Rivers and the shape of things unwanted Y this costly revelation, the Nigerian people should be B watchful over the quality of persons who seek their votes at all levels of government. They should be wary of untested
sinecurists without demonstrable leadership capacity, selfseeking pests whose only quest is to feast on the commonwealth, little minds in high places who have no patience for
the finer acts of democracy. The battle to save Nigeria would begin when Nigerians thoroughly interrogate the character of those who want to lead them and, for recruitment into leadership positions, they build a better purifying mechanism that can keep out the dregs. . MORE ON EDITORIAL PAGE 14
TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Monday, July 22, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,625
‘How Nigeria’s poorly delineated maritime boundaries fuel oil bunkering, insecurity’ Why govt backs PIB, by minister From Chuka Odittah, Abuja OORLY delineated and P manned maritime boundaries between Nigeria and its West African neighbours account for the increase in illegal oil bunkering, piracy, kidnapping, among other vices committed in the periphery of the country’s international waters, investigations by The Guardian have shown. Nigeria shares international maritime boundaries with coastline countries like Equatorial Guinea, Cameroun, Benin Republic and Ghana. Meanwhile, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has described the draft oil reform law that is before the National Assembly for approval as a vibrant document which would remain relevant to the industry Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka (middle), wife of Ogun State govenor, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun (fourth left); and a cross section of children invited to one of the events that marked the 79th birthday of the literary icon at the Africa Centre, London… recently.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
Outrage at Senate’s bid to legalise child marriage By Nnamdi Inyama, News Editor ROTESTS have continued P to trail the Nigerian Senate’s passage of a resolution to amend the provision of Section 29 (4b) of the 1999 Constitution. Section 29 (1) of the 1999 Constitution states: “Any citizen of Nigeria of full age who
• Atiku, Bakare, Ezekwesili, El-Rufai, others condemn move wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the
renunciation.” Sub-section (4a) states: “Full age means the age of 18 years and above”, while (4b) says:
“Any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.” By this, the constitution only allows marriage for
Why I’m at ‘war with First Lady,’ by Soyinka - Page 3
a girl of 18 years and above. But with the proposed amendment by the Senate, a married underage girl is deemed to be an adult. Prominent Nigerians and human rights organisations have condemned the Senate’s move. Some have taken to the social media to protest
what they described as legalisation of sexual abuse of underage girls. Petitions have been signed to protest against the law. There are plans by the protesters to convey their opposition to the resolution to all state Houses of Assembly in CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
News Dangote Sugar gets new GMD HE Board of Directors of Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) yesterday announced the appointment of Graham Clark as Group Managing Director. In making the announcement, DSR Chairman, Aliko Dangote said: “At the cusp of industrial revolution in Nigeria and with our acquisition of Savannah Sugar Company located on 32,000 hectares in Adamawa State and planned development of other sugar fields across the country estimated at over 300,000 hectares, critical enablers such as innovation, talent and skills are key levers to put us on a competitive trajectory growth path.” According to Dangote, “Graham Clark brings the experience and expertise to meet these big picture and aspirations through a proven record of operational leadership, problem solving, strategy development and team playing. These traits and abilities will serve him well in the days and years ahead.” Clark, who recently served as the managing director of Illovo Sugar Ltd – Africa’s biggest sugar producers with operations in six African countries, was on the Illova board since 1997 and as managing director since 2009 when he led the company through its most significant period of growth and positioning it well for the future.
FAAN, stakeholders differ on low patronage of Kano airport, others By Wole Shadare and Chika Goodluck-Ogazi of the huge reItoNSPITE sources expended on them make them more functional, the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport terminal, Kano and some other refurbished airports are still not fully patronised. It was gathered that some of the airports are still weighed down by problems which include; slow pace of completion of some of the projects months after they were commissioned. Also, facilities like conveyor belts, screening machines
and others that make passengers’ facilitation seamless are still lacking. The situation that the airport has pitched the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and stakeholders, especially the quality of jobs at some of the remodelled airports terminals across the country. The FAAN’s spokesman, Dati Yakubu attributed the underutilisation of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano to insecurity in the city, which has affected socio-economic activities in the state. He, however, debunked reports that the airport was dor-
mant, saying it was being affected by the impact of the insecurity which he said had stifled most economic activities in the state. Dati, while reacting to criticisms on the alleged shoddy remodelling jobs done at virtually all the airports including Kano, said such allegations stemmed from ignorance and mischief of some anti- progressive elements. He added: ‘‘The allegation that there was sabotage by FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation to make the terminal and perhaps the airport dormant is not true. We wish to state that Kano has been and will continue to be one of
the major airports in Nigeria and it is because of the importance attached to it that FAAN embarked on rebuilding the domestic terminal which was commissioned in early 2011.” Dati explained that the viability and utilisation of an airport was dependent on passenger movement, adding that it would be difficult for economic activities to go on under threat to lives and property. According to him, the low level passengers’ traffic at the airport could be traced easily to the security situation in Kano, fuelled by the activities of the fundamentalist Islamic group, Boko Haram.
Oyo govt, Accord Party trade words over governance From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of G Oyo State yesterday declared that the progressives would rule the state for the next 50 years and thus finally seal the fate of those he called reactionary elements. Meanwhile, the Accord Party has asked Ajimobi to stop personalising governance. The governor stated this while receiving hundreds of decampees from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Accord Party from Ibadan North Local Council of the state into the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ibadan. The decampees, who were mostly political office holders during the Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Adebayo Alao-Akala administrations, hinged their decisions to join ACN on what they termed the brilliant performance of Ajimobi in the last two years. The governor while speaking at the ceremony held at Awolowo Avenue, Bodija in Ibadan and witnessed by members of the State Executive Council, the state party executives and party stalwarts congratulated the decampees for deciding to join the ruling party. While welcoming the new entrants into the party, he urged them to see themselves as part and parcel of ACN, promising that they would be treated equally as the party belonged to all.
A female vigilante frisks two women passengers of a motorised tricycle on July 19, 2013 in Maiduguri, where Boko Haram has carried out most of its deadly attacks in a four-year insurgency that has left some 3,600 people dead since 2009, according to Human Rights Watch… PHOTO: AFP
“If the terminal or the airport is alleged to be dormant, it means that there is low passenger movement and it is not the responsibility of FAAN or the Ministry of Aviation to attract the passengers to the airport’’, he added. But a source who works for an airline but preferred anonymity told The Guardian that most of the projects, “were elephant projects”, which facilities he lamented were already ailing less than a year after they were commissioned with so much fanfare. Also, a former Deputy Secretary General of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Mohammed Tukur called on President Goodluck Jonathan to call for urgent enquiry of all the airports’ projects, stressing that the quality of work was shoddy, describing them as falling apart. He disclosed that most of the terminals were having problems because they were done with direct labour, urging that the contractors should be recalled to fix some of the faults noticed. While commending the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi for initiating laudable projects, Tukur, however, cautioned that such jobs should be properly done. Aside Lagos and Abuja, no other airport in the country attracts passengers due to the fact that the bulk of international operations are done at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, thereby rendering many of the refurbished international airport terminals redundant. The situation equally brings to question the rationale for engaging in airport remodelling simultaneously in all the airports across the country.
Why I’m at ‘war with First Lady,’ by Soyinka From Tunde Oyedoyin, London
• Explains link with Amaechi
T 79, Africa’s first Nobel A Laureate in Literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka, seems not
Fielding questions from a member of the audience at the African Centre in Covent Garden, venue of Saturday’s “WS79 – Memoirs of Our Future: An Audience with Prof. Wole Soyinka,” he said he was not afraid to stand up and call the First Lady to order and also educate her if she cannot take a cue from how other first ladies behave. “People said I call her a domestic appendage, what’s the problem with that? What’s the problem with Madam Shepopotamus?” Pressed to comment on the lingering political crisis in Rivers State, Soyinka revealed: “What happened in
to have lost his zeal for standing up against those he perceives to use their public office to oppress others in Nigeria. And though the afternoon open-door lecture series was supposed to be a commemoration of his birthday, he quickly swapped the garment of a celebrant with that of a political activist as it became necessary. Referring to the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan’s alleged meddling in the affairs of Rivers State and abuse of power, Soyinka asked, “What’s the problem with Madam Shepopotamus?”
Rivers began long ago, before five decided that five was greater than 27. If we don’t move in support of the truth at certain mathematics, we shouldn’t be surprised if the next mathematics anomaly takes place at our doorstep.” He added: “We move when there’s interference, when all roads are closed – for hours because she’s going to her hairdresser.” He argued that if members of the civil society do nothing when such abuse is taking place in Rivers, Ibadan and Lagos, then Nigerians should not be surprised when a curfew is imposed the next time she is visiting their state. He called on Dame Jonathan
to take a cue from President Barack Obama’s wife, stating: “We ask unelected people to look around and see how the Mrs. Michelle Obamas of the world are conducting themselves,” adding, however, that if the Dames of this world do not learn, “we must educate them.” Asked if he was a friend of the embattled Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Soyinka replied: “That Amaechi is my friend is not an allegation,” because he would be friends with anyone who has been given the mandate of the people through the electoral process. According to him, he is not afraid to be associated with such if they are fulfilling
their obligations and responsibilities of governance. He added: “To say the Governor of Rivers is my close friend is like saying Kayode Fayemi or Dr. Babangida Aliyu or Governor Ibikunle Amosun or even the Second Republic Governor, Mohammed Shugaba, in Shagari’s administration, is my friend.” However, Soyinka said ‘it’s not a matter of friendship,” but defence of democracy and truth, stressing that he would not be afraid to switch loyalty if the people he once praised change and start oppressing the very people who elected them. Meanwhile, he commended Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State who he said has provided educational opportunities for all in the state.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
The GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Why govt backs PIB, by minister CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 long after President Goodluck ebele Jonathan’s administration. Nigerian states that share boundaries with the coastline neighbouring countries include Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states in the South-South zone, and Ondo, Ogun and Lagos in the South-West zone. Akwa-Ibom, which is an oil bearing state, shares maritime boundaries with Cameroun. Until recently, the issue of the exact proportion of maritime areas that belonged to either of the two countries was a subject of international debate, leaving the area, especially from the Nigerian side vulnerable to oil thieves and vessel hijackers. Prior to now, there had been lingering controversies regarding the exact land and maritime boundaries between Cameroun and Nigeria. The maritime boundaries between the two countries were earlier known to cover a distance of 1700 kilometres. But new discoveries by experts and surveyors of the United Nations, Cameroun and Nigeria, have indicated that the distance is actually 2300 kilometers from the North of Ubeji to the Atlantic Ocean in the South. Investigations showed that this contention, due partly to the specific type of technology used in carrying out the measurement, in addition to the lack of political will to cede the richly endowed areas have wide implications for Nigeria’s maritime revenue and the effective policing of her
Cameroun-linked international waterways. Bayelsa State, which is one of the nation’s leading oil producing area, also shares maritime boundaries with equatorial Guinea; Cross Rivers shares with Cameroun and equatorial Guinea while Delta and Rivers states share lone maritime borders with equatorial Guinea. According to reports, equatorial Guinea’s maritime borders with Nigeria has steadily witnessed high levels of illegal bunkering, vessels hijacking and others vices because of its access to key oil bearing states in Nigeria. Investigations also showed that foreigners and local oil thieves use this vulnerable route to ferry out several thousands of barrels of Nigeria’s crude because it is poorly delineated and policed by relevant institutions. In the South-West region, Lagos and Ogun states share international maritime boundaries with Benin Republic, whereas Ondo State shares one with equatorial Guinea. The Guardian gathered that the exact measurement of Nigeria’s maritime boundary with Ghana which is believed to stretch up to eight nautical miles is still at the thresh hold of being fully and correctly determined. According to investigations, the Ghanaian government had been initially hesitant to have any part of its boundaries ceded to Nigeria under any guise, but constant diplomatic talks have, however, opened the way for ongoing negotia-
tions for fine-tuning of who gets what of the vastly rich maritime resources linking the two West African countries. One of the reasons for the rift between Nigeria and Ghana in promptly capturing the precise measurement of their maritime boundaries, reports say, is because of disparities in figures computed from separate surveys conducted by governments of the two countries. The Federal Government, it was gathered, adopted the United Kingdom hydrological charts of number 594 and 3118,
placed on scale 1:1000 with Mercator projection (The charts are Geo-referenced with same datum). however, the Ghanaian government insisted on using two methods, the United Kingdom hydrological charts of scale 1:350,000 and three Russian large scale charts of 1:150,000, using 0.5m resolution Orthophotos at scale 1:2500 in determining the exact measurement. Nigeria and Ghana are signatories to the United Nations convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, in which both countries agreed to abide by its claus-
es for amicable settlement and determination of the two country’s maritime boundaries. Speaking to journalists at the weekend after the twoday Senate Public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Mrs. AlisonMadueke, enjoined stakeholders in the oil and gas sector not to politicize or personalize its provisions, stressing that the draft legislation was not proposed or written with any administration in mind. Speaking against the backdrop of fears in some quarters that the proposed law
vests too much discretionary powers in the President and Petroleum Minister, she explained that the responsibility for the exercise of same by the duo will ultimately rest on any administration in office at the time and so should not be personalized. “By the time the PIB is fully articulated and implemented the current President and Minister of Petroleum Resources may no longer be in office. This Bill takes a while before it is operational,’’ she stated. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
One of former ailing South African President Nelson Mandela’s grandsons, Mandla Mandela (middle) and members of the congregation praying for him and his family and for his speedy recovery at a church service in Durban… yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Atiku, Bakare, Ezekwesili, El-Rufai, others flay child marriage law CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 order to force the Senate to reverse itself. Those who protested queried why underage Nigerians could not exercise their franchise at the poll but were being subjected to marriage at tender age. The Gender and Constitution Reform Network (GeCORN), a coalition of women’s rights organisations across Nigeria, rejected the Senate’s resolution. The organisation, in a statement by its National Co-ordinator, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, which was made available to journalists in Abeokuta, rejected the argument of Senator Ahmed Yerima that the proposal for the deletion of Section 29 (4) (b) which states that “any woman who is married shall be deemed of full age” is at variance with Islamic law. “The constitution of Nigeria is the supreme law of the
country.” In a veiled condemnation of the development, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said: “As a father, I’ve never given out my daughters in marriage before university graduation. It’s a personal decision. “I had earlier stated my personal choices on the child marriage issue. I have always supported our women and children.” Atiku then went ahead to take on the Senate voting controversy directly, by twitting thus: “For avoidance of doubt, I do not support any constitutional provision which creates ambiguities about the age consent” and concluded by writing that “I strongly support strengthening the constitution to protect all citizens from abuse; men, women, girls and boys.” The Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, expressed his outrage at the amendment.
Our error he name of the Group Managing Director and T Chief executive Officer of First City Monument Bank Plc whose photograph appeared on page 48 of The Guardian on Saturday, July 20, 2013, is Mr. Ladi Balogun, not Balogu as published. The error is regretted.
Preaching in his church yesterday, Bakare wondered why the senators who would not allow their teenage daughters to marry would make such a law for other children. he urged the house of Representatives not to endorse the law. On Twitter, several petitions have been sent where users condemned the Senate’s position. Lagos-based pastor and motivational speaker, Sam Adeyemi, twitted: “If Islam permits something that the rest of the country and many parts of the world feel is detestable, then, it’s a serious issue. We cannot take away from a Muslim the right to practise his or her religion.” Former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nasir el-Rufai, also twitted: “We need your support. Criminals, from time, use religion to cloak perversion.” Two of the many tweets by a former Minister of education, Dr. Oby ezekwesili, read: “We kid ourselves to think that we can catch up and compete with the rest of the world, when the Girl Child is constrained. “I got married at 24 after my first post-graduate education. Some think 24 is early but then, I was ready to make
sound decisions.” Nigerian actress, Omoni Oboli, also twitted: “I shudder to think I wouldn’t be who I am today if some perverts had convinced my parents to marry me off before I turned 18.” Nollywood actor, Nonso Diobi, stated: “If she can’t vote, then she can’t marry. A female child should be taken to the classroom, not labour room.” Broadcaster, Mo Abudu, expressed her concerns, saying: “My heart is broken by the news from the Senate on Child Brides. This is not the Africa of 2013.” Reggae artiste, Majek Fashek, also said: “how can a man of 40, 50 or over marry a girl of 12, 13years? What kind of paedophilia is this?” eme ewa of Change.org, an organisation described as the world’s biggest petition platform, has written an online petition to the United Nations (UN), titled ‘United Nations: Stop The Nigerian Senate From Making UnderAge Marriage The Law!” The wife of ekiti State Governor, erelu Bisi Fayemi, urged more men and women of good conscience, civil society organisations, feminists and social justice crusaders to condemn the
move by the Senate. In a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Akin Oyedele, the governor’s wife described the lawmakers’ move as self-serving and at variance with all international conventions and protocols on the rights of the child, which Nigeria has ratified. In calling for sustained protest against the move by the Senate to expunge Section 29 sub-section B from the constitution, Fayemi said that the lawmakers should channel their energy towards strengthening laws that promote the well-being of the child. She said: “I’m not only disappointed in the decision by the Senate. As a mother, I’m ashamed, I’m unhappy and I’m pained that our senators, who also have female children, will vote for child marriage. “This is time in the country’s history when men and women of good conscience, civil society organisations, feminists and social justice crusaders should stand up to be counted among those vehemently protesting against the decision. “Instead of this self-serving amendment to Section 29 B of the constitution, our law-
makers should devote more time to legislate on laws that protect the child against violence, exploitation and labour, harmful traditional practices, abuse and denial of education.” For instance, she said that Article 1 of the United Nations Convention of Rights of the Child, which Nigeria ratified, defines a child as every human being (male or female) below the age of 18 years. Some states in the country, including ekiti, have also domesticated the convention, The UN convention clarifies that anybody below the age of 18 may be deemed not to be a child “unless the law of his or her country deems him or her to be an adult at an earlier age, which is rare.” Section 277 of the Federal Child Rights Act of 2003 thus defines a child as anyone who is below the age of 18 years. In furtherance of the ongoing constitution amendment, the Senate had voted for the deletion of Section 29, Sub-sections A and B, which prescribes “full age” for a female to be deemed to be constitutionally ripe for CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Atiku, Bakare, Ezekwesili, El-Rufai, others condemn Senate
Minister tasks media professionals on peace From Terhemba Daka, Abuja HE Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, has charged Nigerian media professionals to promote peaceful co-existence and unity of the country. Speaking in Abuja at the weekend during the eighth yearly Ramadan Public Lecture, entitled “Islam in a Multi-Religious Society,” organised by the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Mohammed warned that without peace, no nation could achieve much development or even practise religion as enshrined in the holy books. The minister, who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammad Hazat Sule, admonished Muslim faithful to use the holy month for spiritual re-dedication and to spread the spirit of love, selflessness, sacrifice, patience and modesty.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 marriage. Section B specifically provides that “any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age,” while Section A defines full age as “eighteen years and above.” As enshrined in the UNICEF mission, the governor’s wife said that it was the duty of the three tiers of government and the citizens to advocate the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. She called on the National Assembly to encourage states yet to domesticate the child right act to do so, with a further call for the promo- Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (second left), his wife, Abimbola (second right), the new couple, Oloruntobi and Olufemi Erinoso (midtion and enforcement of the dle), and others during the solemnisation of the couple’s marriage at the United Africa Methodist Church, Ebute-Metta, Lagos… at the weekend. law in states where they already exist. Besides the social implication of hounding child girls into early marriage, including denial of childhood and teenage development, she From Saxone Akhaine, John Okeke Vigilance group attacks policeman, captures six terrorist suspects said that there are inherent (Abuja) and Njadvara Musa (MaidPeace committee on Boko Haram a huge scam, says Huriwa health hazards in child mar- uguri) lage at about 1a.m yesterday (HURIWA) yesterday called on someone who allegedly stole a riage. According to her, the NaEMESIS caught up with and invaded the residence of a President Goodluck Jonathan tricycle and a bag of rice and tional Demographic Health some unknown gunmen prominent villager with the to immediately disband the drove off. The policeman, who Survey said at least 12,000 who invaded a village near intention of stealing cows. Presidential Special Commit- was in mufti, wore NPF reflecAccording to sources, there tee on Dialogue and Peaceful tive jacket, pursued the alwomen are known to devel- Fadan Kaje in Zango Kataf loop Vesico Vaginal Fistula cal council of Kaduna State, as were sporadic gunshots from Resolution of the Security leged thief and fired two (VVF) every year in Nigeria, a they were overpowered by the gunmen, which attracted Challenges in the North, head- shots.” In the following melee, a migood number of who are said hundreds of villagers, who people from other villages, ed by the Minister of Special to be young, short teenage killed two of them, while the who came out in large num- Duties, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki nor was also killed near the mosque, while three others girls of poor social economic rest fled. ber, engaged them in a (SAN). shootout and killed two. The background. In a statement by its National were injured before the interThe gunmen were said to have arrived at Madauchi vil- Kaduna State Police Com- Coordinator, Comrade Em- vention of the JTF. The firing by mand spokesman, DSP manuel Onwubiko, and the the policeman was said to Aminu Lawal, confirmed the National Media Affairs Direc- have attracted the worshipincident yesterday. tor, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURI- pers, including the vigilance Nevertheless, an “error of WA said it would amount to youth, who were within and the mosque. judgment” saw the Borno grave disservice to the public around Musa explained that, ‘the vigState Vigilance Youth Group for the committee to continue (BVYG) attack a policeman to exist after President ilantes lynched the police(name withheld) near El- Jonathan had refuted Turaki’s man, burnt the Toyota Carina Amin Daggash Mosque in claim that Boko Haram had (that the policeman was in) Maiduguri as he was attempt- signed a ceasefire effect from and the tricycle,” while the JTF ing to capture someone who the commencement of Ra- rescued and took the policeman away after restoring orallegedly stole a bag of rice madan. and a tricycle over the weekSpokesman of the Joint Task der. In another development still end. Force (JTF), Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, Meanwhile, the non-govern- said in a statement that, “it was at the weekend in Zajeri and mental Human Rights Writ- an error of judgment by a po- Madaganari wards of Maiders’ Association of Nigeria liceman on duty, who pursued uguri, the combined efforts of
Community foils invasion, kills three gunmen N
the Joint Task Force (JTF) and members of Borno Vigilance Youth Group (BVYG) saw the arrest of six suspected Boko Haram terrorists during a raid. dawn The three arrested suspects in Madaganari, according to an eyewitness, were picked up at a hideout by the vigilance group, who also recovered three guns, and later handed them over to the JTF sector commander, who coordinated the dawn raid. The other three suspects, he disclosed, were arrested in Zajeri ward when the suspects dressed in female attires and hid two rifles in their veils. A resident of Zajeri also told The Guardian that the arrested suspects were attempting to flee the area before arrest. their Speaking on the incidents, Chairman of BVYG, Abubakar Mallum, said the arrests followed an intelligence report on fleeing members of the Islamist sect to Madaganari on Friday after the Jumat
‘How Nigeria’s poorly delineated maritime boundaries fuel oil bunkering’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 Drawing a parallel between the PIB and the Power Sector Reform Act of 2004 which was passed over eight years ago and is currently being implemented by the Jonathan administration, Alison-Madueke argued that it was important for the law to sufficiently empower any administration to act in the best interest of the Nigerian people. She stressed that the proposed transition period after the passage of the bill was at least three years. “Note, there are over 80 regulations to be made for this Bill to be operational, she remarked.” According to her, “while we take best practices from other developed regions, we should also work within the understanding of our own socio-economic and socialcultural norms and create entities and policies that will work and are not destined to fail” ab initio. On the reported enormous discretionary powers grant-
ed to the petroleum minister in the PIB, Alison-Madueke explained that they are not different from those vested by oil laws on such counterparts in the United kingdom, Malaysia and Norway. She emphasised that the powers granted the Nigerian Minister by the PIB were less than those of her counterparts in the laws of advanced petroleum producing countries. Alison-Madueke stated that the PIB establishes a flexible fiscal regime that would increase government revenues and yet encourage investment in the petroleum sector, noting that it allows for production based incentive system which in the long run will accommodate every player in the industry. Addressing concerns on the provisions for multi-faceted regulatory bodies in the PIB, the minister said this was basically as a result of the complex nature of the industry, adding that an unwieldy, mammoth entity that hosts two separately run organisations is not a mode of effi-
ciency and that the disaggregated regulatory system would enable speedy response to variety of issues that may arise from time to time. On the issue of the host communities, she noted that it was established to mitigate the human and environmental conditions in the region and to assuage the feelings of the host communities towards oil and gas companies. “The issue of host communities should not be personalized or politicized. Bear in mind that we expect to find oil in other parts of the country especially in the inland sedimentary basins in the years ahead. And the provision will take effect wherever oil is found. So it is totally unfair to suggest that the HOSTCOM Fund is designed to favour a particular part of the country. Don’t forget that the host community fund has been in the Bill from the beginning, we did not create it,” Alison-Madueke said. The Minister stated that the
PIB seeks to establish a legal, fiscal and regulatory framework that will revolutionize the Petroleum industry in Nigeria stressing that it is designed to create a standard business practice, protect health, safety and environment in the course of petroleum exploration and enhance exploration and exploitation of petroleum in Nigeria. Open the public hearing, the Senate President David Mark said the National Assembly was anxious to pass the PIB and urged all the stakeholders to make objective submissions that would create a win-win situation for the Federal Government, the International Oil Companies and other operators in the petroleum industry. The PIB is based on the report of the Oil and Gas Reform Implementation Committee (OGIC) set up by the Federal Government thirteen years ago to carry out a comprehensive reform of the oil industry.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
‘Bloated govt inimical to good governance’ From Anietie Akpan, Calabar RESIDENT of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS), Jokaina Deck in Cross River State, Dr. Ofem Enang, has decried the numerous political appointments in the country, saying it is an impediment to national growth and development. The NAS boss, who was speaking during the 2013 Feast of Barracuda/launching of medical endowment in Calabar at the weekend, said for meaningful development to be achieved in the country, there is need for government at all levels to scale down its numerous appointments, which he noted, have been hampering national development. Enang, who is also the former chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the state, said rather than creating ‘unnecessary’ political offices and appointments, government should channel its resources in providing basic infrastructure for the citizenry. His words: “Government needs to scale down on appointments and invest its resources in social amenities in infrastructure, education and agriculture. Even if you don’t want to do it on a massive scale, do it according to your resources.
Communities’, Delta plant’s dispute threatens gas supply to power firms From Chido Okafor, Warri HERE appears to be no end T in sight to the lingering dispute between host communities and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), which took over the Utorogu Gas Plant from Shell Petroleum Development Company, that pulled out of the area last year. Hence, they are fears that gas supply to power plants in
• NPDC denies contractors’
From Chido Okafor, Warri Lagos and Delta states may be disrupted if the communities and contractors’ dispute with the company is not resolved on time and their plan to shut the gas plant down is actualised. Hundreds of people from host communities and contractors of the Utorogu Gas Plant, Ughelli-South last week picketed the gas firm’s plant at Otu-Jeremi, Ughelli-South
Council of Delta State, over alleged refusal to involve host communities in its activities and refusal to pay the host contractors and workers for jobs done. However, a senior NPDC official, who spoke with The Guardian on condition of anonymity, denied the allegations by the communities and contractors. He said the NPDC took over most of the
contractors working for Shell when Shell pulled out and that the NPDC allowed the contractors to continue their jobs in the interest of fairness. He said the contractors, who have worked and sent in their invoices, were processed and paid, adding: “As we speak, a lot of the invoices has gone to the banks when I crosschecked with the accounts department.” He, however, disclosed that
Kwara PDP, ACN bicker over borehole From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oro, Ward Two, Irepodun Local Council Area of Kwara State, has described as a farce the purported commissioning of a borehole in Lakele Square, Otun Oro in the local council by the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed. But Mohammed, while speaking with reporters at the weekend at his Oro country-home, described the author of the statement as petty and uninformed. The PDP Chairman in the ward, Mr. Joe Ibitoye, said the PDP-controlled Federal Government sank the borehole some nine years ago.
Fasehun urges NJC to sanction judge over Al-Mustapha By Abiodun Fanoro OTWITHSTANDING the release from incarceration of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, his celebrated supporter, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to probe the Lagos High Court judge, Justice Mojisola Dada, with a view to sanctioning her. His words: “For her role in this theatre of the absurd, Justice Mojisola Dada must be probed and sanctioned by the National Judicial Council (NJC)”. Fasehun, national president, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), made this demand at the weekend in Lagos at a press conference where he explained his role in the campaign for the release of AlMustapha.
Member, Board of Directors, Intercontinental Distillers Limited (IDL), Michael Murray-Bruce (left); Managing Director, Blessed Mattex; Mathew Ugwueze, the overall winner of Three Tone Truck N7.2 million, and Managing Director, IDL, Patrick Anegbe, during the 2013 IDL Distributors’ Award PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN Ceremony, held in Lagos…at the weekend
‘I didn’t say FG would use military on natives’ From Terhemba Daka, Abuja HE Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Nosike Ogbuenyi, has dismissed as untrue a report in The Guardian on Sunday (yesterday) entitled, “FG will use military might on inhabitants.” In the said report, he said “the author claimed to have interviewed Ogbuenyi.” Specifically, the reporter wrote: “He is of the view that by the time 10 of the inhabitants were fallen by bullets of the Army, the rest will behave, because according to him, no one can fight the government and survive it.” But in swift reaction, the FCTA spokesman said he neither granted any interview to the reporter nor told her that the Federal Government would use military might on the inhabitants of the FCT. “I have no mandate whatsoever to speak for the military or any security organ in the country. Also, I never told the reporter that the money used to develop FCT was from the Niger Delta region. Her claims were mere figments of her imagination,” Ogbuenyi stated. He clarified that it was the failure of the age-old resettlement and compensation policy to adequately address the integration needs of the natives that necessitated the devising of the more holistic land swap initiative based on international best prac-
tices as endorsed by the United Nations and the World Bank. Ogbuenyi further stressed: “For the sake of your readers who may not be adequately informed concerning the matter of resettlement and compensation of FCT natives,
the FCTA, under Senator Bala A. Mohammed, has assured the affected natives that notwithstanding the policy agreed to by the stakeholders (i.e. investors and the natives), as a responsible Administration, the FCTA shall intervene where neces-
sary to ensure that they are treated fairly and justly.
after verification, some of the contractors were discovered to be fake and that those were the ones that have not been paid. On the alleged refusal of the managing director of NPDC to meet with the communities and contractors, the senior official said they are so many communities wishing to meet with the managing director and that it is not possible for him to see all of them, adding that the community affairs department is always on hand to handle community-related issues. The NPDC official said: “We have a community affairs department. We have been meeting with them from time to time. We have even drafted a memorandum of understanding (MoU); they have the draft copy, which they are studying. We’ll soon meet to negotiate with them on developmental projects, scholarships and so many things. They will be the ones to run the board. The Delta State government and NPDC are putting the whole thing together; the deputy governor is driving it. “When they insisted they wanted to see our managing director, we invited them and they came. The MD was not around, the manager in charge of OML 34 and the community affairs manager wanted to met with them, they walked out. We are making efforts to meet them tomorrow (Tuesday). Last Monday, when host communities (Iwhrekan and Otor-Udu) and its contractors launched their first protest, over 30 armed soldiers were called from the ‘barrack’ inside the gas plant to push out the protesters.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Oritsejafor, Kalu seek quick resolution of Rivers’ crisis From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin) and Leo Sobechi (Abakaliki) ORMER Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that unless caution is exercised in the handling of the Rivers State crisis, Nigeria’s democracy could be truncated. He, therefore, pleaded with President Goodluck Jonathan to wade into the matter so that enemies of democracy do not cash in on the squabble. Also irked by the political crisis in Rivers, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, at the weekend urged politicians to play politics according to the rules in order to promote democratic culture and ideals in Nigeria. Oritsejafor, who lamented the political upheavals, said he was disappointed that politicians could throw decency and decorum to the wind and indulge in such shameful and uncivilised act, stressing that such attitudes cannot promote democracy. According to the clergyman, happenings in Rivers have made Nigeria a laughing stock in the international community. He called for peaceful resolution of whatever is responsible for the crisis. Meanwhile, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Samson Parker, has said there is no crisis in the state, noting that what is happening is being orchestrated by just one per cent of the politicians in Rivers, and some sections of the media are also exaggerating the saga. Kalu, whose opinion was made public in London at the weekend during a reception in honour of the daughter of Senator Annie Okonkwo, Nkem, expressed worry that at a time when the younger generation is looking up to
the country’s leaders, the lawmakers in Rivers Assembly had to display such a disappointing, shameful and undemocratic act. Describing the legislators as “dishonourable lawbreakers”, the former governor noted that their actions were unpatriotic. He called on appropriate authorities to enforce sanctions on all those found culpable, according to the law. According to Kalu, the importance of the rule of law in the survival of a nation could not be over-emphasised. He said “the law should be applied to all and sundry irrespective of social, political and economic status. “The law is a respecter of nobody and until the system gives the rule of law its rightful place, no meaningful development could be achieved. Every Nigerian has a right to aspire to any position provided it is within the limits of the law. A situation where leaders expend federal and state resources to fight themselves for selfish political interests and ambitions rather than focusing on governance is unacceptable”. Kalu also condemned the attack on Governors Babaginda Aliyu of Niger State, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and Sule Lamido of Jigawa State by persons believed to be hired thugs merely because they were in Port Harcourt to visit Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Parker, who represented Amaechi in Benin at the launch of the Satellite Television of Apostle Johnson Suleman said those orchestrating the crisis in Rivers in terms of numbers were insignificant compared to the others whom he said were so far comfortable with the current administration and actions taken so far.
Minister of State for Agriculture, Alhaji Bukar Tijjani (third left); launching the Federal Government’s distribution of relief materials to victims of Boko Haram crisis in Maiduguri yesterday. With him are the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai (third right) and Chairman, Distribution Committee, Alhaji Gaji Galtimari (second right).
Osun ACN, PDP disagree over demolition of property in Osogbo From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo HE ruling Action Congress T of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have disagreed over the on-going demolition of property on the road setback in Osogbo, the state capital in line with the state urban renewal project. The state government had last Friday commenced demolition of structures along Gbongan-Osogbo Road in continuation of the renewal programme but the PDP has declared that it would use all legal means to resist attempt by the government to demolish its state secretariat located along Gbongan/Ibadan Road, already marked for demolition by the state Capital Development Authority. The property demolished on the road included part of the campaign office of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, fences of major banks, shops and other structures erected by the road sides.
The PDP, however, said it would not allow officials of the authority destroy its secretariat, claiming that it has not received any notice from either the government or any agency concerned with the exercise. The state chairman of the party, Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa, said the plan to demolish the party secretariat was wicked and aimed at destroying property of opposition party. In a swift response, ACN said the urban renewal project is aimed at making towns and cities conform to modernity, adding that the “separation” of property from road setback is devoid of partisan politics. ACN Director of Publicity, Kunle Oyatomi, noted that the urban renewal project is being executed in the interest of the public, pointing out that part of the campaign office of Aregbesola was also affected by the exercise . According to him, the state government had served notice of demolition to owners of property affected over six
months ago. He accused the opposition party of mischief to whip up undue public sympathy over the matter. But Olaoluwa said the PDP would not allow its secretariat to be demolished, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Inspector General of Police to call Governor Aregbesola to order as, according to him, “any attempt to demolish our property will lead to crisis in the state.” Olaoluwa, who claimed that the PDP secretariat is located close to a federal road, said the party would only allow the property to be demolished if it receives notice for demolition from the Federal Ministry of Works. The party claims that the state government lacks the right to demolish property on federal roads. Olaoluwa who said the administration of former governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had in 2006 dualised the road, expressed worry over the current administration’s demolition of property along the road for beautification project.
Uba picks LP form for Anambra gov race HEAD of the November A governorship election in Anambra State, one of the aspirants, Patrick Ifeanyi Uba, at the weekend submitted his letter of intent to run for the election to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Labour Party (LP) in Abuja. Uba, who was also issued with the party’s nomination form by the national chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu, likened his entrance into the race as the biblical battle of David and Goliath, noting that elections in the state have always been very volatile. He disclosed that he took the decision to enter into the Anambra guber race to rescue the state from its current state, stressing that a state that has produced the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Chuba Okadigbo, Chinua Achebe and Chike Obi, among others, must not be allowed to go down.
Mark, Oshiomhole, others extol Legogie’s virtues at burial From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City ENATE President, David Mark and other prominent political leaders across the country, including Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, at the weekend paid glowing tributes to the late former Deputy Senate President, Albert Legogie, whose remains were burried in his Ukpekpe, Ekperi in Etsako Central Local Council of Edo State. They described him as “a true and courageous Nigerian till death”. Mark said the late Legogie served his country well and described him as one of the few outspoken voices during the June 12, 1993 election
debacle. Represented by the Senate Minority Leader, George Akume, Mark noted: “I knew him when he served under Iyochia Ayu during the June 12 annulment and was a strong voice who served his country home and abroad, creditably”. Ihedioha said he came to pay his last respect to “whom I encountered since 1991 as great Nigerian, a courageous man who ensured that democracy was enthroned. He was bold and accomplished. I recalled that when Gen. Sani Abacha struck after the June 12 debacle, he was one of those who ensured stability returned to the country and one of those that formed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and
he became a member of the party’s BOT”. In his tribute, Oshiomhole noted that moments of this nature provides ample opportunity of what one wants to be remembered for. He recalled that of all the politicians he met when he wanted to contest for elective position in 2007, it was the late Legogie that took up the courage and challenge to show him around. “A lot of politicians I met in Edo State were the handiwork of Albert Legogie. While others were afraid, he took the challenge, believing there is no going back. Legogie was not a traitor but a courageous man”, Oshiomhole stated. While reacting to the request by the deputy speaker of the House that those who
believe in the legacy the late Legogie left behind should not allow the children he left behind to surfer, Oshiomhole announced automatic employment for one of the children, promising to foot the bill of the son schooling in Canada. Besides, the governor urged the Bishop of Auchi Catholic Church, Gabriel Dunia, to help guide politicians so that they would not go astray. “Your Lordship, help us guide we politicians because while we were thinking how 16 became more than 19, and we were looking for a Chike Obi to tell us the answer, we were faced with another controversy of five becoming greater than 27. If care is not taking, one day they will tell us that 1 is greater than 99”.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Prom King 2013, Akpan Inihebe (left); Director, Doregos Private Academy, Olatokunbo Doregos and Prom Queen, Olorunfemi Aramide, during the 2013 Valedictory Prom for the graduating students of Doregos Private Academy in Lagos
Thunderstorm destroys livestock in Taraba From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
SERAP sues govt over spending of N700b loan From John Okeke, Abuja
ORE than 30 cattle, includGROUP, Socio-Economic M ing cows and sheep, were yesterday killed by thunder- ARights and Accountability storm that occurred in Kona Project (SERAP), has dragged Village in Jalingo Local Council Area of Taraba State. The incident, which occurred late at night, was said to have been caused by the heavy rainfall that kept the people of the state capital indoors for several hours. The animals were said to be resting after several hours of grazing when death came banging at their various stall. An eyewitness told The Guardian that residents of the village later went down on their knees in appreciation to God as the thunderstorms, which they feared would uproot their houses, did not claim the life of any human being. According to one of the villagers who gave her name as Na’omi Kuruna, the thunder, which she said rented the air for several minutes, “made all the villagers to be on red alert because we were all very scared, thinking lives would be lost. But thank God that no life was lost and no single house was brought down except for the large number of cows and sheep that were killed.” Some of the herdsmen, whose animals fell victims, told reporters that the incident was the first of its kind they have ever experienced since they started rearing animals. One of the residents, Ardo, who said 15 of his cows were involved, told The Guardian that the cows were all hale and hearty when they arrived from grazing the very night they were hacked to death by the thunderstorm. Ardo, who was visibly dejected, told The Guardian, through an interpreter, that “the cows were all full of life. I recently sold my land just to purchase 20 cows but now, as I am talking with you, 15 of them are dead. I am left with only five. Tell me, where do you want me to start from? I don’t know how to farm and I am not educated. Rearing animals is all I specialise in. Do you expect me to be moving around with only five cows in the bush?”
the Federal Government to the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, over failure to provide information on the spending of the N700 billion borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013, and details of projects on which the money was spent. The suit was filed last week following a request made under the FoI Act by the organisation. Joined as defendants in the suit are the AccountantGeneral, Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke. The suit is seeking the following reliefs: • A declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of
Information Act 2011, the 1st defendant is under a binding legal obligation to provide the plaintiff with up-to-date information on the spending of N700 billion borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013 and details of projects on which the money was spent; • A declaration that failure of the 1st defendant to provide the plaintiff with the information requested is a breach of Section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information 2011; and • An order of mandamus directing and/or compelling the 1st defendant to provide the plaintiff with up-to-date information as requested. In a statement by the organisation signed by the Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP stated that “by the clear provisions of Section 2(3)(d)(V) of the FoI Act, documents containing information relating to the receipt or expenditure of pub-
lic or other funds of a public institution constitute part of the information, which a public institution is obligated to publish, disseminate and make available to members of the public.” The organisation also argued that the 1st defendant “is legally mandated by the pro-
visions of Section 4(a) of the FoI Act to comply with a request for access to public information except where the FoI Act exempts a public official from so disclosing.” The organisation further argued that the 1st defendant “has no legally justifiable reason for refusing to provide
Egwu flays ASUU strike, blames union leaders From Leo Sobechi, Abakaliki ORMER Ebonyi State govFadded ernor, Sam Egwu, has his voice to condemnation of the rate at which the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarks on strikes. Egwu, a former Education Minister, noted that the frequent resort by ASUU to strikes could be explained by the leaders’ desire to prove to the union members that
they were up and doing so as to continue to earn their support, recalling that as minister, he was treated to “a dose of the poison.” He said it was inexplicable that union leaders should declare industrial action in the middle of negotiations. Speaking with The Guardian shortly after the maiden matriculation ceremony of Evangel University, Akaeze, at the take-off campus, Okpoto in Ishielu Local Council of
Benin Catholic group insists on transfer of archbishop From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City not yielding to their call FshipOR for “indigenisation of worprocess” in the Catholic Church, the Bini at the weekend called for removal of Archbishop Augustine Akubeze of the Benin Metropolitan See. They accused the archbishop of handling the affairs of the church contrary to the Papal policy of promoting indigenous language and customs of the people, which they said, the Roman Catholic Church leadership believed, would lead to winning more converts into the church. Addressing a press conference in Benin City, the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Sam Igbe, who spoke on behalf of the Edo Liturgical Group, said there was a deliberate attempt to ostracise Bini-speaking priests from the scheme of things by sending them
abroad in the guise of training and replacing them with non-Bini priests. While canvassing that a Bini Catholic priest should be installed as archbishop of the dioceses, Igbe said the Bini could no longer tolerate a missionary that is not ready to listen to the voice of the people and Papal directives on indigenous worship, alleging that of the 832 weekday masses in a year, only 12 are conducted in Edo language. “We have come to the inevitable decision that Akubeze cannot justifiably continue to remain as a shepherd of the Catholic Church in Benin, a people on which he was forced and from whom he has so effectively distanced himself in a manner akin to the attitude of a maximum ruler. “Our people want him transferred from Benin and until the church heeds this advice, it would amount to self-deception to continue to believe
the plaintiff with the information requested” and urged the court “to compel it to comply with the provisions of the Act by providing the plaintiff with the information requested.” According to the statement, “no date has been fixed for hearing on the application.”
that they have an effective prelate in Benin. We make bold to say that Akubeze, as a pastor, is not close to the people of Benin; he is not a father or brother but a detached ruler. He is not meek, patient and merciful. He is a complete antithesis of these required qualities.” They also alleged Akubeze’s disrespect to the Benin monarch by, according to them, locking the door against some Bini chiefs sent on a reconciliatory and peaceful mission by the Oba when he was installed as the archbishop of Benin Diocese. “Because Archbishop Akubeze has exhibited hatred for the people of Bini and their language, he has to go and a Bini priest has to be installed archbishop of our diocese,” they noted. The Guardian could not get any official response from the Catholic Bishop’s Court yesterday, but it would be recalled that some priests of
Bini extraction in the archdiocese, a few weeks ago, differed from the position of the Edo Liturgical Group over allegation of discrimination against the use of Edo language in the Catholic churches. Chairman of the Indigenous Catholic Bini Priests, Rev. Fr. Felix Igbineweka, at a press briefing, said Archbishop Akubeze, since his installation in the past two years, had demonstrated openness in all his dealings. The indigenous priests urged the aggrieved liturgical group and laities to toe the path of dialogue and peace, noting that Akubeze remains the spiritual head and father of the faith in the archdiocese. “The church has always acknowledged the manifold gifts of the people of God to be utilised in carrying out her divine mandate. However, this should be done within the structures and strategies of the church with reference to the hierarchy,” they noted.
