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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,802

www.ngrguardiannews.com

N150

Anxiety over Tukur’s fate as intrigues mount • Jonathan, PDP chiefs meet in Presidential Villa • Adamawa elders seek support for party chairman From Azimazi Jimoh , Abuja NCERTAINTY continues to U surround the fate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, as stakeholders mount pressure on him to resign before the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) tomorrow. But Tukur has insisted on continuing in office. A meeting of some select party leaders, which took place at the Presidential Villa yesterday was said to have made the most serious attempt to persuade Tukur to peacefully resign as national chairman. Tukur who made a very brief appearance at the meeting, which was meant to allow top leaders of the party to review the crisis facing Tukur’s leadership and take appropriate decisions before a more elaborate national caucus meeting, which took place yesterday night, left before the end of the meeting and headed straight to his house. A source said that although speculation about Tukur’s resignation had elements of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

APC statement on state of the nation - Page 6 The scene of the suicide bomb attack on Shehu Laminu Way, Maiduguri…yesterday.

PHOTO: NJADVARA MUSA

17 feared dead in Maiduguri blasts From Adamu Abuh (Abuja), Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) and Emmanuel Ande (Yola) (With agency report)

BOUT 17 people were feared A dead and property destroyed during twin blasts in Maiduguri, Borno State yesterday. One of the explosions occurred in a tricycle, carrying four other passengers to the Maiduguri Monday Market. An eyewitness at a shop said: “We were sitting in this shop when we heard an explosion from a tricycle at 1:30 p.m. today, and people started scampering for safety. Even though I cannot tell you the exact

• Vehicles, others destroyed • Army kills two B’ Haram leaders, 11 others in Adamawa number of people killed or injured, I saw some people lying on the ground, before the soldiers rushed to the scene.” The Guardian learnt that an

hour after the blast, five bodies were carried to the hospital in a police patrol vehicle, while four other bodies were deposited at a different hospital

for identification by the families of the slain people who were mainly traders at the Jogul electronics market. Confirming the blasts in

Maiduguri yesterday, the spokesman of 7 Division of Nigerian Army, Col. Mohammed Dole, said in a telephone interview that the

Main report of Confab Panel - Pages 10 & 11 Gas projects on hold over non-passage of PIB - Page 40,41 & 42

blasts went off in the afternoon, injuring several innocent people going to the market. “The blast went off in tricycle, carrying some passengers to the market, sending plumes of smoke into the air for two hours, including the one that went off at the open theatre, 500 metres from the scene of the initial blast. But we are yet to get the total number of casualties, besides some of the destroyed vehicles in the blast,” Dole said. The Borno State Police ComCONTINUED ON PAGE 2


2 | NEWS Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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PDP chairman condemns rumours of resignation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 truth, the writers of such speculative stories were too hasty in jumping to that conclusion. He admitted that Tukur was not favourably disposed to suggestions of resigning as put to him at the meeting. Tukur was said to have been advised that it was better for him to honourably bow out instead of facing the threat of no-confidence vote, which many NEC and the National Working Committee (NWC) members were planning for him. President Goodluck Jonathan was said to be particularly interested in a more diplomatic and peaceful approach to the crisis as opposed to a confrontational approach of a no-confidence vote, hence the convening of the pre-national caucus meeting. But Tukur in a very swift response to stories about his resignation published in some online media yesterday, declared that he had no plan to quit at all. He blamed the publications on the desperation of his enemies within

and outside the party to get him out at all costs. He said he found it incomprehensible that certain members of the party could go utterly crass to concoct lies against his person in order to justify their dastardly plot to pull down his leadership and in the long run, influence so negatively, the PDP’s permutations over 2015. Tukur said he had done everything practicable to pull the PDP on track as well as keep the agenda of Jonathan for transforming the country away from distraction, a reason he said he was undergoing tribulations He blamed those he described as agents of discord within and outside the party as the masterminds of the seemingly intractable crises within the party. The PDP chairman said he never planned to resign nor kept anyone in confidence on his resolve to do so. He said as an elder statesman and as the chairman of PDP with high repute and as a Nigerian leader with international exposure, he would never subject his resignation, at any point, to newspapers’

speculation. Tukur who made this known when some party leaders paid him a visit in Abuja late yesterday afternoon, said he was shocked to be told that some online media were making speculations about his resignation. He said: “You all met me here talking to you as the PDP chairman, yet, some enemies of the party went to the media to say I had resigned. It is unbelievable that party members could be mean, vile, treacherous and vindictive while playing such stunt. “This is not the first time they would do this. They had sponsored media reports severally to say I had resigned. Yet Almighty God has continued to shame them because, they were not the ones who kept me on this seat. “They went further to sponsor media reports that I was to confront our President over an issue they could not expatiate on. The agents of darkness have taken over the place. Nigeria and members of our party should beware. “I am on good terms with the President, the leader of our party. We meet often and take

strategic decisions together. No one, not even the devil can make me be in needless confrontation with the President. We are one in the spirit and the enemies would be shocked to see PDP back on stream.” Tukur expressed dismay on earlier reports that he had dared Jonathan on the issue of a plot to remove him. He said he had no reason to say so because the President was never part of such a plot. “Besides, he has been a jolly good fellow to me, a brother, a leader of the party and my greatest confidant,” he said. The chairman said he was aware that the plot to remove him was being orchestrated, adding that he would keep his head up, whereas those behind the plot to hack him down would one day realise that they were pursuing a wrong cause. He admonished his perceived opponents to be wary of tomorrow and the day of retribution for wrongdoing. According to him: “If I did nothing to wrong a soul, if I try my best all the time to make our party become

stronger and great and when some people plot to fight me on my standpoint to be just, I say today that Almighty Allah will vindicate me.” Also yesterday, a group of party elders from Tukur’s home state of Adamawa made a last-minute effort to reconcile Tukur with governors and other prominent leaders of the party opposed to Tukur’s continued stay in office. Those elders after a meeting with Tukur yesterday morning sent a delegation to the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio as well as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum recognised by PDP, Jonah Jang of Plateau State. Those in the delegation included Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd), Gen. Anthony Haladu Hanaiya, Dr. Umar Ardo and Wilberforce Juta. The elders who met with Tukur at about 11:00 a.m. in his Wuse 2 residence in Abuja yesterday for about an hour, agreed to meet the Akwa Ibom State governor who is believed to be one of those insisting that Tukur should go in order to pave the way for

the election of a new chairman for the party. The Adamawa elders who are behind Tukur were  said to have explored all the angles in the current saga and had succeeded in prevailing on Tukur not to adopt a confrontational posture until they met with the two persons to confirm their position in the unfolding drama. The outcome of the meeting according to a source in the meeting, would  determine the posture Tukur would take in reaction to the bid to remove him from office. Ardo who confirmed the mission of the delegation said the need to approach the two governors became necessary given the positions they hold on behalf of the party. He said: “We decided to explore this option with the national chairman as we agreed that it would not be right to take any action without hearing from them since they hold key positions on behalf of the party and our position would be decided by the outcome of the meeting with them.”

Army kills two B’ Haram leaders, 11 others in Adamawa CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 mand said that the death toll in the bomb blasts had increased to 17. The bodies were being counted at the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital and University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) by policemen.

The Police Commissioner, Lawal Tanko, said yesterday that the death toll had increased from nine to 17, two hours after the blasts that destroyed 19 vehicles, including the tricycle from which the bomb was detonated near the Jogul electronic market and High Court. Tanko said some of the roads and streets, including Maiduguri Monday Market (MMM), had been closed by security agents to prevent further attacks and killing in the metropolis. Meanwhile, the Army has killed the two Boko Haram commanders heading the bloody operations in Adamawa State and 11 other members of the deadly gang called Mubi during a sevenhour gun battle with the group. The Commanding Officer, Special Operation Battalion in Mubi, Lt.-Col. Beyidi Marcus Martins, told journalists yesterday in Mubi that the two Boko Haram commanders, Abdul Baki and Abdulrazaq Mubi, operating in the Mubi area were on the wanted list of the military since 2011. He said that the insurgents numbering over 20 on December 18, 2013 invaded the Mubi International Market and shot at the traders, pointing out that they invaded the bureaux de change in the market and carted away millions of naira and foreign currencies. He said that these were recovered after the army over-powered the attackers in a seven-hour gun battle. Martins who led the gun battle against the insurgents 20 kilometres away from Mubi Market disclosed that when the soldiers arrived at the scene of the operation, the attackers ran into the bush to escape, but that he and his men continued to pursue and exchange fire until 13 of the insurgents including the two wanted commanders were killed. “I was in office on that day when the chairman of bureaux de change called me that gunmen invaded the

President Jonathan market but before I could talk to him his phone went off because they were already in his shop. “My men were already there, but when one wounded soldier was brought to the office I quickly moved with another group of soldiers to lead the assault myself. “To avoid civilian casualties we pushed them out of the town before we engaged them in a full gun battle, which lasted from 12: 30 p.m. to 7:00 pm. “We killed 13 of them. When we took their bodies back to Mubi we discovered that the parents of the two wanted commanders are also residents of Mubi town, so they were using their understanding of the area to carry out their operations”, he maintained. The army officer disclosed further that eight AK47 rifles, one rocket-propelled grenade, three Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), live ammunition, and other arms were recovered from the in-

surgents after the battle. He also pointed out that the insurgents killed four civilians in the market during the operation and several others were wounded. The army officer who commended the members of the area for their support for always assisting them with useful information concerning the insurgents, insisted that the group must be wiped out of the country for peace and unity. He also further disclosed that several other members of the group were arrested and handed over to the army headquarters for further investigations. Thousands of people have been killed in the insurgency affecting parts of Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim northern half. President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May to quell it and thousands of security forces were deployed in the area. They swiftly drove militants out of Maiduguri and most other cities but the

insurgents have begun striking back in the urban centres. On December 2, hundreds of Boko Haram fighters in trucks and a stolen armoured personnel carrier attacked an air force base and international airport on the outskirts of Maiduguri in one of the insurgent group’s most daring attacks. Two helicopters and three decommissioned military aircraft were heavily damaged in the attack. A United States (U.S.) travel advisory issued earlier in January noted: “Late 2013 saw an increase in Boko Haram attacks and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria. ... Boko Haram is known to descend on whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking police and military installations, and setting fire to private homes.” The Islamic extremist uprising began in 2009 and threatens the security and cohesion of Africa’s biggest oil producer and its most populous nation, with more than 160 million people. The extremists say they want to impose Islamic Shariah law across all of Nigeria. In one of the group’s deadliest attacks, a Boko Haram member detonated a car bomb at the United Nations main offices in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on August 26, 2011, killing 25 people and wounding more than 100 others. The United States last year designated Boko Haram a terrorist organisation. A member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Kaka Kawu Gujbawu, has enjoined members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) to tread with caution as they keep the peace in the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC). In a statement, the lawmaker who represents MMC federal constituency expressed dismay that the latest incident that led to the loss of lives and property of his constituents occurred at a period when efforts were being made to ensure the return of lasting peace to the state.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 | 3

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News Ruling house rejects justices handling suit on Olofa stool From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin HE Olugbense Ruling House of Offa in Offa Local Council of Kwara State has expressed lack of confidence in the panel of Justices of the Appeal Court hearing the tussle over Olofa stool. The Appeal Court sitting in Ilorin, the state capital, had in July 2013 declared the selection and installation of Anilelerin candidate, Alhaji Mohammed Mufutau Gbadamosi as the Olofa of Offa as illegal. Olugbense and Anilelerin are the two ruling houses in the ancient town. But the monarch immediately appealed the judgement at the Supreme Court and filed a motion at the Appeal Court for a stay of execution of the order pending the outcome of the apex court judgement. Not satisfied with the development, the Olugbense ruling house petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Maryam Mukhtar,

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Bayelsa State Governor, Seriaki Dickson (left) and Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at the State House, Abuja… yesterday.

PHOTO: PHILIP OJISHUA

alleging bias against it in the litigation at the Appeal Court. The three-member panel is headed by Justice Raphael Chikwe Agbo. Other members are Justices Isaiah Olufemi Akeju and Uchechukwu Onyemenam. Angered by the petition, Justice Agbo adjourned the case sine die. Spokesperson of the Olugbense Ruling House, Prince Saka Keji, said the resumption of the case on Monday this week heightened his earlier suspicion. Keji urged the CJN, National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Appeal Court to intervene in the matter to avert injustice. The spokesperson told reporters that “the whole matter is suspicious. It heightened our suspicion. We formally requested for our case to be transferred to another set of panel of justices. We don’t know the insistence of this same panel hearing this matter.”

Senate probes shooting of Abe From Kelvin Ebiri (Port-Harcourt), Joseph Onyekwere and Wole Oyebade (Lagos) STENSIBLY to get to the O root of the incident, the Senate has commenced investigation into the alleged shooting by the police of its Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Down Stream), Magnus Abe on Sunday during a rally organised by the Save Rivers Movement. Meanwhile, Ogoni leaders under the aegis of Kagote and the Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN) have called for the redeployment of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu. In a related development, Speakers of Houses of Assembly in All Progressives Congress (APC) states yesterday met in Lagos and expressed concern over the state of affairs in Kano and Rivers states, as they fault the role played by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the crisis. The Chairman of Senate Committee on Police, Igwe Paulinus Wagwu yesterday led members of the committee to Port Harcourt to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Abe. He told journalists both at the Police headquarters and the Government House, Port Harcourt that the committee on a fact-finding visit to the state. Wagwu explained that after the investigation of the police’s alleged use of teargas and rubber bullets which struck Abe, who has been flown out of the country for medical attention, the report of the finding would be submitted to the National

• Ogoni group, others seek Mbu’s redeployment • APC speakers meet, fault PDP over crisis in Kano, Rivers Assembly for proper deliberation and resolution on the matter. He said: “We are here in Rivers State to investigate the incident that happened last Sunday where it was alleged that the police shot teargas and rubber bullets, which incidentally affected Abe. We have not concluded our investigation yet, when we have concluded our investigation, we will submit our report to the National Assembly for their deliberation and resolution on the matter.” Wagwu explained that the National Assembly had already demanded for immediate redeployment of Mbu, but he, however, expressed regrets that the matter involving the state police commissioner was still in court and prayed that justice be done. The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Tony Okocha, who was interviewed by the Senate Committee explained that the Save Rivers Movement, had planned to organise a sensitisation and mobilisation rally. He said the group informed the police in Rivers State in writing of its intention to organise a rally in support of the APC for the Obio-Akpor chapter. According to him, the rally was to be held at the premises of the Rivers State College of Arts and Science Rumuola, in Port Harcourt, after holding similar rallies in Eleme, Asari-Toru, OpoboNkoro and others. During the committee’s visit to Mbu, Wagwu said they were not witch-hunting mission, but on a fact-finding one,

especially as a senator was alleged to have been shot in the event. Mbu, however, denied the use of any form of ammunition by men of the command, adding that the state command does not have any rubber bullet in its arsenal and that the claim that Abe was shot was not true. Kagote after an emergency meeting held in Port Harcourt yesterday said the shooting of the senator provokes a bitter reminder of the events in Ogoni recently that led to the killing of their first generation leaders by the Nigerian state In a statement endorsed by Justice Peter Akere (rtd); Dr. Eddie Wikina, Dr. Peter Medee and Marcus Nle Eji, the Ogoni leaders said their people would not stand by and watch a repeat of such dastardly actions that threaten the life of an Ogoni person. “We join the call by the National Assembly and other well meaning Nigerians to condemn the persistent acts of impunity perpetrated by the Nigerian Police in Rivers State and ask for Mbu immediate removal from the state. In the event of continued acts of impunity, the Ogoni people will not hesitate to demand the vacation of the Nigerian Police from its territory. We demand an immediate investigation into the events leading to the near assassination Abe.” HRAN in a statement by it chair, Chino Obiagwu and a steering committee member,

Lanre Suraj yesterday said the conduct of Mbu in the last one year clearly showed that he is serving a political interest and has personally continued to aggravate the crises in the state. “The role of the police is to maintain law and order and this is not possible where the head of the Police Command in the state continuously confronts the governor and display clear inclination to partiality in the political scene. “The IGP must bring to order the misconduct and impunity of the police in Rivers State, in order to assure Nigerians that the police is capable of handling security challenges in the 2014 governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti, and the general elections in 2015”, the group said. According to the NonGovernmental Organisation (NGO), Mbu was wrong to have sent troops to disperse a civil rally by a political group in Port Harcourt, which led to the shooting of Abe and injuries to many others. “HRAN reminds the IGP that the Public Order Act under which police permit was required for public rallies has been repealed by the courts. “There is thereby no legal basis for the police in River State to continue to disrupt public events on the basis that there were no police permit except for total disregard of the rule of law by Mbu”, they added. The speakers, from Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Osun, Edo, Ekiti, Kwara and Sokoto states, alleged that the PDP was out to foist confusion in APC

states, to which “the progressives must unite to foil and wrestle power from antidemocratic elements in the nation.” Speaking at the opening section of the three-day Progressive Speakers’ Conference in Lagos, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji said the current logjam in Rivers State was indeed worrisome, showing signs of everything “undemocratic.” Ikuforiji, however, said the conference was timely, “because the progressives have an urgent task to save the country.” He said: “Even if ours is a lone voice in the wilderness, we must retrieve our democracy from the pugnacious hijackers at the centre, the promoters of the culture of impunity and those who do not respect the rule of law but are bent on scuttling our democratic growth,” Ikuforiji said. He added: “Dear colleagues, we are gathered here today as Legislative leaders with visionary projections, we are all aware that the signs emerging from the polity today are very disappointing. As progressives, we are committed to positive contributions and positive role towards the advancement of peace, order and good governance of our nation. “While we were all appalled by the recent arrest of the Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly and 10 other Principal Officers of the House, we know that this brazen act constitutes a fundamental violation of our Constitution. “It is also a violation of Parliamentary Privilege, which as you all know are

Legislative Rights, arising from the mandate of the people to their elected representatives to discharge their legislative functions,” he said. Ikuforiji added that what was more curious was that the invasion of the Kano State Assembly was consequent upon a petition, which was written shortly after the Kano State governor and the speaker defected to APC. “I have asked myself over and over: What manner of democracy is the PDP imposing on us? But this is a ruling party that is peopled by democratic pretenders, who have done nothing but unpowered the people. But repression and intimidation can never advance peace or security in any country. “It is therefore, time for us to forge a strategic partnership to deal with our mutual democratic challenges. The significance of this particular agenda is that the progressive leadership of the State Houses of Assembly will lead it,” Ikuforiji said. Speaker of Kano State House of Assembly, Gambo Salau told reporters that the progressives had decided to come together to save the future of the country. He said notwithstanding efforts at victimising politicians and states that had crossed carpet to APC, “It is already too late to return to the PDP.” His counterpart from Osun State, Nojeem Salami added that the lawmakers were the closest to the people among the politicians and must reflect their agitations, “which is what the Progressive Speakers’ Conference represents.”


4 | NEWS Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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Navy arrests 21 suspected oil thieves, two vessels From Willie Etim, Yenagoa N a major crackdown, the Nigerian Navy has confirmed the arrest of 21 suspected crude oil thieves and seizure of two vessels along the waterway and creeks of Agbami Oil Field and Obi creeks in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Meanwhile, the new Commander of the Joint Task Force, (JTF) Maj.-Gen. Illyasu Abbah, yesterday unveiled the new policy direction of the security task force code named Operation Pulo Shield, warning officers against noticeable loopholes in the fight against crude oil theft. The two intercepted vessels were laden with 2.111 million litres of crude oil valued over N2.4 billion. The vessels were intercepted at separate points along the Ebi creeks and Agbami Oil Field between December 26, 2013 and January 14, 2014. According to the statement by the Flag Officer Commanding the Central Naval Command of the Navy, Rear Admiral Sidi-Ali Hassan Usman, the arrested oil thieves are Nigerians who lack necessary permits for the lifting of crude oil. According to the navy, the documents tendered were not the required ones, “they were unable to tender relevant documents such as Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) bunkering permit and the NNPC nomination for crude oil lifting. And they lack the certificate of registration with the Joint Military Task Force and did not have the Naval Headquarters approval

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New JTF chief warns officers against conspiracy for the movement of petroleum products within the command area of responsibility.” The navy also vowed to sustain the tempo of waterways and creek surveillance in the Niger Delta, adding, “it underscores the determination of the Nigerian Navy and the Central Naval Command in particular, to completely eradicate oil theft, illegal bunkering and other illegality in the Nigeria waters.” Abbah said though the JTF is

committed to the fight against illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism and operation of illegal oil refineries in the Niger Delta region, the noticeable loopholes in the war against the illicit trade is affecting the nation’s economy. Abbah while speaking in Yenagoa during the official hand over ceremony by the JTF former Commander, Maj.Gen. Bata Debiro, said preliminary report showed that the

loopholes in the fight against oil theft must be blocked and lot of works has to be done in the command to wipe out criminals in the region. Abbah said: “I’m just from another volatile spot, though, I have being fighting different wars, that is the insurgents in Northern Nigeria. We are here to ensure that we curb the illegal oil refineries, theft and pipeline vandalism. There are still lots of works to be done, there are still some

loopholes that need to be blocked. I ‘m just coming from a different terrain”. Earlier in his valedictory speech, Debiro commended the JTF personnel for their credible performance in 2013 and the war against oil theft. According to Debiro, “criminals come to steal our oil in connivance with some bad Nigerians and those oil are not accounted for. You have no other duty than to fight the vandals and never you connive with the oil thieves, pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta”.

President Goodluck Jonathan (second right); Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide (left); Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo; Minister of Information, Labaran Maku; Country President, Schneider Electric, Marcel Hochet; and Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed, during the launch of Operation Light Up Rural Nigeria project in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY-ELUKPO

Fayose may sue Fayemi over comment on poultry project From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau Ado Ekiti) ORMER Ekiti State GoverFdaynor Ayodele Fayose yesterthreatened to sue Governor Kayode Fayemi over his comment on the controversial poultry project. Fayose is currently being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over the poultry project. Fayemi had on Monday, shortly after an inspection of a poultry farm and processing plant established by his administration in Ikere and Ado Ekiti respectively, said that Fayose planned the poultry project to fail. But Fayose’s lawyer, Owoseni Ajayi, yesterday said that his client has concluded plans to drag Fayemi to court for sub judice noting that, “in law, nobody is allowed to comment on any matter that is in court”. Ajayi said suing Fayemi and his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, for contempt of court was necessary to preserve the dignity of the judiciary, which his client holds in high esteem and also to check others.

Fayemi

Kaduna CAN, police bicker over alleged invasion of church From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief ITING armed policemen C invasion of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Kagarko Local Council of Kaduna State to arrest youths believed to be involved in Jere community clash, the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday accused the state Police Command of contributing to the religious crisis in the state. The Christian body condemned the invasion of

ECWA Church on Sunday whereby armed policemen disrupted the Sunday service, firing their guns indiscriminately to disperse the congregation. However, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Olufemi Adenaikem, has denied police invasion of the church. Addressing a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, Secretary of CAN, Reverend Sunday Ibrahim, who threatened that the association will go to court over the invasion of the church, pointed out “by implication and display of their action, Kaduna State Police Command is gradually aggravating the re-

ligious crisis in the state. “How can police storm into church in the course of worship and disrupt worshippers in the name of arresting a suspect. The Church is not shielding suspects, but there must be clear display of insensitivity by security agencies. “The questions we want to ask is, do police have legitimate right to go into a Church during worship and arrest people? Do they have right to manhandle a pastor in the Church? Is it a religious crisis or what that they will come into Church to arrest a suspect? We are disappointed with the

police in Jere town; the Police Commissioner should call the DPO to order.” Rev. Ibrahim concluded that innocent worshippers of the Church deserve protection from police and not attack and humiliation from them. The resident pastor of the Church, Rev. Ibrahim John Ejims, who gave account of what happened last Sunday in the church, said: “We heard gunshot and members fled while worshipping. This is how they treated my members and manhandled me. Is it religious war? What has Church got to do with them?”

APC statement on state of the nation A statement by the Interim Spokesman for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a press briefing in Lagos yesterday .RIVERS CRISIS The impuni1gerous ty in Rivers has taken a dandimension with Sunday’s Gestapo-style truncation of a planned peaceful rally by the Save Rivers Movement and the shooting of Senator Magnus Abe. When we raised the alarm that the Rivers Crisis is all about 2015 and that it was about to get worse, some people said we were crying wolf where there is none. Now, the situation has so deteriorated to a level in which even a Senator can be shot by the police. If a Senator, with all the protection around him, can be so

targeted, are ordinary citizens safe? What does this say about the role of the police, who are supposed to be neutral? Have we in the APC not been vindicated in our description of Rivers Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu as the Alternate IGP who takes orders only from the president...and perhaps the First Lady?  The Rivers crisis is getting worse under the watch of the President, and he continues as if nothing is happening. Is it not clear, then, that this is a clear case of an elected President fomenting crisis in his own country just for political reasons? A President who says his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian has done nothing while those trying to

impress him in Rivers are shedding the blood of innocent people. The outrage that has greeted the madness in Rivers, when even innocent children, women and men were targeted by the police, which is now the enforcement arm of the PDP, has shown that the President and his party have finally overreached themselves. It is time for well-meaning Nigerians to call the Presidency and the PDP to order. The instigated crisis in Rivers, if allowed to fester, can truncate this democracy. It is dangerous and must stop now Examples of other acts of impunity in Rivers: - State plane grounded, using Federal institutions - Gov. barred from accessing his official residence

- Lawmakers tear-gassed and barred from sitting, even when a court has declared illegal the take-over of the functions of the House of Assembly by the National Assembly. - Gov’s chartered plane prevented from takeoff ostensibly to prevent the member of the State House of Assembly who was not in the plane from escaping justice. No apology issued when the member was not found in the plane. 2 POLICE PARTISANSHIP IN RIVERS The disgraceful performance of the police in Rivers has brought to the fore the campaign for state police. The only reason the Rivers police CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

Rev. Ejims explained: “It was around 9:30 am, during our morning session service. The secretary of the Church had just finished making announcement, and I was to start the sermon, when I noticed a gulf and Mercedes car parked with police arrived outside. “Suddenly, there was pandemonium as the police stormed the Church, and some of them stayed outside and were shooting into the air. People were tramping over children in panic, and in no time, the church was deserted. “I was confused, and I was asking, what is going on here; who are these people? Where are my church members running? I came outside and saw that the youths engaged some of the police and they caught one. I pleaded for his release and begged that he should not be mistreated.” “It was a rowdy scene. I went back to the Church and went on my knee and started praying on the altar. After some time, I heard the pounding boots of soldiers. They came in and interrupted my prayers. They asked if I was the pastor, and I said yes. They soldiers also had with them some policemen, all of them fully armed. “One of them also had a horsewhip with him, and was threatening to flog me with it right inside the church if I did not tell them where the policemen was taken to. I asked, are you Christians, or you are here for a religious war with the church? I told them that

they had committed sacrilege and that I knew not where the policeman was taken to. “Besides, I told them I was a new pastor in the town and would not have any idea where the policeman was. But I assured them that he would be found. They said I should come outside with them. I told them that I would not”. “So, they grabbed me by arms and dragged me out. They came in seven trucks and parked in the premises of the church. The village head of Issah, who is also the treasurer of the Church approached them, and pleaded that they should not harm me. That he can trace for them where the policeman was taken to before they left me alone”. Debunking the allegation, the Kaduna state police boss  denied the invasion of the church, saying: “We cannot enter a church or mosque to stop anybody from praying”. He then placed Jere Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), Abubakar Mohammed Sani, on speakerphone to give his version of the story. Sani remarked: “We were informed about the presence of one suspect, Ayuba Daro Kakarka, in his house. So, we went in two cars and our operational van behind us. When he sighted us, he ran into a church. That was what caused the panic. Some youths later came for us, and we ran for our lives. But one of us was apprehended. Thankfully the elders co-operated and we got them to release our man. But no policeman entered any church”.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 NEWS 5

Binis renew calls for return of ‘stolen’ artifacts

Cleric urges Nigerians to pray for 2015 By Isaac Taiwo

From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City

HE President of the Christ T Apostolic Mission Church Worldwide, Pastor Adesoji

VER 100 years after Benin O artifacts were carted away from Benin Kingdom

Ajayi has called on the two main political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Party (APC) to conduct themselves peacefully in the way they are going wooing voters, describing the political situation in the country as ‘fragile’.

by British imperialists, the Binis yesterday renewed call for the return of the artifacts scattered across British museums and homes and other parts of Europe. They made the call during the centenary celebration of Oba Ovonramwen N’ Ogbaisi who was deposed by the British and sent to exile in Calabar where he died in 1914. Organiser of the event, Chief Solomon Edebiri made this call while delivering a speech and the Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe, seconded his call. Edebiri said the artifacts could be repatriated through a well constructive approach and collaboration with various agencies. He also stressed the need for the British to adequately compensate the Benin Kingdom over the artifacts and called on sons and daughters of the kingdom to join in the rebuilding of the kingdom.  He maintained that the struggle over the return of the artifacts must be sustained.

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba (middle), with President, Nigerian Navy Officers Wives Association (NOWA), Vivian Ezeoba at the PHOTO: NAN foundation laying ceremony of hostel and blocks of classrooms at NOWA Educational Centre in Karshi, Abuja … yesterday.

Speaking at the dedication of Life-Baker College and Hotel Building, Ijoko, Ogun State, Ajayi said the bickering by two parties have not been helping the political climate. “If the PDP would determine that APC would not get there at all cost, we should then be expecting a stand off,” he cautioned. He warned that if care was not taken, the 2015 election would aggravate the disintegrating tendencies in the country, adding that there was the need to pray for Nigeria to remain as an entity. The cleric also said that contrary to people describing Boko Haram as political, it is rather religious and would continue to create troubles and acrimony. On the issue of the call for resignation of the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, the Cleric said that the governor should be allowed to finish his tenure.

Police avert Kwara APC, PDP clash over party secretariat From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) John Akubo (Dutse) WARA State Police Command yesterday averted what could have turned out to be a bloody clash between members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ilorin, as supporters of the two parties besieged the PDP secretariat located along Nupe Road in a struggle to take control of the building. Despite the police intervention, some mob actions still occurred as party flags hoisted were destroyed with the police though not making any arrest. Tension brewed around the controversial party secretariat around 9 a.m. as PDP members had planned to address a press conference there, while former PDP members now in APC vowed to resist such move. Former PDP state chairman, now APC chieftain, Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani had on several occasions informed the media that in spite of the fact that members were leaving the party, they remained the rightful owner of the property, showing a receipt written in the name of late Dr. Olushola Saraki, which he said would expire late this year. Supporters of the two parties armed with dangerous weapons were poised for a showdown at the venue as they chanted war songs. However, attempts by PDP members to take over the secretariat were stopped by the police who insisted that none of the claimants should occupy the secretariat. It would be recalled that Alhaji Balogun-Fulani on behalf of himself and the party (now APC) had headed to court to enforce rightful ownership of the secretariat even as the court was yet to rule on the

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• One APC member dies in Jigawa matter. Sources said the intention of the PDP to address reporters at the controversial secretariat elicited announcement on state-owned ‘Radio Kwara’ by Balogun-Fulani who directed his people to also storm the place yesterday morning. Thus, the whole area was fully populated by members of PDP and APC, who were anxiously awaiting police permission that would allow either of the group’s entry. It was also gathered that four lorry-load of fully armed antiriot police officers were stationed to provide security at all roads leading to the party secretariat. State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Agboola Oshodi-Glover, who visited the scene, could not speak with journalists, as he was busy directing affairs of his men during his brief visit to the party secretariat. Reacting to the development, former secretary of PDP, Kwara State, Prince Yemi Afolayan, described the action of PDP members as another demonstration of impunity and disregard for the rule of law “It will be recalled that former chairman of the party sued the police for preventing him access to the former secretariat, the PDP applied to be joined in the suit, which was expectedly granted without objection from the plaintiff, Mr. Ishola Balogun. “Just as the court adjourned for judgment, the PDP petitioned against the presiding judge and the Chief Judge reassigned the case to another respected judge of the high court. Unknown to us the PDP has again perfected another onslaught on the judiciary by attempting to forcefully take over the property.

“One wonders what could have motivated the PDP to take the step it took yesterday if not a desire to push our state into crisis. As law abiding people, and as progressives we have instructed our supporters, who were mobilised against the lawlessness of the PDP, not to do anything that will be seen as putting the court in contempt and will continue to appeal to them not to allow this lawlessness on the part of the PDP to push them into anything that can destroy what we have laboured together over the years to build in the state. “Obviously, the PDP will be happy when there is crisis because that is how they can justify their mobilisation fund from Abuja and prove to their masters that they are on ground. “It is unfortunate that this is happening at this point in time; at a point when the incident of Rivers State is yet to be settled, but we want to say that if they expect the Rivers treatment here in Kwara they shall be disappointed. Kwara has known political peace and harmony in the last several years and we appeal to our people not to allow a few disgruntled political elements who can only be regarded as having any level of influence when they create crisis to succeed. “The police authority in the state met few days ago with the leadership of all the political parties in the state and made them give undertaking to ensure peace and stability in the state, which they have been doing before. We urge them to continue in this regard and ensure that whoever is responsible for the breach of the law is promptly brought to book”, he said. However, a member of PDP Caretaker Committee, Chief

Rex Olawoye denied that the issue of the secretariat was in court. “That is not true. We were with the Commissioner of Police yesterday and of course before we even took this decision, we consulted our lawyers and it was purely a case between the police and those who call themselves APC. “If you are now taking somebody who is protecting the property to court and left out those who are owners of the property, won’t we take our property at the right time? We, the caretaker committee members and few of our elders, stakeholders in the party, going into the secretariat, we offered our prayers; we came out and hoisted our flag. It is when we were coming out that people who belonged to the other party came up and decided to mob us.” Meanwhile, the run up to the Jigawa State Local Government Council polls has recorded a fatal casualty yesterday in Magama town of Jahun Local Government Area where a young APC member, Yau Husseini Magama, believed to be in his thirties was allegedly beaten to death. Eyewitnesses, who spoke to The Guardian in Magama village, all pointed accusing fingers in the direction of a local government chairman (name withheld). However, in a swift rebuttal, the council chief denied responsibility for the death of the young man, but affirmed that as a chief security officer of the council, he has been informed of his death, which he disclosed was of natural cause in his house. The local council election, billed for Saturday, January 18 has heightened the political temperature of the state, with

frantic efforts by the ruling party and the main opposition APC to outdo each other in their strongholds. One Bala Magaji told The Guardian that he was the company with Magama, the deceased when the convoy of the said chairman was passing through their town from Kanwa Masaba and many persons shouted ‘bamayi’ meaning ‘we don’t want you.’ He said the chairman stopped and demanded to know the dissenting voices. “In the process Magama chanted ‘Kowa Yabi’ meaning ‘everybody is for you,’ but not satisfied, the chairman held the collar of the deceased shirt and was suffocating him with some of his friends trying to persuade the chairman to release him.” Magaji said in the process he fell and thugs who were following the chairman pounced on him, adding that one of them in the convoy maintained that they needed his dead body. ‘‘When he managed to escape he collapsed and became unconscious and we rushed him to Jahun General Hospital but he gave up the ghost before we reached the hospital.” Another eyewitness, Yahaya Arma Yau, who corroborated the narration, said it was like hell loosed on the community, may be because most of the people have pitched their tent with the APC since the PDP has not done anything for them. Danjumaiyi and his younger brother Aminu Ibrahim who sustained injuries allegedly from machete cuts said they were present when the scenario played itself out, adding that they were also victims along with three others. They pointed out that the people of the village would do everything within their power

to defend themselves in future, adding that in 2011 that was how they were harassed. Jigawa Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abdul Jinjiri, when contacted, told our reporter that the police was aware of the death of one person at a political rally in Magama, adding that investigation was still ongoing. Jinjiri, however, said that he couldn’t blame the incident on any party as at the moment. Continuing, eyewitnesses said there is nothing in their village to show any government presence except a dilapidated pipe borne water constructed by late Abubakar Rimi in the old Kano State. Village head of Magama who was reluctant to speak said he could no longer guarantee safety for the people even as he called for justice to be seen to be done. The said chairman, however, defended himself, affirming that the campaign in Kanwa Masaba was successful, adding that his campaign train only passed through Magama. He said there was nothing like his involvement in the strangulation of anybody, adding that the story was a mere fabrication by the opposition to dent his image. “The PDP has the incumbency factor to its advantage and it is very unlikely for any opposition to defeat PDP in any election talkless of local council, so, why should I degenerate to that level of holding somebody’s shirt.” Father of the deceased, Husseini Ilo, however, maintained that the chairman killed his son, adding that what he seeks now is justice. The deceased has been a butcher in Yobe who came home in preparation for his marriage to a second wife on Saturday. He also left behind three children.


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NEWS Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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APC statement on state of the nation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4

Director-General, Nigerian Television Authority, Musa Mayaki; Chairman, Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria, Abdurrahman Balogun and Director General, Voice of Nigeria, Abubakar Jijiwa, at the eighth annual lecture marking Maolud-Nabiyy in Abuja… yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Gubernatorial aspirants seek support, pledge to address graft, others • Pressure groups want Prest, Okubor, Olejeme to contest • 32 pick PDP form for governorship election in Ekiti By Kodilinye Obiagwu (Enugu), Muyiwa Adeyemi (Ado-Ekiti), Hendrix Oliomogbe (Asaba) and Tunde Akinola (Lagos) S the build up to the 2015 A elections hot up, a businessman and gubernatorial aspirant in the 2015 gubernatorial race in Delta State, Chief Anthony Tosan Prest, has called on the citizens of the state to join him to bring positive change to the state and liberate the state. Also, some leaders of thought in the state have asked the Chief of Staff to Delta State Governor, Dr. Festus Okubor and the Director of Nigeria Social Insurance Fund (NSITF), Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, to contest the governorship election in the state. Prest, who described corruption as a major bane of the state’s development, said the main focus of his administration would be to wage total war against corruption, which would make available sufficient funds to develop the state. He said that every Delta indigene knows that corruption has destroyed the state. “I know that we are not a helpless people and we cannot be slaves in our own land to a mafia-like, bloodthirsty and corruption ridden cabal.” Prest stated that the two critical ways to become politically active are being actively involved in the political process through owning a voter’s card and mobilizing people for the election. “I am offering myself to be the catalyst for this change in Delta State. I have written my manifesto, knowing that with our huge resources of almost $4 billion a year and the additional revenue that can be generated internally, Delta

can be transformed into a state of peace, tranquility and prosperity comparable to any place in Europe or America,” Prest said. Also, under the aegis of the Movement for Good Governance and Development (MFGGAD), the group advised the leadership of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) not to make the mistake of picking a non-performer as the party’s candidate in order not to suffer rejection at the polls. A statement by the group’s spokesman, Dr. Emmanuel Ogbechie at the weekend in Asaba called on the people, especially the Anioma of Delta North to put pressure on Olejeme to contest the governorship, come 2015. A close source, who would not want his name published, disclosed that Okubor’s friends and political associates mostly from the Delta Central and South senatorial districts have been urging him to throw his hat in the ring as an aspirant on the platform of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). According to the source, Okubor’s track record during his stint as Commissioner of Information during the tenure of former Governor James Ibori and as the Director General of Uduaghan’s Campaign Organisation clearly showed that he is a detribalised Deltan, who will be able to carry everybody along. In his view, his organisational ability in 2011 was very manifest when he was the director general of Uduaghan’s Campaign Organisation leading to the triumph of the incumbent governor in the 2011 governorship election. According to him, they were

determined to mobilise to support the governor’s Chief of Staff should he declare his intention to run, stressing that he has the sterling qualities to make a difference. He said: “At the risk of being labeled a sycophant, we need a man like Okubor in Delta. He was one of the outstanding commissioners during Ibori’s administration. We need his wealth of experience and we are ready to put our money and resources down to ensure that he wins in 2015. We sincerely want the best for the state and are still persuading him to run.” In a telephone interview, Okubor admitted that there are pressures on him mostly from people outside his home senatorial district of Delta North to contest but he will soon take a stand. He said: “Yes, it is true that so many groups and people have been persuading me to run. Initially, I didn’t give them a serious thought, but I must confess that I am seriously contemplating joining the race because of the show of love and support.” According to him, he is at present engaging in wide consultations with all the interest groups in the state and should be ready to make a pronouncement once the PDP sounded the whistle for the commencement of the primaries. Meanwhile, Ekiti State Chapter of the PDP has disclosed that 32 members of the party have procured Letter of Intent to vie for the party ticket to contest governorship election slated for June. The Deputy Chairman of the party, Hon. Femi Bamishile, who spoke to newsmen after the SWC meeting held at the residence of the State Chairman, Mr. Makanjuola

Ogundipe, said the state officers with support from its national body would produce an acceptable candidate that will defeat Governor Kayode Fayemi in the next election. Ogundipe had been criticized by some executive members of the party for compiling fictitious Consensus Template Drafting Committee to carry out the plan of producing the candidate. Specifically, the party’s secretary, Dr. Tope Aluko and Oluwawole, in a joint statement in Ado Ekiti alleged that Ogundipe had been avoiding the SWC members since he returned from Abuja after a meeting of the aspirants with President Goodluck Jonathan. Ogundipe, however, denied the allegation. Also, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has been criticised over a meeting he allegedly facilitated in Abuja, where decisions were reached on adopting a candidate for the 2015 governorship race in Enugu State. In a press statement, a group of eminent persons from Enugu, under the umbrella of Enugu State Stakeholders Advisory Group (ESSAG), while expressing concern over the implications of such a meeting, commended the state Governor, Sullivan Chime for ensuring that Enugu North zone produce the PDP gubernatorial candidate in 2015. The statement, signed by the group’s Chairman, Prof. Solomon Okwuchukwu Anadike and the Secretary Chief Sunday Ifeanyi Ojiogu stated the meeting called by Ekweremadu to discuss the adoption of anyone for the 2015 election could undermine the appropriate official organs of the PDP in Enugu. It therefore faulted the adoption of an “unnamed individual from Igbo-Etiti Local Council of the state as the favoured candidate for the 2015 governorship election.”

commissioner has turned himself into a de facto Governor is because he has the backing of higher authorities.  This is not only unconscionable, it is unlawful. According to the Constitution, the Gov is the chief security officer of his state. But in Rivers, the police commissioner and his backers have thumbed their nose at the Constitution. This, under the watch of a President who swore to uphold the same Constitution. In the latest incident of the double standard by the police in Rivers, we learnt that the armed thugs of Evans Bipi, who were arrested by the JTF with arms and ammunition in the home town of Bipi and Sekibo, have been set free by the police. The military that arrested the men handed them over to the police, who then set them free apparently on orders from above. How can Nigerians trust the same police that is this partisan to protect them, especially if they do not belong to the PDP? How can Nigerians trust this same police force to provide protection for all during the 2015 elections? 3. LEADERSHIP CRISIS IN APC This is nothing but a storm in a tea cup. It is exaggerated by those who cannot understand the runaway acceptability of the party in such a short time. The so-called crisis is nothing beyond the ability of our leadership to resolve, and we are doing just that. Nigerians should ignore those who are trying to orchestrate a crisis where there is none. 4. EXAGGERATED SELF-APPRAISAL BY THE PRESIDENT AND HIS MEN It is common knowledge, even   to those within the PDP, that this administration ranks very low in terms of performance. Yet, the President and his men (and women) have been trying to hoodwink Nigerians with figures that have no bearing with the realities on the ground. They quote figures showing impressive economic growth, without saying that economic growth is different from economic development. They now say President Jonathan’s administration is the best in terms of performance in the history of Nigeria! There is danger here: If a lie is repeated long enough, it may wear the garb of truth. Therefore, we urge Nigerians to be wary of this over-bloated selfpraise. They did not tell us the parameters they used to arrive at such high marks they awarded to themselves. They did not reflect the fact that every administration in this country operated in different environment and pursued different goals. Economic development is measured in terms of Human Development Indices...per capital  income, life-expectancy, maternal mortality, access to education, potable water, housing, employment, security, agriculture, power, etc. In all these areas, less-endowed countries like Gabon,  Angola, Algeria, Cape-Verde, Ethiopia,

Malawi, Egypt, Libya, Mauritius, and South  Africa are heads and shoulders above Nigeria. So what is the noise about? 5. CORRUPTION No administration is as embracing of corruption as the Jonathan administration. The President’s body language encourages corruption. Even his party member, Speaker of the House of Reps, said so. This President shields corrupt people. Aviation Minister Stella Oduah is a classic example: She has been indicted by the House of Representatives and even the Presidential Panel set up by the President himself. Yet she is sitting pretty as if nothing has happened. This President does not have the political will to fight corruption. That is why Transparency International said corruption in the country has worsened under this administration, going by the latest rankings. Some other cases of corruption: - Oil subsidy -Police Pension Heist - Non-remittance of crude oil revenue to the federation account. 6. CBN Our intervention in the case of the plan to remove CBN Governor is simply because if not well handled, it can affect the economy, which is already on crutches.  We know the President has the power to hire and fire, but he must not upend the law in the process. If the President can get the approval of two-thirds of the Senate, he is free to fire Sanusi, but he cannot do so unilaterally. Suspending him and using security agents to bar him from his office will be dangerous. That’s the same treatment they meted out to former President of the Court of Appeal. These illegal tactics destroy institutions. Jonathan must not destroy our institutions before leaving. 7. APC NOT AN ISLAMIC PARTY In their desperation to pull the APC down, they have now labelled it an Islamic Party. This is dangerous. No country that has brought religion into politics has survived intact.  We have not even registered members, hence they could not have carried out any survey to say our members are all Muslims. Our interim executive has 35 members - 18 Muslims and 17 Christians, the best balance you can achieve in an odd number division. We have elected officials who are Christians and Muslims. We are a party for all Nigerians, irrespective of their religion. We are glad that the dangerous game of the PDP has blown up in its face. Nigerians have repudiated the characterization of our party as an Islamic Party.  We hope the PDP will realize its faux pas and apologise to Muslims in particular and all Nigerians in general. A party that has a Muslim as Chairman is disparaging Muslims and inferring that it is a violent religion.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 NEWS

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7

EID-EL-MAULUD CELEBRATION

Street procession to the National Mosque by Muslim faithful to mark the Eid-el-Maulud celebration in Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Another street procession by Muslim faithful to the National Mosque to mark the Eid-el-Maulud in Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

A procession of Arabic pupils into Tafawa Balewa Square during the Mawlud Nabiyy celebration in Lagos…yesterday

Muslim faithful in a procession during the Mawlud Nabiyy celebration in Suleja, Niger State…yesterday

Celebration peaceful in Bauchi

Governors, others task Nigerians on unity, tolerance By Tayo Kamal Oropo

From Ali Garba, Bauchi USLIMS in Bauchi State celebrated the birthday of Prophet Mohammed peacefully. The Guardian observed that Muslims from the United States of America, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Chad, Niger Cameroun, Burkina Faso, Ghana and 36 states of the country witnessed the occasion. Thousands of Islamic school children from different parts of the state dressed in their schools uniforms and marched from Kobi Football Field ground to streets in the city, reciting various Islamic songs in honour of Prophet Mohammad. Also in the procession were members of various Islamic organisations, horse riders, motorcycle riders, and Islamic singers, who dressed in traditional regalia and new uniforms, praising the prophet. A popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, who led the celebration, advised the Muslim community to live in peace with one another and always pray for peace and stability for the development of the

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OVERNORS Babatunde G Fashola (Lagos), Jonah Jang (Plateau) and Mukhtar Yero (Kaduna) urged Nigerians to use the opportunity of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday celebration to tolerate one another and imbibe the virtues of perseverance and restraints. In his goodwill message, Fashola said the commemoration should inspire Nigerians to renew their belief in God and their country, adding that Nigerians should be determined to promote peaceful co-existence. The governor said that Nigerians should use the opportunity to pray to God to restore to the country’s lost values, including respect for human life. He urged the citizens to express their faith in the unity of Nigeria and resolve to engage in the hard work to enable the country to occupy its proper position in the comity of nations. The governor thanked communities in the state for ensuring peaceful

co-existence, and for supporting the state government. Jang admonished Muslims to use religion as a platform to build the society. In his message, the governor urged Muslims to use the opportunity of the celebration to re-commit themselves to peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance. He also urged Muslims to use the period to pray for good leadership. The governor reassured Plateau people of his administration’s determination to complete all development projects in the state. Yero also called for religious tolerance, at the celebration organised by Fitanul Islam in Kaduna. He urged Muslims to use the occasion to pray for Nigeria’s unity and extend hands of fellowship and friendship to adherents of other religions, noting that Nigeria needs religious tolerance to ensure peace and progress. Some Islamic scholars at the event urged Muslims to live within the tenets of their

faith. The Imam of Ungwan Rimi Mosque, Malam Shehu Tanimu, called on the Muslim community to live within the teachings of the Holy Qu’ran to be able to shape their lives well. Tanimu also urged Muslims to shun provocative utterances. Malam Tukur Abdulsalam, the public relations officer of the Fityanul Islam, urged Muslims to emulate the virtues of Prophet Mohammed. Abdulsalam called on Muslims to be humble, generous, honest, loving and tolerant to sustain peace in the society. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), various Islamic schools and groups participated in a parade, which took place at the Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna. In Oyo State, the Chief Imam of Iseyin in Iseyin Local Council Area, Alhaji AbdulAkeem Olajori, urged Muslims worldwide to live exemplary lives.

