TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,621
Police declare Rivers Assembly leader wanted for alleged attempted murder By Kabir Alabi Garba (Lagos), Kelvin Ebiri, Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt), Karls Tsokar (Abuja), Ali Garba (Gombe) and Emmanuel Ande (Yola) MID condemnation of the A attack by protesters on five governors in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Tuesday, the police yesterday declared the Majority Leader of the state’s House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd, wanted for an attempted murder. Lloyd is accused of attempt-
• IG summons governor’s CSO, ADC • ACN blames Presidency for attack on govs • How I attempted to resolve rift, by Soyinka • ‘Strange security officers at gov’s residences’ • Bipi accuses Amaechi of dictatorship, others ing to murder a colleague during the fracas that broke out at the legislative house recently. It was also learnt that the
Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to Governor Chibuike Amaechi as well as Lloyd have been
summoned to the police headquarters in Abuja just as the security organisation warned that any form of
unauthorised assembly would not be tolerated. The invitation, according to the information made available to reporters in Abuja yesterday, in a statement, is to help the police obtain further details that will assist proper investigation into the matter. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday issued a letter calling upon the trio to come to Abuja “for a face-toface meeting in respect of their roles as seen in the video
clips in circulation, and a possible interaction with him.” But counsel to the lawmaker said the police lack the constitutional power to arrest Lloyd whom he said was receiving medical treatment in an undisclosed hospital. Meanwhile, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged Nigerians to hold President Goodluck Jonathan responsible if the country slides into anarchy as a result of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
‘How govt marginalises S’West, others in appointments’ By Ehichioya Ezomon, Group Political Editor EO-POLITICAL zones in the G country, complaining about being marginalised in federal appointments over the years, might, after all, have more than just a point. This lopsidedness is particularly glaring in political rather than in career-based appointments from the zones. As indicated by analyses of
DETAILS ON PAGES 4, 5, 10&11 the data presented in the MidTerm Report of the Jonathan administration on May 29, 2013, three zones — SouthWest, North-West and NorthEast — are worse off in such political appointments. The other zones with higher political appointment placements are the South-South, South-East and North-Central. Celebrant, Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe (right); former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his wife, Bola, during a thanksgiving service to mark his 80th birthday at All Saints Anglican Church, Jericho, Ibadan… yesterday.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
JTF, others kill 30 Boko Haram suspects in Borno From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) FRESH crackdown on Boko A Haram has led to the death of 30 suspected members of the group in Borno State. The Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Restore Order and members of Borno Vigilance Youths Group (BVYG), allegedly killed the suspected terrorists at the Zagardajeri village of Jere Local Council of the state. A source disclosed in Maiduguri yesterday that the killings followed a search for a
• Military relaxes curfew over Ramadan • Restores telephone services in Yobe • Gunmen kill two policemen in Kaduna Boko Haram member by the vigilance youths on Tuesday, before men of the JTF clashed with terror suspects, hiding in the village for over three weeks. Spokesman of JTF, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, also said that there was a special operation of the
joint security forces at a village on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis, where over three dozens of terror suspects were feared dead in the three-hour operation. He disclosed that some rifles and arms were also recovered from the village, while the
purported village head pursued by the youths before the troops intervened, was said to be a member of the group that relocated and fled to the village in June. The chairman of BVYG, Abubakar Mallum, said that the killing of the terror suspects in the village was facilitated when the youths pursued a suspected Boko Haram member and arrested him with a Kalashnikov rifle and N100,000 cash.
Mallum further disclosed: “When our members were arresting the suspect, we were told that the youths had to get the permission of the village head before such arrests could be made. On getting to the village head, at his residence, we recovered a rifle and huge sums of money, allegedly provided to carry out more attacks on Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) and Jere Council areas of Borno State.
At 95, ailing global icon, Mandela, fights on — Page 9
“While the youths were making more inquiries and investigation in the village, some gunmen opened fire; and started firing at our members; and killed one of us and injured a youth in the arm. As our safety was in danger, I had to alert men of JTF in Maiduguri on a tricycle, so that the soldiers could assist us fish out and arrest terror suspects hiding in this village, north of Jere Local Council.” The soldiers, according to him, quickly intervened and rushed to the village with their patrol vehicles and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
How I attempted to resolve Rivers crisis, by Soyinka CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 worsening political crisis in Rivers State. Also, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday spoke on what he hoped could “eliminate all further
distraction and enable the nation to concentrate on issues that affect the democratic pursuit.” There was a violent confrontation at the House of Assembly following an alleged attempt by five lawmakers
‘How government marginalises S’West, others in appointments’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, released the list of appointees into federal establishments, ostensibly to douse the growing complaints of marginalisation by sections of the country, especially the South-West and North-West. The SGF listed in the report the three outcomes of the two-year efforts of the
Jonathan administration in balancing geo-political appointments as: “• Confidence is building in each geo-political zone that adherence to the federal character principle guarantees a sense of belonging. “• Zones that had felt marginalised in the past now have a greater sense of belonging. “• There is awareness that governments can be held accountable if they subvert the federal character principle.” • Details on Pages 4, 5, 10 &11
said to be opposed to Amaechi to impeach the Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree, to pave the way for the impeachment of the governor. But 22 pro-Amaechi lawmakers were said to have resisted them and in the free-for-all that ensued, Lloyd allegedly battered one of the lawmakers, Okechukwu Chinda, with a fake mace smuggled into the legislative chamber. The State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, yesterday in a statement endorsed by its spokesperson, Angela Agabe, said Lloyd was wanted in connection with the fight that erupted on July 9, 2013 at the House of Assembly. “The Rivers State Police Command has declared wanted one Chidi Lloyd, a native of Emohua in Emohua Local Council of Rivers State, about 37 years of age. He is the Majority Leader of Rivers State House of Assembly. He was involved in a case of conspiracy, attempted murder, wounding and willful damage on the 9th of July 2013,” said Agabe. Agabe alleged that the police decided to declare Lloyd wanted after he failed to respond to police invitation which elapsed on July 16, 2013. The counsel to Lloyd, Emenike Ebete, told The Guardian that the police had on Monday, at about 3.00 p.m., dispatched a bus loaded with security agents to the House Leader’s residence in Port Harcourt in a bid to arrest him, only to discover that he was not at home. According to him, the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act Chapter L12 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 Section 22 and 23 grants him immunity and that it is only the attorneygeneral of the state based on the petition of the Speaker of the House that could prosecute Lloyd. ACN said in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, that the stoning of the four governors in Port Harcourt was unprecedented in the
country’s history. The party wondered why the police could not provide adequate security for the visiting state chief executives and restrained the protesters. In a statement, Soyinka disclosed certain steps he had taken to ensure that the crisis did not degenerate. The statement reads: “In public interest, in order to eliminate all further distraction and enable the nation to concentrate on issues that affect the democratic pursuit, it is necessary to make the following information available: “Before the press conference held (Thursday, last week) by Femi Falana and myself – that is, even before the Rivers Assembly fracas - I had been canvassed by opposing sides of the face-off, both via telephone and physically. One such visit, perhaps the most significant, was made by a Special Adviser in the Presidency who outlined what can be regarded as the official rationale for the Governors’ Forum election debacle. In the process of this exchange, he did make certain complaints against Governor Rotimi Amaechi, including charges of a conflict of interests over certain resources. This was implied as the root of division between the Governors’ Forum and the Presidency. “I wrote down the details, informed the emissary that I would pass on these accusations to Governor Amaechi – which I did. That Amaechi hotly denied them and offered contradicting facts, which he urged me to verify, remained, and remains utterly irrelevant to the democratic core of the conflict – and this has been made clear to all interventionists: Keyed into this core are: “• The Arithmetics of democracy involved in figures 16 and 19 at the time, and now, with increased confidence in impunity, the figures 27 and 5; and “• Whether or not it is democratic, even cultured proceeding that a state governor is barred from public access
Prof. Soyinka anywhere within his own zone of constitutional authority, with the massive security apparatus of the centre, on behalf of an unelected individual. Even after the Rivers crisis has been resolved, this notorious proceeding will not be permitted to fester unchallenged. “For the rest, since beneath the surface of most Nigerian conflicts will be found inordinate greed for public resources, it is perhaps pertinent to remind ourselves that Oil is not the only marvel to emerge from the Delta swamps. There are also exotic creatures – mermaids, manatees, even mammy
watas and hippopotami. However, unlike crude oil, which can be refined, you can extract a hippopotamus from the swamps, but you cannot take the swamp out of the hippopotamus.” Besides, the Amaechi administration has raised the alarm over his safety due to the posting of strange policemen and intelligence officers to the Governor’s Lodge in Abuja and Government House in Port Harcourt respectively. A statement by George Feyii, Secretary to the State Government, explained that two policemen, one of who is CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
Military relaxes curfew over Ramadan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 killed over three dozens of terror suspects, who could have fled from the Sambisa Games Reserve Forests (SGRF) and Maiduguri metropolis. He said the villagers, who had been living with the fleeing Boko Haramsuspects, also fled the village after the troops killed the terror suspects. Meanwhile, the JTF yesterday has relaxed the dusk-to-dawn curfew by two hours to enable Muslims in the state perform the Ramadan fast that started July 10, 2013. The curfew, according to JTF sources, commences from 11.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. daily, unlike in the past when it began from 9.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. The relaxation of the curfew was contained in a statement by Musa. The statement made
available yesterday to reporters in Maiduguri reads in part: “The JTF has observed tremendous improvement in the security situation in Borno State. For that reason and in the spirit of Ramadan fasting, the task force finds it expedient to review the curfew timings imposed on the state. “We request that all citizens remain vigilant throughout the Holy month.” And two months after the shutdown of Global System of Mobile (GSM) Communications by the JTF in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states following the declaration of emergency rule by President Goodluck Jonathan on May 14, 2013, telephone services were restored in Yobe State yesterday. The Guardian learnt that residents in the state woke up yesterday only to realise that
there were epileptic MTN services, while the three other networks of Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat remained shut. Even though Damaturu and Potiskum residents are happy with the partial restoration of MTN telephone services, they called for the full restoration of services and other networks in the state. The restoration is coming a week after a similar development in neighbouring Adamawa State. Meanwhile, Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, has announced educational scholarship to 50 children, whose parents were killed by Boko Haram gunmen at various times and in different parts of Maiduguri metropolis. Speaking on Tuesday during the break of fast at the Gov-
ernment House, Maiduguri, the governor disclosed that the scholarship would cut across orphans from both Muslim and Christian homes. And tragedy struck in Kaduna yesterday when unknown gunmen attacked Kaura Police Divisional Headquarters, killing two policemen and injuring several people. Briefing newsmen shortly after being conducted round the scene of the attack, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Adenaike, attributed the attack to the porous nature of the police station. He assured that all vulnerable police stations within the state would be fenced to prevent a recurrence of such incident. The victims whose names were given as Benedict Audu and Gabriel Joshua were a sergeant and corporal.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Issues in the News
Analyses, lessons of current geo-political “Statistics are like Bikinis: what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital” — Aaron Levenstein, Professor Emeritus at Baruch College (1961-1981). By Goke Adegoroye, PhD, Chairman, GSDI Abstract ESEARCHERS at Governance and Sustainable Development Initiatives (GSDI) Limited, a management consulting and advocacy think tank on public sector, whose mission statement is to bring innovative and practical approaches in the promotion of good governance to the doorsteps of government in pursuit of sustainable development, have carried out an appraisal and detailed analysis of the list of appointees into federal establishments as recently released by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), as part of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s Mid-Term Report. Their findings, which reveal a number of vital information with far-reaching effects on our ethnic diversity management, underscore once again the magnitude of the bureaucratic capacity challenge facing the Jonathan administration. The lessons, according to GSDI, are a tool for good governance and political engineering.
Introduction URING the public presentation of the Jonathan administration Mid-Term Report on the Transformation Agenda (2011-2013) on May 29, 2013, the one segment that not only caught the attention of the members of staff of GSDI, but also became the topic for discussion over the next couple of days was where, in the Executive Summary of its Part 1, the SGF presented the Summary of Federal Appointees by states, as proof that the efforts of the adminis-
tration in the last two years to correct the outstanding imbalances in federal appointments have begun to yield the desired results. GSDI management could not resist giving it an extra attention because of an ongoing study involving a similar exercise on Nigeria’s Top Bureaucrats 1970-2012 and was eager to use the SGF data to authenticate its own. It found the initiative of the Office of the SGF to release to the general public the list of federal appointees into public offices highly commendable. The challenge, however, was that the data analysis and deductions were on the basis of the narrow prism of geopolitical balancing. GSDI wished it had been expanded to examine the quality of appointees and their performances, in the mode of the ongoing study at GSDI for which a Data
Management Software (GSDI-DMS) has been developed. The Executive Summary highlights, on pages 15-19 under Federal Character, a total of 551 federal appointees and the breakdown by states, which show that Delta, with 27 appointees, followed closely by Kogi (26), Anambra (25), Osun (24) and Edo (23), were the top five states, while Zamfara (five), Taraba (six), Ebonyi (six), Sokoto (seven) and Lagos (eight) were the five least favoured states. Listed in the report as the three outcomes of the two-year efforts of the administration in balancing geopolitical appointments are that: “Confidence is building in each geo-political zone that adherence to the Federal Character principle guarantees a sense of belonging; zones that had felt marginalised in the past now have a greater sense of belonging; and there is awareness that governments can be held accountable if they subvert the principle.” Details of these 551 appointments were later published in the ThisDay edition of Wednesday, June 5, 2013. At first, GSDI had difficulty reconciling the
trends presented in the data with the outcomes listed, and was tempted to put it aside. On a second reflection, it was noted that the President, in his Foreword to the report, had stated, among others, that the “report presents very detailed and credible facts and figures showing the performance of the administration at its half-way mark…to let Nigerians see the progress made so far in implementing the policies, programmes and projects encapsulated in the Transformation Agenda (2011-2015).” He further held that the “commitment and resolve of the administration are to ensure that the practice of democracy includes the overarching roles of credible persons and institutions that do not manage the political space as predators… as only such people and institutions can guarantee the political space for all.” Not only did GSDI find these statements both inspiring and reassuring, as a management outfit, the company was equally conscious that the ability to take correct and timely decisions by a President was contingent upon the quality of briefs and data placed before him by his bureaucracy. Accordingly, buoyed by its mission statement, “to bring innovative and practical approaches in the promotion of good governance to the doorsteps of government in pursuit of sustainable development,” GSDI decided to deploy its resources to carry out detailed examination and analysis of the data, even along the prism of the geo-political balancing that it was developed. This is to enable it see the extent of information it can reveal and how the administration can be further assisted in tackling socio-political problems relating to this kind of issue. Below are the findings: Data Integrity Examination Results: There were some issues that call to question the integrity of the data assembling procedure: • Duplication and wrong listing of appointees: For a start, the total number of appointees involved in the SGF analysis was not 551 but 545, as four appointees, namely: Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Alhaji Yusuf Usman Abdallah (Kano), Executive Secretary, Nigeria Press Council, Mr. Adebayo Atoyebi (Kwara), Conservator General of the National Parks, Alhaji Abubakar H. Tanko (Niger), and Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Gusau, Dr. Kabir M. Anka (Zamfara), had their names and designations repeated. As well, Prof. Chinedu Nebo from Enugu State, already appointed Minister of Power, was still listed as ViceChancellor of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Rivers State, which the Summary indicates as having 16 political appointees, instead of 15. Also, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe was listed under Lagos whereas he is from Osun State. • Lumping of career-based appointments with political appointments: Career-based appointments were freely lumped with political appointments. For the benefit of the general public, there are two types of career-based appointments: Those made into the pinnacle of the career offices, the exit from which is into compulsory retirement on the basis of completion of a specified tenure, the attainment of mandatory retirement age or removal by the President, as in the case of a permanent secretary, a career officer occupying a tenured director general position in an agency, a secretary position in a commission or a service chief within the Armed Forces of the Federation. The others are those of provosts of colleges of education, rectors of polytechnics, vice chancellors of universities, medical directors of federal medical centres, executive directors of commodity-based research institutes, and managing directors of river basin authorities, among others, whose appointments are ring-
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, Iuly 18, 2013
Issues in the News
distribution of federal appointments
fenced for the career public servants in those specialised fields. They are managed in such a way that the appointees are made to return to the mainstream at the completion of their tenures, provided they have not reached the retirement age. For example, the medical director of a federal medical centre is first and foremost an officer of the Federal Ministry of Health, just as the managing director of a river basin authority is on the staff of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. Not only would each of the appointees have been pursuing the position they occupy on the radar of their career aspiration, they usually revert to their regular professional titles and return to the mainstream of their offices after the expiration of their tenures. On the other hand, political appointments are made without any reference to what job the appointee was previously holding, if he had any job at all. By way of example, the recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) is from outside the industry, just like her two predecessors in that office, and it is doubtful if three weeks before her appointment she ever gave a thought to working in a place like that, talk less aspiring to occupy that position. • Heads of departments within an agency were listed and accorded the same status as their chief executive officers (CEOs): By their laws, the nomenclature of the CEOs of certain federal agencies are either executive director (as in the Act of the NTDC), executive secretary (as in the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) Act), managing director (as in the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Act) or director general (for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), as provided in the National Council of Privatisation (NCP) Act). It was obvious that there was either a lack of understanding or a wrong interpretation of the nomenclature executive director (ED) in the compilation of the data, as some EDs handling departmental and zonal responsibilities under the direction of their CEOs were accorded the same status as the CEOs. Accordingly, agencies like the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), FHA and even certain river basin development authorities had listed their MDs as well as their EDs. The compilation was made worse by the fact that there was no consistency in the number, even within similar agencies; some agencies had as many as three to six EDs while some had only one ED. This error led to FERMA having a CEO and six Zonal EDs, FHA the MD plus four EDs and NPA only the MD. Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, Chad Basin Development Authority and Lower Niger Development Authority had listed against them an MD and two EDs each, whereas SokotoRima Basin Development Authority and OgunOsun River Basin Development Authority had listed an MD and an ED each, while the Upper
SGF, Pius Anyim
Niger River Basin Development Authority had listed the MD and four EDs. • Grave omission of certain agencies: For the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), what was listed were only the Group Managing Director and the Governor, respectively. None of the six Group Executive Directors of the NNPC or the four Deputy Governors of the CBN was listed. The subsidiary companies of the NNPC were also missing. • Non-regard for the weight of appointment: The weight of responsibility and, of course, the power and influence of an appointive position were not taken into consideration. By way of example, the CBN Governor and the Executive Director (Services) of the Benin-Owena River Basin Authority were taken as individual and equal appointments! • Non-inclusion of ministerial/adviser appointments and appointments arising from electoral processes: Appointments into ministerial/SGF/HCSF/special adviser positions and the politically shared principal offices positions in the National Assembly (President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, Deputy President of the Senate, Deputy Speaker, Senate Leader and House Leader) were not taken into consideration. Data preparation methodology and analysis: The SGF’s data summary of federal appointees according to states can be broken down to five groups: • 25 appointees and above: four states - Delta (27), Kogi (26), Osun (25) and Anambra (25). • 20-24 appointees: seven states - Edo (23), Ogun (22), Katsina (21), Kwara (21), Kaduna (21), Imo (20) and Adamawa (20). • 15-19 appointees: five states - Kano (19), Benue (19), Bayelsa (17), Abia (16) and Rivers (15). • 10-14 appointees: 13 states — Borno (14), Ondo (14), Bauchi (14), Kebbi (14), Gombe (13), Enugu (12), Plateau (12), Akwa Ibom (12), Cross River (11), Niger (10), Ekiti (10), Oyo (10) and Nasarawa (10). • Below 10 appointees: seven states plus FCT Yobe (nine), Jigawa (nine), Sokoto (seven), Lagos (seven), Ebonyi (six), Taraba (six) and Zamfara (four). The presence of Osun (a non-Peoples Democratic Party state) among states with the highest number of federal appointees, Bayelsa (the state of the sitting President) among states with a mere average number of appointees, and Sokoto (seat of the Caliphate) and Lagos (most urbanised and populous state) being at the rung of the ladder among the least favoured states, call for a more critical evaluation of the entire data. In order to achieve this goal, GSDI developed and deployed an excel-based software that enabled the data to be queried in a number of ways as deemed fit. Recalling the famous statement of the Professor Emeritus at Baruch College, United States Aaron Levenstein (1961-81) that Statistics are like Bikinis; what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital, GSDI was determined to dig beneath the suggestive to
Federal Head of Service, Goni Aji.
unravel all the vital information hitherto concealed by the bikini of the previous data presentation. Accordingly, its researchers decided on a three-step approach to unravel the vital information carried by the data: Step 1: Isolate the career-based appointments in the SGF data to see their contribution and trend. • Take the balance, being the truly public appointments in the data, and see their contribution and trend. • Add on to the original SGF data the other political appointments, ministerial, bureaucratic and elective, hitherto omitted, to obtain the overall total number of federal appointees per state to see their contribution and trend. • Remove the career-based appointments and the Sub-CEO executive directors in the SGF data from the new overall total number of federal appointees just established above to obtain the true effective total number of federal appointments. Step 2: Having noted, as stated earlier, that the appointments carry different weights of responsibility and influence, we decided to take the overall total number of federal appointees data (original SGF data plus our new additions) and ascribe some units to each category of identifiable appointment that exists at the federal level, based on their perceived functional power, influence and responsibility, as follows: Office title/Weight of Responsibility (WoR) score/point • President (100), Vice President (50 - direct line of succession), Senate President (45 - in line of succession but with a less than 50 per cent probability), Speaker of House of Reps (40), Chief Justice of Nigeria (40), Deputy Senate President (35), Deputy Speaker, House of Reps (30), Senate Leader (25), House Leader (20), executive chairmen of autonomous bodies, including CBN Governor (20), national commissioners/members of autonomous bodies (five), and resident commissioner (five), SGF, COS-P (30). • Minister, HCSF (20), HMS (18 - irrespective of how “lucrative” or otherwise their deployment), permanent secretary (15 - irrespective of whether their deployment is “lucrative” or otherwise, special adviser, Deputy Governor, CBN, Group Executive Director NNPC (10), CEO of grade ‘A’ corporation/agency (15 - including special advisers and senior special assistants holding executive positions, some of who are in attendance at FEC Meetings), CEO of grade ‘B’ agency (10), and CEO of grade ‘C’ agency (seven). • VC of federal university (seven), executive director under a CEO of a grade ‘A’ or ‘B’ agency (two), rector or provost of polytechnic, college of education (three), CMD of teaching hospital (three), and medical director of federal medical centre (two). Having ascribed weights to the appointments, we were able to obtain total appointment by weight of responsibility, on the basis
of which the states were again ranked. Thereafter, state population was introduced as a factor and the data was analysed, one after the other, for: Overall total appointments per million state population; Overall total appointment by WoR per million state population; Effective total appointment by WoR per million state population; and Effective number of appointments per million state population. Step 3: Finally, all the analyses carried out under Steps 1 and 2 were aggregated on the basis of geo-political zones to see the trend. The results of the various analyses described above are as presented in the accompanying tables. State Performance Trend: After including the ministerial/political appointments, top bureaucratic appointments and top legislative positions, the list of the all-comers appointees went from 545 to 680. The original data provided by the SGF was disaggregated into career-based and non-career-based. States with the highest number of career-based appointees were: Katsina (12), Osun (12), Edo (11), Ogun (11), Kogi (10) and Kwara (10), Anambra (eight), and Benue (eight) while states with the least number of career-based appointments were Zamfara (one), Oyo (one), Nasarawa (one), Sokoto (two), Niger (two), Jigawa (two), Ebonyi (two), Taraba (three) and Lagos (three). In the SGF data, the leading states in terms of federal appointments were: Delta (27), Kogi (26), Anambra (25), Osun (25), Edo (23), Ogun (22). When the career-based appointees were removed from the SGF data, the leading states with non-career-based appointees were: Delta (17), Anambra (17), Kogi (16), Kaduna (15), Imo (14) and Kano (14) while the least favoured states were: Zamfara (three), Taraba (three), Yobe (four), Lagos (four), Ekiti (four), Ebonyi (four), Cross River (four), Sokoto (five) and Plateau (five). When all the political appointments at the ministerial, bureaucratic and legislative levels were added to the SGF data, the leading states in terms of total appointments were: Anambra (35), Delta (34), Kaduna (29), Kogi (28), Kwara
When the career-based appointees were removed from the SGF data, the leading states with non-career-based appointees were: Delta (17), Anambra (17), Kogi (16), Kaduna (15), Imo (14) and Kano (14) while the least favoured states were: Zamfara (three), Taraba (three), Yobe (four), Lagos (four), Ekiti (four), Ebonyi (four), Cross River (four), Sokoto (five) and Plateau (five). CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
6 | NEWS
News Oyo ACN queries ex-gov’s academic credentials HE Action Congress of NigeT ria (ACN), Oyo State chapter, has said that it doubts the engineering certificate of former governor of the state. It made this known in a release issued by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, in response to a newspaper interview granted by the former governor where he cast aspersion on the recently inaugurated fly-over bridge constructed by the Abiola Ajimobi government. The erstwhile governor in the interview had wondered why barriers were put at the entrances of the bridge and said it was a reflection of the fact that the bridge was badly constructed. ACN said the former governor was exhibiting his widely perceived mental limitations and depth. “We wonder which school of engineering the former governor passed through. Was he ever taught Introductory Highway Engineering in school? If he was, even though he claimed to be a Chemical Engineer, this naivety, dressed in the robe of ignorance, would have been addressed at such an elementary level. This naivety is too striking and recommends that his engineering certificate be withdrawn forthwith,” said the ACN.
Gowon, Obasanjo, others eulogise Akinkugbe at 80 From Iyabo Lawal and Kehinde Olatunji, Ibadan friends and associFandAMILY, ates of elder statesman seasoned scholar, Emeritus Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe yesterday gathered in Ibadan to celebrate the life and times of him at 80. The occasion was the 80th praise and thanksgiving service for Akinkugbe held at the All Saints’ Church, Jericho, Ibadan. Among the dignitaries were former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd); former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of Interim Government, Ernest Shonekan; Chairman, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, Christopher Kolade; Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his Ondo State counterpart, Olusegun Mimiko. Obasanjo, who described Akinkugbe as an achiever and a great success, said, “The celebration is not for the celebrant and the family alone. I am the second celebrant. The history of Nigeria would have been different;
the worst would have happened but for the interventions of the likes of Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe and the Almighty God. The economy of the country was down but we were able to overcome the challenge. They helped in saving the situation”. Gowon described Akinkugbe as an epitome of humility and a blessing to humanity. He said, “I celebrate him. He is a man of honour and a pride to Nigeria as a nation”. Ajimobi said the celebrant is an accomplished man, symbol of abundance, grace, blessing, intellectualism, industry, nobility, humility and all round success. He said: “The celebrant stands for style and did creditably well in Government College, Ibadan. This gathering is intimidating because of the presence of three heads of states here today. We have here two generals and a renowned industrialist”. The Esama of Benin, Gabriel Igbinedion, and
Oba Otudeko said he was a simple and well-loved person. Igbinedion said, “He has made a mark as an illustrious personality in the land”. Archbishop of Ibadan Province and Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, (Anglican Communion), Joseph Akinfenwa, who described the celebrant as an enigma, however, lamented the poor state of education in the country, labelling the situation as hopeless. Akinfenwa particularly decried the state of university education in the country, saying government attitude towards improving the standard of public tertiary institution was regrettable. He said: “We are not happy about the ongoing ASUU strike in Nigerian universities. The situation of education in the land is lamentable and unacceptable considering the fact that the president and the minister of Education are university persons. “Unfortunately, earning a degree in Nigeria has become a journey you don’t
know when it will end”. Extolling the virtues of the celebrant, he said, “God has given you a peculiar insight, your work as a parent and mentor are not ended yet. “We have seven days in a week so eight means a new beginning for you. You have to be more relevant to people who are looking up to you. “Akinkugbe has fulfilled his earthly potential. He has led such a productive life. He is a real foreman in terms of quality and quantity. He is a blessing not only to Nigeria but also to humanity. “He became a professor at 35, Dean of college at 37 and Vice-Chancellor of university at 42”. Vice Chancellor University of Ibadan (UI) Professor Isaac Adewole described the celebrant as an outstanding man. He said, “We are celebrating a man of many parts, a giant in every respect. He is an outstanding person and he is worth celebrating”.
Court orders NASS to provide information on members’ emoluments From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
HE Freedom of Information Act passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President came into practice in Edo State as a Federal High Court has ordered the Clerks of the Senate and House of Representatives to furnish the founder and president, One Love Foundation, Patrick Eholor, the salaries,
allowances and Constituency funds of Senator Ehigie Uzamere representing Edo South Senatorial District and the member representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives Nosakhare Osahon. The order by Justice A.M. Liman yesterday was sequel to a case with suit No: FHC/B/CS/94/13, filed by counsel to Eholor, Daniel Ogbegie
who said his client was seeking accountability of public officers entrusted with the responsibility of representing their people and to ensure that they live up to such mandates. Eholor, who is also a chieftain of the Labour Party had been critical of political office holders in Edo State, urging them to be accountable to the electorate.
Govt directs ministries to implement constituency projects From: Mohammed Abubakar Abuja HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday rose from its weekly meeting with a directive to all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of govern-
ment responsible for the execution of constituency projects as captured in the 2013 budgets to immediately implement same. The FEC also raised a special committee under the leadership of the Attorney-General
of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), to work out Nigeria’s position to the fouryear second Nigeria’s adoption of United Nations Universal Human Rights Report review.
Court hears journalists’ bid to stop trial July 23 By Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja N Abuja High Court yesA terday fixed July 23, 2013 for hearing of an application filed by two Leadership journalists: The Group News Editor, Mr. Tony Amokeodo, and Senior Correspondent, Mr. Chibuzo Ukaibe and their employer seeking to halt proceedings in the alleged forgery of a presidential directives’ bromide published in the newspaper on April 3, 2013. The trial Judge, Justice Usman Musale also ordered the prosecution to file its counter response before the said date. Ruling on whether or not
the journalists’ application filed by their counsel, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), was ripe for hearing, Justice Musale held that “the application, having been filed and served on the prosecutor, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), who has since indicated interest to oppose the application, he (Awomolo) has to be given the right to oppose”. The judge held further that failure to allow prosecution right to oppose the said application will be a breach of fair hearing as envisage by the constitution. The judge said: “The breach of right to fair hearing
occurs when opportunity is denied to a party in court. For that reason, the motion is not ripe for hearing as the prosecution ought to be given time to respond to it. In the circumstance, time will be given for the motion to be heard on the merit. The motion shall be moved on July 23, 2013”. The Judge had on July 15, 2013 issued a summons (subpoena ad testificandum) on the president and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, courtesy of the Federal Ministry of Justice, headquarters, Maitama, Abuja.
Ehusani blames leadership for corruption From Collins Olayinka, Abuja OCILITY and failure of political leadership have been blamed for the sophisticated dimension corruption has assumed in Nigeria. This was the submission of Rev. Father George Ehusani while delivering a keynote speech at a national dialogue on corruption and accountability organised by Nancy and Jennifer Ibe Centre for Public Accountability (NAJICPA) in Abuja yesterday. He argued that Nigerians have so far allowed who he tagged “gangsters and fraudsters” to occupy the corridors of political power for too long, adding that Nigerians expect the necessary changes to come without working for them. Ehusani, who tied the growth of corruption to the untamable monster, blamed Nigerians for not asking questions, but rather celebrated people who became rich overnight without questioning the sources of their wealth. He said: “Nigerians sit at home and expect changes to come. We have gangsters and fraudsters in the corridors of power. Do we really expect one gangster to jail another gangster?”, he asked. Adding spiritual dimension to the possible remote influences of corrupt acts, Ehusani said he has long banned launching in all the churches he has superintended over so to discourage show of affluence that could encourage church members to steal and live above their means.
Gombe suspends Emir of Pindiga From Ali Garba, Gombe OVERNOR Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State has approved the suspension of Alhaji Adamu Haruna Yakubu, the Emir of Pindiga, in Kumo Local Council Area of the state. A letter by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Political and Chieftaincy Affairs on behalf of the Secretary to the Gombe State Government, Alhaji A. Kawuwa yesterday, said the emir would stay away from office to allow for unfettered investigation. The statement said: “Following the persistent complaints received from the people of Pindiga Emirate on the activities and conduct of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Adamu Haruna Yakubu, the emir of Pindiga, the government has set up a committee to investigate the allegations made against him”. The statement did not, however, give the complaints levelled against the emir.
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THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Fashola drops suit against Jang over NGF From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja AGOS State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) yesterday applied to withdraw the case he filed against the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang at an Abuja High Court, seeking to stop him (Jang) from parading himself as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). Counsel for Fashola, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) filed a motion for discontinuance, praying the court to strike out the suit for “strategic” reason. But counsel for Jang, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) objected to the withdrawal of the suit on the premise that the leave of the court was not sought before the motion for withdrawal was filed and moved in court. Oyetibo, with whom was Paul Erokoro (SAN) prayed the court to dismiss the suit because the plaintiff did not do the right thing before seeking to withdraw his suit. While he was still arguing against the withdrawal of the suit, Osinbajo informed the court that he had just filed a motion for the leave of the court to withdraw the case.
Atuche, victim of forceful take over of Bank PHB, says Utomi By Bertram Nwannekanma ORMER board member of FUtomi defunct Bank PHB, Prof. Pat yesterday told an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, presided by Justice Lateefat Okunnu that the bank’s former managing director, Mr. Francis Atuche was a victim of a plot to take over the bank by the powers that be. Utomi stated this during his testimony at the opening of defence at the ongoing trial of Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth and the bank’s former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu on allegations of stealing N25.7 billion belonging to the bank. Led in evidence by the defence counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), Utomi told the court that plot was hatched right from the top that even the Governor of Central Bank Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi told him at a point that if Atuche is removed as the chief executive that thing will change. Utomi, who is the first defence witness, said the take over of the bank and subsequent prosecution of Atuche was a clear case of injustice by the powers that be. Describing Sanusi as his bossom friend even after his appointment as the CBN’ s governor, Utomi gave instance of his invitation to Aso Rock Villa by the late President Musa Yar’Adua, in which the president brought out a petition from his study written against the bank on a mere cheque hiking (minor infraction involving cheque clearing). He said: “The same reason why I came out to protest during the June 12, 1993 election and was arrested and detained was the same reason, I am coming out now to testify because of my dislike for injustice. Utomi also supported his testimony that the takeover of the bank was a well orchestrated agenda with a recent book published by the former presidential spokesperson, Olusegun Adeniyi in which he listed Bank PHB as one of the banks earmarked for take over.
Tears, eulogies as senators bid Ewherido farewell From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja T was emotion-laden moIofment yesterday as the body the late Senator Pius A. Ewherido greeted the National Assembly’s foyer for the last time. Not even the male senators could hold back tears as they reminisced their cordial relationship with their deceased colleague. The remains of the late senator, who until his death on June 30, 2013 represented Delta Central, was laid in state for several hours during a valedictory session. In his tribute, President of the Senate, David Mark, described Ewherido as a silent achiever, lively, calculative, focused and an exceptional person who never boasted about his achievements.
