TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,592
Presidency, govs move to resolve rift over Federation Account Vow to check loss of revenues to oil theft From Anthony Otaru, Abuja N agreement has been A reached by the Federal Government and state governors to resolve all outstanding issues on the Federation Account. As part of this, a commitment to settle the arrears of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) payments has been agreed by the various contending forces. A statement from the Ministry of Finance said this was the key development from a meeting of the committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve this issue yesterday. The committee is headed by Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State while other CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Operators savour fresh stock market growth Vice President Namadi Sambo (third left); Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State (fourth left); Global Vice Chairman, General Electric (GE), John Rice (fifth right); President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GE Nigeria, Lazarus Angbazo (right) and others during the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony of a $1 billion manufacturing facility in Calabar… yesterday.
Jonathan in emergency meeting with Tukur, NWC over PDP crisis From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Mohammed Abubakar and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja) PALL of uncertainty fell on A the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja yesterday as a speculation about the imminent sack of the Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee (NWC) gathered momentum. The absence of Tukur and other NWC members from office throughout yesterday fuelled the fear that the reported recommendation of a committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan that the entire lead-
Party chairman refuses to quit • Pro-Amaechi govs may move against him tomorrow Working committee members stay out of office • NLC chief warns Mimiko ership of the PDP be sacked during the party’s NEC meeting tomorrow might have gained acceptability by the majority of party stakeholders. Yesterday, the entire NWC team led by Tukur himself went to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa to hold an emergency meeting with Jonathan.
The outcome of the meeting will decide whether or not the recommendation of the Anyim committee report would be respected by the NWC members. Besides, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko to support a demo-
cratic order rather than mingle with “anti-democratic forces” under the auspices of the faction of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) led by Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State. Mimiko received the admonition from NLC yesterday, with a stern warning to be ready to face disciplinary ac-
tion if he fails to retrace his steps. In a statement by the Vice President of the NLC, Issa Aremu, he said: “As a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Labour Party, I am constrained to call on the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
NLNG goes to court over levies’ dispute with NIMASA - Page 5
TOCK market operators are SExchange relishing the return of the to a path of growth. Reviewing the one-year-old presidency of Alhaji Aliko Dangote at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the operators who spoke yesterday were particularly happy that he has been able to restore investors’ confidence in the market. Dangote was elected as the NSE’s president but his election became a subject of dispute at the courts. He was, however, re-instated by an appellate court and resumed June 19, 2012. His re-instatement was hailed by stakeholders who believed his leadership of the Exchange, at that time of market downturn and erosion of investors’ confidence, would herald the dawn of a new era. Stakeholders noted that the market has made a rebound since Dangote came on board as reflected in the growth recorded under his leadership. According to them, the NSE would not have fared better, pointing out that the restoraCONTINUED ON PAGE 4
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Presidency, govs vow to check loss of revenues to oil theft CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 members include the Governors of Delta, Anambra and
Gombe states. The Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-
Iweala; Minister of State, Finance, Yerima Ngama; Accountant-General of the Federation, Jonah Otunla and Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Bright Okogu, are also members of the committee. The committee also resolved to tackle the root causes of the revenue challenges facing the country, including oil theft in a decisive and sustainable manner. The meeting, which was held in a positive and constructive atmosphere, re-affirmed the determination of the Federal Government and the governors to continue working together for the common good of the coun-
try. To underscore the commitment reached at the meeting, it was also resolved that the FAAC meeting will reconvene immediately. However, close sources in the ministry told The Guardian that today’s FAAC meeting was still under probability, especially when a venue had not been known. The source assured that the meeting might hold tomorrow. The postponement of FAAC meetings has become a recurring decimal in the manner FAAC has been handled in recent times following disagreement over one form of sharing formula or another by contending parties.
The May 2013 FAAC meeting scheduled to hold on June 13, 2013 was aborted following a walkout on the Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Lawal Ngama, by commissioners for finance from the 36 states of the federation. Commissioners of Finance Forum Chair, Timothy Odaah of Ebonyi State, had said there would no longer be FAAC meetings “until all the conditions are met by the Federal Government.” The commissioners had gone back empty-handed. By implication, states that depend entirely on the monthly allocation from the FAAC meeting may not be able to meet basic obligations like
paying workers’ salaries and contractors. The reasons Odaah gave for their walkout included “the non-implementation of the decisions and resolutions taken in most FAAC meeting plenary sessions, especially the May 2013 resolutions which still remain inconclusive based on the fact that the arrears of February have not been paid.” He also complained about the failure of the committee to pay “augmentation of April allocation passed with a resolution and there is no CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Chairman, South-East Forum, Rev. Austin Nnorom (left); former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife and guest lecturer, Prof. Ben. Nwabueze, during a symposium in honour of former governor of old Imo State, the late Chief Sam Mbakwe, in Lagos … yesterday.
Tukur refuses to quit, Gana, Jibril tipped as new chair CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Labour Party’s Governor of Ondo State, Governor Olusegun Mimiko to urgently return to the path of social democracy which is the proclaimed ideology of the Labour Party (LP) and stop his current unacceptable open patronage of anti-democratic forces within the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).” Meanwhile, the duo of former Minister of Information, Jerry Gana and PDP Board of Trustees Secretary, Walid Jibril, were among those being speculated to have got the blessing of powerful blocs within the party to take over as acting national chairman by tomorrow if the Tukur leadership bows out as being speculated. Dozens of political appointees and personal aides to the NWC members as well as party staff were seen in clusters outside the secretariat building discussing in low tones as they waited in vain for their principals. Over 60 aides appointed to work with members of the NWC and other associate staff would lose their jobs should the party’s NEC insist on the ouster of the executive. Already, the fear has begun to take its toll as services have broken down in the secretariat. For the better part of yesterday, as in some other days recently, there was no electricity supply at the national headquarters of the party. A member of staff volunteered information on the condition of anonymity: “You will notice that there has been
outage at the secretariat for some days now. This is because the party is owing the PHCN several millions of naira. The diesel supplier who supplies N1.8 million diesel to power the generators monthly has not been paid a dime since January this year. That one has stopped supplying diesel insisting on settlement of the outstanding debt. It is really difficult here at the secretariat at the moment.” The Pius Anyim-led presidential committee set up by Jonathan to look into the crisis rocking the party was reported to have recommended that the Tukur-led NWC should resign as a solution to the crisis that greeted the emergence of Tukur as the chairman of the party. It was learnt that forces in favour of the ouster of the Tukur leadership of the party have continued to hinge their argument on the report of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which faulted the conduct of the March, 2012 convention that brought the current NWC into power. A member of the National Assembly who is equally a PDP NEC member said: “My friend, even if one is not a lawyer, these things have become so obvious. INEC is a body charged by law with the responsibility of monitoring party conventions. The body did that and it came up with a report against our convention that we used to put the current NWC members in office. If we continue to ignore it, a time will come that it will
cause serious damage to our party. Anybody can easily go to court to challenge primary elections that are conducted by this NWC and he will win. That will mean total disaster. So, as the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine. It is better we remove them and properly enthrone an NWC that would not cause a problem now.” A report of the INEC had earlier in its report on the conduct of the party’s national convention of March 2012 said that the election of the party officers was fraught with irregularities. Anyim’s report recommended that though Tukur and former National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and National Auditor, Bode Mustapha, were the only duly elected national officers, only Tukur is remaining office. Many stalwarts of the party consulted by the Anyim committee were said to have spoken in favour of total ouster of the NWC including Tukur. But Tukur was said to have told some party loyalists that it was unfair for the Anyim committee to recommend his resignation despite the fact that his own election was not faulted by the INEC report. The governors were said to have asked that Tukur should resign and then reapply to recontest the chairmanship position. Tukur was reported not to have bought the bait to resign and re-contest; instead he wanted only those indicted by INEC report to resign. While interacting with State
House Press Corps at Aso Rock, Tukur said the meeting with Jonathan was about regularising the family of PDP as a fallout of the observations of the INEC that some members of the NWC were not properly elected, which had to be regularised. According to him, “The meeting is about regularising the family of PDP because there was INEC observation, some of the members of the NWC were not properly elected so it has to be regularised. Those who have not been elected will resign and they will go back, they will have opportunity to regularise their elections. Commenting on his purported resignation, Tukur said : “It is not true that I am resigning. Resign for what? It is not true at all. We are here to run the PDP and we have done so and we will continue to run the PDP. It is not true chairman is there … The chairman is not only in office, he is in power. In PDP, there is no vacancy in the national chairmanship.” Tomorrow’s NEC meeting is expected to be stormy as the governors loyal to suspended Rivers State’s helmsman, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, were said to be preparing a vote of no confidence on the Tukur-led NWC. It also emerged that the Board of Trustees headed by Tony Anenih will meet at the Villa tonight (Wednesday) ahead tomorrow’s NEC to ratify the agenda for the meeting of tomorrow that would be attended by Jonathan.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
News Jonathan condoles with Tinubu over mother’s death RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has sent a message of condolence to the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji. In a letter dated June 16, Jonathan said: “I have received with great sadness, news of the passing on of your dear mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, at the grand age of 96. He said: “Alhaja Mogaji was at once a loving mother, an inspirational matriarch, an activist defender of the rights of women and the under-privileged, an accomplished business icon, a bridge-builder across all social divides, and philanthropist of pre-eminent stature. According to the President, her passing on is no doubt a great loss to you and other members of the family. You should, however, find some comfort in the fact that your dear mother has left behind a larger family that cuts across the length and breadth of our nation, who all share your grief with you at this time. “As our beloved IyalojaGeneral transits to greater glory, it is my prayer on behalf of my family, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that her soul finds eternal rest in the bosom of Almighty Allah,” Jonathan concluded.
Govt withdraws charges against Russian arms’ importers By Joseph Onyekwere
NLNG goes to court over levies’ dispute with NIMASA By Suleiman Salau IGERIA LNG Limited N (NLNG) yesterday filed a case in the Federal High Court, Lagos, against the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), seeking judicial clarity and interpretation on the legality or otherwise of the various levies imposed on NLNG by NIMASA, while complying, under protest, with the government’s directive to pay the said levies. A statement by its General Manager, External Relations,
Kudo Eresia-Eke, said the protracted dispute between both parties arose as a result of perceived conflict in the enabling Acts of both organisations, namely the Nigeria LNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act on one hand and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, Merchant Shipping Act and Coastal and Inland Shipping Act on the other hand. NIMASA contended that its levies were applicable to NLNG, while the latter argued that they were exempted from such
levies and charges by virtue of the NLNG Act. NIMASA had filed a suit against NLNG in 2010 claiming entitlement to these levies. After preliminary proceedings were taken and concluded and the matter was ready for hearing, NIMASA filed an application to withdraw the suit, and on May 3, 2013, resorted to selfhelp by blocking the Bonny Channel for two days, thereby preventing ingress and egress of NLNG chartered vessels with attendant financial losses and reputational damage to NLNG and Nigeria in general.
The statement said: “Following this blockade incident, a series of meetings were subsequently directed by the Federal Government in the past few weeks resulting in the instruction to NLNG to pay the NIMASA levies. “NLNG has thus commenced installment payment, under protest, to NIMASA in compliance to the government’s directive, but without prejudice to its right to seek judicial interpretation in the court of law. Eresia-Eke said: “It is instructive to note that Nigeria LNG
Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala (left); as well as Governors Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State and Emmanuel Uduagha (Delta State) at a briefing for newsmen on the Federation Account meeting in Abuja …yesterday.
HE Federal Government yesT terday withdrew all the charges it levelled against nine
South-West PDP backs Jonathan for second term
Russians accused of illegal arms’ importation into the country before a Federal High Court in Lagos. Fifteen people were initially arrested and arraigned together with their vessel, but the charges against nine of them have been withdrawn. Those discharged are Zhelyazkov Andrey, Savchenko Sergel, Varlygin Igor, Lopatin Alexey and Baranovskly Nikolay, Llia Shubov, Dimitry Bannyrh, Alexander Tsarikov and Kononov Sergel. With this development, those who will face prosecution are Chichkanov Vasily, Komilov Alexander, Mishin Pavel, Korotchenko Andrey, Vorobev Mikhail, and Stepan Oleksiuk. When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, the prosecutor, Mrs. J. I. Igurnumbe, informed the court about the development but could not give reasons why the names were withdrawn from the charge. She, however, told the court that the vessel MV Myre Seadiver, used by the Russians, be withdrawn from the charge and replaced by its owner ‘Moral Security Group Limited’, as the vessel will be used as an exhibit in the matter. Counsel to the accused, Chukwunwike Okafor, opposed the prosecution’s application on replacing the vessel with its owners in the charge.
From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Seye Olumide (Lagos) and Eric Meya (Sokoto) HE South-West zone of the T Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan to run for second term in 2015. A motion by a member of the party from Ogun State, Tola Odulaja, which was sequel to an appeal earlier made by Chairman; Caretaker Committee of the party, Ishola Filani, to endorse President
Jonathan for 2015, was unanimously adopted. The endorsement came up during the PDP South-West Stakeholders’ Forum in Lagos. Giving reason for the decision, Filani said the forum believed that Jonathan has performed creditably well in office and by so doing, deserved the support of the entire PDP and Nigerians to run for second term. According to him, “Despite the challenges we face as a nation, the Federal Government is responding
swiftly and appropriately to them. President Goodluck Jonathan is on a sure but steady footing in laying the foundation for a better Nigeria. Let us do away with lack of continuity, consistency and commitment of the past and rally round the current administration in its efforts to reposition the country.” Urging the PDP South-West to key into the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President, Filani said: “Come with us, and together, let us key into the
Transformation Agenda of Mr. President in the areas of infrastructural and human development, job creation, governance, improved healthcare transportation, among others. “As we deliberate here today, let the word go out from here and now that, like an iron through the blacksmith’s fire, the PDP is undergoing a process of refinement and will engage polished and better for the challenges ahead.” The forum also appointed as its grand-patron, former presi-
and its shareholders still firmly believe in the rectitude of their earlier position that NLNG is duly protected by the provisions of the NLNG Act against the payment to NIMASA of the Sea Protection Levy, the three per cent freight levies on cargo exports shipped by NLNG, and that the two per cent Cabotage Levy on LNG carriers is inapplicable because NLNG’s LNG vessels are not involved in coastal trade or cabotage.” “NLNG is a Nigerian company involved in, almost exclusively, international export business and is thus subject to all relevant national and international laws, standards and ethos with which it must comply. This, among others, requires that all its dealings are governed and premised on the universal principles of the rule of law to which the Federal Government also affirms its commitment,” according to Eresia-Eke. “The company has often clarified that the issues it has with payment of any levy, charge or impost have little to do with the amounts involved, but more with the principle of the rule of law; so that it can safeguard its international business, which rests squarely on its reputation as a law-abiding company, as well as Nigeria’s reputation in the global community,” the statement said. Nigeria LNG is owned by four shareholders, namely: the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49 per cent), Shell Gas BV, SGBV, (25.6 per cent), Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15 per cent), and Eni International (N.A,) N. V. S. a. r. l (10.4 per cent).
dent, Olusegun Obasanjo and 10 patrons, who include erstwhile Minister of Transport, Ebenezer Babatope; erstwhile Deputy National Chairman of the party in the zone, Alhaji Shuiabu Oyedokun; Senator Bode Olowoporoku, among others. In his address, Filani said their position was a follow-up to the meeting held with President Jonathan on June 6 in Abuja where internal crisis was identified as a major setback affecting the party within the zone.
Admissions panel overrules minister, JAMB on cut-off marks From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja N a move that could check the downward curve in yearly enrolments into polytechnics and colleges of education, participants at the 2013 combined policy meeting on admissions yesterday adopted 150 points as cut-off mark for polytechnics, colleges of education and technical and vocational institutions. The participants disagreed with the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) over this year’s cut-off marks
Agrees 150 points for polytechnics, colleges of education for admissions into tertiary institutions, which JAMB proposed as 180/160 for universities/others respectively. The meeting, which held at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, had vice-chancellors, rectors, provosts as well as admissions officers of the respective tertiary institutions in attendance. It aimed to, among other things, adopt the yearly cutoff marks for admissions and work out other admission criteria. However, trouble started when the minister announced 180 points as cut-
off for universities and 160 for polytechnics, colleges of education and other vocational training institutions, as recommended by JAMB. The marks have been in use in Nigeria since the past three years. When Rufa’i announced the same cut-off marks during the meeting yesterday, the participants bluntly disagreed with the 160 for polytechnics and other institutions. And when she called for opinions on the matter, the participants could only adopt 180 points for universities, but differed widely on the mark for other institu-
tions. Alluding to the earlier presentation by JAMB Registrar, Prof. Adedibu Ojerinde, which showed downward enrolment into polytechnics and colleges of education compared to universities, they argued that the only way candidates could be encouraged to enroll in those strata of education was for some form of incentive to attract them. On her part, the minister argued that the 160 cut-off point was enough incentive to guarantee access and encourage quality, given the limited space for the surplus
number of candidates applying to universities. She maintained that it was important for quality and access to go hand in hand to arrest the falling standards of education. However, contrasting arguments were to the effect that the poor level of application to polytechnics and colleges of education, compared to universities, would necessitate 130 or 140 points to encourage enrollment. Nevertheless, the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, suggested 150 – midway between both divides – and it was unanimously applauded and subsequently adopted.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Jonathan writes Obama over terrorism
Presidency, govs vow to check oil theft CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 clue as to why.” Odaah lamented that “every month, returns from the states’ accountants-general appear to be shabbier than the previous ones.” He said that states “have taken a lot of disappointment from the administration of FAAC which by intents and purposes has become a template of ineptitude.” The states and local councils, he added, “have been bearing with the situation. Workers and contractors have to be paid, the various programmes of the state governments and local councils that are embodied in their various manifestos to carry the federation of Nigeria along with other obligations have to be met.” The commissioners of finance said they had decided to take the matter up with the President “so that he and the state governments have to meet on these decisions that we have been hiding for them to put heads together with every other well- meaning persons in the federation so that this problem will be resolved once and for all.” Odaah noted that no member of the forum was absent from the media briefing, an indication that “this is a unanimous decision and resolution by all the commissioners of finance.” There were indications that trouble was brewing after the technical session when commissioners, while waiting for the arrival of the Minister of State for Finance, told Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Jonah Otunla, that they would not accept any delay of the plenary session. The meeting endorsed the decisions of the state accountants-general at the technical session which also ratified the amount to be shared for the month. Shortly thereafter, Ngama came in for the plenary and
about 50 minutes later, the commissioners of finance started trooping out of the auditorium of the Ministry of Finance, venue of the planned FAAC meeting and headed for Sheraton Hotel to address the media. The Federal Government was constrained to pay the arrears because it had initially released $1 billion to the states on request. The Federal Government argued that since the $1 billion was drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and financing the February arrears will also be drawn from the same ECA, paying the February arrears would drastically dwindle the reserves in the ECA. However, the Federal Government has agreed to offset the February arrears in installments through augmentation to allow the ECA recover from the $1 billion withdrawn from the account. The February arrears are almost $1 billion, the amount advanced to the states from the ECA as a privilege extend-
By Tunde Akinola RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan has assured Nigerians and the international
Dowen College orchestral during a valedictory service and graduation ceremony of the college in Lagos… recently. PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
Stock marketers laud Dangote’s leadership CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 tion of investors’ confidence occasioned by market capitalisation growth by 77 per cent, could only have been engendered by his business acumen, good leadership qualities and international contacts. Exactly one year after, the market capitalisation of the
How irrigation aids food security, others, by minister From Joke Falaju and Itunu Ajayi (Abuja) ITH the realisation that W Nigeria cannot afford to depend on rain-fed agriculture considering the rate of its population growth and urbanisation, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has continued to rely on irrigation as a critical tool to the nation’s food production, industrial raw material, employment generation and poverty alleviation. This was disclosed by the Water Resources Minister, Sarah Reng Ochekpe, in Abuja on Monday during the on-going ministerial platform. She added that the ministry was able to, with its newly-devel-
oped irrigation and drainage projects, produce 75,802 metric tonnes of rice, 51,631 metric tonnes of maize, 50,695 metric tonnes of sorghum and 177,050 metric tonnes of assorted vegetables annually. Mrs. Ochekpe added that substantial achievements were recorded in the development of irrigation infrastructure, land reclamation and drainage nationwide. These, she said, include increase in the size of irrigated land by over 31,000 hectares, commencement of land drainage/reclamation projects with a cumulative deliverable hectares of about 420 hectares nationwide and job creation for about 75,000 farming families.
NSE has soared by N5.202 trillion, while the NSE All-Share Index rose by 76 per cent. Specifically, the market capitalisation rose from N6.712 trillion to N11.914 trillion by the close of trading last Monday. In the same vein, the ASI grew from 21,028.39 to close at 37,085.11 A leading stockbroker and Chief Executive Officer of Investment Centre Limited, Mr. Ifeanyi Odunwa, said the market has done exceedingly well in terms of restoration of investors’ confidence, quantum positive leap in market indices and return of local investors back to the market in the past one year under. His words: “The market that defied various corrective policies put in place since the meltdown years back suddenly started responding positively on a sustained basis since his return as the NSE President. Dangote personifies investment, hard-work, integrity, resilience, humility, the Nigerian can-do spirit, goodwill, transparency, trust and confidence which are necessary ingredients that positively drive a stock market. “It is not a surprise that his experience, charisma and global contacts were brought to bear on the market coupled with the professionalism and hardwork of the NSE management led by Oscar Onyema that ensured the implementation of world-class policies and best practices which finally turned the market around.” The Chief Executive Officer of Lambert Trust and Investment Company Limited, Mr. David Adonri, said the NSE has undergone transformation from a mono-product capital market to that of multiple products offering.
“Dangote has successfully restored a firm order to affairs of the NSE within the past one year. The boardroom crisis that he inherited from the previous Council has become a thing of the past. The NSE is once more poised to take its rightful position in the process of capital formation for the Nigerian economy,” Adonri said. Analysts and operators said Dangote’s leadership has brought about harmony in the Council and good atmosphere for the management of the Exchange to implement strategies which have taken the market to the new levels. On assumption of duty last year, Dangote had promised to support the NSE’s management and work with all Council members to ensure restoration of investors’ confidence. He had pledged that during his tenure as NSE president, he would be guided by five key themes, which he listed as: transparency and improved governance of the market; improving the liquidity, turn-over and size of the market; enhancing market efficiency by ensuring clearer and updated rules, processes and procedures; provision of world-class infrastructure and technology for our market and massive capacitybuilding and rapid skill enhancement of members of staff of the stock exchange and investors’ education. Analysts declared that the NSE has improved disclosure and governance level in the market, introduced market making, retail bond trading and raised the level of investors’ education with the support of the Council under Dangote’s leadership.
community of the protection of human rights and safety of innocent citizens as his administration deploys the military against terrorists in the country. Jonathan in a letter to President of United States (U.S.), Barack Obama, said: “Nigeria is unwaveringly committed to successfully prosecuting the fight against the scourge of terrorism in all its ramifications in our country.” According to him, in combating terrorism, the country’s law enforcement agents have been strictly instructed to adhere to “clearly defined” rules of engagement. “They are not to engage in acts that may have the effect of compromising the human rights and safety of innocent citizens in the areas of operation,” he said. He expressed appreciation to the U.S. government for its “evident” solidarity and support in Nigeria’s “committed” fight against terrorism as depicted by the heinous atrocities being committed by the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist group, Ahlul Sunna li daawa wal Jihad (Boko Haram) in the north eastern part of the country. Jonathan re-affirmed that Nigeria is on the same page with the U.S. in “the belief that an act of terrorism against any nation or group is an attack against our common humanity and it must be resolutely resisted by all legitimate means. I fully acknowledge your committed steadfast support for us and other nations which have come under terrorist attack over the years.
Ex-Deputy Senate President Legogie dies at 65 From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu,Benin City HIRD Republic Deputy SenT ate President, Albert Legogie, is dead. He reportedly died Monday evening after a brief illness at a private hospital in Benin City at the age of 65. His first son, Victor Legogie, said: “He suffered malaria and was taken to the hospital. He recovered and was brought home in fact he was doing well. “But later he took ill again and we rushed him back to the hospital; unfortunately he died at the hospital. As you know my dad was a man of many parts, so we have to inform the National Assembly and the state government before we will be able to fix a date for his burial. We are consulting with a lot of people, we never expected this; it is shocking to us”, he said. Asked why his late father stayed away from politics before his death, he said: “Not as if he has not been playing politics, it is just that he had been at the background mentoring people. My Dad mentored a lot of politicians. He believed that the younger ones should be given opportunity to take over power. That was his philosophy and that was why he decided to be at the background.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
ORCHESTRATED/UNWARRANTED ATTACKS ON THE PERSON OF ELDER GODSDAY ORUBEBE
May we the undersigned Civil Society Organizations, from the Global Centre for Conscious Living Against Corruption, Independent Democratic Watchdog of Nigeria, Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, and the National Youths Movement for Progressive Change start by saluting and commending the courageous steps of the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in his efforts to eradicate corruption in Nigeria since his appointment as the helmsman of the EFCC. We urge you and the entire members of your commission not to rest on your oars, as the war on corruption has just begun. Mr. Chairman Sir, it has come to our notice the alarming rate of indiscriminate and libellous attacks aimed at damaging the integrity of the person of Elder Godsday Peter Orubebe.The coalition of Civil Societies afore mentioned embarked on an independent verification and fact-finding exercise, hereby clearly state our findings as follows: 1. That with reference to the accusation of 3 non-existing projects in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State we found that all projects truly exist and are on-going.
2. That after a series of inspection tours of the 9 skill acquisition centres in the Niger Delta States, the contractor handling the project in Edo State was found to be grossly underperforming inspite of previous appeals to comply with the specified contract terms.This compelled the Ministry to recommend the termination of the contract to the BPP. In other words, it was the BPP that effected the termination of the contract at the Edo State Skill Acquisition Centre in line with laid down procedure. Therefore Elder Orubebe did not revoke the said contract as alleged. 3. That records at AEGIS clearly show that Elder Orubebe does not own the Mabushi residence at Ministers Hill as well as other “JUICY” parcels of land in the developed area of the FCT as alleged.
It is pertinent to note that anti corruption Civil Society Organizations reserve the right to investigate public office holders in a democracy such as ours, however, the abuse of the fundamental human rights of other citizens must be checked if the well deserved respect and public confidence accorded CSOs will be retained.
Again, it is worthy of note that Elder Godsday Orubebe on assumption of office as the Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, inherited the construction of the East-West road which was barely at six percent completion stage and did not have detailed Technical Designs and drawings.The ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had to do the required design and drawings,at the end of which it was found that the road required numerous bridges and culverts because of the peculiar terrain of the region.Elder Orubebe has promised that the East West Road will be completed and commissioned by December, 2014.This is indeed a very welcome development because of the importance of this road to the socio-economic life of the Niger Delta in particular and Nigeria in general. On youths empowerment, Elder Orubebe has intensified work in the nine (9) skill acquisition centres in the Niger Delta States and 4 of these will be delivered before the end of 2013.
Also, the Okosso Bridge has been a focal point and source of worry for several years to the people of the region because of its peculiarities. It is the same Elder Orubebe who flagged-off the new Okosso Bridge last month promising to deliver it in July, 2013. In other to alleviate poverty and the suffering of the people in the Niger Delta region, Elder Orubebe has also initiated housing scheme projects in each of the 9 Niger Delta States. It is worthy of note that most of these Housing projects are near completion.and are the stage. With adequate funding by government, these projects will be handed over to the less privileged in 2014. The level of environmental degradation in the region is unprecedented. This Elder Orubebe has grappled with the challenges of Land Reclamation, Shoreline Protection, Canalisation and River Training projects,all of which are on-going in the region. Elder Orubebe has tirelessly worked and succeeded in sourcing funds from outside the budgetary allocation.This process has ensured the completion of the East West Road by December, 2014, just to mention a few.
But the inordinate ambition of those who play the god-father in Delta State politics and believe that they have built a dynasty of colossus therefore have the monopoly of power to hand –pick and anoint stooges to occupy the seat of Delta State Governor come 2015 should please let Elder Orubebe be. These political Lilliputs have held the State in cyclical poverty. Little wonder the State has remained a toddler for decades of creation while States like Akwa Ibom have become far advanced in development.It took one man to realize the dream of today's Akwa Ibom, These deceits and reckless impunity of subjecting the State to cruelty must end. They should know that power belongs to God. Deltans know who works for them and who have them at heart. We ask these self acclaimed elders to please let Elder Orubebe concentrate on his quality service delivery in line with Mr. President’s transformation agenda such as the commissioning of the East- West road come December, 2014. LONG LIVE DELTA STATE, LONG LIVE A UNITED NIGERIAN NATION. SIGNED:
1. Dr. Nwambu Gabriel. D.G.,Global Centre For Conscious Living Against Corruption. 2. Engr. Esege Emmanuel. National Youths Movement for Progressive Change. 3. Ugochukwu Okafor Independent Democratic Watchdog of Nigeria.
4. Efe Pepple Clark Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
6 | NEWS
Anti-Amaechi lawmakers seek to join in impeachment suit From Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt IVE members of the Rivers FhaveState House of Assembly filed a motion at a Port Harcourt High Court seeking to be heard independently in a suit filed by Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, to restrain the state legislature from impeaching him unconstitutionally. Governor Amaechi who was recently suspended by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for purported antiparty activities, had approached the court following concerns that there was a plot to use five lawmakers who are loyal to a serving minister of Rivers State extraction to impeach him. The five lawmakers: Evans Bipi (Ogu/Bolo Constituency), Victor Ihunwo (PHALGA Constituency III), Martins Amaewhule (Obio/Akpor Constituency I), Michael Chinda (Obio/Akpor Constituency II) and Kelechi Nwogu (Omuma Constituency) had through their counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) to the High Court presided over by Justice George Omereji, said that they wanted to be heard independently from other 27 lawmakers said to be proGovernor Amaechi. Ukala told the court that his clients want to be represented separately because they don’t share the same interest with the rest of their colleagues who are pursuing a different agenda. Governor Amaechi through
his lawyer, Mr. B.I. Nwofor, had insisted that it was his legal right to complete his tenure as duly elected Governor of Rivers State by 2015. According to him, his tenure has been seriously threatened by the state legislature and had prayed the court to restrain the lawmakers from using il-
legal or unconstitutional method to remove him from office. Amaechi had notified the court that there was a plan to use five or fewer than that number of lawmakers to impeach him from office in contravention of the constitutional provision
which stipulates that an impeachment will only be valid if two-thirds of the 32 lawmakers in the state endorse it. The governor is seeking the court to grant a perpetual injunction restraining the lawmakers led by the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan Amaechree,
from impeaching him except as prescribed by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The trial judge, Justice Omereji, after listening to parties in the matter, adjourned the case till July 2, 2013 for ruling on the mo-
Kaduna Assembly faults executive on SURE-P From Bashir Bello, Kaduna HERE is likely to be a crisis T between the Kaduna State House of Assembly and the State Executive Council over the composition and the implementation of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) in the state. The House while receiving report of its ad-hoc committee on investigation into the implementation of SURE-P programmes, projects and activities in the state yesterday expressed dismay that government’s officials dominate the composition of the implementation committee. The chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Kantiok Irimiya Ishaku said that the actual receipts by the Kaduna State Government of its share of revenue from subsidy reduction for 2012 stand at N2,243,188,906.24 at a monthly rate of N280,398,613.28 from May to December, 2012. “No receipts for the months of January - March, 2012 and
no mention was made with regards to the month of April, 2012. However, a lump sum of N560 million was said to have been received with no further details,” the report stated. In view of the above, the State House of Assembly accepted the recommendation by the ad-hoc committee that the implementation committee be composed of technocrats and people of proven in-
tegrity selected from the three senatorial zones of the state of not more than 11 members. The House also recommended that a dedicated account be opened in any commercial bank where the SURE-P funds will be lodged. And the implementation of all SURE-P programmes, projects, activities and all expenditures related thereto be subject to approval of the State Executive Council.
The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Muazu Usman Gangara said the House views the conduct of the former Commissioner of Finance, John Ayuba as a disregard to the House for failing to provide necessary information requested on the SURE-P programme. In view of this, the House passed a vote of no confidence on him and requested his successor to immediately furnish the House with the said documents.
How to check brain drain, by Osundare From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti LITERARY icon and poet, A Prof. Niyi Osundare has said that quality academic programme of international standard and government sincere commitment to education will change the menace of brain drain in the country to brain gain. He, however, described the Ikogosi Graduate Summer
School (IGSS), in Ekiti State as a potent weapon that can tackle the menace of losing some of the best brains in the Nigeria universities. Osundare, who delivered a keynote address at Ikogosi Warm Springs Resorts in Ekiti State at the opening of IGSS on Monday, said the invitation extended to foreign based Nigerians and local scholars to teach at IGSS, would definitely point out that the country was gradually toeing the path of intellectual leadership. With programme like the Ikogosi Graduate Summer School, Osundare expressed optimism that Ekiti’s image was being boosted and redeemed from a state afflicted by violence, politically-motivated killings, electoral fraud, poor leadership, moral debasement and other vices. The University of Orleans Professor of Literature, expressed confidence that the programme, which was first of its kind in Africa, would bring about the much needed restoration Ekiti needed in the education sector, if supported in the right way. Osundare, who described the Governor Kayode Fayemi’s initiative as a potent weapon for Ekiti to keep its Heritage in education, appealed to the state government to provide necessary socio-political supports for its sustainability and prevent it from being hijacked by desperate politicians. Osundare charged the governments to invest heavily in the education sector, saying
no country can “ever develop more than its mental capacity.” He said, “Ekiti is gradually being returned to the path of glory and high academic attainment which they were noted for. IGSS is a very noble initiative. One thing makes it significant, foreign based Nigerian scholars were invited to teach. Very soon, our brain-drain will become brain-gain”. He added that the programme would help in exposing Ekiti graduates and future scholars, to the culture of research and scholarship. Fayemi in his speech, said he particularly initiated the programme as part of the ways of keeping with the heritage of our people as trailblazers in educational advancement. The governor said the IGSS came into being after several months of careful planning and implementation, having being mooted by Dr. Wale Adebanwi and Dr. Ebenezer Obadare, both of whom he said belong to a cadre of restless activist academics always seeking out ways to reform the system. He said: “These are our dreams for IGSS. It would be a pillar of support for the university system, providing flexible services where identities or other traditions stand in the way. It would also promote what can be called learning without boundaries, a new culture of inquiry in which endless interrogation is an article of faith and multidisciplinary is the rule rather than the exception.”
Dabiri-Erewa condemns murder of two Nigerians in U.S. From Adamu Abuh, Abuja HE Chairman of the House T Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has condemned the gruesome murder of two Nigerian cab drivers in Washington DC and New York, United States. In less than two weeks after a Nigerian cab driver, Solomon James Okoro, was shot dead in Washington DC by armed robbers, another one was killed in Brooklyn, New York. It was reported that 54 yearold Orji Ama Uro from Ekoli Edda, Ebonyi State, was brutally stabbed in the eye with an umbrella after dropping off two people, a man and a woman, in Brooklyn about 5p.m. on Thursday, June 13. In a statement, she said “the death of these two Nigerians who are out to earn their daily bread is really heart rendering, worrisome and pathetic . It is barbaric, inhuman and condemnable in all ramifications.” She further extended her condolence to the families of Messrs. Solomon James Okoro and Orji-Ama Uro. “Our concern after the death is the survival of the children. We extend our condolences to friends and families who have been thrown into mourning.” She further urged the American security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of these senseless killings and to look deep into the situation as it has now become a usual occurrence.
Navy arrests one for bunkering From Anietie Akpan, Calabar HE Nigerian Navy in CalT abar has arrested a suspected oil thief and impounded a large wooden canoe containing 150 drums of petroleum products. The arrest was effected yesterday by men of the Navy on a routine patrol of the country’s territorial waters. Briefing reporters in Calabar yesterday, Commander of NNS Victory, Commodore James Oluwole, said at about 2 a.m. yesterday his men on patrol ran into the boat with the suspected oil thieves around the NNPC jetty in Calabar. He said, “what happened this morning around 2 a.m. during one of our patrols around the NNPC jetty, we were able to arrest a dug in canoe with about 150, 200-litre drums of what we suspect to be stolen refined products from NNPC pipeline here in Calabar. One of the men was arrested while the others jumped overboard when they sighted our patrol.”
Customs seizes 1,500 cartons of poultry products N a major crackdown, the IZone Federal Operations Unit, A of the Nigeria Customs Service, Lagos has seized about 1,521 cartons of poultry products valued at over five million Naira. The products were concealed in a fuel tanker to give the impression that they were petroleum products. Conducting members of the Poultry Farmers Association,
cold room operators, processors, and the media round the seized items at the weekend, the Comptroller, Nuhu lsa Mahmud, noted that the significant thing about the seizure was the mode of concealment which he described as unimaginable. He praised Customs management for its giant strides in staff motivation, remuneration, training and re-train-
ing as well as provision of enabling environment which triggered the zeal in officers for excellence. He further solicited the support of the members of Poultry Farmers Association in the campaign for zero tolerance for importation of frozen poultry products through information sharing for the attainment of the desired result.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Jonathan seeks global support against terrorism From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja HE need for the internaT tional community to assist Nigeria in fighting terrorism formed the crust of President Goodluck Jonathan’s speech in Abuja yesterday as he restated his call for greater global co-operation and coordination against the ugly trend. Speaking at separate audi-
ence with the new ambassadors of Israel, Russia, Greece and Algeria, who presented their letters of credence to him at the Presidential Villa, Jonathan said that Nigeria and other countries stood to benefit immensely from greater collaboration among their security agencies on efforts to combat domestic and international terrorism. The President told the incoming ambassadors that
Nigeria would welcome increased cooperation from countries that are more experienced in such matters for its on-going operations against domestic terrorist groups. President Jonathan told the new Israeli Ambassador, Mr. Uriel Palti; Mr. Alekos Oikonomopoulos, Mr. Nikolay Udovichenko, Mr. Belkacem Smaili and Mr. Amadou Habibou, the new ambassa-
dors of Greece, Russia, Algeria and Senegal, that Nigeria would continue to strengthen its diplomatic ties with their respective countries, urging them to reciprocate the gesture. He told the new Israeli envoy that he looked forward to visiting Israel later this year to discuss ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Ne-
tanyahu. He also assured the envoys that the Federal Government would fully support their efforts to strengthen existing cordial relations between Nigeria and their countries. The new envoys expressed their delight at being posted to Nigeria and promised to do everything possible to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties between their countries and Nigeria.