“As Muslims, we should be of best behaviour; this is the only way to make Islam enticing to non-Muslims. The religion preaches peace and forsakes violence. “Muslims should use today’s celebration to extend hands of peace to others, especially non-Muslims, and always remember that God commands us to be good to every-

one. “It is important to note that the Holy Prophet was a man of peace. He was peace-loving and encouraged us to be peaceful. “Muslims should use the period to examine their footsteps in relation to that of the Holy Prophet rather than embarking on frivolities,” he told NAN in Iseyin.


8 Wednesday, January 15, 2015

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PHOTONEWS

Chaplain, Christian Welfare Initiative and Chairman, retired Ministers, Nigeria Baptist Convention, Rev. Michael Ekiran (left); President, Christian Welfare Initiative and Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), SouthWest, Archbishop Magnus Atilade and an executive member, Christian Welfare Initiative, Njidleka Anyadike, at the press conference on Issues of the Moment: Unfolding Agenda Against Christianity in Nigeria, in Lagos … yesterday PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO

Newly elected chairmen of local councils in Anambra State taking their oaths of office before Governor Peter Obi at the Conference Hall of the Government House… yesterday.

Father of the Day and chairman of the occasion, President, Christ Apostolic Mission Church Worldwide, Pastor Adesoji Ajayi (second left); Proprietress, Alice Oluyemisi Arowojulu, and others at the dedication of Life-Baker College and Hotel Building, Ijoko, Ogun State. PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO

Executive Secretary, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, Tanwa Koya (left); Chairman, Taiwo Shebioba; Abimbola Onafowokan, member; Professor Lanre Fagbohun, member and Doyin Owolabi, all members of the newly inaugurated Governing Board of Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, taking their oath of office before the governor at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos.

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola (second left), acknowledging cheers from the crowd during inspection of ongoing construction of the East bypass road in Oshogbo.

Destitute along Badagry Express Road in Lagos.

A rescue truck towing a Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) van at Iyana Ejigbo, Lagos… yesterday.

Marketing Manager, DStv, Chioma Afe (left); popular musician, Omawumi Magbele; Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, and music star, Waje, during the presentation of the limited edition Green-White-Green DStv Explora decoders to Omagbemi and Waje at the MultiChoice office in Lagos. The presentation was made as an appreciation of their support during the 20th anniversary celebration of the company in 2013.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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WorldReport Scores drown in South Sudan as civilians flee fighting BOUT 200 South Sudanese A civilians reportedly drowned in a ferry accident

Egypt’s Defence Minister, Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (middle) at a polling station in Cairo as Egyptians vote on a new constitution…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Egyptians vote on new constitution amid tight security GAINST calls for boycott, Egyptians yesterday queued to vote on a new constitution amid high security, in a referendum likely to launch a presidential bid by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Reports indicated that polling at most stations got off to a smooth start, but five people were killed in clashes between Morsi supporters and police and anti-Morsi groups in central and southern Egypt. The violence highlighted the government’s precarious grip on the most populous Arab

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country, still reeling from Morsi’s ouster and a bloody crackdown on his supporters. An Islamist coalition led by the former president’s Muslim Brotherhood had urged protests and a boycott during the two-day vote. A small bomb exploded without causing injuries outside a Cairo court shortly before polls opened in the morning, as hundreds of thousands of soldiers and police deployed to guard polling stations. The interior ministry had pledged to confront attempts to disrupt voting.

Al-Sisi, the defence minister and the general who overthrew Morsi in July, visited a polling station at a north Cairo school after voting began to inspect security preparations. “Work hard. We need the referendum to be completely secured,” he told soldiers guarding the school. The government hopes a large turnout in favour of the constitution will bolster its disputed authority, while Sisi will monitor it for an “indicator” of his popularity, an official close to the general said.

Religious conflicts rise globally, says study ELIGIOUS conflicts within R countries, except for the Americas, rose around the world in 2012 to the highest level in six years. According to a study released yesterday, one third of 198 countries reviewed saw high or very high levels of internal religious strife, such as sectarian violence, terrorism or bullying in 2012, compared to 29 per cent in 2011 and 20 per cent in 2010. The biggest rise came in the Middle East and North Africa, two regions that are still feel-

ing the effects of the Arab Spring of 2010-2011, said the Pew Research Centre. As an example, it cites an increase in attacks on Coptic churches and Christianowned businesses in Egypt. It said China has also witnessed a big rise in religious conflict. The number of countries whose governments have imposed restrictions, such as bans on practicing a religion or converting from one to another, has remained more or less the same, however. Three out of 10 countries have high

or very high levels of restrictions, the study indicated. Among the 25 most heavily populated countries, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan and Myanmar suffered the most religious conflict. Christians and Muslims, who make up more than half of the world’s population, have been stigmatised in the largest number of countries. The report said Muslims and Jews have suffered the greatest level of hostility in six years.

Israel’s minister flays Kerry’s security plan Defence Minister IoutSRAEL’S Moshe Yaalon has lashed at United States (U.S.) Secretary of State John Kerry, saying a security plan he presented was “not worth the paper it was written on.” The minister also accused Washington’s top diplomat of having an “incomprehensible obsession” about resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper said. “The American plan for security arrangements that was shown to us isn’t worth

the paper it was written on,” Yaalon was quoted as saying in private conversations with Israeli officials, accusing Kerry of being naive and implying he is a nuisance. “It provides neither security nor peace.” Kerry coaxed Israelis and Palestinians back into direct negotiations last summer and has visited the region 10 times since taking over as secretary of state in February 2013. His proposals include a security plan for the Jordan

Valley, where the West Bank borders Jordan, which would involve advanced hitech equipment and early warning stations that could allow Israel to reduce or replace its military presence in the area, local media stated. Israel has always said that it would need to maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley in any final agreement, an idea completely rejected by the Palestinians.

while fleeing fresh fighting between government forces and rebels. According to Army spokesman, Philip Aguer, the disaster occurred when the overloaded boat, packed with women and children escaping the northern oil city of Malakal, capsized in the White Nile River. “The reports we have are of between 200 to 300 people, including women and children. The boat was overloaded. “They all drowned. They were fleeing the fighting that broke out again in Malakal,” the Army spokesman told Agence France Presse (AFP). He said the tragedy happened yesterday, although local media reported it occurred overnight Sunday. The disaster is one of the worst single incidents to have been reported from the wartorn country since clashes began a month ago between rival army units loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek

Machar. According to the United Nations (UN), about 400,000 civilians have fled their homes over the past month, many of them to escape a wave of ethnic violence between members of Kiir’s Dinka people – the country’s largest group – and Machar’s Nuer community. Aid sources and analysts said up to 10,000 people are believed to have been killed in the fighting. The army spokesman meanwhile reported that battles were raging in several areas of the country, signalling that the government’s recapture

of Bentiu, another key oil city in the north which fell last week, had failed to deal a knock-out blow to the rebels. Heavy fighting was reported in Malakal, state capital of oilproducing Upper Nile state, as rebel forces staged a fresh attack to seize the town, which has already changed hands twice since the conflict began. “There is fighting anew in and around Malakal,” said United Nations aid chief for South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, adding that the UN peacekeeping base had been swamped with people seeking refuge, almost doubling the number sheltering there from 10,000 to 19,000.

Hollande admits passing through painful moments RESIDENT Francois P Hollande of France has admitted going through a “painful” moment with his partner, but said he would not immediately make any more comments on reports of his affair with an actress. Hollande told an economically-oriented news conference at his presidential

palace that it was “neither the time nor the place” for such questions, but that he would clarify the situation regarding his partner, Valerie Trierweiler, before a United States (U.S.) visit in February. Hollande expresses ‘total indignation’ at report on the affair but added that he won’t sue.


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Politics Main Report of the Presidential Advisory NATIONAL CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT HE Committee wishes to express its proT found appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, for reposing confidence in

Conference Management Secretariat under an Executive Secretary with 2 members from each Geo-Political Zone. members by according them the privilege The Secretariat shall run the affairs of the and honour to serve. National Conference and supervise the elecWe equally appreciate the role of Senator tions to the Conference using the INEC Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON, the Secretary to the Register. It shall also manage all activities and Government of the Federation (SGF) in faciliprocesses of the Conference at all levels. tating the work of the Committee, through The Committee also recommends that majorihis invaluable support and assistance withty of the Delegates to the Conference shall be out which it would have been practically elected directly on the principles of universal impossible to accomplish the task. adult suffrage. We also appreciate the invaluable contribuThe size and structure of the National tions and support of Mr. Ferdinand Agu, the Conference should be in accordance with the Senior Special Assistant to the President 360 constituencies of the House of (Research and Documentation), Office of the Representatives although Government may Secretary to the Government of the consider the option of using the constituencies Federation. of the Senate but each Senatorial District shall The gratitude of the Committee also goes to send 4 elected Delegates to the Conference. all the Governors, the people and In addition, every State Government shall Governments of all the states visited in the nominate one (1) Delegate and the President, course of the nationwide consultations, for through the Minister of the Federal Capital Jonathan their tremendous support and cooperation. Territory, shall nominate one (1) Delegate for Similarly, the support and contributions of xv. Mr. Fakorede John Driver the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. the Honourable Minister of the Federal xvi. Malam Mustapha Yakubu M -Driver In the event that any State fails to nominate a Capital Territory (FCT), Sen. Abdulkadir Bala xvii. Mr. Segun Ayoola -Protocol Officer Delegate, the President shall nominate a Muhammad for the success of the Abuja conFinally, the Committee recognises with appre- Delegate for the said State. sultations are appreciated. ciation, the contributions of all the Resources The National Conference shall also have a Equally important and worthy of appreciaPersons and Conference Assistants. Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson, who tion are the contributions of media should be persons of high unimpeachable houses/organisations throughout the counExecutive Summary integrity. try for their massive coverage of the HE President of the Federal Republic of In response to ToR3, the Committee recomCommittee’s activities. In particular, the roles Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, mends that the President should nominate played by the NTA, AIT, TV Continental, during his Independence Day broadcast on representatives from among the key interest Channels Television, FRCN, and other local and October 1, 2013 informed Nigerians that he had groups in active consultation with them. In international electronic media organisations, set up a 13-Member Presidential Advisory this context, the interest groups themselves as well as print media are all appreciated. Committee on National Dialogue under should nominate to the President their repreThe hospitality of the staff and management Senator Dr. Femi Okurounmu. sentatives to the National Conference. of the International Conference Centre (ICC) The Committee, which was inaugurated on The Committee, however, recommends that th also contributed to the successful completion 7 October 2013, was mandated to advise the total number of nominated Delegates of the Committee’s assignment. The conGovernment on the framework of a national should not exceed one-third of the total numducive environment provided was invaluable. dialogue by consulting widely with Nigerians. ber of Delegates. The roles played by the supporting staff of It was asked to come up with an appropriate As for ToR4, the Committee recommends that the Secretariat were exemplary and excepname/nomenclature for the proposed national the National Conference should hold for a peritional in the achievement of the Committee’s dialogue. The Committee was given seven (7) od of not less than three (3) months and not task. Those in this category include: terms of reference and was asked to submit its more than six (6) months. i. Mr. Mustapha Lawal Suleiman report in six (6) weeks. Government may consider convening the Director Admin In compliance with the Presidential directive National Conference in the year 2014 possibly ii. Mr. Salisu Na’inna for members of the Committee to consult between the months of February and July, thus Director Information widely, the Committee held interactive sesconcluding the exercise before the onset of the iii. Mr. John A. Owoicho Deputy sions with Nigerians in 13 major cities across 2015 electioneering campaigns. Director Admin the country — two in each Geo-Political Zone With regards to ToR5, the Executive and the iv. Mr. Sani Abdulahi and the Federal Capital, Abuja. National Assembly should cooperate as partSA – Committee Sec. It also interacted with the Governors and traners to put in place an enabling law that v. Mr. Abia I. Bassey Chief ditional rulers of the 12 States visited as well as should lead to a successful and hitch-free Admin. Officer with the Honourable Minister of FCT. National Dialogue. vi. Mr. Yusuf Mohammed Chief A total of 6,650 Nigerians participated in the In that context, the Committee recommends Admin Officer interactive sessions, 421 presentations were that the President should send an Executive vii. Miss Anuli Onwuteaka Legal made and 607 memoranda received at the Bill for the purpose of the National Conference Officer interactive sessions, while 57 memoranda were to the National Assembly, which shall enact it viii. Mr. Sarumi Shola received online and 47 by direct submission to into the enabling law. The Committee is conProtocol Officer the Secretariat. vinced that, on balance of probability, it is safer ix. Mr. Hassan Ahmad The Committee recommends that, the proto have such an enabling law, than to assume it Accountant posed national dialogue should be called ‘The is not needed. x. Mrs. Priscilla C. Chinomso Admin National Conference.’ In the alternative to the above, the President Officer In response to the terms of reference number may exercise his inherent powers under xi. Comrade Tosin Adeyanju ICT one (ToR1), the Committee recommends, with Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Consultant regards to the agenda, that the National Republic of Nigeria (1999, as Amended), to conxii. Mr. Linus Njoku Conference shall have no, no-go-area but specif- vene the Conference. Security ically recommended a 38-item agenda, which is With regards to ToR6, the Committee recomxiii. Mr. Joseph Ikyaator by no means exhaustive. mends that the National Conference itself Security With regards to ToR2, the Committee recomshould be saddled with the responsibility of xiv. Mr. Hyacinth Elekwachi Driver mends the setting up of a 13-member setting out the said legal procedures and options for integrating the decisions and outThe Committee also recommends that majority of the Delegates to the Conference comes of the National Conference into the and Laws of the nation. shall be elected directly on the principles of universal adult suffrage. The size and Constitution In response to ToR7, the Committee made structure of the National Conference should be in accordance with the 360 some recommendations contained in Chapter Ten of this Report. constituencies of the House of Representatives although Government may

T

consider the option of using the constituencies of the Senate but each Senatorial District shall send 4 elected Delegates to the Conference. In addition, every State Government shall nominate one (1) Delegate and the President, through the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, shall nominate one (1) Delegate for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. In the event that any State fails to nominate a Delegate, the President shall nominate a Delegate for the said State.

Chapter One INTRODUCTION 1.1 The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, during his Independence Day broadcast on October 1, 2013 informed Nigerians that he had set up a Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue with the Following compo-

sition. 1. Senator Dr. Femi Okurounmu Chairman 2. Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa Member/Secretary 3. Senator Khairat Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe -Member 4. Senator Timothy Adudu Member 5. Professor Olufunke Adeboye Member 6. Professor George A. Obiozor Member 7. Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN, NNOM -Member 8. Dr. Abubakar Siddique Mohammed Member 9. Malam Bukhari Bello, MFR, mni Member 10. Mr. Tony I. Uranta Member 11. Col. Tony Nyiam (Rtd) Member 12. Alhaji Dauda Birmah, OFR Member 13. Dr. Mrs. Mairo Ahmed Amshi, FRM2, MFRMember 1.2 Inauguration of the Committee: The Committee, which President Goodluck Jonathan said comprised ‘Nigerians with wide experience from various disciplines,’ was officially inaugurated in the Council Chamber, State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, 7th October, 2013. The Committee was given six (6) weeks to complete its assignment. 1.3 Foundation Principles: In his inaugural address to the Committee, President Goodluck Jonathan described the formation of this Committee as ‘a child of necessity.’ He stated the ‘foundational principles that drive the action’ of constituting the Committee to work towards convening a national conversation. He emphasised that, ‘this is a National Project, a sincere and fundamental undertaking, aimed at realistically examining and genuinely resolving, long-standing impediments to our cohesion and harmonious development as a truly United Nations.’ The President further stressed that, ‘sitting down to talk is one right step in calming down tensions and channeling our grievances, misgivings and suggestions into more positive use for the good of our country.’ 1.4 The President further stated that Nigerians are already talking about their national problems through the print and electronic media. He suggested that, ‘the only thing is that while these talks are sometimes weighty, they often lack direction. This Committee is to lend weight and direction to this national conversation.’ He also allayed ‘the fears of those who think the Conference will call the integrity of Nigeria into question,’ and added that, ‘this National Discourse will strengthen our union and address issues that are often on the front burner, and are too frequently ignored.’ 1.5 Mr. President charged the Committee members ‘to consult widely before sitting down to develop the framework that will guide and guard the proceedings of the discussions.’ He reminded members of the Committee that, ‘no voice is too small and no option is irrelevant,’ urging the Committee to carry along the views of both enthusiasts and sceptics alike. He urged them to bear in mind, ‘that what we desire is what can work for the good of our people and country’ and concluded that, ‘the goal is to bequeath a better and a greater Nigeria to the present and the generations to come.’ 1.6 Terms of Reference: The Committee was given the following terms reference: 1. To consult with all relevant stakeholders


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Committee on National Dialogue Volume 1 NATIONAL CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT with a view to drawing up a feasible agenda for the proposed national dialogue/conference; 2. To make recommendations to Government on structure and modalities for the proposed national dialogue/conference; 3. To make recommendations to Government on how representation of various interest groups at the national dialogue/conference will be determined; 4. To advise Government on a time-frame for the national dialogue/conference; 5. To advise Government on a legal framework for the national dialogue/conference; 6. To advise on legal procedures and options for integrating decisions and outcomes of the national dialogue/conference into the Constitution and Laws of the nation; and 7. To advise Government on any other matter that may be related or incidental to the proposed national dialogue. 1.8 Inaugural Meeting and Take-off of the Committee: The Committee started its assignment a few hours after its inauguration on Monday, 7th October, 2013 at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. Its inaugural meeting was held and several other meetings followed thereafter, throughout the first week of the Committee’s assignment. In that first week, the Committee deliberated on the methodology it would employ in carrying out its assignment and drew up a Work Plan for the accomplishment of its mandate. 1.9 The Secretariat of the Committee used the first week to put in place the administrative machinery required for the discharge of the Committee’s mandate. 1.10 Work Plan and Strategy: The Committee deliberated extensively on the strategies to guide its work, on the basis of which, it designed a Work Plan (Appendix 2). Based on the Work Plan, the Committee then worked out an Itinerary for holding of Interactive Sessions at Thirteen (13) Centres across the country — two in each Geo-Political Zone and the Federal Capital, Abuja, as well as other strategies for carrying out the assignment. 1.11 Slight Change in the Committee’s Composition: The composition of the Committee was slightly changed. Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN, NNOM), whose name was on the original list of members up to the time the Committee was inaugurated, was not available to serve because of health challenges. He was subsequently replaced by Professor Anya O. Anya (FAS, OFR, NNOM). Another change was in respect of Col. Tony Nyiam (Rtd) who was replaced by Solomon Asemota Esq. (SAN) following an incident, which took place during the Committee’s Interactive Session in Benin City. A section of the participants at that Interactive Session took exception to a comment by Governor Adams Oshiomhole that the proposed Conference would not be different from previous ones the resolutions of which were not implemented. They started booing him and made it impossible for him to continue with his speech. Col. Nyiam then interrupted the Governor. This led to some commotion and eventually the Committee was advised to call off the meeting. A meeting of the Committee was held to address this incident. Members expressed their displeasure at Col. Nyiam’s behaviour. He resigned and was replaced by Solomon Asemota Esq. (SAN). Chapter Two Historical Background 2.1 The survey covers the colonial and postcolonial periods during which several constitutional arrangements were made in the country. Colonial constitutions included the Clifford Constitution (1922), Richards Constitution (1946), Macpherson Constitution

(1951), Lythleton Constitution (1954), and the Independence Constitution (1960). Post-colonial attempts included the 1963 Republican Constitution, the 1979 Constitution, the 1999 Constitution, and a few other drafts that were not given official ratification. 2.2 The integrity and acceptance of any Constitution depend on two elements, namely, process and content. Process has to do with issues of consultation and popular participation in the course of setting up the constitutional arrangements. Debates, negotiations and compromise are all considered healthy for the process. Content deals with the body of articles and key provisions in the Constitution. If either of these elements is perceived as being unrepresentative of people’s wishes, the Constitution is considered unsatisfactory and defective. The context in which a Constitution is made is also important in determining whether due consultations would be made or whether its key provisions would promote the interest of the people. 2.3 Not all colonial constitutions passed this test. Again, it is doubtful if this could have been otherwise given the unequal power relations between colonial authorities and their subjects. The Clifford Constitution of 1922 and Richards Constitution of 1946 were both regarded as colonial impositions. Richards Constitution was particularly criticised because there was already a pool of articulate elite in the country who felt excluded from the process. Colonial authorities tried to redress this by convening constitutional conference before subsequent constitutions were introduced. Perhaps, the best illustration of this is the Macpherson Constitution that was preceded by extensive consultations. There were village level meetings, district meetings, provincial meetings and regional conferences. The last stage was the National Conference held in Ibadan in 1950. The result of this was the Macpherson Constitution, which became operative in 1951. However, by 1953 — just two years later — there were already calls for revisions in this 1951 arrangement. The reason for this could be found in the intersection between constitutional content and prevailing political/ideological climate. As the political environment was rapidly changing with accelerated impetus for increasing regional autonomy and self-rule, the two-year-old constitutional arrangement suddenly became outdated. 2.4 Again, in terms of content, the piecemeal or incremental approach that characterised the provisions of previous colonial constitutions was no longer acceptable in the 1950s. For instance, even though amalgamation of the Northern and Southern provinces was in 1914, it was the Richards Constitution that provided for a single legislative authority for the entire country in 1946. Prior to this time, the Legislative Council covered only the South while the North was ruled by proclamations issued by the Governor. It thus took 32 years for the North and South to be brought under the same legislative coverage. Another example was incremental participation of Nigerians at both the legislative and executive levels. Clifford’s Constitution in 1922 provided for four elected members — three from Lagos and one from Calabar in a Legislative Council that comprised 19 unofficial and 27 official members. It took 27 years for elected majorities to emerge in the central legislature and regional Houses of Assembly through the instrumentality of the 1951 Constitution. Similarly, the same Constitution provided for 9 officials in the Regional Executive Council and 9 Nigerian Ministers. The Central

Okuronmu Executive Council of Ministers had 7 officials, including the Governor as President and 12 Nigerian Ministers (four from each Region). Meanwhile, the first Nigerian member of the Executive Council was appointed 1943. 2.5 By the 1950s, nationalists were impatient to take over power. This decade, compared with previous decades, afforded them significant legislative experience before independence in 1960. They also got several opportunities to participate, within a framework set up by colonial authorities, in constitutional arrangements through the various constitutional conferences and talks that took place within the decade (1954, 1957/58, in London). The eventual outcome of all these was the Independence Constitution of 1960. 2.6 Post-colonial constitutions had a different orientation in terms of process and content. Apart from the 1963 Republican Constitution, others such as the 1979 and 1999 Constitutions were made within the context of military administrations. Even then, the military still made some attempts to give some semblance of consultation to their constitution-making processes. Here, the case of the 1979 Constitution is particularly apposite. The process commenced in 1975 when the Murtala Muhammed regime appointed a 49member Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), headed by Chief Rotimi Williams, to produce a draft constitution, which was to serve as the main working document for the Constituent Assembly (CA) that later emerged in 1977. The CA comprised 232 members elected indirectly by an electoral college constituted at the local councils. The CA examined and debated the draft constitution extensively. After final ratification by the Supreme Military Council (SMC), the Constitution was promulgated in 1979. As far as the military regime was concerned, the inclusion of the CA within the exercise had legitimised the process. 2.7 Similarly, General Sani Abacha, through Decree No.1 of 1994, established a Constitutional Conference. Of the 369 members, 273 were elected by the populace in a nonpartisan election, while 96 were nominated by government. Headed by Justice A.G. KaribiWhyte, the conference produced a draft constitution, which was submitted in 1995. After the death of General Abacha in 1998, his successor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, set up a 25-member Constitution Debate Coordination Committee to amend the 1995 draft. The 1999 Constitution eventually grew out of this exercise and was ratified by the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) of the military regime. Despite the attempts made by the military authorities to involve some sections of the populace in constitution making, these two

constitutions (1979 and 1999) are still regarded by the Nigerian elite as impositions by military regimes. In between these two exercises were other attempts made during the administration of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. There was a Political Bureau set up under the leadership of S.J. Cookey to conduct a national debate on the political future of the country and propose a “viable and enduring peopleoriented political system devoid of perennial disruptions.” The Bureau submitted its recommendations in March 1987. The second was a Constitutional Review Committee set up to review the 1979 Constitution. The result of this review was the 1989 Constitution. It was not ratified but portions of it were promulgated as Decrees. 2.8 Next is the issue of the content of post-colonial constitutions. The general trend in these constitutions is that they tend to build on and strengthen existing principles in previous constitutions or where there are contentious issues, try to resolve them. In other words, a new constitution is designed to improve on some areas or attend to matters arising from a previous constitution, which serves as its point of reference. Technically, therefore, the idea of a ‘brand new’ constitution that owes nothing to its predecessor is difficult to envisage (except, perhaps, in a new state where no such ‘predecessor’ existed). The 1963 Republican Constitution, for instance, like the 1960 Constitution was based on the Westminster system of government. The key differences were in the provisions for a ceremonial President in place of the Queen of England, and that the judicial appeal system should terminate with the Supreme Court and not the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council. 2.9 In cases where previous constitutional arrangements were regarded as the cause of socio-political instability and crises, the new constitutions tended to focus on resolving these issues through a revised arrangement, but with the old constitution as reference point. For example, the breakdown of the First Republic was attributed to conflicts arising from regional politics, ethnic domination, minority oppression, etc. To resolve this, the 1979 Constitution abandoned the Westminster system in favour of the Presidential system with a directly elected executive. To further avoid the pitfalls of the First Republic, political parties and cabinet positions were to reflect a new “Federal Character” principle. Political parties were to be broadbased and not regional. Again, while the First Republic Senate was a ceremonial body, the 1979 Constitution gave the Senate and House of Representatives coequal powers. The 1999 Constitution, in most respects, still bears a strong resemblance to the 1979 Constitution in terms of its key structures. 2.10 This brief survey has underscored the significance of process and content in constitution making in Nigeria. This observation is equally applicable elsewhere. Consultative and participatory processes are seen to be ideal because these allow for negotiations and compromise and help foster a sense of ownership. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, this has not always been enjoyed. Colonial constitutions can hardly be described as growing out of “free debate” with no “no go” areas. Even the wide consultations that preceded the Macpherson Constitution and subsequent constitutions took place within a framework prescribed by colonial authorities. All issues were still subject to their approval.

TO BE CONTINUED TOMOROW


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12 | Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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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 INEC’s curious election budget HE declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that T the 2015 elections in Nigeria would cost a staggering N92.9 billion (about $580.65 million), is worrisome and raises more questions than answers. The logic of its comparative African data on the cost of elections per voter, as a universally acceptable standard for measuring the costs of elections, is also fundamentally flawed. First, it is grossly insufficient, indeed misleading, for INEC to just quote a lump sum, without providing specific breakdown. Only then can Nigerians appreciate and have a scientific basis for a robust engagement with INEC on the matter. Until that is done, there will always be grounds for suspicion. Popular responses to the declaration reveal that Nigerians desire concrete explanations as to the specific areas of the elections to which such huge sum will be applied. Is INEC going to conduct a fresh voter registration or just update the existing register? Either way, is the Commission going to buy new equipment and facilities for the exercise? What has happened to the facilities used for the same exercise during the 2011 elections? These and related questions must be clarified by INEC in order to reduce popular misgivings about the proposed cost of the 2015 elections. If INEC is going to be operating with such an outrageous cost per election, especially at a time like this when, despite official denial, the story that the country is ‘broke’ is pervasive, then election administration has, tragically, become part of the economic problems afflicting the country. INEC’s euphoria that the cost of election per voter would drop from $8.8 in 2011 to $7.9 in 2015 in line with the projected cost is also baffling. This is particularly so given the excruciating level of poverty ravaging the country. In a country where close to 70 per cent of the populace live in poverty (and over 60% live on less than $1 a day), one cannot but wonder the value-addition of expending $7.9 on a voter. Worse still, there are no institutional guarantees that the processes and outcomes of the elections would adhere strictly to the electoral rule and popular will. If the 2015 elections will be this costly, INEC must be prepared to account and accept responsibility for any shortfall in the democratic qualities of elections, particularly its level of competition, participation and legitimacy. Drawing on the comparative costs of election per voter in other African countries not only as a measure of its performance, but also a basis for its exorbitant electoral costs is also illogical. The claim that election in Ghana and Kenya cost $10-12 and $8-9 per voter respectively does not mean Nigeria must spend same per head. Given the huge population of Nigeria vis-à-vis these other countries, the cost per head should be far lower in Nigeria. INEC certainly needs to improve on its cost management in all ramifications.

… And unfounded fears N another level, INEC’s fear of holding elections in the three states of the O North East currently under emergency rule, namely Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is, to say the least, unfounded. Whereas the fear of insecurity expressed by INEC is noted, it is not a sufficient basis for any plan to disenfranchise the Nigerians in those states. From all indications, INEC’s reported plan not to hold elections in those states for security reasons negates the spirit and reason for the declaration of the state of emergency in those states, in the first instance. The original design of the state of emergency was to salvage the deplorable security situations in those states. Despite notable hiccups and setbacks, the security situation in those states would appear to have improved (and still improving). It is, therefore, bewildering for INEC to come out and say that it may not conduct free and fair elections in those states because their security conditions are not predictable. INEC should be reminded that the unpredictability of security conditions during elections is not peculiar to those states under emergency rule. The Niger Delta has always been so insecure since 1999 and has only recently witnessed some marginal improvement. There are also other countries of the world with more security challenges following protracted violence and wars, which have still managed to hold elections. Iraq and Afghanistan are examples. All depends on the state of preparedness, transparency, openness, impartiality and above all else, the election management body’s willingness and capability to do the right things at all costs, including adherence to and respect for the rules of the game. Moreover, INEC should also be informed that it is the duty of the government to make those states conducive for the conduct of elections. The states in question have more than 10 million registered voters, large enough to determine the outcome of the presidential election. If these voters are disenfranchised, will the President produced from such an election govern over the people of those states? How legitimate will such a government be? The 1999 Constitution requires that for a candidate to be declared duly elected as President, he or she must win 25 per cent of the total votes cast in at least twothird of the states of the federation. If elections are not held in those states, how would that legal requirement be met without the three states? All the commission needs to do is to better manage its mandate, especially in those states, ensure the credibility of all polls and win Nigerians’ confidence in the democratic process.

LETTER

Nigeria’s democracy: Now or never again Democracy in the the end of the day, duly regisS‘is IR:words of Abraham Lincoln tered citizens will not find Let me quickly chip it in the government of the their names in the register, at this point that INEC people, by the people and for the people. This means that it is a government by consent of majority of the electorate in an election. Arguably, it is the most popular and preferred system of government in today’s world. Before now, many thought that we have reliable and patriotic personalities in the country’s agency established to conduct elections and ensure free fair and peaceful transitions. But, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has proved all us wrong. There is nothing wrong in someone aspiring for greatness or positions in government. The crime is when such person or persons indulged in all known and unknown crooked ways to get that position and also go the extra miles to ensure that the position is not relinquished even in the face of non-performance or rejection by the electorate in an election. It is disheartening that in Nigeria of today, INEC cannot boast of having comprehensive and true reflection of voters register. The government spends billions of tax payers’ money to put registration of eligible voters in place and at

and as such, are disenfranchised. People registered and having verifiable voters’ cards in their possession get to the polling boots and their names are conspicuously missing from the voters register. Why is it that such missing names are very common in areas where the candidates are not in the ruling party? The answer is not far fetched. It simply means that some unscrupulous personnel of INEC have distorted the register in collaboration with the government in power for their selfish interest. The insensitivities, corrupt and unpatriotic stance of the people in government have made majority of the citizens lose faith in the system and are ready to do everything possible to enrich themselves given the slightest opportunity. It is now almost impossible to conduct and actually have a free and fair election in the country because the conductors (INEC officials and the politicians) and majority of the electorate want instant incentive rather than the dividends of democracy and the progress of the country. In a true democracy, the people will have the final say on who should govern them by voting in or voting out particu-

should brace up to ensure that the upcoming elections of 2014 and 2015 are devoid of malpractice. One thing is required for elections to be credible and that starts with having a comprehensive and duly updated register of the eligible voters. lar candidates. Let me quickly chip it in at this point that INEC should brace up to ensure that the upcoming elections of 2014 and 2015 are devoid of malpractice. One thing is required for elections to be credible and that starts with having a comprehensive and duly updated register of the eligible voters. From what transpired in Anambra State recently and by the public apology of INEC of the irregularities in the conduct of the November 16 governorship election in the state, it is not far-fetched to say that all did not go well. Raymond Oise-Oghaede, Surulere, Lagos.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

13

Opinion National conference to reinvent Nigeria By Olu Oma-Williams CLAMOUR is arising from the polity: that of A the Nigerian nation, there is little need to speak; the faults have been made clear to us all; there is need for rejection of inherent cultural imperialism; to grow Nigerian-oriented culturehuman, spiritual and materialistic and egalitarian culture; to help Nigerians find their rightful place in the maze. That our ancient glory be recognised and that our nation be safeguarded and protected. The Nigerian dream of post independence should arise – the Nigeria of brotherhood regardless of tribe, tongue or religion be projected into our modern vision. The major fault seems our extreme negativism which makes Nigerians the most easily “conditioned” people of all times. This negativity must be overcome and attention must be paid to the careful orientation and development of individuals to think and act in the interest of the nation. This should be the keynote of our future confederation of the Nigerian people who may have been led into evil ways and seperative thinking. Is there a need for a “Talk Shop”? Yes. The dialogue will provide some perspective on how modernity has changed our culture and the character typing most adaptive in the circumstance. Yes, because militarisation of our society has under-mined the traditional conservative of yester-year; it propelled new sets of jungle-fighting-politicians with a different social agenda into positions of “Over Lords.” These jungle-fighting politicians (whose main emotion is primitive, greedy, lust, colourless and power worshipping) soon became political entrepreneurs and estate/empire builders. Some of the most successful of them operate by means of force, blackmail, bribery and corruption to gain wealth and political influence. They have constituted themselves into what they term “progressives.” They represent rent seekers, middlemen whose wealth and new values of materialism have deepened class division and destroyed traditional limits. Another group of jungle-fighters are the robber barons who rationalized their exploitation of the Nigerian people and resources under the ideology of social Darwinism and progress.

A common tactic of all these jungle-fighting managers has been to hire hungry Nigerians as subordinates who feed their insatiable narcism and keep them as dependent as possible. The jungle-fighter becomes ungrateful to their subordinates once he no longer needs them! No doubt, total orientation/re-orientation engineered through conference of the nationalities remains a perquisite to our transformation. A belief in Nigerian human unity must be endorsed. This unity must be grasped as something worth fighting and dying for; it must constitute the new foundation for our political, religious and social reorganization; and must provide the theme for our development. Human unity, human understanding, human relationship, human fairplay, and the essential oneness of all Nigerians – these are the only concepts upon which to construct a new paradigm to induce equitable competition and to bring to an end the exploitation of one section by another and the hitherto unfair distribution of the nation’s wealth. As long as there exist extremes of riches and poverty, Nigerians are falling short of their high destiny. This conference (Sovereign/not) as a strategy for any social change must take account of urban as well as rural citizens (not political parties, not government nominees and not necessarily on religious/regional divides) whose spirits influence the quality of life for the people. The conference needs be driven to yield the structure and context of project Nigeria acceptable to all and thus enhance grooming Nigerians to rally round the national flag for glory and brotherhood. Today, majority of Nigerians, villagers especially, have become most powerless and vulnerable people, whilst political jungle fighters (oppressors) are among the most powerful, privileged and protected citizens. There is need for psycho-analytical characterology audit to mould the energies of Nigerians for the purpose of the functioning of a unified modern Nigeria and not leave it to conscious decision of selfish gratification seekers

acting to the requirements of an unacceptable culture. Let the entrepreneurship in good Nigerians not be stalled or hamstringed, but rather engineered with its motivation completely engineered. Existing convoluted structural arrangement of the nation-state has only encouraged the present generation to develop in their heads and not in their hearts. The emergence of wanton greed and uncorporate social ethic has eventually enhanced selfish individualism and transformed the Nigerian state into a collective of unsecured looters. To achieve success in national harmony, and moving the country forward for progress, a new governance framework is imperative, driven by the people with good leadership; not unpatriotic political entrepreneurs, nor security-seeking yes-men who are excited by the chance to cut deals and gamble with the soul of Nigeria. A good citizen as a responsive politician defers to democracy driven by the people for the people. Our problems lay not necessarily in ethnicity, but in the decline of the protestant ethic, lack of trust, unwillingness of the citizenry and ignoble actions of the political oppressors. But the real psychological issue is to recognise the Nigerian humanity on equal terms. A major poser for this conference in re-inventing Nigerians is exploration of our cognitive style (culture, behaviour, symbol, religion/history etc) as a psychic finger print for determining the fate of Nigeria: How does the Nigerian satisfy survival needs for food, shelter, and safety, existential needs for devotion, unity and effectiveness? Right now, majority of Nigerians are disillusioned; and disintegration will only heighten segmented disillusionment. Therefore, the conference must pave the way to discover a ‘messiah’ of a modern Nigeria to: • define progress for Nigeria; • get Nigeria moving in an enduring new era embodying a new competitive, adventurous spirit with family values of respect and self-reliance; •  promote tolerance, compassion, understanding love, fear of God and facilitating how

Nigerians can get along regardless of tribe/religion; • patience and sacrifice for the nation; • lessen lawlessness and impunity; • promote creativity, innovation for increased productivity; • engender servant leadership whilst discouraging unscrupulous leaders from taking advantage of social problems to expand their power base; • conquer diseases; • increase our life span with good health care; • provide decent living standards with flow of power and other basic amenities; • reduce illiteracy through quality education and increased capacity building; • make able-bodied individuals who can work, work; • reduce poverty; •  provide good roads and sustainable transportation; • make Nigeria a better place for all-majority and minority stakeholders alike; and • formulate template for emergence of strong and good economic drivers who can enforce the regimentation in the spirit of understanding and goodwill so that Nigerians would become unswayed in response to the propaganda of an elitist group – political or military caste. The spiritual hierarchy of our nation already recognises the Nigerian brotherliness and professes universal love among citizens. Therefore, we must talk and reaffirm a common vision to dispel our suspicions, selfishness, pettiness, dishonesty, greed, corruption and meanness that have come to characterise us. The conference (duration of five months) should serve as forum for overcoming our challenges as one nation. This talk-shop is a “wakeup” call for change. Up to now, among the constituents of project Nigeria it has been “us versus them” but hopefully the conference can usher a new dawn where the real deal will be in the domain of the sovereign public all. If we ignore the opportunities offered by this talk-shop, we will all bear the loss of our advantage of a nation in diversity. •  Oma-Williams is a Lagos-based chartered accountant and management consultant.

Ariel ‘Arik’ Sharon : Maverick soldier, statesman By Akin Ajose-Adeogun RIEL Sharon was born on February 26, 1928, in Kfar Malal, an A agricultural moshav (an agricultural cooperative settlement), then in the British Mandate of Palestine, to a family of Belorussian Jews. He joined the Haganah at a young age and fought in the First Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49 (the War of Independence), rising to become a section commander. He sustained a near fatal injury in the Battles of Latrun, in 1948, when the Israeli Defence Forces unsuccessfully attempted to wrest this strategic location, on the major highway linking Israel with Jewish West Jerusalem, from the Jordanian Arab Legion. In the 1950s, Sharon came to some prominence (or notoriety, on account of the innocent Arab civilians who invariably died or suffered as a result) as a “man who did not know the meaning of fear” as the leader of Unit 101, a military unit which was set up to carry out retaliatory raids deep into territories of the neighbouring Arab countries from where Fedayeen guerillas operated against Israel. In the Second Arab-Israeli War of 1956 (the Suez Campaign), Sharon commanded the Paratroop Brigade which linked up with the Paratroop Battalion, led by Rafael Eitan (a future chief of staff of the IDF), that had earlier been parachuted at the eastern entrance of the Mitla Pass in the Sinai. Contrary to his orders, Sharon ordered his men to storm the Pass in order to flush out the Egyptian forces ensconced there. He successfully did this, but at a frightful cost to his men. But for the intervention of his mentor, Moshe Dayan, then IDF chief of staff, Sharon may have been court-martialled. This incident was illustrative of his military and political career. An independent-minded and pragmatic man with an assertive personality, Sharon was inclined to make outspoken criticisms of his superiors and to interpret orders as he saw fit. All this did not endear Sharon to his superiors, and, later, fellow generals, who came to suspect that apart from professional considerations and his natural pugnaciousness, he was motivated by a desire for personal glory that would help him in any future political career. An officer who had served with him in the early days of Unit 101 said: “He used

to act like a general even when he was a major.” However, in spite of these personal flaws, Sharon’s abilities were undeniable: he was a commander that possessed battlefield flair and boundless energy. He was adored by his men and respected by his officers for his ability to read a battle, his decisiveness, coolness under fire, ability to delegate authority, and his firm leadership. These aforementioned qualities were on full display during the Six Day War of 1967, in which Sharon’s division played an important role in the routing of the Egyptian forces in the Sinai, and even more so during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when Sharon’s reserve division crossed the Suez Canal into Egypt and thus precipitated the encirclement of the 3rd Egyptian Army in the Sinai. Sharon was one of the organisers of the Likud, a union of right wing parties, which finally broke the stranglehold of the leftleaning parties when it came into office under Menachem Begin in 1977. Sharon was the agriculture minister in the first administration of Begin, and was responsible for the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Territories. He became defence minister in the second Begin administration, and was responsible for the invasion of Lebanon (“Operation Peace for The Galilee”), which was designed to stop the attacks on northern Israel by Palestinian guerillas from southern Lebanon. The resulting massacre of more than a thousand Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut by the Lebanese Christian Phalange forces, who were allies of Israel, forced Sharon to relinquish the defence portfolio and almost destroyed his political career when a commission of inquiry found him indirectly responsible for the massacre for failing to forsee it, and thus prevent the Lebanese Christian militias from gaining access to the camps. Sharon became foreign minister in the cabinet headed by Netanyahu in 1998, and in 2001 he became prime minister after the collapse of Ehud Barak’s Labour government. In May, 2003, Sharon endorsed the “Road Map for Peace” put forward by the United States, the European Union, and Russia. He announced his commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state in the future and his willingness to open talks with Mahmud Abbas in

order to attain this end. Consequently, he embarked on a course of unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, while maintaining control of its coastline and airspace. Sharon’s plan was welcomed by both the Palestinian Authority and Israel’s left wing as a step towards a final peace settlement. However, it was greeted with opposition from within his own Likud Party and from other right wing Israelis, on national security, military, and religious grounds. Between August 16 and 30, 2005, Sharon controversially expelled 9,480 Jewish settlers from 21 settlements in Gaza and four settlements in the northern West Bank.  While his decision to withdraw from Gaza sparked bitter protests from members of the Likud Party and the settler movement, opinion polls showed that it was a popular move among most of the Israeli public. On September 27, 2005, Sharon narrowly defeated a leadership challenge initiated by Benjamin Netanyahu, his main rival in the Likud Party, who had left the cabinet to protest Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza. On November 21, 2005, Sharon resigned as head of Likud, and dissolved parliament to form a new centrist party called Kadima (“Forward”). On December 20, 2005, Sharon’s longtime rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, was elected as his successor as leader of Likud. Following Sharon’s stroke and subsequent coma, Ehud Olmert replaced Sharon as Kadima’s leader in the 2006 elections. In this election Kadima won the largest number of seats, though not a majority to form a government on their own. A coalition government of Kadima, Labour, Shas, and Israel Beytenu was thus formed with Olmert as prime minister. Sharon, on becoming prime minister in 2001, displayed his independent-mindedness, pragmatism and atonement to prevailing Israeli sentiment, by reversing the previous hawkish and uncompromising stance that had long characterised his career, and seeking, instead, a secure, comprehensive peace between Israel and her Palestinian and Arab neighbours, that he had, like most Israelis, finally come to realise was the best guarantee for Israel’s continued existence. On the balance, there can be no doubt that he served Israel well, and was one of his country’s most significant statesmen. • Akin A. Ajose-Adeogun


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

14 Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Opinion A vote for a paradigm shift By Enyinnaya Nwogwugwu EADING through Rev Chris Okotie’s piece published in The Guardian on January 6, 2014 and entitled, “2014: Relevance of a paradigm shift,” one cannot but totally agree with the submissions that Nigeria for long has been shrunken in ideology and fixated and on ideas. The beauty of a big masquerade cannot be appreciated if it is rooted to a spot. Unfortunately, Nigeria as a big masquerade in the global firmament has for long been ossified by its inertia and lethargy. When things are done the same way for a long time and less result is achieved, exigency demands that the method be changed and new and innovative patterns employed. This, to me, appears to be the synopsis of the article by Rev Okotie. “What Nigeria needs is a shift in the leadership paradigm in a way that engenders the kind of economic reforms and political actions that put the people first. Prioritizing the people over appropriation of political power is the way out of our leadership predicament”, he posits. The key phrases here are, ‘economic reforms and political actions’. The reference to 2014 in the caption is also instructive. This year makes it 100 years of Nigeria’s existence. It is also the year that will determine to a great extent, the political future of Nigeria, given the heat being generated by political gladiators towards the 2015 general elections.  The fear raised by the piece on whether the so-called coalition of parties has enough character and credibility to make a change at the federal level is cogent and deserves our attention. We shall come back to this. Today, Nigeria is ranked among the top 10 failed states in Africa and 14th in the world. The core criteria used by the global body, the Fund For Peace (FFP) in arriving at this, include security apparatus, factionalised elite, legitimacy of the state, external intervention, poverty and economic decline, uneven development, group grievance and demographic pressures, human flight and public services. After 100 years, Nigeria has continuously taken a slide in the Transparency International’s global Corruption Perception Index (CPI). In its 2013 corruption index, Nigeria was ranked the 144th most corrupt among the 177

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countries studied in the world. In 2012, Nigeria was ranked as the 124th most corrupt nation among the less than 170 countries studied. The survey listed Nigeria as an example of countries where oil resources were only available to very small elite. Graft and corruption in Nigeria have long become a religion worshipped by the leaders and adored by the followers. The corruption of government officials and the failure of governmental leaders to use their position of power wisely has led to ongoing financial hardship throughout the nation and restricted its economic growth and cultural development. After 100 years, life expectancy in Nigeria has not improved. The average life expectancy in Nigeria, which was put at 52 years as of 2011 by the World Bank’s recent report, is the 17th lowest in the world. Our health institutions are decrepit and in comatose. Access of the average Nigerian to good health facilities remains very poor. While our hospitals have remained death traps – walk in alive and walk out dead – government officials and our politicians are spending billions of naira on medical tourism abroad. When they and their children have migraine, they hop into their private jets and fly overseas for treatment. It is estimated that the capital flight for medical tourism in Nigeria stands at N250 billion annually. This would be enough to build world-class hospitals and health facilities in virtually all the states of the federation. But our leaders would not do this, because to them, it is another way to siphon money abroad and to show off that they have arrived. Little wonder then that almost every month, we are confronted with our health institutions being shut down because of strikes. Undoubtedly, Nigeria needs a vibrant and virile opposition to keep government on its toes. But it is doubtful, like Okotie submitted, if the current opposition as reflected in the coalition of opposition parties is not a design in perfidy and deceit. Our definition of opposition today appears to be the tendency to criticize the Federal Government and the Presidency at all costs and to engage in unwholesome propaganda to drum home our

This would be enough to build world-class hospitals and health facilities in virtually all the states of the federation. But our leaders would not do this, because to them, it is another way to siphon money abroad and to show off that they have arrived. Little wonder then that almost every month, we are confronted with our health institutions being shut down because of strikes. parochial views. Governance is not all about the federal. If state governments do the needful after collecting billions of naira every month in Abuja, our attention would be less on the Federal Government. But after collecting these billions, they have nothing to show for it. Governance in most states has broken down. A shift in paradigm, therefore, must be such that states reorder their programmes and policies and make the people their focal point. A paradigm shift should be such that would create a truly independent legislature, an impartial judiciary and a transparent executive. It should be such that would have leaders put the people before them and the masses would have the will to reject the mediocre and the unfit. A paradigm shift must empower the agencies fighting corruption and have them do their duties without the dictates of the Federal Government. Government at all levels must be seen not to encourage corruption. The fight against graft must also transcend party lines. Today, all the big politicians and public who have one corrupt case or the other are walking the streets free. Even some of the serving ones have the courage to ask that government should stop using its agencies to harass them. If your hands are clean, you need not fear intimidation. A paradigm shift should be such that does not negate the need of investing in the youth with a view to building a great nation. Jobs must be provided and the steady decline in our education system must be halted. However, one missing link in Okotie’s shift in Paradigm is the paradox of courageous fol-

lowership in Nigeria. Why leaders must do the needful by implementing human-face policies, character of followership in Nigeria is atrophied and stultified. At no time in the life of this nation have we faced such fearful followers. Our leaders have continued to ride roughshod over us because in our docility and inertia, we have relinquished to them the authority of mirroring their actions on us. When they tell us lies, we applaud them as truth; when they tell us truth, we upbraid them for not telling us lies; when have glaring knowledge of their looting of our treasuries we pretend as we have been in a deep slumber. When they confiscate our rights and trample on our collective will, we merely manage a smirk of approval. The Nigerian followership is contented with picking the crumbs from the master’s table, even when we know they are foods that ought to be on our own table. It is because the unscrupulous Nigerian leader knows that we are vulnerable to sophistry and rhetoric that gives him the impetus to steal our collective wealth and have the temerity to ask us to “go and die.” Gary Hamel’s immutable words are instructive in this regard: “From Gandhi to Mandela, from the American patriot to the Polish shipbuilders, the makers of revolutions have not come from the top.” Until we decide to collectively confront our bad leaders, not minding whether we are from the South or West, North or East; party A or party B; Christian or Muslim, only then can we take a shot at the wholesome shift in paradigm, as being pontificated by Okotie. • Nwogwugwu wrote from Lagos.

