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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Friday, June 13, 2014

Vol. 30, No. 12,950

www.ngrguardiannews.com

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Jonathan alleges plot to scuttle 2015 polls From Mohammed Abubakar , Azimazi Momoh Jimoh , Ezeocha Nzeh (Abuja) and John Akubo (Lokoja) NTI-DEMOCRATIC forces A are working relentlessly to scuttle the elections scheduled for 2015, President Goodluck Jonathan warned yesterday. He, however, said that to avert the failure of the elections, all political stakeholders should support his administration with a view to

• Cautions against unguided utterances • Jega wants defectors to lose seats • INEC plans 30,000 additional polling units • Voters’ registration in states under emergency rule begins August promoting all-inclusive democratic process for the country. Yesterday too, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, backed calls for elected public officers who defected

from the party that sponsored them to vacate their seats. Jega’s electoral body INEC declared that in its efforts to decongest the existing Polling Units (PUs) ahead of the 2015 general elections, it would soon commence the

creation of additional 30,000 PUs across the country. The commission stated that the plan when completed would raise the number of polling units in the country CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

A scene at the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, prior to the opening Group A match between Brazil and Croatia…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Some Chibok girls may not return, says Obasanjo • Claims to have access to Boko Haram’s leaders • Boarding students flee into bush as gunmen attack police post in Kano From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri), Chris Irekamba (Lagos) and Murtala Muhammed (Kano) AMENTING the continued Lschoolgirls detention of the Chibok by Boko Haram insurgents, former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday declared that some of them may never return. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

BRING

...DAY 60 Dr. Oyenike Fatungase-Ibru (third left); her daughter, Christy Ibru (second left); Baale of Ekotedo, Ibadanland, Dr. Taiye Ayorinde (left) and Chairman of the occasion, Chief Olu Falomo, during the 80th birthday of Fatungase-Ibru in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

6,855 delegates arrive in Abuja for APC convention -Page 3

Confab votes for removal Factional lawmakers sat of immunity clause from with ‘stolen mace,’ says constitution - Page 5 Edo Assembly - Page 6

Sultan says Islamisation of Nigeria impossible - Page 6

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THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

2 Friday, June 13, 2014

Obasanjo claims to have access to Boko Haram’s leaders CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service monitored in Kaduna yesterday, Obasanjo said that perhaps succeeding generations would continue to remember those female students who were abducted by suspected Boko Haram members in April. He disclosed that only those girls who would later get pregnant and find it difficult to cater for the babies in the forest who might be released by the insurgents. Obasanjo said that he had ways of communicating with the suspected Boko Haram members but the government had not permitted him to do so. He noted that the girls might have been separated, and were not kept in the same location. He said: “I believe that some of them will never return. We will still be hearing about them many years from now. Some will give birth to children of the Boko Haram members, but if they cannot take care of them in the forest, they may release themselves.” A human rights activist, Mallam Sani, who spoke with The Guardian in an interview, explained that Obasanjo re-

cently revived a plan for dialogue with the insurgents’ family members, but the government had not shown any interest. According to him, the antiterrorist laws in the country forbid any individual or group delving into such matters unless the government gives a waiver for such an intervention. Meanwhile, students of Government Secondary Schools in Sumaila local government area of Kano on Wednesday night fled the school premises when gunmen invaded a divisional police station sharing a fence with the male boarding school. Sumaila is about 75 kilometres away from the Kano metropolis and few metres from Jos, Plateau State. An eyewitness told The Guardian that the gunmen attacked the police station around 8:00 p.m. This forced the students to scamper for safety in a nearby bush. A source, who could not ascertain the level of casualty at press time noted that the police station was riddled with bullets. But the Kano State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Magaji Musa Majiya has assured of security of the students at the boarding school in the community. In a statement by the PPRO,

the police warned users of the school premises for social activities to discontinue them or face sanction. Besides, authorities of the police and Chibok Local Council in Borno State, have said that the alleged kidnapping of 30 Fulani women last Thursday at pastoral settlements near Chibok town, where over 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram gunmen on April 14, 2014 could not be substantiated as claimed in some media reports. Speaking to journalists yesterday in Maiduguri on the reported abduction of Fulani women, the Borno State Police Commissioner, Tanko Lawal, said that the police could not substantiate the claims of Fulani community that their wives and daughters had been kidnapped and been taken away in pickup vans to undisclosed destinations in Sambisa Forest. Also, protesters over the abducted Chibok schoolgirls have been asked to direct their grievances to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State or go to where the girls were kidnapped. Making this appeal in Lagos, the Bishop of El-Shaddai Bible Church, Joseph Olanrewaju Obembe, said that the most appropriate venue for all protesters to register their

grief was Borno State, where the schoolgirls were kidnapped, not in Lagos or anywhere else. In an interview with The Guardian on the abducted schoolgirls and general insecurity in the country, the former chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) said if the protesters were genuine, they should

ask for police protection. “The abducted girls are not in Aso Villa or Abuja,” he stressed. “We must do things correctly and properly. Our protests should not be misdirected to assume that those abducted girls are in Aso Villa. “The chief security officer of the state, who calls himself governor, constitutionally elected and yet not doing

anything in a state where over 200 students were abducted, by now should have resigned.” Criticising Shettima for not doing anything tangible as chief security officer of the state, he cited that Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State could not sleep when doctors went on strike sometime ago because of his concern for the citizenry.

President Goodluck Jonathan receiving a football from former German Parliamentary State Secretary, Dadmar Wohrl (left) and German Minister of Development and Economic Cooperation, Gerd Mueller to mark the World Cup opening ceremony and wishing Nigeria and Germany play in the finals during the visit of the German delegation to State House, Abuja … yesterday PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Voters’ registration in states under emergency rule begins August CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 from the existing 120,000 to 150,000. Jega, who made this disclosure at a town hall meeting at the National Press Centre yesterday in Abuja, noted that the commission intended to limit the number of voters that would vote at a particu-

lar polling unit to 500 as against the earlier situation where over 3,000 voters clustered at one polling unit to cast their votes. The INEC Chairman also disclosed that states under the state of emergency were put in the third phase of the distribution of Permanent Voter

Cards (PVCs) and the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise (scheduled for August this year) in the hope that normalcy would have been restored in those states by then. He added that the commission had planned to conduct Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and the 2015 General Elections in all states of the federation, including those under state of emergency. While addressing participants at the All Political Parties summit, jointly organised by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and that of the Presidential Adviser on Inter-Party Affairs, in Abuja, Jonathan appealed to political actors and other stakeholders against allowing the exploitation of the weak system by bringing it down. “Our roles should not be limited to the struggle to win elections and acquire political powers but also to handling the demands of patriotism and statesmanship and restoring hope to the Nigerian people. In all this, it is pertinent that the actions, conduct and utterances of all political stakeholders reflect the highest level of commitment to the defence of our social cohesion, our political stability and our sovereignty as a nation.” Reflecting on the birth of the Fourth Republic, Jonathan said it was the same Nigerian political class that rose to the occasion by coming together to rescue democracy. But he regretted that the attributes that gave rise to those patriotic actions had since been discarded. He said: “About 15 years ago, our nation found itself at the crossroads of political deter-

mination, instability and progress threatened and pushed to the limits. Fear, uncertainty and a near total loss of hope took over the minds of our people. They were close to losing our way in the struggle of building a united, prosperous and democratic nation. At that time, it was the political class that rose to the challenge of rescuing the nation and steering it back to the part of state building and productive enterprise. “This courageous struggle for our democracy was fought across ethnic and religious divides by politicians and statesmen, who put everything at stake including their lives to bring back hope to Nigerians and the Nigerian state. Nigerians will still recollect the courageous struggles waged by various political associations and pressure groups notably the national democratic coalition, NADECO, the Eastern Mandate Union, the Afenifere and the G34 amongst others. “These, they did irrespective of tribal, ethnic, ideological and political differences. In the process, quite a number of these gallant men and women paid the ultimate price in restoring the nation to the democratic path. This marked the birth of the Fourth Republic.” Jonathan quoted relevant section of the Code of Conduct for political parties which was endorsed in 2011 by all registered political parties, but expressed concern that parties’ actions since then had fallen short of the provisions contained therein in the document. Article 7 of the code states that “No political party or candidate shall during cam78 |paign, resort to the use of inflammatory lan-

guage, provocative actions, images or manifestation that incite violence, hatred, contempt, or intimidation against another party or candidate, or any person or group of persons on grounds of ethnicity, gender or for any other reason. Accordingly, no political party or candidate shall issue any poster pamphlet, leaflet or any other publication that contains any such incitement” He said that the existing national political outlook with regard to inter-party collaboration was less than salutary. Indeed, the actions and utterances of leading politicians at home and abroad are rapidly creating and spreading unnecessary tension in the country, he lamented. “We must never politicise the fundamentals and core imperatives of defending the state as to do so can only embolden the terrorists and other enemies of our republics who will seek to employ any perceived political and social division for their nefarious ends”, he said. Speaking on the topic “Inter-party Collaboration, National Stability and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria” at a political summit, Jega who described defections as “political normadism”, said when an elected official defected from his party, he was supposed to relinquish his seat to allow for a fresh election. He said: “If you are elected on the platform of a political party and you cross carpet and change your political party then obviously you have to relinquish the seat and election needs to be conducted to fill that seat. This is an important issue we should address.” Jega lamented that the nega-

tive effects of defection could generate serious rancour in the political system. He said “INEC has submitted a proposal of the amendment of the Electoral Act to expunge the provision empowering the commission to deregister political parties, but instead empower the commission to determine the criteria for parties to get on the ballot. We believe it will afford the parties space to continue to play their cardinal roles in political development, without challenges posed by election management by the countless ineffective political parties.” Former Head of State. Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who chaired the occasion, suggested the adoption of a rule that would compel political parties to be responsible for the actions and inactions of their members. The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ahmadu Mu’azu expressed worry on the attitude of the APC, which uses brooms to sweep out the footprints of their opponents, each time they hold a rally in a state controlled by the APC. The Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje disclosed yesterday in Lokoja that 681,131 permanent voters cards had been issued to voters in the state . He said that the figure represented 57 per cent of the total 1.2 million voter cards that were issued for distribution during the exercise. He disclosed that additional 103, 143 eligible voters were registered across the 21 councils in the state during the voters’ registration conducted between May 28 an June 3, 2014.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Friday, June 13, 2014 | 3

News U.S. places Nigerian ships under watch

Doctors give new conditions to avert strike

By Olalekan Okusan HE United States Government has imposed Conditions of Entry (COE) on vessels originating or coming from Nigeria, as it requires that these vessels meet certain security measures prior to entering U.S. ports. In a statement issued by the United States Consulate General, Public Affairs Section in Lagos yesterday, 22 port facilities in Nigeria are however, exempted from the COE, as they have been found to have adequate security measures in place. The U.S. Coast Guard has worked with Nigeria to identify and address port security deficiencies observed during assessments of numerous facilities during the past six years. Based on these assessments, it has concluded that Nigerian ports have not fully implemented the provisions if the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code, the primary international security standard, and do not have effective anti-terrorism measures in place. Twenty-two (22) Nigerian port facilities have demonstrated effective anti-terrorism measures and will not be subject to additional security precautions. The COE are not trade sanctions and do not ban Nigerian ships from entering U.S. ports. It does require ships however, to take certain additional security-related measures while at non-exempt Nigerian port facilities, which will be verified by U.S. Coast Guard port security personnel prior to entering U.S. ports. The COE has no impact on shipping traffic entering Nigerian waters and/or berthing at its ports; it deals only with shipping traffic departing Nigerian ports that is destined for the United States. The clear delineation of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as the designated authority for implementation of the ISPS code was a positive step, and the United States is aware of NIMASA’s efforts to improve its oversight of Nigeria’s port facilities.

From Emeka Anuforo and Chuka Odittah Abuja

• Say correct diagnosis on Akunyili confirms competence of Nigerians

OLLOWING a notice to proFbyceed on indefinite strike July, the Nigeria Medical

demands noted that an open letter containing the demands have been forwarded to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senate President, House of Representative Speaker, Minister of Health, among others. According to the NMA president, the association affirms the appointment of a Chief Medical Director or Medical Director from among the medical field, especially by a

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Association (NMA), has listed new conditions under which the indefinite strike could be averted, saying among other things that the Federal Government should as a matter of urgency appoint a Surgeon -General of the federation. Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a press conference, NMA President, Dr. Lawrence Kayode Obembe who listed the

Medical Director as contained in the Act establishing the tertiary hospitals, saying the position remains sacrosanct. The association also frowned what it called the violation of the terms of 2009 collective bargaining agreement, saying the body would no longer tolerate continued violation of the rules exemplified by the payment of Medical Physicists and Optometrists with OD call duty allowance using

the CONMESS scale. While also saying that the Federal Government should as a matter of urgency set up a health trust fund that will enhance the upgrading of all hospitals in Nigeria, the doctors also are asking for a guarantee of universal applicability of all establishment circulars on the remuneration and conditions of service for doctors at all levels of government. The 24-point demand also

Mrs. Toro Oladapo, former NAWOJ president, who represented Lagos State commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Mr. Deji Elumoye, chairman, Lagos State Council of NUJ, and Mr. Gbenga Lawal, zonal secretary, Zone B, who represented the NUJ National President, during the 2013 June 12 lecture on June 12 Lessons for Today’s Democracy, organised by Lagos Council, at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja yesterday.

Govt raises panel on nuclear energy From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja HE Federal Government yesterday raised a committee to develop a framework for the eventual inclusion of nuclear technology in Nigeria’s “energy mix sector. This was part of the outcomes of the meeting of the Economic Management Team

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(EMT) which took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo. The Coordinating Minister of the Economy(CME) , Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and DirectorGeneral of the Budget Office, Bright Okogu, along side immediate past governor of

Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi briefed State House Correspondents on the outcome of the meet Okonjo-Iweala, who heads the committee, pointed out that the EMT was working on the need to diversify from sole reliance on hydrocarbons like oil and gas to meet up with

growing national energy needs, with eyes on nuclear energy as viable alternative. She said the plan was a medium-term one of probably five to 15 years and that the committee is expected to work on a time-frame within which to get Nigeria running on nuclear energy.

6,855 delegates arrive in Abuja for APC convention From: Adamu Abuh Abuja O fewer than 6,855 delegates have arrived Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to participate in the first delegates convention of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). The convention, holding at the Eagle Square is billed to ratify the amended party’s constitution and put in place the national officers of the party to guide its affairs in the next four years. Among others, former Governor of Edo state, Mr. John Oyegun and Alhaji Kashim Imam are expected to emerge national chairman and secretary

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stated that further appointment of non-doctor consultants, such as nurses and other forms of personnel into the health care system would breed total chaos, insisting that under no circumstances should non-doctors be hired and paid as consultants in the public hospitals. On the unfortunate death of former Director General of NAFDAC, NMA said the diagnostic recommendations made by the United States medical doctors for Prof. Dora Akunyili was pathetic. It said: “It is very pathetic; diagnosis was carried out on Prof. Akunyili in Nigeria but like everything in Nigeria, they said go and confirm in the US or UK, There, they said there was nothing wrong with her, but now it is a different story. This is why we have been advocating that every Nigerian should have a medical doctor; through health insurance and community health coverage, we can prevent such cases from happening.” Obembe called for greater confidence in Nigerian doctors, stressing that they are able to compete with some of the best in the world and charged government to provide the right enablers to boost the profession in Nigeria. NMA 1st Vice President, Dr. Titus Ibekwe likewise told journalists that the new move by the association is meant to reposition the health sector as failure to take action will instead lead to deterioration of the situation in the nation’s health sector.”

• May affirm Oyegun as chairman of the party based on a consensus deal struck by chieftains of the party from across the country. It was gathered that Oyegun has an edge over other contenders like Chief Tom Ikimi, former Bayelsa state Governor, Timipre Sylva based on what a delegate described as “his integrity, and pedigree and the fact that he had remained in the opposition since 1999.” As at 5pm yesterday, a contingent of heavily armed policemen had taken control of the Eagle square venue of the con-

vention to ensure that nothing amiss happen in the course of the political event. Caretaker Chairman of the convention committee, Governor Aliyu Magartakarda Wammako, who addressed reporters, expressed optimism that the convention would be hitch-free, adding that they opted to explore the consensus option in a bid to ensure all parts of the country were carried along. He further stated that delegates have been designated to six separate centres within the Abuja city to ensure they were

duly accredited based on their geo-political zones of origin. Nevertheless, he claimed that there were sinister plot by unscrupulous persons working in tandem with what he termed “entrenched interests to scuttle the convention.” He specifically alleged that he was privy to the fact that security personnel have put up unnecessary stop and search points at all entry points to Abuja as part of the grand design to scuttle the party’s convention. Wamakko described the APC as an amalgamation of progressive forces in Nigeria,

which has survived the manipulation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and is keen in upstaging the ruling PDP, in the interest of Nigerians. He added: “like a child that refused to be aborted, the APC has survived all the devious intrigues specially put together to truncate its birth. The party’s registration exercise, conducted earlier in the year, revealed that tens of millions of Nigerians opted to join APC as members. Without any doubt, this development, which poignantly has showed PDP’s rejection by Nigerians, has sent jitters to its leadership.”

Okogu explained that the committee would also develop a financing plan for the project to make it a bankable business model that Nigeria’s international development partners can buy into. He added: “In this country we use gas and we depend on hydro electricity. The purpose today was to see how we can expand the base to diversify a little bit, may be to include nuclear down the road. We do have the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, which is leading this. “The whole idea is to see how they are preparing so that few years down the road, we will in a position to perhaps commence the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity. As part of the outcome of this meeting, the Vice President set up a committee chaired by the CME and a good number of people are parts and parcel of that to develop a framework and also to look at the financing and how we might be able to develop this so that it becomes operational at some point.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

4 Friday, June 13, 2014

JUNE 12 ANNIVERSARY

Eminent Nigerians relive June 12, urge tolerance, unity From Seye Olumide, Tunde Akinola, Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku (Lagos) and Charles Coffie-Gyamfi (Abeokuta)

• NUJ condemns clampdown on media houses

MINENT Nigerians yesterday took time to reE flect on the significance of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, stressing that it was a watershed in the country’s history since primordial considerations were jettisoned and instead, the people voted for peace and unity. Those who spoke at the 21st anniversary of the June 12 election included former Minister of Transport and a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Ebenezer Babatope; the spokesman, Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin; Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed; his Ogun State counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun, and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae. The leaders further urged peaceful co-existence and unity among the diverse people in the country, stressing that, that was the only way to keep the memory of the acclaimed winner of the June 12 poll, the late Chief M.K.O Abiola, alive and commended those who have continued to keep the spirit of June 12 presidential election alive. Babatope said some may have refused to realise the fact that June 12 election was part of the Nigerian history that could not be brushed aside, stressing that “June 12 itself is not the utmost, but the man, MKO Abiola, who paid the supreme sacrifice we all enjoy as democracy today.” According to him, “I am not weary of commenting on June 12, but I think the utmost is to find a way of incorporating Abiola into the democratic history of Nigeria, by renaming some of our national institutions like the National Assembly Complex or other popular streets in the country after him. “It is necessary for posterity sake to name any national monument after Abiola because if he did not die, the democracy we are enjoying today wouldn’t have been installed. The issue now shouldn’t be about June 12, to me, it is the man who paid the supreme price.” Odumakin said June 12 symbolises voluntary integration, as Nigerians on their own set aside all the fault lines to choose Abiola as their president. According to him, “The national healing that would have brought about was shattered by the evil annulment by the military. We are today a polarised country along region and religion and careering dangerously to the edge of the precipice. Without the essence of June 12, it would be difficult to reverse this ugly trend.” On the call to rename the National Assembly complex after Abiola, the Afenifere scribe said that such call was in realisation of the supreme sacrifice he paid for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria. Ahmed spoke as a guest lecturer at a public lecture to mark the 21st anniversary of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, organised by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Chapter yesterday. Delivering the lecture with the theme: “June 12: Lessons for Today’s Democracy”, Ahmed said that June 12 has set a standard for everyone to follow, an event that is duly acknowledged as a day when Nigerians eschewed primordial and divisive sentiments to vote for a secured future and a reminder that the citizens need to appreciate the necessity of uniting as one people, eschewing greed and selfishness and build a great country of their dream. He disclosed that June 12 was a day Nigerians spoke, by sweeping aside and forgetting their elemental differences, but noted with dismay the situation which the nation is being confronted with today, stating that it calls for sober reflection. Ahmed has called on Nigerians to set aside like they did on June 12, 1993, ethnic differences and religious sentiments and come together to build an economically and socially vibrant country. According to him, “today, we live in a society where you become a leader not because you are imbued with the right measure of leadership

Abiola skills, understand the challenges facing our country and the concrete pathways to their solutions but because you come from a certain region of the country or profess a particular religion. ” The governor called on progressive forces in the country to set aside their differences and personal ambitions to build a new Nigeria where every citizen will be happy and their demands addressed by the state. He said: “Let us build a Nigeria in which governance and prosperity are inclusive. Those who brandish progressive credentials must ensure their conduct does not sully the ethos of the movement which essentially entails purifying and elevating politics and governance. Let us come together and build a new Nigeria that will be economically and socially vibrant. Let us be united to build a new Nigeria where preference will be given only to the content of our character and not to parochial considerations. Speaking at the event, the Lagos State NUJ Chairman, Mr. Deji Elumoye decried and condemned the recent clampdown on some media houses in the state, describing it as disheartening and unfortunate. He said: “In a young democracy such as ours,

I am not weary of commenting on June 12, but I think the utmost is to find a way of incorporating Abiola into the democratic history of Nigeria, by renaming some of our national institutions like the National Assembly Complex or other popular streets in the country after him. It is necessary for posterity sake to name any national monument after Abiola because if he did not die, the democracy we are enjoying today wouldn’t have been installed.

just 15 years, it is unfortunate that we have not learnt from history, if today we are still gagging the press, intimidating journalists and harassing media practitioners. It is no longer in doubt that journalists have become endangered species in this country. It is highly unfortunate, and we have continued to ask: which way for Nigerian journalists in this era of insecurity? Today, journalists are not only facing challenges from the powers that be, we are also being hunted by men of the underworld, as we face constant threats from terrorist groups like Boko Haram.” Amosun, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, extolled Abiola’s virtues and democratic credentials. According to the governor, Abiola won the freest and fairest election in the history of the country and further laid down his life for the democracy currently being enjoyed by all Nigerians. He added:”Abiola would have been in the fold of the progressives if he was alive today. June 12 was a day that all Nigerians abandoned religion, culture, tribe and united behind our symbol, Abiola. We are happy that Ogun State produced the second civilian president in Nigeria. We should continue to work harder to bring Abiola’s dream to fruition. The governor, who lamented the wave of insecurity in the country, challenged Nigerian politicians to live up to the expectation of the late Abiola. “We must ask ourselves: would Abiola be happy with all that is happening today? And if he’s not, what do we do as individuals, state and nation to help promote and propagate Abiola’s ideals? That is what all of us should think about,” he added, Falae hinged the present political impunity in the country as a spillover effect of the injustice done to the outcome of the election, saying until a reverse was made to the principles that characterised that polls, the nation may continue in her sorry state. Addressing participants in Lagos yesterday at an event organised by the Gani Adams-led Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), entitled: “June 12: A solution model for 2015 electoral challenges”, the former presidential candidate said from the day the election was annulled, peace and integrity became history in the country. Describing the ongoing national conference as the only pathway to reinvent Nigeria on the basis of fairness, justice and integrity, he lamented that the annulment was responsible for the vices in the polity. “June 12 was the benchmark for integrity and due process and we must go back to the principles that define June 12, if Nigeria wants to return to stability and development.” Speaking at the event, Adams stated that whatever democratic norm the country is currently enjoying must be credited to the martyrdom of Abiola, urging President Goodluck Jonathan to declare June 12 a public holiday.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Friday, June 13, 2014 NEWS | 5

National confab votes for removal of immunity clause from constitution • Says privatisation exercise lacks transparency • Fashola tasks N’Assembly on changes to electoral laws

Jonathan From: Kamal Tayo Oropo (Lagos), Terhemba Daka and Karls Tsokar (Abuja) HE ongoing National Conference yesterday T voted overwhelmingly for the removal of immunity clause from the constitution. As Conference Committee, Vice Chairman Bolaji Akinyemi, read out the recommendation from the committee report, he was informed by some of the delegates that a similar recommendation had been made earlier. However, after searching for the said proposal supposedly made earlier, it was discovered that it was not considered. At this juncture, Prof. Akinyemi called on the delegates to vote on the matter, whether the said amendment should be passed. The original committee proposal reads “the immunity clause should be removed if the offences attract criminal charges to encourage accountability by those managing the economy.” It was amended to indicate that it should not be restricted to criminal charges but on all charges. This was overwhelmingly voted for as the delegates expressed the feeling that the immunity clause has contributed in no small measure to the present state of unbridled corruption and corrupt practices in the country’s polity. Also adopted for recommendation was that government should pass an anti-trust law that would ease the cases of corruption and help in revitalising the economy of Nigeria. Also unanimously passed for onward recommendation was that the socio-economic rights as provided in Section 16 of the 1999 Constitution should be made justifiable in particular sub-Section 2 and should be obligatory and not optional. Unexpectedly, the conference rejected the recommendation that contracts for less than N10 billion should be reserved for Nigerians only. This was taken twice but the voting remained the name. Delegates at the confab also faulted the privatisation exercise carried out by the Federal Government, saying it lacked transparency and appropriate legal framework to back some of the deals. While proffering amendments to the report of the Conference Committee in Economy, Trade and Investment, the delegates said the haste with which some of the deals were car-

Mark ried out were responsible for the some hiccups the exercise has experienced. The committee report recommended “privatisation of existing refineries for greater efficiency and accountability and the proceeds of all privatisation exercise should be re-invested in identifiable and sustainable infrastructural projects.” Delegate Magdalene Dura from Benue State in her submission said, the appropriate law for privatization is non existent in Nigeria, “we do not have the legal framework for privatisation in Nigeria, we are always putting the cart before the horse, there is no enabling law to allow us to privatise, what was used was the National Council of Privatisation and some aspects of the Bureau for Public Enterprise Act,” she said. Noting that these are not legal instruments to be used, she recommended, “We need to have sufficient legal framework for privatization, which would have all the legal provisions to protect and provide all the conditions that a company needs to meet before privatisation. Terseer Tsumba, a delegate on the platform of former Speakers Forum said the real intention of government privatising their holdings has being defeated as the buyers of these companies or government holdings have rather ruined the companies. “For instance, Benue Cement Company; when it was run by the Federal government, state and other individuals who bought shares of the company, the entire staff were Nigerians. And anybody around that area knows that the economy of the Benue people depended on that company. The people there though said they do not feel the effect of government, however, were satisfied with what they were getting albeit sufficiently from their work at the company.” “But now that it has being privatised to the richest person in Africa, the situation is different, some of the staff that were paid off have died premature death. Now, there is abject poverty in the place. Ninety per cent (90%) of the trailers that lift cement from the factory are owned by the company that bought it from government. These trucks park carelessly on both sides of the road and this often cause accidents, claiming many lives. Also, the local economy has completely collapsed because the company owns the trucks. Local transporters, who hitherto got their mean of

Kutigi

The delegates expressed the feeling that the immunity clause has contributed in no small measure to the present state of unbridled corruption and corrupt practices in the country’s polity. livelihood from the company and were doing well now live in penury, because the amount of money the company asked the people to pay is huge and they cannot pay it. Worse still, the company has replaced local hands with Asians, depriving those who should have being gainfully employed. Local content has being completely ignored,” Tsumba said. Reacting in the same vein, Princess Rabi Ibrahim, a delegate on the platform of the National Council of Women societies said, “the privatization exercise did not reflect transparency or accountability as most of the institutions have been undervalued.” Citing the Nigeria Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (NICON) as an example, she said: “NICON used to be the toast of Nigerians, it was an institution that was feeding millions of Nigerians with assets in most part of Nigeria, all thriving well. But today that it has being privatized with the intention of making it better; unfortunately most of the affiliated companies have almost collapsed. So, privatisation has not been in our best interest,” she said. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola on Thursday took a critical appraisal of the nation’s electoral laws and said there is urgent need for the National Assembly to amend certain portions of the country’s electoral laws. The governor, who canvassed this position at an event to commemorate the 21st annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election won by business mogul Chief Moshood Kasimawo Abiola said the right of the complainants to seek redress must not be limited to 180 days. He said: “I want to use this occasion to appeal to the National Assembly that access to complain about electoral malpractices is as important as the right to cast the vote in the first place and part of the process of securing the vote is that where it is interfered with the right of the complainer to seek redress must not be limited to 180 days. “By doing, so we seek to encourage those who have the intention of subverting the process to subvert the process and frustrate you in court.

Before too long and as quickly as possible this is one legislative amendment that our legislator must make in order to protect our democracy. “I understand the reason for it in order to ensure that cases are concluded, but where there is clear danger of sacrificing some time for time and therefore occasioning injustice we should err on the side of justice”. Fashola said the government chose the 21st anniversary of the June 12, 1993 election annulment, a symbolic date in the annals of the nation’s road to democracy, to honour heroes for the struggle for the actualization of the mandate. To this end, the governor named the newly built Alausa Park after Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and the Gbagada Housing Estate after Baba Oluwide Omojola. He said: “It is a token gesture by us and I hope that it inspire others to seek to serve be consistent and to seek to say with an idea long after it has lost front page presence, many of those who started this course are running with it but some few who join because it was popular have moved on. “They pay the price on both side it shows that action has consequences. For many more years if we have all gone and they ask who is Baba Omojola the story will be told.” In his lecture, Professor Itse Sagay, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said apart from the 1991 governorship and legislative elections and the June 12, 1993, presidential election, the country has not had free and fair elections. “In order to guarantee the attainment of democratic rights we must have free, fair and credible elections to provide the platform for popular control over government, electoral choices between candidates and programmes, open access to political office and equality between electors. Unfortunately, since, the post colonial times, Nigeria has suffered from acute negative electoral culture.”


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6 NEWS Friday, June 13, 2014

Jonathan, Mark, others mourn Dahiru Kuta From Mohammed Abubakar, Bridget Chiedu Onochie (Abuja) and John Ogiji (Minna) RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan has said that Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta’s notable contributions to the legislative work of the Senate would be greatly missed. Kuta, who represented Niger East Senatorial District under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform, and was former chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs, died yesterday morning in Lagos. In a condolence letter yesterday, Jonathan said his “significant contributions to the development of party politics and democratic institutions of governance in his home state and country will stand to his eternal credit and that he will be always remembered as a very committed and forthright lawmaker, who did his best in the service of his community and fatherland.” For Senate President David Mark, Kuta was “a foremost parliamentarian,” whose death has “robbed the Senate and indeed the nation of a brilliant, vibrant and result-oriented lawmaker, who distinguished himself in all ramifications.” In a statement, Mark said that Kuta’s “views and positions unarguably represented those of the ordinary Nigerian. That was the reason he enjoyed the sobriquet, ‘comrade senator’” on the floor of the Senate. Also, Ekweremadu expressed shock and grief, as Kuta “was a dependable senator, who discharged his responsibilities most creditably and efficiently; was a brother, friend and a paragon of integrity, principle, courage and competence.” The Chairman of Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Enyinnaya Abaribe, described Kuta as one of the most resourceful senators, who loved his people dearly and worked assiduously for the good of his constituency, state and country at large.”

Factional lawmakers sat with ‘stolen mace,’ says Edo Assembly From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City

Seeks police investigation

HE crisis in Edo State House of Assembly continued yesterday as the leadership accusing the four suspended members and their Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) “collaborators” of coming into the chamber with a “stolen mace,” to legitimise their Wednesday sitting.

Chairman of House Committee on Information, Youths and Sports, Kabiru Adjoto, alleged yesterday that the members sneaked into the building as early as 6a.m on the said day with the support of policemen. Adjoto, who was addressing newsmen at the Assembly

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Complex, called on the police authorities to investigate their men, who he claimed were about 20 in number armed with guns and tear gas. The factional speaker of the nine other members, Festus Ebea, has described the allegation as “fallacy,” adding that he was not ready to speak on

The inauguration of the new Board of Trustees and Governors of the Eye Bank led by its Chairman, Eniola Olaseinde Akinsete at the MRC building, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO

pended lawmakers broke into the chamber of the House of Assembly as early as 6a.m, aided by policemen who we don’t know where they are from. The 15 lawmakers came to stop them. “I also want to commend the state Commissioner of Police, AIG and men of the Civil Defence Corps, but the police should investigate those that escorted those lawmakers that broke into the chambers. It was the CP that came to clear the chamber.” He added: “I want to say that we did not suspend them because they defected to the PDP, as being reported. The four lawmakers were suspended because they took the house to court, which is against our House Rule, which we all sat and drafted. “Festus Ebea, who is among those suspended, is still a member of the APC; Razaq Momoh was not suspended and is among those that defected to the PDP, so it is not about their defection, and their breaking into the chamber with a stolen mace is a further act of misconduct. “The mace they brought to the chamber was a stolen mace. That was the mace that got missing in 2010 when former Speaker, Zakawanu Garuba, was impeached. We reported the case to the police then that the mace was missing but were shocked that it was that same mace they brought into the chamber. “We want the police to investigate (it), but I want to really commend the CP, Edo State, because he came and cleared the chamber and stayed with us for over 10 hours. When we suspended them, we passed due process, they ought to have passed through due process for the suspension to be lifted.”

Lagos Eye Bank inaugurates boards of trustees, governors By Wole Oyebade O mobilise public support T for its cornea transplant programme, Eye Bank for Restoring Sight Nigeria has inaugurated a four-man

Three promise donation Board of Trustees (BoT) and 15-man Board of Governors (BoG). The BOT, led by Dr E.O.

Akinsete, has Prof. B. Oshuntokun, Ebun Onabanjo and Leila E. Fowler as members.

Sultan says Islamisation of Nigeria impossible From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja

• Wants dialogue as best option against insurgency

HE Sultan of Sokoto, T Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has expressed

in the Holy Quran. So why should anybody be afraid of the strength of Muslims in this country? When you have good governance, you have good roads, you have good infrastructure, everything is working, it is not only for Muslims, anybody in that area will benefit. “So, why can’t we use our population, strength and the number of Muslims in Nigeria to make positive impact and make positive difference in what we do in this country?” Also, in his keynote address at the event, former Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, stressed the need for good governance as the best way to tackle corruption. “Governance is about how the cultural habits, political institutions and economic systems of a society can be aligned to deliver the de-

worries over the erroneous perception in the country that Muslims are out to Islamise Nigeria, saying it is not possible. The monarch, who spoke yesterday at the sixth yearly conference of Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), also urged Muslim lawyers and all Muslims across the country to work towards forestalling another civil war, as the effects on the country could be devastating. “I want to assure you that we have been doing our best to educate people on what Islam and Muslims stand for and want to do in Nigeria,” he said. “I have said one million times that Muslims in Nigeria are not out to Islamise Nigeria because it is not possible “We all know what is said

that, though he insisted that a mace is just an object that belongs to the Assembly and not anybody’s property. However, Adjoto commended the Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebanjo, whose timely intervention he said prevented a bloody clash that would have ensued in the chambers when Ebea’s team wanted to seat. According to him, “the sus-

sired life for its people,” he said. The Sultan also expressed the need for government to consider dialogue with Boko Haram, adding that there is no place in the world where war against insurgency is won through the application of force. According to him, “if you don’t speak for people that are deranged or wayward, who will do so? How will they ever change? “And who said you don’t dialogue with criminals? You cannot fight criminals because you don’t even know where they are. When somebody tells you that he is not a Boko Haram, please take it that he is not because if he is Boko Haram, he will never denounce it. “So, if you have 100 and one of them say he is not a Boko Haram, please release him. There are other 99 who will say ‘yes we are, what can you do to us?”

He further charged Muslim lawyers to go to courts and offer free services to innocent people suspected to be Boko Haram members scattered in various prisons. On his part, MULAN President, Mr. AbdulGaniyu Bello, called on the Federal Government to reconsider the Sheikh Ahmed Lemu report on post-election violence and Taminu Turaki’s committee on negotiations with Boko Haram for implementation. “It is our view that one of the major factors contributing to the incessant bomb attacks, sporadic killings and abduction of Chibok school girls is government’s failure to implement the reports of the various committees it had set up as well as recommendations by some individuals and organisations,” he said.

And leading by example, three BOT members have signed the cornea donor forms, pledging their cornea to the bank during the inauguration in Lagos. The consent form gives the cornea right to the Eye Bank – to harvest and give the organ to others in need – once the donor has passed on. The BoG includes Dr E.A. Akinocho, Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof. Adewale Oke, Dr Bade Ogundipe, Chief Executive Officer, Philips Consulting, Foluso Philips, Yomi BadejoOkusanya, Bode Olajumoke, Fola Akande and Dr. Yinka Omololu. Others are Yaya Awosanya, Dr Jumoke Ibidapo, Dr Efun Etomi, Prof. Nwosu, Dr Modupe Idris, Biola Agbaje and Dr Wole Kukoyi. According to the Medical Director of the Bank, Mosunmade Faderin, the constitution of the boards was significant to drive the facility to its optimum capacity in restoring sight to blind Nigerians, and the boards would tackle erroneous belief system in the society, raise awareness and support for the service bank. Faderin said that though India and the United States currently supply corneas to the bank to support transplantations in Nigeria, the

best sort of cornea could only come from indigenous donors for best outcome in recipients. The bank, situated within LASUTH complex in Ikeja, was founded 10 years ago courtesy of Dr Akinsete’s 75th birthday fundraising, and has facilitated no fewer than 68 cornea grafts till date among age range of two-and-half to 78 years. The consultant ophthalmologist added that Nigerian public needed to be well enlightened against the erroneous socio-cultural and religious beliefs about eye donation, adding: “To give your eyes to others to see, after you have died, is the best legacy that lives on after you.” Cornea blindness affects mainly children and young adults, who have a long life ahead. Such blindness could be treated by replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy one, which could be procured through donation only. One cornea/eye donation can give sight to two corneal blind persons. Anyone, irrespective of age or health condition, can donate, and harvesting does not disfigure the face of the dead donor. The Eye Bank is funded by the Federal Nigerian Society for the Blind, the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria and well-meaning Nigerians.


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Friday, June 13, 2014 NEWS | 7

ECOWAS Court lodges 174 cases in 14 years From John Okeke, Abuja HE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has since inception of its ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in 2001 lodged a total number of 175 cases, the Chief Registrar, Tony Anene-Maidoh, has said. Of the 525 sessions held, the ECOWAS Court has delivered a total of 177 decisions comprising 82 rulings, 80 judgments, 12 review decisions and three advisory opinions. There are also 32 pending cases before the court. Anene-Maidoh, who stated this yesterday at the Valedictory Court Session in honour of the six retiring members of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, said the court has been recognised internationally for its human rights jurisprudence. Acknowledging the vital roles the outgoing judges played in the development of the court, he said: “I wish to acknowledge the contributions of their Lordships to the growth and advancement of this court. It cannot be over-emphasised that their Lordships built this court from the scratch and nurtured it from birth to maturity. “By their judicial pronouncements, their Lordships have placed ECOWAS on the world map and earned a reputation as a virile and independent Regional Court in the West African sub-region”. “May we assure Your Lordships that when the history of this Court is written, you will occupy the pride of place. As you take your leave, be assured that you will always remain a part of the ECOWAS Court of Justice”, he added. Also, the ECOWAS Community has regretted the death of Justice Soumana Sidibe, Vice-President (Niger), who was due to retire in November this year. The outgoing judges, who include Justice Awa Nana

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Daboya, President (Togo); Justice Benfeito Ramos, Vice-President (Cape Verde); Justice Hansine Donli, the first President (Nigeria) and Justice Anthony Beni, Vice-President (Ghana). Others are Justice Clotilde Medegan, member (Benin) and Justice Eliam Potey, member (Cote D’Ivoire). Narrating their experiences, Justice Awa Nana Daboya, the outgoing President, ECOWAS Court of Justice, stressed that through their efforts, the Court witnessed a tremendous expansion and develop-

ment amidst challenges. “Despite the challenges, when we came it was a new start. No room, the protocol was very narrow, only member-states represented their citizens but through the efforts, all members of the court and the support of all the Presidents of ECOWAS, we were able to propose amendment to the protocol to ensure that the citizens have their right access to the court, which they unanimously endorsed and approved the amendment. “So from 2005, we have an expanded protocol where

member-states do not represent their citizens but their citizens coming before us directly. That is the breakthrough. And we think it will continue, particularly in the area of human rights. We say it will continue. “Economically, we have also grown. When we came, the budget of the court was very slim. I was the president for six years but we were not able to function sufficiently because the staff were handicap. But even with that, we were able to fill the gap. We saw within our budget without

Husband of the deceased, Simeon Emokpaire (left) and children Priscilla, Isaac, Israel and Phoebe during the wake service for Mrs. Laraba Yeluwa Emokpaire at Papa Ajao, Mushin, Lagos… yesterday PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Rivers PDP rejects amended State High Court rules HE Rivers State chapter of T the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the purported amendment of some sections of the Rivers State High Court rules and the hasty signing into law by the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, is highly condemnable and a premeditated effort to drag the Judiciary into partisan politics.

The State Chairman of the party, Mr. Felix Obuah, in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media, Jerry Needam, while reacting to the purported amendment and signing into law the rules by Amaechi, stated that “constitutionally, the Chief Registrar, who is not a judicial officer, cannot by a state law be vested with the authority to per-

form functions inextricably connected with judicial duties, such as the assignment of cases to judicial officers. The statement said: “The PDP observes that the amendment which seeks to make an ass of the law also seeks to unconstitutionally appoint the Chief Registrar of the State High Court as the Chief Judge in the

Community may sue telecoms firm over N360m compensation From Anietie Akpan, Calabar HE Odukpani communiT ty in Cross River State has threatened court action against a telecommunications company for an alleged failure to pay N360 million compensation to it. On March 19 this year, a mast of the company in Odukpani collapsed, killing two people including a primary six pupil of St. Theresa’s Primary School, Laurencin John Etok and one Earnest Adindu Finacountry. In addition, five houses, shops and other valuables were destroyed since the mast fell directly on top of their rooftops. Yesterday, Chairman of Odukpani Local Council

going to budgetary expansion. So economically, we are now independent, even budget-wise. “We cannot remain the same; we are expanding and this is why all memberstates must see in that direction that we have expanded”. “Therefore, they will not keep to their narrow communities, their narrow nationalities, but see it the way the founding fathers saw it. We should all speak for all members of the communities. So, we hope the execution we improve”, she concluded.

Area, Mr. Bassey Asuquo Eyo, said the community could no longer wait for the telecoms firm because all efforts to get it pay the N360 million had met a brick-wall and only the court could adjudicate on the matter. He said the leadership of the council guaranteed the security of the company’s staff and property by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) before the Commissioner of Police, “but it has since refused to respond in spite of several appeals. “Up till now, it has refused to pay the N360 million the community presented to them as total damages. What it is doing is to select people behind the council leadership and attempt to

bribe them with pittance. We are putting things together to seek redress”. While claiming that the deceased have not been buried “because their families have no money,” he urged the company to abide by the terms of the MoU or face litigation. Chairman of the compensation committee, Mr. Ameh Edet Asuquo, said the failure of the company to pay the needed compensation was generating tension in the community. “Let me say this, I was one of those who signed the MoU, but if the people decide to take laws into their hands, nobody should hold me responsible. The company has failed the people and there is tension in the communi-

ty right now,” he claimed. However, in a quick reaction, top sources in the company that pleaded anonymity, refuted the community’s claim, saying the telecommunications operator has released cheques to some affected families in the community while some of them were yet to come forward. The source said: “We are a responsible organisation and we accept responsibility for what happened in Odukpani. So far, we have given out cheques to some families while some are yet to come forward”. They, however, refused to say how much the company has paid so far to the communities but assured that the issue would be settled amicably.

circumstances described in the said amendment. “Can a Chief Registrar therefore query a Judge who refuses to obey his instructions pursuant to the powers of the Chief Registrar under the said amendment? PDP demanded, stressing that the amendment is in clear violation of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and an abuse of the rule of law. “The PDP also seeks explanation on the situation in which the public hearing to amend the High Court Rules was fixed to hold on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, same day members of the House of Assembly loyal to Governor Amaechi were at the High Court gate protesting, same day a purported public hearing was said to have taken place, same day the report was submitted, same day the bill was passed and same day it was signed into law.” The party noted that the decision to amend this law had already been taken before the purported public hearing. “While pointing out that the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, operates outside the 1999 Constitution, the PDP rejects the purported amendment and urges Rivers people to distance themselves from it”, the statement said, concluding: “The PDP would in the coming days ensure that the law does not see the light of the day.”

Jonathan releases $10m to schools for improved security From Mathias Okwe (Assistant Business Editor, Abuja) RESIDENT Goodluck P Jonathan yesterday demonstrated the Federal Government's desire to guarantee the safety of Nigerian schools and protect pupils from the threats of the terror groups such as Boko Haram and other reactionary forces. To this effect, he has released $10 million Matching Fund demanded by the international community last month for a dedicated Fund to safeguard schools in Nigeria, particularly in the north-eastern zone of the country where the threat of insurgency is forcing many to stay away from schools. The international community, in response to the kidnap of the Chibok Girls in Borno State, last April by Boko Haram sect, announced a donation of $10 million and demanded that Nigeria matches the amount to be dedicated to securing schools in the country. The Fund, which was announced by former British Prime Minister, Mr. Gordon Brown, would be used by a committee comprising some corporate Nigerians, to provide security in and around schools in the country, beginning from the North-East. Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, announced the release of the fund while speaking during a visit by the German Minister of Development, Mr. Gerd Mueller, in Abuja. She said the approval for the release of the fund was given on Wednesday by President Jonathan, adding that with the approval, the $10m would be transferred into a Special Trust Fund account for the implementation of the plan.

IMAN tackles smuggling, illegal arms in Benue From Joseph Wantu, Makurdi HE Importers’ AssociaT tion of Nigeria (IMAN) has vowed to cleanse all forms of illegal importation and smuggling of goods, small arms, ammunition and light weapons into Benue State. IMAN's Task Force Director on illegal imports, Mr. Monday John, told newsmen in Makurdi yesterday that the task force would achieve this through collaboration with all relevant agencies of government by sharing information on the activities of smugglers in the state. While regretting that the Nigerian Customs still misunderstands the establishment of the task force as a rival organization, he explained that the body has a clear mandate to rid the country of illegal importation of goods and small arms. He appealed to members of the public to volunteer information to enable it close all illegal routes used by smugglers in the state. He further called on the media to assist the agency by reporting its activities.


