TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Monday, July 1, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,604
PDP decries ACN’s request for probe over Jonathan, Amaechi rift • Flays Tinubu for imposing daughter on traders • Action Congress condemns alleged campaign against APC From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HOUGH President GoodT luck Jonathan and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi may have begun moves to reconcile their differences, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) continue to bicker over the rift between the two leaders. Jonathan and Amaechi reportedly met in Port Harcourt at the weekend, allegedly pointing at the prospect of truce between them. However, the PDP yesterday decried the calls by the ACN for probe into reports that security opCONTINUED ON PAGE 4
United States President Barack Obama (third right); his wife, Michelle (second right); daughters, Sasha (right) and Malia (second left); mother-in-law, Mariam Robinson (third left); and a former co-prisoner with the anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, during the Obamas’ visit to the former South African President at Mediclinic Heart Hospital, Pretoria … yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Senator Pius Ewherido passes on – Page 3
Troops kill 50 Boko Haram suspects, capture three From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri)
• Sultan, others urge peaceful co-existence
FRESH onslaught by the A Joint Task Force (JTF) on Boko Haram has led to the
killing of 50 members of the terror group in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The death occurred at the weekend after the JTF clashed with armed terrorists in
Zabarmari ward of Maiduguri metropolis, the state capital. Besides, the Sultan of Sokoto,
Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and other Islamic scholars under the aegis of the Jamaát Nasril Islam (JNI) yesterday asked Nigerians to join hands in promoting peaceful co-existence.
Obi quits politics next year, says accumulating unneeded wealth is madness – Page 6
JTF sources said at the weekend that Zabarmari ward was one of the identified havens of the insurgents. In a separate incident on Saturday evening, three Boko Haram suspects were also arrested by members of Vigilance Youths Group, a.k.a. “Civilian JTF” at the Borno ExCONTINUED ON PAGE 4
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
News NUPENG begins strike over alleged anti-labour policies From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos), Yetunde Ebosele, Bertram Nwannekanma (Lagos) and Alemma Ozioruva, (Benin-City) HE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), at the weekend announced plans to begin a three-day warning strike today over alleged unfair labour practices by oil multinationals such as Chevron, Shell and Agip. Meanwhile, the end may not yet be in sight for the strike embarked by polytechnic teachers as they yesterday vowed to continue the action until their demands are met. Also, piqued by the protracted strike embarked upon by members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, (NUT), a non governmental
organisation, One Love Foundation International, yesterday appealed to the striking teachers in Edo State to return to the classroom in the interest of the pupils in the state. According to NUPENG, the strike is also to protest the alleged refusal of National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to implement the signed collective bargaining agreement with the petroleum tanker drivers and the “sorry state of our roads across the nation”. While appealing to Nigerians for understanding, the union said the oil multinationals have failed to implement the agreement after the meeting brokered by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu. A statement issued by NU-
• Poly teachers insist on action • Group seeks end to Edo teachers’ boycott PENG General Secretary, Issac Aberare, explained that the union’s call for a stakeholders’ meeting in the oil and gas sector to address the situation had also been ignored. Already, NUPENG said it has directed all its members in the depots to stop loading petroleum products for the next three days, adding that members in all the branches in the country are to follow suit. The union stressed that if after the three-day warning strike, nothing was done to address the situation, it will be “forced to embark on an indefinite strike nationwide”.
Making reference to the nonrecognition of the union and stoppage of union dues, recently by Chevron, NUPENG explained that the oil firm and the contractors have not shown any commitment to address the issue after the two weeks ultimatum. The union also states that Chevron and SPDC agreed at a recent meeting to convey a contractor’s forum within two weeks, pointing out that the issue had not been addressed. A statement issued by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) at the end of its 74th National Executive Council (NEC)
meeting which held at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, which was obtained yesterday by The Guardian, decried lack of commitment by government towards the resolution of the industrial impasse that led to the strike. The statement, which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary of ASUP, Clement Chirman, read in part: “NEC expresses concern over the nonchalant attitude of government towards exercising the political will to meet the demands of the union which led to the on-going nation-wide strike. NEC resolves further that unless all the issues on the list of the unions’ demands are met, the ongoing strike will be sustained.”
CPC condemns re-arraignment of journalists From Adamu Abuh, Abuja HE Congress for T Progressive Change (CPC) at the weekend expressed surprise over the decision by the President Goodluck Jonathan led government to re-arraign two Leadership Newspaper journalists, Mr. Tony Amokeodo (Group News Editor) and Mr. Chibuzor Ukaibe (Political Correspondent) on an 11 count charge before an Abuja High court. The CPC described the action by the Presidency against the journalists as misplaced and a shameless volte-face that has no bearing with the wellbeing of the citizenry. In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Rotimi Fashakin, the party noted: “We believe the governance of a nation state requires perspicacity and farsightedness. The usual extemporaneous approach to governance by the Jonathan regime, aptly shown by this shameless volte-face, can no longer help the nation navigate out of its multi-faceted travails.
Appeal court to hear suit on Jonathan over 2015 From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples A Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Cyriacus Njoku has taken
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State (right); Deputy Governor, Pius Odubu and Majority Leader, Edo State House of Assembly, Philip Shaibu at the reception after the burial of Rev. Francis Shaibu, father of the Edo State lawmaker at Jattu, Etsako West Local Council on Saturday.
Senator Ewherido dies, Jonathan, Delta, Mark, others mourn From Hendrix Oliomogbe (Asaba), Bridget Chiedu Onochie and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja) ENATOR Pius Ewherido repSSenatorial resenting Delta Central District on the platform of Democratic People’s Party (DPP), died yesterday in Abuja. His death came barely a year former Committee Chairman on Health, Senator Gyang D. Dantung representing Plateau North, was murdered in his state. Tributes immediately followed Ewherido’s passage from President Goodluck Jonathan, Delta State Government, Senate President David Mark among others. Jonathan said: ‘‘On behalf of himself and all members of the executive arm of the Federal Government l extend our heartfelt condolences to Senator Ewherido’s family, the Senate President David Mark and all of the late Senator’s colleagues in the upper chamber
of the National Assembly.” The President added that he also joined the government and people of the state in mourning the distinguished legislator who served commendably as a member and deputy speaker of the Delta House of Assembly before his election as a senator. Mark, said he received the shocking news of Ewherido’s death yesterday In a statement signed by the Special Adviser, Media, to the President of the Senate, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, Mark described Ewherido as a forthright and vibrant parliamentarian and one of the foremost and hardworking senators in the 7th Senate. He noted that Ewherido has within his short but eventful membership of the Senate, displayed patriotism, commitment and truly distinguished himself as a parliamentarian of a very high standard. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and
Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya H. Abaribe, said the entire upper House yesterday was devastated by Ewherido ‘s death. A brief statement by the Abaribe read that Ewherido only took ill at the weekend and was unable to make it. The Senate, Abaribe declared, “is heartbroken and devastated over this unfortunate incidence”. Also, the Delta State Government has commiserated with the senator’s family, adding: “We express our deep condolences to the family at this trying moment. Government advises Deltans, particularly members of his Constituency to remain calm. We pray that God grants his family, constituents and all of us, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.” And they may have fallen apart politically over the trajectory of the Delta State branch of the main opposition DPP in the run up to the 2015
election but in death a tearful Chief Tony Ezeagwu was full of praises for Ewherido whom he described as a faithful friend. Subdued by the sudden death of Ewherido, a former Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Ezeagwu said yesterday that he was devastated by the death of the Senator who was recently suspended by the DPP over allegation of flirting with with the budding All Progressives Congress (APC). Undeterred by the unconditional romance between the DPP at the national level with the APC, the Delta State branch of the party had resolved to maintain a splendid isolation from the merger effort while those romancing with the new party were warned that they risked expulsion. At the national level, the party has since been admitted into the APC but the leadership of the party in Delta state where it has the largest followership across the country distanced
itself from the action on the ground the merger conditions are clearly spelt out. The Delta party Chairman said that he was on his way out the Delta State capital of Asaba when his mobile phone rang and was hit with the sad news. He quickly made contacts to confirm it. Ezeagwu said: “It is a colossal loss. I didn’t hear any news of his sickness only to be told that he had died. From what I gathered, he had a stroke three days ago and was rushed to the National Hospital Abuja. While preparations were in top gear to fly him abroad, he suddenly died.” While the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Victor Ochei, a former colleague of the deceased Senator during his stint in Asaba as a state lawmaker said he was devastated by the news of Ewherido’s death, former Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo was too shell-shocked to talk.
his bid to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the presidential election in 2015 to the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division. He is seeking to upturn the verdict of an Abuja High Court, declaring him (Jonathan) eligible to stand for the said election. An Abuja high court had held that by the clear provision of Section 137 (b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Jonathan is eligible to run for the highest political office in the country in
Nigeria family sues British Airways over breach From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja NIGERIAN family has filed A a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja against the British Airways over its alleged breach of contract, claiming the sum of N105 million as damages for the humiliation caused by the airline’s failure to keep to its side of the contract. In the suit filed by Mr. Shehu Jafiya on behalf of himself, Mrs Lydia Jafiya, Miss Hassana Jafiya, Mrs. Husseina Jafiya and Miss Jemmimah Jafiya, he said he bought tickets for himself and other family members at the cost of over N6 million “for a journey from Abuja through London to New York to London and back to Abuja following exactly the same route.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Sultan, others urge peaceful co-existence CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 press Motor Park while travelling to Jigawa State to launch attacks. A top military officer in the JTF told The Guardian yesterday that the terror suspects were killed before they could launch attacks in Zabarmari ward of Jere Local Council of Maiduguri. His words: “We received an intelligence report that a high number of Boko Haram terrorists had regrouped and were residing and hiding in this ward. We mobilised our troops to the area, and on reaching the place, the suspects upon noticing our presence, began to chant ‘Allahu Akbar,’ (God is Great) and started shooting sporadically at the JTF troops. We, therefore, had no option than to repel the attackers; we succeeded in shooting dead 10 terrorists. “We decided not to take away any of their corpses, we left them in the area, but the following day, when we mobilised our men to the area, we found out that hundreds of the terrorists were at one of the graveyards burying their dead ones, and when we approached, some of them started shooting at our troops which led to the exchange of gunfire for half an hour, that led to the killing of 40 of them.” He further disclosed: “As I am talking to you now, our men are still in Zabarmari hunting for suspected terrorists who might have escaped the dead-
ly encounter.” Speaking on the arrests, the JTF source said: “The men of the JTF are highly delighted with the zeal/effort being put in place by the vigilance youths, popularly called Civilian JTF. They were yesterday (Saturday) able to arrest three Boko Haram suspects at the Borno Express Motor Park. “They later handed them over to the JTF local commander. After their torture, one of them died. The terrorists are from Bama Local Council on a suicide mission to Jigawa and other states in the North. In fact, the deceased before his death told us that, already, all their weapons of massive destruction had been transported to the targeted areas; waiting for them to arrive before luck ran out on them.” He said the other arrested suspects, who seemed to be in stable condition, promised to take the JTF men to Bama to show them some of their members’ hide-outs. The Sultan, who spoke at the opening of a conference of Ulamas organised by the JNI on promoting peace and unity in Nigeria, condemned the perception of some well-placed Nigerians that Muslims and Islam were always against the search for peace and development of the nation. Abubakar noted: “The main aim of our coming together today is to unite our brothers and sisters, especially the Ulamas. There will be peace, and if there is peace, there will be development and progress in our country and there will be
total security in Nigeria. “And if there is security, definitely, there will be development. What is happening in the northern part of the country is an unfortunate incident… maybe the Almighty Allah wants to correct our ways. “I believe it is high time all of us came together and discussed those things that have been pestering our lives as Muslims in this country.” The Sultan admonished all
Muslims to unite under one umbrella in order to achieve their aspiration under one Nigeria. “We are very aware just like any other people across the world of the challenges facing us as Muslims, not only in Nigeria; we believe somebody somewhere is pulling the string. We are begging Allah for constant prayers from all of you… “, he said. In a paper delivered by an Islamic scholar, Prof. Shehu Ga-
landaci, he said that the lack of concern for sound Islamic preaching by Ulamas had been the major problem that had heightened the problem of insecurity. Galandaci urged all Ulamas to embrace sound Islamic doctrine that would help in returning the country to peace, unity and progress. In his own address, the Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramallan Yero, also argued that Muslim scholars
had a role to play if the country must reverse the unjustifiable animosity between Muslims and the other adherents of other faiths in the country. He said: “To bring lasting peace and unity to Nigeria, Muslim scholars must commit themselves to preaching peace to the people...and they must do this by relating harmoniously with Christians.”
President, City Club of Lagos, Wahab Gbadebo (left); a student of Pacelli School for the Blind, Gbemisola Adeleye; a student of the Westley School for Deaf and Dump, Shuaib Sulaimon and immediate past Chairman of the club, Gbenro Oluwole, during the celebration of the 50th birthday of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola organised by the club in Lagos… at the weekend. (Fashola is the patron of the club) PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU
PDP flays Tinubu for imposing daughter on traders CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 eratives prevented Amaechi from personally exchanging pleasantries with Jonathan at a dinner at the Presidential Villa last Wednesday. Besides, the ACN has strongly condemned what it considered as the persistent campaign of calumny against the All Progressives Congress (APC). It described the attempt to use ethno-religious sentiments to destroy the budding party as a cheap shot that has fallen flat on the faces of the purveyors of falsehood. The PDP also condemned the alleged imposition of Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo to succeed the late Alhaja Abibat Mogaji as President-General of the Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men. In a statement yesterday, the PDP Acting National Publicity Secretary, Tony Caesar Okeke, described the demand by the ACN as “irresponsible meddlesomeness and foolish scandalmongering,” adding that the ACN and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) were merely embittered by the reconciliation in the PDP and were as such crying wolf where there was none. Stating that such protocol issues were understood by all, the PDP said the ACN and CPC had over time shown that they were quarrelsome parties which derive pleasure in causing disaffection among Nigerians. “The ACN and the CPC are merely embittered by the reconciliation so far achieved in the PDP and seek to use all means to undermine it. That is why they are crying wolf
where there is none. Protocol issues are understood all over the world. Therefore, the demand by the ACN smacks of irresponsible meddlesomeness and foolish scandal-mongering aimed at causing disaffection among our leaders and party members”, the statement added. The PDP said Jonathan had a good relationship with all state governors including that of Rivers State and commended him for the reconciliation so far achieved in the PDP. The PDP said the ACN leader, Bola Tinubu, had clearly shown his despotic tendencies with the installation of his daughter as the leader of traders without recourse to democratic processes. “Nigerians have clearly seen that the so-called democrats and self-styled messiahs in the ACN are indeed wolves in sheep’s skins”, the party said. “The ACN leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who has been parading himself as a democrat, has once again shown his despotic tendencies with the installation of his daughter, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, who is not a full-time trader to succeed his mother, the late Alhaja Abibat Mogaji, as President-General of the Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men in utter disregard to democratic principles. “This shows the level of disdain the ACN and its leaders have for democracy. It shows the type of leadership that is obtainable within the ACN where members have been gagged just as it indicates what form of leadership Nige-
rians should expect if such leaders are allowed to hold power at any level in the country. “We challenge the ACN which always harps on democratic principles to examine this issue and come out with its verdict. We also call on Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, to listen to the people and ensure that the right thing is done by allowing the traders to choose their leader through a democratic means”, the PDP said. In a statement in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN said that the latest campaign against APC was being waged by those who were bent on perpetuating mediocre leadership in Nigeria. ‘’These purveyors of falsehood do not want good governance. That’s why they are peddling the lies that the interim leadership of the APC is controlled by Muslims, and that it did not reflect the country’s plural values. ‘’The truth is that while ethnoreligious sentiments did not form the criteria used in selecting the interim leadership, we were conscious that Nigeria is a country of plural values. That is why we have 17 Christians and 18 Muslims (the best balance possible in the odd number of 35 posts that were shared). That is why the 35 occupiers of the positions are from 29 different states, four more than the 25 stipulated by INEC. It was equal opportunity across all zones’’ it said. ACN challenged anyone who doubts the authenticity of the
facts and figures quoted above to verify them at INEC, instead of taking to the social media to spread rumours. The party described the latest attempt to abort the APC baby as the last-ditch effort by those who have mounted similar campaigns against the party in the past, to no avail. ‘’First, they ambushed us by duplicating our acronym, sponsored of course by those who are well known to Nigerians and, when that failed to slow down our momentum, they said the sharing of posts will divide us and ultimately sound our death knell. With these moves having failed woefully, they have now played what they considered their most potent joker: the ethno-religious card. “Thankfully, this too has failed. Nigerians are so desirous of good governance that they will not allow any play on sentiments to shake their resolve,’’ it said. According to the ACN, the promoters of the APC are so determined to give Nigeria the good leadership that has eluded the country for so long that they have decided to shelve their differences and make whatever sacrifices that are necessary to achieve their objective. The party appealed to all Nigerians who want an end to “the rapacious and incompetent leadership currently plaguing their country to continue to disregard the attempts by enemies of progress to sabotage the birth of the APC, in addition to being vigilant in the days ahead, ‘’After all, it is said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’’
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
175 inmates missing in Ondo jail break
‘Why Army Day should be celebrated’ From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos HE General Officer T Commanding (GOC) 3 Armoured Division, Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Rukuba Barracks, Jos, Maj.-Gen. Eboibowei Bonna Awala, has said the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) is worth celebrating because it marks the end of the Nigerian Civil War on July 6. Speaking yesterday at the cantonment, Awala quoted the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, to say that it was a great opportunity to celebrate, adding that this year’s celebration is slated for Abuja at the weekend.
From Niyi Bello, Akure N what is now becoming a Idevelopment regular and worrisome in Nigerian
National Coordinator, Federal Project Support Unit (FPSU), Chukwudi Marshal Onuoha (left); Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere; General Manager of the state Community and Social Development Agency, Augustine Uwalaka and Communications Officer, FPSU, Sunday Joshua, at the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) in the state. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUPO
BPP rejects Aviation Ministry’s fresh N900m proposal for UPS By Wole Shadare FEW days after the Bureau A of Public Procurement (BPP) rejected the Minister of Aviation’s proposal for direct procurement of equipment worth N1,896,736,774.40 for maintenance services for navigational aids, including spare parts, the agency has rejected another proposal from the ministry for the direct procurement and installation of inverter-based Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for six airports. The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi, had earlier wanted the BPP to grant Due Process certificate of no rejection for navigation aids, the absence of which
has made the airspace unsafe. However, the bureau rejected the earlier request because it “lacks substance as it does not contain anything close to a technical proposal for a maintenance service.” It also requested the ministry to forward a letter of authority from the original equipment manufacturer, Thales, indicating that Messr Merry Aviation Communications, Electronic and Industries Nigeria Limited (MACE) is their representative in Nigeria, with capacity to carry out efficient and effective maintenance services on their products. However, rejecting this fresh proposal from the Federal Airports Authority of
Nigeria (FAAN), as packaged by the ministry, the BPP observed that the N928,822,810.00 worth of solar system and inverter-based UPS at Lagos, Kano, Benin, Yola, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Maiduguri airports from Messrs Multisolar Technologies Limited, dated December 5, 2011, and forwarded to the bureau, was not detailed and did not include a breakdown of the costs. According to a letter by the BPP Director General, Emeka M. Eze, Due Process or Certificate of No Objection can only be granted the ministry for repeat/direct procurement and installation of same at the listed airports
when the ministry/FAAN provide the bureau with documentary evidence of award of and execution of same at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by the same contractor, with detailed report of the procurement process, letter of contract award, contract agreement and conditions. It equally requested for certificate(s) of payment(s) and completion certificate (if completed), detailed breakdown of the total costs for each airport, including the price of the complete set of BOS components, accessories and installation charges.
Govt asks court to discharge ex-parte order on NIMASA, others By Joseph Onyekwere HE Federal Government T has filed an application before the Federal High Court in Lagos, asking it to vacate the ex-parte orders it granted against the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the dispute between it and the Nigeria LNG Ltd (NLNG), insisting that NIMASA was not party to the suit before the court. Both parties are embroiled in dispute over the issue of nonpayment of certain statutory levies and charges that NIMASA claims are due to it from NLNG. The trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, had on
June 18, 2013, in a suit between the NLNG and Attorney General of the Federation and Global West Vessels Specialists, granted an exparte order restraining the defendants from charging, imposing, demanding or collecting the three per cent gross freight earnings or any other sum further to Section 15(a) of NIMASA Act 2007 on all of NLNG’s international inbound or outbound cargo ships owned, contracted or subcontracted by it. In that suit, however, NIMASA was not listed as a defendant. Consequently, lead counsel to the Federal Government, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), filed a motion on notice asking the court to
vacate or discharge the exparte order on the grounds that it was essentially made against NIMASA, which was not joined as party to the suit. He contended that NIMASA, being a corporate body with statutory powers to sue and be sued in its own name, its non-inclusion as party, was a violation of the principles of fair hearing. He further contended on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation that an order cannot be made against a person who is not party to the suit, as it is necessary that such party must be given the opportunity to present his case. The application further stated that the dispute, which gave rise to the suit
was essentially between NLNG and NIMASA, and that NIMASA’s non-inclusion was a deliberate move by NLNG to circumvent the provision of Section 53(2) of NIMASA Act, 2007, which makes it mandatory for an intending plaintiff to give the statutory body a 30-day pre-action notice. The AGF also contended that “the reliefs granted the plaintiffs ex-parte were indeed, in form and substance, essentially the reliefs being sought in the substantive suit,” and that the court would not have granted the ex-parte order if not for the misrepresentation, concealment and non-disclosure of material facts by NLNG.
$2tr laundered yearly, as banks prioritise anti-fraud systems By Adeyemi Adepetun NEW report by the KPMG A Africa Anti-Money Laundering Survey 2012 has revealed that between two and five per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or $800 billion to $2 trillion is being laundered yearly. This is coming as the level of interest by banks in Nigeria and other parts of Africa in anti-money laundering (AML) has risen drastically. According to the survey released at the weekend, a copy of which was made available to The Guardian, 66 per cent of the main boards of directors have prioritised AML issues, as banks work to comply with
stricter global regulations. The survey revealed 35.6 per cent of the 59 banks that responded were local banks with international operations while 25.4 per cent were foreign owned, adding that a total of 59.3 per cent of the banks had a turnover, assetsize deposit base in excess of $100 million. Head of Anti-Money Laundering at KPMG, Kevin West, said that worldwide, AML has developed significantly over the past 20 years and recent regulatory scrutiny has seen unprecedented fines being handed down. According to him, “ensuring banking systems cannot be used for money
laundering and terrorist financing is a key imperative for policymakers and lawmakers across the globe. “This can only be achieved with the active assistance of the banking industry and the board of directors who have an important role to play in ensuring accountability throughout the banks. Interestingly, though, more emphasis has also been placed on the role of senior management, who are setting an example by integrating AML compliance within the bank’s business strategy.” The KPMG’s survey also found that the cost of compliance has increased in recent years, noting that due to the
challenges of managing the regulatory requirements of a number of jurisdictions, 95 per cent of respondents indicated they had benchmarked their AML policies and procedures based on local regulations and global best practices. It pointed out that banks within the African region indicated that their biggest spend over the past two years was in Know Your Customer (KYC) policy and process, enhanced transaction monitoring/reporting (63 per cent) and training (49 per cent), where South, East and West Africa all mirrored this finding.
prisons, no fewer than 175 inmates in Akure, Ondo State, were let loose early yesterday in a jail break following an attack on the facility by a gang of about 50 criminals. The attack, in which the hoodlums attacked prison officials and security operatives, took place at about midnight on Saturday at the Olokuta Medium Security Prisons, located on the outskirts of the metropolis along Akure Highway. It was gathered that the well-armed hoodlums, who came in several vehicles and were shooting sporadically in the dark, caught the prison warders unawares and created confusion. Though soldiers of the nearby 323 Artillery Brigade, Owena Barracks intervened, the hoodlums had gained entrance into the prison by breaking the gates leading to the facility. Though their attempt to blow off the main entrance into the prison was unsuccessful, they eventually blew off the wall leading into the inmates’ cells and in the process, wounded a warden. During the melee that ensued, many of the inmates were set free while an unspecified number, who ap-
parently were the reason for the attack, went away with the attackers under a hail of gunfire, leaving the high walls and gates of the prison riddled with bullets. Speaking on the development, the state Prison Comptroller, Tunde Olayiwola, said the attack was unusual. Explaining that the incident took place about 12:05 a.m., however, he dispelled rumour that the attack was masterminded by the Islamist Boko Haram. He added: “We cannot specifically identify those behind the attack, but the attack was unusual. One of our officers was injured during the attack and he is in the hospital right now receiving treatment. But I am assuring everybody that those behind the attack will be brought to book.” Meanwhile, an unconfirmed report said some of the fleeing prisoners have already been re-arrested. Some of them were said to have been picked up by security agents in some of the brothels within the capital city and neighbouring villages to the prison. The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Wole Ogodo, confirmed the attack, stating that the police had contacted the prison authority while information on the jailbreak was still sketchy. According to him, the incident has nothing to do with terrorism.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Accumulating unneeded wealth is madness, says Obi By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu VERY prominent person called me today (yesterday) and asked me my plan concerning politics after my current tenure, and I told him that ‘for me, I have come to the end of it, I want to quit and rest. The level of greed in Nigeria is overwhelming, where people can’t see the suffering of other people. They are just accumulating wealth, for me, it is time to go. “I wonder why one person should own a house in Ikoyi, Asokoro, Dubai and he is not using them for anything, people accumulate what they don’t need, it is madness, the level of greed in Nigeria is intolerable. “I want all of us to be praying for Nigeria, so that God will touch the heart of our leaders to use public money for the people. In Anambra State, we have never borrowed money despite all the works we are doing”. With these words of lamentation yesterday, Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, announced his retirement from active politics. He said he would like to use the remaining part of his life to serve humanity in other spheres where God would want to use him. Obi, who made the announcement on Sunday, said he would quit active politics at the end of his current tenure. He spoke at the thanksgiving service and award ceremony to mark the end of the 2nd Session of the 15th Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Enugu at the St. Bartholomew’s Church, Asata, Enugu. The governor, who was quite emotional, lamented the level of financial waste in government, stressing that “the cost of running a governor’s office in Nigeria is too much. When I came in as governor, I
• To quit politics next year discovered that the state had 70 workers in Abuja office. Apart from their salary we spend close to 15 million maintaining that office. They have nothing doing there than to come to the airport and welcome me, constituting nuisance, so we redeployed the workers and closed down the place. Till date, we have not missed them, which means they were really doing nothing there. “I urge all of us to pray for greedy people in this country, they are accumulating what they don’t need, stop accumulating things for your children,” he charged politicians. Obi, who said he had never bought a car for any of his children, added: “I have told them to buy cars when they make their money, I have also never celebrated birthday for them. They can do that when they leave my house. We should stop wasting public fund”. Earlier in a homily, the Anglican Bishop of Ijebu South West, Rt. Rev. Babatunde Ogunbanwo, charged Christians to have a right view of Jesus Christ in order to overcome the challenges of life. Speaking on “Overcoming the challenges of the time” at the service presided over by the Bishop, Emmanuel Chukwuma of the Enugu Diocese, Ogunbanwo observed that the society is no longer conscious of good virtues, lamenting that lesbianism, homosexuality, nudity, terrorism, suicide bombing and greed have all become part of life. Highlight of the event was presentation of award to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps, Emeka Ihedioha, Arthur Eze and Unoma Ekaete Akpabio, wife of Akwa Ibom State governor.
Country Director, Save the Children Initiative Susan Grant (left); Managing Director, UNILEVER Nigeria Plc, Thabo Mabe and partnership specialist, UNICEF Nigeria, Ochuko Ege, during the UNILEVER Foundation updates in Lagos at the weekend. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU
Atiku laments state of PDP in Southwest, blames leaders By Seye Olumide ORMER Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has accused national and zonal leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest of betrayal over the fate of the party in the zone. He spoke ahead of the forthcoming zonal congress of the party in the Southwest. Recalling the easy victory of the party in the 2011 presidential elections in five of the states in the zone, he said it could be assumed that the party negotiated the presidential election with the zonal leaders at the expense of the governorship, National Assembly and other elective positions. “It still remains a paradox to me how the presidential candidate of the party would win massively in all but one state of the Southwest, yet the party failed to produce a single governor in the region and could only produce 18 State Assembly members in the same election,” he said. “My experience in politics tells me that this paradox can only be explained in one way: that is the leadership of the PDP must have abandoned
the party and negotiated the victory of the president at the expense of the party.” The former vice president called for sincerity in the application of party rules and the abandonment of divide and rule policy in the handling of PDP affairs. “Recent events have shown that the leadership of the party has demonstrated insufficient sincerity in resolving the numerous crises, which are pitching the party members against themselves. Political manoeuvering that relies on the politics of patronage and arbitrary application of sanctions will not sustain the popular will of the people through which the party can recover the lost ground,” he said. According to Atiku, the eloquent silence of respected leaders on the various crises was a disturbing sign, “which leaves majority of the members confused.” He referred to the far-reaching recommendations of a group o f concerned professionals with PDP interest from the Southwest, which carried out a state-by-state analysis of the crises in the party. According to him, if the party
leadership had paid attention to some of their recommendations, “the outcome of the election in Ondo State could probably have been different. It will be useful for the incoming Southwest Executive Committee to study this report and prepare a blueprint for the reversal of the dwindling fortunes of the party in the region,” he said. Atiku advised the national leadership of the PDP to respect the democratic wishes of party members in the zone and discourage the deliberate creation of factions, and upturning the results of duly conducted elections at the various congresses and the national convention. Stressing the need to reverse the declining trend of PDP in the Southwest, as the party cannot afford to depart from the zone, he warned that “in all we do, the adherence to the constitution of the party in the conduct of its affairs is the only hope for sustaining the existence and legitimacy of the PDP. Also, the legitimacy of the party can only be sustained if the provision of the welfare needs of Nigerians takes precedent in the heart of the leaders rather than primordial politicking,” he said.
NLC, TUC caution against removal of wage law from exclusive list By Yetunde Ebosele (Lagos), Collins Olayinka (Abuja) HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have cautioned the National Assembly against removing the National Minimum Wage law from the exclusive list, saying the step will expose low-income earners and those in the states to wage abuse from governors. In a statement signed by the President of the NLC, Abdulwahed Omar, the central labour body observed that such removal will unnecessarily expose Nigerian workers, especially those in the low-income bracket, with grave implications for security, productivity and national well-being, as most state governments, if given the latitude, will pay wages as low as N1000 per month in spite of the relative enormous resources available to them.
Congress said its belief is rooted in the behavioural patterns exhibited so far on the implementation of minimum wage law by some governors who have refused to implement the national law. It added: “Besides the issue of wages lies other serious challenges of legislation, organisation and administration of labour relations justice system as contained in item 34, Exclusive Legislative List, Second Schedule, 1999 Constitution (as amended). It will be an invitation to confusion, chaos, possible anarchy in the polity and judicial nightmare.” The NLC therefore strongly opposed to locating of the minimum wage law on the Concurrent List. The NLC wondered what led to the change in the National Assembly’s earlier decision not to relocate the law, which was anchored on ensuring a
• Poly teachers vow to continue strike than quadrupled, wiping out
minimum national standard as in most civilised economies, and to secure protection for the weakest and most vulnerable workers. The NLC has consistently argued that the issue of minimum wage protection for workers should not be confused with the issue of fiscal federalism. It added: “We still firmly subscribe to this position as nothing has changed. If anything, we would want the Senate to appreciate the fact that in spite of the unjustifiably-resisted national minimum wage law of N18, 000, Nigerian workers remain among the least paid in the world, especially when juxtaposed with national currency wages and salaries based on purchasing power parity.” The labour centre submitted that living costs have more
the initial gains of the wage increase as inflation gallops on two digits and food, utility, transportation and accommodation costs shooting beyond the financial capacity of an average worker. “In the light of the foregoing, we call on the Senate to retrace its steps and be on the side of reason, people, justice and history by ensuring that the minimum wage law remains on the Exclusive List. We make this call in the interest of industrial peace and harmony, enhanced productivity and national security,” it said. The TUC condemned plans by the Senate to devolve more powers to the 36 states by moving some items, including wages, from the 68 items contained in the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent
legislative list to allow Houses of Assembly legislate on them. The union also proposed what it described as “significant restructuring” of the revenue allocation formula in favour of the states so that they can effectively shoulder the added responsibility of increased wage payment TUC explained that while the Congress is not against the debate and review of the 1999 Constitution, “we reiterate that the move will create more industrial crises, especially as some states are yet to implement the new minimum wage of N18,000 even though President Goodluck Jonathan signed it into law in March 2011”. A statement issued by TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama and Secretary General, Comrade Musa Lawal, explained that the union has issue with some states over the new wage structure.
Shettima flays ‘heavy’ reliance on oil revenue •Urges focus on agric By Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri OVERNOR Kashim Shettima of Borno State has chided Nigerian leaders for their “continuous heavy reliance” on oil and gas revenues, which, according to him, has resulted in poor delivery of services and dividends of democracy, including employment. The governor spoke at the weekend before a 23-member Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Resolution (PCDR) that concluded sits tour of the nation at the Government House, Maiduguri. “These oil and gas revenues will keep on declining, therefore Nigerian leaders must explore agriculture and other ventures to meet the yearnings of the people under the current democratic dispensation,” Shettima said. He lamented that with all the revenues accruing from oil sales, Nigerian leaders are yet to “get it right” as most of the people have remained poor in a country with decaying infrastructural facilities across the nation. He wondered what will become of Nigeria when the oil revenues are exhausted.
Offa PDP dismisses alleged attack on Popoola By Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Offa Local Council of Kwara State has described the allegation by Alhaji Saheed Popoola, former chairman of the council, that suspected assassins who recently attempted to assassinate him are PDP thugs, as mischievous. The PDP in Offa, in a statement signed by its chariman, Goke Rabiu, alleged that the assassination attempt was a sham orchestrated by Popoola to mischievously attract to himself undeserved public sympathy and support. “The purported assassination attempt on the life of Popoola as published in some of the national dailies was not only mischievous, false but a desperate attempt to blackmail PDP and its leaders and undeservedly solicit sympathy and support of the public.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
3, 000 FAAN workers to go over new pension policy By Wole Shadare HE manpower development needed to make the aviation industry stronger remains a tall dream at 30 per cent of the 6000 workforce of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) have already tendered their resignation following the new pensions scheme propelled by the Pension National Commission, PenCom. The Commission had few months ago written to the management of FAAN and ordered it to migrate from its internal pension scheme to the new scheme of PenCom latest by March 31st, 2014. Initially, the deadline set for FAAN to migrate to PenCom scheme was 2015, but the management wondered why the commission drew the date backward by another one
NCC rules out extension of SIM registration deadline By Adeyemi Adepetun emerged yesInotNDICATIONS terday that the NCC would extend the deadline date for SIM disconnection in Nigeria. The commission had fixed yesterday, June 30 for the disconnection of unregistered SIMs in the country. In The Guardian’s enquiry to NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Tony Ojobo, yester-
day on possible extension date, Ojobo simply replied, “No extension” Another NCC top official, who spoke to The Guardian on the condition of anonymity, said the SIM registration process has been on for the past two years, stressing that the process shouldn’t have lasted more than six months. “But, because of several pleas, it was extended. NCC seems to
be very firm on its position. There won’t be any extension.” The official said there is need to bring sanity to the system, saying, “Even the operators that are demanding for extension were very reluctant carrying out the SIM registration. NCC had to come in. When it is now time to put everything in order, they are seeking more time. I don’t think that will be possible. No extension in
sight.” This decision seems to have dashed the hope of telecommunications operators, who under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) yesterday appealed to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to extend the deadline date for
JTF, MISOF commend assistance of vigilance groups From Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri HE Military Special Operations Forces (MISOF) and Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State yesterday jointly praised the heroic and patriotic efforts of members of the state’s Vigilance Youths Group (BVYG), who are daily rising against Boko Haram terrorists in the state by identifying, arresting and handing over suspects to the security forces. The MISOF and JTF, therefore, allayed the fears and concerns of Maiduguri residents and other members of the general public, as regards to the activities of vigilance youths, aka “Civilian JTF.” The commendations of vigilance youths’ activities to end Boko Haram terrorism were made yesterday in Maiduguri, in statement by JTF spokesman, Lt. Col Sagir Musa and made available to journalists at the Government House.
ICPAN hopeful on transformation agenda From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief FFICIALS of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN) said at the weekend that despite the gloomy image of Nigerian economy, the country would soon come out of it successfully with the transformation agenda put in place by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. The optimism was expressed at the occasion of conferment of fellowship awards to some senior members of the Institute, in Kaduna. President of ICPAN, Mrs. Oge Okeke who explained that the transformation agenda of Jonathan, which was meant to address the sectoral problems would redress economic challenges in the country, adding: “In this vein, ICPAN lauds this agenda of the Federal Government and we urge the Nigerian citizenry to rise up and give the present administration a clear cooperation, as baseless criticism can only jeopardise good governance”.
Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke (left); receiving the chairman, UNICAL Governing Council, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu during a courtesy call on him in Calabar.
‘More Nigerians need dialysis, kidney transplant monthly’ By Wole Oyebade IVEN the prevalence of G hypertension and diabetes diseases in the country, more Nigerians are coming down with kidney failure and no fewer than 1, 500 patients now need dialysis and transplantation every month. Nephrologist and Director of Clinical Services at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Ebun Bamgboye said this at the weekend as he expressed concern on the shortfall in kidney care services in the country. Bamgboye, who is also the
Vice President of the Transplant Association of Nigeria, added that the attendant increase in commercial kidney donors among Nigerians, “seeking buyers for their kidneys on daily basis,” is as equally disturbing to the practitioners. In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Bamgboye noted that the common causes of kidney failure in our environment are things like hypertension. “At least one out of four adults is hypertensive in Nigeria. Majority of the people
either don’t know it, or are aware of their condition but don’t control it properly. That is why they end up with kidney failure,” Bamgboye said. The same goes for diabetes. In Lagos alone, it is estimated that 80 per cent of individuals are diabetic. Many people who are diabetic don’t know while many that know also don’t control it well. Then, chronic glomerulonephritis, which is very often the aftermath of chronic infection. “So, the conditions that cause kidney to fail is prevalent in our environment. We are not
How to fight corruption, by Ribadu By Tunde Akinola and Abdulwaheed Usamah RSTWHILE Chairman of the E Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) presidential candidate in the 2011 election, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has condemned the Federal Government’s approach to tackling the country’s anticorruption war. Speaking in Lagos yesterday at the 19th Ramadam lecture series organised by the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Muslim Alumni Association, Ribadu said corruption was the reason American President, Barak Obama, refused to visit Nigeria in his current trip to African countries. To him, President Goodluck Jonathan is not building on anti corruption foundations left by previous government.