Nigeria’s 10.5 million children today, headache tomorrow? (3) By Ifeanyichuku Ochei • Continued from yesterday INALLY, individual and collective aid.  By this I mean those of us who are fortunate to be educated, and can afford to, should help others who are less fortunate to achieve education.  There are millions of educated Nigerians at home and abroad who can, with a little self-sacrifice, complement the government’s efforts.  Fortunately, generous Nigerians and Nigerian led charities are already doing this.  But much more still need to be done in the education sector. It does not need to be expensive or too glamorous.  Bit by bit, step by step, if all educated Nigerians contribute a little spare time, and sacrifice a little from their income we can together improve the quality of education for the rest of uneducated people in our local communities, and complement government for the benefit of the whole country.  For example, each year I travel from London to my village in Nigeria so I can purchase numerous school exercise books and distribute them free to every primary school child in my village – over four hundred children in number.  I have been doing this for six years.  I also bring with me as many children’s story books and dictionaries that I am allowed to carry in the plane, and donate these to the two village primary schools so the children can have access to some books to read.  I spend two weeks in the village during each trip and attend as many classes I can.  I spend a lot of time with the children, reading to them and talking about the stories and pictures in the books. The children love the books and educational posters I bring.  I also spend time with the village teachers and parents discussing with them how we can together improve the quality of primary education in the village and the teaching methods. Admittedly, my transport cost from London is far greater than

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the cost of buying the exercise books and story books.  However, without my intervention the reality is that the majority of the children in my village would not have exercise books to write with or story books to read. Such a situation could easily have discouraged them from attending school and they may even have ended up as members of the unfortunate uneducated 10.5 million Nigerian children’s club.  On balance, therefore, I believe the long term benefits for the children in my village, outweigh the high cost of my travelling from London to my village each year.    But my small intervention in my village is just one example of non-government intervention. There are many other examples of Nigerians at home and abroad helping to improve the delivery of education in Nigeria.   However, I think we still desperately need more interventions to support the delivery of quality education in Nigeria.  After all, as I have argued, in the long run we all benefit from investing in Nigeria’s children’s future. I accept that my suggestions will cost a lot of money and require a lot of planning. But costs should not dissuade us. Nigeria is not a poor country. Together, the private sector and the Nigerian government can collectively afford to fund my suggestions.  It just requires honesty, self-sacrifice, political will and a long term approach to managing our resources better and efficiently.  It can be done. We should view education is an investment in human capital which will yield dividends for the country in the long run. Speaking about the importance of investing in education in the United Sates, President Obama said in a speech he gave in July 2013: “If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century.  If we don’t make this investment, we’ll put our kids, our workers, and our country at a competitive disadvantage for decades. So we must begin in the earliest years.” Conclusion

In summary, a “New Deal”, focused on “3 Es” is urgently required in Nigeria. Education that is functional for all Nigerian children; Education that provides all illiterate Nigerian adults a second chance to learn the key skills they need; and Education that includes continuous assessment for all Nigerian teachers so they can effectively teach and inspire our youth. This New Deal will benefit all Nigerians.  With 10.5 million Nigerian children out of school, I believe Nigeria is sitting on a time bomb. Without urgent intervention, these children may become economically low productive adults and potentially end up as liabilities to themselves and the country.  The skills gap in the future will grow and our economy will be worse off.  Nigeria’s education of all of its children is Nigeria’s economy tomorrow.  In the midst of Nigeria’s expanding economy, its abundant natural resources and increasing connectivity with the global community, it is ironic that millions of its children are still out of school, and arguably millions more in school are receiving poor substandard education.   Nigeria must deal now with this twin problem by investing time and money in creating a healthy educated work force for the future.  We all have a collective responsibility to diffuse this time bomb quickly.  If we do not, our nation’s economic growth is at risk, our social and political fabric may weaken and in the end, all of us, yes all of us, will be worse off. My suggestions are not radical or revolutionary.  No, they are just simple common sense.  I believe that if they are implemented, my suggestions can help to create an enlightened and fairer Nigeria that will be capable to handle future challenges long after our generation has passed on.  Not doing anything should not be an option.  Remember, the time bomb is ticking and “evil prospers when good people do nothing”. • Concluded. • Ochei wrote from London.


THe GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 15

Business Uduaghan seeks improved intra-African trade ties

‘World economy to grow by 3.2% in 2014’

eLTA State Governor, Dr. emmanuel Uduaghan has advocated an improved trade relations among African countries for speedy economic growth in the region. Uduaghan, who made the call Sunday when the executive members of C o m m o n w e a l t h Paliamentary Association paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba, said that improved economic activities between African countries will strengthen relationship among Africans, noting that “there was no solid economic relationship among African states and this is posing a great challenge to development in the region.” He decried a situation where it is easier to export goods from African countries to europe than from one African country to another. The Governor explained that most African countries export their produce to europe first thereby hindering inter-African trade and retarding development in the area. His words: “If there is a good trade relationship among African Countries it would have enhanced our development. Our economic relationship is not very solid because we export our produce to european countries.” The governor acknowledged that transportation was a major challenge to improving trade relationship among African Countries and called for efforts among member states to tackle this problem so that there would be cordial inter-african trade relations. He decried the fact that Africa has become the dumping ground for all manner of goods and services from europe and Asia noting that “ this can be solved when there is cordial trade relationship among African nations” He commended the organisation for choosing Delta State for their 66th general meeting explaining that it would help market the state investment potentials especially the Delta Beyond Oil initiative to the outside world. He observed that the meeting was a good avenue to enhance the growth of the legislature in the African region as ideas and interactions among African parliamentarians would impact positively on the legislative duties across the continent. While observing that years

He latest report by the T World Bank projected that the world economy would be

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CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

By Sulaimon Salau

strengthened this year, with growth picking up in developing countries and highincome economies appearing to be finally turning the corner five years after the global financial crisis. Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is projected to firm from 2.4 per cent in 2013 to 3.2 per cent this year, stabilizing at 3.4 per cent and 3.5 per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively, with much of the initial acceleration reflecting stronger growth in high-income economies. The Global economic Prospects (GeP) report also stated that growth in developing countries would pick up from 4.8 per cent in 2013 to a slower than previously expected 5.3 per cent this year, 5.5 per cent in 2015 and 5.7 per cent in 2016.

“While the pace is about 2.2 percentage points lower than during the boom period of 2003-2007, the slower growth is not a cause for concern,” it stated. The report linked firming of growth in developing countries to acceleration in highincome countries and continued strong growth in China. World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, said: “Growth appears to be strengthening in both highincome and developing countries, but downside risks continue to threaten the global economic recovery. “The performance of advanced economies is gaining momentum, and this should support stronger growth in developing countries in the months ahead. Still, to accelerate poverty reduction, developing nations will need to adopt structural reforms that promote job creation, strengthen financial systems, and shore up social safety nets.”

Jim Yong Kim

The report indicated that almost all of the difference reflects a cooling off of the unsustainable turbo-charged pre-crisis growth, with very little due to an easing of growth potential in developing countries. Moreover, even this slower growth represents a substantial (60 per cent) improvement compared with growth in the 1980s and early 1990s. It stated: “For high-income countries, the drag on growth from fiscal consolidation and policy uncertainty will ease, helping to boost economic growth from 1.3 per cent in 2013 to 2.2 per cent this year, stabilizing at 2.4 per cent for each of 2015 and 2016.” Amongst high-income economies, it noted that the recovery is most advanced in the United States (US), with GDP expanding for 10 quarters now. The US economy is projected to grow by 2.8 per cent this year (from 1.8 per cent in 2013), firming to 2.9

and 3.0 per cent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Growth in the euro Area, after two years of contraction, is projected to be 1.1 per cent this year, and 1.4 and 1.5 per cent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Senior Vice President and Chief economist at the World Bank, Kaushik Basu said: “Global economic indicators show improvement. But one does not have to be especially astute to see there are dangers that lurk beneath the surface. The euro Area is out of recession but per capita incomes are still declining in several countries. We expect developing country growth to rise above 5 per cent in 2014, with some countries doing considerably better, with Angola at 8 per cent, China 7.7 per cent, and India at 6.2 per cent. But it is important to avoid policy stasis so that the green shoots don’t turn into brown stubble,” According to the report,

developing countries face counter-balancing forces from high-income countries. The strengthening in high- income countries would boost demand for developing country exports, on the one hand, while rising interest rates will dampen capital flows, on the other. The report projects global trade to grow from an estimated 3.1 per cent in 2013 to 4.6 per cent this year and 5.1 per cent in each of 2015 and 2016. However, it noted that weaker commodity prices would continue to temper trade revenues. “Between their early-2011 peaks and recent lows in November 2013, the real prices of energy and food have declined by 9 and 13 per cent, respectively, while those of metals and minerals have fallen by 30 per cent. These downward pressures on commodity prices are expected to persist, in part reflecting additional supply.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director,International Monetary Fund

Nigeria’s Inflation rises marginally, expectations high on rates’ fall By Chijioke Nelson

He nation’s statistical T agency said inflation rate gained marginally for a second straight month to eight per cent in December, occasioned by costs that are not associated with food items. In a statement for the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday, inflation had been estimated at 7.9 percent in November, but accelerated to eight per cent at the end of December. However, stakeholders from the organized private sector, had long said that

whatever the inflation rate would be without downward movement of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), everything will amount to nothing. For them, the real effect of the sliding inflation would be readily seen in the corresponding falling rates, facilitated by the reduction in MPR and subsequent boost in credits to the real sector. “The Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) has remained unchanged since October 2011 and we hereby outline the detrimental impact of

sustained monetary tightening on the private sector. This is to underscore the need for the CBN to commence monetary easing and focus on stimulation of economic growth and job creation,” Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.   Long after this expectation, nothing was done, as the MPR was sustained to date and presently, the inflation rate has been hovering around single digit for months ahead of the next meeting of the Monetary

Policy Committee in January 21. The Central Bank of Nigeria has kept benchmark interest rate at 12 per cent since October 2011, even as the inflation rate stayed below 10 per cent for greater part of last year, meeting the bank’s target. At present, the bank is considering a new target range of six per cent to nine per cent for this year, as the Deputy Governor of CBN, Kingsley Moghalu, affirmed in last year. But according to NBS, prices rose last month “on

the back of increases in eight of the eleven non-food divisions, which contribute to the core sub-index.” Historically, October’s inflation rate of 7.8 percent was the lowest in more than five years in the country, while the Naira has gained 1.1 per cent against the dollar in the past six months. There are however speculations over price pressures, as the government increases spending in preparation for elections in 2015 general elections, CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi said.


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16 BUSiNESS Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ogo oil well makes list of global discovery in 2013 By Roseline Okere

GO oil well was the only O discovery that was made in Nigeria in 2013, according to Forbes report. Ogo was discovered by Afren/Lekoil in Lagos State. The Ogo - OPL 310 is located in the Upper Cretaceous fairway that runs along the West African Transform Margin. Extending from the shallow water continental shelf to deep water, the block represented a wild

cat exploration opportunity in an under-explored basin. Detailed pre-drill evaluation of the block identified several prospects lying in the same Turonian, Cenomanian and Albian sandstone intervals that have yielded significant discoveries in Ghana and Cote d’ivoire. The Forbes report, which was released last week, listed other global discoveries in 2013 to include

According to Forbes, worldwide, there were no discoveries as big as one billion barrels. And some gifted explorers had dreadful drilling results, with Tullow Energy suffering some 20 dry holes. Agulha/Coral gas discoveries offshore Mozambique by Eni — 700 million BOE each; Lontra discovery in Angola by Cobalt international Energy CiE 1.06 per cent – 900 million BOE; B14/B17 gas discoveries

iCellpower inverter enters Nigerian market S foreign investors’ A interest and confidence in Nigeria’s economy increase due to the economy’s untapped potentials and return on investment, iCellpower, which is a leader in manufacturing advanced power products for the alternative energy market has launched its UPS, inverter and battery products in Nigeria. The firm, which is into manufacturing and marketing of quality inverters, batteries, chargers with portable and unique designs said it is ready to face the robust competitive market of alternative energy appliances. iCellpower has also established worldwide marketing office in United Kingdom, United States with its global headquarters in Hong Kong .it is looking to open the Middle East office in Dubai, United

Arab Emirates in the first quarter of 2014. Speaking at the trade launch of the company in Lagos last week, the  global president of the iCellpower, Frankie Nelson said the introduction of iCellpower into Nigerian market is the answer to the millions of households and offices products across Nigeria that are seeking an alternative energy solution to back up the inadequate power supply in the country. He said all inverter and UPS products are of high quality and unique design with after sales warranty and service. Delighted Nelson who was confident of the Nigerian market promised his distributors who records 30 percent sales growth will be rewarded. “We will run a sales promotion between January and April to stimulate the market on our prod-

ucts”, he said. Nelson who is strategizing to dominate the alternative energy market stated his plans to mount campaigns such as citywide brand campaigns and mounting billboards in major cities.  He also plans to deepen his after sales service, which he considers important to customer loyalty. Also speaking at the event, the Nigerian Country Representative, Ayo Olanlokun said the  firm holds a sizeable share of the market in every country it operates. He said Nigeria in particular is a very potential market for the company. “We intend to invest more into the Nigerian economy. We are planning to established an our assembly plant in Lagos which will offer wide employment opportunities for technically sound Nigerians”

in Malaysia by Newfield Exploration NFX +1.61 per cent – 850 million BOE; and Ogo discovery in Nigeria by Afren / Lekoil — 775 million BOE. Others were Nene Marine discovery in Congo Brazzaville by Eni — 700 million BOE; Tangawizi gas discovery offshore Tanzania by Statoil STO +3.4 per cent – 575 million BOE; Coronado oil discovery in U.S. Gulf of Mexico by Chevron CVX 1.22% – 550 million BOE; Salamat gas discovery in

Egypt’s East Nile Delta by BP – 500 million BOE; Maximino oil discovery in Gulf of Mexico by Pemex – 500 million BOE and Bay du Nord discovery offshore eastern Canada by Statoil and Husky — 450 million BOE. According to Forbes, worldwide, there were no discoveries as big as one billion barrels. And some gifted explorers had dreadful drilling results, with Tullow Energy suffering some 20 dry holes. it said that there were expensive disappointments all around the globe. it stated: “Having monitored 400 total exploration wells drilled last year, Kapadia’s rough esti-

mate is that the industry discovered 20 billion barrels of conventional oil last year, against global consumption of 50 billion barrels worth. “The big discoveries that were made tended to contain more natural gas than anticipated. Gas is simply not as desirable as oil because it’s harder to get to market and on an energy equivalency basis, it sells at a deep discount to oil. “The year’s biggest discoveries were all over the place, from Malaysia, to Mozambique, Egypt, Angola and Canada. The reserve amounts, as estimated by Tudor, Pickering, are given in BOE, meaning barrels of oil plus the energy equivalent in natural gas.

Heritage crude oil production in Nigeria hits 50,000bpd By Sulaimon Salau AiLy gross production from the OML 30 licence in Nigeria has reached over 50,000 barrels of oil per day, according to Heritage Oil. The company disclosed attributed the success to continued maintenance and rehabilitation programmes and as a result of production from the Uzere West Field recommencing in December after having been shut-in for over two years. The company said that production in the fourth quarter averaged approximately 13,300 bpd net to Heritage. “There were four lifting during fourth quarter, which generated revenues, net to Heritage, of $170 million. “it is expected that lifting will take place on a month-

D

ly basis going forwards. Operational activities and maintenance work continue on the licence as planned with continued installation of gas compressors, statutory inspection and testing of all pressure vessels and inspection of all wellheads and pipelines completed to support well optimisation activities”, it said. Heritage has previously announced that Shoreline Power Company Limited had exercised its call option to acquire a 30 per cent economic interest in Shoreline Natural Resources Limited. Completion of the transaction is expected imminently, following which Heritage will have an effective working interest in OML 30 of 30.71 per cent. On completion, Heritage will receive cash of $31.5

million and the balance will be provided by way of an interest bearing, secured loan from Heritage to Shoreline Power. Production in Russia remained stable during the last quarter of the year averaging c.700 bpd. Preparations continue for further development drilling in 2014. Chief Executive of the company, Tony Buckingham said: “We are delighted to report that gross daily production has increased above 50,000 bpd from OML 30, Nigeria. The increase in production from the licence is in part from the Uzere West Field that recommenced production in December 2013 having been shut-in for over two years. “This increased production provides a solid foundation for our targeted growth in 2014. “All operations on the OML 30 licence are progressing in line with expectations, providing significant revenues and cash flow to Heritage, which will enable the company to achieve its goal of paying a sustainable dividend stream to shareholders. “The exploration portfolio is progressing with multiwell drilling programmes targeted to commence in the summer.”

Need for improved intra-African trade CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

of military incursions in the country has greatly affected the growth of the legislature in Nigeria, the governor said it was important for legislators in Nigeria to participate in international parliamentary activities to enhance their development and boost the relationship between law makers in the commonwealth states. Earlier, the Chairperson of the Association and Speaker of Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Lindiwe Maseko informed Uduaghan that they were in the state for their 66th executive committee meeting and to discuss issues affecting the region as well as enable the organisation to chat the way forward.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 17

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TheMetroSection Muslims mark Eid-el-Maulud • Nigerians urged to emulate the legacies of Prophet Mohammed

Briefs

Fidau prayer for Adefuwa holds tomorrow HE eighth-day Fidau T prayer for Alhaji Moibi Adeyoyin Adefuwa, who died last Thursday at the age of 80, and has since been buried according to Muslim rites, will hold tomorrow at his residence, No. 2, Adefuwa Street, off Adeoyo Street, Palm Avenue, Mushin –Lagos, at 11.00a.m. He was a devout Muslim and community leader . He is survived by children, grandchildren and great grand children.

PHOTO: GOOGLE.COM

The Holy Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.. By Sulaimon Salau USLIMS across the country yesterM day celebrated the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed otherwise known as Eid- el- Maulud amid pomp and pageantry. The Eid is popularly celebrated by Muslims in various elaborate gatherings, singing praises of the prophet, who has been described as the last Prophet of Allah. As the celebration hit the brim, Muslim faithful in the country have been urged to emulate the precious legacy of the prophet and be completely dedicated to the teachings of Islam in their daily endeavours. The Amir (President), The Muslim Congress, Mallam Lukman Abdulraheem, urged Muslims to celebrate in a matured manner by going for lectures, with sober reflection. He enumerated three lessons for Nigerian leaders to learn from the prophet. “One, we must be faithful to God as politicians, leaders and followers; we

must demonstrate high level of morality and lastly, we must work towards nation building.” “We must be nation builders and not nation destroyers. In Nigeria today, many people have turned themselves to nation destroyers. Some are destroying the nation politically, religiously and economically, but a good Muslim, who believes in Mohammed should be a nation builder,” he said. He urged Nigerian Muslims to be accommodating and support the constituted authority to take Nigeria to the Promise land. The Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Dr. Lakin Akintola said the prophet was a leader who was ready to sacrifice. He was a president of nation and yet he did not enrich himself; Mohammed lived a simple life, he had no bodyguards, he was forgiving those who offended him, so we need to learn from his lifetime. He said: “The leaders should emulate the qualities of Mohammed, in terms of sacrifice, love, forgiveness among oth-

ers, and the followers must learn to follow and obey good leaders. The followers must not be greedy and must not be materialistic, they should believe in God and their leaders.” The farewell sermon of Prophet Mohammed, delivered on the ninth day of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H. (632 CE) in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat in Makkah, preaches important aspects of being a righteous fellow. After praising, and thanking Allah (The One True God) the Prophet began with the words: “O People! Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore, listen carefully to what I am saying and take these words to those who could not be present here today. “O People! just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will

indeed meet your LORD, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds.” “Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (Prophet’s uncle) be waived. “Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al-Harithiah. “O Men! the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calender in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to prohibit which Allah has made permissible. With Allah the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy, three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban among others.

Fasehun orders manhunt for women’s torturers, commends Lagos Assembly, majority leader for N1.25m bounty By Kamal Tayo Oropo HE Founder of the Oodua T People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has ordered a manhunt for some men involved in the torturing and sodomising of two women accused of stealing pepper at Ejigbo Area Council of Lagos State. Fasehun particularly commended the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Majority Leader, Mr. Mojibayo Adeyeye, for placing N1 million and N250,000 bounties respectively on the heads of the offenders.

In a Press Statement yesterday, Fasehun ordered OPC members to hunt down the tormentors and turn them over to law-enforcement authorities. According to him, the move by the House and Adeyeye had cleared Nigerians of corporate guilt in the gross violation of human rights. He urged members of the public to discountenance insinuations that his OPC had a hand in the incident. Challenging anyone to provide proof that those responsible for the inhuman act were members of his group,

Fasehun said authentic members of the OPC could be easily recognised through identity cards bearing his personal signature and issued by the group’s national headquarters. He urged relevant authorities to bring the criminals and their godfathers to book. He accused council officers and politicians in Lagos of patronising their sponsored faction of OPC in order to spite the “authentic OPC.” “How will the Iya Oloja and Baba Oloja, responsible for the day-to-day running of the market, claim ignorance of

something that happened under their nose? What happened to those women is not only evil, it is dehumanising,” he said. “The treatment meted out to them violently contradicts everything OPC stands for. OPC is an organisation specifically dedicated to promoting the corporate interest of the Yoruba nationality and upholding the dignity of the Yoruba man or woman.” He pointed out that the police could testify that OPC vigilante operatives never resort to extra-judicial treatment, torture or killing of apprehended offenders, even when

such were arrested for heinous offences like armed robbery, kidnapping and assassination. According to Fasehun, the average OPC member had been trained and had sworn to hold as sacrosanct the constitutional provisions of the Right to life, Right to dignity of human persons, Right to personal liberty, Right to fair hearing and Right to freedom from discrimination. This, he said, would serve the purpose of justice as well as act as a deterrent.

Adefuwa

Book launch BOOK entitled ‘’Ogbomoso A in the Early Times: Modern Era and in Today’s Contemporary World’’ authored by Chief Oyebisi Okewuyi will be launched on Saturday, January 18, 2014, at the LAUTECH pre-degree Lecture Hall, at Ogbomoso, Osun State . Host is Chief Olatunde Okelana (Balogun Olugbon).

Akintola (SAN) loses mother HIEF (Mrs.) Odunola C Abeje Akintola, the Otun Iyalode of Omi Adio in Ido Local Council of Oyo State, is dead. Aged 78, she was the mother of Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN). A famous bean cake (akara) seller at Omi Adio, Ibadan, she was a devout Christian of Baptist denomination, and reputed to be a generous woman of impeccable character. Mama Akintola was survived by seven children, 28 grand children and seven great grandchildren, a brother and a sister, nephew and nieces. Among the children and grand children are Madam Omoriyeba Akintola Kareem, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Mrs. Omowumi Akintola Dairo, Mr. Nurain Akintola, Pastor Kehinde Akintola, Ms Taiye Akintola, Mr. Babatunde Akintola, Mr. Augustine Akintola Dairo, Dr. Oluwatosin Akintola, (USA), Barrister Oluwaseun Akintola and many more. Burial arrangement would be announced by the family later.


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18 Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You know the criminals, Manko tells Lagos lawmakers • Explains demolition of houses in Badagry By Wole Oyebade HE Lagos State CommisT sioner of Police, Umar Manko, has said the so-called cultists and miscreants disturbing Lagos communities are not different from political thugs used during campaigns and “some of us (lawmakers) sitted here know them.” The CP said this on Monday when he appeared at the plenary of the Lagos State House of Assembly to make clarification on security concerns in the state. The police boss also explained that last month’s demolition and evacuation of residents in Mowo, Badagry was in order. He said the evacuation action was against illegal occupants that had for years encroached on land duly owned by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Manko, while reacting to lawmakers’ questions on cultism and fatal cult-clashes in Yaba area of the state, said perpetrators of crime were not spirits, but residents well -known to the public, though he added that the police were doing the best to curb their nefarious activities. The CP, who agreed with lawmakers that cultism had gone

of civilians’ homes in Mowo, the CP observed that the issue haywire in Bariga area, stressed dated back to several years that the challenge should not back when the police came up dwarf successes already made with a Housing Scheme for by the Lagos police in curbing both serving and retired pocriminal acts in Lagos. licemen across the country. Manko noted that crime was “The then Inspector General part of human society and the of Police directed CPs in states police in Lagos could boast that to approach their state goverthey were not only fighting nors to get land for this procrime but also solving crime. gramme. The then CP in Lagos He said: “This is because approached the state governcriminals themselves now ment and that land area know that to come and do (Mowo) and another in Idimu crime in Lagos is bad business. area were allocated. For that After September 9, 2012, when land in question the police criminals came here and had a then paid N176million to acfield day, we resolved among quire it. We followed all norourselves that it must not remal procedure and the peat itself. We have gone a long Certificate-of-Occupancy was way that it does not happen issued. again and we have not “We first concentrated on recorded any major incident Idimu land, which has been like that.” Manko commissioned by Mr. Presi“On the issue of cultism, in cultists, alleged to have killed to court severally, and the podent. In 2011, we sent our develthose days when I was growing a young man recently in oper to go to the land in lice are currently compiling up, it used to be identified with Bariga, had been charged to Badagry and the occupiers their names for the public to tertiary institutions. But today, prison on five different occa- see what the police is doing. were told to vacate,” he said. they have come into your sions. The displaced resident of Manko, however, added that garages, motor parks as crimi“There are some of them Mowo Phase II in Olorunda since the murder incident, efnals, and some of them are with murder charges, yet Local Council Development forts have been intensified in known to some of us here. Be- they still come back to the Bariga and the force is getting Area, Badagry had last Friday cause, if you made somebody system. My duty as a commis- result. “On a daily basis we arstormed the Assembly to your boy when you are camsioner is to arrest, charge protest “wrongful demolition rest, some of them with shot paigning and don’t want them them to court but how they of our houses and properties gun are charged to court for after the campaign, they become back to the society, I by the Nigeria Police Force.” unlawful possession of arms. come problem to some of us in don’t know.” Spokesperson and Chairman We will not rest because that is the system,” he said. He added that most of of the Community Developthe only duty that we have.” Manko added that the those perpetrators had gone On alleged illegal demolition ment Association, Adu Charles,

in a petition, said on December 16, 2013 at about 5: 30pm the Area Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Mowo community led about 250 policemen fully armed with four black Maria vehicles, 18 hilux pick ups and 15 bulldozers into their community, to demolish their properties. It was alleged that the police, the State Task Force and the Lagos State Ministry of Physical and Urban Development, demolished about 1,500 houses. Three communities were affected in the exercise: Mowo Phase II, Araromi Ale and Atipomoreh. Manko, however, said: “Three weeks before the demolition, we also went back to tell them that we wanted to start work on the land, but they said since it was police land, anyone could take it. So we went there and removed existing structures to take possession of what is legally ours.” “I’m talking to my authorities to see if these people can be made to pay me money that I used in evacuating rubbish from that land,” Manko said.

Brief Firm donates gift items to rehabilitation home From Anietie Akpan, Calabar

Standard Chartered eye initiative raises $820,000 TANDARD Chartered Bank Scontribution Nigeria has raised its total to the Group’s pool to $820,000, under its pet project- “Seeing is Believing”. The bank’s 11-year-old initiative aimed at tackling avoidable blindness in communities around the world, 90 per cent of which is found in the developing countries where it operates, got a new boost as the financial institution organised a fundraising ball tagged: “The Eye Ball,” where it raised additional $80,000. According to the bank, “in most cases, vision can be improved with eyeglasses or con-

tact lenses. However, 80 per cent of blindness is avoidable.” The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Bola Adesola, added: “We are very proud of what we have achieved through our Seeing is Believing initiative over the last seven years. However, we could not have done this without the support of a lot of our staff, customers, clients, friends, family members and the media. We are also happy that, today, we have added another $80,000, increasing the total amount raised from this initiative to $820,000 till date. The Chairman of the Nigerian

Society for the Blind, Mrs Biola Agbaje said, “the Nigerian Society for the Blind, especially students of our Vocational Training Centre for the Blind in Oshodi, have received unwavering support from Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria for several years now. Without this support, it would have been extremely difficult for us to achieve the objectives of the institute. We express our deep appreciation to the Bank.” Also, the Country Director for Sight Savers International, Sunday Isiyaku, said: “We appreciate the generous support we have received over the last cou-

ple of years from Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria. Over the last seven years, the Seeing is Believing programme’s investment in Sight Savers International’s activities in Nigeria has meant that human resources have been developed, the number of surgeries performed each year has increased, awareness about eye services has been created and there has been an increase in the number of people accessing services. To date, the initiative has raised over $37 million and impacted over 25 million people globally, including over 2.5

million who have benefited from sight restorations. The programme’s latest commitment will invest a further $20 million by the end of 2014 to provide comprehensive and sustainable eye care services to 20 million people in impoverished urban areas. But in support of the initiative, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited had its fundraising walk for the last seven years, raising over $740,000, which has helped to fund successful cataract operations for more than 14,000 persons.

‘Nigerians should partner Police in intelligence gathering’ By Odita Sunday OLICE Affairs Minister, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd.), has called on Nigerians to partner the Nigeria Police in the area of intelligence gathering, as this would help curb crime across the country. He also declared that President Goodluck Jonathan’s support for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) “has brought a lot of improvement to the Force”. He said the reform programme of the Federal Government has enhanced professionalism of the Police. According to Olubolade: “I want to categorically state that Mr. President’s support has brought a lot of improvement to the Nigerian Police. At the moment, the zonal Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) and Police Commissioners of various state commands are giving accounts of their achievements within the year, regarding curbing crimes and criminalities in the society in line with the accountability posture of the President. We thank the populace for giving information to the Police to achieve this and I urge Nigerians to do more in the New Year so that the police can serve the society better in 2014 and beyond.”

P

Some of the equipment acquired by the Ministry for the Police Olubolade, who was the former military administrator of Bayelsa State, noted that because the regular budget was not enough to cater for the operational needs and welfare of officers and men of the police, the President initiated the reform budget to ensure that neglect of the Force becomes a thing of the past. “We have the regular budget and the reform budgets targeted at making provisions for the Nigeria Police Force. The reform budget is used to boost professionalism in the Police,

while the Inspector General of Police and the Police Management Team for capital and recurrent expenditures of the Police mainly manage the regular budget. In the last two years, a lot has been accomplished within the resources provided, particularly in the reform budget.” “In the case of the reform budget, when it became clear that the releases to the ministry was dwindling as a result of the illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalisation, the President gave a clear directive

to the Vice President, who is the Chairman of the Interim Implementation Committee on Police Reform Programme, to find an alternative way of funding the reform programme. This singular initiative has brought about the needed solution to fund the reform programme.” He also commended governors of the 36 states for supporting the initiative to contribute one per cent of monthly allocation to the re-

form programme. “Also within the year 2013, the President gave various approvals to fund vital projects and programmes of the Police. It is through such approvals that the payment of acquired helicopters, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), utility vehicles, arms and ammunition, including training of helicopter pilots and Special Forces, were made. The President also approved the upgrading of the Police Academy, WUDIL Kano to a degree-awarding institution. The Academy will now function such as the Nigeria Defence Academy of the military where professional officers will graduate to take charge of the rank and file of the Police. Similarly, the Police Staff College, Jos was given a face-lift where renovation of some buildings and infrastructures, including roads, was carried out. Police Colleges and Training Schools are now receiving attention,” the minister added. He urged Nigerians to work with the Nigeria Police in intelligence gathering to reduce crimes and criminalities across the country. He also noted that efforts are being made by the President to re-organize the police.

spirit of New Year and IrateNinthe a bid to fulfill their corposocial responsibility, 7UP PEPSI International has presented gift items worth thousands of Naira to Destiny’s Child Centre (DCC). The resettlement home was initiated by the Founder/Board Chair Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realization (POWER), Mrs. Obioma Liyel-Imoke, for the rehabilitation and reintegration of former street children in the state. Making the presentation on behalf of the company at the POWER head office in Calabar, the Depot Manager Pepsi in Calabar, Mr. Emeka Onyeukwu, who was accompanied by the company’s representative Mrs. Ada Issac said their humble donation was to support Mrs Imoke’s DCC project. He commended her for her humanitarian gesture and promised to do more subsequently. He also said that the company would continue to partner her in her commitment to deliver quality life to this segment of the society. While receiving the items which include branded Tshirts, footballs, dozens of exercise books and packets of pens on behalf of Founder/Board Chair POWER, the Executive Director, POWER Mrs Tammie Kammonke thanked the company for their kind gesture and commended them for sustaining a long history of partnership with the organization as well as being alive to their corporate social responsibility. She used the opportunity to call on other well-meaning citizens and corporate entities to emulate the gesture of 7up Pepsi and donate to POWER projects to enable it continue its good woks. She stated that all the NGO’ s events held last year were deliberately designed towards mobilizing funds to sustain its programs. She, however, promised that the NGO would continue to give mileage through publicity to all who identify with it.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014 19


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20 Wenesday, January 15, 2014

In partnership with

Shipping

NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING

Factors to consider during financial planning 1. Opportunities identified in the environment 2. Organizational competence and resource capabilities 3. threats to opportunities in the environment 4. Social obligations and ethical values 5. Organizational culture and value system All the objectives, targets and strategies of an organization need to be clearly defined for the operational managers to implement. These strategies must be translated into a detailed weekly, monthly or yearly plan since this will necessitate easy monitoring in the execution of the strategies. The detailed operational plans should include what is to be done, how, by whom and when. Tactics and methodologies are chosen for efficiency assisting the chosen strategy to achieve the required result.

Economic Imperatives And Investment Policies In Multimodal Transport Operation Prof. Princewill Ugo. Owualah CONTINUED OR 60% of the total area Traffic in 1985 is Fwhere clear. Anticipated future growths elsewith the sub-region especially in Cameroun, Togo and Zaire is expected to progressively weaken this dominance. By the year 2000, Nigeria is expected to be handling about 380,000 TEU per annum, a 52% increase in the 1985 volume. The established Cote d’Ivoire traffic is expected to increase by similar rate, rising from 140,000 TEU in 1985 to a forecast of 200,000 TEU in the year 2000. Other countries within the sub-region with considerable box potential will register more rapid rates of forward growth. Cameron throughput is expected to increase by an aggregate of 92% over 1985 – 2000, rising from 60,000 TEU to an anticipated 115,000 TEU and similar rapid development is on the cards for Zaire which has a forecast to handle about double the 1985 volume of traffic in the year 2000. The potential impact of these container throughput forecasts on the major ports concerned is examined in Table 2. Sizeable traffic is indicated at the Premier Nigerian Port of Lagos/Apapa which is expected to handle some 360,000 TEU or so in the year 2000. The volume of traffic anticipated at the major Cote d’Ivoire port of Abidjan in the year 2000 is put at 215,000 TEU level, although renewed transshipment traffic growth could well see an even higher throughput figures for the above ports.

MULTIMODAL TRANSPORT (NIGERIA & THE SUB-REGION) The above analysis suggests that considerable volume of containerized cargo could be handled by multimodal transport operators in the sub-region when the present conditions of cargo handling are improved. It also shows that there are a number of advanced transport operators in the West and Central African Countries who could develop from their present quasi MTOs to full MTOs. After all, most of the MTOs of the developed countries emerged from shipping organizations and in some cases from railway companies and road hauling. Nigeria and the rest of West and Central African countries must be prepared to develop multimodal transport operations. They cannot be isolated from the effects of technological developments in cargo movements. Therefore it will be very necessary to be prepared in terms of infrastructural facilities, equipments and technical – know – how to fake full advantage of International door – to – services which could be offered by the fully developed multimodal transport operators. It is in this regard that the next chapter will be looking at the role of the freight forwarding agents in Shipping services. FINANCIAL PLANNING Planning and Formulation A multimodal transport organization does not need to have just one strategy as it could be derailed based on unexpected event. A list of possible strategies must be drawn up or developed through either brainstorming or a survey of informed opinion, both within and outside the company. The longer this is, the better for the company.

Strategies The developed strategies should be cost effective and must be designed to suit the objectives and be within the resource capacity of the organization. However, whatever strategic options an organization develops and chooses must be strictly within the framework of preestablished policy, flexible enough to accommodate changes occurring in the environment and should not be in conflict with the company’s overall organizational purpose. There are various strategies that an organization can adopt in its desire to survive and grow. Growth strategies may be internally or externally generated and also stable or dynamic. If an organization decides to grow rapidly, it may experience the trade off between liquidity to finance its growth in sales and assets as well as profitability in an attempt to gain a greater share of the market. A multimodal transport operating firm can decide to grow internally by establishing a dividend policy that has a low pay-out ratio, thereby using the retained earning to finance the growth. The growth could be through penetrating the market with low prices, better quality and efficient products, introducing new products or approaching a new market. However, in determining the firms financial planning, a model can be used by placing the firm’s strategic plans at corporate level in proper perspective; this is by adopting BCG model. (Boston Consulting Group). The models suggests growth opportunities outside the organization through mergers, acquisitions or diversification or other forms of business combination in order to enjoy the benefits accruing from the pooling together of resources.

Financial Planning A financial planner is a professional person qualified to establish a schedule pf procuring revenue known as financial resources for the year to year operation of the firm. It includes a wide range of indices such as shares, stocks, fixed interest, debenture, securities, assets, loans, bonds etc. Financial planning determines the measure of a company’s solvency, looking at the relationship between assets and its liabilities. This is usually called financial strength. Financial planning is derived from finance which is a discipline concerned with determining value and making decision, its function is to allocate resources, acquiring, investing and managing resources. Having broken down the objectives and strategies into detailed operational plans, performance must be evaluated periodically to find out if the organization is achieving its corporate objectives. Performance evaluation is the periodic review of results against set objectives and strategies to reveal whether there is any deviation from plans and if need be, taken a corrective action. BUDGETING Financial planning is rightly predicated on forecasting. Planning is taking action on the forecast to make it an economic reality. Planning is concerned with setting objectives and the means for their attainment. It is essentially concerned with the future, therefore it must be an adequate predictive model which must have objectives and lead to a higher level of performance which may not be possible without it; Planning, therefore is closely related to budgeting, budgeting has always been a tool for planning. Budget is an element of management which every organization must adopt to achieve corporate success. It is a summary of intended expenditures along with proposals for how to meet the expenditure. Budget has always been a guideline for managing future investment investments and expenses. FEATURES OF BUDGETING Social budget, production budget, manufacturing budget, expenses budget, capital expenditure budget, R & D budget, corporate budget, long and short term budget. INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Introduction The capital budget is concerned with investments whose income arises over a number of years. Cash is paid out now with a view to getting back more in the future. Examples are investments in plant, machines and property. With the growth of automation and the scarcity of property, the capital investment decision becomes increasingly critical. The sums and time scale involved are such that one false move could proves a considerable setback to the firm. The Investment Proposal The capital expenditure budget allows management to examine all proposals and compare them. It must be seen that they fit in with the long-range objective of the firm Investment appraisal is only of use where quantitative judgments are required. Qualitative aspects must be considered by management alone. However, the attempt to quantify qualitative proposals is not to be given up too easily. The use of opportunity costs and estimations of savings and goodwill arising from projects should be made to obtain an estimate of quantitative items.


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From the Desk of the

DIRECTOR GENERAL Dear Readers , Welcome to this edition of our bi-weekly journal on Maritime issues. As stated in our last publication, we will be continuing our series on understanding local content and economic imperatives and investment policies in multimodal transport operation in the Maritime Sector by two renowned experts; Mr. Amah .A. Amah, Managing Consultant, Alpha Global Link Limited and Prof. Princewill Ugo. Owualah, a Professor of Transport Economics and Logistics. I strongly believe that at the end of these series we shall have more knowledge-filled individuals streaming into the Maritime Sector to partake of the many opportunities therein. This year it is our believe and expectation that with all efforts that the policies concerning the growth of local capacity within the Maritime Sector will all come into active manifestations. This means that more Nigerians will find themselves fully operating as indigenous stakeholders (this is a dream of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping). We wish all of you a Prosperous New Year. Do not hesitate to send in any relevant article. Happy Reading. God Bless.