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Friday, June 13, 2014

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PHOTONEWS

Chairman, St. Edmunds Eye Hospital, Dr. Edmunds Akinocho, Chairman, Lawebod Ltd, Senator Bode Olajumoke, Consultant Ophathamologist at UCH Ibadan, Dr. Bode Ogundipe, and Executive Consultant, Guardian Newspapers Ltd, Barr. Oyebanji Awosanya, at the inauguration of the new board of Trustees and governors of the Eye Bank, at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital MRC building (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO

Director Legal Services Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Ms. Josephine Amuwa (left); Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ima Niboro, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Eugene Juwah, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management of NCC, Mr. Okechukwu Itanyi, and Director Public Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo, when the management team of NAN visited the Commission in Abuja

Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mrs.Sally Mbanefo; President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, Chief Tomi Akingbogun, and 2nd National Deputy Vice President, FTAN, Rabo Saleh, during NTIFE 2014 in Abuja PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

Vice Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NiMechE), Lagos Chapter, Funmi Akingbagbohun (left); Senior Instructor, Vocational Tanning Center, Nigeria Society for the Blind, Nicholas Obot, Chairman, NiMechE, Amos Komolafe, Administrator, Nigeria Society for the Blind, Ivy Bassey, Principal, Sola Ogunsiji, and Treasurer, NiMechE, Fausat Aina, at the welfare visit of the NiMechE to Nigeria Society for the Blind in Lagos PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Michael Ikpoki (left); Chief Client Officer, Mansard Insurance Plc, Tosin Runsewe, and Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, MTN Nigeria, Babatunde Osho, at the signing ceremony of MTN/Mansard collaboration on MTN Y’ello Life at MTN Offices in Lagos

Director, MDAs/Tax Offices, River State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Austin Ntor-Ue; Director, Other Taxes, River State Board of Internal Revenue, Prince Welekwe, Chief Operating Officer, FLOBAL Trust Limited, Warri, Delta State, Omoefe Siakpere, and Director, Corporate Taxes River State Board of Internal Revenue, Israel Egbunefu, during the workshop on Secure Future, organised by FLOBAL Trust in collaboration with Klass and Korporate Consultant for River State

Manager, Sales & Marketing, Laterna Ventures Limited, George Curtis (left); Chief Executive Officer, Brimass Limited, Steve Ojji, and author, Brian Tracy, during his book signing session at Laterna in Lagos

Brand Manager, Blueband, Unilever Nig Plc, Lucky Ofurum, (left); Mrs Ideezu Evelyn, representative of SUBEB Port-Harcourt, student, Miss Natasha Akure from Abijah Model School, Port-Harcourt, flanked by Representatives from Children of Africa, Chidinma Obasi and Ifeanyi Nwandem, receiving the gift of a mobile Air- Conditioner, as 2nd position prize in the Blueband Essay Competition at the Blueband Children’s Day Fair


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Friday, June 13, 2014 |

WorldReport Arms Trade Treaty Ratification: Issues as Australia leads the way

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott (left) with Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop. By Oghogho Obayuwana, Foreign Affairs Editor LLEGALLY traded convenImore tional weapons claim than half a million victims every year. These weapons kill, maim and disable, undermine economic prosperity and development, and keep millions of people, especially women and children, trapped in fear. Nigeria is in the league of countries that have taken the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as a matter of national importance, ratifying it in 2013 after the initial signing. But a major international relations player like Australia, which is both a country, gives a lot of significance to the ATT with its ratification and continent that is home to migrants and a recipient of goods from all over the world. The treaty is the first global effort to regulate and monitor the $80 billion global trade in conventional weapons. Some countries including Nigeria did theirs yesterday. Today, it is Australia. Many more countries are being beckoned to follow suit in the international politics of signing up and then ratifying.   The Australian foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop has been explaining in details the issues surrounding Australia’s ratification of the

first legally binding instrument ever negotiated in the United Nations to establish common standards for the international transfer of conventional arms. In a memo to the media on the need to act as a global example, Bishop has said: “In the contentious field of arms control, where diplomatic battles are hard fought and gains are hard won, the Arms Trade Treaty is a significant humanitarian and security initiative and Australia has played a leading role in bringing the international community together to develop a new approach to unregulated trade in conventional arms”  From the records, it can be recalled that Australia was actually one of the seven coauthors of the original General Assembly Resolution calling for an Arms Trade Treaty in 2006. The Treaty was adopted by an overwhelming majority of states in the United Nations General Assembly in 2013.  Minister Bishop has now pledged in the coveted memo that “Australia will continue to work with our international partners to achieve the Arms Trade Treaty’s early entry into force and effective implementation. We are well on the way towards the 50 ratifications required for the treaty to enter into force. Of

Australia will continue to work with our international partners to achieve the Arms Trade Treaty’s early entry into force and effective implementation. We are well on the way towards the 50 ratifications required for the treaty to enter into force. Of the 118 States that have signed the treaty, 33, including Australia, have now ratified...

the 118 States that have signed the treaty, 33, including Australia, have now ratified...” References were also made to examples in Australia’s own neighbourhood, such as Bougainville in the 1980s and the Solomon Islands in the 1990s, which show just how destabilising the introduction of even small numbers of illicit weapons can be. Reacting to the examples as well as the role of small states, Bishop has now disclosed “The Australian Government believes that international instruments and initiatives can have a direct and positive influence on the security, stability and economic development of communities that are vulnerable to violence caused by the diversion and misuse of arms.   But effective national regulation sys-

tems are indispensable to stop illicit trafficking and safeguard legitimate trade” “Drawing on our experience and our own strong arms export controls, Australia will offer practical help to other countries to develop such systems.  We are working with New Zealand on some model legislation that could be adapted by governments in the Pacific. We are committing a further $1 million to the multi-donor trust fund established to support the ratification and implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty, the UN Trust Facility for Supporting Co-operation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR)... Australia has shown strong leadership in international diplomacy and our commitment to practical assistance for those addressing these threats to human safety,

prosperity and development. Our ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty is a clear demonstration of our national values” He added.  Going forward, the ratification “builds on our strong record of action to restrict the use and minimise the dangers of weapons like cluster munitions and landmines.   We have provided over $120 million to humanitarian de-mining and related activities since 2010 and will continue to support high priority initiatives, especially in heavily contaminated countries in our region” As a major country takes a major step towards ensuring a safer world, it has to be said that civil society organisations have made a significant contribution to the development and adoption of the ATT through committed advocacy over many years.  They are expected to continue to play an important role in supporting the treaty’s effective implementation What The Action Means To The Rest Of The World Every major ratification takes the rest of the world closer to stopping the proliferation of weapons across the globe.  But for maximum effect, such nations must also encourage neighbouring countries to sign up, to guard against the Pacific for instance, a sea mass being further racked by gun violence and has fast been descending into a weapons-running hub.  The ATT in part, also aims to regulate the trade of weapons and to set up a global register of arms deals between countries. Under the terms of the treaty, weapons cannot be sent where they could be used to abuse human rights or violate international humani-

tarian law. A critical look at the treaty reveals it covers heavy weapons - such as battle tanks, combat aircraft, warships, attack helicopters and missiles - and also the trade in small arms and light weapons. Now according to the ATT facts sheet, there are an estimated 875 million light weapons across the world, which cause half a million deaths a year and 90 per cent of civilian casualties in war. If forty countries ratify the treaty, an international combating instrument is near on hand as 50 nations are needed for it to become international law. Returning to Australia, it’s foreign Minister Julie Bishop had made arms control the centrepiece during the country’s presidency of the UN Security Council, saying the council had “taken too long” to stem the unrestricted flow of weapons across the world even as Australia’s ambassador to the UN, Peter Woolcott, presided over the conference that drafted the treaty. However, there are growing concerns the treaty will be ineffective unless the US, China and Russia, three of the world’s largest weapons exporters, become party to it. Even though the treaty has the support of the US president Barrack Obama administration, there are doubts it would survive a ratification vote in the US Senate.  Up till now, China and Russia have expressed skepticism, and would almost certainly not become party to the treaty if the US did not. The five largest buyers of weapons - India, Pakistan, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia - are outside the treaty. This means, there is more work to be done still.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

10 | Friday, June 13, 2014

Politics Transitioning Out: Life After Office Presentation by former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu (represented by Mr. Gabriel Akinadewo, MD/Editor-in-Chief of New Telegraph), at the 4th in the series of Retreat of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, June 6, 2014 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. By Orji Uzor Kalu MUST congratulate the Association Ithose (Nigerian Governors’ Forum), and who run its affairs, for making the NGF a relevant institution in the scheme of things in the country. If the NGF were not relevant, or a pushover in national affairs, then there would not have been such a great tussle for its soul.  I am glad that the Nigerian Governors’ Forum remains solid, and continues to march on, with a sharp vision for the growth and development of our country. The topic I have been asked to speak on is a very germane one: Transitioning Out: Life After Office. A good number of governors here today are in their second term in office, and by this time next year, they would have transitioned out. That is why the topic is timely and very important.   And those who picked it must be commended for being interested in the total well being of members of this Association, and not just what governors can contribute to their states in particular, and the country in general.  Governors themselves are human beings, and their physical, emotional and psychological needs must be considered. It is in that light I see this topic, as someone who has held office for two terms as governor, and transitioned back to private life. What I will be saying, therefore, will not be theory, but something I have participated in, something I have experienced.  At this point, let me pay tribute to those who fashioned our Constitution, and embedded time limit in it. The maximum anyone can do in an executive office is two terms of four years each. That is also the practice in most countries of the world, especially America, after which we have modeled our own democratic practices.  I know some countries do not have the two terms limit. America itself did not have it initially. But along the line, the need for it was seen, and it was introduced. We know African countries, which do not have term limits, or which have had it tampered with by their leaders. That is why Paul Biya is in power in Cameroun for more than three decades, Robert Mugabe is in power in Zimbabwe for 34 years, Omar Bongo was in power in Gabon till he died, same for Gnassingbe Eyadema in Togo, and Yoweri Museveni leads Uganda till tomorrow, after more than two decades in office. But I applaud the need for term limits. It brings in fresh verve, fresh energy, fresh ideas. It rejuvenates and reinvigorates the wheel of progress. No man has the monopoly of ideas, or wisdom. By the time you have ruled a state or country for eight years, it is only proper that you give way for new ideas and new energy, to improve on what you have done. That was what actuated me to be in the vanguard of opposition to tenure extension or elongation at a time in this country, when it seemed the then sitting president was scheming to perpetuate himself in office. In a country of about 160 million people, or a state of very many million good heads, there is no way one person can decide or determine that the wheels of progress will grind to a halt, if he is not the one in office. 

man, who does not give opportuni- you, be ready for the shift of alleties to others. giance and alliance from people. All S one who has held executive of- those who used to flock round you in fice in your state for two terms, both your official and private resithere is no way you will not continue dences will shift their allegiances to to be a stakeholder in the politics of the new kid on the block. Don’t be disappointed. That is huyour state. Being a stakeholder is not the same thing as being a godfather man nature. Because your power to or kingmaker. No. You will naturally dispense patronage has reduced, be interested in who succeeds you in they will naturally begin to flow tooffice, without necessarily imposing wards your successor. And don’t be your successor. Therefore, you need crestfallen when people, who beneto be on top of the political game, at fited from you immensely, begin to this twilight of your stay in office, and badmouth you before your succeseven beyond.  sor, so that they can drive a wedge beyou.  I say it again. You are a stakeholder tween There are some people who prosper in your state, and you must continue to be. Except you retire permanently from causing discord between two from politics, you will always have a top personalities. It will happen; so, stake in who leads your state. There- be ready for it. Just take such things fore, you need to still be active politi- in your strides because it happened cally, and keep tabs on development. to the people before you, and it will A lot of younger people will want to happen to you, and to the people ride on your back to achieve their po- coming after you. Such is life. And again, this warning: Don’t be too litical aims and ambitions. Be there for them. That will also help you to re- over-bearing on your successor. Don’t tain your influence and respect. interfere unnecessarily in his adminBut this warning: Mind the type of istration. Allow him to make his misperson you help to succeed you. And takes, and correct them. Offer advice in saying this, you know what I mean, only if consulted. Because your sucbecause you are familiar with my ex- cessor, if he is a bad person like an anperience. Beware of animals in hu- imal in human skin that I know, will man skin. Beware of wolves in tell false stories about you, that you sheep’s clothing. Be sure of the qual- are the one responsible for his faility of the person you are backing. ure.  Therefore, keep a distance. Don’t be Make sure he is a true human being, and not an animal or monster. seen in and out of Government William Shakespeare says: “There is a House. You have lived there for eight Kalu dagger in men’s smiles. The near in years; so, let the new occupant be.  If you are too frequent there, people God has not created any set of people yourself living longer and happily. blood, the nearer bloody.” Some of will say you are teleguiding your sucthose that smile at you wear daggers, As a businessman and investor, in a way that only one person is endued or endowed with ability to lead. governance for eight years limited unknown to you. They will pretend, cessor. Don’t forget what the Holy But what are the points to bear in my reach and scope. My busi- earn your trust, ride on your back Bible says in Proverbs 25:17: “Don’t be mind, as some of our friends and nesses shrunk, as I was con- into office, and having got there, they too frequent in the house of your their true colours.  neighbour, lest he begins to hate brothers here prepare to transit out strained by the demands of public show It has happened in many states you.”  office. Today, however, God has reof office? Keep a wide berth from Government Here are my thoughts: Public office paid me in several folds. I can round the country. Our own case in should not be the beginning and end hardly keep pace with all my in- Abia is particularly the worst speci- House when you have finished your of it all for anybody. It should not be vestments in different parts of the men. Watch it. Be careful; be circum- term. Or is there something you forthe case that the quality of your life world, and I virtually live in the air spect. You can be very sad out of got there you want to take? Make should drop drastically when you now, criss-crossing continents.  office, if you help a man to succeed sure you pack all your belongings beBut I am happy and fulfilled, as I you, and he turns to be an animal in fore you leave. quit public office, simply because you Finally, know that the burden you have no second address.  can offer employment opportuni- human skin. I will not say more than will carry as a former governor is for Is any of us born in the Government ties to many thousands, and also that. Personal development. This is very life. Even if you leave office poorer House? No. Even if we were born employ innumerable professionthere, a time to leave would come, as als, who can ply their trade in our important, even as you leave public than when you went in, a cynical pubbusinesses.  office. Learning is a lifelong thing. lic would never believe you. They bethe next occupant of the place would many As chief executives of states today, Don’t say because you may not re- lieve half of the public treasury is kept show up. So, it should not be that we become objects of pity after public of- please plan ahead on how you will turn to public office in any capacity in your house; so, they will come daily fice — sad, lonely, idle.  still be useful to people in your again in future, so you foreclose any to line up, telling one tale of woe after For me, before public office, I was ac- sphere of influence, as they would kind of personal development. No.  the other. If you give them, they will Please, go for refresher courses; for say they only came to collect what betive in business, involved in corporate never leave you alone. As a former governance, both nationally and in- governor, they will think you have further education, if you wish. Enroll longs to them. If you don’t give, they ternationally. And when I left office, I all the money in the world, so they for leadership programmes that will will say you are selfish and stingy.  So, know that for life, you will carry returned to my original calling, will continue to bring their needs give you the capacity to contribute you.  further to national discourse.   the cross of having been a governor. which is business. That is the way it to You say today that you don’t intend Therefore, if you don’t replenish your Therefore, think towards entreshould be.  Before you became governors, you preneurship, so that you can still to hold any higher office in future. purse through investments and busihad what you were doing.  After leav- meet the needs of people around But do you know what the future nesses, you will soon become poor. ing office, therefore, you should have you. You do not need to give them holds? You don’t know the plan God And when you become poor, the the courage to return to it. Is it busi- free money. Rather, you can give has for you. So, continue to develop same people will abuse you of being a ness? Return to it. Is it the academia? them opportunities in business yourself. The time after office is a foolish man. So, it is head you lose, There will surely still be a space for where you have dominant shares, good one to do short-term pro- tail you lose. Public service is truly a job in Nigeria! you. Farming? Oh, Nigeria can do or link them with other colleagues grammes that you didn’t have op- thankless Your Excellencies, transitioning is an portunity to attend for eight years. and friends who equally have inwith a lot more big-time farmers.  Now, hear this. Even if a good per- inevitable part of life. Rather than be Please, never plan to be idle after of- vestments. If you don’t do this, fice. Get gainfully engaged, and see they will abuse you as a selfish son, who remains loyal, succeeds a time of sorrow and regrets, it should be a time of thanksgiving: that you started the journey, made an As one who has held executive office in your state for two terms, there is no way you will not continue to on the lives of your people by be a stakeholder in the politics of your state. Being a stakeholder is not the same thing as being a godfa- impact giving them dividends of democracy, ther or kingmaker. No. You will naturally be interested in who succeeds you in office, without necessarily and that you finished successfully. You were not impeached, you did not imposing your successor. Therefore, you need to be on top of the political game, at this twilight of your and your people did not rise stay in office, and even beyond. A lot of younger people will want to ride on your back to achieve their po- die, against you. It calls for thanksgiving. litical aims and ambitions. Be there for them. That will also help you to retain your influence and respect. I pray that you will all finish strong. And when you are transiting to priBut this warning: Mind the type of person you help to succeed you. And in saying this, you know what I vate life, and it is time for thanksgivmean, because you are familiar with my experience. Beware of animals in human skin. Beware of wolves ing, remember Citizen Orji Uzor Kalu, who has travelled the road eight in sheep’s clothing. Be sure of the quality of the person you are backing. Make sure he is a true human years before you. Invite me, and I will being, and not an animal or monster. come to rejoice with you.

A


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Friday, June 13, 2014 METROEXTRA

11

Family, friends celebrate with Oyenike Fatungase-Ibru at 80

Ozaua (left); Ebruba, the celebrant, Dr. (Mrs.) Oyenike Fatungase-Ibru, Vivi, Christy, Gabriel and Okeove, all Ibru PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI at the 80th birthday of Oyenike-Ibru in Lagos.

Publisher, The Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru and Caroline Ibru at the 80th birthday of OyenikePHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN Ibru in Lagos.

Frank Ekperigin (left); Christy Ibru, Caroline Ibru and Dr. Alexander Thomopulos, at the 80th birthday of OyenikePHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI Ibru in Lagos.

Christy Ibru (left); her mother and celebrant, Dr. (Mrs.) Oyenike Fatungase-Ibru, officiating ministers, Bishop Julius PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI Abbey and Ven. Thomas Fagbuyi, at the 80th birthday of Oyenike-Ibru in Lagos.

Grace Ibru (left); Dr. (Mrs.) Oyenike Fatungase-Ibru, her daughter Christy, and Caroline Ibru, at the 80th birthday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI of Oyenike Ibru in Lagos.

Mrs. Feyi Cole and Mrs. Jadesola Ibidapo at the 80th birthday of Oyenike-Ibru in Lagos. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

By Isaac Taiwo

“She is of outstanding quality who has promised to serve God to the end of her life. EMBERS of Ibru family, friends and well wishers gathered When she determines to do anything and she believes she is on at The African Church Cathedral Bethel yesterday to give the right course, she proceeds to do that thing and would resist thanks to God and celebrate with Dr. Oyenike Fatungaseany obstacle and she is always being led and guided by the Holy th Ibru on her 80 birthday celebration. Spirit,” he added. It was, indeed, an atmosphere of joy as Dr. Fatungase-Ibru and all Praying for the celebrant, the cleric said: “God has promised to those that gathered at the Church to congratulate her danced love you and will continue to love you because you are a special and gave glory to God for His goodness upon her in the last 80 creature. God has promised to satisfy you with goodness, long the to according Church, the by gift a years. She was also offered life and with all that will make life meaningful to you including Church tradition, for her dedication and commitment. salvation.” In the sermon delivered by the Bishop, Lagos Central Diocese of “Since you are always ready to share the goodness of God in The African Church, the Rt. Rev. Julius Olayinka Abbe, he deyour life with others, the blessings of God in your life will never scribed Dr. Fatungase-Ibru as a golden mummy, a mother in a diminish,” he said. caring. and million, who is loving The Cleric further said that anything a man does in life, he will In his message titled: “How Great is the Love of God for You,” he surely get the reward and therefore the radiance and smiles on described Dr. Fatungase-Ibru as a great pearl that God released to the face of the celebrant were the reflection of her goodness to the world exactly 80 years ago. people which also makes her look younger than her age. She “You are an activist, women leader and a champion. God is Great has impacted on many lives,” he said. You well. you leading been has and you who has been leading Dr. Fatungase-Ibru who is a lay-reader in the church and also have been a great inspiration to women both at local and interthe founder of a Spiritual Church, “God’s Glorious Shining Star” national levels. Nobody can silence you,” he said to the celebrant. said: “My husband’s Ibru Fish that I have been eating and the He continued: “Mama loves honesty and righteousness and for grace of God are the secrets of my looking younger than my you to move with mama, you must be straightforward and love age.” righteousness.” “My counsel to others is to turn to their God and serve Him “She is a privileged worker who knows that there is reward and truly while they try to be faithful and love their neighbours as rest after labour. Honestly, she loves diligence and purity. Mama themselves.” is always neat,” he said. “In the last chapter of the Bible which is Revelation 22, whatever The cleric further described the celebrant as a very highly princi- any man sows, he will reap. Whatever you do in this world is everyloves who God-fearing, and lovely pled person, kind and not hidden. It is good to serve God and I will serve God until I one including the servants of God. am called home,” she declared.

M

You are an activist, women leader and a champion. God is great who has been leading you and has been leading you well. You have been a great inspiration to women both at local and international levels. Nobody can silence you The octogenarian begged Boko Haram to release the Chibok girls since they are fathers themselves and will not want anybody to abduct their own children. She said there was every reason to thank God because as at the day she clocks 80, she was not in the hospital and the grace of God has helped her to surmount every challenge that came her way. Friends of Dr. Fatungase-Ibru also commented on the life of their friend at the grand reception that took place at St. Saviours Church Hall, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. Mrs. Aboyade Cole who has been a youthful friend of the celebrant described her as loving, caring and God-fearing. Mrs. Doyin Kappo described her as “ anice, strict and generous person who was ready to solve people’s problems. Mrs. Bisi Sogunro described her as “nice, disciplinarian, merciful who always prays for people in problems Mr. Akinpelu Aboyade-Cole described the celebrant as humble, a great woman and nice. “If you have a problem and you consult her, she would do everything to solve the problem. She is a woman in millions,” he said. Mrs. Remi Dawodu equally described her as a strict disciplinarian.


TheGuardian

www.ngrguardiannews.com

12 | Friday, June 13, 2014

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 BringBackTheTrophy! FERMA task force violates the laws LETTERS

INCE the first impactful appearance of Nigeria in 1994 at the FIFA World Cup, the greatest soccer, some say, sporting festival, on earth, this year’s participation, the fifth in our history, is certainly heartening for a long-suffering people. With so many terrible things plaguing them, Nigerians can do with some cheery news which a successful outing in Brazil can provide. Indeed, the Super Eagles must see themselves in Brazil as symbols of Nigeria’s determination to overcome the odds at home, defeat terror and, especially, bring back our kidnapped girls! In addition to the FIFA World Cup trophy, that is. Super Eagles, the African champions who have not and would not be lacking in support and encouragement must, therefore, show the real stuff of a continental champion, aside other qualities of Africans in sports and entertainment. The first test for the Nigerian team comes up on Monday, June 16 against Iran, followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday 20, and the last one in the group stages is against one of football’s powerhouses, Argentina, on June 25.   As the competition got under way yesterday in Brazil in an opening ceremony that largely paid tributes to the hosts and her treasures – nature, people, football – the 32 countries, variously described as giants and minnows all have potential to do well on that big stage. The Nigerian team has not gone past the second round of the big show unlike such African countries as Senegal, Cameroun, and especially, Ghana, which came only a few minutes tantalizingly close to setting a big African record of a semi-finalist at South Africa 2010. Brazil 2014 presents a good opportunity, therefore, for Africans, especially Nigerians, to set new records at the global celebration of footballing skills. The team, its officials and the country, even the supporters’ club and other fans have invested so much in resources, time and energy in preparations for a successful outing. Players have the responsibility to reciprocate the goodwill to perform to optimum level as “fighters” that their chief coach, Stephen Keshi says they are. Nigerians demand no less, notwithstanding their not-too-encouraging build-up to the tournament which recorded two draws and a loss to opponents, two of them co-travellers to the World Cup. Every opponent from the first kick of the ball deserves respect, but not so much as to place the Eagles in unnecessary fear of opposing teams or at a disadvantage. Giving room to pessimism in some quarters over the inclusion of one or two players in the squad is not acceptable as the team selection has been generally commended and should be further encouraged. The players are also reminded that the big stage of the World Cup is a level playing field on which the sole requirements for success are mental and physical alertness applied to unrivalled individual and collective skills. Apart from the established stars that would be on parade, the World Cup as ever, provides an opportunity to showcase younger and budding talents who provide every tournament’s stand-out moments. Nigeria is not without her hopefuls for instance in Lukman Ramon, and Ejike Uzoenyi who shone brightly in the last championship for African nation (CHAN) in South Africa. Hopefully, the Nigerian players have all imbibed the virtue of great fighters that Keshi, who deserves commendation for his achievements so far, has so described. The world is at their feet and there is no room for excuses or failure. The challenge for the squad is to surpass the flair, compactness and 10-year record of the 1994 team and Nigerians also hope that everything about their preparation has been perfected. Participation is pride but winning is the ultimate. The greatest motivation, however, should be to bring joy back into the hearts of Nigerians. The Super Eagles must play and inspire to bring back the girls of Chibok, bring back all those in captivity and set the nation free from the bondage of ineptitude. The Super Eagles must tell the world that Nigerians are hurting at the moment and victory in all theatres of war is non-negotiable. They are the real ambassadors a nation has sent out to bring hope to a beleaguered country at this very trying period.

S

IR: The apprehension of SMaintenance Federal Roads Agency(FERMA) task force operatives by the Lagos State Command of the Nigeria Police is not only commendable but must be appreciated in view of the fact that they were only living up to their constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property. Traffic management is not only a national issue but an international one, which involves safety of human lives. Management of traffic involves training about its rudiments, which is crucial. Also if we take into cognizance the United Nations’ statistics released in 2011, in which Nigeria ranked 191 out of 192 countries with worst rates of road accidents globally, with 162 death rates per 100,000 populations, one will agree that traffic management is an aspect of our national lives that must not be treated with levity. A dangerous dimension to the menace which the FERMA operatives wanted to constitute on the road before they were arrested and which should be a source of concern to every patriotic citizen is that this task force is not a creation of the law, whether

The question that came to my mind is that, are we a banana republic where any person or group of persons can just gang up and take over our roads or public institutions built and maintained with taxpayer’s money? Have we lost focus of the fact that a society can only exist and thrive when there are regards for due process and rule of law? state or federal. The question that came to my mind is that, are we a banana republic where any person or group of persons can just gang up and take over our roads or public institutions built and maintained with taxpayer’s money? Have we lost focus of the fact that a society can only exist and thrive when there are regards for due process and rule of law? So in this context, one can appreciate the action of the police in arresting this illegality before a bad and dangerous precedent is set. We also need to ask and know, if this federal task force has been established in other states of the federation to manage traffic even though,

they don’t have the backing of the law? If the answer is no, then we should all be at alert. Another cause of societal concern is that if these operatives of FERMA had been allowed to continue their illegal and unconstitutional activities on the road, they would have compromised the security of lives and property in Lagos State with their style of operation, which involves wielding sticks and other dangerous weapons. However, one cannot but condemn the sponsors of this illegal outfit called FERMA federal task force who have taken advantage of the unemployment crisis in the country to exploit our youths by fraudulently obtaining money from them, endangering their lives and enlisting them into an illegal body. While commending the Lagos State police command under the leadership of Mr. Umar Manko for acting swiftly to prevent a breakdown of law and order, it is equally important to reiterate that the police must ensure that the fundamental human rights of the offenders is not violated by arraigning them in court as quickly as possible in line with constitutional provisions. • Nelson Ekujumi, Lagos.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Friday, June 13, 2014

13

Opinion To end sexual violence in conflict By William Hague and Angelina Jolie MAGINE witnessing a member of your family Iraped, taken from your home by armed men and or sold into sexual slavery, or imprisoned and tortured sexually. Imagine that happening to tens of thousands of other women, men and children in your country, for years on end, and living in that dangerous and traumatic environment. And imagine how you would feel if the rapists were allowed to walk free for the rest of their lives. This is the reality for millions of survivors of warzone sexual violence and the reason for our campaign. We came together because of our closeness to one particular country, Bosnia. There, up to 50,000 women and an unknown number of men were raped during four years of conflict. Bosnia is in the heart of Europe. But twenty years have passed without justice for the vast majority of those victims. Rape has been used as a weapon of war repeatedly in our lifetimes, on every continent and in every major conflict. It has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with power and the desire to conquer and humiliate. The nature of the act consigns many survivors – of both sexes – to a lifetime of isolation, exclusion, and fear. In some countries survivors of rape are regarded as prostitutes, and are rejected and considered unfit for marriage. Without social acceptance, many are consumed by shame and mental suffering, and scarred by physical injuries. Without legal recognition, they often lack financial support, healthcare, or the counselling needed to recover from their experiences. The victims are often very young children, whose bodies, minds and future can be irrevocably damaged. Such is the corrosive power of the stigma that it often attaches itself to the next generation – to children born of rape, or the families of sur-

vivors. This powerful taboo around warzone rape also explains why its scale and severity are not widely understood. But from our own experience, anyone who hears these stories revolts against such injustice. Around the world, memorials are built to people who have given their lives in conflict. Imagine how vast an edifice would be needed to record the suffering of all the survivors of rape in conflicts in the last hundred years. New names would have to be chiselled onto it every day, because these crimes are happening as you read these words: in Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and other countries. We’ve joined forces because we share several unshakeable convictions. First, we are convinced that rape and sexual violence are not inevitable, but a deliberate tactic of war that can be deterred, prevented and punished. Second, we believe the fundamental issue is justice. Each time these crimes happen and the world does nothing, a precedent is set that sexual violence can be used with impunity: whether the victims are schoolgirls in Nigeria or refugees in Syria. Third, this is a moral responsibility. No country can say they believe in human rights and choose to turn a blind eye to sexual violence in conflict. But it is also a vital foreign policy issue, fuelling instability and conflict. Ending it is a national security imperative. Fourth, while men and boys are also victims, sexual violence in conflict is holding back the rights of women everywhere. Each day we read of the suffering of women at the hands of abusive husbands or draconian legal systems. If we can shatter impunity for sexual violence in conflict, then we can accelerate a change in attitudes towards women in many other settings. Fifth, we both refuse to accept that sexual violence in conflict is a problem that is simply too vast and complex to be tackled. Much the same thing was said about the slave trade, or about

We will launch the first ever International Protocol on how to document and investigate sexual violence in conflict. Over a year in the making and the work of hundreds of experts, it will help investigators preserve information and evidence in the aftermath of an attack, improve the chances of successful prosecutions, and protect victims from trauma. We will ask countries to bring their laws on rape and sexual violence into line with international standards. We will call for all soldiers and peacekeepers to be trained to understand and prevent warzone sexual violence. Simple measures, from installing lighting in refugee camps to accompanying women collecting firewood, can dramatically reduce the number of attacks, and we want these basic protections to become universal. We will urge countries never to grant amnesties for sexual violence, and pursue the most infamous wanted men like Joseph Kony. And we will ask for new funding for survivors and the groups who work with them – the unsung heroes whose work we build on. banning the illegal arms trade. When public opinion is roused and governments stir themselves, change can be rapid. There is evidence that this is now happening. More than ¾ of the world’s nations have endorsed the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict we put forward last year. And this week, we are hosting representatives of over 100 governments, the Heads of eight UN Agencies and nearly a thousand experts here in London. We will launch the first ever International Protocol on how to document and investigate sexual violence in conflict. Over a year in the making and the work of hundreds of experts, it will help investigators preserve information and evidence in the aftermath of an attack, improve the chances of successful prosecutions, and protect victims from trauma. We will ask countries to bring their laws on rape and sexual violence into line with international standards. We will call for all soldiers and peacekeepers to be trained to understand and prevent warzone sexual violence.

Simple measures, from installing lighting in refugee camps to accompanying women collecting firewood, can dramatically reduce the number of attacks, and we want these basic protections to become universal. We will urge countries never to grant amnesties for sexual violence, and pursue the most infamous wanted men like Joseph Kony. And we will ask for new funding for survivors and the groups who work with them – the unsung heroes whose work we build on. There is no law that can be passed or treaty adopted that will abolish warzone sexual violence overnight. This is a cause for our generation. And the truth is that governments will never achieve this by themselves. Ending sexual violence in conflict requires us to break the mould. We need governments and citizens and civil society to work together, in a new model for how we tackle vast global issues. It is in our power to remove rape as a weapon of war from the world’s arsenal of cruelty. And it is in our hands to treat victims not as social outcasts, but as courageous survivors.

Eye bank for restoring sight By Mosunfaderin Odusanya HE gift of sight is perhaps the most vital of the five senses that T human beings are endowed with. Each and every one of us should therefore appreciate this ability that dictates almost all our responses and actions. That is why you are able to read this. Established as a joint project of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria and Federal Nigeria Society for the Blind and backed by Decree No. 23 of 5th May, 1973 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, The Eye Bank for Restoring Sight is established to harvest (collect), process and distribute donor eye tissue for sight saving cornea transplants, medical education and research into causes and treatment for other eye diseases. These services will be rendered to members of the Nigerian public who may by accident or organic degeneration or infection of the cornea have lost the use of their eyes due to cornea opacity (whitish cornea). About 30 per cent of blindness worldwide is due to ‘‘corneal blindness,” which is a reversible form of blindness. The cornea is the transparent outermost portion of the eye, and once this is damaged, that is, when the transparency is lost, the patient becomes blind. The Eye Bank is committed to harvesting eyes (corneas), and promoting organ donations through public and professional education, highlighting the importance and benefits of organ donation. Restoring sight to this category of blind persons requires cornea transplant operation (keratoplasty). Some Nigerians have benefitted from this procedure and they have had their sight restored. The cost of the donor corneas and surgery were borne in many cases by their employers as these were people who sustained accident/injury to their eyes at work. Unfortunately, the greater majority of those who needed this operation could not afford to pay for the donor cornea or the surgery: processing fees for the cornea is about $2,000 (two thousand dollar) and this is without the cost of the surgery itself. On August 29, 2006, a young man, Emmanuel, who had been blind for 25 years, regained his sight when he had a cornea graft. This was done by ‘‘Project Orbis” the Flying Eye Hospital, in Ilorin. The young man was identified by the visiting Ophthalmologist to the Vocational Training Centre for the Blind, Oshodi where he was a trainee as one who will benefit from cornea

As an organ bank, the Eye Bank is continually in need of donors. Organ donation is a relatively new concept in Nigeria and to make any impact a lot of advocacy is needed, utilizing the print and electronic media, radio network, printing of hand bills and posters, employing an administrator and other staff; all these involve lots of funds. As a non-profit organization, the bank was established and equipped from funds received from individual and corporate organizations during the 75th birthday anniversary lecture of Chief (Dr.) Akinsete. The bank has not received any subvention from any government except the accommodation provided by the Lagos State Government within the Eye Institute Complex at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. We have depended so far and for now will continue to rely on the generosity of individuals and corporate bodies such as yours. graft. Today, he is a very happy person, married with two children and he is making plans to go back to primary school at age 29. There are so many like Emmanuel who are battling with cornea blindness, if only they could get corneas for cornea graft. On September 18 and 19, 2008, seven young Nigerians between the ages of two years and 24 years old had cornea transplant surgeries at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital with corneas obtained from the Indian Red Cross Eye Bank and the Lions Club of Sabarmati, India. The corneas were given free to the Eye Bank and all the patients are doing very well. Till date, the bank has facilitated 69 corneas including 13 children between the ages of 30 months to 18 years old. In August 2010, the first indigenous donor came from a Nigerian who donated his corneas before death, and after his demise, the relatives informed the Eye bank and it’s was harvested and grafted on two recipients, whom are all doing well. On the September 24, 2012, the second indigenous donor who donated her cornea before death, died at the age of 83 years, the relatives informed the Eye Bank and the cornea was harvested and transplanted on a recipient who is also doing well.

As an organ bank, the Eye Bank is continually in need of donors. Organ donation is a relatively new concept in Nigeria and to make any impact a lot of advocacy is needed, utilizing the print and electronic media, radio network, printing of hand bills and posters, employing an administrator and other staff; all these involve lots of funds. As a non-profit organization, the bank was established and equipped from funds received from individual and corporate organizations during the 75th birthday anniversary lecture of Chief (Dr.) Akinsete. The bank has not received any subvention from any government except the accommodation provided by the Lagos State Government within the Eye Institute Complex at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. We have depended so far and for now will continue to rely on the generosity of individuals and corporate bodies such as yours. Asking for a one-off donation might be easy, but what is being proposed is a continuous participation. For now, the plan of the bank is to continue to procure/obtain corneas from abroad and continue to perform cornea grafts in LASUTH, so that the generality of Nigerians can see and be convinced that people with cornea blindness can regain their sight through cornea grafts, ‘‘Seeing is Believing.” Cornea graft surgery has an almost 98 per cent success rate and the fear of rejection is very minimal. With this, it will then make it easier to convince people to donate their corneas at death, so that even at death they will still be relevant and you would then have given a gift that goes on living. ‘‘The Precious Gift of Sight.” We hereby appeal to you, to partner with us so as to sustain the Eye Bank as a source for cornea transplantation in Nigeria. This programme has succeeded in developed countries and in India as well. However, Sub-Saharan Africa which has the greatest number of those in need of this sight saving operation is seriously lagging behind. Your partnering with us will help to move Nigeria closer to the day when blindness due to cornea opacity will be routinely reversed by cornea graft. We hereby look forward to a long association with you in helping us to achieve this laudable project. Thanking you in anticipation of a favourable response from you. • Dr. Odusanya, Medical Director, Eye Bank for Restoring Sight, wrote from Lagos.


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Friday, June 13, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

Opinion Aviation’s N174b debt burden By AbdulGaniyu Adamu OR a very long time to come, the immediate Fwillpast Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, remain an issue in Nigeria’s troubled aviation sector, unfortunately for the controversial reasons. While her tenure was dogged by some messy controversies because of some actions and inactions, especially those bothering on the massive airport remodelling projects in different parts of the country and the controversial purchase of two BMW cars, the aftermath of her tenure has not been less controversial either. These controversies actually led to Oduah’s removal by the Federal Government, and since then, it has been one controversy after the other, the latest being the debt purportedly incurred, totalling N174 billion by the Aviation Ministry. The National Assembly, the Ministry of Finance, and indeed, all Nigerians are troubled that such a huge debt profile is hanging on the neck of our dear country. There is also the aspect of the huge remodelling project that the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation said did not pass through due process. Till today, majority of Nigerians do not know those handling the remodelling projects and what they did to earn them the contracts. Nobody could say if there was a public tender for the projects and who and who bided for them before the present contractors, who have since abandoned the sites, won. What this means is that the Ministry of Aviation was administered in a one-woman show with the support of some sacked managing directors of parastatals in the ministry, who were puppets in the many absurdities that characterised the era. As at today, contractors handling the remodelling projects are believed to be owed about N11 billion, despite the fact that the ministry got approval and subsequent release of funds for the project. The contractors are said to be threaten-

ing court action, if they are not settled for jobs already done. The only projects that are ongoing now are the new terminal buildings, being handled by the Chinese firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) at the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports. When I passed through the Lagos airport recently, I saw that work was ongoing on the project. I was, however, made to understand that this is so because China had refused to hand over the $500 million loan it granted for the projects in the four major cities to Nigeria, but decided to disburse it directly to the firm handling the projects. With this huge debt dangling on the neck of the Ministry of Aviation through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), even as other agencies in the ministry were almost rendered comatose, the question is whether the agencies would be able to perform their statutory roles effectively. Last week, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Mrs. Nkiru Onyejeocha, lamented that the debt burden may force the ministry to be paying debts for the next five years, otherwise, some of the projects would have to be stopped completely. The implication of this is that the country’s aviation sector would be under serious threats. Yet, the past leadership created the impression that all was well in the ministry. The question Nigerians would want to ask is, how did the Ministry of Aviation, and especially FAAN, regarded as the cash cow of the aviation sector, find themselves in this mess, despite their many sources of revenue, which run into several millions of naira on a weekly basis? With this huge debt burden, I do not envy the Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr. Sam Ortom, and whoever will become the substantive Minister of Aviation. I do not envy the

man at the helm of affairs in FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma and other agencies in the aviation sector, who would have to operate under a tight budget. Yet, Nigerians are not ready to hear any story if there is, God forbid, any accident in the sector at this point in time. It will not be out of place for the Federal Government to investigate and find out from the concerned officials how they came about the humungous debt that is weighing us down so much. But, I seriously doubt whether this will ever happen. Before the ministry found itself in this avoidable dilemma, both the committees on Aviation in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the one set up by the Federal Government to investigate the scam in the ministry indicted key officials; and Nigerians were relieved when the minister was relieved of her job. But the public expectation that the indictment would be followed up to a logical conclusion has so far been dashed, with the main culprits walking freely in the society, even receiving awards here and there. Rather, and to add salt to the festering injury we collectively sustained as a result of the scam, many ethnic groups have been competing to give the former minister awards for God knows what. This has a lot of implications on our image as a people, as I had expected that such groups, including the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Lagos branch, would have waited for Oduah to come clean to such award ceremonies. If the givers of such awards “for being our daughter” thought they would burnish her image, I do not think they have achieved that, as they have rather become a laughing stock for celebrating someone with skeleton in her cupboard, especially with the new revelation of a heavy debt burden on the aviation ministry. Not surprisingly, the Minister of Petroleum

Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, appears to be enjoying some protection after she was accused of spending over N10 billion to charter a private jet over a period of time. What kind of a country are we, where mediocrity, scams and all other impunity by those in public and private offices are celebrated with glee? What manner of people will celebrate people whose characters have bold question marks? People promptly sacrifice their appointments with the accompanying benefits over mere accusations or suspicion in saner climes for them to be investigated, whereas in Nigeria, people sit tight even if they are found guilty of sleaze. For instance, the Prime Minister of South Korea, Chung Hong-won, stepped down on April 27, this year, amid rising anger over claims by relatives that the government did not do enough to help loved ones when a ferry carrying mostly high school students sank in his country, even though he was not directly responsible for the disaster. No matter what your supposed achievements are in those lands, once you are involved in any scam, or your competence is questioned in anyway, it automatically nullifies such achievements. Unfortunately, it is the other way round in Nigeria where your little achievements nullify your scam, no matter how serious the scam is, hence this country has become one of the breeding grounds for the largest number of scammers in public and private sectors. Just recently, former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, was jailed for six years for fraud. He actually committed the offence as the Mayor of the city of Jerusalem several years back. So, in essence, Sharon, an old man in his 70s will spend the next six years behind bar, whereas many confirmed scammers and fraudsters straddle various administrations that have ever ruled this great country, and are even celebrated as achievers. As the late songster, Evangelist Sunny Okosuns, once sang: “Which way Nigeria? Which way to go?”

Femi Okunnu on religious politics By Victor Oshisada ROM the outset, it must be explained that the writer of FMuslims. this opinion piece is a Christian who admires Islam and Admittedly, both religious faiths embrace Monotheism, but even so, there are areas of differences. There is nothing wrong in seeking to win converts, provided it is done with decency. But this should not be done by petty criticisms of the other religions, believing that the latter are their rivals or competitors in a race for supremacy. Intolerance and petty criticisms have reached the crescendo of hatred for fellow Monotheists, whereas in Quran, Chapter 2, verse 256, it is instructed: “Let there be no compulsion in religion”. Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN) seems to have joined the fray. This legal luminary is a respected statesman; a Federal Commissioner for Works during the tenure of General Yakubu Gowon, famous for the constructions of Expressways and bridges criss-crossing the country. However, by his comments on Christians and non-Lagosians, he has an axe to grind in Lagos State politics. Consider the news-report in The Guardian, May 6, 2014, titled “Okunnu, lawmaker caution against mixing religion with politics in Lagos”. The text: “On whether the next governor of the state must be a Christian as currently being championed by some groups of Christians, Okunnu heaped the blame on the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), saying, ‘It is the people from CAN who are making all these noise over religion and that a Christian should be the next governor of the state in 2015”. The news report further quoted Okunnu as saying: “Aside from some members of CAN who were allegedly bent on introducing religious sentiment ahead of 2015 election, the orthodox Christian community, including the Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists and Baptists, are not part of the agitation”. By exonerating these four from the agitation, he is attempting to draw red herrings across the trail. It appears that he is deliberately criticizing unfairly. My contention is that the orthodox churches are members of the CAN which is established to speak with one voice on issues that concern Christians as a whole. If some groups of Christians

are agitating for a Christian governor in 2015, the CAN as a body cannot be dissociated from the demand. If the four aforementioned orthodox Churches are counted out of CAN, what remains of the body? They do not need to be brainwashed and cajoled into complacency. Christians are entitled to make their legitimate demands. They form part of the population of Lagos State, and perform their civic responsibilities. True it is that we are mentally conditioned to the doctrine of turning the other cheek as ordained by Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, it does not mean that our rights to governance must be wished away and annihilated. As long as Christians perform their civic responsibilities, so long do they deserve a candidate for governorship. If they vote, they can be voted for. “Turning the other cheek” cannot make Christians second-class citizens in the land of their births. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Where was Okunnu in 2010 when a national daily published a news-story titled “Osun Clerics insist on Muslim Governor”? It reported: “Islamic clerics in Osun State voiced their preference for the emergence of a Muslim as the governor of the 19-year-old state in 2011 General Elections. A popular Oshogbo-based Islamic cleric stated this in Oshogbo at a ceremony. Also, an Islamic leader, a Sheikh, told the then Osun State Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, that it was the turn of a Muslim to emerge as the governor of the state. An ovation was said to greet the sermon that was delivered by the cleric, who urged Muslims across the state not to vote for a Christian governorship candidate”. Therefore, juxtaposed with the demand of Lagos Christians for a Christian governor in Lagos State, what is Alhaji Okunnu telling us? In 2010 Osun State Muslims were demanding for a Muslim governor in 2011. They got one in Rauf Aderemi Aregbesola. Today, Christians in Lagos are demanding for a Christian governor for Lagos State in 2015. If traditionalists (Babalawo and Herbalists) decide to field a governorship candidate, why not? There must be justice to all. Alhaji Okunnu’s fuming indicates that he is a partisan and undemocratic statesman. My submission is that Christians’ demand is legitimate, because they voted in 1979 for Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande of Lagos State and for Alhaji MKO Abiola as President on June 12,

1993 – both Muslims. Still on Okunnu’s criticisms of non-Lagosians in Lagos State. On May 18, 2014, Alhaji Okunnu, in an interview in The Guardian (Sunday), said inter alia: “I say categorically that we do not have religious conflict in Lagos. It is the non-Lagosians and those who come from other parts of the country that are creating this problem for us and unfortunately most of them are Christians. There is no indigenous family in Lagos who does not have people practising the two religions. It is these outsiders who are creating this problem for us.” Okunnu is wrong. Who are the Lagos aborigines? Where are they? Political observers and commentators must be political historians. Is Femi Okunnu not aware of the History of Lagos that the aborigines were mainly from the Southwest – Abeokuta, Ijebu, Oyo, Benin (Edo), West Africans, and indeed Brazilian repatriates, et cetera, who contributed to the commercial and political developments of Lagos? The foundation settlers were the Aworis from Ile-Ife. In 1866, Lagos was under Sierra Leone. Between 1874 and 1886, it was merged with Gold Coast (now Ghana). These periods afforded other West Africans to immigrate to Lagos and contribute to its developments. The word “Eko” meaning “Oko” is a Benin (Edo) language for “Lagos”, subjugated by Orhoabua, Oba of Benin. Without outsiders, Lagos would not become what it is today. This writer’s great grandfather from Ijebu fought in the defence of Lagos in the 19th century. Femi Okunnu of this world must be grateful to outsiders, instead of castigating them. Take away the non-indigenes, how many of the aborigines-generation of fishermen-shall remain? Certainly, about five per cent. Okunnu does not understand the implications of his outburst on Christians and non-indigenes. Believing that he is building up supports for All Progressives Congress (APC), he may end up losing supporters for the party. Governorship of the state must not be restricted to Muslims and Lagos Island where Alhaji LK Jakande, Bola Tinubu and Raji Fashola emerged, to the exclusion of Ikorodu, Badagry, Mushin, Ikeja or Agege. Therefore, Femi Okunnu must take his cue from Richard Osuolale Akinjide (SAN) by concerning himself with real Constitutional issues, instead of divisive topics. • Oshisada, a veteran journalist, lives in Ikorodu, Lagos.


Friday, June 13, 2014

THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

15

TheMetroSection Briefs

Exposing the underbelly of Lagos

Missing person

• Flooded streets, broken -down vehicles, stranded passengers, others characterised yesterday’s rain

R. Abdulazeez IdrisM Ishola of No. 14, Ikenne Street, Owotu Agric, Ikorodu, Lagos, has been reported missing. According to a Police Extract by Mr. Tunde Idris- Ishola, his uncle, “Abdulazeez was born on July 10, 1989 and was said to have left home on March 25, for Lagos Island and has since not returned. “All efforts to trace him have proved abortive. Any information on his whereabouts should be reported to the nearest police station.’

Flooded: Jakande -Isheri Road...yesterday

Risky: Gully on Jakande -Isheri Road

PHOTOS: EMEKA NWACHUKWU

Ishola

Adolescent girls’ empowerment in Makoko OLLOWING the success of FGirls’ the Iwaya Out-of-School Empowerment Pilot

Flood at Ile-Epo, Abule Egba, Lagos...yesterday

Taders at a market in Abule Egba, Lagos...yesterday

PHOTOS: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Lekki residents protest against petrol station project By Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku ANRE Odumefun, a resiLState, dent of Lekki Phase 1, Lagos is concluding that Nigerian elite are happy seeing the average and poor Nigerians pass through pains and hardship. He said that with the experiences he has passed through in life in the country and what he has also seen happen and which keeps happening, he has come to an obvious conclusion that the rich and the people who are saddled with the task of leading the country or making positive impacts on it, purposely and in a calculative manner, refuse to do that with the purpose of making their affluence and existence easily noticed. His anger and frustration comes at the backdrop of the face-off between a few wealthy and powerful residents of Lekki Phase 1 and an independent oil marketing firm, which has halted the building of a fuel station that Lanre feels would have relieved their stress of trekking long distances and at times, taking the deadly risk of crossing the ever-busy Lekki/Ajah expressway to get fuel to power their generating sets and have a little comfort in their homes. The Guardian gathered that five wealthy residents of the estate took to court and sought for the stoppage of the project located at Block

36, Plot 10 Admiralty Way by Rasheed Alaba Williams Street, Lekki Phase 1, which was in its last stages. In their petition, according to Lanre, they felt that the filling station when completed would cause traffic congestion in the area, especially during fuel scarcity. They also feel it could compromise their safety because of the risk of fire outbreak. The residents are also afraid that the project may expose them to armed robbers who may target the sales from the station and by extension other neighbours. They asserted that the petrol station would threaten their lives, health and property in the form of pollution. But the claims and the fears alleged by the petitioners seem ridiculous and un-

The filling station

founded by Lanre and indeed, the generality of the residents of the area who feel that the development, which is according to the master plan of the estate with approval from Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority and Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, is long overdue, a welcome development and very strategic in alleviating their sufferings while making the area a standardized urban area. Lanre lamented: “Why would learned people like this come up with this sort of claims? Are they trying to insinuate that filling stations should be built in the bush or what? The last time I checked, I am very aware that there are filling stations in FESTAC Town, which is more of a resi-

dential area than here and the residents have never complained that the filling stations have degraded their environments or posed any danger to their existence.” “Because these individuals are wealthy people who store diesel in tanks and do not need the services of this station, does that make them inconsiderate and unconcerned to the plights of other residents who buy N1, 000 petrol everyday to power their generators to forget the sorrows of the failure of the government and have to drive or walk long distances to get it? We have even had scores of casualties as a result of people trying to cross over to the other side of the expressway in order to get this product. Now that a respite has come our way, some peo-

ple are trying to thwart it and leave us to this perpetual suffering.” “I tend not to believe this notion in my mind that Nigerian elites like enjoying it when they see their neighbours suffering because I can’t fathom the rationale behind this fight to stop this project.” Another resident , Johnson Ikpeme, wondered how the building of the petrol station would be an attraction for armed robbers to the estate. He noted as a matter of fact that the business isn’t a 24hour business but one that closes at night. Ikpeme who noted that if the filling station in the estate with the presence of the security there becomes a target for armed robbers, then, the ones on the lonely highways would have gone out of business long time ago. He further argued that if a petrol station as a money-spinning venture attracts armed robbers, residents in every part of the country should then protest against banks being built around their vicinities stating that that is the real honey that attracts the bees. They finally called on the government to look into the matter and allow for a development that will enhance the lives of many and not fall to the antics of few people who are unconcerned about the welfare of the ordinary man in the society.

Project, Agency for Mass Education of Lagos State Government and community members in collaboration with Action Health Incorporated (AHI) will be scaling up the intervention to other poorly-resourced communities in Lagos State beginning with Makoko in Lagos Mainland. The event will hold on Tuesday, June 17, at Adekunle Anglican Primary School 25, Makoko Road, Makoko , Lagos at 9:00 a.m.

Shepherdhill Baptist Church holds programme Baptist SwillHEPHERDHILL Church, Obanikoro, Lagos tomorrow hold a programme tagged, “Carry Your Baby” at the church auditorium from 7.00a.m. - 9.00am. The programme, which was first held last June, brought joy to many families that had been barren for many years as many families had the frit of the womb. In a statement, the Senior Pastor, Rev. Israel Kristilere said “the programme is primarily targeted at couples who want children as well as those who want to stand in the gap for their loved ones. According to Kristilere, the first forty seeking mothers to arrive the venue of the programme would receive free grotto milk from Bethlehem.

Church holds vigil HE Consuming Fire Prayer T Ministries at 66, Ijaiye Road, opposite Area ‘G’ Police Command, Ogba, Lagos will from Monday, June 16 to Friday, June, 20 hold special vigil from 11.00p.m. till dawn tagged“God Has Not Given Me Up To Untimely Death.” Chief host is Pastor Celestine Ndu.


THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com

16 Friday, June 13, 2014

Kaduna govt releases tricycles, buses to cushion effect of ban on motorcyclists From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief S part of palliative measA ures by the Kaduna State government to cushion the effect of the ban placed on the operation of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has finally released tricycles and buses in the state. Since the ban on motorcycles, which was given a legal backing by the State House of Assembly late last month, there have been protests against the government, particularly by the handicapped people and local Hausa musicians who felt that the Governor, Yero was not fair to them by enforcing the ban. But succour finally came on Tuesday, when Yero released 1000 tricycles, in addition to the 700 that had earlier been made available including several buses the governor ex-

tended to those displaced from their Okada business as loan, at a ceremony that attracted thousands of people within Sir Kashim Ibrahim (Government) House. While addressing the gathering, the Governor said, “the ban was not designed to deliberately impose hardship on the people but to improve security as well as the overall well-being of commuters and commercial motorcycle operators.” According to him: “Government is aware of the initial difficulties facing the people and that is why we decided, in March 2013, through the transport scheme, to distribute 700 tricycles, buses etc.” “The scheme was basically designed to address the security challenges facing our people, reduce unemployment and take our youths off the streets. So far, the scheme has recorded tremendous success

Briefs Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship holds seminar HE collective growth of individual businesses and careers deT fines the growth of a nation. With Nigeria’s dream of being counted among the top 20 economies of the world in 2020 (Vision 2020/20), the realizable essentials for business growth must be mastered and rightly applied. To this end, Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship has announced the 15th edition of its yearly business seminar. It has two segments that take place from today and tomorrow, (June 13 – June 14) at NECA House conference centre, Alausa and Sheraton Hotel and Towers respectively. According to the chairman of the organizing committee, Ayo Badejo, “We have been doing this for15 years, but this year is special because we have thought of how to make it more beneficial to everyone young and old. That is why we have two segments so as to be able to accommodate everyone and each segment has good facilitators. If people are equipped they can perform better and make the country’s economy better”. Also emphasizing on the seminar was Charles Aladewolu, who said, “When you set up a business, you want it to grow but one thing is that people establish businesses without the ability to sustain it. This programme will teach such people how they can establish, sustain and grow their businesses. Opportunities don’t come to people this days; you have to identify and take advantage of them. And at times like that, a business problem to a businessman could become a business opportunity rather than a problem” He identified partnership as a key element of growing businesses. He also urged people to concentrate on what they know how to do best. Also, Director, Lagos Business School, Prof. Pat Utomi, encouraged businessmen to take advantage of the seminar, saying, “We live in the age of knowledge; you are not going to be effective if you do not gain new knowledge everyday. Opportunities abound but our limited knowledge has kept us from tapping into them no matter what your business is. Anyone who doesn’t take advantage of this is doing himself a great dis-service”.

