TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Monday, July 29, 2013
Vol. 30, No. 12,632
District Governor, Rotary International District 9110, Nigeria, Olugbemiga Olowu (left); little Favour Chimezie; Rotary International President-elect, Gary Huang; past District Governor, Somo Omoniyi and Huang’s wife, Corina, during the Huangs’ arrival at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos for a visit to Nigeria… yesterday. PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
‘Rivers’ House leader going blind in police custody’ .From Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt FTER allegedly being A tear-gassed and poisoned with a chemical substance, the Rivers State House of Assembly Majority Leader, Chidi Lloyd, may have started going blind in police custody. The Deputy Speaker of the House, Leyii Kwanee, raised the alarm in Port Harcourt yesterday that despite Lloyd’s condition, his colleagues had been denied access to him. But the state People’s Dem-
• PDP accuses Amaechi of frustrating Lloyd’s trial • Okiro arrives in Port Harcourt to probe Mbu ocratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Felix Obuah, has accused Governor Chibuike Amaechi of plotting to scuttle the prosecution of Lloyd for attempted murder of his colleague, Michael Chindah. Already, the Chairman of
the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mike Okiro, has arrived in Port Harcourt to investigate allegations of partisanship and professional misconduct levelled against the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, by Amaechi.
Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, Kwanee said: “Chidi Lloyd was blindfolded. He was tortured and tear-gas was spread all over him. As I speak to you, some of us have been refused access to him. We have been informed that Chidi Lloyd is
going blind, occasioned by the tear-gas that was thrown all over him, particularly on his eyes. Medical help has been refused also to him.” Lloyd had reported to the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday last week following an invitation by the police over the fracas that took place on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly on July 9. He was
Suspected Boko Haram’s members kill over 20 in Borno – Page 2
brought back to Port Harcourt amid tight security on Friday and many had anticipated that he would be arraigned by the police but to no avail. Piqued by the continued detention of the leader of the House, Kwanee urged the police authorities and the politicians behind the lawmaker’s ordeal to recall that Nigeria is a signatory to a lot of conventions and treaties on human rights. He disclosed that the House had alCONTINUED ON PAGE 2
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Abuja natives divided over land swap initiative From Terhemba Daka, Abuja
CRACK may have surfaced among the once united natives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over the Abuja Land Swap scheme introduced by the FCT Administration, as the Ketti-Waru Youth Forum has taken a swipe on the Original Inhabitants Development Association (OIDA) for “lack of foresightedness.” This came as the House of Representatives last Thursday adopted a motion that sought to investigate alleged irregularities in the scheme and other mass housing pro-
grammes introduced from 2010 to date by the FCT Administration. OIDA, the umbrella body of the indigenous people of the FCT, had last Wednesday kicked against the land swap model initiated by the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, and had a protest march to the National Assembly to register their grievances over the rejection of mayoralty seat for the territory as well as the alleged usurpation of their ancestral land by the Federal Government. However, in a swift reaction at the weekend, the KettiWaru Youth Forum distanced
itself from that position, saying the rejection of mayoralty was a different issue from the land swap scheme introduced to facilitate infrastructural development in the territory. Arising from a stakeholders’ meeting last Friday, the President of Ketti-Waru Youth Forum, Abubakar Yakubu, said the mayoralty being agitated for by OIDA has nothing to do with the FCT Land Swap infrastructural development. The forum pledged to support the administration’s programmes, which it said, were geared towards the development of the territory, and commended Mohammed and his team for “their visionary leadership in the land swap for infrastructure development.” According to Yakubu, the is-
sue of mayoralty being canvassed by OIDA is constitutional, while the land swap initiative is aimed at facilitating the rapid development of the territory. He said: “We are more concerned about policies that will bring development to our people, and we strongly believe that the land swap policy is one of such policies. “We equally support the creation of more area councils and senatorial districts to bring development to the indigenous people. We are totally in support of the call for the indigenous people to be appointed as ministers, special advisers and board members of both FCT and federal parastatals.” Also, the National President of the forum, Isaac Shekwolo David, said in an interview at
the weekend that his people have finally risen above deception by external forces to appreciate the huge advantages and opportunities land swap offers them. He said: “We welcome the government policy because there is no way you can hold government to ransom in terms of development. If past administrations made errors in the development of the FCT, that does not mean the present administration will also do like that. “Moreover, the resettlement committee is still sitting and after the collation of data through enumeration and demographic survey, we will come back to a round table and decide what will be done to the communities, whether to relocate or integrate.”
PDP accuses Amaechi of frustrating Lloyd’s trial CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 ready assembled a team of legal experts to look at the possibility of putting together what he said were all the human rights abuses inflicted on Lloyd with a view to pressing legal charges against those behind his predicament in a foreign court. “Chidi Lloyd was blindfolded. I am not saying what I don’t know. The facts are there. One of us who accompanied him from Abuja said as soon as they approached OPM church (along G.U. Ake Road, Port Harcourt), the vehicle they were in was stopped and they waited there for 15 minutes and shortly after that, a Black Maria was brought where Chidi Lloyd was dragged out of the vehicle and pushed into the Black Maria, blindfolded and tortured,” he said. Kwanee said the Speaker of the House, Otelemaba Amachree, who is currently attending the Commonwealth parliamentary conference, had briefed the international community of the ordeal of Lloyd. Similarly, 25 pro-Amaechi’s lawmakers in a joint statement issued yesterday said they were gravely concerned about the life of their leader whose whereabouts had been shrouded in mystery since he was brought back to Port Harcourt from Abuja on Friday. They said Mbu should be held liable if any harm befell him. “Is Mbu aware of Chidi Lloyd’s medical history? This
calculated poisoning of Chidi Lloyd reminds us of the assumed circumstances leading to the death of our one-time Senate President, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. Why the blindfold? He is only alleged to have committed an offence. He is not a terrorist, and he is neither an armed robber nor a kidnapper. He is a representative of Emohua Constituency of Ikwerre Ethnic nationality at the Rivers State House of Assembly and a legal practitioner who will stand for truth and justice even when the truth is too much for those bent on destroying our hard-earned democracy with unnecessary impunity,” they said. The lawmakers questioned the rationale for the handcuffing of Lloyd when he submitted himself to the police. According to them, all the humiliation meted out to him by the police commissioner was to glorify his political benefactors. “We genuinely fear for the life of the Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly whose present whereabouts remain unknown and whose only offence is that he defended democracy and its values. We condemn in entirety the role of the Police Commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu, as we search for peace in our state and call on Nigerians to be prayerful as their scripts are re-written,” they added. When contacted to confirm the allegation that Lloyd was being tortured on Mbu’s directives and that he was going blind, the Rivers State Police Command spokesperson, Deputy Superintendent of Po-
lice (DSP) Angela Agabe, told The Guardian: “Please, I don’t have any comment on that.” In a statement issued on his behalf by his Media Adviser, Jerry Needam, Obuah said yesterday in Port Harcourt that based on reliable information he received, Amaechi had directed the state attorney-general to prevent the prosecution of Lloyd in Port Harcourt. According to Obuah, Amaechi who has never cared to visit Chindah in the hospital or offer any assistance or condolence to him or his family, is hell-bent on frustrating the prosecution of Lloyd through the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Worgu Boms, “an evidence that the governor is comfortable with the life-threatening harm that Lloyd caused Chindah.” “If Governor Amaechi desires peace, he would have gone to see the badly battered lawmaker and shown concern for the sake of humanity but instead of that, he is plotting that the attorney- general of the state should enter a nolle prosequi to terminate the criminal proceedings to be commenced against Honourable Lloyd. Such an action will not only be morally wrong but amounts to an abuse of office and miscarriage of justice. It will heighten bitterness and provoke the sympathisers and relatives of Honourable Chindah who may be forced to believe that the action of Honourable Lloyd was not an accident but planned and masterminded by the governor and Lloyd”, he said.
It isn’t late to reorder Nigeria, says Gowon N enduring way to tackle A Nigeria’s problems is to reorder the polity. This was the submission of the former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who spoke yesterday during the first session of the 11th Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Owo, held at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Uso in Owo Local Council of Ondo State. Gowon, who, alongside Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, was special guest of honour at the event where both were honoured for their meritorious service to the work of God, held that it was not late to redefine
and reorder the country, as current occurrences in the nation call for sober reflections. “What is happening in our country today calls for sober reflection, as we entreat God on behalf of our nation,” he said. “I want to believe that in spite of the gloomy situation made manifest by the escalating security and political challenges in our nation, the church in Nigeria, given its spiritual and human resources, occupies a strategic position to trigger a process aimed at re-making and enforcing and reinforcing the blessings of
jubilee. It is not late to redefine and reorder Nigeria.” Noting that the Jubilee year 2010 was a year of liberty and restoration for the country, he warned that the nation “must not lose sight of one major fact, which is that the battle is usually fiercest in the years closest to or immediately after jubilee.” Gowon stated that whenever a nation approaches her jubilee, all hell would seem to be let loose, as the devil would orchestrate events and issues that would create confusion, uncertainty, fear and unrest.
PDP kicks as Jonathan visits Lafia From Msugh Ityokura, Lafia HE opposition Peoples T Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State does not see any merit in President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to the capital city, Lafia, today as it insists that Governor Tanko Al-Makura will only present him with lies about some phantom projects. Nevertheless, residents welcomed the visit, stating that it would enable the President, who is making his first visit since assumption of office, to address the deficit of development infrastructure in the state. According to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) state government, President Jonathan is primarily expected to commission a building recently completed by the AlMakura administration, meant to serve as a Federal High Complex in the state. Other projects to be commissioned include classroom blocks and state water works.
Suspected Boko Haram members kill 20 in Borno IOLENCE is yet to abate in
VBorno as suspected members of the Boko Haram sect
were said to have shot dead more than 20 civilians when a vigilance group attacked them in the state. According to an on-line publication, “the suspected sect members came armed and fired sporadic shots that killed over 20 innocent civilians,” spokesman for the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Haruna Mohammed Sani, said. The violence took place on Saturday in Dawashe village, a military spokesman said yesterday in a statement. It was learnt that men from the Civilian Joint Task Force, a vigilance group formed in Boko Haram’s bastion, Maiduguri, to combat the Islamist gunmen who have been terrorising the region for years, entered Dawashe to search for suspects. Suspected Boko Haram members were said to have subsequently opened fire in the village, killing 20 civilians who were mostly fishermen and traders.
Ajimobi, Ahmed condole with Odunewu’s family From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) and Iyabo Lawal (Ibadan) RIBUTES have continued to flow in for the late journalist and public affairs commentator, Alhaji Alade Odunewu, popularly known as Allah De, as Governors Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State have described him as a quintessential journalist worthy of emulation. A statement by Ajimobi’s Special Adviser on Media, Festus Adedayo, which commiserated with the deceased’s family, described Odunewu as a thorough-bred journalist and father of modern journalism, who used his power of words to shape the society, defend the defenceless, correct societal ills and entrench democratic tenets in the land. For Ahmed, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, Odunewu made his mark in journalism with integrity and was an administrator per excellence. Ahmed added that it was heartwarming that he lived fulfilled and did not die unsung.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Issues In The News
Sale of Power Plants: Will Nigerians smile at last? By Felix Kuye HE Federal Government, T from current happenings in the National Integrated Power Plants (NIPP) where 10 gas-fired stations are up for sale, seems to be on course with the implementation of the 2010 Power Sector Reform. In the official circle, there is a growing belief that President Goodluck Jonathan administration is getting it right, and with the necessary political will, may achieve the 2014 target of providing stable electricity in most Nigerian cities for at least 18 hours per day. Those who think in this way cite the successful unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and its sustenance of power generation at close to 5,000megawatts(mw) for several months, compared to what they described as near zero level generation before the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo initiated the NIPP to build 10 thermal power stations. Now that the power plants are being completed in less than a decade, the government has thought it wise to leave the projects in the hands of private investors, who have become better business managers across the globe than government, for better management to realize the goal of the investments. All the lead actors in the power sector reform, including President Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Power Minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, and the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Power Holding Development Company (NDPHC), which built the power plants, Mr. James Olotu, are optimistic that Nigerians will smile at the end of the day. In both Nigeria and overseas,
Sambo, who doubles as the chairman of NDPHC, Nebo and Olotu chronicle the government’s achievements in the power sector and defend the decision to privatise the plants. Consequently, the government has mandated the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the NDPHC to handle the sale of the plants. The trio of Sambo, Nebo and Olotu have said the sale of the power plants is in line with the Federal Government’s plan under its Transformation Agenda to allow the private sector drive the economy. And because the power sector plays a crucial role in the economy and the government has failed in the past to run the industry efficiently, it is better to place the 10 power plants in private hands to enable them inject more funds into the facilities and expand them for stable power supply across the country before and not later than 2014. It is also the thinking of the government that divestment from the power plants could prevent the usual Nigerian factor from catching up with the projects and even destroy them, as experienced in similar projects and other parastatals. As these projections and plans continue, it is evident that most Nigerians are not carried away by official promises and reassurances that all will be well, that the government will deliver on its promises. They are particularly worried by avoidable blunders and failures the government made during similar exercises in the past. Such concerned Nigerians often say that even the ones that were sold by the Obasanjo administration are comatose while the ones in operation can’t even break even. What they want is adequate and stable power supply, the cost notwithstand-
There is a growing belief that President Goodluck Jonathan administration is still getting it right, and with the necessary political will, may achieve the 2014 target of providing stable electricity in most Nigerian cities for at least 18 hours per day. ing. Having failed to fulfil such promises in 2010, 2011, 2012 and now shifting the goal-post again from 2013 to 2014 in the midst of the game, the citizens can only be hopeful that one day, the pendulum will swing in their favour. But the government is forging ahead with the exercise having received 110 bids from prospective investors for the 10 power plants at the expiration of the deadline of Friday July 19, 2013 for the submission of bids. The NIPP initiative was conceived in 2004 to boost capacity to generate more electricity. The power generation projects are accompanied with supporting transmission, distribution and gas transport infrastructure. Eight of the NIPP plants were initially designed as opencycle gas turbine (OCGT) power plants while the remaining two were designed as combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants. Seven of the OCGT plants have the capacity to be expanded to combined cycle gas turbine configuration. The NDPHC, which coordinated the construction of the plants, came into being in 2006 as a “legal vehicle to contract for, hold, manage and operate the assets developed and built under the NIPP using international best practices.” It has a managing director and two executive directors, who are responsible for engineering and technical services, and finance and adminis-
tration in that order. The board has representatives from the shareholders in the three tiers of government, including six state governors, four ministers, and three executive directors, including the managing director. Other organisations playing prominent roles in the current efforts to privatise the power plants include the Federal Ministry of Power, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, BPE, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria Limited. Others are Nigeria Gas Company Limited, gas suppliers,
Alaoji Power Plant
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the major international oil companies operating in the country and the CPCS Transcom International Limited, the transaction adviser. The inclusion of these organisations in the privatisation of the power plants is seen as a demonstration of the government’s commitment to the exercise, and a further indication that it is not a run off the mill initiative which can be hijacked or abused by any individual or entity. The 10 thermal plants have a combined capacity in excess of 5,453 megawatts (mw) at ISO conditions and 4,774 mw (net). To ease the privatisation process, the plants have been placed under incorporated companies. The gas-fired plants include the Alaoji Power Plant incorporated under Alaoji Generation Company Limited in Aba, Abia State. The station has four gas turbines, two steam turbines with total capacity of 1,131 (ISO) and 961 mw (net); the Benin Generation Company Limited, Edo State is the operating firm for Ihovbor Power Plant, which has four gas turbines of 507.6 mw (ISO) and 451 mw (net), built to accommodate future conversion to combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) configuration; the Calabar Generation Company Limited, Cross River State is the parent company for Calabar Power Plant with five gas turbines of 634.5mw (ISO0 and 562mw (net). It is an open cycle gas plant built to accommodate conversion to combined cycle gas turbine configuration in the future. There are also Egbema Generation Company Limited, Owerri, Imo State which will manage the Egbema Power Plant, which has three gas turbines with 380.7mw (ISO) and 338mw (net) capacity and built to accommodate three additional gas turbines and future conversion to combined cycle gas turbine configuration; the Gbarain Generation Company Limited located in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State is the operating company of Gbrain Power Plant, which has two gas turbines of 253.8mw (ISO) and
225mw (net), an open cycle gas turbine plant built to accommodate future conversion to combined cycle gas turbine configuration; the Geregu Generation Company Limited, Ajaokuta, Kogi State will handle the Geregu II Power Plant, which has three gas turbines with 506.mw (ISO) and 434mw (net) capacity, an open cycle gas turbine plant, built to accommodate future conversion to combined cycle gas turbine configuration, and the Ogorode Generation Company Limited, Sapele, Delta State, which will manage Sapele II Power Plant of four gas turbines of 507.6mw (ISO) and 451mw (net). It is a fully operational open cycle gas turbine power plant. Others are Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited, Olorunsogo, Ogun State, which will manage the Olorunsogo Power Plant of four gas turbines and 754mw (ISO0 and 676mw (net) capacity; Omoku Generation Company Limited, near Port Harcourt, Rivers State is the operating firm of Omoku II Power Plant, which has two gas turbines of 264.7mw (ISO0 and 225 mw (net), built to accommodate two additional gas turbines and future conversion to combined gas turbine plant, and Omotosho Generation Company Limited, Okitipupa in Ondo State, set up to operate the Omotosho II Power Plant, which has four gas turbines of 512.8mw and 451mw (net). The station is built to accommodate future conversion to combined cycle gas turbine configuration. Since the Nigerian economy is rated as the largest in Africa, its power sector is still seen as an unexploited sector, considering the country’s huge population, industrial base coupled with a strong financial industry and a viable commercial sector. At the road shows the BPE and NDPHC held recently in Lagos, London, New York (United States) and Hong Kong, they urged investors to capitalise on the growth opportunities in the Nigerian electricity market where demand far outstrips current supply, and take advantage of the potential for strong eco-
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
News Police recover guns, 2,000 rounds of ammunition in Rivers From Karls Tsokar, Abuja a major crackdown IinNagainst criminals, the police Rivers State have recovered
Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (right); Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko and the Bishop of Owo Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. James Oladunjoye, at the opening of the 1st Session of the 11th Synod of the Diocese of Owo at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Owo Local Council Area of Ondo State… yesterday
No corona virus in Lagos, says govt By Chukwuma Muanya, Bisi Olonade (Lagos) and Emeka Anuforo (Abuja)
• WHO, others task Nigeria on hepatitis
HE Lagos State government has assured residents that the dreaded virus called Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (Coronal Virus) has not been found anywhere in the country. Meanwhile, worried that leaders in global health consistently leave viral hepatitis off their agenda despite the fact that it kills as many as Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), stakeholders have called on the governments to declare the disease a public health emergency in Nigeria. The position of Lagos State was amplified by the
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, at a press conference he addressed at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, alongside the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba. Idris said the basic essence of the initial announcement by the state government on the disease was to sensitise residents, especially those who intend embarking on holy pilgrimage to Mecca for either lesser Hajj or the main hajj, to be aware of what is happening in that part of the world. He said it is a virus that belongs to the category that is called coronal with many species of it. According to Idris, the virus belongs to the
category that causes common cold and cough, and occasionally makes people suffer lung infections when they sneeze. The stakeholders, who include the World Health Organisation (WHO); the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria (SOGHIN); the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) yesterday, on the World Hepatitis Day (WHD), urged governments to act against the five hepatitis viruses that can cause severe liver infections and lead to 1.4 million deaths every year. On hepatitis, the stakeholders said some of these viruses, most notably types B and C, can also lead to chronic and debilitating illnesses such as
liver cancer and cirrhosis, and in addition to, loss of income and high medical expenses for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The WHO in the first-ever country hepatitis survey, covering 126 countries, released last week reported that 63 per cent of countries are illequipped to tackle the disease. President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said in a message to mark the Word Hepatitis Day in Nigeria that “Hepatitis virus A, B, C, D and E are responsible for acute and chronic infections and inflammation of the liver that can lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. While Hepatitis virus A and E are transmitted faeco-orally and largely responsible for acute hepatitis, Hepatitis virus B
and C, which are blood-borne are majorly responsible for chronic hepatitis. “These viruses, therefore, constitute a major global health risk with around 240 million people said to be chronically infected with Hepatitis B and about 150 million people chronically infected with Hepatitis C. Available statistics show that millions of people worldwide are living with viral hepatitis with millions at high risk of being infected. Most people with chronic infection with Hepatitis B or C virus are unaware that they carry the virus and are, therefore, at risk of developing severe chronic liver disease before they are clinically diagnosed. They also unknowingly transmit the virus to other people because of their lack of awareness.”
Why INEC should register APC, by ACN HE Action Congress of T Nigeria (ACN) yesterday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) has met all the requirements to consummate its merger, “hence the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has no defensible reason not to approve the merger.” ACN, in a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in spite of recent media reports concerning the alleged antics of some negative forces within INEC over APC’s registration, the emerging party’s leader-
ship has no doubt that in the end, the electoral body will do what is right in accordance with the law. It, therefore, dismissed as a mere speculation the report that INEC was planning to write a letter to the proponents of APC to find another name because of a court case instituted by a political association over the APC acronym. ‘’We are convinced that INEC has no discernible reason to write such a letter to us. In the first instance, there exists no court injunction anywhere restraining the Commission from registering APC. There
could be many court cases, but until there is a court order, no one can preempt what a court will do and act on that basis. “Again, we have met all the stipulated requirements. INEC has also inspected our proposed headquarters in Abuja and sighted all our interim officers. The merger process may be novel, but we have played according to the rules and we expect nothing less from INEC,” ACN said. The party expressed satisfaction with the statement credited to Mr. Kayode Idowu, spokesman for the INEC
Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that there is no court injunction compelling the Commission to stop the merger. “We believe we are on the same page with INEC as far as this trail-brazing merger is concerned, and that has been confirmed by the INEC spokesman, and we, therefore, call on the Commission to do the proper thing right now - which is the registration of APC. “We urge INEC not to compromise its neutrality and integrity by acting contrary to the law. We remind the
Commission that Nigerians are keenly watching how it will handle this merger issue, and whatever it does will determine whether or not Nigerians can count on it to organise free, fair and credible elections in 2015.” “Given the already overheated polity ahead of the 2015 elections, we believe INEC will not do anything that will aggravate the situation,” it said. Meanwhile, the ACN has appealed to all the supporters of the emerging APC across the country to remain calm over the registration issue.
cache of arms including machine guns and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Although no one has been arrested in connection with the recovered arms, however, a police statement in Abuja yesterday stated that the recovery was successful as a result of “an extensive intelligence operation” carried out by the Police Command on Friday, which also foiled a “planned robbery targeted” at a commercial bank in the state. “The weapons recovered from three vehicles hidden at a Mechanic Village in Ihugbo, along East-West Road, Ahoada, Rivers State, include two General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG) with 593 rounds of GPMG ammunition, eight AK-47 rifles with 1,635 rounds of AK-47 ammunition and 57 magazines.” Other weapons recovered include “one G3 rifle with magazine, two dynamites with detonators and other explosives canes, two gas cylinders with welding accessories, a sledge hammer, one axe and three vehicles in which the weapons were concealed. According to statement by the Deputy Force Public Relations (DFPRO), Frank Mba, the three vehicles found are a Volvo S40 car, one Mercedes-Benz Saloon car and one Nissan Pathfinder Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV), all of which have been impounded by the police.
Fares for 2013 hajj out HE National Hajj T Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has announced the approved fares for the 2013 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). In a statement issued by the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Uba Mana, in Abuja yesterday, the Commission said pilgrims would be flown from the northern and southern departure zones. Pilgrims travelling from the northern and southern zones in the maximum fare category of N750,996.52 and N758,369.52 respectively would travel with Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) of 1,500 dollars, the statement said. It said those on the medium fare category travelling from the North would pay N672,996.52, while those from the South would pay N680,369.52. The Commission said the medium category travellers would get 1,000 dollars. The minimum fare for pilgrims departing from the northern zone is N636,496.52, while those departing from the southern zone would pay N643,869.52. The group of travellers will get 750 dollars BTA.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Issues In The News
Sale of Power Plants: Will Nigerians smile at last? CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 nomic growth to establish a strong presence in West Africa, using Nigeria as a platform for acquiring further assets in the region. The NDPHC said such investors will also acquire assets in premium condition, relieving them pressure from construction and commissioning costs, noting that because all the power generation assets are newly constructed, they offer the best fuel efficiency and lowest operating costs. Olotu said investors in the power plants would get value for their money because they can be further developed, “as all, but one, of the open cycle gas turbine power plants have the potential for expansion and growth.” He further said that such investors will be partnering with the federal and all the 36 state governments which have shown a strong commitment to the power sector reform, including taking several measures to support the creditworthiness of investments. The Federal Government said the investors will also benefit from a Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO), designed to be a costreflective tariff that accounts for operating cost and capital recovery as well as efficient operations based on best new entrant capabilities and technology. The investors will also benefit from Power
Purchase Agreements (PPAs), with the Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, a federal agency, which will act as the bulk buyer of electricity in the early stages of market liberalisation. The investors, the government adds, will also benefit from a 10-year term Gas Supply and Aggregation Agreements (GSAAs) with Nigerian oil producers. The government’s search for local and foreign investors for the power plants started with road shows in Lagos, London, Hong Kong and New York where the BPE, and the NDPHC as well as other stakeholders in the power sector reform, presented what the entire privatisation exercise entails. Before the close of the bidding session, over 200 investors had indicated interest in the power plants while 110 met the deadline, a move many public affairs analysts deemed as good for Nigeria and a confirmation of the investors’ confidence in the economy. Prof. Nebo explained at the Lagos road show that the plan to sell the power plants conforms to President Jonathan administration’s goal of ensuring effective and qualitative power supply in the country. “We are ready to give maximum support to private investors in ensuring that the power investor thrives in the country,” Nebo said, adding
Government must not sell these power plants to cronies, political associates and hangers on in the corridors of power because the Jonathan administration will largely be judged by its success or failure in the power sector reform.
James Olotu, MD Niger Delta Power Holding Company that “government, in its to ensure that power supply attempt to break the monop- is effective and he believes oly of electricity in the coun- strongly that power sector try and emancipate the sec- would drive the economy in tor, has initiated the power better hands through the prisector reform. The president vate sector.’’ has been committed to the Olotu disclosed that the power sector reform. This is NDPHC board recommended the sale of the plants to President Jonathan, which he has approved. He said: “The mandate was to build 10 power plants across the country with capacity to generate 5,000mw by the end of 2013 and divest from them. We are confident to tell you that this year will be a year of harvest in the power sector. All the power generating plants will be completed this year. In fact, six plants are ready for inauguration, while four others are about to be completed within the next few months. “The process that we went through to ensure that we are where we are today is intrinsic. President Jonathan has approved the divestment plan and it will be concluded mid next year. Providing stable power supply has been a major priority of this administration and we all know that the power business is best managed by the private investors. We are divesting 80 per cent stake in each power plant as valued by our financial advisers/valuers. We will retain 20 per cent in order to assure potential investors of our confidence in the plants we are selling,” Olotu said. At the Lagos road show, Governor Gabriel Suswan of Benue State, who chaired the occasion, said over 200 investors had expressed interest in the plants. Under the current arrangement, 53 per cent of the plants is owned by state and local governments while the Federal Government owns 47 per cent. Suswan, who is one of the governors on the NDPHC board said: “Over 200 entrepreneurs have expressed
their interests. The road show is just to show the potential investors that we are serious. We are starting from Lagos, followed by London, United States and Hong Kong. We want to encourage the private sector in Nigeria and the banks that this is the way they should go.” The chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power Reform, Mr. Dagogo Jack, said the road show is consistent with government’s policy to push the plants to the private sector, which can manage it better, adding that “government will create incentives for investors in the power sector.” In view of the precarious security situation in the country, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who is also a member of the NDPC board, appealed to the investors, who will emerge as the preferred bidders to quickly liaise with the governors of the states where the plants are sited to develop a security master plan to enable them operate with ease. The eagerness of investors was confirmed by Olotu when he told journalists that 30 foreign firms had shown interest in the power plants. On how to sustain investors’ confidence in the transaction, Olotu said: “There will be absolute transparency. The government has demonstrated that in previous sales. The records have shown, the international community has acclaimed it, even the local community has also acclaimed that the process was absolutely transparent. “Now, this is going to be second level and the experiences that we have garnered when the first one was done will be brought to bear. The mistakes of that time, if there were any at all, will be corrected when we go forward. So, as far as this process is concerned, you take that to the bank that this is going to be transparent.” Olotu hinted that the process woudl be completed in June next year when the money from the bidders would be received and all the agreements signed. According to him, the money raised from the bidding process will be ploughed back into the industry to boost capacity for transmission and hydro generation. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel and Metallurgy, Philip Taminu Aduda, said: “Privatisation is the best for our economy because a lot of investment and money are needed to be injected into the power sector and that is why successive governments have had problems in ensuring that it works and I will say so far, so good, the present administration has done its best in putting machinery in motion for the privatisation
of the sector’. The Chairman, House Committee on Power, Steel and Metallurgy, Patrick A. Ikhariale, said: “The power sector has been a major source of concern to all of us and the reason for this is that during the tenure of some administrations, particularly the military, there was neglect of basic infrastructure, especially in the power sector. What we have today is a problem that is all encompassing.” And speaking at the London road show, Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Gbenga Obadara, assured the potential investors that the Nigerian government would provide security for their investments. “We are in the best position to market Nigeria’s products. We will provide security for your investment in Nigeria and we are giving enough assurance of opportunities to investors in the country.” It is hoped that the government would keep all its promises to rekindle both local and foreign investors’ faith in the exercise. It is also hoped that the government will keep to the schedules for the privatisation of the power plants. The first acid test of the government’s sincerity will be on August 8, 2013 when the names of prospective buyers of the power plants will be announced. The BPE’s Director-General, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, who disclosed this at the just-concluded investment road show in Hong Kong, also maintained that the deadline for the submission of expressions of interest for the power plants remains July 19, 2013 and would not be extended. His appeal to potential bidders to be aware of some of the observed lapses in the previous bid processes is timely and apt. He listed such lapses as “bids failing to substantially comply with the Requests for Proposal (RFP), failure to meet the threshold of required tangible net worth, failure to submit bid bonds, failure to submit audited accounts, and failure to submit bids on time,” among others. Dikki and other stakeholders should note that Nigerians would this time not accept another mismanaged privatisation exercise. Even his so called BPE’s vast experience in the privatisation of assets in Nigeria covering 500 transactions in its 25-year history, means nothing to Nigerians because most of the sold firms went to wrong hands. The government must not sell these power plants to cronies, political associates and hangers on in the corridors of power because the Jonathan administration will largely be judged by its success or failure in the power sector reform.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Environmental activists, CSOs proffer solution to oil theft By Wole Oyebade NTIL existing laws on oil U extraction are reviewed and amended to reflect the
Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso (right); Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal (sitting); bride’s parents, Chief Adegboyega and Funmi Awomolo (SAN); former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammed Uwais during the wedding of Sandy Inloluwa and Alexander Tambuwal in Abuja at the weekend. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA
sovereign ownership of the land and the natural resources by the Nigerian people, there may be no end to oil theft in Nigeria, environmental activists and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have said. Besides, the group also recommended that while no new licences for offshore oil exploration and exploitation activities be granted to local or international oil companies, all oil companies operating in the country should publish what they pump and
Olanipekun, commissioner, others oppose child marriage From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos and Kehinde Olatunji, Ibadan MINENT lawyer and former E President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) yesterday joined critics of child marriage currently being proposed by the Senate and warned the lawmakers against the move. The new law, according to the Senate, would proscribe the 18year-old rule for any Nigerian child to qualify for marriage. Olanipekun, who spoke while delivering the third annual lecture of the Dorcas Oke Hope Alive Initiative (Dohal) entitled: “Human Trafficking and Challenges of the African Child”, held at the University of Ibadan also called on Nigerians to rise against child trafficking. He said that early marriage is part of child trafficking. The DOHAL foundation was founded 10 years ago in memory of Dorcas, only daughter of Bishop Wale Oke, the
Oyo ACN urges ex-gov to name achievements
President, Sword of the Spirit Ministries, who died following usage of fake typhoid drugs. Plateau State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Olivia Dazyam, a lawyer by profession, maintained that the Senate should have expunged the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, which created the exception for the renunciation of citizenship. “If every Nigerian must have the right to vote only at the age of 18 and above, why would you create this exception? Why would that section create this exception? At this age, we believe that all Nigerians should rise and say no to girl-child marriage.” Human rights activist and Director, Centre for Justice and
Advocacy, Mr. Peter Gad Shamaki, explained that any legislation that promotes teenage marriage is unacceptable. “We are more disappointed that because of selfish interest, because of the desire of man that we are saying that we have a law that will permit a five-year old girl to get married simply because she is a girl. Coordinator, Women Initiative for Sustainable Development, Hajiya Amina Ahmed, said that the age of marriage of a child differs from community to community and from one religion to another. “Early marriage in Islam is encouraged because it has wisdom for that, because Islamically, it is said that the sexual urge in a girl is nine
times more than that of a man. Children are very vulnerable to abuses. If she is left without getting married early,
Educationist flays ASUU strike By Adebisi Olonade DUCATIONIST and E Managing Director of Victory Group of Schools has condemned the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike embarked upon some weeks ago. Speaking to newsmen at the valedictory ceremony of the schools at the weekend, Chief Christian Francis Olaniyan urged ASUU to go back to work and resolve its dispute with the Federal Government amicably. Maintaining that incessant
NEITI presents audit reports today By Sulaimon Salau HE Nigeria Extractive T Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) will today make public the comprehensive audit reports of Nigeria Extractive
Industries covering the period 2009 to 2011 for the oil and gas sector and 2007 to 2010 for the solid minerals sector. A statement signed by the Director, Communications, NEITI, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji,
said the key findings and recommendations obtained after the comprehensive audits of the extractive industries would be presented to stakeholders today (Monday, July 29, 2013) at Rockview Hotel, Abuja.