IFY ANAZONWU-AKERELE Director General Nigerian Chamber of Shipping Info@nigerianshipping.org

LCD’s in Nigeria’s Maritime and Shipping (II) By Amah A. Amah

ADDRESSING THE LIMITATIONS in maritime and shipStheTAKEHOLDERS ping, as well as those in other sectors of economy in Nigeria are always very active and aggressive in pursuing enactment of laws that will stimulate their operations positively. This is evident in the current pressured being piled for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). There was that frenzy and emotion, that expectation and then that climax at the enactment of the Cabotage Bill into law on the 30th of April, 2003. After that, there a sudden anti climax that seemed that implementation was difficult to commence. Towards the date set for implementation, practitioners and interests in maritime and shipping worried that what was important for the regulatory agency was not to monitor compliance and enforce provisions of the law, but to commence collection of the 2% of the Cabotage contract fees set out in the Act. It was however clear that structures for monitoring and compliance to compel foreign operators to exit coastal trade was not visible. Later on, the Federal Ministry of Transportation came out with guidelines for implementation of Cabotage Act. Cargoes covered under the Act include: • Goods and passengers originating from one port or point in Nigeria to another within Nigeria It is however important to note that emphasis is placed on the loading port or point and the port of discharge or destination of the cargo. It includes cargoes carried on, through or under Nigeria’s waters to any other place in Nigeria. • Cargoes originating from Nigeria destined for Nigeria’s port or market but carried via port outside Nigeria. • Cargoes carried from one point in Nigeria to another whether of commercial value or not Non Cabotage cargoes are: • Cargo originating outside Nigeria and destined for Nigeria’s port, that is international cargo, provided that there is no discharge midstream or at a port, jetty or terminal within Nigeria • Cargo originating from Nigeria but destined for ports outside Nigeria Under the Act, the following are listed as Cabotage vessels: •Passenger vessels •Crew boats •Bunkering vessels •Fishing trawlers •Barges •Off-shore service vessels •Tugs •Anchor handling tugs and supply vessels •Floating Petroleum Storage (FPSOs and FSOs) •Tankers •Carriers •Any other craft or vessel for carriage on, through or under Nigeria’s waters of persons, property or any substance whatsoever The import of this is that Nigerian operators have exclusive preserve of business in these operations in coastal trade. It is however discoverable that in any law, there are loopholes either deliberately created or present due to myopia on the path of those that drafted the law. In the case of Cabotage Act, there is a deliberate creation of lacunae that empowers the supervising minister to grant waiver to foreign companies to provide Cabotage services. This is however in the event that no indigenous operator has the capacity or technical know-how to efficiently render the service. In this way, Nigeria’s Cabotage Act created an opening to allowed foreign interest to enter and continue to take advantage of the local trade. This is not the case with

Jones Act of 1920 of the United States of America (USA), which Nigeria’s Cabotage Act was to be fashioned after. Yes! It is true that the USA is more advanced in shipping technology than Nigeria, but the closed Cabotage (Jones) Act helped to increase the country’s capacity in coastal trade, reinforced and stabilised its security and gave the country total control of operations within its territorial waters and economic zones. Records show that over 2.5 billion tonnes of cargo moves in the maritime trade of the USA annually and over 1 billion tonnes, about 41% are generated under the coastal trade and regulated by the Jones Act. In any case, the complexity of the Nigerian system has affected the efficient implementation and functioning of Cabotage law. That is why more that 10 years after the law was enacted, the waiver window has not narrowed down to a target that should be tending to zero level. It has been frequently alleged that frivolous waivers were granted and that monitoring of compliance and efficient implementation of the Act were inadequate. It is for this reason that indigenous Ship Owners’ Association (ISAN) started private sector based monitoring and using the platform of the courts to enthrone enforcement that ought to be effected by the regulatory body. It was discovered that many foreign operators violated the provisions of Cabotage without being apprehended or prosecuted. This worried indigenous ship owners who are at the receiving end to take it upon itself to arrest and prosecute contravening operators. Beyond enforcement, there is need for Nigerian operators to build adequate capacity in technology and personnel to efficiently offer services with the vessels, craft and areas listed under Cabotage and other local content legislations. The following are Cabotage areas: •Nigeria’s inland waters and lakes •Nigeria’s coastal waters •Nigeria’s territorial waters •Nigeria’s exclusive economic zone •Islands (natural and artificial) within Nigeria’s waters, platforms, rigs, workshops and other such structures

•Any carriage in, under or on Nigeria’s waters Limitations of Cabotage can summarily be viewed under the following subjects: 1. Loopholes in the way the law was structured 2. Monitoring of compliance and enforcement 3.Local capacity and competence 4. Waiver clause 1. Wording of the Law Excluding cargoes loaded anywhere outside Nigeria’s waters in Cabotage Act, even when such cargoes are destined for Nigeria created a big loophole in the Act. This has not only affected indigenous shipping interests adversely, but has also become seriously counter-productive to Nigeria’s economy. This lapse must be seen to be injurious to the economy and be erased immediately through provisions of the Act. For instance, when ISAN made the bold move to arrest vessels that it perceived to have violated provisions of the Cabotage Act, thereby making its members lose business, several ships were arrested. They include MT Union Grace, MT Lovell Sea, MT Makhambet, among others. The ship owners’ body won the case against MT Lovell Sea. In the suit against MT Makhambet the ship was released because Justice Okeke of Federal High Court Lagos held that the wet cargo was loaded off-shore Cotonou and hence not covered under Cabotage trade. This provision in the guidelines has done Nigeria so much disservice; to evade Cabotage law, foreign interests and their Nigerian collaborators use foreign vessel to freight their cargoes locally after routing the cargo through Cotonou instead of Lagos or any other port in Nigeria. Charges and revenue that would have accrued to Nigeria under Cabotage will be lost; rather fees will be paid at the port or point where the mother vessel will be lightened in STS (ship to ship) transfer. 2. Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement (MCE) Poor MCE can result due to inadequacy in capacity or compromise. ISAN has demonstrated that enforcement is possible even as a private sector stakeholder. There is hence the need for Nigerian Maritime

Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) saddled with the responsibility of regulation and enforcement to always rise to the occasion and weed the system of faulty or exploitative Cabotage operations – path of why the agency collects 2% surcharge on Cabotage contracts 3. Local Capacity and Competence Quality shipping and efficient operations cannot be slaughtered on the altar of local content. As a matter of fact, content will decrease rather that increase if sub standard shipping is encouraged in a bid to allow local operators. Local practitioners should demonstrate efficiency and their competences in any area they seek to take over from foreign practitioners. They must be dogged to establish themselves, go the extra mile to use the force of the law to compel principals and contract awarding companies in areas covered by Cabotage to allow them have their right under the law. This has been exemplified by ISAN. 4. Waiver Clause Under the Cabotage Act, the Minister of Transport is empowered to grant the following waivers: • Waiver on the requirement for the vessel to be wholly owned by Nigerians • Waiver on the requirement for the vessel to be wholly manned by Nigerian crew • Waiver on the requirement for the vessel to be built in Nigeria The window offered by the waiver has slowed down the pace of growth achieved under the Cabotage Act. As a result of the poor capacity, weak technical know-how and unavailability of financing, Nigerians aid the more organised and equipped foreign interests to truncate the Act to earn peanuts at their own detriment and that of the economy. The indigenous operators should be more ambitious and also use the local content laws as spring board to leverage and develop the expected capacity so that the objectives of the local content policy will be actualised. In the last serial, attempt will be made to look at financing – the CVFF, etcetera and the way forward. Amah A. Amah is a transport planner and researcher


22 Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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24 MONEY Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Okonkwo assumes duties as Fidelity Bank’s boss, lauds predecessor By Chijioke Nelson HE succession process at Fidelity Bank T Plc has been concluded as the out-going Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Reginald Ihejiahi, has proceeded on terminal leave. However, Nnamdi Okonkwo, earlier announced as CEO-designate in October last year, has now assumed duties as the substantive Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2014, as his appointment has since been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). With this successful transition, Okonkwo becomes the third chief executive of Fidelity Bank, which for 25 years had only two. Until his appointment, Okonkwo was the Executive Director in charge of the South Directorate of the bank. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Benin and an MBA in Banking and Finance from Enugu State University. Okonkwo, a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme of INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France and an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, has also attended other business and management training programmes locally and overseas. He has over 24 years experience in various aspects of banking covering domestic operations, corporate finance, corporate banking, retail, and commercial/consumer banking. Before joining Fidelity, he had traversed the industry from United Bank for Africa, rising to the position of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, UBA Ghana, and Regional Chief Executive Officer for UBA West African Monetary Zone, in charge of Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Between 2004 and 2006, he was General Manager in Standard Trust; Guaranty Trust Bank, at various times as Account Officer and Relationship Manager in Corporate Bank and Manager; Regional Director of UBA in charge of branches in the FCT, Niger and Kogi States; and Divisional Head for the Corporate Bank Directorate between 2009 and 2012, before coming back to Fidelity Bank as Executive Director. In his maiden address to the staff at the weekend, Okonkwo expressed gratitude to Ihejiahi for his achievements at the bank

Okonkwo over the last 10 years. He pointed out that under the former CEO, the bank had grown from being in the top 30 banks in Nigeria, with 17 branches;  N20

billion in Deposits; N30 billion in total assets; and less than 150,000 customers, to rank among the top 10 banks with over $1 billion in equity; over N1 trillion total assets; and serving 2.3 million customers through nearly 220 branches with presence in all the state capitals and major commercial centres in Nigeria. The workforce also grew exponentially to about 6,650 and now the sixth largest bank in Nigeria, by shareholders’ funds, and one of the few companies that have consistently paid dividends, without fail, in the last eight years. According to him, “under him, Fidelity Bank had some of the landmark international financial transactions in the industry, including the issue of Global Deposit Receipts (GDR) in 2007 and the $300 million debut issuance of internationally-traded Eurobond in 2013, while the bank is also rated highly by two International Rating Agencies – Fitch (BBB+) and S&P (BBB+), as well as locally by Agusto & Co. (BBB+). However, unveiling his plans at a Town Hall meeting with senior management staff drawn from all locations across the country

last week, Okonkwo promised to build on the successes of the predecessor, using them as pedestal to take the bank to a higher level. Already, the new CEO was formally introduced to other CEOs in the industry by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at the yearly retreat of the CBN with Bank chiefs in Calabar, last December. Commenting on the new era in bank, the Chairman of the Bank, Chief Chris Ezeh, said: “We are very pleased to have made this choice and have no doubt that Nnamdi will bring his solid banking experience to bear on the task of moving the bank to a higher level. We, at the board, will give him our full support to excel”. One of the leaders of the shareholders’ associations, at the weekend, was full of praise for Fidelity Bank for “their style and approach, which epitomise quiet efficiency and professionalism.” To him, the appointment of Okonkwo, whom he described as very experienced, was a sure way to continue the tradition of professionalism and integrity that Fidelity Bank has been associated with.

Setting financial system stability benchmark in 2014 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 From the U.S. Federal Reserve, the banks of England, Canada, Japan and the European Central Bank interest rates were held at between 0.25 and 1.00 per cent in the first half of 2013, with the Monetary Policy Rates remaining low. However, in most developing and emerging economies, though monetary policy remained accommodating, interest rates were causes for concern to the real sector. In Nigeria, economic growth remained impressive in the first half of 2013, with projected GDP growth of 6.56 and 6.18 per cent in the first and second quarters of 2013, respectively. The non-oil sector continued to drive growth, contributing 87.1 per cent to GDP in the review period. Although oil production declined, oil contributed 12.9 per cent to the gross output. The CBN maintained its tight monetary policy stance, which significantly moderated inflationary pressures, with the year-on-year headline inflation rate decelerating to single-digit in the review period. Rates at the foreign exchange market were relatively stable. Gross external reserves rose by $1.13 billion to $44.96 billion at the end of June 2013, which was adequate to finance 11 months

of imports. The dominance of a few banks in the industry continued in the first half of 2013. The maturity mismatch and the near-absence of longterm deposits continued to constrain the ability of banks to create long-tenor risk assets necessary for economic development. The asset quality of banks declined slightly, but remained within the maximum threshold of five per cent. On the other hand, the level of capitalization of the banks improved during the period. The results of the examination of banks and other financial institutions showed improvement in risk ratings. The CBN also continued the implementation of its financial inclusion strategy, which targets a reduction of the current financial exclusion rate of 46.3 per cent to 20 per cent in 2020. Also, AMCON announced its planned redemption of bonds held by private investors at maturity, while the revised Guide to Bank Charges became effective from April 1, 2013. It is also worth noting that the deposit money banks did not key into the Guide to Bank Charges immediately, as months went by before some started applying the interest rate directive on savings accounts products. Some are still not averaging 3,6 per cent up till now.

Some significant milestones were achieved in the payments system, like the nationwide commencement of cheque truncation, a reduction in the clearing cycle to T+1, as well as an extension of the third party cheque encashment limit of N150,000, nationwide. At the end of June 2013, 10 banks had complied with the requirement for divestment from non-banking activities, in line with the Regulation on the Scope of Banking Activities and Ancillary Matters and six of the compliant banks were issued with commercial banking licences, while four were being considered for the issuance of licences. Three other banks opted for a holding company structure and were granted approval to restructure their operations and two of the three banks had fully complied with the provisions of the Regulation and were granted holding company licences as other financial institutions, while the third bank was granted an extension of the deadline for compliance. However, seven other banks were yet to fully comply. Access to finance through the microfinance banks (MFBs) improved during the review period. Total assets of the MFBs increased by 25.2 per cent to N278.9 billion at the end of June 2013, from N222.8 billion at endDecember 2012.


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Money Financial system stability: Theme for 2014? The nation’s economy has just ended 2013 fiscal calendar with claims of stable financial system and supporting figures, though in general comparison, it appears a mixed development. Could this be a benchmark or stepping stone? CHIJIOKE NELSON writes. INANCIAL stability’ is the resilience of the Fshocks, financial system to unanticipated adverse while enabling the continuing smooth functioning of the financial system’s intermediation process. Indeed, a stable financial system contributes to broader economic growth and rising living standards, while the financial system facilitates one of the most important functions in the welfare of its citizens- supporting the ability of households and firms to hold or transfer financial assets with confidence. According to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the efforts of the regulatory and fiscal authorities in addressing the challenges of the global economic and financial crises to achieve higher growth and employment were evident in the first half of 2013. The projected weaker global demand, slower growth in key emerging markets and slow recovery of the Eurozone required the monetary authorities to sustain the implementation of monetary and macro-prudential policies to achieve financial system stability. For the Nigerian economy, some impressive macroeconomic achievements in the first half of 2013 were recorded despite challenges. In specific terms, the country recorded strong GDP growth, single digit inflation, exchange rate stability, capital market recovery and growth in external reserves, as well as maintained a stable banking system. However, oil production was less than expected owing to supply disruptions and high proportion of foreign portfolio investments in the financial markets presented a potential risk in the event of sudden capital reversals. In response to these developments, the relevant authorities were assessed as taking measures, especially keeping the deficit within the threshold of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, building up foreign reserves, though the measures were not totally sufficient to stem the tide throughout the whole year. The Deputy Governor of CBN, who is saddled with the responsibility of managing the finan-

Moghalu cial stability, Dr Kingsley Moghalu, said the stability report of the country for the first half of 2013, was however focused on challenges and the provision of insights on the efforts of the apex bank to entrench a stable system. The imperatives of the report, according to him, was necessitated by the fact that several policies were pursued in 2013, especially as it relates to financial inclusion, which incorporates electronic banking, agent banking and a cash-less economy and efforts at strengthening the financial system, including the takeoff of the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIR-

Mustapha Chike-Obi, AMCON boss SAL), reforms in the mortgage sector and the various real sector intervention initiatives. The mortgage finance sector, hitherto constrained by the near-absence of long-term funding, received a boost with the grant by the CBN of approval-in-principle for the incorporation of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company in June 2013, scripted to intermediate between mortgage originators and the capital market to access long-term funds to refinance mortgage loan portfolios. Global output was projected to grow at 3.1 per cent in 2013, the same rate as in 2012, owing to weak demand and growth in major

emerging economies, persisting crisis in the Euro area, and weak expansion of the US economy. These factors, combined with improved supply of commodities, were also significant in moderating the global inflation rate to a projected 1.5 per cent in 2013, from the 2.0 per cent recorded in 2012. Crude oil price was projected to decline to an average of $100.09 per barrel in 2013 with possible reduced earnings for Nigeria, given her high dependence on crude oil exports.

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Forex trading: Gains, losses and skills challenge FTER many years of speculations and A unstructured trading system, but now with about $5 trillion being traded daily around the world on the foreign exchange (forex) market, it is fast becoming popular trading instrument, especially for Nigerians. But ForexTime (FXTM) said the watchword is caution- knowledge and skills. At the just concluded forex trading seminar for finance correspondents and demo contest, organized by the firm, facts emerged that the globally acclaimed platform could offer two most important outcomes- promotion of economic wellbeing through wealth creation and financial losses at the other extreme. The possibility of either outcome has however, been hinged on professionalism. According to FXTM Nigeria, the platform, which is assessed as the largest and most liquid market in the world, comes with almost the same degree of loss, but is currently luring investors globally, especially those that are keen to profit taking. Perhaps, as part of its contributions to eas- Dashin ing the entry into the market and exiting spiked and stayed robust so far, due to without hurt, the firm, which origin is unexpectedly strong and persistent rallies traced from Cyprus, under the business mag- in the eurozone and weakness in some nate, Andrey Dashin, said it has the provision major currencies; demand from instituof excellent services to clients, which are tional clients; and increased flows in world unrivalled in the forex industry as its mis- equity markets. There have also been sion and priority. “We pride ourselves on our strong mergers and acquisitions in the last professionalism, skills and confidence, one year, which boosted turnover in the which we draw on to ensure success in every world’s largest financial market, as large endeavour we make.” volumes of currencies need to be traded for The company said it is strategically posi- cross-border transactions. For example, tioned to support the overwhelming local global mergers and acquisitions volume interest in forex trading, as it currently initi- was more than $158 billion as early as ated a promo to get more Nigeria equipped February last year, more than double the for the business and would take students activity in the same period in 2012. from the basic rudiments of trading to certi“It’s not just leveraged customers betting fication. on where forex is going, it’s more real Report showed that currency volumes have money business, more hedging, bringing

longer-term players back into the market,” the managing director of FX Trading at Barclays in London, Peter Taylor, said. In recent years, it hasn’t been like this. The euro zone debt crisis scared investors and confined them to the sidelines, while low volatility has curbed currency moves. But that trend may have changed. Most banks saw record volumes last year, while large forex trading venues such as EBS and Thomson Reuters saw sharp increases as well. That fed optimism about healthier revenues for most market participants. In Nigeria, many things are now redirecting people’s attention to the potency of forex trading. For example, the rising unemployment rate have predisposed many graduates to idle times and chance helping them to create wealth when successful as a matter of necessity. Others are attracted by the alluring news of gains inherent in forex trading. Still, others are making a vocation of the trading platform, investing in knowledge and skills about the operations of the global market window However, forex contribution to total fixedincome revenue from the top global investment banks has fallen since 2008 due to competition from other currency trading platforms and low volatility, said London-based financial analysis firm Coalition. In 2012, forex revenues at major banks fell 22 per cent to $22 billion from the previous year, according to Coalition’s survey, which tracks financials of the 10 largest investment banks led by Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Barclays. Recently, the Chief Executive Officer of ForexTime, Olga Rybalkina, said: “Forex is an exciting and dynamic asset class to trade and it is important that any

investors looking to trade take the time to educate themselves and truly understand how the market works, before making any financial commitments. “Forex is one of the most volatile and exciting markets to trade, with many opportunities for smart investors to benefit.  However, forex trading is a serious matter and just like it is important to train and prepare for a skilled job, it is essential to ensure you have the proper training before commencing in any trades.” According to her, the company is in the business of offering stimulating courses that will serve as launch pad to intending forex trader and provide the individual with an understanding of how to trade in the Forex market, as well as key skills and systems for forecasting currency movements. The courses are suitable for all levels of experience, from those who are new to forex trading to more experienced traders looking to refine their trading strategies to reach maximum potential. The course includes an introduction to basics, such as the market mechanics, how to open and close a trade and how to read forex charts and detailed teaching on how to devise the right strategies for your goals, developing advanced trading strategies and interactive session. With its strategies and programmes, FXTM demystifies frequently asked questions about forex trading, like “how does the fortex market work? What is the life of a trader like? How can one limit ones’ risks? Facts and fictions are also distinguished, leaving clients in the right frame of mind. There is also a service provision for investors to put their fund in the hands of an experienced trader, while investors can evaluate the trading performance from across the world.


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i-Tech&Telecoms Attaining MDGs through broadband penetration Affordable broadband connectivity, services and applications are essential to modern society, offering widely recognized social and economic benefits. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, in this report, examines, its importance to Nigeria’s meeting the Millenium Development Goals. Excerpts. N the year 2000, when the Millenium DevelIbroadband opment Goals (MDGs) were established, was in its infancy, and little tangible evidence existed with regard to how broadband would impact social and economic development. Today, Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have grown considerably, more and more people are connected, and broadband is improving people’s lives, expanding their choices, and accelerating progress towards achieving the MDGs. Indeed, in developed economies, broadband is seen to have helped deliver a wide range of services, from services directly related to the MDGs, to those in support of broader citizen participation (such as e-government), or services leveraged across different sectors to bring more people into the formal economy, or earn money from different sources/abroad (such as m-money and m-commerce). For emphasis, the MDGs are eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. Source: ITU Recalled that all 189 United Nations memin broadband infrastructure. For example, an ber states at the time (there are 193 currently) analysis for the European Commission estiand at least 23 international organizations mates that broadband can create more than committed to help achieve the MDGs by 2015, two million jobs in Europe by 2015, and an inwhich include: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary educa- crease in gross domestic product (GDP) of at tion; promote gender equality and empower- least EUR 636 billion. In Germany, research carried out early in 2010 ing women; reduce child mortality rates; to predicts that the construction of broadband improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, networks will create almost a million jobs over malaria, and other diseases; ensure environthe next decade. Meanwhile, a study in Brazil mental sustainability and develop a global has revealed that broadband added up to 1.4 partnership for development. per cent to the employment growth rate. In Today, like in other developing economies, China, every 10 per cent increase in broadband Nigeria inclusive, the challenge of poverty; penetration is seen as contributing an addigender inequality; environmental degradational 2.5 per cent to GDP growth.  tions; high child mortality rate; increased ITU believes that, in a world of “digital opporscourge of malaria reign unabated. tunity”, the burning issue is what price will be In fact, the World Health Organisation estimated shortage of almost 4.3 million medical paid by those who fail to make the global, regional, national and local choices for broadstaff worldwide — the most severe shortages band inclusion for all — choices which must be being in the poorest countries. made sooner rather than later? This is a stark But to bridge most of these challenges, the warning in the light of huge disparities in International Telecommunications Union broadband affordability worldwide. (ITU) noted that broadband should become For Nigeria to deliver its broadband promise universal, stressing that it has potential to among other things enrich and improved the to the people and meet part of the MDGs in aneducation sector and create better healthcare other two years, ITU said Nigeria must solve the lingering power crisis, stressing that this is cruservices to the benefits the economy, as well cial to the success of current efforts aimed at inas society. creasing the delivery of broadband across the ITU said broadband can enable a range of nation. services, from finding and exchanging medIn its report entitled “Strategies for the Promoical information via basic e-mail and web tion of Broadband Services and Infrastructure: browsing, to real-time high-definition video transmissions of medical procedures for diag- a Case Study of Nigeria”, the ITU highlighted strategies currently underway in Nigeria to ennostic and training purposes, stressing that these health services can contribute to achiev- hance broadband penetration in Africa’s largest nation, and urged the government to ing many of the MDGs. partner with other stakeholders to ensure According to ITU Secretary General, Hamadoune Toure, broadband is the next tip- power supply does not become a major stumbling block in improving broadband access naping point, the next truly transformational technology, stressing that it can generate jobs, tionwide. “Efforts to deliver broadband across Nigeria drive growth and productivity, and underpin will be a mirage unless the key problem of long-term economic competitiveness. “It is also the most powerful tool we have at our dis- power is addressed by government in partnerposal in our race to meet the MDGs, which are ship with stakeholders across the ecosystem,” the ITU said. now very close.” It also decried the incessant cable cuts resultIn the area of education, One of ITU’s report ing from road repair and construction projects on Uruguay showed that every child has been and other civil activities. Other challenges it provided with a laptop and Internet access at school. The total expense of the project, according to ITU came to less than five per cent of the country’s education budget — but the “connected” children are likely to reap tremendous educational rewards. Besides, recent research suggested that positive returns can be expected from investment

identified were cable theft and acts of vandalism. “Road repairs and other civil activity usually result in network breakage, while criminal theft of cables with the hope of selling them is another common form of vandalism. These are undermining efforts by broadband investors to seamlessly deliver high speed internet services,” it said. It called for adequate coordination during civil works such as road construction to prevent prolonged periods of service disruption, and advised the government to become active in solving the various problems it has identified. “The government needs to spot emerging problems like vandalism and be quick to help rather than waiting to see what happens,” the ITU said. The global body also stressed the need for the Nigerian Communications Commission to provide regular and timely public access to information on the country’s Internet service subscriptions. “Whilst NCC is exemplary in terms of the data it produces covering mobile voice, there is significantly less publicly available data on fixed and mobile broadband,” ITU said. Going forward, the United Nations specialised agency that coordinates the global ICT industry, noted that the Nigerian telecoms industry regulator needed to regularly provide information that are up-to-date on subscriber numbers for both fixed and mobile Internet in the country.  Already, minister of Communications Technology Omobola Johnson has said that if Nigeria achieves its targets of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017, the ICT could increase the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by three per cent. Currently at eight per cent, Johnson said that 11 per cent can be achieved if the targets are met.   “Today the ICT sector contributes just over eight per cent to GDP. If we achieve our targets of a five-fold increase in broadband penetration by 2017, from six per cent to 30 per cent, we will deliver through broadband, a

Efforts to deliver broadband across Nigeria will be a mirage unless the key problem of power is addressed by government in partnership with stakeholders across the ecosystem

phenomenal three per cent increase in GDP,” she explained. Like the ITU recommended that countries should have a National Broadband Plan, Johnson highlighted that the National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap detailed exactly how the country planned to achieve the increase in broadband penetration. “The National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap will articulate how we will deliver these broadband targets local government by local government and state by state.” In a plight to achieve the targets set out, she asked that state governors work together with telecommunications operators. “I am glad that state governors will host the ICT infrastructure that will deliver fast broadband rollout, but they must be ready to support telecoms operators to achieve the goals of the National Broadband Policy that was approved and released last year.” “She explained that if state governors allow telecoms infrastructure to be built quickly at reduced cost in their states, it would help deliver all the benefits of broadband in the country  before 2017. The demand on existing infrastructure has reached breaking point because the private sector is not investing quickly enough”. But challenges are due to crop up, and Johnson vowed to resolve them as quickly as possible. “As a responsible government and an effective regulator, we must intervene in issues that tend to drag speedy rollout of broadband infrastructure in the country,” she concluded. Like other stakeholders, meeting the MDGs will require firm and speedy execution of the strategy document, which has been said, could contribute about N190 billion to the country’s GDP in 2015. The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, described the issuance of the broadband plan as a right step in the right direction, saying there was the need for strategic partnerships to implement the plan and facilitate broadband realisation for Nigeria and in support of the transformation agenda of the government. He also called on the government to focus on driving broadband adoption and utilisation, noting that government’s patronage of readily available local applications and solutions would be a great boost just as partnerships with telecoms operators, ICT players and development partners will also help to drive


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26 i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Expert seeks revival of fixed telephony to boost broadband expansion By Adeyemi Adepetun S nigeria matches toward A the targeted broadband regime, the Managing Director of Jetlink nigeria Limited, an Information and Communications Technology firm, John nwosu has said that the country would need to revive fixed telephony use if broadband must be deepened. nwosu harped that globally, fixed telephone were seen to have accelerated the deepening of broadband. In a chat with The Guardian recently, the Jetlink boss said that nigeria needed to have strong fixed telephone regimes, stressing that apart from helping to enhance broadband, landlines create jobs and transform the economy.     While calling for the resuscitation of the moribund nigeria Telecommunications Limited (nITEL), nwosu said that broadband facilities in the country were still a major challenge, “but I believe that if nITEL had been functional, we would have deepen broadband penetration than what we have

presently.” Indeed, the fortunes of nigeria’s fixed wired and wireless operators have continued to sustain a downward profile, as players in the sub-sector lost about 48,272 subscribers between January and September 2013. The operators are presently battling to retain the confidence of the remaining 362,392 consumers. The Executive Vice Chairman of the nigerian Communications Commission (nCC), Dr. Eugene Juwah in one of his interviews, had lamented the diminishing fortunes of fixed telephony in the country, but promised that the regulatory agency had put in place measures to revive fixed telecommunications, including licensing of new operators. He had said: “We have broad plans for broadband deployment to enable us create and impact the whole nation. To implement this, we have adopted the open access model as the plat-

Fixed line form. We are also looking at resuscitating the fixed line sector by giving out new licences and in doing this increase telephony penetration.” The decline of fixed telephony over the years can be linked to two main factors: The major provider of fixed telephony services, the nITEL, has been lying comatose as a result of several unsuccessful attempts to bring life back into it in the last 10year period, and what has accounted for the dwindling number of fixed telephony is the ease of obtaining mobile lines. Industry experts, however,

believe that nigerians were abandoning fixed telephony because the lines are not available. According to the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of nigeria (ALTOn), Gbenga Adebayo in one his interviews with The Guardian, there was need to review fixed lines operations in the country, stressing that there was no place in the world, where mobile services have replaced fixed services. “Today, we are talking about bandwidth and capacity, but the kind of bandwidth that is required to provide good broadband access to homes and offices in only available through fixed lines that providing the same services over wireless medium. This is because it is more expensive in terms of economic costs and resources,” he stated. Furthermore, the Jetlink boss, who called on government to support IT services, stressed that technology remained an enabler for the

IBM commits $1b to new supercomputer process vast amounts of information faster than the human brain. IBM plans to farm out Watson’s abiliWatson, its Jeopardy-winning super- ties to businesses and consumers via its cloud-computing infrastructure, computer. Softlayer. Watson, named after former IBM The company said that the investpresident Thomas Watson, beat its ment came in response to a growing human rivals in the U.S. TV quiz demand for cognitive computing - a show in 2011. The investment includes a $100 mil- more intuitive, human-centric form of artificial intelligence that underlion fund to boost innovation stands the nuances and complexities around Watson-related developer of language and can learn from expeapps. Michael Rhodin, former senior vice rience and new evidence. president of the company’s software “We have reached the inflection solutions group, will run the new di- point where the interest is overwhelming and we recognised we need vision. Watson aims to mimic how people to move faster,” said Vice President of think, using natural language capa- Watson Business, Stephen Gold. Jamie Popkin, of research firm Gartbilities and analytics, but can OMPUTInG giant IBM has said C that it would invest $1 billion (£608m) creating a new division for

ner, said: “I think [IBM has] developed something that takes us to the next step where information management needs to go.” It envisages a number of “powered by IBM Watson” assistive apps coming on to the market, such as Fluid’s expert personal shopper and Welltok’s personalised health plans. Healthcare professionals are likely to access Watson’s huge database when using diagnostic equipment linked wirelessly to smartphones and other mobile devices, experts believe. Investment bank Credit Agricole has predicted that Watson spin-offs could account for more than 12 per cent of IBM’s total revenue by 2018.

economy. nwosu said that his firm recently signed an agreement with a global enterprise application services firm, SAPCLE to expand IT services across the country. He said that SAPCLE had extensive experiences in transforming and automating enterprises with business processing consulting; packaged software selection, implementation, and upgrades among others. According to him, Jetlink built an ecosystem with SAP-

CLE to bring value added services to the nigerian market and support large, medium and small enterprises so automate their business through technology, “with this achievement, Jetlink can offer ‘one-stopshop’ for all IT requirements of hardware, software solutions and services.” He explained that the synergy built is to engage customers for automation, optimisation, sustenance and maintaining customer IT requirements.             

Cultural site, Iyaeko.com debuts in nigeria nEW site, which hoped to focus and cater for niche auATagged, diences has debut in the nigerian market. iyaeko.com, the site is an image based social networking site focused on using technology to bridge cultural differences around the world. The Iya Eko platform, which is built around Facebook owned image-sharing application, Instagram was developed in Borehamwood, United Kingdom, by computer software consultant Adetola Oredope. The site, according to Oredope was focused on showcasing the very best of culturally inspired fashion, events, style and photography. Unveiled last December, the page has, according to the developer recorded over 8,000 page views within the first week, adding “there has been so far, over 1,000 regular visitors to the site spending an average of five minutes viewing the more than 16,000 culturally inspired images currently available on the platform.” Oredope said that the Iya Eko platform aimed to be a global image sharing site that plays host to different cultural inspirations around the world, making it possible for anyone to upload culturally inspired images in order to inspire others with their creations. In the long-term, he said the site planned to provide a two-side market place where service providers such as fabric makers, fashion designers, event planners, entertainers, interior decorators, et al, can inspire users of the site with their creations, adding that the users of the site would also have the chance to choose from a variety of inspirations as well as make direct contact to the service providers. Adetola, who holds a PhD in Computing and Electronic Systems added: “Having a very strong team with highly specialised skills and good advisors experienced in helping start-ups survive early days are very important to me at the moment.” Furthermore, “it is our desire to get the different mobile applications up and running in the soonest possible time, as 60 per cent of the traffic to the site comes


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 i-Tech & Telecoms 27

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Global PC shipments slide to 82.6 million OR the seventh consecutive Fments quarter, global PC shipcontinued to suffer decline, as a total of 82.6 million units was shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6.9 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2012, according to preliminary results by Gartner. Principal Analyst at Gartner, Mikako Kitagawa noted that although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, there is believe that markets, such as the U.S., have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows. “Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets. In emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is most likely a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet. As a result, the adoption of PCs in emerging markets will be slower as consumers skip PCs for tablets,” he stated. The Gartner report noted that HP and Lenovo have been virtually neck and neck for the top global position in the PC market throughout 2013, but that Lenovo took the lead in the fourth quarter, as it did last quarter, accounting for 18.1 per cent of global PC shipments. Accordingly, it stressed that Lenovo’s victory over the top position became apparent in 4Q13, adding that the OEM showed strong growth in all regions, except Asia/Pacific, where China continued to be a problematic country for the company. Gartner informed that HP experienced a shipments decline of 7.2 per cent in the fourth quarter. U.S. and Latin America were two regions where HP could not increase its shipments, and it experienced a steeper decline compared with the regional average. Dell was reported to have continued to maintain the third

position and accounted for 11.8 per cent of the market. With the completion of the leveraged buyout, Dell was said to have redefined its strategic focus onto its PC and device businesses. Dell’s focus is now beyond its traditional strength in the professional PC market; its focus is now also on consumer PCs, particularly in emerging markets. Acer and Asus’s ranking remained unchanged compared with a year ago. Both companies have more focus on tablets, and their fourth-quarter results clearly proved their strategic focus. Kitagawa said that Acer had established a strong position in the Chromebook market, while Asus had built a solid reputation as a tablet vendor. PCs are still strategic products for both companies, but share gain is not the top priority for them. In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 15.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 7.5 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2012. Despite a 10.3 per cent decline in shipments, HP continued to be the number one vendor in the U.S., as it accounted for 26.5 per cent of shipments. “Holiday sales of technology products were strong in the U.S. market, but consumer spending during the holidays did not come back to PCs as tablets were one of the hottest holiday items. “We think that the U.S. PC market has bottomed out. A variety of new form factors, such as hybrid notebooks, drew holiday shoppers’ attention, but the market size was very small at the time. Lowering the price point of thin and light products started encouraging the PC replacement and potentially some PC growth in 2014”, said Kitagawa. PC shipments in EMEA totaled 25.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6.7 per cent decline from the same period last year. However, the decline

Digital Direct targets three Nigerian cities for market expansion By Adeyemi Adepetun IGITAL Direct, Information and Communications D Technology (ICT) retailing and consulting firm, has revealed plans for wider market expansion in 2014. The firm, which has its head quarter in Lagos, has commenced the expansion project of its retail branch network with the launching branches in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Awka. According to the firm, the new branches would bear the hallmarks of the Digital Direct outlet, offering best prices for the latest technology/computing products, capacity for high volume transactions; grade A after sales support and a technology training centre. Managing Director, Digital Direct, Tolu Ijogun, while speaking to the media on the firm’s 2014 plans said that the huge expansion programme was triggered by the success of Digital Direct’s experience store in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. Ijogun further stated that the new branches would continue with the tradition of triggering an encounter between the consumer and the technology of renowned OEMs globally and locally – HP, Microsoft, Samsung, Dell, Zinox, Toshiba, Lenovo, Canon, Huawei, Cisco, Dlink among others. He assured that as in Lagos, there would be OEM presence in the new branches to cater to all technical and product enquiries, backed by highly skilled and efficient workforce to ensure maximum client satisfaction and service delivery. In addition, he said that each branch would have a training facility capable of training between one to 50 people on all hardware and software products under the Digital Direct portfolio. The Digital Direct M.D. also revealed that the firm offered a flexible payment plan for staff of corporate organisations and NGOs, with minimal interest rates to accommodate the cost of funds and would be bringing this and other value added services to all customers and corporate organizations in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Awka. Digital Direct is run by a team of young Nigerian professionals from the United Kingdom; supported by leading international and local OEMs and ICT distributors.

was less steep than the last seven quarters. All areas of the region Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa - showed a shipment decline. Shipments in Eastern Europe were driven by the professional segment, as companies had to finalise IT spending for the year. Consumers replaced PCs only on a needed basis, as many new form factors had limited availability or were priced about the average vs. traditional notebooks. Tablets, especially Android-based, were a popular holiday present and average selling prices (ASPs) for them continued to decline and attract consumer spending. PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totaled 26.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 9.8 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2012. Buyers did not place a priority on PC

SOURCE: Gartner purchases, preferring to spend on alternative devices such as smartphones. Some continued to delay their purchases of a PC as their requirements, such as entertainment and information access, can be addressed

by other devices, such as tablets. For the year, PC shipments were 315.9 million units, a 10 per cent decline from 2012. This is the worst decline in PC market history, equal to the ship-

ment level in 2009. Lenovo took over the top spot in the global PC market, accounting for 16.9 per cent of the market. HP moved into the second spot after experiencing shipment decline of 9.3 per cent.


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Nigeria’s cyber security outlook for 2014 By Tope Aladenusi 2014 is here! HIS is that time of the season when different economic actors and regulators are in celebratory mood for variety of reasons. It is such a time that economic actors and regulators recount their major successes and failings in the outgone year and defines expectations for the New Year. Unfortunately, cyber-criminals are not left out of this process of stock taking as well as the associated orgy of celebrations for obvious reasons. These groups of people benefit largely from cybercrimes, and according to a research by Norton a few years ago, global annual costs from cybercrimes is estimated to be significantly higher than the combined global black market for marijuana, cocaine and heroin. It is trite to assert that cybercrime is one of the biggest sources of threats organisations and governments are likely to face in Nigeria, especially as our dependence on computers increases and as the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria becomes operational in many more states. Accordingly, we have reviewed below some of the cyber trends, threats and security measures that are likely significant in 2014. Cybercrime that leverages unsupported software will increase, especially in the north: Attackers usually find the easiest way to gain access to systems. Unsupported or unpatched systems provide easy access since such systems have publicly known security flaws that have been exploited. Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft by April 2014 and software like Java 6 will no longer receive vendor support in 2014. This means that the vendors will no longer be able to provide security updates or any form of assistance. Given that thousands of PCs / laptops in Nigeria are still running such software, they are likely to become easy prey to attackers. Furthermore, some organisations with branches in the North especially the Northeastern region of the country may experience challenges in performing the usual operating system and antivirus updates on their PCs due to the recent security concerns in this region and restricted access of the IT teams in some cases. From experience, organisations with centralised IT functions usually record a high failure rate when sending updates via the network to these regions due to network and bandwidth limitations. PCs with unsupported software in such regions are likely to form the weakest link in a companies’ network. One way to stay ahead in 2014 and beyond would be to migrate from unsupported or unpatched systems to updated systems that can provide increased and on-going protection. Many hackers will migrate from banks to other targets, especially online shops and government portals: Just like a lion that is defeated in a territory seeks to take control of other smaller territories to exercise its authority, the constant hardening of the security of Bank’s e-business platforms (which had been the major focus of attackers) will drive the move to other platforms in the

T

Attackers usually find the easiest way to gain access to systems. Unsupported or unpatched systems provide easy access since such systems have publicly known security flaws that have been exploited. Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft by April 2014 and software like Java 6 will no longer receive vendor support in 2014. country. As the cashless society is embraced, with more online shops, egovernment and e-business platforms, attackers are likely to focus on low hanging fruits. Moreover, the recently concluded Deloitte security survey on e-business platforms in Nigeria showed that online shops appear to be the most vulnerable at the moment. They must therefore deploy appropriate counter-measures with professional assistance or capitulate to unremitting cyber-attacks in 2014. Government and its agencies are likely to experience a major leap in the fight against cybercrime: The Federal Executive Council in August 2013 approved the content of the Cybercrime Bill and passed it to the National Assembly for enactment into law. The Bill has gone through its second reading and is likely to be passed into law in 2014. This Bill will hopefully provide a comprehensive framework that will begin a more detailed and strategic conversation on its requirements and what organisations need to do to be compliant. The Bill should also provide more adequate basis for law enforcement agencies to prosecute cybercrime. In addition, the adoption of the COBIT 5 framework by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in December 2013 is expected to help improve the security of our cyber space if effectively implemented. Current authentication mechanisms will be clearly inadequate: The password-only security model has proved to be highly ineffective as tools are readily and freely available to crack passwords within minutes depending on the complexity. As a result, organisations like banks have introduced the two-factor authentication system, which incorporates the use of passwords and tokens. However, this measure still appears inadequate as attackers are more motivated than ever to circumvent the mechanisms. For instance, the two-step verification mechanism for mobile banking can be bypassed using man-in-the-middle attacks. In addition, Deloitte’s cyber security team recently demonstrated to some of our clients how tokens can be compromised. It is therefore essential that the authentication techniques employed should be appropriate to the risks associated with those products and services. Also, it is advisable to conduct independent periodic security assessment on IT platforms as appropriate. Mobile devices and BYOD will further complicate threat landscape: The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend that permits users access to the corporate network using their personal and mobile

devices has changed the dynamics of cyber security in the workplace. The rise of BYOD has continued to provide a fertile ground for cyber criminals as many mobile device platforms still lack the security functions that have been addressed in the traditional desktop systems. IT departments are still tackling issues such as device configuration management and patching as complete control of these privately owned mobile devices is still a struggle. This makes employees devices easily vulnerable to malwares. Social engineering, especially phishing will still be around: While phishing attacks may continue to drop in some other parts of the world, it is likely to increase in Nigeria, at least for the first half of the year. This is due to the large number of people who are still ignorant and attackers who have devised several means of evading detection e.g. using the target name as a picture and not text. Of more concern are phishing attempts directed at specific individuals or organisations; this has been termed “spear phishing”. In regular phishing attempts e-mail messages are used and the source can be from any random address but in spear phishing the e-mail messages will appear to come from a trusted source such as e-mail from an individual within the recipient’s own organisation especially someone in a position of authority. Due to the increase in sophistication of phishing attacks, many organisations are likely to change their anti-phishing vendors whose solutions may not address the current trends. Businesses will begin to question return on security investment: With the high costs of cybercrime, CEOs and boards are beginning to pay more attention to cyber security, while viewing it as an integral part of their business strategy, a matter that was once considered an IT issue. Such CEOs that are still experiencing security breaches in their organisations despite the huge investments in cyber security will begin to question their security spends. This will particularly affect the banks as many have employed a technology-oriented focus, which requires implementing more tools/ technologies, and they often have a false feeling that their compliance certifications like 1SO27001 and PCIDSS equates security. It is expected that to drive down cost, businesses would shift their focus from just tools to gaining better visibility of risks and threats and mitigating the specific risks. Also, some organisations are likely to consider outsourcing their security operating centres. Though the easiest thing to do is to wish all economic actors and regulators a cyber-secure New Year, this will only be possible by increasing the level of vigilance and deploying appropriate counter-measures, which build on the success or failings of the previous year to manage the exposure to risk in 2014. Nevertheless, I still wish you a cyber-secure New Year! • Aladenusi is a partner in Akintola Williams Deloitte and he writes from Lagos.


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Mobiz introduces mobile site for SMEs stable followership network” bile site helped SMEs acquire he explained further. customer information, enHe assured that the opportuniabling you know your custies available for SMEs business SMEs push their products and tomers and their needs and as a result of the Mobiz mobile how to tailor your services to service to their customers, site were numerous going by suit them. Mobiz, has introduced a mo“The mobile site gives SMEs na- the large number of mobile Inbile website. tionwide visibility as it is linked ternet users in Nigeria. The moThe co-founder of the of the with various social media. It en- bile site regularly priced at online portal, Deepankar N1999, he said was offered at a ables video marketing, proRustagi while explaining the 50 per cent discount of N999 features of the portal said that motes contextual advertising (nine hundred and ninety nine and would be linked to one of the mobile site is fully optithe most visited sites in Nigeria. naira), SMEs can own a mobile mized for all features and website with their own domain “With Mobiz solution, your smart phones. website will receive regular traf- name. If deployed, he said that the Mobile website would support fic with numerous users search- He said that this enables SMEs an opportunity to choose from Small and medium scale enter- ing for various goods and a wide variety of templates by prises who had over time been services constantly. Products, services and price information inserting their business images limited to the areas they were and videos, connect with cuscan also be placed on the molocated. He said that SMEs owners who bile website making communi- tomers via social networks such were limited by cash to launch cation with customers and site as twitter, facebook, and integrate M-commerce (Shopping visitors very easy.” the aggressive advert camCart) payment, thereby enThe Mobiz mobile website paign needed to make their abling customers pay for their business a force a reckon with helps SMEs to generate more products or services directly and can leverage on the mobile leads, inquiries and sales for their business while building a into the vendor’s bank account. website for more visibility. With over 60 per cent of Internet users on mobile devices and 88 per cent of Internet traffic in Nigeria originating from mobile devices, he said that having a mobile site engenders IDESPREAD reports that Samsung’s expected Galaxy smartan increase in SMEs customer phone update will be shown off around the middle of base. “It gives your business an March at an event in London. identity, a face that goes beThat contradicts expectations that it would be shown off at the yond just a business name, it Mobile World Congress event, where it could have been becomes an entity customers relate with. You can communi- drowned out slightly by the sheer flood of announcements that companies curiously all save up to flood the airwaves with at the cate with customers and site same time. visitors via videos and images The specifications are still being leaked all over the place and uploaded on the site. As part New Year splash, he in- the strongest rumour is that the presumed Galaxy S5 will come in two versions, with either a metal or a plastic chassis. formed that Mobiz had In that sense, not too dissimilar to what Apple did last year, allaunched a special promotion to develop easy to operate mo- though in this situation, Samsung is apparently pushing the bile websites for SMEs at a give- more expensive model rather than using the cheaper one to expand its customer reach. The company already has cheaper away price of N999. phones to appeal to those consumers. According to him, Mobiz moS an intervention measures A to further help Small and Medium Scale Enterprises,

Samsung may launch Galaxy S5 smartphone in March

W

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30 i-Tech & Telecoms Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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‘ICT sector deserves maximum govt support, protection’ Austin Okere is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Computer Warehouse Group, a PAN African Information and Communications Technology (ICT) firm. He recently gave audience to ICT journalists and spoke on some issues that require government’s attention in the industry. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN was there. Excerpts. ITH over 12 years into a major ICT revolution W in Nigeria, what is your assessment? Well, I think we need to measure the growth in the industry with respect to Gross Domestic Product growth. In 2010, the ICT market is about $7 billion and we are targeting to reach $25 billion by 2020. So, that is where we are but what has happened is that these figures are verified because the Minister of Communication Technology has set a new standard to say that she wanted us to reach 25 per cent of GDP in the next five years. So, I would say we are probably at about $10 billion right now, which is between 40 or 50 per cent above the $7 billion where we were before. But the question is: ‘Are we on course to achieve the $25 billion in target in the next five years? I think we can do more of that and the reason is simple: Look at the boom that came with the telecommunications liberalisation and GSM companies that came in. We are going to experience the same boom with the power sector that has been privatized. The new handlers of the power sector will need Information Technology (IT) equipment to run their operations and so, I think the $25 billion we are talking about in the next five years is quite competitive and we would probably double that. In term of GDP contribution, Nigeria GDP today is about $280 billion and if you take 10 per cent of that, it’s $28 billion. This is what we were targeting before. But, the Minister of Communications Technology says we are going to do 25 per cent. So, 25 per cent of that is going to be double of $28 billion, which is about $56 billion and I am saying we would probably be about $50 billion in GDP in the next five years. From the various analyses you have given, how realisable are these considering various challenges we have as a nation? The challenges are known and are being resolved. The major challenge, if you ask anybody, is power and once you solve that, you’ll be surprised how the economy will take up. Even small business such as vulcanising, hairdressing and barbing all rely on power. So, our businesses rely on power. If I show you the power farm we have as an IT company, you will be surprised that we are not a power company. If we solved this power issue, which is on the verge of being solved, then, we will have more Small and Medium Enterprises coming. Today, there are 17 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise companies that cannot access bank loans for two reasons: They do not have transparent books and they do not have collateral. So, when they go to banks for capital to invest in their businesses, the banks cannot give them because the banks are spending people’s money and it cannot be spent when they are not sure the money would come back. So, what would unleash the businesses is the capital, which the banks have. How are the banks going to solve these two problems? To solve these problems for banks, CWG, as a company, has launched CWG 2.0 technology. The CWG 2.0 is to tell those 17 million companies that they should not bother to buy their own computer systems to do their accounting because this approach is very expensive to buy and run. So, just like Google, Twitter and others, we would put an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), applications on the cloud, which the SMEs would pay for on a subscription basis to run their businesses. With ERP in the cloud, it means the ERP system is going to sit in our data centre and businesses can subscribe to it to do their accounting, inventory, access management and so on. So, automatically, as a business owner, you then have enough time to concentrate on your key business operations. Also, with the ERP and at any point in time, your stocks and sales, are being managed so that when the banks comes and look at your books over the last three years, they would know exactly what has been going on. Invariably, we solve the problem of transparency of books with the CWG/SME ERP, as we call it. The issue of collateral as you raised, how can it be resolved? Yes, the next problem that needs to be solved, as I earlier said, is the issue of collateral. Now that the banks know your books are clean, how can they borrow SMEs money without collateral? To address this, we are saying directly to the government and its agencies such as the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, not to give money directly to the entrepreneur because it is not sustainable. When the

Okere money finishes, the business finishes. Rather, we are telling the government to set up a collateral guarantee for them. For instance, we are advocating that the N9 billion raised by the government for MSMEs funding be put as collateral to the bank and we would say ‘lend money to soand-so enterprises’ because their books are cleaned. Such enterprises have also done due diligence and they would stand guaranteed. Even if they are in a case, where they don’t have collateral, they would stand guaranteed. That way, all entrepreneurs will benefit from this small money and it’s sustainable. If you take N9 billion and share among 17 million businesses, how much will each person get? Of course, it’s a little money. For me, this one is a big problem if they now had power to add to it, what then do you think would be left for them to run their businesses? So, their businesses need soft loan, which they can get if the two problems have been solved. Aside the loan, they also need broadband because, they would need to take their businesses on the Internet for wider customer reach. The reality is that, just like Jumia and Konga, all businesses need the Internet to enable other people to do business with them. They don’t need to maintain a big shop. Currently, records show that there are about 200 companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. So, by what I have just described, we can double the number and a large number of people can easily get jobs through expansion arising from the growth of those companies. So, we at CWG believe that, instead of having 10 billionaires, it is better to have a thousand millionaires, or, better still, have a million people with $100,000 and you would see the wonders they can do. We started with less than that. CWG started with $16,000 and that is 21 years ago and today, we are doing a turnover of $130 million a year. Look at the growth! Tremendous. Apart from CWG’s expansion across West Africa, you are currently listed on the stock exchange. What is driving force behind your firm’s growth? I think the first thing is to learn how to learn, through experience, innovation and intuition. Intuition is basically what you cannot explain when you are at the right place at the right time, and innovation is important because everything works for a while in the next time it doesn’t work. If you could remember, there was a time everywhere in Lagos was full of cyber cafés and then today, they are not there because they did not innovate. There was a time when there were travel agencies everywhere. Now, you can book your flights directly on Internet. To still be in business, the travel agencies had to innovate and that is why we came up with CWG 2.0 platform. If you recall, CWG started as a Dell PC supplier and supporter but today, everybody can buy Dell PCs and maintain them. So, we now went into what we call ‘Enterprise System’, which is big data for banks. But today, everybody can do that also. The next step we took as a company was to go into Managed Services, where, as I talk to you, we have over 100 people that resume and close at MTN working as if they are MTN staff but they are our staffers. They look at all our clients’ IT facilities. They are the ones that make all the calls we make as telecoms subscribers work. They work in the data centres and today, we tak-

ing step forward by talking about cloud computing, putting software as ERP to use. That becomes the purpose but the issue is in helping reducing IT expenditure for businesses for them to become better entrepreneurs. CWG recently commissioned a Tier-3 data centre and what would be the impact of this facility on the Nigerian business environment? We truly got this idea about the data centre, first for our old products, which were going to need a data centre to host them. Then after that, we had more space and we brought in other companies to collocate with us and when we did that many major companies showed interest. We had FirstBank Mobile Money that we are hosting and we had Mastercard and more companies were looking for that opportunity. From there, we know from experience that people need data centre and our target was the disaster recovery of banks we commissioned, because banks have their primary data centres, where they process all their data. But because of the sensitive nature of their business, they also need disaster recovery data centre so that if anything happened to their data centre, they would be able to retrieve their data. As a result, we told them they didn’t need to build two primary data centres but instead; they should come and collocate with us on disaster recovery. So, what we have at our data centre here is a 50- rack capacity data centre, which can, at least, take a space of seven banks to be collocated with just the cost of cooling of power and so on. We now discover it was a brilliant idea because they were now buying into it that was why we opened the data centre but the primary reason was because of the SME/ERP I have described. It is a state- of- the- earth-data centre because a lot of life-saving businesses are put in our hand. Today, we brought the businesses in here to see where we would be hosting their data. Most people have not seen the Google data centre, but they have g-mail account. How are you sure that one day, Google server would not just go down and then, what happens to all your e-mail? But we said people should come and see; and that is why we opened the tier-3 data centre. You may ask: ‘What makes it Tioer-3?’ It is Tier-3 because it presents a global standard. For instance, it has two authentications for security; it has precision Air Conditioners and the data centre has power from two independent sources so that if something happened to one power source, the second takes over to prevent downtime. As I speak to you, we have five generators that field two UPSs that go into inverter and data centre. So, every rack has two power sources coming to it, which means that, if one power source failed, you can still be running on the other power source. Even if you still want to maintain one power source, you don’t have to take the system down. You can simply maintain with one power source while the system is still up and running. The whole idea is that it is designed for 99.99 per cent reliability, which means it never goes down, since when we put down the data centre, it has been a very good investment. More importantly, if you want to do something for your country or leave a legacy or footprint in the hand of time, that is where you get the most part of what you are doing, because you are not only making profit but also serving the people and that really fertilised the birth of our data centre project. We launched the state-of- the-art CWG data centre by the Special grace of God and our special guest was in person of Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, the immediate past executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission and his comments to us were extremely impressed. So, for the banks, the data centre would have them as disaster recovery centre but for others, it would be their primary data centre. Therefore, where is the backup for this data centre? It’s in Ghana. This is necessary because if anything happened, we would scale over to Accra, Ghana, where we have our West Africa Data Centre. CWG recently got listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, can you tell us what informed such decision and the time?