Group reaches out to Down Syndrome kids HE Hearts of Diamond Youth Empowerment Initiative, a T non-governmental organization ((NGO) recently reached out to the Down Syndrome Foundation pupils, when it took 20 of the kids out, for a treat as they visited Silverbird Galleria on Victoria Island. They also visited the University of Lagos (UNILAG’s) Botanical Gardens, where they admired the flowers, trees, the animals as well as the seaside. According to the Executive Director of the Hearts of Diamond Youth Empowerment Initiative, Lady Veronica Ifeyinwa Eche, “God has given me the vision of reaching out to the needy, to help, bring succour and smile to the faces of the disadvantaged and physically-challenged children in the society and bring them all to His Kingdom.” She continued: “God is helping me and co-trustees with the strength and patience to carry on the vision. But I must confess, we need help to sustain the vision. We, indeed, plead with good-spirited Nigerian and corporate organizations to assist us”.

Hearts of Diamond trustees with a cross-secion of Down Syndrome kids at Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos

Some of the tricycles distributed to the beneficiaries as the beneficiaries have continued to abide by the terms.” He said: “We are now set through the ceremony of today to distribute additional

1000 tricycles to reduce difficulties of transportation in our urban and semi-urban centres as well as create jobs for the people especially those

who have been disengaged from operating commercial motorcycles.” Yero also stated that, “the beneficiaries have been identi-

fied by the implementation committee, to be given at 50 per cent subsidy.” “The cost of each tricycle is N531,825 inclusive of plate number registration, painting etc, and comprehensive insurance cover. Beneficiaries will pay only 50 per cent of the total cost within a period of 12 months. A beneficiary will however make a deposit of 10 per cent of the cost, N20,000. This gesture is borne out of our genuine commitment to create means of productive ventures for our youth.” The distribution pattern for the tricycles, he said, would be, “400 units for Kaduna town, 300 for Zaria, 150 to Kafanchan, 50 each for Lere, Birnin Gwari and Giwa Local Councils for use in the designated areas affected by the ban.”

NAFRC to transform into a national Resettlement Institute By Odita Sunday

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S part of measures to ensure a smooth transition of public servants into a fruitful retirement life, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, has approved a bill to transform the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) into a National Resettlement Institute. The Commandant of Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Center (NAFRC), Air Vice Marshal, Monday Morgan made the disclosure at the briefing to intimate the public on the forthcoming graduation ceremony of another batch of 404 retiring soldiers drawn from the Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Nigerian Navy (NN) billed to hold today. The bill, when formally prosecuted, would ensure that retir-

Morgan ing civilian public office holders pass through training alongside their military counterparts in the Centre, which has churned out over 40,000 military retirees since it was founded. According to AVM Morgan:

“The mandate of NAFRC is to equip retiring personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces with relevant trade and vocational skills to enable them integrate into civil society and enjoy a productive and fulfilling life in retirement.” “Recently, a bill to transform the centre into a National Resettlement Institute has been approved by the AGF and the NAFRC governing board. The bill will be forwarded to the National Assembly as an executive bill.” “When passed into law, this will allow NAFRC to train, not only the other rank cadre (ratings) but also officers in pre-retirement management and entrepreneurial skills.” “Additionally, personnel of other para-military and security agencies as well as deserving civilians will have the training opportunity at the

Centre.” Morgan added that in line with its vision to ensure a fulfilling retirement life for its personnel, the leadership of the centre was desirous of transforming it to a worldclass training institute that would favourably compete with similar institutes in other countries of the world. He said: “NAFRC is developing a framework to enter into public partnership with a number of reputable companies in a wide range of areas that will upgrade all the training workshops.” “We are in the process of executing memorandum of understanding that will define the parameters of the relationship. The private sector partners are expected to assist NAFRC upgrade and modernize its training workshops to meet international standards.”

Fayemi’s wife laments cancer-related deaths HE wife of Ekiti State GovT ernor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, is pained that the country is losing some of its best brains to cancer due to late presentation, wrong diagnosis or denial. She said this when she donated an 18-seater bus to the Funmi Olayinka Diagnostic and Wellness Centre, AdoEkiti, to mark her 51st birthday, on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, a holycommunion and thanksgiving service was held at the

Government House Chapel, Ado-Ekiti, in commemoration of the occasion. The service was attended by the Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; his Deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin, among top officials of the state. Presenting the bus, the first lady restated the need for women to go for early screening for cancer at any standard health facility, describing the disease as a

scourge that afflicts the rich and the poor. A former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, reportedly died of uterine cancer on June 7. Since the former Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, whom she described as her confidant and sister, died of breast cancer, she said she had stepped up her awareness and education on the scourge across the state. She said: “Cancer is not a re-

specter of people, or age or what you have attained in life. As a matter of fact, what I have learnt is that you might have all the resources in the world but if this sickness gets hold of you, it is only God who can save you.” “The country is losing its best brains to cancer due to late presentation for screening, wrong diagnosis or denial. This is why we have to continue to raise awareness and educate our people on this deadly disease.”

Ubeku, former Guinness MD, for burial tomorrow ENOWNED management R guru and first black Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Dr. Abel K. Ubeku, who died on March 9, 2014 in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) after a protracted illness, will tomorrow be buried in his hometown, Araya in Isoko South Local Council, Delta State. Ubeku, who was conferred with the national honours of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 1982 by the Federal Government for his contribution to management development, joined politics after his retirement from Guinness in 1989. He aspired to be President under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), one of the two political parties created by the Ibrahim Babangida administration. Born in 1935 in Araya, Isoko South Local Council of Delta State, Ubeku attained the pinnacle of his career through an uncommon determination to succeed.

From a lowly beginning as an Elementary School teacher, he acquired a Master’s degree in Law from London University, and a doctorate degree in Labour Economics from the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom. At various times, he was President, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Chairman, Governing Council, Bendel State University Ekpoma (now Ambrose Alli University), Executive Secretary, Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Nigerian representative at the International Labour Organisation (ILO). An author of two books: Personnel Management in Nigeria, and Industrial Relations in Developing Countries, the case of Nigeria. Both books were published by Macmillan, United Kingdom. Ubeku was married to Chief (Mrs.) Beatrice Obiageli Ubeku and they were blessed with children.

Ubeku


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Friday, June 13, 2014

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Business NEC approves $1.6 billion to boost transmission From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja

• Banks seek intervention fund for power sector

HE Federal Government’s T quest to boost the nation’s • Why NERC should focus on customer service, by Oloja transmission infrastructure has been given a bigger support, as the National Economic Council (NEC) has given approval for government to take $1.6 billion from the sale of National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) plants to strengthen transmission capacity. Plants built through NIPP, a project of the state and federal governments, are currently being privatized. Meanwhile, Editor of The Guardian, Martins Oloja, has called on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to build

stronger customer relationships as it strives to better regulate the electricity sector. Oloja spoke as guest NERC’s Distinguished Visitor Lecture in Abuja. He said: “ There is a sense in which regulators and other stakeholders in our context can say customers advocacy may not work in our milieu, where customers are already disqualified and angry because of poor service. Therefore, if this element exists, please do three things from this discussion: engage

the angry customer, get closer to him, and cultivate and build a relationship in peace time (even if electricity improves). This is the power that relationships building mechanism can give you.” He called for customer satisfaction surveys to guide the regulator on data on how the customer feels at all times, and charged NERC to continually build customer confidence through effective regulation and communication. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who reveled

the approval from NERC when he met with a top management team from the Bankers’ Forum Abuja, stressed that said another $500 million from World Bank and $150 million from African Development Bank (AfDB) were being expected as part of the transmission expansion fund. “The ugly past of near total neglect will soon be redressed,” he noted Describing transmission as the life-wire in the electricity value chain, Nebo was opti-

mistic that the country would soon attain a near acceptable capacity of 120 per cent of power generation for transmission’s capability. He said the national capacity should be 150 per cent capacity in the real sense, as a way of preparing for the generation expansion going on. He urged the banking industry to be at the forefront of support for the power sector, noting that the country just as he argued that Nigerians should be committed to investing locally. The minister, thereafter, urged financial institutions in the country to participate actively in the unfolding opportunities that have been thrown up in the power sector. “Banks should make loans available to those desirous of buying shares in the privatized companies,” he added. He stressed how Nigerian banks were instrumental to the success of the privatization of the PHCN utilities, stressing that power sector was on the path of continuous, forward looking growth. On the issue of gas unavailability that had plagued the sector, Nebo said a strong alliance had been formed with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. He was optimistic that the gas challenge would be solved before the completion

of the on-going NIPP projects across the country. His words: “ You raised some concerns and Mr. President is addressing them through us his foot soldiers. The issue of transmission is vital because no matter what is generated, if it is not transmitted it will not get to the Discos. And even if it gets to the Discos and the Discos do not have the infrastructure to distribute, it will not get to the consumers. So we are even looking beyond transmission into distribution. “In addition to that, the World Bank has brought in a substantial amount of money, more loans are coming in and this is in excess of $500m. The Eurobond that was over subscribed, we had about $135m just for transmission. From the African Development Bank, (amount that is) already being accessed is $150m just for transmission. “From the French Development Bank, $170m is already in the pipeline and very soon will be accessed. Also in addition to that, there is an incredible number of parties internationally who want to invest in transmission, not just to give us loans but to come and invest in a PPP arrangement. “Ideally, transmission

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Broadband Council pushes for smart states, 50% 3G-coverage By Adeyemi Adepetun HE Broadband Council has made case for an increased 3G coverage of over 50 per cent of the Nigerian population by 2015. Besides, the council is also targeting to have smart cities across the country. These were part of the outcomes of the Broadband Council meeting held in Lagos recently. The meeting, according to a statement made available to journalists by the Special Assistant on Media to the minister of Communications Technology, Efem Nkanga yesterday, coincided with the first year anniversary of the approval of the Broadband Plan by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Accordingly, in reviewing the progress of the broadband plan, the statement said the council highlighted that it had been slower than anticipated, but that broadband penetration has gone up from six to 6.8 per cent since implementation commenced. Nkanga informed that all members, led by former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. .Ernest Ndukwe agreed that sustained efforts needed to be maintained to increase the penetration rate in accordance with the five year tar-

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Vice President/General Manager GSK Africa, Jonathan Girling (left); Newly Elected Chairman GSK Board of Director, Edmund C. Onuzo; Outgoing Chairman, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye and Director/General Manager, Justin Korte at the 43rd yearly general meeting of GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc held in Lagos.

Nigeria’s crude oil production increases by 11bpd By Roseline Okere IGERIA’S crude oil production based on secondary sources, has increased by 11 barrels per day from the 1.87 million barrels per day (mbpd) it recorded in April to 1.88mbpd in May, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) report for the month of June. Other countries, which witnessed significance increase in crude oil production, include Angola with an increase of 57.4 barrels per day; Iran, 55bpd; United Arab Emirates, 13.2bpd and Saudi Arabia with 13.2bpd. The report stated that total OPEC crude oil production averaged 29.76 mbpd in May, an increase of 142 tbpd over the previous month. It noted that crude oil output increased from Angola, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Nigeria and Ecuador, while production decreased in Libya, Kuwait and Algeria. It stated that oil production

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in Qatar and Venezuela was more or less unchanged, adding that OPEC crude oil production - not including Iraq - stood at 26.43 mbpd in May, an increase of 87 tbpd over the previous month. OPEC stated: “Africa’s oil supply is forecast to average 2.51 mbpd in 2014, an increase of 90 tbpd from 2013, and flat from the previous MOMR. However, a minor downward revision was made for 1Q14 output on the back of a downward revision by 12 tbpd in Africa Other’s oil production. “On a quarterly basis, Africa’s supply is expected to average 2.52 mbpd, 2.51 mbpd, 2.51 mbpd and 2.51 mbpd, respectively. Oil production in Chad and South Africa are expected to remain steady in 2014, averaging 0.13 mbpd and 0.18 mbpd, respectively. Congo’s oil production and Gabon’s output are forecast to decline by 10 tbpd each to average 0.25 mbpd and 0.22 mbpd, respectively.

“It is expected that oil production in Egypt will decline by 30 tbpd to average 0.69 mbpd in 2014. On the other hand, oil output in Africa Others will increase by 30 tbpd to average 0.37 mbpd. Equatorial “Guinea’s oil supply is seen to increase by 10 tbpd to average 0.33 mb/d in 2014. South Sudan and Sudan’s oil production is expected to increase by 0.11 bpd in 2014 and average 0.34 mbpd, steady from the previous assessment. As the conflict between South Sudan’s government and the rebels winds down, healthy production is gradually returning on stream, particularly in South Sudan. Oil output in the Sudans before separation averaged 0.45 mbpd. The oil cartel disclosed that global oil supply increased by 0.20 mbpd to average 90.99 mbpd in May 2014 compared with the previous month. It explained that the increase in May came from non-OPEC supply and OPEC

production. “The share of OPEC crude oil in total global production stands at 32.7 per cent in May. Estimates are based on preliminary data for non-OPEC supply and OPEC NGLs, while estimates for OPEC crude production come from secondary sources”, it added. World oil demand is expected to increase by 1.14 mbpd in 2014, in line with the previous month’s forecast. More than half of oil demand growth this year is seen coming from China and the Middle East. Estimated world oil demand growth in 2013 was also left unchanged at 1.05 mbpd. Non-OPEC oil supply growth in 2014 now stands at 1.44 mbpd, representing an upward revision of around 60 tbpd from the previous report. Growth is seen coming mainly from the US, Canada, and Brazil. US liquids supply in 2014 is projected to grow by 0.95 mbpd to reach 12.13 mbpd.

get of the Broadband Plan as full 3G rollout would lead to increased mobile broadband penetration for all. To support its push for full 3G rollout across the nation, she informed that the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has completed an Access Gap Analysis of the coverage of the country. She said the purpose of the Access Gap study by USPF was to ascertain/determine priority for unserved and underserved areas and direct appropriate investments to these areas, saying that this will inform plans for addressing under-served and unserved areas across the country. According to the ministry of Communications Technology, the USPF’s soon to be published Access Gap Analysis showed large population clusters of 500,000 and more still requiring coverage. It stated that this significant work by the USPF has given real empirical data to the issue of which areas of the country has connectivity. The ministry informed that the council also extensively deliberated on progress made with the Smart States initiative and getting states to reduce or remove Right of Way (ROW) charges and other related fees. It informed that five states have so far indicated interest

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18 BUSINESS Friday, June 13, 2014

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NDDC, private firms collaborate on abandoned projects • Defends N322.6b 2014 budget From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja HE Niger Delta T Development Commission (NDDC), has said it was part-

Country President, Schneider Electric, Marcel Hotchet (left); Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power, Ambassador Goodnews Igali; Director General, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Reuben Okeke during the signing ceremony of the MoU agreement between Schneider Electric and NAPTIN in Abuja, yesterday.

Nigeria attracts $649m spending from tourists By Ajibola Amzat ELYING on the report of border survey being conducted recently by her agency, the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo has disclosed that 4,037,808 inbound tourists visited Nigeria in 2013, spending $649.47 million. Compared to 1,414,000 tourist arrivals recorded in 2009 when number was last calculated, according to the World Bank, the new figure represents 185 per cent increase in tourism arrivals last year. Mbanefo made this disclosure in a presentation titled “Promoting Domestic Tourism: Tool For National Economic Development,” which was delivered on Tuesday at a two-day tourism investors’ forum and exhibition, held in Abuja. The event, which ended on Wednesday, was organised by Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN). The NTDC boss said tourism

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•Stakeholders advocate Tourism Development Bank in Nigeria contributed so much to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but very little is attributed to it, hence the difficulties of government in the recent past to see it as a major contributor to national GDP. She however, did not mince words, saying tourism is the next alternative to oil and gas revenue generation. According to her, most recent data by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) showed that current global tourism contributions to GDP is approaching $7 trillion, accounting for 9.3 per cent of global GDP and that the industry accounts for 8.7 of global employment with an estimated yearly growth rate of 2.4 per cent. Notwithstanding, the higher income gainer is domestic tourism, she said. According to UNWTO 2008 report, out of the 4.8 billion tourist arrivals per year across the world, four billion (83 per cent) correspond to

domestic tourism. Locating this trend on Nigerian context, she said religious tourism alone generated over a million domestic tourists in 2013, adding that Osun Osogbo festival recorded 21, 713 domestic tourists including 123 international tourists with the expenditure of N58.23 million, while Abuja Carnival recorded 19, 015 domestic tourists and a substantial number of international tourists. FTAN President, Tomi Akingbogun, highlighted the challenges facing tourism sector in Nigeria, which according to him, include insecurity, multiple taxation, lack of infrastructure, and lack of patronage from government among others. “Less than three per cent of the Nigerian land mass is affected by terrorism and militancy. However, this has resulted in decrease of about 50 per cent in tourism patronage.”

He said the government’s charges such as business premises registration fees, sign board fees, tenement rate, liquor licence, nigeria social insurance trust fund (nsitf), vat, guest parking bill, water and electricity bill and others, are responsible for high overheads, which negatively affect hospitality business in Nigeria. “Even NIPOST is planning to introduce stamp duties of N50 per N1000 (five per cent),” he said. The FTAN Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Samuel Alabi advised the government to create a special intervention fund in excess of N500 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria to be accessed by operators in the tourism sector or set up a Tourism Development Bank to provide credit facility for the industry operators. He also advised that the government should take data capturing of the tourism industry serious.

Okomu Oil Palm records N8.86b turnover current

From Anthony Otaru, Abuja KOMU Oil Palm Company Plc recorded N8.86 billion turnover last year, against the N10.15 billion it realized in year 2012. This 13 per cent drop in performance was largely due to lower than average commodity prices. The company also declared a dividend of N1 per 50k shares amounting to N953.01million even as it has gone ahead to acquire about 11,400 new hectres of land in Edo State for further expansion. The Chairman of the company, Gbenga Oyebode, gave the details yesterday in Abuja, while reading his statement at the company’s 2013 yearly general meeting. Oyebode said: ‘’The company’s net profit for 2013 on continuing operations stood at N2,09 billion, being a 42 per cent lower than that of 2012’’. He stated that notwithstanding the drop in the company’s commodity prices, it continues to be managed exceptionally well, especially under the

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• Acquires new 11,400 hectres of land in for expansion

trying times to generate profits and returns albeit lower to her shareholders. Speaking on the company’s prospects, the Chairman noted, ‘’The company purchased 11,400 hectres of land in Ovia Local Government Area of Edo State and intends to plants at least 10,000 ha of Oil Palm on the land within three years, thereafter, a new 60t/hr Oil Mill will be erected on this site to process the FFB produced, the total cost of this development to the company over the next four years will be in the region of N8 billion’’. He assured that the company will also clear and plant 100ha of Rubber on the main plantation in 2014 On the company’s corporate social responsibility envelop, the Chairman explained that it also made charitable donations and gifts worth nearly N282.5 million in 2912 while it made provisions for N55.9 million available for its ongoing CSR in 2013

Also commenting on the staff welfare, he sated:’’ It has so far invested in skills development for the staff in the

financial year as more than 500 of them were trained costing the company a total of N13.1 million in 2012 and another N20.9 million’’ respectively.

nering multi-national firms and corporate organisations in the country on the execution of development projects in the oil producing areas to avoid cases of abandoned projects by contractors. Chairman, Board of NDDC, Senator Ewa Henshaw, disclosed this on Monday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Niger Delta to defend the Commission’s N322.6 billion 2014 budget. Henshaw told Senator JamesManager led Committee that over 4, 000 uncompleted projects worth trillions of naira are scattered all over the nine mandate states of the Commission. He said the development necessitated the decision of the board and management of the Commission to partner some reputable multi-national organizations in the country for infrastructure development, health care delivery and power generation. He also stated that the partnership with the private firms to co-fund uncompleted projects as well as the newly contracted ones will ensure their timely completion. Henshaw believed the latest arrangement will solve 80 per cent of the problems confronting activities of the Commission in the Niger Delta region. He also informed that the agency has plans to abolish the 15 per cent mobilisation fund for contractors as

Banks seek intervention fund for power sector very hard to ensure that we CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17

should have 150 per cent of generation, but it has never been so in Nigeria. But by the grace of God, under President Goodluck Jonathan, we hope to achieve 120 per cent capacity and in that way no matter what we generate.” On the issue of gas, Nebo said, “We know that gas is very critical and a very laudable thing is happening between the ministries of power and petroleum as regards this. The minister of petroleum has been working

Council targets 50% 3G-coverage CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 in being Smart States, which are Gombe, Bayelsa, Ondo, Anambra and Katsina. Lagos and Cross Rivers state are already considered well on their way to being smart city States, adding that Abuja is also in a great position to be smart The Chairman of the Council and Minister of the Ministry of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, said that the smart states drive to engage governors and relevant authorities at the state and federal level to address the issue of multiple taxations will accelerate the roll out of critical infrastructure across Nigeria. The Lagos state government

had earlier signed an agreement with the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies (ALTON) to reduce the cost of RoW from N3000 to N500 per meter, a significant reduction of 85 per cent. The aim of the Smart States initiative is to ensure that effective measures are adopted to remove arbitrary charges and eradicate multiple taxations across the nation. Previous research by the Ministry revealed that ROW charges, levies and taxes contributed about 70 per cent to the cost of rolling out infrastructure in several states. The ministry also hinted that a collaborative agreement between the ministries

according to him, the practice accounted for series of abandoned projects in the area. Under the new practice, Henshaw said projects awarded would be adequately funded and completed within 24 months. “We have decided to lay an agenda for NDDC that will enable us implement flagship legacy projects within the sub-region. “What this means is that we will tackle very important jobs and developmental projects in the areas of road, power, health sector and the environment. “ We recognize the difficulty that we confront with funding but we have been careful in trying to identify the sources of funding that will finance this year’s budget. “ In addition to that we have also decided to focus more on partnerships, partnerships that will help us augment funding for the development of the sub-region. “For example, on roads, we are looking at construction companies that will co-fund major projects with us so that we can leverage on what we have in terms of the available funds and then programme such to ensure that these projects are completed in a timely and businesslike manner. “We are also exploring partnerships that will facilitate power generation because we believe that if we are able to achieve substantial increase in the provision of power, then we believe that at least 50 per cent of the unemployment problem within the region will be solved”, he said.

of Communication Technology (including the NCC) and Environment (which includes NESREA) has been gazetted and is now in place to help ease bottlenecks concerning base station deployment. An MOU that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each department with respect to base station deployment and approvals of Environmental Impact Assessments necessary for effective service delivery in the telecom sector is now operational. In addition, the timeline for the processing of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports will no longer exceed 90 days, another obstacle often highlighted by Operators.

have gas and we have been meeting on this. She is as committed to this gas issue as we in the power sector are. “So gas is not an insurmountable problem, because there are things that were thought impossible before but right now we’ve seen that they are possible. The President is giving us all the support and in fact it has come to a place that the National Economic Council, under Mr. Vice President is thinking of giving another $1bn just for green field gas production.” Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Ofie Sekibo, gave kudos to government over the privatization in the power sector. He called on the ministry to fasttrack the setting up of an intervention fund, which he said could provide Banks with necessary muscle for power related projects. He outlined their concerns to include the seeming poor state of the country’s power transmission network, the recurring obstacles in the supply of gas to power plants, and the lack of intervention fund for banks that were supporting the sector. He said: “We have not come here to complain, considering the giant strides which the government has recorded in the power sector, but the above concerns are what we want you to help us address.”


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World Bank lowers projections for global economic outlook By Bukky Olajide EVELOPING countries are D headed for a year of disappointing growth, as first quarter weakness in 2014 has delayed an expected pick-up in economic activity, according to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report, released yesterday. Bad weather in the US, the crisis in Ukraine, rebalancing in China, political strife in several middle-income economies, slow progress on structural reform, and capacity constraints are all contributing to a third straight year of sub five per cent growth for the developing countries as a whole. “Growth rates in the developing world remain far too modest to create the kind of jobs we need to improve the lives of the poorest 40 per cent,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Clearly, countries need to move faster and invest more in domestic structural reforms to get broad-based economic growth to levels needed to end extreme poverty in our generation.” The Bank has lowered its forecasts for developing countries, now eyeing growth at 4.8 per cent this year, down from its January estimate of 5.3 per cent. Signs point to strengthening in 2015 and 2016 to 5.4 and 5.5 per cent, respectively. China

is expected to grow by 7.6 per cent this year, but this will depend on the success of rebalancing efforts. If a hard landing occurs, the reverberations across Asia would be widely felt. Despite first quarter weakness in the United States, the recovery in high-income countries is gaining momentum. These economies are expected to grow by 1.9 per cent in 2014, accelerating to 2.4 per cent in 2015 and 2.5 per cent in 2016. The Euro Area is on target to grow by 1.1 per cent this year, while the United States economy, which contracted in the first quarter due to severe weather, is expected to grow by 2.1 per cent this year (down from the previous forecast of 2.8 per cent). The global economy is expected to pick up speed as the year progresses and is projected to expand by 2.8 per cent this year, strengthening to 3.4 and 3.5 per cent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Using 2010 purchasing power parity weights, global growth would be 3.4, 4.0 and 4.2 per cent in 2014. 2015 and 2016, respectively. High-income economies will contribute about half of global growth in 2015 and 2016, compared with less than 40 per cent in 2013. The acceleration in highincome economies will be an important impetus for developing countries. High-

income economies are projected to inject an additional $6.3 trillion to global demand over the next three years, which is significantly more than the $3.9 trillion increase they contributed during the past three years, and more than the expected contribution from developing countries. Short-term financial risks have become less pressing, in part because earlier downside risks have been realized without generating large upheavals and because economic adjustments over the past year have reduced vulnerabilities. Current account deficits in some of the hardest hit economies during 2013 and early 2014 have declined, and capital flows to developing countries have bounced

back. Developing country bond yields have declined, and stock markets have recovered, in some cases surpassing levels at the start of the year, although they remain down from a year ago by significant margins in many instances. Markets remain skittish and speculation over the timing and magnitude of future shifts in high-income macro policy may result in further episodes of volatility. Also, vulnerabilities persist in several countries that combine high inflation and current account deficits (Brazil, South Africa and Turkey). The risk here is that the recent easing of international financial conditions will once again serve to boost credit growth, current account

deficits and associated vulnerabilities. “The financial health of economies has improved. With the exception of China and Russia, stock markets have done well in emerging economies, notably, India and Indonesia. But we are not totally out of the woods yet. A gradual tightening of fiscal policy and structural reforms are desirable to restore fiscal space depleted by the 2008 financial crisis. In brief, now is the time to prepare for the next crisis,” said Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank. National budgets of developing countries have deteriorated significantly since 2007. In almost half of devel-

oping countries, government deficits exceed three per cent of GDP, while debt-to-GDP ratios have risen by more than 10 percentage points since 2007. Fiscal policy needs to tighten in countries where deficits remain large, including Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, and South Africa. In addition, the structural reform agenda in many developing countries, which has stalled in recent years, needs to be reinvigorated in order to sustain rapid income growth. ‘’Spending more wisely rather than spending more will be key. Bottlenecks in energy and infrastructure, labor markets and business climate in many large middle-income countries are holding back GDP and productivity growth.

Sterling Bank introduces social lending scheme TERLING Bank Plc has SNigeria become the first bank in to introduce the

“Social Lender Scheme,” an initiative to be executed in collaboration with BINCOM ICT. Speaking at the launch of the product in Lagos, the Head, Social Media, Sterling Bank, Kelvin Steve-Igbodo, said the platform, is a modified peer-to-peer lending solution using social media to offer micro-credit. The scheme, according to him, provides a platform for online fans, followers who are customers of Sterling Bank to obtain micro-credit loan through social media channels, starting with facebook and twitter. “This application will integrate with existing financial structures of the bank such that users of the online platform can access small loans by normal methods of withdrawing cash without collateral. These funds are easy to access and are delivered via a convenient platform,” he explained. He said Sterling Bank customers who are already friends of the bank on facebook or twitter can apply for micro-credit by visiting the social lender site. According to him, users who request for the loans on the social lender platform are rated by the algorithm that calculates their social reputation using various criteria. “Based on this, the loan is either granted or rejected by the back-end social credit officer and most importantly, the applicant must have an account with the bank. “At Sterling Bank, we realise that one of the basic functions of a bank is to provide loan access for its customers, but we have also observed that the inconvenience of the

processes often dissuades potential customers from applying for loans. “With the emergence of social banking on our various online platforms, the need to issue loans online has become relevant and this is why Sterling Bank has taken the initiative to develop a service that would make it easy for those who are active online to access micro credit. “Sterling Bank as a responsible financial institution cannot overlook the importance of social media in today’s society, as it continues to play a unique role in the lives of people on a daily basis. “Social Lender can be accessed from Monday on www.sterlingbankng.com/s ociallender,” he added. The Deputy Group Head, Programmes, Bincom, Bade Adesemowo, assured that both institutions are working towards putting in place a process to be able to manage loan default as part of the system.

Head of Engineering Ikeja Branch, Priority Communications Limited, Gabriel Izegaibe (left); Engineering Manager, Jide idowu and the Executive Director, Olumide Samuel, at a forum in Lagos.

Ogun moves to empower CDCs on insecurity From Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abuja ORRIED by the spate of insecurity in the country, the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, has urged members of Community Development Councils (CDCs) in the state to put more efforts to fortify security networks in their communities. Adekunbi, gave the charge in Abeokuta on Wednesday while declaring open a stakeholders’ Forum on a bill for community development. Represented by his Deputy,

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German Govt to invest in technical, agric sectors Tola Banjo, the Speaker said there was need for members of the CDCs to be more vigilant about security operations in their jurisdictions. He noted that the bill, when passed into law would ensure provision of a forum for mobilizing all residents in a community for effective utilization of opportunities offered by government, insisting that such community would “Among others systematically develop, exploit and maximally utilize resources in their immediate environment”.

Access Bank partners UNICEF on community project CCESS Bank Group said it is A partnering the UNICEF through its Charity Shield polo matches in Nigeria that have run for the past five years in conjunction with Fifth Chukker. The sponsorship provides a platform for supporting orphaned and vulnerable children in Nigeria through its yearly donation in association with Fifth Chukker and UNICEF. Three years ago, the platform was extended to the United Kingdom (UK) and this year, the Access Bank UK, Access Private Bank, UNICEF and Fifth Chukker will be hosting the ‘Access Bank Day’ at  Ham Polo

Club on June14, 2014. Already, the bank Plc and Fifth Chukker have raised more than N100 million (£380,000) for UNICEF. The Group Managing Director of the bank, Herbert Wigwe, highlighted that the aim of the event at Ham Polo Club is to raise further awareness of the issues and support required. “Our support for the Fifth Chukker UNICEF initiative comes from the fact that we are conscious of our role as a change agent in Nigeria that can help institute socio- economic development through responsible business practice

and environmental considerations. We are part of the community and as such should support its wellbeing,” he said. The Access Bank Polo Day at Ham is hosted by its UK subsidiary, which just published its report and financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2013. The Access Bank UK’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Jamie Simmonds, said: “We believe we have succeeded in the current financial climate where others have failed through our passion for customers built on relationship and not a transactional approach.

In his remark, the Chairman, House Committee on community development and Cooperatives, Victor Fasanya, said the forum came at a time when there was need for collation of ideas and views of members of the CDCs to be incorporated into the proposed bill to a people centered bill. Fasanya said, activities of CDCs were critical to the development of any community and therefore had to be streamlined in tandem with the various developmental projects embarked upon by Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s led administration. speaking, Also for Commissioner Community Development and Cooperatives, Chief Duro Ayedogbon, allayed the fears in certain quarters that the bill was meant to usurp the powers of Local Government Councils over CDCs, explaining it would rather assist the government to monitor the day to day running of the CDAs in the State. In another development, Governor Amosun yesterday appealed to the German government to invest in Vocational Technical, Training and agriculture in the State so as to assist in reducing the rate of unemployment.

Amosun made the appeal while receiving the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Mueller in his Office. While appreciating the efforts of the German Agency for International Corporation (GIZ) in the area of capacity building for the people of the State, the Governor called on the German government to show more interest in the area of power generation. ‘’Your intervention in the areas of power, technical and vocational training would help in improving the capacity of the people, thereby reducing the rate of unemployment in our state,’’ Amosun said. The Governor believed the vocational training would encourage the youths to be independent and also encourage them to venture into farming. In his remarks, the German Minister said the German Government wished to expand the scope of partnership agreement that already existed between Germany and Ogun State. Mueller stated that the German government would be interested in further partnering in new areas, such as health, Immunization, Agriculture as well as technical and vocational training to assist theState meet with best international practices.


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Nigeria needs a regulator in petroleum industry Benjamin Ezra Dikki has a B.Sc degree in Accounting and a MBA from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and was licensed as a stockbroker in 1993. He was appointed Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in January 2013.  Since his appointment,  he has played an active role in successful handover of the electricity agencies to the private sector. In this interview with Assistant Business Editor, MAtHIAS OkwE and EMEkA AnUfOrO in Abuja, he speaks on the privatization programme of government, the challenges faced, and what nigerians should look forward to in the coming months.

Dikki The privatization of the PHCN successor companies has ended. What can you say were the motivating factors behind the sale of the utilities, instead of other modules proffered by many experts? OU will recall that previously we had one monopoly called NEPA that was in charge of generation, transmission and distribution of power, all within one integrated company owned by the government. Revenues in the value chain were not adequately collected and accounted for. Some of the power that was generated was lost in transmission. Some was lost in distribution and the general attitude was that nobody seemed to care whether all the proceeds of sale from power were adequately collected. Recall that many government agencies, and many private individuals were consuming power without paying for it. In fact, for many government functionaries, it was a status symbol not to pay for power. So, because the revenues within the sector were not being collected, there was no build in of capitals, so there could not be additional investments. So, most of the growths was stunted. There was very little investment in power. Most of it was consumed in recurrent expenditure of an over bloated parastatal. For 50 years, we didn’t have more than 6000mega Watts of installed capacity. Definitely something was wrong. Additionally, the monopoly had a law that backed it up: the NEPA Act, which said that everything in the power sector must be done by NEPA. If you bought a generator because NEPA was not supplying efficient power and you plugged it to your house, you still had to pay NEPA. There was a complete restriction of entry into the power sector market. This gave rise to the reforms. The reforms of the power sector commenced with a comprehensive industry study and a policy document was crafted and the policy was now to open up the sector, introduce competition, allow private sector participation and let the private sector drive the growth of the power sector. This culminated in the enactment of the Electricity Power Reform Act of 2005, which abrogated the NEPA act, opened up the sector for private and other interested parties to participate in the sector. It also set up an independent regulatory agency

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called the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) that would be the regulator, and it also separated the roles in the sector. It separated the role of the operator from the regulator and from the policy maker. The law enshrined the power of policy making to the Ministry, the power of regulation to NERC, and made provision for other operators to participate in the sector. Basically, the unbundling of PHCN was done deliberately with the intention of introducing competition. Before then, generation was owned by NEPA. Every power generated was generated by NEPA. The reform deliberately broke down the generation companies into separate individual companies, which were then sold to different groups of people. It had the impact of introducing competition immediately. You now had about 9 different generation companies owned by different people, competing in the generation of power. Because there is a tariff, the Multi Year Tariff Order, put in place by NERC, it means nobody can charge a price above that tariff order.  And the tariff was calculated in such a way as to allow for a profit margin. The margin took care of all kinds of variables, including the cost of capital, the cost of constriction, the cost of fabrication, the technology and so on.   What it then meant was that the more efficient you were, the more margins you are able to squeeze out of the market. So this introduction of competition will now dovetail into greater power production. Notice also the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed by the generator and the Bulk Trader guarantees them that whatever power they produce, government will buy, or rather, the market will buy. For reasons of evacuation, if there were challenges of evacuating the power, or of for any reason, power could not be evacuated and I have the capacity to generate as a generator, I will be paid for my capacity, installed capacity. That will encourage power production. On the distribution side, the power firms committed to reducing the average technical, commercial and collection losses, which is to say that accountability has now been introduced into the power market structure. Those who generate are different people from those who distribute. If I generate power now, I bill it to the person distributing. The person distributing collects the power at a cost. If he distributes

and does not collect all the money, he has lost. That imposes on them the burden to be efficient, to improve the distribution Infrastructure and reduce the power loss that are caused by technical issues, and also collect for the last man user. The system has separated these functions, and by doing so, introduced accountability into the power sector market structure. Right now, it is just a matter of time then we will begin to see improvement in efficiencies. Presently, what is constraining, and we are seeing the immediate impact of the handover of the power sector to the private sector, is the issue of gas. Today, we have over 6000 MWs of installed capacity, but we don’t have sufficiency gas to fire that capacity. If gas improves today, we will see the immediate impact of the privatization. Some of the generation companies have already improved the generation output. Some of them met the maximum. For example, Ughelli Power Plant was producing 150 MWs before. This has now doubled. They are producing over 300MWs. Now, they are hitting 400MWs. That tells you about the ingenuity of the private sector.  If you have gas, plants like Olurunsogo and Omotosho will come on stream. There are some of these NIPP plants that have been completed, but because of this gas issue, they are not able to fire and put power on the national grid. So, we want Nigerians to exercise patience. Government is frontally addressing the gas challenge. We can only improve. Exercise patience for the early challenges that we are having. When we say people should exercise patience for the early challenges, we remind them of what happened when the telecommunication sector was liberalized and licenses were issues to the GSM operators. Many have forgotten that we used to but SIM Cards for N50, 000, N40, 000, and in some cases, N30, 000. That was at the initial stages of the roll out. But, as the companies made investments, they rolled out and they increased the number of people who are on their network, the prices started crashing.  Once competition, effective competition was set into the market, prices came down. So, any sector where competition was introduced, prices will only go downwards. Today, we buy SIM cards free, plus airtime. So, I want Nigerians to exercise patience and realize that just like the telecoms sector went through its teething problem, so also the power sector will go through its teething problem under the private sector and overcome. I want to assure you that the private sector has done a lot of work already.  Many of them have improved their distribution networks by changing cables that are aged, by changing transformers, by even maintaining transformers. Some of these transformers before only required changing transformer oil. That was the issue with some of them. All these things have been done, and the networks have been increased in their capacities to distribute power. But the power is not there because of gas challenges. But like I said, we will overcome all these things, and in the next few months, Nigerians will see that power has stabilized. We need some form of education here. We have challenges of gas, yet oil companies continue to flare gas. We burn what we look for. What else are we doing apart from prayers to see that we get this gas in place to fire our plants? Let me give you some specifics.  Government raised a $ 1 Billion Euro Bond. 300 Million out of that has been dedicated to gas infrastructure, which is for laying of gas pipeline, putting the facilities that would extract the gas and so on. Part of the proceeds of the NIPP power plants, about 1 Billion, has been earmarked for gas infrastructure. Government is doing some initiatives. Government has also engaged the oil majors and you will realize that policies have been put in place to stop gas flaring because besides the economic wastes, it also creates environmental problem. So, the most important issue for gas is the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB)  Presently, the pricing of gas is not cost reflective, and that has to a very large extent, discouraged investment in gas infrastructure.  Assuming that you had a PIB bill passed, and let me emphasis why PIB is necessary. Presently, the powers of regulations are scattered in the ministry, in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), PPRA, NNPC, all of them have quasi-regulatory powers. Navigating through this plethora of institutions that are providing regulation is a very serious challenge for investors. That is why up until now, many people have collected licenses for refineries, but have not scratched the ground to make any investment in that area. This is simply because the regulatory framework is not clear. But if we succeed in doing for the oil and gas industry what we have done for the telecommunication, and for the power sector, then you will see the confidence of investors would be boosted to put their money in that sector. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is there. It has set a Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) that is cost reflective, that has clear profit margins defined, which investors can now use to build their business models and justify their investments and make it bankable. We need a regulator in the oil and gas sector to do the same thing: conduct industry studies and establish a market price for gas, for


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to boost investment in refineries, says Dikki other oil related products that is cost reflective, that will encourage investors to come and invest. An investor needs a clear horizon to plan his business. He should be able to see 20 years from now, 30 years from now and build a model, and build a model. He should be able to calculate that if the price of gas is X and he makes X, Y investment, he would be able to make so, so and so. But that is not clear now. That is the major impediment to investment in gas infrastructure. I believe that if today we have a regulator like NERC and conduct industry studies and sets benchmark prices for all these oil and gas industry sector issues, we will see a big revolution. We need to unleash the potentials in the oil and gas sector so that this Nigerian economy can grow and we can create millions of jobs. The spinoff industries from refinery are massive. I am not a scientist but I understand there are 10 different products or even more that can be produced from the by-products of refining, and those are jobs! Eleme Petrochemicals Limited today sells 100% of what it produces locally. Now, there could be many more of such industries that can spring up. We need to get the regulatory environment clear and that is why we are appealing for the quick passage of the PIB. Therein lies a lot of potentials for Nigeria’s economic growth. Part of the rules of engagement was that after six months, BPE would commence intensive monitoring the utilities that have been privatized. Recently. There were reports that many of the investors did not have the financial muscles to run the utilities, and in tact, still batting to pay back the facilities borrowed to buy the assets. What have been your observations so far? Let me state it categorically. Borrowing is not a crime. The kind of monies these people marshaled to pay for these facilities can never come from the pickets of one person. It has to come from financiers.  What we have done in structuring the transactions is to put a cap on the borrowing. We put a cap of say  30% equity and 70% credit. So, from the beginning we knew that these companies were going to borrow to finance these acquisitions and would also need to borrow to finance the working capital. Now, the major challenges that are being faced now, within the market, which is becoming a challenge with the investors, is that, all the revenues are not collected because of losses. So there is a gap. The generating companies do not collect all the monies that the market is supposed to pay to them. Similarly, there is an internal mechanism that is bridging the financing gap and a committee has been set up that is chaired by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Power to explore the options of bridging that financing gap, that is collections in the value chain. That will be a thing of the past very shortly. Now, these companies were relying on the revenue streams, full collection of the revenue streams, to address their working capitals and financing issues also. But there is a temporary gap. As soon as that temporary gas is bridged, the financing situation would be sorted out. In structuring the transaction, this gap was recognized. That is why the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company was set up. The whole essence of the Bulk Trader is to bridge that financing gap. But the issue is that until the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) is declared, the funds available to the Bulk Trader will not be available to the market. Before the Transitional Electricity Market is declared, government has to find ways of bridging that gap. That is what the Permanent Secretary’s committee is addressing.  Right from the word ‘go’, in structuring the structure of the market, it was realized that there would be gaps, financing gaps, because these technical issues would not be overcome overnight. The transmission losses will not be cut to the industry norms overnight. It will take some years to do so. The same thing with the distribution losses. Everybody realizes that it is going to take some time to eliminate those technical issues. That is why the Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trader was set up and it has an agreement with the generation companies, and the distribution companies. But if there is any shortfall in revenues after the declaration of the Transitional Electricity Market, the Bulk Trader will make up the difference. I am emphasizing this because we don’t want financiers to be scared, as if this thing is just popping up unknown to the planners of this reform. It was carefully planned, and it was carefully recognized that there would be financing gaps. That is why the Bilk Trader is there. But before the Transitional Electricity Market is declared, there has to be temporary addressing of the issues, and it is being addressed from the budge that was made for subsidy. There was a budget on subsidy of power last year. There is also a budget this year. We are also looking at other sources of revenue, so that that gap can be bridged before the Transitional Electricity Market is declared. It is just a question of timing. These issues would be effectively addressed. On the monitoring, our monitoring starts from the fact that government is on the board of these companies that government has a retained shares in. Government has a board member in all the 11 distribution companies where we monitor and see what their plans are, and what their challenges are. Every year, or so, a board meeting is held, and these board meetings are attended by our management staff who sit on the various boards.  Every month I receive a report of what has transpired in each company, and what the challenges are. So, we know inside, what is happening.  Besides that, we have a post privatizationmonitoring department. Let me put it this way: the monitoring function is both the responsibility of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission by law as a regulator and BPE by contract, because the successor companies of PHCN all signed a performance agreement with the BPE. They signed a shares sales agreement. If you recall, all of them emerged because they

gave us a technical agreement. They said they were going to do X, Y, Z within a period of five years. So we have that post acquisition plan which tells us what they committed to in year one, for instance investing in so many transformers, in improving one aspect of the business or the other. We have that template. We have already gone, and we are looking at the physical implementation of those business plans. We are doing that at the most privatization level, because there are many things that you can’t see at board level, except you go physically. Post privatization monitoring has already commenced. We are also developing and almost finalized a joint template with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission so that we can conduct this monitoring jointly and so that do not introduce multiple layers of monitoring. NERC goes today and BPE tomorrow and in the process one creates monitoring fatigue in the companies. We have developed a joint template. We are going to jointly monitor the performance of the companies, moving forward. And you realize that there is what is called the Bankers Committee. The Central Bank of Nigeria meets regularly with all the chief executives of the banks in order to assess the situation in the financial market and develop strategies for growing the economy. His Excellency, the Vice President has formed a similar committee for the power sector. On a quarterly basis, there will be a meeting of all the successor companies investors with the Vice President where all these issues that they are encountering in the power sector would also be looked at and discussed. It does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. CBN meets regularly, not only when there is a problem, but also because they want to be proactive. So also this body will meet on a quarterly basis to address the issues in the power sector and see how we can sustain the growth. Experts estimate that Nigeria needs to have up to 40,000 MWs of power before we can stabilize. That is to say, there is suppressed demand. Immediately you stabilize at a certain level, some more suppressed demand will spring up. Experts believe that it is when we get to 40,000MWs that we will begin to stabilize. A mega watt costs about $1.5 Million to install. If you require 40,000 Mega Watts, you can multiple and know the kind of investment that the power sector requires. That is why government has liberalized. If government is to make the necessary investments in power, then it will not be able to do any other thing else. Now, we have handed over these companies to 19 different investors, each of them with capacity to raise capital in its own right. The combined effects of all those people raising capitals will be able to raise more capital than government can. That is the beauty of the transition agenda of this government, which aims to create the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive. And then they would drive growth. So, the power sector has now been unleashed. We believe that in the next few months, Nigerians will see the benefit of this reform of the private sector. They will now see the benefit of the risk that President Goodluck Jonathan took by taking the bulls by the horn to conclude these reforms. These reforms were started in the 90’s, but only this government had the courage to bring it to closure and I believe history will do him good stead.

tion. They have all the blueprint and the plans of the generating companies, projecting how much capacity they are going to increase over the period, aggregate it and have plotted to know what capacities they need to put in place to evacuate that power. I want to assure all Nigerians that a lot is being done to ensure that transmission does not remain the weak link in the value chain. We would like you to tell us the state of privatization of the NIPP plants.

Recall that three of the NIPP plants’ sales are subject of court case. The three are on hold until the court issue is determined. The other seven have posted their preferred bidders bank guarantees. Now, we are going to the stage of negotiating the sales agreement with them and then executing the sales agreements. Then they will be due to pay the 25% and then the 75% within six months. We are on course. All of them have posted their preferred bidders bank guarantee, which now empowers us to go into negotiations with them to finalize the sales agreement, the performance agreement and other translation documents. On NITEL, We have appointed a liquidator and he has gotten the sanction of the court and advisers have been appointed. They have held meetings with the creditors. In the not too distant future, we will advertise for people to express interest in the business undertakings and assets of NITEL/ MTEL.  We are also looking at the housing sector. We are looking at how to tinker with the policies and look at the legal and regulatory frameworks that will make those sectors amenable to private sector investments.  Presently, it is estimated that we need 18 Million houses. If you build those 18 Million houses, you will be exporting employment, because virtually every building product is imported: cables, marbles, ceramics. We are looking at it. What policies, incentives does government need to put in place to encourage the resuscitation of those feeder industries that feed into the building sector: furniture, timber, ceilings, roofing sheets, electrical fittings, electrical cables. All these are industries that we need to induce their resuscitation, in order to create job for this nation. So, we are looking at the housing sector.  We are also looking at the sporting sector and looking at the policies that we need to put in place. We have stadia all over the country. Britain makes a good chunk of its national income from football. What do we need to put in place to harness the interest of Nigerians in soccer, for example?We are looking at policies in that area. We are also looking at reform bills. That is the main thrust of our focus now. We have some reform bills, and the major thrust now will be on the transport sector. We have the road bill, the inland water ways bill, port and harbor Bill, and the railway bill.  What we intend to do there is to create a regulatory agency, liberalize the sector, create a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to invest. Once those bills are passed, we will be able to do concession of roads. We will be able to do concession of railways, concessions of inland waterways, and once the legislative is clear, people will come and build deep sea ports in this country. We are aggressively pursuing those bills. We are now at the Going back to PHCN successor company, and the contract Nigeria had with Manitoba Hydro international of Canada, and Federal Executive Council level and I believe that very soon, they will be okayed by the Federal talks of the firm not living up to contract, what is the plan for Executive Council and transmitted TCN to really become the hub for the electricity sector? to the National Assembly.   Let me put it this way. When Manitoba was appointed, it The transport sector is anothwas envisaged that there would be a board in place that er major sector of the would suppredent   and supervise the performance of Nigerian economy that Manitoba.  A board was not in place till late last would require quick year, after almost a year and half of Manitoba reforms, because transport reporting for duty. In spite of those challenges, and power were some of Manitoba did not sit idle. The firm conducted the major components of studies and submitted reports and milestones production in Nigeria. that they were supposed to submit. But then Transport contributes there was a vacuum about the board. Now we maybe 20-30 % of costs, have a board in place, and we have a Chairman, a while power another 20competent chairman and a competent board in 30 percent. These two place and things have began to turn around for elements alone make the better in TCN.   Nigeria uncompetiDefinite diagnostic studies have been done of the tive. issues concerning TCN and definitive solutions are We have addressed being proffered. Manitoba has developed a plan of power, we need to how TCN can be revamped over a period of time address transport and the investment implications. Government has and we are aggresalso risen up to the challenge to provide the funds sively doing so.  required to make sure that TCN does not remain the weak link in the power chain. I earlier on mentioned the Billion Dollar loan, three hundred million of that has been passed on to TCN. ADB has provided some financing. World Bank is providing some financing. NEXIM, AFRIEXIM are also providing some funding. 1.5 Billion of the proceeds of the sale of the ten NIPP plants have been earmarked for investment in TCN. The Board and management are working assiduously to implement the program of revamping, renewing and upgrading the transmission infrastructure. The plan is that TCN will respond to the expected increase in power genera-


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New ideas sharpen focus for greener aircraft

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26 WEEKEND Friday, June 13, 2014

Surprise as men struggle with It is yet to take root in Nigeria, but the fad is rife in the United States and China. Men are grappling for breast milk originally meant for babies because of a variety of factors. CHUKWUMA MUANYA reports on the new phenomenon

In New York, United States, athletes say breast milk is their new choice for a post-workout recovery supplement. ECENT studies suggest that breast milk not R only provides benefits for a new baby but also for adults. It is believed to be capable of pre-

venting different infirmities like rheumatoid arthritis, conjunctivitis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, burns and multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, acne and diarrhea. Several studies have also found that breast milk protects adults with digestive and immune disorders as well as cancer. Scientists have also established that a probiotic, a substance that stimulates the growth beneficial microorganisms and found in breast milk, gradually eliminates painful cramps in the gut caused by digestive disorders. The Guardian reliably gathered that breast milk has many legitimate medical uses and could be used in hospitals to treat a variety of patients. It has also been used in home remedies. In some cultures, it has been used to treat eye infections and conjunctivitis. It has also been thought to help heal an ear infection. It has been placed on cuts, burns and wounds to prevent infection and promote healing. Drinking breast milk is thought to boost immunity to decrease the length and severity of a cold. Some claim that if it is placed on a wart, it may dry up and fall off. Breast milk has been applied to the skin to provide relief from insect bites, bee stings, chicken pox, poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. It has been used as a moisturizer to treat dry skin and eczema. It has also been used to relieve chapped lips, loosen cradle cap, and treat diaper rash. If rubbed on a sore, cracked nipples, it is thought to relieve pain, prevent infection, and assist in healing. Human milk has been used to prevent and treat infections at the site of a circumcision; tried as a gargle to relieve a sore throat; used to wash the skin, remove make-up, clear up acne; used as contact lens solution; and used in recipes in place of cow’s milk. It has been placed in coffee and cereal, and has been converted to butter, cheese and other dairy products. The Guardian reliably gathered that some

medical doctors recommend breast milk for cancer patients, organ transplant recipients and people with infectious diseases to help strengthen their immune system. It is also reportedly used in certain patients to help prevent Crohn’s disease, colitis and allergies. Some research also suggests that breast milk may serve as a valuable tool in the fight against cancer. A study led by Dr. Catharina Svanborg from Lung University, Sweden revealed that mixing breast milk samples with cancerous cells resulted in apoptosis, a phenomenon in which cells quite literally commit suicide. According to the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) and the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN), human breast milk is composed of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates plus cells called leukocytes. “They help fight infection. It is the antibodies, living cells, enzymes, and hormones that make breast milk ideal. These cannot be added to formula.” Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and President NSN, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, said: “Colostrum is the first stage of breast milk that occurs during pregnancy and lasts for several days after the birth of the baby. It is either yellowish or creamy in colour, thick in texture and is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and antibodies. “Transitional milk occurs after colostrum and lasts for approximately two weeks. The content includes high levels of fat, lactose, water-soluble vitamins, and contains more calories than colostrum.