HE Action Congress of T Nigeria (ACN), Oyo State chapter, has said that the peo- Mark canvasses insurance policy for journalists ple of the state were tired of an ex-governor of the state constant pointer to former governor of the state, Chief Bola Ige, as reference point in the construction of markets for the people of the state but demanded that he should name a single market he ever built during his tenure. The party, which made this known yesterday through its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, said that it amounted to escapism and refusal to acknowledge the colossal failure of his administration if the former governor spent almost four years in government with records of his demolition of shops at the Academy Bridge area, Adesola area on Lagos/Ibadan expressway, Orita Aperin/Modina Road, Orita Aperin/Adekile road, etc without a corresponding provision of market stalls for the people, only to cite a previous administration as a perfect example of response to the people’s yearnings.
From Ayoyinka Olagoke, Uyo HE Senate President, T Senator David Mark has stated the National Assembly’s readiness to look into the possibility of giving journalists in the country insurance policy to cushion the hazards of the profession. Senator Mark, who said this at the opening of a two-day 2013 Senate Press Corps Retreat held in Uyo at the weekend, noted that there is need for journalists to have proper insurance and life coverage. His words: “I advocate that there is need for you to have proper insurance and life coverage. As part of our legislative oversight function and in furtherance of good governance, it is also our concern and I believe we will be able to address that issue”. The Senate President, who reasoned that the nature of job carried out by journalists require insurance coverage
due to the risks involved especially in volatile states of the Northern Nigeria, commended journalists for always performing their duties effectively despite risks involved.
she could be molested, abused especially now that cases of rape are rampant in society.”
Mark charged the Senate Press Corps to be factual in their reportage, to educate and enlighten the masses on the activities at the hallowed chambers.
strikes by the union at the peak of academic session have done incalculable damage to the educational system of the country, Olaniyan added that their demands can only be met at negotiation table. He said ASUU should also share in the blame for poor standard of education in our tertiary institutions, adding that teaching profession is humanitarian just like nursing. “For instance, no single government university was rated among the 100 best universities in the world.” This, he said, was a signal that standard of education is falling. He also blamed the government for not fulfilling their promises made with ASUU in 1999, but paying lip service to the agreement.
put in place real-time and modern metering system to avoid ongoing oil theft. Rising from a one-day workshop on ‘Offshore oil drilling: Its impact on lives and livelihoods and channels for engagement’ – held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State at the weekend – the group observed that government agencies had failed to check the spate of oil theft in the country. They noted that National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and other government actors responsible for monitoring and enforcing regulations in the oil and gas sectors had largely failed in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities. The group, comprising of environmentalists, representatives of communities, women groups, academia, government agencies and members of the Environmental Right Action (ERA) among others were unanimous that although the impacts of oil extraction are visible and happening in our backyards, oil companies continue to deny responsibility for the degradation of farmlands, pollution of rivers and streams which the people depend on. Most culpable is the absence of effective metering systems by the corporations in Nigeria and has deepened confusion on the actual volume of oil produced in the country. “A direct result of this is that there is no accountability and transparency in the oil industry.” The group in their communiqué therefore recommended that all existing laws on oil extraction should be reviewed and amended to reflect the sovereign ownership of the land and the natural resources by the Nigerian people while guaranteeing strong provisions on transparency and accountability.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
NEMA seeks joint efforts on disaster management From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo NLESS the disaster manageU ment effort is adequately sustained at the individual and community level, the dream of reducing the huge losses and high scale of destruction from disasters, according to the leadership of the National Emergency Maintenance Agency (NEMA), would continue to be a mirage. To demonstrate its readiness to reduce the losses often experienced by communities where disasters erupt, the agency is mobilising to re-train and inaugurate grassroots emergency volunteers. The volunteers, who yesterday converged at the Multipurpose Hall of the Sani Abacha Secretariat in Jalingo, Taraba State capital, were drawn from the various communities across the nooks and crannies of the state, as well as from of Bauchi and Gombe states.
Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso (left); Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan; his wife, Roli; Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Bisi, during 2012 Zik Prize award in Lagos…at the weekend
ICPC arraigns ex-Ebonyi commissioner over alleged N79m fraud From Abosede Musari, Abuja HE Independent Corrupt T Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a former Commissioner for Health in Ebonyi State, Henry Aloh, for alleged contract scam to the tune of N79 million. A statement by the
Commission yesterday indicated that Aloh was arraigned before the High Court of Ebonyi presided over by the state Chief Judge, Justice A.N. Nwankwo. Docked alongside Aloh was a manager of one of the branches of Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank) in the state, Mr. Sam Agbo. The ICPC alleged that both
were involved in the scam, stating that its investigations had revealed that the offences were committed in 2005 when the Ebonyi government awarded a contract for the renovation and construction of Amasari General Hospital in the state estimated at N79 million. “The former Commissioner, Aloh, was alleged to have
conspired with the bank manager to divert the sum to an account allegedly opened in the name of one John Okoli, who was falsely presented as a representative of the company, awarded the contract to renovate the health institution”, the statement read. This, according to ICPC, is contrary to Section 26 (1) and punishable under Section 19 of the ICPC Act 2000. Part of the allegations against the commissioner was that he procured John Okoli, who was his patient and Patrick Chukwu, his personal assistant, to be signatories to the account opened in
the name of the company, which is contrary to and punishable under Sections 26 and 19 of the ICPC Act 2000 and Section 473 (2) of the Criminal Code Act Cap 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. Mr. Raheem Adeshina, the prosecution counsel, did not oppose the bail application moved by M. Erhenede and Emeka Uwake, counsel to Dr. Aloh and Sam Agbo. The two accused persons were granted bail in the sum of N50 million and one surety in like sum who must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction. The case has been adjourned to October
Stakeholders deny religious bias for sacking Taraba SSG, commissioners From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo ONTRARY to the rumours C making the rounds that the yardstick used in sacking the former Secretary to the Taraba State Government, Emmanuel Q. Njiwah and the five commissioners was based on religion, some elders of the state chapter of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have debunked the allegation, stating that religion is alien to Taraba politics. Led by the former Minister for Internal Affairs, Mohammed Shatta, the 20-man standing committee of PDP elders said the sack of the indicted government functionaries was based on the reports of the House of Assembly and not motivated by religious bias as being widely circulated. Shatta said the House of Assembly has over 70 per cent Christian majority and still went ahead to indict those found guilty in the flood funds scam. He said: “For these young men to put sentiments aside and go ahead to do the right thing by exposing those who dipped their hands into public funds, I believe they deserve our commendation because this is the
type of leadership this country needs.” Wondering why some persons are as also castigating the Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, for their sack, he said Umar is only following the footsteps of Governor Danbaba Suntai, who he believed, would as well do same if he were on ground. The PDP at the state level has never made decisions on a religious line and vowed that such “would never happen because we don’t like mixing religion with politics here.” Citing how religion was put aside to rally round the chairman of the party, Victor Bala Kona, during the state congress, he urged those trying to create tension in the state in the name of religion to desist, as they would not succeed. Many qualified Moslems, according to him, jostled with Kona in the state congress, but the 20-man elders, he said, decided to persuade them to step down for Kona, who, according to Shatta, was more experienced and exposed in politics. He admonished the sacked top government functionaries to desist from fanning the embers of disunity among the peaceloving people of the state.
NUJ resolves to tackle quacks From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City HE leadership of the Nigeria T Union of Journalists (NUJ) has been tasked to double its efforts in the fight against quackery, adding that activities of fakes were bringing the profession to disrepute. This position was part of resolutions reached at the weekend by the Zone F leadership of the NUJ in Benin City, Edo State capital, where it urged the union to take drastic steps in ridding the noble profession of quacks. A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting signed by the zone’s Vice President, Seiyefa Usaka and the Zonal Secretary, Eddy Ogude, also commended the steps taken so far by stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the crisis in Rivers State and urged the Federal Government to ensure peace in the state. The communiqué also applauded the current pace of work on the East -West road, just as it called for its speedy completion.
Twist in IPMAN crisis as two chairmen emerge in Benin From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City HERE is a new twist to the T crisis rocking the Midwest Zone of the Independent Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) as the Benin Depot at the weekend conducted an election where David Ikhuoria was elected chairman and pledged to partner the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to check cases of vandalism in the area. But addressing a press briefing yesterday, Acting Chairman of the zone, Solomon Ogbewe, told journalists that the said election was a charade as the association operates a new constitution that has extended the leadership of the current national leaders, that of the zones and the 21 depots by two more years. He said by the constitution, election is not due until two years’ time.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
WorldReport Foreign ministry clarifies stance on gay rights HE Ministry of Foreign T Affairs has denied a report claiming that Nigeria would accept gay diplomats and their “spouses” posted to the country. Ogbole Amedu Ode, the spokesperson to the ministry, said in a statement yesterday that the Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, did not at any time made reference to report that Nigeria would accept gay diplomats in his statement or interview during or after his meeting with the diplomatic community on Friday July, 19. “At his meeting, the Foreign Minister in his statement read to the meeting where journalists and media executives were
present said foreign countries should not impose their values on Nigeria. While Nigeria is not against any country legalising gay marriages, no country should force that on Nigeria. “Nigeria and majority of Nigerians are against gay rights and marriages as it is not part of our customs, religion or law,” Obe stated. The statement came after the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) reportedly kicked against the posting of gay diplomats to Nigeria, warning that any attempt to do that would be resisted.
Pilgrims flood Rio beach for pope’s mass, next youth event holds in Krakow NDING a trip aimed at reE energising his flock yesterday, Pope Francis celebrated a
Malians on queue at a polling station in Sebenikoro, a neighborhood in Bamako, during the presidential election … yesterday.
Malians defy death threats, vote in landmark polls From Oghogho Obayuwana (Foreign Affairs Editor) and Tobatombo Babayemi (Lagos) LIGIBLE voters in Mali yesterE day defied Islamist death threats and headed for polling booths to vote for a president that is expected to usher in a new dawn of peace and stability in the conflict-scarred nation since a military coup toppled one of the region’s most stable democracies. The elections came barely six months after a multi-national French-led force helped to chase out insurgents laying claim to parts of the country and 18 months after a coup had ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure. But despite a very short preparation period, the polls in which voting opened at 8:00 a.m. under heavy security were monitored by about 250 observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and another 100 from the European Union (EU) among others. According to agency reports, a total of 6.8 million people from Mali’s 15 million population registered for the election. A list of 28 candidates featured on the ballot, though politician Tiebile Drame pulled out of the race last week, citing the uncer-
Observers witness ‘large turn-out’ of voters tainty over the vote in the separatist stronghold of Kidal as well as “ massive technical lapses” Observers in the landmark presidential elections said halfway through voting yesterday, they had witnessed a “large turnout”. Polling stations opened across the nation in an atmosphere of calm for the first election since last year’s military coup upended one of the region’s most stable democra-
cies. The APEM Network, an independent Malian organisation that deployed 2,100 observers across the nation, said 96 per cent of polling stations covered by the observers had opened on time and “a large voter turn-out was found”. “At the opening of polling stations, all election documents and materials were in place, as well as election officials. This allowed the timely start of voting,” the organisation said in a
statement. The country’s new leader that would assume the reigns from Interim President Dioncounda Traore is widely expected to emerge from among the top four challengers in the race. These are two former prime ministers - Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Modibo Sidibe as well as Soumail Cisse, who ran the West African Monetary Union top job and a relative unknown, Dramane Dembele, who is backed by Mali’s largest political party, the Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA)
Armed robber steals jewellery worth €40m in Cannes NVESTIGATORS yesterday Iman revealed that an armed stole jewels with an estimated value of €40 million ($53 million) in a brazen heist in broad daylight at a diamond exhibition in the French Riviera resort of Cannes. The hold-up, at the Carlton Hotel on the promenade in Cannes, famous for its yearly film festival, would be the second largest ever in France if the value of the jewels is confirmed. Authorities said the robbery took place around 11:30a.m. local time and targetted an
exhibition entitled “Extraordinary Diamonds” by the Leviev jewellery house. However, prosecutors later said the figure of €40 million should be treated with caution. “The estimate of 40 million is not confirmed. It was given out in the beginning but an inventory is in progress. It’s a preliminary estimate. It is not reliable,” prosecutors from the nearby town of Grasse told Agence France Presse (AFP). According to prosecutors, the gunman was wearing a “bandana or scarf” and a cap
and was brandishing an automatic weapon. He escaped with several satchels of jewels as well as diamond-encrusted watches, the prosecutors’ office added. “Everything happened very quickly and without violence,” the prosecutors said. Police detectives from the nearby city of Nice were at the hotel and traffic had been stopped near the scene of the heist. The management at the fivestar Carlton Hotel declined to comment when contacted by AFP, saying they had “instructions not to say anything.”
Israel approves prisoner deal to clear way for peace talks SRAELI cabinet yesterday IArab approved the release of 104 prisoners to help restart peace talks with the Palestinians and end nearly three years of diplomatic stagnation. A government official said 13 ministers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition cabinet voted in favour, seven voted against and two abstained. “The cabinet has authorised the opening of diplomatic
talks between Israel and the Palestinians...,” said a statement issued by the prime minister’s office. Netanyahu had earlier urged divided rightists in his cabinet to back the prisoner release, and postponed the weekly meeting of ministers by an hour to ensure a majority vote in favour. “This moment is not easy for me, is not easy for the cabinet ministers, and is not easy especially for the bereaved families,
whose feelings I understand,” Reuters quoted Netanyahu as saying in broadcast remarks at the start of the meeting, referring to families who have lost members in militant attacks. “But there are moments in which tough decisions must be made for the good of the nation and this is one of those moments.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded the release of prisoners held since before a 1993 interim
peace accord took effect. Israel has jailed thousands more Palestinians since then, many for carrying out deadly attacks. The prisoner release would allow Netanyahu to sidestep other Palestinian demands, such as a halt to Jewish settlement expansion and a guarantee that negotiations over borders will be based on boundaries from before the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
farewell mass before three million pilgrims on a Brazilian beach and urged young Catholics to spread the gospel. The Latin America’s first pontiff was given a rock star welcome on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach, with the faithful waving flags, dancing and chanting “long live the pope!” in a Carnival-like atmosphere.
The pope also announced yesterday that the next World Youth Day (WYD), the Catholic youth fest, will be held in the Polish city of Krakow in 2016. “Dear young friends, we have an appointment for the next World Youth Day in 2016 in Krakow, Poland,” he said at the end of the mass. Argentine-born Francis was wrapping up a week-long visit to Brazil, the world’s most populous Catholic country, on his first overseas trip since his election in March.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Politics PDP crisis: Our condition for peace, by five governors
From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja
between Jonathan and the five governors have been anything but cordial, especially since last May after the Nigerian Governors’ Forum election where the five governors allegedly backed the chairman of the NGF, Rotimi Amaechi. The President had reportedly thrown his weight behind Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau, whom Amaechi defeated by 19 votes to 16 votes. Yet, Jonathan has continued to recognise Jang as the NGF’s “chairman”, thus rubbishing the claims by his aides that the President had no hand in the NGF crisis. The meeting between Jonathan and the northern governors, all of them PDP members, came barely one week after they held similar meetings with some former leaders of the country. First, was the meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his Hilltop Mansion in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital city. This was followed with a similar visit to former Heads of State, Generals Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar in Minna, Niger State. The visit to Obasanjo coincided with a visit by President Jonathan, who was also in Abeokuta en route to the family home of Dr. Reuben Abati, the President’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, who had buried his mother a day earlier. The visits by the contending parties — the governors and the President — to Obasanjo was also seen as part of the efforts to elicit the support of the former Head of State. The President’s visit is particularly interesting, given that Obasanjo had recently been in the media, making critical comments about the policies of the Jonathan-led administration. For instance, during the May 29, 2013 Democracy Day ceremonies, the former leader was quoted as publicly canvassing a regime change in favour of Governor Lamido, who was Obasanjo’s Foreign Affairs Minister. Instead of attending events slated for Abuja in which the President would participate, Obasanjo chose to go to Dutse, the capital city of Jigawa, to register his presence at a summit organised by the state government. It was learnt that the meeting of the five governors with the President on Saturday in Abuja was based on the resolution arrived at, at the previous meetings with the former leaders, Gens. Obasanjo, Babangida and Abubakar.
Although the outcome of the meeting was not officially disclosed, a source, which pleaded anonymity, told journalists that the governors had expressed their grievances over the Presidency support for Jang as the “chairman” of the NGF, when it was clear that Governor Amaechi won the election into the position on May 24, 2015 in Abuja. In addition, the governors were said to have told the President about the way and manner the party’s chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, had been handling the affairs of the PDP, asking that he (Tukur) be sacked for peace to return to the party. Tukur has been at loggerheads with Governor Nyako, the chief executive of his (Tukur’) home state of Adamawa, reportedly over control of the party structure in the state. Both men are said to be interested in installing their sons as the next governor of the state in 2015. Besides, the party chairman ran into troubled waters when he allegedly single-handedly engineered the suspension of Governor Wamakko of Sokoto State on the accusation that the latter had refused to pick his phone calls. But that decision was reversed based on the recommendation of a special committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Anyim Pius Anyim. “The President was told to support the chairman of the NGF, Governor Amaechi, who is from his zone and who was elected by the majority of the governors,” one of the respondents told The Guardian last night. “They also told him that he should realise that he came to office through election and not through an endorsement, which Jang is claiming to have before the NGF election.” The source added: “The governors told the President pointedly that there was no way he could wash his hands off what is happening in both the NGF and Rivers State and that he must act as a leader. “They asked the President to call his loyalists in Rivers State to order, and allow the governor unhindered freedom to perform the duties he was elected for the good of Rivers State.” “They assured the President that if he could do these three things, the tension in the country would be reduced drastically.” However, the governors also reportedly took strong exception to the remarks by some of his
aides against constituted authorities and elders in the country. They regarded such comments as “unguarded and reckless” aimed at undermining their offices, and asked the President to restrain them. Only last Thursday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, lashed out at the five PDP governors for visiting both Babangida and Abubakar in Minna, accusing them of crying wolf and raising false alarm, where none existed. Making reference to the crisis in Rivers State, Okupe described it as a “local affair,” which does not have any repercussions on the nation’s polity, as being feared by most watchers of the polity. Okupe’s words: “These political moves, which are clearly intended to create fear, despair and apprehension among the Nigerian citizenry, are grossly unfounded, misplaced and a deliberate over-sensationalisation of the situation. “Besides, insinuations and statements by the four governors suggesting that Rivers State is on fire are also grossly unfounded. “So far, it is evident to every discerning observer of political developments, that the state is calm and peaceful.” In a telephone conversation with The Guardian yesterday, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Niger State governor, Mr. Danladi Ndaeyebo, could only confirm that the governors, indeed, raised the Tukur matter with President Jonathan. He said the governors urged Jonathan to use the forthcoming special convention of the party to effect a change of leadership of the party “for an enduring peace.” But a Presidency source indicated yesterday that the governors’ request concerning Tukur might be difficult to fulfill. He said this is especially so, taking into consideration the fact that, “Tukur’s chairmanship of the party is an insurance against certain powerful elements within the party.” The source asked rhetorically: “Have you ever spared a thought to what will happen to the ambition of Mr. President, even though he has yet to indicate interest. “It means that he will be at the mercy of some powerful forces within the party, especially from the North. “So, if you ask me, it might be difficult for Jonathan to do away with Bamanga Tukur at this time.”
ITH the secret meeting on Saturday W between President Goodluck Jonathan and five northern governors in his residence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the stage may have been set for reconciliation among the feuding members in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But that is if President Goodluck Jonathan carries out the governors’ advice laced in three conditions. They are: • Withdraw support to Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State as the “chairman” of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and confer recognition on the elected chairman and Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chikuike Rotimi Amaechi. • Sack of the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, through the instrumentality of the coming special convention of the party. • Intervene in the crises in the Rivers’ chapter of the PDP, and the House of Assembly, for a return of peace to the state. The governors also complained about the behaviours of presidential aides, who repeatedly insult party members and elders, who criticise the President’s government or are opposed to his 2015 second-term ambition. At the centre of the crises in the PDP is the alleged desire of the President to seek a second term on the one hand and the attempts by some people within the party to ensure that the presidency goes to other parts of the country in 2015. Therefore, the meeting in Abuja on Saturday, which the Presidency described as private, was aimed at finding solutions to the festering problems in the PDP. But reports indicated that there were recriminations between the President and the quintet. The governors of Niger, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa and Jigawa States: Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Murtala Nyako and Sule Lamido, in that order, were at the parley. The presence of two of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), governors of Borno and Yobe, Alhaji Kashim Shettima and Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, at the meeting added curiosity to the drama. It is an open secret that the relationship
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
TheMetroSection Uproar in Dutse… over demolition . •To maintain master-plan, govt demolishes over 250 houses, shops From John Akubo, Dutse ICTIMS of the recent demolition exercise in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital, have expressed disappointment over the ongoing demolition exercise, which has rendered many of them jobless and without any other means of livelihood. The Jigawa State government recently embarked on road infrastructure development for which most of the township roads in Dutse have been reconstructed with asphalt overlay. The development drew commendations from the residents and other citizens over “what is referred to as a befitting outlook for the state capital.” However, the tone changed when the bulldozers roared recently, to put finishing touches to the wellpaved roads as many houses and shops that encroached the roads were demolished. Just as the people were preparing to break their fast, heavy bulldozers were rolled out to destroy not less than 250 houses in Dutse metropolis. The demolition started and the ire of the affected people was drawn as they said they were not notified in time so they could arrange for alternatives. Again, they are angry that the government has chosen the Holy month of Ramadan to destabilise the people. In a swift reaction, the Executive Chairman of Dutse Capital Development Authority, Alhaji Bashir Aminu Suleiman, insisted that all those affected by the demolition were served with two months notice to vacate their business places to enable the government commence work. But unfortunately, the traders ignored the instruction and that over 140 people had been duly compensated. According to him, the state government had disbursed over N150 million as compensation to the victims, saying the “demolition is aimed at maintaining the existing master-plan of the city.” Aminu said due process was followed before government began the demolition. He said it had earlier allocated shops to most of the traders at the new Central Market but they failed to park in. “This government has not, in any way, conducted this exercise with selfish interest or hatred but in good faith,” he said. He explained that the purpose of the exercise “is to maintain the existing master-plan of the city, which guides the authority in the physical development of Dutse to give it a befitting outlook”. He pointed out that most of the shops demolished were constructed illegally. He challenged those alleging that they were not allocated with shops at the new Dutse Central Market to report to the authority and make official complaint. He said the space created by demolished structures would be used to beautify access roads, provide streetlights, flowers and interlocking tiles to make it wear a new look. Some of the affected persons have expressed mixed reactions over the demolition. One of them, Babangida Muhammed, said they were summoned to the District Head’s house for briefing over the planned demolition. He said they were told that their houses would be demolished for
The bulldozer at work
PHOTOS: JOHN AKUBO
Some of the demolished shops
which no date was given, only for the demolition to be carried out the following day. He said about 70 almajiris live with him in his fiveroom apartment, which had been demolished, adding that they were all sleeping outside at the moment. Also, Alhaji Mustapha, whose house was also partly destroyed, told The Guardian that his toilet and sitting room, which he shares with his two wives and 14 children, had been pulled down. He said the Friday Central Mosque was also partly destroyed even as Ramadan lecture was in progress.
A civil servant who also spoke on the condition of anonymity commended the governor for the infrastructural developmental, which has turned around the state capital. He advised the Government to exercise caution saying that if not for the peaceful disposition of Dutse residents it would have resulted to violence elsewhere in the State. He said though he was yet to be compensated, there was hope that the governor would ensure that compensations were paid. The Guardian was unable to speak with the DCDA chairman as efforts to reach him on phone failed.
Fashola’s aide defends deportation of 67 to Anambra • Says 1,708 beggars have so far been deported to other states
Iwaya residents commend D.P.O. for prompt response to distress calls By Odita Sunday ESIDENTS of Iwaya, Yaba area of Lagos have rained accolades on the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the area, Mr. Anthony Aruna for his leadership and prompt response to distress calls from residents of the area. One of the residents, Mr. Hogan Okon Ekong and another who preferred to remain anonymous told The Guardian that they had never had it so good in the past. “A situation where there is an incident in a particular street and immediately you call the police, they are there with their patrol vehicle is commendable. Iwaya has never had it so good in the past and we thank the DPO, Mr. Aruna, for engendering a people-friendly police in Yaba,” the resident said. It would be recalled that recently when hoodlums stormed Joseph Harrison Street in Iwaya, immediately the DPO got the distress call, he led his officers and men to the place and averted what would have been termed “a bloody robbery.” Although two policemen were injured during a gun battle, but the robbers could not carry out their operation and they fled the scene. According to Ekong: “Police in Yaba have been living up to expectation. They respond promptly to distress calls and relate well with residents. They should keep up the good work and be assured of our cooperation.”
By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor FTER 67 citizens were last week allegedly deported from Lagos and deposited at the Upper Iweka Bridge, Onitsha, Anambra State, the Lagos State government has defended the practice of expelling beggars and destitute rescued from the streets back to their states of origin. In a chat with The Guardian, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Youths and Social Development, Dr. Enitan Dolapo Badru, said at least, 1,708 beggars and destitute had been expelled from Lagos to their various states and countries since January, in government’s bid to rid the streets of beggars and the mentally-challenged.
Badru noted that normal international standard requires the state to reunite them with their families. “The end result is to reunite them back with their families. We are not repatriating them out of Lagos, we are reuniting them with their families because once we rescue them, we cannot as a government, hold a child under the age of 18 in custody without parental or guardian’s consent. We found out that a lot of children on the streets of Lagos come from outside the state thinking that Lagos is an Eldorado. It is unfortunate that many of them are underage and very vulnerable because they can be introduced to so many vices. “When we rescue them, we try as much as possible to carry out social investigation to know where
they actually come from and why they absconded in the first place. And this takes time, because most of them don’t usually tell the truth since they don’t want to go back home. Once we have them in our custody, we must take a Court Order to keep them since the law provides for that and we cannot keep them indefinitely, so we still need to send them back to their parents. And our practice is to get in touch with the social welfare services of their respective states, which would in turn get in touch with the families,” he said. Badru added that in the last one year, a total number of 3,114 beggars/destitute/mentally-challenged have been rescued in day and night operations and 2,695 were taken to the Rehabilitation and Training Centre, Owutu, Ikorodu,
where the state government has made provisions for facilities to help in turning their lives around, while the mentally-unstable are given medical attention. One of the destitute, Mr. Osondu Mbuto, from Ohaozara in Ebonyi State and a petty trader in Lagos, had told journalists that they were dumped at about 3.00am on Wednesday morning at Upper Iweka after being detained in Ikorodu, Lagos, for over six months for alleged wandering and other minor offences by the Lagos State Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) officials. They were brought to Onitsha in four buses, escorted by anti-riot policemen. Mbuto said he was arrested by the KAI officials while going to his shop on December 18, 2012.
Abiola Odusanya for burial July 31 HE death has occurred of T the Chief Executive Officer, Deseeret Cosmetic, Mrs. Abiola Odusanya. A service of songs holds on Wednesday, July 31, at 26, Okunla Avenue, by Transformer Bus Stop along Shagamu / Mosinmi,Ogijo / Ikorodu Road at 9.00a.m. while burial follows at AgoIwoye Christian Cemetery, along Olabisi Onabanjo Way, Ago-Iwoye Ogun State. She is survived by husband, Saheed Odusanya of Advert Department, The Guardian Newspapers, and three sons, Omogbolahan, Ademola and Akorede.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
14 | The GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
TheGuardian 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 2015 and politics of division hose individuals and organizations who have lately started laying claim to the presidency even while the incumbent president is yet to complete his term of office are entitled to such opinion but they exercise that right to the detriment of the polity. This inflammation of primordial sentiments is unpatriotic and unacceptable. Five organisations from the north, namely: Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Northern elders Forum (NeF), Arewa Re-awakening Forum (ARF), Northern Union, Code Group (CG) and Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) the other day accentuated the divisive clamour. In a joint press conference held in Kaduna, the groups said that the presidency must return to the North in 2015. Arguing that there was a pact that power should be rotated between the North and the south, and in furtherance of it, though unknown to the Nigerian constitution, central powers must come to the North. The groups supplied a caveat to the extent that if the rotational principle was not respected, they would claim the presidency by the sheer power of vote since the region, according to them, has a larger chunk of the country’s population. According to Prof. Ango Abdullahi, secretary of NeF, “All of us have this very tough and common agenda. Not that the North is power hungry. No; it (power rotation) in 2015 will be argued on the rational agreement that is on ground today…the North on the basis of one man, one vote can keep power indefinitely in the present Nigerian state.” This disturbing trend started in earnest with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Ijaw kinsmen who once boasted that if he was not allowed to continue in office come 2015, the peace in the Niger-Delta and the country for that matter would not be guaranteed. In one streak of insensitive outburst, the Leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, Asari Dokubo even said, “there will be no peace, not only in the Niger Delta, everywhere, if Goodluck Jonathan is not president again by 2015… (because) Jonathan has an uninterrupted eight years of two terms to be president according to the Nigerian Constitution”. on the heels of that outburst, a gathering of selfacclaimed southern leaders also called on President Jonathan to contest the 2015 general election if he so wished. These irresponsible claims and counter-claims may be dismissed as the mere exercise of democratic rights by individuals and associations. But for keen observers of developments in the country, this has always been the trodden path to huge national crisis which consequence in the past had kept the country badly divided. hence, to the self-acclaimed Northern leaders, the following pertinent questions which were posed earlier to the socalled southern leaders are just appropriate: Who made them the leaders of Northern Nigeria? secondly, can they truly lay claim to a mandate of the people of the North to speak on their behalf? What are the service credentials of some of these leaders? And is there a monolithic North or which North are they purporting to represent? This descent into the morass of ethnic and regional passions by self-serving persons should have no place in Nigeria today. The 1999 Constitution as amended being the extant basic law of the country is very clear on the procedure for the election of the president of the country and the corresponding tenure. A president can only emerge by virtue of polling a majority of votes cast in the federation regarded as a single constituency and has a fouryear tenure renewable for another term by means of election. so the question of who becomes the president of Nigeria is a matter well within the powers of the Nigerian people and not self-serving organisations. The point must be clearly made that there is no section of the country that has a veto over the rest of the country. The threat of imposition of leadership on the country by anybody or group is therefore irresponsible and condemnable. It is not only reprehensible, divisive and disruptive, it is meant to railroad Nigerians to a destructive predetermined agenda. It is the right of Nigerians to decide who should rule them at any point in time. These groups made up of rent-seekers, without the legitimate mandate of the people are only in search of attention for self-aggrandisement. If they truly cherish the interest of the North or any part of Nigeria as they openly claim, they ought to be pre-occupied with known problems of the North. Today, the country, especially the North is ravaged by insecurity, growing youth unemployment and a high rate of illiteracy. These should be the concern of well-meaning individuals and organisations. The so-called leaders of Northern Nigeria should be told in clear terms that their kind of narrowminded agitation is not what Nigeria needs. Nigeria needs a leader from the east, West, North or south who sees Nigeria alone as his or her constituency, not any part of it. When a leadership is inept, whether from the north or south, the result is underdevelopment and a badly divided country. Nigeria has seen enough of poor leadership, recruited on the basis of considerations other than merit. enough is enough.
