be “on the map as the largest cement plant ever in the world.” The security challenges not withstanding, Dangote described Nigeria’s current investment climate as the best in Africa, saying that the tax policy, by way of incentives and holidays, either introduced or sustained by the Jonathan Administration had

provided a leeway for the Group to make successful inroads into other African countries, with the result that the continent has begun to gain global recognition in manufacturing. “In line with our long-term vision, we are in 14 African countries and we plan to attain 60 million metric tonnes of cement production by 2014. We are commissioning our plant in Senegal in two months’ time; we are just waiting for the dust of election to settle,” he said. According to him, producing 60 million metric tonnes within the continent would put Dangote Cement Plc on the list of top eight cement-producing companies in the world. Of course, both Senegal and Ghana cement plants are currently producing cement, thanks to Dangote’s inclination to risk-taking, which amazes his friends and foes alike. In fact, President Jonathan would breach all known “protocols” in 2011 to offer Dangote the revered honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON). It was the first time someone of Dangote’s standing (privatesector operator) would be so honoured. Yet, Nigerians literally paid little attention to the news of his making the enviable list of the Federal Government nominees for national honours in 2011 probably because they believe that the business mogul really deserves the honour being done him by the country. Perhaps, what makes all the


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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MoneyWatch Nigeria’s discordant rates versus fund mobilisation, growth Interest rates in the country have over the years, remained business-unfriendly, especially to operators in the productive sector of the economy. Analysts continue however, to lament the sustenance of such growthretarding economic policy sneering at weather beaten economic theories being touted to justify the financial regime by the apex bank. CHIJIOKE NELSON writes. T last, a move has been made A by the regulatory authorities to alleviate the assessed difficul-

ties, oppression and ambiguities surrounding the myriads of charges put on bank customers, especially when it had to do with loans and withdrawals. Of more interesting is the attempt to address the imbroglio over interest payable on deposits, particularly, on savings account. There are arguments in some quarters that banks in the country do not pay interest on savings account, while others said the margin is insignificant. Are there good reasons- moral and ethical, for banks to pay interests and “sizeable ones”? Perhaps, we would like to make a conjecture on the ultimate reason for several bonanzas by banks and the alluring power of interest rate in mobilizing funds. Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released the Revised Guide to Bank Charges, with a circular to deposit money banks and discount houses reading in part: “The Guide to Bank Charges, first issued in 2004, was meant to provide a standard for the application of charges in the banking industry and minimize conflicts between banks and their customers. Over time, it was observed that the various charges in the Guide had become out of tune with current realities in the market and some provisions/terms in it allowed room for ambiguity and conflict. “In order to reflect current developments in the market and provide clarity on banking terms, the CBN recently conducted a review of the Guide in consultation with all the banks and discount houses, Bankers’ Committee, financial experts/consultants and also considered inputs received from other stakeholders to produce the Revised Guide to Bank Charges. To reduce ambiguity in transactions, minimum disclosure requirements for loan contracts have been stipulated, in addition to the glossary of terms provided.” It further noted that the Revised Guide to Bank Charges is hereby issued to serve as a regulation on applicable charges for banking services and products offered to customers- individuals, corporate organisations and government at various levels, together with their agencies. It intends to enhance flexibility, transparency and competition in the Nigerian economy. It replaces the Guide to Bank Charges issued in 2004, with effect from April 1, 2013. “Banks and discount houses are enjoined to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Guide.” “Where a charge is stipulated as ‘negotiable’, deposit money banks are required to appropriately draw the attention of their customers to its consequence and the two parties should mutually agree on the applicable charge. All commissions, charges and rates are stated in this Guide are subject to relevant taxes. Although the Guide provides for charges on various products and

services of deposit money banks, it is not exhaustive. Banks are mandated to present any new product, service and charge(s) not covered by this Guide to the Central Bank of Nigeria for prior approval,” it added. In the new guide, interests on deposits are negotiable, except on savings accounts. It stipulated a minimum of 30 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) per annum as interest payable on savings account. At this point, we would want the apex bank to break down or explain “ minimum of 30 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) per annum.” Otherwise, we would simply understand it as 30 per cent of the subsisting MPR (which is 12 per cent) and we would arrive at 3.6 per cent per annum. Could this be the interest rate on savings account? The questions still remain: How long will it take the banks to key into the new Guide, given our cultural antecedents in sluggish response to directive, especially when the issue in focus is not totally in our favour? How is the regulatory authorities strategized to effect compliance? What is the penal code for non-compliance, because “carrot and stick” is our minimum standard for compliance? How comprehensive is the provision to ensure a noticeable difference from status quo? Before the guide was unveiled, the widening disparity between interests payable on deposits and loans recently attracted criticisms from stakeholders, coupled with the spate of identifiable and unidentifiable charges being slammed on depositors and borrowers for transactions, berating the CBN for complicity by keeping silent over the issues. They were of the view that CBN, as the regulator, should aggregate all charges associated with borrowing from banks and make them public, so that borrowers would be adequately informed before seeking any loan, while it would also expose the prevalent illegal charges. CBN’s recent publications in the dailies showed that some banks pay “next to nothing” interest rate on savings, while the fixed deposits are left for negotiations. Further analysis of the publications showed that the average interest charged by banks on facilities was about 19 per cent, while the average interest paid on deposits was about three per cent. According to the Economic Report of November 2012 released by CBN, “available data indicated mixed developments in deposit rates.” The report said that “both maximum and prime lending rates rose in November 2012. The spread between the weighted average term deposit and maximum lending rates narrowed slightly from 17.37 percentage points to17.32 percentage points in November 2012. The margin between the average savings deposit and maximum lending rates, however, widened to 23.05 percentage points in the review month from 22.89 per cent in the

Lamido Sanusi, CBN governor

preceding month.” But the Managing Director of Financial Datanet House Limited, Tony Onadele, argued that the gap is not that wide when some other calculations are factored in. “The issue over interest rate is an old tale. If you get explicit effective cost of funds and add implicit cost- loss norms and operating expenses, including the recent directive to provide for AMCON at three per cent of respective bank’s balance sheet, the gap is not that wide. Still, there are alternatives that offer more to savers, where they do not have to invest in bank deposits that typically offer low interest, like the treasury bills, among others.” An Abuja based Development Consultant, Jide Ojo, said: “It is foolhardy for anybody to save money in this kind of economy. Except for fixed deposit of huge sums of money in which the depositors can negotiate interest rates, ordinarily, savings do not attract more than two per cent interest rate. Even when deposit is fixed with interest rate between five per cent and 7.5 per cent, the high inflation rate ravaging the country would have wiped off its value on the deposit when the customer decides to withdraw in three, six or 12 months. Ironically, interest rate on borrowing from the same bank is in the region of 15 to 20 per cent, moreso as the Monetary Policy Rate is set at 12 per cent by the CBN. “It is understandable that banks are in business to make profit for their owners and shareholders, but the disparity between interest rate on deposits or savings vis-a-vis that

charged on loans in Nigeria is preposterous and unjustifiable. I think the Bankers Committee or CBN needs to intervene on behalf of the depositors. Unfortunately, CBN, instead of doing this came out on January 23, 2013, with a new policy, which set new deposit limits for all categories of account holders and introduced three-tier Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for banks. I do hope that this does not mean in layman’s language that bank customers are forced to leave minimum balance that is unsatisfactory to them, otherwise this will make many people to close their accounts and keep their money outside of the banks’ vault with its attendant risk. Where then will be CBN’s financial inclusion initiative? “If banks’ interest rate on deposit is upwardly reviewed from its insignificant benchmark that it is subsisting, many of the banks who are now engaging in all manners of ‘save and win promo and bonanza’ will not need to go to that length to mobilise deposits. Customers will come on their volition to save without being cajoled or coerced. However, if the rip-off of the depositors continues, no amount of lotteries, promos or bonanzas will encourage customers to save.” The Chief Executive Officer of Forthright Securities and Investment Limited, Ashogbon Bode, said: “Of course, there could be justifications for the wide gap between the deposit and lending rates. Firstly, the banks’ capitali-

Low interest rate on savings is a disincentive for capital formation, as many are discouraged from saving or rather patronise banks as a last option. This situation will always force banks to depend on government deposits, thereby strengthening the social menace of corruption.

sation exercise(s) had made it possible for accumulation of interest free funds from shareholders. Therefore, they can always price down interest on deposits as it were. Secondly, the depositors seemed helpless, as savings from disposable income cannot be kept at home considering the security implications. In addition, banks must generate sufficient fund to finance the expenses. “Low savings rate is a disincentive for capital formation, as many are discouraged from saving or rather patronise banks as a last option. This situation will always force banks to depend on government deposits, thereby strengthening the social menace of corruption. It is a common practice these days to see bank executives on pages of newspapers with government officials fraternising for no other reason than cheap or priceless deposits. “The low savings rate had made it impossible for capital to be formed and hence there is always poor loanable funds to finance productive activities that will generate high income for greater savings through the multiplier process. The government fund which banks run after is rather too volatile in the sense that government can call for the money at any time without notice. Of course, the government deposit is just a temporary shock absorber to deceive the regulatory authorities that there is high deposit mobilisation. The implication of the high loan rate is tantamount to economic and social sabotage. There is no genuine investor or entrepreneur that can obtain loan from the system at the current rate for productive venture. If there are no new investments, it becomes impossible to grow the economy because capital stocks cannot be accumulated. The Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, said: “The wide disparity between interests on deposits and loans is a serious cause for concern for all right thinking Nigerians. It is a clear demonstration of the poor management of the financial system by the CBN. “First, it discourages savings by the majority of the population due to the fact that interest on deposits is below the double digit inflation rate. Every money saved in bank suffers depreciation by not less than seven per cent by the end of the year and this is happening in a country that is in dire need of savings and capital formation for higher level of investments in virtually all sectors of the economy. “The second issue is that it reduces banking to usury and making unearned profits, which to all intents and purposes, is that banks with the active support of the CBN are cheating and defrauding Nigerians of their hard earned money. For a bank to turn around and insist on 25 per cent interest rate after paying less than five per cent deposit rate is totally unfair. Deploring the situation, he said that “banks now lack creativity but are only comfortable with easy money. Banking used to involve intermediation in the economy and presented a win-win situation for all- the depositor, the bank and the borrower. No business can borrow and pay back the cut-throat interest rate and survive in its enterprise. The third concern is that the current rates discourage investments in the real sector of the economy, as such, encourages de-industrialisation and enhances poverty instead of reducing it.”


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Understanding Cabotage And Local Content In The Nigerian Oil And Gas Industry (Upstream) Organised By The Nigerian Chamber Of Shipping In Lagos 25th -28th March, 2013

Austin Uzoka, Mgr Local Content, SNEPCo giving a lecture on 'Overview of the Upstream Oil & Gas Industry in Nigeria'

From the Desk of the DIRECTOR GENERAL Dear Readers , HE month of March has been very eventful T for the Maritime sector. The 3-Day Nigerian Maritime Expo (NIMAREX 2013) ended about three weeks ago, and was a huge success! On Monday 25th March, 2013 we commenced (in collaboration with Shell Nigeria Local Content Division, NIMASA, NAPIMS and others) a 4-day workshop on: “Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry”. The Workshop had a full complement of Maritime/ Shipping experts, key industry resource persons/speakers including Dr Chris Asoluka, the current Chairman, Board of Directors, Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority, Onne; Mr. Austin Uzoka, Manager Local Content Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company (SNEPCO); Ms Funmi Folorunso, Executive Coordinator, Association of African Ship Owners, and Mr. Peter Agbajolobia Ship Registry Division of NIMASA, Sir Peter Olorunfemi, CEO, Peter Maritime Consulting Services, Rear Admiral Ombo Godwill Aye Siempre (Rtd) Former FOC, Naval Training Command; Mwo (Engr.) Timothy Chimezie Iwuagwu (Rtd.); Barr. (Mrs.) Ekeoma Ezeine (Esq), MD/CEO Crystal Trust Insurance Brokers; Robert Goodwin, Master Mariner, Offshore Marine Logistics Lead Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company Ltd; Mr Chidi Ilogu (SAN), Principal Counsel, Foundation Chambers and Dr. Emmanuel Douglas, Head of Department of Marine Engineering RSUST. We had a very full house of participants at the workshop, from different corporate organisations involved in maritime business; financial institutions, Legal firms and a host of others from different parts of the country. It was my dream, 10 years ago to advocate for Maritime Desks in our Banks. Today that dream has come true. Today my dream once again is to initiate a niche within Local Content for Nigerians to take control of Marine services in the upstream sector of the oil & gas arena. I believe that this can be achieved by creating fora on a regular basis to impart the requisite practical knowledge, professionalism for practitioners and potentials players within the said sector. I encourage you to go through this edition of our journal carefully if you are in the maritime business and more information’s and pictures of the workshop will come up in subsequent editions. Happy reading Ify Anazonwu-Akerele Director General Nigerian Chamber of Shipping

Preamble The Nigerian Chamber of Shipping with technical support from key Regulatory Bodies in the Nigerian Maritime and Oil & Gas Industries organized a 4-day training Workshop in Lagos from 25th through 28th of March, 2013. The Workshop titled: Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry (Upstream) was designed to expose participants to a thorough knowledge of the technicalities involved in upstream Oil & Gas operations vis – a –viz the associated logistics involved with commercial shipping and marine activities and also to lead them to a better understanding of the industry contracts, international best practices and investment opportunities within the upstream niche market. Over 60 participants coming from diverse business areas such as banking, law firms, marine/shipping companies, Logistics service providers, training institutions, ship building and repair yards, oil servicing companies, government agencies, multinationals (IOCs), attended the Workshop which was interactive and intensive. 3. The faculty comprised about 15 professional Resource persons that delivered the 11-Module workshop programme under the following topics: • Introductory/General Overview By Mr. Greg Ogbeifun, MD/CEO, Starzs Marine & Investment Company Ltd. • The Development of the Maritime Industry in Nigeria/Legislation By Dr. Chris Asoluka, Chairman, Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority • Overview of the Upstream Oil and gas Industry in Nigeria; By Mr Austin Uzoka, Manager, Local Content, SNEPCo • Vessel Registration and Working within the Regulatory Framework By Mr. Peter Agbaminoja, Ships Registry Department, NIMASA / Mrs Funmi Folorunso, Executive Secretary, ASOS • Funding your Contract/Vessel Financing By Sir Peter Olorunfemi, CEO, Peter Maritime Consulting Services • Maritime Security; By R/Adm GSA. Ombo (Rtd) OON, Former Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command • Understanding Maritime Insurance

Mr Austi Uzoka of SNEPCo & Mrs Ify Anazonwu-Akerele By Mrs Ekeoma Ezeibe (Esq), workable Ship Management and MD/CEO Crystal Trust Insurance Logistics Service scenarios in conBrokers Ltd sideration of Cabotage and Local • Maritime Law and Arbitration Content provisions. The winning By Mr Chidi Ilogu (SAN), Principal group was rewarded with a busiCounsel, Foundation Chambers ness visit to SNEPCo. • Environmental Issues in Upstream Certificates of participation were Operations issued to all participants. By MWO (Engr) Timothy Iwuagwu (Rtd), MD/CEO SPEaR Int’l Ltd OBSERVATIONS / RECOMMENDA• Finding a Vessel TIONS By Capt DO Labinjo, Executive The workshop concluded proceedSecretary, Indigenous Ship Owners ings and rose having considered Association of Nigeria, ISAN and agreed as follows: • Ship Management That the Nigerian Chamber of By Rob Goodwin, Production Shipping should not relent in Operations Marine Lead SNEPCO organising such capacity building • Vessel/Equipment Inspection and programmes with the high calibre Survey of faculty in order to grow and By Dr IE Douglas, Head, deepen knowledge and enhance Department of Marine Engineering practical exposure to participants RSUST Participants were encouraged to • Interactive Session/Group enrol in the Professional Challenge Panel Postgraduate Diploma in By Mrs Ify AnazonwuMarine/Oil and Gas Management Akerele, Director General, Nigerian Technology developed by the Chamber of Shipping / Mr Emeka Chamber in collaboration with Ndu, MD/CEO, C & I Leasing Nigeria Niger Delta University (NDU). The Ltd, Barr (Mrs) Margaret OnyemaPPGD program is an extended verOrakwusi, CEO, Morbod Group & sion of the training workshop Chairman, NIMAREX 2013 designed to give participants a Committee, R/Adm GSA Ombo (rtd), more detailed understanding of Dr. I.E Douglas, Head, Department of the core modules that the workMarine Engineering, RSUST, Capt. shop sorted to address. Labinjo, Secretary, ISAN and a repreThat banks must play a more sentative of the Executive Director, positive and active role to encourCabotage Department, NIMASA. age funding for local operations To underscore and gauge the parThe need for interaction with ticipants’ assimilation of the lectures International Oil Companies delivered, participants were (IOCs), Government Regulatory assigned into 4 Challenge Groups to Bodies in the Nigerian Maritime develop and deliver competitive and Oil & Gas Industry was impergroup presentations based on the ative. instructions received, and create That the indigenous ship owners

should collaborate and contribute resources so as to position themselves to attract adequate local or international funding in order to acquire and grow Nigerian Tonnages, establish P&I Clubs and therefore be in good stead to mitigate their insurable risks. That Policies within the industry, especially the Cabotage and Local Content Regimes should be implemented in the manner that will instigate local growth, capability and competence That the contemporary Venezuelan and Brasilian Cabotage and Local Content implementation examples should be studied with a view to strengthening our own efforts to harness the inherent potentials for development That concerted efforts must be made by government and its agencies concerned with monitoring and/or securing our maritime borders and coastline and to check the cases of piracy and armed robbery on our waters. That Safety is a paramount consideration in both the maritime and oil & gas sectors and adequate care should be taken to secure the health of our aquatic/marine environment That Ship Management is a paramount and focal issue towards the achievement of the requirement for a successful contract in the upstream sector and in cabotage trade, it therefore needs adequate training and competence building to achieve The workshop ended successfully.


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CompuLife 2.7 billion users active on Internet, ICT now more affordable • Mobile broadband penetration highest in Nigeria, others

By Adeyemi Adepetun BOUT 2.7 billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s popA ulations across the seven continents of Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, Australia and Antarctica are now on the Internet. Today, the world has about seven billion people, with two/third of the population now with mobile phones, according to World Bank statistics. Indeed, the ‘2013 ICT Facts and Figure’ released by the Geneva, Switzerland based International Telecommunications Union (ITU), informed that in 2013, there are almost as many mobile-cellular subscriptions as people in the world, with more than half in the Asia-Pacific region (3.5 billion out of 6.8 billion total subscriptions). According to the Director of ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, Brahima Sanou, “I am pleased to present the latest ICT Facts and Figures which show continued and almost universal growth in ICT uptake. Every day we are moving closer to having almost as many mobile- cellular subscriptions as people on earth. This is exciting news. “The mobile revolution is m-powering people in developing countries by delivering ICT applications in education, health, government, banking, environment and business.” The report stated that as global mobile-cellular penetration approaches 100 per cent and market saturation is reached; growth rates have fallen to their lowest levels in both developed and developing countries. It disclosed that mobile-cellular penetration rates stand at 96 per cent globally; 128 per cent in developed countries; and 89 per cent in developing countries. Despite moves in various countries to bridge the digital gap between men and women, the report said huge disparity still exists between men and women in access to the Internet. Specifically, the report said in developing countries, including Nigeria, 16 per cent fewer women than men use the Internet. The report stressed that more men than women use the Internet, with a global penetration of 37 per cent of all women are online, and compared with 41 per cent of all men, which

Today, Nigeria leads other African markets with a 114.4 million mobile subscription, an installed capacity of 226.6 million lines and an 81.8 per cent teledensity penetration. It inches to a 50 million Internet users’ mark. corresponds to 1.3 billion women and 1.5 billion men. The 2013 ICT Facts and Figure pointed out that the developing world is home to about 826 million female Internet users and 980 million male Internet users. It added that the developed world is home to about 475 million female Internet users and 483 million male Internet users. The gender gap is more pronounced in the developing world, where 16 per cent fewer women than men use the Internet, compared with only two per cent fewer women than men in the developed world. In the household Internet penetration, the ITU statistics showed that 750 million households, about 41 per cent of the global penetration are connected to the Internet. The statistics revealed that households with Internet access in 2013 was 41 per cent, half of which are in the developing world, where household Internet penetration has reached 28 per cent. In the developed world, the report said 78 per cent of all households are connected to the Internet, stressing that 90 per cent of the 1.1 billion households not connected to the Internet are in the developing world. Europe and Africa are the regions with the highest and the lowest levels of household Internet penetration respectively at 77 per cent in Europe, compared with seven per cent in Africa. Between 2009 and 2013, the statistics said Internet penetration in households has grown fastest in Africa, with yearly growth of 27 per cent, followed by 15 per cent yearly growth in Asia and the Pacific, the Arab states and the CIS. In the area of active mobile broadband penetration, the 2013 ICT Facts and Figure said mobile-broadband subscriptions climbed from 268 million in 2007 to 2.1 billion in 2013, which reflects an average yearly growth rate of 40 per cent, making mo-

bile broadband the most dynamic ICT market. In developing countries, the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions more than doubled from 2011 to 2013 (from 472 million to 1.16 billion) and surpassed those in developed countries in 2013. The report said Africa was the region with the highest growth rates over the past three years and mobile-broadband penetration has increased from two per cent in 2010 to 11 per cent in 2013. Today, Nigeria leads other African markets with a 114.4 million mobile subscription, an installed capacity of 226.6 million lines and an 81.8 per cent teledensity penetration. It inches to a 50 million Internet users’ mark. The statistics revealed that by early 2013, the price of an entrylevel mobile-broadband plan represents between 1.2-2.2 per cent of monthly GNI p.c. in developed countries and between 11.3-24.7 per cent in developing countries, depending on the type of service. However, it informed that in developing countries, mobilebroadband services cost considerably less than fixed-broadband services at 18.8 per cent of monthly GNI p.c. for a 1 GB postpaid computer-based mobile-broadband plan compared to 30.1 per cent of monthly GNI p.c. for a postpaid fixed-broadband plan with 1 GB of data volume. Indeed, it stressed that among the four typical mobile-broadband plans offered in the market, post-paid handset-based services are the cheapest and prepaid computer-based services are the most expensive, across all regions. For the price of mobile broadband, the statistics revealed that by early 2013, the price of an entry-level mobile-broadband plan represents between 1.2-2.2 per cent of monthly GNI p.c. in developed countries and between 11.3-24.7 per cent in developing countries, depending on the type of service. However, in developing countries, mobile-broadband services cost considerably less than fixed-broadband services; 18.8 per cent of monthly GNI p.c. for a 1 GB postpaid computer-based mobile-broadband plan compared to 30.1 per cent of monthly GNI p.c. for a postpaid fixed-broadband plan with 1 GB of data volume.

