Senate rejects financial autonomy for councils, others From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Bridget Cheidu Onochie and Terhemba Daka, Abuja NLIKE the House of Representatives, which U has supported local councils’ financial autonomy, the Senate took a different position yesterday. The senators rejected councils’ financial autonomy as they concluded voting on the amendments proposed to the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
• Reps summon Adoke over alleged clearance letter on $1.092b Malabu oil deal Yesterday too, the House of Representatives summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, over a letter purportedly written to a foreign organisation, Global Witness, saying
that the parliament has cleared him of any wrongdoing in the $1.092billion Malabu oil deal. The chamber at its session yesterday mandated its committee on justice to invite Adoke
to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the purported letter and to find out if it, as he allegedly claimed, indeed originated from the House and what its content is. The committee is to report back to the House within a week. The Senate’s position was against direct payment to local government areas from the funds of the federation. Of the 99 lawmakers CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,620
Northern leaders warn Jonathan against fresh bid for presidency From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief ORTHERN leaders from various groups yesterday warned President Goodluck Jonathan against re-contesting in 2015. The elders, drawn from Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Arewa Re-awakening Forum (ARF), Northern Union (NU), Code Group (CG) and Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) who spoke at a joint press conference in Kaduna yesterday, also condemned the crisis in Rivers State. They said that the Rivers’ crisis and other political problems in the country in recent times “represent a worrying evidence that the fate of our nascent democracy and national security are under serious threat.” The Arewa leaders who spoke included Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Mr. Bitrus Gwada, Malam Zango Daura, Malam Bukar Zarma and Col. Mohammed Abdul (rtd). While blaming the Rivers crisis on the invisible hands of the Presidency, they said that CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
President Goodluck Jonathan (right) and Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, during the latter’s visit to the State House after AU summit in Abuja… yesterday.
Protesting youths hold Amaechi, four other govs hostage at airport From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja) and Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt) TIMELY deployment of an A armoured personnel carrier (APC) saved five state governors from being held hostage indefinitely at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State, yesterday. Protesting youths under the aegis of the Grassroots Democratic Initiative (GDI) invaded the airport and prevented Governor Chibuike Amaechi and four northern People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governors from leaving.
• Aliyu, Lamido, Kwankwaso , Nyako blame police for Rivers’ crisis • Seek redeployment of Mbu, Threaten to stop funding of police The governors were those of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu; Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; Kano State, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako. Perturbed by the development, the governors said the
call for state police as a constitutional provision had become a necessity and warned that states might stop funding the Nigeria Police. Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji
Bamanga Tukur, has denied the involvement of the party in the crisis rocking Rivers State House of Assembly. Tukur, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Oliver Okpala, said: “It is the desire of the PDP that peace
Poly teachers suspend strike - Page 3 EU slams Nigeria for not arresting al-Bashir - Page 5
returns immediately to Rivers State House of Assembly in particular and the state in general.” He called on all the warring legislators to embrace peace. He urged the legislators to avoid overheating the polity by their actions, saying that democracy could not thrive in an atmosphere of violence and anarchy. The irate GDI youths who were brandishing bottles, clubs, stones and carrying anti-Amaechi and Prof. Wole Soyinka placards, stormed the airport as early as 8.00 a.m. following a hint that some northern governors
were going to visit the state yesterday in show of solidarity with the state governor. Amaechi flew to the airport from Abuja at about 10.00 a.m. yesterday morning only to discover that hundreds of GDI protestors had barricaded the VIP lounge entrance and they were chanting war songs. The governor whose security detail was already at the airport proceeded to a waiting room and shortly afterwards, the governor of Adamawa arrived, then followed by those of Jigawa, Kano and Niger states. And as the governors joined CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Reps summon Adoke over alleged clearance letter on $1.092b Malabu oil deal CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 who registered to vote on the issue, 59 voted in favour and 38 against with two abstaining from voting. Since the number of those who voted in favour fell short of the required 73 senators, local governments’ financial autonomy suffered a major setback. Also rejected during yesterday’s voting were amend-
ments seeking a six-year single term for the president and governors, as well as separation of the office of the Minister of Justice from that of the Attorney-General of the Federation. In fact, of the total of 30 amendments voted on, the Senate passed 14 and rejected 16. Among those endorsed was the clause which sought to remove the president from per-
forming any role in the amendment of the constitution. It reads: “For the purpose of altering the provisions of this constitution, the assent of the President shall not be required.” A key aspect of the voting on the amendments by senators yesterday also showed that the upper chamber has taken a position against the president and governors on Appropriation Bills. This was because the senators overwhelmingly voted in favour of amended Section 58 Clause Six to insert a new subsection 5A, which stated that “where the President neither signifies he assents or that he withholds assent, the bill (Appropriation Bill) shall at the end of 30 days become law.” The same position was maintained for states of the federation. One hundred lawmakers registered for voting out of which 11 were against the amendment. However, yesterday’s session was not without some rowdiness as the floor became charged over a protest by former governor of Zamfara State, Sani Ahmad Yerima, as regards the voting of his colleagues on an amendment that sought to peg the maturity age of a woman at 18. The clause specifically provided that “any citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed
manner for the renunciation.” It further stated that “full age” means 18 years. It added that “Any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.” He argued that considering 18 years as maturity age for a woman was against Islamic injunction. He cited a section of the Constitution, which states that the National Assembly could not make any law that would go against Islamic religion. The Ike Ekweremadu committee on Constitution review recommended that the second definition of a woman of full age be deleted. When the voting was taken on that recommendation, 75 senators voted that it be deleted, a development which attracted a protest from Yerima, who argued that the balloting violated Islamic law, which according to him, provided that any married woman is of full age. He claimed that it was not fair for Senate President David President to have ignored his demand to repeat voting on the matter. Supporting Yerima, Danjuma Goje of Gombe State accused Mark of being unfair. This attracted expression of serious concerns by Mark, who took exception to the use of the word “double standard” by Goje, pointing out that it was not a personal matter. Mark later allowed the demand for a repeat of the vot-
ing and the result showed that senators voted in support of the retention of the definition that any married woman is deemed to have attained a full age. The amendment which sought to remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and other serving judicial officers as the chairperson and members respectively of the Federal Judicial Service Commission was also rejected by the Senate. But the rejection was influenced by a communication from the CJN, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, through Senate Deputy President Ekweremadu, to the effect that the amendment was inappropriate and unnecessary. In their voting, senators also approved of amendments seeking to allow some commissions and agencies to benefit from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation. The agencies include the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Human Rights Commission as well as the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation. Again, the office of the attorney-general of the federation was not as lucky as it suffered another terrible defeat. It was also a good day for presiding officers of the National Assembly as the amendment to pay the pensions of all former Senate Presidents, House of Representatives’ Speakers
and their deputies was overwhelmingly approved. Before the voting began, however, Mark urged his colleagues to cast their votes according to their conscience as the outcome of the day’s exercise would impact considerably on the country. He said: “We are on the threshold of history. I want all of you to vote according to your conscience because how you vote today would be reflected. Clause by clause consideration would be taken. “Because of the seriousness of this, we will not resume another debate unless there is a correction to be made. We have gone pass that stage now. A minimum of 73 votes are required for any of the clauses to be passed into law.” Mark congratulated his colleagues for indeed making history through their voting. He announced that consequently, a joint committee comprising senators and members of the House of Representatives (to be known as Joint Constitution Drafting Committee) would be set up to harmonise whatever differences that might exist in the versions of the amendments passed by both chambers. The harmonised copy would then be transmitted to the State Houses of Assembly for final endorsement by at least 24 of them. Meanwhile, a valedictory session would be conducted in honour of Senator Pius A. Ewherido who died early this
Aliyu, Lamido, Kwankwaso , Nyako blame police for Rivers’ crisis CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Amaechi in his car to leave the airport, the GDI members armed with stones, bottles, clubs and anti-Amaechi placards with inscriptions like “Amaechi is a fool”, “Amaechi must go”, “Soyinka mind your business and
leave Rivers State alone”, prevented them from leaving the VIP lounge. When it became practically impossible for the governors to leave, an armoured personnel carrier was brought in to disperse the crowd. The APC forced its
way to the VIP lounge. At this point, the security agents attached to Amaechi threatened to shoot anyone that attacked the governors. The intervention of the APC paved the way for the governors to leave the airport amid booing and hurling of stones by the protesters. Immediately after the governors left the airport, groups loyal to Amaechi and Nyesom Wike clashed, leaving at least one person critically injured. The secretary-general of GDI, Samuel Nwonosike, said they stormed the airport because they were aggrieved by the position of northern governors on the political crisis rocking the state. According to him, they did not elect Amaechi to be the chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum and that their protest was aimed at forcing Amaechi to concentrate and govern Rivers properly and use her resources judiciously. The four governors, Aliyu, Lamido, Kwankwaso and Nyako arrived at the Government House, Port Harcourt, at about 1.00 p.m. and went into a meeting that lasted about some minutes with Amaechi. At the end of the meeting, the four visiting governors issued a joint statement saying that they were in the state to ascertain for themselves all they had read in the mass media about the threat to peace, security and democracy in Rivers. “Having interacted with our
colleague and other persons, we are shocked at the role of the police in Rivers State and condemn their clear partisanship in the show of shame that took place at the Rivers State House of Assembly. As chief executives of our states who have sworn to protect lives and property in our various states, we are particularly troubled by the development in Rivers State,” they said. The governors who commended the House of Representatives for its intervention in the crisis and the Senate committee’s thoroughness in addressing the matter, called on the Inspector- General of Police to redeploy the State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu. “We wish to call on the Inspector-General of Police to hearken to the voice of reason and immediately redeploy and discipline Commissioner Mbu. His actions smirk of unprofessionalism and political partisanship which is unbecoming of his office. With the way the police are being used and abused and with officers like Mbu in the Force, we do not see the need for state governments to fund antagonistic police and may be forced to reconsider our position on the financial contribution of the states towards the funding of the Nigeria Police,” they said. They continued: “Arising from the actions of the police and Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu in Rivers State, the call for state CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Our error E wrongly referred to Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha as W Col. Hamzat Al-Mustapha in a story entitled “Abiola’s aide rejects court’s verdict freeing Al-Mustapha, Shofolahan” on Page 7 of our yesterday’s edition. The error is regretted.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
News Power generation drops as Shell shuts Afam plant By Sulaimon Salau HE nation’s power output T has dropped by another 105 megawatts due to eventu-
Legal Adviser, Arewa Consultative Forum, Bitrus Gwadah (left); former Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sani Daura and Chairman, Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, addressing a news conference in Kaduna … yesterday.
Thugs attack Ekiti PDP leaders over plan to suspend We are still discussing with ASUU, says minister chairman joint-committee liaise with that reasonable caution be
al shutdown of Afam VI Independent Power Plant operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture. Shell Corporate Media Relations Manager, Tony Okonedo, who confirmed the shutdown in a statement yesterday, said Afam VI power plant was shut due to shortage of gas supply. “The Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture today (July 16) shut down Afam VI Power Plant due to shortage of gas arising from the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) as a result of crude oil theft related leaks. “The shutdown of the TNP
Poly teachers suspend strike
From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau, Ado Ekiti)
From Mohammed Abubakar, Collins Olayinka (Abuja) Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos) and Hendrix Oliomogbe (Asaba)
T was pandemonium yesHE Academic Staff Union of ISecretariat terday at the Ekiti State of the Peoples TPolytechnics (ASUP) has suspended its nationwide strike Democratic Party (PDP) as gun-wielding thugs disrupted a press conference where some members of the executive of the party were to announce the purported suspension of their chairman, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe. Ogundipe was alleged to have unilaterally set up an 11-member consensus committee headed by Justice Edward Ojuolape without consultation, an action described as flagrant display of highhandedness and arrogance. Some of the aspirants had kicked against consensus arrangement as allegedly suggested by the Presidency, calling for direct primary election.
following the level of progress made in negotiation with government and the intervention of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Education. Meanwhile, despite the reported deadlock in the negotiation between the Federal Government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i yesterday insisted that the two parties were still discussing on how to bring the three-week long strike to a quick end. In a statement signed by ASUP National Publicity Secretary, Clement Chirman, the poly teachers said “the suspension is also to allow the
relevant ministries, agencies and parastatals with a view to tackling all the issues contained in the union’s demands within a time-frame of one month as against the two weeks earlier requested by the committee.” Chirman said the strike was suspended after an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union which was held in Abuja yesterday. “The union, after a holistic appraisal of the progress made so far, resolved that the strike be suspended.” ASUP also noted that the circular for implementation of CONTISS 15 migration for lower cadres has been released, while appreciable work has been done on reconstitution of governing councils of federal polytechnics which were earlier omitted. “And on the enrolment of polytechnics into the IPPIS module, the union remains resolute on its earlier position
employed to take care of the autonomy of polytechnics.” The union, however, urged stakeholders in the negotiation to respect the agreement reached to avoid further disruption of academic activities in the polytechnics. The minister, while reacting to reports of alleged pullout of the discussion being spearheaded by the joint committees on education in the National Assembly on Monday, told reporters after declaring open a one-day workshop on the African Centres on Excellence Project at the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja, that the two parties were yet to arrive at an acceptable understanding on the issues raised by the university teachers. Media reports yesterday indicated that after a seven-hour mediatory meeting between the teachers and representatives of the Federal
Government led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim and the minister on Monday, nothing came out as the President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Isa Faggae reportedly told the lawmakers that he had no mandate to re-negotiate the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement.
The Guardian reporter shortlisted for CNN-Multichoice African journalists laurel From Itunu Ajayi, Abuja EOFF Iyatse of The Guardian was one of the 27 journalists announced on Monday as finalists for the prestigious CNN MultiChoice Pan African Award for journalists in 2013 competition. The competition which has been ongoing in the past 18 years received entries from 42 countries across Africa, including Portuguese and French speaking African countries.
African leaders restate pledge to tackle HIV, TB, malaria From Mohammed Abubakar, Chukwuma Muanya, Emeka Anuforo and John Okeke HE Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria ended in Abuja yesterday with the leaders recommitting themselves to the declaration they made at a similar meeting in 2001, to increase funding towards finding solution to the diseases. In April 2001, African Union countries meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, pledged to increase government funding for health to at least 15 per cent, and urged donor countries to scale up support. Statistics from the World Health
Organisation (WHO) indicate that one African country has reached that target as at 2011. With little evidence to proof that more African countries have met the budgeting targets, the member countries again promised to work towards achieving the initial declaration. They also agreed to pay greater attention to domestic funding and private sector support. During a briefing at the end of the Summit, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Chairperson of the African Union, Dr. Hailemariam Dessalegn and Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr.
Nkosazana Zuma, spoke on the declaration of the 2013 Summit and promised, on behalf of AU member countries, to accelerate the implementation of the earlier ‘Abuja Commitments’ and step up the mobilisation of domestic resources to strengthen the health system. They agreed to ensure that strategies are in place for diversified, balanced and sustainable financing for health, in particular AIDS, TB and Malaria, through development of strategic health investment plans and strategies for innovative financing, by also the private sector. They also agreed to implement effective and targeted
poverty elimination strategies and social protection programmes that integrate HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria for all, particularly vulnerable populations. It was agreed that the leaders will review relevant laws and policies at national and regional levels to strengthen rights-based protection for all vulnerable and key populations in the context of the three diseases, and increase access to prevention programmes targeting the youth, especially young women, to ensure an AIDS-free generation. The Summit resolved to set up national, regional and continental monitoring and eval-
system, comprising the 28inch and 24inch streams, resulted in the deferment of 150,000 barrels of oil per day, and also led to tank tops and non-evacuation of condensate from Okoloma Gas Plant which supplies Afam VI Power Plant with feed gas,” the statement revealed. Shell has been battling with frequent attacks on the pipeline for some weeks now, as it had previously been targeted by crude oil thieves and shut down several times. The multinational oil firm said the company has continued to lose about $15 million (N2.4 billion) to the shutdown on daily basis. As the situation persists, Shell said it had to shut down Okoloma Gas Plant yesterday, as it could not continue to produce gas without the evacuation of condensate. According to Okonedo, Afam VI power plant was available at 624MW capacity, but supplying only 105MW to the national grid due to reduced gas volume at the time of shutdown. He said the latest leak on the TNP occurred on the 24inch stream at Owokiri on July 11, while a joint investigation team, comprising government agencies, community and civil society representatives and SPDC personnel, found that unknown persons had installed a 6inch crude theft valve on the facility.
uation system for better implementation of commitments as well as ownership and accountability, accelerate HIV Prevention Programmes, using a combination of effective evidencebased prevention, in particular for young people, women, girls and other vulnerable populations to successfully reduce the number of new HIV infections towards the goal of zero new infections by 2030. The leaders pledged to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, while keeping mothers alive and addressing the disproportionate impact of the three diseases on children, girls and women.
Announcing the finalists, chairperson of the independent judging panel Ferial Haffajee, Editor-inChief, City Press, South Africa said: “A tough table of judges was often visibly impressed by the range of stories presented to us. African journalists, as represented by our entries, have risen to the challenge of 2012. The big stories were well covered. The small stories were not forgotten. We commend the dedication of journalists who are very much part of a rising Africa with rising professionalism, increased appetite for tough and investigative journalism, an eye on those left behind and a deep commitment to telling good stories across many mediums.” Debo Adesina, the Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, served in the 10man panel. Iyatse, a writer in the business domain whose name appeared on number 12 on the list, would join 26 other journalists from other 10 African countries in Cape Town South Africa for four days where the winner would be announced at a gala night on October 12. Other shortlisted journalists from Nigeria include, Tolu Ogunlesi of Ventures Africa and Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye of Sunday Punch.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Court summons Jonathan in forgery case against Leadership’s journalists From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja N Abuja High Court yesterday summoned President Goodluck Jonathan to appear before it to testify in the case of alleged forgery brought against two members of staff of Leadership Newspapers following the publication of Presidential Directive’s bromide in its edition of April 3, 2013. The journalists, Mr. Tony Amokeodo and Mr. Chibuzo Ukaibe, are standing trial on an 11-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy and forgery. The summon of July 15, 2013, which was signed by the trial judge, Justice Usman Musale, was addressed to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Justice Headquarters, Maitama, Abuja. It followed the request of Lead-
ership’s lead counsel, Mr. Femi Falana, that the President should appear before the court “from day to day until the case is tried, to give evidence on behalf of the accused persons and also to bring with him the purportedly forged document titled “Presidential Directive,” with the seal of office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” The Federal Government had on June 27, 2013, re-arraigned the duo on charges bordering on conspiracy and forgery, to which they pleaded not guilty and were granted bail. At the resumed hearing yesterday, Federal Government’s counsel, Adegboyega Solomon Awomolo (SAN), said he was ready to proceed with the trial. However, Falana informed the court that a subpoena personally signed by the trial judge was served on the Presidency via
Agbakoba threatens to sue NASS, AGF over absence of Christian courts By Joseph Onyekwere LAGOS based human rights crusader and the former national president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN has threatened to sue the National Assembly (NA) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) over the absence of Christian/Ecclesiastical Courts in the Constitution. Agbakoba believes it is a violation of Section 42 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which prohibits discrimination on account of religion to omit such courts. In a petition released today, endorsed by the learned SAN and copied to the NA and the AGF he said that if after seven (7) days, issues raised in his letter are not addressed, he will initiate legal proceedings. “I am a Christian and Catholic by faith. I have read the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and have observed that no provision is made for Christians to
have their religious/spiritual affairs adjudicated by persons adequately learned in Ecclesiastical laws/ biblical jurisprudence. “Islamic and Customary practitioners are well recognized and accommodated in the Constitution by the establishment of the Customary and Islamic court systems in Sections 260, 265, 275 and 280 but no corresponding provision is made for Christians or Ecclesiastical Courts. Christians are forced to resort to Customary and High Courts which are manned by persons of little or no knowledge of Ecclesiastical law and jurisprudence. “This in my view violates Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution which prohibits discrimination on account of religion. It is for this reason that I write to recommend that in the present Constitution alteration process, provision be made for the establishment of Christian/Ecclesiastical Courts”, he declared.
the Ministry of Justice. Meanwhile, in a game of wit, Falana, who caused the subpoenato be issued on the President, also told the court that he has filed a motion on notice for an order of the court to suspend further proceedings in the matter sine die till Jonathan leaves office to enable him testify as witness for the accused persons/applicants. Falana premised his motion on the grounds that the fundamental right of the accused to fair hearing cannot be observed by the trial court since their ap-
plication to subpoena the President has not been granted. According to him, by virtue of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the court lacks the power to issue and cause to be served a subpoena ad testificandum on the President to testify as a witness for the accused in this case. Nevertheless, Awomolo opposed the application on the basis that the accused persons’ motion on notice was not ripe for hearing and that the accused should wait for the prosecution to try the case,
and when it is time for the accused to open their defence, they could raise issue of their star witness. Having listened to them argue further, Justice Musale summoned both to his chambers, and on resumption, informed the parties that he needed some time before he could deliver his ruling. Consequently, he adjourned till today for the ruling on whether or not Falana’s motion was ripe for hearing.
Northern leaders warn Jonathan against fresh bid for presidency CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 “the alarming desperation of politicians for the electoral contests of 2015 is a major threat to the elections themselves, and, ultimately, the democratic process.” Abdullahi, who spoke on behalf of the leaders, said: “The clumsy and embarrassing conduct and fall-out of the election in the Governors’ Forum, the engineered crisis in the ruling party, the role of the spouse of the President in affairs of state and shameful and disturbing abuse of power and rule of law in Rivers State, are signs that Nigeria is descending into anarchy and lawlessness rarely seen in our history. “The hands of the Presidency are clearly visible in all these events that appear to draw inspiration from the ambition of President Jonathan to stay in power in 2015. The most recent developments in Rivers State represent a new low in the shameful conduct of political office holders at the highest levels, and they should be condemned by all Nigerians.” Abdullahi who is of NEF said: “It is a great pity that those
who swore to defend our constitution and to uphold the rule of law are the same people who use violence as a political tool and serially abuse the power entrusted to them… they have abandoned the responsibilities entrusted to them in pursuit of more power and the unending persecution of imaginary enemies. “They endanger our democracy and national security. They must be called to question and asked to stop now.” Abdullahi further said that Nigerians should not forget the history of various political crises in the country, noting that “the crisis in Rivers State is a sad reminder of our experiences in the western Nigeria crisis of 1963.” He said that the Rivers’ crisis “is symptomatic of the politics of intolerance which has remained the hallmark of our political experience since 1999. From Governor Dariye
of Plateau State, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, and most recently Chief Timipre Sylva, all perceived enemies at one time or the other since 1999 have been subjected to venomous, vengeful …treatment all in the name of politics and struggle for power.” The northern elders then called on “President Jonathan to order an immediate cessation of hostilities in Rivers State and also stop using the Nigeria police to settle political disputes,” stressing that “the Nigeria police are not a political party and certainly not an arm of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).” On the 2015 presidential election, the elders vowed to ensure the emergence of a northern candidate who would vie against Jonathan and defeat him.
Lagos-based South-South traditional rulers endorse Jonathan for 2015 By Isaac Taiwo COALITION of traditional rulers from the SouthSouth region based in Lagos and known as the SouthSouth Traditional Ruling Council has endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 general election. Addressing the media yesterday after their meeting, the Chairman of its Elders’ Council, Dr. Sylvan Ebigwei, and Chairman, South-South Ruling Council, Lagos, His Royal Highness, Osu Charles Ogodo, said they so resolved to enable President Jonathan “continue with his good works.” “It is gratifying to note that the present leadership under President Goodluck Jonathan has started to restore the accelerating gears that are now propelling national growth,” Ebigwei said. He added that they have “noted with satisfaction such positive developments as massive road rehabilitation all over the country, revamping of rail system in the country, economic indices showing positive growth with encouraging Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while the stock mar-
ket has shown some significant recovery.” According to him, Jonathan is objectively tackling the Boko Haram scourge while the Niger Delta has remained relatively calm just as “the amnesty programme has helped our youths to rediscover their positive potentials.” The body further said it has noted “improvement in power supply in many areas of the country,” and has hope that the enormous resources poured into power generation would be felt soonest in many areas where power was still epileptic. Meanwhile, the group said that leadership is not the birth right of any group in the country. To that end, the council resolved that the people of South-South resident in Lagos would work assiduously to ensure that Jonathan maximised the millions of winning votes available in Lagos. “We the people of SouthSouth are already in consonance with other zonal and ethnic groups based here in Lagos to share and support common interests and goals,” Ebigwei said.
‘Army not part of Al-Mustapha’s decoration’ HE Nigerian Army yesterT day dissociated itself from an online publication that held that Major Hamza AlMustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, has been decorated with the rank of BrigadierGeneral following his recent acquittal by the court. A statement signed by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, read: “The Nigerian Army, as a professional force, wishes to state that all administrative procedures are guided by extant administrative rules and regulations such as the Armed Forces of Nigeria Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service, among others.
Governors seek redeployment of Mbu CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 police as a constitutional provision has become a necessity. We note that events in Rivers State have again brought to the fore the question of true federalism and the need for institutions derived from constitution be allowed to function without undue interference. As federating units, we must be allowed the space to guarantee our people sustainable development as provided by the constitution.” They said they were pleased with the peaceful atmosphere in Port Harcourt, especially as people were going about their normal business and that the governor was fully in charge of the state. Reacting to the incident at the airport, the state government said the action of the GDI portended a grave danger to the sustenance of democracy in the country. Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, explained that there was worry in the Presidency over the visit of the governors to Amaechi. “Members of the Nyesom Wike’s Campaign Organisation, Grassroots Democratic Initiative (GDI), had mobilised hoodlums to disrupt the visit. Chanting solidarity songs in favour of the Presidency, they attempted to attack Governor Amaechi and his team. Wike had boasted after the failed impeachment attempt at the Rivers State House of Assembly that he would set Rivers State ablaze and render it ungovernable,” she said. The commissioner disclosed that a four-litre keg suspected to contain some acid was found beside the mob that tried to prevent the governors from leaving the airport. According to her, Mbu, when contacted by the state government, denied knowledge of the mob’s presence although the police stated that the airport was a public place and everyone had a right to visit unhindered. When contacted, the police spokesman, Mrs. Angela Agabe, said the police would prosecute the organisers of the protest if the situation escalated. She insisted that there was ban on protest in the state, and people should learn to obey orders.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Ogun ACN urges Osoba to wade into crisis From Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Abeokuta HAIRMAN of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Yewa-South Local Council Area of Ogun State, Mr. Yaya Idowu, who was suspended by the party last week with 12 others, has appealed to the party’s leader in the state and the former governor, Olusegun Osoba, to wade into the crisis rocking the party. According to Idowu, it has become imperative for Osoba, who is also a national leader of the ACN, to take immediate steps to intervene in the crisis, which is threatening the party’s unity. Idowu, who spoke in Abeokuta yesterday, said: “We call on the leader of the party, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, to wade into the potential crisis, which threatens the peaceful co-existence of members, so that the hard-earned political victory in the 2011 elections, would not be truncated on the altar of selfish ambitions of certain individuals.
EU slams Nigeria for not arresting Al-Bashir From Emeka Anuforo (Abuja), Bola Olajuwon (Lagos), Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) and John Okeke (Abuja) HE European Union (EU) T yesterday blamed Nigeria for not arresting the indicted Sudanese President, Omar alBashir, during his visit to the country on the just-concluded AU Summit on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other related diseases. A statement by Spokesperson of EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on the visit of alBashir, noted that he was under an arrest warrant by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
• Sudanese leader needs no invitation to attend summit, says govt • President left hurriedly The spokesperson said that Nigeria was obliged to abide by the resolution of the resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, in this case UNSCR 1593(2005). It stated: “The High Representative is concerned by the visit of President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, to Nigeria, a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).” She recalled that al-Bashir is under an arrest warrant by the ICC for war crimes and
crimes against humanity. The High Representative reiterates the importance for all member-states of the United Nations to abide by and implement the resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, in this case UNSCR 1593(2005). She urged Nigeria to respect its obligations under international law to arrest and surrender those subject to an arrest warrant from the ICC. However, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs has explained that Nigeria, as an active member of the con-
tinental body, is under an obligation to comply with the decision of the African Union on the meeting. In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, the ministry said the decision to hold the summit was taken by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union and, therefore, member-states did not require the invitation from Nigeria to attend. The statement reads: “President al-Bashir was, therefore, in Nigeria under the auspices of the African
NEXIM picks APO for press release distribution in Africa HE African Press T Organisation (APO), the leading press release wire in Africa, and global leader in media relations related to Africa, yesterday announced the signature of a retainer agreement as exclusive supplier for press release distribution in Africa with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), an Export Credit Agency (ECA), with a share capital of N50 billion held equally by the Federal Ministry of Finance incorporated and the Central Bank of Nigeria. NEXIM’s press releases will be distributed via Africa Wire, the service for press release wire distribution and monitoring in Africa, reaching over 25,000 media contacts, bloggers, social networks, and redistributing content to over 50 African websites, Bloomberg Terminal, Lexis Nexis, Dow Jones Factiva, and more. According to APO Executive Director, Eloïne Barry: “NEXIM is driving Nigeria’s economic development, regional integration and global competitiveness by its direct involvement in growing the exportimport trade of Africa’s second-largest economy. APO will now actively participate in Nigeria’s economic growth by playing a strategic role in raising the visibility of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank.”
Third Anyaoku Lecture holds in Asaba tomorrow From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba HE third Chief Emeka Anyaoku Lecture Series on Good Governance is scheduled to hold tomorrow in Asaba, Delta State capital. A statement issued yesterday by the Youth Affairs International Foundation, the organisers, said the former Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, will be chairman of the occasion while Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, is the special guest of honour. Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is the chief host. Papers will be delivered by the trio of Profs. Anya O. Anya, Dora Akunyili and Pat Utomi at the lecture, titled: “The Role of Youths in Nation Building”.
Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa (left) and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Sango Police Station, Mrs. Funmilayo Makinfenwa, PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM riding a motorbike at inauguration of Police, Public Partnership Project of Sango Divisional Police Station in Ibadan…yesterday
Dismissed DPO shot at fuel subsidy protesters, say witnesses By Bertram Nwannekanma N Ikeja High Court, Lagos, presided by Justice Olabisi Akinlade, was yesterday told by two prosecution witnesses, Alimi Abubakar and Adekunle Alabi, that the dismissed Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Segun Fabunmi, shot at some protesters during the fuel subsidy protest of January 9, 2012. In their separate testimonies at the resumed the trial of Fabunmi, who was a DPO of Pen Cinema Police Station, Agege, Lagos, the witnesses accused the defendant of shooting at the protesters. Fabunmi is facing trial for the alleged murder on one Adedamola Daramola, as well as inflicting grievous bodily harm on Abubakar (witness) and two other protesters - Egbujor Samuel and Chibuzo Udo, by separately shooting at them with his gun. Led in evidence by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan, Abubakar told the court that he was with some other persons at Yaya Abatan Junction, Agege, reading through the newspapers when the policemen arrived in two patrol vehicles. According to him, the police team, which was led by the
defendant, arrived at about 8 am, when one of the police officers embarked on a shooting spree by shooting in the air and ground to scare people away. The witness also told the court that Fabunmi (the defendant) snatched the gun from an officer and started shooting at the people at the junction, including the deceased (Daramola). “I can’t tell how many times he fired but I was hit by a bul-
let on my leg. “Daramola was standing by my side and the bullet also injured him. He ran towards Abeokuta Street, while I ran into a nearby mosque”, he stated. Abubakar further claimed that he saw Fabunmi chasing Daramola and some other persons towards Abeokuta Street from where he (Abubakar) was hiding inside the mosque. The witness admitted that
he did not see Fabunmi shoot Daramola because he was hiding. He, however, stated that he was rushed alongside the badly injured Daramola to the Ifako General Hospital by some boys after the police had left the scene of the incident. “Daramola later died as a result of the bullet wounds while he was referred to another hospital for treatment”, he added.
Union, based on the Assembly’s decision to convene the Special Summit in Abuja, to deal with three diseases that together constitute a heavy burden on memberstates. “Any attempt to make an issue out of the attendance of President al-Bashir at the AU Summit will only serve to unnecessarily shift focus away from the important objectives of the special summit. It is, therefore, a matter between the African Union and the international community. “For the records and avoidance of doubt, Nigeria’s position in this regard is consistent with the AU Assembly’s decision adopted at the 13th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government in Sirte, Libya on July 3, 2009, as it concerns President alBashir of Sudan. Meanwhile, fresh information from the secretariat of the African Union Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, indicated that al-Bashir hurriedly left Nigeria without making his presentation, nor did he participate in official summit discussions. Officials, who did not want to be named, said he left on Monday evening without attending any of the official sessions of the summit, despite making a brief appearance at the venue. “He hurriedly left the VIP room amidst heavy security while the main conference was going on at the main hall,” an official said. Information made available to The Guardian indicated that the leader, who has two international arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court (ICC), appeared at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, was welcomed briefly by President Goodluck Jonathan before the beginning of the day’s programmes. He, however, stayed put at the special VIP waiting room provided for participating heads of states, Presidents, Health Ministers and top African Union officials. The official said: “He was not available when he was called to make presentation, neither did he participate in the group pictures. He did not also attend the dinner hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday evening.”
Why PIB must promote job creation, by NLC From Collins Olayinka, Abuja OR the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to be meaningful to Nigerians, it must promote indigenous-driven job creation initiatives, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said. Speaking at a town hall forum organised by Patriots for New Nigeria Initiative (PNNI) with the theme: “Nigeria: The Petroleum Industry Bill”, on Tuesday in Abuja, Vice President of the NLC, Issa Aremu, decried the gradual transmutation of Nigeria from an oil-producing country to petroleum products’ importing nation. Aremu said Nigeria craves for a PIB that will engender devel-
opment, increase investment in the oil and gas sector and generate massive but quality employment for the unemployed persons in the country. He painted the picture of hallucination of job-creation opportunity offered by the advent of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and turning of tricycles into means of transportation as veritable avenues that have created employment for the people. He said: “It is sad when our leaders readily point at the sale of recharge cards of mobile networks as providing employment opportunities or using okada riding as a means of employment generation. It is an insult on
Nigerians to list these as drivers of employment generation. Can anyone be promoted senior recharge card seller or director in okada riding? That is not the kind of job generation we should be talking about. Therefore, the PIB must provide an environment where decent and quality jobs can be provided in sectors of the economy vis a vis engineering and technicians, where professionals can grow. It is a shame that we are gradually becoming petroleum products’ importing country rather than using the petroleum products to improve our economy. We have refused to depart from colonial mentality of exporting raw materials and importing finished products.”
Aremu also decried the massive pilfering of Nigerian crude by oil thieves, saying the act is economic sabotage that should be confronted and defeated to protect the economy. Speaking at the event, the Chair of PNNI, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, described the PIB as one of the most significant legislations Nigeria has contemplated for the transformation of the oil and gas industry. Mustapha said, in a sense, Nigeria is coming late to the restructuring of its hydrocarbon sector away from an enclave economy into a proper driver of growth and development. But as so often in human affairs, it is better late than never.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
6 | NEWS
Army goes tough on criminals in Edo, Delta, Ondo
Lagos Assembly okays N7b loan bid By Wole Oyebade
From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin-City EN of the 4 Brigade M Nigeria Army covering Edo, Delta and parts of Ondo states had in the last few days launched an onslaught against criminals in its operational areas. The crackdown resulted in the arrest of a suspected police officer who confessed to being a member of a robbery gang, suspected illegal bunkerers, armed robbers and suspected kidnappers. The Brigade’s Public Relations Officer, Captain Roselyn Managbe said the army formation was ready to fish saboteurs in the country just as she paraded 19 persons including a female alleged to be involved in illegal bunkering, kidnapping and armed robbery. Managbe said soldiers from the Brigade which covers Edo, Delta and parts of Ondo States also arrested two suspected armed robbers, one with a fake Nigerian Army Identity Card near the S and T Barracks in Benin City and five suspected kidnappers from whom N1.35 million was recovered. Also, last weekend, the Brigade paraded 11 suspected illegal oil thieves operating from Benett Island in Delta State. Besides, the army said its men were offered a bribe of N15 million by the suspected economic saboteurs to look the other way.
Speaking on the operation that led to the arrest of the suspects, 3 Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Ifeanyi Otu
said illegal oil bunkering activities in the area have been curtailed by officers and men of the Brigade under
the leadership of the Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Pat Akem. But most of the suspects
claimed to be employees of an oil service firm, engaged as third parties, to convey sludge in chartered vessels.
Nigeria gets N2.5b EU grant for infrastructure From Lillian Chukwu, Abuja O boost quality infrastrucT ture in the non-oil and productive sectors of the economy, the Federal Government is to get a N2.5 billion (12 million euro) financial support from the European Union (EU) The work will be implemented by technical section of the United Nations Development Organisation (UNIDO) under the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) project. The EU’s Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr. David MacRae, stressed at the agreement signing ceremony held yesterday in Abuja on the importance of alternative revenue source for the Nigerian economy. He said: “The EU attaches great importance to the diversification of Nigeria’s oil economy, the role of the private
sector in the creation of employment and the improvement of the living conditions of all its citizens.” The NQI project aims to support the improvement and establishment of standards and quality control agencies in order to improve the quality of products and services exchanged in the Nigerian and international markets and thus boost the competiveness of the Nigerian private sector and the protection of its consumers. The envoy said that the project will specifically support the promulgation of a National Quality Policy, the establishment of a National Accreditation Body, providing equipment and training for the National Metrology Institute. Others are to facilitate private participation and support conformity assessment bodies and ensure participation of Consumer Protection
Council and other stakeholders in the NQI through training and awareness creation on quality and consumer protection. The project is part of a wider financing agreement signed
between Nigeria and the EU to stimulate the competiveness of Nigeria and one of the many contributions brought by the EU to Nigerians under the 2008 to 2013, 10th European Development Fund.
