TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Monday, March 24, 2014
Vol. 30, No. 12,870
FG earmarks N155 billion to tackle oil theft, others From Mohammed Abubakar and Karls Tsokar, Abuja
• 17 vandals, DPR workers, others arrested
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday at The Hague that the Federal Government has
earmarked $1 billion for the implementation of a comprehensive programme to check crude oil theft and vandalism of
of oil and gas infrastructure. He spoke at separate meetings with the Prime Minister of The Nether-
lands, Mr. Mark Rutte and the Chief Executive Officer of Shell International, Mr. Ben van Beurden. President Jonathan said
that a technical committee had already been set up to look into all aspects of the implementation of the programme. Besides, over the weekend, 17 suspected oil vandals and alleged oil
thieves who were arrested last week by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were paraded at the agency’s headquarters in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Police to probe death of 20, others in Ibadan –Page 5
NCC to review consumer protection rules –Page 6
Anxiety mounts as rainy season approaches
National Conference: Against stipend –Page 14 President Goodluck Jonathan (left) and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, during the arrival of the former at Cathuis residence for a bilateral meeting in The Hague… yesterday.
65 feared killed in Benue, Borno attacks • Security agents repel attack on Plateau community
From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos), John Okeke (Abuja), Joseph Wantu (Makurdi) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) (with agency report)
HE reign of terror in some T parts of the country continued yesterday as more
than 45 persons were feared killed in Gbajimba, headquarters of Guma Local Council of Benue State in one of the bloodiest clashes between Tiv farmers and
suspected Fulani fighters. In Borno State, suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday evening detonated a bomb in a crowded market in Bama village killing at
people. 20 least And what would have turned out to be another tragedy in Plateau State was yesterday averted by security personnel as gunmen sus-
pected to be herdsmen stormed Rantya Low Cost Area of Nyago Gyel District in Jos South Local Council and started shooting sporadically.
A source told journalists that the incident occurred at the early hours of yesterday and that the gunmen who came from the hills targeted a church in the community. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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Security agents repel attack on Plateau community CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
According to the source, about 1,000 people were in the church preparing to commence worship when the gunmen came down from the hills and started shooting but were swiftly attacked by men of the Special Task Force (STF). It was gathered that the development created tension as churches in the area hurriedly ended service. The Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Felicia Anslem, confirmed the incident but said she was yet to get details at about the time of filing this report. However, the spokesman of the Special Task Force (STF), Captain Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha, could not be reached as his phone was switched off. Meanwhile, political parties
have been warned against politicising the current state of insecurity in the country through their celebration in the media of a cocktail of unsubstantiated allegations linking others and not theirs in the sponsorship of violent insurgencies in parts of Nigeria. By late evening yesterday, heavy gun battle was still raging in the besieged Gbajimba town while women and children were fleeing in confusion to nearby villages and Makurdi, the state capital. An eyewitness, who did not want to named, told The Guardian that the suspected mercenaries stormed Gbajimba early on Sunday but were repelled by some armed Tiv youths who engaged them in a bloody fight. “They came in their numbers very early this morning from
Awe Local Council of Nasarawa State and made an attempt to seize the town and the local council secretariat but they were confronted by our youths who resisted them, forcing them to beat a retreat. “Just this afternoon at about 1.00 p.m., they staged a more co-ordinated attack on the town, this time in their hundreds, shooting, burning down houses, huts and killing anything in sight. “The Police Station in Gbajimba is helpless because we have less than 50 officers and men on ground and were completely overpowered. “As I speak with you, serious fighting is still going on in Gbajimba, close to 55 persons may been killed on both sides because corpses of the dead litter the invaded communities. So, many of our people are also missing at this moment. “But from the look of things, if security personnel do not quickly mobilise into the town, the invaders may succeed in completely taking over the ancient town after sacking close to 100 villages in the local government area in the last few weeks. “Our fear is that if Gbajimba is allowed to fall into the hands of these marauders, it could be used as a launching pad to attack Makurdi which is just a few minutes drive from the ancient town,” the source disclosed. The Local Council Chairman, Frank Usar Adi, confirmed the attack to The Guardian saying: “So far, we have counted 18 dead in Gbajimba town while the injured that have been taken to the hospital are 12.” Police spokesperson, Superintendent Daniel Ezeala, said: “We gathered that there is serious fighting in Gbajimba right now but I’m yet to get a formal briefing on the matter. I’ll let you have a clearer picture of the situation when I have them.” According to agency reports, an eyewitness to the Borno attacks, Shuaibu Abdulahi, said:
“I travelled to Bama to buy bags of beans. Suddenly, there was a deafening bang at the middle of the market. It was in the late afternoon and commercial activities were at their peak.” He estimated the death toll to be as high as 29. A bus driver, Abba Tahir, who was off-loading passengers at the market, told Reuters that he counted 20 bodies. “People were helping in evacuating the corpses after the confusion had died down. Some people who were injured were taken to the General Hospital,” Tahir said. However, no group has claimed responsibility yet for the attack and the military spokesman for Borno State did not immediately respond to a request for comments. Security officials said the Bama attack state bore the hallmarks of an assault by the al Qaeda-linked militant group, Boko Haram, which is fighting to carve an Islamic state out of northeast Nigeria. Security sources say Boko Haram has killed hundreds, possibly thousands, this year in a campaign of violence that is growing in intensity. A military crackdown since last May has failed to quell the insurgency, which after four and a half years, remains the leading security threat to Africa’s top oil producer. Borno State has ordered all of its schools to close before the end of term to protect children after Islamists killed dozens of pupils in an attack last month, officials said on Friday. Security officials said Boko Haram had shot or burned to death at least 29 pupils in a boarding school in the northeast. A journalist who counted bodies in the morgue after the attack put the figure at 59. The failure of the military to protect civilians is fuelling anger in the North-East, although state security officials have claimed some recent successes, including killing
several militants as they tried to escape from a prison in Borno State’s capital, Maiduguri, this month. Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) in a statement by its National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, specifically called on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) to stop the ongoing media war and counter-accusations of speculated connection of the political parties to the ongoing violent insurgencies in northern Nigeria. HURIWA said that rather than play up political sentiments about the bloody insurgencies that have ravaged northern Nigeria and which have resulted in the massacre of several thousands of innocent Nigerians, political parties should be responsible enough as to commission independent experts and scholars with considerable amount of expertise on security matters to proffer practicable and effective panacea to the needless killings of innocent Nigerians and to salvage the nation from the imminent threats of collapse under the heavy weight of violent terrorism. “Political parties ought to assist the Federal Government to resolve the ongoing terrorists’ attacks and not aggravate the insecurity situation through their careless allegations that are not backed up with any empirical data and evidence that can stand the test of scientific and investigative scrutiny.” HURIWA recalled that the national publicity secretaries of both the PDP and the APC have recently authored vexatious and sensational allegations of collusion and conspiratorial linkages with terrorists and insurgents against the hierarchies of the political parties just as the
PDP specifically mentioned the erstwhile presidential flagbearer of the Congress of Progressives Change (CPC) now with the APC, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and erstwhile Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, as alleged supporters of the Boko Haram insurgents. Condemning the sensational and reckless verbal exchanges by the two political parties, the rights group called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the security chiefs to call these political chieftains to order to avoid laying politics with the delicate matter of national security and/or prosecute them for working against the national security interest should they continue to play politics with the serious national security interest of Nigeria. HURIWA added: “There is definitely the borderline of national security interest of Nigeria with the exercise of freedom of speech. It is not within the realm of free speech for registered political parties that have formed governments at both the national and geo-political levels to issue frivolous allegations of serious matter of collusion with the armed terrorists who are threatening the territorial integrity of Nigeria without sufficient and irrefutable body of concrete evidence that are sustainable and provable in the courts of competent jurisdiction. “There is indeed a wide chasm between enjoyment of freedom of speech and rumour-peddling with such a grave issue that could endanger national security. The two dominant political parties and their officials must be called to order to stop spreading hate messages that inflame passion and create division amongst the diverse people of Nigeria along the lines of religion and regionalism.”
FG to spend N155b to fight oil theft CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Abuja. Among those arrested were workers of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), even as seven trucks were also apprehended loaded with suspected stolen gas at different locations within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The President, who is in The Netherlands ahead of today’s opening of the 2014 Global Nuclear Security Summit with other world leaders like President Barack Obama of the United States (U.S.), Francois Hollande of France and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the programme would cover the apprehension and prosecution of crude oil thieves. This, Jonathan said, would include further action to enhance the security of pipelines and other oil industry infrastructure, resolve community-related issues; boost youth empowerment in oil-producing areas and enhance the commitment of oil compa-
nies to the discharge of their corporate social responsibilities. A statement from the office of his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, quoted Jonathan as saying that the fresh onslaught against oil theft planned by his administration will require the maximum co-operation of the international community, especially countries like The Netherlands which are major stakeholders in the global oil industry. According to the President, “Oil theft is an aspect of global terrorism which has become a big industry on its own. It has become a major threat to the Nigerian economy and we need to work with all stakeholders to curb it. The thieves must be traced, apprehended and prosecuted. The Dutch Prime Minister, who remarked that President Jonathan’s visit affirmed the strong ties between Nigeria and The Netherlands, also assured the President of the willingness of his country to collaborate more with Nigeria
on environmental and security issues, particularly in the Niger Delta. He lauded Nigeria’s leadership role in promoting regional security in West Africa, and welcomed the signing of an agreement on immigration between both countries as well as the strong trade relations between Nigeria and The Netherlands. His words: “The President’s visit is an open testimony of the strong ties between Nigeria and The Netherlands. Nigeria is The Netherlands’ main trading partner in Africa and The Netherlands is the second biggest European investor in Nigeria,” the Dutch Prime Minister said. Parading the suspects, the NSCDC’s CommandantGeneral, Ade Abolurin, said the arrests were made in close collaboration with the State Security Service (SSS). He said: “Six of the suspects were caught by operatives of the SSS while vandalising manholes around the Federal Secretariat at night
while one was nabbed vandalising armoured cable in Sauka District, along Airport Road.” While commending the officers for their efforts, Abolurin called on other security services to closely partner with each other to protect Nigeria from the activities of vandals and other economic saboteurs, saying: “The vandals attempted to bribe our men by offering them an initial payment of N200,000 cash out of N5 million or more if they let them go. But our men out of patriotism refused and brought them along with their money for further questioning. He added that 10 others were also caught with adulterated gas and diesel, even as he observed: “It is a cartel. They have those they use
at a particular level but we will continue to deal with the situation.” The NSCDC boss said seven tankers were also seized, three of them being loaded with petroleum products from vandalised pipes.
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How allegations of graft against NNPC threaten investment From Collins Olayinka, Abuja HE unverified claims of corruption in the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are threatening Foreign Direct Investment and stifle the needed huge investments expected in the oil and gas sector, the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Andrew Yakubu has said. The NNPC chief, who disclosed this at a dinner organised to signal the end of the 2014 edition of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Exhibition and seminar in Abuja, said perception determines the wind of investments and the level of confidence that nations’ economies can offer investors. His words “We cannot do this business without Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), without foreign participation. Our credibility level is going down very everyday and unfortunately, it is based on perception, which is largely wrong. If we continue at this rate, we may not have an industry in the nearest future. I will ask all of you that if you continue to destroy our economy this way, then pray never to give birth to children because those children are coming to suffer the outcome of our terrible destructive attitudes. It will be difficult for anybody to invest in this country if we continue to destroy our country
• Govt to pay N110b to marketers through perception. If you are talking of corruption, mention anywhere you don’t have any iota of corruption. But what they do, is that you do it but the law will catch up with anyone that perpetrate corruption.” Describing corruption as endemic in the country, the NNPC boss said the society also promotes corruption by the level of expectation on public officeholders. He cited his experience when his daughter could not get employment into the NNPC due to the strict nature of employment. Yakubu said his kinsmen condemned his action, saying, “they told me that everybody is doing it and that I am only using my daughter case as a veil not to assist them.” The NNPC helmsman was quick to challenge Nigerians to go beyond hearsay and stereotype to dig out facts about corruption in the NNPC. He also absolved the corporation of any complicity in the alleged shortfall in the remittances to government covers, saying, “oil production and revenue remittance are monitored by different agencies such as the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Customs Service, Department of Petroleum Resources and Weight & Measure of Office, the Central
Bank of Nigeria and others. So, how does it possible for one agency of government to engage in sharp practices without others knowing? Many Nigerians may not know this but we have the operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) coming and going out of the NNPC Towers every time on routine visit.”
He lamented that it is now fashionable in Nigeria to blame the NNPC for al the shortcomings in the petroleum related matters. Meanwhile, erratic supply of petrol in the country is expected to change as government has stepped up processes of payment of outstanding N110 billion to oil marketers, the President of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Abdulkadir Aminu has disclosed. This came as the association has alleged a plot to faction-
alise the group with the sponsorship of a splinter group led by suspended former SouthEast regional head, Obasi Lawson. Speaking in Abuja at the weekend, the IPMAN President stated that Lawson had obtained a court injunction from a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt to support his claims. While giving an update on the outstanding subsidy claims owed marketers by the government, the IPMAN boss said: “Efforts from the ministry of finance have seen that
about N41 billion has been released and I believe that the ministry is doing everything to pay up the balance. All put together, the outstanding balance as at that time was N151 billion but the government was able to redeem N41 billion and they are processing all our documents to be able to pay the outstanding balance which cuts across board.” IPMAN stated that Obasi was suspended in December 2013 for anti-union activities but he recently got a court judgment, which declared him the association’s national president.
Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Adebola Ademowo, during the dedication and opening of rock apartments at Ikorodu by the Cathedral Circle of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos… yesterday.PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO
Court evicts defunct Congress for Progressive Change from secretariat From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja FFICIALS of the Federal O Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja on Friday stormed the national secretariat of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to enforce the court judgment returning the building to Senator Rufai Hanga, the pioneer national chairman of the party. The judgment, delivered by Justice A. A. I. Banjoko, also awarded N9.5 million against officials of the CPC in favour of Hanga over the building situated on Plot 1132, Okotie Eboh Crescent. Speaking on the development, the pioneer national publicity secretary of CPC and media aide to Hanga, Aghanya Dennis, said the enforcement of the court judgment was due to the recalcitrant attitude of Prince Tony Momohled former national executive council of the party whom he
said merely led a faction of the CPC to join the All Progressives Congress (APC). The Guardian gathered that even as the former CPC could not abide by the court ruling on the payment of N9.5 million to Hangar, it wanted to retain the national secretariat which it hoped to convert into the APC presidential campaign headquarters, should their former national leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, become the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 general elections. “You might recall that we have been battling with Tony Momoh-led faction of the defunct CPC which is now in APC over so many issues, including the property owned by our leader, Senator Rufai Hanga, which housed and sheltered the party (defunct CPC national secretariat) from its inception until now on an agreement that the first two years to December 2009 were per-
sonal donation from him while all subsequent years to be on agreed rate which was signed and sealed, beginning from January 2010. “They defied and took him to court on the grounds that their agreement was effective 2011. After battling for two years in court, the court judged that he was right and
his counter-claims awarded. Surprisingly and shockingly, these people that have been accusing others of impunity, disregard for the rule of law and fundamental human rights, bullies and several other ills, have now turned around and refused to respect court judgments, refusing to hand over back his property
as ruled by the court. “The real shocker was that even when they agreed on paying what seemed okay to them, not minding the court’s judgment, they gave him a dud cheque. With regard to the dud cheque and other matters relating to the rent, we have decided he goes back to the court and pursue the
matters. Now that the court has ruled again to enforce its judgment, we are here to make history by ejecting these illegal occupants from the property. The lesson to be learnt by this development is that ‘all that glitters is not gold’. Leaders should be credible and endeavour to lead by example,” Dennis said.
Danjuma seeks media restriction in N208m suit By Bertram Nwannekanma ORMER Defence Minister, FDanjuma Lt. Gen Theophilus (rtd) has asked a Federal High Court, Lagos to bar media coverage of a N208 million rights abuse suit filed against him by the former Executive Director Tita-Kuru Petrochemicals Limited, Mr. Manasseh Obadiah Zorto. Tita-Kuru is one of the companies chaired by
Danjuma. Zorto through his counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN) had brought the suit against Danjuma, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police in Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Elaho, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Uwa, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), State Security of Service (SSS) and Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS) for unlawful arrest at the instance of
Danjuma. He also asked the court to declare that his arrest by the officers of the Nigeria Police Force-SFU, Milverton, Ikoyi at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on January17, 2014 without justification was “wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional and a gross violation of his fundamental human rights as guaranteed by sections 35 and 44 of the Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999.” Zorto while seeking for a perpetual injunction restraining all the respondents asked the court to compel them to pay him N208 million for the violation of his rights. Responding, the Police through their counsel, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) contended that Zorto’s arrest and detention was “valid, legitimate, constitutional and lawful”.
about the current crowded, uninspiring, unethical and unscientific drug promotion in Nigeria? Are we going to do something about local production of essential medicines to meet at least 70 per cent of our national consumption? Adelusi-Adeluyi said that NAP was set up to, among others, “provide thought and opinion leadership in the education and practice of pharmacy, advance the cause of pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice and matters relating to pharmacy in general, provide a platform to
influence national and state policies that enable the fulfilment of the mission, duty and obligation of pharmacy to the populace, and promote professional harmony within and outside the health sector in the country.” Other interim officers of NAP include Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha (Vice President, North), Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi (Vice President, South), Prof. Fola Tayo (General Secretary), Sir Anthony Akhimien (Assistant General Secretary), Victor Osibodu (Treasurer) and Sam Nda-Isaiah (Publicity Secretary).
‘70 per cent of domestic drug consumption imported’ Pharmacy academy to address leadership, manpower development By Chukwuma Muanya OP among the major chalT lenges identified as hampering the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare services in the country is that 70 per cent of total domestic drug consumption is imported while just about 40 per cent of local production capacity is utilised. These were the views of the newly-inaugurated Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAP), headed by the former Minister of Health, Prince
Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, and corroborated by the President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Olumide Akintayo. Other problems include the pharmaceutical industry’s insignificant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a general infrastructure decline in pharmaceutical schools nationwide, shortage of lecturers/researchers and research deficiencies, despondence among the hospital pharmacists due to hostile work environment, apathy
among the youths leading to braindrain, and unfair competition experienced by community pharmacists. Adelusi-Adeluyi said: “Our primary and immediate concern will be the health sector where statistics remain pathetic as it had been in previous years. Today, Nigeria is ranked 187th out of 190 countries in the United Nations (UN)/World Health Organisation (WHO) rating for health systems.” Therefore, the questions members of the academy and
pharmacists in general should answer include: Are we going to do something about pharmacy education and restore it to a position of pride in the nation? Are we going to do something about drug research, discovery and development so that Nigeria can contribute new molecules in the battle against diseases? Are we going to do something about the community pharmacy practice and drug distribution in Nigeria and change the current negative public perception of pharmacy and pharmacists? Are we going to do something
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News Police to probe death of 20, others in Ibadan MURDER probe has been A opened after rotting bodies and skeletons were dis-
First Vice President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Otunba Debola Osibogun (left); Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, Senator Isa Galaudu, President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Segun Aina and Managing Director, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, Umaru Ibrahim during the foundation stone laying ceremony of Bankers House, Abuja at the weekend. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY-ELUKPO
Nigeria, Netherlands sign pact on migration From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja
Mark mourns, northern govs want Oduoye immortalised From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja) and John Ogiji (Minna)
RESIDENT of the Senate, IGERIA and The N Netherlands yesterday PDavid Mark, has described signed a memorandum of the sudden death of Senator
understanding to foster bilateral cooperation on migration matters. Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador, Aminu Bashir Wali, signed for Nigeria, while the Dutch Migration Minister, Fred Teeven, signed for his country. In their separate comments before signing the documents, they were unanimous that the move would cement the existing cordial working relationship between both countries. According to Wali, the MOU is meant to improve cooperation “with the aim of better implementation of provisions relating to migration of persons and guarantee of their fundamental rights in conformity with international norms and best practices.
Simeon Olasunkanmi Oduoye, who died at the weekend during a brief illness, as a sad and huge loss. In his condolence message to the family, government and people of Osun State, signed by his Special Adviser on Media Affairs, Kola Ologbodion, Mark said the late legislator was a distinguished officer and gentleman of high standing. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has called on his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, to immortalise Oduoye. In a condolence message by Aliyu’s spokesman, Danladi Ndayebo, the forum said that Oduoye’s passage was a great
loss to Nigerians, whose lives he touched in his eventful life, which was devoted to public service and worship of God Almighty. The forum said it was pained by his demise, but takes solace in the fact that he lived an exemplary and purposeful life, with remarkable achievements as a police officer, a politician, a community leader and a dedicated family man. It noted that Nigeria has lost an elder statesman, who was committed to and concerned about the development of his community and nation, and would be missed for his immeasurable contributions to the nation. Mark recalled the contributions of the deceased while in the Senate, describing Oduoye as a fine parliamentarian, an astute administrator and a God-fearing Nigerian. Oduoye, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police
(AIG), was Military Administrator of Niger and Ebonyi states, and according to Mark, “he lived his life in the service of our dear country. As then Military Administrator of Niger and Ebonyi states, Oduoye was a disciplinarian, a responsible and trustworthy gentleman. “We will surely miss his calm disposition and patriotism. We in the Senate are proud to have associated with him and we will continue to remember him.” He urged the family to take solace in the fact that Oduoye lived a life worthy of emulation, and to sustain his legacy of hard work, dedication and selfless service to the society. According to NSGF, Oduoye was a professional cop, a distinguished parliamentarian and a disciplinarian whose footprints and legacies in the Nigeria Police would continue to serve as reference points to generations yet unborn.
covered in an abandoned building in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Nigerian Police said yesterday. Police also rescued many malnourished and severely emaciated people, who were found wandering in the bush near the building, while more were found shackled in leg-chains inside. The discovery followed the report by a group of commercial cyclists that some of their members had gone missing and were believed to have been kidnapped. The Oyo State Police spokeswoman, Mrs. Olabisi Ilobanafor, told AFP: “When we got to the abandoned building in the Soka community of Ibadan yesterday (Saturday), we saw decomposed corpses, skeletons and skulls in the building and surrounding bushes. “Some seven malnourished human beings looking like living skeletons were also rescued in the bushes surrounding the building. One of them died on the spot while we were there.” According to Ilobanafor, the police has launched a murder investigation and arrested some suspects at the scene, noting: “It is not a
‘FCT infrastructure overstretched by 500 per cent’ From Terhemba Daka, Abuja INISTER of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, says the available infrastructure in the territory is overstretched by a whopping 500 per cent. Speaking when he received a delegation from the National
Nigeria, others advance in detecting multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis By Chukwuma Muanya
• Innovative project expands access to new tests
HROUGH an innovative T international project championed by the World
Health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria and 26 others are making further progress in diagnosing Multi-DrugResistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB), raising hope of appropriate care and cure for sufferers, even as nations marks World Tuberculosis Day today. Before now, it was hard for people in many countries to access diagnostic services, particularly for MDR-TB. However, WHO said in a statement yesterday ahead of the World Tuberculosis Day that the project, known as EXPAND-TB (Expanding Access to New Diagnostics for TB), financed by UNITAID, has helped to triple the number of MDR-TB cases diagnosed in participating coun-
According to WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, who spoke in a statement to mark the World TB Day yesterday, “earlier and faster diagnosis of all forms of TB is vital. It improves the chances of people getting the right treatment and being cured, and it helps stop spread of drug-resistant disease.” For the Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme, Dr. Mario Raviglione, “the gap in access to TB diagnostics and care is far from filled, but is narrowing. With the impetus of modern laboratories, we are on the right track finally to handle MDR-TB.” Until now, some countries had only one central laboratory, which often has limited capacity to diagnose MDRTB. In some cases, patients’
samples have to be sent to other countries for testing. Moreover, traditional diagnostic tests could take over two months to get results. The situation is now changing, as new technologies could rapidly diagnose TB and drug-resistant TB in as little as two hours. Established in 2006 by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom, UNITAD provides sustainable funding to tackle inefficiencies in markets for medicines, diagnostics and prevention of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries. A third of the estimated nine million people falling ill with TB each year does not get the needed care, but ac-
cording to WHO, the project has delivered impressive results, as over 30 per cent of the MDR-TB cases detected globally in 2012 were from EXPAND-TB countries. Also, 90 per cent of India’s detected MDR-TB cases were through EXPAND-TB supported services, and use of these tests requires strengthened laboratory services. By the end of 2013, 92 laboratories were fully operational. From 2009 to 2013, the number of MDR-TB cases diagnosed in the 27 countries tripled, with 36,000 diagnosed in 2013 alone. The project has enabled more patients to be treated with quality-assured secondline TB medicines. Through that demand, the project has helped to reduce the price of individual medicines and MDR-TB treatment regimens by one third. Prices have also dropped for diagnostic com-
common occurrence in Ibadan or in the state. The police will investigate this crime in all its ramifications.” Discovered at the scene, according to the Ibadan-based Sunday Tribune, were gruesome pictures of rotting bodies, human skulls and other body parts littering the place, as well as ID papers and ATM cards, shoes, bags and clothes. There were also a photograph of a haggard woman, allegedly kidnapped in Edo State in 2008 and later rescued, at least one skeletallooking man and about 15 persons found in leg-chains inside the building, though the police put the figure at seven. Further reports had it that bodies were dumped in shallow graves and dried-up wells all over the bush. Ilobanafor said some commercial cyclists stumbled on the bodies after complaining to the police that some of their members had gone missing in suspicious circumstances. The police, on their part, have arrested six suspects, including five security guards allegedly armed with guns, bows and arrows, found at the scene, the police spokeswoman said.
modities. Project partners are WHO and the Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI), the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility and FIND. Project funds have been used to purchase testing equipment and commodities, and to train laboratory technicians. Ministries of health are now working on securing domestic funding for the mediumterm and working with partners to fill financing shortfalls for quality diagnostic tests and services. In 2009, UNITAID provided $87 million to support the EXPAND-TB multi-partner project to enable effective, sustained access and use of the recommended new TB diagnostic technologies in 27 low and middle-income countries. These countries together carry 40 per cent of the estimated global MDR-TB burden.
Defence College, Zimbabwe, in Abuja, Mohammed said the FCT urbanisation rate has continued to rise steadily and currently stands at 9.1 per cent, and whereas the current population is about five million persons, the available infrastructure can accommodate only one million. He listed the factors that make Abuja very attractive to people as centrality of location, ease of accessibility to all Nigerians, clement weather, relative security and ethnic neutrality. Therefore, all those seeking safer abode, better economic opportunities, recreation and comfort have found Abuja their preferred choice, he noted, adding that the FCT administration would require N200 billion to fully address the backlog of resettlement and compensation issues within the Federal Capital City alone. According to him, the cost of resettlement and compensation has continued to increase year after year since the creation of FCT 38 years ago due to steady rise in population and economic activities among the original dwellers. The challenge, he noted, has a huge impediment to infrastructure and housing development in the FCT.
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NCC to review consumer protection rules By Adeyemi Adepetun HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called for improved consumerism in the country’s telecommunications industry, which according to it holds greater importance in boosting consumer confidence in the sector. Besides, the commission, which faulted what it described as slow preparation towards the release of broadcast spectrums to NCC by broadcasters, stressed that it is also in the process of reviewing the current rules governing consumer protection. Speaking at the weekend in Lagos, at a capacity building for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) journalists, the NCC said the review is primarily targeted at achieving fair competition and improve consumer quality experience in the industry. NCC’s Head, Compliance Monitoring, Ephraim Nwokonneya said that, ‘Nigerian telecommunication revolution’ in the last 12 years has brought with it increase in investments in the industry especially Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), significant growth in the number of operating companies, massive growth in subscriber population, intense competition resulting in innovative tariff plans and promotions. He added that the revolution has also attached challenges like quality of service, which has tested the regulatory competence of the Commission amongst others. Hence, the Commission is currently reviewing its rule base to ensure a robust set of
• Faults delay in release of broadcast spectrum rules for the industry. “Consistent with the above and the powers conferred on NCC by Section 70 of the NCA 2003, the Commission developed the Nigerian Communications (Enforcement Processes, among others) Regulations 2005; Commence enforcement actions/investigation following results of prior compliance monitoring exercise or verified consumer complaints; Provide evidence of alleged violations to the responsible service provider; Provide opportunity for the service provider to respond;
Propose relevant sanctions to be enforced on erring service provider in accordance with NCC Enforcement Processes Regulations; Obtain management’s approval and communicate sanctions to the service provider and Provide opportunity for appeal.” Nwokonneya reiterated that NCC has followed international best practices in enforcement procedures. Comparing countries like Brazil, Singapore, United Kingdom and Nigeria revealed the similarities on enforcement procedures and timelines involved. For in-
stance, timeline for offender’s defence/response shows Nigeria is ahead of Brazil and Singapore that give 15 days respectively, while Nigeria and UK give 14 days and 10 days respectively. Also, final decision is reached on such cases after 30 days from conclusion of investigation in Brazil, 60 days in the UK and Singapore and 30 days in Nigeria. All the countries involved usually publish their final decisions. To the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau at NCC, Mrs. Maryam Bayi, putting the consumer at the heart of the
regulator’s decision making maintains the focus on competition for delivering consumer benefit and helps to address areas where the market does not fully deliver. Bayi noted that from all the efforts NCC is demonstrating, the Commission has moved from ensuring mere service provision, to ensuring that consumer satisfaction rank highest in its regulatory priority. On the slow release of broadcast spectrums to the telecommunications industry, the Commission said its fear revolves around poor preparation for the release by the broadcasters, stressing that it appears they don’t want to release it.
OR Nigeria to exit the debilFucation itating consequences of edstandard decline, which includes unemployment and others, two experts have urged government to correct the faulty education culture in the country. Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who blamed prolonged military rule for the decline in standard of education, said the first step is not only to give priority to education by equipping the citizens with
HE All Progressives T Congress (APC) has advised President Goodluck Jonathan, as the father of the nation and commander-inchief of the armed forces, not to be afraid to visit any part of the country for whatever reasons. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party reminded the President that he has not yet visited Yobe State, one month after the dastardly killing of many schoolchildren in the state, to commiserate with the govern-
HE Medical and Dental T Practitioners Investigating Panel in Abuja has suspended two medical doctors from practice for three months for alleged professional misconduct. The two are part of 11 doctors currently facing trial by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Disciplinary Tribunal. Dr. Friday Wokoma and Dr. Theophilus Masha Dabkana were suspended from practice for a period of three months each. Wokoma is head of the Renal Unit, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Dabkana was suspended for allegedly conducting himself by acting in contempt of the Medical and Dental Practitioner Investigating Panel contrary to Rule 28 1 of the Medical Ethics in Nigeria. In a judgement obtained by the media at the weekend, the panel said Dabkana refused to honour several summons to appear and was therefore, punished in absentia.
From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo HOUSANDS of Christian T faithful from the United Methodist Church of Nigeria
Wife of the General Overseer, Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Esther Kumuyi (right) and the former Education Minister, Oby Ezekwesili, who was the guest speaker at the Youth Empowerment Summit at Deeper Life Conference Centre, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO
knowledge, she added that there is the need to strengthen the system to conform to what obtains in advanced countries. Speaking at the Youth Empowerment Summit (YES) with the theme: “Empowerment for Greatness” organized by the Deeper Christian Life Ministry at the Deeper Life Conference Centre, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at the weekend, Ezekwesili lamented the negative consequences of military rule, which culminated into academics suffering the greatest assault to the extent that things that had to do with in-
tellect took the backseat, making the nation to be portrayed as an anti-intellectual country. Ezekwesili urged government to advance the cause of sound basic education because it has been proven that children at the age of three have the capacity to absorb, which enables them to have a foundation such that by the time they finish their secondary education, they would have been progressively and adequately prepared for tertiary education. Similarly, Vice President, International Partnerships of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC),
Paul Brennan, who advocated a surgical operation of sorts in Nigeria’s education system, urged government to make it mandatory for all institutions and programme formulators to work closely with employers and employees of the sector of the economy to help “develop and constantly adjust” the content of their programmes. Speaking to The Guardian at the just-ended Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja, Brennan advised among others, that institutions, employer associations and ministries in Nigeria “must be constantly scanning
the economy and society for the new trends, new investments coming to Nigeria that will generate jobs, and the impact of competition from the likes of China on existing jobs, which may disappear and force a country to adjust.” According to Brennan, “it is a must for our deans and faculty to meet with an advisory committee of employers twice a year to discuss emerging needs for jobs in the Canadian and global marketplace and what improvements to the curriculum need to be made so that it prepares our learners to find jobs and keep them.
APC urges Jonathan to visit Yobe over students killing From Nnamdi Akpa, Abakaliki
From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja
Christians protest against arrest of pastors in Taraba
Why there is decline in education standard, employment, by Ezekwesili, expert From Oghogho Obayuwana (Abuja) and Isaac Taiwo (Lagos)
Council suspends doctors over alleged misconduct
• Crisis rocks Ebonyi chapter over plot to remove officer ment and the bereaved families. Meanwhile, the crisis rocking the Ebonyi State chapter of APC took another turn yesterday as an attempt by some party members to suspend the Deputy National Financial Officer, Mr. Jacob Chukwu suffered a set back as another group stormed the venue of the meeting and disrupted the gathering. Some party faithful have accused the deputy national financial officer of the party of causing disaffection, disunity and alleged embezzlement of N1 million of the party funds.
The party also faulted Governor Martin Elechi’s plan to obtain N15 billion bond from the capital market, urging the citizens to resist it. It will be recalled that the State House of Assembly had approved the request by the governor to seek N15 billion loan to complete some on going projects in the state. Continuing, Mohammed said the first month of the killings, which is (tomorrow) Tuesday, provides another opportunity for the President to visit the state. APC said since the
President’s planned return from his latest trip abroad on Tuesday coincides with the first month of the killings, he should fly straight to Yobe. “As we said in our earlier statement on this issue on March 10th, far from being a mere formality, such a visit will provide great succour to the families of the victims, reassure them and other residents of the state that their government has not abandoned them to their fate, and also serve as a morale booster for our gallant troops who are battling the terrorists, against all odds,” it said.
APC reminded the President that since the killings, he has hosted a wasteful centennial celebration, travelled across Nigeria to illegally kick-start his campaign for the 2015 elections and journeyed to Namibia, Italy and The Netherlands, in a needless junketing that belies the massive security problems facing the country. “In this case, President Jonathan’s pointed avoidance of Yobe, where the death of innocent school children highlights the senseless nature of the Boko Haram insurgency, is a morale booster of sorts to the cowards who murdered those children.
(UMCN) yesterday took over the streets of Jalingo, Taraba State to demand for the immediate release of two of their pastors that were arrested by the police. The detained clergymen were said to have been arrested by heavily armed policemen yesterday at the Nukkai branch of the UMCN church just before the beginning of church activities. Piqued by the arrest, thousands of worshipers besieged the Jalingo Division of the police command. To prevent the protesters from gaining access to the station, the police fired teargas to disperse the protesting worshipers and the confusion created a traffic hold-up along Barde way with vehicles and tricycles compelled to seek for alternative route.
Foundation wants enforcement of child rights, physically challenged By Adeniyi Idowu Adunola OVERNMENTS at all levels G in the country have been urged to focus on the implementation of Child Rights Act and employment of physically challenged persons. Executive Director, Child Dignity Foundation, Amaka Awogu, at the celebration of 2014 World Down Syndrome Day organised by United Nations in collaboration with Down Syndrome Foundation on Friday in Lagos, said the high percentage of people with the syndrome ought to be treated same way all children like to be treated: with respect, fairness and friendship. In the word of the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, “Too often, persons with disabilities, including those with Down Syndrome face stigma, discrimination and exclusion. The lack of full participation of those with Down Syndrome affects not only individuals and their families, but also society at large.”
Monday, March 24, 2014 NEWS
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
47 convicted for child trafficking in Edo, Delta
VC decries rising attack on women
ICE Chancellor of Benson V Idahosa University (BIU), Prof. Ernest Izevbigie, has de-
HE National Agency for T the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) said it convicted 47 people for child trafficking-related offences in Edo and Delta states. The NAPTIP Zonal Commander, Mrs. Cordelia Ebiringa, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin City, Edo State capital yesterday, said 56 cases were being investigated, adding that 700 girls trafficked on had been reintegrated, while 1,400 other victims had passed through the agency’s shelter. According to him, human trafficking is a social problem that needed collaboration among partners to fight. The commander said the agency had been sensitising the public on the ills of human trafficking, and stressed the need for the youth to change their attitude toward materialism.
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson (left); South African Ambassador, Mama Bolo and Group Managing Director, First CityMonument Bank, Ladi Balogun, at the Africa Movies Awards Sponsor’s Dinner organised by Africa Film Academy in collaboration with the Government of Bayelsa State in Lagos PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
cried the incessant attacks on and rape of women and young girls across the country, urging all Nigerians to collectively rise up against the vice. Speaking at the official launching of the PathFinders Justice Initiative (PJI), a nongovernmental organisation committed to the protection and empowerment of women, in Benin, Edo State recently, Izevbigie described women and children as the most vulnerable in the society. He revealed that the BIU “is also initiating the introduction of self-defence/self confidence programme for women and young girls, to curb incidences of sexual and genderbased violence against them.” The vice chancellor, who pledged support for the NGO, stated that the university would immediately partner with it to develop a self-de-
ACF, Middle Belt unite for common agenda at confab From Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Kabir Alabi Garba and Seye Olumide (Lagos) and Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) S delegates to the national A conference prepare to swing into deliberations, the North has resolved to jettison primordial sentiments that were observed to have divided the people of the coreNorth represented by the Hausa-Fulani and the Middle Belters, who are mostly Christians, in order to forge a common agenda at the conference. The move came as the Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu, cautioned delegates to the conference against making the confab a theatre of fisticuffs. Meanwhile, some delegates have urged Nigerians to take advantage of the confab’s website:www.nigerianationalconference2014.org, to offer useful suggestions that would enrich deliberations at the summit. Chairmen of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Professor Jerry Gana, led all delegates from the North to a retreat at the weekend, where they agreed to pursue a common northern agenda that would also be of benefit to the nation during deliberation at the national confab. In pursing the goal and objectives of one North at the conference, a statement signed by both Coomassie and Gana after the retreat, claims the delegates from the North decided to establish a platform under which the northern delegates would harmonise their positions and also operate during deliberations by members who will reconvene today after their recess. Coomassie pointed out that “after the inauguration of the 2014 National Conference by President Goodluck Jonathan, northern delegates took advantage of the ACF’s initiative at organising discussions and retreat, and having consulted with other key
• NLC cautions against unruly behaviour • Nigerians urged to partake through website • ‘It’s an opportunity to remake Nigeria’ • Lori-Ogbebor wants Ijaw-Itsekiri crisis discussed holders, decided to work together in the interest of the North”. According to him, “the retreat was designed to assist with and facilitate the emergence and subsequent adoption of common principles, stands and resolutions on the issues affecting the region and the nation as a whole. These will guide the delegates to the confab.” Coomassie argued that “presentations on some of these issues were made by leaders, experts and delegates. Many leaders of thought, traditional rulers and elder statesmen from the North attended the retreat”. On the resolutions adopted at the end of the retreat, the ACF chairman stated: “We recognised that the people of the North are diverse in culture, ethnicity and religious persuasion and we consider this rich diversity as blessing. “We recall the geographical historical, cultural and political ties and bonds which have defined our character and continued to bind us as citizens of Nigeria from the North living within a Federation. “We reaffirm our desire and resolve to rekindle that spirit of togetherness, inclusivity and unity of purpose. Participants at the retreat have resolved to work as a united delegation and engage in the pursuit of common aspirations”. In doing so, Coomassie said that all northern delegates have decided to “establish an umbrella platform to be called - The Northern Delegates’ Forum (NDF) under which delegates will work in collaboration and for the common good of the North and the nation. The NDF shall be led by two co-chairmen in the person of Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie and Professor
Jerry Gana.” The NLC vice president, Aremu, who is representing the Labour at the conference, said the nation has had its history especially in the area of conferencing laden with rancour, tribalism and egotism, noting that the current conference should instead be used as an avenue to cement the nation’s unity. The Labour leader alluded to the speech of President Jonathan during the maiden sitting of the conference and concluded that the nation could no longer afford to fail after the conference. He said: “The President’s speech at the inauguration of the historic conference calls for inclusiveness, oneness and unity of the nation. This is a worthy challenge for all delegates. We must be objective, measured and seek common grounds for common good for nation-building as the historic conference resumes tomorrow. This is time for moderation not dogmatism and cheap point scoring. “The conference should promote the art of dialogue, which means the ‘art of thinking together’ and not diatribe that engenders unnecessary strains and tensions. This conference takes place against the background of some preventable violence across the country that is claiming lives of some Nigerians. “Therefore, delegates must know that the best value addition of this conference is to minimise and eliminate televised tensions and not add to the existing crises. I agree with President Jonathan that we need a new mind and a new spirit of oneness and national unity. I also agree with the President that delegates should jettison the poisonous mind-sets of the past, which were built on unhealthy competition”.