NCS maps out plans for N500m Lagos technology park • Aladekomo tasks govt, banks on venture capital support By Adeyemi Adepetun HE Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has expressed its readiness to construct a multi-million naira Information and Technology Park in Lagos in about two years. With hectares of land already acquired in the Lekki axis of Lagos, NCS said about four of its members have already signified their readiness to start construction in earnest. Disclosing the plans, the President of NCS, Sir Demola Aladekomo, at a breakfast meeting in Lagos at the weekend, said the target of the group was to have something in the likes of the Silicon Valley in the United States. Aladekomo said the initiative would allow stakeholders in the IT industry to pull resources together manage and control all the things that their businesses need centrally.

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“We believe that in five years, the IT Park should have been fully built up and businesses in top gear there. The Park will be built in phases. The first phase will cost about N500M approximately. “There are expected challenges in such a big infrastructure project. Challenges are meant to be overcome. The usual ones are power, water, regulatory approvals and others. We shall overcome them. Am sure NCS is poised towards a making a success of this venture. The N500 million will be part funded by NCS and the subscribers who are NCS members “We believe NCS will facilitate the approval. May be slow but we trust the LASG BR Fashola to support us”, he stated. The NCS president, who stressed the need for government and banks to support the course to ensure its success, noted that it has become highly imperative to have venture capitals, if indeed

the ICT sector must develop. According to him, “Once you know there is a central place you need to go to get a particular type of service, everyone will just go to that area. There is a synergy, which is going to be created not just within the industry but within the society because you know that if you need a particular service, there is a place you are sure of getting it.” In the area of infrastructure, CONTINUED ON PAGE 27

Aladekomo


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HP leads war against product counterfeiting in Nigeria By Bankole Orimisan UST like corruption, counterfeiting is a big scourge that plagues many parts of the world, including Africa. In 2011, the anti-piracy consortium, Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) estimated that the yearly global economic and social impact of counterfeiting and piracy is US $775 billion – expected to reach US $1.7 trillion by 2015. Nigeria, in particular, is a major victim of this bane especially as it is a major importer of goods needed for day-to-day activities; a factor that makes the country a major target of counterfeit products. According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), imports in Nigeria increased to N713.08 billion in September of 2012 from N623.75 billion in August of 2012. From 2002 until 2012, Nigeria’s imports averaged N418.44 billion; reaching an all time high of N1.18 trillion in August of 2011; and a record low of N73.66 billion in December of 2002. Nigeria imports mainly: industrial supplies (32 per cent of total), transport equipment and parts (23 per cent), capital goods (24per cent ), food and beverage (11 per cent and consumer goods. Recently, the Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu disclosed at a Senate Public Hearing on the Local Industry Patronage Bill 2012 (SB. 147) that Nigeria imports 80 per cent of its consumer product needs. Various other agencies of the federal government have confirmed this heavy importreliance; the most recent being Agric Minister Akinwunmi Adesina’s revelation that Nigeria imports 98 per cent of

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the sugar it imports. Going by this trend, therefore, it is not surprising that counterfeiting thrives in a high population country such as Nigeria. Regulatory bodies in Nigeria such as National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Consumer Protection Council (CPC) are doing their best to fight counterfeiting. NAFDAC for instance, makes use of cutting-edge technology such as Truscan, a hand held device used to detect counterfeit medicines and collaborates with a number of agencies such as SON, CPC and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to stamp out counterfeiting while carrying out public enlightenment campaigns. Apart from government, brands have also taken up the gauntlet of fighting this scourge. This is because counterfeiting impacts businesses and global trade through lost

revenue, damage to brands and negative effects on hardearned reputations and consumer confidence. Hewlett Packard (HP), a foremost technology company, is currently leading the charge in this area as noticed in the plethora of initiatives it has rolled out to fight counterfeiting, and the results achieved. Through their Anti-Counterfeit campaign, HP actively educates its customers and partners to be vigilant about purchasing fake printing supplies. According to an HP-commissioned research covering 500 Small and Medium Enterprise businesses across seven countries namely: Nigeria, Algeria, Kenya, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and  conducted by Forrester Consulting in 2012, 50 percent of business survey respondents in Nigeria said they had either been The Country Director, RLG Communications Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Tosin Ilesanmi (Middle) with the Convener of “A smile on their offered or purchased counter- faces” charity Organization, Mrs. Funke Oga (Right) presenting a cheque to Rev. Sister Mary Anne Imegbu, a representative of the Parcelling School of the Blind at the charity event “A smile on their Faces” sponsored by RLG Communications Nigeria Ltd., feit or suspect cartridges. which took place in Lagos.

TO BE CONTINUED

Etisalat boosts Abuja Internet space with metro fiber network facilities ELECOMMUNICATIONS service provider, T Etisalat Nigeria has deepened Internet services in the country with the launch of its metro fiber in Abuja. The launch of the Metro Fiber, according to Etisalat, will increase it network quality, capacity and capability to support more users – both customers and Small and Medium Enterprises. With the deployment of this high capacity fiber backbone, residents and users in the Abuja area can now get superior Internet service with unmatched quality in the market. Speaking on this development, Chief Commercial Officer at Etisalat Nigeria, Wael Ammar said, “We realize our customer’s needs for fast and efficient data services and we have put forward the investment and resources necessary to provide them with the best broadband service in the country. This is a clear indication of our constant effort to care for our customers and continuously provide them with a

superior experience”. Ammar added: “Easy blaze from Etisalat is already the leading and preferred mobile broadband service in the country and so the launch of our Abuja metro fiber means that existing customers and potential ones will be able to do more- High Definition Streaming video and audio, faster file downloads of any size, a vastly improved blackberry service and an enhanced experience on any data capable device; Smartphone, PC/Laptop or tablet. “Individuals and businesses can also take advantage of this robust fiber backbone to deploy all their connectivity and productivity solutions.” He concluded by saying that etisalat’s commitment to providing best in class mobile broadband services in Nigeria is the reason for the Abuja Metro Fiber launch, the first of many Metro City Fiber launches that will take place in 2013.

Telecom Channel unveils mobile TV service ELECOM Channel West Africa T Limited has unveiled its Mobile TV service in Nigeria, imoovtv. The service, the firm said in a statement on Monday, would offer subscribers the chance to stream live TV of up to 20 channels on their 3G-enabled smartphone of tablet device. It would also give customers a varying selection of packages they could choose from as well as selecting their own channel bouquet to suit their individual lifestyle on-the-go. “With a good selection of news, sports, music and lifestyle entertainment, imoovtv delivers your TV infotainment needs straight to your mobile/tablet device,” the statement explained. Telecom Channel West Africa

is a Nigerian-based company and a member of the Channel IT Group specialising  in the provision of value added services and products to clients in the telecoms industry. The firm said it had partnered with MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana to deliver to its customers the imoovtv mobile TV service. The firm said, “The service is available to all MTN Nigeria customers using a 3GEnabled smartphone or tablet like BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Galaxy tabs, among others. According to the firm, customers can subscribe via mobiletv.mtnonline.com or by texting ‘Mobile TV’ to 5600.


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PC, tablet, mobile phone shipments hit 2.4 billion units Stories By Adeyemi Adepetun ORLDWIDE devices (the combined shipments of PCs, tablets W and mobile phones) are expected to hit 2.4 billion units in 2013, a nine per cent increase from 2012, according to Gartner. Gartner projected that device shipments are to continue to grow; reaching more than 2.9 billion units in 2017, but the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period. Indeed, Gartner noted that the proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets. According to Gartner’s Research Vice President, Carolina Milanesi, “While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device. “As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis.” The result informed that the traditional PC market of notebooks and desk-based units is expected to decline 7.6 per cent in 2013. This is not a temporary trend induced by a more austere economic environment; it is a reflection of a long-term change in user behavior. Beginning in 2013, ultramobiles will help offset this decline, so that sales of traditional PCs and ultramobiles combined show a 3.5 percent decline in 2013. The report further said that worldwide tablet shipments are forecast to total 197 million units in 2013, a 69.8 per cent increase from 2012 shipments of 116 million units. “Lower prices, form factor variety, cloud update and consumers’ addiction to apps will be the key drivers in the tablet market.

“Growth in the tablet segment will not be limited to mature markets alone. Users in emerging markets who are looking for a companion to their mobile phone will increasingly choose a tablet as their first computing device and not a PC”, said Research Director at Gartner, Ranjit Atwal. In the shares of operating systems (OSs) in device sales, the shift to mobile and the fight for the third ecosystem becomes more evident. Android continues to be the dominant OS in the device market, buoyed by strong growth in the smartphone market. Competition for the second spot will be between Apple’s iOS/Mac OS and Microsoft Windows. Tablets are not the only device type that is seeing aggressive

price erosion. Smartphones are also becoming more affordable, driving adoption in emerging markets and the prepay segment in mature markets. Of the 1.875 billion mobile phones to be sold in 2013, one billion units will be smartphones, compared with 675 million units in 2012. “The trend towards smartphones and tablets will have much wider implications than hardware displacement. “Software and chipset architecture are also impacted by this shift as consumers embrace apps and personal cloud”, said MiA tablet lanesi.

Computer Society floats N500 million Lagos ICT park CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 he said infrastructure providers could also get easy access because there would be a wide but similar demand for a particular infrastructure or a set of infrastructure. Aladekomo added, “For instance, operators need a lot of bandwidth, power, water, hotel facility, and that is what we are trying to do. “It is going to be a national one, but it is a private initiative by NCS. It is like we are starting from Lagos. The same can also be created in some other states. We are only taking the bull by the horn. There is no way you can manufacture everything in Lagos.” Explaining why Lagos was considered first, the NCS president said a lot of IT companies were situated in Lagos, which had made Lagos the hub of IT business. “What we are doing right now is different from what the Ministry of Communications Technology is planning. Development should be multithronged, multi-disciplinary; and we will like to align our-

MTN assures subscribers of its readiness for number porting He disclosed that a series of tests had been successfully carried out on the company’s systems and infrastructure without any hitch. “We are excited that customers who wish to join the MTN Nigeria has again expressed its readiness to imnetwork with the most coverage of Nigeria will now plement number porting in consonance with the be able to do so without worrying about losing their policy of the industry regulator. mobile numbers. As you know, we have made far The NCC last month shifted the date to April in order to get the process ready and avoid any unfore- more investment in our network than any other operator in Nigeria has done, with the result that we are seen challenges when it eventually kicked off in the today the clear leader with effective network coverage country. of more than 85 percent of Nigeria’s land mass and Speaking at an internal stakeholder forum, MTN’s population. Corporate Services Executive, Akinwale Goodluck, “We have nearly 100 per cent coverage of most major said the company has put systems in place to make MNP a reality for mobile phone users in Nigeria who highways in Nigeria and we are gradually moving towards the final laps of a massive, nationwide network are eager to join the country’s most expansive netmodernisation and swap-out exercise that is bound work. “We have made all the necessary investment in infra- to give the network unequalled capacity and much structure and manpower to make MNP a reality. We improved quality of service in the near future. We have no doubt in our minds that mobile phone users are confident that at the commencement date, we on other networks in Nigeria will be eager to port into will be absolutely ready”, Goodluck said.  HEAD of the planned commencement of mobile A number portability (MNP) in Nigeria, as stated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),

MTN to avail themselves of these and other benefits they can only find on the MTN network,” he said. Apart from its massive investment in its core services, Goodluck said the firm was the first operator to create a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vehicle, MTN Foundation, to implement life-impacting social projects across the length and breadth of Nigeria, Goodluck said. He added that the company through MTNF had invested over N5 billion in such social projects, which have directly and indirectly impacted millions of lives in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment. The MTN Foundation is known internationally as a credible benchmark of project driven, sustainable corporate social investments in Nigeria. He affirmed the company’s commitment to continue to seek for ways of adding value to the lives of Nigerians both through the company’s core services and corporate social investment initiatives.

selves with what the minister is doing. It is just that we have a need and we need to address issues immediately,” he said. Aladekomo said Nigeria needed to have multiple IT parks to support national development, while adding that its intention was borne out of the fact that NCS members required something urgently. “There are great people in government, but sometimes bureaucracy makes the whole thing to take a while. We can align our intentions. If we establish this park in Lagos, the minister will know there is one in Lagos; the minister can build more in other parts of the country. So, we can align our intensions,” he said. The NCS president explained that the IT park, which infrastructural process should start this year, would boost local content in the IT industry and save the country foreign exchange, he noted. He said, “It will limit foreign control of our economy. We want to create jobs; how do we do that when we are missing out? We missed out in the telecoms revolution and we are gradually missing out in the cashless policy. The wealth of any nation depends on how successful the country is inventing things. “We need venture funds for people who have ideas but do not have the finances to realise their visions. We need this to encourage invention. This can be achieved by governments, private persons and businesses with big pockets and are willing to take risks.” If the process leading to the establishment of the park must succeed, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, SystemSpecs, an indigenous software developer, Mr. John Obaro, said there was need to create markets for locally developed technologies.


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How ICT aids registration of firms, data integrity at CAC, by Mahmud Alhaji Bello Mahmud is the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). In this interview with ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, he spoke on how ICT infrastructure has aided the commission in becoming more efficient amid a myriad of challenges. Excerpts O what extent has the commission leveraged ICT to T enhance its operations? I can say that the application of Information and

Communications Technology (ICT) has really enhanced our operations. Today, greater percentages of our operations have gone online. The recent adoption of e-registration of companies through the use of electronic workflow has ensured greater efficiency of the system and high data integrity. Before now, the functionality of the CAC online system became impaired over the years due to the inability of the Commission’s vendor to provide upgrade on the software and a suitable electronic payment system to support online registration directly by customers, but today, we have moved above that challenge, our operations have gone online 24 hours without hitches. The challenge of duplication of datas, how has the commission faired in this regard? The system we have in place today has eliminates the problem of name duplication and typographic errors associated with the manual system. Can we know the number of applications processed since the deployment of the technology infrastructure? About 3, 880 applications were processed within 24 hours last October, a total of 3,128 in November and 3, 208 in December respectively. For January 2013, 1,069 applications were processed within 24 hours. But the applications processed outside 24 hours but within 72 hours were those applications that had been queried for non-compliance with laid down requirements. Such applications were processed immediately the customer complied with all outstanding requirements. Because of the importance of Lagos, being the commercial nerve centre of the country, the commission established two offices in Lagos at Yaba and a new one is coming Alausa. Furthermore, for CAC to actualize its ICT thrust, the commission embarked on a total upgrade of its Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructure from VSAT-based network to a more reliable fibre based system. This was meant to improve availability and also enhance transaction. Today, a pilot scheme in Lagos (Yaba and Alausa) has been completed and now ready for commissioning soonest. With this commissioning, registration of companies will now start and finish in these offices. Globacom Limited is executing four other State offices, including Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Kano. In the nearest future links to all other 32 state offices will also be fibrebased. What are the major challenges the commission faced in the delivery of its operations? At the beginning, the functionality of the CAC online system became impaired over the years due to the inability of the commission’s vendor to provide upgrade on the software and a suitable electronic payment system to support online registration directly by customers. Today, the commission had successfully achieved a 24hour state-to-finish service delivery period for all new registration services for companies, business names and incorporated trustees since July 25, 2012. With the new system, applications for registration of limited liability companies, busi-

Mahmud

ness names and incorporated trustees are now processed directly by the two Lagos offices and certificates of registration issued to customers within 24 hours from the time of filing. How soon will the commission extend this service initiatives to other states in the country? The Commission has concluded arrangements to extend the start-to-finish registration service to its offices in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna by early 2013. With the new system, customers in Abuja now get their certificates of registration within 24 hours of filing. This is comparable to what obtains in the companies registry of advanced countries such as United Kingdom, Singapore and New Zealand. To sustain this feat and as an interim measure pending when the new upgraded software came into use, the commission’s staff in key operational departments now work till 7.00pm divided into two groups. The first group reports by 8.00am and close by 2.00pm while the second group resumes by 1.00pm and terminate at 7.00pm. Can you talk more about the decentralization of operations at the CAC? The CAC has taken practical steps to decentralize its operations by making the state offices more functional and at par with the Head office. This is made possible by the adoption of fibre optic for the Commission’s WAN as a solution to frequent downtime being experienced with the VISA system. In that respect five state offices have been scheduled to start and finish registration process without recourse to the Head Office. The new system has taken off in the two Lagos offices since November 1, 2012 with the official launching by the minister of Trade and Investment. Necessary test running is being carried out in the remaining three offices of Kaduna, Enugu and Kano preparatory to commencement early 2013. Additional five state offices have been earmarked to also carryout start-to-finish services in 2013 including Port Harcourt and the Commission’s desk at the One-StopInvestment in NIPC. The Commission intends to extend it to all its remaining offices in due course subject to availability of funds. To what extent has the commission upgraded its registration software? The Commission had embarked on total upgrade of its registration software to provide for a robust electronic payment system, amongst others. The emphasis is on ICT, which is one of the four-points agenda of the Commission. Computerization in the Commission started in 2004. The implication of this is that companies’ records dating back to 1912 are being manually kept with the resulting problems of mutilation, pilferage and loss of valuable documents. However, the commission has concluded arrangement to scan the back log of records of all companies, business names and incorporated trustees in order to permanently solve the problems highlighted above and also make it possible for customers to access company information electronically via the web. This is expected to commence by early 2013 with a 12 months completion period. The Commission considers this project very critical to its operations and vision to become a world-class companies’ registry. What is your engagement like with commercial banks, others? The commission is committed to engaging regulators seamlessly. We have provided office spaces to selected commercial banks and the Stamp Duty Office of the Federal Inland Revenue Service in its offices across the country and recently to Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN). This has led to customers to make all necessary payments and process their documents at one point without having to go outside the commission. The commission had introduced the CAC online application system in 2004, which is a total enterprise solution that supports the use of electronic workflows from name reservation to certificate generation. It would be recalled that before 2004, company registration in the commission was manually carried out making system susceptible to mistakes and frequent errors in typing the names and registration numbers.


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COMPULIFE 35

Paga processes 1.6 million transactions by March By Adeyemi Adepetun AYMENT transactions on Pagatech’s mobile payment platform hit 1.6 million in March with a total value of N18 billion. With over 500,000 users, Paga claimed to have achieved 80 per cent of its 2012 transaction volume already. A statement from Paga at the weekend, which also announced the firm’s fourth anniversary in Nigeria, noted that the financial services platform started operation in April 2009 and received its full operational licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria in November 2011, and now has a team of 150 members of staff nationwide. The firm said its initial set of products were delivered to meet the critical needs of Nigeria’s new cashless society, and to provide the public with access to their “cash – anywhere and anytime, through its secure, fast and easy money transfer service.” “All services are available to Paga users via their mobile phones, any Internet connected

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device or via Paga’s vast nationwide agent network,” the firm added. According to the firm, in 2012 when it first operated as a CBN-licensed mobile payments company, its user base grew from 40,363 to 382,063 – showing 847 per cent growth in one year. It also processed over 918,000 transactions worth over N9.8bn, according to the statement. This, it added, had made it the fastest growing mobile payments company in Africa. The firm has received the Kalahari Awards for ‘Best Independent Mobile Payment Company’ and the Financial Technology Awards for ‘Best use of IT In Mobile Payments’, among others. The Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tayo Oviosu, said, “it’s been an amazing four years. The journey has not been easy, and I am grateful to our team and investors who have believed in our vision and allowed us to execute.

Firm advocates cost-saving communication, network security solution for enterprises ELIANCE Infosystems Limited, a leading nesses thus empowering employees to work R information technology company, has from home, other branches and any remote locaadvised Nigerian enterprises to deploy cutting-

tion uninterrupted. edge technology solutions, which reduces the According to him, Matrix IP-PBX solutions cost of doing businesses while at the same pro- whose range includes Eternity GE, Eternity ME, tecting enterprise networks from being Eternity PE, Sapex among others provide seamattacked and compromised. less mobility and universal connectivity. Matrix Managing Director, Reliance Infosystems IP-PBX offer features that reduces the cost of local speaking in Lagos at the unveiling of Matrix IP- and international calls, turns the mobile phones PBX and Cyberoam Unified Threat to extensions, creates multiple VoIP gateways, Management (UTM) Appliance, Mr. Olayemi allows multi-party conferencing and virtual Popoola, said businesses need adequately pro- meetings, provides automated call-back to tect their IT infrastructure and also save money employee “flashing” Matrix trunk lines and other on communications which takes a large chunk features which have been successfully deployed of operating costs. in the energy, finance, government, healthcare “In today’s dynamic business environment, and transportation sectors. He said the platform business processes are getting complex raising offers immense benefit to traveling executives, the need for better availability, improved sales persons, remote branches and home offices. responsiveness and data security at reduced The Corporate Communication Manager, Mrs. operations costs. Globalisation has enforced Franca Emeana Anozie, noted that Cyberoam modern enterprises to work regardless of geo- UTM is fast replacing the traditional firewalls in graphical boundaries”, he stated. corporate networks due to its unique value Olayemi noted that Matrix Enterprise IP-PBX proposition of identity-based all-encompassing range which allows enterprises to leverage threat management components. She stated that GSM/3G with legacy networks and variety of Cyberoam is an all-in-one solution that is capable subscribers’ options, offers the flexibility and of solving organisation challenges in terms of set of advance features that intuitively adapts to security, branch connectivity and users’ producthe ever-evolving needs of the dynamic busitivity.