Stakeholders unveil plans to groom future leaders YOUTH capacity building A drive spearheaded by Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI) in partnership with First Bank of Nigeria Limited, tagged “Future Leaders Seminar” will begin
on October 21 2013. The Future Leaders seminar, which will end on October 23, is a programme established for grooming emerging public and private sector leaders
between the ages of 25 and 35 years and based in Nigeria or the Diaspora. The event includes a three-day residential seminar sessions aimed at creating a growing global network of credible and accomplished communityspirited leaders committed to taking responsibility for driving positive change in Nigeria. Mr. Yinka Oyinlola, NLI’s chief executive officer said: ‘‘Past participants in the seminar inducted as NLI Associates have achieved prominence as top corporate executives, public service and political leaders as well as leading reformers in the civil society sector. NLI Associates continue to exhibit value-based leadership in their spheres of endeavours with the promising future as force for good in Nigeria.’’ First Bank, according to its
Head, Marketing & Corporate Communication, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, views its partnership with NLI as a strategic platform for enhancing youth empowerment and capacity building among future leaders. She said such youth development interventions form an integral part of the bank’s social responsibility initiatives. “First Bank is delighted to be part of the NLI series which represent a sustainable way of passing on leadership and entrepreneurship ideals from respected and proven individuals to the next generation. We are confident that the nation stands to gain immensely from the leaders that have been produced and those that stand to benefit from the series in the future,” Ani-Mumuney said.
AGOS State House of AsLstatesembly has approved the government’s request of N7 billion loan to address challenges of housing deficit in the state. The Assembly at its’ plenary yesterday, adopted recommendations of the House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget on 2013 Appropriation Law with housing budget reviewed upward from N10 billion to N17 billion. The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze had, in a letter read on the floor of the House last week, requested that the budget deficit be increased to the tune of N7 billion to address the problem of “considerable housing deficit” in the state. Akabueze had also noted that the proposed amendment would not lead to increase in the budget estimate but the increment would be sourced through loan to build 600 units of houses. Prior to the approval of the request, the lawmakers had debated the rationale for the loan and recommendations of the committee.
Amnesty body gets training department From Abosede Musari, Abuja HE Presidential Amnesty T Programme (PAP), yesterday established a post training department that will cater for the employment needs of the beneficiaries of the programme. The department which will be headed by a recently retired Deputy Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Tamarabebe Freeman Mologe, has the mandate to source for jobs for the 30,000 former militants who are undergoing reformation and training under the amnesty programme. Already, 11,818 of them have been trained while those who have been employed are less than 200. This is beside the 2,000 who will be set up in small businesses by the amnesty office. There are plans to place the remainder of almost 18,000 on training either vocational or educational.
‘Umeh’s victory will affect Anambra gov polls’ From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu ORMER Deputy National Fgressives Chairman of the All ProGrand Alliance (APGA), Chief Onwuka Ukwa said yesterday that the Appeal Court ruling on Monday which validated Chief Victor Umeh as national chairman of the party would change the political equation in the November governorship election in Anambra State. He said that the judgment had provided the litmus required for the party to win the election, stressing that the party had not been the same since the unfortunate ruling of the Enugu High Court which removed Umeh. Speaking to reporters in Enugu, Ukwa said that the elders of the party should now line up behind Umeh to enable his leadership retains Anambra State for APGA.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Bayelsa residents allege harassment by sanitation officials From Willie Etim, Yenagoa ESIDENTS of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, have alleged harassment, intimidation and indiscriminate arrests by officials of the state environmental sanitation. Some of the residents, who spoke with The Guardian, threatened to protest if urgent steps were not taken to stop the constant harassment. Last Friday, over 20 persons were arrested by officials attached to the waste disposal unit of the environmental sanitation authority and handed over to the police, with an alleged instruction that they could only be released on the payment of N5,000 each. A source revealed that those who could not pay the money were detained at various police stations until they paid N5,000 before being released. The environmental sanitation body recently announced that all refuse or wastes should only be taken to the designated dump-sites on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 7 am and 10 pm. It further directed that such wastes should be bagged in its recommended black polythene, which it equally sells to the public. One of the arrested residents, Mr. Jeff Yeigba, said the manner the sanitation officials were going about the work was very wrong as they acted like outlaws. Yeigba added: “I just came out to drop my refuse bag and I was told that I should buy the recommended bag to package the waste. I then told the sanitation officials that I had no money on me, as I am not aware of the new policy, and pleaded to call my brother to bring money for
me so that I could buy the bag. I called my brother, and while I was waiting for him, the officials came with a coaster bus and ordered me to go inside their vehicle without allowing any further explanation.” He continued: “I was then arrested from the Okaka refuse dump and taken to a police station where we were ordered inside the station and kept across the counter. We were asked to pay N5,000
each before any of us could regain freedom. My brother could not come to the station that night; so, I had to sleep there until the next morning when my brother came and I paid the money and I was later released”. Another victim, who simply identified himself as Okey, narrated how he was arrested at the Ebis Bus Stop at Amarata by the sanitation officials, even when he had not reached the dumpsite to
even buy the recommended bag. He lamented that the trend, if not checked, could result to a serious problem, as the officials were out to make money for themselves. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, condemned the action of the sanitation officials, saying the Command had received various complaints on the matter.
He stated that the officials had no business taking offenders to the police, as the work of environmental sanitation was very different from that of the police. He, however, promised to meet with the sanitation authorities on the matter. When contacted, Chairman of the Environmental Sanitation, Abel Ebifemowei, could not be reached for comments as his mobile phone rang several times without response.
INISTER of State for FedM eral Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide, yesterday charged the chairmen and councillors of the six Area Councils in the territory to embrace good governance and accountability. She made the call in Minna, Niger State capital, while declaring open a three-day reorientation retreat organised by the FCT Administration for the chairmen and senior officials of the area councils. The retreat is on good governance and imperatives of compliance with extant rules and regulations on the operations of public service. Specifically, residents of the FCT had on March 16, 2013, gone to the polls to elect or revalidate chairmen of Area Councils. The chairmen, who were sworn in on May 20, 2013, include Yohanna Peter Ushafa of Bwari Area Council, who was elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Micah Jiba of Abuja Municipal Area Council (PDP) and Yahaya Garba Gawu of Abaji Area Council (PDP). Others are Abubakar Jibrin Giri of Gwagwalada Area Council (ANPP); Ishyaku Tete Shaban of Kuje Area Council (PDP) and Daniel Ibrahim of
From Ali Garba, Bauchi HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating five workers of the Bauchi State Scholarships Board over missing funds from the board’s account. Chairman of the board, Alhaji Muhammad Kulloma Hardawa, stated this yesterday in Bauchi. He said: “Sometime ago, we noticed that certain amount of monies wa missing from our bank account and we set up investigation team where it was discovered the five workers of the board and some banks officials were involved in fraud. We transferred the matter to the EFCC for further investigation and they have commenced action on the matter. We are waiting for their findings” Hardawa, who spoke through the board’s Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Yusuf Yerima, said Governor Isa Yuguda has approved the sum of N425 million for the payment of students’ allowances for 2011/2012 academic year.
Reps panel lauds Lamido over NYSC camp From John Akubo, Dutse HAIRMAN, House of C Representatives Committee on Youth Develop-
Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko (at the middle of the crowd), acknowledging cheers from the people at the inauguration of the Molerere City Market in Ondo Town…yesterday
Minister charges FCT council chiefs on accountability, others From Terhemba Daka, Abuja
EFCC probes Bauchi scholarships board workers
Kwali Area Council (PDP). The FCT Minister of State, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Legal, Mr. Richmond Akpalanta, urged the chairmen and councillors to see their victory at the polls as a beginning but not an end. “The electorate is very hopeful that your emergence will bring about positive impacts in their lives. They want to see
roads built to enable them bring their crops to the markets; health centres constructed, to heal them when they are sick; and their environment cleaned, to stem epidemics and make their communities livable, among others. “These can only be achieved when we embrace the principles of good governance, which entail accountability,
transparency and participation. It underscores the basic fact that governance is not a secret business, the rules of engagement must be clear and that the people must be taken along all the way,” Akinjide added. She urged the elected officials at the third-tier of government to acquaint themselves with the relevant extant rules and regulations
governing the conduct of government business. “The necessity for the observance of the Procurement Act, as well as other Fiscal Responsibility measures, are not choices but imperatives. These, of course, will determine how you will return to the people at the end of the day to present your score cards in the next round of elections,” she added.
Yuguda defends relocation of council headquarters From Ali Garba, Bauchi HERE may be no end yet to the controversy trailing the relocation of Tafawa Balewa, Dass and Bogoro local council headquarters to Bununu as the Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, said the action was in good faith. But, a group, Tafawa Balewa, Dass and Bogoro Youth Forum, has faulted the action, saying the relocation was done in bad faith. Yuguda described the claim by the member representing Dass, Bogoro, Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency at the House, Yakubu Dogara, that the relocation of the headquarters was done in bad faith.
Group faults action He said the lawmaker’s allegation was most unfortunate and a baseless claim that was laced with deliberate distortion of facts to create disaffection for the administration. Governor Yuguda, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, declared that the relocation, as done by the state House of Assembly, was done in good faith with the aim of restoring peace to the area, having witnessed several violent crises that had led to loss of innocent lives and property over the years. The statement further noted that since the relocation of
the headquarters to Bununu, peace has returned to the area as people now go about their normal daily businesses, adding that development was gradually returning to the area due to the peaceful atmosphere. It also pointed out that the state government rehabilitated the old general hospital and built a new one, which was well equipped. It added that it embarked on rebuilding of structures destroyed in the crises that occurred in the area without segregating any section of the community. In a statement by the forum’s
chairman and secretary, Kura Kefas Sang and Zebulun W. Bako, and made available to The Guardian in Bauchi yesterday, they alleged that Governor Yuguda never visited the affected areas after the militants’ attack, sent any government official or relief materials to the victims. They also stated that since the relocation of the headquarters to Bununu, the area had witnessed frequent and deadliest Fulani invasions resulting in deaths and loss of property. The forum wondered why the state government laid the foundation of a new council headquarters secretariat when the matter was still
ment, Kamaru Mudashiru Akinlabi, has commended Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State for building a first-class National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp. Akinlabi, who spoke when the committee paid a courtesy call on the governor in Dutse after inspecting the camp and other youth development facilities in Jigawa, indicated that they were prompted to visit the state after their earlier tour to Akwa Ibom State where Governor Godswill Akpabio made reference to Jigawa NYSC camp as the best.
Rights group wants minister probed over Salami By Abiodun Fanoro HE Presidency has been urged to investigate the interest of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), in the case involving the telecommunications firm, MTN; former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami. A pro-democracy group, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative (ASRADI), made the call in a fresh petition to President Goodluck Jonathan dated July 15, 2013, and signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Sam Ayodeji Popoola. They said the call became necessary following the refusal of the Attorney-General to carry out the Police recommendation that MTN should be prosecuted on allegation of suppressing vital information believed to be crucial to the promotion of national
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
WorldReport UN says troops on alert as DR Congo, M23 rebels engage in deadly clashes DAY after about 130 people A were killed in the deadliest clashes in months, the Congolese army yesterday battled M23 rebels in the country’s volatile east. Army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli said Democratic Republic of Congo forces were gaining ground in the battle close to the North Kivu capital, Goma, as they sought to “wipe out M23”, a movement launched in April last year by Tutsi defectors from the army. Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) has warned its troops in the flashpoint city of Goma, which include a recently-deployed offensive brigade, were on high alert and ready to intervene in case of attack. Goma – which was occupied by M23 for 10 days late last
year before the rebels withdrew under international pressure – lies in a region rich in minerals including gold and coltan, a key component in cell phones and other electronic equipment. The commander of M23 operations in the area, Colonel Youssouf Boneza, told Agence France Presse (AFP) by telephone that “M23 is holding its positions in spite of heavy shelling”. An AFP photographer in Kanyarucinya, a town 15 kilometres from Goma, reported a heavy army presence, but no clashes. However, he heard two rocket explosions to the north. Both the army spokesman and residents in the region reported a lull in fighting and heavy weapons fire by late yesterday afternoon.
Global celebrations, charity events to mark ailing Mandela’s 95th birthday LTHOUGH critically ill and A may still be confined to his Pretoria hospital bed on lifesupport, global celebrations and charity events will mark Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday tomorrow, according to agency reports. As parts of the activities marking the landmark event, volunteers will spend 67 minutes on hundreds of community upliftment projects – a minute for every year of his activism. Born July 18 in 1918 and imprisoned 46 years later, Mandela went on to lead black South Africans’ struggle for equal rights with whites. He was convicted of treason in 1964 and spent the next 27 years in jail. After his release, Mandela
skillfully negotiated with the apartheid minority government to end whites-only rule. He became South Africa’s first black president after allrace elections in 1994 and led reconciliation in the deeply divided country. But his hospitalisation for a recurring lung infection and bitter infighting among his relatives have tempered the festive spirit. The United Nations in 2010 declared the Nobel peace laureate’s birthday Mandela Day – to encourage people around the world to do just over an hour of good deeds. However, a report by Agence France Presse (AFP) yesterday indicated that global celebrities have supported the campaign in memory of
Mandela’s 67 years of political activism. “I will also be giving my 67 minutes to make the world a better place, one small step at a time,” British business magnate, Richard Branson, pledged in a recorded message. Tomorrow, children in schools around South Africa will start their classes singing “Happy Birthday” to the former statesman. Celebrities have committed to painting schools, handing out clothes to impoverished kids and countless similar projects. The inauguration of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Bridge is scheduled at the icon’s birth village, Mvezo, in the rural Eastern Cape province.
Bouteflika returns after three months stay in Paris hospital RESIDENT Abdelaziz P Bouteflika of Algeria yesterday returned home from Paris after a stay of almost three months in hospital that caused huge concern in the North African country The plane that flew Bouteflika from Le Bourget airport near Paris landed at around 1340 GMT at the Boufarik military airport, about 30 kilometres east of Algiers, officials said. A frail-looking Bouteflika, 76, boarded an Algerian presidential jet on a wheelchair after 80 days in Paris where
A science-specialisation high school bearing his name is also due to be opened. In the United States, meanwhile, 17 cities have planned various activities tomorrow. On Saturday, Australian city, Melbourne, will hold a concert featuring local and African artists, while a music festival later this year in Norway will promote equality in schools. Mandela’s peace-making spirit has won him worldwide respect. “Never before in history was one human being so universally acknowledged in his lifetime as the embodiment of magnanimity and reconciliation as Nelson Mandela,” archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, himself a Nobel peace laureate, said.
he received treatment for what his doctors described as a mini-stroke. His state of health sparked major concerns in Algeria given his central constitutional role in running the country, and has also generated intense discussion about next year’s elections now that it appears unlikely he will seek a fourth term. Bouteflika was rushed to the Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris on April 27 and later moved to the Invalides National Institution to recover.
President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) with Special Envoy of Gbonese President/ President of National Assembly of Gabon, Guy Nzouba-Ndama (left) and Minister of Health of the country, Prof. Leon N’zouba, at the State House, Abuja…yesterday.
S’ Arabia to restrict pilgrim visas over MERS virus’ spread HE authorities in Saudi T Arabia will not issue visas to the elderly, pregnant women or children for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages to help combat the spread of MERS coronavirus. Making this known yesterday, the French Health Ministry said in an urgent circular to doctors that the Saudi Health Ministry “has taken the decision to restrict the issuing of visas” for the yearly Hajj and for the Umrah, a pilgrimage which can be undertaken at any time. “Elderly persons (for whom no precise age threshold has been specified), pregnant women, children and people affected by chronic diseases, notably people with cardiac, diabetic or respiratory dis-
Elderly persons (for whom no precise age threshold has been specified), pregnant women, children and people affected by chronic diseases, notably people with cardiac, diabetic or respiratory disease, kidney or immune-system deficiencies, will be unable to obtain a visa this year. ease, kidney or immune-system deficiencies, will be unable to obtain a visa this year,” the circular said. The circular was issued by the General Health Directorate (DGS), which administers the health ministry. However, MERS coronavirus, known fully as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), is a novel coronavirus (nCoV) first reported on September 24,
2012 on ProMED-mail by Egyptian virologist, Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Zaki isolated and identified a previously unknown coronavirus from the lungs of a 60year-old male patient with acute pneumonia and acute renal failure. He then posted his findings on ProMed-mail. MERS-CoV is the sixth new type of coronavirus like SARS (but still distinct from it and
from the common-cold coronavirus). Until May 23, 2013, MERS-CoV had frequently been referred to as a SARS-like virus, or simply the novel coronavirus, and colloquially on messageboards as “Saudi SARS.” In a statement posted on its website on Saturday, the Saudi health ministry had urged people in these categories not to perform the hajj. But the statement was unclear as to whether the authorities would not issue these people with a visa. The syndrome has caused 45 deaths, 38 of them in Saudi Arabia, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which convened emergency talks on the virus last week.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Focus New vista for air travellers in Nigeria By Dele Fanimo and Wole Shadare AVE you ever been under pressure to keep a business H appointment and suddenly your challenge becomes further compounded by flight delay or outright cancellation? Worse still, your airline at this moment, unexpectedly, fail to offer plausible explanation on why your flight was delayed or cancelled. Before now, most travellers would rather sulk or accept their fate with equanimity, while the airline officials arrogantly continue with their business. Indeed, this phenomenon has taken a notorious dimension in the recent past with only about 50 percent of flights arriving their destination on time. But the party seems to be over for such airlines, as the aviation regulatory authorities are gradually responding to this issue with new vigour using the instrumentality of the law- The Bill of Rights The bill of rights, which is being packaged by the NCAA, comes on the heels of parlous service delivery by airlines and aeronautical service providers including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and ground-handling firms, which have combined to short change Nigerian passengers. Chief among the rights violation that the bill would address is the incessant flight delays and cancellations without adequate notification and compensation in line with internationally prescribed regulations by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA). A travel expert, Olumide Ohunayo, told The Guardian that the regulations which are directed at ensuring that Nigeria air travel passengers are decently treated by airlines, are not only in conformity with global standards but also, in keeping with government’s promise to provide efficient and effective service delivery to all Nigerians. He noted that it is the responsibility of every airline passenger whose rights are infringed upon to demand restitution first, from the airline at the point of infringement, and only report to NCAA Consumer Protection Officers (CPOs) at the airports or through contacts provided in the pamphlet. His words, “Your rights are not a privilege but your entitlement. They are obligatory on the airlines. Demand for them”. Ohunayo explained that if the bill becomes an act, it would spur the airlines to improve on service provided to passengers, but appealed to NCAA to take a look at other issues outside the control of the airlines that are contributing to the present operational delays and associated issues. The issues, Ohunayo said are pertinent and should be addressed by the government and relevant agencies before commencing the implementation. He noted that the remodeling of 11 major airports at almost the same time has reduced operational capacity at these airports while the airlines are made to operate from make shift structures or often times wake up to meet some procedures that usually slow down the facilitation process. He also urged NCAA to take a second look at epileptic screening machines at the airports, saying the machines create operational hazards for airlines, especially indigenous carriers. In addition, he advised NCAA to take a second look at the presidential movement that closes the airspace for between 30 to 45 minutes, maintaining that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency as an agent of the government could not come out to complain, but rather be seen to be defending and reducing the time used for such movement. He explained that the issue has been a recurring decimal and called on the Presidency, relevant security bodies and civil aviation authorities to work out an efficient time management, which would suit the airlines and prevent time wastage. There are plenty of candidates for blame: The airlines schedule more flights than they can deliver; and airport capacity has not grown to meet the demand. A ten-minute delay to check a faulty latch leads to another hour delay while the pilot waits for new clearance. Poised to defend passengers’ right, the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Folayele Akinkuotu, warned that the situation would no longer be tolerated. At interaction with stakeholders in the aviation industry penultimate week, he disclosed that foreign and domestic airlines operating in the country would from next month pay heavy fines and compensation for flight delays, cancellations, baggage loss and other related anomalies with the scheduled implementation of the Passengers Bill of Rights. He said the Passengers Bill of Right would be circulated to all stakeholders in the sector before the end of this month. All airlines, foreign and domestic, are subject to the provisions of the Bill. The rights are drawn from Part 19 of NCAA Regulations 2012, Vol. II. The consumer protection regulations prescribe the minimum rights and duties of passengers and the obligations of airlines, just as it shall apply on the occurrence of any of the following:
Murtala Muhammed airport, Lagos
No-show and Overbooking of flights Denied boarding against the will of a passenger Delayed scheduled flights Cancelled scheduled flights Under scope of application among others are: Carriage of passengers between two airports within Nigeria Carriage of passengers from an airport outside Nigeria to an airport in Nigeria, unless the passengers received compensation or assistance at the point of departure in the case of a Nigerian air carrier. Non- stop flight segments originating at a point in Nigeria (international carriage). The regulations equally stipulates that any passenger denied boarding involuntarily shall be entitled to at least 25 per cent of the fares or passenger ticket price for all flights within Nigeria, while at least 30 per cent of the passenger ticket price for all international routes. According to him, “The Passengers Bill of Rights will come into effect before the end of July; the passengers and airline operators will get to know their rights and obligations. The regulator will just sit to make sure there is compliance”. The NCAA boss said it was high time airline operators stop maltreating their passengers, adding that the implementation of the bill of rights would help put an end to unfair practices by airlines. He gave an assurance that the regulatory body would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that both passengers and airlines were given enough information about the bill within the next two to three weeks. Akinkuotu added: “It is not good for passengers to get raw deals from the airlines. What is sauce for the geese is also sauce for the gander. We have a responsibility to ensure that the bill of rights works. “We need to make sure passengers get good deals and value for their money. We need to let them know that air transport is the best way to go, and that they will get good deals and value for money.”
It is the responsibility of every airline passenger whose rights are infringed upon to demand restitution first, from the airline at the point of infringement, and only report to NCAA Consumer Protection Officers (CPOs) at the airports or through contacts provided in the pamphlet
The bill of rights was first introduced to stakeholders early last year in Lagos when the former Director-General, Dr. Harold Demuren said the agency was finetune tuning rough edges with a bill that would put enormous power in passengers’ hands. When this bill becomes a law, it would ensure that passengers no longer have to live in fear of being trapped on planes for hours without food, water or functioning restrooms among others. However, passengers need to respect the rights of airlines. Despite numerous measures taken by the Consumer Protection Directorate of the NCAA, not much had been achieved before now. Passengers were at a cross roads on how to ensure that their rights were not continually infringed upon. NCAA had said then that the new set of rights applied to passengers departing from an airport located within the Nigerian territory to another airport within the country; passengers departing from an airport located in another country to an airport situated within Nigeria; and to foreign air transportation with respect to non-stop flight segments originating at a point within the country. The regulatory body, however, noted that the new regulations would not apply to passengers traveling free of charge or at reduced fares not available directly or indirectly to the general public. It said the rule would apply to passengers having tickets issued under a frequent flyer programme or other commercial programmes by an air carrier or tour operator. Akinkuotu, in his first public appearance after his confirmation as the new DG of NCAA, said he would work with the airlines operators if they followed the rules. The measure is aimed at checking rights violations by domestic and foreign carriers, arising from incessant delays and cancellations of flight resulting in loss of passenger baggage. The domestic carriers are jittery over the implementation of the new aviation law that is expected to checkmate gross violation of passengers’ rights that has been on over the years. He said the regulatory body would have a human face, just as it would not tolerate any unlawful act from any operator or service provider. For boarding priority, every airline is mandated to establish priority procedures and criteria for determining which passengers holding confirmed ticket shall be denied boarding on the overbooked flight if insufficient numbers of volunteers come forward. If denied boarding involuntarily, the operating airline shall immediately compensate the passengers and offer assistance in form of refreshment, a meal, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation (hotel), two telephone calls, SMS or e-mail, free of charge.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Politics Egyptian crisis can inspire anti-democratic forces, says Mimiko Olufemi Mimiko, Professor of International Relations and Comparative Political Economy and Vice Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, says the development in Egypt is a slap on democracy. He told TUNDE AKINOLA that the way out of the crisis is for the West, especially the United States, to persuade the military to return Morsi to power, perhaps under a new carefully crafted Consitution that would moderate his power and limit the possibility of he emerging as a dictator. HAT is your position on the developments W in Egypt? What is happening in Egypt is quite sad. Sad, not because the country had been a bedrock of democracy, as you can glean from its long history of authoritarianism. Indeed, like most Arab states, Egypt has never been a democratic state in the broader sense in which we understand the concept. Recall that the Free Officers in the Egyptian army put an end to the monarchy under King Farouk I in 1952. Since then, it has been a string of generals, serving or retired, calling the shot in the country. From Generals Muhammad Naguib, Gamel Abdel Nasser through Anwsar Sadat to Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has always been a platform for authoritarianism. That is why when the uprising that eventually toppled the Mubarak regime started, some of us were not too fascinated, as we were not exactly sure if the Arabs were capable of enthroning democracy — in the mould of the West. And so, when soon after he took over, Mohammed Morsi made a decree to put himself above the Constitution, some of us felt his was a predictable course of action. But having said that — and for somebody who has come to believe that democracy is a necessary condition for development in the present epoch — we thought a way could be found to allow some form of democratic current to emerge that could then be built upon going forward. The truth, however, is that being essentially a secular organisation, the Egyptian Amy has not been able to live over its mortal fear of the Islamists, aptly represented by the Muslim Brotherhood. It wasn’t comfortable that the Brotherhood coasted to victory in the presidential election last year, and so, quickly seized the opportunity of a mere street protest to sack the legitimately constituted government. It was to all intents and purposes, a coup d’etat, no question about that. I am of the firm belief that the army made a mistake in this regard, as what it has done has just emplaced a processs that would lead to the destruction of Egypt, as we know it. There is no way the Muslim Brotherhood is going to be persuaded to just go home and mourn its loss having sought after political power for more than five decades. Mind you, this is an organisation that has been in place for several decades, having emerged in the inter-war years. It had taken on the Egyptian state on several occassions, sometimes violently, and for several years. So, it was that at the point Mubarak was deposed, the Muslim Brotherhood was the only organised force in the Egyptian society, and that was why it was able to win the election that put Morsi into office. I expect, therefore, that the Mulism Brotherhood would fight the Egyptian Army in a most brutal and enduring manner and thereby set Egypt back several years. What you will have would not be unsimilar to what Algeria’s situation was in 1993 when the army moved in to annual an electoral process that the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was set to win. This led to a
Mimiko horific battle of attrition and the Islamists were not pacified until more than a decade later, but at huge cost to that country. My prediction is that Egypt is inexorably set on the path of destruction. And this is very, very unfortunate. I would have wished that Morsi be allowed to make his mistakes, find his feet and drive Egypt in the direction of some form of democracy, which, no doubt, would still have taken so many decades to consolidate, but would certainly have been good enough to stave off the orgy of violence that would soon descend on Egypt by reason of his ouster. Does this have any effect or implication on and for Nigeira’s relations with Egypt? Well, it does. In the first instance, you cannot take away the fact that lurking in the corners are anti-democratic forces, and this is not unusual. The truth is that there are people who simply cannot stand the noise and acrimony that go with democracy. Such people in the security forces may see Egypt as the route to go, especially in the context in which you have an opposition that is, with all due respects, so enarmoured by the desire to take over power at all cost, to the extent that it does not consider anything sacrosacnt and beyond politics, not even the critical security situation Nigeria has found itself in. Whether it has any chance of success is a different ball game entirely. The hope is that such anti-democratic forces that are always present in any country would be reasonable enough and appreciate that Nigerians are much more democratically oriented, both by culture and history than not just the Egyptians, but, indeed, the entire Arab world. The rapidity, and if you will, robustness of the breakdown that Egypt would present in the months to come, it is hoped, would also let such elements see that the Egypt route is not the one to take. Of course, there is also the high level of heterogeneity and complexity of our society, which you do not have in Egypt. That country is thoroughly Arabic, thoruoughly Islamic with only a tiny percentage of the population being Coptic Christians. The situation is quite different here.
And so, if the coup d’etat is going to damage Egypt in spite of its relative homogeneity, I should think those who may be attracted by the swiftness with which the military threw out Morsi would know that the situation would be much more critical in Nigeria. In terms of relations with Nigeria, I think the Presidency has done the right thing by condemning the coup, and leading the African Union to stand by its rules in suspending Egypt by reason of the coup d’etat. Ordinarily, one does not expect Cairo to be happy about this. But apart from the fact that the layers of cooperation between Cairo and Abuja are not so broad, the relationship is not so robust on a good day, partly because Egypt feels more comfortable being Arab than being African. Not much damage is going to be done to existing relationship. But, perhaps, more importantaly, the social dislocation that is going to be the lot of Egypt, by reason of the error that the army and the unimaginative opposition in that country has made in moving against the Muslim Brotherhood, is such that would not leave out time for Cairo to engage in any form of coherent foreign policy. And if you call to mind what we say in foreign policy, that it is internal politics writ large, you would agree with me that a country in the throes of internal imbroglio, the type Egypt is going to face, would hardly have time for a foreign country that at the best of time had not much influence on it. What about the causal effects the developments in Egypt could have on other African countries? It cerainly would provide something like an encouragement to anti-democratic forces lurking around the corner all over the continent. But as I had analysed in relation to Nigeria, every country has its own peculiarity and would not admit of the same solution, if you regard the coup as one. Secondly, it may serve as some form of progress by contradiction, in that it may make the democratic opposition and, indeed, the entire civilian ruling elite to be more responsi-
ble both in government and in opposition, knowing that going for the broke in the opposition single-minded pursuit of power may simply serve as a beckoning light onto anti-democratic forces moving to and fro with their own agenda. Certainly, Morsi’s sack is a slap on democracy, considering the democratic campaigns by the AU? Without doubt, it was a slap on the face of democracy. And the fact that some Western governments are trying, because of their discomfort with the Muslim Broeherhood being in power in Egypt, to underplay the action was a putch against an elected government, does not detract from this. It was a frontal attack on democracy, made so unfortunate by the very important place of Egypt not just in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but, indeed, in the entire African continent. But I am impressed by the very swift manner in which our government persuaded the AU to show fidelity to is own rules, the Constitutive Act, and suspended Egypt. This is the extent to which it can go. Unfortunately, countries with which Egypt has robust and long-standing and mutually beneficial relations in the West, played the ostrish in this matter. They give the impression that what is playing out in Egypt is a normal change process, whereas it is a clear action against democracy, which should not have been tolerated at all, especially by countries that are most eloquent on the correctness of democratic rule. Besides the leaders of the Egyptian army pursing their selfish interest, some sectors think the revlolution is being backed by the West. Could you shed more light on this? For the leadership of the Egyptian military, they probably thought that was the best for their country in the circumstances in which they hold mortal and historical fear of the Islaminsts. But then, it goes without saying that for them and their allies, you cannot rule out the selfish motive. I am particularly disappointed about the role of (Mohammed) El Baradei, former DirectorGeneral of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (1997-2009), and winner of Nobel Peace Prize (2005), who made himslef available as a lackey of the military in this instance and would thereby seem to be seeking, through the backdoor, what he could not get on the democratic political platform. It is such an undignifing position to take, and I am confident that in the fullness of time, he would regret it. But then, you can see that he is one element in the unfolding Egyptian scenario that the West is very comfortable with. What is the way out of the crisis in Egypt? The way out is for the West, especially the US, to persuade the military to return Morsi to power, perhaps, under a new carefully crafted Consitution that would moderate his power and limit the possibility of him emerging as a dictator, the type that his obnoxious decree sought for him some months ago. As part of the deal, a more inclusive government should also be put together under him such that all the major forces in society would have a stake in the survival of the government. Something similar to this was worked out under Nigeria’s guidance for São Tomé and Príncipe a few years ago and it saved a very delicate situation. It is also important for the Egyptian people to be careful and moderate this fervour for a so-called revolution that is non-descript; that, if care is not taken, would destroy their fragile society completely. Incidentally, a couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to chair the first Convocation Lecture of the Nigerian Turkish Nile University in Abuja delivered by the German Ambassador (to Nigeria, Mrs. Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzel). And I made the point that while the Turkish people reserve the right to express their disgust for particular governmental actions, they should ‘shine their eyes’ so that their country that is doing so well, at least, in comparative terms among emerging markets and, indeed, the OECD, would not willy-nilly become a candidate for the type of orgy of violence and instability that has come to define the region in the past two or so years. I think Egyptians, too, need to ‘shine their eyes,’ as we say in Nigeria.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Ogun council chairmen endorse Amosun for second term (Ijebu ode). Matthew Akinyemi (Yewa North), Mr. Ibrahim Agodi (Imeko Afon), Alhaji M.Q.O Salako (Ado-Odo/Ota), Mr. Olanrewaju Ayor (Yewa South), Mr. Isa Olukan (Imeko), and Mr. Adedayo Ademosu (Ijebu East). However, Mr. Isiaka has advised that election is about service to the people, and that politicians should not be desperate about the 2015 elections as a do-or-die affair, “in the overall interest and peace of the country.” Isiaka, who is one of the four aspirants that have declared their intention to contest the Ogun gubernatorial election on the platform of the Labour Party (LP), contested the 2011 poll under the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) but lost. He said the LP, “which is going through a transformation process, is as at now the fastest growing party in the country,” revealing that a sizeable number of members of the PDP and the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state had defected to the LP. “LP is a party of the masses, it has a natural appeal,” he said. “As at now, there is confusion within the PDP, which initially split into two, then into three and again into four. “So, we have looked at the scenario and it is clear that LP stands a better chance to win the election than the PDP and the ACN.” The LP has ceded the governorship seat to Ogun West senatorial District, which is populated by the Yewa that had never occupied the seat since the creation of the state 37 years ago. Isiaka, a Yewa indigene, said the unity of the Amosun Yewa “is not being threatened,” by many aspirants from the area, insisting that, “it is the peoOnakomaiya (Odogbolu), Otunba Adesoye ple who will choose whoever they want to rule Odubawo (Ikenne), and Mr. Foye Oyeyiga them.” Sofodu (Remo North). “So, whoever the people choose, it will be okay Others were: Alhaji Prince Bashir Adegbuyi for me and I will gladly accept the result.”
From Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta
• As aspirant warns against do-or-die politics
GUN State Governor, Senator Ibikunle O Amosun’s second term bid in office got a boost on Monday from the 20 council chair-
• Educational development, which witnessed massive construction of model schools, distribution of free textbooks, which happened last during the late Bisi Onabanjo era, and continuous renovation of classrooms. • The bus mass transit of the administration has drastically reduced fares and monopoly of some transporters. • In the history of the state, the supply of potable water has never been so stable and available, as a result of overhauling of the state Water Corporation.” • Health, agriculture, employment generation, security and prompt payment of workers’ salaries added to the choice of Amosun’s endorsement. While responding to reporters’ questions, the Abeokuta South local government chairman, Mr. Olalekan Adigun Ajasa, said the choice notwithstanding, “the field is still open for anyone to come out, but as a party in all the 20 local government area, we have picked our hardworking governor to go for the second term.” Ajasa also debunked the claim that loyalists of former Governor Olusegun Osoba had decamped to the opposition party, declaring, “to the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any serious loyalist to our dear Aremo Osoba going to another party. If you have any such person, please, you can let me know.” The council chairmen in attendance were Alhaji Hakeem Okedara (Abeokuta North), Elder Benjamin Adejare (Ewekoro), Most Snr. Apostle Emmanuel Adebowale (Ifo), Prince Ogundipe Adebanjo (Ijebu North), Chief Olutayo
men in the state. This is coming two months after the 236 councilors in the state endorsed his candidature, citing “good performance” of Amosun’s administration. Meanwhile, a governorship aspirant in the 2015 elections, Mr. Gbenga Nasiru Isiaka, has asserted that for Nigeria’s democracy to take root, it behooves all political office holders to play politics according to the rules. Isiaka told journalists in Abeokuta at the weekend that, “if really the genuine intention of any contestant is service to the people, then why the desperation” to win at all cost? The council chairmen, who announced their endorsement of Amosun at a press conference, stated that their collective decision was not influenced by anybody. The Secretary of the Committee of the Council Chairmen in the state, Mr. Akinyemi Matthew, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said the governor deserved a second term ticket because of his “outstanding performance” within the two years in office. Matthew insisted that there was no better way to appreciate Amosun’s performance than to give him a second chance, saying, “our governor has fulfilled all his electoral promises within his short period in office.” He said the committee, at its session on Sunday, July 14, 2013, resolved to support the governor sequel to the under-listed achievements:
Abia is poor but prudent, says Ndukwe The administration of Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has been under fire for embarking on elephant projects in the midst of scarce resources. But the governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Cosmos Ndukwe, debunks the claim that the state government is recklessness with its finances. He also spoke to Gordi Udeajah in Umuahia on other issues in the state polity. HE time lag in reconstituting the T State Executive Council that Governor Orji disbanded some months ago is raising concerns in many quarters. When will this exercise be done? The appointment of members of the cabinet is at the discretion of the governor. Despite the delay, the governor appreciates the fact that nature abhors a vacuum. As it is, permanent secretaries, who are seasoned administrators, are manning the various ministries. I am sure that very soon, the governor will announce other members of the new cabinet. At the moment, there is no need for people to be wary or express concerns because the governor is doing well to fashion out a team that would be formidable and capable of implementing the people-oriented programmes he has for the state. The governor had said many times that he would put together the very best to do justice to a comprehensive programme of action that would make Abia the envy of other states. If you assess the mid-term performance of the government, do you think it is in a position to fulfill its promises before 2015? So far, there is no reason to imagine that this government will not deliv-
er on its promises. Previous governments may have dwelt on performing on the front pages of newspapers but the incumbent government is doing its best to lift the people from life of penury and hardship. Today, there is provision of primary health care across all the communities and access roads to ease transportation in the rural areas of Abia. There is an amazing balance in the provision of amenities and infrastructure in the state. The governor’s foundational projects are elating. From the health sector to education, agriculture, roads, environment, rural and urban development, T.A Orji is leaving indelible footprints. The investment in agriculture is capable of making Abia the new food basket of the nation. By 2015, he would be delivering a state with a strong foundation for development to his successor. The next dispensation would be concerned with consolidating on what is already on ground. Ahead of the 2015 elections, would you vouch that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would retain Abia State, especially in the face of the crises ravaging the party? The PDP is on top of all political activities in the country and challenges are ingredients of a rewarding struggle. What people are seeing as crises would turn around to the advantage of the party. The party has overcome more testing situations and came out stronger. Whatever the present situation is will surely come to pass. Any one who dares can only write off the ruling party at his own peril; the PDP will come out stronger, better and more focused. I wonder which party will take over from the PDP in Abia; there is none. No party is strong enough to present a challenge in 2015. The party has the performance of Governor T.A Orji as testimony to ward off any challenge. The opposition can thrive where there are verifiable cases of maladministration or poor performance. Orji is leaving behind very big shoes
Orji for the next dispensation. What is your understanding of the face-off between Governor Orji and his predecessor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu? The incumbent governor is focusing on his responsibility of delivering democracy dividends to the people of Abia. The former governor’s antics are known. Recently in an interview, he noted that his aides could reply Orji and that he would wait till 2015 before talking to T.A Orji. But why wait till 2015? It is sad that one could set out to play God even when we know that all powers come from the Almighty God. I expect Kalu to take a cue from other former governors in respect of their relationship with their successors. It is important to remind him that repeatedly, he is undermining the power of the people and he is at cross-purposes with the tenets of true democracy. He takes pleasure in castigating his successor while he
pretends not to be doing so. His socalled aides inundate us with tantrums in reports in newspapers and online publications. Whereas Kalu wants to wait till 2015 before he could give whatever reply, it will help him to know the limit he could go in ascribing wrong cause to effect. It is important we remind him that Abia has since moved forward since he left office and the incumbent governor is concentrating on cleaning up the Augean stable he met. When one talks too much, one depletes whatever respect left for one. Every Igboman knows the implication of abusing elders, more so those in positions of authority. Is there any move to call a truce? I do not know what you mean by truce. T.A Orji is the governor and has a responsibility to cater for the needs of every citizen of the state. He is not at war with anybody and would not think of a truce as it is. May be those who imagine a war
with him would do posterity a lot of good by telling us what caused the feud. There have been talks that the probe panels set up by the government are programmed to witch hunt certain people, isn’t so? Such fears would never undermine the truth. Abia is doing everything to strengthen development and that includes but not limited to taking stock of what transpired in the past, to forestall future occurrence where negatives are discovered. It would also prompt sustaining those activities that were worthwhile. If by looking into what transpired in various sectors of the state socioeconomic activities, between 1999 and 2012, is what somebody calls witch-hunting, then I wish the person luck. The probe panels are legally constituted and peopled by men of proven integrity. The state claims that it has inadequate or poor resources and yet, it embarks on multi-billion naira projects. Where do these funds come from? The administration pursues sound fiscal discipline. Regulatory agencies and ministries did confirm this in their reports. States cannot borrow without these agencies knowing. So, it is easy to confirm the state claim that it has not borrowed. The government prudently manages whatever accrues to the state. To that extent, only those projects that are critically useful to the development have been embarked upon. The multi-billion naira projects were made possible through consistent and painstaking investment in strings of millions monthly. What would you say about complaints by companies of multiple levies and taxations on them? The state government has long streamlined the collection of taxes and levies to bring sanity and save the citizens from dubious agents and by extension increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Any company that complains of multiple-taxation is either not used to paying taxes and levies or is a victim of some kind of fake tax collectors is spreading falsehood.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
TheMetroSection ‘All we are saying, he’s still our • Students protest removal of monarch by Appeal Court, Olugbense Ruling House wants Kwara govt to install new Olofa From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin
TUDENTS under the aegis of Offa Students Leaders Forum (OSLF) staged a peaceful demonstration yesterday at Offa, Kwara state protesting the recent Appeal Court judgment ordering the removal of Oba Gbadamosi Esuwoye as the Olofa of Offa. Coming out in their hundreds, the OSLF through their spokesman, Salahudeen Lukman, said the removal of the Oba would hinder the alleged tremendous socio- political and economic developments the people of the town had witnessed since the enthronement of Esuwoye some three years ago. They had converged on the sprawling Palace of the Olofa as early as 8.00am, displaying unprintable placards before the motley crowd in sympathy for the Oba. Lukman, who described the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal against the Oba as being insensitive to the wish of the majority of Offa people, said that, as youths, they would always prefer a monarch who would guarantee their future “as we own the future.” Besides, he sharply criticised the judgment especially in the area of its enforcement, noting that its enforcement would cause Esuwoye and the entire people of the town serious embarrassment. Already, some stakeholders in the Obaship tussle has said that Kwara State government did not act wrongly in the installation of Esuwoye, and that its action was based on the recommendations of the four kingmakers in the ancient town. Speaking with reporters in Offa yesterday a prominent chief in the town, who was also the former council chairman when the Olofa was installed, Chief Segun Olawoyin, said the state government was not wrong as at the time it picked Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi. “I think the state government has
Oba Gbadamosi no problem and they were not wrong as at the time they picked Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi. It was based on the recommendations of the kingmakers here in Ojomu, Eesa, Sawo and Balogun, they are the kingmakers in the town. “Government had no hand in picking anybody. It was the kingmakers themselves that nominated Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi and the Council of Chiefs from Ilorin deliberated on the issue and they forwarded their own recommendations as well to the Kwara State government before announcement was made.
“So we don’t have a hand in whether somebody was picked rightly or was unjustly picked. We specifically relied on the gazzete which was available and that was the instrument for the picking of whoever becomes Olofa of Offa”, he said. Other people, made up of youths, thronged various roads in the town with placards saying dethronement of a traditional ruler is a setback to any community in all ramifications. The people also appealed to both ruling houses of Anilelerin and Olugbense to settle the Obaship matter outside court, and with involvement
of all reputable indigenes of the town, for the interest of generations in existence and yet unborn. The Offa people said the reign of Oba Esuwoye has brought more recognition and development to the town, adding that Oba Gbadamosi would have had the people’s unanimous mandate if the stool of Olofa were an elective position. Meanwhile, the Olugbense Ruling House in Offa, which won the appeal court case against the incumbent Olofa of Offa, has appealed to the Kwara State government to enforce the Court of Appeal’s judgment by installing Prince AbdulRauf Adegboyega Keji as the new Olofa in the interest of “peace, justice, fairness, equity and adherence to the principles of the rule of law which forms the bedrock of democracy.” The spokesman of the ruling house, Prince Saka Adebayo Keji who spoke at a news conference in Ilorin, yesterday, noted that, “there is no Oba in Offa until the state government does the needful by enforcing the court judgment”, stressing that, “this is necessary to ensure that peace continues to reign supreme in Offa.” Prince Keji explained that the landmark judgment, which stated that it was the turn of Olugbense to fill the vacant stool of Olofa of Offa, following the demise of Olawore Olanipekun of the Anilelerin Ruling House in 2010 had put the Olofa Chieftaincy status in proper historical perspective. “Offa has been very peaceful and, as a matter of fact, many people, including those on the side of the deposed Mufutawu Esuwoye have been trooping to our ruling house to congratulate us and to wish us well as we take over the mantle of leadership.” “It is astonishing, disgusting and naïve that some uninformed people out of mischief have even suggested that the Olugbense ruling house should allow the sleeping dog to lie and allow perfidy to continue, we say no to this.”
Collapsed building: Lagos to demolish 30 houses in Ebute Metta closed this, has called on the collapse of nant woman, a nursing because “some unscrupulous building collapse, Governor stakeholders in the building FlastOLLOWING a building in Ebute-Metta mother, among others, was developers and builders emBabatunde Fashola (SAN) set industry to team up with the week in which eight peodefective. ple died, the Lagos State government has marked 30 defective buildings for demolition in the area. The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA), Mrs. Animashaun Odunayo, who dis-
agency in its war against building collapse, adding that government was determined to stem the tide. According to her, the collapsed three-storey building at 29, Oloto Street, Ebute Metta, that killed one-year-old baby, a couple, and a preg-
In recent times, there have been frequent cases of collapsed buildings across the Lagos metropolis. Two months ago, four buildings collapsed in the state within one week, killing several people and injuring many. As a result of incessant
up a panel to look into the incidents and proffer solutions. In dealing with the situation, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde, also announced that government has banned developers from working on weekends, public holidays and at night
bark on illegal construction work at weekends, public holidays and even at night.” Ayinde said the state government would soon begin compulsory integrity test on buildings and construction materials before construction to identify and bring down distressed buildings.
Briefs LASTMA to arrest motorists for indiscriminate parking on highways By Taiwo Hassan OLLOWING the frequent traffic gridlock experienced by motorists on some highways in the Lagos metropolis, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), has said that it would no longer condone indiscriminate parking on the highways. The agency also declared zero tolerance for motorists, especially company staff buses and private cars, who park, pick or drop passengers at will along the Third Mainland Bridge, particularly inward Alapere and Lagos Island respectively with effect from yesterday. The move, according to LASTMA, would promote good usage of road network, reduce traffic congestion and restore sanity on Iyana-Oworonshoki axis and its environs. The agency’s General Manager, Babatunde Edu, said the flagrant and indiscriminate parking by motorists, especially company staff buses and private cars to either pick or drop passengers at the main exit and entrance of the Third Mainland Bridge is responsible for the endless traffic congestion witnessed daily on the axis.
RIMAN holds conference HE RISK Managers AssociaT tion of Nigeria (RIMAN) will tomorrow and Friday hold its 13th yearly national conference/ general meeting at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos. The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, will deliver the keynote address.
Enunwah, 89, for burial HE death has occurred of T Mr. Obadiaih Okafor Enunwah of Ogbeagidi village, Delta State, at the age of 89. A service of songs holds tomorrow at Enunwah’s compound, Ogbeagidi Quarters, Ukwu- Nzu at 6.00p.m. He will be buried on Friday, July 19, after a funeral service at Bethel Anglican Church, Ukwu-Nzu at 10.00a.m. He is survived by children among whom is Rev. Christopher Enunwah.
Fidau prayer for Adeyemi HE eighth day Fidau T prayer/final burial ceremony for Alhaja Shakirat Ajoke Adeyemi, who died on July 11, at the age of 86, holds tomorrow at No. 129, Apapa Road, Ebutte Metta, near Costain Lagos from 2.00p.m.-4.00p.m. She is survived by children among whom are Mrs. Joko Fatubarin, Mrs. Adebunmi Lawal and Mr. Digba Adeyemi as well as many grandchildren.
Representative of Lagos State governor, Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed (middle); chairman of Ejigbo LCDA, Kehinde Bamigbetan (second right); and other council officials during the commemoration of Tree Planting Exercise in Ailegun area of the council ...on Tuesday.
A cross-section of senior citizens at the free medical check-up/treatment organised by the Sunshine Foundation, founded by the late MEE Mofe- Damijo, in conjunction with Healthmark Group in Lagos...
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17 , 2013
Rotary Club of Gbagada hosts District Governor, donates nets, borehole, incubator By Isaac Taiwo continuation of its huIousNmanitarian services in varicommunities within its
donated a bore-hole, Adelaja said: “We conducted a ‘need assessment’ and realized that the community needed good drinking water which we are here to donate. We are also concerned about the sustainability that by the time we are here two or three years time, the borehole would remain functioning, which will encourage us to do more for your community. To this effect, we are establishing Rotary Community Club that would be looking after the borehole. It is also necessary to intimate you of the fact that money to provide this borehole was donated and forwarded to us by students of Deer Path Middle School, Lake, Forest, Illinois, America. They went round and collected the money and thought of sending the money to Africa where the money would be most useful. We were contacted and given the money. This is a lesson for our youths and of course, parents to encourage them to live the life of helping others instead of concentrating on themselves alone.” According to Olowu: “The children that donated the money that facilitated the gift of this bore-hole signi-
fied their intention to come to Nigeria in December this year to come and see what the Club did with the money. We would not like them to come and see the borehole badly used or no more functioning. You must take care of the borehole.” Aremo Nurudeen Saliu Oloworo, who represented Oba Bashiru Saliu Oloworo, while appreciating the club’s gesture, promised not to disappoint the Club in maintaining the borehole even as the Landlords’/Tenants’ Association of the community also expressed its appreciation. The Club also visited Shomolu General Hospital where an incubator was donated. The President said the Club donated to the hospital 10 baby courts and had come again based on the need assessment to donate the incubator. The Chief Medical Director, Dr. Oluwatoyin Adelaja expressed his appreciation to the club, adding: “ We had about 10 incubators before, but none of them is as modern and sophisticated as this. We would do our best to make the best use of the incubator to save lives”.
A cross-section of participants at the leadership training organized by HENMUELTrainers Ltd in collaboration with Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration... recently.
jurisdiction, Rotary Club of Gbagada while hosting the District Governor, Rotary International District 9110, Olugbemiga Olowu, visited the palace of Ologudu of Ogudu, Oba Abduwaheed Ayinla Fashola to give to the community head treated mosquito nets. In the entourage were the District Governor, Olowu, Past District Governor, Deinde Shoga, President of Rotary Club of Gbagada, Tayo Adelaja, the District Secretary, Bola Oyebade and other District officials, including past President Lanre Kazim as well as the Rotaract President, Rotary Club of Gbagada, Yemisi Benson. Adelaja told the Oba Fashola that the Club visited his palace to introduce the new officers for 2013 – 2014 Rotary year, to him, according to the tradition of the Club, and to receive his fatherly and royal blessings. Oba Fashola pronounced his blessings and advised the club to continue in its humanitarian services. At Ajumoni community in Oworoshoki where the Club
Public Relations Manager, Lagos Channel Management (LCM), Prince Falade Oyekan (left); Vice President, Police Officers’ Wives Association (POWA), Faith Onyeabo; Executive Director, Finance and Administration of LCM, Haruna Ibrahim and Managing Director, Golden Edge Ltd, Dele Aderibigbe, at the donation of sewing machines to the Association in Lagos.
Benson, Olowu, President Adelaja and Chief Medical Director, Adelaja at Shomolu General Hospital, Lagos
Chairman, Edo State Internal Revenue, Chief Oseni Elema (left), immediate past President, Nutritional Society of Nigeria, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo and state Head, Edo/Delta State Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Ojo IllePHOTO : SUNDAY AKINLOLU sanmi Akogun during the unveiling of Trebet Table Water in Warri, Delta State
Cultural troupe from the South East Bank performing at the fifth edition of the Fidelity Games held at theUniversity of Lagos (UNILAG) Sports Centre…on Saturday
Shoga, Adelaja, Olowu and others during the presentation of mosquito nets...
PHOTOS: ISAAC TAIWO
Brief Church begins conference HE Church of Pentecost T Nigeria has begun its All Pastors and Wives conference
State Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Lagos, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi (right, Marketing Director, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Mr. Benson Evbuomwan, representative of NYSC Director-General, Mrs Fred Beatrice Chioma and Trade Marketing Manager, Honeywell Flour Mills, Mr Dayo Adeniyi, at the Honeywell Wheat Meal Cooking Competition, at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos…
Chairman of the event/wife of former Cross River State Governor, Mrs. Onari Ouke (left) and the guest speaker, Dr. Kolawole Akinlemibola at the 2013 Ordinary General Meeting and Conference at the LASUTH, Ikeja auditorium...
at the Church of Pentecost National Revival Centre, Mizpah, at No.7 Peace Street, off All Over Polytechnic Road, Sango Ota, Ogun State at 9.00a.m. daily. It will end on Sunday, July 21, with a thanksgiving service at 9.00a.m. Apostle and Mrs. R. Ato Addison, the Area Head of the Church of Pentecost, Teshie / Nungua Area, Accra, Ghana and Apostle F. Obiri - Yeboah, National Head, Nigeria as guest speakers.
14 | THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Conscience Nurtured by Truth
FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011) Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816
Editorial Sanitising judicial appointments HE clamour by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for a review of the criteria for appointing and promoting judges is apposite and timely. The body proposes that intellectual acumen and professional integrity be major factors in this respect. Personal character in private and public lives of persons deemed fit and proper to sit in judgement over others is a necessary addition. Of course, to be of good or bad character is a personal choice wholly intrinsic to a man. The case for uprightness in the Nigerian judicial system has been long made and continues to be made, indicating that there is more than enough wrong with the dispensation of justice to warrant widespread worry. Which is a pity, indeed, for the reason that the assumption in all societies is that if and where other organs are compromised, the judiciary is the incorruptible bastion of justice. And it is not for nothing that a judge is ‘Lord’ or ‘Justice’. In the words of former Justice of the Supreme Court, Anthony Aniagolu, to the Bench in October 2007, “of all the professions, you are the ones that most directly represent God on earth, because God is justice and so, by delivering justice on people, you are sitting on His throne… So you must be careful how you deliver justice”. Unfortunately in Nigeria, the judicial system has fallen short of this lofty expectation in recent times. A prominent case in point is the absolute and intolerable mess generated by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) who had spat with the then Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami and which smeared not their persons alone but also the reputation of judicial institutions. The case is yet to be resolved in what many would consider the best interest of justice. And the fact that integrity-deficiency could be an issue at the highest level of the judiciary is not only disappointing, it is saddening. The temple of justice, after all, the message from that mess seemed to be, is not beyond desecration. The NBA listed, and rightly too, other complaints against the Bench: Unequal application of the provisions of the law such that the law is now a disappointing respecter of persons; frivolous use of discretion and recourse to technicalities; the approval of plea bargain which former CJN Justice Dahiru Musdapher once declared alien to the nation’s laws; outrageous rulings that, in effect, prevent other law enforcement agencies from performing their duties; and unwarranted lateness to; or absenteeism from court; delay – and, therefore, denial of justice, among others. The outright dismissal, forced retirement, and warning meted out to judges high and low in the land for various acts unbecoming of their exalted offices in recent times illustrates the depth of the problem. CJN Aloma Mariam Mukhtar said some time ago at the swearing-in of new Senior Advocates of Nigeria that unless laws are administered “fairly, rationally, consistently, impartially, and devoid of any improper influences, a society cannot operate under the rule of law”. And, it must be conceded that within her powers, she is making some efforts to correct the ills in the system. But first, there is so much that needs to be done and second, she has only a short time for the huge work at hand. The improprieties in the judicial system constitute a damning comment on both the Bench and the Bar. Judges are both lawyers and judges. And legal practitioners are also as much to blame. Not a few lawyers are complicit somehow in the misdemeanours or crimes listed against administrators of justice. NBA President, Okey Wali, was quoted as saying that, ‘some judges take bribes,’ but he was honest to add that, “lawyers cannot go around calling ourselves learned friends and learned brethren if we condone or wink at judicial bribery.” Who are those asking for adjournments and interlocutory injunctions as tactics to delay the course of justice? Lawyers do. Who negotiate plea bargain even in full awareness that it is alien to the laws of the land? And who in many cases facilitate the bribing of judges to pervert the course of justice? Lawyers do. And, again in respect to personal character and choice, it can only be asserted that lawyers have more than a little challenge on their hands. Even as it points out the ills in other institutions therefore, the NBA must search itself and continually cleanse itself. But the case must nevertheless be made for other suggestions by the NBA that can strengthen the administration of justice. To this end, appointments to the Bench should be widened to include persons from the academia who are, first and foremost, of fit and proper character. Secondly, the Judicial Reform bill submitted to the National Assembly by erstwhile CJN Musdapher is of sufficiently broad value to be passed into law. The Nigerian legislature should therefore get to work on it quickly. The duty falls upon every segment in the polity to support in its own way, the strengthening of the judicial system. It is appropriate to state that this is in the interest of all Nigerians and the continued well-being of the nation because, as a former president of the United States, Andrew Jackson once said, “all the rights secured to the citizens under the constitution are worth nothing and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous judiciary”. And to sit in that Temple of Justice, only the best in character, integrity and good intellect, along with other virtues, will do.
The key to Abuja’s development Since the founding of SinalIR:Abuja 37 years ago, the originhabitants of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have really had a rough deal in the hands of officials. The impression went round that the place was a no man’s land where the new capital city would be built and perhaps only a sprinkle of natives were here and that these people could be easily resettled. As a result, some of the original inhabitants were resettled and paid varying compensations. Apart from this, so many of the natives have also benefited from land allocations for resettlement purposes and some of them had opted to be given land and money so that they build on their own. However, experience within the last three decades has shown that this option of resettlement and compensation has not been very successful because it has created a cyclic problem whereby people are resettled today, only to sell the houses or plots of land and move to another location, awaiting another round of resettlement, in which cases resettlement and relocation would continue ad-infinitum without any semblance of development. But there seems to be a silver lining on the horizon, because the incumbent Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed appears to have worked out a system in collab-
oration with some development partners whereby the issue of integration or resettlement of natives is to be incorporated into land deals sealed with investors in infrastructure and real estate development. The Land Swap initiative will partner with credible investors in infrastructure, including multinational companies to deploy billions of naira into integrating the natives through several mechanisms, such as integration, relocation and compensation all within an approved framework, based on best international practices. While this move has attracted commendation from
groups and individuals, some natives have however ironically been opposing the new initiative. The minister has set up a high-powered committee comprising of monarchs and chiefs of the affected districts to make their input and collate the views of the affected communities. He also promised that natives would actually be the ones to determine if they wish to be resettled in another district or reintegrated in their present location in the land swap policy. For this reason the minister deserves kudos and not criticisms. • Mohammad Yusuf, Abuja.
Same sex marriage prohibition IR: In the three decades of Sspecial the fight over homosexual rights, pro-family activists have learned a stern and painful lesson – that the battle always eventually arrives at the doorsteps of those who do their best to avoid it. This is not unjust or unfair. It is simply the way the world works. Evil is insatiable; no matter how much ground it conquers. The only way to keep evil out of our nations, out of our cities, out of our villages and out of our very souls is to constantly resist it. If we fail to fight, we will have only ourselves to blame as evil pollutes and corrupts every aspect of our lives. As
the same sex union agenda inexorably progresses at the moment, in some countries, adoption agencies are being forced by law to give children to homosexual “couples;” pastors are being jailed for preaching against sodomy; those who oppose homosexual “marriages” are losing their jobs and their livelihoods; and in some nations it is illegal to publicly say anything at all unfavourable about homosexuality. The time to speak out is now. If same sex union is allowed to thrive, we will be forced to attend “gay pride” parades, as some have been compelled to do in Canada and Scotland. • Emmanuel Afunwa. Enugu, Enugu State.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Business Energy P55
‘Opportunities, challenges in Nigeria’s petroleum industry’
ICAO, IMO, WCO strategise to improve maritime security, others
Second quarter’s global M&A deals among oil firms hit $24.9b in first quarter of 2013 .Nigeria records N1.1tr transactions By Roseline Okere LS Inc., a Houston-based research, transaction and advisory firm, in conjunction with Derrick Petroleum Services, has put the global Merger and Acquisition (M&A) deal in oil and gas upstream for second quarter of 2013 at $24.9 billion, in 141 separate transactions. Out of the global deals, Nigeria has been quite active in the last year with eight deals totaling nearly $7 billion (N1.1 trillion). According to the report, after a torrid deal pace in fourth quarter of 2012 of $138 billion in 223 deals, the firsthalf 2013 deal valued at $45.8 billion, represents the lowest six-month period since 2007, while in the first-half of 2013, the 258 deals was second only to the first half of 2009 184 deals for $65 billion. It stated that the first half of 2009 was understandably slow, having come on the heels of the US financial crash, spurred by the burst in the housing bubble. The PLS Managing Director, Brian Lidsky stated: “In the US, in contrast to early 2009, the economic environment is on the upswing, equity markets have been rising nicely, oil and gas prices are relatively stable and there is plenty of deal inventory. The lack of mega-deals is likely due to a conservative stance on the part of buyers, after several years of intense investment in new positions in the resource plays. Many companies have already established large acreage positions and are turning their attention and their capital to drilling the acreage. Also, there is a large deal inventory so buyers are not in a rush to strike large deals. Smaller deals are getting
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. Ayobami Salami (left); Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole; Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Prof. Rowland Ndoma-Egba; and the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Skye Bank Plc, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, during the commissioning of the ultra-modern 400-seater ICT/Software Engineering Complex supported by the bank in Ile Ife, Osun State, yesterday.
Govt blacklists 12 petroleum marketers over payment fraud By Roseline Okere HE Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board (PEFMB) has blacklisted 12 petroleum marketers fingered for trying to cheat government by seeking payment of ‘bridging payment’. Meanwhile, the nation’s major oil marketers have refuted reports of their being fully paid arrears of verified claims for this year. The General Manager, Corporate Services of PEFMB, Goddy Nnadi, disclosed to The Guardian yesterday, that the marketers, currently being investigated, have been banned from all bridging and equalisation transactions for the next six months. According to Nnadi, all the directors of the companies have also been barred, and will not be accepted under different company names. He added: “Staff of the blacklisted companies were fingered in the stealing of tags affixed on petroleum tankers under the acclaimed project Aquila; meant to monitor the loading and delivery of products. He noted that out of the 12
Fuel importers deny govt’s claims on subsidy payment marketers found wanting, the agency has convicted one of them and would not hesitate to clamp down on marketers who engage in sharp practices. Nnadi who put the number of petroleum marketers at over 6,000, assured that the agency would ensure that it eradicate the unwholesome act. “The board, worried by the theft of the tags, had started massive sensitisation to warn marketers of the dangers of the theft of the tag issued free. It has therefore, imposed penalties for the loss of tags, and as introduced new process for the registration and tagging of trucks. “Marketers with damaged tags will pay a replacement fee of N50, 000 and those who lose the tags will pay N50,000. Tagging of new trucks will continue to be free. The board is collaborating with security agencies to ensure full prosecution of offending marketers, who if found guilty in the law courts, will be blacklisted and their names published in the
media”, he stated. Project Aquila was introduced to combat the high incidence of fraud in the movement of petroleum products around the country, which involves electronic monitoring of product distribution from depots to points of discharge. Every year over N17 billion is paid to petroleum products transporters from the Petroleum Equalisation Fund, for distributing products nationwide, and this amount is built into every litre of products purchased by consumers. The Fund is intended to plug the gap ensuring that uniform petroleum products prices are maintained throughout the country. Unfortunately, the system has been prone to abuse and the electronic monitoring system was brought in to make it easier to monitor the distribution of products. The major oil marketers refutal over claims of subsidy payment was against the backdrop of a press report where the government was
said to have paid all verified claims for subsidy this year. Officials of the concerned oil companies, who spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity, affirmed that the government still owed N50 billion subsidy areas, as at yesterday. The marketers, have however, reiterated their resolve to stop fuel importation, should the government delay further in offsetting subsidy claims for 2013.
done at a close to normal pace.” Director, Derrick Petroleum Services, Mangesh Hirve, stated that Africa continued to be very active particularly for international companies. “For example, in Mozambique, beginning with the battle between Shell and Thailand’s PTTEP last year for Cove Energy, which PTTEP won for $1.7 billion, there have been two additional large acquisitions. In March, China’s CNPC paid ENI $4.2 billion for a 20 per cent interest in Area four and in June, India’s ONGC and Oil India joined to pay $2.5 billion for Videocon’s 10 per cent interest in Area one. In Area one, first LNG exports are expected in 2018. Notably, Standard Chartered acted as financial advisors for the sellers on both large Area one deals.” Lidsky added that no deal breached the $1 billion mark in the United States. An interesting dynamic in second quarter is that 52 per cent of the deal value went largely to producing assets — as opposed to corporate takeovers or early-stage development projects. Also, furthering an entrenched theme of the recent markets, the two largest deals in the quarter were bought by publicly traded MLPs, reinforcing the buying strength of this sector. The other buying strength in the US, primarily Asian companies, however, did not show up in second quarter. We view this as a pause, not a departure from their strong demand for North American assets”, he added. A highlight in second quarter was the closing of Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold’s acquisitions for $19 billion of both Plains E&P and McMoRan Exploration.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
NIA insists on economic rates for risk underwriting By Joshua Nse N a move to strengthen Iobligations underwriting firms to meet to stakeholders as well as improve the image of the industry, the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has advised underwriting companies to insist on payment of economic rates for risk insurance. Industry sources told The Guardian at the weekend that association, during a retreat organised recently for the corporate members, admonished participants that gov-
ernment had deliberately come out with legislation in support of the insurance industry to retain a large proportion of the risks in the local market. Therefore, the market umbrella body of the risk managers insisted that economic rates are sacrosanct and must be firmed-up in the country in tandem with practice elsewhere in the world, so that underwriting firms would be able to meet obligations to stakeholders in the industry. Besides, reinsurers are not
ready to accept risks that are not in accordance with standard international rates, and member who spoke on condition of anonymity said. Rising from the 42nd yearly general meeting of the association in Lagos, the NIA, in the report, set up a committee to come up with standard rates for risks in the market. The report stated: “In line with the decision reached at the CEOs retreat, the rating committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Wale Onaolapo, a member of the council to determine the
SON unveils new standard for CSR activities To sign MoU with China to address dumping By Femi Adekoya S part of efforts to encourage responsible social behaviour, especially in the implementation of corporate social responsibility activities (CSR) among corporate institutions and small businesses, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) yesterday unveiled a new guidance
standard on social responsibility. Tagged ‘ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility’, the SON Director-General, Dr. Joseph Odumodu while speaking at the launching of the standard in Lagos, yesterday, explained that the new standard will serve as a benchmark for the measurement
of CSR activities in the country. Besides, Odumodu reiterated the agency’s resolve to sign an agreement with the Chinese government as part of efforts to address the issue of dumping of sub-standard goods in the country. Furthermore, he added that the agency would commence the enforcement of compliance of products eregistration soon.
minimum rates in respect of group life, motor, industrial all risk, money and fidelity guarantee for banks and recommended sanctions for non-compliance with the minimum rates.” Besides, “the meeting also resolved that going forward all claims above N500 mil-
lion should be investigated by an independent investigator to ensure the genuinety of the claims and to learn from any mistakes made in both underwriting and claims handling.” The council member recalled there was this issue of enormous claims payments in the industry recent-
ly, which aroused wide suspicion when compared with the actual premium collected for the risks. The issue of no-premium-no-cover, remain one of the challenges which informed the need for professionalism to come into play for the survival of the industry.”
ThistlePraxis joins global network of The CSR company HISTLEPRAXIS Consulting, T a strategy and assessments management-consulting firm has announced its partnership with The CSR Company International. This development also marks the official launch of the ISO 26000 Toolkit™, groundbreaking software for the implementation of ISO 26000 and CSR Labels, a social responsibility product label and audit service in Africa. This affiliation makes possible for ThistlePraxis to handle all West African clients for The CSR company whilst providing technical support for all CSR-related products and services across Africa. The partnership is also informed by the need to provide global expertise and learning exchanges for ThistlePraxis from the wealth of experience The CSR Company offers servicing clients across four continents – South East Asia, Africa, North America and
Europe. ThistlePraxis Consulting, Lead Consultant/CEO, Ini Onuk said, “We are excited to partner with The CSR Company. This affiliation has been in the pipeline for over a year and we are convinced that the organisation provides one of the best array of clients, consultants and consulting experience we need to make giant strides in Africa”. Chief Executive Officer of The CSR Company, Martin Neureiter, also serves as the ISO 26000 Task Force Chairperson, coordinating over 450 experts through the drafting of the guidance standard on social responsibility whilst the Lead Consultant/CEO, ThistlePraxis, Ini Onuk serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa and as a Think Tank member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum. At the MoU signing ceremo-
ny recently in Lagos, Nigeria, the management of The CSR Company expressed delight in finally concluding a oneyear discussion on prospects across the African continent working with a credible partner in ThistlePraxis’. The CSR Company brings to Africa decades of consulting experience on CSR spanning: Strategy, Reporting, Software development, ISO 26000 confirmation, registration and All-Share Indices for Stock Exchanges, CSR Labelling and Audit services (Implementation of ISO 26000, ONR 192500, OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, ISO 50001, EMAS, SA8000) as well as topnotch competence development services which include: Seminars, Courses, Graduate and Post-graduate Degree programs for St. Gallen Management Institute, Swiss TS, TÜV Süd Akademie, WIFI International and FH Vienna, University of Applied Sciences, among others.