He added: “We do not need to magnify tongues and tribes, to justify further divisions. This will be unhelpful. The truth is that more than ever before, all of us Nigerians are united by poverty than the taunted tongues, religions, regions and similar contrived lagers. Indeed through this historic conference, we must all be united in generating ideas that will build prosperity and commonwealth.” On participation in the conference through website, the delegates told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that Nigerians should access the website and pass on their suggestions to them. The spokesman of Afenifere Renewal Group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said the idea of a website for the conference was well thought out. According to him, the world is now in the digital age where information is passed through the Internet. “One should even suggest to the conference secretariat that there should be dedicated e-mail for all the delegates on the website through which people can reach the delegates on certain issues. The public should be able to reach us because we are the citizens’ representatives. “We should prove that it is very possible for appointed or elected leaders to serve the interest of Nigerians who elected them into their positions. So, Nigerians should have unhindered access to us, to push their issues to us for inclusion in our deliberations,” Odumakin said. A delegate of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, Mr. Steve Aluko, said the website would give public access to information about the conference and the delegates. Aluko, an executive director, Civil Liberties Organisation
(CLO), suggested that the contacts of every delegate should be published on the website. According to him, it will give the people, particularly the major stakeholders, the opportunity to monitor and also give their inputs into the agenda of the conference. “The people we claim to be representing should have our phone numbers, Email, Twitter and Facebook addresses. By this, those who nominated us can contact us on any issue they feel we should canvass for or stand against at the conference,” Aluko said. The Secretary-General, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Isaac Ighure, said the website will be a mutual benefit to the delegates and the general public. Ighure said the platform would make it easy for the public to have an in depth knowledge of issues that the delegates would be discussing about them and the country. “I also believe that with so much information at delegates’ disposal via the website, we will be able to make informed decisions. The public will want to get in touch with their delegates and make suggestions on issues they consider necessary. “They (public) may also want to advise the delegates on issues they believe they have not been represented well. I believe, in all, this is going to contribute positively to the deliberations when we resume plenary. “I am sure the delegates also stand to benefit immensely from contributions, suggestions and words of advice which they are likely to get from those who chose them,” Ighure said. A renowned Muslim cleric and founder, Morakz Salam (Centre of Peace) in Ijokoro, Lagos, Sheikh Moshood Ramadan Jubreel, has lent his voice to calls for deliberations and resolutions that will lift Nigeria and better the lot of Nigerians. Sheikh Jubreel spoke at the weekend in Lagos during this year’s Maulud Nabiyi of the centre dedicated to national
issues in the country. According to him, the national conference is a golden opportunity to remake Nigeria, urging delegates to eschew sectional and ethnic posturing which, he stressed, “will not take Nigeria anywhere. Fear of God and welfare of people should be paramount in all deliberations and resolutions. This is the only way the conference will yield desired results.” To Sheikh Jubreel, unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. He, however, tasked politicians to exhibit sincerity and be honest in all their dealings for the country to move forward. “Nigeria has all the potentials to continue to exist as one entity, but our leaders and politicians should endeavor to promote virtues such as equity, justice and mutual understanding between different nationalities in order for peace and development to reign in our country.” He emphasised the need for Nigerians to continue to live together as one big family irrespective of ethnic and religious backgrounds. “We have lived together for 100 years, going our separate ways at this time will be difficult. We need one another. Besides, our Creator has a reason for putting us together. We should be able to tolerate one another and continue to live together because unity always produces strength and progress,” he said. Also yesterday, a Warri women’s leader in Delta State, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, called on President Jonathan all the delegates and concerned Nigerians to caution the Ijaw people over their alleged renewed hostilities against the Itsekiri in the state. She said the reason for raising the alarm at this critical period is to draw the attention of the delegates, as they reconvene today, to the unrelenting Ijaw hostilities against Itsekiri, noting that “this was how Boko Haram and Warri crisis started.” Lori-Ogbebor also alleged inadequate representation of the Itsekiri nation, which she claims, has only one delegate.
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Cholera kills three in Bauchi From Ali Garba, Bauchi RESH cholera outbreak in FBauchi Kirfi Local Council Area of State has led to the death of three persons while 20 others have been hospitalised. The Deputy Director, Primary Health Care Department of the local council, Hajiya Aishatu Adamu, broke the news to journalists yesterday in Kirfi. “The outbreak, which started some days ago, has so far claimed three lives. We have also treated many with the ailment, particularly those with cases that are not severe,” she said. Adamu said the local council has purchased and distributed drugs for the treatment of the patients and also set up a first aid committee that will be going round to assist them. According to her, the council’s health personnel had visited the affected persons with a view to giving them the necessary attention and treatment.
FCT indigenes plan carnival for Jonathan From Terhemba Daka, Abuja NDIGENES of the Federal Iplanning Capital Territory (FCT) are to stage a cultural carnival for President Goodluck Jonathan as a mark of appreciation for his transformation of the territory. The proposed carnival, according to the organisers, would be staged under the aegis of Abuja Original Inhabitants’ Coalition Groups, with a view to articulating the concerns of Abuja indigenes in the next political dispensation. Coordinating chairman of the group, Bussa Danjuma, told newsmen at the weekend that the event will showcase all the socio- cultural groups in the FCT, adding that all the pressure groups in the territory have agreed to form a coalition to support Jonathan’s presidential bid in 2015. “We, the original inhabitants of Abuja, are known for rich cultural heritage. That is why we are planning to stage a cultural fiesta instead of political rally to support President Goodluck Jonathan for 2015 elections in view of his Transformation Agenda for the FCT.
Acting Director, Abuja Environmental and Protection Board, Mrs. Aishat Adebayo (left); Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Muhammed and Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, Reuben Okoye, during the commissioning of New Waste Management Equipment for Abuja Environmental Protection in Abuja…at the weekend. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY-ELUKPO
Orji condemns attack on Mark’s convoy in Imo, urges probe From Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia BIA State Governor and A Chairman of South-East Governors Forum, Theodore Orji, has condemned the reported Friday attack on the convoy of the Senate President, David Mark, by unknown gunmen on their way to Nkwerri in Imo State. It was learnt that the incident occurred when Mark was going to attend the burial of the late Sir John Richard Anyaehie whose son, Nnamdi, is the Chairman of Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Governor Orji, who described the attack as baffling and wicked, said he would not accuse the Boko Haram members of perpetrating it. Mark was said not to be in the convoy when the attackers reportedly riddled his vehicle with bullets as he was
said to have flown earlier in a helicopter to the venue of the burial where his vehicle and aides were to join him. Orji, who spoke with reporters at the Government House, Umuahia, at the weekend, said it would not be right to begin to accuse any person or group, hence he urged the security agencies to find out what transpired and by who. Noting that the Senate President is the NumberThree citizen of the country who is free to visit any part of the nation when he pleases, Governor Orji said: “We condemn this wicked act, which cannot be tolerated, especially as the 2015 elections approach. It is also an eyeopener to what may happen between now and 2015 general elections. Nigerians should be at alert; we do not want violence so that the elections will be free and fair for the popular candidates to
emerge. We want peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians, and not what would separate us”. He noted that nobody or group or those responsible
for the act has monopoly of violence, expressing regret that the incident happened in Imo State in the South-East zone where the Peoples
UNICEF urges Nigeria to boost access to potable water From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo HE United Nation T Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that no fewer than 1,400 children under the age of five die daily from causes linked to lack of safe water and poor hygiene globally. The international organisation, which made this known yesterday through a press statement made available to The Guardian, felt sad that “A staggering 768 million people” still don’t have “access to safe drinking water.” According to UNICEF, the situation has continued to cause “hundreds of thousands of children to fall sick and die each year.” Most of those
caught in the web of this sad incident, according to UNICEF, “are poor people living in remote rural areas or urban slums.” The release, which was signed by the UNICEF Representative, Jean Gough, frowned at what it described as the lukewarm attitude of the authorities towards making clean water available to the people, especially those domiciling in the rural areas. “Almost four years after the world met the global target set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for safe drinking water, and after the UN General Assembly declared that water is a human right, over three quarters
Community divided over call for Oko Poly rector’s removal From Uzoma Nzeagwu, Awka OUTHS of Oko community in Anambra State yesterday declared support for the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Prof. Godwin Onu, saying that they were not party to the calls for his removal. The Acting President of the Youth Wing of the Oko People’s Union (OPU), Evang. Tochukwu Ezeokafor, who led youths to the palace of the traditional ruler, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, accused the monarch of executing his personal plan and not that of the community. The youth, who converged at the palace gate, said the
purported press conference held at the palace was selective and did not project the decision of the town. “Some factions of OPU had converged on the palace to address the press, calling for the sack of Onu. The press statement was signed by Mr. Ike Nwamuo, president, and Igwe Laz Ekwueme and read out by Okonkwo Okom”. According to them, the statement, among other things, accused Onu of plans to relocate the polytechnic to his Ezira hometown and sponsoring the 2012 clash between the students and the host community, and therefore, he should be removed. But in a swift reaction, the
youth, numbering over 300 and led by Ezeokafor, marched to the palace, saying that they had come to let both the press and the world know that they were solidly behind the rector and in total support of his second tenure. Ezeokafor alleged that some disgruntled elements in the community, who do not want youths in the community to see the light of the day, always embark on things that will only benefit them. According to him, “unlike the previous rectors we have had, Prof. Onu is someone who believes in human resources and infrastructural
Democratic Party (PDP) is comfortable, hence the incident ought to be fully investigated.
But in a swift reaction, the youth, numbering over 300 and led by Ezeokafor, marched to the palace, saying that they had come to let both the press and the world know that they were solidly behind the rector and in total support of his second tenure. developments. You can look around and see what he has put on ground. We are so surprised that some people in the community do not support him. But we thank God that his tenure has been renewed for another four years. “I am speaking on behalf of the entire youths and wellmeaning people of Oko that we are solidly behind his second tenure. Anybody who does not like that should find
another place and stay for the next four years.” In his reaction, the Public Relations Officer of the polytechnic, Mr. Obini Onuchukwu, said he was disappointed with the call for removal of Onu from office, recalling that the renewal of Onu’s tenure by the Presidency was based on achievements he recorded in his first tenure and the need to complete some projects he started.
of a billion people, globally, most of them poor, still do not have this basic necessity,” the statement read. The statement, which was in commemoration of the World Water Day staged globally at the weekend, observed that Nigeria is not an exception as the people have continued to go cap in hands seeking for safe drinking water. Nigeria, as further made known by UNICEF, ranks third globally among the countries still searching for safe drinking water. “According to the Multi Indicator Cluster Survey published in 2013 by the National Bureau of Statistic, nearly 70 million Nigerians did not have access to safe water in 2011. They are also often the ones without access to electricity.” The negative effects of the foregoing tale, UNICEF noted, lead to incessant deaths of children under five from diarrhoea diseases. UNICEF, however, vowed not to be deterred by the attitude of persons in positions of authorities towards providing the much needed safe drinking water to the people, stating that “With funding provided by EU and UKAid, UNICEF and partners gave access to safe water to over 1.9 million people in rural areas.” Reiterating that “Every child in Nigeria deserves access to safe water and thereby a chance to survival and thrive” UNICEF, according to Gough, would continue “strengthening capacity on appropriate choice of technology for water supply.”
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Monday, March 24, 2014 PHOTONEWS | 9
Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada (second left); Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi (left); Commissioner for Works, Abdullahi Ibrahim and the contractor, Musa Mohammed, at the ground breaking for reconstruction of Egbe township roads in Egbe, Kogi. PHOTO: NAN
Senator Ike Nwachukwu (left); President, Global Peace Foundation, James Flynn; Bishop Sunday Onuoha and Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, after receiving a gift from the president and members of Global Peace Foundation during their visit in Umuahia.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Kenneth Minimah inspecting a parade in his honour at Infantry Corps in Jaji, Kaduna. PHOTO: NAN
Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema (right); Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Reynolds Dagogo-Jack; Minister for Power, Chinedu Nebo and Partner, Mckinsey and Company, Scott Desmarais, at the EnergyNet Power Investors Summit Nigeria ‘Maintaining Momentum in Nigeria’s Power Sector’ in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze (middle); Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperative, Gbolahan Lawal (left) and Commissioner for Housing, Bosun Jeje, during the seventh Lagos Economic Summit, Ehingbeti 2014 in Lagos.
Relationship Manager, Corporate Banking Coverage, Stanbic lBTC, Segun Ashiru (left); Director, Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company, Julie Okoigun; GMD/CEO, Arco Group, Alfred Okoigun and Chairman/MD, ExxonMobil Company Nigeria, Mark Ward, at a dinner held by Arco during the oil and gas conference in Abuja.
Initiator, Project Smile, Dr. Amy Traore (middle); Brand Communication Manager, Oral-B, Tomiwa Ajewole (left) and Operations and Integration Manager, Oral-B, Ojo Folarin, during Project Smile press briefing in Lagos. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU
Pupils of Sulaiman Shado Schools during their excursion to Rutam House, headquarters of The Guardian Newspaper. PHOTO: GABRIEL IKHAHON
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Monday, March 24, 2014
WorldReport Gunmen kill three in Kenyan ‘terrorist’ attack WO gunmen stormed a T packed church near the Kenyan coastal city of
People hold placard portraying Russian President, Vladimir Putin as Adolf Hitler and reading, “Adolf Putin - Stop the Russian aggressor - Hands off Ukraine” during a rally on Independence Square in Kiev…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
More planes join hunt for missing jetliner, as French data shows possible debris ORE planes joined the M search yesterday of a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean in hopes of finding answers to the fate of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, after China released a satellite image showing a large object floating in the search zone. Meanwhile, France provided new satellite data showing possible debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. The desolate area in the Indian Ocean is about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth, Australia, where three days of searching for similar images from another satellite that emerged earlier in the week have produced no results. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the operation
from the country’s western coast, said it refined the search based on the latest clue from the Chinese satellite showing an object that appeared to be 22 meters (72 feet) by 13 meters (43 feet). It said the object’s position also fell within Saturday’s search area but it had not been sighted. Yesterday’s search involving eight aircraft has been split into two areas within the same proximity covering 59,000 square kilometers (22,800 square miles). These areas have been determined by drift modelling, the AMSA said. Despite the frustrating lack of answers, Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott was upbeat. “Obviously we have now had
Seized oil tanker returns to Libya commercial oil tanker A seized by United States forces after it loaded crude at a Libya port held by anti-government rebels has docked back in the capital Tripoli, a Reuters witness said. U.S. special forces boarded the tanker a week ago off Cyprus, days after it left Es Sider port, which is controlled by rebels who demand more autonomy and oil wealth in defiance of the central government. A Reuters reporter was allowed to board the Morning Glory moored near the Tripoli coast, witnessing how Libyan navy forces arrested the 21strong crew and three rebels who had boarded the ship at Es Sider. It was a rare victory for Tripoli, which is struggling to end a port blockade by rebels, one of many challenges facing the central government which has failed to secure the North African country three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Former anti-Gaddafi rebels
and militias refuse to surrender their weapons and often use force or control of oil facilities to make demands on a state whose army is still in training with Western govern-
a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope — no more than hope, no more than hope — that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft,” Abbott told reporters in Papua New Guinea. Malaysian Defense Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein put a message on his Twitter account Sunday asking those
in churches around the country to offer a “prayer please” for the passengers and crew on Fight 370. More than 300 Malaysian cycling enthusiasts rode their bikes to the Kuala Lumpur airport to remember the people onboard the jet. The cyclists decorated the bikes with small Malaysian flags and stickers that read “Pray for MH370.”
Mombasa yesterday and opened fire on worshippers, killing three people and wounding others, in what police called a terrorist attack. One witness said the gunmen shouted out in a foreign language before shooting indiscriminately at the congregation. Blood-spattered Bibles and overturned plastic chairs lay strewn across the church’s floor after the attack. “Both carried big guns and began shooting all over the place. I fell to the ground and could hear screams,” said Lilian Omondi, who was leading a prayer recital at the time. Kenya’s parliament has called for better coordination between the security and intelligence agencies after 67 people were killed in an attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi in September. The raid yesterday took place in Likoni, located across a deep-water channel from Mombasa city, a major tourist hub.
Spain’s first premier, Suarez, dies at 81 DOLFO Suarez, the prime A minister who led postFranco Spain to democracy,
World leaders converge for Hague nuclear summit UCLEAR terrorism is offiN cially the main topic for world leaders at a two-day summit in the Netherlands starting today. In practice, the Ukraine crisis will likely overshadow those talks. The Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague will form the backdrop for an emergency meeting of Group of Seven leaders on Russia’s annexation of Crimea. It’s a confrontation between Russia and the West reminiscent of the Cold War.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin is not attending, instead sending Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, who is expected to hold talks with United States Secretary of State, John Kerry. But experts say frantic diplomacy focused on Ukraine shouldn’t divert from the goal of better security of nuclear material. “International attention can turn in a moment,” said Deepti Choubey, a senior director at the non-government Nuclear Threat
Initiative. “The attentions of terrorists do not.” Delegations from 53 countries, including the leaders of the U.S., China and Japan, have started to arrive in the Hague. They will meet to negotiate on reducing and securing supplies, and keeping them out of terrorists’ hands. The G7 includes the U.S., Britain, Germany, Japan, France, Italy and Canada. Notable absentees from the summit are North Korea and Iran, excluded by mutual consent.
NATO warns of Russian threat to Moldova ATO’s top military comN mander said yesterday that Russia had a large force on Ukraine’s eastern border and he was worried it could pose a threat to Moldova’s separatist, Transdniestria region. The warning comes a day after Russian troops, using armored vehicles, automatic weapons and stun grenades, seized the last military facilities under Ukrainian control in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsular that Russian President, Vladimir Putin formally annexed on Friday. “The (Russian) force that is at the Ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizeable and very, very ready,” NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander
Europe, United States Air Force General, Philip Breedlove, told an event held by the German Marshall Fund think-tank. Russia’s seizure of Crimea, which has a majority Russian population, after the ousting of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president by mass protests has triggered the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War. The United States and the European Union have targeted some of Putin’s closest political and business allies with personal sanctions and have threatened broader economic sanctions if Putin’s forces encroach on other eastern or southern parts of Ukraine with big Russian-
speaking populations. Breedlove said NATO was very concerned about the threat to Transdniestria, which declared independence from Moldova in 1990 but has not been recognized by any United Nations member state. About 30 per cent of its half million population is ethnic Russian, which is the mother tongue of an overall majority. Russia launched a new military exercise, involving 8,500 artillery men, near Ukraine’s border 10 days ago. “There is absolutely sufficient (Russian) force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to run to Transdniestria if the decision was made to do that, and that is very worrisome,”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Likoni’s police chief, Robert Mureithi said the high number of bullet cartridges recovered for the Joy in Christ Church indicated the gunmen were armed with automatic weapons. The attackers tried to raid a second church nearby but fled when armed police on patrol in the neighborhood appeared. “This has all the indicators of a terrorist attack because the attackers did not steal anything and appeared focused on killing,” Mureithi told reporters at the scene. Two people were killed at the church. A medic in the emergency ward at Mombasa’s main hospital said a third person died in hospital and that three children were among the wounded receiving treatment. The violence comes at a time of heightened warnings of Islamist attacks against the east African nation and days after prosecutors charged two Somalis with terrorism-related offences after police seized a car packed with explosives.
Breedlove said. The president of ex-Soviet Moldova warned Russia last Tuesday against considering any move to annex Transdniestria, which lies on Ukraine’s western border, in the same way that it has taken control of Crimea. The speaker of Transdniestria’s parliament had urged Russia earlier to incorporate the region. Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister, Anatoly Antonov was quoted by the state’s ItarTass news agency, as saying that Russia was complying with international agreements limiting the number of troops near its border with Ukraine.
died yesterday at a Madrid hospital, his family’s spokesman said. He was 81. “Adolfo Suarez has died,” the spokesman Fermin Urbiola told reporters at the Cemtro hospital where the former premier was admitted Monday. Suarez, Spain’s first prime minister after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975, had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the past decade. His son Adolfo Suarez Illana told reporters on Friday that his father’s illness had progressed and his death was “imminent”. Suarez was one of the last surviving players in Spain’s historic “transition” — the delicate dismantling of dictatorship followed by democratic reforms that he and King Juan Carlos helped achieve after Franco died in 1975. “His role in the transition was second only to that of the king,” said the historian Javier Tusell. Despite being born the son of a Republican, Suarez became a member of Franco’s regime, serving as head of the state broadcaster and a senior leader in the National Movement, a Francoist party with fascist roots. The king, Franco’s successor as head of state, named Suarez prime minister in a new government in 1976 at the age of 44, and he was confirmed as leader in an election the following year. “The king’s relationship with my father has always been exceptional,” Suarez’s son said.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, March 24, 2014 | 11
Focus Anxiety mounts as rainy season approaches Memories of devastating effects of the 2012 flooding, that left many Nigerians homeless and properties worth billions destroyed across the country, are still fresh. But since then, several promises have been made, with only little relief felt. As another rainy season approaches, TUNDE ALAO and JOKE FALAJU examine the measures being put in place by the concerned agencies to prevent another disaster. CTOBER 2012 would remain indelible in the minds of many Nigerians. In one of O its reports, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said 363 people died during months of flooding across the nation and that 2.1 million others were displaced. Between early July and September 2012, floodwaters claimed an estimated 137 lives in the country and forced thousands more to relocate. In addition to the challenges posed by heavy rains, Nigerians also had to cope with the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in neighboring Cameroon, which further swelled the Benue River. Water released from the dam was blamed for 30 deaths in the country. Back in 2009, the relatively thin Benue River, bordered by the small, isolated bodies of water, had spilled over its banks and overwhelmed the small lakes on either side. According to NEMA’s report, Adamawa and Kogi state suffered the worst casualties, with more than 18,000 people suffering different degrees of injuries. As about the same time, eight local council areas were also affected, with Anambra West and Ogbaru Local councils (LGAs), completely subsumed under water. The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was said to be in the thousands, with an estimated 10,000 homes fully or partially sub- Effects of the 2012 flooding. merged. The Federal Ministry of Environment then nical assistance from the federal government to have a shorter length of season and therepredicted heavy flooding in Lagos, Kano and imperative. However, pains of the past and the fore a shorter planting season.” The Minister said a recent survey by the 14 other States. Other states that were affect- associated loss are not lost on the stakeholders, ed, though, with less severity, included especially, the relevant agencies of govern- World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) revealed that the world experienced unpreceKebbi, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Anambra, Kwara, ments, as another rainy season approaches. dented high impact climate extremes during Jigawa, Katsina, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kogi, The need for urgent action Recently, the Supervising Minister of the 2001-2012 decade, adding that the organiZamfara, Plateau, Taraba and Cross Rivers. Heavy seasonal rains typically cause flood- Aviation, who also doubles as Minister of Trade sation estimates that about 90 per cent of nating across Nigeria, as drainage can be poor and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, identified ural disasters worldwide were caused by in risky areas and with people living on the country’s colossal losses to flooding in 2012. extreme weather. “Government has therefore taken a number floodplains. However, the 2012 flooding was The Minister spoke in Abuja, while declaring exacerbated by heavier than normal rains open the 2014 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, of steps aimed at ensuring that accurate and that forced officials in both Nigeria and Release of the 2013 Nigeria Climate Review timely meteorological early warning informaneighboring Cameroon to open strained Bulletin and the unveiling of the new Nigerian tion are available to Nigerians. NIMET has Meteorological Agency (NIMET) logo. been strengthened through the provision of dams. In what was described as “Post Disaster modern equipment and infrastructure for In 2010, Lagos suffered a terrible loss occasioned by flooding, as houses and other Needs Assessment,” (PDNA) on the 2012 floods weather observation and forecasting,” Ortom properties were overrun by water released across the country, the document estimated said. Director General, NIMET, Mr. Anthony from the Oyan Dam, being managed by the the losses and damages to farmlands, houses Ogun/Osun River Basin Development and the environment at about N2.6 trillion. Anuforom, said the highlight of this year’s preAuthority. The situation was so frightening Ortom said Nigeria, like other countries, “is vul- diction is that there will be shorter rainfall seathat the Lagos State Commissioner for nerable to the impacts of climate change,” son across the country. According to him, this Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said govern- adding: “this calls for decisive and collective portends a shorter planting season for farmment would need the federal authority’s col- action to reduce the vulnerability of Nigerians ers across the country. “For rainfall, onset dates will vary between first week of March in laboration to fight the menace. According to to the hazards of severe weather.” The Minister advised public and private southernmost part of the country and late Bello, the state government will need about N13 billion to effectively prevent devastating organisations to attach serious importance to June in the far northern parts.” floods like the one that resulted from a 16- the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s (NIMET) Lagos gets set yearly prediction of weather and climate pheFrom the Lagos State Government came the hour rainfall on July 10. The Oyan Dam is on the outskirts of Ogun nomena. While recounting his personal expe- assurance that proactive measures are being State and was commissioned in 1983. Nine rience and losses to the 2012 flooding, he said put in place to address the situation. areas that were severely affected include: he was also a victim of the flood when he did According to Governor Babatunde Fashola, Ojodu-Berger, Ikosi-Ketu, Mile 12, Ajilete, not heed NIMET’s warnings and ended up los- the Atlantic City Project had provided the state Thomas Laniyan Estate, Owode-Elede, ing all his crops worth N40 million, when the with some protection against flooding and Owode-Onirin, Agboyi, Odogun and Maidan. rain washed away over 350 hectares of rice had reduced the problem of ocean surge. Fashola, who made the declaration while Some communities in Ogun state that also under cultivation. At the occasion however, NIMET, in its 2014 speaking at a meeting with some heads of corsuffered the same fate were Isheri Olofin, rainfall prediction made available to journal- porate organisations in Lagos recently, also Isheri Oke, Kara, and Warewa. The flood’s devastating impact jolted the ists, said, “In 2014, the length of rainy season is described criticisms that the project was state government to the reality of the inade- predicted to vary between 100 days over the responsible for previous flooding in the state quacies of its drainage system, leading to its extreme north and 300 days over the coastal as unfair, insisting that the problem was a conapplication to the federal government for areas. Most parts of the country are predicted sequence of global warming. aid, through the Ecological Fund Office. Consequently, a team of inspectors, led by In 2010, Lagos suffered a terrible loss occasioned by flooding, as houses and the Permanent Secretary of the Ecological other properties were overrun by water released from the Oyan Dam, being Fund office, Ibukun Odusote, visited the state for an assessment. The team visited sevmanaged by the Ogun/Osun River Basin Development Authority. The situaeral canals in Agege and Alimosho local tion was so frightening that the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, council areas and some beaches in Lekki where the Atlantic Ocean had also eroded Mr. Tunji Bello, said government would need the federal authority’s collaboseveral metres of land. ration to fight the menace. According to Bello, the state government will need The Commissioner noted that Lagos, about N13 billion to effectively prevent devastating floods like the one that being a coastal state, is susceptible to flooding like all coastal states across the world, resulted from a 16-hour rainfall on July 10 making the provision of financial and tech-
He said: “It is not true that any flooding in the state is attributable to our Atlantic City Project. We have taken the best advice and the best professionalism has been deployed into salvaging those parts of Lagos consumed by ocean surge. If there is any requirement at all to know whether the project was working, let us cast our mind to about 15 years ago when, at the peak of the rainy season, the flooding used to get to the Law School and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Victoria Island. But we have not had that kind of flooding in the last five to six years, even at the peak of rainfall.” The Permanent Secretary of the Office of Drainage Services in Lagos State, Muyideen Akinsanya, while guiding the visiting federal team, said some of the drainage channels had to be expanded, while others, running into more than 11 kilometres, had to be lined with concrete to reduce the relative ease with which canals get blocked by silt. More importantly, he said: “Lack of proper guiding culvert,” especially on the LagosAbeokuta federal road, “is causing serious ecological problems” for many communities that were submerged by the last flood. The inspection revealed that the channels were effective where lined with concrete, but overflowed in places that were not lined with concrete. “The earlier we are able to line the entire channel; the earlier we can facilitate the easy movement of the flow; the easier life gets for residents,” Akinsanya said. He also hinted that the impact of the flood might have been reduced if the Federal Ministry of Works had been more proactive in liaising with the state government, especially on federal roads. “You will also notice that most of the flooded areas are communities where the federal road passes through and we have no control over that road. Though, we have been speaking with our federal colleagues, and they have been cooperating, but they have not done what is supposed to be done,” he said. NEMA prepares The federal agency said it played a significant role during the 2012 flood disaster that left many people homeless and destroyed property worth millions of naira. However preparation by the agency is usually dependent on the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency. As NEMA awaits the 2014 prediction, it said it would build on the successes of the 2013 flood preparation. The Resident Director of Information for the agency, Mr. Sanni Datti who spoke with The Guardian pointed out that following the presentation of Seasonal Rainfall Prediction for 2013 by NIMET, and based on the prevailing conditions at the time the forecast was made, that 2013 rainfall pattern in most parts of Nigeria is likely to be similar to that of 2012, and to avoid the repeat of the 2012 flood devastation, the agency called a meeting of experts to critically analyze the prediction and come up with solutions. “The agency also aired jingles on radio and television stations, such as the AIT, NTA, Silverbird, FRCN and Vision FM (use of Local Language, including Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin English), in addition to campaign materials that included posters and fliers, to create awareness. But Nigerians are not convinced that adequate preparations are being out in place. Some Lagos residents, who spoke with the Guardian, wondered what happened to the funds “collected by the Inter Ministerial Technical and the Presidential Flood Relief Committees,” set up by President Goodluck Jonathan almost two years ago. “Flooding is an annual ritual,” said a resident in local dialect. “They (officials) will come, make promises, but we don’t see anything.”