Dell hinges ICT growth on innovation, others traditional to distributed rience’,’ he said. The next, according to Banuso architectures; several develis software defined networking, opments have rendered the traditional centralised, monodards, frameworks and architec- which is the next of the tures, and a shift from propri‘Networking Big3’. Although the lithic chassis-switched netetary models will give way to new technology is still in its infancy, work unfit for the modern business’ requirements. solutions with regards to netHe said software defined networking in the Nigerian business working (SDN) is widely touted According to Banuso, “firstly, landscape. to revolutionise network infra- the workforce has become He made this known as he high- structures on the same scale as extremely disperse and lighted three networking para- virtualisation in the server mar- mobile. Secondly, virtualisadigms that are shaping the busi- ket. Traditional networking has tion and cloud computing ness landscape across the world been unable to offer the flexibili- have resulted in much higher server-to-server traffic flow today. ty that networking managers than before. Finally, enterprisAccording to Banuso, there are require today es now have vastly larger volthree major trends within the Distributed networking is networking space that are cur- another Big3 networking shaper umes of data to process, store, and analyse than was previrently shaping the industry; con- of industry. To the Enterprise ously the case”. vergence, distributed network- Manager, there is a shift from ing and software defined networks. These topics, he said were not new to the table, but having been discussed for some time, they are now beginning to hit the mainstream in terms of the maturity of the technology and where they ORMER Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian are on the corporate agenda’’. Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, The first of these ‘Networking will lead other dignitaries both within and outside the Big3’ shapers of the industry is Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector disConvergence. Banuso explained cuss “Technology Adaption: Looking IT Straight in the Eye” at that “It’s not wholly a networking this year’s Beacon of ICT Awards ceremony in Lagos. issue but its impact on the way According to the organisers of Beacon of ICT Award, networks are managed and – just Communication Week Media Limited, Publishers of Nigeria as importantly – who manages Communications Week, the choice of Ndukwe became necessary them, should not be underesti- because of the way he mid-wifed Nigeria’s modern day mated.    According to him, previ- telecommunications and the weight he added to the yearly ously IT functioned in silos, with industry event that recognises deserving talents, contributions server, storage and network and commitments to the growth of the ICT industry. admins going about their busiThe event, which will hold in Lagos on April 20, according to ness relatively independently. a statement signed by the Editor-in-Chief, Nigeria “When someone within the Communications Week, Ken Nwogbo, will also confer awards organisation wanted a new resource provisioned, working to notable people in the industry. Nwogbo explained that the theme came “because across these silos to make that Information and Communication Technology innovations are happen could be a painful an unnecessarily cumbersome expe- delivering home-grown solutions in Africa, transforming businesses, and driving entrepreneurship and economic growth”. NTERPRISE Business Manager E of Dell, Mr. Akin Banuso, has said that the rise of open stan-

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MaritimeWatch Controversy over non-disbursement of cabotage vessel fund lingers

Sanusi By Moses Ebosele HAT is responsible for the W non-disbursement of over N40 billion Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF)? That is the question currently agitating the minds of stakeholders in the maritime sector, especially members of the Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN). Wadding through a deluge of options, the Federal Government had in 2003 instituted the fund as part of measures to meet the provisions of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, popularly called Cabotage Act. According to the law, except a waiver is obtained, foreign vessels are not allowed to partake in any domestic coastal trade in Nigeria as obtainable in  developed countries of the world, while it will at the same time promote the development of indigenous tonnage and establish a Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF). The fund, which is currently more than N40 billion, is derived from the two per cent deduction from all contracts awarded under the Cabotage regime and is expected to help position indigenous ship owners to compete with foreignowned vessels in Nigeria’s coastal water. However, stakeholders are worried due to their inability to

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Okonjo-Iweala accessthefund,whichiscurrently in the vaults of four commercial banks identified as Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs). The banks are Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Skye Bank Plc. While members of ISAN are of the view that the supervising agency, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)  is not doing enough to ensure the fund is disbursed according to laid down procedure, other stakeholders have called on the National Assembly to probe the entire transaction in an open and transparent manner. Speaking during a chat with The Guardian, General Secretary of ISAN, Niyi Labinjo, explained  that that nine members of the association who applied for the fund over the years are yet to hear from either the banks or NIMASA. Underthearrangement,according to Labinjo, any ship owner who applies to access the fund is expected to contribute 15 per cent of the sum required while NIMASA and the specific bank contribute 50 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. Labinjo said: “What is delaying the disbursement of the fund? The law is clear on how the fund should be disbursed. The fund has been generated. The fund is available. The question is what is delaying the disbursement? Nine of our members applied to

access the fund. Up till now, nobody has contacted us”. He alleged that some individuals are mapping out strategies on how to make the disbursement a ‘political affair’. A source who spoke on behalf of one of the banks distanced the financial institution from the delay in the disbursement of the fund. The source who also declined to either confirm or deny if the fund was in the vault of the bank, said: “There are processes to be followed in all transactions. Have they met the conditions and processes? Is it possible for banks to refuse to disburse if all conditions are met? Effort to reach the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, on Monday did not produce the desired result. However, a source in the ministry who spoke with The Guardianexplainedthatthedisbursement of the fund is expected to begin “soon”. Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, was quoted   recently as saying the disbursement of the fund would commence before the end of this month. Urging the National Assembly to commence a detailed investigation, an economist, Matthew R. Otoide, said it is the only way to assure Nigerians that all transactions associated with the fund followed laid down processes.

Otiode said: “A public enquiry is the only way forward. The relevant committees in the National Assembly must do a good job this time around. Nigerians must be allowed the opportunity to know the truth. National Assembly should invite relevant stakeholders to testify. That is the most acceptable way forward. “I can assure you that the circumstances surrounding this delayed disbursement would go a long way to solve other problems in the sector. The Federal Government is making effort to tackle problems in the maritime sector. But, I suspect that there are some enemies of progress in the system. They must be identified as shown the way out”, Otoide added. Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Ships and Ports, Bolaji Akinola, has alleged that some unnamed politicians and ‘entrenched interests’ of attempting to foist “an unqualified firm on NIMASA as Consultant to the Cabotage Fund”. Akinola explained that since four banks have been appointed as Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) for the CVFF and since NIMASA has a whole department devoted to overseeing the implementation of Cabotage, “there is no need for appointing any consultant to the fund, especially whentheso-calledpotentialcon-

sultant is being deliberately positioned to do the bidding of politicians and entrenched interests”. He advised NIMASA to scrutinise applications for the CVFF carefully to avoid a recurrence of past experience, especially with regards to the Ships Acquisition and Ship Building Fund (SASBF). “In the 80s and 90s, the National Maritime Authority, now known as NIMASA, administered the Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund (SASBF) through which it gave loans that were intended to encourage ownership of ships by Nigerians. “While a few number of genuine Nigerian ship owners benefited from the SASBF and bought ships, though old and rusty, several politicians, ‘briefcase ship owners’ and cronies of the then military junta, also dippedtheirhandsinthetilland diverted the money to other uses. “The fund was suspended in the late 90s but much of the money was never recovered and no one was prosecuted”, Akinola added The Minister of Finance and coordinator of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, explained at a presidential retreat on maritime that increasing Nigeria’s participation in  the sector will not only ensure that most of the incomes are retained locally, but will lead to increased jobs

for Nigerians. Shesaid:“Philippinesforexample have been able to position itself as a global supplier of seafarers, creating a lot of jobs and significant foreign income for the country. Why can’t we replicate this in Nigeria?’’ Indeed, the liquidation of Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) in 1995 is believed to have paved the way for foreigners who, currently, dominate the sector. But, some observers are of the opinion that the inability of Nigeria to operate a national carrier is as a result of neglect, lack of political will and alleged corruption over the years. Also, lack of Nigerian owned vessels plying international waterwayswasoneoftheissues that took the centre stage at the presidential retreat. At the end of the one-day deliberations, which had in attendance President Goodluck Jonathan, some members of the economic management team and strategic stakeholders, resolutions were reached and forwarded to the Federal Government for endorsement and ratifications. The Nigerian National Shipping Lines (NNSL), which was established by the Federal Government in 1959, was liquidated in controversial circumstances in September 1995 and all its 21 vessels sold.

Nigerian port system in a concessioned regime By Iheanacho Ebubeogu T is internationally accepted that reduced turnaround-time for vessels, reduced cargo dwell time, safety and security of persons, ships and cargo as well as protection of the environment are major determinants of a good, efficient and user-friendly port. Obviously, the desire to

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achieve these ideals informed the policy which the Federal Government embarked upon a few years ago. The policy was to ensure that Nigerian ports were reengineered to compete favourably with other ports of the world. The primary aim was to turn Nigerian Ports Authority into a brand name and a first- choice port

in West and Central Africa sub-region, and indeed in Africa. Apart from this rationale, Nigerian ports were also in need of huge resources for rehabilitation and modernisation of port infrastructure to make them more efficient and meet the demands of port users and attain international standard.

The idea of restructuring the ports which is also in tandem with the economic policy of the Nigerian government is to grow an economy that is robust, public/private sectordriven, locally and globally competitive and efficient. The port reform programme was therefore, designed to make the ports competitive, innovative and capable of

attracting private sector investments. The basic tenet of this reform programme provides a platform for government ownership of port infrastructure and transfer of cargo operational responsibilities to the private sector as a means of improving efficiency, attracting private investment and freeing public

resources for social services. To kick-start the process, concessioning was adopted, and a new structure was put in place in line with the new status of NPA on the landlord model. Concessioning was adopted because of its relevance to the emerging trend of    the CONTINUED ON PAGE 37


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MARITMEWATCH

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NPA partners NLNG on pilots’ training By Moses Ebosele HE Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) on the training of pilots. According to NPA, the pilotage district board would soon be inaugurated to give impetus to the regulatory functions of the authority. Meanwhile, the new Commissioner of Police in charge of Port Command, Sherifat Olakoju, has  solicited the support of NPA  in the areas of marine training, provision of patrol vehicles, accommodation, communication gadgets, and sniffer dogs among others. Olakoju, who spoke recently at a meeting of the Ports Authority Police Command (PAPC) held in Lagos,

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explained that after her resumption, she toured the ports in Lagos and in the process discovered that a lot needs to be done to improve security. NPA’s Executive Director in charge of Marine and Operations, David Omonibeke, an engineer, who spoke during a one day working visit to NLNG office in Bonny Island, Rivers State assured the company of continuous support aimed at meeting all the needs of NLNG to enhance effective and uninterrupted ship movements in Bonny. The Executive Director, who led senior NPA management team during the visit, said the working tour was designed to “revitalise the cooperation between the two companies within a renewed synergy which would ensure a beneficial working relationship to

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Habib Abdulahi

both parties and the nation at large”. He explained that NPA was

aware of the development plan of the NLNG to increase production using trains 7 &

According to Omonibeke, the development is expected to result in increase in traffic, pointing out that NPA would ensure the Bonny channel is expanded as the need arises to ensure safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment. The General Manager, NLNG Shipping, Capt. Temilola Fatai Okesanjo, who according to a press statement led the NLNG delegation to the meeting, commended the NPA for initiating the meeting. Omonibeke who spoke in his capacity as the chairman of the security meeting pledged the commitment of NPA to cultivate, maintain and sustain a mutual working relationship with the police command. He noted that without security, life and property are at great risk and assured that

PAPC and NPA will sustain support for the command by providing necessary logistics to enhance their performance. In his opening remarks, the General Manager in charge of security, Col. Jamil Tahir (rtd), said the meeting was called as part of measures to map out strategies to confront the current security challenges facing the country. The meeting was attended by the General Manager, Western Ports, Adenike Shonaike; General Manager, Eastern Ports, Sunny Nwob; Assistant General Manager, Security, Western Port, Sam Asamage and heads of security from the ports. The police team comprised the commissioner, the deputy commissioner of police, two assistant commissioners of police and all the divisional police officers from the ports.

Kogi raises safety committee on inland water transportation By Moses Ebosele COMMITTEE has been A raised by the Kogi State government to work out modalities on how to ensure safe water transportation with Nasarawa State. Speaking in Abuja, recently, Kogi State governor, Capt Idris Wada, explained that the state is in the process of acquiring

necessary boats for safe water transportation. He commended the Federal Government for the completion of the dredging of the lower Niger from Lokoja to Onitsha, adding that Kogi was already getting expressions of interest from businessmen who want to establish businesses along the route. Wada who visited the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, in

company of his Anambra State counterpart, Peter Obi, also lauded the Federal Government for the development of an inland Jetty at Idah. Thegovernors wereattheminister’s office  to solicit for the inclusion of Onitsha (Anambra State) and Ayangba (Kogi State) in the 25-year rail development master plan developed for the country. According to a press state-

ment issued by the Ministry of Transport Deputy Director in charge of Press and Public Relations, Yetunde Sonaike, the governors emphasised the importance of trade along the Onitsha-Ayangba-Abuja axis and “stressed the need to include the axis in the master plan to facilitate trade development”. In his response, Umar

explained that the 25 years master plan is not sacrosanct in principle and promised to get the technical experts in the ministry to look into the request as soon as possible. Umar was quoted in the statement, as saying the rehabilitation of the eastern rail corridor from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri will be completed by the end of this year.

Umar also stated that the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will collaborate to ensure that the kind of tragedy witnessed in Oron (Akwa Ibom State) recently, which led to several deaths in a boat mishap will not happen again.

Promulgation of survey and navigation information, dredging, maintenance of aids to navigation, managing wrecks and regulating construction works at water fronts and artificial islands. Port operations This includes all operating aspects of managing a port embracing berth allocation access to and from the port, deployment of dock labour, cargo handling documentation and transport. Others include security, commercial, monitoring and compliance, HSE, firefighting, emergency response and marine services as stated above. It is pertinent at this juncture to note that after the concession the public has varied interpretation of what constitutes the concession and therefore misinterprets the present role of Nigerian Ports Authority in Port Operations. This has made it imperative to distinguish between port operations handled by NPA and that handled by the terminal operators the latter being what was concessioned. Port operations handled by NPA • berth allocation; • access to and from the port; • security; • commercial; • monitoring and compliance; • HSE; Marine services and emergency response Port operations handled by terminal operators Cargo handling, documentation and transport Deployment of dock labour Going by the authority’s

vision and mission we are determined to achieve the aforementioned objectives and align with Mr. President’s vision to move the industry forward. The Nigerian Ports Authority is aware of the two factors that move the port industries which are namely change in transport demand and Development in technology. This has informed the Authority to, under a Public, Private, Partnership (PPP) arrangement embark on the development of deep sea ports that will accommodate larger vessels with deeper drafts in response to the economy of scale. In the area of development in technology, the Authority is stepping up its ICT capability starting with the establishment of Integrated Port community information system (ISPCIS) and Vessel traffic Management information services (VTMIS) in compliance with SOLAS chapter v regulation 12 and in addition is advocating strongly in collaboration with other stakeholders to build an electronic  one stop shop  network . The authority in its monitoring and compliance function ensures that the concessionaires in their development plan  ensures amongst other things improve on their   ICT compliance and modern equipment for cargo handling The Nigerian Ports Authority as usual will continue serialising its activities and achievements as they unfold. • Ebubeogu is the General Manager, Public Affairs, NPA.

Nigerian port system in a new regime CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36

globalisation phenomenon and its apparent features, among which are: • emergence of larger vessels in response to economy of scale with greater cost effectiveness, speed, improved cargo-handling technology and reduced unit freight cost; • emergence of internationally acclaimed maritime terminal operators with specialised technical expertise in cargo handling; • port competitiveness; • fluid movement of goods across international borders; • offshore manufacturing; and, • electronic business transactions. The concessioning process led to the emergence of 25 private terminal operators and one Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) initiative. The Nigerian ports were modernised through the reform process that combined concession, joint venture and subsidiaries. The landlord model is defined by the clear separation of roles between the public and private sector. This separation ensures that each party does what it has expertise for and eliminates the possibility of conflict of interest. New roles for public and private sector The new roles of the public and private sector are highlighted hereunder: Public sector (NPA) Port planning, licensing and control Port development/quay maintenance

Technical regulations Marine services Conservancy (Marine Technical functions) Channel Management Private sector (Terminal operators) Cargo operations Port Labour Investment in equipment Investment in terminal maintenance Insurance of concession assets The role of ports The port community comprises both the public and private sectors. However, there is the observation that most people still exhibit limitations in having an indepth knowledge about the structural setting and workings of the port system and therefore lay all their blames of woes on the wrong party just because its name is the physical address of the port“The Nigerian Ports Authority”. A port area should be seen as playing two major rolesFirst, it provides the terminals that act as interface connecting various modes of transport in the global supply chain system .This is why some logistics and transport scholars are compelled to define a port as a “terminal where passengers and cargoes are transferred between modes through a value added process”. In this component are situated NPA, terminal operators, shipping companies among others. The second role of the port is that it is one of the international border posts through which foreign ships, passengers, crews and cargoes assess or exit the

nation. All these entities need to be scrutinized to ensure that they comply with all the conditions of the law of the land and thereby shall comply with the health, immigration, security and fiscal requirements amongst others. On this side of the divide are found the Customs, immigration, Port health, State Security Services (SSS), Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), NAFDAC and Police among others. The elemental factor which is in between these two extremes are the importers/exporters and cargo clearance processing which may also constitute a clog in port operations. Therefore, challenges in the port should be dispassionately examined to establish if they are occasioned by one or all of these such as the supply chain, boarder post, importer/exporter and cargo clearance processing. The NPA is the component authority statutorily responsible for controlling, administering and maintaining facilities, navigational waters and approaches to a named   port or port area within their jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of a port authority  includes defined rivers and waterways connecting with the relevant ports and extends to the maritime zones. Included in the many duties of NPA are the marking and lighting of navigational channels, marking of hazards and removal of obstructions improving pilot services for ships to load and unload car-

go, maintaining and connecting land transport systems within their jurisdiction and maintaining adequate storage facilities for cargo among others within the port area. A competent port authority concerns itself with providing safety, security, environmental protection and efficient services at competitive cost which NPA is ensuring compliance to international and Global best practices. In summary the functions of NPA are categorised into: A. Marine Functions The functions of marine is divided into two categories namely• marine services • conservancy (technical) Marine services are port related activities undertaken to ensure the safe and expeditious flow of vessel traffic in port approaches, harbours and the maritime domain and the safe stay at berth when moored at the anchor. These include regulation of ports crafts ,towage mooring, pilotage, work boat and berthing operations , regulation of movement of barges ,dredger ,bunkering, Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), control and handling of dangerous goods in port terminal, prevention and pollution control. Others include Health safety and Environment ( HSE) , and emergency response. Conservancy is the technical aspect of marine functions and covers the monitoring and the protection of the hydrographic regime within the port jurisdiction and therefore includes Hydrography,


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IndustryWatch Imperatives of creating an enabling environment for industrial growth By Femi Adekoya N recent times, donors and governments in developing countries have been paying growing attention to improving the environment for business as a means of promoting enterprise development and, through it, of growing their economies, increasing employment, improving welfare and reducing poverty. The business environment encompasses a wide range of factors that make establishing and running a business profitably viable or not in a particular country and economy. Nigeria's model of development has been a private sector led one, especially in the past decade. For a private-sector led development, there is a need for a conducive environment in which the private investors, financiers, businessmen and foreign companies and corporations can be confident of the security of their investments and that returns would be forthcoming on their investments. Recent years have seen an increasing effort in these countries improving the business environment. The focus has mainly been at reducing red tape and improving the regulatory environment. However, with government regulations appearing differently at the different facets of governance in the country, an overlap has emerged between the business environment approach and the local economic development approach. The focus on the business environment is a response to disappointing experiences with direct support measures to firms, including finance and business development services. However, the positive effects of direct support measures, where they occur, are undermined if the wider environment is characterised by burden- some regulations, poor service delivery, corruption and a weak entrepreneurial culture. Industry watchers believe that manufacturing will continue to be the fundamental base for the econom-

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Source: LCCI

ic health and security of the nation state, irrespective of the resources at the disposal of the country. Already, statistics show that 77 per cent of global trade is in the form of manufactured goods, with food and agriculture accounting for nine per cent of global merchandise trade, followed by fuel with eight per cent, while ores and minerals account for 3 per cent of world trade. This therefore places emphasis on why the real sector cannot be ignored, going by its niche status. A recent Gallup survey among people living in subsaharan Africa particularly highlights jobs for youths as top priority. According to the survey, if the private sector in Africa does not grow very rapidly, many of the half a billion African youths comprising about 50 per cent of the total African population will grow up without the prospects of a job, as Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which have been struggling to operate in an unfriendly business environment represent the backbone of economic activity in developing countries, just as they do in the Nordic countries.” The above situation emphasizes the need to stimulate growth and create an enabling environment for many businesses and industries to thrive. For instance, data provided by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in its Business Confidence Index (BCI) for the second quarter, showed that except the federal government addresses some of the unfriendly business policies in the country, the nation’s goal of reviving its industrial sector as well as enhancing bilateral trades may soon become a mirage. Although, the report showed a modest improvement of 16.5 per cent from the 10.5 per cent it achieved in the first quarter of 2013, the BCI scores for the two periods continue to trail far below the 50 per cent global confidence threshold. According to the LCCI, some of the factors for the slowpaced growth were attrib-

A viable business environment nurtures growth

uted to the fact that investors and business leaders are still wary about the state of the economy and the unfriendly business environment. Specifically, the BCI, which assessed the peculiar factors that impact domestic business outcomes in Nigeria in 14 sectors, 37 sub-sectors, showed a gloomy outlook for 2013 noting that stating that real sector growth is largely constrained by rising socioeconomic uncertainties. According to the research findings, the factors that weakened the index score include: poor access to credit, inhibitive tendencies of monitoring and regulatory agencies, sustained insecurity situation across the country, dwindling public power supply and budget approval/implementation crisis. Also, the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, Dr. Herber AJayi, has tasked the Federal Government on the need to implement policies that would aid the ease of doing business in the country, especially policies that affect the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Specifically, the private sector operators canvassed enabling environment for their operations, especially in the area of power generation and addressing security challenges in order to bolster the attainment of government’s development objectives. The LCCI report further showed that, macroeconomic factors such as the exchange rate and inflation rate exerted neutral influence on the second quarter 2013 BCI score. “The neutral impact of macroeconomic prices on businesses at this time is informed by the relative stability achieved over the last few months. However, the downside remains that the current stabilization of

prices through monetary tightening has been achieved at the expense of investment, employment, output and growth. “The business environment remains largely constrained by rising socioeconomic uncertainties. This has kept the BCI scores trailing far below the global optimum levels. A review of activities within the sectors showed that the real sectors – agriculture, manufacturing and solid mineral reversed the negative confidence they posted in the first quarter of 2013 survey by joining other sectors on the positive confidence trajectory. The report further showed that businesses located in the South West region of the

country are the most confident with BCI score of 38 per cent, followed by companies operating in the South East and South South with BCI score of 29per cent and 19per cent respectively. “Expectedly, businesses located in North East, North West and North Central sustained negative confidence at BCI score of -2per cent, 1.5per cent and -0.1per cent respectively. While we note the resilience of businesses operating in the southern Nigeria for keeping up amid increasing threats, the worsening security situation may have caused severe setback to businesses and potential investment particularly in the North and the country in general”, the report added.