According to him, Ewherido’s death was traumatic and tinkered with the oneness, corporate spirit, togetherness and love that bond them together in the Senate. “The sudden demise of Ewherido is traumatic. Each time death occurs, it tinkers with the oneness, corporate spirit, togetherness and love that bond us in this Senate. Death is inevitable but whenever it occurs, we are taken by surprise. “Ewherido was a man with exceptional achievements, he never boasted about his achievements and contributions to his community and the society at large. He was a silent achiever who was referred to by his people as the Uloho (Iroko). “He provided shelter to many in his community, a gesture
Ewherido that cannot easily be forgotten. To most people from his state, he represented a unique voice of courage and boldness. “Senator Ewherido was a live-
ly, calculative and focused person. I can describe him as a man of all seasons who was always confident, vocal and comfortable in any company he found himself. His death was untimely and painful. He left his footprints on the sand of history. He lived a memorable life of a true Catholic and Christian full of enviable legacies”. Almost in tears, Mark said the Senate will not forget Ewherido’s persuasive, pedantic, brilliant and vibrant contributions to debates in this chamber. “Each time he made contributions, he demonstrated patriotism and nationalism. He was a good team player who placed the love for the people above any form of individualistic or parochial interests. He was objective, truthful, sin-
cere, committed and charismatic. The Senate has indeed lost a rare gem, as shown clearly in your testaments”. Mark, however, assured the late lawmaker’s family of the Senate’s support to ensure that they do not suffer lack. At the valedictory session were the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, Ewherido’s widow and children as well as other personalities and family members. Also, the Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba’ kickstarted the “sober duty of paying tribute to a man, who until June 30’ was a member of this hallowed chambers.” The late senator served under the platform of Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) as the only successful candidate in a state dominated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Bipi accuses Amaechi of dictatorship, others CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 Inspector Bawa, reported to the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge at Asokoro, Abuja yesterday and claimed that they have been posted by the Police Headquarters to monitor it. Feyii also disclosed that earlier, four intelligence officers had been posted to Government House, Port Harcourt, by the Rivers State Police Command. According to him, the postings were done without any notification or reference to Amaechi. On his part, factional speaker, Evans Bipi, speaking in Abuja yesterday, after a visit to the Presidential Villa, said: “ I am a concerned party in the recent development in the state that brought about my election as the new speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. I was duly nominated and elected on the floor of the house with appropriate instruments and officers of the house. He alleged that “immediately after I was elected speaker, Governor Amaechi invaded the hallowed chambers of the Assembly with thugs, his ADC, CSO and a retinue of oth-
er security men and personally gave orders for the brutalization of lawmakers and staff of the Assembly.” He went on: “One of us, Hon. M.O Chinda, lies critically ill in a hospital and has undergone several surgeries. “Since my emergence I have enjoyed the support of various stakeholders in Rivers State including my dear colleagues and the state chapter of PDP and am very grateful. “Let me bring to your attention the factors that necessitated the impeachment of our former Speaker who failed in his responsibility to bring the governor to book and to act on other matters of state interest. “The recent romance of the governor with the opposition and other anti-party activities which led to his suspension from the PDP stands out as a sore thumb in the face of all right thinking Rivers people. His immature emotional outbursts, arrogance, childish tantrums and insults rained on the entire party, elders and stakeholders, his stoppage of the entitlements of five legislators for a year and the near collapse of the administration of the state
necessitated our resolve and move to seek measures to rescue Rivers people from the shackles of corruption, high handedness and maladministration. Bipi listed “reasons for the impeachment ot the speaker,” as follows: • Money appropriated by the Rivers House of Assembly for the purchase of aircraft was 45 million dollars only but it was inflated by the governor to be 55 million dollars. • We want to know the position of other aircraft owned by Rivers State government, the bombardier aircraft bought by his administration and in whose name it was bought for how much? •The governor’s wife has siphoned all constituency projects to her Private NGO, while members opposed to his maladministration are being denied their 2013 constituency projects as well as monthly allowances. •Without due process, the governor suspended Obi/Akpor LGA chairman, vice chairman, secretary and 17 councilors. †ill date they remain out of office. • The governor has consistently interfered in the affairs of the legislative chamber in
Oil majors harbour thieves, says Kuku From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja OR the war against oil Fwon,theft to be successfully there is the need for oil multinationals to look inwards, because most of its members of staff have the expertise to carry out the nefarious activities. These were the views of the Special Adviser to the President and Chairman of Amnesty Programme, Chief Kingsley Kuku. Nevertheless, the presidential aide believed that with the determination of the Jonathan administration, coupled with the support of the Nigerian Armed Forces, through the instrumentality of the Joint Task Force, JTF, operating in the Niger Delta region, the problem would soon be dealt with. Kuku, who made the observation in an interaction with
State House correspondents in Abuja, said the Federal Government has taken very great steps in dealing with the issues of oil theft. He admitted, however, that the war against oil theft could not be won in a short time giving the organized nature of the crime. His words: "It is not going to be won in single day, because it is a very and a crime issue. It is not a crime committed ordinarily by poor people, it is a crime committed by a very organised people, it is a matter of demand and supply and it is an international crime. "If there are no international buyers there will be no local suppliers and this is the essence of the battle, but the Federal Government is taking steps like I said, by even talking to the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States of America and it is urging them to partici-
pate in dealing with it as an international crime." Asked to comment on allegations that governors of the oil-producing committees were also involved in the oil theft, Kuku said he had no proof of the allegation, asserting that the level of involvement of the people from the Niger Delta could at best be at menial level. According to him, "I don't know, I have never heard of it before that some governors are involved. The best you can find the level of Niger Delta people or some merchants of this trade are those doing menial jobs in it. You will need high grade vessels where you cannot load your illegal or oil theft, you are definitely going to find yourself in a mess where you will have to pay huge sum for demurrage, how many Nigerians have the capacity to do that? Very few people!
the state. • Most legislative bills are altered to suit the governor before being signed into law. • The governor has consistently dipped his hands into the public till of the state including the local government council funds. •N40 billion was approved for the Rivers Monorail project out of which about 19billion naira has been released. There is nothing to show that the amount so far released was judiciously used for the project as the project remains comatose. Also, the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, said in Abuja yester-
day that she had committed the ongoing crisis in Rivers to prayer and that it started as far back as four years ago. She spoke during a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa by 16 bishops from the SouthSouth geo-political zone. She said contrary to some reports, she had always mediated between Governor Chibuike Amaechi and other parties in a crisis that began four years ago. “Amaechi is my son, I cannot fight him and I cannot kill him. He shouldn’t be used by outsiders against his own blood because this seat is vanity.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
8 | NEWS
Adoke carpets Reps over interest in Malabu oil deal From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja HE Attorney General of the T Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), yesterday raised concerns over what he considered the unwarranted interest of the House of Representatives in the controversial ownership of OPL 245 oil block, which has caused a lingering dispute between Malaba Oil and SNUD. In a 20-paragraph statement his Chief Press Secretary, Ambrose Momoh, signed on his behalf, the AGF said he maintained an uncompromised and unbiased role on behalf of the Federal Government in its effort to resolve the ownership dispute between the warring firms. Stating that he knows “those who have compromised their positions in order to author the alleged ‘Report’ and their theatrical display to public gallery,” Adoke remarked: “We also know those secretly beating the drums for masquerades dancing in the market square. We shall confront them at the appropriate forum. “How else can one explain why the ownership of shares in a private company would generate sufficient interest among members of the legislature so as to merit a resolution of a committee that certain persons or companies are entitled to ownership of shares in a private company, when the courts are the appropriate venue for the ventilation of such disputes between share holders (if any).”
The AGF said that though he was not in office when the oil block debacle started, the Federal Government merely facilitated an amicable settlement, and as part of the settlement, “Malabu waived its claim to the said OPL 245 following its receipt of $ 1,092,040,000 billion in full and final settlement of any and all claims, interests or rights relating to or in connection with Block 245.” “The attention of the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to the alleged report of the House of Representatives Committee on the transaction involving the Federal Government and Shell/Agip companies, and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in respect of Oil Block OPL 245, part of which has been serialised in the print media,” the statement read. It was reported that the AGF had stated that he was cleared by the alleged report of the committee for the role his office played in facilitating the settlement between Malabu Oil & Gas Limited (Malabu) and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited (SNUD) in their long standing dispute over the ownership and right to operate the block. “In view of the misrepresentations and obvious mischief in reporting the role of the Federal Government, its agencies and officials in the settlement of the dispute, it has become necessary to issue this statement so as to set the records straight and properly explain the role played by the Federal Govern-
ment, its agencies and officials in settlement of the dispute,” the statement continued. It said it was opposite to state that though the dispute between Malabu and SNUD predates Adoke in office, available records reveal that the Federal Government in furtherance of its Indigenous Exploration Programme Policy introduced in the early 1990s to encourage effective development of indigenous capability in the upstream sector of the oil industry, allocated oil blocks to indigenous oil and gas companies, which they were expected to develop in partnership with international oil companies as technical partners. It noted: “Malabu, an indigenous oil and gas company was allocated OPL 245 in April 1998 and in accordance with the terms of the grant, it appointed SNUD as its technical partner. The two companies executed relevant agreements, including a Joint Operation Agreement, in 2001. “Records indicate that SNUD took 40 per cent participating interest in the venture in a farm-in- agreement and also signed agreement with Malabu as its technical partner for the venture. Though Malabu was issued a licence for Block 245 in April 2001, the same licence was subsequently revoked by the Federal Government on July 2, 2001. “Exxon-Mobil and Shell were then invited in April 2002 to bid for OPL 245, despite the existence of subsisting con-
tractual agreements between Malabu and SNUD with respect to OPL 245. Malabu was dissatisfied with the revocation and contended that the circumstances leading to it was less than transparent and smacked of inducement and connivance from SNUD, which at the material time was its technical partner. “Malabu also contended that the subsequent re-award of OPL 245 to SNUD by the Federal Government was done under questionable circumstances. It then petitioned the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum to look into the matter. It is important to note that the committee found no rational basis for the revocation and reprimanded Shell for its complicity. “The committee also directed the Federal Government to withdraw the re-award it made to Shell and return OPL 245 to Malabu, the original allottee of the block. “In addition to its recourse to the committee, Malabu also instituted Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/420/2003 before the Federal High Court, Abuja, to enforce its claim to OPL 245. Though the suit was struck, Malabu proceeded to lodge appeal No. CA/A/99M/2006 before the Court Appeal, Abuja Division. During the pendency of the appeal, an amicable settlement was entered between Malabu and the Federal Gov-
ernment and in compliance with the terms of settlement executed by the parties on November 30, 2006, OPL 245 was fully and completely restored to Malabu in consideration of its withdrawal of the appeal. “Apparently dissatisfied with the terms of settlement between the Federal Government and Malabu, SNUD commenced arbitral proceedings against the decision of the Federal Government to restore/re-allocate OPL 245 to Malabu at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington DC, and made representations to government on the impending arbitration. It also commenced a suit against the government before the Federal High Court, Abuja. “Though several meetings were held between the Presidency, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, SNUD and Malabu to resolve the dispute, no satisfactory outcome was achieved. Attempts were also made in 2007 to resolve the dispute by a committee comprising the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Minister of Energy, Group Managing Director, NNPC and DPR, but the issues could not be amicably resolved before the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua came to power.
Govt orders withdrawal of troops from Mali
Senate okays marriage of underaged children HE Senate has approved T the marriage of underaged children in the country. This new law will proscribe the 18 year-old rule for any Nigerian child to qualify to engage in a conscious agreement of m a r r i a g e . The Senate claimed that a woman is deemed to be full of age once she is married irrespective of her age. The proponents of the under-aged marriage rule include Senator Yerima Ahmed Sani, Zamfara West, who claimed that the provision which stipulates a certain age for women before getting married, was at variance with Islamic l a w . After a moment of controversy, Senate President David Mark asked his colleagues to vote afresh on the provision, a situation that eventually went in Sani’s favour. Sani had two years ago married a 13-yearold Egyptian.
Okorocha sacks cabinet, aides From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri OVERNOR Rochas OkoG rocha of Imo State has sacked all his commissioners. Also sacked are all his Political Advisers, Special Advisers (SAs), Seniour Special Assistants (SSAs) and Special Assistants (SAs). According to a statement by the Secretary to the Government of Imo State (SGI), Prof. Anthony Anwukah, the sacking is with immediate effect.
From Madu Onuorah, Abuja RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the P withdrawal of the country’s troops from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). MINUSMA took over from the African International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) under which Nigeria deployed in February this year. This is the first time in the history of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations that Nigeria is unilaterally withdrawing own troops over disagreement with the way mission operational headquarters is staffed. In February this year, Nigeria deployed a total of 1,200 troops for the AFISMA operation, comprising a Nigerian Army battalion plus strength of 900 troops and Nigerian Air Force strength of 300 troops. In addition, a Signal Squadron of 61 personnel was deployed. The Air Force also deployed two DassaultBreguet Dornier Alpha fighter jets and two Mi-35 Helicopters for the Malian operation. In addition, the Nigerian Contingent Air Component has deployed the C-130 Transport Hercules and the medium carrier, the G222 for the operation. It, however, lost one of the Alpha jets and two pilots in the Malian operation. Director of Defence Information, Brig Gen Chris Olukolade, who refused to comment on the ordered withdrawal of troops, told The Guardian that “we will let Nigerians know if we are withdrawing from Mali. And
we shall follow all diplomatic and other procedures if and when we are pulling out.’’ However, a source said that President Jonathan ordered Nigeria’s withdrawal in protest against “ill treatment of own troops and non recognition of the roles it has been playing in the search for global peace. Nigeria was shabbily treated despite its role in efforts to stabilise the situation in Mali. The President has no choice but to order that the troops be withdrawn. The modalities for the withdrawal are now being worked out now. Look, left to the military, Nigerian troops would have been home by now. But our diplomats are sorting out the procedural issues involved. Otherwise, we are out.” Last month, UN Secretary General UN, Ban Kin Moon announced the appointment of Maj. Gen. Jean Bosco Kazura of Rwanda as the new Force Commander of MINUSMA, sidelining Nigeria’s Major General Shehu Adbulkadir who was the force commander of AFISMA from inception in January 2013. Despite being the fourth largest troop contributing country under the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, no Nigeria has any appointment as the Force Commander in any of the UN peace keeping missions. The UN currently has 15 peacekeeping operations and one special political mission – the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
OAU hospital doctors threaten strike From Tunji Omofoye,Osogbo ESIDENTS doctors at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHc), Ile-Ife, Osun State, have threatened to embark on indefinite strike if the management of the institution failed to publish the list of newly employed doctors to strengthen the workforce before the end of this month. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Ile-Ife, the President of Association of Resident Doctors, OAUTHC Chapter, Dr. Adeola Ajibade, said the union gave the ultimatum due to the refusal of the management to fulfill its promise to employ more doctors. The doctors who sought for the intervention of the Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA), Medical and Dental Council Association of Nigeria and well meaning Nigerians, noted that Resident Doctors and House Officers of the institution have been on marathon call-duty for weeks while some units currently operate without Registrars or House officers. In a swift reaction, the management promised through the Deputy Director, Corporate Services, Mr. Olu Bello, that the hospital management would not only release the list of successful candidates but offer them appointment very soon.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
WorldReport ICC seeks support of Nigeria, others for treaty
At 95, the ailing global icon fights on By Bola Olajuwon CROSS the world today, admirers of global icon and South Africa’s first Black President, Nelson Mandela, will be honouring his legacy through millions of acts of charity in celebration of his 95th birthday. But the man, known dearly as Madiba, will likely spend the day on his hospital bed, where he is reportedly clinging on to life support machine. Surprisingly yesterday, Mandela’s daughter, Zindzi, said the global icon has made “dramatic progress” and may be going home “anytime soon.” “I visited him yesterday and he was watching television with headphones,” said Zindzi in an interview with Britain’s Sky TV. “He gave us a huge smile and raised his hand … He responds with his eyes and his hands.” The latest description by Zindzi – who is one of Mandela’s daughters by his second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela – is a significant improvement from court documents filed by the family earlier this month, which said he was on life support and nearing his death. Mandela has been in a Pretoria hospital since June 8 and officials said his condition is critical but stable. However, he was born on July 18, 1918 into the Xhosaspeaking Thembu people in a small village in the eastern Cape of South Africa and later named Rolihlahla Dalibhunga. He was given his English name, Nelson, by a teacher at his school. His father, a counsellor to the Thembu royal family, died when Nelson Mandela was nine, and he was placed in the care of the acting regent of the Thembu people, Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo. He joined the African National Congress in 1944, first as an activist, then as the founder and president of the ANC Youth League. He married his first wife, Evelyn Mase, in 1944. They were divorced in 1958 after having four children. Mandela qualified as a lawyer and in 1952 opened a law practice in Johannesburg with his partner, Oliver Tambo. Together, Mandela and Tambo campaigned against apartheid, the system devised by the all-white National Party that oppressed the black majority. In 1956, Mandela was charged with high treason, along with 155 other activists, but the charges against him were dropped after a four-year trial. Resistance to apartheid grew, mainly against the new Pass Laws, which dictated where black people were allowed to live and work. In 1958, Mandela married
Winnie Madikizela, who was later to take an active role in the campaign to free her husband from prison. The ANC was outlawed in 1960 and Mandela went underground. Tension with the apartheid regime grew, and soared to new heights in 1960 when 69 black people were shot dead by police in the Sharpeville massacre. This marked the end of peaceful resistance and Mandela, already national vice-president of the ANC, launched a campaign of economic sabotage. He was eventually arrested and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government. Conducting his own defence in the Rivonia courtroom, Mandela used the stand to convey his beliefs about democracy, freedom and equality. In the winter of 1964, he was sentenced to life in prison. He spent the next 27 years in jail. But it was through his willingness to forgive his white jailers that Mandela made his indelible mark on history. After negotiating an end to apartheid, he became South Africa’s first black president, drawing a line under centuries of colonial and racist suppression. He then led reconciliation in the deeply divided country. Archbishop emeritus, Desmond Tutu – himself a Nobel peace laureate – said about the celebrant: “Never before in history was one human being so universally acknowledged in his lifetime as the embodiment of magnanimity and reconciliation as Nelson Mandela.” However, Mandela is currently spending the last six weeks in a Pretoria hospital, where he is still in a critical but stable condition. He had suffered numerous health problems over the years. Before his current health scare, Mandela, while serving a 27-year prison term, was diagnosed with early stage tuberculosis in 1988 after being admitted to hospital in Stellenbosch near Cape Town with a bad cough and weakness and having complained of dampness in his cell. Two litres of fluid were drained from his chest and he spent six weeks recuperating in the hospital before being transferred to a private clinic near his mainland Cape Town prison where he was the facility’s first black patient. In January 2011, Mandela set the nation on edge when he was hospitalised for two nights with an unnamed acute respiratory infection at the age of 92. He was released in a stable condition for home-based care and intense medical
monitoring. In December 2012 Mandela underwent nearly three weeks of treatment for a recurrent lung infection and surgery to extract gallstones. He was admitted on December 8 and allowed to leave on December 26 for home-based care. He also spent one night in hospital in early March 2013 for what was described as a scheduled medical checkup. He was readmitted on March 27 for 10 days of treatment for pneumonia when doctors drained a build up of fluid from his chest, known as a pleural effusion. On June 8, he was back in hospital with a renewed lung infection after his condition deteriorated. He was initially said to be in a serious but stable condition. Mandela had surgery in 1985 for an enlarged prostate gland that had caused a urinary blockage. In 2001, he received radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer and told reporters the following year that he had been given a clean bill of health against the disease. In February 2012, he spent the night in hospital after a minor exploratory procedure to investigate persistent abdominal pain. He underwent a diagnostic laparoscopy, or keyhole surgery, in which doctors made small incisions in the abdominal area to probe it with a tiny camera. Mandela’s tear ducts were damaged by years of being forced to smash limestone rocks in the quarry on Robben Island, due to the alkalinity of the stone, leaving them dry and prone to irritation. He had cataract surgery when he was 75 in 1994, a few months after being sworn in as the nation’s first black president. Press photographers were asked not to use camera flash when taking pictures of Mandela. Breathing with the help of a machine now, family and friends have said Mandela is now responding to treatment. His successor as president, Thabo Mbeki, even suggested he might be discharged from hospital soon. But yesterday – a day away from his 95th birthday – that seems optimistic to many after four hospitilisations in a year.
From Laolu Akande, New York UST as the Federal Government defended its hosting of Sudanese President Omar Bashir in Abuja this week, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, has urged Nigeria and other United Nations (UN) memberstates signatory to the Rome Statute – the treaty setting up the body – not to waiver in their commitment in supporting the work of the court. According to the ICC president, “there are those who seek to undermine the international justice movement, who politicise its action, who question its value, and who purport to speak for the victims it serves. There are those who refuse to cooperate, leaving more than 10 ICC suspects still at large.” Nigeria is among the earlier signatories of the treaty, but the Federal Government’s refusal to arrest Sudanese leader, Omar Al-Bashir, during the just concluded Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Abuja, is being seen by international human rights groups as a let-down and a violation of the Federal Government’s commitment to the ICC treaty. Al-Bashir has been indicted for war crimes since 2009. In a statement issued at the Hague yesterday on the International Justice Day, the president of the world’s first permanent court set up to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide said “while we have come a long way, we cannot afford complacency.” African Union (AU) had recently protested that the ICC has been focussing too much on African leaders and so decided not to support the indictment of Al-Bashir, a basis used by the Federal Government welcomed the indicted Sudanese president to the nation’s capital.
“I just hope that although he may not be able to enjoy his 95th birthday, that he will be well enough for his 96th” friend and fellow campaigner, George Bizos, told Agence France Presse (AFP). Meanwhile, as part of his 95th birthday celebration today, in his native South Africa, biker gangs will clean streets, volunteers will paint schools and politicians will spend 67 minutes on worthy projects in a tidal wave of charity to mark Mandela’s 67 years of public service. The United Nations declared the Nobel peace laureate’s birthday Mandela Day in 2010. But for many, this year takes on extra poignancy. Children in schools around South Africa will begin their day by singing “Happy Birthday” to the former statesman. According to a survey released Wednesday, 89 per cent of young South Africans plan to take part in some way. Near Pretoria, South African President Jacob Zuma will also do his bit. He will try to channel Mandela’s crosscommunity appeal by delivering government housing to poor whites. Global luminaries, pop stars and companies also plan to pledge support. “I will also be giving my 67 minutes to make the world a better place, one small step at a time,” British business mag-
Mandela is still one of the world’s most revered statesmen for leading the struggle to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. His charisma, self-deprecating sense of humour and lack of bitterness over his harsh treatment, as well as his amazing life story, partly explain his extraordinary global appeal.
nate, Richard Branson, pledged in a recorded message. In Manila, 50 abandoned street children will get a television studio tour and see performances by local artists. 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. Unfortunately, the sunset of Mandela’s life has been somewhat overshadowed by bitter infighting among his relatives. But despite the division, Mandela is still one of the world’s most revered statesmen for leading the struggle to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. His charisma, self-deprecating sense of humour and lack of bitterness over his harsh treatment, as well as his amazing life story, partly explain his extraordinary global appeal. Since stepping down as president in 1999, Mandela became South Africa’s highest-profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV/Aids and helping to secure his country’s right to host the 2010 football World Cup. In 2004, at the age of 85, Mandela retired from public life to spend more time with his family and friends and engage in “quiet reflection”. “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” he warned anyone thinking of inviting him to future engagements. The former president had made few public appearances since largely retiring from public life.
Angry protests as school meal kills 22 children in India NDIAN officials revealed yesIdied terday that 22 children have after eating a free lunch feared to contain poisonous chemicals at a primary school, as the tragedy sparked angry street protests. As at yesterday, another 30 children were still in hospital after consuming the meal of lentils, vegetables and rice cooked at a village school in the dirt-poor state of Bihar on Tuesday. “Three children are fighting for their lives but doctors say they might save them,” state education minister, P.K. Shahi, told reporters, as initial investigations showed the food might have contained traces of insecticide. The minister said police were probing whether the food was accidentally or possibly deliberately poisoned, adding that “the facts of the case will be established in the investigation”.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Issues in the News
Analyses, lessons of current geopolitical CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
(28), Ogun (27), Osun (27), Edo (26), Adamawa (26), Imo (24), Katsina (24) and Bayelsa (24), while states with the least number of total appointments were: Zamfara (seven), Taraba (seven), Lagos (nine), Ebonyi (nine), Yobe (11), and Sokoto (11). The trend described above represents a slight departure from the SGF analysis. Major departure from the trend of the SGF analysis began to emerge when the number of appointments was weighted according to the responsibility that each position carries and the results were further evaluated on the basis of the state population. Ranking on the basis of effective total appointments showed the leading states as: Anambra (26), Delta (24), Kaduna (23), Adamawa (18), Kwara (18), Bayelsa (17), Kano (17) and Kogi (17). Ranking on the basis of effective total appointments by WoR followed a similar trend: Anambra (285), Delta (277), Kaduna (261), Bayelsa (252), Imo (209), Kano (196), Kwara (194), Benue (185) and Rivers (184). The least states were: Taraba (35), Yobe (55), Lagos (60), Zamfara (70) and Ekiti (70). The result of analysis on the basis of overall total appointments by WoR thrust up Kaduna, Bayelsa and Benue into the fold and Delta regained lead with 337, followed by Anambra (331), Kaduna (288), Bayelsa (272), Adamawa (259), Benue (237) and Kwara (230), while Taraba (43), Lagos (67), Zamfara (72) and Yobe (77) hold the rear positions. Delta’s lead was due to the presence of more appointees attracting greater WoR points than Anambra’s. For example, Delta has two ministers and a Naval Chief of Staff, each carrying 20 points on the basis of WoR, compared to Anambra’s one minister in that category. Further analysis and ranking on the basis of overall total appointments by WoR per million population showed that Bayelsa (160 units) was by far in the lead, followed by Kwara (97), Delta (82), Adamawa (81), Anambra (79), and Edo (67), while states with the least overall total appointments by WoR per million population were Lagos (seven), Taraba (19), Zamfara (22), Kano (23), and Jigawa (26). On a comparative scale, Bayelsa is about 200 per cent more favoured than Delta, Edo and Anambra states, each of which is, at least, 800 per cent more favoured than Lagos. On the basis of overall total number of appointees per million population, Bayelsa (10) led Kwara (nine) and Kogi (eight). Delta, hitherto the leading state, is joint fourth with Edo and Osun states with a score of seven per million population. It is instructive that even when the entire 100 units assigned to the WoR of the position of President was removed from Bayelsa on the justifiable assumption that the President was not representing Bayelsa per se but the South-South zone and that the entire Nigeria, its 89 overall total appointment by WoR per million population was still the highest. States with the least effective number of appointments per million population (political office holders) were: Lagos (one), Akwa Ibom (two), Jigawa (two), Kano (two), Katsina (two), Sokoto (two), Taraba (two), Yobe (two) and Zamfara (two). Geo-political zone analysis: The geo-political zone segregation of the SGF data showed that the South-South led the way with 105 appointments, followed by North-Central (98), NorthWest (95), South-West (88), South-East (79) and North-East (76). The same trend repeats when the overall total appointments were segregated to zones: South-South led with 133, followed by NorthCentral (120), North-West (119), South-West (111), South-East (97) and North-East (94). Based on this type of data analysis, one might be tempted to conclude that the least favoured zones in terms of federal appointments are SE & NE. Such conclusion falls on quicksand when the data is analysed on the basis of overall total appointments by WoR, as the zonal total figures were: South-South (1288), North-West (1151), North-Central (1055), South-East (957), South-West (922) and North-East (794). The corresponding zonal averages were: South-South (215), South-East (191), NorthCentral (176), North-West (164), South-West (154) and North-East (132). The zonal disadvantage of the SE in terms of number of states appears to have been corrected in the total
appointments by weight of appointees as its score of 957 is higher than those of South-West (922) and North-East (794), each of which has a total for six states. Noting that the variation in the number of states per zone from five for SE to seven for NW, while the others were six, was responsible for the big jump in the SE data to second position on the basis of the zonal averages, an alternative calculation based on population was considered a fairer option. The resulting analysis revealed that zonal figures, on the basis of overall total appointments by WoR per million population, were South-South (61) followed by South-East (58), NorthCentral (56), North-East (42), South-West (33) and NorthWest (32). In terms of effective total appointments by WoR - a measure of the weight of political appointments - per million population, the figures were: South-South (52), South-East (52), North-Central (47), NorthEast (36), South-West (28) and North-West (28). In an attempt to confirm the extent of intra-zonal cries of marginalisation, the analysed data was segregated into highest and lowest states within the zones. The results show that the highest zonal performing states in terms of effective total appointments by WoR were: SS - Delta (277), NW Kaduna (261), SE - Anambra (255), NE Adamawa (225), NC - Kwara (194) and SW - Ogun (175), while the least performing states within the zones were: NC Plateau (105), SS - Akwa Ibom (100), SE - Ebonyi (100), NW - Zamfara (70), SW - Lagos (60) and NE Taraba (35). When the zonal median (established by averaging the scores of the highest and least states in each zone) for effective total appointments by WoR was cal- Ashiru culated, SE came first with 192, followed by SS (188), NW (165), NC (145), NE (130) and SW (117). In order to find a simple and objective way to show the extent to which a state is being “marginalised” within a zone, the state with the least score was weighed against the state with the highest score, and the results were as follows: NC, where Nasarawa scored 56 per cent of Kwara, came first as the zone that tries to demonstrate some level of equity in the distribution of federal appointments. SS was second as Akwa Ibom’s score compared to Delta was 36 per cent, SE was third as Ebonyi was 35 per cent of Anambra, SW was fourth as Lagos had 34 per cent of Ogun’s score, NW was fifth as Zamfara’s score was 27 per cent of Kaduna, and the zone with the highest variability, an indicator of state marginalisation within its zone is NE, where Taraba scored a mere 15.5 per cent of Adamawa’s score. On population basis, however, the results of the best state within the zone in terms of effective total appointments by WoR per million population showed that: for the SS - Delta (67) was displaced by Bayelsa with 148 points (or 89 with the removal of the points attached to the weight of the position of President), NC - Kwara
• Influence of powerful members of the cabinet that readily get the listening ears of the President: How have the states of these groups of ministers fared? Can we ascribe all the appointments made in favour of indigenes of their states to the sole impact of their respective influences? • Alignment of state ruling party with the federal ruling political party: If the PDP states are expected to fare better than the non-PDP states, why are Sokoto, Rivers and Ebonyi states lagging behind Osun State? • The President’s state of origin/ethnicity: What is the performance of the President’s state of origin? • State’s access to education: Is there any correlation between the least favoured states and any history of lack of access to education? For example, the data showed that states with the highest number of career-based appointees were: Katsina (12), Osun (12), Edo (11), Ogun (11), Kogi (10), Kwara (10), Anambra (eight) and Benue (eight). The history of each of these states in terms of educational development in their various regions is well known. Could it explain the presence of Osun among states with the highest number of appointees? If that is so, how do we explain the presence of Oyo and Nasarawa states at the bot-
NE - Adamawa (71), SE - Anambra (68), SW - Ogun (47) and NW - Kaduna (43). The least performing states per zone were: SW - Lagos (7), NE Taraba (15), NW - Zamfara (22), NW - Kano (23), SS - Akwa Ibom (32) and SE - Enugu (39). Interpreting the data: What factors make certain states to fare better than the others in career-based and political appointments? In an attempt to find answers to how states and geopolitical zones fared, GSDI tried to identify a number of factors, which, in public discussions, have been peddled as determinants of political favours, and evaluate their individual contribution to the trend observed: • The influence of political godfathers: Does this explain the two ministerial positions in certain states like Ogun and Delta, or the general performance of Delta, Anambra, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Adamawa and Benue states, etc? If that is so, what are we to say of states at the bottom of the ladder like Lagos, Ebonyi and Sokoto? Is it that their godfathers went to sleep or that their efforts were of no effect? How has the influence of the respective godfathers shaped the deployment of certain ministers and permanent secretaries, especially those deployed outside their verifiable areas of expertise and competence?
tom of the ladder with only a career-based appointee each? • State’s public service track record, etc: How have states with track record of public service, like Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, Osun and Ogun performed? Data analysis of federal appointments as a tool for good governance and political engineering: The position of GSDI after examining the above is that the factors at play in determining the performance of states in terms of federal appointments are multiple and operating at very complex multi-layer levels. Accordingly, GSDI is convinced that in order to assist the President to achieve the commitment and resolve of his administration to ensure that the practice of democracy includes the overarching roles of credible persons and institutions that do not manage the political space as predators, as declared in that Mid-Term Report, it is the responsibility of the bureaucracy supporting him to identify and manage these factors. That responsibility starts with not just the capacity to carry out the right type of analysis but the pro-active deployment of that capacity to solve an emerging problem. For example, with the SGF data, which presented Bayelsa as having only 17 positions and ranking 14th, there was nothing to hold back the President from making his next appointment for a CEO of a federal agency from Bayelsa. On the other hand, if the President were to be presented an analysis of the overall total appointment by WoR, which shows Bayelsa as not just being the highest but more than double Delta, which is second, he is likely to have a second thought. Similarly, the SGF data, which was carried in detail by ThisDay, had presented the following as total number of appointees for certain states: Ebonyi (six), Sokoto (seven), Ekiti (10) and Rivers (15), making them to rank 34th, 33rd, 26th and 16th, respectively. When the political
On the basis of overall total number of appointees per million population, Bayelsa (10) led Kwara (nine) and Kogi (eight). Delta, hitherto the leading state, is joint fourth with Edo and Osun states with a score of seven per million population. It is instructive that even when the entire 100 units assigned to the WoR of the position of President was removed from Bayelsa on the justifiable assumption that the President was not representing Bayelsa per se but the South-South zone and that the entire Nigeria, its 89 overall total appointment by WoR per million population was still the highest
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, Iuly 18, 2013
Issues in the News
distribution of federal appointments appointments from all categories were added, despite the increases in numbers, the same trend was maintained as follows: Ebonyi (nine, 33rd), Sokoto (11, 31st), Ekiti (12, 28th), and Rivers (20, 15th). However, further analysis based on incisive examination changed the trend as follows: effective total number of appointments: Ekiti (six, 32nd), Ebonyi (seven, 31st), Sokoto (nine, 29th), and Rivers (20, 15th); effective total appointments by WoR: Ekiti (70, 32nd), Ebonyi (100, 30th), Sokoto (130, 22nd ), and Rivers (184, 10th); effective total WoR per million population: Ekiti (29, 27th), Sokoto (35, 21st), Rivers (35, 21st), and Ebonyi (46, 13th). The implication of the above highlighted results is that on the basis of the earlier analysis, Ebonyi was thrust up as being in dire need of attention while Rivers was shown as having been fairly taken care of. It was the WoR data that helped to show very clearly that Ebonyi’s fewer appointments had more weight than those of Ekiti, for example, and that on per capita basis (per million population), Ebonyi is indeed far better placed than Ekiti, Sokoto and even Rivers. States that showed a clear trend of relative advantage in political appointments were: Anambra, Delta, Kaduna, Adamawa, Kwara, Bayelsa, Edo, Kogi, Ogun, Imo, Benue, Oyo, Katsina and Rivers. It will be recalled that the zonal figures, on the basis of overall total appointments by WoR per million population, were: South-South (61), South-East (58), NorthCentral (56), North-East (42), South-West (33) and North-West (32), while in terms of effective total appointments by WoR (a measure of the weight of political appointments) per million population, the figures were: South-South (52), South-East (52), North-Central (47), North-East (36), South-West (28) and North-West (28). The poor performance of the North-West, North-East and South-West zones in the current geo-political distribution of political appointments has political implications for the President. It, therefore, requires a proactive action. It is easy for those around him to wish it away with a wave of the hand - that these were in the past the high riding geo-political zones and as such, must now stew in their own juice. The more politically correct position would be to make the President court them, in realisation that these zones’ current predicament might both galvanise and spur them to greater battle readiness, if only to free themselves from this quagmire in the next available opportunity. The political wisdom in a position that would advise the President to court them lies in the realisation that the combined population of the NW, NE and SW zones is 82, 621, 598, compared to the combined population of the currently highly favoured NC, SE and SS, which stand at 56, 393, 343. Lessons and the way forward: The lessons of this exercise are very clear: First, this study revealed a number of vital and very useful information, not only for the management of our ethnic diversity, but, perhaps, for President Jonathan’s political engineering. Secondly, noting that the ability to take correct and timely decisions by a president is contingent upon the quality of briefs and data placed before him by his bureaucracy, the inability to unravel the above highlighted vital information in the presentation at the Mid-Term Review underscores, once again, the magnitude of the bureaucratic capacity challenge facing the President Jonathan administration. While commending the effort of the office of the SGF to compile those data and place them in the public domain, there is no doubt that a lot needs to be done to ensure that the type of errors highlighted above, which seem to question the integrity of the data, are avoided. The data and the entire section on Federal Character under which it was published (on pages 15-19 of the Executive Summary) are nowhere to be found in the main volume of the Mid-Term Report. Could that have been because it was rushed? Who put the data together and what was their agenda? Stories going round the service indicate that the bureaucrats in the department with mandate for this kind of issue within the Office of the SGF, were not in the picture and accusing fingers are being pointed at the political aides in that office. Political aides, by their nature, are opportunity-seeking short-timers, who would use official closeness to their principals to highjack the duties of bureaucrats in the direct line
Okonjo-Iweala of executive authority. The challenge for this administration, and in particular the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, is how to take the benefit of institutional memory and build upon it by ensuring that offices with statutory responsibilities are no more sidelined in the performance of their duties. On many occasions, civil servants have been derided as “incompetent, too slow and lacking in initiative”. Political office holders would not be helping the situation if the statutory responsibilities of career public servants are regularly and brazenly given out as contracts or assigned to short-timers masquerading as special assistants. The situation described above is not peculiar and limited to the Office of the SGF. It pervades many ministries. GSDI believes that Nigeria can draw lesson(s) from the experience of other countries, which, even under an open and transparent policy, had faced a similar challenge. In 2006, at the Conference on 21st Century Public Services: Putting People First, then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, after reviewing the nearly 10 years of his administration’s reforms, stated that one of his regrets was his late realisation that by their out-sourcing policy, they were “dummying” (eroding the technical know-how and expertise of) the civil service.