“Mature milk is the final milk that is produced. To maintain hydration of the infant, 90per cent is water and the other ten per cent is comprised of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which are necessary for both growth and energy.” Florence Williams, author of ”Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History,” described it this way: “If human breast milk, nature’s perfect food, came stamped with an ingredients label, it would read something like this: four percent fat, vitamins A, C, E and K, sugars, essential minerals, proteins, enzymes, and antibodies. “It contains 100 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of virtually everything a baby needs to grow, plus, as we’ve seen, a solid hedge of extras to help ward off a lifetime of diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer. Despite exhaustion, visiting relatives, and even dirty laundry, every time we nurse our babies, the love hormone oxytocin courses out of our pituitaries like a warm bath. Human milk is like ice cream, penicillin, and the drug ecstasy all wrapped up in two pretty packages.” Indeed, the enormous benefits of breast milk to adults have resulted to breast milk becoming an essential commodity. Little wonder some Nigerian men are fond of sharing their wives’ breast milk with their infants. Indeed, some men are making it more difficult for their wives that want exclusive natural breast milk for their babies. A nursing mother told journalists: “It’s absurd, weird, stupid and absolutely irritating. Usually, I express my milk (from my breast),

Some research also suggests that breast milk may serve as a valuable tool in the fight against cancer. A study led by Dr. Catharina Svanborg from Lung University in Sweden revealed that mixing breast milk samples with cancerous cells resulted in apoptosis, a phenomenon in which cells quite literally commit suicide.

then go to work. But my baby’s nanny tells me that my husband drinks the milk when I am away and uses it for his tea. This then makes my nanny give my baby other meals other than the milk, because of the shortage caused by my husband. “I have told him to stop drinking my breast milk meant for our baby, but he won’t stop! According to him, the breast milk makes him feel fresh and healthy, and then I wonder how he had been coping before I delivered our baby. Does it mean he has secretly been drinking breast milk from other women?” But the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Angela Oyo Ita, has a piece of advice for such men. “Men should keep away from their wives’ breasts while they are breast feeding their children to avoid inflicting wounds on the breasts and exposing the children to infection.” Ita said men sharing their wives’ breasts while they are breastfeeding could inflict wound on the breasts and if the woman is HIV positive, the child could be exposed to the infection. Rush for breast milk products In New York, United States, athletes say breast milk is their new choice for a post-workout recovery supplement. In the quest for the ideal physique, some men will stop at nothing to improve their energy output and add the right amount of protein to their diet. Drinking breast milk may seem a bit over the top, but a growing number of New York City health advocates swear that the all-natural “magic elixir,” is good as a postworkout recovery supplement, or even to aid against cancerous cells. “It gives me incredible energy I don’t get from other food and drinks,” Anthony from Queens told NYMag.com. “I don’t believe in steroids or other energy supplements. I want natural stuff that’s God-given, and if it’s okay with moms looking to get rid of it, I’ll take it.” Anthony claims that he isn’t the only person at his local gym to try breast milk to boost en-


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babies for breast milk ergy. He usually buys his new workout supplement for $2.50 an ounce from online sources such as OnlyTheBreast.com, a website that allows mothers to buy, sell, and donate their natural breast milk. Aside from a muscle-building energy booster, other men say breast milk is their secret to healthy lifestyle outside of the gym. Take, for example, Jason Nash, a 55-year-old father of four, who said he began drinking breast milk to help with his gastrointestinal problems. “It occurred to me that breast milk could be just as healthy and tasteful for adults as infants,” Nash told NYMag.com. “I believe it has kept me from getting sick all these years.” Far away from government oversight or official scrutiny, hundreds of gallons of breast milk flow through online classifieds, according to one of the leading online facilitators, OnlytheBreast.com. The site officially caters for mothers who want to sell their “liquid gold” to other women, but about a third of the requests for milk on the site are posted by men. The demand has set off a race among the 10 per cent of women willing to sell their milk to the other sex. One St. Louis provider catering to athletes boasts that her milk is best because she adheres to a “paleo-style diet with added grassfed butter,” only organic foods, and a daily regimen of supplements including charcoal and probiotics. According to a report by the United Kingdom’s Dail Mail, other less athletic men who drink breast milk agree that it makes them feel healthier. David, 42, from Brooklyn, told the site that he first drank breast milk three years ago in a bid to alleviate nausea caused by chemotherapy. He said that the ‘sweet’ and ‘ambrosial’ drink was an effective remedy. And Jason Nash, 55, who tasted breast milk when he and his wife welcomed their first baby, believes it staves off illness. In a move that has delighted some and disgusted others, in 2010 chef Daniel Angerer made cheese out of his wife’s breast milk. He claimed the idea came to him after his wife gave birth and she began freezing her excess milk. The chef began to experiment in using it to make cheese; aging it for a fortnight before testing it - and was amazed at its sweet taste. Daniel even put the unusual cheese on sale at the chef’s Klee Brasserie in New York where it could be enjoyed in dishes such as maple caramelized pumpkin seed encrusted cheese with concord grapes. Mommy Milk Creations is selling pendants made from mothers’ breast milk on Etsy.com, and they are proving a huge hit. So far founder Allicia Mogavero has sold over 250 items. Allicia turns hardened breast milk into hearts, moons, flowers, stars and even tiny hands, and then adds sparkly gems to the finished product. Costs range from between $69 to over $100 per piece. In 2011, London outlet The Icreamists hit headlines around the world with their Baby Gaga ice-cream made from breast milk and served with a rusk. Lactating mothers were recruited via an advert for suppliers on the Mumsnet forum and donated the milk for the sweet desert. Each donor was given $25 for every ten ounces of milk extracted by pumps. Jason says he insists on meeting donors in person and even checks their medical records. And it would seem there is some sense in those precautions. The Cut recently profiled an athlete in peak condition that turned to a special formula for keeping his stamina up. While new energy drinks and exercise tips are always coming around, this one is raising a few eyebrows. The miracle drink is breast milk, favored by what seems to be a burgeoning number of men. Athletes are just one segment of breast milk’s new customer base. According to the Washington Post, one man used it to ease nausea related to chemotherapy and another found it to be an immune booster. In China, the story is not so different. The AFP reported last year that human breast milk has become a new luxury for China’s rich, with some companies offering wet nurse services not only for newborns, but also for adults, and charging steep prices, citing breast milk’s high nutrition and easy digestibility. “Adult (clients) can drink it directly through breastfeeding, or they can always drink it from a breast pump if they feel embarrassed,” one domestic staff agency owner told a Chinese newspaper. Traditional beliefs in some parts of China

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months

A baby enjoying breast milk

It’s absurd, weird, stupid and absolutely irritating. Usually, I express my milk (from my breast), then go to work. But my baby’s nanny tells me that my husband drinks the milk when I am away and uses it for his tea. This then makes my nanny give my baby other meals other than the milk, because of the shortage caused by my husband. I have told him to stop drinking my breast milk meant for our baby, but he won’t stop! According to him, the breast milk makes him feel fresh and healthy, and then I wonder how he had been coping before I delivered our baby. Does it mean he has secretly been drinking breast milk from other women? hold that human breast milk has the best and most easily digestible nutrition for people who are ill. Also, in China, a new trend for the whiteskinned obsessed is Breast Milk Soap or Muruzao. According to a Chinese website for shopping, Taobao, Breast Milk Soap is one of the hottest whitening products sold online. The report reads: “The distribution of Muruzao has taken Chinese whitening madness to the next level. With prices ranging from 10 to 500 RMB, you can purchase some whitening soap, handmade by Chinese breastfeeding mothers on Taobao.” One Taobao seller in Shanghai, stated that their soap is made from 100 per cent pure human breast milk and is manufactured manually at home, claiming that the rich nutrition, such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D, as well as protein in breast milk could whiten and soften skin. “Great breast milk soap, very mild and rich! I

feel good after washing, and so is for the rest of the time my skin has become more fair and smooth, I will keep using for one year, I hope the effect will be even better!” Says a Taobao buyer who purchased the product on August 2013. “The breast milk soap is very good! I am using now! At first my skin was always peeling in winter, now it’s not anymore! Very moisturizing and comfortable for face wash!” said another buyer’s testimony, regarding the magic of the breast milk soap. But in Nigeria the situation is different. Although The Guardian reliably gathered that some men look forward to drinking their wives breast milk when they are lactating, it is not yet a huge business. It was reliably gathered that marketing human products such as breast milk is illegal in Nigeria and no such product is registered by the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). It was learnt that NAFDAC empowered by the Code on Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes

even frowns at the open marketing of breast milk substitutes/artificial milk by diary companies. Concerns A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that low levels of a hormone in breast milk contributed to sexual dysfunction in men. Men with low levels of prolactin, a hormone released through the pituitary gland, reported problems with sexual health, including an inability to orgasm. No matter what the reason behind drinking breast milk, consumers should always consider the possible hazards that have caused the FDA to warn against this practice. Another study published in the journal Pediatrics exposed high levels of bacteria, including Salmonella, that were hiding in breast milk purchased from two popular websites. However, the Wall Street Journal warns that these internet breast milk sellers are not uncommon and may not be safe. Purchasing breast milk from these sources is tempting, with prices at a few dollars per ounce. However, a recent examination of breast milk bought on the internet found that threefourths of the samples contained high amounts of bacteria. In US, the sale or donation of human breast milk is not regulated by the government, therefore there are no formal safety standards for collecting and storing it. Last year, researchers from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, United States, purchased breast milk from a popular breast milk-sharing website and analysed the samples for contamination. They found that 74per cent were contaminated with disease-causing bacteria caused by improper collection, storage and shipping. Given the risk of contamination, the FDA strongly recommends against websites that buy, sell or donate breast milk. Americanpregnancy.org notes that breast milk has three different and distinct stages. Jan Barger, a lactation consultant, told NYmag.com that it is common for chemotherapy patients to drink breast milk because it’s easier to digest than the animal equivalent. However, she doubts that breast milk would offer benefits to healthy people since it’s designed to feed infants, not 200-pound-plus men. Registered dietitian nutritionist Sharon Donovan, former president of the American Society for Nutrition and a professor at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign said: “It is not a good idea, particularly if it is purchased online versus milked from a willing wife or girlfriend. The biggest issue is that breast milk can contain live viruses and bacteria. “When moms donate to a hospital milk bank, they are screened before being approved. But men buying from strangers could result in transmission of diseases including HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis. Most milk bought online also comes contaminated with pathogenic bacteria.” Before drinking breast milk, consumers should always consider the possible hazards that have caused the FDA to warn against this practice.


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BusinessRound-Up

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S.AFRICA STILL THE GATEWAY INTO AFRICA By Wilhelmina Maboja ESPITE its current economic hurdles, South D Africa still remains a top investment destination and gateway into the rest of the continent. “Africa is a very diverse continent. You’ve got 54 different countries that make up the continent and you’ve got quite a wide variety of economies [with] different levels of infrastructure, different types of consumers, legal and financial systems. What you have in South Africa is a phenomenal legacy as a stable economy and a stable gateway into Africa,” Thiru Pillay, head of consulting at Deloitte Consulting, told CNBC Africa. “I think as time evolves, different markets evolve in different ways. You still have a very stable legal framework for businesses to establish and operate in South Africa, a mature financial system, a reasonably good infrastructure [and] a good logistics platform in the country.” Current economic indicators nevertheless show that South Africa’s economy is strug-

gling. The South Africa Reserve Bank kept interest rates on hold in its last two policy meetings in a bid to stabilise the rand and rising inflation. This was after raising the lending rate by 50 basis points in January. Despite the challenges, South Africa’s port and rail infrastructure is relatively stable, especially when compared to other regions within the continent. This puts South Africa at an advantage as the springboard into the rest of the continent. Pillay added that infrastructure platforms in other African countries have however begun to mature, making it easier to do business. With six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world being in sub-Saharan Africa, the fundamental infrastructure and logistics is slowly improving. “When you look at the African market, what makes it so exciting? The first is the consumers and the addressable spend that you have with over 350 million consumers. That makes it very appealing to consumer business. If you’re looking for resources, Africa is the place to be,” Pillay explained.

South Africa's maturing infrastructure puts it at an advantage over other African countries. PHOTO: Getty Images “The third is there is probably no other place on planet earth that is considering the level of infrastructure spend or infrastructure deployment like the African continent. Re-

sources, infrastructure deployment and addressable market from a consumer perspective make the African market very appealing to investors.”

NIGERIA’S INTERNET ECOSYSTEM CONTINUES TO EVOLVE By Dara Rhodes

Nigeria's internet ecosystem presents vast opportunities. PHOTO: Getty images

NIGERIA’S online space holds enormous potential as more businesses realise the power of this fast paced digital age. Latest data by the Ministry of Communications Technology showed that telecommunications service providers in Nigeria connect over 63 million Nigerians to the internet since the liberalisation of the sector in 2001. “There has been amazing growth and engagement online in Nigeria. From 2008, for example, we’ve seen a fourfold increase in Nigerians getting [connected] and doing things online,” Juliet Ehimuan, Google Country manager for Nigeria told CNBC Africa. According to a recent report by Ericsson, the scale of sub-Saharan Africa’s data revolution will see phone users’ consumption of data per month increase 20 times by 2019 and the use of

mobile internet is expected to double to 147,000 terabytes in 2015 from 76,000 terabytes in June 2014. “Internet penetration was about 6.7 per cent in 2008 and last year, it was 29 per cent based on IT statistics so we are seeing more Nigerian entrepreneurs leveraging online platforms to extend their reach,” she said. A key driver of change in the ecosystem has been a continuous increase in the use of mobile phones and mobile devices in the country. Analysts have found that more Nigerians are now confident in buying and selling products online. “More developers are building apps that are engaging for our users, more businesses are leveraging online and of course, social media. More Nigerians are getting online to communicate, socialise and collaborate so,

there’s been a huge growth,” she explained. “We’ve been working with various groups, universities, entrepreneurs and developers to really create the right level of awareness on understanding and making the internet more accessible.” In 2011, google launched an initiative titled ‘Get Nigerian businesses online’ which is aimed at supporting Nigerian companies and getting them online. “The SME landscape represents a very huge opportunity in Nigeria. We have over two million SMEs and sadly most of them are offline,” she added. “We got great success stories. One year we had over 30,000 Nigerian SMEs come online and great stories of growth within a matter of months in vast customer reach and enhanced revenue.”

BOTSWANA INTRODUCES MEDIUM-TERM EXPENDITURE FRAMEWORK By Trust Matsilele OTSWANA has committed to introB duce a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework that will provide an aggregate revenue and fiscal projections. The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) will also provide a more explicit linkage between the National Development Plan (NDP) priorities and budget allocations by adopting a medium-term budgeting horizon. The proposed MTEF is aimed at maintaining expenditure discipline to meet government’s objective of reducing spending to 30 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current 36 per cent of the GDP. The plan also intends to help the country in running budget surpluses in order to rebuild government reserves that have fallen significantly in recent

years. To support the commitment to the resource allocations approved under the MTEF, a number of prioritisation, control, and accountability arrangements need to be put in place. “These arrangements form a key part of the MTEF and are required to increase the legitimacy of expenditure allocations; ensure that once the allocations are decided upon, they can be executed effectively,” said the International Monetary Fund. Some of the arrangements state that the government must demonstrate that it is meeting its previously stated commitments, and if not, state reasons for any deviations. “Successful MTEFs require credible macro-fiscal forecasts, which inform the setting of aggregate expenditure ceilings. Botswana is strengthening its

macro-fiscal forecasting capability.” A MTFF is a consistent set of fiscal projections underpinned by macroeconomic projections that describe the medium-term path of fiscal aggregates, such as total revenue, expenditure, balance, and debt levels. These are generally projected at an aggregate level, according to the macroeconomic projections. According to the African Economic Outlook report, Botswana’s economic performance improved in 2013, with real GDP growth estimated to have increased to 5.4 per cent from 4.2 per cent in 2012. The country’s short-term forecasts through to 2015 remain sound, premised on improved prospects in the predominant diamond industry and the economy is set to remain stable due Botswana's short-term forecasts to remain sound, premised on imto the proposed MTEF. provement in the diamond industry. PHOTO: Diamond Vault


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MIGRaTIOn ReGULaTIOns TO FaCILITaTe InVesTMenT In sOUTH aFRICa tourists to know that when you are in south africa, you are safe.” south africa’s Immigration Regulations came into effect in May 2014. The laws are expected to affect the application for visas and permits, life partner and spousal visas as well as general work visas. “We view international migration as a programme to be managed. south africa is a growing economy, one of the emerging markets. We’ve got the most modern economy in africa and we are a welcoming country, in terms of investors and tourists. Therefore we would want to make their experience worthwhile,” Gigaba said. “We would want to facilitate economic development whilst balancing national security interests because tourists and investors would want to be guaranteed that they are safe while in south africa, in that south africa’s management of the whole process of migration is effective and efficient.” Gigaba indicated that the Department of Home affairs is shifting the paradigm from being reactive to being proactive. One of the ways it is expected to do this is through the advanced passenger processing system, which will enable the department to verify the biometric identities of those visiting south africa. In order to facilitate the movement of people into south africa, the department will also establishing 11 visa facilitation centres in south africa – two in Gauteng, two in the Western Cape and one in each of the country’s other provinces. “The facilitation centres are going to take South African Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba. PHOTO: Bulawayo24 the responsibility away from Home affairs in terms of receiving applications [and] filBy Nicole Naidoo ing them properly. They will send them to ternational migration framework, to ensure Home affairs for adjudication, which would OUTH aFRICa’s new immigration rules are that the processes that we have set up are facil- be an easier process,” Gigaba explained. expected to aid in facilitating investment “We want to reduce the time spent on adjuand investor security, its Home affairs minister itative towards investments and security,” Home affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told dicating applications for temporary visa’s said. CnBC africa. or permanent permits so that people who “We are putting these regulations in place not to shut our doors but to streamline our in- “We would want international investors and are applying, especially business people, do

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not get frustrated by a protracted process that has no end.” national security remains a key concern for the department however, Gigaba stressed that domestic security also forms part of that. The two crucial challenges regarding domestic security at the moment is the ownership of private security companies by foreigners and the employment of foreign nationals in those private security companies. “you cannot have your private security companies owned by foreigners. you need to be in a position where you are certain about the security companies that operate in your country, especially because they have the right to have gun licenses. Unless you can manage that, you are not going to have the security of your country guaranteed,” he said. “What the regulations do is impose an obligation on all companies offered a corporate visa to prove that in their total workforce, 60 per cent of their employees are south african or to prove that they intend doing so. In terms of addressing unemployment, we are well on course to doing that.” Going forward, Gigaba stated that he has started to set himself an agenda as Minister of Home affairs and that there are a number of objectives that he would like to achieve. “One of those is the establishment of a border management agency, which has to be established by 2016. We need a big drive towards establishing an integrated border management agency for the department. The second is to improve the professionalism of our staff as well as their ethics and integrity,” he explained. “The third is to ensure that we have competent leadership everywhere, from national right [down] to the most basic levels of the organisation. an organisation can have the best technology but with bad leadership, it will not be able to reach its objectives. The fourth objective is to modernise Home affairs so that the entire process of applying for our documents in automated.”

nIGeRIa TaCKLes HIGH PROPeRTy DeManD By Dara Rhodes aGOs saw an increased demand for prime land for commercial office development in the last year, this is according to MCO Real estate. earlier this year, nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, launched a mortgage scheme for first time buyers that opened up business opportunities for property developers while aggressively moving into the housing market for the middle to lower end of the sector. a recent report by the real estate agency found that despite nigeria’s reform challenges and security issues, the country saw increased levels of foreign direct investments reaching a record 5.2 billion Us dollars. “There’s definitely been a demand for high-end office space, quite a lot of entrants into the market, General electric have come in and they are looking at the top end of the market,” Dipo Davies, CeO Real House Communications told CnBC africa. according to the national Bureau of statistics, the real estate sector contributed 8.01 per cent of nigeria’s rebased economy notwithstanding major limitations such as the challenging Land Use act as well as difficulty in getting permits and certificates of occupancy in many states. “What you see is a reflection of the nigerian economy. The top end is doing quite well and their issues are whether it is trickling down to the middle class and to the poor in the economy,” he said. a recent report showed that an impressive 24 billion naira, via foreign direct investment, came into the luxury end of the real estate market for the development of a 750-unit high end housing estate in Port Harcourt, Rivers state which is expected to deliver luxury villas or duplexes, town house and luxury two and three bedroom apartment. “To a certain extent there is some demand at the high-end of the market. The question is an issue of supply. If this development flies and several are attracted to that market because of it, then it will be difficult to see if there are enough deep pockets to pick up such units,” he explained. “I think the demand is approaching about 17 million. The houses that Lagos state have built so far are about 3,000 up to 4,000 so in terms of making any impact, you’ll agree with me that it is more or less a drop in the ocean.” “It’s a good start but we haven’t seen much in terms of soaking up the demand by the Lagos state government.” Kenya’s CenTUM PROFIT RIses, FLaGsHIP MaLL PROGResses Kenya’s Centum Investment reported on Tuesday a 24 percent rise in pretax profit in the year to March. The company said it would handover space in a flagship

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shopping mall in nairobi to anchor tenant, the Carrefour franchise, in March. The company, which invests in private equity, listed firms and real estate, said pretax profit for the 12 months rose to 4.01 billion shillings ($46 million), with dividend income climbing 53 percent in the period. Unrealised gains climbed 77 percent, accounting for 2.932 billion shillings of total income of 4.883 billion shillings. Unrealised gains comprise valuations of investments listed on the firm’s books as income although they have not been sold. The company said the Two Rivers Mall, its flagship property project being built in a suburb of the Kenyan capital, would be completed early in 2015. “We are on track to hand over the mall to Carrefour in March of next year,” Chief executive James Mworia told an investor briefing where executives announced the firm’s results. Carrefour, europe’s largest retailer, will be the main tenant at the Two Rivers Mall when completed. The arrival of a big european retail brand name will offer a boost to Kenya almost nine months after confidence was shaken by the attack on Westgate mall, which had been one of the city’s smartest shopping centres. The mall is still closed since the assault by gunmen that left 67 people dead. a fresh spate of bombings in nairobi and the port city of Mombasa in recent weeks has added to nervousness.

Lagos saw an increased demand for prime land for commercial office development in the last year. PHOTO: Getty images

Kenya's Centum profit rises, flagship mall progresses

Kenya's CenTUM PROFIT RIses, FLaGsHIP MaLL PROGResses Centum Investment reported on Tuesday a 24 perKTheenya's cent rise in pretax profit in the year to March. company said it would handover space in a flagship shopping mall in nairobi to anchor tenant, the Carrefour franchise, in March. The company, which invests in private equity, listed firms and real estate, said pretax profit for the 12 months rose to 4.01 billion shillings ($46 million), with dividend income climbing 53 percent in the period. Unrealised gains climbed 77 percent, accounting for 2.932 billion shillings of total income of 4.883 billion shillings. Unrealised gains comprise valuations of investments listed on the firm's books as income although they have not been sold. The company said the Two Rivers Mall, its flagship property project being built in a suburb of the Kenyan capital, would be completed early in 2015. "We are on track to hand over the mall to Carrefour in March of next year," Chief executive James Mworia told an investor briefing where executives announced the firm's results. Carrefour, europe's largest retailer, will be the main tenant at the Two Rivers Mall when completed. The arrival of a big european retail brand name will offer a boost to Kenya almost nine months after confidence was shaken by the attack on Westgate mall, which had been one of the city's smartest shopping centres. The mall is still closed since the assault by gunmen that left 67 people dead. a fresh spate of bombings in nairobi and the port city of Mombasa in recent weeks has added to nervousness.


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EAST AFRICA’S FIRST PUBLIC OWNED OIL AND GAS COMPANY By Elayne Wangalwa can now capitalise in Swala Oil and Gas as the IferNVESTORS company has announced the launch of its Initial Public Of(IPO). The Tanzanian Capital Markets and Securities Authority has approved the listing that allows Swala to offer to the public up to 9.6 million ordinary shares at 500 Tanzanian shillings per share. Swala is a Tanzanian oil and gas exploration company that is actively exploring the East African Rift System. It is a subsidiary of, Swala Energy Limited, a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. The company is listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) looking to raise between 1 million US dollars and 3 million US dollars. The company expects to hold between 58 to 60 per cent of the shares in trust and the remainder held by private investors once the IPO is complete. The proceeds of the offer are expected to be used to fund its oil and gas exploration activities in the country as well as for new business development. “There has been a great debate on the need for local content in this booming oil and gas industry. We are delighted that today Swala would become the first oil and gas company to walk the talk. We strongly believe that Tanzanians should be given an opportunity to participate in the oil and gas business and this IPO opening allows them to do just that,” said Abdullah Mwinyi, a director at Swala.

Investors can now capitalise in Swala Oil and Gas as the company has announced the launch of its Initial Public Offer (IPO). The minimum number of shares on offer is 100 per person, valued at 50,000 Tanzanian shillings, but there is no cap on how much an investor can buy. Swala is anticipated to list on the DSE in late July 2014 and is the first in the oil and gas industry in Tanzania.

MAURITIUS UNION ASSURANCE SEALS PHOENIX TRANSAFRICA DEAL By Elayne Wangalwa AURITIUS Union Assurance has completed the purchase M of all issued shares in Kenya’s general insurance major Phoenix Transafrica Holdings. In line with its expansion strategy in south eastern sub-Saharan Africa, Mauritius Union Assurance acquired the company

Mauritius Union Assurance has completed the purchase of all issued shares in Kenya's general insurance major Phoenix Transafrica Holdings.

at an estimated 22.6 million US dollars. The acquisition of stake in Phoenix was completed on 30 May 2014. “When [Mauritius Union Assurance] started the discussions with Phoenix, they decided to sell us the maximum that we could hold in the operating company which is 66 per cent,” Kris Lutchmeenaraidoo, CEO of the Mauritius Union Assurance told CNBC Africa. The Mauritius Union Assurance Company Limited was incorporated in 1948 and has been listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius since 1993. Phoenix was established in 1912, and has since expanded into the East African region, through its subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The insurer covers the full spectrum of short term insurance lines. The board of Mauritius Union Assurance believes that the proposed transaction will help to create value for its shareholders in the future. “We are lucky to get such an opportunity where by buying in a holding we could get an entry in four countries. We are now settled down with this operation where once we take full control of it, we will then see where it takes us further in the continent,” Lutchmeenaraidoo said. Mauritius Union Assurance said the transaction shall be partly financed by its own resources together with a rights issue. “Mauritius Union has sufficient resources to settle the whole amount but given when you invest in subsidiaries you have a capital charge. We may have to raise some funds to meet our solvency requirements,” Lutchmeenaraidoo stated.

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COULD NIGERIA’S AIRFARES GO UP? By Dara Rhodes IGERIANS may have to start paying higher airfares as the N state plans to open up its airspace to foreign airlines to operate free of charge. The move that is contrary to the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) which Nigeria signed with home countries of the foreign airlines has been estimated to cost the sector a whopping 150 million naira annually. “They haven’t announced it, which says that they are thinking about it and they haven’t really come to the decision right now. That’s my take on it,” Pekun Sowole, aviation lawyer at Juris Law Legal Practitioners told CNBC Africa. “Basically what they are saying is that, the commercial agreement which allows foreign airlines to operate outside their air space and into Nigeria which they would normally negotiate and pay for, is going to be scrapped.” The International Civil Aviation Organisations and International Air Transport Association support the move as they believe that airlines should be allowed to operate in each other’s countries without paying royalties. “I think at the end of day, it’s probably a ploy. Like, let me give them free entrance into Nigeria and then I’m going to increase taxes on the tickets.” “At the end of the day, it is going to mean that while the airlines don’t get to pay for those charges, it’s going to be the passengers paying the charges because the airfares will go up. Definitely, that’s what will happen,” he explained. Nigeria’s aviation sector is currently roped in debt of 174 billion naira and continues to battle numerous challenges such as poor infrastructure, lack of sufficiently trained staff and proper regulations. “Whether they do it or not, Nigerians don’t get to benefit either way because we get to pay for it. The airfares go up so you pay more,” he added. Despite the gloomy past the sector faced, it has been projected that Nigeria will record 15 to 16 million passenger movement by the end of 2014 with the number on a continual rise as the country’s rebased economy attracts more foreigners while more Nigerians travel locally and overseas. “Currently, Nigeria is probably the most expensive place to do business. The taxes in Nigeria are way too high so nothing has changed. When they were paying, did it benefit the travelling public? No. So if they are not paying, it will still not benefit us. We will pay more and that’s just what is going to happen,” he concluded.

Nigeria's aviation sector to lose 150 billion naira annually. PHOTO: Getty images

INTERNATIONAL GUIDELINES RELEASED TO COMBAT ILLEGAL FISHING By Farhaanah Mahomed SET of international guidelines was released on WednesA day as a means to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance is a set of international guidelines that

will hold countries accountable for all activities that happen on fishing vessels flying their flags. The organisation believes that Illegal fishing has risen over the past 20 years, and is estimated to be around 11 to 26 million tonnes of fish illegally harvested every year, worth between 10 billion US dollars and 23 billion US dollars. IUU fishing therefore remains one of the greatest threats to sustainable fisheries and livelihoods.

Between 10 billion and 23 billion US dollars of fish are harvested illegally every year.

PHOTO: Getty Images

“Today’s decision represents a massive breakthrough in combating IUU fishing, which not only puts marine ecosystems at risk but undermines any effort undertaken at the national, regional or international level to manage fisheries in a sustainable manner,” said Arni Mathiesen, FAO assistant director-general for Fisheries and Aquaculture. The guidelines although voluntary lists several actions that countries can take in order to ensure that their flag registered fishing ships are not involved in IUU fishing. The guidelines have already received major international support.   “Taken together with FAO’s 2009 Agreement on Port State Measures, which works to prevent entry into ports by IUU fishing vessels and therefore block the flow of IUU-caught fish into national and international markets, these guidelines will provide a potent tool to combat IUU fishing in the coming decades,” added Mathiesen. The guidelines also aim to crackdown on flag hopping, illegal fishing vessels that are repeatedly registered under new flag states in order to go unnoticed, by promoting greater cooperation and information exchange between countries. This means that flag states can refuse to register ships that have previously been reported for IUU fishing or that are already registered with another flag state. The Voluntary Guidelines aim to crack down on this practice, among other things, by promoting greater cooperation and information exchange between countries, so that flag states are in a position to refuse to register vessels that have previously been reported for IUU fishing, or that are already registered with another flag state. Other recommendations in the guidelines include encouraging compliance among countries, actions to be taken against offenders as well as how to enhance international cooperation, especially to assist developing countries to fulfil their flag state responsibilities.


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34 ARTS Friday, June 13, 2014

VisualArts For Oyiogu’s Illusion of Reality, new period speaks to ‘confused’ people Stories by Tajudeen Sowole FTER his canvas has been populated with A figural forms for more than two decades, painter Fidel Oyiogu, steps into a new period of what might be his statement on abstract impressionism. Also, the artist’s new period in styles and forms – combined with some of his wellknown strokes - converge in for socio-analysis of the world’s problem and arrive at a verdict of shadow-chasing. At Moorehouse Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, Oyiogu just showed his new forms in the exhibition titled Illusion of Reality, stressing the importance of drastic changes sweeping across the modern and contemporary Nigerian art space. Traditional and modern rendition of art, of which Oyiogu belongs, is actually facing the challenge of the rising voices of contemporary expression and appropriation. Oyiogu’s elongated and stylised figures, spiced with bright, in-your-face kind of colours, has been his identity over the past one decade or more. Despite the fact that quite a number of artists’ canvases have imbibed the styles that was made popular by late modernist and Nigerian master, Ben Enwonwu, Oyiogu’s figures still exude distinct characteristics. Some of his works on display at his just held show still have the identity, no doubt. But the real strength of the exhibition lies in the artist’s new forms. Abstract expressionism in semi-minimalistic rendition as well as quite a number of depictions in masks, explain what could just be the new period of Oyiogu.   “Art is changing face,” Oyiogu responds to a question about the new techniques and styles noticed in some of his works. “I cannot afford to remain static.” On the central focus of the show, his attempt to use two contrasting words “illusion” and “reality” in a thematic language appears confusing. But during the formal opening of the exhibition at the poolside of Moorhouse Oyiogu explains his thoughts. He tells his guests how some people of “the world” are self-caged in “the illusion that they cannot solve their problem.” He argues that “most times, individuals believe negatively or have incorrect ideas and distortions when something seems to be different from the way it really is.” Oyiiogu notes that, in every given situa-

tion, the reality comes to prevail after resources of huge cost would have been wasted. “In total manifestation of the actual thing that happens or the truth that took place is the reality itself, it’s not an imagination or a thought,” he tells guests like a pastor addressing an attentive faithful. The promoter, Tayo Ajimoko whose Zapha Rield Ltd in conjunction with Weave & Co Gallery jointly present the exhibition notes that Oyiogu’s 25 years experience in art was not just of numbers, but rich in contents. For example Ajimoko cites the artist’s style and identity coined oyiogunic as “renowned.” For followers of the artist, recall his last exhibition titled Woman Forms and Desires held at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, two years ago, which had the self-proclaimed Oyiogonic loud. Then, he insisted that his was not another movement fashioned after the ism trend. But he did not dismiss a future followership. “My own style and technique may, in the future, has followers that could make it as popular as others given to us by the west.”  Two tears after, the canvas of Oyiogu adds another style.  But for Illusion of Reality, Ajimoko says there comes a new dimension of the artist’s works, which he links to “a continuation of his highly successful last solo exhibition.” Shortly after the chairman of the event and Finance & Control Director, Nestle Nigeria Mr. Martin Kruegel lead the opening with the support of a prominent collector Mr. Sammy Olagbaju, Weave and Co Gallery, which overlooks the poolside of Moorehouse formally opens for business.. Ajimoko states that Weave and Co “is a melting pot and one-stop shop of curated art, crafts, sculptors, interior décor and Afrocentric couture by established and emerging Nigerian artists and designers.” On the interest of  Zapha Rield Ltd in art appreciation, Ajimoko assures that “it  is committed to supporting and promoting authentic African art, designs, ideas and discuss on a different trajectory from the usual.” Oyiogu’s bio describes him as painter/sculptor. His figurative compositions of forms are well detailed and carefully placed. Since 1986 he has exhibited regularly, both group and solo shows. He has visited Germany, Austria, France and other parts of Europe on a regular basis for a number of years till date. He has won several awards. He obtained his HND from Institute of Management and Technology Enugu 1985.

A painting titled Varieties by Edison Ekwueme from Tips of the Iceberg

One of Oyiogu’s works from Illusion of Reality

Ekwueme cautiously enters Lagos art with Tips of the Iceberg S much as Lagos is gradually becoming A the art hub of Africa, it is not exactly a smooth space to establish a signature, particularly for debutant artists. On such a careful premise, Benin, Edo Statebased artist, Edison Ekwueme who, few weeks ago made his major entry into Lagos art space was cautious. The cautious step was clear, so suggests his exhibition titled Tips of the Iceberg, held at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos. Ekwueme was not exactly new to the Lagos art space having had his works in few collections and group art exhibitions. But a solo exhibition, which is usually every artist’s platform to project their work, came for Ekwueme at a time when new fresh names are making impacts in the art market. “I have a lot to prove my worth, but just showing these for now,” he states ahead of the opening of the exhibition. But in a broad thematic focus, most of the works rove over ladies’ subjects. Some of such works include Varieties, Married to A Virgin, Sisi Eko, Sapomba Street and Radiating Humility. With subtle cubism, Ekwueme’s brush and palette knife render stylised figures that confirm the resilience of modernism. In a fashion figure that depicts young girls’ ambition to attain the so-called ‘super model’ status, Edison presents Lepa on Runway. The artist’s Lepa is though not as skinny and fragile looking as some models who starve themselves for the sake of runway success, the work perhaps questions the worth of a fame acquired going through so much. Ekwueme, like some artists, in recent times seems to have deep interest in women-related subjects. In Varieties, for example, the artist draws a line of fashion difference between women of the past three or more decades and those of the current generation. Today’s women, he argues “take better care of themselves.” Women are more fashionable now, he insists. “Even with aso ebi, you see ladies of

today wear it in different designs compared to what it used to be in the past.” The more the artist goes further into women subjects, the increase are the issues that may have him in collision with sociologists and anthropologists. Ekwueme picks a sensitive marital issue in a couple-portrait titled Married To A Virgin. Apparently not a happy couple from the mood of the composition, despite the position of capture, the portrait speaks so much about a fragile relationship. What exactly is wrong with the couple? Ekwueme blames the man for inconsistence after getting what he wanted. “It’s the story of a man who married an inexperienced virgin and had problems enjoying sex with her.” The artist wonders: why are people “insatiable after getting what they want? Perhaps to show his respect and understanding of the sacrosanct state of marital life, a cheerful portraits titled The Two Shall Become One confirms that. Still on the social scene, Ekwueme’s Sisi Eko is the elegant and jaiye-jaiye (enjoy life to the fullest) Lagos lady. As an art piece the work has the ebullience of creative attraction. But the thoughts of the artist on the the Lagos ladies appear stereotype. “Lagos girls see themselves as classical, more sophisticated than others,” he notes. And when he adds that “her nails and other make ups show that she is not hardworking.,” the artist forgets that Lagos girls are also known for ‘work hard, play hard.’ Between his OND from Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu and B.A acquired later at University of Benin, Edoo State, Ekwueme has learnt how to be a full artist by being a painter and sculptor. This much reflects in his painting of sculptural textures. Despite his claim of “specializing in sculpture,” painting, he explains “is my dorm of expression.” Ekwueme is a recipient and winner of 2000 edition of Winsor and Newton Painting Competition.


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A London gallery celebrates Ghanaian master, Glover at 80 HEN Ghanaian master, Prof W Ablade Glover marks his 80th birthday next month, October Gallery, one of the leading art galleries of modern and contemporary art in the U.K. will take a leading role. The gallery, according to its Press and Media manager, Alana Pryce Tojcic will celebrate Glover’s art. Pryce Tojcic describes Glover’s art as a “fascination with the warm energy of Ghana; from images of bustling market places to tranquil landscapes - experience the exuberant variety of Africa.” The exhibition starts with July 2 private viewing and continues the next day, ending in August, 2014. In a statement, the October Gallery describes the planned-exhibition for Glover as “celebrating a lifelong passion for the colour, energy and vibrancy of his native Ghana.” The artist, according to gallery will exhibit a selection of his works which represent “insatiable passion for movement, activity and colour.” Glover’s work is well known in Nigeria for skilful application of the palette knife on canvas. From art galleries through art auctions, his work has been well appreciated on the Lagos art scene.

Ghanaian master, Ablade Glover

October Gallery notes his application of oils in impasto and “heavy layers of bright colours” that invoke “the bustling crowds, the heat, thriving market stalls and dusty shanty towns of his acclaimed market paintings.” On the artist’s rendition of figures, the gallery states: “Individual figures emerge from the crowds and it is this endless movement of the masses which underpins Glover’s market scenes. The roughly textured surfaces of his canvases recall an earth parched by the powerful African sun.” Among the features of Glover that thrills collectors, is perhaps what October Gallery describes as his choice of vibrant colours expressing the visual richness of the African continent, “Glover amasses energy from his subjects. Every singular vivid fleck of colour represents the vigour recognisable in each of his works. Drawing themes from his environment, Glover effortlessly transports the viewer into the scene. Often the perspective that Glover employs is from a high vantage point overlooking the town, beach or crowd below. From this position, the viewer becomes an involved and captivated onlooker. “Based both in abstraction and realism, the effect of each of the works is dependent on the viewer’s proximity. Seen

closely, the works settle on the eye in array of lively colours. However, if viewed at a further distance, the abstract shapes resolve themselves through sophisticated painterly sensation as faces, figures and busy market scenes. These sudden shifts in focus enhance Glover’s clear success as a multitalented artist.” Born in Accra in 1934, Glover occupies a significant place in Ghana’s contemporary art scene as both Founder and Director of the internationally acclaimed Artists Alliance Gallery. Trained in Ghana, Britain and the United States, Dr. Glover has accumulated a number of distinctions, which underline his significance as an artist and enthusiastic educator both in Ghana and on the international art scene. The universality of Glover’s work is reflected in the breadth and variety of his collectors. His work can be found in such diverse public and private collections around the world as the Imperial Palace Collection of Japan, the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport amongst others. He has exhibited extensively in West Africa, Europe, the USA and Japan. A recipient of the distinguished AFGRAD Alumni Award by the African-American Institute in New York, he is also a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Art in London.

Onuorah... How not to lose Priceless Heritage N a world where contentment disappearIChike ing regularly on the scale of values, artist Onuohar argues that it shouldn’t get so bad that a people or an individual would not have something to cherish. Onuorah explains his thoughts in a body of work titled Priceless Heritage, which he just presented in a one week duration art exhibition at Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos. “With the way things are going on in the world, it has become necessary for people to re-invent themselves,” the opening part of his Artist Statement warns. He advises that it is necessary to hold on to one’s core values, particularly “the identities that are peculiar to a people.” In this period of Nigeria’s challenges of security and complete loss of values, the National Orientation Agency, a federal government wing could do with some works and texts of Onuorah. The artist states “Cherish the simple things that make us who we are. Hold on to your values. Hold on to your identity. Be proud of your heritage. It is true that a tree cannot make a forest and man is not supposed to exist in isolation. However the core essence of our being should not be lost in the quest for a self-assessed upgrade.” He stressed: “Protect what you have. Protect your values. Protect your heritage. It is your only true identity. It is priceless.” Inside the modified art gallery space of Didi Museum, a greenery piece that welcomes me a guest from the distance suggests that Onuorah keeps sustaining his chains of themes. Titled Abundance, it’s a deep green grassland from high angle view, which the artist describes as “An abundance of richness, gladness, goodness and wellness.” Still making the best of high angle views, Onuorah’s brush descends on two craft women in Lady Potters, a capture of sea of pots swallowing the potters. Similarly, a large number of fishermen titled Argungu in Colours, suggests that the artist has stepped up his brushings. These two works are quite distinct from the rest of displays at the exhibition. In fact, the styles and techniques appear like the artist’s new form of expression. “They are not exactly new,” he says. “I have painted these works since 2009, but have not shown them in public.” He discloses that “this is the way I work; new styles evolve over time and I gradually unfold them to the public.” In this age of social media network where trends and news flow without control, artists themes are not left out of being influenced by the trending. For Onuorah’s Priceless Heritage, one of the current most-trending in the social media reverberates in one of his work titled Chai! Na Oly Me Waka Come O!!!  Onuorah’s story is that of a stone slinger stranded after a frustrating day of no kill.

The artist’s poetry addition to the painting explains how the boy laments being emptyhanded, only with the listening of the birds’ singing: “Abi make I follow dem dey sing! Where again person go go? Chai!...and na only me waka come,” the poem reads in part. But the artist discloses that except for the “Chai” that he just “added,” the work has been so titled “since I did it in E013” long before the slogan became popular via the social media network.” Arguably one of the most-exhibited Nigerian artists of his generation, Onuorah comes into Priceless Heritage with an identity of having had a solo exhibition yearly in the last 13 years. In fact, sometimes he had two solo shows in a year. Among the common features of his past exhibitions were portraits, mostly of unidentified women. But the just held exhibition depopulates Onuorah’s canvas of portraits themes. And the demise of the portraits gives way to another dominance in still life themes. Such works include flower vases in realism, Beautiful Day and Grateful Heart; pottery Happy Time, Priceless Heritage, Seven Days, Together Forever and African Treasure. Still life drawing or painting are taken for granted and hardly attracts the attention of established artists. What exactly is the attraction for. Onuorah? “No artist can exhaust any theme,” he argues. “The more research, the further you realise that there are still so much to cover.” As regards his choice of the household objects, he explains that “these are not just pottery. If you look deeper, so much is said in the motifs and signs.” In fact are the real contents of his central theme as each them speaks about values that are being lost. He urges people to look at their environs and “listen to the radio, watch the news on TV, or read the newspapers, source the news on the internet, anywhere, man keeps proving to be the worst virus in all creation.” The painter who carries a nickname D’Artist sees no reason why art should not be in the forefront of changing the world for the better. He passionately insists that “the line between good and bad is not just getting thinner but getting blurred by the day.” Values, he states “are torpedoed by strange beliefs and indoctrination,” just as “life is no longer sacred; these days, it is just a number.” Some of D’Artist’s themes in the past included Crackilino, Splashillino, Plastillino and Grassillino as well as Timeless. Onuorah graduated from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin (UNIBEN) and has been having shows almost every year since he started full time studio practice.

One of Chike Onuorah’s works titled Chai! NaOnly Me Waka Come O!!!


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Revue

Celebrating the Poet Laureate, Tade Ipadeola and Prof. Molara Ogundipe at the colloquium last week… in Ibadan

PHOTOS: SERVIO GBADAMOSI

‘Let us bring back Nigeria’ By Anote Ajeluorou

T

HE chant became insistent and took a life of its own the moment erudite scholar, Distinguished Professor of English at New Orleans University, U.S., poet and special guest, Prof. Niyi Osundare, gave voice to it last Friday. It was at the ‘Voyages Around The Sahara Testaments’ colloquium organised in honour of poet laureate, Mr. Tade Ipadeola, winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2013, at Drapers Hall, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan. It was the first time a colloquium was being held in honour of a winner of the prize that has spanned over 10 years since its inception. The colloquium was specially convened by Dr. Sola Olorunyomi of Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, with support from Ipadeola’s other friends, Director, Communication Centre, UI, Ropo Ewenla, Dr. Dami Ajayi, Dr. Niran Okeowo and Rotimi Babatunde among others started planning the colloquium shortly after Ipadeola was announced winner on October 9, 2013. ‘Let us bring Back Nigeria!’ according to Osundare, would be the fitting campaign or rallying point at this critical moment of national consciousness, seeing that the country was already missing through inept leadership and that it needed bringing back so it could be a good place for the missing Chibok schoolgirls when they returned from the hands of their abductors. Specifically, he said Nigerian was missing as a livable society on all fronts and that it needed to be brought back from the brink of collapse it seems inexorably headed. The colloquium, which was on Ipadeola’s winning poetry work, sought a robust conversation around the phenomenal poetic journey Ipadeola has wrought and how exposing it through rigorous scholarship would help in making sense of our world in relationship to the vanishing Sahara. As would be expected, it threw up intense scholarly fireworks, with the presence of eminent literary and humanistic

scholars in attendance. But as usual, Osundare brought his critical understanding of Nigeria’s malaise to bear on the conversation. And just as another literary scholar, Prof. Wole Soyinka in April gave voice and urgency to the now famous ‘Bring back our girls’ slogan that Dr. Oby Ezekwesili later amplified, Osundare has added yet another twist for effect. For him and everyone present at the colloquium, it wasn’t just President Goodluck Jonathan’s lukewarm book that should be brought back, but Nigeria as well. Indeed, there is added urgency now more than ever before to bring back Nigeria from the woods it has wandered even as efforts were still ongoing to bring back the Chibok schoolgirls. The accomplishment of Ipadeola’s poetic genius in this award-winning collection has continued to amaze scholars who continue to wonder how the lawyer-poet managed to evoke such poetic magic. For Osundare and many others, such feat would be difficult for the current educational set up, with its many lapses, lack of commitment, poor funding and a myriad of problems, to throw up again. For Osundare said, “As we celebrate this book, let’s ask ourselves, as the country deteriorates, how many products from our current school system can produce this kind of book? The tradition of literary theory and criticism is dying today. No literary culture survives without a robust educational culture. You need functioning libraries, good teachers, students that are willing to read and learn. But what do we have today? Ignorance is spreading today. This book is a commentary on Nigeria today. “We have not brought back the President’s book yet; we’re still trying to bring back the girls. This book is affirmation that it’s possible to create something good, something enduring in the land. This has to be a regular pattern. Good education, solid literary culture is what is needed. To achieve this, let us first bring back Nigeria!” Osundare said he’d followed Ipadeola’s liter-

ary trajectory, and how it has been very progressive. He said wWhen he got The Sahara Testaments’ manuscript, he nearly fell into the same trap as Prof. J.P. Clark, who confessed to reading it all night non-stop until he finished it. But although Osundare didn’t abandon his sleep for it, he didn’t sleep until he read a third of it, saying, “You read it while sitting on the edge of your chair. Tade, this is a new voice about Nigerian poetry. I’ve never read a book with this kind of intensity. This book carries a lot of weight”. Osundare, a first class scholar, one of those who should never have been allowed to leave Nigerian shores for greener pastures abroad, said there were fallouts about Nigeria’s academic conditions that Ipadeola’s books evoke that need addressing. According to him, “We shouldn’t only talk about the book but about the fallout. What we have here is a compendi-

Participants at the event

um of metaphors. Could Ipadeola have produced this kind of panorama of African history, philosophy and geography if he wasn’t exposed to history? If there is any continent that needs history it is Africa!” He also used the opportunity to look at the essence of The Nigeria Prize for Literature and what he said could be its continuing resonance for winners. “How many times do winners enjoy their fame?” He asked, “It’s twice the value of the Caine Prize for African Writing. What about the resonance? It’s the gravitas attached to it that matters. We have to make sure that winners survive beyond its first three weeks of winning. A literary culture is not created by the amount of prize money attached.” ANOTHER special guest, who served as chair-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 37


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...Honouring Nigeria’s Poet Laureate Ipadeola with colloquium

Izevbaye CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36

Elugbe

man in place of Prof. Ayo Banjo and prize governing board member, NLNG-sponsored The Nigeria Prize for Literature, Prof. Ben Elugbe, noted, “People should be proud to win a prize when they write a book. But not often is it remembered that a winner is a source of pride. As the prize’s board member, our gathering here is evidence that it’s a mighty piece of work. We’ve rarely seen that kind of oneness of voice regarding the work’s outstanding nature to warrant its endorsement by Profs. JP Clark and Dan Izevbaye”. In 2012, Elugbe disclosed that prize jury head, Prof. Abiola Irele, used superior argument to win the prize for Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters Street. He, however, noted that while “Tade is very proud to have won the prize, but the prize is very proud that Tade won it!” Elugbe used the occasion to call on critics to partake in the competition in the Critical Essay category, a prize designed for academics and scholars, where a critical work published in a reputable journal is entered for the prize worth N1 million. He noted that poor awareness about this prize has not generated enough entries for it since initiating it two years ago. Director of Institute for African Studies, Prof. Dele Layiwola, who also represented the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole, expressed his pleasure in celebrating Ipadeola, whom he said he knew from his toddler years at Fiditi Grammar School, where senior Ipadeola taught him English and French. He recalled how Ipadeola senior told him about renowned poet, Christopher Okigbo, an unusual poet, with amazing love for football, how he left Ibadan for Fiditi to teach. Layiwola said he carried Ipadeola as a toddler, and described him as an inquisitive and active child, adding, “They are a family of great poets; they have drums. When I learnt Tade was reading law, I felt he strayed a bit; but he has come back. I know he still does bread and butter law. But he’s still a poet. “Now, Africa begins and ends here. By the grace of providence, we will be able to celebrate more. It’s a great joy to see that you excel. You didn’t only win the prize, you also allowed the prize to win you!” Then there was a brief interlude in which Jumoke Verisimo read an excerpt from the collection “?????”