Chief Executive Officer, ThistlePraxis Consulting, Ini Onuk (left), and Partner, The CSR Company International, Karin Huber, at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding in Lagos.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE gUArDiAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Sterling Bank, Jumia.com.ng, offer discounts to customers TErliNg Bank has partSNigeria’s nered Jumia.com.ng, shopping destination to offer customers amazing shopping discounts on its platform. This partnership according to a statement from the bank, offered great incentives to Sterling Bank’s debit card using customers. For purchases made using a Sterling Bank debit card (ATM card), customers get discounts of up to 10 per cent of the cost of any item bought. Speaking at the partnership, the Chief Finance Officer of the bank, Abubakar Suleiman stated: “This marketing partnership is geared towards bringing value to Sterling Bank’s debit card carrying customers shopping on Jumia.com and further encourage customers to embrace the culture of cashless transactions.” Commenting on the partnership, Jumia.com.ng cofounders, raphael Afaedor and Tunde Kehinde said: “As we mark our 1st anniversary and one year of online retail in Nigeria, we have decided to go into various partnerships and today we announce one of such great partnerships with Sterling Bank Plc. This will see both organisations’ offer great value to customers, while using such promotions to raise awareness on the ease and advantages of the CBN’s cashless policy. Above all, this is one of many ways Sterling Bank Plc and Jumia look to say thank you to their many customers.” Sterling Bank Plc is a leading commercial bank in Nigeria and one of the country’s fastest growing banks. Originally incorporated in 1960 as NAl Bank (the coun-
try’s first investment banking franchise), it acquired the operations of the erstwhile Equitorial Trust Bank in
November 2011 in pursuit of its growth and expansion plans. The bank currently operates out of 161 branches, about
2000 POS and 200 ATMs across the country. Meanwhile, savouring early reports from receiving agents
and stockbrokers, Managing Director, Sterling Bank, Yemi Adeola has reassured shareholders that picking up their
rights amounts to raising the proverbial golden hen that will continuously build up their nest eggs.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Strike elicits outsourcing challenges in banks, others By Chijioke Nelson
HE strike action embarked T upon by the alleged outsourced workers of Diamond Bank Plc may have thrown up issues dogging outsourcing scheme in banks and other corporate organisations. The workers, under the umbrella of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions’ Employees (NUBIFIE), in a bid to press home their demands, had embarked on a three-day warning strike in all branches of the bank across the country, last week, thereby keeping several customers of the bank stranded. But the development, which may have opened up issues on the quality of labour relations in many outsourcing organisations in Nigeria, has also brought to the fore, sharp labour practices that outsourcing firms engage in at the expense of the companies that contracted them. But Diamond Bank said the policy of manpower development in the financial institution, as well as recognition and reward are not negotiable, as they were scripted to engender employees’ commitment to productivity. A source from the bank said that as the issue is yet to be resolved, the third party personnel has called on the financial institution to intercede over the differences. The Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank Plc, Mrs. Ayona Trimnell, explained that the
bank recently concluded its yearly performance review exercise for its direct employees, which was in line with global best practices, as a means of driving their corporate growth agenda. According to her, “the recent performance review is an annual exercise for us at the bank, as we seek to continuously recognize and reward members of staff who have excelled. “We believe that the bank’s performance is linked to the quality of the staff it retains and 677 members who have excelled have been promoted, while 61 members of staff,
who have consistently performed poorly over the last three years, have been disengaged.” A financial industry analyst, Emman Bankole, posited that Diamond Bank is a victim of circumstance in this situation, remarking that instead of the affected employees of the outsourced company venting their anger on their employer- C&M Exchange, they turned to the bank, thereby making it look as if they were directly employed by the bank. He said the affected employees should have known who to direct their grievances
under the term of their engagement, since it was not Diamond Bank that engaged them in the first place. The statement from the bank also said that the performance review exercise was hinged on the bank’s Enterprise Assessment Framework known as the Balanced Score Card, which spelled out carefully the parameters of measurement and were communicated to all members at the beginning of each financial year. “With well over 1, 600 new recruits in the last financial year, from which 1, 352 are fresh graduates, Diamond
Bank is the largest employer of talent in the Nigerian banking industry. The bank boasts of a robust personnel engagement strategy that helps it to continually attract and retain the best talent in the industry,” the statement added. But a senior financial journalist who pleaded anonymity, deplored the decision of the ex-staff of C&M Exchange, describing the development as corporate blackmail against the bank instead of them facing their employer. Also, a senior banker with one of the leading first generation banks, who also craved
for anonymity, condemned the unilateral protest action of the former staff of C&M Exchange, which held Diamond Bank hostage for three days, contending that it was a misplaced aggression against the bank instead of fighting their employers- C&M Exchange. The banker contended that rather than to take the protest to the streets, they should have gone to court to seek redress, as hoodlums almost cashed in on the situation, but for the timely intervention of security agencies.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
MoneyWatch Stabilising economy with fiscal, monetary instruments By Chijioke Nelson VERY economy needs stability. In fact, it is a E goal that must be met and pursued vigorously by some economy managers. In reality, the road is not that simple, for along the path, there are always some variables that constantly prop up distortions. For our economy, corruption takes the lead. This is manifest in various sectors of the economy, though by multiplier effect, other sectors not intended are hard hit by the act. For example, the real sector is partly affected by corrupt practices, which are manifested in shady deals that impinge on infrastructure development. Of course, parlous infrastructure is the second issue in our quest to stabilise the economy. But the irony is that yearly fiscal plans of the country have budgetary allocations for infrastructure development. Concerns have been high over how these allocations are faithfully implemented over years. The climax, which is gradually becoming a ritual, is the recurring argument over how much per cent of the budget is actually implemented. How do these factors affect the stability of the economy? The truth is that no economy stabilises without attaining a certain level of selfreliance. But this “desirable” is always inhibited, by the two factors aforementioned, among others and that is our bane in the land of “most populous black race.” There were allegations and insinuations of how “10 per cent kick back” has been kicking away budgetary allocations meant for the development of these infrastructure. Yet, the country continues to raise revenue internally, enter into bilateral, multilateral and institutional debts- locally and internationally, especially with multilateral institutions. The month of May 2013, was not an exception, as the Economic Report, put together by the Central Bank of Nigeria, reels out the revenue profile, foreign exchange inflow and outflow, expenditures, external reserve and prevailing domestic economic condition of the country, among others. A summary of the prevailing economic conditions was that the predominant agricultural activity during the month of May 2013 was at the planting of root crops stage. In the livestock subsector, farmers engaged in breeding and sanitization of poultry cages and cattle ranches as well as restocking of livestock. Crude oil production was estimated at 1.94 million barrels per day (mbd) or 60.14 million barrels during the month. The headline inflation rate for May 2013, on a year- on-year basis, was 9.0 per cent, 0.1 percentage point below the level in the preceding month. The inflation rate on a 12- month moving average basis was 10.8 per cent, compared with the preceding month’s level of 11.1 per cent. DMBs, Discount Houses’ activities Total assets and liabilities of the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) amounted to N22,473.4 billion, showing a decline of 0.2 per cent below the level at the end of the preceding month. It noted that funds were sourced mainly from the mobilization of demand deposits and were used, largely, in the extension of credit to the private sector and for reduction of the banks’ liabilities on time, savings and foreign currency deposits. At N14,113.0 billion, DMBs’ credit to the domestic economy fell by 0.2 per cent below the level in the preceding month, while a breakdown of the analysis showed that relative to the level at the end of the preceding month, credit to the federal government, fell by 6.4 per cent, while that of private sector rose by 1.8 per cent. Total specified liquid assets of the DMBs stood at N6, 662.9 billion, representing 43.8 per cent of their total current liabilities, which at that level, the liquidity ratio fell by 5.4 percentage points below the level in the preceding month, but was 30 percentage points above the stipulated minimum ratio of 30.0 per cent. The loans-to-deposit ratio, at 40.8 per cent, was 1.7 percentage points above the level at the end of the preceding month, but 39.2 percentage points below the prescribed maximum ratio of 80.0 per cent. The report showed that total assets of the discount houses stood at N326.4 billion at end-May 2013, showing a decline of 5.7 per cent below the level at end-April 2013. The development was accounted for, largely, by the 33.2 per cent decline in cash and balances with banks. Correspondingly, the decline in total liabilities
was attributed, largely, to the 24.8 per cent fall in other amount owed to commercial banks. Discount houses investment in Federal Government securities of less than 91-day maturity increased to N145.8 billion and accounted for 55.5 per cent of their total deposit liabilities. Thus, investment in Federal Government Securities was 4.5 percentage points below the prescribed minimum level of 60.0 per cent. At that level, discount houses investment in NTBs declined by 6.1 per cent below the level at the end of the preceding month. Total borrowing by the discount houses was N73.1 billion, while their capital and reserves amounted to N23.3 billion. This resulted in a gearing ratio of 3.1:1, compared with the stipulated maximum target of 50:1 for fiscal 2013. Government receipts The federal government raked into its coffers N826.36 billion as gross earnings for the month of May 2013, which was below the provisional monthly budget estimate by 12.6 per cent, but exceeded the receipt in the preceding month by 2.5 per cent. The decline, according the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Economic Report for May, was attributed to the drop in non-oil revenue during the review period. However, at N648.63 billion, the gross oil receipts, which constituted 78.5 per cent of the total revenue of government, was 0.6 per cent and 4.5 per cent above the provisional monthly budget estimate and the level in the preceding month (April), respectively. The rise in oil receipts relative to the monthly budget estimate was attributed to the increase in receipts from petroleum profit tax, royalties and domestic crude oil and gas sales during the review period. Also, gross earnings from non-oil receipts were put at N177.73 billion or 21.5 per cent of the total, lower than both the monthly budget estimate and the level in the preceding month by 40.8 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively. The decline relative to the monthly budget esti-
mate reflected largely, the low receipts from Customs and Excise Duties, VAT and Education Tax Fund. However, of the gross federally-collected revenue, N527.43 billion (after accounting for all deductions and transfers) was transferred to the Federation Account for distribution among the three tiers of government and the 13 per cent Derivation Fund. The federal government received N246.69 billion from the total, while the states and local governments received N125.12 billion and N96.47 billion, respectively, while the balance of N59.15 billion was credited to the 13 per cent Derivation Fund for distribution to the oil-producing states. From the VAT Pool Account, the Federal Government received N7.86 billion, while the state and local governments received N26.19 billion and N18.34 billion, respectively. Overall, the total allocation to the three tiers of government from the Federation and VAT Pool Accounts amounted to N715.42 billion, which was lower than the provisional monthly budget estimate of N729.44 billion and the level in the preceding month by 1.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively. Agricultural sector Agricultural activities were dominated by planting of root crops, especially yams, sorghum and groundnuts. In the livestock sub-sector, farmers were engaged in breeding, sanitization of poultry cages and cattle ranches and restocking of livestock to replenish sales during the Easter festive season. A total of N617.3 million was guaranteed to 5,748 farmers under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) in the review month. This represented an increase of 95.8 and 100.7 per cent above the levels in the preceding month and the corresponding month of 2012, respectively. A sub-sectoral analysis of the loans guaranteed indicated that the food crops subsector obtained the largest share of N444.3 million (72.0 per cent) guaranteed to 4,741 benefici-
aries, livestock sub-sector got N114.6 million (18.6 per cent) guaranteed to 549 beneficiaries, while N40.23 million (6.5 per cent) was guaranteed to 315 beneficiaries in the fisheries sub-sector. The mixed crops sub-sector received N3.6 million (0.6 per cent) guaranteed to 20 beneficiaries, „others received N4.1 million (0.7 per cent) guaranteed to 25 beneficiaries, while cash crops sub-sector had N10.5 million (1.7 per cent) guaranteed to 98 beneficiaries. Petroleum sector Nigeria s crude oil production, including condensates and natural gas liquids, was estimated at an average of 1.94 million barrels per day (mbd) or 60.14 million barrels for the month. This was 0.03 mbd or 1.5 per cent below the average of 1.97 mbd or 59.10 million barrels produced in the preceding month. The decrease in production was attributed to recurring oil spills and crude oil theft as well as a force majeure on oil production activities in the Niger Delta oil-producing region. Crude oil export was estimated at 1.49 mbd or 46.19 million barrels. This represented a decrease of 2.0 per cent below the 1.52 mbd or 45.60 million barrels recorded in the preceding month. Deliveries to the refineries for domestic consumption remained at 0.45 mbd or 13.95 million barrels during review month. At an estimated average of $105.05 per barrel, the price of Nigeria’s reference crude, the Bonny Light (37o API), fell by 0.6 per cent below the level in the preceding month. The average prices of other competing crudes, namely: UK Brent at $102.71/b, and Forcados at $106.21/b exhibited similar trend as the Bonny Light, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose at $94.60/b. The average price of OPEC basket of eleven crude streams at $100.65/b represented a fall of 0.4 and 6.9 per cent, compared with the average price of $101.05/b and $108.07/b recorded in the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2012, respectively. Foreign exchange flows Provisional data indicated that foreign exchange inflow and outflow through the CBN in May 2013 was $3.10 billion and $3.23 billion, respectively. This resulted in a net outflow of $0.14 billion, higher than the net outflow of $0.08 billion recorded in the preceding month, but in contrast to the net inflow of $0.37 billion in the corresponding period of 2012. Relative to the levels in the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2012, inflow fell by 4.4 and 14.7 per cent, respectively. The decrease in inflow, relative to the preceding month, was attributed largely to the 5.3 per cent fall in oil receipts. Foreign exchange outflow fell by 2.6 and 0.7 per cent below the levels in the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2012, respectively. The development relative to the preceding month was attributed, largely to the decline in autonomous sources, National Priority Projects payments and Drawings on LC. A breakdown of foreign exchange outflow in relation to total outflow indicated that sales to WDAS accounted for 86.3 percent, other official payments (10.9 per cent), drawings on letters of credit (0.8 per cent), national priority projects payments (0.3 per cent) and external debt service payments (1.1 per cent). Non-oil export earnings by exporters Provisional data indicated that total non-oil export earnings at $252.30 million, decreased by 14.2 per cent and 28.0 per cent below the level in the preceding month and corresponding month of 2012, respectively. The development reflected, largely, the decline in receipts from the industrial, minerals and food products sectors. A breakdown of receipts showed that proceeds of industrial, manufactured, agriculture, food products, and minerals sub-sectors stood at $60.86, $113.19, $52.81, $6.66, and $18.78 million, respectively. There were no receipts recorded in the transport sector. The shares of industrial, manufactured, agriculture, food products, and minerals sub-sectors in non-oil export proceeds were 24.1 per cent, 44.9 per cent, 21.0 per cent, 2.6 per cent, and 7.4 per cent, respectively. Gross external reserves Gross external reserves, at the end of May 2013, stood at $47.70 billion, indicating a decline of 0.4 per cent below the level in the preceding month, but an increase of 29.5 per cent over the level in the corresponding period of 2012. A breakdown of the reserves showed that the Federation Account portion (Excess Crude) was $7.26 billion (15.2 per cent), federal government holding was $1.56 billion (3.3 per cent) and CBN reserves stood at $38.88
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
26 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY
Ignoring ‘noise’ against emerging economies By David Mann HERE is an irony to the sell-off in emergT ing markets recently. It is the result of a rare dose of uplifting news from the developed world, like the United States of America’s economy, which is showing enough strength to prompt the Federal Reserve to signal a paring back of its quantitative easing programme. In tumultuous times such as these, we must look at the economic fundamentals to separate the `signal’ from the `noise’. The key question today is: Are the emerging markets fundamentally broken, or is this a brief phase where investors re-adjust their portfolios in light of the U.S. recovery becoming more sustainable? In Asia, the downward re-assessment of trend growth in China has been singled out as a potential trigger for a region-wide downturn. Additionally, rising debt levels among Asian governments, companies and consumers following the 2008-09 global financial crisis, encouraged by unusually low interest rates, have raised concerns. Let us examine these factors to assess how worried we should really be. In China, the government is overseeing an economic soft-landing because one of its strategic objectives is to restructure the economy from one, which is driven by high levels of investment and exports, to one driven by local consumption. The current model of growth has long been recognised as unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable. Thus, it should not come as a surprise that economic reform, rather than economic stimulus, is the rage in Beijing today. Policy makers have now set a seven per cent medium-term yearly growth target for the economy, and unless there is a significant deterioration in the economy, they are likely to focus on broader issues which include promoting urbanisation, fostering a level-playing field for the private sector, and upgrading social services such as education and health care. The recent central bank action to tighten short-term funding for banks is also part of the transformation process, weaning the economy off ultra-loose liquidity. The
Mann authorities are coaxing banks and businesses to be more aware of risks when making borrowing and lending decisions. This is encouraging news. This leads to the rising concerns about debt levels across Asia. Our recent study shows that an analysis of this issue needs to be carefully nuanced. Differentiation is vital; painting all of Asia with the same brush could lead to wrong conclusions. After years of rapid economic growth, Asia, excluding Japan’s overall debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio, has just reached the world average. However, on a more granular scale, our study of debt and solvency across corporate, household and government sectors in Asia concluded that current leverage levels are broadly manageable, with areas of concern and pockets of opportunity – areas where leverage can still rise to generate faster growth. China’s leverage is the most worrisome in the region, as widely understood. However, the concern arises not from its overall cred-
it-to-GDP ratio of 214 per cent, which places it only fifth among the Asian countries in our study. Rather, the concern is that debt is concentrated in the non-financial corporate sector. This is true even after we classify local government investment vehicle debt as government debt. The pace of credit growth is also a concern. Total credit has grown 22 per cent/year in the past five years, six percentage points faster than China’s nominal GDP growth, which is the highest in the region. The redeeming feature here is that the government has started to tackle this issue by slowing growth and curbing lending to industries facing overcapacity. In the event of a significant deterioration in the economy, problem loans are likely to surface and some banks may have to be recapitalised. But unlike most other major economies today, China has sufficient financial means to inject capital and restructure its problem lenders. Aside from China’s corporate sector, South Korea’s high leverage spans the economy and continues to be a drag on growth. But this problem should not be seen as a tail-risk that could threaten financial stability. South Korea has managed to avoid a hard landing since 2003 and has proactively used macroprudential measures to limit overall leverage, particularly its external debt vulnerability. There is also a longer-term positive story that receives little attention, but will help the global economy to rebalance. Household leverage across most of Asia particularly in China, India and Indonesia remains low and has the potential for growth. Indonesia’s credit expansion has recently accelerated, but it still has a relatively low level of aggregate debt to GDP, giving it room to use leverage to boost growth. While India’s high government debt is a concern (which the authorities are addressing), household debt
We must look at the economic fundamentals to separate the `signal’ from the `noise’. The key question today is: Are the emerging markets fundamentally broken, or is this a brief phase where investors readjust their portfolios in light of the U.S. recovery becoming more sustainable?
is relatively low. Taiwan’s total leverage is relatively benign – its household debt-service ratio is low and a legally mandated ceiling on the total government debt-to-GDP ratio enforces fiscal discipline. In ASEAN, stresses are confined to household credit in some economies. Malaysia’s household leverage is high, as is Singapore’s on some metrics. However, both countries’ household sectors have accumulated high liquid assets through mandatory savings. In Thailand, relatively fast recent credit growth has led to a rise in solvency stress indicators. However, levels of debt and debt-service indicators provide comfort and do not raise immediate concerns. The Philippine economy, an outperformer in Asia, has plenty of room to expand its private-sector leverage to boost domestic consumption and sustain growth. There is also ample scope for the private sector to partner with the government in financing ambitious infrastructure projects. Our study shows that while there are pockets of emerging concern, Asia’s fundamentals remain robust. Strong government and household balance sheets and still-high economic growth rates across most of the region provide sufficient flexibility to counter inevitable bumps as the economic cycle turns. Learning from Asia’s financial crisis in 1997-98, governments in the region have been using macro-prudential policies since before they were considered to be best practice. Hong Kong and Singapore are prime examples of how such measures have been used to curb property price increases. We see scope for several Asian economies to increase borrowing to maximise their growth potential. In light of this assessment, the current turmoil in the emerging markets should prove transitory for Asia. It does provide a timely opportunity for cleaning up of stressed balance sheets in parts of the region, but it also sets the stage for the next phase of more durable and sustainable growth. The recovery in the US, which has triggered the latest round of soul-searching, combined with Japan’s revival, should be seen as an added bonus, not detraction, for emerging markets and the wider global economy. • Mann is the Regional Head of Research, Asia, at Standard Chartered Bank.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
27 In partnership with
Tit Bits: Written by Ify Anazonwu- Akerele (Mrs.) Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping xHIBITION/ WORKBOATS shows brings key E people together encouraging innovation and facilitating better communication within the industry. These events present the most effective way to network and do business with top Maritime Stakeholders. The participants can hear about new projects being unveiled and see first-hand new technologies introduced. In our quest at the Chamber of Shipping to carve a professional niche for us by ensuring that a crop of practitioners emerge out of all our various Training programmes Workshops and Interactive Sessions. I present this paper to first give you an idea of the various activities that exist and take place in the International maritime arena. I encourage you to read, digest and make use of the information within. Here are some key activities scheduled to take place soon. Seatrade Middle East Workboats and Offshore Marine Exhibition and Conference held in Abu Dhabi on the 30th of September - 2nd of November, 2013. New Oleans Workboat which will be held in LA Morial Convention Center on 9th-11th October, 2013 East African Oil & Gas Conference which will be held in London on the 7th of October, 2013 World Shale Oil & Gas 2013 held in Texas, USA on the 4th of November, 2013. I am proud to inform you that the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping is actively involved in the Seatrade Middle East Workboats and Offshore Marine Exhibition and Conference which takes place every two years, is a ‘must attend’ event for all Operators, Ship owners, Boat builders, Seafarers, Marine Engineers, Bankers, Insurance Companies, Legal Practitioners, Marine Consultants, Equipment Suppliers, Manning Agents, Marine Surveyors, Trainers, Government Officials, Ship Managers and Law Makers who are key actors in the Maritime Industry. This event focuses on what is important to the Maritime Industry and attracts key Industry players and a lot of International representation. There will be a session on West Africa, with specific emphasis on Nigeria and our Cabotage/Local Content regime. The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development Board, Engr. Ernest Nwapa will make a presentation on the Nigerian Local Content Policy. The last exhibition was attended by over 2,800
The importance of participating in exhibitions/ workboat shows etc for the maritime participation. International participants from all the relevant fields in the Maritime Industry. This year, the event has been rebranded and re-engineered to accommodate an even larger International audience, estimated to have in attendance 3,500 participants, where all the opportunities and business prospects for strategic investors will be discussed. The exhibition seeks to achieve the following: Provision of opportunities to network and transact business with executives from International organizations – under one roof. Increase the visibility of your product and services, whilst networking with key decision mak-
ers. Benefit from the exhibitions extensive marketing and PR campaign. Showcasing and unveiling of new innovations and technologies in the maritime industry. Utilizing the opportunity to arrange business meetings and sharing ideas with regional and international colleagues. Help promote Nigeria as an emerging market full of investment potentials. It is the Chamber’s bid to ensure a large participation and a large turn-out of Nigerian
businesses. In so doing, we have been able to ensure visibility by creating a Nigerian Pavilion and a ‘Nigerian Day’ at the event. Our own Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Engr. Ernest Nwapa will be making a presentation. I am also a Panellist in one of the Intellectual Seminars. We are confident that participation in this exhibition will serve as a platform for exploring investment opportunities and foster strong and sustainable partnerships with International Companies. We look forward to hosting you at the event
Ship Management - Technical, Manning (Crewing) and Safety (Onboard and Ashore) meet the design requirements and have the necessary level of equipment to safely undertake the anticipated work scope. A vessel for personnel transfer must meet the requirements to be able to undertake the role, in our case the vessel must be able to facilitate HE Titanic actually had sufficient davits on board the transfer of personnel safely. The specification of the vessel is derived from to cater for 64 lifeboats which combined would the work scope. provide a capacity in excess of 4000! Titanic actually had capacity for 1178 which exceeded Broadly there are 8 vessel types that are commonly used. the minimum legal requirement of 990. Dedicated Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) Lifeboats were envisaged to be used to ferry serving Standby Vessel/Tug passengers from a sinking vessel. They were not expected to be used to keep the entire vessel compli- Hose Handling Tug Personnel transfer vessel ment afloat. Multi-Purpose Supply Vessel (MPSV) Souls lost:1502 Accommodation Vessel In summary the must haves are: Be classed by one of the International Association of Small tugs/pushers Barges Classification Societies, currently there are 13. Other vessels may include specialist vessels This ensures that there is a common understood baseline with respect to the construction of the vessel such as Seismic survey vessels and equipment employed on board. The Vessel shall be fit for purpose. i.e. The vessel must Soil boring
Paper presented by Robert Goodwin Head Marine Logistics Offshore, SNEPCo at the Workshop Understanding Cabotage and Local Content within the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.
Field development vessels (includes pipe laying and construction) which may be conventional displacement hulls, semi-submersibles or jack up. Mobile drilling units TRAINING NEEDS SUMMARY The ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world’s more than 1.2 million seafarers. The Convention aims to achieve both decent work for seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality ship owners. A Maritime Labour Certificate (MLC) and a Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC) will be required to ensure compliance with the Convention for all ships above 500 tons in international trade. This comes into force 20 August 2013 Title 1: Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship Title 2: Conditions of employment Title 3: Accommodation, recreational facilities,
food and catering Title 4: Health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection Title 5: Compliance and enforcement The availability of trained and competent seafarers is a worldwide issue. The Standards of Training and Certification of Watch keepers (STCW) convention 1978 as amended sets out the minimum standards required. It typically takes 3 years to achieve a certificate of competency. To obtain a class one certificate can take 10 years But it does not end at the issuance of the certificate. Competency in the field of operations is critical. Knowledge of the issues in and around oil and gas fields is particularly important in our industry. We have a local market trying to evolve in a CONTINUED ON PAGE 28
THE GuARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Ship Management - Technical, Manning (Crewing) and Safety (Onboard and Ashore) CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 global environment. A qualified mariner in Nigeria can work anywhere in the world. Retention of qualified staff remains an issue in a global community. DP qualified personnel are in high demand. Good seamanship practice. We have experienced issues: Incidents leading to personal injury and asset/environmental damage that following investigation indicate causes such as: lack of “good seamanship”. Lack of hazard awareness i.e the properties of hydrocarbon products and the risks when handling. Lack of ship handling experience due to automation. The increasing technological advancements in control and propulsion systems on board require a greater degree of technical knowledge to operate and maintain. Diesel electric propulsion systems cannot be ignored as the fuel savings are very attractive. VESSEL MANAGEMENT Shipping is perhaps the most international of the world’s industries, serving more than 90 per cent of global trade by carrying huge quantities of cargo cost effectively, cleanly and safely. The ownership and management chain surrounding any ship can embrace many countries and ships spend their economic life moving between different jurisdictions, often far from the country of registry. There is,
From the Desk of the DIRECTOR GENERAL Dear Readers , WOuLd like to as usual welcome you to IMaritime the pages of our bi- weekly insert on issues. May I seize this opportunity to express our appreciation to the Guardian Newspaper team. The feedback we are getting from members of the Chamber of Shipping and Key maritime stakeholders indicates that there is always a rush to buy the Guardian Newspaper when ever our Journal is published. Well done and thank you for the positive contribution you are making to ensure that Maritime issues are given an intellectual overview. May I mention that the next workshop on ‘understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry’ (uCLC) will be held in October 2013 and this time it will be in Port Harcourt. Let me take a little time to observe that for practitioners in the industry to achieve this ample exposure needed to participate fully under the Cabotage/ Local Content Regime in the Maritime sector. It is advisable that they are exposed to fora that give opportunities to learn and see what is happening elsewhere. I therefore draw your attention to the Tit Bits column on a little write up I have done on the importance of attending Exhibitions, Workboats and other similar activities. The paper is titled ‘The importance of participating in maritime exhibitions, Workboats Shows for the Practitioners’ Also in this edition, you can read up on many papers by the following: Dr. Ibiba Emmanuel Douglas titled ‘Vessel/ Equipment Inspection and Role of Classification Societies’. Robert Goodwin, Master Mariner, Head Marine Logistics Offshore, SNEPCo. ‘Ship Management Technical, Manning (Crewing) and Safety (Onboard and Ashore)’. A paper by Dr. OmogbaiOmo- Eboh at the Workshop on ‘the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 and its Implication on alternative Dispute Resolution in the Maritime Industry’. Thanks for your patronage. Have a good read. Ify Anazonwu-Akerele Director General Nigerian Chamber of Shipping
Length: Breadth: Passengers: Officers and Crew:
882.5ft long 92.5ft wide 2208 889
therefore, a need for international standards to regulate shipping - which can be adopted and accepted by all. Vessel Management - Example On the 6 March 1987, the ship was not operating on its usual route. She had docked in Zeebrugge, en route for Dover. Before the moorings are dropped, it is usually the duty of the assistant boatswain to close the loading doors. However, he went to his cabin for a short break. The ferry left Zeebrugge with the bow doors remaining open. There was nothing the captain could do, because he could not see the doors open and there was no indicator that they were open, so he assumed that they were closed and the ferry set sail. The ferry immediately began to list and she capsized about a kilometre away from the port. The ferry lay on her starboard side, resting on a sandbar. 193 out of 539 people on board died, due to hypothermia. Lord justice Sheen declared that there was “STAGGERING COMPLACENCY” and top to bottom “DISEASE OF SLOPPINESS” by owners of the Vessel that led to the disaster that killed nearly 200 people. Whilst Justice Sheen singled out three crew members for special Blame in the tragedy he also leveled a broad accusation of negligence at the vessel owners Vessel Management The management and operation of vessels within a culture of safety and environmental excellence was formalised with the introduction of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. This was 10 years ago. However, there is a clear distinction between the standards of those vessel operators that embrace the spirit of the ISM code and those that aim to fulfil only its minimum requirements. Leads to concerns regarding operational standards OCIMF’s Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment (OVMSA) programme has been developed as a tool to help operators of off-
shore vessels to assess, measure and improve their management systems. The programme encourages vessel operators to assess their safety management systems against listed key performance indicators and provides best practice guidance. IMCA/OCIMF The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is a voluntary association of oil companies with an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals and gas. OVID is the Offshore Vessel Inspection Database It has been developed by OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum) Following a number of major incidents oil company project teams have become more focused
on marine assurance. Existing regimes are fragmented and lack rigour. Members requested OCIMF to investigate alternatives The aim was to produce a robust web based inspection tool and database of inspection reports underpinned with professional, trained and accredited inspectors Offshore Vessel Inspection Database (OVID) What it does Allows a standard format of inspection. Provides a minimum standard/competency of inspector. Single point appointment of inspectors. Provides minimum standard of completion. Provides control of publication and circulation.
TO BE CONTINUED
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
CompuLife Attaining business growth, security through service sharing by telecoms firms Today, Nigeria’s telecommunications sector can boast of about $25 billion investments. Thanks to various efforts by the regulator and the service providers. However, the gains of these investments are fast being eroded by persisting quality of service challenges, among others. Experts have proffered that co-location services could help stem the tide and even increase revenue generation. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN writes. S GSM service subscribers in Nigeria conA tinue to grapple with frustrating telecommunications services, the operators are groaning under the challenging environment where they ply their trades, claiming that this has pushed their operating expenditures (OPEX) and capital expenditure (CAPEX) through the roof. But, despite the attendant huge capital and operating funds required for the running of telecoms services in the country, operators are still investing. Already, about N960 billion would have been expended on service improvement, expansion among others by the end of this year. Indeed, with the attendant cost of service provisioning in Nigeria still on the high side, experts have once again re-echoed the significant importance of co-location. According to them, co-location would not only reduce the burden of high OPEX and CAPEX, it will also boost revenue generation. Co-location, although not new in Nigeria, the potential is enormous. Tower sharing “entails operators collaborating to share either the active elements (the physical network) or the passive elements of their base stations – including the physical tower structure, security, power and diesel generators – in an effort to carve out the enormous capital and operational expenditures that infrastructure rollouts demand.” Co-location is sometimes provided by third party company that specializes in it. There are two options available to operators for co-location: operator to operator agreements where an operator offers one or more operators a space in his location to share some infrastructure. While the second one is the third party where a service provider can provide a site and facilities, for example, a tower for one or more operators to mount their equipments like radios and antennas. Today, operators need more infrastructures such as base station, power generation, security and maintenance to meet the growing demands of over 120 million subscribers in the country. Statistics currently shows that Nigeria has about 27, 000 BTS, with a target of 60, 000 by 2018, as prescribed by the minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson in her mid- term review. It must however, be mentioned that about 150 of the towers have since been lost to various uprising in the northern part of the country. Already, investigations have shown that the average revenue per user (ARPU) in Nigeria is declining. Indeed, ARPU in the country has reduced from $25 to about $10, and this is expected to decline further as competition become fiercer. The current competition among MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat is forcing tariffs down. As such, millions of subscribers are spending quality time on the telephone. Telecom experts opined
approach has increased their OPEX and CAPEX, since they have continuously bore the burden of rolling out sites in different parts of the country. He stated that managing a site involves the provision of power, ensuring there is constant power supply for 24 hours, maintenance of the diesel generators, provision of logistics i.e. providing consumables, managing and staying committed to the host community. Managing a site can be done through the Network Operating Centre, where the towers can be monitored remotely. All sites are connected to the centre and “we have people with telephones managing the sites”. The network-operating centre is the intermediary between the company and the quick service person. To him, the major challenge facing the operators is power supply. On a regular basis, the operators encounter diesel and generator thieves and some hotheads in the host community. “Each time diesel is been brought to a site, there are miscreants waiting to collect toll. The operators do not need to carry this burden. This is transferred to the co-location service providers. It is our responsibility to manage all these issues as well as the property owner’s excesses”. The way the miscreants operate, it is quite hard for co-location service providers to have a definite volume of diesel for a period. There is no template. This has made the independent service operators as bulwark for the telecom operators. Aside from the reduction of CAPEX and OPEX of the telecoms operators, colocation services also offer several benefits, some of which include the power to roll out several sites within the shortest possible time. To him, Nigeria would need about 70, 000 BTS to meet the growing demand for improved services. He explained that the technology behind the telecommunications requires the strength of the frequency to be close. Each of the base stations and the capacity must be in a cluster. For this to happen, there must be a minimum base stations to carry the traffic and to connect the BTS together. This explains why the industry needs more capacity and “not coverage”. Telecom masts “The lack of capacity is what is usually responsible for the poor quality of service in the seche said. that this trend is having adverse effect on the tor, and not lack of coverage. He said a place With the experience of working with the quality of service in Nigeria compared to other major telecom operators in Nigeria, Adedoyin like Lagos with limited landmass requires comarkets. offered that the telecoms operators should in- location services. To them, this has to improve to the level ob“We need 10 metre by 10 metre of space to lotainable in other parts of the world. However, it vest in co-location services as an affordable alcate a site but because there is no space in ternative to building their own base is also believed that should ARPU decline to Lagos, we can have a waiver for smaller size. transmission stations. about $1, the telecom operators would face a That is why co-location service comes in.” From various researches on the telecoms inbigger challenge of how to increase revenue. He opined that instead of erecting five to10 dustry, co-location services provide significant According to them, to meet up with the subsites within a cluster of 500-metre radius, one scribers’ demands and the challenge of the en- technical and cost advantages in managing telecom business. The bulk of co-location serv- co-location site owned by a Basnik or Helios vironment, telecoms operators need to adopt ices entail the telecom operators collaborating would serve MTN, Etisalat, Glo and Airtel. He lean operation model, saying that this will added that co-location site could serve up to to share either the active elements (the physiallow them to be more efficient in doing busifour operators. “This is what would reduce the cal network) or the passive elements of their ness. operators’ OPEX, CAPEX and enable them to The business landscape of telecom business in base stations, which include the physical roll out quickly because the infrastructure Nigeria has to change, as the cost of services to tower structure, security, power and dieselproviders would provide the needed infrapowered generating sets. the subscriber is very high, compared to other structure faster.” market. Managing Director of Basnik Telecoms, According to him, the objectives of co-locaWith 28 co-location service providers licensed tion services are to reduce the enormous OPEX a telecom service-support company, Olanreby the Nigerian Communications Commission and CAPEX that infrastructure rollouts dewaju Adedoyin, said embracing the model of (NCC), only about four are active and these co-location services fully would reduce the cost mand. four companies are not performing at optiThough co-location independent service of doing business for the operators. providers such as Basnik, Helios, Swap and IHS, mum level, as few of the telecoms operators “This has happened in other markets and it have offered their services to the operators, not still do not support the model of co-location, can happen here. Telecom operators can however, the benefits of co-location services achieve up to 60 per cent OPEX reduction as co- all operators have taken advantage of these outweigh the risks. specialized services provision. Few operators location services is efficient and CAPEX reducThe Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene have shunned the model of co-location. This tion is critical in managing telecom business”, Juwah, in one of his outings said co-location had so far helped to reduce cost of operation There are two options available to operators for co-location: operator to opera- and extension of network service to the reparts of the country. tor agreements where an operator offers one or more operators a space in his mote He also called on telecoms operators to take seriously the issue of infrastructure sharing, as location to share some infrastructure. While the second one is the third party in advanced countries, saying the where a service provider can provide a site and facilities, for example, a tower practised NCC would ensure co-operation among telefor one or more operators to mount their equipments like radios and antennas coms companies in that regard.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Computer society hinges ICT job creation on local content law By Adeyemi Adepetun TO stem the growing unemployment gaps in the country, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has called for effective local content policies, especially in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. These policies, according to NCS, will not only boost job creations, but curb the increasing capital flights; unskilled manpower among others. President of NCS, Sir, Demola Aladekomo, who made these remarks in Lagos, at a press conference ahead of the Society’s 11th International conference coming up in Osun State, said sound local content policies in the sector would ensure job creation. Aladekomo said NCS has been in the vanguard for the opening up of the sector for local talents and companies participation, adding that the nation can generate millions of job if the local content law could take its course on the sector. “It is only by promoting the local brands that we can encourage the local companies’ development and capacity enhancement. Today, the local content law is seen as peculiar with the oil and gas sector. “There are various ways different countries encourage local content, let us adopt the good measure for the survival of the local
long distance operators, Main One said it would now be able to offer its enterprise cusbrands and generate employment,” the NCS president said. Speaking on the NCS’ forthcoming conference, he said that the has announced the availability tomers in the South-West region the ability to deploy, NCS was ready to advance the cause of governance and security of its enterprise and connecmanage and automate nettivity solutions in the Souththrough technology in Nigeria at the conference. work and compute resources West region of Nigeria. NCS is the umbrella body of all IT professionals and organizain Nigeria remotely from any At its Business Connectivity tions in Nigeria, with more than 17,000 members and major location. event, which held at Ibadan, interest groups like ISPON, ITAN, ISPAN and NiWIIT. The firm explained that its the company reiterated its The NCS president added that participants can expect fresh expansion into the region was commitment to rapidly ideas, experience expertise partnership, debate, enthusiasm, driven by the growing enhancing broadband penedirection and influence. demand for reliable connectration across the country, as Aladekomo said: “Security and good governance are developtivity solutions, increased it showcased its broadband mental issues that are ever more central to the survival and solutions to educational insti- need for virtual private netprogress of the nation. Few societal challenges today deserve more attention. New approaches are however required. NCS has tutions, government agencies works between organisational branches, as well as increased and commercial concerns in always been at the forefront of new innovative engagements security challenges faced by Oyo State and environs. and the adoption of cutting edge solutions. businesses and institutions in Through its collaboration “The ICT sector now serves as the biggest engine of growth in all spheres of life, and NCS is committed to facilitating the devel- with various telecommunica- the South-West region of the country. tions operators and national opment of digital and internet based technologies to not only drive improvements but to change how government works and how national security is defined, organised and delivered”. The conference expected to attract high powered delegation has as the theme: e-Government and National Security”.
be their major partners in carrying out massive mobilisation and sensitisation of the grassroots as the cashless initiative moves to Abia, Anambra, Kano, Ogun, Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory. The mobilisation will include series of interactive sessions with nonorganised markets, trade associations, Market leaders and other stakeholders. According to the Executive Secretary of the association Mrs. Onajite Regha, if the greater percentage of Nigeria’s population embraces the alternative forms of payment, the move to transform pay-
ment life style could be far-reaching, “ultimately bringing more of the money in circulation into the banking sector, lowering bank costs and improving the transmission of monetary policy. She said further that the experience the association gathered during the cashless Lagos mobilisation, will also come to bear as they move out into the other states as the main purpose of the awareness campaign will be to educate the grass roots on the various alternatives to cash such as the Mobile Payment, PoS, internet banking, electronic transfer etc. She noted that the non-organised markets, trade associations, market leaders are very important entities in the economic value chain because of the
EST Africa’s wholesale W communications Services Company, Main One Cable,
Minister lauds New Horizons
CBN partners E-PPAN for grassroots mobilisation on cashless Nigeria HE Central Bank of Nigeria has reached T an agreement with the E-Payment Providers Association of Nigeria E-PPAN to
Main One connects S’West with broadband facilities
large volume of cash transactions that they carry out on a daily basis. We will speak to them in the language they understand explaining the various benefits and convenience of the e-payment channels. We want to let them know that their mobile phones can do a lot more than answer phone calls and that using e-payment is safe, convenient and easy and also that it can help them build relationship with their financial institutions, giving them more opportunities to financial products, which is the whole essence of financial inclusion. Our overall goal is to win them over to the place where cash is no longer king she says.
HE Minister of Youth Development Alhaji Inuwa AbdulT Kadir, has commended New Horizons for its commitment to youth development in Nigeria through the yearly organisation of Job Fair and Entrepreneurship empowerment program. With a passion for youth and national development as one of its core values, New Horizon at its yearly Job fair tagged “Unlocking Your Dream Job using ICT Skills”, the seventh edition, which was attended by over 5000 youths from across the country, said it hoped to bridge the unemployment gap in the country. The main goal of the annual job fair is to empower the Youth with information on how ICT can be used for Job creation, selfimprovement and entrepreneurship. It also creates the platform for Youths to be recruited and educates them on how to be job ready through success interview tips and writing a winning resume. Notable speakers included The minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir; MD of New Horizons Nigeria, Mr. Tim Akano; Representative of the British Computer Society BCS, Chartered Institute of IT, UK Ian MacHardie and the Lagos state NYSC Coordinator, Mrs. Nike Adeyemi amongst others were all present to speak with the Youths.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Firms seal deal on financial inclusion, e-governance solutions ETLINK Limited, leading technology soluJship tions provider, has announced its partnerwith Integra Micro Systems (Integra), India’s leading provider of hi-tech products and solutions in Financial Inclusion and eGovernance. With over 46 per cent of Nigeria’s population excluded from access to financial services, believed to be one of the highest in subSaharan Africa, this strategic partnership will help bring innovative solutions to bridge this gap to the Nigerian financial services industry.
Jetlink said that it would promote financial inclusion solutions from Integra in Nigeria to service both the disconnected rural masses, while also enhancing the banking experience of the urban, connected customers. Chief Executive Officer, Integra, Mahesh Kumar Jain, “Integra is excited about the opportunities to serve customers at the bottom of the pyramid and this partnership will help us bring well tested financial inclusion solutions to the Nigerian markets. With leading edge technologies and services engineered at Integra, we are confident of provid-
Senior Manager, Commercial Legal, MTN, Rotimi Odusola (left), Ondo State SSG, Dr. Rotimi Adelola, Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, Akinwale Goodluck, and Ondo State Attorney General , Eyitayo Jegede, at the signing of an MoU between MTN and the state government on broadband infrastructure, including laying of fibre-optic cable in Ondo State.