State Appointment Analysis, July 11, 2013
Nigeria’s Federal Civil Service is dying and we do not have the luxury of 10 years to come to Blair’s type of realisation. The considered opinion at GSDI is that the way to revive the civil service begins with allowing the civil servants to perform their statutorily assigned duties. If they fall short of expectation, the system should assist in building their capacity. If, after all the efforts they are still not measuring up to standard, the system should muster the required courage to ship them out. It would have been interesting to isolate and analyse the appointments made in the last two years along the steps itemised above and see the trend. The data presented by the SGF, which formed the basis of GSDI verification study, is a composite of the subsisting and emerging appointments. While, for obvious reasons, GSDI may have decided not to isolate appointments of the last two years for a focused analysis, it is advised that the Office of the SGF takes action to carry out that assessment to enable the administration begin to address the issues it might raise. The marginalisation cries of certain sections of the country relate to that segment of the data. The results presented in the preceding paragraphs should be appreciated within the context of the buffer provided by subsisting (pre2011) appointments. The cries of marginalisa-
tion, even within the zones, sometimes muddle our collective national sense of reasoning to make us take our eyes from the ball of national development. Some Yoruba, for example, would not hold back on attacking Obasanjo as being the godfather that made it possible for Ogun State to have two ministers, forgetting to acknowledge that the two ministers, being outstanding professionals in their fields, are among the few round pegs in round holes in the administration, whose performance are verifiable contributions to the development of the country. Similarly for Drs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Bright Okogu, who may have originated from Delta State but who, by their antecedents, qualifications and experience belong to the league of global professionals who qualify to hold their current positions in any of the top league of countries in the world, had they been born there. However, what should be said of the allegation that the federal appointees from Ondo State into ministerial and special adviser positions are all from within a 10-mile radius of the polling booth of the governor! Even if that is true, the governor is not the only one guilty. How about those others who have the listening ears of the President? How have they performed so far? The commitment and resolve of the administration of President Jonathan to ensure, as he declared during the presentation of the MidTerm Report of his Transformation Agenda, will not be achieved until the key figures around him are able to rise above the retrogressive tendencies of parochialism, ethnicity, inducement and “settlement” in making their submissions to him on not just political appointments but on all issues of national importance. The real issue of national concern is why, in both official and unofficial platforms, must we always consider federal appointments within the narrow prism of geo-political balancing of the sharing of national cake, a procedure that is highly prone to manipulation by those who (using the words of the President) may have been managing the political space as predators? Recognising that the constitutional provision of Federal Character to protect ethnic diversity is not mutually opposing to merit and competence, in how many of the cases of names on the current list of federal appointees can this administration beat its chests that it has not only ensured that the best available in every state or zone are the ones chosen and that, having assigned all the appointees to portfolios that match their integrity, educational training and cognate experience, Nigerians are satisfied with their performances in terms of moving their respective sectors forward? That, and not the sharing of federal appointments, is the issue and the position of GSDI. • Dr. Adegoroye, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary and pioneer Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, is the Executive Chairman of GSDI Ltd, Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
TheMetroSection When justice catches up with Justice
Briefs St. Paul’s School holds prize-giving day
• Air Force nabs facebook ‘Chief of Air Staff’
Paul’s Nursery and PriSthisAINT mary School will today hold year’s end-of-session grad-
. From Karls Tsokar, Abuja EOPLE who have a high mental capacity to do what others look at as being extraordinary, are often said to be intelligent, but how one uses this gift for mutually beneficial ends is another thing. The case of justice catching up with Justice Israel Ukaegbu, a 23-year-old unemployed Aba, Abia State-based Internet “guru” is a case in point. Justice, who confessed to being “extremely talented in different fields, from computers to handling agromechanized equipment”, was arrested by the authorities of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in April for operating a Facebook account and posing as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh. Ukaegbu, according to the Director of Public Relations and Information (DoPRI) , NAF Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, is “a very talented young man, using his talent negatively, has operated this Facebook account for a long time now”, using the medium to defraud desperate unsuspecting Nigerians who desire to join the NAF. It took a thorough investigation by our men before the suspect was traced to Aba, in Abia State, where he was arrested,” he revealed. Anas said this was the third time such arrest was made in the last two years, but the Air Chief Badeh The suspect, Justice Ukaegbu does not even have a facebook ac- trick, because “enlistment does count. So one wonders why Nigeri- not require anybody to pay any ans would fall for such a cheap
“It is noteworthy to add that the impostor attracted and interacted freely with a lot of people in the name of Air Marshal Badeh while also using the same platform to deceive unsuspecting victims of possible recruitment into the Nigerian Air Force for a fee. There is no doubt that the action of Mr. Ukaegbu has a great security implication, not only to the person of Air Marshal AS Badeh, but also for the Nigerian Air Force and the nation in general,” Anas noted. Confirming his misadventure amidst pleas for mercy, Ukaegbu said: “All that they said is true, but I only recently started in January and I have not collected money from anybody”. According to the suspect, his ambition was to join the NAF but after paying N30, 000 to an agent for him to be enlisted, he discovered to his chagrin that he was defrauded, that was why he also joined the train, when he was given the opportunity by his friend, whom he called Wisdom Onyebuenyi, an Information Communication Technology expert. Ukaegbu said it was frustration and joblessness that pushed him into committing the crime. “I wanted to join the Air force, too, but I could not be enlisted. I’m still interested in bringing my talent to the Air force if I‘m given the opportunity” he pleaded. sum of money to get enlisted, it is Like the previous two suspects, he there on our website”, he said. was handed over to the Police for further investigation.
Police boss docked for allegedly assaulting female lawyer From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin SERVING Assistant Commissioner of Police in Kwara State, Mr. Tajudeen Bakre, was yesterday docked at an Ilorin Chief Magistrate Court for allegedly assaulting a female lawyer in his office at the police headquarters. A Direct Complaint sheet by Mrs Oluronke Adeyemi, a legal practitioner, made available to reporters
yesterday in Ilorin, stated that on the26th of June, 2013, the police chief allegedly committed the act contrary to sections 264, 265, 396, 397, 399 and 400 of the penal code and abuse of public office. Adeyemi had said; “criminal complaint of assault, criminal intimidation, use of insulting and abusive language, words and gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman and
threats to life.” According to the complaint addressed to the deputy Chief Registrar of the Kwara Magistrate court, ACP Bakre committed the act on the said date when Mrs Adeyemi accompanied her client, Oba Daniel Dada, the Elegosi of Egosi to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) at the police headquarters on the invitation of the Oba by the po-
lice. The lawyer complained that on her introduction as the counsel to the Oba and his chiefs to ACP Bakre, he allegedly flared up and declared that he would not entertain any lawyer in his office and ordered the counsel out. It was stated that attempts to make the police chief see reason attracted more rage from him, he allegedly charged at
the woman lawyer wildly and “rained curses, and other abusive languages on her threatening to deal ruthlessly with her.” Meanwhile, Mr. Bakr had pleaded not guilty to the charges and the presiding Magistrate, Mrs Joke Olawoyin had granted him bail on personal recognition and adjourned further hearing till August 14.
Court dissolves 19-year-old marriage over adultery By Joseph Onyekwere USTICE Jahegho Williams of the Delta State High Court, Kwale has dissolved a 19-year-old marriage of a Lagos businessman, Mr Fidelis Chukwunwike Ogwugwa. The judge dissolved the union on the ground that Ogwugwa’s wife, Charity Ogwugwa was engaging in amorous affair with a former Executive Director of Law Union and Rock Insurance Company, Lagos. The court in the judgment also ordered Charity and the former director, Olusegun Ilori to jointly pay the sum of N500, 000 as damages to the petitioner for the trauma and tresspass they caused him and particularly for the irresponsible acts of Ilori in ruining the matrimonial home of Mr. Ogwugwa. “I have carefully considered this petition. They are not contradicted or controverted. This court therefore has no option in the absence of any other fact mitigating against the petitioner. The petition has been proved as required by law. I therefore dissolve the said marriage of 25th November 1994. Further still, I give custody of the children to the petitioner. I also award the sum of N500,000 against Charity Ogwugwa and Olasegun Ilori jointly as special and general damages for the trauma and tresspass particularly, for the irresponsible acts of Segun Ilori in ruining the matrimonial home of the petitioner,” the judge ruled. When the petition was first filed, Ilori was the Ex-
ecutive Director of Law Union and Rock Insurance Company while Charity was project manager of the same company. Ogwugwa first filed the divorce petition at the Lagos High Court, Igbosere through Mr S.A Ogunleye, his counsel. But he later re-filed the petition before a Delta State High Court when Justice Dawodu Williams of Lagos High Court struck out the petition. According to Ogwugwa, he was lawfully married to Charity at the marriage registry on the 25th day of November 1994 in compliance with the Marriage Act. The marriage produced two children a boy and a girl. He said what led to the collapse of the marriage started sometime in the year 2003 when he became suspicious as a result of his wife always excusing herself to receive phone calls at odd hours. Between December 2003 and February 2004, the petitioner found an amorous text from Ilori to his wife. He them called on both of them and cautioned them but they denied there was any sexual relationship involved. On the 18th of April 2010 the petitioner sent an amorous email that could be shared between two lovers to his wife. She acknowledged the mail on the 19th of April 2010 and shortly afterwards forwarded the same to Ilori and in error forwarded a copy to him. “This opened a floodgate of suspicion that led to the discovery of several amorous email messages between the two lovers”, the petitioner
stated. Upon being confronted by the petitioner, his wife confessed to having an adulterous and unprotected oral sex with her boss in the office on several occasions. Consequently, Mr. Ogwugwa sought the following orders of the court - the dissolution of the marriage on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, the custody of the two children produced by the marriage and N20million as special and general damages for the trauma, trespass and irresponsibility of Ilori the party cited in the divorce petition as the person responsible for the collapse of the marriage. During the hearing of the petition, Ogwugwa testified for himself and produced a recorded compact disk in support of his case as evidence that his wife committed adultery. He told the court that his wife was troublesome and always wanted to be in control, that she moved out of the matrimonial home on her own volition on the 3rd of March 2011 and all attempts to reconcile with her proved impossible. Neither the wife nor Segun Ilori filed any reply or cross petition and never showed up in court during the proceedings in Delta State despite the evidence of service of court processes on them. Since the evidence of the petitioner was unchallenged, the court therefore entered judgment in accordance with the prayers contained in the petition.
uation, exhibition and prizegiving day at the school’s premises located on Oduduwa Crescent, GRA Ikeja, Lagos under the Chairman of Chief Monday Okogwu, Iyabo Jumoke Longe, Council Manager of Ibeju Lekki Local Council as Chairperson and Alhaja Danmole as Special Guest of Honour. Meanwhile, the School’s Administrator, Dr. Samuel Jolaosho said “there would be a special fund-raising appeal for the sum of N10 million to take the school to greater level.”
MBHS holds Valedictory Service today HE Valedictory Service/ T Prize-giving Day of Methodist Boys’ High School (MBHS), Victoria Island, Lagos holds today at the school’s Centenary Hall, 11, Sinari Daranjo Street, off Ajose Adeogun, behind Zenith Bank Headquarters, Lagos at 10.00a.m.
Deeper Life celebrates HE Deeper Christian Life T Ministry will mark another month of miracles with the theme: “ Come, and See and also Encounter ‘The God that Cannot Fail” from Saturday, July 20 at 6.00 p.m. to Sunday 21, 2013 at 8.00 a.m. at Deeper Life Conference Centre, LagosIbadan Expressway. Pastor William Kumuyi will minister.
Church holds programme HE Kingdom of Light MinT istries (KLM) will on Saturday, July 20, hold its Special anointing service for the family with the theme: Trans-generational blessing, at the church Corporate Headquarters, 1-2, Ajoke Kazeem Street, Subol Bus Stop, Idimu-Ikotun Road, Idimu, Lagos at 7.30a.m. Pastor Sam Praise is guest minister, Samson Makinwa is the host.
Igbobi College 63/69 set mourns Oshodi Glover HE President and members T of 63/69 set of Igbobi College Old Boys’ Association mourned the death of one of its members, Mr Kunle Oshodi Glover. According to a statement by the association, a Christian wake holds today at the Chapel of the Healing Cross, Idi-Araba, Surulere at 5.00p.m. He will be buried tomorrow at the Ikoyi Cemetery after a funeral service at Tinubu Methodist Church, Lagos at 11a.m.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18 , 2013
Federal Capital Territory Police Area Commander, Mr. Sunday Odukoya and the leader of Nigeria Coalition protesters against Sudan President, AlBashir’s vist at the closing ceremony of the African Union (AU) Special Summit in Abuja...on Wednesday PHOTO : PHILIP OJISUA
Managing Director, Crusader-Sterling, Adeniyi Falade (middle), Head Compliance, Ms. Aromaye Wuraola and Head, Business Department, First Pensions Custodian, Akin Denton during a stakeholders meeting organised by Crusader Sterling Pensions Ltd. recent
Managing Director, FSDH Asset Management Ltd., Olumayowa Ogunwemimo (right), Mr. Austin Akpe of UBA Trustees Ltd. and Chairman, FSDH Asset Management, Mr. Rilwan Belo-Osagie during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the FSDH Coral Growth and Income Funds, managed y FSDH Asset Management Ltd. in Lagos... PHOTO : GABRIEL IKHAHON
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye (left) with two Chinese nationals, Song Jiang She and Zhang Wen Xue after the Command rescued them from their abductors in Sagamu, Ogun State...on Tuesday
LostinLagos team and children from African Development Agency during “We Love a Healthy Lagos” campaign at Palms Shopping Centre, Lekki, Lagos.
RCCG to empower youths at July Summit By Isaac Taiwo HE task for the youth of this nation to fulfill their purpose in life has motivated the Redeemed Christian Church of God Lagos Province 1 to come up with a life-changing programme that will put them on the right pedestal. Addressing the media at the Redeemed Christian Church of God Redemption Camp, Lagos-Ibadan Express Road, the Special Assistant to the General Overseer on Administration and Personnel, Pastor Johnson Odesola, disclosed that a fully packed “Youth Summit” with the theme: “Ignite” would hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on Saturday July 20, beginning from 8.00 a.m. “Organizing this programme is premised on the youth fulfilling their destiny by helping them to readjust their mind to focus on things that are beneficial which would also have positive impact on their future.
Managing Director, New Horizons Nigeria, Tim Akano, one of the successful candidates in the on-the-spot interview and the Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir at the just-concluded New Horizon Job fair in Lagos...
Foundation awards research training grants to African students INCE its inception, alSUS-based most a decade ago, the non-profit foundation, The Africa Education Initiative (NEF), has been in the fore-front of providing hands-on training to students of African origin in the areas of biological and toxicological sciences. Recently, the foundation announced that it has awarded training grants to six students from Nigeria, Cameroon and Egypt. The students are: Nadege Mafopa, Kwe Claude (Cameroun), Hany Fathy (Egypt), Olufunke Mogbo-
Brief CAC holds programme HRIST Apostolic Church C (Odubanjo Centre) has begun activities to mark its Evangelism Week at 6.00p.m daily. It will end on Sunday, July 21, with a thanksgiving service at the church auditorium 9/11 Iyase Street, Ketu Lagos. Theme: “ The Eagerness of God.” Host is Dr. Jare Laoye.
juri, Yusuf Alimi and Chidozie Oparaji (Nigeria). This internship opportunity complements knowledge gained in the classroom. Interns will gain hands-on scientific research and technical experience by participating in structured projects guided by mentor professors. This threemonth training programme serves to promote scholarship and excellence among African students by providing an enabling environment for them to design and conduct toxicological studies. The programme is jointly sponsored by the foundation and National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI)-Vom, Nigeria’s premier Research and Development Institute. Students were chosen from a competitive application process and excelled in a number of the science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, toxicology, medicine, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy. Dozens of students have been trained since the inception of this
programme, which started in summer of 2003. According to the President of the Foundation, Dr. Chudy Nduaka, some of the past interns have been successfully employed in research institutes, academia and pharmaceutical companies. This, he said, is a key measure of success for the programme. This year’s toxicological internship programme started in May and will end in August. Dr. Nduaka thanked the sponsors of the program including, Lhasa UK, Pfizer USA and Millennium Pharmaceuticals USA, for their continued support of the program. He also thanked the internship committee co-chairs Ms Heather Findlay and Adanne Nduaka and NVRI management; Drs Mohammed Sani Ahmed, David Shamaki and Sola Oladipo (also NEF liaison) for planning and executing this year’s programme. For more information, visit the organization’s website: www.nef3.org.
This is because we have the belief and hope that things will still get better in this country.” “It is sad that Nigeria has descended to this current level of degradation, and it will certainly take some time to salvage the nation. My constant advice to people is that we should not give up on the youth. “As we look at our nation today, one of the concerns we have is for our youths to be able to fulfill their destiny and purpose in life. We are all witnesses of the happenings in the country, and we need to readjust the mind of our youth so they can be fulfilled in life and in their chosen career,” he said. Odesola added that, “everywhere you go in the nation, we see youth restiveness and lack of respect for the laws of the land and perpetration of all sorts of wickedness even among those youths who claim to have schooled overseas. It is disheartening that they are part of this category.
“Nigeria is a great nation and it will take young people who are well groomed to serve the nation in leadership capacity” he said. Odesola assured that because of the importance of the programme to the youth, vehicles would be provided at different locations to convey participants to the venue. ‘There is need to eject attitudinal change into these youth with a view to igniting a new lifestyle in our youth and fresh sense of commitment as long as we desire to build a virile nation” he said. Odesola further disclosed that various events have been outlined at the maiden programme which include career and entrepreneurship, expository teaching on marriage, how to make one’s family a haven of rest while the spiritual aspect would be handled by seasoned personalities. Leading gospel ministers in the country like Kenny K’ore, Olorioko and the homegrown Beejaysax will feature
Principal Administrative Officer II, Pastor Toyin Olugbemi (left), Assistant Pastor in Charge of Special Duty, Lagos Province 1, Goke Aniyeloye, Special Asst. to the General Overseer (Admin/Personnel), Pastor Johnson Odesola, Personal Assistant to SA, Pastor Bisi Akande, and Region 1 Youth Pastor, Femi Enigbokan, at the media parley. PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO
14 | THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 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 State of the economy EPORTS on the so-called strength of the Nigerian economy by government funcR tionaries may be good on paper, but they remain artificial to many Nigerians. Apart from grinding poverty which pervades the land and the little or no impact of the much-vaunted macro-economic growth figures on the lives of the people, the negative impact of fiscal deficits is everywhere. For example, the national domestic debt resulting from the unlegislated annual fiscal deficits since 1971 (although they are not officially recognised as such yet and are therefore non-repayable) stands close to 100 per cent of GDP and radiates debilitating economic effects. Secondly, for the umpteenth time and rather strangely to economics, last May, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s monetary policy committee warned that government spending of budgeted and supposed realised revenue “will constitute a major risk to the inflation and exchange rate outlook.” Thirdly, despite the underdeveloped economic state that requires as much government spending as possible, there are well-laid schemes for reducing government spending of realised revenue, including the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and the Excess Crude Account (ECA). Both depend on adopting a lower budget oil price benchmark than international crude oil prices. Lately, there are orchestrated cries of falling oil earnings as well as calls for curtailing government spending. But the CBN has reported that oil receipts at end-March represented 76.3 per cent of federally-collected revenue and exceeded the 2013 budget estimates by 9.3 per cent. Any contrived under-implementation of the budget is therefore, unacceptable. According to the ground rules, any drop in oil sales receipts owing to real or exaggerated causes like fluctuating crude output, oil theft and falling international prices of crude oil should not negatively affect the approved budget if there are funds in the excess crude account. Fourthly, inflation for a long time remains high. This has bred high lending rates, curbed investments and impoverished the populace. By contrast, the global rate of inflation, for instance, in March 2013 was 3.3 per cent. Also, the naira exchange rate is officially manipulated and artificial. Despite the country’s string of very favourable balance of payments, external reserves in excess of 10 months’ import cover and an export to GDP ratio of about 40 per cent, in a space of four days around the middle of May, the naira value recorded the biggest fall and highest gain over the preceding 18 months. Worse still, to use the Dutch auction to manipulate the naira exchange rate ab initio renders all forms of domestic production requiring foreign exchange uncompetitive internationally. Consequently, some 80 per cent of finished products in the markets are imported; installed manufacturing capacity utilisation stands at about 50 per cent; the share of GDP attributable to the manufacturing sector hovers around 4.0 per cent; current unemployment rate exceeds 23.9 per cent; and the absolute poverty level of 70.1 per cent in 2011 has probably worsened. In one word, the Nigerian economy is weak, very weak. To enthrone a booming economy, “when the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting has decided on the distribution among the three tiers of government, the foreign currency … (should be disbursed to the domiciliary dollar) accounts of the respective tiers of government” for international best practice conversion to realised revenue through deposit money banks (DMBs). This approach eliminates CBN’s external reserves and the excessive fiscal deficits together with the attendant economic difficulties encountered earlier. The major source of foreign exchange in the economy is not from the public sector but from autonomous inflows. The aggregate inflow of foreign exchange in 2013 as at end-March, which stood at US$34.47 billion, was derived from public and autonomous sources in the ratio of 30.5/69.5. To illustrate with the latest available full-year CBN data, in 2012 total inflow of public sector and autonomous foreign exchange was $119.2 billion. After deducting $11.6 billion withheld upfront as accretion to the various categories of external reserves, the 2012 effective supply of foreign exchange to the DMB-operated foreign exchange market would have been $107.6 billion, while total demand by naira holders for genuine transactions was $73.5 billion. In that supply-and-demand scenario, the dollar would be under constant pressure, with the naira waxing strong and requiring no defending by the apex bank. Additionally, because of the waxing strength of the naira coupled with the grave risks and losses which deployment of foreign exchange to illegitimate purposes would incur, the surplus foreign exchange on offer amounting to $34.1 billion, would be sold to the CBN for naira funds, thereby swelling foreign reserves that would be wholly owned by the Federal Government. The economic benefits of that development would be immense. The single category and government-owned external reserves would be several times what could be deducted upfront as various types of foreign reserves at present. Secondly, the ECA and SWF, which form part of the upfront external reserves and represent a reduction in the distributable FA accruals, have generated disagreements. Under the best-practice approach, all FA accruals may be shared so as not to only fatten the budgets of all FA beneficiaries to accommodate additional projects but also garner increased FG-owned external reserves. As a result, without generating any controversy as at present, the SWF may be more liberally funded than would be possible via forced upfront ECA savings. Also, the FG-owned external reserves would be fully investable and available for use by all sectors of the economy to further national goals. Thus, unlike the CBN’s external reserves, FG-owned external reserves offer additional source of federal budget supplementation. In addition, cheap domestic bank credit would be available for investments, which would freely access the FG’s foreign reserves to procure any complementary foreign input. Lastly, the economy would become truly self-reliant and the door would be open to genuine and voluntary multilateral projects and spontaneous foreign direct investments that have no strings attached. That is the surest road to a diversified and buoyant economy. Now, once again, the economy is very weak. Undeservedly and unnecessarily so.
What APC will do in Nigeria IR: As we move close to SCongress making the All Progressive (APC) an effective political party in Nigeria, some Nigerians are asking what the new party can do to restore the dignity of Nigeria. As we move close to 2015 Presidential elections, political watchers are asking to know the difference between APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A lot of questions are coming to the political desks of APC throughout the country: is this party different from PDP? Are the progenitors not the same Nigerians we know? What does this party have in store for 150 million Nigerians? Can this new party make a difference? Can it fill in the gap in Nigeria’s political landscape? Can APC have the courage and the political will to fight the dreaded monster in Nigeria called corruption? Can APC deal with the rot in the power sector? Can APC fix Nigeria’s economy? Can APC deal with the security challenges facing Nigeria? Can this new party rebuild our educational sector? Can APC create jobs for teeming Nigerian youths? Can APC rebuild our institutional frameworks and decayed infrastructure? Can this APC
continue to leave the big shoes for small men? Can APC continue to leave great jobs for little-minded elements? Can APC continue to neglect the problem of injustice in Nigeria? Is APC capable of holding this country together in peace and harmony, respecting our diverse cultures, religion, and tribe etc? Can APC address the structural imbalances in the polity? Can APC rise above partisan politics to face squarely the huge challenges facing Nigeria? What plans does APC have for agriculture? The questions are simply too many and are quite in order, for they capture the rightful expectations and anxieties of a people that are at the receiving end of bad governance and want a change. Well, APC may not have all the answers to these very strong questions posed above, but the truth of the matter remains that things will never be the same again. One thing is clear: Nigeria is not making progress in the midst of plenty. Nigeria is not making progress in the age of success. APC believes that investment funds must be retrieved from the pockets of few corrupt Nigerians and the money ploughed
back into the economy to create jobs. APC believes that nothing great can be achieved without great leaders. APC believes that time has come for us to stop lamenting on our comprehensive emptiness and do something tangible to show the world that we are capable of holding our own any day. APC believes that the gap between education and economic growth is a closed one. APC leaders know that the only way to fight poverty is through massive investment in qualitative education. I can go on and on but APC cannot do everything in one fell swoop. Please take notice that this is not the manifesto of APC. After the formal registration, the party will sell its manifesto to Nigerians. It is left for Nigerians to fight to reclaim their Godgiven country from pretenders and to all intents and purposes this is not going to be easy. This is a struggle for the soul of Nigeria, a struggle for economic, social and political freedom, a struggle to reclaim our rights to life. It is now or never. Yes, we can! • Joe Igbokwe,
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Business Appointments P27 Amnesty Office focuses on employment needs of beneficiaries AfDB approves $150m facility for Fidelity Bank By Kamal Tayo Oropo HE Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), yesterday, approved $75-million facility for Fidelity Bank Plc. The facility is made up of a $75-million medium-term Line of Credit (LoC) to the bank to fund selected projects in sectors that are critical to Nigeria’s transformation agenda and economic growth such as infrastructure, manufacturing and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Another AfDB arranged-syndicated financing of US $75 million on a best-effort basis will complement the line of credit. The LoC will complement Fidelity Bank’s other fund raising efforts through deposit mobilisation and financing lines from Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), commercial banks and proceeds from its recent bond issuance. The AfDB’s LoC will contribute to bridging the Nigerian bank’s financing gap by providing much-needed longer-term liquidity to meet its pipeline demands against the background of a financial market that has hitherto slanted towards short-term liquidity inhibiting access to medium- to long-term lending. This financing, according to a statement from AfDB, will allow Fidelity Bank to fund its clients, increase the tenors of loans to sub-projects and expand its loan portfolio, particularly in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. 20 per cent of the LoC proceeds will be dedicated to SMEs. This LoC may have sent strong signals that Nigeria’s financial sector has stabilized and confirms a return of confidence to the Nigerian banking sector. It is also symbolic of AfDB partnership role in supporting the private sector to play its rightful and important part in building the Nigerian economy. Moreover, it also highlights the AfDB’s commitment to supporting its regional member countries and their governments in strengthening in their financial markets, diversifying their economies and revamping their infrastructure to facilitate stronger private sector participation and contribution to the economy. This transaction may also contribute to improved and longer term liquidity in the banking sector, increase government revenues, import substitution and job creation.
Sanusi canvasses redesign of the Naira From Adamu Abuh, Abuja HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has commenced a fresh campaign for the redesigning of the nation’s currency, to curb the activities of counterfeiters. Sanusi however disclosed that CBN is currently not positively disposed to cut interest rates in the country, due to the need to ensure greater stability in the nation’s financial system. Speaking yesterday during an interactive session with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and currency, he remarked that the redesigning of Naira has become pertinent, as it would conform to global best practices. The CBN boss whose appearance was sequel to a resolution of the House of Representatives aimed at curbing the incidence of fake currency dispensed in the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) acknowledged that there have been negligible cases of counter-
•Forecloses early cut in interest rates feiting of the naira. He explained that recorded counterfeit notes per one million pieces processed were about 3.9 pieces in
2007; six pieces in 2008; 8.4 pieces in 2009, 7.4 in 2010; 5.4 in 2011; and 8.4 pieces in 2012. Lamenting that a recent
He noted: “One of the reasons we wanted to have a restructuring of the redesign of the currency a few months ago was because as explained, many CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Managing Director, EcoBank Nigeria Plc, Jibril Aku (left); Managing Director, Diamond Bank Plc, Alex Otti; Executive Director, Finance, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Yemi Owolabi; and Regional Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, Henry Egbiki, at the presentation of Ernst & Young 2013 Banking Barometer Global Report, in Lagos on Tuesday.
Oil communities seek return to 1982 Act on derivation fund disbursements From Anthony Otaru, Abuja IL producing communities in Bayelsa state have urged the Federal Government to revert to the provisions of the 1882 Act in the disbursement of 13 per cent derivation fund, to effect direct disbursements to them. In a memorandum they sent to the Chairman Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, the communities affirmed that the provisions of the 1982 Act stated that the 1.5 per cent derivation fund accruable to oil producing communities be managed by them and wondered why it was changed when it increased to 13 per cent. 10 leaders of the communities namely Ikiobofa Amasamana, Pastor Macpherson Kurobo, Chief Victor Fazie, Hon. Mary Arugu, Leon Kereotubo, Hon. Robert Enaikator Onu, Hon. BomaAlbert, Jack Andela, Azibola Egba and Cordelia Aridu signed the memorandum. According to them, " in 1982, the derivation was 1.5 per cent of the total oil revenue. It is pertinent to state that
proposal to redesign the currency was flatly rejected by the authorities, he said incidences of having counterfeit notes on ATM machines equipped with censors, remains a rare occurrence.
the Revenue Act 1 of 1982 made provision of 1.5 per cent derivation fund for the development of Mineral Producing Areas in Nigeria. The derivation fund of 1.5 per cent was administered and managed through administrative committee system by Federal Government and not the state Governments "It is therefore surprising that RMAFC decided to pay the 13 per cent derivation into state government accounts when there is enough evidence from past administrative records and law that derivation fund is a Federal Government matter". They claimed that the oil and gas producing communities fought for the payment of 13 per cent, adding that it was due to the pressure exerted by the communities that the 13 per cent was enshrined in the 1999 constitution. "We insist on the provisions of Section 162(2) which states that provided that the principle of derivation shall be constantly reflected in any approved revenue formula as not less than 13 per cent of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account directly from any natural resources.
"We do not need an amendment of the constitution for administrative implementation of that provision. From that provision of the constitution, it is clear that 13 per cent derivation fund is theorist line charge of the Federation Account. The fund is prior to any revenue formula; it exists before any revenue formula. The amount due to 13 per net derivation fund is constitutionally set aside before any FAAC meeting to share the balance of the total oil revenue of 87 per cent,” they said. They therefore posited in the letter that RMAFC has no right to send the 13 per cent derivation fund through any state government account, which is the third beneficiary of the Federation Account. They alleged that for 13 years, the governors of oil producing communities have received the 13 per cent derivation fund meant for the development of oil and gas producing areas, but have used the funds to develop their state capitals and non oil producing communities, leaving the actual oil and gas producing communities in abject poverty, hunger and penury.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Lagos to re-develop 59 year-old Yaba Industrial Estate By Kamal Tayo Oropo AGOS State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has pledged to re-develop the Yaba Industrial Estate to conform to modern trend and compete with others in the state. The industrial estate, established in 1954 by the Federal government to promote small-scale enterprises, is currently not functioning to full capacity.
Fashola, who visited the estate on Tuesday with Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sola Oworu and Special Adviser on Commerce, Seye Oladejo reiterated his administration’s commitment to redevelop it. Fashola explained that some businesses in the area have outgrown the space they are currently operating in, hence the need for government to move in and intervene.
He also added that the redevelopment would include solution to the challenge of power supply, which he said was one of the major challenges of the industry. "This place was created around 1954. It has quite a long history, chequered history in some cases, success stories here and there. We've just come out of court after a fire and an attempt to redevelop, so we can work together here".
We are interested in helping small scale industries to create employment because we are concerned about the grandstanding employment creation...Employment creation only happens when businesses are doing well, when businesses are working, they will employ people. The model here are small scale incubation businesses, production, small factories, the average they have is between five to 10 employees. “It is possible to create steady power supply here which is the main problem of most of the manufacturers we talked to. They are doing business, they are producing, but they all could do with cheaper power". He said the state government might subscribe to the model of the Isolo Industrial Estate, where a central unit provides power to the entire
industry, thereby saving cost for the manufacturers. He added: "We are interested in helping small scale industries to create employment because we are concerned about the grandstanding employment creation". "Employment creation only happens when businesses are doing well, when businesses are working, they will employ people. The model
here are small scale incubation businesses, production, small factories, the average they have is between five to 10 employees". He added that government was committed to developing Independent Power Projects (IPP) to reduce the use of big generators in such industries while Liquefied Petroleum Gas(LPG) can use used as a cleaner source of powering generators instead of diesel. "I came here first to see what is on ground and then go back to our offices and then see how we can plan the redevelopment of this place with the inclusion of the original stakeholders here and then redesign a future for this place", the governor assured.
Sanusi forecloses early cut in interest rates CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
of our notes had been in existence for upward of eight or even 10 years. “Now, best practice is that within a period of five to eight years you redesign the currency because after that period, counterfeiters tend to catch up. Even at that, Nigerian notes in terms of what we see as counterfeit and processing, the percentage is very low “But with ATM machines, it should not happen because it has been processed and we would be very pleased to know if there are specifics about any bank, so that we can draw their attention on the importance of processing them before putting them in ATM machines.