Enugu residents alert on crimes From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu ESIDENTS of New Haven, R Enugu, have raised alarm over increasing spate of armed robbery and car snatching in the area. They said that the criminals have resorted to terrorising residents on daily basis since the on-going work on the EnuguAbakaliki Highway as motorists make detour through streets in the New Haven area. In a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Enugu, the residents said it was almost a routine for persons to be dispossessed of their belongings in the area by gun-carrying young men. The petition, signed by Ikenna Orji, said the worst hit is the Ituku Street/ New Haven pass to Abakpa junction or Thinkers Corner junction, which was no longer safe beginning from 7.30 p.m. He narrated how a four-man gang had severally robbed persons of the area and dispossessed them of cars and other personal belongings, adding that it was no longer safe plying the area from 7.00 p.m.
HE human rights community in Edo State has called for the accordance of presidential recognition to the late Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and to investigate the murder of 22 year- old Ibrahim Momodu by the police in Benin –City . The group however took swipe on the media for shutting out its activities to mark the 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by late business mogul, MKO Abiola saying that various groups in the State have always marked the
OVERNOR Chibuike Rotimi G Amaechi will today hand over appointment letters to newly employed 13, 000 teachers who successfully passed the recruitment exercise in Rivers State. Amaechi, represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence Nemi, disclosed this when she received a United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizational (UNESCO) delegation, stating that by September this year, about 250 model primary schools would be functional. Earlier, UNESCO’s Professor Hassana Alidou, shortly after an assessment tour of some model schools built by Amaechi’s administration, said: “I think Governor Amaechi has made huge investment in the education sector and human capital development programmes, the children are neatly dressed, and with free food, the children will be encouraged. It is a comprehensive approach to the educational system.”
Lawyers urged to join arbitration group HE Lagos State Court of ArT bitration (LCA) has urged legal practitioners in the state
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (left), Pastor Tunde Bakare and former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, during the Special Fidau Prayer for Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji in Lagos...yesterday
Rights groups seek justice over Abiola, slain student From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
13,000 teachers get appointment letters in Rivers
event since right 1994 . In a public lecture to mark June 12, National President, Coalition to Save Nigeria (CSN), Philip Ugbodaga said “It is not too late to accord presidential recognition to Chief MKO Abiola as a duly and democratically elected president of Nigeria with all paraphernalia of a former president and his photograph conspicuously placed at the council chambers in Aso Rock.” Ugbodaga said the June 12 election brought out the best in Nigeria as an indivisible country but lamented that since then, “We have been un-
able to get it right electorally. Nigerians have since retreated to their ethnic shells and allowed religion bigotry to becloud their sense of electoral Besides, the groups also urged the Edo State Government not to relent on its plan to set up a panel of inquiry to investigate the killing of 22 year- old Ibrahim Momodu by the police . They also charged the authorities of University of Benin, where the late Momodu was a student, to retract what it described as “ irresponsible allegation of forgery “ levelled against him or face legal action for the emotional distress
the university authority’s denial that he was not their students has had on the family of the deceased. President of the Congress of Non Governmental Organisations (CONGOS) Jude Obasanmi said it has become imperative for the government to investigate Momodu’s murder as the police have been compromised in their investigation revealing that “against the backdrop that the police claimed that they shot late Ibrahim on the legs, whereas, autopsy report released has proven that he was shot thrice from the back”.
The civil society groups in a statement issued and signed by representatives of over 17 groups and organisations including the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) demanded that “ Edo State government must not go back on her decision of setting up a panel of enquiry to look into the killing of Momodu” adding that “a representative of the civil society organizations should be present in the panel” as well as insisted that the “ the Nigerian police should follow due process by retrieving the case file sent to the DPP.”
to take advantage of the promotional membership rate and join the LCA membership programme, which has been developed to focus interest on knowledge and educate individuals interested in commercial arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The call was made by Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Megha Joshi, during the second edition of Judges’ Training in Lagos. Speaking on the decision to enhance the use of arbitration courts in Nigeria, President of the LCA, Mr. Babajide Ogundipe, stated that there is a need to promote arbitration in Nigeria given the current situation in the courts and the number of years it takes to resolve cases in the Nigerian courts. According to Ogundipe, the LCA is committed to supporting and promoting alternative dispute resolution in Nigeria through the use of the Lagos Court of Arbitration by aggrieved parties.
Panic over performance evaluation for judges From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja HERE were strong indicaT tions that the decision to terminate the appointments of any judge found to have underperformed by the Performance Evaluation Committee may be causing panic among judges across the country, compelling them to rush through some cases to the detriment of substantial justice. While receiving ‘Nigeria’s Judicial Performance Evaluation 2008 – 2011’ compiled in seven volumes by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) on May 20, 2013, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar, said it was unacceptable and saddening to discover that
some judges cannot deliver up to two judgments in a quarter. She said: “The National Judicial Council (NJC) will henceforth use its performance evaluation reports to weed out incompetent and indolent judges from the Bench. This is because it is highly absurd to observe that some judges cannot even deliver up to two judgments in a quarter. We are now thinking of looking at the performance evaluation of the judges for the purpose of discipline. If a judge cannot deliver three to four judgments in a year, there is no use keeping him on the Bench. He or she will be shown the way out.” Historically, only judges who have compromised themselves by taking bribes or any
other form of inducement in the course of duty have been sacked by the NJC, which has the Chief Justice as its chairman. Being a no-nonsense jurist, who would stop at nothing to keep her words, the policy statement by the CJN has sent a lot of panic into her “learned brothers” as judges are now beginning to take their jobs more seriously and the timing of sitting has largely improved in courts within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). A daily visit, in the last two weeks, to courts randomly within the FCT showed that most of the judges who had issues with punctuality now begin sitting at exactly 9am. Hitherto, the CJN’s decisions
to sack “indolent” judges by relying on their Performance Evaluation Report (PER) as such judges were not known to sit before 11 am and for only two days in a week. A senior legal practitioner, who spoke with The Guardian on condition of anonymity, said: “In the past three weeks, I have been amazed at the seeming transformation in the attitude of these judicial officers as regards punctuality. To my surprise, those judges who never sat until midday now sit at 9 a.m. I was wondering why they changed so drastically and rapidly until I was told by some of my colleagues and court workers that the CJN’s threat to use the Performance Evaluation Report
to decide their fate was responsible.” He commended Justice Aloma-Mukhtar for her courage to do what other chief justices before her never dared to do. “Here’s a woman of valour, a woman who knows her substance. Performance evaluation of judges is not new. But in the history of the judiciary, she would be the first Chief Justice to rely on it to issue marching orders against judges”, he noted. A female lawyer and an activist at the Bar said: “It was a relief for me to know that the person of the CJN realises that although so much more needs to be done to rid the Bench of
corrupt judges, it was also important to remove any and every lazy, indolent and unserious judge from the Bench. A lazy judge, who will not sit at the exact time is just as bad as a corrupt one because both are in breach of the Code of Conduct.” “My personal experience has shown that judges are now awake to sit in good time. They are a lot more serious now than they were a few months back. It means that once we have proper leadership in any sector of our national life, that sector will wake up. I have faith in Justice Aloma-Mukhtar to restore the pride of the judiciary and that she would do as records have shown her to be a talk-and-do person. She will deliver”, she said.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
WorldReport U.S. project in Africa marks birth of one millionth HIV-free baby NITED States (U.S.) Global fying the mother, but getting UAIDS Coordinator, Eric her on a drugs programme Goosby, has revealed that and keeping her in treatment somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa this month, the one millionth baby will be born without Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) to a mother who suffers from the disease. This threshold, according to Goosby, is due largely in part to a decade-old aid programme – U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known by its acronym PEPFAR. With this record, agency report yesterday indicated that it is yet another remarkable step in the long fight against HIV and AIDS, as the United States and its global partners work towards what they call an AIDS-free generation, which just a decade ago would have been unimaginable. Mother-to-baby transmission has long been a source of concern among governments and organisations working to control the spread of HIV. But more effective anti-retroviral drugs and regimens are now dramatically cutting the chances of an infected mother passing on the disease to her baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The millionth baby born HIVfree was yesterday trumpeted as part of celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the PEPFAR. The biggest fall in transmission rates from mom to infant came since 2009, Goosby told Agence France Presse (AFP). The programme was working to “virtually eliminate pediatric HIV by 2015 and keep their mothers alive,” he said, with aim of reducing the number of babies born with the infection to around 30,000 annually. This is “a significant flag for PEPFAR” which works in 36 countries in partnership with UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO), he added, pointing to all the difficulties in reaching women in rural, poor and remote areas of the world. This involves not just identi-
through that pregnancy and any later pregnancies – not always an easy task in rural Africa. Once the chances of a mother infecting her baby stood at around 30 per cent, but now with the launch of a cocktail of three anti-retroviral drugs that has dropped to only about two per cent, Goosby said. In the absence of a medical breakthrough leading to a cure, experts are working towards a so-called “tipping point” when fewer people contract HIV every year than the number of people going onto treatments. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, hosting Tuesday’s ceremony, was also to announce that some 13 countries, from Botswana to Zimbabwe, were close to that all important “tipping point.” In Ethiopia and Malawi, the ratio of new HIV infections to the increase of patients on treatment is just 0.3. The figures are startling. Ethiopia – which with a population of 84.7 million – for instance registered only 11,000 new cases of HIV in adults in 2011. Launched under former president George W. Bush, PEPFAR was an initial commitment of some $15 billion over five years aimed specifically to provide anti-retroviral drugs to HIV infected people. That has risen to a budget of about $5.5 billion annually, including its contribution to the Global Fund — the world’s largest financing organization of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. And although some 1.7 million people still die every year from AIDS-related illnesses, PEPFAR supports more than 5.1 million on treatment programs. The programme estimates that worldwide more than 16 million children are living without one or both parents who have succumbed to AIDS, while millions more are left vulnerable with their parents chronically ill.
G8 leaders – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left), Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. President Barack Obama, France’s President Francois Hollande, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta – stand on the podium for the family photograph on the second day of the G8 summit at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland … yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
G8 leaders to fight tax evasion scourge Africa Progress Panel welcomes parley’s deal HE leaders of the G8 major T economies yesterday concluded their summit, striking a deal to crack down on the “scourge” of illegal tax evasion and fight corporate tax avoidance that deprive government coffers of billions. As countries across the world labour to cut deficits with deeply unpopular austerity measures, the G8 leaders signalled a radical change towards automatically exchanging tax data in a bid to ferret out cheats. But reacting yesterday, the Africa Progress Panel lauded the G8 communiqué, which sets out a list of practical actions to be taken to crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance. However, the panel expressed reservations that more work remains to be done on the issue of beneficial ownership. The former SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations and Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, Kofi Annan, in
a statement made available to The Guardian, said: “This is a tremendous breakthrough for fair taxation and corporate transparency that will eventually bring benefits for millions of people in Africa. I am delighted to see the G8 declare its commitment to establish the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities and to recognise that all countries must benefit from this exchange.” “G8 leaders have confirmed that it is not acceptable for global citizens to carry the cost of tax avoidance by multinational companies. However, more work now needs to be done to tackle beneficial ownership in order that resource-rich countries around the world can benefit fully from the resources beneath their soil.” Also yesterday, the leaders threw their weight behind calls for a peace conference on Syria to be held in Geneva “as soon as possible”, after a sum-
mit dominated by the country’s civil war. But President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Russia would not rule out sending fresh arms to the Syrian regime and warned the West against arming “criminals” in the rebellion. The leaders, who gathered in Northern Ireland for a two-day summit, targetted legal tax avoidance by multinationals such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks that costs taxpayers billions in lost revenues. Campaigners welcomed the deal, but said it did not go far enough. “Tax authorities across the world should automatically share information to fight the scourge of tax evasion,” the G8 leaders said in a statement. They pledged to make this the new global standard by developing a “multilateral model, which will make it easier for governments to find and punish tax evaders.” Much of the concern over tax avoidance has focused on big companies that operate legally within the tax system to minimise what they pay.
“Countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes, and multinationals should report to tax authorities what tax they pay where,” said the statement. The leaders also called for agreement on a transitional government in Syria “with full executive powers, formed by mutual consent”. However, British Prime Minister David Cameron, the summit host, said it was “unthinkable” that President Bashar al-Assad could play a role in a transitional administration, but the G8 communique pointedly made no reference to him, in an apparent concession to Syria’s ally Russia. After the talks, which at times pitted Putin against his fellow G8 leaders, the final communique said the Syrian military and security services “must be preserved and restored” in a future set-up. The leaders did not suggest a date for the proposed Syria talks, which were supposed to take place this month but have already been delayed.
Mandla Mandela: Taking up his grandfather’s challenge to serve Y grandfather has “M always been my role model. He’s an inspiration to the work I do today,” with these words, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, summed up why he took up the challenge to serve his people just like the first Black South African President did for their motherland and on the global stage. Mandla, who is the chief of his rural birthplace, Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape, had wanted to be a disc jockey. But his illustrious grandfather had other ideas for him – passing down a lesson on the responsibility that South Africa’s most famous surname carries.
The anti-apartheid hero chose his 38-year-old grandson as the first Mandela in decades to be chief of his village six years ago. As his 94-year-old grandfather battles a lung infection in hospital, Mandla – whose father was Makgatho from the hero’s first marriage – told Agence France Presse (AFP) that it had “not at all” been easy trying to match up to the man who became South Africa’s first black president. “He’s a global icon but I feel that as members of the family, the small things that we do as individuals, as a collective can one day amount to the dynamic person my grandfather became,” he
Mandela said. Continuing, he added: “South Africa, and even the Mandelas themselves, I believe will never produce another Nelson Mandela but we can always strive to embrace him, his principles
and values.” Lying on the winding Mbashe River, where fiery aloes bloom and livestock wander, Mvezo is scenic but deeply impoverished, the report indicated. There is no clean drinking water or sanitation in the village’s humble homes, many built of mud, or even a health clinic. Born here in 1918, Mandela’s father was stripped of the Mvezo chieftaincy by a colonial magistrate and he spent his early years in nearby Qunu village. “We are very much as a family intrigued as to the place he comes from, how he emerged and the dynam-
ic person that he became,” said the younger Mandela. “And I think for future generations of the Mandelas, we should always look to our place of our origin and draw strength from that.” While Mandela was serving a 27-year jail term, his grandson was born in Soweto, a flashpoint of the anti-apartheid struggle far from the rural hinterland where his grandfather was born. As a music loving highschool graduate, he dreamed of becoming a DJ. And Mandela’s response? “Nonsense, no Mandela will ever become such. You need to go out and find a career,” he enacted, mimicking his
grandfather’s waving finger. “My grandfather has really been the driver behind the person that I needed to be and the anchor around that was education,” he said. “He’s always believed that education is a weapon which one could utilise to change the world so he ensured that we got a good education so that we could be of service to the people.” On his grandfather’s wishes, he stopped working to study further in his 20s in the Eastern Cape. At the time, he had two businesses and diplomas in business management and marketing under his belt. But his grandfather had other plans for him.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Issues in the news
Amaechi’s NGF mandate sacrosanct, says Kwankwaso State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso has KANO risen in stout defense of his Rivers State
counterpart over the Nigerian Governors Forum(NGF) leadership crisis, insisting that Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi will not surrender his mandate. He also said the PDP leadership has refused to convene the party’s National Executive Committee to look into members’ complaints. Kwankwaso, told reporters in Abuja on Monday , that the G-19 voted for Amaechi after obtaining a commitment from him that he would not give up under any circumstance. “This party belongs to all of us, it does not belong to the governors; it doesn’t belong to president or it doesn’t belong to the party chairman; it doesn’t belong to anybody. “We have invested so much in this party, I don’t think any governor is thinking of leaving this party but if you are suspended, dismissed or expelled, of course there are no options. “That is why we are saying, and I can assure you, all the governors who voted for Amaechi consider this suspension as suspension to all of us; not to Amaechi, not to Governor of Sokoto. We are even surprised it started from there. I think there are bigger fish than Amaechi and Governor of Sokoto. Many of us are disappointed that it started from there. Kwankwaso went on: “On this issue, we entrusted Amaechi with only two tasks. One is campaign, talk to the opposition because it is Nigeria Governors’ Forum; it is not PDP Governors Forum. Talk to them because you are the candidate; talk to them, probably it may suit them to vote for you. The second option is, hang on to the contest; can you hold it? He said ‘yes’. “Now, I can tell you, Amaechi cannot withdraw without our approval. Anybody who is saying Amaechi should withdraw is wasting his time because that is not in the agreement between us and Amaechi. We gave only two tasks to Amaechi and he did well. “The problem we have in the party now is that we don’t have anywhere to go and say our minds and that was why our founding fathers of this party say in the constitution that at least, every three months we should meet. These are the issues. We should communicate among ourselves and that is the only way but the time we start washing our linens outside, then it becomes a disaster.” In his view, Amaechi’s election showed that the 16 governors backing Jang do not know the art of politics, contrary to their posturing, adding that the NGF crisis might lead to the emergence of two big parties. Kwankwaso warned the PDP leadership against reckless recourse to suspension or dismissal of governors. He said with the suspension of Amaechi and Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State whose order of suspension had been lifted, all the PDP governors backing the Rivers State governor had been technically suspended by the party. Kwankwaso said: “Let me say that we are Northerners and I think we should be consulted on what we need. Some people have decided that we should take chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum. That is not our choice; we know what we want from the politics of this country and even if that is what we want, we are not expecting anybody to choose for us. We should choose for ourselves. I think that point should be clarified. “Along the line, some people suggested that PDP should have a leadership. Many people thought that there is a linkage between the NGF election and the appointment of the PDP Governors Forum and, of course, we had Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and we met as the PDP Governors Forum immediately after the appointment of the chairman. “Let me say that at that meeting, we made it clear that we were determined to ensure democracy in this country. “If there is no democracy in the Governors Forum, I begin to wonder where we can have democracy in this country and many people don’t understand how angry many people are. Many people here in Abuja don’t understand how committed we are to ensure democracy in this country. “So, we decided to stick to our gun – that many of us have got grandchildren now. I have two grandchildren in primary school now and no grandfather can go and choose a friend for his children. You only see your children’s friends and when you do, you ask: who is your father? They will tell you and he may be your enemy or friend. It is very difficult to tell your child that the father of your friend is my enemy. And it is
Kwankwaso better for a good father or grandfather to keep quiet because the more you tell them – that your grandfather or your father is their enemy – the more they stick to their friends because they would not understand what you mean by that.” Kwankwaso condemned interference in NGF affairs by some forces in Abuja, especially the PDP leadership. He predicted that the NGF crisis may lead to emergence of two big parties in the country. He said: “I want to say that those living in glass houses should not be throwing stones, especially when it comes to suspension, dismissal, impeachment. These are words that people should be cautious about. “We want peace, we want stability and we want development in this country. All these things that are happening, I think you should not worry too much because in developed democracies around the world, in America, Germany, Britain, everywhere, developed world, you have two major parties. “Nigeria, we have one party now and other small, parties. Who knows, maybe we are having transition in this country to two parties and before we have two parties, some people must make mistakes, big, big mistakes.” He said the pro-Jang governors became desperate about removing Amaechi and forced the NGF to postpone the election twice. Kwankwaso explained how he nominated Jang as a strategy to show that some of the G-16 governors are novices in politics. “Because we realised that they were very desperate and that even when we did the election and they were defeated they will not accept, we decided to deny them of their first choice, second choice and any choice at all. We gave them who will feel should be the minority leader of G16. “They refused to take us seriously that Ameachi should continue. They thought they could play games and, you see, when we left the place, they went and had a meeting and accepted our nomination and at the end of the day, they brought him to the general meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum and at that Forum, we told them that Amaechi should continue as our chairman. They made all efforts to frustrate voting, saying that there should not be voting. We said: ‘Why should there not be voting? This is a democracy’. “They were hell-bent on removing Amaechi and we were also determined to ensure that our friend, whoever, he is among the 36 governors, is the chairman of our Forum. That was how we brought all the ballot papers and the box (the
one we are familiar with from INEC) and there was an election; 35 of us who were there voted, and it was counted 35. Only the governor of Yobe was absent. All of us were present. At the end of the day we counted 35 ballot papers and when they were separated, Amaechi had 19 and the other 16.” Kwankwaso said he warned Governors Ibrahim Shema and Isa Yuguda that they could not win the NGF poll. He added: “During the meeting of the PDP Governors Forum, we decided to call the Northern Governors Forum, we all sat down at the Governor’s Lodge. “At that meeting, the issue of Shema came up and I told Shema that ‘look, my brother, I was terribly disappointed in you that you are my neighbour, my friend and you are my brother, you never came to tell me that you are contesting election and you are parading yourself, looking like somebody who was being sent to us. “I told him clearly that I would never vote for him and I will never ask anybody to vote for him and I would make sure that he lost that election and I even told him to go and withdraw. Other governors supported me. Sule Lamido was there; he supported me. Isa Yuguda was there; the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, supported. Those who supported me asked Shema to go and withdraw. “ Unfortunately, some people took that opportunity to go and say that Shema did not have the North to support him. Later, Shema was dropped and they brought Isa Yuguda. Isa came to me and I told him that ‘Look, I am still a villager and I behave in many ways as a villager and in my village, Kwankwaso in Kano, if a councillor goes to a family and says I am contesting to be a councillor and they accept it, when somebody comes in the afternoon, they will tell him that you are too late. I told him that you are late. “Let me also correct the impression that many
In his view, Amaechi’s election showed that the 16 governors backing Jang do not know the art of politics, contrary to their posturing, adding that the NGF crisis might lead to the emergence of two big parties.
people thought that I did not really like Shema; it is not so. In that particular instance, we did not want Shema because we wanted to choose our own chairman. “With Yuguda, they came through the same route and I advised him, ‘you must not do that; if you do that , you will fail’. When he insisted, of course, he was in my house, I did not want to go as hard as I did with Shema. I told him ‘we will see; let us see how it will go. “Now, you see on Friday, on the day of the election we went to the Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, it was all politics all through. “Some people were determined to ensure that Ameachi did not win the election and we were determined to prove to them that nobody can shave our heads in our absence. “A situation where our colleagues were going round Abuja, they were abusing us, telling us all sorts of things, I don’t think that is acceptable and that was why we proved to them that they were at the elementary level of politics. “By the time we went to the Niger State Governor’s Lodge for the meeting of the Northern States Governors Forum, the question was: was anyone of them ready to step down for the other? Neither of them was ready to step down for the other. “When the issue of electing somebody to replace the two(Shema and Yuguda) of them that was when the politics came in. It was very clear to the two of them and our position was very clear to all governors either in the North or in the South – that we were determined to elect the NGF chairman of our choice but everybody was playing games and politics and what we did in the Niger State Governor’s Lodge in selecting Jang as a consensus candidate was to show them that they know very little about politics. “One, we decided to say they cannot get Shema as the chairman of the minority group of the G16. We also said you cannot even get your second choice (the Bauchi State governor elected) and our group decided, under my leadership, to give them Jang as their leader. I nominated Jang. I gave them Jang and I asked the Governor of Benue, Gabriel Suswam, to support me and many people supported me.” On the withdrawal of Yuguda and Governor Gabriel Suswam from Northern States Governors Forum he said: “Maybe they are not Northerners, the interest of the North is bigger than the NGF. When people are angry, they should know what to say; they should not allow anger to lead them to say what may count against them tomorrow.” Kwankwaso faulted the endorsement signatures being bandied about by the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio. He said: “I was really shocked when the Governor of Akwa Ibom brought a paper that was signed in April. Initially, I was laughing, but when I thought of it deeply, it was very disheartening for a governor, especially somebody who is supposed to be our leader, someone who is supposed to be the chairman of PDP Governors Forum. He brought an old paper. Even that paper; many of them who signed were calling us to say they called them to sign. They have 19. They thought they defeated us. “What is important, I believe, in democracy is to appreciate the sanctity of ballot papers. I am the governor of Kano today by the grace of God. I got only 46 percent of the votes. The three major parties in Kano State (ANPP, ACN and CPC) shared 54 per cent. They went to court; they went everywhere. Now I am the governor. “You see it is very disheartening that all our governors will sit down in a hall, get ballot papers, vote, count the votes and somebody will say an old paper that was signed was an evidence of voting. “The chairman of PDP Governors Forum; they way he brought that paper; the way he spoke, I think he should learn to talk. When you see him, you tell him to be talking like the chairman of the PDP because I am beginning to be ashamed if our chairman is behaving like that. “Like I said, we (Northern PDP governors) should decide on what we want. We are few in number; 15 governors. If there is anything, we should be given the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum. “Now that we have chairman of the PDP Governors Forum just saying his own, I think he should better keep quiet. Kwankwaso added: “Quote me, tell him that we can also Janglize the PDP Governors Forum; we can also form a separate PDP Governors Forum.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Politics June 12: The future we miss, by Lagos Assembly By Wole Oyebade State House of Assembly last L20AGOS Wednesday commemorated the th anniversary of the June 12, describing the struggle as “a future missed” by Nigeria. The special parliamentary session, which also commemorated the second-year anniversary of the Seventh Assembly, lamented that the legacies of the acclaimed winner of the 1993 election, Chief Moshood Abiola, were yet to reflect in the Nigerian polity. The Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, noted that June 12 meant different things to different people, but to the House, “June 12 signposts the future we missed, but which we now want badly.” “It is a reminder that our country can conduct free and fair elections, if government summons up the necessary courage to implement far-reaching electoral reforms,” he said. “Nigerians want their votes to count. They yearn for free elections, the rule of law and the togetherness that June 12 signifies.” Ikuforiji observed that the late Abiola, indeed, planted the tree of civil rule whose shade political office holders now enjoy. “But 20 years since his demise, the aspirations and hope that birth the anniversary has not been met,” he said. However, he contended that there was no point naming any national monument after Chief Abiola “if his values and ideals are not respected by
• As Utomi, Momoh harp on democratic values those in government.” “It is 20 years and Nigerians are still waiting for those in power to do right to Abiola and declare him a national icon; hence, we must reject any Greek Gift from those who have continued to insult our collective sensibilities,” Ikuforiji said. One of the guest speakers at the special parliamentary session, Prof. Pat Utomi, explained that what happened with June 12 and Abiola was that a man, who came from poverty, made much wealth and went into politics in remembrance of where he came from; to ensure others do not suffer like he once did. “What is happening now is different. We now have wealthy people in politics who want to keep people poorer to measure how successful they are,” he said. While he observed that many Nigerians were yet to understand what June 12 actually symbolised, Utomi said, to understand June 12 was to know the role of legitimacy in any government. “And it is that point that has remained missing since 1993 till date,” he said. According to Utomi, the danger is that the current democracy is in the midst of an erosion of legitimacy. “Because, if anything happens to the government today, God forbid, it is not unlikely to have Nigerians run-
ning on the street in jubilation,” he said. “That is to tell you how fed-up Nigerian people are with the system. Which is why we must do everything in our power, especially as lawmakers closest to the people, to restore legitimacy in our democracy. The second guest speaker and Professor of Political Science, Abubakar Momoh, said that “June 12
is an idea” though either in denial or affirmative, but has left an indelible mark on civil rule in Nigeria. “June 12 is an idea that transcends Abiola; it was a struggle waged against authoritarianism and injustice by people who wrestled against brutal force; June 12 demystified the belief that Nigerians are divided,” he said. Nonetheless, Momoh noted that
Momoh June 12 produced casualties, as well as beneficiaries, “who are enjoying themselves today.” “June 12 was not defeated but betrayed,” he said. “After that, it became ethnicised and fragmented to promote self-interest of a few. “Those benefiting from the June 12 struggle today are actually those that did not fight for the cause,” he added.
‘Picture of 2015 is getting clearer’ a body that is unknown to the Statement by Justice, Development (NGF), Constitution, but over time, because of the nearof the National Assembly to take and Peace Commission on the state of ineptitude decisive decisions, especially when the polity is the nation in commemoration of in doldrums, like the issue of the health of Yar’Adua, has become profoundly Peoples’ Democracy Day on June 12, President powerful. The NGF imbroglio is the tipping condition. 2013. The JDPC believes that Amaechi’s problem start-
IGERIANS thought that they had passed N these ugly roads severally that they ought to avoid turns and twists associated with persecutory and rancorous politics. Not in Nigeria, where each governing elite reincarnates the macabre dance steps associated with non-descript politics, as the nation approaches each election year. Desperation, intimidation, impunity, impurity, brigandage, arm-twisting, and character assassination characterise the nation’s ever wobbling move to join the league of transparent and accountable nations which allow the real custodians of sovereignty — the people — to choose freely from array of candidates that present themselves for different elective positions. One is confronted with usual buss-words like ‘pull-him-down’, ‘no vacancy in government offices’, ‘the incumbents have the right of first refusal (whether they performed or not)’, ‘it is the birthright of our tribe/section to rule’ and ‘our tribe is at liberty to present any candidate (notwithstanding that the best legs from that segment may never be brought forward)’, ‘unleash the crime fighters to unearth “buried” crimes allegedly committed, but temporarily forgotten’ and such more cabalistic, primitive political behaviours that expose Nigeria as the headquarters of the sixth world or non-developing part of the globe that shamelessly parades the toga of government deficit. This time around, the ugly dance-steps that pre-figure the journey to 2015 have started with the man with “k-leg” whose meteoric rise is unacceptable, just because any person with such ‘god forbidden legs’ has the probability of .9 to impress the crowd. The man in the eye of the storm is Rt. Hon. Chibike Amaechi and the theatre is the hitherto innocuous Nigerian Governors’ Forum
ed with his disobedience of the powers-that-be, ably represented by PDP’s powerful potentate, former President Obasanjo, who was fingered as overseeing the nomination of most candidates of the party to elective and appointive positions, including persons who were/are manifestly sick (literally and metaphorically) and others who were unable to organise drinking competitions in beer breweries. OBJ’s meddlesomeness in the affairs of other arms and tiers of government against the basic tenets of federalism, which espoused that all tiers in a federal system are ‘co-equal and coordinate,’ was legendary. To his credit or discredit, he unleashed crime fighters against real and imagined enemies, to the utter discomfiture of the citizenry and the international community. But for the doggedness of the masses, his acts of omission and commission nearly saw to the demise of the Fourth Republic. These same acts, which reminds Nigerians of the 1962 situation and which unfortunately is being brought to the front burner by desperate politicians today, may be all the nation needs to implode, if the masses were to relent. Part two of Amaechi’s travail was that he had the temerity of pulling down the waterfront shanties in Port Harcourt without express permission from the First Lady. Till date, that uncommon show of brazenness, not associated with the usual docile Nigerian politicians, has not been forgotten or forgiven. And may never! Part three was the issue of Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), which the ruling party’s apologists erroneously dub ‘Excess Revenue’ but which eagle-eyed economists correctly term, ‘Extra Revenue’. The NGF, remembering the history of such funds from dark-goggled Abacha to the present democratic dispensation, especially how the
central authorities mindlessly convert them into ‘slush funds,’ which they deep their hands into, without let or hindrance, insisted that although it is wise and makes sound economic sense to save for the rainy day, the house is already flooded and there is very high probability that, when the expected big rain comes, not only will there be no funds left, but as always, nobody will be held accountable for their disappearance. So they reasoned, borrowing from the derisive slogan of one of the parties, that it is better to ‘share the money’… and now! We think they added, to the consternation of Abuja that, ‘tomorrow is too late.’ But Abuja thinks otherwise, insisting that since past oligarchs had been keeping such funds and dipping their hands into the common patrimony uninterrupted, why stop it this time that there is ‘real’ Archbishop Martins compelling need for it. No rational man, after all, presides over his own especially on the 2nd Niger Bridge that has personal liquidation. With the nation’s steady refused leaving the drawing board, or a Wharf and sure move towards anomie and fragile state that was opened in Onitsha without a ship or status, arising from polymorphous violence, Akanu Ibiam Airport that had witnessed more which is combined budget of one trillion naira turning of the sod than any other project? yearly; funds from the state under emergency Our fear is that the re-incarnation of the 1962 rule; rake-ins from abroad and other funds from crisis, when irresistible objects met irremov‘slush’, secret holdings cannot take care of,’ able, resulting in fifth horsemen, working assidadded to unprintable quantity of funds needed uously to nail members of the opposition, leadto prosecute 2015 battle, which will soon leave ing, first to the state of emergency in the West Rivers and Sokoto to other battle fronts like APC and the end of the First Republic, is being gradstates and some PDP states, whose managers are ually rehearsed, albeit, by installment. ‘delinquently’ challenging God’s anointed, Suddenly, Rivers State’s aircraft was grounded Abuja is ‘right’ on insisting on SWF. for reasons the House of Representatives, in a Part four is the East-West road, which real value widely circulated publication, warned that “the is presently unknown, having gone through re- Ministry of Aviation should stop undue interevaluation, so more often than quicksilver and ference in the day-to-day operations of the aviathe extent of jobs done is only visible to Maku’s tion regulatory authorities as envisaged by the good governance team and showcased in the law,” is brushed up. newspapers and NTA news, but in reality, reaThe PDP, adept at probating and reprobating, soned the man with k-leg, who is ‘adept at using Amaechi’s ex-Chief of Staff (now turned throwing spanners into the work,’ will need a tormentor-in-chief), who is in Abuja’s good telescope to see. books, caused its (Rivers) state wing to seriously What is Amaechi’s concern? Why join issues downsize Amaechi, leading to his suspension; with a minister? Does he now know that if the but simultaneously propped up PDP Governors’ job is finished as fast as he advocates, there will Forum and supported the Jang faction of the be no campaign promise for the people of Niger NGF, against reason, knowing for real, that, that Delta come 2015? Why will he not behave like faction lost the election staged by PDP against Anambra’s ‘APGA-PDP’ governor, who transmits PDP and the PDP constitution frowns at any Abuja’s positions to the people of Southeast, organ unknown to it like the PDP-GF.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
20 Years After June 12
Remembering not to forget (2) severe penalty for our republic.
By Kayode Fayemi June 12 then and now HERE are those who still persist in asking why June 12 continues to endure in our collective memory. Why has it refused to go away? What is the fuss about this date? To begin with, the polls of June 12, 1993 were a seismic shift in the nation’s political consciousness. It will be recalled that Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention and Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party contested the election. Tofa picked as a running mate from the Southeast, an Igbo Christian in compliance with the unspoken rules of religious and ethno-regional balancing that formed the conventional wisdom of Nigerian politics. This wisdom held that for a party’s ticket to be electable, it must offer an equilibrium of ethnic, regional and confessional identities that bridges our historic fault lines and offers an all-inclusive sense of belonging to all. Hence, in the most simplistic rendering of this ethno-religious equation, Tofa, as a Northern Muslim, had expectedly picked a southern Christian. Abiola, as a southern Muslim, was largely expected to pick a northern Christian. Indeed, there was no shortage of groups offering counsel on who Abiola should pick as a running mate. In the end, he boldly violated this supposedly sacred rule of Nigerian politics and chose the running mate that he felt would bring the most to his political campaign. He picked Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, a Northern Muslim. Pundits weighed the chances of an all-Muslim ticket in a climate of politicised sectarianism and concluded that Abiola had erred. But he gamely argued that his choice represented the most logical and rational option. Refusing to be swayed by sectarian and provincial sentiments, he had picked the man whose merits for the job were unimpeachable. It was a statement of intent and a demonstration of faith in the sort of Nigeria he believed was possible — a country where the best could lead regardless of their creed or ethnicity. It was a statement of faith in the Nigerian voter that with all of the facts before him, he would be able to scrutinise both tickets and make an intelligent choice. It was a daring, even radical gambit but it paid off. On June 12, 1993, Nigerians voted in defiance of ethnic and religious dog-whistling and elected the two men they believed the most capable, disregarding the coincidence of their religious beliefs and other sectarian notions of equilibrium. They made a choice that was informed, intelligent and supremely rational. In this sense, the first remarkable thing about June 12 is how it inspired Nigerians to reach for the highest peak of their political consciousness and invest their aspirations in the ticket they believed represented their best chance of building a better country. Abiola’s campaign slogan was “Hope” and his was a simple message of populist hope that electrified many. It is no over-estimation to say that since that time, no candidacy had been able to galvanise Nigerians in a similar fashion. This is a point worth stressing because it is generally believed that electoral choices are so distorted by the politics of identity as to be exercises in tribal selection or in-group solidarity affirmation. It is believed that ethnic and religious sentiments overwhelm all other instincts and calculations at the ballot and render political contest and discourse a bitter competition for primacy along lines of primordial identity rather than ideology. For the avoidance of doubt, no ethnically and religiously diverse nation can escape the dynamics of identity and provincial sympathies at the polls. Heterogeneous countries far older than our republic, and far ahead of us in their practice of democracy continue to grapple with themes of diversity, tolerance and pluralism. It is fair to say that Nigeria’s challenges in the political management of diversity and plurality are not uniquely Nigerian. In the United States, race is an inevitable factor in politics precisely because of that country’s racial diversity and its chequered history of race relations. In quite the same way, Nigeria’s history means that ethnicity and religion are political and electoral factors. But it is far from
1999: False dawn or little beginnings HILE the elections of 1999 were generally welcomed both in Nigeria and abroad as a crucial turning point, the optimism in some quarters was more cautious. Considering our long history of military tyranny, it seemed prudent to emphasise the distinction between holding elections and implementing genuine democratisation of structures and systems that had been shaped by totalitarian instincts for almost two decades. At the time, I was personally of the view that real democratisation would require more than voting; it would require a complete rethinking of how our society was organised. Then, there were all kinds of hopeful analogies being drawn between the democratic transition that had occurred in South Africa and the one emerging in Nigeria. Some observers expected that just as the African National Congress, the hub of the liberation movement, had rightly assumed the reins of power in South Africa after the collapse of apartheid; a similar transference would occur following the end of military dictatorship and see the pro-democracy movement morph into a ruling party. This fantasy failed to materialise for a number of reasons. Firstly, the analogy was imprecise. While the ANC was a movement that was several decades old, with an ideological fervour and coherence sharpened on the front lines of suffering and struggle, the prodemocracy movement was younger, far more disparate and far from ideologically coherent. The pro-democracy movement’s assortment of activists and politicians mainly wanted the military out of power. The politics of taking over power was a secondary consideration. As such, the pro-democracy movement was in no shape to comply with the organisational demands of a nationwide campaign for power. There were also genuine disagreements over the way forward by key elements of the movement. Some favoured entry into field to contest for power in the post-military era. Others wanted a continued struggle to realise farreaching constitutional reforms, while some opted out entirely, preferring to boycott the transition process until their demands for deeper constitutional and structural changes were implemented. Thus, divided by significant disagreements on tactics and strategy, the movement could not reconstitute itself into an effective political actor. Moreover, at the end of military dictatorship, the movement was too weak, exhausted by the stress of confrontation and the enormous toll that the struggle had taken, to really mount a realistic political challenge. For these reasons, when the shape of the 4th Republic emerged, it seemed that those who had worked the most to enthrone democracy were sidelined while those that had been beneficiaries of and collaborators with military regimes took centre stage. On hindsight, it may be said that the prodemocracy movement suffered from a lack of strategic definition in terms of articulating the next phase of the struggle. We were so preoccupied with getting the military out of power that we did not have the time to devise appropriate tactical and strategic responses to that very eventuality. In the event, the all-consuming haste to get the military out of power also framed some of the troubling birth defects of the 4th Republic, chief among them being the fact that the Constitution — the guiding document of the republic — was not generated through a popular democratic process but by a conclave that edited past constitutions. Indeed, the 4th Republic commenced before anyone actually saw the Constitution. But at the time, the overriding imperative was to get the military out of power. Concerns about the provenance of the Constitution were deemed nitpicky or churlish worries that could prolong military rule. No one wanted to give the military an excuse to stay a day longer, especially when the regime at the time was minded to make a swift exit.
accurate to depict Nigerians as being so bound by provincialism that they cannot but vote along ethnic and confessional lines. This is simply false. This is the dynamic that made June 12 possible. It is the same dynamic that makes it possible to envisage a time when political discourse will be much more framed around ideology than identity, and candidates will be judged much more by how they intend to address the practical challenges of life. Politicians will have to run on the platform of practicalities not the theatrics or sentiments of feigning identification with the electorate at a primordial level. At that point, one’s tribal marks or facility in a local language will prove less important than a proven track record of performance and integrity. That time is not as far off as some people think. June 12 was remarkable because it was a game changer, a political paradigm shift that broke the mould clearly and decisively on such a scale that it became necessary to revise assumptions and stereotypes about the electorate.