BlackBerry Q5 smartphone now in Nigeria LACKBERRY has announced that the B newest BlackBerry 10 smartphones, the BlackBerry Q5, is now available from authorized carriers and retailers in Nigeria. The all new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone features a QWERTY keyboard in a stunning, youthful design that is confident and makes it easy for customers to have fun, create, share and stay connected. Available in black and
white color models, the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone offers a powerful and unique mobile computing experience with its cuttingedge BlackBerry 10 functionality. Features and apps work seamlessly together, allowing your every move to flow into the next. With its classic QWERTY keyboard,re-engineeredto optimize typing, and its 3.1” touchscreen, the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone gives you the best of both
worlds. The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone comes with the BlackBerry 10.1 software. As part of the BlackBerry 10 experience, a peek into the BlackBerry Hub lets you stay close to what’s important to you without stopping what you’re doing. Create the perfect shot every time with BlackBerry Time Shift, and tell your story using BlackBerry Story Maker and share with friends on Facebook.
ing customized solutions to the inclusion initiatives in Nigeria.” Jetlink - Integra would promote iMFAST – Integra’s Mobile Financial Applications, Services and Technologies, the flagship platform for Financial Inclusion from Integra that is used by over 27 banks, serving more than four million customers, through 11, 000 touch points across India. Jetlink’s Managing Director, John Nwosu
said: “This partnership is inline with Jetlink’s commitment to provide excellent products and services through tested competence and multi-disciplinary skills, adding value to the businesses of our customers. Jetlink looks forward to help bridge the huge gap between the banked and the unbanked masses by bringing high quality, cost effective technological solutions and innovations from across the globe.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Kaymu online shopping introduces SafePay line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cashless policy, IketNKaymu.com.ng, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing online marplace has introduced an e-transaction payment service called SafePay, so as to make online transactions safe and easy for Nigerians. The Managing Director, Kaymu, Mr. Lukas Zels, said that SafePay was a necessary step to empower Nigerians through eCommerce. He explained that SafePay was an escrow service whereby buyers paid directly to Kaymu for items bought Coupled with the cost of delivery and sellers send item purchased to the buyer before receiving the money from Kaymu.” He said that the rationale was to make transactions across Nigeria safe for both buyers and sellers. This will create a great environment for trade on our platform. Most especially, small and specialised sellers with great products will benefit from the huge audience that they can securely sell to now. Zels noted that the platform would provide both parties with a secure e-Commerce transaction that will give Customer transparent in terms of businesses. “If goods bought are not delivered to the buyer or doesn’t meet the expected conditions as displayed online, Kaymu refunds the money paid to the buyer and the seller gets their goods back from the buyer.” With this, more buyers will purchase a seller’s items and a seller has the guarantee to receive payment for his goods. However, he will receive the goods back, if a buyer eventually does not buy again. As for the buyers, they have the guarantee to receive items paid for or a refund of their money, in addition with delivery costs, Zels added. Ganiyu Rasheed, a customer said that with this initiative of payment solution doing business online was secure and transaction for product can also be done without having to wait at home to pay when delivered.
A connected moderm, ready for internet transmission
Lagos explores e-governance with ATB Techsoft solutions, Microsoft NetApp announces new director O sustain its mega city project transformation, the Lagos Al-Attiyat also shared security solutions that can monitor for Africa TState government has stressed the importance of automatphysical security in the state and how the citizens can benefit By Bankole Orimisan ETAPP, a firm that specialises in storage and data manageN ment solutions that deliver outstanding cost-efficiency and accelerate, has announced the appointment of Mark Ridley, as the new regional director for Africa. NetApp, said that Ridley, was an experienced sales leader with over 15 years of experience in IT, and that he would be responsible for all NetApp business in Africa, including offices in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. His role covers development and execution of sales and marketing strategies, enhancing the channel ecosystem and expanding the NetApp customer base in this region. He reports to NetApp’s newly appointed Director MEEEA for the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa, Konstantin Ebert. Ridley’s appointment demonstrates NetApp’s commitment to its African growth strategy and affirms that NetApp will continue to develop and prosper in these markets, extracting maximum impact from the expected high domestic growth. To answer local customers’ challenges, the company will look to the strength of its channel and technology alliances as well as the innovation leadership as demonstrated by the depth of its portfolio and best-of-breed quality solutions. These include the world’s leading branded storage operating system, ‘clustered Data ONTAP’ , the high-performance eseries and the most comprehensive enterprise flash storage offering in the business. “With many markets emerging and maturing at a fast pace, the African continent offers a very interesting playing field. I am confident that NetApp’s solutions hold tremendous value for partners and end-customers such as telecommunications, utility or commodity companies and service providers,” says Ridley.
ing various government processes to ensure full efficient service delivery. This remark was made recently by Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola during a two-day executive briefing session on technology organised by ATB Techsoft Solutions Ltd in collaboration with Microsoft held at the Microsoft Technology Centre in Dubai, where he restated his commitment in transforming the state into a 21st century mega city. The conference, which was held at the Microsoft Technology Centre in Dubai, included key members of the executive cabinet including the commissioners for Education and Health, Director of Financial Software and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology. Speaking on several e-governance solutions for mega cities, Ammar Al-Attiyat of Microsoft said that these solutions could be utilised to create a ‘paperless office’ and automate information flow, which would invariably reduce manual processes.
Airtel pledges support for SMEs in S’South Nigeria IRTEL Nigeria has pledged Srivastava, made the commit- capacity building for the sector enjoyed the best telecoms service experience that A its commitment to the ment in his welcome address would infuse confidence espehuman ingenuity could offer.” growth and development of at the Entrepreneurial Forum cially in the youth and motithe nation’s economy through a sustained empowerment of the Small and Medium Enterprise operators (SMEs). Chief Operating Officer/Executive Director, Airtel Nigeria, Deepak
organised by the company for the people of Niger Delta region in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. According to Srivastava who was represented by the Chief Sales Officer, Inusa Bello, Airtel believed that scaling up
Samsung unveils new dual SIM products IDENING its portfolio of smartphones available in the Enterprise) feature, allowing users to work and play with confiW country, Samsung Electronics West Africa, has introduced dence that their photos, e-mails and contacts are protected. The the world’s largest smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Mega, to the portfolio also includes an expandable memory of up to 64GB Nigerian market. According to Samsung, the Galaxy Mega combines the portability and convenience of a smartphone with the power, multitasking capabilities and extensive viewing experience of a tablet. This newest addition to the Galaxy family balances an optimal viewing experience on a 5.8-inch HD screen, yet is ultra-thin and portable enough to fit in a user’s pocket or in the palm of one hand. Powered by the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system and 1.4GHz dual core processor, the Galaxy Mega features an 8-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 2-megapixel front facing camera. It comes with 8GB internal memory and up to 64GB expandable storage. The device also boasts Samsung’s proprietary ‘Air View’ feature, which lets users preview photos, speed dial contacts and information in e-mails, without opening them. Samsung also debuted two new models from its Wi-Fi-enabled Galaxy Tab 3 portfolio – the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 and the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, at the event. The series blends the familiar Galaxy family feel in sleek and slim designs, with compelling content and services designed for consumers’ everyday use. The latest Galaxy Tab family comes with Samsung’s proprietary SaFE (Samsung for
from online service portals that connect different ministries. The Head, Sales and Business Development for ATB Techsoft, Abideen Yusuf showed practical instances of how Microsoft technologies could improve service delivery in the education and health sectors using Windows 8 Apps and cloud solutions through Office 365. He said that cloud computing would create a cost effective and efficient environment conducive for innovation in teaching and learning. These solutions will also enable seamless healthcare administration with faster access to patient records. ATB Techsoft Solutions Limited is a dynamic IT solutions delivery company that undertakes and provides various IT as well as advisory services, offering specialised, client-specific services to government ministries, departments and agencies as well as educational institutions, banks and manufacturing companies.
through a microSD card. Samsung is offering users of the Samsung Galaxy Mega smartphone and Tab 3 Series free subscription to Tell Magazine, The Guardian, Punch and Businessday newspapers. In addition to these, Samsung’s Class Connect App, DoBox movie download app and Spinlet Music App will also be available to users of the three devices. Describing the Galaxy Mega as an ideal choice for users that want to get the most out of one device, Director of Hand Held Products, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas, said: “In order to empower the lives of our consumers through Samsung’s advanced technologies, we always strive to understand the unique demands and requirements of our consumers. People expect a better viewing experience with larger screens on smartphones; the Samsung Galaxy Mega enables users to experience the essence of a smartphone and the power of a tablet. We are very excited and proud to introduce the device to Nigeria, fulfilling our consumers’ varying needs, whilst maintaining the high-quality features of the award-winning Galaxy series.”
vate them to embrace entrepreneurship as one sure way of confronting the problem of unemployment in the country as well as eradicating poverty in the region. Speaking further, Srivastava said: “It is interesting to note that efforts like this forum arose as a direct response to the yearnings of the youth who rather than wait for the socalled white collar jobs, are determined to take their destinies in their own hands by using their talents and skills to design a future of hope and fulfillment for themselves.” He assured that Airtel would always welcome every opportunity to continue its role as a catalyst; nurturing the entrepreneurial dreams and aspirations of Nigerians and creating wealth across the country. “I assure Nigerians that Airtel will always support initiatives that will unleash the talent and innate abilities of the Nigerian youths and open doors of economic abundance for all,” he said. According to him, Airtel would continue to be innovative in its offerings and strategic in building capacities to ensure that both its existing and potential customers
Speaking in the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer of Visible Impact, Fela Durotoye and President, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Emeka Unachukwu, both speakers at the Entrepreneurial Forum, called on the Nigerian youths to take up the challenge of freeing themselves from the shackle of unemployment by taking bold steps towards creating jobs for themselves and others through entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurial Forum which was attended by over 600 entrepreneurs from across the Niger Delta region was put together by Airtel in conjunction with the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and VTB Consulting. Amongst other objectives, the forum was intended to promote and enhance entrepreneurship in the Niger Delta Region, develop sustainable wealth creation capacity for budding businessmen and create platforms for networking, synergy and advocacy among emerging entrepreneurs in the region.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Firm to take over India biometric identification system By Bankole Orimisan technology-consulting company, Accenture, has A been awarded a 12-month contract to re-engineer and implement the delivery of biometric programme in Punjab, India under the Aadhaar biometric identification programme. The contract will help the state government of Punjab identify eligible citizens and eliminate duplicate and incorrectrecordsfortheDepartment of Food and Civil Supplies, the firm said recently. The biometric-based service delivery model will provide the government with a simplified process for targeting beneficiaries by ensuring accurate inclusion of recipients, reducing the cost of service delivery byusingdirect,government-tocitizens payments; while also enhancing programme accountability. Astheprojectmanagerand prime contractor, Accenture also will help the state to increase citizen awareness on the goals and objectives of Aadhaar, and support the government with any required legal and policy changes. Biometrics is unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, that can be used for automated recognition. Aadhaar is a 12- digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Government of India. “Aadhaar provides a national unique identity to each resident that will be portable, digital and verifiable online. Citizens will benefit from a simplified process of
establishing identity. Biometric-based authentication will replace the paperbased verification/authentica-
tion being done for residents adding to their convenience,” Nodal officer, Registrar UID Punjab cum Joint Secretary
Food and Supplies Department, Government of Punjab, Mr. Parminder Singh, said. Through the programme,
UIDAI said it would be changing the way of life for the country’s 1.2 billion people. By issuing unique IDs through finger-
prints, facial and iris images, the programme is giving each resident a unique and provable identity.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Ericsson puts GSM/EDGE technology global coverage at 85 per cent • Opens regional service centres in Nigeria, DRC current business needs. “It is important to have facilities that can serve multilingual customers across the region. While RICSSON, global telecoms infrastructure the immediate focus is on managed services, we provider has put GSM/EDGE technology will be increasing our resources and competence world’s coverage at 85 per cent of the populaacross our entire portfolio so as to be fully pretion. pared for our customers’ needs,” he added. Besides, Ericsson predicted that by 2018, about Accordingly, he said during the initial period, 60 per cent of the world’s population is expect- Ericsson experts from around the world will ed to be covered by Long Term Evolution (LTE), work closely with a core of local professionals to stressing that population coverage of the establish the centres, saying that there will be a world’s mobile networks is constantly increastransition of responsibility to the region through ing as more base stations are deployed. structured competence transfer in conjunction According to Ericsson Mobility Report, June with targeted local graduate recruitment. 2013, GSM/EDGE technology has by far the widest The Head, Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. reach today, stressing that if Japan and Korea, Fredrik Jejdling, said, “The facilities will allow us two countries that have not deployed to work even closer with our customers, and supGSM/EDGE, are excluded, then the world popula- port them in delivering a superior end-user expetion coverage would be around 90 per cent. rience. As the industry leader in managed servicEDGE is Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, es, we have proven capabilities in managing and a mobile phone technology that allows operating many operator networks worldwide improved data transmission rates as a backand have recently signed major deals with key ward-compatible extension of GSM. African operators including Atlantique Telecom The report noted that the areas that remain to and Airtel.” be covered by this technology in countries that use the technology are sparsely populated. On LTE deployment, the Ericsson Mobility Report pointed out that LTE has become the fastest developing system in the history of mobile communication due to the fast speeds and high quality user experience that it offers. Meanwhile, Ericsson has announced the establishment of two new service delivery facilities in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), aimed at bringing its services to the consumers. The facilities will support Ericsson’s leadership position in managed services, and enhance the delivery of their services portfolio across subSaharan Africa. Commenting on the development, the Head, Ericsson’s Regional Services, Mr. Lars Johannisson, said the location of the facilities was based on
By Adeyemi Adepetun
Firm offers unified security solution for PCs, smartphones others By Bankole Orimisan ORTON by Symantec has N announced the offering of Norton 360 Multi-Device, a comprehensive security solution that provides security across platforms and devices. For consumers who have multiple devices and want a simple, easy-to-use security solution in Nigerian market. According to the firm, Norton 360 Multi-Device provides protection for PCs, Macs, Androidbased phones and tablets, including support for devices, right out of the box. However, unlike other offerings that bundle various products into one box and require multiple product keys, Norton 360 Multi-Device offers a single key to activate protection on all devices. It uses a cloud-based Norton management console that lets users take charge of their devices’ security from anywhere, at any time, right over the Internet. In addition, Norton 360 Multi-Device is a flexible solution that allows customers to move protection from one device to another to meet their changing needs as they add or change the number and type of devices they own.
Under Secretary-General, United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Wu Hongbo (Left); Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Gerald Ilukwe; Chairman House Committee on ICT; Ibrahim Gusau, Ambassador Alhassan Gana,Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation and Director, United Nations Division for Public Administration and DevelopmentManagement (DPADM) at the United Nations Public Service Awards Ceremony at Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. Galaxy Backbone emerged 1st Place Winner “Promoting Whole-of-Government Approaches in the Information Age Category”.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
‘No going back on disconnection of non-registered SIM cards’ By Bankole Orimisan and Syntyche Boman FTER two years and three A months, the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card registration exercise in the country was brought to a close by the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), by the end of last month. Precisely on March 28, 2011, the SIM registration exercise initially billed to come to an
end by September 28, 2011, was flagged-off by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, in the country. However, the six-month exercise was later extended indefinitely by the regulator, as it began SIM harmonisation during, which provided a window of opportunities for defaulting subscribers to get their SIM cards registered to avoid disconnection. However, the commission decided to bring the exercise to a close, with a strict directive mandating the telecoms
operators to deactivate unregistered lines on their networks. In enforcing the decision, the regulator has asked of the operators, summary of the registered and active lines on their network; details of unregistered and deactivated lines as at June 30, 2013 and consistent with section 15(2) of the NCC’s Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations 2011. Meanwhile, after series of awareness urging their subscribers, who were yet to register their SIM cards, eventually embarked on what industry watchers described as ‘mass disconnection of unregistered SIM cards,’ on their respective networks penultimate Sunday, in consonance with the NCC’s directive. Notwithstanding the last minute-rush by defaulting subscribers to get their SIM cards registered, many subscribers were still caught in the trap, as not all of them could do that at the set June deadline. Notably, subscribers whose SIM cards were disconnected have been making frantic efforts to get their line connected after being denied access to make and receive calls or send and receive Short Messaging Service (SMS) and other services received from the networks. While some of the affected subscribers have complained they had earlier registered their SIM cards before they started getting text messages from their respective networks regarding ‘unregistered status’ of their lines, it was learnt that quite a number of them were also adamant to NCC’s directive on June 30 deadline for discon-
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Govt wants increased PC penetration in Nigeria means. Relying on these statistics, the federal government through the Ministry of Communications ITH mobile devices attaining 70 per cent Technology at the weekend in Lagos noted that user penetration by end of the year, the the ownership and adoption rates exhibit socioPersonal Computer (PC) usage on the other demographic patterns, stressing that ownerhand is expected to hit seven per cent by ship and adoption rates are lower in rural areas December. that urban and amongst women than men. This seven per cent PC penetration is still very According to the Minister of Communications low, according to the federal government, Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, ownership which submitted that all hands must be on and use therefore needed to be improved on deck to increase the level of usage in the counoverall basis, but more so among those with the try to 12 per cent by 2015. Indeed, a Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) sur- most to gain from a more inclusive developvey in 2011 said that the rate of Information and ment agenda. With mobile devices penetration expected to Communication Technology adoption in hit 82 per cent penetration by 2015, Johnson Nigeria was very low, it disclosed that 0.9 per cent of Households owned a PC and a further 3.6 said that Nigeria must make access to infrastructure and devices easier and more affordper cent had access to one. able. The NBS report further revealed that 0.5 per Besides, she said that increase in digital awarecent of households owned the device they use ness and literacy amongst the population. for accessing the Internet and a further 3.1 per “An unacceptably high number of Nigerians cent accessed the Internet through other
By Adeyemi Adepetun
3CNET partners Canadian firm on application development excellent and QoS to their customers by delivering up to 50 times greater performance DGEWATER Wireless Systems, a global leader in versus traditional WiFi. WiFi3 achieves unparalleled WiFi3 next generation WiFi performance by mitigating technology based in Canada, issues such as Adjacent has partnered with NigeriaChannel Interference (ACI) based 3CNET, a technology and offering industry leading integration and ICT services capabilities such as the intecompany. grated Spectral Surveillance According to a statement Architecture (SSA™) – made available to The Edgewater’s integrated, real Guardian, the partnership would enable 3CNET to offer a time spectral monitoring feature which dramatically will comprehensive services and applications to its customers, reduce 3CNET operational expenses (OPEX). business and home users, Managing Director of 3CNET, with WiFi3 technology. Jide Ipaye, said that the partEdgewater Wireless WiFi3 series of Next Generation WiFi nership was a welcome develAccess Points enables 3-chan- opment for the company. nels on a single radio and will “Edgewater Wireless’ WiFi3 Access Points will enable us to enable 3CNET to provide
By Joseph Okoghenun
deploy a more cost effective network with higher quality services and connectivity than our competitors. We wanted to provide a better, next generation WiFi technology and services for our customers that included the ability to lay services like VoWiFi, Video Surveillance and Data backhaul without compromising QoS. There is simply no better solution available to enable these services over WiFi than Edgewater Wireless WiFi3.” Explaining further one of the reasons for the partnership, Director of Customer Solutions at Edgewater Wireless, Oliver Blackwell, said that the partnership was one of the best ways to boost WiFi penetration in Africa.
“ICTs contribute to increasing social welfare are excluded from infrastructures that can meet their basic needs. Increasing the spread of and security. By being applicable in the delivICTs can be a means through which this can be ery of education, health, security and other basic needs,” she stated. corrected.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Firm unveils authentication device, targets ID enrolment three seconds after sensors Matriculation Board (JAMB), are initiated on the USB. It is West Africa Examinations also capable of saving the fin- Council and the voters regisONCERNED with the poor tration and verification exerlevel of identity capturing gerprint into the tablet and on a smartcard as well as cise. in developing countries, transfer the fingerprint data He also identified Police forNigeria’s technology design mations, Know Your house, Innovectives has intro- into a back-end server for future comparison,” he Customers (KYC) exercise duced a multi-technology explained. being undertaken by the mobile solution for identity Areas where the application banks, agent banking, vital management in to the would be useful include the civic registrations, border Nigerian market. capturing of identity and bio- entry control, identity manAccording to a statement agement and identity verififrom the company, the device metric of fresh university graduates who are serving in cation as other areas that the was assembled in North different parts of the country device would find good use. America, but was conceptu“The device would help all alised and designed in Nigeria under the National Youth to meet local needs. The light- Service Corps (NYSC), students these organisations that are writing entrance examinainvolved in biometric regisweight and portable device tions into tertiary and second- trations and verifications to has built-in technologies for ary schools conducted by the achieve their mandates more fingerprint, iris and facial various examination bodies conveniently, affordable, readers, biometrics recognisuch Joint Admission and securely and efficiently.” tion capability, 1/2D barcode capturing, smart card and NFC reader for Identification and Payment and 8MP Camera for document scan. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Emmanuel Agha explained that unlike the biometric registration AINSTREET Bank Limited, one of the leading commercial and authentication devices banks in Nigeria, has successfully deployed Infosys Finacle currently used by organisaversion 10.2.0.9 core banking application to drive the bank’s tions for identity capturing technology transformation, deliver superior customer service and management, this device and help customers achieve their financial goals. is all in one. “It is efficient, Finacle, a comprehensive, integrated, modular and agile busifast, secure and affordable”, ness solution addressing all the core needs of banks, is being he said, adding that low pow- implemented and supported by Infosys and Computer er consumption capability Warehouse Group (CWG), Infosys sole Business Alliance Partner was added to the machine in Nigeria with offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, and because of the erratic power Cameroun. system experienced in most Finacle provides all the building blocks of business functionaldeveloping countries, as the ity, which will enable Mainstreet Bank users to configure prodsensor generates initial image ucts and processes flexibly to adapt to a dynamic environment. size of 800 x 750 pixels (resoWith a 360 degree single source view into customer accounts, lution of 500ppi). Mainstreet Bank will have the ability to empower customers “The device is capable of cap- with relevant information and deliver right fit, real-time servicturing four fingers within es through the preferred usage channel.
By Syntyche Boman
Mainstreet deploys Finacle V10 to boost operations M
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
MaritimeWatch ICAO, IMO, WCO strategise to improve maritime security, others
RAGNA Container ship HE Heads of the T International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) met recently in London to discuss supply chain security and related matters, which cut across the mandates of the organisations. IMO Secretary-General, Koji Sekimizu welcomed his counterparts, Raymond Benjamin, Secretary-General, ICAO, and Kunio Mikuriya, SecretaryGeneral, WCO, to IMO Headquarters where the three considered the further
enhancement of collaboration between the Organisations in the fields of aviation, border and maritime security and facilitation. ICAO and the IMO perform their roles as specialised agencies of the United Nations, while the WCO is an independent intergovernmental body. “A sustainable maritime transportation system is reliant on a smooth and efficient supply chain and it is essential that we work together to mitigate any potential threats,” IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu said, adding that “a key element of this is building partnerships to support technical
assistance and cooperation, particularly in the developing countries and in any high-risk areas, to address vulnerabilities in global supply chain security and create opportunities to enhance trade facilitation.” ICAO Secretary-General Benjamin said: “ICAO recognises and fully supports that effective cooperation is the basis for realising the objectives of our Organisations. The constantly evolving threats posed by global terrorism must be met with highly coordinated transportation security and border control measures in order to minimise adverse impacts on
international passenger and trade flows.” Secretary-General Mukuriya of the WCO highlighted that: “Meaningful, dynamic and effective partnerships at the international level are critical to how all our Organisations meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the 21st century border and trade environment. Today’s globalised trade and travel requires new thinking, coordinated approaches and connectivity between all stakeholders to efficiently secure and facilitate legitimate trade, support economic com-
petiveness and provide protection to societies.” The Secretaries General exchanged information on progress in further developing and harmonising the internationalframeworksforaviation, border and maritime supply chain security and facilitation under their respective instruments. They acknowledged the potential impact of major disruption at critical transport nodes on global supply chains and expressed the need to manage risks in a holistic and systemoriented manner. The Secretaries General under-
lined the need for joint technical assistance and cooperation efforts to address vulnerabilitiesinglobalsupplychainsecurity and grasp opportunities to enhance trade facilitation. They undertook to promote dialogue at State level between transport security and Customs authorities to enhance information sharing, align national legal frameworks and requirements, and maximise synergies. The Secretaries General agreed to meet again in a trilateral setting to review progress in this area. CONTINUED ON PAGE 37
Firm to enhance goods’ examination with N1.6b facility By Moses Ebosele O facilitate the process of T physical examination of containers, the management of APM Terminals Apapa has commenced the construction of a multi-level racking system valued at $10 million (N1.6 billion). Thefacilitywhichisunderconstruction in China forms part of phase three of the company’s ongoing modernisation and upgrading of its outlet at Apapa, Lagos. Other aspect of the expansion scheme includes terminal yard redevelopment and expansion, new staff amenities and customer service building, acquisition of addi-
tional container handling equipment, and implementation of new terminal operating systems. Speaking at an interactive session with Journalists recently, Managing Director of APM Terminals, Dallas Hampton, explained that the company has more than enough cargo handling equipment for its operations. He explained that the expansion project is also expected to convert the terminal to full Rubber-Tyred-Gantry (RTG) operations, including purchase of additional container handling equipment, a new customer service building, new employee amenities buildings as well as office for
Nigeria Customs, and a new Customs container inspection area. According to Hampton, the project will also include state of the art terminal control systems including a satellitebased container positioning system. He also used the opportunity to advise importers to adhere to ‘honest declaration’ as part of measure to curtail the high rate of physical examination of goods at the port, which he pointed out hampers efficiency in the system. Hampton also denied reported ‘arbitrary charges’ by terminal operators, adding that charges are strictly regulated by the Nigerian Ports
Authority (NPA). The APM Terminals chief described claims that terminal operators impose arbitrary charges on port users as frivolous and “a myth”. According to him, terminal operators are not responsible for the reported high cost of doing business at the port, pointing out that charges collected by them constitute only two per cent of the cost associated with the logistics chain. He also urged the Federal Government to impose stiff penalties on importers who allegedly flout provisions of the import regime in order to discourage fraudulent practices by importers and their agents.
Hampton explained that the rate of physical examination at the port will reduce if importers improve on their compliance level with government import policy. Making reference to Apapa Container terminal concessioned to APM Terminals in 2006, Hampton said it has beenupgradedtoaworldclass facility that can compare with similar facilities in developed countries of the world. Hampton said: “APMT is not perfect but we have developed a facility that compares with what you have anywhere in the world”. APM Terminals, recently, unfolded plans to increase its container stacking area at
Apapa by an additional 300,000 square metres. Hampton said: “This area is being converted from Reach Stacker operations to RTG operations thus increasing the Yard capacity and efficiency. As this is being done in a functioning live Terminal, the area is divided into eight phases, which are progressively taken over for construction and then handed over back to operations after development. The first Area 1A was handed over on 16 April 2013 and the Contractor is presently working on Area 1C”. According to Hampton, yard works will continue till August 2014 and will also include CONTINUED ON PAGE 37
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Expert seeks full implementation of CVFF By Bertram Nwannekanma NERGY and maritime E lawyer, Emeka Okwuosa, has called for strict and full implementation of the Cabotage VesselFinancingFund(CVFF)in order to enhance indigenous participation in the shipment of petroleum products. Okwuosa, a principal partner in Chancery Associate law firm, Lagos said strict observance of the CVFF established to opti-
mise the nation’s cabotage potentials, will not only empower the Nigerian Shipping Industry but give indigenous ship owners competitive edge over foreign shipping operators. The maritime lawyer however regretted that CVFF established by section 8, paragraph 42 of the Cabotage Act 2003, to provide financial assistance to Nigerian Operators in domestic coastal shipping, with Nigerian citizens and Nigerian
ownedshippingcompaniesas sole beneficiaries was yet to be implemented. According to him, it is regrettable that the transportation and shipments of petroleum products are dominated by major global oil and shipping companies, at the expense of indigenous companies. He said: “Oil and gas are the main drivers of the Nigeria economy and accounts for about 90 per-cent of the total export earnings of the coun-
try. “Nigeria loses over $6 billion annually to foreign shipping operators, due to lack of indigenous participation in the maritime transport system. “In2004,theNigeriaMaritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), released figures which showed that the total metric tonnage of petroleum products carried by indigenous shipping vessels, was 97.041 metric tons (3.4 per
Firm to enhance goods’ examination CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36
enhanced lighting and a rail siding. He said work is simultaneously being carried out on the construction of a three storey building, which will house the new Staff Canteen, Locker
Rooms, Break Rooms, Customs Office and Customer Service Centre. “Thisbuildingwillmodernise and centralise all the staff facilities which are presently scattered in older locations. The new building is expected to be
ready by April 2014. An interesting feature of this building will be a new waste water treatment plant. “Three new Liebherr Mobile Harbor Cranes (MHCs) have already been delivered in May 2012 as part of this Project. Two
more MHCs will be procured in 2015. Various other equipment like Tractor Trailers, Empty Handlers, Fuel Station, FLTs, Spreaders are being procured and are under various stages of procurement/delivery”, said Hampton.
cent) compared to foreign owned vessels which carries about 2.745.365 metric tons (96.6 per cent) of the total petroleum products yearly” He said. Okwuosa said the Nigerian cabotageregimeintroducedbythe Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act No. 5 2003, to build indigenous capacity in maritime tonnage, infrastructure, labour should be implemented fully. The Cabotage Act 2003 and the Nigerian Local content Act 2010, he said are the “twin” vehicles of the Federal Government policy to resolve local content issues in indigenous maritime shipping operations. The introduction of CVFF, he said is a welcome development because Nigeria’s human capacity building and national shipping industry are tied to it. Okwuosa however said strict implementation of the CVFF will ensure that the disbursement of funds as recently dis-
closed by the Minister for Transport, Idris Umar, was done in a transparent and accountable manner, to avoid pitfalls. “Commercials banks managing the fund must establish properguidelinesfordisbursement to deserving recipients. “This should entail a proper scrutinisation of applications, provision of adequate collateral to back up the loans, and to ensure that the loans are used for the specific purpose for which they were given. “Modalities should also be put inplacetoensurethattheloans are ultimately repaid, to allow other recipients benefit from the fund. “We still need an all-embracing, comprehensive and strict implementation of the Cabotage A ct and the local content law, to achieve the desired goal of indigenous local content in the maritime sector,” he added.
Group strengthens partnership on maritime security CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 IMO and WCO co-operate in the fields of maritime and supply chain security, facilitation of international maritime transport, and maritime law enforcement as well as on countering maritime terrorism. IMO and ICAO co-operate on a number of matters, including search and rescue, supplychainsecurity,andfacilitation. The ICAO/IMO Joint Working Group on Harmonization of Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue holds regular meetings. Meanwhile, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the founding of the World Maritime University (WMU), which is based in Malmö, Sweden, with a special event, which included speeches from the current and former WMU Chancellors and the WMU President. For 30 years, WMU has performed, and delivered, at the very highest level. It has achieved everything its founderscouldeverhaveenvisaged, and much, much more. It has grown into an institution of truly world class, with an international presence and a global outreach,” said Sekimizu, who also read out messages of support from Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of theNipponFoundation,which has given much support to WMU over the years, in terms of sponsorship and financial assistance, and from the ”founding father” of WMU, IMO Secretary-General Emeritus Dr. C.P. Srivastava, KCMG, who was instrumental in establishing WMU when he was IMO Secretary-General. WMU was established at the beginning of the 1980s, when IMO identified a shortage of well-qualified, highly-educated maritime experts, particularly in lesser developed nations. It was to address this gap that IMO founded an institution to support Member States with the high level education necessary to implement international conventions. IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) recently agreed to a restructuring of IMO’s sub-Committees, in order to deal more effectively
with the technical and operational issues covered by IMO regulations, in line with a review and reform process initiated by Sekimizu. The restructuring will see the number of Sub-Committees reduced from nine to seven, with their terms of reference covering the following issues: Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW): to address issues relating to human element training and watch keeping, including minimuminternationalstandards for training and certification of
seafarers and fishing vessel personnel; and technical and operational issues related to maritime safety, security, and environmental protection, to encourage a safety culture in all ship operations; safe manning; the review, updating and revision of IMO model courses; and promotion and implementation of the Organisation’s human element strategy. Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III): to address the effective and consistent global implementation and
enforcement of IMO instruments concerning maritime safety and security and the protection of the marine environment, including: comprehensive review of the rights and obligations of States emanating from the IMO treaty instruments; assessment, monitoring and review of the current levelofimplementationofIMO instruments by States in their capacity as flag, port and coastal States and countries training and certifying officers and crews. Others include identification of the reasons for the difficul-
ties in implementing provisions of relevant IMO instruments; consideration of proposals to assist States in implementing and complying with IMO instruments; analyses of investigations reports into marine casualties and incidents; review of IMO standards on maritime safety and security and the protection of the marine environment, to maintain an updated and harmonised guidance on survey and certification related requirements; and promotion ofglobalharmonisationofport State control activities.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
IndustryWatch Driving growth, global competitiveness through quality standardisation By Femi Adekoya VER the years, there have been issues O over the acceptability of certain products outside their areas of production, as a result of non-conformity to standards of some other markets. Indeed, industry experts believe that the basics of international competitiveness have made it imperative for countries to produce goods that meet acceptable standards across the world, a move Nigeria has continually sought better ways to implement. It is commonplace to find many Nigerian businesses displaying products with different levels of certification, yet having difficulty in attaining a degree of brand equity that international brands enjoy in the market. With the marketplace becoming more globalised, especially in the face of online transactions, the ability of many indigenous firms to up their games in the area of enhancing product standards, quality and responding rapidly to consumer needs is critical to being internationally competitive. International standardisation is a key supporter of open markets, free trade and interoperability on a global level. In an economy still awash with sub-standard products, which have found their way to the markets, either through local manufacturing, dumping or smuggling, there is a need to enhance standardisation processes to drive industrial and economic growth, while developing areas of competitive advantage. The primacy of international standardisation demands that standards are developed to meet specific market needs, both the local and international market, while policies or regulatory efforts are geared towards compliance with standards without becoming a barrier to trade. It is, therefore, a global phenomenon to have certain agencies in place to enforce the standards set for specific goods and products in circulation through an effective strategy. Standardisation represents a way to confer superior value to product through price, quality, and distribution. Standardisation brings confidence to consumer regarding certain producer’s offer. The standardisation strategy however, implies adoption of a unique market policy or regional homogenisation of international products development programmes. Already, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) through a mandate from President Goodluck Jonathan has embarked on initiatives to reduce the level of sub-standard products in the market. Similarly, representatives of over 20 African countries, under the umbrella of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), agreed to harmonise standards, in order to boost the chances of African products and services in the global market. The African nations, under ARSO, on their part, stressed that greater agreement on standards in education policies set out across the continent would allow joint ventures in academic research, innovation exchanges to facilitate import and export of life saving or life changing discoveries. The Director-General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, said: “Standard creates commonality and it is because of standard you can have a product that is tested in one country and used in every other place. If for example there is a memorandum of understanding between Nigeria and Ethiopia which means if I test one product in Nigeria and export it to Ethiopia, it will not undergo any form of testing and vice versa.” He pointed out that standards are the lowest common denominator for every product that needs to be produced anywhere in the
Aganga world stressing the need for a system for testing products to be accepted globally. According to him, Africa must come together to set up a system to able to stop dumping as the region naturally has a weak regulatory framework. To this end, Odumodu, noted that his organisation decided to strengthen the operations of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP), by introducing new guidelines as a way of making it achieve its set targets of reducing the influx of substandard products and enhancement of made-in-Nigeria products compete favourably with those imported. Odumodu explained that the new SONCAP guidelines, aside being key to the realisation of his agency’s goal of zero tolerance for substandard products, was also in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda which aims to create a friendly environment for investment drive in for the Nigerian economy. He said as far as the SON was concerned, the SONCAP had entered a critical stage of its
implementation because of the increasing expectation of Nigerians, adding that the stakeholders’ meeting was scheduled to accommodate the opinions of operators. Odumodu said it was in that light that the agency also decided to change the previous service provider, expressing the optimism that the new service providers – Intertec, China Certification and Inspection Group (CCIC), Cotecna Inspection Limited SA and Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) would deliver. “In fact, we did not need to change the service providers we initially had, if we wanted to continue on old paths”, he said, adding: “we want a SONCAP programme that would serve its purpose; a programme that would be dynamic, where all the identified loopholes would be effectively plugged, thereby making it difficult for the plaque of substandard products to continue to dominate the Nigerian business space”. The SON boss reiterated his earlier warning that SON would not tolerate any lapses on the part of the service providers, as well as on the
part of the importers, some of who do not want to follow import guidelines. He said importers who fail to follow the laid down guideline should realise that they were undermining the integrity and essence of the SON and its mandatory roles. Stressing the importance of a common front in the fight against dumping, Odumodu who is also the President of ARSO stated: “Africa has enemies who dump products on them at prices that make it impossible for Africa to compete; enemies who dump radioactive products on us without our knowledge because we do not have sophisticated infrastructure to test and detect these things, enemies who prevent us from developing on our own. “If we fight these enemies as individual countries, we may not have enough capacity or capability to do so. But if we fight these enemies as a continent, it will be a lot more effective because the smaller countries will take advantage of the presence of the larger countries and vice versa and that is where we are going.”
SON decries sharp practices in paint, tissue paper production products as they are yet to have the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) KWA Ibom State Coordinator of certification issued by the the Standards Organisation of Standards Organisation of Nigeria Nigeria (SON), Papanye Don- (SON). Pedro, has decried the abnormal The two paint companies that practices being perpetuated by have the NIS certification in the manufacturers in the production state are Kingmos Paints Limited of paints and tissue papers in the and EBI Paints Limited while the state. only tissue paper company that has DonPedro gave the thumb-down met the SON requirement is YANET to these perpetrators on Monday, Tissue Paper Company Ltd. during a one-day sensitisation Speaking at the seminar, which seminar for tissue and paint man- had as its theme: “Tissue Paper and ufacturers in his office in Uyo, the Paint: The Importance of Quality”, state capital. the SON state coordinator lamentAccording to him, 11 tissue paper ed a number of abnormal practices and eight paint producing compa- perpetrated by the manufacturers nies in the state have been identi- in the production of paint and tisfied to be producing substandard sue papers.
From Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh Uyo
According to him, the unwholesome practices include the nonperforation of tissue papers, use of low grammage paper with particles, producing in residential houses, improper storage of chemicals and raw materials. Other bad practices are improper labeling of chemicals containers, the use of old paint containers for storing new paints, unavailability of laboratory facilities for basic tests during productions, inadequate markings on paint containers, improper waste management and others. Don-Pedro further noted that only one out of the large number of sachet and packaged water producing companies operating in
the state has the NIS certification and therefore considered fit for human consumption. He maintained that SON was determined to ensure that only products approved and certified were allowed into the Nigerian market so that consumers would in the end get value for the money. Also speaking, some of the manufacturers listed the challenges hindering them from producing standard and quality products. According to them, the unwillingness of banks and the government to grant loans and grants, lack of access to raw materials, high and multiple taxation were among the major challenges faced by manufacturers in the state.