“Now unfortunately, the redesign suffered because of all the noise around N5, 000 note and therefore, it is been delayed because that is what would have made it impossible for counterfeiters to catch up, so till they have to wait for another five, six and seven years before they learn how to counterfeit, by which point , the CBN should be redesigning the notes again. “So, I suppose that at some point, the country would have to revisit the issue of redesigning the notes but at the moment, based on popular demands, we have had to step down the redesign.” On the issue of high interest rates, he said the CBN is constrained by the CBN Act, which clearly limit its duties to the delivery of price stability, protection of the external value of the currency, management of the country’s reserves and ensuring financial stability. Saying the CBN has put in place several monetary measures to ensure stability in the economy, he said the delivery of low interest rates is not feasible due to the harsh business environment in the country. He argued: “How low do you have to bring down interest rates for banks to lend to a manufacturer that does not have power or for a bank to lend to a company
that operates in an environment that does not have security, or where there is no infrastructure, at what rate of interest would a bank loan to a tomatoes farmer who is going to lose 50 per cent of his outfit between the farm and the market because there is no investment in storage facilities or cold rooms. These problems are infrastructure. “It is not about moving interest rate down or up. Most of the Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) that do not have access to credits do not have access to credit because the environment does not allow businesses to thrive.” “The likelihood of the interest rate coming down in the current environment is very low, in fact there is a higher likelihood of interest rate going up than coming down because we cannot afford to reverse all the gains we have had on stability. “Obviously as we get improvement in the fiscal policy, the government borrows less and the rate of government bonds comes down, we can see a moderation in the lending rates. But if the government is borrowing money at 13, 14 per cent, funds a huge fiscal deficit, the private sector would have to pay even higher rate of interest rate.”
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Lagos to re-develop 59 year-old Yaba Industrial Estate By Kamal Tayo Oropo AGOS State Governor, Lpledged Babatunde Fashola, has to re-develop the Yaba Industrial Estate to conform to modern trend and compete with others in the state. The industrial estate, established in 1954 by the Federal government to promote small-scale enterprises, is currently not functioning to full capacity. Fashola, who visited the estate on Tuesday, with Commissioner for
Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sola Oworu and Special Adviser on Commerce, Seye Oladejo reiterated his administration’s commitment to redevelop it. Fashola explained that some businesses in the area have outgrown the space they are currently operating in, hence the need for government to move in and intervene. He also added that the redevelopment will include solution to the challenge of power supply, which he said was one of the major challenges of the industry.
“This place was created around 1954. It has quite a long history, chequered history in some cases, success stories here and there. We’ve just come out of court after a fire and an attempt to redevelop, so we can work together here”. “It is possible to create steady power supply here which is the main problem of most of the manufacturers we talked to. They are doing business, they are producing,
but they all could do with cheaper power”. He said the state government may subscribe to the model of the Isolo Industrial Estate, where a central unit provides power to the entire industry, thereby saving cost for the manufacturers. He stressed: “We are interested in helping small scale industries to create employment because we are concerned about the grandstanding employment cre-
ation”. “Employment creation only happens when businesses are doing well, when businesses are working they will employ people. The model here are small scale incubation businesses, production, small factories, the average they have is between 5 to 10 employees”. He added that government was committed to developing Independent Power Projects(IPP) to reduce the
use of big generators in such industries while Liquefied Petroleum Gas(LPG) can use used as a cleaner source of powering generators instead of diesel. “I came here first to see what is on ground and then go back to our offices and then see how we can plan the redevelopment of this place with the inclusion of the original stakeholders here and then redesign a future for this place”, the governor assured.
Business TV debuts in Lagos By Nike Sotade 24- hour terrestrial teleA vision station dedicated solely for business reports has been commissioned in Lagos. Business TV, christened The Voice of Nigerian Economy, owned and operated by Moss Media Limited, is dedicated to Business, Economy, Investment and Financial News dissemination. Speaking with newsmen in Lagos over the weekend, the Chief Executive Officer of Business TV, Moses Samuel announced that the coming of Business TV in the Nigerian Business, Economy and Financial Markets would change the face of domestic business reportage. He explained that the Nigerian business sector has become sophisticated and fast-paced with policies and regular developments that require detailed, discerning reportage and interpretation. The CEO noted that “government investment projects across the states go beyond passing remarks, coupled with economic policies formulated towards driving the growing Nigerian economy, creating room for conducive opportunities needed to be highlighted.” He said the core area of reportage is not limited to the opening bell which transmits 10:00am and for the Nigerian Stock Exchange closing bell at 3:00pm but also include other Capital Market events, financial analysis and Investment opportunities.
Business TV currently runs on Startimes terrestrial digital platform owned by NTA. However, all efforts are being made to launch Business TV on the DSTV platform. Samuel stated that Business TV is readily available to capture the transformation of the Nigerian economy, business sector and the financial market. Situated at the heart of the business hub in Marina, Lagos the presence of Business TV live studio will no doubt project the laudable contributions of the high net-worth individuals, the Central Bank of Nigeria, consolidated Nigerian banks, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), oil and gas including the small and medium scale industries.
Samsung Brand Ambassador, Ali Nuhu (left) Director, Hand Held Products, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Emmanouil Revmatas, Samsung Brand Ambassadors, Kate Henshaw and Bankole Wellington at the Inauguration Samsung Galaxy Mega Smartphone and Tab 3 Series in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI
Jaiz Bank increases branch network to 10 From, Anthony Otaru, Abuja AIZ Bank plc, the first fullJNigeria, fledged non-interest bank in has increased its branch networks to 10, with the commissioning of its Katsina branch on Tuesday. The state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema did the commissioning. The bank commenced operations with three branches in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano states on the 6th January, 2012, after it received licence
from the Central Bank of Nigeria on the 11th of November 2011 to operate as a non-interest bank. In a statement made available to The Guardian in Abuja, the bank now has branches in Gombe, Maiduguri, Katsina, additional branch in Kano, making two branches in the state. The bank has also added two branches in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. The branches are located at the National Assembly and Wuse District.
Our vision is to be the dominant non-interest financial service provider in sub Saharan Africa. We intend to achieve this by providing innovative, value-added, noninterest financial services to our clientele by employing the best people, supported by technology.
Commissioning the bank, the governor promised to identify and support the operations of the bank. He said: “Katsina State Government is ready to partner with and support Jaiz bank and other Financial Institutions that are ready to invest in the real sector of the economy, to enable the State attain greater economic prosperity “Today, we extend our unique hospitality to Jaiz Bank, as we say welcome to Katsina. There is no doubt that the people of Katsina and many other parts of Nigeria have been agitating for a financial service provider that operates based on rules of commerce and trade, in accordance with Sharia Principles.”
Chairman, board of directors of Jaiz Bank, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab thanked the Governor and people of Katsina for their hospitality and promised to help develop the real sector of the economy of the state. He said: “Our vision is to be the dominant non-interest financial service provider in sub Saharan Africa. We intend to achieve this by providing innovative, value-added, noninterest financial services to our clientele by employing the best people, supported by technology.” He said there are plans to locate additional branches in Bauchi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and Jigawa States and to open additional branches at Bayero University Kano,
Federal Secretariat Abuja and Zaria, before end of year 2013. “Our overall objective is to be at every State capital of Nigeria before the fifth year of our operation In shaa Allah,” the chairman said. He said the bank now has an authorized share capital of N13 billion. The acting Managing Director of the bank, Hassan Usman thanked all the shareholders in the State “who out of their belief in Islamic Banking and the faith and trust they have in the promoters of Jaiz, contributed enormously to our IPO way back in 2003. “Today, by the Grace of Allah we are here to commission a branch of a Bank that is theirs. We truly appreciate your patronage”, he added.
Ekiti injects N600m into cooperative societies From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti S part of efforts to drive out poverty among the people and bring development to the 132 communities in the state, the Ekiti State Government is set to inject N600million into the State Cooperative Societies to boost their lending capacity. The State Commissioner for Rural Development and Community Empowerment, Folorunso Olabode made this known in Ado Ekiti while playing host to the Ekiti State Industrial/ Artisan, Produce and Service Cooperative
Federation. The Commissioner who explained that the money was part of the State Government efforts at empowering people of the state, said that it would also create employment for the teeming youths in the state. According to him, the money would be used as revolving loan for members of cooperative societies, saying that it would be properly monitored to eliminate fraud. Olabode, however charged the Societies to judiciously use the fund for the purpose
of creating wealth for the people of the State stressing that it is not for political patronage. While assuring of more dividend of democracy, Olabode said Governor Fayemi would take care of all sectors in the State. He went further to mention the achievements of the Governor to include, Social Security scheme for the elderly which he said has prolonged their age, provision of Laptops for teachers and secondary school pupils in the State, renovation of all secondary schools in the State
Fayemi and good road network. The Commissioner said that
arrangement are on top gear to construct modern markets in all the Sixteen Local government Headquarters in the State and solicited for the support of the people in order to encourage the delivery of more dividends of democracy. Earlier, the President of Ekiti State Industrial /Artisan, producers and Service Cooperative Federation, Jide Ebenezer has recited for Credit facility from the State Government as promised by Mr. Governor to cooperative societies Mr. Ebenezer said this would assist them to
expand their business and enhance economic and industrial worth of the artisan members in the State. While thanking the Commissioner for hosting them, Mr. Ebenezer said this has assured them of the State Government recognition. He charged the State Government to empower cooperative Department to enable them to recover trans from defaulters. He however called for more empowerment of the cooperative department in order to boost loan recovery.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Ekiti injects N600m into cooperative societies From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti S part of efforts to drive out A poverty among the people and bring development to the 132 communities in the state, the Ekiti State Government is set to inject N600million into the State Cooperative Societies to boost their lending capacity. The State Commissioner for Rural Development and Community Empowerment, Folorunso Olabode made this known in Ado Ekiti while playing host to the Ekiti State Industrial/ Artisan, Produce and Service Cooperative
Federation. The Commissioner who explained that the money was part of the State Government efforts at empowering people of the state, said that it would also create employment for the teeming youths in the state. According to him, the money would be used as revolving loan for members of cooperative societies, saying that it would be properly monitored to eliminate
By Nike Sotade 24- hour terrestrial televiA sion station dedicated solely for business reports has been commissioned in Lagos. Business TV, christened The Voice of Nigerian Economy, owned and operated by Moss Media Limited, is dedicated to Business, Economy, Investment and Financial News dissemination. Speaking with newsmen in Lagos over the weekend, the Chief Executive Officer of Business TV, Moses Samuel announced that the coming of Business TV in the Nigerian Business, Economy and Financial Markets would change the face of domestic business reportage. He explained that the Nigerian business sector has become sophisticated and fast-paced with policies and regular developments that require detailed, discerning reportage and interpretation. The CEO noted that â€œgovernment investment projects across the states go beyond passing remarks, coupled with economic policies formulated towards driving the growing Nigerian economy, creating room for conducive opportunities needed to be highlighted.â€? He said the core area of reportage is not limited to the opening bell which transmits 10:00am and for the Nigerian Stock Exchange closing bell at 3:00pm but also include other Capital Market events, financial analysis and Investment opportunities. Business TV currently runs on Startimes terrestrial digital platform owned by NTA. However, all efforts are being made to launch Business TV on the DSTV platform. Samuel stated that Business TV is readily available to capture the transformation of the Nigerian economy, business sector and the financial market. Situated at the heart of the business hub in Marina, Lagos the presence of Business TV live studio will no doubt project the laudable contributions of the high net-worth individuals, the Central Bank of Nigeria, consolidated Nigerian banks, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), oil and gas including the small and medium scale industries.
Security scheme for the elderly which he said has prolonged their age, provision of Laptops for teachers and secondary school pupils in the State, renovation of all secondary schools in the State and good road network. The Commissioner said that arrangement are on top gear to construct modern markets in all the Sixteen Local government Headquarters in the State and solicited for the support of the people in order to
encourage the delivery of more dividends of democracy. Earlier, the President of Ekiti State Industrial /Artisan, producers and Service Cooperative Federation, Jide Ebenezer has recited for Credit facility from the State Government as promised by Mr. Governor to cooperative societies Mr. Ebenezer said this would assist them to expand their business and enhance economic and industrial worth of the artisan
members in the State. While thanking the Commissioner for hosting them, Mr. Ebenezer said this has assured them of the State Government recognition. He charged the State Government to empower cooperative Department to enable them to recover trans from defaulters. He however called for more empowerment of the cooperative department in order to boost loan recovery.
Jaiz Bank increases branch network to 10 From, Anthony Otaru, Abuja
Business TV debuts in Lagos
fraud. Olabode, however charged the Societies to judiciously use the fund for the purpose of creating wealth for the people of the State stressing that it is not for political patronage. While assuring of more dividend of democracy, Olabode said Governor Fayemi would take care of all sectors in the State. He went further to mention the achievements of the Governor to include, Social
AIZ Bank plc, the first fullJinfledged non-interest bank Nigeria, has increased its branch networks to 10, with the commissioning of its Katsina branch on Tuesday. The state governor, Alhaji
Ibrahim Shehu Shema did the commissioning. The bank commenced operations with three branches in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano states on the 6th January, 2012, after it received licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria on the 11th of
November 2011 to operate as a non-interest bank. In a statement made available to The Guardian in Abuja, the bank now has branches in Gombe, Maiduguri, Katsina, additional branch in Kano, making two branches in the state. The bank has also added
two branches in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. The branches are located at the National Assembly and Wuse District. Commissioning the bank, the governor promised to identify and support the operations of the bank.
He said: â€œKatsina State Government is ready to partner with and support Jaiz bank and other Financial Institutions that are ready to invest in the real sector of the economy, to enable the State attain greater economic prosperity.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Appointments Amnesty Office focuses on employment needs of beneficiaries From Abosede Musari, Abuja HE Presidential Amnesty T Programme (PAP), has moved a step forward in the implementation of the programme by establishing a post-training department that will cater for the employment needs of the beneficiaries of the programme who have been trained. 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. Getting jobs for the 30,000 youths has therefore become an important issue even as the amnesty programme winds down. This has therefore necessitated the establishment of the post-training department, which mandate is to ensure that the youths are gainfully engaged in order to ensure the programme ends well. Chairman of the pro-
gramme, Kingsley Kuku while announcing the setting up of the department to the media said that it was important to find jobs for the beneficiaries who have undergone training in order to sustain the peace in the region. According to him, it will make no sense if the youths are trained without being gainfully employed. He noted that others would be helped to become selfemployed and to become employers of labour also. The amnesty programme is also considering establishing training centres in the Niger Delta in order to reduce capital flight. Kuku however clarified that since the ministry of Niger Delta and other agencies are building skill centres in the region, their facilities will be used where applicable and amnesty office will build centres for training in fields where needed facilities are not available. According to Kuku, the federal government is worried about getting jobs for the beneficiaries of the programme. He added that federal government should get economic lifelines for the former leaders of the ex-agitators. Only after this, he said the Niger Delta will become sustainably secured and peaceful. Speaking about economic lifeline for former leaders of the ex-militants, Kuku explained that some of them were contracted to secure oil pipelines in the names of their companies but that the
President, Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), Olorogun Sunny Kuku (left); Vice-President, Mrs. Foluke Abdulrazak; and Chairman, Zenith Bank and Guest Speaker, Sir Steve Omojafor, during a lunchon to welcome new members from Heritage Bank, Jaiz International Bank, Rand Merchant Bank and FSDH Merchant Bank. contracts had been terminated since March 2013 following outcry from prominent Nigerians. He therefore advised that, this arrangement be reconsidered by, government as security agents cannot succeed without the cooperation of the communities. He went further to say that there is nothing wrong if ethnic groups are given opportunities to provide security for oil pipelines that pass through their areas. According to him, the process
Bayelsa spends N1 billion on pensioners From: Willie Etim, Yenagoa HE following the protest T embarked upon by the pensioners in Bayelsa state over the non payment of their entitlement, the Seriake Dickson-led government has come out to defend its effort saying that they have spent the sum of N1 billion in the payment of backlog of pensions and gratuities owed retirees before its inception. The state Head of Service, Sir Frazer in a swift reaction soon after the protest in an interview in Yenagoa, the capital city of the state, explained that two batches of the retirees have already been paid with funds being released by the state government in tranches. The Head of Service empathized with the affected pensioners over their plight and appealed to them to exercise patience as government was committed to clearing the arrears. Frazer, who is also the Chairman of the States Pensions and Gratuity Committee, which has representation from labour and the pensioners’ union, said about N4 billion stood as outstanding total bill before the commencement of the payment. Describing the allegation of
selective payment leveled against the committee as unfounded, the Head of Service noted that bottomtop approach was being adopted as the modus operandi for clearing the backlog. “So far government has released N1 billion (N500 million each twice) and we disbursed it completely. So it is not a matter of collecting money and fixing it somewhere to yield interest. “The Governor wants us to report regularly and as I speak with you, the committee’s report is ready. He (Governor) said whenever we are through; government will release the next batch. “So this morning, when I went to address them, and explained the issues surrounding the payment, they said they don’t want this monthly release arrangement; they want all the money owed them to be released at once. But I told them that, that is not feasible because government has other competing demands. “My advice to pensioners is that they should exercise patience because there is no way government can pay everybody at the same time. They should show understanding to the listening governor we now have because
this problem of backlog was not caused by his administration.” Commenting on the issue, the state Chairman of the National Union of Pensioners (NUP), Dr. Emmanuel Namatebe lauded the present administration for taking practical steps to clear the arrears of pension obligations in the state. Namatebe described the protesters as members of a splinter group, pointing out that he was not duly informed about their action. The NUP Chairman, however, called for unity of purpose amongst pensioners and appealed to the state government to give a standing order to relevant authorities to ensure monthly release of the pension funds. “Well, I am happy that the present governor has started the payment of gratuities that he did not owe. But I want to appeal to the governor to give a standing order to the Accountant-General so that this N500million he is releasing should be made very regular. He should try and make sure that the money is set aside as soon as they return from FAAC meeting. If that is done, I believe every gratuity will be paid between now and December this year,” said Namatebe.
of contracting Tompolo, Ateke Tom and others to secure pipelines started during Obasanjo’s administration and had only materialised recently. “Security agencies will better perform when the communities are brought along in securing pipelines”,
he said, adding that security of pipelines alone was enough to cater for the employment needs of youths in the country. He also used the opportunity to clarify to some Niger Delta people whom he said think he was going to end a pro-
gramme that had served the region well that ending the amnesty programme in 2015 is not his own making but that it was the agreement at the commencement of the programme that it would only be operational for five years ending 2015.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Govt to create five million jobs by 2015, says minister From Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta
HE Federal government T has initiated moves towards drafting a policy that would make sewing of all school uniforms in the country from local fabrics compulsory. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga who made the disclosure in Abeokuta yesterday explained that the gesture was one of the major ways to revatalise the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The Minister also revealed that the government
• School uniforms to be sewed from local fabrics has mapped out a strategy towards creating five million jobs through the MSMEs by 2015. He spoke at a stakeholders’ validation workshop on National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The occasion also marked the launching of the State’s National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP). Aganga noted that public and private sectors are the two “drivers of the economy”
hence government’s spending must be tailored towards aiding development and job creation in the country. The Minister, who reasoned that most market women are more qualified to manage businesses than some Ph.D holders, stressed that investment in small and medium scale enterprises are crucial to addressing Nigeria’s unemployment woes. He pledged to make a proposal available to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the need to
ensure the production of school uniforms from “madein-Nigeria fabrics”, adding that he would recommend that certain percentage of government expenditure be spent on the MSMEs sub-sector annually in order to enhance the growth of the economy. “School uniforms should be made for Nigerian products. There is no reason why school uniforms cannot be made, even from adire textiles. This is our only hope of reducing unemployment in the country. Yes, agriculture is
important but MSMEs will create more employment opportunities for Nigerians,” he stated. The Minister revealed that out of the 17.2 million MSMEs in the country, 32 million “indirect jobs” were created in 2012, adding that his Ministry intended to generate additional five million jobs by 2015. In his address on the occasion, which also featured the inauguration of State Council on MSMEs, Governor Ibikunle Amosun said the expansion of small and medium-scale enterprises remained one of the fastest means of transforming the economy into a vibrant and buoyant one. Amosun identified employment generation, production of goods and services for home consumption, wealth creation, skills development and exploitation of home grown
resources as attendant benefits on developing MSMEs. “It brings about improved security of lives and property because people who are gainfully employed will have little or no time for criminal tendencies. As part of the circle, a secured environment will bring about more investments which also in turn bring about more jobs. In fact, by encouraging the development of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), we are creating a circle for a buoyant and vibrant economic system,” he said. The Governor expressed satisfaction with the workshop, saying it would afford the stakeholders to share experiences and evolve strategies for achieving the goals and aspirations of both the state and federal governments in the development of MSMEs.
SQHN holds conference HE Society for Quality in T Healthcare in Nigeria (SQHN) will today in Lagos
Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Jibril Aku in a warm hand shake with the Executive Chairman, Eti-Osa Local Government (Iru-VI Local Council Dev. Area), Hon. (Pharm) Abayomi Daramola, while the President, Rotary Club of Victoria Island East, Tiyan Alile, the Immediate Past President, Osaro Ekomwereren and an official of the local Government looks on during the commissioning of the refurbished Iru/Victoria Island Health Centre, a Rotary Club of VI East project sponsored by Ecobank Nigeria
hold its 4th annual conference with a theme “Advancing Patient Safety in Nigeria”. According to a statement by the society, this year’s conference seeks to address specific examples of current patient safety practices in Nigeria and how quality can be used as a marketing strategy. Besides, the conference will also emphasize the importance of leadership within healthcare organizations and its role in improving patient safety, introduce var-
ious methods of advancing patient safety using information technology and data. Key note speakers expected to grace the event include, the Deputy CEO of International Society for Quality (ISQua), Ms. Triona Fortune who will discuss perspectives on accreditation, Director Healthcare Programmes GE Africa Ms. Janeen Uzzell, who will discuss low cost technology perspectives on patient safety and Mr. Ayo Kalejaiye who will offer a new perspective on patient safety through proactive interventions from data analysis.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Bauchi, yet to reabsorb over 2,500 sacked teachers From Ali Garba, Bauchi F the 5000 primary and junior secondary school teachers disengaged from service by the Bauchi state government sometimes early this year, 2,495 have so far been reinstated. The State Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Aminu who revealed the positive development in the education sector said the 5000 teachers were initially disengaged following recommendation to that effect by the Ibrahim Musa led Committee.. He explained that the committee had screened the
teachers during which process it found some anomalies with their credentials that fall short of the required standard of teaching in the schools. Aminu told the press in Bauchi Sunday that the committee recommended that the disengaged teachers have their credentials truly verified before their reengagements following which Governor Isa Yuguda approved the disengagement from the service. It would be recalled that a total of 25, 000 teachers serving under the State Universal Education Board
(SUBEB) in January this year embarked on a one month strike to protest against their planned screening and verification by the board. The re-instated 2,495 teachers were among the 4, 061 earlier documented and undergone for proficiency test conducted by the Bauchi State Teachers Service Commission (TSC). Alhaji Ibrahim Aminu stated that of the 4, 061 teachers documented, 3862 were verified, and 2, 873 cleared for the proficiency test by the commission, as 199 have incomplete documents, 2,495 passed the test while
Ekiti to collaborate with ITF on youth empowerment From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti KITI State Head of Service, Mr. Olubunmi Famosaya has expressed the readiness of the State Government to collaborate with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to boost its empowerment programmes. Speaking in Ado Ekiti while receiving the Area Manager of the Industrial Training Fund who paid a familiarization visit to his office, Mr. Famosaya stressed the need for all tiers of government to
join the efforts in getting youths positively engaged. The Head of Service, who assured that every training opportunity, would be exploited to boost youth empowerment, said that no stone would be left unturned towards ensuring the success of the skill acquisition programme and job creation efforts of the Fayemi led administration. Earlier, the ITFsâ€™s Area Manager, Mr. Jacob Olaniyan had commended the State Government for its
various empowerment programmes. Mr. Olaniyan stressed the need for the state government to be involved in the forthcoming third phase of the ITF programmes scheduled to commence soon across the federation. The Area Manager noted that the programme was designed to empower Youths in the 36 States of the federation and appealed to state governments to give adequate publicity to the programme towards ensuring its success.
213 failed. Two of them also die in the process. The commissioner did not however comment on the fate of the 412 teachers, comprising the 199 with incomplete documents and 213 that failed the test, whether or not some will undergo training to catch up the train and others finally disengaged and their terminal benefits accrue to them. The commissioner revealed that the second batch of 939 teachers in addition to the 147 absent
and 16 sick durk during the first batch of the exercise would have their verification and proficiency test processes commence this week which will last within 14 days. He also said that the third batch which comprised of all the teachers on duty will have their verification while on the job but warned that those found to be with fake certificates in the process will have to leave their jobs. Aminu further warned that the service has no room for
people who takes teaching as an All-comers job as, according to him, prospective teachers must possessed the requisite training and qualification before joining the teaching profession. The commissioner further explained that government wants any person certified to be a genuine teacher be respected and is entitled to whatever is due to him or her, hence its resolve to work together with the organized labour to achieve the feat.
Kogi joins contributory pensions scheme From Kolawole Timothy, Lokoja HE chairman of the kogi state Pension Board, Dr. [Mrs] Florence Adewumi has disclosed that the state would soon participate in the National Contributory Pension scheme in order to eradicate the problem associated with the payment of pension and gratuity of workers who on daily basis retired from the state civil service. Dr. Adewumi made this known in a chat with The Guardian in Lokoja, explained that after careful studied of the problems associated with
the payment of pension in the state the government had concluded that in order to solve the problem and make the retirees to enjoy the fruit of their labour the state had to embrace the contributory pension scheme. She explained that the board is putting in place so many measures to deplete the huge debt associated with the gratuity and other retirement benefits of the state workforce. The pension boss added that the total liability as at today is 9.8 billion naira adding that a total of 7,322 are now on the list of the board that are being
owed their retirement benefits. Adewumi said that since she came on the board the state government had increase the monthly part payment to the retires from N 50,000 to 300,000 in order to hasten the total clearance of backlog of gratuity arrears. The Chairperson said the monthly allocation from the state to the board was jackedup from N 21 million to N50 Million, this according to her has helped the board to solve the teething and immediate problem concerning the pensioners.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Why crisis persists in Edo, Delta IPMAN, by official From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City HE perennial crisis that has bedevilled the Midwest zone of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) comprising two depots in Warri, Delta state and Benin, Edo state have been attributed to misconception by some new members what the association stands for. Speaking to The Guardian yesterday in Benin City, a national adviser to the national leadership of the association, Konkon Ogbeide called for adherence to the association’s constitution and wondered why members especially in the Benin depot would continue to oppose the new constitution after the other 21 depots across the other states of the federation have complied with the new law. Ogbeide howev-
er commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the collaboration it has had with IPMAN over the years in ensuring free flow of products particularly petrol, kerosene and others. “Most of the new entrants into IPMAN, do not know the benefit and usefulness of IPMAN, they are treating IPMAN as a political association or a social club. IPMAN was formed by the NNPC/Federal government for their convenience or pleasure for the convenience of their products distribution. IPMAN represents the over 7000 independent marketers across Nigeria.” Ogbeide lamented that no member from the Midwest zone have been elected President of IPMAN because most of the litigations against
the association have always emanated from the zone adding that it was “unfortunate that the area that produces the oil have not been able to attain the presidency of the association. “For over 20 years there have been litigation across the country but the main one has been resolved at the national secretariat the first crisis was in the 90s, the other crisis came thereafter and then the latest one which has been resolved and all these crisis emanated from this Midwestern zone. “So because of these crises, Midwestern zone have been losing out in oil distribution because if there is crisis, there will not be loading. Recently they were not loading because of the crisis and Major Marketers were loading which is short changing to us because of there are crisis, the developmental plan of the national body will not also work. For example, when they
set up NIPCO, the Midwest Zone refused to subscribe, to have a stake in it. Today NIPCO has gone upstream; Midwestern Zone is not there. Because of this crisis, Midwest has not produced the national president if IPMAN. All the other zones have produced the president up to at least two times since 1980 when IPMAN was formed but uptill now, Midwest zone has not produced IPMAN president so we are cut off from the scheme of things. They are resisting to implement the new constitution, the new constitution of IPMAN has extended the tenure of the president of IPMAN by two years to now make five years and that also make it affects the depot chairmen but these people are still holding to the old constitution, so Benin and Warri is one zone but they are acting as if they are not part of the national body. IPMAN is supposed to build a refinery but we cannot do this if we continue in crisis.
Electricity union elects new TCN national executives By Taiwo Hassan HE President-General of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity Workers and Allied Companies and also the Deputy President 3 TUC Comrade Bede Opara has introduced the newly inaugurated Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) branch Executives to its management at the company’s headquarters in Abuja. The elected national branch officers are as follows: Ajugba A.L as President; B. Chika as Secretary; Hammed B.M as Assistant Secretary; and Henry Ofolue as Treasurer. While, Ali Cyril, Kamorudeen A and James Tugudu were elected as Trustees of the union respectively. Ezemobi C.B and Dairo Abidemi become Auditor and Public Relations/ Welfare Officer.
Others elected officials are: Taiwo Onabajo as VicePresident, Abuja Region; Olaniyi Y. G as Vice-President, Osogbo Region; Akoma E.O as Vice-President, Port-Harcourt Region; Sahahu Bala as VicePresident, Shiroro Region and Ashogbon Tokunbo as VicePresident Lagos Region. Initorufa A.L was elected as Vice-President, Benin Region; Engr. Ubawachi C.P as VicePresident, Enugu Region; A.G Adamu as Vice-President, Bauchi Region and Andrew Odihi as Vice-President, Kaduna Region. According to the union’s President, the above-mentioned exco are to carry out the association’s functions in TCN. In his speech, he welcomed the TCN management led by the Chief Executive Officer, Don Priestman and urged them to see the association as a partner in progress.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
ScienceGuardian Furore over expanding Universe, rocky Asteroid plan
United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA’s) asteroid-capture spacecraft (concept illustration) would envelope a 10-metre-wide rock in an inflatable bag and tug it close to the Moon PHOTO: Nature
Two recent studies published in Nature have thrown more light on claims about expanding Universe and mission by the United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) to retrieve a small space rock could be tripped up by lack of candidates. T started with a bang, and Isince. has been expanding ever For nearly a century, this has been the standard view of the Universe. Now one cosmologist is proposing a radically different interpretation of events, in which the Universe is not expanding at all. In a paper posted on the arXiv preprint server1, Christof Wetterich, a theoretical physicist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, has devised a different cosmology in which the universe is not expanding but the mass of everything has been increasing. Such an interpretation could help physicists to understand problematic issues such as the so-called singularity present at the Big Bang, he says. Although the paper has yet to be peer-reviewed, none of the experts contacted by Nature dismissed it as obviously wrong, and some of them found the idea worth pursuing. “I think it’s fascinating to explore this alternative representation,” says Hongsheng Zhao, a cosmologist at the University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom (UK. “His treatment seems rigorous enough to be entertained.” Meanwhile, the United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) has plans to grab an asteroid and tow it near to the Moon for astronauts to visit. But
finding a target space rock may be the agency’s biggest challenge. Only a handful of known asteroids would suit NASA’s requirements, and current sky surveys are not tuned to find many more candidates. “There’s great scepticism, among both the science community and the public, that this can actually be pulled off,” says Jim Bell, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe, who attended a workshop on July 9 at the United States (U.S. National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. The workshop marked the first chance for asteroid scientists to voice their doubts to NASA officials. U.S. President Barack Obama proposed the asteroid initiative in April, as part of his 2014 budget request to Congress. If the mission gets funded, NASA would expand its surveys for large, hazardous space rocks so that the agency might find an asteroid that
is small enough, solid enough and on a trajectory that would allow it to be met by a spacecraft launching as early as 2017. Details of the mission remain fuzzy, but at the workshop, scientists revealed the first hard numbers on how many asteroids might be suitable to snatch. Of the more than 10,000 known near-Earth asteroids, 370 are small enough for capture, at roughly 10 metres across, says Paul Chodas, an asteroid tracker at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. But of those 370, only 14 have a suitable orbit. Just four have been studied well enough for scientists to know something about the bodies’ surface texture and spin rate. NASA wants to find a cohesive body spinning at less than two revolutions per minute, to minimize the risk of any damage to the spacecraft. If NASA picks up the pace of its sky surveys, astronomers should find at least 15 more
U.S. President Barack Obama proposed the asteroid initiative in April, as part of his 2014 budget request to Congress. If the mission gets funded, NASA would expand its surveys for large, hazardous space rocks so that the agency might find an asteroid that is small enough, solid enough and on a trajectory that would allow it to be met by a spacecraft launching as early as 2017.
10-metre targets over the next three to four years, says Chodas, and at least half of those are likely to be in the right orbit. But that would require the agency to boost funding to the survey programmes, which currently focus on finding rocks that are 140 metres across or larger. To spot 10-metreclass rocks, “we have to go fainter”, says Timothy Spahr, director of the Minor Planet Centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which catalogues nearEarth asteroid discoveries. Going fainter means, for instance, adding two more cameras to the Catalina Sky Survey, based at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The survey has discovered most of the small near-Earth asteroids so far. These cameras - planned for mid-2014 - would double the survey’s field of view and increase the chances of catching a faint small object, says Spahr. NASA also plans to restart the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, a spacecraft that has been in hibernation since 2011, to hunt for more asteroids. Two facilities slated for Hawaii the Pan-STARRS-2 telescope and the ATLAS telescope array - could also add to the effort. The extra eyes are crucial because near-Earth asteroids often vanish from view within days of a sighting.