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e-Commerce: Opportunities, challenges for SMEs By Femi Adekoya, with agency reports HE growth of online marketing businesses, like jumia and konga in recent times, especially in the area consumer goods marketing has changed the tide of business for many small businesses in Nigeria. Although, there are numerous types of commercial transactions that occur online, from buying goods such as books or clothes to purchasing services such as airline tickets or making hotel or car rental reservations. The changing face of business transactions through electronic communications in the area of business to business (B2B), business to consumers (B2C), business to government (B2G) and mobile e-commerce indeed calls for attention, as global B2B transactions comprise 90 per cent of all e-commerce. In both developed and developing countries, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) make up a majority of business and employ the majority of workers in both manufacturing and services sectors. SMEs cater mostly to their domestic market and their contribution to GDP, although normally very small, can vary greatly depending on the value of the goods or services they produce. With unemployment figure on the rise in Nigeria, research has indicated that countries with large SME sectors also tend to benefit from the significant contribution, which SMEs make to GDP and employment. According to the World Trade Organisation in its recent report on e-commerce and the SMEs sector, many small businesses in developing countries have the possibility to benefit enormously from mobile telephony, the internet and other forms of information and communication technology (ICT) in their day-to-day business

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activities. This has already resulted in enhanced productivity in a number of areas. However, despite these opportunities, SMEs in these countries are not always maximizing the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT). The WTO stressed the need for governments and their partners, including the private sector, to take greater advantage of the opportunities emerging in the new ICT landscape, and also to ensure that users benefit not only from being connected to the internet but also from any technological evolutions that increase the speed of data flows and that can help reduce costs to consumers. A study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has shown that SMEs, while generally lagging in ICT, have the most to gain from increases in productivity thanks to ecommerce. The study noted that SMEs, however, actually run the risk of missing opportunities in both productivity and profitability by not engaging in ebusiness, as they also have a large role to play in the economies of developing countries because it is these same countries that have the greatest potential to benefit from e-commerce. The study added that the extent of ICT use by SMEs is dependent on both sector and size of the business. Typically, those SMEs which are export or import-oriented as well as those involved in the tourist sector have stronger incentives to invest in implementing ICT in their respective businesses. Advocates of E-commerce have justified its essence as an opportunity for developing countries to gain a stronger foothold in the multilateral trading system. According to them, E-commerce has the ability to play an instrumental role in help-

Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investments

Evelyn Oputu, Managing Director, Bank of Industry

ing developing economies benefit more from trade. Unlike the requirements necessary to run a business from a physical building, ecommerce does not require storage space, insurance, or infrastructure investment on the part of the retailer. The only pre-requisite is a welldesigned web storefront to reach customers. Additionally, e-commerce allows for higher profit margins as the cost of running a business is remarkably less. Furthermore, it allows for better and quicker customer service. In some cases, customers could have direct access to their own personal accounts online and can avoid calling companies on the phone. This can save both time and money. Adding customer online services such as overnight package delivery services can also have commercial benefits. According to research con-

market and enhance competition among network providers. According to the WTO study, “Mobile technology can be utilized by SMEs operating in the agricultural and fisheries sectors. It also has uses for labour and transport mobilization, for micro-credit services and for mobile money. This section provides an overview as to how mobile technology is being used by SME business operators in various sectors in developing countries. “The development of various types of e-commerce depends primarily on the existing structure of an industrial sector and how it fits into a given sectoral value chain. Additionally, the difference of cultures and business philosophies across developing countries has also been seen to limit the applicability and transferability of the ecommerce models designed

by some developed countries. “The potential of e-commerce can only be achieved given adequate infrastructure. In most developing countries, this constraint presents a major obstacle. Smaller, lowincome internet markets in developing countries, particularly in Africa, have been unable to attract sufficient investment in infrastructure. Combined with lack of competition, this results in bandwidth cost that can be up to 100 times higher than in developed countries.” Stressing the need for proper enlightenment exercises for entrepreneurs, the WTO noted that even if entrepreneurs in developing countries have access to mobile phones or the internet, they may not know how best to leverage them for their business operations, thus, necessitating the need for capacity building.

adding that government policies have been the major bane of production in the country, as well as security in the country. “Sugar prices have never been a major challenge because we have done everything possible to minimize the prices, if the government can put in place basic amenities, food production challenges will be minimal”, he said. Meanwhile, the Executive

Director and Operations, Maryoud Elsanni, reiterated that the moves by the company would improve productivity and will further compliment the objectives of the company towards being one of the major industry players in Africa and in the world. “We will continue to maintain ourstandardstowardsproduction and making sure that our staff are comfortable”.

Management, Staff and particularly ‘’our financiers (local and international) who have supported us till this important phase as we continually reposition the organization in

line with shareholders’ expectations. “Weareawareoftheenormous visibility and responsibility the award bestows on us and are prepared internally to build on

ducted by the US-based International Data Corporation (IDC), it is estimated that global B2B e-commerce, especially among wholesalers and distributors, amounted to US$ 12.4 trillion at the end of 2012. If the expansion in e-commerce continues at this rapid pace in developed markets as is expected, B2B and B2C ecommerce transactions will account for about five per cent of all inter-company transactions and retail sales by 2017. The WTO believes that developing countries – particularly major emerging economies – will continue to drive growth of the global mobile phone market. This is due to their large population, low penetration rates and rising disposable incomes, even though the true growth potential depends also on government policies to help liberalize the

Dangote Sugar commissions facility at Lagos plant By Femi Adekoya HEManaging Director of the Dangote Sugar refinery, Abdullahi Sule has reiterated the company’s resolve to maintain strict adherence to standards in food production. He made this known during the commissioning of the new 500 capacity cloakrooms at the company’s sugary refinery in Apapa, recently. Sule was of the view that the

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new cloakroom was prompted to improve the hygiene situation of the factory as well as the products the company make available in the market. He said: “In this refinery, we have close to 500 workers who work with us. Before now, we have different cloakroom scattered around the vicinity of the factory. “Thus, to improve our hygiene and meet our standard for the

certification of our food management system, we have ensured that we take away our cloakroom far away from the factory. This prompted the provision of a new cloakroom”. The cloakroom is a combination of changing room, shower, and toilets. Sule noted that the erection of the cloakroom has been in the pipeline for about ten years, adding that it was as a result of

dearth of space that delayed the edifice. On the issue of improvement on food production, he noted that, “part of the reason for this is to improve on our strategy, and the prices of sugar has reduced worldwide, and we have also expanded our market, instead of selling sugar only in Nigeria, we sell to other west African countries. He however, x-rayed the challenges for production of foods,

Aquila Leasing makes ‘Nigeria 50’ ranking ITHa growth rate of 55 per W cent from 2009 to 2011, the AllWorld Network and The Tony Elumelu Foundation have listed Aquila Leasing Limited alongside 49 other fast growth companies as a winner in the maiden Nigeria 50 ranking. This ranking represented non-listed companies drawn from various industries that are growing at an average rate of over 100 per cent, have combined revenues of $9million and created about 6,600 jobs. For instance, many of the companies ranked, have been founded in the last ten years, and have already grown to be leaders in their industry. An average of only 46 years old, most Nigeria50 entrepre-

neurs plan to establish another company in the next two years. Professor of Harvard Business School, Professor Michael Porter, an AllWorld co-founder, said: “It is entrepreneurs that will change the developing world, not governments. The Nigeria50 companies represent the leading edge of a new approach to the region’s competitiveness.” Commenting on the success of the winning companies, cofounders of AllWorld, Dierdre Coyle and Anne Habiby urged the business community and leaders in the country to continue to nurture the Nigeria 50 winners. They said: “With the right support, the Nigeria 50 will send

signals that the country is open for business and will energize thousands to become entrepreneurs as the winners can become the new force for competitiveness, economic innova-

tion and employment”. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Aquila Leasing Limited, Chuka Onwuchekwa dedicated the award to the Board of Directors,

Royal Mills rolls out new products By Adeyinka Adedipe OYAL Mills and Foods Limited has launched it products -De-Royal Instant Noodles, De-Royal waters and De-Royal Sparkling soft drink at the weekend. The company’s Group Financial Controller, Bayo Obaleye said the company, through the new products, hopes to achieve its mission of providing quality product for

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nourishment in every home, bringing satisfaction to customers with total commitment to excellence and customers support through the innovations of the highlymotivated staff. According to him, the company hopes to set the pace as the manufacturer of quality productsintheworldandalsoestablishes a reputation for taste quality, healthy living as well as wholesome nutrition for

every home with high returns to the outfit’s stakeholders. He said that the company has an installed capacity of four lines with room for expansion. Two of the noodle lines, according to Obaleye, has been installed and each has a capacity of 480, 000 sachet per day, which translates to 960, 000 per day at 100 per cent efficiency. The water and CDS plant, he

explained, has a capacity for four lines, two lines is already producing 12, 000 bottles of water per hour, which translates to 24, 000 (per dozen) daily. The CDS line is expected to production by second quarter of next year. He also said that the carbonated soft drink, which will commence production in the secondquarterofnextyear,would come in three flavours - apple, cola and ruby grape.


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LIST OF COMPANIES THAT PARTICIPATED AT THE UNDERSTANDING CABOTAGE AND LOCAL CONTENT WORKSHOP

Dr. Chris Asoluka, Chairman, Oil & Gas Free Zone, Onne delivery the Gift Lecture dsuring the opening ceremony of the 4- Mr. Greg Ogbeifun, MD/CEO, Starzs day workshop Investments Company Ltd

Dr. Chris Asoluka, Chairman, Oil & Gas Free Trade Zone, Onne

Mr Greg Ogbeifun, MD, CEO Starzs Marine & Engineering Company Ltd making a presentation at the Workshop

Maritime Security Perspectives Of Nigeria’s Maritime And Oil And Gas Industries Maritime security is concerned with the prevention of intentional damage through sabotage, subversion, or terrorism and the prompt mitigation of incidences within the maritime environment and therefore involves the continuous surveillance and reconnaissance of ones maritime environment with a view of prompt interdiction when infringement of national maritime regulations occurs. ARITIME security M apparatus usually consist of the total assets available for the execution of a maritime strategy. This includes the personnel, aircraft, ships and integrated Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems slated for the maritime roles of every maritime security agency of government. It presupposes that maritime security agencies must have a clear picture of their environment in order to be proactive and effective. THE MARITIME PICTURE Maritime domain awareness is a very critical aspect of maritime security and without a creditable maritime picture our security forces will continue to grovel in the dark more so when they are hardly present at sea nor in our waterways. Maritime picture is built from all data sources that can be accessed regarding maritime traffic in a

given area. The goal in maritime security is to know what is happening, where and why in our maritime approaches, with progressively better positional accuracy and information credibility, as shipping nears the coast. The choice of reactionary security measures therefrom will thus be proactive and scaled appropriately depending on the content and urgency of the evolving challenge. Some of such choices will include: a. Safeguarding by way of personnel screening and physical security (e.g. fencing and cameras, container searching etc). b. Domain awareness through surveillance by ships, aircraft, radar and satellite. c. Collaboration/synergy of efforts through data base sharing and analysis for data fusion. d. Reaction by boarding and rummaging of ships. The question is which of these are we doing? THE INTERNATIONAL SHIP AND PORT SECURITY (ISPS) CODE In furtherance of maritime security efforts and in response to the 9/11 terrorists attack of ships and their being used for terrorist purposes, the International Maritime Organisation reviewed its SOLAS Convention and created the ISPS CODE with its 3 basic maritime security areas of focus. These are Port, Vessel and Facility Securities. Security requirements for each of them, as stipulated by the Code, entails the appointment of security officers in each case, who will be tasked with the responsibility to develop security plans based on security

assessments, implement security measures specific to the port, vessel or facility operation and comply with current maritime security levels. (Tried getting you a copy of the Guidance for Ship Operators on the ISPS CODE but a copy of the Interim Guidelines Against Piracy has been added as course material to further enhance your appreciation of maritime security) With the ISPS Code and other international conventions and regulation which were designed to support maritime security but has proved to be incoherent in the face of modern security challenges due to their out-dated concepts, a lack of international co-operation over their enactment and through it, a failure of the international community to deal effectively with failed or rogue states, their validity is today questionable.

IMO reports that over the past 10 years, only 108 attacks have happened in international waters while 170 were within territorial waters and 270 actually took place in port. So these are crimes taking place within national jurisdiction, and even though some of the coastal states of West Africa have states and judicial systems which are quite weak, there is no void of authority, like that in Somalia.

O& B Management Services Reliance Partners Riise Underwater Engineering Limited Gango Global Energy Limited Dredging International Services Nig Ltd Comet Shipping Services Nig Ltd Zircon Marine Limited International Marine & Logistics Compliance Manager, Lamnaco Nig Ltd Lamnalco Nigeria Limited Modant Seabulk Limited Royal Exchange Plc Dredging International Services Nig Ltd Kayodesofola & Associate Udo Udoma & Bello Osagie Wav Spog Petrochemical Limited Asterix Legal Services Amotoi Global Services Niger Delta University Shipping Direct Limited Zircon Marine Limited G. Elias & Co. Rangk Limited Starzs-Group Tradex Resources Ltd Bola Ajibola & Co Chartered Institution Of Logistics & Transport (Cilt) Skye Bank Plc Ogunbanjo & Co Foundation Chamber Intels Nigerian Limited Guaranty Trust Bank Niger-Benue Transport Company Limited Maersk Nigeria Fidelty Bank Plc

WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 4-DAY CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP ON THE THEME: “UNDERSTANDING CABOTAGE AND LOCAL CONTENT IN THE NIGERIAN OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY” HELD AT THE CIVIC CENTRE, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS FROM 25TH – 28TH MARCH, 2013. S the representative of the Nigerian A Shipping and Logistics sector in the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum

mental histories with Nigeria but they have taken concrete steps to set the path of their local economies in a more positive direction. The Brazilian’ in their Oil and Gas sector, Petrobras has greatly shown investment strength and advancement within the global stage to instigate and ensure indigenous participation, stem capital flight, build technological expertise and adequate capacity, Petrobras has built in Contract segmentation which enables local companies to provide services within their niche/competence areas under a larger contract. Foreign companies are mandated to accommodate locals to understudy and transfer technology. This is a model we strongly recommend in Nigeria The Nigerian Chamber of Shipping will continue to provide professional fora for useful interactions that will proffer workable solutions for her members, industry operators and stakeholders with a view to achieving a maximum control of Maritime activities within the Oil and Gas Sector. I seize this opportunity to openly acknowledge SNEPCo’s genuine commitment to the successful growth of local capacity. I am almost certain that other IOCs will tow their line soon. I also acknowledge the very encouraging support we receive from the regulatory bodies namely NAPIMS, NIMASA, NCDMB and NPA. I enjoin you to make the best of this opportunity which will be holding quarterly. We request that more organizations participate in these efforts by way of sponsorship and attendance. Within these four days of this programme, the major issues within the industry shall be x-rayed. Please pay attention to the various presentations which are billed to be as interactive as possible. Welcome and decide to carve a niche within the industry starting from today. And join the Chamber if you please.

(NCCF) of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) we take our role seriously and make it our responsibility to create advocacy initiatives. This Workshop is a direct outcome of some of our initiatives, it is a collaborative workshop between the Chamber and Shell (SNEPCo).The objective and underlying aims have been to find ways and means to facilitate the effective participation of the Nigerian Operators, The evident and well doc- within the Local Content Framework, in umented deterioration in Oil and Gas Contracts. maritime security reflects We are constantly advocating for the the malaise in society’s effective implementation of the appreciation of its impor- Cabotage Regime within the Nigerian tance to both the global maritime industry, we organize capacieconomy and the stratety building programmes and several gic environment particu- other interventions for the industry. larly in our country. The The overriding objectives being to fulfill maritime economy’s mul- the Chamber’s vision and mission statetifaceted vulnerability to ments. both terrorism and crimi- As a big oil producing nation and an oilnality should not be a sur- based economy, the earnings in this secprise as sea going vessels tor no doubt galvanizes the other ecocarry 80% of the world nomic sectors, which makes it very trade by value and 92-96% imperative that we harness our potenby volume in contrast to a tials to be able to retain at least 85% of PIRACY OR MARITIME 1% by air. Globalization the foreign exchange earnings and ARMED ROBBERY? has in addition scheduled determinedly reverse the existing trend. According to Chris an incredible increase in Trelawny of IMO, most of both volume and value in By this call to ensure the implementation of the Cabotage and Local Content what is going on in West maritime trade and conAfrican waters is not real- sequently by the size and Laws, we are equally asking for a concerted commitment towards learning ly piracy at all, within the speed of vessels, facilitatand having a deeper knowledge which meaning of the internaed terrorists and crimishould aid our patriotic quest to tional conventions. nals operations. Our colentrench international standards in the “Piracy is defined as haplective failure to deal way that strengthens our competitive pening `outside the juris- effectually with piracy and comparative abilities. diction of any state’, so and contain criminality However, considering our present state outside 12 miles is piracy. should be the concern of Within 12 miles it is classi- all, because unless endur- of development and competence, something has to give, not in the way of cabofied as armed robbery ing solutions can be tage waivers in the maritime industry against ships. The differimplemented, we are like- and not in the manner of “contract sellence is jurisdiction. Piracy ly to witness their prolifoffs” to foreign concerns, but in practiis a universal crime and eration across the globe. cal, qualitative and legal ways. One posstates have an obligation sible suggestion here would be to look to intervene and hot purat the Venezuelan example for cabotage suit is allowed. Inside 12 and Brasilian model for local content. Mr Andrew Isichei miles it is the coastal TO BE CONTINUED Both countries have similar developVice President, state’s responsibility.” Nigerian Chamber of Shipping


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New Course Introduction

NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING SHORT COURSES AND TRAINING TIME TABLE (JAN - DEC 2013)

A thorough knowledge of the increasing technicalities involved in the upstream oil and gas sector and its associated support structure is needed for one to successfully engage in any form of business in this sector. The wake of the Coastal and Inland shipping act and the Nigerian Oil and gas industry development act are indicators for a much needed training in line with these regulations. To bridge the need for the much needed training, the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping is introducing a week long course titled:

Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry (Upstream). The course is designed to give an in-depth understanding of the Maritime/Oil and Gas upstream business in Nigeria. Whether as a Bank who wants to finance the acquisition of offshore vessels, or an indigenous operator who wants to build upon existing knowledge, a new entrant that needs the fundamental knowledge of the maritime/upstream oil and gas business, an International Oil Company dealing with Local Operators or individuals who have a purely academic interest in gaining knowledge that will assist with their own personal and professional development; you will find the course very comprehensive and valuable. In the end, you will have a broader knowledge of Contracts, Investments and Vessel Financing in the Upstream Oil and Gas sector.