“So many corrupt people now get away with their acts largely because of their relationship with heads of institutions that ought to counter or expose their abuse of office. Some convicts are being granted state pardon, thereby rubbishing previous serious efforts at tackling corruption. These practices have turned corruption into a sort of culturally or ethically accepted trend.” Ribadu also observed that the anti corruption war could be won if the country’s leaders lead by example. “This corruption war we are waging can be won if the leader shows the way, so that all the other people would follow but when the leader takes the other way, we are in a problem. “Before the coming of EFCC in 2003, there were very few high-profile cases of corruption that were successfully prosecuted, EFCC’s interven-
tions led us into various networks that have previously enjoyed impunity and notoriety, from the Internet scams that dent the image of the country to abuse of office at private and public sectors. He listed impunity and lack of political will to fight the menace of corruption as the major obstacles. Ribadu stated that only an incorruptible president who is also ready to subject his cronies to processes of the law, in case of infringement, could lead the crusade against corruption. According to him, it takes a great deal of goodwill and readiness of the political leadership to launch an effective anti-corruption campaign, as he cited the example of the infamous Malabu oil deal and the report of the presidential task force on oil revenue and many others, which he believed is being undermined by executive silence.
recognising them well and even when we do, we are not managing them well. More so, it is a disease of the Black man. It is four times more common in black people than white people.”
Subscribers Identifications Modules (SIM) registration, which ended yesterday. Specifically, the operators have asked the NCC for a three months extension, which to them would allow them ensure all that are supposed to register do the registration. Specifically, the operators have asked the NCC for a three months extension, which to them would allow them ensure all that are supposed to register do the registration. ALTON Chairman, Gbenga Adebayo in a letter to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah said that in the light of the security and the general logistic problems, it has been difficult for subscribers, registration agents and members of the association to meet the June 30, 2013 deadline. ALTON members include the mobile service operators MTN; Globacom; Etisalat; Airtel, Visafone; Starcomms; Multilinks. Other include; Internet Service Providers, among others. Adebayo’s letter made available to The Guardian at the weekend dated June 28, 2013 reads: “We write in respect of the SIM card registration exercise and the instruction for mass disconnection of unregistered subscribers with effect from Sunday, June 30, 2013 to our members. “We would like to draw your attention that although the SIM card registration has been ongoing for sometimes but subscribers has embraced this exercise more in the past few weeks leading to the June 30, 2013 deadline. “Also, in the light of the security situation in the country and the general logistic problem, it has been difficult for subscribers, registration agents and members of the association to meet the June 30, 2013 deadline.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Jonathan petitioned over Adoke’s non-prosecution of MTN By Abiodun Fanoro RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been petitioned over the refusal of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), to prosecute multinational telecommunications service provider, MTN, for alleged suppression of information in the alleged telephone conversation involving the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, one Alhaji Tunji Ijaya and some chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). In the petition by a civil society group, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiatives (ASRADI) and signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Sam Ayodeji Popoola, the group expressed dismay that five months after the Police had recommended that MTN should be prosecuted, the Attorney-General was yet to do so. ASRDI made reference to the Police Report, which it claimed, indicted MTN of concealing information that could help advance public accountability, transparency, justice, fairness and law and order. According to ASRADI, “The purport of the aforementioned Police Report is that MTN Nigeria
Communications Limited allegedly tampered with the call logs of Justice Ayo Salami, several Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftains and the party’s legal representatives, to conceal their telephone interactions while they had matters pending before the Court of Appeal. “Consequently, the report recommended the prosecution
of MTN for criminal liability. However, we, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative (ASRADI), a civil society organisation, whose raison d’etre is to demand accountability, transparency and good faith of officialdom, are at a loss as to why, nearly five months after the release of the Police Report in question, the Attorney-
General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has failed, refused or neglected to act on the report: charge MTN to court.” The group, which argued that the failure of the AttorneyGeneral to act on the report was inconsistent with the Transformation Agenda of the Jonathan administration, urged him to act in the interest
of the general public by directing Adoke to take action on the report without further delay. The group was further of the view that the action of Adoke had sent a wrong impression that some individuals or entities were above the law, adding that this was an affront on the rule of law, which it said, is the pillar on which democracy and law and order
NUC warns varsities against unapproved post-UTME fee From Lillian Chukwu, Abuja HE 59th National Council on Education (NCE) meeting was concluded at the weekend in Abuja in agreement that the National Universities Commission (NUC) will sanction universities that charge above the approved postUnified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) fee of N2,000.00. The umbrella education decision body also approved the Isoko language curriculum in selected schools. The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, urged the NUC to enforce and regulate a uniform fee by the tertiary institutions for the admission examinations nationwide. She stressed that the NCE’s theme on “Strengthening the institutional management of
education for quality service delivery” is apt on educational improvement in the country. Rufa’i emphasised developments to improve the sector to include “access and equity with the commencement of Almajiri education in 27 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); the integration of Albinism education into the school system and campaigns on girls’ education in the North and boys’ education in the South.” She said that teacher-development and motivation, technical and vocational education and training, development and deployment of ICT in education, school census, publicprivate partnership, adult and non-formal education are cornerstone of the sector’s growth. Earlier, the Minister of State
for Education, Nyesom Wike, said that the meeting was an indication of commitment to address the challenges in the education sector and consensus building in policy development and implementation. He noted that the ministry has commenced the process of addressing the challenges of institutional management through Needs Assessment and Impact Assessment conducted in the Unity Colleges
and public universities in 2012. The NCE approved the revised nine-year basic education curriculum, with effect from 2014 beginning with Primary 1 and Junior Secondary School 1, and that the admission ratio of students in science and trade subjects into technical colleges should be 30 and 70. The body agreed that every student in federal and state science and technical colleges must offer a technical subject.
Stakeholders list tasks for new NCAA DG By Wole Shadare ROM stakeholders in the Fpieces Aviation industry came of advice for the newlyconfirmed Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu. This is coming as they asked the new director general to scrutinise Air Operators Certificates (AOC) awarded to three airlines in a period of three months, which they observed, could pose serious safety problem. They alleged that the issuance of all the important certificates was hurriedly made by acting director general of the
agency, which to them was illegal and does not in any way conform to standard practice. Speaking with reporters at the weekend at the venue of the dissolution of the executive of Airline Operators of Nigeria in Lagos, a chieftain of Aviation Round Table (ART), Sheri Kyari, said Akinkuotu needs to improve every operations of the regulatory body in the area of airworthiness of operators, flight operation, medical assessment and everything that has to do with Category One aviation status. Speaking in the same vein, President, ART, Captain Dele Ore, said Akinkuotu needs to be strong to be able to make an appreciable impact given the level of rot in the system. According to him, “They have destroyed so many things to the extent that I am telling you that it is very scary. Since Demuren left this place, you can be rest assured that any AOC issued within the period is fake. Those AOCs issued do not meet the standards and it is something that the world should not even hear about, but you provoked me to say it”. Ore opined that the main reason the former director general was removed from office was to thwart the sector and overrun the place. His words: “I am not a tribalist, but they have turned the place to a tribal union and the standards are lower because people who are not qualified have been brought into the system. And it’s dangerous for the new man to come in here and be able to recognise these things and tackle them one by one”. Ore stated that Akinkuotu’s job was really cut out for him, describing it as an uphill task. He’s an intelligent young man, qualified, but he will need to learn on the job. They have startled him by the prolonged screening and rescreening and reduced his confidence. But when he gets his confidence back, I am telling you, he will do a very honest job; he’s a maintenance engineer and a pilot, an instructor and a commander. So, nobody can push him around. He’s somebody I endorse anywhere, anytime, but the system is rotten”.
WAIFEM urges Africa to embrace global accounting standards By Mary Ogar OR African countries to be Fglobal fully integrated into the financial system and not to be considered a failed state, a financial expert and Director General of the West African Institute for Financial Management (WAIFEM), Dr. Akpan Ekpo, has called on policy makers to intensify efforts towards setting higher standards of transparency, accountability and probity in the use of public resources by converging to the global accounting standards. With over 100 countries mainly in the European Union currently adopting the International Finance Reporting Standard (IFRS), he advised countries in the subregion to fast track their migration and compliance to the new international accounting standards.
Group to review Jonathan’s mid-term report From Kanayo Umeh, Abuja S the mid-term report subA mitted by President Goodluck Jonathan continues to generate comments from the public, a transparency group, Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), will in the coming week organise a forum for Civil Society Organisations to brainstorm and review Jonathan’s claim of excellent performance in the execution of his “Transformation Agenda.” In a statement signed by the its Executive Director, Dr. Chima Amadi and made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, the group stated that the forum would use its own marking scheme to assess the claims of achievements of the current administration. According to the statement: “the strategy will be to critique the presentation of the various ministries and see if the achievements so listed correspond with the realities on ground. The forum shall also ascertain if the activities of the administration during the period under review meet the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people.
Government College Ibadan to raise N250m By Taiwo Hassan OVERNMENT College, G Ibadan (GCI), has concluded plans to organise a fundraising programme for the sum of N250 million for the rebuilding and re-engineering of its school infrastructure. According to a press statement at the weekend signed by the Chairman, Planning Committee of the Old Boys’ Association, Yomi Jones, the need to appeal to eminent Nigerians for funds has become necessary because of the continued decay of the school’s infrastructure. He said the reputable college, which has produced eminent Nigerians from all walks of life, needed to be renovated before the situation got out of hand.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
WorldReport Europe queries U.S. over alleged bugging of missions FFICIALS of European O Union (EU) and some member states yesterday angrily demanded answers from the United States (U.S.) over allegations that Washington had bugged its offices. The new development is hinged on the latest spying claim in German weekly Der Spiegel attributed to fugitive leaker, Edward Snowden. The report is likely to further strain relations between the U.S. and Europe shortly after they launched formal negotiations to create what would be the world’s biggest free trade area. The weekly newspaper said its report, which detailed covert surveillance by the U.S. National Security
Agency (NSA) on EU diplomatic missions, was based on confidential documents, some of which it had been able to consult via Snowden. “We have immediately been in contact with the U.S. authorities in Washington DC and in Brussels and have confronted them with the press reports, “ Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted the European Commission as saying in a statement. “They have told us they are checking on the accuracy of the information released yesterday and will come back to us.” One document, dated September 2010 and classed as “strictly confidential”, describes how the NSA kept tabs on the European Union’s mission in
he EU delegation at the United Nations was subject to similar surveillance, the German weekly said, adding that the spying also extended to the 27member bloc’s Brussels headquarters. Washington, Der Spiegel said. Microphones were installed in the building and the computer network infiltrated, giving the agency access to emails and internal documents. The EU delegation at the United Nations was subject to similar surveillance, the German weekly said, adding that the spying also extended to the 27-member bloc’s Brussels headquarters. It said the leaked documents referred to the Europeans as “targets”, in intelligence activity remi-
niscent of the Cold War. U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes refused to be drawn into commenting directly on the allegations in a briefing in Johannesburg on Saturday, but said it was “worth noting” the U.S. was “very close” to EU security services. In a separate report yesterday, Der Spiegel said leaked documents showed that the U.S. secret services targetted Germany more than any other EU country. Citing figures from NSA documents, the magazine said that half a billion forms
of communication – phone calls, emails, text messages and Internet chat entries – were monitored in Germany every month. The claims are the latest in a series of allegations about U.S. spying activity revealed by Snowden, a former NSA contractor who is holed up in a Moscow airport transit zone after the United States issued a warrant for his arrest and revoked his passport. European Parliament president, Martin Schulz, said in a statement he was “deeply worried and shocked” by the reports. “If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-U.S. relations.”
Egypt’s opposition protesters demand Morsi’s resignation
Africans yesterday held a special prayer service in Nelson Mandela’s ancestral village. As the prayer service was being held, hundreds of kilometres elsewhere in South Africa, President Barack Obama was “deeply humbled” by a visit to the cell where the first black President of the country spent years as a prisoner, in a solemn homage yesterday to the critically ill hero he was unable to see in Pretoria. Moreso, Desmond Tutu also yesterday commended Mandela as an “incredible, incredible person” who was still uniting South Africans from the hospital bed where
country, just as British Prime Minister David Cameron called for tough action against terrorism during a visit to the capital. In the two deadliest attacks a suicide bomber killed 19 people at a checkpoint near a Shiite Muslim mosque in the southwestern city of Quetta, and a car bombing killed 17 in the northwest. The combined toll marked the deadliest day for nearly four months in the nucleararmed state, which is battling homegrown extremism and is on the frontline of the U.S.-led war against Al-Qaeda. In Quetta, officials said a suicide bomber tried to access a Shiite mosque in the congested Hazara town, a mainly Shiite community on the edge of the city, but was intercepted at a checkpoint.
today, the United FtakeROM Nations (UN) soldiers will over from African troops
Opponents of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans and wave the national flag during a protest calling for his ouster in the northern coastal city of Alexandria … yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
S’ Africans pray for Mandela’s recovery, Obama humbled by prison visit ISHING the gravely ill W anti-apartheid hero a speedy recovery, South
AKISTANI officials disclosed P yesterday that bomb attacks killed 44 people in the
UN peacekeepers take over from African troops in Mali today
HOUSANDS of Egyptians T yesterday took to the streets nationwide determined to oust Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on the anniversary of his turbulent first year in power. In Cairo, several marches set off for Tahrir Square and to the presidential palace in the Heliopolis neighbourhood as one chant rang out round the capital: “Leave!” Anti-Morsi protests were also being staged in the coastal city of Alexandria, the Nile Delta cities of Mansura, Menuf, Tanta and Mahalla, the canal cities of Suez and Port Said and in the president’s hometown of Zagazig. In Tahrir Square, tens of thousands of people waved red cards and Egyptian flags as patriotic songs boomed from large speakers. “The people want the ouster of the regime,” the opposition protesters chanted, the signature slogan of the 2011 revolt that ousted Hosni Mubarak and brought Morsi to power.
Bombs kill 44 in Pakistan as British PM visits
• Ex-president still a symbol of unity, says Tutu • Battle intensifies over Madiba’s family gravesites he is battling for his life. Meanwhile, a bitter feud within Mandela’s family over the final resting place of the ailing anti-apartheid hero and his children intensified yesterday, with his grandson lamenting the dispute has been taken to court. Mandla Mandela said “regrettably and reluctantly” he was “compelled to go to court and respond” to 16 relatives demanding in court the return of the remains of Mandela’s children to the village of Qunu. The remains of three of Mandela’s children are currently buried at Mvezo, some 30 kilometres (18 miles) to
Qunu’s south, after Mandla moved them, allegedly without the family’s consent, in 2011. Mandela, who remains critically ill in what is now his fourth week in hospital, had expressed his wish to be buried in Qunu. His daughters want to have the remains of his children transferred so they can be buried together. In Qunu, a Mandela elder yesterday said he hoped the dispute over the family gravesite would be resolved soon. Napilisi Mandela, who was present at last week’s acrimonious Mandela clan family meeting, said the court battle
dividing the Mandela family was a painful matter. Verne Harris, a director of the Johannesburg-based Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, said Mandela told him many times his wish was to be buried at Qunu. However, at Mandela’s ancestral village in Qunu, worshippers sang solemn hymns in a community hall, calling on God to heal the revered leader “during this difficult time”. “We want him to recover from whatever pain he is experiencing. That is what we are here for and praying for,” said Methodist Church minister Sonwabile Msotyana, as Mandela started a fourth week in hospital. “This is a very important man
that is lying there, not only for South Africa but the entire world,” he said. The Nobel peace laureate is in critical condition in Pretoria where he was hospitalised on June 8 with a recurring lung infection. Mandela’s oldest grandson, Mandla and several other relatives also joined the interdenominational service around 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away in South Africa’s rural hinterland. Supporters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) dressed in party colours also attended. Meanwhile, Obama yesterday paid tribute to Mandela and other anti-apartheid inmates of Robben Island, who “refused to yield” in the face of racist white minority rule.
in conflict-scarred Mali – making up the organisation’s third-largest peacekeeping force by the end of the year. A 12,600-strong force will take over security duties from French troops who entered Mali in January to halt an Islamist advance and help the government re-establish its authority over the vast country. France is winding down its deployment from its peak of nearly 4,500 but is to keep up to 1,000 troops in Mali and they will maintain responsibility for military strikes against the Islamists. “Security conditions are satisfactory, no major attack has been recorded against the Malian and African forces, and most important, despite what certain people feared, the political process has experienced a very positive evolution,” France’s UN ambassador Gerard Araud said, welcoming the handover.
Senegal detains Chad’s ex-dictator, Habre, ahead of trial UTHORITIES in A have detained Chadian dictator
Senegal former Hissene Habre on yesterday, the first step towards a trial on charges of crimes against humanity that is seen by many as a milestone for African justice. The man once dubbed “Africa’s Pinochet” also stands accused of war crimes and torture during his eight years in power in Chad, where rights groups say that some 40,000 people were killed under his rule. “Hissene Habre has been taken into custody as part of the probe,” said a prosecutor with a special court set up in February to try the 70-year-old former leader.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Politics Nigerians want Senate to shift grounds on items for amendment
By Saxone Akhaine (Northern Bureau Chief), Abiodun Fanoro and Seye Olumide HE National Assembly may this week begin T deliberations that will lead to the amendment of the 1999 Constitution. This is in line with its pledge three weeks ago while proceeding on a two-week recess — that amendment of the document would be its major assignment as soon as it came back from recess. Although it resumed last week, sources familiar with the workings of the National Assembly told The Guardian that the first week of resumption is usually used to make consultations, to lobby, to strategise and to gauge the feelings of both the Assembly and members of the public. Before going on the recess, the Senate released provisions of the Constitution it intends to amend, as well as new provisions it intends to inject into the document. Expectedly, different reactions have trailed the items the Senate rolled out for deliberation and possible adoption. Interestingly, the other arm of the National Assembly, the House of Representatives, has opposed some of the items, which the Senate had adopted for deliberation, especially the sixyear tenure being planned for the office of the President and the Governor. From members of the public, knocks and condemnations formed their aggregate reaction to the Senate decision on the amendment. Areas most Nigerians particularly disagreed with include Senate’s refusal to approve the creation of more states; granting autonomy to local government councils; failure to grant a special status to Lagos; and approving single term of six years to the president and governors, among others. However, the Senate received praises over its decision to separate the Office of the Minister of Justice from that of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF). Among prominent Nigerians that reacted to the decision were former National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) scribe, Ayo Opadokun; National Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani; and legal practitioners — Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN) and Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN) and Sunday Adeeko. Okpeseyi and Adeeko lauded the Senate decision to separate the offices of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, stressing that the action would promote professionalism, enhance administration of justice and ethical practice. They added that the separation would allow whoever is the AGF to prosecute without being weighed down by political or party considera-
Opadokun tions. Similarly, Adenipekun said the separation would insulate the office of the AGF from politics, “as the AGF is expected to be a professional taking decisions based on his training as a lawyer.” Okpeseyi, however, carpeted the Senate for its refusal to grant a special status to Lagos State, despite the overwhelming facts supporting the demand. He dismissed the lawmakers’ reason that doing so could attract misgivings from Nigerians. As he noted: “The Senate decided in its wisdom to ignore the facts and play politics of denial on about 20 million Nigerians from all the states in Nigeria, who are in Lagos, excluding those who work in Lagos with accommodation in surrounding states. “This style of politics affected the Metro Line Project, and the Third Mainland Bridge, to mention a few in the past, for which Nigeria and Nigerians paid dearly for, in term of resources and human suffering.” While noting that all hope was not lost, Okpeseyi said “the only good you (Senate) can do is to recognise the established and admitted facts about Lagos, do what is right and accord the state its special status, so that more funds would be available to radically improve and transform facilities in the state, make the environment more conducive for human habitation and a true Nigerian project for all Nigerians.” However, Opadokun faulted the National Assembly’s wholesale efforts to amend the 1999 Constitution and called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Assembly to urgently organise a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), where ethnic nationalities that make up the country would have the opportunity of sitting at a roundtable to determine their future and terms of relationship. Describing the Assembly’s move as “trying to put the cart before the horse,” the former NADECO scribe warned that both the executive and legislature are only working towards pushing the country to the brink by their continued refusal to organise an SNC. Insisting that the amendment would not translate into any meaningful result, Opadokun said: “Most of our legislators have
this over-exaggerated opinion of their roles. In the first instance, I do not know when the likes of the Senate President, David Mark, a retired military general, became a democrat that he would now sit to preside over constitution review for Nigerians. “I remain convinced that the efforts would not give the nation what it requires.” Opadokun, who is the Convener of Coalition for Electoral Reform, alleged that the legislators are serving their personal interest by their insistence to continue with the amendment, even when majority of Nigerians oppose it. “Even as bad as the 1999 Constitution is, it made provision for two major landmarks. First, it provided the room for a recall of any legislator that is not performing to the satisfaction of those who elected him/her in such constituency. “It also provided for the impeachment of any governor, president or their deputies and that explains why the Nigerian people retain their sovereignty. “When they elect somebody into office, they invested such a person with some modicum of sovereignty. So, the power to review or write a Constitution rests with the people; what the National Assembly is doing is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse.��� Questioning the existence of the National Assembly itself, Opadokun said: “The existence of the National Assembly is supposed to be one of the issues to be decided by Nigerians as to which one we want; whether we want to maintain a unicameral or bilateral legislature? In the light of what is happening, Nigerians should critically look at the issue whether it is right to have a full-time or a part-time legislature. Therefore, members of the National Assembly cannot preside over their own matters. Unfortunately, that is what they are doing by attempting to review the Constitution.” Urging Nigerians never to trust the legislators and their bid to review the Constitution, the former NADECO chieftain said: “I am very disturbed to raise this matter but in 2010, the lawmakers did some gymnastic to the Constitution. They amended some portions that have to do with election. They made it a constitutional matter that petitions over elections cannot exceed 180 days and 50 days for appeal. But I can tell you, without
Even as bad as the 1999 Constitution is, it made provision for two major landmarks. First, it provided the room for a recall of any legislator that is not performing to the satisfaction of those who elected him/her in such constituency. It also provided for the impeachment of any Governor, President or their deputies and that explains why the Nigerian people retain their sovereignty
Okpeseyi any fear of contradiction, that over two-thirds of the election petitions that arouse out of the 2011 elections were thrown out as a result of this time limit, which was not the fault of the petitioners. “They (lawmakers) did that for their own selfish means. Therefore, what they are doing right now is wrong and unacceptable. “We need to ask them to explain to us if they promised Nigerians, in their manifestoes when they were campaigning in 2011, to write or review the Constitution? If they did not promise to do that, certainly the National Assembly does not have the mandate to review the Constitution. “Secondly, the very institution they are today is a subject matter of terrific discussion because it has bearing as to whether we can sustain such an expensive system. As good as they may sound, Nigeria should view the move (amendment) with caution.” The grouse of the Arewa Consultative Forum is with the six-year, single-term proposal, which it says is capable of worsening the country’s already bad leadership problem. The Arewa elders, after studying the proposed recommendations of the Senate Committee, said that notwithstanding the fact that President Jonathan and all serving governors may not enjoy the six-year tenure proposal, it could be counter-productive, as it may not lead to the attainment of good governance Nigerians are desirous of. Mr. Sani, who reacted to the Senate recommendations, said the proposal could be counter-productive, because “it lacks incentives to motivate for excellence.” “This is because the good, the not-so-good and the feckless are grouped together without any exception,” he said. “All management of human affairs, which has no incentives by way of reward that motivates for excellent performance, cannot reasonably be expected to be effective.” Sani noted that, “in multiple tenures, re-elections is often a form of reward for good performance.” “And if the president and governors know that they are all entitled to six years whether they perform or not, they will not perform but will concentrate on pillage of the public treasury, which is counter-productive,” he said. “That is why most countries of the world, including Russia and China, have multiple and not single tenures. And if abuse of incumbency is the problem, Nigeria can consider those models, which allow multiple tenures that are not consecutive.” Sani cited Chile as a good case in point where no president is allowed to conduct an election in which he is a candidate. But he can still re-contest under the watch of a different president.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Lamido, most capable for presidency in 2015, says Kazaure Senator Ibrahim Musa Kazaure, deputy national chairman, Northwest zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained to John Akubo in Dutse, Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State holds the key to Nigeria’s myriad of problems. HY did you allude to even infants W clamouring for Governor Lamido to be president come 2015? What I said there (at the Government House, Dutse) is clean and clear, and every sensible Nigerian understood what I said. We are living in fear and abject poverty in this country. I know some Nigerians sleep without having a dinner and waking up without breakfast. The farming that has been our tradition is at subsistent level. The meagre amount, which the Federal Government gives to the State Governments, is not enough to take care of all these problems and you know that actually, this country belongs to all of us. So many waters have passed under the bridge but I want people to understand what I said: That we need people with the political will in Nigeria; but the way we are running now, we don’t have people at the apex with that political will to salvage the country. Now that Nigerians came out in millions, asking only one person (Lamido) to come out and contest, he did not say he want to contest. He did not tell anybody he wanted to be a president but wherever you go, throughout the length and breadth of the country, people are yearning, people are hungry and thirsty for a leader that will eliminate poverty and bring peace to this country. Now that they have gotten one, why wouldn’t all of us join hand and contribute to ensure that more people will come to draw (persuade) this person so that he can salvage the nation. I have been honest about it not minding
Kazaure the position I hold (in the PDP). I am a Nigerian, who will not want his children to be begging; I don’t want to wake up tomorrow only to see that there is no more Nigeria. I don’t want poverty to continue to ravage our people. When I come from my house to go to anywhere, I should feel like a free bird. This is the reason we are calling on Lamido and I am not alone but all over. Why do you think Lamido can change the situation? The question is not about changing the situation as at now, but the first question is
who has the political will? Lamido has the political will. Even a blind person, who was in this state (Jigawa) in the last seven to eight years and he comes now with his face covered with blanket, he will still feel the smell of something happening in Jigawa. Even if you hate Lamido — I am not saying everybody must like him — but even his enemies know that Lamido is a better person to rule this country because when you come to the state, you will see how it is booming and see the people sparkling. Our towns are neat and you see green all over the places. This is a sign of good governance. The PDP chose him because they know what he did while he was a Minister of Foreign Affairs. We are yet to have a Minister of Foreign Affairs like him. After he left the ministry, it became like a mess. Will Lamido be able to tame the Boko Haram, as his praise-singers are insinuating? I am not an Imam, neither am I a Mallam. Put religion aside. Lamido is not tribalistic; he doesn’t have this religious sentiments. He is a clean and clear Nigerian who wants peace. I believe that when Lamido begins to lead Nigeria, there would be peace and tranquility, and things will be better for this country. This is all I know. Recently, Lamido and Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State were with Chief Tony Anenih in Abeokuta, on a reconciliation meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Why should it be only governors from your zone? You mean because only the governors were taken? This is what I am talking about. The two governors that were chosen to go and mediate are those either the Presidency or the PDP felt are more capable of bringing peace and tranquility to the party. I think that is why they were chosen because of their vast experience in what is party politics. There is no way you will talk politics and you ignore Governor Lamido in this country. Lamido was the secretary of the SDP (Social Democratic Party), one of the strongest, the biggest and the most formidable party in Nigeria. And you could not hold such a position in SDP and you are later thrown to the
dust just like that, no way. There is something with this man. May be because the Katsina State governor was the deputy national chairman of the PDP (hence, he was on the delegation). So, when you combine the two experienced hands, maybe the party can be in peace. The PDP governors and the PDP national chairman have been at daggers-drawn. Is this good for the party? I have no comment because I am not a governor, neither am I the national chairman. Why is the merger of the opposition parties giving the PDP some nightmares? Does it have to do with reports that some PDP governors are about joining the new party because of their disaffection with the ruling party? Do you know the governors? Do you think it is possible for someone living in a mansion, or a palace to now want to start living in a single room, face-me-I-face you? You are taking somebody in a party to go and join a club? They (opposition) are clubs; they are not parties because if they were parties, they would have remained what they were. But look at it: Before they can win election, all of them — all the clubs — have to merge before they can defeat the PDP. Mark it today; write it with a black pen and underline it with a red biro. The only party that can defeat PDP is PDP, no more no less. All these ones that are murmuring and gathering, they can’t do anything. I think you were around when the election was conducted in 2011; what did they do? They couldn’t get even 30 per cent. They did the same thing (in other past elections). Look, the moment you take the people in the PDP away, there will be no politicians in Nigeria. Go to your village, remove all the PDP members, put them in a truck and then ask for the rest of the politicians to come out. You will not see anybody; the rest are not politicians. The only party that has the recipe for defeating the PDP is PDP, not another party. Yes, we know that some of them are trying to form a big club but not a party. Try them with managing Nigeria for six months, they will dump it and run away.
Advisory Council, stakeholders want renewed funding of political parties From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja EPRESENTATIVES of the various political R parties and participants at a one-day lecture organised by the Electoral Institute of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja unanimously agreed that the renewal of funding would eradicate internal crises in the registered political parties. They argued that crises must continue to trail the various parties because of their current funding system, “where the highest donors to the funds will continue to fight for dominance in the parties’ affairs,” thereby promoting internal crises. Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Tanko Yinusa, who spoke on behalf of the registered political parties, noted that finance had been a major threat to the performance of most parties in the Nigeria. He said that generation of private fund had been problematic considering the economic situation of the country. He noted that the major political parties were flourishing due to the funding provided by its members, “who are in public offices while they have worked hard to ensure that the smaller parties are denied of the same public fund.” Collaborating the views of the IPAC chair, the factional national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, said that public funding of political parties would enhance internal democracy in the parties, adding that public funding of political parties remains an essential cost of democracy, “which the Federal Government cannot shy away from.” “If the political parties remain weak, they will
not be able to discharge their independent functions assigned to them by the Constitution of the country,” he said. “Our experience is very common. Everyday, we read about how political parties are being hijacked by people who are elected and occupying executive position, which they got through the help of those parties because they have gotten money through those resources. “But when parties are funded through public fund, they will execute their programmes constitutionally without being afraid of those who would want to use private money to hijack it.” In her paper titled, Political Parties and Effective Participation in Governance, Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Mrs. Gloria Richards Johnson, said that public funding of political parties would help to check the parties from receiving voluntary donations from questionable sources that may compromise their independence and democratic functions. “It (funding) will also strive to level the playing field and give equal opportunity to all political parties by making sure that they get equal chance to get elected into public offices.” Mrs. Johnson, however, noted that government could create a public agency “that can monitor, control and enforce a detailed set of rules and functions as a public watchdog to the usage of public fund allocated to political parties.” “There should be a law permitting the auditing of campaign donations to political parties and candidates, as excesses of such donations should be forfeited by both the political parties and candidates to the government,” she
Jega said. “There will be no democracy without political parties because it is the parties that generate democratic governments and shape public policies. To be able to perform the task expected of them, they need to generate income. Johnson explained parties face challenges of security, staffing and equipping party secretariats, running campaigns, organising congresses and conventions, among other things.
“The reality is that it is often the lack of financial resources, which prevents certain groups and leaders from achieving political participation in parliaments across the world,” she said. “By public funding of political parties, efforts will be made to bridge the gap between voluntary donations and the necessary spending, thereby hoping to avoid political parties seeking funds from sources that may compromise their independence and democratic functioning.” She the imperative need to educate Nigerians on the legal restrictions on campaign financing, damaging effects of political corruption, as well as the need to demand accountability from their political parties and candidates. “Nigeria should borrow a leaf from the Liberian example, where party candidates are made to publicly declare their assets before they can be issued party nomination forms,” she said. In his response, the chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, promised that the commission would continue to do its best in enforcing internal democracy in the various political parties without interfering in their internal affairs. While accepting that the smaller political parties needed assurance from the commission so as not be overshadowed by the bigger ones, the INEC boss guaranteed that the commission would deliberate on some of the issues raised by the political parties and stakeholders. He said some of the suggestions would require amendment of the existing laws, from where the commission derives its powers to take those decisions.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
TheMetroSection How WAMCO manager was murdered in Benue • We carried out the act, accused confessed in court From Joseph Wantu, Makurdi T still remains a mystery and big shock to the Rasak family from Osun State, the circumstances that led to the heinous murder of their son, Lukman Adeleke Rasak, who was brutally murdered in a gruesome manner on June 1, 2013. The late Lukman was until his death the Benue State Area Sales Manager for West Africa Milk Company, WAMCO PLC, a Lagos-based dairy foods company. He was posted to the State in 2011 from Osogbo Regional Area Office of the Company. Late Lukman, 49, hailed from Iwo Town, Osun State. His parents are small-scale farmers, which accounted for his humble beginning in life. He studied History at the University of Ilorin where he bagged a Second Class, Upper Class Division. After his NYSC, he sought to join the Nigerian Navy and Air force twice but was denied enlistment despite his excellent performance at the interviews because he had no senior officer in the Nigerian Army to recommend him to higher authorities. He also attempted joining the Nigeria Police but fate also denied him again because of lack of connection. Feeling frustrated for being denied the professions he so much admired, late Lukman came to Lagos in 2000 in search of other jobs and while roaming the streets of Lagos from his Akute residence in Ogun State, he one day walked into the premises of WAMCO Office in Ogba, Lagos, requesting for employment. After his persistent visits, he was offered the job as a casual labourer working with his WAEC certificate. The humble and young Lukman, in his determination to succeed and conquer poverty, worked diligently to the admiration of fellow casual workers, some of who did not even know that he was a Degree holder. His dedication to duty caught the admiration of his supervisors and senior managers in the company. Having passed the Nigerian Institute of Marketing (NIMARK) examination during his days as a casual worker, he later assumed the position of a Sales Representative in the South West states and consistently beat sales forecast and targets assigned to his area. He impressed the Management with increasing sales returns each time and become a star among his peers. He was noted for diligently executing marketing tasks and brought innovations into the Sales force of the company. All these high exhibition of competence, accounted for Lukman’s speedy promotion to the post of Areas Sales Manager within a short period of time. Lukman was posted to Benue State Area Office in 2011 to turn around the dwindling fortunes of the Company in the area, which he had skillfully im-
The late Lukman proved significantly before his untimely death. The Guardian revealed that on May 30, two days before he was murdered, he had told his family and friends that he would be coming to Ibadan to meet them as he does every month. But on Friday, he called to tell his family that he had cancelled his trip and would be coming home a week later because of urgent official assignments he had to complete that weekend. This, however, turned out to be the last day Lukman would communicate with his family members. On the evening of Saturday, June 1, death gruesomely but unknowingly came to him as he told one of his neighbours that he wanted to “go out and get something”. He drove out in his car but was never seen alive again. As his friends curiously asked about his whereabouts for more than three days, his neighbours reported to the police who came and broke into his apartment and found the dead body with his hands and feet tied and a chemical suspected to be acid poured
into his mouth. Late Lukman was said to be a real gentleman, transparent and compassionate and loved by many. Little wonder than that the questions on the lips of many people who had known him have been: why and who could have killed the promising young man? Survived by five children, siblings and aged parents, his father, Pa Ishola Rasaki, in his 80s, is yet to come to terms with the death of his first son whom he described as the apple of his eyes. He has continued to ask why somebody would or people cause him heavy heartache in his old age. The widow, Mrs. Hannah Lukman Rasaki, it was learnt, has remained in a pensive mood and unable to sleep since the sad incident. It is only God that can console the wife and family. The family members and close associates have commended the Nigeria Police for their efforts so far in apprehending the suspected hired killers and hoped that justice would be done speedily. On Tuesday June 18, 2013, the Benue
State Police command paraded four persons Philip David, Owoicho Egwu, Ochai Obeh and Osugo Ezekiel who are suspected to have murdered Lukman. They also displayed his Toyota Camry car stolen by the bandits. One of the suspects Philip David denied that they murdered Lukman, insisting that they only tied him and took away some of his belongings. Ochai, who confessed to be a taxi driver in Abuja, said he was in the process of selling the car when the police picked him up. In a partial submission to the desire of family members and associates of late Rasak as well as other sympathizers, on June 27, 2013, a Makurdi Chief Magistrate’s Court presided over by Chief Magistrate Dan Ogo ordered the five accused to be remanded in prison custody for the murder of Rasaki Lukman. The court mentioned the five accused persons were named as: Philip David, Ezekiel Orkurga, Ochai Obeh, Owoicho Egwu and Onoja (surname not known) and adjourned the matter to July 1, 2013 for further mention. Prosecuting Police Officer, Sgt. Godwin Ebonyi had told the court that one David Terhemba, also of Friesland Company, Makurdi reported at ‘D’ Division Police Station that he traced his boss to his house when the company needed his services but found him dead in his room. The complainant further stated that his boss’s Toyota Corolla car, 2010 model was also noticed missing. Prosecution said that the police immediately started investigating the matter upon receiving the report and it was revealed that the accused persons conspired, attacked the deceased and shot him dead. He said that the police then trailed the accused persons to their hideout in Abuja where they were arrested with the missing vehicle of the deceased, which they were about to sell off. Prosecution said the accused persons all voluntarily confessed to have committed the crime. Meanwhile the people are curiously waiting to feel the course of justice in the gruesome murder of this genius and adventurer, Lukman Adeleke.
Lagos warns of heavy rains, thunderstom in July State Government LpareAGOS has alerted citizens to prefor rains of high intensity with accompanying wind and thunderstorm from the month of July 2013. The alert issued by Commissioner for the Environment , Tunji Bello, yesterday said in the wake of metrological reports from Nigerian Metrological Agency, there was need to sensitize Lagosians
not to panic, whenever it rains as they will start to experience accumulated water concentration on some roads and highways. According to the Ministry’s spokesman, Fola Adeyemi, “The commissioner pointed out that it has been raining since January and this has increased the water level of the soil, thereby making in-
filtration capacity to be very low across the state .” He said Bello further explained that this has led to the saturation of the soil, which will henceforth cause delay in discharge of rain water into the water bodies. The Commissioner further advised Lagosians residing along flood plains and low lying areas and other coast lines like Ajegunle, Owode-
Onirin axis, Owode-Elelede, kuramo beach, Alpha beach, Okun-mapo, Okun Ajah, Mende-Maryland, IjoraBadia, Iwaya to be extremely careful as they may need to temporarily vacate their residence and move to higher ground once they notice gradual accumulation of rising water as the state is not ready to lose any life during the rainy period.
Kidnapper feigning madness arrested in Ilorin From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin IDNAPPERS disguising as mentally sick persons are on the prowl in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. These characters are being used as agents by yet-to-be identified influential persons in the society. Their missions, according to sources, include the murder of their victims, severing from their bodies needed organs for money- making purposes and the sale of such parts to their sponsors. The kidnappers would ordinarily appear as mentally derailed persons, who stay at strategic locations where they could easily catch their victims, mostly women and children. They often wear tattered clothes with cleverly designed wigs patterned after those of mentally
sick persons. One of them was caught yesterday at Surulere area of Ilorin. Although appearing as mentally sick considering his looks, the calibre of the telephone set he was using and his conversation with it attracted the attention of passers-by. The handset, a Black Berry model, was considered too costly for the use of such a person. They swooped on him and in the process snapped the set from him. A cursory look at the available data on the call log showed only five numbers without identities. Besides, when stripped of the unkempt clothes, the mob was shocked seeing on him a very neat T-Shirt and a pair of Jeans trousers. When a search was conducted on him, pen-knives of various shapes and a bale of Naira notes were found on him.
A daring member of the mob, according to sources, “used the “mad” man’s handset to dial one of the five numbers on the call log, feigning the owner. He told the receiver of the call, a male voice, of some of the products in stock, “human body parts.” The receiver, before realising the voice calling him, allegedly ordered for “fresh female breasts.” The development made the mob to descend heavily on the suspected kidnapper before he was saved by two mobile police officers. The policemen promptly took the man to an unknown destination but which many people believed could be a nearby police station. Speaking on the development, Police Spokesman for the Kwara Command Olufemi Fabode DSP denied knowledge of the incident, but pledged prompt investigations into the matter.