ASTRONOMY With J.K. Obatala
The singularity is upon us (3) URZWEIL made this prediction last June, during a K speech at the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York, which Dmitry Itskov, the Russian billionaire sponsored. Its purpose was to anticipate what our planet will be like 35 to 40 years hence. Adding lurid detail to Kurzwell’s transhumanist sketch, Martine Rothblatt, Chief Executive Officer at the biotechnology company, United Therapeutucs Corporation, reportedly opined that “mindclones” is a rapidly approaching probability. As paraphrased on the “Opposing Views” website, Rothblatt described mindclones as computer software, based on “mind-files”. Each file would contain a human personality that could be used to replicate the mind of an individual in digital form. In his Digital Journal, John Thomas Didymus (a Nigerian) reports that those who belong to Rothblatt’s school of thought see social media, like Facebook, as the possible progenitor of a mindfile system, from which immortal digital individuals could be developed. Digital Journal reported that Rothblatt’s organisation has created an intelligent humanoid it calls “Bina48,” which is allegedly capable of independent thought and emotion. The humanoid was based on a “mindfile” - i.e., a repository of data about the personality traits of a chosen person whose digital clone the robot represents. “Bina48,” Didymus recounts, “was created by uploading a compilation of memories, beliefs and feelings of a real-life person who was interviewed for about 20 hours. The conversation covered many topics in the person’s life from her childhood to adulthood. The information was then transcribed and uploaded to an artificial intelligence database”. The person credited with inventing the term, “technological singularity,” is the late I.G. Good, a famous British mathematician and cryptologist (breaker of secret codes). Good’s conception of humanity’s impending future is encapsulated in his “Intelligence Explosion Hypothesis”. He envisions a “positive feedback cycle,” driven by minds that invent artificial intelligence (AI) technology that will, in its turn, improve on the minds that created it - endowing the latter with the ability to produce even more powerful and sophisticated AI. “…An ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines,” Good wrote, in his influential paper, Speculations Concerning The First Ultraintelligent Machine. “There would then… be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control”. Two other singularity futurists, worthy of mention, are Kevin Kelley and James Martin. One way we will know when the singularity becomes a reality, Kelly advises, is that all the changes that have occurred over the past one million years will be superceded by changes occurring in the next five minutes! The staggering rapidity of technological development, Martin believes, will cause a radical rupture, a complete break in human evolution that will drastically transform society and usher planet Earth into a new post-biological era. But not every futurist shares the vision of the singularity speculators. While most agree that a profound, planetwide, change is lurking somewhere ahead of us, there are those who stop short endorsing of the prognostications I’ve outlined. One of them is science fiction writer Charlie Stross, who raised three objections. There is not likely to be any exponential AI outburst, he demurs. “What we’re going to see,” Stross insists, “is increasingly solicitous machines defining our environment - machines that sense and respond to our needs ‘intelligently’.” “But,” he continues, “it will be the intelligence of the serving hand rather than the commanding brain, and we’re only at risk of disaster if we harbour self-destructive impulses”. Mind-uploading is possible, he concedes. But it probably will never become widespread, because of massive resistance from religious bodies and other vested interests. I will omit his third objection, having to do with the “simulation hypothesis,” because I haven’t discussed it. Writing in The New Scientists, Sally Adee takes a different approach - but disagrees nonetheless. In her review of Kruzwell’s docudrama, “the Singularity Is Near,” she argues that it has already happened and is now history. “The main problem with the singularity, and with this film, is that it’s already dated…” Adee writes. “…The more mundane reality is found in history: technologies are tools, and after the initial giddiness dies down, they simply amplify our human traits”. • To be continued.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
NaturalHealth Fresh facts on how frequent exercises stall chronic diseases The verdict is out! A regular level of physical activity has great potential to improve health and well-being. Health gains from physical activity include enhanced mood and self-esteem, improved physical appearance and a substantial reduction of several cancers, premature mortality, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, noninsulin dependent diabetes and osteoporosis. Moreover, physical activity or exercise aids cardiovascular and respiratory functions, slows the loss of muscular strength, increases bone mass, aids digestion and bowel functions, promotes sound sleep and prevents depression. Physical inactivity or sedentary lifestyle on the other hand helps to develop these diseases. The time to act is now! Put on your running shoes and get moving. By Chukwuma Muanya EW studies have provided more facts why N Nigerians must get moving! A study on ‘Sedentary Lifestyle and Wellness in Kaduna State’ published in Ethno Medicine by researchers from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, found that sedentary lifestyle was common among the residents of the urban centres unlike their counterparts in the rural area, the majority of whom were farmers and who were engaged in farming activities that promoted exercise and invariably their wellbeing. The researchers concluded: “The use of mobile phones, automobiles, air-conditioners and house- hold gadgets in the urban areas has substantially increased the sedentary lifestyle in that area. Their counterparts in the rural areas on the other hand depended largely on walking and bicycling as their major means of transportation. They also engage in agricultural activities and manual work as their main occupations, thus providing substantial opportunities for the rural people to engage in physical activity and reduce the incidence of obesity, hypertension, overweight, stroke and cardio- vascular diseases that were common among sedentary individuals in urban areas.” The researchers, however, recommended: • public health education should be intensified to improve people’s awareness of the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle, especially in the urban centres with the sole aim of encouraging residents to participate in physical activity that will improve their health status. In other words, through public health, health-related problems like obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases arising from a sedentary lifestyle common among urban residents can be prevented; • non-governmental organisations present in the state should refocus their attention or perhaps extend their activities to include physical education that prevents the incidence of health related problems associated with sedentary lifestyle; • as a matter of urgency the government should make provision for more recreational facilities for the promotion and maintenance of positive lifestyle for the people of the state including the rural communities; and, • if these recommendations are carried out, fewer people will be seeing fall ill or die as a result of health problems associated with sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity.
Exercises such as jogging are recommended to boost mental capacity, prevent chronic diseases such as cancers, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases among others Also, United States researchers have found one more reason to exercise: working out triggers influential stem cells to become bone instead of fat, improving overall health by boosting the body’s capacity to make blood. The body’s mesenchymal stem cells are most likely to become fat or bone, depending on which path they follow. Using treadmill-conditioned mice, a team of researchers from McMaster University, United States, led by the Department of Kinesiology’s Gianni Parise has shown that aerobic exercise triggers those cells to become bone more often than fat. Parise, an associate professor, said the exercising mice ran less than an hour, three times a week, enough time to have a significant impact on their blood production. In sedentary mice, the same stem cells were more likely to become fat, impairing blood production in the marrow cavities of bones. The research appears in a new paper published by the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Parise said: “The interesting thing was that a modest exercise program was able to significantly increase blood cells in the marrow and in circulation. What we are suggesting is that exercise is a potent stimulus, enough of a stimulus to actually trigger a switch in these mesenchymal stem cells.” The composition of cells in the bone marrow cavity has an important influence on the productivity of blood stem cells.
In ideal conditions, blood stem cells create healthy blood that boosts the immune system, permits the efficient uptake of oxygen, and improves the ability to clot wounds. Bone cells improve the climate for blood stem cells to make blood. But when fat cells start to fill the bone marrow cavity, a common symptom of sedentary behavior, blood stem cells become less productive, and conditions such as anemia can result. The findings add to the growing list of established benefits of exercise, Parise said, and suggested that novel non-medicinal treatments for blood-related disorders may be in the future. He said: “Some of the impact of exercise is comparable to what we see with pharmaceutical intervention. Exercise has the ability to impact stem cell biology. It has the ability to influence how they differentiate.” Also, a research team based at Princeton University, United States, found that physical activity reorganises the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function. The researchers report in the Journal of Neuroscience that when mice allowed to exercise regularly experienced a stressor, exposure to cold water, their brains exhibited a spike in the activity of neurons that shut off excitement in the ventral hippocampus, a brain region shown to regulate anxiety. These findings potentially resolve a discrepancy in research related to the effect of exer-
Public health education should be intensified to improve people’s awareness of the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle, especially in the urban centres with the sole aim of encouraging residents to participate in physical activity that will improve their health status. In other words, through public health, health-related problems like obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases arising from a sedentary lifestyle common among urban residents can be prevented.
cise on the brain, namely that exercise reduces anxiety while also promoting the growth of new neurons in the ventral hippocampus. Because these young neurons are typically more excitable than their more mature counterparts, exercise should result in more anxiety, not less. The Princeton-led researchers, however, found that exercise also strengthens the mechanisms that prevent these brain cells from firing. The impact of physical activity on the ventral hippocampus specifically has not been deeply explored, said senior author Elizabeth Gould, Princeton’s Dorman T. Warren Professor of Psychology. By doing so, members of Gould’s laboratory pinpointed brain cells and regions important to anxiety regulation that may help scientists better understand and treat human anxiety disorders, she said. From an evolutionary standpoint, the research also showed that the brain can be extremely adaptive and tailor its own processes to an organism’s lifestyle or surroundings, Gould said. A higher likelihood of anxious behavior may have an adaptive advantage for less physically fit creatures. Anxiety often manifests itself in avoidant behavior and avoiding potentially dangerous situations would increase the likelihood of survival, particularly for those less capable of responding with a “fight or flight” reaction, she said. A new study led by North Carolina researchers has found that when it comes to weight- and fat loss, aerobic training is better than resistance training. The study is believed to the largest randomised trial to directly compare changes in body composition induced by comparable amounts of time spent doing aerobic and resistant training, or both in combination, among previously inactive overweight or obese non-diabetic adults. The study is entitled “Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults”. It is published in the December 2012 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology published by the American Physiological Society.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
34 SCIENCE HEALTH
‘How increased, targeted health spending will further boost economic growth in Africa’ By Chukwuma Muanya, Emeka Anuforo and Wole Oyebade NCREASED, targeted health Ilighted spending has been highas an essential foundation to greater economic growth and development in Africa. A new report launched on Monday at the Special Summit of the African Union on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Abuja, Abuja +12: Shaping the future of health in Africa, published by the African Union (AU) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), reviewed progress made since the AU’s 2001 Abuja Declaration - in which leaders pledged to mobilise domestic and international resources for health and remove barriers to the AIDS response - highlights remaining gaps, and prioritises next steps. The new report highlighted five main recommendations for a healthier Africa: unifying leadership, generating innovative financing, making smarter investments in health, strengthening human resources and ensuring no one is left behind. Together, these recommendations aim to leverage health as a force for economic growth and social progress across Africa. The report also highlighted recent successes in the HIV, TB and malaria responses in Africa, including substantial reductions in the number of new HIV and TB infections and deaths from malaria. There is now much broader access to antiretroviral and TB medications and use of malaria control strategies such as insecticide-treated bed nets and indoors residual spraying are becoming more widespread. Meanwhile, Nigeria tops the list of 10 countries that collectively bear over 70 per cent of the malaria burden, with the highest infection and death rates in Africa and the world, according to the Malaria Situation Room, a joint initiative that will provide critical malaria intelligence in support of 10 African countries. Nigeria followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Cameroun and Niger. The Situation Room was launched by African leaders at Abuja+12, that ended on Tuesday. The Situation Room was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in collaboration with the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), the Office of the United Nation (UN) Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Malaria, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The 10 Situation Room countries collectively bear over 70 per cent of the malaria burden, with the highest infection and death rates in Africa
and the world. Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, said the initiative offers urgent, strategic support to the 10 hardest-hit countries in Africa - Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Cameroun and Niger- as they strive to achieve the healthrelated MDGs and ambitious RBM targets of a 75 per cent reduction in the number of new malaria cases, and nearzero malaria deaths before the end of 2015. However, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said Nigeria is planning a new intervention plan on malaria in order to boost the country’s anti-malaria programme. Chukwu said he would present the new plan to the National Economic Council (NEC) this week for consideration and approval. “We have realised that we need to refocus. What we need to do is focus where the problem is. There is progress, but we think that there is more to be done. It is only when we know where the gap exists that we can know where we can have targeted interventions. “This week I will make a presentation to the National Economic Council (NEC) on a new intervention plan on malaria for the country. It could be better, but today nobody can accuse African leaders of not being committed,’’ he said. Chukwu said a major problem facing African countries was how to close the financial gap totalling over 50 per cent. Meanwhile, to achieve zero AIDS related deaths and infection in Nigeria and other African countries, UNAIDS has launched a framework to accelerate action in reaching 15 million people with antiretroviral (ARV) treatment by 2015. The framework, titled Treatment 2015, offers countries and partners both practical and innovative ways to increase the number of people accessing ARV medicines. These medicines will not only enable people living with HIV to live longer and healthier lives, they will also help prevent new HIV infections. Treatment 2015 outlines three fundamental pillars essential to reaching the 2015 target. They are: Demand creation – Increasing demand for HIV testing and treatment services; Invest – mobilising resources and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of spending; and Deliver – ensuring more people have access to ARV therapy. Examining this guidelines, stakeholders have lauded the UNAIDS initiative as apt and achievable. Among them are the Nigerian Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu; Director General, World Health Organisation
President Goodluck Jonathan (middle); Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn (right); and Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof. John Idoko, unveiling the Nigerian President’s Comprehensive Response Plan (PCRP), on Monday, at the AU Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria tagged Abuja + 12.
• Nigeria tops list of 10 worst malaria hit countries • UNAIDS releases new guidelines for accelerated HIV treatment, prevention • Health minister, WHO, PEPFAR others laud Treatment 2015 initiative (WHO) Dr. Margaret Chan; United States Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Eric Goosby among others. Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Michel Sidibe, said at the launch of the guidelines recently that the goal is to scale up access to ARV medicines, though added that it is not about giving more pills to more people but introducing new approach of raising the quality of lives of people who are either missing or already on treatment today. According to the report, that 30 countries – Nigeria inclusive – account for nine out 10 people who are eligible for ART but who do not have access. Treatment 2015 stresses that intensive focus on scaling up HIV services in the 30 countries would have a significant impact on the trajectory of the global AIDS epidemic. The framework also calls for all countries to use the best available data to identify key geographical settings and populations with high HIV prevalence and disproportionate unmet need for ART. Treatment 2015 encourages countries to ensure public health programmes and leverage services provided by civil society and community based groups. Reaching the 2015 target of 15 million treatment would be a critical milestone, Sidibe said, but “countries and partners need to urgently and strategically invest resources and efforts to ensure that everyone has access to HIV prevention and treatment services.”
He said there is the need to fully replenish the Global Fund and have a paradigm shift in future funding of treatment. This is to bring in the notion of co-investment and self-responsibility, ensuring that more countries are committed. “Treatment is not just about giving pills. It is about prevention, reversal of number of new infection, changing the complexity in our delivery system and to make it more affordable while reducing the cost of all that we are doing,” Sidibe said. Speaking for the community of people living with HIV, Gloria Asuquo told the story of how she had survived the trauma with treatment since she was 12-year-old. “The treatment that was made free in 2006 has kept me alive till date. Otherwise I would have died long ago with my dreams.” Asuquo appealed to health ministers in Africa countries to ensure that ARV medicines are more accessible for the youths and the women. “With that, we can get to zero AIDS related deaths, zero new infections and zero stigmatisation,” she said. Chukwu noted that Nigeria had moved from initial denial of the HIV/AIDS problem to realising that AIDS is a chronic diseases that should be treated as such. In the light of this, Chukwu added that the target is possible, with the cooperation of the social sector. “Time has come for us to emphasis the role of politics, sociology, education, fashion, music
The new report highlighted five main recommendations for a healthier Africa: unifying leadership, generating innovative financing, making smarter investments in health, strengthening human resources and ensuring no one is left behind. Together, these recommendations aim to leverage health as a force for economic growth and social progress across Africa.
and so on to raise awareness on treatment and prevention.” Fielding questions for journalists, Chukwu stressed that the Nigerian government remains committed to the campaign and improving policies to accommodate local production of ARV drugs in the country. He observed that parts of the problem remains with some religious groups that would still not understand the problem or see wisdom in the use of ARV. “No matter what we tell them, they would not listen. But we will keep trying our best educating them,” Chukwu said. Treatment 2015 outlines that community health workers have the capacity to provide almost 40 per cent of HIV service-related tasks and that HIV testing and treatment services need to be decentralized to promote earlier access. The framework also underscores the need to ensure that underserved keep populations have equitable access to HIV testing and treatment services. In his contribution, Goosby said the task ahead is the responsibility of the entire continent pulling resources together to collectively fight the scourge, which the United States through PEPFAR has being championing in the last decade. The success today is that 50, 000 people on ARV in 2003 has increased to 7.1 million in Africa, Goosby observed. Besides that, the U.S. government still has ethical obligation to move forward supporting African countries in their implementation efforts and expansion of service capability. Expressing optimism, he said: “I don’t think we can do it; I know we can do it. The Treatment 2015 document is going to emphasis the role that treatment plays in stop-
ping the progression of the virus in an individual. But more importantly, to check the movement of the virus through the population. “Treatment need to be targeted to those population that are in the high-risk and when they do, we will see a huge drop in the incidence of new infections that are coming forward as seen in every country that moves aggressively targeting preventive intervention. “That matched with a reinvigoration of the awareness that individuals can be positive and still go on with a normal life, the life expectancy globally of HIV positive person is now 78-years-old. In my medical school in San Francisco, we graduated three students who were HIV positive and received the ARV at birth. So pediatric HIV are now graduating from medical school. “The Treatment 2015 initiative is smart and timely. We now know what works. Now it is up to us to find the resources to end this epidemic. Africa will benefit from this more than any other. So it is up to African leaders to support the replenishment efforts of the Global Funds,” Goosby said. Developed in consultation with a range of stakeholders, Treatment 2015 takes into account the new Consolidated guidelines on the use of ARV for treatment and preventing HIV infection released last month by the WHO. The guidelines recommend that people living with HIV start antiretroviral therapy (ART) much earlier. WHO DG, Dr. Margaret Chan, in a statement said, “The scale up of ART is an unprecedented global success story for public health. Maintaining this momentum will require earlier treatment and innovative ways for enabling more people to take the medicine such as the one-pill daily regime recommended by the WHO guidelines.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Fashola harps on safety culture • Commissions new Trauma and Burns Centre By Kamal Tayo Oropo and Wole Oyebade ORRIED by the rise in W the incidence of burns and trauma in the Lagos State, Governor Babatunde Fashola has urged Lagosians, especially youths and middle aged to embrace safety culture. Fashola said this on Tuesday as he commissioned the new Trauma and Burns Centre, Gbagada Lagos – an extension of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). Apparently alarmed by the statistics of patients that have already visited the specialised centre since it commenced operation three months ago, Fashola said that there was the need to deepen caution and safety culture among Lagosians to reduce the number of patients that would have to use the facility dedicated to burns and trauma. Since the centre opened to public in April this year, a total of 351 patients have already been seen at the centre, out of which 86 of them were admitted for treatment. The most common injuries were burns and corrosion, which constituted about 24 per cent. Crash injuries of the head and neck constitute about 19 per cent, open wound of the head and neck represented about 13 per cent and wounds involving multiple body regions and fractures constituted 11 per cent. Citing that 63 per cent of the cases seen were people of ages between 15 and 49, Fashola said: “These are the people that we owe our message of more care and caution, and consideration on safety deepened.” Fashola urged the state ministry on special duties and safety commission to take note of these trend and increase safety message in homes and workplaces, to improve the need for safety in homes, places of work, schools and so on. He also assured residents that the Cardiac and Renal Centre, which is at the closing phase of construction, would be handed over before the end of the year. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris noted that the three-story building facility was designed to give integrated services, helping the state to further cope with health challenges of urbanisation and mega city status. The facility has consulting rooms, radiology units, Intensive Care Units (ICU), two theatres and specialised instrument for burns.
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (left), Commissioner for Special Duties, Wale Ahmed, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, Special Adviser to the governor on public health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, Permanent Secretary Lagos Sate Ministry of Health, Dr. Femi Olugbile and Chief Medical Director (CMD), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr. Adewale Oke at the official commissioning of the Trauma and Burns Centre, Gbagada, Lagos… recently.
Researchers implicate bacterial infection in stomach ulcer By Wole Oyebade
• Proffer detect-and-treat solution
AVE you ever wondered why some stomach ulcers refuse to heal after treatments? It may be due to a bacterial infection that is more often than not undetected. Researchers in gastrointestinal medicine have implicated Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) bacterium in many persistent ulcer wounds and discomforts among Nigerians. The researchers, under the aegis of Biofem Pharmaceutical Group, explained that H. Pylori is a bacterium in the gut that leads to recalcitrant on intestinal ulceration. It prevents peptic ulcer disease and gastric ulcer from getting healed. Prevalence of H. Pylori in peptic ulcer cases is 90 per cent. It is over 80 per cent culpable in gastric ulcer patients presenting in the clinic. Speaking at the launch of Rabefast solution in Lagos recently, member of the Biofem Group, Adeolu Demehin, observed that H. Pylori is high in resource poor environments known for poor hygiene. Therein, the bacterium proliferates through transmission routes of fecaloral (from stool to mouth) and oral-oral (mouth to mouth through the saliva). Most worrisome is that the presence of H. Pylori could result in worst outcomes like gastric cancer disease. Demehin said: “In other to prevent such irreversible outcome, then we must find a way to detect the person that is always presenting with stomach pains and cramps whether he or she has H. Pylori or not. “If the patient does, it can
be eradication using Pylorest tablet - containing trabeprezol, Amoxicillin and clitomycin. “In virtually all peptic ulcer cases – the general ulcer, gastric ulcer, gastrooesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gastritis conditions – even after the eradication of H. Pylori there may still be need for follow up with a product – Rabefast – belonging to a group of medication called Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI),”he said. Managing Director, Biofem Group, Femi Soremekun noted that caregivers must be aware that the gold standard in diagnosis of H. pylori is the Urea Breathe Test (UBT) using the Heliprobe machine. Soremekun said that find-
ings confirmed that ulcer is a huge problem in this clime. Though doctors treat patients on daily basis, but “if they don’t detect the actual problem, they would not know what they really need in terms of treatment.” “Heliprobe machine is unique non-invasive technique of identifying H. Pylori infection in the clinic and the result is ready in about 15 minutes.” Today, there are about 25 Heliprobe machine in the country courtesy of the Biofem Group. The machine has also given the tertiary institutions opportunities of research. “The idea came out of researches earlier conducted on ulcer and H. Pylori. We realised that the gastroenterology market
in the country is quite extensive and there are opportunities for us if we are able to provide what is needed to take care of the patients. “We discover that if you can offer total care for certain diseases in gastroenterology, then you would have done very well to help the patients. That got us to this point today with the launch of Rabefast, a product that complements the equipment that we use in testing the patient,” Soremekun said. Product Manager Biofem Group, Augustine Osifo, said further that the management of ulcer and nonulcer conditions required total-package – to tackle the disease right from the point of diagnosis. “It is not just enough to
detect the condition, but you can also intervene by treating them. We, therefore, came up with a testand-treat approach, where we earlier donated Heliprobe machines to 25 secondary and tertiary institutions in the country. “They run the test on the patients and if they are positive, they also use a drug that we provided called Pylorest to treat the H. Pylori infection. “Once the H. Pylori infection is removed, you have created an atmosphere for the ulcer to heal among those that have ulcer. And that is where Rabefast (from Rabeprazole) comes in; to ensure the healing process of ulcer,” Osifo said.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
36 SCIENCE HEALTH
PCN shuts four drugs firms for non-compliance with global best practices From John Ogiji, Minna HE Acting Registrar, T Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Gloria Abumere said that the Council had so far short down four licensed pharmaceutical companies for noncompliance with global best practices. Speaking after inspecting facilities at the Dana Pharmaceutical Company limited in Minna, Niger State recently, the acting registrar said that the council had equally given the affected companies an ultimatum to rectify things before they could be allow to continue with business. She maintained that the action of the PCN was in line with the recent policy document by federal government to streamline drug distribution in Nigeria in other to create the enabling environment that would lead to the removal of all illegal channels of introduction of unwholesome medicines into the pharmaceutical distribution system in Nigeria. According to her: “The time has come for manufacturing industries to proactively strengthen their research and development practices by looking in words at vast
natural resources that are abundant in Nigeria waiting to be harnessed.” She explained that the visit by PCN to Dana Pharmaceutical Company Limited was to brainstorm with the management and staff on continuous compliance to the principle of good manufacturing practices in relation to personnel, structure, facilities and process. “It is also an opportunity for the management to proffer suggestion on how to improve on the level of pharmaceutical services currently available, particularly as it relates to the manufacturing sector in Nigeria,” she said. Abumere also re-emphasized federal government’s stance on the provision of pharmaceuticals that is easily accessible and affordable to the general public as contained in the national drug policy. She commended Dana Pharmaceutical Company for the giant stride taken towards moving the pharmaceutical manufacturing system to a higher pedestal as well as expression of willingness to partner with the government of Nigeria in providing qualitative healthcare services to the people of Nigeria.
Avon Health Management firm set to commence operation By Tony Nwanne new Healthcare A M a n a g e m e n t Organisation, Avon Healthcare Limited is set to join the leagues Healthcare Management Organisation in Nigeria to offer Nigerians modern and up to date healthcare delivery. The firm, which will be unveiling its plans officially on Thursday, 25 July 2013, will introduce an array of products and healthcare services to the market. The launch will set the tone on how Avon HMO plans to engage with key stakeholders and partners, including governments and senior public officials; leading corporate organisations; key SMEs as well as Healthcare professionals and providers. The Chief Executive Officer of Avon HMO, Mrs. Simbo Ukiri, while disclosing this last week in Lagos said that the company poised to be
the preferred choice for healthcare solutions, and will set new standards in the industry, new standards by way of real value to clients, enrolled members and providers; as well as new standards in service delivery. According to her, “Avon HMO has adopted a completely different approach. We want Nigerians to enrolled members and partners to know that we listen, and that we have the right people, skills and technology to meet their healthcare needs at the right price and in the most responsive and efficient manner.” “We don’t simply sell health plans; we give clients and members access to healthcare solutions that are relevant to their needs, improving quality of life and promoting soundness of mind and body which accelerates productivity and enhances the creation of wealth.”
Renewed tobacco control campaign begins By Victor Olushola OBACCO Control Nigeria, T a campaign to raise awareness on the health hazards of smoking and the effects of tobacco on the Nigerian population is set to begin in August. This is also in line with the passage of a comprehensive Tobacco Control (TC) law compliant with the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). According to the Project Campaign Manager, Olamide Egbayelo, Tobacco Control Nigeria, a behav-
ioural change and public health campaign project using social media to advance tobacco control, hoped to nurture and give voice to a community of persons with the focus that tobacco companies carry out their advertising and marketing responsibly. “We want to ensure that Nigerian children are properly protected from pressures to take up smoking, that public places are protected from the tyranny of secondhand smoke, and that persons who wish to quit smoking find the support they require,” he added.
College of Physicians faults foreign medical trips by leaders From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo S African leaders conA verge on Nigeria to find a lasting solution to the
Minister of health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu She called on the manageEarlier, the head of quality ment and staff of Dana assurance, Superintendent Pharmaceutical Company to Pharmacist, Ediagbonya seek to continuously Godwin in his remark, said improve on standards in that Dana group had estabrelation to processes, facililished itself as an integral ties, staff development and a part of the Nigeria economy paradigm shift from risk with an integrated commermanagement to risk benefit cial, industrial and servicemanagement where the oriented organisation, posibenefit to the patient and tioning itself as one of the safety are paramount imporleading business house in tance. Nigeria.
scourge of HIV&AIDS in the continent, the Vice President of the West Africa College of Physicians, Dr. Ayodele Omotoso has faulted oversea medical treatment by Africans saying failure to provide world-class health facilities by political leaders gave rise to the undue medical tourism. Addressing a news conference in Osogbo to kick-start the 37th annual general meeting of the college, Omotoso described the idea foreign medical as a drain on the continent’s economy. He also said that refusal to make world standard health facilities available at home was the major reason influential people seek medical treatment abroad and not because there were incompetent medical personnel. The three-day programme that would feature presentation of papers by experts in various fields, according to Omotoso would be declared open by Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
He observed that medical personnel in Africa were competent to deal with any ailment saying that what was required was for leaders to step up the health facilities to meet global standard. He attributed what he described as ‘medical tourism’ especially by political office holders to undue access to public fund adding that most of the ailments they travelled abroad for could be effectively treated at home. His words, “it is unfortunate that Nigerian populace does not have confidence in the ability of medical personnel on ground to deal with their ailment, if we will develop our health care system in Nigeria and fund health care adequately, there will be no need for medical tourism as being witnessed now.” He charged African leaders to make the development of health institutions their priority and adequately fund College of Physician that was jointly established by West Africa countries. While lamenting lack of budgetary line for training of consultants, Omotoso said that medical tourism should be discouraged to avoid the destruction of the health system in the conti-
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
SCIENCE HEALTH 37
Climate change: Forecast for 2018 is cloudy with record heat N August 2007, Doug Igamble Smith took the biggest of his career. After more than ten years of work with fellow modelers at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre in Exeter, United Kingdom (UK), Smith published a detailed prediction of how the climate would change over the better part of a decade. His team forecasted that global warming would stall briefly and then pick up speed, sending the planet into record-breaking territory within a few years. The Hadley prediction has not fared particularly well. Six years on, global temperatures have yet to shoot up as it projected. Despite this underwhelming result, such near-term forecasts have caught on among many climate modellers, who are now trying to predict how global conditions will evolve over the next several years and beyond. Eventually, they hope to offer forecasts that will enable humanity to prepare for the decade ahead just as meteorologists help people to choose their clothes each morning. These near-term forecasts stand in sharp contrast to the generic projections that climate modellers typically produce, which look many decades ahead and don’t represent the actual climate at any given time. “This is very new to climate science,” says Francisco Doblas-Reyes, a modeller at the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, and a lead author of a chapter that covers climate prediction for a forthcoming report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “We’re developing an additional tool that can tell us a lot more about the nearterm future.” In preparation for the IPCC report, the first part of which is due out in September, some 16 teams ran an intensive series of decadal forecasting experiments with climate models. Over the past two years, a number of papers based on these exercises have been published, and they generally predict less warming than standard models over the near term. For these researchers, decadal forecasting has come of age. But many prominent scientists question both the results and the utility of what is, by all accounts, an expensive and time-consuming exercise. “Although I have nothing against this endeavour as a research opportunity, the papers so far have mostly served as a ‘disproof of concept’,” says Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeller at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which declined to participate in the IPCC’s decadal-predictions experiment. To make its climate prediction, Smith’s team used its standard climate model, but broke the mould by borrowing ideas from the way meteorologists forecast the weekly weather. Typical climate projections start some way back in the past, often well before the industrial
era, in a bid to capture the average climate well enough to forecast broad patterns over the long term. Weekly weather forecasts, however, begin with the present. They make multiple simulations with slightly different initial meteorological conditions to give an array of outcomes that has some statistical validity despite the weather’s inherent chaos. Smith and his team applied this same approach. They collected a slew of climate measurements - air temperature, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, ocean temperature and salinity - for 20 days during 2005. For each prediction, they ‘initialised’ the Hadley Centre’s main climate model by plugging in a single day’s data. Then they ran
the model forward for a decade under the influence of various factors such as rising greenhouse-gas concentrations. By starting in the present with actual conditions, Smith’s group hoped to improve the model’s accuracy at forecasting the nearterm climate. The results looked promising at first. The model initially predicted temperatures that were cooler than those seen in conventional climate projections - a forecast that basically held true into 2008. But then the prediction’s accuracy faded sharply: the dramatic warming expected after 2008 has yet to arrive. “It’s fair to say that the real world warmed even less than our forecast suggested,” Smith says. “We don’t
really understand at the moment why that is.” The answer may lie in the oceans. Although the atmosphere largely controls day-to-day weather, the slow-moving oceans hold so much more energy and heat that they dominate how the climate changes from year to year. Researchers suspect that much of this variability is tied to widespread cycles, such as the El Niño warming and La Niña cooling system in the eastern tropical Pacific. In theory, the fact that salt water circulates more slowly than air should also make the oceans a little easier to model. In 2008, a group of climate modellers led by Noel Keenlyside, now at the University of Bergen in Norway, made a prediction
through to 2030 that incorporated the effects of sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic2. They focused on one of the Atlantic’s dominant current patterns, the meridional overturning circulation. This carries sunbaked waters from the tropics to the north Atlantic, where it releases heat into the atmosphere, before sinking into the deep ocean and travelling south again. The model predicted that this circulation would weaken, helping to stabilise or even cool global temperatures over the next several years. The prediction sparked a furore: some researchers questioned the Keenlyside team’s analysis as well as the way the model was initialised. The highly publicised study also became
wrapped up in a broader debate in the media about whether global warming had paused. Shortly after the study came out, a group of scientists led by Stefan Rahmstorf, an oceanographer at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, publicly refuted the paper and challenged Keenlyside’s group to a pair of bets together worth €5,000 (US$6,525) if the predictions bore fruit. “We felt a need to make it publicly known that this was not climate science as such that was predicting a cooling period,” Rahmstorf says. Keenlyside and his team did not take the bets, which turned out to be a smart choice. The circulation did not flag and the temperatures were higher than predicted, says Rahmstorf.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
NMA president elected VP of Commonwealth Medical Association CONSULTANT Family A Physician and the current President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, has emerged as Vice President of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA). The 51-year-old CMA elected a new set of officers to pilot its affairs for the next triennium, 2013 to 2016 during its 23rd Triennial conference and Council meeting held from July 4 to 7, 2013, at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. According to a press statement from CMA, amongst other elected officers are Dr. Solaiman Juman, a Consultant ENT surgeon and former President of the Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association as the new CMA President; Dr. Oheneba Owusu-Danso of the Ghana Medical Association and a Consultant plastic, aesthetic and hand surgeon as Secretary; Dr. Phophi Ramathuba, a clinical pharmacologist and delegate of the South Africa Medical Association, was elected Treasurer; while Dr. Gordon Caruana-Dingli, a general and breast surgeon from the Medical Association of Malta automatically became the Immediate Past President and member of the executive. CMA was founded in 1962 and is made up of National Medical Associations from at least 42 Commonwealth countries from the various continents of the Commonwealth, including United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, and India. Headquartered in Tavistock square, London, United Kingdom, the main aim of the CMA is to assist and strengthen the capacities of National Medical Associations of countries
NMA President, Enabulele
The 51-year-old CMA elected a new set of officers to pilot its affairs for the next triennium, 2013 to 2016 during its 23rd Triennial conference and Council meeting held from July 4 to 7, 2013, at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. within the Commonwealth to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities and countries through activities such as: regional and international
workshops on health issues; medical and health research; advocacy on health issues; capacitybuilding for member national medical associations; and collaborations with other international bodies, civil society and governance institutions, with similar objectives.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
SCIENCE & HEALTH
NAFDAC seeks greater regional efforts to fight fake drugs From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja IGERIA is seeing greater N collaboration from other countries in the West African region for more effective control of counterfeit and substandard foods and drugs. The National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which met with some officials from Sierra Leone in Abuja, recently, said that better results could be achieved with countries coming together to form a common front on the issue. Director General of NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii, said: “One of the factors that encourage fake and substandard drugs in Nigeria is that we have low manufacturing capacity. What I did when I came in was to encourage our local manufacturers to increase their production and also to upgrade their facilities to meet international standards and most of them responded.” He said that about eight Nigerian firms might obtain World Health Organisation’s (WHO) prequalification before the end of this year. Eight pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, he said, were undergoing pre-qualification. He added that low production capacity of pharmaceutical companies in the country had created rooms for substandard and fake drugs. Orhii pleaded with the Sierra Leonean delegation, led by the nation’s Pharmacy Board’s Chief Executive, Mr. Wiltshire Johnson, for greater regional control of counterfeit and substandard foods and drugs. His words: “With the crackdown on illicit narcotic trade, the global counterfeiting business is now worth more than N75bil-
lion to $200billion annually and former drug barons are diverting their resources into manufacturing of less risky, more lucrative counterfeit medicines. With this huge quantity of fake medicines, inclusive of international markets, we are very vulnerable. Our region here, take Nigeria for example, we have a huge population of 167million people, and we have low local manufacturing capacity of less than 30 per cent of essential medicines that are needed in the Nigeria. The borders are vast and porous. We have huge buying power and the disease burden is very high.” Orhii listed strategies for fighting substandard and fake drug in Nigeria to include mass enlightenment; introduction of Truscan, a device used to verifying genuiness of drugs; mobile messaging among others. Johnson had said: “Sierra Leone and Nigeria have always enjoyed various forms of ties in different forms of work and various areas of development. By what we see here today, I know that that ties still exist, and we shall continue to forge our ties further. In a couple of months ago, should I say a year, I was here together with other members of ECOWAS, we were very much impressed with the work that had been done by NAFDAC. I see to it that there is need for us to come and do in-depth study to see how we could follow the lead that you have created in the subregion in protection our people as a whole in the fight against drug counterfeiting, substandard falselabeling among others. “As a result of that meeting, we have come to further evaluate and see how we can learn and also use the opportunity to strengthen our tie.”
Product Manager, Fidson Healthcare Plc., Femi Ajala (left), Promotion Co-ordinator Astymin, Yetunde Adesola, General Manager, Marketing, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Ola Ijimakin and Corporate Services Manager, Oladimeji Oduyebo during the media briefing on Astymin Brilliance Reward in Lagos…recently. PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
Firm cautions over influx of lead poisoned products By Tosin Fodeke ANAGEMENT of an M online procurement firm has called on regulatory authorities to expedite action against the influx of dangerous lead products, which are constantly finding their way into the country. Indeed the situation according to officials at Manna Stores has become ever more worrisome. They stressed that Nigeria has become a dumping ground for fake products from Asia countries. Chief Executive Officer, Mannamart Online Limited, Mr. Ayoola Benson, in a chat with the media recently said that products such as toys, perfumes, electronic
materials from Asia countries contain leads which is dangerous to the health of children was banned from entering USA and UK recently but Nigeria as no effective border control to police the crooks engaged in this trade. He cited the recent report by the Standard
Organisation of Nigeria, which stated that about 70 per cent of goods entering Nigeria are substandard or poor imitation. “The only way to beat the crooks importing dangerous goods is to sop buying them as there are now alternatives which are better value if purchased through
the right platform, he said Benson, who runs a procurement and logistics company helping Nigerians buy directly from UK stores said that Nigerians should take advantage of internet and can now buy from any UK websites through his comp a n y www..mannastores.com.