Core Modules include: 1. The Development of the Maritime Industry in Nigeria/Legislation 2. Overview of the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria 3. Finding a Vessel 4. Vessel/Equipment Inspection (Physical and Classification Surveys) 5. Vessel Registration and Working within the Regulatory Framework (Cabotage & Local Content) 6. Funding your Contract 7. Understanding Marine Insurance 8. Maritime law and Arbitration 9. Ship Management 10. Environmental Issues 11. Maritime Security Our facilitators are seasoned professionals with enormous experience in the industry, some of them are; Chief Chris Asoluka (PhD.): Managing Consultant, FM&T/Consulting Nig. Ltd Olisa Agbakoba and Associates: Maritime Law Dr. I. E. Douglas: Head- Department of Marine Engineering, RSUST. Mr. Toby Eve: Maritime/Shipping Expert and MD Maritime Transactions. Mr. Rob Goodwin: Master Mariner, Production Operations Marine Lead, SNEPCo Mr. Austin Uzoka: Manager, Nigerian Content Development, SNEPCo Rear Adm. GSA Ombo (Rtd) OON: Maritime Consultant Mr. Peter Olorunfemi: Maritime Finance Consultant, Peter Maritime Consulting Services Facilitator from NCDMB / NAPIMS We are confident you will find that this unique course provides you with the much needed knowledge that will benefit you and your company as well as give you the needed skill in contract sourcing, financing and execution. Kindly indicate interest by sending us an Email to: info@nigerian-shipping.org, brendan.dumpe@nigerian-shipping.org, Or call: 01-8922289, 08033861289, 08060504587, 08068844822. Visit our website www.nigerian-shipping.org or follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/nigerianchamberofshipping

SNEAK REVIEWS ON THE MODULES: UNDERSTANDING CABOTAGE AND LOCAL CONTENT IN THE NIGERIAN OIL & GAS INDUSTRY (UPSTREAM) FUNDING YOUR CONTRACT CREDIT POLICY AND FINANCE DEFINITIONS Credit Policy Definition Factors Influencing The Choice Between A New Built And A Second Hand Vessel Vessel Charter SENIOR DEBT Types of Senior Debt – Overview Financing Vessel Types Lending Methods Borrower Structures Transaction Assessment Why Do Banks Need To Have This Information? Documentation Ship Finance Options SHIP FINANCE Introduction To Hedging Introduction To Securitisation Mezzanine Project Financing Introduction To Leasing Introduction To Islamic Finance SHIP MORTGAGES Details Of The Ship The Mortgage Transfer of Mortgage Discharge of Mortgage LOAN DOCUMENTATION Compiled and Edited by Nnamdi C. Eronini


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Energy Electricity supply worsens amid low generation, poor distribution network By Roseline Okere and Sulaimon Salau T is definitely not the best of time for the Power Itricity Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), as the elecnetwork seems to be experiencing another setback, ranging from generation to distribution challenges. As a result, the electricity consumers in some parts of the country, including Lagos and Ogun states are currently groaning under incessant outages, which have nearly crippled domestic and commercial activities in the areas. President Goodluck Jonathan had in June 2010, announced his power sector transformation agenda aimed at reforming the country’s power sector and move Nigeria to the threshold of electricity adequacy. Specifically, the Federal Government promised to boost electricity generation to 10,000mw by December 2012, during the launch of the power sector road map in 2010. Three years after the assurance, the country can only boost of 2,987.6MW, according a report by the Presidential Taskforce on Power (PTFP). The Guardian gathered from a reliable source in PHCN that the actual generation is now 1,300MW; against the 2,987.6MW being claimed by the power taskforce, in the report, which was released on Saturday. This is a far cry from the required power generation that will enable manufacturing companies return to the national grid for its source of power in order to drive the entire economy to new heights since power consumption is not meant for domestic front alone. The National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), which the country thought would be able to complement the efforts of PHCN seems not to be performing to expectations. Despite the $8 billion committed to NIPP by the government, only a paltry 786mw power generation level has been achieved so far. Indeed, in the last few weeks, Nigerians have not been able to experience stability in electricity consumption,despitethenumeroustargetsthathave been set in the past years. There is still an overwhelming reliance on generators as the main source of power generation and consumption in the country, both at the domestic and industrial level. For instance, Lagos residents, most especially those living around Okota- Oshodi-Isolo areas have been experiencing serious load shedding and outages in the last few months. The residents, who complained to The Guardian, said that the communities had continued to grope in darkness, despite being assured of improved power supply by the government. A manager in PHCN annex, which supplies Okota area, who spoke to The Guardian, attributed the blackout and load shedding to system upgrade at the station. According to him, “we have been upgrading our system from 15MVA to 60MVA and this has been going on since November last year. This is aside the general electricity generation, which is not yet sufficient for the whole nation. Currently, the

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The Federal Government promised to boost electricity generation to 10,000 Mega Watts (MW) by December 2012 during the launch of the power sector road map in 2010. Three years after the assurance, the country can only boast of 2,987.6MW, according a report by the Presidential Taskforce on Power. country can only generate 1,300MW to serve the whole nation. This is what we are rationing among the whole community under our jurisdiction. We have to do this to enable it go round the whole community. I think government should hurry up with its transformation agenda in the power sector so that the country can now enjoy uninterrupted power supply”. Also, some of the electricity consumers in Apapa, Mushin, Isolo, Surulere, Ejigbo, Sango and Ikorodu axis recently joined the numerous complainants about the worsening power supply experienced recently. The consumers berated the incessant blackout, coupled with outrageous bills charged by the company, even when the supply is near zero. Reacting to the situation, the Business Manager, PHCN, Apapa Business District, Adewale Obadimu, told The Guardian at the sideline of its Customers’ Consultative Council meeting at the weekend, that the case of vandalisation has massively affected its operations. He said the system is dynamic and so the supply depends on the energy capacity made available. “Presently, Eko Electricity Distribution Company needs over 600MW at any point in time. In Apapa,

we need about 120MW to operate fully, but presently we are limited to between 15MW and 20MW, and this is terrible,” he said. Beside the national generation shortage, the utility company is also claiming to suffer from incessant vandalism challenges, which have eaten deep into the efficiency of the utility company. “The issue of vandalism has been resurfacing and it is seriously affecting our operations, each time a cable is cut, the repairs cost about N250,000 and an average of N1 million for any stolen line depending on the length,” he stated. On the outrageous billing allegation, Obadimu explained that the introduction of prepaid meters would soon phase out such claims and consumers would be on accurate consumption pattern. He said the company has installed about 2,000 meters this year before the NERC’s directive. According him, the consumers in Apapa network alone owe about N2 billion, out of which the government and the military are owing about N904 million. The Eko Electricity Distribution Company recently announced a planned power interruption in some parts of Lagos for about four days

starting from Friday, April 5th to Monday, April 8th, 2013. AstatementbyAssistantGeneralManager,Public Affairs of the Company, Mr. Godwin Idemudia, said the planned power interruption was to carry out major maintenance works on two 11kv feeders for the purpose of getting them ready for evacuation of power from the newly installed 100MVA 132/33KV power transformer at Ajah transmission station as well as replacement of obsolete 11kv switch gears at Akoka injection sub-station. According to him, while the work on the island affected Lekki phase 1, VGC, Maroko, Victoria Island, UPDC estate, Chevron Estate, NICON town estate, Victoria Island and other adjoining areas, the work at Akoka will affect Akoka, Yaba, Sabo and environs. When The Guardian contacted Idemudia on Monday, he said the maintenance work was nearing completion and they are likely to be restored on Tuesday morning. Idemudia said the maintenance and system upgrading work in the two stations would bring about tremendous improvement in electricity supply to affected areas. However, the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company said it was not carrying out any maintenance work currently, but stated that all hands were on deck to serve electricity consumers in the network better. The Senior Manager, Public Affairs of the company, Mr. Pekun Adeyanju, also attributed the outages to inventible load-shedding, resulting from inadequate power generation.

Challenges before new owner of Sapele power plant By Roseline Okere S the new owners of power assets are bracing up for new dawn in the post-power sector reforms regime, there are indications that the challengesbeforetheinvestorsmay vary, depending on the technicalities of the acquired power plants. For instance, Sapele Power station has been hampered by the low maintenance and underfunding culture symptomatic of most infrastructure projects in the country. This has resulted in low capacity utilisation, mainly because most of its equipment are out-

A

dated and sourcing of spares has been difficult. Expectedly, the plant’s capacity has dropped to between 165 and 265MW. Speaking on the current status of the power plant recently, Chief Executive Officer of the plant, Reginald Ifionu, confirmed that only Steam Turbines one (STO1 and STO2) were currently generating a combined output of 165MW, but efforts were being made to bring back STO3 back on stream to add 100MW. Ifionu said by the end of April, when the STO3 would have resumed operation, the station’s total grid contribution

to the national grid would rise to 265MW from the 165MW currently generated. He attributed the dwindling capacity of the power station to continued use of the pneumatics instrument and control system, rather than digital instruments. He said because the equipment is archaic and no longer readily available in the market, sourcing the spares has become an uphill task. Ifionu added that aside from thefactthatplant’soldtechnology missed several generations of upgrades due to financial constraints, the problem of inadequate gas supply further

hampered the plant’s operation. He said only ST05 would need to be decommissioned as it is “beyond economic repairs.” He however explained that the other units would need substantial investments to get them adequately refurbished, with the necessary system upgrades. “Only one unit (ST05) needs to be decommissioned as being beyond economic repairs. The other units would need substantial investments to get them adequately refurbished, with the necessary upgrades of systems such as instruments and controls, excitation, pro-

tection and metering and switch gears for sustained, reliable, efficient and safe grid operations,” Ifionu volunteered. He explained that only one of the three units of the plant runs at full capacity currently, while the others are yet to commence full supply of electricity to the national grid due to gas shortage. Shedding more lights on the issue of gas supply to the plant, Ifionu said that gas supply is expected to improve due its proximity to oil and gas installations in the Western Niger Delta. He explained that gas suppli-

ers to the power plants were the major oil companies such as Shell, Agip, Total and Seplat Petroleum, an indigenous company, adding that Seplat can only provide the plant’s gas requirements at its current operational level of between 165-265MW. He further pointed out that the recently signed gas supply/purchase agreement was the necessary impetus to gas producers for such significant/costly investments. “The gas supplier (Seplat) would have such bilateral arrangements. At the present, we do not have other direct contracts,” he said.


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ICAN picks holes in PIB, berates excessive power vested in minister By Sulaimon Salau RESH concerns have been FPetroleum raised on the controversial Industry Bill (PIB), as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) highlighted some new areas of amendments including errors on the bill, presently before the National Assembly (NASS). The institute, in a recommendation forwarded to the Senate President and members of the National Assembly, and obtained by The Guardian, highlighted some areas of amendments, typographical errors and suggested several views on the legislative document. Besides, ICAN faulted the perceived excessive power vested in the minister of petroluem, noting that it was capable of derailing the laudable objectives of the PIB. The document signed by the President, ICAN, Adedoyin Idowu Owolabi, stated that “the institute was established by an Act of Parliament No.15 of 1965 and therefore has the responsibility to determine the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the Accountancy Profession in Nigeria and to raise such standards as circumstances may require. “With its current membership of over 36,000 chartered accountants both at Fellowship and Associate levels working across various sectors of the Nigerian economy, it is necessary that the Institute presents her views on the above mentioned bill in the public inter-

est.” According to the recommendation, the institute is of the view that the objectives as stated in the bill are in order, however, it felt strongly that an additional objective that should cater for the less privileged and the common man be crafted and numbered“l”thus:“Tocreateandsustain a fund from the excess crude proceeds from the appropriate pricing of petroleum products for the purpose of managing a social security sys-

tem for the aged, the unemployed and disabled.” AlsoitsuggestedthatParagraph (i) should be added to the existing section 17(2) (a)-(h) to read as: “one representative of each Oilproducing State to be nominated by the House of Assembly of that State” “With the insertion of this paragraph, the wording of section 17 subsections 3, 4 and section 20 (a) should be adjusted to reflect paragraph (i),” it stated. On filling the vacancy on the

Board as stated in Section 22 of the bill, the Institute is of the view that a time frame of ninety (90) days should be specified within which a vacancy on the Board must be filled by the President. ICAN also suggests that the appointment and removal of Director-General or a Director from office should be made by the President subject to ratification of the National Assembly, instead of only by the President as stated in the document.

Againsttheprovisionsthat:“The Secretary shall be a lawyer with aminimumof10yearspostqualification experience”, ICAN proposed that the Office of the Secretary should not be restricted to lawyers and that it should be occupied by a Chartered Accountant, a lawyer or a Chartered Secretary as provided for in the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) CAP C20 LFN 2004 S295. On the powers of the minister, ICAN said: “The powers of the

minister under the PIB appear excessive and capable of derailing the laudable objectives of the PIB. The Minister of Petroleum is empowered to make regulations on almost all issues including the underlisted, gas flaring; distribution of the revenues from the petroleumhostcommunitiesfund;recommendations of all persons to be appointed into all boards in the PIB; power to send persons into prison and determining royalties and rentals.

Rivers plans N9b rural electrification, others OVERNOR Chibuike Rotimi G Amaechi says his administration would soon commence a N9 billion rural electrification project in all communities across Rivers State as soon as steady power supply is provided later this year. Hespokerecentlyduringatown hall meeting with the people of Ahoada West local council area. “So we urge you to be patient with us, we have you in our mind, and we are ready to serve you better,” Amaechi said. He also assured the people of Ahoada-West that as soon as the survey plan covering 21 hectares of land is provided, the contractor would mobilise to start the building of the model secondary school in the area. He restated government’s commitment to complete all ongoing model primary schools, including the furnishing, equipping, installation of ICT facilities, fencing of the premises and landscaping, urging con-

tractors to show more commitment to their work to enable government deliver democracy dividends to the people. “The people whom we award these contracts to, are from Ahoada-West Local Government Area, they are your brothers, please, help gov-

ernment to police this people so they can complete the projects on time, so we can deliver them to you. I can assure you that at least 70 per cent of the contractors are from AhoadaWest, so if the work is slow, your sons are responsible,” Amaechi said.

He ordered the Ministry of Health to sack the doctor attached to the Ikodi-Engene Primary Health Centre in the local council for alleged absenteeism and abandonment of duty. Hepromisedtobuildaprimary health centre and a model pri-

mary school for Mbiama community.   He also said: “When I assumed office in 2007, there was rampant kidnapping and shooting. So we had to invite the joint task force to tackle the situation and I will make sure that peace is sustained.”

Operators seek support for deregulation HE downstream oil operaT tors, under the aegis of Odu’a Petrol Stations Owners and Dealers Association of Nigeria, (OPSODAN), has called on stakeholders to support the Federal Government’s move for total deregulation of the petroleum industry. The group however said deregulation would be beneficial to the entire citizenry, as full competition would set-in to create right pricing and better service delivery. The OPSODAN, a

newly incorporated association in the petroleum industry, said the exercise would redistribute the nation’s commonwealth and stop the antics of a few minority who milk the oil industry dry in the guise of collecting fuel subsidy. A statement signed by the spokesman of the new association, Alhaji Alli Fatai Aro, said: “If the Federal Government is able to pursue the oil industry deregulation fully, not only will the industry become more

friendly to the operators, the final consumers of petroleum products will also have better choice to buy from and consequently pay less for the products.” The group said after the initial hitches usually associated with such exercise, what now obtains in the telecommunication industry will resort to competition and would eventually lead to collapse of prices. The association, with regis-

tered office in Oyo, Oyo State, noted that under the current business environment, operators were finding it difficult to remain in business, adding this was accountable for many filling stations that had run out of business. The spokesman noted that the deregulation will lead to many more people bringing in petroleum products, while more private refineries will also spring up, thus creating more jobs for Nigerians.


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Opinion To Cardinal Onaiyekan and Pastor Bakare By Pius Adesanmi OUR Eminence, Cardinal Onaiyekan and EsY teemed Pastor Bakare: Greetings. Pardon this public approach to matters I could have taken up with both of you on the phone. The issues at hand do not belong in the province of the Wordsworthian emotion, to be recollected in tranquillity on the phone, away from the ears of the Nigerian people. Also, I would have loved to be able to preface this open letter to two eminent spiritual and civic fathers of our nation with the usual Nigerian inquiry about your wellbeing and your “condition of health”. However, I realize that it would be hypocritical of me to ask such questions from genuine patriots and real national leaders like your eminent selves, given that you operate in a nation-space where the extra in extraordinary has acquired such grave and dark ramifications that birds no longer sing like birds and rats refuse to brux like rats. For where the body has the rare privilege of being in “a good condition of health” in today’s Nigeria, how could the spirit possibly be? Is the Nigerian spirit not under siege? Is the Nigerian’s spirit not under siege? In essence, I cannot ask if you are “doing ok” because you cannot possibly be doing ok given the grave condition of our country. Brothers, the surprise, for me, as I pen this letter to both of you is that the Nigerian is still standing, given the severity of the psychological warfare declared on him/her in recent times by what has got to be the world’s most perfidious political elite. If Nigeria’s long succession of atrocious postcolonial rulers have all waged a psychological war on the Nigerian, the incumbent in Aso Rock seems determined to be the one to find a “Final Solution” to something that must puzzle our political elite beyond measure: how has the Nigerian’s spirit survived the assault and the psychological violence we have foisted on it for so long? Consequently, the galling and open declaration of admiration for a convicted felon and the subsequent pardoning of the said criminal in what a Nigerian patriot, Kingsley Ewetuya, famously described as the worst use of the prerogative of pardon by a ruler since Pilate pardoned Barabbas; the appointment of a man convicted –but subsequently pardoned in the usual Nigerian way – of forging a University of Toronto certificate and conning his way to the fourth most important office in Nigeria into the Governing Council of the University of Nigeria by a President tone deaf to irony, is all part of a purposed and deliberate effort to find a “Final Solution” to the Nigerian spirit by President Goodluck Jonathan. To the extent that no nation’s spirit can survive in a moral and ethical Kalahari, the President’s colossal ethical demission,

his in-your-face throwing of national morality to the dogs, his constant hoisting of criminals and felons – albeit laureates of wuruwuru pardons – as role models in a country which boasts an almost 70 per cent youth demographic in search of role models, must be read as a “clueful” (pardon my coinage in opposition to clueless) attempt to destroy the moral and ethical fabric of the Nigerian nation. Contrary to popular belief, this man is not clueless, he is diabolically clueful. But the psychological warfare of President Goodluck Jonathan and his co-travellers in Nigeria’s irredeemably corrupt corridors of power on the spirit of the Nigerian people is not why I am writing you today. It is no secret that in the face of adversity, the Nigerian’s first refuge are spiritualities which find concrete expression in the Christian, Islamic, and animistic faiths. Because the majority of our people profess either the Christian or the Islamic faith today, it goes without saying that these two faiths owe it to Nigeria to be her armour against the rampage of the undertakers in the political elite, determined as they are to preside over the funeral rites of national ethics and morality. Because I profess the Catholic faith and I am writing to two of the most illustrious leaders of Nigerian Christendom, I will not be discussing the role of Islam in our current national conundrum. My brief here is Christianity, Nigerian Christianity. Let me state that it is not all bad news with regard to the role of Nigerian Christendom in the battle to save our national values and protect decency, morality, and ethics from the siege of our prurient political class. Where the Presidency, which ought to be the institution which invests national values and morality with meaning, has come to be defined solely and singularly by irresponsibility, where you look for a single credible role model for our youth in the political class and find the proverbial “no, not one”, Nigerian Christendom has ensured that we continue to have credible, formidable, and towering national role models and symbols of righteousness like your esteemed selves, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, and the Most Reverend Peter Akinola (whose prayers against corruption the President would not dignify with any “amen”). There are more where these came from, dignified men and women of God toiling in the vineyard all over the country, away from the obscene materialistic incentives of the moneychangers in the political class. Sadly, the category of Christian clergy sustaining the tradition of role modelship in our country is of such feeble minority as to be unable to define the broader face and complexion of Nigerian Christendom today. What we see today is a Niger-

ian Christendom cosily in bed with the most determined enemies of national ethics and morality. Where does one start? Does one start with the fact that the proceeds of corruption no longer travel directly to the vaults of Swiss Banks but make a conscience-salving detour into the tithe baskets of Nigerian Christendom? Does one start with the increasingly disturbing image of a corrupt and peripatetic power, which spends more time hopping from one Christian pulpit to another than she spends behind the presidential desk in Aso Rock? And what does it say that this particular power has found a near permanent home on the Church pulpit? If Christendom was alive to its responsibilities and truth was being told to power in generous dosage, does it not stand to reason that power would not be so enamoured of hopping from one Christian pulpit to another, transforming the said pulpit into an extension of the immoral soapbox of the PDP? I am of course aware that the labour of the two of you in our public sphere devolves largely from your determination to use your towering profiles and immense moral capital to confront these problems. After all, Your Eminence Onaiyekan has been a constant voice for sanity, your latest act in that regard being the temporary withdrawal of you and your brother Bishops from the Christian Association of Nigeria, transformed by its current leadership into a permanent bedmate of a corrupt political incumbency. And from the protestant flank, Pastor Bakare has been a consistent thorn in the flesh of a worrisome prosperity Pentecostalism bent on turning the temple into a den of thieves and moneychangers and transforming the Church into a hangar for ostentatious private jets acquired in a cynical mockery of the overwhelming poverty of the faithful. My fear, however, is that the goalpost is constantly being shifted by those in the Christian clergy who are bent on sustaining the contemporary image of Nigerian Christendom as the handmaiden of political corruption. It would seem that there has been a steady transition from buying private jets to making God available to be bought by politicians. This explains why we are witnessing a transition from an epidemic of private jets to a pandemic of church buildings donated by corrupt politicians. President Jonathan, as you know, has been buying God in his hometown of Otuoke by nepotistically giving body language to Church building renovators or donors. However, the latest egregious example of a politician’s attempt to buy God is our friend, the Senator who recently donated a Church building to the Anglican Communion in his own hometown. I am not worried about the corrupt pedigree of the givers in these scenarios of Church building dona-

tions. I am worried about the takers. I am worried about the takers because, as Cardinal Onaiyekan knows too well from being a long-term associate of my father, I am a product of an earlier version of Nigerian Christianity that would have either rejected these contaminated gifts outright or at least asked very serious questions before accepting same. I do not recognize this strange new Christianity that seems wholly incapable of saying, “get thee behind me Satan”, whenever Nigerian politicians invite her to the top of an exceeding high mountain, show her the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, saying, “all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” The Senator would have had to explain the source of his funds were he making that donation to the Body of Christ when I was growing up in Nigeria. The spectacle of the Senator and the President enjoying a no-questions-asked pulpit moment during the so-called dedication of the new Church building is a sobering statement on the current condition of Nigerian Christendom. There is a serious national crisis when Nigerian Christendom can no longer be relied upon by the faithful as a refuge from the war declared on public morality, ethics, decency, and national values by corrupt and irredeemable members of the ruling elite. Beyond your respective and laudable personal efforts to sustain the Nigerian spirit through your towering moral stock and ethical capital, I believe that the time has come for the two of you to urgently reach out to each other, identify kindred spirits in the clergy, form a broad-based interdenominational platform that would enable Nigerian Christendom commence an urgently-needed soul searching. I believe that we are at an historical juncture where the Body of Christ in Nigeria must come to an understanding of the fact that she cannot serve the Nigerian people (spiritually) and Nigerian politicians at the same time. Both are incompatible tasks, akin to serving God and Mammon. Beyond the well-known positions and activism of role model clergy members such as your esteemed selves, the Nigerian Church can no longer shy away from taking a decisive and unambiguous position in our collective struggle for the rebirth of public morality, ethical capital and decency. The dangerous impression that the Nigerian Church is creating about being a servicer of the assault on national morality by a corrupt political elite requires an urgent interdenominational remedial intervention. I can think of no better initiators of this necessary process than the two of you. • Adesanmi wrote this as an open letter to John Cardinal Onaiyekan and Pastor Tunde Bakare.