Tackling youth unemployment through sports am an avid reader of the unemployment amongst our con – kidnapping people for ransdailyIR:backInewspaper. page of The Guardian teeming youths, especially as som! The page is the nation faces the biggest In addition to the burgeoning devoted to youths who make their contributions by writing about national issues that affect them. It also gives them the opportunity to hone their writing skills. The Wednesday, May 22, 2013 edition of the newspaper featured an article written by one Dami Adeoye titled “Reality TV shows: A way out for unemployed youths”. The article as it was thought provoking was also very relevant in fighting
challenge after the civil war – terrorism. From all newspaper and television reports, we found out that most of the perpetrators of this obnoxious act fall within the age brackets of 15 to 40 years. so essentially, we are talking about the youths initiating or being used as foot soldiers in propagating terror and vices like armed robbery and also another vice that has encroached into Nigerian lexi-
reality television shows that have played a great role in showcasing talents amongst our youths and also creating stars in their respective fields, as described by Dami, one other good area is through the instrumentality of sports legislation. What I mean here is that the sports Minister or other sports enthusiasts should interact with some lawmakers and come up with a water-tight bill which when passed into an act of parliament would compel all multinational companies operating in Nigeria to build world-class stadia in the capital cities across the nation, set up and sponsor that the only system, which is professional football clubs to likely to be accepted by every- compete in the Nigerian one – or, at least, by enough Premier League and in return, people – is one in which every- the government will give such one feels properly represented, multinational companies tax and that to achieve this single- holidays or incentives, until term rotational presidency they recover their capital cost of would seem to be a sine qua building the sports facilities. non. You have convinced me If this is given a gestation periabout what needs to be done to od of for instance, five years, the hold Nigeria together and benefit to the nation in terms of make it a great world power. If engaging the youths meaningyou are more optimistic about fully and thus reducing youth the struggle ahead than I unemployment will be geometmight tend to be, I must accept ric and massive. every stadium that in addition to being requires personnel that will strongly committed you are maintain the pitch, electricians, also keenly aware of what is plumbers, cleaners, cooks and and what is not possible. stewards in stadia restaurants, Lastly, I should add that I shops etc. Now imagine this enjoyed your style, with your arrangement in the 36 state capincisively humorous commen- itals. taries. You should be in the This would drastically reduce classroom, lecturing. crime among our youths, as With great respect and affec- they would be gainfully tion, engaged. • Stephen Smith, • James Braide United Kingdom. Port Harcourt.
Anthony Akinola’s book on democracy in Nigeria IR: I found your book very sments interesting, and your arguconvincing. For someone who knows something about the old civilisations of Nigeria – the Benin bronzes, the beautiful Ife heads, etc. – but little about recent Nigerian politics, it was extremely informative. You are clearly very committed to the idea of a strong, united Nigeria, as a model for the rest of Africa. I hope you are justified in your optimism that this can be achieved. obviously, with the rise of Moslem fundamentalism it won’t be easy. (It may well have suited British administrators to encourage the Muslim religion, as you argue. It would also have been very difficult to change it. Polytheists are naturally much more adaptable. Across the empire we always respected the three “religions of the Book”.) I agree with you
THe gUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Business Promoting prosperity among Nigerians with all-inclusive, economic growth strategy /P54
Nigeria’s crude oil earnings hit N6.7 trillion in first half of 2013 By Roseline Okere IgeRIA earned $42 billion (N6.7 trillion) revenue from crude oil export between January and June 2013. Meanwhile, the United States energy Information Administration (eIA) has put the country’s earnings from the commodity in 2012 at $93
billion (N14.8 trillion). eIA, which made this disclosure in its fact sheet on international crude oil revenue, released last week, estimated that the organisation of petroleum exporting Countries (opeC), earned $982 billion in net oil export revenue in 2012. Nigeria earned higher income from crude oil
Receives N14.8tr revenue in 2012 export, compared to Angola, which earned $68 billion in 2012 and $33 billion between January and June 2013. This eIA believed, the opeC overall earnings represent a five per cent increase from 2011, and the largest level over the 1975-2012 period for
which eIA has tracked opeC oil revenues. eIA expected Saudi Arabia earned the largest share of these earnings, $311 billion in 2012, representing approximately 32 per cent of total opeC revenues. According to the fact sheet,
Commissioner of Justice/Attorney-General, Kaduna State, Jonathan Kish Adamu (left); Managing Director, UBA Trustees, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Sanni; and Accountant-General, Kaduna State, Ishaku Shekari, during the meeting of bondholders of the state’s N8.5 billion Series 1 bond, packaged by UBA Trustees, in Lagos, at the weekend.
Agric sector loans rise by 3.7 per cent By Chijioke Nelson epoSIT Money Banks’ credit to the agricultural sector may have risen to over 3.7 per cent, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to a statement from the apex bank, this figure, which is for 2012, indicates an increase of 85 per cent over the two per cent growth of the agricultural sector share of banks’ credit five years ago. Also, data obtained recently from the Bankers Committee’ showed that between July and November last year, the country’s lenders issued over N6 billion in credit guarantees to farmers. The data showed that the loans came with such broad parameters as average loan guaranteed amounting to
N397 million, with a range of N4 million to N1.5 billion and average duration of loans put at 285 days. “It is anticipated that under Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), collaboration between banks and counterparts will push loans under guarantee in excess of N20 billion by end of the first quarter of this year,” CBN said. The increase was also linked to the N200 billion agriculture credit scheme and N600 billion NIRSAL initiative, as NIRSAL guarantees up to 75 per cent of bank loans to the sector. But sources within the banks said the regulator planned to spend an estimated $500 million to create further incentives for the banks to sustain the flow of agric
credit. The NIRSAL initiative, which is brainchild of the CBN, the Bankers’ Committee and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was scripted to create incentives and catalyse processes to encourage the growth of formal credit, direct and indirect, for the agriculture value chain, as a mechanism for driving wealth creation among value chain participants. According to the apex bank, NIRSAL is also expected to be a catalyst for innovative risk management strategies, long-term financing for agribusiness and significant job creation by new entrepreneurs. “The mandate of NIRSAL is to act as the custodian of all credit guarantee schemes, interest draw back schemes,
and commercialisation initiatives related to an integrated value chain approach to agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria,” the CBN said. Under NIRSAL, there are five pillars to be addressed by an estimated $500 million that will be invested by the CBN, according to the programme document. There is also a risk-sharing facility of $300 million, planned to address banks’ perception of high-risks in the sector by sharing losses on agricultural loans. There is also an insurance facility of $30 million intended to expand insurance products for agricultural lending from the current coverage to new products, such as weather index insurance, new variants of pest and disease
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
based on projections from the eIA July 2013 Short-Term energy outlook, eIA estimates that members of opeC, not including Iran, could earn about $940 billion of net oil export revenues in 2013 and about $903 billion in 2014, in nominal terms. It noted that these net export earnings do not include Iran’s revenues, due to the difficulties associated with estimating Iran’s earnings, including its inability to receive payments and possible price discounts Iran offers its existing customers. “Net oil-export revenue by the 12-member organisation climbed 5.4 per cent last year from 2011. Sales will tumble by 4.3 per cent to $940 billion this year and by 3.9 per cent to $903 billion next year. “Demand for opeC’s crude will slip by 300,000 barrels a day next year to 29.6 million barrels, or 2.6 per cent less than the group is pumping now, opeC said July 10 in its first set of forecasts for 2013.
exports to North America face growing competition from a surge in production from shale basins in the U.S. and Canada. U.S. crude output reached 7.35 million barrels a day at the end of April, up 17 per cent from a year earlier. eIA estimates that global liquid fuels production outpaced consumption in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in an average global liquid fuel stock build of 300,000 bblpd compared with an average second quarter stock draw of about 210,000 bblpd over the last four years, thus producing a swing of over 500,000 bblpd. Forecast global liquid fuels consumption comes close to matching liquid fuels production in the third quarter of 2013 with estimated global inventory withdrawal averaging 70,000 bblpd, compared with the average withdrawal of 890,000 bblpd during the same period over the previous four years.
THE GuARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
CBN orders banks’ ‘clean up’ ahead of FATF auditing By Chijioke Nelson
There were indications that the impending visit of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which listed Nigeria
in its grey book, may have elicited directives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to banks and other financial institutions over the state of their records
and some oversight functions. Recently, apex bank had notified banks and other financial institutions in a circular about the proposed
visit of the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG), an arm of FATF, by September this year, noting that in 2009, the body placed the country among the grey list of nations that had not made significant progress in their AntiM o n e y Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. Specifically, the apex bank, in another circular dated July 18, 2013, to banks, discount houses and development banks, noted that some of these financial institutions do not have substantive Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), while those in the position were in acting capacity for a long period of time, which negates the importance of the office. The circular signed by the Acting Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, I.T. Nwaoha, explained that the directive to the affected institutions to appoint the CCO, not below the grade of a General Manager, was to, among other things, enforce the provisions of the relevant Acts and circulars on money laundering at various levels of the banks. It further noted that Section 9(1) of the Money Laundering (prohibition Act 2011, as amended, required banks to designate, at man-
agement level, CCOs in their head offices and branches, who have relevant competence, authority and independence to implement the banks’ AML/CFT compliance programme. However, CBN noted that at the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) plenary meetings in May and FATF Public Statement in June, it was agreed that Nigeria had largely addressed its action plan and improved its overall supervisory AML/CFT framework. But as a confirmation, FATF’s ICRG scheduled to conduct an on-site auditing in Nigeria by September to ascertain the claims on the processes of implementing the required reforms and actions that are underway to address identified challenges. The group will also evaluate both public and private sector institutions’ implementation framework, while a favourable report from the auditing will enhance Nigeria chances of exiting
the uncomplimentary grey list. Pursuant to the above, you are requested to forward the particulars of your current CCOs and letters of approval of same, obtained from Banking Supervision Department of CBN, to the Financial Policy and Regulation Department later than August 1. The financial institutions are therefore, urged to display AML/CFT notice in their banking halls; make available actual implementation and documentation of customer identification, verification requirements, customer due diligence, among others. They should also make available evidence of various trainings conducted for staff on AML/CFT issues, evidences of record keeping for a minimum of five years after severance of relationship with customers, appointment of CCOs, stating clearly their level, functions and support staff and availability of AML/CFT manual.
‘CDMA network capacity grossly unutilised’ …As planned merger stalls By Bankole Orimisan HE dwindling fortunes of operators in the Code T Division Multiple Access segment of the Nigerian telecoms industry have persisted, as they lose subscribers each day, leaving a sizeable portion of their installed network capacity unutilised. The Guardian reliably gathered at the weekend that though the CDMA operators, comprising Visafone, Starcomms, Multi-Links and the comatose Zoom Mobile have ability to take up to 18.4 million telephone users on their networks, only 2.6 phone lines are currently on their networks. This, however, means that the operators only use 14 per cent of their existing capacity as 86 per cent of their installed capacity is not utilised. The operators, it was gathered, started losing their customers since 2009, when their combined subscriber base reached 7 million, the highest CDMA subscription so far in the history of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.
Since then, the operators have been witnessing subscriber losses month-onmonth. As at the end of April 2013, aggregate subscriber base of the operators had collapsed abysmally to 2.6 million telephone lines. The development, it was learnt, has also discouraged the operators from further investing in their network capacity, as only 14 per cent of their existing capacity is being subscribed to. For instance, from the end of December, 2012, the Global System for Mobile Communications operators increased their installed capacity from 182 million to 207.6 million at the end of April, 2013, according to latest statistics by the Nigerian Communications Commission. However, between the same four month period, the CDMA networks’ installed capacity stood at a flat figure of 18.4 million lines. Installed capacity is the total number of telephone lines which a telecommunications network can accommodate at a particular period of time.
Agric sector loans rise further CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 insurance. Besides, there is also a technical assistance facility amounting of $60 million meant to equip banks to lend sustainably to farmers, use loans more effectively and increase output of better quality, among other things. Analysts have commended the performance by Nigerian banks as demonstrating their fate in the capacity of agriculture to transform the economy, but CBN explained that with the credit trend emanating from the banks, Nigeria might be close to winning its economic diver-
sification objectives that will lead to less dependence on oil. “NIRSAL is one single programme that has brought banks back to their role of intermediation for national economic development. For the economy to be diversified and sustainable development achieved, agriculture has to be given a pride of place as largest employer of labour. “The funding is therefore important for the agric sector but for that to be effective the sector needs to be stripped off inherent risks that impair bank lending,” CBN added.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
LCCI rates businesses low on compliance to business ethics in Q2 By Femi Adekoya ESPITE the growing concerns about the rising cost of doing business in the country among other challenges, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has rated Nigeria businesses low in terms of compliance to standards of business ethics in its second quarter review. Precisely, the chamber raised concern about the rising cases of smuggling, product faking and counterfeiting, under invoicing to evade duty payment, tax evasion, concealment of items in containers by importers, piracy of creative works and wanton violation of intellectual property rights, as well as other forms of ethical issue in the areas of procurement by private and government institutions, especially extortion by officials of procurement desk in some of institutions.
Besides, LCCI also decried the resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), describing it as tightening and inhibiting domestic production, while encouraging imports. Speaking at the chamber’s quarterly conference on the economy in Lagos at the weekend, the President of the chamber, Goodie Ibru, said it was necessary to assess the state of the economy in order to provide leeway for growth and development. According to him, a virile economy is vital for the sustenance of our democracy and promotion of social stability, because to boost investors’ confidence, the investment climate must be conducive. Speaking on the growing unethical business practice, he said: “Ethical players in the private sector are being gradually crowded out of
…Raises concerns over monetary policy business and this is neither in the interest of the economy nor our value orientation as a people. There should be appropriate regimes of deterrent sanctions and rewards for ethical conduct or misconduct.
“The LCCI is increasingly inundated with complaints about regulatory institutions. There were complaints about overlapping regulatory approvals, delays in product registration; bureaucratic bottlenecks, exorbitant
charges and high incidence of extortion. Although, we have had interactions with the Lagos State government to this end and hope this would be replicated at the federal level.” He then urged the Federal Government to address the challenges before the manufacturing sector if the contri-
butions of the real sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would improve in the 2013 financial year. He said: “Some of the challenges encountered by manufacturers include the influx of substandard products which have taken a huge toll on the market share of many manufacturing companies.
CBN withdraws Express Discount’s operating licence By Chijioke Nelson HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has delisted Express Discount Limited (EDL) from the league of discount houses in the country, in exercise of powers conferred on it by Section 2, paragraph D, of CBN Act 2007. The move, which was predicated on two reasons of low capital adequacy and inability of the shareholders to
shore up the capital base, was also aided by assessed failure on the part of the shareholders to exercise due diligence and oversight on the activities of the management of EDL. According to a statement from the apex bank, signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Tokunbo Martins, it noted that in 2006, the licences of some
financial institutions, which were also shareholders of EDL were revoked due to inability to meet their capital requirements. Again, some other shareholders, which controlled about 42 per cent of the EDL’s shares also had their licences revoked in 2011, with their assets being acquired after being adjudged to be in grave financial condition,
which invariably led further to the deterioration of EDL financial position. The statement also explained that further examination of the company revealed false and misleading claims in its books of account, huge exposure to margin loans and activities that contravene the guidelines for discount houses’ operations.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
CIBN backs FI drive, to pursue professionalism at golden jubilee By Chijioke Nelson and Anthony Chidubem Nwachukwu HE Chartered Institute of T Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has reiterated its support to the current drive to deepen Financial Inclusion (FI) in the country, saying that with the nation’s population, it is possible for Nigeria to become a hub of financial services in the continent. The Registrar and Chief Executive of the institute, Dr. Uju Ogubunka, made the disclosure at a workshop on Financial Inclusion, organized by CIBN, in Lagos. According to him, the desirables of the initiative can only be achieved if the unbanked adult Nigerians numbering in millions are reduced through sustainable financial literacy programme to achieve the 20 per cent target of the Central Bank of Nigeria by 2020. He noted various efforts already made by the regulators, including the electronic payment channels, adding that though there were challenges, the match to greatness was still sustained and the prospects of success were high. Meanwhile, CIBN has said that the maintenance of ethical standards and professionalism in the banking and other financial services sector as key to deepening the Nigerian economy will be the core issue when it holds its seventh yearly conference this year. To this end, the institute will be harnessing experiences and knowledge-based inputs from critical stakeholders in the banking and financial services sector at the event slated for September 10 and 11, 2013 at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja, as the CIBN celebrates its 50 years of professional banking education and capacity building in the country. Chairman of the Consultative Committee on the seventh yearly general meeting and Executive Director, Zenith Bank, Godwin Emefiele, told jour-
Firm hosts alternative energy exhibition ANAGEMENT of FOLUB M Eletrik Servz in conjunction with the Lagos Television has announced plans to organise an alternative energy exhibition. The ‘Alternative Power Exhibition’, which is 5th edition, would take place from the 29th of July till August 3rd, at Blue Roof of the Lagos Television, Ikeja and is themed ‘Save the Earth, Power Green’. A statement from the organisers revealed that the annual event would bring to life different products that improvise for the scarce electricity in the homes, offices, industries and country as a whole. The new technologies in wind power, solar energy, turbine wind, inverters are categories of alternatives for use in exchange for the unavailable electricity. Some other products that will be in display include but not limited to solar light, lanterns, fans, refrigerator, cooker/gel powered stoves, solar computer, children games, and chargers, amongst others.
nalists in Lagos on Friday that the theme of the conference is, “Upholding Professionalism in the Financial Services Industry: Supporting the Economy.” According to him, it will give policy makers, key regulators and other operators in the financial services industry “the platform and leverage to share experience, network and exchange ideas on relevant contemporary issues affecting the sector.” Discussions at the event will focus on: The lessons and applications of the recent global financial meltdown for the financial services industry, issues and challenges in positioning the industry for global competitiveness, the industry serving as catalyst for financial inclusion in Nigeria; and enhancing customers’ confidence and trust in the industry.
PPPRA vows to sanitise fuel distribution scheme By Roseline Okere ETROLEUM Products Pricing P Regulatory Agency, (PPPRA), has vowed not to relent in its effort to axe marketers found wanting in the delivery of petroleum products in the country. The agency also denied including indicted marketers in the subsidy fraud in the latest list of beneficiaries. The PPPRA Executive Secretary, Reginald Stanley, insisted that no company indicted in the subsidy fraud as reported by media report was included in the latest allocations, adding that names of the marketers in its latest import list have been duly cleared. Stanley said: “No company that was indicted in the subsidy claims report can import petro-
• Denies listing indicted marketers among subsidy beneficiaries leum products under the new dispensation. In fact, even if we were foolish enough to include any of them, they will get stuck because the Ministry of Finance will not pay them. “Finance ministry is resolute in cleaning up the subsidy mess, and has not even finished paying off the genuine claims. So it will be a big risk for any company indicted to go importing fuel, when it has not yet been cleared, and no businessman would want to tie down his or her money indefinitely.” Reuters in its report listed Nepal, Fresh Synergy, Ibafon and Techno, as the “four companies that failed to cooperate with parliament’s probe and
were named as suppliers which the parliamentary report showed collectively claimed for subsidies of nearly $60 million.” The report further added: “At least three other companies awarded third quarter allocations - Masters, Matrix and MRS - were also ordered to account for their shipments or refund falsely claimed subsidy money in another government report released last June. “Matrix provided documents to Reuters showing it had since been exonerated by Nigerian authorities. “The other firms declined or did not respond to repeated requests for comment by email and telephone. It was not clear
if these companies had since repaid their debts or been cleared.” Stanley explained that all of the companies mentioned by Reuters were cleared in the subsidy report, saying: “Masters has been cleared by the Special Fraud Unit, SFU; Nepals issue with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is closed out. In fact the company now has a depot at Ogara, the PPPPRA team inspected it, the Deport was dully certified by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, having met all the necessary requirements for depot operations; and MRS was never indicted.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Published in association with
InvestmentWatch Learning, Earning & Investing Introduction ANY investors often wish they could practice how to invest in the stock market in an environment that simulates the market without bearing the risk. In answer to this desire, INVESTMENT ONE Financial Services Limited broadened its “Investment Education Project” by launching its “Virtual Investment Simulator”, a flexible online game portal with in-built capabilities to enable potential investors and researchers to interact with the dynamics of the Nigerian equities and financial asset markets. The online game which is currently in its second phase, will also answer investors’ questions’ on how professionals in the market invest and also provide information on what the basics of portfolio construction and management are among others. INVESTMENT ONE's “Virtual Investment Simulator” is a fun-filled, free, and interactive teaching tool designed to educate the general public in furtherance of its investment education objective of disseminating information to the general public on the art and science of investing without actual exposure to market risk. The virtual gaming portal in addition to encouraging participants to learn about how to make informed investment decisions and how the financial market works, also enables them mingle with and learn from the trades of some of the best stock market traders. Stock Market Trading Simulator Stock market simulator, a component of the Virtual Investment Simulator, is a simulated stock trading program or application that attempts to reproduce or duplicate some or all features of a live stock market on a computer so that a player or would-be trader can practice trading stocks without risking their money. Also known as virtual stock trading, this module also allows traders and investors to try out various investment strategies that involve high risks in a real market situation without committing actual cash. Simulated stock trading can be done by anyone wishing to participate upon creating an online account in stock market simulators offered for free by INVESTMENT ONE. The participant will then be given simulated money of predetermined amount that he or she can use to make simulated stock investments. The gaming portal also allows participant investors to form exclusive investment clubs within the portal whereby participants can invite friends and colleagues to join, compete with one another as well as share ideas and post comments on the portal blog page. Features of the Virtual Investment Simulator include: •Participants use a computer with an on-line access to execute buy and sell instructions. • The money used for trading is virtual money (not real money). • Players can compete with each other to see who can predict the direction the stock markets will go next. • Stocks traded are based on real life stocks uploaded from the Nigerian Stock Exchange. • It gives them a chance to win between N300, 000,
Virtual Investment Simulator Game N200, 000 & N100, 000 in real cash reward for being the first, second and third best investor. (A winner will be announced on 31st of July 2013). (Terms and Conditions Apply). • The principal objective of the game portal is to educate potential stock traders and future stock brokers on how to trade stocks. • The Virtual Investment Simulator allows users to generate a portfolio based on real stock entries, but with delayed data feed to prevent abuse. Eligibility To be eligible to sign on to the gaming portal, participants must: • Not violate any rights of INVESTMENT ONE Financial Services Ltd, including intellectual property rights such as copyright or trademark rights. • Not be a competitor of INVESTMENT ONE or are not using the service for reasons that are in competition with it ; • Agree to provide at their cost all equipment, software, and internet access necessary to use the service. Registration To participate simply log on to www.investmentone.com/feds • Register with a valid email address and phone number. • Upon registration, a code will be sent to your registered email address. • Activate your account by supplying the details of your registration as well as the code sent to your email address in the activation tab on the homepage. • Upon successful activation, you can proceed to login and start playing. Rules for Virtual Investment Simulator • All Players must be 18 years and above and must be resident in Nigeria. • Each player begins the simulation with N10, 000,000 in virtual cash. • Players may trade any of the more than 100 stocks, and fixed income securities listed in our database. • Trades can only be processed in their entirety in 'fill or kill' fashion, and will be rejected if sufficient buying power does not exist to execute the entire order. • The Virtual Investment Simulator game is run, 7 days a week between the hours of 3pm and Midnight (1500hrs - 00hrs). The contest compares performance from the beginning to the end of each calendar month. • Groups are compared on the average performance of that group's member portfolios. Teams are allowed to communicate trading and other information freely. • Trades will only be open within specific periods in time during the day and will be executed using the most recent closing price or after-hours price, as available. • Players have to liquidate their portfolios as their cumulative ROI will be the basis of evaluating their performance at the end of the final transaction
day. • Gift certificate will be presented to the verified individuals with the top portfolio performance. Winners will be contacted via email and telephone, while cheating will disqualify the winner from the prize. • Participating in the contest without being eligible will constitute a breach of the rules and result in the forfeiture of any prize or award earned. Advantages • It is a great way to practice stock trading and assess the pros and cons of certain investment strategies without exposure to actual market risk. • It is similar to real trading since such simulator programs mimic actual events and situations experienced in real life market scenarios. • It allows traders and investors to try out various investment strategies that involve high risks in a real market situation. • It benefits both would-be traders and expert investors. • It can be used by individuals who wish to have complete features and have more options. However, it must be noted that, simulator programs are not real and even the best of them cannot completely duplicate the real market. Also trading are also not restricted in these virtual environment compared with real stock market. Whilst participating in the game, below are strategies to deploy: • Asset Allocation Strategies Establishing an appropriate asset mix is a dynamic process and it plays a key role in determining your portfolio's overall risk and return. Strategic asset allocation is a method that establishes and adheres to what is a "base policy mix." It also deploys these techniques: Strategic asset allocation generally implies a buyand-hold strategy, even as the shift in the values of assets cause a drift from the initially established policy mix. - Insured Asset Allocation With an insured asset allocation strategy, investors establish a base portfolio value under which the portfolio should not be allowed to drop. - Dynamic Asset Allocation Another active asset allocation strategy is dynamic asset allocation, with which investors constantly adjust the mix of assets as markets rise and fall and the economy strengthens and weakens. - Integrated Asset Allocation With integrated asset allocation investors consider both your economic expectations and your risk in establishing an asset mix. • Market Timing Identifying the best time to enter or exit the market is next to impossible. Every market has cycles that repeat itself over time and the Virtual Investment Simulator provides a good module to test this assumption. The following are phases of business cycles that must be taken into cognizance to ensure they are
well guided in their investment decisions: In the market recovery phase, hope begins rise owing to the marked economic policies, falling inflation and increasing consumer confidence. They are a good time to buy stocks, long-term bonds, commodities, oil and gas, and even precious metals to hedge against a possible up-tick in inflation. The next is the upswing phase, consumers’ confidence is up and the economy is gaining some momentum. The early upswing is probably the healthiest period of the cycle because economic growth can continue without any signs of overheating or sharply higher inflation. In the last phase known as the late upswing, the economic boom is in full swing; manufacturing capacity utilization is at or near a peak and this phase is followed by a recession phase that is marked by falling production, peaking inflation and weakened consumer confidence. • Securities Selection Stock selection can also be practiced on the Virtual Investment Simulator given the over 100 stocks listed on the gaming portal. The art of finding and selecting good stocks (and avoiding bad ones) based on certain criteria (i.e. what is the price of the entire company, how does the broader economy affect things, how is the company doing against competition and earnings growth rate?) with the aim of maximizing the total return on investment (appreciation plus any dividends received) for the targeted holding period, limit risk (according to an individual's risks tolerance levels) and maintain an appropriate degrees of portfolio diversification. INVESTMENT ONE’s Virtual Investment Simulator remains principally a game designed to enable participants and would-be investors be educated in the art of making wise investment decisions while having fun. We believe this is critical to the success of every upcoming investor that aspires to grow and protect his wealth. For beginners investing, the stock market can be pretty intimidating and starting up can be a daunting task. It is important to learn in a safe, insightful way to avoid unnecessary losses, and that is exactly what our online simulator game would do. In the maiden edition of our investment simulator game, Mr Owolabi Afeez Oluwatosin a youth corp member serving in Benue State emerged the winner by making the highest return on investment over a 4 months investment period (September to December 2012). This attracted a prize of 500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) which was used to use to open a stock brokering account for him to trade with and earn real returns for himself. The second edition of Investment One virtual simulator game will be concluded by the 31st July 2013 and the budding investors with the highest returns on their investment within the investment period (February-July 2013) will be rewarded accordingly. Our vision is to bring investment knowledge through our investment education platform to the door step of every Nigerian. We advise you to log on to www.investmentone.com/feds to register for the Next edition schedule to commence from 1st September 2013.
Employees of INVESTMENT ONE and its subsidiaries, or any sponsor(s) of the contest, their respective advertising and promotion agencies, their parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, as well as members of their immediate families and households (including children, spouses and siblings and/or persons living in the same households as such persons, whether related or not) are not eligible for participation. Join us next week Monday to learn more on how you can invest in capital market instruments to help you achieve your investment goals. Kindly let us know if you have found this article useful. Please contact us at: email@example.com. You can download related articles on INVESTMENT ONE education series at www.investment-one.com.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
FirstBank, Trans-Fast Remittance partner to strengthen money transfer service By Helen Oji S part of its resolve to A strengthen its leadership position in international money transfer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) has partnered with TransFast Remittance LLC, a global money transfer company and owner of Trans-Fast money transfer brand, to provide money transfer services through its over 700 branches of the Bank in Nigeria. The new partnership, according to the bank, the new Trans-Fast platform is an
addition to the three existing international money transfer platforms offered by the bank. These include: Western Union money transfer, MoneyGram and Ria money transfer. Speaking at the occasion, the Group Managing Director of the bank, Bisi Onasanya, explained that customers can access the Trans-Fast platform through a direct link from the FirstBank Diaspora banking page/website, while money transfer can be done in multiple currencies – Euro, Great Britain Pounds
Sterling, United States dollars and naira. Onasanya, who was represented by the Executive VicePresident (Technology & Services), Akin Fanimokun, added that the Trans-Fast will contribute in fostering the CBN-driven cash-lite and financial inclusion policies, as the self-service money transfer service enables senders transfer money directly via the internet, eliminating the use of agents, as well as allows beneficiaries of international money transfer get money directly into their
accounts with any bank and in any currency, through FirstBank. “According to the new agreement signed in Lagos between executives of FirstBank and Trans-Fast Remittance, Trans-Fast, which has over 20 years’ experience in money transfer and operations in over 90 countries will make its over 200,000 global network available for FirstBank customers to transfer money directly via the internet while also allowing beneficiaries of international money transfer get money directly
into their accounts in any currency through any of the FirstBank branches nationwide.” The Head, Marketing & Corporate Communication FirstBank, Mrs. Folake AniMumuney, explained that with the Trans-Fast platform, customers would have the options of sending money directly to the receivers account, online transfers as well as cash pick-up at any of the FirstBank branches, adding that Trans-Fast is currently live on www.firstbankdiaspora.com. “Customers can visit this site
and initiate the money transfer process by following the steps. “Money Transfer can be done in Euro, GBP, USD or NGN, while third party transfers can also be done to other bank accounts”, she added. Chief Executive Officer of Trans- Fast Remittance, LLC, Samish Kumar, said: “TransFast has always offered excellence in the products and services we provide our clientele; this new partnership elevates quality and convenience of service for our customers, to provide value that is resoundingly unquestionable.”
Skye Bank builds ICT centre for varsity Bank Plc has built a SernKYE N150 million ultra-modInformation Technology (IT) centre at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, to promote research and scholarship in furtherance of its corporate social responsibility. The IT centre, which has been designated as a centre of excellence in software engineering, would develop the required local science and technology human resource for the nation’s post basic institutions with builtin functional capacity, using IT-driven, participatory and student-centred teaching and learning approaches. The World Bank and Step B were the other financiers of the project. Speaking during the handing over and commissioning ceremony of the project in Ife, Skye Bank’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, said the application of IT in our educational institutions would aid teaching and learning,
data storage, serve as information resource centre, ease students registration and payment of fees, among others. He expressed the hope that the ICT Centre would help in evolving ways IT can help in bringing about new ways of teaching such that students can learn outside of the brick and mortal format that is prevalent today. The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Bamitale Omole, said the centre would be utilised to harness modern technology for effective and efficient learning and research. “The problem of large classes will soon be a thing of the past as lecturers and students can interact real time online,” he said.
MTN General Manager, Sales, Adekunle Adebiyi (left); Managing Director, Appletree Nigeria, Mrs. B.O. Makinde; Sales and Distribution Executive, MTN, Omatsola Barrow; General Manager, Business Development, Richard Iweanoge; and Managing Director, Golad Communications, Adenike Odewunmi, at the unveiling of the Fortune 100 Trade Partner programme, a dealer recognition/reward initiative, in Lagos.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Insurance NSITF pays N200 million to injured workers From Collins Olayinka, Abuja HE era when workers who sustain injuries in their workplaces are abandoned to their fate may have gone, as the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has paid over N200 million to injured workers since inception of the Employees Compensation Scheme, the Managing Director of the Fund, Abubakar Munir, has disclosed. Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the eight-man Independent Investment Committee of the Fund, the NSITF boss said the Fund has also registered over 35,000 employers under the scheme and more than 500,000 workers since the scheme too off in 2001.
Raises committee on investment opportunities “The NSITF has paid over N200 million to injured workers from various sectors who sustained all kinds of workplace injuries since the scheme began. We paid this sum out of about N500 million claims we received. It was after vetting and going through the processes that we paid N200 million out of the sum. We have registered over 35,000 employers. “The Federal Government has also been making its contributions and we have many states coming on board very soon. We have well over 500,000 employers covered under the scheme. We have been settling claims that we have received so far.”