Briefs Sunshine Foundation celebrates the elderly HE Sunshine Foundation, T founded by the late MEE Mofe -Damijo, in collaboration with Healthmark will, on Friday, July 5, 2013, celebrate with over 150 senior citizens in Lagos, at Shita Community Centre, behind Alhaji Waha Yinka Folayijo Mosque, Akerele, Surulere, Lagos, at 8.00 a.m. A statement signed by the President of Sunshine Foundation, Mrs. Rose Odiete, a lawyer, stated that, these senior citizens would be given free medical check -up, with prescribed drugs and provisions, as well as counselling where there is need. A top official of Healthmark, Dr. Doyin Ogunyemi, said group intends to show them love and care beyond what their imagination. Odiete called on the government not to neglect those who had spent their youthful days to serve the country.
Akinlehin, 77, for burial rites for Mrs. FloFwhoUNERAL rence Idowu Akinlehin died at the age of 77. begin on Thursday, July 4, 2013 with a Christian wake at No. 35, Omotola Street, Iwaya Yaba, Lagos at 6.00p.m. She will be buried on Friday, July 5, 2013 at Atan cemetery after a short service at the burial ground. Reception follows at Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Adekunle – Yaba, Lagos.
Sevice of songs for Ral Nwosu and daughter, Onamma holds July 3 SERVICE of songs for Sir A Ral Nwosu and daughter, Onamma holds on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 21 Road, FESTAC by 3pm. He will be buried on Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 10.00 a.m. after a funeral service at All Saints’ Anglican Church, Amakwa, Ozubulu. Daughter’s burial is on Saturday, July 13, 2013.
Fidau prayer for Adedokun HE eighth day fidau T prayer for Alhaji Rasheed Adedokun, who died on May, June 24, at the age of 53, holds today at his residence, Alexander Street, Alexander Estate, Oko-Oba, Agege, Lagos. Until his death, he was the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Adras Guest Villa, Agbado OkeOdo, Lagos. He attended Ahmadiya College, Agege, Lagos; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and the University of Lagos. He was a devout Muslim and a philanthropist.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; his deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu (middle); Afe Babalola, and other old students of Christ's School, Ado-Ekiti, cutting the cake, during the activities commemorating the school’s 80th anniversary in Ado-Ekiti... on Saturday.
District Governor of Rotary International, District 9125, Felix Obadan (left) and Mrs. Neemat Abdulkareem of City Library, Abuja, receiving books donated by Rotary Club of Abuja Metro ...at the weekend
Deputy Chief Whip, Lagos State House of Assembly and initiator of the free computer training programme for youths in Shomolu II constituency, Rotimi Abiru (left) and Most Outstanding Graduating Student, Ogu Cynthia at the sixth graduation ceremony of the programme...recently PHOTO: WOLE OYEBADE
Pupils of Atunda-Olu School for the Physically and Mentally Challenged Children, Surulere in a 14-seater Toyota Hiace bus donated to the school by the Eagle Club...on Friday PHOTO: KENECHUKWU EZEONYEJIAKU
Eagle Club donates to the physically -challenged to mark Fashola’s 50th birthday By Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku F God has provided for ‘I you, that money in your pocket is not your own; God
Proprietriess, Hearts of Gold Children Hospice, Mrs. Omolaja Adedoyin (middle), President, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Ibrahim Aledu (second right), Vice President, NSE Apapa branch, Gerald Ezeani (right) and other members of the society at a visit to the Hearts of Gold Children Hospice, Surulere, Lagos...
put it there and put you in charge of it, on behalf of the needy.’ These were the words of the Chairman, Eagle Club of Surulere, Mr. Yomi Pears, at the donation of a brand new 14-seater Toyota Hiace bus and a variety of food items and provisions to Atunda-Olu School for the Physically and Mentally Challenged Children, Surulere to honour the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who is a member of the club, on the occasion of his 50th birthday anniversary. Pears said it was fair to honour the governor, who has been a member of the club since he was a student, on
his birthday and to show love to the less-privileged because the governor is a lover of the physically-challenged. “We are very happy to celebrate him today. It is not every club can boast of the executive governor of the state as their member. “He’s been a member of the club here even as a student. He plays his tennis here, plays squash and football here, and he is still an active member. “We are lucky and happy we have him, and for his 50th birthday, I think it is right for us to do the kind of thing we are doing,” he said. The Chairman, Organizing Committee for the celebration of Fashola’s birthday, Mr. Abiodun Fuwa said the club has been doing this over the years but decided
to honour the governor this year. The overjoyed Head Teacher of the school, Mrs. Folashade Michael and the Education Secretary of Surulere Local Council , Mrs. Yetunde Fatoke thanked and prayed for the club and said that the gesture towards them would go down in history as the first time a group of people were donating such a huge gift to the school. She urged the club and other well- to-do individuals and organizations to keep on remembering them and make the children feel loved and accepted. The children sang a birthday song for the governor and presented the governor with a gift of an old people’s wooden chair produced by them.
Briefs Distinguished Entrepreneurs’ Award holds in Abuja Saturday General Manger, Home Entertainment Division, LG Electronics West Africa Operations, Mr. Steve Ryu (left); Managing Director, Fouani Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mohammed Fouani and Managing Director, LG Electronics West Africa Operations, Mr. Deog Jun Kim during the launch of the new LG Cinema 3D Smart TV in Lagos PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU
The Proprietress, Unique Heights Junior /Senior High School, Mrs. Esther Ayere-Alatase, the Principal, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olatunbode decorating Miss Miriam Mopa with a Blue Tie. Blue Tie is an honour given to a student who has excelled in his/her academics and has scored ‘As’ in 10 subjects...
An accident scene at Ojota ,along Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway,Lagos...yesterday PHOTO: ABDULWAHEED USAMA
By Odita Sunday HE Managing Director, Mabseed Nigeria Ltd., Dr. Abu Moses, will receive the Young Business Entrepreneur of The Year Award at the Eighth Annual ‘African Icon of Our Generation Award’ on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. Dr. Moses was recently honoured with Honourary Doctorate Degree by European American University, Commonwealth of Dominica in Togo. Recipients for the ‘prestigious’ Entrepreneur of the Year award, according to the Chairman of the Award Committee, Dr. Luke Okogie, have been duly nominated and adjudged worthy. “They are men and women who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of human endeavour by assiduously, diligently and relentlessly working for the upliftment and the development of mankind. They are inspiring, motivating and have become beacons of hope of a better tomorrow for the coming generation,” Okogie said.
NAFDAC DG bags US Congress Award HE Director General (DG) of the National T Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, has received the United States (US) Special Congressional Recognition for his global frontline role in the fight against drug counterfeiting. A statement from NAFDAC, signed by the Acting Director, Special Duties, Abubakar Jimoh, said Orhii’s recognition, which was endorsed by Congress member, Jalice Hahn, was the initiative of the National Association for Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) headed by Dr. Shelton Hilary. Before now, the US Council on Foreign Relations had severally invited Orhii to make presentations on Nigeria’s successes in the fight against drug counterfeiting through the use of innovative modern cutting-edge technologies and the presentation formed part of the report submitted to the White House for consideration at the last G8 Summit hosted by president Barak Obama. In his acceptance speech, Orhii drew global attention to the growing menace of drug resistance strains caused by counterfeit medicines, which currently has international market value of $200 billion yearly, according to the World Custom Organization.
14 | THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 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
PIB: Ailing oil industry, Africa should not persecute homosexuals failing political class S HEN Nigeria was compared to a “sinking ship” the other day, many in government W dismissed this characterization as the ostentatious language of opposition politics. This, after all, is the giant of Africa! No doubt, with a leadership committed to the national good, it should not be difficult to put Nigeria in the ‘A’ Class of nations, which is where, with its abundant human and material resources, it should be. The actual problem therefore is that Nigeria is like a ship that is left to the mercies of the winds and waves. Nigeria’s failure to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the initial policy deliberations on which started nearly a decade ago and was first presented to the National Assembly in 2008, is painful evidence of the nation’s crisis of leadership. The oil and gas sector overwhelmingly dominates government revenue. It thus determines the pace of growth of the national economy and capacity to invest in infrastructure and social sectors like education and health. The persistent failure of Nigerian politicians to pass this legislation that will determine the rate of investment and growth in such a critical sector is therefore tantamount to allowing the fuel on which the national economic ship is running to drain away. Sooner or later, such a ship will sink unless people wake up to their responsibilities. Calculations of lost investment due to the uncertainty surrounding the tax regime of Nigeria’s petroleum industry run between $50 to $100 billion. It has for long been clear to domestic and international oil industry watchers that Nigeria’s state-dominated oil sector is a cesspit of corruption and inefficiency, a fact which seriously limits its contribution to national economic and social development. It is highly centralized, with a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that combines the roles of investor, regulator, marketer and explorer amongst others. It has become widely believed that top bureaucrats and politicians abuse the weak governance framework of the industry to award oil blocs and other highly lucrative contracts to friends and business fronts. Nigeria’s capacity to invest in developing new oil and gas fields is also known to be constricted due to NNPC’s status as a state corporation. The Petroleum Industry Bill was conceived to create a regulatory framework that makes the governance of Nigeria’s oil sector more transparent, reduce the scope for the corrupt exercise of discretionary powers and bring more investment into the sector, both from international oil companies and a new commercially-driven national oil company. Petronas, the Malaysian national oil company, which is ranked as the 12th most profitable company in the world, is often cited as a model of what the Nigerian reform should bring about. Sadly, all this remains an aspiration, five years after the first draft of the Petroleum Industry Bill was sent to the National Assembly. After the fuel subsidy protests of January 2012 and the revelation of gargantuan corruption in the oil sector, the Federal Government raised a task force to write a new draft legislation that is supposed to fasttrack its passage. This was a concession to public outcry and demands to clean up the murky industry. But it seems that with the task force, really no more than a sop intended to divert public attention; there was actually no commitment to enthroning transparency in the sector. The new draft PIB that was sent to the National Assembly did not free Nigeria’s oil industry from the clutches of politicians. Rather than promote an independent regulator, it retained the much-abused powers of the Minister of Petroleum to grant and renew licences for oil blocs. To erase all doubts about the lack of urgency of passing the PIB, President Jonathan once said: “The PIB has moved into the Parliament. I have no controlling say on the Parliament… We have done our own part. I would be misleading you if I said in a month, three months, six months the PIB will get through”. Interestingly, the National Assembly that has the responsibility of passing the bill into law is dominated by lawmakers from the party President Jonathan heads, the Peoples Democratic Party. Not only the Presidency, the Petroleum Minister and the Peoples Democratic Party, but the whole of ruling political class stand accused of failing Nigerians over the PIB with the attendant threat to economic growth and the welfare of Nigerians. The current National Assembly has reached its half time and the polity will become increasingly dominated by electioneering as 2015 approaches, further reducing the chances that the PIB will be passed during its lifetime. Sadly too, no major opposition political party has made its views on the PIB known, not to talk of mobilizing Nigerians behind the urgent need to pass the legislation. What then is the worth of their promises to perform better than the PDP if Nigerians don’t see them fighting to pass a piece of legislation that is so critical to reducing corruption and boosting the nation’s revenue? This disservice to the nation by the politicians is made more painful by the prospects of bankruptcy the nation faces, especially at a time when new technologies are increasingly making it commercially viable to bring huge volumes of the so-called shale oil and gas into the market in the United States and other countries, which currently import large quantities of Nigerian oil. The National Assembly should urgently pass into law a bill seeking to eliminate the discretionary powers of the Minister of Petroleum, which ensures that there is a clearly distinct industry regulator which has clear-cut powers that can be exercised independently of the Minister of Petroleum and the President. A future in which mineral resources are controlled by communities and in which states compete to develop industries is better for Nigeria than one in which states and elite politicians concentrate on fighting for resources commandeered by an over-centralized Federal Government. For this, a sensible and principled compromise ought to be found on the Host Community Fund (HCF) component of the Petroleum Industry Bill instead of narrow regional attachments to existing arrangements, which have become a constant source of tension and are clearly unsustainable. Nigerian politicians should suspend self-centered politicking and pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law this year.
IR: I received a letter via email, which reads inter alia: “I saw your article in the newspaper. I must confess to you I was stunned to discover on Google that you are a senior lecturer. It is a well known fact that homosexualism is alien. What legacy are you leaving for your children with this kind of write up? God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexualism. I don’t want to believe you are ignorant of the danger of homosexualism, perhaps you are trying to drive home something. But I don’t think a normal human being will support homosexualism.” Primordial prejudice against homosexuals is said to be due to the fact that they are always in scanty minority; they are said to be no more than about three per cent of every human popula-
tion. Hence whenever you read about them in ancient books, it is always in the bad light of Sodom and Gomorrah. I encountered both homosexuality and heterosexuality in the farm settlement (about nine miles away from my village – Iwereile, Oyo State, Nigeria) where I grew up. As a kid, one man took me (instead of a female kid) to a corner of his farm to play with his penis. About the same time (in the 1950s) a woman used to put me on top of herself, presumably whenever “it” was itching her. One day in the late 1970s in Nigeria, a Frenchman took an opportunity to get close to me, and I felt his manhood on my “back”. My reaction told him I am not a homosexual. In the 1980s, also in Nigeria, I heard a Canadian complaining how
his German colleague (a male) knew no more than “playing” with boys. When I went to America in the second half of the 1990s, my Italian-American woman friend (Rosemary) took me to visit her former boss (Joseph) who was married to Elijah more than 25 years before I met them. Joseph prepared the meal that we had, and I sensed that Elijah occupied the position of husband. With all the above encounters which providence brought my way, how then can I with conscience deny the reality of homosexuality? What is more, the personalities involved were highly placed in society. Elijah, for instance, had never visited Nigeria, but he knew much more than I did on business in Nigeria. The ancient people of Calabar, Nigeria, killed twins, thinking they represented evil spirits. Even today albinos are endangered IR: It is indeed embarrass- functions for the benefit of all species in some parts of Africa. Since homosexuality dates Nigerians. ing and worrisome the Consumers are generally wor- back to time immemorial and poor services rendered by is found worldwide, and not ried about the quality of servproviders of the Global necessarily self-induced, ice they receive. The NCC System for Mobile homosexuals should be proshould therefore compel the Communication (GSM) in operators to improve on their tected against age-old prejuNigeria. It is clear now that dice and persecution. the various providers are just services or face sanctions. In Legislating who an adult can 2007, the House of in Nigeria to dupe submarry or not marry, except for Representatives mandated a scribers, with the poor netconsanguinity laws, is dictatocommittee to investigate QOS. rial, oppressive and inhuman. work and arbitrary charges Also, the when communication is not Homosexuals, albinos, and clear. In other words, the qual- Senate constituted a commitsickle cell patients are victims ity of service (QOS) no longer tee to investigate the poor serv- of genetic accident or what the exists. This is not the best for ices by the operators. It is how- Yoruba call eni orisa (people the country. However, the reg- ever worrisome that the QOS specially created by God by the operators has further ulatory body – Nigeria through His Creation Minister, Communication Commission degenerated. Orisanla). (NCC) should wake up urgent- • Charles Soeze, • Pius Abioje, Warri, Delta State. University of Ilorin. ly and perform oversight
Poor GSM services in Nigeria
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Angst over FG’s poor disposition to coastal erosion crisis by Ade Ogidan Government’s Fto EDERAL assessed poor disposition coastal erosion crisis that has over the years been assailing the nation’s 853 kilometer shoreline,may have become a source of worry to stakeholders,who are canvassing urgent intervention from the authorities. Already, the Lagos State government has estimated that over N4.3 trillion would be required for an effective control of the natural disaster, currently being accentuated by unrelenting ocean surges. Indeed, Elder Statesman and President of Nigerian
No Atlantic City project, no Victoria Island, says Oniru Conservation Foundation, Chief Philip Asiodu has identified coastal erosion in Lagos State as the nation’s “most urgent environmental challenge” in the country. Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront I n f r a s t r u c t u r e Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru, stressed that Federal Government can no longer pay lip service to the coastal erosion saga, due to the strategic profile of the shorelines, to the nation’s economy. Oniru, who spoke as the
guest lecturer at the 2013 Annual Distinguished Lecture organized by the Nigeria Institute of Civil Engineers, pointed out that the shorelines are the national boundaries in the South and therefore deserve urgent intervention for their protection by the Federal Government. The Commissioner, who spoke on “Nigeria’s Coastal Erosion: A case Study of the Lagos State Coastline”, disclosed that the state administration has so far spent N39 billion in various intervention works to protect the 7.5
kilometer coastline from Eko Atlantic City project site in the West, to Alpha Beach in the East, adding that over N440 billion is required further to save the shoreline. Already, he said the state government, as a permanent measure to save Victoria Island and its environs from being submerged by the ravaging ocean, initiated the Eko Atlantic City (EAC) project. According to him, the EAC scheme has so far curbed the menace of the ocean surge and thereby saved Victoria Island. “Without the Eko Atlantic City project, Victoria Island could have by now been totally submerged’’. He lamented that the Federal Government has so far failed to address the issue of coastal erosion, leaving the states affected to bear the entire burden of funding coastal protection interventions. Oniru recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan, with Minister for Trade and Investment,
Olusegun Aganga, and a delegation from the Ecological Fund Office, paid a visit to the Alpha Beach in 2011 after the surge that affected area, pledging that the Federal Government will assist Lagos to address the challenge. “As I talk to you now, we have not received any form of assistance in any way from the Federal Government. All the efforts so far, have come from the resilient efforts of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration.” Only recently, a coastal community on River Forcados in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State was hit again by erosion, which destroyed the seawall jointly built by the community and the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC some decades ago. In a letter addressed to the Burutu Council chairman, by Chairman of the community,. Augustine Okiwowo,
the community noted that it has been facing life threatening environmental problems for decades, which had been reported both in print and electronic media, with appeals to appropriate quarters for help with no response. The community leaders maintained that all pleas directed at their representatives in government, particularly member representing Burutu constituency in the House of Representatives and member representing Delta South at the Senate, fell on deaf ears as there was neither assurances nor visitations to their suffering constituents. The community therefore called on the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC; Federal Ministry of Environment; Delta State Government; Delta State Oil Producing Development Commission, DESOPADEC and non-governmental organisations to come to their aid as the erosion may lead to complete extinction of the communi-
SWAP Technologies records N6b turnover By Bankole Orimisan N indigenous telecommunication firm, SWAP Technologies and Telecoms Plc, has made a turnover of N6.028 billion in the year ended 2012. These results, announced during the firm’s yearly general meeting held in Lagos at the weekend, revealed that the turnover is an increase of 65 per cent from N3.65 billion recorded in the year 2011.
According to the Chairman of the firm, Godwin Adopkaye, explained that the company, is focused on co-location services provision, which enabled it to achieve the feat despite harsh economic conditions faced by the firm. He also pointed out that earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased from N421 million
to N1.092 billion in that same financial year. “Our business by nature is highly capital intensive and consequently attracts correspondingly high depreciation charges. It needs substantial debt financing meaning interest expenses are high”. “These factors impacted adversely on our financials resulting in a loss before tax of N2.77 billion in the year under review, “he said.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Business ‘Extended period of low interest rates can rekindle financial risks’ P62 How to promote economic revival agenda, by NECA From Collins Olayinka, Abuja ON-diversification of the country’s economic base, unfriendly procurement policy and inadequate funding of social security, have been identified as the major challenges facing the nation’s economy. X-raying Nigeria economic in a chat with The Guardian at the just-concluded International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the DirectorGeneral of the Nigeria Employers consultative Association (NECA), Olusegun Oshinowo, said the country needs to diversify its economic base and change the national policy in favour of locally-made goods. Oshinowo, who decried eco-
nomic growth without development, said the time to ask questions has indeed come. His words: “Nigeria’s economic growth does not appear to translate into meaningful social development in terms of creation of jobs, reduction of poverty, enhanced standard of living for the people. The question Nigerians should be asking themselves is: why is economic growth not translated to job creation, social development and enhanced standard of living? “This is because the drivers of the growth itself are within one or two sectorial groups that are captive sectors within the economy. “For example, the oil and
gas sector, which takes prime place within the economy, is not generating massive employment because it is a sector that is driven by technology and ICT. What we simply need to look at is a growth model that would be inclusive. In looking at this, we need to diversify our economy. Diversification is key to ensuring an inclusive job-rich growth.” The NECA scribe said successive governments have for too long refused to put appropriate policies in place to ensure mass involvement in the productive sector of the economy. “Our most precious resource today is oil and gas for which we have comparative advantage. How have we
been able to translate it into an overall advantage for the economy? We have not been able to do that because all what we do is simply export the product in crude format for sale. “If we had recognized forward integration of value added, we would have embraced the option of processing the entire crude into refined products before export which would have generated several economic activities that would have resulted into creation of several millions of jobs and involve a larger proportion of the populace”, he stated. While making a case for patronage of ‘made in Nigeria goods’ and how government patronage can help
Non-Executive Director; Dr. Chris Itsede (left); Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Faith Tuedor-Matthews; Chairman, Mallam Falalu Bello; Ag. Company Secretary, Tayo Ogunbanjo, all of Mainstreet Bank Limited, during their first Annual General Meeting held in Lagos, at the weekend
NESTOIL wins Shell’s major pipeline contract IGERIA’S fledging indigeN nous oil giant, Nestoil Plc, has clinched a multi billion-naira key pipeline construction contract from multi national oil giant, Shell Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) after a keenly competitive bid. The multi-billion-naira contract, signed on Friday, at the Shell Industrial Area, Rumubiakani, Port Harcourt, is for an export pipeline in the Niger Delta to reroute the Kolo Creek gas to Soku Gas plant (K2S). Signing for Shell was General Manager Nigeria, Operated, Onshore &
Shallow Offshore Projects, Toyin Olagunju, and Vice President, Projects Operated, Engineer Graham Henley, while General Manager, Projects, Austin Agomuoh and Executive Director, Keith Jones, represented Nestoil. Under the terms of the contract and scope of work signed on Friday at the Shell Industrial Area, Rumubiakani, Port Harcourt, Nestoil is expected to carry out the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Commissioning, EPCIC of a 20–inch, 40 kilometre gas pipeline which would run from Kolo Creek to Soku,
in Bayelsa State. The project is to be funded by Zenith Bank Plc and has a two-year contract completion time frame. The company is the largest indigenous company in the Oil and Gas sector, contributing significantly to the growth of the industry in the last 22 years. It has received accolades from International Oil Companies (IOCs) impressed by its capacity to deliver results on technically complex projects from its industrial base in Abuloma, Port Harcourt, Rivers State and understanding of the local terrain, particularly Niger Delta.
The scale of Nestoil’s operations has been regarded as a sort of catalyst to increased local participation in oil and gas. Nestoil PLC, a diversified Oil and Gas company, has invested heavily in Engineering, Procurement Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) and major offshore fabrication. The company belongs to the Obijackson Group, which has extensive interest in Exploration and Production (E&P), oil and gas, pressure vessel fabrication, dredging and marine logistics, aviation, civil and infrastructure construction and real estate.
jump-start the economy, Oshinowo faulted government’s procurement policy that lacks focus on locally made goods. He asked: “To what extent is government patronizing ‘made in Nigeria’ products? Government is the biggest spender and it spends big on national needs. For instance, where does government source uniform for Nigeria Army, Navy, Air force, Customs, Immigration and the Police? “Patronizing Nigerian textile industry to produce uniform for these armed forces and Para-military agencies is enough to revive and revitalize the comatose textile industry. Nigeria’s procurement policy has massive impact on promotion of industries and the overall national development.” Oshinowo also faulted claims that employers have not helped government enough in funding social security initiatives in the country. He said: “Currently, employers are partially funding social security in the country. In the Employees Compensation Act, employers contribute one per cent of their payroll; in the
National Health Insurance Scheme, most companies are responsible for the healthcare of their staffers and that is a form of social security. Again, the law has compelled employers to pay not less than 7.5 per cent in to the contributory pension scheme. These show that employers are in fact, funding social security in Nigeria.” He charged government to explore other areas of funding social security such as deploying taxes, saying employers are at the forefront of social security funding in the country. “In our own case in Nigeria, employers still pay corporate taxes to government; the government should be able to utilize the tax collected to fund other components of social security, which formal employers are not taking responsibility for. “We should look at social security funding mechanisms in other countries before we accuse employers in Nigeria of not contributing enough to fund social security initiatives. What governments do in other countries is to fund social security through taxation”, he added.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Shareholders back Afromedia’s return to profitability’s strategy By Helen Oji
HAREHOLDERS of Afromedia Plc, Nigeria’s Sleading supplier of Out-ofHome media services, have expressed resolve to support the company on the effort to return the company on the part of profitability. Reviewing its 2012 performance, the Chairman of the company, Dr. Onaolapo Soleye, said that it recorded a turnover of N1.64 billion which represents a 49 per cent decline, when compared to N3.24 billion turnover in year 2011. Soleye explained that a major achievement during the year under review was
Accounting body decries poor job search skills, launches portal By Chijioke Nelson HE Association of T Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has said the rising level of poor job search orientation among unemployed Nigerians is worth worrying about by government, educationists and other stakeholders. The Country Manager, ACCA, Mrs. Toyin Ademola, told journalists at the weekend that besides the issue of job opportunities, the mental disposition of the job seekers as evidenced in their dress sense and attitude during interview were below expectations. “Sometimes the assumed best lose being employed due to the wrong dress and grooming, personal appearance, behaviour, sarcastic remarks and response to questions. These are not part of training in high institution, but supposed to be and it is high time we start to reverse the ugly trend.” Meanwhile, the association has developed a web portal for its members, especially its students get a job-after qualification. According to Ademola, “this will in a way stem the unemployment tide and loss of opportunities, especially among our registered members and students, apart from it being open to employers, who are looking for qualified ACCA graduates. “It is basically ACCA valuedriven for its member students and employers. It is a portal where employer members can go and list the vacancies that they have or members can go to look for job opportunities. Speaking on the country’s unemployment rate, Ademola said, “there is a high unemployment rate in the country and we think one of the ways we could give back to the community is by organising this graduate fair. We are not saying what we are doing today will reduce unemployment entirely, but we think it will contribute to the reduction of high unemployment rate directly. We are giving them the opportunity to meet with the employers that probably, they may not get the opportunity to meet. They are also to learn how to dress when going for interviews and how to prepare their CVs.”
the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in compliance with the IFRS accounting system. “It was mandatorily required to write-off and provide for all the accumulated pre-structural investments made by the company over the years under the business expansion initiatives, but which were suspended until it becomes economically and technically feasible to activate them.” The chairman also attributed regulatory constraints on key advertising sites and debt recovery as other reasons for the company’s losses. These included the protracted adverse disruptions to the company’s business execution at its major and exclusive advertising sites concession, which was brought
about by infrastructure upgrade embarked upon by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). “All through the entire financial year 2012, the company was virtually incapacitated by this adverse regulatory development as no new businesses could be executed, while fixed overheads were running simultaneously. “Although the board and management left no stone unturned in the pursuit of return of the transit business to normalcy, the development deepened the financial losses incurred by the company during the year 2012”. The abrupt and prolonged transit business suspension resulted in about 50 per cent decline in turnover for the year, when compared with the turnover in the preceding years.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Heritage Bank, NIBSS partner on instant pay platform By Chijioke Nelson ERITAGE Bank Limited’s H payment system has been integrated into the Instant Pay Platform of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS). With this development, new and existing customers of the bank can make payment and transfer funds through Point of Sale terminal, Automated Teller Machines across the country, from any of the bank’s branches and electronic payment platforms. NIBSS, which made the disclosure to banks and electronic payment companies, said: “Please be informed that Heritage Bank has been migrated to the Nigeria Instant Payment (NIP) production environment. Kindly accept all upstream transactions from them.” The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the integration reflects confidence in the robust information technology infrastructure and electronic payment platform of the bank. “Most banks take quite a long time to integrate into the NIP platform, but within a very short period of our existence,
we have integrated into the system. Our entire payment platforms have been fully integrated and we are functional. So, for us, it is a real ground breaking and record setting achievement, and it reflects confidence from an e-payment switch like NIBSS. “Also it expands our business environment. We are now connected to other e-payment switches, banks, banking platforms. People can now use our Internet banking platform to make instant payment for goods and services, make funds transfer to people in other banks, and vice versa. It is a seamless and full integration into the banking and epayment platforms in the country.” Explaining further on the imperative of electronic payment system, he added: “The way to go in modern banking is no longer brick and mortar. E-banking enhances inclusion of people. It allows those that have been excluded from banking activities to participate and benefit from banking activities. “With this development, we have become part of the nucleus to make that work. This means that we are now part of the nucleus of financial
inclusion, which is been advocated by the Central Bank of Nigeria. That is, people being able to use our platform to make payment, instantly and from anywhere.” He noted that one month after its inception, the bank introduced free commission on turnover for all its account holders, thereby demonstrating its readiness to offer efficient banking services at the least cost to customers. Heritage Bank was formed from the defunct Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria and started operations in March, with a promise to be a technology-driven and customer-centric bank. The bank took off with a verification exercise aimed at ascertaining the customers of the former SGBN and paying off their trapped deposits.
Cash-less Abuja: Fidelity Bank deploys more POS terminals From Mathias Okwe, Abuja Bank Plc said it has FSalesIDELITY deployed several Point of (POS) terminals to major supermarkets and shops across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to complement the electronic payment initiative of the apex bank. It said the move was sequel to the conclusion of arrangements by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement cash-less policy in FCT from today. Meanwhile, the bank said it has opened more Automated Teller Machines (ATMS) as well as new branches in the area to take banking services closer to the people. The Head of Bank, Abuja, Hassan Iman, revealed the proactive plan at a ceremony in Abuja where Fidelity Bank rewarded customers who emerged winners in its 25th anniversary savings promo. At the mega draw, which was the fifth in the series held in Abuja and across the country to conclude the Anniversary Promo. The bank rewarded customers with various prizes, including a Hyundai Accent car won by Vivian Ameh in the Abuja zone, while Mr. Hassan Etuk and Nwafor Clifford got cash reward of N250,000 each. According to Imam, “we have contacted the big merchants and we have deployed our terminals there. In fact, our customers have started using those terminals daily, so the awareness is there. “We are prepared for the cashless policy here and in fact we have increased our channels and we have deployed more Automated Teller Machines in Abuja and we are opening more branches because our customers are growing daily and we are opening new accounts. “This promo is part of efforts to celebrate 25 years of banking services. It will enable us promote a savings culture among our people.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Ikeazor canvasses support for Nigeria’s delisting from money laundering list Stories by Chijioke Nelson HE Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Bank, Philip Ikeazor, said that banks’ chiefs had critical roles to play in the task of getting the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to delist Nigeria from its list of Non Co-operative Countries (NCCTs). Speaking during the monthly meeting of Committee of Chief Compliance Officers in Nigeria (CCCOBIN) in Lagos, at the weekend, he advised his counterparts in other banks to provide adequate resources and empowerment for their compliance officers and other relevant officers to ensure that Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) risks were well managed. Ikeazor, who was represent-
ed by his Executive Director, Operations and Technology, Ademola Adewale, called for banks’ management backing for the implementation of AML/CFT measures, especially the deficiencies identified by FATF. The FATF had listed non implementation of procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets and failure to ensure that customer due diligence requirements apply to all financial transactions as areas Nigeria needs to address in order to ensure its removal from the highrisk and non-cooperative jurisdictions list. He also said that there was need to protect bank officers involved in driving the implementation of the money laundering laws and regulations as well as institution of penalties against noncompliant staff.
Renaissance Credit secures operating licence ENAISSANCE R Credit Nigeria, operating under the name Rencredit MFB Limited, has been granted a state license by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The state licence empowers Rencredit to consolidate its business objectives, one of which is to offer consumer loans up to N500, 000 within 24 hours to lower and middle class income earners in and around Lagos State. With strong core operations and Information Technology platforms provided by T24 banking software and Experian Information and Data Management Systems, the company will be able to perform enhanced analytics with a goal to improving customer inter-
action and feedback. Speaking on the development, the Chief Executive Officer of Renaissance Credit Nigeria, Segun Akintemi, stated, “this is a great milestone for the company, as we are equipped not only to remain a leading provider of consumer loans within every community we operate, but also to ensure we are within reach across all platforms - physical or virtual. “We have remained at the fore front of providing ‘simple money solutions’ to consumers in Lagos State, in the form of accessible cash loans, POS loans for household electronics and appliances from electronic or retail stores, as well as higher returns on savings and fixed deposit investments,” he added.
Etisalat, others pledge support for cash-less project TISALAT Nigeria has restatE ed its support for the cashless policy through innovative mobile solutions that support cashless payments and transactions for the benefit of all Nigerians. The company made the pledge at a two-day conference titled: “Transiting to a Cashless Society: Possibilities and Challenges,” organised by De Novo Limited and Reach Legal, in conjunction with the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and other stakeholders. “From an innovative point of view, we have developed products that are reliable, safe and secure to support the cashless policy and one of such is the popular Etisalat Easywallet. “Etisalat as the most innovative network in Nigeria is poised to aiding the successful transition of Nigeria to a cashless economy, which is in line with the realisation of
the federal government’s agenda to become one of the top 20 economies by the year 2020,” he said. According to him, Etisalat, last year, launched Easywallet, a SIM application solution for mobile money payments and transfers, aimed at providing secure and innovative payment solution to its customers, offering the service in a more convenient and secure platform, in partnership with some Nigerian banks, like FirstBank, GTBank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, and Zenith Bank. These had continued to support cashless transactions around the country. Other stakeholders from Interwitch, Nigeria InterBank Settlement System, Nigerian Communications Commission and Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, also spoke on the various infrastructures put in place to support the successful nationwide launch of the cashless initiative.
Dr. Okon Onyung (member), Mr. Ituah Ighodalo (chairman), Mrs. Yvonne Fasinro (member), Dr. Christopher Kolade, Dr. Faye Iketubosun (member) and Mr. Akindele Olumideko (project coordinator) during a meeting of the Project Implemtation Committee of the Christopher Kolade Professorial Chair in Corporate Governance, organised by the Sigma Educational Foundation… recently.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Heirs Holdings invests in NASD trading platform By Helen Oji EIRS Holdings, the panH African investment company has announced that it has taken a strategic stake in the new NASD trading platform created to boost Nigeria ’s fast-growing SMEs and unlisted companies The trading platform is expected to commence operations on July 1 this year. Following the group’s recent investment in Africa Commodity Exchange Limited (AFEX), which Heirs Holdings co-founded with the United States-based Berggruen Holdings, this announcement represents another significant move to develop equity and commodity trading in Africa . The NASD is an alternative trading platform created by the National Association of Securities Dealers to bring more liquidity to Nigeria ’s capital market has been licensed by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to trade a broad range of instruments over-the-counter including unlisted equities and bonds in Nigeria . NASD will join the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as well as the recently created Alternative Securities Market (ASEM) designed for unlisted stocks and fast-growing SMEs to bring more choice and transparency to thousands of companies looking to trade their shares on an open, regulated market. Heirs Holdings Chairman Tony O. Elumelu, CON, said: “The NASD offers investors an
BDAN tasks members on protection of stakeholders’ interest in banks ANK Directors Association B of Nigeria (BDAN), the umbrella body of non-executive directors of banks, has charged members in the four recently licensed banks to protect the interest of all stakeholders. The President of the association, Olorógun Sunny Kuku, gave this charge at the luncheon organised by the association for new members from Heritage Bank Limited, Jaiz International Bank, Rand Merchant Bank and FSDH Merchant Bank. Kuku said: “First, you should ensure you are trained in governance, especially for financial institutions operations. Presently, it is not exactly the same like where we were coming from. “Then, you should also realise that there is a lot of responsibility put on you. And one of the most important things is that you must have knowledge and know everything that is going on because ignorance is not an excuse. Be up-to-date with the governance code of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Then, you must not interfere with operations, just as management must not interfere with oversight.
alternative way of accessing capital for growth in an efficient manner. We have invested in the platform because Heirs Holdings is committed to financing projects that contribute strategically to the growth of entrepreneurs across Africa.” The Chief Executive Officer of NASD, Mr. Bola Ajomale, said, “I thank shareholders like Heirs Holdings who appreciate the importance and farreaching impact of the Exchange that the NASD will commence trading on shortly. Their ambition to build commodity Exchanges across Africa has meant they intrinsically understand what the NASD wants to achieve.”
Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs. Gbolahan Khadijat Daodu (left); Managing Director, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Omar Hafeez; Regional Coordinator, South West, Nigeria, for the UK Department for International Development-DFID, Adesina Fagbenro-Byron; and Education Secretary, Eti-Osa Local Government, Taiwo Lanre Lukman, at the bank’s Global Community event, in Lagos, at the weekend.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
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InvestmentWatch The Investor And His Financial Environment 2 N the our last article on The Investor And His Ifinancial Financial Environment, we identified the market as the hub of all productive activities in the economy, as it performs the vital roles of financial intermediation in the mobilization and allocation of financial resources through the financial market. Basically, we stated that the financial market is made up of the Money market and the capital market. We explored the opportunities that abound in the Nigerian money market space via the various money market instruments and how investors both retail and institutions can identify and maximise investment opportunities in these money market instruments. In this continuing series, we will identify one of the safest/zero risk money market instrument called Nigerian Treasury Bills. We will explore its features, merits, demerits and highlight the investment opportunities it holds for both retail and institutional investors. INVESTING IN NIGERIAN TREASURY BILLS. Treasury bills (T-Bills) are short term debt instruments considered by many to be the most risk free investment. They are government short term securities that mature in one year or less from their issue date. They are issued with threemonth (91days), six-month (182days), and oneyear (364days), maturities. Issued like zerocoupon bonds, they are sold at a price lower than its face value to create a positive yield at maturity. For example, if you want to invest in 91-day T-bill with a face value of N10, 000, the issue price will be at a discounted value which is lower than face value and when held till maturity the government pays the holder the full par value which is N10, 000 and you would have earned an interest (which is a function of the Discount rate) on your investment. Effectively, your interest is the difference between the purchase price of the security and what you get at maturity. When you invest in treasury bills, you are lending your money to the Government in exchange for interest payment. T-bills are by nature, the most liquid money market securities and are one of the safest money market instruments because they are backed by the guarantee of the Federal Government. They are marketable debt instruments issued by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with a zero risk returns which are more attractive than bank saving/deposit account. T-bills are in essence a promissory note issued by the Government under discount for a specified period stated therein. It is purely a finance bill since it does not arise out of any trade transaction and It does not require any ‘grading’ or’ endorsement’ or ‘acceptance’ in view of the fact that they are claims against the Government. They are an effective way to control the liquidity of the money supply; if liquidity increases in the market, prices will rise and inflation will rise too. T-bills gather people’s savings to finance investment programs in the budget. Features of T-Bills • Discounted bill T-bills are issued at a discount from face value
and are redeemed at par value. The difference between the discounted purchase price and the face value of the T-bill is the interest income which the purchaser receives. T-bills pay interest only at maturity. For example, if a discounted T-bill has a face value of N1, 000, it may be issued to the holder at N900. When it matures, the holder receives the full N1, 000. • Negotiable T-bills are negotiable, do not bear interest and are redeemed at face value only. • Rate of interest This is market determined, based on demand for and supply of funds in the money market. • Maturity date T-bills are short term debt instruments with maturity dates ranging between 91days, 182days and 364 days. • Minimum investment requirement The minimum amount available for sale at the Dutch auction is N10, 000.00. • Rate of returns Longer tenors usually give higher interest i.e. 91 days T-bills currently yield about 11.97%, while the 364 days T-bills yield above 15.23%. • Regular auction T-bills are auctioned regularly every fortnight, but the CBN may announce Open Market Operation (OMO) auctions to mop up excessive liquidity in the market. • Investible upfront interest Upfront interest can be re-invested to earn compounded returns. • Tax exemption The returns are treated as ordinary income for federal tax purposes and are exempt from state and local taxes. • Risk free It is a risk free investment (carries the guarantee of the Federal Government of Nigeria). OPTIONS FOR INVESTING IN TREASURY BILLS Option 1 In Nigeria, investors seeking to invest in the Tbills market have two options namely: • The primary market T-bills are issued through yield auctions of new issues for cash. Bids are separated into competitive bids and non-competitive bids. Competitive bids are made by primary dealers, while non-competitive bids are made by government Parastatals. In Nigeria, the Primary Market auction conducted via the “Dutch Auction” system, the following modalities are observed. ➢ The CBN makes announcements in the newspapers about forthcoming T-bills auction for the tenors that will usually be of 91,182, and 364 days. ➢ Interested investors submit their bids, through a Primary Dealer/Market Maker indicating the amount and tenors of T-Bills they are interested in. ➢ The investor indicates a bid rate at which he is willing to purchase the T-Bills. At the Dutch auction, various bids are submitted at various rates and the highest bid at which the total volume of bills on offer is sold closes the auction. ➢ If the investor’s successful bid rate is howev-
er lower than the closing rate, the investor enjoys discount at his quoted bid rate. ➢ Where successful, the investor is notified and pays a discounted value of the bid amount at his indicated rate on the day after the Dutch auction (T+1) as settlement. Option 2 • Secondary Market The secondary market is the next port of call for investors who were not successful in their Primary Market bid. At the secondary market, purchase of T-bills is done through a daily block trading of T-bills between primary dealers/market makers. Secondary trading in T-bills occurs in the overthe-counter (OTC) market. In the secondary market, the most recently auctioned Treasury issue is considered current or on-the-run. Issues auctioned before current issues are typically referred to as off-the-run securities. In general, current issues are much more actively traded and have much more liquidity than off-the-run securities. The minimum required to invest in this market is N250, 000,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million naira) only. Merits of Investing in the Nigeria Treasury Bills: • Ideal Short-Term Investment Idle cash can be profitably invested for a very short period in T-bills. Financial institutions can invest their surplus funds on any day. In view of the fact that the yield on T-bills is also assured, they can aid planning and budgeting. • Encourages individual investors T-bills provide a platform for individual investors who may not have large amount of fund to invest in other money market instrument like Commercial Papers (CPs) and Bankers Acceptance (BAs). • Ease of trading T-bills are also easy to trade and need less careful attention in management than other alternative investments. T-bills are also exempted from federal and state income taxes, though there is a proposal to remove this. • Safety Investments in T-bills are highly safe since the payment of interest and repayment of principal are assured by the Federal Government. They carry zero default risk since they are issued by the CBN for and on behalf of the Federal Government. • Liquidity Investments in T-bills are also highly liquid because they can be converted into cash at any time at the instance of the investor. This will however be at a cost. • Source of Short-Term Funds Government can raise short-term funds for meeting its temporary budget deficits through the issue of T-bills. It is a source of cheap finance to the Government since the discount rates are usually very low. • Non-Inflationary Monetary Tool T-bills enable the Federal Government to support its monetary policy in the economy. For instance, excess liquidity, if any, in the economy can be absorbed through the issuance of Tbills, thus relieving the economy of inflation-
ary pressure from any excess liquidity. • Hedging Facility T-bills can be used as a hedge against heavy interest rate fluctuations in the Call or Overnight market. When the Call rates are very high, money can be raised quickly against T-bills and invested in the call money market and vice versa. Demerits of Treasury Bills • Price volatility. Longer-term issues have more price volatility than shorter -term instruments. A large concentration of long-term maturities may subject a bank's investment portfolio to increased interest-rate risk. • Induce recession. Intense issuance of T-bills may leads to economic recession because they decrease monetary supply/liquidity in the market. • Constitute internal debt. Profits from investment in T-bills form internal debts, which constitute a threat to the national budget in the future. HOW RETAIL INVESTORS CAN INVEST IN TREASURY BILLS Investment in risk free instrument such as Treasury bills would always remain economically viable. Given the several benefits highlighted in the body of this write up, T-bills present a safe investment vehicle for investors who are risk averse or seek to diversify or balance their investment portfolio. T-bills can be purchased through Banks, Discount Houses, Asset management firms etc. It is as simple as making fund placement. A discerning investor can walk into any of the above mentions outlets and request to buy T-bills during the bi-weekly auction conducted by the CBN. Purchases are made via placement of bids and investors can request for a particular yield based on prevailing yields at the secondary market or rely on the investment adviser to bid on his/her behalf. At the close of auction session, Bid rates on the 91, 182 and 364 days notes less than or equal to the cut-off rate of the apex bank(CBN) for the day’s auction are deemed to have qualified. The Investment managers issue an investment certificate showing the face value (amount to be offered at maturity), discount rate, effective yield, tenor and maturity date. Whilst the above stated relates to primary market auctions, a play in the secondary market space is a bit restrictive due to the minimum value required. The minimum size in the secondary market space is N250million. Institutional investors participate more in the secondary market space due to the minimum value required. The biggest incentive for the retail investors who seek to invest in treasury bills other than those earlier stated is the yield (interest rate) accruable. Retail investors get the opportunity of earning return on investment (ROI) higher than what they would earn doing fund placement coupled with the risk free nature of the investment. To benefit from the opportunities that abound in the T-bills market space in Nigeria, please visit or call a qualified and professional investment manager to help you plan and invest in Nigerian Treasury Bills.
Please join us next week Monday for a continuation of this series as we explore the fixed income space in the Nigeria capital market. Kindly let us know if you have found this article useful. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1 , 2013
25 In association with
THE INSTITUTE FOR REAL ESTATE EXCELLENCE (IREE)
Excellence. Integrity. Professionalism
IREE 201 - Buying Off-Plan. The Pros And Cons (Part 1) way do so with the hope of making substantial capital
The IREE was inaugurated in 2012: Vision: To raise the standards in the Nigerian real estate industry through professional training and coaching to meet inter- The demand for off-plan properties from developers continues to remain strong due to the national standards.
Cutting Edge Real Estate News. Trends . Advice he Intelligent Real Estate Series is a bi-weekly column aimed at educating readers on matters relating to the real estate industry. We will be discussing the various factors that affect the industry, current trends and future projections in practicing real estate in the 21st century as the industry is continuously evolving and business is no longer business as usual. Enjoy!!!
What is an Off-Plan development? N recent times we have been inundated with newspaper adverts, bill-boards, radio jingles talking about off-plan sales of developments both locally and internationally and the benefits of investing in off-plan developments. So what exactly is an off-plan development? An off-plan development is a development that is being sold before it has been fully constructed or completed. Most times, all there is to the development are its renderings, preconstruction developments documents, and property plans which has been generated by the architect. A visually appealing story is then created around the development along with its offerings and facilities which is then marketed to property investors, property speculators and buyers by the real estate developers and/or marketing firms. Early adopters who purchase properties in this
fact that one can purchase a property at the current market price and enjoy capital appreciation in a strong market when the development is completed or after a few years. People are becoming increasingly aware of the gains of property investments and are taking a dive towards it especially with the “off-plan” concept. There is also an added value of having flexible payment options in the course of construction period. With so many new developments on offer now and in the years to come, this question pops up, “is purchasing an off-plan property a good idea?”
Buying off-plan in a market where prices are depreciating can put your investment at a greater risk. However, buying a property offplan and getting it right can be extremely rewarding. The idea of parting with hardearned money when construction is yet to begin is quite difficult to convey to prospective investors therefore there is need for a substantial amount of bravery and trust to be in place. Before buying off-plan, there are several processes that should be observed. Engage in thorough research. It is important as with any property purchase to find out the most essential information before making the decision to
buy, for instance, who is the developer? What is his reputation? Where is the location? Is it secure? Is it close to basic amenities? What is the rental value for such a development in that area? What are local property prices in the market? Get an information pack/ brochure of the property; get all the relevant off-plan details and go for an inspection if possible or take a good look at the models. Ask all the questions, as you do not want to be left in a vulnerable position in the nearest future. Engage the services of a professional real estate firm when acquiring properties especially in off-plan developments. This would help minimise the risk of bad investment as they would help you in making the best decisions. Ask questions to determine what is covered as part of the purchase price, for example, what fittings, floor coverings, painting and decorating is part of the package and what is additional. Obtain guarantees of the developer’s financial status written into the contract if possible, to avoid encountering financial complications with the developer. Ask to see the developer’s balance sheet to determine their financial strength as there is the risk that if the developer goes into liquidation before the property is finished you may lose your deposit and other costs Make certain to arrange the appropriate finance for the property purchase well in advance. Discuss your expectations for the property with your developer and have them written into the contract to avoid disagreement with the developer at the completion of the project. It is important for the buyer to arrange for a surveyor’s valuation of the property. The financial company lending the buyer will require the surveyor’s report after an offer has been made. The earlier you get access to the property for sale, the greater your chances of securing the bests units on offer. Make a reservation for your chosen property and pay the reservation price (if necessary) having discussed with the developer the
Intelligent Real Estate
available options, pricing, contract agreement etc. You may also be given the option of re-modifying your house, make changes to finishes and fixtures etc. since it is off-plan. Next step is to exchange legal contracts. Carefully review the contract with a legal professional and take note of the completion date and penalties that would be obtainable if the developer exceeds the completion date and if you withdraw from the contract. This is very critical especially in this part of the world where there are no policies protecting investors. In Dubai for example, plans are being made to release the Dubai Investor Protection law which allows a full refund of paid amount to investors if the developer fails to complete or handover a property within a certain timeframe from date specified in the sales contract, deliberately defrauds an investor or alters the specifications of the unit without obtaining requisite permission. Laws like this protect the investors and ensure that both parties (developer and investor) benefit mutually from the development. Pay the initial deposit (make certain a legal professional or real estate advisor is present for guidance and to minimise your risks). Other payments follow subsequently as agreed in the contract. Conduct a survey (also called snagging) some weeks before final completion. Check the property for defects just to be sure everything is working as planned. Final stage is completion and handover of unit to buyer by developer. (To be continued)
REAL ESTATE TRIVIA Question. Who is considered the world's most renowned living architect? Answer. I.M. Pei who retired in 1991; he earned this status after designing the glass pyramid entrance pavilion to the Louvre in Paris (1989). Please send your questions or comments to email@example.com.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Insurance NIA sets up committee to determine minimum rates for cover By Joshua Nse
N a move to establish uniform standard in the pricing of risks in the insurance industry, the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) has set up a rating committee to work out minimum rates in respect of some risks in the market. The committee, headed by the Managing Director, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Wale Onaolapo, a member of the council of the association, is to determine the minimum rates in respect of group life, motor, industrial all risk, money and fidelity guarantee for banks. In a report of the governing
council in the yearly report and accounts 2012/2013 of the association, and signed by the Director General, Sunday Thomas, said: “In line with the decision reached at the CEOs retreat, the rating committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Mr. Wale Onaolapo, a member of the council, to determine the minimum rates in respect of group life, motor, industrial all risk, money and fidelity guarantee for banks and recommend sanctions for non compliance with the minimum rates.” Industry sources, however, told The Guardian that the
I strongly believe that with the popularity of the NIA Customers’ Complaint Bureau and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) strong regulatory enforcement with sanctions and heavy fine in the industry, practitioners are likely to respond positively this time around. committee might record success this time around as a result of the tough regulatory enforcement in the industry, which might force practitioners to adhere to the rec-
ommendations the committee might likely come out with. It will be recalled that the association had advocated the enforcement of mini-
mum rates in the market because of inability of insurance companies to charge economic rates in business underwriting, which weakened the financial capability of insurance entities to meet obligations to stakeholders in the market. The source said, “the war against soft market regime in the industry was a persistent efforts of the association to avoid a situation where insurance companies might have difficulty and delays in claims settlement.” According to him, this was the result of increase in the number of underwriting companies and intense competition in the industry, many underwriting companies in the process engaged in price war, started charging premium rates which were below those contained in the rating guide, which were grossly inadequate to cover the risks being assured. “The consequences of soft market regime, he said, included cash flow problems, difficulty and delays in
claims settlements, loss of investible fund, low investment, inadequate returns on investment and insolvency” He said, “I strongly believe that with the popularity of the NIA Customers’ Complaint Bureau and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) strong regulatory enforcement with sanctions and heavy fine in the industry, practitioners are likely to respond positively this time around.” The report indicate that the volume of business written by the market in 2012 is estimated at about N240 billion as against the 2011 figure of N217.7 billion, an increase of about 10.24 per cent. In spite of this modest growth and a robust future outlook, the insurance sector continues to grapple with the problems of inadequate national infrastructure facilities and the vicissitudes of the weather which exposed many of the insured assets to flood and other natural hazards.
Continental Re partners Swiss Re on life assurance development ONTINENTAL C Reinsurance Swiss Re have
Oloro of Oroland, Oba Abdul Rafiu Ajiboye, (left), Secretary to Kwara State government, Isiaka Gold, CIIN president, Fatai Kayode Lawal, Doyen of the accounting profession, Akintola Williams and Mrs. Lawal, during the investiture of Lawal as the 45th president of CIIN in Lagos
Insurers seek policy packages for emerging risk exposures call has gone to operaA tors of the insurance industry to design policy packages, which will take care of the emerging risk exposures in the country. Participants in a communiqué issued at the 2013 International Education Conference of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria acknowledge the fact that the on–going National Transformation process engenders far–reaching implications for the insurance sector, especially in the area of gaping business
opportunities and the need to design policy packages which can take care of the emerging risk exposures. That the CIIN should explore platforms for bringing the insurance professionals in governance into the fold with a view to tapping from their exposures in the resolution of some key issues burdening the business and practice. That the insurance industry is facing serious challenges from the less than optimal financial literacy in the country. To this effect, the industry should put the necessary machinery in
place for up-scaling its ongoing awareness creation. That modern insurance is highly technology-driven, necessitating the need for insurance institutions to deploy cutting-edge technology in order to square up with the growing trends engendered by the national transformation process across all sectors of the economy. That the insurance industry should promote fruitful partnership with other relevant bodies and agencies in order to create beneficial synergies in business promotion.
That the insurance should take a sterner look at the issue of corporate and individual practitioners’ market discipline by putting in place a disciplinary system that is compatible. That operators should take their human capital development more seriously with a view to entrenching an enduring succession plan. That the industry should be in the vanguard of promoting medium and smallscale enterprises in line with the transformation agenda of the federal government.
Plc and expressed their determination to develop life assurance business in Africa. The two companies reiterated their commitment during a life business strategy seminar organised by Continental Re in partnership with Swiss Re held in Johannesburg, South Africa recently. Different participants from African countries such as Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Mauritius, Ghana, Namibia, Liberia, South Sudan and Tanzania were present to gain knowledge on the subject matter. While making a presentation at the seminar on life assurance, the Executive Director (Life), Continental Re, Mr. Gbenga Falekulo, observed that insurance penetration was very low in Africa. He explained that life assurance were of various products that might be used for the purposes of life protection, investment or a combination of both and in respect of which the subject matter of the contract related to human duration of life or survival. Falekulo said that the firm was committed to deepening insurance penetration in the country by making the populace to become more aware of
the relevance to the individuals and society at large. He said: “With the seminar, we are trying to create more insurance awareness on the continent and improve human capacity available to develop the life business in insurance firms.” The insurer said that the firm decided to provide this free training in the continent as part of effort to deepen insurance among member countries, while also improving their contribution to their nations Gross Domestic Products. Falekulo observed that the seminar gave room for cross fertilisation of ideas among the different nationalities that were present at the seminar. He assured that the Continental Re would continue to play a leading role in reinsurance business in Africa through the provision of proper reinsurance treaties and provision of capacity building through series of trainings. While the participants were requesting that the seminar should be made an annual one because of the impact of knowledge and other supports provided by Continental Re, Falekulo said that the training could only be conducted bi-annually, but reiterated the firms’ support to helping insurance firms to develop in the econo-
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Law Union and Rock adopts e-payment premium remittance Union and Rock LnewAW Insurance Plc has adopted e-payment modes for policyholder as part of its drive to satisfy clients’ needs. In a statement on Friday, the payment modes are to enable clients pay easily and avoid the rigors previously associated with premium payments. The firm said the payment modes are Paydirect (in any bank branch), Quick teller (Interswitch), Point of Sale Terminals and Webpay. While pay direct offers a customer the chance to complete an insurance transaction in any bank nationwide, Law Union said quick teller on the other hand operates on a simple, easy-to-do step by step procedure that is self
explanatory. With this development, the customer can visit the website at www.quickteller.com/lawunionrock where details are keyed in and then follow through with the instructions. This payment mode, the firm explained, is for customers with existing policies. Also, in line with the cashless economy in operation in the country, the POS terminals will be placed in all its retail outlets nationwide. This will cater for both new and existing businesses. The firm also said that existing and new customers can buy insurance through the company’s e-commerce website, adding that this payment
mode is termed Webpay. With a mission to keep faith with those who will entrust their future into its hands and also be a socially responsible corporate citizen, Law Union and Rock Insurance has put in place an effective and functional customer service desk that renders services, which range from queries to enquiries. The firm said these efforts are geared towards creating more awareness about the customer service desk because it was poised to serve clients. Customers can now access the desk between 8. 00 am and 5.30 pm through these dedicated phone-lines 01 773 3662-4 and 01 774 2073.
Representative, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Dimeji Adewole (left); immediate past president, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Wole Adetimihin; Commissioner, Public Complaint Commission Abuja, Obunike Ohaegbu and Director, Transparent Protection Ltd, Sam Onyeka, during the formal launch of Transparent Protection Ltd in Abuja.
SA Life supports deepening insurance awareness ONCERNED about making C Nigerians across the different class divides know much about insurance and its important place in their lives, Standard Alliance (SA) Life Assurance Ltd, one of the nation’s frontline life underwriting companies, has picked the challenge of sponsoring a television programme anchored by Almond Finance and Wealth Report which is geared towards deepening awareness for insurance in Nigeria. This was disclosed at the weekend by the underwriting company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Nelson Egboboh, in a release, noting that the sponsorship of the programme
which is aired on MITV and Silverbird Television, both on local and DSTV channels every Sunday and Thursday respectively shall cover the next 13 weeks from the second week in June. According to him, “a situation where below two per cent of 160 million Nigerians subscribe to insurance is discouraging and unacceptable,” noting that “this is why programmes of this nature must be supported by insurance companies to help Nigerians come to grasp with the value of insurance in their lives and businesses.” According to the company’s spokesman, “we at Standard Alliance Life Assurance Ltd
believe that Nigeria with such a huge population ought to be the biggest market for insurers in Africa if only the people are fully aware of what they stand to benefit from subscribing to any applicable form of insurance.” Egboboh explained that the desire of the company to ensure that no form of losses suffered stop Nigerians from still living their lives fully and the need to enlighten the public on the crucial role insurance plays in the economic stability of any nation informed the organisation’s decision to throw its weight behind the insurance awareness deepening television programme.
WAICA elects Edu chairman of brokers’ forum HE West African Insurance T Companies Association (WAICA) has named a new chairman for its Brokers’ Forum. He is Mr. Rotimi Edu. According to a release issued by the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers image-maker, Tope Adaramola, Edu was elected at the yearly confab of the West African regional body held in Sierra Leone, recently. With the appointment of the new chairman, who is currently a Governing Board member of the NCRIB, which prides itself as the largest insurance professional body
in West Africa, in terms of membership, insurance brokers would be able to synergise their efforts across the West Africa sub-region. Speaking after his election, Edu disclosed that part of his mandate of office is to see to it that insurance brokers operating in the West Africa subregion collaborate more effectively for business and professional advancement. Similarly, he stressed that the Brokers’ Forum would work with other professionals in the sub-region to accelerate their contributions to global economic develop-
ment. In a letter congratulatory letter signed by the President of the NCRIB, Barrister Laide Osijo, said the election has opened a new vista for insurance brokers with in the regional body and served as a mark of confidence reposed in Nigerian Insurance Brokers. She promised that the council will ensure that all support required of the new chairman and his team is given for the benefit of the insurance industry in West Africa.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, Juy 1, 2013
Stockwatch In association with Lead Capital
Stock Market Report for the week Friday, 24th June to Thursday 27th June, 2013 ajor equity markets around the M globe moved downwards as their various indexes lost marginal points. In our universe of sample equity markets; the NASDAQ, S & P 500 and Dow Jones lost points by 1.94%, 1.58% points by 3.12%, 2.89% and 2.95% respectively. In the Asia/Pacific region, Nikkei 225, Hangseng and BSE Sensex gained points by 1.53%, 0.28% and 0.84% respectively. In Brazil, the Bovespa lost point by 1.51% while Russia’s RTS INDEX lost points by 2.37%. On the local setting, NSE ASI closed at 36,963.77 recording 1.34% depreciation at the end of the week’s tradingand 1.34% respectively at the end of last week. In Europe, The German Dax, FTSE 100 and France CAC 40 all lost
In the week, the total volume appreciated by 9.28% and value traded appreciated by 15.64%. A turnover of 2.12 billion units of shares valued at N24.69 billion was recorded, in contrast to a turnover of 1.94 billion units of shares worth N21.35 billion that was recorded in the previous week. Volume this week was driven by activities in the shares of UBA, ZENITHBANK, TRANSCORP, ACCESS, STERLNBANK, GUARANTY, FBNH, DIAMONDBANK, FIDELITYBK and CUSTODYINS
ANNOUNCEMENT URING the period under review, nineteen (19) stocks recorded price appreciation comD pared to twenty seven (27) that depreciated in the previous week, MAYBAKER was first on the top gainers chart to close with 27.01%, followed by TRANSCORP with 15.65%, NEIMETH with 13.22%, PRESCO with 41.14%, IKEJAHOTEL with 10.26% and JBERGER with 10.00%. Other gainers in the top ten categories were DNMEYER with 9.85%, AFRIPRUD with 6.86%, DANGSUGAR with 5.50% and CCNN with 4.09%. On the flip side, fifty six (56) stocks depreciated in price last week compared to fifty two (52) that depreciated a week ago. RTBRISCOE led on the price losers’ table with 16.07%, followed by UTC by 15.71%, MANSARD by 15.22%, ASHAKACEM by 13.96%, PORTPAINT by 13.40%, CUTIX by 10.62%, CUSTODYINS by 10.30%, AIRSERVICE by 10.00%, MOBIL by 10.00% and PZ by 10.00%.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Lead Capital Stock Valuation
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Homes & Property Smart cities show promise in tackling inadequate infrastructure Page 32
Nekonini launches N2b Abuja Maccido Royal Estate II Page 33
The disputed property at Topo community in Badagry, last week
Community battles Navy over Badagry’s shoreline property Litigation By Tosin Fodeke LLEGING trespass on its A landed property and determined to reclaim it
Chinese firm bags Agulu Lake hotel resort contract Page 43
from the Nigerian Navy, a traditional land owning family of Topo Community in Badagry Local Government of Lagos has made a recourse to the court, asking for a judicial order to quit the uniformed men from the emerging township. The dispute arose following incursion by the Naval officers in to their land measuring 271.418 hectares, said to
A bitter quarrel has begun between the Nigerian Navy and some land-owning families of Topo community over the ownership of a vast landed property within Badagry axis. The community has headed to court over the matter after their property was destroyed fall within Topo Community land and described on the Composite Plan as “Savannah Bush and Scattered Palm” and “Thick Savannah Bush and Scattered Trees respectively.” The landed property is located around the shoreline of the community. At the moment, apprehension is heightening among the residents following a recent forceful eviction of
the occupants by some naval officers, who condoned off the area on which an aged man of about 90 years lives, while constructing a demarcating wall. Named as defendants are the Minister of Defence, the office of Chief of Naval Staff, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Surveyor Jide Oduntan and unknown persons. They are first to
fifth defendants in that order. But at the last sitting the matter was adjoined at the instance of the Nigerian Navy, whose lawyer informed the court that he had just been briefed and thus needed time to study the file. The Guardian learnt that the court had to adjourn the matter several times, most often occasioned by the uniformed
men. In their statement of claim, natives of Topo Community Council, led by Isaac Folorunsho Idowu, Samuel Akoteyon, Johnson Ashaka, Zinsu Ogunbiyi, Ahizu Hunmenu, Yesu Bamidele and Jesubiyi Adoku stated that sometimes in 2008, some armed Naval Personnel invaded the land in dispute in a warlike manner, driving away their people, tenants and transferees who have settled on the landed property in dispute. They affirmed further that armed Naval Personnel
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Housing pros urge urban regeneration as tribunal begins sitting Physical Planning By Emmanuel Badejo ROFESSIONALS in the conP struction industry have thrown their weight behind the Lagos newly inaugurated tribunal of inquiry into collapsed buildings in the state, but they have suggested regeneration of cities as one sure way of overcoming the menace, which claims lives and properties whenever it occurs. They said this became imperative, as most of the cities in the country, such as Lagos have grown old, and becoming slums. The professionals spoke last week in Lagos during the inaugural sitting of the tribunal set up by Governor Babatunde Fashola to stem the unwholesome incidences of collapsed building.
Most of the reasons often given for failure of buildings are bad design, poor use and, or maintenance, use of inferior materials, lack of enforcement, engagement of wrong professionals or quacks, among others; but professionals are calling for actions that will encourage the nation’s cities to be constantly regenerated Chairman, African Planning Association (APA), Mr. Waheed Kadiri, a town planner, said that beyond identified factors associated with collapsed buildings including inadequacy in the process of building production such as poor quality of materials, unethical professional practice, quackery, non-compliance and non enforcement of construction standards, development guidelines and building regulations, there are other remote reasons buildings will continue to collapse if nothing was done.
According to him, the nation’s prevailing culture factors of multiply ‘landlordship’ where a single structure is bequeathed to four or more beneficiaries each of whom controls part(s) of a single structure independently, adding that the effect is lackadaisical attitude to the whole structure and that is why “We need to educate ourselves on the need to transfer our assets to corporate trustees for management on behalf of all the beneficiaries.” Kadiri said, of great dis-incentive to maintenance is also the
emergence of Omo Onile who control and levy on slight improvement on any old house, saying this frustrates landlords and tenants sometimes from carrying out timely maintenance works, and that accumulated, disaster could result. The former President of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) said another serious factor is lack of access to mortgage or loan facilities specifically repair, refurbish, retrofit and improve facilities in old houses, which they said leads to a vicious cycle of disre-
pair, loss of values and therefore income and further disrepair and collapse, calling for introduction of small loan through micro financing for housing improvement rather than mortgages with fixation on “buying” or “building” new houses.” On peculiar heterogeneous soil condition in the state, the former Rector of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic said that requires the preparation of an atlas that will reflect soil conditions in all parts of the state, especially the metropolitan area. “The soil atlas will help in assessing soil reports submitted in support of development permit applications. This will improve the present situation where planning officials rely absolutely on developer prepared soil report with all its vagaries. “Above all we should not run
away from tackling the ever increasing spread of slums in the metropolitan area through sustained and inclusive urban regeneration”, Kadiri submitted. Mr. Timothy Nubi, a Professor of Estate Management, University of Lagos, Akoka, said the Urban Regional Decree of 1992 should be reviewed to aid the tribunal’s task. Nubi said that the review became paramount because cities were growing and this growth called for review of laws to match the changing environment. “A total urban regeneration is what is needed in Lagos State. This is because as far back as 1992, about 42 cities in Lagos have been declared as slums and that is about 70 per cent of buildings in the state are built
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Smart cities show promise in tackling inadequate infrastructure Urban Development Y 2050, 70 per cent of the B world’s population will reside in cities. This will push both current and future urban centers to their seams and expand industrial and residential infrastructures beyond their breaking points. Urban infrastructures will need to better meet the challenges of city environments: energy and water scarcity, pollution and emissions, traffic congestion, crime, waste disposal, and safety risks from ageing infrastructures. The increased mobility of our societies has created intense competition between cities: for investment, for talent, and for jobs. Thus, the paradigms shift to the concept of smart cities. A smart city is a community that is efficient, liveable, and sustainable — and these three elements go hand-in-hand. Smart cities start with smart systems, working for the benefit of both residents and the environment. Electric grids, gas distribution systems, water distribution systems, public and private transportation systems, commercial buildings, hospitals and homes all form the backbone of a city’s efficiency, liveability, and sustainability. It is the improvement and integration of these critical city systems — done in a step-by-step manner — that become the cornerstones to making a smart city a reality. With the ongoing privatization of power projects, there are clear opportunities for embarking on smart city project taking into cognizance its energy efficiency advantage. Any community can take it upon itself to define its sus-
An illustration of a smart city
A smart city cannot be created by a Decree. It requires participation, input, and ideas from a wide range of stakeholders in the city. Public governance is naturally critical, but participation from the private sector and the citizens of the community are equally important, writes JOHNSON AJAYI. He argued that incorporating the ideas and thinking of citizen’s helps to identify potential problems ensures support and participation in the efficiency initiatives. tainability vision and then lays out the roadmap needed to get there. Making sure this vision and path are well thought-out is one of the most critical tasks in the process, and most cities need support to develop their roadmap to becoming smart. A smart city vision must be
tailored to the unique needs, challenges, opportunities and resources of each city. With a vision in place, city officials should start by improving existing operating systems, such as electricity, water, transportation, and gas. A combination of connected hardware, software, and
metering facilitates integration and collaboration between systems and networks. This allows a city’s infrastructure to create a critical mass of data that allows for continuous improvement of the systems themselves. All communities must involve
each of their most important stakeholders, including government officials, citizens, and the private sector, in the process — or face tremendously difficult obstacles in making its vision a reality. No single company or organization can build a smart city alone. There are instances of successful smart city projects. For instance, Schneider Electric has implemented more than 200 smart city projects around the globe. Schneider Electric brings world-class expertise and many years of experience in helping cities move toward long-term sustainability goals by improving
their existing infrastructure and driving efficiency throughout a city’s operations. The Schneider Electric bottom-up, system-oriented approach encompasses five steps to a smart city which include setting the vision and roadmap for an efficient, liveable, and sustainable city; combining best-in-class hardware and software to improve operating systems; bringing in integration for wider city operational and informational efficiency; adding innovation to make a holistic and sustainable future a reality and driving collaboration between the most well-suited global and local players, as well as across the entire smart city value chain. This vision should highlight the goals of the city for the long-term: where the city wants to be in five to 10 years in terms of efficiency, sustainability, and competitiveness. One of the most important elements of setting an effective, achievable plan for a smart city is to make that an inclusive, collaborative process. A smart city cannot be created by decree. It requires participation, input, and ideas from a wide range of stakeholders in the city. Public governance is naturally critical, but participation from the private sector and the citizens of the community are equally important. Incorporating the ideas and thinking of citizen’s helps to identify potential problems while also helping to ensure support and participation in the efficiency initiatives. When developing a smart city roadmap, the sheer number of technologies and solutions
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Prime Estates Nekonini launches N2b Abuja Maccido Royal Estate II Housing By Tunde Alao NDIGENOUS real estate developer, Messrs Nekonini Business and Properties Limited, owners of Maccido Royal Estate, located at Galadimwa District, Abuja, said last week it has kick-started construction work on the second phase of the estate. The estate coming on the heels of the first phase comprises 76 residential units, already approved by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA). The developer who described the proposed units as “Green Buildings” said the estate will be dotted with green areas. Estimated to cost N2 billion, the project consists of 26 blocks of three bedroomdetached duplexes and 50 units of block of five bedroomdetached duplexes. The estate, which sits on 20 hectares of land and financed by Skye Bank Plc, will be completed within the next 12 months. Facilities to be provided include peri-meter fencing, pipe borne water supply, alternative power supply to complement Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and road networks within the vicinity. “The main feature of the project, based on the recommendation by the FCDA is that the area reserved for garden and
A prototype of Maccido Royal Estate II other green area as contained on the approved site layout shall be built up in the future and at least, five trees must be planted within premises to protect the environment, ” according to the Chairman, Nekonini Business and Properties Limited, said Mr. Niran Sule-Akinsuyi.
On sustainable environment, he said: “If we want our future generations to enjoy the same standard of living we’ve experienced, we need to take action.” For instance, Sule-Akinsuyi said: “Americans believe that green buildings is a great place to start, as buildings consume 14per cent of potable water, 40
per cent of raw materials, and 39 per cent of energy in the United States alone (according to the US Green Building Council). That’s 15 trillion gallons of water and three billion tons of raw materials each year. “So in Nigeria, we want to make the country a better
place and this could be achieved by implementing green practices into our homes or offices. This can help reduce waste, conserve natural resources, improve both air and water quality, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity”. Sule-Akinsuyi disclosed that the first phase of the project
had been completed and sold out. He hinted that there is provision for mortgage facility. “For the phase one project, customers accessed mortgage facility from Sun Trust and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). So, we will ensure that the would-be buyers avail themselves with the same opportunity.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
COREN flays NYSC over engineering graduates’ postings HFP unveils N3.2b paving some. The president also decried being restructured to be in stone, industrial park Professional Practice In a media chat on its 138th the reoccurring incidence tune with modern realities From Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja ISTURBED that young D graduates of engineering are being sidetracked in getting practical training, the Council For the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has urged the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) authorities to address the matter. COREN alleged that NYSC posts engineering graduates to teach in Secondary Schools for their primary assignment and described the new trend as very worri-
Council meeting in Abuja, COREN President, Kashim Ali, an engineer noted that primary assignment for graduates of engineering should be part of their training. He said, “ For a long time, NYSC formed part of training for the graduates of engineering, however, recently graduates of Engineering are posted to teach in Secondary schools and this negates the principle of COREN. The Council frowns seriously at this trend”. He said the council is
adding that a consultant is presently working on the placements and right sizing of the various departments. Ali who also disclosed that the Council has agreed to harmonise its registration procedure for engineering personnel with those of professional associations, explained that engineering professional associations henceforth would handle the screening of prospective registrants with COREN monitoring and registering them after the screening exercise .
of building collapse in the country, but stated that most of the contractors involved in the construction of collapsed buildings are not registered engineers. He added that COREN has put in place measures to ensure that structures under construction are inspected to and certified. He said the Council established disciplinary tribunal to try registered engineers involved in sharp practices, as part of measured to eliminate quackery in the profession.
Architecture week holds in Port Harcourt Architecture HE Nigerian Institute of T Architects (NIA), Rivers State Chapter has concluded plans to host over 3,000 visitors including architects, engineers, real estate developers, Oil and Gas companies, high net worth business men and gas industry and other professionals from July 9 -13, 2013 at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt.e. The event will attract notable Nigerian experts in reputable universities in Ghana, United Kingdom and the United States of America who will their international experience as consultants with their indigenous counterparts. Chinwe Ohajuruka, an architect, project manager
and sustainability consultant for more than 25 years would be facilitating at one of the sessions at the educational programme of the event. Other speakers are Mr. Ola Banwo and Noah Kofi Karley. Banwo is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional member of the American institute of Architects and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He has been involved in projects in Nigeria, other African countries, Asia and the United States. Karley, a lecturer in Urban Real Estate Management at the Institute for Housing, Urban and Real Estate Research at the Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh,
United Kingdom. Topics that would be discussed at the Educational program include Standard Tools for Project management, Impact of Oil and Gas on Architecture and the Environment, safety, alternative, and cost effective building materials, sources of funds for infrastructural development, capital markets securitization and financial crises among others. One hundred and fifty exhibitors will be displaying diverse products and services including solar power and alternative power products, fittings and furniture, mortgage finance products, security equipment, tiles and stucco marble effects, cements, and roofing products. The Rivers State Government is fully support-
ing Week and has extended invitation to the Vice President, Nnamadi Sambo, an architect, Ministers of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Allison –Madueke, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple and Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo as special guests at the event. Awards would be given to sponsors, partners and Exhibitors with unique product display at the Gala night. Niche PR who was commissioned to organise the event informed us that the number of online registration and hits on the newly launched Nigerian Institute of Architects website is a confirmation that the event will meet the set goals and expectation.
Building Materials By Tosin Fodeke N line with the government’s vision to domesticate some of the materials for construction projects in the country, management of HFP engineering last week unveiled an industrial park and paving stone factory worth N3.2 billion. The feat, it was said was meant to boost the delivery of good and quality road projects in the nation. The facilities, which are strategically located to serve stakeholders in Lagos and Ogun States comes with a state of the art computerized Zenith Model 844 machines, and has a combined capacity to produce up to 6000 linear meters of kerb stones and 3,500 square meters of paving stones per day. Group Managing Director Of HFP Engineering (Nigeria) Limited Mr. ‘Dele Martins, while speaking at the presentation of MANCAP Certificate by Standards Organization Of Nigeria and commissioning Of HFP Industrial Park and Paving & Kerb Stone and Precast Concrete Elements Production Factory, explained that the objective was to satisfy the demand for paving stones and fabricated concrete items needed by construction companies and private individuals that are engaged in construction activities in Nigeria. He added that the facilities designed for HFP Industrial Park include: well laid inter-
locking paved roads, streetlights, water treatment plant, PHCN mains and back up electricity supply, water treatment plant, sewage waste treatment plant, 24 hour communal security, effective management and maintenance of communal facilities and on site accommodation for key personnel. According to him, the factory is the first of what we expect to be many industrial and large scale commercial businesses at HFP Industrial Park and it is also to demonstrate of our commitment to the development of the Nigerian economy and the creation of as many jobs as possible. “Our precast concrete production line has the capacity produce up to 50,000 cubic meters per annum of prefabricated concrete elements like Columns, Beams, Slabs, Electrical poles, Gutters, Gutter Covers and Septic tanks of various sizes for use in the construction industry. “The major raw materials needed for our products such as cement, sand, granite, mold oil, strapping materials and pallets are 100 per cent locally available. The vision and proposal for the establishment of factories that specialize in manufacturing concrete road construction materials is motivated by HFP’s over twenty years successful experience in the construction of durable roads, which can carry the stress of heavy loads and traffic with minimal maintenance costs.