Ebonyi State, Egwu said ASUU should be seen as a Labour union since, according to him, “Labour unions all over want to flex muscles even when it is not necessary. “ASUU should be seen as a Labour union, or how can one explain a situation where negotiation is going on between it and the Federal Ministry of Education and they have reached a certain point. Along the line, ASUU members said they were going to report to their members. And before they could get back to the ministry, they declared a strike. The same thing happened during my regime. We were discussing with them and we were so willing to improve on their complaints, most of the things they are talking about now were approved during our own time,” he said. The former governor regretted that ASUU could not wait for the government to conclude action on the issues before going on strike, stressing that if “the main reason they do that is just to prove to their members that they are shaking the government”, they should know that strike is not the only way to protest. Egwu added: “For Christ’s sake, strike is not the best way to show discontent; it is instructive that not all the members and chapters are in support of the recent strike. It shows that lecturers are getting tired of these frequent strikes; they are actually hurting our educational system. It should not be the best approach”.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
WorldReport Belgium’s new king, Philippe, ascends throne ELGIAN new king, B Philippe, yesterday ascended the throne after
President Goodluck Jonathan (right), Special Envoy of Egyptian President, Raouf Saad and the country’s Ambassador in Nigeria, Ashraf Salam, at the Presidential Villa, Marina, Lagos…at the weekend. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Syrian conflict in a stalemate, Cameron warns HE British Prime Minister T David Cameron yesterday appraised the on-going war in Syria and declared that President Bashar al-Assad’s government might have got “stronger” in recent months. However, Cameron told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that more could be done to help Syria’s opposition forces as fighting raged yesterday close to Aleppo international airport and nearby air bases. The prime minister told the BBC there was a “stalemate” on the ground, but insisted work must continue internationally to try to find a solution. Meanwhile, military chiefs in United Kingdom (UK) have warned of the risks of arming rebel groups. Cameron said there was “too much extremism” among the opposition, but moderate groups still deserved support. Syrian government forces have taken the initiative in recent months, and have been bolstered by the capture
• Fighting intensifies for Aleppo airport, air bases of the strategically important town of Qusair in the west of the country in June. Most of the much bigger city of Homs has also been recaptured by government troops backed by Lebanon’s Hezbollah. But fighting intensified yesterday close to Aleppo international airport and nearby air bases as the battle for Syria’s second city entered its second year, a monitoring
group said. “Fierce clashes broke out at dawn near Aleppo international airport and Nairab air base,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, also reporting fighting in the Suleiman Halabi district of the city. The violence in Aleppo came a year after a massive rebel advance into the provincial capital. Stalemate has gripped the
city ever since, splitting it into rebel-held and governmentcontrolled areas. Rebels have penetrated the regime-held Rashidin district of New Aleppo in a bid to break the stalemate. While covering the clashes there, an activist working with the Observatory was hit by gunfire from a regime loyalist, said the group. The pro-regime Al-Watan daily on Sunday said the Aleppo rebels had failed “to secure their goal of taking
control of Syria’s commercial capital”. Over the past year, insurgents have fought to take Aleppo’s airports, aiming to stop regime warplanes from bombing rebel areas. Washington and London have been looking at ways to increase logistical support for opposition groups and the UK announced last week it was sending £650,000-worth of protective clothing to guard them against chemical and biological attacks.
Nigerians in China laud Jonathan on Guangzhou’s consular office By Wole Oyebade IGERIANS resident in China have lauded President Goodluck Jonathan’s approval of a new consular office in Guangzhou Province of Asian country. Jonathan approved the new office in Guangzhou – the second largest Chinese city – after meeting the Nigerian community during his five-day official visit to
the Asian country recently. The Guangzhou consular office is to ease the pains of about 80 per cent Nigerians resident in China, who travel more than 24 hours from the city to renew their documents. Before the new development, the Nigerian community in the area had craved for the consular office in the last 10 years. Reacting to the president’s
magnanimity, one of the Nigerian businessmen in China, Festus Mbisiogu, said the Nigerians in Diaspora were indeed grateful to Federal Government for listening to their requests. Mbisiogu, who is the managing director of Blue Diamond Logistics, said in a statement that “life would now be more easier for Nigerians resident in China, particularly over 80 per cent
of us living in Guangzhou some of whom are traders, businessmen and artisans.” He observed that prior to the approval, Nigeria has a consulate in Shanghai that is not meeting the demands and aspirations of many Nigerians living in Guangzhou. This is because of the distance requiring many days and man-hours of travel to process travel and working documents.
Gunmen release Malian polls’ officials as tension heightens WEEK from Malian crucial A presidential vote, the country was in the news again yesterday as six officials abducted in its northern part were released with tension remaining high after a homemade bomb was found in flashpoint city of Kidal. Following the new development, an official in the volatile region said a Tuareg rebel leader, Baye Ag Diknane,
has been arrested a day after ordering the brazen kidnapping of the six hostages – five election officials and a local elected representative – in the northern town of Tessalit. “All those kidnapped on Saturday have been released and are doing well,” the official told Agence France Presse (AFP). He blamed the abduction on the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a
rebel group founded to fight for independence for Mali’s minority Tuareg people. “It was Baye Ag Diknane, an official of the MNLA, who ordered the abduction,” he said, adding that the Tuareg rebel had been arrested and was under questioning. An African military source in Kidal confirmed the hostages’ release. The six officials had been at
the town hall in Tessalit, a remote outpost some 200 kilometres from key northern city Kidal, to plan the distribution of identity cards to voters for the July 28 election when they were abducted. The hostages were blindfolded and driven “in a vehicle with the MNLA flag” for a distance of 150 kilometres, the military official said one of the victims had told investiga-
tors. No one has claimed the kidnapping – including the MNLA, which was immediately blamed by officials in Kidal and in the Malian security ministry. The MNLA took control of Kidal in February after a French-led military intervention to oust Al-Qaeda-linked fighters who had seized control of most of northern Mali.
the emotional abdication of his father Albert II, vowing to strive for unity in a nation divided by language and tradition. The new sovereign, who at 53 becomes the seventh “King of The Belgians”, was sworn into office by the joint houses of parliament shortly after Albert, aged 79, stepped down citing age and failing health. “I swear to abide by the constitution and laws of the Belgian people, to maintain national independence and the integrity of the land,” Philippe, dressed in full military uniform, said in the country’s three languages –French, Flemish and German. “I begin my reign with the will to serve all Belgians,” he said in a first speech as king that brought a standing ovation in the federal parliament. As cannons boomed out a 101-gun royal salute, Philippe said “Belgium’s strength lies in giving meaning to our diversity.” “Let us all together show our country a new surge of enthusiasm.” Flanked by his popular wife, Mathilde, the first Belgianborn queen, Philippe and their four young children were greeted with wild cries of “Long Live the King” by a sea of people massed outside the palace as they appeared on its balcony.
Abe cements grip on power, wins Japan’s upper house election HE ruling coalition of T Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has won a decisive electoral victory in the country’s upper house to cement his grip on power. But the victory yesterday raised the possibility Abe could lose interest in difficult economic reform and shift focus to his nationalist agenda instead, a report by Reuters indicated. The win in the election for parliament’s upper house gives the hawkish Abe a stronger mandate for his “Abenomics” recipe to revive the economy and sets the stage for the first stable government since popular Junichiro Koizumi left office in 2006. But it also raises concern about him keeping his victorious party in line. “The outcome of this election shows that the public wants politics that can make decisions and (a government) that can push forward policies,” Abe told NHK public television. The win spells a personal political redemption for Abe, who led his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to a humiliating defeat in a 2007 upper house polls in his first term as premier.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
PDP, ACN bicker over 2015, Rivers’ crisis From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja REDICTING the inability of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to win the presidential election in 2015 despite their merger, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused the leaders of the two parties of dictatorship. The PDP specifically accused Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC and his ally, the national leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, of dictatorial credentials that could spell doom for the nation’s democracy. But the ACN has accused the PDP of being unrelenting in its determination to overheat the polity and set the country on fire, “if that will satisfy one man’s personal ambition to hold on to power.” In a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Tony Caesar Okeke, in Abuja, the party claimed that “because Nigerians are already aware of the dictatorial credentials of the two men (Buhari and Tinubu), they will lose the 2015 general elections despite the socalled merger of their parties, which is built on deceit, corruption and falsehood…” “Buhari and Tinubu, who are well-known despots, lacked the moral justification to pontificate on democracy, especially when all their actions are dictatorial,” Okeke said. “The CPC has exposed its falsehood and deceit when it castigated Buhari’s former aide, Yinka Odumakin, for exposing the atrocities of the CPC leader and those of ACN officials recently.” Okeke said Buhari has refused to change his dictatorial tendencies, but has continued to impose himself “as leader of any political party where he finds himself and uses his despotic powers to handpick candidates for elections.” “In 2003, he forced John Nwodo (Jnr.) and other presidential candidates in the then APP to step down for him, leading to the famous ‘I weep for Nigeria’ statement by Nwodo,” the PDP said. “In 2003, Buhari imposed himself and failed. In 2007 and 2011, he imposed himself and failed. If he imposes himself and his lackey Tinubu or Tinubu’s wife as running mate in 2015, he will also fail.” The statement also described Tinubu as a man lacking in democratic credentials, who therefore stands in no position to make comments on issues of internal democracy. The PDP declared: “Tinubu has been going around, making statements to portray himself as a hero of democracy from which imaginary pedestal he continues to vilify and accuse the PDP of working against Nigeria’s democra-
• PDP: Buhari, Tinubu are dictators • ACN: PDP instigating anarchy cy. “It is to say the least, rather pathetic that the opposition leader has failed to realise that Nigerians have since become fully aware of his double-faced nature, as he has continued to exhibit crass dictatorship in the leadership of the ACN and all ACN-controlled states.” The statement continued: “It is on record that the so-called democrat crowned himself the national leader of the ACN without recourse to appropriate democratic process. “It is also on record that Tinubu forced the former Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, to leave the Senate, despite his enviable performance, only to replace him with his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who has made no meaningful contribution since she got to the Senate more than two years ago, thereby depriving the good people of Lagos State effective representation in the Senate. “Nigerians have not forgotten how Tinubu recently imposed his daughter, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, who is not a full-time trader, to replace his late mother, Abibatu Mogaji, as President-General of the Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men.” The statement declared that Tinubu may wish to be reminded how he used his dictatorial powers to install his son- in-law, Mr. Oyetunde Oladimeji Ojo, as a member representing Ijero/Efon/Ekiti West of Ekiti State in the House of Representatives, while his daughter was imposed as a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly. “It is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians that Tinubu recently tried to bar a member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Bamidele Opeyemi from contesting the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State, a despotic act which was widely condemned across the country,” the PDP said. It added that, “Nigerians have not forgotten that the same man, who now parades himself as a champion of democracy, ran away in the heat of the military dictatorship, leaving the struggle for acclaimed statesmen such as Pa. Abraham Adesanya, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, among others, just to return at the end of the struggle to wangle his way to become Governor of Lagos State.” The party concluded that: “Buhari and Tinubu are united in dictatorship. It is on this pedestal that they are pursuing their merger to register
the All Progressives Congress, which manifesto betrays the fact that they have absolutely nothing to offer but desperate for power for their selfish gains. “We urge all lovers of democracy, especially those seeking elections on the platform of any party where the duo are in control, to wake up before it is too late, as there will not be any primaries to give them a level-playing ground to realise their dreams. “Nigerians in general should also note the antecedents of these politicians and their cronies and know that any government where they are allowed to hold sway will be a terrible government characterised by dictatorship, corruption and abuse of the right of Nigerians.” However, in a statement in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN said it was left with no choice than to reach its conclusion that the PDP was unrelenting in its determination to overheat the polity and set the country on fire. The party said it came to this deduction after a faction of the Rivers PDP, reportedly loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan, expelled the state Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, “at a time all people of goodwill were calling for a resolution of the lingering crisis.” It warned that the over-zealous ruling party’s sole interest is power, without caring about the responsibility that goes with it; hence, it must be checked through all constitutional means before it plunges the country into unmitigated chaos. ACN said while whatever transpires within the PDP is not its business, its (ACN’s) concern stems from the dangerous impact that the Rivers crisis can have on the polity, especially its implication for the country’s fledgling democracy, “to which most of the rabblerousers in the ongoing crisis contributed nothing.” “Because of the danger their actions pose for our polity, we are concerned that these trouble-makers are hell-bent on annihilating Governor Amaechi,” the ACN said. “Those who have accused us of crying more than the bereaved do not get it. We are, indeed, the bereaved once anything happens that can torpedo our democracy and destroy our country. “This is why we will also be unrelenting in calling on all Nigerians to call the puppets and
puppeteers in Rivers to order.” According to the party, “Needless to say, in the words of the Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka: ‘The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny’.” The ACN said the reasons that Amaechi has been targeted by his all-powerful enemies, who have used national institutions, including the police, against him, are his strenuous defence of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), which he chairs; his battle for his state and its people over their oil wells dispute with Bayelsa, which is in furtherance of his efforts to live up to his oath of office and constitutional responsibility, and his audacity in rejecting dictations from an unelected selfimportant personality on how he governs his state. “It is no longer news that Governor Amaechi, as the Chair of the NGF, exercised his mandate with dignity by fighting for true federalism, especially as it relates to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF),” the party said. “In the process, he ruffled some feathers. But those who are irked by his efforts should have known better than to stake the credibility of their high office on stopping, at all costs, Amaechi’s re-election. “They also forget that state governors are elected just like the President; that they are not subordinate to anyone and that nowhere in the Constitution is it said that governors must report to the President or agree with everything he proposes.” As for the allegation that “the Rivers governor failed to heed the instructions from high (though unelected) quarters that he MUST halt the demolition in Okrika,” the ACN declared: “We leave Nigerians to judge whether somebody occupying a post that is unknown to the Constitution can override one who is a creation of the Constitution... regarding that person’s constitutional mandate. “We leave it for Nigerians to determine whether a state governor, who is the Chief Security Officer of his state, should have no say over the security of the state, just because an overbearing ‘political’ police commissioner has assumed extra-powers at the behest of his puppeteers!” The ACN iterated its appeal to all people of goodwill not to keep silent while naked power is unleashed in Rivers State, warning that if the crisis spiraled out of control, the entire country would be the victim. “For us, this is not about politics. It is about the rule of law and the survival of our nation,” the party said.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
TheMetroSection Five die as another building collapses • Fire outbreak occurs on Victoria Island, Lagos
HE launch of an album by a T Canada-based upcoming gospel artiste, Prince K, entitled: Give God the Praise, holds on Saturday, July 27, at Jamaican Canadian Association Centre, 995, Arrow Road, Toronto, Canada at 5.00p.m. The event will feature Comedian Fred Bright and Francis Energy. Corporate sponsors include Mr. Adeniyi Balogun’s Divine Studios Ltd.; Topnotch Records; ICU Records, Money R’us and Suya Spot, Ottawa.
By Tope Templer Olaiya and Abdulwaheed Usamah RAGEDY struck yesterday as a two-storey building T under construction at 29 Ishaja Road, Surulere area of Lagos, collapsed killing five people and injuring others. Several people are also reported trapped under the rubble. A young girl identified as a bread hawker and some Hausa men who were working there as labourers were among the casualties. A resident of the area who spoke to The Guardian under anonymity said the building went down around 10am after the early morning downpour and three persons were immediately rescued by chance and rushed to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba. “I saw the collapse coming on the building. I knew the building would collapse about eleven months ago,” said one Mr Tajudeen Bello, another resident at Ishaga. Another eyewitness, Mr. Adewale Shobowale, said: “The kind of materials used for the construction was substandard. And the reason for this was that when we were rescuing the victims, with a single tap on the slabs, it breaks into rubbles.” Three others have been rescued according to National Emergency Management Agency officials and they have been rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). Prior to the fatal collapse of the building, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA) said it had warned the builders to desist and marked the structure unsafe. The agency said the warning followed its finding upon visits and inspection of the workmen, papers and materials used at the site. The General Manager of LABSCA, Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun Odunayo told reporters that the collapsed structure was one of those marked as unstable in the area. She said the agency warned the builders to desist about two months ago when her crew visited the area to inspect structures and orientate the residents about the vulnerability of their buildings. “We sealed it and asked them to stop building because
Briefs Gospel album launch
Special service at Praise Tabernacle HE Redeemed Christian T Church of God, Praise Tabernacle will on Friday hold its
The collapsed building yesterday...Inset is the building gutted by fire of the inferior materials they used and the personnel constructing it. However, afterwards, they broke our warning seal and what they did was to build on weekends, believing our agency would not find out on those days,” Mrs. Abimbola said. Established in Lagos state last year, the LABSCA, Mrs. Abimbola said, has marked several buildings throughout the State with warnings that the owners should carry out certain tests and vacate premises until reconstructed.” “The duration we give them to vacate and rebuild depends upon the seriousness of the structures’ weakness,” she said. She warned that other buildings throughout the area have also been marked, and more collapses are impending. Search and rescue and rescue efforts by men of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),
Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), fire service and other emergency rescue teams are still drilling for more victims who may still be Meanwhile, another 12-storey building at Ajose Adeogun on Victoria Island was gutted by fire but was put off in several efforts by men of the Lagos State Fire Service. According to the Lagos State Fire Service Director, Mr Abdulrasak Fadipe who briefed The Guardian about the incident, the fire started about 8am. The agency got emergency calls and arrived at the scene few minutes after the fire started. He said that only the first to the third floors of the building were affected, as the agency’s quick response in arresting the fire was able to safe others. He said investigation would be carried out to ascertain the cause of the fire outbreak.
‘I operated an account with fake name, documents’ • Serial fraudster, 22, arrested by SFU in Lagos, confesses By Odita Sunday SERIAL fraudster, Phillip Ikechukwu A Orji, aged 22, who specializes in defrauding unsuspected victims through cloned messages from Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) networks has been arrested by operatives of Special Fraud Unit, (SFU), Ikoyi The suspect, who indicted a new generation bank for not being able to detect when he opened a Savings Account in the bank with a fake name, address and documents, said he carried out his criminal activities freely unsuspected. The bubble burst when his latest victim, having parted with N10 million, alerted the Commissioner of Police in SFU, Mr. Tunde Ogunshakin, who ordered detectives to monitor him and arrest him inside the banking hall of the said bank, while he was about to withdraw more money from his account. On his arrest, Police spokesperson, The suspect: Orji Ngozi Isitume, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said as soon as the detectives tume said. got a petition from Mr. Steven, his vicOn how he perfected the deal, his lattim, they asked him to pay in some est victim, simply known as Steven, money into the bank account number aged 73, said that on September 16, 2052312003, that belongs to one 2011, he received a text message Ikechukwu Okafor, the suspect’s fake through his mobile phone supposedly name. from Airtel that he won N2million for “Phillip was picked just as he was about using up to N20, 000 airtime in two to withdraw the said amount from the weeks in their ongoing promo with account, which he opened with falsified batch number A17. documents in order to avert arrest. “I was sent a number, 08088664395 to “Initially, he claimed that he was an orspeak with one Mr. Femi Adams who phan and was surviving at the mercy of they introduced as a staff of Airtel. I friends who deceived him into allowing called Femi and he said that he is the them use his account for fraud. His true officer in-charge of the promo urging identity was later revealed when his me to forward my personal data to mother, who is a clergy, called the police that same number. I asked him what station demanding to speak with her he meant by personal data and he exson, Phillip. We are also interrogating plained that he was referring to my the bank officials to find out why name, address and state of origin, Ikechukwu was allowed to operate an bank and profession. I sent that inforaccount with false documents,” Isinmation to the number and the next
day, I received a text requesting me to send the name of the bank where the money will be deposited.” “They requested that I should call one, Mr. Ken Eze who is the account officer on 08132956960. I immediately called the man who requested that I am expected to pay 4.8 per cent of the amount that I won as Charge on Turnover, (COT), he added. “Excited Papa who retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, paid the sum of N264,200 into account number 0033313251 that belongs to one Eghobamen Agnes in Festac branch of GTB as requested. Shortly after the payment, Femi sent him a congratulatory message that his name has been listed on the final list. On the 9th of November, he received another text informing him that he would receive a voucher that will serve as his ticket into a gala night organized for the award.” Isintume said. According to Steven, “The next day, Femi called to inform me that the award night has been postponed because Airtel has expanded it to a national mega promo and that I have automatic ticket to participate in the draw as a promo winner.” He continued: “On May 23, 2012, the same Femi called me that the draw would be done that night and that he needed recharge card to enable him make calls to ensure that my ticket was never omitted. I sent N3, 000 recharge card to encourage him and on June 16, 2012, I received another text from Femi, that I have won another N350million in the ongoing Airtel at Club 10 urging me to contact one Mr. Tunde Alabi at the Airtel head office on 08089932304 for further details.” “When I contacted Tunde Alabi he told me that Airtel has selected two banks to handle its payments to various benefi-
ciaries. He told me that GTB is in charge of the promo while First Bank of Nigeria will handle the raffle draw. He told me that Airtel has paid the N350million into First Bank, and they advised me to keep in touch with the account officer on 07065947835. To be sure that I was still relating with the right persons, I called Femi and he told me that I would be expected to pay N2million as functional fee.” According to Pa Steven: “I called the account officer who confirmed what Femi told me. She introduced herself as Mbamalu Nnenna Ruth, and forwarded her first bank account number 3040173040, requesting that I should pay N2million. I went borrowing because I knew that with N350million, I do not need to rely on pension for the rest of my life. Few days after I made the payment, I received a text message from GTB as a reminder that I am yet to come and claim my money. I called Femi who advised me to contact my account officer who requested that I should pay N3million into account number 0051886627, which belongs to one Ikechukwu Orji. They kept demanding for one fee or the other and Femi who claims to be a staff of Airtel confirmed each transaction. I became worried when after one year; I was yet to lay my hands on money that I won. I confronted them and they demanded for another N4 million, it was at this point that I reported the matter to the police.” Meanwhile CP, SFU, Tunde Ogunsakin has called on Nigerians to make extra effort by visiting the office of companies carrying out promotions and personally confirm such promos. He promised to investigate any bank that fails to confirm the true identity of its prospective customers before allowing them access to their facilities.
Special Holy Ghost Service with the theme: The touch of God, at the church auditorium, Nos. 9, 10, and 12, Ebun Street, Lawanson Surulere, Lagos from 10.00p.m. till dawn. Pastor Amos Emovon will minister. Meanwhile, its Friendship Sunday holds on July 28, at the same veniue at 7.45a.m. and 10.00a.m. respectively.
Church holds Jacob’s Service July 31 HE monthly Jacob’s Service T of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Miracle Centre, holds on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 6.00p.m. at 19, Bello Folawiyo Crescent, off Ikosi Road, by Mr. Biggs in Ikosi/Isheri LCDA, Lagos State. Host is Pastor Abiodun A.D. Doherty.
Rotary Club of Omole Golden District installs new President AYODE Owolabi has asK sumed office as the 10th president of Rotary Club of Omole Golden District 9110. Speaking at the handing-over ceremony recently, the immediate Past President (IPP) of the club, Adebayo Oladipo, charged the new president to continue to uphold the tenets of the club and to ensure that the concept of community development, borne out of a desire to serve humanity, was promoted. While giving his acceptance speech, Owolabi reiterated his commitment to “provide leadership that will inspire people to achieve their utmost potential, while keeping in mind the club’s mission to promote the concept of service as a worthy endeavour, as well as seeing to the advancement of ethical practices that would serve the common good.” Owolabi emphasised the club’s theme for the year, which is: ‘Engage Rotary, Change Lives’.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22 , 2013
Head, Human Resources/Administration, FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd., Mrs. Olufola Wiltshire (left), Mrs. Olusola Taiwo of FSDH; Education Secretary, Lagos Island Local Council, Mr. Moshood O. Mayegun; Mrs. Olubukola Lanipekun-Lawal and Head Teacher, St. Mary’s Convent School, Ajele, Lagos Island, Mrs. A. A. Ogundimu and others during the presentation of computers to the school...
Participants at the international training for tertiary institution principal officers organised by HENMUEL Trainers Ltd. in partnership with Regenesys Business School, South Africa.
Court affirms Olumegbon’s ownership of Ajah land By Joseph Onyekwere USTICE Beatrice Oke-Lawal of Jbosere, the Lagos High Court, Ighas affirmed that the Conference awardees: Dame Lydia Ajoke Olojo (right), Chief Executive Officer, Bagco Manufacturing Co Nig. Plc., Sir Abiodun Ogunkoya and Sir Albert Abayomi Akinde at the 2013 Conference Awards Service of Methodist Church Nigeria at the Williams Memorial Cathedral Methodist Church, Ago-ijaye, Lagos
Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Culture and Tourism, Ladi Kayode (left), the Ataoja of Oshogboland, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji and Category Manager, Grand Oak Ltd., Abiodun Ayodeji at the 2013 Osun Oshogbo press briefing in Lagos PHOTO: SUNDU AKINLOLU
Olumegbon family is the rightful owners and overlords of Ajah and Okun-Ajah lands in Lagos. The judge made the declaration in her judgement delivered on suit number ID/2638/01 filed by one Chief Taiwo Elemoro against Apostle Abai Olarewaju and four others. Referring to the judgement of Supreme Court in suit number SC/148/1997 delivered on December 9, 2002, Justice OkeLawal held that the Ojupon and Ogunsemo families of Ajah recognised and accepted Chief Olumegbon (second defendant) as overlord of Ajah and agreed to disclose to Chief Olumegbon the land sold or leased and amount collected. The court further held that evidence of the defendant witnesses was that members of the claimant’s family were not there throughout the procedure for excision hence the claimant failed to provide evidence of his involvement. The claimant had in his originating processes prayed the court for a declaration that the parcel of land measuring 23.43 hectares of land forming Ajiwe village Excision published in Lagos State official Gazette No. 9 Vol. 29 of March 28, 1996 belong exclu-
sively to him and that any purported sale of the said land should be declared null and void. But, the first defendant (Apostle Olarewaju) in his counter claim also urged the court to declare him as rightful owner of the land in dispute. However, Justice Oke-Lawal in her judgement held that neither the claimant nor the first defendant satisfied the court that they are entitled to the reliefs sought. On the relief sought by the claimant, the court held: “In the case before me, the claimant failed to call witnesses to buttress his claim. He failed to adduce credible evidence as to the root of title he pleaded and as to the devolution of the tile claimed from his ancestor to him”. The court further held that the evidence of the claimant was vague as he failed to plead the genealogy to disclose a continuous chain of devolution. Justice Oke-Lawal stated that based on the weight of evidence before the court, the family of the claimant cannot be said to be settlers or founder of the land in dispute. The court ruled: “The evidence of the witness for the claimant conflicts with the evidence of the claimant as he stated clearly that his family gave the claimant’s family
land. The claimant’s denial is weakened even by his own evidence that he met the Ogunsemo family and he asked for their blessing to be on the land. The evidence of their witness that Ogunsemo family gave them the land is supported by the evidence of the defendant witness. I therefore find that the evidence before me does not establish the averment of the claimant that his family found the land”, the court held. On the counter-claim filed by the first defendant, the court held that it was cleared that the first defendant failed to place before the court credible evidence to substantiate his claims as stated in his counter claim. The court held that the onus and burden on the claimant to satisfy the court on his evidence that he is entitled to a declaration of title also applied to the first defendant. ‘‘In conclusion, I find that the claimant has failed to establish their claim and the claimant’s claim fails in its entirety and is accordingly dismissed. Also the 1st defendant failed to establish his claim in the counter claim, there is no evidence to support the counter claim. It therefore fails and is accordingly dismissed’’. Meanwhile, the claimant has approached the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division to set aside the judgement.
Honeywell organises cooking competition for NYSC members Pastor George Rene Udoh (second right) and wife, former Miss Margaret Archibong Etim, Head of Corporate Services, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, Mr. Harrison Henry Etim (right) and Pastor Joseph Anderson after their Efik Traditional Marriage at Ishie Town, Calabar, Cross River State …. recently
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (second right), Chairman Agege Local Council, Jubreel Ayodeji Abdulkareem (left), Commissioner, Ministry of the Environment, Lagos State, Mr. Tunji Bello and Special Adviser totheme: Green is Peace in Lagos.
PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON
By Toyosi Ajayi HE Batch B National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members currently undergoing orientation at the Iyana Ipaja, Lagos State camp were recently entertained with brain-teasing and cooking competition exercises by Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. The competition, which involved select members of each platoon, saw Miss Ogundipe Olusanyo of Platoon Seven emerge overall best cook, carting home a fridge with N30, 000 cash. Explaining the rationale for the event, Director, Marketing, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Mr. Benson Evbuomwan reiterated the company’s readiness to continuously invest in youth development and engagement activities, saying such action would bring out the best in Nigeria’s future leaders and make them more focused and ambitious. According to him, Honeywell will continue to pro-
mote cooking talents among the youths, saying such will bring out their unique skills with a view to equipping them for future challenges. It will also endear them early enough to the company’s products by making them Honeywell Ambassadors. “We are looking beyond today. Our expectation is in the long run. These are prospective mothers and fathers who will be opinion moulders in their respective families. They will virtually
be Honeywell Ambassadors as they have affinity with the products already. Besides, we are doing this to also lift the social activities in the camp so that the corpers’ stay will not remain boring”, he said. The company, which produces Superfine Flour, Whole Wheat Meal, Semolina, Brown Flour, Honeywell Noodles, Spaghetti and Macaroni, has successfully completed its expansion projects with addition of two mills to its existing plant in its Apapa, Lagos fac-
Tiger Brands fetes children IGER Brands, the owners of T Dangote Noodles, Delifoods and Dangote Pasta, recently organised a party for over 3500 children from 55 schools in Lagos. The gesture was perceived as an effort to give back to the children who are the major consumers of its products. Speaking at the funfair held
at Dangote complex, EbuteIkorodu, the Managing Director, Tiger Brands, Mr. Vasu Moodley said that all children should be treated equals and given equal opportunities. He added that the programme was organised to see the children come together and give them a sense of belonging in the society.
14 | THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 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 Rivers and the shape of things unwanted S the political crisis in Rivers State A persists, it is pertinent to note that democracy is not just under an assault, it is now being put to the kind of shame that threatens its existence. Inadvertently or not the fact remains that the demonization of democracy is now complete with the recent violence in the Rivers House of Assembly. With this comes a predilection for unsavoury consequences. Reason must, therefore, prevail so that history, with its wrenching pain, is not relived. The First Republic, after all, began its journey into infamy and demise from just one part of the country, the Western Region. Against this background, all Nigerians must say enough is enough. The Federal Government, an embarrassingly obvious partisan in the crisis, stands out in ignominy and President Goodluck Jonathan as well as certain members of his family, having shown that they are also involved, should put Nigeria above all else and end this needless inflammation of an already heated polity. The violent clash between factions of the Rivers State House of Assembly was an unmistakable act of barbarism for which the legislators should be brought to book. As though possessed by a malevolent spirit, they turned the hallowed chamber of the House into a turf for bloody clashes. It began when five members of the 32member Assembly opposed to the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, after procuring a fake mace, decided to take charge of the House. Before the ‘sitting’, a mild fisticuff between majority leader Chidi Lloyd and Evans Bipi, the member representing Ogu-Bolo Constituency, ignited a free-for-all, in which the mace, camera tripod and other materials became weapons of battery and assault. Before long, the walls and floor of the chamber had been painted with blood as more than a few members had lacerated bodies and broken skulls. In a ‘kangaroo’ sitting, later, the fivemember Assembly ridiculously claimed to have impeached the Speaker, Otelema Dan Amachree, suspended 15 members of the House, and then ‘elected’ Evans Bipi as the new Speaker. In the consequent resistance by 23 pro-Amaechi legislators, another fracas broke out until Governor Amaechi himself and his security team came to quell the situation. Certainly, no modicum of morality or iota of legality supports this act. It was senseless, unimaginable, disgraceful and devoid of any perfunctory exaggeration. That event was nothing short of a desecration of the hallowed chambers of the State House of Assembly and a smear on an institution that symbolises the people’s will through representation. Given the effrontery and brazen brutality with which the lawmakers violently engaged one another, this unbridled barbarism, a remotely controlled continuation of the battle of ego between the Presidency-backed Abuja politicians and
the Port-Harcourt-based ones, is all the more sickening because it is not over any edifying ideal or the interest of the people, but mere personal aggrandisement and struggle for access to power. And the tragedy is: if these actors are the ones representing the people, then the people are doomed! Given the prevalence of anti-democratic violence within Nigerian political parties, and the erroneous assumption that legislators can take refuge in the immunity granted by Section 22 and 23 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, enlightened jurisprudence suggests that the gross illegality put up by the members of the Rivers State House of Assembly needs to be painstakingly identified to them. The laws of the land are clear about a case of assault of a legislator by another legislator. Expressing the criminal nature of assault and other legally reprehensible conduct in the House, the same Act states that: “Any member of a Legislative House who assaults or obstructs a member of the Legislative House within the Chamber or precincts of the House; or assaults or obstructs any officer of the Legislative House while in the execution of his duty shall be guilty of contempt of the Legislative House.” It goes further to say that, “Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to preclude the bringing of proceedings, civil or criminal, against any member in respect of any act or thing done contrary to the law.” Like the gratuitous recourse to immunity, the warped ‘arithmetic of democracy’ conjured by the five members of the House is so ridiculous that it raises questions on the quality of minds operating the nation’s democracy! While Section 96(1) of the Constitution provides that “the quorum of a House of Assembly shall be one third of all the members of the House”, Section 92(2)(c) demands that the resolution of no less than twothird majority of members of the House is required to remove a Speaker from office. It is an advertisement of the nadir to which little minds who find themselves in power would want to bring Nigeria that five out of 32, nowhere near a third or two-third of members of the House, would purport to impeach a Speaker. This abysmal degeneration of standards and absence of stately comportment displayed by persons who, by authority and common trust are supposed to be custodians of the law, is hugely disturbing. This feeling is heightened by the culture of impunity, which gives vent to incessant high level official rascality and dubious unconstitutional devices deployed in the steering of the state. Coupled with these is the inbreeding of mediocre politicians, who, willfully or ignorantly, lack the requisite knowledge, capacity or temperament for governance. It is a sad commentary that this crisis is not about any well-formulated ideology or philosophy to transform Rivers State,
but rather a rampage over self-aggrandizement and personality cult: one group supporting the governor and another opposing him. The supercilious silence of the Federal Government is, of course, worrisome. Apart from the Inspector-General’s summoning of Mr. Amaechi’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Aide-de-camp (ADC), and the House of Representatives’ immature proposal to take over Rivers House of Assembly, there has been no Federal Government intervention. This is the height of insensitivity. Given the known fact of the Federal Government’s complicity in the entire crisis, it should now live with the accusation of actually actively fanning the embers to work it up into a conflagration that would make emergency rule, believed to be its desire, an inevitable recourse. The Federal Government cannot gloss over or exonerate itself from the crisis in Rivers State. It must judiciously wade into the crisis and exorcise itself of any partisanship and complicity. To demonstrate the heavy weight of the law on this issue, all erring legislators should be prosecuted. The police high command should also remove the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, whose actions have grossly compromised his effectiveness in the crisis rocking the state. Nigerians should not be fooled by any claims of neutrality by the Rivers State Police Command headed by Mbu. Being the temple of law making, the chamber of the House of Assembly is a sanctuary. It is a conclave of reflection and
deep thinking, where the finer subtleties of the human intellect are expected to be deployed for the common good. It is where the purifying fire of reason should moderate passions and base emotions, where the roadmap for the destiny of the state is freely, consciously, selflessly and objectively scripted into laws. The invidious animalism displayed by the Rivers legislators negates all that law and morals stand for; and it is a telling lesson to the Nigerian people. As it obtains in all the political parties, the current corps of politicians have unabashedly demonstrated to Nigerians that the political class cannot change anything, let alone change Nigeria. They can’t even change themselves! The nation’s salvation, it would seem, does not rest in the hands of this band of mendacious self-seekers. No index of positive continuity, let alone a transformation agenda, can emanate from such insensitivity as is being witnessed today. By this costly revelation, the Nigerian people should be watchful over the quality of persons who seek their votes at all levels of government. They should be wary of untested sinecurists without demonstrable leadership capacity, selfseeking pests whose only quest is to feast on the commonwealth, little minds in high places who have no patience for the finer acts of democracy. The battle to save Nigeria would begin when Nigerians thoroughly interrogate the character of those who want to lead them and, for recruitment into leadership positions, they build a better purifying mechanism that can keep out the
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Business Robust policy support imperative for promotion of local raw materials’ sourcing /54
Govt unfolds $2.9 trillion PPP infrastructure development agenda By Ade Ogidan, Business Editor ENCEFORTH, expenditure profile of the nation’s infrastructure development programme would rise from the current three to five per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to an average of nine per cent, over the next 30 years. The spending agenda, scripted to achieve the long-term National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), also put expenditure on infrastructure maintenance at an estimated two per cent of the GDP. Specifically, the Minister of
• Private sector to foot 48 per cent of the bill • BSG presents report on NIIMP National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman said yearly investment in infrastructure “will have to rise to $25 billion (about seven per cent of the GDP from the current $9 billion to $10 billion (about four per cent of the GDP).” The overall profile, according to Usman, would be over $2.9 trillion, over the 30-year period. However, about 48 per cent of the bill is expected to be picked up by the private sector part-
ners, under the initiative. The minister made these disclosures at the formal presentation of the report prepared by the Business Support Group (BSG), to the Federal Government at the weekend. The report, which was the strategic input of the private sector operators into the NIIMP, also prescribed funding options for the facility development and upgrade agenda. Essentially, the minister described the BSG’s report as a
“harvest from the private sector, its perception of the required enabling environment, as well as the specific actions required to achieve it.” According to Usman, there is no gainsaying the fact that the current infrastructure stock in the country is grossly inadequate to meet the demands of the economy. It is clear that we cannot grow the economy at the desired rate, reduce poverty to an appreciable level and create jobs in sufficient quantity for our teeming youths, given the current state of our infrastructure. “More directly, inadequate
infrastructure is one of the main reasons responsible for Nigeria’s inability to compete effectively, in a highly competitive global economy. While we ranked 115 in the overall World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Ranking, we ranked 130 out of 144 countries in 2012/2013. “It is this state of affairs that called for drastic action where, in line with the priorities of the transformation agenda, Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, directed the National Planning Commission (NPC) to coordinate the development of the NIIMP for Nigeria. We have been working in the last 12 months to accomplish this national assignment.” He explained that “the draft NIIMP has been produced and will be presented at validation workshops in the six geo-political zones and subsequently to the National Assembly, Economic Management Team and the National Economic Council. It will be presented finally to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and approval, for implementation
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Co-Chairman, Business Support Group (BSG), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede (left); Minister of Information and Communication Technology/ Vice Chairman, National Planning Commission, Mrs Omobola Johnson; Chairman, BSG, Oba Otudeko; and Minister of National Planning/Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman at the handover of the National integrated Infrastructure Master plan by BSG to the Federal Government, at the weekend.
Analysts project unchanged benchmark rate ahead of MPC’s meeting today By Bukky Olajide and Chijioke Nelson COCKTAIL of permutations A and high expectations over what will become of the nation’s lending rates may have taken centre stage of discourse among Nigerians ahead of the 223rd meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The meeting, slated for today and tomorrow, will among other things, dwell more on the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), which appeared to have defied economic theories in respect of inflation level vis-àvis interest rate and has remained stagnant at 12 per cent for over 18 months. Analysts have already expressed pessimism about the committee members’ capa-
bility to translate the numbers to achieve the requisite rate cut. They therefore, expect the committee to maintain the MPR at 12 percent and the corridor at +/-200bp. Already, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in its Economic Report for May, explained that the headline inflation rate for the month on a year-on-year basis, was nine per cent, a 0.1 percentage point below the level in the preceding month, while the inflation rate on a 12month moving average basis was 10.8 per cent, compared with the preceding month’s level of 11.1 per cent. But the speculations are now heightened as the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, recently said the current MPR would be
raised further with 2015 election spending at the corner. According to him, if government spendings were not curtailed, especially with the elections in 2015, the benefits of the expenditure curbs would be fruitless and CBN may raise the benchmark interest rate. There are fears now, going by Sanusi’s prognoses, how much the system has accumulated with political spendings, intrigues and other arrangements towards the 2015 elections. The Director –General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Muda Yusuf, while expressing disappointment over the lingering high MPR, said he was not optimistic over a positive outcome tomorrow. “I personally, have given up on the issue. CBN does not share
our position on the need to shift ground and from all indications, if anything is going to come out tomorrow, it might be increament. “There is always a trade-off in any economic policy. It all depends on where the policy is directed. But the high cost of credit for a very long period of time has not at all helped the real sector,” he said. According to the Consolidated Discount House research, at the May meeting, the committee uncharacteristically raised “concerns over the low level of credit growth to the private sector and traced this to the crowding out effect of high growth in credit to the public sector”. It said further that raising the benchmark rate now would be
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Oil prices cap fourth weekly gain, surpasses Brent Crude EST Texas Intermediate W capped a fourth weekly gain as the U.S. economy showed signs of recovery and crude inventories dropped. WTI exceeded Brent for the first time since 2010 in intraday trading. Prices settled at a 16-month high as Moody’s Investors Service revised the U.S.’s Aaa credit-rating outlook to stable from negative. Crude supplies tumbled 27.1 million barrels in three weeks ended July 12, the most in weekly statistics dating to 1982. WTI surpassed Brent by three cents as pipeline and rail shipments helped clear a U.S. bottleneck. WTI for August delivery, which expires on July 22, settled up one cent at $108.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest level since March 19, 2012. Trading was 28 per cent above the 100-day average for the time of day at 2:48 p.m. Prices increased 2 per cent this week, extending July’s gain to 12 per cent. The more-active September contract advanced 6 cents to $107.87. Brent for September settle-
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Analysts project unchanged benchmark rate CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
Chief Executive officer, Institute of Marketing Management, South Africa, Peter Bezuidenhoudt (left); President/Chairman of Council, National Institute Marketing of Nigeria, Ganiyu Koledoye and Vice President African Marketing Confederation, Nigel Tattesall during an announcement of Ganiyu Koledoye as the Vice-President of African Marketing Confederation in Lagos. PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
Venture equity capital institutions for MSMEs underway By Ade Ogidan HE Federal Government has T unfolded plans to fast-track the establishment of vibrant and efficient venture and equity capital organisations that will facilitate provision and access to cheap funds for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said this during the launch of the National Enterprise Development Programme
... Govt inaugurates NEDEP, MSME councils in Ogun (NEDEP) and inauguration of the Ogun State Council on MSMEs in Abeokuta, last week. The programme, which was organised by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), in partnership with the Ogun State government, is in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan. Aganga said: “We want to build a new sector called venture capital and private equity
sector to support small and growing businesses in Nigeria. “Very soon, you will see some changes in our laws and regulations that will promote the development of venture capital organisations that will provide equity, debt capital and business support services to those sectors.” The minister noted that the inauguration of SME councils at the state levels would enable both the federal and state governments to identify the peculiar challenges facing MSMEs in each state and then fashion out workable strategies to holistically address them. “We are currently changing the structure of MSMEs development in the country. One of our new initiatives is the development of the National Enterprise Development Programme. NEDEP is being spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and its three parastatals - the Bank of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agen cy of Nigeria and the Industrial Training Fund. “This is the first time ever that
these three parastatals under my ministry are coming together to develop and implement a programme that will revolutionise the growth of the MSME sector in Nigeria. “In terms of the new structure of MSMEs in Nigeria, I want to see a situation where we can have SME Councils in every state of the federation. We launched the first one in Kano (in the North), two weeks ago, while Ogun State is the first one we are launching in the South West. “The State SME Councils will have representatives of the federal and state governments, trade associations and members of the Organised Private Sector as members. The reason for having State SME councils is to enable us understand the peculiar challenges that MSMEs are facing at the grassroots level and see how we can work together to address them holistically.” Aganga reiterated that the next item on the plan was to come up with a National Policy that would require the government and the private sector to patronise registered MSMEs. “This is because the government and the private sector are the major drivers of expenditure. Therefore, I believe that if
we all work together, we will be able to leverage MSMEs to make the desired positive impact on the lives of the Nigerian people whom we are called to serve,” he noted. Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said that the development and growth of the MSME sector was critical to the country’s overall economic development, adding that his state would partner the Federal Government to fasttrack the growth of the sector. He said: “I want to specially and publicly thank the Honourable Minister, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, for the excellent work he is doing to develop the MSMEs sector in Nigeria. Also I want to commend him for all the support he has been giving us to help industrialise Ogun State. “There is no doubt that MSMEs are the cornerstone for a successful industrialisation process. The best way to create jobs, generate wealth and transform the Nigerian economy is to get the MSMEs sector to be active and working. We will continue to work together with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in order to achieve our cardinal objectives of creating jobs and generating wealth for our people.”