The June 12 debacle also revealed the crisis of conviction and principle among Nigeria’s political class with many elite choosing to go along with the military dictatorship, effectively aiding and abetting a manifest injustice, instead of joining the pro-democracy movement. These elite saw the impasse as an opportunity for self-aggrandizement. Isn’t it an irony that even Abiola’s running mate later accepted to serve as the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Abacha military government? Twenty years after the annulment, it is permissible to argue that the most grievous damage was done to the psyche of ordinary Nigerians. Those who witnessed the subversion of institutions by their custodians, for instance, the compromise of some traditional rulers, the supposed custodians of our traditional values, in favour of the annulment had our faith shattered. In fact, the most destructive legacy of the annulment is a long-term distrust of government. The Babangida regime annulled those elections after an already convoluted transition process characterised by broken pledges to hand over. Nigerians still preferred to give the state the benefit of the doubt but the annulment of June 12 proved to be the last straw. From that moment, Nigerians have approached their governments with a mixture of cynicism, pessimism and disbelief. The political class inherited these burdens and, given some of the tragic spectacles of our democracy, it is fair to say that we have not done too much to dispel these attitudes. Public institutions require the lifeblood of public trust to function. The biggest challenge facing us as democrats is to rebuild trust between the state and society. The relationship between both spheres is often needlessly adversarial owing to a lack of trust. The fact that even in a climate of openness, the media still hues to the combative guerilla journalism of the 1990s is as a result of the sense of broken trust that still pervades state-media relations. Simply put, Nigerians do not trust their governments and this has made it difficult, indeed in some cases, impossible, to build mass citizen movements for a fuller democratic engagement. Residual distrust of power feeds apathy, disinterest and cynical disengagement. The people distrust their governments but not enough to actively check them and avert excesses of power. Rather, they distrust them so much that they desert the state and many simply do not care enough about the public realm. This indifference is dangerous for democracy. Democratic institutions cannot survive or be strengthened in a climate of antipathy nor can politicians long retain their legitimacy under such circumstances. If the price of a free society is eternal vigilance, then apathy will carry a
The Legacy of the annulment UNE 12 did not just showcase the better angels of our nature; it exposed the ethical and ideological vulnerabilities of our institutions and politics. The annulment of the freest and fairest election in our history by the military, the cavalier disregard for the toil of Nigerians who had withstood difficulties to cast their votes patiently without any untoward incident and the callous disinterest in the nation’s future represented the high watermark of authoritarian impunity. Historically, Nigerian military regimes seized power proclaiming their readiness to fix the ailing economy and bequeath a functional political order to civilians. By the early 1990s, there was a growing sense that the military were no experts on economic management. The economy was reeling from the adverse impact of Babangida’s Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and social institutions were in decay. But even at this point, the military could still have salvaged some credibility by handing over to duly elected politicians. The annulment of the June 12 election represents the complete breakdown of trust between the military and the society, the highest point in alienation between both spheres and the military’s total loss of institutional integrity and legitimacy. The infamous midnight court judgment of the late Justice Bassey Ikpeme suspending further release of the election results signified the subversion of the judiciary and the degradation of critical public institutions by the forces of tyranny.
• Dr. Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, wrote this piece to commemorate the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
TheMetroSection Dying former Commonwealth medalist, Ebukuyo, seeks help for treatment abroad
Briefs ISOGRASCH 69/73 set gives furniture to alma mater on Saturday HE 69/73 set of Isonyin T Grammar School (ISOGRASCH) Old Students’ Association will on Saturday, June 22, 2013 meet to present furniture for the school library, staff rooms and class-rooms of both Junior and Secondary schools of the Institution. The programme will start on under the distinguished Chairman of Bishop D.O. Fatade (Rtd) and supported by the National Chairman of the Old Students’ Association, Dr. Leke Dada. For further enquiries, call Abayomi O. Sodipo on 08075021983.
Church oﬀers free surgery ...Mrs. Akindele now Mrs. Grace Akindele (nee Ebukuyo)...before the sickness By Abiodun Fanoro and Abdulwaheed Usamah emotions and tears from members of the team nearly marred the misS it a crime to be born in Nigeria? sion as her sight and deplorable Is it unwise to expend one’s youth- state of her health would certainly ful energy and time for one’s coun- make a Shina Rambo for a moment, tears. try? Is a crime to represent one’s shed Assisted to sit on the chair by her country at international sporting events? Is it really more rewarding husband, Grace was motionless, to change nationality when one be- speechless, frail and seriously emacomes a sports celebrity? ciated, while those legs and hands These and many other questions that did the track magic in the 1970s must be running through the mind and early 1980s are almost lifeless. of former Nigerian international Grace can no longer recognize anyathlete, Miss Grace Ebukuyo, now body, except her husband. The once Mrs Akindele, who, for over a decade, energetic athlete, now bed-ridden represented the country and won for the past decade, has been down several laurels at many international with multiple ailments, which ingames, including the Common- clude cerebral meningitis, high wealth Games, All Africa Games, First blood pressure hypertension and All West African Games, among oth- diabetes. All these have resulted in her present disturbing state of ers. The 100meter, 400meter and health where she not only suffers 800meter sprinter has today be- from loss of memory, but is almost and deaf now. come a ghost of her former ebul- dumb lient, beautiful, charming and Grace began her athletic career as a elegant self. teenager at the defunct St. James’ When The Guardian team visited Anglican Modern School, Igbotako this queen of the track recently, in the old Okitipupa Division,
Some of the laurels she won where she represented the school at many inter-school competitions at both the divisional and inter-divisional levels. It was at the Manuwa Memorial Grammar School (MMGS), Iju-Odo, in the same Okitipupa Division that Grace was ushered into the national limelight, which in turn took her to the international scene where she won many laurels for Nigeria. It remains on record that young Grace, at the tender age of 15, was in the Nigerian contingent to the 1973 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand. The most agonizing part of the visit was her inability to talk or answer any question that was put to her with a view to getting some facts from her because of her near dumb and deaf situation. So it was her husband, Sunday Akindele, who answered all the questions, especially those relating to her ill-health. According to Akindele, his wife was “first diagnosed for cerebral meningitis at the Lagos State Teaching
Hospital (LASUTH) but later doctors in the hospital discovered that she is also suffering from diabetes and hypertension.” “Since then, I have been taking her from one hospital to another hoping that she would overcome the disease but unfortunately her condition continues to get worse.” “Though, some doctors, after seeing our restless efforts, advised us to fly her abroad for treatment, but the source of funding the travelling expenses and the cost of treatment has been a constraint and the reason she has remained on sick bed at home all these years, because there has been no one to assist us,” he lamented. Doctors have said we would need about N10million to fly her abroad for treatment and traveling expenses. Akindele said the family’s little resources is being used to buy medication that could prolong her life until when “the heart of kind Nigerians would be touched and come to our rescue.”
33-year-old drug peddler swallows 126 wraps of heroin By Odita Sunday ARCOTIC officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed Int’l Airport (MMIA) Lagos have apprehended a suspected drug trafficker over alleged ingestion of 126 wraps of narcotics. The drug, which weighed 2.225kilogrammes, according to spokesman of NDLEA, Mr. Mitchelle Ofoyeju, is the highest single ingestion since January 2013. Narcotic officials placed the
suspect on observation when he tested positive to drug ingestion during the inward screening of Qatar Airline passengers on his way from Pakistan. NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport Command, Mr. Hamza Umar gave the name of the suspect as Nweke Gabriel Nwobodo. According to Hamza: “We have arrested one Nweke Gabriel Nwobodo for ingesting 126 wraps of substances found to be heroin weighing 2.225kilogrammes. This is
The suspect, Nwobodo the highest quantity ingested by a suspect since the beginning of the year. The case is currently under investigation”.
The Lagos Airport Command has received several accolades from the Chairman of the agency, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade and members of the International community, especially for its ingenuity towards the anti-drug war and arrest of drug couriers every week. The 33-year-old suspect who sells electronics at Trade Fair Complex and Computer Village in Lagos said he was duped and wanted to raise money to begin life again from drug trafficking.
In his reaction, NDLEA Chairman, Ahmadu Giade expressed concern over the risk of drug ingestion. According to him: “The ingestion of drugs by traffickers is very disturbing because many have died in the process. Just a wrap is deadly and here we have one person ingesting 126 wraps of what could take his life in a few minutes. Members of the public should shun drug trafficking and report any suspected trafficker to the Agency”.
A cross-section of market women at the third day Fidau prayer for the late Abibat Mogaji PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU
Empty stalls at Karo Market, Oshodi in honour of Iyaloja Mogaji
PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
HE Redeemed Christian T Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish has begun its free Medical Surgical Outreach in collaboration with The Healing Stripes Hospital. It will end on Friday, June 21. The Medical Director, The Healing Stripes Hospital, Dr. Onyemere Ezinne, said: “We have also begun a free medical surgery in addition to free cancer screening to assist those who cannot afford the cost of these ailment, in collaboration with our team of medical experts from Medical Mission International.”
Stella Ibiwoye dies at 52 HE death has occurred of T Mrs. Stella Toluwalope Ibiwoye. She died on June 12 2013, at the age of 52. Funeral ceremonies will hold Thursday, June 27 and Friday, June 28, 2013. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Michael O. Ibiwoye and children: Mofoluwaso Oyinloye Ibiwoye ; Olanrewaju Oyinkansola Ibiwoye ; Michael Oyinbolaji Ibiwoye ; Israel Oluwatamilore Ibiwoye.
Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road ready soon, says Amaechi HE Rivers State Governor, T Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says the historic 42-kilometre Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road being constructed by his administration would be ready soon. Amaechi, who spoke recently during an inspection tour of the road project, stated that the road has 11 bridges, and at present, two more bridges are needed to link Opobo Town with the other parts of the State. He was, however, optimistic that the road project would be delivered in December, while one of the bridges that connects Ikuru Town to Opobo should be ready in August, this year. He further stated that his administration has built the road and bridge linking Bolo Town in Ogu/Bolo Local Council to the rest of the state, which has also increase economic and social activities in the area. Speaking on some of the achievements and prospects of his administration, Amaechi said apart from the provision of power, the training and retraining of teachers is key in the education sector.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
14 | THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
TheGuardian Conscience Nurtured by Truth
FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011) Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816
Editorial Stop the internet surveillance contract HE House of Representatives took a bold and wise decision the other T day when it unanimously adopted the motion to investigate the alleged award of a $40 million internet surveillance contract by the Presidency. By this move, the House mandated its committees on ICT, Justice and Anti-corruption to investigate the alleged contract, while the Presidency was urged to suspend it pending the investigation. The legislators’ resolve is timely, coming amid global apprehension that internet surveillance poses a real and present danger to individual privacy and national security. Added to this are the peculiarity of inadequate public enlightenment and a dearth of critical infrastructure in Nigeria. All these heighten the threat on the country. But the House of Representatives has a sacred duty to shun grandstanding and selfish interest in its endeavour, and focus squarely on the national interest. Coming on the heels of the recent controversies surrounding the alleged use of American intelligence surveillance programmes in Canada and Britain, the news of the intended contract tends to confirm the existence of an influential power teleguiding ultra-secretive networks scouring through global telephone records and internet data in search of patterns of suspicious activities. With an internet surveillance, the government could, either by fiat or by law, employ clandestine system to access an avalanche of information in partnership with influential internet companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple; and then open its space to such intelligence institutions as American National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “to collect materials, including search history, the content of e-mails, file transfers and live chats”. It is understandable that there is a global political obsession with terrorism driven by Western powers, who, as recent events have shown, have resolved to extend their dragnets on non-Americans living abroad. But Nigeria should not meekly join the internet surveillance bandwagon at a time when its people are ill-educated about the security situation of the country and their rights are violated with impunity. Any internet surveillance, therefore, is a further violation of the right to privacy. And ordinarily, the government ought to be at the forefront in defence of the peoples’ rights. Alas, the converse is more discernible in the country. The demand that people’s right to privacy be respected by government is a reminder of the paradox of the technologically invasive world of today. With ATM cards, GSM phones, credit cards or debit cards, smart cards ID, various social networking accounts online, does anyone have a private life anymore? How should the issue of balance between security and privacy be addressed? There is a lot of educating and enlightening of the public to be done before the country becomes saddled with the dilemma of choosing between security and privacy. As a Canadian legislator warned: “Privacy is threatened in the absence of an appropriate level of knowledge about national security institutions and practices, in the absence of clear government statements and actions in its defence, and in fuzzy law-making.” Fuzzy law-making has been the bane of project and resources management in this country. Judging from antecedents of government officials and contractors, wherein scandalous pecuniary gains are often the motivations for contracts and projects, Nigerians have come to view this internet surveillance contract as another exercise in wasting and pillaging national wealth. Every contract awarded, as Nigerians have come to perceive, is a dubious enrichment exercise for some persons. This should stop. Moreover, the government may want to explore other options of such satellite surveillance. The much talked-about NigCom Sat 1R, Sat 2 and the yet to be launched Sat X, complemented by spying activities of drones, could be harnessed to achieve whatever goal the supposed internet surveillance should achieve. President Goodluck Jonathan must ensure that this country, though lagging behind in terms of technological development, is not sold for a piece of cake. Irrespective of the alleged characteristic inanity of the activities of these lawmakers, to investigate the alleged award of a $40 million internet surveillance contract by the Presidency is desirable and commendable. However, the House should go further. Since the lawmakers have identified the adverse moral and legal implications of the internet surveillance, they should demonstrate to Nigerians that the intended call for investigation is not an entreaty for gratification. And the only way they can do that is to terminate that contract, investigate and then debate.
Sports agenda for new DG, National Sports Commission mize the onset of several nonHonourable Gbenga ShasIR:Elegbeleye is a politician who communicable diseases, had vast experience in the including heart disease, dia-
improve their self-confidence and self-esteem, practice interpersonal skills, and access new executive and legislative arms of betes, and blood pressure, opportunities. which are rampant in Nigeria • Merit of Sports and Economic government as former today. Chairman of a Local values –Sports is one of the • Teaching important values – fastest growing industries in Government Area in Akoko, Ondo State, and former Member Sports and play can be used by the world, and a catalyst for the of the House of Representatives the government of Nigeria as economic development of indimediums by which to teach of the Federal Republic of viduals, communities, and important national values and nations. Individuals with a solid Nigeria. He has been at the forefront of life skills, including honest background in sports have endeavour, self-confidence, the development of sports in opportunities to benefit from teamwork, communication, Nigeria for several years and the sporting industry through very active in sponsorship and inclusion, discipline, respect, careers as professional players, and fair play. promotion of sports in the sports journalists, marketers, grassroots. Gbenga is in a famil- • Growth and Developmental agents, and promoters, among process – Physical education iar terrain and I agreed with others. typically improves a child’s him on his first speech as the • Unifying force – Capitalizing Director General (DG) that there physical and social ability on the popularity and convenwould be an improved agenda through experiential learning. ing power of sports provides a Providing well guided move- powerful tool for reaching peofor sports in Nigeria. The new Sports Agenda should ments and play help to ple and communicating imporincrease school attendance and tant messages, including mesinclude: overall achievement by school sages of health e.g. awareness of • Physical activities – children. The experiential Encouraging children and HIV/AIDS, polio and malaria. learning mode helps children Sports brings people together youth to undertake regular physical activity. This helps put to be active, interactive, and and has the potential to cross expressive as they learn. them on a positive path to boundaries and create new dia• Women and Girls healthy development. Many logue. This is vital in encouragDevelopment – There should be ing peaceful co-existence and physical education and sport experts concur that participat- a concerted effort at exposing inter-communal harmony. ing in regular physical activity women and girls to physical Many of the core values of activities that were hitherto and play are essential for the sports parallel those necessary physical, mental, psychological, reserved for men and boys. The for peace, such as respect for skills and values learned and social development of an the rule of law, justice, and honthrough sports and play are individual. esty. • Providing physical education, especially important for girls, The rich, the powerful and the sports, and play programmes. given that they have fewer elites should not be left behind These will help to improve the opportunities than boys for in the new sports agenda for health and wellbeing of individ- social interaction outside the the nation. There must be delibhome. Through sports, girls are erate attempt to include Polo. uals while extending life expectancy. Physical activity on given the chance to acquire • Banji Alabi, motor skills, be leaders, a regular basis helps to miniChairman, Ondo State Eminent Persons’ Group.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Business IndustryWatch P38
Imperatives of value-addition in driving real sector growth
IEA strategises to reduce fossil fuel subsidies by $523bn
Nigeria’s bond market: Emerging allure for investors? By Bukky Olajide HE outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting and the press conference that will be addressed today by its chairman, Ben Bernanke, may offer more clarity on Foreign Portfolio Investments [FPIs] strategy for Nigeria. Nigeria has maintained its attraction within the emerging market space owing to its rich yields Overall real yields on the FGN benchmark bonds have reached pre-JPMorgan levels of over four percent on all the benchmarks. According to Consolidated Discount Limited [CDL] analysis, fears on the naira’s stability are real but largely tempered on the premise that the CBN Governor will ensure the defence of the local currency till his departure from the bank. The huge FPIs inflows into Nigeria since August and its legacy many have been largely been anchored on the stability of the naira. Sub-national bonds have become a safe haven for pension funds because of their high coupon rates and illiquidity thus offsetting mark to market valuation fears. However, with the 12 to 14 per cent region that benchmark yields have reached, states and corporate bodies envisaging bond issuances will remain on the sidelines for a while. Navigating the fixed income market, the broad sells offs in the second week of June owing to concerns about the future of the quantitative easing programme of the US Fed may also have twist on the local front. Nervous traders have long fretted about the exit of FPIs. This reached a high on yesterday. However, the corrections in
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Govt inaugurates $1b power facility in Cross River From Anietie Akpan and Sulaimon Salau, Calabar HE Federal Government, yesterday, flagged-off the construction of the General Electric’s (GE’s) $1 billion (about N160 billion) multimodel power manufacturing and services facility in Calabar, Cross River State. Specifically, the investment, which involved $250 million capital expenditure and over $800 million incremental spending on local sourcing of goods and services, would create 2,300 jobs and make
•Raises hope on improved power generation Nigeria the regional hub for GE’s manufacturing service and renovation in Africa. The project, which followed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the American firm and the Federal Government in January, is expected to provide additional 4,000 mega watts to the national grid by the end of the year.. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who officially laid the foundation stone at the
ground breaking ceremony in Calabar, said by the project, GE has proven to be a strategic partner in the ongoing transformation programme of the Federal Government, particularly in the power sector. He expressed optimism that the company’s wide range of experience in energy, transportation and welfare would undoubtedly strengthen the on-going reforms in the sectors and enhance the transfor-
mation agenda. Jonathan, who was represented at the ceremony by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, affirmed that innovation in information, communication technology and effective power delivery, plays critical roles in stimulating economic growth. The project therefore is expected to impact significantly on the power sector and would aid the vision 202020 agenda of the Federal Government. He pointed out that infra-
structure deficit was a major challenge to countries across the continent, while Nigeria is not an exception. To bridge the infrastructure gap, he said the government is developing an emergency to immediately apply the right resources and the right solutions. “We have now stepped up our infrastructure expenditure to about seven per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, we require a
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President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (Left); Managing Director, Forte Oil, Femi Otedola; Managing Director, Visafone, Jim Ovia; and Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Aigboje AigImoukhuede, at a meeting of the Economic Management Team in Abuja, yesterday.
Kolade laments lingering leadership, poor corporate governance crises By Taiwo Hassan HE crisis plaguing the T nation’s socio-economic development may linger unless the twin issues of bad leadership and poor corporate governance, both in the public and private sectors, are addressed. This was the submission of the former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and the Chairman, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr. Christopher Kolade in Lagos yesterday. Kolade, who was the special guest of honour at the maid-
en edition of Institute of Directors (IoDs)’s corporate governance lecture in Lagos, said that recent happenings in the nation’s political system and the economy have indicated that the country was deviating from the tenet of good corporate governance, which consequently, according to him, are major indicators hurting the growth of the nation’s economic development. According to him, recent happenings such as the persistent financial crisis; unbelievable disclosure personnel audit reports of Federal and State Ministries,
Departments and Agencies (MDAs), underpayment and under-assessment and oil companies; and enterprise fatalities across the nation have again reinforced the need to check ethical behaviour in both private and public sectors of the economy in terms of financial dealings. Besides, Kolade explained that lack of political unity among politicians has been injuring the country’s image at the international scene, stressing that there was need for stakeholders to go back to the drawing board and sharpen strategy for
nation building. He said good quality leadership played a key role in any nation building, stressing that governance should give responsible attention to the task of caring for the interest of all members of the society. “Whenever we talk about governance, it is no longer adequate to think only of governors, council members, directors and chairmen; the other parties to governance include employees, suppliers of finance and materials, auditors, regulators, and shareholders- indi-
vidual and institutional. “An expanded list of parties to governance may seem a trifle surprising, until we consider the reality that, for example, just as boards of directors take decisions that determine day-to-day policy and strategy for the corporation, so financiers may offer terms of funding that affect the profitability potential of a business, and so, indeed, shareholders are required to take a decisive position in calling boards to account at regular intervals through all the processes established in the appropriate legislation,”
he added. Kolade, who delivered a paper with the theme: “The Ethical Imperative in Governance,” revealed that the governing structure (legislature, executive and judiciary) has failed to raise the public confidence in governance, stressing that until a u-turn in government policies that would be redirected towards caring of the people in the society. He however berated the judiciary for the immunity clause on public office holders, stressing that the clause was unethical to good corporate governance.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Again, CBN extends KYC requirement compliance deadline By Chijioke Nelson he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the compliance deadline for banks and Designated NonFinancial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to update their account information with evidence of registration to December 31. The extension would be the third time that the need for extension of the deadline would arise and be granted, after the initial circular to all the concerned parties dated January 2012. DNFBPs are dealers in jewelry, precious metals and stones, cars and luxury goods, audit firms, tax consultants, clearing and settlement companies, lawyers, notaries, other independent legal practitioners and chartered accountants, trust and company service providers (who provide services to third parties), hotels, casinos (including internet and shipbased casinos). Others included are supermarkets, real estate agents, non-governmental organizations, religious and charitable organizations or such other businesses and profes-
sions as the Federal Ministry of Trades and Investments or appropriate regulatory authorities may, from time to time, designate. The apex bank noted that the above DNFBPs also include sole practitioners, partners and employed professionals within professional firms, but not refering to “internal” professionals that are employees of other types of businesses nor to professionals working for government agencies who may already be subject to AML/CFT measures. The circular under reference, directed DNFBPs, which are existing financial institutions’ customers to update their account information with evidence of registration, showing registration number with the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering (SCUML) of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments. But following the expiration of initial deadline and representations made by some stakeholders, CBN vide its circular referenced FPR/CIR/GEN/03/001 of February 25, 2013, and extended the deadline by
three months to April 30, 2013. According to the apex bank in another circular dated June 17, 2013, and signed by the Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulation
Department, A. Ikem, it said that “in consideration of some challenges encountered by SCUML as a result of the number of persons seeking to enjoy late compliance, the CBN has decided to fur-
ther extend the second deadline of 30th April, 2013, by eight months to December 31, 2013. “Consequently, DNFBPs who have not registered with SCUML, may take advantage
of this further extension to do so, with the required evidence of registration on or before December 31, 2013, failing which they would not be allowed to operate such accounts.
Director, UBA Plc, Mrs Foluke Abdulrazak (left); Director, Ada Rose Okwechime; Deputy Managing Director, UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka; a long-time customer, Mrs Ajayi Tomori; Special Guest and Director, UBA Plc, Mrs Onari Duke; Chief Executive Officer, Fine and Country, Nigeria, Mrs Udo Maryanne Okonjo, at the presentation of Ruby, a special Current Account for Women, held in Lagos yesterday.
Govt raises hope on improved power generation CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 consistent investment of at least 12 per cent of GDP,” he stated. Restating the government commitment to Public-Private Partnership, he said the partnership with GE is therefore in the right direction, as it focused on value chain localization and indigenous capacity building. The president further assured that the power sector reforms is on course, expressing optimism that the programme would bring significant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and improve power output in the country. He said the government is fast tracking the implementation of 10 new power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) scheme, adding, “From July, one new power plant will be commissioned by the president on monthly basis.” The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said the ground breaking ceremony further demonstrated that the current administration was not just interested in invest-
ment commitments, but in monitoring the processes to the execution stage. He noted that GE had, over the past 125 years, swiftly evolved to seize new opportunities created by changes in technology and the economy as a frontline multi-business organisation. “It is therefore not surprising that the company has moved smartly to explore the favourable investment opportunities that abound in Nigeria. Today, the company is building new platforms in industries and markets with GDP growth that provide opportunities to apply acquired technology and management expertise to accelerate development and growth in both developed and emerging economies”, Aganga said. transformation objectives. The Global Vice Chairman, GE, John Rice, appreciated the state government for making it easy to float the investment, which he described as the second of its type from GE worldwide. Rice said the company is determined to grow local capacity, disclosing that about
$250 million of the capital expenditure would be devoted to manufacturing and service facility, while about $800 million would be spent on the development of local resources, goods and services, labour and qualitative training in the next five years. He assured: “We are going to recruit the world’s most talented people. That is what we have been doing all over the world and that is what we are going to do here in Nigeria.”
Rising profile of bond market CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 the government securities may have been slightly embellished. Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTB) yields of over 15 percent at the long end of the market yesterday was a good re-entry point for investors especially as interbank rates of the same tenor was about 40 basis points lower. Analysts envisage a moderation in NTB yields to around 11.5 to 13 percent levels as more investors recognize that these fears may have been exaggerated. Bond yields may be stuck around the 13 percent region while weaker confidence will also sustain the inversion of the yield curve probably till the end of the year At the equity market, CDL analysts believe that the rich valuations of some of the big names in the Nigerian equity market may have pushed them into bubble territory. Despite the recent rally in the equity space leading to a tally of 2008 records the market still seems fairly valued with a trailing price to earnings ratio (PE) of 14x and 12.15x 2013 forward PE. This clearly puts Nigeria at par with other emerging markets. However, there are fears with some of the big names that have driven this rally. CDL, in its report, added: Stocks like Unilever, PZ Cussons, Nestle and Guinness are good picks in fundamentals and also sentiments (safe haven for dividend hunters) but may be up for some corrections as current valuations may not be sustainable.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Govt commences work on special insurance scheme for albinos • Prisoners to benefit from new NHIS scheme From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja HE federal government T has commenced work on a health insurance system that works for people living with albinism, a scheme described by officials as first of its kind in the world. The scheme, which is being worked out by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), according to government officials, might end up being the first health insurance programme specially dedicated to people living with albinism in Nigeria. The Albino Foundation estimates that over six million persons with albinism in Nigeria are susceptible to skin cancer. To kick-start the process, the federal government recently commissioned a group of experts to quickly develop an operational guideline for the implementation of the proposed health insurance programme for people with
albinism. The committee will fine-tune modalities in integrating People Living with Albinism (PLWA) into NHIS programme. The Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Abdurrahman Sambo, who inaugurated the committee in Abuja, stressed that government recognises albinos as a special vulnerable group and as such would enjoy dedicated health insurance scheme. Among other things, he stressed that the committee would develop a concept note for the special health insurance programme for people living with albinism. He said that the committee would also advise the management of the NHIS on the potential sources of funding. Sambo said: “We are looking at a customised benefit package for PLWA. We have different kinds of programmes aimed at covering
Nigeria will count as the first country ever to put up a programme like this. 89.5 per cent of those with albinism are poor. We do have a problem. All of us are susceptible to skin cancer. All of us will benefit from it. We are championing a course for free treatment of skin cancer. We are going to use this opportunity to designate more hospitals for free albino treatment. With this programme, every hospital will be designated and NHIS will pay for the services.
those in the informal sector. For instance, the community Based Health Insurance Programme (CBHIP) Voluntary Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP) MDG/pregnant women and children under five, all these programmes are targeted to provide qualitative healthcare services to people in the informal sector. He stressed that NHIS was partnering The Albino Foundation because of its mandate to extend coverage to all and sundry, irrespective of gender and social status. He added that NHIS was working with the authorities of the Nigerian Prisons Service so that those in prison custody in the country could access the NHIS as part of the vulnerable groups identified by the programme. President of the Albino Foundation, Jake Epelle commended NHIS on the programmes and activities. He stressed: “I am short of going emotional, dropping tears. This is a milestone achievement by the NHIS. I want to commend on strong terms the commitment of the NHIS in seeing to the implementation of the scheme. “The present leadership of the scheme is very pragmatic and committed in ensuring that all Nigerian have access to qualitative healthcare delivery system. It is
only the NHIS that has initiated such a laudable project to ameliorate the plight of people with albinism in
Africa.” He, therefore, called on all well meaning organisations
and other government agencies to emulate the scheme and put an end to the stereotype attached to people liv-
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
MoneyWatch Implementation inertia on bank rules: Matters arising The slow pace of adoption and implementation of regulations and guidelines in the financial system has become manifest that one may begin to question how synonymous directive is with suggestion. CHIJIOKE NELSON writes. HERE is no doubt that oversight functions T will elicit calls for clarification, with possible consequent instructions for correcting anomalies or strengthening the status quo. There might also arise newer guidelines and regulations, perhaps to get the targeted establishment atuned to the prevailing global standards or international best practices. Whichever and whatever the case may be, the process will require directive at one time and suggestion at other time. The question still remains: What is the difference between directive and suggestion? The understanding may not be exhaustive here, but directive is an order or instruction, especially one issued by a central authority, according to The Free Dictionary. A directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each member to which it is addressed. But suggestion is defined as the process whereby the mere presentation of an idea to a receptive individual leads to the acceptance of that idea or psychological process by which an idea is induced in or adopted by another without argument, command, or coercion. It is more like recommendations and opinions, which shall have no binding force. How have these words been applied or understood in Nigeria’s banking space at one time or the other? Evidence has shown that stakeholders and major players- the banks, have either mixed it up or applied one for the other. At certain times, they may have deviced words like “piece meal” directive, judging by their body language. Perhaps, we will be demanding for additional explanation after every directive is given, to get the targeted group comply. Though businesses are profit making ventures, we are also concerned more on business ethics, the consumer rights, the protection and corporate social responsibility. These border on regulators’ directive and suggestion. Beside profit-making, which has fast become the old theory and constant feature of capitalism, businesses that seek to promote its brand identity, increased patronage and assured continuity are routing for investments and propositions that are customerfriendly, with considerations for the operating environment. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently launched a programme known as the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles. It seemed to be an all-inclusive approach to identifying and handling issues that hitherto, were hidden or neglected by banks, which along the line of their activities become the bane of their very existence. It was indeed, another strategy to strengthen the financial system. But the questions remain: Is it possible to remain socially responsible and attentive to environmental issues, with rising profit level? What is the link between organisation’s operations and the environment in which they operate? Interest Rate Directive After two months into the effective date for the commencement of the stipulated interest rate on savings deposits in banks, majority of the financial institutions have defied the directive. According to investigations by The Guardian, the directive contained in the “Revised Guide to Bank Charges”, which was released in March 2013, CBN, with effective date of April 1, appeared optional for some deposit money banks as they choose various rates to implement, when to implement it, while others sustained status quo. By the theory and knowledge of Business Studies, there are three types of accounts, namely Savings, Deposit and Current accounts. It is the banks that split each account into sub-divisions, as part of their product development. Suffice it to say that other accounts appear elitist except Savings, as majority of the nation’s population are
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance minister assessed to be living under $1 or $2 per day. So, it takes above average to put money in deposit account and Savings Account becomes the “sector” for the poor masses or below average Nigerians. Little wonder, they should be identified with, either by regulation, suggestion or by corporate social responsibility initiative of the financial institutions. By the regulator’s guideline, all deposit money banks are to pay interest on savings deposits to the tune of 30 per cent of the subsisting Monetary Policy Rate. This means that at present, all banks are to pay 3.6 per cent on savings accounts. But CBN’s publication on Average Deposit and Lending rates of banks as at May 24, showed that the banks ignored the directive, with few paying the stipulated per cent, while others took to the pattern of “free for all.” For example, at the beginning of May, on nine of the banks, out of the 21, were implementing the actual interest rate, with Heritage Bank leading the pack at 4.29 per cent, overshooting the stipulated 3.6 per cent with 0.69 per cent. By May 17, it rose to 10 banks, while 11 banks joined as at May 24. Similarly, Access Bank, Citi Bank, Ecobank, Enterprise Bank, GTBank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Union Bank and Zenith Bank joined the league of early compliants, with the stipulated interest rate of 3.6 per cent. The question still overhang is: Why the disjointed compliance? Are all the banks not in the same industry? Is the guideline a directive or suggestion? What is the regulator’s role? Yet the apex bank said that the new guideline, which supersedes that of 2004, was meant to provide a standard for the application of charges in the banking industry and minimize conflicts between banks and their customers. It said the publication was also meant to help banks’ customers to make informed investment decisions. Of note too, is the fact that while the guideline stipulated a negotiation of interest rates between banks and their clients on certain deposits and lendings, savings deposits’ rate was to be followed strictly. Could it be that some classes of Savings Accounts are not qualified for the stipulated interest rate by
Sanusi the measurement of the banks, which created them anyway. But on the guideline did not make provision for that strategy, nor did it make any provision for sub-savings accounts. For us, Savings Account is the same one and only. ATM Charges Withdrawal This present situation was also witnessed when CBN directed the removal of charges associated with Automated Teller Machines’ transactions. It was evident that over two months after the decision and approval for the immediate removal of N100 charge on customers who use the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of banks other than theirs, most banks were still surcharging customers, thus showing disrespect and exhibiting the slow pace of adoption of directives by the apex bank. The CBN had in November 2011 rolled out new guidelines for the deployment of offsite ATMs by banks and Independent ATM Deployers, giving banks and other ATM deployers the authority to charge cus-
tomers a maximum of N100 per transaction on their ATMs. The same circular and method of communication by CBN was used here and the banks got it right as it was a gainful prospect. However, the Bankers’ Committee of the CBN on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, approved the immediate removal of the N100 charge on customers who use the Automated Teller Machines of banks other than theirs. Evidently, their action showed that they “did not get it right.” It took them a lot of time to reprogrammed some of their ATMs, but they all rushed to programme the machines when it was in their favour. Was the directive discussed before implementation date? CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said that there was a unanimous decision by banks to stop the N100 charge, saying that the delay in implementCONTINUED ON PAGE 22
NUGGETS The Price/Earnings (P/E) Ratio is the most common measure of how expensive a stock is. The P/E ratio is equal to a stock’s market capitalization divided by its aftertax earnings over a 12-month period, usually the trailing period but occasionally the current or forward period. The value is the same whether the calculation is done for the whole company or on pershare basis. For example, the P/E ratio of company A with a share price of $10 and earnings per share of $2 is 5. The higher the P/E ratio, the more the market is willing to pay for each dollar of annual earnings. Companies with high P/E ratios are more likely to be considered “risky” investments than those with low P/E ratios, since a high P/E ratio signifies high expectations. Comparing P/E ratios is most valuable for companies within the same industry. The last year’s price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) would be actual, while current year and forward year price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) would be estimates, but in each case, the “P” in the equation is the current price. Companies that are not currently profitable (that is, ones which have negative earnings) don’t have
a P/E ratio at all. Also called earnings multiple. 5Cs of Credit is the five key elements a borrower should have to obtain credit: Character (integrity); Capacity- A company or economy’s ability to produce goods and services and repay a debt, as adjudged by the lenders. This may be evident in the (sufficient cash flow to service the obligation); Capital- Assets that can be used to generate income, sometimes called the net worth; Collateral- Assets used to secure the debt; and ConditionsAn event, action or obligation that must be fulfilled or completed before another proposition is fulfilled. Conditions are often associated with contracts. The borrower is the person that has applied, met specific requirements, and received a monetary loan from a lender. The individual initiating the request signs a promissory note agreeing to pay the lien holder back during a specified timeframe for the entire loan amount plus any additional fees. The borrower is legally responsible for repayment of the loan and is subject to any penalties for not repaying the loan back based on the lending terms agreed upon.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Stakeholders rue slow pace of regulations’ adoption CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 ing the policy was to allow banks configure their information technology infrastructure for the effective implementation of the policy. “We have agreed on a final date of Monday, 17 December, 2012 for the kick-off when every bank will remove the charges. We allowed some time for banks that have not configured their IT to do so and stop charging and hopefully by 17th of December, you are not going to have any customer pay additional charges,” he said. Did they really understand the directive at first? One bank chief said: “Presently, when you use the ATM of a bank other than your bank, there is a charge of N100 which is borne by the account holder. We have decided that we will work out the modality and ensure that with immediate effect, we would pass on this cost to the respective banks, which bear the cost of providing services. No matter where you are withdrawing your money from, you will not be subjected to any charge for using the ATM.” Excuses Tendered According to reliable sources close to some of the banks, “yes, it was agreed that there will be no charge for the use of ATM, but the modality for complete removal has not been collectively agreed, but some of the banks on their own had started to implement it.” At a time, the Head of Corporate Communication of one of the new old generation banks said that the Bankers Committee made the pronouncement for the removal, but it was not automatic, adding that there should be a timeline because the ATMs service providers have to reconfigure the machines to suit the present challenge. Another one from the new generation bank said that the Bankers’ Committee pronouncement is yet to be effected and as soon as they work out the modalities, the bank will comply. Stakeholders Reaction Meanwhile, the development has elicited stakeholders’ reaction, especially over the assessed slow pace of adoption of rules
Onyekpere that seek to protect customer/consumer rights in the financial system, arguing that if the directive turns to their favour, compliance is always immediate. The Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, said: “This shows that human conduct is to a great extent dictated by self interest and that the alternative courses of action available to human institutions gives them a choice in decision making. However, since the directive of the Central Bank is the norm that should be obeyed at the pain of punishment, there is no discretion on the part of any bank to disobey the instruction. It is therefore, incumbent on the CBN, being the regulator, to devise and apply adequate sanctions in view of the gravity of the disobedience. For the banking public, the implication is that those who have been treated in a manner contrary to the CBN directive have a right to insist on a claim on the offending
banks to turn over the withheld sums of money.” An Abuja-based Development Consultant, Jide Ojo, said that the action touched on four fundamental issues– breach of customer rights, ethics, corporate social responsibility and failure on the part of the regulator to imprint its seal of authority in its directives.The regulator ought to have known that these banks would naturally not want to comply, because it is a loss to them, so to speak. The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria has also not done well to the point that its existence seems to be in doubt. The issue of ethics should have been championed by it, but it has always looked the other way. “I have said that the system we operate here does not encourage investment nor support its own policy. For the fact that it is a directive from the regulator, it should be obeyed and enforcement ought to have
started immediately. Assuming the directive was that no interest should be paid on savings accounts, would it take them time to adjust their systems? The culture of impunity in the country has pervaded every aspect of our national life. Directive is not suggestion and all involved are expected to implement it at the same time. Why were some banks obeying, while others are foot-dragging? It is only in Nigeria that this obtains and that is regulatory failure.” But the Head of Consumer Banking in one of the top playing banks in the country, though gave reasons for low interest rates on savings account, also said that the bank complied immediately the guideline was released. “Interest on savings account does not work the way it is seen outside the bank. If you have a savings product, there is a treasury department that actually manages the accounts. What is bank in the business of lending, except that it takes depositors money and lend to its customers. But in savings account, you can come back any day and at will, to demand for the money and for that, we cannot lend out the money to a customer for a longer period and take high interest from the customer. “So, what can be done with savings deposit is extremely limited and we are not really getting much from it, hence interest attached to it is always lower than that on fixed deposits. But the new Central Bank guide on charges and fees stipulated a minimum rate to pay on savings account deposits, which is linked to the subsisting Monetary Policy Rate. All the banks adopted that and my bank has complied.” Definitely, CBN has onerous tasks of letting those under its supervision to understand, if they don’t understand its stance on policy issues in form of guidelines, regulations and suggestions. It also has the task of enforcing its directives, otherwise they will become as good as “non-directives.” The public should also be made to know which of its pronouncements that is directive or suggestion as the case may be. For now, interest rate on savings deposits as stipulated in the Revised Guide for Charges and Fees in Banks and Discount Houses must be complied with by all in the industry.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
23 In partnership with
Show Casing African Maritime Potential HE Maritime Industry is vast and the main stay of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry. There is need for players in this sector to explore opportunities and events where one can meet face-to-face with thousands of colleagues and suppliers while sourcing and researching new products, technologies and ideas. Seatrade Middle East Workboats & Offshore Marine focuses on what is important to the Maritime Industry, attracting key Industry players from the region and the world. This exhibition will continue to offer a platform untapped in the global marketplace – an event which brings together decision makers and buyers from geographic marketplace that includes the mighty African Continent, the growing Caspian Sea area, the India Subcontinent and the Middle East. With over 2,800 participants, this is the biggest commercial marine tradeshow in Middle East and your one big opportunity to find the new idea, product or connection that you need to stand out and get ahead, for instance, the new and upgraded engines that have widened the propulsion and genset drive options for vessel designers and operators, offering fuel flexibility and emissions compliance; to the innovative approach developed by DNV SeaSkill, working closely with the Ship Modelling & Simulation Centre (SMSC), in developing a new and flexible way of achieving a DP (Dynamic Positioning) operator certificate, an alternative to the Nautical Institute scheme which, until now, has been the only route into the market. Seatrade Middle East Workboats & Offshore Marine exhibitions have become the leading events for the marine industry in the Middle East by successfully bringing together thousands of people who want to buy with thousands of businesses selling the latest products
and technologies. The response to the 2011 Show was fantastic. In terms of exhibitors achievements, 94% of exhibitors thought there were good quality visitors to the event. 93% reported meeting overall objectives, 96% stated they would return in 2013 and 81% thought Middle East Workboats 2011 was better than in 2009. In terms of objectives achieved by visitors, 92% of visitors met exhibitors that they plan to transact business with. 99% of visitors thought the quality of exhibitors were good, while 85% discovered new products and services and 99% thought the networking opportunities were good. This workboats event is the solution that can connect you to the best resources in the maritime industry all in one opportune setting. With numerous exhibitors and thousands of innovative products, you’ll be able to meet and negotiate face to face with colleagues and suppliers to find the new ideas that bring in business and save you money, meet and troubleshoot with product experts, negotiate directly with multiple suppliers, discuss the latest advancements in vessel technology, and find the solutions that are right for your business. This exhibition is an industry event that gets you in front of thousands of qualified buyers who spend millions of dollars annually on world-class marine equipment and services. From large fleet owners to independent vessel/owner operators, you will find them all here. Coming off the 2009 most successful event, is your opportunity to get connected with what you need to continue building and maintaining your business. The event offers exclusive setting for critical information sharing, idea generation and rare business to business collaboration and will provide maritime executives the right resources to
keep their companies competitive and profitable. It is designed for senior managers from every sector of the commercial marine industry including fleet owners, builders and finance executives, deck machinery & equipment suppliers, naval architects, classification and registries, Legal practitioners, Marine consultants, equipment manufacturers and distributors, Port authorities and port engineers, marine surveyors, military buyers and government officials, safety/security professionals, shipbrokers and insurance executives. This event brings together vessels in the workboats & offshore marine industry including: Offshore support vessels Offshore and passenger crew boats Platform supply boats Anchor handling vessels Tankers Diving vessels RIBS Coastal, harbour and ocean-going tugs Towboats Barges Military boats Patrol/security/coastguard/police boats Fireboats Research and seismic vessels Shipyards and commercial boatbuilders Dredgers Tugs Oil exploration and production vessels Research, science and education vessels Landing craft Passenger launches Fast ferries Pilot boats Salvage vessels.