THe GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Fostering trade through a sustainable environmental policy By Femi Adekoya Ne of the main motivations of the trend O towards regional integration, which has become a key component of the international commercial policy landscape, is the need to reduce barriers in regional production networks. Indeed, barriers to trade, bureaucratic bottlenecks and infrastructural deficiencies reduce the attractiveness of countries as spokes in the wheel of these production networks. To reduce trade barriers, the trade agenda of manydevelopingcountriesisincreasinglybeing pursued through regional economic integration and co-operation efforts, a fact noted at the 3rd Global Review of Aid for Trade in 2011. However, this move has in recent time been hampered by ineffective trade chain, especially within the sub-Saharan Africa region. The transfer of cargoes between land and water carriers at ports has always been critical to the expansion of trade. A healthy economy demands trade, and growing trade demands the continued development of the nation’s ports. The reason, however, is due to the fact that the port industry has important linkages with other industries, particularly the transport chain, which has huge potential for growth in the business environment. Today, there is worldwide evidence that man cannot ignore the quality of the environment. Thus environmental issues must be addressed as soon as possible during project planning. There should not be any hesitation in abandoning a project or a process at an early stage, or in proposing alternatives to any project, which would have very detrimental impact on the environment, as is the case for projects, which are not economically or financially viable. With the completion of the compulsory environmental Impact Assessment (eIA) study of the Lekki port area in accordance with the International Finance Corporation (IFC)/World Bank stipulated guidelines, there are feelers that trade activities between Nigeria and neighbouring countries may be renewed and boosted in due course. environmental Impact Assessment is a tool designed to identify and predict the impact of a project on the bio-geophysical environment and on man’s health and well-being, to interpret and communicate information about the impact, to analyse site and process alternatives and provide solutions to sift out, or abate/mitigate the negativeconsequencesonmanandtheenvironment. The eIA is a means of avoiding environmental
Architectural drawing of Lekki sea port disturbances that are always much more expensive to correct after their occurrence than before. It is also important to underline that very few projects have been deemed not viable merely because of the cost of pollution control and that modern environmental control, in a new plant, is less than three per cent of the initial investment. An environmental impact assessment, which Nigeria promulgated in 1992, is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impacts that a proposed project may have on the environment. According to the United Nations Conference on environment and Development (UNCeD) held in 1992, eIA is a national instrument that shall be undertaken for projects that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment. Indeed, the trauma suffered by the residents and workers in Apapa, Lagos, within the last decade over the presence of the premier port may have no doubt impacted negatively in their lives. This has been as a result of the increasing vessel and cargo traffic in the seaports and the slow pace of
the federal government in addressing the infrastructure issue. The situation was worsened by the fact that the ports have limited spaces for the volume of cargo being received on daily basis, coupled with the poor state of the scanning system, congestion has remained the worry of stakeholders. Industry watchers believe that with the near completion of the Lekki Port project, trade activities may be enhanced with the country enjoying the multipliereffectofthescheme,especiallyinterms of addressing the congestion issue in the industry. The Guardian gathered that going by the accelerated pace of work on the project, the Lekki port might become operational by the third quarter of 2016. Indeed, industry watchers and stakeholders believed that the project would aid Nigeria’s maritime sector in witnessing a major boost translating into rapid economic growth for the country, which would also help shape trade business for
good in the entire West African region and by extension Africa as whole. The port, which is to be located in the Lagos Free Trade Zone at the Lekki sub region is a Build, Own and Transfer (BOT) plan and has been vetted by the relevant regulators. Managing Director of Lekki Port LFTZ enterprise, Haresh Aswani, explained that the Lekki Port, conceptualised as a multi-product industrial and logistics hub would spread across 90 hectares of land and shall be built at an estimated cost of $1.55 billion, noting that so far, the aggregate committed amount to date is $800million while 33 out of 36 project permits have already been secured. He added that the deep-sea port which would be located 65 km east of Lagos Mainland would become the gateway to West African region which would be one of the most efficient and modernmaritimefacilitiesthatwillcatertocontainerized, liquid and dry bulk cargo par international standards.
‘How to promote patronage of locally made steel products’ By Femi Adekoya common knowledge that IandTis the development of the iron steel industry is a key ingredient for the modernisation of societies. History indicates that the ability of developed societies to cope with their environment and provide for the welfare of people was to large extent possible because of the progressive development, mastery and use of iron and steel products. For developing countries like Nigeria, the responsibility lies with the government not just to provide the market but create an enabling environment for backward integration to thrive. Indeed, history showed that the steel industry is a strategic, essential element of America’s economic growth, stability and national security. For instance, the nation’s energy supply, transportation system, urban centers, clean water and safe food supply all depend on steel. The steel industry played a significant role in leading U.S. manufacturing’s post-recession resurgence, primarily because it is highly interrelated with many other economic sectors. According to industry experts, this feat can also be replicated in Nigeria if steel makers
sharpen their focus on valueadded products. Value-added products are mainly finished steel and are termed so depending on their treatment or their end use. The products vary from plates to galvanised colour-coated flat or long-steel bars to alloy steel. Most times, the end users are primarily the automobile and consumer durables sectors. Consumers are shifting to premium steel as it guarantees better products. Steel makers too enjoy a premium on them. Increasingly, local industries in Nigeria, especially manufacturing and construction, are witnessing slow growth and this explains the paltry contribution of this sector to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and economic growth generally. Already, there are concerns that dominance by foreign firms coupled with harsh business environment which creates additional burden on cost of production constitute critical issues that impede local industries’ growth, especially when foreign firms enjoy government patronage at the expense of the locals. Industry operators are quick to explain that at the centre of the reasons for their slow growth and abysmal contribution to the economy is lack of patronageandincentivesfrom
the government. For instance, the revolution in the mobile telecom sector has really created jobs for a good numberofindustriesthatmanufacture facilities used to promote and sustain that revolution, but the story remains the same in the steel construction industry where foreign firms dominate the scene and enjoy government patronage. Local industries that manufacture these products have cried foul, insisting that government should patronise them particularly for the reason that they create jobs for Nigerians and reinvest their profit in Nigeria, all in their bid to contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy. Some of the companies engaged in the production of telecommunication and electricity towers, a wholly indigenous company, insist that if they enjoy patronage from government, they can increase their workforce thereby reducing the number of the unemployed in the labour market. Spokesman for the one of the companies, Wale Akinbiyi, noted that this company has 100 per cent local content in its operations, explaining that Nigerians manage all its activities and production processes. “The company currently serves major players in both telecom and power sectors within and
outside the country, but needs government patronage,” Akinbiyi said. He recalled that, before now, companies in Nigeria that needed these services travelled abroad to import them because there were no local manufacturers, adding that even the federal government of Nigeria did import from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China, and Turkey. Akinbiyi noted that private companies now purchase from these local manufacturers, but the federal govern-
ment does not because it prefers to import these products, saying that this is not helping the local manufacturers. “It is curious that even foreign companies based in Nigeria which are owned by Turkish, Chinese, Indians among others do patronize these local manufacturers but the federal government prefers to seek the services of foreigners who will go back to their country to get the materials duty-free whileforthelocalmanufacturers, raw materials import
attracts between 20-25 percent import duty which is killing businesses and not encouraging local content.” “Continuing, Akinbiyi said,” the authorities of these companies are asking for government’s patronage because it consumes a lot of these telecomm/electricity towers by reason of the rapid developmental processes in the country. The local manufacturers should also benefit from these huge demand which, on the average, is about 900,000 tonnes per annum.”
Govt hails Dangote Cement over CSR activities He Federal Government has T applauded the efforts of the Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc,AlikoDangoteatrevitalising and growing privatised companies, despite huge challenges in the Nigeria’s business climate. Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, gave the commendation during his visit to the Dangote Cement Plant in Gboko, Benue State, while lauding the company’s cordial relationship with its host communities. He recalled the so many social responsibilities act in Obajana in Kogi State, Ibeshe in Ogun State and even in Gboko Benue State.
It will be recalled that Dangote Cement in Ogun State has recently commenced the construction of some roads bordering its 14 host communities within the Yewa axis of Ogun State. He said that the federal government was proud that the Dangote Group as an indigenousconglomerate,whichhad not let the country down in its acquisition of some of the privatised companies. “I know that many privatised companies are doing well. I believe this, Dangote Cement is one of them. The whole essence of privatisation is to improve efficiency and promote invest-
ments and employment generation,” he said. Dr. Shamsuddeen advised the host communities of privatised firms to cooperate with and encourage the new owners in order to enhance optimum capacity utilization and industrialization in the country. He explained that the host communities stood a chance of benefiting more if the company is given all the support to perform at optimal capacity. “Such host communities would gain more employment opportunities and other social activities implemented by the companies,” he said.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Energy ‘Opportunities, challenges in Nigeria’s petroleum industry’ Stories by Roseline Okere IGERIA has abundance of natural N resources, especially hydrocarbons. It is the 10th largest oil producer in the world, the third largest in Africa and the most prolific oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. The Nigerian economy is largely dependent on oil, which supplies 95 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings. To discuss the opportunities and challenges in the sector, the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) at its yearly general meeting, brought stakeholders together last week to deliberate on several issues, such as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), gas flaring and others. Presenting the perspectives of the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the opportunities, challenges, and the way forward for the gas industry in Nigeria, its chairman, Mark Ward, described Nigeria as a nation with big ambitions. According to him, Nigeria aspires to be one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020 by developing a large, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy. “Nigeria certainly has the potential to achieve this. The nation is already delivering significant economic growth. Over the last decade, the economy has grown by over eight per cent year on year, unfortunately, this growth has only benefited a narrow segment of its people. But, with the largest population in sub-Saharan Africa and abundant natural and agricultural resources, Nigeria has an opportunity to broaden its economic base”, he added. Ward noted that Nigeria’s economy was not growing and diversifying fast enough to reduce poverty and unemployment for its fast growing population. “Unfortunately unemployment has increased from 12 per cent in 2006 to 24 per cent in 2011. Additionally, with around 80 per cent of the government’s budget dependent on oil revenues, Nigeria is vulnerable to an oil price shock”, he added. He pointed out that accelerated and diversified economic growth was critical for Nigeria to meet its vision. “A major step in the direction of diversification will be to build on the potential of Nigeria’s enormous gas reserves to power change”. He added: “Nigeria is an emerging gas super-power, with the world’s ninth largest gas reserves. We believe these reserves can bring growth and diversification to Nigeria through
Eleme Petrochemical Plant
more power generation, more gas based industrial activity such as fertiliser plants, to boost agriculture and high value exports to bring revenue to the nation. He said though the country has made some progress, the achievements were only a fraction of the potential and of what must be achieved to support Nigeria’s vision 2020. He noted: “In terms of power generation, Nigeria has one of the lowest power consumption levels per person in the world – even when compared to similar emerging economies. Regrettably, the nation has only moved from 3GW in 1999 to 3.5GW generation today against a need for 40 GW by 2020. This shows that immediate and dramatic action is needed to help the nation achieve its goals. “What upstream activity is needed to support these goals? Nigeria needs to produce seven BCF of gas per day to meet these 2020 targets – the equivalent 14 of times the Utorogu gas plants. Today we produce less than 1 BCF to the domestic market from the largest gas reserves in Africa”.
The Deputy Director in charge of Gas Development at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Okpara Orjiakor, who represented the DPR Director, George Osahon, said that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) were deliberately undermining the PIB to make excessive profits and urged them not to go to the National Assembly to oppose the passage of the bill. “It is not that what the Federal Government is asking for is too much; it is because the IOCs want to take too much. There is no way we will not make money from our gas. We are not the only gas nation. Other nations are producing gas and if you go to the internet, you will see their fiscal terms. It is not that gas is cheap. Nigerians are paying more to get gas. We are begging for gas, while we have abundant gas resources because the people that want a lot of profit are keeping our gas,” he said. Orjiakor stated that there was no way the oil companies would be allowed to make the same profit from gas as they have been making from oil, adding however that the federal government
would not say that companies should not make profit. “You end up flaring gas and you are the same people talking about depletion of the Ozone layer and the health hazards arising from that. They are the same people that cannot do the same thing in their home countries,” he added. Group Executive Director in charge of Gas and Power at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. David Ige, said the greatest challenge facing gas development in the country was the domination of the gas business by four or five IOCs, saying this dominance accounted for the current tension over the PIB. He said about 90 per cent of the country’s gas reserve was concentrated in the hands of these IOCs. According to him, such oligopolistic arrangement where oil majors, who were primarily centred around oil or export gas sit on the country’s gas reserves has created tension because the IOCs want the PIB to approach gas at the same level as oil. He said the two products were dif-
ferent commodities, stressing that the PIB seeks to make gas equally competitive. Ige defended the separation of the gas business from the oil business in the PIB, saying that globally, consuming nations are moving away from linking gas price to oil price. “The task today is to delink the price of crude oil from the price of gas because there is a lot of distortion in the price of oil. So, when you use the price of oil to determine the price of gas, you will introduce a lot of inefficiencies,” he said. Ige said the country’s projection for gas was the most aggressive projection anywhere in the world, adding that if the country achieves this projection by 2017/2018, the combined production of gas in Nigeria would translate to an equivalent of 1.5million barrels of oil equivalent per day. He said if the country achieves four to five billion cubic feet per day domestic utilisation of gas by 2018, Nigeria would be at par with South Korea in terms of domestic gas consumption.
NNPC bemoans loss of 11.7m barrels of oil to thieves HE Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation T (NNPC) said that the country lost a total 11.7 million barrels of crude oil to thieves who vandalised its pipelines between 2009 and 2012. Besides, Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) has shut the 24-inch Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) due to activities of pipeline vandals. The crude oil theft occured when vandals hacked into NNPC-operated pipelines that linked oil fields to the four state-owned refineries, amounted to Naira 437.34 billion ($2.73 billion), the NNPC spokesman said recently during session with parliament last week in Abuja. According to NNPCmainly on the Escravos-Warri pipeline carrying crude to the 125,000 bpd Warri
refinery, the Shell-Warri pipeline that supplies crude to the 110,000 bpd Kaduna refinery and the Bonny-PHRC line that feeds the 210,000 bpd Port Harcourt refineries. NNPC said the oil thefts and pipeline vandalism was crippling its operations. “The lawmakers have agreed to meet with the NNPC over the issue of remittance in two weeks’ time,” NNPC said. Oil theft has prevented Africa’s top producer from fully utilising its installed capacity of around 3.2 million bpd and caused huge revenue loses, estimated at over $7 billion a year. The Media Manager of SPDC, Tony Okonedu, said in a statement that the company has
shut in the 24-inch Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) as a result of a confirmed leak on this line at the Bomu- Bonny section at Owokiri. He stated: “With the 28 inch TNP already shut in for removal of illegal oil theft connections, a total of about 150,000 barrels per day of oil have been deferred. Details of this latest incident including cause and size of spill are unclear at the moment, but the TNP has been variously targeted by crude oil thieves in recent months and shut down several times to enable the removal of theft points. “The relevant authorities have been notified of the incident and SPDC is mobilising to respond as quickly as possible with a joint investigation visit
(JIV) and repairs, preparatory to clean up”, it added. Managing Director Mutiu Sunmonu, said at the weekend that the Trans Niger Pipeline is safe despite 25 leaks in two years, the latest one an explosion and fire caused by oil theft that forced the company to close it. He said Friday “shutting down the pipeline as has been suggested is not the answer.” He blamed 23 of the 25 leaks on oil theft. Sunmonu confirmed some arrests have been made in the June 19 theft. Activists have quoted people in the Niger Delta as saying those arrested for theft were contracted to repair the 48-year-old pipeline, which produces 150,000 barrels daily.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Shell to rehabilitate 45,000 bpd Ogbotobo flowstation By Sulaimon Salau HE Shell Petroleum DevelT opment Company of Nigeria (SPDC) operated Joint Venture has taken a key step towards rehabilitating the Ogbotobo Flowstation in Western Niger Delta, through the award of a contract for reviving the power system of the facility. Operations at the flowstation were suspended in the security crisis in 2006, and Shell planning to restart the facility to support resumption of oil production from the entire Ogbotobo field. Ogbotobo Flowstation, with a capacity of 45,000 barrels of oil per day was producing about 10,000 barrels when it was shut down. The contract was awarded to an indigenous firm, LEE Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited and covers replacement of the station’s power generation and distribution system. It is planned to resume operations at Ogbotogbo flowstation once the power system is up and running. The General Manager, Operated Onshore and Shallow Offshore Projects, Toyin Olagunju, at the contract signing ceremony said: “This is a major step toward fulfilling our aspiration to re-enter fields that we left in the West in 2006 due to insecurity. “A significant aspect of the contract is that it is being executed by an indigenous contractor thus promoting SPDC efforts to grow Nigerian capacity in the oil and gas sector. We will support the contractor to deliver the project on schedule in a safe and secure manner.” Chairman of LEE Engineering, Leemon Ikpea said: “I thank SPDC for the opportunity to be a part of their production delivery goal. As our practice, LEE Engineering will strive to work safely in the delivery of the project.”
The Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO), Chike Onyejekwe (left) and the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Earnest Nwapa at the ground breaking ceremony of the Technova Africa Group’s steel mill in Edo State.
Zungeru power host communities to get biometric ID cards From Emeka Anuforo OMMUNITIES to be afC fected by the construction of Zungeru Hydro Power Plant are to be issued special identity cards to ease identification. For effect, verification of those to be affected by an Environmental Impact Assess-
ment (EIA) report of the federal government is to be captured through biometric system. Minister of State for Power, Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, who gave this hint in Abuja, recently stressed that the host communities would not be abandoned. He also assured that the 700 mega watts
Technip bags Egina field project By Sulaimon Salau RENCH oilfield services Fawarded firm, Technip has been an umbilical supply contract for the Egina field, offshore Nigeria, by the operator of the field, Total Upstream Nigeria. The Egina field is located in Oil Mining Lease 130, approximately 135 miles from Port Harcourt in water depths of between 3,775 feet and 5,740 feet. Technip, in a statement obtained by The Guardian yester-
day, said that the contract covered project management, engineering and the manufacture of approximately 47 miles of steel tube umbilicals, including production, water injection and subsea isolation valve umbilicals. The firm added that a significant amount of project management and engineering work would be carried out locally in Nigeria, while the umbilicals would be manufactured at Technip’s DUCO subsidiary in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Technip expects to deliver the umbilicals in 2016. DUCO Managing Director Jean-Louis Rostaing, said: “This award is recognition of the quality and performance of the umbilicals provided by Technip as well as our ability to continuously innovate to better answer our clients’ needs. We are proud to have been awarded this contract, notably thanks to our strong relationship with the client and our ability to contribute to Nigerian content development.”
power plant recently flaggedoff by the president was on course, assuring that it would be completed on schedule. She said that report making the rounds in some places that there were unresolved issues on the project with the Niger State government and natives living in the project area. She stressed that all the parties were working together to make a success of the project. According to her, the ministry and relevant authorities were working on ascertaining the true number of persons to be affected by the project, as prelude to valuation of their compensation claims. She spoke on the level of work in the three affected Local Government Areas of Wushishi, Shiroro and Rafi, noting that about 90 villages had been listed as those to be affected by the project. It may be recalled that 32 years after, work on the 700 Megawatts (MWs) Zungeru Hydroelectric power plant formally took late May as
President Goodluck Jonathan performed the ground breaking ceremony at the project site. And in response to the call by the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu for the president to sign the amended Hydro Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), which had been passed by the National Assembly, Jonathan promised that the bill would be looked into once he got back to Abuja. Jonathan also announced that the challenges to private sector participation had been removed. The construction of the plant is part of efforts to diversify the nation’s energy mix in the midst of uncertainty associated with thermal (gas) plants. The project will be the fourth major dam to be constructed in Nigeria and would be built at the cost of N162.9 billion with a completion period of four years. Similar take off ceremony for the 3,050MW Mambila Hydro
Electric Power Project is also expected soon. The project is being financed through a long-term credit from EXIM Bank of China on a debt equity ratio of 75:25. The Federal Ministry of Finance has secured this funding at two per cent and the federal government has paid its equity portion of 25 per cent of the total fund, according to officials. Chief Representative of the consortium in Nigeria, Ju Shiquan said that construction work would commence immediately after the commissioning. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said: “Today, we have in place not just the designs, but the funding mechanism of all the major hydro schemes in the country. With the recent approval of $1.72 billion counterpart funding for the sector by the National Economic Council, not just for Zungeru, but Mambilla Dam in Taraba and Gurara 11 Dam in Suleja, Niger State will soon see the light of the day.”
whose company’s technical staff presented the products such as steel pipes, Z-purlin and Scaffolding during the courtesy visits by the associations to the company laid claim on the fact that steel pipes represented less weight; more strength and big cost savings. He, however, said that the thick steel pipes were commonly used in grand projects
in the world such as airport terminals, commercial malls and cultural centres because of its less weight, more strength and durability. The associations targeted include Nigeria Institute of Architects, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, Nigerian Institute of Quality Surveyors, Nigeria Institution of Structural Engineers and Nigeria institute of Building.
Firm tasks engineers on local steel pipes By Sulaimon Salau IGERIA Gas and Steel LimN ited (NGSL), has tasked professionals in the construction industry to promote the local content agenda of the federal government through optimal utilisation of in-country resources. The Managing Director of NGSL , Hasib Moukarim, who made this challenge in a state-
ment made available to The Guardian, recently, said that the engineers were expected to meet the international quality standards in construction, by utilising the incountry steel welded pipes and tubes for structures and buildings. Moukarim explained that the steel beams, which were normally imported into the country, were heavier and
costlier, while the steel pipes served as genuine replacement in other to reduce capital flight. He, therefore, urged the stakeholders in the industry to partner with the company to promote local content. In furtherance to realising the local content objective, he said that the company has contacted various industry professionals on the benefits
of steel pipes proudly made in Nigeria. The enormous benefit, according to him, informed the decision of the company to enjoin the association on utilisation of thick steel pipes for steel structures and buildings in executing new projects and infrastructures in the country. Moukarim who signed the letter of introduction and
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
61 Published in association with
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
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THE NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) PRICE LIST OF TRADED SYMBOLS FOR 09/07/2013 PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 16/07/2013 SECURITY 7UP ABCTRANS ACADEMY ACCESS AFRINSURE AFRIPRUD AGLEVENT AIICO AIRSERVICE ASHAKACEM AUSTINLAZ BERGER BETAGLAS CADBURY CAP CCNN CHAMS CHELLARAM CILEASING CONOIL CONTINSURE CORNERST COSTAIN COURTVILLE CUSTODYINS CUTIX DAARCOMM DANGCEM DANGFLOUR DANGSUGAR DIAMONDBNK DNMEYER DUNLOP EQUITYASUR ETERNA ETI EVANSMED FBNH FCMB FIDELITYBK FIDSON FIRSTALUM FLOURMILL FO FTNCOCOA GLAXOSMITH GUARANTY GUINNESS HMARKINS HONYFLOUR IHS IKEJAHOTEL INTBREW IPWA JAPAULOIL JBERGER JOHNHOLT JOSBREW LASACO LAWUNION LEARNAFRCA LIVESTOCK MANSARD MAYBAKER
PCLOSE 53.00 1.19 2.04 10.80 0.50 1.80 1.45 0.90 4.53 25.80 2.00 10.25 11.00 54.53 49.00 10.50 0.50 4.89 0.50 23.00 1.28 0.54 1.52 0.80 1.56 2.00 0.50 185.00 9.65 11.59 6.89 1.47 0.50 0.50 3.22 14.50 3.79 17.52 4.76 3.12 1.95 0.50 82.99 20.34 0.50 67.00 25.71 255.00 0.50 3.31 2.03 0.87 25.50 0.69 0.53 65.00 1.55 1.10 0.50 0.50 1.78 5.00 2.00 2.95
OPEN 1.18 10.83 1.80 1.45 0.91 4.25 25.38 51.41 10.10 4.41 0.51 1.44 0.78 1.55 2.00 185.00 9.60 11.60 6.82 3.22 14.54 3.80 17.60 4.75 3.12 2.14 85.00 0.50 60.30 25.60 251.00 3.25 2.15 0.79 0.53 66.00 0.50 4.97 2.10 2.71
(Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange)
HIGH 1.24 10.95 1.85 1.59 0.92 4.25 25.38 51.41 10.10 4.41 0.59 1.44 0.78 1.55 2.00 189.01 9.60 11.75 6.90 3.44 14.59 3.80 17.70 4.76 3.13 2.14 85.00 0.50 60.30 25.75 251.00 3.29 2.15 0.88 0.55 66.00 0.50 4.97 2.10 2.71
LOW 1.18 10.83 1.80 1.45 0.90 4.21 25.20 51.41 10.10 4.41 0.51 1.43 0.72 1.48 1.90 185.00 9.50 11.60 6.74 3.18 14.53 3.48 17.17 4.75 3.10 2.00 85.00 0.50 60.30 25.41 251.00 3.14 2.13 0.79 0.52 66.00 0.50 4.87 2.07 2.70
CLOSE 53.00 1.24 2.04 10.95 0.50 1.85 1.59 0.90 4.21 25.20 2.00 10.25 11.00 54.53 51.41 10.10 0.50 4.41 0.50 23.00 1.28 0.59 1.43 0.77 1.48 2.00 0.50 189.00 9.50 11.72 6.75 1.47 0.50 0.50 3.18 14.59 3.48 17.40 4.76 3.12 2.00 0.50 85.00 20.34 0.50 60.30 25.45 251.00 0.50 3.29 2.15 0.88 25.50 0.69 0.52 66.00 1.55 1.10 0.50 0.50 1.78 4.89 2.10 2.70
CHANGE 0.05 0.15 0.05 0.14 -0.32 -0.60 2.41 -0.40 -0.48 0.05 -0.09 -0.03 -0.08 4.00 -0.15 0.13 -0.14 -0.04 0.09 -0.31 -0.12 0.05 2.01 -6.70 -0.26 -4.00 -0.02 0.12 0.01 -0.01 1.00 -0.11 0.10 -0.25
CHG (%) 0.00% 4.20% 0.00% 1.39% 0.00% 2.78% 9.66% 0.00% -7.06% -2.33% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 4.92% -3.81% 0.00% -9.82% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 9.26% -5.92% -3.75% -5.13% 0.00% 0.00% 2.16% -1.55% 1.12% -2.03% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% -1.24% 0.62% -8.18% -0.68% 0.00% 0.00% 2.56% 0.00% 2.42% 0.00% 0.00% -10.00% -1.01% -1.57% 0.00% -0.60% 5.91% 1.15% 0.00% 0.00% -1.89% 1.54% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% -2.20% 5.00% -8.47%
DEALS 11 35 2 231 1 38 4 32 12 44 1 8 3 61 19 11 2 1 1 15 5 13 25 36 21 13 16 84 63 132 87 4 1 1 32 98 12 516 52 122 79 1 99 29 2 13 414 40 1 58 10 9 31 5 56 11 5 4 4 2 9 49 42 19
Medife House (3rd Floor) 58/60 Broad Street, Lagos Website: www.iconstockbrokersltd.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +2348061626763 +12718036
VOLUME 9,850 696,202 14,622 10,792,627 2,000 562,002 167,400 7,663,017 230,200 3,451,077 90 8,368 2,110 425,435 124,740 138,178 10,000 50,000 30,000 17,858 150,000 454,702 355,329 3,324,665 2,163,636 377,568 51,588 1,044,669 537,335 14,209,659 3,769,485 34,498 40,000 18,000 888,549 1,219,342 178,146 12,446,330 2,084,857 5,959,102 2,495,302 7,875 338,698 212,649 114,000 231,500 19,806,904 68,477 100 3,259,847 3,140,000 412,528 247,800 119,506 5,394,534 67,865 37,754 23,000 326,830 25,000 42,000 1,775,351 1,371,131 351,040
VALUE 529,945 845,284 29,829 117,768,782 1,000 1,027,900 258,666 6,929,321 981,626 87,560,119 198 79,708 21,530 22,887,172 6,260,004 1,397,014 5,000 220,500 15,000 420,898 178,080 244,935 519,214 2,453,199 3,327,792 733,106 25,794 196,171,568 5,119,371 165,129,849 25,650,046 53,230 20,000 9,000 2,875,588 17,746,500 649,661 216,995,783 9,919,792 18,517,026 5,068,190 3,938 28,465,357 4,717,295 57,000 13,959,450 506,748,714 17,247,176 50 10,408,193 6,744,199 330,652 5,984,826 83,654 2,894,093 4,481,702 56,838 22,770 163,415 12,500 75,160 8,715,217 2,866,379 949,919
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
66 CAPITAL MARKET
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 09/07/2013
GSK Nigeria’s parent company to raise shareholding to 75 per cent By Helen Oji
… Shareholders to deliberate on scheme at court-ordered meeting on Tuesday
court-ordered meeting A for the approval of the scheme of arrangement and
the terms of a proposal whereby the parent company would increase its ownership in the Nigeria firm to 75 per cent. Having obtained the approval of the board of directors of GSK Nigeria in November, GSK Plc recently announced plans to acquire approximately 321million shares in the company on a pro rata basis from existing shareholders at an offer price of N48 per share, even as the proposal would be
resolution for the reduction in share capital between GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc (GSK Nigeria) and the holders of the fully paid ordinary shares of 50kobo each in the company, is scheduled to hold on July 23, 2013 in Lagos. GSK Nigeria and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK Plc) have reached definite agreement in principle on
effected by way of a Scheme of Arrangement. The proposal, according to the company would be subject to requisite shareholders, regulatory authorities and court approvals. The proposed scheme will facilitate significant investment by GSK Plc in GSK Nigeria. The board of GSK Nigeria believes that the arrangement will create considerable benefits and opportunities for shareholders, con-
sumers, staff and other stakeholders. The shareholders at the court-ordered meeting are expected to approve of the scheme. If approved, the existing shareholders will be expected to surrender 273,460,351 ordinary shares of 50 kobo in exchange for N48 per share, value that directors considered to be a fair deal. According to the company, the consummation of the scheme will create the envi-
ronment for GSK Plc to provide the support required for GSK Nigeria’s expansion and capital improvement plans, develop its product portfolio, reinforce the company’s long term commitment to GSK Nigeria as one of the leading manufacturing companies in the country, as well as achieve smaller and more manageable share capital base and thereby ensure improvement in investment ratings, including earnings per share.
Speaking at the company’s yearly general meeting in Lagos last month, the company’s Chairman, Olusegun Osunkeye explained that for the company to achieve its vision of improving the quality of human life, as well as remain competitive in the industry, the company intends to embark on an extensive upgrading of its operations. This, according to him would enhance its manufacturing capabilities and help develop new products portfolios with aim of increasing returns.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Opinion Ni sisi and the two Chinedus By Walter Ihejirika OW is Chinedu?” My Kenyan colleague put “H this question to me with a half-smile playing at the corners of her mouth. Both of us were members of the Jury to select the Signis Prize at the 2013 Zanzibar International Film Festival. We had just broken off from the day’s film screening session, and our team was strolling from the Grand Central Hotel to the Old Forte amphitheatre in Stone Town. Across the road, the rolling waters of the Indian Ocean glowed with the shimmering rays of the sunset. The aroma of the assorted fish barbecues wafting through the evening air from the open food bazaar in the Forodhani gardens added to the exotic attraction of this beautiful island of Africa. Had it not been that I was in Kenya a month earlier, I would have retorted to her question, ‘Chinedu who?” But while in Nairobi for a Television Seminar, I heard so much about a Nigerian called Chinedu who settled in the country and married a Kenyan, Joyce Akinyi. In a short while, he made a lot of money (some said from drugs, others from advanced fee fraud). Whatever was the source, Chinedu of Nairobi became a very wealthy man, richer than many Kenyans. He had a palatial home in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa Estate, one of the upscale parts of the town. He invested in properties and had many business concerns in the country. When the going was good, he dined and wined with the rich and powerful in Kenya. But after some years, the bubble burst. He got estranged from his wife, (she was rumoured to be a lover to a Kenyan Member of Parliament). The wife filed for divorce, and their bitter dispute in court over properties became a television soap opera of sort in Kenya. In the course of the trial, the Kenyan government suddenly realized that he settled in the country illegally and moved to deport him. Chinedu resisted. He was fighting on two fronts – his wife and the Kenyan government. I was told that before he was finally deported to Nigeria, the Chinedu saga dominated both the print and electronic media in Kenya. It was just like the O.J. Simpson’s trial in the United States of America in the nineties. Chinedu of Nairobi was in the news for the wrong reasons. He embodied all the negative stereotypical images many Kenyans have of Nigerians – brash, assertive, domineering, prone to crime, law breakers, ready to go to any length for money, and maybe with a tinge of jealousy, their grit and strong will enabling them to come to another man’s land and make it big. I was told that many Kenyan women, thanks to Nollywood, believe all Nigerian men are super rich.
After many legal and political somersaults, Chinedu was deported to Nigeria. Many Kenyans believe that the last has not been heard of him, and this may be the reason why my colleague asked me of his whereabouts. Ironically, a week before going to Zanzibar, I was in Dublin for another conference, and there I met another Nigerian called Chinedu, whom I will call the Dublin Chinedu. He was the flip side of the Nairobi Chinedu. He also is a Nigerian immigrant who left the country in the dark days of the military dictatorship and made it to Dublin. Anybody who visited the Republic of Ireland in the nineties knows that the country was still struggling with the reality of the influx of immigrants from other parts of the world. The Irish had been more of emigrants, but when they became the Celtic Tigers in the nineties, with a booming economy, many immigrants flooded to it. It was not a very easy experience to be in Ireland then. Through the dint of hard work and the goodwill of some Irish friends, Chinedu of Dublin found his feet in the country. Because he was a graduate of English from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and also had a Diploma in Journalism, he was helped to get a part time job in the Irish Times. A few years later, he decided to strike out on his own and founded the Metro Eireann, Republic of Ireland’s first multi-cultural oriented newspaper. Through the newspaper, Chinedu and his colleagues helped in the integrative process of immigrants in the new Irish Republic. The newspaper offered immigrants a forum to make their views known. While we were there, he was trying to help another Nigerian who was rumoured to have won a lottery. The poor man called him that his life has become miserable since the rumour broke; that he had received more than 500 calls and SMS from people requesting for help or a share of the lottery largesse. He pleaded with him to publish a rebuttal to the rumours. Apart from the newspaper, Chinedu also founded the Media and Multicultural Awards (MAMA) to honour people and groups across Ireland (north and south) who work to combat racism and promote cross-cultural understanding. He established the Ethnic Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which were launched by President Mary McAleese in February 2007 and recently launched the annual Dublin International Gospel Music - Dublin International Gospel Music Festival. His hard work earned him not only the Irish citizenship, but a lot of other accolades. For many years, he was a ministerial nominee to
the Steering Group of The National Action Plan Against Racism. He was one of the only six National Ambassadors appointed for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, and also served as a Director of Concern Worldwide for two years. Chinedu was also a member of the Irish Executive of the National Union of Journalists and represented Ireland in the Black Members Council of the National Union of Journalists, UK and Ireland. Chinedu was selected to serve on the judging panel of Ireland’s EU Journalist Award 2010: Together Against Discrimination. Chinedu is presently a member of Department of Foreign Affairs/NGO Standing Committee on Human Rights. When we visited Chinedu’s home in one of the suburbs of Dublin, there were on the mantelpiece many plaques and awards. There were also pictures he took with prominent world leaders during their visits to Ireland – with Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Jesse Jackson, and the Sein Fein leader – Jerry Adams. My encounter with the two Chinedus is very instructive. They portray the contrasting image of both Nigeria as a country and Nigerians in the diaspora. There is no doubt that there are Nigerians who engage in illicit activities, but if the truth must be told, there are also thousands who like the Chinedu of Dublin are doing things in the right way, growing by the dint of hard work, and making positive impact in their places of domicile and on their fellow citizens. Unfortunately, due to the inherent bias of the media for conflicts and oddities, the Chinedu of Nairobi is often more in the news than the Chinedu of Dublin. But more than just making news, often, the likes of the Chinedu of Nairobi, because of their brawn and brinkmanship, are the ones who get their way when they come back to Nigeria. When they throw money around, they are the ones who are hailed and honoured with titles. They are the ones who become ‘godfathers’ to politicians and political office holders. Ultimately, the Chinedus of Nairobi end up being the policy makers for our country. The Chinedus of Dublin do not get as much attention and hardly find their way to governance in Nigeria. They may be qualified and may have proven their mettle outside our shores, but in Nigeria, many a time, it is neither qualification nor merit that gets one into leadership or managerial positions. Other parameters are taken into consideration, like state of origin, one’s connections, and so on. The point must be made that, until Nigeria begins to privilege merit over these other considerations, we will continue to remain in the
suffocating clutches of socio-political underdevelopment. We will continue to bemoan ad infinitum the lack of basic amenities in the country like stable electricity, the total collapse of our infrastructures like roads and railways, the implosion of our educational systems etc., so long as our country continues to sacrifice merit on the altar of quota system, ethnicity, religious affiliation or ill-gotten wealth. The fact remains that every country is the architect of its own destiny. A country is developed to the extent that the citizens are consciously involved in statecraft. The persistence of underdevelopment in any society is indicative of the fact that good citizens have not yet been formed. For long, Nigerians, nay, many Africans have shirked their responsibility towards national development by apportioning blames. The blame for their woeful social conditions is either laid at the feet of the colonial masters, or corrupt leaders. But today, we know better. As much as the colonial masters and often inept leadership have their good portion of blame, we cannot continue to bemoan the past. The era of the blame game is over. The job of building the new Nigeria lies squarely in the hands of Nigerians, especially the youth. This message was powerfully evident in the Kenyan film Ni sisi which won the 2013 Signis Prize at the Zanzibar Film Festival. The film portrayed a typical Kenyan community – a muddle of tribes, intermarriages, extended families and friends who have lived and worked together all their lives. One day, some inept politicians started playing on the ethnic differences to win votes and the community started plunging into chaos. Fortunately, a group of young people took it upon themselves to halt the slide into anarchy. According to them, it is Ni sisi, (Swahili word for ‘we are the ones’) – who are the cause of the problems and we also must be the ones to find the solution. In commending the film, the Signis Jury noted: “The film presents a powerful metaphor for the emerging African continent, where people, especially the youth are coming to the consciousness that they must become the active agents of socio-political change. No one can do it for Africa, if she is not ready to do it herself. Ni Sisi – we are the ones who can break the ethnic prejudices, stop the internecine conflicts, stop corruption, and ultimately we are the ones who can change our destiny”. The two Chinedus show clearly that it is Ni sisi – we are the architects of the good or bad image of our country. • Ihejirika, Catholic priest, and communication lecturer, is President of Signis-Nigeria.