I think the most important thing to us is succession. If you look at many Nigerian businesses owned by Odutola, late MKO Abiola and many others, once the founder passes on, the business also collapses. But we’ve had the situation where the CEO of GTbank passed on and there was a smooth succession perhaps because there was governance. It was listed and global standard was guiding it. There was no fighting. So, for us, the first thing was succession saying we’ve had an entrepreneurial business for 21 years and we need to institutionalised it into a corporate organisation that is globally institutional that has many shareholders that is controlling it and not just one small family that is controlling it. That is what really informed the decision. But secondly, you would see that companies on the stock exchange are opened to more scrutiny and they are also open to more governance. They have to put their forecast out there and they would have to say why they don’t meet it. And if the shareholders don’t like what is happening, they punish it by dumping its shares and the share price goes down and this is touching the company directly in its pocket. So, at the end of the day, it also makes us more cautious and play by the rules because we know that we are being watched, not just locally but globally. So we can’t even afford any scandal or non-governance. That holds us a higher accountability. But that accountability also makes people trust you more. People trust more a listed company and we do business with it. We were able to attract foreign partners and local customers and the last one, of course, is that getting listed gives opportunity for liquidity. The shares are listed and it’s not just a list of papers in your pocket, it is currency. If you have 100 shares at N6, that is N600. So, it is no longer paper, it is money. Also, when you want to do all these projects a I have earlier talked about and you want to raise money, it becomes easier, because if you were able to convince the Stock Exchange about the validity of your investment, the Exchange can easily raise funds from subscription shares to do that project but if you are not listed, you would have to go and beg the owners. How do you see telecoms sector’s growth in 2014? Government should get out of business. Government should be a regulator. I have said it in many fora including when the people I am talking about are sighted. If you have a company that is competing with private sector, it is an unfair advantage. If I want to do business, I go and borrow money from the bank at 21-23 per cent. How much do you think Galaxy Backbone borrows money at? It is you and I’s money. I mean it is public fund from government. So, how can I compete with that company? When it wins a project, it says it has won a project; you didn’t win a project, it was given to you. If I was running Galaxy, I will win all projects of the governments. So, the government needs to get out of the business where private sector is running. There are some places where private sectors are not operating. If you take for instance the Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF, it is because people don’t want to go to rural areas to set up communication companies and because they won’t get their money. So, government could do business in those rural areas that are not commercially viable for private sectors. Again, if private sector would have to go there, then, leave them to do it and you regulate it. Like broadcasting, when we were born, there were just two stations, maybe the NTA at national level and states’ NTA stations but today, there are Channels, Silverbird and whole lots of others. Is the government still going to compete with them? So, I will say government should get out business and regulate by providing a common level-playing field so that businesses can strive. Government should only do business in the situation or area that is not ripe for commercial viability. If it does that, you would see that everything would be going on fine. Come to think of this: Why is it that we don’t have a government portal where we can do business with government? I think government should put services onto the portal so that citizenry can secure their drivers’ licence, pay their taxes, their utility bills, secure passport online and also register their companies online instead of spend-


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Airtel targets youths in new brand campaign WO years after the launch T of its friendship Padi Na Good Thing campaign, Airtel

Cyber cafe

The challenge in keeping up with cloud adoption By Bankole Orimisan HE adoption of public T cloud services will continue to grow as organisation attempt to drive down IT spending. “The cloud simply offers more scalability in terms of growth, redundancy and versatility than any onpremise solution,” says Paul Stafford, regional general manager at Mimecast. However the adoption of public cloud services also presents its own challenges to local ICT industry in terms of

skills development, legal compliance and revenue loss. “The big question is whether our local ICT industry is ready to support the cloud at the rate at which Gartner predicts adoption will take place,” says Stafford. Skills development within the ICT industry will need to shift its focus on training IT staff on how to manage cloud service providers and interpret legal agreements in order to comprehend what they mean to the business

and identify the necessary risks based on local legislation and compliance requirements relevant to their industry, says Stafford. In addition, the PoPI Act will be enforced shortly and with the widespread adoption of cloud services, organisations need to ensure their cloud service provider can support them in meeting the requirements as set out by the Act. The local ICT industry will need to educate IT Staff as to what the PoPI Act expects of

Visafone rewards, targets more subscribers ODE Division Multiple Access (CDMA) opC erator in Nigeria, Visafone, has said that its ongoing Xmas Promo Gift Galore would have over 270,000 of its customers rewarded on a weekly basis with airtime bonuses. Besides, the telecommunications is also hopeful that the on-going promo will channel more market share to it. Already, a 39-year-old driver with a private company in Lagos, Uzoma Azodeh has already been presented with the first star prize of a car, the firm said in a statement at the weekend. At the presentation ceremony in Lagos recently, an elated Azodeh was quoted as saying: “When I received the call from an employee of Visafone, who informed me that

I had won a car, I did not believe it. I was speechless and just said thank you.” Commenting on his winning the Visafone promo star prize, Azodeh said: “Since 2008, I’ve been using my Visafone line. In fact, I bought two lines and discarded other networks because of service quality. Although I heard about the promo on radio, I didn’t need any further conviction because the network has been very reliable since 2008.” The Chief Executive Officer, Srinivasa Venkatappa, while receiving the winner in his office, said that Visafone unveiled the Xmas Visafone gifts galore to reward all prepaid loyal customers with airtime up to N10, 000 to call all networks as well as qualify them to get one of the six new cars as giveaway prizes.

TECNO empowers local software developers By Bankole Orimisan EADING mobile phone maker TECNO mobile, has showed off its commitments in supporting and encouraging local software developers by rewarding winners of indigenous and local software developers. The event, which was held in Lagos, saw the Platinum winner carting home the sum of N1million and a TECNO smartphone. Other winners in Gold and silver category took home the sum of N500, 000 and N250, 000 with smartphones respectively while smartphone prizes were also given to multiple entries winners. The Deputy General Manager, TECNO Mobile, Chidi Oknkwo, said: “This is the first edition commenced in 1st June, 2013 with the invitation of software developers to participate in the App challenge with the aim of identifying and rewarding creativity and technological knowledge, in other words, ‘an application created by you for you.’”

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According to him, apart from supporting local developers, the award ceremony was also part of the company’s corporate social responsibility. TECNO is not only in Africa to provide the best phone devices but also to serve the people and help in discovering talents in Nigeria in other to support local developers in improving their skills in mobile apps development. Nigeria, he said would soon be rubbing shoulders with the rest of the world in software developing as a result of her various programmes in creating world class applications that would meet the real needs of phone users. He said, TECNO in partnership with co- creation Hub will continue to encourage and support indigenous local software developers. In his word, TECNO’s goal is to join and collaborate with other ICT firms to discover more local talents in software developing. We want to help in transforming lives of millions

of Nigerians especially the youths through this kind of initiative and we are also planning to have much wider software developing training support for talents in Nigeria. He maintained that TECNO had committed to building appealing, easy- to- use mobile apps to help Nigeria phone users enjoy their TECNO devices better. Our core business is applications and technology development. We recognized the need for partnership and collaboration because fast growing portfolio of mobile applications would be fueled by efficient developer ecosystem, Chidi said, TECNO mobile which recently launched Phantom AIII into Nigerian market has transform the software developer experience with Phantom A+, creating an open platform to enable developers especially the local ones to leverage their range of skills! While in the same time making provision for them with tools to simplify the development process.

organisations in terms of processing, securing and storing data belonging to that of users and customers in order to advise and direct organisations as to which Cloud Service to use in order to maintain compliance. Organisations need to take into account that our local ICT industry has a much better understanding of what is necessary in terms of compliance and infrastructure requirements. “Organisations must appoint or consult the local ICT Industry to ensure they select the right cloud service provider.”

Nigeria, has launched another tagged ‘Come Alive’, a new thematic campaign targeted at youth. According to Airtel, the new campaign effectively summarises its brand promise of empowering Nigerians to realise their full potentials and dreams, enabling youth and the young-at-heart to come alive and to stay in touch with their family, loved ones and friends with the latest and most innovative mobile Internet and digital value offerings. Airtel also said that it was committed to exciting telecoms consumers, creating the right digital environment for them to succeed and empowering young Nigerians to express themselves, share their stories, connect with the rest of the world, inspire other people and practically blaze the trail in their respective endeavours. The new campaign, according to the telecommunications firm, rode notably on the crest of its 3.75G data network for an enriched digital experience and in assisting young Nigerians and telecoms consumers actualise their dreams by staying connected with the right community of friends, families and associates anytime, anywhere and through a robust bouquet of mobile Internet package and innovative digital value offerings. Speaking at the formal unveiling of the new campaign

in Lagos, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said that the company was committed to empowering young Nigerians with the latest and most innovative package and exciting digital experience. According to Ogunsanya, Nigerian youths were highly talented, resourceful, innovative, hardworking and resilient people, also noting that Airtel was well positioned to enable young Nigerians and the youth-at-heart to create success stories for their life ambitions. Ogunsanya added: “We have come a long way in preparing for this moment that Nigerians can be proud of. As a youth-focused, mobile Internet network, actualising dreams can only be more realistic with us.” Also speaking, Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Operating Officer/Executive Director, Deepak Srivastava, reiterated the company’s commitment to providing innovative, exciting and pocket-friendly products and offerings that will further allow subscribers on the network achieve success in all areas of interest. Srivastava emphasized that the company had matched its leading role as the ‘customercentric network’ with a bouquet of bespoke voice and data products, services and offerings including the 3.75G network, the 2size SIM, a first of its kind in the country, Talk More, Bid & Get, Facebook Bundle, WhatsApp and Airtel My Business among others.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014 i-Tech & Telecoms

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How ICT predictions for 2014 will affect individuals, organisations By Tim Akano OST of the things we predicted came to pass in 2013. Then, in M 2012 based on the trends, which we observed on the horizons in the ICT industry globally and locally, we came to certain conclusions in specific sectors like mobility, training, and security among others. One that open source via Android and Linux will rule the Smartphone and personal computers. Today Android’s share of the Smartphone operating system stands at over 75 per cent. We saw that because Apple is a ‘’closed system’’, and with high price tag vis-à-vis competition, that it would lose market share: that happened until it came out with an ‘economy iPhone’. We saw then that competition was about to throw Blackberry ‘under the bus’ as a punishment for its sluggishness in innovation. With Blackberry recent mountain of looses of $4.4billion, it is a matter of time, if nothing urgent, radical and concrete is done before the bus will crush the most successful Canadian mobile telephone giant, which used to be the darling of youths and the military globally. As we predicted, IT security breaches skyrocketed. As we predicted, the seven IT skills that we submitted would blossom, actually did, and smart guys who took practical steps to acquire those skills really prospered in 2013. In 2014, we are going to divide our submission into four parts: Seven Hottest skills that will prosper ICT professionals, seven biggest trends in ICT that will determine which organisation survives, thrives or dies in 2014, seven most dangerous ICT threats and how Nigeria and Nigerians can benefit from all of this. Some of the surveys conducted by IDC, Gartner, IDG, CIO magazine are quite useful as a guide for investors this year to know what is on the horizon. Meanwhile in 2014, issues like e-waste will continue to dominate the technology discussion as this is predicted to grow by 33 per cent in the next three years (source: IDG). New Start-Ups will benefit from re-cycling businesses of telephone handsets, Laptops and PCs. Another issue is the mobile banking users. This is expected to grow by 100 per cent this year. There will be new ways of watching Televisions. Another area of opportunities for entrepreneurs with foresight is mobile insurance. Since we are now married to our gadgets, this will be a new source of investment for the insurers. ICT spending will grow by about five per cent in the ‘traditional market’ of Europe and America while in the emerging markets double digit growth is being expected to be led by China at 13 per cent (source: IDC), adoption of CYBER INSURANCE will witness double digit growth in 2014 in Europe and North America where awareness of cyber threats is huge. In addition, this is a year of what I call ‘Technology over flow’ that is, hardware will do more things than hitherto because it is now more intelligent and smarter. We will see new touch screen TVs and telephone handsets, smaller gadgets, good, functional and value-adding wearable technologies will flood the market, high performing sensors, automated homes, schools, intelligent automobiles, smart buildings among others are some of the innovative products that will be born which will excite and tickle consumers this year. The seven hottest ICT skills that employers will pay any amount to acquire in 2014 This is not going to be like any other year in the ICT industry both globally and locally. Most of the ICT skills that will benefit the unemployed, the youths, the old as well as the ICT professionals who are desirous of promotion are truly new skills or hybrid of old and new. One big data administrator (BDA) - Before 2014, what obtained was Data Administrator (DA). However due to the fact that the request for big data is skyrocketing- growing by as much as 30 per cent, (source: idc) there will be issue around big data management. Demand is currently outpaces supply with regards to experts in this area. Most of these data are coming from Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Jelly, LinkedIn and third parties etc which marketing requires on hourly basis to study the ever changing consumer behavioral attitude and taste. Currently, there is substantial growth in ‘data-optimised cloud platform’- leveraging high volume real time data streams according to Gartner. Packages like HADOOP and Big Data Analytics are in hot demand. Data storage has become an issue and how to build redundancy into storage and make the data fit for efficient and effective storage and consumption is a challenge that a BDA will be employed to solve by major international enterprise. 24 per cent of companies’ survey said that they would hire BDA professionals in 2014 (source: IDC). Business intelligence and analytics: With big data comes the biggest job of making sense out of all the mountain of information. Volume of global data will expand to 35.2 zettabytes (idc) in two years time. 18 per cent of companies’ survey by IDC submitted that they are looking for professionals with business intelligence skills to employ in 2014. It is seen as the second most difficult skill to get competent hands. This is why they command very fat salary starting with six digits. In 2014 if you are dam, dam good in analysing, interpreting, and presenting the data in a meaningful way that will help the CEOs to take profitable decision, you are sure to prosper as IT Professional. The joker is to combine Business intelligent skills with Plex Systems plus ERP plus Project Management. You cannot be poor again with this combination- if you are sound at each of them! Devops professionals with cloud mobility skills: These are the gurus who build and maintain cloud architecture. There is a paradigm shift right now from ‘’infrastructure as a service (Iaas) to platform as a service (Paas). And this is expected to be a data-optimised platform as against generic platform. More data centers will be built in 2014. The cloud spending is expected to grow to $100billion in 2014 (source: idc). Cloud application will become mission critical. We do not have enough expertise in this field anywhere in the world. Those who want to make good money in 2014 are advised to go for it! Linux professionals: This is an age of singularity where opensource is the king powered by Linux and Android. Countries and organisation that need inexpensive and stable platform have now finally accepted open source. And this adoption and shift is phenomena. According to Jack Cullen, President of IT Staffing

Akano Firm called Modis: ‘If you are an IT professional looking for long term career growth there is no better place to be than working with open source’. I strongly believe there are huge opportunities in Linux and Android skills in 2014. Virtulisation Experts: The art and science of commissioning, managing, and tearing down intelligent and virtual machines are now one of the fastest growing roles of date centers. Experts in virtualisation will be in high demand this year. IT untility manger (ITUM): Everything in ICT is in a permanent state of flux- changing at the speed of light, getting more fragmented and sophisticated by the day. The CEOs don’t have time to keep pace with this dynamic industry. And the resources to employ Consultant for each narrow, new segment are not available. Therefore, the CEOs are looking for the IT Utility Manager (ITUM) who has a holistic perspective of how technology works and communicates among one another. The Manager who understands programming languages and how to connect them on different and competing platforms: desktop, laptop, mobile, cloud, etc. He has skills in information security and Biometrics certifications and he can integrate all this with Social Technologies like facebook, Twitter, Jelly, LinkedIn etc. This year, the role of biometrics in authentication will grow while the value of password will decrease. Organisations will pay any amount of money for professionals who have deep understanding of biometrics authentication- facial, iris, fingers, voice, DNA, palm, pulse, in addition to the above skills. I call such a professional IT Utility Manager. This is a new role, which did not exist in 2013. IT security, compliance and governance professionals: To prosper in 2014 as IT security professional, one needs to combine it with compliance certifications like ISO, PCI/DSS and governance skills in risk management. Yes, security is like hunger in the stomach, it never goes away completely. It comes out in new dimension every day. However, most organisations are not interested in employing separate manager for IT security, compliance and governance. They are all ‘first cousins’ and they are safe to be warehoused in one room under one command. In 2013 IT security was a big challenge. Most of the top global IT Companies like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and all suffered security breaches. IT security breaches grew by 23 per cent (IDC) in 2013. In September 201 3, major U.S. banks were hit with the largest denial of service (DoS) attacks in history. Also in October, South Carolina taxpayer’s services were hacked compromising 3.6 million social security numbers. In August, hackers broke into New York Times computer and stole passwords of high profile journalists and staff. This is why 21 per cent of companies’ surveyed said they would hire the guy with the right skill-set in IT security, compliance and governance. International certifications like EC-Council CEH, CHFI, Encryption, ECSA, CISSP Risk Management, etc will sell like hot potatoes. This is why Safenet encryption is growing like bush fire in the Harmattan, being acknowledge by Gartner as the best in the Encryption space. The seven biggest IT trends that will shape our lives in 2014 The following seven technologies will determine where you and your organisation will be on the 31st of December 2014 whether you will find yourself and organisation in the ‘White House’ or ‘Outer-House’. They are: Social Technologies, Big Data, ‘’BioMobility’’, The Internet of Everything (IoE) and Apps of Everything (AoP), Smart, Intelligent Machine, (M2M), Virtualisation and Cloud Services, 3D Printing and Digital Government Big Data: This is where the biggest eyeball should be for companies wanting to prosper in 2014. There are several companies that will disrupt the market with new technologies on big data in 2014. The insatiable Enterprise’s appetite for intelligent and save, secured data storage and retrieval has made this issue a top priority in 2014. Social Technologies: We are now entrapped by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Jelly, Goggle-hang-out, blogs, Yahoo Chat, Skype, just to name a few. 10 out of 10 employees in every organisation use to at least three of these new media platforms and they spend up to 50 per cent or their time on them. Facebook has 1.19billion users- if you like call them: ‘citizens’ (that is, the third biggest country in the world after China and India), Twitter has about 554 million active registered users (the fourth biggest country in the world) with 58million tweets in a day. This is why this decade is referred to as ‘communication Age’ as against ‘information age’ of the last decade. There will be an upsurge in the usage and integration of social media into enterprise applica-

tions. Products development and innovation will be based on feedback from social media and it may eventually be offered as a standard offering from cloud service providers. Biomobility (Biometrics plus Mobility): this is the age of ‘biometric consumerisation’. The practice of allowing workers to bring their own mobile devices (tablets, smart phones USB etc) to work in the office will continue to grow. 50 per cent of workers surveyed by IDC confirmed they use personal iPAD to work in the office. Almost all the workers now carry at least one smart phone. Since each mobile device has a different approach to security because of the shift from browser usage to apps, this will pose continuous security challenge to the enterprise. This is where biometrics will intersect with mobility. In 2014, consumers should expect biometric authentication on all mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Internet of Everything (IoE) and Apps for Everything (AoP): For husbands whose partners cannot prepare a good soup or meal, there is now a viable alternative in the horizons: there is apps for everything from how to piss in the toilet to how to cook soup! Because of the pervasive Internet penetration, M2M (Machine to Machine device will be able to do wonders. Drones will deliver your package to your house from Amazons in 30 minutes. The Apps market is projected to grow to about $50 billion in the next two years. Propriety apps will become commonplace because of mobility. By 2018, 70 per cent of employees surveyed said that they would conduct their official work on personal devices (source:IDG) 3D Printing: Now, with 3D printer, the serous ‘David-like’ startups can compete with the ‘’Goliath-like’’ organizations and defeat them on price, speed, quality and customization. 3D printing will disrupt the technology-status-quo in 2014. Digital Government: With availability of cheap and quality broadband, more of government activities will be shifted online. Things like land automation, tax collection, business registration, recruitments using job portal, etc. This will drive down the cost of governance. Virtualisation, Cloud Services and Encyption: More and more data will be moved to the cloud by enterprise with a view to bringing down the price of goods and services. The three of them go together because without strong encryption, the other two become useless. This is why the market for encryption will continue to grow geometrically. Biggest and most dangerous IT security threat to watch out for in 2014 They are Malware, Ransomware, advanced persistent threats, spear phishing, Social network attacks, Cyber attacks on banks and Telecoms and Cloud Backlash Malware: Malware is sent to PCs, laptops to steal information. Now that Mobility is the other of the day we are going to witness Mobile malware upsurge in 2014. Smart phones and tablet vulnerabilities will be exploited by hackers to steal information and data for commercial gains and blackmail. Ransomeware: Hackers will continue with intensity to hijack a user’s phone, tablet and PC this year- holding it hostage. The ransom will pops up while browsing on the Internet disguised as a genuine message from the law enforcement Agents clamming that the computer user is into something unethical and illegal on the net. The device will then be locked automatically and a message suggests that the owner should pay certain sum of cash into a code to get the device unlocked. At this level malware that spread virus that monitors every app they download on the phone or tablet would have been successfully installed. Spear Phishing: When a user receives an email with a link to download an attachment and the user activates and clicks the download, from that moment, the user device has been compromised. This was the way hackers got the New York Times last year. This was also the way RSA was hacker in the past. Advanced persistent threats: This is a targeted and persistent attack of an organization or a country by hackers. In 2013 major banks in the USA suffered from this as a massive denial of service were unleashed on their network. This will increase this year. Social media attack: Now those closes to 2 billion people are using both facebook and twitter, these platforms have become fertile ground for hackers to feed from. More VIP citizens will suffer terrible attack on their facebook accounts and twitter accounts this year. Hackers will continue to create fake facebook accounts (phishing) of important personalities to dupe unsuspecting people. Cyber attacks on bankers: Banks are the most favored platform for hackers to hack. Hackers follow cash. So in 2014 banks should expect more attacks both from in-house disgruntled employees and outside cyber thieves. Cloud backlash: Cloud-hacking will become a common place in 2014. Since most information are now stored on 3rd party devices, hackers will continue to have a field day in getting into the cloud to steal information to be sold in the black market. How does this all affect Nigeria and Nigerians? : Seven benefits to Nigeria and Nigerians in 2014 from using technology. It is not true that there are no jobs. The truth is that there are jobs but most Nigerian graduates lack appropriate skills to add value to the global ecosystem. The current university education curricula are mostly outdated and cannot help the graduate in job placement without extra industry-required skills. The focus of the graduates is to acquire certificate or degree not Skills that will help him to be useful in the industry. Therefore for Nigerians who need a job or want to change his or her job should take the seven skills of fortune we identified above seriously. Digital Government: Government should use technology by automating a lot of its activities that are currently been done manually. This will bring down the cost of governance substantially. Also things like taxation, business registration should be digitise. Setting up cyber security command centre (CSCC): As at today Nigeria lives in a house with its doors and windows wide open for foreign hackers to come in and steal its information. There is no standing national Cyber Army or warrior on the ground that can defend Nigeria interest at the speed of light. The time has come for Nigeria federal government to set up a cyber security command centre. Cyber war is more difficult to win than the conventional war because the enemies are faceless and virtual. They are everywhere without been seen! • Akano is the CEO of New Horizons Nigeria


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Maritime

New Maersk Line 18k TEU

NPA explains 115 % growth in 10 years opment   has   resulted in healthy competition among terminal operators. “The Volume dredged from 2006 to date by the LCM is 53,583,546m3 while a total of 24 numbers of critical wrecks have been removed.. This provides shipping companies the economy of space, which enhances their turnover. “The Volume dredged by BCC from 2006 to date is 43,537,000m3 while 14 Wrecks has been removed. “Bonny channel from its previous 12.50 meters

Stories by Moses Ebosele ETWEEN 2003 and the B third quarter of 2013, the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) experienced not less than 115 per cent growth. According to the Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi, the ‘progress’ indicates that “we do not handle trans shipment and transit cargo, all cargoes are captive and Nigeria destined”. Reviewing the 2013 third quarter performance of the agency recently, Abdullahi said: “It therefore shows that petroleum product liberalization, growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the transformation agenda and increase in construction works have had an unprecedented economic impact on the port industry”.  Abdullahi added: “Also, the consistent effort by the Nigerian Ports Authority in fulfilling its obligation on one part and the terminal operators on another and with the provision of enabling environment by the Federal Government of

draught has been deepened to its present 14.30 meters increased its width from 215 meters to 230 meters. “The successful wreck removal campaign being undertaken by   the Authority also ensured safe navigation of vessels and protection of marine environment amongst other economic benefits”. It added: “Our recent research revealed that generally each port is being shaped by the market forces dictated by the commodity demand and by the particular port

user. “Import in Onne for general cargo has since reduced by 30 per cent in total throughput but has been largely compensated for an increase of 60 per cent of gas. “Lagos port complex is the only port that has maintained its traditional cargo morphology but with bias for containerization as palletized cargo is gradually giving way to this new global trend”. Within the period under review, NPA handled a

total   of 19,849,258 million metric tonnes of cargo, indicating an increase of 2.6 per cent over   19,340,901 Million metric tonnes recorded within same period in 2012, excluding crude oil terminals. According to NPA, containerized cargo throughput handled within the period amounted to 3,559,453 million metric tonnes showing an increase of 12.3per cent over the 2012 third   quarter figure of 3,168,412million metric tonnes. 

‘Regulations, over-capacity, others bane of shipping industry’ Abdullahi Nigeria under Dr Goodluck Jonathan will further encourage investors’ confidence in the Port sector”. He  was quoted in a  statement signed   by NPA’s   Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs), Musa lliya as saying the devel-

RITICAL  issues C presently  facing shipping industry globally    include regulatory burdens concerning the environment, maritime security and the supply and demand imbalance with new building orders reaching “worrying” levels, global shipping association BIMCO has said.  In its newly published “Reflections 2014” report,  the

association explained that the   steady improvement of the global economy   has improved   outlook for shipping, as demand goes up and “fleet expansion growth cools off, the market fundamentals are expected to improve across the board”. The group said: “But the regulatory burdens, notably those seeking to address environmental pressures, remain

major challenges to the industry’s cost base at a time when resources are limited. This includes massive challenges on sulphur limits, ship efficiency, ballast water treatment and regulation”. In his accompanying message to Reflections 2014, BIMCO president John Denholm said: “A worrying amount of ordering is taking place, adding tonnage to an

already excessive world fleet. This will delay a return to a balance between supply and demand and hence the long awaited market recovery.  “To add insult to injury, the ever increasing regulatory requirements impose significant costs on our industry at a time when it can ill afford them.” 

ure, and a backup power source on every ship to keep emergency systems running in the event of a main generator failure. According to NBC News, the announcement by the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 25 major companies including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America and Cunard, comes in the aftermath of the Carnival Triumph debacle. The ship drifted for several days earlier

this year without power as passengers endured filthy conditions. Christine Duffy, president and Chief Executive Officer  of CLIA, said the idea for the bill of rights came about in response to demands from United States of America Senator Charles Schumer, that the industry guarantee passengers minimum standards and protections while on a ship, including sanitary conditions, back-up power,

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Shipping firms test alternative ‘low-cost fuel’ UADRISE, the emerging Q supplier of MSAR, a lowcost alternative to fuel oil in the shipping, refining, and power generation markets, recently up dated its   2013 report. The fuel required for the ‘proof of concept’ seaborne programme was loaded in November, 2013  for supply to two Maersk ships equipped with Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel two stroke propulsion engines respectively. According to quarise web-

site, the  fuel will be used periodically in a series of programmes involving specific operations and load conditions that will lead to final approval to commence the next phase. The ‘proof of concept’ confirmation will signal the transition to commercial operations and the determination of contractual terms between the parties Quadrise International Limited (“QIL”), the refiner and the shipping company.  The first joint activi-

ty will involve installation of manufacturing capacity and production of Marine MSAR 2 fuel to provide for up to 4,000 hours of seaborne performance data collection on each engine type. Saudi Aramco has designated a very large refinery for the first installation for commercial production. Selection was based on both scale of opportunity and ease of supply to a major steam and power generation facility located on the same site, and integrated oper-

ationally with the refinery. In South America, current focus is on the Joint Feasibility Study with Ecopetrol for supply of MSAR   fuel into the South and Central American power and marine markets. Meanwhile, Cruise  industry recently  adopted  a passenger bill of rights that guarantees the “safety, comfort and care” of guests. The bill of rights promises, among other things, full refunds for trips that are canceled due to mechanical fail-

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Shipping firms test alternative CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36

Cosco ship

Firm projects higher tanker rates in 2014   demand and ItheNCREASED higher rates will improve prospects for oil tanker firms this year (2014),  the chief executive officer  of major tanker company,  Frontline, Jens Martin Jensen  has  said. According to Reuters, rates were unexpectedly strong at the end of 2013, “ mostly due to surging Chinese imports”. Jensen  explained that a recent dip, because of lower demand is likely to be reversed: “There are some positive triggers that may result in higher activity going forward, like Libya and Sudan,” he said, referring to an expected rise in volumes. Frontline, part of shipping tycoon John Fredriksen’s businesses  empire, has repeatedly said that if the market did not improve significantly, it would need to restructure its debts. In late 2013, however,

strong Chinese crude oil demand drove rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) from around $10,000  per day in September to above $50,000 in December, the highest level since 2009, before they eased to about $30,000. “That (fall back to $30,000) was caused by a reduction in volumes going to China ahead of the Chinese New Year in late January,” said the 48-year-old Jensen, who has led Frontline since 2008 through one of the industry’s worst crises on record. The market remains supported by demand from China, while shipments could increase from Libya and possibly from South Sudan, he said, if they succeed in resolving civil conflicts. Frontline’s shares have more than doubled in value since late November. They rose by

more than 16 percent recently on increasing investor confidence that the market’s recovery will be sustained. Jensen also warned that there are too many old vessels in operation: “We see that there’s a new wave of new-build contracts, which is unfortunate. But, I don’t think we’ll get as many orders as earlier; there isn’t as much shipyard capacity available. But we still need more scrapping to maintain a reasonable balance in the market.” Meanwhile, global shipping association, BIMCO  has predicted that in the coming weeks, the elevated level of Capesize Time Charter average rates will remain volatile and stay around $15,00030,000 per day. According to the  report, BIMCO noted that 2013 was a truly amazing year for Chinese iron ore imports. “A

growth rate of 10.8 per cent  for the first 11 months as compared to the same period in 2012. It added that “as regards freight rates, the smaller segments of Handysize and Supramax have enjoyed an almost unbroken run of better earnings over a sustained period. “Both segments are propelled forward by a strong Atlantic market, mainly driven by front-haul routes out of the United States   Gulf to Continental Europe and the North Coast of South America, mostly carrying grain. For 2014, BIMCO expects that demand growth will range between 4½ and  six per cent  indicating that such strong growth will outstrip supply and bring about an improvement to the fundamental balance. According to BIMCO’s head

of shipping analysis, Peter Sand, “coal exports from the United States  have been growing since 2007. However, after a record-setting year in 2012, the numbers appear to be dwindling. Even though March 2013 set a record with 12.3 million tons, seven per cent  higher than the record set in June 2012, it is not representative of the whole year. The exported total in the first nine months of 2013 is 7.5 per cent, lower than that of the same time last year. Seen on a broader scale, however, the 2013 numbers are still around 100 per cent  higher than they were only  four  years ago. In combination with the long sailing distances that most United States  coal export routes hold, the trade has established itself as a key element in the market, also in the future” he said.

medical care and refunds in the event of a power failure. Asked to comment on the industry announcement, Schumer called the passenger bill of rights “a step in the right direction towards increased accountability for the cruise industry and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its passengers.” But he added, in an emailed response, that he still has “many remaining questions, both on the content and how the bill of rights will be enforced. I will be asking the industry to respond to a set of detailed questions, and will continue to insist on changes to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their passengers.” Duffy acknowledged that many of the steps outlined in the bill of rights are already standard practice for most major cruise lines — such as providing refunds for trips disrupted by mechanical failure and equipping ships with backup power for emergency systems like lighting. But she added that while “some of our members are already doing these things, a big part of the bill of rights is being consistent across the cruise industry, making these things transparent so that they do become part of the contractual agreement between the passenger and the cruise lines.” CLIA said the bill of rights would be effective immediately for U.S. passengers who purchase their cruise in North America on CLIA’s North American member cruise lines. The association also said that it had submitted the bill of rights to the International Maritime Organisation, “requesting formal global recognition and applicability.” The bill also gives passengers the right to disembark a docked ship if “essential provisions such as food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot adequately be provided onboard,” subject to safety, security and local customs and immigration laws. In addition to a full refund for trips cancelled due to mechanical failure, the bill guarantees partial refunds for voyages that are terminated early due to those failures.

‘Over-capacity is bane of shipping industry’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 Reflections 2014 also takes a closer look at maritime security, noting that the greatest emphasis is upon the scourge of piracy, but also stresses that there remain many other strands to maritime security, such as the combating of narcotics and terrorism.  “The piracy situation is dynamic, and despite attacks in the Gulf of Aden and Somali basin  dwindling the situation could reverse and the shipping industry must not drop its guard.” In a related development, accounting firm, Moore Stephens has explained that for the  maritime sector to sustain its global growth, there should be noticeable improvement in 2015.

Moore also warned   that the prospects for recovery may still be fragile if the industry fails to meet a number of challenges, including tighter regulation and increased operating costs. Shipping partner Richard Greiner said: “New Year resolutions are invariably a case of in one year and out the other. Generally speaking, it is wise not to make resolutions which are too ambitious; American troubadour Woody Guthrie had the right idea when he settled for, ‘Wash teeth, if any’. But the shipping industry can afford to be a little more bullish than previously in its aspirations for 2014”. Explaining further, Greiner said: “Shipping is in a different space to that which it occu-

pied a year ago. Confidence rose to a three-year high over the course of 2013. Good things are predicted for freight rates in 2014, more companies are starting to consider new investment, and economic and political issues with the potential to hurt shipping are deemed less severe than twelve months previously. “Over the next twelve months, we can expect to see more shipping money raised in the public and private equity markets. We may see more non-shipping money invested in shipping than for some time, although not necessarily by dentists. Supply and demand levels should come closer into alignment. “Consequently, freight rates are likely to rise and, with

them, vessel values. Increased levels of demolition will be required to offset new tonnage. China is already offering subsidies to shipping companies to scrap vessels before their operational expiry date and to replace them with new ships which are eco-friendly and which fly the Chinese flag. So everybody is happy – owners, shipyards, environmentalists (except those worried about the perceived evils of irresponsible recycling) and politicians alike.” Greiner warns, however, that all the positive indicators remain somewhat fragile, adding that:”Operating costs are expected to go up in 2014. Shipping cannot operate without fuel and skilled manpower. Meanwhile, increased

regulation of crew welfare, fuel quality and ballast water management are big-ticket items. Environmental regulation is self-perpetuating, witness the news that IMO is to debate plans for ship owners to compile fuel-consumption data to support steps to create carbon dioxide reduction regulations. “It is to be hoped, however, that the industry can sustain the upturn which began in 2013. If it can, we may see a return to rude health by 2015 although, as John Maynard Keynes warned, ‘The market can stay irrational for longer than you can stay solvent’.” In terms of regulation, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) had recently unveiled a  new interactive display on Particularly

Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA). PSSA is an area that needs special protection through action by IMO because of its significance for recognised ecological or socio-economic or scientific reasons and which may be vulnerable to damage by international maritime activities. The new display and website include videos, pictures, maps, and graphic displays, telling the unique story of each of the 14 PSSAs, together with a special insight on IMO’s work on this topic, past, present and future. According to IMO, the display and website have been funded with the support of generous contributions from Australia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea and Sweden.


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Industry Reconciling agricultural aspirations with trade policy commitments Across a range of products, Nigeria and many other countries within the subSaharan African region have the capacity to become self-sufficient and even become a net exporter, as highlighted in the rice, cocoa and sugar sectors among others. However, despite sustainability efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the absence of a genuine regional strategy to address issues related to input supplies, the structuring of different value chains, harmonised standards for processed goods, the regulation of the regional market and the coordination of border protection policies remain a critical challenge. FEMI ADEKOYA examines how agricultural aspirations with trade policy commitments in West Africa can be reconciled considering emerging bilateral ties between the region and the West under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) schemes. he continued deepening of trade relationships between regions in Africa and europe as well as the United States of America has led to the move by the West African region to gravitate towards a consensus that “protecting a bigger, more competitive market (given that internal barriers to regional trade are removed), coordinated with supply side efforts, could overcome the failures of past attempts at self-sufficiency.” Lofty idea and aspiration as its seems, the key challenge of dominance of informal trade in West Africa, estimating that official statistics probably capture about one-fourth of actual transactions, in value, remains a source of concern in reconciling aspirations with trade policy commitments. Indeed, some of the identified key obstacles to regional agricultural trade in West Africa requesting immediate action in recent times include: improving transport and communication infrastructures, both regional roads and links between the main production areas and main regional markets; removing obstacles to efficient transport logistics management; removing de facto the non-tariff barriers to regional trade, including through the introduction of sanctions for non-compliance. Others are supporting the development of smallholder farms, agro-food small and medium enterprises (SMes) and the structural development of food supply chains; enhancing the political leadership at regional level to ensure effective support to sector- and product-specific development strategies; and supporting increased participation of civil society and professional organisations in order to improve policy formulation and implementation. With the recommended new regional common external tariff (CeT) set to become operational on 1 January 2015, the need to reconcile the challenges faced in reconciling eCOWAS trade policy with the aspirations of the body’s regional agricultural policy (eCOWAP) becomes imperative. The body’s council of Ministers had adopted proposals for an “import adjustment tax” and “supplementary protection tax”, while it was agreed to revisit the proposal to introduce a 1.5 per cent Community levy within five years. Specifically, the Ivorian Foreign Minister and President of the eCOWAS Council of Ministers,

T

Aganga Charles Diby, argued that “the establishment of a unified [CeT]” could facilitate “a more successful outcome” in the ePA negotiations, especially regarding the market access offer. The October 2013 extraordinary meeting of eCOWAS heads of State and Government reiterated the region’s commitment to concluding an “equitable and development-oriented” ePA, calling for “flexibility and compromise” in resolving outstanding issues. Although, the proposed ePA Development Programme (PAPeD) remains a point of contention, with West African governments seeking some €16 billion of funding to “overcome the cost of adjusting to the impending trade regime” while the eC maintains that “existing funding is sufficient”. On 29 October the eC confirmed (subject to confirmation by the european Parliament and Council) the allocation of €6.4 billion in support to West Africa for the period 2014–2020, with €1.2 billion of this allocated to regional programmes. In a memorandum prepared for the meeting of the heads of State and Government meeting, West African civil society bodies asserted the primary importance of regional economic integration and the need for a common trade policy and common sector policies to underpin the establishment of a CeT. The memorandum called for effective national actions to operationalise regional commitments and warned that the ePA process should not be allowed to undermine the primary objective of regional integration. In this context it warned that as a result of the ePA process, “West Africa is now fragmented and balkanised into five different trade

Adesina regimes.” Meanwhile, analysis posted on the website of the USAID-funded West African Trade hub project highlights accelerating urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa, noting World Bank projections that urban food demand will “quadruple in 20 years”. This is seen as presenting both challenges and opportunities for African agricultural producers. With Nigeria’s self-sufficiency timeline for some key products like rice and sugar ticking away, there are worries that rising demand for some products like rice, wheat, diary and vegetable oils is outstripping production growth, suggesting that “Africa’s dream of food sovereignty will have to wait for a couple of decades” to be realized as food imports are likely to increase significantly in the interim. The World Bank analysis further notes that only 4% of sub-Saharan African food imports are sourced from within Africa (US$1 billion out of US$25 billion). however, it is maintained that as new policies take effect, private investment is mobilised and access to inputs improves, sub-Saharan Africa should increasingly be able to feed itself. This assumes that infrastructural and logistical constraints on moving foodstuffs from production areas to urban areas can be overcome and efficient commercial supply networks can be built up. The structure of the eCOWAS /WAeMU agreed common external tariff as at March 2013 indicates that agreement has been reached on the treatment of 5,899 tariff lines: Zero percent duty 85 tariff lines (essential social goods) Five per cent duty 2,146 (raw materials and capital goods)

Zero percent duty: 85 tariff lines (essential social goods) Five per cent duty: 2,146 (raw materials and capital goods) 10 per cent duty: 1,373 tariff lines (intermediate products) 20 per cent duty: 2,165 tariff lines (final consumer products) 35 per cent duty: 130 tariff lines (specific goods promoting to economic development). Highlights of the ECOWAS /WAEMU agreed common external tariff as at March 2013

10 per cent duty 1,373 tariff lines (intermediate products) 20 per cent duty 2,165 tariff lines (final consumer products) 35 per cent duty 130 tariff lines (specific goods promoting to economic development). It could be recalled that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria export Promotion Group’s (MANeG) Chairman, MANeG, Tunde Oyelola had decried the level of counterfeiting and cloning of Nigerian manufactured products in the eCOWAS and other African markets. According to MAN, manufacturers need to shift from business as usual and strengthen their positions, especially in the areas of certification and standardisation, if made-inNigeria goods will thrive in regional and global markets. Oyelola urged the Nigerian export Promotion Council (NePC) to look into working with the eCOWAS Commission to make national trademarks transnational within the subregion. “The level of counterfeiting and cloning of Nigerian manufactured products in the eCOWAS and other African markets becoming alarming and Nigerian manufacturers are losing to these counterfeited products. We have recorded cases where goods that have Nigerian trademarks are counterfeited in Asian countries and exported back to African market with the impression that the goods are produced in Nigeria. “Similarly, the issue of high cost of logistics especially within African markets and government foreign policy should be addressed if Nigerian goods would become competitive in the region.” however, with the U.S. administration currently planning a review of experience of AGOA, to examine “where exports are growing and why; whether AGOA-eligible countries have an export strategy and how AGOA can promote regional integration and spur diversification as well as the rules of origin issues and sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) measures, Nigeria may need to brace up for the challenges of its policy commitments if meaningful achievements would be recorded.