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, March 24, 2014
Politics THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE
President Goodluck Jonathan and the delegates
Too early to predict outcome we are serious. This made me forget the confusion that F we are to go by the happenings of the first nearly dragged the accreditation process of two days of the National Conference, many delegates into typical Nigerian focus on “ALL will conclude that Nigeria would be worse off WILL BE WELL! without adequate planning, at the end of this one, when compared to pre- and our disdain for meticulous vious national conferences. The beginning planning. Some delegates, who did not get was worrying, more terrifying than imag- accredited on the 16th of March, paid dearly ined. by spending the whole day milling around The fact that the conference had to work two the Justice Institute, receiving neither justice half days and then go on recess for the rest of nor respect. the week may set one wondering what Nige- There were a few episodes of shoving, pushria would expect from the financial and other ing, and indecorous line-cutting. There was huge resources laid out to get the conference more respect, if not for orderliness, then cergoing. tainly for what you are, what you were and Nobody was sure of the day the conference what you are likely to be, in that order. would start - will it be the 10th or 17th (of There was a case, which would have been March, 2014)? If 10th, what time? Would it be funny, if not for the stupidity. A high-level before or after the President laid the founda- delegate sent his personal assistant to assist tion of a second Niger bridge? And at the him with the accreditation. Then came time same site where his predecessor had laid a to take the photograph, and the personal assimilar foundation, but now occupied by a sistant brought out his master’s passport seven-year-old obeche tree? Or would it be photograph! 17th and if 17th, when: 10.am, noon, 2pm, 3pm, As I said, the President came right on time. or 4.30 pm? And he gave the best speech I have heard The information came in fast on the rumour him give all his tenure. He touched on the internet, and each was authentic rumour em- fabrics that bind us together as a nation, the anating from the Presidency, or the Office of need for us not to fragment and fray the fabthe Secretary to the Government, or the sec- rics into individual strands. retariat of the conference. The most authen- He said… “the most compelling task before tic information came from the beer parlour us is to lay a much stronger foundation for next to Aso Rock, where goat head pepper faster development by building a more insoup and cold drinks lubricated the tongues clusive national consensus on the structure of rumour vendors. and guiding principles of states that will Finally, to the shame of sceptics and cynics, guarantee our emergence as a more united, the conference was opened, officially, by the progressive and prosperous nation.” The President, who also came to time. The timely President charged us “not to continue to opening was my first surprise and it surged fold our arms and assume that things will some hope in me, bigger than the Zuma rock. straighten themselves out in due course.” It lifted me up above the Nigeria I had seen In spite of my opinion of the style of leaderand lived in these past decades. I said at last ship of my President, I was, in that one hour,
By Oyewale Tomori PhD
glad to be moved and ready to be commanded by the Commander-in-Chief in the fight to save our dear country, until towards the end of the speech when he talked about subjecting the outcome of the conference to a national referendum. Twice or more, he turned to appeal to the leaders of the National Assembly to ensure that the necessary amendment to the constitution, that would allow the holding of a national referendum, was completed before the end of the conference. I hear any amendment to the constitution must bear the mark of the National Assembly and two-thirds of the states in the federation. The appeal by the President reminded me of someone telling a crying orphan to stop crying, as his mother was bringing him a loaf of bread. It will be the mother of all miracles for such an amendment to be completed within 90 days! On that note, we ended the first day, but not before a photo shoot with the President at which all the 492 delegates were to take a picture with the President. I did not bother to go because, as we were rushing out (sorry, I mean trooping out; distinguished delegates, do not rush) of the inauguration hall to the photo place, the legions of personal assistants, security orderlies, hangers-on, all numbering over 1,000, had shoved the real delegates to the rest rooms of the Institute. The lucky delegates were scrambling out of the gutters and drainages where they had been pushed, and reaching the photo place just as the presidential entourage was departing. Oh yes, the day did not end until we had been treated to the Chairman’s dinner. One of the delegates had enough assistants
There were a few episodes of shoving, pushing, and indecorous linecutting. There was more respect, if not for orderliness, then certainly for what you are, what you were and what you are likely to be, in that order. There was a case, which would have been funny, if not for the stupidity. A high-level delegate sent his personal assistant to assist him with the accreditation. Then came time to take the photograph, and the personal assistant brought out his master’s passport photograph! – one to bring the cutlery, another to get the drinks, and the third to carry the plate and take assorted “swallow” mixed with “jollof” rice, ogbono soup, and a variety of protein, from “nama” to “isi ewu” to ordinary croaker fish. All the distinguished delegate did was to point to the food he wanted by remote control. And the assistant dipped the large spoon into the food basket and scooped into the plate whatever was in the direction of the index finger of the delegate. Waiting at his table was the last assistant, holding the chair for the delegate to sit on. It
CONTINUED ON PAGE 13
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, March 24, 2014 POLITICS 13
Too early to predict outcome marriage partners? Or in any area of our life? If the mistake had not been corrected, we probably would not be in the position to be at this conference. So, let each examine our life, idenwas the last assistant who had the honour tify the contributions we have made to the to bring soup for his boss. He came with a downfall of our country and resolve to make dish containing a rain forest of “efo riro”. amends and use this conference as our reStupid man! The distinguished delegate deeming grace. shouted at his assistant. “I said bring me Let us fashion the constitution we need for the ‘suupu, suuupu, the one oyibo people saving of this country. It may not necessarily be drink before they eat swallow, not efo the constitution we want to protect our narriro.’” row, selfish ends. Indeed, it must not be a conI was, therefore, not surprised when on stitution that protects selfish, narrow, tribal the second day, there was a request from association, political or any sectional interest. another delegate for the federal governWe must come out with that which ensures eqment to allow delegates hire more assisuity, fair play and justice for all. It is when we tants – to be paid for by…. Well, he did not care for all and each that there can be peace for say! all. But I am jumping ahead of myself. After We now see that the looters of our nation cansuch a tedious and tiring first day, the delnot enjoy their loot in peace in the present state egates went to their hotels, hovels and of our nation. For those who had brought us diholes, to get ready for the second day. We rectly to this stage by stealing what belongs to were told each delegate would receive the all of us, the call is to repent and do like short same amount for accommodation. So, if man Zaccheus, described in the Bible as the you choose Transcorp at N120,000 a night, chief among the looters of his days. After he or some Kubwa or Kuje short-time hovel at met Jesus, he decided to give half of his goods N12,000 a night, it was your business so to the poor; and to restore fourfold, all he had long as you do not end up with a bout of stolen or obtained crookedly. diarrhea per day and miss attending the This national conference is an opportunity to conference. correct our past errors, to pay back to our country the dues we owe our country. OME day 2, at 10.am, most delegates Let me end with a part of the story of my life as were seated, but not enough to form a Nigerian. I grew up in my country, Nigeria, the quorum, yet to be decided. The anwhen I paid no fees for primary education; nouncer came in to let us know that we when my secondary education was nearly free. would be starting a bit late, say 30 minFor what I paid was small for what I received - a utes, because 100 to 200 of unaccredited sound education that placed my country first. delegates were stuck at the entrance to the I attended the university on a scholarship. Two Justice Institute. Finally, at about a quarter years after I graduated, while working in a fedto eleven, we started. eral institution, two other federal agencies The Chairman began with praise to Allah were still running after me with an offer of jobs. (an action that was to cause one of several But more important to me was that I was born rifts). He then requested each officer of the in Ilesha, I went to the secondary school in conference to make an introduction and Ughelli, and rounded off my credentials as a indicate his or her role at the conference. true Nigerian by going to the university in The officer in charge of finance received Zaria. What I still remember most was that no the greatest attention. one asked me what state or what town I came It was now question time for delegates. from. I was simply a Nigerian. The first delegate rose up ponderously and In those days, traveling from Ilesha to Ughelli asked three questions in one: “I am HE was by the famous Armel’s Transport Service. Ajanlekoko, representing the marginalAll our parents did was to hand us over to the ized former Senators. My question, My Armels driver, who took care of us as if we were Lord Chairman is, can we hire PAs to assist his own children. us? If yes, will they be accredited and who Tomori At every stop on the way at Agbanikaka, Benin, pays?” Delegate number 2 to speak said: “I rep- day, and we are asking such insensitive, tact- because I am afraid that my talking may Sapele, Warri and Ughelli, there was always resent the Ethnic Stanza 2 of the old Na- less, inconsiderate, selfish and, coldhearted have adverse effect on someone else close someone to see to our welfare, watching over tional Anthem, which says, ‘Though Tribe questions, which expose our lack of apprecia- to me, even though I know I cannot be us like a mother hen looking after her brood. and Tongue may differ, in Brotherhood we tion of the situation of the average Nigerian. Or touched (viii) in not having enough faith And most touching, they never asked for a stand.’ Sir, my question is, what is the seat- more our assumption that Nigeria is us and we in the future of my country and once ac- kobo. How could they when they did not even ing arrangement at this conference? Are are Nigeria! tually thinking of relocating to another know who our parents were. It was enough for we going to have the front row occupied About the only thought-provoking comment country. (I thank God He made me see rea- them to know that these were Nigerian chilby town of origin or tribe of origin? As you made by one of the delegates was about all the son that He made me a Nigerian for a pur- dren. see, I am from Abriba town, but I am a delegates in the hall being responsible for the pose. God never makes mistakes). So, how can someone like me ever say Nigeria Yoruba man. If it is by town of origin, I sup- current predicament of the nation. Am I really Whether we like it or not, we all stand owes him anything? Rather, I am the one that port alphabetical order of sitting. If it is by one of those responsible for the current deca- guilty as charged, may be of lesser owes my nation. This is the attitude and the tribe of origin, then let us use reverse or- dent state of Nigeria? It set me thinking, and charges. Lesser or greater, we have all con- mindset with which I am coming to this conder of the alphabet, starting with Y and made me take a critical look at myself, and try tributed to the present state of our nation. ference. But how come we became a nation with an ending with A.” to identify my role in the downfall of my na“Order, order,” shouted another delegate. tion. AT this conference, we must shed our eth- aversion to excellence, a desire to accept and “Mr. Chairman, did you not request that Some may not have stolen money directly, or nicity, tribal connections and all other settle for second best? How did we become a nawe give our names before we start asking commandeered national assets and resources connections instituted for the oppression tion with a culture of subtle and bare-faced corquestions? The last speaker did not tell us for personal use, but in not giving our best to of the people of Nigeria. We must come to- ruption, one of double standard for private and his name.” Nigeria, we have robbed our country of her as- gether as Nigerians. For those who say public living? Where did we acquire the timid“Apology, Distinguished Delegates and sets in much the same way as the Chief Thieves that 1914 amalgamation was a mistake, it ity to oppose evil and stand upright, and the acHonourable Chair. I am Chief, Dr., Sur- have robbed us dry. is time to correct that mistake, now and quiescence to forces of evil and decadence? Tell me, how did we gain the desire for taking veyor, Barrister, Accountant Ahmadu How, you may ask? ... (i) in not being vocal forever. Azikwe Awolowo, alias Triple A!” I almost enough to speak against the evil in our society You know each of our leaders of the 1950s the easy way out and the laziness to prepare in shouted that my names are also Pastor Al- (ii) in being too soft on my friends who were looked at the amalgamation as a mistake. advance and implement conscientiously? Who hadji Akinyemi Kutigi Azinge, alias AKA - committing atrocities (iii) in not seeing sin as Before the 1914 amalgamation, there was taught us the lack of patience to see things the only true Nigerian! sin, when it is sin committed by my relations strictly no place known as NIGERIA, as we through and imbued us with the talent for misThe next question came from one of the and colleagues (iv) in assuming for too long know it. So, strictly speaking, only those of application of resources? Who infected us with delegates who had been raising his two that the culprits would change (v) in calling the us born after the amalgamation can truly the (in)ability and the desire to seek solutions arms and left leg to get the attention of the destroyer of our nation… Your Excellency, Your claim to be Nigerians. to the problems of yesterday, tomorrow? The first days of the conference are gone. Oh Chairman. “Sir Honourable Chairman,” he Honourable, to the shame of sceptics and cynThus, why should we let the opinions of began. “I have a most important question ics because my group or my association wants a those born before Nigeria came to being yes, there was an occasion when the delegates to ask, and I want an answer. What shall we donation, a share of the stolen loot that con- decide what we, authentic and true Nige- were unanimous in their decision. It was when do about our drivers? Will they not be ac- ferred on him the title, Excellency of Fraudu- rians, should do with our country? Is there the Chair called for adjournment. I think close credited so as to ease their going and com- lence (vi) in fooling myself that the evil they do anyone who has not made one mistake in to 492 delegates struggled to move the motion ing into the conference?” will not affect me directly (vii) in keeping quiet life: Of choice of profession? Of choice of for adjournment that we had no one left to second the motion! Many other similar earth-shattering quesIn spite of the questions from some delegates tions of significant national importance that leave one wondering whether there is followed: “Did you say we will have two In spite of the questions from some delegates that leave one wondering hope for Nigeria, all we must hear is the real hours for lunch break? Does that mean we voice of Nigeria: the silent voice of sanity, and will work for six whole hours each day? whether there is hope for Nigeria, all we must hear is the real voice of the quiet voice of probity; the mumbled voice Haba! Can we get the internet working so Nigeria: the silent voice of sanity, and the quiet voice of probity; the of honesty, and the calm voice of decency; the we can keep in touch with our office and still voice of honour, and the hushed voice of mumbled voice of honesty, and the calm voice of decency; the still voice businesses during the sessions, especially when some delegates, I do not want to of honour, and the hushed voice of reason; the tranquil voice of integrity, reason; the tranquil voice of integrity, and the serene voice of virtue and the soothing voice of mention their names, are talking?” Our government is still disputing with in- and the serene voice of virtue and the soothing voice of Godliness. These Godliness. These must be the voices we hear at this national conference. ternational agencies on the percentage must be the voices we hear at this national conference. (whether it is 70% or 80%) of Nigerians liv• Prof. Tomori is President, Nigerian Academy of ing below the poverty line of three N300 a
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12
14 | Monday, March 24, 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 National Conference: Against stipend S Nigeria’s narrative often goes, just when the abused, oppressed and misgoverned citizenry finds a reason to be exultant, that source of hope has a way of being employed by the ruling elite to put the nation’s vessel of progress in reverse. Effectively, the newly inaugurated national conference upon which much hope of a new Nigeria is hinged has just been reduced to another avenue for vanity and jostling for pecuniary benefits. Going by the noise over allowances for delegates and their aides, the conference is in danger of losing focus. That will be heartbreaking. There ought to be a collective resolve for those who can afford it – and they constitute the bulk of the delegates – to reject any payment in the spirit of service to, and sacrifice for the nation. Commendably, Olisa Agbakoba, Kabir Yusuf and Tunde Bakare have set the right template for this. Those gentlemen’s decision not to collect any allowance is not only praise worthy, this newspaper hereby commends that spirit to all other delegates. Nigeria needs men and women who would make sacrifices for her greatness. Each delegate will reportedly earn a princely sum of N4 million per month, meaning a total of N12 million in three months. Multiplying this figure by the number of 492 delegates gives a figure of about N6 billion. This is apart from other undisclosed administrative costs. Interestingly, some of the delegates are reported to have demanded separate payments for their aides, even though these were not delegates to the conference. Of course, this amount of money may not make much sense to some promoters of the conference. After all, the looters of the national treasury no longer deal in millions, but billions and trillions. But this is bizarre, especially against the
background of the most recent experience where almost a million healthy and academically qualified Nigerians physically jostled for less than 5000 job vacancies, leading to the tragic death of many applicants. It is very important to note that one of the major problems retarding the development of this country, which Nigerians expect the delegates to address decisively, is the huge cost of governance. The delegates ought to set the example by, at the very least, accepting the barest stipend to cater for their essential needs during the duration of the conference. That will be a honourable path to take. It will also set a sound example for those in public office who should be expected to lose perks and privileges if the conference keeps faith with the expectations of Nigerians. Granted that not every delegate to the conference would be able to serve without payment, the current amount is still untenable and should be redressed. Given that these delegates are from different constituencies and representing specific groups, the right thing to do is for the various groups to sponsor their representatives. That way, they would be strengthening their hands to debate without fear or favour. The delegates should, therefore, revert to their constituencies for full sponsorship, according to the capability of those units. This must be done in such a way as would make no delegate suffer financial difficulties or embarrassment in the course of the assignment. It must also be admitted that indeed, government provided accommodation for previous conferees. Satellite Town in Lagos, after all, was the abode of the members of the Constituent Assembly in 1978. Nigeria needs to move in a new direction. Her journey to greatness requires sacrifice and discipline as the first steps. Let these delegates set good examples.
Poor services, outrageous bills by IBEDC IR: It was emotionally December 2013, and January area. What happened to my Spledevastating for the peo- 2014 notably, the power sup- bill for January 2014, which of Ogbomoso in Oyo ply was almost nil. the total was N3,715.65, but State when Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), the new owners of PHCN in Oyo Business Unit, stepped out with the wrong foot forward. Before the conclusion of privatization exercise, PHCN was known for inept service with crazy and reprehensible bills. So many times, they forced their spurious bills on the laps of hapless customers with little or no resistance, especially in the Southwestern part of the country. They are fond of cheating the poor masses by billing them highly for services poorly or never rendered. When government finally handed over PHCN to DISCOs, the masses heaved a sigh of relief. Electricity consumers were wrong: Within a short time in operation, it was as if government sold us out into total blackout and slavery under IBEDC. Of particular mention are some notable incidents in Ogbomoso area, where for some months there was power outage. In
It is amusing how the bill could increase by 900 per cent within a month yet without regular power supply. I was estimated to use 75 units monthly, though my actual consumption was below 25units when I was using pre-paid, but in January, I was billed for three units, while February was jerked up to 300 units, when I’m not a ‘welder or rewire’. In spite of this, N500 illegal fixed charges is still being added to my bill monthly for meter maintenance, when I’m yet to be metered. They disconnect people from service poles and still bill them for electricity never consumed. This is not in tandem with Electric Power Reform Act Section 1[4.1] which states that “every DISCO shall issue bills for electricity used at each consumer’s address at regular intervals”. It is dubious for IBEDC to be insensitive to people’s grievances. Now the question is what parameter was used in arriving at the bill of N4,373.00 for my February charges, when January 2014 was the period of blackout in the
brought forward to reflect N4,935.64 in February 2014 as previous balance? I subscribe to the probe suggested by Hon. Abike DabiriErewa on the scarcity of prepaid meters, because people paid about N40,000 for a single phase depending on who a customer knows. It is not surprising that the whole Igboho community in Orelope Local Government of Oyo State could reject their bills till they begin to enjoy stable electricity and reasonable billings from IBEDC. IBEDC should not take people for granted like the notorious PHCN. The Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo; the House Committee on Power; National Council on Privatization (NCP), and National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) should please check this atrocity being perpetrated by DISCOs, and give hope to the frustrated electricity consumers on their network before more damage is done to the good intention and transformational agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in the power sector. •Mark Taiwo (JP), Ogbomoso, Oyo State
Monday, March 24, 2014
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Opinion Upward immobility of CBN deputy govs By Jide Akintunde F the Senate goes ahead to confirm the apInorpointment of Mr. Godwin Emefiele as Goverof Central Bank of Nigeria, it means Dr. (Mrs.) Sarah Alade, currently the Acting Governor, will step down to her former position of Deputy Governor by June. She will never become the Governor of the CBN. By the time Mr. Emefiele serves out his five-year term, Sarah Alade would have retired, like Mr. Tunde Lemo did recently, after serving maximum two terms of five years each as Deputy Governor. This scenario is particularly concerning for the newly appointed Deputy Governor, Mr. Adebayo Adekola Adelabu. He has been appointed from a position of Executive Director at First Bank, in the influential role of Chief Financial Officer. If he remains at the institution, he has a fair chance of leading the bank when the current CEO, Mr. Olabisi Onasanya serves out his maximum 10 years in 2019. Thus, Adebayo Adelabu has up to 15 more years to his banking career. The last 10 could be as CEO. But now, if the Senate confirms his appointment, he heads into the last 10 years of his banking career. What is the implication of this on his career outlook and retirement plan before this appointment? We cannot assume that he accepts the limit on his career simply by accepting his appointment as CBN Deputy Governor. It just happens that an unwritten code of not appointing a deputy governor as governor is what has become a tradition in Nigeria. How about the erudite, upwardly mobile Dr. Kingsley Moghalu? By the time Emefiele serves out his first term, Moghalu would be the most senior Deputy Governor (if he gets a second term later this year). By the unwritten code, he will not rise to lead the institution he would have served for 10 years. It wouldn’t matter that he would have participated in 60 Monetary Policy Committee meetings. His outstanding contributions and leadership in driving the frameworks for financial system stability in the last five years would count for nothing. Whatever was invested in his training over the years would not matter. In the same way, Tunde Lemo’s experience with the two epochal regulatory regimes at the CBN was, sadly, not a strong recommendation for his appointment as Governor. The oddity is in starker terms with Sarah Alade. She was in the best position to assure both the local and international investors on continuity of the assiduous pursuit of price stability by the
CBN under Lamido Sanusi. Yet, with her sixyear experience of superintending economic policy of the CBN as Deputy Governor, she was overlooked. But it has not always been like this. Aliyu Mai Bornu was the first indigenous Nigerian to become CBN Governor in 1963. He was Deputy Governor before his appointment. The next Governor, Dr. Clement Isong who was appointed in 1967, was also a senior staff member (Director of Research) in the CBN, after which he was seconded to the IMF and subsequently recalled from there in 1967 to become the CBN Governor. After Isong there was Adamu Ciroma, a journalist who studied history, and was an external member of the CBN Board. He served from 1975-1977. Then, Ola Vincent, who was a Deputy Governor of the Bank from 1975 until his appointment as Governor in 1977. Vincent was previously Vice-President of the African Development Bank for several years. The next Governor was Abdulkadir Ahmed. He was Deputy Governor before his appointment as Governor. In 1999, Joseph Sanusi was named Governor by President Olusegun Obasanjo. Sanusi was a career CBN officer who rose to become Deputy Governor, then was appointed Managing Director of UBA and First Bank in succession in the days when government was a major shareholder in the big banks, before he was brought back to CBN as Governor. Joseph Sanusi was the last Deputy Governor to become Governor. However, Paul Ogwuma was the very first commercial banker to become CBN Governor. He was M.D. of Union Bank before his appointment as CBN Governor in 1993. More recently, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo (2004 – 2009), an academic, and Lamido Sanusi (2009 – 2014), another commercial banker, were the CBN Governors appointed without experience in the Central Bank, before the appointment of Godwin Emefiele. Since there is no law that forbids upward career mobility of the Deputy Governors within the Central Bank, and the fact that a tradition that undermines their career progression is now taking root, it is important to examine the situation more closely. The first point is the lack of consensus candidate amongst the deputy governors when Lamido Sanusi declared he would not seek second term as governor. The media reported that the trio of Tunde Lemo, Sarah Alade and Kingsley Moghalu were all interested candidates for the position of CBN governor. One would hope that as the CBN evolves as an institution, it
would be able to recommend a consensus candidate amongst the deputy governors to the President when the next governor is to be appointed. Such consensus candidate will make a better challenge for the coveted position. But there is the geopolitical dynamics to the appointment of the CBN Governor. It appears untenable within our federal structure that a succession of two CBN governors should come from the same geopolitical zones. Indeed, the succession dynamics seem to now only support alternation between the North and the South. As with every other position that is filled on the basis of “federal character”, there is in the selection process the propensity to overlook the best person for the job. This factor will further ensure that Kingsley Moghalu will not succeed Godwin Emefiele, because he is from the Southern part of the country where the Governor-designate also hails. The remedy would be to assert that the two men hail from different geopolitical zones, although within Southern Nigeria. One of the advantages to upward mobility of a deputy governor of the Central Bank to the position of governor is that he or she would have imbibed the institutional culture for up to five years. The learning curve for an outsiderappointee in the role of governor will certainly be steeper. Like it was observed with Sanusi, there is the possibility of concentrating on the more familiar territory of banking supervision for a bank CEO coming in to head the central bank. Thus, serious engagement of monetary policy by Lamido Sanusi was thought to have been delayed. In Sanusi’s case, we learn that a disposition towards institutional culture is even more important than the time it takes to learn it. It would have been great to know Sanusi as a Deputy Governor of the CBN. If he had exhibited in that period his legendary disregard for the norms of governing a central bank, the government could have spared itself the embarrassment he caused it at different junctures by not appointing him as governor. It appears the critical issue is that succession planning is hardly given any serious consideration when appointing a CBN Deputy Governor. But it should. Moreover, the functional independence of the central bank is not promoted when every five years a new governor starts with an induction into the institution, and then follows it up with a steep learning curve into the dynamics of monetary policy formulation as it was the case with Sanusi, and will definitely be the same with Emefiele. The only place to gain central banking experience
is from a central bank. This is without prejudice to academics including the immediate past Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, Ben Bernanke, who have put in decent performances as central bank governors around the world. Granted, the tradition of objectivity which the academia imbues is conducive for independent conduct of monetary policy, and fairness in banking supervision. This is hardly the case when a bank CEO is appointed as CBN Governor. Instead, conflict of interests has been alleged in the supervisory work of the CBN, including alleged favouritism and vendetta in the banking intervention carried out under Lamido Sanusi. Indeed, it would appear that, by appointing a CBN Governor from a bank in which the government controlled significant stakes as we did in the past, government unwittingly fostered weaknesses in the performance of the regulatory and supervisory functions of the CBN. It is little surprising then that we have had a litany of bank failures in Nigeria. For all the reasons for concern over the appointment of Godwin Emefiele from Zenith Bank as CBN Governor, it is important to recognise the shift President Goodluck Jonathan has made. It is the first of such appointments from a bank that has no past or present ownership links to the government. The praise is shared with the reforms that have privatized the banking sector, and the entrepreneurial and management skills of Nigerian bankers that have grown big banks like Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank. Nevertheless, the office of CBN Governor should not be turned into an entitlement den for commercial bank executives who have or are perceived to have conflicts of interest and have no experience with monetary policy or banking regulation. Serious economies look to institutional successions from the pool of central bank deputy governors, or to academia or even to treasury officials to lead their central banks. Janet Yellen was Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve before her appointment as Chairman. Mark Carney was Governor of the Bank of Canada (and before that Deputy Governor) before being asked to lead the Bank of England. And the central bank governors of emerging markets such as China, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, Israel, Pakistan and Ghana were all deputy governors of their central banks before their elevations to governor. This is the sort of tradition we need to start building in our country because it will be best for our economy and us, and it is best global practice. • Akintunde is Director of the Nigeria Development and Finance Forum.
Countering nuclear terrorism threat By Andrew Hammond HE Netherlands plays host today and tomorrow to the third NuT clear Security Summit (NSS). Over 50 leaders, including U.S. and Chinese Presidents Obama and Xi, will focus upon measures to enhance security of nuclear material stockpiles and facilities across the world. The summit has assumed added international importance by the fact that Obama has asked fellow G7 leaders to convene during the two days to discuss the situation in Ukraine. It is likely that issues on the agenda will include coordinated new waves of sanctions against Russia. The downturn in relations between Russia and the West is unfortunate for the summit, given that Moscow is such a pre-eminent player in global attempts to counter the nuclear terrorism threat. Indeed, this issue first came prominently onto the international radar screen following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s when major concerns were raised about safeguarding the former Communist state’s extensive nuclear weaponry. More recently, the urgency of tackling this agenda was given added impetus by the September 2001 attacks in the United States. This was widely interpreted as a ‘wake-up call’ about the possibility that a terrorist group could detonate a small nuclear weapon, or a radiological dispersal device (a so-called ‘dirty bomb’). The NSS process began soon after Obama assumed office when he asserted that nuclear terrorism represents “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security”. In the same speech in Prague, he gave a very ambitious deadline to “secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years”. While this deadline will not be achieved, there has been progress in reducing the number of countries with access to Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) and plutonium since the NSS process began in 2010. For instance, enough HEU for some 3,000 nuclear weapons has been ‘down-blended’ in Russia and the United States; 12 countries have returned their previous stockpile of HEU back to
the country of origin (mostly to the United States and Russia); and almost 20 countries have launched a counter nuclear smuggling initiative. However, as the Dutch summit will underline, this global effort remains a work in progress. As of late 2013, for instance, some 30 states from Europe to Asia, including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Pakistan had at least one kilogramme of HEU in civilian stocks. Moreover, since 1993, it is reported that there have been some 16 confirmed cases of theft of HEU and/or plutonium documented by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) Illicit Trafficking Database, most of them in the former Soviet Union. While the conventional wisdom is that the probability of a major nuclear terrorism event is very low, the consequences would be so dramatic that it remains a major pre-occupation of the international community. According to the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group, detonation of even a small handful-sized amount of plutonium in a nuclear device could kill or wound hundreds of thousands of people in a densely populated area. Given the difficulties of terrorist groups obtaining weapons grade material, perhaps the bigger danger is a dirty bomb attack. Here, conventional explosives would be used to spread radiation from a radioactive source. Such radioactive sources are relatively widely available, including at hospitals. Only last December, law enforcement authorities in Mexico discovered a vehicle believed to have been stolen by thieves which contained radioactive medical materials that could have been used to power a dirty bomb. Amongst the ambitious goals for the Dutch summit include: ratification of the amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material by more countries to ensure that the amendment enters into force as soon as possible; more frequent reviews of state security structures by the IAEA; national registration and protection of highly radioactive sources (e.g. medical equipment); and a greater role for industry in nuclear security to enhance the security culture and existing regulations.
Even if the summit proves a success, however, a very significant body of further work will be needed before the next and probably final NSS in Washington DC in 2016. This latter occasion will coincide with Obama’s last year in the White House and it is likely that he will want to ensure the strongest possible outcomes so that nuclear security becomes a key part of his presidential legacy. As well as initiating the NSS process, Obama has signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (NEW START) which will see Moscow and Washington reducing their deployed nuclear arsenal. The United States has also reached a preliminary nuclear deal with Iran. The ultimate success of the NSS process is likely to be determined by several key factors, including: resources, international cooperation, and whether NSS can be institutionalised after 2016. On the first issue, government budgets across much of the world are still being cutback following the 2008-09 financial crisis. In the United States, for instance, Obama has asked for some 305.5 million dollars for the U.S. International Material Protection and Cooperation Programme for Fiscal Year 2015 (which begins on October 1, 2014). This is 114 million dollars less than was given by Congress to the same programme in fiscal 2014. Secondly, it is clear that even stronger international cooperation is needed, especially between key actors like Russia, China and the United States. In this respect, much may depend upon how broad and long-lasting the freeze in relations proves between the West and Russia following tensions over Ukraine Thirdly, given that it is unlikely that the NSS agenda will be fully realised in the next two years, it is key to look beyond Obama’s presidency. While the NSS process could yet be renewed beyond 2016, it will therefore be important where possible to anchor ongoing efforts into long-standing mechanisms, including the IAEA, so that the successes of NSS are institutionalised as much as possible for the future. • Hammond was a Senior Geopolitics Consultant at Oxford Analytica, and a Special Adviser in the UK Government of Tony Blair.
16 | Monday, March 24, 2014
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Opinion The state of our press By Patrick Dele Cole HE Nigerian Press has often been described T as vibrant. It has garnered for itself the accolade by being combative – an offshoot of the resistance press that led to Nigerian independence in 1960. After 1960 the press continued to be outspoken even if some of its participants may have been ethnically and or religiously fanatical. It fanned aflame tribal differences which led to the civil war and I am not sure if we have yet overcome these strictures. Because of the tripartite power base of Nigeria the press tended to reflect this bias although, on closer examination, ironically in the later years (1985 – 2014), the minorities were the main owners of the newspaper press. But how good is the press and what has been its contribution to National development, is it fair to characterise the press as having nothing more than Dutch courage? They do not really seek uncomfortable truths? Facts should always be sacred to the press. All media have representatives in the centres of power, Aso Rock, Government Houses, National and State Assemblies, etc. These are the places where news generally is generated. But what are the fundamentals of power in our society – its functions are opaque, secretive, clannish. It is said that liberty cannot survive in a corrupt society; it is trite to describe our society as corrupt. Media – radio, newspapers, television and social media suffer from a culture of laziness, an almost criminal apathy disguised as cynicism and sometimes self-delusional in its presumed powers. I am not going into the argument as to whether our journalists are corrupt. They know themselves a lot better than I do. But I keep running into people who claim to be journalists covering events who tell me “your boys are
here” – ‘a la police’ greeting? Others tell me that their proprietors do not or have not paid them; or they have no money to pay for transport home or to the office. Should the press have a higher moral standard than the society it reports on? Yes. It seems to me that the press has done a lot of good to Nigeria but it can do more. Journalists covering a meeting, especially Government-related meetings, or large company meetings always ask for a copy of the speech, or the communiqué. There is no genuine attempt to be the basic reporter with a notebook or computer or recorder. What the news editor gets is some boiled down version of a Government or company communiqué. Those posted at airports are waiting for the politicians, Governors, Senators, etc for a friendly chat and ‘a handshake’. Big stories are not the result of painstaking investigation or even a fulsome reporting of a catastrophe. The journalist is spoon-fed stories of one calamity or another in a country replete with thousands of calamities waiting to happen. There is no enough depth in the reports. Maybe a few examples will suffice. But first a disclaimer: these examples do not in any way have anything to do with my personal views of the characters or events. It is merely to illustrate what happened in the press and how it might have been handled. We have a Bureau of Public Enterprises – but we never know what is being sold or who is buying until the process becomes a scandal if and when somebody disgruntled spills the beans. The Speaker buys the NITEL building; the fuel subsidy scandal - Otedola claims that he gave Farouk US$600,000; Dr. Okereke fights Dangote who fights Otedola. Dangote and Otedola are at loggerheads in AP; Oteh and the National Assembly exchange accusations of corruption and bribery. The list is endless. Anecdotal stories of corruption are the stuff of power and politics in Nigeria. Banks charge
22% - 26% interest rates when some of them borrow money from CBN and other institutions at four per cent. Do bank Managing Directors get bonuses, as is the culture of banks overseas? If so, how much and how often do they get it? The field is rich for pickings, but what does the press pick up? How about follow-ups on the scandals of Mrs. Ette, Bankole, Farouk, etc? Has anything changed? If so, what? How well do we avail ourselves of the benefits flowing from the Freedom of Information Act? Can the press protect whistle blowers? It is several weeks now since Lamido Sanusi announced his US$49 billion bombshell – what has happened which has not been some sort of a response to his original claims? In most countries, you will never see the Governor of the Central Bank and Ministers giving a press conference together. We are told that US$29 billion of the unaccounted US$49 billion was spent internally within NNPC system; another US$10 billion remains to be accounted for? Again, let me emphasize that I am not dealing with the veracity or otherwise of these explanations but as journalists, do we not have a duty to find out more? Are there no journalists who are impelled or motivated to go out and find out about where and what is meant by these large movements of money within one organisation? The explanations may be legitimate but the sacred duty of the journalist is to wake up to his calling – information, explanation, education and entertaining. Is U.S. $10 billion so small that we regard it as small potatoes and yet this was the amount that led Greece to bankruptcy and she had to seek a bail out! The President ordered a cessation on subsidy on kerosene – we are now going to pay over one trillion naira for that subsidy – unlawful money going to unlawful hands, and no investigation
by journalists? Why? A body known as the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, established by law, does an audit on Sanusi’s Central Bank. As journalist, what can we do? Are their figures correct, how did all this happen? How many laws have been broken and why is the police not investigating, if they are, what are they doing? A parastatal buys two cars for a Minister for one million pounds. Who gave that parastatal such authority? What is the relationship of a parastatal to a Minister? What x-rays are journalists beaming on parastatals who obviously overstep their authority, or did they? The cars are of German origin, the dealer known; has any journalist gone beyond merely stating what the enemies of the minister stated? (Did any journalist call the car maker in Germany or even the German Ambassador here to ask questions?) There are perhaps a hundred other stories hiding behind this one and our duty is to pry open as many of them as possible without fear or favour. The financial dealings of members of the National and State Assemblies are opaque – and would continue to be so until journalists, as in the UK and U.S. shone their search light on these activities? Without an inquiring mind these and other related issues will never be exposed. It was the press that brought some semblance of normality to the expenses of the Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom and in the Congress of the United States. Again let me emphasise, it is the job of the journalists that I am dealing with – how should he go about it? Not the heinousness of the alleged crimes. People are capable of almost anything. Our duty is to examine, report, re-evaluate and report again. We must to seek that journalistic holy grail: facts. This we must do endlessly, ceaselessly and unfailingly.
Advancing maternal health By Ugochukwu Jim-Nwoko PART from being members of the British Commonwealth of A Nations, Nigeria and India share the unenviable status of nations with high maternal mortality rates in the world (MMR). In a conversation with some development workers from India and the South East Asia in 2010, they complained about the high rate of maternal mortality and morbidity in their sub region. They said it was comparable to what obtained in the sub-Saharan Africa and lamented, “This is unacceptable! “. Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and most of the social and development problems facing the African continent are, to a good extent, common in Nigeria. If Nigeria could tackle its social and development problems, then a great hope would have come for the majority of Africa’s population. A prosperous and vibrant Nigerian economy and good maternal health development will impact positively on the rest of Africa just as the unemployment crisis, insecurity, corruption, bad governance have influenced the situations on the rest of the continent. Nigeria is about 170 million people, very richly endowed with mineral resources like oil and gas but the wealth of this nation is mainly controlled by very few greedy political and economic elite. The 2008 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey’s (NDHS) report on maternal health in Nigeria shows that out of every 100,000 births, 545 women lose their lives, making the country the second worst nation in maternal mortality rate. India has the worst statistics with a population of about 1.4 billion. To achieve this MDG 5 (on maternal health), India is expected to reduce maternal mortality (MMR) from 437 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1991 to 109 by 2015. For now it has only reached the 212 mark. However, 2012 reports by the Nigeria’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Office is indicative of some progress in improving reproductive health conditions in the country; although this result is not acceptable to a lot of stakeholders who insist that the process of arriving at this new record was not open to relevant stakeholders in the health sector. The MDG office in 2012 insisted that maternal and child health situations for the country have fallen drastically. According to them, maternal mortality rate is now 350 deaths of every 100,000 births as against 545 recorded by the 2008 statistics. The report also shows that while in 2008, 157 children die out of every 1,000 live births, things are looking better as 94 children now die per 1000 live births. According to Ipas Nigeria, an organisation based in Abuja that
works to increase women’s access to vital reproductive health care, unsafe abortion is one of the most significant and preventable causes of maternal death and injury in Nigeria. This position is further corroborated by Dr. Kate Ezeofor, the President-General of Umuada Igbo Nigeria and Diaspora, a women group, who said that more than 34,000 young women die from abortion and its complications every year in Nigeria. This situation and uncertainty over maternal health is sad! To this extent, all hands need to come on board to support the promotion of maternal health and reproductive wellbeing of women from diverse approaches. One of these ways is through budget analysis and monitoring of the implementation of the maternal health budgets in Nigeria. This is the missing link in the maternal and reproductive health advocacy chain in a country with a high rate of official corruption over the years. Nigeria promised to allocate 15% of its budget to health in line with 2001 Abuja Declaration and to spend $54 per health capita. Our current health budget is about six per cent and we are spending about $20 per capita yearly. There are strong indications to believe that much of these resources are not released and even the little that are released hardly go to the implementing agencies in the ministry and primary health care agencies. At a recent event in Abuja by the National Association of Public Account Committees, the World Bank’s Country Director in Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, who prior to assuming this position, served as Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo said that Nigeria has lower life expectancy and poorer development indices than countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite its relative higher per health capita as a result of corruption. The Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), recently, called on Federal Government to invest $31 million into reproductive health of women in order to reduce maternal and child mortality rate. According to the association, speaking through Professor Oladapo Ladipo “the $8.35 million, which the country committed to, at the London summit, last year, was just a drop in the ocean, which is incapable of meeting the needs of the Nigerian women who are of active reproductive stage.’’ The above call and campaign for more financial investment in the maternal health sub-sector of the Nigeria’s health system has been the pattern of advocacy, common among major stakeholders in the maternal and child health cause. This approach needs to be expanded to the extent that beyond the call for more financial commitment to maternal and child health, genuine efforts have to be made by interested and skilled stakeholders and maternal health advocates to analyse and monitor
the public resources being invested regularly and annually by different tiers of governments, donor agencies and various intervention programmes. For instance, the Federal Government of Nigeria says it is spending N16 billion through the SURE-P Maternal and Child Health launched on Monday, May 13, 2013 to run for four years (2012-2015) The project is directed at pregnant women and newborn babies. It will also directly contribute to the socio-economic development of Nigeria through improving the lives of women and children. It is expected that the gains of the project will contribute significantly towards reducing maternal and neo-natal mortality rates in Nigeria. SURE-P MCH can increase Ante-natal Care attendance by 52%, skilled birth attendance and post-natal care by 63%, and triple the number of women within target communities using family planning/child spacing services by 2015. Under the Conditional Cash Transfer component of the project, every pregnant woman that participates in the scheme will in the end get N5000 from the SURE-P MCH. According to SUREP managers, government intends to save one million lives in country by the project. These are expected results! How can these noble goals be achieved or seen to have been achieved without an effective public finance analysis and monitoring of the spending of these funds and expected outcomes and targets. Budget work will help determine if governments at different levels are really allocating and spending funds in line with its maternal health and MDGs obligations relating to women and children. A reproductive right and maternal health-based analysis of Nigeria’s situation might suggest certain policy or programme choices. Budget work can assist Federal, state and local governments, legislators and civil society organisations identify the cost of those choices and where funding for those choices might be found in the budget. The issue of resource-curse in Nigeria is a case of suffering and poor service delivery in the midst of enormous commonwealth of our nation. Also poor indicators in the social sectors, like education, health, water and sanitation cannot be blamed only on poor and insufficient allocations and investments. The challenge we face as a nation has been more as a result of the powerful and undue influence of corruption on our development process. So, as much as it is important to invest more in the health sector or maternal health specifically, so it is, to analyse and monitor the budgetary process in this area that is so critical to our national development. • Jim-Nwoko is the Executive Director of International Centre for Development and Budget Advocacy Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, March 24, 2014
TheMetroSection ‘Please, save us from land grabbers!’ • Ikorodu community under siege cries for help
Briefs Nkamuke for burial HE patriarch of Nkamuke T family in Oru West Mgbidi in Imo State, V. K. C. Nkamuke is dead, aged 77. He will be buried on Wednesday, March 26, in his hometown Imeoha, Mgbidi Autonomous Community in Imo State. A devout Christian, he is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren among whom is Uzoma Joe-Nkamuke (deputy Director of Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC).
Chukwuneke for burial HIEF J. A. Chukwuneke C (Ide Anaedo Chinyelugo), who died recently, will be
Some of the protesters By Isaac Taiwo T may sound incredible but the truth is that terrorists, who have no value for life, have taken over Morekete Community in IgbogboIkorodu, Lagos State. Their brand name is Land Snatcher Warriors (Ajagungbale) with common ruthlessness against their harmless and innocent victims. Morekete Community has a landmark of about 120 acres, with about 300 houses and over 2,000 residents. It was established in 2002 but did not commence sales of land till 2004 through the head family known as Aberija family. The Chairman, Community Development Association (CDA) of Morekete Community, Igbogbo, Iko-
PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO
rodu, Mr. Wale Obayemi speaking in a pitiable voice to The Guardian is calling on the Lagos State Government to come and rescue their community from the fury and wrath of their brutal assailants. He told their frightening story: “Our travail started December, 2012 when on the fateful day we suddenly saw commercial buses (Paragons) entering into the community with the strange visitors singing war songs and shooting sporadically into the air.” “We immediately alerted the Aberija family from whom we bought the land but to our dismay, we were rebuffed with them telling us that, that was not their business.” “Strange things began to happen to
the extent that one day, we noticed a corpse and we immediately called the attention of the family again and wrote a letter to the Police.” “Since then, we have been suffering from the hands of the warriors who harass us, beat us, rape women, steal properties and livestock.” “Our movement has been curtailed and curfew imposed. The warriors resume their operation every morning and we only have respite only at night when they suspend their operation.” “We know the family is divided, but we have refused to pitch our tent in support of any faction and had not relented in pleading with them to leave our property alone.”
According to the Secretary of the CDA, Mr. Tony Bakwenye: “It was actually two communities that later merged together to become Morekete Community.” “Our grievance is that they are making life unbearable for us and our families including our little ones as we find it difficult to continue to live under sounds of sporadic gunshots everyday.” “They are calling on us to come and re-purchase the land we bought many years ago and on what basis, we kept asking them?” “We plead with Lagos State Government to come to our rescue.” “We have taken our protest to the governor’s office as well as Lagos State House of Assembly,” he said.
Michael, Cecilia Ibru Schools celebrate Foundation Day From Chido Okafor, Warri LARGE number people from all walks of life converged at the proposed campus of the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University and Demonstration Schools at AgbaraOtor, Ughelli North Local Council, Delta state, at the weekend, to celebrate the Michael & Cecilia Foundation Day. President of the foundation, Mrs Cecilia Ibru, disclosed that, a year ago, the Commissioner for Education, Delta state, gave the foundation the go-ahead to start the Demonstration School which, according to her, is a support programme geared towards creating new educational standards in the country. The demonstration school, which is equipped with stateof-the-art facilities, incorporates a Day Care, Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools. “We also want to thank God that what we started a year
Prof. Onigu Otite, Rev. Francis Waive, Prof Uvie Igun, Mr. Festus Utuama and others at the event ago now has students and them to actualize themselves problem of educating their you can see their intellection by making sure that people children because a school is level through their performdon’t just sit back and think already there and they will ance in the University auditothe world will happen, that take advantage of that. We rium. Our mission is to they have to work at it. hope that by so doing we will produce world class students “Part of the foundations carattract the best of lecturers and we hope we’ll continue dinal objectives is to assist and professors,” Cecilia Ibru to grow and that the people the local people. For instance, said. support the school so when we would have brought peoShe disclosed that the teachers and lecturers are ple from Lagos or elsewhere Michael and Cecilia Ibru coming to work in the Unito erect this building (UniverFoundation is about working versity they won’t have a sity auditorium) but we with the people and helping
brought artisans from the local communities around to do it and by so doing the community is sitting up and realizing the need to take the opportunity that comes their way.” It was learnt that the foundation grants scholarship to the best students and that, even those who are not bright enough to make the “A or B” honour row, still benefit from one form of sponsorship or the other. The Chief Inspector of Education, Ministry of Education, Mrs Kehinde Owe Oderhohwo who delivered the keynote address at the ceremony, noted that the Foundation is a response to the call for collective responsibility towards financing education since government cannot do it alone. Guests at the event included Prof. Onigu Otite, Rev. Francis Waive , Prof Uvie Igun, and DESOPADEC Commissioner, Mr. Festus Utuama and a host of others.
buried on March 28. On Wednesday, March 26, there will be a Christianwake, while lying-in-state is on Thursday, March 27. Then, on Friday, March 28 interment holds at Chukwuneke compound, Umuezeabu, after funeral service at St. James’ Anglican Church, Ichi, Ekwusigo Local Council, Anambra State. He is survived by a wife, and 16 children including Mrs Ebele Eziamaka, a Lagosbased businesswoman.
Men’s Week begins at Praise Tabernacle HE Redeemed Christian T Church of God, Praise Tabernacle, will from today to Sunday mark its Excellent Mens’ Week, with the theme: ]The Most Excellent Way at the church auditorium, Nos. 9, 10 & 12, Ebun Street, Lawanson,Surulere, Lagos at 6.00p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday while Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 6.30p.m. daily. It will be rounded off on Sunday at 7.45a.m. and 10.00a.m. respectively. Guest minister is Pastor Noruwa Edokpolor whilehost Pastor is Amos Emovon.