Abubakar also explained that the fund settles claims “as soon as we finish our verification exercise, which do not take more than two weeks. The only reason we may not pay in two weeks is a situation where we have some issues with the employers.” He described the committee as a crucial arm of the programme that will assist the management with robust investment destinations. “The work of the committee will serve as an assurance to the stakeholders that the funds collected and put in a pool would be invested rightly. The members of the committee are seasoned profes-
sionals that are versed in the art of monitoring and making judicious investment decisions. We have three people from the NLC and NECA, which represent the voice of the labour movement as well as employers. “We also have representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria, chambers of commerce and industry as well as the National Pension Commission, which is the supervisory body of contributory pension scheme in Nigeria. We believe that this committee is one of the most important committees we have in the Fund to help us drive the implementation of the scheme.”
Managing Director, Cornerstone Life and Retail Business, Tokunbo Bello, Representative of Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Lagos and Ogun states, Sector Commander, Lagos State, Nseobong Akpabio, Chairman, International Market Mile 12, Haruna Mahammed, at the special park rally orgnised by Cornerstone Insurance Plc in partnership with FRSC at Iyana Ipaja main park in Lagos…recently.
RIMSON seeks new perspectives in security risk management recognition of the chalIandNlenging security situation the serious implications for the socio, economic and political development of Nigeria, RIMSON has advocated new perspectives in security risk management. A news release from the insurance risk experts said that there should be complete law reform in the country as the penalties for certain crimes were too low to prevent further occurrence, there should be synergy between risk managers, stakeholders and security agencies whereby information is exchanged and worked upon to minimise security risks, response time in emergency situations is presently poor. It should be improved upon, security agencies should be insulated from undue political interference. There should be no
politicisation of security matters. Besides, government should sustain professionalisation of security services through improved training, strategic and tactical focus, intelligence gathering, increased numerical strength of security personnel, provision of additional logistics and requisite weaponry, there should be clear policy guidelines on treatment of security risks, that is, clarity of purpose and objectives. Action plans should be timely implemented, governments should exercise strong political will and commitment to tackle security challenges to logical conclusion. The management of security challenges requires improved data base and effective utilisation. According to the release, government should concretise and domicile conventions
and commitments entered into both at the UN, and AU levels including the evolution of political will to deal with terrorism. We should be pro- active instead of being reactive. Appropriate counter terrorism actions should be taken promptly on intelligence reports. There should be massive campaigns and encouragement of the citizenry to expose criminals. Security agencies and the judiciary should evolve efficient means of proactively discharging their functions to curb criminal and terrorist activities. Government, it said, should establish national counter terrorism framework and architecture upon which international support could lean and work with, engage the services of well trained counter terrorism operatives re-activate the disaster man-
agement trainees and establish rallying points for managers who should fit into counter terrorism infrastructure, reinforce the protection of national infrastructures against terrorist attacks. There is need to have terrorism insurance cover to provide adequate protection for terrorism losses, insurers should come together to form pools and alliances to be able to underwrite this risk. The support of government in this regard is important as it is the case in USA, UK and France. Rates of premium chargeable should be commensurate with the nature of the risks to be covered, there should be leverage on international brokers for cover at Lloyds on per risk basis (for large risk), the local insurers’ retentions should be minimal regardless of the sum insured.
Abubakar declined to mention which of the sectors the NSITF would be investing in, saying, “because we have set up this committee, it is their responsibilities to carry out studies of the economy with a view to determining where it
is most suitable for investment. Nevertheless I would say that during the defunct scheme, the NSITF was the leading agency on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and also invested heavily in the real estate.
Law Union & Rock improves household insurance with compac policy AW Union & Rock Lit was Insurance Plc, has said that improving household insurance with COMPAC insurance policy to give more protection to buildings and occupants. The Managing Director of the firm, Mrs. Toyin Ogunseye said that the policy was designed to provide compensation for losses that house occupants may suffer. “The COMPAC insurance policy provides compensation for losses that can occur to the buildings, occupants and other house contents as a result of damage or theft,” she said. According to her, the policy covered buildings, household goods, furniture, fixtures and fittings, equipment, utensils, personal effects and properties as contained in the policy documents. The managing director said that it also covered damages to personally owned building as a result of fire, lightning, explosion and allied perils. The COMPAC policy, she added, covered loss and damage to contents covered in the policy. Other additional benefits in the policy, she noted included providing a group person-
al accident cover for the nuclear family as well as insurance cover for personal liabilities of the policyholders to neighbours and domestic workers. The managing director stressed the relevance of insurance to individuals and corporate bodies. According to her, insurance institution had been established to help other organisations to remain in business through claims settlement when they incur losses. Ogunseye said that Law Union & Rock had been undergoing restructuring and was strategically repositioned to become a leading underwriter in the country. She noted that the firm had remained innovative and was developing policies to make insurance more attractive to the insuring public by meeting the various needs. Ogunseye said that the firm had continued to respond promptly to claims because that is its main purpose of being in business. “Steps are being taken to optimally manage assets held, grow premium, and reduce cost thus building financial power to cover clients’ risks and ensure financial security for all stakeholders,” she said.
Sovereign Trust promotes benefits of products’ offering OVEREIGN Trust Sembarked Insurance Plc has on a pan-Nigeria press campaign highlighting the different products under the stable of the organisation. The campaign is scheduled to break before the end of the second quarter. The initiative is to further compliment the implementation of the company’s new business model, which was adopted earlier in the year. The new business model is hinged on harnessing the enormous opportunities that are inherent in the Nigerian economy vis-àvis the insurance industry in the country. The campaign will amongst other elements, educate the insuring public on the features, benefits and value on all of the different products on offer and the unique customer service experience that await prospective customers in any of the compa-
ny’s offices nationwide. The campaign is also intended to give more vent to the STI Brand and expound on the awareness drive for insurance patronage in the country. The Managing Director/CEO of the underwriting firm, Wale Onaolapo, reasoned that awareness creation was very germane to the advancement and development of the insurance industry in Nigeria and any other corporate entity for that matter. This, according to him, would constantly inform and remind existing and prospective customers of available products and services being offered by any organisation. Conclusively, he mentioned that the campaign would help enhance a larger coverage of prospective customers in localities yet to benefit from the product offerings of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
CIIN DG solicits support, more funding for institute By Joshua Nse O enable the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) actualise and sustain improvement in the standard of insurance education in Nigeria, the institute still needs the support of corporate organisations particularly in sponsorship of events organised by the institute. These were the passionate appeal of the Director General of the institute, Adegboyega Adepegba. Speaking to journalist in Lagos, recently he said that although the institute had made a mark in the qualitative education of insurance professionals in the industry, the challenge of funding were still paramount particularly in sponsorship of the institute’s activities. The director general, who will be retiring soon after more than 24 years meritorious service said: “I have
always nursed the feeling that the institute is our own baby, and we need to support it more than ever before because of the numerous development projects being undertaken by the Institute in order to deepen insurance penetration in this country.” He said: “I look forward to see when looking back, the institute is supported financially, materially in sponsorship of activities, exposure of our staff should be undertaken more by the industry because it is our baby, we need to support and encourage it to compare favourably with similar institutes in other parts of the world.” Adepegba said: “We have to thank our founding fathers and members first of all who have stood solidly behind the institute to make it be what it is today. But talking about the challenges, come in various forms. Initially when we
started it was the issue of funding. We got our first N1 million subvention from the then Nigeria Insurance Supervisory Board (NISB) probable in 1991. Prior to that we depended on the subscription fees, we were able to pay salaries, conduct conferences, seminars, but we were just managing to go through and the other was membership. The ability to sell the institute to the whole industry has been a major issue and is still on-gong, but it is better now. “I have always canvassed for the industry to have strong feeling for the institute because it is our own. I am sure with time, and I am looking forward to see when I look back I will see that the institute is supported financially, materially in sponsorship, exposure of our staff will be undertaken by the industry.”
Cornerstone Insurance backs FRSC road safety campaign HE Managing Director, Life T and Retail, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Tokunbo Bello, believes that education and re-orientation of motorists and road users alike is the only genuine way of promoting a positive behavioral shift and ultimately making our roads safer for all. According to him, we started this journey a few months ago at the Ojota New Garage, with the aim of re-awakening the safety consciousness of the motorists. Over this period, short as it may seems statistics lends credence to the fact that our safety intervention is indeed working. This record only serves as a further motivation to us as a
company to keep supporting this crusade in conjunction with a pivotal agency to save lives. He said: “We are unswerving in our resolve to take this campaign to other major motor parts in the state in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Corp for the remaining part of the year.” According to him, this year, Cornerstone Insurance has been appointed as the official partner ‘Decade of Action’ project, by FRSC, Lagos Command out of recognition for our consistent social contributions to the society. Let me assure this gathering on behalf of Cornerstone Insurance Plc, that we take
this appointment and project seriously and that we are committed to achieving its goals and objectives. The Zonal Commanding Officer, Ademola Lawal, represented by Nseobong Akpabio, said: “We must continue to appeal to the conscience of road users to imbibe positive road habits. To do this successfully therefore, we have been persistent in our quest to synergise and promote stakeholders cooperation , because we can not do it alone. Furthermore, the theme of this rally has also been strategically chosen to project road safety messages as one that must be conveyed by all.
Director Finance & Admin office of Sports, Lagos State, Braimah Ademuyiwa (left); GM, Consumer Marketing MTN, Kola Oyewole; Permanent Secretary, Office of Sports, Lagos State, Abiola Awonuga; Asst. Director Staco Insurance, Tunji Aminu, and Head, Corporate Communications Staco Insurance Plc, Tunde Odeyemi at the official commencement of MTN Lagos street soccer event
Conlad Clark awards best practice in ERM RGANISATIONS making O huge investments in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) on people, infrastructure would have a place at the Conrad Clark/Business Day rating awards for ERM best practice since industry regulators particularly banks and insurance have tightened regulations on risk management. Joachim Adebayo Adenusi, chief executive of Conrad Clark Nigeria (CCN), said the event will celebrate organisations and individuals that are pioneering best practice of ERM in Nigeria across
industry sectors. According to him, “over recent years companies in Nigeria have gone extra mile in the management of risk and many of them have employed innovative and practical strategies to embed risk management, to drive cultural change and influence decision making. We are now inviting them to submit these examples for consideration for the awards”. The successful Risk Manager of the Year 2013 will have an all-expenses paid trip to attend one of the international annual risk manage-
ment conferences 2014 in the UK or USA. Nominations for this year’s awards have opened, as firms or individuals seeking nomination could access the forms through www.nigerianriskawards.com . The submissions for the Nigeria risk awards will be independently assessed and judged by a panel of highly distinguished individuals, drawn from within and outside the country and many of whom are international leaders in the field of risk, corporate governance and leadership.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Stockwatch In association with Lead Capital
Stock Market Report for the week Friday, 19th July to Thursday 25th July, 2013 ajor equity markets around the M globe moved upwards as their various indexes gained marginal
N the week, the total volI63.43% ume appreciated by and value traded
points. In our universe of sample equity markets; the S & P 500 and Dow Jones gained points by 0.30% and 0.46% while the NASDAQ, lost points by 0.84% at the end of last week. In Europe, The FTSE 100, German Dax and France CAC 40 gained points by 0.74%, 1.51% and 2.34% respectively. In the Asia/Pacific region, Nikkei 225 and BSE Sensex lost points by 1.66% and 1.61% respectively, while the Hangseng gained points by 2.60%. In Brazil, the Bovespa gained point by 2.04% while Russia’s RTS INDEX lost points by 1.70%. On the local setting, NSE ASI closed at 37,286.50 recording 2.73% depreciation at the end of the week’s trading.
appreciated by 11.33%. A turnover of 2.86 billion units of shares valued at N17.39 billion was recorded, in contrast to a turnover of 1.75 billion units of shares worth N15.62 billion that was recorded in the previous week. Volume this week was driven by activities in the shares of TRANSCORP, UBCAP, STERLNBANK, FBNH, ABCTRANS, UBA, ZENITHBANK, GUARANTY, ACCESS and UNITYBANK.
ANNOUNCEMENT URING the period under review, nineteen D (19) stocks recorded price appreciation compared to fifty (50) that depreciated in the previous week, FO was first on the top gainers chart to close with 60.98%, followed by CONOIL with 46.39%, MRS with 42.93%, NEIMETH with 26.77%, CONTINSURE with 10.34% and EVANSMED with 9.76%. Other gainers in the top ten categories were GLAXOSMITH with 9.11%, BETAGLAS with 9.00%, UTC with 8.97% and AIRSERVICE with 7.62%. On the flip side, fifty nine (59) stocks depreciated in price last week compared to thirty one (31) that depreciated a week ago. ABCTRANS led on the price losers’ table with 17.05%, followed by CORNERST by 16.67%, WEMABANK by 15.52%, IPWA by 15.25%, CCNN by 14.00%, COURTVILLE by 11.76%, BOCGAS by 9.73%, OKOMUOIL by 9.57%, NPFMCRFBK by 9.38% and THOMASWY by 9.18%.
Weekly Lead Equity Ratings
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Homes & Property Kano plans 1,270 homes in Ado Bayero City project
Propertygate grows assets, makes progress on Alexandria Quarters Page 45
Lagos flays FG over control of former administrative landed properties Page 35
Planners petition Minister as govt awards masterplan contract to Indians Professional Practice By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Assistant Housing & Environment Editor HESE are not the best of times for town planning professionals as the Federal Government has awarded contract for Master Plan and Design of Six Staple Crops Processing Zones in the country to an Indian firm, Mahindra Consulting Engineers Limited. The development has caused bitter quarrel between the town planners and the Federal authority. In fact, members of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP),and Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON) have pulled out from the exercise. NITP, ATOPCON and the regulatory body - Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC) have formally raised objection on the process and petitioned the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina to correct the anomaly. The bodies have also threatened action against the Federal Government that may be considered detrimen-
President Goodluck Jonathan
The practitioners in human settlements development have taken an exception on the Federal Government's award of Master Plan and Design of Six Staple Crops Processing Zones to an unregistered firm of town planners, Mahindra Consulting Engineers Limited and subjecting Nigerian professionals to mere data collectors tal to the country, if the action is not reversed. The practitioners in human settlements development say, they are now being used as mere data collectors. The indigenous professionals have always waged wars against government attempt to use foreign firms to the detriment and growth of local firms, which they said has affected the employment of young graduates in the country. According to them, this attitude has also caused capi-
tal flight and dearth of competent professionals. Four years ago, Governor Babatunde Fashola awarded the consultancy for the preparation of Lekki Master Plan in Lagos to a foreign firm, DanAn-Darsah, which drew the ire of town planners. The matter was later resolved. The Guardian learnt that going by the project methodology, as revealed by the Ministry, Nigerian consultants will supply data to the Indians to prepare the plans.
Specifically, the project document shows that the Nigerian town planners and other professionals like Surveyors, Engineers are expected to collect data on various elements of the project. For instance, the town planner is to gather data on: policy for land allotment for agricultural activities, development control regulations, procedure for change of land use, identification and selection of resettlement sites and others. In the letter signed by
Ogunleye National President, NITP, Steve Onu and ATOPCON President, Mr. Moses Ogunleye titled, The Masterplan For Staple Crops Processing Zones Project: Subjugation of Nigerian Professionals to mere Data Collectors by a Foreign Firm; the planners said:"We take exception to the Federal Government’s or the Ministry’s attempt at making a foreign firm, or specifically Mahindra Consulting Engineers Limited carry out the Master Plan and Design of Six Staple Crops Processing Zones in the country. "Going by the aim and broad objectives of the project, it is no doubt feasible, viable and progressive in nature. As laudable as the project is, the
intention of the Ministry to turn Nigerian experts to mere data collectors, while the Master Plan and Design of the Staple Crops Processing Zones are to be handled by an Indian engineering firm, Mahindra Consulting Engineers Limited, is unacceptable and retrogressive." The main grouse of the planners is that the company picked to undertake the master plan contract is not a registered firm of town planners or engineering profession ."By various Nigerian Laws – Companies and Allied Matter Act 1990, the (TOPREC Act, 1988; and Council for the Regulation of Engineering (COREN) Act 1970, only firms or companies registered to practise either town planning or engineering in Nigeria can carry out such works. We are aware that Mahindra is not registered by either TOPREC or COREN. Thus, they cannot be engaged to carry out either Town Planning or Engineering Services in Nigeria." The planners who queried the rational behind hiring Nigerians as consultants as mere data collectors, said "if Nigerian Town Planners are CONTINUED ON PAGE 45
Supreme Court upholds Matanmi’s ownership claim on Ijoko land Litigation By Emmanuel Badejo HE ownership feud over Ijoko rail line land in Ogun State has came to an end as the Supreme Court of Nigeria delivered judgment in favor of a fugitive traditional ruler, Fatal Alani Matanmi, who has been on self-imposed exile from the fast growing community. The apex’s court found that the concurrent findings of the two lower courts were not sustainable, thus discountenanced and dismissed it. Interestingly, the verdict came many years after another traditional ruler, Chief Lasisi Ogunseye, has been ruling the sprawling town. His ruler ship, however, is still a matter of litigation before an Ogun State High Court. Ijoko, is one of the fast growing settlements in Ogun State, though lacks government’s presence, as many of its infrastructures are dilapidated. In the case between Alhaji Fatai Alani Matanmi, Abudu Matanmi and Sunday Matanmi, appellants against Victoria Dada and Olufunmilayo Dada, plaintiffs and respondents, their lordships including Ibrahim Tanko
After concluding that the concurrent findings of the two lower courts were not attainable, the apex court agreed with Alhaji Alani Matanmi and others, by backing their claims to the disputed land, located along rail-line land in Ijoko, Ogun State Muhammad, John Afolabi Fabiyi, Mary Peter-Odili, Olukayode Ariwoola and Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs, said; “It is basic that an appellate court will not interfere with findings of fact except where wrongly applied to the circumstance of the case or conclusion arrived at was patently perverse or wrong,” adding “An invitation to this court to upset concurrent findings can only be justified when such findings do not relate to any evidence on record or substantial error is manifest in the proceedings/decision or the findings cannot be supported having regard to evidence
Overgrown...Alhaji Matanmi’s palac sfter it was demolished before the court.” Continuing, Fabiyi, in his lead judgment said: “It appears to me that the concurrent findings of the two lower courts are caught up by certain elements listed above and such would warrant an intervention by this
court by virtue of its undoubted powers as dictated by section 22 of the Supreme Court Act. It is basic that an appellate court will not interfere with findings of fact except where wrongly applied to the circumstance of the case or conclusion
arrived at was patently perverse or wrong. “An invitation to this court to upset concurrent findings can only be justified when such findings do not relate to any evidence on record or substantial error is
manifest in the proceedings/decision or the findings cannot be supported having regard to evidence before the court. CONTINUED ON PAGE 45
32 HOMES & PROPERTY
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Engineers urged to improve road designs to curb accidents Professional Practice By Tosin Fodeke O check the trend of failed road projects and increasing accidents in the country, engineering professionals have been tasked to improve designs of highways and streets for efficient delivery of services in the sector. This was the recommendation of a senior official of the Lagos Government at the mechanical engineering maintenance lecture, organised by Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, (NIMechE). He noted that deficiencies of roads are due largely to improper road design specification with inadequate drainage, lack of furniture such as lane marking, street light, lay by/shoulder and lack of maintenance by the Engineers which could render the road to be accident prone. According to the State’s Chief Vehicle Inspection Officer, Mr. Gbolahan Toriola, an engineer, stressed the need for engineers to collect and analyse more data about the causes of traffic death, injuries and point of frequent occurrences harnessing these information so as to design better roads. Toriola who spoke as the guest speaker at the event stressed that engineers saddled with this responsibility should ensure detailed design of the road as they have to be well equipped for such task. “In addition, engineers should be responsible for the supervision of the project from inception to completion stage. This is to ensure that proper and adequate materials are used for the project and the
Former, Vice President, Nigerian Sosiety of Engineers, Engr, Tunde Zedomi (left) Director, State Chief Vehincle Inspection Officer (VIO) Lagos, Engr, Abdul Hafis G. Toriola, Membership Services Secretary, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers(NIMechE) Engr Funmi Akingbagbohun and National Chairman, (NIMechE) Engr, Ayo Fanimokun at the Mechanical Engineering Maintanance Lecture " Reducing Accidents on Nigerian Roads" The Role of Engineers in Lagos on PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
At the event, the role of engineers in the prevention of road accidents was emphasized vis-a-viz, design, construction, maintenance of roads, enforcement, public education, provision of road furniture and maintenance of vehicles. maintenance of such roads should be solely the responsibility of engineers or registered engineering construction outfit to ensure the longer life span of the road. “ Once all these measures outlined above are put in place, the issue of road accidents occasioned by potholes and road failure will drastically reduce to the barest minimum. Every road construction that the Government (Local,
State or Federal) intends to undertake should be designed after necessary soil test has been conducted. In addition, the contribution of engineers and the engineering profession in vehicle related factors that are one of the causes of road accident cannot be ignored. “The product automobile is an invention of the engineering profession and no one is better equipped than the origi-
nator/creator of product and since the vehicle is the product of engineers, then it is only logical for the Government to coopt the engineers in policy formulation with regards to importation and sourcing and service spare parts into the country. This will discourage importation of sub-standard vehicles and service parts into the country, “ he said. Similarly, he called for engineering bodies to train engi-
neers in relevant Government agencies saddled with the responsibility of inspecting vehicles such as the Vehicle Inspection Service on modern technological trend in the production of automobiles as this will impact positively on the officers to enable them perform their duties optimally. He said: “Every vehicle is designed for a specific maximum load in all its ramifications. It is therefore, not surprising that when subjected to stress beyond the provisions of the design specifications, accelerated wear and tear set in. the net effect of this could result in
deterioration of the vehicle. Design defects affect the subsequent conditions of the vehicle once it is put on the road and operated either normally or otherwise which may result in possible road accidents. “ The existence of potholes and the reluctance of the relevant authorities to continually improve on the condition of the roads by relaying of asphalt is also a critical factor.” Earlier, National Chairman, NIMechE, Ayo Fanimokun, an engineer clarified that professionals cannot afford to be blind to the social ills of the society, especially coming from productions and invention. He said, “We have an obligation to contribute into making the equipment and machines made for the benefit of our people become safer and more trustworthy. We have an even more obligation in enlightening the society on their uses. “ Because Road Accidents often endanger lives and at times lead to death, we feel that no effort will be too small if geared toward reducing the tragedies on our roads. It used to be more common among the vulnerable members of the society.” The chapter Chairman, NIMechE, Jubril Adeyemo, emphasized that everyone has a role to play in road accident prevention going by the universality and the ubiquity of transportation systems as the defining parameters of this modern industrial age, but the main subject and object of focus in the discussion: traffic, road, vehicles and road accidents are all purely, distinctively and categorically of engineering creation.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Prime Estates Kano plans 1,270 homes in Ado Bayero City project Projects By Tosin Fodeke HE residential landscape of Kano looks set for a redefinition, as an indigenous property development firm, has revealed plans to construct a residential accommodation and vocation centre in a new town project. Named Ado Bayero Royal City, the project is being developed by Kano Emirate Council and located in Darmanawa area. The city is aimed at boosting the level of housing stocks in Kano metropolis and meet the challenges of providing shelter for the teaming population of the state. According to the promoters the site which is about five minutes drive from Mallam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, comprises of 1,270-units of various housing types, including one to four bedroom apartments on three floors and luxury villas. Officials from the firm also revealed to The Guardian that it would source funding from leading financial institutions in housing finance, locally or internationally on the proposed joint venture partnership. Auxiliary buildings and facilities anticipated include mosque, vocational
Housing units at the proposed Ado Bayero city
centre, schools, sports centre, restaurant, multi-purpose hall, shopping mall, fire station, hospital, bank, fuel station, administration building and police outpost. The council also plans to provide infrastructure such as asphalt road networks,
parking lots, loading and offloading bay and general circulation areas constructed of interlocking blocks laid on well compacted earth fill, drainage system constructed of reinforced concrete walls, external electrical reticulation, external water reticulation.
Conventional constructional material shall be used in the construction of the buildings. The outline specification for the building development also includes the building development structures are founded on simple strip foundations, built mainly of sandcrete
block work and roofed with the long span aluminum roofing sheets. Windows are to be of natural anodized aluminum sliding panels while the doors shall be of standard hardwood and flush doors with medium quality ironmongeries. Floor finishing
are to be of high quality vitrified ceramic tiles. The ceilings are to be POP/PVC ceiling panels. Walls are to be plastered and painted with emulsion paint. The buildings are to be fitted with medium quality electrical and plumbing installations.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Lagos flays FG over control of former administrative landed properties Land Matters By Tosin Fodeke HE dispute between Federal Government and Lagos authorities over the ownership and control of land properties, formerly used as offices for ministries and parastatals in the metropolis may be far from over as the state last week demanded the return of landed assets proposed for conversion into commercial uses to their original owners. The state hinged it’s argument on the fact that it was acquired for public uses and since the properties are no longer for that purpose, the Federal Government should deem it necessary to return such to the families. Secondly, the Land Use Act vested all
The tussle has resurfaced during the visit of the Senate committee on Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban development to Lagos, and the ministry officials allege that the State Government is not giving the Ministry any opportunity to function land to the states. Governor Babatunde Fashola made the demand during the visit of the Senate Committee on Land, Housing and Urban Development to his office, stressed that present practice of Federal Government controlling landed properties was a carry over of the military regime’s practice and that the federal government was not truly practicing the federalism. He who listed places like Ijora, Trade Fair, and Ikoyi as cases in point, stated that it is unfair to take land from indigenous families use it and
not return it back as sometimes some of the lands are not compensated for. Fashola further revealed that the state government had identified over 100 abandoned Federal properties which had become slums, called on the Federal government to deepen the mortgage sector by reducing the interest rate to single digits like had been done in Lagos as well as leverage on idle funds to subsidise the mortgage sector. This strategy, he further added would increase home ownership for the low income
earners as well boost the economy, create jobs and reduce crime rate. He said, “The government needs to stimulate the demand for housing at affordable price through better mortgage. Also there are a lot of building materials laying fallow at the ports due to delay in clearance. As for me I don’t think the issue about housing is the Land Use Act but the processes of obtaining title. This is what should be looked at. “In Lagos state we have a Geographic Information System were all the land in
Rivers NIA to partner Eternit on housing technology Housing By Tunde Alao IVERS state chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has announced plans to enter into partnership with a notable building materials firm, Eternit Limited, as a means of bridging the housing gap in the country. The partnership wills also enable Nigerians have access to some of the latest innovations in roofing and ceiling technologies that have been developed by the firm. In a statement signed by
Mr. Jonah Iboma, the NIA Chairman, Mr. Dike Emmanuel, who spoke at the opening of the PortHarcourt office of Eternit recently, noted that there was need to create further awareness about the solutions promoted by the company, especially as they offered new perspectives to housing solutions delivery The Managing Director, Eternit Limited, Mr. Dirk Modderman, said that with new wave of concern about the quality of building materials used for construction, the company have decided to promote it’s toprange products.
“A lot of people seem not to have the proper knowledge about our position in the market in terms of product research, development and market leadership. Opening the Port-Harcourt office will now help people get access to Eternit product and also get information on all our offerings. Modderman listed his company’s products to include fire-resistant, impact resistant and thermal insulated qualities that said have been developed through years of research. Apart from roofing and ceilings, Eternit had also developed new metal strips, which are designed to pro-
vide a more effective alternative to wood in the installation of suspended ceilings. He said, “We believe that Nigeria is ripe already for dry construction and we are showcasing this alongside the many other offerings that we have in the market. We intend to ensure that access to the best roofing and ceiling products is created to builders and intending builders of all categories so that Nigerians too can enjoy the good things of life. We have worked with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to establish products that meet the very needs of Nigerians.”
the state has been captured but the basic public data telecommunication facility is inadequate to access it. We have in response to the challenge started working on weekends and are now issuing electronic certificates of occupancy.” Earlier Chairman of the Committee on Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, Senator Buka Aba Ibrahim explained that their visit was based on their need to ensure projects budgeted for are implemented by the various agencies even as the committee had observes cases of poor budget implementation in the past. Ibrahim further revealed that the Land Use Act is presently being reviewed, added that national assembly is presently handling a bill to cater for social housing which will take care of low income earners. Other members of the committee, which included Vice Chairman, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Senator Aishia Alhassan, and Simeon Ajibola, expressed satisfaction with the ministry of housing’s performance but tasked them to do more in terms of Public Private partnership schemes. Also, Federal Controller of Lands Housing, and Urban development, Lagos State, Mr. Olayinka Onaeko, in his summations about the challenges of the parastatal, stressed that financial constraints were their major challenge. Onaeko also alleged that the Lagos State Government has not been giving the Ministry any opportunity to function, as they have always claimed that federal government does
not have land in the state any longer, He listed other challenges to include, the Supreme Court’s judgment of 2003 on Urban and Regional planning\development control matters ceded the core functions of the Urban and Regional development department on Federal Government Lands and estates to the State Government. Lastly, the unhealthy rivalry from the Federal Ministry of Works on administration of Federal Government land, especially on Federal Roads setbacks in the State. He also revealed that the ministry, through the Public Private Partnership approach has been able to resuscitate and convert the old Central stores to an estate called Habour Point. The estate, which is already sold out consists of 32 units of four bedroom apartments equipped with swimming pool, club house, gym, 24 hour power station, good roads, ample parking space, properly designed sewage system and security. Other completed projects according to Onaeko include, Elemoro road project situated at Igbogbo, Ikorodu, and Osborne phase 2 road project at Ikoyi, canal dredges, and ICT centre at Agege. He said:” Currently the ministry is preparing to commence another prototype housing estate in Igbogbo Ikorodu which will comprise of 144 units of two bedroom flats. There is also the plan to commence the construction of about 112 units within the same estate.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Four firms bag Yobe’s N12.9 b road contracts Contracts From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri ETERMINED to complete D the Trans-Saharan Highway, Yobe authorities have awarded contract for the construction of roads and drainage facilities to four building and civil engineering contractors at the cost of N12.9 billion.
Under the contract, any breach of terms of agreement by the contractors to complete the four roads projects within the stipulated completion period of 2426 months will attract a fine of N1, 000 daily. Contract for 36 kilometre Gadaka-Godowoli road, has been awarded to Rig Rock Nigeria Limited at the cost of N3.7 billion, while the Girgir-
Karage road project, is being handled by Eighteenth Engineering Company (EEC); and to be completed within three months. Speaking at the contractsigning ceremony in Damaturu, the state capital, the commissioner of Works, Alhaji Lawan Shettima disclosed that 20 kilometres of the total roads projects; are of the Trans-Saharan route
in the Northeast sub-region of Nigeria. His words: “the four firms to execute the roads, including the Trans-Saharan Highway, comprise Yunusari-Yusufari 50 kilometre road, 20 kilometres of Trans-Saharan route in Yobe state that stretches from Kafiya to Yunusari, GadakaGodowoli 36-kilometre road project with double coat sur-
facing and a 45-metre bridge at Ngeji,” adding that the 40km Girgir-Karage road, is also to be rehabilitated at the cost of N353.9 million.” The commissioner urges the contractors to abide by the terms of the contracts, warning that any defaulting contractor will be fined of N1, 000 on a daily basis. The projects site engineers,
according to him, are charged to ensure strict supervision by visiting the projects sites without notice to comply to project specifications and standard Shettims said before the end of this year, more road projects would be awarded with the aim of opening up the state for various socioeconomic and cultural developments.
Firm introduces Agram brick making machine Building Materials By Emmanuel Badejo HE much talked about affordable housing is possible in Nigeria, if right
approaches and equipment are deployed into the housing industry, Chief Executive Officer of brick making machines, IfekBrown Limited, Mr.
Williams Okeke, has said. Okeke, while introducing the ‘Agram’ brick making machines, into the housing sector, said the products have the potency to assist the government in its vision to deliver affordable housing. According to him, the machines manufactured in South Africa, with three main product groupings, is divided into 10 main types of brick production lines , consisting of electric and non-electric units that are self-operated. The non-electric ones are ideal for manufacturing low quantities of bricks of not less than 6,000 per day in remote communities where there is no electricity supply. A unit of the non-electric types, which costs N2 million according to the promoters are mainly designed for private use and small community projects. The electric-powered units, which are designed for large scale housing projects with prices ranging from N4 million have higher capacities to produce as much as 2,500 bricks per day depending on the model of the machines. Okeke, whose company obtained the sole marketing franchise with a view to boost the pursuit of infrastructure and technological advancement of the country, said the machines have capability of reducing the quantity of cement used in making blocks because of the vibration mechanism of the machines thereby reducing cost of production.