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Topo community, Navy lock horns over landed property CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 were on guard for about a month during when, upon being accosted by the Topo Community Council, they claimed that the land in dispute belongs to the Nigerian Navy and that their mission was to rid the land of all trespassers. According to them, the land in dispute forms part of the land belonging to the Topo Community from time immemorial and that the land was affected by several acquisitions for Federal and State Government purposes. These acquisition they claim include: Federal Government acquisition for ASCON Phase 1, Federal Government acquisition for ASCON Phase 11, Federal Government acquisition for Decca Navigator site which was later taken over by the Nigerian Navy. State Governemnt acquisition for Topo Grammar School Although the Lagos State Government Policy of global acquisition affected most Topo Land hitherto, the 4th Defendant by gazette No. 9, Vol. 29 of March 1996 excised for Badagry/Topo/Itoga communities 1,290 hectares of land. Notice of the said excision was published in the Daily Times of the 13th of September 1991 at Page 11. The claimants are also contending that at any rate the so called policy of global acquisition in so far as it affects the land in dispute is illegal because no notice of acquisition was ever served on the landowning families
as required by law, and no compensation was ever paid to the landowning families as required by law. Further, the claimants said that the excision of the land in 1991 by notice meant that as far as the Lagos State government was concerned the land in dispute was never committed to any public use during the time it was assumed to be under acquisition. Seeking from the court is a declaration that the Topo Community are the beneficial owners of all that 247.761 Hectares of land being part of the land in dispute, same having been excised by gazette No. 9, Vol. 29 of 28th March 1996, and not subject to any other existing Federal or Lagos State Government acquisition. Also, the claimants want the court to declare that the activities of the first to third and/or fifth to seventh defendants as the case maybe on the said land are illegal and amount to trespass. Still, they want the court to make an order of mandatory injunction directing the defendants, as the case maybe and their principals, agents servants and all or any other persons with whom they are connected to vacate the disputed land, as well as an order of perpetual injunction against the Nigerian Navy. However, in their response the defendants claimed that the land was acquired by the Nigerian Navy for its Decca Navigator Station,
Nigerian Navy Military School and was given to them by the Lagos State Government by the then Military administration in April 1989. Producing evidence of a Certificate of Occupancy NO. 91/91/1989 dated 19th April 1989, vide a letter for registration from the Military Governorâ€™s office, Alausa, reference O:LHDS/L.591/S.2/X/819, defendants stated that it noticed acts of trespass on its land and took action of taking possession from illegal occupants on the said land, by posting and stationing men and officers of Nigerian Navy in the interest of the generality of the Nigerian Nation. According the Nigerian Navy, the claimants are very much aware that they (Nigerian Navy) are the bonafide owners of the land for 99 years, since the 19th of April 1989 on behalf of the general public for the territorial integrity of Nigeria as a nation. They further alleged that claimants still intentionally decided to trespass into the defendantsâ€™ land for their selfish personal interest, which prompted them to guard and protect the sacred public interest in the land. Stating that the claimants are not entitled to any land whatsoever, the second and third defendants is urging the court to dismiss the suit claiming that it lacks merit; it is a gold digging exercise, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Idanre N500m civic centre project underway Projects LANS to construct a befitting edifice that would be known as Idanre Civic Centre is underway. The Chairman of Media Link Limited, Chief Babu Akinbobola, has commenced rallying support from peers to ensure the delivery of the project soonest. The initiative, came to the fore following Akinbobola’ recent appointment as the chairman of Idanre Civic Centre Committee, ICCC, by His Royal Majesty, Oba Fredrick Aroloye, Owa of Idanre Kingdom. Idanre, is a community of elites in Ondo State. The committee has a unique assignment to rally all Idanre indigenes both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora
to be part of the historic move to build the proposed centre. The Guardian learnt that in 1935, Idanre indigenes contributed six pence each to build the present Town Hall, which now serves as the High Court, behind LA Field. At its inaugural meeting in Lagos recently, the ICCC chairman said the committee will “ take a cue from our illustrious past. In other words, instead of organizing some effusive fund raising bazaars, we have chosen to galvanize our people to fund this project. Consequently, every male adult is mandated to pay a sum of N2, 000 while female adult is levied N1,000. The levy is compulsory for all idanre sons and daughters home and abroad” Akinbobola explained.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Chinese firm bags Agulu Lake hotel resort contract Contracts From Uzoma Nzeagwu - Awka. OPES of making Anambra a H tourism destination in the South East may be soon be achieved, if the latest effort by the authorities is anything to go by. The State has recently awarded the contract to a Chinese build-
ing and civil engineering firm Soy Groan Construction Company Nigeria Limited, drive the Agulu Lake Hotel resort to boost tourism in the state. The project will gulp about N2 billion and consists of a four- storey building, with conference centre, shopping malls and other amenities. The contract is expected to be executed in nine months.
Already, the contractor has moved to site and started clearing and other preliminary work. Meanwhile, Governor Peter Obi who visited the site last week said that the project was in line with the policy of the state government to develop all sectors simultaneously encapsulated in Anambra State Integrated Development
Strategy (ANIDS). Obi said that the resort would be of much benefit to the state, especially in providing the needed accommodation and other facilities to visitors, saying that it is located within the State Capital Territory. “With the Agulu Lake Hotel Resort, the capital territory will not only boast of an internationally standard hotel but will
also have a hotel located in one of the best areas for such purpose. Obi who recalled that the resort was first conceived in the early 1970s in the old eastern region together with the Oguta and Nike Lake Resort, regretted that Agulu Lake Resort had remained stillbirth until now. The Commissioner for Works, Calistus Ilozumba, an architect
told newsmen that the project would be completed as soon as possible because of its tremendous benefits to the State. According to him, the Governor had directed all relevant ministries, especially Housing and Works to pay particular attention to the project.
Smart cities as panacea for inadequate infrastructure CONTINUED FROM PAGE 32 available today can be overwhelming. This makes honing in on the most acute pain points vital, and cities will often find that solving one pain point opens up opportunities for improvements in other areas of the city’s infrastructure. Whether for water, traffic, or other domains — because these solutions also include a suite of analytics, business intelligence, and decision support capabilities — cities are able to capture actionable intelligence that identifies potential issues before they occur and make more informed decisions. The ability to identify these pain
points within cities, deploy integrated and scalable solutions with immediate results, and then leverage those results into other smart city initiatives, requires strong technical and process expertise. The use of information integration to create a smart city follows an evolutionary process as a city becomes more advanced in using technology to manage infrastructure. The key first step in the process is deployment of sensors throughout city infrastructure to collect raw data, which is then transmitted through communications networks, either wireline or wireless. Once the data is col-
lected and available, real-time systems can use the data to automate management of city infrastructure, resulting in significant performance and cost advantages. In the wake of collapsing financial markets and uncertain revenue streams, it is no surprise that many cities today find themselves short of cash. The revenue they do have must first be allocated to essential operations and staff, and there is often little left over for upgrades, retrofits, and other improvement measures. But a large up-front investment is not a requisite for a smarter city. The most progressive smart city players are tapping innovative finan-
Panel on collapsed buildings begin sitting CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 in slum zones. First, these cities are growing old and if considered very well, you will find that none of these buildings has a development permit from the government,” he said. Nubi said the committee should also emphasize the need for intensive advocacy for planning, urging NITP to pilot this initiative. To him, the state should work towards encouraging home ownership through mortgage facilities not necessarily by building but by buying flats. President, Association of Consulting Architects Nigeria (ACANigeria), Mr. Fred Coker, said it was encouraging that the state government was taking the issue of collapsed building very seriously and had inaugurated the tribunal to look into the causes, quality of building materials, building methods and make recommendations on measures to prevent the re-occurrence of building collapse. In his view, the spate of the menace has to do with the lack of accountability at all levels of society. “Why should we be surprised to learn of contractors cutting corners or consultants not doing their works as expected when they know that nothing will happen should a problem arise? After all, they see our leaders
on a daily basis getting away with crimes far worse and getting away with it. Consequently, in my opinion, we will still have building collapse in the future till the decay in the society is reversed. Notwithstanding, we cannot ideally stand by and we must not give up hope.” Lagos State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said that the state was committed to addressing all issues on physical planning and building collapse. Ipaye expressed the commitment at the inaugural sitting of the Tribunal of Inquiry on Collapsed Buildings in Lagos. He said the tribunal was set up to check incidence of building collapse by ensuring that rightful professionals, materials and methods were used at construction sites. “The spate of building collapse and failures in the state has become an endemic problem that has defied all solutions in the recent past. “These incidences have resulted in loss of lives and properties and have caused disabilities to many. “But with the efforts of this new tribunal, we believe the menace will be reduced to a minimal rate, if not completely stopped,” he said. Ipaye said that the tribunal would serve as a forum for all
stakeholders, house owners, tenants and professionals to contribute their quota to the prevention of building collapse. Chairman of the tribuna, Mrs. Abimbola Ajayi, said that the committee would work to ensure that the incidence of building collapse was controlled. Ajayi advised members of the public to assist the tribunal in the task by reporting any case of building collapse or use of sub-standard building materials to the tribunal.
cial and business models to make efficient infrastructure a reality despite limited capital. Just as a city is the sum of its parts, the effective development and execution of a smart city roadmap requires collaboration from all stakeholders. Each unique smart city plan and roadmap requires collaboration with companies like Schneider Electric, global technology providers, and local organizations best suited for the specific system improvements needed. The smart cities emerging strongest will be those whose solution partners cast aside industry competitiveness and political differences to bring the most comprehensive and best solutions together. This means sharing information across city departments, to break down silos; and involving global leaders, with
world-class capabilities, as well as local providers and stakeholders, who know their cities the best. Success will come from combining public governance, people ownership and business collaboration, driving communication between these groups by giving each of them a true stake in the smart city built out of their community. Using this approach, cities can realize a host of benefits. They can see up to 30 per cent energy savings. Up to 20 per cent reduction in water losses is possible. Up to 30 per cent reduction in street crime from CCTV security cameras can be delivered. Travel time and traffic delays can be reduced by up to 20 per cent. Other major non-environmental benefits include improved safety and higher quality of life, which in turn drives job creation and increases the talent pool, lead-
ing to higher tax revenue. Organizations have also teamed up to offer joint solutions enabling smarter and more energy efficient buildings within communities, such as the Schneider Electric Torana Gateway for Cisco EnergyWISE solution. Providing two-way control within the BMS, the collaborative system extracts data — for measurement, monitoring, reporting, and device control — and allows managers the freedom of multiple functions, such as powering down IP phones. These solutions use fewer raw materials, consume less energy, and offer a futureproofed infrastructure; setting the stage for more intelligent buildings and exemplifying the astounding levels of integration and efficiency propelled by technology collaboration.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
PropertyInterview Govt must audit housing schemes, says Ukpong In 1979, 1004 estate was opened as a high amenity and upscale estate for the accommodation of senators and members of the House of Representatives and was subsequently occupied by senior Federal civil servants until its acquisition by 1004 Estates Limited for N7 billion. After its refurbishment, the estate has attained almost 95 per cent occupancy and creates a healthy living environment for its residents. Last week, Nigeria marked World Facility Management Day and in this interview with Assistant Housing & Environment Editor, CHINEDUM UWAEGBULAM, the company’s Managing Director, SAMUEL UKPONG sheds more light on facility management and why government intervention is neccesary in achieving aﬀordable housing. Excerpts: ter for the government to provide the land and Facility Management Housing is a critical factor in national development and economy. What are the best options for achieving sustainable housing in Nigeria? National development cannot happen independently without physical infrastructure. We need hospitals, commercial, and industrial and residential spaces as well as recreational facilities, which amount to more construction. In Nigeria, building and construction industry is one of the largest employer of labour. Infrastructure must link all these process from industrial to commercial, port or residential areas. These are all critical. We must accept this challenge and rise up to the occasion to bring about rapid development in public and private spaces. Our problems now are that we are attempting to develop without the connections through our infrastructure architecture, such as roads, rail, sea and air transportation, which now services only five cities in the whole federation. As you know, any serious development cannot take place unless we are able to revamp our infrastructure and synergise them. If you go to any successful country in the world, these are countries that have synergized their infrastructure and mapped out their development plans. China today is sitting on the last 20-25 years of its infrastructure development plan. Their population was over a billion some years ago, but they are able to overcome their challenges through careful planning. Nigeria must come to a point, where we must emphasize putting in infrastructure before construction of houses. Whenever we wake up from our trance and realize that poor infrastructure is the bane of development, and that we should spend good money to put in infrastructure, then things will work well. We are still looking for magic. We must come out of this dreamy state. Private developers and investors point to infrastructure as the bane of achieving affordable housing. Are there strategies to ensure affordable housing without government intervention? We must stick to the fact that there must be government intervention in various forms of human endeavour, be it housing, industry, transportation and health. The major form of government intervention is where we are having a lot of conflict in Nigeria. Government should be a stimulator, enabler, take on the herculean task of building infrastructure with private partners. Only few individuals can build a road or power plant and when an individual builds a road, he must toll the road and recover his income over a period of time and still maintain that road, that’s why we are seeing the government leaning towards Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. So, many forms of intervention must be a PPP. You cannot expect somebody to buy land, and acquire about 30 kilometers in order to put in the road. For instance, we are working through a consortium with government on the Transit Village, to redevelop Transit Village from its obsolescent state, off course, but we are still going to have to put in new infrastructure, that’s also a PPP scheme. But right now the government is also not providing enough land in areas, where there is greater demand, but usually only on the outskirts with high development costs where there are no roads, electricity, water, and security. This affects the final cost of the houses. Sometimes merely giving the land may not a sufficient condition for achieving affordable housing. It is bet-
but also create a better synergy of all the tools at its disposal by harnessing the Federal Mortgage bank, NHF loans, infrastructure bank, and creating a template to work with the local manufacturers of building materials, the pension funds and capital market has a role also to play in refinancing mortgages. Property developers, Insurance companies, commercial and mortgage banks will all have a role in order for us to create the interface with serious large construction companies to develop with scale. It’s just how to get the cooperation of everyone in a trustworthy PPP format that we need to find everything is actually available to intervene in providing cheaper houses. Of course the demand is overwhelming but it’s also how to aggregate and put to use the low funds with the people seeking homes that we also need to solve. That how the prices of the houses can come down. Unless we develop large estates, like 1004 estate, and Gwarimpa estate, the economy of scale of getting mass housing cannot be easily achieved, only large-scale projects need to be undertaken. If its possible, the government should take the bull by the horn, and do auditing of its sites and services housing schemes, to know how many of them have really taken off, as some of them were awarded to individuals, friends and people who are not really in the business of housing development. In most choice areas, especially in Lagos, payment of service charges has been a major dispute between property owners and their tenants or owner-occupiers. Why is this so and how can such problem be tackled? Choice areas evolve due to the high amenity provided by the developer, or due to emotional attachments or by people placing a premium on living in some areas such as Ikoyi. There are other islands that developments have come to like Banana Island, and Osborne; where there is water, electricity and security. Then the nature and class of people inhabiting in such areas, to large extent determine the character of such estates. The people living in Ikoyi and Victoria Island are quite similar, in that quality and the life style they choose to live is really the same. Generally, there will always be dispute between people who run services and consumers of the services. It should be taken as normal occurrences. Firstly, if you want to run services, its necessary to create a strong service agreement, that is quite clear to who provides the services, the nature and quality of services to be provided and who decides cost of those services and who will also make the payments for the services and when. What you will find from people who are in the business of providing service is that there is always a time lag of getting the money for the services, which have already been consumed by the resident. That lag is very uncomfortable financially and creates great stress with external service contractors. Secondly, when you’re demanding for money for services consumed, some people may want to look for ways of avoiding the payment of the services provided. The greatest obstacle can frequently be collecting your revenue from consumers as in all businesses, so this is not unique to 1004 estate. One should have a firm facility management agreement in place and respect it. You need to be frugal when you’re running these services. Residents should always promptly pay for services and rather than politicise issues. Right now, our service charge is the lowest in
Ukpong Victoria Island. We are providing upper – middle-income consumers, with high-level facilities and amenities, compared to other smaller estates with small amenities and high cost of service charge. We are now a destination of choice for individuals, expatriates, corporate companies, telecom and financial institutions executives who will not be constantly moving into the estate once there is a vacancy, if the services are not well run. Something like that cannot be hidden. You can see that the value of property in a well-serviced estate continues to also perform very well like in 1004 estate. For instance at 1004 estate, we have two million capacity water treatment plant, we use one million capacity everyday. Every month, we produce about 30 million litres of water, that’s a lot of water. The people that live in choice areas also make huge energy demand on the amenities. We have a one megawatts power plant which now runs 24 hours on diesel most times due to the now frequent collapses of the national power system; we cannot put off the 12 lifts at anytime be-
cause we have young and old people using them and even the middle aged cannot medically climb five to 14- floors several times a day. We are responsible to insure the entire estate pay Lagos state land use charges; solve domestic disputes and neighbourly infractions. Service charges are a function of the services people get, we provide the same services available in Ikoyi for 24 hours and even on a larger scale. We are on about 15 hectares of land. Landscaping that land alone is a great cost. Cleaning that land alone for over 4,000 populations and the refuse generated daily is huge. Our service charge is largely because public service is almost non- existent. We produce our own water, power, and provide security to our residents, fix our own internal roads and the approach road to the estate as well as run the welfare of our staff team. It is tremendously challenging but when you are able to deliver the services consistently it makes people think it’s so easy. We always ask those who complain of our charges to make a comparison with what obtains in other properties in Victoria Island, if they can find something cheaper.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Ineffective project delivery can harm economic agenda, say experts Projects By Tunde Alao and Kayla Grage HALLENGES of project failure, high cost of projects, abandoned and prolonged time in project execution formed the kernel of discussions during the 9th Annual Project Management Lecture, organised by the Department of Building, University of Lagos (UNILAG). Tagged, “Economic Transformation Through Infrastructural Development: The Role of Project Management,” various speakers at the lecture underscored the critical role that effective project management plays in providing infrastructure capable of promoting economic development. The source of worry, according to the speakers, is the patronage of quacks in the delivery of construction industry, conflict in services among the professionals in the industry as they seek and engage in composite services such as design, estimating and construction, instead of complementing the services of one another Head Of Building Department, the host of the event, Professor Godwin Idiho, lamented on what he considered as the precarious condition of construction industry. According to Idoho, the performance of the construction industry in Nigeria should be a serious concern to all and sundry. He listed other challenges facing the industry in Nigeria as quality of performance on contract, which is low and excessively high cost of projects. Another problem militating against the sector is the
The professionals observed the dominance of sub-standard or inferior materials in the construction industry as one of the major problem that requires urgent attention. They accused the government of not regulating imports and manufacturing of building materials improper regulation of the industry, which has allowed foreigners from British, Americans, Germans Italians, handling one project or the other. The construction industry in Nigeria, according to him, lacks the required standards and regulations and that the few existing regulations, rather than ensure sanity, tend to cause conflicts among professionals, practices and processes, withy the industry now depends solely on foreign regulations and standards. However, he saw dominance of sub-standard or inferior materials in the industry as another major problem that requires urgent attention. Idoho accused the government for having left the issue of construction materials uncontrolled to the extent that construction material merchants and suppliers now sell or offer different types of the same brand of a material. He noted that the problem has gotten to a level where it is difficult to differentiate between genuine and inferior materials, saying that in such a situation, poor quality of works and eventual failure or collapse of structures are inevitable. Another important observation is the practice of selling contracts. “Government agencies have devised a new strategy of compensating members of their
Board of Directors, Governing Councils, politicians/legislators and top civil servants by allocating a number of the projects in their capital budgets to them,” he lamented. Minister Of Works, Mr. Mike Olonemenmen, an architect, disclosed that the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has completed the preparation of a National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), to guide the nation’s investment in key infrastructure in the next 30 years, precisely, 2014-2043. Speaking on the theme of the lecture, titled: “Economic Development Through Infrastructural Development: The Role of Project Management”, he noted that one way of pursuing the federal government’s transformation agenda is the development of infrastructure that could lead to the empowerment of citizens through the creation of the enabling environment, capable of engaging the people in productive activities that could eventually lead to economic empowerment and at the same time, engenders national development. The Managing Director, UACN Properties Development Company, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, who was the Chairman of the occasion, berated government and policy makers for what he considered as insensitivity to project management.
Lagos State Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Amzat (left), Group Managing Director, HFP Engineering Nigeria Limited, Mr Dele Martins (Middle) listening to Mr. Tony Emamomo, HFP Logistics Manager explain a point of interest during the presentation of Standard Organisation of Nigeria’s MANCAP Certificate to HFP Paving & Kerb Stones Factory.
HFP opens N3.2b paving stone facility CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 “HFP Industrial Park is set on a parcel of land measuring approximately 20.66 hectares and is the expression of our desire to replicate for industrial what we had successfully done in mixed residential development like Victoria Garden City and Mayfair Gardens, and commercial market developments like Ikota International Shopping Complex and the ongoing HFP-Eastline Shopping Complex at Ajah. “The Ibeju – Lekki axis of Lagos State is without doubt the major development region in the state and we have designed
HFP Industrial Park as an ideal permanent operation base for industries and large scale commercial organizations from which to provide their products and services to their customers and clientele in the Lekki – Epe Sub Region and Lagos Free Trade Zone.” Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, represented by Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, lamented that substandard is a major bane to delivery of projects. He added that there had been instances where projects were abandoned due to building
materials that were found to be substandard after test. Hamzat who expressed concern over the increased imports of substandard 200 motorcycles, which have false specification signs, called for the domestication of the entire construction process from fabrication to final products and also the need to build capacity within the built sector. Representative of the Standards Organization of Nigeria Mrs. Jemila Usau urged the company to strive harder to maintain the quality, even as the journey to achieve the certification was not an easy one.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Participants at the Lagos State Government and UNDP workshop on climate change summit communique review, last week
UNDP, experts chart new course for Lagos climate action plan Climate Change By Chinedum Uwaegbulam RESH efforts were made last Fblocks week to lay the building for local climate change action plan for Lagos, which will guide the State and other stakeholders on the implementation of collective measures to address climate impacts through adaptation, mitigation and ensuring sustainable socio-economic development. The renewed vigour was courtesy of the Lagos State Government through its Ministry of Environment in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The forum reviewed the communiqués generated during the climate change summits in the
Experts are searching for fresh insights and innovative ideas toward tackling the menace of climate change in Lagos State and future harmonious ways in managing the environment for the benefit of present and future generations. past five years and assessed it’s performance during the implementation as well as developed an action. The climate change risks are particularly high because of Lagos long coastline, flat topography, high water table and growing population and a heavy concentration of gross domestic product (GDP) generating industry and infrastructure near the coast. Essentially, the two-day forum, which attracted notable environmentalists such as Prof. Kayode Oladipo, Prof. Niyi Osuntogun, Chairman, Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team (NEST), Prof David
Okali, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics and Research, Prof. Jide Alo and National Project Coordinator, UNDP/Global Environment Facility (GEF) Energy Efficiency Programme, Etiosa Uyigue, sought for a new State climate change governance framework to coordinate and harmonise the implementation of State-level climate change activities and initiatives. They also identified priority adaptation action areas and roles of the State and other stakeholders to address climate change. According to them, climate change is real, and is already happening at an unprecedented rate while
impacts are unevenly distributed geographically and socially. The State’s Commissioner for Environment, Tunji Bello who set the tune of the programme, noted that the frequency of extreme weather events, which daily occur in several parts of the world, including Nigeria and other countries bordering on the Atlantic, has exposed the collective vulnerability to the scourge. He said that on-going fight against climate change is one of the greatest challenges major cities across the world face and innovative visionary projects on urban transportation, solid waste management,
lighting and energy efficiency have been pioneers by cities around the world. “Cities play integral role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and implementing climate adaptation strategies. Cities are cornerstones for implementing local action through planning and policy making,” he said. Bello said: “Climate change has continued to dominate global discourse as the defining development challenge of our generation. This is not sup rising given the spate of climate change induced disasters across tine globe. “Needless to add the melting of the iceberg and attendant rise in sea level. Flooding and gully erosion, the twin ecological problems that have continued to afflict Nigeria nation will be exacerbated.”
Bello, represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Hakeem Ogunbambi said that Lagos annual climate change summits have become the principal vehicle for disseminating and managing climate change information not only in Nigeria but sub- Saharan Africa at large. He expressed appreciation and gratitude to UNDP for it’s co laboratory works with the state government and it’s unflinching support for environmental programmes. Bello charged the participants to look for fresh insights and innovative idea towards tackling the menace of climate Change and future harmonious ways in managing the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.
Osun unveils green policy, procures 2.5 seedlings Conservation From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo MID the clamour to tackle the devastating effects of climate change and its variability in the country, Osun Government has initiated fresh moves to build responses through the planting of 2.5 million seedlings in the state. Apart from removing and storing Carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, trees quite literally form the foundations of many natural systems. They help to conserve soil and water, control avalanches, prevent desertification, protect
coastal areas and stabilize sand dunes. In a bid to make the state one of the repositories of terrestrial biological biodiversity, Osun has purchased 2.5 million seedlings of different tree species tagged ‘Igi-Iye’ (tree of Life) to ensure environmental protection in the state. Governor Rauf Aregbeola disclosed recently that his administration while receiving the 6th edition of Environment Gold Award, organised by the Institute of Environment and Ecology, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife held at the University’s Sports Centre. Aregbesola noted that Osun’s
green policy is aimed at the regeneration and sustainability of the environment, adding that the State is mindful of the fact that the environment is a common heritage of all of humanity thus the “Igi-Iye tree planting. He held that a good environment is a vital legacy to be preserved for the generation to come and that all hand must be on deck at ensuring that the environment is useful for those who will inherit it. According to the governor, “We do not view the environment as belonging to our generation alone. We see it as a vital legacy to be preserved for
our children and grandchildren. “Just as we are exploiting the resources of the environment to better the lot of our generation, we must strive not to jeopardise its usefulness for those that will inherit it from us,” he stressed. He also added that it is the foresight of his Administration that helped to forestall the ravages of flooding that recently occurred in various parts of the country from happening in Osun, as opposed to what obtained in the state in the past. “This award is certain to spur us on and to further strengthen the awareness among our
people that the environment is theirs to be cared for and protected,” he said. He also added that in Osun, the environment is not something to trample upon or something to despoil but a precious resource nature has put in its care to nurture. Speaking earlier, Special Adviser to the governor on Environment and Sanitation, Bola Ilori noted that 2.5 million seedlings would go into the first phase of the Igi-Iye programme, while another 5 million seedlings will come in the second phase. He said that the trees would
be planted on the streets, mosque, churches and neighbourhood, saying that this is aimed at improving the healthy living of the people. Ilori appealed to every citizen of the state to plant a minimum of one tree, with a view to achieving the goal of the initiative. The Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Bamitale Omole commended Aregbesola for the great achievements of his government particularly in Environmental sustainability that is earning him the 2013 Gold Environment Award.
THE ENVIRONMENT 49
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Asiodu, others decry misuse of ecological funds, urge action The Environment By Tosin Fodeke ENOWNED environmentalists have decried the misuse of ecological funds, urging the Federal Government to involve several non-governmental organisations within the sector in its management for effectiveness and noticeable results. Also they lamented excess exploitation of mineral resources from land, dumping of toxic waste in the seas and oceans, and hunting, which have been attributed to extinction of some of the fauna and flora to near or complete extinction. Speaking last week at the African Environmental Action Summit in commemoration of the World Environment Day, President, Nigeria Conservative Foundation (NCF), Chief Philip Asiodu, bemoaned mishandling of ecological funds in the country, adding that in light of the inability of the government to effectively use the ecological funds to tackle issues of the environment, NGO’s with interest in the environment should be mandated to manage the funds to ensure that results were achieved. According to him, the best route to effectively fight environmental challenges is through the NGO who urge government to empower better. Asiodu who led the charge stressed: “The number of
Gully erosion in the South East Nigeria...where is the ecological fund? NGO springing up today in the vanguard to fight environmental challenges is encouraging as Nigeria’s many problems need these people. The population is increasing so also the toxic pollution, waste, erosion and various problems. So it is with the concerted efforts of
the NGO’s that the battle can be confronted effectively”. Also, wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, who was the guest speaker at the event elucidated that the state has taken up a campaign to address the numerous adverse environmental effects bedeviling its
vast land mass. She stated that the state’s advocacy campaign is being addressed under the aegis of “Green Empowerment for the Youth (GEFTY). Amosun said that the project aims at creating awareness for a green agenda, which will ultimately impact
on the people’s consciousness and curb the ongoing environmental degradation. “Youths are the destined leaders of tomorrow, and a fundamental and quintessential force to tap into and reckon with,” she stated, adding that GEFTY aims at achieving comprehensive green education in primary and secondary schools; raise awareness in government, industry and academia on the need for a green revolution; and raise funding to be used to design and deploy bigger youth-inclined projects. She listed other programmes in the pipeline to include holding of Green Youth conferences, establishment of Green Clubs in schools and the organisation of Green Essay competitions. Earlier, convener of the summit, Ms. Tosin Adefope, explained that caring for the environment was critical, as earth has suffered unprecedented abuses, which sometimes go undocumented, and some of the effects may remain unknown for generations to come. Also, at the summit, Mrs. Stephanie (Okereke)-Linus, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, MrsTeni Majekodunmi, were all on ground to discuss Africa’s natural resources for sustainable economic development, adoption of best practices for human hygiene and waste management; identify and protect endangered species of Africa.
How to leapfrog Nigeria’s low carbon future The Environment HE lights are going on all T over Africa, home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Overall, that is great news. Children can study at night without breathing harmful or environmentally damaging kerosene fumes; the sense of security in poor communities, where people live in fear when night falls, is hugely increased; productivity for businesses improves as they can stay open later; and commonplace fires, caused by fallen candles or spilt fuels, become rare. However, unless energy efficient lighting is adopted, carbon emissions from an expected increase in electricity consumption of between 60-70 per cent by 2030 could lead to disastrous effects on efforts to fight climate change globally. Few actions could reduce carbon emissions as inexpensively and easily as the phase-out of inefficient lighting and making sure that any new lighting uses environmentally sustainable technology. West Africa has become the latest region to drive efforts to promote energy efficient lighting. A complete transition in that area could produce annual energy savings of 2.4 terawatt hours, approximately 6.75 per cent of total electricity consumption. The savings would be enough to supply the total annual electricity needs of at least 1.2 million households. This decision came after Ministers representing the 15 countries of the Economic
Nigeria alone could realize savings of over US$ 1.4 billion per year if a full transition to energy efficient lighting took place, according to a piece by UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, ACHIM STEINER and ECREEE Executive Director, MR. MAHAMA KAPPIAH. They say, Nigeria could avoid 2.3 litres of kerosene, 1.3 billion candles and 314 million batteries used for flashlights with a transition to energy efficient solar LED light sources. Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting in Ghana last October adopted a regional energy efficiency policy on the occasion of the ECOWAS High Level Energy Forum of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative. The ECOWAS member states agreed to eliminate inefficient incandescent lamps and adopt more efficient lighting, a move that would save the region an estimated US$220 million per year in energy costs. Lighting currently represents 20 per cent of electricity usage. They are supported by en.lighten, a global project established to accelerate worldwide market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies. This initiative is funded by the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in partnership with leading global lighting manufacturers, Philips and OSRAM, and the National Lighting Test Center (China). ECOWAS was designated as a pilot region for en.lighten’s Global Efficient Lighting Partnership Programme – an unparalleled voluntary initiative, now backed by 48 countries, providing support for policies and actions aimed at a coordinated phase-out of inefficient lighting. The Programme supports the global phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps by 2016. For West Africa, the strategy is being formulated in collaboration with ECOWAS’ Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) as part of ECOWAS initiative on
efficient lighting. Around 60 per cent of the population in ECOWAS countries does not have access to electricity. Replacing the millions of kerosene lamps, candles and flashlights used in countries in the region with modern solar lighting would provide an increasingly lowcost solution to reducing carbon emissions, indoor air pollution and health risks, and boost green jobs. It is a further contribution to the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and a way for developing countries to demonstrate in practical terms their commitment to a new universal UN climate agreement by 2015. The transition is underway, the challenge now is to maintain that momentum so that as the lights go on across
Africa they go on in a way that builds another foundation towards a Green Economy and significant step towards the future we want and the future we need. Nigeria alone could realize savings of over US$ 1.4 billion per year if a full transition to energy efficient lighting took place. For on-grid lighting, the shift to energy-saving replacement products for all of the major lamp types in the residential, commercial, industrial and outdoor sectors would result in a savings of 1.4 terawatt hours in annual electricity consumption which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of over 690,000 households. It would save 7 per cent of total national electricity consumption each year, equal to the power output of 2 medium (100 MW) power plants. For off-grid lighting, Nigeria could avoid 2.3 litres of kerosene, 1.3 billion candles and 314 million batteries used for flashlights with a transition to energy efficient solar LED light sources. This is equivalent to over 17 million barrels of crude oil energy equivalent every year. Between off-grid and on-grid lighting, the transition to energy efficient lighting for all applications in Nigeria would lead to a reduction of over 6.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. These significant carbon emissions could be reduced with the phase-out of inefficient lighting, as one of the most effective and economically advantageous ways to mitigate climate change for the country and for the world.
EU reaches deal on 2020 auto emissions law Climate Change HE European Union late last T week agreed a compromise deal to enforce stricter rules on carbon dioxide emissions for all new EU automobiles from 2020. The outline agreement on implementing a target of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (g/km) still needs the official endorsement of EU member states. German efforts to ensure that its luxury car makers, such as BMW and Daimler, can continue to produce more polluting, less fuel efficient cars complicated the final stages of talks. But Ireland, holder of the rotating EU presidency, which has brokered the deal, said the compromise struck the right balance between environmental ambition and economic considerations. “This agreement clearly represents a win-win for climate, consumers, innovation and jobs and provides another important step towards a competitive, low-carbon economy,” Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan said in a statement. Under the rules, each manufacturer is assigned an individual target to take account of the nature of their fleet and their past cuts. But making less-polluting cars is costly and restricts profit margins, which is why Germany sought ways to delay meeting the stricter rules. Member states last week rejected a German plan that would have allowed automakers to carry over credits to pollute accrued before the new rules kick in 2020. Known as supercredits, these permits are earned if manufacturers produce some very low emissions vehicles, such as electric cars, which German firms are making to meet a separate national target. Germany then proposed another plan focused on another technical device, referred to as a multiplier. As agreed last week, the multiplier still buys time for automakers because it increases the number of supercredits a manufacturer earns for each low emission vehicle. Germany and its automakers have repeatedly defended supercredits, saying they encourage innovation. The Commission, whose original proposal set a limit on supercredits, says the problem is that too many of them mean producers can carry on making higher emissions models and emissions levels will fail to meet the 2020 95 g/km target. Germany as a whole is at the upper end of the EU emissions range, with 147 g/km in 2011, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). The EU fleet average is around 132 g/km, so it should meet an existing goal of 130 g/km phased in between 2012 and 2015. Environmental campaigners gave a cautious welcome to Monday’s deal as a move in the right direction. “It could have been even better for drivers, jobs and the EU economy if decision-makers had focused on the significant long-term benefits of more fuel efficient cars instead of the narrow, short-term interests of some carmakers,” said Greg Archer of campaign group Transport and Environment, said.
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Weekly Lead Equity Ratings
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
The desirability of annuities (2) Last week we published the first part of our article; THE DESIRABILITY OF ANNUITIES. Here is the concluding part of the article Annuity withdrawer penalties As mentioned previously, most annuity contracts have a back-end declining surrender charge schedule that usually expires anywhere from one to ten years from the date of purchase. The surrender charge in the first year can be as high as 10 or even 15%, then declines by a percent or two each year before expiring. However, many annuity carriers allow investors to access some or all of the funds in their contracts under certain conditions, listed as follows: Hardship or Disability - Contract owners who experience a medical or other emergency can apply for a partial or total withdrawal under these circumstances. In many cases the annuity carrier will permit the owner to withdraw some or all of the contract value at no charge. Partial Withdrawal -Many annuity contracts allow owners to access a portion of their contract values (usually around 10%) each year for any reason. This window generally remains open until the surrender charge schedule expires. Free Look Period – Virtually all annuity contracts have a free look period, during which the owner can return the contract for a full refund. For example, according to the SEC, variable annuities have a free look period of ten or more days.
the selling and marketing of annuities must carry an active life insurance license, regardless of which of the above categories they are in, plus a securities license if dealing with variable contracts. Many personal bankers are licensed to sell fixed annuities to bank customers, although banks can no Taxation of Annuities Annuities stand alone in the investment world as longer directly issue annuities themselves. unique vehicles in which all interest and other earnings grow tax-deferred until they are with- Controversial Marketing Practices drawn. However, no tax deduction of any kind can Despite their advantages, annuities are among the be taken for contributions to annuities, unless the most misunderstood and mis-marketed financial contract is purchased inside an IRA or qualified products in existence. Although they are designed plan and funded with contributions to the plan or as retirement vehicles, they are sometimes used as account. If this is the case, all distributions taken one-size-fits-all investments. Clients and prospects from qualified annuities are fully taxable as ordi- should be aware that most brokers and planners nary income because of the contribution deduc- are paid a much larger commission on annuity tion. All normal annuity distributions from non- sales than just about any other type of product that qualified contracts consist of a combination of they can sell. Although the standard range of payearnings and principal. Therefore each distribu- out is usually about 4-6% for fixed and variable contion is only partially taxable, as the portion of prin- tracts, some indexed annuities pay commissions cipal that is returned in each payment is tax-free. of up to 12-15%. For this reason, many financial proThe taxable portion of annuities is calculated by fessionals are biased toward selling these products using the Exclusion Ratio, which is a fraction that to clients, regardless of suitability or other factors. divides the amount of principal invested by the One marketing practice that has received a fair total value of the contract. If an investor purchases amount of negative publicity in both the financial a N50,000 annuity and it grows to N150,000 after and mainstream media pertains to indexed annu30 years, then a third of each payment is consid- ities. Some agents have aggressively pursued the ered a tax-free return of principal. The remaining senior market with long-term, high surrender balance is taxed as ordinary income. After the charge indexed annuity products, into which they investor has recovered all of his or her principal attempt to put virtually all of their clients’ liquid from the contract, 100% of each remaining pay- assets. This practice has been and is being closely scrutinized by state regulators nationwide. ment is taxed as ordinary income. Another debate rages over the practice of funding IRAs and qualified plans with fixed and variable Marketing and Regulation annuity contracts. This strategy is controversial Marketing of Annuities Although only life insurance companies can issue because the tax-deferred feature of annuities is annuities in most countries, the investment vehi- irrelevant inside a plan or account that is already cles are marketed by many different types of tax-deferred. organizations and individuals. Some of the key In the remaining sections of this article we will examine the three major categories of annuities: entities who offer these products include: • Fixed Annuities – Appropriate for conservative investors who want or need a guarantee of princi• Banks pal and interest. • Life insurance agents and brokers • Stockbrokers and Registered Investment • Indexed Annuities – Appropriate for moderate investors who want to participate in the markets Advisers without risking their principal. • Financial planners • Variable Annuities – Appropriate for moderate to • Estate and trust officers aggressive investors who are willing to risk their • Mutual fund companies principal while saving for retirement. These contracts can also be used by conservative investors Licensing Requirements In most countries, any person directly involved in with the purchase of guaranteed income riders.