Upper Room begins five-day revival PPER Room Brethren MinU istries (Interdenominational Prayer and Deliverance Ministry) will begin a five-day Open air revival from Monday, April 7 to Friday, April 11, 2014 at 6.00p.m. daily at the Open Ground, beside Railway Police Station, Mushin, Lagos. Host is Prophet Paul Adesina Esupofo Onaolapo.
Church marks Super Sunday INGDOM Purpose AssemK bly will hold its Super Sunday with the theme: “Financial Increase by Covenant” on Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 10.00am at No. 8, Balogun Street off Balogun Bus stop) off Obafemi Awolowo Way Ikeja, Lagos.
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
Monday, March 24, 2014
Youngest centenary award winner, Ayomikun Omoyiola, foresees better Nigeria By Adebisi Olonade EN-YEAR-OLD Ayomikun Omoyiola, a student of Queensland Academy, Isolo, Lagos, was the youngest Centenary award winner, a feat she achieved due to two paintings, which the Federal Government believes depictes the theme of the Centenary celebrations and modern-day Nigeria. She said: “When sometimes last year, my Arts teacher, Mr. Adewale Olakunle, came across the Centenary Award website, and brought to my attention that he planned to send one of my paintings to the Centenary Awards Committee in Abuja, I never thought it would bring me to national attention as it had done. “So, my painting entitled: ‘Peace in the Midst of the Storm’ was sent to the committee on July 19, 2013. The Federal Government was so impressed with the artwork, whose theme was to promote peace in the country and the Centenary Committee invited me to Abuja. I went with my Art Teacher. There, we met the Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. Though
there were other awardees there, because my painting stood out Senator Anyim said: “Ayomikun has made our country proud today and we are so glad to be associated with you.” The SGF bestowed on me the Peace Award and I was interviewed live by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). My teacher and others, who watched the interview, said I spoke well on the meaning of the work. However, the message of the painting, which I tried to drive home, is that even in the midst of all these crises bedeviling our country, we must always sue and promote peace. “There and then Senator Anyim commissioned me to make another painting for the grand finale of the Centenary celebration, which I was told I would be present to the President, this year. “On my return to Lagos, I set at it and out of two paintings, which I sent to Abuja, the Centenary Committee picked the last one. The committee invited me again and I went to Abuja with my Art Teacher on February 25, 2014. The painting was what fetched me the national Centenary Award, which I
Suspected cult members shoot 23-year-old man in the mouth •Sea pirates attack boat in Okpotuawari community From Willie Etim, Yenagoa UTHORITIES of the Bayelsa State Police Command have confirmed the shooting at close range and in the mouth of a 23year-old-man by some persons suspected to be members of a dreaded cult group along the Akenfa area of Yenagoa Local Council of the state. The Police also confirmed that one of the attackers was arrested a few days ago and handed over to the Anti-Kidnapping/Anti-Cultism Unit of the State Police Command for further investigation. It was reported that the victim, simply identified as Preye, was locked in argument with some members of the dreaded cult group without knowing that they were cultists. One of the cultists threatened to beat him up but his readiness to fight led another member of the group to bring out a locally made pistol and shoot him in the mouth. An eyewitness told our reporter that though the shot was not loud enough due to the noisy environment, “those close by saw the face of the victim burst into blood as he screamed once and started spitting out plenty of blood.” Those within the vicinity of the crime scene initially ran for their lives but later came back to rescue the victim and rushed him to the hospital. According to a source, the young man is currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC). Contacted on the development, the Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, confirmed the incident, noting that the Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting.” In a related development, suspected sea pirates weekend attacked a passenger boat along the Okpotuawari Community in Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State, dispossessing victims of valuables and making away with their speed- boat. The incident, which occurred at about 7:00a.m. on Saturday, left many of the victims stranded and many swam to the nearest jetty for safety. Community sources told The Guardian that the victims of the attack are mostly indigenes of Otuan Community in the same local council of Southern Ijaw. According to the source, they were on their way from a burial ceremony in a neighboring community when they were attacked. The incident of sea piracy is on the increase again along the waterways. The boys have The Police also consuddenly gone hungry and are resorting to crime, said firmed that one of the the source. A community member from attackers was arrested Azuzuama community a few days ago and claimed that operatives of the handed over to the Marine Component of the State Special Security unit Anti-Kidnapping/Antiknown as Door Akpor, arCultism Unit of the rested some suspected pirates dressed in police State Police Command uniform along the Igbomofor further investigatoru axis of Southern Ijaw Local Council. tion
Ayomikun received from President Goodluck Jonathan on February 25, during the award ceremony. “I was the last to receive award after the President had given all the awardees. Incidentally too, I also gave the President a gift: the painting I was commissioned by the Committee for the Centenary celebrations. I called it ‘United We Stand’, which advocates for unity: that even in the midst of all these chal-
President Jonathan receiving a painting from Ayomikun. Right is the Art teacher, Mr. Adewale paint people, anything or lenges and tribulations the object that I came in concountry must remain tact with or stirred my united as a nation. imagination. It’s only my On her meeting with Presimother that has any semdent Jonathan, Ayomikun blance of art because she said “The president was just designs dresses, makes smiling at me when I was cloth designs for tailors handing over the painting while my father is a banker. to him and he expressed his I get inspirations from the appreciation to me while range of courses offered in also giving me the award.” my (Queensland Academy) On what inspired her, AySchool.. I also get ideas from omikun said: “I see my the news happening painting and art talent as a around me: on TV, newspagift from God. When I was pers. When there’s someyounger, I used to draw and
thing I don’t understand, especially on current affairs, I ask my father and my Art teacher. On how she envisages the country in the next 100 years, which could be in her lifetime, Ayomikun says she wants a Nigeria, especially with her enormous human and natural resources, to be the best in the world just as the United States. “With the human and natural potential in this country, Nigeria can even surpass the super power status, ascribed to the United States of America. I feel privileged and I thank God for making me the youngest beneficiary of the Centenary award out of the millions of children in this country. I want to tell children, pupils and students that whatever they feel is their talent, they should go ahead to do it and believe in themselves that the sky is not even their limit, that they can become anything they apply themselves to.”
Lions Club donates wheelchairs, crutches to orthopaedic patients By Wole Oyebade O bring smiles to faces of the sick and less- privileged persons in Lagos, the Ikeja Unique Lions Club has donated wheelchairs and crutches to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos. The gesture was to assist some indigent people in care of the hospital, for whom walking is difficult or
impossible, due to illness, injury, or disability. Presenting the items, Chapter President of the Club, Anthony Kojo-Onwaeze said the donation was part of efforts to ease the suffering of sick people that could be helped with wheelchairs and crutches. He said the orthopaedic hospital was chosen for its numerous people with mo-
bility impairment and less privileged in the state. Kojo-Onwaeze said: “It is bad enough to be poor, but worst if one is also sick. Orthopaedic hospital is where we see many such people having bone-related problems and almost crawling on the floor because they lack support. This is why we are coming here to show them we care.
Kojo-Onwaeze (middle), Adetoba and members of Ikeja Unique Lions Club at the presentation
“Though, these items (wheelchairs and crutches) may not go round all the people that need them, but the support will go a long way in enhancing freedom and improving lives of the recipient,” he said. Kojo-Onwaeze added the donation was one of several humanitarian exercises lately carried out by the club during the 2013/14 tenure. He said further that the social services were ongoing, as the club has planned to build toilets and donated furniture to some schools in Lagos, before the end of the tenure in July. Receiving the items, Protocol Officer of the hospital, Adewunmi Adetoba, expressed appreciation on behalf of the beneficiaries, adding that more of such support would go a long way in giving succour to the sick. Adetoba said the wheelchairs and crutches would be given to female and male patients with spinal cord injuries. Other beneficiaries would be handicapped children that have waited for either a wheelchair or crutch support, including some abandoned children.
School showcases young inventors with Kiddies Brainbox By Tolulope Okunlola SCHOOL in Lagos, Penny Private School recently held a talent hunt programme, Kiddies Brainbox, designed to discover the scientists of the future. The event, which held in the school hall, showcased some inventions of the pupils such as using wood to make a moving car with battery, and using Irish potatoes to generate electricity, among others. Chairman of the occasion, Bola Olaniyan, said he was impressed with the things the pupils, who are less than 12 years old, have invented. “Some students in secondary schools and higher institutions cannot come up with these inventions, which are clearly a product o deep thinking and research.”
Seven-year-old Aniero Kosiso, who emerged winner in the competition Director of the school, year ago, which is essentially Adekunle Adeniyan, said the a ‘Do It Yourself’ project. Kiddies Brainbox started a “Kids are shown how to do
things learnt in class, then they are left alone to try and invent new things by themselves.” “It is our way of deepening education and building the country of the future when citizens will become innovators and entrepreneurs. We are also using the platform to showcase various branches in the science field.” Amongst the young inventors, seven-year-old Aniero Kosiso in Primary Four, who presented a wooden toy car that is remote-controlled emerged winner of the 2014 Kiddies Brainbox because of the simplicity of what she invented. Adeniyan urged parents to lay a solid foundation for their children’s future by choosing the right schools for them that will bring out the hidden potentials in them.
BUSINESS INTERVIEW /58, 59
Supreme Court verdict on Shangisha/Magodo land dispute awaits implementation
There is total commitment to power sector reforms, says Dagogo-Jack
PROPERTY GUIDE /37
MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
CBN unveils two-year monetary policy guidelines By Chijioke Nelson hE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained its Medium-Term Framework for the conduct of monetary policy in 2014 and 2015. The rationale for the framework and sustenance, according to the document titled: “2014/2015 Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade and Exchange Policy Guidelines”, was anchored on the fact that it helps monetary policy to hit the ultimate goal. CBN explained that the framework would enable it avoid over-reaction to temporary shocks and time inconsistency problems associated with frequent changes in policies. It also said the policy direction in the document was designed to sustain the gains that the “bank has recorded in recent times with respect to its monetary policy objective of price stability. According to the document, banks shall now remit Customs duties, Value Added Tax, and other revenue collections on behalf of the Federation and Federal Government by the next working day. “Banks that fail to remit the collections within the speci-
• Sanctions banks for late remittance of govt revenue • To evolve collateral registry for movable assets fied period shall pay interest for late remittance as may be determined by the CBN,” it stated. Perhaps, the move was to strengthen the policy objectives of sustaining the tightening of the financial sysCash especially tem, reserve requirement on public sector funds, which was raised to 75 per cent. Meanwhile, the apex bank has unfolded plans to collaborate with other stakeholders to evolve initiatives that would facilitate the development of SMEs in 2014 and 2015. Already, there are ongoing arrangements to establish the Secured Transaction and National Collateral registry, which will facilitate the use of movable assets as collateral for either business or consumer credit. This is aimed at substantially enhancing access to credit through the diversification of the scope of eligible assets for collateral purposes. other Small and Medium initiatives Enterprises’ include a N200 billion restructuring and refinancing facility, established to re-finance and restructure banks’ existing loan portfo-
Zenith Bank, GTB, others buoy NSE’s turnover by N19.4b By Helen Oji TUrNoVEr of 1.391 bilA lion shares worth N19.414 billion was exchanged in 22,527 deals by investors on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week. The transactions were in contrast to a total of 1.989 billion shares valued at N15.098 billion that changed hands in 21,948 deals in the previous week. Specifically, the financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.124 billion shares valued at N11.977 billion traded in 13,085 deals; thus contributing 80.79 per cent and 61.70 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The consumer good industry followed with a turnover of 86.061 million shares worth N4.960 billion in 4,282 deals.
The third place was occupied by the conglomerates industry with 78.954 million shares worth N461.835 million in 1,218 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely- Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 440.315 million shares worth N8.073 billion in 4,969 deals, contributing 31.66 per cent and 41.58perr cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. Also traded during the week were 152,511 units of Exchange Traded Products
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lios to manufacturers at seven per cent a year. Also, the N200 billion SMEs Credit Guarantee Scheme
established to encourage banks to lend to productive sectors of the economy, by providing 80 per cent guar-
antee on loans granted by banks to SMEs and manufacturers would be sustained in 2014 and 2015.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund- a N220 billion initiative, designed
CONTINUE ON PAGE 22
Vice-President, Taleveras Petroleum,Jeffrey Hartman (left); Co-Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Energy, Scott Aitken; Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc,Herbert Wigwe; and Chief Executive Officer, Oildata Energy,Emeka Ene, all panellist on overcoming challenges and supporting the growth of indigenous producers at the recently concluded 2014 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference, in Abuja.
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MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
‘Nigeria overtakes UK in Internet access’ By Adeyemi Adepetun OING by the latest ranking of global information techG nology access, Nigeria may
have overtaken the United Kingdom in terms of Internet access. According to statistics released by market research and statistics specialists, digitXplus, the digital Unit of mediaReachOMD, Nigeria, the country has recorded a 200 per cent growth in Internet users between 2009 and 2013. The figures also indicated that Nigeria, which tied at 55 million Internet users with United Kingdom in 2012, took 14 per cent leap garnering about 62.4 million Internet users above UK with increase of just two million (57 million) users in 2013. The report released in Lagos, quoted Euromonitor as its pri-
mary source and analysed digital growth across the world from 2009 - 2013 as follows: Digital users grew across the globe from 1.748 billion to 2.677 billion showing a growth rate of 53 per cent 2009/13. Of these figures, emerging and developing countries took the lead in the digital users over developed countries growing from 1.011 billion users in 2009 to 1.834 billion users in 2013 as against developed countries growth rate of 737 million users in 2009 to just 843 million users in 2013. That is a growth of 81 per cent to 14 per cent (2009/13) in favour of emerging and developing countries. The report further breaks the digital users by region. While it recorded 721 million users to 1.214 billion 68 per cent user growth rate 2009/13 for Asia Pacific region; it shows steady
growth in the Americas with the following figures: 426 million users in 2009 to 573 million users by 2013 representing 34 per cent growth rate in 2009/13. The report has it that the whole of Europe managed 28 per cent growth in 2009/13 covered by it. This represents an increase in number of users in Europe from 436 million in 2009 to 559 million in 2013. The Middle East and Africa leads the other regions of the world in digital users growth with an encouraging 112 per cent growth rate in 2009/13. In just five years, the region more than double its number of Internet users. The digital users of the region grew from 145 million users in 2009 to 308 million users representing 112 per cent growth rate as against the rest of the world. More importantly, the sub-
!"#$%&'($)"(&!"%*+,-&./0102&34%$5+2&6-7"8& !"#$%&'($)"(&!"%*+,-&./0102&34%$5+2&6-7"8& DOW S&P 5 500 00 N ASDAQ NASDAQ T TR RU US S IINDEX NDEX & FTSE 100 F TSE 1 00 D AX DAX C CAC AC 4 40 0 TR EUROPE T R EU ROPE & NIKKEI NIKKEI HANG H ANG SENG SEN G SENSEX SEN SEX &
16,302.77 1,866.52 4,276.79 170.85
-28.28 -5.49 -42.50 -0.50
-0.17% -0.29% -0.98% -0.29%
6,557.17 9,342.94 4,335.28 175.89
+14.73 +1 4.73 +4 6.82 +46.82 +7 +7.37 .37 +0.26 +0 .26
+0.23% +0 .23% +0 +0.50% .50% +0.17% +0.17% +0.15% +0.15%
+254.54 +2 54.54
Saharan Africa sub-region where Nigeria belongs experienced an astronomical 143 per cent growth moving from a paltry 61 million users in 2009 to 148 million users by 2013. Between the years covered by the review, Nigeria maintained its lead in the growth number of Internet users in Africa. The country moved from 30.9 million users in 2009 to a whopping 62.4 million users in 2013 representing 102 per cent growth rate in 2009/13. Egypt is second behind Nigeria with 39.7 million users in 2013 moving from
its 19.5 million users recorded in 2009. This represents 103 per cent growth rate in 2009/13 for the politically troubled country. However, Nigeria’s lead in terms of volume can be said to be due to the country’s increasing awareness and adoption in digital and not as a result of swelling population. Whereas, Nigeria experienced just 14 per cent growth margin in the five years under scrutiny, Ethiopia grossed 23 per cent, Mozambique and Congo 22 per cent each, while Zambia and Kenya experi-
enced 20 per cent and 18 per cent growth margin respectively. Sahara pearl, Morocco experienced the lowest Internet usage growth rate in the continent with just four per cent in five years. According to the Managing Director of digitXplus, Patrick Gomes, with 62.4 million Internet users, Nigeria surely has huge marketing opportunities window waiting to be explored. The growing number of Internet users in the country has increased penetration of the digital as a medium from 27 per cent in 2011 to
Policy guidelines task banks deposit mobilisation CONTINUE FROM PAGE 21 to provide wholesale facilities, refinancing and guarantee to MSMEs operators, will commence in 2014. The Fund will also provide liquidity support to microbanks/microfifinance nance institutions for onlending to MSMEs, which 60 per cent of will be devoted to women entrepreneurs. It also directed that banks, in the computation of their cost of funds, should employ the weighted average cost of funds framework. By this framework, the items cost applicable include banks’ interest cost on the different types of deposit liabilities, borrowings from the inter-bank funds market, payments in respect of deposit insurance premium and costs due to reserve requirements. However, the overhead costs associated with opera-
tions are excluded in this framework. The apex said encouraged banks to improve their mobilization deposit efforts, in line with the financial inclusion initiative. The development would however, necessitate banks to allow zero balances for bank new opening accounts so as to make banking services accessible to the unbanked public. Accordingly, banks are also encouraged to develop new would that products improve access to credit and simplify their account opening processes, without compromising the KnowrequireYour-Customer ments. Interest rates’ determination in 2014 and 2015 were also consigned market forces, with the level and direction being indirectly influenced by CBN’s anchor rate- Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
However, interest rates chargeable by banks in 2014 and 2015 on current account deposits shall continue to be as negotiated, while the reducing balance method shall be employed for calculating interest charges on loans repayable instalmentally. Also, during the period under review, a statement of account shall be rendered promptly, to each account holder, minimally, on a monthly basis free of charge, with details of interest on savings deposits, to be calculated on a customer’s account as at the end of each month. “Banks shall continue to design their savings pass books (manual/electronic) in a way that clearly shows the applicable interest rate, savings balances on which interest calculation is based, and the period for which interest is calculated and paid.
+0.01% +0.01% Financial stocks buoy market turnover CONTINUE FROM PAGE 21 (ETPs) valued at N3.131 million executed in 23 deals compared with a total of 4.283 million units valued at N82.146 million transacted last week in 102 deals. Similarly, 3,350 units of FGN bonds valued at N3.751 million were traded this week in seven deals, compared with a total of 12,896
units of FGN bonds valued at N14.551 million transacted last week in seven deals. The NSE All-Share Index and capitalization market depreciated by one per cent to close on Friday at 37,790.12 and N12.139 trillion respectively. All the NSE Indices depreciated during the week with the exception of the NSE Banking Index, while the
NSE ASeM closed flat. A total of 19 equities appreciated in prices during the week, higher than 18 equities of the preceding week and 56 equities depreciated in prices, lower than 65 equities of the preceding week, while 123 equities remained unchanged, higher than 115 equities in the previous week.
!"##$%&'()*+,$( Currency EUR/USD GBP/USD USD/JPY USD/CHF USD/CAD AUD/USD (
Last 1.3795 1.6484 102.23 0.88300 1.1218 0.90810
Day High ---0.88300 ---
Day Low ---0.88300 ---
% Change ---+0.00% ---
Bid 1.3795 1.6484 102.23 0.88300 1.1218 0.90810
Ask 1.3800 1.6489 102.30 0.88340 1.1224 0.90860
Monday, March 24, 2014
THE GUARDIAN www.ngrguardiannews.com
MONEY & BANKING
Investment bank raises hope on FDIs’ inflow By Chijioke Nelson CZELLON Capital, an E investment bank, said there is huge capital on the queue waiting to be invested in the nation’s economy, with much already in the country through Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). The Chief Executive Officer of Eczellon Capital, Diekola Onaolapo, who made the observation during a media parley on the activities of the bank, in Lagos, at the weekend, said that contrary to the view that it is only capital flight, players in the industry would attest to the fact that there is foreign capital inflow as well. According to him, “what we in the industry, that also
engage external partners know is that capital is actually queuing to come to Nigeria. People are interested in the market because of the kind of returns and opportunities here, which are not present in other markets. “While other markets may be relatively safer, no investor would also want to stay entirely away from great opportunities that are present in emerging markets like Nigeria and Africa as a whole,” he said. Speaking of the company’s sojourn in its three years of existence, he said that professionalism, quest for excellence and passion have hallmarked their operations and successes.
Onaolapo “We were incorporated to carry on the business of consulting, investment banking and financial advisory services and licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to oper-
ate as an Issuing House. “We are investment bank that creates opportunities for you to attain your dreams, by delivering tailored solutions based on an understanding of your needs. We have executed several transactions for both private and public sector clients, in just three years of operations,” he said. He pointed out that the bank’s transactions are preceded by obtaining deep level knowledge about a client’s need through research, and then custom solutions are proffered based on this need, which has made the company the preferred choice among clients. Already, the company has
worked with the different tiers of government across Africa to provide financing for socio-economic projects and initiate strategies for Internally Generated Revenue. It has also worked with corporate businesses and individuals, giving expert business and financial advisory in different sectors of the economy and currently an advisor many investors in the on-going National Integrated Power Project’s divestment, with responsibilities spanning transaction coordination and capital sourcing. “We worked with some bidding consortia as Transaction Advisors, with responsibilities including,
but not limited to co-ordination of the bid process, identification and engagement of Technical Service Providers and other required professionals, preparation and packaging of bid documents, and capital raising, which we effectively delivered. “Today, the company has evolved into one of the fastest growing industrial group of Nigerian origin with presence across West Africa, Gulf of Guinea and the Middle East, with subsidiaries across the broad spectrum of the energy space- exploration and production, operation and maintenance, marine logistics and ports services, gas processing and power generation,” he added.
22 Monday, March 24, 2014
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EQUITY MARKET SUMMARY
MARKET REPORT AS AT 21=03=2014
PRIMERA AFRICA www.primera-africa.com
Monday, March 24, 2014 MARKETREPORT | 23
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AS AT 21=03=2014
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Outbound Medical Tourism: Result of a Poor Healthcare System
Monday, March 24, 2014 25
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Personal Income Tax for Public Office Holders - Leading by Example
Monday, March 24, 2014
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MONEY & BANKING
Al-Hayat Microfinance Bank makes debut HE Islamic banking model may have advanced further T in the country with the coming on stream of Al-Hayat Microfinance Bank Limited. The bank, which origin started 18 years ago as Al-Hayat Relief Foundation, moved through phases to become an interest-free cooperative society, with six persons as pioneering members. Speaking at the official launch of the microfinance bank, its Chairman, Asif Olatubosun Azeez, the initiative was by the curiosity to end hardship forced on Muslim and non-Muslim through loans by lenders who charged excessive interest. Already, Al-Hayat Relief Foundation has 51 branches spread across Ogun, Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Kwara states with about 8, 550 at present, which may automatically become its customers with the new status. “As a registered faith-based organisation, we have succeeded in practicing interestfree loan to our members, Islamic Insurance (Takaful), trading (Tijarah), empowerment through technical and financial assistance, and capacity building through workshops and seminars,” he said. Azeez noted that shift to new business model started two years ago after much deliberations among the stakeholders and several consultations with professionals.
“Our vision in the banking industry is to maximise welfare of the stakeholders, while delivering excellent financial services without any form of discrimination. Interestingly, Christians were the very first set of customers that benefitted from the bank since we commenced the ‘pilot testing. “The licensed Al-Hayat Microfinance Bank Limited is aimed at championing
human welfarism by providing timely, diversified and affordable financial services to the probably neglected economically active poor, which would be achieved through professionalism, enthusiasm, prudence, trust in God, integrity and team work and strict compliance with Central Bank of Nigeria’s rules and regulations,” he said.
Citibank urges attention on governance issues By Faith Oparaugo HE Managing T Director/Chief Executive Officer of Citibank Nigeria Limited, Omar Hafeez said that there was need for critical attention on governance issues by corporates, as it was the single most important factor for global attractiveness. Speaking at the Capital Petroleum Information Energy conference at the weekend, Hafeez said that the relevance of local companies in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria was continuously increasing. He noted that access to capital, whether debt or equity, would contribute to success, while wider, global pool, if tapped would open newer vistas for the local players.
Also speaking Managing Director/Chief Executive Director of Union Bank Plc, Emeka Emuwa noted that the oil, gas and power sector in Nigeria remained key drivers of the country, adding that in the past, lack of investment was the main challenges, but in the recent time, the numbers were still not growing unless we invested in it. According to him, the oil sector was a wide limited investment area that needed more investment for it to grow. He continued that things like policy, which was uncertain, the security in the environment and the financial system in the sector were not deep enough, adding that this factors needed to be improved to yield more investment in the sector.
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Monday, March 24, 2014
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Quantity surveyors propose new infrastructure funding framePage 47 work
Court backs firm, occupiers in Idejo Towers landlord, tenant dispute
Developer woos buyers with choice homes in Mansfield Court
MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
Shangisha/Magodo land dispute: Supreme Court judgment dangles Will the Supreme Court verdict, which gave ownership of Shangisha/Magodo land in Lagos State, be ever implemented? Will the winners of the 27-year legal battle to reclaim their landed property ever repossess their dream prime landed property? These are parts of the many questions stakeholders are asking…
Litigation By David Ogah WO years after the Supreme T Court of Nigeria unanimously held the claims of the original Shangisha/Magodo landlords to a large portion of prime Lagos landed property, the fate of the winners still hangs in the balance, and this has heightened the struggle by the displaced landlords. IT took them 27 years of judicial struggle to get justice and the order that they should be compensated for forcing them out of their original homes in 1984. But before then, some of them had died, others have become frail and weak due to old age. The battle actually commenced in 1984 when Lagos State government acquired
Aerial view of Magodo in Lagos, recently their land for public use. But the state later sold the same plots of land to private concerns in the area, which today is regarded as one of the prime areas of the Lagos metropolis. But the verdict of the apex’s court gave 549 plots of land in the same area to the landlords. They won the suit from
the trial court through to the last and highest court in the land. Coming under the Shangisha Landlord Association, they claimed at the lower courts that they purchased various plots of land from different families, who owned the entire Shangisha village, situ-
ated behind Centre for Management Development (CMD) and opposite the Lagos State Government Secretariat in Alausa, which had been in existence for many countries. According to them, they built their houses on the plots purchased by them and were in possession for several years.
They argued that they were not served with any contravention or demolition notices by the government before demolition and development at Shangisha village. They told the lower courts that the demolition continued from June 1984 to May 1985. In their submission, they
said they made representation to the government of Lagos State culminating in several meetings before they resorted to litigation at the High Court of Lagos on June 17, 1988 in a representative capacity for themselves and on behalf of other members of Shangisha Landlord Association to seek an order that they be given ‘‘first choice preferential treatment in the allocation and 1 or (as soon as possible) re-allocation of their particular plots as agreed in a meeting held on October 16, 1984 with the ministry of lands, housing and development matters.’’ The government had also argued at the lower courts that Shangisha village was part of 7,300 acres of land compulsorily acquired by the state government under Notice No 236 of 14th October, 1969 and published in Lagos State official gazette No 35, Vol. 2 of 24 of October 1969. “As a result of the acquisition that the land became vested in the Lagos State government by virtue of the public land acquisition vesting order of 1976 published in Lagos State Legal Notice No 7 of 1976 in the Lagos State Extraordinary Gazette No 25 Volume 9 of 8th June 1976.” It said the landlords were not physically on the site at the time of acquisition. “They squatted and erected buildings on the land without the
CONTINUED ON PAGE 34
We have kept faith, delivered on our promises, says Eleh Ibom 2014 By Chinedum Uwaegbulam the introducFtheOLLOWING tion of online platform for marketing of properties
and services, about 236 firms have been registered in the newly introduced NIESV Multiple Listing Service, and the site recorded about 39,707 hits or views in January 2014 alone, according to Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors (NIESV), President, Mr. Emeka Eleh. Eleh, who spoke on milestone achieved and a new momentum in reaching a goal of making NIESV Multiple Listing Service platform a market place, also disclosed plans of ensuring the new estate
This week, the current National Executive Council of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and valuers(NIESV) will bow out in style after two years in office. NIESV President, Mr. Emeka Eleh says they have kept faith with their promises, and brought reform to the noble profession. agency body - Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria, remains the umbrella of estate agency body in Nigeria as a step towards realizing long desire to bring its practice under control and ensuring minimum set standards for all p r a c t i t i o n e r s . “We have tried our very best these past two years to keep faith with the promises and with every sense of modesty, we have made tremendous
achievements. Already several estate agency bodies are joining the new association embloc, which is quite encouraging and they now have full-fledged branches in Lagos and Abuja, “ he said. He said: “We have sustained the advocacy campaign on the all important issue of land reform. Our belief is that a holistic reform of our land tenure system holds immense potentials for our profession
Eleh and for the economic development of the Country. On housing and mortgage matters, Eleh said: “The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) initiative
championed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria is a key component of the Government’s housing finance programme with the principal objective of addressing the long term funding constraints hindering the growth of the primary mortgage market. “It is essentially a government inspired but private sector driven effort to provide affordable mortgages to Nigerians with interest rates expected to be in the high single digits or low double digits range according to the Minister for Finance. It is an initiative that is expected to impact
immensely on the housing sector and should open more transaction avenues for our members as affordable mortgages become available.” For him, the endemic problem of data in real estate industry is being tackled, with the successful test run of the pilot scheme in Lagos. According to Eleh, one of the highlights of this year’s Annual General Meeting and 44th National Conference at Uyo will be the formal launch of the Data bank report covering Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. “In order to sustain this vital programme, the Council has approved the retention of one of the persons directly engaged in the project in
CONTINUED ON PAGE 34
32 Monday, March 24, 2014
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Towards sustainable, livable Nigerian cities Forum was the International IfirstTlabour Organisation that used the term ‘informal sector’ through a report on Kenya in 1972, although Keith Hart had earlier conceptualised the idea of informality in 1971 when he examined the ‘heterogeneous phenomena’ serving as a sources of livelihood in Ghana. Hart’s work was only published in 1973. Ever since, the formal-informal duality has gained prominence in urban discourse. Informality is often defined as the opposite of formality and usually connoted as unplanned, unregulated, illegal, extra-legal, unregistered, unruly and untaxed. Some scholars believe informality and formality in cities are complementary, thereby seeing informality as benign. Others harp on the tension and conflict between both, only to cloak informality with negativity. Urban Informality is usually expressed in manufacturing, trade, services, transport, housing and other socio-economic spheres. For example, for habitation, migrants from the countryside and poor city-borns build houses from crappy materials or invade rundown buildings – whether they are located at the city’s centre, on waterfronts, by rail lines or in interstitial/leftover spaces. Informally developed indigenous, pre-independ-
Makoko floating school, recently
The sobering fact is that urban informality cannot be obliterated, says OLUMUYIWA ADEGUN, a doctorate candidate at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He argued that slum residents’ livelihood can be re-asserted and their environment improved upon ence urban villages that precede the formally planned city also provide shelter for poor urbanites. These areas lack basic services – sanitation, water, electricity, waste management, in addition to substandard housing and overcrowding.
Social infrastructure is also usually inadequate, leading to unhealthy, unsafe and socio-economically vulnerable conditions. Over sixty percent of the urban population presently live in these areas, which are regarded as slums and informal settlements,
going by United Nation Human Settlement Programme’s (UN-HABITAT) estimation. These informal neighbourhoods are the sites of urban crime and grime, but they also usually contain deposits of sporting and entertain-
ment talents. Blight thrives there, but creativity is also not lacking among the residents. These are hotspots of political activities during electioneering campaigns. It is just that once votes are cast, and the winners occupy their offices, ‘political sclerosis’ usually set in. Thus the slum dweller-electorate is forgotten, or worst still, they are visited with embarrassing intervention measures by the elected officials. Going beyond the formal-
informal duality, and the accompanying dialectical flurry as expressible in habitation, what should be done? First, what should not be done? The phenomenon of urban informality should not be demonised, compulsorily criminalised, violently vilified nor unduly romanticised. The sobering fact is that informality cannot be obliterated. For example, if forceful eviction of slum dwellers takes place without consideration of adequate and affordable alternative shelter, it only means an offset of informality in housing. The condition is going to metamorphose into something much more difficult to handle. So, it cannot be demonised in order to be exorcised. On the other extreme, unduly romanticising it implies a tacit support for the untoward, which is a sure path to self-destruction. What then should be done? It is important to learn from informality. Professionals need to lace their boots and get it dirty through engagement with the muddy and complex context of informal urbanism. Policy makers need to open their minds and learn from these not-so-comfortable domains. To tackle urban informality, which actually is an ‘elephant in the room’, the state need to be schooled on what, for example informal settlements, offer and does not offer in order to handle it appropri ately.
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Developer woos buyers with choice homes in Mansfield Court Projects By Emmanuel Badejo O fewer than 14 choice N homes, packaged, as Mansfield Court will be open for occupation in less than five weeks from now. The mini-estate is located in the heart of a vibrant Lekki Peninsula, Phase II, opposite House On The Rock Auditorium, along the LekkiAjah corridor. The residential apartments, promoted by Wiltshire Hathaway Estates Limited, is sited near prestigious estates like Nicon Town estate, has been described as a bespoke development of some 14 contemporary luxury apartments. Mansfield Court boasts of a mixture of shops, businesses, private homes and residential estates in its vicinity making it popular as an area that is becoming the most premium residential address in town. The project site, which is fully serviced, has fourteen units of three bedroom luxury apartment with two balconies, separated staff quarter, and all rooms ensuite fitted kitchen. Also it prides itself of modern power elevators, two allocated car parking spaces, borehole with water treatment facility, recreational area, quiet neighbourhood, easy access to nearby amenities such as supermarket, transport, 24-hour standby power supply 24-
An illustration of proposed units in Mansfield Court, Lekki, Lagos hour security and access control. Going price ranges between N40million and N45million, but the location of the estate, which is around the Lagos Lagoon, is also a compelling point for would be buyers to key into t6he project, said to remain only 6 out of the entire fourteen units.
Speaking with The Guardian, the company’s Marketing Manager, Mr. Bobby Agwu said the estate, which occupies a total of 1,600 square metres, has a title of governor consent. He added that the contractor, Samdek Global Investment Limited has been working on the project to ensure prompt delivery, which he
put at three weeks time. According to him, the developer, Wiltshire Hathaway is a proud Nigerian real estate developer with a reputation for originality, excellence and dynamism. “We deliver innovative, high quality residential and commercial property developments throughout Nigeria concentrated prima-
rily in Lekki, Lagos State.” As a company, he continued, “we believe that in this day and age, being a responsible property developer is far more than just buildings. We believe we should make a vital contribution to the landscape and to the communities we help create, and to the environment as a whole.”
Agwu said sustainability is vital to the way Wiltshire Hathaway operates. “Our aim is to lead the way in sustainable developments by raising the standards in four key areas: delivering sustainable communities, building greener homes, running a sustainable business and enhancing the customer experience.”
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LITIGATION Lagos, Shangisha landlords lock horns over Supreme Court judgment PROPERTY GUIDE
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 knowledge and approval of the Lagos State government as no building plans were issued to them to erect the illegal structures. Contravention and demolition notices were duly served on the affected buildings and structures before the state government carried out the demolition of illegal structure.’’ The case continued until December 29, 1993 when the first judgment was delivered at the Lagos High Court in favour of the Landlords Association, which was asked to be allocated 549 plots of land as compensation for their demolished property. The Lagos State government was aggrieved by the judgment and filed an appealed against the lower court judgment at the appeal court, which after hearing the appeal, gave its judgment on 25 of September 2001, dismissing the appeal. The government was again not satisfied by the decision of the lower court, and filed another appeal at the
Supreme Court, which gave it judgment in 2012. Justice Olufumilola Oyelola, who delivered the judgment said, “in the instant appeal at this juncture, there are two concurrent findings of facts of the two lower courts. The Supreme Court will not ordinarily disturb concurrent findings of fact made by the high court and the court of appeal unless a substantial error apparent on the face of the record of proceedings is shown or when such findings are perverse. “On going through the record, it is my conclusion that the court has no duty to interfere with the decisions of the two lower courts, I resolve this issue in favour of the respondents. This court appreciates the magnanimity of the Lagos State government in the proposal to effect an amicable settlement of the matter. The ball is now in the court of the counsel to the respondents who has the statutory duty to advise them properly to give the government their maximum co-operation in the execution of this judgment.’’
Two years after the Supreme Court judgment, Lagos State seems not to be enjoying the best of time as it has tried many times to execute the judgment and discharge itself the burden and the pains of the judgment to no avail. In the first attempt, the government had on December 9 last year called the judgment creditors for a meeting to fine tune strategies that might lead to the execution of the judgment. Although the landlords were not at the parley, they were represented by their lawyers, Mr. Kayode Sofola (SAN) and Chief H.A. Ogiren, who rejected, on behalf of their clients, the offer of alternative land allocation at Makoto in Badagry. The state government said at the meeting, presided over by the state’s Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), that though it acknowledged the Supreme Court judgment, which ordered it to compensate the displaced landlords with 549 plots in Magodo area, the
lands in the area had since been sold out, adding that allottees have been threatening to drag it to court if certificates of occupancy on their land allocation are revoked by the state. Considering the litigation that may follow should it execute the Supreme Court judgment to the letter, it therefore urged them to accept its offer of 549 plots in Badagry. Early this year, the state government wrote the landlords to invite them for a joint inspection of the Badagry land it was planning to allocate to them. They refused to honour the invitation and instead, they wrote through one of their lawyers, Chief H.A Ogiren to the Lagos state Commissioner of Justice to state their grounds of rejection of offer of land allocation at Badagry instead of Shangish/Magodo as contained in the verdict. They said the state government cannot be at ease with itself because they ought not to sell land in the disputed area if it had obeyed the court order of 1992, which restrained it from selling any plot of land in Magodo pending the determination of the litigation of the areas at the court. “In the first place, it is our contention that the said lands in dispute were vacant and not allotted during the pendency of this case.”
The landlords who insisted on the content of the Supreme Court judgment in the settlement of the 28 year land dispute said the state and developers in the area acted in contempt of the court which in 1992 ordered that “all persons to whom any Certificate of Occupancy had been purportedly issued after the institution of this case should not carry out any building operation on any plot of land involved in this matter pending the final determination of this case.” They argued that even when the content of the 1992 court order was advertised, the state and developers “refused to comply with the subsisting court orders and continued to allocate the land in dispute to allot tees,” who they said also acted in contempt by carrying out building operations. According to them, Lagos State government should not be pitied in its present predicament when they said the order to maintain status quo in the disputed area was handed out by Justice R.A. Omotosho in 1992 and was followed by another warning from late Justice Akinola Aguda in 1999, when as the chairman of the Tribunal of inquiry probing land in Lagos State, asked all land developers in Magodo/Shangisha Scheme II and Ikosi GRA to desist from further develop-
ment pending the final determination of all litigations on lands in the area. Defending their action at the parley at state secretariat towards the end of last year, the landlords said they rejected the offer of land allocation at Badagry also because “We do not have any document of title to support the land at Makoto in Badagry unlike our Shangisha/Magodo land which is legally supported by the Supreme Court judgment. In their letter to the Commissioner of Justice, the Magodo landlords said the State Attorney General had once promised them that their land was intact, but “you will agree with us that the reverse is now the case. They argued that few months after the Supreme Court judgment, a joint inspection of Magodo Scheme II land was carried out by the landlords and state government officials, adding that no fewer than 300 plots were still available and undeveloped. According to them, the matter could be settled if those plots were allocated to them by revoking previous Certificates of Occupancy already issued. The joint inspection, they said was carried out, during the first attempt to execute the Supreme Court judgment.