Oil prices cap fourth weekly gain CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 ment slipped 63 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to end the session at $108.07 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. Volume was 1.1 per cent above 100-day average. The contract fell below WTI in intraday trading for the first time since Aug. 17, 2010. Brent settled at a 20cent premium to the U.S. benchmark. “Improved economic conditions here in the United States continue to boost the market,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “We have a tightening supply outlook. The Brent-WTI spread has
moved a lot. Nothing seems to be able to stop it.” Growth in the U.S. economy, “while moderate,” is proceeding even as the country has enacted tax increases and spending reductions that have improved the nation’s debt trajectory, Moody’s said on Thursday in a statement. Moody’s assigned the negative outlook in August 2011, warning of a possible downgrade on concern that fiscal discipline was eroding and the economy was weakening. “We had a little bit of a risk-on trade based on economic outlook,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Inventories have come down
a lot.” U.S. crude stockpiles dropped to 367 million barrels last week, the lowest level since Jan. 18, the Energy Information Administration reported July 17. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the biggest oil-storage hub, decreased 882,000 barrels to 46.1 million, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. The convergence between Brent, a pricing benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, and WTI shows how better pipeline networks and the use of rail have helped to unlock a supply glut at Cushing. WTI, the bellwether U.S. crude, had typically been the more expensive grade until mid-2010.
counterproductive to this concern since the MPR has far reaching consequences on market rates. However, the analysts saw the MPR exploring other policy options to increase the stability of the local currency. “We believe that if staff forecasts and outlook turn out to be persuasive enough to warrant further tightening, the committee may tilt towards adjusting the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), which is currently at 12 per cent.” Analysts also anticipate that the apex bank may be induced to synchronise the midpoint of its +/- three per cent FX band from the current N155 to the N160 levels of the 2013 FGN fiscal budget assumptions. The mid-point of the local currency was adjusted downwards from N150 to N155 in September 2010 when the naira faced similar pressures. From the minutes of the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, the forward guidance of the Central Bank indicates that the headline inflation will remain in the single digit range for the second half of the year.
Private sector to foot 48 per cent of the bill CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 to start in 2014.” He added: “The NIIMP is a 30year master plan for accelerating infrastructure development in the country. It focuses on core infrastructure, including energy (power and oil and gas), transport (roads, rail, ports and airports), housing, water and ICT. Other infrastructure classes include agriculture, mining, social infrastructure, vital registration and security. “The draft NIIMP contains a long term vision that sets the overall direction for the master plan and strategic objectives, such as per capita income and GDP growth. It also describes the overall investments required in infrastructure, over the next 30 years and contains a financing plan and sector and regional strategies, as well as a priority projects portfolio. As an actionable plan, the NIIMP also highlights enablers for implementation and an implementation plan.” Chairman of BSG, Oba Otudeko also acknowledged that “clearly, critical sectors of our national life suffered unforgiveable neglect for many years, culminating in the inadequate level of social infrastructure very much noticeable on the eve of the fourth republic. “Undoubtedly, efforts at developing social infrastructure in our country to the levels obtainable in the developed world must be holistic, strategic and concerted. “As a 30-year long term planning tool for implementing infrastructure programmes to meet the peoples’ demand for infrastructure services, the NIIMP is a most welcome development and we must applaud the National Planning Commission (NPC) and the Federal Government for such a laudable initiative.” The minister acknowledged
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Champion Breweries may restart plant soon By Helen Oji HE management of T Champion Breweries Plc has assured its stakeholders
Manager, Etisalat Experience Centre, Ikeja Mall, Firdausi Okezie (left) winner of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) in the ongoing Etisalat FC Barcelona Promo, Temitope Ayeni and Manager, Mass Market Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Nnamdi Ezeani, at the Etisalat FC Barcelona Promo 1st Prize Presentation in Lagos on 08/7/2013 PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
that the weekend fire incident at its factory in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State will not affect normal operations of the company. The fire, which affected the warehouse section of the company, was brought under control with the quick response of the Akwa Ibom State Fire Service, Julius Berger Plc and some private water distribution companies operating in the state. Although the extent of damage is yet to be quantified, a statement by the management said investigation is in progress to unravel the cause of the incident, adding that which no casualty was recorded in the incident. “Management regrets the fire incident but assures the public that normal operation is not affected while leaving no stone unturned to unravel the cause and prevent a recurrence”, said the statement by Acting Managing Director, Chandhari Milind.
Firm urges govt to create agro scheme to promote long-term loans to farmers …Laments neglect of fruit, vegetable industry By Helen Oji N indigenous firm, A Primlaks Group Limited, has urged government at all levels to create farmers agroscheme to enable them secure affordable long-term loans to expand production capacity, at a single digit interest rate. Besides, there is a need for government to collaborate with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to ensure that an agro skill is created for fruits and vegetables. The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ravi Hemnani, in a chat with The Guardian, at the AGRIKEXPO exhibition, held in Lagos recently, lamented the neglect of fruit and vegetable industry. He expressed the need for government to partner with international development agencies like USAID to replicate the revival of the cassava
industry to the fruit and vegetable sector. He pointed out that while agro skill was being set up to boost production in some food crops, there was no inclusion of fruit and vegetable production. He urged government to extend the scheme to the fruit and vegetable industry to increase productivity, as well as develop and expand postharvest processing and storage of the food item. “We need affordable agric loan for long-term finance at a single digit interest rate. Government should set up farm agro scheme and provide accessible road network to farmers especially in the rural areas to enhance transportation of food items. “Our major challenge is mainly from the supply chain, to get the quantity and right specification s of fruit and vegetable. We need about 30,000 tones of various raw materials for our production
requirement. “We would also like to partner with FMAD and Nigerian banks that finance agriculture that already have data base for farmers and familiar with agro schemes.” Hemnani, whose business is majorly on food, shelter and distribution of solar lights, said the company has a target of improving about 100 million lives and create 11,000 jobs by the year 2020.
Standard Chartered hosts entrepreneurs Chartered has Sin TANDARD hosted 14 African Chairmen Mumbai and Dehli at the bank’s yearly Africa Chairmen’s Conference, to consolidate its position on both sides of the rapidly expanding Africa-India trade and investment corridor. According to a statement, given the bank’s commitment to use its unique global footprint to support, promote and grow economically, India was chosen, to enhance trade and investment corridors with Africa. Last year, the Chairmen were hosted in China, another of the bank’s well-established growth markets and key trading partners for Africa. The forum offered participants first-hand insight into the motivating factors behind India’s economic development, an understanding of the bank’s India expansion strategy, as well as strategic business networking with influential government, industry and private sector leaders based in Dehli and Mumbai. “India-Africa, trade now stands at about $57 billion and is predicted to increase to $90 billion by 2015. Indian corporates are seeking higher margin returns as their domestic market becomes more competitive and Africa is one continent which presents such upside opportunity.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
EY survey assesses banking reforms, warns on complacency By Chijioke Nelson REPORT by EY, formerly A Ernst & Young, said that the nation’s efforts in the financial system’s reform were commendable, as there had been a remarkable recovery, especially in the banking system. The report, titled: “Banking in Emerging Markets- Seizing Opportunities, Overcoming Challenges,” noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention and the recapitalisation programme, had improved corporate governance and regulatory oversight in the banks. The Director, Banking and Capital Markets, EY, Steven Lewis, who unveiled the report, said that the adoption of international accounting standards, which seemed to be a key activity for the next year, had also left Nigeria’s banks significantly stronger. Lewis said that there were indications that customers expected their banks’ performance to improve over next year, with respondents being positive about the banking outlook for almost all business lines, which also stemmed from positive expectations for the economy. The majority of respondents expect the economy to continue improving, which in turn has fed expectations of increased demand across a range of retail and corporate banking products. “However, having witnessed a recent resurgence in kidnappings and pipeline vandalism by extremists, respondents are worried about the threats to the economy from a lack of security, as well as a lack of adequate infrastructure. “More immediate threats to banks’ performance from non-performing loans are emerging too and banks will be increasingly focused on credit risk over the next year, despite expectations of contin-
ued lending growth. While the majority of respondents expect provisions for loan losses to fall next year, they do not want to be caught out by rapid credit growth and declining asset quality, as banks will also need to focus on improving efficiency. He said that the financial crisis that led to consolidation and mergers in the banking sector, with further consolidation in view was yet to manifest gains through efficiencycutting costs and streamlining of processes. Lewis said that deposit growth was key to retail banking and that despite challenges all banks are planning to expand their distribution channels and services, branch networks and recruit additional staff across the country. The report also noted that all banks are focused on streamlining processes to reduce this reliance on staff, seek new revenue streams, with few considering investments in technology, as they become increasingly concerned about maintaining returns on equity. With the Nigerian economy heavily dependent on oil, it is unsurprising that banks are particularly optimistic about lending to the energy sector, however, with increasing wary of credit risks. There were also expectations of growth in lending for infrastructure projects over the next year, with public-private partnerships (PPP) becoming increasingly popular way to finance infrastructure programmes like hydropower and bridges. However, “with such an increase in demand anticipated for corporate lending and project finance, domestic banks, especially those outside the top tier, may struggle to raise sufficient deposits to fund this growth, as deposits would be small to plug the funding gap.
Enterprise Bank launches product for varsity workers NTERPRISE Bank Limited E has launched new product known as the “University Staff Cluster Loan,” in its ongoing efforts to provide services to customers operating in different levels of the society. The product, which was designed to avail staff of Nigerian universities both academic and non-academic staff personal loans, will enable them to bridge financial gaps at discounted interest rates. Also, the bank said in a statement that subscribers to the loan would stand a chance of accessing funds of between a minimum of N250, 000 and a maximum of N5 million, with a repayment period of up to three years. Beside, the product will allow lecturers, especially, professors, to access the loan even at the age 65 years. In a statement signed by the bank’s Head, Corporate Communications, Olusola Longe-Okenimkpe, the subscriber could access the loan ahead of transferring the preferred salary account to Enterprise Bank. In addition, beneficiaries of the unique financial support from Enterprise Bank will also
enjoy credit life insurance on their facility, which will protect their families from liabilities in the event of death.
Renaissance Credit opens new outlet in Lagos ENAISSANCE Credit R Nigeria, the international consumer finance company has opened an outlet at Kings Plaza, Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere, few weeks after obtaining a state licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The development marks the beginning of roll out of outlets, as the company plans to increase its presence all over the state to meet the needs of consumers through its simple money solutions. The simple money solution include cash loans between N50, 000 and N500, 000 in 24 hours, Point of Sale loans to purchase household appliances and electronics at various retail outlets in the state and savings products, which come with attractive interest rates.
Managing Consultant, Stern and Kay Consultants, Mrs. Kate Iketubosun (left), Managing Director, Heritage Bank Limited, Ifie Sekibo, Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Nneka Okekearu and Chief Executive Officer, Nextzone, Augustine Edet, during the launch of the bank’s Micro Small, Medium Enterprise (MSME) clinic, in Lagos, at the weekend.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Stanbic IBTC re-strategises for retail banking services By Helen Oji and Funmi Jaiyeoba TANBIC IBTC Plc has unfoldSposition, ed plans to strengthen its as well as play a sig-
Production Director, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Dr. Nino Ozara (right); Executive Vice-Chairman, Babatunde Odunayo; and Director of Marketing, Benson Evbuomwan, during the Baking School Certificate Award Ceremony, in Lagos at the weekend. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON
nificant role in the retail banking business to enhance competitiveness and make it more attractive to customers. The Regional Head, Western Region, PBB Africa, Standard Bank, Lincoln Mali, while addressing Journalists on the bank’s retail strategy in Nigeria, explained that the bank’s major focus currently was to combine its growing local market expertise with the international connections that come from belonging to the Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank, to grow its retail business segment and make it more profitable for the bank. He said this would be achieved through creating innovative product offerings and exceptional customer
value services to enable it explore available opportunities inherent in the segment, even at the quickest possible time. He expressed the bank’s resolve to replicate the successes achieved in retail banking in South Africa to Nigeria, adding that “our strategy is to build a strong retail banking by expanding the range of our products and services to make them available to all segments of society. “For now, our biggest focus is to get the retail part of the business profitable and to achieve this, we have to consider how cost effective is it for customers to get into banking with us, whether the channels are closer to them and making banking simple for customers. “The plan is to work with my colleagues in Nigeria to make people see the bank as a retail business because our history is much known in commercial, corporate banking and pensions. You will see some innovations and we would do things that are very different to make us more competitive and focused in the business.” On retail lending, Mali explained that plains are already on foot to make the retail business strong in terms of lending, adding that the bank has concluded plans to strengthen its UBR product, which, according to him is an existing retail loan for customers. He added that the bank had broadened its presence in Nigeria through a rapid branch expansion project designed to make its products and services accessible to most Nigerians, wherever they are located in the country. “We are strong in retail lending in South Africa, we would be strong in Nigeria. We have a product already but we want to improve the loan to make it more accessible and well known to more people. “Our aim is not to have the biggest branch network in Nigeria but to have the best branch network by making sure we are where the customers are, give them the right services, as well as put the right people in place to enhance efficiency,” he said.
EMP sponsors AITEC forum MERGING Markets E Payments (EMP) featured as a platinum sponsor at the AITEC Banking & Mobile Banking West Africa 2013 conference, a two-day event held at the Accra International Conference Center, Ghana. The Managing Director, EMP West Africa, Tunde Coker, in his keynote address on converting the African economy from cash to electronic payments, called on leaders in Africa to embrace the cash-less option to boost the continent’s economy. But the Chairman EMP, Paul Edwards, said: “Just as the countries of Africa are dynamically changing and developing, so is the payment card industry. EMP is delighted to participate in AITEC 2013 as a platinum sponsor, particularly as an event of this caliber offers a vibrant regional platform to discuss trends and issues affecting the industry. “As EMP continues to grow its business across Africa, we look forward to seizing similar opportunities to strengthen our ties with partners and industry leaders.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
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InvestmentWatch Managing Investment Risk Introduction HILE it is impossible to eliminate all risk in making investment decisions, understanding risk is one of the most important parts of financial education. The volatility of the financial market confers on risk management a far more important position than making profit, because “money cannot be made when it is being continually lost”. Risk is predominantly thought about in negative terms, as something to be avoided or a threat that investors hope will not materialize. However, risk is inseparable from performance represented by either loss or gain, and rather than being desirable or undesirable, it is simply necessary in the investment world. In this edition of INVESTMENT ONE education series, we will highlight the cardinal principles that can serve as a road map for investors seeking to effectively manage their risk profile and maximize investment gains. The starting point to understanding investment risk begins with understanding your personal profile as an investor and devoting time to performing due diligence test, this goes a long way in ensuring proper risk management processes are put in place. Risk Risk is a fundamental idea in finance that an investment's actual return will be different than expected. It is a deviation from an expected outcome that can be expressed in absolute terms or relative to something else like a market benchmark. It includes the possibility of losing some or all of the original investment and the compensation it provides for investors willing to take additional risk for greater returns. Different versions of risk are usually measured by calculating the standard deviation of the historical returns or average returns of a specific investment. High standard deviation indicates a high degree of risk. A key component of the risk management process is risk assessment, which involves the determination of the risks surrounding a business or investment. Types of Risk For an investor seeking to apply financial risk management techniques, a good understanding of the traditional sources of risk causing variability in returns is necessary. These can be categorized into the following: Market Risk Market risk also referred to as systemic risk, is the part of total risk that cannot be eliminated or reduced, no matter how well an investor diversifies his or her portfolio. Virtually all securities have some systemic risk, whether bonds or stocks, because market risk directly encompasses interest rate, market conditions and inflation risks. Market risk cannot be avoided. It is a risk you must assume if you invest. Factors to bear in mind when evaluating investment decision in the light of market risk include: • Risk tolerance, investment time horizon, liquidity needs and investment goals. • The longer an investment is held, the safer the returns on the investment over the years. • Market operates in a cycle; large swings will be followed by dip in swings.
Inflation Risk Inflation risk arises from the danger that the buying power of investor money will decrease if the returns less income tax and management fee are lower than the inflation rate. Diversifying a portfolio of stocks helps provide inflation protection. Industry Risk Industry risk arises from investing in a specific industry such as telecoms, manufacturing or energy etc. The risk involves the stock or bond falling below the industry ever recovering. Because it can be very difficult to know which industries and companies will outperform, you can reduce these types of risk by diversifying and balancing your investments among many different industries and companies. Credit Risk Credit risk occurs when the issuer of a bond defaults in paying loan to the bondholder. To safeguard investments, investors should check the financial stability (especially corporate bonds) of the issuer before investing. Investors should manage credit risk by diversifying the investment among multiple credits and investing in low-rated credits to the extent the risk of doing so is tolerable. Interest-Rate Risk Interest-rate risk arises due to change in the value of fixed- income investments such as bonds or bond funds, as interest rates fluctuate. When bond prices increase, interest rates decline and conversely when interest rate rises, bond prices fall. To manage this type of risk, you may want to consider a diversified portfolio that holds fixed-income securities of various maturities while considering that bonds with shorter maturities are subject to less interest rate risk than bonds with longer maturities. The three preceding category of risk mentioned are categorized as non-systemic risk or non- market risk. They are related to financial, particular asset classes, exchange rate, and liquidity. Nonsystemic risk can be reduced and nearly eliminated with a properly diversified portfolio. The essence of this article is to outline time tested strategies proposed by investment management experts to guide you irrespective of your status in making wise investment decisions as follows: Know your risk tolerance status Knowing your risk tolerance will help you decide how to invest your money. Conservative investors may not be comfortable with investing much money in the stock market because of its volatility. Lower volatility means lower potential returns, so a conservative investor will have to save a higher percentage of his income to be on track to meet his financial goals. Knowing your risk tolerance status is an important key to achieving investment success. Investors have to manage their investments by considering twin risks: the risk that their investments lose principal and the risk that their investments lose purchasing power. Investors must therefore have entry and exit strategy on their stock holdings or investment of any kind. Adopt a long-term perspective. Though large short-term profits can often entice those who are new to the market, adopting a
long-term horizon and dismissing the "get in, get out and make a killing" mentality is a must for any investor. This doesn't mean that it's impossible to make money by actively trading in the short term. Trading involves very different risks that buy-and-hold investors do not experience. But, as we already mentioned, investing and trading are very different ways of making gains from the market and while neither investing style is necessarily better than the other - both have their pros and cons. But active trading requires certain specialized skills and can be wrong for someone without the appropriate time, financial resources, skill and desire. Do not chase "hot tip" stocks. Whether the tip comes from your brother, your cousin, your neighbour or even your broker, you should not accept it as law. When you make an investment, it's important you know the reasons for doing so; do your own research and analysis of any company before you even consider investing your hard-earned money. Relying on a titbit of information from someone else is not only an attempt at taking the easy way out; it's also a type of gambling. To be a successful investor in the long run, you need to make informed investment decisions. Diversify your portfolio Diversification in investing means making a wide variety of investments within a portfolio and can include investing in different markets, regions or countries aimed at reducing the risk without substantial reduction in returns. Diversification reduces risk because markets do not always move in tandem and many financial instruments will react differently to market conditions. A balanced portfolio will be less volatile than one that is concentrated on a single asset and can include the following strategies: Spreading the portfolio among multiple investment vehicles, varying the risk in securities and spreading industry or geographical location. Naira cost averaging Adopt cost averaging strategies to enable you make timed investment of regular amounts over specific periods. This technique relieves investors of worrying about entering the market at the bottomed out point and protects investors from putting all their money in the stock market at the inappropriate time because it ensures even spread and safeguards against an investor missing out on a good investment opportunity. Sell the losers and hold the winners Do not underestimate or sell a stock that is performing well by sticking to some rigid personal policy to sell after a stock has increased by a certain multiple - say three, for instance. The theory that much of an investment overall success is due to a small number of stocks in the portfolio returning big holds true. You need to have a good understanding of the potential of your investment to enable you stir clear of taking arbitrary and limiting rules. Selling a losing stock is important to avert further losses because there is no guarantee that a stock will bounce back after a protracted decline. While it's important not to underesti-
mate good stocks, it's equally important to be realistic about investments that are performing badly. It's important to be honest when you realize that a stock is not performing as well as you expected it to. Pick a strategy and maintain it There are many ways to be successful and no one strategy is inherently better than any other. However, once you find your style, stick with it. An investor who flounders between different stock-picking strategies will probably experience the worst, rather than the best, of each. Constantly switching strategies effectively makes you a market timer, and this is definitely territory most investors should avoid. The bottom line remains to choose an efficient method to pick stocks and that will fulfil your investment goals. Discipline your emotions Many investors are too greedy to sell at market tops and sell at market bottoms for fear of losing more. Fear and greed should never dictate any investment decision. Investment decisions should be based on fundamentals such as current and future economic conditions, how a specific sector will perform in those conditions, and the fundamentals of a company within that sector. If your buy/sell decisions are based on following the crowd versus market fundamentals, then you are gambling rather than taking a calculated risk. A disciplined emotion is an invaluable virtue an investor must attain. You need to have a plan, when it works, stay with it, when it does not, keep those emotions out of it and change your plan based on facts. Do not consider tax a hindrance Yes, tax implications are important, but they are a secondary concern. Putting taxes above all else is a dangerous strategy, as it can often cause investors to make poor, misguided decisions. The primary goals in investing are to grow and secure your money. You should always attempt to minimize the amount of tax you pay and maximize your after-tax return, but the situations are rare where you'll want to put tax considerations above all else when making an investment decision. Do not overemphasize on P/E ratio Because it is one key tool among many, investors often place too much importance on the priceearnings ratio (P/E ratio). Using only this ratio to make buy or sell decisions is dangerous and illadvised. The P/E ratio must be interpreted within a context, and it should be used in conjunction with other analytical processes. So, a low P/E ratio does not necessarily mean a security is undervalued, nor does a high P/E ratio necessarily mean a company is overvalued. Financial risk management is a 50% defensive means of playing the investment game as it ensures that your investment losses never exceed the acceptable boundaries. Though the strategies outlined above are not fool proof as there are exceptions to every rule, they will benefit long-term investors by improving on how investors think and act about investing. As an investor, you must gauge your response and reaction to how much your asset deviates from its expected outcome be it positively or negatively.
Your decision to call a professional investment adviser may just be what you need to give you a broad and comprehensive knowledge on strategies for managing your investment risk for maximum return. Please join us next week Monday to learn more on how you can successfully navigate the investment waters. Kindly let us know if you have found this article useful. Please contact us at: email@example.com
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Argentina offers partnership with Nigeria for food processing From Joseph Wantu, Makurdi HE Nigeria’s Ambassador T to Argentina, Chive Kaave, has assured of Argentina’s willingness to co-operate with the country in food processing to guarantee food security and production. Kaave, who gave the assurance last week in Makurdi during a courtesy call on the Acting Governor Steven Lawani, said the partnership would not only boost food production but also enhance the food value chain. The ambassador, who led a delegation of Argentine businessmen during the visit, maintained that the call on the acting governor was also in furtherance of
the policy thrust of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration on economic diplomacy. He said the policy was aimed at creating jobs through direct foreign investments and identified poor facilities in food processing and storage as the greatest impediments’ to food production in Benue state. While regretting that lack of food processing facilities in the state have compelled farmers to sell their food products in their raw form, he noted that the development have deprived them of getting commensurate value on such food products. He said the partnership with Argentina would tackle such challenges by enhancing the quality of produce
and alleviate the plight of farmers. The ambassador further recalled that the state once enjoyed a robust agricultural relationship with the South American country during late Aper Aku’s tenure as governor, during which time, the state imported cattle from that country. The Argentine’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mercelo Cima, commended the existing relationship between his country and Nigeria and said both countries have “much in common, ranging from football to agriculture’’. Lawani reiterated the state’s desire to strengthen its relationship with Argentina, particularly in the areas of food production and pro-
Conoil builds seven mega stations in Nigeria By Roseline Okere ONOIL Plc has constructed C seven new mega stations to increase its retail network across the country. The commissioning of the stations has been scheduled for the last quarter of the year. The mega stations are strategically spread across the country and located in high traffic areas in Onitsha (Anambra), Port Harcourt (Rivers), Makurdi (Benue), Jibia (Katsina), Jebba (Kwara) and two in Lagos. The company said recently in a media statement signed by the company’s Media Manager, Mike Oduniyi, that the new outlets were built in accordance with global trends in petroleum product retailing, keeping pace with technological advancement worldwide with special emphasis on delivering convenience to motorists. According to the company, to
foster customer loyalty, the new multi-functional retail outlets leverage technology to deliver improved service efficiency at the forecourts. It said that the stations were designed to serve as one-stop retail outlets equipped to offer motorists a wide range of quality services and convenience besides the regular business of selling petroleum products. The statement added: “The new mega stations are anticipated to grow sales and revenue by over 65 per cent and will, in line with the company’s objectives, transform customer’s fuelling experience to an absolute delight. “The outlets will also give fillip to the company’s mission to provide top quality products and convenience services that will keep customers satisfied. “Conoil has always been audacious in its initiatives and has a sterling reputation for reliability and consistency. When completed, the new stations
will complement the company’s plan for massive importation of refined petroleum products. The expansion project represents the second phase of the company’s comprehensive four-year plan which started two years ago.” The company added: “Through our expansive distribution network, we aim at delighting many homes and make life more convenient for a variety of our customers. We touch the lives of a broad spectrum of the populace in many ways, by providing kerosene for domestic use, automotive fuel and lubricants for vehicles and solvents for industrial consumption and well-stocked convenience stores for everyday needs. “We are reputable for setting new standards with ground breaking initiative and worldclass facilities. We will always strive to keep our customers happy.”
SON intercepts sub-standard goods worth N1 billion By Femi Adekoya ARELY a week after it B destroyed sub-standard goods worth N2 billion, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) at the weekend intercepted sub-standard electric cables and household appliances worth N1 billion. Some of the items intercepted at the land borders and warehouses include fake and sub-standard products of popular brands like hair clippers, hair dryers, electric cables, lubricants, LPG cylinders among others. The Head, Inspectorate and Enforcement Unit, SON, Bebe Obaye, while speaking at SON’s warehouse, Apapa, Lagos at the weekend expressed displeasure at the influx of sub-standard products into the country and the resilience of some importers at encouraging such practice. Obaye noted that SON intercepted and seized the substandard goods from ports and warehouses where they
were concealed in plain cartons with other items such as textbooks among others. He, however, stated that the federal government’s zero tolerance campaign, which began in 2011 and targeted at eliminating and discouraging the importation of sub-standard products into the country would however be effectively implemented by the agency. Obaye said a lot of seizures had been made in recent time, adding that the organisation resorted to destroying the impounded sub-standard products in order to ensure that the products did not find a way back to the market and also to discourage importers involved in the act. He noted that the agency had deployed new methods of destroying the cables by using industrial cutters and other processes to this end. “The electric cables are made of almost 80 per cent iron instead of copper. For the LPG cylinders, they are potential explosives and have been
responsible for fire outbreaks in many homes. SON will not rest till this scourge is addressed. We are investigating the lubricants as they were imported without any quality certificate. “The action being taken today is a reflection of the agency’s resolution to a adopt a zero tolerance approach towards sub-standard goods in the Nigerian market. SON will no longer tolerate the dumping of goods in the country by importers. The items you see here were intercepted at the borders and warehouses following surveillance action by the SON team. “We decided to destroy these goods to ensure that the products do not get back into the market. This is part of the economic waste some importers embark upon. For instance, the cables were intercepted at the ports. They have low resistance to pressure and cause fire outbreaks. This is what the SON has been campaigning against in recent time,” he added.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Insurance Jonathan backs NAICOM’s move to deepen penetration By Joshua Nse RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan has commended the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for the efforts it has made to develop the industry to play its role as risk bearers in the economy and expressed government support to drive the insurance market and deepen penetration. The President who made
the commendation on the occasion of his decoration as grand patron of West African Insurance Institute (WAII), held in The Gambia, said within the purview of Vision 20:2020, government envisions an economy that will rank among the 20 largest in the world by the year 2020 and insurance is a veritable growth driver. It is on this premise that this administration has continued to show adequate sup-
port to (NAICOM), the industry regulatory body in its drive to develop the insurance market and deepen penetration. According to him, “this administration is aware that insurance is an essential ingredient of economic growth and development of any country. Without insurance, companies and individuals would not be able to manage risk; the world would be a far less innova-
tive place and many of the activities people and government take for granted could be prohibitively risky. So we value insurance, more so the Nigeria insurance industry has been making useful contributions to our economic life.” He explained that one of the major lessons of the economic turmoil in the recent past is the need for transparent, efficient and
Brand Manager, Heirs Holding, Miss Clari Green (right); Chief Financial Officer, Rev. Uche Ekwensi; Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Simbo Ukiri, and Head, Sales and Business Development, Mrs. Kehinde Oyesiku, all of AVON HMO during the pre-launch press conference held at the Ocean View Restaurant, Lagos.
Stanbic IBTC Pensions supports Police College HE police community entire school community Managers Limited for this host communities in critical T had cause to celebrate live and study in an atmos- rare gesture, which has areas such as education, recently following the com- phere that will enhance the come as a huge relief to missioning of a water project built and donated to the Nigeria Police Training School, Odukpani, Calabar, Cross River State, by Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc. The water project, comprising 16,000 litres of water storage tanks and pipe network with taps, was commissioned by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kola Shodipo. The Commissioner of Police, who was represented by Mr. Chris Mbazor, Assistant Commissioner of Police, expressed delight at the project and commended Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers for undertaking the water facility, which he said would bring great relief to the school community and students who hitherto had to walk long distances in search of water. He urged Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers and other corporate entities to identify areas of need in the school and assist in order to enable the students and
capacity of men and women of the Police force discharge their responsibilities. Earlier in his welcome address, Commandant of the school, Assistant Commissioner of Police Godwin Ahulor, thanked Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited for the initiative. “I must express my deep appreciation to Stanbic IBTC Pension
every member of this community” Ahulor said. On his part, Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, Dr. Demola Sogunle, represented by the Head of Sales, Mr. Bimbo Ladele, said the project was in fulfillment of the group’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, which aim at impacting positively on the wellbeing of
health and economic empowerment. He noted that the leading Pension Fund Administrator had in the recent past commissioned similar projects at the Nigerian Police colleges in Ikeja, Lagos State and Kaduna, Kaduna State, as part of a strategic partnership with the law enforcement agency to contribute to the security of the nation.
OASIS Insurance gets approval for reports ASIS Insurance Plc has O obtained National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) approval for its yearly accounts and returns for the financial year ended December 2012. The company is thus amongst the first five approvals given by NAICOM for the second year running. Commenting on the approval communicated by NAICOM in their letter dated July 11, 2013, the Managing Director of Oasis Insurance Plc, Mr. Babatunde
Oshadiya, commended NAICOM’s effort in assisting underwriters to overcome challenges associated with the conversion to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Speaking further, Oshadiya noted that with the implementation of an extensive Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework and the added disclosure requirements of IFRS, the company is able to deliver on a very effective Corporate Governance
structure. He asserted that the approval underscores the fact that his company has total quality all around its operations and this drives the consistent quality service delivery to all stakeholders. As statutorily specified, the company will present the approved financial statements to shareholders for approval at the 20th yearly general meeting, which will be announced as soon as arrangement is concluded.a
neutral government regulation of the financial services sector. We believe that this is the right platform upon which accessible, robust and dynamic markets for financial products are built. This administration clearly understands and recognizes this fact and has actually embarked on policies designed towards achieving growth and development in the insurance industry in the country.” The president said this is evident under the Group Life Insurance Policy where the federal government has provided the lead by ensuring that its entire employees are fully insured. In the same light, Government has also ensured adequate insurance of its assets and property. In line with our transformation agenda, he said, a key driver of the current reforms in the insurance sub-sector of the Nigerian economy is the desire to grow and develop the micro-insurance and Takaful markets. It is the hope of this administration that the drive will engender
the desired growth and market penetration. “Suffice to say that the ongoing reforms in our insurance sector are aimed at creating a world-class regime for insurers and provide significantly enhanced protection for Nigerian policyholders. “The privatisation and deregulation policy of Government created a level playing field for the private sector to participate and drive growth in all sectors of the economy. The insurance sector was indeed, not an exception in this regard. I am delighted to inform you that this exercise saw to the substantial divestment of the Federal Government from two previously stateowned insurance companies. Let me reiterate that this administration will continue to support the Institute towards achieving the laudable objective set by its founding fathers. We applaud the contribution of WAII to the development of the much needed manpower for the insurance sector in West Africa and beyond, he said.
AIICO adds value to corporate savings policy HE management of AIICO one year, adding that in T Insurance Plc has repack- order to make the product aged its corporate savings affordable to majority of the plan in a bid to ensure that holders of the policy enjoy more benefits. Besides, the move is to encourage majority of Nigerians embrace the savings culture to guarantee their financial future. Speaking during a chat with journalists in Lagos recently, the company’s managing director, David Sobanjo, explained that AIICO Corporate Savings Plan is an investment policy that offers protection as well. He noted that the policy provides a return on the holders’ investment while additional life assurance benefit is payable to the dependents of the policyholder in the unfortunate event of death within the policy term. Sobanjo stated that the savings plan is suitable for individuals, members of social clubs, cooperatives societies and employees of organisations that are eager to save through payroll deduction. He added that rural population and others with seasonal incomes are also eligible to subscribe to the plan as long as they are determined to invest part of their earnings to yield good returns and secure their financial future. The AIICO Insurance boss further explained that the minimum policy term is
populace in the country, people can contribute as low as N5000 per month to participate in the plan. He explained further that should the policyholder dies while the policy is in force, his dependents will be entitled to a life assurance benefit of three times the annual contribution subject to a maximum of N2 million. The plan has been so designed to cater for exigencies as the policyholder has the option of partial withdrawal for emergency cases. Besides, Sobanjo informed that the holders of AIICO Corporate Savings Plan can equally pledge the policy as collateral security for loan. The management of the underwriting firm maintained that while the policyholder are assured of guaranteed returns on their investment, they are also free to use maturity proceeds to purchase annuity. AIICO Insurance has a reputation for prompt claims payment. The insurance firm paid claims totalling N6.3 billion in 2012 in keeping faith with its promise to pay all genuine claims promptly. Sobanjo has also promised that the insurance firm will continue to discharge its responsibility in the area of claims payment whenever the need arises.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Custodian partners Sickle Cell Foundation USTODIAN and Allied C Insurance Plc, a registered member of the Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA), has partnered with the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria as cosponsors of the 2013 Sickle Cell Anemia Walkathon. The event which took place on Saturday 13 July was organised by The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Nigeria. The seven kilometer walk in Lagos Island was aimed at raising awareness and increasing public knowledge about sickle cell anemia; both in terms of general alertness and recent advancements in management of the ailment, as well as raising funding to support increased research and providing some support to institutions caring for people affected by sickle cell anemia. The Head of Directorate,
Administration & Corporate Affairs of Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc, Mrs. Olubunmi Aderemi, said “The motivation for us was that at Custodian, we like to associate with worthy courses affecting our environment and people around us. We identify this fight against sickle cell anemia as necessary to preserve human lives and are glad we are able to support a worthy course” Mrs. Aderemi added “I know of a few people with sickle cell anemia. Victims and their relatives go through a lot of pain, emotional trauma and such at times of crisis. It is costly to manage and requires patience and understanding by employers and lots of care by family and loved ones. We hope to support the creation of necessary awareness of the condition and help educate the citizen-
ry about its management” “As a socially responsible organisation, we believe in partnering with initiatives that impact positively on the lives of people around our operating environment. We are hoping that with this awareness and fund raising, research on sickle cell anemia will progress in Nigeria, with the development of improved medical services and proper management of the victims” Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc is quoted on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and is approved by the regulatory bodies in Nigeria to offer insurance services, and provide services that extend beyond national frontiers. In 2010, the company was honoured at the 15th Pearl Awards in the sectorial Leadership (Insurance) and Profit Margin Ratio (Market Excellence) categories.
WAII appoints Oyefeso to governing council HE West African Insurance T Institute (WAII), Banjul, The Gambia, has appointed Managing Director, Staco Insurance Plc, Sakiru Oyefeso, as a member of its Governing Council. All the powers of the 31 year old institute are vested in the 14member Governing Council. WAII is an insurance training centre with full diplomatic status, juridical personality and financial authority, which provides professional insurance education and allied courses to the personnel of insurance, financial industries and the public sector. The institute, owned and established by the Government of the five Anglophone West African countries, with the support of the UNCTAD, serves as a centre for the collection of technical and other insurance data, provides technical assistance to member coun-
tries and organises research programmes and projects in all aspects of insurance, reinsurance and allied subjects. Although WAII was established initially as an insurance institution to train middle level manpower for the insurance industry, the institute had expanded its frontiers to incorporate other courses like law, banking and other financial studies. Similarly, arrangements are now being concluded towards transforming the institute into a full fledged university, the arrangement was being made to forge partnership with the University of South Africa in actualising this goal before the target date of 2015. Oyefeso graduated with a distinction honours in the Department of Insurance from Lagos State College of Science and Technology, which is now Lagos State Polytechnic in 1983 and quali-
… awards Uranta for exemplary service HE immediate past T Managing Director of Niger Insurance Plc, Dr. Justus Clinton Uranta, has been given an award by the West African Insurance Institute (WAII), Banjul, The Gambia, in recognition of his ‘exemplary and invaluable contributions to the development of the institute. Uranta, who was the Vice Chairman of WAII Governing Council from July 2010 to July 2013, was acknowledged as having rendered meritorious service to the institute during the three year period. Specifically, it was during his tenure that the 35 year old institute commenced the construction of a huge amphitheater for classrooms and lecture halls which are now nearing completion, among other several milestones achieved.
It was also gathered that the his tenure brought an increase in the number of students intake, facilitated increase in the number of lecturers, as well as let to an increase in the percentage of passes in both the school diploma and professional exams of London and Nigeria. Besides, he was also said to be instrumental to the affiliation of WAII with other international academic bodies such as the University of South Africa. Again, Uranta regularly contributed written articles to the WAII academic journal while serving on the institute board. Uranta who was the MD/CEO of Niger Insurance for seven years voluntarily resigned from the organisation in December 2012 after having spent 35 years in the Nigerian insurance industry.
fied as Chartered Insurer during his NYSC Programme in 1984. He is a seasoned insurance practitioner with more than 30 years experience in the industry. of Trustees of the LASUMBA Heritage, and also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and the Institute of Directors (IOD).
S part of efforts to diversify Anchor Insurance to construct A the company’s investment portfolio, the board of directors of Anchor Insurance Company Limited has approved the construction of a new commercial complex in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital. The project will involve a multipurpose six floors complex to boast of all modern facilities including banking hall at its ground floor and restaurant at its pent house situate in a land of about 1500sqm. It is expected that the construction area will be about 700sqm thus giving substantial part of the area for car park. The Board retained the services of Design Project Nigeria, a well known firm of architects with offices in Abuja, Calabar and Lagos. It is estimated that the project will be completed within one year and probably will be commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of the company which is scheduled to hosted at the last quarter of 2014. Meanwhile all designs and approvals had been obtained from relevant government agencies in Uyo. Fielding questions from reporters in Lagos recently, the Managing Director of Anchor Insurance, Adeduro Mayowa, declined to disclose cost of the project but alluded to the fact that it is going to be a landmark project in the heartland of Akwa Ibom capital. He commended the efforts of the government of Chief Godswill Akpabio in transforming the state. He stated that Anchor Insurance management was just responding to the positive investment atmosphere in the state just like any other informed investor. Accordng to him, the board
multipurpose complex in Uyo also approved renovation of the old Anchor Insurance House at Aka Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The seven floor building which used to be the tallest building in the capital currently house United Bank for Africa Plc and the Corporate Affairs Commission, Akwa Ibom State zonal office. Adeduro said the company is set to let out more floors to boost its income from investment properties. Answering questions on financial performance of the company Mr. Adeduro who joined the company in 2008 on a turn around mission following a recruitment search by a leading human capital consulting in Lagos said that the company has been in consistent profitability since 2009 and had paid dividends consecu-
tively for three years. He said the turn around mission in the company had been accomplished and now the company is on the trajectory of geometric growth. Asked about the 2012 performance of the Company the Managing Director said the financials should be approved by NAICOM before figures can be disclosed publicly. However, the shareholders should expect nothing less than improved performance already known with the company and even far better than its year 2011 performance. In the last three years Anchor Insurance Gross Premium Income has grew by over 100% thus setting the company apart as a leading general insurance company in terms of annualized percentage growth rate and profitability.
Govt appoints Idriss FEMA DG HE Federal Government T has appointed Mallam Abbas G Idriss, an Insurance Broker,as the Pioneer Director General of the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) A professional insurance broker with over two decades experience, Mallam Idriss will bring to bear on the new Agency, his remarkable experience in insurance, risk management and human resources. In a letter of congratulation, the President of the NCRIB , Barrister Laide Osijo described the appointment
of Alhaji Idriss as well deserved, considering his robust pedigree as an economist, insurance professional , and risk manager. She said the appointment will propel the nascent Agency to a position of relevance in the nation’s disaster management system. Until his appointment, the Director General was the Executive Vice Chairman of Valid Insurance Brokers Ltd and Vice Chairman of the Northern Area Committee of the NCRIB whose roles had aided the entrenchment of the insurance broking profession in Northern Nigeria.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Focus Benefits of President’s mission to China, by Ashiru The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, in this interview with BOLA OLAJUWON, disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan’s five days’ official visit to China underscored the subsisting cordial relationship between Nigeria and Beijing. He also spoke on the Memoranda of Understanding signed between the two nations. HAT is your overview of President Goodluck W Jonathan’s five days official visit to China? The state visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to China was a resounding success. The visit underscored the subsisting cordial relationship between Nigeria and China; and ushered Nigeria-China relations to the next level in the 43rd year of diplomatic engagement. Furthermore, the visit would boost bilateral trade and economic relations between China, the world’s second largest economy, and Nigeria. As the second biggest economy in Africa, the visit will afford Nigeria the opportunity of increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China. I must also mention that in diplomatic terms, the visit has deepened mutual trust between the two countries. Nigeria incontestably occupies a strategic role in China’s cooperation and engagement with African nations. In the economic sphere, the President’s Transformation Agenda with its strong emphasis on infrastructural development – roads, power, railways, etc – makes relationship with China very crucial and imperative. China has the technical and financial wherewithal, especially in the operationalisation of public-private partnership initiative, to help Nigeria realise Vision 20:2020. In addition, the large turnout of Nigeria’s private sector has engendered confidence and opened up new vistas of business partnerships and investment consideration from the Chinese private sector. In what ways has the trip benefitted Nigeria and China? As I mentioned earlier, the trip has boosted Nigeria-China’s relations in its 43rd year of existence. It has also acted as a catalyst for improved trade and economic relations between our two countries. Nigeria is a resource-rich nation with about 70 per cent of its population under the age of 40. This means that the actualisation of investment deals with China will facilitate job opportunities and wealth creation as envisaged by the Transformation Agenda of the President. In the course of the trip, President Jonathan secured value-adding, transformative investments for Nigeria worth over $25 billion. The President and his Chinese counterpart, Mr. Xi Jinping signed five bilateral agreements including the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Financial Cooperation in support of Nigeria’s Economic Development; the Preferential Buyer Credit Agreement for Nigeria’s Four Airports Expansion Project; Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation; Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports; and Agreement for the Prevention of Theft, Illicit Import and Export of Cultural Property. In addition, the First Bank of Nigeria secured a Facility Agreement of $100 million from the China Development Bank (CDB). The facility is expected to boost current efforts to reinvigorate small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in
Ashiru Nigeria, especially in the key result areas (KRAs) of credit line provisions, trade syndication and foreign exchange transactions. This is central to job and wealth creation in Nigeria, given the increasing spectre of youth unemployment. Another private sector operator in Nigeria, LADOL Integrated Logistics Free Zone Enterprises, also signed an MoU with China Offshore Oil and Engineering Company for the construction of dry dock facilities in Lagos and Bayelsa states. I must also inform that agreements were signed with Chinese companies for the extension of Keffi-Lafia dual carriageway, and the completion of the East-West project extension from Oron to Calabar. The arrangement was in line with the public - private partnership initiative of the current administration. The expansion and modernisation of the access road to Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, as well as access road to Lekki Free Trade Zone as well as the deep-sea port that will cross the Lagos Lagoon to Ikorodu were also considered. In the power sector, a $20 billion MoU was signed with Power China by the Ministry of Power to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity for Nigeria. The Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, also signed an MoU with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for the provision of 120 megawatts of electricity during the visit. Discussions are still on-going in respect of coal-to-power technology with Pacific Energy of China for the generation of 5,000 megawatts of power in Nigeria.