This indicates importance of Marine Business. Nigeria equivalent with great potential is NIMAREX. Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), one of Africa’s biggest maritime event, is an annual international exhibition and conference hosted by the Federal Ministry of Transport with its parastatal agencies and stakeholders in the maritime industry borne out of the need to harness the opportunities in the Nigerian maritime industry. It is an ideal forum to showcase products, new technologies, services, networking and unlocking real business opportunities, with its vision, “to establish Nigeria as the Maritime Hub for Africa” and mission “to pursue growth and sustain increased local content participation in the Nigerian Maritime Industry.” A key objective of NIMAREX is to “showcase Nigeria’s maritime accomplishments, new technologies and services, and to create an awareness of the opportunities available in Nigeria to increase patronage and development.” The theme of its maiden exhibition held in 2011 was “widening the frontiers of Nigeria’s maritime industry.” In 2012 the chosen theme was untapped opportunities in the maritime industry in an emerging economy”, while the 2013 “Nigeria’s Maritime: Invest Now” was selected to reflect the aspirations of the Federal Government for accelerated growth of the nation’s maritime industry. While NIMAREX 2011 – 2013 have been hailed as huge successes with the quality of participants and exhibitors, arrangements are in top gear to ensure that NIMAREX 2014 surpasses the first three editions in all ramifications. Nigerian Chamber of Shipping is on the planning committee of NIMAREX, and is also partnering with Seatrade for the 2013 Middle East Workboats & Offshore Marine Exhibition and Conference. For further information kindle contact us.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Cargo Defence: Need For Back Up Legislation And Visible Procedures. By Ms. Azuka. N. Ogo Secretary, Cargo Defence Fund.
Being a Paper she presented at a Roundtable on Cargo Exposure to Risks of Damage, Loss And Delay At Nigerian Ports And Terminal organized by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council recently THE MAJOR CONCERNS The Roundtable was organized to aggregate concerns affecting Risks to Cargo, Cargo Protection issues and the following as hereunder listed;
From the Desk of the DIRECTOR GENERAL
Dear Readers , N the Last publication , we brought to you, a research paper by Prof. Princewill Owualah, a Professor of Transport Economics and Logistics, titled “Determining Sustainable Port Logistics Operation in a Developing Economy” and information on the 1st National Trade Compliance Summit conducted by African Centre for Supply Chain, in addition. I have tried this week, to bring you more interesting The first being a paper titled “Regulatory Role on Statutory Certification”. A must read for those of you that are ship owners/ operators. In the past week the Institute of Transport Administration (IoTA) Nigeria, organized a 2-day mandatory professional development workshop in Lagos, for Transport Professionals. I was priviledged to attend and was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute. I am very honoured. Penultimate week, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council held a session on Cargo Defence Fund. We bring to your reading pleasure, two of the papers presented at the fora. “Need for back up Legislation and visible procedures” and “Cargo exposure to risks of damage, loss and delay at Nigerian Ports and Terminals”. Our Quarterly workshop “Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry” comes up on 25th - 27th June 2013. The objective of the program focuses on divulging a more practical and comprehensive (technical and commercial) understanding and approach to ship management/operations within the cabotage and local content implementation exercise. The Workshop always brings together, the operators and regulators from various industry segments, providing an interesting avenue for interaction and networking. It is quite enriching. It addresses issues starting from legal, technical and operational aspects of ship management, key industrial challenges and environmental issues facing the maritime sector, to Vessel/Equipment Inspection (Physical and Classification Surveys), funding, vessel registration, marine insurance, Cabotage and Local Content policies, and lastly, the development of the maritime industry in Nigeria and the Legislation. The main objective of this quarterly program is to up-skill Nigerians and to imbibe best practice operations as goes on in other parts of the world. In addition, we have our usual tit bits. This time, it is titled “The right to carry crude oil” and a write up by Moses Dele, Managing Director/CEO Q-SHE Limited on the Post OTC Summit. Lastly, we present an overview, maritime tradeshows and discovering the African potentials. The write up talks about Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) and the Middle East Workboats & Offshore Marine Exhibition and Conference as events targeted at aiding maritime operators to stay ahead of change and to keep their businesses profitable in Africa/ West Africa. I hope you enjoy your package this week. As always, I promise to bring issues that greatly affect us in the Maritime Sector.
* Increased occurrences or incidents of damage, loss and delay to cargoes in International Trade at Nigerian Ports and Terminals *Problems created by uncertainties as to the Legal Regime applicable. *Confusion or Uncertainty with regard to steps to take for Remedial Action in the event of delay, damage or loss of Cargo. *Confusion or Uncertainty with regard to Documentation, Procedure and due Processes to ensure Successful settlement of claims NEED FOR BACK UP REGULATION AND VISIBLE PROCEDURE. The Regulatory Framework for Carriage of Goods by Sea, Land and Air are many with significant differences. Different grounds of Liability, different Limitations of Liability. Different documents with different Legal value. Different Time Bars, etc INTERMODAL CONSIDERATIONS Where more than one Transport Mode is used for Carriage of Goods and there has been an attempt to combine the modes, a formidable problem arises in the event of loss or damage to those goods. At what stage did the loss or damage occur; It becomes more complicated if the loss or damage cannot be localized; or Where the loss occurs gradually during the entire transport ATTEMPTS AT UNIFORMITY The Carriage of goods by two or more modes of transport, under one contract or one document has warranted the need for Uniformity in TERMS OF CARRIAGE The development of new transportation techniques, such as containerization and other means on unitization of cargoes in the 60’s also introduced a significant need for modification of commercial and traditional Legal approaches to transport. Cargoes stowed in container could be transported by different means of transport, such as ships or aircrafts from point of origin to the Final place of destination without being unpack for sorting or verification when being transferred from one means of transports In spite of various attempts to establish uniform Legal Framework, no such International Regime is in Force. CURRENT LEGAL POSITION (INTERNATIONAL) Divergent Legal Regimes by sea; Hague Rules (1924) (International Convention For the unification of certain Rules Relating to Bills of Lading)
Hague- Visby Rules 1968, Hamburg Rules (1978) (The United Nations Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea) Now negotiated Rotterdam Rules (2008)(United Nations Convention Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods wholly or partly by Sea) Individual Governments and Regional/ Subregional intergovernmental bodies taking the initiative of enacting Legislation to overcome uncertainties and problems e.g. By air: Warsaw Convention 1929 } The Hague Protocol 1955 }è with different ratification by different Countries The Montreal Convention 1999 } Fortunately Nigeria is party to Hamburg Rules and Montreal Convention 1999 (Convention for the Unification of certain Rules for International Carriage by Air) which enjoy similar basis Liability CURRENT LEGAL POSITION (NIGERIA) Nigeria’s Ratification and Enforcement of Hamburg Rules -2005 Basis of Liability reads as follows:“The carrier is liable for loss resulting from loss of or damage to goods, as well as from delay which took place while the goods were in his charge —- etc” Concessioning of Cargo Handling Services at Ports 2005/2006 Services include Cargo handling, Warehousing, Inland depot transfers, Terminal Handling etc OBJECTIVES OF NIGERIAN PORT REFORMS. These objectives include: Enhancing the efficiency of the Ports Diversification of Port Services and promotion of competition Encouraging Private Sector Investment in the Industry Reduction of Costs of Services Improving Labour problems Satisfaction of Needs of the market and the Users of Services Encouraging Fair Trading Practices Others OVERALL INTERESTS OF CARGO OWNERS The overall interests of Cargo Owners must not be excluded or sidelined from the objectives of the Nigerian Port Reforms These Overall Interests hinge on Improved Services at Reduced Costs, it should also translate to: reduced or minimised Incidents of delay, loss
The Right To Carry Crude Oil Important Facts to Note RUDE lifting is not just a business that should be handled as a political issue or satisfy the yearnings of a few who feel that it is their God given right to carry the crude produced solely for the reason that it is produced in Nigeria and that we are Nigerian. The lifting of Nigerian requires that certain things must be put in place both from the point of the regulatory agency i.e. NIMASA and the stakeholders From the regulatory agency the questions that beg answers are the following: What is the status of the setting up of the secondary ship registry that is to be hybrid in nature? How far has the agency gone in updating the ship registry in order to make it automated and to meet all international set standards? How far with the fiscal incentives already presented to FG for approval as it relates to ship-
ping. What is the status of the training of our port and flag state officers in order for them to carry out their statutory responsibilities? What is the status of the seafarers ID card system? Is it now functional? What are the financial mechanisms that have been put in place to assist those who intend to foray into this market? Has NIMASA began the process of engaging NNPC and if so, what is the outcome If not what will be the strategy of engaging NNPC ? For the stakeholders Who are the identified members who feel capable enough to enter into this business? What do they have to show their capability or otherwise to be entrusted with the volume of product they intend carrying? Have the fears initially expressed by Obaseki when he was GMD NNPC been allayed? How have they been able to tackle even the local tanker business
talk less of entering into the international business which we all know is cut throat. If they are intending to have technical partners, have these partners been identified and what is the structure of operations. Have they been able to deal with coastal transportation before considering international crude lifting. What are we bringing to the table to NNPC that will allow them consider local companies. International business is not based on sentiments and if local companies must be considered they must put something on the table either as it relates to pricing, safety human capital development etc. Even if the difference is that what the locals are offering is 10% above international shipowners, has this been looked into and if so how can it be achieved and sustained.
or damage to cargo Cargo Care Improved Recovery Procedures in the event of loss or damage Standard Documentation for Claims Transparent Procedures for Joint Cargo Surveys Speedy Settlement of Claims in the event of delay, loss or damage Others. FILLING THE GAP Problems are created by uncertainties as to the Legal Regime applicable when International Trade cargoes are not in the charge of Carriers nor in the charge of Cargo Owning Interests. Need to define who takes responsibility for what and to what extent during the identified GAP PERIOD in line with International Best Practices and Conventions ratified by Nigeria (in force) Need to have Established and Visible Rules and Principles guiding Rights, Responsibilities, Obligations, Duties, and Liabilities of Operators. Need to make accessible, Complaints/Claims Desks at all Terminals and to designate Officers where possible or practicable Need to work together to minimise or reduce RISKS and promote CARGO CARE Need to have a system or Network for a workable, sustainable and effective Liability System which supports multimodalism within Nigeria for International Carriage of Goods Covering Ports, Off Dock Terminals, ICD/CFS, T.T.C and other Similar Terminals PORT CONCESSIONNING IN NIGERIA Port Concessionning created New roles for Public and Private Sector Port Operations Public Sector (NPA), Port Planning Licensing and Control, Port Development, Technical Regulations, Channel Management etc Private Sector( Terminal Operators) Cargo Operations, Port Labour, Investment in Equipment, Investment in Terminal Maintenance, Insurance of Concession Assets and Insurance of Commodities against loss, damage and destruction. PORT OPERATIONS HANDLED BY TERMINAL OPERATORS: Cargo Handling: Warehousing, Consolidation, Inland Deport Transfers etc Documentation and Transport Deployment of Dock Labour. Cargoes now are in the custody of Terminal Operators after discharge till Cargo Interests/Owners take delivery VISIBLE RULES AND PRINCIPLE TO ADDRESS: Period of Responsibility Receipt for goods or issuance of Documents Basis of Liability: delay, loss, damage Limits of Liability Action of Servants and Agents of Terminal Operators within Scope of Employment or Engagement Notice of loss, damage, delay; Time Frame Participation in Joint Inspection or Survey: Procedures for Joint Cargo Surveys Limitation of Action; Commencement of Limitation period Procedures for Claims against Shipping Companies, Terminal Operators, Underwriters. Documentation For Claims Dispute Resolution Mechanisms Recourse Action; Protection of Vested Interests. Enforcement or Sanctions STEP BY STEP APPROACH We believe in the step by step approach of : Setting Objectives Improving Communications Building Consensus Legal Framework Implementation/Enforcement We , the Cargo Defence Fund, the Nigerian Insurers Association, Guilds of Marine Surveyors, P.C.C and Others believe that a stricter well defined REGIME contained in a Handbook or Manual made available to ALL PLAYERS/OPERATORS will assist enforcement. The Legislation should seek to provide Sanctions, Remedies and Enforcement Powers
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
CompuLife The dominance challenges in telecoms sector ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, in this report, x-rays the supposed dominance stance in Nigeria’s telecoms sector. Excerpts: HE dust gathered by the recent declaration of T the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that two operators in the country, MTN and Globacom are dominant players in different categories of the market may still continue to throw up more issues, until it is adequately defined. This is because several opinion have been raised by telecoms experts and subscribers, who urged the regulator to either prioritise the regulation or risk having the sector fall back to telecommunications days of Nigeria Telecommunications Limited, where its monopoly was firm on the sector. It must however, be noted that this is not the first time the commission is making attempt at stabilising competition in the telecoms market. Recalled that in 2010, it attempted such exercise but then, none of the service providers could be considered a dominant player. But a repeat exercise in June 2012 tagged: “Study of the Assessment of the Level of Competition in the Nigerian telecommunications industry”, came up with a verdict that MTN and Glo – are the dominant players. The study considered six market segments namely Mobile Voice, Fixed Voice, Fixed Data, Mobile Data, Upstream Segment and Downstream Segment. The study revealed that there are no dominant operators yet in the fixed mobile, fixed data and downstream market segments. For voice data, MTN, which had about 47.4 million subscribers (about 43.57 per cent market share), as at December last year, was declared the dominant operator. The network, which commenced operation at the launch of the GSM liberalisation in 2001, was also announced as joint dominant operator in the upstream segment. The other network so declared was Glo, which launched its services in 2003 and had about 24.1 million subscribers (about 22.15 per cent) as at December 2012. Going by its findings, NCC declared that there are concerns in the two market segments. For mobile voice, it states that the segment is not “effectively competitive.” Fundamentally, NCC expressed worry about what it described as “wide differential (of about 300 per cent) between onnet and off net calls.” It goes further to warn “this is indicative of the likely establishment of a calling hub for MTN subscribers.” Though, the regulator stated that the dominant operator in the mobile voice market should, among other requirements, collapse on-net and off-net retail tariffs immediately, work is still on the modality, investigation has revealed. According to MTN tariffs, its subscribers are encouraged to make calls within the networks. Take the MTN booster weekly prepaid charge. It offers MTN-toMTN calls at 10 kobo per second, while subscribers are charged 150 per cent more – 25 kobo per second – for calls to other networks. At 30 kobo per second for calls from the second minute till the rest of the day, MTN Super Saver off-net call rates are exploitative. There is a huge difference of 200 per cent as it charged 10 kobo per second for on-net calls. Other operators appear to have made life easier for their subscribers when making calls outside their networks. For Glo, its Talk-Free pre-paid package, on-net calls cost 15 kobo per second and 18 kobo per second for off-net calls. SMS charges are the same N4 irrespective of whether the message is sent to within or outside the network. On Glo Hi-Flier and G-BAM Hi 5ive, subscribers enjoy same 18 kobo per second charge to any network within Nigeria. Airtel has 2good Classic and Airtel Club 10, among other packages. For the former, voice calls have a flat rate of 18 kobo per second for calls to all national destinations, irrespective of the network. Airtel Club 10 requires subscribers to register 10 Airtel lines of family, friends or associates which would then enable calls to be made at 8.34 kobo per second. Calls to other Airtel numbers on this package cost 20 kobo per second on-net and 30 kobo per second off-net. Etisalat has Easy starter, among its several packages. Calls to all networks cost 50 kobo per second, while Homezone calls are charged at 40 kobo per second whether on-net or off-net. On Easycliq, calls within the network at peak period cost 40 kobo per second and a minimal increase
Operators to 50 kobo per second for off-net calls. Having commenced the Dominant Operator policy since May 1, the NCC is expected to have ensured compliance with the new regime, particularly in the area of pricing. In his recent announcement, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, assured that the regulatory agency would deploy all necessary procedures to ensure that both companies did not use their dominant positions in the industry to stifle competition. NCC said it had, therefore, put measures in place to correct current anti-competitive behaviours being practiced by both dominant operators. In his words, “dominance, in itself, is not negative because it is an indication of the effectiveness, resourcefulness and strategic decisions of the operator. However, the conduct of the operator determines how its dominance would be perceived, particularly if that conduct is likely to substantially lessen competition and distort the market.” Indeed, the issues involved in the dominance category are not far-fetched. They are explicitly explained in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA); the NCC’s Competition Practices Regulations 2007 and the Consultation Guidelines of the Nigerian Communications Commission 2007. According to Competition Practices Regulation (CPR) 2007, S.18, it provides that in making a determination as to dominance, the NCC shall “apply the standards and processes described in this part, with the objective of identifying those licensees that have a position of economic strength in one or more specifically defined communications markets, such that, they have the ability to unilaterally restrict output, raise prices, reduce quality or otherwise, act independently of competitors or consumers. The CPR also prescribes mandatory procedures to be applied by the commission in making a determination on dominance and determining whether such position is leading to abuse of SMP or a substantial lessening of competition within the defined market. The CPR prescriptions include need to define the relevant market(s) and initiate proceedings to determine whether conduct constitutes a substantial lessening of competition pursuant to the NCA– the mandatory process to be followed is detailed in the schedule to the CPR. Besides, some of the issues also identified as controversial in the 2013 determination, which may taints the process to the point of rendering it nugatory includes the use of theoretical models for assessing competition rather than the specific quantitative measures provided by relevant instruments. The NCC adopted the Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) Model and the HHI Index to state that that because an operator holds 40 per cent market share in the mobile
works. In essence, the firm has been penalised based on anticipated conduct as opposed to actual conduct, which is prejudicial to the provisions of S. 92(4) of the NCA; S 24, 25 and 34 of the CPR, as well as one of the telecommunication firm’s constitutional rights. A thorough check on the industry has shown that prices across Nigeria’s mobile-phone operators have dropped by 50 per cent over the past year. Industry analysts ascribe this to high level of competition in the industry, but the regulator said based on theoretical considerations the market is not competitive enough. Many elements in the theoretical models used by the regulator appears less irrelevant to the Nigerian market. For instance, none of the “structural barriers” confers any advantage on any operator; “pricing strategies” are ineffectual to the extent that no operator can determine pricing to the exclusion of others as required by applicable instruments; MNP and multi-SIMming has removed all “switching barriers” for switching suppliers – but is still considered in the Commission’s evaluation among others. Competition regulation is designed to protect the interest of consumers to a stable, efficient market. The regulator however, appears more concerned with protecting the interests of competitors and indeed shielding them from the consequences of their inefficient actions. By asking MTN to fix tariffs based on the perceived impact on other networks rather than the cost of providing service to customers, the voice market and that there was up to 300 per telecommunications firm may be acting to the cent differentials in its on-net and off-net tariffs, detriment of its obligations to its customers. By then the telecommunications firm has the potential of creating calling clubs which could Continued on Page 28 prevent its subscribers from calling other net-
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Telecoms operators urge subscribers to confirm, register SIMs before deadline By Adeyemi Adepetun ITH 11 days to the Nigerian Communications Commission W (NCC) deadline for the disconnection of all unregistered Subscribers Identification Modules (SIMs), telecommunications operators have called on their subscribers to confirm the status of the SIMs whether duly registered or not to avoid disconnection by June 30. Indeed, Nigeria today has about 161 million connected lines and 117 million active lines. As usual, the GSM operators including MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat share 114 million active subscribers. The Code Division Multiple Operators including Visafone, Starcomms and Multilinks have 2.7 million active lines. Speaking to journalists at different fora in Lagos, MTN Nigeria’s Corporate Service Executive, Akinwale Goodluck said that the operator was ready for the June 30 SIM registration deadline but not without urging its subscribers found wanting to register before the due date. “We don’t want to lose our subscribers and no reasonable business person would like to lose its customers. We implore them to check their SIM status and register to avoid disconnection because their disconnection also means loss of revenue for the operators, for as long as the line is disconnected,” he said. Chief Customer Service Officer, MTN Nigeria, Akin Braithwaite said in the last few weeks, MTN has been notifying subscribers on the impending deadline for SIM registration. “We are sending out communications via SMS, robotic and personal calls to ensure that they comply 100 per cent. We know not all of them
Sim cards are literate that’s why we’ve followed up with person to person calls directing them to our outlets to get assistance.” Braithwaite, who informed that MTN subscribers could confirm their SIM status by sending REG to 746, added that all SIMs in Ipads, Internet dongles should also be registered. Also, at a nationwide consumer forum in Port Harcourt, Airtel’s Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, Deepak
Srivastava urged its customers to register their SIMs ahead of the regulator’s June 30th deadline. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat, Steven Evans: “We continue to appeal to our subscribers to get their SIMs registered for them to continue to be on our innovative and best network.” Evans, who said Etisalat Nigeria welcomes the decision by NCC, said that it would ensure that only registered subscribers were on any telecoms network. He urged Etisalat subscribers who were yet to register their lines to do so within the remaining grace period. Speaking at the weekend, the President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo called on subscribers to ensure that their unregistered SIM cards are registered “before they are caught up in cobweb of the June 30 deadline.” He warned defaulting subscribers on the “negative consequences of disconnection from enjoying services at this time when our life is increasingly depending on telecommunications services by the day.” The NCC, had through its Director, Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo announced on May 10: “The Nigerian Communications Commission has set a deadline for disconnection of all unregistered SIM cards.” According to him: “From 30th of June 2013, all unregistered SIM cards will be barred from the telecoms service,” stressing that failure to do the needful by an existing subscriber would lead to denial of service by the respective operator for which such an operator must comply.”
‘Mobile devices can assist developing countries access health care’ access to medical expertise for anybody living in a geographical transmission of diagnostic-quality medical data from a range of OBILE health technology has substantial potential for area with a cellphone signal.” peripheral diagnostic devices that will allow point-of-care theraM improving access to health care in the developing world There are some barriers to implementation of these solutions, peutic intervention,” said Dr. Ivar Mendez, University of and in remote regions of developed countries, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) has revealed. In many countries, lack of medical professionals and health care infrastructure, limited or poor equipment, sporadic power and other obstacles hamper access to health care. However, the development of remote-presence medical devices can help fill this void by connecting people in remote locations with experienced health care professionals for real-time assessment. Smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices are being used in health care, but applications are limited because of processing capacity, privacy issues and signal variability. “The next step in the evolution of mobile telemedicine is the development of portable, dedicated medical communication devices capable of providing real-time remote presence and
Saskatchewan, with coauthor. Pilot tests by the authors using a mobile-presence device in the remote Bolivian Andes mountains with pregnant women allowed an obstetrician in Halifax to monitor the baby’s heartbeat, communicate with the mother and conduct a complete prenatal ultrasound with the help of an onsite nurse. “Mobile remote-presence devices for telemedicine have the potential to change the way health care is delivered in developed and developing nations,” write the authors. “The availability of cellular network signals around the globe and rapidly increasing bandwidth will provide the telecommunication platform for a wide range of mobile telemedicine applications. The use of low-cost, dedicated remote-presence devices will increase
such as perceived high costs (about $25 000 for the device plus connectivity charges) as well as medical liability, patient confidentiality, physician payment and other policy issues. However, the public’s appetite for these solutions and the promise they have for improving access to health care may help remove barriers for remote-presence medicine in remote communities. “This switch from the current model of centralised diagnosis in large medical facilities to point-of-care diagnosis could dramatically increase medical efficacy by removing barriers of time and distance, reducing wait times and decreasing the cost of health care delivery,” state the authors. As the rapid advance of technology continues to transform
Continued on Page 30
tHE GUaRDiaN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Experts task govt on relevance of it to economy By Faith Oparaugo HE need for government to be aware of the importance t of information and technology (it) in the economy has been stressed. speaking at a media briefing in lagos, the Founder of information system audit and Control association (isaCa), Chris Ekeigwe, said there is a lot of information that people and the government don’t know about concerning the importance of it in the economy, which is causing some setbacks. according to him, most organisations spend millions of dollars for upgrade on it every day resulting in some risk. He explained that most of the problems are awareness and technology risks, which are affecting the country today and resulting to failure in the economy. Ekeigwe added that there should be a global force of investment knowledge in the area of educating the youths in this generation because if they are not empowered there will be a role reversal. “if we don’t have people with knowledge and who are qualified, there will be a huge problem. the process has to be followed to ensure the integrity of the computer. “i believe if we can build an it lab that is a model where we can train people to become the best beyond certification and i believe that with this innovation Nigeria will be like China. also speaking, President of isaCa, lagos Chapter, Peter ineh, said that we want to help provide framework or structure in which it can be practised in all organisations. We are not limiting ourselves to that alone. We are also spearheading a private sector organisation that will be responsible in championing procedures and policies in the way information is managed and controlled.” ineh explained that plans were underway to engage big firms such as KPMG, Pwc, Delloite and Ernst & Young in the training of its members. ineh said: “the cash-less initiative in Nigeria has further heightened the issue of threats as it concerns organisations and the way they do business. Before now, when it was the issue of taking to and going to take cash from the banks, it was so easy. But these days, people stay in their offices and make withdrawals.
Deputy General Manager, Tecno Africa, Chidi Okwonko (left); Director, Business Segments, Etisalat Nigeria, Lucas Dada and PR Manager, Tecno Global, Mounir Boukali at the unveiling of the newly launched Techno Phantom A Smartphone in Lagos…on Monday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
Comtech ministry holds third stakeholders forum tomorrow roadmap and vision for the iCt industry on september 22, HE Ministry of Communication technology has concluded 2011, at the second forum on March 9, 2012 the ministry colt arrangements to hold a stakeholders Forum tagged laborated with stakeholders on the Draft National iCt Policy, “Connected for Growth – Moving from planning to Execution”. the forum, according to Efem Nkanga, senior assistant (Media) to the Minister of Communications technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, will hold at the Eko Hotel and suites, lagos, tomorrow, June 20. the event, which serves as an avenue for interaction between the ministry and industry stakeholders will provide the opportunity to assess progress in key areas of the information and Communications technology (iCt) industry. the ministry since creation in July 2011 has been holding regular forums with industry stakeholders in fulfillment of the pledge by the minister, that she will work hand in hand with industry stakeholders to transform the iCt sector. the proposed forum is the third of such forums with stakeholders. at the first forum, the minister presented her
which was approved in principle in august 2012. the ministry also held a stakeholders forum with post stakeholders on January 17th this year with the minister presenting the National addressing Policy to generate valuable inputs from stakeholders towards the actualisation of a standard addressing system for Nigeria. the ministry has achieved a number of milestones since creation and latest was the presentation of the work of the presidential committee on Broadband strategy and Roadmap to President Goodluck Jonathan. the ministry also has the National iCt Policy, which identifies ubiquitous and affordable broadband for all Nigerians as one of its several priority areas. the target set by the national iCt policy is to achieve a five-fold increase in broadband penetration to 30 per cent over the 2012 penetration rate of six per cent.
sharp, CFaO Electro-Hall unveil products for Nigerian market By tony Nwanne Middle East, a global appliance company in Nigeria has sHaRP unfolded its future roadmap strategy for expansion in view of
emerging business opportunities at the end of a successful partnership with CFaO-Electro Hall, who emerged as the local distribution partner in Nigeria. Cementing the partnership during an official launch of the latest range of multi-function printers and professional display
products, and the announcement of the partnership, last week in lagos, the partnership enables CFaO-Electro-Hall to distribute sharp document and visual business products in Nigeria. CFaO Electro-Hall, being a household name decided to re-confirm it leadership position in the Nigerian Multifunction Product (MFP) market through the introduction of the new sets of products from sharp. speaking at the official launch, the Director of Business solutions Division, sharp, Middle East, tomoo shimizu, said that, there is a growing demand for the versatile products such as the Multi-function Printers (MFP) and Professional Displays in the region, and sharp is dedicated to meeting the needs of Nigeria by offering the latest products. according to shimizu, “these cutting edge technologies from sharp will about an up to date standard of equipments that will indeed help in efficiency in an organisation, adding that CFaOElectro Hall is the ideal partner to give Nigeria a first look at our upcoming products within our business portfolio, which also demonstrate the reasons for the partnership”. apart from partnership, shimizu reiterated that these automated light production machines are designed primarily for corporate reprographic departments and are also likely to find favour with pay-for-print firms that need agility to react quickly to urgent jobs. Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of CFaO-Electro Hall, steve Faderin, highlighted the usefulness of the sharp multifunction copier, which he believes is the central solution to the ever diversifying document need of any high volume printing organisation.
Etisalat kicks off samsung OEM week with prizes tisalat, together with leading mobile phone manufacturE ers, samsung has kicked-off the 2013 samsung Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Week.
the programme, which is slated for June 7th to 27th, at selected Etisalat Experience Centres nationwide, will see customers who visit the selected centres will receive various exciting offers and giveaways ranging from shopping vouchers, authentic accessories, device discounts to free data for purchasing selected samsung Devices.During the period, customers in lagos, abuja and Port Harcourt who visit Etisalat Experience Centres and purchase either a samsung Young, samsung Note 2, samsung s4, or a samsung Note 8 will receive a shopping voucher worth N3, 000 instantly. also, customers who purchase the samsung Young device will get the authentic samsung Young flip cover while those who purchase both the samsung s4 and Note 8 will get a shopping voucher of N10, 000. in addition, Etisalat will provide free data to browse on its ultra-fast Easyblaze 3.75G network for 12 months for customers who make these purchases.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Swift Networks plans LTE services with acquisition of 4G Business of DoPC By Bankole Orimisan FTER several months of deliberation, Swift Networks Limited, A a leading provider of wireless and fibre-based broadband services to businesses and residential users has announced the
On his part, Vice President of Bhojraj Chanrai and owners of Direct on PC, Mahesh Sadhuwani, said he was happy the Company found the Swift Networks home for its 4G WiMAX customers, adding that they (the Customers) will join an operator that has become the undisputable leader in both network quality and customer service in its category”. Meanwhile, the financing for the transaction provided by Union Bank and FCMB were not disclosed. Similarly, Swift Networks has contracted a consortium of equipment vendors and service providers led by Huawei, HIS, Helios, SWAP and Porta One to rollout a new superfast broadband network in the cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt,
acquisition of the 4G business of Direct on PC (DoPC). Beside, Swift Network said the acquisition would see it launch Long Tem Evolution (LTE) service in Nigeria. The acquisition will see Swift Networks take over all the wireless infrastructure and customers of Direct on PC in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The company also said it had contracted a consortium of equipment vendors and service providers to rollout a new superfast broadband network in the coming months. Speaking during a press conference to announce the completion of the acquisition, Managing Director, Swift Networks Limited, Charles Anudu described the feat as a milestone to the network’s journey to competitive position in the high quality Continued from Page 25 broadband segment and footprint in the Nigerian market. so doing, its customers might be placed at a “It will improve our customers’ broadband experience and overall operating results as the cost efficiencies arising from the clear disadvantage. They will either enjoy higher tariffs than other networks (which is uneconomies of scale of the streamlined operations will accrue to justifiable and not supported by costs), or supour various stakeholders. posedly lower tariffs at very deplorable QoS. “The ultimate beneficiaries will be our current, future and Compliance with the tariff-collapse requireDoPC’s erstwhile customers who will continue to invest in new ments of the Determination risks total market technologies and processes that deliver values that make sense failure. If MTN were to significantly reduce tarto them,” he said. iffs ostensibly in compliance, other operators Anudu added that Swift Networks and DoPC are perfect fit as will be forced to similarly lower their tariffs in they share a common passion for innovation and customer satother to compete, the downward spiral promisfaction.
based on the new 4th Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) technology. The LTE is expected to run alongside Swift Network’s current 4G WiMAX and fibre networks, using some of the assets from the DoPC acquisition. Mr. Chukwuma Okoye, chief operating officer of the Network said: “LTE is an initial for long term evaluation, marketed as 4G LTE, a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It is designed to increase the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements. Swift’s LTE networks will go live from the third quarter of this year.