Fixed Contracts In the previous two sections, we covered the basic characteristics common to all annuity contracts. In this section we will explore fixed annuities and the features unique to them in more detail. What Is a Fixed Annuity? As its name implies, a fixed annuity is a type of contract that guarantees to return both the investor’s principal plus a fixed rate of interest. These contracts essentially function much like Certificate of Deposits (CDs), except that they grow tax-deferred. Safety of Principal Fixed annuities are among the safest investments available, almost on a par with CDs. Although they are not backed by Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance, fixed annuity carriers are required by state law to back their outstanding annuity contracts with cash reserves on a dollar-for-dollar basis. If an annuity carrier becomes bankrupt or insolvent for any reason, then reinsurance groups will step in and cover most or all of any investor losses. Although it has happened on occasion, it is extremely uncommon for investors to lose money in fixed annuities. History The history of fixed annuities essentially mirrors the general history of annuities described in the introduction. All early annuities in any form were fixed annuities; they were the only kind of annuity that existed until 1952. Interest Rates One of the chief benefits of fixed annuities is the rate of interest that they pay. Fixed annuity rates tend to be slightly higher than those of CDs, treasuries or savings bonds. This is because insurance carriers invest their clients’ assets into a portfolio of long-term bonds and assume all of the naked risk from them, passing the majority of the earnings on to the contract holders. Many fixed contracts attempt to lure investors by offering an initial “teaser” rate that will eventually drop to a much lower rate for the duration of the contract. Investors who shop for the best fixed annuity rates should also take care to check .
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China’s export plummets on fake shipment crackdown
HINA’s export growth C plummeted to a 10month low in May and imports unexpectedly fell as a crackdown on fake trade shipments exposed weakness in global demand. Overseas sales rose one per cent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said in Beijing, trailing 35 of 38 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey and down from April’s 14.7 percent pace. Imports dropped 0.3 per cent, leaving a trade surplus of $20.4 billion. The report reflects a government campaign to root out illegal capital inflows disguised as trade that had inflated figures and added to appreciation pressure on the yuan. It also underscores the challenges Premier Li Keqiang faces as overseas demand stalls while rising home prices, financial risks and overcapacity at home limit his room to boost the economy. “This shows the real state of the Chinese export situation,” said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong. The data show a “pretty depressed” picture, with weak external demand and a yuan that has appreciated substantially against a trade-weighted basket of currencies, said Shen, who previously worked at the European Central Bank. The slowdown in May’s figures was partly the result of “arbitrage trade” with Hong Kong being curbed, the customs administration said in a statement. Appreciation in the yuan and the worsening trade environment, as well as a domestic slowdown, weak external demand and high business costs, also contributed, the agency said. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange last month started a campaign to curb money flows disguised as trade payments that had inflated export data. China’s exports to Hong Kong fell to $28 billion in
May from $39.5 billion in April, according to customs data. Growth in sales through bonded zones, which lie within China’s borders and handle shipments as international trade, slumped to a year-onyear pace of 45.8 per cent in May from April’s 253.5 per cent. Data due on industrial production and retail sales for May and fixed-asset investment for the first five months are forecast to show little change from April’s growth rates. Analysts last month trimmed economicexpansion forecasts for the April-June period to a median projection of 7.8 percent from an 8 percent pace forecast in April. Li, who took office as premier in March, has resisted adding stimulus to the economy as the new leadership tries to make growth more sustainable and avoid stoking financial risks. Trade figures reflect a “normalisation,” said Hu Yifan, chief economist at Haitong International Securities Co. in Hong Kong, the only analyst to forecast declines in exports and imports. (CNFRIMPY) “We expect export growth to remain modest but import growth to pick up along with implementation of supportive policies,” she wrote in a note. The trade slump adds to concerns that the global recovery is losing momentum even as the U.S. shows signs of strengthening. The ECB this week forecast the 17-nation euro area will contract 0.6 per cent this year, more than its March estimate of 0.5 per cent. In the U.S., employers added more workers than forecast in May. Even so, China’s exports to the U.S. fell 1.6 percent in May from a year earlier and imports from the U.S. dropped 1.5 per cent, the first time since 2009 that both showed a decline in the same month. Exports “may remain weak in the near term” as the U.S. economy softens, which is
likely to shift expectations for a strengthening yuan, said Ding Shuang, senior China economist at Citigroup Inc. in Hong Kong. The yuan has risen 1.6 percent this year against the U.S. dollar and about 14 per cent against the yen, the most among Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Analysts had median estimates of 7.4 per cent for May export growth, 6.6 per cent for import gains and $20 billion for the trade surplus. Part of China’s broader import drop resulted from falling commodity prices. The volume of inbound iron ore shipments rose 7.4 per cent in May from a year earlier while the value increased about one per cent, based on previous data. Average prices in the first five months were down four per cent, the customs agency said. The customs administration in April acknowledged concerns that export data may be overstated after March shipments to Hong Kong jumped 92.9 per cent from a year earlier, the most in at least a decade. A Bloomberg News survey last month showed analysts estimated January-April export growth was overstated by 4 to 13 percentage points. Trade friction may also hamper exports this year. The European Union this week said tariffs of as much as 67.9 per cent could be imposed on solar panels from China in the largest EU commercial dispute of its kind, affecting Chinese companies like Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. and Wuxi Suntech Power Co. China’s exporters are losing competitiveness “because of a strong yuan and rising protectionism,” Liu Li-Gang, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.,’s head of Greater China economics in Hong Kong, said in a note. That trend “will gradually show up in China’s export data in the following months, which will have dire consequences to China’s already weak job markets.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
BusinessInterview ‘Extended period of low interest
Siddharth Tiwari, Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, spoke with IMF SURVEY about the key components of the Bretton Wood institution’s work programme. How has central banks’ monetary policy interventions impacted on economic recovery drive and what potential risks are still lying in wait? Several years of exceptionally low interest rates and bond buying by some advanced economy central banks have improved some indicators of banks’ health, while supporting the economy and financial stability, according to new research from the International Monetary Fund. Central banks have taken bold policy actions that have reduced banking sector vulnerabilities and stabilized some markets, such as the inter-bank and mortgage securities markets. But the policies may have undesirable side-effects that could put financial stability at risk the longer they are in place. So far, these risks are not showing up much in banks, but could be shifting to other parts of the financial sector, such as the so-called “shadow banks.” There is also some concern that the prolonged period of low interest rates
is encouraging banks to roll over non-performing loans rather than repairing their balance sheets, especially if the time that central banks have provided through their unconventional policies is not used productively by financial institutions and their regulators, at some point we can expect another round of financial distress. Despite the positive short-run effects for banks, there are financial risks associated with these central bank policies, which are likely to increase the longer they are maintained. Risks may also be shifting to other
parts of the financial system not examined in the report, such as shadow banks, pension funds and insurance companies—or to other countries. Monitoring these risks requires improved data collection by those responsible for monitoring system-wide risks on nonbank financial institutions, as well as intrusive oversight by financial supervisors. Uncertainty about asset sales by central banks could lead to shifts in market sentiment and rapid price changes that could result in losses for bond holders, especially banks and central banks. The degree to which
Central bank policies should continue to support the economy and financial stability until the recovery is well established. Policymakers need to be vigilant and assess the emergence of potential and emerging financial stability threats.
long-term yields may rise from their currently compressed levels, which would make bond prices drop, heightens this concern. Losses could hurt weakly capitalized banks in the short run, although the net effect of interest rate increases may be positive for banks over the medium term as their lending picks up. What should be the disposition of the regulators in various countries where these policies have a bearing on? Central bank policies should continue to support the economy and financial stability until the recovery is well established. Policymakers need to be vigilant and assess the emergence of potential and emerging financial stability threats. They also should use targeted policies designed to foster bank balance-sheet repair and reduce their vulnerability to market disruptions. By reducing the risks in the financial sector, micro- and macro-prudential policies will allow greater leeway for monetary policy to support the economy. There should be measures that could prove helpful to contain credit risk and funding challenges for banks like robust capital requirements, improved liquidity requirements, and well-designed dynamic forwardlooking provisioning. Because the experience with some macro-prudential tools is still relatively limited, policymakers should closely monitor the effectiveness of their policies and stand ready to adjust them as needed. Coordination with other economic policies, such as monetary and fiscal policy, will also help reduce the reliance on macro-prudential tools. To minimize adverse effects on market sentiment, it is important that central banks communicate clearly about their strategies to exit from their extraordinary policy measures, ahead of their implementation. What is IMF’s focus areas in order of priority? The IMF’s work agenda for the coming months centers on invigorating a sustainable recovery and making the global economy more resilient. Against the backdrop of a global economy that has avoided the worst, but is still in a fragile and uneven recovery, the work program discussed by the IMF Executive Board on June 3, 2013, is designed to help place the global economy on sustained and balanced growth path. The Board’s biannual discussion of its work program focused on translating the policy priorities laid out in the Global Policy Agenda into a specific action plan for the 188-member institution over the next six to twelve months. In addition to assisting members with identifying emerging risks and designing calibrated policies to encourage stronger and sustainable growth, the work program emphasises the need to address mediumterm structural issues to restore the world economy’s resilience, strengthening financial systems, addressing high deficits and debt, supporting growth and jobs, and narrowing global imbalances and anticipating spillovers. At the 2013 Spring Meetings, the emphasis was on a better balance of monetary, fiscal, and structural strategies. How is this reflected in the work programme? At the time of the Spring Meetings, it was recognized that even though sentiment had improved, growth and jobs were still lagging in many countries. New risks were also emerging because of limited progress in addressing legacy issues of the crisis. Against this background, policies that balanced the need to support growth with the need to overcome weak fundamentals, be it fiscal, financial, business or household, were needed. The current work program focuses on these issues. For the euro area, the Fund’s analysis will seek to promote a common understanding
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
rates can rekindle financial risks’ on options for fiscal and financial sector repair and reform, as well as growth-promoting structural reforms. In other advanced economies, especially the United States and Japan, we will be analyzing the implications of unconventional monetary policies, while taking into account their growth and structural reform priorities, while in Emerging market economies, which have been growing at a robust pace, the need to recalibrate their policies to guard against financial excesses and rebuild policy buffers is strategic. For this, our work will focus on their growth performance and prospects, and on financial sector deepening, which should help bolster their resilience and capacity to absorb and manage capital flows. Also, in low-income countries, our advice will focus on rebuilding policy buffers while meeting pressing infrastructure and social needs. We will further strengthen our policy advice on the management of natural resource wealth, financial deepening, and structural transformation. Our work on reviewing the Fund’s debt limits policy envisaged for end2013 should also help low-income countries scale up investment while safeguarding debt sustainability. How will the work programme tie into the IMF’s ongoing work to examine the role of unconventional monetary policy during and after the global crisis? At the time of the Spring Meetings, concerns were being raised about the spillovers from loose and unconventional monetary policies in advanced economies and the risks associated with exit. The current work programme envisages a number of papers on the topic of unconventional monetary policy. A paper on The Global Impact of Unconventional Monetary Policy, due in September, will examine the impact of this policy on advanced and emerging market economies, its contribution to narrowing global imbalances, and the implications of exit strategies. Monetary policy trends before and during the crisis and architecture issues will be the subject of an umbrella paper in November on Monetary Policy: Its Role Now and in the Future. At the same time, the Spillover Report in July will look at stabilization dividends from unconventional monetary policy and at exit issues. How does the IMF’s work programme for the months ahead address the global objective of job creation and inclusive growth? Job creation and inclusive growth are imperatives that resonate in the entire membership, and the work programme includes a number of initiatives in this area. A guidance note, drawing on the board’s discussion in March on the Jobs and Growth paper is planned for later this year. This will allow Fund staff to tailor its advice and recommendations to differing countries’ challenges and constraints. Work is also currently under way to examine in depth the macroeconomic and structural factors that may help enhance growth in Europe. A forthcoming paper on growth developments and prospects in emerging market economies will examine how they are faring in the wake of the crisis, assess their medium-term growth prospects, and draw implications for Fund surveillance. For low-income countries, a paper in November will look at issues of structural transformation and productivity to boost their long-term growth prospects. A policy paper on Fiscal Policy and Equity is planned for early 2014, which will examine the role of tax and expenditure policies in meeting equity goals. Will the work programme also entail supporting adjustment of Tiwari
global imbalances and taking account of cross-border spillovers? Building on our revamped surveillance framework, we will continue to enhance our analysis of multilateral policy consistency and cross-border spillovers. The upcoming Spillover Report in July will cover a range of topics, including the impact of policy action in the United States and the euro area in reducing tail risks, and the impact of unconventional monetary policy—providing background for the Article IV reports that check the health of systemic economies. The External Sector Report, due in July, will include an examination of the implications of capital flows and be based on an enhanced external balance assessment methodology. We will also continue our analysis on interconnectedness to deepen our understanding of how shocks are transmitted and to derive implications for Fund surveillance. One innovation that follows directly from the Integrated Surveillance Decision approved last year is that we are increasingly bringing a multilateral perspective into bilateral surveillance with the adoption of cluster-based surveillance. Starting July, we will begin to examine the spillovers and risks from interconnected countries that are exposed to common shocks through clustered Article IV reports, beginning with the countries in central Europe and with the Nordic region. The IMF is taking a fresh look at sovereign
debt restructuring. What will this review entail? There have been important developments in sovereign debt restructuring since the last Board review of the subject in 2005. In May, the Board discussed a staff paper on “Sovereign Debt Restructuring—Recent Developments and Implications for the Fund’s Legal and Policy Framework”. This paper reviewed the recent application of the Fund’s policies and practices on sovereign debt restructuring and identified issues that have emerged from recent experience. For instance, the paper noted that sovereign restructurings have often been too little and too late in recent crisis cases, thus failing to reestablish debt sustainability and market access in a durable way. Follow-up work on issues related to the timeliness and adequacy of sovereign debt restructurings,
In low-income countries, our advice will focus on rebuilding policy buffers while meeting pressing infrastructure and social needs. We will further strengthen our policy advice on the management of natural resource wealth, financial deepening, and structural transformation
and analysis of possible policy options and ways to improve the market-based, contractual approach is planned. The IMF’s staff plans further analysis to better understand why debt restructurings have often been delayed and / or have been inadequate to effectively restore sustainability, including the role played by the availability of large-scale official financing. The planned follow-up work would also focus on options to strengthen the existing contractual framework, and on examination of the merits and feasibility of possible ways to link Fund support to the resolution of collective action problems. What are the next steps in the IMF’s governance reform? Completing the 2010 quota and governance reform is essential to the Fund’s legitimacy and effectiveness. We have met two of the three conditions needed for the 2010 quota and governance reform to take effect. The remaining condition is to secure the 85 percent of the total voting power needed for the Board Reform Amendment to enter into force. The Board will continue to be informed of progress on a regular basis. A paper updating the quota formula calculations based on recent data will be presented to the Board in June.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at Friday PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 28/06/2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
CAPITAL MARKET 65
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 28/06/2013
Sterling Bank’s N12.5 billion rights issue takes-off NGOING right issue by Sterling Bank Plc has kicked off with individual retail shareholders and shareholders’ groups, indicating interests in picking up their rights and mobilising other shareholders to support the recapitalisation programme of the bank. The expression of interests and supports from minority and retail shareholders reechoed the unanimous endorsement of the bank’s capital raising programme by shareholders at the recent general meeting. Non-core shareholders, with less than five per cent equity stake, including a large number of minority retail shareholders of more than 88,000, collectively hold about 65 per cent equity stake in Sterling Bank; underlining the highly diversified shareholders’ base of the bank. Most retail shareholders are spread in groups and other representa-
tions. A broad section of shareholders’ groups, representations and individuals interviewed in relation to the rights issue said they would pick up their rights and mobilise others to take advantage of what they described as “a window of opportunity”. Several shareholders indicated they would demand for additional shares, raising prospects of oversubscription. The supports from non-core shareholders strengthen the prospects for the rights issue, which had earlier received firm commitments from major Nigerian and foreign shareholders including the State Bank of India, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Alhaji Suleiman Adegunwa’s Ess-ay Investments Limited and other directors. Sterling Bank is raising N12.5 billion through a rights issue of about 5.889 billion ordi-
nary shares of 50 kobo each at N2.12 per share. Sterling Bank had traded at a high of N3.05 at the stock market. The shares have been pre-allotted on the basis of three new ordinary shares of 50 kobo each for every eight ordinary shares of 50 kobo each held as at May 20, 2013. The application list, which opened on June 24, 2013, will run until July 31, 2013. According to the President, Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), Dr. Faruk Umar, the rights issue came at the right time and at the right price. He also noted that the historic performance of the bank, as exemplified by the impressive results and dividends for the 2012 business year, has made it a toast of investors. “We are going to invest in the bank; the rights’ price is a bonus to shareholders because even at the market
price, the bank is grossly undervalued. There is a strong possibility of a double in the price in the next two years,” Umar said. According to him, given the performance of the bank with its previous modest capital, additional capital would result in better values for shareholders over the years. Leading shareholders rights’ activist, Nonah Awoh, said the board should make arrangements for oversubscription given the mood of the investors and general perception of the bank at the stock market. He said the profit and return forecasts of the bank, though conservative, imply a huge inflow of over 50 per cent return from dividend payments alone in five years, noting the positive relation between such huge payouts and capital gains at the stock market.
President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Mr. Boniface Okezie, said the rights issue would lay another strong foundation for future growth noting that additional funds would allow the bank to increase lending to the real sector and further contribute to national economic growth. According to him, increased lending and expansion would lead to increased returns to shareholders. Noting the dividend track records of the bank, Okezie said shareholders are excited over the additional shares. He however advised against absorption of oversubscription pointing out that excess monies should be returned. “I will pick my rights; it’s good for the bank and the shareholders. Additional capital would put the bank in better position to expand its operations and increase lending to the real sector. This is good for all stakeholders,”
Okezie said. Chairman, Shareholders United Front (SUF), Mr. Gbenga Idowu, said the fundamentals of the bank were attractive and there is no reason to doubt the continued growth of the bank. “We will support the management and the board by not only picking our rights but we will demand for extra shares,” Idowu said. Another shareholders’ leader, Godwin Anonoh, said his personal experience as a customer and shareholder of the bank gives him confidence to always support the bank. He said Sterling Bank’s track records of high dividends and the potential for capital appreciation assure investors of double returns over the years pointing out that there is possibility the share price would more than double in a short while.
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66 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY
Fed’s $5.7 trillion stimulus faces test of rising yields HE most relentless surge T in borrowing costs for United States (U.S.) corporate debt in four years is threatening to derail this year’s record pace of sales, as concern deepens the Federal Reserve will curtail unprecedented stimulus Yields are climbing for a sixth week from last month’s record lows and touched 3.78 per cent, the highest level since September, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Corporate & High Yield index. UK oiland-gas services provider Petrofac Ltd., (PFC) cited market conditions for canceling its issue of investment-grade dollar-denominated notes as sales fell below the 2013 average for a second week. While the Fed has enabled companies to borrow $5.74 trillion in the bond market since the end of 2008 by suppressing benchmark interest rates at close to zero per cent, debt investors are becoming more discriminating as policy makers consider tapering their monthly bond purchases. That may blunt the record pace of sales, which reached $757.3 billion this year, after an unprecedented $1.48 trillion of issuance in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Paring Inventories “Last year we said over and over again that it’s an issuer’s market and the tables, at least recently, have turned,” Jody Lurie, a corporate credit analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, said in a telephone interview. “Borrowers are listening to the demand of the investor.” Concern that interest rates will rise further has sparked a sell-off in longer-dated corporate debt, leaving $146 billion of investment-grade bonds in the U.S. with maturities greater than 10 years trading below par, Bloomberg bond index data show. The discount notes have swelled from less than $30 billion at the beginning of May. Dealers sold a net $3.1 billion of investment-grade notes in the past week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. credit strategists wrote in a note. The biggest banks are paring inventories even as investors absorb $16
Obama billion of new debt issuance in a weakening market, which is unusual, said the strategists led by Eric Beinstein in New York. “It may reflect dealers coming into this selloff period longer than they wished,” the JPMorgan strategists wrote. “Presumably they are less long now.” Elsewhere in credit markets,
Bernaike the cost of protecting corporate bonds from default in the U.S. fell. The Markit CDX North American Investment Grade Index, which investors use to hedge against losses or to speculate on creditworthiness, decreased 2.2 basis point to a mid-price of 81.6 basis points as of 9:43 a.m. in New York, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg.
The index typically falls as investor confidence improves and rises as it deteriorates. Credit-default swaps pay the buyer face value if a borrower fails to meet its obligations, less the value of the defaulted debt. A basis point equals $1,000 yearly on a contract protecting $10 million of debt. The U.S. two-year interest-
rate swap spread, a measure of debt market stress, decreased 0.2 basis point to 16.95 basis points as of 9:44 a.m. in New York. The gauge narrows when investors favor assets such as company debentures and widens when they seek the perceived safety of government securities. Bonds of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) are the most
actively traded dollar-denominated corporate securities by dealers, accounting for six per cent of the volume of dealer trades of $1 million or more as of 9:45 a.m. in New York, according to Trace, the bondprice reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Borrowing costs for the riskiest to the most creditworthy issuers in the U.S. have climbed from 3.705 per cent at the end of last week after touching a record low 3.35 per cent on May 2, Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data show. The jump in yields, which averaged 4.07 percent in 2012, marks the longest streak of increases since the eight weeks ended October 31, 2008, at the height of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The extra yield investors demand to hold company bonds rather than government debt increased to 228 basis points as from 212 on May 31 after reaching 201 on May 22, the least since October 16, 2007, Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data show. Sales in 2013 have climbed 17.5 per cent from the corresponding period last year, Bloomberg data show. Offerings this week of $15.7 billion followed $14.4 billion in the period ended May 31, a week shortened by the Memorial Day public holiday in the U.S. Weekly sales have averaged $33.7 billion this
Employment report boosts optimism on Fed’s monetary policy HE latest jobs report on T Friday showed that government spending cuts have so far not been as damaging as some feared, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said, adding that it only entrenched his opinion that the Federal Reserve should reduce its bond buying “now”. In an interview, the long-time critic of the U.S. central bank’s quantitative easing program told Reuters he was comfortable with the recent rise in market interest rates as investors increasingly predict he and fellow policy-makers will reduce the pace of accom-
modation sooner rather than later. Yields on U.S. government bonds rose again on Friday after the Labor Department’s jobs market report showed employers in the United States stepped up hiring in May, adding 175,000 jobs. “It shows that the fears of the sequester (spending cuts) and the layoffs, while they may be there, have not been as damaging yet to overall employment as some people had feared,” Plosser said. “We would all like it to be stronger but there’s no reason for us to feel bad about the
numbers that came out,” which he said showed the economy produced jobs at a “moderate rate.” In pressing for a reduction in the Fed’s bond purchases as soon as this month, Plosser is in the minority of the Fed’s 19 policy-makers. The majority appear to still support buying $85 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds per month to keep rates low to spur investment, hiring and overall economic growth. Still, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and some others are increasingly, if tentatively, saying they could dial down the
purchases in the months ahead if the economy continues to weather this year’s higher taxes and some $85 billion in government spending cuts, known as the sequester. Investors, anxiously trying to predict when the Fed will act, have boosted benchmark 10year Treasury note yields by 0.3 percentage point since the beginning of May, leading some to fret over an abrupt and exaggerated rise when the Fed finally decides to adjust the current third round of its quantitative easing program, dubbed QE3. Plosser, who regains a vote on the Fed’s policy committee next year, said he was comfortable where things stood in the market, given the drop in unemployment and pick-up in economic growth since QE3 was launched in September. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have longer-term rates back up a bit,” he said. “That will help us down the road. It doesn’t cause me a lot of angst.” In order to boost the slow and erratic recovery from recession, the Fed has said it will buy bonds until the labor market outlook improves substantially and keep interest rates low until the unemployment rate falls to 6.5 per cent or so. U.S. unemployment stood at 7.6 percent in May, up from 7.5 per cent in April and high by historical standards. Inflation has also fallen well below the Fed’s 2 percent target, giving doves at the Fed more reason to keep policy ultra easy. Last month, Bernanke said the central bank could at the “next few meetings” reduce stimulus if the economy looked set to gain momentum, unleash-
ing a selloff in stocks and bonds. Plosser, a former economics professor who has headed the Fed’s Philadelphia branch since 2006, expressed some frustration that his colleagues do not appear ready to adjust policy at their next scheduled meeting on June 18 to 19. The Fed needs to maintain its credibility by demonstrating it is “willing and able to pull back a bit,” he said. “I worry that the markets believe we don’t have the capability or willingness to do that,” he added. “We’re just digging a deeper hole.” Yet asked by what amount he would like to see the asset purchases reduced, Plosser said there is no consensus among policymakers on that. “I don’t think any of us know what the right increment is here,” he said. Ticking off his to-do list, he said policymakers must first decide to reduce purchases, then decide by how much, and finally select the type of bonds it will reduce, repeating that he would prefer first tapering mortgage-backed securities buying. Others, including Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, have said MBS are a more efficacious asset to hold. Turning to the Fed’s longerterm plan for returning its balance sheet to a more normal size of around $1 trillion from $3.3 trillion now, Plosser said it was too early to adjust the socalled exit strategy at this month’s meeting. Such a move would only confuse things because it remains unclear how many bonds the Fed will ultimately buy, he said.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Opinion Solving financial crises in universities (1) By Segun L. Adefemi ITH the emergence of global knowledgeW based economy, which has pushed universities into international competitiveness, universities in developing countries like Nigeria are assuming much more important role in the socio-economic, political and technological development of the society. For instance, the traditional belief that universities should only be left to generate knowledge through research and disseminate what is accumulated through teaching and publication is no longer sustainable. They are now faced with new challenges, including how to transform the society by educating the masses because educating few elite does not suffice any more. In Nigeria, this situation can be supported by the fact that the application and admission profile of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) into universities shows that generally less than 20 per cent of prospective candidates secure admission on yearly basis. Related to access is the annual carrying capacity of the Nigerian university system, which is about 150,000 whereas the annual demand is about 1.7 million. With the explosion in the number of prospective candidates, the need for a diversification of the mode of delivery from conventional full-time, teacher/textbook/classroom-centred to teaching system with the use of audio visual and other modern teaching aids cannot be over emphasized. They are now to constitute themselves into sites for life-long and continuing education for former graduates, workers, business people, and even farmers and artisans. This new role is capital intensive, which places huge financial burden on the universities.
The recent economic meltdown has worsened the situation. The financial crisis will become increasingly severe because as the demand for higher education continues to grow, the willingness and the capacity of government to bear the full burden will continue to decline. In the Nation Newspaper of Thursday 17th, November, 2011, the picture of underfunding was graphically drawn by Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in a paper titled: “Re-invigorating Education in Nigeria: An Essay in honour of Professor Adamu Baike, a renowed Educationalist” when he stated that the perennial underfunding has led to an exodus of students and teachers to “better organised educational settings” such as Ghana and South Africa. He stated that about N155 billion was being paid annually as tuition fee for 71,000 Nigerian students in Ghana whereas the yearly budget of all federal universities was N121 billion. What then is the way for our universities to overcome their financial challenges and in particular, what are the strategies being adopted by the management of Obafemi Awolowo University to solve the endemic paucity of funding with a view to improving the research and teaching facilities and infrastructures which will make the university a centre of academic excellence not only in Africa but the entire Commonwealth. There has been many prescriptions for overcoming the financial crises in the university system but there is a general agreement that it requires simultaneous actions on three fronts – namely, efficient utilization of the existing resources, boosting of the internally generated rev-
enue (IGR) and diversification of the sources of funding through the intervention of alumni, alumnae as well as philanthropists and wealthy individuals. As Professor Peter Okebukola, former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) puts it”. The African university of the 21st century will have to brandish a funding profile that will be multifaceted with decreasing dependence on proprietor’s subvention”. Firstly, there should be conscious efforts to use the existing resources more effectively by increasing efficiency and reducing waste or unproductive use of resources. An inventory of available resources of each university estate should be taken in order to harness and properly mobilize them. There should be constant evaluation of the productivity and efficiency of all staff. This is regularly done by the management of Obafemi Awolowo University through its internal audit mechanism. As part of the practical demonstration of transparency, accountability and efficient utilization of resources, the ViceChancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Bamitale Omole on assumption of office directed the Bursary Department to release the monthly income and expenditure profile of the institution on the university’s website to enable every member of staff have an access to information about Federal Government grants to the school and how it is spent. By that directive, Obafemi Awolowo University is the only university today in Nigeria that makes public, the profile of its expenditure for scrutiny. The second approach to tackle the financial challenge is for the universities to intensify their
efforts to boost their internally generated revenue (IGR). This could be done through a number of ways, including sharing cost of their operations among all stakeholders, including students to achieve efficiency and equity. While charging of tuition fees can have serious sociopolitical consequences, financial aid strategies to ensure access to scholarships, loans and bursaries should be instituted. Our universities should be more entrepreneurial, cost-conscious and profit oriented in the use of their facilities e.g. their student hostels should not be made to lay fallow during long vacations. They should be rented out to corporate bodies for conference, seminars and workshops. They should encourage private sector participation in the provision and the running of their municipal facilities. Obafemi Awolowo University has been able to increase the number of the bed-spaces for student accommodation at her Student Village by 800 under Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement. There should be greater investment in business ventures with full private participation. For instance, Obafemi Awolowo University has re-organised its Investment Company to be more profit-oriented. The company has now spread the tentacles of its business to include bakery, production of ozonized bottled and sachet water and campus shuttle transport service. Recently, the vice-chancellor, commissioned additional six brand new air-conditioned sevenseater buses to the fleet of vehicles in the pool. • To be continued tomorrow • Adefemi wrote from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
The trial of Barack Obama By Adekeye Adebajo HE most powerful man in the world, Barack Obama, is currently T visiting Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. A raging controversy erupted at the University of Johannesburg following the decision to award him an honorary doctorate. Students, trade unions, and Muslim groups in South Africa have protested the visit. It is important, under these circumstances, to present a solid case for the prosecution, acting as a Counsel for Damnation in “trying” the first black president of the United States (U.S.) for six “crimes” of omission and commission. The first crime for which Obama will be tried is for rank hypocrisy. Two years before becoming president in 2008, in his book The Audacity of Hope, he had sought to try to educate Americans about their country’s past sins, exposing its historical “gunboat diplomacy” in Latin America and the Caribbean; its proxy wars that propped up corrupt autocrats throughout the Third World; and its “extraordinary rendition” of terror suspects to countries in which they could be tortured. As he noted: “Manifest destiny also meant bloody and violent conquest – of Native American tribes forcibly removed from their lands and of the Mexican army defending its territory. It was a conquest that, like slavery, contradicted America’s founding principles and tended to be justified in explicitly racist terms, a conquest that American mythology has always had difficulty fully absorbing but that other countries recognized for what it was – an exercise in raw power.” Before becoming president, Obama had also condemned the truculent George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 as a “dumb war.” At the time, Obama showed a clear understanding of the need to address the root causes of poverty that allow terrorists to find fertile ground for recruiting followers. As president, Obama’s administration stopped using the widely despised “War on Terror” slogan, which marked Bush’s crusading militancy. For a while, Obama seemed to have restored his country’s reputation across the globe. Some of Obama’s foreign policy actions have, however, now come to resemble his predecessor’s homicidal belligerence. Obama’s first military action as president, within days of taking office, was to sanction two missile strikes against Pakistan, which killed 22 people, including women and children. Three more U.S. missile strikes a month later, in February 2009, killed another 55 people. In his first three years in office, Obama ordered targeted assassinations of suspected terrorists through an average of one drone strike every four days, compared to George W. Bush’s average of one strike every forty days. While Bush ordered about 50 drone strikes in eight years, Obama has ordered 375 strikes in four and a half years. These actions have mostly been conducted in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and by May 2013, had killed an estimated 3,500 people, including hundreds of innocent civilians who accounted for an estimated 10-15 per cent of fatalities. Obama also ordered the assassination in Somalia of the alleged ringleader of an Al-Qaeda cell in Kenya, by American commandos in September 2009. As a result of these actions, critics have noted that Obama has come to represent “Bush with a smile”. The second “crime” for which Obama should be charged is for con-
tinuing George W. Bush’s militarisation of U.S. engagement with Africa. “‘Extraordinary rendition” of suspected terrorists abroad has continued; 1,500 American soldiers remain in Djibouti to track terrorists, while officials of America’s Germany-based Africa Command (AFRICOM) have continued to swarm around the continent in search of enemies. AFRICOM now costs $300 million a year with 100 training programmes and exercises in 35 African countries. The Pentagon is using the command to intervene on the continent to fight terrorism, and – in the case of the Libyan intervention to topple Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 – to promote “regime change”. Africa should be wary of a self-appointed American policeman offering to patrol the continent in a vainglorious quest to eliminate “mad mullahs.” The Obama administration has also dispatched drones to Somalia and Mali. With a continuing focus on a militarised American policy, Obama drastically cut AIDS funding to Africa by $200 million in 2012. The third “crime” against Obama is condoning and coddling autocrats despite his pledge during a July 2009 speech in Accra to promote “strong institutions, not strong men”. A month earlier, Obama had delivered a speech in Cairo in which he spoke out forcefully for democratic values in Islamic countries, but then diluted his message by arguing that “each nation gives life to this principle in its own way.” He thus apperared to support autocratic stability over democratic freedom. As Lebanese-American intellectual, Fouad Ajami, observed: “The Arab liberals were quick to read Barack Obama, and they gave up on him. They saw his comfort with the autocracies, his eagerness to ‘engage’ and conciliate the dictators.” The Obama administration continued to provide Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year mummified dictatorship in Egypt with $1.5 billion a year: more than the annual assistance provided to all 48 sub-Saharan African countries combined. Clearly fearing the uncertainty of a possible Islamist take-over in Cairo, Obama spoke out of both sides of his mouth during the 2011 “Afro-Arab Spring” until it became clear that the political wind was blowing the way of the protesters. Just before Tunisia’s 23-year autocracy of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011, Obama’s administration had approved $12 million in military aid to the regime. Not wanting again for America to be caught on the wrong side of history, Obama belatedly threw in his lot with the Egyptian people. But despite his lofty rhetoric following Mubarak’s ouster, this was an unedifying spectacle. Autocratic regimes in oil-rich Gabon and Equatorial Guinea also remain staunch U.S. clients. The fourth “crime” for which Obama must be charged is turning a celebration of peace – his Nobel Peace Prize speech in Oslo in December 2009 – into a justification for war. Obama was controversially made a Nobel laureate after only nine months in office. His speech was delivered in the shadow of two inherited American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the ennobled president explaining why it was “necessary” to use force to bring about peace. Sanctimoniously employing the concept of “just wars” to explain why he could not be guided by fellow Nobel laureate and civil rights leader, Martin Luther King’s example alone, he noted that non-violence could not have halted tyrants like Adolf Hitler. In stark contrast to his earlier recognition of the historical imperial actions of
the U.S., Obama glorified his country for having “helped underwrite global security for more than six decades.” He went on, rather inappropriately in the context of a Nobel peace speech, to criticise Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, while reserving his own country’s right to act unilaterally, thus echoing Bush’s doctrine of the “pre-emptive” use of force. The fifth “crime” for which Obama should be prosecuted is for peddling negative stereotypes about his ancestral home, with his father having been a Kenyan citizen. In his 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama talks about Africa in broad-brushed, Afro-pessimistic strokes: “There are times when considering the plight of Africa – the millions racked by AIDS, the constant droughts and famines, the dictatorships, the pervasive corruption, the brutality of twelve-year-old guerrillas who know nothing but war wielding machetes or AK-47s – I find myself plunged into cynicism and despair.” The African references in Obama’s Nobel speech in 2009 also perpetuated similar stereotypes, with the Kenyan-Kansan referring to Somalia as a “failed state” of terrorism, piracy, and famine, as well as talking of genocide in Darfur, rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and repression in Zimbabwe. The sixth “crime” for which Obama must be charged is historical ignorance and lavishing praise on an anti-African racist. In his 2009 Nobel speech, Obama controversially referred to Albert Schweitzer (who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952) as among the “giants of history”, placing him alongside previous peace laureates such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and American war hero General George Marshall. Schweitzer was a French-German doctor who had set up a mission hospital in Gabon in 1913 to help the local population cure diseases and convert African “pagans” to Christianity. He worked tirelessly in Gabon – with some spells in Europe – until his death in 1965. Schweitzer, however, is widely viewed as a racist who frequently referred to black Africans as “primitives” and “savages”. As he put it: “The native moves under patriarchal authority. He does not understand dealing with an office, but dealing with a man.” Schweitzer also despised Islam – the religion of Obama’s grandfather – dismissing it as having “never produced any thinking about the world and mankind which penetrated to the depths”. As Kenyan scholar, Ali Mazrui – himself, ironically, the Albert Schweitzer Professor at the State University of New York! – noted about the German doctor: “He could be accused of behaving as if the only good African was a sick one.” Despite Obama’s sporadic diplomatic safaris to his ancestral continent, his Africa policy has represented more continuity with, rather than change from, a discredited past. In spite of the pretty poetry heard during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign by the most cosmopolitan and worldly of the 44 individuals to have occupied the White House, Obama has ruled in pragmatic prose. He is very much a dyed-in-the-wool politician, who has consistently demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice core principles at the altar of political survival. For his six “deadly sins,” Obama will surely suffer the curse of Africa’s ancestors. • Dr. Adebajo is Executive Director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town and author of The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Opinion Afghan president; panacea for peace By Leo Igwe T a time the Nigerian government is considA ering granting an amnesty to Boko Haram jihadists, the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai has reportedly offered a very important advice to the militants in Northern Nigeria. He puts it pointedly to them “lay down your arms if you are true muslims and embrace the amnesty offered by the Federal Government”. The president issued the advice while receiving Nigeria’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Dauda Danladi in Kabul. He noted that no religion preaches violence. But more on this later. President Karzai was categorical in stating the futility and counterproductive nature of Boko Haram’s violent campaign to impose sharia law on the country. He said “Boko Haram should stop burning schools, mosques, churches in the name of Islam. You should not destroy your country if you are true muslims. You should protect lives because in Islam if you kill one, it is as if you killed the whole of humanity and if you save life, it is as if you saved the whole of humanity”. He urged the militants to draw lessons from the case of Afghanistan. Afghans, he stated, have seen the futility of violence and put behind them the ugly past and have now embraced peace through dialogue. Drawing parallels between the activities of Boko Haram militants and those of the Taliban in his country, he acknowledged that the suicide bombing and other atrocities of the jihadist group were externally
motivated, urging the insurgents not to allow external forces to get them to destabillize and destroy their country. But the question is: will these bloodthirsty fanatics and their local and foreign sponsors heed this counsel? Karzai’s timely advice to Boko Haram militants is a welcome development and the strongest case for peace made by a president of another country since this insurgency began. And I hope presidents of other muslim majority countries, particularly those linked to the ‘external forces’ that are supporting the Boko Haram campaign come out expressly to denounce this islamist insurgency. Now, the links between Boko Haram, Islam and other islamic terrorist and jihadist groups are no longer in doubt. Like the Taliban, Boko Haram militants have both local and international support. They need to be isolated and denounced by all peace loving muslims. Leaders of muslim groups around the globe should add their voice in calling the Boko Haram militants to order and in undermining its support base. Also, local organisations like the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, the Council of Ulama, governors of muslim majority states, politicians and intellectuals in Northern Nigeria should emulate Karzai and categorically let the Boko Haram militants understand the futility of their violent campaign to impose sharia law on Nigeria. They should stop presenting the militants as champions of development of Northern Nigeria following what they percieve to be the marginalization of the region. The in-
surgents should be made to understand the incompatibilty of their campaign with the cause of peace, unity, harmony and development in the country. Personally I disagree with Karzai that no religion preaches violence. This is clearly a mistaken notion of religion, and does not reflect the facts of history or the actual experiences of the people. Religions, particularly the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam preach both peace and violence. These faiths have at certain times in history used or advocated violence. The scriptures of these religions contain verses that sanction and sanctify killing as a divine commandment or a demonstration of faith. We should not shy away from this bloody reality and instead we should thoughtfully engage and reconstruct it to further the cause of peace around the globe. In the Koran, several verses enjoin muslims to wage war against infidels and use violence to further the cause of Allah, promising some reward for them in the hereafter. And many islamic leaders have used and still use violence to promote or defend islam. Islamic terrorist or jihadist groups draw their inspiration from such verses and other historical examples. The holy wars are executed on these premises. Violence originates from human beings, not from religion. Violent expressions are human and reflect how humans sometimes do things. Human beings sometimes have used and still use violence to advance their cause, including
religious cause. Boko Haram militants should be persuaded on moral grounds to embrace peace and shun violence inspite of what their religion preaches. As President Karzai pointed out, they should be made to know the consequences of violent acitivities. Muslim leaders should preach and sue for peace, dialogue and understanding no matter what their sacred texts say. They should be made to know that if human beings were to follow and apply literally what is written in the holy books, there will be no peace in the world. People of all faiths and none will be pitched in a perpetual conflict. Boko Haram militants need to be de-indoctrinated. A process of mental re-orientation should commence immediately. There is an urgent need of some ‘mental detoxification’. A process of islamic indoctrination and brainwashing brought Boko Haram insurgents to this tragic situation. And those structures of religious indoctrination that turn muslims into militant extremists and fundamentalists, into merchants of death, violence and destruction of other human beings in the name of islam should be identified and dismantled. Boko Haram insurgents and their local and international backers should be made to understand that they stand to benefit; that their religion or cause stands to benefit if they adopt peaceful, human rights compatible and civil ways of promoting their goals and mission. • Igwe sent this piece from the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, Germany.