46 SCIENCE HEALTH
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Vegetables, fruits top heart healthy foods HIS week I bring you the concluding part of my T write up on ‘Heart Healthy Foods and Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease,’ which I started two weeks ago. As I ended last Thursday, I promised that I would write on 25 heart healthy foods and in concluding, I did categorise the 10 nutrients that are necessary to keep the heart healthy. To refresh your memory, here is a list of the 10 classes of nutrients: water, antioxidants, phytosterols, polyphenols and phytoestrogens. Others are carotenoids, omega 3 fatty acids (unsaturated fatty acids), vitamins, minerals and fibre. Here now is the list of the 25 heart healthy foods and the nutrients they contain according to the 10 categories of nutrients listed above. Furthermore, these foods will be presented in the following groupings: vegetables, fruits, grains/nuts, beans, fish and others. Vegetables: Spinach, thick, dark green leaves that contain lutein, (a carotenoid), B-complex vitamins and folate. Also, there are minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium and like any other vegetables, there is fibre. Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, it contains betacarotene, vitamins C and E and folate. Minerals found in broccoli are potassium and calcium, with fibre. Carrot, contains alphacarotene and fibre. Sweet potato, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E with fiber. Asparagus, beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins, folate and fibre. Red pepper, beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, folate, potassium and fibre. Tomatoes, beta and alpha-carotene,
lycopene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, potassium and fibre. Fruits: Orange, beta and alpha-carotene, flavones, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fibre. Blue berries, beta-carotene, lutein, anthocyanin (flavonoid), ellagic acid (polyphenol), vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium and fibre. Cantalope, alpha and betacarotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, folate, potassium and fibre. Paw paw, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, vitamins C and E, folate, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Grains/nuts: Brown rice, Bcomplex vitamins, niacin, magnesium and fibre. Oatmeal, B-complex vitamins like niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin E, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium and soluble fibre. Flaxseed, omega 3 fatty acids, phytoestrogen and fibre. Almond, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, phytosterols, magnesium and fibre. Walnut, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phytosterols and fibre. Legumes: Kidney beans, omega 3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and soluble fibre. Black beans, omega 3 fatty acid, B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and soluble fibre. Soy milk, isoflavones, Bcomplex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phytoestrogens. Soy protein, omega 3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, potassium, magnesium, good quality protein, phytoestrogen and fibre. Tofu, niacin, folate, minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium. Fish: Tuna, omega 3 fatty
acid, folate and niacin. Salmon, omega 3 fatty acid. Others: Green tea, contains catechins and flavonoids. Dark chocolate (unrefined cocoa), contains resveratrol and cocoa phenols. Red grapes (red wine), contains catechins and resveratrol. Tips to changing your diet to make them healthy for your heart Changing your diet so as to improve your health at any time and to prevent whatever disease, should never be sudden and total. If you have to change all the food you have been eating in the last 40 years suddenly and totally, I am sure your system will revolt. The idea is that the change should be gradual. According to the groupings of the heart healthy foods given above, the sources of the food you should eat to keep your heart healthy are vegetables, fruits, grains/nuts, fish, legumes and green tea. In practical terms, you need to eat more of nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds and its oil, almonds and avocados and cold water fish which are very good sources of omega 3 fatty acid. Your proteins can be sourced from skinless poultry, fish, egg white and ccalcium from
skimmed milk and other plant sources as listed above. You will get sufficient nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and the phytonutrients by eating a variety of the vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains. There are a number of them, make sure you eat different ones daily and weekly, as you can afford. All the vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes are very rich sources of fibre and you can never go wrong eating these foods. Certain foods are particularly efficient in lowering cholesterol in circulation and they are found in the vegetables, fruits, fish, beans, nuts and seeds. They include oatmeal, walnut, olive oil, fish and the phytosterol in flaxseed and wheat gem. The foods you should avoid as you improve upon your diet to make it heart healthy should include red meat, egg yoke, hydrogenated and trans fat, processed and packaged food that are high in sodium. Others are sausages, bacon, egg yoke, fried chicken, white bread and rice, whole milk products like cheese and yogurt and refined pasta.
S part of efforts to inspire A more pupils to execel- Astymin lence through the provision of needed nutrition for proper growth and development, Fidson Healthcare Plc through its popular brand will on Saturday July 27, 2013 hold the third edition of the children’s academic performance appreciation and reward programme tagged Astymin Brilliance Reward. Astymin is a balanced formula made up of eight essential amino acids the body requires but cannot make plus it contains a balanced amount of multivitamins like A, C, E B1, B12 and Folic Acid to work synergistically to promote and maintain optimum health and well being. General Manager, Marketing, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr. Ola Ijimakin, Astymin Brilliance Reward is a unique initiative aimed at encouraging and rewarding outstanding performance amongst Primary School pupils. The best pupils from about two hundred schools across several states across the southwest and southeastern region will be recognised appreciated and rewarded with educational materials at the event. Ijimakin said: “Two years ago 110 private primary schools in Lagos State enrolled their brilliant pupils for the Fidson Healthcare Plc’s Astymin Brilliance Hall (ABR) of Fame, in 2012 the number grew to 170 while the spread went up to include schools from Ogun, Oyo and Osun states. “Now, for the third season running and for the 2013 edition of the ABR, the interest has grown and 200 schools which cut across the states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Delta and Enugu
holds third brilliance reward would have their best pupils in the sixth grade taking part in the programme meant to reward only the best. “Since its inception in 2011, a noticeable trend in the annual event has been the fact that private schools’ owners have not only found it an avenue to showcase their talented children among other schools, it has also given a platform for participating pupils to get exposed to the dynamics of leadership in enlarged academic community. “The last two editions of reward for ABR saw pupils of some private schools in remote areas of Oyo, Osun and Ogun took a trip down to one of the prestigious and high brow private schools, Grange Children School, Ikeja, venue of the event to be mixed up with others in talent hunt competitions and it was indeed a celebration of some sort. “There was this euphoria among the pupils who came from the hinterland of Ajegunle, Lekki, Oyo, and Ogbomosho and so on, of being showcased as ‘the best from their community’ alongside the best from other high brow schools in Ibadan and Lagos.” The reward for brilliant pupils of each participating school involve the schools following set protocol and guidelines in identifying pupils who have outstanding performances through their grades and in the final sixth grade have shinning records that make them tops in the entire school.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Focus Fresh peace initiatives on the Plateau From: Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos started like a skirmish in 1994 during the military era. The ItheTbelieve then was that it was a one off crisis that could not rock peace of Plateau State, hitherto regarded as the most peaceful state in Nigeria. The military rose to the occasion and brought it under control. Although, the ember of violence was doused, it was not put out completely, as it left on its trail bottled up anger, bitterness and pain with promise of revenge at a later day. The exit of the military in 1999 and emergence of a civilian administration thus provided the needed opportunity for the feuding parties to go for each other’s jugular on September7, 2001. The result of that bloody clash was the harvest of deaths running into well over hundred, while property worth over N2billion were destroyed. Indeed, since then, the state which used to be a tourist haven, attracting foreigners because of its weather and peaceful atmosphere, gave way to violence and bloodletting of unimaginable proportion. The ethno-religious violence continued unabated in 2004 during the regime of Governor Joshua Dariye, which led to the declaration of a state of emergency in the whole state and MajorGeneral Chris Alli (rtd) became the Sole Administrator for a period of six months before it was lifted by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. This period of interregnum in the history of the state doused the tension after the state of emergency but the acrimony and mutual suspicion were still deep seated in the minds of the people. These hide and seek game of violence continued till Dariye ended his eight – year tenure. Then the present Governor, Jonah David Jang, took over in May 2007. After some time, the same dose of anarchy of a greater proportion was unleashed by warmongers using the 2008 local government elections as their reason. They looted, vandalised and unleashed mayhem on innocent people. The bloody strife was more pronounced in four local government councils of Jos North, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi. The state was then polarized along ethnic and religious lines. Because of this violence, President Goodluck Jonathan, directed the then Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, to take charge of internal security of the state. More troops and military operational vehicles were deployed in the city of Jos. The Special Task Force (STF) comprising mainly the army and the air force formed the core of the force and later mobile policemen and Civil Defence Corps were sent to join the STF to give the operation, civilian outlook. Commanders after commanders came from General Saleh Maina to BrigadierGeneral Hassan Umaru, who spent about two years. After him came Brigadier –General Pat Akem. Major-General Oluwaseun Oshinowo succeeded him and Major-General Abubakar Ibrahim took over from him. General Oshinowo was elevated to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division in Enugu and the current Commander, Major-General Henry Ayoola, stepped in. Although Ayoola did a lot and is still doing a lot to end the crisis, killings around Jos metropolis have not ceased as there were skirmishes and pockets of killings here and there. The involvement of the STF helped tremendously in reducing violence. Where violence is rampant now is Riyom and Barkin Ladi councils and lately Langtang South and Langtang North/Wase axis. When Air Commodore Jonah Jang (rtd) took over as governor in 2007, people of the state heaved a sigh of relief that as a retired senior air force officer he would use his strategic experience to promptly nip in the bud any pocket of violence that reared its head. But they soon realized how wrong they could be as this did not, in any way reduce violence in the state. The violence wore the garb of ethic cleansing and polarization as people from a particular ethic nationality and religion no longer felt safe and free to move about in a territory believed to belong to another ethnic extraction altogether and vice versa. Recently, an attack on Ganawuri Chiefdom in Riyom Local Government claimed the lives of two policemen from the Plateau State Police Command, while eight houses were razed by the attackers In March this year, Mongor village of Bokkos Local Government were attacked by unknown assailants who killed 24 villagers and two mobile policemen attached to the STF. While attention was on Mongor village that was attacked, another group of unknown attackers took that advantage and unleashed violence in the quiet Ganawuri chiefdom leaving no fewer than 20 people dead. Many concerned citizens of the state have been making frantic efforts to contain the spate of killings especially in Riyom and Barkin Ladi councils where the major problem was between the Fulani herdsmen and their host Berom natives. The Fulani were accused of destroying the farm crops of the natives with impunity while grazing their cattle, but the herdsmen also accused the natives of attacking their cattle. People like Senator Gyang Pwajok, united the Fulani and the
Berom through his peace pact which they signed to respect each other’s culture and tradition and to stop cow rustling and destruction of farmlands. But the peace pact suffered a setback in early June as residents of Gwande in Manguna district of Bokkos fled their homes following the invasion of their community by unknown gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen and six people were killed. Wase was not left out as renewed hostility between the Tarok and Fulani people claimed six lives. The Uban-Gari Gani (father of the people of Gani District of Langtang North), General Yakubu Rimdan (rtd) who extensively on the issue said that it had even gone beyond Hausa-Tarok or Muslim – Christian. The General said: “the problem is getting complex. It started like a tribal problem between the inhabitants of Wase and the Tarok people. That is, the Hausa and the Tarok. It started like an inhouse thing within that local government area. It is not a thing that spread over the entire Tarok land. That is the way people had been thinking. People thought it was a thing that was happening between Tarok and Hausa Fulani. But it is not. “It is a problem within a local government area (Wase) where the Tarok people are dominant in numerical strength. So, about 70 percent of the inhabitants are Tarok people and 30 percent are the Hausa people. But you still find out that the Emir of Wase is the overall boss there which the people did not mind,” Rimdan explained. He said all the taxes were paid to the Hausa people in Wase whereas the Tarok people are not benefiting from it. “That is what has been happening. The Tarok people are now saying, look, you have been ruling us for too long. We need a little bit of our own independence. Give us a chiefdom. And if there are any elections in Wase, the majority of the officials who form the bulk of the local government council are Hausa people. That had been the problem. But then, whenever a clash occurred, the Hausa people using other connections from outside Wase, would displace all the Tarok people there. You know they destroyed all the churches there. In the entire Wase, you cannot find a single church standing. And the houses of the people have also been destroyed,” the Uban-Gari Gani lamented. He said when the Tarok people discovered that it was getting to the raining season, they went and mobilized and put up some new structures so that they can go back to farm. Rimdan, said that in the night, the Hausa went and destroyed the new structures that would have accommodated the Tarok people when they were farming.
“So, the thing started degenerating. Extending to Langtang South, Yelwa and even Shendam. You see, it is a thing that the Federal Government has to really wade into. The annoying thing about the whole thing again is that it is not even the Hausa in Wase that are leading the attacks on the Tarok people. No. You have the Nigeriens, you have the Chadians and you have even Fulani’s from all the neighbouring countries coming all the way from Taraba. “It is not even the Hausa man in Wase alone now. But the thing is you have a lot of vehicles carrying people from outside Nigeria coming in to attack all these people and destroy houses.” he said. He, however, suggested that the country should deploy aircrafts to patrol the borders of these countries so that they can see the movement of the Chadians, the mercenaries or Nigeriens and alert other security operatives who will be fully prepared and ready to repel them. Concerned about the alarming rate of violence in the southern part of the state, Deputy Governor, Ignatius Dantong Longjan convened an emergency meeting of key political office holders from the zone where a communiqué was issued condemning, in its totality, the recent attack on some communities in the Southern zone of the state by yet to be identified gunmen. The meeting noted with dissatisfaction the ongoing damaging rumour concerning support being given to cow rustlers and the hiring of mercenaries by some communities and resolved that these should be discouraged. The meeting frowned at the persisting cases of cattle rustling among communities which now serves as the ignition to most of the attacks in the zone and called on security agents to take decisive measures against cattle rustlers. It resolved to constitute a committee from among themselves that will go round the six Local Government Areas of the zone to sensitise people on the need for peaceful co-existence. The meeting commended the security in their effort in managing the security challenges thus far and urged them to step up action to contain with the situation. The meeting noted with concern the presence of heavily armed militia lurking within the vast forest existing between the borders of Taraba-Nassarawa and Plateau States perpetrating cross –border attacks on some communities within the zone and called on the security agents to rise to the challenge of flushing them out. In the same vein, the meeting noted with great concern the arrival of some illegal aliens to some local government areas in the zone and called on the relevant security agency to identify and flush them out. It also noted with dismay the presence of sophisticated weapons within the zone and called on the owners of the weapons to surrender them to the relevant security agents. Members also admonished themselves against taking sides along tribal or sectional differences and resolved to be fair to all and sundry in their dealings with the general public. Considering the terrain and lack of motorable roads in the zone which makes movement difficult for security agents, the meeting considered the need to open up some of the roads to ease movements. The meeting resolved to include more stakeholders from the zone to enhance the peace process. Finally, it was resolved that this meeting will from now hold frequently to ensure that lasting peace is restored in the zone.
The country should deploy aircrafts to patrol the borders of these countries so that they can see the movement of the Chadians, the mercenaries or Nigeriens and alert other security operatives who will be fully prepared and ready to repel them.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Education UNESCO, UNN train teachers, students on science applications From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu a gathering of some of the best brains ITheTinwas science and technology across the globe. experts, who gathered in Nsukka under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) recently, took selected science teachers and students, drawn from Enugu state, through a weeklong science and technology training. The science fair, the first of its kind in Africa, was held in Italy last year. It was part of the gains the UNN is deriving from having the UNESCO category II Biotechnology Institute cited within its premises. The 23-man UNESCO team brought the latest science kits, charts and other facilities with it. The portable and replaceable facilities, according to the experts, do exactly the same work as the conventional laboratory facilities. The team, whose membership was drawn from France, India, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States and Nigeria, was at the University for three reasons. First, it offered training in mobile learning; a package developed by the science sector of UNESCO in collaboration with the Science Dissemination Unit (SDU) of the ICTP. It exposes members of the academic community to the potentials of mobile education possibilities; scientific contents for mobile devices and their application in the delivery of instructions. Vice Chancellor of the UNN, Prof Barth Okolo said this aspect of the training was to “give a balanced mix of technical detail, general overview, societal impact and a sense of potentials of scientific mobile learning.” The second aspect was the global water and micro science demonstration experiments for science teachers and secondary school students, which was based on the global benchmarks and developed by UNESCO in the late 1990s. The water experiments formed part of the activities related to the International Year of Chemistry. The third arm of the science fair was the workshop by the volunteers and personnel of Engineers without Borders (EWB) from the United Kingdom. This was designed to train students on how to use locally sourced materials to solve common problems, such as providing shelters, developing transportation infrastructure and using hydro power to generate electricity. Giving a breakdown of those trained, the programme’s coordinator, Prof Jerry
Cross section of UNESCO facilitators at the Science Fair held at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka recently Ugwuanyi said that over 100 science teachers drawn from the UNN and 1500 students participated. Specifically, he revealed that 500 and 400 students were drawn from Nsukka and Obollo education districts respectively and 100 from the University of Nigeria Secondary School, Enugu. Ugwuanyi stated that the UNN decided to train teachers at its science department, to enable them train teachers of other schools who may not have benefitted from the training. He said: “A number of countries no longer use the big things to learn science. Lack of funds made us to narrow down to Enugu and Nsukka. We have the micro science, which was developed in the mid 90s, as a means of miniaturizing chemistry experiment. If you look at these kits, you will discover that the big titration the students used to do has miniaturized in user and environmentally friendly kits, which are easy to implement. Students now have to use only a few drops of chemicals to learn acid base titration and related things.” UNESCO’s Science Officer, Dr Osuji Otu said: “We want students to have a practical knowledge on how to test for acidity and how to purify water, so that they can also apply this even at home. Instead of a standard laboratory equipment, we are using micro science equipment. The emphasis is
that you can still get the same result but in a small quantity, and the number of chemicals you are going to use for this experiment is greatly reduced.” He stated that the UNESCO, having realized the importance of teaching sciences practically had, within the past few years, tried to develop the means of ensuring that facilities used for the practicals were available and affordable. “The whole idea is that government should adapt and key into it, to ensure that every school within its boundary has it in its laboratory,” he noted. Explaining that science’s importance in the attainment of the Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs) and sustainable development, he said: “If you miss any practical aspect of science, it makes it difficult for students to understand what they are doing. Science is all about what you see and not what you write everyday.” UNESCO, according to him, had earlier distributed some science kits to 10 primary and 10 secondary schools in each state of the federation, admitting however, that they were not enough. Guiding participants on the use of the Java 2 micro edition and Android enabled mobile phones to generate instructions and deliver lecture to students, one of the facilitators, Dr Permanand Mohan said it was the simplest way to generate information and deliver
ideas to the students. He said the mobile math involves the use of mobile phones to generate mathematical equations and pass instructions to students without having a classroom setting. The Research Head for Mobile and Communication advancements at the University of Pakistan, Dr Fareeha Zafar warned that radiations could have adverse effect on the brain and genital organs of phone users, especially those with low defence system and low level of calcium and magnesium in their blood. She advised Nigerians to keep phones far from their head while making or receiving calls and use earpieces and headsets as safety devices. A UNESCO resource person, Rovanni Sigamoney, while speaking on an aspect of the training by Engineers without Borders, said the idea was to replicate in Nigeria, the practice of using coke to build turbines that can function with micro hydro to generate electricity. She said: “We taught them how to use coke to develop turbines. They went home and thought about it and when they came back, they introduced their own innovation of using slippers in the place of coke and the thing is working perfectly well. That shows how great Africans are if they are exposed to opportunities. I am excited.”
Ekpo lists sound education system, others as necessary ingredients for inclusive growth By Mary Ogar HE combination of a sound educaT tion system, good governance, quality leadership and transparency in the utilization of public funds are the necessary ingredients for the promotion of, and attainment of inclusive growth, according to Akpan Ekpo, a Professor of Economics and Director General of the West African Institute for Financial Management (WAIFEM). And to win the trust of Nigerians in this regard, Ekpo said the federal government must decisively improve power supply, the public school and health systems and also generate employment. Delivering a public lecture titled: Promoting Inclusive Development In Nigeria: Issues Of Policy Reforms and
Expectations From Economic Agents at the University of Lagos recently, Ekpo disclosed that a vast majority of Nigerians has been excluded from the development net, which, he regretted, had been the scenario since1960 “despite the revenues derived from the agricultural boom of the 1960s; the windfall from oil in the 1970s, 1980s and late 2000, as well as the financial boom of the 1990s.” He contended that while various policies and strategies have been articulated in the federal government’s Transformation Agenda, they are being dogged by the high and still rising rate of unemployment, particularly among the youths; decayed public school sys- Prof. Ekpo tem at all levels; lack of quality public His words: “The public school syshealth system; massive corruption; and tem at all levels has virtually colsecurity challenges. lapsed. No serious government plays
games with its public school system, where the mass of citizens is trained and prepared to participate in the development of the economy. The foundation levels (primary and secondary) are very crucial for national development. Nigerians are spending millions of foreign exchange to educate their children and wards abroad and in neighbouring countries. Rich Nigerians are going abroad for medical amenities. The leadership can recapture that trust by addressing the problems of power, education and health. This would be another way of promoting inclusive growth.” Ekpo maintained that while the provision of basic needs to majority of Nigerians remains a tall order, nonetheless, there still exists a group
of Nigerians, whose living standards have consistently improved overtime. He said: “There is this new perception that Nigeria is not a rich country, because if you divide her resources by the population, then in per capita terms, an average Nigerian should not depend on, for example, oil resources for development. I do not share this view. Average measures can be very misleading. Oil and other extractive resources are non-renewable, hence, the importance of diversifying the economy. In addition, it is not healthy to plan an economy in the long-term on exogenous sources of revenue, whose prices and output the exporter has no control over. Dependence on revenues from commodity exports for economic devel-
CONTNUED ON PAGE 55
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
The GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Lesson teacher can confuse your child, Adefisayo warns parents By Mary Ogar he Managing Director T and founder of Christ the Cornerstone (CTC) school, Lagos, Mrs Abimbola Adefisayo has advised parents who are in the habit of employing lesson teachers at home to coach their children to stop the practice. According to her, the child in question would end up getting confused by the lesson teacher with teachings that are at variant to the good work of the normal school that he or she attends. Adefisayo, who spoke to The Guardian in an exclusive interview, also implored parents who are raising children between the ages of two and three to avoid being aggressive towards their housemaids or other people, because the child, she stated, would also think that aggressive behaviour is normal. She insisted that it was pointless to employ lesson teachers at home when the same parents would have invested huge sums of money in private schools, where professional teachers have been engaged to promote qualitative teaching and learning. Adefisayo, who is already making preparations to roll out the drums to celebrate CTC’s 20th anniversary, said: “At CTC, we don’t encourage lesson teachers. We believe that the parents have paid us to do the job, hence, they should leave us to do it. When they go and get people who are not competent to come into their homes to do lessons, then the children get confused.” She insisted that the recruitment process of teachers should not be based on certificates and paper qualifications alone. “Before any teacher is employed at CTC,” she explained, I personally interview that teacher. Before I even look at your CV, you must write a 1000-word essay in 40 minutes, on the State of education in Nigeria. That is the only topic I have used for almost 20 years and it has worked for me.” According to her, she is able to judge a competent teacher by assessing the teacher’s ability to obey all the laws of grammar, articulation of thoughts, including analytical and logical thinking skills. her words: “An essay would tell me all that. Then, I ask the teachers to pick any topic they like in the subject they want to teach and write a lesson note without a text-
Adefisayo book. I believe that when you are competent, you should know your onions so well that you don’t need to refer to a textbook. After that, I put them in front of a live classroom and ask them to teach what they have written. In that aspect, I am looking for class control, knowledge of subject matter and ability to deliver. It is after they passed these three stages that I start negotiating with them.” She further advised parents to always refer to either the school or teacher in areas where they have concerns, rather than bring in lesson teachers that they can hardly vouch for. On why she established CTC, Adefisayo said the desire to bring about a positive change in the country was the motivation. She said: “I wanted to contribute my quota towards change in Nigeria. I founded CTC because there was so much rot in the system at that time, especially in the moral fibre of our nation. My mission was to start a school with a bedrock on strong values, like honesty, responsibility, diligence, fear of God and others. I gave myself a 40-year period to begin to see good results. Unfortunately, only half way through this plan, the Nigeria we have today is worse than what it used to be, in terms of the ills in the society.” With corruption and immorality on the increase, Adefisayo averred that it has become “a very daunting task,” especially for schools, to raise the next generation
Court dismisses student’s suit against Redeemer’s varsity he Ogun State high Court, T Ota Division in Ogun state has dismissed the lawsuit by Mr. John Momoh against Redeemer’s University, over his expulsion for drug abuse. According to a statement by the university’s Corporate Affairs Strategist, Mr. Adetunji Adeleye, Justice Babawale ruled that Momoh’s application, requesting the court to declare his expulsion by Redeemer’s University as illegal and asking for his rein-
statement was baseless. The statement explained that the court upheld that the university had not erred in expelling the student (Momoh) over (alleged) drug abuse. The university had expelled some students over drug abuse, who faced a disciplinary panel, after which an appeal panel was constituted to review the cases. Some of the students who were remorseful are currently undergoing Recovery of Destiny programme.
of leaders that would not be tainted by the current rot in the system. Despite these challenges however, Adefisayo is still optimistic. She is determined to touch lives and bring about the desirable change. She said: “The task is greater now because the society is more decrepit than we knew it 20 years ago. So, while I am happy on the one hand that I am raising children who I am confident would impact positively on the country, I am also unhappy on the other hand because things are not getting better generally.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
NITDA seeks partnership Olashore international school graduates 74 on cyber security By Ujunwa Atueyi OOD leaders are made challenge, also stated: “Our HE National Information G through the acquisition intent is to assist each and T Technology Development and honing of skills, compeevery organisation that you Agency (NITDA), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, charged with facilitating, regulating and promoting the advancement of Information Technology (IT) in Nigeria, is evolving a National Computer Emergency Readiness and Response (CERRT.ng) ecosystem as a collaborative platform in which the academia and the proposed National Research Education Network (NREN) are key drivers. The immediate-past Director-General/ CEO of the Agency, Professor Cleopas Officer Angaye, who disclosed this at a NREN stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja recently, said CERRT is an organisation dedicated to providing ‘support’ in responding to computer, network and related cyber security incidents. He said: “NITDA has, with its implementation partner, Consultancy Support Systems (CS2) Limited, opted to build a broad-based and inclusive CERRT ecosystem in order for us to develop, nurture and patronise a sustainable home grown Cyber Security Solutions economic sub-sector. Such a sector will generate employment, increase incomes, and foster confidence in Nigeria. We believe that these factors will enable us meet the national transformation and development agenda of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.” Angaye, who said cyber security could be a complex
represent navigate through the issues and challenges to ensure that a broad-based and robust national framework evolves, without prejudice to your existing initiatives.” According to him, some people commit cybercrimes for financial, political or personal reasons. With global ecommerce sales topping $1 trillion for the first time in 2012, Angaye said Nigeria is a rapidly growing part of this global economy as it experiences the convenience of cashless transactions from mobile top-up to various types of funds transfers and opportunities to purchase goods and services online. He however warned: “developers of malicious cyber products and services will not stop and they will continue to seek ways to exploit weaknesses in networks, mobile and other devices as well as human weaknesses. “Security is a collective resolution that we must all keep, and no entity can do it alone. We must cooperate among and between ourselves at all levels from within an entity up to the global level. He told heads of tertiary institutions at the meeting that the institutions were witnessing a growing demand for, and rapid proliferation of, computers and networks fostered by the recently launched Student PC ownership scheme and soon to be boosted by the NREN.
Ekpo lists sound education system, others as necessary ingredients for inclusive growth CONtNUed FROM PAGe 49 opment is not sustainable in the long-term.” To put Nigeria on the path of structural transformation that could lead to improved standard of living for her citizens, Ekpo was of the view that concerted efforts should be made towards inclusive growth, “which must be rapid, sustained and inclusive of a large portion of a country’s labour force.” He continued: “The notion of inclusive growth is to ignore how the ‘cake’ should be distributed and reject the multidisciplinary approach to development. Growth has always been inclusive – all economic agents have always been involved in the production process as the production possibility frontier shifts. Based on innovations, ideas, knowledge and technology, an economy moves to a higher growth trajectory. A responsible government would then be concerned about equity and fairness, as well as creating a conducive environment to ensure sustained growth.” The real challenge facing development, according to Ekpo, is in formulating strategies for poverty reduction. This challenge, he stressed, lies in the interactions between distribution and growth and not in the link between poverty and growth on one the one hand; and poverty and inequality on the other. He
further argued that sustainable growth would invariably generate employment that would reduce poverty. Examining the federal government’s power reform efforts, Ekpo averred that while government’s pronouncements indicate that the roadmap on power was progressing, the privatization process completed and power generation improving, Nigerians should actually be the ones to confirm if, indeed, the power situation has improved. He urged the government to redouble its efforts in ensuring that power failure becomes history, insisting that no economy could develop with generators. “Nigerians and the private sector are willing to pay for consistent power supply,” he assured. “The positive multiplier effect of constant power supply cannot be over-emphasized. It is expected that the regulatory framework in the power roadmap would be properly implemented, so that consumers do not pay monopoly prices.” The WAIFEM boss also declared that while the efforts in promoting inclusive development may pose several challenges to the leadership, policy-makers and technocrats in a developing economy such as Nigeria, the economic policy must not ignore politics, as policy makers must be committed in the inclusive development equation.
tencies, deliberate and neverending process of self-study, according to the Managing Director of Mobil Oil Nigeria, Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji. Speaking on Leadership Competencies for Future at the 15th Valedictory service of Olashore International School held in Ilesha, Osun state at the weekend, Oyebanji told the graduating students to endeavour to be analytical thinkers because “only you behaviour differentiates you from others and it is the core skills and knowledge that lead to superior performance.” He maintained that only leadership, technical and behavioural attributes could place today’s youths on the global pedestal, “in the face of rapid technological advancement.” He underscored the need for schools to implant leadership programmes into their curriculum, to tackle what he described as a “trendy decline in quality.” The Principal, Mr. Derek Smith, in his farewell remarks, reminded the graduands to exhibit all the virtues the school had inculcated in them in their higher academic pursuits. His words: “On June 1 as a school, we reflected on the life of our founder and what he stood for. We looked at how that impacted on our school. The values, which stood out were compassion, discipline,
Best Graduating Student, Olashore International School Class of 2013, Oluwayimika Osunsanya (left), receiving a prize from the Chairman, Mobil Oil Nigeria plc and special guest of honour, Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, during the school’s 15th Valedictory Service, held in Ilesha, Osun State at the weekend. the pursuit of excellence and leadership. As a student, he received prizes on world stage. In his career, he was recognized worldwide for his leadership skills and insight. All these are values Olashore has embedded in you, so utilize them adequately and keep our flag flying.” However, the Chairman of the school’s Board, Prince Abimbola Olashore had, during the unveiling of the institution’s 20th anniversary logo, announced two beneficiaries of the school’s scholarship scheme. While one is geared towards assisting indigent children in the local
community, the other will be awarded purely on merit. According to him, one of the beneficiaries, Adams Samson from Delta State, is from Local Authority Primary School in the school’s host community, while the second, Master Salawudeen, is the best overall student in the entrance examination. The scholarship covers tuition and boarding fees for both beneficiaries, from Year seven to 12. Olashore further stated that the prevalent leadership deficit in the country made it imperative for the school to continually harp on the qualities of good leadership and
inculcating good leadership traits in the students. He urged other education providers across the country to continually remind the students of the need to be good leaders. Meanwhile, 16 year-old Miss Osunsanya Oluwayimika, who bagged numerous prizes at the ceremony as the best overall student, wants to study Landscape Architecture at Lancaster University. She dreams of creating a safe environment for Nigeria, devoid of toxic elements. She affirmed that hard work and commitment enabled her to win the coveted prize.
Stakeholders seek education of good quality at Pace Setters’ graduation From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja O return the country to its T good old days, value re-orientation, social etiquette and moral decorum must be considered integral parts of educational curriculum. This was the submission of political leaders at the graduation and prize-giving ceremony organized by Pace Setters Academy in Abuja recently. The event began with school activities and inter-school contest including the Kenneth Imansuagbon National Essay Competition. At the graduation ceremony were host of political office holders including the Chairman, Board of Trustees, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-
Makura and former Presidential Aspirant and Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu. Others are Vice President, Retain Banking, North, First Bank, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, Dr. Aina E. Olusegun as well as Barrister Ademola Aderemo, Emansuagbon’s former lecturer. In his welcome address, Chief Executive Officer of the school and former Edo State Governorship Aspirant, Barrister Kenneth Emansuagbon commended parents for their foresight. Anenih, who served as chairman of the occasion, charged parents on total education of their children. He said the best legacy any parent irrespective of status could bequeath his or her child is sound education.
“It doesn’t matter who you are; you can be a tailor, a trader or a politician, please give your children good education. “I am here because I am a lover of children. If I die today, I will not have pains because I struggled to educate my children”, he said. Anenih, who declined to comment on sociopolitical situation of the country, also urged graduating students to impact the larger society with the intellectual and moral lessons acquired from the school. To graduating students, Governor Al-Makura admonished them to continue to be obedient, industrious and strive towards excellence in both academics and core values. He further urged them to adopt all they were taught in school and consider what they have attained so far as a spring
board for their intellectual excellence. “I admonish you to continue to be obedient, industrious and not only pursue best positions in Mathematics and English but also imbibe certain orientations that would add value to your lives because core values in this country need to be looked into properly so that we would carry everybody along in our drive towards nation building”. Governor Al-Makura was particularly excited as two of his sons graduated from the school. He said: “I am really excited that after some six years of good education, my two children are graduating. And one thing I found very impressive about the school is the totality of education that they have been able to acquire.