The dominance challenges in telecoms’ sector ises to spell the death knell for the industry. This obligation that NCC put on MTN is very rarely imposed by regulators in other climes. For instance, in Kenya, the telecoms industry regulator has signaled its intention to declare two operators dominant in key segments of the telephony market, setting them up for stringent oversight and exposing them to heavy penalties for breach of set rules. Safaricom and Telkom Kenya have been singled out as bearing the power of dominance in the mobile and fixed voice services respectively – implying that they have market power that in
the view of the Communications Commission of Kenya, could be used to the detriment of the consumer. According to the Chief Executive Officer of a local IT Consulting Firm in Kenya, Muriuki Mureithi, “The declaration means that the two have the force and power to influence costs and at times to the detriment of consumers.” The Director Competition, Tariffs and Market Analysis at CCK, MatanoNdaro said that the move was aimed at facilitating effective competition in the interest of consumers. “What this means is that, as a regulator we will not impose penalties or obligations to entire services offered by the operators but to specific segments in which they have been declared dominant,” he said. “We will for example be looking at how an operator has priced its off-net (tariffs to other networks) compared to tariffs within its network and if we find that the charges are preventing its subscribers from calling other networks we shall enforce the obligation or penalties.” If officially declared dominant, the two operators will have, among other measures, to file separate accounting statements for their subsidiaries or other businesses to curb cross-subsidisation. Safaricom and Telkom will also be required to make public their network characteristics, accounts, technical specification and will have to seek clearance from the CCK before introducing any service or product into the market. The move could have serious implications on the pricing of short text messages (SMS), and other data services that have been benefitting from the huge voice revenue inflows. It could also force a further drop in voice call tariffs as the regulator moves to level the playing field by preventing the dominant operators from using their position to keep their subscribers from calling other networks. Declaration of dominance is based on the regulator’s review of the telecoms operators’ pricing strategies, marketshare, switching costs, economies of scale, barriers to entry, advertising and branding and their effect on fair competition in the marketplace. CCK says the 69.9 per cent marketshare that Safaricom hold in the voice segment of telecoms market based on its subscriber base and 81 per cent by revenue is above the threshold for presumption of dominance. The regulator argues that in established competition case law, sustained market shares of over 50 per cent give rise to a rebuttable presumption of dominance while market shares of over 40 per cent are suggestive of the possibility of dominance.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
‘Online services will drive economic growth in Nigeria’ Abiodun Owotomo is the Chief Executive Officer of Tekramspace Services Limited, an online job creation platform. In this interview with ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, he shares his idea on how online services can reduce the growing unemployment rates in the country. Excerpts AN you explain what Tekramspace is all about? Tekramspace is C a business platform where businesses and providers of service come together by bridging access gaps to online jobs. A business provider who wants something done, say to design a websites; build 3D animation among others might not know the right place to go and perform this task, the challenge of choice and cost also come in. But the Tekramspace platform enables that. We have consultants in various fields. For example, a business in Lagos that wants to distribute its fliers will have to factor in the challenge of cost of transport, hotels, but through this platform, you can put your projects online and cut some expenses. What you do is to put your bid online and place locations where you want people to bid for it. Definitely, there will be various people on the site and you as a client, pay the platform and it holds it down and the information is passed to wherever you want it done and you can even monitor as the process is done. In other words, the platform is an intermediary between businesses and services, a platform that bridges the gap of distance and offers easy access to providers of services. We have seen that online businesses and services will drive economic growth if only as a nation we can explore it to the brim. Which sector appears to be your target? Our target audience focuses primarily on the unemployed graduates; workers that need second income to meet their daily living expenses. Also students that need income while studying are also targets. It is more like an outsourcing platform, because it enables such function to be performed. For businesses, we target those who want to outsource but don’t know how to get to the other side, get into the people that create wealth. You mentioned outsourcing, do you see a grown up market for it in Nigeria? Outsourcing has been there for a while. We have multinational companies outsourcing to bring down the cost, but it is yet to be fully exploited right now. Outsourcing is the best way to bring out cost. It allows experts who are consultants to bring down the cost and get the job done on time. What differentiates Tekramspace from several others? There are no others. For instance, Coca-Cola wants a twitter campaign, which firm is the best to do it than one which is already involved in twitter campaign. Now, say Coca-Cola comes to our platform and post a job and say, gives us someone who is good in twitter campaigns for a month. Teckramspace gets someone that bids by giving us his or her experiences on this particular task. The platform automatically sends the brief after we might have conducted our checks to Coca-Cola and from there, they can select. The beauty here is that if the consultant promises something for the clients and refuses to do it, he didn’t meet the platform weighs the burg against the task. So it is a safe-haven for the client and for the consultant because when he fulfils the task, he is rest assured that his money would be paid. Then, to why we are different is that there is really no platform other platform that can engage you with someone from a distance, though firms outsource, but what this platform does is to say someone in Ghana has the opportunity to post a project, while someone in Nigeria can do it. The process is about remoteness, bridging discount, distance and breaking boundaries. Perhaps, you should tell us more about the process, especially the bidding? What we meant by the bidding is that when a client posts a job, registered consultant is allowed to click on that job from the front page, which provides the
brief about the job, range of payment (which must be realistic). Say a consultants wants to get a logo design and at a N10, 000 range, as a client, you can try your luck and say you want to do it for between N2, 000 and N5, 000, this is the bidding process, but the client will be left to determine if he’s confident about that. The consultants have the opportunity to state how, where and when he’s likely to get the project completed. He must also be able to write his experience and understanding of the process, because that is what the clients will read. Now, definitely, we can have over 500 consultants bidding, so in order not to over-burden the clients, the platform now generates the best 20 bids and send them to the clients to go through them and make his decision by prices, depending on what he considered as good for the project. What are the benefits of the bidding process to parties involve? The benefits to those who will take up the task is that, for example, they might not have the chance of getting those jobs in the first place, though they are good, but the platform brings out their competencies. They can’t walk into Coca-Cola and say I am the best graphic designer, I have done this and that among others, but what the Tekramspace platform does is to help them bridge some things, all that is required is their competences. It provides the opportunity to get jobs that doesn’t come easily or might have been difficult in getting. How do you bridge the distance between a client in Ghana and a consultant in Nigeria? Our platform was designed the same way through the services we are offering. The platform was designed through codes. He never met the coders. The content written inside was beautifully written, and we never met the designers and a host of things on our platform. We have saved cost.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
CPN IT Assembly 7: Exploring information technology for wealth creation in Nigeria By Austin Ezaza recognition of the increasing global IandNprominence of Information Technology (IT) its role as a driver of socio-economic devel-
Head, Media and Publicity, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Rueben Mouka (left), Publisher, eWorld Magazine, Aaron Okodie, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Tony Ojobo and President, Cyberskuul News, Titi OmoEttu at the 2013 World Telecoms and Information Society Day, organised by eWorld Magazine in Lagos…recently.
MainOne connects manufacturers with broadband AIN One, West Africa’s leading wholesale M communications Services Company, recently announced its strategic entry into the nation’s manufacturing sector with bespoke connectivity offerings targeted at FMCGs, manufacturing companies and other businesses resident in the Ikeja, Agbara and Apapa industrial locations in Lagos and its environs. Main One’s expansion into the manufacturing industry is driven by the sector’s growing demand for reliable connectivity solutions, increased need for virtual private networks between company branches, as well as increased security challenges faced by conglomerates, a trend that affords huge market opportunities. At various breakfast seminars organised for Heads of IT and IT Managers in Agbara Industrial Estate, Ogun State, and Ikeja and
Apapa business zones, Main One showcased the value that its world-class broadband solutions and innovative product offerings brought to manufacturing concerns in driving down costs and increasing productivity and output. Speaking at one of the Breakfast sessions, Main One’s Head, Enterprise Sales, Olubunmi Ogun said: “High capacity and reliable connectivity solutions are essential for any successful business in Nigeria today. This is the reason we have sought to distribute more of our capacity inland in order for our enterprise customers to have better access to our superior connectivity solutions. ” Ms. Ogun added that the session was in line with Main One’s commitment to assisting enterprises in their stride for growth and expediting the speed of broadband penetration across Nigeria.
How mobile devices can assist developing countries Continued on Page 26 many areas of society, the medical field will see increasingly sophisticated tools and devices to improve point-of-care diagnosis. “Although mobile telemedicine may be applied initially to emergency situations, remote locations and the developing world, its
major impact may be in the delivery of primary health care. We can envision the use of mobile remote-presence devices by allied health personnel in a wide range of scenarios, from home care visits to follow-up sessions for mental health care, in which access to medical expertise in real time would be just a phone call away,” the authors conclude.
opment, the federal government of Nigeria identified the need to put appropriate regulatory mechanisms in place to ensure that growth and development in Nigeria’s IT sector occurs within an atmosphere that is devoid of quackery, arbitrary practice and paucity of standards. Accordingly, the Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria) (CPN) was established by Act. No. 49 of 1993 (CPN ACT CAP C22 LFN 2004). CPN is charged with responsibility for the control and supervision of the computing profession and IT practice in Nigeria, quality assurance in computer education, as well as developing local IT capacity in tune with national and international requirements. The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) is a body corporate with perpetual succession and common seal, a legal entity charged with the control and supervision of the Computing Profession in the country. The council is primarily charged with responsibility for building-up local Information Technology (IT) capacity as well as the regulation of IT practice in Nigeria. The council targets standardising, regulating, supervising and control of computing practice in Nigeria. Essentially, among other things the body is saddled with the responsibility of convening IT Assembly/AGM, which is an annual event and this year Assembly/AGM promises to be an exciting one. It comes up with a most appealing caption. The yearly CPN IT Professionals’ Assembly is the flagship of all Information Technology events in the country, it is the yearly gathering of Information Technology practitioners in Nigeria and Diaspora with the objective of discussing and strategising on emergent issues in Information Technology in order to come out with recommendations and decisions that will impact positively on the industry and the nation. It is an event that is attended by decision makers, professionals, politicians as well as people from different sectors of the economy. Over the years, the Assembly has become a platform for bringing about the desired positive changes that will facilitate our desire for sustainable economic development through the adoption, funding and deployment of Information Technology in the country. Additionally, the assembly is an exclusive networking event for senior Information Technology (IT) decision makers, IT consultants, upcoming IT entrepreneurs, start–ups, IT practitioners, teachers and IT Systems administrators. It is also a platform for some of the industry’s most innovative technology distribution and service providers to showcase their products and services, and for participants to appreciate the emerging technologies, trends, and risks that are associated with transforming the various industries using IT. Therefore, this year’s event will be coming up 19th to 20th of June 2013. It will be preceded by the induction of new members into the profession on Wednesday 19th June 2013. The venue is in the heart of the Federal Capital Territory (NICON LUXURY, Formerly Le Meridien) Abuja. The theme of this year’s assembly is “Information Technology for Wealth Creation”. To say that the wealth and power of our nation today comes from the control of physical assets - land, oil, iron, steel and coal is stating the obvious. Nevertheless, in the 21st century, this cannot continue to happen. The main source of value and competitive advantage in the new economy is human and intellectual capital. With a population of over a 120 million people, Nigeria, in theory has the capacity to make a successful transition into a truly knowledge driven economy and there is no better time to do so than now. Unemployment in Nigeria today is an issue, which is not only germane to national security, but that also continue to stare us in the face. That is the issue of job creation in Nigeria. Efforts are being made by government at various levels to provide employment for the unemployed youths whose population is growing geometrically over the years. CPN is complementing the efforts with the dedication of this year’s assembly to fashioning out ways in which Information
Technology could be harnessed to tackle unemployment through wealth creation. Being without a job is indeed a disaster especially for our youths that are coming out of our tertiary educational institutions every year. Most of them are enthusiastic to work, but cannot find jobs. In societies in which most people can earn a living only by working for others, being unable to find a job is a serious problem. Because of its human costs in deprivation and a feeling of rejection and personal failure, the extent of unemployment is widely used as a measure of citizen’s welfare. The proportion of workers unemployed also shows how well a nation’s human resources are used and serve as an index of economic development. Unemployment has call for a greater concern in the Nigeria economy. It has continued to be the major macroeconomic objectives of the government. It constitutes series of serious developmental problems and is increasingly more serious all over Nigeria and is capable of stunting our growth. It is our candid opinion that Information Technology as a tool for job creation has not been properly explored at this time in the life of the nation when lots of educated youths are roaming the streets in search of jobs. Therefore, council decided to dedicate this year’s Information Technology assembly to the exploration of the huge potentials in Information Technology in creating wealth and nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship in our youths. I believe that this year’s assembly will give us the opportunity to rub minds together on these issues and work out the roadmap for the future. During the upcoming IT Assembly/AGM, all the line-up of activities is tailored towards ensuring that value is added to every participant who is to attend the event. Right from the plenary session with a couple of subject matters that bothered on “Opportunities in Information Technology for Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation” and “Cloud Computing: A definition, Challenges and Opportunities” to the interactive sessions with a troika of areas of focus which encompass “Education, Capacity Building and Job Creation: IT Innovations in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions”, “Industry: Mobile Applications for Economic Growth” and “Policy: Infrastructure for Knowledge Driven Economy” and finally to the special events session where vendors/service providers will be given the unique privilege of an interactive sessions and as it were, it shall be an avenue for them to display their products cum services. More so, it’s during this special events session that a pre-Assembly lecture will be held, induction of new members, IT Assembly dinner, exhibition of the latest innovations in the Information Technology industry, presentation of prizes to outstanding Computer Professional Examinations (CPE) candidates and finally presentation of Certificates to Accredited Tertiary Institutions. It is, therefore, of paramount importance for stakeholders in the IT industry both within and in the Diaspora to make it a point of duty to make it to this year two days IT Assembly/AGM. It is instructive for all stakeholders to be in attendance because that is one sure way we can offer and lay down the best inside of us for our common good, a platform where the best of our individual resources can be unveiled for the advancement of the industry and the good of our country at large. Only when all hands are on deck can there be a successful extermination of quackery which as we all know has become the bane of the IT industry in Nigeria today. The work of regulating the IT industry cannot be solely left in the hands of the agency empowered by law to do so. All stakeholders must necessarily partner with Computer Professionals (Registration Council of Nigeria) to ensure that the practice of IT in Nigeria is enviable and absolutely rewarding as we have it in other climes. Again, it must be mentioned that attendance of this year IT Assembly/AGM is mandatory for every member and would-be member of the profession to satisfy part of the requirements for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and for their continued listing on council’s register. Not forgetting the fact that the Assembly/AGM is a platform where several issues related to the existence, objectives, activities and vision of council for the Information Technology (IT) industry and the nation would be comprehensively discussed. Needless to say that the input, idea and contribution from each stakeholder in the industry to topics that will be discussed are of utmost importance at advancing the course of IT industry in Nigeria.
THE gUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
SIBS boosts cash-less policy with new solution, infrastructure By Adeyemi Adepetun
that the company had been present in Nigeria through a partnership with Nigeria Interbank OVINg Nigeria’s cash-less economy initia- Settlement System since 2011. tive forward, especially as it approaches With operations in about 10 countries around second phase of the project, a global payment the world, including Algeria, Angola, Malta, processing company, SIBS International has Mozambique, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Spain, introduced new solution that will ease the greece and Romania, among others, Hipolito process in the country. explained that SIBS International’s intent in Besides, SIBs has decided to open an office in moving fully into Nigeria was a sign of its comLagos to be able to play a long-term proximity mitment towards assisting the country in role in bringing the cash-less policy to achieving a cashless economy. fruition. “We are going to deepen our presence in SIBS, one of the largest payment processors Nigeria by opening an office here. This move sigin the world, provides flexible and innovative nals our commitment towards supporting payment services through Automated Teller Nigeria’s quest for cashless payment system. Machine and Point of Sales terminal services, “We will ensure that we have people on the network management, full issuing and ground to cultivate relationships and meaningacquiring transaction processing – irrespecful exchange of knowledge and also provide cuttive of the channel of origin, among others. ting edge technology towards that goal.” Speaking to newsmen at the just concluded He expressed optimism that with SIBS’s experiCard, ATM and Mobile Expo in Lagos at the ence in payment solutions spanning over 30 weekend, the Managing Director, SIBS years, Nigeria would attain a cash-less payment International, Mr. Pedro Hipolito, informed system that was efficient, safe, reliable and peo-
Head Bulk and special deals RYTE Internet Technology Limited, Oluseye Sonubi (left), Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Victor Alaofin and Manager retail deals, Henrietta Onyeka, at the firms product unveiling in Lagos…recently. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU
SAP partner helps firm streamlines operations with new solution E Nigeria Limited, operates as a diversified Stence projects company with core areas of compewhich include construction, project finance, real estate development and equipment leasing with branches spread across Nigeria, has selected STREAD IT (SAP Partner) to implement SAP Business One OnDemand, a comprehensive, subscription based ERP system for small and medium sized enterprises that operates on cloud technology. SE Nigeria Limited uses spreadsheets to manage its customers and an off-the-shelf accounting solution to manage their accounting. It was difficult working with multiple softwares, which are not integrated and also costly to maintain. SE Limited had an untidy business process and was looking for an affordable integrated solution that could manage all its operations from sales, sales opportunity, procurement, financials, CRM, accounting, inventory, human resources, reporting, business intelligence, service management spread the country. SE Nig. Ltd is a small and growing business with no IT department and needed a solution that relieve them of the burden of Managing servers and ERP software. According to the Commercial Director, SE Nigeria Limited, Tolulope Ekundayo, the company uses spreadsheets to manage its customers and an off-the-shelf accounting solution for their business. Ekundayo said: “One of the services that the company offers is providing better insight in current figures. On the back of changing its order and distribution processes, to SE Nigeria Limited, providing a better and up-to-minute
insight in its finances was needed to be able to react more quickly and adequately to changes in the market. The implementation of SAP Business One Cloud is managed by STREAD IT, a SAP Business One West-Africa Partner. “SE Nigeria Limited’s Board selected their cloud provider with due care. We carefully researched the services and products of the various Cloud Service providers in the region. We were very impressed by the wide range of functionalities SAP Business One Cloud offers. We will not only have a state of the art ERP system, it will also include CRM functionalities, so much more functionality, while the local IT costs will decrease dramatically,” the commercial director added. SAP Business One Cloud integrates and supports their processes from the opportunity stage right through operations and then to the back office. Keys for this client included increased inventory control and visibility throughout the organization, reducing redundant data entry with a single system and single data source, establishing documentation and automation of business processes, and improved reporting,” said SAP Solution Consultant – STREAD IT, Olalekan Ajayi. According to the Head, SAP B1 West Africa, Lydia Oladokun: “We are delighted with the confidence SE Nigeria Limited has in our Cloud solution. Through SAP B1, we have made available our solutions, developed for multinationals, to SMEs; mobile apps, in-memory computing, and now Business Cloud. Se Nig. Limited is used to doing business on an international scale and the wide range of SAP Business One Cloud functionalities meet their demands.”
Ericsson opens regional services centres in Africa RICSSON has announced the establishment of two new servE ice delivery facilities in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the aim of delivering enhanced support to their customers. The facilities will support Ericsson’s leadership position in managed services and enhance the delivery of their services portfolio across sub-Saharan Africa. Head of Ericsson’s regional services organisation, Lars Christer Johannisson, said that the location of the facilities was based on current business needs. “It is important to have facilities that can serve multilingual customers across the region. While the immediate focus is on managed services, we will be increasing our resources and competence across our entire portfolio so as to be fully prepared for our customers’ needs.” During the initial period, Ericsson experts from around the world will work closely with a core of local professionals to establish the centers. Following this, there will be a transition of responsibility to the region through structured competence transfer in conjunction with targeted local graduate recruitment. Head, Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, Fredrik Jejdling stated: “The facilities will allow us to work even closer with our customers and support them in delivering a superior end-user experience.
VDT holds customer forum today LAgOS-BASED broadband communication service provider, A VDT Communications, hosts this year’s edition of its Customer Forum today in Lagos. According to a statement by the group Head, Media and Connections, Taiwo Kareem, the event comes up 12 noon on Victoria Island. It added that the company would be awarded the ISO 9001–2008 certification at the gathering.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
MaritimeWatch NPA tasks concessionaires on lease agreement By Moses Ebosele HE board of Nigerian Port T Authority (NPA) has advised concessionaires to abide strictly to the terms of their lease agreement. Speaking at an interactive session with the management of Brawal Oil serving limited at Onne recently, members of the board also pledged to give equal opportunities to all stakeholders. Present at the meeting which form part of familiarisation tour of the board members were Florence Ita Giwa, Lekan Mustapha, Alhaji Aminu Baba Dan Agindi, Alhaji Mohammed Abana Gidado and the Nigerian Ports Authority Executive Director of Marine and Opinions, David Omonibeke and Dr. Sani Salem. Giwa also used the opportunity pledged the resolve of the board to work with the concessionaires “to ensure the realisation of the concessioning objective.” The Brawal Legal/Commercial Manager, Chief Christopher Odili, according to a press statement issued by NPA’s General
Manager (Public Affairs), Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu appealed to the board members to always ensure fairness in their relationship with concessionaires. Ebubeogu explained that the board members also paid a working tour of operational areas of INTEL Nigeria limited in both the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT). Meanwhile, the General Manager of Bonny Chanel Company (BCC), a joint venture company between the NPA and the channel Management Company (TMC), Bart Van Eenoo has explained that the company recorded modest successes in the areas of both capital and maintenance dredging of the bonny channel, provision of aids to navigation on the channel and training for both its staff and officers of the NPA. According to Eenoo, the company, which is 60 per cent owned by the NPA and 40 per cent TMC had through its activities made the Bonny channel safe for navigation. He told the board members that the company has so far dredged the Bonny channel
Anenih, NPA Board Chairman from its previous 12.50 metres depth to its present 14.30 metres, increased its width from 215 metres to 230 metres, adding that the company has also removed 14 critical wrecks from the channel
Habib Abdullahi In the area of training, the General Manager explained that the over 50 marine and hydrography officers of the NPA benefited from the BCC sponsored training programme
designed for senior pilots, harbor masters and hydrographers. In a related development, the management of Rivers port, Port Harcourt has commenced the maintenance
and up grading of the port common user facilities. Traffic Manager, Rivers port, Eunice Ezeoke explained that security has improved at the port.
Govt appoints service providers as inspection agents By Moses Ebosele the extension of FfromOLLOWING Destination Inspection June 1, 2013 to November 30, 2013, the Federal Government has appointed the three service providers, Global Scansystems Limited, Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited and Societe Generale De Surveillance (SGS), as
Inspection Agents within the period. Under the arrangement, the entry points for imports to Nigeria have been grouped into three lots while all authorised dealer banks and the general public have been directed to comply accordingly. The three service providers were engaged in 2005 for a seven-year contract that com-
menced January 2006 to supply cargo scanning machines on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis as well as train Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officers on risk management, valuation and classification. However, the contract, which was scheduled to elapse on December 31, 2012 was extended by six months with effect from January 1, 2013. Based on the fresh extension to November 30, 2013, Global Scansystems Limited has been appointed Inspection
Agents for Apapa Sea Port, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Seme Land Border, Idiroko Land Border and Warri Sea Port. In a similar vein, Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited is to assume duties as the Inspection Agent for Tincan Island Sea Port, Grimaldi Port, Abuja International Airport, Kano International Airport, Lagos Free Trade Zone, Jibiya Border Post and Banki Border Post. Meanwhile, Societe Generale De Surveillance is the
Inspection Agent for Port Harcourt Main Sea Port, Onne Sea Port, Port Harcourt Free Trade Zone, Onne Free Trade Zone, Calabar Sea Port and Ilorin International Airport. Conducting members of the committee on Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS), including its Chairman, Batare Musa, round the Global Scansystems scanner at Seme Border recently, Managing Director of Global Scansystems Limited, Fred Udechukwu, explained that
the bio-diversity scanner is capable of separating organic and inorganic materials and can scan about 20 trucks per hour. The mobile scanner, which has been operating at Seme border since 2006, according to the company now acts as “a stand-by.’’ The fixed scanner at Seme border brings to eight the number of scanners currently operated by the company under the Federal Government’s Destination Inspection contract.
Firm to partner Akwa Ibom on Ibaka Seaport HE Chinese Civil projects in other parts of Africa which was on a road show, Recently, we signed a contract T Engineering Construction and pledged their readiness to would meet with them to for the dualisation of Etinanwork out the modalities of the Eket road and more jobs are Company (CCECC) has offered
to partner with the Akwa Ibom State government in the realisation of the Ibaka Deep Seaport project. The new Managing Director of the Company in Nigeria, Mr. Shi Hong Bing disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Chief Godswill Akpabio in Abuja. Bing who was full of praises for the governor for giving the company the opportunity to be involved in road construction in the State said the company was involved in similar
deploy their resources to make the Ibaka project a reality. The managing director said that having visited all the States in Nigeria he could confirm that Akwa Ibom State had the best infrastructural facilities and urged Governor Akpabio to keep up the good work. In his response, Governor Akpabio thanked the Chinese firm for their interest and said it would be fantastic to collaborate with them in the construction of the Ibaka Deep Seaport and disclosed that the committee on the project,
involvement in the project. Akpabio who described Akwa Ibom State as “work in progress” commended the company for the quality of work they had done in Akwa Ibom State. “CCECC and the government of Akwa Ibom State under my leadership have been good partners. And it is a partnership that has produced results. “The first road contract that was awarded to your company was delivered in time complete with the best street lights and drainages in the country.
coming. “It is not a function of lobbying for the job but that of quality, good pricing and record time delivery. We look forward to continuous partnership,” he said. The governor reiterated that the Ibaka Deep Seaport would promote commerce in Nigeria and compliment the port in Lagos and serves as a major transshipment point for the West African coast. He said that the project would also offer employment opportunities to thousands of Nigerians.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Maersk unveils world’s biggest container ship
New Maersk ship AERSK Line has unveiled M the world’s biggest container ship, hoping a new fleet of super-size vessels will deliver savings and return it to profit in an industry battered by overcapacity, weak economies and cut-throat competition. At a ceremony in the South Korean shipyard where the vessel was built, Maersk Line, a unit of oil and shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk, named the 55,000-tonne ship “Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller”, after the son of the group’s founder. With a length equivalent to four football pitches, according to Reuters, the US$185 million ship is the first of 20 to be delivered to Maersk Line over the coming years to replace older, smaller vessels. Reuters explained that the delivery could hardly come at a worse time in the industry. Freight rates for transporting standard 20-foot containers from ports in Asia to Europe have plunged 60 per cent since mid-March as a result of a price war between the world’s biggest container shipping companies, led by Maersk Line. “It is probably the fastest rate drop we have seen ever,” Maersk Line Chief Executive Soren Skou said at the ceremony at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s shipyard here. “Hopefully the ships will help us to get closer to profitability on Asia to Europe,” Skou said. The tough environment has put cost cuts and economies of scale in focus. The new mega-size vessels, which were ordered by Maersk well before the latest plunge in freight rates, are 400m long and 59m wide, giving them the capacity to transport 18,270 20-foot containers. They are expected to operate on the loss-making but crucial
Asia to Europe route - the world’s biggest trade lane and also the most important for Maersk Line. “If the ships are filled, they will carry cargo more cheaply than any other vessels on the seas,” said Marc Levinson, economist and author of a book on container shipping. “If they’re half-filled, they will lose enormous amounts of money,” he added.
According to Skou, there’s no need to worry. “Volumes are pretty strong at the moment. We have full ships,” he said. The new series of mega-ships are called “Triple-E” vessels, based on their design focus on economies of scale, energy efficiency and environmental improvements. Maersk Lineexpects it will consume approximately 35 per
cent less fuel per 20-foot container with the new ships, compared with the 13,100 20-foot container vessels being delivered to rivals in the next few years. The company, which moves 20 percentofcontainercargofrom Asia to Europe and 18 per cent the other way, dismissed fears thenewshipsmightaddtopressure on container freight rates. Capacity would not be
increased. Rather Maersk Line would move smaller ships on the Asia-Europe route elsewhere, where it would either scrap smaller and older vessels or return them to owners in the case of chartered ships, Skou said. “We are taking out 6,500 and 8,000 20-foot container ships and will use these (Triple-E ships)instead.Ourcostspercontainer will go down,” he said,
forecasting only vessels with a capacity of 10,000 20-foot containers or more would be competitive on Asia-Europe routes within two years. Levinson,however,wasnotconvinced. “The container shipping industry already has much more capacity than the world needs. The Triple-Es will add to that overcapacity, forcing rates down,” he said.
PTML Terminal woos used car importers with 50% waivers By Moses Ebosele TML Terminal, Roll-on RollP off (RoRo) terminal, owned by the Grimaldi Group, has granted between 50 per cent to 75 per cent storage waivers for all imported used vehicles discharged at the terminal from 2008 to 2012. A press statement explained that there are over 2,500 vehicles, which have been staying in the terminal for more than six months. According to the statement, PTML has handled more than 600,000 vehicles in the last five years, adding that “yet we never experienced any congestion, as we have been constantly investing in infrastructure and new equipment. “However, the emerging challenge is the area occupied by overtime vehicles within same period which has increased to an extent that one third of our off-dock facility is dedicated to this cargo. This is becoming a cause of concern for us because we are recording a growing number of vehicles being discharged in Lagos and we want to ensure that our terminal can handle all of them without delay,” Executive Director
at PTML, Ascanio Russo, said. The initiative of PTML is clearly aimed at supporting government action on overtime vehicles, preventing any future port congestion, similar to the one experienced in the container terminals in the past and to avoid that more vehicles bound for Nigeria are
discharged to neighbouring ports in the region. “PTML is the biggest RoRo facility in West Africa and the hub of Grimaldi operations. It will be a blow for all of us if cargo destined to Nigeria is diverted to other ports because there is no capacity in the port to receive these
vehicles,” General Manager of PTML, Tunde Kesahiro, said. A clearing agent operating at the terminal, Godswill Nwanna, was quoted in the statement as saying in spite of the current efforts of government, through the Customs, to rid the ports of overtime cargo, it is unlikely that all the
vehicles will be eventually delivered. The only possible solution, according to him, would be to move these vehicles to a government warehouse, as has been done in the past for overtime container, which were moved to Ikorodu Lighter Terminal (ILT), Ikorodu,
Marine committee approves technology transfer scheme HE Marine Environment have requested technology relating to energy-efficiency ing FPSOs and FSUs and T Protection Committee transfer. measures for ships, following drilling rigs, regardless of MEPC also approved the the entry into force, on 1 (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted a Resolution on Promotion of Technical Cooperation and Transfer of Technology relating to the Improvement of Energy Efficiency of Ships, which, among other things, requests the Organisation, through its various programmes, to provide technical assistance to member states. The initiative is expected to facilitate required cooperation in the transfer of energy efficient technologies to developing countries in particular and further assist in the sourcing of funding for capacity building and support to states, in particular developing states, which
terms of reference and agreed to initiate a study for an updated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions’ estimate for international shipping, following discussion in an expert workshop, which met earlier this year, on the methodology and assumptions to be used. The new study will focus on updating key figures in the current (second) IMO GHG Study (2009), which estimated that international shipping emitted 870 million tonnes, or about 2.7 per cent, of the global man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2007. IMO explained that MEPC continued its work on further developing technical and operational measures
January 2013, of the new chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI, which includes requirements mandating the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), for all ships. Part of the Committee paper include: • approved draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, with a view to adoption at MEPC 66, to extend the application of EEDI to ro-ro cargo ships (vehicle carrier), LNG carriers, cruise passenger ships having non-conventional propulsion, ro-ro cargo ships and ro-ro passenger ships; and to exempt ships not propelled by mechanical means, and platforms includ-
their propulsion; as well as cargo ships having ice-breaking capability; • adopted amendments to update resolution MEPC.215(63) Guidelines for calculation of reference lines for use with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), including the addition of ro-ro cargo ships (vehicle carrier), ro-ro cargo ships and ro-ro passenger ships, and LNG Carriers; • approved amendments to unified interpretation MEPC.1/Circ.795, to update the circular with regards to requirements for SEEMP, to exclude platforms (including FPSOs and FSUs), drilling rigs, regardless of their propulsion, and any other ship without means of propulsion.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
IndustryWatch Imperatives of value-addition in driving real sector growth The overriding objective of any industrial policy is to accelerate the pace of industrial development by rigorously increasing value-addition of raw materials at every stage of the value chain. In this light, stakeholders have challenged the Federal Government to give consideration to value-added products, asking government to raise Total Factor Productivity (TFP) by adopting a productive model that is in tune with knowledge and skill that meet global best practices. The need to address key competitive factors as well as define ways to drive economic growth and high-value job creation through forward and backward linkages in the real sector, remain crucial for policy makers. FEMI ADEKOYA writes. N today’s global economy, government Ishaping actions and policies play a critical role in the competitiveness of both nations and the individual companies that operate within their borders. The impact such programmes have on a number of these variables remain significant despite the relativity of the operating environment in which many businesses find themselves. Already, today’s manufacturing value chains are complex, highly interconnected, and rapidly changing. Indeed, no sector is an island of its own as growing consumer needs create gaps to be filled by the interface in the manufacturing chains. With the growing shift in paradigms from ‘trade in goods’ to trade in value-added products, Nigeria’s industrial sector, which is currently experiencing some revival may need effective policies not just to drive trade volume, but increase the real sector’s contribution to the economy through the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Specifically, macroeconomic forces, including the spread of free trade, accessibility of digital manufacturing technology, and rise of the global middle class, have resulted in value chains being distributed around the globe. For instance, research and development can take place in one location, engineering in another and manufacturing in yet another, while consumers are scattered across different regions. In recent time, there has been a growing clamour for government to increase efforts towards sustaining the country’s real sector growth by creating an enabling environment for companies within the value-chain of production. Indeed, some of the key agricultural produce that stakeholders have been advocating effective value addition in their production chain include, crude palm oil, cocoa, cassava, shea butter, paddy production, cotton, among others. For instance, stakeholders in the cassava sector attributed government’s inadequate support to the processing industry and inability to sustain the cassava flour inclusion policy as well as other agricultural products to the sector’s low contribution to the country’s GDP. Chairman, Science, Energy and Technology Committee, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mrs. Olu Maduka, who spoke during a stakeholders’ forum on cassava flour in bread production organised by LCCI recently, added that the Federal Government policy on cassava flour inclusion policy was not sustained beyond the first two years, thus leaving the sector in a poor state. “It is to be noted that the trend of achievements with the HQCF policy were not sustained beyond the first two years of implementation as the sector is presently characterized by: low patronage by the end users, dwin-
Jonathan dling government interest, low level of enforcement of the policy, closure of over 100 HQCF processing Small and Medium Enterprises across the country, huge losses from investment in research and manpower development and uncoordinated as well as contradictory activities of various stakeholders in the sub-sector”, she explained. President of the chamber, Goodie Ibru, noted that despite the nation’s strength as the highest producer of cassava and other key products, the effect has not been felt in the economy due to low value- addition in the agricultural sector. He said: “Nigeria is one of the highest producers of cassava in the world but this has not translated into a buoyant economic value-chain due to its abysmally low value addition. There is need to utilize our cassava more in food processing chain and for export. The twin advantage is that we would make significant savings in foreign exchange and boost export earnings. “If there is any time we should worry about self-reliance in the Nigerian economy, it is now. Oil prices are on the decline; demand for oil is falling; and supply is increasing. All these have implications for fiscal sustainability of the economy. We are very vulnerable to global shocks.” Similarly, Director General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Mrs. Gloria Elemo, explained that apart from the industry realising a huge foreign exchange for the country, it also has the capacity to generate about three million jobs within the next three years through direct employment by stakeholders operating within the value chain. According to her, the multiplier effect would also lead to industrial development through creation of about 3,000 cassava processing small and medium enterprise; reduction in the cost of bread by about 15 per cent in the short run. For cocoa processors, the operators, under the
Aganga aegis of Cocoa Processors Association of Nigeria (COPAN), decried the unbridled exportation of raw cocoa beans, an action, which the body described as killing the sector, while rewarding sole exporters of the product who have no investment in the country. The Chairman of the association, Dimeji Owofemi noted that value addition to raw cocoa is decreasing as it is being poorly rewarded and unprotected against the massive export of raw cocoa beans materials, while the processed products are also heavily taxed by the same European countries that are charging no tax on raw cocoa beans in an effort to discourage value addition in Nigeria, as the country is said not to be a member of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) group. “The Federal Government needs to discourage the export of raw cocoa beans to protect Nigerian value addition and job creation instead of enhancing the industrialisation of Europe who are again imposing tax of up to six per cent on our value added products and zero duty on our raw cocoa, therefore helping them to keep their own citizen in gainful and sustainable industrial employment. “To save our factories, we seek government’s intervention through an imposition of a heavy tax on export of all raw commodities export”, he added. According to a recent report, ‘Manufacturing for Growth’ by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Limited, policy-makers and business leaders face competing objectives and challenges to navigate this environment. The report identified a number of factors that will shape the future of competition between countries and companies. Three areas rose to the top as the most critical: human capital and talent development; innovation and technology advancement; and strategic use of public policy emphasizing collaboration
With the growing shift in paradigms from ‘trade in goods’ to trade in value-added products, Nigeria’s industrial sector, which is currently experiencing some revival may need effective policies not just to drive trade volume, but increase the real sector’s contribution to the economy through the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)...If there is any time we should worry about self-reliance in the Nigerian economy, it is now. Oil prices are on the decline; demand for oil is falling; and supply is increasing. All these have implications for fiscal sustainability of the economy. We are very vulnerable to global shocks
between policy-makers and business leaders. The report noted that policy-makers strive to create more high-value jobs and improve the quality of life for their citizens, while manufacturing leaders are increasingly responding to competitiveness pressures to attract the best from a global pool of talent, along with the capital, capabilities, and the global customers and revenues necessary to maintain their competitiveness and viability. Furthermore, experts at the World Economic Forum and Deloitte believe that to aid policy generation and implementation, today’s manufacturing ecosystem must be examined from three perspectives—Global industry view, Global trade view, Facility view and Product view. The report explained that the global industry view demonstrates where output or revenues are generated today and where they are forecast to be over the next decade. As each sector has a unique story when it comes to global value creation and what matters with regard to employment, talent and wages at a macrolevel. The global trade view analyses the import and export trends over the past decade for each sector. The report looks at the top countries that dominate the global market from an export perspective and what the trajectory for those countries has been over the previous decade. The changing patterns of trade of manufactured products across borders help to demonstrate shifting conditions – from a resource, capabilities, political and societal perspective. Similarly, the facility view captures an illustrative snapshot of a production facility and the associated economic impact on a local community, including direct and indirect jobs, net economic impact and induced effects from the construction of a new plant. Thus demonstrating why policy-makers clamour to attract manufacturing companies to establish operations in their city, state or region. On another hand, the product view conducts an examination of a single product value chain, showing where it influences multiple locations around the world from a consumer, jobs and supply base standpoint. These illustrations show manufacturing sector illustrations that are technologically advanced and environmentally conscious, and require a variety of qualified, skilled workers.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
INDUSTRY WATCH 39
Bridging supply-demand gap in palm oil sector Stories by Femi Adekoya HEtruism that crude palm oil, just like crude oil and rice, is a political commodity, is to a large extent believable going by the array of activities and interests in the product. The byproduct of the commodity, going by its presence in every home attests to this claim, while the impact of a negative development on the sector is felt in most homes and industries. The move by the Federal Government to wade into the activities of the real sector, especially the agricultural sector was borne out of the need to reduce the country’s dependence on imports to feed its citizens and address the issue of the sector falling far short of its potential, especially in its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As lofty as government’s plans seem, there has however been very little achieved in terms of implementation of key policies to drive value addition in the key agricultural sectors of the economy, especially ones where Nigeria seems to have comparative advantage. For instance, many of the sustainable crops have been allowed to wither due to neglect by government due to concentration on the oil and gas sector as well as inadequate protectionist policy for indigenous firms. Like other key agricultural sectors, palm oil production in Nigeria has had the misfortune of falling from grace to grass. From being a dominant palm oil producer globally, even before attaining independence in 1960, the country is now a net importer of the product. It produces about 800,000 metric tonnes per annum, whereas local demand is between 1.8 million and 2.1million metric tonnes per annum. Currently, 450,000 metric tonnes are imported to supplement local output, with the Federal Government introducing 35 per cent tariff regime on imported palm oil, to cater for the imbalance. Apart from being an essential ingredient in cooking, palm oil is a major industrial material. Specifically, margarine, cereals, biscuits, cosmetics, detergent and vegetable oil are products that are increasingly linked to palm oil, among other raw materials. Also, palm kernel oil and palm kernel cake are other products in the value chain derivable from oil palm cultivation. Apparently, industries that depend on this raw material for production are under serious threat, given the fact that it is in high demand globally, with Indonesia and Malaysia supplanting Nigeria as the world’s largest producer and exporter of palm oil, respectively. Indeed, total oil palm plantation in Niger Delta area is over 1.4 to 1.8 million hectares, while the wild grove plantation is over 1.1 million Hectares, small plantations (Less than 1000 hectares size) is 260,000 hectares, and Organized plantation is less than 100,000 hectares. A look at yield levels sourced from Index Mundi, MPOC, Oil World study on Nigerian requirements showed that these plantations cumulatively provide around 800,000 MT of CPO. This clearly shows a shortage of palm oil in the country. For example, a 2012 data from index mundi indicates that 70 percent of the Palm Oil Imports into West African Countries are into Benin and Nigeria (470,000 MT and 450,000 MT respectively). Sources claim that maximum of the import into Benin is routed into Nigeria. 2012 consumption numbers confirms same as Benin exports close to 390,000 MT of palm oil. For instance, the growing contention on the importation of the product to cater for local demand has further increased the tension as regards the true state of the product demand and supply. Indeed, some stakeholders within the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON) however accused certain local manufacturers especially in the food processing industry of conniving to strangle the local oil palm industry as their latest move to force the Federal Government to throw the nation open to free flow of cheap imported Crude Palm Oil (CPO) into the country. According to them, the reduction of the current tariff on the importation of CPO from 35 percent to between 5 and 10 percent would make Nigeria to become vulnerable and a veritable dumping ground for cheap palm oil from Malaysia. However, stakeholders within the food processing sector believe that government’s stance which has seen it impose a 35 percent import duty on palm oil and non fulfillment
Oil Palm vegetation and products; Data: Index Mundi
of vegetable oil demand by the companies in the palm oil sector is curtailing the growth of multiple industries like biscuits, vegetable oil market, margarines, cereals, crisps, sweets and baked products, washing powder and cosmetics. To them, government’s decision to impose duty on palm oil is detrimental to the economy as it will create ripple effect on multiple industries and impact self-reliance on food production and agricultural value chain thereby squeezing the overburdened Nigerian, with higher food retail prices. A look at the noodles industry, for instance showed that, on an average it consumes approximately 72,000 metric tonnes of refined bleached and deodorized palm oil (RBDPO) which it does not have access to from the local palm oil companies in the country. Going buy the statistics available, the stakeholders noted that the leading companies in the palm oil industry cannot fulfill the basic requirements for the noodles industry itself as there is an estimated shortage of palm oil amounting to 500,000 MT per annum.