In definitive, quantitative and qualitative terms therefore, the President’s visit to China remains, in my view, the best so far in terms of Nigeria’s felt needs and the beneficial outcomes. How would the sectoral groups, especially the manufacturers fair under the MOUs signed with the Chinese Government? Of course, the manufacturing sector in Nigeria, which was well represented during the Presidential visit would fair better as a direct outcome of the visit. The manufacturers need constant power supply, which was accorded prominence in the agreements with China. They need finance in terms of credit lines and advisory services. The facility domiciled in First Bank will be extremely helpful in this regard, aside from others by Chinese EXIM Bank. International partnerships, especially technical support, has been opened up for Nigerian manufacturers by the Investment/Business Forum. Over 300 Chinese investors and companies participated in the forum. The Nigerian Missions in Beijing and the new Consulate in Guangzhou are ready to assist in the facilitation of more partnerships. I am confident that the full implementation of these agreements will assist the country to realise the objectives of transformation as espoused by the president. More importantly, the emphasis on infrastructure is very crucial to the rebound of the manufacturing sector. The special attention to road development, expansion and modernisation; rail services; airport terminal moderniza-
Nigeria’s foreign policy is being deployed to assist in the development of the country in terms of basic infrastructure such as roads, railways and the power sector, etc. We are deploying foreign policy to assist in job creation for the teeming population of our youths who are currently unemployed, and to create wealth for our people. Our visit to China was undertaken in furtherance of these objectives such that ordinary Nigerians can reap the benefits of our foreign engagements.
tion; construction of dry ports and dockyards will greatly enhance manufacturing activities with the attendant multiple effects on employment and wealth creation through SMEs. How would you react to concerns raised over the trade pact with China? The Federal Government has acted in the best interest of the Nigerian nation. I only need to recall that the President informed the Nigerian community in China during his meeting with them that the Local Content Act is being examined by the National Assembly to cover areas such as civil engineering and other sectors. This is to safeguard local industries, as well as generate benefits that will enhance the prosperity of the average Nigerian citizen. I need not remind that Nigeria has appropriate legislations and institutions in place to ensure that her strategic national interests are guaranteed and protected at all times. Institutions such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Nigerian Customs Service and the National Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have vital roles to play in this regard, and I am confident that they are up to their responsibilities in ensuring that Nigeria’s national interests are fully protected. Aside the benefits you enumerated, experts are insinuating that Nigeria and other African countries are reducing dependency on Western countries and moving closer to China because of past exploitation by European powers. What is your position? Thank you for this question. It is not really about substituting one set or form of relations with another. It is about diversifying relations in pursuit of national interests. National interest is at the core of relations between countries. You will remember the popular axiom that there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies in international relations. What is permanent is the country’s core national interest. Non-core, peripheral interests may change, but the main ones that touch on the survival of a country, its economic prosperity and development, the welfare of its citizens, its territorial integrity and sovereignty are usually constant and do not mutate over time. With this theoretical framework, you can now understand why we went to China the way we did and the positive outcome that was achieved. It was all about economic relations, trade, and investments in the power sector, infrastructure, agriculture, small and medium scale industries, etc. Nigeria will go anywhere its national interests are guaranteed, where the interests will be promoted and protected. I have emphasised again and again that foreign investors are welcome to Nigeria from all parts of the world. Nigeria’s relations with our countries are important. It is a question of where each country stands in relations to Nigeria’s core national interest. By going to China therefore, it is not our intention to diminish or jettison Nigeria’s relations with our traditional friends. It is however incumbent on us as a government to ensure that we maximise the benefits and advantage of the investments from China and make sure that they are not inimical to our interests. As I said at the very onset of this administration, Nigeria’s foreign policy is being deployed to assist in the development of the country in terms of basic infrastructure such as roads, railways and the power sector, etc. We are deploying foreign policy to assist in job creation for the teeming population of our youths who are currently unemployed, and to create wealth for our people. Our visit to China was undertaken in furtherance of these objectives such that ordinary Nigerians can reap the benefits of our foreign engagements. How soon is the Chinese side coming to Nigeria? We are working on that through diplomatic channels.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Stockwatch In association with Lead Capital
Stock Market Report for the week Friday, 12th July to Thursday 18th July, 2013 ajor equity markets around the M globe moved upwards as their various indexes gained marginal
week, the total volIandNumethe depreciated by 13.37% value traded depreciat-
points. In our universe of sample equity markets; the NASDAQ, S & P 500 and Dow Jones all gained points by 2.53%, 1.71% and 1.17% respectively at the end of last week. In Europe, The FTSE 100, German Dax and France CAC 40 gained points by 1.03%, 2.33% and 0.82% respectively. In the Asia/Pacific region, Nikkei 225 and BSE Sensex gained points by 2.32% and 2.30% respectively, while the Hangseng lost points by 0.43%. In Brazil, the Bovespa gained point by 4.23% while Russia’s RTS INDEX gained points by 9.23%. On the local setting, NSE ASI closed at 38,334.54 recording 2.70% appreciation at the end of the week’s trading.
ed by 17.27%. A turnover of 1.75 billion units of shares valued at N15.62 billion was recorded, in contrast to a turnover of 2.02 billion units of shares worth N18.88 billion that was recorded in the previous week. Volume this week was driven by activities in the shares of TRANSCORP, ACCESS, FBNH, UBA, GUARANTY, FCMB, ZENITHBANK, UBCAP, OANDO and UNITYBANK.
ANNOUNCEMENT URING the period under review, fifty (50) D stocks recorded price appreciation compared to thirty five (35) that depreciated in the previous week, IHS was first on the top gainers chart to close with 46.19%, followed by FO with 33.04%, 7UP with 22.64%, MRS with 21.00%, MAYBAKER with 20.49% and UTC with 20.00%. Other gainers in the top ten categories were JBERGER with 19.61%, EVANSMED with 17.14%, ABCTRANS with 16.22% and UACN with 15.49%. On the flip side, thirty one (31) stocks depreciated in price last week compared to forty three (43) that depreciated a week ago. BERGER led on the price losers’ table with 15.36%, followed by CAP by 12.16%, ACADEMY by 11.76%, ARBICO by 9.97%, PHARMDEKO by 9.66%, NPFMCRFBK by 9.43%, AGLEVENT by 9.38%, CONTINSURE by 9.38%, THOMASWY by 9.26% and BETAGLAS by 9.09%.
Weekly Lead Equity Ratings
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Homes & Property Rivers’ Rainbow Town project cost rises to N70b, ready in 2015 Projects By Tosin Fodeke
A2W Estates opens Lagos housing scheme Page 33
Mabogunje, others floor Odutola’s siblings over vast Page 45 estate
Professionals push for new approach in affordable housing Page 47
EARLY three years after N construction works began on a premium mixed-use development tagged Rainbow Town Estate in Port Harcourt Rivers State, indications have emerged that the costs for the project may have risen to the tune of N70 billion. The project, which was officially commissioned in 2010 and originally billed to cost N40 billion has escalated to 90 per cent due to delays over the years and variations in contracts. Sources also revealed to The Guardian that delivery date for the project has been pushed forward to 2015, even as construction pace had begun to gather momentum. The estate, developed by Rainbow Town Development Limited, in partnership with the Rivers State Government and First Bank, got the backing of President Goodluck Jonathan who alongside Governor Rotimi Amaechi commissioned the project. Specifically, a memorandum of understanding was signed in November 2007, between RSG and First Bank Nigeria Plc to enter into a public-private partnership; and Rainbow Town Development Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) was registered in 2008, with a mandate to manage a re-development that drives an urban renaissance with economic growth polls that compliments the Greater Port Harcourt vision and its rich cultural endowment. Among building and civil engineering contractors handling the project are Costain Nigeria Limited, W.T.F Nigeria Limited, O.K.I Construction Limited, Matter Services and J.D.P. Limited. About 1,181 units of housing of various types, including units will be delivered under the scheme, comprising of one bedroom penthouse to five bedrooms located in 25 residential towers, terraces and detached house
Illustration of the proposed City Block at Rainbow Town, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State
Cost variation for the Rainbow Town estate project has jumped from N40 billion to N70 billion due to the delays in delivering the project, which is located near the Trans Amadi business and industrial district of Port Harcourt, Rivers State types that offer a variety of lifestyles. It also boasts of amenities such as well laid out plans, recreational facilities, medical and educational centres, a shopping centre and an ecosystem, 24-hour security system, state-of-the-art remote surveillance technology, broadband and CCTV services. Rainbow Township was development as a low-medium income housing estate by the eastern Nigeria Housing Development Corporation in 1964. It went through use transformation as periodic exi-
gencies, dynamic demography and urban growth dictated; these changes resulted in a very high density community with associated degeneration and blight. In year 2000, the River State Government (RSG), acting under the Land use Decree, cited the overriding public interest in relocating the residents and reclaiming the town for a beneficial re-use. The township, which has strategic proximity to the robust and vibrant TransAmadi business industrial corridor, was conceived with an
ambitious range of good quality 1,181 units of housing choices creatively tucked into terraces, detached home and high-rise condors. The estate comprises a blend of medical clinic, primary school, outdoor recreational facilities clubhouse, security post, fire station, and shopping arcade. The iconic tower is a commercial hub of floors of office space, movie theaters, conference facilities, shop, restaurants and helipad. The township is serviced from the Eco-center, a nerve nods for power, water and
sewer plants, broad-bands wireless internet connectivity, telephone and data outlets. These buildings and facilities are strategically located in a master plan which adapts some features of the New Urbanism, in lush green landscape and vegetation for ecoambience. Beyond its aesthetics and tectonics, the underlying economy development objectives of Rainbow town are achievable through construction and business job creation; and tenement, property and business taxes. These internally generated revenues can be isolated and reinvested in the social infrastructures that command top billing in Government’s development policy plank.
NIESV launches estate agency body, woos practitioners Professional Practice By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Assistant Housing & Environment Editor RESH changes may be in the offing in a few months’ time that would pave way for estate agency practitioners across a wide range of disciplines nationwide to come under the control of an independent organ and ensure highest standards in the housing industry. The initiative is being promoted by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) through a newly registered body -Association of Estate Agents of Nigeria (AEAN), which goals are to enhance professional knowledge of practitioners, and make the property market
AEAN Chairman, Mr. Chudi Ubosi, Vice Chairman, Kunle Adedeji and Assistant Secretary, Gbenga Ismail during a media parley to announce the formation of the association in Lagos
In a bid to bring sanity into the practice of estate agency, estate surveyors have kick-started the process of registering estate agents nationwide under an umbrella association. The independent body will instill best practices into the profession and discipline erring members safer for the operators, especially to checkmate the activities of unscrupulous and dubious estate agents. For many years, the estate agency practice has been brought into disrepute due to lack of control and regulation; and the profession becoming an all comers affair. Stories abound of members of the public that have fallen victim to estate agents and loosing millions of naira in attempt to rent
houses or homeowners fleeced by agents. This has created a crisis of confidence, and poor perception and image of the estate agents and the profession of estate surveying and valuation. In order to ensure properties are in safe hands, NIESV mooted the idea to bring all practicing agents under than one roof. AEAN has already registered the association with the Corporate Affairs
CONTINUED ON PAGE 45
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Prime Estates A2W Estates opens Lagos housing scheme Housing OVED by the desire to M contribute towards housing needs of Nigerians, a Lagos-based firm, A2W Estates Limited has completed its mini-estate in IjuIshaga area of Lagos State. The scheme is part of the plan to build substantial number of units in different parts of the metropolis. The company targets one million affordable homes in the next five years. The first phase at Iju comprises of four units of three Bedroom apartments and four units of Studio apartments developed to excellent standards and currently up for sale. The second housing project is 80 per cent completed in Iju while the third and fourth are starting soon in New OkoOba and Ogba areas of Lagos State. The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Busayo Akanro said the estate is located in a serene and urban environment, which makes living splendid. It also boasts of state-of-the-art facilities coupled with an inviting landscape, which makes it very attractive to the people. The units range from N3.34million to N15.13 million. Explaining the rationale behind the scheme, Group Managing Director, A2W
Illustration of the completed units in Iju, Lagos Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Adeolu age of millions of houses, it Akinyemi said the idea was is a responsibility we realize borne on the backdrop of we can’t abandon to the the disturbing gap in hous- Government alone”, he said. While noting that the ing in Nigeria. “With a shortvision is to become one of
the key players and a force to reckon with in the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians, he said the target is to develop housing units eventually in every
city across the country. “We plan to cover all areas in Lagos State and make visible housing impact in other states of the federation in the next 5 years building at
least 1 million homes and reducing the quota of the un-housed in Nigeria”, he added. 301wds
34 HOMES & PROPERTY
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Investment in global commercial real estate market sees strong growth Real Estate NvESTMENT in global comIcontinues mercial real estate markets to rally, with
Chairman, Ogun State Housing Corporation Board, Alhaji Bashir Fadairo (left), Special Adviser to Governor on Housing Development, Mrs Jumoke Akinwunmi and other management team members examining the layout of the Proposed Residential Estate at Kobape, Abeokuta.
Ogun set to deliver promise on affordable housing Housing HE dream of the Ogun T State Government to make its residents home owners is gradually becoming a reality as the State’s Housing Corporation has moved to embark on the construction of housing estates for the benefit of all strata of the society. The newly appointed Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing Development, Mrs. Jumoke Akinwunmi, gave this cheering news when she led other officials of the Corporation
on an inspection visit to existing housing estates and proposed sites in Kobape and Ajebo for new ones in Abeokuta. Mrs. Akinwunmi recalled that provision of affordable housing is one of the five cardinal programmes of the Ibikunle Amosun led administration, emphasizing government was committed to redeeming its pledge on this. “The state has an excellent landmark for estates development and we are now repositioning to enable us deliver on our mandate to
the people” Akinwunmi pointed out. In a statement by the information officer of the corporation, Mrs. Adeyinka Richard, the Special Adviser said that with the robust mortgage system already in place, the Housing Corporation had reached out to relevant stakeholders, emphasizing that the 2billion loan from the Federal Mortgage Bank was a developer loan to enable the Corporation deliver effectively. She explained that to benefit from the loan scheme, interested members of the
public must be an operator of a home ownership account, saying that the Corporation would educate and offer necessary assistance to any interested person to facilitate the process of accessing the loan. “Our focus is to service the generality of the citizens, it is our dream to see that everyone owns a home in a conducive environment and buying a house is all about creating wealth for yourself and generation yet unborn” Akinwunmi stated. Also speaking, Chairman of the Housing Corporation
Board, Alhaji Bashir Fadairo condemned those involved in illegal encroachment of government lands, describing their activities as unwholesome and disruptive. He warned members of the public interested in purchasing landed property to be wary and make necessary checks from relevant government agencies, assuring that the Corporation under his leadership would be unrelenting in combating illegal encroachment on lands acquired by government for developmental purposes.
Accra’s Ambassador Heights beckons on property investors Projects WNERS of the GhanaO based Moevenpick Ambassador Hotel have begun an expansion scheme that is offering exclusive residential development in the heart of Accra. The firm is building 18 luxurious homes inside Ambassador Heights, one of the most coveted locations in the city, that will deliver world class design and offer a phenomenal investment opportunity in the Accra’s premier downtown address. Comprised of only modern glass facades, manicured private gardens, and beautiful interiors complete with luxury finishes, fittings, and appliances will compliment an unrivalled ownership experience. Ambassador Heights is designed to be an urban sanctuary within the city for a privileged few. This impressive development offers immediate access to all of Accra – from the vibrant central business district to the sprawling seashore. About minutes away from the Arts Centre, the
Directors, Sparklight Property Development Company Limited - Mr. Andy Wu (left), Chief Olusola Dada, Chairman/CEO - Chief Toyin Adeyinka at the company’s 13th Annual General Meeting in Lagos. National Museum, and directly opposite the National Theatre, there is no shortage of local culture and entertainment to cater to those with a discerning urban lifestyle. According to the promoters,
Ambassador Heights is luxury personified with each home enjoying direct access to the services and amenities of the surrounding complex; private concierge, world class dining, shopping, fitness, swimming, and meeting and event facili-
ties all with the comfort of being in a secure environment supported by continuous 24 hour electricity and water supply. The Ambassador Hotel draws on a glorious past and leads
Accra into an exciting future. As a gift from the United Kingdom to the government of the newly independent state of Ghana in 1957, The Ambassador Hotel played host to royalty, power, and fame throughout its lifetime.
strong growth in first half of 2013, according to the latest report from Jones Lang LaSalle. Preliminary numbers covering 60 countries and over 130 cities show direct investment volumes reached US$114 billion in the second quarter of 2013 up 4 per cent on the second quarter of 2012 and up 9 per cent on the first three Continued strong growth in the second quarter of 2013 has kept global volumes above US$100 billion for five consecutive quarters, evidencing increasing investor confidence in commercial real estate, despite volatility in equity and bond markets. The report also shows that the Americas saw a 39 per cent rise in transaction volumes in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2013, reaching US$52 billion and up 11per cent year on year. In the first half of the year it totalled US$90 billion, equating to a 9 per cent increase over the same time last year. Quarterly volumes in Mexico and Canada rose significantly to keep pace with the continued acceleration in the US market, which grew by 19per cent year on year in the second quarter of 2013. Asia Pacific and EMEA both recorded strong growth over the half-year with 11 per cent and 12 per cent year on year increases in volumes respectively. Quarterly volumes in Asia Pacific remained flat both quarter on quarter and year on year, quarterly volumes in EMEA were flat year on year but down 13 per cent quarter on quarter following a buoyant start to 2013. The largest markets globally continued to see growth over the first half of the year with Japan up 50per cent, Australia up 10per cent the UK up 4per cent, Germany up 43per cent and France up 6per cent, all recording half year increases compared to the first half of 2012. Only China with a fall of 20per cent saw transaction volumes fall in the first half, however a stronger performance is expected in the second half of the year as deals already in progress complete. Jones Lang LaSalle’s forecasts for the remainder of 2013 remain at between US$450 to US$500 billion. With global volumes up 11per cent on this time last year and the second half of the year traditionally busier than the first, the global investment market is on track to surpass last year’s volumes. “Over the past two to three years, we have predicted that more capital would be allocated to direct investment in core property assets and this is now materialising,” said Arthur de Haast, lead director, International Capital Group at Jones Lang LaSalle.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Resorts appoints new directors, expands mortgage operations Mortgage Finance NE of the high-flyers in the mortgage sector, Resorts O Savings and Loans (RSL) Plc, at the weekend, said it has evolved a new strategy that will ensure affordable mortgages to the middle class. In a statement, the bank announced the appointment of a new board of directors that was given “the mandate to provide affordable homes to willing Nigerians.” The bank also disclosed that the new directors were carefully selected in line with the current tide of reforms in the mortgage sector, even as it is prepared to invest N200 million in the Mortgage Refinancing Company (MRC). Chairman of the RSL Board, Chief Francis Babatunde Adefarati, who took over from Joe Idudu, named the new directors as Mr. Joseph Obioha Jideofor, and Senator Sunday Olawale Fajimi, Dr. Nosike Agokei, Mr. Danladi Tijo Baido and Usman Karaye Umaru. Apart from the chairman, who served as director, and the Managing Director, Mr. Abimbola Olayinka, retained his position in the new scheme of things, while other members are new on the board. Yemi Rabiu, said although the bank is already operating on regional status, it plans N10 billion paid-up capital, a successful IPO and Rights Issue is expected to put it well above the N5 billion benchmark, thereby meeting the new Central Bank ofNigeria’s N5 billion capital benchmark to upgrade its operations to the national mortgage bank status.
Meanwhile, Adefarati, in a separate statement, said RSL aims to be the foremost mortgage bank in Nigeria. “We want to use that policy to raise our capital and get even more that the N5billion the CBN is asking for, so that we can do a lot of important things for the purpose of creating mortgages for Nigerians.” According to him, Resort Savings and Loans “plans to give affordable accommodation and create programmes whereby loans can be given to people who want to pay house rents. This can only be possible with the help of the Federal government and the CBN by creating windows of opportunities where funds can be available for housing; this is why the Federal government and the CBN are floating a capital of about N6billion”. The N6billion would be available to banks that would create mortgages for the public. The RSL would not solely depend on the N6 billion because there would be contributions from organisations and even commercial banks. “You will find that a lot of people want to build houses and they struggle for a long time to build those houses. If we encourage savings, those people can now have access to mortgage funds, “Adefarati noted. With the ongoing review of the Land Use Act Decree, Mr. Adefarati says, “you find it difficult to get the Certificate of Occupancy on time and if you don’t have it you cannot get access to mortgage. However, it should be simplified enough so people could easily get access to build their houses.
Some of the housing units at the estate.
Govt, firms deliver police’s 200 housing units Projects By Tosin Fodeke AKING advantage of the fedT eral government’s stance to encourage public private partnerships, the Nigerian Police in collaboration with two private real estate firms, has unveiled a 200-unit housing estate tagged, Goodluck Jonathan Housing Estate.
The estate which was commissioned by the President at a ceremony held in Lagos at the weekend, involves the construction of 504 housing units of 3-bedroom flats, consisting of 84 blocks (or 42 clusters of 2 blocks each sharing the same staircase) on three levels (ground floor and 2 suspended floors). Managing Director of ASO Savings and Loans Plc, Mr.
Hassan Musa Usman, who spoke at the unveiling of the first set of 200 units, stated that the estate, which was fully funded by his firm, is designed to meet the housing needs of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force and low and lower middle income groups of the general public. Goodluck Jonathan Housing Estate, formerly called Eagle Gardens, is located at Idimu
Town, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State and is a Public Private Partnership scheme between the Nigeria Police Force, ASO Savings and Loans and Remax Realtors Limited. The scheme, which sits on 11.431 hectares of land, consists of six blocks of flats with a gross floor area measuring approximately 115square metres each.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Developer completes 600 units in Agbowa’s CHOIS City estate Projects By Tunde Alao and Tosin Fodeke RESSED to deliver on its P mandate to provide affordable housing, an indigenous developer, First World Communities, has commenced the construction of 10,000 units in three locations across the state. The mixed -development project, tagged “CHOIS City” is in collaboration with the Lagos State Government, located in Owu Village, along the Epe-Itoikin Road, Agbowa. Already about 600 units out of the 4, 000 houses planned in Agbowa have been completed under the Phase I of the scheme. It also plans to build another 4,000 units of two and three bedroom flats in Abijo Eti-Osa Local Government and another 2, 000 units in Mile II area of Lagos. The project comes with infrastructures such as network of roads, ample parking space, water supply, electricity with dedicated transformer, sewage facility, security, medical and schooling facilities, as well shopping centres for business activities. The initiative comes under the “CHOIS Club”, which enables beneficiaries to benefit through special payment arrangement. For instance, for the acquisition of a twobedroom terrace bungalow, customers will pay 10 per cent initial contribution and additional 40 per cent over a maximum period of three years. “Allocation will be made on attaining 50 per cent deposit and handing over of the property will be done, and key to the apartment would be handed over for possession. But upon the payment of the remaining 50per cent balance, paid over a period of
five years at six per cent interest per annum, the home now permanently belongs to the allottee”, said CHOIS Business Development Manager, Mr. Ayodele Yussuf. He said that there is a special arrangement for the acquisition of a two-bedroom terrace bungalow for the would-be owners who are in the informal sector. For this category of people, they will pay 20 per cent initial contribution over three year, while the balance of 80 per cent will be paid over a period of 10 to 20 years at six per cent interest per annum. Another advantage of the location is easy access to Lagos Island via Epe, which he said is 15 minutes to Ikorodu and under an hour to Lekki and 40 minutes to Victoria Island through ferry. “On completion of proposed Waterway Transport Services by the Lagos State, virtually every part of metropolis will be accessible within one hour by ferry”, adding that the site is a strategic location, both to the metropolis and to the Lagoon. He hinted that customers could also obtain a mortgage from any financial institutions such as FCMB, Stanbic IBTC, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), Diamond Bank, GT Homes, among others. Yussuf revealed that CHOIS, (an acronym for CoOperative Homes Ownership Incentive Scheme), is an initiative of the public private partnership agreement between the Lagos state government and the firm to deliver 10, 000 homes for low and medium income earners He added that the Lagos state government and the firm embarked on the initiative in order to bridge the housing gap caused as a result of differences between incomes and cost of housing.
A cross section of the completed housing units
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Chinese firm buys iconic Lloyds building in London Real Estate CHINESE company has A bought one of London’s landmark building ins a deal which experts expect to be the first of many. With less money around for major commercial purchases it is believed that the Chinese are eager to buy iconic buildings that make sound real estate investment sense. Chinese insurer Ping An has bought the Lloyds building in London for £260 million and analysts say it is the first in a predicted wave of property deals by Chinese companies in
London. A German fund managed by Commerz Real, part of Commerzbank, sold the building to the Chinese company in a deal that represents a rental yield of 6.1%, broker Savills said in a statement. Regulatory changes that ease restrictions on mainland Chinese companies investing in overseas real estate are set to add to the flood of money targeting the best real estate in London and other European cities like Paris and Frankfurt. The Lloyds of London building, which is protected under British heritage laws, was designed by architect Richard
Rogers. Its air ducts and lifts are on the outside of the building, in similar fashion to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which Rogers designed with Renzo Piano, the man more recently behind London's Shard tower. Savills said that the sale represents the first purchase by a Chinese insurance company in the UK. The Lloyds Building is home to the world’s leading insurance market and let in its entirety to the Society of Lloyds on a lease expiring in 2031. Commerz Real purchased the building in 2005 for £231 million. This is a potentially landmark transaction, given it is the first by a Chinese Insurance company overseas. It is a high profile and confident entry to the market for them and further illustrates the dominance of overseas investors in London at present,’ said Jon Crossfield, director within Savills’ central London team. A member of the Management Board of Commerz Real AG responsible for the real estate business, Roland Holschuh, described the transaction as a major success for the firm’s investors. The current liquidity and investor demand within the London market presented an ideal time for us to seek an exit in line with our original business plan,’ he added. Managing Principal and Head of China of Gaw Capital Partners, Humbert Pang said that as an active player in the real estate market in China, Gaw Capital Partners is seeing more opportunities to assist Chinese Institutional Investors going overseas.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Mabogunje, others floor Odutola’s siblings over vast estate Litigation By Emmanuel Badejo ENOWNED town planner, R Chief Akin Mabogunje and four others have won a legal battle between them and the children of a late industrialist, Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola over control of the latter’s vast estate. The verdict by the Supreme Court of Nigeria rested the legal battle, and controversy, that had arisen following the passage of Pa Odutola, who died in 2005. While some questioned the authenticity of his will, others deferred, insisting that the deceased made the will. This led to the legal tussle between Odutolas’ including Mr. Ademola Adewunmi, Madam Olayide, Dr. Abisoye, Mr. Adeboye, Mr. Aderemi, Mr. Adegbola, Mr. Olufemi, Mr. Oladele, Miss Adetutu and Miss Aderonke. Others are Chief (Mrs.) Adebisiola Okupe and Chief (Mrs.) Folorunso Adeuja against Mabogunje, and four others, Chief Amusa Beyioku Adebowale (deceased), Prof. (Mrs.) Oyinade Odutola-Olurin, Miss. Adejumoke Odutola and Chief Babatunde Benson at the High Court of Ogun State, Abeokuta
Former boss of the Lagos-Ogun megacity project, Chief Akin Mabogunje and four others have been endorsed as the legally recognised executors and executrix of the vast estate of a late industrialist, Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola. Judicial Division. Records before the court revealed that the deceased testator, Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola, died on 13th April 1995. In 1981, at the age of 79 years, he had an apoplectic stroke. On the 23rd November 1993, he made a Will and a Codicil on the 14th March 1994. The deceased was a prominent Nigerian businessman from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. He was one of the pioneers of modern Nigerian indigenous entrepreneurship and the first president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). He attended Ijebu Ode Grammar School, under the principal, Rev Oladotun Ransome Kuti. Before the High Court, the children of late Odutola had claimed that they were entitled in the event of an intestacy to share in the estate of their father, late Onibudo House Odutola Street, IjebuOde, to have the probate of a pretended Will and Codicil thereto of the said deceased dated 23rd November 1993
and 14th March 1994 respectively, granted on the 27th November 1995 be revoked and the said Will pronounced against and to have a grant of letters of administration of the estate of the deceased. Alternatively, the plaintiffs, as shareholders of Odutola of Holdings Ltd., claim a declaration that some paragraphs of the purported Will are null and void being matters not within the testamentary power of their late father. At the conclusion of the trial, the court granted the claims of Odutola’s children, now appellants, and dismissed the counter-claim in its judgment of 24th May 2000. The court revoked the probate of the Will dated November 23 1993 and the Codicil dated March 14 1994 and granted on November 27 1993. Not accepting the verdict, Mabogunje, now the respondents appealed against the decision to the Court of Appeal, which allowed the appeal holding that the trial court did not properly evalu-
ate the evidence adduced before it. The court found that the deceased duly executed the Will and Codicil and had the necessary mental capacity so to do. It also found that the Will and Codicil were validly made and same were properly admitted to probate. The Court of Appeal had said: “...I hold that the deceased duly executed the WILL and CODICIL, he had the necessary mental capacity so to do the WILL and CODICIL were validly made and same were properly admitted to probate. The judgment of the lower court by which the WILL and CODICIL were revoked is hereby set aside. In its place I enter judgment dismissing the plaintiffs’ claim and allowing the counter-claim by pronouncing in solemn form in favour of the WILL and CODICIL dated 23rd November 1993 and 14th March, 1994 respectively. I assess the costs of this appeal at N10,000 in favour of the appellants against the respondents.” Dissatisfied, the appellants
New estate agency body debuts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 Commission (CAC) and the association is working towards the presentation of a bill for government recognition and charter for the association to the National Assembly. Under the new move, three different categories of membership have been adopted, open to all professionals and other interested Nigerians with a minimum of School Certificate Level of education. Interim Executives of the association has also been picked by NIESV to pilot the affairs of body. The body is led by Mr.Chudi Ubosi as chairman. Others are Kunle Adedeji (vice chairman), Isa Jatto (Secretary), Gbenga Ismail (Assistant Secretary), Vivian Owel-Shama (financial secretary), Sam UsoAkagha (Assistant fin. Secretary), Hassan Baba (publicity relations officer), Kene Onuora (Asst PRO), Adamu Kasimu (treasurer) and Emmanuel Alao (welfare officer). Specifically, membership categories are Certified Estate Agents (CEA) Registered Agents and Estate Brokers.
CEA are strictly reserved for members of the NIESV, while other practicing agents and professionals can become members under any of other categories. An annual membership subscription has been fixed at N5, 000. “Initially, we wanted to make it free, but we have to fund an office and staff,” according to Ubosi. He explained that “AEAN though an independent body will draw on it’s relationship with NIESV to ensure that members receive training, study materials and are tutored regularly in the way and manner to engage successfully in the operation and practice of estate agency;so that it is a win-win situation for all stakeholders and also that best practices are upheld. “Over the years, we are seen as people who inflate rental values, who will have one flat and let it to 20 tenants, and collect money and disappear. All this has created a bad perception among the public. NIESV has decided to bring sanity into the practice by
setting up a parallel body, constituting estate agents. Estate agency is part of our practice.” Ubosi who is the International Federation of Real Estate (FIABCI) President, Africa region said the terms of reference for the interim exco include to guide the body pending when an Annual General Meeting of the body will be convened to elect it’s substantial officers, liaise with Lagos State Estate Agency with a view to fashion out a preeminent role for the association. “People have always looked at NIESV as an exclusive and elitist club of professionals. It is not. Come and joins to get training and tutorials and teach you the rules of practice, how to let a property and open a client account, and people who are our members can understand what it means to be an estate agent. It is not all about placing a board in front of a house; collect rents with all manners of commission. The fees are regulated and the people spoil our names don’t regulated their fees.” The body will also design ways
and means to put the practice of agency under control throughout the nation, ensure best practice in estate agency practice and make AEAN, the main association of estate agents in the country. Induction is planned every quarter, where members will be given certificates and other working tools. Adedeji remarked that the association intends to establish branches in every state of the federation and disciplinary committee to ensure that those who flout the ethics of the asso-
Mabogunje appealed to the Supreme Court, while the respondents cross-appealed. In his lead judgment, Justice Rhodes Vivour, narrowed all the issues raised to two including: “Whether the learned justice of the Court of Appeal were right in view of the totality of the evidence adduced before the trial court on the issue of testamentary capacity in re-evaluating the evidence and arriving at the conclusion that late Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola had testamentary capacity at the time he purportedly made Exhibit A and A1” and “whether the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal were right in re-evaluating the evidence adduced by both parties at the trial court on the issue of signature and arriving at the conclusion that late Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola signed Exhibits A and A1. (WILL and CODICIL dated 23rd November 1993 and 14th of March, 1994 respectively). On the first issue, RhodesVivour said: “ To my mind and as quite rightly pointed out by the Court of Appeal, the law
presumes that the state of the deceased mental capacity would continue until and unless the contrary is proved, and the onus is clearly on the plaintiff to prove that the sound disposing mind of the deceased, the plaintiffs acknowledged to have existed up to 8/4/93 no longer existed at the time the Will and Codicil were made some months later. This is premised on the position of the law, that the law presumes that a state of things shown to exist continues to exist unless the contrary is proved.” The Judge continued: “My lords, since it has been established that the testator had testamentary capacity, the onus of proving lack of testamentary capacity shifted to the appellants and the onus was never discharged by them. Section 149 (b) of the Evidence Act as to presumption of continuance is instructive. The Court of Appeal was right to evaluate evidence more so since the trial court failed to evaluate vital documentary evidence. In the final analysis, it becomes abundantly clear after evaluation of evidence, especially documents that the trial court disregarded that the testator had a sound mind notwithstanding the devastating effect of the stroke he had in 1981. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeal is affirmed and the appeal dismissed. No order on costs.” The cross appeal was also dismissed. The lead judgment was unanimously affirmed by their lordships – Mahmud Mohammed, MuntakaCoomassie, Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta and Stanley Shenko Alagoa.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THe GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Professionals push for new approach in affordable housing Housing By Emmanuel Badejo DeLUGe of lamentations rented the air last week when built environment professionals met to chart a new course for affordable housing in the counrty. They believe that the trend of homelessness could be checked, if all stakeholders are ready to confront the problem by adopting tested approaches to solving housing shortages. The experts spoke at the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Lagos’ Chapter during the 5th annual distinguished lecture held in Lagos. In fact, the hall of the Nigerian Institute Of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, venue of the event became charged as one of the speakers, nearly broke down in tears, while pondering on why some Nigerians should still be living in the ‘ghetto’ or slum. In his welcome address, NIQS’ Chairman, Mr. Olayemi Shonubi, said the series of lectures delivered since the commencement of the lecture, has in its short span, provided a platform for intellectual discourse on burning national issues as evident from previous themes hence the impetus to continue organize same. Justifying the choice of topic for this year’s lecture, “Affordable Housing Delivery In Nigeria: Myth Or Reality?”, Shonubi said that in spite of the various government efforts such Alhaji Shehu Shagari Government direct intervention in construction of Low-Cost Houses; the National Housing Policy of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida Government, the country was still unable to provide for the
A housing estate in Delta State
The issue of affordable housing for Nigerians resonated last week at the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Lagos, where professinals within the built environment sector x-rayed the problems and offered ways in tackling the acute shortage of homes in the country. housing needs of its nationals; as a result most urban centres are overcrowded while a large percentage does not have shelter over their heads. According to him, it is estimated that the country currently has a housing deficit of 17million houses while Lagos alone is estimated to have a shortage of about 5million houses, adding that the scenario informed the theme for
this year lecture. Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, said the Federal Government has plans to strengthen and expand primary mortgage institutions (PMIs) and the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme, and make available guarantees, where necessary, to attract offshore funding and enhance participation of the
private and public sectors in housing finance. Represented by the Controller, Federal Ministry of Housing, Lagos, Mr. Temitope Onaikan, the minister said the present administration believes in the potentialities of the mortgage industry, hence retooling to establish a viable secondary mortgage market in order to enable institutions such as the Federal Mortgage
Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Pension Fund Administrators, Insurance companies and other investors to trade mortgage in the capital market. For the Marketing and Sales Director, Nigerite, all professionals must evolve a formidable synergy to overcome the housing gap challenge, adding that housing delivery must be seen as a process that requires individual contributions aimed at achieving a common goal. Gbede, an architect, said one way to put the challenge behind is for both the public and private sectors to consider adopting and promoting dry
construction method, adding that if we continue with the conventional method, the achievement would be minimal. “We need to think out of the box to solve this problem. As professionals, we need to chart a new course for housing development.” Former president of NIQS, Mr. Segun Ajanlekoko, said affordable housing was far from reality but a myth. To him, it is government’s responsibility to provide shelter for her citizens. Prof. Olumide Olusanya, said that affordability of housing calls for evaluation of the cost of producing houses against the backdrop of the level of income of the populace. He added that affordable housing must be a result of deep consideration for and redesign of the product as well as process of housing delivery. Drawing from other clime, the professor of architecture, University of Lagos, said that the Greeks invented the pulley, a simple machine to make work easy more than 2, 000 years ago and subsequent civilizations have improved on it; lamenting however, that in the 21st Century, Nigerian workers are still carrying concrete in headpans, navigating precarious scaffolding to deposit about 25kilograms of concrete. In his paper, Professor Timothy Nubi of UNILAG said homelessness in Nigeria today is both rural and urban phenomenal. Under the past administration, Nubi said, he had developed a framework, if adopted more houses would be built at affordable prices. The framework according to him, include establishment policies, building infrastructure, upgrading skills, developing institutions and developing capital markets and institutions.
3invest’s 2013 summit to advance real estate growth Real Estate By Tosin Fodeke O consolidate on government’s reforms, officials of 3Invest limited have announced plans to host a two-day summit, which will further highlight real estate industry as driving the engine of economic growth and creating opportunities across the sectors. Chief executive Officer, 3Invest Limited, Ms. Ruth Obih who made the disclosure during a press conference, said that Government has recognised that unlocking the potentials in the real estate industry is key to economic development. This year’s event is themed: Advancing Nigeria’s Real estate for economic Growth”, and takes between October 17 and 18 at the Civic Centre, Lagos. In addition, it will feature an exhibition and an awards segment, which has been expanded to include recognition for exceptional property journalists. “Last year, we highlighted some major issues at our conference and our research shows increased activities in the real estate industry since the inception of Real estate Unite in 2012. It may sound coincidental but the government is recognizing and putting real estate at the forefront of the nation’s activities.
Regional Director, Victorial Island, Diamond Bank, Mr Anya Duroha (left), Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, 3Invest Limited, Organiser of Real Estate Unite, Ms. Ruth Obih, and Mr. Roland Igbinoba, President, Pison Housing Company at the Media Launch for the 2013 Edition of Real Estate Unite in Lagos. “At this year’s edition we seek to answer the following questions, how do we advance our real estate for economic growth? Does our land use allow this growth? Would increased tourism and hospitality do the trick? What is the state of our airports as the first sight of an investor or visitor? What
happened to our railways? What is the cost of maintenance?” “In order to develop strategies to tackles these issues, we have lined up speakers from key sectors who are key decision makers, policy makers and leading opinion shapers. We are partnering with international real
estate institutions and we will develop case studies from precedent achievements of the panelists and work out practical solutions in solving these challenges. “This year’s edition shall focus more on infrastructure, sustainability and the economic possibilities of a thriving infrastructure mar-
ket in terms of employment, crime reduction and economic development. We have chosen infrastructure because the potentials of Real estate, especially commercial, hospitality and residential cannot be harness without it. Also speaking at the media parley, Diamond Bank’s
Regional Manager, Victoria Island, Anya Duroha, one of the major sponsors of the event said the bank finds the event consistent with its retail strategies of helping people acquire homes and increasing the depth of mortgage in the industry. “Over the years, we have worked very hard in creating the necessary cheap funds that will enable us finance mortgages in the long run. So today, we have a lot of products in the market to acquire homes, finance ‘off plans’ and even equity release. So Real estate is a market we are interested in, we are focusing on, and hope will grow as time goes on”, he explained. In his view, Principal Partner, Akin Olawore and Company, Mr. Akin Olawore, who represented members of the Real estate Unite Advisory Board, said after his years of experience in the industry, Real estate Unite comes as one event that has taking real estate related issues beyond mere discussions. President/CeO Pison Housing Company, Mr. Roland Igbinoba, said with the emergence of the market, it is clear that capacity has to be built and it is on this premise that Real estate Unite 2013 will take cue in terms of what will be discussed. Roland said “We are going
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
TheEnvironment Seas may rise 2.3 meters per degree of global warming, says report Climate Change EA levels could rise by 2.3 SCelsius meters for each degree that global tempera-
General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Adebola Shabi (left), Safety Health and Environment Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Ibitayo Edufunke and representative of the Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc,/Head of Brewery Operations, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Samson Aigbedo, during the 2013 Industrial Tree Planting Day hosted by Nigerian Breweries Plc, held at Iganmu, Lagos... recently
Lagos takes stock of green campaign, urges tree planting The Environment By Chinedum Uwaegbulam N a renewed vigour to Ilimit improve quality of life and environmental degradation, the Lagos authorities have flagged -off it’s 2013 Tree Planting exercise, with call on the residents to plant trees as a means of ensuring sustainable healthy life. The tree planting exercise was initiated in 2008 with the aim of planting one million trees in 10 years. About four million trees have been planted in six years. The benefits include tackling climate change through the sequestration of carbon, contributing to local economies through products such as timber and providing ecosystem services such as soil regulation, erosion control and cultural values. Forests also regulate water cycles and provide habitats for biodiversity,
The Lagos government has unfolded plans to advance the cause of sustainable environment and administration’s green revolution campaign geared towards mitigating the challenges of global warming and climate change. while hosting a wide variety of genetic resources. Governor Babatunde Fashola who spoke at the ceremony held at the Nigerian Breweries Plc premises in Iganmu, urged everyone to be committed to the tree planting campaign. “ Plant more trees, preserve existing ones, and resist anyone who attempts to fell trees,” he said. The 2013 tree planting exercise has the theme, ‘Green is peace’. The exercise was designed to awake the consciousness of Lagos and the larger Nigerian public on the unique role trees and other plants play in making the environment conducive for human habitation, and to encourage citizens to plant and protect trees. He said the exercise has
been a rewarding venture. “Although, we have not begun to reap the long term rewards of tree planting, we are already seeing the positive effects of planting more trees in the state. Because trees absorb rainfall and prevent flooding, Lagos was spared the heavy flooding that ravaged the nation last year. It was not by coincidence, it was the result of our collective efforts at preserving nature to prevent her wrath.” Represented by the General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Mr. Adebola Shabi, the governor said that the new Parks and Gardens Commission would ensure that the gains of the past experiences were not reversed and that more
mileage would be covered. The Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, said the campaign effectively aligns with the company’s ‘Brewing a Better Future’, a long-term sustainability agenda of the company. He said: “Under this sustainability agenda, our company has made a commitment to continuously improve our e n v i r o n m e n t a l impact, empower our people and communities as well as positively impact the society.” Vervelde noted that the event also demonstrates their global concern and offering the conglomerate opportunity of making contribution to the cause of environmental protection.