Osundare

Layiwola

One of the jury members for the prize in 2013, gender expert, feminism theorist and poet, Prof. Molara Ogundipe, also gave testimony about Ipadeola’s outstanding work and the unanimity of the jury’s verdict including that of the external assessor and Ghanaian poet, Prof. Kofi Anyidoho. Ogundipe said it was educative and enlightening to have been a judge of the poetry prize last year, adding that Ipadeola “you made us proud as Africans, writers and critics”. KEYNOTE speaker, doyen of African literary criticism and Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Bowen University, Prof. Dan Izevbaye delivered a paper titled ‘The Sahara Testaments: Poetry as Centre and Circumference’. In his usual cadence, Izevbaye looked at the role of poetry in Nigeria at the present time with Ipadeola’s collection as example, by looking at the intellectual context of the collection, saying, “The book keep you. I was roped in by the quality of the writing, the fascinating diction. This is creative writing of high quality. The poet at this point is God’s rival in the creation story. This is a candidate for the canon of Nigerian literature! “There’s a blend of oral and literate, western and middle easterner style of writing. this breath of vision and style is Miltonic, so mush so as to say, Tade represents a poetic personality. This poetry of the first water!” Izevbaye also took his audience through English literary history and how poetry came to be seen as the centre and circumference of all knowledge and social relationships with the failing of religion and economics to bring order. He said, “When there’s anarchy in the polity and economic sphere, you turn to poetry for order and structure; when there’s chaos it’s the poets we turn for vision and direction”. The eminent critic argued that it was for this reason that Chinua Achebe took his famous title ‘Things Fall Apart from W B Yeats, who had a vision of order. He also restated Matthew Arnold’s position that with the rise of science and the failing of religion, it was that poetry to people turned to get a grip on reality. Ipadeola has also done the same thing with The Sahara Testaments in his epic journey through the vast landscape of humans and nature that the Sahara represents in the abysmal neglect it now suffers. For Izevbaye, Ipadeola, having considered all the African ideologues finally settles for Pan-Africanism, as the best political ideology best suited for African in the race to resolving the continent’s manifold conflicts. According to Izevbaye, “The Sahara has been marginalized in our literature. We have treated the Sahara that way not just physically but culturally and spiritually. We don’t see it as anything of value. It’s the same as the colonial error that posits that Africa has no history. By omission, we have treated the Sahara that way. Tade overcame his physical limitations about the Sahara and ventured into it. The knowledge of The Sahara Testaments does not come from western tradition”. Izevbaye also recalled Room 32 of English Department of University of Ibadan, where poetry performance and reading used to take place just as he said he wasn’t the performance type like Osundare, as he best enjoys poetry in solitude. According to him, Ipadeola’s poetry “is of great technical scale; it’s fluid; it flows. This text will find its way into the canon of African literature. It will force our students, however lazy, to read the poem. It gives enlightenment. “History and literature have been marginalized. Literature may not produce a car, but it has profound cultural effect. Ipadeola’s poetry is both and contemporary in range. It’s a very valuable addition to our intellectual condition”. In his response, Ipadeola expressed his gratitude for the honour done him, saying, “I never imagined in my life that this was going to happen. This is a story unforgettable. I’m never going to forget this!”

Olorunyomi First to fire the first shot was Ogundipe, who recently returned to the country, University of Port Harcourt specifically, to teach after many years of teaching in universities in the U.S. and Ghana. According to her, “Poor funding is a bane of scholarship in Nigeria. Government has to put more money in education; condition in universities is terrible. Ghana here puts 31 per cent of its budget in education; South Africa puts 39 per cent, but Nigeria only manages 8-9 per cent of its total budget in education”. She blamed Nigerian parents for not insisting on quality education being given to their children. She also blamed student’s poor attitude to learning, saying that the students hardly use the smartphones the students carry for research work, as they hardly went to google education to consult educational materials that are available for free online. Apart from poor funding, Ogundipe also criticised the attitude of Nigerians towards fellows like her who have taken the hard decision to return to offer their scholarship and time to the fatherland. According to her, “There’s exclusionary attitude towards those who want to return from overseas to offer their services”. Also, she found placing a ceiling on the retirement age for academics ridiculous, arguing, “Retirement age for academics is wrong. A teacher should teach till he or she drops dead! They have vast private libraries students can consult for enriched scholarship”. She also sued for the reintroduction of history as a subject in schools, saying, Let’s fight for history”. Izevbaye also joined the call for better funding of education, arguing, “The present National Conference doesn’t have a committee on education; it’s stuck somewhere on social issues. Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) that is supposed to monitor standards and quality control should be interested in asking hard questions about university funding, that investment in education is too low. But NUC is only interested in going round in trips collecting money”. Elugbe said even the so-called 25 per cent supposedly allocated to education “that didn’t come to education doesn’t mean that it went to something good to the people’ it simply disappeared into some people’s pockets”.

Poor funding for scholarship, education in Nigeria

Ewenla

The colloquium gathering also afforded the academics present to examine the state of funding for scholarship and education in the country. They came up with a damning verdict, which was singularly held for the poor showing in the educational sector.

Edaoto performing


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Literature Nigeria’s friendly literary, cultural states: How others can benefit

Imoke

Amaechi

By Anote Ajeluorou ULTURE has been described as the totality of a people’s way of life. Although culture has language as chief carrier, it also manifests itself tangibly in those performative and expressive aspects that exemplify a people’s mastery of their world. This is shown in the expressive performances as seen in theatre, literature, art, music, dance, fashion, songs and festivals. These performative and expressive forms serve as memory bank to recall past histories for reenactment and projection into the future what had gone before. Young people come to learn about their past through these performances and are thereby grounded in the lores of the land. While there’s a Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation that routinely undertake these aspects, as core mandate, what its affiliate agencies do serve as mere tokenism; they do not permeate to the ordinary citizenry to make desired impact. The ministry does not go out of its way to look for exceptional talents to nurture. Corporate Nigeria does little by way of support to individuals and groups promoting cultural expressions excerpt when it expressly promote their interests. But this is where some states of the federation and their chief executives have made a real difference. Some states have willingly gone out to look for cultural programmes that they execute yearly with considerable success. Some partner with individuals or groups to realize such programmes that throw the doors of their states wide open for visitors from far and near, give employment to thousands of youths and keep the flag of culture flying. These are culture-friendly states that see to it that the cultural expressions of a people are as vital as the strength of the economy, as they reach deep down to the spirit and soul of the communal experience. They believe in investing in the human capital and giving impetus to the expression of the human spirit, as perhaps the only way to build a rounded society, a society that still knows itself and is better able to resist alienation from its African roots and wholesale foreign domination that has become so pervasive. States in the frontline of this cultural awareness include Lagos, Rivers State, Cross Rivers State and Osun. Those on the marginal position, whose endeavours are yet to catch on, include Ondo and Ekiti States. These two states have made inroads in defining appropriate modes of cultural expressions to support and nurture, as means of creatively engaging their people in having faith in the practices of their forefathers while introducing new ones that suit modern tastes and temperaments. Ekiti Festival of Arts and Culture is in its first year; it remains to be seen what it will become as the years go by. Oyo State retains its position as intellectual cultural hub largely because of Nigeria’s premier institution, University of Ibadan, and not because of what Oyo as a state does. With the many festivals in its official calendar from the various communities, Oyo State ought to lead the way in annual festival celebrations, but the state views such celebrations with some measure of antagonism or disdain or both. Oyo State, just many others in the country, is simply impervious to the humanizing influence of culture and can’t be bothered. Foremost among the states paying appropriate respect to culture is Lagos State that has been home to come of the great cultural figures Nigeria has ever known. With the introduction of its own festival, Lagos Black Heritage Festival (LBHF) about five years ago, Lagos citizens have a yearly celebration to look forward to, as adding spice to their lives. The festival’s rich programming, especially the ones designed to stimulate school children’s imagination to give expression to their idea of their own country, gives impetus to unbridled creativity. Neighbourng states and communities find a fertile avenue to display their rich cultural heritage to enrich Lagos’ ever expanding imagination. Also, its

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Diasporic content also lends credence to historical awareness of the connections between Nigeria and the outside world. A much older festival is the Calabar Christmas Carnival. Although rooted in foreign carnival concept largely from Brazil and the Caribbean, Calabar Christmas Carnival has done a lot to infuse the spirit of sumptuous engagement among Calabar citizens. It has become the preferred destination during Christmas season and the world looks forward to it with zest. After about eight years or so of the carnival, there’s a need to reappraise it and possibly redirect it to fit local needs and tastes so the people of Calabar and Cross Rivers State generally own it as their own. Its content can be localised such that the people’s culture takes centre-stage by way of ownership. The Brazilian carnival content can be placed side-by-side local cultural and performative experiences to better enrich it and thereby highlight what’s local and pleasing among the people. Rivers State has, perhaps, redefined the concept of cultural promotion in a Nigerian space where culture is viewed with suspicion or distrust. The state government has helped to midwife Garden City Literary Festival, now Port Harcourt Book Festival, which is in turn is hosting UNESCO Port Harcourt Book Capital 2014. Also, the state organises CARNIRIV or Rivers State Carnival that promotes the diverse cultural expressions of the people. These two events put the state in high estimation among cultural enthusiasts, who see it as sustenance of society’s humanistic tendency without which society is stifled to death. The continuing promotion of Osun Osogbo Festival in Osun State has served the state and its citizens well. It is the only festival that hosts the largest number of visitors every year. Sustaining the festival is in the interest of the state that hopes to rake in billions of naira from it. But the festival needs a face-lift, especially the Osun groove, with more content added to make it more appealing to visitors from all over the world. These states or cities that have become home to one form of cultural expression or the other have continued to rank high in the estimation of Nigerians. Culture is how the people express themselves; a state giving its people such expressive avenue would rank high. Such state understands the hunger of the human spirit and proceeds to feed it with tangible and intangible soul food that only culture can provide. Apart from what Lagos State Government does with LBHF, several other cultural expressions find outlet in the city. Although paltry, the city as Nigeria’s commercial hub, has aided various cultural expressions that need some form of sponsorship or support to go on. The relatively well off citizens have also aided the promotion of cultural expression. Because culture is not necessarily a commercial product, but a humanistic one, it needs support for it to grow. It’s the reason why philanthropy is key to cultural flowering or growth. While Nigerian business men and women lack the public-spiritedness of America’s Rockefeller, Ford foundations and other philanthropists who support culture, states are perhaps the only ones with more than enough resources to promote culture, as the examples of states mentioned above indicate. There’s the yearly Lagos Books and Arts Festival organised by Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) that brings lovers of books and arts together in conversation and Nigeria International Book Fair. Abuja also has some individual and group festivals mainly book-related to stimulate citizens of the capital city; but no input yet from its authorities. Abeokuta now hosts Ake Books and Arts Festival that started last year; it is hoped that it will be sustained to add yet another dimension to the book and art life of the country. Another individual effort in Enugu is the Coal City Book Convention, which has suffered hiccups for lack of funding. Enugu State could adopt it instead of looking to start something new; it has structures on ground to build a first class

book and art convention. Indeed, more states need to do the same or surpass existing ones. Sadly, some states are yet to wake up to this reality. It’s on record that no state in the South-East does anything in the area of cultural promotion. Anambra State with its wealth of writers and other cultural creators does not have any avenue for its people to express themselves. This also goes for other geo-political regions. Only Niger State holds a colloquium in honour of the current governor of the state, Dr. Muazo Babangida Aliyu, the MBA Colloquium on Literature that draws visitors to the state in a two-day celebration. Although Delta State has propounded the mantra of ‘Delta Beyond Oil’, it’s unclear the direction the state is being driven in this noble vision. A culture producer and performer, Mr. Richard Mofe-Damijo, has been in the saddle of the culture ministry in the state yet there’s nothing to justify his occupancy of that position. There’s no dynamism of any sort that he has brought to bear on his job. As the only state with a claim to the rainbow mix in terms of peoples, cultures and talents, Delta State ought to show the way to many others how things are run. But there’s no cultural expression of any sort that brings this huge amalgam of peoples, cultures and talents in celebration and advertisement to the rest of the world. The ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ mantra in the absence of culture promotion would appear a huge joke. The same applies to neighbouring Edo State. With the state’s rich cultural expressions it would have been expected that the state would explode culturally; but this hasn’t happen and may never happen. Culture is people! States that have tapped into the culture of their people and are celebrating it will continue to be at the forefront of development. They are states that understand the humanistic needs of the people and are creatively responding to them. Other states would do well to walk in the same path to douse the tension that is building up in many parts of Nigeria’s national life – be it unemployment, youth restiveness and inse-

Fayemi


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Heritage Ofala festival berths in Ghana By Kabir Alabi Garba REPARATIONS are being perfected for the first edition of Igbo Cultural Diaspora Summit slated for Accra, Ghana in August this year. With the palace of Eze Ndi Igbo, Ghana, HRH Chukwudi J. Ihenetu as facilitator and convener, the summit has as theme Restoring Igbo Custom, Language and Tradition in the Diaspora. It will also feature Royal Ofala ‘Iriji’ (New Yam Festival) of Eze Chukwudi Ihenetu, Eze Ohazurume 1. Running from August 29 to 31, 2014 at Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Ridge Accra, Ghana, highlights of the three-day outing include traditional dances, cultural festivals, as well as age grade performances by dance groups from different states in Eastern Nigeria. Specifically, the Ofala and ‘Iriji’ (New Yam) festival of Ezeigbo Ghana and Ndi-Igbo Ghana is being envisioned to become a unique programme in the country’s yearly calendar of events. Besides, the expectation is that it will serve as a day when the Igbos in Ghana and their friends will congregate to thank God for keeping them alive, in addition to being a day of stock taking when the king will give account of his stewardship for the out-gone year while projecting into the New Year. But the core objective of the summit is to restore the Igbo culture and tradition for the teeming Igbo sons and daughters in the Diaspora and especially in Ghana. This objective is motivated by the understanding that “most of the Ndigbo in the Diaspora have lost touch with the language and those core traditional values that an Igbo indigene is known for,” noted Eze Ihenetu in a brochure that provides details about the festival. According to the monarch, “having come to settle in Ghana and having achieved a certain level of economic freedom, Ndigbo have integrated into the Ghanaian society by mostly inter-marrying with Ghanaians or other foreign nationalities. The children from these marriages and indeed children of Igbo families who have been living in the Diaspora for a long while have lost track with everything an Igbo man should hold dear.” Eze Ihenetu is optimistic that the summit will provide an opportunity for the Igbos in the west coast to re-establish a firm relationship with their root through a process of tutelage which will make the Igbos in the Diaspora be part of the decisions that affect Ndi-Igbo in general. For the government of Ghana, the summit, the king envisaged, will create a window to have a clear picture of the contribution of the Igbos to the economic well-being of the country while further cementing the socio-economic ties between some of the tribes in Ghana and the Igbos. One major highlight of the summit is the launching of Ezeigbo Foundation being set up to engineer growth in trade, business and education among Igbos in Ghana. Eze Ihenetu

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traced the birth of the foundation to the discovery that “there are a teeming number of Igbos especially the youth loitering the streets of Accra, constituting themselves as nuisance and making the indigenes to paint the Igbos as bad.” Therefore, the foundation intends to rally them, identify those that need to be sent to school; those that need to be set up in business and those that need counselling. “With this data, the foundation will be able to empower them,” asserted Eze Ihenetu. The monarch disclosed further that the foundation would be championing the erection of Igbo Village in Ghana to serve as a rallying point for the preservation of Igbo culture. “Already, 250 plots of land had been acquired for this purpose. Streets will also be named after illustrious sons and daughters of Igboland,” he said, noting that the foundation, since February 2013, has been running the Igbo language schools at different centres in the Greater Accra Region. The launching of the foundation during the summit in August, Eze Ihenetu hopes, will facilitate building of physical structures for the schools and extend them to other nine regions in Ghana and beyond. Eze Ohazurume 1 is happy that his palace is facilitating the creation of ‘new world’ for the Igbos in Ghana. He decried the fact that of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, “Igbo is the only tribe that has no outlet anywhere in the world. The Hausa-Fulani Empire has Hausa/Fulani stretching all along the Sahel to Sudan. They are mostly Muslims and they have contacts with the Arab world. The Yoruba nation has Togo, Benin Republic, Sierra Leone, Brazil and Cuba to run to where their kinsmen are. Igbo has nowhere in the world where their language is spoken.” And for hope in the Igbo future not to be dashed, the monarch admonished, “people would need to do a number of things. One is that the Igbo need to collectively arise and rebuff the bad in them by embracing that which is good and honest. “Two is the necessity of seeking moral rebirth by the adoption of those qualities of life and conduct that are both ennobling and socially uplifting. These, in my thinking, are pathways to Igbo recovery in the present Nigerian society in which they have found themselves. It is only after the Igbo have recovered themselves that they can truly begin their search for the ‘good person’ (ezigbo mmadu) of the contemporary Igbo society.” Eze Ihenetu believes strongly that the Igbo Cultural Diaspora Summit Ghana will act as a reconciliatory measure for all Ndi-Igbo in Ghana and indeed in the west coast and beyond. “This summit will serve as a rallying point, an educational and cultural excursion to create awareness about the Igbos, their plights, their achievements and the way forward,” he insisted. Eze Ihenetu

Age grade dancers performing


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Film The Meeting is audience choice at NollywoodWeek Paris

NollywoodWeek Festival Director, Serge Noukoue (left); Rita Dominic; Chika Chukwu; Mildred Okwo and Festival Ambassador, Mahmoud Ali Balogun at the closing of the festival… in Paris By Shaibu Husseini (who was in Paris) Hammond as Directors of Thursday. Tickets for Omoni Oboli’s first fea- Shari T was a triumph for the romantic comedy, Imovie The Meeting in far away Paris, France, as the starring Rita Dominic clinched the prestigious People’s Choice Award (PCA) at the NollywoodWeek Paris film festival, which closed on Sunday. The film was adjudged by moviegoers who were attracted to the 4-day festival, which opened on Thursday, June 5, as the best of the six Nigerian movies in official selection. The other movies in official selection were Flower Girl, Confusion Na Wa, Misfit, Journey To Self and Half of a Yellow Sun. For winning the PCA, the crew of The Meeting will be able to use top of the line optic lens produced by one of the key partners of the festival, Angénieux, for their next project for free. Also the winning film, according to the festival director, Serge Noukoue, will receive an acquisition deal by the African branch of Canal Plus TV, in addition to being the only Nigerian film that will be screened at the One Day of African Culture Festival scheduled for Paris in 2015. An elated Dominic, who received the PCA on behalf of the cast and crew of the movie, thanked the organisers for the platform they have created to showcase the best of Nollywood films. She also thanked the audience who filled the screening halls daily for finding The Meeting worthy of that honour, noting, “This is a great honour for us and it is an encouragement for us to continue to do more movies and tell stories that people can identify with and learn from. I would like to say on behalf of The Audrey Silva Company (TASC) team, that we value this recognition and honour”. The 400-seater main auditorium of Cinema l’Arlequin, where the closing ceremonies of the festival held, was filled to capacity. Tickets for the closing film and Andrew Dosumu’s engaging feature Mother of George sold out days before the closing ceremony. Moviegoers had to be turned back as there were no more tickets available for sale. It was the same situation during the opening ceremony on

ture film as a director Being Mrs. Eliot sold out. The cinema hall was packed. Oboli, who presented the movie to the eager European audience, got standing ovation at the end of the movie. They applauded her effort and remarked that it was a good first attempt at directing. The six films in official selection screened between Friday June 5 and Sunday June 8 and tickets for all the screenings were completely sold out. In fact, on a few occasions, the filmmakers had to come in only during the time for question and answers because the seats were occupied by moviegoers some of whom said they travelled as far as Ireland to be part of the best of Nollywood showcase. Producer and director of Flower Girl, one of the films in official selection, said she was overwhelmed by the huge turn out of moviegoers to the festival, noting, “The turn out of people here shows that there is a market for Nigerian movies in Europe. I am impressed”. But it was not all screening of movies at the festival. There were opportunities for professional encounters between the participating Nigerian filmmakers and their French counterparts. There was also a panel discussion dubbed ‘Reel Women Roundtable’ where female directors, producers, screenwriters and other professionals from Nigeria shared their experiences with the audience and their French counterparts. Moderated by the notable African film journalist and critic Claire Diao, the all-female panel examined the challenges and prospects of filmmaking in the continent as it concerns female filmmakers. They all seemed to agree that the biggest challenge they face was funding. But then they canvassed for increased and dedicated funding so that they could concentrate more on making films than spend the time chasing after sponsors. It was applause all round for the organisers of the festival—the French non-profit organisation, Okada Media, which has Serge Noukoue as Executive Director and Nadira Shakur and

Communication and Partner respectively. Impressed by the professional manner the festival was presented, officials of Total, the main sponsors of the festival, announced that they would continue sponsorship of the festival. “We are very proud to be sponsors of the NollywoodWeek Paris”, said Chidi Momah of Total. “The festival has provided us the opportunity to see something fresh and positive about Nigeria away from all the negative images. This festival has helped to project Nigeria and its media professionals well and we will gladly collaborate with the organisers next year in this effort that is clearly aimed at contributing to the development of the vibrant Nollywood industry”. Director of the festival, Noukoue, said he was already looking forward to the 2015 edition of the festival, adding, “This has been awesome as you can see. It can only get better and better with more support. We are already working on the 2015 edition”. Officials of the Nigerian Embassy in France said they were impressed with the organisation of the festival and the turn out of moviegoers. They promised to continue to lend their support to the initiative, which, as they had witnessed, provided the opportunity for moviegoers to see quality films and to meet with the practitioners. Officials of Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation, which hosted the Nigerian delegation to a luncheon at the Auberge des Ecluses Hotel and Restaurant in Poissy, also assured the organisers of continued support. Filmmaker, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, who is the festival ambassador, described this edition of the festival ‘as a huge success’. Although he noted that the four days span of the festival was becoming inadequate considering the demand for more sessions of professional encounter, Ali-Balogun remarked that over all, the Nollywood films that were showcased were well received while the festival achieved its objectives of growing a new audience, creating partnership deals and giving exposure to Nollywood films and the Nigerian film industry in the Francophone market.

Rita at the closing of the festival on Sunday in Paris


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NFC begins documentation of guilds, associations HE Nigerian Film T Corporation, (NFC) has commenced the documentation of all film guilds and associations operating in the Nigeria. Also, all film schools, film academies, festivals, awards, exhibition and markets operating in Nigeria are to undergo the documentation process. The NFC in a statement signed by the Head of Public Affairs, Brain Etuk explained that the exercise was informed by the dearth of verifiable information on the film industry. He stated that the documentation exercise would focus on persons and or group of persons who are entitled to practice as registered professionals within the Nigerian motion picture industry.  Etuk assured that the list of practitioners and the recognized guilds and associations would be published and widely distributed to guide sponsors, investors and the general public. Managing Director of the NFC, Dr. Danjuma Dadu explained that the documentation exercise would invariably enable film practitioners access funds meant for the sector, and enable the sustenance of adequate industry support policies by government for effective intervention in the film sector. The NFC boss reiterated that for the sector to remain rele-

Amata is festival director of Abuja International Filmfest OTABLE actor and director, deliver the 11th Abuja N Fred Amata, has been International Film Festival appointed in acting capacity billed for September 23 - 26 as director of the annual Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF). The accomplished actor and director take over from Fidelis Duker, who has run the festival as founder and director for almost 11 years. However, Duker will still retain his position as founder but will play only advisory roles henceforth. The second director of the longest running TV soap of the eighties Ripples, Amata will be leading a team that would

2014 in Abuja. The festival will be held with the theme ‘100 Years of Films in Nigeria…. A Retrospective’. Scion of the renowned Amata film dynasty, Amata made his debut as an actor in the award–winning TV series, Legacy in 1986. In a career spanning almost three decades, Amata has earned directorial, acting and performance credits in over 150 productions spanning almost the entire genre of film, theatre and cinema.

Dadu vant within the nation’s economy, with increase in investment, support and growth, there is need to have the film Industry properly structured and regulated adding that the documentation process is expected to end within two

months, beginning from June 11, while the documentation of film production studios, will also be undertaken before the end of 2014. The statement further indicated that soft and hard copies of registration forms

for the three categories and further details can be obtained from the Corporation Website: www.nfc.gov.ng and from the headquarters or zonal offices of the NFC in Jos, Abuja, Kano and Lagos.

Amata

At NGA event, children task govt on child’s rights From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja long as the Chibok schoolgirls SBokoOremain in the custody of their Haram abductors, they will continue to dominate discussions in children’s gatherings. Even though the theme of the recently celebrated 2014 Children’s Day had to do with the elimination of child labour, children devoted a great part of the celebration in praying for the release of their Chibok mates. At the event organised by the National Gallery of Art (NGA), Federal Capital Territory Station, children utilized their creative space to canvass for the elimination of all forms of child labour, including abductions. Some of the children who spoke to The Guardian said they were not ignorant of their rights in the society. They therefore urged the government to help in protecting the rights of children, including their right to education, parental care as well as freedom from abductors. “As a child, I know I have rights to life, education, shelter and personal dignity. I would like government to create more security facilities for the protection of students so that there would be an end to attacks on schools and kidnap of students”, said one of the participating students, Blessing Madubuko. For 12-year old Ali Gideon, whose drawing was titled ‘Who Sent You?, said he was motivated by the need to “tell mothers that hawking is not good for children because we are supposed to be in school”. Apart from visual art exhibition by the children, there were also drama sketches, poetry rendition

and fashion show to spice the day. In his welcome address, Director General, NGA, Mr. Abdulahi Muku, noted that although the celebration was low-keyed across the country in view of the prevailing security situation, NGA still packaged the event in response to the international cultural policies, which are designed to be of immense help to children. According to him, children’s creative outputs exhibited annually by NGA is aimed at identifying emerging talents as well as redirect children’s attention to the arts. While speaking on the theme of the year’s celebration, Muku expressed worries at the alarming rate of child labour, not only in Nigeria but as it has become a trend across the world, noting, “Its perpetrators have consistently inflicted pains and agony on affected children. Sadly, the harrowing experiences remain with these children throughout their lifetime. While a few of such children may survive the experience and move on later in life, many are stigmatized and traumatized in such a way that the pains remain burdensome to their personal developments. In the course of time, the ripple effects rub off negatively on the society”. Muku expressed the need for world leaders to take a cursory look at issues affecting children with a view to finding lasting solutions. According to him, “Adopting the theme is our firm commitment to bettering the lot of the Nigerian child. Many of our children have fantastic dreams and aspirations which will blossom if followed through”. The DG was optimistic that there

could be a change if more parents were made aware of the consequences of children labour and were better enlightened on the imperative of child’s education. Curator, NGA, FCT Station, Ngozi John-Uyah, who was organising the outing for the second time, said the theme was an interrogation of social ills that have posed serious

Children’s artworks on display

global challenge. She noted, “Children are not excluded from this negative phenomenon. Children who are forced to engage in economic activities as a result of poverty are left vulnerable to all sorts of evil”. According to her, the plethora of works submitted for the competition collectively spoke against child

labour, adding, “The thread that runs through the fabric of the works of art on display is the argument that child labour deprives the child of an opportunity to be the best he or she can aspire to be. The right to quality education should be non-negotiable and education should be all encompassing to be functional”.


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Sound n’ Screen Morale boost, as Glo Ambassadors sing for Super By Chuks Nwanne VER the years, telecommunication Company, Globacom Nigeria has exhibited O true passion and zeal in its contribution to the development of sports in Nigeria, especially football. Apart from from being the current title sponsor of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPL), a three-year contract worth about N1.8 billion, Glo has been the backbone of the Nigeria’s Supporters Club, practically paying their travel expenses to cheer Nigerian teams during tournaments across the globe. However, as the Super Eagles of Nigeria get set to square up with their counterparts from Iran on Monday, at the Arena da Baixada, Brazil, Glo is already mobilising support for the Stephen Keshi-led squad to ensure Nigeria have a successful campaign at the 2014 World Cup. In the campaign, Glo Ambassadors such as rapper MI, Flavour, Omawumi, Waje Wande Coal, Naeto C, Chee the Voice and Ego were assembled by the telecommunication company to produce three theme songs to mobilise support for the Nigerian team and fire the players to victory at the mundial. The songs include Power to Win, which was powerfully delivered by Flavour and MI; Raise Your Voice anchored by the Glo All Stars, as well as a medley of popular Nigerian Supporters’ Club chants, which Nigerians are already enthusiastically downloading as ring back tunes. Meanwhile, the refrain no lele, no yawa in the Raise Your Voice song, which in popular Nigerian Pidgin English means ‘no worries,’ is resonating with Nigerians who love the reassuring words in the song. Part of the lyrics goes thus: ‘that we would raise our flag, we would shine our eyes, we would raise our voice and defend our name. No dulling Naija...’ Velvety voiced Waje, inimitable Omawumi and sonorous-voiced Chee combined with other A list Glo ambassadors to encourage Nigerians to join their voices to support Eagles’ World Cup campaign. On the other hand, The Supporters’ Club chant is a medley of folkloric and religious songs in the three major Nigerian languages of Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. These songs are prayers to God, meant to serve as rallying appeal to Nigerians to support the Super Eagles with prayers and positive comments. Indeed, the Raise Your Voice song seeks to achieve this by catching the attention of all. The chants begin with a call for fair officiating in Yoruba language, urging the referee to be impartial, which is closely followed by other prayerful Yoruba songs such as Baba ti bawa se and Sa ma sinwalo, basically expressing the hope that God would see the Super Eagles through the World Cup campaign; all the Yoruba songs were anchored by Wande Coal. Also, the Igbo choruses, led by Flavour and Naeto C, have great danceable instrumentations that create a picture of football action on the field of play in the peoples’ minds when the song is played. The beats also elicit interminable thirst and hunger for victory for the Super Eagles each time they take to the field during the World Cup matches. Among the Igbo songs are the Otitikpokpotikpo, an Igbo exhortative chant and Onye n’eme nma, which exalts the goodness of God. Bez Idakula, who hails from Nasarawa State, anchored choruses rendered in Hausa. With the other ambassadors backing him up, he sang the universal Ole, Ole!, a celebratory chorus that inspires teams to victory. Songs such as When Nigeria beat Brazil reminds Nigerians of the golden moment when the country won the Olympic gold medal in football at the expense of football giants like Brazil and Argentina.   Accpording to Globacom, the essence of the songs was, “to create the belief in the Super Eagles and Nigerians that with hard work, dedication and the support of 160 million passionate Nigerians, the team can excel in Brazil.

Ice Prince performing

Harp Music Nite lights up Port Harcourt, Aba others BA, the commercial capital of Abia State genre of music to the delight of the crowd at favourite artistes perform while relaxing A was agog recently, as Guinness Nigeria Lesukaa Bar in Port Harcourt and Laurel Bar with their preferred beer. It would be recalled that Harp Lager was rePlc, throuhg it’s Harp brand stormed the in Warri. Guests had great fun, as they strugtown with music stars for the maiden edition of the Harp Music Nite. Similar gig was also staged in Port harcourt, Enugu and Warri, where fans were treated to the best of Naija hi-hop. At the shows, consumers and lovers of music were treated to an unforgettable musical experience featuring live performances from three of Nigeria’s prominent artistes, Flavour, Ice Prince and Seyi Shay. As for the artistes, it was an opportunity to meet oneon-one with their fans. Specifically, hip hop artiste, Ice Prince and the delectable Seyi Shay left no one in doubt as to their ability to perfectly deliver their

gled to out-do each other in order to win some of the fantastic prizes on hand courtesy of Harp Premium Lager beer. Meanwhile, the atmosphere at Toscana Bar in Enugu and Sugarland Bar in Aba was electrifying as, Nigeria’s foremost Afro Hip Hop Star, Flavour (N’abania) ensured the guests were thoroughly entertained with his unique brand of music. The Harp Music Nite is an avenue to reach out to more consumers of the brand and treat them to great expeiences. Exquisite bars across the four cities were packed with enthusiatic consumers of the triple filtered lager beer, who were eager to watch their

cently re-launched with an exciting cool new look, which has made the brand more attractive to its trendy and younger community of consumers. According to Paul Asemota, Marketing Manager Lager, consumers of this iconic drink should expect more of such great nights because Harp is committed to thrilling its consumers with unforgettable experiences. “Our consumers in other parts of the country should expect more of these kind of fun nights as Harp Music Nite will make a stop in other cities across the country offering lots of fun and entertainment,” Asemota enthused.

On your cable this weekend I Didn’t Do It on Disney Channel June sees the launch of I Didn’t Do It, a comedy that tells of the hilarious twists and turns in the lives of five teenagers – ultra-competitive fraternal twins and their three best friends. Each episode begins at the end of a predicament, after an adventure has gone absurdly haywire. Twins Lindy and Logan, and friends Jasmine, Garrett and Delia try to explain, with flashbacks, exactly what happened. I Didn’t Do It airs on Disney Channel from Saturday, June 14 at 09:05 CAT Soccer Cities on BBC World News This special documentary focuses on some of the Brazilian cities which will host the World Cup this summer including: Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Manaus, Recife, Salvador and Sao Paulo, giving international audiences a preview of some of the host-cities ahead of the

tournament. This documentary will give international audiences a preview of some of the host-cities ahead of the tournament. Saturday, June 14 at 21:10 CAT and Sunday, June 15 at 15:10 CAT. The Girl with Seven Mums on BBC Lifestyle Some children may have seven siblings. Some may even have had seven dads. But nine year old Ellie Sharp has seven mums....Ellie’s dad, Philip, is a Messianic Jew with multiple wives. Cameras follow the family as they works through the emotional and practical problems that come with such a complex household structure. Ellie and her siblings have always been home-schooled, but this is about to change. Follow her exciting first visit to the classroom and her meetings with new schoolmates and lessons. How will she see the outside world? And does she still want to be a

polygamous wife when she grows up. The Girl with Seven Mums on BBC Lifestyle on Sunday, June 15 at 20:00 CAT. Discovery ID screens True Crime with Aphrodite Jones Crime reporter and bestselling author Aphrodite Jones investigates the truth behind the most notorious crimes in recent memory. In each episode, she uses her unique instincts to expose the facts about cases that true-crime fans may have been too quick to judge during the media firestorm. Featuring interviews with people connected to the crime – including, whenever possible, those convicted – Jones attempts to get inside the minds of the killers in an effort to understand what drove them to perform such despicable acts. True Crime with Aphrodite Jones airs on Discovery ID on Mondays at 19:00 CAT


ARTS Friday, June 13, 2014 47

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Tourism Tourism, GDP earner on the sidelines, says Mbanefo ELYING on the report of border R survey being conducted by her agency, the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo has disclosed that a total of 4,037,808 inbound tourists visited Nigeria in 2013, spending $649,468,486. Compared to 1,414,000 tourist arrivals recorded in 2009 when a number of arrivals in Nigeria was last calculated, according to the World Bank, the new figure represents 185 percent increase in tourism arrivals last year. Mbanefo made this disclosure in a presentation titled, Promoting Domestic Tourism: Tool For National Economic Development, which was delivered on Tuesday at a 2-day tourism Investor Forum and Exhibition held in Abuja. The event, which ended Wednesday, was organised by Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN). The NTDC boss said tourism in Nigeria contributed so much to the GDP but very little is attributed to it, hence the difficulties of government in the recent past to see it as a major contributor to national GDP. She, however, did not mince words, saying tourism is the next alternative to oil and gas in terms of revenue generation. According to her, most recent data by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) show that current global tourism contributions to GDP is approaching US$7 trillion, accounting for 9.3 percent of global GDP and that the industry accounts for 8.7 of global employment with an estimated annual growth rate of 2.4 percent. Notwithstanding, the higher income gainer is domestic tourism, she said. According to UNWTO 2008 report, out

of the 4.8 billion tourist arrivals per year across the world, 4 billion (83 percent) corresponds to domestic tourism. Locating this trend in Nigeria context, she said religious tourism alone generated over a million domestic tourists in 2013, adding that Osun Osogbo Festival recorded 21,713 domestic tourists including 123 international tourists with the expenditure of N58,230, 170 while Abuja Carnival recorded 19,015 domestic tourists and a substantial number of international tourists. Mbanefo explained why NTDC privileges domestic tourism as the driving policy of her administration. She said visits are more frequent and repetitive therefore bearing capacity to generate more earnings. In his speech, the FTAN President, Mr. Tomi Akingbogun highlighted the challenges facing tourism sector in Nigeria, which, according to him, includes insecurity, multiple taxation, lack of infrastructures and lack of patronage from government among others. He noted, “Less than 3 percent of the Nigerian land mass is affected by terrorism and militancy. However, this has resulted in decrease of about 50 percent in tourism patronage.” He said government’s charges such as Business Premises Registration Fees, Sign Board Fees, Tenement Rate, Liquor Licence, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), VAT, Guest Parking bill, water and electricity bill and others are responsible for high overheads, which negatively affect hospitality business in Nigeria. “Even NIPOST is planning to introduce Stamp duties of N50 per N1000 (5 percent),” he said. He insisted that such barriers must be taken off if tourism business must grow.

President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Mr. Tomi Akingbogun; Director, Domestic Tourism Department and representing Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, Dr. Paul Adaliku; Ethiopian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Ali Abdo and Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation  (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo at the stand of Ethiopia Airlines during Nigeria Tourism Investors Forum & Exhibitions (NTIFE 2014) held at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja Sheraton Hotel during the week Apart from this, FTAN President appealed to the government to develop more leisure destinations that people can visit, noting that hospitality business could thrive better when where there are many tourism destinations. The FTAN Boa0rd of Trustee Chairman, Chief Samuel Alabi advised the government to create a special intervention fund in excess of N500 billion through the Central Bank to be

accessed by operators in the tourism sector or set up Tourism Development Bank to provide credit facility for operators. He also advised that the government should take data capturing of the tourism industry serious. Meanwhile, the Director of Tourism, FCT representing the Minister of State, FCT, Mrs. Adebola Elegede assured FTAN that all the issues raised concerning multiple taxation and

other investor-unfriendly policies that should be addressed by the ministry. She commended the tenacity of Hotel Owners Forum and FTAN in bringing to the fore those issues that hinder the progress of tourism business in the FCT. She said the administration partners with them and other stakeholders to provide conducive and enabling environment to promote tourism in the FCT.

“INDABA 2014 was a high-energy showcase of Africa’s tourism industry”, SA Tourism NDABA 2014 gave a platform to 24 African Ibuyers, destinations to do business with quality in an environment attuned to the remarkable inbound tourist growth of a continent. This was the hallmark of the most advanced, business-focused and tech-savvy INDABA to date that lived up to its theme: Plugging into Africa’s Growth. When the show closed on Monday, 12 May, 8 706 delegates had attended this year’s INDABA. A total of 281 of those delegates were hosted buyers (35.7 percent up on hosted buyer numbers in 2013); 788 of total delegates

were South African buyers; and 1 069 delegates were (non-hosted) international buyers. A total of 1 198 different products, experiences and services exhibited at INDABA this year. Significantly there was a 15.5 percent growth in regional African products on show at INDABA. INDABA has taken its place as a highly relevant, Pan-African business platform, harnessing the power of technology to create an enabling environment for people to network and do business. The INDABA Connect system

this year proved its value. There were 229 191 connections made using the system over the three days of the tradeshow. The 8 305 INDABA Connect users at this year’s show exchanged 35 019 documents electronically, an impressive 150 percent up on the 14 007 documents exchanged at INDABA 2013. Even more importantly, a total of 19 399 meetings took place between exhibitors and buyers through INDABA’s electronic diary Matchmaking system. There were 18 044 logins into the system by 4 316 users. South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima says: “This is a key focus for SA Tourism as we begin gear-up for INDABA 2015, ensuring enhanced user-friendliness and automatic intelligence that maximises the value of the online paring system.” Media interest in INDABA 2014 remained strong with a total of 653 journalists covering the show. The #INDABA2014 hashtag trended on Twitter on each of the three show days. The TechZone, a new introduction at INDABA 2014 showcased travel and technology trends. It hosted hundreds of delegates every day who came to engage with leading travel technology brands and listen to the INDABA TechTalks by global experts including representatives from Facebook, TripAdvisor, Google and local technology advisors. All the TechTalks were oversubscribed. “It was a successful INDABA,” continues Nzima, “South African Tourism is confident

that its tighter buyer selection criteria, which resulted in a marginally reduced number of buyers this year, succeeded in delivering improved quality buyers for INDABA exhibitors.” “Securing the attendance of quality buyer delegates has been a priority at INDABA for a number of years. We are confident that our efforts to stimulate meaningful engagements between buyers and exhibitors at INDABA was effective and that this will lead to the generation of millions of Rands in tourism business, and tourists, that will contribute substantially to the long-term growth of tourism on the continent.” Nigel Vere Nicoll, Chief Executive Officer at African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA) agrees. “INDABA is definitely going in the right direction,” he says. “The Pan-African nature of the show quantifiably delivers more value for both exhibitors and buyers and ATTA will most certainly be back to exhibit in 2015.” “The Speed Marketing sessions were especially useful, providing excellent business leads and direct access to buyers of exceptional quality for our businesses. ATTA congratulates all involved on making INDABA 2014 a decided success,” Vere Nicoll says. ATTA is a trade association that promotes tourism to Africa. The body serves and supports tourism products in 22 African countries.


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48 ARTS Friday, June 13, 2014

ArtHouse Artists exhibit in Abuja 18 Nigerian artists titled ‘Defining Moment’ opens from 14th to 30th June 2014 at Transcorp Hilton, FCT, Abuja. The group of artists will be exhibiting 115 paintings.

Dada hosts Rules of Self-Publishing at writers’ workshop Charles Ayo Dada will host a writers’ workshop on the ‘Rules of Self-publishing’ on Friday, June 27, 2014 at the Hothouse. It promises to deliver exceptional experiences for participants. The theme for this edition of the workshop is The Rules of Self-Publishing.  This month’s event also comes with an exciting twist, as a few lucky writers will be given the opportunity to showcase their works during the workshop, and receive feedback and advice from the panel. Interested writers who would like to share their poetry, a passage from their book, spoken word, or any kind of written artistic expression should send a email to info@enterprisecreative.org.

Oguntokun’s Eni Ogun for Soyinka’s 80th Eni Ogun, a stage play based on the autobiographical works of Prof. Wole Soyinka, and designed to celebrate the poet/playwright at 80 will be performed by Wole Oguntokun’s Renegade Theatre at Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre on July 19 and 20. Time is 3 & 6pm on each day.

D’banj boosts small scale farming scheme for youths with N50 million T seems like Dapo Stories by Florence Utor Daniel Oyebanjo, aka, D’banj, the Koko scale enterprises, Master in this new Master, has another as a veritable plat- venture is Heritage Bank, whose manlove affair withh agri- form for future economic welldate is the creation, culture. He must being of the coun- preservation and have seen its benetransfer of wealth fits, as he is not only try. Providing support via robust SME supan ambassador of port Scheme. ONE, an agriculture for the Koko initiative aimed recognizing and making the lives of Africa’s smallholder farmers better but has gone into the production of Koko gari. On his 34th birthday, June 9th, which also marked 10 years in the music industry, D’banj announced his partnership with Heritage Bank with a whooping N50 million deposit for loans to be given to interested youths who want to go into farming. According to him, “If anyone told us 10 D’banj years ago that music was going to become Akanbi wins Bull Fuji Talent this big, employing Hunt Season 2 millions of youths, we all would have 0-YEAR old Idris Akanbi (a.k.a Aloma) doubted but I dare has emerged overall winner of the say that with the Bull Fuji Talent Hunt Season 2 after two same passion, just months of intensive search for new Fuji like it was with Stars in Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Osogbo, music 10 years ago, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Ilorin, Oyo, Iwo, Ikirun, so will it be with Ede, Ilesha and Ondo. farming soon. Held recently at NTA Ibadan, Oyo State, Farming pays”. premises and powered by Bull Brands Koko Agropreneur is from the stable of Intercontinental D’banj’s latest initia- Distillers Ltd and packaged by Kingsize tive aimed, on the Entertainment, the grand-finale of the one hand, with pro- hunt was fun-filled and crowd-pulling viding practical lead- musical concert, which produced eight ership and encourfinalists that rocked Ibadan City with agement to youths Fuji vibes. to embrace agriculThe overall winner went home with tural revolution N200, 000, a recording contract deal, being championed Bull Brands Ambassadorship for a year, by the Minister of Yamaha PSR 243 Keyboard. The two runAgriculture, Dr. ners-up, Okikiola Akeem and Tope Ajani, Akinwunmi got N150, 000, Yamaha PSR 243 Adeshina, as part of Keyboard and N100, 000 and saxothe national sociophone, respectively. Consolation prizes, economic transforranging from cash to bull drinks were mation agenda. It is given to fourth to eighth position winalso an initiative ners. designed to stress The talent hunt, which discovered the significance of Wizkid Nurudeen Antenna, who won small and medium the first edition, was fully supported by

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Representative of FBN Trustees, Mr. Adekunke Awojobi, and a Senior Pastor, RCCG Apapa Family Province 4 presenting to a winner in ages 5-6 category at God’s Children’s Got Talent competition

God’s Children Got Talent… Church empowers youths in talent discovered OD’S Children Got Talent, a G programme organised by the Redeem Christian Church of God, Apapa Family, has over the past six months conducted several auditions in over 1000 parishes in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States. The grand finale was held recently in Lagos. At an event held at Eko Hotel and Suites, an audience of up to 6,000 comprising sponsors, media partners and families watched 50 performances before a panel of five judges that decided the win-

ners. The scope of talents judged included musical instruments, drawing, singing and dancing. In almost N22 million prize money for competitors, the dancing duo of Egere Great and Ekeh Samuel won N500,000. Great and Samuel won in the ages 16 -19 categories of the competition. Other age categories included ages five to ages19. While presenting the star prize to the duo, Head of Apapa Family church, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, explained that the mission of the proj-

ect was to provide a credible platform for the celebration of talent in God’s children. In his words; “God’s Children Got Talent was borne out of a desire to identify and nurture the diverse talents available in children across the Province. We are delighted that multinational brands such as Cadbury, First Bank, First Trustees and others have identified with this project”. The event, which had ministrations from popular gospel act, Frank Edwards and singing sensation Nneka also had foremost music and

movie personalities such Joke Silva, Director of MUSON Centre, Emeka Nwokedi, Wole Oni, Nikki Laoye and Creative Director, Spirit of David Dance Group, Femi, as judges. Pastor Iluyomade further stated, “Two major differentiators of the 2014 edition of God’s Children’s Got Talent is its scope of coverage, as season four of the show had other U.K. and U.S.-based parishes participating. Apart from the cash prizes, educational trust and talent development packages and musical equipment are also part of

Regalo expands offerings with Cape Cobra EGALO, leading African luxR ury store has secured an exclusive partnership with

ers in Africa, producing for luxury brands in Europe, and the United States as the sole partner Cape Cobra, the number one in West Africa. Discerning exotic luxury leather produc- clients who seek quality prod-

Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria (FUMAN). It featured Idris Akanbi, Tope Ajani, Okikiola Akeem, Taoheed Akanni, Opeyemi Akanbi, Yinusa Olaitan, Kazeem Aremu and Ayemona Adewale. As part of side attractions, two Fuji stars, Taye Currency, Muri Thunder and Nurudeen Antenna, thrilled hundred of Fuji music lovers. Present at the grand finale were FUMAN National President, Alhaji Moroof

Ayinde Shado and his executive members. Other were from the Bulls’s family - Wilson Ogunhi, Zekeri Dokpesi, Lekan Losunro, Sanusi Gafri, Kunle Seriki and host of others. Chief Operating Officer of Kingsize Entertainment, Lanre Alabi said Season 2 was a big step up for the Bull Brands and IDL due to packaging arrangement. He noted that Bull Brands would continue to partner with fuji music artistes to bring out new talents every season.

Akanbi receiving his prize from the organisers

ucts in one-of-a-kind exotic leather pieces can now easily obtain them at Regalo, located at the exclusive CentroLekki Mall, Admiralty Way, Lagos. Founded in May 2013, Regalo boasts a rich and eclectic combination of African-made luxury lifestyle goods from respected brand names across the continent such as Cape Cobra Leathercraft, Avoova, Tammy Parfum, Letterpress, YSwara, Buyu of Kenya, Sitota, La Divine Candles and Aweni, to name a few. Cape Cobra Leathercraft entered into partnership with Regalo in 2013, based on their common belief in African artisanship. It has a fully integrated design and production facility located in Cape Town. The factory features a design room, stores, engineering department, and production while the showroom offers a complete range of classic and new collections available, each piece intricately designed, intimately handcrafted and timelessly elegant. Funmi Onajide, founder of Regalo, and General Manager, Corporate Affairs, MTN Nigeria, explaining the inspiration for Regalo and the reasons for its success said, “My love and belief in Africa and in

the potential of African craftsmanship has been strengthened by the quality of artisanship that I have seen across the continent, which is largely tapped by foreign buyers. The excellence in quality and design of our local products has the capacity to position this continent in a very positive light. Uniquely African should not necessarily mean rustic. It should mean elegance and quality. It is for this reason Regalo was established; to bring the very best of Africa to our clients.” Aoife Kelly de Klerk, Brand and Marketing Manager for Cape Cobra Leathercraft, also highlighted the uniqueness of African ingenuity: “We believe that Africa has all the ingredients to compete in the luxury sectors of the market; especially in the exotic leather goods sector. We have the raw materials, the finishing capacities and excellent design and production facilities. Committed to its reputation as a premium destination store for exclusive made-in-Africa luxury goods, Regalo was recently selected by TW Magazine to present gifts to Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, Africa’s richest woman, due to its unique concept and product.