Rapprochement with Governor Obi By C. Don Adinuba VEN before Peter Obi was sworn in as Anambra State governor alE most eight years ago, I had fallen out with him. Though Obi won the 2003 governorship vote, the candidate of the government party was declared winner by the national electoral commission, an agency compromised in the most unconscionable manner by the President Olusegun Obasanjo government. Hardly had he assumed office when Chris Ngige, the officially declared winner of the vote, began to demonstrate wonderful strength of character and development vision hitherto unknown in the state. Ngige instantly earned legitimacy and became a folk hero. This development outraged the very elements who committed the electoral heist for him and who wanted him to hold the state cow while they milked it. Consequently, the renegades, as Chinua Achebe famously described them in 2004 while rejecting Obasanjo’s offer of a high national honour to him, turned their blitzkrieg not just on the governor but also on the state. “I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra”, Achebe wrote, “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, if not connivance, of the Presidency”. In the imagination of most Nigerians, the battle for the soul of Anambra State was between the forces of liberation represented by Ngige and forces of darkness led by the renegades. Peter Obi, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate who actually won the vote, did not matter any longer in the equation. In fact, his legal battle to reclaim the mandate was considered a distraction. After all, no sitting governor had been removed from office in Nigeria’s history. Many thought that Obi was perhaps fronting for the renegades. This thinking reinforced my determination and that of many other people to stop him by all legitimate means. Long after Obi assumed office, in spite of all odds, he could not en-

dear himself to a lot of Anambrarians. He did not hit the ground running, like his predecessor. Nor was he playing politics well. He rather kept on explaining that he was engaged in long term planning of the state’s holistic development. I personally had reason to sustain the fight after he had eventually “shown us his fingers”. My own local government area of Ihiala, arguably the biggest local council in Nigeria, was conspicuous by utterly missing on Governor Obi’s development and political radar screen. No commissioner, no permanent secretary, no special adviser, no special assistant, no personal assistant, no board member, etc. Not even one road! No local council had this dubious distinction. Give it to Governor Obi: he is tremendously self-willed, but he, like any successful politician, cares about public opinion. A day after I published an article, under a pseudonym, pointing out the Ihiala condition, he made an unscheduled visit to Ihiala town and offered N1 million to victims of a fire at the Nkwogbe Market, which occurred months earlier. He also visited the Anambra State University at Uli where he promised to provide critical facilities and develop the headquarters rapidly, a pledge he has honoured in considerable measure. Shortly after, someone from Ihiala was named a commissioner, though given a sinecure position. Governor Obi has since built vital roads in Ihiala local council, including one linking the border town of Lilu with the rest of the state, the first tarred road this town has ever had. Still, there is an unmistakable conundrum about the road development: not one tarred road in Ihiala town, the fourth most important town in Anambra State and which has been local government headquarters since the 1960s. All this is now changing. On April 2, 2013, Governor Obi flagged off the construction of a 16-kilometre major road, which opens up the food basket of the town and connects Ihiala with Ogbaru Local Government Area. What is more, the road has a spur to the palace of our traditional ruler, a former University of Nigeria senior lecturer. When the governor honoured my invitation by visiting the monarch on January 2, 2012, together with then Minister of Power,

Bart Nnaji, I reminded him that the traditional ruler was a lecturer at the UNN when he was a student there, calling attention to the decrepit road leading to the palace. A self-willed person, the governor refused to commit himself to the construction of the road. He wanted to do it at a time of his own choosing. Horizon, the contracting firm building the road for over N2 billion, has been given 16 months to deliver the project, but it has promised to complete it within eight months. It was reassuring to hear the governor say that if the contractor fulfills the promise, it will automatically be given a fresh six kilometer road linking Ihiala and Ogbaru LGA, a marshy and expensive terrain. Noting that Anambra under his leadership is the least indebted state in the federation, the governor says there are sufficient funds in the kitty for prompt payment. Given the quality of the Oseakwa bridge built by Horizon, courtesy of my well-known opponent, Chuma Nzeribe, the contractor should do a good job. The successful and timely delivery of this project will go a long way to restore Ihiala people’s confidence in the state government. In 2003, the state government commenced the construction of the 5-kilometre Odo Rubber road in our town, but the moment work got to the front of the house of the father-in-law of the governor, it was abandoned. I have brought this abandoned road to the attention of the governor, and the vibes I have received are very encouraging. Even the contractor, who did a good job before the government abandoned it, has promised to deliver it within 10 weeks if given the green light. The huge crowd I saw in Ihiala on April 2 enthusiastically receiving Governor Obi was genuine. It was neither rented nor simulated. All this goes to confirm the truism in communication science and mind programming that the best form of propaganda is to do the right thing. Governor Obi is in the twilight of his gubernatorial tenure, and his popularity rating has instructively been on the ascent. It is not fortuitous. I, for one, have reason to reach a rapprochement with him. Ihiala people are finally getting democracy dividends. • Adinuba is head of Discovery Public Affairs Consulting.


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Opinion The dress code of a socialist By Sylvester Akhaine WRITE this piece in honour of Deacon Ayo IGuardian Ositelu. He was my senior colleague in The Editorial Board who joined his ancestors last January. God bless his soul! I was unable to pay my last respect to this veteran sport analyst and prolific writer as I travelled to the United Kingdom to deliver three lectures earlier scheduled before Ayo’s home call. I delivered two of the lectures at Royal Holloway and School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), both colleges of the University of London. The third was on the platform of Leadership Society of Nigeria (LSN) in South East London. In those lectures I reflected on issues bordering on the dynamics of Nigerian politics and development. Ayo was a great Nigerian and numerous individuals who paid tributes to him testified to his greatness. Our country is blessed with so many great people. Yet, they have been rendered irrelevant by a warped, self-serving and disoriented leadership endowed with what Paulo Freire called magical consciousness or semi-intransitive consciousness characterised by limited perception and inability to comprehend causality. Social relations, for me, constitutes the basis of memory and appreciation of the worth of a fellow human being. The last conversation between Ayo and I was memorable. He often sat in opposite direction to my seat. We began our exchange through notes in order not to

disturb the trend of debate at the board. I told him that I was going to make it the kernel of an opinion article. The subject was the type of clothes I wore and by extension a critical question of what socialists, pseudo or genuine should wear. Our discussion went thus: “those who suspect that the notable ‘socialist’ (your good self) has turned ‘capitalist’, may have a weapon to argue their case, when they notice the quality of the ‘safari’ suits you wear these days,” deacon said. “The concept of safari suit is not one of cut-and-nail but one with aesthetics and perimeters,” I replied. Lest I forget, the concept of ‘safari’ suits is one thing; the evident quality (Italian cut) is another. No offence,” he said again. This was to be the last of such exchange. Ayo was soon to bid us all goodbye. Going back in time, I remember confronting this question about how a socialist should dress in the early 1990s as undergraduate of the University of Lagos. As a leading member of the Marxist-Leninist Study Group (MLSG), I caused a meeting to hold at the Arts Block of the university where the matter was thoroughly debated. The summary of the proceedings at that conference was that comrades who could afford good clothes should dress well. What is not in doubt is that the ‘elected ancestors’ of our ideology, Marx, Engels and Lenin wore excellent suits. Looking further into history, comrades in other climes who waged guerrilla wars against the state could not have become ceremonial fops. Fidel Castro

Ayo was a great Nigerian and numerous individuals who paid tributes to him testified to his greatness. Our country is blessed with so many great people. Yet, they have been rendered irrelevant by a warped, self-serving and disoriented leadership endowed with what Paulo Freire called magical consciousness or semi-intransitive consciousness characterised by limited perception and inability to comprehend causality. and company could not have been so in the mountains of the Sierra Mastra. There was no way Che Guevara could have become groovy in the woods of Bolivia. Amilcar Cabral could not have become one in the swamps of Guinea Bissau. Dressing is a product of people’s culture and arises from the transformation of productive forces. Also, styles and texture are conditioned by climatic conditions and other considerations. To be a socialist or partisan of the working class could be determined by a number of criteria. A primary criterion is class belongation determined by the position one occupies in the production relations. You either sell your labour to eke out a living or own the means of production and therefore an employer of labour. The second criterion is class consciousness, which leads one always to side with the exploited class in society. And thirdly, class actions demonstrable in your practical activities that are redemptive of the oppressed in society. Class solidarity may prevent many socialists who have the means to

buy fine clothes to remain untailored. Today, the magical consciousness, which the ruling clique in our country has imposed on society is that the oppressed people tend to see their future in the consumerist image of the oppressors who don on large flowing Agbada, expensive suits and cruise about in bullet-proof and siren-equipped cars. They equate anything less with poverty without seeing them as the foundation of the erosion of the distributive and social values in society. Deacon Ositelu was not a professed socialist but he lived a simple life that put him on the same social spectrum with the toiling masses of our people. Today, there are a few comedians in government hoodwinking the masses of our people by their socialist claims. As Chief Awolowo used to say, the past is always a story told while the future may be written in gold. I, for sure, dream of a society where Nigerians can live well and dress well, not a differentiated one with ghettos and highbrow quarters. • Dr. Akhaine is a visiting member of The Guardian Editorial Board.

Bola Ajibola: A Nigerian metaphor By Tony Ajero UESTIONS: Do we still have the likes of Prince Bola Ajibola, Nigeria’s longest running Attorney General of the Q Federation and Minister of Justice, one-time President of the International Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands? What has happened to the educational system that produced such men and women in multiples for Nigeria, Africa and the world? What has become of that not-too-long-ago society where your religion was not such an issue that it brought you horrible death? How far down are we? Will we walk proud again, how soon, what do we need to do? Answers: in the air! As His Excellency, Prince Bola Ajibola marked his eightieth less-one birthday, he seems an apt metaphor for Nigeria and Nigeria’s questions – why do we find it so difficult doing simple things right? If these men were so good, how come we are already in the doldrums even when they are still alive and kicking? Where Nigeria produced these great men, why didn’t they produce a better or at least equal succeeding generation? If we agree to the dictum that inability to produce successors is failure, does this mean that generation failed? If that generation can truly be tagged wasted as Prof. Soyinka affirms, what then will the generation after be called – non-existent? Yet, members of the former generation still hold sway in all spheres. On the other hand, are we not our own problems? Have we done any better than those before us? Isn’t it true that the only Nigerian who is not corrupt is the one who has not had the opportunity to steal? According to the book written in his honour and published by Law Pavilion, The Attorney General: Chronicles & Perspec-

Mr. Disu is a grandfather, and knocking at the 60year mark, and as such cannot be given to frivolity and definitely not on public radio. The issues at hand were first the successful robbery at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport the day before. The auspicious timing of the robbery must have taken into cognizance the time that major airlines arrive or leave. Second, the recent pardon granted some VIP convicts. The presenters lamented our communal downhill descent worsened by comparison to the days of the Simeon Adebos, Emeka Anyaokus, Maitama Sules, and of course, Bola Ajibolas.

tives: “Prince Abdul-Jabbar Bolasodun Ajibola was born on March 22, 1934 in Owu, Abeokuta, Ogun State, to Oba AbdulSalam Ajibola Gbadela II, who ruled Owu between 1949 and 1972. Bola Ajibola attended Owu Baptist Day School from 1942 – 1949 and Baptist Boys’ High School both in Abeokuta between 1950 and 1955. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LL.B) at the Holborn College of Law, University of London between 1959 and 1962 and was called to the English Bar at the Lincoln’s Inn on November 27, 1962. He returned to Nigeria to practice Law specializing in Commercial Law and International Arbitration. “He was appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria (September 12, 1985 – December 4, 1991) and in 1991 was nominated to replace the former Judge and President, Teslim Elias, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Netherlands (1991 – 1994). His first assignment at the ICJ was the Lockerbie trial, a case involving Libya and the United Kingdom and United States of America. He did creditably well. “He was also President and Judge of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal (1994 – 2005); Constitutional Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994-2001); Arbitrator for the Boundary Dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea and one of the Commissioners empanelled by the United Nations Compensation Commission to decide on the compensation claims by Kuwait against Iraq as a result of the Gulf War (1994 – 2000). Later, Ajibola became the President of the World Association of Judges of the World Jurist Association in Washington D.C. “Ajibola presided as the chairman of the Nigeria-Cameroon Mixed Commission, which was established in 2002 following the International Court of Justice judgment, which ceded the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.” “We are in trouble and worse still there is no one to turn to. I was challenged recently to mention three individuals who can make the difference in our nation – and do better than the current leaders – and honestly I can’t. Don’t make me cry please.” – Jimi Disu, one of Nigeria’s leading media analyst lamenting on radio the state of our nation while reviewing the day’s major stories in the paper. Mr. Disu is a grandfather, and knocking at the 60-year mark, and as such cannot be given to frivolity and definitely not on public radio. The issues at hand were first the successful robbery at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport the day before. The auspicious timing of the robbery must have taken into cognizance the time that major airlines arrive or leave. Second, the recent pardon granted some VIP convicts. The presenters lamented our communal downhill descent worsened by comparison to the days of the Simeon Adebos, Emeka Anyaokus, Maitama Sules, and of

course, Bola Ajibolas. Here I am, in my late forties, already ensnared in the “good old days” refrain, a refrain whose lyrics have never been unanimously accepted. How can the years of military rule with its established profligacy be “good old days”? But, sadly, that is where we are: those days seem like child’s play. When last did you hear a former President engage in public condemnation of his successor as with Pa. Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan? What makes some foreigners who know more about our country than we do pontificate that we will not be a nation in a few years’ time? There is something wrong somewhere – terribly wrong. With the celebrations for Prince Ajibola, including a book in his honour written by Olumide Babalola and published by Law Pavilion, it is my sincere hope that we would find many more of his silk, sorry ilk who excel at work without losing sparkle on the humanity front. As the book says: “A humanitarian to the core, Ajibola is an epitome of empathy. Little wonder that he established two non-governmental organisations, the African Concern (AC) and the Islamic Movement for Africa (IMA). The AC helps in promoting love, peace, tolerance, and harmony and eradicating poverty as well as improving the health and education of the peoples of Africa. It was registered in Lusaka, the Gambia, on May 8, 1995 to heal the wounds of Africa, through selfhelp by Africans to solve problems of refugees arising from displacement, armed conflicts, and natural disasters. The organisation has been alleviating the problems of refugees at Oru-Ijebu in Nigeria, and has various camps in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help refugees in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Rwanda. “A lover of nature, Ajibola’s country home in Abeokuta is a mini-zoo as all kinds of birds and animals can be found there. The legal giant, who was the former Head of the Nigeria High Commission in Britain, is an international adjudicator, a mediator of first rate importance, an ambassador, a peace negotiator, a humanitarian, a devout Muslim, and an accomplished proprietor.” We pray for Prince Ajibola that God who has kept him all these decades will add more life to his years and more years to his life. May he not hand the baton over to the next generation only but to many generations through many more institutionalised processes and legacies such as the Crescent University establishment, first hand recounts of national and international developments to serve as beacons for succeeding generations. Happy birthday Your Excellency. • The Reverend Ajero is of the Chapel of the Healing Cross, LUTH, Lagos.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR

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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 09/04/2013

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Investors’ wealth depreciates by N231 billion Stories by Helen Oji qUITy transactions on the E Nigerian Stock Exchange closed on a downturn yesterday, as major bluechip companies depreciated in price, as investors’ wealth depreciated by N231 billion. Specifically, at closed of trading yesterday, market capitalisation of equities dropped by N231 billion or 2.07 per cent to N10.910 trillion from N11.141 trillion it closed on Monday.             The All/ Share Index also went down by 721.241 basis point to N34089.01 points  from  34810.25 points traded the previous day. Similarly,volume of activities went down 84.614 million or 17.16 per cent as investors traded 408.197 million shares valued at N4.595 billion in 6915 deals against  492.811 million shares worth  N5.192 billion exchanged the previous day in 6383 deals .            A breakdown of activities in the price movement chart indicated that Dangote Cement led the losers table for day, depreciating by N9.00 to close at N156.00, Julius Berger trailed with a loss of N1.80 kobo while Presco loss N1.38 kobo to close at N24.00. Other stocks that recorded price depreciation were FBN Holdings and

CCNN which loss N1.35 kobo and N1.00 respectively to close at N19.80 kobo and N10.00. On the other hand, Nigerian Breweries topped gainers

chart, increasing by N6.02 to close at N171.01, Nestle Nigeria Plc followed with a gain of N3.00 to close at N973.00 while Unilever, Bog gas and Ashaka Cement appreciated

by N1.92 kobo N0.79 kobo and N0.50 kobo respectively to close at N54.02 kobo, N8.73 kobo and N25.00.                     Further breakdown of the transactions showed that

Diamond Bank most active during the day, exchanging 55.066 million shares worth N359.448 million, followed by Access Bank Plc with account of 41.869 million shares valued

at N399.247 million while UBA Capital traded 31.821 million shares worth N36.680 million. UBA came fourth with 27.557 million shares worth N212.363 million.

BRACED states may establish Investment Fund he South-South states, also T known as the BRACED states, may establish a regional investment fund to drive its vision to foster economic cooperation and regional integration through collaborative efforts and shared values. This formed the highlights of stakeholders retreat organized by the Commission in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. BRACED is an acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states, while its commission functions as the coordinating office for the actualisation of the BRACED states’ mission. Director-General of the Commission, Ambassador Joe Keshi, said the primary objective of the retreat was to sensitize appropriate appreciation of the nature, process and inputs into the production of regional public goods and mobilize stakeholder support and ownership of the SouthSouth development process. On the establishment of the BRACED Commission

Investment Fund, participants noted that the existence of such Fund would act as a catalyst for birthing economic revival of the zone through the empowerment of small and medium scale enterprises, adding that the non-renewable nature of crude oil and the global clamour for alternative and environment-friendly sources of energy have made it imperative for the zone to diversify its economy. The BRACED states produce much of the crude oil that fuels the nation’s economy but the people have had to bear the consequences of oil exploration and exploitation. A grossly devastated aquaculture has left the people with limited opportunities and worse yet the zone has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. It is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. This trend, stakeholders believe, could be reversed when ordinary people within the zone are equipped with both the skills and capital to actualise their

individual financial independence. Participants underscored the need for individual states to pass an enabling legislation for the institutionalization of the BRACED Commission agreement which was signed in 2011. It was also recommended that individual states should include their share of financial contribution to the BRACED Commission in their annual budgets. The need for the BRACED states to fully fund the regular budget of the BRACED Commission was emphasized. Stakeholders, however, decried the apathy of the BRACED states governors towards the activities of the Commission. They noted that as leaders of the states, they ought to show more commitment as a way of inspiring followership. The need for the BRACED Commission to develop a subregional strategic plan consistent with the priorities of the states was emphasized. They called on individual states to mainstream BRACED issues,

policies and programmes into their respective strategic plans. In his paper titled: Getting Better Value for State Resources in the BRACED States, Mr John Litwack, Lead Economist at the World Bank, Abuja Office listed the development potentials of the BRACED states to include significant government resources, port access and large and young population. According to him, the states can leverage on these potentials to conquer the ‘oil curse’ through determination and effective leadership. For Ambassador David MacRae, Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Nigeria and ECOWAS, the BRACED states can learn a lot from the EU in the area of building strong institutions, planning and public finance management. He drew a correlation between the governments of the 27member nations of the EU and the six , BRACED states and the

commission. He recommended proper planning and strong public financial management, strong independent institutions as prerequisites for effective public service delivery. He said: “For purposes of continuity, the EU institutions were established by treaties. Recognition of BRACED Commission by State Houses of Assembly could provide the legal backing that transcends current and future administrations. The leaders of the BRACED states should ensure that a legal framework is fashioned to guarantee the sustainability of the BRACED Commission”. Like the relationship between the EU Council and the European Commission, the BRACED states should provide general policy direction while the mandate for policy formulation and implementation rests with the BRACED Commission. He urged the states’ civil service to cooperate with the BRACED Commission for effective synergy.


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Midweek Art Disquiet over planned use of National Theatre’s premises for hotels, others From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja IGERIA’s arts and culture community is yet to N come to term with the intention of Culture and Tourism Ministry to ‘turnaround’ National Theatre’s landmass by building hotels, shopping malls, and other recreational facilities. Stakeholders appear to have deep seated distrust in the capacity of the minister, Chief Edem Duke to preside-over the planned project transparently. They alleged that his leadership style in the almost two years of being in the saddle has been ‘too much talk’ without any concrete accomplishment, yet the industry is hampered by multi-dimensional predicament. They see the minister mostly as a ‘distant supervisor’ who is more interested in attending cultural and artistic shows abroad than in Nigeria. While the artistes, especially those who are housed in the National Theatre annex, vow to resist “government’s attempt to destroy the largest artistes’ cluster in Nigeria in the name of rehabilitation,” Duke has, however, been on top of his voice, insisting that the project is for the good of the creative industry. The two-week quit notice recently served arts and culture agencies operating within the premises of the National Theatre complex in preparation for the rehabilitation exercise has been cited as a reflection of Minister’s indifference to the plight of the sector. But Chief Duke mounted a strong defense of the action last week in Abuja, asserting that the ‘relocation notice’ was issued in good faith as it was aimed at accelerating developmental process that would boost social and economic activities around the theatre edifice. He refuted the allegation the plan was to convert the physical structure of the National Theatre to a hotel. He also debunked the rumours that the contract for the rehabilitation work had been awarded without regards to due process. “All I desire to say is that the National Theatre of Nigeria – that iconic cultural public building is not going to be converted into a hotel. In fact, it has to be upgraded to provide a more enabling and comfortable environment, a more functional National Theatre as it was when we started out in 1977”, he said. According to him, the master-plan of the theatre complex, which was developed in 1976, actually recommended ancillary support services that are synonymous with National Theatre facilities elsewhere in the world. Such support services, he stressed, would support the activities of the National Theatre as well as attract investments within and around the facility. His words: “It will no longer be an isolated destination but a pull that will bring in other investments within and around its environs just as we have the Mandela Square and other theatres around Africa so that our people can enjoy the benefit of the culture and entertainment opportunities that abound in the country.” On the impromptu quit notice without providing alternative accommodation, Duke said arrangements were on to relocate those affected. And for the affected agencies in the Ministry, he

added that they would be relocated to Abuja pending completion of rehabilitation work. He disclosed a Plan B for the affected culture agencies, as he has opened communication with various ministries whose properties are still vacant at the old federal secretariat in Lagos, to see the possibility of allowing these affected agencies access for a while. “We have been engaging the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Renewal for the utilization of very many of the offices of federal government in Lagos, which were vacated by other ministries while moving to Abuja for temporary accommodation for these parastatals. Most of you have seen the letter I sent to them; the heads of those parastatals are here and they can attest to that. The letter read that at the completion of the rehabilitation, you are going to return into more befitting environs that will create more functionality for your mandate. “Nobody has awarded any contract to anybody. We have not gone into that. The Transaction Adviser is still setting the outline business plan. We just signed the contract with the company. He has to come up with its outline brief case after which the committee will meet again and approve the outline brief case. He is not renovating the National Theatre; it is rather the ancillary of the National Theatre that would be rehabilitated.” Duke said he met a dilapidated National Theatre and was particularly moved by calls from members of the art community and the media to save the facility from total decay. According to him, the committee set up to fashion the way forward comprising the Culture Ministry, National Theatre management, Infrastructure Construction and Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Works, the Surveyor General of the Federation and some

stakeholders, recommended a public/private partnership in the management of the facility. “And the government, by the instruction of the President, having looked at the correspondences and the briefing by all the agencies sitting as one, approved that they have come out with a recommendation that must seek private funding because culture and tourism to a large extent, is private sector driven. “So, the government, the ministry and the National Theatre management have not done anything wrong in deciding that as part of its transformation agenda in the area of culture, that government has found the will and resolute determination to intervene in the National Theatre.” Present at the briefing were the Director General, National Gallery of Art (NGA), Mr. Abdullahi Muku; Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Mallam Yusuf Usman Abdallah; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mr. M.M. Maidugu; Artistic Director, National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN), Mr. Martins Adaji; General Manager, National Theatre (NT), Alhaji Kabir Yusuf as well as the newly appointed Permanent Secretary for the Ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele. Corroborating the minister, Kabir Yusuf said that most theatres across the world are surrounded by shopping malls, hotel facilities and amusement parks. According to him, increasing activities within a facility that is located in the heart of Lagos will be of immense economic benefit to both the government and artistes. “I spend millions of naira cutting grasses around the environment annually but if I have a hotel there, shopping mall and now, the Lagos State Metro Station called Iganmu Station, which is about to be completed, they

will all add value to the Theatre. “If we have a multi car park, people going to Alaba International Market will park their cars, join the train to Alaba and come back to pick their cars. If we have a big shopping mall there and there are activities at the National Theatre, things will pick up because most weekends, activities are low because their destination is only the theatre, but if there are up to four or five destinations around there, activities will pick up. That is what the rehabilitation intends to achieve,” National Theatre’s GM said. Abdulahi Muku of NGA confirmed that the minister was making concerted effort to see that the affected agencies were adequately relocated.   For the Artistic Director, National Troupe, Mr. Martins Adaji, “the ultimate plan is to turn the place into the dream we have all had for the sector. If there were any forms of miscarriage of information, I think the whole thing has been cleared. “At the end, everybody in the sector will have a place and the functionality of the venue which we all crave for. I align with my Minister on this and we are very happy that at the end of it all, everybody would be happy.” Maidugu, on his part, allayed the fear of hidden agenda, insisting that, the rehabilitation “is about more people getting the benefits of progammes and activities.” Meanwhile, it is learnt that other category of the potential evictees, especially artistes using the facilities at the cultural village and other aggrieved groups are regrouping to design their resistance strategies. Mr. Aremo Tope Babayemi, an operator of a 100-seater theatre in the artistes’ village disclosed that although he and other groups were yet to receive the quit notice as at last week, information had reached them on the develop-