UN carbon prices rally on shortage of new projects CDM HE longest-ever rally in T United Nations (UN) carbon prices shows little sign of easing as traders bet companies running emission-reduction projects will stop creating credits because it’s no longer profitable to do so. UN-approved Certified Emission Reductions, or CERs, for December have more than doubled to 49 cents (70 c. cents) from a record low in April on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. It costs a combined 50 to 80 cents a ton to have emission cuts at cleantechnology projects verified and the corresponding certificates issued by the UN, said
Credit price gains may be limited because of caps on demand for existing and future certificates together with oversupply. According to the forecast, market rules will restrict European demand for CERs from 2013 through 2020 to 578 million tons Luca Bertali, an emissions broker in London at TFS Green, a unit of Cie. Financiere Tradition SA, one of the largest inter-dealer brokers. Prices for the credits used by 34 of the richest nations from Germany to Australia to offset domestic emissions by investing in greenhouse-gas-reduction projects elsewhere tumbled 98 percent since peaking at 23.38 euros in 2008 as the global economic slowdown cut demand. The number of CERs being issued by the UN
in 2014 may drop 23 percent from this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Unless the price of CERs covers the costs of verification and the UN share of proceeds, people aren’t going to deliver them,” Bertali said in a telephone interview. “We’ll see the result a year from now.” UN contracts climbed to a seven-month high of 56 euro cents a ton on July 3, when the European Parliament approved a plan to reduce the region’s record surplus of per-
mits and buoy prices that had dropped to all-time record lows. They closed at 49 cents on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London after seven weeks of gains, the longest streak since they were first offered in March 2008. The UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) set up by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, has supported the development of more than 6,900 projects in 87 countries and was worth 6.6 billion euros last year, according to New Energy Finance.
tures increase and they will remain high for centuries to come, according to a new study by the leading climate research institute, released on Monday. Scientists say global warming is responsible for the melting ice. A U.N. panel of scientists, the IPCC, says heat-trapping gases from burning fossil fuels are nudging up temperatures. A small number of scientists dismiss human-influenced global warming, arguing natural climate fluctuations are responsible. Anders Levermann said his study for the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research was the first to examine evidence from climate history and combine it with computer simulations of contributing factors to long-term sea-level increases: thermal expansion of oceans, the melting of mountain glaciers and the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. “We’re confident that our estimate is robust because of the combination of physics and data that we used,” Levermann told Reuters. “We think we’ve set a benchmark for how much sea levels will rise along with temperature increases.” Sea levels rose by 17 cm last century and the rate has accelerated to more than 3 mm a year, according to the IPCC. A third of the current rise is from Antarctica and Greenland. Almost 200 governments have
agreed to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times and plan to agree, by the end of 2015, a deal to curb emissions. Global average surface temperatures have risen by 0.8C (1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution and the IPCC has said temperatures are likely to be 0.4 to 1.0 degrees Celsius warmer from 2016-35 than in the two decades to 2005. “In the past there was some uncertainty and people haven’t known by how much,” Levermann said. “We’re saying now, taking everything we know, that we’ve got a robust estimate of 2.3 meters (7 feet, 6.6 inches) of rising sea per degree (Celsius) of warming.” Some scientific studies have projected sea level rise of up to 2 meters by 2100, a figure that would swamp large tracts of land from Bangladesh to Florida. David Vaughan, head of the Ice2sea project to narrow down uncertainties about how melting ice will swell the oceans, has said sea levels would rise by between 16.5 and 69 cm under a scenario of moderate global warming this century. Vaughan told Reuters the biggest impact rising seas will have is that storms will be more destructive in the near future. “It’s not about chasing people up the beach or the changing shape of coastlines,” he said. “The big issue is how the storms will damage our coasts and how often they occur. That’ll increase even with small levels of sea rise in coming decades.”
US, China outline ‘five actions’ to combat climate change Climate Change HINA and the USA, the C world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, have agreed five new actions aimed at cutting pollution from vehicles and power stations. The non-binding climate plan will focus on reducing emissions from vehicles, carbon captures and storage technologies, energy efficient buildings, smart grids and greenhouse gas data. The US-China climate change working group, set up in April, will work with the private sector and non-governmental organisations to develop these plans by October. RTCC understands this is the first wave of announcements – with more expected over the coming years. As yet it is unclear what new financing, regulatory standards, and specific benchmarks are being set to measure progress. “When we make a decision, it has ripple effects that reach far beyond both of our borders,” Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference, adding: “How will we curb climate change, how will we pioneer new energy technology which is in fact the response
to climate change? Energy policy is the solution to climate change.” Kerry added that climate change would be top of the agenda at the latest ‘dialogue’, the fifth since the stream of talks was opened. Last month President Barack Obama and China Premier Xi Jingping agreed to work together on cutting the production of super-warming fridge gases. Meanwhile, reacting to the agreement recently by China and the US to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the largest sources, including heavy-duty vehicles, manufacturing and coalfired plants, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, the UN’s top climate change official, said: “Concrete policies and actions now to prevent further greenhouse gas emissions and create clean, sustainable economies are the single biggest contribution countries can make to firm up the foundations for a new international climate agreement. For that reason, this new, wide-ranging US- China cooperation to cut emissions from major polluting sources and to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy is both welcome and important.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE ENVIRONMENT 49
How to promote public awareness in biodiversity conservation Being the text of the guest lecturer Giwa Bisi Rodipe on Environmental Awareness and Conversation of forests Biodiversity on 2013 World Environment Day at Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta. FEEL greatly honoured to be into be the Guest Speaker at Ithisvited year’s World Environmental Day. Your invitation to me a Legendary Carpenter/Tree Planter is a clear indication of your belief that much can be achieved when there is the cooperation between ‘town and gown’. In the past few years the whole world has been concerned about climate change and global warming- a situation that has changed our climatic conditions brought about by the civilization that man established in the cause of development. A modern development leads to the sustenance of their environment, often leading to bloody clashes and causalities. Today, we are faced with the task of making our nation greener in other to check the excesses of degraded Environment, Deforestation that resulted from over commercialization of our forest resources without the thought of replanting the trees that have been felled and indiscriminately too. The new consciousness in us particularly the theme of the 25th Anniversary of FMENV/FUNAAB Linkage Centre for Forest Conservation and Biodiversity “Think, Eat, Save, Reduce, Your Foot Print” that has engendered the crusade for Forest conservation and Biodiversity is our response to the worldwide campaign to lessen the effects of global warming and degraded Environment. ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS Environment belongs to all the living beings and thus is, important for all. Each and everybody of whatever occupation he or she may have, is affected by environmental issues like global warming, depletion of ozone layer, dwindling forest, energy resources, loss of global biodiversity etc. Environment study deals with the analysis of the processes in water, air, land, soil and organisms which leads to pollute environment. It helps us for establishing standard, for safe, clean healthy natural ecosystem. It also deals with important issues like safe and clean drinking water, hygienic living conditions and clean and fresh air, fertility of land, healthy food and development. Sustainable environmental law, business administration, environmental protection, management and environmental engineering are immerging as new career opportunities for environment protection and managements NEED FOR PUBLIC AWARENESS With the ever increasing development by modern man, large scale degradation of natural resources have been occurred, the public has to be educated about the fact that if we are degrading our environment we are actually harming ourselves. To encourage meaningful public participation and environment, it is necessary to create awareness about environment pollution and related adverse effects. The United Nations conference on Environment and Development held in Rio-de-Janeiro, followed by Earth summit on sustainable Development have highlighted the key issue of global environmental concern and attracted the general public towards the deteriorating environment. Any Government at its own level can’t achieve the goal of environment conservation, until the public is
award about the ecological and environmental issues. In short, if we want to manage on planet earth, we would have to make the entire population, environmentally educated. The objectives of environmental awareness should be: Improving the quality of environment. Creating an awareness among people on environmental problems and conservation. Creating such an atmosphere as people find themselves fit enough to participate in decision making process of environmental development programmes. HUMAN ACTIVITIES AND THEIR EFFECTS ON ENVIRONMENT Agriculture: It is the oldest and widespread occupation of the people in rural areas. Over the years, there have been notable changes in the pattern of farming; Manual farming has been replaced by ‘mechanized farming’ due to the advancement of different technologies. Ploughing is done by tractors in place of bulls. Modern agricultural techniques have eventually changed into both ways. Some are favourable and some unfavourable. The changes in the earlier form of agriculture have been brought by the following ways: Mechanical factors: Tractors, tube wells and agriculture equipments. Chemical factors: Fertilizers and pesticides. The chemical factors have brought a revolution in the agriculture, as they express growth in a very short span of time but their affects in the long run are detrimental. Effects of Tractor: It is a mechanized means of cultivation. Use of tractors has considerably increased in agriculture these days. It is multitasked machine which helps in ploughing, leveling, weed controlling and sowing etc. Fertilizer: Crops require basic food like nutrient for their growth. Fertilizers are used to provide nutrients to plants. It helps in the growth of plants and contributes greatly to increase yields of the crops. Natural fertilizers do not harm the environment. Artificial Fertilizers: In the form of agricultural practices today artificial fertilizer is used in abundance. They are easy to handle, transport and store and helps in better crop yield. Its increasing use is polluting the environment and contaminating the surface and ground water resources. In the long run, it reduces the fertility of land and also leads to loss of organic matter from the soil. It also affects the lakes, ponds and underground water due to the accumulation of fertilizers in the soil. Pesticide Problem: Pesticides are used to kill pests, it helps in killing pests but it is harmful in many respects also. Advantages Helps in the reduction of crop lose and It also controls the probable disease in plants which would cause diseases to human beings as well as Weeds controlled. Disadvantage a. Non-targeted species are also killed, especially the Bees. b) Some pests are beneficial to the crops; when they are killed fewer new also emerge. c) Soil fertility is reduced. d) Food chain and food web are disturbed. e) It results into many incurable diseases. Industries: Industrial activities generate a huge amount of waste products which are usually discharged into the water bodies. The smoke from industries also pollutes the air its noise causes noise pollution too. Processing of wastes from large chemical plant is a very complex process because many chemicals are produced that way. In recent years, emphasis is laid on the industrial waste treatment, for the recovery of useful byproduct. By and large, it should be kept in mind that no industrial product is more important than our environment. Nowadays various
Rodipe measures have been taken to transform industrial waste into products in order to save our environment as well as money. For example waste paper can be used to make thick cover of note books. Industrialization is considered the synonym to development but its necessary to review the impact of industrialization on society and environment otherwise it can bring the following consequences: Ecosystem imbalance: Industrial plants discharge a number of contaminants to the air and water and thus pollute them equally. Man’s uncontrolled actions for the fulfillment of his desires are contaminating the atmosphere and leading the biosphere to undesirable changes that will result into the ecosystem imbalance. Biodiversity loss: To set up new industries, the biologically rich habitats are being destroyed and fragmented. Today, biodiversity loss is one of the most concerning crises. A rich biodiversity is essential for the health of biosphere and industrial development of a country. Toxic metal and non-metal discharge: Toxic metals and non-metals from the industries, cause great harm to the biosphere. The organic impurities cause harmful affects on the water basins and the regions adjoining them. Discharge of effluents form industries, decreases the amount of DO (dissolve oxygen) in water. It is leading us towards the deficiency of pure drinking water. Food chain imbalance:Industrial discharge carries a variety of organic and inorganic contaminants that enters into the food chain imbalance. It disrupts the energy flow of the ecosystem as well. Disturbance of self-purification mechanism: The organic matter gets oxidized by bacteria which break it into simpler substances such a ammonia, nitrates, sulphates etc. These substances are utilized by protozoa, fish, insects etc. Discharge of organic matter into the streams, results into the growth of bacteria and conse-
chinery used in mining and the blasting create conditions that may become unbearable to local people and the forest wild life. It leads to migration of tribal people from mining areas to other areas in search of land and food. Mining results in lowering of ground water table. Formation of ponds which can alter the hydraulic and drainage basin limits in local regions. Transportation: Way back two centuries, the atmosphere gases were balanced, atmosphere had the capacity to protect itself from the encroaching pollutants. But the various means of transport released oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbon, and various harmful gases in the atmosphere. The affect, after all was the disturbance in the atmospheric. Road Transport Various pollutants that emit from automobiles are: Carbon dioxide (CO2/CO) Nitrogen oxides (NO2) Hydrocarbons. Sea Transport It consists of ships and submarines etc. that covers the distance between countries. Sometimes, due to storms and icebergs, accidents take place due to which oil spills into the ocean. This floating oil is absorbed and consumed by billions of tiny phytoplankton and other organisms, since these organisms play a vital role in the food chain, and other forms of marine life depend upon them, they, eventually pass this oil to the other organisms as well via food chain. Air Transport It is one of the fastest modes of transportation and pollution too. Various pollutants such as CO, CO2, oxide of nitrogen and oxides of sulphur are spread in the atmosphere through airplanes. Jet planes travel in the stratosphere and disrupt the Ozone layer by emitting pollutions such as SO4, and C12 etc. Airplanes create supersonic booms which harms people physiologically and psychologically. HUMAN ACTIVITIES 1. Resettlement and Rehabilitation of people – Its Problems and Concerns: The industrial and urban development projects such as power plant, oil refineries, fertilizers, chemical industries, river valley projects, dams, reservoirs and mining etc. are the major causes for displacement of people from their well-established living places. For this purpose, the Government has introduced the land Acquisition Act, which empowers it to serve notice to the people to vacate their lands if required for the government and planning. Provision of cash compensation in lieu of the land vacated existed in section of the Act. The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Right (Article 25 (I)) has declared that right to housing is a basic human right. The involuntary movement of the residents from one place to another for resettlement gives rise to a variety of problems which may be social, economical and of other types. They are as follows: Social Problems Disturbances in the social structure. Breakage of community structure. Dispersal of kith and kins Weakening of traditions. Loss of cultural identity. Inter-relationship and potential for mutual fraternity is diminished. Economical Problems Income sources are shattered and ruined. Families face-long term hardships. Search of new jobs requires time.
quently, it depletes the dissolved oxygen, which is replenished by the atmosphere. This process is called Self-Purification. When large amount of industrial sewage is disposed of into the natural water bodies, the self-purification mechanism gets disturbed. Gaseous emissions: Natural resources have been exploited at their fullest, in the race of development, all over the world. In recent times, due to industrial coal burning, large amount of gases like CO2, CH4, N2O, CFCs are increasing in the lower atmosphere. The emission of these greenhouse gases results into global warning, at the same times SO2 and NO2 emitted from industries cause acid rain and formation of smog. Control Measures Scientific techniques should be adopted for the reprocessing of the industrial waste. Recycling practices should be made a must in the industrial plants Reasonable funds should be provided for the construction of treatment plants for industrial effluents. Legal provisions should be enforced proper administration. Eco-friendly industrial plants should be taken into consideration. Mining: Mining is the act of extracting ores, coal etc. from the earth. Mining on Industrial scale can produce environmental damages from exploitation and development even long after the mining is closed. The major effects of mining operations on human being and plants are as follows: Mining produces enormous qualities of waste compared to any other natural resources extraction activity. Water dissolves these wastes to produce contaminated fluid that pollute soil, river and ground water. Mining also leads to air pollution due to release of greenhouse gases and other toxic gases, for example CH4, CO2 etc. It leads to deforestation including loss of flora and fauna. Mining operations produce a lot of noise. The deafening sound of ma- CONTINUED ON PAGE 50
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
50 THE ENVIRONMENT
The imperative of environmental awareness in forests conservation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 49 Educational, Psychological and Environmental DUCATION of Children gets interrupted. Joint families are separated which affects different members of the family, differently. Resettlement in the newer environment affects the mental and physical skill of the individual. People face greater problems of availing resources due to competition in the relocated environment. Rehabilitation Policy: Objectives and Planning There is a ministry of rehabilitation and resettlement (R and R) in central Government and state Government to resolve the gravity of the fact of rehabilitation, in case of involuntary displacement. Their losses are compensated by the Ministry. This is ensured by the implementation of the following policies: To provide adequate compensation. To provide social infrastructure and community services. To provide Proper rehabilitation and facilities. To help them providing a locality of their preference. To settle them in a community, they are acquired to. To help them improving their living standard. 2. Effect of Housing on Environment: Housing involves dwellings of living beings in the form of group housing, office buildings, multistoried buildings, shopping malls, Industrial Township etc. Various sources of pollution generated in housing activities are: Indoor Sources of Pollutants Air conditioner provides good temperature for fungal and other bacterial growth. Fumes generated from kitchen appliances such as gas stove, cooker, heater, blower and oven causes air pollution. Other appliances such as TV, Radio, Fan, Cooler etc. cause noise pollution. Materials used for decoration such as Vanishes, Paints, Coated wall papers etc. create air pollution. Outdoor Sources of Pollutants Building construction materials such as Cement, Sand, Steel, Gravel, Marbles, Aluminum etc. cause water and soil pollution. Shops producing ozone from photocopier machine, tobacco smoke, Freon using as solvent in industries causes air pollution. Solution to the Problems (a) In the case of indoor pollutants, The fumes generated from appliances should move outside of the house through chimney. The volume of electronic appliances should be up to audible limit. The materials used for decoration or protection from mites etc. should not reach directly to the water system. (b) In the case of Outdoor Pollutants Eco-friendly appliances should be in use. Construction materials should not find their way to open atmosphere or water system. 3. Social, Ethical and Aesthetics Issues: It involves some of them as: Agriculture Green Revolution Global warming Ozone depletion Resettlement Economic growth Greenhouse effect Acid rain Wasteland reclamation Rainwater Harvesting Watershed management Urbanization Consumerism Industrialization Diseases
Ozone Depletion: Ozone layer acts as a shield scattered in the stratosphere. It absorbs the sun’s UV radiation and keeps it away from the earth’s surface. Its depletion is a cause of global concern as its thinning will let the lethal UV rays pass and reach to the earth’s surface which will result into cancer, eye damage and even will reduce our immunity. Ozone hole is usually measured as reduction in the total column above a point on the earth’s surface, which is normally expressed in Dobson units. Substantial reductions up to 70% have been observed in the ozone column over Antarctica. Wasteland Reclamation: The land which is either incapable for agricultural purpose or is not useful to its optimum potential, due to various reasons is marked as wasteland. Usually it is unused and non-productive. Delta Region including Lagos State has more wasteland areas. Various measures have been adopted for wasteland reclamation which are as follows: Afforestation Reforestation Protecting soil erosion by providing ground cover. Change in the agricultural practices by adopting mixed cropping and crop rotation etc. Eco-logical succession i.e. natural process of development and re-development of the ecosystem. Environmental Impact Assessment It is a formal study process, used to predict the environmental consequences of proposed major development project. Such assessment may include those projects which can significantly alter the landscape and consequently disrupts and disturb the services and inhabitant of that place. It also involves manufacturing, handling and use of hazardous materials and those projects which are to be settled nearby urban centers, near ecologically sensitive areas, hill resorts and nearby scientific and cultural heritage area. Some of the projects are as follows: Establishment of cement industry Petroleum industry Hazardous waste treatment plant Nuclear power plant Distilleries Heavy water projects etc. EIA concentrates on problems and conflict of natural resources continuously that could affect the surroundings. It analyses the project thoroughly so that the project may not be harmful to the people, their homeland and their nearly surrounding areas. The predicted future problems are looked after by it and maximum attentions are paid to minimize it. EIA tries to force the problems and tries to minimize it by making a pre-design. To achieve the aim of EIA, the statements are sent and being communicated to all the groups of: The project developer and their investors The regulators, planners and politicians The project planners and engineer first of all used to read the conclusion of an EIA and then make decision about the project by taking in consideration the benefits of the project and avoiding the problems. The project gets its credit and recognition which yields its benefit without causing serious problem to environment and is likely to be completed on time and within the budget decided to it. The project developers, their management planners, politicians make decision about the purpose project. After realizing the conclusion by member of the assessing team and finding it beneficial to local people along with their main motive not to harm the existing ecology, they give permission to the owners after having undertakings. So that the aim of sustainable development may be achieved. This project has to be designed to suit the local environment and should be completed on
Rodipe time to avoid any difficulties on the way. It is an important face in the process of deciding about the final save of a proposed projects and it helps the official to take decision and achieve aim more successfully. Project that yields benefits without causing serious problems is more likely to bring credited and recognition to its proponents. Essentials of EIA Procedure EIA should be applied to all developing project as a primary structure. EIA should be undertaken throughout the project with best applicable science and mitigation technology. Objectives of Sustainable Development: To promote equity. To improve the quality of human life. Sustainable use of natural resources. Protecting the Ecosystem. To fulfills international standard. Considering environmental in decisions. Long-term planning and implements. Zero pollutant emissions from the industrial process. Factors Affecting Sustainable Development: Excessive exploitation of non-renewable resources. Increasing population growth and population density. Decreasing gross domestic product per capita. Uncontrolled consumption of energy and environmental. Pollution. Deterioration of land. That’s how much I can cover from the Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, on Environmental Issues. CONSERVATION OF FOREST AND BIODIVERSITY LAND UTILIZATION FOR A BETTER ENVIRONMENT It must be emphasized that developed nations are the industrialized nations that developed their landmass through cultivation and conservation to feed themselves and produce Agro Allied raw materials for their industrial growth.
Land is Nigeria’s greatest asset; the matter of land utilization in Nigeria should be our greatest concern. Nigeria’s economy is totally dependent on Oil and Gas that is coming from only about 5% of our landmass. Other productive use of our landmass may not be more than 15% the rest 80% are lands that are lying fallow. Land utilization and conservation should therefore be our first consideration in matter of creating a productive better environment. If you add value to one hectare of rural land by planting 2000 trees at a cost of N2, 000, 000.00 (Two Million Naira) spread over three years; it is an injection of capital for rural development. This includes cost of purchase of rural land, land preparations; purchase of seedlings, weeding, trimming or pruning etc. without additional cost, thereafter after three years; The 2000 trees in year 10 will have grown or matured into transmission pole sizes worth about N10, 000 per one. The investment will be worth about N20, 000, 000.00 (Twenty Million Naira). If the one hectare of 2000 trees is allowed to grow for 25 years when it attains minimum Timber sizes either for local sawmills or for export, eat tree will be worth N50, 000. This is the result of investing N2, 000, 000.00 (Two Million Naira) to add value to one hectare of rural land by planting 2000 tress on one hectare piece of rural land, the land will grow the trees to the tune of about N100, 000, 000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) without incurring Administrative Cost. It will always grow. It will provide employment for more than 200 (Two hundred) rural people. In addition after the first harvest the stumps will sprout out to continue a second stage of growth, for long lasting returns without Management Cost at any time. This is the most positive way of rural development, and Sustainable environment With this practical and positive way of land utilization for a Productive better environment, lets’ now consider Tree Plantation and forest protection that have reached a global dimension and now a major focus for mitigating cli-
mate change and global warming. No one can deny the fact that there is need for promoting tree planting and forest protection as a deliberate Social and Economic Policy. It is on record that out of every 1000 hectares of forestland in Nigeria some 4000 hectares are mindlessly deforested every year and only 26 hectares of this are poorly reforested. This wanton destruction of our wooded legacy that has degraded our environment continues unabated. Climate Change Mitigation has provided us the greatest opportunity to press the issue for the restoration and rehabilitation of our forest legacy through Tree Planting to create a Productive better environment. Now that emphasis on Forest Protection has been given special consideration by the Developed nations and their decision to pledge more than $4Billion (Four Billion Dollars) as part of Copenhagen resolution to finance a programme meant to help poor nations to protect their forest and slow global warming, Associated press reported the European Union’s Climate Commissioner as saying in Oslo: “An agency monitoring the aid will be up and running before United Nations climate talks start in Cancun, Mexico. Also, Indonesia agreed to a two-year moratorium on issuing new permits for Forest destruction as part of a $1billion (One Billion Dollars) deal with Norway that would pay Indonesia a fixed sum per ton of C0 emissions reduced through rain forest preservation. Norway has had a similar deal with Brazil. Deforestation, the burning of woodlands or the rotting of felled trees, is thought to account for up to 20 per cent of carbon dioxide released in to the atmosphere. The new program – called REDD Plus, for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation- will encourage rich nation to voluntarily finance forest – protecting projects while coordinating that aid to avoid waste and ensure transparency, Though it was approved – at the U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009, it has not yet been implemented. In Oslo, Germany, France, Norway, the U.S., Britain, Australia and Japan pledged $4 billion (Four Billion Dollars) to finance REDD Plus through 2012, with Denmark and Sweden adding $73 million (Seventy Three Million Dollars) more to the effort. The new monitoring agency would oversee individual agreements between countries to fight deforestation and degraded environment and educate local populations who live off forests – estimated at more than 1 billion (One Billion) worldwide – to do so in a sustainable way. An F.A.O afforestation guideline recommends that at least 25% of a country’s land space should be covered by forest. In 1960, at the time of independence, it was estimated that at least 30% of Nigeria’s land surface was under forest cover; over time, either through National neglect of National recklessness we lost our forest An F.A.O. Country Report in 2003 put the area under forest in Nigeria at 4.9%. So much has been destroyed in the space of 50 years; More alarming was the fact that our of 4,456,000 hectares under forest, only 325,000 hectares were of planted forest – i.e. the result of re-forestation or re-planting a mere 0.034% of what was left of forest in Nigeria. As a percentage of ideal forest cover, it would be a minuscule 0.008%! Worse still for the wood industry, valuable hard woods accounted for only 2% of the forest cover left in 2003.
TO BE CONTINUED
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
(1) Common investing psychology traps INTRODUCTION Various authors have written on psychological or behavioral traps that lead people in the wrong direction with their lives in general. Sometimes, these books touch on financial matters, but that is certainly not their main focus. In this article, the intention is to apply some classic forms of dysfunctional psychology directly to the investment arena. We will take a look at some of the most common traps and how to avoid them. ANCHORING Firstly, there is the so-called anchoring trap, which refers to an over-reliance on what one originally thinks. For instance, if you think of a certain company as successful, you may be too confident that its stocks are a good bet. This preconception may be totally incorrect in the prevailing situation or at some point in the future. For example, the German consumer electronics company Grundig, which was the major European supplier in the 1970s, was wiped out in the 1980s by competition from Japan. Those trapped in the perception that Grundig was there to stay, lost a lot of money. In order to avoid this trap, you need to remain flexible in your thinking, and open to new sources of information and the reality that any company can be here today and gone tomorrow. Any manager can disappear too, for that matter. SUNK COSTS The sunk cost trap is just as dangerous. This is about psychologically (but not in reality) protecting your previous choices or decisions, which is often disastrous for your investments. It is truly hard to take a loss and/or accept that you made the wrong choices or allowed someone else to make them for you. But if your investment is no good, or sinking fast, the sooner you get out of it and into something more promising, the better. If you clung to stocks that you bought in 1999 at the height of the dot.com boom, you would have had to wait a decade to break even, and that is for non-hi-tech stocks. It’s far better not to cling to the sunk cost and to get into other assets classes that are moving up fast. Emotional commitment to bad investments just makes things worse. CONFIRMATION TRAP Linked to the above is the confirmation trap. People often seek out others, who have made, and are still making, the same mistake. Make sure you get objective advice from fresh sources, rather than phoning up the person who gave you the bad advice in the first place. If you find yourself saying something like, “our stocks have dropped by 30%, but it’s surely best just to hang onto them, isn’t it?” - you are seeking confirmation from some other unfortunate in the same situation. You can comfort each other in the short run, but it’s just self-delusion. . BLINDNESS Situational blindness can exacerbate the situation. Even people who are not specifically seeking confirmation often just shut out the prevailing market realties in order to do nothing and postpone the evil day when the losses just have to be confronted. If you know deep down that there is a problem with your investments, such as a major scandal at the company or market warnings, but you read everything in the newspaper apart from the financial pages, you are probably suffering from this blinder effect. RELATIVITY TRAP The relativity trap is also there waiting to lead you astray. Everyone has a different psychological make-up, combined with a unique set of circumstances extending to work, family, career prospects and likely inheritances. This means that although you need to be aware of what others are doing and saying, their situation and views are not necessarily relevant outside their own context. SUPERIORITY TRAP For some people, the superiority trap is extremely dangerous. A lot of investors think they know better than the experts or than the market. Just being well educated and/or clever does not mean you don’t need good independent advice and, even more so, it does not mean you can outwit the pros and a complex system of markets. Many investors have lost a fortune through being convinced that they were better than the rest. Furthermore, these people are easy prey for some of the other traps mentioned above. There are (and have always been) professors of finance at the best universities who really are brilliant technically, and this can delude them into thinking that the pickings are easy out there in the real world. Some really do cut it, but others are in for a rude awakening beyond the ivory tower. Odd as it may sound, someone with a Ph.D. in finance may in fact lead you in the wrong direction (too calculating, too confident), while someone with no more than a high school diploma may have an amazing feel for the market and make a fortune. CONCLUSIONS Human psychology is a dangerous thing, and there are some alarmingly standard mistakes that people make again and again. It is very easy in the heat of the moment, or when subject to stress or temptation, to fall into one of these mind traps. The wrong perceptions, self-delusion, frantically trying to avoid realizing losses, desperately seeking the comfort of other victims, shutting out reality and more can all cost you dearly. Be aware of the nature of these traps and always be honest and realistic with yourself. Furthermore, seek advice from competent and knowledgeable people of integrity who will bring you back to reality before it is too late.
(2) THE CONCEPT OF RELATIVE TRAP INTRODUCTION Our minds make sense of the world by making comparisons. For instance, how do you tell if something is cheap or expensive when shopping? It’s mostly by comparing it with other products, isn’t it? And so it happens for everything in our lives: we’re constantly comparing — everything, all the time. It’s true that making comparisons is human nature, but judging everything only through comparisons can get us to think irrationally and make bad decisions. It eventually makes us feel miserable when we realize that our choices weren’t really that good, after all. DEFINITION OF ‘RELATIVITY TRAP’ A psychological or behavioral trap that leads people to make irrational choices when making spending decisions. The relativity trap is frequently exploited by savvy marketers to coax consumers into making a spending decision that maximizes their profit. It arises because the human brain works in a relative way while making comparisons and finds it difficult to compare across different categories. Innumerable experiments on this subject find that the relativity trap is a potent issue that affects financial decisions for a great number of people. For example, a restaurant may offer a value burger for N1.99, its regular burger (also its most profitable) for N2.99, and its premium burger for N4.59. In this scenario, the relativity trap will ensure that most people opt for the regular burger. However, if the price of the premium burger is slashed to N3.59, a substantial number of people will choose it on the grounds that it is worth paying an extra 60 cents for a premium burger. This is the relativity trap at work again. Another example of the relativity trap is the pricing models adopted by most clothing stores. If the regular price of a pair of jeans is N40, the store will show the price as N80 but subsequently discounted by 60%, so that the “sale” price is now N48. The buyer thinks she’s getting a bargain, when the reality is that the store generated an extra 20% on the item. The relativity trap is also apparent when making comparisons across dissimilar groups. For example, consider a consumer who sets out to buy a basic bike on a limited budget of N150. Assume he is also looking casually for a set of golf clubs to replace his old set, although the bike is a more pressing necessity. While shopping for the bike, he comes across a great set of clubs that have been marked down 50% and are now priced at N200. The relativity trap may well lead the consumer to buy the golf clubs on the justification that it is an opportunity not to be missed, even though the bike was required more urgently and he went N50 over his budget. RELATIVITY IN OUR DAILY LIVES: PENS AND SUITS (Culled from Litemind) Picture yourself in the following situation: You have two errands to run today — buying a new pen and a new suit for work.At an office supply store, you find a nice pen for N16. You are set to buy it, but you remember the exact same pen is on sale for only N1 on a closeout 15 minutes away. Do you buy the pen for N16 or go for the N1 one? OK, on to your second errand: Let’s go get your suit. You just found a nice suit for N500 and while waiting for the cashier, another customer tells you that you can find the same suit for N485 on a store just 15 minutes away. Do you buy your suit for N500 or drive 15 minutes for the N485 one? Take a moment to think about your choices. What would you have done? A similar situation was presented to a group of people in a study (by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, the same brilliant guys from another great famous framing experiment). The results? They found that most people chose to drive to buy the cheaper pen, but happily parted with N500 for the more expensive suit. What’s going on? Can you spot the contradiction here?
A DOLLAR IS A DOLLAR IS A DOLLAR — OR IS IT? Clearly, our minds are fooling us. In both situations your choice boils down to saving N15 or 15 minutes of your time: The absolute price of the item you’re buying has no importance whatsoever (and is the red herring used in the experiment to elicit the contradictory behavior the researchers were looking for). Whether you save N15 from buying a pen, a suit, a car or a luxury yacht, the end result is the same: N15 in your pocket. The only question that matters here should be: “Is 15 minutes of my time to save N15 worth the N15 I’m saving?” What’s happening here is that your mind can’t decide, without external aid, if a N15 discount is a good deal: it needs something else to compare the discount to (in this case, the total price of the item). And this is the problem: we look at things in life relatively, comparing differences, instead of looking at each thing’s value on its own. Making comparisons and evaluating things relative to each other is a many times a useful shortcut, but as demonstrated above, in many occasions it severely hinders our ability to make wise decisions. RELATIVITY TRAPS ARE EVERYWHERE Not surprisingly, relativity kicks in not only when buying pens and suits but in almost everything in life. Relativity, along with the bad comparisons it entails, can make you feel bad about yourself, get you in debt, and lead you to make lifechanging decisions that are just plain stupid. In short, it can make your life miserable. The examples are countless; here are just a few. Comparing yourself with others. This is a biggie. If you assess your worth by comparing yourself with others (in any dimension you choose to use), you’re set for disappointment: there will always be people better than you in any measure you pick. I’ll further explore this theme in a subsequent article, but for now it suffices to repeat something you already know: avoid comparing yourself with others; it’s always a no-win situation. Keeping up the Joneses.The richest person in a poor neighborhood is usually happier about his net worth than the poorest person in a rich neighborhood — regardless of how much they actually have! In light of relativity, people compare themselves with their neighbors, and don’t like the feeling they’re behind “everyone else”. This is an endless cycle: the more people have, the higher they set the bar for the people they compare themselves with. Winning (and feeling like you lost).Isn’t it true that the silver medal usually tastes bitterer than the bronze medal? Despite the absolute value of the medals, earning the silver medal usually comes in the context of failing to win the gold one. The bronze medal, on the other hand, is earned in the context of getting any medal instead of no medal at all. Taking advantage of “great deals”.It’s a well-known sales technique to offer customers the most expensive products first. Those overpriced items establish the context for people to see the other products as being cheaper. Oftentimes those “cheap” products are not cheap at all, but thanks to relativity, you walk away thinking you made a great deal. (Note, though, that you paid the ‘absolute’ amount of money for your product! It may be relatively cheaper but you may have parted with a great deal of your hard-earned money, anyway.) On the flip side, people may go for the more expensive item because the difference in price to the less expensive one doesn’t look as big. People find it easy to spend N3,000 on leather seats for their new N25,000 cars (the N25,000 serves as the comparison number), but have a hard time spending the same amount on their living room sofas (that usually don’t have a clear figure to be used for comparison). HOW TO OVERCOME THE RELATIVITY TRAP Is it possible to escape the mind trap of relativity”? Dan Ariely, in his brilliant book Predictably Irrational (from which I got most of the inspiration to write this article) hints at the solution. The way to escape thinking in terms of comparisons and relative terms, is — not surprisingly — thinking more in absolute terms: you got to escape the trap of doing local comparisons and think more broadly. Going back to our example of buying the pen and the suit: Resist the temptation of looking at the N15 savings relatively to the item’s total price (the immediate, most salient comparison). Escape that local comparison and put the savings into a broader context instead. Ask yourself ‘What can I do with the N15 saved?‘ and see how that can better inform your choices. Maybe you will buy a book? Save the money? Donate it to charity? Moreover, ask yourself: “Is N15 worth a drive downtown and 15 minutes of my time?” In short, see beyond the immediate situation. In 15 minutes, maybe you can go back to work and earn more than N15? Or maybe a 15-minute break is what you need right now? Regardless of which way you decide, remember: this has nothing to do with the price of the pen or the suit, but with what you are actually saving (time? money? hassle?) means to you in a broader context. This was an easy example, but if you think about it, you can apply it to just about everything in your life. How about stop comparing yourself with others and assess how you feel about your life broadly — on your own terms? How about focusing on the value of your silver medal instead of the other guy’s gold medal? Think outside your immediate context, escape easy comparisons and start seeing things in a broader perspective. When you think about life this way, everything can be seen under a new — much more positive — light.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22 , 2013
53 In association with
THE INSTITUTE FOR REAL ESTATE EXCELLENCE (IREE)
Excellence. Integrity. Professionalism
IREE 201 - Buying Off-Plan. The Pros And Cons (Part 2) • Lower Purchase Price Buying off plan allows buyers invest into a development very early and secure it at a much lower price than usual. There is an advantage to paying upfront for a property that is still being built rather than paying when it is fully constructed as the savings could be quite substantial. Sometimes, some developers need to sell many units ‘off the plan’ before they can begin/ continue construction. Without the initial financial investments of subscribers buying ‘off the plan’, the developer may not be able to complete the project. Hence, Excellence. Integrity. Professionalism. The IREE was inaugurated in 2012: The Institute for Real Estate Excellence (IREE) Vision: To raise the standards in the The IREE was inaugurated in 2012 Nigerian real estate industry through profes- Vision: To raise the standards in the Nigerian sional training and coaching to meet inter- real estate industry through professional training and coaching to meet international stannational standards. dards. Brought to you by The Institute for Real Estate Cutting Edge Real Estate Excellence (IREE) News. Trends . Advice developers are able to offer attractive prices and discounts to those who invest early in the development. he Intelligent Real Estate Series • Returns on Investment (ROI) is a bi-weekly column aimed at Buying off plan developments can provide buyers/ investors with large amounts of capital on educating readers on matters their initial capital outlay over a relatively short relating to the real estate industry. period leading to accelerated wealth growth and capital gains which in turn means good We will be discussing the various on investment (ROI) as the market factors that affect the industry, cur- returns value of properties appreciates after a period of rent trends and future projections in time. Some buyers can also opt to sell a properpracticing real estate in the 21st cen- ty before it is completely built for a tidy profit, in most cases require the permission of the tury as the industry is continuously but developer to do so.
evolving and business is no longer business as usual. Enjoy!!!
Continued from the last edition UYING a property that is non-existent is not for the faint-hearted. The idea of parting with hard-earned money when brick is yet to be laid is difficult to chew; therefore there is need for a substantial amount of bravery and trust to be in place. Before making a decision about whether or not to buy off plan, it is important to consider some of its benefits and pitfalls:-
PROS OF BUYING OFF-PLAN DEVELOPMENTS
might not be so accommodating), they might also have the opportunity to make certain modifications to their selected units like having customized fittings, restructuring or redesigning of the floor plans, personalized finishing of units, etc bearing in mind that additional cost which might accrue would be borne by them. • Side Attractions It is important to note that for off-plan properties to be attractive, the fundamentals must be high and favourable. Invariably, large developers are professional enough to construct in current or up-and-coming hotspots ensuring optimum potential for high returns on your investment. They often times have already researched proximity to infrastructures including modern amenities such as schools, medical services, recreational facilities, public transport and places of interest or natural beauty. Buying an off-plan property situated close to modern infrastructure will in the long run increase capital gains Availability Ease of Payment Although unique to each country, developers require payments in installments from their buyers throughout the period of construction. Typically, a certain percentage mostly between 5-20 percent is required as an initial deposit and/or reservation fee, followed by other split deposits to be paid up until completion. This is favorable to buyers since they do not have to pay the entire purchase price of the property in a oneoff payment. Preferred Choice Off-plan buy• Ease of Payment ers who subscribe at the early stages of conAlthough unique to each country, developers struction usually benefit from selecting the require payments in installments from their best available units on the development. buyers throughout the period of construction. Depending on the developer (as some might Typically, a certain percentage mostly between not be so accommodating), they might also 5-20 percent is required as an initial deposit have the opportunity to make certain modifiand/or reservation fee, followed by other split cations to their selected units like having cusdeposits to be paid up until completion. This is tomized fittings, restructuring or redesignfavorable to buyers since they do not have to ing of the floor plans, personalized finishing pay the entire purchase price of the property in of units, etc bearing in mind that additional a one-off payment. cost which might accrue would be borne by • Preferred Choice them. • Side Attractions Off-plan buyers who subscribe at the early stages of construction usually benefit from It is important to note that for off-plan propselecting the best available units on the devel- erties to be attractive, the fundamentals must opment. Depending on the developer (as some be high and favourable. Invariably, large
Intelligent Real Estate
developers are professional enough to construct in current or up-and-coming hotspots ensuring optimum potential for high returns on your investment. They often times have already researched proximity to infrastructures including modern amenities such as schools, medical services, recreational facilities, public transport and places of interest or natural beauty. Buying an off-plan property situated close to modern infrastructure will in the long run increase capital gains • Availability of favourable mortgage facilities Some developers will offer pre-arranged mortgages as part of the off-plan deal. No one is obliged to take this mortgage, although it may save the buyer who decides to take a mortgage some arrangement costs and hassle. • Tax and Other Incentives Purchasing a property off plan comes with a number of financial incentives. Buyers of new developments are given certain tax breaks that they wouldn’t receive from buying an old or existing structure. Furthermore, since age plays a factor in insurance matters, buildings bought ‘off the plan’ will save you a large amount of money on home insurance and other costs. Despite the fact that there are no real property taxes in Nigeria, home insurance is available thus investors in Nigerian property may save on home insurance costs if they buy off-plan properties. Developers on some occasions offer special incentives to entice customers to purchase their products off-plan. For instance, buying a property worth a stipulated amount can come along with a luxury car, an all expense paid trip to choice locations etc. (To be continued)
REAL ESTATE TRIVIA Question. Where can you find the world's largest residential palace? Answer. The Istana Nurul Iman, palace of the Sultan of Brunei, includes 2,152,782 square feet, 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms and a 110-car garage. Please send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
BusinessInterview Robust policy support imperative for promotion Linus Ilozue is the Managing Director ( Manufacturing) of Chicason Group, a conglomerate with over 4000 workforce nationwide. A graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, he also holds an MBA from the University of Port Harcourt. He was the Production Manager for NSD Plant, Unilever between 1985 and 1990, before joining Chicason Group as Executive Director. An alumnus of Lagos Business School, Ilozue is the Chairman, Marketers Committee of the Standard Organization of Nigeria, Deputy President, Nnewi Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and a member of the Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers. As MD in charge of manufacturing at Chicason Group, he oversees the activities of A-Z Petroleum Limited, RIMCO Limited, Promotex Industrial and Chemical Company Limited, Master Feeds Limited and Afro-Asia Automobile and Plastics Industries Limited, among others. In this interview with EMEKA ANUFORO of our Abuja Bureau, he speaks on measures required to promote local materials’ sourcing, among other issues, for the manufacturing industry. Excerpts. OW would you describe the profile of busiH ness activities, especially manufacturing in the country now? No business is bad. There are two key things that determine how a business flourishes. Number one is availability of the raw materials and their being accessed at competitive rate. To add value to the raw materials, do you have the right technology to process it? You will get maximum production at each cost in terms of quantity, qualitative results and the least cost, so that it will be competitive in the market. Having done this, do you have market for it? You can even reverse it. In any manufacturing, market is important. What is the size of the capacity of the market? Is it worth the investment? If it is, can you get the technology to do it? Finally, are the raw materials available, whether within or from outside? If you get the raw materials, is the price competitive enough to give you the price to give you the selling price the consumer are ready to accept? So, with our background in manufacturing, we are building our processing plant, the raw material is there. Which raw materials are you referring to?