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UN report hinges growth prospect in Nigeria, others on improved trade ties Stories by Femi Adekoya F Nigeria and other African Istakes countries continue to raise on investment in infrastructure, trade and investment ties with emerging economies, and improvements in economic governance and management, the growth prospects of the region will rise beyond expected rates. This was the position of the United Nations in its World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014 (WESP) report. According to the report, despite the slow-paced growth projected in some regions, the growth prospects in Africa remain relatively robust. With an estimated growth of 4.0 per cent in 2013, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the region is projected to expand by 4.7 per cent in 2014 if opportunities in the areas of investment in infrastructure, trade and investment ties with emerging economies, and improvements in economic governance and management are properly harnessed. Globally, economic growth is expected to increase over the next two years with continuing signs of improvement, according to the report. The report stated that: “The global economy is expected to grow at a pace of 3.0 per cent in 2014 and 3.3 per cent in 2015, compared with an estimated growth of 2.1 per cent for 2013. The world economy experienced subdued growth for a second year in 2013, but some improvements in the last

quarter have led to the UN’s more positive forecast. The euro area has finally ended a protracted recession.” According to WESP, inflation will remain tame worldwide, but the employment situation will continue to be challenging, while growth in international trade flows is expected to pick up moderately to 4.7 per cent in 2014, the prices of most primary commodities are projected to be flat, although any unexpected supply-side shocks, including geo-political tensions, could push some of these prices higher. Going by inconsistencies in policies in some economies, the report warned that international capital flows to emerging economies are expected to become more volatile. While economic fundamentals and the policy space in many emerging economies are better than when the Asian financial crisis erupted in 1997, the report showed that emerging economies with large external imbalances remain particularly vulnerable. “Our forecast is made in the context of many uncertainties and risks coming from possible policy missteps as well as non-economic factors that could stymie growth,” said Shamshad Akhtar, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development. The report also showed that though Western Europe emerged from recession in 2013, growth prospects

Wincor Nixdorf automates retail processes at McDonald’s INCOR Nixdorf, will at W this year’s edition of the Wincor World 2014 trade show, showcase a trendsetting kiosk application in a replica of a McDonald’s restaurant. Specifically, the process would see guests at McDonald’s use an "Easy Order" terminal to place their menu orders themselves and pay for them by card. This simplifies ordering, food preparation and payment processes, especially at peak times. According to a statement, Wincor Nixdorf developed the kiosk terminal especially for McDonald’s and adapted

the terminal’s design to McDonald’s corporate image. The unit’s intuitive, touchbased interface makes it very user-friendly for the restaurant’s guests, and initial tests revealed that up to 50 per cent of McDonald’s customers used the terminals during peak hours. To this end, the company plans to roll out the solution this year in other European countries, adding that visitors to Wincor World 2014 at the A2-Forum in RhedaWiedenbrück from January 21 – 23 can discover the precise functions offered by the "Easy Order" terminal.

remain weak, as fiscal austerity will continue and the unemployment rates remain elevated. Hence, GDP in Western Europe is expected to grow by 1.5 per cent in 2014. Other uncertainties and risks identified by the WESP

include the remaining fragility in the banking system and the real economy in the euro area and the continued political wrangling in the U.S. on the debt ceiling and the budget. Also, other risk factors,

unfolding unexpectedly, could derail the world economy far beyond the report’s projections. With multiple and complex challenges facing the world economy, the report calls for strengthening international

policy coordination. “The primary focus of globally-concerted and coherent policy actions should be a stronger recovery, particularly the recovery of jobs,” said Pingfan Hong, UN team leader for the report.

A manufacturing plant in Nigeria

GZ Industries unveils expansion plan O bridge the demand-supT ply gap within Nigeria and other African regions, GZ Industries, a pan African packaging company, has unveiled plans to expand its production capacity in Nigeria and Kenya to such end. Indeed, the group's Chief Executive Officer, GZ Industries, Motti Goldmintz disclosed that the group would commence the expansion exercise with the building of its plant at Aba, Nigeria where production is set to commence in 2014 as well as a new plant near Nairobi, Kenya which will be supplying customers in the first quarter of 2015. According to the firm, the plant in Aba is being built by the same team as that Agbara, Ogun state, and has not only been working at benchmark standards but remains the only fully qualified and operational plant in the country. Goldmintz noted that the Aba plant will be the third line in Nigeria and will meet the needs in the eastern part of the country, where the firm needs to shore up its supply

chain. He said: "After a period of growth and the replacements of imports, in 2013 the 1.4 billion unit Nigerian market for beverage cans will decline as consumer expenditure has been restricted, but we see that from our perspective with a geographic presence across Nigeria, a range of cans to meet the market needs and a strong contractual positions with our customers, we are in a good position to develop the markets needs for the packaging our research tells us is the future for packaging in Africa"

“GZI projects a Nigerian market growth forecast of 1.6 billion units in 2016 with plenty of capacity to meet this need. The additional line will give GZI the opportunity to supply locally and increase its capability to produce a range of speciality cans. “In East Africa, the GZI plant near Nairobi will start its supply to the local market early in 2015. The land, buildings and equipment have been purchased. It will follow GZI's successful model with support from our shareholders,

who are active widely across this region. "As a group of managers and investors we have a tremendous amount of experience across all the developing markets, so the group is now looking at other opportunities across Sub Saharan and Southern Africa. These opportunities are based upon support from our major customers, who have seen our business grow from scratch into a truly world class business in difficult territories".

Firm commences operations, unveils home accessories O aid access to global, presT tigious luxury home furnishing accessories as well as cater for local demand, Lush Luxury Wall coverings has announced its commencement of operations in Nigeria. Specifically, the firm would cater for needs in the area of sales and installation of luxury wall coverings to both commercial and residential facilities. With a boutique in Lagos,

the firm also offers some prestigious luxury brands like Versace Home (Italy), Phillip Jefferies (USA), Architects Paper (Germany), Fabcote Haute Couture (South Africa) and Porsche Design Studio (Germany). A statement from the firm noted that Lush has the official and exclusive agency in Nigeria of all the brands in its portfolio, thereby giving its clients unparalleled customer service and absolute

confidence in the authenticity of its products. The statement reads in part: “In addition, Lush provides a true and exceptional luxury experience from inexhaustible classical and modern wallcoverings to suit the ambience and beauty of the clients’ interiors. These highly engineered, hand-crafted luxury wall coverings are targeted at a decidedly discerning, savvy and affluent clientele.

‘Manufacturing key to job generation, sustainable industrial development’ O address growing unemployment rate in Nigeria and other developing nations, sustainable efforts should be exerted on improving growth of manufacturing activities in the region, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has said. According to the development agency, countries need to move from lower technology to higher technology sectors, from lower value-added to higher value-added sectors and from lower productivity to higher productivity sectors if employment generation would be achieved. Specifically, the agency noted that for developing countries

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aiming to maintain growth while sustaining job creation, manufacturing offers an opportunity not only to rebalance the economy towards higher value-added sectors but also to provide a relatively wide employment base with higher labour productivity. UNIDO further added that the transition from agriculture to services, especially for low-income countries, offers the opportunity to achieve only the first objective, not the second. In its latest industrial development report, UNIDO noted that manufacturing, with more than half a billion jobs globally, is crucial for employment generation, and for

inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The agency restated its firm conviction of the manufacturing industry’s role as a dynamic instrument of growth essential to the rapid economic and social development of developing countries, particularly the least developed countries. “Industry increases productivity and generates income, reducing poverty and providing opportunities for social inclusion. As countries further develop their industries, the motivation to increase value added drives a greater application of science, technology and innovation, encourages more investment

in skills and education and provides the resources to meet broader development outcomes,” Director-General of UNIDO, LI Yong, added. As the global community embarks on formulating a new development agenda to build on the foundation laid by the Millennium Development Goals, the report underscores the need for integrating inclusive and sustainable industrial development into the new agenda. The report further emphasized the need an expansion of productive capacities and a growth of responsible value addition to encourage increased job creation and income generation, while

respecting planetary boundaries and ensuring an efficient use of scarce resources. Yong explained saying: “It is only through inclusive and sustainable industrial development that countries around the world, be they industrialized or developing, will be able to achieve the socially equitable and ecologically sustainable economic growth that generates employment and income, and creates the wealth to achieve wider developmental goals for health, education and human rights. “Since the eruption of the financial crisis in 2008, much of the public debate has focused, after decades of

silence, on development economics: how to sustain growth, create lasting jobs, generate incomes and enable the accumulation of wealth, thus eradicating the scourge of poverty and preventing social polarization and fragmentation. “The rising number of unemployed people in industrialized economies, the political unrest in Northern Africa, the increasingly vocal demands from voters in emerging economies and the discussion towards a new international agenda for development, all point in the same direction –at the central role that productive activities and jobs have in the life of individuals and countries.


Mobil, Conoil lead oil sector into 2014 third week /45

FG warns illegal miners... urge formation of co-operatives

Govt has violated all agreement with electricity workers /45

SWEETCRUDE /43

Gas projects on hold over non-passage of PIB come online within the next 10 years. It noted that the start-up dates for many of the NVESTMENTS in Nigeria’s gas sub-sector may deepwater oil projects have been pushed back, which has mainly been attributed to regulatory have suffered several setbacks due to the uncertainty. The regulatory uncertainty has also non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill resulted in the decline in deepwater exploration (PIB). Already, International Oil Companies (IOCs) activity since 2007. Nigeria is the largest holder of natural gas proven have slowed down investment proposals of reserves in Africa and the ninth largest holder in over N17.2 trillion due to the fiscal terms and the world. Nigeria produced 1.2 Tcf of dry natural non-passage of the PIB. gas in 2012, ranking it as the world’s 25th largest Besides the non-passage of the bill, the IOCs natural gas producer. are said to have suspended further investments in the oil and gas sector, claiming that It flares the second largest amount of natural gas such investments may not bring expected re- in the world, following Russia. Natural gas flared in Nigeria accounts for 10 per cent of the total turns. PIB, which was initially proposed in 2008, is amount flared globally. Nigeria exported 19.8 MMtpa (950 Bcf) of LNG in expected to change the organisational struc2012, accounting for more than 8 per cent of globture and fiscal terms governing the oil and ally traded LNG and making Nigeria the world’s gas sectors, if it becomes law. fourth largest LNG exporter. The IOCs are concerned that proposed Apart from poor performance of Nigeria’s oil and changes to fiscal terms may make some projects commercially unviable, particularly deep- gas export in the last few years, investments in the Nigeria gas sector have been on a slow pace. water projects that involve greater capital For instance, Gazprom, which has world’s leadspending. According to the United States Energy Infor- ing expertise and experience, like large-scale inmation Administration (EIA), there are several frastructure management, control and protection, gas gathering systems and storages planned oil and gas projects scheduled to and exploration, is said to have slowed down further investment plan in Nigeria due to the PIB. The Russia’s energy giant Gazprom had signed a $2.5 billion deal with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to invest in a new gas joint venture. Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom’s Nigerian unit, Vladimir Ilyanin, said in November 2010 that the Russian state- owned company would delay plans to invest billions of dollars into the country until an oil and gas regulation bill is passed.

By Roseline Okere

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Also, The Guardian gathered that the proposed Trans-Saharan Gas pipeline is also suffering from the uncertainty surrounding the PIB. Nigeria signed an accord with Niger and Algeria in 2009 to build a pipeline costing about $20 billion across the Mediterranean Sea to Spain, possibly with a branch going to Italy. Gazprom also negotiated with Nigeria about its possible participation in the project. Also Indian company GAIL, France’s Total S.A., Italy’s Eni SpA and Royal Dutch Shell had expressed interest in participating in the project. The Guardian gathered that some of the IOCs that have earlier signified interest in the project are no longer showing much enthusiasm in the project all because of the petroleum industry bill. Also, the Brass LNG with two trains and an output of 10mtpa was expected to have been

on stream in the first quarter of 2009 while the Olokola (OK) LNG, which is a four train plant with an output of 20mtpa will have had the first two trains commissioned in 2009/2010. But, up till now, these gas projects are on hold with the Final Investment Decision also paused several years after being initiated. The idea for an LNG tolling facility in Western Nigeria was solidified in 2007 with the signing of an MOU between shareholders – NNPC, Chevron, Shell, and BG Group; but the dream started years before then. The plan was for gas producers/owners to send natural gas to the facility where it would be converted to LNG for a fee and pumped into owner ships for sale. Initiated about the same time as Brass LNG, OK LNG seemed to garner more support and interest owning to former President Obasanjo’s

Crude Oil and Commodity Prices January, Tuesday 14 2014 - 05:12:30

championing efforts. Chevron was said to have pulled out of the project. The belief was that final investment decision (FID) wasn’t too far away and the shareholders were ready to see it through. On change of governments in 2007, the same year FID was expected, the project still had enough steam to run a few more miles. Fast-forward to 2012, five years later, FID still had a shifting date and was a hazy hope at best; a vain one at worst. There isn’t much in-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 41


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 ENERGY 41

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Bunkering, Nigeria’s new legitimate oil business

Bunkering vessel production. The new modality however seems to be given legality to the business, where bunkers are expected to secure operating license and T WAS A SURPRISE to some, but business as met the set standards and rules laid down by usual to other experts in the nation’s oil sec- the Federal Government. This would be far tor, when the news broke that the Federal from the past situation where some hoodGovernment has approved oil bunkering busi- lums gather to break pipelines and smuggle ness in the country. products to neighbouring countries. Nigeria, a major producer and exporter of hy- In the global petroleum/marine industry, drocarbon fuels, has suffered significantly from oil bunkering is a legitimate business that the activities of illegal oil bunkers in recent involves the process of supplying a ship with past, with estimates that about N780 billion fuel. was lost to the menace daily. These also lead to Specially, oil bunkering is the terminology pipeline damages that are often severe, causing used in the shipping industry to describe the pollution, and forcing companies to shut-in selling of fuel, from specialized vessels (ships) designed for that particular task, transferring fuel from one ship to another i.e. ship to ship transfer of fuel (heavy, medium and light fuel, gas oil and marine diesel.) CONTINUED FROM PAGE 40 The major government agencies such as formation about what happened in those five DPR, Nigerian Maritime Administration and years, most likely, it was full of vital planning, Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigeria Ports Ausome field work, high-level meetings, and thority; Nigerian Navy, among other multieveryday office work. Then in 2012, BG Group national and indigenous oil and gas pulled out of the project. operators, are now strategizing on modaliAlthough, NNPC claimed the company already ties to making Nigeria a hub for oil bunkermade plans to sell its upstream holdings, and ing, in line with the Federal Government’s even though the company had the smallest agenda. share of OK LNG, it was still a blow to the projThe Director of Department of Petroleum ect, a foreboding of something that would beresources (DPR), George Osahon, laws week come real. A few other companies, LNG Japan, disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan Mittal Group, and Centrica, lined up to take has approved oil bunkering business in the over the 14.25 percent share of OK LNG; howcountry, starting from January, 2013. ever, it is not clear whether they eventually did According to Osahon, “bunkering is a buy into the project. downstream business involving the fueling One year later, June – July 2013, the other two of ships of all kinds on the high seas, inland international oil companies (IOCs), Shell and waterways and within the ports”. Chevron pulled up stakes and left. Fuels to be supplied include Automotive Also, the delay in the take off of the Train seven Gas Oil (AGO) or diesel, Low Pour Fuel Oil of the Nigeria LNG Limited has also been linked (LPFO) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). to the failure of the Nigeria government to pass Osahon emphasized that bunkering is a lethe PIB. gitimate business line that should not be Sources, who are familiar with the proposed confused with illegal trade in stolen crude NLNG seventh train, also ascribed the delay in for which the same term has been freely the project takeoff to the non-passage of the used in the Nigerian lexicon. PIB. One of them, who pleaded anonymity because Bunkering was first introduced in Nigeria of the complexity to the project, said that IOCs in 1979, while the licenses were issued by the operating in the country were not ready to inDPR, but it was later put on hold in 2000, on vest in major oil and gas projects due to certain account of the subsidy on petroleum prodclauses in the proposed bill. ucts which more or less gave the operators According to him, the fiscal terms proposed in windfall profits that did not trickle down to the bill are making major oil and gas investGovernment. ments unattractive to players and this may not Osahon said the DPR is ready to receive and be unconnected with the delay in the NLNG treat applications for prospective bunkers, project. adding that bunkering is expected to conThe Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos tribute significantly to the national earnChamber of Commerce and Industry, some of ings. whose members are joint owners of the NLNG, “Revenue generation, as licensing of said the harsh fiscal terms in the PIB had bunkers including licence renewals, registraslowed down the N17.2 trillion investment protions of vessels for bunkering business by posals. the DPR is expected to generate about N250 “$109bn in planned investments is not promillion yearly,” he said. gressing as new projects are no longer ecoOsahon said the DPR is ready to receive and nomical,” the Chairman, OPTS, Mark Ward, treat applications for prospective bunkers, said. adding that it was set to strictly monitor acHe explained that the IOCs had planned to intivities, which were expected to take place vest $33 billion in the next five years but under certain standards and specifications. lamented that the fiscal terms of the PIB, if not

By Sulaimon Salau

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Gas Projects on hold...

He said bunkering is expected to generate more employment opportunities and provide stimulus for growth in other sectors of the economy. According to him, it would also increase marine activities in Nigeria, and generate money funds into the national purse. However, the DPR boss noted that any firm that failed to comply with the rules of bunkering in the country would face the wrath of the law, by withdrawal of license and payment of fine. A top official of the Nigerian Navy, NIMASA, and Customs, at the forum, assured their commitment towards enforcing all laws guiding bunkering activities in the country. The customs said the any vessel proposed to be used for bunkering should be Nigerian flagged; operators should secure the duty payable by way of a bank bond; activities of the vessel must be limited to Nigerian territorial waters; all bunker vessels must not be used for other activities outside bunkering, among others. Other industry operators were apparently enthusiastic about the decision which they described as a welcome development. Some of the stakeholders however raised concerns on how to eradicate the illegal bunkering and manipulations of the technicalities of the business by approved companies. This spells the huge responsibility on the regulatory agencies involved in the business such as the DPR, NPA, NIMASA, and Nigerian Navy among others. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Elshcon Nigeria Limited, Emi Membere-Otaji, said oil bunkering has always been operated in the country. “There is a legalized bunkering. There are FPSOs and other oil vessels offshore that are needed fuel. So, giving them the fuel is a bunkering. But it is illegal when you break a pipeline. It is oil theft and not bunkering. What government is making people to know is that you can still do the right thing, getting products from the right source and getting the approval or permit to supply people. “It is a good thing, but we need to strengthen

the enforcement to ensure that only the legalized firms are allowed to operate while the illegal bunkers were chased out of the system. “As long as the illegal bunkering is thriving, the legal bunkering cannot compete, because the illegal bunkers would offer cheaper prices that may eventually kill the legal bunkering business. So, government should try as much as possible to wipe out illegal bunkers, so that the legalized business can thrive,” he said. The requirements for bunkering business includes: That all bunkering operations in the country will be licensed by the DPR; Guidelines have been prepared by the DPR to regulate the business in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum Act; The Guidelines recognize two types of bunkering operation and licences will be issues in accordance with the nature operation which require different qualifying criteria. On the quality of products, DPR stated that quality of fuels are as specified by IMO and agreed between buyer and bunkering operator; while bunkering companies are to source their products independently and are therefore responsible for the quality of such fuels. For effective bunkering operation, participating companies are enjoined to maintain reasonable bunker fuels stock as only product availability guarantees hub patronage by vessel owners. The typical picture of oil theft, largely labeled “bunkering” is completely different from the new bunkering business. The last visit to the creek by The Guardian showed that the youths perpetrating the act are not deterred by the several threats from the government. Any slight sight of spy either from water ways or air, triggers the fully armed youths, who are ready to open fire at any moment. There were no roads to the creek or hint of any route. They can only be accessed on a canoe or helicopter. There are thousands spots where the pipelines were broken, while others harbor illegal refining operations, where the crude stolen are boiled in a drum. The other popular spot are the shores where the canoes were waiting to be loaded and later convey the stolen products to the neighboring countries for cheap sale. The oil firms continued to be worried, while community agitations are on the rise. Allegations are on the rise that some corrupt security officials and top politicians are the godfathers, although President Goodluck Jonathan recently pledged to crack down on perpetrators. Mr. President observed that Nigeria is the only oil producing country in the world where crude oil is stolen, describing the situation as embarrassing to the country. “It is embarrassing that it is only in Nigeria that crude oil is stolen. We will be decisive in putting an end to this malaise. Our charge to all relevant agencies and departments of government is to work cooperatively with the required urgency this challenge deserves,” he said. He faulted the classification as oil bunkers: “the word bunkering I knew when I was in the customs in Port Harcourt, happens in a way that when ships come, there are big companies that are legalized to go and sell them in water. But, here, somebody goes there to open a pipe and steal crude oil and they call it bunkering. I don’t know whether, technically, it’s bunkering. I call it crude oil stealing. It is not bunkering. Those who still crude oil are thieves. They are common criminals.” Some stakeholders and experts have advocated capital punishment for oil thieves in

BRIEF HISTORY OF BUNKERING IN NIGERIA Prior to 1979: Not much record of bunkering activities was recorded in the country 1979: Bunkering was introduced as a legitimate business activity with licences issued by the DPR 1984: Apparently, owing to some abuse of the system, , bunkering operations were limited to five(5) Major Oil Marketing Companies 2000: Bunkering operations were again put on hold by Government on account of the subsidy on petroleum products which more or less gave the operators windfall profits that did not trickle down to Government 2013: President approval the resuscitation of bunkering activities in the country


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THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

ENERGY Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Global oil, gas deals hit $137.7b in 2013 By Roseline Okere lS Inc., a leading Houston-based research, transaction and advisory firm to the global E&P and financial industries, in conjunction with its international partner Derrick Petroleum Services, have put the global upstream oil and gas Merger & Acquisition (M&A) activity in 2013 at $137.7 billion in 1,028 transactions. While the 2013 deal value was down by 49 per cent from the $270.8 billion recorded in 2012 and the lowest since $117.4 billion in 2008, PlS noted that these numbers do not properly characterise the status of the overall markets.  The spike in 2012 deal activity included three megadeals, which accounted for $97.1 billion or 36 per cent.  According to the company, the three 2012 mega-deals were Rosneft’s $61.6 billion buy of TNK-BP in Russia, CNOOC’s $17.9 billion buy of

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Nexen and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold’s $17.6 billion buy of Plains E&P.  It added that the total deal of 1,028 decreased by 17 per cent from 2012 and increase in average of 1,004 for the last seven years.  It stated: “For perspective, since 2007 the yearly average deal value is $173 billion versus 2013’s $137 billion. Backing out the six mega-deals since 2007, the $137 billion in 2013 is down by eight per cent from the yearly average deal of $148 billion”. According to the Managing Director of PlS Inc., Brian lidsky, the traditional analysis of the energy M&A markets is sometimes flawed by entrenched protocols, which do not properly take into account the impact of several factors. “CNOOC/Nexen deal in 2012 can significantly skew yearly results, and some firms include other sectors

in their energy deal totals like midstream, downstream and oilfield services. “Total deal counts and average deal size for deals with prices disclosed are better gauges than total deal value to evaluate the health and trends of the oil and gas upstream M&A markets. “For example, in 2013 the headline may be that the total deal value of $138 billion decreased by five per cent compare with what was recorded in 2012, but digging deeper paints a more accurate picture. 2013 actually is a year in which upstream oil and gas M&A activity by and large reverted back to the mean of the last seven years of activity, after adjusting for the mega-deals. “Furthermore, overall the market remains healthy with ample deal flow and a host of motivated buyers. There are pockets of weakness like large North American acreage positions,

A Shell’s oil rig offshore Nigeria which may not have held to original expectations and proved undeveloped natural gas reserves. To be accurate, M&A markets did experience a hangover in the first half of 2013 but recovered in the second half.” The Director, Derrick Petroleum Services, Mangesh Hirve, said that looking at

Oil price forecasts cut by Deutsche Bank on U.S supply EUTSCHE Bank AG (DBK) painting a picture of an over- may repeal or reform its ban fineries, was up 1 cent at D has reduced its price fore- supplied global oil balance,” on crude oil exports bears $105.98. An agreement Sunday becasts for Brent and West Texas Soozhana Choi, a Markets Re- monitoring this year because Intermediate crude this year as “rampant” increases in crude supply from U.S. shale resources will help create a glut of oil. The German bank cut its 2014 forecast for Brent to $97.50 a barrel, from $106.25, and its estimate for WTI to $88.75 a barrel, from $98.75. A recovery in Iranian oil exports, should sanctions be resolved, is a “non-negligible” risk for this year, the bank said. “A third year of rampant U.S. oil supply growth propelled by tight/shale oil development combined with the potential for the normalization of Iranian oil exports is increasingly

search Strategist for the bank in Washington, wrote in the report. Such a balance “poses meaningful downward pressure on oil prices,” she wrote. The Deutsche Bank said: “U.S. crude supply is set to rise by one million barrels a day, the same rate of increase as in the previous two years. This change is leading the nation, which is the world’s largest oil consumer, closer to self-sufficiency. Brent crude futures traded for $106.71 a barrel in london at 11:23 a.m. today and the equivalent February WTI contract in New York at $91.90. The possibility that the U.S.

it could dramatically alter world prices, Choi said. The price of oil remained near $92 a barrel Tuesday on expectations that global supplies will rise with ramped up output in libya and the North Sea, along with increased exports from Iran if a deal on its nuclear program succeeds. Benchmark U.S. oil for February delivery was up 21 cents at $92.01 a barrel at 0500 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 92 cents to close at $91.80 on Monday. Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude used by many U.S. re-

tween Iran and six world powers may enable Iran’s oil industry, whose exports were severely limited by economic sanctions over its nuclear program, to sell more crude after the deal takes effect Jan. 20. The planned six-month interim agreement will limit Tehran’s uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors access to its nuclear facilities. News of the agreement coincided with reports of a rebound in production by libya. Meanwhile, North Sea oil output is due to increase with the restart of the Buzzard oilfield.

Oando completes rig refurbishment By Roseline Okere ANDO Energy Services O limited newly upgraded 3,000 HP/10,000 PSI “OES Respect” swamp rig is expected to provide 100 direct jobs in the country. Some of the major activities carried out in the refurbishment, include steel works, upgrades, mud system/ bulk system, electrical and mechanical renewals. Other major repairs carried out on the rig are accommodation upgrade, inspection and surveys, painting of the rig, renewals of all drawings, equipment manuals and technical literature and production of operations manual. The company said that its ambition is to meet increasing demand for swamp rigs due to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Content Act, which limits participation in land and swamp operations to indigenous companies.

• To provide 100 direct jobs It disclosed that the refurbishment is also expected to increase the supply of drilling rigs in the Niger Delta where there currently exists a shortage in supply of swamp rigs based on existing programs in place to meet Nigeria’s oil production capacity. It is also expected to support the Federal Government’s objective to increase daily crude oil production target to 2.45 million barrels, meet reserves target of 40 million barrels and 5.95 trillion cubic meters of gas. The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Content Development Management Board (NCDMB), Ernest Nwapa, was in Onne, Rivers State to inspect the rig as part of efforts to highlight the importance of indigenous participation in the oil and gas sector. According to the company, it has invested $500 million

in the acquisition of five swamp rigs since 2007. “We have also spent $40 million for an in-country refurbishment of the OES Passion rig at the Federal light Terminal, Onne. It added that it has also secured $100 million facility from local banks in the last three years for various rig projects. It stated: “In response to the Federal Governments initiative to develop local capacity in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry; Oando Energy Services limited restructured the company to take advantage of the local content directives. “It therefore became apparent that an opportunity existed for an indigenous company to acquire available swamp drilling units thereby ensuring these unique assets remained in country for long term de-

ployment in the Niger Delta. The decision to refurbish and upgrade the rig in 2011 was driven by the numerous contracting opportunities in the swamp drilling market. “At that time, Oando Respect was the only available swamp rig capable of operating in the Niger Delta and in line with NCDMB’s desire that Nigerian drilling contractors demonstrate ownership of drilling assets, OESl was able to boast of 100 per cent of the rig. Based on this, the company proceeded to undertake the refurbishment and upgrade project to meet current client requirement and close the demand gap. “We currently operates a vendor management system that prioritizes the sourcing, engagement and development of Nigerian/local vendors and suppliers for the provision of various rig and operations specific services.

the international markets outside of the United States, asset transactions remained strong in 2013 amounting to a record $66.3 billion, up from the prior record of $64.5 billion set in 2012. “However, the international appetite for corporate deals dived to a record low of $19.5 billion coming off the record high of $114.0 billion in 2012 or $52 billion not counting Rosneft/TNKBP.” lidsky said: “Impacting U.S. activity is the investments required behind the on-

shore resource plays.  The land grab activity began to surge in earnest in 2008 and accelerated with the landmark $41 billion buy of XTO by ExxonMobil back in December 2009.  “What we are witnessing now is the transformation of the industry from land acquisitions to de-risking and development.  As this trend proceeds, drilling capital intensity will increase and players will rebalance portfolios to keep their finances in order. These adjustments will continue to provide ample opportunity for deal making.”

OPEC pumps 29.72m barrels of crude oil in December Il production from the O Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) edged up by 20,000 barrels per day to 29.72 million bpd in December from 29.70 million bpd in November last year after a boost in production from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Nigeria. Global Director of news for Platts, John Kingston, stated: “OPEC production, which some feared would blast through all predictions of what the group needed to produce, is hanging around a level that won’t tank the market and won’t let prices soar on the world’s various disruptions”. Despite the small increase, collective OPEC production has now been below the group’s 30 million bpd ceiling since September 2013. last year’s December and November totals mark the lowest volumes since mid2011 when the uprising in libya reduced the country’s production to a trickle. Saudi Arabia boosted output by 50,000 bpd to 9.8 million bpd after having cut back from levels of around 10 million bpd during the high-domestic-demand summer months to 9.75 million bpd in October and November. Nigeria, with Bonga crude oil back in the export program after field maintenance in No-

vember, increased output by 40,000 bpd to 1.92 million bpd. Iranian output increased by 30,000 bpd to 2.75 million bpd. Ecuador and the UAE also boosted production, by 10,000 bpd each. However, Iraqi output fell by 80,000 bpd to 3.02 million bpd, and that of Kuwait and Venezuela by 20,000 bpd each. Meanwhile, Iran will propose drastic reduction of oil production to the OPEC, in case of a marked price fall, top executives of the sector announced here today. We could propose reduction of production as a way to face any instability in the market, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told the official news agency IRNA. However, he considered that oil prices would not undergo great changes in the course of the current year, an opinion shared by the rest of the organization’s members. About an increase of production in his country after lifting the sanctions, due to adoption of an agreement with the Group 5+1 about the nuclear dispute, which comes into force on January 20, the minister urged the OPEC “to support the member countries determined to maintain their previous stances.”


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Focus Office of Surgeon - General won’t conflict with Minister’s role,   says Chukwu Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu is Nigeria’s Minister of Health. He spoke to some health journalists  in Abuja on the proposed Office of the Surgeon General of the Federation, compulsory treatment of patients with gun shot injuries,  enhancing industrial harmony in the sector, and promoting public health. The Guardian’s EMEKA ANUFORO was there and captures the key highlights...Excerpts  S part of the conditions to suspend its industrial A action,the   Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) made the Federal Government commit itself to establishing the Office Surgeon General for the Federation.  Many observers see this as unnecessary duplication of duties. How do you marry that position with that of the Health Minister?  Well, the President  has in principle accepted that there is the need for a Surgeon General. But you know there is distance between principle and practice. Now that the President  has accepted that there is indeed the need for the position, it means we need to begin to go to work and at the end of the work, I believe that an appointment is going to be made.  What is that work? We need to draw up the core responsibilities of the Surgeon General having accepted that in principle. Mark you, the NMA have been asking for this for decades. It is not a new thing. I however think there are areas where we actually have some lacuna. Take for instance, we have been talking about government sponsoring public servants for treatment abroad. Presently we have a mechanism in the public service. It is until the ultimate approval is given by the Head of Service   or is given by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation depending on  whether you are a core civil servant or a political appointee like a minister. But government is beginning to feel that there is the need for an office that is removed from politics that may even require the Senate  for instance, approving or maybe the whole of the National Assembly   to which everybody will know.   We can direct such request and such office should be able to say ‘why can’t this be treated in Nigeria, why must it go outside?’ there are places where this can be treated so that is possibly one of the function of the Surgeon General if it is eventually fielded as a position.  The other fields which I am sure you aware of is controversies that have arisen in trying to implement some of the positions of our constitution. When the constitution says that  either the President or Governor could be relieved of his position if indeed he is no more in sound health.  The question here is: who decides that a Governor  is in sound health? There may be the need for such an independent office established by the constitution or by law that should be able to handle that. So these are some of the reasons why we feel that there is a gap to be field but how it is going to be filled  is the debate over the years. Also remember the question as to whether the Minister of Health ought  to be a Medical Doctor  or not. Why can’t he be someone who read English or who read Mass Communication  or who read History? For you to have such, then you must be like other countries that have an office that is    independent, that handles some specific issues and matters of public health professionally so that the Minister concentrates   purely on political and administrative decisions. So I believe now that the President and the government have accepted the principle,  what now remains to be done is to begin to work out the details. And if it is going to require a law, obviously it has to go to the National Assembly so you need a draft bill. I believe, personally as the minister, that there is still some little distance to when someone will eventually occupy that position. That is the situation with it. There are talks about a bill in the National Assembly that seeks to create this office, among other issues. How do you hope to foster greater peace between  medical doctors and other health professionals? There is already some agitations by other health workers that the proposal should be shot down. Well, I am not aware of any bill. That is not to say that there is no such a bill. Presently, I am not aware there is a current bill or a draft bill before the National Assembly on the issue of Surgeon General. I don’t lay claim that I am aware of everything. But I can say that there is no Executive Bill to that effect. I guess that when the time comes for public hearing it is likely that the Federal  Ministry  of Health will receive an invitation. Normally,  in matters that will affect a particular sector, the National Assembly has always invited the ministry responsible for that sector to attend public hearing.  

Chukwu When that time comes, we will make our views known.  The second thing is  that, well it is good to look at any bill now that the President   has accepted in principle. If he now says we should move to the next stage and begins to prepare a bill that will be sent as an executive bill that will be sent to that National Assembly, we will ensure right from drafting that there won’t be any conflict.  In the United States of America,    where there is a Surgeon General, the officer   actually reports to the Assistant Secretary   for Health which is the equivalent of Minister of State. So if you are going to report to the Minister of State, how is that going to conflict with the job? I don’t think so. I believe we should be able to draft it in such a way that there should not be any conflict with the job of the Minister of State. On the other aspect of how it relate in terms of harmony, I don’t think there would be a problem. As long as the job that  is given to the Surgeon General  is the job that ordinarily a particular group handles. Assuming the bill says it is for doctors,  then it must be that the functions are those that ordinarily, doctors decide. Even today, the people that advice  that someone should go abroad or sponsor for treatments are doctors. When you go to hospitals the person that refers you for treatment is a doctor. I don’t see how that conflicts with other professions, to be honest. But let’s not jump the gun. Let us not preempt things. The President has accepted in principle. We are to await his  further directives. Peace seems to elude the health sector despite the recent agreements.  What is your own panacea  for peace?   Well , I guess you are talking about peace amongst health practitioners, because there can never be peace in the health sector. This is because we deal with sicknesses, accidents and so on.  Right now we are bothered about the cholera breakout in

we know that not every hospital can manage an injury in the chest for instance or in the brain. But it is the duty of that hospital to stabilize and then refer but you cannot reject a patient just because it is a case of gunshot wounds. That is clear. No hospital and no doctor can do that! If there is anybody that is not obeying that then he should be reported to the appropriate authority.

Kano state. So, there is no peace as far as there are diseases . But  if it is amongst ourselves, yes,  it is possible we can have peace  and I think the process has been on.  You have to know that peace is not something you can achieve easily. Otherwise, go and ask in the Middle East. It is not as easy as that but I think we are making progress. Some of the issues are gradually abating. But  there some thorny  ones and I think the president has stepped in by setting up his own    Presidential Committee of    experts to look into the matter and ensure that there is greater harmony amongst those who work in the health sector. It is not that we may not have areas where people may clash as long as there are two people in a particular room, there is always bound to be disagreements whether they are identical twin or husband and wife. What we are saying is that it shouldn’t be such to the degree we have today where sometimes the primary purpose that  hospitals  had    been established is hampered. One of the issues that has actually dominated discourse in the country for sometimes   is the treatment of people with gunshot wounds in hospitals.  Rejection of such cases seems to be occurring despite directives that people with gun wounds would be treated. Is the ministry of health working with the police to stop this? There  is no problem with the Nigerian Police. The Inspector General of Police and the Minister of Health have independently said that on no account should any hospital reject someone with gunshot wounds except when that hospital doesn’t possess what it takes to handle such a case.  For instance, we know that not every hospital can manage an injury in the chest for instance or in the brain. but it is the duty of that hospital to stabilize and then refer but you cannot reject a patient just because it is a case of gunshot wounds. that is clear. no hospital and no doctor can do that! if there is anybody that is not obeying that then he should be reported to the appropriate authority. Certainly in the cases of federal establishments, you can report administratively to the Ministry of Health  or the Director of Hospital Services or to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health For private, state owned or even federal government owned, you can also go further by reporting that particular doctor to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) because that is totally    unethical and the MDCN will investigate and probably take the person to its tribunal which has the same power as any high court in Nigeria. We would take some administrative actions once that report comes to us. Even if it was a state owned facility, you can still complain to me. What I will do is to get someone to do a petition to me so I can send it to the MDCN which will make sure such matters are investigated. But clearly in terms of policy, even during wars, doctors who are working for a particular group will be treating victims from the other side, even soldiers, how much more during peace times and civil times.  There is absolutely no reason that should happen. Lets report such people to the authorities.  You can hold the minister responsible if, for instance, you say so and so hospital under you sir didn’t do this and I refused to do anything.  You can hold us responsible. Back to doctors and strike.  A while ago, you praised the NMA for calling off the proposed strike. What  efforts are in place to ensure an end to the re occurring strike action in the health sector? The  way I look at it is that everyone is making an effort. The NMA itself, you will recall, even had a national summit in Asaba last year. They said in their communique that they don’t want to be going on strike if it is possible, that in fact strike shouldn’t be an issue for doctors.   The question was why are they now going on strike? So for me they are making their own effort to stop strike.  I think we will support them and help them but I also think the media can also help. The media shouldn’t be too judgemental on the government.  I am not saying every media are like that. Some media houses also tried to be very balanced,  honestly. But once in a while we can some media house always blaming government for every strike action. The media and the rest of the public should try and encourage health workers not to go on strike, to know that by our labour laws they are categorized as essential services which they are not supposed to go on strike. We need to encourage them. Yes they made demands. What  the government needs to do is to attend to their grievances promptly and this we have been trying to do. On their own side, they need to exercise a little patience, understand how government functions, especially things that carry financial implications, they should know those kinds of things should be in the budget if you have to implement. So if you took a decision say in June, it is going to be implemented in the next budget.


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GlobalStocks Dollar extends gains on yen after retail sales data

Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange on Monday

RONGER-than-expected SandTDecember U.S. retail sales data a record Japanese current account deficit helped push the U.S. dollar higher against the yen on Tuesday while mixed signals among European central bankers kept the euro in check. The greenback rebounded after two days of losses, backed by a report showing U.S. consumers spent more than expected in December which contrasted against last week’s weak U.S. jobs report. Apart from the jobs data, the prospects of the U.S. economy having gained steam in the fourth quarter were bolstered by the retail sales data and news of an increase in business inventories in November. Stronger economic performance bolsters the case for the U.S. Federal Reserve to continue scaling back its extraordinary efforts to boost the economy and let it run on its own steam.

Most banks see a strong case for the dollar to rise this year, given the contrasting outlooks for monetary policy in the United States compared with Europe and Japan, whose central banks are still considering more moves to support growth. That suggests that a sell-off on Wall Street and of the dollar since weak employment data last Friday may just be a corrective pause that clears the way for gains, though the jury is still very much out. The U.S. Commerce Department said yesterday, retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services - or core retail sales - increased 0.7 percent last month versus a consensus estimate for a 0.3 percent rise. November data was however revised lower. “We had stronger than expected for December and downward revi-

sions in October and November and so all-in-all I don’t think GDP expectations have shifted dramatically as a result. Had we had the stronger numbers and not the downward revisions, that would have been a more clear positive for the dollar,” said Brian Daingerfield, currency strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland, in Stamford, Connecticut. In Tokyo, the government reported a record current account deficit in November as a bulging trade deficit weighed on the country’s balance of payments. In mid-morning U.S. activity the dollar traded up 0.60 per cent to 103.60 yen, recovering after a more than 1 percent drop on Monday that saw it hit a roughly one-month low of 102.85 yen. “On the surface, this data supports those anticipating yen weakness, at least to the extent that large current account deficits tend to put downward pressures on a country’s cur-

rency (a supply/demand argument, in text book terms). But in Japan’s case, a persistently wide current account deficit will be a drag on GDP and in that sense, it may be an impediment to the success of Abenomics,” Robert Lynch, currency strategist at HSBC wrote clients. Broadly, however, the dollar was slightly weaker against a basket of currencies made up of its largest trading partners. The dollar index .DXY was off just 0.02 percent at 80.53. In Europe, Austrian central bank governor Ewald Nowotny gave an upbeat assessment of Europe’s economic prospects, underpinning the euro. The dollar gained 0.58 per cent to 103.57 yen, recovering after a more than 1 percent drop on Monday that saw it hit a roughly one-month low of 102.85 yen. The euro touched a two-week high against the dollar in early trade after

Nowotny, a senior player at the European Central Bank, said euro zone growth may surprise on the upside, although strategists cautioned that ran contrary to the concern expressed over the economy by the bank as a whole last week. “After (ECB President) Draghi’s comments last week, Nowotny’s comments represent conflicting signals and make one cautious on buying the euro in response,” said Valentin Marinov, head of European G10 FX Strategy at Citibank in London. “There may still be some room for the euro to be squeezed higher but in the medium term we still see the risks to the downside.” Still, euro zone November industrial production numbers also struck a positive note and the euro traded up 0.1 percent on the day at $1.3683.

Wall Street advances, boosted by data, earnings NITED States stocks rose yesterday, erasU ing much of the previous session’s steep drop, as December retail sales rose more than expected and investors digested earnings from major financial firms. The S&P 500 suffered its biggest daily decline since November 7 on Monday as investors exercised caution amid a ream of negative corporate earnings outlooks that suggested the market may be vulnerable with indexes near record levels. Retail sales increased 0.7 per cent in December, excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, a rise that was bigger than anticipated. It was the first major economic indicator since Friday’s payroll report, which was sharply under expectations. “The retail sales are painting a better economic backdrop than payrolls did, and investors are using recent weakness as an

opportunity to buy,” said Mike Gibbs, cohead of the equity advisory group at Raymond James in Memphis, Tennessee. The S&P’s forward price-to-earnings ratio is the highest in nearly seven years, another sign investors may be more selective as the U.S. Federal Reserve begins to slow its stimulus, which contributed to massive gains in 2013. Both JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) posted earnings that beat expectations, though upside was limited with Wells near all-time highs and JPMorgan at its highest since 2000. JPMorgan gained 0.4 percent to $57.95 while Wells was up 0.3 percent at $45.70. The S&P financial index .SPSY advanced 0.8 percent. “Financials are putting up strong numbers, and we should be able to put in a decent print this quarter, especially since

expectations have been trending down,” said Gibbs, who helps oversee about $450 billion in assets. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 94.72 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 16,352.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was up 17.76 points, or 0.98 per cent, at 1,836.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 63.88 points, or 1.55 percent, at 4,177.19. Intel Corp (INTC.O) shares jumped 3.8 per cent to $26.47, helping to boost the Nasdaq, after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “neutral.” With five percent of the S&P 500 companies having reported, 53.8 per cent have beaten earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, below the 63 percent historical average. About 62 per cent have beaten on revenue, above the long-term 55 percent average.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup (C.N), Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) are scheduled to post results later in the week. General Electric Co (GE.N) and Intel are also on tap. In merger news after the market closed on Monday, Google Inc (GOOG.O) agreed to buy smart thermostat maker Nest Labs Inc for $3.2 billion. Charter Communications Inc (CHTR.O) offered to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC.N) for $37.3 billion. Shares of Google rose 1.7 per cent to $1,141.97, while Time Warner Cable rose 2.8 per cent to $136.06 and Charter added 1 per cent to $135.55. Both GameStop Corp (GME.N) and Stratasys Ltd (SSYS.O) slumped after giving outlooks that were weaker than expected. GameStop lost 18 percent to $37.01 as the S&P’s worst performer, while 3D printer maker Stratasys slid 9.3 per cent to $117.96.


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MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 13-1-2014

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PRIMERA AFRICA

FSB, IOSCO to unveil assessment methodology for investment funds By Helen Oji HE Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) have concluded plans to unveil assessment methodologies for identifying Non-Bank Non-Insurer Global Systemically Important Financial Institutions (NBNI GSIFIs). This, according IOSCO, would help to understand the market intermediaries and investment funds which failures pose systemic risks. Systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) are institutions whose distress or disorderly failure, because of their size, complexity and systemic interconnectedness, would cause significant disruption to the wider financial system and economic activity. At the Seoul Summit in 2010, the G-20 Leaders endorsed the FSB framework for reducing the systemic and moral hazard risks posed by SIFIs. Mark Carney, chairman of the FSB, stated: “Today’s proposals are an essential first step towards addressing the risks to global financial stability and economic stability posed by the disorderly failure of financial institutions other than banks and insurers. They are integral to solving the problem of financial institutions that are too big to fail.” Greg Medcraft, chairman of the IOSCO Board and a member of the FSB plenary stated: “The development of assessment methodologies for identifying NBNI GSIFIs is challenging as it needs to capture the wide range of business models and risk profiles in the non-bank non-insurer financial space while maintaining broad consistency with the overall SIFI framework. This public consultation will help us to better understand the market intermediaries and investment funds whose failure pose systemic risks The implementation of the FSB SIFI framework requires, as a first step, the

T

assessment of the systemic importance of financial institutions at a global level (or G-SIFIs). The framework recognises that SIFIs vary in their structures and activities, and that systemic importance and impact upon distress or failure can vary significantly across sectors. It also requires that the FSB and national authorities, in consultation with the standard-setting bodies, and drawing on relevant indicators, determine which institutions will be designated as G-SIFIs. The assessment methodologies to identify G-SIFIs need to reflect the nature and degree of risks they pose to the global financial system. To date, assessment methodologies, according to the report, have been developed for global systemically important banks (G-SIBs) and insurers (G-SIIs). The assessment methodologies for identifying NBNI G-SIFIs published recently for public consultation complement the methodologies that currently cover banks and insurers. While the consultative document proposes specific methodologies for the identification of NBNI G- SIFIs, it does not designate any specific entities as systemically important or propose any policy measures that would apply to NBNI G-SIFIs. The FSB explained that policy measures would be developed once the methodologies are finalised. In developing the methodologies, the FSB and IOSCO based their work on the following principles: The overarching objective in developing the methodologies is to identify NBNI financial entities whose distress or disorderly failure, because of their size, complexity and systemic interconnectedness, would cause significant disruption to the global financial system and economic activity across jurisdictions.