Visa bond: Devil is in the detail By Katrina Cooper N a press release issued on June 24, 2013 by the Home Secretary, Irequiring Theresa May, the United Kingdom announced a pilot scheme a payment of a bond in certain instances for visit visa applications from six test countries. The aim? Achieving a “more selective” immigration system. The press release, which has now been removed, stated, “This pilot will run for 12 months starting in November. The purpose of this pilot is to test the effectiveness of bonds as a deterrent against visa abuse, such as overstaying. This pilot scheme will operate in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana. The pilot will be highly selective and focused on the highest risk applicants — we will not require all visitors from the selected pilot countries to pay a bond. The number of bonds issued during the pilot will be limited.” The media frenzy and backlash that followed has seen numerous statements, debate and comments, all of which are derived out of speculation. Outside of the press release, the full details of the pilot have not been released. What is clear from the press release is that the payment of the bond was at no time intended to be a blanket payment, which would impact all visitors to the United Kingdom from Nigeria. The press release was drafted (and note that we have added emphasis to the relevant section) to ensure that the public and relevant government officials understood that the payment of a bond would only apply to the highest risk applicants. Whilst the
devil will be in the detail as to who would fall into this category based on previous experience, it would most likely apply to individuals who have previously been refused a visa for the United Kingdom or any other country; individuals who have previously breached their United Kingdom immigration conditions; and individuals who have little or no ties to Nigeria. Even for these individuals, they would make their application as per the usual requirement. However, if it is refused, then it is likely a payment of a bond may be provided as an option. Again, the finer details of the end process and the criteria that an individual would or would not need to demonstrate have not been released. The payment of the bond is unlikely to apply to individuals who have previously obtained a UK visa and not breached any immigration conditions; individuals who have a good travel/immigration history to countries other than the United Kingdom; and individuals going to the UK for a genuine business visit. Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, has highlighted the discriminatory nature of the new policy and expressed fears that it will damage relationships between Nigeria and the UK. This anxiety appears to be widespread amongst Nigerians, around 180,000 of whom applied for a UK visa in 2012. It has even been suggested by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a Nigerian politician that the government should retaliate by requiring UK visitors to the country to pay more. In response, the British government has sought to clarify the
policy as merely a pilot scheme, with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock, stating that it will apply to a small number of “high-risk” individuals. However, the coalition is not by any means in agreement about the details. Nick Clegg, Deputy PM and leader of the Liberal Democrats, is ill at ease with the new policy and has called for a rethink. Having been the person who initially raised the idea in March 2013, he has since stated that he would rather a value of £1000 be placed on the bonds instead of £3000. The bond system is not a new global concept and in fact has been used in various other jurisdictions in a similar way: to grant access to high-risk individuals who may otherwise be denied or refused a visa. A bond for Sponsored Family Visit Visas was introduced into Australia almost two decades ago, and the value of the bond varies between AUD5,000 and AUD15,000. The money is refunded, providing the individual complies with the terms of his immigration and does not become an overstayer. Similar schemes in both New Zealand and Canada also operate but with varying bond sums. It is therefore clear that this new move needs to be fine-tuned before it can make its way through Parliament. If it is a success, the government intends to extend it to work and student visas as well, with the long-term goal being its application to migrants from all over the world. • Cooper is Counsel – Head of Immigration, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, London.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Opinion The second Ahiara declaration (3) By Raphael Okunmuyide Continued from yesterday HIRDLY, many Catholics are seriously concerned that priests whose protests included the carrying of their bishop’s mock-coffin certainly have defective formation according to the aphorism: Omne quod est participatum in aliquo, est in eo per modum participantis (‘Everything that is participated in another is in it according to the mode of what participates.) i.e “what/who participates” includes the teachers and the taught! Proper “formation” in this context transcends the academic aspects to include personal and organizational discipline, robust character and moral/spiritual development both before and after ordination like Paul did with Timothy and Titus. The worry is that, even allowing for some post-ordination wheat-and-darnel-parable accidents (Mat13:24-30), the variance between the expectations of their behaviour/attitude and their performance should not have been so wide if
their formation was of standard quality. No one can reasonably pretend that there was no problem with the formation of priests who could not adhere to the confidentiality requirement of their high-trust roles in the process for the election of a bishop. This calls the adequacy of the bishops’ personal involvement in the proper formation of their seminarians and priests into question because this type of crisis can re-occur elsewhere if such defectiveness in the formation of priests remains unchecked. Indeed some of the questions arising from the Ahiara priests’ behaviour include: Can Christ count on such militantly episcopal-postmongering priests to voluntarily offer their lives in defence of the faith like even the catechumenmartyrs of Uganda? Can they imitate Blessed Michael Tansi in dropping the material attractions of parish/diocesan, for monastic, life in the pursuit of holiness, if necessary? Can they devotedly inspire themselves and exemplarily lead others to “salvation”? Fourthly, this crisis has increased the necessity of
praying for all priests more steadfastly than before. This reinforces a closely guarded anecdote that Blessed/Saint John Paul II was habituated with requesting his very close aides to pray for all priests at the end of his audiences/meetings with them. Perhaps this was why he issued a personally signed admonition letter to every priest on every Holy Thursday throughout his pontificate! Fifthly, these and related issues deserve urgent and sustained attention from all Nigerian Catholics because the Church is our common treasure, won and bequeathed to us by Christ on the cross, and it would be an ungrateful/irresponsible heir who would allow his/her inheritance to be mis-managed carelessly. What happens in a part of the church must be seen to affect the others. This is why the eventual settlement of this impasse, in whatever form it takes, should include an apology to all Catholics in Nigeria and in diaspora who have been offended or scandalized by the dramatis personnae in this protracted crisis in Ahiara diocese.
Therefore, at the minimum, it is necessary for the Catholic priests in Ahiara diocese to review and amend their “Second Ahiara declaration” in the light of its identified shortcomings vis-a-vis the original “Ahiara declaration” in resolving the crisis. Also, they should review their tactics by bridging the obviously wide gap between Faith and Reason in their approach hitherto by using the resources and resourcefulness available to them from the Church’s immense deposit of Faith and through prayers and openness to the inspirations from the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, they should apologize to the laity in their diocese, all Catholics elsewhere in Nigeria and in diaspora who have been offended/scandalized by this protracted but avoidable crisis in their diocese. Finally the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Nigeria should act urgently to halt these growing but subtly invasive internal threats to the preservation of the core purpose of the priesthood and the integrity of the episcopacy. • Concluded. • Okunmuyide wrote from Lagos.
Usage of biometrics in population census (3) By Felicia Oyekanmi Continued from yesterday OPULATION size is a major criterion for the allocation and distribution of national revenue, as well as the allocation of seats in the Federal Parliament (Anifowoshe, 2008). Ojo (1998) observes that, as a basis for economic development and revenue allocation in Nigeria, census has always generated controversy. The author cited the experience in November 1973, in which census results showed the distribution by state to be contrary to demographic theories, and widened the margin between the southern and northern states (Ojo, 1998). This point was corroborated by Suberu’s (2001) assertion that the relative population of constituent units has been an important factor in the allocation of federal statutory revenue and discretionary grants to the country’s financially weak states. In fact, Nigeria is the only country where the sahel (grass land/semi desert) region is more populated than the forest land region. Suberu (2001) traced the institutionalization of population principle as the basis for revenue allocation to 1967. According to the scholar, following the military government’s transformation of regional federalism into a multistate system in 1967, the population principle was explicitly endorsed officially as an equitable and convenient criterion for distributing revenues collected by the centre to the constituent parts of the country (Suberu, 2001). However, it is now believed that the importance ascribed to population size as a factor in resources distribution has been declining from about 50 per cent between 1970 and 1980, to 40 per cent in 1981, to 30 per cent since 1990 (Abdullahi, 2006; Suberu, 2001). Nevertheless, the population principle still remains a significant factor in the allocation of federally collected revenue. Given this situation, the tendency to manipulate census figures by the various groups, and the controversies that population censuses in Nigeria usually generate are not likely to disappear soon. It is for this reason that the usage of biometric measure is being canvassed as a means towards conducting a credible census in Nigeria. Attempts have been made to get some information of the population in this country include the following: (1) Demographic and Health Surveys in which representative samples of women in the child rearing ages (15-40 years of age) were interviewed, (2) labour force surveys usually of people aged 15 years and above, (3) registration for electoral purposes of which the exercise done nationally in 2011 utilized capturing of biometric measures of people 18 years and above and it provides an indicator of the prospects and challenges of using biometric measure to get data in this country, (4) aerial mapping to take photographs of settlements and using them to estimate population figures if occupancy rates of households are known and (5) vital registration of births and deaths on a continuous basis. Each of these has its own strengths and limitations and they cannot be substitutes for a complete count of the population of the country. The census is supposed to be carried out in a systematic manner at a point in time designated as the census day. Moreover it is important that the periodicity of 10 years gap between censuses be maintained. Hence the next census count in this country should be in 2016. Biometrics is the automated recognition of individuals based on measurable, biological characteristics such as fingerprints and iris (eyes) patterns, to identify a person through an electronic device (National Research Council, 2010). Biometric recognition provides a strong link between an individual and a claimed identity; and depending on its application, biometric technology can be used for effective and reliable census. The device has been applied with high degree of success in the area of security (Hall, 2008). Currently it is being used for issuing of international passports and driver’s license in Nigeria. Hence its usage is not alien to the populace. Many biological characteristics such as fingerprints, handprints; and behavioural characteristics such as voice patterns, are distinctive to each individual. The measure is a reliable technique, not only
for its ability in distinguishing between a specific individual and an impostor, it is equally useful in guarding against attempts at establishing fraudulent multiple identities and preventing identity fraud. By searching through established comprehensive biometric system and stored references, individuals who appear to have previously enrolled using different names or attempting to present themselves for multiple enrollments can be detected or highlighted for further investigation. In the preceding section, we noted that successive population censuses in Nigeria had been compromised and faced with major challenges and abuses of all kinds ranging from the arbitrary inflation of figures to the pattern whereby people opt to be counted in their home towns (which they visit only occasionally) as a result of tribal alliance (Anifowoshe, 2008; Oyekanmi, 2008; Nnorom and Kunnuji, 2006; Suberu, 2001; Olusanya, 1983). Given this situation, the application of biometric measure for the purpose of enumeration will help to guaranty a credible census by detecting individuals who may attempt to compromise the process of enumeration by presenting themselves for count in areas different from where they usually live. Hall (2008) demonstrates that the measure has recorded impressive results in the area of security, access to control and monitoring employees’ attendance at work. In order to understand how biometric measure could be used to facilitate a credible population census, an understanding of the three levels of computer security scheme is imperative. According to National Research Council, there are generally three levels of computer security schemes (NRC, 2010). Level one relies on something a person carries such as ID card/badge, with number and photograph. Level two relies on something a person knows such as password or code number. Level three, which is the highest level, relies on something that is a part of a person’s biological makeup or behaviour such as fingerprint, a facial image, voice and signature. The third level is the level amenable for usage in census procedure. Applying this measure to the process of census will require an initial biometric enrolment or registration of all individuals according to where they live and stay most of the time; for instance spending up to six months or more; and not necessarily in their places of origin. Once the initial data have been captured about each person and recorded in a system, subsequent exercises that need information about people living in the country can be obtained from the data set. For example if the 2016 census is carried out with use of biometric measure then the next population census will only involve a validation of the presence of people who were counted in the previous census and addition of those born between 2016 and the subsequent population count. Migration into the country in the intercensal period can also be reflected. Like every other measure, this may have its drawbacks such as under enumeration because those who might have travelled out of the country at the time of the first enumeration (2016) which is to be used as the baseline but came back in the intercensal period might need special enumeration. In such cases additional evidence such as passports, visas to indicate legitimate stay abroad, work permits in foreign countries, etc could be used to support the putting of such individuals on the population register at the subsequent census. Where there are reliable vital registration statistics births and deaths in the period between the censuses should also have been recorded and they could be used to cross check whatever population figures are then obtained in the census exercise. Furthermore, the National Population Commission has the responsibility for collecting and analyzing international migration data in this country and it should be able to provide accurate information on it According to NRC, an ideal biometric characteristic should be universal, unique, permanent and collectable. A characteristic is universal when every individual has it. A characteristic is unique when no two people share exactly the same manifestation of the characteristic. A permanent characteristic is one that can neither change
nor be altered; while a collectable characteristic is one that a sensor can easily measure (NRC, 2010). However, there are limits to the identification capacity of a biometric system. For example, it has been observed that a biometric system may not always make an accurate identification (Hall, 2008). If photographs of individuals are used errors might occur as a result of differences in facial characteristics. For example a facial image may change with a different hairstyle, the presence or absence of eyeglasses, or some cosmetic change. In order to improve accuracy in identification, recent technology, computer readable instruments measure the iris of the eye and the fingerprints of each individual in a biometric system. Such measurements can establish an identity only to a certain level of accuracy. That notwithstanding, the measure holds some promise in ensuring some degrees of credibility in a national population census. Moreover, extra care should be taken to avoid the occurrence of error at the point of capturing the biometric data. Any system of biometric measurement that will involve the use of electricity to power the equipment must be properly planned and financed. For example, during the last registration for elections in 2011 some local government council officials as well as political party representatives had to pay for petrol used to run generators to power the data capture machines. A repeat of that should not be allowed in 2016. However, of much greater importance is probity and efficiency on the part of the government officials who will capture the data and store them for future retrieval. Corruption, political alliance/cleavage, ethnic allegiance and other factors which have tended to destabilize the carrying out of previous credible population census and acceptance of the results should be examined carefully. In the 1991 and 2006 census exercises in the country questions on ethnicity and religion were not asked yet there was some acrimony after the release of the final figures. For example, health seeking behaviour, nutrition of individuals and child rearing practices are related to the religious, ethnic (cultural) upbringing of people and sociologists and other professional require the information on the socio-economic characteristics of the people in order to design action/advocacy programmes. If indeed census taking is regarded as a scientific procedure to obtain a complete count of the population of a defined territory, basic socio-economic characteristics (including ethnicity and religion) of the people should be collected without any fear of disruption or social upheaval. What matters is the perception of the people about the accuracy of the population count and its acceptance for use in planning and other purposes. The quest for a credible population census in Nigeria is indeed an enduring dream by demographers, sociologists, geographers and other professionals in this country. That Nigerians still have to resort to tribunals or legal contests in order to ascertain the number of people that are resident in the nation or its subset in this first decade of the 21st century is indeed an indictment on all of us – leaders, elites, politicians and professionals. Hence the preparation for the 2016 census should be seen as an opportunity to make concerted effort to obtain accurate population count which would be acceptable to all stake holders. The National Population Commission should reach out to groups of professionals like the Population Association of Nigeria, the National Association of Sociologists and Anthropologists, etc, for advice. This paper stresses that the use of the biometric measure would increase the accuracy of the census exercise and the data captured must be stored in a format that can be used subsequently for planning, research and comparison with other data sets which are obtained through various sources. • Concluded. • Professor Oyekanmi of the Department of Sociology presented this paper at the Population Association of Nigeria (PAN) First Distinguished Lecture, organized by PAN in collaboration with National Population Commission on July 4, 2013 at Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Encomiums for Ugbomah as more practitioners join Moviemakers Hall of By Chuks Nwanne their individual contributions to the FtureOR growth and development of the motion picindustry in Nigeria, some notable practitioners and art patrons were recently inducted into the prestigious Moviemakers Hall of Fame. Staged at the VIP Hall of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, the ceremony, which attracted guests, especially movie practitioners, also witnessed the screening of some movies by Chief Eddie Ugbomah, founder of the Moviemakers Hall of Fame. In his opening remarks, Ugbomah, arguably the most elderly, vibrant and hard working filmmaker on the Nigerian movie scene, noted that the inductees were carefully selected for their roles in shaping the industry, describing them as deserving Nigerians worthy of honour. “Everywhere in the world, it is an honour to be inducted into the Hall of Fame; this is a special Hall of Fame for the movie industry. Through this project, we aim to set the records straight; we don’ want people to come tomorrow to say that they built this industry. Some people have made meaningful contributions in this industry and therefore deserve to be honoured.” While frowning at the lack of sponsorship for the initative, which is targeted at rewarding excellence as well as creating role models for younger practitioners to look up to, Ugbomah noted that, “we had the first Hall of Fame in 2006, while the second one was held in 2009. This third edition is going to be the last dues to lack of support from both government and corporate Nigerians. We’ve been talking to the government about this project, but they’ve not been able to make any concrete contribution towards it. This is a country where we have everything, but we lack leadership.” The veteran filmmaker paid tribute to some individuals for their support to the project in particular and the art sector in general. “We were to have this event in September last year; we tried to source fund, but it has been difficult. Thanks to people like Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi and Patricia Bala, who have been
very supportive to this project. We must cultivate the habit of celebration deserving people when they are still alive and not in death,” he said. In his brief remark, Gbadamosi, who was the chairman of the event and one of the inductees, commended the efforts of Ugbomah at his age, describing him as a great Nigerian. “I’m happy that at his age, Eddie Ugbomah still finds the energy to give the Nigerian movie industry a place in the sun. To me, film is about the totality of human existence. Hal of Fame in other places is something that is celebrated; I’m yet to see it in Nigeria. If we had Hall of Fame in Nigeria, somebody like Fela would stand tall; he lived an independent life and died in the process. We don’t wait for people to die; we have to celebrate them now,” he said. In his presentation titled Film: Information or Culture, Prof. Hyginus Ekwuazi is of the opinion that the decision of the government to move film from Culture Ministry to Information created a major problem for the industry. “The Culture Ministry is usually the least funded, so when film was moved to Information, there was a sort of jubilation among practitioners. Though some would argue that the equipment used in producing films are information tools, film itself carries the culture of the people. However, it does not matter the ministry where film belongs, as far as other ancillary organs are brought together under one ministry.” Delivering his paper titled, The place of art in a developing country, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Duro Oni observed that Nigeria can only compete internationally through the arts. “We’ve celebrated a lot of Nigeria people in the arts worldwide; visual arts, theater, music, literature and others. We have a competitive edge in the arts and culture, so, as a country, arts and culture should be in the forefront of the country’s development agenda.” Receiving his certificate from Ugbomah, who conducted the induction, veteran actor Dejumoh Lewis described the founder of Moviemakers Hall of Fame as a selfless Nigeria,
who is determined to help grow the industry. “He’s been giving people Hall of Fame, but he didn’t find it worthy to have his own portrait here; based on his contributions, he should be the first person to get this honour. Ugbomah has pursued this project without any sponsor and I feel he deserves commendation.” In his remark, another recipient Chief Femi Robinson showered encomiums on founder of the Hall of Fame, urging practitioners to rise and fight for their rights. “This is the only man I know as an artiste that says what he sees without care; he’s a culture protector. We as artistes have made ourselves cheap. At 72, I’m not afraid to die; we should be able to tell the government where they are wrong. We are planning a campaign in the industry; we are going to stop our works on radio and TV stations for one month, let see if we won’t get what is due to us,” he said. Receiving his certificate of induction, the president of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), described the induction as a challenge to Nigerian filmmakers to unite and work together in the interest of the industry. “I’m happy that al the efforts and sacrifices Ugbomah made to get this event happen is not in vain. If the government and the private sector are not supporting us and we cannot support ourselves, we are only making a pronouncement that the arts should die. We have a challenge to build our industry. Through Nollywood and arts, we’ve been able to tell the true story of Nigeria, our culture and religion to the world. We have demonstrated that arts cannot be killed by anybody. What is left is for us to create a platform where we all gather for the interest of the sector.” Receiving the certificate on behalf of her late husband, Chief MKO Abiola, Dupe Onitiri Abiola frowned at the lack of support for the Nigerian movie industry. “Today, I came here thinking I was going to be happy; it’s the same story. On my way here, I heard that people that assassinated Kudirat Abiola has been released. My husband had the power and resources to do what the president of Ivory Coast and Syria did, but he chose to die
for Nigeria. If my husband were to be alive today, Eddie Ugbomah won’t be saying what he said today; MKO supported everything.” She continued: “Look at what they are doing to Abiola today; people who didn’t do anything for democracy are the ones benefiting today. You go everywhere in the world, people are talking about Nollywood. But when you come home, you hear practitioners complaining and you begin to wonder. I plead to Ugbomah not to make this the last edition. By the grace of God, I’m coming to power. I’m a Lagosian married t Abiola; when I become the governor, I’m going to do things right,” she pledged. Other inductees include Chico Ejiro, Fidelis Duker, Mmadu Chikwendu, Akeem Alimi, Segun Akinremi, Kanayo .O. Kanayo, Bob Davies and Zarch Orji. Undoubtedly a fulfilled entertainment promoter and filmmaker with 13 celluloid films (eight in 35mm and five 16mm) and six home videos, Chief Eddie is regarded as Nollywood’s most consistent critic, who is forever unhappy with the approach of younger movie producers, whom he says are unwilling to learn the rubrics of the trade. He described the Hall of Fame as one of the legacies he would leave behind as an elder in the industry to celebrate practitioners, who often do not know their true worth. The indefatigable Ugbomah, who launched his autobiography, Chief Eddie Ugbomah: His Films at 70 at National Theatre two years ago, described The Death of Black President as his most highly budgeted film back in 1988. It cost five million British pounds to make; it was also a box office hit. His other films include Black Gold, Oyenusi, The Mask, The Boy is Good, Apalara among others. However, the former chairman, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) disclosed that he would soon cut all his celluloid films into DVDs so as to make them available to younger people, who never saw his films back then. The event also witnessed a public display of portraits of both old and new inductees into the Moviemakers Hall of Fame.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Nollywood not on the slate as Durban filmfest opens today By Shaibu Husseini (Durban, South Africa) VER 150 films will be screened at this O year’s edition of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which opened in Durban, South Africa today (July 18) with no single entry is from Nigeria. In fact, save for some side showing at the Durban filmmart- a film market and exhibition section of the festival, which is in its 34th edition, no movie by a core Nollywood producer or director has featured in the official selection of the festival that is widely considered the second biggest international film festival in the continent after the biennial Festival of Pan African Cinema in Ouagadougou otherwise called FESPACO. However, only the filmmaker Tunde Kelani and the award wining director Kenneth Gyang have managed to have their films— Abeni and Confusion Na Wah, screened at the filmmart. Indeed, practitioners of Nollywood have not been so lucky to have their films screened either in or out of competition at major festivals in and around the continent. It once used to be an issue of quality of production and then format of production. Some of these festivals including FESPACO had before now insisted that only works produced on celluloid can be submitted for consideration. But all that has changed with the advancement of digitization of the film industry. Some of these festivals now accept works produced on superior digital formats and good enough; some Nollywood practitioners now work on superior digital format. Therefore, expectation is that offerings of the industry should attract the interest of festival programmers and curators in and around the continent. However, a notable festival programmer Keith Shiri, who is attending the DIFF thinks
that one of the reason offerings of Nollywood has not featured prominently at these festivals is because filmmakers of the industry do not invest in the promotion of their works. Shiri, a long standing member of the board of jurors of the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) and programmer for the 2013 edition of the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) scheduled for November in Calabar, Cross Rivers state says programmers and curators will only “programme and curate films that they know about or have seen or have been told about.’’ Shiri said, “you don’t programme a film for a festival you have not seen or head about. I have worked in and around the continent for decades now and I know that my friends in Nigeria do little to promote their films. Once it is premiered in Nigeria, that’s all. Nothing happens afterwards in terms of promotion and taking the films around and even entering the films in important awards like the AMAA’s.” He pointed filmmaker Kunle Afolayan as one industry player that appreciates the importance of promoting a film. “Kunle does it so well and that is why I am not surprised each time I hear his films are on the line up of a festival. He was at the Tokyo Film Festival and has continued to get invited and that is because he appreciates the import of promotion and networking. I wont be surprised if Kunle is in Durban to promote his previous and new work,” he said. Screening of films has continued at the festival, which will close on July 28. Jahmil XT Qubeka’s 104 minutes feature Of Good Report—a South African feature which tells the sombre tale of a small-town high-school teacher with a penchant for young girls, opened the ten-day long festival, which also
Kunle features a talent campus segment. Two Nigerians- one a journalist Aderinsola Ajao and Adeyinka Edward Daniyan who shot Figurine, the award winning film by Kunle Afolayan are among 40 other young filmmaking talents drawn from 15 countries in Africa that are participating in the talent campus programme of the DIFF. The talent campus programme provides selected participants with a unique opportunity to meet
industry professionals, experts and mentors in various aspects of filmmaking through participation in a 5 day long programme of master classes, workshops and networking events. This year’s talent campus Durban will offer three hands-on training programmes. Doc Station will focus on documentary filmmaking; talent press will be dedicated to film criticism while the script station will focus on story development.
Izon pays tribute to Jim Rex Lawson in hot single By Anote Ajeluorou HE revolution in Nigerian music T is heavily rooted in Americainfluenced hiphop styles that manage to retain a certain local flavour through the use of local languages and nuances. It’s this cross-over influence that has endeared it to many so much so that nightclubs and the airwaves are saturated with it. Which is good, as it delivers great entertainment value, with its attendant reduction of foreign music influence. Now, the duo of two brothers, Michael and James Osehan, known as Izon, are redefining the cross-cultural currents in Nigeria’s music. In what they call ‘trado-contemporary’ music, they have done a remix of ‘Iworiwo’, the music of highlife master, Jim Rex Lawson, also of Izon or Ijaw extraction, like the two brothers, which is in a singles. The video has also been made, with Akin Alabi as producer. In a recent chat, the two brothers, who could be mistaken for twins, said remixing Lawson’s track ‘Iworiwo’ was their own way of paying tribute iconic Ijaw musician who loomed large during their growing up years as their father always woke them up every morning with his music. It, therefore, made huge impression on the young minds and that remixing it was partly to ensure its iconic status and to say that traditional ways of life should be given a place of pride among youths. According to them, “Our music is a fusion of traditional and contemporary – trado-contemporary music. In the music as we have rendered it, there is fusion of English, Yoruba and Ijaw languages. While growing up as kids, our dad used to wake us up with Lawson’s music every morning. So, this is a flash-
back to those good old days we hear so much about”. Izon is not new to the music scene. They had their first outing in 1999, as ‘School Boys’ trio, with a song, ‘Edeise’, which means ‘most cherished, love for a woman’; for them women made enormous contributions to the world and that they needed to be praised for that. Christian Dior was marketer and promoter at the time. They also used to perform at DTD Lekki Sunsplash. However, they could not sustain the tempo because of what they regarded as poor management, which they said “did allow them to explore back then. The challenge was not being able to go back to the
studio. But the passion persisted in us. We started performing early; we did a song about Ajegunle. But like we said, we had terrible loopholes in terms of management. Now, we’re back to restructure our style”. Michael and James described life back in the slums of Ajegunle as “‘tedious’ but ‘interesting’ growing up in the ghetto; but we couldn’t beat them so we fled from it but the ghetto experience was pleasurable to us. If you could cope in Ajegunle, then you can cope anywhere else. But it can suck you up if you have no proper parenting”. The duo had also had a spell in movies; they featured in Silver Spoon and described it as a brilliant experience
Their manager, Shodayo Olorunsogo, is passionate about the Afro-centric approach his artists, Izon, have taken to music, noting, “We want to revive the real Nigerian music; we’re looking back at our own roots. As much as we’re enriching global culture, we want to reaffirm the real culture of Nigeria through the music we play. Olorunsogo said Izon’s remaking of Lawson’s Iworiwo was going back to the roots, adding, “People do music to make money, but we want our music to be evergreen. We don’t
Akpan-Obong reads Letters to Nigeria… at Lanterna ETTERS TO NIGERIA: Journal of an Lhearted African Woman in America, a lightand hilarious commentary
Izon... the duo of Michael and James in Iworiwo
want it to fade away so easily. We’re doing music for music sake but with the hope that we will also reap from it. That is why we’re doing music in the trado-contemporary way – highlife”. The duo also has a socially-conscious mindset that yearns to reach out to socially-disadvantaged persons in society. According to them, “Our plan is to reach the needy in society, those who are homeless. Most of our concerts will be charitybased so we can help the needy, the less privileged in society”.
on the Diaspora experience will have its first outing next tomorrow, Friday. It’s written by Dr. Patience Akpan-Obong, who teaches in the U.S. The event will hold at Laterna Bookstore, 13 Oko Awo Close, off Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The author has promised that the first 20 people for whom the book is signed will receive a free tote bag and pen from the author. A similar event holds in Uyo on July 30. Letters to Nigeria: Journal of an African Woman in America is a collection of articles that Dr. AkpanObong has written for “Medals,” a Saturday Punch column. It also includes new materials. Many of the entries in the book begin with personal stories from the author’s experiences in her multiple (and seemingly contradictory) roles as bornagain Christian, feminist, political
scientist, academic, writer, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and simply, the average, everyday African woman in North America. There is, however, a universal resonance such that readers everywhere can relate to these stories and perhaps see themselves and their own experiences on the pages of the book. One of the strengths of Letters to Nigeria is therefore its ability to transcend all kinds of barriers — gender, age, race, ethnicity, nationality or geopolitical location. The result is that one doesn’t have to be a woman, a mother, academic or in the Diaspora to enjoy reading the book and perhaps learn from the author’s personal experiences and/or mistakes. The book, published in March 2013 by CreateSpace, an Amazon Company in South Carolina, U.S. is currently available in Lagos at Laterna Books (Victoria Island) and Glendora/Jazz Hole outlets in Ikoyi and Ikeja. Letters to Nigeria… is also available in Uyo, Calabar and Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Sports Vietnamese Arsenal fan chases team bus five miles to see idols
Ahead CAF 2014 CHAN Qualifier
Expect a rough ride in Abidjan, Keshi warns players
VIETNAMESE football fan, A dubbed the ‘Running Man,’ chased Arsenal’s team bus five miles (8km) through the streets of Hanoi before finally being invited on board to meet his heroes, the club’s website said yesterday. Footage on the site shows players cheering and chanting “Sign him up, sign him up,” as the young man wearing an Arsenal shirt and white trainers runs alongside the bus through the Vietnamese capital. The video, which underlines the devotion for English Premier League clubs by Asian fans, then shows the fan appearing alongside the bus on the back of a motorbike — to loud laughter from the players. The man, who is not named, is eventually invited aboard to pose for photographs with the Arsenal squad and has his shirt signed by Manager, Arsene Wenger. “It should be a message for all of you guys that if you really want to pursue your dreams, it can happen,” said goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny. The footage illustrates the favour for Premier League clubs by fans in Asia, where European football has a massive following.
Oboabona missing, as 23 Eagles train in Abuja From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja UPER Eagles’ boss, Stephen Keshi has warned members of his team to be prepared for rough treatment from the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in the second leg of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) billed for Abidjan on July 27. Keshi, who spoke as the team resumed training yesterday in Abuja with 23 players in camp, however, assured that the team would be prepared for a football war, stressing that Nigeria cannot afford to miss out of the CHAN for the third time. According to the Eagles’ coach, his experience as a player in the Ivoirian league was enough to prove how passionate the people feel about football, stressing that they would do anything to defeat Nigeria. “Honestly, we need to forget the 4-1 win in Kaduna and concentrate on the return
leg. The win in Kaduna must be put behind us and if you have been following the media you will see that they have been making remarks that they can also beat us well. We must be ready for their antics and forget the past. We must also be ready for the war in Abidjan,” he stated. Twenty-Three members of the team trained yesterday at the FIFA Goal Project following reports that the Ivoirians had already informed CAF that the return leg would be played on artificial turf. Missing in the team’s full training session was Sunshine FC Captain, Godfrey Oboabona, who, it was gathered, requested for exemption from the coaching crew because of a hectic schedule with his club. He will be expected to arrive the camp today to fight for a spot in the team’s 20 slots that would make the Abidjan trip.
Coach explains invitation of four new players From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja UPER Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, yesterday defended the decision of his technical crew to include four new players for the crucial CHAN qualifier against Cote d’Ivoire, saying they were called up to beef up some ailing departments in the team billed to face the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in the second leg of an African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier in Abidjan. Keshi included four new players, including Ganiu Ogungbe, Rabiu Mohammed, juniour international Abdulahi Gero and Osadinye Joseph to the list of players that featured in the first leg of the qualifier in Kaduna.
The team resumed training yesterday in Abuja. Keshi said the technical crew has followed the performance of the new players in the league and the national U20 team, stressing that they would get the opportunity to fight for positions in the team. “We included four players because we felt we might need them in those departments they are playing. Gero, for example, is a striker for the future, who distinguished himself with the U20 team. It is obvious that we should encourage players like that to come on board so that we can see what he can do,” Keshi noted.
Super Eagles’ defender, Godfrey Oboabona, will join his teammates today in Abuja.
Mikel, others staying at Chelsea, Mourinho insists NEW chapter would be A crafted in Nigeria football UPER Eagles’ midfielder, financial footing and have no are correct. We as a club want history tomorrow when SMikel Obi will niot leave intention of sanctioning the to follow the Financial Fair President Goodluck Jonathan Chelsea this summer as sale of senior professionals Play rules, but we are in a very rumoured by a section of the media. Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea have no need to sell any of their key men this summer, including Branislav Ivanovic. Reports have suggested that the Blues might look to trim their squad during the current transfer window, with Ivanovic, Juan Mata, Mikel and David Luiz among those said to be attracting interest from afar. Mourinho, though, says the club remains on a sound
who have a big part to play heading forward. On the Ivanovic rumours, the Portuguese told Sky Sports News: “They didn’t contact Chelsea. If there was any interest, it was not official. “As a manager, a board, we have the responsibility of running the club, and the owner, and we are very, very clear that there is no chance that Ivanovic will leave Chelsea.” Asked if any departures are required, he added, “no. The club is solid. The club is very well organised, the numbers
stable situation. “I like the squad, I like the profile. I like the fact we have a very young squad with three or four experienced players that are still in a fantastic moment of their career.” While Mourinho is not expecting to move players on, he also claims to be happy with the attacking talent at his disposal and feels no need to bolster a strike force, which includes the likes of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku.
NNL demands serious punishment for match fixing culprits From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja HE board of the Nigeria T National League (NNL) has charged the five -man
panel set up to investigate the alleged match-fixing and irregularities that trailed the withdrawal of Zamfara United from the league. Some protesting clubs from the leagues’ Division A had accused the secretariat and management of the NNL of complicity in the withdrawal of Zamfara United
History, as President Jonathan opens new NFF headquarters tomorrow
from the on-going league, which led to the subtraction of points from some clubs by the league body. They alleged the withdrawal was designed to favour some clubs in the race for promotion to the premier league. Speaking while inaugurating the committee yesterday in Abuja, NNL Chairman, Emeka Inyama, charged the committee to be thorough in investigating the allegation, stressing that the board
would support it to do a decent job. The panel was, among other things, charged to investigate the authenticity of a petition sent to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the NNL on the irregularities in the withdrawal of Zamfara United from the league, as well as, determine the extent of involvement of the NNL personnel, who were mentioned in the petition. It was also charged with
determining and recommending punishment for offenders, if any, as well as, suggesting appropriate measures to avert the reoccurrence of such cases. Responding, chairman of the committee, Emmanuel Ochiagha, who is also a member of the NNL board, pledged the determination of the panel to unravel the truth behind the allegation, stressing that it would also endeavour to submit its reports at the expected time.
(GCFR) inaugurates the brand-new Football House, headquarters of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The ceremony at the gorgeous facility inside the Package B of the National Stadium, Abuja will mark the first time that the NFF, founded in 1945 as Nigeria Football Association (NFA), will be having a permanent home. The football-governing body had operated from various structures both in Lagos and Abuja over the decades, but never before now a permanent home of its own. President Jonathan will be joined at the epoch occasion by Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), Bolaji Abdullahi and a number of other cabinet ministers, with NFF President, Aminu Maigari and some of his executive committee members and management to receive them. Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi performed the sodturning ceremony for the Football House on February 21, 2012, and the supervising architects have boldly proclaimed that the project has been successfully completed without any variation in specification or budget.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
SPORTS | 73
Ujiri predicts better outing for D’Tigers at Nations Cup By Adeyinka Adedipe ORMER D’Tigers’ star, Masai Fouting Ujiri has predicted a better for the Nigerian team at the Abidjan 2013 Afrobasket Championship, which takes place from August 20 to 31. Ujiri, who is now the General Manager of Toronto Raptors in the NBA, said the competition has become big and the gap between the top teams and others has been narrowed so much that it is difficult to predict the eventual winner of the championship. He said the D’Tigers stood a better chance of winning the tournament for the first time if the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) could get the best players to represent the country at the championship. “The trophy has eluded the country since inception and I
think it is time for us to win it. All we need to do is to select the best players with the right mentality. We have a chance just like every other country. Nigeria is a ‘powerhouse,’ but we need to start winning to justify that tag or else other teams will leave us behind,” he added. Ujiri, who said the team would benefit from the experience of competing at the Olympic Games last year, tasked the technical team, led by Ayo Bakare, to ensure that the “players that competed at the Olympics are available for the African Championship so that they can bring their experience into the competition.” According to Ujiri, the availability of many top players has turned into a curse instead of being a blessing, adding that teams like
Angola have benefitted from having the same players on their team over the last 12 years. He commended the NBBF President, Tijani Umar and Bakare for the good job they have done over the years, and urged them to build on it. He also said that he was ready to assist the federation if called upon. Competing for honours in the Afrobasket Championship are Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria, Egypt and Senegal in Group A. Others are defending champion, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Morocco in Group B, while Group C is made up of Angola, Cape Verde, Central Africa, and Mozambique. Nigeria is in Group D alongside Cameroon, Congo and Mali.