In this case we are talking about barite. There is a barite belt in Nigeria at competitive cost and we are putting up a processing plant that has the technology to bring it to the right quality and quantity and at the market prices. We have also written a feasibility research that assured us that there is a market for it. We knew that the market wanted it, we saw that there was raw material. Where I now come in is to lead them to install the right technology. That is what we are doing. No doubt, you are aware of the controversy regarding the the quality of barite in Nigeria. What improvements do you plan to ensure that your barite is the one acceptable by the Nigerian oil industry in which you also work? That is why I said business starts with the market and ends with the market, and I said, we started with the market. Our market here is the oil industry. Barite is used for drilling. It is used to avoid explosion when they are drilling. It is also used in pharmaceuticals for drugs. We have found out and we know the quality they want. We have brought a technology that can transform the raw materials that we are talking
about. The controversy about the quality of barite is part of what we hope to address. Before now, Nigeria only had the small time miners that want to do business locally. With the technology, things are going to turn around. We will grind to the right particle size and get it washed very well. Our technology will guarantee good barite. We have identified very good source of clean barite. We are serious. The investment we are putting here is quite huge. What volume of output should the nation expect? We are hitting the market in August this year. The volume is huge. We expect an output of about 120,000 tonnes an hour. What’s your assessment of the mining industry in the country, especially in respect of its capability to satisfy demand for raw materials for production? Mining in Nigeria has not have been given the right place because of the major distraction by crude oil production. Nigeria is over-blessed with many resources, mineral, agricultural and so on. Some of these resources are neglected because of the effect of crude oil. But I think past
governments from the civilian government of Obasanjo, have some efforts to revamp solid minerals and try to formalize them instead of all these backyard mining activities that have been causing havoc in the country, causing pollution. That was basically why the Ministry of Solid Mineral was set up. The Ministry of Solid Minerals was set up with the aim of formalizing the sector and giving it a proper place in our economic activities. I think it is taking shape from government perspective and it is left for business people to come and exploit the opportunities. For us, we see mining as a good area because we have been a manufacturing firm and we know that no business is bad. How much are you investing in the mining project? We have invested quite substantially in the project. The current operation is running into billions of Naira not to talk of investment. If you go to our site, you will think we are a construction company. We have drilling machines and excavators. Our mining investment is running into billions of Naira too. We are doing the road to the mining site; we are repairing more than 22
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
of local raw materials’ sourcing, says Ilozue There is a barite belt in Nigeria at competitive cost and we are putting up a processing plant that has the technology to bring it to the right quality and quantity and at the market prices.
Ilozue culverts and bridges to access the mines we are going to. I am talking about the processing plant. The mining operation is another thing. This runs into billions because of the infrastructure we have to provide. For instance, we are putting up a housing estate in Makurdi to house the workers. We are building a clinic for the community where we intend to build the mines. We are building nursing quarters for the community. It is around Benue State. We are going to make the road motorable so that we can ferry our product to the factory. The mining operation, which I don’t want to go into, is very expensive and that is why the small miners cut corners. First of all, you want to access the quality of the minerals you have there for you to be sure whether the investment is worth it. That will cost money. Not only in solid minerals but in every mining. The first thing you do is establish that the solid mineral is there and have an idea of the quantity of reserve so that when you are investing, you know whether you can recover your investment from that reserve. If it is a small reserve and you invest much, you lose. We have brought in so many of the mining infrastructures we require. Coming back to the processing plant, I said the capacity we have now can be produce up to 120,000 tonnes an hour but when we start, we will not go the full 120,000 tonnes capacity immediately because we have to establish the market and some other things. At the finishing end, we might start with 44,000 tonnes an hour but then, there is room for us to do that 120,000 as the market expands. How much qualitative reserve do you have? You see, I am not a geologist but I want to tell you that we are satisfied with the capacity of the reserve, if we are not, we will not be investing so much. There is a barite belt in Nigeria, traversing Nasarawa, Benue and others. We can get from there and process Are you looking forward to exporting?
It depends on the demand and government policies. We have the capacity to supply Nigerian market and beyond, if government policies allow it. What degree of environmental impact assessment have you done? That is why I told you that the Federal Government has put in place the structure to guarantee the safety of mining in Nigeria. What they did was to write a procedure not only for mining but for all industrial activities, there is a procedure. Number one, you must do your environmental impact assessment. What is the impact of these things you are bringing to the community? What is the social impact, chemical impact and so on? If you want to put a motor park in a residential area, I think it is also proper to do your EIA because it is going to affect the residents, your horn blaring and so on. So, EIA is necessary for any industrial activity. If it is not favourable the government will not allow it. What we did was to do the environmental impact assessment and every years we do the audit. Wherever there is mining activity, there is bound to be environmental degradation. How do you hope to check this? What I want to assure is that we will abide by whatever laws government has in this era. What specific manufacturing activities do you do at Nnewi and how do you cope with power supply? Nnewi is the seat of our manufacturing activities. We have factories and each factory is a company on its own. For instance, at AZ Petroleum Company, we manufacture all sorts of lubricants- semi-liquid lubricants and liquid lubricants. The semi-solid lubricant greases are used for different applications. Some are used for high temperature - some are used in water areas like in boats. You want to put grease that will not be swept off by water. Greases are semi-solid; when you heat them they melt. At a certain temperature, the grease will melt
When I go to buy raw materials in bulk that I use to make my lubricants and keep my workers engaged, I pay the same duty as the man who goes overseas and asked them to use recycled oil and make all manner of false claims on their label and bring into Nigeria. Government needs to discourage that kind of oil.
and therefore the engine loses lubrication. Therefore you supply them grease that will not melt at the temperature: the ones that are used in high temperature, low temperature, and water and on land. We make all these different greases for different purposes. The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) gave us an award for being the first company in Nigeria that has tried to use 100 per cent local raw material to make our grease. By so doing, we are saving a lot of foreign exchange for the Federal Government. We make our greases, we pack them here, the container and other inputs are locally made. Apart from grease, we also produce engine oils that are in hot demand across the nation. What is the level of grease production in your firm? We have a huge capacity for it. We can even supply beyond Nigeria. We have capacity to supply grease to the whole country. The unfortunate thing is that the Federal Government still allows importation of sub-standard greases. We have the technology, capacity and raw materials. Some of the imported ones use palm oil. Today, we can make 50 tonnes of grease every week. What do we need to do as a nation to check the influx of these sub-standard products into the country? It is government policy. Government has to work with the manufacturers, establish the capacity. If they are not importing and I increase my capacity, I will create more jobs. The same thing applies to lubricants. We have the capacity to feed the whole of Nigeria with lubricants but when you go to the market, it is awash with fake lubricants with fake names. They claim a lot of things and usually they are recycled oil, engine oil that has been used. They have the technology to remove the impurity and bleach it. It is not the same as virgin oil and that is why it is very cheap. They package it and bring it here. The irony is that the duty they pay is the same duty we pay for the raw materials. We buy raw material - the base oil because the refineries cannot give us base oil. So, when I go to buy raw
materials in bulk that I use to make my lubricants and keep my workers engaged, I pay the same duty as the man who goes overseas and asked them to use recycled oil and make all manner of false claims on their label and bring into Nigeria. Government needs to discourage that kind of oil. Unfortunately, they pay the same duty as the man importing raw materials. One should have expected that finished products should attract higher duty. How far has the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) gone in helping to check these so called wrongly labelled lubricants? I just attended another meeting where SON came up again with their SON CAP (Standards Organization of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme), a procedure put in place by the Federal Government to mitigate the activities of dumping in Nigeria. It is the procedure you have to follow to make sure that your product is guaranteed. One thing is to make the law and the other thing is to implement. SONCAP is in place. When you go to the borders, there are many of them checking but you know that Nigerians are very smart and at the same time, some of them are trying. But I am worried about the policy because it is not favourable at present, especially the import tariff regime, to local producers. Some of these sub-standard products are even coming through the air; some are coming through the sea, some are coming through the borders. So, where do you check? How do you manage counterfeiting? First of all, what we do is to make sure that our packaging is right. We put a lot of security locks. If you look at our A-Z products, you will see that we have triple locks. If any product has triple locks, there is one inside and one outside covered with metal ring. So, before you can get in, you must destroy the ones inside. With this, if you try to adulterate, it will be a problem. Adulteration is another industry and as you are doing your own, they are finding ways of destroying it. When we do this, we make sure that we distribute through the proper channel. So, when you see a man standing with engine oil
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
For The Record Nigeria’s national security in an age of terrorism (3) Maiden Departmental Lecture Department Of Political Science Faculty Of The Social Sciences University Of Ibadan By Aituaje Irene Pogoson, Ph.D Continued from Wednesday, July 17, 2013 HIS notion of national security therefore capT tures both traditional security and human security. Emerging circumstances of trans-national threats which now exist and thrive irrespective of national borders, and which they comprise a list of different risk factors that seem unending, ranging from different trans-national crimes like terrorism, human and drug trafficking, money laundering etc., to widespread environmental degradation, diseases, climate change and even political policies which might threaten nations’ sovereignty (Brainard & O’Halon, 2004), have further challenged the concept of national security which now pertains to people rather than territories on the one hand, and development rather than the military on the other hand. National security is now perceived as total security – security of life and property, security of the economy and the economic resource areas of the country, security of food and raw materials resources, of the general health of the people, of the environment and national integrity, and preservation of all that society considers to be important and valuable (Imobighe, 1989). As the security environment becomes more dynamic and uncertain, resonating with numerous threats and contestations which are transnational in nature and have the potential to grow more lethal (Pandya & Laipon, 2008:39), most nations find themselves struggling for survival . The security of any state embodies a notion of order, or of the conditions necessary to maintain the smooth functioning and reproduction of an existing society. McGrew (1988) submits that the security of any nation is predicated on two central pillars. On the one hand, it entails the maintenance and protection of the socio-economic order in the face of internal and external threats. On the other hand, it entails the promotion of a preferred international order, which minimizes the threats to core values and interests, as well as to the domestic order of nations. Security is therefore time-bound and malleable. It implies protection against, or safety from, a future risk of severe deprivation, injury or death, and requires rules, order and impartial adjudication and application. As we have tried to show above, while the concept of national security largely refers to the security of the state against armed attack or insurrection, the “referent object” of the broader concept of human security (which includes overlapping systems of security at individual, national and international levels), is the security of the individual in his or her personal surroundings and within the community (HulHaq, 1999). In the complex world of globalization, all threats to national security have both internal and external dimensions because they are perpetrated across national boundaries. For all states, national security therefore has two facets – the internal and the external. States can just as thoroughly be disrupted and destroyed by internal challenges (at either sub-state or national level) including spiritual threats to human and national security (Nwolise, 2012) as they can be by external forces. Security in whatever form is a standard measurement of the viability of any state or nation. A state of insecurity means that the society concerned is on red alert and that a risk factor has been identified which must be contained. This largely may involve military and non-military activities. All nations have the right under international law to secure their territorial space and protect their citizens from any imminent attack in whatever form. The security perspective adopted in this lecture is a broad one: the ability of nations to promote the pursuit and realisation of the fundamental needs and vital interests of its citizens, and to protect them from all forms of threats which may be economic, social, environmental, political, military or epidemiological in nature. These threats are numerous, diverse and complex. They could take the form of terrorist attacks, pervasive poverty, violent conflict, natural disasters, cybercrimes, trans-border crimes, proliferation of arms, external aggression, and contagious diseases (HIV/AIDS), among others. Some of these threats
Pogoson to national security may stem from the domestic environment of nations or from the external environment. EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT AND NATIONAL SECURITY Too often in the study of International Relations, we assume that the ‘international’, ‘the external’, are some natural givens of life. Yet, international history and indeed world history is replete with information about the ways in which the landscape of what constitutes the external environment has been negotiated and renegotiated and even the domestic domains of nation-states have not been immune to contestations. Indeed, one of the enduring stories of international relations is the way in which the international domain and the domestic environment of political units have been subject to reordering and redefinition. Yet, at least in demonstration of an acute lack of historical insight, much international relations literature treat the international or external environment as a monolithic story, constituting a unilinear trajectory of sameness and persistence throughout human history (Waltz, 1979). Indeed, as Waltz, would have us believe, anarchy is an enduring feature of international relations, and change in the international system is reduced to the rise and fall of great powers. Waltz argues that the International system is anarchic because it is characterized by similar units all acting in their national interest so that the underlying logic of thec international system is the absence of functional differentiation and the absence of supervening authority to maintain peace and security. However, with the benefit of history, we now understand that international relations have been variously characterized by the coexistence of the logics of anarchy and hierarchy at various times and to varying degrees (Hobson, 2002: 18). While history offers us a theory of change and persistence in conceptualizing the international domain, the notion of ‘othering/otherness’ (Aschcroft et al., 1998: 154-156) offers compelling insights in the attempt to make sense of what constitutes the external environment of nation states. This term has gained ground in much post-structuralist or postmodernist writings. In the context of this subject matter, it implies that states make sense of themselves in the context of how they imagine the others or those on the outside, implying that there is no self in the absence of the other. This notion of ‘otherness’ is a powerful concept because it draws attention to
how notions of the self and the other are produced and the changes that have taken place in the way these concepts are understood. Also to reiterate the point earlier made, the self is not a given of life, instead competing notions of the self are produced within a specific geo-historical milieu. Poststructuralist writings have drawn attention to the specific context within which, for example, the idea of the individual was produced and that people have not always thought of themselves as individuals (Edkins, 2007). This contention between the self and its other was perhaps eminently acknowledged by Thucydides. Writing in the context of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta, he draws attention to the varying images that Athens had of its international environment. Indeed, in the Melian dialogue, Thucydides quotes the Athenian envoy as saying that ‘right, as the word goes is only a matter between equals, while the strong do what they have to do, the weak suffer what they must’ (Thucydides, 1951). By implication, the Athenians understood their international environment as constituting of two classes of states, those who were sufficiently strong to contend with them and the weak states which they were bound to dominate, and that it was growth in the power of Sparta that invoked fear in the mind of Athens. This for Thucydides was the cause of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta. The Athenians understood their international environment to be made of strong states like Sparta and Athens and weak states like the Melos. Strength and weakness measured by varying indices were the criteria upon which the Athenians understood themselves in relation with the outside. While Thucydides’ explanation has been much received by contemporary International Relations scholarship to explain the causes of war in international relations, not all philosophers and thinkers paid attention to geo-political issues in accounting for the causes of the Peloponnesian war. The emphasis on geo-political considerations in accounting for causes of war by Realist literature has been the focus of many of the critiques on realist writings. (See Rosenberg, 2001) The topicality of the issue at that time invariably agitated the minds of philosophers, most notably Socrates and Plato. Plato argued that the untendered growth of the luxurious life was what led the state to look beyond its frontiers for resources to meet the growing internal consumption of the Athenian city-state. To manage this problem, he advocated for a guardian class of philosopher-kings to mediate the excesses of the class of artisans (Ebenstein 2002). This argument is instructive, for far from the geo-political imperative for war, Socrates
and Plato drew our attention to the internal characteristics of states and how they create war impulses. It is indeed this internal impulse that has remained under-theorized in International Relations, particularly since the assertion of systemic causes for war came to dominate reflections on the international. Over the millennia, political units have understood their external domains in different lights; more often they have tended to view those outside their empires or states as barbarians. This was particularly true of pre-modern China which saw itself as the Heavenly Kingdom where leaders received and lost the mandate of heaven. At certain times, China was inward-looking and tended to see the world beyond it as constituting no more than hordes of barbarians; while at other times China developed ties with other peoples, cultures and civilizations. This idea of China without an outward orientation was not constant throughout its history. Chinese traders and sailors had contacts with south-east Asians, Indians and Africans. However, there were occasions when a deep sense of provincialism developed as under the Ming dynasty when in 1433 the Ming Emperor suddenly banned Chinese merchants from going abroad. A more recent example of Chinese isolation occurred during the Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong. A good example of China relating with other parts of the world occurred in Zheng He’s six epic voyages to different corners of the world to present gifts to rulers and in return the emperor wanted them to acknowledge his supremacy. (Fergusonn: 2011) During the Hellenic period, the Greeks developed a system of international relations that was centred around Greece, although this would change in successive periods, first under the rule of Alexander the great and later under the Roman Empire where the vision of a Roman peace and a Rome-centred world predominated. For the most part of the Middle Ages, however, a deep sense of introspection and provincialism developed across the world. In Europe, a symbolic referent is often made to the fact that stones once used to build bridges that connected peoples and cultures were broken down and used to build city walls (Ebenstein, 2002). This was the prevailing picture in Europe from about 500-1000BC. As secular authority disintegrated, as evident in the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Church increasingly rose to fill the void left by secular reign. The authority of the church and, more specifically, the Papacy grew, culminating in the reign of the Holy Roman Empire till its authority came under challenge between the 14th and 17th centuries. For much of its reign, Europe defined the principle for understanding its external environment on the basis of Christendom. Here, the line of demarcation was made between the Christian world and the Islamic world in the medieval world and thus became the basis for identification and distinction; indeed, it is not by accident that the main fault lines between these two religions were drawn on this basis. With the dawn of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, notions of the external world were tremendously revised. Firstly, knowledge of the natural world was altered, leading man to shift his knowledge of the natural world from one that saw the earth as the centre of the universe to one that saw the sun as the centre of the universe. Secondly, within Europe, those who had achieved some fair degree of advancement as a result of the triple revolutions in science, industry and politics felt the need to civilize other people thus initiating what Norbert Elias has called the Civilizing Process (cited in Jeyifo, 2000). Thirdly, was the projection of this beyond Europe in what was called the civilizing mission, a project that was predated by an agenda to know the world of ‘others’ beyond Europe through several exploratory missions. These developments have markedly shaped notions of what constitutes the external world today for different peoples and civilizations, and years of civilization, contact and migration have altered the sense of what it means to be external, away from notions demarcated by
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY 57
China removes floor on lending rates as economy slows HINA eliminated the C lower limit on lending rates offered by the nation’s financial institutions as economic growth slows and authorities expand the role of markets in the world’s secondbiggest economy. The change, effective at the weekend, eliminates a limit set at 30 per cent below the current six per cent benchmark, according to a People’s Bank of China statement at the weekend. The central bank left a deposit-rate cap unchanged. While the move temporarily jolted world stocks higher, the PBOC acknowledged that it was a limited step and said that freeing up deposit rates would be more important. The shift came as central bankers and finance ministers from Group of 20 nations gathered in Moscow, and after a cash squeeze in money markets curbed a record expansion in China’s credit. “While deposit-rate liberalisation is still possible, the fact that a decision was made to just remove the lending-rate floor suggests that more aggressive liberalisation proposals were defeated, or at least delayed,” said Ken Peng, senior economist at BNP Paribas SA in Beijing. “This decision shows that some reform is being done, but may actually reduce the chances for deposit-rate liberalisation in the near term.” Raising the deposit-rate ceiling would improve household incomes and reduce the attractiveness of non-traditional wealth management products while threatening banks’ profit margins, Peng said. Weekend’s move will lower companies’ funding costs and boost financial institutions’ pricing capabilities, the PBOC said. In March, only 11 percent of loans were priced below the lending benchmark, according to central bank data. The MSCI World Index of stocks reversed losses immediately after the announcement. It gained less than 0.1 percent as of 1:40 p.m. in New York. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. slipped 0.1 per cent. Twelve-month non-deliverable yuan forwards strengthened 0.08 per cent against the dollar, extending a second weekly advance to 0.15 per cent. The nation’s economy grew 7.5 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier and is at risk of the weakest expansion in 23 years. The announcement builds on pledges by Premier Li Keqiang to expand an overhaul of interest rates, tagged by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as a priority in financial reform. Lu Ting, head of Greater China economics at Bank of America Corp. in Hong Kong, said the announcement seemed a “token”
move after the interbank liquidity squeeze in June and “a real move” will involve deposit rates. China’s one-year benchmark lending rate has been held at six per cent since the last reduction in July 2012. The PBOC last year allowed banks to offer rates as much as 10 percent above the benchmark set for deposits and let financial institutions offer loans at a discount of 30 per cent below the benchmark lending rate. The nation’s overnight interbank rate jumped to a record 12.85 per cent on June 20 as the PBOC withheld cash and restricted its communication, spurring speculation policy makers wanted to expose banks using short-term funds too aggressively for longerterm investments.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY 61
G-20 seeks stronger economy with ‘spillover’ control LOBAL finance chiefs G sought to reinforce the global economic recovery by promising “carefully calibrated” policies that won’t spook markets. The Group of 20 nations heeded calls from emergingmarket countries to guard against shockwaves when U.S. growth is secure enough for the Federal Reserve to cut back on its bond buying, according to a statement issued in Moscow yesterday. They also repeated that nations should move quickly toward market-based exchange rates and avoid competitive devaluation. “Future changes to monetary policy settings will continue to be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated,” according to the statement issued after finance ministers and central bankers concluded two days of talks. “We reiterate that excess volatility of financial flows and disorderly movements in exchange rates have adverse implications for economic and financial stability.” The G-20 also backed the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s plan for revamping global tax codes. The endorsement gives a
boost to the Paris-based OECD’s efforts to prevent the largest companies from using complicated ownership structures and transfer pricing to avoid paying taxes where they do most of their business. “The tax agreement stands out, but the devil is in the details,” said Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York. “Exactly how it will be implemented is not clear.” Speculation about developed economies scaling back their unprecedented monetary easing has roiled emerging-market currencies and bonds since G-20 finance chiefs last met in April. From South Korea to South Africa, anticipation that the Fed would soon pare back its quantitative easing efforts drew calls for coordination so as not to squelch global demand. “We really focused on growth and employment and what is the policy mix that will help improve growth encourage and create jobs,” International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in an interview with Television. Bloomberg “Central banks share that concern.” The improving U.S. economy
‘Improving economy may allow UK reduce taxes’ .K. Prime Minister David U Cameron said the U.K. economy is “healing” and that
should allow the government to cut taxes. “As we start to see the economy grow stronger — and it is growing stronger — as we start to see the country improve, actually I want to give people back some of their hardearned money and try to reduce their taxes,” Cameron said in an interview on the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” broadcast today. “Your economy does better if you say to people you’ve worked hard, you’ve done the right thing, here is some of your own money back in a tax reduction.” With recent data showing strength in the economy, Cameron may find it easier to achieve his deficit-reduction goals as part of the biggest fiscal squeeze since World War II.
Due to a weaker-than-expected recovery after the global financial crisis, Cameron’s Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners have had to extend budget cuts until 2017-18, beyond the country’s next general election in 2015. The government’s fiscal plans show “further need for spending reductions in order to meet our deficit targets” and “don’t include any plans for tax rises,” Cameron said. The U.K. public have “set us this task of trying to turn the country round, sort out the deficit, get the economy moving again, build a country where hardworking people get rewarded,” Cameron said. “They’ll judge us in 2015 and I hope to persuade them that a Conservative-only government will be able to do even more of that.”
Yemen’s economy rebounds as loans surge EMEN’S economy is recovY ering from its 2011 recession as construction expands and bank lending to private businesses and consumers Bank Central surges, Governor Mohammed Bin Hammam said. “Borrowing by the private sector increased more than 18 percent in the first five months of 2013” after the central bank reduced its benchmark interest rate by a total of 5 percentage points to 15 percent in October and February, Bin Hammam said in an e-mailed response to questions. Inflation, which had climbed to a 15-month high of 14.5 percent in May, may ease to “around a single digit by the end of the year,” he said. The economy of Yemen, the poorest nation in the Middle East, may grow 4.4 percent this year from 0.1 percent in to according 2012,
Monetary International Gross estimates. Fund domestic product contracted 10.5 percent in 2011 amid the uprising that ended the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. “The construction industry is picking up and most economic activities would be targeting going back to normal capacities that were hurt during 2011,” the governor said. Foreign reserves were $5.7 billion at the end of June, compared with an external debt of $7.2 billion, he said. This year’s budget envisions a deficit of $3.2 billion, which will be financed in part by foreign aid, Bin Hammam said. “If such financing does not materialize then the government would take necessary actions to limit the budget deficit to levels that could be financed from domestic non-inflationary resources.”
means a shift in Fed policy is coming and it will need to take place “in the proper manner,” Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri said. “The question is about the pace,” he said in an interview. “Of course we have to wait for what will happen in the next couple of months.” Global yields surged and equities fell after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled on June 19 the U.S. central bank may start tapering its monthly stimulus program this year. U.S. 10-year yields, which climbed 36 basis points in June, have pared increases over the past two weeks as Bernanke eased those concerns in recent appearances. “We’ve all learned something from this,” Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said. A certain amount of reaction “is inevitable. You have to be mentally prepared for that
and continue to emphasize that message and be very clear.” A U.S. Treasury Department official said the G-20 recognized that financial-market volatility has returned to normal. The official acknowledged a lot of interest in U.S. monetary and fiscal policy, reiterating while Washington’s call to do more to help the euro zone emerge from recession. According to the final statement, G-20 nations will offer “credible, ambitious” fiscal strategies when leaders meet in St. Petersburg in September. Those strategies must be “sufficiently flexible to take into account near-term economic conditions” while also making debt levels more sustainable, according to the statement. Germany had sought tougher language that would require medium-term budget targets and push the U.S. and Japan to
follow through on previous commitments, said an official from a G-20 country. Germany in turn came under fire from the U.S. and South Korea, who pressed Europe to prioritize growth over debtcutting measures. The G-20 hasn’t yet decided if these targets will be binding, a second official said. Leaders will use the September summit to decide how to proceed on the fiscal strategies, said the official, who declined to be identified because the talks aren’t public. The G-20 acknowledged that global risks aren’t confined to Europe, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters after the meeting. “The global risks are widespread, and no longer, as in former years, only focused on the euro zone, and this view is also shared by all my colleagues,” he said.
The G-20 said in its final statement that the U.S. and Japanese economies are strengthening, while growth slows in emerging markets and the euro area remains mired in recession. Bank of Japan Governor said Kuroda Haruhiko “understanding is deepening on BOJ’s qualitative and quantitative easing.” Monetary easing is steadily achieving its goal of boosting the economy, he told reporters. The G-20 promised that countries will aim their policies to prevent damage across borders. “Monetary policy should be directed toward domestic price stability and continue to support economic recovery according to respective mandates of central banks,” the G20 said in the statement. “We will continue to monitor financial-market conditions carefully.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Fed reviews rule on big banks’ commodity trades after complaints HEN the Federal Reserve W gave JPMorgan (JPM) Chase & Co. approval in 2005 for hands-on involvement in commodity markets, it prohibited the bank from expanding into the storage business because of the risk. Five years later, JPMorgan bought one of the world’s biggest metal warehouse companies. While the Fed has never explained why it let that happen, the central bank announced July 19 that it’s reviewing a 2003 precedent that let deposit-taking banks trade physical commodities. Reversing that policy would mark the Fed’s biggest ejection of banks from a market since Congress lifted the Depression-era law against them running securities firms in 1999. “The Federal Reserve regularly monitors the commodity activities of supervised firms and is reviewing the 2003 determination that certain commodity activities are complementary to financial activities and thus permissible for bank holding companies,” said Barbara Hagenbaugh, a Fed spokeswoman. She declined to elaborate. That reconsideration comes as a Senate subcommittee prepares for a July 23 hearing to explore whether financial firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley (MS) should continue to be allowed to store metal, operate mines and ship oil. At a time when JPMorgan faces a potential fine for alleged manipulation of U.S. energy prices, the panel will discuss possible conflicts of interest in the business model, said its chairman, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat. “When Wall Street banks control the supply of both commodities and financial products, there’s a potential for anti-competitive behavior and manipulation,” Brown said in an e-mailed statement. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are the biggest Wall Street players in physical commodities. The 10 largest banks generated about $6 billion in revenue from commodities, including dealings in physical materials as well as related financial products, according to a Feb. 15 report from analytics company Coalition. Goldman Sachs ranked No. 1, followed by JPMorgan. While banks generally don’t specify their earnings from physical materials, Goldman Sachs wrote in a quarterly financial report that it held $7.7 billion of commodities at fair value as of March 31. Morgan Stanley had $6.7 billion. On June 27, four Democratic members of Congress wrote a letter asking Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, among other things, how Fed examiners would account for possible bank runs caused by a bankowned tanker spilling oil, and how the Fed would resolve a systemically important financial institution’s commodities activities if it were to collapse. Given such attention, the Fed’s re-examination of its
policy shows the central bank isn’t tone deaf to criticism, said Joshua Rosner, managing director at New York-based research firm Graham Fisher & Co. and a witness scheduled to testify at the hearing of a subcommittee of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. “Given the inconsistencies on its oversight on these issues, the Fed seems to be trying to cover its backside,” Rosner said. For more than 50 years, the Bank Holding Company Act prevented federally guaranteed banks, such as JPMorgan, from direct participation in commodity markets. The prohibition didn’t pertain to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which were investment banks, until they became bank holding companies in 2008. After that, the Fed gave both banks a five-year grace period, which expires in September, while regulators decided whether to curtail their activities related to metals, fuels and other goods. Now, “it is virtually impossible to glean even a broad overall picture of Goldman Sachs’s, Morgan Stanley’s, or JPMorgan’s physical commodities and energy activities from their public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal bank regulators,” Saule T. Omarova, a University of North CarolinaChapel Hill law professor, wrote in a November 2012 academic paper, “Merchants of Wall Street: Banking, Commerce and Commodities.” The added complexity makes the financial system less stable and more difficult to supervise, she said in an interview. “It stretches regulatory capacity beyond its limits,” said Omarova, who is slated to be a witness at the Senate hearing. “No regulator in the financial world can realistically, effectively manage all the risks of an enterprise of financial activities, but also the marketing of gas, oil, electricity and metals. How can one banking regulator develop the expertise to know what’s going on?” Goldman Sachs owns coal mines in Colombia, a stake in the railroad that transports the coal to port, part of an oil field off the coast of Angola and one of the largest metals warehouse networks in the world, among other investments. Morgan Stanley’s involvement includes Denver-based TransMontaigne Inc. (TLP), a petroleum and chemical transportation and storage company, and Heidmar Inc., based in Norwalk, Connecticut, which manages more than 100 oil tankers, according to its website. Mark Lake, a spokesman for New York-based Morgan Stanley, referred to company regulatory filings that said the bank didn’t expect to have to divest any of its activities after the grace period ends. He declined to elaborate or to comment on the Fed’s announced rule review. Brian Marchiony, a spokesman for JPMorgan, also declined to comment on
Bernanke the review, as did Michael DuVally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman. To gain Fed approval, bank holding companies must show that their involvement in physical commodities would relate to a financial activity of the bank, according to the law. Citigroup Inc. (C)’s creation through mergers required Congress in 1999 to repeal the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which had forced deposit-taking companies backed by government insurance to be separate from investment banks. In a landmark decision in 2003, the Fed allowed Citigroup to continue making transactions in physical commodities after finding them complementary to the firm’s trading and investing in financial instruments. The New York-based bank otherwise would have been forced
to divest its Phibro energytrading unit. Citigroup agreed to sell Phibro to Occidental Petroleum Corp. in 2009. JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, inherited electricity sales arrangements in California and the Midwestern U.S. in 2008 when it bought failing investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. Its February 2010 purchase of RBS Sempra Commodities LLP’s worldwide oil and metal investments and European power and gas assets was also a distressed transaction. The European Union ordered Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to sell its controlling stake in the firm after a taxpayer bailout. Part of that deal was Liverpool, England-based Henry Bath & Son Ltd., a founding member of the London Metal Exchange in 1877 and the operator of 76
exchange-licensed warehouses in eight countries, according to LME data. In a November 2005 order allowing JPMorgan to expand into trading physical commodities, the Fed mentioned such possible adverse effects as “undue concentration of resources, decreased or unfair competition, conflicts of interests or unsound banking practices.” All of them would probably be outweighed by the public benefit of introducing new competition to markets for physical commodities and commodity derivatives, according to the order. Derivatives are financial instruments used for speculation or to hedge risks and can derive their value from the prices of commodities. The 2005 order also directed JPMorgan to stay out of the business of extracting, storing or transporting commodities to minimize its exposure “to additional risks.” The 2003 ruling now being reconsidered by the Fed marked “a radical departure” from bank holding companies’ past practices, said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Washington-based Federal Financial Analytics, in an interview. The Fed is “certainly going out of its way to send a signal,” she said. While it’s hard to predict whether officials will reverse the ruling, “it sounds like it is a real dialing back.” The central bank has not made public any order showing that it changed its mind. The Fed’s Hagenbaugh declined to comment, saying that supervisory information on an individual bank was confidential. Marchiony, the JPMorgan spokesman, declined to comment. Neither Stephanie Allen, a Commodity Futures Trading Commission spokeswoman, nor Bryan Hubbard, her counterpart at the Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency, which oversees retail banks, said they had any knowledge of a waiver. In February 2010, Goldman Sachs bought Romulus, Michigan-based Metro International Trade Services LLC, which as of July 11 operates 34 out of 39 storage facilities licensed by the London Metal Exchange in the Detroit area, according to LME data. Since then, aluminum stockpiles in Detroit-area warehouses surged 66 percent and now account for 80 percent of U.S. aluminum inventory monitored by the LME and 27 percent of total LME aluminum stockpiles, exchange data from July 18 show. “The warehouse companies, which store both LME and non-LME metals, do not own metal in their facilities, but merely store it on behalf of the ultimate owners,” said DuVally, the Goldman Sachs spokesman. “In fact, LME warehouses are actually prohibited from trading all LME products.” Traders employed by the bank can steer metal owned by others into Metro facilities, creating a stockpile, said Robert Bernstein, an attorney with Eaton & Van Winkle LLC in New York. He represents consumers who have complained to the LME about what they call artificial shortages of the metal. With so much metal already in storage, the warehouses can afford to offer incentives to owners of the metal to store even more, earning additional rent through volume. The LME requires a daily minimum amount of metal to leave the warehouses; it doesn’t specify how much can enter. As supply accumulates, traders can finance the metal, Bernstein said. Financing typically involves the purchase of metal for nearby delivery and a promise to sell it at a later date to take advantage of a market in contango, where prices rise into the future, Bernstein said. The transactions are made easier by record-low borrowing costs after central banks cut interest rates to boost economic
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY 63
Boeing 787 probe to focus on pinched beacon wire are examining Iunder whether a wire smashed a beacon battery cover NVESTIGATORS
caused a short-circuit that triggered a July 12 fire on a Boeing Co. (BA) 787 Dreamliner in London, a person familiar with the probe said. UK and U.S. investigators are focused on the crushed wiring in the plane’s emergency locator transmitter while continuing to look into a number of possible causes for the blaze, said the person, who isn’t authorized to speak publicly. U.S. regulators on July 19 said they will order Dreamliner operators to check for wire damage after a beacon was linked to the fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise 787. The Federal Aviation Administration is working with Chicago-based Boeing to develop instructions for the inspections, which will be made mandatory through an airworthiness directive to be issued “in the coming days,” the agency said in a July 19 statement. Operators will be told to ensure wire routing is proper, seek “any signs of wire damage or pinching” and search for heating or moisture within the devices’ battery compartment, the FAA said. The move falls short of the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s recommendation that the FAA direct airlines to disable the Honeywell International Inc. (HON) beacons on all 787s. The FAA said it will communicate its plan to aviation safety regulators in other countries this weekend. The directive would apply only to the six 787s flown by United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) because
no other U.S. carrier operates the jet. Other nations’ aviation regulators typically follow the agency’s lead, as they did in January when the FAA grounded the aircraft after lithium-ion batteries melted down in two 787s’ power systems. “We received the recommendation from the AAIB and are working closely with Boeing and the FAA to ensure we take the appropriate action,” Christen David, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based United, said by telephone prior to the FAA’s announcement. “We have already performed visual checks on the emergency locator transmitters with no findings.” Reuters reported earlier that investigators were looking at a pinched wire in the ELT. Operators of the 68 Dreamliners in service have been grappling with how to respond to a July 12 blaze that scorched the composite skin of an Ethiopian Airlines’ 787, which was parked at London’s Heathrow airport with its ground power switched off. While the battery-powered beacons are self-contained in aluminum alloy casing and not integral to flight operations, they are included in the jet’s minimum equipment list, according to the FAA’s website. Japan’s Transport Ministry will allow removal of the emergency beacons from Dreamliners and the use of portable beacons in place of the Honeywell devices, Megumi Tezuka, a spokeswoman at ANA Holdings Inc., the biggest 787 operator, said yesterday in an e-mail. Kyodo News earlier reported the ministry’s decision. Japanese aviation law requires emergency transmitters to be in service. An
Boeing 787 inspection of ANA’s 20-jet Dreamliner fleet didn’t uncover any issues, Nao Gunji, a spokeswoman, said earlier in a telephone interview. The carrier had said that if the FAA had ordered the removal of the components and Boeing issued a directive, the carrier would do so once Japan’s transport ministry published a decree. Poland’s LOT said it has made checks and the part is “fine.” U.K. charter carrier Thomson Airways removed the Honeywell locators. UK regulators continue to probe whether an electrical
short or other mechanism sparked the Ethiopian Airlines fire, the AAIB said on July 18. It has determined that an emergency locator transmitter powered by lithium batteries contained the only stored energy capable of starting a blaze within the area of heat damage. The beacons are used to track downed aircraft and planes operating across oceans where there is no radar coverage. They are placed on planes for a reason, said Robert Mann, an aviation consultant based in Port Washington, New York. “These do provide a real func-
tion and safety net in real time.” The FAA said July 19 that it does not require the transmitters to be on large commercial aircraft. The equipment can be temporarily deactivated for repairs, according to the agency’s website. The device is likewise part of a minimum equipment list maintained by the European Aviation Safety Agency and can be temporarily deactivated for maintenance while the aircraft continue to fly, Richard Taylor, a spokesman for the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority, said in an e-mail.
India’s aviation safety regulator will make a decision after Air India Ltd. — which operates seven 787s — receives a directive from Boeing, Arun Mishra, director general of civil aviation, said in an earlier phone interview. Boeing has “provided instructions to customers giving them the required information to meet their regulatory guidelines,” Marc Birtel, a Boeing spokesman said in an e-mail. “This includes either the inspection or removal of the ELT on affected airplanes, as dictated by local operational requirements.”
needs “a medium and longterm consolidation strategy” in addition to the short-term measures already taken, he said. Meanwhile, The German Defense Ministry denied a report in Der Spiegel magazine that delivery of the Airbus Military A400M transport plane could be delayed because
of a mistake in the ministry’s certification procedures. “The timely delivery of the German A400M, according to the contract changes from 2010, is secure at this time,” the Berlin-based ministry said in an e-mailed statement. The news magazine reported earlier today that a certification body responsible for approving the aircraft wouldn’t be ready for the planned November 2014 delivery of Germany’s quota of planes. Engine faults and cost overruns have affected development of the transport aircraft, which represents Europe’s largest defense program at about 25 billion euros ($33 billion). Der Spiegel said documents from 2003 show that mistakes in the original sales contract mean certification procedures don’t meet German military standards. The discrepancy has led Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere, already facing criticism for a scandal over the failed project for the Euro Hawk military drone, to plan a new body to oversee domestic certification of the A400M, the magazine reported. The Defense Ministry said the process for certifying the aircraft has “already been determined as far as possible.”
Germany’s finance chief harps on growth ERMAN Finance Minister G Wolfgang Schaeuble said that economic growth should take priority over deficit reduction for now. A gathering of G-20 finance chiefs that ended in Moscow today sent “an important signal, namely that we all agree that the most important task is to strengthen growth and create jobs,” Schaeuble told reporters after the meeting. “Global growth is moderate and the recovery is fragile.” Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who spoke alongside Schaeuble at the briefing, said the picture of the world economy has “clouded over” and the euro region only managed to stabilize recently after a protracted economic downturn. Any improvement this year will be gradual, he said. Germany came under fire from countries including the U.S. and South Korea, who pressed Europe to prioritize growth over cutting debt. The finance ministers and central bank governors today laid the ground for G-20 leaders to decide on fiscal strategies when they meet in St. Petersburg in September. Those must be “sufficiently flexible to take into account near-term economic conditions” while also making debt
Merkel levels more sustainable, the G20 said in a statement published today. Germany had sought agreement on tougher language today that would require medium-term budget targets, said an official from a G-20 country. G-20 leaders will discuss country-specific targets for the time after 2016 in St. Petersburg,
though the group has yet to decide if these would be binding, said a second official who asked not to be named because the talks aren’t public. “The concrete figures will only be published at the summit, this is for the heads of state and government to do,” Schaeuble said of the debt targets. A 2012 G20 agreement to draw up coun-
try-specific goals “remains important.” Schaeuble said “healthy, sustainable public finances” are a necessary ingredient for jobs growth in Europe. Japan must complement the current fiscal and monetary policy expansion through “structural reforms and a credible consolidation strategy” while the U.S.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at Friday PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 19/07/2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
CAPITAL MARKET 65
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 19/07/2013
‘Trading halt to tackle severe decline, massive sell-off’ By Helen Oji APITAL market operators C have lauded the proposed ‘trading halt or circle breaker’ by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), stressing that the initiative would tackle the issue of severe decline and massive sell-off in the market in order to enhance stability. Besides, they also argued that it would help to control continuous market volatility. Recently, the NSE revealed plans to introduce a marketwide rule that will simultaneously halt price movement in all the listed equities for at least 30 minutes in event of extraordinary market volatility.
The new rule is to check the fall of the All-Share Index by as much as ‘five per cent’ in a day, as well as check large sell-offs in stocks that can trigger panic selling. The Managing Director of APT Securities & Funds Limited, Alhaji Kasimu Garba Kurfi said that the proposed marketwide rule called trading halt by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) said that the initiative would stop continuous market volatility. According to Kurfi, “trading halt or index circle breaker is to stop extra ordinary market volatility in the capital market. The NSE currently has one circuit breaker that allows 10 per cent daily price movement (up
or down) in a day by all the listed equities. But what the market is lacking is the index circle breaker for the entire market.” He pointed out that index circuit breakers operated in other advanced capital markets, noting that Nigerian should not be left out to avoid unnecessary recession. He added that New York Stock Exchange had three circuit breaker levels of 10 per cent, 20 per cent and 30 per cent for every quarter. He observed that the period of the halt would allow operators to assess a serious market decline and utilise their trading expertise with relatively little disruption to the market. He noted that introduction of
the market-wide index circuit breaker was necessary following the recent recession in the market and the urgent need to provide a measure for an orderly and efficient market. He said, “in June when the Bloomberg releases its result, some stocks in the market were over price, causing the market to drop significantly by seven per cent before it regained and close at about 3.8 per cent, which was the largest single day decline since the 5.89 per cent decline in 2011.” He stated that the Exchange believes that the rule was relevant, meaningful and effective in current ‘high-speed electronic securities’markets. “In 2008, during the market
meltdown, the market declined by over nine per cent in one day; if the rule had been implemented in the market, the market would have been closed for the day should the market decline by a further five per cent after an initial index circuit breaker trigger of five percent (for a total of 10 per cent).” Kurfi noted that a 10 per cent market-wide move was highly unusual in this market, adding that time should be given for the market to pick-up before opening the next day. Speaking on the issue, Mr. Tunde Oyediran a market consultant with Deloy Consulting described the initiative as one of the best practices in devel-
oped markets. “The belief is in the psychology of trading that if you allowed having a rethink of your action, the tendency is that you may change your action.” He pointed out that the objective of the rule is to promote just and equitable principles of trade, remove impediments to and improve the mechanism of a free and open market in order to protect investors and the public interest. He reaffirmed that the triggering of the index circuit breakers would be an event that would address severe market declines and enable stabilisation in the Nigerian capital market.