Estate surveyors gear up for Ibom 2014 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 order to ensure that the data is reviewed periodically such as half yearly and also extended to other cities. I believe that this project will go a long way in improving the quality and accuracy of our valuations and advisory services.” Speaking on the proposed use of Pseudo names in business practice, Eleh disclosed, “we are awaiting the approval of our Supervising Ministry, the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for the use of Pseudo names to practice having earlier obtained ESVARBON’s approval in this regard. I believe that the use of Pseudo names will go a long way in fostering the creation of bigger partnerships, which will further deepen the P r o f e s s i o n . ” On lack of permanent secretariat in Abuja, NIESV President, noted, “our secretariat has been reorganised and equipped for better efficiency and greater perform-
ance. We have witnessed improved service delivery and better effectiveness these last two years. “The Institution has now been reallocated Plot No. 1930, Cadastral Zone E13 in the Kyami District of Abuja (off Airport Road) with a total size of 6,690.11m2. The Institution was allocated a plot for which we paid a total of N7, 980,769.71 in 2003. We are yet to obtain the planning approval, after all necessary documentation for the approval has been submitted to FCDA.” On the lingering issue of EFCC harassment of members on real estate-based transactions, he explained that “throughout the tenure of this administration, the EFCC issue remained a major cause of concern until recently when we had a very useful meeting with the new Director of the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering (SCUML) of EFCC and complained that our members were being compelled to render reports of their transactions .”
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Builders seek certification for craftsmen, artisans Professional Practice By Tunde Alao IVEN the incessant loss of G lives and property as a result of collapsed buildings, the regulatory body for builders has enjoined the Federal Government to map out strategies that will ensure that only regulatory certified craftsmen and artisans are offered jobs within the construction industry. Chairman, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), Prof. Kabiru Bala, who made the submission at the “Skill upgrading of Artisans and Craftsmen
The builders are urging the government to standardise the training of artisans and craftsmen to reduce drastically indices of poor construction delivery that is prevalent in the Nigerian society today. Training,” held at Cyprian Ekwensi, Area 10, Garki, Federa Capital Territory (FTC), Abuja last week, said such certification would reduce drastically indices of poor construction delivery that is prevalent in the Nigerian today. society Bala, who is also a professional builder, said the programme was put in place to
ensure that artisans and craftsmen’s skills meet the current challenges in the construction industry. Besides, training of Nigerians tradesmen and artisans is key to adding value and quality output of building proje c t s . According to him, the Council was established in
Lasabi 1989 to regulate and control the Building Technology Profession in all aspects and ramifications in Nigeria. He
UK, Kogi State partner on land reforms, investment Land Matters From John Okeke, Abuja HE United Kingdom (UK) T Department for International Development (DFID) and the Kogi Government have entered into partnership to carry out land reforms within the state. This is part of the DFID’s strategy to promote growth and employment in states through its GEMS3 project. The state government, in its readiness, has commenced a Systematic Land Titling and Registration (SLTR) process in selected LGAs in the state. The aim of the activity, according to a statement made released by GEMS3 Communications expert, Victoria Ndoh, is to ensure
that land owners and users especially women and orphans have an opportunity to register their lands and obtain certificates of ownership. “The state government has simplified the SLTR process and have made the cost of obtaining a Certificate of Ownership affordable to ensure that everyone regardless of social standing is be able to obtain a C of O. The SLTR process, which commenced in selected villages in the Kabba-Bunu LGA of the state in November 2013 will also be scaled up to other LGAs in the state. “Public display of lands, which have already been registered will commence on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. This activity will give land owners, who have commenced
the registration process an opportunity to verify their details and ensure that the rightful owners of the lands are registered,” it said. It explained that land reforms in the state have been linked to investment promotion, as the site for the proposed Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ) in Kogi State is located in the Kabba-Bunu LGA. The statement reads in part: “The SCPZ is set aside for investors to set up processing plants for agricultural products and this will be an opportunity to build credibility among international investors. One of the world’s largest food processing companies, Cargill, has shown interest in the SCPZ and will be setting up their processing plant in 2014. “The SCPZ could play a
major role in increasing income for the state government and registered land owners, who will sell or rent out their lands to investors and as well as create jobs in the state. “Increased investment promotion in Nigerian states will boost the investment climate and in turn attract investors to sectors of the economy with high growth and employment potential such as agriculture. Kogi State is ripe and ready to showcase its investment opportunities and attract investors from different parts of the world.”
also noted that the training would bring the desired development for builders, who constantly seek for qualified tradesmen and artisans in their respective building production and maintenance project deliveries. He said, “the Nigerian Institute of Building has been doing a great job in the professional training of various cadres of builders, craftsmen and artisans in Nigeria. Hence the Nigerian Institute of Builders’ (NIOB), involvement in the training is apt and commendable. We hope that this kind of training should be sustained and within the next five years the result will make Nigeria as the hob of quality craftsmen and artisans supply within Africa rather depending on our neighbours for such skills.” NIOB President, Mr. Tunde Lasabi, in his remarks, said the training represents a way of enhancing and empowering those categories of Nigerians in the built environment towards not only becoming better artisans and craftsmen, but also improving their chances of economic well-being by way of employment. Lasabi stated that the programme, which was intended for bricklayers, tilers, electricians, plumbers, iron benders, painters and Plaster of Paris (POP) personnel will create opportunity for self employment, prepare the
artisans for the job ahead as key partakers in the government mass housing programme, and to enable them perfect their skills in line with global best practices. “It is also strongly believed that this programme will improve the skills of already acknowledged artisans and craftsmen. There is no doubt that this programme could not have come at any better time than now. “The built environment in Nigeria today, is bedevilled with incessant, but avoidable building collapse occasioned by not only the use of poor quality materials but poor workmanship of which craftsmen and artisans are the main players. This leads to huge human, material and economic losses,” said Lasabi. He acknowledged the Federal Government’s vision of establishing “Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme” (SURE-P), which is the management of the funds accruable from the partial withdrawal of fuel subsidy towards the amelioration of the sufferings of Nigerians. Bringing the various successes recorded by SURE-P in other sectors of the economy to the construction, the artisans and craftsmen issues in particular, and the built environment in general, which the government is targeting is indeed a welcome development.
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N13b Ado Bayero Mall in Kano opens Projects HOSE that doubted the takeT off of the multi-billion naira project, christened as Ado Bayero Mall, have now been proven otherwise as its first group of tenants led by Shoprite, the South African retail chain last week commenced business operations within the expansive and exotic mall. The takeoff of the mall, according to investors, will no doubt lend credence to rebirthing Kano’s historic reputation as a trading and commercial centre in Northern Nigeria. It will also serve as a major link for commerce on the Trans-Saharan trade route. Though the mall is not totally completed, close to 20 commercial spaces are up for grab. Ado Bayero Mall, is the first ultra-modern shopping mall in Northern Nigeria located in the heart of Kano city and named after the city’s longest serving Monarch, His Royal Highness Alhaji (Dr). Ado Bayero; the
mall is adjured to be the biggest in Nigeria. Messrs. Alpine Investment Services Limited, which is promoting the mall, said “the mall will be the first of its kind in Northern Nigeria and as such is poised to trigger a host of innovative developments in urban planning in and around the sub-region. With its state of the art design and construction, Ado Bayero Mall aims to change the face of commerce in Kano and pay homage to the city’s historic position as one of the most important commercial hubs in Africa.” Situated in a neighborhood defined by a well balanced mix of commercial and residential properties, the mall is located near major access roads such as the Zaria –Maiduguri Highways, and is also adjacent to major landmarks such as Kano Trade Fair Complex and the historic Kano Zoo on Zoo road. This high-profile location guarantees easy access and visibility for all tenants and shoppers. Spread over 10 hectares, Ado
Bayero Mall offers 24,000 m² of retail and entertainment space comprised of two major international shopping retailers (Shoprite & Game), the largest and modern indoor multiscreen cinema (Film House Cinemas) and a broad range of other offerings including restaurants, media stores and an indoor play area for young children. Furthermore, the mall offers over fifty (50) customisable shop spaces and ample parking for 1000 automobiles. Ado Bayero Mall has specialist facilities for department stores, banks, fast food outlets, salons and indeed any tenant who may have special requirements. Leveraging on its over 9 million population and historic trading antecedent, the mall, according to the promoters sets Kano in the league of cities that play host to world- class infrastructure and malls, adding that Its prime location in a well balanced neighborhood mix of commercial and residential properties ensures easy access and visibility for all tenants and shoppers.
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Ogun, Agbara Estate in MoU on infrastructure delivery Projects MID the need to instill A investors’ confidence and provide conducive environment for business, Ogun State a government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Agbara Estate Limited on the provision of infrastructure. The tripartite agreement between the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Agbara Estate Limited was signed in Abeokuta, last week. The Commissioner for Commerce and Industries, Bimbo Ashiru
stated that Ogun State government would not hesitate to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, particularly those in the private sectors as it moves to attract investors and improve industrial presence in the state. Ashiru made this declaration while briefing newsmen shortly after a tripartite meeting said, “the purpose of this meeting was to bring the industrialists closer to the state government and to agree on signing of memorandum of understanding on the provision of infrastructure in the area.” He maintained that the state has the largest number of industries, adding that government would want to maintain this feat
by providing adequate infrastructure and conducive environment for private investors to thrive. He revealed that the state government and Agbara Estate Limited have a good working relationship and that both are working as a team to put all necessary infrastructures in place within the estate to make it a worldclass industrial hub. “Improving the Agbara estate would attract more investors to the axis to establish more industries and this would create employment opportunities for unemployed graduates,” Ashiru noted. On the issue of alleged multiple taxation, the commissioner clarified that the state government
Stakeholders’ summit on housing finance Mortgage Finance TAKEHOLDERS will meet SHilton today at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja to give fresh impetus to the ongoing reform in the mortgage sector. The programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance will build on the momentum generated by the historic launch of the Nigerian mortgage finance and mass - housing plan by President Goodluck Jonathan. The event is bringing together key stakeholders in the Nigerian housing finance sector to a brainstorm on the best ways to meet the targets.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Paul Nwabuikwu said the objective is to share ideas on growing the housing sector, and on the best ways and means to achieve this to the benefit of all Nigerians, particularly for those in the middle to lower income segments. The Stakeholders Implementation Summit on Enabling Broader Access to Housing Finance for all Nigerians will bring together important players in the housing and housing finance delivery market the federal and state governments, relevant ministries, the Central Bank of
Nigeria, mortgage and commercial banks, construction companies, architects, artisans, real estate developers and others. The launch of the Nigerian mortgage and mass housing strategy has brought to the fore the great potential of the housing sector as a key driver of economic growth and job creation in the country. Specifically, the take-off of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Corporation (NMRC) and related programmes underscore the determination of the Jonathan administration to practically transform the sector for the benefit of Nigerians and the economy.
has introduced a uniformed tax payment system to prevent it, affirming that “multiple taxation would not be allowed in Ogun State, we know that the people are not happy with this and government is already taking necessary step in addressing the issue,” he submitted. In his contribution, Special Adviser to the Government who also doubles as the Managing Director OPIC, Mr. Jide Odusolu said that the partnership was a welcome development aimed at ensuring improvements in the entire estate and creating a thorough fare to open up Agbara. Also addressing the newsmen, Chairman of Agbara Estate Limited, Mr. Kolapo Lawson restated the readiness of his firm to collaborate with other stakeholders “to further in breathe life to Agbara Industrial Estate” and generally move the state forward, noting that such cooperation would be of immense benefit to the people. “We are law abiding residents and we must cooperate with the government, Agbara is an integrated industrial area and the MOU would solve any arising problem in the area,” he stated,
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Court backs firm, occupiers in Idejo Towers, Lagos landlord, tenant dispute Litigation By Emmanuel Badejo OR its failure to properly effect service on its tenant and occupiers of a notable property standing in the heart of the Lagos Island business environment, Victoria Island, to be precise, Messrs. Oasis Finance Limited will have to wait for more time before it can eventually recover possession of all that parcel of land known as Plot ‘B’ Idejo Towers. According to the Justices of the Court of Appeal, including Amina Augie, Joseph Ikyegh, ChinweIyizoba, of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, the respondent, Oasis Finance Limited, failed to serve its tenant and occupiers of the Tower, hence, its bid to recover possession could not be sustained. In the final analysis of the matter, Iyizoba, who read the lead judgment, had said:’’In the final result, I hold that this appeal has merit. The service of valid quit notices is a condition precedent for the recovery of possession. In the absence of convincing proof of such service, the claim of the respondent was initiated by due process and the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The suit ought to have been struck out.’’ Their lordships verdict arose from an appeal against the judgment of Justice Ojikutu Oshode of the High Court of Lagos State, delivered on 21stof September, 2008 granting the respondent possession and mesne profits at the rate of N5, 145,000.00 (Five million, one hundred and
forty-five thousand naira) per annum from 31st December, 2005 until possession was given up. The facts that led to the institution of the suit at the lower court are that the respondent, Oasis Finance Limited, sometime in 1991 leased the parcel of land as plot ‘B’Idejo Tower from the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation for a term of fifty years only. Thereafter, it took possession and did piling work on the premises with a view to erecting a high-rise building of over 10 floors thereon. After completion of the piling work, but before commencement of the building in September 1999 the finance company noticed some persons trespassing on the premises. Steps were taken to prevent further encroachment as both the finance company and the alleged trespasser exchanged correspondences and this relationship eventually led to the respondent leasing the vacant premises to the first appellant, Splinters Nigeria Limited. By a deed of sublease, Oasis Finance Limited subleased the premises to the first appellant for a term of two years certain from January 1, 2000 till December 31, 2001 at the yearly rent of N650, 000.00 per annum. Splinters Nigeria Limited thereafter let the second appellant, the occupiers of plot ‘B’, Idejo Towers, into possession. The sublease was renewed for another period of one year to expire on 31st December, 2002, and subsequently for another period of one year from January 1, 2003
Victoria Island, Lagos, recently till December 2003. Before the expiry of this last term on the 31st December 2003, the respondent, not desirous of renewing the sublease caused their solicitors to issue and serve on the first appellant relevant statutory notices to quit. When the appellant refused to vacate the premises at the determination of the sub-lease, the respondent as claimant then issued a writ of summons on the appellants as defendants claiming possession for personal use and mesne profits at the rate of N650, 000.00 per annum. The defendants/appellants were served on 23rd November 2004.
They filed and served their statement of defence on 15th March 2005. From the amended statement of claim, Oasis Finance Limited claimed mesne profit at the rate of N5,145, 000.00 per annum as the current rentable value of the premises. But the defendants/appellants did not amend their statement of defence despite taking several adjournments for that purpose. The trial of the case, which commenced on 31stOctober, 2006, did not conclude until about two years later. This was due largely to several adjournments at the instance of the defendants. And after all the legal bottle
necks were dispensed with, the court thereupon delivered judgment granting the Oasis Finance Limited possession and mesne profits at the rate of N5,145, 000.00 per annum from the 31st December 2005 until possession was given up. The appellants being aggrieved by the verdict filed a notice of appeal with five major grounds of appeal and two omnibus grounds. Some of the grounds included: whether there was valid service of statutory notices on them; whether the refusal of the lower court to allow their counsel to address the court before delivering judgment
was correct in law; whether the trail judge was right in striking out their statement of defence and whether the continued receipt of payment of rent up till 2008 did not invalidate the statutory notices in 2004? And Judges agreed with the appellant and consequently allowed the appeal, as they set aside the judgment of the trial court, struck out the claim of the respondent and a cost of N25,000.00 was awarded in favour of Splinters Nigeria Limited and the occupiers of Plot ‘B’, Idejo Towers, being first and second appellants respectively.
tion for the increase of the floor height from 3600mm to 4900mm is being appraised by his ministry, adding that change in the floor height specification was made in order to accommodate the mechanical/A.C. pipes installations within the soffit of the slab. The construction of Central Library at LASU, a four-Floor Institutional Building, Phase 1, being handled by CCECC. The project, awarded on December 6, 2011, has 18 months for its completion. But because the project took off in February 2012, expected delivery date is February 2015. The first phase is 100 per cent completed. Similarly, the phase II involves the construction of frame structure from the first floor level up to the third floor and roof level. It was awarded on September 9, 2013 and has 12 months as project duration, to be expired by February 2014. This aspect is currently 20 percent work progress. Construction of Senate Building at LASU, also being handled by the CCECC, has as project’s description to include pilling works, substructure, frame structure, on ground, Mezzanine, first, sec-
ond and third floor levels. The project, which commenced on the December 6, 2011, has 18 months duration. But due to some exigencies, this project did not begin until February 2012, and that means, its delivery date will now be June 2014. The project is already 65 per cent in progress. It also has a second phase, which is the construction of fourth, fifth and sixth floor up to the roof level. June 2015 is the expected completion date. The construction of Faculty of Management Sciences Building at LASU (Phase 1) is another project that officials described as “milestone”. Currently, the pilling works, substructure, frame structure on ground and first floor levels have reached 45 percent work stage. It was awarded on December 6, 2011, with 18 months expected duration. But actual construction activity kicked off in February 2014, while the date of completion was put at August 2016. The contract for the second phase is yet to be awarded. But the project description is to include the frame structure up to roof level, block work, roofing and finishing.
Contractors target new delivery dates for LASU projects Infrastructure By Tunde Alao contractors handling FectsOUR several infrastructural projfor the Lagos State Government within its university, Lagos State University (LASU) have set dates to deliver the construction works under their watch. The ongoing projects include the new Senate Building,
Central Library, LagosHoms, Students Union’s Arcade, blocks of classrooms and construction of new Faculty of Management Sciences. While Messrs Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) is handling the Central Library, the Senate Building, Faculty of Management Sciences Building, (Phase 1) the LASU International School and
School of Transport Management, Messrs Basnaz Construction Limited is handling the construction of Law Lecture Theatre, as while Messot Venture will construct LagosHoms consisting of 2-3 bedroom apartments. Messrs Abrafem Construction Limited is to handle the construction of Students’ Union arcade project. During the projects tour by
the Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, last week, to get on-the-spot assessment of the projects. The Guardian gathered that the projects are progressing as scheduled. In his remarks, Hamzat, who was accompanied by his counterpart in the Ministry of Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, said the cost implica-
Imo launches land recertification scheme Land Matters From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri a bid to ensure efficiency IitsNandland accurate information in administration matters, Imo State authorities have established Imo Geographic Resources Information Agency (IGIA), where landowners must authenticate documents relating to their property. The state Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Chief Uche Nwosu, urged all the landowners to avail themselves of the opportunity created by the recertification programme. He also
reminded them that that state government would abide by the two years probation required for the allocated lands to be developed, else the defaulters will lose ownership. Briefing members of correspondents’ chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo State council, in Owerri, Nwosu disclosed that the state government had cancelled land allocated to some private developers who refused to either write letters of acceptance of lands allocated with necessary fees, adding that the government had started the process of recertification of the Certificates of
Occupancy (C of O) of lands in the state with new security coded certificates. He said: ”We have cancelled allocations wrongly done which we shall give to those ready to develop. Those who failed to write acceptance letters with payment of fees had their lands allocated cancelled. We have sounded it loud and clear that very soon we are going to demolish all the buildings in the open spaces.” The commissioner said the state government has started restoring the master plan of Imo state, which was distorted by the past administrations, including all the open spaces.
Commissioner Nwosu used the opportunity to mention some of the achievements of the Okorocha administration in the area of lands, survey and urban planning such as survey activities, parcellation and development of lay outs, review of some layouts, design/ redesign of layouts, land acquisitions, massive payment of compensations, plot allocation, establishment of Land use Allocation Committee (LUAC), clearing and opening of Layouts and strengthening of the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA), for effectiveness.
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Quantity surveyors propose new infrastructure funding framework Professional Practice By Chinedum Uwaegbulam ITH the increasing dearth W of funds to finance infrastructure development, a fresh funding framework similar to existing models in China, India and Malaysia may be in the offing, if continental governments buy into a submission by quantity surveyors for the establishment of African Infrastructure Development Bank (AIDB) or African Construction Development B a n k ( A C D B ) . The bank is expected to be private sector driven to minimize bureaucracy while Government provides “seed
The institute is seeking collaboration among professional bodies, experts and even client organizations involved in infrastructure development to eradicate fraudulent practices and eliminating areas of disagreement in the documentation and cost management of infrastructural projects money”. This will provide the long-term much-needed finance at low interest rate to contractors, subcontractors suppliers. and The recommendation is the high point of a two-day workshop organised by Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) for professionals in the built environment to identify and discuss in details the role
of infrastructure in emerging economies of Africa; as the fulcrum for national development and sustainable growth as well as the impact, problems and challenges of infrastructural development. In a communiqué jointly signed by the NIQS President, Mallam Murtala Aliyu, S e c r e t a r y , Professional Development and
Aliyu Library, Dr. Ejike Bedford Anunike and Secretary,
Wemabod tasks workers on new trends in real estate market Real Estate By Tunde Alao and Nojeem Raheem OREMOST real estate firm, Wemabod Estates Limited has urged its staff to brace up to meet with modern challenges confronting property business globally, which is as a result of continuous change in design concepts and taste among property buyers. This was the charge given by the Managing Director of Wemabod Estates Limited, Mr. Olumide Ologun, during the 2014 Retreat organised for the company’s staff at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja last week. In his speech tagged: “What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There,”
Ologun remarked that the face of property and real estate business was changing all over the world, thereby, new ideas, concepts, touch, designs, and taste had also emerged. According to him, the only way any company that knew its onions in real estate business could take advantage of such dynamics is to prepare itself with new ideas and techniques that would not just make it to be ready for such changes, but to also revolutionalise the entire housing sector. “The market is changing, the consumers are changing, tastes and social behaviours are also changing and if we must remain in business, we must continue to invent new ideas with the aim
of delighting our customers. “Besides, real estate business has gone beyond rents collection, we must continue to think outside the box, be proactive and always connect ourselves to the needs and demand of the market,” said Ologun. But he was quick to point out that the theme for the retreat: He also said that the event’s theme: “Breaking New Grounds: A strategy for Sustainable Growth” was carefully chosen because it was in line with the company’s strategy of rebranding, repositioning, diversifying and growing of its business operations outside the normal property management in which rents collection was major, and which, according to him, had made property own-
ers slaves to their tenants. The Wemabod boss also expressed worry about the influx of foreign property companies into the country; a situation he noted had raised the level of competition in the industry to an unprecedented level. He however declared that his company was poised to remain a force to reckon with in the business of property development irrespective of such comp e t i t i o n . The two-day Retreat, which was packaged by Poise Nigeria, was primarily aimed at serving as a Staff Capacity Building programme, also went ahead to expose all members of the company to the fundamentals of teamwork; and self awareness programme.
Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Olujide Oke, the body argued that governments cannot bear the financial burden of providing adequate infrastructure alone considering the huge capital out-lay required. Consequently, integration of private sector investors into the conception, planning, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure is imperative in Africa to accelerate infrastructure provision to the citizenry. Public-PrivatePartnership (PPP) procurement models must therefore be encouraged and sustained. They also advocated for a systematic review of professional fees charged by quantity surveyors and other professionals in the built environment to serve as motivation to them to play the much-desired roles in efficient and effective delivery of infrastructure projects. “Quantity Surveyors (QS) need to acquire and exercise competency of cost control and exhibit due diligence in the cost management of the nation’s vast infrastructure. They are expected to take the centre stage of infrastructure development and to take advantage of the emerging o p p o r t u n i t i e s . “ Appointment of quantity surveyor in the departments of finance, budget and/or planning of all ministries at all levels of Government is recommended to ensure probity and accountability of public funds invested in infrastructure. Such QS would help to carry out financial audit of on-going
and completed projects. “ While calling for an enactment of a law to institutionalize Payment Bond, NIQS also noted that payment bond could also be incorporated in the conditions of contract governing each infrastructure contract to ensure timely payment to contractors necessary to prevent abandonment of infrastructural projects. They further recommended that the Institute should encourage members to provide consultancy services to law enforcement and financial crimes prevention agencies like the ICPC and EFCC to prevent mismanagement of funds and fraudulent practices relating to infrastructural p r o j e c t s . Collaboration among professional bodies, the professionals and even client organizations involved in infrastructure development is imperative for eradicating fraudulent practices and eliminating areas of disagreement in the documentation and cost management of infrastructural projects. The collaboration between the professional bodies provides professional synergy that will create added value for money and aggregate cost-savings for improved infrastructural development. “Quantity Surveyors should be willing to break the jinx of conservatism and embrace the fluidity of best practice and innovation. The Institute should also tap into the gains of International best practices as currently done by the Royal Institution of Chartered S u r v e y o r s .
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TheEnvironment Climate change will hit Lagos coastline residents hardest, says report Climate Change By Tunde Alao NEW report released last A week at the Climate Change Summit, organised by the Lagos State government has warned that cities with high concentrations of people and buildings, particularly those along the coast, including Lagos, will be more adversely affected by climate change in the future. Besides, the rate and pattern of urban growth in Lagos State may not make land available for Lagos residents in the next two decades. The revelation comes on the heels of similar report issued globally that low-income countries will remain on the frontline of human-induced climate change over the next century, experiencing gradual sea-level rises, stronger cyclones, warmer days and nights, more unpredictable rains, and larger and longer heat waves, according to the most thorough assessment of the issue yet. Senior government officials believe that the state will provide solutions to the disturbing report and based on some mitigation measures and other initiatives put in place. However, stakeholders was of the opinion that government at all levels should start addressing climate change issues and seek new solutions to help affected communities and people deal with its negative effects that exceed their capacities. That the Lagos State government needs to set up a “Lagos State Green Development Centre,” that would be anchored on private public participation (PPP), that will run under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, but as an engagement platform for proactive industry drive towards sustainability. They also urged the government to consider imposing carbon emission taxes on corporations in the energy sec-
A cross section of participants and Governor Babatunde Fashola at the just concluded Lagos Climate Change Summit, held in Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, recently
Based on the report, government may consider imposing carbon emission taxes on corporations in the energy sector, including generator manufacturers and merchants, to promote investment in climate-friendly business initiatives. tor, including generator manufacturers and merchants, to promote investment in climate-friendly business initiatives. Meanwhile, the summit communiqué advised Lagos to support businesses through feasibility studies in green entrepreneurship in the energy sector, recycling and waste management, water management, transportation sector, urban agriculture and urban food systems, ecotourism and climate change monitoring to
encourage potential investors. All the above should be done within the context of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, and that Lagos State government should not just have a policy on climate change, but also legislate on it to ensure sustainability of initiatives for climate-resilient development. The communiqué recognized the spate of climate change induced environmen-
tal challenges that has continued to have adverse effects on the State and business environment, noted, “cities all over the world are however devising strategies aimed at tackling this global problem and Lagos State being a coastal city with a flat topography cannot be an exception in this regard.” It also noted that already, the effect of global warming and climate change that reflected the common vulnerability to this scourge are there for everybody to see. “Flooding unprecedented in history, persistent rise in sea level, abnormal weather patterns, crop failure, just to mention but a few, all points to the fact that all is not well, hence the need to build internal resilience and explore
associated opportunities,” read the communiqué. It was in realisation of this that Lagos State government had in the past five years hosted holding annual summit on climate change where experts from various countries, disciplines and backgrounds usually converged, shares ideas and experiences. In his address, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State noted the commitment and seriousness with which his administration has been addressing issues of climate change and the threat to the environment, which he said have helped the state to stay abreast of the hazards of nature. He said, “even though we are two meters below sea level, even though we are a city-
state of many small islands, even though the threat of coastal erosion from the Atlantic is real, by sheer hard work, innovation and a can-do spirit we have kept Lagos flood free and safe. “From the first summit when we accepted the inconvenient truth and dimensioned the enormity of the problem, at a time when others thought we were alarmist, to subsequent submits where we resolved to mitigate and adapt, we have run with our solutions and they have worked,” said Fashola, noting that the Eko Atlantic City project and the Great Wall of Lagos, spanning 7 (seven) kilometers is a mitigation and adaptation strategy that has helped to protect Victoria Island, return businesses to the waterfront and create jobs
‘ $30b investment in forest conservation can support green economy’ Conservation N investment of US $30 bilA lion per year — under seven per cent of the US $480 billion paid in annual global fossil fuel subsidies — in the REDD+ forest conservation initiative can accelerate the global transition to green and sustainable growth and ensure the long-term wellbeing of tens of millions in developing countries, a new report released last week said. Building Natural Capital: How REDD+ Can Support a Green Economy, a report by the International Resource Panel (IRP) and the UN REDD Programme, outlines how integrating REDD+ programmes into a Green Economy approach can conserve and even boost the economic and social benefits forests provide to human soci-
The report argues that integration of REDD+ into all economic planning processes is essential, as deforestation and forest degradation are driven by consumption patterns in virtually every sector of the economy. ety. The IRP report lays out recommendations to deliver the new integrated REDD+ and Green Economy approach, including better coordination, stronger private sector engagement, changes in fiscal incentive frameworks, greater focus on assisting policymakers to understand the role forests play in propping up economies, and equitable benefit sharing. The report stresses in particular the needs for a rights-based approach to ensure that benefits flow to the rural poor. Reducing Emissions from
Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) is the approach to cut greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation— estimated at up to 20 per cent of the global total—through payments for services. REDD+ is an expanded approach that includes the conservation and sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Forests support the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people, with the value of ecosystem
services from tropical forests estimated at an average of US $6,120 per hectare each year. Despite these economic gains, forest loss averaged 13 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This market and policy failure will undermine sustainable development by destroying the natural capital that supports so many economies. The report argues that integration of REDD+ into all economic planning processes is essential, as deforestation and forest degradation are driven by consumption patterns in virtually every sector of the economy. Green Economy innovations resulting from REDD+ have the potential to increase the resource efficiency of many of
these sectors. REDD+ is so far backed by a total of US $6.27 billion. However, an estimated US $30 billion is projected to be needed each year from 2020. The IRP report seeks to encourage delivery of this funding by demonstrating that REDD+ approaches can support economic development and increase long-term returns on investments. The report shows how activities supported by REDD+ can be designed to increase income by boosting output on land under cultivation, developing new green industries, encouraging forestbased ecotourism, and increasing sustainable production of commodities for which demand is increasing. For example, a stimulus package in the sustainable management of forests could provide up to 16 million addition-
al jobs globally. At the same time, restoring just 15 per cent of degraded forest can double household income in rural areas in developing countries, as an example from Tanzania cited in the report shows. It also points out that an increasing number of countries have Green Economy growth plans that clearly define the role of protecting forests and other natural capital. The United Nations Collaborative Initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD)—jointly implemented by the FAO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNEP—supports REDD+ readiness efforts in 49 partner countries in Africa, AsiaPacific and Latin America.
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‘63m Nigerians lack access to potable water’ From Joke Falaju, Abuja S the Wortld commemoA rate World Water Day, a recent report by Water Aid has said that 63million Nigerians lack access to portable drinking water representing 39 per cent of the population. Statistics also put the number of people without access to sanitation at 112million representing 69 per cent of the population. The Country representative, WaterAid, Mr. Michael Ojo, while reeling out the figure during a press briefing yesterday in Abuja said that the figure was obtained through a joint monitoring programme by the World Bank and the United Nation International Children Economic Fund (UNICEF). Stressing the damage lack of access to sanitation and hygiene facilities does to economies of developing nation, he disclosed that Nigeria looses whooping N455billion of the annual GDP is loss to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. Ojo noted that the government had pledged to increase
About eight per cent of global energy is used for pumping, treating and transporting water.
South Africa’s varsity don wins N25.5m Stockholm Water Prize The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award founded in 1991 and presented annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) to an individual, organisation or institution for outstanding water-related achievements. The Stockholm Water Prize Laureate receives USD 150,000 and a crystal sculpture
World Water 2014 ROF. John Briscoe, a native P of South Africa, has been named the 2014 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his unparalleled contributions to global and local water management, inspired by an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people on the ground. Briscoe currently lives and works in the United States, where he is a popular teacher at Harvard University. Upon receiving the news, Professor Briscoe said he was “very sur-
prised and honored. I am delighted for the recognition this gives to thinking practitioners, of which I consider myself one.” In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Committee states that Prof. John Briscoe ”has combined world-class research with policy implementation and practice to improve the development and management of water resources, as well as, access to safe drinking water and sanitation.” Today’s world is beset by daunting water challenges; human water security and
biodiversity are at risk, global demand for water is soaring, and droughts and floods cause deadly disasters. These challenges cannot be met on one front alone. Prof. Briscoe’s genius lies in his fusion of science, policy and practice, giving him unrivalled insights into how water should be managed to improve the lives of people worldwide. “At the end of the day, it is what happens on the ground that matters. All policies must be judged by whether they make a difference on the ground. I believe that the years I spent working at the micro level is what enables me to be an effective policy maker,” says Briscoe. In the mid 1970s Briscoe lived in a small village in the interior of Bangladesh, and learned first-hand how infrastructure for protection from
floods and droughts could transform the lives of the poor. Later in the 1970s Briscoe worked as an engineer in the government of newly independent Mozambique, learning that you were a credible policy maker only if you could help resolve basic problems of building and running infrastructure. At the other end of Briscoe’s spectrum of accomplishments is the 2003 Water Strategy for the World Bank. This strategy provided a new, creative and enduring benchmark for global understanding of the need for both better infrastructure and improved institutions. The strategy has had implications far beyond the water sector, helping to ensure that developing and emerging countries get a stronger voice in global governance.
Govt mulls Great Green Wall Agency to check desertification Conservation From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja HE fourth meeting of the T National Council on Shelterbelt and Afforestation (NCSA) has approved a draft bill for the establishment of the Great Green Wall Agency and recommendation to the Federal Executive Council. The NCSA meeting was held at the State House, Abuja last week, and chaired by Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo. The vice president said that, ‘the NCSA programme has become a security issue since it poses a great challenge to our internal security situation.’ He stated that, “government attaches very great importance to the success of the Shelterbelt and Afforestation Programme aimed at reforming and revamping the ecological system of both livestock
and plants as has similarly been successfully achieved in other countries such as Senegal, Rwanda, and Burundi.” Vice President Sambo cautioned on timely cultivation in order to attain the planned objective of the programme noting that, “now is the best time as the rains have already commenced.” The vice president called the attention of the members of the NCSA to the fact that both the Shelterbelt and the Great Green Wall (GGW) programme commenced on a slow note and directed that action be expedited on the cultivation of crops particularly economic trees and more efforts be channeled towards revitalising the entire ecosystem to facilitate the economic upliftment of the people’. He said that funding for the programme is directly the responsibility of government though further funding from International Development
Partners and financial institutions as the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB) and the private sector will be welcomed. Sambo called for the collaboration of the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and also impressed on the need for launching effective campaigns of the programme to the grassroots levels, working with the relevant agencies of government to ensure the required outreach and success of the programme. To this end, the vice president directed the minister of Agriculture to, as a matter of urgency make a power-point presentation to him on March 25, 2014, on all issues of grazing reserves to enable the government seek timely solutions to them. He further requested to be furnished with the plan of action with timelines till the end of the year. Earlier the Minister of Environment, Laurencia
Laraba Mallam, while notifying the vice pesident on the progress of the GGW programme said that initial consultations with the community leaders and community mobiliation and sensitisation exercise were conducted in December 2013. She said that preparations towards supporting local communities to raise about five million seedlings for 2014 planting have been concluded and a Programme Implementation Unit (PIU) has been established. Present at the meeting were the members of the NCSA made up of the Ministers of Youth Affairs, Mr. Boni Haruna and Women Affairs, Zainab Maina, the permanent secretaries of the Ministries of Education, Water Resources and Environment, representatives of relevant other ministries, Commissioners of Environments from the states (Zamfara and Kebbi) and other stakeholders.
national water and sanitation coverage to 75 per cent and 65 per cent respectively by 2015, but the government has not done much toward achieving the target as the government still remain off-track and offtarget and there is still a lot of work to be done. He noted, “our government pledged to increase national water and sanitation coverage to 75 per cent and 65 per cent respectively by 2015. These are very ambitious targets, particularly considering that Nigeria is one of the few African countries were rates of access to sanitation are acturally falling from 37 per cent of the population in 1990 to 31 per cent in 2011, we remain off-track and off-target and there is still a lot of work to be done.” Ojo stressed the need to give water and sanitation the priority it deserves in the new development framework adding that achieving the vision of safe water and sanitation for all in Nigeria would require the significant investment by the government and coordination and co-operation of local government.
Yobe access to safe 51per cent water, sanitation facilities rises Water Resources From Njadvara Musa, Damaturu FTER 14 years of providing A water supply and sanitation facilities, as well as, investing of N10 billion by the Yobe State government and European Union Donor Agencies in the water supply and sanitation sectors, access to potable water across the state has shot up from 22 to 51 per cent. The state Commissioner of Water Resources, Alhaji Yakubu Sidi Karasuwa disclosure last week in Damaturu, while reviewing the accessibility of residents and other communities to potable water and sanitation facilities across the state. His words, “because of huge investments in the critical sectors of water supple and sanitation fatalities, the percentage of access to safe
potable water was barely 22per cent before 2007; when the Gaidam administration stepped up its commitments towards investing heavily in the two water and sanitation sectors. “The Yobe State government from 2007 in partnership with other development partners from the European Union have invested over N10 billion in the sector across the state.” Karasuwa listed the water and sanitation projects to include; 300 hand-dug wells already being constructed in 10 local government areas of the state at the cost of N400 million under the African Development Fund (ADF) / Federal Government intervention in rural water supply through the MDGs; the drilling and rehabilitation of 506 boreholes at the cost of over N2.6bn for 330 rural communities in 10 council areas.
Kogi adopts citizens’ participation in environmental sanitation Sanitation HE Kogi State government T says it has adopted a participatory approach towards getting its indigenes involved in Cleanliness and Environmental Sanitation. The state Governor, Capt. Idris Wada stated this when he received in audience the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Malam, who was in the state to hold, consultations, deliberations, plan and prepare ground for the forthcoming commemoration of the National Environmental Sanitation Day (NESD) 2014, for which Kogi State has been selected to host. The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, said the state is in the process of procuring equipments to enhance refuse collection and disposal of waste in the state capital. The state, Capt. Wada disclosed, never had a refuse
dump since its creation, but said his administration has made beautification and sanitation a key component in its transformation agenda by establishing a refuse dump. In statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Abu Michael, the governor also explained that towards ensuring that the state meets the challenges of clean sanitation, a partnership agreement, has been signed with the UN H a b i t a t . Also towards checking indiscriminate defecation in the state, arrangements, Capt. Wada explained has been completed to build public toilets in some strategic locations of the state capital. The governor called for more greater collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Environment, describing the visit by the ministry as a harbinger of better things to come in the sanitation of the state.
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MONEY & BANKING
Access Bank renews commitment to oil, gas financing By Chijioke Nelson CCESS Bank Plc said it is A working with indigenous independent and small (marginal) producers in the Nigeria oil sector to improve their governance structure to enable them attract the much needed financing to drive their operations and develop the sector.