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Friday, June 13, 2014

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AutoWheels Mercedes Benz CLA 45 lives up to tradition

Mercedes Benz CLA 45 Stories by Dele Fanimo tree and ancestry ItheFarefamily major determinants of resilience and conservative build of Mercedes Benz brands, then you need to check out the 2014 CLA45 and see its relationship with the original A-Class. The Mercedes CLA 45, a coupeinspired saloon derivative of the current A-Class, couldn’t be more different from the original A-Class. The first A-Class was a radical departure for Mercedes – a car designed to squeeze the space of a family hatch into a supermini footprint, with a lofty roofline and clever sandwich floor packaging. It was launched in 1997, and you would never have imagined that17 years later, the frontwheel-drive 1.4-litre 80bhp A140 would help spawn a 355bhp four-wheel-drive descendant. Driving one today is a trip down memory lane, although aside from the lineage there’s

little to remind you of CLA 45. While it feels like a well sorted front-wheel-drive hatch, the all-wheel-drive system transfers power rapidly to the rear, and on the rain and mudsoaked roads, the CLA is impressively planted. The effortless performance on tap is fantastic. The optional Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control, COMAND navigation and Harman Kardon audio all soothe the miles on longer trips, and make up for the slightly firm ride The AMG’s appetite for fuel means that even with gentle driving t, but it’s a price worth paying. And as a measure of how much cars have moved on, the CLA 45 emits 161g/km of CO2 – 5g/km less than the 1.4-litre 80bhp A140 from 1997. There’s no stopping progress... Four-wheel drive, a 355bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine and a claimed 0-62mph time of just 4.6 seconds... even though this car doesn’t have a famed

AMG V8, it promises to be the real deal. On the outside, it’s marked out by xenon lights, red-painted brake calipers and a sliding glass roof, while inside the £1,640 AMG Exclusive Package brings red-stitched leather and heated seats, plus there’s carbon dash trim, for £920 extra. The good first impressions continue on the road, with power delivered to all four wheels. Traction is excellent, even on damp surfaces, while opting for Continental WinterContact tyres should ensure our CLA 45 AMG is ready for the worst the winter can throw at it. There’s a little bit of turbo lag, but if you keep the 2.0-litre engine in its sweet spot, acceleration is entertaining and a crackling exhaust note accompanies each gearshift. There isn’t a huge amount of feedback, but steering weighting is decent, and with suspension tuned for strong body control and stiffness, the CLA turns in well, doesn’t roll

Interior of Mercedes Benz CLA 45 much and grips hard through corners – although we’ll have to reserve final judgement on the handling until we switch to summer

tyres later in the year. But even with the smaller nocost option 18-inch wheels (19inch rims are standard), the ride is firm on undulating back roads.

Still, the 470-litre boot means practicality shouldn’t be an issue, so I’m looking forward to living with the CLA 45 AMG – and seeing how long the special feel lasts for.


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Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel-cell car debuts in U.S Stories by Dele Fanimo N an epoch event on Tuesday ISouthern in the United States, a California motorist drove off the lot of a Hyundai Motor Company dealership in a zero-emissions car touted by the automaker as marking the commercial debut of massproduced hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the United States. State energy and air-quality officials hailed the occasion in Tustin, California, about 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Los Angeles, as a milestone in efforts to curb tailpipe pollution that accounts for about a third of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. Independent industry analysts were less breathless about the announcement, noting that other automakers, including Honda Motor Co Ltd and Mercedes-Benz, have already put fuel cell vehicles on the road, albeit in very limited numbers. They said the relatively high cost of building the cars and extremely low number of hydrogen refueling stations would constrain the market for such vehicles for years to come. But they credited South Korean-based Hyundai with making a high-profile commitment to a promising technology. “That’s a big deal,” said industry analyst Maryann Keller, of Maryann Keller & Associates of Greenwich, Connecticut. In a ceremony at Tustin Hyundai, dealer principal John Patterson handed the keys for the new Tucson fuel cell-powered crossover vehi-

cle to its first U.S. customer, Timothy Bush, who is leasing the car for $499 a month plus a $2,999 down payment. As an added incentive for early adopters, the three-year, 36,000-mile lease term also come with unlimited free hydrogen refueling and free maintenance service at any of one of three participating dealerships in Southern

California. The cars are not yet available for sale, company officials said. The Tucson fuel cell, which comes only in white, is virtually identical to the gasoline version of the CUV, a four-door automobile with a rear hatch, and is manufactured on the same assembly line at Hyundai’s Tucson plant in Ulsan, South Korea. With a driving range of 265

miles for each fill-up and minimal cold-weather effects, the vehicle compares favorably to plug-in battery electric cars. Refueling takes about 10 minutes. Showing off the car to reporters, Bush said the Tucson’s range and size offer versatility similar to his current sport utility vehicle. “I’m really excited to be able to pack up the kids and the dog

and surfboards in the back and go to the beach or head up the local mountains, which we can totally do in this car,” he said. The fuel cell produces power from hydrogen gas through a electrochemical process that involves no combustion or moving parts. Its only tailpipe emission is water vapor. Hyundai has declined to say how many fuel cell vehicles it

plans to make this year, or how many have been ordered. Potential customers must live within range of nine existing refueling stations in Southern California, most of them along the Interstate 405 corridor through Los Angeles and Orange counties. California aims to have 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles, which include fuel cell cars, on its roads by 2025.

Hyundai hydrogen car

Ford targets $400m savings on Fiesta production Motor Company has FtheORD restated its resolve to make next generation of the Fiesta small car in Cologne, Germany, targeting $400 million in savings on production

Ford fiesta

costs from 2017 through 2021 because of greater worker flexibility. An agreement with the works council will enable vehicle assembly at the site to be

reduced to two shifts from three while engine production there will be increased to a three-shift schedule, Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford said in a statement. The

pact covers all 24,000 Ford employees in Germany and includes a pledge not to cut jobs. “This agreement and our decision to build the next-

generation Ford Fiesta in Cologne marks another important step in Ford of Europe’s transformation and underscores our commitment to invest in competitive vehicle production in

Germany, Stephen Odell, Ford’s head of Europe, said in a statement. Ford laid out plans to return to profit in Europe in 2015, starting moves in October 2012 to shutter three factories in the region by the end of this year to stem losses. The European operations are “on track” for the turnaround, Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said at a conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, on May 23. Losses this year are expected to narrow from the $1.6 billion posted last year. Full shifts can be added on a daily basis or shifts can be cut or extended by 30 minutes according to demand,Ford said. Some operations currently provided by suppliers will be carried out by Ford employees to make the plant more cost efficient. “We wanted to make the Fiesta profitable in Cologne,” Barb Samardzich, Chief Operating Officer Ford of Europe, said on a conference call with journalists. The “breathing factory” would make Cologne “globally competitive.” The decision to stick to Cologne as the only assembly plant for the Fiesta is fending off employees’ concerns that production might move to Romania, where labour costs are about one-10th the figures in Germany. Ford’s Cologne plant opened in 1931. The company operates a second assembly plant in Germany in the town of Saarlouis, close to the French border.


52 Friday, June 13, 2014 AutoWheels

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Nissan to proceed with $1 billion NYC taxi plan ISSAN Motor Co. (7201) can N proceed with a $1 billion plan to build a new vehicle for New York City’s taxi fleet in an appeals court defeat for cab operators who opposed being forced to buy a specific model. The Taxi of Tomorrow program fulfills the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s obligation “to produce a 21stcentury taxicab consistent with the broad interests and perspectives that the agency is charged with protecting,” the appeals court in Manhattan said yesterday. The court overturned an earlier decision blocking the proposal from moving forward. Nissan won a contract in 2011 valued at $1 billion over 10 years to supply more than 15,000 minivans with sliding doors, more luggage space and back-seat airbags for the city’s taxi fleet, the largest in the U.S. The commission in September 2012 designated the Nissan NV200 as the official “Taxi of Tomorrow” and required owners of medallions, which confer the right to operate yellow cabs in New York, to buy the $29,700 vehicles. Taxi fleet operators sued the city in December 2012 seeking to block the requirement, and a judge halted the program five months later, saying it violated the administrative code because it didn’t allow medallion owners to buy hybrid vehicles. The city then revised the rules to let medallion owners buy hybrids until Nissan develops a hybrid ver-

sion of the NV200. The operators sued again in July, and a judge blocked the plan from going forward, saying the commission exceeded its authority under the city charter by requiring the purchase of a specific vehicle. Justice David B. Saxe wrote in yesterday’s ruling that the taxi commission “carried out its assigned mission with an exacting process lasting from 2007 to 2011, obtaining input from all conceivable interests and concerns, to ensure a final decision that would best satisfy taxi passengers, owners, and drivers, as well as the general public.” Justice Rolando D. Acosta, in a dissenting opinion, said the commission exceeded its authority “regardless of whether the Taxi of Tomorrow project is rational and consistent” with its objectives, because it mandated the exclusive use of a specific make, model and manufacturer. “TLC’s authority under the Charter to make rules with respect to vehicle design is limited to rules regulating ’standards’ of design, and this does not include the power to issue rules mandating the exclusive use of one purposebuilt vehicle manufactured by a single company,” Acosta said. Nissan said in a statement that it’s pleased with the decision, which gives the company exclusivity with respect to New York City’s nonhybridtaxi market. The company said it’s been been distribut-

ing the NV200s through dealers since October 2013. “Given the specific NYC taxi research and development that Nissan conducted — including crash testing with the installed partition — we are confident that the Nissan NV200 taxi will provide a solution that is optimal in safety, comfort and convenience for passengers and drivers alike,” the Yokohama, Japan-based automaker said in a statement. Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi said in a statement that the city is reviewing the ruling in light of the potential for further appeal. “Certainly, we are gratified by this latest decision upholding the TLC’s regulatory authority,” Joshi said. Mayor Bill De Blasio, who received more than $200,000 in taxi-industry donations

during his campaign, said before taking office that he opposed the plan because not all cabs would be wheelchairaccessible. The proposal calls for about 2,000 of the taxis to be fitted for disabled riders. De Blasio said in a letter to the taxi commission in 2012, while he was the city’s public advocate, that it had selected “a bid that did not contain a plan to create jobs in New York City despite the large contract awarded to the company.” A spokesman for De Blasio said in October that he was evaluating the ruling blocking the proposal from going forward. De Blasio in March named Joshi, who helped lead the “Taxi of Tomorrow” plan for the prior administration of Michael Bloomberg, to head the taxi commission. Joshi is a former TLC general counsel.

Bloomberg is the majority owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News. Officials wanted to give one carmaker an exclusive contract so the manufacturer would have an incentive to include passenger amenities and durability features while keeping the price low, former TLC commissioner David Yassky said in 2012. Taxis are now built by nine manufacturers, and the fleet was dominated by Ford Motor Co. (F)’s Crown Victoria, which the company stopped making. The plan is also facing litigation in federal court in Manhattan. Disabled people and advocates for the handicapped sued in January 2011 seeking to force the city to make its entire taxi fleet wheelchair accessible. U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled in December

2011 that the commission subjects disabled people who use wheelchairs and scooters to discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York overturned Daniels’s ruling in June 2012 and found that the act doesn’t obligate the commission to require taxi owners to provide access for disabled people. Ethan Gerber, executive director of the Greater New York Taxicab Association, said yesterday’s ruling means the city will have a fleet of taxis that don’t comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires all for-hire vans to be wheelchair-accessible. “Fleet owners are now in the uncomfortable position of having to violate either local or federal law,” Gerber said in a statement.

General Motors forecloses workers’ sack over recalls ENERAL Motors Company recall during the question G does not plan more and answer portion of the employee dismissals relating meeting, which lasted about to the company’s handling of a defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths, Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Tuesday. “We feel we’ve taken the appropriate actions as it relates to the ignition switch recall,” Barra told reporters ahead of an annual shareholders meeting, when asked whether GM would dismiss or discipline any more staff for the company’s poor handling of the faulty part. Since early this year, the Detroit automaker has been enveloped in a scandal over why it took more than a decade to begin recalling low-cost Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other cars with ignition-switch problems that were causing them to stall during operation. When those engines stalled, air bags failed to deploy during crashes - some of them fatal and drivers struggled to control their vehicles as power steering and brake systems malfunctioned. GM fired 15 employees last week and another five were disciplined due to their handling of the switch recall. The company announced the departures along with the results of an internal probe. Speaking to just 29 shareholders at the company’s headquarters on Tuesday, Barra reiterated that GM would announce “a few more recalls” in the near term. Chairman Tim Solso said the board of directors had complete confidence in Barra and her team to lead the company. No shareholder brought up the

20 minutes. The company has said all recalls so far this year would cost it $1.7 billion. GM previously said an immaterial amount of additional costs would be accounted for in the second quarter. Barra said the report on the internal investigation would be a fulcrum for change. “It’s not about putting behind us, it’s about using the learnings and the failing that we had, to make sure that we improve the whole development process and the culture, which we’re continuing to work on,” she said. The company has said it will set up a fund to compensate victims and the families of victims of crashes that were linked to the faulty switches. Fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg will determine the number of deaths linked to the switches and the amount of compensation. Barra said on Tuesday the GM will have a better feel for the financial impact of the fund once Feinberg has set the parameters and the company could have an estimate at the end of the month. Barra said last week that of the 15 dismissed, “some were removed because of what we consider misconduct or incompetence. Others have been relieved because they simply didn’t do enough. “GM still faces probes by the U.S. Congress, Department of Justice and other federal and state agencies into why it did not announce vehicle recalls to fix the problem until this past February.

Honda accord

D-Segment Honda Accord bags Car of the Year award HE panel of adjudicators of T Nigeria Auto Awards’ has voted D-Segment Honda Accord the ‘Executive car of the year.’ Honda accord outpaced rival mid-size family sedans including Toyota Camry, Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata to win the coveted plaque at the 9th edition of the awards. The award which took place amid fanfare at the Eko Hotels and Suites Lagos attracted substantial number of automobile stakeholders and government officials. Honda’s win wasn’t a big surprise as the Accord boasted the highest attributes among the brand watch factors, including affordability, “cool” factor, driving comfort, driving performance, durability/reliability, exterior styling, fuel efficiency, interior layout, prestige/sophistication, reputation, ruggedness and safety. The jurors said strong consumer perception also helped drive Honda Accord’s success to earn top honour among rival brands.

The adjudicators added that responses from numerous new car and truck owners as well as stakeholders facilitated their opinions about various brands that were categorized into 33 groups including tyres, workshops and logistics. Deepak Daryanani, Head, Sales and Marketing, The Honda Place had in a post award remarks said: “A brand is really built over the long haul through consumers’ experiences with its products, and Honda is committed to delivering class-leading vehicles that provide lasting enjoyment and value to our customers.” He said the 2014 Honda Accord stuck to its super-sensible reputation with accessible safety technology, great fuel economy, and unparalleled composure. “Safety is Accord’s strength with high scores in toughest crash tests, it offers some breakthrough safety items that you might not expect to see in an affordable model,” The Honda Place sales and

marketing coordinator affirmed. Honda has consistently improved the Accord not only to outperform competitions, but to reintegrate the sporty driving dynamics of much earlier Accords. Mr. Daryanani said the Accord is detailed with premium accessory such as LED head lamps, earth dream technology, a start/stop button and paddle shift gear to give the car a deserving character. Currently one of the most aggressive models in the Honda line-up, the Accord wields significant improvement over its predecessor when viewed against the backdrop of innovations like class leading cabin space, excellent fuel economy and almost a cubic foot more cargo volume. Other attractive innovations are the car’s new electric power steering with non-contact torque sensor for linear steering feel and world’s first steel and aluminum bonded front surface.

The Accord is offered in standard LX and EXL 2.4 litre fourcylinder engine with 173 bhp, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission (A/T) in Nigeria. “The Accord is one of the few new ‘IIHS Top Safety Pick+’ vehicles; and it achieves a top five-star overall score (albeit four stars for frontal impact), Mr. Daryanani said. He said: “Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control systems are all available on the Accord, and a cool new Lane-Watch Blind Spot Display provides a wide view of the passenger side of the vehicle on the MultiInformation Display (i-MID) screen the moment you flick the turn signal.” The Accord according to him is renowned for its drive leisure and excellent resale value which has earned it a benchmark among most corporate and blue-chip companies – little wonder it got itself a sobriquet, ‘End of Discussion.’


Friday, June 13, 2014 53

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Quote of the week

AviationBusiness

Quote of the week A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations that would require the use of his superior skills. ibeuwaleke2012@yahoo.com 08033151041 (SMS only)

New ideas sharpen focus for greener aircraft

Stories by Ibe Uwaleke greener flying LareEANER, machines for the year 2025 on the drawing boards of three industry teams under contract to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project Teams from The Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, Calif., Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, Calif., and Northrop Grumman in El Segundo, Calif., have spent the last year studying how to meet NASA goals to develop technology that would allow future aircraft to burn 50 percent less fuel than aircraft that entered service in 1998 (the baseline for the study), with 75 percent fewer harmful emissions; and to shrink the size of geographic areas affected by objectionable airport noise by 83 percent. “The real challenge is we

want to accomplish all these things simultaneously,” said ERA project manager Fay Collier. “It’s never been done before. We looked at some very difficult metrics and tried to push all those metrics down at the same time.” So NASA put that challenge to industry — awarding a little less than $11 million to the three teams to assess what kinds of aircraft designs and technologies could help meet the goals. The companies have just given NASA their results. “We’ll be digesting the three studies and we’ll be looking into what to do next,” said Collier. Boeing’s advanced vehicle concept centers around the company’s now familiar blended wing body design as seen in the subscale remotely piloted X-48, which has been wind tunnel tested at NASA’s Langley Research Center and flown at NASA’s Dryden Flight

Research Center. One thing that makes this concept different from current airplanes is the placement of its Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines. The engines are on top of the plane’s back end, flanked by two vertical tails to shield people on the ground from engine noise. The aircraft also would feature an advanced lightweight, damage tolerant, composite structure; technologies for reducing airframe noise; advanced flight controls; hybrid laminar flow control, which means surfaces designed to reduce drag; and long-span wings which improve fuel efficiency. Lockheed Martin took an entirely different approach. Its engineers proposed a box wing design, in which a front wing mounted on the lower belly of the plane is joined at the tips to an aft wing mounted on top of the plane.

The company has studied the box wing concept for three decades, but has been waiting for lightweight composite materials, landing gear technologies, hybrid laminar flow and other tools to make it a viable configuration. Lockheed’s proposal combines the unique design with a Rolls Royce Liberty Works Ultra Fan Engine. This engine has a bypass ratio that is approximately five times greater than current engines, pushing the limits of turbofan technology Northrop Grumman chose to embrace a little of its company’s history, going back to the 1930s and ‘40s, with its advanced vehicle concept. Its design is a flying wing, championed by Northrop founder Jack Northrop, and reminiscent of its B-2 aircraft. Four high-bypass engines, provided by Rolls Royce and embedded in the upper surface of the aerodynamically

efficient wing would provide noise shielding. The company’s expertise in building planes without the benefit of a stabilizing tail would be transferred to the commercial airline market. The Northrop proposal also incorporates advanced composite materials and engine and swept wing laminar flow control technologies. What the studies revealed is that NASA’s goals to reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise are indeed challenging. The preliminary designs all met the pollution goal of eliminating landing and takeoff emissions of nitrogen oxides by 50 percent. All still have a little way to go to meet the other two challenges. All the designs were very close to a 50-percent fuel burn reduction, but noise reduction capabilities varied. “All of the teams have done really great work during this

conceptual design study,” say Mark Mangelsdorf, ERA Project chief engineer. “Their results make me excited about how interesting and different the airplanes on the airport ramp could look in 20 years. Another great result of the study is that they have really helped us focus where to invest our research dollars over the next few years,” he said. NASA’s ERA project officials say they believe all the goals can be met if small gains in noise and fuel consumption reduction can be achieved in addition to those projected in the industry studies. The results shed light on the technology and design hurdles airline manufacturers face in trying to design lean, green flying machines and will help guide NASA’s environmentally responsible aviation investment strategy for the second half of its six-year project

Caverton plans sub-Saharan Africa’s first commercial aircraft simulator training centre tors in the region. centre in Lagos, Nigeria, with needs, we look forward to conAvERTON Helicopters months. The centre will eliminate the CAE as our partner,” said tinuing to grow our relationC Limited (a subsidiary of The purpose built facility to be • Signs contract with CAE Makanjuola, ship with Caverton to support Caverton Offshore Support located at the Murtala transfer of knowledge and challenges experienced by Adeniyi Group PLC) is pleased to announce that it will operate the first commercial  aviation training centre in the subSaharan African region. The contract for this landmark flight simulator centre was signed yesterday in Montreal, Canada between Caverton Helicopters and CAE, a global leader in the provision of flight simulators, which are devices that artificially recreate aircraft flight for training that pilots are required to undergo every six

Mohammed International Airport, Lagos will feature six (6) simulator bays equipped with a CAE 3000 Series AW 139 helicopter full-flight simulator (FFS), a CAE 7000XR Series Boeing 737 NG full-flight simulator (FFS) and two CAE Simfinity Integrated Procedures Trainers (IPTs).The collaborative effort will have CAE providing a turnkey solution that will include the startup, maintenance and operation of the centre for a specified period pending the full

skill-sets. This will strengthen Caverton’s position as a leading provider of aviation logistics and training services in the sub region. Caverton’s foray into this segment of the industry in collaboration with the number one provider of advanced simulation training solutions will allow Caverton to diversify its income base, while improving its efficiency and also the efficiency of third party users such as airlines and other helicopter opera-

many pilots in the region striving to obtain their recurrency training and type ratings and it is expected to boost local capacity development, while curbing capital flight and improving overall safety in the Nigerian and regional aviation sector. “Over the years our pilots have been training in helicopter training centre’s in the UAE, Qatar, the USA, Brazil, Italy and Norway and we are very excited to be building the first ever simulation training

Chairman of Caverton Helicopters. “CAE’s market leadership and “one-stopshop” philosophy to training solutions and capacity development make them a strategic partner in our strides to enhancing our local content commitment to the region.” “CAE is honoured to have been chosen by Caverton Helicopters for both our leadership and our ability to provide a comprehensive portfolio of training solutions tailored to meet their specific

their growing pilot training needs in the region.” said Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Simulation Products, Training and Services. It will be recalled that Caverton Offshore Support Group recently listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the first oil and gas service company to go public in Nigeria. This new development shows a diversification in Caverton’s business portfolio and income base.


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54 AVIATIONBUSINESS Friday, June 13, 2014

Govt to establish aviation college in Anambra State Stories by Ibe Uwaleke NEW aviation college is to A be established in Anambra State. The college will bring to two aviation colleges owned by the Federal Government. The aviation college to be established at Ogbaru in Ogbaru local government area of the state on completion,will be affiliated to the Federal Polytechnic, Oko in the same state. The foundation laying ceremony was performed by the chairman, board of trustees, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETF), Dr Musa Babayo. According to Babayo, the college when completed will provide the critical facilities needed for training of first class aviation professionals that will be used by the aviation industry not only in Nigeria but the whole of West Africa. His words: “This is the idea of the president, President Goodluck Jonathan in his desire to comprehensively transform aviation,rehabilitate,consolidate and reconstruct educational infrastructure in all tertiary education institutions in the country. “Polytechnic Oko, is one of the beneficiaries of Mr. President’s intervention, he had intervened in so many areas in the polytechnic in capacity building, in provision of critical infrastructure, in programme upgrades, library development, in conference attendance, today,over 100 teaching staff of Oko polytechnic are on masters and PhD degree Programmes both in Nigeria and abroad thanks to Mr. President, through the instrumentality of Trust Fund.” He commended Oduah whom he described as  “a very wonderful woman, a professional to the core, someone who is diligent, passionately committed about her work, someone who has succeeded in comprehensively trans-

forming the infrastructure in our aviation sector in such a way that it has never happen in the political history of nigeria. “Nigeria aviation infrastructure is no longer the same in the sense that today, we have 22 brand new airports that are gradually emerging from their own selves. Nigeria now has a gateway because of the commitment, the fashion,drive and loyalty of this indefatigable lady from Ogbaru. This lady who has build bridges across ethnic nationalities in nigeria, a highly detribalized person,a strong ally of our party, someone who has carried the ideal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to a new frontier, it is the vision of the party, anchored and driven by the president, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to comprehensively transform our economy and politics, you cannot have a robust economy without the vibrant aviation sector, today because of her contribution, our rebased GDP has placed nigeria as one of the leading and strongest economy in the Africa continent. We thank the Igboland for donating her to Nigeria, we thank the Ogbaru people for having this indefatigable daughter.” The event also witnessed a grand reception and award with a chieftaincy title bestowed on Oduah by the people of Ogbaru as a way of appreciating her contributions. Speaking on the occasion, Oduah promised that the honour bestowed on her will only make her do more in her future endeavours. Her words: “I have no words really to appreciate them, I don’t have any words to thank them for this except to promise them that I will make them proud as always, I will continue to prioritize their needs, I will continue to ensure that I impart positively in their lives, that is my

Ortom goal in whatever in everything and anything i do to make their lives better, create employment for them but most importantly to ensure that, the society becomes a better place for all of us for their children and their children’s, children’s, that’s my goal and I pray that God gives me the strengthen.” Talking on what informed her decision to have an avia-

tion school in Anambra state, the former minister retorted: “Well, aviation is job creating, is skill enabling,most importantly it’s pivotal to the economic growth and I care about my society, I care about the fact that aviation will give them the enabling skills to work anywhere in the world, it’s a global sector, so it’s a good opportunity for them, am praying that they would

enhance that opportunity and make it their industry.” The college to be affiliated to the Federal Polytechnic, Oko according to the acting director general of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), Benedict Adeyileka would offer classroom and practical training for aviation professionals who will be awarded degrees unlike the college in Zaria .

The acting director general of NCAA, Adeyileka said the college will also be affiliated to airlines and maintenance repair organisations to enable the students acquire industry experience . Adeyileka  commended the former aviation minister, Princess Stella Oduah , for facilitating the establishment of the college , which he said will value to manpower development in the sector He said :” The challenges that we have here is that we only have one aviation training school in Nigeria. I know we have some universities that are offering degrees  in aviation related courses , but  they are not complete aviation training institutions . This new college in Anambra is going to be a properly structured aviation training school. We are going to link the  college with airlines and maintenance repair organisations. So as they are doing their degree courses, they will also be going to the airlines to do practical training. They advantage of that one is, for you to obtain a license, you must have a minimum number of hours in the classroom and a minimum number of hours in the industry. So, that would combine the industrial training and the university training, so as soon as they get their degree, they are also have enough qualifications to obtain their license. Because You need an aircraft maintenance license to be able to practice in the industry.” In her remarks, former aviation minister, Stella Oduah said the establishment of the aviation college would create jobs and opportunity to develop skills for Nigerians . She said :” Well, aviation is job creating, it is skill enabling,most importantly it is pivotal to the economic growth .

Bi-Courtney inaugurates MMA2 automated car park HE automation of the T Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos, has been completed and inaugurated. The project was inaugurated at a brief ceremony yesterday after the contractor handling it formally handed it over to the Chief Executive Officer of BiCourtney Aviation Services

Limited (BASL), operator of MMA2, Mr. Christophe Penninck, who expressed joy that the project was finally completed. A statement by the spokesman of BASL, Chief Steve Omolale, quoted Penninck, while cutting the tape to inaugurate the project, as praising the Group Managing Director/CEO of Interswitch Limited, Mr.

Mitchell Elegbe, and his team for “a job well done”. Omolale said that BASL embarked on the project to lessen the burden of passengers and other airport users at the 800-capacity MultiStorey Car Park. He added: “The car park has been fully automated in a bid to make the use of the facility easier. Each of the three floors of the four-floor

car park has a fully automated entry and exit barriers and column gates. “The new system comes with automated timestamped ticket and various electronic applications, such as windscreen chip, access card and drive touch

button. “The car park manager has a control system managing all points and in-phone facility for communications from his office to the cash points and entry point. This has eliminated the manual ticketing of the car

park users.” The statement said that a ticket holder had been installed in the column gate at the exit point to withhold successful tickets after being processed and reject failed tickets for further processing at the cash points.

Arik Air adds Lagos-Dubai via Abuja to route network rIk Air has reinforced its A position as West and Central Africa’s largest commercial carrier by expanding its reach to the Middle East, becoming the first Nigerian airline to offer a commercial service between Abuja, Nigeria and Dubai, The United Arab Emirates (UAE). The first commercial flight on the new route is currently slated for Monday, 28th July and will subsequently operate five weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nigeria and return on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from Dubai. Outbound flights will depart from Murtala Muhammed

International Airport (LOS), Lagos at 1905 (local time) arriving at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Abuja at 2020 (local time). The flight will then continue on to Dubai, departing Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Abuja at 2150 (local time) finally arriving at Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai Terminal 1 at 0720 (local time). The inbound flight will depart Dubai at 1030 (local time) and arrives in Abuja at 1430 (local time). The flight continues on to Lagos, leaving Abuja at 1600 (local time) and arriving in Lagos at 1715 (local time). Current planning has the Lagos-Dubai route operated by

an Airbus A330-200. Fitted to offer the very best in-flight comfort and style, the A330 is an environmentally-friendly product that provides the highest degree of operational flexibility and passenger comfort. The A330 will offer a two class configuration with 30 Premier Business Class seats and 187 Economy Class seats. The Premier Business Class product has been carefully tailored to meet the discerning business traveler’s needs. Customers travelling in Premier Business Class, will be treated to an outstanding service, the finest cuisine and wines, turndown service with duvets, pyjamas, slippers, and luxury amenity kits.

Chief Executive Officer of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos, Mr. Christophe Penninck (second right), cutting the tape to inaugurate the automation of the airport’s Multi-Storey Car Park...yesterday. With him (from left) are the Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Adebisi Awoniyi, Group Managing Director of Interswitch Nigeria Limited and project contractor, Mr. Mitchelle Elegbe and the Chief Financial Officer of BASL, Mr. Olusola Olayinka.


Friday, June 13, 2014 AVIATIONBuSINESS 55

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NAMA: Sustaining gains of air safety Stories by Ibe Uwaleke RADuALLy, it is becoming G increasingly apparent to discerning Nigerians that air mishaps or incidents have no bearing on the safety or otherwise of the airspace. Previous air crashes in the country have been traced to poor pilot judgment, fatigue and poor aircraft maintenance. In all these hypothetical instances, disasters resulting in loss of lives and maiming and destruction have been the outcome of most crashes and early findings of the Accident Investigation Bureau often suggest  all or a combination of the above causes  of  the crashes and not the challenge of airspace. It must also be stressed that a good standard of road network in a country does not necessarily denote absence of road accidents. Several other factors such as the health of the vehicle and the driver’s state of mind account for accidents as it were. Still it is heartwarming to note that in Nigeria the Federal Authorities are not leaving anything to chance on the question of ensuring an all- round and eagle-eye watch over the aviation industry which has witnessed great improvement lately under the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. The President has deployed the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) with Engineer Ibrahim Abdulsalam as the Managing Director to offer critical intervention in the country’s airspace. With such operational facilities as NAVAIDS incorporating Instrument Landing System, Very High Omni Directional Radio Range and Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) among others, NAMA has succeeded in delivering safe skies to the country. TRACON is the pivot which President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned on October 18, 2010. It has 9 radar locations

in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and kano with each having both primary and secondary co-fixed radar head. There are five other stand-alone stations in Ilorin, Maiduguri, Talata Mafara, Nunma and Obubra. The primary has a range of 65 nautical miles while the secondary covers 250. The overlapping range enables the air traffic controllers to monitor flights far beyond the shores of the country. At the TRACON control rooms at the major airports in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and kano one can easily see the screens and the controllers at work. At these airports one can view aircraft landing at the neighbouring flight information regions through the monitoring screens. Lately the agency has unveiled a new plan to boost security in the Niger Delta and protect the country’s Oil Industry using multi-latera-

tion surveillance in the Delta creeks. The initiative will cover Helicopter activities of the oil companies. This initiative will definitely increase the agency’s revenue on installation. It is reckoned that since there are more than 160 daily flights of such type in the region, the new NAMA drive would attract tremendous patronage to benefit both the agency, oil companies and the nation at large. NAMA has also been known to be working on the completion of WGS-84 survey of 26 airports to prepare them for performance based navigation system (PBN). Procedures for the four major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and kano have been completed while trials for PBN were arrived at recently by some airlines. They recorded outstanding results! Recently 13 towers of some air-

Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, MD/CE (NAMA) ports of the nation’s facilities were refurbished to eliminate communication breakdown within the airspace. In this regard, NAMA is planning to install Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC), the modern system used

SAHCOL gets award for outstanding aviation service provision Aviation Handling ShaskyWAy Company Limited, SAHCOL again won an award as the “Outstanding Aviation Provider in Africa”, in the maiden Leadership Awards for African Achievers (LAFAA 2014). The award was presented to SAHCOL in a ceremony, held at the Balmoral Event Centre, kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, and had in attendance government functionaries, businessmen/women, entertainers and celebrities from Nigeria and other African nations. According to the organizers of the Leadership Awards for African Achievers, SAHCOL was picked for the award “based on your world-class services and sterling performance in the aviation sector in Nigeria and your noteworthy contributions to the task of making air travel safer in Africa.” The award is a ‘Pan African Platform instituted for the purpose of identifying, honouring and encouraging extra-ordinary

men, women and institutions of African origin across the globe, deemed to have distinguished themselves in various fields.’ The Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, since its privatization and handing over to the SIFAX Group in December 2009, has developed business modules geared towards ushering in efficient and speedy service delivery, while also investing in personnel development, stateof-the-art equipment, fleet replacement, and massive infrastructural development, with the goal of meeting, and exceeding customers’ expectations. SAHCOL’s duties includes Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Cargo Handling/Warehousing, Aviation Security, Baggage reconciliation, Executive Lounge, and other related Ground Handling Services; ensuring that Ground Handling assignment is carried out in an efficient, speedy and safe manner, by deploying the right tools in all airports across Nigeria.

fleet for domestic operation soon.

globally to sustain uninterrupted reach among airborne and the ground control. Also worthy of mention is the recent installation of solar powered Airfield Lighting System at Lagos and Port Harcourt International Airports. The installed lighting system is a product of Avlite System Pty Ltd, Australia. The lighting system is certified by ICAO and FAA and is in currently in use at various airports around the world. The installation of lighting at these two airports has galvanized the tempo of night and low visibility operations, thereby reducing operational cost to airlines. NAMA is also to benefit from this project in the area of low maintenance cost. Also as part of efforts to improve safety, the agency is deploying VSAT facilities and systems for installation at 11 designated centres across the

country to automate aeronautical information service. These stations include NAMA Hqtrs, NEMA Hqtrs, Lagos, kano and Abuja. Others are Port Harcourt, Sokoto Ilorin, Jos, Maiduguri and Wukari. The automation of aeronautical information service billed to commence by October 2014 is expected to bring about efficiency and precision in the aeronautical information dissemination. This would as a consequence, translate into reduction in man hours as most of the paper work would give way to digitalization. It would also integrate the country’s aeronautical information system into the System Wide Information Management Network.  The benefits of AIS automation are legion. As a backbone to the above infrastructural acquisition, several categories of technical staff to include Air Traffic controllers and engineers are being trained regularly both at home and abroad to boost capacity and also sustain the drive for technology transfer. The operations of these highly technical devices, needless to say, are digitalized with skilled and well-trained staff required to man them. Their training, locally and abroad, together with capital investment on critical areas of air safety, is said to have cost the Federal government more than $9.5m. Now we have a government and an agency that are collaborating to ensure that an enabling environment for investors in the aviation sector to offer flawless service to the people and the nation is created. For without safe air corridors, monitored round the clock by well trained technical crew and modern and regularly maintained tracking systems, the best pilot flying the best aircraft would be a mere accident waiting to happen. Good aircraft and good flight crew operating in unsecured skies are potential tragedies.


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FridayWorship By Afis A. Oladosu In the Name of the Almighty, the Beneficent the Merciful “There is indeed a lesson in these stories for men of common sense. It is not an invented tale, but a confirmation of previous scriptures - a detailed exposition of all things, and is a guidance and blessing for the people RETHREN, one feature of the Muslim life is B the constant search for hidayah (divine guidance) in all aspects of human life. The Muslim life is tempered on a daily basis by his pursuit of `inayatullah (divine succour or patronage). This is because those who know this world for what it is are aware of the fact that nothing in this world is stable, nothing in our cosmos is permanent. Those who know this world for what it is are constantly humbled by the feeble nature of our existence in comparison to the inimitable chemistry of our Creator and the unknowable tapestry of His majesty. Consider brother! A sister of yours arrived in Lagos the other day from the village. She collected her luggage from the driver of the bus, took some time to refocus her itinerary and then proceeded to the bus stop. She then realized she would need to cross the road to the other side in order to board another bus towards her destination. Lo and behold. Immediately she got to the other side of the median, she was knocked down by the same bus that brought her successfully to the city! Qadar. Brethren, the Prophet once asked the companions, and rhetorically too: “Where are the real believers in the Almighty in this city”? The companions all chorused: “Here we are O! Prophet! We believe in Him”. Then he, the Prophet, asked them once again: “What is the evidence of your faith in him?”. Then Muadh b. Jabal, that companion of exemplary character, responded saying: “The evidence of my faith in

“Surely, the religion with Allah is ISLAM,complete submission”... Qur’an 3:19

The ant, the leaf, your life and mine Him is that each time I take a step forward, I am aware that I may not be alive to take the next one”! I once told someone in distress: “Brother, we are all like pawns in the chessboard of the Almighty; we constantly live with the illusion that we are the ones in the control of our affairs; we often forget the real control is with him”. Thus the Muslim life cannot but be tempered by the desire to make use of the Qur’an as his compass in life and his secret weapon. A Muslim who knows what this world really is would want to know how our forebears, those who had been privileged to come this path, have succeeded in leaving behind such milestones and achievements as would forever remain indelible in the sands of time. He would approach the Quran to read the unread: the unread in the life and times of Prophet Adam, Nuh, Lut, Isa, Musa and Muhammad (Upon them be peace and blessings of the Almighty). He would want to learn about the wars the Prophet fought and won in order to know how to win the many battles of existence that he constantly engages in. Such a Muslim would be interested in knowing why the Quran is full of references to sons and daughters of Israel and why the longest chapters of the Quran appear to have been dedicated exclusively to the ‘celebration’ of the Divine patronage of the Jewish nation and the declamation of the Jewish recalcitrance and disobedience to the Almighty. Brethren, is it not true that he who inherits a nation

without war would find it easy to relinquish it given the slightest opportunity? Is it not true that we hardly value and cherish what comes our way without difficulties; it is that which we strive hard for that we cherish and adore the most. Brethren, my sister who knows what the world is and is meant to be would approach the Qur’an in search of adornments for her soul. She would sit with the Quran on a daily basis in order to know what pleases Him from what displeases Him. She would not reduce the Quran to a mere adornment for her office table, desk or vehicle. Brethren, when we desire to know the meaning of our world, the Quran beckons on us to ponder our life and the life of creatures that are lesser in status than us. Please ponder the above verse of the Quran and the story below. One Sunday morning, a wealthy man sat in his balcony enjoying sunshine and his coffee when a little ant caught his eye. The ant was going from one side of the balcony carrying a big leaf several times more its size. The man watched it for more than an hour. He saw that the ant faced many impediments during its journey, paused, took a diversion and then continued towards its destination. At one point, the tiny creature came across a crack in the floor. It paused for a little while, analyzed the situation and then laid the huge leaf over the crack, walked over the leaf, picked the leaf on the other side then continued its journey! The man was captivated by the cleverness of

the ant, one of the tiniest creatures in nature. The incident left the man in awe and forced him to contemplate the miracle of creation. Here the ant becomes a teacher. Here the ant becomes a signifier: the signified being the Almighty Allah. In front of his eyes, the man beholds a tiny creature of Allah, lacking in size yet equipped with a brain to analyze, contemplate, reason, explore, discover and overcome. But in addition to these wonderful endowments and capabilities, the man also noticed that this tiny creature also shared some human shortcomings: it is burdened by the worthlessness of existence and the pursuit of the worthless. In other words, about an hour after its ‘long journey,’ the creature eventually arrived its destination-a tiny hole in the floor, which was the entrance to its underground dwelling. And it was at this point that the ant’s shortcoming that it shared with the man became evident. How could the ant carry into the hole the large leaf that it had managed to carefully bring to its destination? It simply could not. Thus the tiny creature, after all the hard work, after the stress, the pain and strain could not take the leaf inside its real dwelling. Eventually, it had to leave it behind and went home empty-handed! Brethren, ponder this story and ask yourselves about “the ant” in you and me. Is it not true we equally have “big leafs” we are carrying all around the city? Is it not true that we are burdened by the demands of our family and our job? Is it not true that we are weighed down about the search for more money, bigger accommodation, newer cars and the clothes to wear? Is it not true that when eventually we reach our destination, our ‘holes-our graves- all these shall be left behind the same way the ant left the big leaf behind? Is it not true that all material acquisitions of this world are actually of no value; that what should count in our lives is the uncountable?


Wednesday, June 13, 2014 BUSINESS

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Banks to commence biometric registration of customers next week By Helen Oji HE roll-out of the Bank T Verification Numbers (BVN) registration of customers by deposit money banks will commence next week. This  signifies the end of pilot phase of the project during which over 7,000 (BVN) were issued by 21 deposit money banks and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) to existing internal bank customers. The enrolments and BVN issuance were achieved across 44 Bank sites that include 21 Bank Headquarters.   According to a statement by NIBBS, the rollout of the BVN solution for the identification and verification of Bank customers in June preceded a nationwide roll-out, which, according to the bank, is in alignment with the phased approach adopted in executing the 3 tiered KYC –Know Your Customer and Cashless Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mallam Sanusi Lamido, had on February 14, 2014, heralded the pilot phase of the

Bank Verification Number project deployment which was scheduled to run to May 31st, 2014 after which full rollout to Bank branches was to commence. The Managing Director, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, Ade Shonubi who is also the Head of the BVN Project Management team said, “The pilot phase of the BVN registration of bank customers served as a model and basis for rollout of the solution to existing Bank customers. All Nigerian Banks have their headquarter servers configured, deployed and tested, and had their staff trained before engaging in enrolment and verification of end users who are mainly internal customers. Feedback from application usage and experience were collated, analysed and shared with solution provider to ensure seamless service delivery during eventual roll-out. “We are adopting a phased roll-out approach starting with Lagos State. It commences on June 16, 2014, at 1,000 bank branches, after taking out the pilot branches, out of

the 1,410 bank branches in the state. Across the nation at full roll-out, 10,000 enrolment sets will be deployed across 5,000 bank branches, implying deployment of two enrolment sets per Bank branch.” Shonubi added that, “In line with the commitment of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Banker’s Committee to the financial enlightenment of Nigerians, all possible knowledge gaps will be closed through bespoke awareness programmes, customer education and engagement initiatives to ensure massive uptake of BVN by existing Bank customers. The BVN initiative, according to him, involves the capturing of an individual’s basic biometric data information which includes the facial image, the 10fingerprints as well as other unique features of that individual. He added that it will utilize the biometric technology system for verification and secure authentication of the identity of Bank customers and ultimately as a means of authenticating customer’s identity at point of banking transactions.

Deputy Group Head, Programmes, Bincom ICT Solutions, Bade Adesemowo (left; Head of Strategy, Sterling Bank, Ighodalo Aimienwanu; Head of Social Media, Sterling Bank, Kelvin Steve-Igbodo; Head of Brand Management, Sterling Bank, Abiola Aloba, at the inauguration of “Social Lender” Scheme in Lagos.

Nigeria to showcase potentials at World Petroleum Congress By Sulaimon Salau IGERIA will next week N showcase its inherent potentials and rich hydrocarbon base to the world at the forthcoming World Petroleum Congress, slated for Moscow, Russia. The Nigerian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council, in a statement made available to The Guardian, said the conference and exhibition taking place from the 15th to the 18th of June, 2014, is widely recognized as the “Olympics of the oil and gas industry” which brings together the largest gathering of policy makers, operators, technology developers and academics in world oil and gas industry and is organised around a thematic focus that benefits the industry.

The World Petroleum Council was set up to catalyse and facilitate dialogue among stakeholders (both internal and external to the petroleum industry) on key technical, social, environmental and management issues in order to contribute towards seeking solutions to those issues. The Congress in Moscow is expected to attract 5,000 delegates, 600 speakers and over 500 ministers and chief executives of top oil players from around the world who will come together to discuss and exchange ideas on how to ensure that the petroleum industry continues to galvanize world development and growth in a responsible way. The theme of WPC is “ Responsibly Energising a Growing World”. Nigeria will be participating under the theme “Harnessing Nigeria’s

Gas Resources for Sustainable National and Regional Development” in its exhibition and country presentation. The exhibition, which is being arranged jointly by the Nigerian oil and gas industry, will highlight the nation’s gas potentials, achievements, current activities and plans in the upstream, midstream and downstream sub sectors of the gas industry. In support of the theme, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and leader of the Nigerian delegation, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke will present the Nigerian country paper at the conference. The paper will enunciate government’s policy initiatives and incentives to encourage investment in the entire value chain of the gas industry.

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MarketReport EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY

AS AT 12-06-2014

PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com


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MArKET INdICATorS

AS AT 12-06-2014

PrIMErA AFrICA

Profit taking takes toll on Exchange, capitalisation down by N137 billion By Bukky Olajide and Helen Oji roFIT taking by investors has continued to pull indices on the trading floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as market capitalisation depreciates further by N137 billion. Specifically, at the closed of trading yesterday, The NSE All /Share Index fell by 413.89 basis points from 41642.55 points traded previously  to 41228.66 points  while market capitalisation of listed equities dropped  by N137 billion or 0.99 per cent to N13.613 trillion from N13.750 trillion recorded on Wednesday. Analysts attributed the drop in indices to profit taking by investors at the NSE. According to them, they want to leverage the capital appreciation recorded in the past few days to recoup their investment. on the price movement chart, Nigerian Breweries led losers table, shedding N8.89 kobo to close at N170.11 per share. dangote Cement trailed with a loss of N5.75 kobo to close at N224.25 kobo while Flour Mills Nigeria Plc depreciated by N1.00 to close at N77.00per share. The result also showed that National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCoN) and UAC Property development depreciated by N0.40 kobo each to close at N11.60 kobo and N17.60 kobo respectively.                     

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on the other hand, Conoil Plc topped gainers chart, increasing by N6.13 kobo to close at N65.98 per share. PZ Industry trailed with a gain of N1.56 kobo to close at N38.50 per share. Guinness Nigeria Plc enhanced by N1.00 to close at N180.00per share. other companies that recorded price appreciation were lafarge Wapco and Ashaka Cement which grew by N0.80 per cent and N0.69 per cent respectively to close at N110.50 per share and N26.99 per share.             However, Wapic Insurance Plc  led  activities in volume terms in Insurance sub sector with account of 72.725 million shares worth N56.510 million, United Bank for Africa UBA Plc of the banking sub sector followed with 40.469 million shares valued at N327.991 million while Access Bank Plc traded 37.375 million shares cost N370.288 million. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria of the Conglomerates sector also exchange 30.589 million shares valued at N128.868 million and Custodian and Allied Insurance sold 15.707 million shares worth N55.516 million. In all investors traded a turnover of 340.595 million shares worth N3.711 billion in 5339 deals against 468.913 million shares valued at N3.845 billion in 5345 deals.     

Portland Paints bounces back to profitability, posts N107. 5m profit in 2013 By Helen Oji orTlANd Paints and Products Nigeria PlC (PPPNP) may have bounced back to profitability, as it recorded a profit after tax of N107.5 million in its 2013 operations, up from a loss of N222.7 million in 2012. The company’s operational profit also grew from a loss position of N130.8 million in 2012 to N224.4 million in 2013. The Chairman of the company, larry Ettah while addressing shareholders at the company’s yearly general meeting in lagos yesterday, attributed the turnaround in the fortune of the business to successful implementation of innovation and proactive policies “The Nigerian economy faced enormous socioeconomic challenges in 2013; however, as shown in this report, your company was able to successfully weather the storm and post an impressive result.” on the future outlook of the business, he said; “For our company, we are poised to reap the benefits of the current investments in the business. The company will continue to implement its strategies for the enhancement of its service delivery through the restructuring of its operations and, in particular, the route to the market and focus on areas of its core competencies, enforcement of procedures and processes in tan-

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dem with the group’s policies. These initiatives have repositioned our company for sustainable growth and improved performance in 2014 and in the years ahead.” He noted that as the country moved closer to the forthcoming elections in 2015, it was imperative for political representatives and policy makers to ensure that their activities impacted positively on the business environment. Commenting on the economy, he said: “Although most analysts expect foreign reserves to decline marginally, due to CBN’s strategy of using the external reserve to stabilize the Naira and the likelihood of modest currency depreciation, we are optimistic of the growth prospect of the economy in the medium term due to the likelihood of continued sustenance of the Federal Government’s reforms in the power, transportation and agriculture sectors of the economy.” He highlighted that the security challenges in the Northern part of the country with the attendant consequences of loss of lives and properties, domestic constraints such as dwindling foreign reserves, erratic supply of electricity and poor infrastructure - all made the business operating environment difficult in 2013.


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ISSUE

A promise fulfilled By Ernest Omoarelojie

N June 11, 2013, Edo State O government formally announced the proscription of commercial motor cycle, better known as Okada. It gave sundry reasons (with security concerns as the major issue) for the action. The state government was also specific on the areas, mostly within the Benin City metropolis where the ban order would be enforced. The reaction that followed was not unexpected. While a large number of residents hailed the move as long overdue, others saw it as totally uncalled for. More than that, many of those that opposed the ban, bike riders and or owners in particular, felt betrayed because it came into effect despite assurances by the governor that no such action was in the plan. All said and done, the ban was put into effect with a promise by the governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, that the state will introduce parliative measures to cusheffects. its ion On Wednesday, May 14, 2014, the governor fulfilled the promise when he commissioned 300 cabs and handed them over to members of the Okada riders association. The delivery of the cabs, which is in the first phase, effectively brings to an end the politicisation of a strictly security issue. The action of the state government, which is receiving plaudits from a very large segment of the public, is also drawing considerable ire from some sectors

backed by the opposition. While the first group is commending the government for living up to its promises, the latter group is dismissing it on the ground that it came a little too late even as they refused to consider the reasons for the delay. However, while commissioning the taxi cabs, the governor explained why it took so long to concretise the promise he made to the former Okada riders. According to him, fulfilling the promise took so long following evolving intricacies that characterised the negotiation process. As it turned out, the seriousness attached to the issue by the administration became a deciding factor which not only culminated in the fulfilment of the promise but also came handy in shelving off about 15 per cent of the total cost in favour of the beneficiaries with the balance to be paid off by the government. “Government gave 15 per cent subsidy on the price of each of the vehicle and the subsidy is a grant that we are giving to each of the beneficiary. We are not expecting you to it pay back to the government of Edo State.” Aside the subsidy, the beneficiaries will also have reasons to be grateful to the Oshiomhole administration. In the first instance, it negotiated with the facilitating bank to reduce the interest rate charged on each of the vehicles. Thus, from the prevailing 21 per cent chargeable interest rate, the bank was persuaded to accept 18 per cent interest on each vehicle. On the other

hand, the administration also provided comprehensive insurance cover for all the vehicles. There are other reasons members of the defunct Okada riders’ s Association will be remember the Oshiomhole for a long time. For instance, each beneficiary is expected to pay only forty eight thousand naira, (N48, 000), as first installment in order to be given one of the cars. Thereafter, each of them are expected to produce same amount as monthly repayment bill till the debt is completely written off. What it translates to is that on the average, each beneficiary is expected to pay back two thousand naira (N2, 000) daily. Yet, the beneficiaries are up in applause for the governor for another reason. In line with terms of the agreement, each of them has three years to offset the entire debt. What it translates to, is that for an average new car, which requires at least four years before developing any fault, the lucky owners have enough time not only to repay the debt but also make enough investment for a better life. If the words of Comrade Peter Adoroh, leader of Okada riders is anything to go by, there is no doubt that the beneficiaries, at least majority of them, are ready to take advantage of the opportunity to reach greater economic heights. “We are with you, come rain or shine,” an apparent expression of gratitude to the governor over the gesture. The governor used the oc-

Oshiomole casion to explain circumstances that made the ban inevitable even after repeatedly assuring the riders that there was no plan to ban commercial motor bikes. According to him, the decision became imperative, as evolving security concern could no longer be ignored.