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Billionaires plan Leyland assets’ sale to cut debt SHOK Leyland Ltd. (AL), India’s A third-most indebted automaker, plans to raise 5 billion rupees ($84 million) selling assets to pare liabilities after reporting its first loss in 12 years. India’s third-largest truckmaker will also cut wages to lower costs, said Chief Financial Officer K. Sridharan. Ashok Leyland controlled by the billionaire Hinduja brothers sold 4.3 billion rupees of investments last year, he said. “We have created enterprises in the recent past which have blossomed into profit making entities,” said Sridharan in an interview in an eighth floor conference room at Ashok Leyland’s steel and glass office tower in Chennai. That will help the company “generate funds from the assets we have created. Call it, in a way, downsizing the balance sheet.” The measures may help Ashok Leyland, which reported a record loss in the three months ended June, cut debt by about 23 per cent. That will give Managing Director Vinod K. Dasari space to focus on defending the company’s share in Asia’s secondlargest truck market as rivals Daimler AG (DAI) to Volvo AB (VOLVA) offer discounts and add products to lure customers. “Ashok Leyland’s costs have been rising and while they want to be a panIndia focused truckmaker, they haven’t” managed to win the market share they expected, said Mahantesh Sabarad, an analyst with Fortune Financial Services Ltd., who cut his recommendation on the stock to sell citing its debt burden. “There will be an erosion in market share whenever new players come in.” Ashok Leyland, set up in 1948 to assemble Austin Motor Co.’s A40 cars, had 43.6 billion rupees of debt as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sridharan is targeting to reduce liabilities by 10 billion rupees in the year that started April 1. The company reported a loss of 1.4 billion rupees in the three months to June 30, its first unprofitable quarter since the same period in 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s shares have declined 44 per cent this year making it the worst performing stock in the S&P BSE Auto index. They fell one per cent to 15.2 rupees at close in Mumbai. The maker of trucks, buses and tractors, which has hired Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s most successful cricket captain, to endorse its products, is close to selling its U.S.-based unit Defiance Testing & Engineering, Sridharan said. It’s also looking for buyers for its warehouses and regional sales yards, he said. Ashok Leyland is paring its proposed expansion by 20 per cent to 4 billion rupees in the year that started April 1, Sridharan said. It is also cutting salaries by 5 per cent for executives starting with Managing Director Dasari and reducing working hours, he said. The company, which also runs equal ventures with Nissan Motor Co. and Deere & Co. to make light commercial vehicles and construction equipment, took on debt to acquire the truck unit of Czech Republic’s Avia AS in 2006 and Optare (OPE) Plc in 2010. Avia will stop making trucks at its Letnany plant in Prague from July 31, according to a statement on the company’s website. Optare has posted losses for five straight years to the 12 months ended March 31, 2012. “These investments are dragging down the balance sheet,” said Surjit Singh Arora, an analyst with Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt. in Mumbai. “Given the global economic slowdown, the foreign ventures haven’t worked out. They need to reduce their their debt or it will further reduce returns for shareholders.” At home, Ashok Leyland’s market share narrowed to 13.3 per cent in March, from 16 per cent in 2008, as
Ashok trucks growth in Asia’s third-largest economy slowed. Industrywide commercial vehicle sales have declined 8.1 per cent in the first three months of the year that began April 1, after falling 2 per cent in the year ended March 31. Tata Motors Ltd. (TTMT), India’s biggest truckmaker, controls 56 per cent of the market, while second-ranked Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (MM) has 18 per cent. Daimler, the world’s biggest truckmaker, is investing about $800 million in a factory it opened last year to build carriers ranging from 6 tons to 49 tons in India. Daimler will unveil 17 models by 2014, and the factory will be able to initially produce 36,000 trucks a year, Daimler said then. Mahindra partnered Navistar International Corp. (NAV) in 2005 to build trucks, while Volvo AB, the world’s No. 2 truck maker, invested $275 million in a venture with Eicher Motors Ltd. to make vehicles in India in 2008. Mahindra agreed to buy out Navistar’s stake in the venture in 2012. To attract customers, Ashok Leyland was offering discounts averaging 169,000 rupees on its trucks, Sridharan said, before it decided to slash them to 50,000 rupees, and then increase them back to 140,000 rupees. Ashok Leyland will add new models including intermediate goods carriers in the 7.5-ton to 16-ton space, Sridharan said. There is demand for these vehicles as more hub-and-spoke freight movement occurs, he said. The company, acquired in 1987 by the Hinduja brothers, whose wealth is valued at $8.3 billion, is also awaiting government contracts under a federally funded urban renewal program to sell its low-cost, low-floor bus called “Janbus,” or people’s bus, Sridharan said. India will buy 10,000 buses as part of the 148.7-billion rupee Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram announced in the federal budget in February 28. “This is probably one of the longest down cycles that we’ve seen,” Dasari said on an earnings call on July 17. “We are using this opportunity to look at it as a blessing in disguise, use this
opportunity to fix things structurally so that we’re protected for the long run.” Meanwhile, Indian clean-energy companies that claim manufacturers in the U.S. and China dumped solar cells below cost on the market are seeking to extend their case to include imports from Europe and Japan. Indosolar Ltd. (ISLR), Jupiter Solar Power Ltd. and Websol Energy System Ltd. (WESL) have filed a new petition to request that duties be imposed on shipments from the European Union and Japan, S. Venkataramani, chief executive officer of Indosolar, said in an e-mailed response to questions about the case’s first hearing held this week in New Delhi. India joins a trade dispute among the world’s biggest economies as they fight to protect their solar companies amid a global glut of supplies that has resulted in a crash in prices. Solar equipment plants have been idled in the South Asian nation slowing the government’s plans to triple manufacturing capacity by 2020. The initial case relates to imports from the U.S., China, Taiwan and Malaysia. The hearing drew officials from those countries whose solar-cell and solarpanel makers could potentially face duties, such as First Solar Inc. (FSLR) and JA Solar Holdings Co. (JASO), as well as dozens of representatives from the local industry. J.S. Deepak, the Commerce Ministry official handling the case, didn’t answer five phone calls and two e-mails seeking comment. Indosolar, Jupiter and Websol allege that foreign competitors sold solar products below the market price in India. They calculate the damage inflicted on their industry at as much as twice the cost of imports from January 2011 to June 2012. They’re asking the government for duties, both retroactive and current, as well as tariffs on thin-film solar modules. All parties must submit written statements by July 25, and defendants have until Aug. 2 to respond, said Jagdish Agarwal, secretary of the Solar Independent Power Producers Association, who attended the proceedings. The government is due to
decide whether to impose tariffs or drop the case by the end of August. The petition is also being opposed by local solar project developers, who would see their cost of materials increase should the allegations be upheld. They argue that Indian manufacturers don’t meet quality and capacity demands, said Agarwal of SIPPA, whose members include at least 10 developers. Under World Trade Organization rules, petitioners must have at least a 25 per cent share of the market to open a case. In India, estimates of market size aren’t reliable and it’s unclear whether the three petitioners meet these criteria, Agarwal said. China set tariffs of as much as 57 per cent on polysilicon shipped from the U.S. and South Korea this week. The U.S. itself imposed tariffs of as much as 250 per cent on Chinese solar panels last year after a drop in prices led to bankruptcies. The European Union set preliminary duties of 11.8 per cent on Chinese modules, which may jump to 67.9 per cent if a deal isn’t reached. Meanwhile, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL)’s profit beat analyst estimates for the fifth straight quarter as the rupee’s plunge to a record boosted dollardenominated earnings at the operator of the world’s biggest oil refinery complex. Net income rose 19 per cent to 53.5 billion rupees ($900 million), or 16.60 rupees a share, in the three months ended June 30 from 45 billion rupees, or 13.80 rupees, a year earlier, the Mumbai-based company said at the weekend in a filing. That exceeded the 52.5 billion rupee median estimate of 36 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales fell 4.6 per cent to 876.5 billion rupees. Reliance, which produces natural gas from India’s biggest deposit, will also benefit from higher prices starting April next year as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s administration seeks to cut imports by boosting the nation’s output from local fields. Reliance’s billionaire Chairman Mukesh Ambani, 56, told shareholders last month he plans to spend 1.5 trillion rupees over the next three years to expand businesses ranging
from gas to telecommunications. “The rupee gains pushed up other income and that probably helped beat estimates,” said Kamlesh Kotak, Mumbai-based head of research at Asian Market Securities Pvt. “Things are in place for them the next few quarters and the gas price increase from next year will benefit them some more.” The shares increased 0.7 per cent to 923.70 rupees, the highest since June 2011, in Mumbai at the weekend. The stock has gained 10 per cent this year, compared with the 3.7 per cent increase in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex (SENSEX) index. The earnings were announced after the close of trading. Reliance, which cut spending 5.5 per cent to 827.1 billion rupees in the quarter, earned $8.40 for every barrel of crude it processed, compared with $7.60 a barrel a year earlier and $10.10 a barrel in the preceding three months. Profit from turning Dubai crude into diesel in Singapore, an Asian benchmark, averaged $16.26 a barrel, compared with $16.06 a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Other income increased 33 per cent to 25.4 billion rupees in the quarter from 19 billion rupees a year earlier on sale of investments, the company said. Reliance’s two refineries at Jamnagar in the western state of Gujarat can process a combined 1.24 million barrels of crude daily. The plants are capable of turning heavier oil grades, which are typically cheaper, into high-value fuels. Brent crude, a benchmark oil price used by much of the world, averaged $103.35 a barrel in the three months ended June 30, compared with $108.76 a year ago. Much of the output from the refineries are exported and sold in the U.S. currency. A stronger dollar increases Reliance’s earnings in rupees. The company is India’s biggest exporter, accounting for 14 per cent of total shipments, Ambani said at the shareholders’ meeting June 6. Reliance also sells its gas in India in dollars.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Opinion Diplomatic relations between Nigeria and China By Victor Chibundu HAVE read with relish and appreciation in Itween the Nigeria newspapers the relations beThe Federal Republic of Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China at the end of the recent visit of H.E Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to Beijing from July 9-12, 2013. At the end of this visit President Goodluck Jonathan and his host, President Xi Jinping of China, signed five agreements covering finance, trade, economic, technical and cultural relations between the two countries. It also included the framework agreement on comprehensive financial co-operation in support of Nigeria’s Economic Development and a Preferential Buyer Credit, agreement for Nigeria’s four airports expansion project. Others were new agreements on economic and technical co-operation between Nigeria and China, an agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for holders of diplomatic and official passports from both countries and agreement for the prevention of the theft, Illicit import and export of cultural property. I must add that these are all aspects of previously signed agreements between the presidents and officials of both countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries. Within this context, perhaps I should recall the genesis of the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and China for the benefit of Nigerians. Available records points to late Mrs. F. Ransome-Kuti, one of the best known Nigerian political and social activist, surreptitiously visited Berlin and Beijing in the 1950s to participate in meetings of the “All-World Assembly of Peace” and the “Women International Democratic Federation” respectively, much to the chagrin of the colonial authorities. This was particularly so because the then Chief Sec-
retary to the Government had advised her that communist organisations, whose intentions and activities were distinguished to attract well meaning persons with humanistic ideals, were indeed established to promote Soviet supremacy throughout the world. But when she persisted in travelling to these countries, her application for renewal of Nigerian passport was rejected by the colonial authorities. This action evoked considerable hue and cry in the Nigerian and European mass media, and was roundly condemned in the House of Representatives (parliament) in 1958. The Prime Minister, Late Alhaji Sir Tafawa Balewa was, therefore, obliged to explain the circumstances surrounding the rejection of her application, and the “determination of government to prevent the infiltration of communism and communist ideologies into Nigeria”. All contacts with the eastern bloc countries and China at that time were prohibited and proscribed. Other eminent Nigerians who were on record to have visited these countries were late Mallam Aminu Kano, leader of the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), late Prof. (Dr.) Chike Obi, leader of the Dynamic Party, and trade unionists, notably Tanko Yakasai and Saka Bashorun, who professed socialist tendencies. However, this rather odious position as at that time was reversed when the late Prime Minister in a foreign policy statement in the House of Representatives (parliament) on 20th August 1958 stated inter-alia: “We do not believe that the policy to block the entire Red China from admission into the United Nations is the right one. We do not believe it because it is unfair and unwise to leave out 650 million people (now 1.8 billion approximately) in the World Assembly. Nigeria is go-
ing to see that Red China is admitted into the United Nations Organisation (UNO).” And Nigeria did so through steadfast support, in words and deeds, in the United Nations and its specialized agencies. True to type, late Hon. (Dr.) Jaja Wachukwu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, in a subsequent debate on Foreign Policy in the House of Representatives also reported that when the question arose in the general assembly of the United Nations as to whether or not the subject of admission of Red China should be inscribed on the agenda for debate, he simply voted in favour of the motion. But when some Western powers questioned his action he responded thus: “Look, this tantamount to intellectual imperialism if you will not allow us to think and vote the way we like in accordance with our Foreign Policy. What is the use of coming here (United Nations)?” It was also in this spirit that the Federal Government continued to maintain contact and support for Red China to occupy the Chinese seat illegally occupied by the so-called Republic of China (or Taiwan) in the United Nations Organisation system. No doubt this position was based on the principle of universality of membership of United Nations and appreciation of the fact that it was still wrong to deny Red China (People’s Republic of China) of the membership of the UNO. In fact, Nigeria took this consistent position from the early 1960s-1970s, and considered it derogation from the principle of universality as a threat to international peace and security. It was, therefore, proper that this mutually friendly disposition blossomed into the establishment of diplomatic relations, at ambassadorial level on February 10, 1971. Whilst
China wasted no time in opening a full-fledged Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos on April 6, 1971, it took Nigeria several months to do the same in Beijing in October 1971 and this mutually reinforcing and rewarding relationship between both countries began in earnest, and has grown by leaps and bounds. In keeping with the programme for restructuring and discussions with several Federal Governments and Chinese authorities, the Nigeria – China Business Group was established in 1999 by Nigeria – China Friendship Association (NICAF) essentially to redress the imbalance in trade between Nigeria and China. However, it is regrettable to say that the Nigeria – China Friendship Association only had the full support of Mr. Bassey Udo Ndiokho, former Chairman and Managing Director of UACN and Chief Jacob Wood, Managing Director, Golden Gate Restaurant Lagos in promoting this policy. Mustafa Bello, Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Commerce in his congratulatory message stated that since Nigeria and China established diplomatic relations, bilateral trade transaction between the two countries have been very substantial and mutually beneficial. However the existing gap between the two countries coupled with the language barrier have constituted obstacles to the full development of trade relationship. Moreover it is gratifying to note that another active Nigeria – China Business Group with headquarters in Abuja, which consist of Mr. Tony Elumelu, African business leader and philanthropist, Folorunsho Alakija, Femi Otedola and Oba Otudeko are now involved in the promotion of business between our two countries. Let us hope they would help bridge the huge imbalance yawning gap in trade and improve the diplomatic relations between both countries. • Ambassador Chibundu is Founder/Chairman, Hon. DG (IBC).
As rights advocacy goes commercial By Chidozie Chukwuemeka IVIDENDS refer to the portion of profit D stakeholders (shareholders) get from an enterprise for their stakes (shares) in the business. With continuous evolution, everything, including state – the nation state has acquired the status of enterprise. So, such things as dividends of democracy have become commonplace. What do people, particularly ordinary citizens get for their stakes in the state? That is their dividend from the state enterprise because they hold shares in the state. It is an inalienable right. And where it is not given or partially given or in any way denied, the people put their feet down in demand for what they know is their right. From the business of state, let us progress to the state of business. Citizens are beginning to ask for dividends in ordinary businesses, particularly if the businesses happen to reside in the same neighbourhood as they. Businesses are citizens and instead of the strongest stifling the weakest, a sense of community or brotherhood must prevail. So from he that has much, it must be taken and given to he that has less. An effort to strike at equilibrium sounds right and logical. Social responsibility, mostly at corporate level has become an integral part of business. Thriving enterprises are now required to support the environment, host communities, and other stakeholders in the ecosystem. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become central to business. Stakeholders
demand it, often in bizarre and forceful manner. This demand has given rise to advocacy groups in several shades. The burden of CSR has given rise to a peculiar kind of business, otherwise called not-forprofit evolving in the bid to enforce the rights of the weaker segment of the society and help them obtain from their more successful neighbours. Several issues come to mind here. What manner of business can survive year on year without profit? What kind of business can make it its business to compel the strongest to take care of the weakest by letting go a part of what it has legally earned? Yet the not-forprofits, commonly called non-governmental organisations try to make people believe they exist solely for others. Curiously, this branch of business would not have come up without the callous posturing of successful businesses that resist giving back to society as CSR is referred to in some quarters. This stance has opened an avenue for musketeers to parade themselves in different shades for the purpose of obtaining from the successful for the less successful. What is of concern is ‘what portion of what is obtained is passed on to the weakest of the society for whom it is meant?’ Yet this astute set of business people maintain, boldly so, that they are in business just to help others, often referred to as less privileged. Often proponents of these rights groups traverse every aspect of business including government. In government circles, they are often referred to as civil society. These pressure groups are making some impact. Observers note that the civil society played a
leading role in the struggle for the return of leadership from military to civilian in Nigeria in what is commonly referred to as the third republic in 1999. What is of concern is that this group of ‘civilised people’ also tends to be feeding fat from what they obtain from the strongest meant for the weakest. Being enlightened in their trade, they mount sophisticated campaigns, bring a feeling of guilt on businesses in the process, compelling them to hand out to them as they demand, because ‘it is for common good.’ Survival is important to all businesses. Be it conventional business or not-for-profit. It becomes imperative to seek the place of these pressure groups as they appear to quickly play the parasite, ever keen at obtaining from businesses in what is commonly referred to as grants. What is the place of ethics in this segment of business? Given the skillful operation of advocacy groups, often with international networks, government and businesses can no longer ignore them. With their experience at advocacy, organized-not-for-profit-organisations are the preferred candidates for social or community mobilisation. Conscious therefore that they have this endowment, some of them now tend to commercialise it by trading loyalty from the weakest to the strongest, in tandem with the popular adage ‘he who pays the piper dictates the tune’. Perhaps, it is imperative to point out that those who hand out grants might be right in considering what they hand out as investment for which they expect yields. The
expected yields can only be gotten if they keep an eye on the investment by keeping close alliance with the advocacy groups that seek the grants. Could knowledge that more grants are endangered except those who hand out the grants are satisfied with usage of what was already granted influence what comes out of the mouths of the advocates? This is a tough call. However, the mere thought of it tends to paint a gloomy picture for the future of citizens’ rights as the resonating effect of the commercialisation of civil advocacy is the weakening of citizens’ voices and the strengthening of an already repressive hold of businesses on the environment and other stakeholders. Granted that commercialisation of advocacy has the capacity to dilute and distract from a commitment to balance the influence wielded by businesses that are by their very nature collective as against common citizens whose individual voices can easily be drowned, questions must be asked. The grave danger in this trend is that without advocacy, collective stand, at grassroots level could be easily taken away with individual liberty severely curtailed, giving rise to an unchallenged reign by mindless profiteers in business. To sum up this, it should be noted that Nnamdi Azikiwe is credited with the saying that “conscience and history are the best judges of human action.” As civil advocacy tends to go commercial in Nigeria, it is pertinent to point out that the promoters are businessmen, though they be branded not-for-profit, history and conscience will have the duty of assessing their actions over time. • Chukwuemeka is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Lagos.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Opinion Understanding and taming corruption By Adam Gaffaru OLLOWING the release of global corruption barometer report by Fof rigmarole the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) on July 9, 2013, there were a lot coming particularly from the affected institutions such as the Police that tops all, Judiciary with some members of parliament vehemently denying that there is no possibility of corruption in parliament (see: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?I D=279210). It is against this background that I write to share this information with the general public. As an economic phenomenon, understanding corruption, its impact on governance and the methods for reducing corruption require an expedient political - economic analysis. Corruption is interesting not only because it represents market failure but also state failure. Until now, most anticorruption activities or measures were focused on passing laws and regulations against corruption. Corruption (from the Latin corruptus) can literally mean to destroy; takes many forms with different types of participants, settings, stakes, techniques and different degrees of cultural legitimacy. It is not only about stealing, it can also relate to the abuse of power in decision-making processes. It is a form of behaviour that deviates from ethics, morality, tradition, law and civic virtue. There are three broad classifications of corruption, which are however not mutually exclusive. Petty corruption Defined as the use of public office for private benefit in the course of delivering a public service. Usually involves relatively small amounts of money, including bribery (grease money or speed payments) the public servant abuses his/her position by accepting a benefit for what is a routine transaction or approval. The direct victim of this abuse of power is the citizen. Grand corruption The most dangerous and covert type of corruption; call it “gargantuan”. Instances where policy making, its design and implementation are compromised by corrupt practices. Found where public officers in high positions (such as councillors), in the process of making decisions of significant economic value, routinely demand bribes or kickbacks for ensuring that tenders or contracts are awarded to specific contractors. Usually occurs at financial, political and administrative centres of power. The judgment debt/Wayome Saga. Business and political corruption It is often not regarded as a crime, but rather as a means to accelerate business processes. Proponents claim that the end result is not affected; the mechanisms used to achieve the result are simply accelerated; In essence, bureaucracy is bypassed and time is utilised. Include bribery, insider trading, money laundering, embezzlement, tax evasion and accounting irregularities. Political corruption It occurs predominantly in developing and less developed countries, such as Ghana. It is usually associated with the electoral process, in the following areas:
• Voting irregularities (the 2012 presidential election at the supreme court). • Nepotism and cronism. • Rule of a few. • False political promises (campaign promises such as free education). • Paying journalists for favourable coverage of candidates and parties. • Influencing voters by the distribution of money, food and/or drink. • Holding on to power against the will of the people (various coup d’états). Politicians who extend protection towards enterprises in exchange for contributions towards a political campaign. The case of GHACEM since 1992 – Tuesday, July 31, 2007 www.ghanaweb.com and The Statesman Chaotic and organised corruption Organised corruption is a well-organised system of corruption in which there is a clear idea: • Of whom to bribe; • how much should be offered; • confidence that they will receive the favour in return. Organised corruption is often perpetrated by crime gangs and syndicates and includes white-collar crime and identity theft. Chaotic Corruption is a disorganised system where there is no clarity regarding whom to bribe and how much payment should be offered opposite organised corruption. Frequently falling within the ambit of organised corruption includes fraud, extortion, intimidation, money laundering, insider trading, impersonation and identity theft etc. The following forms of corruption can be distinguished: Bribery. Examples: • A traffic officer accepting cash in order not to issue a traffic fine. • A customs official who receives a bribe to ignore legal (or illegal) imports and exports to avoid the payment of duties and levies. Payroll abuses where personnel lists are inflated with the names of ghost workers and salaries are paid to officials’ friends or relatives. “I have often noticed that a bribe has that effect – it changes a relationship. The man who offers a bribe gives away a little of his own importance; the bribe once accepted, he becomes the inferior, like a man who has paid for a woman.” – Graham Greene, British novelist. Embezzlement Theft of resources by persons entrusted with authority and control over these valuable resources. Examples: • Hospital staff that steals medicines and sells them to private pharmacies. • Government officials charged with food aid distribution steal a portion of food and sell it to other individuals. Embezzlement also includes the conversion of government property and personnel for private use. Examples: • An official who uses a government vehicle for taking her children to school. • An official who uses the government garage to repair his private vehicle. • A government official who rents out his public house.
Fraud A criminal deception involving some form of trick, false pretence or representation to obtain a benefit or gain unjust advantage. Example: • Claiming T&T allowances without having undertaken a trip; • Altering the total on petrol receipts which will be claimed. Other examples include intimidation, extortion, abuse of power, conflict of interest, insider trading. An elected official responsible for maintaining all the roads in a region assign the road repair crews to areas where his/her constituents reside and neglects other areas in similar need of such repairs. Fanatism or Favoritism, Nepotism, Money laundering, and Identity theft. The modernisation of corruption Modern technology has spawned new techniques of corruption including: • Generating/extraction of internet banking passwords through infected sites/e-mails. • Scanning and duplicating electronic details on credit cards. • Devices on ATM’s which read confidential card details. • Theft of name, identity numbers etc. to provide duplicate fake identities to foreigners. • Theft of educational qualifications for job applications. Factors that cause involvement in corrupt practices include but not limited to: Low wages and salaries, range of discretion, tradition/culture: it is not uncommon practice in the commercial arena for business transactions to be accompanied by the giving of personal gifts or benefits, ranging from the Christmas bottle of whisky to much more elaborate and extravagant hajjattendant under the influence of top politicians. In essence, the root of corruption is greed rather than culture. The absence of transparency: Transparency is a prerequisite for democracy in which sovereignty is vested in the people and the conduct of civil servants must be open to examination. It is therefore vital that citizens in general and the media (radio, television, newspapers) in particular are guaranteed the right to freedom of speech; the media can inform citizens of any action by a civil servant that might be corrupt in nature and appropriate calls for action can be made. It must be constitutionally stated, the time span that a prisoner particularly corruption related prisoner(s) stay in prison before qualifying for presidential pardon. As that could be politically motivated and the essence of rule of law could gradually fade off. (See: “So Much For ‘Zero Tolerance For Corruption” Ghanaweb.com, Friday, May 30, 2008). The main conclusion to be drawn is that undertaking reforms (both economic, political and leadership-will) by reducing institutional weaknesses offers the best hope to overcome corruption. Corruption will not disappear because of reforms. But enforcing the reforms will bring it under control and minimize its adverse consequences so that the country can proceed with its efforts to become a modern, developed nation with a good chance of attaining that goal. • Gaffaru is an international economist.
Who is afraid of Gbenga Daniel? By Kayode Ajala N Tuesday, June 28 2013, Nigerians, as often happens, woke up to O the shocking news that Otunba Gbenga Daniel has been unceremoniously suspended from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State. The same party on whose platform he piloted the affairs of the state for eight years, beginning from the advent of the neodemocracy of Nigeria’s third republic. According to news report in Punch Newspapers, The PDP Remo North Federal Constituency, held a meeting at Isara in Remo North Local Government Area and came out with the announcement, which was delivered by Doyin Fakoya, PDP Chairman, Ogun East Senatorial District. The circumstances under which the suspension was carried out were not only shrouded in shady intrigues, but the question of legality and due process also begs for attention. How can the chairman of Remo North senatorial district of PDP be the announcer of the suspension of a political figure of such status in the party and the state, without the knowledge of the State Chairman of PDP? Who in Ward 12 Sagamu constituency 2 actually signed the suspension letter? How many people have actually seen this suspension letter? By the way, who convened the meeting and who attended the meeting? All these information pieces were not made available to the media. According to news reports, the state chairman of the party, Adebayo Dayo who was out of the state at the time of the announcement, read about it in the newspapers and was thrown off balance. In a guarded statement, when cornered by newsmen, before he could rush back home to ascertain what was going on, he confessed that he learned about the suspension in the newspapers and chided the senatorial district chairman from making such an announcement without prior consultation with the leadership of the party in the state! While explaining his actions, Fakoya was credited with the statement that a disciplinary committee was constituted that looked into the case of Gbenga Daniel’s anti-party activities and came up with the suspension as a disciplinary action against the ex-governor and some other party members. Who constituted this disciplinary committee and when was it constituted, on whose instruction was it constituted? If the announcement of the suspension of one of the state’s
and the party’s most resourceful members could be announced without the knowledge of the state party executives, it should not surprise anyone if the party executives themselves, do not have answers to the above questions! In a statement characteristic of overzealous underdogs, Fakoya was quoted to have said the ex-governor was no longer a member of the People’s Democratic Party. So does the suspension of a member make the individual cease to be a member of a political party? Then the bigger question becomes, what is happening in Ogun State PDP? Among the allegations levelled against Daniel by Fakoya and his group was involvement in what they called anti-party activities. This is a term that has as many definitions as there are individuals. What defines anti-party activity for Fakoya and his cronies? Going by their statements, part of their grouse was Daniel’s involvement with other political parties such as PPN and Labour Party. By what parameters did they measure Gbenga Daniel’s involvement with other political parties and by which barometer did they gauge the risks of these involvements to PDP? How did they ascertain the extent of his involvement and how did they read his motives? How would it amount to anti-party activity if Gbenga Daniel by his association with other parties, converts their members to PDP for instance? What are the prejudices driving people like Fakoya to go to any extent in dragging Gbenga Daniel’s hard earned profile in the mud? Questions are obviously more than answers but the truth remains that underdogs like Fakoya and the shadowy bigger figures that manipulate the strings controlling them are the problem of PDP today. These are people for whom personal aggrandizement is far more important than the common good of the party and indeed that of the nation as a whole. These megalomaniacs will lead to the fall of PDP in 2015 unless they examine their conscience and change their ways. The opposition is capitalizing on their incorrigible pigheadedness and stubbornness to weaken the party and rather than rethink, they are busy fashioning out more self centred and wicked intrigues. Their divisive tendencies is what ails central PDP management, it is what led to the fall of PDP in the West, it is responsible for all the coalitions and defections against PDP and it may eventually lead to the fall of the party. Let no one be fooled, PDP is under serious siege.
Okay, so what if Gbenga Daniel leaves PDP, how has it strengthened the party? Moreover, he will be leaving with 12 other chieftains whom he was suspended with, where does that leave PDP? Indeed, who should be prosecuted for the anti-party crime of weakening the party through this plot to rid it of all valuable stalwarts: Fakoya and his sponsors or Daniel? Stakeholders should really look into the question of whom Fakoya is taking instructions from; he should not be given the luxury of being allowed to show his true colours and defect to the opposition who has all along been sponsoring him, at the very last minute! Gbenga Daniel was elected governor of Ogun State in April 2003, running on the PDP platform and re-elected in April 2007 on the platform of the same party. His achievements while in office included massive infrastructural development of the state probably as a result of his solid background as a professional engineer. He built roads, recreational centres and stadiums in the three senatorial districts of the state, and set up a University of Education. The Gateway International Stadium which he built was a site of the 2009 FIFA U17 World Cup which was held in Nigeria, and he was also responsible for the total reconstruction of the state’s government secretariat, uplifting it to a status that is above the standard, anywhere in the globe. The circumstances under which he was able to hold government together in Ogun State and perform as a governor, despite the massive internal wrangling within the party is a testimony to his resilience as a leader and manager of men and resources. In a state that was replete with super power brokers of world status, he was not only not intimidated, but he was able to withstand their firepower and still pilot the state through a re-election. Otunba Gbenga Daniel is an asset which the opposition wants to edge out of PDP to weaken the party in Ogun State, and it is unfortunate that this very opposition is made up of apparent members who are deeply entrenched in PDP and are working for their own profits, no matter where it comes from, no matter whose ox is gored as long it is not theirs! PDP as a party should grow above individual power blocks and divisive factions. PDP is ailing and desperately in need of repairing its own house as the opposition is waxing stronger. If the party destroys itself by ejecting its valuable members and driving them into the arms of other parties, it will have itself to blame.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 6, 2011 69
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Media ‘DAME, an opportunity to celebrate the best in the land’ *Race for 22nd edition begins Awards By Kabir Alabi Garba ROFESSIONALS in marketing communicaP tion industry, especially print journalism, broadcasting, and advertising who are interested in participating in this year’s edition of Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) have until August 14, 2013 to submit their entries. A total of 30 categories are on offer with print journalism having 17, while advertising and broadcasting parade seven and six categories respectively. At a briefing addressed by the top officials of DAME Board of Trustees and held recently at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, it was established that a total of 434 awards had been giving out since the inception of the reward project in 1992. “Some of you may recall that on March 22, 1992, the trustees of DAME held the first edition of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence in this same venue, Sheraton Hotel, and the number of categories offered was eight, all in print journalism. I am happy to inform you that at the last count when we held the 21st edition, we have given out 434 awards,” recalled Mr. Moses Ihonde, Chairman, DAME Board of Trustees. The growth and development of DAME, Ihonde noted, had been steady and orderly, adding, “from print journalism, we have cast Olumide Ajomake (right); Moses Ihonde; Lanre Idowu; and Managing Director, Mirror Newspaper, Steve Ayorinde... at the briefing at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja on our net to pull in other professionals in July 9, 2013 broadcast journalism and advertising.” However, the Board chairman attributed the Commercial of the Year (Consumer Goods); It is one that deserves support of those success of the project to support from many Television Commercial of the Year who are concerned with standards and stakeholders including sponsors, respected (Services); Television Commercial of the have an eye on the future of this country. professionals serving as judges that screen Year (Consumer Goods); and Agency of the “Indeed, it is in the enlightened self interthe entries yearly; distinguished media pro- Year. est of patriotic Nigerians and friends of fessionals and organisations that have patroFor broadcasting, entries are invited for Nigeria to support our developmental nised DAME; as well as discerning members of Radio Reporter of the Year; Radio Presenter effort. With a free and increasingly more the public who have always been engaging of the Year; Radio Drama of the Year; TV responsible media guided by noble profesthe process constructively with a view to lift Reporter of the Year; TV Drama of the Year; sional goals, all of us can sleep better that it. “You have all made the journey worthwhile and TV Documentary of the Year. the roof will not be set ablaze.” but we still have a lot to do together,” Ihonde But whether prizes will be given out in all As usual, after the closing date for submissaid. these categories will be determined during sion of entries (August 14), a panel of The rationale behind the awards, he insisted, the grand presentation ceremony later in judges will be established to screen those is to boost performance, reward talent and the year when all entries must have been entries. The panel is usually divided into enterprise with the sole aim of enhancing screened and graded accordingly. smaller groups where a group is given two professionalism in the media. According to DAME Trustee and Chief Executive Officer, him, the awards project is primarily designed Diamond Publications Limited, Mr. Lanre DAME indicates, the DAME honour has boost- or three categories to screen and shortlist finalists for the full panel to consider. to “underscore the critical importance of the Idowu alluded to this at the Sheraton Hotel ed the career of many of them.” This year, each smaller group’s work will media to national growth and development briefing saying, “I don’t know how many He underscored the uniqueness of DAME, and we are happy to say that all the past win- prizes we will award this year, but I can con- saying, “apart from being the only award further be screened by a separate review ners have moved on to greater heights as wor- firm that entries are being invited in 30 cat- programme in the country that makes the committee and the reports of these two thy ambassadors of the DAME project.” world of print journalism, advertising and groups will be presented before the full egories.” panel where critical interrogation will folFor Nigeria to continue to realise its potenOn what he meant by saying he does not broadcasting its focus, it remains an indetials especially in the quest for socio-econom- know the number of prizes that will be pendent sector-initiative that is driven by a low before the three finalists are picked and eventual winners are known and foric and political advancement, Ihonde assert- awarded, Idowu explained, “For us at DAME, professional commitment to excellence.” ed, the media would be required to play a sig- the emphasis has always been on awarding DAME philosophy, he stressed, is anchored warded to the trustees for assent or connificant role. “Programmes such as DAME prizes that will stand the test of time and on the understanding that “excellence currence. “In the last 21 editions, I can confidently where the pursuit of excellence is rewarded that we can defend in good conscience. abounds in all corners of Nigeria and everyyearly is one such programmes that can Since the awards are designed to enhance one is given the opportunity to contest on a say 99 per cent of the recommendations enhance the capacity of the media for nation- professionalism, reward enterprise and level-playing ground by knowing the rules in have been upheld,” Idowu said, noting further that when the trustees ratify the building,” he said, reiterating that “the for- boost media scholarship, we are not bound advance and obeying them in all respects.” tunes of Nigeria cannot be divorced from the to award prizes in the categories that we feel He described the yearly DAME presentation result, a date in the last quarter of the year is then fixed for the formal presentation fortunes of the media.” the entries are not strong enough to win a dinner as an opportunity to celebrate the The categories for the print journalism DAME. We will be glad to give 30 prizes but best in the land that are courageous enough dinner where new inductees into the include Action Photography; Agriculture as the Holy book says, many are called, few to put in their works for critical evaluation DAME Hall of Fame are honoured. Reporting; Child-Friendly Journalist; Child- are chosen, so we will award prizes in those by a jury of distinguished and knowledge- All reporting categories will be scored on Friendly Media; Development Reporting; sectors that our judges recommend to us able Nigerians. And their judgements, over DAME’s ABCADER principle of Accuracy, Editorial Cartooning; Editorial Writing; and the trustees ratify.” the years, have been well received, Idowu Balance, Contextual Analysis, Depth of Research, Engaging use of language and Health Reporting; and Informed According to Idowu, the result of this good insisted. Commentary. Others are Insurance; Judiciary; attention to detail is that DAME has pro- DAME, he clarified, “is not a federal charac- Relevance of the subject matter. Politics, Sports; Press Reporter of the Year; duced many past winners who have gone ter programme that employs subjective cri- Advertising entries will be graded on their Editor of the Year; Magazine of the Year; and ahead to win laurels in other competitions teria to reward. It is not a balancing act to effective exploitation of the AIDA principle to stimulate Attention, Interest, Desire, Newspaper of the Year. globally. “Some have attended career-boost- satisfy primordial sentiments.” According to Categories under advertising are Press ing fellowships. Others have attained steady him, “it is a Nigerian brand that Nigerians and Action, while Commentaries will be Advert of the Year (Services); Press Advert of progress in their places of work. Indeed, as a can be proud of, for no private awards pro- screened on how well they utilise the sexthe Year (Consumer Goods); Radio book-in-progress on the past winners of gramme has run for 22 years in this country. tet yardsticks of Subject, Size, Substance, Structure, Significance, and Style. Commercial of the Year (Services); Radio
Indeed, it is in the enlightened self interest of patriotic Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to support our developmental effort. With a free and increasingly more responsible media guided by noble professional goals, all of us can sleep better that the roof will not be set ablaze.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Nigerians must think positively about the country, says Apiafi In realisation of negative perceptions about Nigeria, a group concerned about the worsening negativity about the country has recently launched a campaign to promote the country. Ada Stella Apiafi is the National Coordinator of I-Nigerian Campaign under the initiative called The Nigerian Renaissance Project. Recently she spoke with the media on the need for Nigerians to speak positively about Nigeria. She spoke with Kabir Alabi Garba. Excerpts:
within a single generation translated a medium scale business into a multinational conglomerate! He has a Foundation that addresses youth unemployment and women empowerment. There is also the Elumelu Foundation that promotes entrepreneurship development and other collaborative efforts between the government and the private sectors under Public-Private Partnership. This is good news that should be widely related. But we don’t get to celebrate these. Do we now say your inspiration will centre on public service and players in the business sector? Like I said this is a private initiative in promoting all the positives on Nigeria and Nigerians. Let me give you more examples from the social or entertainment industry. Mosunmola ‘Mo’ Abudu recently launched EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first Global Black MultiBroadcast Entertainment Network, with programmes showcasing Nigeria’s burgeoning middle class. Home girl Omotola JaladeEkeinde, recently emerged one of TIME’s top 100 most influential personalities. Nigeria’s Ice Prince Zamani won the 2013 Best International Act (Africa) Award. These are just a few inspiring stories coming from within Nigeria and they are all extraordinary! Some of our stories don’t get to make news headlines. These are everyday Nigerians doing noble deeds, surviving against all odds, and who just believe in maintaining the dignity of being Nigerians.
What is the I-Nigerian project all about? -Nigerian is a privately initiated Perception Transformation Initiative set up to drive what we have chosen to call The Nigerian Renaissance Project (TNRP) into the consciousness of Nigerians at home and abroad, and to the global community, with special emphasis on the positives. It is both a process, and a series of programmes designed to recapture the heart, soul and concept of being Nigerian, by showcasing in every sphere, the good in Nigeria, and Nigerians, by Nigerians themselves.
What are the reasons behind this initiative? Nigerians are by nature very vocal about everything, especially about their country – for good or for bad. Therefore, it is necessary to transpose our minds, such that the stories that we tell of Nigeria, and the image we present of our country, give the country a ‘new’ name that reflects some ‘new order’ among Nigerians themselves. The truth is most times what we see is the negative. How can that be addressed? It is not what we see but what is being reported. There are many good and positives that could, and should be reported as well. When Nigeria recently made it into the list of the 50 Most Reputable Countries in the World, not many media outfits celebrated it! Before now, the country was not even considered for ranking. A 24 year old Nigerian, Uwa Osamede Imafidon, just graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in the US with a Masters degree in Microbiology, with a 4.0 CGPA out of the maximum 4.0 CGPA. Before her sojourn abroad, she had earlier bagged a First Class Degree in Crop Science from University of Benin, as the Best Graduating student in her Department. A few years ago, Jelani Aliyu from Sokoto State who schooled in Kebbi, won a global design competition organised by General Motors. Sadly, the good attention that we should be basking in is being tainted by the news of insurgencies, challenges to our national security, and a myriad of issues that spark more and more negative news about Nigerians as a people. Nigerians – individually and collectively - are left with a battered trust and confidence in their Nigerianness.
How do you address the negative perceptions of Nigerians abroad who are into criminal activities? There are many Nigerians doing great outside the country. Of the 541 athletes employed by Great Britain for the 2012 Olympics, 16 reportedly are Nigerians including some that are world champions. None of them was referred to them as Nigerian-born British athletes. BUT, when two miscreants born and bred in Britain killed a soldier, the British press was so quick to dub them Nigerians.