Scholastic Hall fetes graduating pupils By Mary Ogar ARENTS, staff and pupils gathered for a fun filled graduation ceremony of the Scholastic Hall held in Lagos recently, with nine pupils graduating from pre to the grade school. The nine include; Teniola Ogun, Chiebuka Nnaji, Kofoworola Lawal-Are, Gabriel Adejuwon, Oluwatomisin Omidiora, Adewunmi Samuel, David Ewurum, Isabel Egoh and Denzel Essien. Director of Scholastic Hall, Mrs. Scholar Onyekwere said: “When a child graduates form pre-school to grade school, things change and academic
work now becomes more tedious.” Reiterating the need for the right curriculum for children’s education, Onyekwere kicked against the practice by some parents, who leave their children’s academic supervision to the house girl “who is not educated enough to teach and who has also been saddled with the house chores.” She also frowned at the trend, whereby some parents pull their children out from Grade 5 for the secondary school. She said: “By Grade 5, we are done with academic work and by Grade 6, we concentrate more on etiquette, comportment, how to mange
their time effectively and how to achieve a balance between play and work. By the time they get to secondary school, they are going to meet characters from different backgrounds, so we also teach the presentation skills, public speaking and others. It’s like a finishing school.” She added: “It is not how fast but how well. At primary 5, they (pupils) are not matured enough. Parents should be patient, let us finish our work by allowing their children to complete primary 6.” In a special tribute to one of her pupils, Chinelo Nwobodo, who is leaving the school for a
top secondary school, Onyekwere said: “If I have anything to showcase, this is it because she was brought to me as a toddler. If she has any fault, I take the blame. She is an academic star and has won laurels in virtually all the subjects. She sat for entrance examination in very top schools and came out with flying colours.” Onyekwere, who was overwhelmed with emotions and had some of the parents, including Chinelo also shedding tears, decorated Chinelo with a ‘spirit pin” and charged her to carry on with everything she had learnt in the school into the world.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at Wednesday PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 17/07/2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
CAPITAL MARKET 65
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 17/07/2013
New capital will boost performance, returns, says Sterling Bank By Bukky Olajide TERLING Bank will use the Srights net proceeds of its ongoing issue to upscale its growth and strengthen the bank’s operations for continuous improved benefits to all stakeholders, its Managing director, Yemi Adeola, has said. Speaking recently, the Sterling Bank boss said the additional capital would be used to fund the bank’s growth plan including expansion and modernisation of branch network and information technology. The funds would also be used to support the bank’s growing retail and corporate banking businesses. Sterling Bank is raising N12.5 billion through a rights issue of about 5.889 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N2.12 per share. The lender had traded at a high of N3.05 at the stock market. The shares have been preallotted on the basis of three new ordinary shares of 50 kobo each for every eight ordinary shares of 50 kobo each
held as at May 20, 2013. Application list, which opened on June 24, 2013, will run till July 31, 2013. The rights circular indicated that the net proceeds of the rights issue, estimated at N12.13 billion, would be used mainly to finance branch expansion and increase working capital A detailed breakdown of utilisation of net proceeds, showed that 35 per cent of the net proceeds, estimated at N4.24 billion, would be used for branch expansion; 15 per cent of the funds estimated at N1.82 billion would be used for infrastructure upgrade, 10 per cent of the funds equivalent to N1.21 billion would be used for information technology and the largest chunk of 40 per cent, estimated at N4.85 billion, would be set aside as additional working capital. Adeola explained further that the ongoing rights issue and other capital raising exercises were meant to support the bank’s next growth agen-
da, which is aimed at consolidating its stable performance over the years and enhance its competitiveness in terms of size and resilience to macroeconomic changes. He said additional capitalisation has become necessary because size has become increasingly important and relevant in the banking industry and the extent of capital base could be a limit to expansion in terms of physical presence and operations. The Sterling Bank boss pointed out that additional working capital would enable the bank to expand the scope of its corporate banking business, noting that the lender is currently limited by the single obligor limit, which is a function of available capital base. He outlined that the bank would use the net proceeds from the rights issue to open more branches in places such as Abuja, Aba, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Owerri and Port Harcourt as it seeks
Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar Onyema; President, Institute of Director (IoD), Chief (Mrs.) Eniola Fadayomi, F.IoD, MFR; Past President, IoD, Chief (Mrs.) Olutoyin Olakunri and Executive Director, Business Development, NSE, Haruna Jalo-Waziri at the courtesy visit of institute to The Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday in Lagos. to consolidate its panNigerian franchise. He added that part of the net proceeds would also be used to install new automated teller machines (ATMs) in the new branches as well as other
enabling infrastructure to consolidate its leading position in cashless payment and transactions. He expressed confidence that given the well-thought out growth plan and the
itemised uses of the net proceeds, the bank would leap on the back of this recapitalisation to achieve its top-five bank goal while delivering better returns to sharehold-
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday July 18, 2013
U.S. stocks rise as investors weigh central bank’s bond plan .S. stocks rose, after the Standard & Poor’s U 500 Index snapped an eight-day rally yesterday, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the pace of bond purchases was not on a preset course. Bank of America Corp. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. gained more than 2 percent after earnings topped forecasts. Yahoo! Inc. advanced 9 percent as its profit beat analysts’ estimates. American Express Co. retreated 2.5 percent after analysts said a European Union proposal would cut profits. Caterpillar Inc. dropped 1.9 percent after short seller Jim Chanos said the company is being hurt by the slowdown in commodities demand. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 1,681.70 at 1:42 p.m. in New York, after falling from a record high yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 10.27 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,462.12 today. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was in line with the 30-day average at this time of day. “The market is responding to the fact that the Fed is not going to create an arbitrary definition of when and how the QE program is going to end,” Stephen Wood, the New York-based chief market strategist who helps oversee about $174 billion at Russell Investments, said by phone. “The Fed is going to respond to the data and they want to maintain flexibility in their policies.” Bernanke said the central bank’s asset purchases “are by no means on a preset course” and could be reduced more quickly or expanded as economic conditions warrant. “If the outlook for employment were to become relatively less favorable, if inflation did not appear to be moving back toward 2 percent, or if financial conditions -- which have tightened recently -- were judged to be insufficiently accommodative to allow us to attain our mandated objectives, the current pace of purchases could be maintained for longer,” Bernanke said in prepared testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. Central bank stimulus has helped fuel a surge in stocks worldwide, with the benchmark U.S. index jumping 149 percent from its March 2009 low. Fed policy makers have been debating the timing and pace of any cuts in the central bank’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases. Bernanke has said any reduction will be tied to sustained improvement in the labor market or an increase in inflation. Data today showed U.S. housing starts unexpectedly fell in June to the lowest level in almost a year. Work began on 836,000 houses at an annualized rate last month, the least since August 2012 and down 9.9 percent from a revised 928,000 pace in May, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The reading was weaker than projected by any economist in a Bloomberg survey. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, which measures the cost of protecting against swings on the S&P 500, dropped 4 percent to 13.84. The equity volatility gauge, which moves in the opposite direction as the S&P 500 about 80 percent of the time, reached a sixmonth high on June 20 and has fallen 32 percent
Traders at the stock market since. Some 21 companies, including EBay Inc. and International Business Machines Corp., are due to release results today. Per-share earnings topped estimates at about 71 percent of S&P 500 members that have reported for the quarter so far, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Bank of America added 3.2 percent to $14.36. The second-biggest U.S. lender beat analysts’ estimates by posting a 63 percent gain in profit that was driven by lower provisions for bad credit and a drop in expenses. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan has said he’ll eliminate $8 billion in annual costs by the end of 2014 and $10 billion tied to troubled mortgages a year later. The biggest banks are focused on curbing expenses amid new regulations, higher capital requirements and sluggish lending. Bank of New York Mellon climbed 2 percent to $30.97. The world’s largest custody bank said profit rose 79 percent as the stock-market rally boosted assets and fees for overseeing them. Yahoo rose 9 percent to $29.30, the highest level since May 2008. The company reported
second-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, beating analysts’ estimates. The company made $225 million in earnings in the quarter from its equity interest in both Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan Corp., up from $180 million in the same period last year. St. Jude Medical Inc. advanced 6.8 percent to $51.76. The Minnesota-based maker of heartrhythm devices surged after second-quarter revenue fell less than analysts had estimated. U.S. Bancorp, the nation’s largest regional lender, fell 1.5 percent to $36.70 after the firm said it expects mortgage revenue to continue to decline this year. Second-quarter net income climbed 4.9 percent to $1.48 billion, or 76 cents per share, matching the average estimate of 34 analysts. American Express (AXP) slipped 2.5 percent to $76.33. The European Commission will propose that interchange fees paid by retailers on card transactions should be capped at 0.2 percent for debit card payments and 0.3 percent for credit cards, according to draft plans obtained by Bloomberg.
The proposal would reduce New York-based American Express’s earnings-per-share by about 3.7 percent because the company gets 11 percent of its business from Europe, Morgan Stanley analysts said in a research note. Credit Suisse analysts said the plan would hurt American Express more than MasterCard Inc. or Visa Inc., which have already agreed to provisionally cap some fees. Mattel Inc., the largest U.S. toymaker, fell 6.5 percent to $43.34. Second-quarter profit fell short of analyst forecasts, as declining demand for the aging Barbie doll line and increased costs to expand the American Girl chain hurt results. Caterpillar Inc. dropped 1.9 percent to $86.54. The largest maker of construction and mining equipment “is tied to the wrong products at the wrong time in the cycle,” Chanos said today in a speech at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York. Chanos, the president and founder of Kynikos Associates Ltd., said he’s shorting the stock and the company is “being aggressive with their acquisitional accounting.”
China’s stocks retreat as volatility jumps to three-year high HINA’S stocks fell for the first time in C three days, led by liquor companies and brokerages, as a gauge of volatility in the
benchmark index jumped to the highest level since December 2010. Kweichow Moutai Co. (600519), the biggest liquor company by market value, slumped to a three-week low after UBS AG said it sees downward price pressure on alcoholic products. Citic Securities Co. (600030) and China Citic Bank Corp. slid more than 2 percent, dragging down a measure of financial companies. A gauge of real-estate developers rebounded after the Xinhua News Agency said the government is poised to remove a ban on refinancing. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) fell 1 percent to 2,044.92 at the close, after rising as much as 0.5 percent. Its 30-day volatility was at 26.8 today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The CSI 300 Index dropped 1.5 percent to 2,282.84. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) advanced 0.7 percent. “Investors are divided over whether the government can really prevent economic growth from slumping further in the second
half,” said Li Jun, a strategist at Central China Securities Co. in Shanghai. “Trading is volatile.” The Shanghai Composite has fallen 9.9 percent this year as data from industrial production to exports pointed to a slowdown in the economy and as money-market rates reached record highs last month. The measure trades at 8.4 times 12-month projected profit after valuations fell in June to the lowest level in at least five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A measure of consumer-staples stocks in the CSI 300 slumped 2.4 percent, the biggest decline among the 10 industry groups. Kweichow Moutai fell 2.1 percent to 186.92 yuan. Wuliangye Yibin Co. (000858), China’s second-biggest liquor maker by market value, lost 2 percent to 20.12 yuan. Luzhou Laojiao Co. slid 2.2 percent to 24.07 yuan. Liquor makers’ earnings growth will be less than 20 percent this year and mid-priced alcohol will be most affected by online shopping, Wang Peng, an analyst at UBS, said at a briefing in Shanghai today. Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday the government will seek to keep economic growth,
employment and inflation within limits, avoiding “wide fluctuations.” China will focus on restructuring when the economy runs within the limits of growth and inflation, shifting to stabilizing growth or preventing inflation when those limits are approached, he said. Li’s comments were the first made public since the National Bureau of Statistics reported that economic growth slowed for a second quarter. Deutsche Bank AG co-Chief Executive Officer Anshu Jain said policy makers’ efforts to bolster domestic consumption and reduce dependence on the government’s infrastructure spending pose some risks. “It’s the right strategy for them in the long run,” Jain said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin today in Singapore. Still, “if there is something to watch closely in China, it would be the implications of that shift from infrastructure spending.” Citic Securities, China’s biggest listed brokerage, sank 3 percent to 10.64 yuan. Citic Bank, the banking unit of the nation’s largest investment company, fell 2.3 percent to 3.82 yuan. China Life Insurance Co. (601628), the country’s biggest insurer, lost 1.6 percent to 13.54 yuan.
Foreign direct investment in China rose to a record $14.39 billion yuan last month, according to the Ministry of Commerce. The 20 percent growth compared with the estimate of a 0.7 percent gain in Bloomberg survey and the 0.3 percent May gain. Whether FDI has recovered can’t be concluded from the June data alone, ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said in Beijing. FDI growth may be “relatively stable” in the second half of the year, he said. The Shanghai Composite’s property index rebounded 0.6 percent, reversing a loss of as much as 1.4 percent, after a report from the Xinhua News Agency said the removal of a ban on fund-raising for developers looks certain. Real-estate stocks fell earlier today after the government said it’s studying expanding property taxes. Financial Street Holdings Co. added 0.4 percent to 5.15 yuan. CityChamp Dartong Co. gained 1.2 percent to 8.64 yuan. The Bloomberg China-US 55 Index, the measure of the most-traded U.S.-listed Chinese companies, added 0.5 percent in New York yesterday.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Opinion Tales from our political history By Edwin Madunagu HE emergence of two rival chairs of the T Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) from the same meeting reminds me of two tragicomical incidents in Nigeria’s recent political history. One took place sometime in 1992 and the other in June 1999. I have chosen to reproduce my account of the second incident as I presented it in this column on Thursday, October 5, 1999. Below is a slightly edited version of that report: The 1999 general election had produced, in one of the states of the Southsouth geopolitical zone, an executive governor that belonged to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and a House of Assembly that was shared almost equally between the ruling PDP and the All People’s Party (APP). The House had 25 members: 13 for PDP and 12 for APP. The expectation was that the PDP would produce the Speaker and, perhaps, also the Deputy Speaker. But this expectation was dashed. As was the practice, and as was expected in this particular case, the state executive governor proposed candidates for the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker. The governor did not expect any problem as he had, behind him, the party leadership in the state, party rules and sanctions, numerical superiority in the House and, above all, state power and power of material endowment, preferment and conferment. The PDP legislators thanked the governor, assuring him of future support. They also congratulated themselves. On the eve of the inauguration of the House, the PDP legislators held a party and prepared for the election, or rather ratification. They went to bed quite happy with themselves. They were hardly worried about the absence of one of their colleagues: maybe he had other “pressing matters”. At about the same time as the 12 of the 13 PDP legislators were going to bed, the 13th was getting up from meditation in another part of the state capital. He had locked himself up in his room for about 10 hours. Now, he was ready to go out and act. It was already late, almost midnight, but the young man knew that this mission was one that could be accomplished under three hours and that if he was
successful, it would be a historic political event in the state. We may now introduce our young man. He was, by Nigerian and African standards, a welleducated man. But his knowledge and wisdom were derived not from schools and books alone. He was street-wise. Which means that although he could speak English and argue political theory and practice, he could, also, if the need arose, remove his coat, tie and shirt to settle a difficult practical question physically. During General Ibrahim Babangida’s Third Republic (1990 – 1993) he was the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly which was controlled by his party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He had, in that brief dispensation, showed his skills in the way he dealt with the executive, which was controlled by the National Republican Convention (NRC). His party, PDP, owed a lot to him. During the negotiations, bargaining and horse-trading that characterized General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s transition, our young man joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and pledged to work hard to see that the party won the legislative and gubernatorial contests in the state. In return, he requested the party to allow him contest one of the two legislative seats reserved for the state capital in the State House of Assembly; and if he won, and his party had a majority in the House, to be returned as Deputy Speaker. Everyone admitted that our subject’s request was a modest and humble one: The party leadership accepted. But it was either the party leadership reneged on its promise or the young man thought there was an agreement where there was none. For, as soon as PDP won the gubernatorial and legislative elections in the state, the party leadership, working closely with the new governor, chose other legislators for the leadership of the House. This unexpected turn of events was the cause of the former Deputy Speaker’s meditation. The young man emerged from his house and headed into the night. Ten minutes later he was in the house of one of the leaders of the opposition All People’s Party (APP). He went straight to the point. “Is your party interested in the speakership of the House?”, the young
man asked the APP leader. The latter was surprised at the question: so he answered the visitor with a question: “How can we be interested in the speakership when your party has a majority in the House?”. The visitor was annoyed: “Man, I ask if your party has someone who is capable and qualified to become Speaker of the House of Assembly later this morning?”. The host knew the visitor was serious. He answered in the affirmative. “Are you sure all the other APP members will vote for him?”, the young man asked. The APP man again replied in the affirmative. The visitor then announced the strategy. “Let your party nominate and vote for me for the position of Deputy Speaker. Then I vote for your nominee as Speaker. Every other thing should wait till after our election”. He went home, and prepared for the crucial meeting of the House of Assembly later that day. To cut a long story short, when the House assembled to elect its presiding officers, the PDP confidently nominated its candidate for speakership. APP nominated its candidate. If the party line was strictly followed PDP’s nominee would win by a majority of one. But when it came to the turn of our young man to vote, he did the “Southsouth show”. He took deliberately slow steps, walked left, turned right, swung in a circle, and finally, cast his vote for the APP. He, in turn, was voted Deputy Speaker. The other incident took place sometime in 1992 during the last phase of (military president) General Ibrahim Babagida’s tortuous political transition to civil rule, precisely during the presidential primaries in one of the Southeastern states. Now, recall that only two government – created parties were in the political contest; but only one of the parties, two personages and one deity are relevant in this narrative. The first personage was a presidential aspirant in the party (call him Mazi Okafor); the second personage was a freelance local political mobiliser (call him Mazi Okoye); and the deity may simply be called Alusi. Mazi Okafor was advised to seek and procure Mazi Okoye’s mobilisational skills in the primaries he was about to face. Mazi Okafor, accordingly, invited Mazi Okoye for discussion and negotiation. The two personages were old hands in the game and they were both crooks. So the deal
was easily concluded: Mazi Okafor was to deliver a huge sum of money to Mazi Okoye before the primaries. In return Mazi Okoye would ensure, by all means necessary, that not less than 95 per cent of the delegates would vote for Mazi Okafor. Since there was nothing like “trust” in this game, the two politicians agreed to seal the deal before Alusi, the deity. They went to the shrine. The required oath, as expected, was taken in Igbo. The simple oath was: “That I, Mazi Okoye, will ensure that our papers (that is ballot papers) are dropped for Mazi Okafor. Should I fail, Alusi should take my life”. Now, in Igbo language akwukwo which featured in the oath could mean either leaf or paper/book. Mazi Okoye used this in designing his strategy. He collected the money, took the oath (in Igbo language), gave “peanuts” to the “boys” and kept the bulk of the money for himself. But mobilised no one, not even himself. On the day of the primaries Mazi Okoye ate a sumptuous breakfast, wore his best chieftaincy attire and proceeded to the voting centre. On the way he plucked a leaf and held it in his left hand. At the voting centre, collected the ballot paper and entered the voting booth. Here he lifted the leaf and whispered: “Mazi Okafor, I am dropping your akwukwo for you”. He dropped the leaf in the ballot box. Thereafter, he checked the ballot paper, put his mark against the name of Mazi Okafor’s opponent, and dropped the paper (another akwukwo) in the ballot box. Mazi Okoye emerged from the booth, waved to his “boys” and went home. To cut a long story short, Mazi Okafor lost heavily. Everyone, including Mazi Okafor, expected Alusi to deal ruthlessly with Mazi Okoye. But the latter was confident that nothing would happen to him – since he did exactly as the oath demanded. That was 21 years ago. Just before I started this article my enquiries revealed that Mazi Okoye was “alive, hale and hearty.” Now, mentally integrate these two stories – the one on speakership election and the one on presidential primaries. The composite story you obtain is a rough picture of what took place recently in the NGF election. A little refinement and re-arrangement will give you a perfect picture. In both narratives, “democracy” won. Didn’t it? • This column is proceeding on a short break.
Egypt: Into the dismal tunnel By Adekeye Adebajo HE RECENT military coup in Egypt against the one-year old T and first ever democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi is nothing short of disastrous for a country of 84 million people that considers itself the political and cultural centre of the Arab world. Whatever Morsi’s undoubted faults, this shameful act will surely reinforce negative stereotypes of Arabs being unable to rule themselves without the strong hand of a tyrannical Pharaoh. The brazen arrogance of the putschists harps back to the anachronistic messianic delusions that Africa’s men on horseback – the military – exhibited during the continent’s first four post-independence decades. Citizens were urged to “stay by their radios” as rule by decree was introduced. Military brass hats in Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Burundi often presented themselves as the sole guardians of national unity before descending into a kleptocratic authoritarianism that replicated the very excesses of the regimes they had replaced. During the three-decade autocracy of General Hosni Mubarak, which ended in 2011, Egypt’s key institutions were corrupted and a still existing “deep state” manipulated power. The judiciary was used to persecute Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and has never accepted his election as president. The fact that the interim president – the chief justice of Egypt’s Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour – was prepared to participate in an act of obvious illegality by the military is a clear sign of how low the judiciary has sunk. The basic democratic principle of the separation of powers between the executive, legislature, and judiciary has been torn to shreds. The toppling of Egypt’s elected government represents not a
democratic “revolution” but the worst form of “mob rule.” If governments in Western democracies were given just one year to solve deep-seated socio-economic problems, it is unlikely any of them would survive. What makes this situation particularly dangerous is that 52 per cent of Egyptians freely elected Morsi as their president. The fact that millions of people continued to protest against his rule did not give them a right to win through bullets what they failed to gain at the ballot box. Egypt’s politically immature opposition has simply never accepted rule by the Muslim Brotherhood, rejecting all offers of dialogue. In calling for military rule to topple a democratically elected government, they have squandered their democratic credentials, displaying a naivety and short-sightedness that will surely damage their country’s fragile democracy. Military juntas clearly have no business intervening in political squabbles, and should remain in their barracks. The fact that Mohamed El Baradei, a Nobel peace laureate, agreed to serve an illegitimate military-installed regime speaks volumes about the opportunism of Egypt’s political class. His call for the “rectification of the revolution” echoed the language employed by the head of state of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, following his brutal 1987 coup that assassinated the charismatic military ruler, Thomas Sankara. El Baradei’s plea for the international community to provide aid has been honoured by autocratic oil-rich sheikhdoms in the Gulf. His behaviour has been totally unbefitting of an international statesman, and his reputation will surely be besmirched by this illicit liaison. Within the international community, the much-derided African Union (AU) has almost uniquely spoken with moral clarity during this crisis, calling the coup by its proper name and suspending Egypt from its institutions until constitutional rule has been restored. In stark contrast, Barack Obama has refused
to call this unconstitutional change of government a coup out of fear that the United States (U.S.) Congress would be forced to halt the $1.3 billion a year support to the Egyptian army that has fuelled both its political bravado and widespread corruption. Obama’s failure to call a coup by its name for fear of the responsibilities entailed echoes his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton’s failure to call genocide by its name in the Rwandan tragedy of 1994. The current U.S. president has thus spectacularly contradicted his call, during his recent visit to South Africa, for “strong institutions, not strong men”. Just as he had done during the “Afro-Arab” spring of 2011, Obama has spoken with a forked tongue during this crisis, failing to support unequivocally the most fundamental rules of the democratic game. Though prior to the coup, Washington had threatened “consequences” against any attempt to depose an elected government, its subsequent response has been to call for yet another “democratic” transition, not a restoration of the old order. Obama’s double standards in failing to apply constitutional rules consistently has an ignoble history. In 1991, Washington also condoned - without any protest - the brazen annulment of democratic elections in Algeria that Islamist parties were poised to win. This resulted in a civil war that claimed 100,000 lives and resulted in $20 billion in damages. The country is still recovering from the consequences of these events two decades later. With this dangerous coup in Egypt in which 51 protesters have been massacred, over 300 Brotherhood leaders arrested, and the media muzzled, the country has clearly entered a dark, dismal tunnel. It may take an eternity to emerge from it. • Dr. Adebajo is the Executive Director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Opinion Rivers crisis and fourth republic stability By Ibioju Abere HE fourth republic we all fought and won T has been put into series of trials. It has been able to surmount most of these trials. There are governors insisting that the President signed one-tenure with them yet are not able to produce such document. One of such protagonist is Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State. There are many presidential aspirants in this administration preparing for 2015. As a result of this, there are anti-party activities in the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said to be the largest democratic party in Africa. This has led to suspension of some governors notably Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State who it was said want to pair for primaries ticket with Sule Lamido of Jigawa State. At the same time, the elders of Southsouth have appealed to him not to run at this time. It was because of this the elders of PDP in Rivers State and indeed the South-South told him not to go for second tenure in Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) but he insisted he would run. He felt by so doing he is guaranteeing his chance for 2015. Owing to attempts to dissuade him from contesting the presidential primaries and his alignment with politicians in the North he has branded President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as a dictator. At the same time the presidency has been lurking horns with him because of his ambition. Goodluck Jonathan is yet to declare his ambition in the second quarter of 2014 yet protesters were hired to demonstrate against him in far away Britain, branding him as a dictator. A soldier with the
Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt mentioned that, “knowing how much you suffered to bring him to this position you should encourage him to go for second tenure.” This soldier in the Nigerian Army is from the Middle Belt. In my opinion, I would urge him to do onetenure considering the circumstances he came in as Vice-President, Acting President, and democratically elected President on April 16, 2011. In January 2011 at Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, he stated that he was going for only one tenure. Even if during the election campaigns he had said anything of that nature knowing fully the country he comes from, he has the right to retract the statement. It is rightly said, “To err is human and to forgive is divine.” There is nobody in doubt that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will contest the 2015 presidential elections. He has given an assignment to the chairman of the party and also chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP to win at least 26 states in the federation out of the 36 states and Abuja. If the South-West had second-tenure, the South-South should also get second-tenure. There is no doubt Obasanjo is working against him. The Igbos of the South-East are urging him to create Biafra nation for them; this is at the instance that should he fail to win the presidency, he would divide Nigeria into various nations. If this should happen then the only existing federation created by the British colonialists would cease to exist. But remember in 2014, Nigeria would be 100 years old as a nation amalgamated by Sir (Lord) Frederick Lugard. The North had a fair share of ruling this country for 39 years and
As a result of this, there are antiparty activities in the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said to be the largest democratic party in Africa. This has led to suspension of some governors notably Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State who it was said want to pair for primaries ticket with Sule Lamido of Jigawa State. At the same time, the elders of South-south have appealed to him not to run at this time. It was because of this the elders of PDP in Rivers State and indeed the SouthSouth told him not to go for second tenure in Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) but he insisted he would run. He felt by so doing he is guaranteeing his chance for 2015 Nigeria is just 52 years as an independent nation, which means the South has ruled this country for only 14 years. Yet three parties and a fraction of another party led by Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha are forming a coalition to, according to the organisers, save the country from anarchy, thereby conceding the presidency to the North.
Yet these parties and interests have been told “No alignment or coalition has ever worked in this country” from the first republic to date. Alhaji Asari-Dokubo who initially is an antagonist of President Jonathan from recontesting in 2015 owing to differences he had with him over East-West road, as well as the intrigues of Olusegun Obasanjo and the Igbos, has made a detour. He has threatened to instigate a civil war if President Jonathan is not voted in for second-tenure. We cannot afford this. He emphasized that there will be anarchy if Jonathan is not re-elected. Governor Rotimi Amaechi should be aware that because of his stance with the Presidency, the state has lost oil wells and juicy positions to other states and zones. He should recognize the new PDP Executive Committee in Rivers States. He should stop aligning with the sacked PDP Executive Committee in the state. This same thing has led to the suspension of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council on May 20, 2013 over the dissolution of the state PDP Executive Committee on May 17, 2013. Subsequently, a caretaker committee was appointed on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 and inaugurated the following day, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The security of lives and properties in the state is under threat because the governor is having running battle with the Commissioner of Police. This political impasse is affecting socio-economic activities in Rivers State. Let us join hands and work for our state and Nigeria. • Pastor Abere wrote from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Soyinka, Awo Laureate at 79 OULD Wole be said to be a lucky young chap? Yes, but only to the “C extent that, among his contemporaries, he was one of the few that had the rare fortune of being born and bred in an academic milieu. His father was the headmaster at Saint Peter’s School in Ake parsonage in the era when religion and education were two sides of the same coin. ‘Essay’, as the headmaster was fondly called, had passion for books and gave the child Wole his first communion at the altar of Literature.” “He toiled and moiled for the entrance exam to University College while working at Medical Supply Centre in Lagos immediately after his secondary education… He was not prepared to be a mendicant in a foreign land. He, with other colleagues, chose site jobs for holidays bartending, bricklaying, portering - whatever job could earn some pounds!” I recall the two extracts from my piece, Wole Soyinka in Retrospection, published in ThisDay in 2006, for two reasons. First, to commend the few governors that have, once again, opened access to mass knowledge acquisition through the introduction of functional free education in their states. Just as Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s name is today written in gold, I have no doubt that future Nigeria will reward them accordingly. I shudder to imagine if Wole had been born to a family that neither had the interest nor the wherewithal to send him to school. After all, it was the era when schooling was not only prohibitive but of secondary consideration to majority of parents. Just imagine how many Wole Soyinkas must have been lost to ignorance until 1955 when the then Premier of Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, launched Free Universal Primary Education. It will amount to a disservice to industry and perseverance if the reader is allowed, inadvertently, to run away with the impression that the Nobel Laureate was born with a silver spoon in his mouth or destined to become a literary icon. This accounts for the second extract. Prof. Wole Soyinka was either at the nadir of his spirits or full of rage while he wrote his acceptance speech as the first winner of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership. It must be frustrating and soul-corroding for the Awo Laureate, after decades of struggle against military tyranny and its civilian variants, to be confronted with religious extremism, now threatening to annihilate the country. The heart ace of the Nobel prize winner, however, is not the unconscionable violence that is now consuming the country like harmattan twigs but that this is a product of “wrongful silence and inertia. The folding of arms and the buttoning of lips when leadership – and not merely localized – desperately needed to lead and inflict exemplary punishment
Nothing new is happening in this nation,” declares the playwright, “only the final suppuration of a boil that has been left to fester… Yes, we missed such intensity of conviction, such stern, uncompromising denunciation when individuals, with or without public profile, were being systematically mown down for alleged religious offences, some of which took place, not even within our borders but in remote, frozen regions as the Scandinavian nations or the United States
By Soyombo Opeyemi
on violators of the freedom of belief, and existence of others.” We need not get this far. The activist had lamented on many fora “the delinquent silence of religious and community leaders where the religious rights of others were trampled upon, often terminally.” “Nothing new is happening in this nation,” declares the playwright, “only the final suppuration of a boil that has been left to fester… Yes, we missed such intensity of conviction, such stern, uncompromising denunciation when individuals, with or without public profile, were being systematically mown down for alleged religious offences, some of which took place, not even within our borders but in remote, frozen regions as the Scandinavian nations or the United States.” The poet then proceeded to cite instances of “The knives, the cudgels, the matchbox and burning tyres that decapitated Akaluka, that incinerated the female teacher and invigilator Oluwaseesin and a host of others, including school children and infants, at the slightest or no provocation…” Impunity, of course, begets impunity. Through indifference, inertia, covert glee, etc, the leadership of the troubled regions of the nation sowed the wind and is now reaping the whirlwind. The tolerated monster has now grown to consume not just its sympathisers but the very scaffolding of our yet uncompleted structure of nationhood.
Soyinka cautions however that “Making up for past derelictions is not a sectional task, but a collective undertaking. Protection of our hard won Freedom – against any threat – is the imperatives of our times.” The Awo prize winner proposed a strategy of containment that would include “raining down enlightenment leaflets instead of bullets. It is the minds that need most desperately to be bombed as part of state strategy. The airwaves need to be bombarded with counter indoctrination to what has already taken hold of the minds of these addicts of the untenable.” While acknowledging the collective responsibility we all share at this period – and I believe it is our shared obligation - he urges those whose religion is being desecrated to be in the forefront of firing the intellectual weapons of counter indoctrination, “a sustained campaign of re-enlightenment, beamed at that ultimate battleground – the mind.” Yes, it’s a battle that can be won with resounding success. Education – in all forms – must now be used to rescue Religion, promote its true teachings. Governments must invest in functional free education. Leaders across the nation should learn from one another on religious accommodation so evident in some parts of the country, which naturally, ultimately and inevitably must lead to peace and prosperity, under the banner of democracy. My intellectual avatar has spent over 50 years in the trenches. He craves a free and democratic nation, where religion will be strictly “a private engagement with unseen forces, where and however they are held to manifest themselves, and by whatever names they are known.” He wants a world that “adopts a position that refuses to countenance Religion as an acceptable justification for, excuse, or extenuation of – crimes against humanity.” He is however not against religion but its abusers. He, for instance, decries unnecessary quest for religious parity such as the Pilgrims’ Board even when nothing in the theology of the religion “makes pilgrimage mandatory to any destination in the world.” He hankers after the sanctity of the rule of law – that Law should be above everyone. He wants Power and Freedom, which are locked in enduring, infinite struggle with change only in “the personnel, the tempo and intensity of struggle” (as against Marx’s finite view), to “come to that accommodation where Power is transmuted into Authority, Authority as a commodity that is earned, ceded to the management organs of society, not brutally exacted under whatever guise.” This is the best gift the country, nay the world can give our oneman literary institution, intellectual tornado, democracy icon, human rights campaigner and a theologian of the Religion of Freedom, the Awo Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, as he celebrated his 79th birthday last Saturday... • Soyombo, a journalist, writes from Abeokuta.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Sports Nsofor, Emenike, Ameobi return, as Keshi picks 20 for Mandela Stories from Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja USSIA-BASED Victor R Obinna Nsofor, who last played a competitive game for the Super Eagles in 2011, is among the 20m players listed by Coach Stephen Keshi for Nigeria’s friendly game against South Africa in Durban on August 14. The game part of the annual Mandela Challenge in honour of ailing former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela, one of the world’s greatest statesmen. Also returning to the national team is another Russiabased star, Emmanuel Emenike, whose goals helped Nigeria to win the 2013 CAF Nations Cup in South Africa, and Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi, who could not be part of the Nations Cup because his club refused to release him for the football fiesta. Emenike has not played for Nigeria since the Nations Cup due to an injury that kept him out of the game for close to three months. Victor Moses, who missed the Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup due to injury, is also back ion the team, but goalkeeper and deputy captain of the team, Vincent Enyeama, is left out. One surprise call up is for-
mer junior international forward, Uche Nwofor of Netherland’s VVV Venlo, who will battle for position in a team dominated by the squad that represented Nigeria at last month’s FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil. Coach Keshi has placed three homeboys, defenders Benjamin Francis, Solomon Kwambe, striker, Muhammad Gambo and little known Norway-based Samuel Aaron on standby. The full list Goalkeepers: Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria)’ Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea FC, England); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Fegor Ogude (Valerenga FC, Norway); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AC Milan, Italy); Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria). Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow, Russia); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo, Netherlands). Standby: Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC, Nigeria); Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars, Nigeria); Samuel Aaron (Sarpsborg ‘08 , Norway).
‘No need for code of conduct for Eagles’ LOOMING battle may A ensue between the players and officials of the Super Eagles with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) following the reported decision of the Minister of Sports and chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Bolaji Abdulahi, to introduce a code of conduct for players and officials of the national teams. Following the bonus row that almost marred Nigeria’s participation in last month’s FIFA Confederations Cup, the minister last week inaugurat-
ed a seven-man committee, headed by former presidential spokesman, Olusegun Adeniyi, to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crisis, as well as, put in place a code of conduct for the players and officials of the national teams to avoid a repeat of such behaviour from the teams. But Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, says the players and officials of the team do not need to sign any code of conduct, stressing that there were already laid down rules and regulations that guide the team.
Victor Anichebe (left) outpaces Belgium’s Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe during their semi-final game at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Keshi says he wants the Everton striker back in the Super Eagles. PHOTO: AFP.