Glo preaches fairplay, as Federation Cup resumes today LOBACOM has called on G the 32 football clubs participating in this year’s
Kano Pillars and Crown of Ogbomosho vying for possession during the 2012 Federation Cup. The 2013 edition of the competition resumes today across the country. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
Inyama blames negative press for poor Nigerian leagues HAIRMAN, Nigeria C National League (NNL), Emeka Inyama, yesterday decried the negative media reportage of the football leagues in the country, blaming it for the leagues’ failure to secure sponsorship for their programmes. Inyama told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha, Anambra State, that it was imperative for sports writers and publicity agents to present a true picture of the league always. He also urged the media to criticise the league constructively and in the best interest of growth, development, and acceptability of soccer for the benefit of players, the fans and investors. Inyama, who is an executive member of Nigeria Football Association (NFA), noted that all the categories of the league in the country had performed creditably in the ongoing season.
“There can’t be sponsorship if the league is not stable; Nigerian football is full of negative stories, full of false impressions. Sponsors don’t want to be associated with what is not good. “We must tell ourselves the home truth, for sponsors to come we must be able to develop a good brand; and the brand is the one that has a good image, good integrity, good character and good face. “Well, the league has done well, very well. We have two matches to go but for outstanding cases in the disciplinary committee our league would have been ending by next week. “So, we are happy with our performance; good results have been posted home and away. Away wins, away draws. “We are trying to control hooliganism, which is a major challenge. So far, I would score the league very high.’’
Federation Cup to exhibit the spirit of fairness while competing for the coveted prize. In a statement issued yesterday in Lagos, the telecom giant said the clubs involved in the Round of 32 today should ensure fair play at the 16 venues where they will jostle for places in the quarterfinals. “At this stage, there is a vital need for all the 32 clubs to imbibe the spirit of fairness while competing for honours,” Globacom said in the statement. “The recognition that players plying their trade in the domestic league in the country have garnered in recent times has not gone unnoticed and this is why we expect the players to use the ongoing Federation Cup to showcase their class in the round leather game, the statement added. Globacom said that the players’ determination to add colour to the competition would equally re-invigorate the company’s resolve to support the groundswell of activities targeted at regaining the lost glamour of the Federation Cup.
NBA legends with participants at the Basketball Without Borders camp last year. The camp is set to reopen in Johannesburg.
NBA All-Stars join current African players in Basketball Without Borders’ camp ASKETBALL Without B Borders (BWB) Africa returns to Johannesburg, South Africa, for the tenth time in the past 11 years, it was announced yesterday by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The camp that brings together 60 of the top young players 18 and under from across Africa is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development programme and community outreach programme. Co-hosted at the King Edward VII School and St. John’s College in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 29 to September 1, the 2013 edition of BWB Africa will feature NBA Global Ambassador and legend,
Dikembe Mutombo and fellow DRC native, Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte Bobcats); Chicago Bulls teammates, Luol Deng (South Sudan) and Joakim Noah, Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), and Oklahoma City Thunder teammates, Serge Ibaka (Congo), Thabo Sefolosha and Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania) as camp coaches. “We are very excited to be welcoming such a terrific contingent of NBA legends, players and coaches to South Africa for the 11th edition of Basketball without Borders Africa,” said Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA vice president, Development – Africa. “The best young basketball players from across the continent will have a unique
opportunity to learn from some of the game’s most inspiring players and coaches. In addition to working on their basketball fundamentals, the young players will participate in life-skills seminars while also having a chance to forge new friendships on and off the court, which will last well beyond this camp.” As part of the daily camp schedule, participants will also take part in life-skills seminars in partnership with Hoops 4 Hope and UNICEF on a range of topics such as leadership, character development, gender equity and HIV/AIDS prevention and education. Toronto Raptors General Manager and Nigerian native, Masai Ujiri, returns as camp director.
Why govt can’t fund sports alone, by Fashola By Olalekan Okusan
• LSSEF plans facilities in councils
HE enormous challenge T faced by government to provide basic amenities for
said, “the state government cannot fund sports alone because our budget will not allow us to do so. That is why LSSEF is a public-private initiative. We are all stakeholders in this endeavour and I would like to use this forum to encourage every one of us to do more for sports in Lagos State. The responsibility of developing sports infrastructure does not lie with government alone.” Also, the occasion afforded the board of LSSEF to present its plans of building sports centres across all the local councils in the state. Emphasising the importance of sports among
the citizenry makes it difficult for it to fund sports holistically. These were the views of Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State at the maiden town hall meeting on sports development organised by the Lagos State Sports Endowment Fund (LSSEF) yesterday. It was part of its efforts to raise fund for sports development in the state. The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Oshodi,
Brand Manager, Calypso Coconut Liquer, Afolabi Kasomo (right), Ogun State NYSC Camp Co-ordinator, Theresa Anosike and the representative of the NYSC Director General, Oleghe Moses, during the grand finale of the Calypso NYSC Sports Competition held at Gateway International Stadium, Sagamu…recently.
youths, Fashola said, “when young people participate in sports, it impacts on their physical, mental and psychological well being. Greater participation equals healthier young people and it also equals psychologically balanced youths. Development of a healthy sense of self worth is very important. A young person, who has a good sense of his or her abilities and has healthy self esteem will be less likely to succumb to peer pressure or act out negatively.” He added, “building sports in our state will give the youths the opportunity to engage with inspiring adult figures in a safe environment. It will guide the youth in the best path for their futures. In furtherance of this, we will not stop until we have created an enabling environment for youths to thrive in sporting activities.” Fashola, however, reaffirmed support to youth development through sports, which he believes would help to impart virtues on the youths. Also speaking at event, the Chairman of LSSEF, Rear Admiral Anthony Oni (rtd), the body would continue to work assiduously to encourage public-private sector support for sports in the state. The Chairman of the occasion, Molade Okoya-Thomas, charged the LSSEF to involve the community in their plans in their bid to raise fund and support for the project.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
SPORTS | 75
Gay and Powell (both former world champions) competing during a past championships.
Sprint legends clash over Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell ORMER world 200m chamFsympathy pion, Ato Boldon says he has with athletes who fail drug tests by taking supplements. But former 100m Olympic and world champion Donovan Bailey insists there can be no excuses for athletes taking banned substances. Following sprinters, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell testing positive for banned drugs, Boldon said, “an athlete does not have a degree in pharmacology.” But Bailey said, “athletes must know what is on the ‘banned’ list.” And he added it could be time to consider life bans for those caught taking banned substances. The Canadian, who will be a BBC Radio 5 live summariser for the Anniversary Games and World Championships, said, “ultimately it could be the new false start rule- it doesn’t matter, who you are, if you false start out of the blocks, you’re out.” It is not known which substance Gay, the fastest man in the world this year having run 9.75 seconds, has tested positive for - that should be confirmed after the result of analysis of his B sample. Powell, who has clocked 9.88 this year, was tested at the national trials in June and returned an adverse finding for oxilofrine (methylsynephrine), a stimulant that boosts fatburning. Boldon said it was important to make a distinction between blood-doping and “people trying to push the envelope with their supplements.” He added, “an athlete is trusting of the person he is buying the supplements from, or the coach, or whoever is providing these supplements. “When you listen to Tyson, he is saying he put his faith in someone and they let him down. That says to me, OK somebody told me you can take this and it will be fine, there will be nothing to cause you to have a positive test - and obviously that was not the case.” Bailey, who won Olympic and world 100m gold medals, and has held the 100m world record, has a zero-tolerance policy on drug-taking. The 45-year-old said, “every single athlete is given a banned list and they should look carefully down it. “When money is involved you are going to have cheats, people who push the envelope. We
are in a sport where one thousandth of a second can be the difference between success and failure. “Athletes, who take drugs tend to be insecure. They don’t believe they have the physical and/or mental capacity to do great things so they take another route - the pharmaceutical route, if you like.” On Gay claiming he was let down by someone he trusted, Bailey added, “you don’t go to an athletics meeting to watch the trainer, coach or masseur run a race. The onus is 100 per cent on the athlete to take responsibility for any substances going into their body.” Boldon suggested stimulants and supplements are here to stay and said it was naive to think they could be banned. He added, “I think the problem
is in trying to push the envelope and get to the edge, several of the top names in the sport are falling over the edge.” Lord Sebastian Coe reacted to the positive tests by insisting that athletics will intensify the fight against drug-taking. Lord Coe, vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and chairman of the British Olympic Association, said, “the most important thing for me is that the testing system is working, and for the sake of clean athletes it is very important we do not flinch in our efforts. “This is not a war we can afford to lose, and it is important for any athlete to know that if they want to risk cheating that they are going to get caught.”
Kenya’s Rudisha out of World Championships with knee injury LYMPIC champion, David O Rudisha has pulled out of the 800 metres at next month’s World Championships in Moscow with a knee injury. The Kenyan, 24, first felt pain in his right knee at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York in May. He produced one of the best performances at London 2012 to claim gold in a world record time. His absence follows the withdrawal of sprinter Tyson Gay from Moscow after failing a drugs test. Rudisha’s Coach, Colm O’Connell revealed the injury
may have occurred several weeks before New York when Rudisha was running on rough ground in Kenya. He had been receiving specialist treatment in Germany. O’Connell said, “doctors in Germany said it may take three weeks for him to recover and we thought he would have seven weeks of training. “We held back hoping for improvement, and he has improved quite a lot, but we didn’t want to do a crash course between now and the World Championships, which may aggravate the injury.”
English winner at The Open won’t surprise Rose Rose hopes his U.S. JtheUSTIN Open victory has “broken curse” that has plagued English golfers in major tournaments. Rose, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have all been tipped as potential champions in recent years. But it was Rose, who finally ended the wait for England’s first major success since Nick Faldo’s 1996 Masters victory by winning at Merion last month. “Hopefully it has broken the
curse,” said 32-year-old Rose, speaking ahead of the Open, which starts on Thursday. “I have faced questions for years about who the next English guy to break through will be. I feel fortunate it was me who broke through first but I am sure it will give the others a little extra burst of enthusiasm. “It probably gives them that added bit of belief. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the other guys follow in the not too distant future.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
76 | SPORTS
Vilanova says Fabregas wants to stay ARCELONA midfielder, B Cesc Fabregas does not want to leave the club this summer to return to the Premier League, says Manager, Tito Vilanova. Manchester United lodged a £25m bid for the 26-year-old former Arsenal captain on Monday but, according to the Barca boss, the player wants to stay for now. “I know he has received offers from other teams,” said Vilanova. “But Cesc has told me he wants to stay here. He has told me it is his dream to stay with Barcelona.” Vilanova added, “he doesn’t want to go to other teams for money reasons or playing time. He knows there is competition for places here, but his decision is to stay. I am relaxed about the situation.” United has yet to receive a formal response to their offer, which is understood to be some way below Barcelona’s valuation. “It is a good sign that the club gets offers for our players,” continued Vilanova. “It shows we have players other teams want. But Fabregas wants to stay.” Fabregas, a Spanish international, who helped his country win the World Cup and become European champions twice, came through Barcelona’s academy before Arsenal signed him as a 16year-old in 2003. He developed into one of the London club’s key players under Manager, Arsene Wenger before becoming Arsenal captain in November 2008. He spent eight years with the Gunners, playing 303 games and scoring 57 goals, but returned to the Nou
Says ‘I expected more from Guardiola’
Napoli better off without Cavani, claims Conte Coach, Antonio JwillUVENTUS Conte believes that Napoli be a stronger team without Edinson Cavani amid reports that the Uruguay international is on his way to Paris Saint-Germain. The 26-year-old netted 29 goals in 34 Serie A appearances to help Napoli to second place in the table last term, yet Conte feels the Partenopei will only benefit from a potential summer transfer. “I think PSG paying €63million for Cavani is a gift to Napoli,” Conte said at a press conference. “I would have preferred the ‘Matador’ to stay at Napoli. With him, we normally always beat them. Napoli will reinvest that €63m. “Moreover, now they have
Rafa Benitez. He has won everything as a coach and for me is underrated.” Assessing the Bianconeri’s other rivals ahead of the new season, Conte highlighted Inter, AC Milan and Fiorentina as the other major threats to his side’s Scudetto crown. “Inter have a great coach and Milan only lost once in the second half of last season,” Conte continued. “Fiorentina are also becoming a great side with Mario Gomez coming in. The arrival of Rudi Garcia will help Roma. He did very well in France.” Juventus will be gunning for their third consecutive Serie A title this season after clinching the Scudetto both in 2012 and 2013.
Fabregas Camp when he signed a fiveyear deal with Barcelona in a £25.4m move in August 2011. He has since helped the Catalan club win the Copa del Rey in 2011/12 and La Liga in 2012-13. Fabregas has played 96 times in two seasons with Barcelona, including 60 league games, but has rarely featured in his preferred midfield role, with Xavi, 33, and Andres Iniesta, 29, ahead of him. Meanwhile, Vilanova has
taken a swipe at Pep Guardiola, claiming he “expected more” from him during his recovery from surgery last season. The Barcelona boss underwent treatment in New York for a cancer relapse towards the end of 2012, and although Guardiola visited him during his time in America, the 44year-old has revealed he did not see his former Blaugrana colleague in the months after his surgery. “When I was in New York,
Pep visited me for two days,” Vilanova told a press conference on Tuesday. “He is my friend and I need him close to me. But after the surgery and during the two months recovery period he did not visit me any more. I expected more from him. He acts like that. “Anyway, let’s talk about Barcelona.” Vilanova’s illness has proved a source of tension between Barcelona and the current Bayern Munich boss in recent weeks. Cavani
Mourinho refuses to rule out further Chelsea signings OSE Mourinho has refused Jings to rule out further signthis summer with unsettled Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney reportedly top of his shopping list. Mourinho has already brought in Kevin De Bruyne, Marco van Ginkel and Andre Schurrle, as well as, Mark Schwarzer to add competition for Petr Cech. And the returning Chelsea manager remained tightlipped on potential transfers but would not rule out spending more money in his bid to transform the
Blues into title challengers. “Big clubs will always be connected with big players, but there are always rumours,” Mourinho told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday. “Until 31 August we will see if someone can improve the squad but my focus is to improve these guys. We want to be there (at the top of the table) and will be fighting (for the title).”
Eriksen snubs Leverkusen move but the 21-year-old is HRISTIAN Eriksen has C adamant he will only leave rejected a move to the the Amsterdam ArenA for a Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, the Ajax midfielder’s agent has confirmed. Leverkusen were keen to recruit the Denmark midfielder, widely regarded as one of the best young players in Europe, but saw their advances rebuffed. The Bundesliga side were reportedly willing to offer Eriksen a lucrative contract
club at which his sporting ambitions can be met. His agent Martin Schoots told Voetbal International, “Christian will only leave Ajax on sporting grounds, that’s his main criteria.” Zenit St Petersburg has also tried without success to lure Eriksen to Russia, while Liverpool are also rumoured to be interested.
Man City agrees €27m fee with Fiorentina for Jovetic Jovetic was later followed ANCHESTER City has paid up front and a further M agreed a €27 million €3m (£2.6m) to be paid in by Mario Gomez, who is set plus add-ons deal with performance-related bonus- to complete his transfer Fiorentina for attacker, Stevan Jovetic. The 23-year-old’s agent, Fali Ramadani is set to travel to Manchester to meet with City Sporting Director, Txiki Begiristain in the next 24 hours, with club officials confident of completing the move following those talks. City has agreed to a package that meets Fiorentina’s €30m (£26m) asking price, with €27m (£23.3m) set to be
es. Jovetic visited the Fanfani Medical Centre in Florence for tests on Monday, accompanied by the Serie A side’s doctor, Jacopo Giuliattini. City, who has sent a large group of staff to South Africa as part of their pre-season tour, also conducted similar assessments on Jesus Navas in Seville before his €21m move to the Etihad Stadium in June.
from Bayern Munich to the Florence outfit imminently. Ramadani met with Begiristain at Mottram Hall last week to discuss terms, with City set to pay Jovetic an £80,000-a-week salary package on arrival in Manchester. The clubs have maintained a good relationship harboured following Stefan Savic’s move from Manchester to Fiorentina last summer.
Mourinho supervising his wards during a drill session at the Bangkok International School on the first leg of Chelsea’s pre-season tour…on Monday
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
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8th IAAF World Youth Championship
From Gowon Akpodonor, Donetsk, Ukraine S athletes and officials from various A countries depart the city of Donetsk, venue of the 8th IAAF World Youth
Championship in Ukraine today, Nigerian athletes say the country achieved so much for participating. At the last edition of the championship in France, Team Nigeria reached the final in three events. But this edition of the championship is an improvement, as Team Nigeria made four finals with several athletes posting personal best, as well as, season best as recorded by the girl’s medley relay team yesterday. Nigeria’s best moment in the championship was the silver medal won in the 400m event by Helen Okpanachu at Poland ’99. Speaking with The Guardian yesterday at the Olympics Stadium in Donetsk, triple jumper, Uruemu Theophilus Ejovi said he was satisfied with the performance. Team Nigeria qualified for the final of the boys and girls medley relay yesterday. The country is also in the final of boys and girls 200m events and Ejovi is hoping for a medal to crown the country’s efforts in the championship. Ejovi who hails from Eghwu in UghelliSouth council area of Delta State came to Donetsk as one of Africa’s best. He had a personal best of 15.13m in the triple jump and ranked 12th best triple jumper at youth level by the IAAF. In Donetsk, things did not work out well for Ejovi as he had expected. He could not make it to the final of the triple jump, which he attributed to his low knowledge of the equipment, loss of energy due to ‘bad food’ and low morale after the disqualification of his fellow jumper, Fabian Edoki Ime (for being below 16 years) and early injury suffered by Team Nigeria’s only female triple jumper in the championship, Kasie Ugeh. “I came to Ukraine with the hope of making the 15 metre mark in the triple jump, but it didn’t happen and I am not too happy with myself,” Ejovi said yesterday. “One major reason I failed to make it to the final was the fact that I was competing in the 13 meters board. I used to compete in the 11 meters board back home and coming to Donetsk to use the 13 meters board worked against me. Ejovi emerged Nigeria’s champion in both the high and triple jump during the Pastor D.K Olukoya’s Athletics Championship held at Yaba College, Lagos early this year. He jumped 1.90 metres to win the high jump and 14.83 meters in the triple jump event. The Pastor D.K Olukoya Championship was used as trials by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to select athletes to camp in preparation for the Warri 2013 African Youth Championship, which served as Africa’s qualification for Donetsk 2013 IAAF World Youth Championship. During the AYAC Games in Warri, Ejovi scaled 1.95 metres in the high jump and 14.70 meters in the triple jump to book his ticket to Donetsk. However, the Nigerian failed to hit 14 metres mark in the triple jump. “It is a pity I couldn’t even reach the 14 metres mark here because it was not easy for me to get used to the 13 meters board overnight. I thought I was coming here to compete on the 11 meters board, which I am used to. Again, if the IAAF had not stopped Fabian from competing, things would have been different. I have learnt a great lesson and I am going back home to perfect my strategies for future competitions. “The food provided in the hotel also worked against us. This is the first time we travelled outside Nigeria and we thought the food would be similar to what we have in Nigeria. We were served rice without stew morning and night. At a point, some of us couldn’t go
near the food and the issue of feeding became a big problem. We had no strength to run not to talk of competing in the jumps. Maybe, if I knew in advance, I would have brought some garri, dry pepper, melon and ogbolo from Nigeria to prepare my meal. It won’t be the same next time because we have seen what it takes to compete outside the country,” he stated. For Ejovi, Team Nigeria’s participation in Donetsk 2013 IAAF World Youth Championship is a blessing to the nation’s athletics, especially the build up to Rio 2016 Olympics Games. “Some countries like USA, Jamaica, Kenya, Ethiopia and Great Britain are using this championship to prepare their young athletes for Brazil 2016 Olympics because some of us will be 19 years and more by that time. It is a good venture for us and I hope Nigeria will build on the success we made in Donetsk.” Ejovi was born and brought up in the university town of Abraka, Delta State. He started his sporting career in 2010 while in JSS 11 at the University Secondary School, Abraka. “I was brought into sports by a student of the university, Stanley West Emojoro. They were preparing for NUGA Games and he saw me running in our school. He picked interest in me immediately and told me that I could be a good athlete in future. He actually bought me a spike shoe and that was how it all began. In Donetsk, Team Nigeria continues to set records (personal best and season best), though no medal had come as at the end of evening session yesterday. In the boys 110m hurdles, the duo of Ifeanyi Atuma and Bashiru Abdullahi ran personal best to enter the semi final. While Atuma had a personal best of 13.58 seconds, Abdullahi ran 14.02 personal best. Atuma’s new personal best is now Africa youth record. He is now in the All Time top list of the IAAF. In the low hurdles, Daisy Akpofa had a personal best of 59.23 seconds in the girls 400m race on her way to the semi, just as African champion in the sprint, Divine Oduduru lowered his personal best of 21.56 seconds to 21.24 seconds in the 200m. In the girls’ shot put event, Aniefuna Anulike Judith made a personal best record of 15.09 meters as against the 14.64 meters she threw at Warri AYAC Games in March this year. Team Nigeria’s boys medley relay team ran a personal best time of 1:52.90 seconds yesterday to hit the final, just as the girls ran a season best of 2:08.28 seconds to reach the final also yesterday.
It is a pity I couldn’t even reach the 14 metres mark here because it was not easy for me to get used to the 13 meters board overnight. I thought I was coming here to compete on the 11 meters board, which I am used to. Again, if the IAAF had not stopped Fabian from competing, things would have been different. I have learnt a great lesson and I am going back home to perfect my strategies for future competitions
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, July 17, 2013
For The Record Nigeria’s national security in an age of terrorism (2) Maiden Departmental Lecture Department Of Political Science Faculty Of The Social Sciences University Of Ibadan By Aituaje Irene Pogoson, Ph.D Continued from Thursday, July 4, 2013 HILE what constitutes the external environment of a nation-state is not unambiguous, most states delineate their external environment geographically. Yet the concern with the external environment, particularly the modes or ways in which threats emanate from the external environment, presupposes that borders are merely useful for purposes of demarcating the sphere and domain of the nation-state. In fact, in the context of the enormous influence that events and developments elsewhere can have on the internal developments within states, one can hardly take for granted the diverse ways in which the external domain impacts the internal domain of states and vice versa. The term intermestic is used to refer to the merger of international and domestic concerns. Add to this, the phenomenon called globalization which has become a significant feature of the global and continental security environment. Basically, globalization is a phenomenon involving the integration of economies, cultures, governmental policies and political movements around the world. Three distinct dimensions characterize globalization: the ‘shrinking of space’, which denotes the fact that people’s lives are increasingly affected by developments in parts of the world which they have nothing to do with; the ‘shrinking of time’, which denotes the unprecedented speed with which markets, technologies, events and developments affect people; and the gradual ‘disappearance of borders’, which denotes the breaking down of national borders for the flow of trade, capital, information, ideas, cultures, norms and values (Scholte, 2000; 6). In the wake of globalization and the revolution in communication, technology and commerce, boundaries are becoming indiscernible and new security-related threats have emerged that tend to defy national boundaries. With boundaries becoming invisible as a result of the world becoming a global village, majority of the world’s population find themselves in extreme and vulnerable circumstances with new kinds of wars being waged in every country; all of which demonstrate the fact that states no longer hold the monopoly over security issues. Globalization has engendered the fluidity and volatility of national borders which are permeable and has led to the vulnerability of nations to threats that endanger national security. The realities of the threat humankind faces stem from war and conflict, civil violence, transnational crime, organised crime, cyber-crime, chronic poverty, environmental degradation, deadly infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and terrorism. Undeniably, globalization which is facilitated by the liberalization of trans-border interactions has enabled the brand of transnational political networking that engendered a new kind of international terrorism which is “quite anarchical, increasingly amorphous and extremely difficult to check” ( Agbu, 2004; 329) The primary threats to nations’ security no longer emanate solely from territorial and ideological disputes among nation-states but also from the environment, globalization, technological threats and international criminal networks (Zalur & Zeckhauser 2002). Globally, new kinds of challenges are being waged in every nation and these threaten the sovereignty of nations. Among these challenges is terrorism which has announced itself as a formidable global actor in effective competition with states. What does this situation posit for a developing country like Nigeria? What transnational security challenges has the universalization of the terrorist threat posed for Nigeria? Presumably, any attempt to understand Nigeria’s national security must come to terms with the complexity of the concept. The primary preoccupation of this lecture, therefore, is to identify the varying ways in which terrorism constitutes a threat to Nigeria’s national security. The argument of the lecture is organised into four sections. The first section introduces the lecture,
Pogoson the next section discusses the security debate, the third section explores the contentious issue of what constitutes the external environment as well as interrogating the changing concerns of national security over the years and the fourth section focuses on national security in Nigeria and debates terrorism as the new and critical threat to Nigeria’s national security. The lecture ends with a conclusion. THE SECURITY DEBATE Security is, generally, accepted to be about the condition or feeling of safety, the protection and preservation of core values and the absence of threats to these values. It also has to do with freedom from danger or from threats to a nation’s ability to protect and develop itself, promote its cherished values and legitimate interests (Imobighe ; 1990:24). Security is crucial to the survival of any nation-state. Without adequate security of lives and property, the society will be plunged into the Hobbesian state of nature manifesting lawlessness, chaos and eventual disintegration. This is why security is considered as a dynamic condition which involves the relative ability of a state to counter threats to its core values and interests. For a better understanding of the concept of security, one should analyse some approaches to security. Classical theories analyse security from normative, qualitative and value-judgement points of view. They nourished two important lines of thought: realism and idealism, which contributed greatly to the understanding of the nature, determinants and dynamics of the concept of security. Realism, is central to the security paradigm. The approach was developed under the basic assumption that competition and conflict among nations continue in some form or the other. It stresses the struggle for power or the contest for power among nations. Most nations revolve around this power paradigm for protecting their security. They adopt various means like balance of power, deterrence and alliances, for effective check of the contest for power. The concept of security also got a new dimension from the advocates of idealism who rejected the ideas of the realists and envisioned a new order free from power politics and violence. The theory is basically concerned with the interests of various groups and nations, and ensures the welfare of hu-
mankind. The theory visualized a New World Order free from war, violence, inequality, and tyranny and based on peace, harmony and mutual cooperation. Between the First and Second World Wars, the realist-idealist debate was concerned with matters that affected particular types of states, and therefore defined security as relations between the great powers and the peaceful control of these relationships. With the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent discrediting of idealism and collective security, realism became the dominant school of thought in international relations. The dominance of realism in international relations was reflected in the continued prejudice in security definition towards great powers and absolute security (Buzan, 1991). The notion of security focused on war, the ability to fight wars, deter an attack or defeat any attack, and the external threats to the state’s survival which might give rise to them. The conceptual understanding of security was for a long time limited by the boundaries of these traditions. Development and changes in international politics remained located within the realist paradigm, even during the Cold War era. Although the realist paradigm predominates in international relations theory and literature, realism no longer stands alone; it is pitted the two theories in a triangular debate against pluralism which agrees with globalists that world politics is often governed by economics, not security, and structuralism that stress the impact of world economic structures on the political, social, cultural and economic life of countries. Increasingly, it is being understood that security does not just concern states alone, but also individuals, groups and communities. When individuals are not secure, the state cannot be said to be secure either. In the literature, the definitions of national security are numerous and keep increasing (Nwolise, 2012; Onuoha, 2009; Oche, 2005; Okodolor, 2004; Imobighe, 1998; Buzan, 1983; Mathews, 1989; and McNamara, 1968). It is therefore common to see reference being made to national security, international security, human security, environmental security, state security, regime security, corporate security, spiritual security among others. Various attempts have thus been made to provide an adequate conceptualization of security. One school of thought identifies security with the possession of strong armed forces, built on high concentration of manpower and weapons. Operating with the old realist framework, this was the
traditional security doctrine. The major platform of this doctrine was that a powerful military was a crucial requirement of national security and also for the protection of national sovereignty, national independence and national interests (Alli, 2010). Consequently, the acquisition of national military power became a priority national goal and formidable weapons became the key issue in the peace agenda of all states. Another school of thought is based on the neo-realist theoretical framework that maintains a continued emphasis on the primacy of the state within a broadened conceptualization of security (Buzan, 1994). The end of the Cold war and the emergence of new realities on the international scene subsequently engendered the necessity to review the entire concept of security. Following the challenges of nation building in the developing countries, it was considered erroneous to give overwhelming attention to military capability as way of achieving national power and guaranteeing national peace and security. Security in the contemporary era means more than the security of the state. Security extends beyond its political and military meaning to encompass a wider understanding of terms such as satisfaction of basic needs, protection of basic needs, protection of cultural and religious identity, etc. As McNamara (1968:149) argues, “security is not military hardware, though it may include it; security is not military force, though it may involve it; security is not traditional military activity, though it may compass it. Security is development and without development there can be no security”. Consequently, the emerging argument is based on a set of assumptions that essentially attempt to dislodge the state as the primary referent of security and advocates a broadened conceptualization of security that extends beyond a military determination of threats (Booth, 1994). This range of discussion places greater emphasis on the interdependency and trans-nationalization of non-state actors such as individuals, ethnic and cultural groups, regional economic blocs, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations and “just about all human kind” (Naidoo, 2000;2). Indications of this trend of thinking about security may be seen in the emphasis now placed on non-military dimensions of the issue such as the social, economic and political factors that affect peace and security. For some, hunger, poverty, disease, human rights, migration, ethno-religious factors, governance and environmental contamination represent grave security threats — even worse than physical violence. Others argue that the notion of security includes the idea of ‘structural violence’ i.e. the structure of the relevant socio-political systems or the global trading system. (Alli, 2010; Galtung, 1975 &1978). This whole range of issues is embedded in what is now known as human security ; the re-conceptualization of security in a way that would address the concerns of the citizens as canvassed by scholars like McNamara (1968), Ochoche (1977), Jinadu (2000), and Nnoli (2006). The conception of national security has changed fundamentally. It now includes a focus on people and development. National Security can, therefore, be understood as the protection of a country from attack or subversion both from within and outside its borders. It involves the development of socio-economic, political, cultural and military strategies that would promote, preserve and maintain the interest of a nation, including its citizen’s interests. The purpose of national security is to uphold national values and the most fundamental values of any nation are survival, self preservation and collective progress. This understanding of security is complementary to the broad concept of human security originally articulated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its 1994 Human Development Report.
TO BE CONTINUED
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Roberts Belema WHILE trying to properly order my thoughts so that I would be able to effectively communicate my ideas through this article, I came across a quote credited to the Lithuanian-born international anarchist, Emma Goldman (1869 – 1940), which struck me as not only an incredible and accurate insight into the human psyche, but also as an undeniably apt description of the relationship between even the most crucial issues of collective human concern and the corresponding life span of the general public interest in them. She said: “Only when human sorrows are turned into a toy with glaring colours will baby people become interested – for a while at least. The people are a very fickle baby that must have new toys everyday.” Public interest, even about the most pressing of collective concerns, is and has always been notoriously protean. Today, a particular issue may evoke extremely vocal, emotional and visceral reactions from the general public; they will inexorably take to various forms of social media to express their opinions, misgivings and angst as the case may be. The press will also do their bit to ensure that the issue in question remains at the forefront of mass consciousness by conducting interviews with notable personalities on TV and on radio, and by publishing editorials, articles, letters and opinions in the newspapers. The issue in question will then seem to have taken on a life of its own and its vitality will appear to be sustained in the thoughts of the public by their collective emotions until suddenly, it loses the public interest to another fresh issue – another colourful toy – and is subsequently forgotten by the very same public and thus condemned to languish to death in the prison that is defined by the public’s abrupt, apparent and unmistakable apathy towards it. This is the nature of the life cycle of issues of collective human concern, determined by the inevitable mutability of public interest. It, therefore, follows that if no decisive actions are taken to resolve a particular issue or conflict at the time it has completely captivated the public’s interest, the chances are high that when the public interest finally wanes, as it always eventually does, enthralled by some other emerging concern, the issue or conflict in question will remain unresolved and be quietly forgotten. Most politicians have an excellent grasp of this phenomenon and will often adeptly employ it to suit their purposes. For example, in a functional democratic dispensation, if an elected official chooses, for whatever reason, not to bow to the insistent demands of the public (to whom he is ultimately answerable) on a particular issue, he may offer promises of action which are calculated to placate the public while he waits for, or even engineers an even juicier issue for the general public to fixate upon in order that they are falsely conciliated and may then become distracted from the original issue and in time, forget it completely, thus allowing him respite from the pressure the demands of the public had put him under and ensuring that he has his own way in the matter. In Nigeria, this strategy has been perfected and is repeatedly employed across the polity because it works all the time. I can still vividly recall the period following the 2011 post-election violence in Bauchi that resulted in the tragic deaths of several members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). I remember the shock, horror and distress that gripped the entire nation as a consequence of the massacre. We collectively mourned the deaths of our fallen youth whose lives were brutally cut short whilst in service to their country. This was not the first time that such cruelty would have been meted out to corps members as they served their country and as a direct consequence, opposition to the continued relevance and existence of the scheme gathered momentum. After the Jos carnage of 2010 which also claimed the lives of several corps members, an editorial published by The Punch succinctly captured the feelings of the general public when it opined, “A government that is incapable of providing security for its corps members has lost the moral authority to compel young graduates to enlist in the scheme.” I remember that the shock and horror the people felt swiftly metamorphosed into anger and outrage in exceeding measure and soon after, almost everyone was making strident calls for the NYSC to be adjudged a massive failure, and demanding that it be completely scrapped by the Federal Government given the prevailing circumstances at the time. However, certain influential factions both
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Forgotten! Restructuring of NYSC (1)
within and without the government disagreed with these calls to varying degrees, nevertheless, they all wholly agreed that the scheme urgently needed to be subjected to total restructuring and that new policies must be formulated and implemented in order to successfully re-orient it. So, at that time, this was the issue in the forefront of national consciousness; it was the conflict that had completely captivated the public interest: NYSC, to be or not to be? Everyone had his opinion to give on the matter and they did so, too. Eventually, President Jonathan announced that the scheme would not be scrapped but would instead be subjected to much needed restructuring. It was an admission that a re-assessment of the NYSC was an absolute necessity if it were to remain relevant to our national life. But that was where the story ended; promises turned out to be only words even though more than words were required.
Over time, public interest in the matter has waned, as it is wont to do, distracted by other issues in the polity as they emerged. The strategy I earlier described has been employed again and its effectiveness is evident, because we, as a people, have somehow forgotten that we once agitated for the restructuring of the NYSC to become a reality. Martin Luther King, Jnr. once said: “We will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” It now appears that the issue of restructuring the NYSC is no longer front-page news anymore and so an uncommitted government has been let off the hook by the people it is accountable to. We have all failed to act when it is clear that action is what is needed. The challenge, therefore, is how to make sure that such crucial issues of collective concern remain in the forefront of everyone’s
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consciousness so that there will remain an unrelenting pressure on the government to obliterate the gap that exists between promising to act and actually taking affirmative action. What better way is there to do this than by making it abundantly clear just how critical this issue is to the personal lives (and finances) of every individual living in the country and depending on the economy for survival? In this country, we are quick to mobilise against any action taken by the Federal Government or any other influential stakeholder that will invariably culminate in a drastic increase in our collective general cost of living while also adversely impacting our standard of living in an already harsh economic climate, Occupy Nigeria 2012 is a case in point. Perhaps if we clearly understood the insidious and debilitating effects of the current structure of the NYSC on the despairing economy in which we all operate and upon which our individual and collective wellbeing depends, we would once more cry out as vociferously as we did and insist and insist upon immediate changes in the structure of the scheme, giving no ground and forgetting nothing until changes are made. Thus, in my own little but hopefully significant way, I will now attempt to revive the public interest in the issue of restructuring the NYSC by highlighting and analysing the destructive influence the scheme’s current structure wields over the Nigerian economy. There is a new posting policy thrust of the NYSC which specifically limits the posting of corps members to key areas of the Nigerian economy such as rural health, agricultural development, primary and secondary education and rural infrastructure. The principle upon which this policy has been founded may be sound but the prevailing reality of the sheer lopsidedness of the current posting practice mocks it unabashedly and may well continue to do so with damning consequences if the situation is not immediately and constructively addressed. The present structure of the NYSC is such that a vast majority of corps members posted to majority of the states across the Federation are constrained to take on the responsibility of teaching regardless of their discipline, with perhaps the only exception being the doctors and other medically inclined corps members. This may not appear to be a problem or a cause for concern on the surface of it, but I would urge us to consider the situation a bit more carefully in order to fully understand the ramifications it poses. The scheme’s present structure is such that the nation’s qualified electrical engineers who may possess the capacity to develop practical solutions to the ridiculous and endemic power situation in the country have to forsake their true calling for a whole year in order that they carry out the NYSC’s directive to go and teach. The electronics and computer engineers who may just be the ones to pioneer technological innovation in the country capable of propelling our economy into international dominance must now go and become teachers. And what about the agricultural scientists and engineers who may be able to pilot agricultural development in the communities they serve if allowed the time and provided with the right opportunities? Or the structural and civil engineers who can devote their energies towards much needed infrastructural development in the rural communities they serve? There are so many more similar examples like this; what happens to all these graduates of different disciplines under the current dispensation? Most of them end up as teachers in the classrooms, yanked unceremoniously away from their primary passions for a whole year, unable to attain a form of advancement or professional development in their chosen fields of endeavour, and the economy is robbed of the opportunity to let these potential pioneers apply themselves with verve and tenacity towards creating and developing solutions that their country is in dire need of. I mean no slight on the teaching profession; I actually believe that it is the foundation upon which all other professions may stand. The point I am simply trying to make is that by constraining most corps members to teach in the classrooms, the current structure of the scheme actively promotes capacity underutilisation and gross mismanagement of manpower and human resources, to the detriment of the corps members and the nation at large. To be continued Belema is an Electrical/Electronics engineer, Reward and Conflict Managers Mowe, Ogun State.