The new hotel, last week
Megamound floats N500m hotel i n Ibadan Projects From Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan RONTLINE property develFCompany, opment and Management Megamound Investment Limited has completed a 45-room hotel in Ibadan, Oyo state capital, which is valued at N500 million. The hotel, according to its owners will redefine the hospital business in the state capital with the incorporation of a library and gym/ spa. The facility ensures one-stop
recreational activities for it’s teeming customers. The multi million naira edifice built with modern home gadgets also boasts of presidential and business suites. The company’s managing director, Olumide Osunsina said his resolve to delve into the hospitality business was borne out of the need to refine the industry and improve on its quality and service delivery in the ancient city. While assuring customers of prompt and efficient services, the Manager, Yetunde Ajayi said the hotel is designed for all categories of customers, as the fees are affordable. Osunsina while explaining the motive for delving into hospitality business said he was not satisfied with the quality of hotels in the pacesetter state. He said, “ We want to refine
hospitality to the way it should be. Presently, we are not satisfied with the quality of hotels in the pacesetter state, our little contribution to the hospitality business is to uplift the standard.” While putting the cost of the project at N500m, the property guru identified their selling points as qualitative service delivery, safety, environmental friendly and customer satisfaction. Osunsina disclosed that the move was his first venture into hospitality industry, and announced plans to establish hotels in other parts of the country including Lagos, Abeokuta and Ilaro. Besides, he stated that the new venture was part of efforts to give back to the society as about 60 workers are presently engaged in the business.
Ikeja Ibis Hotel gets August date Projects FTER months of construcA tion works, the developers of HDV Nigeria Limited have concluded plans to deliver a 165 Room Hotel in Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos, next month. Coming under the flagship of Ibis Hotel from the Accor Stable. The firm has already appointed Accor SA, the acknowledged leader in the hospitality industry to operate this hotel. The Accor Hospitality Group is renowned for making business and leisure travel easier, more rewarding and glamorous. The Ibis Hotel is expected conform to, (and usually exceed) the minimum three or four star brand. Concept designed to accommodate 165 rooms
spread over five floors. Facilities include an underground parking facility for 58 Cars has been incorporated into the concept of the design, outdoor swimming pool and Wi-Fi internet connection. According to a release by the Chief Executive Officer of HDV Nigeria Limited/Ibis Hotel Ikeja, Mr. Olufemi Okenla. “we aim to offer our guest world class hospitality in Lagos which is undoubtedly Africa’s commercial hub at a pocket friendly price and premium comfort ’. He further said that guests will experience pleasure and treasures of Ibis Hotel Ikeja. In order to mark the event, a three- day of nonstop programme has been planned, which includes Formal Opening and dedication.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29 2013
Govt awards contract for masterplan, design of crops processing zones CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31
Illustration of the Alexadria Quaters, Sangotedo, Lekki, Lagos
Propertygate grows assets, makes progress on Alexandria Quarters Housing By Emmanuel Badejo OTWITHSTANDING the N harsh economic climate, a firm into estate development and services, Propertygate Development & Investment Plc, has maintained its position within the construction industry by growing its assets to the tune of N517 million in 2012 from N370million in 2011. The company’s shareholders applauded this result, which was declared at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), held recently in Lagos. Also, Propertygate said its total net assets stands at N303 million compared to N280million in 2011. At an interactive session with the media last week at the firm’s corporate headquarters in Lekki Peninsula, the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Adetokunbo Ajayi, said Propertygate would continue to address the value and functional needs of Nigerians in gener-
al and its teeming customers in specific, adding that his firm is set at satisfying its customers. And in line with the company’s vision backed by its shareholders, Ajayi, said the company would continue to invest in services and products’ designs, features and processes in alignment with the needs of the market. On its performance, the CEO said: “…for the third year running, the company recorded a profitable result in its financial statement for the year end December 2012. Total current assets increased to N517million in 2012 from N370million in 2011; while total net assets stands at N303million compared to N280million in 2 0 1 1 . ” Ajayi explained that the year under review was also significant as the company recorded progress in its Alexandria quarter residential estate within the Skyview Residential Scheme, Sangotedo, Lekki P e n i n s u l a . According to him, the estate is a mixed residential development of 34 elegant
homes, with apartments, terraces and semi-detached units. He added that the estate would soon be delivered as scheduled. Commenting on affordable housing, Ajayi opposed those calling for building shelter for the poor without the corresponding infrastructure, arguing that, such homes would soon be submerged by its poorly planned environment. “Most people when talking about affordable housing focus on price, but I disagree; we should talk more on quality living. In this century, we should not be talking about building houses without having the basic infrastructure. With the reality on ground, it is not just possible to build affordable housing for N500,000 or N1million. Today we should not build an environment without having roads, water, street lights… and we should recognised that in the general society, all of that are not provided.” Ajayi said one of the challenges affecting the housing industry is lack of funding,
adding what we have at the moment was not good enough to deliver on social housing schemes, that would be friendly to the poor and low in the society. And to produce houses for the low income earners, Ajayi said that the government at all levels must be willing come to their aid by creating the enabling environment, such that would give developer the leverage to deliver not just a shelter that will eventually become slums but live-able homes that will redefine the ideal living culture. “We intend to have parley with those in government to make our position known as far as providing quality living for every class of the people.” On the building materials, the Propertygate chief lamented lack of control on that sector, saying some of these materials are being imported. However, he said what could be done in the circumstance is to have a functional design that can be well managed, adding the planning rules should be retooled for effectiven e s s .
Dubai developer eyes property expansion in West Africa Real Estate By Tosin Fodeke S part of its growth strategy, a Dubai based property Development Company, Kingdom Hotel Investments has begun moves to expand it operations in the West African region. Indeed the firm which specializes in emerging markets also revealed that it is hoping to actualize its expansion plans with the kick off of construction on an 18 unit luxury residential apartments located in Accra the Capital of Ghana. According to Sales Manger of the firm Mr. Robert Davis, construction at the Accra site is set to commence in the fourth quarter of this year with the whole project set to last for about 18 month. Davis, in a chat with the media explained that the firm
which has operation hotels in, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt and Ghana has set its sights on their region because of its rich history and the prospects of future expansion. “Nigeria is a country we would like to invest in all we are waiting for is the right opportunities. We believe that there are great prospects there with huge demand for affordable housing.” Said Davis Also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kingdom Hotel Investments was recently quoted as saying that Africa is a hotspot the company is looking to for potential investment as it is “The mother of all resources in the world. According to the firm it acquires assets and invest in operating assets within prime or leading sites in urban or resort destinations. Its goal is to deliver significant capital
appreciation and incremental returns on our cost of capital during a defined holding period. “Our investment discipline factors in property cycles, market supply and demand characteristics, the location of the property, its positioning and management, physical condition, as well as overall political and economic trends within that asset’s market. We source investment opportunities through dedicated teams that rely on direct prospecting, referrals, operator and industry relationships as well as industry brokers. “To date, most of our investments have been made in offmarket transactions and our strong balance sheet and liquidity have allowed us to act quickly on opportunities and rapidly execute our capital deployment strategy. “Achieving stabilised annual capital returns in
excess of our cost of capital (we currently target returns of between 10% and 15% before gearing), and realising cash returns through refinancings, monetisation and disposals with a view to recycling our capital. Giving details about the firm’s latest plans for investment Davis explained that, Kingdom Hotels plans to build Ambassador Heights which 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 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.
considered good at data collection, why are they not good in preparing the Master Plans?. They strongly believe that in the Federal Government’s effort at revamping the nation’s economy, Nigerians, indeed Nigerian professionals should be at the forefront. The bodies are demanding as follows: ONE: the Ministry / Federal Government halt the role of Mahindra as the consultant that will prepare the Master Plan for the Six Staple Crops Processing Zones; TWO: the project methodology in which Nigerian experts / consultants are to be engaged as mere data collectors be reviewed extensively to meet global best practice in master plan preparation, in which the team that collect data for project is also involved in review, analysis, evaluation, scenario building and plan preparation; THREE: that Nigerian Town Planning firms be engaged directly as consultants to carry out the project; and FOUR: In view of the target of the Ministry on the project,
which we are aware it intends to deliver before the end of this year, the Ministry should take action on the demands within one week. This we believe, will limit any likely time and cost overrun on the project. "We believed the scope of services enunciated for the project can be accomplished by Nigerian Town Planners. Indeed, consultant town planners in Nigeria have handled more complex projects for Federal and State Governments, as well as private sector organisations. For the records, TOPREC has over 250 registered firms on its Register. "We believe the Ministry can select from these for the project. Doing this will boost the objectives of the Local Content Policy of the Federal Government. It will be part of the Federal Government attempt at boosting employment generation. From our experience, engaging Nigerian firms for the consultancy services required for the project will create over 500 direct jobs for Nigerians for a cumulative period of between two to five months per indi-
Supreme Court backs Matanmi on Ijoko land ownership claim CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 As clearly pointed out in this judgment, the trial judge rejected the plaintiffs’ traditional evidence as being unreliable. Instead of putting the claim of the plaintiffs to an end by dismissing same in tune with the stand of this court in Odofin v. Ayooia (supra), it went on to wrongly apply the Rule in Kojo II v. Bonsie which was not apt. The plaintiffs had nothing to show in respect of acts of ownership and possession to enter judgment for them. The trial judge’s action has the semblance of a ‘comedy of errors’. The court below goofed when it found that the trial court did not reject the traditional evidence of the plaintiffs. It erred when it affirmed the application of the Rule in Kojo II v. Bonsie to tilt undeserved judgment in favor of the p l a i n t i f f s . “To my mind, the concurrent findings of the two lower courts are not sustainable. I have a duty to interfere and in tandem with the authority given in section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, I so do. I come to the final conclusion that the appeal is meritorious. It is hereby allowed. The judgment of the court below is set aside. The plaintiffs/respondents’ claim before the trial court rests on a shifting sand. It is hereby dismissed. The respondents shall pay N50, 000.00 costs to the defendants/appellants.” The judgment came in an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal Ibadan Division. The appellants being dissatisfied with the judgment appealed to the Supreme Court by leave of the court. The facts of the case are that respondents as plaintiffs in the trial court by their writ of summons made the following c l a i m s : declaration to the effect that the plaintiffs are entitled to Certificate of Occupancy to the parcel of land situate and
known as Ijari land in Ijoko Otta Railway Station, via Otta, Ifo/Otta Local Government Area, Ogun State. the sum of N50, 000.00 (fifty thousand naira) as special and general damages for the unlawful trespass by the defendant on the land between 15th and 22nd of November, 1980 by way of clearing the various cash crops and life crops and other properties of the plaintiffs on the land with the use of heavy caterpillar and bulldoze r s . Injunction restraining the defendant, his servants, agents or any other person acting for him from committing any further acts of trespass on the l a n d . In summary, the plaintiffs, now respondents said that the parcel of land for which they sought declaration of title to formed part of a larger tract of land settled upon by their ancestor, Ajari about 300 years ago after deforesting, adding that Ajari built a hut on the land and used the remaining area for farming. The defendants’ claimed that the controversial landed property was transferred to them by the first founder, Matanmi, their great grandfather. They added that the Matanmi family in exercising their right of ownership on Ijoko land, including the land in dispute sold, granted, conveyed and farmed on the various portions of the l a n d . The trial judge even though rejected the traditional history of the plaintiffs as not proved for title, awarded plaintiffs judgment based on recent acts of possession. For that reason the defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that what was on ground showed the plaintiffs not discharging the burden of proof of title and the matter ought to have been dismissed. The Court of Appeal also went along the grant of the trial court and dismissed the appeal hence the recourse to the
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
46 HOMES & PROPERTY
Ondo completes N450m Akure urban renewal scheme Urban Development By Tunde Alao
MID urbanization chalA lenges bedeviling so many cities in the country, Ondo State Government has moved to tackle the problem, and increase the upbeat of urban regeneration activities, with the completion an initiative aimed at providing modern infrastructure, conducive social and environment for local businesses.
The old NEPA Neighbourhood market has now given way to an ultra-modern facility as part of the state’s urban renewal programme. Each trader will pay N7, 500 per monthly while government plans to facilitate credit facilities for the traders through the Bank of Industry (BOI), Small and Medium enterprise (SMEs). The project, comprises four blocks building, fenced with dwarf wall is a 4-block building, with the first block designed to have 44 shops, eight toilets and two bathrooms, while the second
block consists of 48 shops, eight toilets and two bathrooms. The third block consists of 52 shops and the fourth, 58 shops and toilet and bathroom facilities. However, the
shops are different in sizes. Besides, there is an administrative block, designed to contain conference office for meetings of the stakeholders, restaurant, crèche for those who have little children,
Govt inaugurates committee on FHA restructuring Housing N efforts to bridge the nation’s Imillion, housing deficit put at about 16 the Federal Government has inaugurated an 18-member Steering Committee on the Restructuring and Commercialization of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). The committee will be chaired by Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple who said that FHA was established over 40 years ago to deliver mass housing to Nigerians but expressed regret that the it had not been able to deliver satisfactorily on its mandate. She blamed this failure on poor internally generated revenue base, poor corporate governance, lack of internal cohesion, high cost of its housing units among other reasons. To address these issues, she
said she set up a special committee to restructure the authority in May 2012 and that the panel recommended a holistic overhaul of the Authority while another body was set up which come up with an action plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the restructuring committee. She noted that although the deficit figure was disputable in view of the lack of a reliable housing census, figures the Minister, said there was no doubt that a huge deficit existed especially in the provision of housing for low income earners. Pepple said her Ministry had designed some products to address the need in that segment of the society and expressed hope that improvement would be noticed in the coming years. Following the approval of the President, the Minister said a Technical Board was set up in
January this year to oversee the restructuring and commercialization of the FHA. Ms Pepple said the steering committee would work with the Technical Board and the interim management team in drawing the commercialization of the Authority. She said the committee would advise on steps to create necessary conditions for the provision of mass affordable housing by the FHA in line with the National Housing policy, propose policies and regulatory framework to drive the sector and advise on the role of the private sector in providing mass affordable housing in the country. The committee will also advise on necessary actions to ensure the successful commercialization of the FHA, consider the Public Private Partnership framework and options being envisaged for the FHA and review and propose measures that
will encourage private sector participation as well as serve as a clearing house for sector policy recommendations for council consideration and approval. It will aslo bring to the attention of the National Council on Privatisation any other matters which in the committee’s opinion are critical to government’s effort to reinvigorate and commercialize the FHA. The Minister described the inauguration of the committee as a major milestone in the effort to make housing delivery in the country more robust and efficient. She noted that funding was critical to the ongoing reforms in the sector. In his remarks, DirectorGeneral, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Benjamin Dikki urged members of the committee to identify the issues that drive the housing sector and those that would encourage the inflow of private sector cash to the sector.
banking hall and parking space that can accommodate 600 cars at a giving time. Other facilities include two ramps for the physically challenged that may have cause to patronise the market, the shops are fitted with transparent roller-shutter doors, that would make the people to see the kind of goods offer in each shops, especially, on weekends or public holidays when the market is close. There are also two solar powered boreholes, solar light and security to be provided by a security outfit firm. Governor Olusegun Mimiko in his address said: “This human development philosophy is not limited to the educational development of the youth in Ondo State, nor the training of the civil servants, but also to ensure that market men and women, the artisans and others in the society are fully empowered”. According to Mimiko, the mall, like other markets that have been redeveloped and reconstruction projects across the state, is envisioned to improve the states’ general business environment and by effect, the economic empowerment prospects of women traders. “This project was borne out of the conviction that local businesses constitute the economic lifelines of our cities and towns, and they must receive adequate attention of government. It is indeed a thing of joy to observe that the old, derelict NEPA market has now given way to these ultra-modern, beautiful edifices with full
complement of toilet facilities, Bank, Police post and even a crèche for our children”, he said. He noted that the basic role of government the world over is to provide the needed infrastructure and conducive social and policy environment for local businesses to thrive. Part of this is to ensure habitable, aesthetically and clean shopping malls at affordable rates to traders. On the allocation of the shops, Mimiko disclosed that each trader would pay N7, 500 per monthly. He warned that anybody that sublet his/her shop would be automatically forfeit his/her allocation. Besides, he promised that government is to facilitate credit facilities for the traders through the Bank of Industry (BOI), Small and Medium enterprise (SMEs)/ Nerfund, and that terms and conditions would soon relay to them. The Governor also pledged to provide generators at the market, which would be fuelling by the traders, adding that a facility manager would be also appointed in collaboration with the traders to ensure proper maintenance of the market. The Commissioner for Information Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said the essence of the project is to meet the urban regeneration challenges, “not only to beautify the physical environment, but also to ensure that the traders are in tune with modern development
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Lagos plans secretariat annex, lists challenges for road projects Infrastructure By Tunde Alao PPARENTLY to ease office accommodation in the state's secretariat complex, Lagos authorities have commenced the development of a Multi-Agency Office Complex project, which contract will run for 32 months. The project, being handled by Messrs Palmyra Limited, started in November 2012, and construction has reached advanced stage. The complex, comprises three blocks. The buildings would be connected together with pedestrian inter- links, with the structure in the middle having eight floors while the adjoining two structures is designed as five floors. The buildings would also provide inter- ministry networking, improve delivery of service and drastically reduce the huge expenses on rented office accommodation for agencies of the state government. The complex provides parking spaces for 600 cars in the first and second floors. Speaking during his projects tour last week, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, said that appreciable work has been achieved, adding that the contractor has 26 more months to complete its job. He said the buildings serve as state secretariat annex and would be allocated to all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that were not within the main secretariat. On the state of roads in the metropolis, Hamzat who described the road construction and provision of facilities by the Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration “as a direct response to the megacity status and the need to prepare for future growth”, hinted that the delay in completing some of the roads has to do with the replacement of social utilities such as PHCN equipment, gas pipeline, as witnessed at Surulere Industrial Road, Ogba, where Gaslink pipeline needs to be relocated. Besides, he mentioned litigation by some property owners
The State Government has embarked on the construction of a multi-purpose office complex in Alausa, which would provide inter- ministry networking, improve delivery of service and drastically reduce the huge expenses on rented office accommodation for agencies as another major challenge, saying that as an elected government, there is need to dialogue and sometime plead with some property owners on the need to remove their buildings or fences as the case may be. His words: "We are now a megacity by virtue of our population. By virtue of the United Nations position for us to comply with best practices, we must expand the size of our roads, introduce walkways and in some instances provide bicycle lanes among others. We must also directly respond to the challenges of waste generation and the ensuing prosperity of people.” The project tour took the team to Ikeja, Etiosa and Lekki areas, where 14 projects are on-going. It includes the Multi – Agency Office Complex, Alausa, Magistrate Court, Ikeja, ongoing reconstruction of Yaya Abatan/College Road, Surulere Industrial Road, Off Acme Road, Simbiat Abiola Road, Kodesho Road, St. Gregory’s Way, Obalende, Unity/1st Avenue/ Ivory Road, Osapa and Orile Ilasan Awe road. Also inspected was the Obalende Transformation Initiative project (OTIP). He stated that the 14 projects visited represents only four percent of the total number of ongoing projects. At Obalende, where a regeneration activity is ongoing, the Commissioner said the project is to renew the bus park and introduce “Transport Information System” where commuters can identify the buses and take off on time as well as ensure the general beautification and lighting of the place. While stating that cost of construction per kilometer in some communities are higher where the terrain is challenging, the Commissioner stated that the Isheri Osun project
requires that attention be given to details and safety and not the timeframe. He stated that aside from the two bridges anchored on 1,022 piles 34 metres deep being constructed, an accompanying 7.8kilometre road has been awarded. Hamzat explained that choice of projects is informed by the traffic bearing capacity of the road, the population and the availability of water outfalls that drains the road, adding that it was impossible for government to build its ways out of flooding, “But there is a significant commitment to providing quality drainage that ensures quick discharge of rain waters”. " We want to assure the residents that Lagos roads have been built to internationally accepted standard and specifications with such new features as an expanded carriage, street lightings, pedestrian walks and service ducts and designed to last 15-20 years. However, the axle load they bear presents a major challenge, with Lagos road carry over 90 percent of containers coming through the ports to Nigeria”. He declared, “no society uses their roads the way we use ours. Water must drain off quickly but we use the drainage channels as garbage can thus clog them. We then state that communities must begin to take ownership of projects.” His words: “We are now a megacity by virtue of our population. By virtue of the UN position for us to comply with best practices, we must expand the size of our roads, introduce walkways and in some instances provide bicycle lanes among others. We must also directly respond to the challenges of waste generation and the ensuing prosperity of people.”
Propertymart hands over Arepo’s Grenadines home Real Estate LANS by the developers of P Grenadines Homes to woo investors into its Citiview Estate, Arepo in Ogun State received a boost with the handing over a dwelling unit – an imposing four-bedroom detached duplex christened “Grenadines Mansion” to the owner.. The family becomes the first of a total of 80 expected to occupy the initial phase of the estate, where numerous other homes under construction are getting to the finishing stages. Designed by the firm of Play In Architecture Limited and built within six months, the Grenadines Mansion sits on three floors with a Boys’ Quarters. Grenadines Homes also features “Grenadines Heights”, which is a variant of “Grenadines Mansion” as it is also a four-bedroom detached apartment on three levels. The estate also
displays the four-bedroom semi-detached duplex. Marketing Manager at Propertymart Real Estate Investment Limited (developers of the estate), Mr. Olumuyiwa Osinowo, listed ongoing infrastructure work in the estate to include: asphalt road network, central water treatment system, perimeter fencing for the entire estate, green areas, recreational areas, swimming pool, helipad, security network, underground power cabling and a central power generating system for the entire estate. “The estate is contemporary, unique and designed to entertain the owner,” he added. Head of Play In Architecture Limited, Mr. Tona Ladega, described the estate and the dwelling units as futuristic in its layout and design, giving ample access to every corner of the building, “such that moving from the garage to the bedrooms is totally fluid and effortless.”
He added: “Luxury is not location bound. It can find root anywhere, as long as those things that are integral to luxury living are available. The Grenadines Homes, Arepo is a wholesome experience expression of luxury, with the added advantage of being away from the noise and pollution of the city.” Located just outside the city limits, Grenadines Estate is a few minutes’ drive from the Lagos State Secretariat at Alausa and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, and close proximity to business community of Victoria Island and Ikoyi. Head of the first family in the estate, who prefers anonymity, thanked the management team of Propertymart for making his dream of owning a befitting home come true. According to him, he had always wanted to relocate from his previous base to Lagos or somewhere close to Lagos, and he has now been able to achieve that desire.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
The Environment UN climate change deal “may not be feasible” by 2015 Climate Change HE world’s leading T economies have indicated 2015 may be too early for countries to agree on mitigation targets under a UN treaty. Paris has been earmarked as the venue for a global climate change treaty to be agreed in just over two years time. This agreement would come into force by 2020. Scientists say emissions need to peak this decade to avoid dangerous levels of global warming.
Director, Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Olufunke Babade, Deputy Director, Mr. Kasim Bayero and National Coordinator of Nigeria-UNDP Project on “Mainstreaming Sound Management of Chemicals into MDG-Based Development Plans and Policies, Mr. Bello Hakeem Adeniran during a workshop in Abuja, last week
Stakeholders propose N44.5b national chemicals management plan Chemicals By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Assistant Housing & Environment Editor RESH policy changes may be in the offing that would pave way for mainstreaming the sound management of chemicals (SMC) into Millennium Development Goals-based national development plans and policies in the country . The new initiative is driven by the Federal Government in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under efforts targeted at addressing the gap for an integrated chemicals management framework involving comprehensive national policy and associated governance structure seen as crucial component, currently lacking in the nation's chemical management infrastructure. Besides, the government is also poised to address the threat that existing and increasing chemicals use will have on the environment and consequently human health through an effective and integrated approach offered by the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) project. Coming as part of the SAICM Programme adopted
Stakeholders have endorsed a document that offers an economic justification for investment in sound management of chemicals and proposed a four year mainstreaming roadmap for all sectors, estimated to cost about N44.5 billion. in 2006 that supports the achievement of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) goal to ensure that by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health. Under the project, which commenced in Nigeria in 2012, stakeholders drawn from various sectors met and picked two areas as SMC priorities and action plan for the country. These are risk management including hazards communication, strategies for awareness raising, out reach and education as well as strengthening SMC governance, legal framework and institutional infrastructure. Specifically, a two- day national workshop was held last week in Abuja to review and endorse a study on economic cost benefit analysis for SMC priorities and action plan. Amongst the highlights is the proposal of $287,409,000 as cost of implementing the actions of addressing SMC in Nigeria over a period of four years (2014-2017). The plan has been divided into two phases, which
includes the review to strengthen existing National policy in chemicals management, enact a new and overarching chemical legislation to harmonize or align current plethora of scattered legislations and revise or harmonize national laws and regulations taking cognizance of effective cost recovery tools. The 16-page document also proposed under the first phase, establishing an ensuring institutional arrangement that would strengthen collaboration among stakeholders to ensure sound management of chemicals in the country; training of relevant stakeholders in mainstreaming SMC. It also identifies training/ capacity development programmes to sustain the SMC initiative; developing an integrated national system to prevent major industrial accidents and for emergency preparedness and response to all accidents and natural disasters involving chemicals. Other policy options, listed in the second phase are, implementation of a national pesticide action, reviewing Globally Harmonized System (GHS), Persistent Organic
Pollutant (POPs) national implementation plan, implementation of Integrated Waste Management plan as well as remediation of contaminated sites. Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment (FME), Mr. Taiye Haruna who opened the workshop, recalled that an Economic Cost Benefit Analysis framework that guided the present study had been developed and endorsed at a stakeholders workshop last month. Haruna, represented by the Director, Pollution Control and Environmental Health, Mrs. Olufunke Babade stated that the development of economic cost benefit analysis for identified SMC priorities would serve as a valuable tool for justifying government investment in SMC regime, and provide the authorities, the cost of action or inaction of implementing SMC action plan, which mostly required by finance and development planning agencies. Babade, who was also represented by a Deputy Director, Mr. Kasim Bayero noted that the outcome of the Nigerian project will
serve as a model for other countries in Africa, as it is a pilot in the area of SAICM designed to ameliorate the health and environmental consequences of development. "The time has come for us stakeholders to move from the level of identifying gaps only to the level of developing plans to address SMC gaps, which should include identification of capacity building actions, costing, identification of partners and programmatic opportunities as applicable to MDGs and other national development plans," she said. The Project Coordinator, Mr. Bello Hakeem Adediran disclosed that the Economic Cost Benefit Analysis study will build an economic case for mainstreaming a high priority SMC issue in national development planning, analyze increasing risk that chemicals pose to human health and the environment and mounting economic costs of remediation, which has been impairing developments. He said that the purpose of the document is the development of a targeted policy and regulatory responses for the identified chemicals management priorities, from the perspective of Vision 20:2020 and the economic transformation agenda of the Federal Government.
But a recent Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) meeting in Poland involving the USA, EU, China and the UN ended with a Chair’s Summary acknowledging that “some considered it would not be feasible to complete the process by 2015.” The statement added that certain countries do consider this “feasible and important”, and that there is wider support for commitments to be discussed ahead of the Paris summit. There is no mention of flows of climate finance, which will disappoint many developing countries, but there is a commitment to explore ways of cutting pollution ahead of 2020, including increasing investment in the energy efficiency of buildings. Climate policy analysts have told RTCC it is significant that 2015 is now being discussed as the start not the end of a pledging process. “The statement that 2015 might launch a process rather than formalise some 2020 pledges is something that is not currently part of the expectations and discussion within UNFCCC,” said Oxfam Climate Change Policy Adviser Tracey Carty. “Just in terms of the substance, I think it would be a concern to launch a process in Paris because the world does need to see a shift in climate ambition and certainty in climate action.” The 2012 emission gap report by the UN Environment Programme revealed current emission reduction pledges are well short of what is required to avoid two degrees of warming, a level that scientists say could cause dangerous levels of climate change. Further discussion on mitigation commitments are expected to take place at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September, and at the main UN climate summit in Warsaw this November. “If we do not get the underlying frameworks in place I doubt whether countries will be politically ready to put forward mitigation targets,” said WWF International Climate Policy Advocate Tasneem Essop. “It’s essential in the next two years they start unpacking things like equity reference frameworks and the science review process so that when they do put numbers on the table we know that they are fair and ambitious.
THE ENVIRONMENT 49
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Lagos community begins energy generation from waste
Carbon credits can be raised from CDM-backed municipal waste projects
The Environment HE second stage of a locally T based integrated waste management project, mooted to reduce waste, generate energy and improve livelihoods, using a small scale bio digester system to convert organic waste has been completed. The pilot project entitled ‘Energy Generation from Waste – A Locally Based Livelihood, Resource Protection and Adaptation Project’ was completed in a local community in Lekki Local Council Development Area in Lagos State. It involved operation, training and testing for optimization activities. Supported by the African Adaptation Programme, supervised by the Department of Climate Change of the Federal Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the project is being managed by Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI). Apart from using a small scale bio digester system to convert organic waste into electricity, the mini-plant also produces fertiliser. The bio digester has been locally fabricated by Midori Solutions and
was delivered to the Ebute Lekki community site in February. The project also includes a greening component where a local playing field is being secured for the use of present and future generations. Lekki is fast developing and needs to secure recreational spaces before they are totally swallowed up by development. The field has been leveled and grass planted, with trees and hedges planted to delineate the perimeter. A statement by CCDI’s Director, Programmes, Kofo Adeleke said: “It is now operational and generating electricity; being fed with waste from the local communities on a daily basis. The waste is mainly fish and kitchen waste, and grass and water hyacinth; the fish is the most potent biogas generating source of waste. Apprentices drawn from the local community have been trained to operate it. The biogas composition has been tested to show the ratio of methane to biogas and efforts are being made to source for greater quantities of fish waste from the community. “Energy generation typically generates greenhouse gases which affect the climate and discussions on waste management and climate change are
often centred on how to generate energy from waste on the basis that waste can provide a source of renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “ Therefore community based waste management has widespread economic and environmental implications in terms of job creation, providing low carbon energy and keeping the environment clean and healthy. This pilot project aims to highlight a method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to mitigate climate change and to maximise economic opportunities in the transition to a low carbon society. Adeleke disclosed that “during the third stage a gas generator will be purchased for the generation of electricity and various options for its use will be tested such as a grinding machine facility, a barbers, battery charging kiosk, a fish cooler etc. A workshop will take place where all of these options will be discussed with community members as well as the choice of community based system of management to be established and the role of the local government. All of this is to be done in preparation for the handover of the bio digester and the playing field to the community. “
Developing countries to vastly outpace OECD in carbon emissions, says EIA Climate Change NERGY-related carbon E dioxide emissions from developing countries will be 127 percent higher than in the world’s most developed economies by 2040, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Under the policies currently in place worldwide, carbon emissions will grow 46 percent by 2040 from a 2010 baseline, the EIA projected in its biennial International Energy Outlook. Energy-related emissions will total around 45.5 billion tonnes in 2040, up from a reference level of 31.2 billion tonnes in 2010, said the agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. Developing countries’ car-
bon dioxide emissions will outpace emissions from the developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) over the next three decades due to their generally stronger rate of economic growth and continued use of fossil fuels. The projection for developing countries’ emissions to vastly exceed OECD emissions in 2040 compares with 2010, when non-OECD emissions exceeded OECD emissions by just 38 percent. The fast economic growth of China and India over the coming years will play a central role in the global outlook for energy demand. “These two countries combined account for half the world’s total increase in energy use through 2040,” said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.