ASHON links capital market growth to expectations of enhanced 2013 results RESIDENT, Association of Stockbroking P Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Emeka Madubuike has attributed the growth by

WHAT HAPPENED? The NSE All-Share index decreased by 10bps (0.10%) and closed at 41,441.19. This represents a year-to-date performance of 0.27%. Market Capitalisation also depreciated 0.07% to close at N13.265trillion. Total value traded decreased 26.71% to N4.46 billion and total volume traded increased 29.03% to 308.64 million units. WHERE? At the close of trading, the banking sector represented 37.84% of the total market value traded, while the breweries sector represented 2.25%. The Top 5 stocks as a % of total market value traded were: OANDO (22.49%), ZENITHBANK (14.13%), WAPCO (12.19%), GUARANTY (7.45%) and UNILEVER (5.49%).. On a volume basis, the Top 5 most traded stocks for the day were: UNITYBANK (46.74m), OANDO (36.72m), UBCAP (30.90m), TRANSCORP (30.80m) and FCMB (30.69m).

the nation’s bourse to investors’ expectations of improved companies’ results in 2013. Madubuike told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday that investors were increasing their stakes in the market in anticipation of higher dividends and better financial results from companies. He expressed optimism that the market would continue to experience slow, but progressive growth irrespective of the slowdown in economic activities. Madubuike said that the 47 per cent growth recorded by the Nigerian stock market in 2013 had boosted the confidence of foreign and local investors. According to him, the Nigerian stock market has emerged as one of the best performing frontier markets in the world. He urged the Federal Government and regulators to pursue friendly policies to ensure sustainable growth and development. Madubuike also called for quick passage of the 2014 Appropriation Bill to fast track economic activities and development. Meanwhile, a turnover of 1.72 billion shares worth N22.44 billion were recorded in 29,600 deals on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week. These were against the two billion shares valued at N15.91 billion exchanged in 17,378 deals in the preceding week. The financial services sector remained the

most active with 1.19 billion shares worth N10.85 billion traded in 15,134 deals. The oil and gas sector followed with a turnover of 182.28 million shares valued at N2.22 billion in 4,866 deals. The conglomerates sector came third on the week’s activity chart, accounting for 124.13 million shares worth N665.14 million in 1,982 deals. NAN reports that the NSE All-Share Index grew by 30.14 points or 0.07 per cent to close at 41,480.62 compared with 41,450.48 posted in the previous week. Also, the market capitalisation appreciated by N10 billion or 0.07 per cent to close at N13.275 trillion against the N13.265 trillion achieved in the preceding week. IHS Plc led the price gainers’ table for the week in percentage terms, enhancing by 20.0 per cent or 53k to close at N3.18 per share. It was trailed by Royal Exchange Assurance with a gain of 14.55 per cent or 8k to close at 63k. Neimeth International Pharmaceutical appreciated by 11.11 per cent or 16k to close at N1.60 per share. On the contrary, Portland Paints &Products Nigeria topped the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 15.45 per cent or 85k to close at N4.65 per share. Conoil depreciated by 14.55 per cent or N8.92 to close at N52.40, while African Prudential Registrars dipped by 9.84 per cent or 36k to close N3.30 per share.


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Midweek Arts The Two Sisters… Of love, communal living in Clark’s twilight play Performance By Anote Ajeluorou EVEN at 80, J.P. Clark’s pen is waxing stronger. This is reflected in the release, recently, of two plays: The Hiss and The Two Sisters, which were staged last December to mark Clark’s entry into octogenarian club. The renowned poet’s biographer, Prof. Femi Osofisan through his theatre company, The Okinba Players staged the two plays, aptly tagged JP Clark: Two Twilight Plays, with Osofisan directing and Dr. Tunde Awosanmi assisting him. The Two Sisters dwells on how the goings-on in the smallest unit of society affect deeply, the larger community. But Clark’s ever flowing ink is more or less becoming a trademark of the pioneer quartet of Nigerian Literature. Prof Wole Soyinka, who is going to clock 80 this year, has just released a play too, Alapata Apata; and Prof Chinua Achebe wrote and wrote until he passed on last year. But while Soyinka has continued with the usual overt political engagement for which he has remained most vocal in his recent play (Alapata Apata), Clark’s a bit inward-looking, although the play, The Two Sisters has the survival of a community as its concern, a community with orderliness somewhat disrupted by the wilful act or non-act of a foreign wife to one of its men. At the height of the pathos in this play is sexual behaviour and how it could turn the tide for the worse at both personal and communal levels. Clark is concerned that even in marriage setting, sex is such a potent tool, and that when wrongly wielded it could cause serious damage both to the home and the entire community. When withheld from the other partner, as Clark shows in The Two Sisters, sex could serve a disastrous end and that wives especially should beware how they use it to thwart a man’s will. The play is rendered in the classic tradition of narrator(s) addressing the audience as part and parcel of the play in situating the incidents and characters in specific time and space, just as the actors merge with the audience to give it a familiar feeling and thereby sucking the audience into the intricate web of the plot. Two sisters, Ebikedobamo (Adebisi Adeleke) and Brakare (Bimbo Benson), both married, have the souls of identical twin sisters with their hearts beating almost in unison, as they intuitively know what each other is going through even as far apart as they live. And so in a language replete with sexual innuendos, Clark traces first the lives of Ebikedobamo and her husband Omobo (Victor Onuka) in bed on a night when Omobo seems most libidinous and does not seem to be having enough of his wife, who is nursing their son, Akara. Ebikedobamo is further distracted by a

premonition about her sister Brakare, whom she intuitively feels all is not well with in a faraway town where she is married. Omobo is all frustration, as her wife’s concern for her sister compounds his sexual longing; she insists on travelling by canoe as is usual with riverine people to see her sister if only to assure herself that she is all right. This means Omobo would have to deal with his sexual hunger in the face of an absentee wife for as long it took her to visit her sister and return. Cornered as he is, he grudgingly lets her go: (In a bedroom at Azagbene in the Niger Delta some centuries back, husband and wife are in bed) Omobo: Where are you, Ebikedobamo? Ebikedobamo: Right by your side, father of Araka, my son. Why do you ask? Omobo: I somehow feel you are somewhere else, far away, and not here now with me. Ebikedobamo: Nonsense. Here, feel me all over. I’m lying right here besides you, and you know that. My dear husband, always wanting to be reassured like a baby. Omobo: Are you really sure you are here by my side, Ebi? I felt a deep sense of descent as you slipped away from under me. Ebikedobamo: Why, my husband, why do you say such a thing? You know it cannot always be the same every time. There are high tides, and there are low ones. Omobo: I missed that coming cry of yours, more like a song, calling for your man and the Almighty, in alternation, as if you are taking one for the other who, at the same time, you are crying to for help as we come together only to go again… Meanwhile, a drama all its own is playing out with Brakare and her husband Kunbowei (Stephen Taiwo Joseph). Brakare is a strongwilled woman who loves to dictate how much of her wifely duty she performs for her husband. She is not one for the taking at the will of a husband, whenever he wants her. She believes sex should be mutual even in marriage, and the woman’s consent or mood is key in being part of the sexual encounter, a notion that is at variance with what Kunbowei, man of the house, knows is true of traditional duty of the wife. Tradition requires that a man should always have his way with his wife or wives except when they are heavy or during early days of nursing or during her monthly flow. For a man to be denied sex by his wife on grounds of not being in the mood or some such frivolous reason is scandalous for the typical African man like Kunbowei in Clark’s play, especially when the man carries a turgid, bursting phallus as Kunbowei does on this fateful night and ready to empty it into his wife’s receptacle! But this is not Kunbowei’s night of enchanted magic, as his pestle is being wilfully denied its

The two sister grieving over their common tragedy right to pound at its own mortar. Not even the strong-willed could endure such effrontery from the wife he married with his own money. So, Kunbowei goes away a pathetic man and does the unthinkable – hangs himself! But is it to spite his wife, just as there’s a suggestion that Kunbowei has other wives to whom he could easily have taken his quivering desire? This is the point in which Ebikedobamo arrives to meet her sister Brakare grieving over the death of her husband. This enrages the clan and even the gods, and anger is directed at Brakare for ‘killing’ her husband with her strange act of denial. On the face of it, it pitches two communities against each other: Brakare’s community must find appropriate appeasement otherwise the drums of war would sound from Kunbowei’s and heads would roll to assuage a wife’s wilful act of ‘murder’. Brakare oscillates between grief and defiance over accusations of murder; she would not be intimidated even if her act or non-act would bring two communities into deadly collision. She insists her denial should not have led her husband to commit suicide. Eventually, the community pronounces a verdict of not guilty on her! She is free to marry into Kunbowei’s family or else leave in peace to her town. But the judgement in Brakare’s favour has its price, with her sister working behind the scenes to ensure it goes her sister’s

Bumper sale for The Meeting By Shaibu Husseini HE multiple awards winning T Nigerian romantic comedy, The Meeting, from the stable of

Rita Dominic on set

The Audrey Silva Company is now out on DVD. The movie which grossed over N25 million from the cinema has now reportedly sold over 50 000 copies within two weeks of release, making the company to order for fresh copies. The DVD release will avail all movie lovers, fans and people who did not get the chance to see the movie when it was shown in cinemas the opportunity to see the movie again. Produced by The Audrey Silva Company, a movie production

company owned by Rita Dominic and Mildred Okwo The Meeting has enjoyed rave review and commendation from media, politicians, entertainers and even Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan who was represented at the premiere last year by the Minister of Petroleum Denzianni AllisonMadueke. The movie has also garnered lots of awards as it got six nominations last year in different categories at the Africa Movies Academy Awards (AMAA) and won awards at both the Nollywood Movies Award and at the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF)

way. She uses all means necessary; with her own husband faraway. Clark’s The Two Sisters is both a study in uncommon filial relation between two sisters, who instead of being in bitter rivalry that could lead to tragic consequences, are in fact soul mates who rally each other in times of distress, with the death of Kunbowei serving to bring them even stronger together. On the other hand, although Clark condemns Kunbowei’s suicide, he nonetheless cautions on the inflaming nature of sex in marriage. However, why Clark, at the twilight of his life and career as writer, should engage in such volatile subject as sex and its ruination nature is hard to conjecture, but suffice it to say that he has presented one of most intriguing aspects of man and we must take him seriously. Also, the sensible manner in which Kunbowei’s community handles the matter of his suicide to avert bringing a war to its doorsteps is also instructive. Again, readers and those fortunate to see The Two Sisters on stage were treated to the ‘riverine lore’ to which Clark besought; it’s what has formed his poetic and dramatic ouvre in over 50 years of lush creative engagement. It’s a testament of a master once again at his very best dramatic performance, a reward to his teeming fans as well as his acolytes wherever they may be.

The romantic comedy features a mix of emerging stars and industry superstars including the delectable Rita Dominic, Tinsel star, Linda Ejiofor, Femi Jacobs and experienced thespian, Jide Kosoko. The movie also has special appearances by Kate Henshaw, Nse Ikpe Etim, Basorge Tariah Jnr and Chinedu Ikediezie. Directed by Mildred Okwo and written by Tunde Babalola, the movie was shot in Abuja and Lagos and it trials an uptight Lagos-based corporate executive Makinde Esho (Femi Jacobs), who flies into Abuja, the capital city for a few hours, having been dispatched by his communications firm, Techmast, to secure a

government authorization to build a mast sub-station from the Honourable Minister of Land Resources and Environment. There is a lot riding on this government authorization, as it will save his firm from imminent liquidation, and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Mr. Esho wants only two things, keep his boss (Jide Kosoko) happy by getting the authorization from the Minister and keep his only daughter Kikelomo happy by attending her graduation ceremony at the University of Lagos. The movie addresses an array of contemporary issues from love to African time, to the trials of tackling officials and


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 ARTS 53

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Egungun Mandela… UNESCO Centre in Osogbo celebrates Mandela’s exit in style • Unveils tallest drum in the world HE Centre for Black Culture and T International Understanding (CBCIU) will kick off its programme for the year

Mandela with his former wife, Winnie during their visit to Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Lagos in 1990

2014 today in Osogbo, capital city of Osun State. Its focus will be the celebration of the life and death of one of Africa’s greatest nationalists and liberators, Dr. Nelson Mandela. In line with the mandate of the UNESCO endorsed culture facility, this event is presented in a Yoruba cultural style. The Centre organises traditional and cultural rites, Egungun Mandela, for the man whose deeds and feats knew no cultural or racial boundary. The Yoruba’s belief that the departed soul of the ancestors are not lost but at rest and can be invoked at the time of need, is shared by Mandela’s Xhosa ethnic group. Among the Xhosa, when a man dies, especially a chief like Madiba, cultural rituals are observed before and during the burial. Specifically, when a man dies away from home, rituals of a symbolic return of soul to the ancestral home are performed. This is to the effect of uniting the departed soul with the ancestors and to save the soul from wandering about. In Yorubaland, the Egungun is celebrated to honour the dead and to assure them a space among the living. It is the period of re-enactment of moral and ethical codes of the past generation among the living. The Egungun ritual is also meant to cleanse the land and bless the living. Beyond the annual celebration, Egungun is invoked in Yorubaland during the funeral ritual. CBCIU is an institution that promotes the collective memory and cultures of the

black race without national boundaries. Hence, the Centre’s philosophy is in tandem with Mandela’s principle. Nelson Mandela was a man with no ethnic, racial or colour boundary. He was the ‘Sun’ that radiated light, freedom and peace to different parts of the world. His connection to Nigeria dates back to the era of the apartheid in South Africa. The support received from Nigerian government and citizens by the people of South Africa in general and Mandela in particular was deeply appreciated by the Madiba, thereby creating shared memory and glory. Even in death, Mandela will continue to be celebrated by Nigerian people in general and the Yoruba group in particular. No amount of honour is too great for Madiba. In recognition of Mandela’s place in African history and culture, the CBCIU, under its new Board Chairman, the iconic Professor Wole Soyinka, with the support of the government of the State of Osun, creates the Egungun Mandela in commemoration of this great African liberator, now an ancestor. But the rites of passage outing will feature other activities such as the unveiling and beating of the newly acquired Tallest Drum in the World by notable Agere groups. There are also the Art and Batik exhibitions under the aegis of renowned artists- Chief Muraina Oyelami and Chief Mrs Nike Okundaye. Thus, the occasion features various cultural exhibitions along with the parade of Egungun Mandela, a lasting homage to the departed soul of this greatest African son Madiba.

Adesina bags 2013 Ambassador For Peace award HE Oyo State Commissioner for Industry, T Applied Science and Technology, Mr. Adedapo Lam-Adesina has been honoured with the 2013 Ambassador for Peace Award by the Universal Youth for Peace Federation. The Award was presented at the 2013 Youth Federation for World peace conference held in Ibadan recently. The awardee was hailed as an exemplary advocate of the youth. The federation was founded by Rev. Dr. Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and the organisation which is linked to the United Nations is in over 60 countries of the world. The award is in recognition of people with consistent mission to establish world peace and also live dignified life with ideals of living for the sake of others. The Commissioner thanked the Universal Youth for Peace for the award and promised to do everything possible to continue to be an Advocate of the Youth and peace within the state and in Nigeria as a whole. He said, “As long as we realise that we must not be violent, we must continue to fight people who do not want the country to move forward.” Past winners of the award include the first

lady of Mali, Mrs Mintou Traore, Israel vocalist, David D’or, First lady of Namibia, Madam Penehupifo Pohamba while the former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan is a member of the Universal Peace Federation Council. Meanwhile, the Commissioner has congratulated Comrade Gbenga Opadotun on his reelection as the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Oyo State Chapter. The re-election, Dapo said, was as a result of “Opadotun’s previous sterling performance in bringing health, water and sanitation, educational facilities to the Union,” adding, “the excellent performance earned him this massive endorsement by the gentlemen of the ever vibrant press. It is my hope and prayer that the Chairman lives up to expectations.” The Commissioner used the occasion to reiterate his vision of promoting synergy and enhancing the work flow to  serve people of the state better in his new portfolio as Commissioner for Industry, Applied Science and Technology. He formerly presided over Sports and Youth Development Ministry. The commissioner, therefore, charged the NUJ chairman to be fair, firm and live above reproach and to discharge his duties dispassionately to better the lot of his people.

Dapo Lam-Adesina (2nd left) during the presentation ceremony in Ibadan, Oyo State

Eppi Fanio to relaunch career at 70 By Ijeoma Opara Prince Adebambo Epiphanio Joseph, popularly known as Eppi Fanio, recently turned 70, as friends and family rolled out the drums in celebration of the legendary artist who lit up the music scene in the 70s. The birthday celebration, which was held at the Lagos State Chamber and Industry (LCCI) Banquet, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, had guests turning up in beautifully designed traditional purple outfits. He is also relaunching his Farofa music career, which retired from since 1994. The artist, who could not hide his joy, said, “I feel vibrant, happy and I give glory to God for keeping me up until this time because people don’t get up to 50 while others die even at a younger age. And so, I have every reason to celebrate”.

On his Farofa concept, he noted that he was the only person playing his kind of music, which has earned him the title of ‘king’. While expressing his concern on music of the hiphop generation, he said: “The songs we listen to these days do not teach anything morally. The songs of those days were better in terms of lyrical content because they fermented the art of music, which is supposed to teach. We learn everyday and so the quality of any artwork (drama, music, poetry) should have a message. Therefore, whatever songs artistes sing should include a message and the depth of that message will show the appreciation of the song”. Apapa Local Government Chairman, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph, described the celebrant as loving, caring and accommodating. While commenting on Farofa

kind of music, he noted, “His kind of music is soothing to the mind and it’s mature; it is not the kind of modern day songs we listen to which are not concerned about the lyrics. His songs will forever be green, and I hope that this generation of artistes will imbibe that”. Highlight of the celebration was the presentation of a documentary on the reminiscences of Eppi Fanio: the Farofa King. Farofa kind of music is a mixed grill of all genres. Best known for his four recordings – Farofa (1976), Farofa Dancers (1978), Farofa joy movements (1984) and Songs of gold (1994). The singer-performer used the occasion of his birthday to re-launch his career, which has been in abeyance since his retirement since 1994.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ISSUES

Confronting challenges of constituency projects (2) By Anthony Otaru Continued from yesterday N his speech, Alhaji Turaki said, “As you are Iinitiated all aware, constituency projects are projects by members of the National Assembly for the development of their constituencies.” According to him, these projects are funded from the Federal Government Annual Budget. ‘’Records indicate that some of these projects dated far back to 2006, recorded a total of 2,399 identified constituency projects captured in the Federal Government’s 2013 Appropriation Act.” Several challenges facing the Ministry and by extension, the success and challenges of the projects were brought to the fore recently when the Senate Committee on Special Duties Mark and Inter-governmental Affairs led by its chairman, Senator Clever Ikisipo visited the Min- acute shortage of accommodation, stressing istry. that the situation is so bad that directors and At the brief ceremony, the committee said it senior staff of the ministry share the same office, was particularly irked by the continued delay tables and other facilities, a situation he deof contractor payments, especially those that scribed as unfit for proper work. has completed their various projects. “Other challenges include the process of proIn his brief remark, the Chairman of the com- curements, which is absolutely controlled mittee, Senator, Clever Ikisipo said that the Na- by the MDAs without the ministry’s imputes, tional Assembly would no longer tolerate a lack of proper planning of some of the projects, situation where legislators are constantly ha- as well as improper supervision on the side of rassed for this same reason. ‘’I must let you the MDAs,” he noted. know Mr. Minister that we at the National AsThe minister, nevertheless, assured that consembly are under pressure from our various tractors that have completed their jobs in 25 constituencies accusing us of only signing con- states after monitoring, have been certified for tracts and hijacking the  funds without any payments as soon as possible because the Minconcrete evidence to show for them. istry of Finance has already released the funds “I must equally let you know our dear Minis- to the supervising MDAs. ter, that more worrisome are the legislators Contributing, the Permanent Secretary of the themselves, they come to the committee on a ministry, Mrs. Wilfred Oyo-Ita, said the monidaily basis complaining of being prevented toring exercise created a lot of awareness in the from knowing contractors handling their minds of the people as they have started seeing projects let alone having the idea of the speed the dividends of democracy as captured by the with which they carry out the jobs.” projects already completed. Senator Ikisipo, however directed the Min‘’I will use this opportunity to appeal to the istry to ensure that all contractors who have committee to ensure that this ministry is very meticulously finished their works be paid well captured in the 2014 budget,” she rewithout delay. He also called on the Minister marked. From the obvious, the constituency to expose any shady deals that may be ob- projects may continue to nourish above menserved in the course of the monitoring. tioned problems except the Legislative and ExResponding, the Minister, Alhaji Kabiru Tu- ecutive arms of government sit together, review raki, used the forum to open up on all chal- the overall objective of the projects devoid of lenges confronting the Ministry and by undue politicking and perhaps, ensure that all extension, the projects themselves. aspects of the programme and projects are fully Turaki said, ‘’I am very happy that this com- handled by the supervising ministry of Special mittee is here. In the first place, I must quickly Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs. say that this Ministry was fully established in This singular move will help to douse tension March this year, this means that it has no and friction between the MDAs versus the Spebudgetary provisions for year 2013. ” cial Duties Ministry as well as the Apart from the above, the ministry is facing contractors and the legislators.

By Cleopatra Eki

‘M

OBOLAJI Abijo belongs to the new generation of self-employed Nigerians, who see only possibilities where others see failure and frustration. Jovial, polite and vastly talented, the Chief Executive Officer of Boslapam Nigeria Consult said his organisation specializes in exportation of agro-allied products such as shea-butter, bitter-kola, charcoal and chilly pepper among others. He is an expert in all fields of exportation and in training of individuals or corporate organisation interested in exportation business. Mobolaji believes that the exportation business is not well harnessed but is more lucrative than the importation business because it creates wealth and would boost the nation’s economy. His office located at Seun road, off Funsho Avenue behind the Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere, Lagos has a staff strength of six and other contract workers outside the office. He is also an Executive member of Network of National Shea-butter Co-operatives. According to him, in the past he had ventured into businesses like importation of cars and travels/tours. However, he has fully settled for agro-allied pursuits in the past six years, which is an advantage to enable him meet today’s business challenges. Abijo stated that his company is dully registered with appropriate government agencies like CAC, NAFDAC, SON, immigrations and Customs with export license in order to do exportation business and he does not cut corners. He noted that consistency, perseverance and prompt delivery of products and services gives the organisation an edge over similar companies as well as poise to meet the clients’ needs at all times. He said: “Boslapam Nigeria Consult specializes in the ex-

‘Exportation business is wealth creation’ portation of agro allied products such shea-butter, bitter-kola, ginger, chilly pepper and host of others with the aim and objectives of using our local currencies to bring back foreign currencies to boost the nation’s coffers.” A more interesting aspect of the Urban and Regional Planning graduate is that he loves hard working people and enjoins them to come into exportation of agro-allied products, which is in huge demand and very few persons are harnessing it. According to him, “most young people are wasting away, others want to get rich quick without hard –work, while others don’t want to work in the bushes/farms where they would feed themselves, families and society.” He advised this generation of young Nigerians to take advantage of the progressive and profit-making business of agro-allied products. “Ghana’s government has huge vote for shea-butter and encourages the youths to do the business. What is the size of Ghana when compared to Nigeria?” he remarked. Abijo observed that Nigeria is a major player in crude oil business but can do more to improve the lot of her citizens, if there is diversification to agriculture. He went on: “In the past, agriculture produces pyramids of groundnuts from the North; Cocoa from the South, we have to embrace agriculture or agro-farming. Sadly, since our high dependence on oil boom, most youths leave the rural areas for the urban areas for white-collar jobs, abandoning farming for the elderly. Some of the youths are not patient; they want to have everything before venturing into business. This is not necessary because it is better to start with little capital/fund and allow your business to grow. “Although the Nigerian government partially supports exportation business through the Bank of Industry which only supports your business stability after three years of existence, but more awareness is needed to showcase agro-allied products than to rely on crude oil earnings.” He advised jobless youths to embrace farming or agriculture like fish farming, rice production among others, whether in a small or large scale, because the population has high demand for food. According to him, they would start exporting products in kilograms or tonnes depending on their financial status; he believes that there is a huge market in the exportation business that the youths are not tapping into. He also enjoined them to associate with co-operative societies of agriculture to benefit. Abijo organizes three regu-

lar training programmes in a year for prospective exportation business people, which covers introduction and understanding the nitty-gritty of agro-export, learning how to use export to overcome financial problems and understanding export marketing plans. He mentioned some of the nitty-gritty areas of the business as including the registration of the business with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), working with relevant government agencies (Immigration, Customs, SON, NAFDAC, Nigeria Chambers of Commerce for exportation, acquiring export licence, having a domiciliary account for foreign business transactions, proper documentations, a small office or start from your home, looking for genuine foreign buyers for your local products and sourcing for local products and sellers. Abijo, however, cautioned prospective agro-allied export owners to be wary of fraudulent foreign investors especially those who use the Internet to swindle unsuspecting local sellers. He suggested that such investors (individuals/companies) should be properly verified or checked at or from the various embassies, that is, get data from the embassies so that they don’t fall prey to foreign swindlers. Some of the challenges associated with exportation business, he observed, include that one should be abreast of the exchange rates of local and foreign currencies, know the various means of foreign payments and documentations like Free on Board, Cash on Delivery, cash against documentation, Bill of Lading, letters of Credit as well as identifying genuine documents from fake ones. He advises them to avoid cutting corners and work with appropriate government agencies to meet the standards and specifications of goods. They should also be familiar with foreign contracts and terms, stressing: “if you don’t understand or knowledgeable about the terms and conditions of any contract, try to consult a lawyer; endeavor to know the market prices locally and internationally too.” He loves travelling and relaxes during his trips while purchasing his products or raw materials. He goes to Minna, Niger state for sheabutter, Saki, Oyo State for bitter-kola, Nasarawa State for chilly pepper and Kwara State for charcoal. Abijo’s Philosophy of life is, “Do good while you are still on earth and when you die, you still have a good legacy.” Abijo, a native of Lagos Island, attended elementary school in Lagos, Federal Government College, Minna, Niger State and Federal University of Technology, Akure where he read Urban and Regional Planning.


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55

Interview

‘If you get greedy as Speaker, you will make mistakes’ – Ochei Rt. Honourable Victor Ochei is the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly. In this Interview with ODITA SUNDAY, the electrical engineer urged that Delta North senatorial zone should produce the next governor for equity to reign. He also lent his support to the establishment of state police. Excerpts:

ECENTLY, the Governor of Delta State, Dr. R Emmanuel Uduaghan, presented a proposal of the 2014 budget to the Delta State House of Assembly. On that occasion, you gave the assurance that it will be speedily completed. I think that, basically, many principles guide every budget process and its consideration. On top of them is that what is being planned for now is to ensure that even when the House is on a short recess, the Finance and Appropriation Committee would be at work and go through budget defence and also assess the performance of the former budget with a view to assessing what factors are due for review in considering this year’s appropriation as well as to ensure that some key projects are accorded priority. As Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA) are you satisfied with the level of performance of budgets held under your watch as Speaker? Yes, if you ask me; the extent that the budget performs is the function of the receipts from the Federation Account. Last year, we had a proposed budget of N472 billion. Now, for 2014, we have proposed N391 billion, which is short on last year’s estimates by about N80 billion. And the reason is obvious; what they received last year fell far short of what was expected. So, the state government, quite wisely, felt the best thing now is to budget close to what is more realistic so that where there is deficit, it will be minimal, and there can be public confidence restored in our budgeting system. When you budget for N472 billion and, at the end of the day, your receipts, statutorily and through InternallyGenerated Revenue (IGR) fall short of that by almost close N80 billion, (even though the fault may not necessarily be that of the state government), then you know that there is a problem and you cannot continue to budget like that any anymore. You now have to tailor your coat according to your cloth and not your size anymore; and that is what the Delta State Government is trying to do. But, so far, in terms of performance, in spite of the fact that we have a big short fall, per-

Ochei

formance has been tailored along the line of priorities. Whenever you have a short fall of the expectation, the only thing you have to do in the strictly economic sense is to have a priority scale or scale of preference or opportunity cost, so to speak. In following that, I will say the state government has done well in line with the budgeting process. You have become the longest-serving Speaker in Delta under Dr. Uduaghan’s administration, how did you achieve this? I am sure you know that no one can make himself or herself Speaker in any state, not talk of a complex state like Delta. So, anyone who is a Speaker has some measure of support from other legislators. That I was elected Speaker was by the goodwill and support of people, because, in a very vibrant legislature as DTHA, every member is equal to the other, and there is equal opportunity for all to become Speaker, depending on the level of support among the members/stakeholders. Having said that, I hasten to tell you that there is no graveyard peace situation in the DTHA. If it were the silence of a graveyard, it would not have lasted long. First, it is by the grace of God and the understanding and cooperation of my colleagues that I have been sustained as the longest-serving Speaker in the Uduaghan administration, especially in a multi-party House as we have in DTHA. It has been a situation where your traits and qualities as a leader are constantly being put to test in the sense of your ability to relate with your colleagues. First, you are only a first among equals. There is hardly anything that I have done that has not come to the knowledge of the House. If you want to get greedy, you are going to make a lot of mistakes, so, you should run an open door policy for them to see and understand whatever you do. When you let them know that, “look, these things cannot be like this”, they will appreciate it than when you shroud facts in secrecy. So, if anything has kept me on as Speaker, it is probably the fact that I keep my colleagues adequately informed of goings-on, and without sounding immodest, I strive to be transparent and even-handed, at least, to the best of my ability as a human. As a Speaker and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, to what would you attribute the growth in your party at the state level despite opposition? There are different styles to market a product. The style with which you market your product determines the returns you are going to enjoy. In the state generally, the

performance of the state administration under the watch of Governor Uduaghan is a key factor, as is the role of the party leadership. In specific respect to the DTHA, we have complimented what the party leaders and the state governor are doing. The style we have used in wooing our colleagues who are in the minori t y

party is simple: We run an open door policy and we do not segregate on the platform of political parties. We work and take decisions together like one family. The result is that the question they now ask is, “why were they opposing the PDP if, by the end of the day, what they (PDP) was doing was nothing wrong?” On the other hand, at the state level, like I said, the performance of the state government, the role of the party leadership and the resolve of PDP stakeholders to set aside their differences and work together, has also been instrumental to the resurgence of the party and, by the same token, the dwindling of opposition parties, especially the DPP, especially in the Delta Central Senatorial District, where we won the recent bye-election. How long will the budget consideration take the House before they remit to the executive for endorsement? We have given the Finance and Appropriation Committee the time up until the 28th of January to report to the House. And from then, the House will consider it in the committee of supply and when we find it okay, it will be ready for execution. I am sure that, by February, the bill will be ready for assent by the governor. As 2015 draws near, do you subscribe to the power rotation principle in Delta State? Yes I do. Delta State stands on three tripods; the north, south and central – as its fulcrum. Since the central and the south have taken a shot at it, I believe, as a person, the north should have a go at it, to give a sense of belonging to every part of the state, because what makes one to say he is a citizen of this state, is the fact that he can aspire to the highest seat in the land, on the strength of his individual worth and merit. So, Delta North is not excluded: as far as they can aspire to it, I think it should be encouraged and they should be given the opportunity. Though people may say I am speaking sentimentally because I am from Delta North, I feel this is a positive sentiment that is becoming increasingly popular and commonplace among all Deltans. The idea of zoning favours Delta North this time around, but the trend has triggered a

plethora of aspirants from the zone. Does it not bother you? That is the beauty of democracy. It is everybody’s inalienable right to contest for any of these positions contained in the constitution, if they are competent and meet the requirements. At the end of the day, it is our right, as Deltans, to choose. It is like different industries making the same product. It is the product that appeals to you most, in terms of value, that you purchase; you can’t expect equal sales from the market for the same product range. Anyhow, the issue of legion of aspirants is just not peculiar to Delta North. When Delta Central was to have their senatorial bye-election in October 47 aspirants came out. That is just the beauty of democracy; everybody has the right to aspire and you cannot disenfranchise anyone. At the end of the day, the choice will be made and I do not think that the plethora of aspirants has anything to do with the choice of the people. You have always been a strong advocate of state police; are you still holding on to that? Yes, very strongly; and for the same reason that I have always been an advocate of state police. If you keep saying Nigeria is not ripe for state police, why not go back to the military because, as some people say, we are too young for democracy? So, let us start walking by having the state police in place. At a point in time, the state police will develop to the extent where they will become independent and all the fears expressed will wither away. If you sum up the total support of state governments in the country to the Nigeria police, it is over and above what the Federal Government budgets for the force. So, why not leave it for the state to handle? However, I am optimistic that, as the agreement is heating up, we shall get there someday. Since you are from Delta North, do you have ambition of contesting for the governorship post? It cannot be ruled out, but I am still consulting with stakeholders in the three senatorial zones. At the appropriate time, my decision will be in the public domain.

First, you are only a first among equals. There is hardly anything that I have done that has not come to the knowledge of the House. If you want to get greedy, you are going to make a lot of mistakes, so, you should run an open door policy for them to see and understand whatever you do. When you let them know that, “look, these things cannot be like this”, they will appreciate it than when you shroud facts in secrecy. So, if anything has kept me on as Speaker, it is probably the fact that I keep my colleagues adequately informed of goings-on, and without sounding immodest, I strive to be transparent and even-handed, at least, to the best of my ability as a human.


56

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Interview

Jonathan’s support has improved Nigeria Police, says Olubolade • President not the cause of crises in PDP Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (Rtd), a former Military Administrator of Bayelsa State-turned politician and a very close ally of President Goodluck Jonathan, is of the opinion that the president’s effort in transforming the Nigeria Police (NP) is yielding good results. Fielding questions from newsmen, including Sunday Odita, he also speaks on why Jonathan should not be blamed for the crises in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the type of governor Ekiti people want in 2014. OULD you say that you have W really gotten the needed support from the President to effec-

tively run the Police Affairs Ministry? As far as the Ministry of Police Affairs is concerned, I have been at the helm of affairs for about two years now. We have the regular budget and the reform budget targeted at making provisions for the Nigeria Police Force. The reform budget is used to boost professionalism in the Police, while the Inspector General of Police and the Police Management Team mainly manage the regular budget for capital and recurrent expenditures of the Police. In the last two years, a lot has been accomplished within the resources provided, particularly in the reform budget. Could you explain how the reform budget works? The reform programme is used to enhance professionalism of the Police, by providing logistics and equipment, training, capacity building, community policing and welfare. When it became clear that the releases to the Ministry was dwindling as a result of the illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalisation, Mr. President gave a clear directive to the Vice President (Alhaji Namadi Sambo), who is the Chairman of the Interim Implementation Committee on Police Reform Programme, to find an alternative way of funding the reform programme. This singular initiative has brought about the needed solution to fund the reform programme. Governors keyed into the contribution of one per cent of monthly federal allocation to the programme. This is a major breakthrough for the Police. Also within the year, Mr. President gave various approvals to fund vital projects and programmes of the Police. It is through such approvals that the payment of acquired helicopters, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), utility vehicles, arms and ammunition, including training of helicopter pilots and Special Forces, was made. I want to categorically state that Mr. President’s support has

brought a lot of improvement to the Nigerian Police Force. At the moment, the zonal Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) and Police Commissioners of various state commands are giving accounts of their achievements within the year, regarding curbing crimes and criminalities in the society in line with the accountability posture of Mr. President. We thank the populace for giving information to the Police to achieve this and I urge Nigerians to do more in the new year so that the Police can serve the society better in 2014 and beyond. What is the state of educational institutions in the Nigeria Police? Mr. President most significantly approved the upgrading of the Police Academy, WUDIL, Kano, to a degree-awarding institution. The Academy will now function like the Nigerian Defence Academy of the military where professional officers will graduate to take charge of the rank and file of the Police. Similarly, the Police Staff College, Jos was given a facelift, where renovation of some buildings and infrastructure, including roads, was carried out. Police Colleges and Training Schools are now receiving attention. What is the government doing about the re-organisation of the Police? A few months ago, the Commander-in-Chief constituted a Presidential Committee to reorganise the Nigerian Police Force as part of the transformation agenda of this administration. Another committee was set up for the establishment of a forensic and DNA facility for the Nigeria Police. I chaired the committee. The reports of these committees have been submitted for consideration. One important project that I must not fail to mention is the National Security Public Communication System (NSPCS), which comprises of video conferencing and surveillance equipment and the GOTA system used for communication. The NSPCS has cameras that are fitted in Lagos and Abuja at the moment and will also cover other states of the federation later. The project, which has been ongoing, is now operational. These achievements made, as a result of the support of Mr.

When it became clear that the releases to the Ministry was dwindling as a result of the illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalisation, Mr. President gave a clear directive to the Vice President (Alhaji Namadi Sambo), who is the Chairman of the Interim Implementation Committee on Police Reform Programme, to find an alternative way of funding the reform programme. This singular initiative has brought about the needed solution to fund the reform programme. Governors keyed into the contribution of one per cent of monthly federal allocation to the programme. This is a major breakthrough for the Police. I want to categorically state that Mr. President’s support has brought a lot of improvement to the Nigeria Police Force.

President, have gone a long way in transforming the Nigeria Police. Would you say these various supports that the Police have enjoyed under the present administration have motivated officers and men of the Nigeria Police to be on top of their game in the areas of fighting kidnapping, criminalities and terrorism? Certainly, if you don’t invest, you get nothing. If you do, there is the likelihood of a tangible result. Mr. President has invested in the Police, and we have gotten results in terms of faster response and alertness. From available records, things are changing for the better. How do you mean? It is common knowledge that population increase in Nigeria is high and yet, we cannot continue to increase the number of police officers and men for policing because the wage will be too high. But by giving quality training and provision of intelligent apparatus to the Police, manpower reduction is achievable. We have realised that it is only through continuous training that we can build confidence in the Police to fight crime but the Police need to partner with the community to assist in intelligence gathering. When is the setting aside of one per cent of federal allocation to the Nigeria Police taking off? It is going to take off this January because all the arrangements have been put in place to address inadequate funding of the NPF. Governors will now embrace the reform programme properly as the Chief Security Officers of their states. This will hopefully limit the clamour for State Police. The introduction of the one per cent of revenue allocation will assist to fund the Reform Programme by providing more logistics, equipment, welfare and training, among others. Nigerians will like to know the problem with the Police carrying out its functions effectively, as public perception is not inadequate budgetary allocations for the Police but alleged misappropriated of funds. At the beginning of this interview, I talked about the need to fund the Police. I am not sure whether funding can be adequate because of other compelling needs in other sectors of government. However, Mr. President has shown the way to improve funding when he noticed the insufficiency. From my experience as a former Military Administrator of Bayelsa State, I have realised that the key to our progress as a nation is to prudently utilise available resources that are meant for the people or organisation, before asking for more funds. Secondly, every effort must be made to show leadership by driving the implementation of projects and programmes to a logical conclusion. What is the relationship between

Olubolade

The next governor of Ekiti State should be a decent, enlightened, experienced and hardworking personality that can work under pressure to achieve tangible results for all to see. He must have a track record of transparency from previous engagements, and office held. He should not be a newcomer who will be learning from first principle, but an experienced, amiable and firm personality. The next governor must not only win the election, but he must also be an achiever, an intellect, a performer, a respecter of tradition and culture and a man of vision with a mindset to quickly transform the state. It will be an added advantage if he has the requisite skill to do so in collaboration with local and foreign partners. the Police and the Ministry of Police Affairs? In the Ministry of Police Affairs, we are guided by the need of the Police because they are the end users. The interest of the Police is paramount in all our considerations and, therefore, the issue of misappropriation is avoided. S a politician and a member of A the PDP, what do you make of the lingering crises in your party,

the PDP and the birth of a supposedly strong political opposition, the All Progressive Congress (APC)? I must let you know that President Jonathan is not the cause of the crises in the PDP. The birth of a baby, the APC, should not be a problem because they will still have to manage different interests of various characters in their party before facing the PDP. The unity of the PDP is our focus. The crises in PDP will be managed and solved. The crises will become history very soon. I can only appeal to all political leaders, religious leaders and traditional leaders to respect our elected President in the interest of our country. We must think of the implication of our actions at all times to guarantee peace, unity and progress. The international community will accord us more respect. The governorship election in Ekiti State is holding this year. As a stakeholder in the state, what qualities or attributes would you

expect the man that would be emerging as the next governor to have? Firstly, the man that would govern Ekiti State this time around should be a grassroots person who understands the workings of the state, its people and what their needs are. He must be the listening type who appreciates the peculiarities of the state. He must know the people well and must avoid deceiving his people with unfulfilled promises. He must be a realistic person. The incoming governor of Ekiti State must make sure that he does not plunge the state into debts, by taking loans that he would not be able to repay during his tenure. The next governor of Ekiti State should be a decent, enlightened, experienced and hardworking personality that can work under pressure to achieve tangible results for all to see. He must have a track record of transparency from previous engagements, and office held. He should not be a newcomer who will be learning from first principle, but an experienced, amiable and firm personality. The next governor must not only win the election, but he must also be an achiever, an intellect, a performer, a respecter of tradition and culture and a man of vision with a mindset to quickly transform the state. It will be an added advantage if he has the requisite skill to do so in collaboration with local and foreign partners.


Wedneday, January 15, 2014 INTERVIEW 57

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Nigeria will remain united, says Pastor Aromolaran hat is the significance of fasting in W Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG)?

Pastor Olaitan Aromolaran of RCCG Covenant of Peace Parish, Ikorodu in this interview says Nigeria will remain united in spite of the current political and security challenges in the country

It is spiritually ordained, and that is what Christ says that we should do, we don’t fast in the RCCG for men to know that we are fasting. We fast to get the impossible done. Do you think members can stick to the days of fasting and what happens to those that may backslide? By the grace of God, we have thousands of members that observe it, everybody that has gotten to know that this is not meant for the General Overseer, it is a price everybody has to pay and some are even going totally dried. We are going to do anything within our reach to get it done. If you miss one day, you will fast for two days to cover the day you missed, so that’s the implication, nobody will want to even miss a day because it is a sacrifice worth doing. What is the vision behind the programme, ‘Over to God?’ and how has it grown since inception? We were praying and God said he wants to be meeting us 21 days of the first month of every year and he said we should hand our lives and problems over to God. It started like a dream and I believe that today it has become a big event.We gathered that people are coming from all parts of the world to attend this programme, what makes this possible? I believe it is because we are under his banner, I believe the mission where we find ourselves allow such grace. I just believe we are privileged today where we are, not magical. What are the major testimonies recorded since the birth of this programme? One major testimony we have recorded is people giving their lives in 100s, like during convocation to praise. Almost 600 people gave their lives to Jesus and since we started this year’s programme, people have been trooping in droves to get God’s grace and blessings and know more about God. And the dead has come back to life, the blind has seen and these I believe are the major testimonies we have recorded. What is the driving force for the church auditorium? Our GO (General Overseer) will not take just anything. He always wants the best. He wants things done in a bigger way. When we saw that kind of quality leadership we can’t but do what we are doing. This is the first auditorium, the second one we are commencing it immediately after this programme and that one we will have a press centre and offices inside it. In fact it is going to be of international standard by the grace of God. God is behind everything and good leaders can go to any extent to ensure quality. You are the anchor for other great revival programmes such as ‘Helping Hand’, ‘While Men Slept’, ‘Joy Cometh’ among others. How are you able to cope with all these in addition to your pastoral calling? The spirit of assignment is the spirit of strength. There is no fish that will be tired of swimming. That’s what they are created for. We do it without stress but with passion because that is our calling. The greatest gift a man can have is the gift of men who are dedicated. The Lord has surrounded us with faithful men in class of Uriah that will not go for pleasure when there is an assignment at hand neither do they wait for thank you from men. When you have people who do not do this work because of bread, everything goes smoothly.   What about the family dimension to your busy schedule? God gave me a lovely wife and children that understand everything about me and since I started the pastoral duties, I never came back to say sorry to my wife, because she understands what we are doing and she is also very spiritual. God has been so wonderful by giving me a lovely and understanding family. I am married to the best woman in the world; she is the only one who can cope with my inadequacies and also bring out the best in me. In the course of my assignment, I may be away from home for some days and she copes so well and I wonder how she does it. What is your outlook for Nigeria in 2014, do you think is going to be turbulent? In Redeem Christian Church of God, this year is a year of overflow of peace. That people disagree in opinion does not mean that peace will not reign. The reason why we are still together in Nigeria is because of God and I believe that God has not backed out in helping us. What I know is that peace will

Aromolaran

One major testimony we have recorded is people giving their lives in 100s, like during convocation to praise. Almost 600 people gave their lives to Jesus and since we started this year’s programme, people have been trooping in droves to get God’s grace and blessings and know more about God. And the dead has come back to life, the blind has seen and these I believe are the major testimonies we have recorded. reign; Nigeria will remain united in spite of disparity in opinion. My candid advice for all the politician is that by the time they know they have only one life to live, they won’t siphon the money that is meant for the masses because they will die one day. What should people expect this year’s

NEWS

‘Over to God’ programme? They are seeing it already, it is more or less a festival of revelation, festival of wealth and in the Redeem Christian Church of God this year, God told us that this year is going to be a year of performance and that every pending

issue will be attended to. God has never failed us. I believe there will be overflow of blessings, this year. What advice do you have for younger pastors who see you as their spiritual father? The unfortunate thing is that several people not called by God or are called by circumstances, especially in a country where there is no job for graduates are now claiming to be pastors. These are the types of people that will be material conscious. I believe if you are really called, there is no way you will do this work, the way it ought to be done that you will not have what others out there have. So my candid advice is for them to focus on the Lord, the Lord will grant them their heart desires if they worship him truly.

Senator tasks members over registration manipulation

By Tunde Akinola S the All Progressives Congress (APC) preA pares for its membership registration exercise, the lawmaker representing Ogun West Senatorial zone, Senator Akin Odunsi, has called on the zone’s party members to be wary of “manipulative” moves by desperate politicians who want to subvert the process for their selfish interests. Speaking at a sensitisation forum for the party’s registration at the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Council Area in Ogun State, Odunsi disclosed that January 28 had been fixed for the registration of members, warning members not to participate in any registration exercise prior to that date. Odunsi who is the vice chairman, Senate Committee on the Nigerian Air Force, added that registration of members in the state would be piloted by the harmonisation committee set up by the party hierarchy. He urged them to start preparing for the exer-

cise, stating that the registration of party members is the process that will lead to the congress where party leaders for the state will emerge. Odunsi said: “We are gathered here to brief my constituency on the development regarding the state harmonising committee, also to inform and educate them on issues affecting the registration of members into the APC. “People need to be sensitised to get ready that is what we are trying to do because they have been getting conflicting signals as when registration will start. We are yet to make announcement about the procedure and registration. We are just alerting our people to be ready for the registration which is about to commence on the 28th of this month,” he said. Odunsi clarified further that, “the registration process will be announced soon but certainly it is going to be a watertight process such that there will be no room for manipulation, that I can guarantee.”

He noted further that the gathering is not aimed at witch-hunting or quarrel with anyone but an important tool towards mobilising members of his senatorial district, adding that everyone has an impact to play in the registration process and growth of the party. He called on elders in each wards of the local government to ensure that all in- fighting and misunderstanding among members are resolved amicably so as to achieve a good end result. Also speaking at the gathering, the legislator representing Ado-Odo/Ota federal constituency,, Hon. Tunde Ogunola, said the gathering of elders of the party, youths and women in the constituency, is a signal that people are ready to work for the party. He said: “Well you can see how crowded this place is and that implies that we are already in motion, this is a moving wagon that everybody is ready to join and the kind of enthusiasm we are getting for this exercise only shows that APC is on ground here.”