The stakeholders further blamed the local oil palm producing companies in the country for doing little or nothing to ensure that they meet the growing demands of the food processing sector who rely heavily on CPOs for their goods. Already, there are reports that the product is being adulterated by some merchants eager to maximise profit, coupled with the laxity in regulations or control by institutions, through the addition of chemical substances such as Red 24 and chlorine to palm oil to enhance its colour and quantity. An industry analyst, Tajudeen Olufade said: “looking at the sector critically, you would find that the noodles industry has provided jobs to more than 683,000 Nigerians in the entire value chain and has also created a measurable self sustenance method for many who are part of the developing economy. The industry has created many millionaires who have benefitted from sheer hard work and dedication in the noodles market. “Stronger food security controls, reduction in food inflation and generation of jobs are the hall marks of the noodle industry in Nigeria. All
this has no doubt ensured a more vibrant economy for Nigeria; industries like this should no doubt be encouraged for the good of all”. Another analyst, Kolapo Oluwo believe that the possibility of raising the stakes and taking trade, services, job creation and economy to greater heights lies heavily on stakeholders taking strategic action to nip the bud by being proactive in investing in the oil palm producing sector. Oluwo however appealed to government to address the issues of import duties on commodities, which will create free markets, revolutionize the Nigerian economy and aid food markets. With about 22 states belonging to the oil palm belt of the country and having humid tropical climate, rainfall and a temperature range of 24 to 32 degrees Celsius, all favourable for the cultivation of oil palm farms, industry watchers believe that Nigeria needs a shift in paradigm to radically overhaul oil palm production in the country.
Nigeria, Togo to boost bilateral trade with exhibition S part of efforts to drive bilateral trade A between Nigeria and countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), especially, the Republic of Togo, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has concluded plans to hold a solo exhibition for Nigerians in Lome. According to the council, the exhibition is expected to further drive market penetration of made-in Nigeria products, while also increasing the nation’s socio-economic advantage through trade. Speaking ahead of the exhibition scheduled to hold in Lome from July 27 to August 10, 2013, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NEPC, David Adulugba, explained that the move would help Nigeria drive its export market within the region. Adulugba, who was represented by the Director, Trade Information Department, Aliyu Lawal, stated that despite the trade agreement between countries within the ECOWAS region, Nigeria has not been able to effectively penetrate the Franco-phone parts, thus limiting its trade growth. He said: “Statistical records of Nigerian export destination reveal that ECOWAS market represents 11 per cent in order of export to other continents. Despite the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme and the principle of free trade and movement of persons among member states, the level of trade among member states within the region is insignificant. “The decision to stage the exhibition became more imperative considering the
strategic location of Togo. Nigeria has in the past stamped its presence in most West African states but has not been able to effectively penetrate the Franco-phone parts that mostly import from France despite the liberalization of trade within the subregion.” He added that despite the socio-economic advantages availed Nigeria through exports to the region, non-oil exports remain low and has not been fully exploited by the nation. The Director General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. John Isemede, however urged man-
ufacturers to take advantage of the exhibition in increasing the presence of their products in other regions of the continent. He also expressed the chamber’s commitment to enhancing bilateral trades among ECOWAS member nations, noting that the chamber is ready to support local manufacturers in the area of trade negotiations, agreement among others. He added that only value added products would be allowed for exports rather than raw commodities. Zonal Director, NEPC, Lagos, Mrs Evelyn Obidike, enjoined local manufacturers to take advantage of the exhibition to promote made-in-Nigeria products.
Euro Global extends products range with canned drinks By Babatunde Oso URO Global Foods and Distilleries Limited has extended its product range with the introduction of canned Savana Orange and Apple flavour drinks across its marketing channels in Nigeria. Both flavours come in attractive 330ml cans. Speakingattheproductunveiling,SalesDirector, Euro Global Foods and Distilleries, Felix Aighobahi, said: “The Savana range has received a huge acceptance since we re-introduced it into the Nigerian markets in its new 50cl pet bottle and exciting flavours of Apple, Orange and Soda Water. We are encouraged by its performance to continually roll-out improved varieties packaging that will further boost its appeal to wider consumers.” “We invested in an ultra-modern canning production line to ensure that our can drinks are readily available for all occasions. The new line
has a production capacity of 120,000 cases of canned drinks per month. We will be introducing other flavours of Savana drinks in the near future” he stated. Aighobahi disclosed that both products would benefit from extensive marketing and communicationscampaignsthatisbeingplannedtosupport the introduction. “We will open up new distribution channels to ensure that our products are available in every market, clubs and bars across the country. We are planning an extensive trade sales activation programme in Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states this month and you will see how the Savana brand thrills consumers.” he added. Savana Apple Drink first came into the market more than a decade ago in 33cl glass bottles made by Life Breweries, Onitsha, then a part of Sona Breweries group.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE ONE-DAY ROUNDTABLE ON CARGO EXPOSURE TO RISKS OF DAMAGE, LOSS AND DELAY AT NIGERIAN PORTS AND TERMINALS HELD ON 21ST MAY, 2013 AT ROCKVIEW HOTEL, APAPA, LAGOS. HE Cargo Defence Fund under the auspices T of Nigerian Shippers’ Council organised a one day Roundtable on the above subject matter. The event was support by the Nigerian Insurers Association and the Guild of Marine Surveyors. The opening Ceremony was chaired by Capt. (Senator) Cosmos Niagwan, the Chairman of Cargo Defence Fund and was marked by a welcome address delivered by Executive Secretary/CEO Nigerian Shippers’ Council ably represented by Ms. A.N. Ogo. In all, four papers were presented. The participants deliberated extensively on the papers presented and arrived at the following conclusions; The participants considered the implication of Cargo loss to the national economy and called on the Marine Cargo Surveyors and Insurance Companies to assist the consignees to mitigate the rate of loss. The Roundtable observed that the Consignees are not adequately informed on the rules and procedures pertaining to claims under the var-
ious Insurance Clauses and therefore urge the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to undertake further enlightenment programme for Shippers in this regard. The roundtable identified the causes of increased occurrences of incidence of damage, loss and delays to cargo and called on the consignees to ensure that cargo are properly packaged The Forum observed that the majority of the damage /losses do occur at the Ports. It was therefore recommended that Cargo Surveyors should have unhindered access to the seaport terminals to enable them have an on-the-spot assessment of the extent of damage or losses. The Roundtable listed the various Legal Regimes guiding the International carriage of goods and called on the Nigerian government to rectify the relevant Protocols, Conventions/Agreement that protects the cargo interest. The Participants noted the objective of Nigerian Port Reforms and enjoined all the Stakeholders to synergize and work collectively with a view to making our Ports less expensive and more cus-
OTC 2013 SUMMIT REVIEW HE Offshore Technology Conference 2013 has come and gone. For the event organizers and the Oil & Gas Industry at large, it was a huge success. Experts from the offshore energy industry around the world came together 6–9 May for the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Park in Houston. Attendance at the conference reached a 30-year high of 104,800, the second highest in show history and up 17% from last year. Attendance surpassed the 2012 total of 89,400 and the sold-out exhibition was the largest in show history at 652,185 ft², up from 641,350 ft² in 2012. The event had 2,728 companies representing 40 countries, including 244 new exhibitors in 2013. International companies made up 39% of exhibitors. The technical sessions were also very strong and were well delivered by industry gurus. Nigerian participation was well in excess of 2000 delegates and visitors – accounting for the third highest country participation. The demographics of participants from Nigeria cut across several core and ancillary stakeholders. Pressmen, procurement and logistics executives, oil & gas service companies’ executives, exploration and production companies executives, regulatory body executives, NNPC officials, legislators and members of the executive arm of government were all fully represented. As usual Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria as well as NNPC put up an excellent showing in terms of ensuring Nigerian Companies had an excellent exhibition exposure at the Nigerian Pavilion (which was a bee-hive of activities all through the show). One major question begging for an answer though would be the effectiveness in terms depth of penetration that such a huge event would have for targeted coverage. Since OTC is an end-to-end event, key players especially in the marine industry need to augment their networking by attending forums that focus more on their core areas. The marine industry is the backbone of the Offshore Industry. There is a need for players in this sector to explore opportunities provided by events specific to their needs. Seatrade Middle East Workboats & Offshore Marine Conference & Exhibition holding 30th September 2nd October 2013 in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, United Arab Emirates provides the perfect opportunity for this sort of parley. A few testimonials about the event: “The Middle East offshore support industry has everything going for it. A phenomenal growth backed by large new build orders and increas-
ing M&A activity. I’m delighted to have the chance of speaking at the Seatrade’s Middle East Workboats Conference in Abu Dhabi!” Geir Sjurseth, Managing Director & Global Head of Offshore Support Group, DVB Bank - Shipping Division
tomer friendly. The Participants agreed on the need to compile the Claims procedures, processes/Regime in a Handbook or Manual to be available to all Stakeholders to enhance enforcement. The Roundtable recognised that apart from Marine Insurance, there are other risks associated with Inland Transportation and enjoined Importers to patronize Haulage Companies with valid Insurance Cover. Participants decried lack of Statistical/documentation of Cargo loss and called on appropriate authority to keep accurate data of Cargo losses at the Nigerian Ports. The Roundtable observed that the decay in Roads and other Port infrastructures are partly responsible for the incidence of Cargo damage and losses recorded in Nigeria and therefore advocated for immediate repair of Roads and provision of appropriate handling facilities. Participants noted that inefficiency is responsible for the high freight rates to Africa Ports and called on concerned service providers to reduce delay and to deliver quality service in
order to improve efficiency in our Port system. The Roundtable recognised the absence of an Economic Regulator in the Industry and called for immediate establishment of one, to cover the entire transport chain (Sea, Rail, Road and Air) The participants identified the absence of the power of sanction in Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act as one of the factors affecting the Council in the discharge of its responsibilities as a regulator. Participants therefore recommended the need to strengthen the Council’s Act to effectively sanction erring operators. The Roundtable noted the importance of Public-Private Partnership collaboration, Inter Agencies Alliance and Cooperation, Single Windows and positive engagement in Trade facilitation and developments and therefore advised concerned interest groups to embrace the above initiative. The application of a single Window concept will reduce substantially or eliminate human contact.
“Regulatory Role On Statutory
Introduction HEN one comes to think of it one cannot but conclude that the need for control of statutory certifications i.e. classification and statutory surveys is one that cannot be overemphasized especially as it relates to security, safety and efficient shipping in a clean ocean. To this end, this paper would discuss classification and statutory surveys, statutory certifications and control, effect of regulations on statutory certifications and the “C-MAR/The Dynamic Positioning role of NIMASA in this regard. Centre are delighted to be working Background with Seatrade for events organisaShipping is one of the safest and most environmentally tion on a global basis. As an benign modes of transport, yet several high profile casualexhibitor and speaker at this inauties have prompted questions from politicians and the gural event it provides us with an media about the performance of Flag States. There is excellent opportunity to highlight understandable concern about shipping companies’ use current issues concerning our core of flags that may not comply fully with international regulations. Moreover, contemporary worries about maritime business, Dynamic security have added a new slant to these concerns. Positioning. The Middle East While it is shipping companies that have primary Workboat show is key to developresponsibility for the safe operation of their ships and the ing our strategic growth within safety and welfare of their crews, the Flag State plays a critthis geographical area.” ical role with regard to the Safety of Life at Sea and the proDan Endersby, General Manager, The Dynamic Positioning Centre/C tection of the marine environment. It is the Flag State that has overall responsibility for the implementation and Mar Group enforcement of international maritime regulations for all “Middle East Workboats is set to be ships ‘flying its flag’. Effective regulation by governments of the technical and social aspects of shipping is therefore a new and exciting platform for Lloyd’s Register. We are looking for- vital to ensure safe, secure and pollution-free ship operaward to the opportunity it will give tions, and good employment conditions for seafarers. The United Nation agency, International Maritime to penetrate this rapidly expandOrganization (IMO) has made considerable efforts to ing regional sector and connect restore confidence in the Flag State. But it is also imporwith tant for the industry to promote satisfactory Flag State top international players.” performance, and for shipping companies to discourage Niels Overgaard, Area Marine the use of Flags that perform poorly. Business Manager, Middle East and What is Classification? Africa, Lloyd’s Register EMEA” It is worthy to state that some Statutory Surveys are carried out by Classification Societies on behalf of Flag State. I am delighted to see Seatrade is The development, publication of world-wide implementaarranging a special event for tion of a set of rules and regulation which set and mainWorkboats in the Middle East. The tain standards of quality and reliability for ships. It is also region is in the process of renewa synergy between classification society, builder, owner ing and operator. and upgrading the fleet so a lot of WHAT IS A CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY? new features and equipment will The purpose of classification society is to provide classifibe cation and statutory services and assistance to the maritime industry and regulatory bodies regards maritime available in the market.” safety and pollution prevention, based on the accumulaEivind Grøstad, Senior Vicetion of maritime knowledge and technology. President and Regional Manager: The object of ship classification is to verify the structural Middle East & strength and integrity and essential parts of the ship’s India, Det Norske Veritas. hull and its appendages, and the reliability and function Middle East Workboats will provide of propulsion and steering systems, power generation an important international forum and those other features and auxiliary systems which have been built into the ship in order to maintain essenfor all those involved in this develtial services on board. oping service sector. Its location Classification societies aim to achieve this objective in Abu Dhabi reflects the importhrough the development and application of rules and by tance of the workboat industry in verifying compliance with international and/or national the statutory regulations on behalf of flag state. region. The Royal Institution of HOW TO GET RECOGNITION OF A CLASSIFICATION SOCENaval Architects is pleased to give ITY? its A classification society not only checks the construction support.” plans of a ship but also approves the material used for the Trevor Blakeley, Chief Executive, construction and tests the skills of the people involved. RINA Once the construction is done according to the classification’s standards, it issues a certificate of class the ship. This “MIDDLE EAST WORKBOATS will be certificate reflects all the aspects of the ship including hull an event not to be missed by anyand machinery. Apart from that a trading certificate is one issued which has a validity period of 5 years. All these cerinvolved in the workboat and offtificates are endorsed every year by successful completion shore oil & gas industries.” of “Annual Surveys”. Steve Dougal, Managing Director, THE REGULATORY ACTIVITIES OF THE CLASSIFICATION Century Marine Services Ltd SOCIETIES They provide rules for design and construction, design
calculations and guidance, survey during construction, regulations for in-service inspections. They also render the following services: Periodic and damage survey during operation, act for flag administration in ensuring statutory compliance with SOLAS, research and development and support international Organizations. What is Statutory Certification? Statutory Survey and Certification are carried out on behalf of Government and Flag States in accordance with ratified international Conventions and Codes. Frame work of the Statutory Certification of Ships The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is an umbrella convention concerned with many aspects of the sea and its uses, including the granting of registration of a ship by a country. Once a ship is registered, the Flag State has certain duties laid out in UNCLOS. In particular, under Article 94, the Flag State must “effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over ships flying its flag/land take “such measures for ships flying its flag as are necessary to ensure safety at sea....’’ Under the auspices of the IMO, international conventions have been agreed which set out uniform requirements in order to facilitate the acceptance of a ship registered in one country in the waters and ports of another and in the general furtherance of safety at sea and the protection of the environment. These requirements are commonly referred to as ‘statutory’ requirements. Broadly, they cover four distinct areas: Aspects of the ship’s design and its structural integrity – load line and stability in the Intact and damaged condition, essential propulsion, steering equipment, etc; Pollution control with regard to normal ship operation; Accident prevention, including navigation aids and pollution and fire prevention; The situation after an accident (fire, flooding) including containment and escape SUPERVISION OF SURVEYS In accordance with IMO Resolution A.739, flag state should establish appropriate controls over organisations, such as classification societies, nominated to conduct statutory surveys of ships on behalf. Such controls should include determining that the organisation has adequate resources for the task assigned, and entering into a formal written agreement covering the issues specified in A.739. Flag state should specify instructions detailing action to be followed in the event that a ship is not found fit to proceed to sea, and provide information concerning national regulations that give effect to international maritime conventions. A Verification and monitoring system should also be established to ensure the adequacy of work performed by organisations acting on a Flag State’s behalf. The delegation of statutory survey work should be restricted to ‘Recognized Organizations’ that comply with IMO Resolution A.739. In practice this will usually mean internationally recognized bodies, such as members of the International Association of Classification Societies (lACS). Recognised Organizations SOLAS and the other International Conventions permit the Flag State to delegate the inspection and survey of ships to a Recognised Organization (RO). This is in recognition of the fact that many Flag States do not have adequate technical experience, manpower or global coverage to undertake all the necessary statutory inspections and surveys using its own staff. The RO is responsible and accountable to the Flag State for the work that it carries out on its behalf. The principles of the inspection and survey work are to a very large extent the same as in respect of classification surveys, that is, the verification by the RO that a ship is in compliance with applicable requirements at the time of the surveyor inspection. The scopes of these inspections and surveys are laid down by the relevant national laws based on International Conventions to which the Government is a signatory, CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
New Course Introduction A thorough knowledge of the increasing technicalities involved in the upstream oil and gas sector and its associated support structure is needed for one to successfully engage in any form of business in this sector. The wake of the Coastal and Inland shipping act and the Nigerian Oil and gas industry development act are indicators for a much needed training in line with these regulations. To bridge the need for the much needed training, the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping is introducing a 3-day course titled:
Understanding Cabotage and Local Content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry (Upstream).
The course is designed to give an in-depth understanding of the Maritime/Oil and Gas upstream business in Nigeria. Whether as a Bank who wants to finance the acquisition of offshore vessels, or an indigenous operator who wants to build upon existing knowledge, a new entrant that needs the fundamental knowledge of the maritime/upstream oil and gas business, an International Oil Company dealing with Local Operators or individuals who have a purely academic interest in gaining knowledge that will assist with their own personal and professional development; you will find the course very comprehensive and valuable. In the end, you will have a broader knowledge of Contracts, Investments and Vessel Financing in the Upstream Oil and Gas sector.
Core Modules include: 1. The Development of the Maritime Industry in Nigeria/Legislation 2. Overview of the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria 3. Finding a Vessel 4. Vessel/Equipment Inspection (Physical and Classification Surveys) 5. Vessel Registration and Working within the Regulatory Framework (Cabotage & Local Content) 6. Funding your Contract 7. Understanding Marine Insurance 8. Maritime law and Arbitration 9. Ship Management 10. Environmental Issues 11. Maritime Security Our facilitators are seasoned professionals with enormous experience in the industry We are confident you will find that this unique course provides you with the much needed knowledge that will benefit you and your company as well as give you the needed skill in contract sourcing, financing and execution. Tentative Date: 25th – 27th June, 2013 Venue: The Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos. Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm daily For further information kindly contact us as follows: Send E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org Or call: 01-892 2289 // 0803 386 1289 // 0703 959 9551 // 0807 127 8073 // 0803 565 2602 // 0803 532 5870. Visit our website www.nigerian-shipping.org or follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/nigerianchamberofshipping
“Regulatory Role On Statutory Certification” CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 together with additional instructions that may be issued by the Flag State. NIMASA AS THE APEX MARITIME REGULATORY AGENCY IN NIGFERIA. Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, 2007(“the Act) is the regulatory agency for all matters relating maritime safety and security, marine environment, shipping and maritime labour. The jurisdiction of the Agency covers ships, small ships and crafts both Nigerian and foreign flagged operation in Nigerian waters which encompasses the exclusive economic zone, territorial, seas, inland waterways and ports within Nigeria. NIMASA as the apex regulatory body in the industry also performs the role of the flag state as defined by the United Nations convention on the law of the sea (UNCLOS) has overall responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of international maritime regulations for all ship granted the right to fly its flag. However, the flag state may conduct the larger part of its activities through entities located in other countries. Also NIMASA have other in its capacity as ports and coastal state responsibilities, which involve the enforcement of regulations with regards to visiting foreign ships. However, it is a nation’s role as a flag state that is the first line of defence against potential unsafe or environmental damaging ship operations. The mandate of the agency is derive from the following: Nigerian Maritime administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act. 2007 ii. Merchant Shipping Act. 2007 iii. Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act. These Acts confer the following functions on the Agency: (a) Pursue the development of shipping and regulate matters relating to merchant shipping and seafarers; (b) Administering the registration and licensing of ships; (c) Regulate and administer the certification of seafarers; (d) Establish maritime training and safety standards; (e) Regulate the safety of shipping as regards the construction of ships and navigation; (f) Provide search and rescue services; (g) Provide directions and ensure compliance with vessel security measures; (h) Carry out air and coastal surveillances; (i) Control and prevent maritime pollution (j)Provide direction on qualification, certification, employment and welfare of maritime labour; (k)Develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure; (I) Enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003; (m) Perform port and Flag State duties; (n) Receive and remove wrecks; (o) Provide national maritime search and rescue services; (p) Provide maritime security; and (q) Establish the procedure for the implementation of conventions of the International maritime organization and the international maritime labour Organisation and other international conventions to which the federal republic of Nigeria is a party on maritime safety and security, maritime labour, commercial shipping and for the implementation codes, resolutions and
circulars arising there from. REGULATORY FUNCTIONS Some of the regulatory responsibilities of NIMASA include: Flag State Administration Port State Control / Administration Marine Environment Management Implementation of ISPS Code Certificate of Seafarers and Registration of Dockworkers Registration of Shipping Companies REGULATORY ROLE OF NIMASA ON STATUTORY CERTIFICATIONS Authorisation Some statutory certificates are issued by the recognized organizations in accordance with the terms of its recognition by the administration. Variation of the delegation of statutory authority or certificates that can be issued by the RO exists between Administrations. Issuance, Endorsement and Withdrawal of Certificates. A certificate is issued or endorsed after the relevant surveys have been carried out. A certificate may be issued, valid for a time period, listing corrective action to be rectified for minor deficiencies which do not prevent the issuance of a certificate to the ship. NIMASA can withdraw or invalidate a certificate if the required corrective action is not taken or the certificate has expired. The roles of NIMASA on Statutory Certification from the foregoing therefore include: Nomination of recognised organisations (ROs) to carryout surveys and inspections on its behalf. Delegation of NIMASA authority to the ROs as well as giving them the scope of Jurisdiction within which to act. Issuance of Certificates (Statutory) to the shipping companies based on the report of the surveys/inspections carried out by the ROs. Measurement of performance of the ROs through an oversight programme. It is of paramount and utmost importance that surveys and inspections conducted by ROs on behalf of Flag States (NIMASA) are supervised and regulated in order to promote uniformity of inspections and maintain established standards. It is therefore mandatory that any delegation of authority to the ROs should follow the guidelines for the authorization of organisations acting on behalf of the Flag States. (Resolution A.739 (18).) Furthermore, NIMASA has the responsibility of ensuring that the recognized organisations have adequate resources in terms of technical, managerial and research capabilities to accomplish the tasks being assigned to them in accordance with the minimum standards for recognized organisation acting on behalf of flag state. In other to ensure that the international organisation are fully met in the process of delegation of authority to the ROs, continuous monitoring and communication is essential through an oversight programme. The Agency does this by retaining authority to conduct supplementary surveys and inspections to ensure that ships flying its flag comply with other national requirement which supplements IMO conventions e.g. working hours, manning levels, occupation safety and health standards. CONCLUSION The agency in fulfilling her regulatory obligation on Statutory Certificate as a Flag State Administration has done well in its bid to ensure safe, efficient shipping, in cleaner ocean.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Energy IEA strategises to reduce fossil fuel subsidies by $523bn By Roseline Okere HE International Energy Agency T (IEA) has said that the world would save $523 billion from the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies and at the same time reduce global emission by CO2. The agency therefore proposed four policy measures that could help global reduction of emission to 2 °C target by 2020 at no net economic cost. According to the agency, these policies would reduce greenhousegas emissions by 3.1 Gt CO2-eq in 2020, which is 80 per cent of the emissions reduction required under a 2 °C trajectory. IEA, in its Energy Outlook released recently, listed these policies to include adopting specific energy efficiency measures; limiting the construction and use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants; minimising methane emissions from upstream oil and gas production and accelerating the partial phaseout of subsidies to fossil-fuel consumption. It stated: “Accelerated action towards a partial phase-out of fossilfuel subsidies would reduce Co2 emissions by 360mt in 2020. Fossil-fuel subsidies amounted to $523 billion in 2011, around six times the level of support to renewable energy. Currently, 15 per cent of global emission receive an incentive of $110 per tonne in the form of fossil-fuel subsidies while only eight per cent are subject to a carbon price”. IEA said that the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012 to 31.6 billion tones. The report stated that China saw the largest emissions growth last year, up 300 million tonnes, or 3.8 per cent, from 2011. U.S. emissions dropped 200 million tonnes, or 3.8 per cent by switching it’s generation from coal to gas, while Europe’s emissions declined by 50 million tonnes, or 1.4 per cent. At the rate emissions are growing, the world’s climate is reportedly on track for a temperature increase of 6.5-9.5 F. According to reports, scientists have predicted that the global temperature rise could have disastrous consequences such as extreme weather events, disruptions to agriculture and the spread of diseases. The IEA report stated that emissions could and need to be significantly reduced by 2020. It noted that the world can report-
Carbon emmission edly decrease their fuel emission by improving everyday energy efficiency when using transportation, limiting the use of coal-fired power plants and others. “While delaying stronger climate action to 2020 would avoid $1.5 trillion in low-carbon investments over the next seven years, it would mean an additional $5 trillion in investment
would be needed to get back on track,” the IEA said in the report. The IEA report stated the developing countries like China, India and Brazil account for 60 per cent of global emissions from energy, up from 45 per cent in 2000. IEA chief Economist, Faith Birol said that this development puts the world on a difficult and dangerous
trajectory. “If we don’t do anything between now and 2020, it will be very difficult because there will be a lot of carbon already in the atmosphere and the energy infrastructure will be locked in.” He added that, while the emissions data was bad enough news, there were other factors that made it even less likely that the world
would meet its greenhouse gas targets. He urged governments to take action urgently. "This should be a wake-up call. A chance of staying below two degrees if we had a legally binding international agreement or major moves on clean energy technologies, energy efficiency and other technologies."
Sagas to establish CNG conversion centres in Nigeria By Roseline Okere AGAS Energy Company Limited, a Sunveiled subsidiary of Dangote Group, has plans to establish centres around the country where cars would be converted to the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Already, the company has successfully established conversion centre in Ikeja, Lagos were it has started the implementation of the programmed. This initiative, which is being done in partnership with Prins Autogas West Africa Limited, was in furtherance of the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed three months ago between Sagas and the Nigerian Gas Company. The company is expected to covert over 5,000 vehicles before the end of the year.
Under the arrangement, the NGC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to supply Sagas Compressed natural Gas (CNG) for 20 years while Sagas converts PMS and diesel engine vehicles with kits to adapt the engines to the use of gas as obtained elsewhere outside the African continent. Speaking after a tour of the conversion centre in Ikeja, Lagos State, Chief Operating Officer of Prin Autogas, Henry Van Tienen, explained that the conversion was a novel technology in Africa and that the use of gas either as alternative fuel or a mix blend with diesel has advantages over any other fuel currently in use. He stated that the Sagas would source gas from the NGC through
its vast network of pipelines and compress it to a cheaper, cleaner and sustainable alternative fuel or dual fuel for profitable business. According to him, with the kick-off of the conversion, Nigerians were in for a new technology that would help in conserving fuel, deploy the abundant natural gas into good use with a cleaner environment. He disclosed that conversion centres would be established at various points across the federation while the gas filing stations would be located at the fuel filing stations through accredited dealers scattered across the country. Tienen said that the use of the new technology was safe, convenient, cheaper and more efficient and that as time went on most Nigerians would prefer the technology to the
tradition fuel. Chairman of Sagas, Sani Dangote, said that the ceremony was meant to demonstrate to the public the capability of Sagas to deliver as promised during the agreement signing. The Sagas boss disclosed that 5,000 trucks would be converted within a year and that the kit to convert 1,000 are already on ground and advised commercial vehicle owners as well as in industrial and private owners to avail themselves of the benefits of the new technology. He added: “We already have some of these centres in operation now. We have commenced the training of engineers and other technicians that would undertake the conversion. Our partners are here to put them through.”
Forte Oil may diversify into refining business By Roseline Okere
• Targets N3b profit this year
N indigenous oil firm - Forte Oil Plc (forA merly African Petroleum Plc), has unveiled plans to diversify into refinery
billion this year. The company, which recorded a loss of N19.9 billion in 2011, believed that its present transformation plans would assist in achieving exceptional performance in the current year. The Group Chief Executive Officer of the company, Akin Akinfemiwa said during a media parley recently Lagos, that the company was determined to be number one energy solution outfit in Africa, delivering unbeatable benefits to stakeholders. According to Akinfemiwa, the company, which has strong presence in Ghana, would
business in order to reduce dependence on fuel importation into the country and bolster its operational profile. However, the company stressed that the refinery scheme would be effected when the country’s business environment is conducive and profit-driven to encourage investment in private refineries. Already, the company has concluded arrangements to increase its profit after tax from N1.15 billion it recorded in 2012 to N3
work continuously to improve its services and expand business network in Nigeria and to other countries in Africa. He disclosed the company’s plan to take part in the next marginal field licensing round. Akinfemiwa hinted that the company, which is into joint venture with Amperium Consortium to acquire Geregu power plant, was the first to meet the deadline in the payment of the initial 25 per cent. He said that Forte oil has almost concluded arrangements on how to pay the 75 per cent balance, which would lead to the
eventual takeover of the power plant by the company in August this year. Akinfemiwa said that the company was proactive at ensuring consistent availability of petroleum products to its customers nationwide through diligent sourcing and effective haulaging of these products. He stated: “We have over 120 filling stations in the country and we are working towards increasing the number as we continue with our transformation plans. We also have 12 retail outlets in Ghana under the trade name of AP Oil and Gas Ghana Limited (APOG) and out plans is to expand operations to Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and others countries within West Africa.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Clean energy campaign firms up in Lagos By Sulaimon Salau HE latest slang popularly T adopted under the number portability scheme of the telecommunications industry has recently being adopted in the energy sector, when Lagosians who gathered in thousands, as the state officially switched from fossil fuel to gas utilisation screamed ‘Lagos don port o’. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola led the league of participating oil and gas firms amid other stakeholders to pronounce that, “from firewood and kerosene, Lagos don Port to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), women make una Port o.” This particular assertion was however replicated by the firms including, Chimons Gas Limited, Techno Oil Limited, Banner Gas Limited and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) among others, which forged alliance to promote LPG in the state. In a wider scope, the global scene is fast moving towards clean energy to secure a clean environment that is devoid of degradation by reducing carbon emission in the society. This move necessitated the Kyoto Protocol introduced on December 11, 1997, which Nigeria is a signatory. Besides mere compliance, the signatory-countries stand to earn substantial amount (carbon credit) through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), depending on the level of
conversion to clean energy. As the quest for clean energy intensifies across the globe, some countries use LPG, while many others use CNG. Methane is the prime component of CNG while LPG is a blend of propane and butane. Governor Fashola at the flag-off of the Eko Gas, concurred that Nigeria is lagging behind in terms of LPG utilisation, as it ranked lowest in the sub-saharan Africa. He said the new scheme would also bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in the society: “Let me just say that cooking gas will be the preferred choice of fuel and power in Lagos
State as we move on. “It will be adopted for our cars, to power our generators, to cook our meals and do so many things. We have large reserve of it as a nation, but unfortunately we are not using it optimally. This flag off is symbolic,” he said. The Executive Director, Chimons Gas Limited, Baylon Duru, said: “We saw it coming. The importance of LPG is enormous and therefore better than all forms of energy. When we examined the trend in Africa, we discovered that Nigeria is really lagging behind. We have good reserve base, so we concluded that our people
should enjoy clean energy.” He stressed that the company started promoting LPG from refilling to become a major off-taker with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), and later developed a terminal. “So, we run a company chain, storage, bulk sales, and haulage to the retail end. In fact, Chimons is a total quality company, as far as LPG is concerned,” he said. Duru said: “We are happy that this initiative is becoming reality today. This is the first phase of the launch, and the second phase, which is advocacy, would soon take off.
He said the introduction of 3kg cylinder is to ensure that the product is affordable, while the state government is ready to subsidise the cylinder, adding that the company is planning to float its own skid plants across the state, to aid utilisation of LPG. The Managing Director, Techno Oil Limited, Tony Onyeama, said: “We are collaborating with the Lagos State government in a huge way, the state government is subsidising the cylinders and we have made our commitments to make available about 500,000 cylinders to the people of Lagos State.