The report also projects that the carbon intensity of energy production will by 2040 have declined by 1.9 percent in OECD countries and by 2.7 percent in nonOECD countries from 2010 levels. Lower intensity levels mean there is less pollution produced per unit of economic output. The EIA lowered its forecast of emissions in OECD countries in 2035 relative to its previous projection in 2011. Although carbon emissions rose between the previous estimate and the current outlook in Japan, which had to substitute some of its lost nuclear capacity with fossil fuels after the 2011 tsunami, lower emissions in the United States due to a shift to shale gas and in the OECD nations of Europe offset the increase, said senior international energy analyst Linda Doman.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Don’t be misled by investment advertising INTRODUCTION In the world of investments, it is sadly common for sellers to make claims that are just not accurate, realistic or valid. They promise things that literally cannot be done or at any rate, won't be done effectively or usefully. Novice investors, and more experienced investors alike may be misled into thinking that just about anything is a good and well-managed investment. And one serious mistake can damage someone's financial security. But how can you differentiate between hype and reality? THE PROBLEMS: Flashy Information Glossy, attractive brochures (or internet sites) and striking photographs should be dismissed as irrelevant to the investment process. They really do not mean anything. Enjoy looking at them, but don't take them seriously. Focus on the real information and offerings. Flashy bar and pie charts may be accurate and useful, or just the opposite. And it is not so easy to differentiate between the two. For instance, it is simply deceitful to attract investors into equities by showing a gently rising value line above a very flat and boring bond-performance line. This unfair comparison can easily mislead investors into thinking that the broker or firm in question has done a great job with equities and that they are an outstanding investment. An experienced investor will know that, over time, equities generally perform better than bonds but with far greater volatility and uncertainty. There are also long periods throughout history during which equities are more bother than they are worth. Accordingly, the proportion of a portfolio going into equities must be considered extremely carefully. Product Complexity Product complexity lends itself to misleading advertising. Structured products can be remarkably difficult to understand, but to market them simply and appealingly is not difficult. Inexperienced investors are particularly vulnerable. Structured products are designed to facilitate highly customized risk-return objectives. This is accomplished by taking a traditional security, such as a conventional investment-grade bond, and replacing the usual payment features (e.g. periodic coupons and final principal) with non-traditional payoffs derived not from the issuer's own cash flow, but from the performance of one or more underlying assets. The seller has an obligation to ensure that complexity is not misused to mask risk. The conventional wisdom is not to buy what you can't understand. However, this advice cuts out a lot of potentially good investments. Make sure you get advice from someone you can really trust, preferably someone who does not stand to gain one cent from the transaction. Simple, Yet Misleading Historical returns are one of the most common problems. Just because something has done well in the past, doesn't mean it will continue to do so. It may even mean the opposite. The market in question may be peaking or perhaps too much risk has been taken (hence the high returns so far) and the crunch is coming. In short, projections into the future are, by their very nature, unreliable. What matters is the nature of the product, not what the crystal ball tells you. Guarantees must be treated with a similarly healthy suspicion. Such phrases as "risk-free," "safe" and "protected" may actually mean that you will earn next to nothing and might as well put your money in the bank. Or they may be just plain false. The protection may turn out to be inadequate or may not apply when you really need it. Meaningless or Misleading Service Claims and Promises Some firms exaggerate their competencies or the level of service they offer. For instance, a claim like "we believe that investment success requires regular monitoring and attention to the smallest detail" is great in principle. But many firms just do not do this, no matter what they imply. Likewise, promising to "maintain a close relationship all year round" is vague and often pretty meaningless. Outright falsehood can also occur. For example, some brokers tell you how they predicted this or that crash or boom. A look at documents from the period in question may reveal that this is just not true. In the investment world, there is no shortage of such scandals. In his promotional material, one broker claimed that he had "believed the bull market was in its expensive and speculative phase," and warned his clients accordingly at the time. A skeptical journalist did some digging around and found that the broker had actually claimed that "the bear market was alive and well." Any industry has its bad apples, and the brokerage industry is no exception. While most investment professionals are honest, there are always people who will take advantage of people when given the change - especially when it comes to money. As a result, it helps to be armed with information to help you understand the investment profession, and ask the right questions when seeking its services. Here we look at the most unscrupulous practices brokers have used to boost their commissions and push poor-quality investments onto unsuspecting investors. Churning Churning is the act of excessively trading a client's account. Some
Transactions that may be characterized as unsuitable include: • High-risk investments if you have a low risk tolerance. • Placing a high concentration of your money into one stock or security. • Illiquid investments for those requiring easy access to funds. THE SOLUTIONS: Regulation In almost all countries - investment advertising is regulated. In theory, this obliges firms to disclose a minimum level of information and to advertise fairly. Nonetheless, in practice, this does not ensure consistently that the advertising investors read tells them what they really need to know. Unfortunately, regulation is not all-encompassing, and does not provide anything close to full or adequate protection. There are a number of fundamental issues you should be aware of before you buy. First, you need to know exactly what the investment entails – is it equities, bonds, real estate or what? Furthermore, each of these categories has its own subdivisions. Second, you need to know the level of risk and the costs of getting in and out (or of simply staying invested). It is important to understand why you should invest in this right now. True market timing is difficult or even impossible, but it is generally clear whether a particular asset class is a relatively good investment or not at a given point in time. In Nigeria the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in April 1994 undertook to facilitate a formal framework for the co-ordination of regulatory and supervisory activities in the Nigerian financial sector by establishing the Financial Services Coordinating Committee (FSCC) to address more effectively, through consultations and regular inter-agency meetings, issues of common concern to regulatory and supervisory bodies. On 27th May, 1994, the name of the Committee was changed to Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC). The Committee was accorded legal status by the 1998 amendment to Section 38 of the CBN Act 1991 and formally inaugurated by the Governor of the CBN in May 1999.
brokers with discretionary authority over an account use this unethical practice to increase their commissions. Churning is done to benefit the broker rather than the investor, as the only purpose of the trade is to increase commissions, not a client's wealth. In fact even one trade can be considered churning if it has no legitimate purpose. A warning sign of churning may be an unusual increase in transactions without any gains in a portfolio's value. If you're truly worried that your account might be churned, you might want to consider a wrap account. This is an account by which a broker manages a portfolio in exchange for a flat fee. The advantage of a wrap is that it protects you from overtrading. Because the broker gets a flat annual fee, he or she only trades when it is advantageous to your portfolio. Even if you've allowed Objectives your broker to trade for you, it is always prudent to keep up to date The objectives of the reconstituted Committee were to: • Coordinate the supervision of financial institutions, especially on what is going on in the portfolio. After all, it's your money! conglomerates • Cause the reduction of arbitrage opportunities usually created Selling Dividends When brokers try to convince a customer that purchasing a partic- by differing regulatory and supervisory standards among superular investment such as stocks or mutual funds will be profitable visory authorities in the financial services industry; because of an upcoming dividend, this is referred to as dividend • Deliberate on problems experienced by any member in its relaselling. In reality, the broker is trying to generate commissions tionship with any financial institution; through selling a client on a quick and easy gain. Say, for example, • Eliminate any information gap encountered by any regulatory that a company trading at N50 per share is about to offer a N1 div- agency in its relationship with any group of financial instituidend. A broker would be selling dividends if he or she told a client tions; to hurry up and buy the stock to make a 5% return. In actuality, the • Articulate the strategies for the promotion of safe, sound and client won't make this return at all. The stock price will instead efficient practices by financial intermediaries decrease by N1 (the dividend) when it trades ex-dividend. In • Deliberate on such other issues as may be specified from time essence the investor gains little in the short term, and the move to time. may make things worse if the dividend creates a tax liability for Membership of the Committee has been reviewed from time to time. The current members of the Committee are as follows: the investor. This practice is also done in mutual funds: an advisor will tell a • The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (Chairman) client to buy a fund because dividends are being paid out by com- • The Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation panies in the fund. Just like the stock price above, the mutual • The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission fund's net asset value is discounted by the value of the dividend, • The Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance resulting in a gain only for the broker - in the form of commis- Commission sions. In fact, the investor is better off waiting until after the divi- • The Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission dend offer: the stock will be at a lower price and the investor can • A representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance avoid relatively higher taxes (in environments where Dividends Do It Yourself are taxable) on the income from the dividend. You can do a lot by keeping your wits about you. But, realistically, Withholding Recommendation to Invest at Breakpoint Many brokerages and mutual fund companies have a sales charge this only applies to those with a reasonable level of knowledge on certain investments. It isn't that these sales charges are illegal, and experience. Reading articles like this one or getting advice but sometimes the sales charges cause investors to pay more than from a trusted source can help ensure you know the score. The they should. For example, let's say that a mutual fund company media, the regulators and associated consumer organizations charges 5% for investments under N25,000 but only 4% for invest- can help in this respect. But for the initiated, do your homework. ments of N25,000 or more. A breakpoint sale would occur if you It may be a pain and an effort, but the pain of getting it wrong will invest at N25,000 because at this amount your investment is in a be far worse. lower sales-charge bracket. However, to preserve their sales, unscrupulous advisors may rec- CONCLUSIONS ommended that you invest N24,750 into the fund even though The ugly reality is that a large number of firms and brokers proyou would save N250, or 1%, in sales charge by investing N25,000. mote their services with the main or even sole objective of attractAdvisors may also keep you from reaping the benefits of break- ing customers and their money. The tendency to diverge from points by splitting your money up among different investment the straight and narrow is always there. There are a number of companies, even though each company offers similar services. classic methods of making very ordinary or even bad investThis leads to more commissions for the advisor and less cost sav- ments sound good and there are new tricks and new bad investings to you as you are unable to take advantage of the lower com- ments emerging all the time. Regulation is therefore one of the main mechanisms for protecting the public. The other challenge mission rates when you reach the higher breakpoints. is to educate the public but this has always been and will remain difficult to do effectively, efficiently and comprehensively. Unsuitable Transactions To sum up the nature of all these practices, we'd like to emphasize It is also important for all investors, regardless of their financial the meaning of "unsuitable transactions", a general term for backgrounds, to maintain focus on their accounts. This does not investments made in a manner that is not consistent with the mean that you need to review your account every day, but you client's circumstances and/or investment objectives. You should should check in regularly to stay on top of what's happening. If know that your broker is duty-bound to know your financial this is done along with a thorough examination of broker's needs (and constraints) and to make investment recommenda- investment proposals, you should avoid most types of broker fraud. tions accordingly.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
BusinessInterview All-inclusive strategy imperative for Nigeria’s Prof. Adeola Adenikinju holds a PhD in Economics with specialisation in Energy Economics from the University of Ibadan. He is currently a Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics in the same University and a Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), a MacArthur Centre of Excellence, University of Ibadan. Adenikinju is also the current President of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) and previously served as Special Assistant to the Presidential Adviser on Energy to President Obasanjo as well as Senior Special Assistant to the President in the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President. In this interview with ROSELINE OKERE, he spoke on the state of Nigeria’s economy and the way forward. Excerpts. HE Federal Government has been trying to T fix the power sector without much success. What really are the factors dogging the industry? The problems of the power sector are multifarious. They cut across political, economic and social dimensions. Politically, I am not sure that all the segments of the political elites are on board in respect of the pace, nature and dimension of the power sector reforms. Hence, while some groups in government are in favour of increasing the speed and coverage of the reforms, others are not so convinced and have found ways to slow down or indirectly sabotage the process. The enabling law guiding the reforms, the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, needs to be revised to reflect the lessons we have learnt in nearly ten years of reforms. The reliance on regulations by the regulatory agency and other bodies to correct for some of the inadequacies in the original Act may not carry the same weight and force like an Act that will provide adequate confidence for all the stakeholders. There are also some very powerful interest groups in the power sector that in my view have to buy- in into the reform process. These stakeholders have huge investments and
interests that seemingly conflict with a successful privatization of the power sector. These groups in my mind have not been sufficiently integrated into the reform process and yet they are strong enough to slow down or cast doubt on the successful implementation of the government agenda in the sector. The Economic factors are very important. Investors are not “Father Christmas”. They want to be sure that their investments are safe, returns on investment are adequate and predictable, there is guarantee sources for gas and at predictable price, they want assurance that they get paid for the power they generate to enable them meet their obligations to all their various stakeholder groups; and that the dispute resolution mechanism is in place and reliable. In my view, I think we need to sort out the distribution end of the chain such that the current high rate of technical and economic losses in that segment is reduced significantly. It is not fair to load the burden of the costs of power supply on less than half of the consumers that are faithful in the payment of their bills. A colleague of mine in Texas, United States America, told me recently that the cost of power to the consumers averaged three cents per kWh. In Nigeria, the current rate is twice that amount and yet the trajectory of what is considered an
adequate tariff in Nigeria by the relevant authority and power companies is in excess of 13 cents per kWh. Socially, a lot of average Nigerians feel they pay too much for electricity, and in their views not always available and at times of very poor quality. Some of them have no prepaid meters and are under the mercy of PHCN workers that come with what they call crazy bills. Hence, they sometimes resort to either illegally connecting to public power supply or negotiate special rate with the PHCN staff. Moreover, the manner towns and cities evolve, without proper planning also do not easily lend itself to proper capturing of all consumers. Hence, issue of securitisation is very important in moving the process forward. The government, with the support of the World Bank has made some progress in this direction. What do you think could be done to address the various challenges confronting the energy infrastructure in the country? Inadequate energy infrastructure in Nigeria is a major constraint to power supply. Our infrastructure capacity is inadequate, old and not well optimised. In fact, our investment plan in the past was not properly coordinated to ensure proper balancing in all
aspects of energy networks – production, transmission and distribution. The government is trying to correct this. In the gas sector, which is critical for electricity generation, the master plan has a very detailed programme for the development of gas pipeline infrastructure to ensure that the eastern and western networks are linked as well as to ensure that gas pipelines trunks reach all parts of the country. There is also a lot of investment going to electricity transmission and distribution, presently. However, all of these will take time to make significant impact and more importantly they require huge and timely investments. Private investments are needed to complement public investments in the development of the infrastructure. But the truth is that because of the long gestation period to recoup investments in infrastructure, their relatively low rates of returns, security challenges, community issues, and the uncertain political and legal environments, the government must lead the process. This is the situation in most countries with our type of political and geographical environment. Even if we need to borrow from multilateral credit institutions and some friendly bilateral partners to finance the need-
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
economic growth, says Adenikinju ed infrastructure investments, without waiting indefinitely for the private sector, once there is transparency and proper due diligence, I think the social benefits will outweigh the social costs. But let me also point out that for the rural areas that have sparse population, that are often not contiguous, and that in many cases far away from the national grid, decentralised generations have to be explored. So, there must be an orderly development of both the grid and non-grid systems in order to meet the power needs of all the citizens in the country. The government has set a target of 40,000MW of electricity in Nigeria by the year 2020. With the various challenges confronting the country’s energy sector do you think is this achievable? If you dream about it and lay out proper plans to achieve it, most dreams are realisable. However, our antecedents do not give me much comfort that we can achieve this 40GW of electricity capacity seven years away from now. This will require over 4000MW additional capacity every year. With so many issues outstanding in the power and gas sectors, the huge investments required, the long gestation period for completing some of the investments, I see us achieving at best half of this target by 2020. The telecommunication sector which many people are pointing to as a reflection of the kind of private sector development that can take place in the power sector after liberalisation is significantly different from the electricity network system and the huge complexities that have to be tackled to get the market fully operational and get to some level of maturity that will produce rapid establishment of power plants at the scale and rate needed to achieve the 40,000MW. The government has shown seriousness in respect to the privatisation of the country’s power sector. Do you think we are on the right track in respect of the bidding and payment processes? What do you think should be done to achieve success of the privatisation exercise? I think in principle the recent activities relating to the privatisation of the power sector is encouraging. Plans were laid out and apart from some delays and adjustments here and there, the government has largely kept to the broad timetable for the privatisation exercise. This is important to give credibility to the system. However, we need to stick to the timeline, resolve some of the legacy issues still outstanding, review the EPSR Act to make the electricity market more flexible. We must find ways to bring all key stakeholders on board and ensure that the process of privatisation is transparent, open and fair. Successful firms must be technically sound, have solid financial integrity and BPE must hold them strictly to the performance contract governing the privatisation. The recent exploration of shale gas in the United States and some other countries has shaken the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to its foundation. What is the implication of this to the Nigerian economy? The energy market is very dynamic. If you study energy transition in the past two to three hundred years, you will see how dominant energy sources are displaced by others because of several factors – environment, price, technology advancement, and other demand and supply factors. It will therefore amount to living in illusion to think that a type of fuel or energy source will last forever. Although the shale revolution will take some years to fully mature, there are also ongoing attempts to make coal more environmentally friendly through the carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technology that will allow countries with huge coal deposits in Asia, particularly China, USA and other parts of Europe, Latin America and Africa to use coal in power generation. The renewables like solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal among others are also trying to make serious inroads into the energy markets in Europe and some other parts of the world. There is ongoing technology to reduce the use of fossil fuels in transportation, develop the capacity for power storage systems, among others. Although, it will take several years for many of these technologies to fully mature, however, with the high price of oil, its highly political nature, we are approaching the choke price and the transition point. Hence, the challenge before Nigeria and other OPEC countries is to have a long term strategic response plan to the coming green energy economies and the incursion of unconventional fuels into the energy mix. We must develop formal models that will help us to examine the impacts of all of these developments on the future trajectories of our economic development. This calls for collaboration among the government, academia and the energy industry. We are all too far apart. Nigeria has been recording decline in crude oil reserve in the past three years. What do you think should be done to redress the situation? To boost crude oil reserves, there must be a lot of investment committed to exploration for oil. However, this is both an economic and geological decisions. Risks are important factors in investment decisions in the petroleum sector. Risks can be political, technical, economic or commercial. The project life cycle in the oil sector is also characterised by long time horizons, various alternatives and different forms of complexities.
But the truth is that because of the long gestation period to recoup investments in infrastructure, their relatively low rates of returns, security challenges, community issues, and the uncertain political and legal environments, the government must lead the process.
The challenge before Nigeria and other OPEC countries is to have a long-term strategic response plan to the coming green energy economies and the incursion of unconventional fuels into the energy mix.
The future of the country in the long term will depend on a robust manufacturing sector, a highly integrated domestic economy, an innovative economy that recognises the role of human capital development that rightly positions itself to take advantage of globalisation as well as its huge domestic market.
The uncertainties surrounding the passage of the PIB, the rising state of insecurity in the Niger Delta, the increasing discoveries of oil reserves in large quantities in many parts of the world, the increasing penetration of unconventional oil and gas, will factor into the decision process of oil companies to commit billions of dollars into exploration activities to boost our oil reserves. Don’t forget that the target was that by 2010, our proven oil reserves would be above 40 billion barrels. We have clearly missed that deadline. Hence, lovers of Nigeria should not be comfortable with the present state of affairs in the oil sector. The Finance Minister said recently that the Nigeria’s economy was growing and that inflation was down to nine per cent. Do you think that this growth is real in respect of economic development and the cost of living in the country? Based on official statistics, the Finance Minister was right. The economy is growing at a robust rate and inflation is in the single digit. However, most Nigerians see a clear disconnect between the official statistics and the daily conditions of living in Nigeria. Clearly, the growth we have had is a non-inclusive growth. It is characterised by high unemployment, high rate of poverty and high rate of inequality. This is not development. It is an economic growth that requires more work on the part of the government to ensure that it spreads to more people on a sustainable basis, reduces the high rate of joblessness and absolute poverty in the land. The gains of the economic growth have to be more evenly distributed. The Small and Medium Scale Enterprises must be revived, the industrial sector has to be revived, there must be a strong linkage between the agricultural sector and the industrial sector on the one hand and between the oil and gas sector and the rest of the economy on the other hand, beyond the current fiscal linkage. How really can the country strategise to diversify its economy to open up more job opportunities? The future of the country in the long term will depend on a robust manufacturing sector, a highly integrated domestic economy, an innovative economy that recognises the role of human capital development that rightly positions itself to take advantage of globalisation as well as its huge domestic market. The government is already talking about gas based industrialisation agenda that will see the largest industrial park established in Ogidigben in Delta State. The park, when completed, will be a hub for gas processing plants, fertiliser and methanol plants, power stations and other auxiliary industries. The government estimates that several millions of jobs would be created. I want to persuade myself to believe in this robust and forward looking plan. But the more important thing is that we have to process domestically our natural resources, oil and gas in particular and integrate them to the economy, rather than the current practice of exporting them in their crude form. These, with proper investment in the steel, energy, transportation sectors and information technology are capable of revolutionising the Nigerian economy. They are capable of providing the backbone for industrial development, the framework for the development of the rural sector and move massive number of people out of poverty into good paying jobs and economic activities. We need to get many of these ideas out of the drawing boards into the real world. The political will, strong and effective governance institutions, security, right incentives, among others are critical to realising this vision. The Nigeria Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) has being a strong force in policy advocacy. But what really are the operational focus of energy economists NAEE is the Nigerian affiliate of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) with a presence in over 100 countries all over the world. The NAEE is however the first and currently the only affiliate of the International Association for Energy Economics in Africa. The NAEE was formally inaugurated in Nigeria in December 2006 at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Towers, Abuja. It recently had its Sixth Annual International Conference at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos. The association is a nationwide nonprofit organisation of business, government, academic and other professionals that advances the understanding and application of economics across all facets of energy development and use, including theory, business, public policy, and environmental consideration. The objectives of the Association are to, first, provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, advancement and professional experiences in energy economics, second, promote the development and education of energy professionals, third, foster an improved understanding of energy economics and energy related issues by all interested parties; and finally, provide a forum for contribution to national discourse on energy policy issues in Nigeria. What are the plans of the association for energy economics in Nigeria this year? Thank you very much. The Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) is partnering with Informa Energy to organise a major conference on the theme, “Power Nigeria” 2-4 October, 2013. We are also planning for our seventh yearly International Conference with the theme: Energy Access for Sustainable Development in Africa in February 2014 at Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Ecobank stakes N50 billion for agric sector lending COBANK Nigeria may E have concluded plans to increase its agriculture support loans to over N50 billion in the next one year. This, according to the bank, is in line with its policy to support the growth and development of the agriculture sector of the economy, as part of its contribution to the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government. Ecobank Country Head, Agric and Export Finance, Abel Ajala, who disclosed
this said the bank has introduced concessionary interest rates for its agriculture finance scheme, as well as created a robust Agriculture and Export units adequately manned by (with) professionals for easy loan risk assessment, ensuring that beneficiaries utilise fund given to them judiciously. Ajala noted that Ecobank is currently supporting the agriculture value chain that comprises the producers, the processors and mar-
kets/exporters of agricultural products. He reiterated that the focus on the agric sector has become necessary to stem an impending food crisis on the continent. According to Ajala, agriculture accounts for over 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product of most African countries and must be supported to stem the declining fortune in recent years. He commended the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government,
noting that Ecobank has been supporting the Central Bank of Nigeria and Ministry of Agriculture transformation agenda by giving loans to customers in the agriculture value chain system including those in export business. He advised farmers to see agriculture as a business, saying stakeholders are ready to support the sector to take centre stage in local food production, employment and wealth creation for discerning Nigerians.
Fidelity Bank seeks closer ties with SMEs for survival By Chijioke Nelson IDELITy Bank Plc said advisory services, financing and guidance cannot be separated from efforts to nurture and grow Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), if they are to survive. The bank also advised that any financial institution’s view of the future should be influenced by the need for economic growth, job creation, well-being of others and responsible corporate citizenship to the community of its operations. The Managing Director of the bank, Reginald Ihejiahi, made the disclosure during the conferment of 2012 Zik Prize Award for Professionalism in Leadership on him, at the weekend. The award, which was initiated in 1994 by the Public Policy
Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC), also serves as an intellectual forum for making informed appraisal of and independent inputs into the formation of public policies in the country. According to PPRAC, the award series, which is in honour of the Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s legacies, was bestowed on Ihejiahi for his professional leadership in the banking industry, the bank’s corporate social responsibility footprints, which has been acknowledged internationally and products’ development and offerings that have boosted SMEs, with attendant employment opportunities. Responding to the award, Ihejiahi said: “I feel elated and honoured to be selected for such a prestigious award, especially something that one did not lobby or ask for. It’s
very pleasant. “However, Fidelity Bank has always been a good citizen of Nigeria and the communities we serve and we believe that the economy can only grow if the banks motivate the growth. So, we participate effectively in all sectors of the economy. “We risk our money to help develop industries, agriculture initiatives, which is on record and recently, with great focus on SMEs, particularly our ‘Managed SMEs’, aimed at building industries of the future.” Speaking on the bank’s value
addition strategy to SMEs, he said that the first thing the bank offers is advisory, which is imperative for SMEs’ survival. The second is finance and the third is guidance. “These strategies have shaped our view of the future. For the economy to grow, people have employment and feed themselves, we should be looking at a community where the people are committed to managing their own business. This can only happen if you have a bank that visions the future and supports its development,” he added.
For the economy to grow, people have employment and feed themselves, we should be looking at a community where the people are committed to managing their own business.
IFC collaborates with Diamond Bank to empower SMEs By Helen Oji NTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation (IFC) is partnering with Diamond Bank Plc on enterprise governance training modules, targeted at empowering the Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria. The initiative is to help entrepreneurs gain the skills needed to succeed in building sustainable businesses that create wealth and jobs. The governance modules cover several topics such as managing relations, implementing enterprise governance, managing risk and planning for business continuity. The pilot scheme was made possible by feedback from a survey of up to 50 MSMEs in January 2013 that formed the basis for the Nigerian Market Based Enterprise Governance training curriculum, which was used at the training at Federal Palace Hotel recently. Mr. Reginald Nworka, an SME Development Specialist with IFC, in an interview said the partnership is a great opportunity for people to improve their lives and escape poverty. He noted that what the initiative intends to achieve was to extract people from poverty circle and launch them to a realm of prosperity through empowerment. Nworka said the corporation shares the same vision with Diamond Bank to support services in training and empowering entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The SMEs specialist who
described the partnership as a welcome development that would open up more opportunities for Nigerian entrepreneurs, said the scheme has the capacity to reach out to empower as many Nigerians that can take advantage of the initiative. Head Retail Banking, Diamond Bank, Mr. Jude Anele, speaking in the same vein said the bank is partnering with the IFC in order to help solve the challenges that entrepreneurs in the country face in doing business, noting that the partnership also seeks to improve on the quality of the products that the sector exports in order to become more competitive in the international markets. “What we are working on now is to help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the level of governance through technical assistance aimed at facilitating entrepreneurs with business edge modules that can help improve business performance. “Most companies fail because they lack control and structure, we believe lack of governance, control and structure lead to high mortality especially when it has to be a one man business. We believe that if business is well structured, it will be able to succeed its owner. “That’s why the partnership with IFC will also train business owners in human resource management, access to markets and market information as well as financial management,” he
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at Friday PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 26/07/2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
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Skye Bank records N71b gross earnings in second quarter 2013 By Bukky Olajide KyE Bank Plc has Searnings announced total gross of N71.1 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013 as against N59.7 billion during the same period in 2012, showing an increase of 19 per cent. Similarly, the bank’s profit before tax rose to N10.5 billion during the review period compared to N9.9 billion during the corresponding period in 2012, representing an increase of six per cent. The International Financial Reporting Standard [IFRS] compliant result submitted on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed that profit after tax for the period stood at N8.4 billion as against N7.9 billion the previous year. Other highlights of the
result included substantial increase in operating income which rose from N33.1 billion in 2012 to N41.4 billion during the period being reviewed, showing efficiency in resource utilisation. Besides, the bank’s total assets went up marginally to N1.09 trillion from N1.07 trillion in 2012 while total liabilities and deposits was N992.8 billion, representing two per cent increase over the N966.9 billion recorded in 2012. The result also showed earnings per share moving up to 63.82 kobo compared to 60.39 kobo of the previous year. Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, attributed the improved result to expansion of the
customer base, improved risk management practices, and continued focus on efficiency across its entire operations. He said the result was modest and optimistic consider-
ing the increasingly tight regulatory posture and the tough operating environment. Durosinmi-Etti expressed optimism that the bank would deliver greater value
and returns to its stakeholders at the end of the 2013 financial year. He also said that for the rest of the year the bank will focus on improving customer service delivery in all
its business offices and across its distribution channels, as it approaches targeted market segments using electronic platforms and increased investment in cutting-edge technology.
Kaduna gets bondholders’ nod to restructure N8.5b repayment By Helen Oji LANS by the Kaduna State P Government to restructure the repayment of the N8.5 billion, 12.5 per cent Series One Bond due in 2015 have been endorsed by its bondholders and the regulatory authorities. Under the new structure, the state will repay to the bondholders a sum of N1, 500,362, 259 of the outstanding principal, out of the money, which is currently being held in the sinking fund.
Speaking at the bondholders meeting in Lagos at the weekend, the Chief Executive Officer of UBA trustees Limited, Trustee to the bond, Oluwatoyin Sanni explained that this payment, together with outstanding Interest would be paid commencing from the next interest payment date of August 31st 2013. According to her, as at June 30th 2013 the total sum in the sinking fund was N6.8 billion, adding that with the restructuring, the state would repay the outstanding principal
and interest to the bondholders in amortised semi-annual installments ending on 31st August 2015. “The remaining principal outstanding on the Bond, following this distribution, being N6, 999, 637, 741 will be payable in semi-annually payments commencing on February 28th 2014, with the relevant portion of the principal, together with the interest that has accrued over the relevant period, being payable on each such payment date. The coupon date for the bond
remain at 12.5 per cent on the remaining amount while all other terms and conditions remain unchanged.” “The Issuer desires that the balance in the sinking fund account should be utilsed towards the reduction of outstanding Principal, the rest of the bond repayments should be restructured to semi-annual payments; consisting of interest payment and amortization of principal for the remaining two (2) years to expiration (i.e. September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2015)”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Opinion A case to abandon centenary celebration (1) By Ben Nwabueze ERHAPS, I should avow right away my ardent P love of ceremonies. This is understandable. I have always hated drudgery, and am always looking for avenues or outlets for excitement, especially the excitement that comes from ideas, intellectual pursuits, adventures, ecstasy and from ceremonial occasions, like festivals with their rituals. I get enormous sustenance from them. I love ceremonies not only for the excitement they provide, but also because of their vital role in the life of a people or a country (and individuals as well), particularly ceremonies marking certain significant ideas or events and in which the entire population joins in common as equal partakers. Such ceremonies serve to forge a bond bringing and rallying together, in shared nationalistic and patriotic feelings, the leaders and the masses of the people, both old and young, men and women, behind the banner of the state or nation. Perhaps, nowhere else is this role better demonstrated than in ancient Rome, which was a major factor that enabled her to gain mastery of the world and rule it for more than a thousand years. As the great historian, Will Durant, tells us in his monumental eleven – volume classic, The Story of Civilisation, vol. iii, p. 67: “Ceremonies sedulously performed before each campaign and battle raised the soldier’s morale, and led him to believe that supernatural powers were fighting on his side… They invested public life with solemnity, prefaced acts of government with rituals, and fused the state into such intimate union with the gods that piety and patriotism became one, and love of country rose to a passion stronger than in any other society known to history.” Ceremonies also play an important, if less significant, part in the life of an individual. In his case, they may be ceremonies marking a birthday or the anniversary of a marriage or other such event. However, no event in the life of a people, a country or an individual is justifiably worth celebrating which has no significant value for the individual, people or country concerned, or which is otherwise a burden, a curse or a disaster. I venture to say emphatically that there are, as at now, only two events justifiably worth cerebrating in Nigeria by appropriate state ceremonies (as distinct from religious celebrations), namely our attainment of independence from colonial rule in October 1960
and the end of military rule in May 1999; but not, as at present, “Democracy Day”, nor the 1914 Amalgamation, as is being planned. These issues are examined below. The significance of the 1914 amalgamation and whether its gains overwhelmingly outweigh its deleterious consequences to justify celebrating its centennial. The Nigerian state, created in 1914 as an act of British colonialism, by the amalgamation of two existing British colonial states, the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria and the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, will be 100 years old in 2014. In recognition of this fact, President Goodluck Jonathan on September 23, 2011 inaugurated a Centenary Celebrations Planning Committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to organise the celebrations to mark the event. The age 100 is a great age for an individual, nation or a state to attain – not so great, really, for a nation or state. In point of fact, it should perhaps be stated that, before the 1914 Amalgamation, earlier amalgamations had taken place in the territory now encompassed in what is called Nigeria, principally the amalgamation in 1906 of the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria (itself the product of the amalgamation of the Niger Coast Protectorate and the Royal Niger Company’s territories in 1900 after the revocation of the Company’s charter) and the Colony and Protectorate of Lagos. The foundation of the 1914 Amalgamation, which is being planned to celebrate, had thus been laid by the 1900 and 1906 amalgamations, so that its real effect cannot be fully assessed and appreciated without taking into account the effect of the creation of the state before and the effect of the earlier amalgamations. Another historical fact worthy of note as relevant to the territorial area of Nigeria, as it is today, is that its area did not at the time of the 1914 Amalgamation include Egbaland, whose independent existence had been guaranteed under its treaty with Britain. It was on September 16, 1914, some months after the 1914 Amalgamation, that the treaty with the Egba Kingdom was annulled by a new treaty, and Egbaland incorporated into Nigeria: for details of the terms of the new treaty and the circumstances leading to the annulment of the old treaty, see my A Constitutional History of
Nigeria (1982), pp. 18 – 19. It is pertinent at this point to define the meaning and effect of amalgamation. Amalgamation means the fusing or merging together of two bodies or entities into one, with the result that both cease to exist and are replaced by the new body or entity. Thus, on their amalgamation in 1914, the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria and the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria ceased to exist as separate legal entities, and were replaced by a single entity called the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. But the issue for discussion here requires that a distinction be drawn between the legal entities mentioned above and the concept of the “state” as an organism. The state as an organism in Nigeria did not originate from, nor was it created for the first time by, the 1914 Amalgamation; its origin in Nigeria pre-dated, and was pre-supposed by, the 1914 Amalgamation, which, however, recognised and was built upon its existence; the state as an organism was not only recognised, but was also strengthened and consolidated by the 1914 Amalgamation, making it (i.e. the amalgamation) the fountain-head of the state as an organism, which in turn makes it unrealistic to talk about the consequences and significance of the 1914 Amalgamation divorced from the consequences and significance of the establishment by British colonialism of the state as an organism. As so much turns on the issue whether the state as an organism pre-existed in our indigenous communities before their colonization by Britain or was first brought there by British colonialism, a definition of the concept of the state seems called for. The state may be here defined as an organisation of a society inhabiting a given territory and has attained a certain level of development in various fields of human endeavour – social, economic, political and scientific – and which, through various institutions and instrumentalities and by means of laws, particularly legislated law, and executive acts, backed and enforced by organised coercive force, regulates, orders and manages the affairs of its members. By this definition, it seems generally agreed that the state as an organism did not exist in indigenous African communities, both the acephalous communities (i.e. “societies without rulers”) and the centralised ones, before their colonisation by
Europe (Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan excepted), and that it is entirely the product of European colonisation. Professor Lonsdale makes the point decisively when he says in an article in Africa Studies Review 24 (1981), at p. 139, titled “States and Social Processes in Africa: A Historiographical Survey”, that “Africa’s most distinctive contribution to the history of humanity has been the art of living in a reasonably peaceful way without the state.” The whole issue as to whether or not the state existed in Africa before its colonisation by Europe is extensively examined in my book, Colonialism in Africa: Ancient and Modern, (2010) vol. 1 pp. 24 – 106. These preliminary observations are necessary as a background for the issues raised by the plan to celebrate the centennial of the 1914 Amalgamation. The following issues, among others, arise: Does long life or longevity alone, 100 years in this case, provide a justification for celebrating it, without regard to whether the life has brought any gains, benefits or has brought nothing of significant value or has otherwise been a curse or a disaster to the existence of the people, state or individual concerned? Do the gains or benefits brought to Nigeria by the establishment of the state as an organism, as strengthened and consolidated by the 1914 Amalgamation, overwhelmingly outweigh its deleterious consequences? Should we celebrate anything reminiscent of our enslavement by British colonialism, anything that reminds us of that leading architect of that tragic misfortune and author of the 1914 Amalgamation, Lord Frederick Lugard? What do well-informed Nigerians think of him? Would we not be hurting the sensibilities of many Nigerians by celebrating him and his Amalgamation? Was the Amalgamation intended to serve the interests of the inhabitants of the communities recklessly and disdainfully fused together by the Amalgamation, or simply to satisfy the imperialistic designs and administrative needs of Lord Lugard’s masters, the British Government, and his own self-ego? Will the celebrations help to bridge or will they further deepen the Divide created by the Amalgamation between the northern and southern parts of the country and which has impeded the growth of unity in the country (this last issue is examined elsewhere)? • To be continued • Nwabueze is professor of law and author of several books and articles on constitutional law.