Cremation: The way forward in Africa? By Eguko Oluwadiya HEN faced with the death of a loved one, friends and families W are often left with difficult decisions while trying to cope with their grief. If the deceased has not left specifications or preferences for his or her funeral, family members and loved ones will have to consider the pros and cons of the various funeral and burial options, including cremation. In Nigeria the foremost form of funeral that comes straight to mind is the burial of deceased remains with a coffin, mat or other traditional medium; but with the Cremation Bill signed into law recently, there is yet another option open to relatives and loved ones of the deceased. The state assembly had passed the bill in December last year amid criticisms from groups and individuals who maintained that the law is an abuse of the people’s cultural and religious beliefs. Just like the initial stage of every newly introduced change, a lot of controversies have been raised regarding the Executive Governor of Lagos State’s signing of the bill legalizing cremation of bodies in the state. The new media has been flooded with comments from Lagosians airing their perception about the new law; while some applaud the ingenuity of the governor others see it as an absolute insult on the African tradition. One of such comments against the law by one Mr. Sunny on a social media platform is ‘Voluntary cremation? No Nigerian would do that! Please the authorities should at least honour unclaimed bodies by burying them beneath the earth. It is not in our culture to cremate bodies. Would those signing the law today lead by example? This law is needless and useless! Globalization my foot! This governor likes foreign stuff. Cremation is foreign to our culture. Period’ While another comment applaud the governor saying ‘Very good of you Fashola. Those without enough piece of land can toil along cremation as the last option to send their loved ones to eternity…’ Before taking sides, let’s fully understand the concept of cremation. According to Cremation Resources, ‘Cremation is the process of subjecting a dead body to intense heat and evaporation in order to reduce the organic matter to its basic elements, that is, cremated remains. The cremated body is light to dark gray in colour and looks like coarse sand. Cremations are performed at crematoriums in special units known as retorts or cremation chambers that are designed to handle temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The cremated remains are not entirely in the form of ashes in the beginning as they include bone fragments and shards. Thus, after the cremation, the remains are swept and a magnet is used to remove any metals that could be present in the dust. Finally, the cremated remains are processed into fine particles through pulverization process. They usually weigh about three to seven pounds. Cremation is just one form of preparing the body for final dis-
position. Cremation procedures include filling out the death certificate and all other official documents. Cremation does not take the place of customary funeral services; it is merely another form of final disposition. Funeral services are the way we, the living, share our grief, acknowledge the contributions the deceased has made to our lives, and prepare ourselves for going on with life. The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeola Ipaye while at the signing of Cremation Bill into law last Monday said the law allowed only voluntary cremation, whereby a person may signify interest to be cremated when he dies or a deceased’s family members who must attain the age of 18 years can decide to have the corpse cremated. To further explain the law, the attorneygeneral stated that if the owners of the corpses also failed to show up to collect the ashes after a 14-day notice, it will be disposed by the state government subject to the consent and approval of the commissioner for health. Section 2 of the Act, he added, stipulates that no cremation may take place except in a crematorium established by the Ministry of Health or by any other body upon the recommendation of the authority and approval by the commissioner for health. Also, Section 6 of the law stipulates the guidelines to getting permission to cremate and lists those who could apply for permission to cremate to include a child or children of the deceased; a close relative of the deceased; an undertaker and an agent/legal representative. While Section 10 of the law states that the cremator in charge of a crematorium must not dispose of the ashes remaining after a cremation except in accordance with any reasonable written instructions of the applicant. The cremator in charge may bury the ashes in a burial ground if, “within one year after the cremation, the applicant does not give reasonable written instructions for the disposal of the ashes”. The Governor of Lagos State. Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) at the signing of the bill made it clear that the cremation process is absolutely voluntary and expressed that it was yet another step forward in the state’s embrace of globalization. The concept of cremation is not totally a new idea, although it might be in Nigeria but other nations of the world have come to accept it. Countries like Japan has one of the highest cremation rates in the world with the country reporting a cremation rate of 99.85 per cent in 2008, other countries that have come to accept cremation includes China, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, South America, Poland, Italy amongst others. It is also not a new phenomenon as it has been legalized in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Although, it has been legalized in some parts of Africa, yet it has not been fully accepted. The concept of cremation is said to be against the religious and traditional believes of Africans. Africans believe in life-after-death. Therefore, so if they cremate their deceased relatives, they feel that the spirit will not live in the afterlife. Nyevero Chatindo 31, an African housewife, said the deceased are deeply respected among blacks and burials are solemn events, so “burning the corpse of our relatives shows disrespect to them.”
Besides being against our traditional believe, the clothes and jewelry a body wears, amalgam dental fillings and medical implants, including pacemakers and prosthetics, can increase CO2 emissions and produce harmful mercury releases into the atmosphere. In addition, some environmentalists point out the extensive use of fossil fuels needed to burn a corpse in two hours at a temperature of 1,400 to 1,800 degree Fahrenheit amounts to waste of fuel. On the other hand, the process of cremation is irreversible, so if adequate precaution is not taken, it could be a veritable platform for destroying crime evidence in the remains of victims. Away from the cons, cremation offers a lot of benefits. Some of which includes less land usage, which is the regular norm in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. Much of our land is now occupied by graves at a time when we are struggling to provide residential areas. Cremation is said to be a lot economical than burial. This is not farfetched as relatives and loved ones of the deceased need not buy a coffin or a grave. Lands that could be used for other profitable purposes like agriculture, building of houses and factories are fast been used as burial grounds. Also, it should be recalled that last October a report was published in one of the dallies that about 108 bodies laid unclaimed across Lagos mortuaries, adding that dead bodies below the age of 25 are mostly abandoned by relatives. This will be averted now with the new law in place. The Cremation Law empowers the state government to cremate unclaimed corpses in its mortuaries after a specific period of time. Furthermore, from the business angle, this new law opens up a new business platform. Practitioners in the undertakers world and youths alike can move into the crematorium field. They could establish more crematoriums and get recommendation from the appropriate authority and approval by the Commissioner for Health. This way, they not only leave the realm of been employers but to being employers of labour. Environmentally, cremation is generally regarded as an environmentally friendly solution because it prevents cemeteries from expanding into natural resources; as a matter of fact, the ashes are considered a sanitary natural substance. Besides scattering the ashes at a thoughtful place or float them in water, there also are options of keeping a portion of the ashes in a keepsake urn to be displayed on a shelf, mantle, etc. at home to create a warm memory of a loved one and/or keep a small portion of the cremation remains in cremation jewelry. Cremation jewelry consists of items like bracelets, pendants, lockets, rings, cufflinks, and so on. This way, relatives of the deceased can have their loved one nearer to them. On the long run, it is not the form of funeral that matters the most but how much of positive impact each person achieves before he is laid to rest. Let us live our lives adding values to others and the nation at large. This is new development in a good direction that if accepted will greatly benefit Lagosians. • Oluwadiya wrote from Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
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THE GUARDIAn, Monday, July 1, 2013
Media In Yenagoa, govt, media trade blame over patriotism By Bridget Chiedu Onochie ORMER Federal Sole Administrator for Culture, Fviduals, Honourable Tunde Akogun, has called on indicorporate bodies and government institutions to promote excellence in every sphere of life by researching the life, works and contributions of hardworking nigerians with a view to encouraging them. He spoke at the 5th newsray Public Lecture/Leadership Award and Fund Raising held recently in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State Capital. The former Minority Leader, Federal House of Representatives, who also served as chairman of the event, commended management of newsray Ventures, publishers of Newsray magazine, for its foresight towards encouraging deserving nigerians through the award. He noted, “This effort, if supported and emulated, could provide all the help we need in bringing a lasting solution to our multi-dimensional problems and difficulties in the country”. While declaring the event open, Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, said the state government does not only respect the media but also encourages press freedom as a way of promoting objective criticism and national growth. In commending Newsray for the initiative, the governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Edmond Oguru, urged the organisation to always adopt strict rule-based criteria in the selection of awardees. According to him, “that would be a worthy way of encouraging the spirit of service delivery and nation building.” In his keynote titled, Rethinking the Transformation Agenda from a Cultural Perspective: The Imperatives of the Media, Executive Secretary, national Institute for Cultural Orientation (nICO), Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, partly blamed the media for some of the challenges confronting the nation. He said that rather than project the country in positive light, the media are flooded with mostly negative stories, which are not in the interest of national growth and development. “Since the public has every right to know what is happening in government, the media, as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, need to perform the statutory functions of informing, educating and enlightening nigerians on the merits and demerits of the agenda,” he said. Ayakoroma charged the media to be objective, be open to research and ensure deep sense of fair play, patriotism and respect for truth, since they are at the forefront of moulding opinions and shaping lives, adding, “The role of media as watch-dogs and preserving our endangered but cherished cultural values, which are ingredients for the nigerian project, cannot be over-emphasised. “So, they need to refrain from sensationalising the dark side of the country and warm up to a patriotic style of writing and publicity. Antagonising government at all times is not a true test of courageous journalism. There is no doubt that media ownership is at issue here, but then there is need for media professionals to practice developmental journalism. “With the Transformation Agenda, it could be argued that nigeria is like a moving train on the way to the ‘Promised Land’, and nation-building is a joint-task that requires the support of all, including the media. It is high time the nigerian media started promoting the nation through enlightenment and sensitisation on government programmes and policies”. Ayakoroma also stressed the potentials of the rich and diverse cultural endowment in the country and the need for aggressive media hype for proper exploration of the sector, noting, “There is no gainsaying the fact that the promotion of the cultural elements in a society is best done by the media as the instruments of mass communication through which information is communicated to the general public. “That national Institute for Cultural Orientation (nICO) has effectively partnered the media at various levels in nigeria. This is out of the deep-seated conviction that culture itself envelopes national greatness. Just as oxygen is to man’s existence, so is culture to our national interest”. For the media to perform optimally, Ayakoroma tasked owners of media houses to address the issue of workers’ welfare, which include equipment, remuneration, capacity building, conducive environment as well as inter-sectoral collaborations. He said: “Since knowledge is power, there is need
to train and re-train the manpower in the media. There is no doubt that many of the staffers have been depending on their residual knowledge in operational dynamics of the system. Unfortunately, many staffers would even resist being sent for training programmes. “There is no arguing the fact that media professionals have to be given the right pay for them to serve diligently. It is not in packaging ‘brown envelopes’ when the heat is on, and forgetting that they ever existed when there is calm. Every media organ needs an enabling atmosphere for the practice of journalism. Whatever the nature of ownership, the operators need the proper space to perform in line with global best practices. There is always the tendency for stateowned stations to be over-regulated by the state government. Where this is the case, the media
organ loses the confidence of the audience. Ayakoroma concluded by charging the media to be alive to their responsibilities by shunning compromise and showing commitment in the promotion of the Transformation Agenda of the present administration. Although former editor of The Guardian on Sunday, Mr. Jahman Anikulapo, was not opposed to patriotism as demanded of media practitioners, he argued that patriotic gesture should be reciprocal. In a paper titled, Patriotism, Just like Communication, Is a Two-Way Traffic, Mr. Anikulapo reminded his audience that journalism is not necessarily an enemy of the state neither would it lose its credibility by being patriotic and supportive of the system governing the society. Rather, his arguement, was that while
the media, as information manager, struggles to manage information at its domain efficiently and patriotically as its contribution to the process of nation building, it also behooves on the powers that-be to pursue policies and actions that are citizens’ welfare oriented. He maintained that the media would function effectively when the government in power is successful, and not distracted from the performance of its duty by unnecessary tension in the polity. Anikulapo said the fortune and fate of the media, as an institution, are tied to the fortune and fate of the political administration in power, which through its policies and actions shape the fate and fortunes of the nation during the administration.
AfricaMagic senior executive, Mr. John Ugbe; new Director-General, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Emeka Mba; Mr. Jenkins Alumona and publisher, City People magazine, Mr. Seye Olumide at the cocktail dinner in honour of Mba as the new NBC D-G at Sheratons Four Points last week… in Lagos PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO
WOS… reporting womenfolk with a difference By Geraldine Akutu ECEnTLY, friends, family members and media professionals converged at Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos to celebrate the birth of a new publication, Woman of Substance (WOS), as well as presentation of awards to women who have excelled in their various endeavours. Ify Onyegbule, the brain behind the project, left paid employment in 2011 to pursue the initiative. She said in her opening remarks that it was not easy at first because she faced discouragement in many
areas but that she held on to her tenacity and belief in the project. In attendance were Joe Okei Odumakin, Chief (Mrs.) Betty Ubeku, Chief Opral Benson, Dr. Samuel Pipim, Chief (Mrs.) Quincy Ayodele, Bimbo Oloyede, Ayo Sobowale (representative of Mrs. Sarah Sosan), Mrs. Yemisi Ransome Kuti among other dignitaries. Cordelia Okpei of Metro FM, Lagos was the compere; she gave the occasion a lift with her lively and inspiring presentation. Veteran broadcaster and CEO, Media International Ltd, Bimbo Oloyede
spoke on mentoring and nurturing as a tool for development. She said, “If you want to mentor somebody, you have to shift your focus from your agenda to being more people centered. If you are more people focused, you need to build relationship in informal settings: at work, leisure and home, and you must make time that is selfless service. “A mentor has a wealth of experience while protégés have less experience. We must have protégés that are willing to learn, recognize, seize and appreciate opportunities. They
Dr. Samuel Pipim (left); Editor|-in-Chief, Woman of Substance, Ify Onyegbule and Chief Mrs. Quincy Ayodele at the event in Lagos
should make themselves available on demand and welcome criticism. Experience does not necessarily have to do with age. An older person can learn from a younger person because there might be something the person knows that the other one doesn’t know. And it is vice versa.” Mrs. Keziah Awosika said that in today’s society, people were more concerned about getting certificates rather than knowledge and that in the academia, students were afraid to ask questions, which she noted wasn’t not good for development, adding that there should be areas for mentoring and nurturing in our schools. On her part, Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin stated, “We must strive to move the country forward by bring courageous, determined and zealous. We need fairness and justice.” Ayodele spoke about going green and staying healthy, “You are what you eat. Take more of green vegetables because it starves cancer cells. We should not neglect ourselves and watch what you put in your mouth. Eating healthy is no longer an option but a necessity”. According to Dr. Pipim, “If you are a graduate today and you are not learning, then you will become illiterate the next day. There is never an end to learning. Women of courage are needed in our society and mediocrity is not an option. Self has taken over service to humanity and some people try to pull others down. We must change.” Some of the awardees were Keziah Awosika Anuoluwapo, Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin and Oluwatoyin Ibidun Adesola.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Interview SCB’s strategy for Africa, by Evans Head of Private Banking, Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia and The Americas, Standard Chartered Bank, Stephen Richards Evans, speaks on its “Seeing is Believing” (SiB) blindness eradication initiative and strategy for Africa, in an interview with HELEN OJI HAT is the “Seeing is Believing (SiB)” project? W WE started the campaign in 2003, we have the objectives at that time to help 28 thousand people and why 28 thousand? It is because we have 28 thousand staff at that time and, that was why we focus on trying to raise enough funds to help 28 thousand people regain their sight and we were successful in doing that. So SiB was launched in 2003 to celebrate the Bank’s 150th anniversary. Global collaboration between SCB, The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and its membership of eye care Non Government Organizations (NGOs). Together with the World Health Organization, IAPB launched ‘vision 2020 – The ‘Right to Sight’, a global campaign to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020. SiB is aligned with the Vision 2020 campaign and has a target of raising US$100 million by 2020. SCB pledges to match all donations until the target of US$100 million is reached. The Private Banking is partnering with clients to fund three eye care projects over a five- year period to provide accessible and effective eye care service for the under privileged, who suffer high levels of avoidable blindness. These projects are located in Kolkata (India), Sichuan (China) and Ibadan and Kano (Nigeria). In Nigeria, an estimated 4.25 million people are blind or have impaired vision and around 130,000 of the blind are children. US$1 million will be invested to help almost three million people in these two regions and their surrounding areas; through eye care education, eye care screening, surgeries to restore sight (cataract operations) and to prevent blindness (glaucoma surgeries) and the distribution of spectacles to people with refractive error. Additionally we will help train health workers, nurses and doctors to provide eye care to their communities. This is the 10th year of the SiB Project. What are some of the milestone achievements so far and what are the bank’s plans for the next 10years? SiB has raised over US$58 million for eye care projects, helped restore sight to over 2.9 million people and reached 41 million people through health education and improved access to eye care (as of 31 Dec 2012) 2003 – 2004: In 2003, when SiB was born, the initial aim was to raise enough money to fund 28,000 sight restorations. Staff raised more than US$1.6 million to fund 56,000 sight restorations. 2004 – 2006: US$ 6 million raised contributions to 1 million sight restorations. Following the initial fundraising success of 2003, a new target was set to reach one million people. A US$ 6 million programme was mapped out with Sight savers International. The Bank commitment to match all donations up to the US$ 6 million target. 12 projects are implemented over 10 countries. This includes funding cataract operations and building the capacity of medical staff to improve the quality and efficiency of their services. Eye surgeons were trained in a new form of cataract surgery called small incision surgery which is quicker and simpler and as a result, significantly increases surgical rates. The fundraising target is hit a year early in 2006. This was completed on World Sight Day of 2007. 2006 – 2008: US$ 10 million was raised, while 10 million people were reached. This was launched in 2006. A new fundraising target of US$ 10 million was set with the Bank committing to match up to US$ 5 million. SiB expands to include projects addressing prevention as well as cure of blindness and aims to reach 10 million people across 20 countries. International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) - a membership organisation with ties to all leading eye care NGOs - becomes the lead-partner with Standard Chartered Bank in SiB initiative. Fundraising for this was completed on World Sight Day of 2007, just one year after the launch. The projects were completed in 2010. 2008 – 2011: US$ 20 million raised. Eye care services were giving to 20 million people. A New Vision was launched on World Sight Day of 2008. The initiative aims to raise US$ 20 million by 2014 with Standard Chartered Bank committing to match up to US$ 10 million in matching funds. The project aims to provide comprehensive and sus-
Evans tainable eye care services for 20 million people in the underprivileged areas of 20 cities across the globe. These will ensure poor populations in areas of high need and enable the community to have access to permanent eye care services offering basic treatment and glasses to surgery and specialist care. Standard Chartered is awarded IAPB’s highest honour to organizations, the global partnership award. SiB becomes the largest donor to the global campaign ‘VISION 2020: The Right to Sight’ through IAPB. Fundraising for a ‘New Vision’ is now completed and the projects have been launched. The majority of these projects are due to finish by 2014. How has the Nigerian franchise supported the Global SiB initiative locally? USD 1million will be invested in Nigeria to help over 2.7million people in the South West and North regions and their surrounding areas through eye care education, eye care screening, surgeries to restore sight (e.g. cataract operations) and prevent blindness (e.g. glaucoma surgeries) and the distribution of spectacles to people with refractive error. They will operate through five hospitals to provide cataract operations to thousands of people and will also train health workers, nurses and doctors to provide eye care to their communities. SCB Nigeria has held a ‘Walk for sight’ charity event since 2004 that has raised over US$740,000 for our partner NGOs. Since inception over 60,000 visually impaired individuals have benefited from our work in Nigeria Within the first year of the project (2011), through CBM and SC Nigeria’s partnership with ECWA Eye Hospital in Kano, a total of 5,504 adult cataract surgeries and 190 childhood cataract surgeries were completed. Additionally, with the Catholic Group of Hospitals in southwest Nigeria, a total of 9,213 eye screenings and 2,819 adult cataract surgeries and 28 childhood surgeries were completed. In Nigeria, our NGO partners for SiB include: Sight Savers International, the Nigerian Society for the Blind, CBM, and the Brien Holden Vision Institute .The ‘Reaching out and restoring sight’ project, led by the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) in Nigeria was launched in June 2011 in Abuja, Oyo and Kano. There are several issues affecting the African continent. Why the focus on the eradication of blindness? Back in 2003, when our staff were thinking of ways to celebrate the Bank’s 150th anniversary, the overwhelming message was that the Bank should do something to give back to the com-
Whether our clients live in your home country or abroad, we have specialized services designed to meet the unique wealth management and international business needs of Global Africans. The depth of our bank gives our clients extensive network and unprecedented local knowledge which means we understand the needs of Africans. munities in countries where it operates. Avoidable blindness was identified as a key issue across our footprint in which we could make a clear difference to impact on people’s lives and which was relatively neglected by other donors. SiB was therefore, a fundamentally staff-driven initiative. There was also an economic case for the Bank to help tackle avoidable blindness. The estimated annual cost of avoidable blindness globally is USD 200bn in lost productivity. Tackling avoidable blindness is a very cost-effective health intervention venture (restoring sight through a cataract operation can cost as little as USD 30). By investing in the health of our communities, therefore, the Bank also contributes to the economic health of the markets in which we operate, which in turn, supports our business. There are 39 million blind people in the world and a further 246 million people who have low vision. What’s the rationale behind the decision of the Private Bank to support SiB in Nigeria a second time. The Bank’s collaboration with Arthouse International was a wonderful success in 2012. We were able to view and purchase art while also recognising the talented artists who are from or based in West Africa (one of Arthouse Contemporary’s main ambitions). We were also able to draw attention to and raise money for our eye care centres in Nigeria. 2012 Nigeria achievements through our Arthouse sponsorship include: Capital equipment (including necessary microscopes, lasers, and scanning equipment), Over 3,000 cataract and glaucoma surgeries (including over 80 surgeries for children),Over 1,000 spectacles dispensed, Over 15,000 screenings ,Over 300 health care workers trained in relevant eye-care areas.
The Bank’s strategy is to focus on your footprint markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Can you specifically talk about the Bank’s focus in particular on the Private Banking’s strategy for Africa? With Standard Chartered Bank history in Africa since the 1800s, we have grown to become a strong bank that is conservatively run with a liquid balance sheet and track record of profitable growth in the region. Our 150-year heritage in the world’s fastest growing markets and extensive commercial capabilities, along with our presence in Africa offers exceptional opportunities and a wide variety of customized solutions. With the largest international coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa, our local network for SMEs and corporate includes trade finance and oil & gas advisory and strong domestic private banking offerings. Whether our clients live in your home country or abroad, we have specialized services designed to meet the unique wealth management and international business needs of Global Africans. The depth of our bank gives our clients extensive network and unprecedented local knowledge which means we understand the needs of Africans. The experience of working across Africa enables us to deliver a seamless, full-scale onshore, offshore African offering. With the onshore and offshore capabilities, Standard Chartered Bank and our network are here to support their personal and financial ambitions. Our huge onshore presence includes colleagues on the ground in Africa and aims to provide a full range of services to meet the needs of corporate and individual clients. If you live in Africa, Standard Chartered Bank has a network of 162 branches in 14 countries with over 6,000 employees and more than 10,000 corporate relationships. We are also mapping out some strategies. Here, our strategy is to start rapid growth, we already have 36 branches here in Nigeria and we are spreading our operations very rapidly, we have been here for a very long time. So most importantly is that we have to connect our Nigerian clients to the rest of the world. For example, Africa –China corridor is now $150 million trade corridor. One of our missions with the banks is to connect people between Africa and China, to create finance from Nigeria to China. Our mission in life is connecting people to raise the standard of living across the countries, thereby helping the countries trade together. Our role is to become one of the biggest finance banks in the world. And one of our roles is to focus more on the private bank. My business is to help Nigerian business people to develop good investment ideas, have access to good advice. The more wealth you get, the more need for sound timely advise. So in private banks, what we are seeking is to be their risk manager and take away the headache so that the people can diversify with their work and enjoy the work in a skillful manner, so we take away the headache of managing the work, especially in a complex situation and that is what our team is doing. Standard Chartered has been in Africa for over 150 years. In an age of competitive positioning and product offering what differentiates the Private Banking team, and Standard Chartered as a whole, as the best financial partner? Quite simply, our staff and our expertise in the growth markets of the world is what help us stand apart from our competitors. Global reach, local expertise through our network of 1,700 branches, offices and outlets in more than 70 countries and our heritage of working closely with our clients in local markets. We are one of the few leading financial institutions that manage to combine extensive global reach with specialized local knowledge. This gives our clients an edge whether they want access to some of the world’s fastest growing markets or expert help with cross-border business. We connect our clients to the growth markets of the world. We are strong and stable partner and we are one bank for all of our clients’ needs. With our extensive heritage in Africa, we understand the needs of our African clients. Whether our clients/prospects are entrepreneurs, professionals, top executives or have inherited wealth, we help grow, build and protect their wealth to ensure it is passed on to future generations, as they would wish. Our Private Bankers are experienced and passionate relationship managers with extensive knowledge and understanding to appreciate our clients’ needs and aspirations at any time.
GUARDIAN, Monday, July 2013 THETHE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 6, 1,2011
Oil & GasWeekly Remi Aiyela, Editor-in-Chief
respect of an exploration well currently being drilled at the Ogo prospect and a planned sidetrack well. The indigenous Nigerian company Optimum Petroleum Development Ltd. ("Optimum"), the named Operator on the block, will continue to hold a 60% participating interest, with Afren providing technical assistance to Optimum in respect of Optimum's obligations under a Technical Assistance Agreement. Post the farm out to Lekoil, Afren will hold a 22.86% participating and 40% economic interest (once Afren and Optimum achieve cost recovery). The designated Operator of the block is indigenous company, Optimum Petroleum Development. The partners' participating interests are Optimum 60%, Afren 22.86%, and Lekoil 17.14% while the economic interests are Afren 40%, Optimum 30%, and Lekoil Ltd. 30%. Afren's shares closed on Thursday at 132.50p gaining 1.90 on the previous day's trading. It has a market capitalisation of just over ÂŁ1.4 billion.
Shell Begins Trans Niger Pipeline Fire Investigation HELL Petroleum Development Company Scause ("SPDC") has begun an investigation into the of the explosion on the 28-inch Trans Niger
Afren and Lekoil Shares Rise with Significant OPL 310Discovery Stock Exchange listed Afren Plc's LingONDON shares are continuing to gain, at one time risalmost 30 per cent, on the 26th June announcement that it has discovered significant light oil accumulations in the Ogo-1 well on OPL 310. Newly Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listed partner, Lekoil's shares have also surged on the news. Oil was discovered at Ogo-1 at a depth of 10,518 ft (10,402 ft true vertical depth subsea) after a gross hydrocarbon section of 524 ft, with 216 ft of net stacked pay was encountered. The P50 prospective resources were estimated at 78 million barrels but that is now likely to be revised following indications that the resources are likely to significantly exceed previous estimates. The partners are continuing to evaluate the well which the company intends to drill to a depth of 11,800 ft (11,684 ft true vertical depth subsea)soastotargetotherhighpotentialzones. They will also drill a side-track, Ogo-1 ST, which Afren says "will test a new play of stratigraphically trapped sediments that pinch-out onto the basement." They will be targeting 124 mmboe of gross P50 prospective resources with the sidetrack. The Ogo-1 discovery, testing a four-way dipclosed structure in the Turonian, Cenomanian, and Albian sandstone reservoirs, confirms the extension of the same Cretaceous sandstones that have yielded other significant discoveries along the West African Transform Margin. Speaking of his excitement at the discovery, Osman Shahenshah, Chief Executive of Afren said: "The discovery of oil in the Ogo-1 well opens up a new oil basin in an under-explored region and represents a possible extension of the West African Transform Margin. Based on evidence to date, targeted resources are likely to be significantly in excess of previous estimates, with some high-potential zones still to be drilled. We look forward to working with our Partners to realise the full potential of Ogo and our additional prospects on the license." Ogo-1 continues Afren's winning streak with significant recent discoveries in Okoro Field Extension, Ebok North Fault Block and Okwok in Nigeria and Simrit-2 and Simrit-3 on the Ain Sifni Block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Lekoil appears to have found the perfect partner after recently acquiring a 17.14 per cent equity interest in the block. The farm-out agreement also gives Lekoil a 30 per cent economic interest. The company listed recently on the Alternative Investment Market, achieving the largest capital raising on AIM so far in 2013. Lekoil raised approximately $50 million giving it a market capitalisation of $112.1 million at admission. On 14 May 2013, Afren completed a farm-out agreement with Lekoil (subject to the consent oftheMinisterofPetroleum),inrespectofa17.14% participating interest in the OPL 310 licence. Under the terms of the farm out, Afren will receive a total carry of up to US$50 million in
Pipeline (TNP), which resulted in a fire on the 19th of June leading to a shut down of the pipeline. The investigation is being conducted by a joint team, which comprises Ministry of Environment, community members, SPDC and independent observers. The fire is now out but SPDC has had to defer 150,000 barrels per day while the facility remains shut. The company's Managing Director, Mutiu Sunmonu explained that in the aftermath of the incident they had to allow the fire, which has now extinguished itself, to burn out. Mr Sunmonu said: "Having shut down and isolated the pipeline, but with oil continuing to flow from the pipeline under gravity to the low point on the TNP, the only other practicable option in the circumstance was to allow the fire burn out naturally. To prematurely extinguish the fire without functioning containment equipment on site could have resulted in further environmental damage. We continued to monitor the fire while also mobilising replacement oil spill containment and response equipment to site. With the fire out, a residual leak was observed at the site contained within the crater caused by the initial incident. We are currently mobilising crews to evacuate the pit, access the leak point prior to the joint investigation visit and complete repair." SPDC said the TNP has had to be shut down several times in the past to remove crude oil theft points from the pipeline. For example, SPDC had to deploy a team to Bodo West on the 22nd of May to remove illegal connections on both the 24-inch and 28-inch sections of the TNP. The company stressed that it obtained the community's permission for access. During that time, the company said, the only vessels in the area of the worksite at Bodo West were an operations support barge used to store and transport recovered oil, an environmental barge and two tug boats. The company explained that while the repairs are going on at night to remove the illegal connections, crude thieves are operating at night to attach new connections. Mr Sunmonu explained why it puts the blame for the incident on oil thieves. Apparently, two unauthorised Cotonou boats had been observed in the area at the time of the initial explosion and fire, which happened at night. All SPDC staff, contractors and regulators leave the site at the end of the day and so he explained that no SPDC authorised people could have been in the area at the time of the incident. Mr Sunmonu was at pains to point out that the company had nothing to hide, adding: "We are committed to operating transparently, which is why we have invited the National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spill in the Niger Delta (NACGOND) to join the investigating team as independent observers. We will continue to run our operations as safely as is possible and in accordance with both industry regulations and Nigerian laws." Mr Sunmonu also commented on the recent arrest of some employees of SPDC's contractors and sub-contractors who are suspected of being involved in crude theft activities. He said, "We appeal that the arrested suspects be treated in
line with the principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and hope for a speedy and transparent dispensation of justice for anyone found to have violated the laws of the land."
in association with
Lekoil Signs Agreement for Acquisition of Panoro Energy OML 113 Interest ONDON-LISTED indigenous company, Lekoil Lration has concluded a deal with Norwegian exploand production company, Panoro Energy ASA to acquire Panoro's 6.502 per cent participating interest (representing about16.3 per cent cost interest and about 12.2 per cent. revenue interest) in oil mining lease (OML) 113 for $30 million. The acquisition will be made through its subsidiary Lekoil 113 Nigeria limited. Under the terms of the agreement, Lekoil is required to provide a $3 million bid bond for the transaction and the company has to deposit the cash consideration of $30 million into an escrow account within 90 days. Once the funds have been deposited in escrow they will apply for ministerial consent to the acquisition, as is required under the law. The structure of the transaction requires Panoro to continue to service Joint Venture commitments on the block while Lekoil will have to, in parallel, service the escrow account by the same amounts. Once the approvals are obtained and the transaction effective, the consideration and working capital adjustment will be released to Pan-Petroleum Aje Ltd from the escrow account. OML 113 is located in the Benin Embayment along the West African Transform Margin adjacent to OPL310, in which Lekoil, has an ultimate 30 per cent economic interest. The OML contains the Aje oil and gas field, for which AGR TRACS International Ltd, in its recently updated CPR, estimated the unrisked 2C Contingent Resources to be 198.7 mmboe, comprising gas, gas liquids and condensate, as well as a significant oil leg in one of the reservoirs. Around 50 per cent of the 2C Contingent Resources in the Aje field are liquid hydrocarbons, comprising oil, gas liquids, and condensate. Net unrisked 2C Contingent Resources attributable to Lekoil Nigeria will be approximately 25.3 mmboe. Buoyed by its successful listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), Lekoil is confident that it will be able to access capital to fund the acquisition and associated capital expenditure. Commenting on the announcement, Lekan Akinyanmi, Lekoil's CEO, said: "The acquisition of an interest in the Aje field, adjacent to our existing interest in OPL310, is exactly in line with our strategy to focus on assets in corridors of interest identified in our detailed evaluation programme when we established Lekoil. It also brings us potential near term production in line with our ambition to create a producing business with higher upside appraisal and exploration assets. In addition, we continue to assess further opportunities." He added that the acquisition would help the company realise its vision for its AIM shareholders following its admission to AIM last month.
TOTAL Awards Saipem $3 billion E&C Contract for Egina NI subsidiary, Saipem, has been awarded a $3 billion contract for the subsea development of the Egina field, in Nigeria, offshore Port Harcourt, in oil mining lease 130. The field lies in a water depth up to 1,700 metres. The contract is for engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation and pre-commissioning of 52 kilometres of oil production and water injection flow lines, 12 flexible jumpers, 20 kilometres of gas export pipelines, 80 kilometres of umbilicals, and of the mooring and offloading systems. The work is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017 when the field will become fully operational. In compliance with local content laws, the fabrication activities will be almost entirely be undertaken in Nigeria. Saimpem's Rumoulumeni Yard in Port Harcourt is where the work will be carried out as it is the base for the work it is already doing for Total on the Usan Field. Saipem's business unit which has long experience in remote areas and deep water will perform the contract. The company said: "This very large contract confirms the leading role of Saipem in the deep water activities and in Nigeria where Saipem is present since the late 1960s." The company says that this contract will enable it to maximise local content.
OPEC Daily Basket Price Stood at $100.37 a Barrel Thursday, 27 June 2013 HE price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood T at $100.37 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $99.39 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The basket price is on a general upward trend since the 24th of June when it had dropped to $98.33, its lowest since April. Introduced on 16 June 2005, is currently made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria),
LOCAL CONTENT NEWS Oil and Gas Equipment Manufacturers to Invest $800 Million in Local Content IL AND GAS equipment manufacturers have O pledged to invest $800 million in the oil and gas industry over the next three years. The statementcamefromtheNigeriaContentDevelopment MonitoringBoard,(NCDMB)whosaidthisinastatement. It added that it had issued more than 500 certificates to Original Equipment Manufacturers ("OEMs") under its Equipment Component Manufacturing Initiative. NCDMB said that the initiative is intended to get foreign OEMs to partner locally with Nigerian OEMs for the manufacturing of components and parts as well as the assembly of equipment in Nigeria. The initiative is to be phased in with vital equipment being allowed only after suppliers are able to convince NCDMB satisfactorily of its intention to manufacture components in Nigeria as soon as possible. NCDMB's target is to go from 10 per cent local content in 2012 to 50 per cent in 2015. NCDMB says it has also set itself the goal of obtaining 60 per cent Nigerian ownership of marine vessels by 2015.
TENDERS Shell Invites Applications for Supply, Operation and Maintenance of Deepwater Mobile Drilling Units Nigeria Exploration and Production SatorHELL Company Limited (SNEPCO) in its role as operof the NNPC/SHELL/ TEPN/AGIP Joint Venture, in Oil Mining Lease 118 (OML 118) on behalf of itself and other Co-Ventures consisting of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, Total E&P Nigeria and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria ( Deepwater) Limited under a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) hereby invites reputable and competent registered Nigerian companies (DPR registered and licensed) with proven experience in supply , operation and maintenance deepwater mobile drilling units to apply for inclusion into the bid list of the tender. The scope of work comprises the provision of two (2) Deepwater Mobile Drilling Units and one (1) Top Hole Drilling unit and services. The contract(s) award and commencement dates are planned to be sometime between Q4 2014 and Q2 2016, subject to normal board approval (which will be driven amongst others by; overall project/ drilling program, economic viability, fiscal and regulatory framework etc), as well as regulatory approvals. To be eligible for this tender exercise, interested contractors are required to be pre-qualified in the Drilling Rigs (Semisubmersibles /Jackups / Others) category (product code 3.04.01) in the NipeX Joint Qualification System (NJQS) database. All successfully prequalified suppliers in this category will receive a Technical Invitation to Tender (ITT).