He said the company would sell the 6kg cylinder for N3,000 (instead of the original price of N6,000) while the state government settles the balance. “We are at the forefront of making available and encourage the people on the use of LPG, as against other fossil fuel,” he stressed. The Managing Director, Banner Gas, Nuhu Yakubu, said: “We are determined to ensure that the populace take advantage of the clean cooking fuel, which is in abundance in Nigeria. We are flaring it away, now we want to bring it home to Nigerians, instead of using kerosene, firewood to cook, if you use the right fuel, it improves the health status, as the carbon emission reduces. He explained that the scheme is focused at ensuring that in the next couple of years, every household in Lagos will be using gas instead of kerosene. “Now gas has come home to stay. This is a cheap fuel, it’s a clean fuel. At Banner Gas we convert generators to run on gas, cars can run on gas, you can cook with gas, and indeed a lot of things are possible with gas,” he said. He stressed that the company has the capacity to deploy as many skids as the state can afford, but expected to start with 10 skids, adding that it could convert the accessories in a safer way. According to him, Banner Gas has presence in Lagos, Edo, Delta, Kano, Kaduna, Be-
‘Indigenous participation is key to developing Africa’s hydrocarbon potential’ Olalekan Akinyanmi is the chief executive officer of Lekoil Nigeria, an indigenous oil and gas company operating and some other African countries. In this interview with ROSELINE OKERE, he hinged the future development of hydrocarbon on indigenous participation. Excerpts: OVERNMENT is very seriG ous about the implementation of Local Content Policy. How would the policy help your participation in the sector? What are the likely challenges in respect of getting quality manpower? There’s room to have a robust discussion on the local content policy and its manpower implications, but from the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) perspective as whole, we run our economy on a pre-PIB basis. In other words, we are running our operations as if the PIB doesn’t happen. And then we run sensitivity around some of the issues in the PIB, and to tell you the truth, because we are an indigenous company, most of the alterations on the PIB have actually favoured us as an indigenous company. We’ve been able to explain this to our investors by showing good returns on pre- PIB. On the other hand, most of the scenarios post-PIB actually increases our returns as an indigenous company and that makes them comfort-
able. What do you think the country should do to improve indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry? Improvements can be made with better access to capital, by improving structures and transparency. Lekoil intends to use its access to capital and strong local partnerships to build a multi-asset exploration, development and production business in Africa. From a disciplined portfolio perspective, we are well positioned to acquire divestment assets because of our access to the capital markets. We do intend to participate in divestments where we believe we are able to unlock value through a combination of smart financing, technical expertise and partnerships. How has the different reforms in the oil and gas sector affected your operations? We like the idea that indigenous companies should be allowed to grow, to flourish and to attract capital. Over the decades, the majors and large service companies have done a fantastic job in terms of knowledge transfer to Nigerians. However, reforms like this are significant and should be given time – we have to keep going at it to get it done. Lekoil seem to be doing a lot in Africa. Why the so much interest in Africa? Historically, capital expenditure relative to resource availability has shown that Africa is under explored. In the context of Africa Nigeria is also under explored – we haven’t
really had to do much in terms of enhanced oil recovery in Nigeria and there are some areas where we think that if you bring new technology to bear, there’s a lot that can be done. You get such a fantastic return from what is already in place that sometimes people don’t push too hard on the exploration side. But there’s a lot of room for exploration in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. Many African countries are discovering hydrocarbon assets. What does this mean for Lekoil in terms of investment options? We have a couple of assets in Namibia. They are in a different phase of the assets life cycle; in terms of differentiation, a lot of the assets in Nigeria fall into either producing or near production assets except for the ones in the Dahomey basin. In the rest of Africa, there is a tendency to take more risks on the geological and technological side, but sometimes, a little bit less risk, in terms of just the working environment. In other words there are opportunities to balance risk in our portfolio of assets. Tell us about your plans to acquire some assets in the country’s oil and gas sector. 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. This acquisition sees us well on our way to realising our vision for Lekoil and its shareholders, following our Admission to AIM last month. What is the market focus of Lekoil? We are Pan-African company with a balanced portfolio of producing and exploration assets. Near-term focus is in sub-Saharan Africa. Access to capital markets, strong technical team, disciplined approach to building an asset portfolio and strong local partnerships. We recently entered into a farm out agreement with Afren Plc to acquire an overall 30 per cent economic inter-
est, including a 17.14 per cent participating interest, in OPL310, an offshore Nigerian asset located in the DahomeyBenin Basin. OPL310 represents an early stage asset with significant potential and strong partners. The initial exploration well, Ogo-1, was spudded on 23 April 2013. In addition, Lekoil is the operator of two Namibian offshore exploration blocks (Blocks 2514 A & B) located in the prospective Luderitz Basin. Tell us more about Lekoil. Lekoil was founded in December 2010 and is an Africafocused company with assets in Nigeria and Namibia with a strong technical and commercial team. We recently listed on the AIM exchange in London. Lekoil Nigeria recently entered into a farm out agreement with Afren Plc to acquire an overall 30 per cent economic interest, including
Akinyanmi a 17.14 per cent participating interest, in OPL310, an offshore Nigerian asset located in the Dahomey-Benin Basin.
Edo communities laud NDDC projects From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City OMMUNITIES in the three C oil producing local council areas of Edo State have lauded the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the projects in their various communities, a development they said was ameliorating their hardship through the provision of infrastructures. The communities made the commendation during the
inspection of on-going projects in the areas by the state Commissioner for NDDC, Henry Okhuarobo and the Edo State Commissioner for Oil and Gas Ministry, Orobosa Omo-Ojo. Among the projects inspected included a N1.3 billion medical hostel at the University of Benin, which when completed would accommodate over 800 students. Other projects included a 47 kilometre Udo-Ofunama Road
linking the Ijaw riverine communities with mainland areas of the state, water projects at Ovbiogie and Aduwawa communities as well as an ultra modern 18 classrooms block also at Aduwawa. Spokesman for the Ofunama Ijaw in Ovia South-West local council, Don Bas, commended the commission for the construction of the UdoOfunama Road, which he said has brought a lot of relief to the Ijaws living in the riverine areas of the state.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
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Opinion Poly-tricks and belly politics By Kenneth Amaeshi PPARENTLY, the battle in Nigeria today is A between those who want to keep the status quo (the political dominance of a region and religion) at all cost, and those who want a new Nigeria where merit, hard work and opportunity for all will be the order of the day (irrespective of region and religion). The former is mere primordial sentiment, and the latter has a positive potential to be ideological. At the end, it comes across as a battle between what could be an ideology for a good Nigerian society and the emotional predisposition for self-destruction, which have held us back since independence. Despite the visible tensions, both views are likely to form the battleground for the emergence of new politics in Nigeria. It will be definitely a battle between poly-tricks and sensible politics. Many of those who parade themselves today in Nigeria as politicians do one thing extremely well: they whip up regional, ethnic, and religious sentiments for personal gains and ride on that wave. They do this because they have mastered the gullibility of the average Nigerian, which has become a collective problem. True to their nature as politicians of ‘poly tricks’, they will always be good at what they do best: gross deceit and unfathomable manipulation. They set us against each other. They achieve their personal selfish goals of power acquisition. The status quo of stagnation remains. Nigeria continues to suffer from ineptitude. We moan and die. They dance on our graves.
As 2015 approaches, the politrickians have started their games. Posturing and pretending to be super heroes – grand defendants of the masses and their regional interests. They have started fanning the embers of regional hatred across the ethnic groups – North, South, East and West. This could be seen from many current happenings in the polity – from the Nigerian Governance Forum (NGF) debacle to the clamour for the return of power to the proverbial and imaginary “Northern Nigeria”. Selfishness is present in all these political intrigues and manoeuvring. What is obviously absent is a genuine sense of national patriotism and common good. Despite their attempts to hide their selfish interests through packaging them as regional or religious interests, they manifest as primordial and unenlightened quest for naked power. This is in no way surprising given that enlightenment is a rare commodity in a country ravaged by poverty of the mind, brute craze for all things mate-
rial, and obnoxious level of ignorance. The politrickians understand this too, and work effortlessly to use it to their benefits at our collective expense. The period before 2015 and its madness presents an opportunity for us to sit back and think carefully before the politrickians run us over in their usual style. The power is with us and not with them. They know this too. That’s why they do all they can to sway us to vote for them even when they know very well that they do not have our interests at heart. Sieve through their messages with more care and rigour. Do not be in a haste to form an opinion. Remember the difference between a politrickian and a chameleon is very negligible. When they come with their sweet tongues and deep pockets, it will be sensible to always explore what their vision for Nigeria and the Nigerian society in Africa and in the World is, and how they think we can achieve it. This is new politics! Avoid engaging with them on the basis of where they are from and the God they believe in, for they are usually rootless and godless. The very few
The period before 2015 and its madness presents an opportunity for us to sit back and think carefully before the politrickians run us over in their usual style. The power is with us and not with them. They know this too. That’s why they do all they can to sway us to vote for them even when they know very well that they do not have our interests at heart. Sieve through their messages with more care and rigour
among them who are sensible and civilised may not have very deep pockets; it is our duty to discern these people and support them. They may not be as loud as the majority; they will need our collective voice to trump the mighty in our land who have held us hostage in similar patterns and styles characterised by deep seated corruption and underdevelopment. Again, this is new politics! All things being equal, 2015 is a year of battle between the politrickians and the Nigerian people. They have started their games of deceit and divide and rule in earnest – playing one group against the other. Let’s not fall for their antics or allow ourselves to be sucked into their unpatriotic and destructive powers. Let’s unite, stand up to, fight, and defeat the politrickians in 2015. If you are still at sea about who the politrickians are, they only fly flags of two shades: ethnic and religious sentiments. With a close eye on these, you will not miss them despite their adeptness in portraying their selfish goals as common goods. They will never present a clear and practical ideology of Nigeria as a good society, which is quintessentially new politics. The battle line is drawn. Spread the message. By their fruits we shall know them, and victory shall be ours if we put Nigeria first in all things. • Amaeshi is a member of Thought Leadership Forum, Nigeria, an Associate Professor (Reader) in Strategy and International Business at the University of Edinburgh, and a visiting professor at the Lagos Business School.
What is truth? By Cornelius Omonokhua HE judgement of Jesus by Pilate leaves us with a question T that cries for an answer. In John 18, 37-38, Pilate said to Jesus, so you are a king then. Jesus answered; you say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world to bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Pilate said to him, what is truth? Jesus did not answer this question either because Pilate did not wait for an answer or Jesus did not need to respond to Pilate given that the truth was already present and evident in Jesus who had said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14, 6). The words and actions of Jesus manifest the true nature of God and those who live in truth live in God and God lives in them (John 14). This evidence was confirmed in John 18, 39 when Pilate went out again to the Jews, and said to them, I find no fault at all in him. John reveals how worried Pilate was in the face of “truth” (John 19, 4). Once more he came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” In spite of this witness Pilate did not have the judicial courage to release Jesus. When it comes to power and politics, truth becomes irrelevant. It is like saying, what has truth to do with kingship and secular leadership? Some people have openly indicated that to follow the morality of truth makes winning a political election almost impossible, thus reducing politics to a game where truth is sacrificed on the altar of power. Various religions, secular movements, ideologies and individuals claim to have answers to this question, “What is truth”? In Christianity, God is the absolute truth. The truth of the Holy Trinity reveals the love and unity that should exist in a community of believers. This truth is professed in the creed. A Christian would not be defending the truth if he or she tears the community apart instead of promoting peace and unity (John 17). Islam believes that there is only one God to whom all must submit and live in peace. A good deed is performed in the name of Allah. It is therefore not true to shout “God is great” while doing evil like detonating a bomb or killing somebody by any means. Truth is one and does not contradict the nature of God whose concept includes love and peaceful coexistence. In Islam, ‘Truth’ (Haqq) is a name of Allah. The Qur’an says, “Supremely exalted then is Allah, the King and the Truth” (Qur’an 20:114). That is because Allah, is the Truth,
(Qur’an 22:6), the evident Truth (Qur’an 24:25). Muslims who are true servants of Allah are called “Abdul Haqq”, meaning the servant of truth. Consequently, Muslims must ensure that the adjective “Islam” must never qualify the word “terrorist”. Muslim must prove in words and non-violent action that the phrase “Islamic terrorist group” is a contradiction. It is like saying, “peaceful terrorist group” which does not make sense even in normal grammar of any language. In Africa Tradition, God is the supreme truth because his eyes can penetrate the darkest night and the depth of the human heart. This is manifested in the goodness of God who created the heavens and the earth. In African tradition, it is a common saying, that the fowl does not drink water and forget the heavens. The faith in the community of the ancestors and the community life of human beings on earth reveal the truth about God who loves his creatures equally akin to the love of a father and a mother for the children. Truth and reality are inseparable. Reality is what exists and not an illusion. Truth exists in what is not self-contradictory. The best way to defend truth at any time consists in all actions that promote the dignity of the human person. God is defended when the human person is assisted to be fully alive. Protecting and promoting the value and dignity of life is to be a co-creator and co-redeemer in the creative work of God. The Bible should be a basis of truth for Christians while the Qur’an should be a basis of truth for Muslims hence no verse of the Scriptures should be recited while doing evil. We lie if we use scriptural arguments to destroy humanity that God has created in truth and love. God did not create any person or group of persons to be annihilated, killed or destroyed by anybody or group of persons who claim to love God more. God’s love for his creatures is not partial. Even the judiciary trust so much in the sacred books and objects of worship hence before giving testimony in court, the accused and the witness are made to swear with the scriptures and object of their faith. In law, not to tell the truth under oath is a serious offence even against God given that the word of God is truth and every one of his righteous rules endures forever (Psalm 119, 160). If perjury is a criminal offence, then we should value the truth of the sacred books. Jesus prayed that God should sanctify all children of God in the truth (John 17, 17). Believers in God should know also that in truth “God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice (Job 24, 12). The oath in court is akin to the prayer of the psalmist: “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you
are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long (Psalm 25, 5). “Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain and to your dwelling” (Psalm 43, 3)! ”Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name” (Psalm 86, 11). This prayer to work and walk in truth is necessary because “of his own will God brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures” (James 1, 18) “for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1, 17). It is only the truth that will set you free (John 8, 32) so speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace (Zechariah 8, 16). Having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour” (Ephesians 4, 25). God is the absolute truth therefore human beings must acknowledge human frailty in the pilgrimage to share in the truth of God. We should courageously repent of our sins especially the tendency to lie even to protect ourselves. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1, 8). We should accept that even what we call “small lie” can gradually affect our image and integrity. According to Francis Schaeffer, “Today not only in philosophy but in politics, government, and individual morality, our generation sees solutions in terms of synthesis and not absolutes. When this happens, truth, as people have always thought of truth, has died.” For John Wycliffe, “I believe that in the end the truth will conquer.” So “Let us rejoice in the truth, wherever we find its lamp burning”. Albert Schweitzer says, “Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of peace.” For Thomas Aquinas, “As a matter of honour, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.” To support the truth against falsehood is the obligation of every man of honour (Qur’an 21:18-20) Falsehood is conquered and truth is defended through witness of life. It is a sincere and honest word and not a sharp sword that proclaims the truth. By so doing we follow God “who shows the way” (Qur’an 33:4) and make others through our love of peace to “trust his promise that is true” (Qur’an 10:55). This promise is reward for those who submit to God and promote the peace that reflects the true nature of God. • Fr. Omonokhua is the Director of Mission and Dialogue of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja and Consultor of the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims (C.R.R.M), Vatican City.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Opinion Lessons from the governors’ election By Kingsley Ogbonda T is disquieting; deeply disquieting that someIweeks thing significant happened in Nigeria a few ago, and what has been noticed is the superficial debates that trailed it. I mean the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) chairmanship election between Mr. Amaechi of Rivers State and Mr Jang of Plateau State. Although under normal circumstances that event should not have caused a blink of an eye. And no Nigerian, at least in my view, should have been excoriated for failing to notice it in the midst of their pressing daily living activities. But as this is uncertain time in Nigeria and governors being larger than life characters – an embodiment of the ugliness of the Nigerian political system, their frolics required the undivided attention of Nigerians. The NGF election provided the opportunity for citizens to pierce into the minds of a group whose pervasive influence has put the country’s democratic experiment in peril. If there was an occasion to pretend and hide their anti-democratic tendencies, there it was. Did they do that? No. It was an election in which the governors were the candidates, electors and umpire, what could possibly go wrong? There are 36 governors in Nigeria and in their chairmanship election on May 24,2013, there were 35 of them present who voted. According to reports in most of the Nigerian newspapers and confirmed by video accounts on the social media, including the SaharaReporters – Mr. Ameachi got 19 votes against Mr. Jang’s 16. In simple arithmetic and according to the Nigerian adopted simple majority election method, Mr. Amaechi won, having secured more number of votes than his rival, Mr. Jang. Unsurprisingly, in Nigeria, in most cases, simple things are never quite so simple. Amaechi may have gotten the majority of actual votes cast but nobody explained that to Jang. How could in a Nigerian election number 19 be more than
16? More difficult to understand by Jang is how the promises of the intention to vote for him did not materialise. How could 18 governors who expressed their intention to vote him reduce to 15? Who were those treacherous characters and how could they commit such an unfathomable act? No one knows how many times these questions crept up on Jang’s mind. One thing we are sure of is that it was not too long before Jang and his backers concluded that that “ojoro” must not stand. In Nigeria there is a hierarchical order of election veto powers. And none understands the extent and reach of these powers better than governors who themselves exercise the powers unquestionably in their fiefdom (states). Having consulted the powers that be, which, it must be added, he is in their good book for now, Jang and his masters gave the votes of the 18 governors against him the typical Nigerian treatment – waka, and promptly dumped them in the bins where they belonged. So, whether Amaechi, the other 18 governors with him, the majority of Nigerians or indeed the watching world likes it or not, Jang is the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum or the preferred faction. The general overseers of Nigerian elections or what Nigerians call the ‘‘Presidency’’ have spoken - end of. If matters were not so serious, the mockery of democracy in Nigeria would be very funny indeed. In Nigeria, incarcerated prisoners win elections, names not on ballot boxes win elections, courts verdict on election petitions are routinely ignored, election results are announced by participants before the official body mandated declares the result. The desecration of the fundamentals of democracy cannot continue unchallenged, if Nigeria is really serious in democratising. None of the elections since the beginning of the current democratic experiment in 1999 have been certified as fair and free and a true reflection of the wishes of Nigerians. What has been in open view is the steady erosion of the basic tenets of
democracy. In a democracy the citizens freely vote. They vote those who have gained their confidence to be trusted to govern on the promises they made. These votes are inviolable, not by an individual or a few on a wimp. This is not so in Nigeria where elections are seen as the process of imposing candidates on the electorate in complete disregard of citizens rights and wishes. This is what passes for an election in Nigeria:the presidents, who thus far have been members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), nominate who will be PDP governors, often they are those who are, or have pledged absolute loyalty to them. For a bit of democratic odour their coronation takes in the shame process dubbed primaries where delegates are stuffed with millions of Naira, Pounds and Dollars, and directed to raise their greasy hands in affirmation of the choices already made. At the general election “proper” the election body, ironically called independent national election commission simply act out the script given to it by pronouncing the selected persons as the winners. But for the worst of the breaches you need to go to the states. State governors, particularly those going for their mandatory second term personally pick who goes to the Senate, House of Representatives, House of Assembly (their classroom), Local Government Chairmen and Councillors, the last positions are often for their girlfriends or house messengers. The powers and authorities of Nigerian states’ governors are unrivalled. That governors were not able to conceal their dislike of democratic principles in their election was probably not unexpected. They are truly outlaws. Some may view their shambolic chairman election with the cliché – the chicken has come home to roost. Perhaps so, but I think what is fitting is the analogy in a deeply religious country like Nigeria, of accepting a non-believer as the minister of a religion. If, as it is obvious, a nonChristian can not be a minister of a Church, or a non-Moslem to be an imam in a Mosque, why should anti-democratic elements be governors
and worst have the unfettered rights of deciding elections outcome in Nigeria? It has been argued that, and Heaven forbids, were military to take over power in Nigeria today, not up to 10 per cent of this crop of present governors will have the courage to resist them in defence of democracy. There is a justification to that argument. Prior to 1999, the majority of our “democratic” governors were absent from the barricades and deliberately avoided any of the pro-democracy meetings/activities in and outside the country against Abacha’s military government. Being incapable of organising a successful election with 35 electorates of type, in a controlled environment, governors have reminded Nigerians lessons they must learn for the future of their democracy, particularly in the 2015 general elections. The obvious lessons are; • Nigerian governors are irredeemably anti-democratic and only interested in accepting their presumed outcome in elections. • A reaffirmation of the absence of genuine political leadership in the country. • Citizens must become more active in progressive politics to neutralise the abilities of presidents and governors to impose candidates and rig elections. • The need for sustained campaign to make both the national and states electoral bodies truly independent from the president and governors’ influences. • The need for citizens to guide their votes with the sensible and intelligent use of video cameras and similar devices during elections. (Let the law courts or the court of public opinion decide their probative values). If the lessons from the NGF election are ignored, it is difficult to imagine a significant improvement in the 2015 general elections. The country will continue to be grossly misgoverned at all levels and life for the majority will remain regrettably wretched and miserable. • Ogbonda wrote from London.
Defining roles in the power revolution By Sunny Igboanugo LFRED Nobel was born on 21 October 1833, of Swedish parents. He A grew up to become a great chemist, engineer, inventor and industrialist. His discovery of ballistite led to the making of dynamites and many military explosives used in wars. This not only elevated him historically, but made him a stupendously rich man. But life with its usual trajectory played a role that changed the course of events for him and the world in the most profound manner. How? In 1888, Alfred lost his brother Ludvig. Then a French newspaper wrote a damning obituary, mistaking him for the deceased. Excerpts from this pejorative epistle read: “Le marchand de la mort est mort (the merchant of death is dead”), in reference to the havoc his invention had caused humanity. Specifically, the paper wrote: “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” Reading it, he was nonplussed. Is this how history would record me? he asked; for this was actually his own, rather than his brother’s obituary. There and then, he took a decision. The proceeds of my work will be devoted to the greater ideal of building world peace, he declared from that moment. Thus, on 27 November 1895, at the SwedishNorwegian Club in Paris, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, setting aside a bulk of his estate to pursue this. This marked the birth of the Nobel Prizes that the world celebrates today. By so doing, he not only etched a permanent imprint across the pages of history, but showed that man, in spite of his apparent helplessness, may actually play and indeed, plays a vital role in changing the course of his own destiny and that no time is too late for him to do so. In many ways and in all parts of the globe, the same demand is made on him daily, urging him to do the needful in shaping his fate and that of the entire humanity. In Nigeria, the same demand is no less apparent in all areas. One of the most apparent is the quest for permanent power supply. Its reverberating echo is deafening for obvious reasons. In response, President Goodluck Jonathan took a practical step in giving the demand a fresh impetus, when in August, 2010, he inaugurated the power roadmap, which defined the role of all the critical stakeholders to realising this dream. But like a ship tormented by a tempestuous weather, the project has not been free from the twists and turns that underscore the vagaries of the Nigerian circumstances. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo told the nation on the floor of the Nigerian Senate about five months ago that he was going to exorcise the demons behind this gale. Evidence shows a single-minded determination to achieve this, in the attempt to deliver
on the President’s mandate and bring the ship of expectations of Nigerians to a safe berth. Steadily, he is avoiding every banana peel that could derail the process, while garnering results that each day brightens the prospect of achieving the goal sooner than expected. A successful sale of 25 per cent of the 16 Generation (Gencos) and Distribution (Discos) components of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), has been completed, awaiting the final payment of the remaining 75 per cent in a few months time, the contentious issue of dealing with the staff of the organisation is gradually being laid to rest, with their payoffs commencing in a few days time, including the resolution of the touchy Manitoba affair. For those following developments and who understand the issues in the sector, these are major milestones that indicate not only the credibility of the process, but underscore the mutual faith among the stakeholders. That none of the companies which indicated initial interest in buying the Gencos and Discos prevaricated or defaulted in paying the initial amount, despite coming from all parts of the globe suggests that they not only trust the process but believe that like in the telecommunications sector, this is an investment worth making. That the hitherto existing rancour, which had pitted the workers in the sector against the Federal Government over sundry issues has receded to the background, also suggests how far the minister has gone in exhibiting his trademark as a consummate manager of men and materials. Besides, a lot of inroads have been made in boosting the generation and distribution capacities of the power infrastructure in the country through the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) and the Independent Power Projects (IPP). Similar efforts are also on to strengthen the transmission capacity that would evacuate generated power. Recently, the President was in Zungeru, Niger State to perform the groundbreaking ceremony of the Zungeru Hydro-power project. The minister has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HQMC of Korea to generate a yearly 1000 megawatts of electricity for the next 10 years. All these are evidential and “eye-marked” steps to ensure that before long, Nigerians will begin to witness the real manifestation of the promises of both the President and the minister. However, nobody needs the lens of Nostradamus or the crystal balls of Gabriel Okunzua to know that the enemies the minister talked about then are not equally relenting; that they are trailing each of his footstep with a clear intention of derailing the process and destroying all the gains made so far and ultimately stopping the attainment of the envisaged goal. Observers genuinely fear that the stakes are even getting higher now and they have actually upped the ante from the primordial pastime of just importing and selling generators among other economic fac-
tors, to incorporating other more compelling pursuits in the mix, which has buoyed and impelled them into more determined actions. However, this can only be possible if they find the space to operate and willing hands to help them achieve their devilish plans. This is where other factors must come in. Though the roles are defined with the minister at the centre of it all, there is no doubt that the frontiers must be enlarged to incorporate a wider spectrum of combatants to fight this rampaging monster, which has vowed to continue to harm the nation’s collective aspiration, for purely selfish ends. Nebo has always told anybody who cared to listen that the project of power delivery is not like building a house. His logic is that an owner of an unfinished building could decide to move in halfway and take time to fix other components until the house is ready. But in power, all the components must be in place before the structure is put to use. What this means is that Nigerians must be patient with the process. For the end of the journey is predicated on the privatisation project. It also means that they must not allow themselves be co-opted into any diabolic scheme. Nigerians must be ready to provide the planks, which when nailed together becomes the platform for erecting a strong structure, provide the blocks that would be cemented together to provide the bodywork and also the roofing sheets that would provide shade. In other words, this house must be built together. Nigerians must not only play the policeman to arrest any diabolical move but be whistle-blowers as well to expose same at every given point. Even the media should be on guard and avoid being influenced into helping criminal and anti-people schemes. Events have shown that there is no let at the power ministry to allow them breathing space. Last week, the minister inaugurated an investigative panel to determine the reason for the recent spate of system collapse besetting the sector. Such a proactive move is in line with the determination at that end to ensure that nobody is caught napping. The visible synergy among Nebo, who comes with a bagful of proven past accomplishments in similar tasks, Zainab Kuchi, Minister of State for Power, a highly equipped lawyer and administrator and Godknows Igali, Permanent Secretary, a consummate technocrat and diplomat, indicates that the ministry is determined to achieve results. What remains is for other component parts to work individually and inter-dependently to rouse the Nigerian giant by delivering effective and uninterrupted power – a task in which every Nigerian must play a role. • Igboanugo wrote from Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
54 CAPITAL MARKET
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 18/6/2013
Champion Breweries set to recapitalise Stories by Helen Oji HAMPION Breweries Plc has concluded arrangement to beef up its capital base through a recapitalization exercise. The exercise, when completed, would make the company become more competitive, as well as enhance its growth and profitability. The Chairman of the company, Alhaji Shuaibu Ottan, dropped the hint during the company’s 2011 and 2012 combined yearly general meeting in Lagos recently. He pointed out that re-financing of existing debt through conversion to equity and injection of fresh fund into the company through right issue were key initiatives that must be embarked upon by the company. He added that efforts were being made to secure the cooperation and commitment of major shareholder groups to participate in the refinancing programmes. Reviewing the company’s performance for 2011, Ottan explained that the company recorded a loss of N1.8 billion, noting that the huge down-
turn was principally due, in part, to the N603.5 million committed to the overhauling of the company’s production equipment in order to enhance improved capacity to function efficiently and achieve its set production targets. Other factors that contributed to the loss, according to the chairman, were interest cost of N517 million arising from the company’s accumulated debt burden, and the N716m on depreciation occasioned, partly by the evaluation of
assets during the year. On the company’s results, he said revenue reduced slightly from N1.791 billion in 2011 to N1.785 billion in 2012. Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) improved with 2.4per cent from N1.251 billion loss in 2011 to N1.222 billion loss in 2012 on the back of firm cost control in administrative expenses. Also, 2012 recorded Total Comprehensive Loss of N1.338 billion, which represented a 12per cent increase to 2011 Total Comprehensive Loss of N1.194 billion. The decline was
largely due to increased interest cost, which will continue to impact on the result until the Company has been refinanced. He pointed out that efforts are on top gear towards resolving the issues surrounding the planned debt re-financing as well as improvement on the utilization of installed capacity of the brewery to facilitate the positive turnaround of the business performances. Ottan further disclosed that various restructuring options were fully considered with the
support of professional advisers before the company resolved to go for debt-to-equity conversion, allotment of shares on deposit for shares account balances and right issue for the refinancing exercise. The directors of the company had approved a share conversion price of N1.85 per share for the debt-to-equity conversion at a recent board meeting. He said this was based on the fact that valuation methods such as discounted cash flow
do not ascribe value to the company’s shares in view of its huge debt and interest burden. After taking into consideration the recently concluded acquisition by Consolidated Breweries Plc of the 57 per cent shareholding in Champion and the regulatory filings for the transaction, which included a price of N1.85 per share, he said the price range for the debt-toequity conversion of 50 kobo to N1.85 per share was considered.
Firm introduces investment guide for investors ORGANCAPITAL M Securities Limited, a foremost Nigerian investment banking and securities dealing firm, has introduced MorganCapital ‘Top Five Equities League’ as a weekly guide for investors in the Nigerian stock market. The Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Ayoleke Adu said the investment guide was designed to enable investors to have good understanding of the fundamentals of quot-
ed companies in order to make good investment decision. He explained that after a thorough study of the reasons that led to the 2008 Stock Market crash, it was revealed that many investors invested their funds based on sentiments and band wagon effect without a good understanding of the fundamentals of such companies. According to him, the Weekly Top Five League, which started
on the 20th May 2013 as a newsletter, has received wide spread acclaim, and readership. It comes as a free subscription, distributed via Email to interested persons. Besides, he noted that MorganCapital sees this as a Social Responsibility, and a way of enlightening the investing public about efficient ways of stock picking and investment decision making. “The purpose of the League is
to present investors, (prospective & existing, local & foreign) with insights on the Nigerian Equities market and a chance to position themselves in companies that are most likely to return good value on their investments, based on our analysis & opinion”, he said. “MorganCapital Group is a full-fledged Investment Banking, Investment Management, Securities Trading and Principal
Investments Group. The entities which form the MorganCapital Group provide a comprehensive range of investment banking and financial advisory services to private, public sector, corporate, and institutional clients. “MorganCapital Securities Limited is regulated by the Nigerian Securities & Exchange Commission, and is a Dealing Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.” He added.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Midweek Arts ‘Why we oppose concessioning of National Theatre’ By Hassan Momoh and Bridget Chiedu Onochie (Abuja) GROUP of culture workers, who are mainly A members of the Lagos Branch of the Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) last week, staged a peaceful rally to protest the planned concessioning of the National Theatre complex by the Federal Government. The workers numbering over 500 and drawn from parastatals that were directed to relocate from the theatre in view of the planned concessioning marched from the National Theatre Annex to the main entrance of the edifice singing and displaying placards with different inscriptions. One of the placards read: “No to sale of national monument to friends and cronies.” Another protester carried a placard with the inscription: “Do not send cultural workers to early grave.’’ The Federal Government had in May announced plans to develop the landmass of the National Theatre in line with the original master plan of the cultural edifice. Consequently, some government agencies with presence around the vicinity of the theatre complex like the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), National Gallery of Arts (NGA) and the National Troupe of Nigeria (NTN) were directed by the Culture and Tourism Minister, Chief Edem Duke to relocate from their present offices as the land they occupy will be used for the planned development. The other affected agencies are the National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC), the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). These agencies as The Guardian gathered were allocated rooms “in the abandoned Federal Ministry of Information headquarters on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi” and were given two weeks to move into them. But affected staff of the agencies say they will not obey the relocation order and would protest the planned concessioning arrangement. Addressing the staff at the end of the rally, the Chairman of the Lagos State Council of RATTAWU Comrade Godwin Itotowa said the union decided on the rally because “the only remaining edifice that symbolizes Nigeria nationhood, and unity is under threat from individuals who have little or nothing to offer this sensitive sector.’’ Although the unionist noted that “concessioning of the National Theatre under the aegis of Public Bureau Enterprises is no news to Nigerians generally and specifically to stakeholders in Arts and Culture sector,” he stated that the decision to concession the edifice during the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo was jettisoned “after government realized how very prized the edifice was’’. But more importantly, Itotowa said the union was worried at “the haste and high level of impunity with which relocation of arts and culture related parastatals are being treated by the General Manager of the National Theatre, Mallam Kabir Yusuf” who, though confirmed that he was only “carrying out orders of the Honourable Minister of Culture.” According to Itotowa: “The forerunner in Arts and Culture sector reasoned well enough to have kept these parastatals as complimentary to the Theatre and symbiotically to the Theatre’s exis-
A protester with placard last Thursday
National Theatre Complex tence’’ and so wondered why “these agencies are going to be displaced for facilities like hotels and shopping malls.’’ Itotowa also said that the union finds it worrisome that workers in parastatals like National Gallery of Arts, National Council for Arts and Culture, National Institute for Cultural Orientation and National Troupe of Nigeria’’ are treated with utter disregard for ethics of public service whence they were to hurriedly move to a dilapidated, abandoned building with rusty/unserviceable lift-system. “This is a risk to our lives and injurious to workers. No gallery, no library, no theatre, no craft shop, no work shop, no craft centre exist there. How are the staff which RATTAWU represent expected to perform their statutory responsibilities.’’ He said further: “the Arts works/depositories at the disposal of some of these agencies cannot be accommodated within such structures for proper up keep, and exhibition whenever the need arises. However, the National Theatre already offer to give storage to such Art works/depositories, but such is not meant to be stored otherwise it will rot away.’’ Continuing, he said: “by the provisions of National Council for Arts and Culture (AMENDMENT) Decree 1987 section 3 – (1) (a) – (g) where the functions of the Council is spelt out, this move will not only prevent her from performing its statutory roles but negate the principles that guide and engender the attainment of these functions. “Likewise the National Troupe of Nigeria, a parastatal that was established by decree 47 of 1991 for the sole responsibility of showcasing
The process is not transparent. Someone is planning to use his office to covert government land for personal use. The government should call the Minister and the General Manager to order. The relocation order should be quashed. The building that all these agencies are being relocated to is hazardous to members. The whole thing is planned to retard the growth of arts and culture in Nigeria. the nation’s rich cultural heritage internationally and locally. “The Decree provided that it is to be governed by the same board, pension scheme as National Theatre and to be housed by the National Theatre. In fact, the parastatal is the soul of the National Theatre. Without the National Troupe, the Theatre is an empty edifice only for wedding ceremonies and Annual General Meetings of companies. Decree 47 of 1991 has not been amended or repealed by the lawmakers.’’ RATTAWU’s position, Itotowa stressed is for government to “stop the attempt to sell the national theatre in the guise of developing the landmass.’’ According to him, the group “wants President Jonathan to investigate the entire
Remembering culture patriarch Olusola LARGE turn out is expected at the inaugural memorial lecture in A honour of the late broadcaster, arts
patriarch and conflict resolution expert, Chief Segun Olusola who passed on June 21, 2012 at age 67 after a brief illness. Reputed as the creator of the long rested television serial, Village Headmaster, an elaborate cultural burial ceremony preceded Olusola’s interment at his home-town Ijebu-Remo where he holds the traditional title of Ajibulu Moniya. But on the anniversary of
his death, the African Refugee Foundation which he established to care for displaced refugees across the African continent will, in his honour, hold a memorial lecture in conjunction with the Institute for Humanitarian Studies and Social Development. Holding on June 20, 2013 at at the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, the lecture will feature Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Godswill Akpabio as guest
speaker. Time is 10am. The choice of June 20 date (not June 21 when the culture patriarch passed on) is to coincide with Africa Refugee Day. A member of the board of numerous cultural organizations, Chief Olusola was in his lifetime known for his passion and devotion to the promotion and preservation of the arts and culture, in addition to exhibiting exceptional love for alleviating tensions associated with refugees and internally displaced persons globally.
process of concessioning. We smell a rat. The process is not transparent. Someone is planning to use his office to covert government land for personal use. The government should call the Minister and the General Manager to order. The relocation order should be quashed. The building that all these agencies are being relocated to is hazardous to members. The whole thing is planned to retard the growth of arts and culture in Nigeria.’’ Attempt to get the views of the Minister of Culture on the matter proved abortive. The Minister reportedly travelled to China. The General Manager would not return repeated calls to his phone likewise the Artistic Director of the National Troupe, Mr. Martin Adaji who was said to have travelled to Abuja for a meeting. But an official of the Culture Ministry said there was no going back on the relocation order as government was desirous of handing over the management of the edifice to private concerns. Meanwhile, former Federal Sole Administrator of Culture, Hon. Tunde Akogun, has lent his voice to on-going debate over the travail of the nation’s culture edifice. Speaking at the fifth Newsray Public Lecture/Leadership Award and Fund Raising last week in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State Capital, former Majority Leader, House of Representatives, described the National Theatre as a sacred national monument and home of artistes and artistic activities. Akogun used the platform to warn the managers of the facility not to do anything “either through selling or concession of the building or any part of the grounds or by taking any other action that will alter that status.” Rather, he admonished the government to review the nation’s educational policy to include true Nigerianess in the cultural upbringing of the youth through a return of History as a full examination subject in the syllabi of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. The culture administrator turned politician, who was reacting to the recent move by the federal government to ‘restructure’ the National Theatre environment, also faulted the acclaimed adherence to the original master plan, stressing that the claim is misleading and far from the truth. Controversies have continued to trail the claim by the government to reclaim “original master plan of the National Theatre” through the building of hotel and shopping malls on the landmass surrounding the magnificent theatre complex. The need to boost economic and social activities in and around the facility has been cited as reason for the ‘facelift’. But arts and culture workers and agencies that are resident within the facility and its environ described the order to quit the complex an infringement on their right and a ploy to further relegate the arts.