ICT for national development By John Adebisi HE potential of Information Technology as a T catalyst for development is substantial. Nigeria, like most developing nations around the world, has come to recognize the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a fundamental driver of productivity and growth. This recognition is well captured in the National Development Plan – Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020. “The increasing globalization driven by ICT makes it imperative for Nigeria as an emerging market to irreversibly consider the application and promotion of ICT strategy to facilitate its rapid growth and development. This will involve the development of a vibrant ICT sector to drive and expand the national production frontiers in agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors. It would also require the application of the new knowledge to drive other soft sectors: governance, entertainments, public services, media sector, tourism, et cetera.” This is the way to go! However, Nigeria isn’t going to get the full potential benefit of ICT if it is business as usual, particularly in government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). At the inception of the Biometric Voters Registration, we were told it would not be possible for a person to register more than once. Hardly
had the exercise started than people realised there was nothing in place to prevent multiple registrations. Later they told us they would clean up and remove all duplicates! In the case of SIM Card registration, it was not the N6 billion public spending alone that bothered me. But why would the service providers not take sole responsibility for the project just as the commercial banks solely updated their customers’ bank accounts information? How many MDAs have functional websites? How many government MDAs employ online business processes as it relates to service delivery to the general public. You know, they spend money on websites that are often not updated and, in most cases, inaccessible. And what about the $470 million CCTV cameras installed in Abuja to help fight crime? Almost always, the problem isn’t that of ignorance. It seems they know what they’re doing, and we know they know we know! We are a people who hate change and, unfortunately, we live in an ever-changing world. Ironically, Nigerians do actually like change to the extent that it suits their narrow interests; they can’t wait to own state-of-the-art electronic gadgets but electronic voting can wait until the 22nd century. On this side of the digital divide, whatever would help promote the transparency and efficiency of government institutions and processes hardly stands a chance!
One of the critical success factors to national ICT transformation is government institutional structure. At last, there is the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology (MCT) responsible for promoting optimal utilization of ICT towards rapid economic growth. For speed and maximum impact, however, the MCT and other MDAs have to be on the same page. As of today, only very few government establishments can boast of having a working ICT structure. ICT Units domiciled in the Chief Executives’ Offices; ICT Divisions trapped in the Departments of Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS); IT Departments headed by non-IT professionals; et cetera, are neither here nor there. As one of its strategies for success, the MCT ought to push for the creation of functional IT (or ICT) Departments in government institutions as this would help provide an interface necessary for effective implementation of policies aimed at maximizing the levering potential of ICT for national development. Similarly, the dearth of IT experts in our public institutions doesn’t help matters. This has created a vacuum currently being filled by non-IT personnel, and exploited by private business partners alike, resulting in misplaced priorities, poor value-for-money solutions, and tasteless service delivery nationwide. Again, to address this problem,
we urge the MCT to liaise with relevant organs of government to create appropriate cadres and right incentives to attract and retain IT professionals in the civil service. Conventional wisdom has it that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore, there is need to align the public service IT-wise with the private sector to allow for a smooth transition to a vibrant digital economy. Also, the youth should be encouraged to make creative use of ICT tools towards sustainable socio-economic development. Nigeria needs to leverage its investment in ICT to gain a significant competitive advantage in the rapidly changing global economy. As a way forward, government should provide security, expand national physical infrastructure such as power and broadband, encourage private sector investment in the ICT industry, deploy and ensure full utilization of ICT infrastructure on all fronts – Education, Health, Agriculture, Oil and Gas, to mention a few. We should understand that ICT is not a “nice to have” asset but a sine qua non for transforming Nigeria into a knowledge economy. And, if we are serious about becoming one of the world’s top 20 largest economies in the future then we must break free from the past and begin to do things that would help bridge the divide between us and those that are one step closer to the future. • Adebisi wrote from Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Opinion Rivers crises: Imperatives of NASS intervention By Worgu Boms HE contrived political crises in Rivers State, which started with T the judgment of the Honourable Justice Ishaq Bello of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, on April 15, 2013, has claimed the legislative functions of the Rivers State House Assembly as these have now been taken over by the National Assembly. I am in agreement with the Take Over and I congratulate the National assembly for the courage in taking the decision, painful as it is. I was in the State House of Assembly on the first day of the contrived disturbances, i.e. Tuesday, 9th July, 2013. I was in the company of His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, who had come to the Assembly to present, on behalf of His Excellency, the Governor, a Budget Variation Request to the House. Those who watched one of the several video clips now freely served in the internet would have seen me in black suit striving to tame one of the lead aggressors with a view to discouraging him from breaking and entering into the Assembly Chambers with his gang of supporters who are outsiders to the Assembly’s business. The deputy governor had embraced him warmly in a bid to restrain him. It was in that warm embrace which lasted some minutes, during which I thought His Excellency had succeeded in discouraging him from his course of action, that he, the lead aggressor, uttered the now (in)famous words concerning how, according to him, His Excellency, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, CON, has been abusing the President and the President’s wife, whom he referred to as Mummy, and metaphorically too, as his Jesus Christ on earth. This is not hearsay as I repeat that I was there myself and heard him myself. As the events in the video clips show, His Excellency, the Deputy Governor and I were unable to dissuade him. The rest, as we say, is now history. As we left the Assembly complex that fateful late Tuesday afternoon, it was certain to me and indeed, to all discerning persons there, that the contrived commotion would continue the next day and would be bloodier with potent promises of fatalities. It was certain and clear too, that the Sitting of the House would be greatly impaired. This is because the Group of five was resolute in its desire to make the world believe it was now in charge of the Assembly while the 27 members resisting them were equally resolute, if not more, in their stance that 5 can never be more than 27. That prophecy- of bloodbath and fatalities- was almost finding fulfilment the next day as the 5 against 27 respective parties made for the Assembly Complex, preparatory for the bloody show down when violence suddenly erupted as a multitude of supporters entered the arena, resulting in the Police throwing teargas canisters and the subsequent interim takeover of the Assembly by the House of Representatives through its timely and proficient intervention. It is curious that this timely, very proficient, patriotic intervention of the House of Representatives on that day, was discouraged by some for one reason or the other. Perhaps, to those opposed to the take over, the National Assembly should have remained uninterested in the crises as the Rivers State Police Command was, which disinterest provided, ab initio, the leeway for the commencement and festering of the Assembly disturbances. (I had, about a month ago in a press conference, warned of our slide to lawlessness in Rivers State through the machinations of the Rivers State Police Command under the present Commissioner of Police). With such disinterest and with no authority in sight apart from the state governor’s
intervention which saved the situation on the first day, the lawmakers and their respective supporters would have concluded the massacre of themselves and then, at that stage, it would be ripe, as some argue, to intervene; only at that stage and certainly not before. This is not logical. It is unacceptable as nothing is more precious than human lives. Let us grant it without conceding it, that the intervention, according to some viewpoint, is immature or premature or precipitous, etc. However, to the extent that it saved several lives on both sides of the contrived disturbance, it should still be commended especially since it is not without constitutional basis. What is immature, premature, or precipitous is not necessarily unconstitutional as the cardinal issue is whether there is constitutional basis for such immature or premature action especially in the face of clear and imminent danger to several lives and property if no action at all is taken. I had stated several times that the disturbances are contrived: In other words, they were planned in advance, they were invented and not genuine, all to achieve a predetermined end and that is why the planners and their sponsors do not want any genuine approach to resolving it as such genuine resolution will not hit their target of removing the governor by any means whatsoever and howsoever. This is the Cause of Action: Remove Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at all cost and by any means whatsoever and when that is accomplished, His Excellency can go to court and speak the grammar outside power and the period of the litigation will certainly last longer than his remaining tenure as in the Ladoja case. To many Nigerians, the courts are the place where disputes are buried and never resolved. So, those who seek any advantage at all cost, employ any means, fair or foul, legal or illegal, to attain it and then turn round to taunt their hapless victim by advising them to go to court. This is the tragedy of the Nigerian judiciary and it helps in promoting impunity as we are seeing in Rivers State in particular. Whenever a conqueror tells you to go to court, he is actually taunting you knowing that he will wear you out in court and the matter will never get resolved while he is enjoying the subject of the looting. Such persons do not really want a genuine resolution of the dispute because the dispute was contrived. The Rivers State crises are contrived and the sponsors do not really want any genuine resolution unless that which will ease out the governor prematurely and incapacitate him politically. They are like the Horseman in Tolstoy’s story who will do anything to ease the horse’s burden but will never alight from its back. Below are the activities of the sponsors of the crises, which form the bases for this my personal view on the matter: By the Supreme Court judgement in Fawehinmi & 2 Ors Vs Babangida & 3 Ors, which judgment can be found from pages 604 to 691 of the popular Nigerian Weekly Law Reports, (2003) 3 NWLR Part 808, the Federal Government cannot constitutionally set up a Commission of Enquiries for any activity outside the Federal Capital Territory as such commissions of enquiry are adjudged residual matters for the states. Presidential Spokesman on Political matters, Alhaji Gulak, clearly, with knowledge of this Constitutional incapacity of the National Government, merely and rightly suggested an enquiry into the disturbances – he did not state that the Federal Government should set it up since this is constitutionally impossible, but that such an enquiry should be set up. Since only the Rivers State Government can, and as a responsible and duty-conscious government, it has since constituted a Judicial Commission of Enquiry headed by a serving Judge of the State Judiciary – Sir, the Honourable Justice B. A. Georgewill – to ascertain the role played by all in the saga amongst other
terms of reference and make appropriate recommendations. This exercise is pursuant to the State’s Commission of Enquiry Law, Cap 30, Laws of Rivers State. Because the sponsors of the disturbances are not interested in the resolution as that will not achieve the target, they have filed a suit in which they are seeking to restrain the commission from sitting and carrying out its assignment. Again, and as is already widely known, the same group wrote to the Senate intimating it that it has instituted an action in the court to restrain it from concurring with the House of Representatives on the matter. Whether such a Cause of Action can be founded in the face of Section 30 of Cap L12, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the court will decide. Add to the fact that up till the time of this writing, none of the five minority lawmakers, not even the one who reportedly ordered that the governor be shot, has been invited by the Police or declared wanted. The situation therefore is this: Intervention by the House of Representatives is said to be premature or unnecessary; in other words, they should not have intervened. The Senate is being litigated against, with a view to preventing it from intervening; in other words, the Senate, too, should not intervene. The Commission of Enquiry in Rivers State set up to investigate the matter and make findings, is being fought in court with a view to preventing it from looking into the matter. In other words, the Rivers State Government, which alone has the constitutional power to set up a Commission of Enquiry into the matter, should also not do anything. How, then, will the bloodbath and disturbances be curtailed and prevented from reoccurring or escalating? Perhaps, only when the governor is removed by any means whatsoever. This is precisely why I did not and do not still agree with those who reason that the National Assembly, like the Nigeria Police in Rivers State, should do nothing until someone dies or the governor is illegally removed or a State of Emergency is declared. To the contrary, the National Assembly should receive fulsome commendation from us all, regardless of which side of the contrived divide we stand, for, but for their timely intervention, the Nigeria Police in Rivers State, by now, would be calling for reinforcement and assistance from the armed forces and media practitioners would be refusing posting to cover situations in Port Harcourt for fear of suffering harm from the inevitable violence and killings that would have inexorably followed the institutional inaction as planned by the sponsors. I commend the House of Representatives and the Senate and indeed, all well meaning Nigerians who saw through the plot and rose against it, and urge them to celebrate the intervention for, through it, countless lives have been saved. By this, the National Assembly has proved, beyond doubt, that the primary responsibility of governments is the preservation of lives and property. God bless Nigeria and Nigerians even as we hope that reason will prevail and that politicians will choose the path of law and constitutionalism in their quest for power and prominence and relevance so that Rivers State will resume the enjoyment of the peace and tranquillity which was truncated since April 15. • Boms (Esq.) is Honourable Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State.
Rotational presidency in Nigeria By Simon Abah IGERIA’S democracy has suffered so many setbacks leadN ing to military coup over time. The scramble for power especially at the centre is so fierce that lives are lost at many instances. Worse is the bitter suspicion amongst the majority tribes. Observers are apt to come to the conclusion that some tribes are more important in the political affairs of the country than the others. This leaves the minority tribes helpless in the daily clamor for recognition. True democracy has its gains. A people’s right to life and the acquisition of property anywhere in the country is protected and contribution to national development is done by citizens without coercion. All contribution is therefore appreciated. I am x-raying the People’s Democratic Party because it is the largest political party in Nigeria at the moment and because it applies, on principle, the zoning formula to elective office. The idea of zoning in my humble opinion is the only formula that can bring stability in Nigeria. The country is not as large and populous as the United States but is grossly divided by ethnicity and tribal sentiments. It is appalling to hear people
make condemnable generalization about a region they have never been to. I am not a card-carrying member of any political party in Nigeria and I am not holding brief for the PDP. My interest is to see total stability in the affairs of a country my late father fought a civil war for to keep united. The tussle for 2015 leadership even though we are in 2013 wouldn’t have been but for the death of zoning. I am of the view that power should be rotated amongst all geo political region of this country. I am of the view strongly that the south-east must be allowed for unity sake to lead this country in 2015. Why would the Igbo not take their place in the national political landscape and why would they continually be shortchanged. I am an Igala from Agaliga- Efabo in Olamaboro local government, Imane district in Kogi State. My village does not have electricity, tarred roads, no borehole water. Incidentally, Kogi State has been ruled by my own kinsmen, governors, since the state was created in the early 1990s. Other ethnic groups are in the minority, like the Ibira and Kabba people. The Igalas are in the majority and without zoning; the minority tribes may never rule Kogi State. It is likely that if they are allowed to rule, they may be ingenious to make life better for
the common man. Initiative can never be in the hands of a few. The point I am trying to make is that zoning gives total representation as people know consciously that their time will come to rule and the ‘do or die’ clamour for power will cease. Without zoning at the moment, it may be hard to get the 1993 scenario where Nigerians voted for the late Moshood Kolawole Abiola strictly on personality and not on the ground of religion and ethnicity. This is because the indices to promote unity are not there. President Goodluck Jonathan as a father of the nation should begin to promote national reconciliation amongst all people of this great nation. Bearing in mind that national interest is better than personal interest. The leadership of the PDP should try and put their house together and placate the North to allow the east rule Nigeria in 2015. They deserve to rule now because they are equally a major stakeholder in our nation. The model of zoning will then be followed by states who will give minority people the right to rule. The effect will be genuine participation in governance, peace and development across all space. It is also time for the Igbos in the South East to speak up about their right and that is now. • Abah wrote from Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
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Oil & GasWeekly Remi Aiyela, Editor-in-Chief
Report Shows High Hydrocarbon Content in Bida Basin IGER State has announced the preliminary N findings of the committee set up by the State Government to fast-track exploration for hydrocarbons in the State. The Secretary of the Committee, Mr Yabagi Sani said that the samples obtained from the Bida Basin show a higher hydrocarbon content than hydrocarbon deposits in the Niger Delta. Mr Sani said that the analysis of the source rock, after the drilling of two shallow wells in Agaie and Kudu in the State, revealed that there is a 30 per cent presence of oil and 70 per cent presence of gas deposits while in the Niger Delta the ratio is 25 per cent oil and 75 per cent gas. The geo-chemistry analysis of the Toxic Content (TOC) showed that the deposit of hydrocarbon in the basin is above 0.5 per cent, an indication that the deposit is of high quality. The committee now intends to use Full Tensor Gradiometry technology to acquire more data on the area of the deposits. American companies, Midland Refinery and Petro Chemical Company and Midland Petrogas Resources Limited will be working on the fast-track project to develop the State's oil and gas resources. The intention is to combine the State's efforts with those of other States in the Sokoto, Borno, Bauchi and Benue Basin to form an inland hydrocarbon basins exploration association in the North. The Committee is looking to organise an international workshop to ensure that investors are encouraged to invest in the exploration process.
OPEC Daily Basket Price Stood at $105.28 a Barrel Thursday, 25 July 2013 HE price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes conT tinued to fall from $106.40 this time last week to $105.28 a barrel on Thursday. Last week saw the OPEC basket price at its highest in four months, amid concerns about the possible disruption of supply due to political tensions in the Egypt.
Europe to Ban Sale of Uncertified Nigerian Crude HE European Union could soon put a stop to T the sale of illegally obtained oil in the European market. At a recent meeting of members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific parliaments and their European Union counterparts, known as (ACP-EU) in Abuja, it was decided to adopt a new measure requiring that oil to be sold in the European market be accompanied by a certificate of origin. Provided the appropriate administrative measures are put in place at the local level, this could see a large market for Nigeria's stolen crude effectively stifled. The measure was largely adopted to address the epi-
demic levels of crude oil theft in Nigeria. Mitchell Rivasi (Acting Co- President ACP- EU) explained: "We want to ban European refineries from buying un-certificated oil. 400, 000 barrels a day is a huge loss. We need to get traceability of oil to avoid theft. The oil companies are involved in this and everybody is making big money. The bunkering tankers are better equipped than the Nigerian Navy. This is a huge international organised crime. We did it with diamond; we can also do it with oil." The communiquĂŠ issued following the meeting stressed the need for Nigeria to ensure that revenues generated from the extractive industry are distributed transparently and equitably through the national budget in order to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction. Meanwhile, the British Minister for International Security Strategy, Dr. Andrew Murrison, has pledged the assistance of the United Kingdom in Nigeria's fight against crude oil theft. He said this during a visit to the Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Olusola Obada, in Abuja. Murrison said, "The UK is concerned and is ready to assist Nigeria to secure its territorial integrity. The things that affect your security also affect our security." There has been no confirmation of how and when the certification process will be implemented in Nigeria. Commentators have called for a robust and fraud-proof process if the certification is to help in the effort to stem crude theft. According to the Federal Government, about 400,000 barrels of oil, an equivalent of N7.3million, is lost daily to oil thieves.
and Ajaokuta-Kano Pipeline Systems, among others. The briefing revealed that $600 million has been deployed from the Eurobond for the building of gas infrastructure while the contract for the EastWest Gas pipeline has been awarded. In addition to this, the Gas Plant City project is making progress as Mrs. Alison-Madueke disclosed that site clearing for the project in Delta state is already underway. The investment in infrastructure is expected to increase gas supply to an extent that can support 5000 mega watts of electricity generation by the year-end. The Minister said new electricity power plants coming on board are assured of gas supply. On achievements in the mid-stream and downstream sectors, Alison-Madueke said that the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the PortHarcourt refinery would be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013. She said work on the Kaduna and Warri refineries was expected to be concluded by the fourth quarter of 2014.
Legal Task Force to Fast Track 500 Oil Theft Prosecutions S a show of its determination to fight crude oil A theft and stem the loss of a reported 400,000 barrels of oil per day, the Federal Government has announced a 21-year jail term for anyone duly prosecuted and found guilty of crude oil theft. The Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, revealed that a Legal Task Force (LTF) is to be established to fast-track the prosecution of some outstanding 500 cases of oil theft using the Miscellaneous Offences Act which carries a mandatory 21-year sentence without the option of a fine. The National Economic Council approved the establishment of the LTF, which will be headed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke while representatives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Security and Civil DefenceCorps(NSCDC),NigeriaPolice,StateSecurity Service (SSS) and other related agencies will also be members of the task force. The other members of the task force are to be announced soon by the Attorney General's office.
British Police Probe Malabu/Shell/ENI Deal
Petroleum Minister Reveals Aggressive Infrastructure Expansion HILSt the vandalism of oil and gas installaW tions continues to be a major obstacle to Nigeria's ability to meet domestic energy needs, the outlook for the industry remains positive in view of recent Federal Government funding particularly in the area of infrastructure expansion. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke stated this as she listed the achievements of the Ministry at the 2013 Ministerial Platform in Abuja on Tuesday. According to her, previous weeks have seen the energy sector suffering setbacks as critical infrastructure, like oil and gas pipelines, are destroyed by vandals. The trend has been responsible for fatalities, loss of revenue, environmental degradation and production deferment. The Minister said: "Every Nigerian has to be involved in fighting the scourge of crude oil theft." In spite of the constraints, the Minister said, crude oil production had consistently maintained above an average of 2.3 million barrels per day. The Minister however wished to highlight the Federal Government's spending on infrastructure, which she called "the most aggressive Nigeria has seen in decades." She said that the country was transforming into a gas nation based on its huge gas reserves, which currently surpasses its crude oil store. She said, "Nigeria, with gas reserves of 182Tcf (trillion cubic feet) as at the end of 2012, compared with total crude oil reserves of 36.8 billion barrels for the same period, is more of a gas country than a crude oil country." Alison-Madueke highlighted the gains of the gas revolution which includes the boost in gas to power supply for electricity generation, establishment of a commercial framework for gas and the development of gas infrastructure across the country. She added that the global shift to the use of gas as a cleaner energy source made the emphasis on gas development imperative for sustainable long-term economic development in Nigeria. In terms of gas infrastructure spending, AlisonMadueke explained that gas infrastructure development across the country was aimed at getting gas to industries. She said Abuja and the northern part of the country would be linked with gas pipelines for rapid industrialisation by 2015. She listed some of the completed and ongoing gas infrastructure projects to include Escravos-Oben Pipeline, expansion of Oben-Lagos Pipeline, Calabar-Ajaokuta
HE investigation into the Malabu deal has taken on a new dimension with news that the British police are now investigating the deal. This comes hot on the heels the decision of the Nigerian House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating the controversial 2011 deal to ask the police to look into certain aspects of the transaction. The British police are looking into allegations of money laundering in connection with the transaction in which offshore block, OPL 245 was sold to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company and Nigeria Agip Exploration and Production Limited by Malabu Oil and Gas via the Federal Government. The licence for the oil block, which is said to hold 9.2 billion barrels of crude oil reserves, was awarded to Malabu Oil and Gas for a $2 million fee in 1998 by Dan Etete when he was Petroleum Minister but was later revoked under a subsequent administration. While Etete says that he is only a consultant to Malabu and has no interest in the company, the judge in a lawsuit by Emeka Obi against Malabu for unpaid fees after he brought Shell and ENI to Malabu, concluded in her ruling that Etete had a substantial beneficial interest in Malabu from the time of its incorporation and at all material times. In view of the judicial finding of the former Petroleum Minister, Etete's interest in Malabu, the British Police Proceeds of Crime Unit are looking into the deal in which Shell/ENI paid the Nigerian government $1.3 billion for the block, following which the government paid Malabu $1.09 billion, to see if any money laundering laws have been broken in the transaction, supposedly brokered by the Nigerian government. Anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness, said it had asked the UK to look investigate the activities of the companies and individuals involved in the procurement of OPL 245. Etete has previously been convicted by a French court of money laundering in relation to payments he received during his time as Petroleum Minister. More details on the background to the Malabu transaction can be seen in Issue 61 of NOGintelligence newsletter.
Senate Concludes PIB Public Hearing HESenate has concluded its public hearing on the T Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), now paving the way for the findings to be considered in committees and it is hoped, for the Bill to be passed early next year. The public hearings featured many industry stakeholders including the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), which has called on the National Assembly to use the opportunity of the PIB to ensure uniformity in addressing the problems of all communities located in mineral producing areas including petroleum.
in association with
Speaking on the issue of the Petroleum Communities Host Fund, the Chairman of NEITI, Ledum Mitee called for clarity in the mode of administration of the fund. He said the Petroleum Host Communities Fund should function according to the same or similar mode that is provided for under the existing Minerals and Mining Act under which the communities directly receive the fund. He said: "NEITI however believes that the preferred option is for the communities to be directly impacted by the funds through a process which pertains in the minerals sector in Nigeria, whereby the communities enter into an agreement with licensee or lease-holder, as the case may be, and agree as to terms and conditions regarding the fund". NEITI is also advocating an amendment of Section 2 of the PIB, which vests ownership of and property in petroleum in Nigeria in the Government of the Federation. Mr Mitee said the section should be changed "to recognise other tiers of government such as states and local governments as well as Nigerian citizens as co-stakeholders." NEITI's position is that section 2 should state that ownership of and property in petroleum "shall vest in the sovereign state of Nigeria in trust for and on behalf of the People of Nigeria". Mitee explained that the additional wording will enable the section conform with the provisions of Nigerian's constitution, arguing that it would give Nigerian citizens a true sense of belonging whilst serving as a reminder to government "that it is accountable to the people for the utilization of the revenues derivable from the petroleum resources." Mr Mitee also called for the creation of strong independent regulatory institutions and said that a deliberate effort should be made under the legislation to limit the powers of the Minister to policy formulation monitoring and oversight of the
CSR NEWS Chevron Sponsors Deepwater Technology Training for Graduates HEVRON Nigeria Limited (CNL) has sponC sored five Nigerian graduates to be trained in the operation of remote operated vehicle, known as underwater robot. This kind of technology is used for deepwater operations. The five graduates who were nominated by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board under the Nigerian Content Human Capacity Development Initiative will undergo the training in Scotland. The training, which will last for between 7 and 13 weeks is part of the company's initiatives to help Nigeria acquire the manpower for deepwater activities in the industry according to Chevron's General Manager, Policy, Government & Public Affairs, Mr. Deji Haastrup. The company says it has implemented strategies for training, capacity-building and employment of Nigerians and provided contracts and procurement opportunities to help create local jobs and technology transfer through local patronage, work scope reservation, fostering of business partnerships and domiciliation of work.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS NEWS Activist Group Launches "Publish What You Pump Campaign" HE Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the T Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has launched a new campaign titled called "Publish What You Pump." In his presentation, ERA/FoEN Executive Director, GodwinOjosaidthattodaymarksanimportantmilestone in the launch of a national and global advocacy initiative which will address the lack of transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector thereby posing grave threat to national security and sustainable development. The Group said in its statement that the core issue affecting the oil and gas industry is the failure and or refusal of operators in the industry and regulatory bodies to publicly disclose or engage easily available scientific templates for the precise measurement of the volume of all oil and gas produced in Nigeria, and at the different stages of the production process. The current practice of solely relying on the oil sector for crude oil production figure, they say, is clearly unacceptable. The group would like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to set up appropriate guidelines for measuring oil and gas production as well as have the necessary tools to carry out their oversight functions as part of the initiative. According to the Group, "the initiative marks a significant threshold in aggregating voices and actions of civil society groups, local communities, the media and all Nigerians towards achieving the critical mass required to effect fundamental changes in the way the Nigerian oil industry has been run in the last five decades."
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Media Stakeholders brainstorm on new code of ethics for journalists in Nigeria By Gbenga Salau common saying is, ‘where there are no laws, there are no offences’. But where there are rules, the rules are benchmarks that guide inhabitants of the community. For most professions, regulations are established to guide the practitioners. The rules set the standards in the profession and are labeled the code of conducts or ethics for such profession. It is a fact that most respected professions are accorded such esteem because they have been able to set standards that members not only abide by but which the larger society also appreciates. Journalism and its practitioners are saddled with a critical responsibility in society. Understanding this and in a bid to ensure that practitioners live up to the billing, some practitioners in the past established a code of ethics to guide its duties and responsibilities. But to certify that the profession’s code of ethics keeps in line with new development and contemporary issues, the UNDP and the NUJ embarked on a mutual effort to review the code of ethics for journalists in Nigeria. The last lap of the review attempt, the validation of the reviewed code, was carried out in Uyo last week, where critical stakeholders in the industry met and to further critique the earlier reviewed version carried out by a team led by a media consultant. In his opening remarks, President, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Muhammed Garba thanked UNDP for putting the event together, promising that the union was ready to work with it to make the project a success. This opening remark was re-echoed in different forms by the heads and representatives of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Nigerian Press Council, Guild of Editors and Nigerian Broadcasting Commission. The convener, Mrs. Toyin Adewale-Gabriel of UNDP, said that her organisation decided to invest in the project to re-affirm its support for the media in order for the media to perform its duties effectively thereby deepening democracy in the country. It was her belief that if the code was well standardized it could be replicated in other countries within Africa. The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Press Council (NPC), Mr. Bayo Atoyebi, said he was delighted to be part of the project because for the NPC to function as a regulator, the code must be accepted and appreciated by all. He disclosed that the NPC was willing to work with the UNDP to review the curriculum for journalism schools in Nigeria because of the observed gap noticed in the products of the institutions. At the Uyo meeting, it was not a straightp-jacket process. Before the validation exercise, there were presentations. The first one was by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Press Council, Atoyebi, who spoke on Understanding the Imperative of Code of Ethics in Enhancement of Professionalism in the Media. Before defining what a code is, he justified the need for a code of ethics. In his view, a code of ethics helps do three things - it allows the media to accept its share of responsibility for quality public output that wins public confidence; it establishes a self evaluation cum regulation regiment that enables the media respond to legitimate complaints; and it helps strengthen the editorial independence. Atoyebi further argued that tension that ought to arise as to what constitutes correct conduct or fair practice is moderated or eliminated by consensus leading to agreeing to a set of norms and standards, which become the ethos of the profession. He also differentiated between self-regulation and self-censorship, stating that self-regulation is not censorship or self-censorship because self-regulation helps to establish a minimum principle that guides practice, preserves editorial freedom on what to report and opinions to express; compels press freedom to respect the privacy of the individual and good reputation
where there is no imperative of public interest; helps the media respond to genuine complaints and correct errors; promotes quality journalism, safeguards media freedom and enables the public to respect and acknowledge media power. For him, the new code would be different from the old one because it would help the media to see, act as national agents and serve the citizenry. He stated, “The media should see itself as an agent of national cohesion and integrity. The goal of its collective actions will be a wellinformed, diverse and tolerant nation state that challenges the distortions of poor leadership, abuse of power, human rights and the manipulation of information by self-seeking interest groups “The primary loyalty of the Nigeria media is the information needs of the citizen. The new journalism canvassed by the new code of practice will make journalists to refuse to define themselves as attached primarily to narrow interest, ethnicity, religious, regional or geopolitical zone. Serving the public entails serving more than one’s local readership or audience.” The NPC boss submitted that the roadmap to freedom of the press and its concomitant responsibility lay in a clearly defined, effective and enforceable Code of Ethics. The Media and Ethics in Nigeria: Lessons and Challenges since 1998 was the title of the paper by Prof. Umaru Pate of University of Maiduguri. In his presentation, he gave insight into how the need for a new code of ethics for journalists was necessary. He thereafter spoke on the power of the media highlighting its ability to shape peoples’ thinking and decisions. He noted that many at the last general election did not attend any political rally but voted for their candidate of choice based on reports and analysis in the media. For him, this was because Nigerians trusted the media. The Mass communication professor, however, argued that the media’s power was rooted in the people. This, to him, was why the media must engage in audience research to have insight to its acceptability by the people and types of programmes and reports the audience likes to watch or read. This was a critical tool for the media to be dynamic and remain relevant in the society, he noted. He also wanted the media to regularly train and retrain its personnel for effective performance and to be in tune with global best practices. For the new code to succeed, he suggested easy access to the code, wide spread enlightenment on the content of the code, electing only credible and competent officers into the executive of NUJ. He noted that instead of giving awards to politicians, NUJ should institute awards for journalists performing credibly well, saying, “We need ethically-conscious and digitally equipped professionals to superintend the democractisation process and economic and social transformation of Nigeria in the unfolding globalization”. The validation exercise proper was led Mr. Lanre Arogundade, the media consultant of the review project. He did a comparison of the old and new codes highlighting the similarities, differences and additions which were necessary because of the changing environment and new demands from the profession. He further said that preambles were provided for each section to ensure clarity of thoughts, as it guided the dos and don’ts stated in the code. Thereafter each section was examined line by line to ensure that they convey the right message and professionalism with inputs, suggestions, additions and eliminations from the participants through consensus arguments.