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Sports Milo Secondary Schools B’ball dunks off tomorrow
Keshi must never allow interference from NFF, says Erico By Eno-Abasi Sunday X-INTERNATIONAL and forE mer Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles, Joe Erico has thrashed plans by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to, henceforth, vet Coach Stephen Keshi’s team list insisting that interference, in whatever guise, should never be condoned by the coach. He has also frowned at the NFF’s President, Aminu Maigari’s condemnation of the inclusion of Nigerian domestic players to face Spain in their last group game a the 2013 Confederations Cup, which ended yesterday, saying it smacks of sheer lack of confidence in the local boys. Maigari, in a recent interview had sensationally declared that Keshi will no longer be solely responsible for selecting the Super Eagles’ squad even as he queried his team selection during the “Festival of Champions.” “The Confederations Cup is a big tournament and that’s why the other teams brought their best players...Spain brought their best players, but we did not. Why would you bring a local player to play Spain at such a big s t a g e ? He continued, “this is unacceptable. We have experienced players that were not selected and this is where we have to step in. The coach should not have the sole responsibility on squad selection. We all have to make inputs. This team belongs to 165 million people. Selections should affect all these people so we cannot continue to let
this happen because we need to compete well with others.” Keshi, in a swift reaction said, “I understand Nigerians are emotive and sentimental sometimes but all the players that went to Brazil deserved to be there,” Keshi told BBC S p o r t . “I’m the coach and I can honestly listen to constructive ideas on how we can improve as a team. But no one has come to tell me who to pick and not to select. If the team fails the coach is responsible. As the coach, it’s my decision and responsibility. For now, the local players have earned the rights to be in the team.” Erico, who alongside Amodu Shaibu, qualified the Eagles for a World Cup is totally in sync with Keshi and insists he should be allowed to do his work. “The NFF must allow Keshi to do the job that they have hired him to do. If he fails, they should fire him after all this job is about hiring and firing. But I do not subscribe to taking dictation from anybody be he from NFF or anywhere,” the retired Nigerian goalkeeper stated. “As a coach, I accept suggestions as long as the parties that are suggesting are with me on the training pitch, see what I see as the players train. But it is very annoying for you to sit in your office and want to change my team list no matter who you are. I will never accept that. They attempted that with me when I was at ACB Football Club and Iwuanyanwu Nationale and I had to walk away,” Erico stated.
Nominations begin for Nigerian Sports Award By Olalekan Okusan OMINATIONS for the N 2013 Nigerian Sports Award commence today across the country. Fifteen categories will be competed for at the yearly event as the organisers promise to make the award year. According to the initiator and General Manager of Unmissable Incentives Limited, Kayode Idowu, this year’s award promises to be better as it is gaining more recognition in the Nigerian sports industry with 15 categories expected to be competed for this year. Idowu described the first edition of the awards as successful with lessons, which the awards panel has identified, while also working to ensure a better and exciting second edition. He however, called on wellmeaning sports loving individuals and corporate organisations to support the initiative to make it the
most prestigious sports award in Nigeria. “We sincerely want to thank the media for your support during the first edition of the award while we seek your continued support for the second edition, we also want to use your medium to call on sports loving organisations to partner with us to make this initiative the one that we would all be proud of,” Idowu said. On the timeline for the 2013 award, Idowu said the nominations would close on Saturday September 7, while the awards ceremony would hold on November 26 at the Muson Centre in Lagos. For the Chairman of the award panel, Ikeddy Isiguzo, new category, the Sports Governor of the Year, has been added to recognise a governor adjudged to have shown greatest support to sports development within the year.
WENTY-FOUR teams are T expected in Lagos today to jostle for honour in the final phase of the 15th edition of the Milo Secondary Basketball Championship from tomorrow to Saturday at the sports hall of the National Stadium. Twelve teams will take part in the boys and girls category with defending champions, St. Jude Girls Secondary School, Amarata, Bayelsa State, seeded in the girls’category. St. Augustine Seminary, Ezamgbo from Ebonyi State, who are the defending champions in the boys’ category, did not qualify. Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria, Dharnesh Gordhon, said the company was committed to grassroots sports development through the annual basketball championship. “We are proud that the championship has been able to engage young sporting talents across the country and it has played a key role in producing national and international basketball stars for Nigeria, while the bulk of players in the Nigeria Premier League have at one time or another participated in the Milo Championship,” Gordhon said. He added, “Nestle firmly believes that sport is a wonderful platform for our youths to learn important values such as honesty, teamwork, fair play, respect and adherence to rules.” The Azzuri celebrate their victory over Uruguay in the third place match …yesterday.
Ibadan agog, as judokas prepare for NJF senior tourney RGANISERS of the fourday National Senior Judo Championship, which is expected to run from Wednesday to July 6, have started putting finishing touches to the event aimed at reviving the sport. The competition will hold inside the indoor sports hall of Obafemi Awolowo Stadium Ibadan, and according to the organisers, athletes from across the federation are expected to arrive on Wednesday for medical and pre-tournament formalities, while the competition will begin on Thursday.
According to the Vice President of Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF), Dr. Musa Oshodi, who addressed newsmen in Ibadan ahead of the championship, the competition solely being sponsored by the federation, is first in the series of activities lined-up by the new board of the federation to revitalise the game. He said the NJF would use the tournament to select judokas for camping ahead of the continental championship slated for Benin Republic later this month and an international championship scheduled for
Brazil in early August. Oshodi reiterated the determination of the newly elected NJF board, headed by Prince Timothy Nzirim, in ensuring that Nigerian judokas didn’t miss international tournaments again, while promising regular championship for players and refresher courses for Judo umpires and judges. He appealed to corporate bodies and well meaning Nigerians to assist the federation towards charting a new course for Nigerian sports by supporting NJF’s activities financially and otherwise.
Buffon’s heroics saves Italy’s blushes, Azzuri win third place goalkeeper, Gianluigi ItoTALY Buffon, inspired the Azzuri a shoot-out victory over Uruguay yesterday to clinch third place for the 2006 World Cup champions. The Juventus goalkeeper was on form in the shootout to keep out efforts from Forlan, Caceres and Gargano as the Azzurri won on penalties to finish in third place Italy claimed third place at the Confederations Cup with a 3-2 penalty shootout victory over Uruguay after a 2-2 draw
in an entertaining thirdfourth place play-off at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. Davide Astori slotted home Italy’s opener after an unfortunate deflection off the goalkeeper, before Edinson Cavani’s slotted finish restored parity. Two brilliant free-kicks, from Alessandro Diamanti and Cavani late in the second half added to the score, before an entertaining match was settled on penalties after a competitive
extra-time period. In the shootout, Diego Forlan saw his effort saved by Buffon, before further misses from Walter Gargano and Martin Caceres saw Cesare Prandelli’s men claim third. . Despite the extra day of recovery, Uruguay were forced to defend early in the third-fourth place play-off with Giorgio Chiellini glancing a header narrowly wide after a good delivery from Alessandro Diamanti.
Airtel, Alcatel register, as Telecoms Games begins July 14 IRTEL Nigeria and Alcatel A Lucent will enrich competition in the 2013 season of the Nigeria Telecoms Games, which starts on July 14 at the University of Lagos Sports Complex. The Telecoms Games already has dominant teams such as MTN Nigeria, Etisalat and Ericsson, but the coming in of Airtel and Alcatel has heightened expectations of greater competition. Jimmy Sogbesan, executive director, Project and Activation at MediaVision Limited, organisers of the Telecoms Games, said the 2013 season will again feature events in football, athletics, Chess, Scrabble and Table Tennis. “We are obviously delighted that there will be quality opposition in this season with the arrival of Airtel and Alcatel, which will definitely enrich the competitiveness of the games,” noted Sogbesan. MTN are the defending champions of the football event and will hope to retain their title even with the increased number of entries. But last season’s runners-up, Etisalat, are also poised to try and establish complete dominance in the tournament by adding the football title to the other events they won last year to emerge overall best.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THOMPSON OLIHA’S DEATH
Super Eagles former midfielder, Oliha, may have died of cardiac arrest • Kwara journalists want star immortalised From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin and Alemma Aliu, Benin. Eagles’ former midSdiedUPER fielder, Thompson Oliha, yesterday in Ilorin of suspected cardiac arrest. The Iwunyanwu Nationale (now Heartland) midfield driver, a member of the 1994 Super Eagles’ Africa Nations Cup winning squad, was said to have slumped at his Offa Garage Road residence, Ilorin, yesterday at about 3:30pm. When he was rushed to Ussyn Hospital, Gaa Akanbi, some three kilometres to his residence, the health workers on duty at the privatelyowned hospital pronounced him dead before any help could come his way. His remains have been deposited at the mortuary wing of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH). The late footballer until his death was a member of the Kwara State Football Academy coaching crew, Ilorin. Oliha, who did not show signs of ill-health on Saturday evening while at the dug out of the Kwara State Sports Complex, Ilorin, where he led his team out against a Malian academy in a friendly duel. The late Oliha was recruited into the Kwara Academy on
its inception by Super Eagles’ former Technical Adviser, Clemens Westerhoff, who was the pioneer rector of the school. When The Guardian visited the Oliha’s family house situated at Ibizugbe Street, Konkon off Ekenwan Road, Benin, a middle-aged man, who simply identified himself as Oliha, said the family were shocked when some of them heard the news of Thompson’s death around 10 am yesterday before a local television station also broadcast it. Oliha, who claimed to be Thompson’s cousin, said the news has not been broken to Thompson’s aged mother, who currently lives in one of the four flats owned by the late footballer. The building is situated at No. 1 Ibizugbe Street, Konkon Road, Benin City. On getting to the building, a girl in the compound told The Guardian that Thompson’s mother and his siblings had gone to church and would be back around 6pm. “Oga, the mama, old well, well, make una no let her hear the news unless you want carry another dead body. Na that her son de carry all of them waka,” the girl, who pleaded anonymity, said.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ former goalkeeper trainer, Amusa Adisa, who is also a coach at the Kwara Academy, described Oliha as “an intelligent coach, who would be gravely missed by the academy.” Also commenting on Oliha’s demise, immediate past governor of Kwara State, under whose tenure the academy was established, Dr. Bukola Saraki has described the footballer’s death as devastating. Saraki said in a statement in Ilorin by his Special Assistant on Social Media, Bankole Omisore, “I am deeply devastated to hear of the demise of Former Super Eagles midfielder and member of the 1994 Africa Nations Cup winning squad, Thompson Oliha, who died on Sunday morning at 44years of age, after a brief illness. “This is indeed a sad development for the growth of sport in Nigeria. The late Thompson Oliha in his career as a player featured for Bendel Insurance of Benin from 1985 to 1987, Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri between 1988 and 1991, Africa Sports of Cote d’Ivoire from 1992-1993, Maccabi Ironi Ashdod from 1993 to 1994 and Antalyaspor FC of Turkey (1995).
His regrets over government’s unfulfilled promise By Christian Okpara HOMPSON Oliha loved T singing the national anthem. Each time he graced the football pitch in the service of his fatherland, Oliha always sang the national anthem with joy because he believed he was doing his part to make Nigeria a great country. But on retirement from the game, he was forced to question his unalloyed loyalty to his fatherland when the reality of the wickedness of the system dawned on him. In 1994, Thompson and 21 other Nigerian young men went to Tunisia to defend the colours of the country in the African Nations Cup hosted that year by the North
African country. They went, saw and conquered for the first time outside Nigeria. This happened just a few months after he had contributed his quota to ensure that Nigeria qualified for the first time ever for the FIFA World Cup hosted that year by the U.S. On return from Tunisia with the Nations Cup trophy, a ‘grateful’ nation joyously trooped out to receive the players with different individuals and states’ governments promising the team several things as reward for their efforts. The Federal Government, then under General Sani Abacha, promised the players and their officials a house each, a pronounce-
ment the players received the news with joy, believing that finally they would receive just rewards for their contributions to national development. How wrong some of them were. For in distributing the houses, the government chose to be selective, promptly allocating houses to some of the players, while others were left on endless trips to Abuja, which to date has not yielded any result. Before his death, Oliha once again pleaded with the Federal Government to fulfill its promise to the remaining players, saying that it was wrong for the country to reward some players and leave others, who participated in the same battle for the country. “I beg the Federal Government to fulfill its promise of giving every player in the team a house for our victory in the 1994 AFCON. I have yet to receive my own house which the government promised me 19 years ago; my great country has disgraced me and some members of the victorious team,’’ Oliha had said. He urged those in charge of allocating the promised houses to members of the team to release them. “The people in charge of the allocation should please come out of their shells and give us our rightful possessions,” he said.
How he changed his name to realise his ambition By Adeyinka Adedipe ATE Super Eagles star, LGabriel Thompson Oliha, named at birth, wouldn’t have come into limelight if he had bowed to his parents, who did not want him to have anything to do with football. To realise his ambition of playing professional football, Oliha told The Guardian before his death that he had to change his first name from Gabriel to Thompson, when Bendel Insurance signed him on in 1985, the same year he left the Western Boys College in Benin. The journey for Oliha, however, started on the streets of Benin where he learnt the rudiment of football. Despite being beaten by his parents most times he went to play football, he stuck to his belief, joining up with the likes of Austin Eguavoen, Wilfred Agbonavbare, Nosa Osadalor and Ideyen Dada at Emokpai Primary School in Benin. At Emokpai, he got a little breather from his parents’ choking desire to stop him from playing the round leather game and soon became the toast of his mates with his unbelievable understanding of the game. Breaking into the school team was not a problem for the late Super Eagles midfielder, who had learnt some skills on the street. With Eguavoen and others, the school team became formidable and challenged for honours in the primary football competition in Benin. Regrettably, they never won any title, although they were close on few occasions. While schooling at Emokpae, he started playing
for a boys club known as Samco Stars, an Under 13 team. After leaving Emokpae, he got into Western Boys College in Benin, alongside most of his team-mates in primary. At the famous school, it was not difficult for Oliha to join the team right from his first year because he was already a known figure in Benin soccer circle. In fact, he started playing in the Principals Cup competition from early in the school. Though, Oliha did not win the Principal Cup, he caught the attention of Bendel Insurance Coach, Sebastian Broderick, who signed him in 1985, where the eagerness to play professional football took him on a course that would change his identity forever. A night to his debut for Insurance, Oliha left home, so he could be at the stadium the next day. And because he did not want his parents to know that he was going to play for Insurance, he changed his name to Thompson. During the game, Oliha was so good that his name kept coming up in the radio commentary. But an Insurance fan, who watched the game live at the Ogbe Stadium, then went home and told Oliha’s parents that the Thompson that played for Insurance was actually their son, Gabriel. But rather than scold the boy for disobeying him, the senior Olihas decided to support Thompson in his chosen career. But the name Thompson stayed with him until his death yesterday. At Insurance, Oliha won the state Challenge Cup in 1987 and was in the Flying Eagles
team for the Chile 1987 FIFA Under 20 World Cup. The team had Etim Esin, Ladi Babalola, John Ene Okon, Nosa Osadalor, Adekola Adeolu, Ikpowonsa Omoregie, goalkeeper Willy Okpara, Lawrence Ukwegbu, Victor Igbinoba, Peter Nieketen, Luck Agbonsibafe, Sanni Adamu, Jonathan Akpoborie and many others, who were household names in Nigerian football at that time. But, contrary to its reputation as the best to have come out of the country under the guidance of Coach Christopher Udemezue, the team turned out to be a big flop, losing 4-0 to Brazil in the opening game and finally crashing out of the tournament in the first with just a point from three group games. After the Chile disaster, Oliha moved from Insurance to Iwuanyanwu Nationale (now Heartland) in 1988. At Nationale, where he stayed for three years, he won the national Challenge Cup in 1988. He played alongside Mike Obi, Sunny Ukeagbu, Ramson Madu, Ben Iroha, Edward Ansah, Samson Ozogula, John Benson, Andrew Uwe, Friday Ekpo, James Etokebe and many others. Having seen it all in the local scene, Oliha moved to African Sports of Cote d’Ivoire in 1992, a move he described as the biggest challenge of his professional career. “Moving to African Sports was a big challenge because of the language barrier and their way of life. But as a professional, I adjusted at it was not long before I started winning trophies with the team.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Neymar wants Rooney in Barcelona ARCELONA new-boy, B Neymar, has urged wantaway Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney, to move to Camp Nou. The England forward is widely expected to depart Old Trafford having handed in a transfer request at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 campaign. And Neymar, who joined Barca from Santos for €57 million in May, believes the 27-year-old would fit in perfectly with the reigning La Liga champion. “The style of football we (Barcelona) play and the level of the players we have - we are the perfect club for the top players to join,” he said. “I have met Wayne on a few occasions and he seems a good guy but importantly, he is one of the players I admire
most in the world. Wayne is one of the most gifted and technical players in the world. “Of course he would improve Barcelona. He would improve any club in Europe. And on a personal level, it would be a dream to play with him.” Rooney scored 16 goals in 36 appearances last term, but found himself controversially benched in high-profile fixtures such as the second leg of his side’s UEFA Champions League last-16 defeat to Real Madrid. Rumours of a falling out with then-Manager, Alex Ferguson, subsequently surfaced, and the striker is reported to have a similarly tense relationship with the 71year-old’s successor David
Moyes. David Moyes’s first task as Manchester United manager will be to deal with striker Wayne Rooney’s future, with the pair to meet this week. The long-time Everton boss will officially begin his Old Trafford tenure today, and talks between the two will be the first official meeting between player and manager since they combined in the infancy of Rooney’s career at Goodison Park from 20022004. Rooney’s motivation to carry on at United is questionable - with sources claiming he is all but gone, while others believe he will carry on after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. Ferguson endured a bittersweet relationship with Rooney, most recently shunning him in the preferred striker position for Robin van Persie. And that has caused the 27year-old to become jaded about his spot at United, and with interest from Chelsea and Arsenal, Rooney could finally move out of Manchester.
Villas-Boas to quit coaching for Dakar Rally OTTENHAM Hotspur boss, T Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that he expects to
Ronaldo is the ‘best in the world,’ says Ramos MID rumors linking A superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, with a move away from Real Madrid, teammate, Sergio Ramos, has publicly declared Ronaldo as the best player in the world last season. The Spanish international is currently on international duty at the Confederations Cup ahead of Spain’s crunch final against Brazil, but made it clear that he hopes his club keeps the Portuguese star at the Bernabeu. “He is a player that you can not blame anything on – he is an example of professionalism,” the defender told El Mundo, as translated by Goal.com. “Last season, for me, he was the best in the world. He deserves to win whatever he wants to win, really. I hope the club director is trying to renew his deal to keep him in Madrid.” Despite Ramos’s claim, Barcelona star, Lionel Messi remains widely regarded as the best player in the world, having picked up four con-
secutive Player of the Year awards from FIFA. Messi’s Barcelona won the La Liga title over Ronaldo’s Madrid yet again, giving the Argentine a strong case to pick up individual silverware over Ronaldo for another year. Real’s stars combined with Barcelona’s stars for the final time this summer yesterday as they took on Brazil in the Confederations Cup final. Spain has once again been at their very best in this summer’s tournament, knocking out a hardworking Italian side in the semifinals, albeit via penalty kicks. Spain faced another tough competition, as Brazil were not only tournament hosts but had been fueled by the tournament’s standout player, Neymar. The young striker, signed for Barcelona just before the Confederations Cup started, so he hoped to start his Camp Nou career having beaten his new club teammates in the final.
quit coaching in the next five to 10 years and pursue his lifetime ambition of competing in the Dakar Rally. Villas-Boas began his managerial career at a young age and became the youngest boss to win a European club trophy, at 33, when he guided Porto to Europa League success in 2011. Now 35 and in charge at White Hart Lane, Villas-Boas is focused on leading Spurs to a bright future and he is relishing another Premier League campaign. He will work closely with Franco Baldini this season after the Italian was brought in as the club’s new technical director, and is in no doubt that the appointment will reap rewards. Baldini’s main role will be to help with transfers and VillasBoas believes that having such a structure could help Tottenham challenge the bigger spenders for the title. He explained, “I am used to working with a technical
director and it is something I proposed because it is complicated to concentrate on the current squad and search for new players. “With the arrival of Franco Baldini, I believe our organisational structure will be improved. He will allow me to dedicate myself entirely to the current team and training. “We must grow something better at Tottenham because our reality is different from some of the other top clubs. “There are four or five fighting for the title and the story of the achievements of Tottenham recently is short. We have the sixth-highest budget in the Premier League. “Budgets do not always define the table, but we have to fight against clubs who spend more.” While he is loving his role at Tottenham, Villas-Boas does not think he will remain in football beyond the next decade and he would like to explore other interests. “My passion for football makes me live it very inten-
sively over 11 months and dedicate myself to that, but I think life allows you to enjoy other things,” he is quoted as telling Portuguese newspaper, O Jogo. “For me, there is a limit and, in the next five to 10 years, I will quit coaching. To compete in the Dakar Rally is a lifetime ambition for me and is something I know I have to do. “It went from a passion to
an obligation, a destination of life, but I can only do it when I leave football. I will do it.” Villas-Boas added, “I just want to be proud of my career. I try to play good football with the teams I join and this is the recognition that fulfils me. “I do not know where my career will take me. What I do know is that it will not last too long.”
Man City switch attention to Fred HE top story on leading T Brazilian website, Globo Esporte, yesterday is the news that Manchester City are considering a move for Brazilian international centre-forward, Fred. Manchester City are in the market for a new attacker having sold Carlos Tevez to Juventus in recent days, while the Citizens pursuit of Edinson Cavani now seems dead in the water after rumours broke that the Uruguayan agreed an €8.5 million deal per season on a
five-year contract with Chelsea. Manuel Pellegrini has thus turned attentions to Fred, however, it is worth noting that the Brazilian media outlet is basing it’s knowledge on gossip spread by the Daily Mail over the past 24 hours. Fluminense’s Fred is being widely targeted after a successful Confederations Cup campaign. The striker has scored nine goals in nine matches for the Selecao, and the attacker’s physical style of play would seem a natural fit for the English Premier League. Moreover, unlike most proven international goalscorers on the market, Fred is very cheap. The attacker is reported to have a €2 million release clause in his contract, which is virtually peanuts in today’s modern transfer scene. So will the deal happen? The only obstacle to the deal happening is that Fred is demanding that any team who signs him plays him. The 29-year-old Brazilian is unwilling to move to a club only to become a benchwarmer, and it’s not clear whether Fred would usurp the likes of Edin Dzeko to play alongside Sergio Aguero week in, week out next sea-
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Robson’s future looks rosy Robson can surpass LHillAURA the likes of Jessica Ennisand become the highestearning British female athlete in history if she lives up to her potential, according to a leading sports marketing expert. Robson pulled off a remarkable comeback to beat Marina Erakovic and become the first British woman in 15 years to make the fourth round of Wimbledon. Despite being just 19 years old, Robson is a big favourite to beat Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the next round and set up a probable quarter-final against Serena Williams. Robson has been on the radar of major sponsors ever since she won the girls’ title at SW19 five years ago. She already has sponsorship deals with Adidas and Virgin and her earning potential will rise even further if she goes on to win grand slams, as many top pundits have already predicted she will. “She has the potential to be the highest earning athlete ever that we have produced
in Britain because tennis is such a lucrative and global sport,” said Nigel Currie, the director of sports marketing and sponsorship agency, brandRapport. “If she wins a major she will then go in to the highestearning bracket in the country for female athletes.” Ennis-Hill, the gold medalwinning heptathlete, currently earns around £2million a year in endorsements, but Robson could earn far more due to the fact that tennis has such a vast reach. “Jess Ennis and a few of the other Olympians have done well, but we haven’t had successful women in tennis over the last few years. “You are highly-marketable in tennis because you are known in every territory of the world.” Should Robson, who has made £525,000 in prize money in her career, need to look at how a promising junior player can go on to become a mega-wealthy superstar, then she should
look no further than Maria Sharapova. Forbes estimates Sharapova, who has several sponsorship deals with the likes of Evian, Nike and Head, earns around £15million in endorsements on top of her annual tour winnings. Given the lack of female tennis stars in Britain, there is a huge gap in the market for Robson, who earns around £400,000 from her association with Adidas and Virgin, to cash in. “She already has done a deal to front up Virgin Active health clubs, and there will be a watch deal and a car deal,” Currie added. “There are also unique products to the female market. There aren’t many female athletes in this country to use for those sorts of sponsorship and endorsements like makeup and fashion and Laura would be in pole position. She has a great character, she is a bubbly person. She comes across really well and all that is important.”
Confident Kanepi ‘close to winning a grand slam’ AIA Kanepi is poised to take K the shine off and halt Laura Robson’s fine run as both lock horns today. Robson is aiming to become the first British woman in 29 years to make it through to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, but if she is looking for an easy passage to the last eight, then she can forget it. The 19-year-old’s refusal to submit to defeat this week has
Djokovic expecting a ‘big challenge’ against Haas OVAK Djokovic might be N expecting a tough challenge from Tommy Haas today, but he knows the German cannot handle his best tennis. The world number one was in imperious form on Saturday, dismantling 22nd seed Jeremy Chardy in straight sets on Centre Court. The victory, his seventh against the Frenchman, sets up a last-16 clash with 13th seed Haas. The German might be in the twilight of his career at 35, but his form has been impressive this year- something Djokovic knows all too well. While the Serbian may have won their quarter-final clash
at the French Open, Haas came out on top at the Miami Masters in March. “Against Tommy Haas, it’s going to be a big challenge for both of us,” Djokovic said. “I think it’s his most preferred surface. He loves playing on grass. He had a few great wins lately. He beat Roger in the finals of Halle last year. He played again really well this season on grass. In general, this season he has played great. I mean, he’s 35, 36 years old, and he’s been playing very close to the best tennis of his life, in my opinion. Djokovic continued, “he’s very fit. He doesn’t look like 35 years old man, for sure.
He’s full of confidence on the court. Look, there’s no clear favourite in that match. I need to try to repeat the performance from today (Saturday). “If I do so, if I feel this well, I think I have a good chance.” The victor of that clash will face Bernard Tomic or world number six Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals. The other ties in that half of the draw see fourth seed David Ferrer take on Ivan Dodig and Andreas Seppi face Juan Martin Del Potro. Most of the home interest today will focus on Andy Murray, who takes on in-form Mikhail Youzhny after the Russian came through
Saturday’s clash with Viktor Troicki. “I think everybody knows him and knows how he plays,” Youzhny said of Murray adding, “he plays really well on the grass. I have not played so many matches against him. It will be really tough match for me. He is a really tough opponent. “I need to be just ready to play and enjoy the Centre Court, because not every year you can play against top players on the Centre Court. It will be a nice atmosphere against a good player.”
Williams does not scare me, Lisicki brags women would confiFbeatEW dently claim they could Wimbledon queen, Serena Williams, but German Sabine Lisicki is willing to give it a go. Williams seems to be on an unstoppable march to a sixth All England Club crown, looking even better than she did when steamrollering the field in 2012. Japanese veteran, Kimiko Date-Krumm was her latest victim and it would take a brave fan to bet against her losing to Lisicki, but the 23rd seed hopes to try and make light of that as the pair meet
today. The showdown is one of the highlights of a packed day, which features all the last-16 matches in both the men’s and women’s draw. And after seeing off Sam Stosur, Lisicki said, “you have to play your best to beat her, that’s for sure. “But everyone is a human being and we will have to see what happens. I was in the situation last year where everyone was saying Maria Sharapova was the favourite (Lisicki beat her). I’m probably going in as the underdog but I like that.” It may not be good news for
Lisicki, though, that Williams thinks she has more improvement in her. The casual observer may have felt the 31-year-old was on top form throughout the first week, but the American revealed after her win over Date-Krumm that she had been struggling to find some rhythm. “I’m finally starting to feel a little better,” she said. “I’m getting there and am starting to feel a little better. I had a long clay-court season and in my first match I felt awkward. I feel a little better now,” she stated.
won her many admirers on and off the court. Robson’s form this week suggests she is no longer happy to settle for plucky British battler status. There is an inherent self-belief about her play, and off the court she shows maturity and confidence beyond her years. Yet Kanepi is clearly cut from the same cloth. She may be 46th in the rankings- 12 places behind Robson - but the Estonian thinks she is so good that she could even go on to win Wimbledon this year. “If I play every day very well, then it’s possible,” the 28-yearold from Haapsalu said. “I feel that I am close to winning a grand slam, but it depends on how I play. I played well to win the Brisbane International last year so it’s possible.” A more forensic analysis of Kanepi’s form suggests she has every reason to feel confident about beating Robson when she steps out on Court One at 1pm. Kanepi would probably be near her all-time high ranking of 15th had she not been out for six months because of an Achilles injury earlier this
year. She has also enjoyed success at SW19 before. In 2010 she reached the quarter-finals, becoming only the sixth qualifier in the Open era to make the last eight. The way Kanepi saw off seventh seed Angelique Kerber, who like Robson is a left-hander, also gives credence to her suggestion that she is playing some of the best tennis of her 13-year professional career. “I think I am playing my best tennis,” Kanepi said adding, “I am playing really well. I think my game is more stable than it was three years ago and I think I’m moving better. I’m fitter, I’m faster and I’m more aggressive. I’m not afraid to go in anymore.” Kanepi, who has four tour titles to her name, already has one British scalp in the bag after dismissing Doncaster’s Tara Moore in the first round. She then beat last year’s semi-finalist Kerber before knocking out American Alison Riske in straight sets. The last-16 match will be the first meeting between the two and Kanepi will have done plenty of research on her opponent before they meet.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Arsenal dream Torres / Higuain partnership RSENAL boss, Arsene A Wenger wants to bring Fernando Torres to the Emirates, write Dean Jones and Dave Kidd of the Sunday People. And Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho is ready to let the Spaniard leave. The shock Gunners move comes as Blues insiders claim Mourinho considers only five of the Chelsea squad are certain starters for the new season. Spanish wizard Juan Mata and Brazil defender, David Luiz are not among the five – and could also be waving farewell to the Premier League this summer. But it’s news of Arsenal’s move for striker, Torres – who is wanted at the Emirates along with Real Madrid star Gonzalo Higuain – that will create shockwaves.
The ambitious Gunners board is desperate for star signings after years of letting their biggest names leave. Torres, on duty in Brazil at the Confederations Cup, is not sure if he figures in Chelsea’s plans. He will speak to Mourinho this week – and Arsenal will move fast if he gets the thumbs-down. Their main target is still Argentinian front-man Higuain, but Torres and Wayne Rooney are on the radar. Luiz and Mata are also sweating on Mourinho’s call and with the returning Blues boss expected to tell Luiz he is no longer a starter Barcelona will be waiting in the wings. And Mourinho is thought to prefer Oscar in the No.10 role supporting a main striker, believing the Brazilian is a more attacking threat than Mata. Only five Blues stars are certain starters for the coming season – Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard and Oscar. That means Mourinho will try to bring in six players before the transfer window closes – and he knows that a £35 million fee from Barca for Luiz could help fund new recruits. Brazilian star Hulk of Zenit St Petersburg, Mario Gomez of Bayern Munich and AC Milan hitman Stephan El Shaarawy are all on Mourinho’s wishlist – along with Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, July 1, 2013
Monday, July 1, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Oluwafunmilore Adebola start by recalling two recent incidents. ItoWILL Sometime towards the end of last year I came an interesting understanding of the phrase ‘Climate Change’. Before this time, if asked to explain what the expression meant, I would have reeled off an explanation that showed my knowledge of the technical aspects—greenhouse gases, depletion of the ozone layer and so on. But when I saw that it was still raining well after the rainy season was supposed to have ended, I realised that ‘Climate Change’ simply means that the climate has changed. The expression ceased to be one that belonged in my textbooks or in the news—it became an action phrase; it became a living reality. Secondly, from November 18 – 22, I was at the African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Network’s Annual Conference and Workshop held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. One of the key note speakers was Prof. Lynn K. Mytelka, who spoke on “Energy Transitions, Innovation and Development: Global Imperatives and African Realities”. In giving concluding remarks to the conference, she said something that struck me: “Don’t reverse to old technologies like coal or discredited technologies like Nuclear”. These two incidents form the premise for the points I intend to raise in this piece. It is clear to everyone who lives in this country that Nigeria currently has an energy challenge (that’s putting it mildly). Our pursuit of a solution to this challenge should, however, be done right and with an understanding. In considering the Nigerian energy issue, some have advised that Nigeria ventures into Nuclear Energy. I believe, however, that this would be the most wrong of approaches. I am in this article making a case for the choice of renewable energy sources for Nigeria instead of Nuclear energy or any other form of energy. I will mostly concentrate on Nuclear energy. I want to make it clear: I am not presenting an argument on which energy source is better on a global scale—Nuclear or Renewables. These arguments have been around for a long time and will probably continue for a while. I am saying that renewable energy is what Nigeria should invest in NOW. Here are the reasons: Let’s start from the environment. This is the number one reason why there has been widespread clamouring for stricter restrictions on carbon emissions and a need to pursue green energy. It is why Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, promised to make dealing with climate change the main concern of his fiveyear term stating that “action was needed to create a carbon market, eliminate fossil-fuel subsidies and “green” the world’s 100 megacities, which are responsible for 60 to 70 per cent of global emissions” (Source: The Guardian UK). It is the reason why Renewables have become very attractive and should be invested in. Conscientious literate Nigerians need to acquaint themselves with at least the basic issues involved in climate change—what it means, why it is important and the current steps being taken to combat it. Yet, as I said at the beginning of this essay, ‘climate change’ is now beyond a phrase even for Nigerians. At every front tackling climate change is not just imperative, not doing so could prove fatal. When comparing the environmental impact of forms of energy sources including coal, nuclear and Renewables (especially Solar and Wind), it is noted that wind energy has the lowest environmental and health costs, per unit of energy delivered, significantly less than that of nuclear energy. Some Renewables such as certain forms of solar energy and biomass have higher environmental impact than nuclear energy but as will be shown later, this does not still make nuclear energy suitable. Coal of course has, perhaps, the highest environmental and health costs, per unit of energy delivered pegged about 60 times that of wind energy. Put succinctly, therefore, on the general, Renewables have comparable environmental and health costs. Another reason why Nigeria should invest in Renewables is the relative newness of the field. Compared to coal or nuclear energy, the cumulative focus and effort directed at green energy is still minimal. What does this mean? Melissa Schilling in her book ‘Strategic Management of Technology’ shows a typology of categories, where the absorption of a technology is concerned, proposed by Everett M. Rogers. Under this typology we have five groups: Innovators (The first individuals to adopt a technology. They form the first 2.5 per cent of the entire number of adopters). Early Adopters: They form the next 13.5 per cent after innovators to adopt a technology. They have the greatest potential for opinion leadership. Early Majority: These form the next 34 per cent and adopt innovations slightly before the average member of a social
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Climate change and a case for renewable energy options
Minister of Environment, Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafa system. Late Majority: Forming 34 per cent, the late majority approach innovation with a skeptical air and often adopt technologies due to pressure from others and Laggards: They form the last 16 per cent and are highly skeptical of innovations and innovators. Nigeria currently has an opportunity to occupy the position of Early Adopters or Early Majority where Renewables are concerned. Currently the field is at a point where its boundaries and framework are well defined. This is one of the major advantages that the Early Adopters and Early Majority enjoy. The innovators have often done the hard work and have taken the major risks. Today where Renewables are concerned, a deluge of information exists on a global knowledge network powered by the internet. Nigeria needs to plug into this network now. We should start working with renewable technologies, researching them, and focusing on localising them. Take nuclear energy, for instance, it is obvious that the technology is drawing to its end. Why would we want to invest in such a technology? This is another problem we have as a nation—often we invest in and use technology that is either already fully developed or already expiring. Examples abound: We buy second hand aircraft (sometimes with over 50 years of service on them), trains, vehicles
etc. A lecturer of mine once put it comically“We make an order for the latest model and we are told it would take a number of years to manufacture it. However, by the time the machine is built, it is not the latest model anymore – a new model is out. So when it develops faults, we are told the parts are no longer available and we have to place an order for a new model or contact another developing nation like ourselves for parts (paraphrased).” For how long do we want this to continue? Even current proponents of nuclear energy (in countries that supposedly developed the technology to its current stage and so already have infrastructures in place) argue that it is a place holder—they agree that it is not the best but argue that it is the suitable choice (FOR NOW) since Renewables are not at their peak. A classic example of this can be seen in the 2010 TED Debate between Mark Jacobson and Stewart Brand on both energy options (The video is available on YouTube). Therefore, one can reasonably predict that, with the current rate of accelerating technologies, in as little as 20 years, nuclear energy may be done away with. This, of course, brings us to the third reason. The renewable energy scene is bound to get better as we move forward. New technologies will enable us to improve the efficiencies of solar cells, wind turbines and other means of accessing energy from renewable sources.
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Nigeria therefore has an opportunity to position herself right now, ensuring that she grows in these technologies independently or at least collaboratively. This, of course, makes sense. Even if we were to invest in nuclear energy now, putting infrastructures in place and restructuring the sector could take as much as the aforementioned 20 years, by which time the technology would be outdated. Why not spend that same time investing in Renewables and in the estimated 20 years emerge as front liners in the field? Next we come to safety. This is the major reason why I believe investing in nuclear energy is not the best of ideas for Nigeria at this time. It is why despite the fact that (as stated in the foregoing) certain forms of solar energy and biomass have higher environmental impact than nuclear energy, Nuclear energy is still a NO-NO. It is a well-known fact that although nuclear energy facilities are often well secured, once in a while an accident happens with often disastrous consequences. From Chernobyl (Ukraine) to Fukishima (Japan), the environmental effects of accidents at nuclear facilities are severe. A single accident like Fukishima or Chernobyl, to borrow an expression from my father, is one accident too many. We just cannot run the risk. Such an accident results in radioactive emissions that are usually harmful to those exposed and renders such a place inhabitable for decades. Over 25 years after Chernobyl occurred the place is still inhabitable. Consider the Fukishima accident that occurred in 2011, can Nigeria boast of having such an effective response time and network as Japan? This does not even include our current deplorable maintenance culture or the current scourge of terrorists and militants who can easily pick a nuclear facility as a target with horrible consequences for those in its vicinity. Furthermore, following Fukishima, certain countries have re-evaluated their use of Nuclear energy. Consider the following data sourced from the IEEE Spectrum Website. Germany which currently has nuclear energy supplying 28 per cent of its power, plans to close down its reactors by 2022; Switzerland which currently has nuclear energy supplying 38 per cent of its power has announced that by 2034 it would close down its reactors and Belgium aims to be totally rid of nuclear energy by 2025 even though more than half of its current power supply comes from nuclear. Replacements for nuclear energy are already being sought in these countries and the obvious solution is Renewables. Belgium, for example, is reported to have plans to construct an artificial island to be used for storing excess power generated from wind as it is scaling up its wind power capacity which it expects to quadruple by 2020. Note that each of these countries’ target years are either within, or very close to, the 20 years of development I estimated above. So what is the way forward for Nigeria? I have certain suggestions. First is research. It would be good for us to identify which of the renewable energy sources with which each state is well endowed. Renewable energy centres can then be set up in each state to harness its unique renewable energy resource. This must be done in connection with tertiary institutions, especially universities, in each state. University researchers in each state should be tasked and funded to come up with the best possible localised methods and technologies for harnessing the state’s power resource. If well supported and motivated, I believe that our universities will come up with indigenous technologies for maximizing power output. When duly implemented, power generated will then go first to supplying the parent states’ power needs and then excess will be used to bolster other states’ supply. Such a decentralised supply system being overseen by a central body can be very effective. There is also a need for Nigerians to embrace the Renewables industry. We need manufacturers, enthusiasts and advocates. There is already a developing industry but there is a need to intensify our efforts. More home owners should begin to have solar panels installed instead of the traditional diesel or petrol generator. Moreover, there is a need to create awareness and as a people clamour for the implementation of currently existing policies that favour a Renewables industry. The time to do that is now so that we can reap the harvest in the longterm. More people need to begin to talk about this, and also consider the pros and cons for the sake of the nation. Nigeria has boundless growth opportunity and Renewables offer us another reason to muster our collective energies to move the nation forward. • Adebola has a degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.