58 | Wednesday, January 15, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Sports CHAN 2014

What they said about Ronaldo’s award

Keshi backs under-fire Agbim IGERIA Coach, Stephen N Keshi has defended goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim, who has come under fire following a 2-1 loss to Mali at CHAN. Agbim was blamed for the two goals scored by Mali even though he later made several saves to deny the fellow West Africans more goals. Keshi picked Agbim and defenders Azubuike Egwuekwe and Kunle Odunlami as the only players who did well against Mali at the weekend. Goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu has also passed a vote of confidence on the Enugu Rangers shot stopper. “He made several saves if not, we would have conceded five, six goals in that game,” Shorunmo defended. “If you look at the team as a whole, he played well and should not be blamed.” Keshi said he now expected his team to post an improved performance today. “The players have now overcome their stage fright, so I think they would come out to play on Wednesday (today). We did not play our game on Saturday but I am sure that would be different against Mozambique,” he assured. In the meantime, Sunshine Stars midfielder, Ikenna

Hilary, who started against Mali, is now an injury doubt for today’s Group A match against Mozambique after he limped out of training on Monday night. The player suffered a muscle strain. The other injury doubt in the team, Benjamin Francis may now give way to Enyimba ace, Bright Esieme if he does not recover in time for the match against Mambas. Shooting Stars striker, Gbolahan Salami is likely to start ahead of Abubakar Ibrahim of Nasarawa United, who flopped against Mali. Salami was the saving grace of the Eagles against Mali and has now played his way into the first team. “I believe we can win the game against Mozambique and get out tournament back on track,” the 3SC ace told MTNFootball.com There are also sign that Abdullahi Shehu of Kano Pillars may get the nod to start in the game against Mozambique after he brought some stability to the Eagles midfield in the second half of the game against Mali. Today’s match will kick off 7pm Nigerian time at the Cape Town Stadium, which hosted matches of the 2010 World Cup.

NFF tasks Eagles over Mozambique By Alex Monye HEAD of today’s must win A second group game against Mozambique in the ongoing Africa Nations Championship (CHAN), the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has urged the homebased Eagles to go all out to pick the maximum points at stake in the encounter. Speaking with NFF Technical Committee member, Paul Bassey, he stated that the Eagles needed encouragement and support to outshine their opponent. The veteran  sports journalist also declared that Coach Stephen Keshi must work on the psychology of his players to boost their confidence in the championship, even as he stressed that the home-based players need to prove their worth in

• Plan big for World Cup South Africa to increase their chances of playing in the World Cup. “The home-based Eagles disappointed Nigerian’s in their first group game against Mali. I believe they have learnt their lesson from the Mali match. Keshi should make his players understand that they must win the second group game to move ahead in the championship. If the Eagles get booted out of the CHAN championship, it would not augur well for the development of soccer in the country,’’ Bassey stated. He also hinted that the NFF were working round the clock to ensure the  senior national team get all the necessary apparatus needed to prepare for Brazil 2014 World Cup.

DR Congo beat brave Mauritania ted a handball in the R Congo beat 10-man D Mauritania 1-0 in a scrap- Mauritania box. Shortly thereafter, coach py Group D opener in Polokwane. The 2009 champions failed to stamp their authority in a poor first half that only came to life after the half hour mark. DR Congo would have had a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot if referee Mohamed Benouza had spot-

Santos Mutubile was sent-off for protesting the decision. Four minutes later, Mauritania striker, Ely Voullany also had a fine chance to put his side in the lead against the run of play but was unfortunate to see his 24th minute shot from the edge of the area fly over the

HEN Pele announced W Cristiano Ronaldo as the winner of the 2013 FIFA Ballon

Agbim

Determination to succeed can turn things around for Eagles, says Kpakor By Eno-Abasi Sunday X-INTERNATIONAL and BCC E Lions of Gboko legend, Moses Kpakor says after the Super Eagles opening day loss to less-fancied Eagles of Mali in the ongoing African Nations Championship, strong determination to succeed, propelled by the high number of awards garnered from last week’s Glo/CAF Awards, were capable of turning things around for good for the team. While stressing that the loss of over four tested players in the build-up to the championship was partly responsible for the shaky start, he expressed confidence and

cross bar. Mauritania then had the post to thank in the 38th minute when DR Congo midfielder, Guy Lusadisu thumped the ball onto the woodwork. The debutants too were unlucky not to have taken the lead with a late chance in the 42nd minute of the first half when Voullany’s shot was cleared off the line by Jean Kasusula.

hope with Stephen Keshi in the saddle, the team should be able to hold their own. In fact, he has charged the team not to lose sight of the fact that there is national pride to be preserved as they make their maiden trip in the championship, which is in its third edition. In an interview with The Guardian, Kpakor said, “losing the number of tested players they lost in the build-up to the championship is bound to affect the team, and any team for that matter. This coupled with their inadequate preparation as well as the state of the domestic league accounts for the unimpressive performance they put up in their first match against Mali. “If the team were to be handled by a different coach, it would have been a different story because Keshi and his crew were still faced with World Cup qualification, while other countries including Mali had started preparations for CHAN.” In urging the team to see the recent CAF Awards, where Nigeria swept many prizes as a motivation to excel, the he exinternational stressed, “they should also not lose sight of the fact that national pride is

at stake. You can’t win the National Team of the Year as well as parade the Coach of the Year and not do well when it is expected of you. “So I would advise the boys not to fell they have lost out of the championship having lost their first match. They should build a positive attitude, which is capable of turning things around for them in the competition. With Keshi in charge and the boys determined to excel, we can beat Mozambique and South Africa and qualify for the next round and go ahead to win the trophy. We have lost an opening match before and hone ahead to lift the trophy. He tied the Eagles’ uninspiring opening game to the shaky and under-developed domestic league saying authorities must do the needful to take the league where it rightfully belongs. “Whatever performance the team put up there is a reflection of what the Nigerian domestic league has to offer, and if the truth must be told, this is not good enough. Most Nigerian team now do not do well in continental competitions so a lot must be done to turn the situation around,” Kpakor concluded.

d’Or, the Portuguese ace gave his girlfriend a kiss and stepped up to the stage at Zurich’s Kongresshaus, where he tearfully took receipt of the award from the Brazilian legend. FIFA.com brings you some of the tributes the Real Madrid and Portugal player duly received from the football world. “I would like to congratulate Cristiano because he was a worthy winner. I don’t have anything else to say. It was a great year for all three of us (Ronaldo, Messi and Franck Ribery) and that’s why we’re here. I don’t have any complaints or any apologies to make Messi either.” Lionel “Every player knows how difficult it is to win awards, especially one as big as this. I was rooting for Messi, but they made a good decision. He’s an idol of mine too. Congratulations to Ronaldo.” Neymar “I’m immensely satisfied because justice has been done to the extraordinary year of an extraordinary player who has so much talent. That’s the only way you can win an award like this. As a Portuguese person and the national team coach, I am very happy. He is a genuine person and he got emotional, which is only natural.” Paulo Bento “I think it’s really deserved, not just for this year but for all the work Cristiano Ronaldo has done for so many years. He’s worked hard to get better year after year. He’s just amazing.” Luiz Felipe Scolari “He is the first Portuguese to receive this honour twice. This award comes as recognition for his exceptional level of performance and for the drive and dedication he has shown throughout his career as a footballer. He wears the national colours and the pride of Portugal around the world,” Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal President “I am very happy. We should all feel very proud that Ronaldo was the best player in the world last year,” Fernando Santos, Greece’s Portuguese coach “Ronaldo turned in some fantastic performances for Real Madrid and the national team in 2013. He went through some anxious times, which explains why he struggled to keep it all in. We feel proud as Portuguese people to see one of our players win the Ballon d’Or. He deserves it for everything he did in 2013.” Fernando Gomes, Portuguese Football Federation chairman “All I’m going to say is that Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or is richly deserved. It is recognition for his hard work, talent and will to win.” Florentino Perez, Real Madrid President “I’m disappointed for Ribery, but I know that Ronaldo is a deserving winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or.” Michel Platini, UEFA President “You have to know how to win and how to lose. Today is Cristiano’s day and you have to congratulate him.” Dani Alves


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Man U will give Moyes time, says Mourinho Mourinho believes JlostOSE Manchester United have not patience with David Moyes and still fully trust him to succeed and rebuild at Old Trafford. The Red Devils’ 2-1 loss to Swansea in the FA Cup was their fifth home defeat of the season, while they have slumped to seventh place in the Premier League table – 11 points behind leaders Arsenal. But Mourinho feels the pressure Moyes is supposedly under is a fabrication of the media, and is convinced the club will support the man they picked to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson last summer. “I don’t think David is under pressure,” the Portuguese

told London Evening Standard. “The pressure is something virtual. It is something that comes from the media as a consequence of not having the best results. “The most important thing in all of this is not the pressure that comes from the outside, it’s the reality of the inside. My feeling, which is based on years of communicating with Sir Alex and some inside information, is Man United are not happy, but they are calm. They trust David. David trusts t h e m . “Are the players blaming the manager and thinking ‘I am safe’? No. The players don’t feel that. They feel all together on this. The manager is calm and they are thinking this is

our manager for the next twothree-four-five years. So they’re alltogether and are going to rebuild again a big t e a m . “The bad results will finish. They will get back on track, probably too late to win the league because they’re too many points behind the leader. “The gap is difficult to recover but David has a fantastic job. He’s in probably unique conditions to be stable and to do his work well and achieve success sooner rather than later.” Chelsea host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with the Blues looking to keep pace with the leaders while Moyes’ men eye a top-four berth.

Arsenal boss Wenger buoyed by Wilshere form RSENE Wenger believes A Jack Wilshere is returning to the peak of his powers after inspiring Arsenal’s win at Aston Villa on Monday. The England international opened the scoring and then set up a second goal for Olivier Giroud less than a minute later as the north London club won 2-1 at Villa Park to go back to the top of the Premier League.

Wilshere struggled with injury earlier this season and then a loss of form led to Wenger omitting him from Arsenal’s line-up, but the 22year-old showed his class in the victory at Villa and his manager believes he is close to his best once more. “Jack has got his change of pace back and his penetration,” said the Arsenal manager. His game is about that.

He’s not only a passer, he’s a guy who’s incisive with the ball. “That’s his strength and for that you need to be at the top of your game physically. You can see it when he’s training well physically. He’s coming back to his best.” Arsenal are waiting to discover the extent of injuries suffered by Tomas Rosicky (nose) and Nacho Monreal

Suarez

Liverpool prospects excite Suarez IVERPOOL striker, Luis L Suarez is in no doubt the club are now playing football worthy of the Champions League. The Reds moved back into the top four of the Barclays Premier League, where they have spent most of the season so far, after Sunday’s 5-3 win at Stoke. And Suarez - scorer of a brace in the game - feels things are looking good in terms of the Merseysiders’ prospects of staying there and going on to make a return to the Champions League, in which they have not featured in since 2009. The Uruguay international told Liverpoolfc.com: “We know that in the last two years we haven’t demonstrated that Liverpool can play in the Champions League. “Now we are playing very well and we have the level to play in the Champions League. We have really good players and if we continue at this level, we can do it.” Suarez’s double at the Britannia Stadium took him to 22 goals for the campaign scored in only 16 league matches. He missed Liverpool’s first few fixtures this season as he completed the 10-game suspension he was serving for his infamous bite on Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanovic in April. The 26-year-old frontman

has been at the centre of various controversies during his career, but of late, the headlines about him have tended to be positive, with there being talk of him being among the best players in the world. Suarez himself says he is a changed man and that the praise he is getting is “unbelievable.” But he has also stressed that his main concern is the progress of the Liverpool team. He said, “when you are a child, you imagine a lot. Now many people or players speak about that and it’s unbelievable for me. “(It is) also for Liverpool,

Matic

because in the last two or three years we have not played very well and not demonstrated our level. Now we are back to that. You work hard for the supporters and the people. “It’s important because the last few months were a little difficult for me. Now I’ve changed and it’s okay.” He added, “for my confidence, it’s very good, but the most important thing is Liverpool. That’s more important to me. “The squad is playing very well; for the forwards, it’s easier on the pitch. If I score or not, it’s not important to me. It’s more important that we win the game.”

Wilshere

Matic agrees terms ahead Chelsea move EMANJA Matic is set for a N Chelsea medical on Tuesday after agreeing the terms of a €24 million move from Benfica. The Serbia international has confirmed that he has played his last game for the Portugese club as he prepares to become the Europa League champions’ first signing of the January window - providing he is given a clean bill of health. Speaking to Portugese newspaper A Bola about last Sunday’s clash with Porto, Matic said, “yes, it was my last game. I want to thank all the people at the club and all the supporters. Benfica will be forever in my heart. I played here two-and-a-half years, I gave my best in every practice, every game, and now is the right time to leave.” Negotiations to take Matic back to Stamford Bridge were finalised between Chelsea and Benfica in Lisbon on Monday. Chelsea are believed to have agreed to pay Benfica an ini-

tial €22m, rising to €24m with add-ons. Matic, 26, has agreed the terms of a fiveand-a-half year contract. The midfielder first moved to Stamford Bridge in 2009 for €1.8m and was then sold to Benfica two years later as a makeweight in the deal that brought David Luiz to the club. At that time, Matic was valued at around €3m. The re-signing represents a huge mark-up for the west Londoners but Manager, Jose Mourinho regards Matic as the type of midfield anchorman the team has been lacking for several years. Matic explained that he felt it was the right time in his career to move to a club regarded as one of Europe’s elite. He told A Bola: “I want to improve, I want to go to a better league and want to go to Chelsea, the club which I also like. “I have always given my best for the team, the club and the supporters. I hope you recognise that and understand my

position and my desire.” Tall, athletic and comfortable with the ball at his feet, the Serbian will be expected to slot straight into Mourinho’s squad for Sunday’s home clash against Manchester United. The Europa League champions expect to partly fund Matic’s transfer with the funds from Kevin de Bruyne’s sale to Wolfsburg, with the Belgian on the verge of a €18move to the Bundesliga. Mourinho has been keen to buy a proven defensive midfielder since returning to Stamford Bridge last summer and finding a squad overloaded with playmakers and light in the central areas. With defender Luiz regarded as a last resort in midfield, Frank Lampard out of contract in the summer and Marco van Ginkel sidelined for the season with a cruciate ligament injury, strengthening in that area has been regarded by the Blues as a priority.


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LMC abolishes sign-on fees, short-term contract for players •Pegs players monthly minimum wage at N150, 000 •Pre-season tourney begins January 24 By Gowon Akpodonor

T

Obi

GLO-CAF Awards: Shittu faults Odegbami’s claim on Mikel IGERIA’S foremost playN ers’ manager and football agent, John Shittu, has described Segun Odegbami’s comment about the football credentials of Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, as cruel. Shittu said he found it distasteful that the former winger could write such about a young Nigerian who has carved a niche for himself in global football.  Odegbami, writing after last Thursday’s GLO-CAF Award, had dismissed Mikel as a lukewarm player.  He posited that Nigerians were just being sentimental by wishing he had won the award. But Shittu, who is Mikel’s agent and manager, said he was not surprised by the comment. “Odegbami wrote and said worse things about NFF President, Aminu Maigari.  Today, he is following the same Maigari about, singing his praise,’ Shittu said. “This same Odegbami claimed in his write up that he can’t recall a decisive pass, a great dribble or moment of magic since watching Mikel. “But he had said on April 12, 2012 after watching the Mikel: ‘As a footballer, I am envious of watching Mikel Obi playing football at the highest level and I believe Nigerians are motivated watching him play for one of the best clubs in the world and in the most followed football tournament, the UEFA Champions League. “The young lad was all over the place, closing all the gaps alongside his teammates and

frustrating Barcelona from translating domination into goals all through the semifinal tie. This exploit no doubt is an inspiration to the youths who hope one day to play at the top level as well. “So, what has changed between April 2012 when he paid glowing tribute to Mikel for being outstanding against some of the world’s best like Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and other greats and now? That is his style. Today he is shouting hosanna, tomorrow he will be shouting crucify him.” Shittu dismissed Odegbami’s claim that when Mikel is not featured on the Chelsea team he is rarely missed and when featured he is not expected to do anything. “This man needs to be told that football has evolved from the days of a defender sending a long pass to the winger who then runs and crosses into the 18 yards. Football today has gone hi-tech, computerised and scientific. He should try and understand the modern game.” Shittu said two of the greatest football managers in the world, Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, must be neophytes in football as they fought for the signature of the player whom Odegbami disparaged. “Since Mikel joined Chelsea, he has played under some of the best managers in the world  like Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto di Matteo, Rafael Benitez and all of them

acknowledged his importance in the team. Football in Europe is not played with sentiments; all players on the pitch are making important contributions.” Shittu recalled that Mourinho called Mikel a jewel and pure diamond when he met the young boy about a decade ago and that today Mourinho has nothing but praises for Mikel, describing him as Chelsea’s anchorman, who reads the game well, plays in an intelligent and safe way. Shittu faulted Odegbami’s claim that Mikel had played over 400 games for Chelsea urging the former international to cross check his fact always. “This is not true. To say Chelsea recruited a player whom they expected to be inconsequential in the team is an insult on the intelligence of Piet de Visser, who brought Romario and Ronaldo to Europe, who first recommended Mikel and other greats, and has acknowledged and continues to acknowledge his contributions to Chelsea. “Even Mikel’s worst critics recognise his great contributions to the Eagles’ success at the African Nations Cup. It is either Odegbami did not watch the Nations Cup or failed to see Mikel’s influence. How many goals did Fabio Cannavaro score when he won the Ballon d’Or?” Shittu also posits that Odegbami is being economical with the truth in his comparison of Mikel and Toure. “I am highly disappointed that someone of Odegbami’s

status, who ought to know that when comparing individual players, you have to look at how effective they are in the role their managers assigned them, choose to ignore this fact for reasons best known to him. “Judging the two players from the angle of role they play for respective clubs and countries, Toure was not better than Mikel in 2012/2013. As a disciplined defensive midfielder, Mikel is probably number one in the world today. “How can Odegbami claim that a player who has played over 300 games in the last eight seasons under seven different managers is inconsistent? I don’t think he understands modern football and modern players. Mikel is a defensive midfielder who plays to his managers’ instructions; he is not given a free role like Toure. He is the engine room of Chelsea anytime he is on the field, he is not given a box to box role, or an offensive role, so trying to compare his goal rate with that of an offensive player is just plain out of place,” he said. Speaking further, Shittu said, “besides, how effective was Toure at Barcelona where he didn’t have a free role, or the other clubs he had played before Barca? How many goals did he score at Barca and the other clubs before he came to England? Toure has just played under two managers. Would he have maintained his present form under seven managers like Mikel? I don’t think so,” Shittu stated.

O avoid a repeat of the past, where some Nigerian clubs fail to meet financial obligations to their players, the League Management Company (LMC) yesterday demanded the payment of N100 million as ‘Performance Guarantee’ from each club before the commencement of the 2013/2014 Nigerian Premier League season. In a letter jointly signed by the Chief Operating Officer of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar and the Acting Secretary of the Clubs Owner, Aloy Chukwuemeka at the end of the Consultative Meeting of the League Management Company and Club Owners’ Representative/chairmen in Abuja and made available to The Guardian yesterday said, “that clubs shall provide Performance Guarantee of N100million from an approved financial institution as part of the 2013/2014 league season registration requirement. This will serve to ensure that the clubs can meet their financial obligations to their players, staff and other financial commitments.” The new season, according to the LMC, will kick off on the weekend of Friday, February 21 through Saturday, 22 and Sunday 23. The league will go on break during the Brazil 2014 World Cup and it is expected to end by October this year. The LMC said that sign-on fees as part of contractual arrangement between clubs

and their players and technical staff have been abolished from the 2013/2014 season, adding that a players’ enhanced salary scheme will come into effect with a monthly minimum wage of N150,000. “Henceforth, no complaints of non-payment of sign-on fees by players and technical staff shall be entertained by the LMC. However, all clubs with outstanding sign-on fees’ indebtedness to players and technical staff for the 2012/2013 season have been given one year moratorium to ensure the liquidation of such debts as part of requirement for registration for the 2014/2015 season. “The LMC shall apply relevant sanctions on any club that approaches a player without first notifying the owner or current club of such player. No player shall be offered a contract of less than three tenure expect those who have played for ten seasons or above in the league,” the letter said. The 2012/2013 pre-season tournament involving Kano Pillars, Enyimba, Bayelsa United and Warri Wolves will hold in Abuja on January 24, 26 and 28 with games kicking off by 2.00pm and 4.00pm. The pre-season tournament will also feature workshops for club managers, players, supporters clubs and medical officials. The meeting was attended by Glo Premier League clubs and leadership of the LMC led by the Chairman, Nduka Irabor.

Now I want a third, Ronaldo insists HE date 13 January 2014 will was what I yearned for most.” T live long in the memory of Nor did he forget to give Cristiano Ronaldo, the thanks to “all my team-mates Portuguese international attending the FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich in the company of his family, his girlfriend and his son - fully convinced that it would be his night. Despite this fervent belief, however, the Real Madrid attacker surprised the world by weeping uncontrollably and finding words hard to come by when taking to the stage to receive his award. That was, even for those who follow him on a daily basis, an unexpected initial reaction to being handed the FIFA Ballon d’Or for 2013. The Madeira-born superstar thus edged out Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery to claim the award for a second time after his maiden triumph in 2008. Having had the opportunity to compose himself, he then shared his feelings with FIFA.com. “Finding out I’d won made me extremely happy, I felt very proud,” said Los Blancos’ main man, on the first thoughts that went through his head after Pele had announced he was the latest winner of the coveted prize. “You need to work really hard to win a trophy of this magnitude,” he added, while highlighting the “huge dedication and hours of hard work” needed to reach the very top. The prolific former Manchester United forward, still clearly bubbling over with joy at his success, admitted that “winning a second Ballon d’Or

for Real Madrid and the national side, because you can’t win individual awards without working as a team. And the same goes to my coaches for club and country, for the trust they had in me,” added Ronaldo, in reference to Portugal boss, Paulo Bento, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, with the latter duo at the Madrid helm for the first and second half of 2013 respectively. After stating how “this is a moment of great joy for me” but before taking his leave, Ronaldo chose to highlight the fact he had been handed the award by Michel Platini and Pele, the Brazilian legend having himself been awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur just minutes earlier. “They were truly great players in the past, great legends: it’s a huge privilege to be handed this by them,” he said. So ended the day for a player who recently scored the 400th goal of his career and who left Zurich’s Kongresshaus enveloped in the warmth and affection of his loved ones, colleagues and football fans in general. Before departing, however, he made it very clear that he plans to be an equally spectacular force during 2014: “I’m going to try to give my best, like I always do, and I hope to be back next year to win the third Ballon d’Or of my career. That’s what I intend to do.” Any pretenders to the throne, you


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I deserve African Player of the Year title, says Toure AYA Toure has defended Y his title of CAF African Player of the Year by stating he was awarded the prize for his solid performances in the Premier League for Manchester City and Ivory Coast. Toure, winner of the 2011 and 2012 editions of the accolade, made it a hat-trick of titles when he edged out Chelsea and Nigeria’s John Mikel Obi for the 2013 award. His victory surprised not a few Nigerian fans, who had thought that Eagles AFCON success in South Africa and Chelsea’s Europa Cup triumph was enough to steer Obi to the prestigious prize. But like the previous two editions Toure was once again voted as the best player

on the African continent and he has defended the voters’ decision to select him. “This is a rare honour to me because when it came I was thinking that maybe I will lose the poll, but I think I was lucky,” Toure said. “To be honest with you, when you see the best footballers in the world, it is quite tight and difficult to achieve something with the clubs. “I think the best player in Africa has to be someone who is doing something great for his club in Europe and Africa and I am very proud and honoured to win it.” Toure formed an integral part in helping the Elephants qualify for their third successive FIFA World Cup finals. 

Bafana Bafana, Mali in ascendancy battle OUTH Africa and Mali will Sdancy battle for Group A ascenwhen they meet at Cape Town Stadium today for the start of the second round of CAF African Nations Championship matches. Kick-off  is 17h00  CAT. The host nation’s team got the tournament off to a flying start with their comefrom-behind 3-1 win over Mozambique  on Saturday. Diogo’s early deflected strike put the Mambas ahead, but a brace from Bernard Parker and a long-range screamer by Hlompho Kekana (an early frontrunner for goal of the tournament) saw Bafana Bafana to a crucial victory. Yet Gordon Igesund’s side now face arguably a far sterner test against Mali, who looked very impressive in racking up a 2-1 win over Nigeria shortly after Bafana’s match. Goals from Abdoulaye Sissoko and Adama Traore saw the Eagles of Mali to a victory that leaves them locked on three points with the hosts at the top of Group A. One of the most notable aspects of Mali’s play was their physicality, an area where they should comfortably overshadow South

Africa. The host team will have to find a way to counteract the West Africans’ size advantage, particularly when it comes to set pieces. Igesund was delighted with the win over the Mambas on Saturday, but claimed that his side still has plenty of room for improvement. “It was not a classic performance, but good enough,” he said after the match, going on to add that he was especially happy with the way his team created openings in attack and successfully converted three into goals. “I am happy when my team creates 20 scoring opportunities and score three because some teams create many and even fail to score,” he added. Midfielder Lerato Chabangu agrees with Igesund’s belief that Bafana can get better, “we don’t have to rush it – step by step we will get there. I think as the tournament goes on our combinations will get better and better.” Mali will take comfort from the fact that they have not lost to South Africa in two previous official international matches  and knocked Bafana Bafana out of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in the quarter-finals.

It’s my ball….Yaya Toure beats Nigeria’s John Mikel to the ball during the Nations Cup quarterfinal between the Super Eagles and Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire last year in South Africa. Nigerian won the tie 2-1.

CHAN 2014: Congo will bounce back, says Minge ONGO Brazzaville C Assistant Coach, Sébastien Minge insists they can rebound from their 1-0 Group C opening day loss to Ghana. A 34th minute speculative striker from Theophilus Anobaah handed the 2009 runners-up Ghana their opening day win of the 2014 CHAN tournament at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Monday afternoon. Minge said Congo must emulate Spain, who rebounded from their FIFA 2010 World Cup Group H opener 1-0 loss to Switzerland on their way to victory to spark their own ambitions for the CHAN crown.

Action between Ghana and Congo DR in their group game at the on-going CHAN 2014 championship in South Africa. Ghana won 1-0

“I am obviously disappointed. Disappointed for the boys,” Minge said. “They showed the state of mind we had expected from them Claude Leroy and I. It was close. Twice we touched the crossbar. “We have two matches left. If we win our next game we will be back in business, it is

not over yet. I told the guys after the game that Spain lost to Switzerland in their 2010 FIFA World Cup opening game.  “And that at the end, Spain were still there but not Switzerland. I am not already thinking about the next round, but about the next game. We are going to

watch Ethiopia tonight to prepare for that game.”   Third placed Congo and bottom side Ethiopia meet on  January 17  in a must-win game for both sides in Bloemfontein. Ethiopia lost 2-0 to Group C leaders Libya in the late kickoff on Monday evening at the same venue.

Russia move excites Ogude IGERIA international, N Fegor Ogude has told MTNFootball.com he is excited with his new challenge at Russian club Amkar Perm. The combative midfielder sealed a year and half deal with the Russia Premier league side after he completed a medical on Monday evening. The former Valerenga of Norway player told MTNFootball.com that he is thrilled with the deal and looks forward to achieving greatness with the team. “I have signed a deal with Amkar. I signed a four and half year deal. I am happy with this and I will do my best for the team. I can’t wait to get down to business here. I have been assigned jersey number 87,” Ogude said. “I will be travelling with my team to Turkey Tuesday (yesterday) for Preparation for the resumption of the league.”  It is believed this switch will now revive his flagging hopes of getting on the flight to Brazil 2014 with

African champions Nigeria after he has been overlooked since the 2013 AFCON. Amkar Perm are seventh on

Fegor Ogude

the Russia league table with 30 points from 19 matches.


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SPORT Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ultra fans exonerate Allegri for Milan woes, Wish Seedorf luck C Milan’s ultra fans have A blamed poor leadership by the club’s board for the Rossoneri’s dismal season. The outfit dismissed Coach Massimiliano Allegri on Monday, less than 24 hours after a 4-3 defeat at Sassuolo a result that left the team 30 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus at the halfway stage of the campaign. A statement from the fans (Curva Sud) read: “The Curva Sud wishes to thank Mr. Allegri, who after a logical decision from the club, parts company with Milan. “We wish to thank him for the Scudetto and for the qualification to the Champions League, but above all for the man he has proved to be!” Allegri led Milan to a Scudetto and an Italian Super Cup in his first season in charge (2010-11) but endured a frustrating campaign in Serie A this term. Milan have won five and lost seven of their 19 league games and are currently 11th in the table and just six points clear of the drop zone. The Rossoneri parted company with Sporting Director, Ariedo Braida earlier this month to end his 27-year working relationship with Milan. Back in December, the club underwent a board restructuring with club owner Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter, Barbara, appointed as vicepresident of the club. Long-time Vice-President and club Administrator,

Adriano Galliani kept his job despite rumours he might be shown the door and he has since had to share responsibility for the day-to-day running of the club with Barbara, and the tension has not gone unnoticed. The ultras’ statement continued, “now we wait with confidence to see what happens next, without forgetting that the total absence of a project for the future and a transfer market that has had little significance are the main causes of Milan’s ailments! “Let us not forget the uncomfortable seat that is shared by two (Adriano Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi) and the leadership that dampens the story of this club that is our life.” Assistant Milan Coach, Mauro Tassotti has taken temporary charge of the team and will guide the Rossoneri in today’s last 16 Coppa Italia match against Spezia. Former AC Milan star, Clarence Seedorf is a leading candidate to replace Allegri. The 37-year-old Seedorf is playing at Brazilian side Botafogo, a club he joined in 2012 after a 10-year career at Milan. Seedorf has a coaching badge but has no managerial experience. Former AC Milan coach and current Real Madrid Manager, Carlo Ancelotti does not believe this would hinder the Rossoneri, though.

PSG keeps up fight on all fronts ARIS St Germain’s bid for P the quadruple will head to Bordeaux this week for a Coupe de la Ligue quarterfinal clash. Laurent Blanc’s side head Ligue 1 by five points, are Champions League darkhorses and are also alive in the Coupe de France. A trip to Bordeaux - who they are 16 points richer than in the table - is next, and defender Maxwell knows he and his team-mates need to keep their intensity levels high. Speaking after their hardfought 2-1 win at Ajaccio at the weekend, he said, “that win was a very important one for the rest of the season. “We know that every match between now and the end of

PSG’s striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

the season will be a tough one for us. We have to prepare mentally and physically for this type of match (against Bordeaux).” A 1-0 home defeat to Toulouse has hardly given Bordeaux’s players the ideal preparation to face the Champions-elect, and they have scathing words from coach Francis Gillot ringing in their ears too. “It was catastrophic. Technically, we were very weak and I don’t have any explanations for that. When you don’t know how to control the ball and pass it, of course the result is logical. They’re the fundamentals of football. We can’t do it,” he said on the official Ligue 1 website.

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward, Cristiano Ronaldo (left) poses with his Ballon d’Or award for player of the year next to FIFA president, Sepp Blatter during the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus on Monday. PHOTO: AFP

Ballon d’Or: Perez hails Ronaldo’s win, Ribery expresses regret EAL Madrid President, R Florentino Perez hailed Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal superstar won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or, saying “justice has been done.” An emotional Ronaldo picked up the award for the world’s best player at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday night after pipping Barcelona playmaker, Lionel Messi, who had won the crown for the last four years, and Bayern Munich winger, Franck Ribery in the voting. It was the second time Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or, with his other victory coming in 2008, and Madrid chief Perez believes it was thoroughly deserved. He said on his club’s website: “Justice has been done because he’s the best player in the world. “He’s an example to everyone. We Real Madrid fans are very happy and it’s a special day for us all. When the best player is chosen once a year, it’s an honour to have him in our team. “I don’t want to exaggerate, but this is not just about the Ballon d’Or but also about the recognition for a leader in football, who always want to achieve more.” Ronaldo’s team-mates were also keen to congratulate the Portugal captain for his success, which came after he racked up a mammoth 69

goals for both club and country last year. Madrid goalkeeper and Spain skipper, Iker Casillas, who voted for Ronaldo as his first-choice ahead of Bayern Munich duo Ribery and Arjen Robben, wrote on his Twitter feed: “Congratulations friend, you deserve it.” Defender Alvaro Arbeloa tweeted: “Another day of glory for you, Cristiano! I’m proud to fight by your side! Happy Ballon d’Or!” Sergio Ramos, who was named in the he FIFPro World XI team of the year alongside Ronaldo on Monday night, added on his Twitter account, “hard work, determination, motivation and talent. Congrats to my good friend @Cristiano. You deserve it crack..!!” Franck Ribery has expressed his deep regret at missing out on the Ballon d’Or award on Monday night. The current UEFA Best player in Europe was beaten into third place by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the FIFA award, despite winning five trophies in the calendar year with his club Bayern Munich. “What more could I have done other than to win absolutely everything with Bayern?” said the Frenchman to the Bild Newspaper. Nevertheless, the Frenchman says he is uncon-

cerned at missing out on an award, which would mean little compared with the trophies he has been winning for Bayern. “Whether I finish second or third makes no difference. I’m no egoist and this title is not my aim - I’d rather win everything with Bayern all over again and then win the World Cup. That’s important. “Of course it would have been nice to win, but it’s fine. We Bayern players and I first of all am just proud to be represented here.” Ribery did make it onto the

FIFPro World XI along with Bayern team-mates, Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm, although he missed out on becoming the first Bundesliga and first Bayern player to win the individual award. “It would have been great, above all for the fans, the club and for my wife, but it’s not the most important thing for me,” added the 30year-old. “I’m pleased that the issue is over with now. I want to win all the titles again this season with Bayern.”

Ronaldo confirms Rio request ALLON d’Or winner, B Cristiano Ronaldo was pestered to rejoin Manchester United last summer by former team-mate, Rio Ferdinand. Ex-England defender Ferdinand said last week how he had constantly called the 28-year-old in order to try and persuade him to swap Madrid for Manchester, and the forward confirmed as much on Monday. The Portugal international was speaking after beating Lionel Messi to football’s highest individual prize in Zurich and told several national newspapers: “It was

true that Rio spoke to me a lot. Rio is a great friend of mine, we played many years together at Manchester United and we were neighbours when I was there in Manchester. “He’s a fantastic guy and tried to change my mind. I did think about United. They are still in my heart. It’s a club where I played for six years and I love that club. I have a lot of friends there and I wish them the best.” Ronaldo, who scored 117 goals for Manchester United between 2003 and 2009, committed his future to Real Madrid last autumn.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014 SPORTS 63

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Australian Open

Sharapova sees off Bethanie Mattek-Sands ARIA Sharapova battled M her way into the second round of the Australian Open with victory over America’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The 6-3 6-4 scoreline did not really do justice to how hard Sharapova was made to work in the 99 minutes the pair spent on court. Mattek-Sands, who as usual stood out from the crowd with her purple hair and knee-length black socks, was a tough draw for the third seed and she scrapped all the way to the finish. Sharapova was playing her first grand slam match since Wimbledon, having missed the US Open with shoulder problems that brought an

early end to her season. The Russian was straight back into the groove, moving into a 4-0 lead despite Mattek-Sands having her chances. The American stopped the rot with two straight games, but Sharapova held on to her advantage to take the set. Mattek-Sands fought back in the second set as well to lead 4-3, having trailed 3-1, but Sharapova always looked to have enough to win the games that mattered, and so it proved. The world number three goes through to face Italy’s Karin Knapp, who defeated Paula Ormaechea of Argentina.

Hewitt denied by Seppi NDREAS Seppi silenced A the home fans at the Australian Open by winning a five-set epic against Lleyton Hewitt. Seppi, the 24th seed, looked to be cruising into the second round after storming into a two-set lead but Hewitt bounced back to the delight of the Melbourne crowd by levelling the scores. However, despite being one point away from a dramatic victory when leading 5-4 in the decider, Seppi dug deep to grind out a memorable 76(4) 6-3 5-7 5-7 7-5 triumph. Hewitt had come into his 18th consecutive Australian Open with high hopes having beaten Roger Federer in the final of the Brisbane International last week so this result will come as a huge disappointment. The 32-year-old said: “I had to

try to keep fighting, find a way. I ended up one point from coming back from two sets down.”

Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt cools off with an ice towel during his men’s singles match against Italy’s Andreas Seppi at the ongoing 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne…yesterday PHOTO: AFP

Playing under searing heat is ‘inhumane’, players insist USTRALIAN Open organisA ers have been criticised for forcing players to compete in intense heat as temperatures hit 42C in Melbourne. Canada’s Frank Dancevic required medical attention after fainting in his firstround match and said it was “inhumane” to allow players to compete in such testing conditions. Britain’s Andy Murray says the incident may damage the event’s reputation. “It doesn’t look good for the sport when people are collapsing,” he said.

“Most of the players are conditioned well enough to last in that weather but doing it for three or four hours is tough to recover from.” The fourth seed, who recorded a straight-sets win over Japan’s Go Soeda in his first match of the tournament, added, “at 3pm, the conditions were very, very tough. “Whether it’s safe, I don’t know, but there have been issues in other sports with players collapsing and you don’t want to see anything bad happen to anyone.” The high temperatures resulted in a number of incidents at Melbourne Park yesterday. For instance, former women’s world number, one Caroline Wozniacki’s plastic water bottle melted on court, defending women’s champion, Victoria Azarenka,

described the heat like “dancing in a frying pan,” and 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s shoes softened in the high temperatures. Also ball boys and ball girls had their shifts reduced from 1hr to 45mins to stop them overheating; Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic, who won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title in 2007, burnt her backside on an uncovered seat in addition to Dancevic passing out during the second set of his first-round defeat to France’s Benoit Paire on the uncovered court six. “Until somebody dies, they just keep going on with it and putting matches on in this heat,” Dancevic, 29, said. “It’s inhumane, I don’t think it’s fair to anybody. I’ve played five-set matches all my life and being out there for a

set and a half and passing out with heat-stroke is not normal,” he said. A ball boy collapsed and needed medical support during Milos Raonic’s four-set victory over Daniel GimenoTraver on court eight, while former women’s world number one Caroline Wozniacki said the heat melted a plastic water bottle during her straight-sets win over Lourdes Dominguez Lino. “I put the bottle down on the court and it started melting a little bit underneath, the plastic, so you knew it was warm,” Wozniacki said. “It felt like I was playing in a sauna.” American John Isner, who retired from his first-round match with a right ankle injury, added, “it was like an oven - when I open the oven

and the potatoes are done. That’s what it’s like.” Players draped bags of ice around their necks and retreated into the shade at the back of the courts between points, while some spectators queued in front of large electric fans that blasted water at their faces. “It felt pretty hot, like you’re dancing in a frying pan or something like that,” Azarenka said. “I don’t think anybody wants to go outdoors right now. I don’t know how to say it in English, but it’s not good for our shoes when it’s hot like this,” 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said after his straightsets win over Filippo Volandri. “For the health of the players they should have a temperature where you don’t play,” Jankovic of Serbia said.

No sweat for Federer, Nadal OGER Federer’s partnerR ship with Stefan Edberg got off to a winning start as

Sloane Stephens in action...

the Swiss made light of brutally hot conditions to reach the second round of the Australian Open, while Rafael Nadal’s progression was even easier yesterday. Edberg took part in his first training session at Melbourne Park on Monday after agreeing to Coach Federer for 10 weeks this year. And there was nothing to worry about for the watching Swede, who somehow managed to look cool in the 40C heat, as Federer eased to a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory over Australian wild card James Duckworth. Edberg, who won six grand slam titles, was Federer’s idol when he was growing up, but there were not too many glances from the sixth seed

towards his support box during the match. He said, “I realised after a set that I hadn’t looked up once. I thought, ‘I better check if he’s actually sitting there’. He was wearing sunglasses. ‘Okay, he is there’. “I don’t look up too much. I stopped doing that way back when because you just can’t be dependent on these looks all the time. Being coached from the sidelines, that’s not how I grew up. “Clearly when I did look up, it’s nice seeing him sitting there. Even if he wasn’t my coach, it would be nice. Plus he’s in my corner. It’s great.” Federer thinks dealing with the heat is more of a mental challenge than physical. He said, “if you’ve trained hard enough your entire life, or just the last few weeks, and

you believe you can come through it, there’s no reason (you can’t). If you can’t deal with it, you throw in the towel.” Meanwhile Nadal needed just one set to book his place in the next round as opponent Bernard Tomic retired with injury. The top seed took the first set 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena before his Australian opponent withdrew, with the decision appearing not to go down well with some sections of the crowd. Nadal took the only break point in the set to move into a 5-4 lead and then closed out the set in 39 minutes. The Spaniard missed last year’s tournament with a stomach virus and admitted and admitted his return to Melbourne had been “really emotional.” He said in an on-court inter-

view, “the final against Novak (Djokovic) two years ago, even if I lost (Djokovic won in five sets), is one of the top moments of my career. “I really enjoy playing here so much in Australia. I am sure I missed you more than you missed me last year.” Nadal will next face another home player, Thanasi Kokkinakis, the 17-year-old world number 570. And he said he was pleased with his fitness at the start of the year. “My first goal of last year when I came back was to finish the year, and that’s what happened,” he added. “I finished the year and I finished the year playing one of the best seasons of my career. “I am able to start again this year and that’s the best news possible.”


TheGuardian

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Yusuff Olayode Soputo HAT is the essence of our shout all this while about the coming election when all our leaders, regardless of the party they belong, are arguably of the same thoughts? They think the same way. With All Progressives Congress (APC) misalliance with neo-Peoples Democratic Party (n-PDP), I can, without impeding secondthought, say we are working to preserve the status quo. You may change the name every second, how do you now want to change the ideology of those coming into your party, APC. Where are your acrimonious comments about Obasanjo, Babangida and Atiku before this time? They have been buried in the grave of reconciliation where antagonism is for self-interest alone, not because one truly deserves to be antagonised. Change indeed! With apparent problems incapacitating the government, our leaders still find time to think of 2015 election. We are on the road combating problems created by them; they are indoor exchanging abuses with open letters. More surprising is the intervention of people whose actions invigorate sheer corruption in these political obscenities. They are in the dailies making condemnation of corrupt political office-holders; they have forgotten they were once in their shoes, more corrupt than those they are reproving. They became human right activists after their political tenures when truly their aim is to gain admirations which will propel them to gain another political position come 2015. If you can condemn Nigerian government, if you can be the town crier of government’s mismanagement, people will start having interest in you forgetting your previous actions. This is why politicians become political critics after their tenure in office. All these hues and cries reveal the country’s moral standard; they speak volume about the kind of nation Nigeria is, and the kind of citizens it breeds especially when a child, no matter the age, talks about his father in a dehumanising, derogatory and culturally undesirable manner, just the way Madam Iyabo Obasanjo did to his biological father. She should have corrected her father before now. She forgot to do so when she was a senator, when Nigeria was withstanding problems created by her family. Now she wants to gain undue admirations with her letter. I will not want to leave imperative issue for their family affair. My questions: Do they, those making distractive, undue and sentimental noises about 2015, truly love the nation wholeheartedly? Do they sincerely have the masses in mind for all these attacking comments about the government? Are they not of the same agenda with those they are condemning? We are in a civilised century; our uproar about the government’s incompetence should not be egotistical, it should be in the interest of the state. Today, it is embezzlement from government officials, who dare challenge them when our constitution shields them from judicial actions. Tomorrow, it may be exchange of words between the opposition and the incumbents. If not political fights, it must be ethnic war or religious disagreement. Remember, the grievances among these office-wanting politicians are not for the masses. This is why they reconcile after elections. They, politicians, still come together to discuss ways of getting contracts from political offices and how to maneuver the coming election after years of heartrending opprobrium. You meet them in ceremonies sitting on the same platform, discussing how to gain effectively from politics. But the masses who died for them gambled

W

Those who wished to be used as sacrificial lambs during elections are prepared, they have accepted to be used in election misconduct. Quite unfortunate, many youths find it very hard to stop fighting for politicians. Who is ready, among our politician, to shed the blood of their children for election? Their own children are overseas schooling…

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2015 elections: Uncultured citizens in the hands of politicians

Election violence their dear lives for a valueless battle. To some, it is a must their much-loved politicians emerge; if the other case, they will resort to burning oppositions’ houses. Our people have long being inveighed into political intransigence that blood no longer scares them, they are

ready to support any political move regardless of those whose lives are going to be irreparably battered. Theirs is a compulsory emergence. They are not concerned about the dying citizens. I long formed the habit of questioning myself

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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The masses should remember they are the grasses that suffer when two elephants fight. Politicians have nothing to lose, if they did not win elections, they are going to be compensated with ministerial posts; they become commissioners, chairmen of boards and other enviable posts. But you, a poor man from a poor family, wants to kill yourself on a valueless task why the dailies are full of no good news especially when election is around. Just because of 2015 election, we hardly relax, Nigerian politicians are devising ways of sending the country to a journey of no return, all to quench their desire of wanting to remain in or gain political offices, come 2015. The citizens bellow for a free and fair election of Nigerian origin, unfortunately that does not exist; Nigerian elections have never gone without shedding blood of the uncultured citizens, even during the time of the most venerated Nigerian politicians. It seems we have not learnt from the previous misdeeds, we kept to antiquated political system from which we have not gained anything. Those who wished to be used as sacrificial lambs during elections are prepared, they have accepted to be used in election misconduct. Quite unfortunate, many youths find it very hard to stop fighting for politicians. Who is ready, among our politician, to shed the blood of their children for election? Their own children are overseas schooling, while undergraduates in Nigerian universities are used as miscreants during elections. Those youths who are used in fraudulent manipulation of elections suffer over-inflated school fees in tertiary institutions. Apart from students who are killed in political fights, some youths are now political prisoners in Kirikiri, Agodi and other prisons. Is that not an echoing lesson to some of us? Are parents, who leave their children in school during elections, not supposed to have learnt their lessons? As some fight for second term, some monsters, sorry ministers, lobby for reinstatement, so also our President. He is strategising how to stay in office beyond 2015. Staying in office beyond 2015 should constitute no war, Sir, it should be on the demand of the masses whose interest you claimed occupied your mind. The youths should remember the kind of country they are –the country that cares for no one. Why then should we be the tool for election rigging. What have we gained from yesteryears of democracy in Nigeria? If we start counting, we have witnessed 13 years of despotic, corrupt democratic dispensation characterised by mismanagement of tax-payers’ funds, judicial imbalance, unlawful bloodshed amidst other monstrosities. With all these, it is clear military dispensations outperformed democracy in all areas. Our youths, who are supposed to be the future of the country, who are expected to correct the erring old men, are the brains behind higgledy-piggledy in the country. It is appropriate we say their actions are inflated by government’s negligence to the demands of youths. But a right-thinking Nigerian who believes the country is going to be great someday should not, because of a cup of palm wine and a passel of Indian hemp with a thousand naira, venture into hooliganism. The masses should remember they are the grasses that suffer when two elephants fight. Politicians have nothing to lose, if they did not win elections, they are going to be compensated with ministerial posts; they become commissioners, chairmen of boards and other enviable posts. But you, a poor man from a poor family, wants to kill yourself on a valueless task. Yours is a sorry case. • Supoto is an undergraduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State. Getlayus@gmail.com 08078911183


Wed 15 Jan 2014