Participants at the forum
Participants at the programme In between presentations, participants made useful comments. In his contribution, President of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mr. Muhammad Garba stated that to overcome some of the challenges in the profession, there was need for re-orientation. He stated that the enforcement of the code, which would be critical to an enhanced journalism profession, would be the simplest thing to do if there was a better working relationship between the NUJ, the Guild of Editors and NPAN. President, Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU), Mr. Yemisi Bamgbose, enjoined practitioners to be united, noting that the disunity among the workers’ unions was being exploited by employers to shabbily treat their employees. He promised to rally its members to support the implementation of the code when fully operational. A Professor of Mass Communication at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Kate Azuka Omenugha, called for the standardisation of the curriculum in institutions teaching journalism and tying training to something that would compel journalists to get retrained regularly. She, however, commended the team that drafted the code for being gender sensitive. According to the Chairman of Rivers State Chapter of RATTAWU, if the activities of quacks in the profession were checked, it would greatly help to promote ethical standards. On strategies for the publication, distribution and sensitization of the new code of ethics, the representative of NBC, Mr. Armstrong Idachaba, suggested exploring the social
media for better visibility, media houses serializing the content of the code in their publication, deliberately stimulating discussion on sensitive areas of the code, sending the code of ethics to journalism institutions to incorporate it into the schools’ curriculum and setting up of a structure for monitoring, investigating and enforcement. He further said that the process must, however, give room for appeal. Former President of NUJ, Mr. George Izobo, suggested the setting up of a committee, which he called the Code Enforcement Committee, to monitor compliance and investigate offences relating to the code for the purpose of enforcement. According to him, the committee would also decide the sanctions and recommend penalties to the hierarchy of the NUJ and Guild of Editors, who would then send a position to NPC for action. The Director, News, Plateau State Radio and Television Corporation, Barr. John Tsok, recommended capacity building on the content of the code through organising enlightenment sessions for journalists at various chapters. Executive Secretary, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Mr. Segun Adeleye, enjoined all stakeholders to work together and promise that member stations and individuals comply with all the letters in the document so that in the future, practitioners could look back with pride that it laid the right foundation.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Emerald, Nigeria’s new TV drama series, hits screens By Gbenga Salau O ensure that Nigerian viewing audience T have value for every minute spent in front of their television sets, a production company, Seven Series, has launched a new TV soap titled Emerald. It’s meant to tell Nigeria’s story by Nigerians and from Nigeria’s standpoint. While speaking at the unveiling of the drama series recently in Lagos, Executive Producer, Mr. Oladapo Ojo, said the organisation’s job was to create content that the whole world would thirst for. He promised that his organisation would do everything possible to improve on the standard of its production with every drama. He further said the company was set up for drama production. He said ample time was committed to producing Emerald to ensure high standard production thereby sustaining the interest of viewers for the five seasons the drama would run. According to him, auditions took six months of roving through four cities from where the hundred casts that featured in the play were picked. The Producer, Mrs. Ogugua Dopamu, stated that the idea was conceived about five years ago and happy that the idea has been brought to live. She said that in creating the drama, they were looking for something that will be interesting and every strata of the society will the impact of the message they are passing across and connect with it. According to her, they also wanted a content will be accepted outside the shores of Nigeria and could rival any drama in any part of the globe in terms of content and production. So, after many years of background work, Emerald, a drama series that is poised to redefine Nigeria’s TV drama landscape, is set to begin airing this July on two leading TV Networks in Nigeria - NTA Network at 10pm every Friday and AIT Network every Wednesday & Thursday at 7.30pm. “Emerald Season One, shot in full HD format is typically Nigerian with a mix of all the issues that affects us all in our daily interactions. The viewers will be inspired by the different characters as they identify with them through their pains, suffering and joyful moments. The story explores the age-long truth that when it comes to emotions, the barrier of status, whether rich, middle class or poor, is broken down. The setting of the drama is in West Africa and the cast parades some of the best actors in Nigeria, both established and budding. “It is the first of many drama series to be produced by SevenSeries Limited, a TV Content Production and Distribution
Casts featuring on the film series
Company, in conjunction with FirsTV Studios, a complete, fully equipped one-stop TV production facility. According to the producers, the motivation behind the multimillion naira project is to put Nigeria back in the global drama space via a proudly Nigerian production made to international standard that will appeal to every strata of the viewing public. On Emerald, careful attention has thus been paid in selecting the storyline, cast, crew, studio setting, locations and equipment, to ensure top-notch production quality. “Emerald is not just another TV drama series that claims to be unique without convincing differentiating factors, it is an international quality television drama series produced in Nigeria, by Nigerians, for local and international audience. To ensure a robust participation and interactivity, viewers would also be engaged through various social media platforms. The storyline is built around the family of Dapo and Ada. Dapo is a well-known architect, who has lived abroad for some time. His estranged father, Alfred, the owner of a successful construction company, dies under mysterious circumstances. When Dapo got a frantic call from his mother that investigation into his father’s death was about to be opened, he returned to Nigeria, unaware that his life was about to change forever. Ada is a beautiful woman, who has lived in abject poverty ever since her father, Alfred’s assistant, lost his job. She and her father tried surviving the hard times, although he has in his care, a priceless Emerald, given to him by Alfred for safekeeping. After several failed attempts to make a decent living; he sold the emerald to better the situation but he was brutally murdered. When Ada and Dapo coincidentally met, the first meeting kicked off on a sour note. Though she was attracted to him, she wanted nothing to do with him or his family, whom she blamed for her family misfortunes. Dapo was also drawn to her, but unknown to them, they shared a mutual pain – their fathers were murdered by the same die-hard crook, Victor, Dapo’s Uncle, who now heads the Construction Company, and ready to do everything in his power to destroy Dapo and anyone who gets in the way of his desire to hold on to the fortunes of the company forever. As Dapo and Ada got closer, they realize that they share not only intense feelings, but a desire to uncover the truth and avenge the deaths of their fathers.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Sports Six years after, Atuegbu’s family still waiting for Governor Obi, Nasarawa United From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja IX years after the death of SEnugu former Green Eagles and Rangers Enugu midfielder, Aloysius Atuegbu, is still waiting for the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, to redeem the pledge he made at the player’s graveside. The family also says that Nasarawa United of Lafia, which was the last team the late former national team captain coached before his demise, still owed the dead star N1.2 million. Atuegbu died on May 25, 2008 after morning training session with the team in Abuja Lamenting the attitude of Nigeria to the dead, Atuegbu’s widow, Gloria, who spoke to The Guardian on phone from her Enugu base, regretted that both the Anambra State government and Nasarawa United FC have refused to come to the aid of the late coach’s family, stressing that all her efforts to get Anambra State to redeem the governor’s pledge have been abortive. She also revealed how she was involved in a near-fatal motor accident during one of her trips to Lafia to pursue her late husband’s salary and allowances, adding that she was forced to abandon the quest for the money to save her life.
“Since 2009, I have been making trips to Awka and Lafia to pursue the payment of my late husband’s salaries by the management of Nasarawa United. “The total amount was N2.2 million, but after Alloy’s burial at Adazi, his hometown, the management of Nasarawa United paid me N1 million and promised to pay the rest later. But all my efforts to make them pay the remaining sum have not yielded any dividend. “I decided to leave them to God because in one of my trips to Lafia, I was involved in a ghastly motor accident and since that period, they have not thought it wise to pay us the money, which is not for a gift, but payment for my husband’s work.” She also said that Governor Peter Obi pledged a sum of N1 million on behalf of the Anambra State government during the late star’s burial, regretting that that pledge has not been redeemed up till today. “I have written several reminders to the governor but each time I went to the Government House, his aids will ensure that I did not gain entrance to even drop the letters,” she lamented, while revealing that she has taken to petty trading to ensure that her family did not suffer much.
Elegbeleye, Glo hail Eagles’ CHAN qualification IRECTOR General of the D National Sports Commission (NSC), Gbenga Elegbeleye, and telecommunications outfit, Globacom have showered encomiums on the home-based Super Eagles for qualifying for the Africa Nations Championship slated for January 2014, in South Africa. Elegbeleye, who said he believed in the abundance of talents in the country, vowed that the NSC would continue to do its best to lift football and make Nigeria rank above the best football playing nations in the world. The sports administrator congratulated the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Aminu Maigari, and the Chief Coach of the team, Stephen Keshi, for pushing the team to success and hoped that the Home-based Eagles would work hard to bring the CHAN trophy back to Nigeria in Januray. Also congratulating the Eagles, Globacom said, “the resilience of the Eagles and their coaching crew in the face of odds is worth commending after the sturdy effort by the Ivoriens to turn the tide.” “We expected the fight back
by the Ivoriens and were not surprised by their attempt to snatch the ticket from Nigeria. It was, therefore, gratifying that the Eagles protected their lead to make history,” the statement added. The telecommunications company also commended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for ensuring adequate motivation for the Eagles, while thanking football-loving Nigerians for their steadfastness in supporting the team in the crucial encounter.
Fabregas set to clarify Barcelona future ESC Fabregas will meet C with new Barcelona Coach, Gerardo Martino in
Super Eagles’ Sunday Mba (left) vies with Cote d’Ivoire’s Armand Boti Bi Tie during the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying match at the Robert-Champroux Stadium in Abidjan at the weekend. Cote d’Ivoire defeated Nigeria 2 – 0 but Nigeria qualified on 4-3 aggregate. PHOTO: AFP
South Africa 2014 CHAN Qualifier Fall-Out
Keshi blames Eagles’ loss in Abidjan on stage fright UPER Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi has admitted his team were jittery at the start of the African Nations Championship qualifier’s second leg against Cote d’Ivoire in Abidjan, hence, they conceded early goals in the m a t c h . Goals in the fifth and 25 minutes from Sewe Sport striker, Kevin Zougloula, looked like they would set the tone for Nigeria’s elimination from the competition, but the Eagles fought back in the second half to deny their hosts the decisive third goal. “If you say it was a game of two halves I may tend to agree with you because we started poorly largely due to experience and then when we came into the game they struggled against us, but that is football. “We are just grateful to the NFF, Nigerians and God that
we made it for the first time to the CHAN tournament,” Keshi s a i d . Also speaking on the game, Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire Coach, Saraka Norbert, on the other hand, said Nigeria were more experienced than his side and that earned them qualification to next year’s C H A N . “Nigeria is a great country economically, socially and even in football. We must admit that when we get to their heights in the near future, Ivorian football will be great again,” he said. Norbert again reiterated his love for the Nigerian handler, whom he once again described as an Ivorian and wished him well in his future endeavours. Meanwhile, Super Eagles home-based players say they are excited they made history
with a first-ever qualification for the Championship of African Nations (CHAN). Despite losing 0-2 to Cote d’Ivoire in Abidjan on Saturday, the Eagles qualified for the tournament to be staged by South Africa in January on a 4-3 aggregate. Nigeria has previously missed out on the championship for domestic league players in 2009 and 2011. Eagles winger, Gomo O n d u k u , told MTNFootball.com, he was delighted to be part of history. “I am excited with this qualification because it is a dream come true for me and the team. From day one, I believed we will make it and I was positive even when we were down 2-0. I did not panic. I am so happy and thank God for making it possible,” the Bayelsa United star said.
Akanni, Ogaba predict brighter future for home Eagles By Adeyinka Adedipe ORMER internationals, FOgaba Waidi Akanni and Peter believe the Super Eagles, who defeated Cote d’Ivoire at the weekend to qualify for their maiden outing at the African Championship (CHAN), would become the toast of Nigerians in the near future. The home-based Eagles qualified for the 2014 CHA to be staged in South AFrica despite losing 0-2 to the Elephants’ of Cote d’Ivoire in the second leg
of their qualifiers played in Abidjan on Saturday. The Eagles qualified 4-3 on aggregate having beaten the Ivoirians 4-1 in the first leg in Kaduna three weeks ago. The team led by Stephen Keshi will now play in the competition for the first time in January in South Africa. Ogaba told The Guardian yesterday that the team’s qualification for the competition for the first time shows that they have progressed in stature, adding that it also showed that the
home-based national team was moving to the next level. But he urged Nigerians to be patient with the team. He said, “though the team lost to Cote d’Ivoire on Saturday, making it to South Africa after a good result in the first leg have shown the team has moved to the next level. I must admit that it was a tough encounter in Abidjan but it was good the Eagles were able to limit the damage.” Ogaba also said it was good that the home-based Eagles
were going for the competition for the first time, adding that the experience of the likes of Godfrey Oboabona, Sunday Mba and Chigozie Agbim helped the team in Abidjan. “I must admit that the experience of the trio really helped the team. They have won the Nations Cup in January and their experience helped in qualifying for the championship. Niger beat the Eagles in the qualifiers of the last edition, so this, to me, is a giant stride,” Ogaba added.
the next 24 hours as he seeks assurances over his future at Camp Nou. The Manchester United wants to clarify his position with Martino ahead of publicly announcing his intentions this summer, with Barcelona having already rejected two approaches from the Premier League champion for the 26y e a r - o l d . Martino insisted on Friday that the Catalans would also dismiss any further approaches from United for the midfielder, with Goal having revealed last week that the club was preparing an improved bid of 41 million euros for the former Arsenal s t a r . Barcelona Vice-president, Josep Maria Bartomeu has also previously ruled out and chance of the club selling the Spain international, insisting, “whatever offer United make, however big, we will say no. Cesc Fabregas will stay a Barcelona player.” However, Fabregas is keen to meet with his new manager to ensure he remains key to the club’s plans next term, and United are understood to be losing heart in their pursuit of the midfielder. After Thiago Alcantara opted to join Bayern Munich ahead of United earlier in July, Fabregas has emerged as David Moyes’ priority signing this summer.
Suarez signing would make Arsenal title contenders again, says Forlan RUGUAY striker, Diego U Forlan, has urged Arsenal to sign Luis Suarez if they want to become serious title contenders once again. Depsite Liverpool having so far rejected two bids for from the Gunners, Forlan believes that his compatriot would be the ideal recruit for Arsene Wenger. “If they manage to sign Luis, then I think, with the players they already have, they would be serious title contenders again,” the Internacional striker told reporters. “Only Luis knows what his plans are but he would be a great signing for A r s e n a l . ” Forlan believes that the Gunners’ inability to challenge for trophies in recent years has stemmed from a failure to replace legendary striker, Thierry Henry. “Of course, Arsenal is a very strong team but, for the last years, they have not been able to compete with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea for the title,” the 34-year-old continued. “They have had very good players but have maybe lacked that one special player, who you need to win a league as strong as the Premier League.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
MOC stakes N6.5m on Lagos International Table Tennis Classics By Olalekan Okusan HE Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the first Lagos International Table Tennis Classics has pegged the prize money for the tournament at N6.5 million. The tournament, which holds next month, will see winners in the men and singles events going home with N.8 million and N.6 million respectively, while all players that make it to the round of 16 will also get cash rewards for their performance. The organisers say the tournament has the approval of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) as it is the highest prize money tournament in Africa. It is being organised by the Main Organising Committee of Lagos International Sports Classics in collaboration with the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), they said, adding that players in the senior and junior categories, made up of 10 events, would play according to ITTF and ATTF rules. Lauding the NTTF board for the tournament, ATTF President, Khaled El-Salhy disclosed that Nigeria might be considered for major tournaments in 2014. “We will like to use this event as a test for ITTF/ATTF title events in the near future. ITTF/ATTF is looking to organise a brand new event next year, tagged “2014 ITTF-Africa Top 16 Cup,” which should be in the second half of June 2014, as qualification for ITTF
World Cups next year, and we believe it will be good to start this competition in Nigeria. “I am hoping for a successful 2013, as well as envisaging that the Lagos International Classics will be among the ITTF World Tour Calendar in 2014, which prove to ITTF that Africa could host sanctioned events in a professional way,” the ATTF boss said. Also speaking on the championship, Chairman of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) and President of NTTF, Wahid Oshodi said the championship is open to all ITTF affiliated associations, while junior events will be for players born on or after January 1, 1995, while hoping that more players will be unearthed through the competition. “We believe that organising this competition will help our players and expose them to other top players from other nations. We are hoping that it will be an annual event will help to improve the lot of the sport in the country,” Oshodi said. He added that tournament is made possible by the support of the private sector and the Lagos State government. Deadline for players’ entry has been fixed for August 13, while qualifying matches in all events for Nigerian based players hold on August 22 to 23. Officials from ITTF and ATTF will also be part of the tournament holding at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium from August 26 to 31.
NSC, Reps pledge support for De Commander’s title fight By Christian Okpara PORTS Minister/Chairman SCommission of the National Sports (NSC), Bolaji Abdullahi, and the House of Representatives’ Committee on Sports boss, Godfrey Gaiya have pledged to support the World Wrestling Professionals (WWP) Heavyweight Wrestling champion, Osita Offor, also known as De Ultimate Commander, who is billed to defend his title in Nigeria later this year. The wrestler visited the government officials last week to intimate them of his plans for the title defence, which would also feature music and dance with some world renowned artistes entertaining the audience at the event. Speaking while receiving the wrestler’s delegation in his office at the National Stadium, Abuja, Abdullahi applauded the vision of the fight organisers in trying to mix sports with music, saying that the idea was in line with the NSC vision of marrying sports with music. “This is quite in keeping with our vision at the NSC that sports and music are both cultural products that go together; hence we recently launched Rhythm and Play to sensitise the youth on the need to embrace the two.
“We assure you that the NSC will do all we can to cooperate and encourage you to succeed in the programme.” Although, the minister reiterated that the NSC deals with amateur sports only, he assured De Commander of the sports ministry’s support to ensure his success in the fight. While praising the wrestler for bringing honours to Nigeria, Gaiya, who received the wrestler’s delegation in his office at the National Assembly, said he was delighted by the exploits of the wrestler, who has ‘traveled far and wide in his search for glory for the nation.’ Gaiya said, “De Commander is not only promoting his career, he is also promoting the corporate image of Nigeria and we are promising that any endorsement he requires he will get it expressly. “He is an ambassador of the National Assembly and free to come in and out of the assembly any time he wants to see us.” Gaiya revealed that the National Assembly was working on a bill that would encourage corporate bodies to sponsor sports and help take Nigerian youths off the streets.
Junior sensation, Tosin Oribamishe… one of the stars that will compete at the Lagos International Classics
NVBF plans National Volleyball League From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja HE Nigeria Volleyball T Federation (NVBF) says it has mapped out plans to commence a functional volleyball league in the country, beginning next season. A member of NVBF board, Alhassan Yakmut noted in
Abuja yesterday that the only way the federation could raise a formidable national team was through the organisation of a competitive volleyball league, adding that it would help the federation in raising quality players. Yakmut disclosed that the federation had already
Delta vows to win national weightlifting championship ELTA arrived in Uyo at the D weekend with a contingent of 20 lifters, with their Head Coach, Emma Oshomah, saying that his lifters are ready to win the championship. Oshomah boasted that Delta would repeat their Eko 2012 National Sports Festival feat where they finished on top of the weightlifting medal table with 12 gold medals. “We are here in Uyo to prove that Delta is number one in sports,” Oshomah said, while commending the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation for a smooth accreditation process. The state was the first to be accredited. Other states that were accredited yesterday include Ebonyi, Abia, Kano, Jigawa, Cross River and the host, Akwa Ibom. The states expressed satisfaction with the way the athletes
and officials were promptly accredited at the Ubom hall venue of the championship. NWF boss, Chibudom Nwuche, is in Uyo with a giant trophy to be won by the state that tops the over all medals’ table. Akwa Ibom State Coach, Lawrence Iquabom, who is also a board member of NWF, after admiring the trophy swore that it would not leave Uyo for another state. He said, “we are winning it for our sports loving governor, Godswill Akpabio.” Also speaking on the championship, National Weightlifting Coach, Patrick Bassey said he was happy that the country’s lifters were involved in a competition, pointing out that this would be the first weightlifting tourney for Nigerian lifters since the London 2012 Olympics.
Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Godfrey Gaiya (left) and WWP Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, De Ultimate Commander, when the wrestler visited the National Assembly...recently.
begun work on the league, adding that it has received proposals from the technical directors for the organisation of the league. “Having a functional league is our target now because the federation’s technical director sent in a proposal to the effect that there should be a functional league and we have reasoned along with him. “For a competition to raise the quality of players that we will need, there has to be a sustainable league structure; and that is what we are going to develop,’’ he said. He said the league would be part of the four-year strategic plan the NVBF was working
on, and assured that the plan would include players and coaches’ development, as well as, sponsorship. Yakmut, who is also the director of Grassroots Sports Development at the National Sports Commission (NSC), noted that the growth of volleyball had been steady but not rapid. “We are happy with the level and growth of the game so far in the country. But from what I saw at the Africa Sub-Zonal World Championship Qualifiers in Abuja during the past week, the coaches have done a good job. They have selected players that will take us to `the promised land,” he said.
NASCOM intensifies registration for Rhythm N’ Play Clubs S part of its drive to popuA larise its pet project, Rhythm N’ Play, across the country, the National Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM) has intensified registration of students for the programme. The Rhythm N’ Play programme, which is a youthfriendly campaign aimed at enhancing mass participation in sporting activities and age grade competitions, was launched by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja recently. NASCOM created the programme as its flagship campaign to drive and revolutionise grassroots sports in Nigeria. The campaign will rely on the use of music, celebrities, volunteers, new media and other elements of pop culture to amplify and realise its objectives. According to the Board Secretary of NASCOM, Ohimai Godwin Amaize, the campaign has been structured around three implementa-
tion components. His words, “the first being the registration of school children into Rhythm N’ Play Sports Clubs. Second is the training of Games Masters nationwide. These Games Masters will then train others in the various zones across the country and go into the schools to engage the school children in inter-club and inter-school competitions and other sporting activities. The third component is the distribution of sporting equipment to school children by the Games Masters.” To ensure popular participation of students, he added, “as I speak to you, the popularity of Rhythm N’ Play is increasing by the day in schools. On daily basis, we receive calls nationwide from schools that are very excited about the campaign coming to their school. Don’t forget that this is one campaign that was designed and tailormade to be attractive to its target demography – school children under the age of 17.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 29, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Dolapo Aina
For every incident in the next 50 minutes in the individual’s life, there would be two options to be chosen by the audience. One positive and the other would negatively affect the victim.
“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”-Oriental adage. N 2012, when the video of the lynching of the four undergraduates from University of Port IHarcourt went viral on the Internet in October 2012, everyone from the citizens, academia to the intelligentsia, prominent individuals and the media, asked the same rhetorical questions: Why such heinous acts? Do savages still roam and reside amongst us? Have we as Nigerians lost the collective moral currency? Several questions that bordered on our collective moral and mental marbles were asked. Were Nigerians satisfied with the proffered explanations? Well, that is left for conjecture. But I saw an event that resembled the ALUU 4 lynching and it dawned on me that what took place in the Aluu community in Rivers State, was an unambiguous case of the repercussions of unchecked control, power or authority in the hands of a mob or group of individuals (whether illiterates, quasi-illiterates, quasi-literates or the elite). History is replete with mobs (criminal, political and religious) whose mantra was institutionalised brute force e.g. Hitler, Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler and the Nazi cohorts, Bin Laden and Al Qaeda and at present some dictators and kingdoms in the Arab world to name a few. The event I witnessed wasn’t about politicians, prominent individuals or military men. The people consisted of everyday people (probably blue and white collar employees in the United Kingdom). The event laid credence without any iota/sprinkling of doubt to the psyche of a mob if left with unrestricted control. BBC Knowledge airs a programme called “The Experiment”, hosted by an illusionist by the name Derren Brown. Derren Brown is so good at what he does (and tries to demonstrate) that the viewer might periodically wonder what would have been if Derren were a fraudster or a member of a crime organisation/syndicate. Basically put, Derren showcases how with some strategic thinking and mind-distorting orchestrated events, people can be coerced to do absolutely anything, even confess to a murder not committed. An episode of Derren Brown’s The Experiment readily comes to mind. On Saturday, January 5, 2013, Derren’s show had an episode purportedly called “Remote Control” which was with a live audience. Apparently, everyone on set was glad that Derren was having another new show “Remote Control” which was going to be different from The Experiment. In the Remote Control Show (with an audience seated like Who Wants To Be A millionaire), the audience would be watching real-time live feeds of an individual, oblivious to the fact that the next 50 minutes of his/her life would be remote-controlled by other people whom he/she has never met. For every incident in the next 50 minutes in the individual’s life, there would be two options to be chosen by the audience. One positive and the other would negatively affect the victim. But before the Remote Control Show began, Derren in another room let the viewers at home into a little information, which was the only twist which really turned the show on its head. Derren strode into the ambience of the large studio with a vociferous audience and the new show “Remote Control” which was actually an episode of “The Experiment” began. Derren informed the live audience about the Remote Control Show, where as explained earlier, the audience would decide the fate of an oblivious individual (who would be monitored by surveillance cameras). The fate of the individual in several scenarios would be sealed via vote via control buttons-like the type you see on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The people in the stu-
The event I witnessed wasn’t about politicians, prominent individuals or military men. The people consisted of everyday people (probably blue and white collar employees in the United Kingdom). The event laid credence without any iota/sprinkling of doubt to the psyche of a mob if left with unrestricted control
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Underestimating the psyche of a mob
dio were ecstatic and rearing to begin. The live-feed of a bar appeared on big screens in the studio. Three friends were seated in front of the bartender, discussing. The man in the middle was the intended target. His two friends knew he was being watched. Some waitresses, waiters and customers were also in the know. His first test was when a lady came to order drinks and walked past Mark, only to turn around and accuse him of laying his hand on her backside. A confused Mark denied it. The lady’s man came and threw tantrums at Mark but it was resolved. The audience in the studio watched as the events unfolded. Mark continued chatting with his friends. Some minutes later, some ladies from a previous UK version of the Big Brother Show came into the bar. Derren asked the audience if one of the ladies should spill beer on Mark’s shirt and the audience took their control pads and voted yes. After the incident, the lady apologised and left with her friends. Some minutes later, Mark and one of his friends walked to a supermarket, Mark’s friend who was with a bag, handed the bag to Mark, informing him, he wanted to make use of the restroom, but Mark’s friend took to his heels, leaving Mark to do the shopping. When Mark was to pay at the counter, the cashier asked if there was anything in the bag, Mark said no and that the bag was for his friend. The cashier was adamant he wanted to check the bag, Mark
gave it to him and alas female essentials were discovered to Mark’s utter surprise and to the cashier’s bemused chagrin (giving him free access to rain down abuses on Mark). The police were called in and when the policemen arrived, Mark’s fate was again in the remote controlled hands of the audience. They were told by Derren that they could decide whether the cops would watch the CCTV and declare that Mark didn’t shoplift any item or that the CCTV footage showed that he did. The audience voted for the latter. The speechless Mark remained calm and was placed in the Police minivan. As this was happening, back at the studio, a female colleague of Mark, who was in the know, was on the show and the audience had to decide if she should call Mark and intimate him on the impending loss of his job by the following Monday. The audience voted for the call. She called and Mark received the news in his calm stride and informed her about his present predicament. Again, Derrek told the audience that they could decide Mark’s fate by choosing between the policemen dropping him close to his home (on the pretext that a serious crime was being committed elsewhere) with a warning, making Mark walk home and being handed 10,000 pounds or him being dropped and again being kidnapped by balaclava-wearing men. The audience chose the latter. Mark was kidnapped but somehow escaped before he was dumped
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into the van. He ran for his dear life but as he ran out of the street, which was a close, a moving car hit him and Mark hit the floor motionless. But before this tragic accident, between when Mark was at the bar and being mugged by the abductors, the audience still played a sinister part in the destruction of Mark’s flat. Derrek sent the purported producer of “Remote Control” to Mark’s flat to snoop around for incriminating materials. The producer did his part but found nothing. The audience told the producer (via a live stream) to search everywhere (history page on his laptop to find out if he visited adult sites or adult movies in his DVD collections-his history page was empty and no adult DVD was found) and upturn belongings, including smashing with a baseball bat Mark’s Plasma TV and X-box video game. Back to the unexpected accident, when it occurred, everyone was tensed. Derrek was confused; the merciless people with the remote controls were stunned and silent. The fear was palpable that they began to take off the masks that they wore to hide their identities making them anonymous for 50 minutes. There was confusion amongst the cameramen in the studio and the live-feed was terminated. One of the participants in the audience, clutching her bag and her mouth ran out of the studio, one asked if Mark was alright. A dazed Derrek tried to re-establish audio and visual contact with the ground team to no avail. A distraught Derrek left the live set, left behind an apprehensive audience who for 50 minutes controlled and turned upside down an individual’s life, which culminated in a tragic accident with the lifeless body of Mark. So they thought. A tragic event in reality only that viewers (like I) knew better. You see, the viewers knew better because the show wasn’t about Mark but about the audience. The real Mark wasn’t the one that was hit by the car-that Mark was a double. The real Mark was dropped off by the fake policemen, walked home to see a brand new Plasma TV and X-box in his sitting room plus 10,000 British Pounds and a letter detailing what transpired in his living room and explaining the events that happened to him. Before the commencement of the show, Derrek Brown was in another room, where he informed the viewers that the show was about the audience-their reactions to the unfettered authority granted to them and its usage. The unsympathetic reactions oozing from the real “remote controlled” audience was alarming. I began to comprehend the real meaning of the quote, absolute power corrupts and power controls absolutely. I began to understand why military leaders, sit-tight presidents and ordinary individuals get to power and metamorphose into many a draconian Minotaur. This is possible because of feeble checks and balances in the system of government practised and most importantly, lack of self discipline by the individual. The show reminded me of a research in the 60s at Harvard University, where a Professor wanted to find out the limit to human’s humanity. Several Harvard undergraduates who were friends were kept in a makeshift prison. Some were prison wardens while others were prisoners. Everyone accommodated each other but for less than a week. What transpired (the inhumane treatment meted out to the supposed prisoners by friends playing the roles of prison wardens) was so cruel; the experiment had to be terminated. The unblemished truth oozing with immaculacy and resonating from the Aluu four lynching in 2012, the Nazi massacres and experiments, the Harvard experiments and the Derrek Brown’s experiment on the audience can be found in an Oriental saying “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” After Derrek Brown explained the actual reason for the show, he left the stage and the show ended but the gloomy and ashamed audience couldn’t raise their hands, press their fingers to trigger any form of applause. The show ended with an uncomfortable silence which in itself was deafening. • Aina lives in Lagos. email@example.com