Mtrading designs new ‘learn and earn’ trading platform
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Herbert Wigwe, who said this at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference, also explained that the bank has realised the challenges confronting indigenous operators and ready to help them address these by strengthening their governance structure and infrastructure issues in the sector. According to him, despite the challenges on the part of the oil companies, Nigerian banks have built capacity over the
last 15 years, and are working together with international institutions to support the sector. He noted that local banks, in collaboration with international institutions have been able to support much larger projects, so the capacity is building. “There are several problems that have to do with the companies themselves. The first and most important one is governance. Most of them lack the corporate governance structure to support that kind of debt and even when they do have the structure, there are
issues around capacity and how much equity they have built in and there are also issues of those that are growing a bit too rapidly and the capacity to manage their growth. “The issue about governance is about the appropriate systems, processes, procedures, controls to ensure that the business remain sustainably and can benefit or optimise value to all its stakeholders. “If a company is growing very fast and does not have the appropriate framework; it does not have the right Board
structure, it does not have people with the right skills on the Board, you will find out that over time, it will either not be competitive, diminish and die over time. “However, what some of us have done in our own institution is to create a structure that has helped to support the governance framework of those we chose to support. There are also issues that have to do with infrastructure around the sector. If you want to support somebody, what is the nature of the infrastructure for the evacuation of the products?
This is a topical issue,” he said. He expressed confidence on the viability and bankability of indigenous oil companies, stating that some of the companies have put in place the right structures from the governance standpoint, while a number of them have also built up enough equity, which they are deploying into the business. “Apart from fiscal regimes, there is need for other things to make it not punitive, but to discourage gas flaring, because we have more gas than oil,” he added.
By Helen Oji trading is about to FtiveOREX take an exciting competiedge as Mtrading Nigeria Limited, an endorsed partner with Admiral Markets, a global authorised brokerage firm has designed a ‘learn and earn’ trading platform for its existing and potential customers in the country. The firm offers MetaTrading, which enables customers to trade on global financial markets over the Internet using their desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. According to the company, Mtrading clients benefit from wide choice of instruments available for trading, which include currencies such as Euro against USD, commodities like gold, silver, and crude oil, world indices like NASDAQ and Dow Jones. Speaking at a seminar organised by the firm in Lagos, its Country Director, Jeremiah Ejieke, said the aim of the seminar was to educate the people in the financial market on how to generate money using the trading platform. “We invited a lot of people to come and see how one can make money because so many Nigerian do not believe they can make money in this market. We are trying to tell them that market is real, the market is profitable and someone can also take this as a career. It is an education programme where we expose the realms of the market, teaching how one can be a successful trader, how one can learn the skill, and we wan to show them everything about the market,” he said. According to him, Mtrading is also providing educational services, which include professional trainings, videos, books, trading materials and first class mentorship on how one can become a profitable trader.
L-R:Country Senior Partner Designate, Pwc Nigeria, Uyi Akpata (left); Country Senior Partner, Ken Igbokwe; wife, Vivian; and Chairman of Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, at the sendforth dinner in honour of Igbokwe, in Lagos, at the weekend.
Stanbic IBTC canvasses knowledge-based development By Chijioke Nelson TANBIC IBTC, a member of Sunfolded Standard Bank Group, has plans to contribute to the country’s development efforts through strategic interventions that are aimed at unlocking access to qualitative education for Nigerians. The Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mrs. Sola David-Borha said on the sidelines of the 20th Nigeria Economic Summit, in Abuja, that by focusing on
education, the group recognises that the sector has the potential of stimulating socio-economic development, translating to higher productivity, economic empowerment and prosperity. “The adoption of education as one of the pillars of Stanbic IBTC’s corporate social responsibilities presupposes its pivotal role in national development and growth. “Education is the greatest legacy any nation can
bequeath to its youth, and the most important investment in the future of any nation. It therefore requires a collective effort of the public and private sectors to blossom,” David Borha stated. “Transforming education through partnerships for global competitiveness,” is a push for permanent structural changes that would enhance the quality of education and development of 21st century skills in Nigerian children, a mission
shared by the Stanbic IBTC Group. “Stanbic IBTC focuses on critical societal needs, including giving children healthy start in life by providing access to quality education and programmes which will help them build their self-esteem, social skills and empowerment,” David-Borha added. Describing Nigeria’s economic potential as massive, David-Borha said that the Standard Bank Group would continue to seek
opportunities in strategic sectors of the economy to grow its business while helping to create sustainable prosperity for the people. “As an institution that is in Nigeria for the long run, we are very committed to helping the country achieve her developmental aspirations. We will continue to identify partnership opportunities towards the sustained development of the education sector across the country,” she added.
The 15 lucky winners, which emerged from electronic draw witnessed by officials from National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC); Consumer Protection Council (CPC); among others, were rewarded with smart phones; LCD televisions; air conditioners; home theatres and power generating sets. According to the bank’s Head, Cards and e Banking, Tunde Kuponiyi, the promo is part of efforts in supporting the use of alternative payment channels by customers and also strengthening the CBN’s cash-less policy.
He explained that the promo planned to run for three months will see customers of the bank winning prizes that includes sedan cars, allexpense paid trip to Brazil and scholarships valued N300, 000 each for different sets of winners to be drawn from different parts of the country. To select winners, Kuponiyi affirmed that “a point-based rating” would be applied, meaning that the winning customers would be awarded points for every transaction done on the bank’s alternative channels.
Ecobank partners MTN on mobile money services By Chijioke Nelson HE Mobile Money users, T who are also customers of MTN and Ecobank in 12 African countries, may soon be able to withdraw cash from Ecobank ATMs and transfer money between their Mobile Money and Ecobank accounts. Already, the service bad been piloted in Ghana last month, and will soon be launched in Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, the Republic of Guinea, Liberia, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and
Rewards winners in loyalty initiative Zambia. The pan-African companies have partnered to improve access to mobile financial services in the African continent, with vast experience in extending financial services in several of their markets, with MTN’s Mobile Money registered subscriber base growing 57.3 per cent to 14.8 million in 2013. “We are extending our cooperation in Africa to expand the range of services provided, as well as to further
explore the development of mobile financial services in these countries. “MTN is particularly excited by this agreement as it fits in perfectly with our on-going efforts to improve access to financial services for our customers and broader communities in the countries where we operate,” MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer, Pieter Verkade said. Ecobank’s Group Executive Director for Domestic Banking, Patrick Akinwuntan
added, “this roll-out further demonstrates our commitment to make branchless banking a reality by activating multiple service channels in every country in which we operate. “Our unique pan-African footprint will also enable us to be at the forefront of developing the market for cross-border mobile money services in Africa.” Meanwhile, Ecobank has rewarded winners that emerged from its Card-4-Prizes’ first monthly draws held in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
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The Importance of Documentation in Real Estate.
THE INSTITUTE FOR REAL ESTATE EXCELLENCE (IREE)
land ownership in the state, where your business is located or where you intend to invest in. What types of documents are required in a real estate transaction?
The IREE was inaugurated in 2012: Vision: To raise the standards in the Nigerian real estate industry through professional training and coaching to meet international standards.
Cutting Edge Real Estate News. Trends . Advice he Intelligent Real Estate Series is a bi-weekly column aimed at educating readers on matters relating to the real estate industry. We will be discussing the various factors that affect the industry, current trends and future projections in practicing real estate in the 21st century as the industry is continuously evolving and business is no longer business as usual. Enjoy!!!
HE importance of documentation in real T estate cannot be over emphasised. It is important to note that 75 – 80 % of real estate business is legal and these legal transactions cannot be void of documentations. Before any real estate transaction can be said to be successfully concluded, all documents have to be up-to-date and duly signed by relevant parties. In Nigeria, all land within a state (except those vested in the Federal Government or its agent) is owned by the Governor of the state, who holds land in trust for the people and has power to allocate as far as urban areas are concerned; while the rural areas is allocated by the control of local government authorities. The current land ownership system became operative after the promulgation of the Land Use Act, Cap 202, Volume 11, Laws of the Federation (1990). Prior to this law, land ownership was primarily based on settlement, conquest, sale, gifts or larches and acquiescence. It is important that as an investor in real estate or as a real estate firm you should know what governs land ownership and the legal documents used in conveying title for
Some of the documents required in real estate are as below; • Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) • Letter of Allocation • Registered Title – Deed of Assignment/ Sub-lease/Indenture • Land Certificate • Governor’s Consent • Deed of Assent (Registration By Administrators/Executors of an Estate) • Power of Attorney
All these documents should be duly registered at the appropriate registry. Before the advent of a Certificate of Occupancy, other documents such as a deed of conveyance, deed of gifts etc, also existed as proof of land ownership. Holders of such documents have statutory right of occupancy and remain valid provided they have been converted to lease hold which is subject to the Governor’s approval. In land ownership for example, a registered document is usually obtained by customary occupants of a land registering such land at the Land Registry. This is usually done before ownership of the customary land can be transferred to another owner. After that, a deed of assignment is prepared and issued to the new owner who is expected to get a Governor’s consent for the Deed. Upon the grant of a Governor’s consent, a landowner can proceed to request for a Certificate of Occupancy (CofO). It is important to note that a C of O in its self is not sufficient to claim ownership of a property without a
Governor’s consent. The importance of knowing what title documents cover for land ownership in your state, guides a buyer when carrying out due diligence on a property. All verifications of title documents are done at the State’s Land Registry.
Other documents that are needed in a real estate transaction include but are not limited to; • Sale/Purchase Agreement – This is another important document which contains the terms and conditions governing the sale and purchase of a property. This document serves as a guideline for the transaction between a buyer and seller. It covers purchase price, type of title, the date the agreement would become unconditional, any deposit the buyer must pay or cost that must be paid if the seller defaults. This document protects both the buyer and seller from any breach of contract as referrals can be made to this document, which serves as a binding and a legal contract once it is executed. • Reservation form: This is usually presented to a prospective client in order to confirm the prospects commitment in a property and to reserve a property within a given a period of time, which the prospect is expected to make further commitments to buying or leasing the property. This document helps protect the interest of the prospective client and helps save the company’s productive time from non-committed prospects. It evaluates the level of interest a client has in a
Intelligent Real Estate
property. • Receipt of payment: This serves as evidence that monies or other forms of consideration have been exchanged between the buyer and seller. Why it is important to have accurate documentation in real estate? 1. Title documents when verified give the buyer confidence to use the land without fear. 2. Title documents that have been verified are legal documents that are admissible in a court of law in the event of any dispute that may arise in future. 3. Title documents also serve as a form of collateral which an individual can use to access loans from financial institutions. 4. For the real estate marketing firm, having all necessary title documents gives the firm the edge over their competitors as prospective buyers have confidence in your property listings. It creates a trust level between you and your client. 5. Documentation plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the real estate firm keeps track of its progress and list of clients, take note of flaws if any, in previous transactions and enable the firm measure its sales progress by the years. It is important that both parties read all documents carefully and fully understand the full content of the documents before signing. It is strongly recommended that professional legal advice is sought prior to entering into any contractual agreement.
REAL ESTATE TRIVIA Question. What is a "smart home"? Answer.: A "smart home" is equipped with structured home wiring packages that control the home's systems via networked technologies. Please send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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DPR Director Calls for Urgent Exploration as Oil Reserves Drop to 35 Billion Barrels IGerIA’S oil reserves are continuing to drop N at an alarming rate. Speaking at the Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja, the Director of the Department of Petroleum resources (DPr), George Osahon, revealed that Nigeria’s oil reserves have dropped from 40 billion to 35 billion barrels. Osahon said the situation was due to the reduction in oil production in Nigeria. he explained that as oil wells are depleting assets, production will stop once the wells attain maturity. That is the stage at which many Niger Delta oil wells are currently. Osahon is calling for urgent exploration to boost the nation’s dwindling oil reserves. he said that there is a need for a vigorous exploration programme to shore up reserves. The DPr Director who is worried about the situation, said: “We need to do more in this regard so as to have more reserves. We have reached the plateau of production in the Niger Delta and we are already going down.” Osahon is nonetheless optimistic about the long-term position, saying: “We are optimistic about this. We have come up with strategies to boost our reserves and in due course, we would make this known.” Not everyone shares his optimism however as analysts point to the withdrawal of the international oil companies (IOCs) from the onshore area, as a result of which there has been a decline in exploration onshore. The IOCs say they want to concentrate their efforts in the deep offshore area, but while they wait to see what happens with the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) they are not making any new final investment decision. As a result, very little exploration is taking place offshore as well. To make matters worse, global analysts, IhS energy, say drilling success rates are declining in areas of water depths of 200 metres or more. They say the average drilling success rates in such water depths have declined from 70 per cent for the period from 1995 to 2004 down to 28 per cent for the period from 2005 to 2013. Meanwhile, indigenous companies who are rushing to scoop up the divested assets are not able to find the funding for new exploration projects. Most investors are looking for low hanging fruit in the prolific Niger Delta and will not take the chance on an exploration asset, preferring instead to go for assets that have been developed to near production. As a result there is very little exploration going on and there are so few new discoveries that reserves are continuing to dwindle leaving service providers to the industry frustrated by the stagnation in the industry. Many will be waiting anxiously for Osahon’s strategies to be implemented and hoping it will be enough to give the industry the shot in the arm it needs. Only a dramatic intervention will be sufficient to make the impact needed to increase reserves and revive and revitalise the industry. Osahon says he expects the strategies to include seismic data coverage, drilling of exploration wells and enhanced recovery methods.
Pentair Valves & Controls Expands into Nigeria eADING manufacturer of valves, actuators LPentair and controls for the oil and gas industry, Valves & Controls, has expanded its presence into Nigeria with a new distribution agreement with indigenous company Plant
engineering Nigerian (PeN). The company is excited by the enlargement of its emerging markets footprints and hopes that the new partnership will provide customers with local service for Pentair’s safety relief valve technology in the Nigerian oil & gas market. Pentair says it identified Nigeria as a target location for its rapid growth potential. The company says the partnership will bring together Pentair’s global installed base with PeN’s expertise in the oil & gas industry through its facilities in Port-harcourt, Lagos and its US office in houston. Plant engineering was formed in February 2009. The company provides global supply chain and project management services in metering systems, valves & controls and mechanical systems. Frido Langedijk, VP Sales & Commercial Services for europe, India & Africa at Pentair Valves & Controls commented: “We have been working on this distribution agreement for a year and we’re very pleased to establish our relationship with PeN.” “Combining our global expertise and supply chain with local service and experienced partners enables us to meet our customers’ needs more effectively and grow our business through new commercial opportunities. Providing this type of service ensures we bring market leading initiatives to our key sectors in oil & gas, process engineering, mining and power, and enhance our customers’ operations through our value added approach,” Langedjk continued. “emerging markets, such as the MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) territories, are a vital part of our growth strategy,” he stressed. PeN will begin servicing Pentair’s safety relief valve installed base in the coming months.
Petrol Crisis Eases Once Again Petroleum Marketers ItheNDePeNDeNT Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has come to rescue after another difficult week of petrol shortage and fuel queues in Lagos and Abuja and surrounding areas. The marketers have reported a delivery of 197 truckloads of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to the two major cities bringing hope to long-suffering residents of an end to the recent disruptions. The Association is determined to see the back of petrol queues and has threatened to penalise any of its members found to be hoarding petroleum products. They plan to have a joint task force made up of their members and NNPC staff to monitor petrol stations in the two cities to ensure there is no hoarding of petroleum products. he added: “l want to confirm to Nigerians and marketers that with the level of petrol injected into the western zone by the NNPC, there is no cause for panic buying and hoarding petrol.” Most residents of Abuja and Lagos who have heard that before will be wondering when a permanent solution to petrol scarcity issues will be found.
Galp Energia Sells NLNG Cargo to Petronas OrTUGUeSe oil company Galp energia has P sold 18 of the 30 Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) cargoes it won from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG). The buyer of the cargoes it has sold so far is Malaysia’s Petronas. Galp energia is engaged in the exploration, production, refining and distribution of oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. The company recently tendered for up to 30 LNG cargoes over a period of 5 years from NLNG, which it was awarded. Under the terms of the award, it will receive between 4-6 cargoes every year. Galp’s deal with Petronas means it has managed to re-sell the cargo for 3 of the 5 years. This translates to about 18 cargoes of the 30 it is getting from NLNG. Galp energia’s two refineries in Portugal together account for 88% of Portugal’s annual petroleum product needs. The company also has interests in Latin America where it has oil and natural gas exploration and refining operations in Uruguay, Venezuela and Brazil. In 2011, the company sold a 30% stake of its exploratory asset portfolio in Brazil to China’s Sinopec. Petronas has itself been involved in explo-
ration in Nigeria but the project was abandoned in 2006. Despite attempts by both countries to improve bilateral trade, Petronas has so far not been tempted back to invest in Nigeria’s upstream sector of the oil industry. Trade between the two countries has been dropping steadily over the last few years and Nigeria has said it is keen to see Petronas make a come back. News of the purchase of the LNG cargoes is an encouraging sign that Petronas could yet return.
OPEC Daily Basket Price Stood at $102.37 a Barrel Thursday, 20 March 2014 he price of OPeC basket of twelve crudes stood at $102.37 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $103.16 the previous day, according to OPeC Secretariat calcula-
NNPC GED Abiye Membere Sacked reSIDeNT Goodluck Jonathan has sacked P Group executive Director (GeD), exploration and Production, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Abiye Membere. The President also used the opportunity to fill four existing vacancies on the NNPC board. The sacking of Membere has raised eyebrows, not least because of the suddenness with which it was announced. Membere had just given a robust speech at the CWC’s Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja and had barely left the podium on his way back to the NNPC building when he heard that his sacking had been announced. It is thought that his firing is connected with the recent relentless allegations of missing funds at NNPC. Industry watchers knew that heads had to roll over the allegations with many suggesting that the position of the chief executive of the organisation had become untenable under the circumstances. It seems that instead, it is the head of the outspoken GeD that has been offered for the chop. Abiye Membere will be remembered for his vigorous defence of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) against sustained criticism from the Oil Producers Trading Section (OPTS) currently chaired by Mark Ward, Chairman, exxonMobil Companies Nigeria. The OPTS is generally regarded as representing the interests of international oil companies (IOCs) even though it has some indigenous companies on board. Abiye and Ward locked horns on several occasions over the ongoing debate over the fiscal provisions in the PIB. The IOCs and OPTS are vehemently opposed to the new fiscal terms and have appeared on numerous panels including the Senate and house of representative hearings into the PIB to defend their position. On many of these occasions, Membere has been the one to speak on the Federal Government’s behalf rubbishing the claims by the IOCs that the fiscal terms will make new investments in Nigeria’s oil industry unfeasible. The IOCs continue to maintain that their position is supported by independent international financial organisations. Membere has also sometimes been at loggerheads with NNPC’s joint venture partners. he is said to have a combatant attitude and can therefore be difficult to deal with. Others however say that he was passionate about his job and discharged his function with great enthusiasm and that his enthusiasm was sometimes misunderstood. Membere has been replaced temporarily by Dr. Joseph Dawha, who will be the Acting Group executive Director, exploration and Production. Dawha, who is from Borno State, was previously the Managing Director of Integrated Data Services Limited. Before that he had worked in NNPC in numerous roles in both upstream and downstream sectors of the industry. Others appointed to fill existing vacancies on the NNPC Board are: Mr. Ian Udoh, the Group executive Director, refining and Petrochemicals; Dr. Dan efebo, Group executive Director, Corporate Services; Ms. Aisha Abdurrahman, Group executive Director, Business Development; Mr. Adebayo Ibirogba, Group executive Director, engineering and Technical. Ms Aburrahman becomes the first female GeD of the NNPC Board.
in association with
Among the NNPC GeD positions, the GeD, exploration and Production is generally regarded as the most influential given the area of responsibility over the nation’s oil and gas production. All the appointments take effect immediately.
US Signs Deal to Fund Feasibility Study for Industrial Gas Complex in Nigeria he U.S. Trade and Development Agency T (USTDA) has given a grant to Nigeria for a feasibility study for a gas-based industrial complex project in Nigeria. The Agency says it has signed an agreement that will enable the feasibility study to commence. The study will evaluate the feasibility of facilities for the production of methanol, fertiliser, chemicals and petrochemicals. The study will look at the current market demand of the different chemicals in order to make recommendations on which of the chemicals, and accordingly which kinds of facilities, should be included in the project. Under the agreement, USTDA will provide $257,000 for the study. The U.S. ConsulateGeneral in Lagos said in a statement that the grant was aimed at building business relationships between the U.S. and Nigeria’s emerging petrochemical industry. “The project holds the potential to generate significant U.S. exports of goods and services between the U.S. and Nigeria’s emerging petrochemical indus-
Arco Marine Adds Two Vessels to its Logistics Fleet IGerIAN local content maritime capabiliN ty has received a boost with the news that indigenous maritime logistics operator, Arco Marine has just procured two vessels to service upstream oil and gas projects. The two vessels, MV Arco FCB4 and MV Arco FCB5, which cost the firm about $17.5 million were built to specs for the company, a subsidiary of the Arco Group. The commissioning of the vessels took place at the Naval Dock Yard in Lagos. Chairman of Arco Group, Chief Joseph Akpieyi, gave credit to the Local Content Act, for the company’s success. he said the Act had enabled the company to establish its growth in marine transportation and logistics and he hoped the Federal Government would continue to enforce the Act vigorously. The vessels were designed to offer safe and secure coupling to offshore platform installations. The company expects its clients to be International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating offshore. Arco Marine prides itself on having achieved a safety record of zero incidents and close to 100 per cent availability in its 23 months of operation, a feat that has been achieved, they say, with 100 per cent Nigerian financing, crew and management.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILTY
NLNG To Fund Six University Engineering Laboratories With $12 Million he Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited T (NLNG) has announced its intention to give $2 million each to six universities for the construction of modern engineering laboratories. The labs will have state of the art facilities, with cutting-edge equipment. The universities that will receive the donations have been selected from the six geo-political zones. They are: University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University Port harcourt, University of Maiduguri, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
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Insurance ‘Reforms have given positive outlook to industry’ By Joshua Nse HE National Insurance T Commission (NAICOM) has indicated that the reforms in the industry in the last four years has witnessed tremendous changes and predicted positive outlook for the industry. The Commission therefore advised operators to settle all genuine claims promptly to sustain consumers confidence in the industry. In an interview with jour-
• NAICOM directs operators to settle claims promptly nalists during the interactive session between board members of the commission and operators in Lagos, the Commissioner for Insurance, Fola Daniel said that the nation’s insurance industry has witnessed tremendous changes in recent times owing to the new reforms embarked upon by the commission. Specifically, he acknowledged that the implemen-
tation of ‘no premium, no cover’ had ended the vexed issue of unpaid premium in the industry. “In order to put a stop to the vexed issue of delayed or non-payment of insurance premium by the insured, the commission commenced the implementation of section 50 (1) of the Insurance Act 2003 on January 1st 2013. This law stipulates that “the receipt of an insurance premium shall be a condition
precedent to a valid contract of insurance and there shall be no cover in respect of an insurance risk unless the premium is paid in advance.” Invariably, it presupposes that no insurance cover shall be granted by any insurance company without having received the premium, he said. According to him, “the ongoing implementation of this law has significantly
improved the cash flow of insurance institutions in the country. It is expected that this positive turn of events would impact on the capacity of operators to settle claims promptly, thus removing a major sore point in the relationship of insurance consumers and service providers. He said, “the commission expects operators to take the issue of claims settlement promptly seriously as the commission would not tolerate any excuse in this regard.” The commission, he said, also incepted the Market and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) in 2009 to among others enforce compulsory insurances and eradicate fake insurances in the country.
Besides, recognised the urgent need to develop the retail insurance market, which has remained grossly untapped considering the vast population of the country. He urged insurance practitioners in the industry to put their professional knowledge into practice to ensure the upliftment of insurance practice and acceptance by the business community and populace. The Chairman of the Board, Chibudom Nwuche has expressed the determination of his board to deepen insurance penetration in the country, strengthen insurance institutions, enhance the commission’s regulatory capacity and oversight and effective management of stakeholders expectations.
AIICO Capital floats initial public offer IICO Capital is offering A for subscription, 10 million units of N100.00 each
Chairman, Activities Committee, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), MR. S.O. Oyefeso, Chairman of the occassion, Hon. Lanre Laoshe and the CIIN President, Mr. F.K Lawal during the 2014 Miss Insurance dance organised by the Institute in Lagos recently.
Continental Re to assist CEOs in capacity development pel our industry into the fore- Reinsurance was the first ONTINENTAL with clients and business front of the financial services reinsuranceCompany C Reinsurance Plc has in partners to raise awareness of industry in Africa,” he said. expressed its commitment to Africa (outside of SA) to sign help African insurance companies to develop capacity to foster the sector’s development. The Managing Director of the company, Dr. Olufemi Oyetunji, said this during the Company’s first Chief Executive Officers’ summit which took place in Mombasa, Kenya, with the theme, ‘Sustainable industry development and leadership.” 60 participants from eight African companies participated at the summit. “The summit, which we hope to have on an annual basis, is to provide a platform for intellectual discourse among business leaders in the insurance and allied businesses. It is our expectation that insurance leaders in Africa will use this platform to engage in real deep discussions on issues that will pro-
While speaking on some developments in the Company, he said that after the last consolidation in Nigeria’s insurance sector, the Company came up with a five year strategy to achieve its vision, premised on proximity to its clients and providing world class service. He explained that the Company obtained a license to open a branch office in Abidjan in March 2012 after which it was faced with an opportunity to convert its Nairobi branch to a subsidiary company. Oyetunji said the Company had set in motion the incorporation of its francophone company and continues to handle its Nigerian and Anglophone businesses through Continental Reinsurance from Lagos. He noted that Continental
up to the UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance. The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, appreciated Continental Reinsurance for organizing the summit. He said that the theme of the summit was apt and appropriate, as it reflected the current international interest towards sustainable development. According to him, one of the major outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development(Rio+20) was the introduction of the Principles forSustainable Insurance with four major principles. Financial Institutions, he added, are to embed in their decision making, environmental, social and governance issues relevant to insurance business; work
environmental, social and governance issues, manage risk and develop solutions; work with governments, regulators and other key stakeholders to promote widespread action across society on environmental, social and governance issues; demonstrate accountability and transparency in regularly disclosing publicly, progress in implementing the principles. “Sustainable Insurance therefore entails insurers making their business in the long run viable in the environment, social and financial dimensions. In that case, Sustainable Insurance can be an essential building block for sustainable development,” he said. The commissioner said that there is a lot to be done in order to achieve sustained insurance development in the country.
at par in the AIICO Money Market Fund (AMMF). The fund is the first from the bouquet of mutual fund products that will be sponsored by AIICO Capital Limited. According to the prospectus of the offer released in Lagos, the opening date for subscription is 10th March, 2014 and closing 17th April, 2014. The Fund Manager is AIICO Capital Limited, Issuing House, Vetiva Capital Management Limited, Trustee to the Fund is UBA Trustees Limited, while United Bank for Africa Plc (Global Investor Services) is custodian to the fund. The Managing Director, AIICO Capital Limited, Mr. Dipo Oguntuga, in his remarks at the AIICO Money Market Fund investors
forum held in Lagos, said the fund is an open-ended fund which seeks to achieve competitive and steady returns for investors, while ensuring capital preservation by investing in a diversified portfolio of money market securities. The fund also offers an added benefit of a group accident insurance policy to retail investors in the fund. According to him, the fund represents a unique opportunity for investors, who desire regular and competitive income stream from investments in high quality short term money market instruments with the benefit of diversification and disciplined asset allocation thereby offering the opportunity to achieve good returns while minimising concentration risk.
Staco employee wins Miss Insurance By Toyin Olasinde ISS Ogunshola Sarah Fumilola of Staco Insurance plc has won the Miss Insurance event 2014/2015. She was given a star prize of a brand new Kia Picanto, donated by Sovereign Trust Insurance plc, while the second runner went home with a 42 inches Television sets and a home theater donated by Continental Reinsurance, and the third runner up went home with a deep freezer donated by AIICO Insurance plc. The yearly event is organized by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) as part of its awareness campaign to bring insurance to the
doorsteps of Nigerians. Speaking about the event, the new queen said she was very happy considering the fact that this is the first time she has contested in such pageant event and won. She thanked the organizers of the event for the opportunity given to her to serve the Institute for one year, adding that she will do her best to ensure that the Crown is not ridiculed in any way. On her plans for the Institute, she said she would work with the Institute to come out with developmental pet project that will help to educate the public on the importance of Insurance to their security of life and property.
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Safeguarding accumulated contributory pension savings HE contributory pension T scheme was established nine years ago by the federal government. Before then, what obtained in the public sector was a defined benefit non-contributory pension scheme whereby retirees were paid from budgetary allocations. In the private sector, there were different types of pension schemes depending on individual employers and the agreement with in-house unions where they existed. However, with the enactment of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 (PRA), the federal government arm of the public sector embraced contributory pension by January 1, 2005 while it was made mandatory for the private sector by July 1, 2005. The Pension Reform Act, 2004 provided that every worker in an organisation employing five people or more must contribute 7.5 per cent of his or her salary to a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA). The employer under the law is expected to contribute 7.5 per cent of the individual salary of workers to their respective Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) resident with their chosen PFAs. The objectives of the contributory pension scheme include ensuring that those who worked in either the fed-
eral arm of the public sector, Federal Capital Territory and the private sector receive their retirement benefits as at when due. It is also meant to assist individuals by ensuring that they save in order to cater for their livelihood during old age and to establish a uniform set of rules, regulations and standards for the administration and payment of retirement benefits to workers in both private and public sectors. Falling back on relevant provisions in the pension reform law the federal government established the National Pension Commission (PenCom), which in turn, licensed 18 Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), seven Closed Pension Fund Administrators (CPFAs) and four Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs). Under the scheme, employers deduct 7.5 per cent of individual workers monthly salary AND contribute at least the same amount, which is credited into the workers’ RSAs. The respective PFAs chosen by individual workers then manage the accumulated funds, which is under the custody of the PFC chosen by the PFA. PenCom is statutorily empowered to regulate the pension sector from the scratch and to create struc-
tures for the scheme to operate smoothly. Giving an update on the scheme, the Acting Director General of PenCom, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, said Nigeria’s contributory pension scheme between 2004 and last year grew at an average rate of 27.05 per cent annually and from inception succeeded in reversing and plugging the N2.6 trillion pension hole that weighed down defined benefits schemes in the country and accumulated almost N4 trillion as at February 2014. The number of contributors under the scheme has risen to 5.9 million last month
even as the operators projected that half a million more workers would join the scheme before the end of this year. Reaffirming public confidence for the contributory pension scheme, NOI Polls Limited, one of leading opinion polling and research organisations in the country, said 73 per cent of Nigerians who have been contributing under the scheme were satisfied with the services of their PFAs while dissatisfied ones complained about not getting updates on their Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs). The residual defined bene-
fits non-contributory pension scheme in the country has continued to pose serious challenge to the ten-year old contributory pension scheme in the country. Fraud in the administration of the residual defined benefits schemes has persisted while retirees under them rested schemes continue to suffer hardships. The residual scheme is fraud prone while the contributory pension scheme has in-built structures that make it almost impossible for individuals or organisations to divert or steal accumulated pension savings of workers. Even with the assurances of contributory pension, every
report of fraud and mismanagement in the residual schemes rubs off negatively on the new scheme since many Nigerian do not really understand that the two schemes are like two parallel lines that can never meet. Two years ago, while PenCom and pension operators were trying to shore up confidence for the contributory pension, the National Assembly discovered massive fraud in the residual system. This discovery threw spanners into the works of contributory pension stakeholders and the image of the scheme dipped seriously.
Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers raises awareness campaign IGERIA’S biggest pension fund administrator (PFA), N Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, has commenced an awareness campaign that will bring pension services to the doorsteps of existing and potential customers via multiple service channels. Apart from its offices dotted across the country, the PFA listed other service channels available to customers to include the website, mobile app, online chat, email, SMS Shortcode, mobile offices and Stanbic IBTC Bank ATMs. Others are the 24-hour multilingual call centre, Stanbic IBTC Bank branches and selected branches of Zenith Bank. Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, Dr. Demola Sogunle, in confirming kickoff of the campaign, which will run on radio, television, and press, described it as another way to deliver value to customers by providing more choices for them to interact with the PFA. “Our central objective in launching this awareness drive is to enhance convenience and accessibility by providing our customers with the choice to engage Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers the way they prefer. This is in line with our commitment to respond to the ever-changing preferences and needs of our customers by deploying the appropriate tools and technology,” Sogunle stated. Sogunle listed benefits accruable to customers from the initiative to include easy access, time saving, comfort, and professional assistance
and customised pension solutions and building robust long-term relationships. The Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers mobile office, which was launched last year, has proven a revolutionary initiative, Sogunle emphasized, as pension services are brought to the doorsteps of customers and prospective customers alike. He said plans are currently being finalized to deploy more mobile offices in various cities across the country. As industry leader, Sogunle said that the Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers would continuously innovate and help to enhance industry best practices, part of which includes creating awareness about the benefits of retirement savings and helping workers plan for that eventuality. He said that Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited was set up with a mission to enable Nigerians retire to a life of relative comfort and peace after their working lives. “In almost nine years of existence, we have emerged Nigeria’s biggest PFA with over one million retirement savings account holders and assets under management of over N950 billion, paying close to N1.7billion to over 29,000 retirees monthly. Over N178 billion has been paid to retirees seamlessly since we commenced operations in 2005. Our aim is to continue to set higher standards of service delivery and ensure that our retirement savings account holders derive maximum value from their contributions,” Sogunle stated.
Director of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, Mr Friday Ebojoh, (Left), erstwhile General Manager, Technical of the company and now Managing Director/CEO, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Bode Opadokun and Managing Director of the company, Eddie Efekoha, at the send forth dinner in honour of Bode in Lagos recently.
Non-life insurance in Denmark: key trends and opportunities HE non-life segment is the T second largest in the Danish insurance industry, representing 21.5 per cent of the industry’s gross written premium in 2012. It was led by the property insurance category with a 53.0 per cent share of the segment’s gross written premium in 2012, followed by motor insurance with 32.7 per cent. Mandatory fire insurance for houses supported the growth of property insurance in Denmark. Moreover, growth in automobile sales and recovery in the property market in Denmark supported the growth of the non-life segment during the review period, and is expected to continue to do so over the forecast period. Compulsory thirdparty motor liability insurance and comprehensive motor insurance also supported the growth of non-life insurance during the review period, and both motor and property insurance are expected to retain their shares over the forecast period. Non-life insurance was the second-largest segment in the Danish insurance industry in 2012, representing a
21.5% industry share - The Danish non-life segment is large and concentrated, with the top 10 insurers accounting for around 85 per cent of the segment’s overall gross written premium in 2012 Property insurance dominated the segment with a 53.0 per cent share in 2012, followed by motor insurance with 32.7, general liability with 12.1 per cent and marine aviation and transit insurance with 2.2 per cent. As of 2012, 85 companies were licensed to conduct non-life insurance business in the country, down from 113
in 2008 -series of mergers and acquisitions during the review period significantly changed the competitive structure of the industry report scope . This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the non-life insurance segment in Denmark: It provides historical values for Denmark’s non-life insurance segment for the report’s 2008-2012 review period and forecast figures for the 2012-2017 forecast period. It offers a detailed analysis of the key categories in Denmark’s non-life insur-
ance segment, along with market forecasts until 2017. It covers an exhaustive list of parameters, including written premium, incurred loss, loss ratio, commissions and expenses, combined ratio, frauds and crimes, total assets, total investment income and retentions. It analyses the various distribution channels for non-life insurance products in Denmark. Using Porter’s industry-standard “Five Forces” analysis, it details the competitive landscape in Denmark for the non-life insurance segment.
Guinea Insurance declares N50m profit By Seye Olumide HE Chairman, Guinea Insurance Plc, Emeka Offor, has said that the company made profit of N50 million in 2012. He said that the corporate head office has been relocated from Reinsurance House Marina, to its permanent site at 33, Ikorodu Road, Jibowu Lagos, adding that the company has also engaged service of a new Managing Director, Polycarp Didam, following the
resignation of three members of the Board. Addressing shareholders during the 55th annual general meeting in Lagos recently, Offor said despite the fact that the year under review witnessed persistent global meltdown and its attendance consequences, “Guinea Insurance had an increase of 39 per cent in Gross Premium earned from N889 million to N1.24 billion and underwriting profits increased by 10 per cent from N527 million to N579 million.
Net operating income grew by 191 per cent from a loss of N192 million to N176 million profits, while investment income grew by 154 per cent from N68, 046 million. The company thus closed the year with a profit before tax of N176 million and a profit after tax of N50 million.” The chairman however said that the company’s aim to achieve positive growth and sustained performance cannot be achieved without commitment of people to development.
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58 Monday, March 24, 2014
There is total commitment to power
Reynolds Beks Dagogo-Jack was appointed Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) and Member, Presidential Action Committee on Power. He was the Senior Special Assistant to the President and Senior Performance Monitor for the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), where he worked closely with the project teams managing over 400 power infrastructure projects covering gas, generation, transmission and distribution schemes. He spoke with ROSELINE OKERE on the challenges of the Federal Government in meeting the electricity demand in the country. Excerpts. When the Federal Government launched the power sector road map, there were high expectations from the people that the administration would provide uninterrupted electricity within a very short period. Would you say that the reform has been able to achieve its objectives? Yes, I will say we have been able to achieve our objectives. The power sector reform was a plan with certain components. Now, the end of that plan is the beginning of a new electricity market and the handing over of the generation and distribution assets. November 1, gave birth to a new electricity market. So, a new born baby cannot be compare to an adult. You will not be correct to say it will not mature. What we did was to role out the market. It is a three months old baby and it will be wrong to start to judge the market too early. What is the power sector road map all about? The key components of the roadmap were fashioned out in milestones; the Nigerian power sector reform roadmap had 15 milestones. Now the 1st of November, 2013, handover of the Federal Government companies to the new owners represented the last milestone. To get to this milestone, several prior milestones were accomplished including the instituting of the enabling Act, the
Electricity Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005, which provided the legislation framework for executing the reform. A critical milestone like the establishment of the regulatory body, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), was achieved. Also, the Nigerian Electricity Power Authority (NEPA) was restructured and unbundled into successor companies with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc (PHCN) established as the holding company having six generation companies, one transmission company and 11 distribution companies. Other critical milestones delivered included the establishment of a costreflective tariff to enable investors to come into the market and expand the asset base of the industry for increased electricity production. Again, we established a bulk electricity trader, the
Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), which is a Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) entity capitalized to stand in the gap between the generating companies and the distributing companies and provide cover for some financial risks in the market. Typically, the Bulk Trader signs a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the generating companies to grant them security of revenue whilst they sign vesting contracts with the distribution companies for energy supply. The benefits associated with the divestment of the government’s assets are huge, for example, a drastically reduced yearly budgetary allocation to the sector. The private companies can mobilise funds to quickly recover the lost capacity of the assets for increased supply and they also have the ability to train Nigerians.
We need to recognise the fact that we will not go back to where we were before the privatization of the electricity firms. We will definitely not go back to that era where the Federal Government allocate fund for Power Holding Company of Nigeria in the nation’s budget to get 4,000 mega watts in almost 30 years. We have crossed that bridge for life. There will be challenges to start walking or running, but we have passed the stage of crawling. We will never go back to the stage of crawling again in the nation’s electricity sector.