Fidelity Bank announces weekly prize for creative writing blog IDELITY Bank Plc, which seven FCreative years ago began the International Writing Workshop Series to encourage aspiring writers and to preserve Nigeria’s storytelling culture, has taken their act to the digital platform. The hugely successful initiative and its wide acceptance has spurred the bank to launch the Fidelity Creative Writing Blog and Literary Café Weekly Writing Competition. The new series will have contestants compete weekly by posting their entries to a site developed specifically for this purpose. Every week, the

bank’s creative writing blog (creative.writing.fidelitybankplc.com) will host 10 of the best works which anyone can read by simply visiting the link on the bank’s official website www.fidelitybankplc.com. New topics and also previous week winners will be made public every Monday on the bank’s social media platforms, F a c e b o o k , www.fidelitybankplc.com/fidelitybankplc and Twitter, @fidelitybankplc. To maintain the standard of the blog, a panel of internationally acclaimed writers will oversee the selection of the

works and will announce the weekly winners. Fidelity Bank by this hopes to further encourage bloggers, online writers, poets and indigenous storytellers as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme. The annual International Creative Writing Workshop series organised by Fidelity Bank is part of the bank’s contribution to the preservation of Nigeria’s literary tradition, which was made world famous by Nigerian greats like the late Chinua Achebe, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, Niyi Osundare, Chimamanda Adichie, Chris Abani, Helon Habila and other notable

writers. Graduands of this initiative have made good and quick progress in their writing careers in the domestic and international arenas. Tolu Ogunlesi, Uche Umez, Eghosa Imasuen, Jumoke Verissimo and Nze Sylva Ifedigbo are a few of the beneficiaries of the workshop who have moved on to higher levels of accomplishment in their chosen career. More importantly, Fidelity Bank’s bold involvement in the promotion of the Nigerian letters has served as a catalyst to corporate Nigeria to invest in this important sector of our national life. The flurry of literary groups sprout-

ing in Lagos and Abuja may have picked courage from the bank’s wholesale endorsement of the literary arts. Fidelity Bank has won a number of awards on account of this social investment, including The Most Socially Responsible Bank in Africa Award by The Banker Magazine and other international recognitions. On the local scene, the bank has won the Social Enterprise Reports and Awards (SERA) for five consecutive years for its promotion of Nigerian young writers. The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has also honoured Fidelity Bank with a special award in this regard.


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kosoko

Igwe

Idahosa

‘Why discordant tunes over N3 billion grant for Nollywood persist’ By Shaibu Husseini HERE is currently a needless controversy T over who should control the N3 billion grant approved last month by President Goodluck Jonathan for the development of the motion picture industry. The Federal government through the Federal Ministry of Finance had in preparation for the formal launch of the fund which will be managed under the Federal Government’s YOUWIN scheme, set up a 12-member committee comprising three Nollywood practitioners (Amaka Igwe, Jide Kosoko and Stephanie Linus Idahosa), a representative each of the Ministries of Finance, and Culture (the two ministries President Goodluck Jonathan directed should manage the funds), an investment banker, legal practitioner and a programmer to propose appropriate guidelines for the administration of the funds. Mr. President Jonathan specifically said the fund should be used for capacity building, development of infrastructure and production of two best scripts. Following the inauguration of the panel, members, it was gathered, resolved to further break down its activities into subcommittees so that each of the sub-panel can focus on evolving guidelines for each of the core funding areas. A subcommittee on distribution was thereafter constituted to come up with proposed guidelines for those who would be expected to seek funding for distribution. ‘’There was no model to copy from and because it was one key area that the practitioners said was crucial to their business, the committee decided to seek the input of the practitioners, particular practitioners whose areas bordered on distribution”, a member of the central committee hinted. So, it was resolved that a focused group discussion be held to evolve guidelines and invitations were reportedly sent out to Nollywood practitioners to confirm their attendance and those who did were confirmed to attend. The meeting was held in Ikeja and was well attended. Practitioners like Mahmood Ali Balogun, Peace Anyiam Fiberisima, Alex

Enyegho and Fidelis Duker all confirmed that they attended the meeting and that they held useful discussions. But a group of Nollywood practitioners under the auspices of Nollywood Monitors have distanced themselves from the outcome of the meeting. They stated emphatically that they would have nothing to do with the outcome of the Ikeja meeting. In a communiqué circulated by former Secretary General of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Emeka Rollas Ejezie, the group commended President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for demonstrating his love for the motion picture industry in Nigeria by the N3 billion grant. But the group, “strongly objects to Nollywood representation in the committee set up by government.” Members of the group want the outcome of the “so-called stakeholders meeting that was held in Ikeja ignored and set aside as it did not display utmost good faith both in conveyance and organization.” The group argued that it had become inevitable to take such a stand as all guild and association heads were not duly consulted and represented.” Consequently, the group wants all substantive and serving guild and association heads to be appointed into the Federal Government Central Committee as the true representatives of Nollywood. According to Nollywood Monitors, the serving guild and association heads to be appointed include: Directors’ Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Screen Writers’ Guild of Nigeria (SWGN), Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Creative Designers’ Guild of Nigeria (CDGN), Nigerian Society of Cinematographers (NSC) and the Nigerian Society of Editors (NSE). Others are Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), National Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Independent Television Producers’ Association of Nigeria (ITPAN), Film & Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN), and Motion Picture Practitioners of Nigeria (MOPPAN). Also, the group wants “all non-guild and association heads presently serving in the committee be withdrawn and replaced by duly elected

guild/association heads.” It stressed that the good intention of government culminating in the approval of grant for Nollywood would only be fully realised if government dealt directly with existing elected representatives of the industry. While assuring that they would continue to engage in meaningful dialogue and explore all legal means to push forward its agitations and the interest of Nigerian filmmakers, the group reiterated that since one of the cardinal principles of democracy is respect for constituted authorities, “government should always listen to the yearnings and aspirations of core practitioners through their elected representatives who are the leaders of the guilds and associations.” However, there has been several reactions to the position held by members of Nollywood Monitors. Some practitioners have described the grouse of the group as “self-serving, senseless, illogical and directionless.” President, Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) Alex Enyegho, who attended the focus group meeting called by the subcommittee on distribution was first to issue a public statement where he berated the group for attempting to thwart the effort of practitioners like Amaka Igwe, Jide Kosoko and other members of the committee who he said, “have been working tirelessly to set in motion, workable model for distribution and intellectual property protection in Nollywood.” Enyegho did not see anything wrong in the approach the subcommittee on distribution adopted in gathering data for a report that would be submitted to the central committee headed by the Minister for Finance. According to him, it was the report that would be submitted that would ultimately form the basis for drawing up guidelines for accessing the N3 billion grant, noting, “The Amaka-committee has the mandate to deal with the distribution arm of the tripartite committee. It was on this basis that her committee called a representative focused group stakeholders meeting of about 30 eggheads relevant to her mandate, so as to consult with them and pick their brains in other to come up with a robust report. “The allegation that the subcommittee not consulting widely is preposterous and irre-

Stars on parade at Playing Safe premiere By Tony Nwanne T was an array of stars last ICinema, week at the Genesis Deluxe Lekki, Lagos, when Elvis Chucks premiered his new movie titled Playing Safe. The movie premiere, which kicked off at about 7pm, with a red carpet reception was well attended by celebrities and fans of the hardworking movie producer. Featuring such Nollywood stars as Ini Edo and Tonto Dikeh, with music star, Sexy Steel, Ghanaian actress Matha Ankomah, I.K. Ogbonna and Chris Okagbue, Playing Safe examines the need to play safe in any relationship. Playing Safe tells the story of young ladies who try to ‘play safe’ in their relationships but who still have one or two other lovers who support them financially. According to Chucks, Playing

Safe was shot in different locations such as Lagos, Dubai, Ghana and London and it examines a young girl trying to live on past love experiences, and out of fear, she is not ready to put her eggs in one basket and chooses to play safe. But the game becomes tough for her handle, and the quest to play the right card becomes impossible even as the clock ticks on and desperation sets in. The producer expressed pleasure for the successful completion of the movie, adding that good thinking brings good products, hence, Playing Safe: “I’m very happy that this project is finally out. I produced the movie and we want to thank Genesis Deluxe Cinema for organising the premiere. We have been on set in the last six months working on the movie. We shot in Dubai, Accra, South

Africa and partly in London”. Ghanaian sexy actress, Ankomah, who flew in from Ghana to attend the movie premiere, said, “Its fun starring in this movie. I’m happy to play a role in the movie. I enjoy working with the producer of the movie. He is a cool guy and he’s fun to work with. “ Meanwhile, popular Afro pop act, Sexy Steel, who played one of the lead roles in the movie said, “It feels great to feature in a movie like Playing Safe. I also feel on top of the world being a part of the movie. They needed a handsome and sexy guy; I think that was what got me the role and I ensured that I put in my best”. Chucks has produced some award-winning movies and a few soap operas in his career so far. He has also acted in some movies, usually his own movies.

deemably mischievous. Consultations went on very well and relevant associations and guilds were represented. The likes of Igwe Gab Okoye (aka Gabosky), Remy Jes, Cosmas Ndulue, Azubuike Udensi, Kene Mkparu, Zik Zulu of AMP, Alex Eyengho of ANCOP, Andy Amenechi of DGN, Saheed Balogun of ANTP, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Fidelis Duker, Emem Isong, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Chico Ejiro, Lanre Falana and Okey Ogunjiofor attended and made useful contributions.” Eyengho also admonished members of the group and indeed practitioners of the industry to begin to put proper personal corporate structures in place if they were desirous of accessing the grant. He disagreed with the notion that all the guilds and associations had to be in the central committee for the idea of the funds to work, adding, “we all need not to be in the Federal Government Central Committee for it to work. I am not in the committee but I have confidence in it.” On what he expected from practitioners, the ANCOP president said: “They must have a registered company (Limited liability or Business name at least) with all that comes with it. The money will not be released to associations and guilds but to serious-minded companies based on the business plans and proposals submitted to managers of the fund. Once the guidelines for accessing the grant are made public, you don’t have to be a member of the committee to apply. Some members of the committees may even apply and fail to get the grant eventually! The grant is not and cannot be a dash to everybody in Nollywood. It is serious business for serious Nollywood stakeholders.” Eyengho also advised members of the Nollywood Monitor group to allow the committee to do its job so that it may not delay the formal launch of the funds, noting, “Go and put your business plan together and wait for the scheme to be officially unveiled so that you can start applying for the grant. You will get it if your papers are in order.” FILMMAKER Mahmood Ali-Balogun also described the raging controversy as needless, stating that what should concern practitioners was the evolvement of favourable guidelines for the administration of the funds and not the struggle for all the heads of guilds and associations to be appointed to the central committee. He said, “We must not all be in the central committee. This is not even about guilds and associations. Yes, they can demand to have a say in what eventually comes out as guidelines but we must not all be in the committee to have that say. We have representatives in it already - Amaka Igwe, Stephanie Linus and Jide Kosoko. “So, I think we just trust them to represent us well. If we have any ideas we can pass it on to them, which is what they have done with the meeting on distribution, which was held in Ikeja, which is why some people are bellyaching. These guilds and associations can send in memos to the committee to consider and not be fighting to all be on the committee”. No date has been announced for the formal launch of the YOUWIN Nollywood N3 billion grant yet. A source close to the Minister of Finance said a date would be announced as soon as the proposed guidelines for the administration of the funds had been collated and fine-tuned. It added, “The committee comprising some practitioners of the industry have done a great job with arriving at guidelines for the administration of the funds. That is being fine-tuned. As soon as we are ready with it, a date for the launch will be announced and practitioners can then begin to access the funds after the formal launch by Mr. President. So, it is real and not just a declaration.”


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Sports Ogba, Ojo-Oba, Yakmut battle for NSC top job • As Ekeji hands over to Mohammed From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja THLETICS Federation of A Nigeria (AFN) President, Solomon Ogba is one of the frontrunners in the battle to become the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), a position vacated yesterday by Patrick Ekeji. Ekeji handed over to the NSC’s Director of Administration and Finance, Mustapha Mohammed, in a low-key ceremony at the commission’s secretariat in Abuja yesterday. Ekeji, who was elevated from an acting capacity by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in April 2009 following the redeployment of former Director General, Amos Adamu, to the Ministry of Special Duties, was showered with encomiums at the hand over ceremony for transforming the country’s sports sector from a mere ministry to a commission, where professionals have been given the opportunity in sports administration. To replace Ekeji, The Guardian gathered that the Minister of Sports/Chairman of the NSC, Bolaji Abdulahi has forwarded the name of Ogba to the Presidency for consideration. Also in the list of names put forward is the Director of Elite Sports Development Department of the commission, Bolaji Ojo Oba, as well as, his counterpart at the Grassroots Sports Development Department, Alhassan Yakmut. An NSC source told The Guardian that the outgoing

director general handed over to the director of Administration and Finance because he is currently the highest-ranking director in the commission, adding that both Ojo-Oba and Yakmut were recently elevated to the directorate cadre by the Civil Service Commission. After decades of service to Nigeria as footballer, coach, lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of Sports, as well as, sports administrator, Ekeji  was adjudged one of the best administrators in Nigerian sports history following the way he transformed the NSC into a professional body. Ogba, a staunch member of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and former commissioner for Sports in Delta State, is currently serving on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), where he is representing Delta State. He has contributed immensely to the development of athletics in Nigeria since taking over as the AFN president. Ojo Oba, who served as a general secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on leave of absence from the NSC,  returned to the Commission when he was sent packing by the Aminu Maigariled board. Yakmut, a former national volleyball player, was the immediate past secretary general of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL).

ICC WCL Division Seven Championship

Olatungi scores second century, as Nigeria beats Botswana LADOTUN Olatungi 0 scored his second century of the tournament to help Nigeria record a 171-run victory over the host, Botswana, in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 7 in Gaborone yesterday. Botswana won the toss and elected to field, but Nigeria started its innings with a solid 51-run stand between Ricky Sharma (18) and Segun Olayinka (33). Botswana took four quick wickets to put Nigeria on the ropes at 67 for four, but captain Adekunle Adegbola (43), Olatungi (125 not out) and Chimezie Onwuzulike (29) ensured that Nigeria reached a total of 287 for seven from its 50 overs.  Olatungi’s determined 125 came from only 95 balls, and included 12 fours and four sixes. Botswana’s run chase was dealt an early blow when Sadd Mohyuddin was bowled by Saheed Akolade

for six in the third over. A 25-ball 32 from Faisal Rana Rasheed kept Botswana on track, but when Rasheed was dismissed, the middle order collapsed to leave the host reeling at 84 for seven.  Though Nabil Master (15) showed some final resistance to the grueling Nigeria bowling, Botswana was dismissed for 116 in the twentyeighth over. Joshua Ogunlola (5 for 28) and Chimezie Onwuzulike (4 for 37) were the key bowlers for Nigeria, but it was Olatungi who was adjudged man of the match for his undefeated knock, the second highest score of the tournament (behind the 127 he scored against Ghana on Sunday). Nigeria Captain, Adekunle Adegbola was thrilled with the result, “it was a wonderful game from both sides but a sweet victory to the Nigerian team.” Nigeria will meet high-riding Vanuatu today.

Real Madrid’s Ronaldo (left) celebrates one of his goals against Galatasaray in the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League. Madrid lost 2-3, but still qualified for the semifinal on 5-3 aggregate. PHOTO: AFP

IHF Challenge Trophy: Nigeria beats Uganda 64-16, qualifies for semis By Adeyinka Adedipe HE Nigerian male team has T qualified for the semi-finals of the IHF Challenge Trophy in Djibouti after whitewashing Uganda 64-16 in its final group game yesterday. The Nigerian team amassed seven points after winning two games and drawing one, and would hope to maintain its fine form as they move into the semi final stage. It was an improvement from yesterday game, which

the Nigerians won, beating host, Djibouti 45-18, while also playing a 30-30 draw against Senegal in their opening game. Speaking from the venue of the competition, Vice President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Musa Hamza commended the team for their effort and urged them to book a ticket for the world event. “The boys have really done well so far and I hope that they will continue to give their best

at all time. It is not easy but this semi-final qualification is a big boost for Nigeria. “They showed a great understanding of the game and if they continue like this, we will definitely get a ticket to the world event. Also reacting to the team’s performance, President of the HFN, Yusuf Dauda stated that the investment in the youths is gradually paying off. He also commended the Nigerian teams for doing the country proud.

He urged them not to relent on their efforts and do their best to win the competition. “I am happy that the teams are doing well in Djibouti. It is a result of the hard work we have put into developing the youth because without this, we will not rediscover ourselves and take the game to the zenith again.” He stated that the teams would get all the support they need if they book their places in the world event coming up later this year.

NFF interviews Laloko, Peters, Amodu for technical committee job • Amao, Ngodigha in for U-23 From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday in Abuja began the process of putting in place a new technical department with the interview of three veteran coaches in Nigerian football, Kashimawo Laloko, James Peters and Amodu Shuaibu for the director’s job. Also lined up for interview by the NFF Technical Committee

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were former U-23 Assistant Coach, Fatai Amao and Super Eagles’ former goalkeeper, David Ngodigha. The Guardian gathered, however, that the three coaches, who attended the interview yesterday, could be recruited by the NFF to add their experience to the development of football in the country. There are indications that the federation would create more

sub-departments from the technical department to cover all the age grade national teams, leaving the Super Eagles and the Falcons as one subdepartment under the Technical Department. There are indications that both Coach Fatai Amao and David Ngodigha may settle for the U-23 coaching job as chief coach and goalkeeper trainer respectively, as they were the

only candidates invited for the interview. Also contrary to reports that former Super Eagles’ Coach, Samson Siasia may get the U23 job, the NFF stated yesterday that it could not invite the former U-20 coach for the interview because he did not apply for the job, stressing that only those that formally expressed interest to coach the team were invited for the interview.


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Golden Eaglets depart for Morocco ahead African U-17 Championship From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja HE Nigeria Football T Federation (NFF) yesterday revealed that the national Under-17 team, known as the Golden Eaglets, will depart for Morocco today from Lagos for the 10th African U-17 Championship, which begins on Saturday. According to the NFF, the team, which returned from a four-week, final training programme at the Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, Qatar, on Sunday, will fly into Casablanca aboard a Royal Air Maroc airplane and then move to Marrakech, venue of its Group B matches. Nigeria, three-time world champions, last participated at the African U-17 finals in Togo in 2007, which they won, and then followed up with triumph at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in Korea Republic. The NFF disclosed that the

tournament organisers would take over responsibility for the Nigerian team once it lands in Casablanca today. It added, “on Friday, Confederation of African Football will conduct the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination on all the participating teams.” The competition opens on Saturday afternoon with host Morocco taking on Gabon at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca, with Tunisia to take the pitch against debutants, Botswana, immediately after. Nigeria and Ghana, with Africa’s most illustrious record in international youth football, will clash in the most anticipated match of the group phase in Marrakech on Sunday evening, after Cote d’Ivoire and Congo-Brazzaville would have done battle at the same venue. The Eaglets also play Cote d’Ivoire on April 17 and CongoBrazzaville on April 20 in the

The U-17 national team, Golden Eaglets, will leave for Morocco today for the 2013 African Cadet Championship.

Maritime Cup

Okpekpe Race a timely economic intervention, says Edo commissioner

NIMASA takes on APMT

By Tony Nwanne

IGH-FLYING NIMASA will H take on APMT in one of the quarter-final games of

Ibadan Eleyele battling with Kano Ibah in one of the games of the 2013 MTN Lagos International Polo Tournament. The Zaria leg of the series has galloped off with teams from across the country.

the ongoing Ships and Ports Maritime Cup Football competition at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium, Lagos. Micura Services will battle Nigeria Customs, the Nigerian Navy tackles Ocean Stars, while ENL Consortium lock horns with the Nigerian Shippers Council. To get to this stage, NIMASA trashed their third round opponents 4-0 while Ocean Stars were also ruthless as they beat their opponents with the same margin. The Nigerian Customs, who have won two titles in three years, have bounced back from their opening day lose to book a semi final place.