“I found myself taking a tough decision after repeatedly assuring the Okada riders that Okada would not be banned in the state. When I said that, I meant it. Indeed, after my second tenure election, I renewed that assurance and I know you were

really shocked that after reassuring you repeatedly, you woke up one day to hear that the same governor had decided to prohibit Okada and to give you a very short notice that was less than one week. That was a tough decision for me.” • Omoarelojie writes from


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ExecutiveBrief

EDITION 311

In association with TRIPPLEA ASSOCIATES LIMIED

Jakob Bejer: Providing Turn Key Solution to the Printing/Publishing Industry Heidelberg Nigeria Limited (HNL), exclusive distributor for a subsidiary of the well-known Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Germany, and the world leader in manufacturing and distribution of Printing/Publishing Solutions is committed to its role as a total Solutions provider, offering all aspects of Printing/Publishing equipment in Nigeria. This means that they offer a complete range of Heidelberg Solutions from Prepress to Finishing, a concept which is unprecedented in the industry in Nigeria. The Managing Director of the organisation, Mr. Jakob Bejer is a core professional who believes and dedicates his time, skill and effort to position Heidelberg Nigeria Limited as the preferred Solutions provider to the Printing/Publishing industry in Nigeria. In this interview with Nnamdi Nwokolo, Mr. Bejer speaks on the challenges facing the Printing/Publishing industry in Nigeria and sundry issues. Background: Y name is Jakob Bejer, the Managing Director of Heidelberg in Nigeria. I came to Nigeria a little over 13 years ago. My wife, my children and I feel like Nigerians and love the Nigerian people because they are friendly and genuinely good people, who welcome newcomers and assist them the best they can. That is also why we’ve chosen to stay here for so long. I worked for Heidelberg in South Korea for 4 years and prior to that. I’ve spent 2 years in Indonesia and 4 years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’ve been in America for a short stint. Right after my schooling, I went into the Danish Army as a 1st lieutenant, before I went to Business School. I have a wife and 2 children. We love Nigeria so much, because Nigerians have taken good care of us all these years and we have a lot of dear friends in Nigeria. About Heidelberg in Nigeria: Heidelberg has been in Nigeria in one shape or the other since the early 50’s. We are a very old company. That’s why when you go around the printing industry in Nigeria; you’ll see mostly Heidelberg machines everywhere. Our company has always believed in West Africa as the economic power house of the sub-Saharan region. We’ve always believed in the Nigerian market and the abilities of the Nigerian people. Some of our competitors have come and gone over the years. The peculiarity of Heidelberg is that it is not possible to have our equipment and not get the service or spare parts in Nigeria. Some older versions of Heidelberg machines are like a Peugeot 504, which can easily be repaired by free-lance technician. Over the years, we’ve trained hundreds of technicians, most of which are today working in the market of repairing older Heidelberg machines. We are very happy and proud to have these Heidelberg alumni’s all over the country. Our absolute strength is the service we provide to our loyal clients and we’ve not given up on Nigeria. Even the most difficult time of Nigeria, we stood by our clients and Heidelberg was here providing service. We’re also the only turnkey supplier to the Graphics Industry, while we have machines of all sizes to serve every purpose to every printer, while we also have the best Prepress Systems, backed up by the best Prepress team in the industry. For Heidelberg the equipment is only one part of the story, while Service Engineers, Parts Supply and Quality Graphics Consumables, such as Ink, Blankets, and Chemistry etc. are equally important. Biggest Challenge: When I came 13 years ago, Nigeria was emerging as a democratic nation. I think the biggest challenge was that nothing was working at the time. There was scarcity of diesel or gasoline, no Internet, telephones were not functioning properly, the roads were totally hopeless and it seems the Government had little time or no interest at that time to do anything about it. I came to Nigeria from South Korea, which is probably among the 5 most functioning countries in the world. If they need a rail system for example, they build one and in 6 months it is working. I came from that kind of environment to Nigeria where literally nothing was working. The power situation was also very bad and sometimes you couldn’t even get diesel to power your generators. That was the initial shock and it was like pouring cold water on my head. I was asking myself, how anyone could do business here. Then, I saw how everyone was adjusting to the situation, including my staff and customers, trying to make the best out of it. I think the keyword in Nigeria is everybody is trying to make the best out of a bad situation. Things have really improved these past years especially in the area of communication. The introduction of the GSM was a great boost to the economy. That has really changed the way businesses are done and the fact that internet can be assessed anywhere and relatively good quality. Whereas some things have changed for the better, the electrical power issue has worsened from the way it was 13 years ago. This is the same everywhere, I hear this every day and we urgently need the power issue to be addressed. Unique Selling Point: Heidelberg is known everywhere as the symbol of quality. We are the best in quality in the world, both on equipment and on services. In Nigeria, our USP is that we provide outstanding and quick service. Mostly we have a service contract with our customers and when a client calls with a problem, we move out immediately. This gives our customers rest of mind, because they know we are their production safety. We are committed to

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Jakob Bejer serving and satisfying our clients in all aspects of our operations. We will be polite and honest in all our dealings with our clients. We build teamwork and transparency with open candid communication throughout our organization. We encourage friendly relations and rapport among staff and share technologies and best practices across borders with our parent company, sister companies and with our clients. Heidelberg Nigeria Limited has acquired ISO 9002 certification in order to join Heidelberg’s units worldwide. We’re determined to ensure quality system in all operations – Quality of products, quality in how we handle orders and delivery, quality in installation/training and in service to customers. Our welltrained service engineers are always on hand to render back up services, train clients´ operators, refurbishing equipment and generally giving useful technical advice. We, at Heidelberg Nigeria Limited, are committed to serving the Printing / Publishing industry and doing it well. Our team is a crop of highly skilled individuals who will always understand you and professionally handle your request. Are your engineers Nigerians? We’ve had a lot of engineers that have passed through our internal training grounds of this company over the last 15 years. What we have done from the onset is that we’ve had some Germans, while bringing the skills of our engineer up to a certain level. It will interest you to know that we have a pool of entirely indigenous engineers in our work force. All the management staff (except myself) are Nigerians. In the last 13 years, we’ve spent a fortune in the area of training. This month alone, we have three engineers going to Germany to acquire certain special skills. We help our staff to constantly improve their

skills and encourage them to take risks. We motivate them to approach their jobs with devotion, commitment and resourcefulness. We recognize their accomplishments and build an environment of mutual respect, equal treatment and trust. To further demonstrate our total commitment to the advancement of the Industry in Nigeria, we go beyond mere supply and installation of equipment. We make our clients earn money on their equipment and regularly communicate with them through newsletters, open houses and seminars both for company owners as well as equipment operators. By training and assisting operators and owners in these aspects, we are making the Nigerian Graphics Industry appreciate quality to the benefit of all Nigerians. In order to try to raise the local skills, generally, we also host polytechnic schools several times a year. Sometimes we have up to 100 students for a whole day of intense learning, while we also visit places like Yaba College of Technology. We have actively participated in distributing teaching material and knowledge building material for the students. We believe in starting from the very foundation. Projections/Assessment: This is a question that is frequently asked and it’s such a difficult question because it all depends on the economy. Right now, the economy is in dire situation. The interest rate is extremely high; the value of the Naira is extremely low. We have very little electricity, less than we ever had before, while diesel is more expensive than ever before. Our customers, who are the bedrock of our success, spend so much on buying fuel for their generators, so, there’s no extra money to invest in equipment. As we see it, the most important thing the govern-

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EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

The Leadership Role of Every CEO Tito Philips, Jnr. re you the kind of leader the RIGHT kind of “A people will like to follow?” “Are you the kind of leader the RIGHT kind of people will like to work with?” Last week, I began a series on the 3 essential roles of every CEO; this is a continuation that begins with the role of the CEO as a Leader. The job of a CEO begins with a leadership role. The essence of your leadership role as a CEO is to make the organization effective –capable of doing the RIGHT things. An effective organization is one with the right people all occupying the right positions collectively engaged in doing the right things. That is; ‘right PEOPLE + right POSITIONS + right ACTIONS = EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION’ Making the above equation a reality in an organization is the primary task of the CEO as a leader. It is a three-fold task that begins with you the leader. The above equation is ‘what’ you need to do as a leader, as you must have probably noticed, the underlying theme in the equation is the word “right.” This clearly captures the whole essence of the role of the CEO as a leader in making an organization effective. I wish these were all you needed in order to succeed in your role as a leader, but there’s still one missing element in the equation that is vitally important. That missing element is YOU – the leader! Here’s what I mean. Building a successful business takes the collective efforts of others and not just the effort of only the owner. It is not a one man show. As bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki rightly observed; “Business is like making babies, it’s not something you can do all by yourself; it requires the collective efforts of others.” You see, while no one person (leader) can single-handedly build a great company; one wrong person (leader) can single-handedly bring down a company. How?

When you as the business owner begins to think it’s all about you. This is usually the case with most small business owners. I know you are the owner of your business no doubt, but you also need to understand this fact; before you chose to become a business owner, success was very much all about you and the result of your personal efforts, but now that you’re running your own business; success is all about others and the result of their collective efforts. Majority of businesses fail largely because of this singular factor, so it’s highly important for you to understand this crucial point and begin to make the necessary paradigm shift early. The success or failure of an organization depends largely on how well the CEO plays their role as a leader. As the CEO, your role as a leader demands that you shift your focus from yourself and begin to focus more on others and what you collectively want to achieve. Management guru Jim Colins in his legendary book “good to great” talks about the kind of leadership required to take an organization from being a good one to being a great one; ‘level 5 leadership’. Here is what he identified as the key trait of a ‘level 5 leader’; “Ambition first and foremost for the company and concern for its success rather than for one’s own riches and personal renown.” Business is a team sport and only the teams with the best players can win. To build a winning team requires a leader that not only wins but also knows how to lead a pack of winners and make winners out of losers. Winners being who they are don’t naturally like to hang around losers even though that loser bears the title of a CEO. That you now occupy a leadership position as a result of your CEO title doesn’t necessarily mean you are a leader. Being a leader is much more than occupying a position. As I pointed out last week in the first article in this series, positions or titles doesn’t make you;

Jakob Bejer: Providing Turn Key Solution to the Printing/Publishing Industry CONTINUED FROM PAGE 64 ment needs to get right is electrical power. The other challenge we have, looking into the future is the manner government is looking at the duties and waivers, because right now the printing industry suffers tremendously from some strange duty rules. I dare say that hundred of thousands of jobs are at risk or have already been lost, due to unnecessary import of printed materials, such as books, packaging material etc. We import a lot of finished products in Nigeria. The local printer will pay duty on all the materials he uses plus the electrical power issue, whereas the importer of the finished materials imports almost free of charge or with very low duties. If the government through the Ministry of Education buys millions of books and a majority of the books are printed in other countries, how can that benefit Nigeria and Nigerians. I cannot understand why the government cannot sit down and look inwards to discourage importation. The printing industry is very huge in the country because we already have the skills and the machines. I’ll like to see the government put a higher duty on finished goods and free plain paper import, the ink and machines from paying duty. These are the challenges I have in predicting the future for Heidelberg. Nigeria is behind most other countries and there are needs for a lot of printing to be done, while we also need to improve the quality of our printing jobs. The future looks quite good, but, we need to see a lot of efforts of the Government in helping the industry, because anytime a new machine is purchased, many people are being hired and the ripple effects are enormous. Critical factors for Business success in Nigeria: To succeed in Nigeria, you need to find a balance between patience and impatience. When I came there, I was too impatient and I found out that it could lead to heart attacks but on the other hand you can’t be too patient and nothing will be done. You need to find a balance to achieve success. This is because there are daily challenges you encounter because of lack of infrastructure. The tax system is a big burden on all companies in Nigeria. We pay

more company tax in Nigeria than in Denmark, where I come from. Denmark is regarded as the highest taxed nation, but we pay more in Nigeria than in Denmark. My advice to new businesses in Nigeria will always be to pay everything you need to pay according to the law, even if it takes much longer time and effort, no problem. It is very tedious to do business in Nigeria; there is a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy you need to face. Today’s print investors require printing machines with features such as competitive, automation, process orientation and productivity – those are critical factors for print business success. Succession Plan: I don’t have an immediate plan for succession because I don’t intend to leave Nigeria soon. When I travel for holidays, our customers don’t get the feeling that I’ve traveled. Our staff, at all levels are very competent and professional. We also have very reliable senior staff and we have a system that makes things run smoothly even when the CEO or any other manager is not around. It is a wrong way to run a business if everything grinds to a halt in the absence of the CEO. It doesn’t matter if I’m around or not, there’s never a payment that has ever been late. Even if we have to borrow money from the bank, we can never accept a late payment. Late payments and lack of commitment to promises is a very big obstacle to do business in Nigeria. Relax: I do a whole lot of things. One of the craziest things I do is that I ride bicycle a lot. I have a mountain bike. In about one and half years, I’ve been riding about 5000km with my bike all over the streets of Lagos. I go anywhere on my bike. Once or twice a year, we take a trip to Omo Forest to have a race inside the muddy forest. It’s a very exciting and fun experience. The other thing I do is that I have a little sailing boat in the harbor and I belong to the Lagos Yacht Club. It’s truly an enjoyable thing to do, while it also helps to cure stress. I’m also engaged in my children’s school sports. I’m very active with the children and I spend most of my spare time with them.

functions and duties do. As a CEO in your role as a leader, the bulk of your work is mainly peoplecentered. Your functions and duties (responsibilities) majorly revolve around working with people and leading them. And when it comes to people, knowing ‘what’ to do alone won’t do the trick. People are not things. They don’t care how much you know and can do until they know how much you care and make them feel. Therefore, knowing ‘what’ to do is only one part of the story, knowing ‘who’ to become in order to do what needs to be done is the main story. The real challenge here is gathering the right kind of people to work with as a team, for only the right kind of people can be truly effective –capable of doing the right things. You see the right people are very rare to find or attract because they only submit to the right kind of leadership. They are not predominantly motivated by how much they are paid; they are mainly motivated by passion and will only follow the right leader whose vision, goal or objective they consider worthy of their commitment and loyalty. You cannot out rightly buy them over; you earn their commitment and loyalty. Figuring how to be the right kind of leader is your main responsibility as a CEO. So here’s the

big question; “Are you the kind of leader the RIGHT kind of people will like to follow?” Making an organization effective –capable of doing the RIGHT things – is the work of a CEO as a leader. But for an organization to be truly effective, everyone within the organization, including you the CEO as the leader must be effective –capable of doing the RIGHT things. You are not exempted from the equation just because you are occupying the highest position. In fact, and this is the most critical factor about your leadership role as a CEO, until you the leader is effective, don’t expect anyone else to be effective. In other words, you must first become the right kind of leader (effective) before gathering the right kind of people (team) and putting each in the right seat (position) all working collectively in the right direction (vision, goal or objective) for the benefit of the entire organization. You are the missing piece of the puzzle. Without an effective leader, no organization can be effective. So here is what the complete equation will look like with you the leader inside; ‘right LEADER + right PEOPLE + right POSITIONS + right ACTIONS = EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION’

WINNING AT WORK

The Four Ingredients To Success at Work - Part 1 HERE are three types of T people in the workplace: Strugglers: These are people who struggle daily, and often unsuccessfully, to gain both success and satisfaction in their jobs. These individuals seem to face more roadblocks and obstacles to getting things done than those around them. They always seem to be experiencing some level of discord with bosses, coworkers or customers. Despite many being intelligent, competent and knowledgeable people, every day is an uphill battle. Drivers: These are individuals for whom work success and satisfaction appears absolutely effortless. Everything just seems to fall into place. They are confident, they get along with everyone, and they appear to climb the ladder to success with tremendous ease. Passengers: Most people fall into this category - somewhere in the middle of the first two. Work isn’t effortless. They work very hard for their accomplishments. But instead of facing roadblocks, they face speedbumps. Conflict happens, but is an exception instead of a regular occurrence. They get ahead, get promotions and raises, but rarely do these things happen quickly or just fall in their

laps. When you examine workplace success, you find that there are some significant common denominators - things that are consistently apparent - with Drivers. They are the same things that are conspicuously absent with Strugglers. There are four big ones, and here are the first two: 1. People Focused One thing you notice right away about Drivers is that they have a strong network of people. They make a point to get to know the people they encounter. It doesn’t matter if it’s a CEO of a company, or the waitress who serves their morning cup of coffee. They talk to them. They learn about them. They make a connection with them. It often looks like this outgoing behaviour comes very naturally to Drivers, but that’s not always the case. Many Drivers will tell you that they are really quite introverted - and that they need to make a concerted effort to strike up these kinds of conversations. They will also tell you, however, that they are always glad they did. 2. Solution Driven When Problems occur, as they inevitably do, most people find themselves becoming stressed. Strugglers, in particular, don’t do well with problems. They dwell in them, they talk about them,

Action is the foundational key to all success. -Pablo Picasso

they stew on them, and they lose sleep over them. “Oh, my God, this is a problem...” “Did you hear about the problem?” “This is such a problem...” “I don’t know what we’re going to do about this problem.” and so on, and so on. Drivers react very differently when a problem occurs. Unlike others, they don’t allow the problem itself to take up much of their time or energy. They focus, instead, almost entirely on the solutions. They acknowledge the problem and make sure they understand it, for sure, but they then very quickly move from problem-identification mode to problem-solution mode. They don’t stress over a problem, and they don’t bother with the dwelling and stewing stuff. If a Driver dwells on anything, it’s on ensuring that things are quickly solved and back on track. If you want to become a Driver, begin by focusing on these two things. Ask yourself these questions: Do you make a point to initiate contact with the people around you, or do you wait for them to come to you? Do you fret over problems and things in the past that can’t be changed, or do you focus on the solutions moving forward? The answers might give you some insight into things you can


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Friday, June 13, 2014

EKITI 2014

Soldiers intercept voting materials From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau Ado Ekiti)

• APC, PDP seek thorough investigation

EN days to the conduct of T governorship election in Ekiti State, men of the Niger-

tried to foment trouble will meet a match in us.” Speaking on how they came about the materials, Ose said he was an employee of a beverage company in Lagos and was in Akure to deliver the products before he was contacted by one Mr. KK to help him load some materials to Lagos. According to him, “After I off-loaded the products I brought from Lagos, I did not have enough cash on me to buy gas but I was contacted by Mr. KK to help him load some materials from Ado Ekiti to Lagos. “We got to Ekiti INEC office last night and met a vehicle loading and I had to wait till he finished loading before I started loading the materials in my vehicle. We loaded late into the night but I could not leave until this morning, but on our way we were arrested by soldiers and they brought us here.” But Pai, who described the materials as waste, denied that INEC 2014 rubber stamp could not have been among the waste. He said when his office was contacted by the soldiers that they intercepted the vehicle, he told them that the materials were waste which INEC office in Abuja had auctioned since April. According to him, “The materials had been auctioned to a Lagos company since April but the company had not come to evacuate the waste, we have been expecting them to evacuate them three weeks ago and this is the approval from Abuja, but the company did not come yesterday and we have to allow them to carry them because we need the store for new materials for next week’s election. We are sure that those things are absolute and we need to clear them out.” He maintained that the commission had no reason to provide police escort to the materials since they are not going to be used.

ian Army yesterday intercepted a vehicle loaded with voting materials being transported outside the state. But the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Halilu Pai, dismissed the materials as wastes, which had been auctioned to a Lagos-based company. Addressing newsmen on the arrest, the Commander of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Aliu Momoh said preliminary investigations revealed that the voting materials, which included 2006, 2007, 2009 voting papers and 2014 rubber stamp belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were among sensitive materials discovered in a truck with registration number, Lagos APP 925 XL. Momoh, who paraded the driver and two occupants in the vehicle said they will be handed over to the Operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) to continue the investigation. The suspects are, Oluwafemi Ose, Segun Akanbi and Biodun Erinfolami. The brigade commander also disclosed that his men are in the state to ensure peace before and during the election and are ready to discharge their responsibilities without fear or favour. He, however, disclosed that his men have been ordered to shoot anybody found with any offensive weapons in the state. He said, “We are here to ensure that all is peaceful in Ekiti State, but anybody found with any dangerous weapon shall be brought down. Quote me, whoever is found with any offensive weapon shall be treated as enemy of the state and shall be brought down. You don’t need weapons to vote, all you need is your voters’ card, and anybody who

Jega “They won’t be used at all in anyway. It is unfortunate if anybody thinks we have been compromised.” Adding that the security should conduct investigation to establish the

truth. But Momoh replied that he was still expecting men of SSS and the public would be briefed about their findings. However, the Kayode Fayemi

Campaign Organisation and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called for a thorough investigation into the controversy surrounding the intercepted INEC voting materials in the state. In a statement by its spokesperson, Dimeji Daniels, the organisation said though INEC claims they were waste which auction was sanctioned by its national commission, it remains curious that 2014 stamps were found among the materials. Daniels urged security agencies to be on the lookout for agents of rigging who are bent on reversing the progress that has been witnessed under the Fayemi administration. “APC does not have the culture of rigging. We know many plans are being put in motion and hatched by the opposition to rig this election because the opposition knows it is not popular and not on ground at all. This is why no stone should be left unturned in preventing agents of retrogression from taking Ekiti back 100 years like they did between 2003 and 2006.” Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship can-

Bishop warns against repeating June 12 incident From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau Ado Ekiti) HE Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Femi Ajakaye, has called on all political stakeholders not to allow a repeat of the June 12, 1993 saga in the June 21, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State. He urged Ekiti people to be peaceful on June 21, and be vigilant for their votes to count. In a statement titled, ‘Between June 12 and June 21,’ to commemorate the June 12 election and its annulment, Bishop Ajakaiye, a member of the National Conference, recalled how Nigerians had the freest and fairest election for the late Bashorun Moshood Abiola, but General Ibrahim

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Babangida annulled the poll. He said as Nigeria commemorates the 21st anniversary of June 12, all agencies involved in the Ekiti election must have learnt lessons from the crisis that followed the attempt to subvert the will of the people. “June 12 is unique and we cannot just wish it away. Indeed, it is the real democracy day,” he said. “Without June 12, there would not be May 29, which has been declared democracy day by the Federal Government. We should learn to stop chasing the shadow and be original in our words and deeds.” The cleric stressed the symbolism of June 12 and June 21.

“This year is the 21st celebration of June 12 and on Saturday, June 21, 2014, there will be governorship election in Ekiti State, the Land of Honour,” he said. “Both numbers, 12 and 21, are special and if we interchange them, putting 2 before 1, 12 becomes 21, and when we put 1 before 2, 21 becomes 12. Thus, both dates are symbolic. “June 21 election in Ekiti State is a catalyst to the subsequent elections in Osun State in August 9, 2014, and the general elections in 2015. “Therefore, I urge all those concerned, the principal actors – the Independent National Electoral Commission

Tinubu condemns attack on APC supporters ATIONAL Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has condemned the attack by the police on APC members during a political rally in Ado Ekiti last Sunday. According to a press statement from Tinubu, the unprovoked attack on innocent citizens simply because they belong to another party is the height of political intolerance and heightens the doubts most Nigerians have about the ability of the government to guarantee free and fair elections in Ekiti, Osun and in 2015. “The direct threats by the ruling party to ‘capture’ or win Ekiti back at all costs is beginning to manifest. The impunity of the police officers in Ekiti and glaring partisanship is clearly endorsed by the power that be. We will demand for justice and enforcement of our fundamental human rights. I am fully

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• Party demands probe of crisis with Governor Kayode Fayemi and the people of Ekiti State in confronting this rising tyranny and defeating barbaric tendencies. “What was the crime of APC members and their supporters in Ekiti that they were teargassed, shot at and killed? Is sweeping the streets and singing party songs in a peaceful procession now a crime in Jonathan’s country? If you are sure you have people to vote for you while resort to violence means? Political campaigns should be a celebration of democracy not war. This is not the liberty we seek or the democracy we need. “What happened in Ekiti is criminal. It is unacceptable. It is a direct assault on the rights and freedom of an elected governor and his people. It must not be allowed to

didate in the state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has called for a full-scale investigation into the importation of fake ballot papers into the state allegedly by the All Progressives Congress, saying; “The arrest of a truck loaded with ballot papers at Ita-Awure by soldiers is a vindication of our stand that the APC was planning to rig the election.” In a release issued by the Director General of the Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO), Chief Dipo Anisulowo, the governorship candidate said; “It is curious that two commissioners in the state swiftly rushed to where the truck was arrested to intervene and get it freed with the occupants.” Fayose, who commended the soldiers for refusing the overtures of the two commissioners, demanded that; “There must be no cover-up of this heinous crime. Since the vehicle is marked, the public must know who are behind the production of the ballot papers, their possible collaborators in the Independent National Electoral Commission and the purpose for which the ballot papers were produced.”

stand.” Tinubu said APC believes in the contest of ideas, how to create jobs, provide security, ensure health infrastructure development for millions of our people. “APC is not about the promotion and perpetration of violence but about ideas and peaceful competition in an atmosphere that is free and fair. Our adversaries must be mindful also that nobody has the monopoly of violence. Peaceful and civilized approach to issues trumps violence. This government must rescue millions of Nigerians from their poverty rather than intimidate them with the police,” he said. Meanwhile, the party has asked police authorities to investigate the violence unleashed by armed policemen on innocent members of the party during a peaceful pro-

cession in Ado Ekiti last Sunday. In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also demanded that the killer of the victim who lost his life in the crisis be identified and brought to justice. It said investigating the violence and punishing those responsible will send a clear signal to other trigger-happy and partisan police personnel that the force will not tolerate such acts of brigandage and impunity. The party warned that failure to unravel the cause of the unprofessional action by the police may send the wrong signal to the people that those paid to protect them will not do so, and will not hesitate to turn their weapons against them. “When the people lose confidence in the police or other security agencies because of

the unpunished actions of a few hooligans in uniform, the society risks descending into anarchy,” APC warned. The party said the police must be neutral, professional and above board in the discharge of their duties, especially ahead of the two key elections this year and the general elections next year. “The police should not play politics with their profession. They should not support one party against the other, even when induced to do so. The moment the police descend into the arena of politics, as they have done in Ekiti, they lose the authority to carry out their professional duties. “This is why we are calling on the police authorities to move urgently to probe the police-instigated violence in Ekiti State, identify those behind the show of shame and their motives, and promptly bring them to justice. That will be in line with the global best practices,” it said.

(INEC), security agencies, politicians and the electorate, to be honourable and peaceful in nature and character before, during and after the June 21 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State.” He continued: “June 21, 2014, is the month of decision for Ekiti State and the people need to speak with their vote and elect a credible person as governor who will be a dignified symbol and ambassador of Ekiti State, a promoter of good governance. “Good governance is not selfcentred, but people-centred with people-oriented programmes. Ekiti people, known to be stubbornly principled, must not allow any person or group of people to rig the election.” Bishop Ajakaiye described those who rig and manipulate elections (whatever the form) as “devilish, incompetent and desperate. They are not Omoluabi, but Odaju.” He referred to the words of Akin Oyebode, Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Lagos, and a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State (now Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti), as saying that, ‘Omoluabi (well-bred, morally upright person) and Odaju (the obverse of Omoluabi) are two distinct groups of people in the society.’ “Once again, I appeal to the principal actors at the June 21, 2014, Ekiti State governorship election, particularly those presiding, not to soil and tarnish their names and image,” Ajakaiye said. “They must not destroy their tomorrow today. I also remind them that rigging is corruption. An election rigger can never be a true reformer. “Inevitably, June 12 is symbolic and the symbol of June 12, Chief Abiola, needs to be genuinely honoured.”


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OSUN 2014

‘Beneficiaries of June 12 have forgotten Abiola’s sacrifice’ SUN State chapter of O Social Democratic Party (SDP) has stated that beneficiaries of Chief Moshood Abiola’s sacrifice have long forgotten the basis of which the late business mogul and politician laid down his life. The party in a statement signed by its state Chairman, Mr. Ademola Isola, on Thursday in Osogbo, after its State Working Committee’s meeting held at its secretariat explained that SDP in the state decided to celebrate “June 12” in a low-key manner because Nigeria and its people are still in bondage of poverty. According to the party, Abiola, who contested under the platform of SDP in the 1993 presidential election had in his campaign manifesto tagged “Farewell to poverty” highlighted how he intended to change Nigeria to a better country, but today, “larger population of Nigerians are poverty-stricken with no hope of getting out from it.” “Abiola sacrificed his businesses, his family and his life in his struggle for democracy but beneficiaries of June 12 are living in affluence. Abiola died in solitary confinement, but today our leaders are living in comfort and are enjoying our collective wealth with their immediate families. “Rather than farewell to poverty for Nigerians, it is the opposite for us. Our leaders roll-out drums every year to celebrate June 12, but nothing has changed. Abiola’s hope of a better Nigeria has not been fulfilled and it may not be fulfilled under the present set of leaders at the helm of affairs.” The party regretted that unlike Abiola who lived a selfless life as a philanthropist, most of the leaders parading the corridors of power now, “are self-centered, fraudulent and deceptive.” Osun SDP noted that what

Aregbesola

Akinwusi

Abiola sacrificed his businesses, his family and his life in his struggle for democracy but beneficiaries of June 12 are living in affluence. Abiola died in solitary confinement, but today our leaders are living in comfort and are enjoying our collective wealth with their immediate families. Rather than farewell to poverty for Nigerians, it is the opposite for us. Our leaders roll-out drums every year to celebrate June 12, but nothing has changed. Abiola’s hope of a better Nigeria has not been fulfilled and it may not be fulfilled under the present set of leaders at the helm of affairs.

most of the acclaimed followers of Abiola particularly in the South-West preached were opposite of what they have been doing. “Abiola’s election was acclaimed the freest in the history of Nigeria. But many June 12 apostles are master riggers of elections; they buy votes and purchase favourable results.” The party added, “With the re-registration of SDP by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and with our participation in the election

SDP will include labour unions in cabinet, says Akinwusi HE governorship candiT date of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Osun State, Mr. Olusegun Akinwusi, on Wednesday released programmes to be implemented by his administration if elected in the August 9, 2014 election. Akinwusi, a former Head of Service (HOS) in the state in the eight-page testament tagged “My pact of re-claiming, re-uniting and re-building Osun State” listed 12 issues his government would tackle if given the mandate in the forthcoming polls. Top on the agenda was the SDP governorship candidate’s plan to operate an inclusive government where the Commissioner for Information would be nominated by the state Council

of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in collaboration with Radio, Television and Theater Workers Union (RATAWU). Besides, he stated that the Commissioner for Health will be produced by the state chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in conjunction with other health workers’ associations while Association of Senior Civil Servants with Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) and NULGE Executive Committee in the state would nominate the Commissioner for Local Government. “The Commissioner for Education shall be nominated by All Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Osun

State chapter and the Commissioner for Establishment and Special Duties shall be nominated by the Association of Senior Civil Servants. “The Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University shall be nominated by Academic and Non Academic Unions of University, the polytechnic rectors shall be nominated by the Academic and Non Academic Staff of Polytechnics and the provosts of colleges of education shall be nominated by the College of Education Academic Staff and Non Academic Unions,” he stated. The ex-HOS disclosed that under his administration, consultants to the government shall be engaged

from the array of retirees in the state. Akinwusi explained that his government is determined to provide immediate relief with an emergency economic plan. “SDP is aware that our economy will be strong when our people prosper. Poverty would be reduced drastically if all the monies allocated to this state are spent for the benefit of all. “The capital flight that had bedeviled the state in last three years is a curse. That is why we believe that we need an emergency economic plan to jump-start the economy, help all stakeholders off-set the effects of bad policies of the recent past and get our economy back on track,” he said.

process particularly in Osun and our choice of the best candidate in person of Mr. Olusegun Akinwusi, the former Head of Service in the state, we are sure of bringing Abiola’s hope alive.”

Osun SDP called on the Professor Attahiru Jega-led INEC and security agents to ensure free and fair election on August 9, 2014, “to show the world that there can be another June 12 election in Nigeria.”

Omisore assures voters of improved economy From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo HE governorship candiT date of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the August 9 governorship election in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, yesterday commenced his electioneering campaign with a promise to transform the state’s economy. Omisore, while addressing a rally at Oriade Local Council noted that the PDP administration would address alleged capital flight and bloated debt by the current All Progressives Congress (APC) administration led by Governorsor Rauf Aregbesola. The campaign train took the party leadership including Omisore and his running mate, Adejare Bello, to Owena, Dagbaja, Ikeji ile, Ipetu Ile and Ijebu-Ijesa all in Oriade local council. In all the towns in the area, the PDP assured the people of reforms that would usher in transformation in all key sectors of the economy. The party noted that since the APC administration came to power about three

and half years, Osun State has been experiencing a recess in socio-economic activities, adding that the development has had adverse effects on the earning capacity of the people especially traders and other self-employed people. Omisore blamed the protracted strike by tertiary institutions in the state on alleged insensitivity of the APC, adding that the complaints of the academic staff in the schools would be adequately addressed if the people gave him the mandate to govern Osun.

Omisore


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Friday, June 13, 2014

For The Record The Nigerian policy implementation Lecture delivered by Professor Akin Akindoyeni at the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology on May 30, 2014 PRELIMINARY WORDS DEFINITIONS ARL Bertrand Arthur William Russell (18721970), the famous English philosopher and Nobel Prize laureate, was credited with the statement, “Words have meanings but meanings are in people”1. That there should be no ambiguity in the object of our discussion, let us agree on the definitions of the key words. Building When one thinks of the word building, the immediate picture conjured in the mind is of a structural shelter, and that is a realistic reaction, because the word epitomizes the process and the conclusion of systematically but rationally creating an object from its basic foundation to its logical utilitarian conclusion. Thus we speak of building a car, a house/shelter, a company/organisation, a social personality, an idea, a philosophy, an infrastructure, etc, etc. It is the primary process of logically creating something.

E

Challenge (n) Webster’s2 Dictionary of the English Language defines the noun Challenge as “a calling in question of the truth of statements, rights, authority, etc; something which tests a person’s qualities”. We may thus deduce that a challenge is a condition which taxes one’s ability or calls for a renewed effort to overcome a difficulty in the process of attaining optimality in the conclusion of an endeavour. Maintenance The word “maintain”3 means “to cause to remain unaltered or unimpaired”. In our context, this would indicate that the process of maintenance will result in the original quality and utility of the object being maintained. This, by its inference, also requires the availability of soft or virtual infrastructure. Infrastructure Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. It can be generally defined as the set of interconnected structural elements that provide the framework supporting a conglomeration of economic development services for an acceptable rate of growth. It is an important term for judging a country or region’s development. The term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society, such as roads, bridges, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, and so forth, and can also be identified as “the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions.”4 Viewed functionally, infrastructure facilitates the production of goods and services, and also the distribution of finished products to markets, as well as basic social services such as schools and hospitals; for example, roads enable the transport of raw materials to the factory, while roads, rails, waterways and airways the finished products to the market(s). The word and concept was evolved from military process and defined as “the whole system of bases, services, training establishments, etc, required for the use of troops in military operations”5. In peaceful conditions and environmental development principles, the concept has been extended to mean the physical, ambient and economic substructure on which the comfort and welfare of the community is based. The Human Parameter The idea of creating an environment for humans to dwell together as a community developed out of the need for shelters and other structures for mutual defence and human safety from predators, natural disasters, other human communities, etc. Akindoyeni6 (2008)

Prof. Akindoyeni reasoned that “Most of this planet is now devoted to the development of physical environments, even for sacred purposes. Due to the need for each community to inter-relate with others and to exchange goods and services, other forms of construction activities had to be developed. Consequently, Roads, bridges, aerodromes and airports, seaports, spaceports, motor parks and bus terminals, railway lines and stations became essential parts of life.” This was the initial basis for infrastructural development – comfort, safety, economic production and interdependence of nuclear communities. To optimise the utility of this human settlement development, there evolved the need for a network of plans; and for plans to yield desirable outcomes, there is need to set desirable goals. Experts in governance call such goals “Policies”. Nature of Public Policies The basic principles of governance include the awareness that the ultimate beneficiaries must be the individual and collective members of the community. Any policy which does not have this as a component of its goals is bound to fail in implementation. To this extent, it has been established that any effective policy must include the following properties:• It must address a definitive need for the development of the ambient environment of the sector; be it social, economic, physical or transactional. • There must be provision for a legal instrument for the implementation of the policy; • The interpretation of the policy must not be ambiguous • It must address the comfort of the people to the extent of reducing, or indeed eliminating, the difficulties of the community in utilizing the strategic instruments of the policy. In other words, there must be a target population for the policy to achieve its goals; • There must be measurability content in the indicative strategies for the implementation; i.e. there must be a measure of performance indicators. • The human capital capacity as well as the range of implementaional resources must be identifiable; • Implementation Strategies must be identifiable and measurable; • No policy can be made in-perpetuity; therefore there must be a time component, depending on the nature of the policy. To this extent,the policy could be short-term in nature, where the research in the total ambience of the policy is still on-going; • The policy could be medium-term, where the developmental framework has not yet

been finalised and the long term vision is yet to be defined. • The policy could be long-term, where the intrinsic components of implementation can be regarded as optimally complete. This does not exclude the requirement for periodic reviews as an outcome of policy monitoring and evaluation. • Provision must be made in the implementation strategies for periodic review as an outcome of policy monitoring and evaluation. • Implementation Strategies must be definitive, identifying and defining the extent of organisational and resource requirements essential to the achievement of the policy goals. THE ECONOMY AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING The world View of Nigeria’s Economy When a man is drowning in a swimming pool, he thrashes around, unaware of the edge where safety is. Only an observer has an objective view of the reality of the situation. A friendly observer dives in to help; an unfriendly one dives in to ensure his extermina-

tion. How does the rest of the discerning economic world view Nigeria? “Nigeria is a middle income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors. It is ranked 26th in the world in terms of GDP (nominal: 30th in 2013 before rebasing, 40th in 2005, 52nd in 2000), and is the largest economy in Africa (based on rebased figures announced in April 2014)”7. Also, as at April 2014, the US CIA sees Nigeria thus: “..an oil-rich nation hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor macroeconomic management8. It has been observed that in 2008 the nation began pursuing economic reforms. Nigeria’s former military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of budgetary revenues. Following the signing of an IMF stand-by agreement in August 2000, Nigeria received a debt-restructuring deal from the Paris Club and a $1 billion credit from the IMF, both contingent on economic reforms. Nigeria pulled out of its IMF program in April 2002, after failing to meet spending and exchange rate targets, making it ineligible for additional debt forgiveness from the Paris Club. In November 2005, Abuja won Paris Club approval for a debt-relief deal that eliminated $18 billion of debt in exchange for $12 billion in payments a total package worth $30 billion of Nigeria’s total $37 billion external debt. Since 2008 the government has begun to show the political will to implement the market-oriented reforms urged by the IMF, such as modernizing the banking system, removing subsidies, and resolving regional disputes over the distribution of earnings from the oil industry. GDP rose strongly in 2007-13 because of growth in non-oil sectors and robust global crude oil prices. President JONATHAN has established an economic team that includes experienced and reputable members and has announced plans to increase transparency, diversify economic growth, and improve fiscal management. Lack of infrastructure and slow implementation of reforms are key impediments to growth. The government is working toward developing stronger public-private partnerships for roads, agriculture, and


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sports NOC nominates Greensprings for Youth Olympics exchange programme He nigeria Olympics T Committee (nOC) has nominated greensprings school as

Performers take part in the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Campinas Mayor, club president back Super Eagles for trophy Team completes accreditation, FIFA briefing He super eagles stay in T Campinas, on the outskirts of sao Paulo, has turned out to be one of the best decisions taken by the nigeria Football Federation (nFF) for Mundial 2014, as not only inhabitants of the area have been pouring out to catch a glimpse of the nigerian side, but government officials and club owners. On Wednesday evening the Mayor of Campinas, Donas Donizete, visited the team’s hotel, with top government officials after dinner to felicitate with the squad. Before then, the owner of the oldest and famous club in Campinas, which incidentally owns the estadio Brinco de Ouro da Princesa, the pitch where the eagles have been training visited the team during the evening training session. The Club President, alvaro negrao, said he came to wish the team well and made a special request for the super eagles to beat argentina in their last group game. “The whole of Brazil will be cheering you in that game”, he said. He thereafter presented players and officials of the nigerian side with green jerseys, which

incidentally is the colour of the guarani Football Club, which was founded in 1911. in his address, the Mayor, thanked nigeria for choosing the city, which is home to over one million people as their camp base. He said he foresees nigeria going all the way, but said he would be torn between his love for nigeria and his home country Brazil if both countries were to meet in the course of the championship. in a symbolic gesture he brought an african brother to tell the story of how several nigerians through slave trade help build Campinas and several other cities across Portugal, thanking them for their heroics of yesteryears. He then presented the nigerian side with beautiful flowers and a covered World Cup football that was received by team skipper, Joseph Yobo from a beautiful damsel that came with the Mayor, who left many players and officials mouth agape. “its our own way of showing you and the other country that chose Campinas as their team base (Portugal), that we love you and we hope you go all the

Uzoenyi celebrates Eagles return ing to the south african PsL after the World Cup, has said his joy new no bounds when he was recalled into the team for the mundial after being initially dropped from the squad. “The way my colleagues in the team received me was wonderful and i was short of words. My only pain is that i had to come back to

Lagos Skating Marathon: Organisers call for entry rganisers of the Lagos O skating Marathon has called for entries for the event

way and do your country and Campinas proud”. also yesterday all the players and officials completed their accreditation process for the World Cup in the presence of top FiFa officials. The team was also taken through grills on new goal line technology, match fixing, security, media responsibilities and general conduct in an even that lasted for about two hours.

angers international r of enugu winger, ejike Uzoenyi, who will be head-

nigeria’s sole representative of the 2014 Youth Olympics exchange programme. according to the modalities for the programme, the school-nOC Twinning Programme is one of the most important culture and education programmes in nanjing 2014, which is meant to promote exchanges and communication between young people from different nations all around the world and share the diversity of cultures among the youth. greensprings’ selection became a reality after all the national Olympic Committees (nOCs) participating in nanjing 2014 were invited to nominate one school from their nation to be twinned with schools in nanjing, China. On the formality, students from twinned schools are expected to take advantage of the tools of new media, such as internet, video, blogs or the like to introduce to each other the histories, customs and cultures and education. They are also expected to make friends, exchange gifts and even pay a visit to their twinned school. During the Olympic games and based on what they have leant through the study and exchanges with their twinned schools, students from nanjing will decorate and run a booth of the World culture Village.

the team because one of our members was injured. “it would have been sweeter if i had been chosen on merit, which i think i deserve. But i wish elderson echejile quick recovery and hopefully he will return before the start of next season in europe.” He said contrary to reports he was not disappointed when he was not named in the initial 23-man squad because he has total confidence in the judgment of Coach stephen Keshi.

“From the beginning Keshi has been with me, treated me like a father will his son, and i have been everywhere with him, even if he asks me to leave now i will still respect his decision but i thank god that i am back in the team and will do my best in the World Cup. Uzoenyi resumed training with the rest of the squad on yesterday evening after a rousing welcome from his mates on Wednesday evening.

slated for October 4. The competition is a brainchild of Proud and Loud Communication and in partnership with a social community of young people called Yaggy. interested participants are expected to register online, http://www.lagosskatingmarathon.com.ng/. The organisers also say anyone who registers automatically become members of Yaggy community and qualify for the Yaggy debit card for free. The significance of this is, as a Yaggy debit card carrier it helps them (carriers)  find keys to  their dream and activate it through an interface programme that creates a common boundary with the youths, where their ideas are discovered, nurtured, developed, fine tuned and later hand over to them. “so, the Lagos skating Marathon has been package for an all round and total development for nigerian youths,  which is why it is an open competition for youths living in and outside of Lagos state,” the organisers stated.


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P&G, Staruf celebrate Nigerian children through sports T was all fanfare as leading celebrated and an avenue IGoods consumer packaged for the youngsters to use Company Procter & their natural God given talGamble Nigeria (P&G) in collaboration with STArUF Sports Development Limited (SSD) hosted Nigerian children to a funfilled sporting fiesta in commemoration of this year’s World Children’s Day celebrations at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium Surulere, Lagos. on hand to celebrate and inspire the enthusiastic kids at the festival were the founder/CEo of STArUF Sports Development Limited and former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Peter rufai as well as P&G Nigeria’s Communications Manager, olatomiwa Akande. others notable guests include former captain of Team Nigeria Basketball team and former NBA player, olumide oyedeji; the representative for the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Francis Gbiri. The one-day sporting tournament featured over 1000 children from Lagos State. The children engaged in sporting events that included 5-aside football competition, sack race, shadow pinning, lime race, egg and spoon racing and more. Welcoming the children and guests to the event, Peter rufai, also known as Dodo Mayana stated: “Children are every nation’s most valuable resources,” adding that they were the building bricks of future greatness, endowed with potentials required for the meaningful development of any society.” Dodo Mayana disclosed that the 2014 Children’s Day Celebration “is a vision primarily conceptualised as a platform for children to be

ent for their own development and for the good of the society.” on her part, Akande congratulated the children on their day, adding that the company was pleased to be collaborating with STArUF Limited to sponsor the event. “At P&G, we recognise that behind every success story is a history of determination, hard work and support. With programmes such as this, P&G is contributing in our own small way to Youth sports in Nigeria with the goal of helping the future Nigerian athletes develop their skills and the competitiveness needed to excel on the world stage,” she said while restating P&G’s commitment to touching and improving lives all around the world. “Today, we are not focusing on sports alone, but also on the importance of health and wellbeing. For one to be a star athlete, one must first be a healthy, confident athlete”. Also, P&G’s oral B dentist; Dr. Tunde Banjo delivered an informative talk on dental hygiene even as P&G distributed gift packs of P&G hygiene brands to all the children that participated in the games celebrations. The collaboration between P&G and STArUF Sports Development Limited (SSD) has continued to bring smiles to the faces of Nigerian children. Last year, P&G sponsored STArUF’s youth under 13 and 17 in a football tournament, which had in attendance Nigerian football legends - Mutiu Adepoju, Taju Disu and over a thousand children.

TAN fetes former Eagles, send-forth lucky winners orMEr Super Eagles playFsession ers will have an interactive with winners of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) ‘Fly me to Brazil Promo’ at the Eko Hotel and Suites today. Some of the ex-Eagles’ players billed for the event are Samson Siasia, who has also coached the national team, hard-tacking defender, Taribo West and mercurial midfielder, Waidi Akanni. The event, which will also serve as send forth for the 12 lucky winners, will see the exinternationals sharing their idea about football with the winners, who are billed to leave for Brazil tomorrow. They would also be presented with their travel documents and allowances to make their stay a memorable in the land of Samba. Akanni said that it would be pleasant to share football ideas with the winners and commended TAN for giving Nigerians the opportunity to cheer the Eagles to victory in Brazil. He noted that the task of supporting the team in Brazil has become an important one, since it is needed to aid the team’s performance. “As a former footballer, I

know how important it is to have the fans behind you. And that is what we have to do to help the Super Eagles perform well in Brazil. “For the lucky winners, I am also sure that they would have a lifetime experience in Brazil and I must urge them to be good ambassadors,” he added. The Eagles will open their World Cup campaign against Iran on Monday and will take on Bosnia and Argentina in Group F.

Eagles in a training session in United States…last week

Nigeria is 16th most valuable squad IGErIA has the 16th most N valuable squad at the World Cup and the third in Africa behind Cameroun and Ghana, according to a report. With an estimated £143.1m, the Eagles are behind the likes of Germany, Spain and England, who are rated first, second and third respectively. Germany, boasting Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Mesut ozil, top the list at £642m, with hosts Brazil, who can call on Neymar, Hulk, oscar and Dani Alves, fourth at £448m. Defending world champions Spain, with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Diego Costa in their squad, are second at £591m - double the estimated value of their closest Group B rivals Netherlands,

who they beat 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa. With an estimated insurable value of £550m, England are almost three-times more valuable than group rivals, Italy. Marco Castro from Lloyd’s Brazil said: “It is incredible to see how much some of the teams playing in rio are worth. “The top three - Germany, Spain and England - are worth more than £1.7bn collectively. This is more than the bottom 20 teams combined.” The study by Lloyd’s and the Centre for Economics and Business research  lists the average value of one England player as more than the whole Costa rica team. The insurance-related figures are based on club earnings

Group Head, E-Business, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Fatai Amoo (left); winners of Verve - Sterling Bank Road to Brazil Promo, Mrs. Joy Brown; Mr. Nnodua Nnamdi Ndubuisi and Mrs. Taiwo Kolawole of Sterling Bank Plc at the presentation to the winners in Lagos…yesterday

and endorsement incomes of the 23-man World Cup squads. The 32 teams at the finals have a collective estimated value of £6.2bn. Four-time World Cup winners Italy, with Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli in their squad, fall behind England as they have a relatively older squad with reduced future income prospects and lower earnings in Serie A, where the majority of the players are based. Group G has the most valuable talent on show, featuring Germany, Cristiano ronaldo’s Portugal, Ghana and the United States, ahead of Group B, which is made up of Spain, the Netherlands, Australia and Chile. only one member of the England squad - Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster - plays outside the highly paid Premier League. Manchester United striker Wayne rooney, who signed a £300,000-a-week deal in February, is England’s highest paid player.