The new power sector investors are already complaining of inadequate gas supply, labour issues and the challenge of obtaining bank loans. Don’t you think these complaints may affect the power sector reform? I don’t think so. Babies at infancy complain a lot. When these babies cry, you may not be able to know exactly what they are complaining about. Why won’t they complain when they are still babies? They have never managed these assets before. Though, they brought in experienced people from different background, these particular assets are peculiar and are in a location, which they have never done business before. So, they will have teething problems, they will have adjustment problems. But, because they are businessmen and they are out to make profit, there is no cause for alarm. They will overcome these challenges. We need to recognise the fact that we will not go back to where we were before the privatization of the electricity firms. We will definitely not go back to that era where the Federal Government allocate fund for Power Holding Company of Nigeria in the nation’s budget to get 4,000 mega watts for many years. We have crossed that bridge for life. There will be challenges to start walking or running, but we have passed the stage of crawling. We will
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sector reforms, says Dagogo-Jack never go back to the stage of crawling again in the nation’s electricity sector. Having identified theses challenges, are there strategies in place to assist the new electricity assets’ owners to help them walk or run on time? Federal Government allowed some agencies to be around because it believed that the power sector needs nurturing. For example, the Presidential Task Force on power was to take the country up to the point of handing over. But the government saw the need for the agency to stay around for sometime and watch these power firms. This is part of the effort of the Federal Government to ensure that we get the best from privatisation. The government is not going to abandon the investors to their fate. The level of vigilant and oversight interest that the ministry of power in respect to the experts and skills that have been assembled, only showed that the government is ready to react on time before these babies develop jaundice. There are some institutions that are originally meant to do the business of managing the babies. It is their institutional responsibility to nurture these electricity firms. One of those institutions is Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). So partnering with NERC and having close association with the agency will go a long way to help the power firms stand on their feet. NERC is going to engage in closed monitory of the power firms to assist them pass through the teething stage. Nigerians are seriously waiting to begin to reap the benefits of privatisation. So, how long will it take for the power firms to begin to deliver regular electricity in the country? It will be nice if one was able to exercise the power of crystal ball and predict when the country will begin to enjoy uninterrupted electricity. There are children that take longer or shorter period to learn how to walk. There are privatisation that has been done in some parts of the world, which are still struggling two years after to tackle challenges. We will be able to bring meaningful results in less than two years. I don’t know when we will overcome some teething problems. I will rather be positive about the situation and the way to do that is to know exactly what to do and how to go about it. We should be able to identify exactly what we want to do at any point in time and face them and do them. We have to enforce the contract regime for gas supply. We have to tighten up the gas market to ensure that there is proper gas supply arrangement to power the electricity firms. If you look at what has happened in the past, there was no alignment between investments in transmission as it was with distribution and generation. There was massive attention on generation and distribution and transmission was left stranded for one reason or the other. What we are doing is to ensure that there is adequate alignment between the three through adequate investment in transmission. We have identified almost all the areas of need in respect to moving the power sector forward. What to do in gas as project, we know; what to do in transmission as project, we know. Government has gone ahead to arrange leverage funding from different sources for transmission. For me, what needs to be done by the government is to ensure that people who own projects must ensure that they do what is needed to be done to ensure a success of the power sector reform. Despite the fact that the country has successfully privatized the power sector, some believe that the industry would have been liberalised rather than privatised. What is your take on this? I think people are using catch phrases, but such catch phrases are only being suspended in the air. You have to bring an argument on the ground for testing. A liberalised market, essentially, is a privatised market. So, even if government’s assets are in the liberalised market, they should behave as if they are private entities and that is the only way they can survive. So, liberalisation and privatisation are not in competition; they are not in contest. But if you want to grow a
We have identified almost all the areas of need in respect of moving the power sector forward. What to do in gas as project, we know; what to do in transmission as project, we know and government has gone ahead to arrange leverage funding from different sources for transmission.
For me, what needs to be done by the government is to ensure that people who own projects must do what is needed to ensure a success of the power sector reform.
Between the generator dealers and illegal diesel sellers, we can argue for a fact that there is a game going on. But this fact has not been proven because it involves intelligence and security issues. The truth is that we cannot just stay here and imagine that this is not possible.
market from public sector position to liberalisation, it is so important that the government’s assets that are on the side of the industry which are poorly managed over time, which continue to take federal budgetary allocation and still produce very little in return, should be privatised. By privatising the firms, any other private developer, who brings his own assets into that market, will come into that market, knowing that his competitors are going to go through the same economic fundamentals like him. For some time now, the country has continued to lament the issue of gas pipeline vandalism. What do you think is responsible for saga? There are different dimension to it. When the vandals blow up crude oil pipelines, only two products can be found in the crude oil pipeline. The products are crude oil and condensate. These two products can be treated to produce lighter fuels, depending on how sophisticated your refinery method is. But the refineries that the vandals use in refining the stolen crude oil are not modern refineries. They produce adulterated products, which find their way into the market and they cannot be used on trucks because they can actually damage the vehicles. They are mostly use in fueling generators. A lot of generators can actually survive with adulterated fuel or diesel. We are suspecting that when the vandals realised that they could sell more adulterated diesel, so they now have the conviction that they could blow up the pipelines. We feel the vandals are blowing up the gas pipeline to create market for their adulterated fuel. When there is no electricity as a result of shortage of gas to the power plants, there will be high demand for adulterated fuel and generators. So, between the generators dealers and illegal diesel sellers, we can argue for a fact that there is a game going on. But this fact has not been proven to be true because this is intelligence and security issue. The truth is that we cannot just stay here and imagine that this is not possible. We all know that when the gas pipelines are vandalised, the product is wasted because it cannot be stored. So, what would have been the motivation behind the gas pipeline vandalism if not for certain selfish purpose? Apart from this, tell me what other thing that would make people to begin to vandalise pipelines in the country. We are talking about commercial criminality. There may be connection a connection between generator sellers and the gas pipeline vandals. We have not folded our hands concerning it. We have set traps and very soon people will fall into it. Beside setting traps for the vandals, what is the government doing to protect the pipelines from vandals? I believe the security personnel are doing something about it. But we want to ambush some vandals and use them as scapegoat for other prospective vandals. We need the media to highlight the fact that it is dangerous to vandalise pipelines. We want to do a major communication agenda to disconnect the community from this criminality. Now that the Power Holding Company of Nigeria has been successfully privatized, how will you evaluate the performance of the roadmap since it was launched? When we launched the roadmap, we were still 100 per cent in the pre-roadmap regime with gross electricity supply gaps and non-existent service delivery reliability. This situation prevailed for several decades. The handing over of the utilities took place about three months ago, precisely on 1st November 2013, and I believe it is too early to evaluate the impact of the performance of the roadmap. Nevertheless, I will tell you that even as new as the roadmap is in operation, we are seeing very good signal of efficiency in revenue collection on the distribution companies’ level, ability to respond quickly whenever faults occur in the network, establishment of staff discipline and incentives for productivity. You can imagine what will happen when the market matures in the next two years or so. It will be a different ball game.
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Security challenges will force Jonathan out of office, says Olabayo Theophilus Oluwasanu Olabayo is the Primate of the Evangelical Church of Yahweh, Worldwide. Recently, he turned 68, and a colloquium organised in his honour to mark the event, brought a cream of Nigerian clerics together, as they celebrated one of their own. Many of the clerics that spoke at the event took time to demystify the man many believed was a false prophet. Notwithstanding his health challenges, which he has suffered for over 10 years, the man is still talking tough. In this interview with The Guardian, he told CHRIS IREKAMBA that the country is sitting on a keg of gunpowder and only one man can prevent it from exploding. What are those things that God is telling you about Nigeria and its leaders? N this country, there are prophets and there are pastors. The late MKO Abiola came to me and said: “Primate” and I said: ‘Don’t contest’. I told him then that he would win the election but would not be president. He asked how that was possible and I told him that God said so. I even told him that at the end, he would die in the process. Senator Zwingina was there. When the problem started, those deceiving him ran away. After that, Sani Abacha wanted to succeed himself. People should remember how I warned Abiola and Abacha and I’m still warning people today. It would be better for them if they heed the warning. So, a friend to General Abubakar from Delta State came to me and said: ‘Primate, I have a friend that Abacha wanted retire from office.’ He was referring to Abubakar. I said thus says the Lord of host, ‘the man that wanted to retire him would die before him (Abubakar), and it happened. Same thing happened in the case of General Oladipo Diya over alleged coup attempt. When Diya’s people came to me, I told them that Diya would not be killed, but the man that arrested them would die. Did it not happen? When President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was sick, the wife sent for all of us. She said that we should say that Yar’Adua would not die. I said ‘no, your husband would die.’ Were you among the religious leaders that went to see him, when he was sick? I was not among those pastors/priests/imams that visited him then. Their testimony was that they saw him moving. I was called differently. I told her that the Lord said that Yar’Adua would die. And that Goodluck Jonathan would take over, but they should allow a Hausa man to complete Yar’Adua’s tenure. If not, they would make the country ungovernable for Jonathan; that there would be terrorism and bombing. Unfortunately, some pastors said it couldn’t happen. Is it not happening today? In fact, we haven’t seen anything. If I were to be in Jonathan’s shoes, I would have resigned. He should forget about 2015 general elections. There will be no election. The country is in trouble and the world is in crisis because there is a rebellion against God. This is what is happening and it may appear like a child’s play. Jonathan would spend so much money, but he will not get there. A new Nigeria is about to be born. Someone else will take over from him. Who is this person and what is his pedigree? He is a Gideon. He will come in the form of a Gideon or Jehu. For over 20 years, I have been saying that a new Nigeria will be born and the country will be like America. If most of these people parading themselves in the corridors of power are not dead, they will end up in prison. Those having 20 houses will be dispossessed of them, and if they go to their villages, they will not be allowed to enter. Some people are of the view that the National Confab would lead to Nigeria’s disintegration? Do you share this view? The National Confab that started last Monday would end up in confusion and in crisis as well. I am not happy with the composition because it is the same set of people that are being recycled. Some of them have no business being there. Nothing good will come out of it. It is mere waste of time. “I’m looking at them,” Jesus said. Witches and wizards have taken over everywhere. The country is polluted and people are no longer saying the truth. Pastors are no longer saying the truth, because they have oil blocs. They live fat, have the best universities and say all is well, when all is not well. Mr. President hasn’t got a good friend because a good friend is someone that advises you rightly. This is the time they should advise him to stop talking about 2015. He should drop the idea because it will not work. Again, he has to pray seriously for himself and someone who is very close to him. When he hears warnings like this, he runs to fake prophets and they usually assure him that with their prayers all is okay, while all is not okay. They cannot solve the problems that I’m seeing because they are all fake. I saw the dead rising up as soldiers to fight in this nation. Some of the people killed were not supposed to die. It is their spirit that will fight and as you know, bombs cannot kill the spirit. They are taking over this country. They should pray very well because I saw one of them collapsing, sweating profusely and passing on. If not properly handled, it will end in catastrophe and nothing will come out of it. They should discuss how to solve poverty and security challenges. Presidential system of government is too expensive. I don’t want us to go our separate ways. You can see what is happening to countries that went their separate ways such as the USSR (Soviet Union). God has joined us together. We have many things in common. We should pray very well so that this country will not be broken into six countries, but I have prayed over it so that there will be no seven-year war. We have never seen kidnapping and armed robbery, but between now and three months time, the menace will increase in the country. Same thing with terrorism, which I have spoken about for over 10 years now even before it started. That is why I said that Jonathan should not be president because he will not be able to handle the crisis. After President Yar’Adua’s death, I said that another Northerner should be allowed to complete his tenure. He hasn’t got the experience to handle the situation at hand. He has his own
• Remember how I warned Abiola, Abacha and still warning people today
Olabayo prayer warriors, who are telling him ‘all is well,’ while all is not well! He has given them oil blocs, so what else do you expect them to say other than ‘all is well?’ But for saying the truth, you are called a prophet of doom. If Jonathan comes to you now, will you be bold enough to repeat these things to his face? I’m a prophet of prophets. I don’t sell my gifts. I’m saying what God revealed to me. I love Jonathan and I don’t want him to be killed. When he went to see one Oba, he was given a gong to drum. Do you know what that mean? When a drum is too high, it will burst. Let him drum it very well. People will be taking money from him, but there is nothing there. The other day too, we heard that the Arewas are behind him. They are deceiving him. Nothing will come out of it. The same set of people using the names of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sarduna are the people chosen for the National Conference. Nobody should compromise because if there is war, it will last for seven years. For 30 years now, I have been prophesying that God will raise a new leader and this is the time. The situation is alarming, as lawlessness has taken over. He is not in control any longer. People just go to him with different kinds of concoctions to cajole him that all is well and he will give out money. Journalists are also not being fair; they are not saying the truth. The other day, some of his ministers were saying that the country is moving forward, but there is poverty in the land. There is no electricity and there is scarcity of fuel everywhere. There is crisis upon crisis and yet you want to continue in power. What solution have you proffered? People are suffering and you are busy going from church to church, where they are telling you all is well, when in the actual fact, things are not well. People are of the view that Muhammadu Buhari’s utterances that he would make the country ungovernable if the last presidential election did not favour him, precipitated the menace of Boko Haram Those saying that Buhari was the cause of Boko Haram should go and apologise to him. To start with, Buhari has no money. These people (Boko Haram) are against Nigerian leaders stealing the country’s money and stashing it in foreign banks. They have the best houses in Arab countries, while other people are maiguard. They are not happy. It’s not Buhari at all because his children are well read. These people are well fortified. Governor Shettima was shouting the other day that these people have more sophisticated weapons than the military. President Jonathan cannot win this battle. Have you considered the havoc that these people have caused this nation? I’m not supporting them. But I think we should ask this question: How were they able to cross to Nigeria without anybody knowing? Now, they’ve entered the country and you think to dislodge them will be an easy task? There’s more to it than meets the ordinary eye. Look at what happened in Nasarawa and Adamawa states, where there are crises everywhere. Don’t you think this is the time for him to leave the stage? He will not listen to the truth from us. He’s only listening to those he has given oil wells. You know there is no way they will give you oil well and you turn around to criticise. They gave them aircraft; they are enjoying and their children are schooling abroad. Nigerians are yet to see kidnapping; they should be ready to experience more of it, and terrorism too. I have been saying it and people don’t believe me. Do you think these problems will end if Jonathan decides to ‘step aside?’ The problem arises because he wants to entrench himself in government. The desire to continue in power is what is creating these problems. He should stop wasting our resources. The other day, he went to Katsina State and as he was leaving the place, they started killing people. From the look of things, these people are trying to make a way for a Northerner to come in… I have said it that a northerner should become the next president. This is what God told me. Is it in 2015 or…? There may not be 2015. Something will happen. When is the Northerner expected to become the next president?
Between now and next year, it will happen. Jonathan will not rule. So the Yorubas and Igbos should forget the presidency in 2015? The person is going to be a Northerner. People are saying there will be a war in 2015. Do you envisage such happening? Efforts will be made to ensure that there is war. But there will be no war, because God is going to raise a leader that will take over this country. Jonathan will surrender. There was something I said about Bamanga Tukur, which was that he would be forced to resign as chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it came to pass. No other person said it. I was the first person to say so. I said he would be humiliated and same thing is going to happen to Jonathan. The problem will be so much in this country, that he will be forced to resign. But you said Nigerians wouldn’t experience war? There will be no war by the grace of God. If there is war, it will last seven years. So, there will be no war. Did you read the statement by Asari Dokubo that his kinsmen in the Niger Delta would foment trouble if President Goodluck Jonathan were not re-elected in 2015. Who is Asari Dokubo? They will silence him. Is he God? It’s because Jonathan is there that he seems important. Otherwise, who would have reckoned with him? These people are only talking because they want to be relevant. Even Baba Edwin Clark is supposed to sit down, but unfortunately the man is still talking. These are the people that are deceiving Jonathan, telling him ‘don’t worry, we are behind you, it is your time.’ The man we are expecting now is the Gideon that will salvage this country from total collapse. He’s expected to combine the gifts of Baba Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sarduna together and change the course of this country. And there will be no war, things will flourish and there will be peace. There will be no more anarchy. How do you see the promotion of gay marriage and role of America and its allies? That is why I said the world is in crisis. There is rebellion against God. Nobody should expect a measure of peace and happiness in a time like this. This is a warning. God never condones evil. The time we are in is not for prosperity, comfort and easy life. The truth is that the Bible has warned us that woe unto the prophet, who says there is peace when there is no peace. This is where Barack Obama has failed. He is not supposed to be a leader, because anybody that supports gay marriage has failed. That is why America is going to face crisis upon crisis. There will be so much plane crashes everywhere. In fact, the world needs Christ the Messiah. They need God. Before Saddam Hussein died, I remember saying he would die like chicken and same thing I said about Muammar Gaddafi. Where are these people now? Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo brought Jonathan to power, but now enemies have come between them. Why should Jonathan allow enemies to come between them? You don’t forget your mentor. These are some of the problems the man is having. To show you how much I love this country, the other day, I called two Obas, one from Jonathan’s place and the other from the Southwest to broker peace between Obasanjo and Jonathan so that they can settle. I love this country I don’t want it to be divided. That is why I want Jonathan to mellow down. He should stop wasting our resources, bribing people here and there. It’s a war that he cannot win. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was sacked because he exposed them. He told Nigerians about the 20 billion dollars missing and it’s going to be more than that. Do you know what that means? I have never seen a government that is as corrupt as this government. This is enough for him to resign, but he doesn’t want to resign because he has settled the ministers of God with oil blocs and estates in Abuja. This is what is causing Boko Haram and they are not talking. God is raising a messiah and he will judge this country between three and five years. Those that messed up this country from 1960 to date will be exposed. Why is corruption endemic? Party leaders extort money from political appointees before they are made ministers. I weep for my country. In a situation, where people want to take up political appointments and they are asked to part with the sum of 1million dollars, 200 million dollars and N1billion, when they get to that position won’t they steal? If you have that amount of money, would you need to be a minister? Where did they get that money? That is why corruption is too much. We have never had corruption like that in the history of this country. This is not good. Let me give you one example, and why this country needs deliverance. The man that was supposed to head the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) was well qualified, but because he had no godfather, he was denied that privilege. And the position was given to a junior person. That is not fair. If you don’t have godfather in this country, you cannot make it. That is why I’m weeping for my country. Your comment on last Saturday’s tragedy, which claimed about 19 Nigerians during the Nigeria Immigration Service’s recruitment? The minister in charge of the agency and head of immigration should be sacked immediately for causing the death of many Nigerians. If you don’t have godfather and money in this country you can hardly get anything, not even political appointment. Book Haram is everywhere; they are in the military and other para-military agencies. That is why the war is unending. The risk of rigging election APC will also have problems in their choice of candidate. Any attempt to rig elections in both Ekiti and Osun states for PDP will cause trouble in the country. Anger, hunger, corruption and security problem may end the life of the government. The government wants to silence the opposition. There will be mass revolution, as the poor will fight the rich. There may not be election next year, if all does not make fervent prayer and sundry. I weep for this nation because of corruption.
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Monday, March 24, 2014
For The Record Affluent society: Can Africa 66th Inaugural Lecture delivered by Prof. Sheriffdeen Adewale Tella on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State The Vice-Chancellor and Chairman Principal Officers of the University Provosts of Colleges and the Postgraduate School Dean of Faculty of Social and Management Sciences Deans of other Faculties Heads of Departments Other members of Senate The Rt. Hon. Speaker and my colleagues from Ogun State House of Assembly My teachers, mentors and colleagues from within and outside OOU Gentlemen of the Press Great OOUITES! Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen Preamble It is with gratitude to Almighty Allah that I stand before you to present the 66th Inaugural Lecture of this great University. This is the fifth from the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences and the second from the Department of Economics. When my colleague and friend, Professor Dapo George presented the first inaugural lecture from the Department entitled “Nigeria: A Diabetic Economy”, in December, 2012 and having listened to a number of other recent inaugural lectures across universities, I thought it was necessary to extend the frontier of analysis beyond national issues. Secondly, I checked a lot of write-ups on economics of developing countries and found poverty as a recurring issue. The Nigerian Economics Society had held two conferences in the space of twenty years on poverty issues, proffering solutions to the problems associated with the humongous variable. The last of the two conferences by the Society was in 1997 but only a few beneficiaries of the Nigerian profligacy can deny the present avoidable depth of poverty in Nigeria. Based on my view of the causal factors of corruption in Nigeria, I proposed two additional hypotheses for corruption namely Element of Luck hypothesis and Corruption hypothesis of poverty (Tella, 1997). When my brother and mentor, Professor Benard Aigbokhan, Vice-Chancellor of Samuel Adegboyega University delivered his Inaugural lecture entitled “The Battle for Justice and the Poverty of Nations” in 2005 in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, I thought the battle against poverty would be won within a short time. Yet, aluta continua but victory appears uncertain! The question then arose, can’t we think positive and move in the other direction? That is, away from poverty! Let us think “AFFLUENT” … work in “AFFLUENCE” and live in “AFFLUENCE”! After all, Nigerians once won the best position as the “happiest people on earth”, even though the real life economic statistics gave precarious living conditions. We are optimists, a people that perch on hope as depicted by Ebenezer Obey in his song on Nigeria’s situation in the 1970s when he sang “Nigeria yi si ma dun, o dami loju” (for sure, Nigeria would soon be okay) and which Tony Tetula, thirty years later, when conditions remained the same, re-echoed in his song “Tell your mama o, tell your papa o, e go beta, Nigeria go beta”. We may not however, ignore the radical singers too who equally depicted our frustration in their songs as shown by Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s “Suffering and smilling” in the 1980s and “Nigeria jaga jaga” by Edris Abdul-Kareem, twenty years later in 2005. We will return to the issue of hope later. Albeit, this lecture is not about Nigeria, it is about Africa but the same trends and reflections hold for both. However, the main motivation for the choice of the title of this Lecture can be traced firstly, to a 2011 publication of LDC Watch entitled TOWARDS A WORLD WITHOUT LDCs. It was a Global Civil Society Report and Recommendations to the fourth United Nations Conference
Prof. Tella on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-lV). Secondly, there are emerging positive economic reports on developing countries generally and particularly on Sub-Saharan Africa. For example, in the report by a United States based business consulting company, Ernest and Young, it is stated that “There is a new story emerging out of Africa: a story of growth, progress, potential and profitability” (cited in Africa Renewal, 2012). I am concerned; Africa must not be left behind again, as it was in the 1990s. Hope or optimism is a subject matter of importance for people like me. It is like a dream or a vision that could generate a mission. Having had my primary education in Lagos Island, where I was born, with those tall buildings, ‘big’ cars and cozy environment with feeling of affluence, and, lived as well as had my secondary education in Mushin-Oshodi axis where one not only smells poverty but feels it, I had hope to be one of three types of people. The Lagos experience propelled me to think of becoming an owner of a cozy building in Ikoyi or Victoria island and working in one of those tall buildings in Broad Street or Marina in Lagos, with my office at the top, employing people and paying them well to extract more commitments in terms of increased productivity and loyalty from them so that my living in affluence would not be jeopardized. By the time I moved to Mushin-Idi-Araba-Oshodi axis with a totally different or opposite environment from metropolitan Lagos and came face to face with poverty, my desire to live in affluence thickened. But it looked like I would not be able to work in sky-scrapper office and live in cozy environment of my earlier dream. I then
hoped that I would be a big time farmer controlling large expanse of land with poultry and crops. Alternatively, I would become a recalcitrant journalist fighting, through my writings, all those in government who were bent on unleashing poverty on citizens like me. I was conscious of the danger of incarceration that could follow but thought it would be worth the effort. After all, I had already chosen Dr. Tai Solarin and Chief Gani Fawehinmi, both of blessed memory, as my role models. One thing you cannot take away from living in Mushin, Ajegunle, Idi-Araba, Oshodi and other ghetto-like communities is being street wise. This paid off every time I got into trouble as students union leader in my undergraduate days and particularly with students and management in this University. Secondly, one can choose to become very religious, seeking God’s support to get out of the precarious condition or become religious defiant, asking God why he should put you in such perilous living condition while favouring some other beings. In the spirit of achieving either of these vocations and without the wherewithal to finance university education, I got admitted into the School of Agriculture, Ikorodu and also enrolled with Transworld Tutorial College, Britain for Advanced Diploma in Journalism through correspondence studies, such that I had obtained my Diploma in Journalism by the time I completed the Ordinary Diploma in Agriculture. I was planning to bag Higher National Diploma within the next five years but situation changed when, after completion of the ordinary diploma; I was posted to Badagry as an Agricultural Assistant. I visited the housing es-
tate where our bosses were living and found that the young Agricultural Officer, a bachelor, was allocated four-bedroom flat while his older colleagues with Higher National Diploma (HND), many years of experience on the job and married with children were allocated two bedroom flats! It was discrimination of the highest order. It dawned on me that I was not on the path to affluence which I had craved for and the urge to have a degree and live in a four-bedroom flat became imperative. Armed with good school certificate result, advanced level papers in economics and geography, and a diploma in agriculture, I believed I had all it takes to be admitted as direct entry student into any Nigerian university to pursue my agriculture. I picked Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as my first choice of institution so as to have an opportunity to move away from home, away from environment trapped in poverty. The admission did not come through on the ground that Ogun State was not one of the catchment areas of the University. The following year, I was admitted into University of Benin to read Geography but I later switched to Economics, which hopefully, would assist in my quest for affluence which, I believed, Geography would not. Today, I am neither an agriculturist nor a journalist; neither working on top of a skyscraper nor on a large farm as an entrepreneur but I have no regret in taking up this noble teaching profession which had made it possible for me to produce those who work in those places of my childhood conjecture and some are actually living in affluence. What is important is not the job but that EDUCATION has taken me away from poverty. That is the message and we shall return to it later. The spirit of this inaugural is not so much about my contributions to knowledge over time as this can be gleaned from my curriculum vitae or through google search for my name on the internet, rather I see it as an opportunity to air my deep seated concern for my continent – Africa. So, this lecture is concerned about the persistent poverty in Africa in spite of huge human and natural resources. I shall therefore in the next section define and explain affluence within the context of the book, “Affluent Society” written by John Kenneth Galbraith; present characteristics of the affluent economies as depicted by the industrial countries aptly referred to as G8 and, using a sample of some African countries’ statistics, presents some characteristics of the economic and social situations in the continent. Subsequently, a comparison of such situation with the situation in other developing countries or rest of the world is documented with a view to capturing the factors that hinder affluence in Africa. Finally, I proposed the way out of poverty to affluence for the continent. ll. The Affluent Society: The Galbraithian Angle In May, 1958, a professor emeritus at Harvard University, John Kenneth Galbraith published a book, “The Affluent Society”, where he tried to describe the existing economic conditions of the United States of America in the mid-twentieth century. He was writing about true life story of the Americans and not a question of ‘what ought to be’ or ‘what could be’ as being attempted in this lecture. Galbraith had seen the transformation of the American society into what can be referred to as the last stage of development – “The Age of High Mass Consumption”, according to W.W. Rostow’s Process of Economic Growth (1953) and Stages of Economic Growth (1960). He posited that opulence or high level of economic prosperity was now the common feature of the American society as different from the economic environment of the great depression of 1929-1936. The economy had moved away from the prediction of Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) that growth in production may not be able to catch up with population growth such that incidence of poverty could become the order of the day unless something drastic was done to reduce population. He saw the ‘new’ America
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make it? where the issue of economic instability or economic disaster was a foregone variable but cautioned that the issue of inequality between the large proportion living in affluence and the small poverty stricken segment should not be ignored in reallocation of public resources. In this connection, he argued on the need to use a sizeable amount of tax revenue to promote public expenditure in the areas of education, health care and nutrition for the children of the poor thereby preventing them from poverty trap that had become the lots of their parents. The major central themes in John Galbraith’s book, anchored on ‘conventional wisdom’, are the emphasis on mass production and mass consumption influenced by advertisements. The conventional wisdom, which is a major plank of departure in Galbraith’s view was rested on the economic theories and view of the earlier centuries portraying economic growth and incomes as sluggish and could lead to entrenchment of poverty. He argued that the conventional wisdom could no longer hold in view of economic advancement that had brought the American economy to new height of prosperity. He further argued that there was the need to watch the role of advertisement in consumerism as well as in production in the society because advertisement invariably creates artificially, high level of consumer demand. The book generated lots of controversy which in essence depict the level of appreciation of the messages it contains. What is of importance to us here is not the controversy but that emerging from economic morass to economic affluence is possible, through commitment to economic revolution as observed in the United States after the great depression of the early 1930s. Secondly, to those in the affluent society, meeting the basic living needs in terms of food, shelter, education, health care, et cetera are no longer contending issues. Since the time of Kenneth Galbraith’s book, many countries in the world including the Asian Tigers, namely Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, as well as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have joined the affluent societies. Beside South Africa, are there emerging Sub-Saharan African countries on the verge of joining the ‘Affluent Society’? It is noteworthy to state that the phrase ‘Affluent Society’ does not connote absence of poverty but that the proportion of affluence overshadows poverty incidence. By the same token, the proportion of poverty in poverty stricken nations does not connote 100% poverty but that small proportion of the population dominate or sit comfortably on the wealth of the society, resulting in high incidence of economic disenfranchisement and inequality. But what are the characteristics of an affluent society? III. Characteristics of the Affluent Society The World Bank categorized the world economies, using incomes, into High Income, Middle Income, and Low Income. The affluent society belongs to the first group. They are characterized by high income arising from high level of production and consumption. They are industrialised. Within the context of Rostow’s ‘Stages of Growth’, an affluent society can be assumed to start at the point of “The Drive to Maturity”. According to Rostow (1960), this is “the period when a society has effectively applied the range of modern technology to the bulk of its resources”. The resulting economic growth is sustainable and endured for a long period that reversal becomes unthinkable. Rates of saving, investment and income are sustainably high to the extent that increasing urbanization and modernization of hitherto small town progresses rapidly to accommodate ruralurban migration. Labour becomes highly skilled, the entrepreneurial class grows and industrialization progresses rapidly with industrial output growing in leaps and bounds. Finally, the economies emerge into the fifth stage defined as “The Age of High Mass Consumption”. This final stage of economic growth as described by Rostow (1960) is charaterised by increased demand for exotic goods like expensive automobiles and household items, consumer durable goods as well as holiday travels and leisure by the working class. Economically, they are the high income countries. Up to the turn of this century, the Group of eight countries (G8), comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States fit into the picture of the “Affluent Society” but this categorization has been modified and expanded to Group of twenty countries (G20).1 The characteristics include, among others: high gross national income and income per capita; high level of private saving a market economy with high consumption level of industrial goods; high level of domestic production of industrial goods with modern technology; greater equitable distribution of income and “sustained secular improvement in material wellbeing” (Okun and Richardson, 1964); promotion of economic policies to influence and control other economies through multinational corporations; and an international financial hub for international transactions such as in the case of Eurodollar and Eurobond markets. In order to elaborate on these characteristics, it is important that we provide some data to support the claims. Table 1 shows some economic indicators of the Group of 8 countries. The income per head in 2011, ranging from $40,705 in Japan to $38,239 and $26,686 in the United States and Germany respectively, while Russia Federation which belongs to the upper medium income have $2,932. In terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) which is a better price index for international standard of measurement for comparison between and among countries than using exchange rates, the income per head in 2011, ranged from $48,820 for the United States to $20,560 for Russia Federation. The Gross National Income (GNI) and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measured either directly or using the PPP are valued in trillions of US dollars. All the countries, except Russia, belong to the high income group using World Bank categorization. Table 1: Selected Economic Indicators of G8 Countries- 2009-2011 Country Gross National Income ($bn) Gross National Income $ per capita National Income ($bn) PPP Gross National Income per capita ($) Gross Product ($m) 2009 2011 2009 2011 Canada 831.855 877.314 24,622 25,442 France 1,483.8 1,534.4 22,926 23,448 Germany 2,044.6 2,181.0 24,964 26,686 Italy 1,120.2 1,142.2 18,611 18,795 Japan 5,006.1 5,202.8 39,246 40,705 Russia 385.0 416.1 2,713 2,932 UK 1,747.6 1,788.4 28,273 28,550 USA 11,122.9 11,915.0 36,604 38,239 Source: World Development Indicators 2012
2009 1,254.3 2,218.5 2,989.5 1,930.3 4,197.6 2,589.9 2,151.5 13,923.5
2011 1,309.5 2,349.8 3,287.6 1,968.9 4,516.3 2,917.7 2,255.9 15,211.3
2009 37,190 34,280 36,500 32,070 32,910 18,250 34,810 45,390
2011 39,660 34,920 40,230 32,400 35,330 20,560 36,010 48,820
2009 845.399 1,456.8 3,298.6 2,111.2 4,878.1 398.3 1,726.6 11,209.2
PPP Gross Domestic 2011 894.252 1,506.1 3,600.8 2,194.0 5,058.8 433.6 1,771.0 11,744.2
Figure I is a graphical representation of the per capita income and it shows there is not much dis-
parity between and among the high income countries, though the United States, which is regarded as the number one economy in the world stands clear while Russia is lowest. The graph also shows rising income for each of the countries.
Fig. 1: PPP Gross National Income per capita ($) As a follow up to Table 1 data and explanation, Tables 2-4 show trends in saving, industrial output and output of agriculture as proportion of the gross domestic product (GDP). The saving rates in these countries have been quite high though there were declines from 2008 which represents the period of the recent global economic crisis which affected incomes generally. Table 2: Saving Rate 1971-2011 (in percentages) Countries 1971 1981 1991 2001 2007 Canada 24.1 25.5 18.2 24.9 25.2 France 26.0 19.5 20.5 20.7 20.4 Germany 27.3 17.7 22.2 19.9 26.6 Italy 25.2 22.2 19.6 20.9 20.9 Japan 38.2 31.7 33.8 24.9 24.6 Russia n.a n.a 36.6 34.6 32.8 UK 21.2 19.1 16.5 15.2 15.6 USA 19.1 20.9 15.8 15.4 14.1 Source: World Development Indicators, various years
2008 24.8 19.8 25.4 18.8 23.2 34.7 14.8 12.5
2009 19.2 17.1 22.4 17.1 20.0 26.4 12.7 11.3
2010 20.3 17.1 23.5 16.8 21.0 31.1 13.0 11.3
2011 21.6 17.8 23.9 16.4 18.9 33.8 13.3 11.1
As industrialised countries, the ratio of industrial output contributions to the GDP is expectedly high, with the earlier periods being higher than the latter periods. Such trend is expected because when economies grow to a certain level, the service sector tends to overtake other sectors in the manner in which industrial sector overtakes agriculture or extractive sector when economies emerge into the industrial stage. Table 3: Industrial Output as proportion of GDP. 1971-2010 Countries 1971 1981 1991 2001 2007 2008 Canada 35.07 35.76 29.24 31.88 31.55 32.04 France 34.70 30.87 26.90 22.46 20.62 20.47 Germany 46.73 40.05 36.60 29.85 30.48 29.75 Italy 38.30 37.11 30.96 27.94 27.35 26.83 Japan 43.05 38.94 37.32 29.72 28.15 27.43 Russia n.a n.a 47.60 35.70 36.44 36.12 UK 41.46 40.22 32.17 26.34 22.89 22.69 USA 34.52 34.11 26.70 22.30 21.99 21.13 Source: World Development Indicators, various years
2009 n.a 19.06 26.76 25.21 25.94 33.64 21.08 19.56
2010 n.a n.a 27.92 25.23 27.38 35.43 21.62 20.04
For industrialized countries, contribution of the agricultural sector is normally small (as reflected in Table 4) but this does not imply shortage of food or other agricultural products since the contribution of the sector is just a proportion of the total. Table 4: Agric. Output as proportion of GDP, 1971-2010 Countries 1971 1981 1991 2001 2007 Canada 4.41 4.22 2.74 2.24 1.69 France 7.62 4.81 3.54 2.85 2.22 Germany 3.44 2.39 1.38 1.37 0.96 Italy 8.34 5.62 3.56 2.66 2.05 Japan 4.43 2.95 1.96 1.44 1.15 Russia n.a n.a 14.29 6.59 4.41 UK 2.83 2.04 1.73 0.92 0.69 USA 3.51 3.15 1.89 1.18 1.13 Source: World Development Indicators, various years
2008 1.91 2.06 0.90 2.01 1.14 4.40 0.79 1.22
2009 n.a 1.76 0.82 1.89 1.16 4.69 0.71 1.10
2010 n.a 0.87 1.89 1.16 4.00 0.72 1.18
Table 5 reflects the state of the financial depth (i.e. in literary form), how developed is the financial sector (money and capital markets) in proportion to the development in the economy. This ratio is Table 5: Financial Depth (M2_GDP ratio) 1971-2011 Countries 1971 1981 1991 2001 2007 Canada n.a 40.43 85.39 142.64 151.78 France n.a n.a n.a 104.04 133.20 Germany n.a n.a n.a 169.13 183.00 Italy 82.88 70.28 62.47 82.62 113.60 Japan 116.47 147.82 186.54 201.04 203.17 Russia n.a n.a n.a 23.90 42.82 UK 35.03 36.53 88.83 110.56 152.08 USA 71.86 71.71 72.69 73.75 82.13 Source: World Development Indicators, various years
2008 151.31 140.22 188.11 126.00 209.51 39.43 175.57 87.24
2009 179.00 145.90 193.41 140.92 227.39 49.21 180.35 88.62
2010 180.78 150.15 184.10 152.35 226.64 52.67 179.27 83.69
2011 180.09 158.92 179.83 153.64 239.99 52.68 165.66 86.63
TO BE CONTINUED
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Monday, March 24, 2014
Media ‘How to communicate trado-medical messages fairly’ Issue By Gbenga Salau HE objective of the forum is explicit. T Henceforth, trado-medical practitioners in Nigeria must communicate with consumers fairly with no unwholesome messages getting into the public space. Two regulatory agencies — the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) — teamed up to organize the stakeholders’ forum with trado-medical practitioners in attendance. In his welcome address, the Chairman of APCON, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi disclosed that efforts had been a long while to hold the stakeholders’ forum because government has realized that the two regulating agencies need to do their job for the full benefit of the people. Akinwunmi said that the president echoed why the two regulating agencies need
to be involved in what is going on in the tradomedical field when he launched the new APCON code. According to him, government does not want to stop or completely control the practitioners in terms of advertising but it is part of government’s responsibility that the communication being dished out is true, honest and credible. For him, the people who benefit from the lacuna are those doing things wrongly, which will negatively affect those doing things genuinely. He urged the practitioners to partner with APCON so that they could have a say besides working together to move the sector forward for the benefit of all. “We are going to organize seminars so that people who are spoilers of the credibility of the genuine practitioners are not allowed to operate. So we need your support,” he said. He however took a swipe at those whose advertising and marketing tools are vague
and unfair. Also speaking at event, the Minister of Health, represented by the Director of Traditional Medicine in the ministry, Mr. Moshood Lawal, maintained that it is in the interest of all, especially the practitioners, to do things properly if the profession is to be accorded respect. The minister, who said he is interested and kin about traditional medicine, said that the practitioners could advertise their product but not their practice. He also reel out efforts to standardize the practice in Nigeria which included setting up Traditional Medicine departments in six major universities in Nigeria. The Minister of Information, represented by the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Emeka Mba, stated that it is not possible to talk about the health sector in Nigeria without reference to traditional medicine because of the nation’s history and the people’s belief. He however
Cross-saction of participants at the forum on Thursday
maintained that it is good to do business responsibly. The DG, who later spoke on the topic, Guidelines for broadcast of trado-medical programmes, maintained that nobody could stop the practitioners from advertising but it must be with the dos and don’ts. He said that it is important that practitioners comply with the codes and guidelines because broadcasting is a powerful tool. He further said that it is important that claims are verified. He also wonders if some of the adverts being rolled out by trado-medicals were produced by marketing communication experts because many of them were poorly packaged and obscene. He concluded that the current process has shortchanged a lot of people, which is why it should not continue. The Registrar of APCON, Garba Bello Kankarofi, in his paper, Trado-medicine Advertising: what we must do, appealed to practitioners and advertisers of traditional medicine as well as mass media to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Nigerian Code of Advertising practice and to comply strictly with the content. The forum however observed that traditional medicine remains an indispensable component of Nigeria’s health services and practices, patronized by a large percentage of the population and should be integrated into the nation’s health delivery system in a manner that protects users of traditional medicine and the general public. Resolved also was the need for a Council that will control the practice of traditional medicine and establish standards for admission into the practice. Specific training programmes also need to be organized from time to time to educate traditional medicine practitioners on various regulatory requirements to guarantee compliance. “Government should invest in research in traditional medicine and empower traditional medicine practitioners to contribute to the country’s health delivery. The current scope and functions of NAFDAC should be reviewed to accommodate better the interests of traditional medicine. It was observed that many practitioners of traditional medicine indulge in unwholesome marketing communications, which mislead the public and exploit the weakness of people who have health challenges. “All over the world, countries provide guidelines for the broadcast of health-related programmes and Nigeria cannot be an exception. Traditional medicine practitioners have not subjected their practice to regulation and this has given room to influx of various forms of alternative medicine products and practices from other countries.