Apiafi powerful political tool as the most important global governance institutions, from the G8 to the G20, are based on GDP credentials. So far, South Africa has been the only African country represented in the G20 on the grounds of the scale of its economy. Is this initiative intended to promote the government? Whether in government or out of government, we are all Nigerians that should promote Nigeria. There are commendable initiatives from the government and the private sector. For instance there is this Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin), the entrepreneurship development scheme of the Federal Government which was launched just over a year ago, and has become so successful that each of the 1200 first set of beneficiaries are now employing an average of eight staff! You
But how do you see these achievements compared to the internal crises and challenges that we are faced with daily? We have challenges...that is true! But you will all agree with me that our country is at a very critical stage of its growth and development. We have evolved as a new ‘democratic’ country, and a fast-growing economy. Global attention on Nigeria today, is at an all-time high, something that should easily bring pride to the heart of every Nigerian wherever we are across the world. Today, there is a deep dent on the collective psyche of the average Nigerian, as Nigerians find it increasingly difficult to speak positively or confidently about our dearly beloved counHE Nigeria Media Merit ty – the psyche of the nation is plummeting award (NMMA) has inaugumore and more, with all the negative stories rated the 2013 Panel of Assessors coming out of, and about Nigeria, many to assess the 952 entries being told by Nigerians themselves. received from 632 entrants. Chairman, Board of Trustees, What is the solutions, or what is the good NMMA, Eng. Vincent Maduka, news? while inaugurating the panel, The good news however, is that there are said that he had no doubt that lots of positives! Nigeria is about to emerge the assessors will as ever do as the largest economy in Africa. GDP is a their job diligently and produce
What do you then expect from Nigerians Our ‘mandate’ to Nigerians is very simple: We must speak about positives and be proud of them rather than insist on the negativities. Negatives are present, and even more prevalent in other climes, but are not often screamed on the front pages. There is a saying that ‘nobody can make you inferior without your consent!’ Over the years, a subtle inferiority has crept into the consciousness of the may also be aware of different. The Food and average Nigerian, especially in the way we Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has just talk about ourselves - we tend to spend more announced that Nigeria has successfully time talking about the bad than the good. halved the number of hungry people in line with the United Nation’s Millennium Nigerians should begin to resist negative Development Goals. Like us, you should all labelling of our country, even amongst ouragree that very cheering news is emanating selves. It is also a charge to retune our minds from our land, and these should be com- to being dignifying in our thinking, speech, mended and celebrated. and deeds (our work) about Nigeria and But doesn’t it mean your group will be focusing more only the activities of government? As I said earlier, I-Nigerian is a privately initiated Perception Transformation Initiative. Therefore, most of the inspiration for promoting this initiative will be coming from private individuals who have made positive impact locally and internationally. The richest black man today, Aliko Dangote, is a story of grass to grace. Forbes recently rated him 25th richest man in the world. He has
being Nigerians as a whole. Do we foresee your NGO being influenced politically? This is a different kind of NGO, we have chosen to call this The Nigerian Renaissance Project (TNRP). Renaissance means rebirth, reawakening, reenergizing. So it is a different thing entirely. Most of our activities will centre on awareness creation through all the major media channels: Print, electronic and Online
Nigeria Media Merit Award inaugurates Panel of Assessors T
credible report with nominees and winner. He based his position on the fact that members of the panel are distinguished professionals and veterans of media practice who agreed to uphold the high standard and other clearly established criteria which NMMA Board of trustees approved for those who will adjudge winners of the
NMMA. Giving a breakdown of the entries received, he said that 840 entries were received from 538 entrants in the print categories, with 66 entries coming from 61 entrants in the Radio categories and 46 entries from 34 entrants from television categories. Maduka said the plan is to keep raising the bar to ensure
that the winning entries could compete internationally. Chairman of the Panel of Assessors, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, on behalf of members of his committee pledged to do a thorough job. Before the inauguration, a minute silence was observed in honour of NMMA members, who died in the last one year.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
For The Record Nigeria’s national security in an age of terrorism (3) CONTINUED FROM PAGE 56 Maiden Departmental Lecture Department Of Political Science Faculty Of The Social Sciences University Of Ibadan By Aituaje Irene Pogoson, Ph.D Continued from Wednesday, July 17, 2013 HIS notion of national security therefore capT tures both traditional security and human security. Emerging circumstances of trans-national threats which now exist and thrive irrespective of national borders, and which they comprise a list of different risk factors that seem unending, ranging from different trans-national crimes like terrorism, human and drug trafficking, money laundering etc., to widespread environmental degradation, diseases, climate change and even political policies which might threaten nations’ sovereignty (Brainard & O’Halon, 2004), have further challenged the concept of national security which now pertains to people rather than territories on the one hand, and development rather than the military on the other hand. National security is now perceived as total security – security of life and property, security of the economy and the economic resource areas of the country, security of food and raw materials resources, of the general health of the people, of the environment and national integrity, and preservation of all that society considers to be important and valuable (Imobighe, 1989). As the security environment becomes more dynamic and uncertain, resonating with numerous threats and contestations which are transnational in nature and have the potential to grow more lethal (Pandya & Laipon, 2008:39), most nations find themselves struggling for survival . The security of any state embodies a notion of order, or of the conditions necessary to maintain the smooth functioning and reproduction of an existing society. McGrew (1988) submits that the security of any nation is predicated on two central pillars. On the one hand, it entails the maintenance and protection of the socio-economic order in the face of internal and external threats. On the other hand, it entails the promotion of a preferred international order, which minimizes the threats to core values and interests, as well as to the domestic order of nations. Security is therefore time-bound and malleable. It implies protection against, or safety from, a future risk of severe deprivation, injury or death, and requires rules, order and impartial adjudication and application. As we have tried to show above, while the concept of national security largely refers to the security of the state against armed attack or insurrection, the “referent object” of the broader concept of human security (which includes overlapping systems of security at individual, national and international levels), is the security of the individual in his or her personal surroundings and within the community (Hul-Haq, 1999). In the complex world of globalization, all threats to national security have both internal and external dimensions because they are perpetrated across national boundaries. For all states, national security therefore has two facets – the internal and the external. States can just as thoroughly be disrupted and destroyed by internal challenges (at either sub-state or national level) including spiritual threats to human and national security (Nwolise, 2012) as they can be by external forces. Security in whatever form is a standard measurement of the viability of any state or nation. A state of insecurity means that the society concerned is on red alert and that a risk factor has been identified which must be contained. This largely may involve military and non-military activities. All nations have the right under international law to secure their territorial space and protect their citizens from any imminent attack in whatever form. The security perspective adopted in this lecture is a broad one: the ability of nations to promote the pursuit and realisation of the fundamental needs and vital interests of its citizens, and to protect them from all forms of threats which may be economic, social, environmental, political, military or epidemiological in nature. These threats are numerous, diverse and complex. They could take the form of terrorist attacks, pervasive poverty, violent conflict, natural disasters, cybercrimes, trans-border crimes, proliferation of
arms, external aggression, and contagious diseases (HIV/AIDS), among others. Some of these threats to national security may stem from the domestic environment of nations or from the external environment. EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT AND NATIONAL SECURITY Too often in the study of International Relations, we assume that the ‘international’, ‘the external’, are some natural givens of life. Yet, international history and indeed world history is replete with information about the ways in which the landscape of what constitutes the external environment has been negotiated and renegotiated and even the domestic domains of nation-states have not been immune to contestations. Indeed, one of the enduring stories of international relations is the way in which the international domain and the domestic environment of political units have been subject to reordering and redefinition. Yet, at least in demonstration of an acute lack of historical insight, much international relations literature treat the international or external environment as a monolithic story, constituting a unilinear trajectory of sameness and persistence throughout human history (Waltz, 1979). Indeed, as Waltz, would have us believe, anarchy is an enduring feature of international relations, and change in the international system is reduced to the rise and fall of great powers. Waltz argues that the International system is anarchic because it is characterized by similar units all acting in their national interest so that the underlying logic of thec international system is the absence of functional differentiation and the absence of supervening authority to maintain peace and security. However, with the benefit of history, we now understand that international relations have been variously characterized by the coexistence of the logics of anarchy and hierarchy at various times and to varying degrees (Hobson, 2002: 18). While history offers us a theory of change and persistence in conceptualizing the international domain, the notion of ‘othering/otherness’ (Aschcroft et al., 1998: 154-156) offers compelling insights in the attempt to make sense of what constitutes the external environment of nation states. This term has gained ground in much post-structuralist or postmodernist writings. In the context of this subject matter, it implies that states make sense of themselves in the context of how they imagine the others or those on the outside, implying that there is no self in the absence of the other. This notion of ‘otherness’ is a powerful concept because it draws attention to how notions of the self and the other are produced and the changes that have taken place in the way these concepts are understood. Also to reiterate the point earlier made, the self is not a given of life, instead competing notions of the self are produced within a specific geo-historical milieu. Poststructuralist writings have drawn attention to the specific context within which, for example, the idea of the individual was produced and that people have not always thought of themselves as individuals (Edkins, 2007). This contention between the self and its other was perhaps eminently acknowledged by Thucydides. Writing in the context of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta, he draws attention to the varying images that Athens had of its international environment. Indeed, in the Melian dialogue, Thucydides quotes the Athenian envoy as saying that ‘right, as the word goes is only a matter between equals, while the strong do what they have to do, the weak suffer what they must’ (Thucydides, 1951). By implication, the Athenians understood their international environment as constituting of two classes of states, those who were sufficiently strong to contend with them and the weak states which they were bound to dominate, and that it was growth in the power of Sparta that invoked fear in the mind of Athens. This for Thucydides was the cause of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta. The Athenians understood their international environment to be made of strong states like Sparta and Athens and weak states like the Melos. Strength and weakness measured by varying indices were the criteria upon which the Athenians understood themselves in relation with the outside. While Thucydides’ explanation has been much received by contemporary International Relations scholarship to explain the causes of war in international relations, not all philosophers and thinkers paid attention to geopolitical issues in accounting for the causes of
the Peloponnesian war. The emphasis on geo-political considerations in accounting for causes of war by Realist literature has been the focus of many of the critiques on realist writings. (See Rosenberg, 2001) The topicality of the issue at that time invariably agitated the minds of philosophers, most notably Socrates and Plato. Plato argued that the untendered growth of the luxurious life was what led the state to look beyond its frontiers for resources to meet the growing internal consumption of the Athenian city-state. To manage this problem, he advocated for a guardian class of philosopher-kings to mediate the excesses of the class of artisans (Ebenstein 2002). This argument is instructive, for far from the geo-political imperative for war, Socrates and Plato drew our attention to the internal characteristics of states and how they create war impulses. It is indeed this internal impulse that has remained under-theorized in International Relations, particularly since the assertion of systemic causes for war came to dominate reflections on the international. Over the millennia, political units have understood their external domains in different lights; more often they have tended to view those outside their empires or states as barbarians. This was particularly true of pre-modern China which saw itself as the Heavenly Kingdom where leaders received and lost the mandate of heaven. At certain times, China was inward-looking and tended to see the world beyond it as constituting no more than hordes of barbarians; while at other times China developed ties with other peoples, cultures and civilizations. This idea of China without an outward orientation was not constant throughout its history. Chinese traders and sailors had contacts with south-east Asians, Indians and Africans. However, there were occasions when a deep sense of provincialism developed as under the Ming dynasty when in 1433 the Ming Emperor suddenly banned Chinese merchants from going abroad. A more recent example of Chinese isolation occurred during the Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong. A good example of China relating with other parts of the world occurred in Zheng He’s six epic voyages to different corners of the world to present gifts to rulers and in return the emperor wanted them to acknowledge his supremacy. (Fergusonn: 2011) During the Hellenic period, the Greeks developed a system of international relations that was centred around Greece, although this would change in successive periods, first under the rule of Alexander the great and later under the Roman Empire where the vision of a Roman peace and a Romecentred world predominated. For the most part of the Middle Ages, however, a deep sense of introspection and provincialism developed across the world. In Europe, a symbolic referent is often made to the fact that stones once used to build bridges that connected peoples and cultures were broken down and used to build city walls (Ebenstein, 2002). This was the prevailing
picture in Europe from about 500-1000BC. As secular authority disintegrated, as evident in the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Church increasingly rose to fill the void left by secular reign. The authority of the church and, more specifically, the Papacy grew, culminating in the reign of the Holy Roman Empire till its authority came under challenge between the 14th and 17th centuries. For much of its reign, Europe defined the principle for understanding its external environment on the basis of Christendom. Here, the line of demarcation was made between the Christian world and the Islamic world in the medieval world and thus became the basis for identification and distinction; indeed, it is not by accident that the main fault lines between these two religions were drawn on this basis. With the dawn of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, notions of the external world were tremendously revised. Firstly, knowledge of the natural world was altered, leading man to shift his knowledge of the natural world from one that saw the earth as the centre of the universe to one that saw the sun as the centre of the universe. Secondly, within Europe, those who had achieved some fair degree of advancement as a result of the triple revolutions in science, industry and politics felt the need to civilize other people thus initiating what Norbert Elias has called the Civilizing Process (cited in Jeyifo, 2000). Thirdly, was the projection of this beyond Europe in what was called the civilizing mission, a project that was predated by an agenda to know the world of ‘others’ beyond Europe through several exploratory missions. These developments have markedly shaped notions of what constitutes the external world today for different peoples and civilizations, and years of civilization, contact and migration have altered the sense of what it means to be external, away from notions demarcated by geography. For Africa, though shaped by long records of migration since the out-migration of the first generation of mankind from Africa to other parts of the globe, its image of the external world has been markedly altered most dramatically by the experience of slavery and colonisation. This development led to the forced migration of Africans from Africa to several locations across the Atlantic, historical experiences that have been crucial to the development of notions of Pan-Africanism and black consciousness across the world. Indeed, in the world of increased transnational and transcontinental connectedness, defining what constitutes the external world must be undertaken with caution because of the tendency to leave out many who have similar basis of identification as we have. Moreover, it is not the case that nations have coherent identities and indeed as the proliferation of sub-groupist tendencies within nations
TO BE CONTINUED
THe gUArDiAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Sports Don’t leave Chelsea yet, Okocha tells Mikel Obi From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja igeriAN international N and Chelsea of england midfielder, Mikel Obi has been advised to stick to his Chelsea contract and shun a possible move to either France or Turkey as has been demanded by FC Monaco and galastasaray respectively. There have been offers for Mikel Obi from both France and Turkey, following speculations that the arrival of Jose Mourinho as the new Chelsea manager, who returned with ghanaian international essien, may not offer the eagles’ midfielder much playing opportunities. Former Super eagles skipper, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, who gave the advice to Mikel when he spoke to journalists at the commissioning ceremony of the new NFF secretariat in Abuja, cautioned the Nigerian international to use the experience of his past transfer in making decisions over his future in the current summer transfer window. The former Super eagles’ captain, who once played in the Turkish league, noted that Mikel, having tasted the Premier League for many years, is fit enough to weigh the offers and advised himself on the better one to take, stressing that he is man enough to know what is good for him. “i think Mikel is man enough to decide for himself where he wants to go. He has come a long way with good experiences, especially the way his last transfer went. He should take his time and think of the right place to go if he chooses to leave Chelsea. “He should just have in mind the saying that the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know. At the end of the day, it will be his decision that would count on whether to stay or go where he wanted. He
should decide rightly,” he noted. On the Super eagles /NFF bonus row, the former captain of the national team urged the two sides to endeavour to reach a compromise, stressing that the team’s qualification for the 2014 World Cup must not be compromised by any of the sides. “i don’t really want to comment on that because i don’t know who is listening or watching. But, i think we should be honest and realistic to know that when you are playing for your nation, it is not just about the money even though football is now a big business. The footballers must take home something because they have many responsibilities. They should try and compromise a little so that peace will reign.” “We are still on course and for me, i believe in encouragement. We have to believe in the team, encourage them, put our heads together to advise them if we think they are not doing well to get us the World Cup ticket. We all want to be at the next World Cup.” “On my assessment of Super eagles, i will say that they have honestly done well so far even beyond our expectations but because everybody in Nigeria is a coach and we expect our players to be the best, we set very high standards for our national teams. “it is because of this high expectations that some people would think that they have not done well especially in the Confederations Cup. i think that the kind of exposure the home-based players are getting is the best as it will impact well on their career. As a former footballer, i know what it means to be taken out of Kano Pillars stadium to play at Maracana stadium. it has a huge impact, especially the names they played against in the Confederations Cup.”
Super Eagles during their training session at the FIFA Goal Project, Abuja.
Eagles change training regime, now travel on Thursday session at the FiFA goal He Super eagles will from game in Abidjan. T today alter their training The team will now travel on Project site, where the Deaf eagles have also been training schedule to evening time to coincide with the time the CHAN final round qualifier will be played on Saturday in Abidjan, Coach Stephen Keshi has said. Yesterday, the players were given a free day after a hectic training session on Saturday morning that lasted for over two hours with the technical crew, saying the training was necessary to keep the players in top shape ahead of the return to training this evening. Saturday’s training session, which was watched by NFF Technical Director, Dr. emmanuel ikpeme and the popular All Stars Club of Abuja, was a delight to watch as the coaches sought to instill discipline and Spartan order in the team ahead of the
Thursday through the Murtala Muhammed international Airport in Lagos, according to team scribe, Dayo enebi Achor. “All logistics have been perfected by the NFF leadership and hopefully by Thursday the team should be off to Abidjan to complete the process of qualifying for the first time for the CHAN tournament after two near misses”, he said. Meanwhile, Keshi on Saturday extended a hand of fellowship to the National Deaf and Dumb team, which is currently preparing for a tourney abroad with the donation of boots and shin guards to the team. The donation was made after the national team’s training
daily. Keshi said the donation was to encourage the team to excel at the forthcoming tournament, as he has been very impressed with the way the team has been going about
their preparation for their tournament. Speaking after receiving the equipment, handler of the team, Coach Peter thanked Keshi for the gesture and promised that the team would do its best to give a good account of itself at the tourney.
Pepsi ICC WCL Division Six Championship
Nigeria wins opening game, beats Vanuatu by six runs igeriA yesterday began N its campaign at the ongoing iCC Pepsi World Cricket League (WCL) Division Six Championship on a bright note with a sixrun victory over old foes, Vanuatu. in the game played at Les Quennevais, Jersey, Nigeria
made 230 all out in 49.2 overs, with Adekunle Adegbola (44) and Segun Olayinka (34) the top-scorers. Captain Andrew Mansale led the way in Vanuatu’s run chase, making 58, and Kalworai made an unbeaten 57, but it wasn’t enough as Oluseye Olympio’s 3-41 helped
Glo Premier League
Oyo FA bars media from 3SC, Dolphins’ game ePOrTerS at the Lekan r Salami Stadium, ibadan, were shocked at the weekend
Former Nigerian International, Peter Ijeh (second left sitting), with his colleagues during the UEFA Certification programme in Sweden.
when officials of the Oyo State Football Association barred them from covering the 3SC versus Dolphins of Port Harcourt Week 22 glo Premier League game. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had ordered that 3SC’s games be played behind closed doors, but the federation did not say that the order affected media men. The Secretary of Oyo FA, Kehinde Ojelowo, who led
other personnel including security operatives, sealed all the gates leading to the stadium premises, while the players from 3SC and Dolphins, welfare officers (from both clubs), club chairmen (3SC and Dolphins), medical officials from both clubs, ball boys, two camera men (from 3SC and Dolphins) and centre referee, two assistant referees, fourth official and match commissioner were the only people allowed into the stadiu m . All entreaties by journalists, especially those that trav-
elled from outside ibadan to cover the match, fell on the deaf ears as Oyo FA officials and fierce looking mobile policemen at the entrance of the gates refused them entry. The administrative secretary of Shooting Stars, Demola Alabi, the media officer of the club, Jubril Arowolo, who were also refused entry, alleged overzealousness on the part of their home FA. The Oyo FA officials attributed their stance to the match commissioner, e. S. Chukwuemeka, from Abia State.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Pepsi ICC WCL Division Six Championship
Egwuatu banks on Akolade, Olatunji for Nigeria’s success By Christian Okpara HE Pepsi International T Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division Six Championship started yesterday in Jersey with Nigeria hoping to be among the two countries to gain promotion to Division Five of the league. Hosts, Jersey, Nigeria, Bahrain, Vanuatu, Argentina and Kuwait are the teams battling for the two promotion slots in the championship. Looking forward to a successful competition, Nigeria’s Manager, Olisa Egwuatu, said in fast bowler, Akolade Saheed and batsman, Oladotun
Olatunji, the country has players that can lead it to success in Jersey. Speaking during the leaders’ conference yesterday, Egwuatu said the Nigerian team is going into the competition with three objectives in mind. “First, we want to stay in Division 6. This is the minimum we want to achieve,’ he said. “Second, we want to qualify for WCL Division 5. And third, we want to win the trophy.” Nigeria met Vanuatu, who last played in Jersey in 2008 in WCL Division 5, at Les Quennevais in their first
Athletes competing at the first Premier Lotto Lagos Schools Athletics Championship at the Teslim Balogun Stadium…recently. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI.
I owe my success in life to participation in sports, Fashola admits By Olalekan Okusan HE importance of sports T came to fore when Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State admitted that he owed his success in life to participation in sports. The governor disclosed this at the maiden Town Hall Meeting organised by the Lagos State Sports Endowment Fund (LSSEF) in Lagos, saying that he was worried about the future of today’s youths, who are most times glued to television. “When I was young, I used to play seven-a-side football matches with my friends after school everyday. I was quite good at it and I have nothing but fond memories of those times. I played football virtually across the whole of Lagos State. There is nowhere we didn’t play. And where I didn’t play football I went to swim,” he said. He added, “football kept me out of trouble. Believe me when I say that without sports, I may have very well not ended up as governor today. Even while at the university, I played lawn tennis. Looking back, I realise that some of the discipline I leant from being a sportsman has stayed with me till this day.” For him, taking active part in sports reduces vices among youths. “Participation in sports reduces delinquent behaviour amongst the
youth. Sports activities give them something productive ad beneficial to do. Let’s face it, it also leaves them with no time and energy to engage in anti-social behaviour,” he explained. “Beyond occupying the time ad minds of the youth, sports, especially team sports, also teach them valuable life lessons. Being a part of a team teaches one responsibility, leadership and teamwork in a way very few other things do,” Fashola said. “We need good leaders for tomorrow, we need to raise a generation of people, who believe in working for the greater good of all, not just their own personal recognition or finances. “ Sports is one of the ways in which we can re-engineer our society. When young people participate in sports, it impacts on their physical, mental and psychological wellbeing. Greater participation equals healthier young people and it also equals psychological balanced youths,” the governor said. He, however, assured of the state’s efforts to build sports, as well as, give opportunity to youths by create enabling environment to engage in sports. His words, “I am very aware that Lagos of my youth is different from the Lagos of today. But that is the ideal we are working towards.”
game, in what was a replay of the WCL Division 7 final played in Botswana earlier this year. Vanuatu’s Captain, Andrew Mansale said before the game that his side was looking forward to the challenge of playing on turf wickets. “We’ve had three warm-up games, two against Bahrain and one against a Sussex academy side. We don’t usually play on grass wickets back home so this will be a good experience for our side.” Also speaking on his team’s expectations, Jersey’s Skipper, Peter Gough, said their ultimate goal is to move to Division Five. The hosts, who finished fourth in WCL Division 6 in Malaysia in 2011 and who bring a youthful side to this tournament, kick off their campaign against Kuwait at Grainville. Gough said that he was excited about the tournament and pleased with his team’s preparations. “We played in the ICC European Division 1 Championship in Sussex last week and we have had a programme of 17 games throughout the year,’ he said. “We have played MCC, Middlesex, Club Cricket Conference in the UK and a T20 tournament in Holland. Our cricket has mainly been T20 in the last month so we’ll be looking forward to going back to 50 overs. I think it suits our side better, particularly some of our batters.” To Kuwait’s Captain, off-spinning all-rounder Hisham Mirza, his side, which had also enjoyed a good warm-up tour in the UK, expected a high standard of cricket in the week ahead. “We aren’t targeting any specific opposition,’ he said. ‘We’re just going to take it match-bymatch. This is Division 6 so there are lots of strong teams here.” Argentina met Bahrain at FB Fields in their first fixture, with Argentinian Manager, Martin Sacchetti, confident in the young blood brought into the team. “We have two young players to watch out for,’ he said. ‘Lautaro Musiani, a legbreak bowler and number 3 batsman, and Hernan Fennell, a medium pacer, who are both coming through nicely and playing well.”
Nigeria’s Captain, Saheed Akolade (second right) with the other teams’ skippers during the press conference to announce the Pepsi ICC WCL Division Six Championship in Jersey…at the weekend.
NNL clubs’ Federation Cup exploits thrill Inyama TILL basking in the euphoSvictories ria of the heart-warming recorded by three Nigeria National League (NNL) clubs in the mid-week matches of the 2013 Federation Cup round 32, Chairman of the second tier league, Emeka Inyama has commended the victorious clubs for their achievements. Abia Warriors FC of Umuahia dumped out Premier League side, Kaduna United 2-1 in Lokoja, while Akwa Starlets FC of Uyo defeated Dolphins of Port Harcourt, just as Niger Tornadoes FC edged out Plateau United on penalties
for the three clubs to book their tickets to the next round. Inyama stated that the performances of the National League teams and the attendant victories recorded over their more illustrious clubs in the on-going Federation Cup is a clear indication that the National League can compare and compete with any other league. He argued that both leagues are working towards attaining high standards that can put the Nigeria League in the international spotlight like other leagues across the world. The NNL boss tipped Abia
Warriors to go all the way in this year’s Federation Cup, pointing out that the club has all it takes to compete for the gold trophy. “I have no doubt in my mind that Abia Warriors FC will beat their next opponents in the Rounds of 16 at the U. J. Esuene Stadium Calabar next week Wednesday. I believe Abia Warriors FC can handle Akwa Starlets FC when the clash next week. Both play in the National League and are familiar foes, but Abia Warriors will carry the day,” Inyama, who is also the Chairman of Abia Warriors, boasted.
South Africa thrilled by Ultimate Commander, Nigerians’ support for Mandela By Christian Okpara ATURDAY, June 20, was a SAfricans special day for South living in Nigeria. It was a day they invited their friends and business associates to the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos, to join them in celebrating the 95th day anniversary of their first post-apartheid President, Dr. Nelson Mandela, who recently turned 95. To mark the day reserved for the icon they call Madiba, the South Africans brought out some of the things that make the southernmost country ion Africa a unique nation. There were speeches, drinks, and photographs, but
the special day was made more exciting by the unique South African music, which drew both the old and the young to the dance floor to demonstrate a well-choreographed style of dance step made popular by the late Brenda Fassie. Among the dignitaries at the event were world heavyweight wrestling champion, Osita Offor, also known as De Ultimate Commander, Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, Disu Holloway, and officials from British and U.S embassies. Speaking at the event, an excited South African Consulate General in Lagos,
World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, Osita Offor, also known as De Ultimate Commander (left); South African Consular General, Ambassador Mokgethi Sam Monaisa; Sports Promoter, Aghalieaku Arinze; and popular musician, Tee Mac; during the Mandela Day celebrations in Lagos…at the weekend.
Ambassador Mokgethi Sam Monaisa said he thrilled by the huge turn out of Nigerians to celebrate Mandela’s 95th birthday. According to Monaisa, “the presence of the world heavyweight wrestling champion here is a testimony that Mandela is loved by all. “I met him and he agreed top be part of the Mandela celebrations. This shows that Nigeria and South Africa are one people, who celebrate very good moments together. “We have seen so many events where Nigerian musicians and other artistes join hands with South Africans to promote the image of the continent. “In the area of soccer, we have seen the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa playing together and celebrating together. We are now going to see the world wrestling champion coming from Nigeria to celebrate with us in South Africa. “We are very happy with Nigeria and Nigerians. We will work towards sustaining this relationship between our countries.” Monaisa, who urged African leaders to learn from Mandela’s selfless service to humanity, said “everybody here paying tribute to Mandela are all here because of what he did for his fellow human beings and I wish all will draw lessons from the Madiba’s exemplary lifestyle. “I am happy that this icon has touched the lives of many people, but sincerely I did not know that such a huge crowd would turn out here today.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Cycling: Hoy hails monumental moment HRIS Froome’s Tour de C France victory is a “huge achievement” while Britain’s back-to-back wins in the event are “monumental”, sixtime Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy said. Froome, 28, is set to win as he leads by more than five minutes going into the final stage of the epic three-week road race and will not be challenged on the traditional procession into Paris. It means that Britain has scored the impressive feat of producing two riders, who have won the Tour de France in consecutive years, with first Sir Bradley Wiggins and now Froome. “It is a huge achievement and I almost feel sorry for Chris because people are almost getting blase about it,” Hoy said “People think it is another British winner so that is what we should expect. But if you take a step back and get some perspective, you can see what a monumental achievement
it is for him to have done this.” Speaking at the National Lottery Anniversary Run at London’s Olympic Stadium, he said, “for Britain to have two riders winning the Tour de France back-to-back is fantastic for British cycling. “Just a few years ago we did not have anyone who could podium, but now we have two cyclists who can win the Tour in consecutive years. It is a phenomenal achievement and what Chris has done is phenomenal.” Wiggins pulled out of this year’s race through injury, meaning that his fellow Team Sky rider, Froome immediately became the hot favourite to bring home the honours. Hoy said, “I think it would have been lovely to have seen Bradley racing this year and it would have been fantastic to see both him and Chris competing. Last year was Bradley’s year and this year is Chris’s.”
Serena Williams beats Johanna Larsson to win Swedish Open The second seed was ORLD number one, W Serena Williams recov- Romanian Simona Halep, ered from her shock early exit ranked 30th in the world, so it at Wimbledon by beating home hope Johanna Larsson to win the Swedish Open. The American dropped serve twice in the first set but overcame those setbacks to win 64, 6-1 in Bastad. Williams, 31, has now won 51 matches and seven titles in 2013. She had been a strong favourite to win her 17th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon earlier this month, but lost to Sabine Lisicki in the last 16. Williams chose to return on clay at the relatively low-key Swedish event, and victory brought her a first-ever title at an ‘international’ level tournament, the fourth tier below Grand Slams.
Chisora knocks out unbeaten Malik Scott RITISH heavyweight, B Dereck Chisora stopped unbeaten Malik Scott with a sixth-round knockout at Wembley Arena. Chisora caught Scott with an overhand right on the ropes and the American appeared to misjudge the count, failing to get to his feet in time. Scott started the brighter until the dramatic punch late in the sixth round. “I thought ‘if I catch him he’s going to go down’ and I caught him,” said Chisora, 29, who had lost four of his previous six fights. Scott’s corner was unhappy with the referee’s count but the fighter accepted the defeat. “He hit me with a good shot,” said Scott. “I gave myself an eight, got up at nine and everywhere in America the count goes up to 10. “Everyone knows I beat the count but Dereck won a clear fair, fight and we’re not going to turn this into something.”
was no surprise that Williams won all five matches without dropping a set. She did not have it all her own way in the final, however, struggling in the early stages and letting out a huge scream when she finally slammed a forehand winner at 3-1 down. Larsson, the Swedish number one and world number 76, had her chances but could not convert as she struggled to make enough first serves. Williams eventually found her range and from 4-3 down lost just two more games on her way to capturing the 53rd WTA title of her career. She remains unbeaten on clay this season, having also won in Rome, Madrid and Charleston. In Hamburg, Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis could not follow up Saturday’s win over Roger Federer with another victory, as Fabio Fognini won the German Tennis Championships final 46 7-6 (10-8) 6-2.
Coe wants four-year ban for failed drugs tests 2012 Chairman, LbanONDON Sebastian Coe wants the for failing a drugs test to be increased from two to four years. The double Olympic champion’s claim comes after sprinters Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell provided positive samples. “We have to go back from two years to four years. The move down to two did a lot of damage to my sport,” Lord Coe told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek. “It is for the clean athletes. I don’t care about the cheats we weed out. These people are trashing my sport.” While the 1500m gold medalist from Moscow 1980 and Los
Angeles 1984 does not believe trust in the sport has completely evaporated, Lord Coe is concerned people are losing faith in athletics. “It is depressing. Trust sits at the heart of this,” said Lord Coe, who is also vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). “I don’t think trust is gone entirely, but it was a bad day for the sport. The big challenge here is to go on fighting, this is not a fight we can afford to lose. “It is about trust. If fans can’t trust the athletes and go there knowing what they are watching is questionable, then we will descend to American
wrestling where most of the crowd know it is fake and, worryingly, don’t care.” Lord Coe believes that athletes are currently taking risks by cheating, as the two-year ban does not take enough time out of their career to be a deterrent. But the London 2012 organiser and current British Olympic Association chairman knows that lifetime bans are not possible. The BOA, before Coe was elected chairman, had a policy of banning any British athletes from competing in Olympic Games for life if they had previously failed a drugs test. However, in April 2012 the governing body lost its battle
with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to keep the policy. It allowed athletes such as Dwain Chambers, who failed a drugs test in 2003, to compete at London 2012. “If I could bring lifetime bans in I would,” said Lord Coe. “The legal inhibitor to be able to do that is profound. We are not going to be able to have life bans, they would be challenged and when we have done it we have lost. “Four years does make people think, it is a big chunk of your career but two years with appeals is often only 18 months. Too many athletes have been prepared to take the risk.”
Arthur speaks out over dismissal ORMER Australia Coach, Flamented Mickey Arthur yesterday a “deliberate cam-
paign” against him, as he pursues legal action over his dismissal. Arthur was sacked last month and replaced by Darren Lehmann little more than two weeks before the start of this summer’s Ashes, after Australia were eliminated in the group stages of the Champions Trophy. Australia’s tour got off to the rockiest of starts when opener David Warner was suspended for landing a punch on England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar after losing to the hosts in the Champions Trophy.
Warner was missing for last week’s first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, a thrilling match England won by just 14 runs, and he has since been sent for match practice on Australia A’s tour of Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, Arthur inaedvertently caused more disruption two days before the start of the second Test at Lord’s - where Australia are struggling badly after an unbeaten century from Root when leaked legal documents included his claims of racial discrimination against him by his ex-employers and that Captain Michael Clarke and senior all-rounder Shane Watson are at loggerheads.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Man United increases offer for Fabregas ANCHESTER United has M reportedly tabled an improved £30m plus add-ons bid for Barcelona midfielder, Cesc Fabregas. United boss, David Moyes has admitted signing a new midfielder is his priority ahead of the new season, although the Spanish club has warned the Premier League champions off the former Arsenal man, who rejoined Barca in 2011 following eight years in north London. Barcelona Vice President,
Josep Maria Bartomeu was quoted by Spanish daily Sport on Friday, “Barcelona can assure you we will not entertain any offers for Cesc. It is totally ruled out, he’s not for sale.” However, having failed with a bid of around £25m last week, Sky Sports sources now suggest United has returned with an improved offer in a bid to land Moyes his first big signing since joining the club. Chief Executive, Ed
Woodward left United’s preseason tour ahead of schedule on Wednesday in order to return to Europe to carry out urgent transfer business, with it understood to concern a player arriving at Old Trafford. And goalkeeper, David de Gea has said he would welcome Fabregas at Old Trafford, telling the Daily Mail: “He is a great player, very skilful, knows how to win things and you always want those type of players in your team.”
Transfer Gossip ANCHESTER United is preM pared to double 26-yearold Barcelona midfielder, Cesc Fabregas’s current wages in a bid to lure him to Old Trafford. Chelsea is ready to offer £40m for striker, Wayne Rooney, 27, as the Blues look to convince United to sell the England international. Rooney is close to signing for Chelsea in a deal which is expected to be worth around £200,000-a-week to the former Everton striker. United will only allow Rooney to leave if they pull off ambitious plans to sign Fabregas and Tottenham midfielder, Gareth Bale, 24, this summer. Tottenham is preparing an £18m bid for Valencia striker, Roberto Soldado, 28, that would break the club’s record transfer fee. Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, 31, has warned Manchester City that spending big will not guarantee trophies. Arsenal have told Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, 33, he will have to take a pay cut if he wants to move to the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are also back in the race to sign Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, 25, as Napoli are unwilling to match the £35m price tag set by the Spanish club. Premier League pair Sunderland and Aston Villa are monitoring Inter Milan midfielder, Zdravko Kuzmanovic. The Serbian international, 25, has been told he can leave the San Siro this summer. Lyon striker, Bafetimbi Gomis , 27, wants to join several of his French international team-mates at Newcastle -
which could signal the end of Papiss Cisse’s time at St James’ Park. Chelsea have rejected an enquiry from Liverpool about the availability of 23-year-old left-back Ryan Bertrand. Sunderland appear to have ended their interest in Greek winger Charis Mavrias , 19, following the arrival of Italy international and 28-year-old midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini. Norwich City Manager, Chris Hughton admits he wants to sign another striker after being linked with moves for Juventus forward Fabio Quagliarella, 30, and Sampdoria’s Maxi Lopez, 29, as the Canaries bid to add fresh forward options. Premier League newcomers, Hull City are close to signing Ivory Coast striker Yannick Sagbo from French side Evian. Tigers boss Steve Bruce hopes a bid of £1.6m will be enough to capture the 25-year-old. Chelsea will offer former striker, Didier Drogba, 35, a player-coach role in order to tempt him back to Stamford Bridge from Turkish side Galatasaray. Manchester United are set to reintroduce the words “Football Club” to their crest as part of a rebranding process. The words were removed in 1998. Swansea Manager, Michael Laudrup has described reports linking him to the vacant job at former club Barcelona as “pure speculation.” But the Spanish champions have targeted another exBarca player - Luis Enrique instead. The ex-Spain attacking midfielder, 43, only took charge of their La Liga rivals
Celta Vigo last month. Manchester United has moved around 60 season ticket holders from their seats at Old Trafford - in order to replace them with television cameras.
Rodgers ready to welcome Suarez Manager, However, Simon Mignolet, LingIVERPOOL Brendan Rodgers is look- Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto, and forward to linking up Iago Aspas has all been with want away striker, Luis Suarez in Australia. The 26-year-old, who has made no secret of his desire to leave Anfield this summer, was always due to meet up with the Reds partway through their pre-season tour having been given extra time off following his appearances at the Confederations Cup with Uruguay. And Rodgers, whose side beat an Indonesia XI 2-0 in Jakarta yesterday, dismissed any suggestion he might not turn up, telling several national newspapers. “He’s on the plane and we will see him in Melbourne.” He added, “I’m looking forward to seeing him, he’s a player I’ve always supported. I understand the situation but the bottom line is, he is employed by the club. “The money goes into his bank at the end of every month, so he should be here. If he’s not, which I doubt, there will be a problem.” One player, who does appear to be on his way out of the club is goalkeeper Pepe Reina. The Spaniard has been heavily linked with a move to Serie A side Napoli following the arrival of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. “I’ve a lot of time for Pepe,” Rodgers said. “He has a big season with the World Cup. If he wasn’t going to be playing, it could severely harm his chances of going.” Defender Jose Enrique believes Liverpool has a squad capable of challenging for honours next season. The Reds finished seventh in the Premier League last season in Rodgers’ first term in charge at Anfield.
Spurs agree deal for Chadli OTTENHAM has confirmed T an agreement has been reached with FC Twente to sign Belgium international winger Nacer Chadli. The 23-year-old Chadli, who will discuss personal terms and undergo a medical with the Barclays Premier League club, has spent three seasons in the Eredivisie with Twente and scored in both Champions League ties against Spurs during the 201011 season. If the deal is completed without a hitch the winger will join his new team-mates in Hong Kong, where Andre Villas-Boas’s side will compete in the Barclays Asia Trophy.
Chadli has 14 international caps after initially representing Morocco in a non-competitive fixture before deciding to turn out for Belgium. He made a name for himself at AGOVV Apeldoorn before enjoying a successful spell in Holland, scoring 31 goals for Twente and prompting Spurs to make their move - with the transfer fee reported to be around £7million. He is likely to become VillasBoas’ second major acquisition of the summer following the signing of Brazil international midfielder, Paulinho from Corinthians earlier this month.
added to his squad this summer while he is still looking to bring in a couple more
Heynckes rules out Barca role ORMER Bayern Munich as one of the frontrunners to Fruled boss, Jupp Heynckes has take over at Barca, with out a return to coach- Vilanova forced to step down ing at Barcelona following Tito Vilanova’s resignation. Heynckes led Bayern to an historic treble last term before making way for Pep Guardiola. Immediately after the season ended he revealed his intention to take a year off, although he never officially declared his retirement. Given his Champions League triumph as coach of Real Madrid and his proficiency in Spanish, not to mention his success last season, the 68-year-old had emerged
Gomes eager for PSV’s return EURELHO Gomes has H revealed he is available on a free transfer this summer and would prefer to rejoin PSV Eindhoven. The former Brazil goalkeeper, 32, spent the second half of last season on loan at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Gomes has not appeared for Spurs since a Europa League tie against PAOK Salonika in November 2011. “My situation at Tottenham is not good,” Gomes told The Sun. “I can leave on a free, even though I have a year left on my contract. I have told
them I want to go.” Gomes cost Spurs £7.8million when Juande Ramos signed him from PSV Eindhoven in June 2008. A return to the Dutch Eredivisie outfit would suit him, and he added, “I would love to rejoin PSV. It would feel great to return as I spent wonderful years with them. I feel fitter than ever. I’m in my early 30s and I can still perform. If PSV want me, I would say yes.” PSV’s current shot-stoppers are Poland international Przemyslaw Tyton and Netherlands Under 21 keeper Jeroen Zoet.
high-profile signings before the start of the new season. Enrique believes a few more additions can help them challenge for success on all fronts.
to continue his treatment for cancer. However, he told Germany’s Sky Sport News that he is enjoying his time away from the game. “I’m keeping myself busy with hobbies and sport. I have my animals and a huge garden,” he said. “I think it would be impossible for me, after working at Bayern Munich, now to take over a new club. I have understood the signals my body has been giving me and I am feeling good, enjoying the time I have for myself.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 22, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Raheem Oluwafunminiyi many around the world who are as shocked as this writer at events unfolding Fin OR Egypt, there is denying the fact that the country is in both trying and troubled times. Not many would have believed a coup, as quiet and quick as it was yet supportive of most Egyptians, could remove a democratically elected government which came into power just over a year ago. Having seen events taking place in what became known as the Tunisian Uprising in Tunisia, the Arab Spring quickly saw itself spilling over to Egypt whose sit-tight leader who had held the state for over 35 years was swiftly forced to resign amidst protests at the famed Tahrir Square. It was believed for the first time that Egyptians were serious about taking the destiny of their country into their own hands. Even when the chequered 15-month tenure in office between February 2011 and June 2013 prompted unprecedented criticism of the military, the military of course had to back down by quickly holding elections which for the first time in nearly 30 years brought Egyptians, both old and young out to vote towards a shaky path to democracy. By the time Mohamed Morsi and his now faltering Muslim Brotherhood came to hold the reins of power, it all seemed Egypt was on the path of a new era. A lot was expected by most Egyptians who had all come out to remove the last vestiges of the Hosni Mubarak era. An embrace of democracy, secularity and freedom more than ever before among other obvious demands, were some of the expectations the ever boisterous Egyptian youth yearned for and did not need to ask their new government before they were granted. The moment these began to lack, Egypt would once again embrace another round of revolution. But why did Egypt’s revolution go wrong just a year after its people seemed to have set things right? Aside from the fact that too much was expected from the regime, owing to years of political and economic decadence, the new government was not willing to act within
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Egypt and lesson of another coup
the ambit of political consensus. The Morsi government saw itself as having arrived and therefore, felt all powers should be
arrogated to it to make the revolution workable. It would be recalled that from as early as November 2012, there had been calls by the Egyptian military, as a result of Morsi’s divisive policies, most especially when he issued decrees that put him above the law, placing them outside judicial scrutiny to stem the tide. Also, the constitution which was to serve as a road map for Egypt was highly criticised by a wide section of the populace and the opposition for its Islamist leanings. As a result, the government began to lose the support people had for it at the beginning. Morsi was never interested in consensus, not until when protests became worse, with him repeatedly claiming he was willing to share power with his opponents and then once again restated he would agree to a government of national unity and parliamentary elections within months. Morsi’s albatross was his inability to see the impending disaster and listen to wise counsel. The statement coming from the military noted that a clear warning that the Egyptian state was on the brink of collapse was given by the army chief to Morsi, while they extended several invitations for dia-
logue to end the political deadlock which had begun rearing its ugly head in the last couple of months, yet the Morsi Presidency rejected all advances. With national security further threatened, the military had no choice but to take control of the surging unrest. Since the removal of Morsi, commentators have been asking whether the event was a coup or revolution. The African Union swiftly met at Addis Ababa, and suspended Egypt from the continental body until the restitution of constitutional order. The Nigerian government on the other hand, and being a big player on the continent, also called Morsi’s removal a coup and ordered a quick return to democratic institutions while Western media and their leaders have been quite cautious to call the events there a coup. Whatever the case, the yelling, protests and political logjam which had been brewing since January, cannot but prove to be a revolution if the series of varying forces calling for Morsi’s removal is anything to go by. The fact that the people had once again, like the actions which swept Mr Mubarak away, called on Morsi to leave with the military and powerful police force listening to the yearnings of the people goes to show that Egypt has come of age and would do anything to protect its 2012 revolution. Morsi and his supporters argue that the regime was confronted heavily at all fronts with a hostile bureaucracy left over by Mubarak yet failed to act in ways that could stem the tide. As the political imbroglio continues, with Egypt torn between pro and anti-Morsi supporters, there is a need for leaders, most especially in Africa, to learn and understand that the people are what make a society. The moment they are taken for granted, as was evident under Morsi, it gives room for changes. Egypt may have successfully truncated the democracy she had steadily built; however, the implication of this for the region and Arab world will continue to be debated in years to come, if not to further the Arab spring of 2011. • Oluwafunminiyi is a social commentator and could be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
Relevance of science and technical education in development By Emmanuel Ezeagwu N today’s world, science and technology Inomic are undoubtedly vehicles for socio-ecodevelopment. Decades ago, developed nations were more or less as undeveloped as developing nations of today. They are now transformed from rural, peasant communities into highly urbanised, industrialised countries through the development of their science and technology. In the process, they became rich and politically powerful. For Nigeria to achieve her age-old goal of crossing the borderline between being a developing country and a developed country, she must develop scientifically and technologically. It should be added that science and technology have become integral parts of the world’s culture and to lag behind is to be out of place. However, science and technology have continued to have a largely lowly status in developing or underdeveloped societies including Nigeria. On the cause of the current poor levels of science and technology in the third world countries (including Nigeria), Dr. S.A. Thomas in an article on Chemistry in Britain in 1983 said: “Most third world countries may appear to be looking for salvation in science and technology, they lack the foundation necessary to develop their scientific and technological potentials in real terms. Social attitudes favouring non-scientific endeavours and objects leading to a quest for increased material wealth not justified by increased productivity and optimal utilisation of scarce resources have continued to inhibit enhanced scientific activities...there is a need to solve the problem of inadequate research leadership and generate a crop of policy makers sufficiently on scientific matter, if third world nations wish to improve their lot.” This foundation necessary to develop science and technology in the country is obviously education—elementary, secondary,
and tertiary education. Science and technology have to be taught and studied systematically and purposefully at all levels of education including, at least, first years of tertiary education for the arts and the humanities. It is evident that science and technological transfer and development is solely dependent on science and technology education in the country, for scientists and technologists are definitely required in the economic infrastructure of the society before any scientific and technological development, and industrialisation can occur. Even if students do not further their study of science and technology in tertiary institutions and as a result do not go on to become professional scientists, engineers, and technologists, their experience of science and technology gained from the elementary and secondary levels and first year of their tertiary education will be sufficiently rich and relevant. Such scientific literacy will equip them to contribute to our country’s development in an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing world. In other words, if all students in this developing country, including those in the arts and humanities as well as sciences, were imbued with the curiosity that characterises scientists and the com-
Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Ewa
petence that characterises engineers and technologists, all would be in a better position to participate in the solution of the
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indigenous problems of social and economic development. There is a need, therefore, to imbibe the science culture in every Nigerian so as to have the proper and requisite foundation on which to develop our science and technology which will in turn develop the country. This is why great emphasis should be put on effective science education to help lay the needed foundation starting from the primary to, at least, the first year of the tertiary level for students of humanities. The government must design specific policies on science and technical education which must be implemented and sustained to promote science and technology curricula at each level of education. This, of course, must include increased funds which should be provided and properly utilised in the educational system. When scientifically well informed leadership springs up and scientifically and technologically literate citizens abound who are not all about “a quest for increased material wealth” but ways to contribute to problem solving in the society, the right type of environment will exist and illiteracy and superstitions which are prevalent in the country will be eradicated then all these “social attitudes” which have “inhibited third world countries”, as Thomas rightly puts it, would have been erased. Nigeria will then have a chance to improve her lot as she finally sets out for scientific and technological development which will in turn hastily pave the way for national development. Underdevelopment which has continually plagued third world countries such as Nigeria, rich in human and natural resources, will be history. There is no alternative to scientific and technological development. They are what distinguish the underdeveloped countries from the developed ones. The standard of living, social security, military and political power of the country all depend on the advancement of her science and technology. • manuel.ezeagwu@ezeagwu, 0809 123 3905