Keshi writes Everton over Anichebe, monitors Emenike, Dike Eagles Coach, Stephen SheUPER Keshi, recently boasted that would not beg Everton of England over Nigerian striker, Victor Anichebe. But the coach has been forced to swallow his pride due to the realities on ground. Nigeria suffered greatly at the Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup because it had no clinical strikers to put away most of the chances it created and to avoid a recurrence of that, the Super Eagles technical crew yesterday revealed that they have not given up the fight to reach Anichebe and discuss
his possible return to he team. Anichebe, The Guardian gathered, has shunned several attempts by Keshi to reach him on phone, as he is said to have decided to stick to his decision to stay away from the national team to concentrate on his Everton career. Keshi disclosed that the technical crew has sent an email to Everton of England, which in turn has assured that it would help open a channel for discussion with Anichebe. He also disclosed that he has
been monitoring the recovery of both Emmanuel Emenike and Bright Dike from injury, adding that their absence affected the Super Eagles in their recent games. On the continuous absence of team Captain, Joseph Yobo, from the Eagles’ list, Keshi explained that it was difficult for him to invite the Fernabahce of Turkey defender and leave him on the bench. “I have not talked to Yobo of recent, but he still has the chance of returning to the national team. One thing I have been trying to avoid is a
situation where I invite Yobo to the team and keep him on the bench. No! I will not do that. “He has done well for his country and I always respect him, but the truth is that for now, I don’t need him because I have some young kids who are doing the job. If I have to do otherwise, then it means that I do not have this country’s best interest at heart. Everybody has to work very hard to earn a place in he national team because I can only go for the best,” Keshi said.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
FIFA-badged referees, NFF witnessed my team’s bashing, says Gombe • Refuses to rule out sabotage By Eno-Abasi Sunday ROPRIETOR of Babayaro Football Club, which was dealt a whooping 67-0 in one of the two controversial promotion play-offs, Shuaibu Gara-Gombe, has disclosed that a host of respected football personalities were present at the stadium when his side was mercilessly walloped by Police Machine Team in the controversial encounter. In the other encounter, Plateau United Feeders manufactured a 79-0 victory over Akurba FC. The promotion play-offs would have seen winners qualify to play in the lowest tier of Nigeria domestic League, Nigeria Nationwide League Division 3. Gombe, who has already disbanded his club, as well as, threatened to institute a legal action against the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), should they handle the matter with kid gloves or attempt any cover up, said the sad episode took place with a sizeable number of football in attendance. “At the venue where my team were mercilessly dealt with those incredible goals, there were match officials, match commissioners, FIFAbadged referees, board members of states football associations and committee members of the NFF, who are in charge of appointing match officials were all there. I know them and have gotten their names. “However, like I said earlier, I do not want to pre-empt the NFF panel, but wait and hear what they will come up with before releasing my findings. And if the football authorities do not do anything, then I will institute criminal proceedings against them in a law court,” he told The Guardian in a interview. Asked if he saw his team’s defeat as a form of sabotage considering his persistence criticism of previous and present boards of the NFF, he
said, “I thought of it being a case of sabotage, but I decided to hold on until after the investigation commissioned by the NFF, which will determine to me, who really did what. “It will also confirm to me whether it was a case of someone or some persons trying to sabotage me or link me up with such a dirty incident. That is the reason I went ahead to disband the club without wasting time as a preliminary measure knowing too well that many other things will come out of this incident. “This is really painful to me because I have been a chairman of my state FA, chairman of Gombe United FC, match commissioner and club owner, but I have never seen this kind of thing. At first half, the scoreline stood at 6-0, but rose to the 67 incredible goals in the second half when additional 61 goals were scored. “This boils down to a goal being scored approximately every 40 seconds. I also learnt that when a goal is scored, instead of retrieving the ball from the net, some people were positioned to throw in another ball into the centre circle. At the end of the day, there was no offside, no throw in, no corner kick and no goal kick. This is definitely not a game of football. People must definitely go to jail, so it is time for stakeholders to put heads together and ensure that this is the last time this kind of thing is happening in Nigerian football. On whether he could vouch for the character of those he employed to man the club for him, he said, “before you employ someone, you do some background checks, but experience has shown that all those checks are only valid the day you carried it out because a non-smoker may begin to smoke the following day. “As a person, I formed the club as a production centre for players, as well as, help in
Golden Eaglets’ striker, Isaac Success (right), tries to outwit a Nigeriene defender during the qualifying series of the African U-17 Championship. Success is among the players currently preparing for the UAE 2013 U-17 World Cup. the promotion of the game of football. But against my wish and instructions, the officials took the team to go and play in the state league and feature in the play-offs. “I for one did not register the team to play in the nationwide play-offs. It is even curious how the team qualified to play in the state league Division One because without being in Division One, you cannot even participate in the play-offs. As the owner of the club, I cannot remember registering them in Division One, so how did they get there? This, however, brings me to the first question you ask about sabotage. “Secondly, even if they were playing in the state league Division One and they formally qualify for the play-offs stage towards getting into the National Amateur League, the venue of the playoff is Bauchi and they are based in Gombe, and I am even made to understand that they were in Bauchi for eight days. I did not fund or send them there because I was not interested in any competition, so under whose sponsorship were they in Bauchi.
Ahead UAE 2013 U-17 World Cup
MRI tests for players, NFF rules out automatic shirts for Eaglets HE Nigeria Football T Federation (NFF) wants the national Under-17 team, Golden Eaglets, coaches to create room for healthy competition in the team, even as it told the new recruits emphatically: ‘No automatic shirt in Golden Eaglets.’ This comes on the heels of the plans to take the new players in the team through the MRI tests to ensure that only players under 17 years make the team. NFF board member, Chris Green, who is also the Technical Committee Chairman, and the Federation’s Director (Technical), Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, at a parley with the team inside the lecture room of the Goal Project on Tuesday said matter-of-factly that both the new and old players would be starting from ‘ground zero’ since the NFF is desirous to see the Golden Eaglets mount the podium as world champions yet again since their last
accolade in 2007. A squad of 30 players, pooled from the silver-winning squad at the last African Under-17 Championship in Morocco and budding ones picked after two-weeks of screening at the NFF/ FIFA Goal Project Centre in Abuja, would be heading to Calabar to continue build-up ahead of the 2013 World Cup in the UAE. “I hope you know we are the best country in the world at the Under-17 level,” Green said. “But it has been a long time that we won the trophy and that is why we are
Keshi renews call for Okpala’s return to Eagles From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja UPER Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, yesterday renewed his call on the
Organisers begin countdown to second Sports Business/Media awards RGANISERS of the 2013 ediO tion of the Sportz Businezz and Media Awards have started counting down to the event aimed at rewarding the efforts of performing sports media personalities, corporate bodies, and supporting individuals. The event is scheduled to hold on December 7 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Lagos. According to officials of Hally Sports International, organisers of the event, media nomination will start on August 1 and close on August 31 in all categories, while voting for the nominated personalities
would start on September 1 and end on October 31. A release by Hally Sports International states that a world press conference, where all the activities slated for this year’s edition, including the various high personalities across diverse sectors billed to attend would be unveiled, would herald the event. According to the release, “this year’s edition will be much better than the pioneer edition as we hope to gain more recognition in the sports media industry and those involved in the business of it.
encouraging the coaches to assemble only the best players that can do us proud in the UAE. “You must have seen that the standard of this team is very high because there is no automatic shirt for any player in the Golden Eaglets or in any of the national teams for that matter and you must have something extra to break into the team,” he added. Similarly Ikpeme advised the players to be focused in order not to jeopardise their future, insisting that the NFF would not condone any undisciplined conduct in
Fifth Chukker Charity Ambassador, Nwankwo Kanu, meets the football team of Adamu Atta Primary School, Kaduna, at the inauguration of new classroom blocks built by UNICEF and Access bank…recently.
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to recall his Assistant, Sylvanus Okpala, who was sacked by the football house after helping the team to victory at the South Africa 2013 AFCON. Keshi, who made the appeal yesterday at a media parley in Abuja, noted that of Okpala’s absence was affecting the team negatively, stressing that the Super Eagles’ former captain understood the psychology and management of the players. Okpala, who was reported to have had misunderstanding with the NFF over the decision to cut his allowances in South Africa, when the federation downsized the Super Eagles’ due to lack of fund. Keshi, who described Okpala as a passionate hard working member of the technical crew, regretted that his absence has created a vacuum in the Super Eagles’ family.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Man United dismisses Chelsea’s bid for Rooney ANCHESTER United has M rejected Chelsea’s offer for Wayne Rooney and insisted the striker is not for sale. Chelsea have confirmed making a bid for the 27-yearold but denied they would be willing to include either Juan Mata or David Luiz as a makeweight. United rejected the offer on Tuesday night but Chelsea are expected to return with an improved bid. Rooney has reiterated his desire to leave United after Manager, David Moyes said he was not his number one striker. And Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho confirmed his admiration for Rooney in a BBC interview in Bangkok on Tuesday. Rooney has been left angered and confused by recent messages coming out of Old Trafford, most noticeably the suggestion from new manager Moyes that Robin van Persie is his main striker. The Scot said last week, “overall, my thought on Wayne is that if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie we are going to need him.”
Rooney has expressed his disappointment with his situation to senior figures at the club and insisted he will not accept a squad role behind the Dutchman. United has refused to comment on the latest twist in the saga, with their players in Sydney on the second leg of their pre-season tour. But Chelsea released a statement yesterday, expressing their
disappointment that news of their bid had leaked out. They also denied that any player was included in the offer, despite sources close to the talks claiming otherwise. “Chelsea can confirm that yesterday it made a written offer to Manchester United for the transfer of Wayne Rooney,” read the statement. “Although the terms of that offer are confidential, for the
avoidance of doubt and contrary to what is apparently being briefed to the press in Sydney, the proposed purchase does not include the transfer or loan of any players from Chelsea to Manchester United.” United insist they will not be bullied into selling Rooney, despite the England striker’s disgruntlement, and are determined to deal
with Rooney’s future on their terms. With Manchester City, who are hopeful of completing the signing of Sevilla striker, Alvaro Negredo this week, unwilling to follow up their historic interest, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid showing no interest and Barcelona having signed the Brazil forward Neymar, Chelsea has emerged as the likeliest destination for Rooney. Paris Saint-Germain has also been linked with the former Everton player, but the French champions have just
signed Uruguay striker, Edinson Cavani from Napoli. In addition, Rooney is understood to be reluctant to move abroad. Rooney may now submit a formal transfer request to force the issue, but there is no guarantee that United will grant him a move to a Premier League rival such as Chelsea. United are comfortable with the situation and in a stronger position than 2010, when Rooney threatened to leave only to be persuaded to stay by former Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Atletico deny Cazorla move TLETICO Madrid President, A Enrique Cerezo has described newspaper reports
I’m over injury problems, says Wilshere
HELSEA will have to spend £80m to land Manchester United ACK Wilshere insists he is C striker, Wayne Rooney. The package would include £28m J over the worst of his injury committed to a transfer fee, with his five-year contract on problems and is ready to
£200,000-a-week wages costing £52m. Rooney, 27, feels he is being “driven out” of Manchester United after “five months of negativity” which amounts to “constructive dismissal.” Rooney is considering submitting a transfer request to try and force a move away from Old Trafford. Barcelona is prepared to sell midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, 26, to Manchester United but the Red Devils must break their club record transfer fee and pay £31m to make it happen. Everton midfielder, Marouane Fellaini, 25, will choose Manchester United over Arsenal should both clubs make a bid for him this summer. Manchester City is considering whether to raise their offer to nearer £20m for Real Madrid defender, Pepe, 30. Luis Suarez’s representatives believe Liverpool will only sell the 26-year-old when a £40m clause in the striker’s contract is activated. The Uruguayan would prefer a move to Real Madrid, but Arsenal is the only team to have bid for him. Liverpool has approached Atletico Mineiro about winger Bernard, 20. The Brazil international has a release clause of approximately £20m, but a number of Champions League sides are believed to be interested in him. Tottenham is chasing highly rated Real Betis winger Alvaro Vadillo, 18, who has been dubbed the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’. Chelsea has targeted Bayern Munich’s Luiz Gustavo, 25, as a midfield replacement for John Mikel Obi, 26, who is expected to depart Stamford Bridge this summer. Sochaux and Algeria winger Ryad Boudebouz, 23, says he would be interested in a move to Southampton. Manchester United and Barcelona will go head to head with Chelsea and Manchester City for the signature of Roma’s 19-yearold Brazilian defender Marquinhos. Lyon could include France midfielder Yoann Gourcuff, 27, in their bid to beat Roma to the signing of 26-year-old Arsenal winger Gervinho. Former West Ham and Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood, 33, is training with Millwall following his summer exit from Barnsley. Andre Moritz wants to join up with his former Crystal Palace Manager, Dougie Freedman, at Bolton. The 26-year-old midfielder, who is available on a free transfer, held talks with the Scot prior to Tuesday’s friendly with Rotherham. West Ham’s hopes of landing Morgan Amalfitano, 28, have been dashed after Marseille accepted an offer from Olympiakos for the French midfielder. Manchester City and Chelsea are chasing Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 31, who has fallen out with new Paris StGermain boss Laurent Blanc over the signing of 26-year-old Edinson Cavani. Released by Arsenal, defender Sebastian Squillaci, 32, is to sign a one-year contract at French side SC Bastia if he passes a medical. Another French side, Montpellier has reached a deal with Evian Thonon Gaillard to buy Tunisian international Saber Khlifa, 26. Also in France, Marseille has had an offer for midfielder Gianneli Imbula, 20, accepted by second-tier side Guingamp. Real Madrid has agreed to sell defender Raul Albiol, 27, to Napoli on a four-season deal for around £10m. Roma has beaten Manchester United to the signature of PSV Eindhoven’s Kevin Strootman with the 23-year-old midfielder set to complete a £15m deal to join the Italian club.
help Arsenal challenge for silverware this season. Wilshere spent 15 months on the sidelines before returning to action for the Gunners against QPR last October, helping his side reel in Tottenham in the race for the top four. He needed more surgery this summer on a longstanding ankle problem, but now the England international is adamant he is ready to play a full part again. “It’s so hard for me to sit and watch because I’m someone, who wants to play every game,” he told reporters. “It was particularly tough at the end of last season, especially when I picked up another injury and came back and wasn’t playing like I can do. It’s really annoying when you cannot perform as well as you know you can. “Now there are no longterm injury issues for me.
They took the screws out of my ankle, which were causing me a problem and, hopefully, there will be no further issues.” Wilshere admits that he is has some catching up to do, but he feels he’s in for a big year with Arsenal.
linking his club with a move for Arsenal midfielder, Santi Cazorla as “invented.” Reports in Spain and England suggested Atletico representatives have been in London in the last 24 hours with a view to persuading 28year-old Cazorla to return to Spain after just one season at the Emirates Stadium. The versatile Spaniard scored 12 goals and provided 16 assists for the Gunners following his August move from Malaga. But there is no truth to the story, according to Cerezo, who told Marca.com: “We have no news of Cazorla. These are invented stories that are made up every day.”
The Madrid outfit has already tempered the loss of star striker, Radamel Falcao to Monaco with the addition of David Villa and Leo Baptistao, and defender, Martin Dimichelis, ahead of a Champions League campaign earned through a third-placed finish in the Primera Division.
Mourinho could have convinced me to stay, Callejon reveals Callejon revealed he JtoOSE could have been persuaded stay at Real Madrid had Jose Mourinho remained in charge of the club, but insists he is excited about playing for Napoli next season. The attacker completed a move to Stadio San Paolo last week after deciding to end his second stay with los Blancos, in search of regular first team football, but he revealed the intervention of the now Chelsea coach could have
swayed his decision. “Perhaps I would have stayed in Madrid if he had wanted to...” he told Cadena COPE. “I spent two fabulous years with him in Madrid. Sometimes, things have been unfair to Mourinho, and things have been said which are not true. Madrid won and lost on the pitch, nothing more. “The last thing I wanted to do was leave the club I love, the club of my life,” he continued. “But sometimes you have to make difficult decisions. It would have been difficult to continue in Madrid. “Now I have to play a lot here, become a reference point for Napoli and, God willing, one day I will return.” Now a member of Napoli,
Callejon believes the side can contend for the title this year. “Now my objective is to try to get as far as possible here, to fight for the Scudetto and the Champions League, that’s the competition everyone wants to play in,” Callejon said. “(Rafa) Benitez called me and that gave me a lot of confidence, that he wanted me and that I could be important for the team. Napoli had a great season and reached the Champions League, and this was decisive.” The 26-year-old also responded to claims from Napoli President, Aurelio De Laurentiis on Wednesday that the club were negotiating a deal for Gonzalo Higuain.
Too much pressure at Man City, Tevez insists ARLOS Tevez believes the C pressure Manchester City’s players were under to
achieve success in Europe was too great during his time with the club. Tevez’s stint at City - ended by his transfer to Juventus this summer - lasted four years, during which the bigspending Blues won the FA Cup and Barclays Premier League, but were also eliminated at the group stage of their maiden Champions League campaign in 2011-12 and suffered the same fate in the competition last season.
Regarding the weight of expectation that was on the City team in terms of Europe, the Argentina forward told CNN: “Yes, there was way too much pressure. It came from everyone - the club, the fans. I think that too much pressure just hurts the team. “What happened was that there was so much hype and pressure to be one of the giants of Europe and we didn’t do it. We dropped out in the first round of the Champions League on both occasions.”
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
8th IAAF World Youth Championship Fallout
Where Team Nigeria got it wrong in Ukraine By Gowon Akpodonor, just back from Donetsk, Ukraine ORMER national hurdler FNigeria’s and co-ordinator of Team coaches to the just
concluded 8th IAAF World Youth Championship tagged: Donetsk 2013, Seigha Porbeni fumed all through the journey from the city of Donetsk in Ukraine to Istanbul, Turkey, where the athletes and their officials had a four-hour stop over on their way to Lagos. Team Nigeria was among the over 130 countries that took part in the championship, which ran from July 10-14, but with no medal to show for its effort. To Porbeni, the country’s inability to return home with a medal was a true reflection of the nation’s sports, particularly athletics. “We came to Donetsk with the hope of picking one or two medals back home, but that didn’t happen and I must say that the foundation of youth athletics in Nigeria is not solid yet. We need to do more,” he told The Guardian at the Istanbul airport while waiting to connect a flight to Lagos. Team Nigeria reached the final in four events in Donetsk with several personal best recorded by the young lads, as well as, a season best by the girl’s medley relay team. 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 PB of 13.58 seconds, Abdullahi ran 14.02 personal best. Atuma’s new PB is now African 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. He was in the final. In the girl’s 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 earlier this year. Team Nigeria’s boys medley relay team ran a personal best time of 1:52.90 seconds to hit the final on last day of competition. The personal best recorded by the athletes not withstanding, the country could not make it to the podium. Porbeni said things could not work out well because the foundation back home was ‘not solid’ enough. “I won’t blame the athletes for failing to win a medal here, he said. “I will rather put the blame on what we had back home. The foundation of youth athletics in Nigeria is still very weak. “It is so sad that in a whole year, a country as big as Nigeria only have one youth athletics competition and that is the Pastor D.K Olukoya U-18 Athletics tournament in Lagos. “It is not enough, considering the huge damage done to youth athletics by the past boards of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). They did nothing to lay a foundation for our youth athletics and the effect is what we are suffering now. “As far as I am concerned, one youth competition for a whole year is just scratching the surface. We need at least, three or four youth competitions for
the youths so that the coaches can have as many raw athletes as possible to select from. The Pastor D.K Olukoya tournament took place in March and some of the athletes have moved up to the junior cadre (U-20). Some of the young athletes have lost form. “The present board of the AFN needs more supports from well to do Nigerians. We need more youth competitions and funding from the National Sports Commission,” Porbeni stated. Some other officials of Team Nigeria put the blame on low morale, which was occasioned by “non-release of fund” by the NSC for the team. An official, who pleaded anonymity claimed that the 25-man contingent was solely funded by the AFN President, Solomon Ogba, to Ukraine. “We bought returned tickets and paid for accommodation and feeding with money pro-
vided by Ogba. Up till this moment, we have not heard anything from the NSC regarding the approval for this competition. We only heard that the minister has given an approval, but a particular director in the ministry is seating on it. The fear now is that the money may not even come since we couldn’t win a medal here. But that should not be the case because they are discouraging this man (Ogba).” The issue of no funding from the NSC not withstanding, the Technical Director of AFN, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama is of the opinion that Team Nigeria’s participation at Donetsk 2013 IAAF World Youth Championship is a blessing for the country. Nesiama, who was part of the team to Ukraine said, “competitions are meant to test the effect of training efforts put into an athlete. The result achieved indicates whether the program is right, adequate or not. This is the reason why
exposure of our athletes to international competitions of this nature is imperative.” Nesiama insisted that the country’s youth athletes surprisingly surpassed previous benchmarks with numerous of personal best during the championship and promised to build on the gains. “At this level of competition, we surpassed our previous achievements, we recorded a lot of personal bests, which in itself, is progressive. Our youth athlete, Divine Oduduru, is currently the national leading athlete in the 200m with a time of 21.13secs.” Nesiama, however, promised that some technical changes must be effected in future outing, beginning from the coaches’ technical qualities, followed by improving athletes’ nutrition. “From what we saw in Ukraine, we now know the areas to make changes in our training strategy in order to
assure podium performance in future meets. Our coaches will have to be re-tooled no doubt and be more scientific in their training application. Athletes’ nutrition also has to be improved upon.” “We will immediately use the forthcoming National Youth Games to scout for replacement for the current ones most of whom are advancing to the juniors. “Unfortunately, inadequate funds also prevented the inclusion of some other athletes travelling with team. Such would have made a good back up to the ones that got injured during the championship. These are all lessons, which we will be considering as major factors in planning and preparing for our future competitions. With patience and support from track and field followers, our time will definitely come,” Nesiama stated.
Powell’s trainer refuses to be ‘scapegoat’ over dope test SAFA Powell’s trainer, Chris A Xuereb says he should not be a “scapegoat” for the former 100m world record holder’s positive drugs test. Powell and fellow sprinter, Sherone Simpson tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican National Championships in June. Xuereb rejected claims from Paul Doyle, Powell’s agent, that the results were due to supplements he had provided. “I did not provide any banned
or illegal substances,” insisted Xuereb. “I am extremely disappointed that these athletes have chosen to blame me for their own violations.” Canadian Xuereb, who said his main role was “to provide soft tissue massage therapy as well as nutritional help” to Powell and Campbell, only began working with the pair in May. On Tuesday, Doyle indicated that the supplements provided to the athletes by Xuereb lay behind Powell and Simpson both testing positive.
Fabian Edoki (left) and Uruemu Ejovi celebrate with Nigeria flag during Warri 2013 AYAC Games. IAAF stopped Ediki from competing in Ukraine due to under age, while Ejovi failed to live up to expectations in the triple jump.
Injury knocks off Blake from IAAF World Championships EIGNING world 100m R champion, Yohan Blake, has withdrawn from August’s World Athletics Championships in Moscow with a hamstring injury.
Lagos State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Oshodi (left); Chairman of the occasion, Molade Okoya-Thomas and Executive Secretary, Lagos State Sports Endowment Fund (LSSEF), Babatunde BankAnthony at the maiden Town Hall Meeting on Sports Development with the Governor of Lagos on Tuesday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
The 23-year-old Jamaican pulled out of his country’s national championships last month having been troubled by the injury since April. “The injury has prevented Yohan from attaining the necessary fitness levels to compete.” Blake won the 2011 title in Daegu, when compatriot Usain Bolt false-started. Compatriot Asafa Powell and American Tyson Gay have withdrawn from the event in Moscow after positive dope tests. Gay’s A sample from an out-ofcompetition test in May was positive, while Powell tested positive for a banned stimulant at the Jamaican Championships, which took place on 20-23 June. Both athletes are awaiting the results of their B samples. As defending champion Blake was handed an automatic place in the 100m at this year’s World Championships, but he would not have run the 200m in Moscow after pulling out of the Jamaican trials and therefore failing to qualify. Blake has not run a competitive 100m this year and
laboured to a time of 20.72 seconds over 200m in Jamaica on 8 June. “This decision was made after continual assessment and re-
evaluations since his withdrawal from the Jamaican Senior Championships,” said Blake’s Manager, Cubie Seegobin.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Rooney Chelsea’s only transfer target, says Mourinho HE transfer market proT vides managers with a vast number of options to upgrade their squads. Sky Sports News reports returning Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho has set his sights on just one: Manchester United superstar, Wayne Rooney. The longtime Red Devils forward has been the focus of transfer speculation since the end of last season. But Mourinho is the first opposing manager to make such a bold stance about Rooney’s key involvement in his club’s transfer plans. By stating he’s not simply targeting Rooney but made him the sole focus for Chelsea ahead of next season is a major statement. And with United and Chelsea among the Premier League’s top contenders, it could be a titlechanging showdown over the England international. New United Manager, David Moyes has remained firm in his stance that Rooney is not
for sale, per the BBC: “It’s hard to keep repeating myself. But I will do. Wayne is a Manchester United player and will remain that. Unless I was speaking double Dutch I think we said Wayne Rooney is not for sale.” Whether Rooney is willing to stay is unclear. Sky Sports previously reported that the forward was “angry and con-
Qatar’s World Cup ‘party’ must be held in winter, says Blatter Sepp Blatter FstageIFAPresident, has reiterated his desire to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in winter in order to avoid the searing summer heat. Debate has raged over when to stage the quadrennial tournament ever since the Gulf nation was awarded the hosting rights back in December 2010. A host of influential figures in the game, including Blatter, UEFA President, Michel Platini and UAE FA chief, Yousef Alserkal, have also voiced their support for the event to be moved from its traditional summer staging to the cooler winter months. Qatari organisers maintain that cooling technology will be installed in all stadia to help minimise the de-abilitating effects of the stifling heat, which can reach up to 120ºF. However, they have conceded that they would be willing to stage the tournament later in the year if so required, with Platini proposing that it be held over November and December.
Ahead 2013 CHAN Qualifier
Eagles test might against FC Abuja, pick 18 for Abidjan HE Super Eagles will on T Friday morning at the FIFA Goal Project site test their might against Abuja FC in a game primed to test the readiness of the players for the war against the Ivoirian Elephants in Abidjan. Team Coordinator, Emmanuel Atta says Head Coach, Stephen Keshi has already approved the game and necessary contacts have been made for the test match. FC Abuja features in the second tier of the Nigerian league and has been described as a very solid side by several coaches. Meanwhile, only 18 players from the 24 currently in camp will make the trip to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for the return leg of the final round qualifier of the CHAN championship.
fused” by the treatment he was receiving at United and remained open to possible deals, including a move to Chelsea. Reporter, Kaveh Solhekol told Sky Sports, “since he’s returned from the pre-season tour due to injury, Rooney has been in touch with the club and spoken to
David Moyes on the phone - he is angry and confused at the way he’s been treated.” Rooney has been linked with a transfer to both Arsenal and Chelsea in recent weeks and it is understood he is open to the idea of moving to London from the North West. In other words, the story continues to go through
twists and turns with about a month until the new season gets underway. Chelsea’s confirmed interest as their only target is just the latest step in the saga, which continues to dominate headlines. Should Rooney, who would surely be motivated following a move, end up with Chelsea, it could very well shift the bal-
ance of power in the Premier League. It’s something United must consider before even thinking about a deal with a rival. Mourinho said the decision is now in United’s hands. Whether an agreement will be reached is unknown, but the intrigue continues to grow.
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Greene ready to peak in Moscow
Great Britain selection ‘bittersweet’ for sprinter, says Kilty
AI Greene believes he is D rediscovering his form at the right time as he looks to
ICHARD Kilty has said his R selection by Team GB for the 4x100m relay at the
retain his world 400m hurdles title in Moscow next month. The 27-year-old claimed his first victory of 2013 on Saturday at the British Championships in Birmingham. Bath-based Greene also ran a season’s best of 48.66 seconds. “Training was a bit disturbed at the start of the outdoor season, but it’s come together at the right time,” he told BBC Radio Bristol. “Last year I dropped off in one or two sessions - I’d have a really good day and then not such a good day - but at the moment I’m very steady and I’m getting better week on week.” Welshman Greene was captain of Britain’s athletics team at London 2012 but just missed out on a medal when he finished fourth, and has been dogged by injury and illness since then. He had a double hernia operation last winter and a virus hindered his preparations for the European Team Championships and Diamond League meeting in Birmingham last month. But Saturday’s victory has put him back on course as he looks to replicate his world gold medal in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011. “I felt the race itself was good in parts but I feel like I can go a lot faster,” he added. “It was nice to run a season’s best and to be UK champion again. The objective now is to go Moscow and defend my title.
Farah, Ennis lead British team for Moscow RITISH Athletics yesterB day named a 60-strong team for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, from 10-18 August. Leading the charge for medals in Russia will be double Olympic champion Mo Farah in the 5000m and 10,000m who receives an automatic place in the men’s 5000m as defending World champion. Farah will be attempting to become the first Briton to
retain a world title while Olympic silver medalist, Christine Ohuruogu will look to regain the title she won in 2007. Ohuruogu’s sister, Victoria is also named as a member of the 4x400m squad, making them the first British sisters to feature together in a World Championships team. Olympic Heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill will be looking to claim back the gold she won in Berlin in
2009. Other athletes to be automatically selected include Olympic High Jump bronze medalist, Robbie Grabarz, who receives an automatic place following his 2012 Diamond League victory, and defending World 400m Hurdles champion Dai Greene. In the battle for places in the men’s 100m, Harry AikinesAryeetey and James Dasaolu join British champion Dwain
Chambers on the flight to Moscow, and World junior 100m champion Adam Gemili lines up alongside James Ellington over 200m. There are men’s British senior debuts for World junior champion Delano Williams in the 200m, Chris O’Hare in the 1500m, European under-23 400m Hurdles medallist Sebastian Rodger, plus Deji Tobais and Jamie Bowie in the 4x100m and 4x400m relay squads.
World Championships is “bittersweet” after missing out on a 200m spot. The 23-year-old finished second in the British Championships 200m, but was overlooked for a spot in Moscow. “It is a bit bittersweet. Delano Williams, who is the so called new wonder kid, performed pretty well, but me and James Ellington both beat him. I am pretty shocked I didn’t get the spot over Delano Williams,” he said. Williams, 19, only recently switched his allegiance to Great Britain from his native Turks and Caicos Islands and although the World Junior 200m champion was only third in Birmingham last weekend, he ran his personal best of 20.27 seconds this year, which is faster than any Briton has run in five years. Despite his disappointment, Gateshead Harrier Kilty added, “to be named in the 4x100m relay squad after the position I was in a couple of months ago. it’s an awesome feeling. I’ve turned my life around in the last six months.” The Middlesbrough-born sprinter also missed out on a place at London 2012 despite running the required ‘A’ standard time, a decision he said at the time left him “heartbroken.”
THE GUARDIAN, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Roberts Belema
Continued from yesterday OME people may blithely and dismissively argue that since membership of the NYSC lasts for only a period of one year, corps members ought to stomach and endure the pains associated with disillusionment and inability to pursue their cherished dreams and aspirations vis-à-vis their chose disciplines; “after all, it will only last for one year”, such people may say. I find that I am deeply disturbed by this way of thinking and also confess to being completely flummoxed by the notion that a nation in such obvious need would, even for a single second, be willing to sacrifice the hope and enthusiasm of its brightest young minds on the altar of the continued existence of its redundant systems. Given the already precarious and floundering educational sector and the necessity of the functionality of the said sector to our national and economic growth and development, one would think that not only would we be tenaciously addressing the many problems within the system, we would also be aggressively nurturing and protecting whatever progress we are able to achieve in the sector. According to A. Bartlett Giamatti (1938 – 1989), a liberal education is at the heart of a civil society, and that at the heart of a liberal education is the art of teaching. If this is the case and it is accepted as true, then it invariably means that the people upon whom it rests the responsibility of teaching those who are to become the nation’s future leaders and captains of industry must be extremely competent, capable, tried, tested and approved by a committed and capable authority. Further, the teachers in our classrooms and in our schools must have undergone intensive training and must also be involved in constant development. There must be zero-tolerance for errors where the education of our children is concerned; we simply cannot afford to let just anyone become a teacher in our schools given the enormous responsibility that they must successfully bear. Unfortunately, the current structure of the NYSC dictates that many graduates without any specialised training in teaching practice whatsoever be magically transformed into ace teachers overnight. This can be likened to shooting oneself in the foot because many of these graduates are themselves sad victims of a failing educational system and by constraining them to teaching in the classrooms, the scheme is directing them to go and teach students what they themselves do not know, in a manner they do not know how. Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005) was spot-on when he said, “Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance.” To a large extent, any educational system is only as good as its teachers and the current structure of the NYSC is dealing a tragic blow to an already ailing system. It is a terrible catastrophe for the poor students the corps members are compelled to teach and prepare in order that they may be able to face future challenges that await them in a dynamic, fast-paced and extremely competitive world. It is debilitating to our national economy when the potential leaders cannot think sufficiently and express their ideas succinctly because their primary and secondary education has been left to succession after succession of inept teachers in a system that is already vitally challenged. I recently came across an excerpt from an article written by Chidi Amuta for ThisDay Newspapers in 2012 that read, “If the NYSC was designed to ease pressure on the job market with a one-year delay in effective demand for jobs that too has failed. There are no jobs out there. With or without the NYSC, 95 per cent of our graduates output cannot find jobs.” The current structure of the NYSC ensures that it can do absolutely nothing to positively check the increasing
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Forgotten! Restructuring of NYSC (2)
NYSC DG, Brig-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia
rates of unemployment and underemployment in the country. If anything, I would argue that in a perverse fashion, the present structure of the scheme lulls corps members into a false sense of security that is derived from the certainty of receiving guaranteed monthly stipend from the government regardless of whether or not they have actually worked for it and are actually deserving of such pay. In most cases, when the time finally arrives for such payments to cease, many corps members are shocked to suddenly realise that they have become hopelessly reliant on the monthly payments into their respective bank accounts by the Federal Government. They become mentally paralysed by the fear of no longer receiving such payments and after their
service year is complete, they seek to assuage this fear by sacrificing their innovation and whatever entrepreneurial drive they possess for exceedingly elusive and sometimes mundane paid employment. I would further argue that because the scheme’s present structure currently supports gross mismatches between corps members’ core disciplines and the places of primary assignment they are posted to and directed to serve, at the end of the service year, they exhibit a marked and unmistakable decline in mental acuity and general skill level with respect to their chosen disciplines. This cannot be so hard to imagine, given that for an entire year, the corps members have not had the opportunity to actively and effectively develop and hone whatever skills
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they had garnered as a result of their tertiary education. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation…even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.” Is it any wonder then that many employers insist that a shocking number of graduates today are unemployable? In fact, many employers generally disregard the service year on a fresh graduate’s curriculum vitae, with the only significance of the period to them being that the applicant has completed the service year as mandated by the law of the land and has been awarded a certificate by the appropriate authorities as proof. The NYSC has become a year-long summer camp of sorts, delaying entry into the serious world of competition and unemployment. Thus, I would posit that unless the corps members actually take it upon themselves to hone and develop whatever skills they have acquired, and to maintain a certain level of mental fitness by endeavouring to read, study and educate themselves with respect to their core disciplines, the present structure of the NYSC actually does its best to make them increasingly unemployable after the completion of the service year! This state of affairs is clearly detrimental to the plight of corps members and it is certainly injurious to an economy that is already beleaguered by the crisis wrought by staggering rates of unemployment across the entire Federation. If the economy crumbles, we the citizens will suffer the debilitating consequences. Why then have we allowed such a crucial matter as the urgent need to restructure the NYSC to fade away from our collective consciousness? We should be boldly agitating for changes much in the same way we collectively agitated against the decision by the Federal Government to completely remove fuel subsidy on petroleum products! Is it completely unreasonable for us to insist that posting be made on the juxtaposition of proper need assessment carried out in the communities corps members are posted to and their respective disciplines and areas of specialisation? Let the engineers be gathered together and specifically tasked with solving infrastructural problems and pioneering agricultural and technological innovation in the communities they serve in! Let those corps members trained to, and deemed capable of teaching effectively then do so! Let corps members be afforded the opportunity in serve in areas of endeavour where their knowledge and skills vis-à-vis their respective disciplines will be creatively applied and positively exploited to the advantage of the various communities in which they serve and ultimately, to the national economy. Let opportunities be created so that corps members of different disciplines may meet and interact with practising professionals and senior colleagues so that they may begin to visualise for themselves the niches they will need to strive to create and in which to operate after they may have completed their service year. We must be proactive and speak now. We do not need to wait for more tragedy to befall more corps members before our collective interest is again stimulated to once more insist that the Federal Government restructure or even scrap the NYSC. Its present structure is killing our economy and our lives; livelihoods and welfare are sustained by the economy, within the economy. Martin Luther King, Jnr. said, “Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence. History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” Good people, the stakes are simply too high to remain silent. Concluded. • Belema is an Electrical/Electronics engineer, Reward and Conflict Managers Mowe, Ogun State.