MTN 2013 Zaria Polo tourney gallops-off in style HE 2013 edition of the MTN T international polo tournament took off to a flying start in the ancient city of Zaria over the weekend, with 37 top polo teams vying for honours. The event, which pulled people from all walks of life to its Queen Elizabeth Road venue, took off with fanfare after an impressive opening ceremony conducted by top officials of the Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF), and the MTN Regional Manager, Alhaji Aliyu Musa. Speaking before he signaled the beginning of the tournament, NPF President, Francis Ogboro thanked the communication giant for its support for polo, urging all participants to always play by the rules. Ogboro, who described MTN relationship with Nigerian polo as an enduring one, assured the crowd of a most memorable time in Zaria. The fiesta took to a blistering opener, with Zaria MTN team defeating local rivals, Zaria Kufena 5-11/2 in the opening game of the University Cup series, just as last year’s runners-up, Abuja Rubicon brushed aside Kaduna Keffi Ponys 9-2 to stake a huge claim for the Royal signal Cup. Zaria Kubani, Kaduna

Sparkling Saddles, Katsina Sharon and Port Harcourt Octopus, all won their opening University Cup matches, but all the smart money on MTN team to go all the way to win the low-goal cup. MTN team Captain, Aliyu Musa, who led the side to a runner-up finish at the Niger Delta International Polo fiesta in Port Harcourt, hailed the players for their concentra-

tion and teamwork, urging them to go all the way by winning their first MTN/Zaria major title. Dimeji Bankole Foundation drilled out a 1-1 draw with Katsina Sultana Farms in the opening game of the Emir of Zazzau Cup in their quest to win the royal crown that is revered as the second most wanted prize in the Zaria tournament.

MIDST encomiums on the A initiator of the Okpekpe International 10 kilometers Road Race, Mike Itamuagbor, traditional rulers, elders and people of Okpekpe and its environs yesterday hailed the competition for bringing life and economic activities to the people of Edo North. Edo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lucky James, who is also the spokesperson of the clan, said the competition is the manifestation of the spirit of transformation injected into the people by the state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. “The area in question, Okpekpe clan, spans over two local governments. The area has a very challenging

environment. The hills were so high that they suffered total neglect for the past years until this administration came into power and dealt with the risk to construct what you can see has helped in the total transformation of the lives of the peop l e . “What we had in the Okpekpe area before now was a foot path. I am telling you authoritatively because I was a teacher in that place. “The objective of this international 10km road race, from Iyamho down to Okpekpe, apart from the physical test on the athlete, is also the mental satisfaction. There are chains of hills, but now the local people in the area will begin to see what life is. “Let me appreciate the initiator of the event, Mike

Itamuagbor, because he has brought life and economic activities to the people of Edo North. They have opened doors through the roads given to them by Comrade Oshiomhole, and now they also been linked to the world through this race.” James said this would change the orientation and thinking of the people of Okpekpe and its environs, adding that the international athletes and officials expected at the event would also see the unique features of Okpekpe, which would put the community on the world map. “Auchi and its environs would benefit from the competition economically through their hospitality facilities. It is a worth while event,” he added.

Abdullahi describes Greenspringss Kanu Football Camp as timely S the second annual A Greensprings Kanu Football Training Camp gets underway in Lagos, the Minister for Sport, Bolaji Abdullahi has commended the efforts of the organisers, saying it is a step in the right direction. Speaking at the press conference at the Lekki campus

Liverpool Coach, Gary Judge (right); tutors kids at the second Greensprings Kanu Football Camp held at the Lekki Campus of Greensprings School in Lagos on Monday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

of the school to herald the one -week event, the minister represented by the Secretary General of the Nigeria School Sport Federation (NSSF), Olabisi Joseph, said Greenspring’s gesture was in line with the Federal Government’s initiative on grassroot sports development. “This event is contributing to the new vision of sports development in Nigeria. From the presidency to the Ministry of Sport and Education, to the states sports councils, the anthem has been ‘go back to the schools for the development of sports.’  “We can see these future champions, some of them are going to be presidents and future Olympic champions. They might also not become the great sports people that we expect but they can take away the positives from this event. “We will continue to encourage organisations and individuals that are willing to run with the vision of discovering talents at their early ages. This is the reason that the National Academicals School

Committee was constituted. “Today, we are celebrating Kanu and I remember he was discovered in a youth programme like this one in Edo State. It was in a school sports programme like this that he was discovered,” she said. With over one hundred children already in attendance, the clinic has youth coaches drawn from English Premier League (EPL) and the Dutch league, as well as, coaches from the Lagos State Football Association. The coaches were drawn from Liverpool and West Brom with Gary Judge; from Liverpool while West Bromwich Albion have David Lawrence and Liam Wall. Also David Shepherd, a sports agent and UEFA Licensed agent is part of the team already in Nigeria for the camp. The Dutch coaches are Mark Von Zon, Carlo Danny Rietduk, and Jerino Lekatompeessy, who are expected to bring their experience to the camp.  Nigerian coaches have also been listed to provide assistance during the programme.


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Amodu urges unity in Eagles’ camp ahead July games From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja Super Eagles Chief FhasORMER Coach, Shuaibu Amadu urged the players and technical crew of the team to unite in order to achieve Nigeria’s quest for a strong international team, especially as it battles for success in the World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup. Nigeria would be involved in two World Cup qualifiers in June, as well as, the Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup. Amadu, who was among the candidates the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) shortlisted for interview yesterday for the post of technical adviser to the national teams, told journalists in Abuja that although the team emerged as African champions, it is still at a rebuilding stage. He argued that the three weeks the players had to train together for the Nations Cup was not enough to make them into a strong team, adding that the team could not overcome the Harambee Stars of Kenya in the last World Cup qualifier in Calabar because it had less than five days to train before the game. The CAF instructor, who is currently working with the

Edo State government as the director of football development, said the team was also distracted by the NFF with series of social activities lined up for it within the same match week. On the rift between Coach Stephen Keshi and Captain Joseph Yobo, Amadu, who appealed for understanding from the people involved, urged that the issue be treated as an in-house case in the interest of the team. “The Super Eagles are gradually returning to its super position. Super in the sense that they have just won the African Cup, which has made them the continental champions. I think the Super Eagles’ we saw in the AFCON was one that played with determination, zeal and resilience to become the champions of Africa. “We now have a team that is in the making, and if we thinker with the team, we can perform better and go places in the world.” On the World Cup qualifiers, Amodu said, “I think the Eagles can still do well in Kenya and qualify for the World Cup, despite their unimpressive draw in Calabar. But the team must be focused for the task ahead.

“There were too many distractive activities that took place in the week before the game, which could have affected the team’s performance against Kenya. I think it was not a proper way to prepare for a crucial World Cup qualifier. They must have learnt their lessons and I think that before the match against Kenya and Namibia, they would have come together to jell for the games.” On the controversy generated by Stephen Keshi’s decision to exclude Joseph Yobo from his recent teams, Amodu said the players should properly guided in their utterances, adding that the coach should not be under any pressure because of a player. “They can manage themselves very well because as far as football is concerned, coaches and players always disagree. It happens in other countries’ national teams and even in club sides. “John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez, among others, had at one time or the other had issues with their coaches at national team or club levels, but that did not affect the teams because those issues were properly handled,” he said.

Ahead Turkey 2013 FIFA Junior World Cup Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama moves ahead an Ethiopian attacker to catch the ball during the Nations Cup in South Africa. Amodu says the Eagles still need some time to become great again. PHOTO: AFP.

Amokachi storms Heineken Planet for UEFA Champions League UPER Eagles Assistant SAmokachi Coach, Daniel ‘Da Bull’ will be the ‘Legend of the Night’ at the Heineken Champions Planet tonight, with guests getting the opportunity to interact with him during the last quarterfinal matches of the UEFA Champions League. Nigeria’s Atlanta ‘96 gold medalist is a double winner, as he is part of the coaching staff that led the current crop of Eagles to the crown at the

recent African Cup of Nations. The Bull will be part of the live cast for the high profile match between FC Barcelona and PSG at the Camp Nou and will share his insight on Italian team, Juventus’ quest to upturn the 0-2 defeat by Bayern Munich at the Turin stadium this evening. Interestingly, Amokachi was the first goal scorer when the current version of the competition was introduced in 1992. He scored FC Bruges’ goal

Tasty Time backs Abesan Cup HE 12th edition of the Abesan Cup has got the support of Tasty Time, who will act as the official water of the event. The General Manager of Tasty Time Nigeria Limited, Mayowa Kole said his company was ready to partner organisers of the Abesan Cup starting with this year’s edition. He said Tasty Time is proud to be the official water of the competition, which is expected to kick from May 12. Kole disclosed at the press briefing that the company would provide 4000 cartons of drinks, Jerseys for the eight quarterfinalists, as well as an undisclosed amount of money. “We look forward to have more Taiye Taiwo, Nwankwo Kanu, Segun Odegbami discovered at the Abesan Cup. This competition has to serve as a breeding ground for some great players and we need to support the organisers because they are determined to produced more stars for the country.” Earlier in his welcome

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address, Cup donor and Patron of the competition, Clementina Doregos commended the organisers and appealed to the participants to observe the fair play rules. She urged clubs and national teams’ technical crew to take advantage of the Abesan Cup. Co-ordinator of the event Tayo Adeyemo disclosed that the number of participants have increased from 32 to 48 with matches expected to hold at Agege, Ipaja, Sango, Isolo, Egbeda, Idimu and Ogba, adding that the prize money for the event is N400, 000, while the top three teams would get sets of jerseys. Some of the teams expected at the event are Future Heroes, Abu-ododo, Jojo, 3wheelers, Oniru, Newstar, Harmony, Sheriff, Rainbow, Labro, Ocean Stars, Midas, Alade FC, Peace Academy and defending champion, Prostars, managed by Lagos FA board member, Wale Joseph.

against Maccabi Tel-Aviv at the Ilztadion Ramat Gan Stadium in Israel before leading the team to win 4-0 on aggregate. The visit of the former Super Eagles’ supporting striker will prelude a busy week of ongoing activity as the ‘Race to the Final’ contest kicks off this weekend among 350 UEFA Champions League fans to decide the five winners of allexpense paid trip to watch the final match live in Wembley, London. The entries for the contest, which started on April 3, will close tomorrow, so fans of UEFA Champions League, still have the chance to go to Heineken website to enter for the draw.

NFF thanks Obi, begs for continuous support HE Nigeria Football miscellaneous support to the from the team’s qualification T Federation (NFF) has team, definitely went a long for Turkey 2013 and we therethanked Anambra State way in motivating the entire fore would want you to host Governor, Peter Obi, for helping the national U-20 team’s preparation for the just-concluded African Youth Championship (AYC) in Algeria. Nigeria came third in Algeria to qualify to represent Africa at the 2013 FIFA World Youth Championship slated for Turkey later in the year. In a letter dated March 27 and signed by NFF General Secretary, Musa Amadu, and addressed to Obi, the NFF was delighted by the governor’s gesture and pleaded with him to host the Flying Eagles again as it prepares for the 2013 World Youth Championship. “The very kind gesture and inspiring words of your Excellency, including other

A Flying Eagles star battling with an opponent during the AYC qualifiers.

squad for the 2013 African Youth Championship in Algeria, at which the team has now qualified to represent the African continent at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup finals in Turkey, coming up in the summer,” the NFF letter read in part: “Sir, the NFF is desirous of Your Excellency and government deriving maximum benefit and positive publicity

the team again as part of its preparation for the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals,” NFF pleaded. The NFF wants the Flying Eagles to spend about four weeks in Anambra State, training at the Neros Stadium in Nanka, before traveling to Germany for its pre-tournament practice tour ahead of its departure for Turkey for the World Cup.

SPA Ajibade shocks Lagos Judiciary, as BOA Lawyers League enters semi-final stage PA Ajibade caused the Sgoing biggest upset of the onBOA Lawyers League on Sunday when it defeated highly rated Lagos Ministry of Justice 2-0 in one of the quar-

terfinals of the competition. Playing with an unusual confidence, SPA Ajibade got the fans, made up of mainly lawyers and some football connoisseurs, singing with two clinical goals by Ikuomola, Dimka. In other games decided on Sunday, one of the favourites for the crown, Olisa Agbakoba got Rickey Tarfa off its way with a well taken seventh minute goal by Showunmi, but the Falana & Falana game against Banwo & Ighodalo and that involving Probitas/B. Ayorinde and Aelex Associates had to be decided by penalty shoot outs after the regulation time could not separate the teams. After ending the 90 minutes on a 1-1 draw with Falana & Falana, Banwo & Ighodalo picked the semifinal ticket by scoring four of its kicks to win 4-3. Also in the last four is Probitas/B. Ayorinde, which defeated Aelex & Associates 42 also on penalties after the regulation time ended 1-1. The organisers are expected to release the draws for the semifinal of the competition later in the week.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SPORTS | 61

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

PSG aims to exploit Barca’s injuries ARIS St Germain centreP back, Thiago Silva believes Barcelona’s biggest headache going into today’s Champions League clash is not the fitness of recordbreaking forward Lionel Messi but their defensive concerns. It is not yet known if Messi will be fit for the quarter-final second leg after suffering a hamstring injury during last week’s 2-2 first leg draw in France, a problem that kept him out of Saturday’s league win over Real Mallorca. Losing Messi would be a huge blow for the Catalan giants as they seek a place in the semi-finals, but Thiago Silva feels Barca coach Tito Vilanova has more to ponder at the other end of the pitch. Javier Mascherano also picked up a knee injury at the Parc des Princes that has seen him ruled out for six weeks, while Carles Puyol and Adriano have both been sidelined and Eric Abidal only recently returned to action after from more than a year out having undergone a liver transplant. Thiago Silva, who has declared himself fit for the match after a slight knee problem, told El Mundo Deportivo, “I think Barca have a bigger problem with the absences of Puyol and Mascherano than that of Messi, even though Leo isn’t ruled out. “They have to improvise at the back and that complicates things a little for them, although Barca are always Barca.”

On the prospect of Messi possibly being ruled out, the Brazil international added, “it’s true that if he doesn’t play it would be a relief for me, but not totally because they have (David) Villa), Pedro... “Barca don’t only have the best player in the world, they also have the best team.” PSG twice trailed in the first leg but gave themselves a fighting chance heading to the Nou Camp thanks to late equalisers from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Blaise Matuidi. Despite that though, Thiago

Silva concedes his side have a job on their hands to progress through. He said, “Barca are always the favourites, whoever they are playing and whatever score they’ve got. They are a team who have earned respect for their football and for all that they’ve won in recent years. “For me they are the best team in the world. “I enjoy watching them play and now disappointingly we’ve been drawn against them and one of us must be knocked out. I hope they don’t ruin our European dream.”

‘We can win without Messi, says Roura ARCELONA Assistant try to win the match,” Roura B Coach, Jordi Roura believes said in a press conference. missing Lionel Messi would “If he plays, it’s because be a handicap but is confident his side can make the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League with or without the four-time defending Ballon d’Or winner. The Argentina international picked up a hamstring injury in the first leg of the quarterfinal against Paris SaintGermain last week and his status for Wednesday’s return leg at Camp Nou has yet to be determined. “If Messi can’t play, evidently we miss the best player in the world and that’s a handicap for us, but his replacement will play well, too and we will

there’s a guarantee he can play. But we have to be patient and wait on the medical tests, which are vital to taking a final decision. “We need to wait until tonight and tomorrow to see about Messi, Pedro and Adriano. The feeling we have is positive, but we have to wait for the training sessions before we take a decision.” Roura added that he was happy with the draw in Paris and the two away goals, but thinks PSG will be just as dangerous and the Blaugrana will have to be at their best to

progress. “Every match and every team is different and every encounter between two teams is different. I like the 2-2 (draw) we got in Paris,” Roura said. “We have to face Wednesday’s match like a final, play a very intense game and our intention is to win this match, like all our games. We have to try to win from the off. “I don’t think PSG will change their style for this match compared to what they did in Paris. We know them well, they are dangerous on the counterattack, but we’re used to these matches and these teams and this can’t change our way of playing.”

Juventus must believe in comeback, Pirlo urges team-mates NDREA Pirlo has urged learned the hard way that A his Juventus team-mates everything’s possible.” to keep believing in themPirlo went on to point out a selves as they prepare for the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie against Bayern M u n i c h . The Serie A champion was beaten 2-0 by FCB at the Allianz Arena last week, yet Pirlo remains optimistic about his side’s chances of making it to the semi-finals of the competition. “We have to believe in ourselves and be convinced that we can turn things around,” the influential midfielder told Tuttosport. “I was there in Istanbul and La Coruna, I

Pirlo

couple of memorable Champions League comebacks he has been involved in as proof that anything can h a p p e n . “In Istanbul, Milan were leading 3-0 against Liverpool and we were convinced we would win the Champions League,” he said. “The game finished 3-3, though, and we lost after penalties. And then there’s the tie against Deportivo La Coruna. After the 4-1 win at San Siro, we lost the away game 4-0. And we were Milan, not just any other team...”

FIXTURES Barcelona v PSG Juventus v Bayern


62

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

63


TheGuardian

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

IGERIA, the most populous N Black Country, is in the prison of corruption. Corruption is Nigerian’s Achilles heels, and its bane. It has eaten off the moral fabric of Nigeria, and it is asphyxiating the By Chiedu Uche Okoye country, too. Can a country that is bedeviled by corruption grow? The answer is a categorical no. But, what is corruption? The Longman dictionary of contemporary English defines corruption as: “Dishonest, illegal or immoral behavior, especially from someone with power.” I can say without equivocation that corruption exists in Nigeria. Corruption rears its ugly head in all facets of our national life. A Nigerian who is not corrupt is considered to be an abnormal human being. He is called a “mugu”, which means a sucker in English. We have a culture of corruption into which teenage youths are socialised. When parents hire surrogate candidates to write such examinations as UTME, SSCE and NECO for their children, they have unwittingly initiated and socialised their children into the culture of corruption. And, their rich parents will buy admissions for them to study law, accountancy or medicine in our universities. Being mentally indolent and ill-prepared for academic rigours in schools, they offer either their bodies or money to lecturers so as to score high grades in their courses. Consequently, now, we’ve millions of university graduates who are found wanting both in character and learning. Can a university graduate with moral bankruptcy and intellectual vacuity contribute to our national development? When these half-baked university graduates with twisted minds find themselves in positions of power and influence, they will pervert the system to achieve their base and selfish goals. It is sad that our educational system has become dysfunctional owing to corruption. So, rich parents send their children to Ghana and Europe for schooling, as our cultinfested schools have become grounds for staging beauty pageant competitions and propagation of religious bigotry. Their sending of their children to Europe to acquire Western education causes capital flight, which does not boost our economy. Our economy is ailing and hemorrhaging from deleterious corrupt practices that are deftly perpetrated by those minding our financial chests and collective wealth. As Nigerians perceive occupying positions of power as a licence and opportunity to amass wealth by fair or foul means, our political leaders are helping themselves to our collective wealth. They steal our money to indulge their fancies, whims and caprices at our expense. A governor from northern Nigeria used his state financial resources to purchase a jet for his private use. Unfortunately, he had a near fatal air-crash while flying himself to a city. Monies that should be channelled into fixing our infrastructural deficits are stolen by people holding positions of influence and power. So, our hospitals have morphed from consulting clinics to mortuaries. Poor peo-

Until corruption is rooted out of Nigeria, Nigeria can’t achieve its potential in spite of its natural and human resources. Can Nigeria develop and become a great country when recruitments into the federal civil service, the Nigerian Army, FRSC, Immigration Services and others are characterised by bribery and corruption? People who are unsuited for jobs in some establishments have got jobs owing to the Nigerian factors of corruption, cronyism and nepotism.

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Nigeria: Scourge of corruption and its deleterious effects

Ibrahim Larmode, chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

ple go to our hospital to die, and not to recover from their ailments. Our roads that are filled with craters are death-traps that cause deaths of Nigerians daily. The dilapidated East-West road has remained an open sore in the psyche of our leaders. In spite of the humongous money injected into the power sector in the country, electricity supply has not become a given. Electricity supply in Nigeria is like a maudlin lady with personality disorder, whose mood swings from being hilarious to being cantankerous. Manufacturing industries have relocated to Ghana where regular supply of electricity is guaranteed and assured. The relocation of their industries to places outside Nigeria further compounds our unemployment problems. So, who is not unconscious of the fact that corruption is the polio that has crippled Nigeria?

Ekpo Nta, ICPC chairman

Until corruption is rooted out of Nigeria, Nigeria can’t achieve its potential in spite of its natural and human resources. Can Nigeria develop and become a great country when recruitments into the federal civil service, the Nigerian Army, FRSC, Immigration Services and others are characterised by bribery and corruption? People who are unsuited for jobs in some establishments have got jobs owing to the Nigerian factors of corruption, cronyism and nepotism. Recently, we got to know how employments were given to people in the immigration service. When the tale of what transpired clandestinely was revealed, it led to the retirement of the immigration service comptroller general. Here, people who boast of having links to ministers and senators secure jobs while others who are better suited for the jobs

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

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

Editor: MARTINS

OLOJA

.

Corruption rears its ugly head in all facets of our national life. A Nigerian who is not corrupt is considered to be an abnormal human being. He is called a “mugu”, which means a sucker in English. We have a culture of corruption into which teenage youths are socialised. When parents hire surrogate candidates to write such examinations as UTME, SSCE and NECO for their children, they have unwittingly initiated and socialised their children into the culture of corruption.

ABC (ISSN NO 0189-5125)

are left out because they are not related to people occupying important positions in the government. This placing of square pegs in round holes is not a force for national development. People destitute of good morals and wanting in knowledge are given jobs they are incapable of doing. So, they pervert the system and formulate jejune policies that have clamped Nigeria into the prison of underdevelopment. And, it is a known fact that the judiciary, the third arm of government, is the hope of the common man. The judiciary interprets the laws and punishes offenders of the law. Sadly, the judiciary has become the cemetery of our hope for a better Nigeria with their questionable judgments. Some weeks ago, the federal capital territory High Court convicted Mr. John Yakubu Yusufu of stealing N32.8 billion pension funds. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of fine in the sum of N750, 000.00. Can that judgment serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders? Is it enough comeuppance for the callous crime he committed, which pauperised many retired police officers? A biased and corrupt judiciary is a threat to the growth of our democracy. People with kleptomaniac tendencies will loot the treasury if in power knowing that the judiciary will give them very light sentence when they leave power. The national judicial council and other regulatory bodies should address and tackle the rot in our judicial system. A corrupt judiciary spells doom and trouble for us. A stitch in time saves nine. • Okoye, a poet, lives in Uruowulu-Obosi Anambra State

Wed 10 Apr 2013 The Guardian Nigeria  

The Guardian Nigeria

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