England’s 2014 FIFA World Cup opponents Costa rica are the least valuable team in the tournament at £18.5m, with fellow Group D rivals Uruguay, who boast Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, at £144m. Full list of team values: Germany £641.2m, Spain £590.1m, England 550.1m, Brazil £448.3m, France £394.8m, Belgium £360.4m, Argentina £355.3m, Netherlands £279.4m, Portugal £279.3m, Italy £196.8m, Cameroon £195.8m, Croatia £185.6m, russia £165.8m, Ghana £158.5m, Uruguay £144.1m, Nigeria £143.1m, Switzerland £138.5m, Ivory Coast £132m, USA £110.7m, Japan £92.8m, BosniaHercegovina £84.3m, Mexico £72.5m, Chile £72m, Australia £66.6m, South Korea £65.2m, Colombia £59.5m, Greece £53.2m, Algeria £49.4m, Ecuador £48.9m, Honduras £34.2m, Iran £24.4m, Costa rica £18.3m. Valuations are based on FIFA’s


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‘Rooney feels pressure, rules out excuses HE burden of delivering at T the World Cup has consumed Wayne Rooney in the past, seeming to hinder his ability to deliver on football’s biggest stage. In eight games across two World Cups, the England striker has not scored a single goal, looking agitated and unsettled in Germany and South Africa - a shadow of the dynamic, top-earning Premier League performer. At 28, just when footballers should be reaching their football peak, Rooney knows he must deliver in Brazil if England is to progress, starting on Saturday against Italy in Manaus. “I’ve always been hard on myself,’’ Rooney said Wednesday. “I’m a confident person and I believe in my ability. So I believe I’ve always put myself under that pressure because I know I can perform. I have no excuses.” Free of injury and with his Manchester United future resolved, Rooney wants to turn the clock back to a time when he was more of a free spirit on the pitch. “I’ve maybe put myself under too much pressure,’’ Rooney told reporters at England’s Rio de Janeiro base. ‘’Maybe you guys, the media, have put me under a lot of pressure and I’ve tried to respond to that. This time I haven’t and I’m not going to.’’ The 2006 tournament ended for Rooney with a red card against Portugal, and his frustrations spilled over four years later when he criticized England fans for booing him after another poor

performance. ‘’I’ve learned to enjoy this one because I haven’t enjoyed the last ones, they’ve not gone well,’’ Rooney reflected on his checkered World Cup record. “All of a sudden you’re looking back and they’ve gone and I didn’t enjoy it. This one I’m going to enjoy it regardless of what happens.’’ Because if you can’t enjoy a World Cup in Brazil what can you enjoy in football? ‘’I feel great and feel better than I have done for years,’’ he said. ‘’I’ve had time to prepare with the team. I’ve done that. I’ve gone into previous tournaments with little niggles or different things, but I’ve not missed a session.’’ Working with the talented newcomers in the squad, including Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw, is reviving memories for Rooney of when he burst onto the international scene as an 18-year-old scoring four goals at the 2004 European Championship. ‘’That’s the good thing about the younger lads in the squad: you can see that in them, in Ross and Raheem ... there’s no fear,’’ Rooney said. ‘’We’ve got a lot of energy, a lot of pace in the team, and if we can pick the right moments we can really hurt teams with the pace and tempo that we can hit them.’’ Despite his poor World Cup record, Rooney’s 39 goals in 92 England appearances should ensure he starts up front against Italy - contrary to the unusually candid and vocal criticism from former Manchester United teammate Paul Scholes recently.

Why Netherlands must avoid Brazil, by Hooijdonk HEN Group B gets underW way today, with the eagerly anticipated tie between Spain and the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final, the stakes may not be as high as the last time the sides met at the tournament. However, for former Oranje striker, Pierre van Hooijdonk, the occasion still offers his compatriots more than just a chance for revenge. “If you look at the match schedule and look ahead to the next round than it’s clear that we need to win the group,” the 44-year-old told FIFA.com. “That would mean we’d be likely to avoid playing Brazil and it’d be difficult to face the hosts. The important thing is not to lose the first game so that you don’t put yourself under pressure straight away for the second match.” The fact that Spain are the Netherlands’ first opponents certainly adds extra spice to the encounter, and memories of the Dutch defeat in Johannesburg are still fresh for Van Hooijdonk.

“It was a huge disappointment and then with the next World Cup on the horizon, the same two teams were pitted against each other again,” the 46-time international said of the moment the group-stage draw was made.

England’s midfielder, Steven Gerrard (second right); forward Wayne Rooney (right) and midfielder Frank Lampard (second left) during a training session at the Urca military base in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

It’s unrealistic for U.S. to win title, Klinsmann admits URGEN Klinsmann mainJthetains they shouldn’t expect United States to lift soccer’s top trophy for the first time July 13, even if that stance upsets some. ‘’I think for us now, talking about winning a World Cup is just not realistic,’’ the American coach said Wednesday during his first news conference in Brazil before the tournament. ‘’First, we’ve got to make it through the group. So let’s stay with our feet on the ground and say let’s get that group first done, and then the sky is the limit.’’ The Americans open Monday against Ghana, the team that eliminated them from the last

two World Cups, then play No. 4 Portugal and FIFA Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo. They close group play against three-time champion Germany, the world’s secondranked team. Landon Donovan, the star forward cut by Klinsmann last month, started work as an ESPN analyst Wednesday and said: ‘’This will come as a surprise to nobody, but I don’t agree with Jurgen.’’ He said former American defender, Alexi Lalas, another ESPN broadcaster, felt the same way, as did the team’s primary fan group. ‘’As someone who has been in that locker room and has sat next to the players ... we agree

Netherlands’ Wesley Sneijder (centre), Arjen Robben (right) and Stefan de Vrij participate in a training session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. PHOTOS: AFP

with the American Outlaws: We believe that we will win,’’ Donovan said. ‘’And I think that’s the way Americans think. I think that’s the sentiment.’’ Odds makers peg the U.S. chances of winning the title at 250-1, up from 60-1 before December’s draw. ‘’I’ll be at the Natal game. I’ll be in Manaus. And I’ll also be in Recife - and, hopefully, the next stage,’’ Liliana Ayalde, the U.S. ambassador to Brazil, said after the almost two-hour training session. Klinsmann won the 1990 World Cup as a player for West Germany and coached Germany to the 2006 semifinals. He caused a stir last weekend when he was quoted by The New York Times Magazine as saying in a December interview ‘’we cannot win this World Cup, because we are not at that level yet.’’ Klinsmann, who has lived in Orange Country, California, for most of the last 16 years, was accused by some commentators of having an unAmerican mentality. ‘’If it’s now American or not American, I don’t know,’’ he said. ‘’You can correct me however you want.’’ Mix Diskerud, the 23-year-old midfielder with a Norwegian father and Arizonan mother, took Klinsmann’s remarks as a challenge. ‘’That’s an opportunity for us to prove him wrong,’’ he said. Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya thought it was a meaningless debate, but he does feel the Americans are dismissed by the soccer cognoscenti. ‘’People still have around the

world a little bit of a prejudice maybe or something that America is still growing in the soccer world,’’ Bedoya said. ‘’They still poke fun maybe that we call it soccer and not football.’’ Only eight nations have won the World Cup, all from Europe and South America. Brazil has a record five titles, followed by Italy (four), Germany (three), Argentina and Uruguay (two each), and England, France and Spain (one apiece). ‘’Look, we haven’t won a World Cup before, so you can’t go into the World Cup saying, ‘Oh, we have to do what we’ve done in the past,’’’ forward Jozy Altidore said. ‘’You come here obviously with that dream in the back of your mind. Let’s not be silly. At the same time you have to be realistic and understand there are some teams that maybe are a bit more favored than we are obviously to win the tournament.’’ “They are born with having football in their blood, and you will feel that now,’’ Klinsmann said, adding: ‘’Obviously they expect the title.’’ And even more. ‘’The win is not enough,’’ he said. ‘’It has to be a couple beautiful goals, as well.’’ The Americans enter ranked 13th, nine below their record high in April 2006. Their best World Cup finish was at the first tournament, when they reached the semifinals in 1930. This is the seventh straight World Cup appearance for the Americans, who failed to qualify from 1950-90.


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World Cup We will have no fear, says Australia’s Spiranovic HEN Holger Osieck’s three years at the AusW tralia helm were brought to

Italy’s midfielder, Andrea Pirlo (left) contests with Antonio Cassano during a training session at the Portobello Resort in Mangaratiba on Wednesday. PHOTO: AFP

Ancelotti preaches Italian unity ARLO Ancelotti has called C on Italy to believe in their chances of winning the FIFA World Cup, even though Cesare Prandelli’s side enter the tournament in unconvincing form. The 2006 champions’ preparations included draws with Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg, plus failure to convince despite beating Brazilian club side Fluminense 5-3. However, the Real Madrid coach has urged the four-

time FIFA World Cup winners to pull in the same direction and take inspiration from his side, who won the UEFA Champions League last season. “When you take part in a World Cup there is always a lot of excitement and tension and everyone needs to chip in if you want to achieve something big,” said Ancelotti in a letter published in La Gazzetta dello Sport. “However, people are sceptical about our chances, and do

Hasebe ‘ready to go’ for opener APAN captain, Makoto News. Japan coach, Alberto ZacHasebe has declared himself J“ready to go” for his team’s cheroni has shown great faith FIFA World Cup Group C opener against Côte d’Ivoire in Recife at the weekend, shrugging off worries over a knee injury. “There is no problem [with the knee] and I have been taking part in full training,” the FC Nurnberg defensive midfielder said after Wednesday’s workout at Japan’s World Cup base camp in Itu, near Sao Paulo. “Obviously it is the coach that decides but I am ready to go,” the 30-year-old added about his chance of making the first team for the match which kicks off at 10pm local time on Saturday, according to Kyodo

in Hasebe since taking over the Blue Samurai after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, depending on him to help fulfil the goal of at least a quarterfinal spot in a team packed with talent, including Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa and AC Milan midfielder, Keisuke Honda. Hasebe suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee in January. He underwent surgery twice on the knee but played the full 90 minutes in Nurnberg’s final game of the season and played the second half in Japan’s 1-0 friendly win over Cyprus at home on May 27.

Thai junta orders free World Cup TV HAILAND’S ruling junta T has ordered TV regulators to ensure that football fans will not have to pay to watch any matches at the World Cup. The military said it was part of its “happiness campaign”, which has seen a number of policy gimmicks, such as free haircuts and concerts. Meanwhile, an anti-coup protest leader has been charged with incitement and could face 14 years in jail. The junta overthrew the government last month

promising to restore order. Bangkok and some other parts of the country have been under curfew ever since. The military has since cracked down on dissent, detaining hundreds of potential opponents and releasing them with warnings about their future behaviour. However, yesterday Sombat Boonngamanong was taken to a military court and formally charged with incitement and various other crimes.

not believe in us. Well, I can guarantee that if the team and the coaching staff stay united and all read from the same page, then the atmosphere will become more favourable, and results are more likely to go our way. “That is how Real Madrid won the Champions League. That’s why now it’s important to encourage Italians to get behind our lads.” The Italian accepted that Prandelli’s side are far from being the tournament favourites, but also pointed out that they were unfancied

before the victorious FIFA World Cups of 1982 and 2006. Italy begin their campaign against England in the stifling conditions of Amazonian city Manaus, before facing Costa Rica and then Uruguay. “We are in a difficult group,” admitted Ancelotti. “But our opponents should be worried about our presence in it. One thing is for certain: facing Italy is difficult for every team. We are a strong team tactically, we are experienced and we have players that can make the difference.”

an end against France in Paris last year, the blood pressure of Socceroos fans no doubt rose a little with their flights to Brazil just nine months away, no coach, and just a handful of games to go. However, with the arrival of Ange Postecoglou a few weeks later, they had not only hired one of the most trusted names on the Aussie scene, they had also bought themselves some time. Postecoglou has spent almost half of this century leading various Australian youth teams, as well as having stints at Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory, and with many of his former charges among the Socceroos squad at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, familiarity has allowed for a speedy transition. Matt McKay, Matthew Spiranovic and Mile Jedinak had all crossed paths with Postecoglou at FIFA youth tournaments, and were in agreement that having an insight into his signature brand of slick football has been a key asset. “It gives you a bit of a head start if players know the coach well, know what style of football he likes to play and his philosophy,” Western Sydney Wanderers defender Spiranovic told FIFA.com. “I played under Ange at the U-17 World Cup in Peru [in 2005]. It was a great experience, playing on such a big stage at such a young age is a fantastic learning experience. “It always helps the playercoach relationship if they know each other well, and Ange has known me from a young age and I understand what he expects and requires from players, so that is only an advantage for a coach and a player.”

McKay and Jedinak were part of the set-up two years earlier – also featuring fellow Brazil 2014 team-mate Alex Wilkinson – when the Young Socceroos travelled to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2003. “It’s a long time ago and we won our group in UAE, but we got knocked out in the next round, so that was disappointing,” McKay recalled. “It was a good experience and I’m delighted for him that he can lead us into a World Cup. “Even back then he liked a similar style of football – the player movement, quick ball movement, being possessionbased. I’ve had him at [Brisbane Roar] as well and it was the same there too. He’s a good manager and he really encourages players to go out and play an attractive kind of football.” Ivan Franjic, Tommy Oar and Mark Milligan complete the septet of Postecoglou’s previously primed personnel. But with a fresh group of youngsters to integrate into the team, alongside some more experienced heads, producing a coherent unit in just five games before their opening meeting with Chile in Cuiaba was always going to be tough. In Jedinak’s eyes, the boss’ clarity of vision has made the process infinitely more fruitful since beginning in October.

Spiranovic


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Man Utd ends interest in Fabregas, Cavani ANCHESTER United M have withdrawn their interest in signing Cesc Fabregas and Edinson Cavani. The duo have been linked with a move to Old Trafford on numerous occasions over the past year, but it now seems as though the club have moved to distance themselves from the pair. New manager, Louis Van Gaal will be heavily backed in the transfer window this summer as he looks to strengthen his side after their disappointing campaign last year. But according to the Daily Star, the Dutchman has decided to look elsewhere for reinforcements after the transfer fee and wages for the duo were deemed to be too high. Fabregas has been given the green light to leave

Barcelona this summer, with a move to Chelsea heavily rumoured. The Spaniard is believed to have interested United for 12 months now, but Van Gaal is now targeting Roma midfielder, Kevin Strootman instead. PSG striker Cavani has struggled to replicate his form at the French Champions since a £55m move from Napoli last summer, where he had become one of the deadliest strikers in the world. Former United boss David Moyes had the Uruguay international watched on numerous occasions, but it now seems as though a move has been put on the back burner. The paper has also reported that Cavani wanted £300,000 a week to move to Old Trafford, matching Wayne Rooney as the highest earner at the club.

Tottenham weigh up £8million bid for Alvarez OTTENHAM manager, T Mauricio Pochettino is considering making an offer for Inter Milan contract rebel Ricardo Alvarez. Pochettino, who began work at White Hart Lane this week, has already drawn up a list of transfer targets and has

Alvarez

given them to sporting director Franco Baldini. Alvarez, 26, features high up the list and Tottenham is weighing up making a £8million bid for his services in the coming days. A former target for Arsenal, Alvarez has thrived in Serie A since moving to Inter, but reports in Italy say he has rejected a new contract and is now considering leaving. Spurs want to strengthen in midfield, and with the Argentine star able to play anywhere in the middle of the park, he would offer real value for money. Pochettino will get a chance to take a closer look at the player during the World Cup, with Alvarez likely to feature strongly for Argentina.

Glasgow 2014: Mo Farah to compete in 5,000, 10,000m OUBLE Olympic chamD pion, Mo Farah intends to compete for England in the 5,000 and 10,000m at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Farah has not raced since the London Marathon in April, when he finished eighth on his debut in the event. The 5,000m is the first men’s track title to be decided in Glasgow, before the 10,000m takes place five days later. Neither event has heats. Farah, 31, is also the defending world champion over both distances. He broke Steve Cram’s 28year-old 1500m British record last year before turning his attention to the

marathon. Farah’s involvement is a boost to Games organisers, with Britain’s Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill absent because she is expecting her first baby and Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt yet to commit. Farah is scheduled to run in a special event at the Diamond League meeting in Glasgow on 12 July, with the Commonwealth Games commencing 11 days later. The Londoner, who will face stiff competition from Kenyan and Ugandan athletes at the Commonwealth Games, finished ninth in the 5,000m at the 2006 Games in Melbourne, but withdrew from the 2010 Games in Delhi

Murray

Murray makes winning start at Queen’s NDY Murray got his partA nership with new coach Amelie Mauresmo off to a winning start against France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu at Queen’s Club. The Briton, trying to win his fourth Aegon Championships title, won 6-4, 6-4 to reach the last 16. Murray has now won his last 19 matches on grass, stretching back to the 2012 Wimbledon final. He will play Radek Stepanek, who beat Bernard Tomic 7-6, 7-6, in round three on Thursday. All eyes had been on practice court three earlier in the day, when Murray had a 45minute session under the watchful eye of Mauresmo. The Frenchwoman, 34, arrived in London on Tuesday,

two days after Murray had announced they were to work together for the grass-court season initially. She took her place alongside Murray’s regular team to see the world number five make an encouraging start to his campaign on grass. On a hot afternoon, the Scot served well as he saved three break points and came through in one hour and 26 minutes. Murray, 27, looked more sure-footed than the Frenchman from the start, recovering from 40-0 down to get the decisive break of the first set in the opening game. There was a brief moment of alarm when the third seed took a tumble chasing down a drop shot early in the second but he brushed himself

down, setting up the crucial break in game seven with a backhand down the line. Murray saw off a late fightback from Mathieu, and two break points, before clinching victory on his third match point with another of those trademark backhand winners. Asked about his new coach’s input, Murray said: “We spoke a bit about the match and the tactics and then chatted a little bit afterwards, but this week there’s not going to be any big changes in my game. “I also wouldn’t expect any before Wimbledon, but we’ll definitely work on some things after the tournament is finished here. “We will chat about the stuff that I will be working on over the next few days, and then

when I get the chance to after the tournament is finished here, I’ll get four or five days of practice where I can work on some things.” Top seed Stan Wawrinka benefited from an early retirement by wildcard Marcos Baghdatis, who suffered a shoulder injury in the first set. Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat David Goffin 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, but there was an upset for Latvian sixth seed Ernests Gulbis as he was knocked out 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 by Kenny de Schepper of France. Elsewhere, in the women’s Aegon Classic in Birmingham, British number three Johanna Konta was knocked out 6-4 6-2 by Aleksandra Wozniak - the Canadian qualifier who beat Heather Wat-

Glasgow 2014: Cyclist Wiggins weighs up track return IR Bradley Wiggins could SCommonwealth return to the track at the Games if he

Farah

does not compete at the Tour de France. The 2012 Tour de France winner, 34, will compete in the road race event in Glasgow after being named in England’s 31-strong cycling team. But he is also keen on getting back on the track as preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Team Sky are set to name their Tour de France riders next week but Wiggins claims he will not be taking part.

Shane Sutton, British Cycling technical director and head of Team England’s Commonwealth Cycling team, wants Wiggins to take to the track in Glasgow alongside fellow Olympic champion Ed Clancy. “We don’t know if Brad will be available at this point. The process of selection by Sir Dave Brailsford at Sky hasn’t finished yet,” Sutton said. “He’s done a bit of track work because he’s stated clearly his ambition is to link up with Ed and the boys and win a gold medal in Rio.

“If he misses the tour then we’d welcome him back (to the track). We know he can step up alongside Ed and do the job.” Wiggins has won three Olympic gold medals on the track. He won the individual pursuit at Athens 2004 and both the individual and team pursuit at the Beijing Games in 2008. Clancy, a member of Britain’s gold medal-winning Olympic team pursuit squad in 2008 and 2012, said of Wiggins’s possible track comeback: “There is a chance. I think it’s

an option in Brad’s mind and in the minds of people around here. “Should he not get selected for the Tour de France, then I think he’ll start considering his options.” Olympic champions Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Dani King, Clancy, Steven Burke, Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes have also been selected in England’s Commonwealth Games squad. The track events at the Commonwealth Games will take place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome from July 24 to 27.


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Friday, June 13, 2014 SPORTS 75

Koke: Atletico is my future OKE has insisted he is stayK ing put at Atletico Madrid, despite strong speculation linking him with a move to a host of European clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona. The 22-year-old was one of Atletico’s stars last season, helping Diego Simeone’s side to La Liga glory for the first time in 18 years as well as reaching the UEFA Champions League final. Koke made 49 appearances in all competitions for Atletico and his form has been rewarded with inclusion in Vicente Del Bosque’s 23-man World Cup squad. The Spaniard has been heavily linked with a summer exit but he says he is not thinking

about leaving the Vicente Calderon, where he is under contract until 2018. “My future is with Atletico. I am happy in my club and now I have a deal and do not think about an exit,” he said. Koke also says that he is aiming for glory in Brazil, but understands that he may need to be patient for an opportunity in the side. “Really my head is only focused on the work for Spain in Brazil 2014. My dream is to win this title with minutes in the game, although that depends on the coach,” he said. “I have arrived to the team and each day I learn many things, especially about players such as Xavi and Iniesta.”

Verratti is not for sale, PSG insists EAL Madrid are now well R aware that signing Marco Verratti is a very tall order. PSG’s UEFA sanction for not abiding by the Financial Fair Play rules will not be as strict as was at first feared, and in the end the French club will not be obliged to sell many players. Verratti is seen as an important figure by Coach Laurent Blanc and a keystone in the sheik’s plan to win the Champions League next season. So, the club wants him to stay put. PSG have informed Real that they are not interested in selling the young midfielder. The two clubs enjoy an

excellent relationship, and both have declared to talk directly with each other if one club is interested in any player of the other, without letting agents get in the way. Likewise, the Parisian club has been told that it would have a very hard time hunting down any Real players. Regarding Toni Kroos, the player seems decided on turning down Bayern’s offer to renew. The good thing about signing this midfielder for Real is that the German club may accept a lower amount, as the player’s contract runs out next season, leaving the player free to walk.

Koke

Lukaku

Wolfsburg eye Lukaku’s value OLFSBURG sporting W director, Klaus Allofs has admitted that they would be interested in signing Chelsea striker, Romelu Lukaku providing the price is right. The 21-year-old, who hit 15 Premier League goals while on loan at Everton last season, has an uncertain future, as it remains unclear whether he is involved in Jose Mourinho’s plans at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea already look set to

boost their striking options this summer, with Diego Costa understood to have passed a medical ahead of a proposed move from Atletico Madrid. Lukaku is currently at the World Cup in Brazil with Belgium and he has already conceded that he may need to depart the club in order to continue playing regular football. Allofs has previously confirmed the Bundesliga side’s

S

The Potters have paid an undisclosed fee for Slovakia under-21 centre-back Teixeira, 21, who was born in Brazil. Stoke have already signed Phil Bardsley and Steve Sidwell this summer. Diouf joined Manchester United from Molde in 2009 and had a loan spell at

Blackburn before moving to Hannover in 2012 and going on to score 26 goals in 57 Bundesliga appearances. He managed one goal in five substitute appearances in the Premier League for United and scored three goals in 27 matches for Blackburn in the 2010/11 season.

club chasing the player’s signature,” he told kickerSportmagazin. “Actually we are looking at top class strikers and we do not have any pressure. We are patiently waiting for the right moment. “There will be some movement in all of this after the FIFA World Cup tournament.”

Ramos may replace Mancini at Galatasaray HE last manager to win a swoop for another former T trophy with Tottenham, Premier League boss, with Juande Ramos, is in line to Ramos the favourite to suc-

Stoke signs Biram Diouf, Teixeira TOKE have signed Hannover’s former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf and Banska Bystrica defender Dionatan Teixeira. Senegal forward, Diouf, 26, has agreed a four-year deal and will join on a free transfer when his Hannover contract expires on July 1.

interest in a move for Lukaku as they chase a new striker, but he knows that they may face stern competition to secure his services with a host of Premier League clubs, and Atletico among those also reported to be keen. “If the player is getting cheaper, maybe this affair is picking up pace. But even then we won’t be the only

Stoke chief executive, Tony Scholes said: “Mark Hughes has wanted to sign Mame since he took over as manager last year. “He has been a tremendous success in Germany as his record underlines and he is keen to return to England make an impact in the Premier League. “We’re pleased to be able to give him the platform to hopefully achieve that ambi-

replace former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini at Galatasaray, according to AS. Mancini departed Galatasaray by mutual consent on Wednesday less than a year after taking the reins at the Istanbul club. The Italian, who won the FA Cup and Premier League during his time at City, claimed the Turkish Cup, but failed to defend Galatasaray’s league crown. Now Galatasaray are set to

ceed Mancini. Ramos’ contract at Dnipro expires at the end of this month and he is expected to leave the Ukrainian club. The Spaniard arrived at Spurs in 2007 following a successful spell at Sevilla, but lasted less than a year at White Hart Lane, despite winning the League Cup. He has since had spells in charge of Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow, as well as Dnipro.

Blatter blasts Dyke, European FA bosses over comments EPP Blatter has hit back at Schairman attacks from English FA Greg Dyke and

Dyke

other European officials, claiming they were the “most disrespectful” thing he had ever experienced. Dyke had told Blatter at a meeting of UEFA countries on Tuesday his claim that racism was behind World Cup corruption allegations in the British media was “offensive and totally unacceptable”. Dutch FA president, Michael van Praag also told Blatter in blunt terms that he should step down from FIFA next year and not stand for a fifth term. Blatter told a news conference after the FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo: “I have had to accept a number of blows, but what I saw and heard at the UEFA meeting was the

most disrespectful thing I have experienced in my entire life, on the football pitch and in my home.” Blatter’s position has been hugely strengthened, however, after FIFA delegates dealt a crushing blow to moves to bring in term limits and age limits for officials. It effectively giving the green light to Blatter to stand for re-election next year. UEFA and a number of European federations, including the FA, had proposed bringing in limits, but that was defeated in a vote at FIFA’s Congress in Sao Paulo. The decision leaves the way open for 78-year-old Blatter to stay in office next year and for many years beyond and he made it clear to FIFA’s 209 member nations

that he intends to stand again. He told delegates: “The candidature period is not yet open so no one can be a candidate. I know that my mandate will finish next year on June 29 in Zurich - but my mission is not finished. “And I tell you together we will build the new FIFA together. We have the foundations today. Congress will decide who will take this great institution forward. “It’s a tough decision but I can tell you I am ready to accompany you for the game, for the world - but it is your decision.” The vote on limits came towards the end of a lengthy meeting where Blatter made the light-hearted suggestion that football could one day be played on other planets.


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Ecobank launches ‘Go Team Africa’ campaign COBANK Group has E launched a new multimedia campaign known as ‘Go Team Africa’ in support of African teams participating at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The campaign, which encompasses television commercial, press and radio advertisement among others, expresses the Ecobank’s mode of sharing pan-African passion. Ecobank is the official broadcast sponsor of Optima Sports’ coverage of 2014 FIFA World Cup in Nigeria and official broadcast sponsor of Octagon in the rest of Africa. The Head, Marketing and Communication of Ecobank Nigeria, Adetola Oshomah, said “the launch of this campaign is in line with our pan African vision.  We are again showing our commitment to the African continent and we

are highly optimistic that the teams representing Africa will do the continent proud in Brazil”. According to Oshomah every arrangement is in place to ensure maximum support for the participating African teams in the tournament, stating that apart from the campaign, the bank is also sponsoring some customers in an all-expense paid trip to Brazil to lend their support to the teams during live matches. Africa is being represented in the sports fiesta by Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroun, Algeria and Côte d’Ivoire. The World Cup is among the world’s most widely viewed sporting events, with an estimated 715.1 million people that watched the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany.

Governor’s House wins Corbet sports day By Isaac Taiwo HE Governor’s House has T emerged winner of this year’s inter-house sports

Egypt’s Omar Assar with Nigeria’s Funke Oshonaike during the mixed doubles event of the 2013 ITTF Lagos World Tour

Venue gets facelift, as organisers plan big for ITTF World Tour HE Molade Okoya-Thomas T Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium has been given a facelift ahead of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)-sanctioned Lagos World Tour scheduled for June 23 to 26. Also, the Main Organising Committee (MOC) believes the tournament would continue to improve in its standard yearly as more countries are expected to participate this year. A new lighting has been installed in the hall, while the knock hall of the National Stadium that will serve as practice hall has also been renovated in preparedness for the competition.

From the 13 nations that took part in the maiden edition, this year, 15 countries including Commonwealth Champion, Singapore and Africa champion, Egypt will be in Lagos for the tournament. Commonwealth champion, Singapore, Egypt and Russia and 11 other countries have been confirmed for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Lagos World Tour tagged Nigeria Open holding this month. MOC Chairman, Wahid Oshodi said efforts are in top gear to ensure that the facilities are ready on time, while ITTF experts in readiness for the championship will train over 100 officials.

“We are working very hard to ensure that once again we raise the standard of the tournament and we are pleading with the fans to come to the stadium to see the best of our sport. We had players from 13 countries last year and with the closing of registration for the event, we have over 15 countries already listed for the tournament. We need the level of competition to continue to improve from year to year,” he said. The President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) added: “As you know the top 16 players in Africa will be here to compete in the World tour as well as the Top 16. I spoke to Omar Assar the

men’s defending champion in Tokyo and he is looking forward to returning to Lagos to defend his title and continue his great relationship with the Lagos fans. Of course all our top players will be on show.” Also, the President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy believes the MOC has the capacity to up a good show. “I am confident that this year’s tournament will be better than last year and with what I had been reading and hearing about the organization, I hope it will be the best tournament to be staged in recent times,” the ATTF boss said.

Ministry pledges to continue Lagos’ achievements in sports EWEDO Oluseyi Whenu, Sretary who is the Permanent Secin the Office of Sports, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, has reiterated the obligation of the ministry to maintain the accomplishments the state has recorded in its sports growth programmes. Whenu said this at the recently held  workshop titled “Work Plan and Performance Management Training” in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with the purpose of increasing its workers ability for optimum performance  Declaring open the workshop organised in Badagry, the Permanent Secretary said

that the ministry’s administration headed by Mr. Wahid Enitan Oshodi, was delighted at the level of successes at various competitions that the state achieved in the sporting arena. He said that not only did the results show progressive improvements, it also evidently showed Lagos State’s prowess in the management of people today for the future. The Public Relations Officer, Office of Sports, Mr. Olumide Filade, quoted the Permanent Secretary to have said that the ministry is working in line with the Vision of the state government; “Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Economic Development through Infrastructural Renewal and Development”, adding that the athletes scorecard justi-

fied government’s spending that currently put the state as premier in sports development. “As the state of excellence, it is expected that we set standards and benchmark our activities that would allow us to measure our Key Performance Indicators with expected Results, Outcomes and Deliverables,” he said. Whenu enunciated that, “the three days workshop would be used to redefine the purpose of the Office of Sports, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development; Departments and Agencies in tune with the dynamics of sports development to establish realistic goals and objectives that are consistent with our mission in a defined time frame.

Fabregas

competition of Corbet Schools, Lagos. In the competition that included track and field events, Director House was beaten to the second position while the third went to Senate House. The President’s House came fourth at the one-day tournament. According to the proprietress of the school, Mrs. Scholastica Ilechukwu, the importance of sports in the making of a total child cannot be underestimated, while urging parents to encourage their wards to embrace sports. “Sports is indeed an investment and the returns expected is not financial or immediate but making sure the students and pupils are groomed not only in academics but in sports as well so that they can give back to

the nation,” she said. The Chairman of the occasion, a member of technical committee of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Paul Bassey expressed satisfaction with the efforts being made by the schools to groom future athletes for Nigeria and commended the school for the high standard of the competition. “Today’s event has shown us of the need to go back to schools to discover talents if we want to really develop sports in Nigeria, a thing we were actually doing in the past,” he said. The Chairman, Planning Committee, Mr. Kenneth Okonkon said that sports and education are integrated for the holistic training of the pupils. “In Corbet schools, we are committed to total education which include training sportsmen and women who can mix well with the world,” he said.

Fabregas joins Chelsea HELSEA Football Club has also perform in a deeper role, C announced the signing of and on the international stage Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. he has been used in wide areas, The 27-year-old has joined on a five-year contract and will wear the no. 4 shirt. He said: ‘Firstly I would like to thank everyone at FC Barcelona where I enjoyed three wonderful years. It was my childhood club and I will always be proud and honoured that I had a chance to play for such a great team. “I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time to return. I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice. They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies. They have an amazing squad of players and an incredible manager. I am fully committed to this team and I can’t wait to start playing.’ A versatile, technically gifted midfielder, Fabregas has acquired a wealth of experience from playing in two of the strongest leagues in Europe and representing the most successful Spain international side of all time. Comfortable operating as an attacking midfielder, he can

as a second striker or, on occasions, as a ‘false number nien. Fabregas arrives at Stamford Bridge following a three-year spell at Barcelona during which he helped the Catalan club win the La Liga title, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. He is no stranger to the Premier League having enjoyed an eight-year spell with Arsenal prior to moving to Camp Nou. His time in north London was an important period in his development, during which he made the transition from being a young, inexperienced player to arguably the most important member of Arsenal’s squad. However, with some of the biggest clubs in Europe chasing his signature, his departure from the Emirates was almost inevitable, and so it proved when he returned to the club that had nurtured him. Born near Barcelona, Fabregas joined the Barça academy at the age of 10 but having flourished in their youth sides, he left his boyhood club and moved to Arsenal in 2003 at the age of 16.


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Images from camps of countries at Brazil 2014 World Cup

United States players warm up during a training session in Sao Paulo.

Algeria’s footballers run during a training session at the Atletico World Sports Center in Sorocaba.

Honduras’ players attend a training session in Porto Feliz…yesterday.

Japan’s forward Shinji Kagawa (left) passes the ball in front of teammates Shinji Okazaki (second left), Yoichiro Kakitani (second right) and Maya Yoshida (right) during a team training session in Itu, Sao Paulo.

Mexico’s national football team players take part in a training session at the Complex in Santos.

Greece’s forward Fanis Gekas and his teammates warm up during a training session at the Estadio Louridal Baptista in Aracaju.

Italy’s coach Cesare Prandelli (right) throws a ball past players during a training session at the Portobello Resort in Mangaratiba.

Costa Rica’s coach Jorge Luis Pinto (left) and players takes part in a training session at the Vila Belmiro Stadium of Santos FC. PHOTOS: AFP


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GolfWeekly

Executive Director, Human Resources ExxonMobil, Udom Inoyo (left) walks off the tee-box as his playing partner prepares to take his turn during the ARM 20th Anniversary Golf Tournament at the Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate, Lagos…recently. PHOTO: ENO-ABASI SUNDAY

Four Nigerians gun for British Open tickets Stories by Eno-Abasi Sunday total of four Nigerian A golfers, made up of three professionals and one amateur player would be attempting to qualify for next year’s (British) Open Championship, slated for the Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, from 13th to 20th July 2015. The pro golfers are Kenny Thompson, Ifeanyi Chukwu and David Waziri while Monday Eze is a Category One player. They have all had their entries confirmed and are gearing up to take their game to the next level. No Nigerian has ever played in the main event of the Open Championship, unquestion-

ably golf’s oldest major championship. Legendary Peter Akakasiaka played in the qualifying rounds but was frozen out of it by extreme weather conditions in the 1980s. Leading the pack to tee off on the June 23 at 7.00 am at the London Club in Kent is United Kingdom-based Thompson, who is the founder of Kids Golf International. He will be followed by Waziri who tees of at 9.06 am, Chukwu tees off at 11.23am, while the Category One player, Eze joins the fray at 11.45am. Thompson, who spoke to The Guardian ahead of the qualifier, said he has agreed to host his compatriots to enable them settle down and plan

their game well. Thompson, who turned professional barely a year ago, said he was aware of many Nigerians and Ghanaians, who have tried to pre-qualify but fail to make an impact. More often than not, he said: “The failure to scale the hurdle usually boils down to lack of preparation and mental readiness on the part of the Nigerian players. Poor time management also plays a big role. Some of them even arrive to play the qualifier a day before the event and it takes the body about 48 hours to recover from a jet lag and practise at the course. How on earth do they expect to play well, it simply won’t happen.

Arriving late may not be their fault as they have to source for funds. In our clime, sponsors delay fulfilling their promises or commitments till the last minute and this affects the mental preparation of the golfer, as they are not even sure of making the trip up till the last minute.” On the venue of the qualifier, he said, “The London Club is an open and huge club and players in the past have gone through the qualifying stage by shooting level par or better. So if our Nigerians players can return a level par result, they are in for a chance. Our Junior amateur players are doing well globally with their performance in Botswana and at

the U.S Kids European Championships, I hope the professionals including myself can learn and be motivated by the performance of the young juniors. I look forward to receiving them so we can plan our game before the event,” he stated. Speaking on his expectations of the Nigerian players in the qualifier, he said, “Nigerian golfers are talented considering the low standard courses they have learnt to master the game while playing in Nigeria. But they lack exposure and confidence when playing outside their comfort zone. The courses in Nigeria are by far more difficult to navigate than any course I have played in

Europe. Playing on courses in the United Kingdom is by far easier due to the better condition of play. Another factors that affect Nigerian golfers, Thompson said, “Is lack of discipline, as many of them do not plan their social lives around tournament play. Golf can be a lonely game, which makes it more difficult to perform well  in such conditions. If all three Nigerians meet, practise together, the power of brotherhood (especially when outside Nigeria) plays a big role in performance as there is an emotional uplift within each player, which tends to provide the much needed pressure-free round of golf when competing.

Roxane, Reece in contention for Johnnie Walker Blue Label trophy WO lady golfers Maureen T Reece of Ikoyi Club (golf section) and Dolhain Roxane of Lakowe Lakes Golf and Country Estate, Lagos have already booked their tickets to play in the grand finale of Johnny Walker Golf Tournament, where the winner will cart home the Johnnie Walker Blue Label trophy in addition to all expense paid trip to attend the Ryder’s Cup 2014 in Scotland.

While Reece, past lady captain of her club emerged winner of the first of the fourlegged tournament; Roxane grabbed her ticket at the second leg, which her home club hosted last weekend. Roxane carded 45 to beat an impressive field of golfers, which also featured Reece. She finished in fourth place after being beaten on countback by G. W. Yoo. She also won the longest drive award

for ladies at the tourney. Other ancillary prizewinners were, T. Eben-Spiff, who won the men’s longest drive, nearest to the pin (men) was won by Brian Smith and Efun Etomi won in the ladies category. Yoo, who beat Reece on countback, also carted home the nearest to the centre line award. Johnnie Walker Blue Label, dubbed “the pinnacle of blended scotch whisky” from

the stables of Diageo, only recently launched its amateur golf tournament - the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Trophy to excite and reward golf lovers in the country. According to its sponsors, the tourney is aimed at celebrating the quality and heritage of the premium Scotch whisky. The four-round tournament is expected to run between May and September this year at Lakowe Lakes Golf and

Country Estate. Speaking on what golfers should expect from the series, Head, Reserve Brands, Diageo Brands Nigeria, Mr. Joe Nazzal said, “We are indeed excited about these tournaments. Associating Johnnie Walker with golf simply means a prestigious brand for legendry moments… we hope to see great skills on display at the competition.” “The winner of the Johnnie

Walker Blue Label Trophy will be presented with a Blue Label Trophy and an all expense paid trip to attend the Ryder’s Cup 2014 in Scotland. We look forward to having interesting moments in the tournaments, Nazzal added.” Other consolation prizes include a weekend stay at the Wheatbaker Hotel, dinner vouchers at Rhapsody Lounge and dinner for two at the Wheatbaker.


GolfWeekly Friday, June 13, 2014

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79

US Open 2014

Mickelson keen to seal career grand slam HIL Mickelson admits P trying to win the US Open for the first time has created extra pressure for this year’s event. Mickelson has won five majors, but has finished runner-up at the US Open on six occasions. “It’s a career goal of mine to win all four majors,” said the 43-year-old world number 11. “The expectations of looking forward to this event and how much it would mean to me, makes it a challenge.” Only five players have won all four majors - Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. “I feel like the five that have done that have separated themselves from the other players throughout all time,” added Mickelson, who finished one shot behind the late Payne Stewart when the US Open was held at Pinehurst in 1999 and tied for 33rd when it was last staged there in 2005. “It shows that they have a complete game. If I’m able to do that, I feel that I would look upon my own career differently. “That’s why it would mean so much, in addition to the fact it’s our national championship. Growing up here in the United States, this is a tournament that I’ve always felt this patriotism to and would love to win, plus with all

the close calls.” Mickelson comes into his 24th US Open with just one top-10 finish to his credit this season, a jointsecond place with Rory McIlroy behind Pablo Larrazabal in Abu Dhabi in January, and in the first major of the season in April he missed the cut at the Masters for the first time in 16 years. However, the left-hander remained optimistic about his chances of lifting the trophy on Sunday, the day before his 44th birthday. Last week at the St Jude Classic in Memphis, the Open champion recorded his second tie for 11th place on the PGA Tour this season. “I feel as good about my game today as I have all year,” he said. “It’s not saying a lot, because I haven’t played well all year, but last week was a good week for me. I started to slowly put it together. “I struggled on the greens, but the greens here are quick and so I’m actually going to go back to the claw grip to create a softer roll. “I feel this golf course, this set-up and everything about Pinehurst provides me the best opportunity. I don’t want to get overly excited, because the pressure of a US Open and having not been in contention (this season), that’s going to be a challenge for me.”

Experts speak on players’ chances slight spoiler alert for you on Jason Day; this guy is going to win the U.S. Open at some point in his A career. With just three starts at this major under his

Rose

Champion Justin Rose feels no extra pressure

USTIN Rose insists there is Jdefending no extra pressure on him as champion at the

US Open, which began yesterday. The Englishman is bidding to become the first man since Curtis Strange in 1989 to successfully defend the title. “I don’t like that word ‘defending’ because it puts you behind the eight-ball,” he said. “You don’t want to be out there being defensive at all. “I’m the only one guy who has the opportunity to repeat, but I’m seeing that as a pressure-free situation.” At Merion, Pennsylvania, 12 months ago, Rose captured his maiden major title when he became the first Englishman for 43 years to win the US Open.

His one-over total left him two shots clear of Phil Mickelson and Jason Day. It was the sixth time Mickelson has finished runner-up at the event, the one major the American left-hander has still to win to complete a career grand slam. Rose will play alongside Mickelson this week as tournament tradition sees the holder placed in the same group as the Open champion and the holder of the US Amateur Championship Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick for the first two days. “I enjoy playing golf with Phil,” said Rose, the world number nine, whose group will begin from the 10th tee at Pinehurst on Thursday. “I enjoy the spirit in which he plays the game, how free he is

out there. “He’s got a great temperament for the game. Nothing seems to faze him. That’s something a lot of players can look up to him for. It’s hard to play that way and that has stood him in good

stead throughout his career. “I’m also looking forward to playing with Matt. I played 18 holes with him at Augusta this year and he’s a really nice guy. He’s got a great short game, too, so hopefully it will be a great group to be a part of.”

belt, Day has finished in second place twice already, and has a second and a third place finish at the Masters. On top of that, he’s played some great golf this year, winning the Accenture Match Play in late February and bouncing back from a tough start at the Masters to finish in the top-20. Day will have success at Pinehurst because he hits the ball as high with his irons as anyone on tour, a must on these greens, and I think he’s poised and ready to take home another major for Australia Shane Bacon

It has to happen sometime, right? Matt Kuchar is too good, too close, too well positioned to go forever without a major. He had his chances in April at Augusta, even tying for the lead early on Sunday, but got swept up in the vortex of Bubba Golf. He’s having another characteristically Kucharesque year — a win, several top 10s — which sets him up to be atop the leaderboard as this weekend begins. As it ends? Well, that’s a different story - Jay Busbee The one thing we know about Pinehurst is this: to win there, you have to be able to scramble around the convex greens. And when it comes to scrambling, Matt Kuchar is pretty good, ranking sixth on the PGA Tour this year. If he can be as good over the next four days, he has a great shot at winning his first career major - Jay Hart We’re looking at the most wide-open field in years, so why not go with a deep darkhorse on nothing but a hunch? The 25-year-old Rickie Fowler may have only two Tour wins to his neon-clad name, but he put together a good Masters finishing Top five. After a disappointing May, he bounced back with a T13 at St. Jude last weekend. Some might clown this pick since Fowler isn’t carrying a lot of momentum and doesnt’ have a win to his name in 2014. But you know who else hasn’t had a stellar year? Phil Mickelson and you don’t hear anyone clowning the experts picking him to complete his career slam, do you? - Kevin Kaduk.

Mickelson

Day


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Friday, June 13, 2014

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Raheem Oluwafunminiyi Power must always be balanced by responsibility. Otherwise it is tyranny—Peter Drucker HERE is nowhere in the world where one form of disaster or the other do not happen. Even the most peaceful countries cannot but escape such societal ruckus in their quest for development. Who would have thought a country like Norway known for its endearing peace and welcoming ambience would be hard hit by the lethal shooting few years ago by Anders Breivik, a first class psychopath? Even China rarely known for terrorist tendencies could not but wallow in shock when a number of its citizens were stabbed by pitiless knife-wielding men at one of its scenic train stations. The issue that arises here is centred on the fact that disasters are part of our daily existence, and must be seen as such. However, when they arise, most especially by acts of human error, it behoves whoever was responsible to take the path of honour and bow out when the ovation was loudest. In saner climes, and in parts of the world where democracy principles have been deepened and institutionalised, human error is no excuse for remaining in a position one has been entrusted with. For the fact that human error is taken so seriously over there, there is usually a tendency for people to pay rapt attention to the duties they are assigned and ensure mistakes hardly happen. When they fail to abide by this principle, depending on the kind of human error one commits, one is either made to face the full wrath of the law or at least seizes to be part of the progress of the task he or she had once occupied and entrusted with. When aeroplanes fly the airspace in saner climes and in 20 years or more, no unfortunate news of air accidents occur, trains reach their required destinations without any hassle or the security of people’s lives remain top priority such that little or no lives are lost even in the event of a minor, not to talk of a major security breach, it is because someone in position of authority entrusted with the safety of lives, maintenance of public utilities and laws of the land owes it a point of duty to do it almost perfectly well such that in the breach of this trust, either knowingly or not, must necessarily pay for it in one way or the other. This is required for no other reason than to deter others from making the same oversight. It is therefore, why when we travel abroad, we see the system work so perfectly that one begins to wonder if the Lord had settled only among them, forgetting others, in their quest for near perfection and doing the right things. In saner climes, people come together to advance series of institutional framework to ensure the smooth running of society which in turn helps to reduce human errors to the barest minimum. When it appears disasters may occur in the nearest future, a lot are put in place to shock such occurrence. The best brains (not some run-of-the-mill guys) are fixed in the right places to ensure lives are protected and when they mess things up, they face legal retribution. There are no witches or wizards, as most assume or believe in this part of the world, behind the many challenges affecting us as a nation and people. Simply because we are too prone to error and do not wish to confront headlong the many realities that confront us, it is why many of our institutions fail to work effectively and hence continue to move in vicious circles whose aftermath leaves nothing but unnecessary wastage, loss of lives, hopelessness and a decrepit and rickety country for our children. When people make errors that lead to the loss of one life, it is the responsibility of the state to punish them according to the dictates of the law because life is so precious that nobody has the right to take it from the other. This opinion is for people in apolitical positions but when those who make such unwarranted errors are political leaders whose first duty is to see to the protection of the lives of the electorate who ushered them into power, the first action for them is to

T

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Taking responsibility: Lessons from South Korea

Ex -Prime Minister Chung Hong-won take responsibility and bow out when the ovation is loudest. This unequivocally is simply nothing but a matter of principle. This writer believes that without such canons institutionalised in the laws of our land, we will continue to grapple with the challenges of 21st century nation-building which in the first place are not insurmountable. The national conference currently on-going cannot blind its eyes to this critical issue and so should tender it as part of its report where office holders are made to take responsibility for their actions or inactions and bow out when even a small scandal flies over their heads. April, 2014 will forever remain in South Korean history as one of its saddest, after witnessing its worst maritime disaster in four

decades. The reasons for this are not farfetched. First, it witnessed on April 16, a ferry disaster which left at the time 188 dead and 114 missing and second, resignation few weeks after of its Prime Minister, Chung Hong-won, amidst criticisms and public outrage over the government’s handling of the disaster. The Sewol ferry with 476 people aboard — most of them students and teachers from Danwon High School in Ansian, a city near Seoul, sank off South Korea with about 174 people at the time rescued including 22 of the 29 crew members. Such was the enormity of the disaster that befell South Korea. When 188 people die, a number unprecedented in four decades of a country’s maritime history, somebody ought to take responsibility, own up for such huge loss and error and show up to be prosecuted for dereliction of duty. That was what happened few weeks after the ferry disaster when, amidst criticisms of what many saw as the slowness of the recovery operation, the South Korean Prime Minister resigned. In an emotional laden tone, he said the “cries of the families of those missing still keep me up at night” and so “The right thing for me to do is to take responsibility and resign as a person who is in charge of the cabinet.” Mr Chung in a forlorn mood continued by announcing: “On behalf of the government, I apologise for many problems from the prevention of the accident to the early handling of the disaster.” Chung’s apology, despite coming at the time it did, certainly did not assuage the feelings of many in South Korea especially within the opposition who described it as “thoroughly irresponsible” and a “cowardly evasion” of responsibility. Even a day after the disaster, while visiting grieving parents, Chung was booed and a water bottle was thrown at him. The ferry incident and the aftermath of how it played out in South Korean is a very important lesson we need to learn from in Nigeria. The maturity displayed in the face of such calamity and a political elite willing to bow out, having disappointed the people, makes South Korean democratic institutions inherently disciplined. No doubt, the number of people dead may have been high according to South Korean standard, yet a lot were still put in

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place to ensure rescue efforts were carried out even in the harshest of weather conditions and amidst heavy seas whipped up by strong winds which complicated recovery efforts. In the last couple of months, Nigeria has been grappling with gross ineptitude among its political class which has led to continued, unwarranted and irresponsible loss of lives. Nobody will forget in a hurry the scandal which rocked the Nigeria Immigration after its recruitment test left over 10 dead and another 15 fatally wounded. Despite this tragedy which has become a recurrent feature within the country, nobody has been held culpable. The Minister of Interior, the Nigeria Immigration boss and all those who participated in the sham keep walking free till this day despite the pains and injury inflicted on the families of those who lost their lives in the mishap. Simply because no one has taken full responsibility and for the fact that no one has resigned amidst criticisms from the public, there is no doubt that there will be a next time and certainly this will be worse than before. Our failure to bring to book those who have in one way or the other caused severe harm to our political process and democratic credentials is the reason we have continued to retrogress as a people and as a nation. The fact that we do not have a political cum legal and institutional structure or framework that makes such an act punishable, many of such unfortunate disasters will continue in our polity. There are countless other acts of irresponsibility that permeates our polity and because we prefer to look the other way, we cannot but be caught entangled in the dangers placed in our way by incompetent, irresponsible and errorprone individuals across the political divide. The many accidents which occur on our roads on a daily basis are parts of the acts of indiscipline and irresponsibility committed by those appointed to ensure safety of lives and properties. The hydra-headed monster called Boko Haram has become an impediment to the growth and development of the country today because someone somehow didn’t do the right thing to stem the menace when it was still at its infancy. Today, we are confronted with the open and mindless kidnap of our girls by the dreaded sect yet nobody has taken responsibility or resigned even when it was obvious the Chibok kidnap could have been averted. A country where half of its budget goes into military spending to fight terror has no excuse to be lackadaisical and inept. In saner climes, all those within reach would have left the scene for failing to stem the tide of insecurity that is steadily tearing our Nigerian unity apart. South Korea’s ferry disaster and the prompt resignation of its Prime Minister have gone a long way in identifying how the country has deepened its political institutions and how the political class responds to their failings when confronted with one. Chung may not have been embraced in South Korea after the ferry disaster, yet if he had resigned and taken responsibility were he to be a Nigerian, there was every possibility he would not only have been celebrated as a hero but his name would forever be etched on the sands of Nigerian history for taking a bow when the ovation was loudest—a phenomenon almost never seen in this part of our world. Nigeria’s political class must always be ready to admit that they had failed so as to bring back trust between them and the masses. Chung had admitted that “There have been so many varieties of irregularities that have continued in every corner of our society and practices that have gone wrong” and “hoped these deep-rooted evils get corrected this time and this kind of accident never happens again.” Such words to this writer should form part of the ethos that guides our daily existence, most especially among political office holders whose first responsibility is to the people, the masses. • Oluwafunminiyi wrote via creativitysells@gmail.com

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