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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja HE 6th African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC 2013) has ended in Abuja with emphasis on marshaling way forward for the creative industry. At the opening ceremony, which held early last week, wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan, tasked government on the development of creative industry as well as proper funding of arts and culture sector as one of the measures towards tackling social vices in the country. Speaking on the theme of this year’s outing: Leveraging the Arts and Crafts Industry for Job Creation and Economic Empowerment, Mrs. Jonathan said it was in line with the federal government’s desire to diversify the nation’s economy. The First Lady, who declared the Expo open was delighted that six years down the lane, AFAC has provided a regional platform for mobilizing youths and women towards self-reliance and economic empowerment. Describing women as major drivers of the arts and crafts industry, Mrs Jonathan underscored the need to harness the potentials of the industry, especially in the area of job creation and revenue generation. Her words: “The annual AFAC Expo is increasingly becoming a platform for craftsmen and women all over Africa and beyond to make contact, interact, showcase and market their products, share ideas and concepts as well as build international co-operation and understanding. “It becomes important therefore to appeal to public spirited Nigerians to continue to initiate programmes and activities that will support the development of the skills and talents of Nigerians. This will help our youths to develop their natural and acquired skills as well as keep them off the streets. It will equally give them an economic platform for self-reliance.” Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, corroborated the First Lady saying, the market has succeeded in re-awakening the consciousness of people to leverage on the abundant potentials in the cultural industries for youth employment and wealth creation. According to the Minister, “the expo has also succeeded in bringing together artists and craftsmen within the African region and beyond on a platform on which they can expand the business of the arts and crafts, share ideas and network with other practitioners in areas that relate to their competence such as production, marketing, packaging and presentation techniques as well as meet with prospective investors. Adding, he said: “Through this venue, some of our untapped cultural resources could be brought into focus in our inward search for sustainable economic growth and rural transformation”. Duke had, earlier at the pre-AFAC briefing, expressed optimism for a better outing this year hammering on the fact that the Expo has continued to build on previous successes of talent and creativity in areas of product design, finishing, packaging and presentation. It was only with this kind of improvement, he reasoned, that the market could boast of meeting global standard and bringing economic advantage accruable in the crafts industry to bear on Nigeria’s economy. Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, National Council for Arts and Culture, organizers of the yearly market, Mr. M.M. Maidugu, welcoming participants, to the event said the tremendous gains of the previous editions of AFAC as exemplified by the overwhelming response of various nations of the world and the ever-increasing enthusiasm of arts and crafts entrepreneurs, have made the council more determined to sustain the market. The Expo, which closed last weekend attracted
AFAC 2013: Stakeholders seek better deal for crafts makers corporate and individual participants from 17 countries including Senegal, Egypt, South Korea, China, Togo; Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and The Gambia. Also in attendance were about 20 states of the federation, 120 local government areas, nongovernmental organizations, individual exhibitors and tertiary institutions. At the Investment Forum, a key highlight of the Expo, stakeholders in the industry including financial institutions, lawmakers and artisans harped on efficient roadmap for the development of arts and crafts in the country. Former Chairman, House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Honourable KGB Oguakwa, who delivered a keynote address titled Legislation as a strengthening and economic empowerment key for the arts and crafts industry, advocated closer ties between legislators and chief executives of culture. Since creativity is a physical expression of innate skills, the former lawmaker, faulted neglect of arts and crafts as intellectual property products deserving of protection, necessary recognition and commercialization on same template with other creative products. As a way forward, he said “Legislature must be conscripted into a beneficial partnership in which its contribution would be to promulgate laws compelling government to direct its energies and resources towards arts and crafts in a manner that encourages sustainable growth and development for the crafts sector while at the same time, enacting provisions which stimulate and protect private sector participation and investment in arts and crafts. “The Legislature can be a beneficial catalyst in our efforts to strengthen the arts and crafts sub-sector. If today’s seeming glory in revamping of critical infrastructure in the aviation sector is unfolding before our eyes, then, with proper, sincere and selfless unity of purpose and sacrifice, this type of progress can be possible in this sector if we begin now.
“As a first step, we need to make a very concerted effort to build the capacity of members of the two committees which oversight our sector in the National Assembly. If they are not brought up to speed with the historical, the evolutionary trends and the expectations of stakeholders in this sector, nothing much can be achieved. “If we build their capacity, the Parliament can work for us. The need to amend and legislatively restructure the enactments having impact on our sector is paramount. Legislation is required to define more clearly the often-conflicting roles among the public sector platforms.” Other factors as enumerated by Oguakwa included discovering, identifying, collating and creating a nationwide data bank registry of indigenous craftsmen segregated into their various genre of creativity, identify respective crafts and protect the intellectual property imbued within creative designs and identity as well as commercializing both intellectual property and consequential output of creativity on daily basis. He also listed ways of confronting the issue of applied technology as against resistance offered by traditional practices, which maintain a stranglehold in most rural dwellers as one of the challenges affecting growth of arts and crafts industry in the country. Oguakwa anchored meaningful progress on strengthening the arts and crafts industry for economic empowerment, just as he asked government to review its approach to culture and tourism promotion. In his presentation titled Strengthening the arts and crafts industry through financing and marketing, Director General/CEO, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bature Umar Masari, listed some of the contemporary developmental challenges facing the creative industry. According to him, with poor access to
affordable finance, lack of workspace, poor access to local, regional and international markets and use of obsolete technology, it would remain a mirage for operators in the industry to compete globally. Other challenges include lack of government support, non-insurance of business risk, lack of business management skill as well as administrative barriers. To address the situation, Masari recommended value re-orientation, promotion of entrepreneurship education, promotion of operators’ welfare as well as improved socio-economic infrastructure. “SMEDAN’s major pre-occupation is helping the operators to deal with these essentials and preparing them for sustainable and profitable growth”, he said. Director, Small Scale Enterprise Development Department of the National Directorate of Employment, Mrs. V.A. Awosemo, also spoke on Towards Strengthening the arts and crafts industry through capacity building. Her submission underscored capacity building as it relates to arts and culture, how government policies have responded to employment challenges with particular reference to the National Directorate of Employment approach as well as the role of capacity building in strengthening the arts and crafts industry. To attract interest and strengthen patronage in arts and crafts industry, Awosemo suggested review of school curriculum to include arts and crafts as subject in both primacy and secondary schools. She also tasked government on paying attention to local artists with a view to upgrading their skills and improve on their products’ quality and design. AFAC was initiated in 2008 during the administration of Prince Adetokunbo Kayode as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, to provide a veritable platform for arts and crafts operators in Africat, not only to market their products but also to interact with a view to sharing ideas and experiences. Since then, the market has attracted exhibitors outside the shores of Africa. This year, China and Korea are among countries that participated.
Display of crafts during the Expo in Abuja last week
NCC takes copyright awareness campaign to secondary schools From Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja S part of measures to inculcate copyright knowledge in children, A the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has extended its copyright awareness campaign to secondary schools to sensitize students on the need to respect copyright protected works. The campaign which would take the staff of the commission to various secondary schools across the country commenced with a one-day copyright sensitization workshop for students of the British-Nigeria Academy, Abuja and had over 300 students in atten-
dance. Speaking at the event, DirectorGeneral, NCC, Afam Ezekude, who noted that one of the cardinal goals of the commission is to disseminate copyright knowledge, adding that the commission wants to take its campaign against piracy to the grassroots by engaging students at early stage to enable them know the importance of copyright and how to respect other people’s intellectual property. NCC, he stated, would launch a Copyright Virtue Club, an internet club warehousing general information for children on copyright issues
and great authors. Ezekude said that the commission is vigorously pursuing its enforcement plan and had carried out over 120 anti-piracy enforcement actions in the last two years, which resulted to numerous arrests with about 35 convictions secured in the last 18 months. He recalled that, pirated items worth over N6billion has been ceased by the commission in the last 18 months, while the figure is expected to rise to about N10billion by the end of the 2013. He stressed the need to strengthen the regulatory framework, revealing
that the commission has embarked on the process of reforming the nation’s copyright system to make the penalty for copyright infringement stiffer to serve as a deterrent to people and more beneficial to stakeholders. He pointed out that the major problem facing the commission is inadequate funding, and dearth of personnel and appealed to the federal government to assist with more funding to enable the commission carry out its mandate. The DG encouraged the students to nurture and express their creativity, and also understand how copyright protects their creativity.
Also speaking, Deputy Director, NCI, Mr. Adewusi, introduced students to the basic knowledge of copyright and urged them to desist from the temptation of plagiarism which is a form of piracy. In her remarks, the Principal of the school, Andrea Blamire described the workshop as a wonderful initiative, adding that piracy is a huge problem around the world. She commended the commission for creating awareness on copyright issues among secondary school students, stressing that the programme would go a long way in helping the students imbibe the culture of respect for copyright.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Sports Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup
Eagles arrive in Salvador, ready for Uruguay
Keshi hopes on Onazi’s return against Uruguay
FRICAN champions A Nigeria, in upbeat mood, arrived in Salvador, north-east-
• My best is yet to come, says Oduamadi HILE Nigerian football W fans are celebrating the country’s 6-1 defeat of Tahiti in Bela Horizonte on Monday, Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, says he is relieved the team did not record further injuries in the game. In fact, Keshi is praying that one of his injured stars, Ogenyi Onazi, will recover on time for tomorrow’s clash with Uruguay in Salvador. Forwards Victor Moses, Kalu Uche and Emmanuel Emenike were all ruled out by injury before the tournament, while midfielder, Onazi missed Monday’s game with a knee problem. Keshi hopes the Lazio player will be available for Thursday’s encounter with Uruguay, which is likely to play a significant role in determining whether or not Nigeria progress from Group B. “There are no (new) injuries to the players, because I have already lost four players,” he said. “With all this journey we have been having, arriving yesterday (Sunday) morning at four o’clock, I am just happy there’s no major problems concerning injuries.” The Super Eagles former captain revealed that the officials were monitoring Onazi’s situation ahead of tomorrow’s game, which is seen by pundits as a ‘quarterfinal’ because the winner of the game will effectively book a semifinal ticket. It is a given that world champions, Spain, will take the other semifinal ticket available in the group. Nigeria’s preparations were disrupted by a dispute over bonus payments that meant the squad did not arrive until 36 hours before their first game.
Speaking ahead of the game, captain Vincent Enyeama had revealed that the disagreement remained unresolved, but Keshi said that was not the case. “The issue of the bonuses has been settled. Nothing is holding us back anymore and all we need to do now is play football,” he said. Nnamdi Oduamadi, who scored a hat-trick for the African champions at Estadio Mineirao, said the players had put the dispute behind them. “I’ll say it’s a big relief now, due to the stuff we had with the delay and missing the flights,” said the 22-year-old forward, who spent the 201213 season on loan at Italian second-tier side Varese from AC Milan. “This victory will give us a big morale. We’ll talk in the group now, do everything the coach says, and we’ll see what happens in the second game.” Nigeria’s victory took them above Spain on goal difference at the top of Group B. Meanwhile, Oduamadi has promised to score more goals for the Super Eagles in the competition. Oduamadi, who believes he still has better displays ahead for him, is of the opinion that playing more games would make him sharper. The AC Milan star scored in the 10th, 25th and 77th minutes against Tahiti on Monday in Belo Horizonte as Nigeria shook off the effects of their tedious journey to Brazil to begin their campaign in the competition. “I am just happy that we got this victory. I thank God for my hat-trick against Tahiti, it was God’s making,” Oduamadi told MTNFootball.com
Super Eagles’ hat-trick hero, Nnamdi Oduamadi (centre), being congratulated by his teammates after scoring one of his goals against Tahiti at the Mineirao Stadium, Belo Horizonte… on Monday. PHOTO: AFP
Peters sure Eagles will overcome Uruguay From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja NE of the newly appointed Technical Directors of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Coach James Peter is confident that the Super Eagles will do well in the next two group matches to pick one of the semi-final tickets from the group. Peters, who believes the players would raise their game in the remaining group encounters against Uruguay and Spain, however, expressed his displeasure with the scoreline in the match against Tahiti, stress-
ing that the players should have used the match to position themselves for the group leadership. Speaking yesterday in Abuja, the former Super Eagles coach said though he was unhappy with the score line against an underdog like Tahiti, Eagles unimpressive performance had nothing to do with the bonus crisis that disrupted their traveling schedule. “I want to assure Nigerians that the Super Eagles will play in the finals of the Confederations Cup. I am hinging my confidence on
what I saw the team play against Tahiti even with a lost steam. It is always difficult for a team to raise the standard of a game while playing a small opponent. “I want to think that over confidence reduced Eagles input against Tahiti. Let me assure you that when the Eagles come against Uruguay and Spain, you will see the best of Eagles. They will raise the standard of their game and their determination to conquer. It is going to be the battle between David and Goliath.
AFN/Cross River All Nigerian Open Athletics Championship
Battle for World Championship tickets begins in Calabar From Gowon Akpodonor, Calabar S the festival of Nigerian A athletics, the All Nigerian Open Championship begins this afternoon in Calabar, one thing that is of common interest for the athletes is the ticket for the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championship holding in Moscow, Russia in August. A cream of foreign-based athletes and local ones are already on ground in Calabar waiting for action. Among the overseas-based stars, the focus will be on athletes like Gloria Asumnu, Blessing Okagbare, Regina George, Fred Agbaje, Ajoke Odumosu and Selim Nurudeen, just as the likes of
Ogho Oghene-Egwero, Nicholas Imhoaperamhu, Chuks Onyaku, Harry Chukwudike, Saviour Okpara, Peace Ukoh, Mariam Bassey, Patience Ukoh, Bukola Abogunloko and Kemi Adekoya will draw fans’ attention. Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi was said to have flown into Calabar yesterday to be part of the two-day event, which ends tomorrow. The Guardian learnt that the minister shelved a scheduled journey to Brazil, venue of the on-going FIFA Confederations Cup, to be part of this all-important athletics championship. This will afford him the opportunity to share ideas with some
of the athletes who will be part of Team Nigeria’s team to Russia. Apart from some individuals battling to book a place in the World Championship train, focus of many athletics buffs will be on the relays, especially the 4x100 women, where the country is yet to qualify for the world championship. At the Warri CAA Grand Prix/Relays last Friday, the opportunity was burgled when two U.S-based stars, Gloria Asumnu and Regina George could not exchange the baton properly. The AFN said things will be done right here in Calabar. Male sprinter, Fred Agbaje, could not win the men’s 100
m premium event last weekend in Warri but has promised to make up for the disappointment here in Calabar. The U.S-based Agbaje was expected to dominate the race, having achieved a blistering, though wind-aided time of 10.16secs at the Blue Hawk Open in April. He, however, managed to finish fourth with a time of 10.52secs at the Warri CAA Grand Prix/ Relays. At a reception organised for the foreign-based athletes by the chairman of Delta Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick at the end of the Warri meet, Agbaje told The Guardian that he would use the All Nigerian Open in Calabar to compensate his fans.
“I was surprised that I actually ran because three weeks ago, I could not walk. I was on crutches because I pulled my hamstring during our school nationals. It took me one week to be able to walk and then start rehabilitation. “The following week I got a ticket to come for the relays and on getting to Warri, I had to jog on the first day. I was only able to put on spikes a day before the Grand Prix. I had the fastest time coming to this meet and my fear wasn’t about running, but if I could actually finish the race. Everyone encouraged me and my joy is that I completed the race. I have a bit of time to prepare so I will do better in Calabar,” Agbaje stated.
ern Brazil yesterday afternoon ahead of their much-hyped clash with South American champions, Uruguay, tomorrow. The Eagles are perched at the top of Group B of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup following a 6-1 trouncing of Tahiti in Belo Horizonte on Monday evening. Spain’s Furia Roja (Red Fury), who edged Uruguay 2-1 in the first match of the pool on Sunday night, are second behind the African champions on goals difference. While the Spaniards will look to pile up the goals against Tahiti tomorrow, the Eagles have confidence they can overpower Oscar Tabarez’ La Celeste and earn a semifinal ticket ahead of their final group phase tango with world champions, Spain, in Fortaleza on Sunday. Salvador, the capital of Bahia State, is home to about 2.7 million people and is Brazil’s third most populous city. It was Brazil’s first capital city until 1763. It is also regarded as the black capital of Latin America, as more than 80 per cent of its inhabitants are of African descent. In other words, the African champions will not lack support inside the renovated Arena Fonte Nova when they clash with the Uruguayans starting from 7pm Brazil time (11pm Nigeria time) tomorrow. Coach Stephen Keshi has also been telling his boys to believe in their ability as the boys cruised into the Hotel De Ville yesterday afternoon. “Nobody gave us the chance to triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. We love the status of underdogs that we have here and it will help us to achieve our objective of making Nigeria and Africa proud,” Keshi said. Keshi was in the Nigeria squad that spent close to three months training and playing friendly matches in Brazil before going ahead to win the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil in 1980. He missed the final cut because Brazilian Coach Otto Gloria, who took Portugal to third place at the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England, felt he was too young. However, Keshi has been eager to give the younger generation in his team good opportunities to showcase their wares, with the likes of Kenneth Omeruo, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa, Nnamdi Oduamadi and Brown Ideye appearing to enjoy every moment of it. “We are boarding now and we expect to land at 1.45pm (5.45pm Nigeria time). It is a flight of 80 minutes from Belo Horizonte. The team is in very high spirit. Everyone’s looking forward to Thursday’s match,” Enebi Achor, Team Administrator, said on telephone from the Belo Horizonte Airport.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
CricketWeekly Don’t write off Aussies, Inverarity cautions England USTRALIA’S chairman of A selectors has warned England it would be foolish to write off the tourists’ chances of winning the Ashes this summer despite their frenzied run-up to the series. Just three weeks before England and Australia resume hostilities at Trent Bridge, the tourists look to be in turmoil. Australia arrived in England full of hope, but they lost to the hosts and Sri Lanka to bow out of the Champions Trophy and they have been forced to answer questions about squad discipline following David Warner’s barroom attack of Joe Root. Captain Michael Clarke has not been able to play a competitive match since March due to a back injury he suffered in India, where yet more questions were asked about discipline and talent after a humiliating 4-0 defeat. Australia’s 16-man Ashes squad lacks the household names of years gone by. There is no Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath or Ricky Ponting, but the country’s head selector says history shows the Australians have a
good record of coming up with the goods when they are underdogs. John Inverarity said. “in 1968 it was said that we had one of the weakest squads, that was 1-1 and another time I remember the English press said it was most certainly the weakest team to come to England was in 1989 and Australia won the series 4-0. “We have got in that squad of 16 we have the best players available. We are looking forward to them acquitting themselves well and we will see what happens.” Warner shocked both nations when he punched Yorkshire batsman Root in the face in Birmingham Walkabout two weekends ago following Australia’s 48-run defeat to England. Cricket Australia (CA) came down hard on the batsman for his latest breach of discipline, fining him £7,000 and banning him from all cricket up until the first Ashes Test in Nottingham on July 10. Warner will be serving his team-mates drinks rather than playing in the two warm-up games against Somerset and Worcester in the coming fortnight.
Cook puts past behind to face South Africa NGLAND Captain, Alastair E Cook says off-the-pitch issues have no relevance ahead of today’s Champions Trophy semi-final against South Africa. The tournament has been somewhat overshadowed following the incident surrounding Australia batsman David Warner’s attack on England batsman, Joe Root in a Birmingham bar. However, Cook believes the team which handles the pressure better will be the one, who comes out on top, with other issues irrelevant to the outcome. “It’s such an exciting place for a player to be. We have almost played knockout cricket throughout this Champions Trophy and we have come here to try and win the tournament. We have got an amazing opportunity to try and do that tomorrow and both sides will be excited about that,” Cook said. “It’s another day tomorrow. It’s another game. What’s gone on in the past has gone on. It has no relevance to tomorrow. “It’s which ever side handles the pressure well tomorrow. People in that side, in your own side, have to stand up and deliver and that’s what you have to do.” Cook also revealed England will not risk spin bowler
Graeme Swann for the game if they are not 100 per cent sure of his fitness. “We haven’t ruled him out totally. We will have to see how he trains today and pulls up tomorrow,’’ Cook said.
Australia’s Clint McKay hits the ball for four runs during the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy cricket match against Sri Lanka at the Oval in London on Monday. PHOTO: AFP
De Villiers accepts England denial B de Villiers is prepared to A give England the benefit of the doubt over accusations that the Champions Trophy hosts have been guilty of balltampering. England Coach, Ashley Giles has issued a strong denial that England unfairly altered the condition of the ball, in search of reverse-swing - a claim made by former Test captain, Bob Willis, in his guise as a broadcast pundit. The International Cricket Council and England and Wales Cricket Board have also made it clear they are confident nothing untoward took place either, in last week’s match against Sri Lanka when the ball was changed catching Willis’ attention because it had gone out of shape. South Africa will take on England in the first semi-final at The Oval today, with Captain De Villiers well aware of the claims but not about convict the opposition with-
out firm evidence. “If they are doing something with the ball then it is definitely a concern, yes,” he said. “But we’ve got no proof of that. They seem to get it to ‘reverse’ a bit quicker than the rest of the teams. So maybe they’ve just got really good skill in the bowlers.” Careful, and legal, ball-management allied to world-class skill is the recipe England insists works for them.
De Villiers added, “we’ve tried it as well - I think all teams try to. “We haven’t really managed to succeed in that. We’ll try again tomorrow (today), and see if our bowlers can get that skill to ‘reverse’ the ball. “It’s something that the umpires and ICC will probably look into - why England, and some of the other teams, might get it to ‘reverse’ quicker or later.
“It is not really up to me to decide on that ... but if there is something funny happening, then it is definitely a concern.” South Africa is hoping to have their pace spearhead Dale Steyn fit, for only his second match in the tournament, as he continues his recovery from a side strain. Steyn was able to bowl six overs in the rain-reduced tie against West Indies at Cardiff,
where South Africa booked their place in the last four, but had an easy time of it at nets today. De Villiers said, “it will be nice to have him in the team again today. It looks like we’ve got a good chance. He’s taken another day off, to make sure we rest him really well. “I hope we can have him on the park ... but we definitely can beat England without him.”
Scotland to host Kenya in five-match series RICKET Scotland has C announced that Kenya will tour Scotland for a fivematch series between June 30 to July 10. The teams will play two World Cricket League (WCL) Championship matches, two T20 matches and an Intercontinental Cup fixture.
All matches will be played at the Mannofield ground in Aberdeen. The WCL matches are important for Scotland and Kenya. The teams are currently placed third and fifth respectively, behind leaders Ireland and Netherlands after five rounds of the seven-round tourna-
ment. The top two teams will automatically qualify for the World Cup in 2015, and Kenya and Scotland will look to win both matches to better their chances of finishing in the top two. Teams ranked between third and eighth in the league have another shot at qualifying for
the World Cup as they will play the qualifiers in New Zealand in February 2014, to compete for the last two spots. Scotland will play their final round of matches against Ireland in September, while Kenya will play Afghanistan in their last two matches of the WCL.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Nigeria, 15 others jostle for slots at 2014 Youth Olympics’ qualifiers By Olalekan Okusan EAM Nigeria will join 15 T other nations in the first qualifiers for the table tennis event of 2014 World Youth Olympic Games, which serves off today in Egypt. Ismaili, a city in northeastern part of Egypt known as “The City of Beauty and Enchantment,” will host the five-day tournament with Nigeria’s six-man team spearheaded by Ekiti State-born teenage sensation, Tosin Oribamise. From today, 121 players from 15 nations including host – Egypt will jostle for slots at the global tournament. Oribamise, Agnes Onoja, Babafemi Babatunde, Iyabo Adebayo, Ajoke Ojomu and Olasunkanmi Oginni with Dotun Ominiyi as coach will represent team Nigeria. Oribamise, Onoja and Babatunde will compete in the cadet event, as well as, in the junior event, while the trio of Adebayo, Ojomu and Oginni will jostle for honours in the junior event only. The championship, tagged: Egypt Junior and Cadet Open, is the first of a series of tournaments where players have the opportunity to stake their claim for a place in the Youth Olympic Games. In 2013, six tournaments staged on the ITTF Junior Circuit, one in each continent, form the 2013 Road to Nanjing series. The Egypt Junior and Cadet Open is the first in the
series. A separate “Road to Nanjing Boys’ and Girls’ Standings,” taking results only from the six tournaments, will be published alongside the ITTF Junior Circuit Standings. To be eligible to compete in the Youth Olympic Games, players must be born between Monday January 1, 1996 and Thursday December 31, 1999 . At the end of the six tournaments, the leading boy and girl from each continent plus the top 10 boys and top 10 girls on the “Road to Nanjing
Standings” will receive entries to the ITTF Youth Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. The tournament will be staged in conjunction with the ITTF Junior Circuit Finals in January 2014, at a time and exact date to be confirmed. Therefore, 16 boys and 16 girls will make it to the ITTF Youth Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. The Egypt Junior and Cadet Open will feature singles, doubles and team events in the junior and cadet age group categories.
Ahead Brazil 2014 World Cup Ethiopia admits using an ineligible player in qualifier HE President of the Ethiopia T Football Federation, Sahilu Gebremariam has admitted his side used a suspended player in a 2014 World Cup qualifier. If Ethiopia lose the three points from their win over Botswana on June 8, it means South Africa can still progress. Gebremariam told BBC Sport that Minyahil Teshome Beyene should have missed the match having picked up two yellow cards in previous qualifiers. “We’re not going to appeal, it’s a management blunder,” he said. “We have accepted the Fifa discipline issue.” Fifa announced on Sunday they would be investigating whether Ethiopia used an inel-
igible player. It means that Ethiopia are almost certain to lose the three points from the win over Botswana, who will be awarded a 3-0 victory. Should that happen, it would hand a lifeline back to 2010 World Cup hosts, South Africa, as they would only trail group leaders, Ethiopia, by two points going into the final round of matches in September. South Africa host Botswana in their final Group A qualifier, while Ethiopia travel to Central African Republic. Only the 10 group winners from the second round advance to contest in the final two-legged play-offs to decide the five nations who will qual-
Lagos State Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Wahid Oshodi (left); Sales Development Manager, Avro Pharma Limited, Helen Onyeka; Chief Accountant, Anthony Kwasi and Chairman, Lagos State Taekwondo Association, Jimmy Ogunnowo at the Eko International Taekwondo Championships 2013...recently.
Nigeria to host ARS African Championship By Olalekan Okusan the first time in three FhostOR years, Nigeria will this year the yearly Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) African Championship with teams from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Kenya among others participating. As the tournament enters season three, 16 African countries including Nigeria, will converge in Lagos for the grand finale of the Pan African tournament. Disclosing this yesterday in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya said having featured in two editions held in South Africa and Kenya,
Nigeria will this year host 16 other countries in the continent for the grand finale, while a camp handled by coaches from English Premiership side, Arsenal, will also be staged in the country. “Consistently for the past two years, Airtel has played a key role in the development of grassroots football talents for boys and girls. Being a Bharti Airtel pan African initiative, it is worthy of note that this third season is particularly significant for Airtel Nigeria, as we will be hosting both the Africa Inter-country championship, as well as, the Arsenal Football Camp for the best players from five countries. We have also decided to give back to the local league by planning
to host a Coach the Coaches Clinic with Arsenal FC of England,” he said. He added, “two years ago, Airtel Nigeria unveiled an ambitious soccer talent hunt programme - the Airtel Rising Stars –with an overriding objective of identifying and nurturing budding soccer talents from the grassroots onto a national stage. It is noteworthy that the past two editions of ARS programme have produced exceptionally talented Nigerians as winners. As you know, these winners were flown to South Africa for a oneweek exclusive international football clinic at the prestigious Institute for Sports, Cape Town, South Africa, courtesy of Airtel Nigeria.”
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
SPORTS | 61
Confederations Cup 2013
Oduamadi tops FIFA Castro Index after first group games FTER a colourful and excitA ing first round of 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup matches that featured a flurry of goals, it is perhaps no surprise to see a couple of forwards at the top of the Castrol Index. Almost half of the 16 goals seen so far in Brazil came in the one match –Nigeria’s 6-1 win over tournament newcomers Tahiti – and the hattrick scored by Nnamdi Oduamadi in Belo Horizonte has made him the Index’s early frontrunner. What was impressive about Oduamadi’s contribution was his finishing accuracy. While Nigeria’s six goals came from 17 shots, the 22-year-old – who spent last season in Italy’s Serie B with Varese – scored with three from four. In fact he had just three goal attempts inside the Pacific Islanders’ penalty box but was in the right place to put the ball in the net on each occasion. While Oduamadi’s treble earned him 9.55 points, Italy’s Mario Balotelli took 9.38 for
his lively performance against Mexico, capped by the winning goal with 12 minutes remaining. Balotelli was a central figure throughout Sunday’s entertaining contest, offering an early statement of intent with a shot just over the crossbar and two more straight at goalkeeper Jose Corona. Indeed, he had seven shots in total and his persistence paid off near the end when he powered through the Mexico defence and struck the winner with a fierce low drive. It was reward for a display that excited the Maracana crowd, and not only because of the AC Milan striker’s shooting. A foul on him led to Andrea Pirlo’s typically exquisite free-kick, which opened the scoring and he was a thorn in the side of the Mexico defence throughout. Somebody, who had a less fraught assignment than the Mexico centre-backs wasNigeria’s Uwa Echiejile, who sits third in the Index
compliled by the Castrol Performance Analysts with a score of 9.35 – making him the top-ranked defender. The Super Eagles’ Number three was heavily involved in his team’s play, scoring the opening and closing goals against Tahiti and ranking fourth in this initial round for the number of passes made with 112. The fact that the top four in that category were all Nigerian shows how much of the ball the West Africans saw against Tahiti. Another team, who enjoyed plenty of possession in their opening fixture were Spain against Uruguay, and Gerard Pique’s assured display at the back in the European champions’ 2-1 success put him fourth in the Index with 9.03 – the fourth and last player to have passed the nine-point mark so far. From 51 passes attempted, the Barcelona central defender faltered only twice, earning a completion rate of 96 per cent. That only his defensive partner Sergio Ramos surpassed that rate (98 per cent) underlines how well Spain move, and keep, the ball at the back as they build their attacks. Additionally, Pique was the top defender for recovered balls (12), with Echiejile fourth (10); the men in between were URUGUAy’s Maximiliano Pereira and Japan’s Maya yoshida. Looking at the overall picture following the first group games, Spain are the country with most players in the top ten, with Andres Iniestia (8.71/8th) and Sergio Busquets (8.63/9th) also featuring alongside Pique. And though the top two in in the Index were forwards, there are five defenders in total in the top ten, besides Echiejile and Pique, full-back Marcelo (8.87/5th) and goalkeeper, Julio Cesar (8.61/10th) feature for Brazil and centreback Diego Lugano (8.75/7th) for Uruguay. The highest-ranked midfielder, finally, is Italy’s Riccardo Montolivo (8.83/6th), whose eight solo runs against Mexico was a tally surpassed only by the Brazilian Oscar and Neymar. And that, as the home fans at this tournament will vouch, is not bad company to keep.
Demonstrators continue protest on Brazilian streets OME of the biggest demonThe wave of protests began More protests were being SBrazil’s strations since the end of over a hike in bus prices, but it planned on social media sites 1964-85 dictatorship was also fed by images of Sao in Sao Paulo and Brasilia. broke out across this continent-sized country, with more expected, protests uniting multitudes frustrated by poor transportation, health services, education and security despite a heavy tax burden. Mostly peaceful protests in at least eight big cities drew large crowds, and local news media estimated that at least 240,000 people took part in the demonstrations nationwide. However, demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte were marred by violent clashes with police and vandalism, with several dozen people reported injured.
Paulo police beating demonstrators and firing rubber bullets during a march last week that drew 5,000. In Rio, the violent police crackdown on a small and peaceful crowd Sunday near the Maracana stadium incited many to come out for what local news media described as the city’s largest protest in a generation. The vast majority of Rio’s protesters were peaceful, but a group attacked the state legislature building, setting a car and other objects ablaze. The newspaper O Globo cited Rio state security officials as saying at least 20 officers and 9 protesters were injured there.
Monday’s protests came during soccer’s Confederations Cup and just one month before a papal visit, a year before the World Cup and three years ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The unrest is raising security concerns and renewed questions over Brazil’s readiness to host the mega-events. A cyber-attack knocked the government’s official World Cup site offline, and the Twitter feed for Brazil’s Anonymous group posted links to a host of other government websites whose content had been replaced by a screen calling on citizens to come out to the streets.
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Patrick James OUR destiny is in your hands”, so the “Y popular motivational quote says to every living being on earth. “You alone can determine your destiny, nobody else can, for you,” it continues. So a lot of people become resolute most especially in their youth to make a meaning out of life. Upon the realisation of the truism of this assertion, many youths are ready to give life all it takes to make something tangible out of their ephemeral life. Most of them in this category are predominantly those from underprivileged background, whose parents eke out a living out of life on a daily basis. Becoming not complacent with their plight, such youths become determined undergirding their resolve with fasting and prayers to break the yoke of poverty. The conviction is that with the unbeatable combination of strength, hard work and prayers even Mount Kilimanjaro can be moved. It’s disheartening that most of these youths, no matter what they do, their endowments and youthful strength cannot see them through to attain their destiny due to the nature of our society. There are some forces in our society that encumber a youth from becoming what he really wants to be even when all the success principles, plus religious doctrines, and ardent commitment to work combine. These forces are created by man with the intention of denying some in realising their dreams while putting some others in privileged positions. Unlike in the Western world, when somebody from nowhere, having no elite connections, no family pedigree, religion affiliations, ethnic background, and place of residence, can become what he chooses once all the success principles are rightly applied with prayers. Our society is the direct opposite of this. You have to become affiliated to one ethnic group, religious body, and come from a certain family background to realise your desire. Now, it doesn’t matter whether you are talented or not, it doesn’t matter whether you are the right candidate or not, it doesn’t matter whether you are qualified with the right degree to deliver or not. What matters is where you come from, who one’s father is. What religion do you practise? What is your ethnic group? What state are you from? As a youth growing up from an underprivileged background, I hate poverty so much because, it’s not a friend to any right thinking person. It can disgrace anybody at any time, in any place without an iota of remorsefulness. Several times, poverty has let me down in many places. My resolution is to fight poverty with every drop of blood in my vein, to wrestle with it, giving it all it takes to break through and end my sordid life experiences. I have not committed any crime whatsoever as far as my little knowledge of the Nigerian constitution can carry me. That constitution is not against my coming from a parent of Edo State extraction. However, I decided to move hundreds of kilometers up North to Kano in search of greener pasture. I was born and raised in Kano State presumably as no man is able to choose where he or she is to be born. If I had had a choice, I would not have chosen Nigeria as my place of birth when there are countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, China, Japan and Dubai which are peaceful and have not been rejecting citizens! I grew up in brigade quarters, precisely among the natives of Kano. I speak Hausa language fluently. It is the only Nigerian language I have come in contact with. In fact, facially, I can be mistaken for a Hausa guy. The culture in Kano is the only culture I know and grew up with. At every stage of my life and development as a young man, however, in every effort I make to end the scourge of poverty, forces of not belonging to Kano, inhibit my progress. The more concerted efforts I make to push my life out of deprivation, the more I encounter obstacles of indigeneship. It all started when my father asked me to join a group of “garage boys” at the ten-
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Where do I belong?
der age of 11 to learn how to repair motorcycles. I was an apprentice to a mechanic who hailed from Edo. Because I was smart it took me no time to grasp the technicalities of the trade. I was picking the skills faster than my colleagues who were compatriots from Kano. Envy soon set in resulting in a conspiracy to send me away by all means, fair or foul, fearing that someday I might be made head of the team, especially as our master and I hail from the same state and should he leave for whatever reason he would hand over the workshop to me. This conspiracy was orchestrated by the other mechanic learners and some tailors in the neighbourhood. They succeeded by deliberately poisoning the mind of my master to carry out the heinous act. I was not only sent away, I was also denied my share of the money accruing from the sale of a plot of land of which other boys were beneficiaries. I was unperturbed; rather I turned the setback into a blessing due to my determination to put an end to my poverty. I enrolled in a college for an IJMB (Interim Joint Matriculation Board) programme. I was successful; indeed, I passed my JAMB and post-JAMB examinations in flying colours. However, for the same reason of not being an indigene I soon encountered a problem. But that is not the end of
my harrowing experience. First was the problem with tuition fees for my first year as an IJMB student. My childhood friend with whom I bought the form at the same time and I gained admission the same day. To our admission letters was attached a BPS form (Bursary Payment Schedules). I was devastated when I found that my friend was to pay only N3, 800 as total college fee while I was to pay a whopping N23, 800. Out of ignorance, I went to the bursary department to ask why such a difference in our fees. Why was I to pay such an enormous amount while my friend was to pay a paltry sum for the same course combination? The bursar explained to me that we were not from the same state. My friend is a Kano State indigene while I am from Edo, that’s what makes the difference, he said. The following conversation ensued: But, Sir, this is absolutely unfair! (I said angrily) I was born and brought up here, I eat the food here, I speak the language fluently I live in peace with the people here! What else can I do to belong here? (As I exclaimed in confusion) The man chuckled and said emphatically: That’s what is obtainable everywhere in this country. I think you should stop complaining and thank Kano State for being magnani-
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mous enough to offer you this admission. Go to your own state and see whether they will offer a Kano State indigene admission to any tertiary institution. I moved calmly back to the exit door after the bursar’s statement which reminded me of several opportunities I had been denied from my own state because I don’t belong there either. I managed to maneuver my way out to pay the school fee. In my second year I paid N21, 000 while my friend paid only N1, 000. All through my university days, I did not receive any bursary or scholarship from my own state said to be my state of origin. When Kano State scholarship board members came down to my school, from my surname I was already disqualified. I couldn’t receive any scholarship from Edo State because I was not legally recognised by the state as an indigene; I didn’t have a certificate proving I am an indigene of the state. I was not deterred by the circumstance of my birth. I finished successfully. For my NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) I was posted to Jigawa State, to Kiyawa, precisely, for my PPA (Place of Primary Assignment). I worked hard in the school to which I was posted so I could be of good report. Many of my colleagues who were posted to the same school fled only to re-surface every month end for their clearance or monthly allowances. Despite the fact that it was a village, I was ready to serve my fatherland with every zeal and zest— wholeheartedly. A few days to my passing out, a colleague who was hardly at the school except at month end for clearance, for the whole year we served, told me that the principal of the school approached him, begging him to stay after his service year to continue teaching pending when he could secure a lucrative job. I was astonished by this revelation. It was only me and another youth corps from Delta State who remained committed till the end of our service year out of about 10 of us posted to the school. The remaining eight were indigenes of the state or neighbouring states. They were all requested to stay while the two of us who stuck out our necks to ensure things went well were neglected: we don’t belong there! Picking up my pieces as a man to face the labour market (of which I was forewarned that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a poor youth to get a job), with all zealousness, I began submitting my CV (Curriculum Vitae) to banks, corporate organisations, ministries, companies, to everywhere. One fateful morning as I was thinking about how to push forward my life after years of studies in the university, a friend of mine called me asking me to quickly dress up and come for an interview in one leading bank here in Kano. Without wasting time, I did just that, and took a tricycle to the venue. After waiting on the queue for several hours standing, a tall black skinny young man appeared out of nowhere to inform us that they only needed a B.sc holder who was from the North for the job. He re-emphasised the criterion of being a northerner for getting the job-over and over- to my greatest amazement. As I was wont to, I approached the man to ask him why a northerner. I said since there were no northerners among us, why not give us the job? I also implored him that if it was about speaking the language I was born there so I had no problem with that. To all my questions he only said to me, ‘if you are not a northerner, please just leave the building; you don’t belong here!’ I have spent all my days in the North, from nursery to primary to secondary to college, to university and to NYSC - all in the North. What is it about the North that I don’t have? Now I have been rejected by Kano State, my humble place of birth. I have equally been rejected by Edo State that claims she does not know me. I am not known to their record. It follows that I have been denied till date every right, privilege, and benefit that should accrue to me from Edo State and from my place of birth, Kano. My fellow Nigerians, please tell me, where do I belong?