Advancing Africa… APRA takes campaign to Mauritius Conference By Kabir Alabi Garba HE African Union Commission T has endorsed the 2014 edition of the yearly conference of the African Public Relations Association (APRA) scheduled to hold in Mauritius from May 27 to 31, 2014. The theme of the conference is Advancing Africa. In a letter addressed to Mr. Peter Mutie, the APRA President, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, His Excellency, Mr. Erastus Mwencha said “The AUC commends APRA’s several initiatives at selling positive Africa and is happy to be associated with your organisation. The Commission looks forward to yet another fruitful conference in Mauritius.” The African Union Commission has been working closely with APRA since the staging of the maiden edition of the APRA Summit held at the New Hall, African Union
Headquarters, Addis Ababa in 2013 as part of AU at 50 activities. This conference which will attract over 500 delegates cutting across different communication sectors and professional groupings, for the first time in history, attempt to evolve a cohesive communication initiative, Campaign Africa for the continent. In a recent encounter, the Secretary-General of APRA, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya described Campaign Africa initiative as a multiplatform programme designed to sell positive Africa. “We are going to be talking through social media, print media, electronics and events, road shows. What we want to do is that we want to combat the negative voices that have been predominant talking about Africa. “We want to make sure that for every negative, there is a positive to the extent that we would be able to rub out the negatives altogether. It is true that we have challenges and I
am not undermining them. And I am not saying they do not exist, they exit here and in every part of the world. So, when you want an imagery of Africa what you choose is of a malnourished child. The imagery of Africa are scenes of war, deprivation. When you talk about Africa, you focus more on corruption. I am not saying they do not exist, the question is we can balance these things. We can paint a truer picture and that is what we are going to do.” Okusanya expressed optimism that the outcome of APRA deliberations in Mauritius would be forwarded to The Summit of Heads of Government of the African Union for ratification. According to him, delegates and speakers are being expected from all over Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. The conference, he disclosed, would deal with such diverse topics as Corporate Communication and Social Responsibility as tools for Reputation Management; the Role of
Financial Public Relations/Investor Relations in Advancing Africa; Examining Government Communication in Africa’s quest for progressing Democracy; Making Business Sense of the Indo/Sino African Drive; Personal Image Branding and International Business Etiquettes; Thinking Green, Acting Green: Overcoming the Challenges of Environmental Communication; Destination Marketing: Whose Function, PR, Advertising or Marketing?; Internal Affairs: Re-engineering Internal Communications for today’s Challenges; New Trends in Public Relations (Creativity and Innovation in Public Relations); Crisis and Security Communication: The Before, The During & The After; Social Media: The Undisputable Future of Public Relations; Public Relations Consulting in Africa: Shifting Gear and Ethics of Public Relations. Another highlight of the conference is the inauguration of APRA Pyramid
Awards for Professional Excellence and Outstanding Leadership. Badejo-Okusanya explained further, “the Professional Excellence category is strictly in recognition of professional work, while the Outstanding Leadership category will be presented to deserving recipients nominated by members, who through their activities, have projected Africa in positive light.” The call for entries has been on since Friday, March 21 and would end on April 20, 2014. Entries can be sent to email@example.com. Some of the award categories include Most Outstanding PR Campaign of the year; Most Outstanding PR Company of the year; and Most Outstanding PR Practitioner of the year. Other Award categories and rules for participation can be found on the APRA website – www.afapr.org.
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For journalistic excellence, Remi Oyo, Adefaye bag NIJ fellowship award
Provost, NIJ, Dr. Elizabeth Ikem (left); Publisher, Vanguard Newspaper, Uncle Sam Amuka; former Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; and former APCON Registrar, Dr. Bel Molokwu… at the graduation ceremony on Wednesday in Lagos
Graduation By Gbenga Salau TWO outstanding and experienced journalists were last week honoured with Nigerian Institute of Journalism fellowship at its fourth convocation ceremony. The journalists, former Special Adviser to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Media and immediate past Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs Oluremi Oyo and former President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Gbenga Adefaye, who were presented at the event, thanked the board and management of the institution for finding them worthy of the honour. They promised to do more for the profession that has given them fame and fortune as they described the award as an impetus to do more. As their citations were being read out, the students and their guests applauded them especially in areas where they were first. Oyo got more of this being the first woman to serve as spokesperson to Nigeria’s President. Besides the fellowship awards, students who were exceptional were rewarded. The overall Best Students in the 2011 and 2012 National Diploma category were Owolabi Motunrayo Ganiyat and Oyeleke Sadiq Adekunle respectively. For the Higher National Diploma cate-
gory, while Obioha Vanessa smiled home as the 2011 Best Student, Ehidiamen Jennifer Oki was adjudged the Best Student for 2012. Also, postgraduate students who were outstanding were rewarded. The Best Student in Broadcasting Newswriting (PGD) for 2011 set was Ibidun Luqman, while Idegwu Maureen Onyeka was adjudged the Best Student in the 2012 set. In all, 484 students were awarded different certifications. A breakdown revealed that 159 students were awarded National Diploma; 149 Higher National Diploma; 116 Post Graduate Diploma; 49 Certificate in Effective Writing and Communication and 12 in Certificate in Photo Journalism. In his address, The Chairman of the NIJ Governing Council, Mallam Ismaila Isa who was represented by a member of the council, Uncle Sam Amuka, Publisher of Vanguard Newspaper, noted that since the school was re-opened in 2004, the institute stands out as one of the best devoted to mass communication studies with emphasis on journalism and allied media studies. He commended the provost for her doggedness in seeing that the re-engineering process initiated by the governing council meets the set objectives of repositioning the school for greater heights. “To the graduating students, the certificate you are going to be awarded is a testimony of the degree of your academic excellence and
your sound character. Therefore, wherever you find yourself after today, remember that your intelligence will take you to high heights but it is your character that will keep you there. So be worthy ambassadors of this great and noble institution,” Isa said.
On her part, the Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Dr. Elizabeth Ikem, maintained that God is interested in NIJ, which was why HE rebuilt the institute using men and women of honour. “Often, I have wondered how a place that was left for dead could experience this level of restoration and bounce back. Indeed God loves us in NIJ and loves Nigeria.” She stated that the convocation was a vindication of God’s faithfulness and mercies upon the institution. She applauded the governing council for its efforts and the academic and non-academic staff for its tremendous role and support. According to her, the vision of the new NIJ is to be a top-class institution for the pursuit of excellence in knowledge through learning and research as well as in character and service to humanity. “It is worthy of note that since inception of the new NIJ ten years ago, we have successfully run ten hitch free academic session, presently, we are in the second semester of the eleventh session. Indeed, God has been faithful,” Ikem said. The overall Best Student HND 2012, Ehidiamen Jennifer Oki, who also won two other awards, said that being the Overall Best Student, Best Student in Editorial Writing and Best Student in Print Journalism for the year 2012 were very exciting and humbling for her. According to her, she never really expected so many awards though she is very grateful to God Almighty for rewarding her hard work with such excellence. She said she was able to win the awards because of hard work and prayer. “Also, the school sets a high standard and always expect a lot from students academically. So, when you study in a school that expects you to be excellent, it is left for you to decide whether to embrace such excellence or remain a mediocre.”
A cross section of graduating students
PHOTOS; FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI
Building brand through unique CSR programme By Erhumu Bayagbon N entry into Nigeria in June 2010, Airtel announced that its overriding corporate vision was to become the country’s most loved brand. More than three years down the line, the Telco appears to be committed to that ambitious goal despite stiff competition, tough operating climate, growing consumerism, highly demanding stakeholders and other legacy matters. This is noteworthy for several reasons. One of which is that cynics never gave the company a chance. They were so sure that there would be a name change almost immediately after its transition from Zain to Airtel. Indeed, former Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Business, Rajan Swaroop, had always reiterated that Airtel was not just in Nigeria to stay but committed to connecting with its stakeholders and creating real value for all. Current Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya, has not only reaffirmed that position but has maintained that the Telco is committed towards earning its social licence. Today, it is safe to conclude that Airtel has not just earned its social license in many communities where it operates but is also
leading a quiet revolution in the delivery of quality primary education across the country. While this is not its primary responsibility, the Telco has demonstrated that its partnership with government at different levels for the development of primary education is for the long haul. In three years of operation, the Telco had transformed the lives of thousands of underprivileged kids, built and renovated schools from the interiors of Ediba, a community in Cross Rivers State through Oke-Agbo, a community in Ogun State and Amumara, a community in Mbaise, Imo State to Ajegunle, in Lagos. In all, the company has invested millions of naira completing multi-million naira projects besides donated hundreds of thousands of notebooks and textbooks. While it has maintained a robust capacity building programme for hundreds of primary school teachers to ensure quality education, it has also completed borehole facilities and other facilities to make learning more enjoyable and much more conducive. In a recent interview, Airtel’s CEO, Ogunsanya, summarised the thrust of the company’s CSR programme thus: “Our Adopt-a-School programme is a robust intervention that
thrives on a singular mantra; ‘when we adopt a school, we adopt for life.’ This is the same thing as adopting a child. When you adopt a child, that person – daughter or son – becomes yours for life. You do not adopt – renovate a structure and make some donations and just go away. That’s why our Adopt-a-School programme is different. Schools we have adopted will continue to benefit from us indefinitely. “Without a doubt, quality education offers children the best opportunity in life to realise their dreams and become the leaders of tomorrow. A great environment is critical to the development of a sound mind. It is, therefore, in recognition of the importance of education and as part of our CSR vision that we are committed to the adoption of public primary schools across Nigeria,” he said. And has Airtel’s efforts yielded any result in terms of touching lives and connecting with members of the communities where it operates? Two events clearly come to mind; Airtel’s commissioning of Community Primary School, Amumara, Mbaise, Imo State and the hand-over of its adopted Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba, Cross Rivers State. During both occasions, it was a joyous moment for
thousands of children, teachers and indigenes of the communities who witnessed the unveiling and commissioning of the ultra-modern school complexes. At Ediba, tears of joy dropped from the eyes of many as excited pupils sing local and joyous songs. At another end of the school complex, some pupils were bouncing in joy as they showed off their new school bags to community elders, who watched and nodded in pride. A primary four pupil of the school, dark-skinned and beautiful Egwa read the head teacher’s speech, Deaconess Maria Riman, with the accustomed ease of a professional newscaster that the audience responded in a joyous roar after her inspiring delivery. The Executive Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, represented by his Commissioner for Education, Professor Offiong E Offiong, specifically, thanked Airtel for the transformation of the school complex and donations to the pupils and teachers of the primary school. Almost the same scenario played out at Amumara as hundreds of excited children sang joyous songs celebrating their new look school. Even after the event, children gathered in small clusters, relishing the moment, shar-
ing stories of how they will use their new school bags, uniforms, notebooks and textbooks. At another end of the school, many children were excited at the borehole water as they jumped in ecstasy playing with water. Recently, Airtel also revisited its adopted school in Oke-Agbo, eight months after commissioning, donating borehole, school uniforms, bags, text books, note books and other learning materials to St John’s Primary School, Oke-Agbo, IjebuIgbo, Ogun State. Speaking at the handing over of the borehole and presentation of the gifts to the pupils and staff of St. John’s Primary School, Ogunsanya, said the provision of safe and clean drinking water for the pupils and their teachers would keep the children within the school compound during school and also prevent them from water borne diseases. He had also noted that Airtel in all its activities has continued to strive not only in “providing world class telecommunications experience for customers, but also endeavour to support the social, economic development of communities in which it operates,” he said. Bayagbon is Media Relations Manager
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Character and the leadership question: Ihedioha’s paradigm By Oke Epia EPUTY Speaker of the House D of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, can be spotted easily in a sea of heads. His trademark green cap ensures that. But it is not the colour of his cap that has made him unique. The peculiarity of his personality as embedded in his strength of character, legacy of achievements and vision in public office is what has set him
apart. He has etched indelible footprints on the sands of time since emerging on the public scene over two decades ago. This is a statement of fact. Yes verifiable facts as different from opinion or mere posturing. But where is Ihedioha’s strength of character? Before I address this question let me put the question broadly: wherein is the politician’s strength of character in a country where the political stage is
seen to be fouled by the antics of the players themselves? So if the broad perception of the average Nigerian politician by the general public is swathed in mud and dubious accolades at best, where then is the strength of character being attributed to Ihedioha who is by every means a politician? Except it is accepted that there are exceptions to the rule, this line of reasoning is permissible within the prism of the fallacy of generalisation and
the reflex mentality of the mob. There are politicians who have stood out from the crowd. And it is not because they were devoid of foibles nor had careers lacking in setbacks. In the First Republic, national heroes like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, all of blessed memories among others readily come to mind. In the Second Republic, governors like late Chief Sam Mbakwe, Chief Lateef Jakande, and late Chief Solomon Lar, among others are icons of that epoch. From the Third and Fourth Republic through contemporary times, we have had fine politicians of heroic acclaim across the length and breadth of the country. We have had those who came, saw, and conquered. This is not an attempt to canonize Ihedioha. Rather, it is an effort to open our eyes to the rising star that the deputy speaker is and strengthen the optimism that because of politicians like him, the political space can be perceived in a positive light. Now back to the question. Wherein lay Ihedioha’s strength of character? To answer this question, there is need to examine the content of his character. And this will be done with empirical evidence to buttress my earlier assertion that the deputy speaker has etched indelible footprints on the sands of time. In terms of courage and tenacity of purpose as worthy character traits, Ihedioha is not to be found wanting. Since 1992 when he first got appointment as a Press Officer to the Senate President through to when he worked as Special Assistant to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in 2001, he has maintained streaks of diligence and purpose. As a man determined to get to the top by dint of hard work, commitment and loyalty, he served his principals conscientiously and in so doing, positioned himself for higher calling. His elevation in the ladder of public service obviously bred in him a vision of politics as a service to the people. Within this period, Ihedioha also cultivated traits of political activism as he played in terrains strewn with landmines in the heady days of military dictatorships. Remarkably, he joined forces with progressive elements in the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) to fight for and eventually achieve civilian democracy for
Nigeria. Thus by the time he contested and won election into the House of Representatives in 2003 to represent Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala federal constituency of Imo State, he was already thorough-bred in the art of politics and had fully formed a vision of public service as a vehicle to improve the lot of the people. With a clear vision propelled by political experience and combined with a sound knowledge of the needs and demands of his people, Ihedioha quickly moved to address the developmental challenges of his constituency. But before I address this, it is needful to note his trajectory in the House of Representatives since his first term till date. As a first time member of the House, he landed the chairmanship of Marine Transport, a committee usually reserved for ranking members. This on its own attests to the political dexterity of Ihedioha who had garnered wide contacts and network throughout the country in the preceding period of his political career. The political brinkmanship and sagacity of this Mbaiseborn politician was further attested to by his emergence as Chief Whip of the House during his second term as well as being able to in spite of several odds, become the Deputy Speaker of the House. Being in such prominent positions in the federal legislature and being able to leverage on contacts and goodwill among colleagues contributed in placing him in some vantage position to cater to the needs of the electorate who gave him successive mandate. And he did not fail to take advantage of this for their benefit. Projects like solar electricity, roads construction and resurfacing, schools renovation and water works are some of the results of his intervention in the constituency and throughout Imo State. There have also been empowerment/skills acquisition programmes for the unemployed, indigent and vulnerable segment of the population. Thus from his first term (2003-2007) through his second and current term in the House of Representatives, Ihedioha has recorded meaningful and measurable impact on the lives and living conditions of his constituents and Imolites generally. He has facilitated hundreds of projects and programmes that touch their lives directly. For instance, he has attracted no fewer than 16 water projects to the constituency; over 20 completed and ongoing road constructions, rehabilitation and resurfacing projects spread across the entire Imo State, some of which run into billions of naira including the Owerri-Umuahia road, Chokoneze-MbutuLogara road, and the OkpalaIgirita road, among others; electricity projects including installation of 132 KVA/33 sub-station at Aboh Mbaise, 15 MVA/33KVA at Mbutu, and 1x15 MVA 33/11 KV transformer and injection substation at Umuneke, Ngor Okpala, and distribution of transformers to several communities, among others. I can go on and on but suffice to say that the point intended here is the fact that for Ihedioha, public office is a call to render service to the people. On this, he has creditably demonstrated a defining strength of character. Another area where the deputy speaker has shown strength of character relates to integrity in public office. A terrain such as the federal legislature that is littered with the proverbial banana peel is one that can test a politician’s integrity and sense of tact to the full. To be in the House of Representatives for over ten years and occupy sensitive posi-
tions including his current office as deputy speaker without a stain on his name is certainly no mean feat. Especially so when his deputy speakership places onerous responsibilities on him like the task of coordinating the constitution amendment by the House of Representatives. As Chairman of the Ad-hoc committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, the deputy speaker bears the heavy burden of ensuring that the House comes up with credible and germane amendment proposals that resonate with the yearnings and aspirations of the generality of Nigerians. The level of success recorded in discharging this burden must be measured by and mirrored against the process and product of the amendment exercise piloted by Ihedioha. And the consensus out there is that the constitution amendment outcomes achieved by the current 7th House of Representatives are courageous, noble, far-reaching, and incisive such that they present a viable template to get Nigeria out of the woods if eventually adopted by the Senate and State Houses of Assemblies in concluding processes of the amendment. A total of 71 clauses were successfully amended covering several nagging issues that have clogged the wheel of national progress. These include granting of full financial, administrative, executive and legislative autonomy to local government councils in the country; making the following rights- right to free basic education, right to a favourable environment, right to free primary and maternal healthcare services and right to basic housing- listed under the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy justiciable; removal of immunity for the president, vice president, governors and deputy governors against prosecution in criminal cases; resolving indigene/settler dichotomy; and plugging loopholes in government expenditures; budgetary reforms among other salutary amendments. These amendments have resonated very well with Nigerians as many stakeholders have been pouring profuse praises on the House of Representatives. This was achieved because the process adopted by the Ihedioha committee placed premium on Nigerians as owners of the constitution and offered them the opportunity to dictate the changes they want in the constitution through the peoples public sessions mechanism whereby the Ihedioha committee organized quasi-town hall meetings in all nooks and crannies of the country to allow for grassroots inputs. This resulted in a transparent, accountable and inclusive process ever recorded in the history of constitution making in the country. In effect, Nigerians themselves dictated the changes they want in the amended constitution and the House simply kept faith with their wishes. To pull this kind of mammoth and slippery exercise through requires courage, integrity and persistence, all traits of a strong character possessed by the deputy speaker and brought to bear on the work of the committee. From the foregoing, it is incontrovertible that Ihedioha has shown strength of character over time. He has recorded solid achievements in public service. As he turns 49 years today, he is still available to do more in the public interest. Like Albert Einstein said, he has tried not just to become a man of success but rather, a man of value. Happy birthday Mr. Deputy Speaker sir! • Epia is media adviser to the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives
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Obi seeks closer church, state collaboration past Anambra IObi,MMEDIATE State Governor, Chief Peter has called for closer collaboration between the Church and other institutions working for the common good of the people and the state. He made the call when he accompanied President Jonathan to visit Pope francis at the Vatican City at the weekend. Speaking on the visit, the governor, who said it was more of a spiritual journey
for him to thank God for his mercies and direction for the eight years the affairs of the people of Anambra State were placed on his shoulders, advised those that govern states to collaborate with organisations interested in the good of the society to work for the people. Giving areas his government worked with the Church, the governor said it started with his returning the missionary schools forcefully taken from them.
“Today, Anambra school system is experiencing its best because schools have been returned to the Church. We did not abdicate our responsibility after the return, for we have given almost N3 billion to the Catholic Church and more than N2 billion to the Anglican Church to rehabilitate the schools returned to them. Today, the difference is clear as Anambra is coming first in external examinations throughout the country.” Obi also said his govern-
ment collaborated with the Church in the area of healthcare delivery, adding that his government committed billions of naira in the improvement in infrastructure in selected mission hospitals such as Our Lady of Lourdes, Ihiala; St. Charles Borromeo, Onitsha; Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi; St. Joseph, Adazi Nnukwu; Holy Rosary Hospital, Onitsha; Diocesan Hospital, Amichi, among others. On his relationship with the
Chemists institute’s registrar under investigation DEfENCE witness in the A suit filed by the suspended registrar of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) against the minister of health and others yesterday told a National Industrial Court (NIC), Lagos that the acting registrar of the institute is under investigation. Under cross-examination by the plaintiff counsel, Albert Akpomudje (SAN), the witness Sule Audu from the federal Ministry of Health explained that the registrar, Prince Jay Oghifo was suspended because he was under investigation. He stated that it is the tradition to suspend officers accused of wrong doing during their investigation. He, however, said that the acting registrar, Ms T. Bammodu, who also has a petition against her was also under investigation before she was appointed to act in Oghifo’s capacity. The witness, who was the secretary to the panel that suspended the registrar also admitted that most of what they investigated was never contained in the allegations leveled againt Oghifo in the petition written by one Umar Maigari. Audu was earlier examined by his counsel, I.T Abdulsalam. After his cross examination, the case of the first to third defendant was closed and the sixth defendant, (Bammodu) entered the witness box. Her counsel, J.A Badejo (SAN) had pleaded with the court to adjourn the case as he was billed to catch up with a flight, but the judge in alignment with the opposition from claimant counsel over-ruled him and ordered Bammodu to the witness box. She admitted under cross-examination that she had earlier retired from the Lagos State civil service before being reappointed into the institute, which is a government parastatal. The trial judge, Oyejoju Oyewumi also closed her case after cross-examination and ordered parties to file their final written addresses within seven days and adjourned to May 2 for adoption of written addresses. Oghifo had, beside the minister, sued the ministry, ICCON, Bammodu, Prof. felix Okiemen, president of the institute and Sylvester Obinyan, a management staff of the institute challenging his purported suspension from office while he was on leave by the first and
second defendants (the minister and ministry respectively). In his motion on notice, the claimant had sought for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from preventing him from performing his function as ICCON registrar pending the hearing and determination of the suit. Supported by a 25-paragraph affidavit, the claimant averred that by a letter dated July 16, 2010, he was employed as registrar of the institute for a period of four years, adding that he had been performing his duties
creditably without blemish until he proceeded on annual leave on December 27, 2012, from which he was due to resume on January 28, 2013. He swore that while on leave outside Lagos, he received a mail from his personal secretary with three attachments emanating from the first and second defendants, wherein they abused their powers by purportedly suspending him as registrar and directing him to come to Abuja with the most senior officer in the institute in addition to submitting his credentials for verification. According to him, until the
time he filed the action, he had not officially received the said letters purportedly written by the first defendants, but in order to forestall his illegal removal from office, he was constrained to file the action. “Prior to when I was on leave and in performance of my duties as chief executive of the institute, a certain disciplinary matter came up, which resulted in the suspension of about seven members of staff, namely: Bammodu T.O, Mr. Atanda O.J., Mr. Akwaowo I.R., Mr. Umar Bello Maigari, Mr. Abdulsalam M.A, Mr. Olubowale W.A and Mr. Bassey Etim,” he said.
new governor, Obi said, “all I can tell you is that even here in Rome, I remembered him in my prayers for God to
grant him the discernment to lead his people to greater heights than I led them.”
U.S. varsity honours Ahmed WARA State Governor, Dr. his inability to attend the anK Abdulfatah Ahmed was niversary celebration in person over the weekend honoured by Valparaiso University, Indiana, U.S. for his achievements in education and culture as part of the 50th Anniversary of its Graduate School which also featured the maiden Lecture Series by Presidents of Nations. Valparaiso also announced the appointment of Governor Ahmed into the Advisory Council of its Graduate School. Receiving the award from the University’s representatives, Ms. Linda Oyewepo and Chief Abbey Badejo in Washington DC, Governor Ahmed regretted
and thanked Valparaiso for the recognition. He pledged to upscale the state’s education reforms, as human capital development is pivotal to his administration’s determination to create sustained prosperity for the people of Kwara State. Governor Ahmed also stressed his administration’s preparedness to partner the 115- year-old university in agriculture, vocational education, and healthcare, which he said, are key priorities in the government’s Shared Prosperity programme.
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Monday, March 24, 2014
Role of party system in resolution of election by the very person who gave the order that APGA must not be allowed to occupy the South-East geopolitical zone for the singular reason that Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu might resume his Biafra struggle if he gained political foothold in Igbo land. This leader, an Army General who was very active during the Biafra-Nigeria War on the Nigerian side, informed me that I committed an unpardonable political sin, the moment I proclaimed Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu the Presidential Candidate of APGA. I shared this information with our Candidate and Leader. The plot to destroy APGA was as a result of this morbid fear of Dim Odumegwu by his erstwhile Military Colleagues in the Nigerian Army who had transmuted to political leaders of our time. The details of how the project of destroying APGA was prosecuted will be the subject of a separate presentation, perhaps in the form of a book which is already in the works. The presidential standardbearer of APGA was rightly transformed from being derisively referred to as Warlord or rebel leader, two appellations he detested so much, to the leader of an emerging political party and a Nigerian statesman whose collaboration was sought after by most presidential aspirants of other Political Parties in subsequent elections. However, the fact remains that the absence of a strong political party overtly and covertly supported, funded and facilitated by very many Igbo resourceful persons and organizations has denied Ndigbo any form of political identity and relevance in Nigeria. We are derided as politically inconsequential, lacking in political leadership and incapable of any meaningful and focused struggle for the acquisition of political power at the highest level.
Continued from Thurday, March 20, 2014 By Chekwas Okorie PON the sudden demise of General Sani U Abacha while in office, General Abdulsalami Abubakar took over the realm of government. It was the Abdulsalami Abubakar military government that reviewed the recommendations of the Constitutional Conference and removed from the proposed Constitution all the gains recorded by the three geo-political zones of Southern Nigeria, namely South-East, South-South and South-West geopolitical zones. What came out of this national exercise that was hijacked and redesigned to suit the North is what we have today as the obnoxious 1999 Constitution which was a total fraud imposed on the Nigerian people. Ndigbo have continued to reel under the weight of this contraption called the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Section 8(1)a-d in the 1999 Constitution on creation of State was deliberately made to be impossible to create new States so that our dilemma and inequality in the matter of geo-political structure of Nigeria will never be addressed till the end of time, except something pragmatic is done. In the same manner the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act that was derived from it, made provisions for political parties to draw delegates on the basis of equality of the Local governments as well as States and other delegates that will converge at the national convention of political parties to elect presidential flagbearers of political parties wishing to contest presidential election in Nigeria. This was obviously designed to avoid a situation where an Igboman with sufficient political clout like the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe could join a political party and become a consensus presidential candidate without having to be subjected to presidential primaries where delegates from his own side of the geopolitical zone have already been rendered a distant minority. The effect of this well targeted provision of the Electoral Act had a devastating impact on Ndigbo when Dr. Alex Ekwueme who was undoubtedly and unarguably the most qualified presidential aspirant on the platform of PDP in the party’s 1999 presidential primaries conducted in Jos, Plateau State was short-changed based on the application of this delegates arrangement in which delegates had earlier been tutored and brain-washed on what was supposed to be their allegiance to the dictates of their ethnic and religious leaders. If Dr. Alex Ekwueme was short-changed at the Jos arena of PDP presidential primary election, the case of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in All Peoples Party (APP) which later became ANPP was heart-breaking to any discerning Igboman. Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was declared the presidential candidate of APP at the Kaduna convention of the party where the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and my humble self were delegates. In less than 48 hours of Dr. Onu being declared presidential candidate and while Ndigbo were jubilating that the emergence of Dr. Onu as the presidential candidate of APP was like a soothing balm on their frayed nerves following the treatment meted out to Dr. Ekwueme, the military government of the day which was bent on ensuring that General Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba became president, manipulated and coerced the leadership of APP to enter into spurious and unprecedented alliance with the Yoruba-based Alliance for Democracy (AD). The presidential ticket of APP which controlled nine States at the time was surrendered to a less fancied Dr. Olu Falae of the AD which controlled the six States of the South-West geopolitical zone. This is the very first time I came across a political arrangement where a junior partner in a political alliance was allowed to produce the presidential standardbearer over and above its senior partner. Even before the promulgation of the 1999 Constitution into law and the present Electoral Act as amended, it had become clear to me that no political party registered in Nigeria which was not by its policy sympathetic to the Igbo aspiration of producing the president of Nigeria would ever give any such opportunity to any Igbo presidential aspirant in Nigeria. In the run up to the 2003 general election, Igbo presidential aspirants numbering over 11 purchased the exorbitant presidential nomination forms from the PDP and ANPP (former APP), all of them without exception lost woefully at their parties’ primaries based on the reasons I adduced above. On our own part, I and my associates, assisted by
Okorie the moral and financial support of a handful of Igbo patriots most of whom were members of PDP, we succeeded in registering the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) after two previous failed attempts in 1996 and 1998. While most of those who supported us did so almost surreptitiously in order not to be persecuted by the PDP controlled Federal Government under President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prince Arthur Eze, a thorough-bred Igbo patriot and an extraordinary philanthropist, stood out boldly and was quite outstanding in his financial and moral support which went a long way in facilitating the registration of APGA. It is pertinent to acknowledge at this juncture that apart from several Nigerians who stood by me in my political pursuit which has no prospects for quick gains, but redemptive of the political identity of a targeted race, there are two others whose material and moral support to me and the struggle are worthy of commendation and appreciation. They are Engineer Emeka Okwuosa and Dr. Sir Obiora
Okonkwo. The trio of Prince Arthur Eze, Engr. Emeka Okwuosa and Dr. Obiora Okonkwo are not card-carrying members of either APGA or UPP, but their selfless philanthropic and patriotic disposition to the struggle are sources of inspiration to me and my faithful associates. APGA was formally registered on the 22nd June, 2002. The first policy statement made by the National Executive Committee (the highest executive organ of the party) was the zoning of the presidential slot for the 2003 election to the South-East geopolitical zone. This was how it became possible for Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu who joined the party six months after it was registered became the presidential flagbearer of APGA to the chagrin and consternation of the Northern and South-West military brass/political elite. Needless to say that within government circles, APGA became immediately a national security issue based on unjustified suspicion of our Presidential Candidate. This was revealed to me immediately after the 2003 Presidential
SPECIFIC ROLE A POLITICAL PARTY CAN PLAY IN ADDRESSING THE IGBO QUESTION Each time political contests are in the air in Nigeria, Igbo politicians rush into existing political parties made viable by other people to seek the job of political agents and coordinators or to look for political godfathers outside Igboland who will guarantee their nomination and manipulation into office to govern Igbo States or represent their people at legislative houses. This accounts for the abysmal poor quality representation Ndigbo have been condemned to since 1999 till the present time. Resourceful Igbo persons are known to donate funds to these other political parties other than the ones that will promote and protect their interest even when such donations are unsolicited. The reason for this unfortunate state of affairs amongst the Igbo political elite, the business class and the intelligentsia will require an in-depth study to get to its root cause and proffer the way out of this dilemma. A. However, a political party that is strong, focused and supported by Igbo with the machinery of its national leadership under firm control can make a difference in our elusive quest to create more States in the South-East geopolitical zone if a sustained agitation is spearheaded by such political party in collaboration with its elected legislators at various legislative houses at the State and national levels. The creation of Mid-Western Region referred to in this paper was not championed by any cultural association or a religious body but by a political party, NCNC, which was not controlling the government at the centre but enjoyed followership and influence in Benin and Delta Provinces which made the objective of creating Mid-
If Dr. Alex Ekwueme was short-changed at the Jos arena of PDP presidential primary election, the case of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in All Peoples Party (APP) which later became ANPP was heart-breaking to any discerning Igboman. Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was declared the presidential candidate of APP at the Kaduna convention of the party where the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and my humble self were delegates. In less than 48 hours of Dr. Onu being declared presidential candidate and while Ndigbo were jubilating that the emergence of Dr. Onu as the presidential candidate of APP was like a soothing balm on their frayed nerves following the treatment meted out to Dr. Ekwueme, the military government of the day which was bent on ensuring that General Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba became president, manipulated and coerced the leadership of APP to enter into spurious and unprecedented alliance with the Yoruba-based Alliance for Democracy (AD). The presidential ticket of APP which controlled nine States at the time was surrendered to a less fancied Dr. Olu Falae of the AD which controlled the six States of the South-West geopolitical zone. This is the very first time I came across a political arrangement where a junior partner in a political alliance was allowed to produce the presidential standardbearer over and above its senior partner.
Monday, March 24, 2014
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the Igbo question in Nigeria (2) Western Region possible. B. A political party that is dominant in the SouthEast geopolitical zone and embraced by other Nigerians who share the same political interests and aspirations with us will ensure that only popular and patriotic candidates emerged at party primary elections and elected to represent the people. In such circumstance the quality of such representation that is derived from the people rather than an imposition can be guaranteed to be accountable to the people. C. The scandalous aloofness of our “elected” representatives in budget formulation and implementation both at the national and state levels would be addressed to make way for a vibrant, focused, bold and courageous representation of the people and defence of their interest within their purview. This means that the near absence of accountability to various constituencies by the beneficiaries of their electoral mandates will be assured. Perhaps it is as a result of the manipulation and illegitimacy of the various mandates given to most of Igbo elected office holders that account for poor governance and representation of the people of the South-East geopolitical zone. It is not on record that any Igbo legislator at the National Assembly has ever sponsored any bill that has any content or benefit to the people. This is in spite of the numerous problems Ndigbo have lived with since the end of the Biafra-Nigeria War which ended in 1970. Some of this problems are; deplorable roads and energy infrastructure, virtual absence of federal investments in the area, occasional outright exclusion from the Nation’s Security Council, etc. Contrast this with the fact that the Onshore/Offshore bill that was successfully passed into law is unarguably credited to Senator Udoma Udo Udoma. This bill helped to channel enormous resources to the Niger Delta and in particular Akwa Ibom, his State of Origin. The massive developmental stride of the present government in Akwa Ibom State would have been impossible without the huge resources that were made possible by the Onshore/Offshore law. D. A Political party is a veritable instrument for political negotiation, national integration, reconciliation and dialogue. It is also a veritable platform for mobilization and even battle-cry, should the need arise. In a diverse country like Nigeria, any race as endangered as Ndigbo that has no political party that can promote and protect its political interest is like sheep without a shepherd. As recently as the Second Republic, the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP), under the leadership of the legendry Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, came a distant third in the presidential election of 1979. But the performance of NPP in that election was sufficient to attract the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) that won the presidential election to approach it for political accord. This Accord, just like the political coalition between NCNC, also led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) led by Sir Ahmadu Bello was of mutual benefit to the parties that went into the accord. Perhaps the most outstanding benefit of the Accord was the emergence of the late Chief Edwin Ume-Ezoke of NPP as the Speaker of the House of Representatives of that dispensation. It is noteworthy that no other Igbo person has become Speaker of House of Representatives after Chief Edwin Ume-Ezoke. More than a generation of Igbo people do not live in a period an Igboman was Speaker of the House of Representatives. It is painful, ridiculous, scandalous and sometimes amusing to watch socio-cultural associations, traditional rulers and other non-governmental organizations of Igbo extraction trying to do for Ndigbo what political parties are designed to do. They even delude themselves that they can do those things better than any political party. It does not matter to these political jobbers and opportunists that their repeated misadventure have been futile over time, and have instead further exposed Ndigbo to ridicule by other Nigerians. WAY FORWARD In a few days, the National Conference proposed by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will commence. Ndigbo have been in the forefront in canvassing for a National Conference to renegotiate our relationship with all ethnic nationalities in
The presidential standardbearer of APGA was rightly transformed from being derisively referred to as Warlord or rebel leader, two appellations he detested so much, to the leader of an emerging political party and a Nigerian statesman whose collaboration was sought after by most presidential aspirants of other Political Parties in subsequent elections. However, the fact remains that the absence of a strong political party overtly and covertly supported, funded and facilitated by very many Igbo resourceful persons and organizations has denied Ndigbo any form of political identity and relevance in Nigeria. We are derided as politically inconsequential, lacking in political leadership and incapable of any meaningful and focused struggle for the acquisition of political power at the highest level. the Nigerian project. The Federal Government initiative to embark on a national conference by this time was celebrated by Ndigbo more than any other ethnic group in Nigeria because of our high expectations and hope that the Conference shall address in a very effective manner the Igbo dilemma in Nigeria since the end of the Nigeria-Biafra War in 1970 (44 years ago). My enthusiasm and expectations about the outcome of the Conference have suffered devastation following the publication of the modalities for the Conference by the Federal Government. The most devastating aspect is the requirement that any decision that is not reached by consensus by the Conference shall be reached by 75% (threequarters, ¾) of delegates to the Conference. This is similar to the provisions in the 1999 Constitution for the creation of States in Nigeria which have made it impossible for any State to be created in any democratic dispensation based on the stringent and impossible provisions of the 1999 Constitution. There is no gainsaying the fact that the contentious issues that made the convening of the national convention desirable can never be resolved by consensus. To achieve 75% to resolve such issues is equivalent to mobilizing or lobbying most of the delegates from Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. The sections of Nigeria that are comfortable with the state of affairs today constitute more than 26% of the delegates to the Conference. The implication is that where 74% of the delegates to the Conference agree on any issue, it will take a dissenting 26% of the delegates to scuttle the passage of that particular issue. In democratic parlance it is called ‘the tyranny of the minority’ where 74% of the people will have their say and 26% of the people will have their way. A simple majority of 51% and above is what is required in a democracy for the majority to have their way. Even in the National Assembly what is required to amend any section of the Constitution is the consent
of two-thirds or 66.6% of members of the various legislative houses. Except something is done about this obnoxious aspect of the modalities for the Conference, those who predicted that the Conference will end up as a jamboree and a waste of public resources may be vindicated. Whether the National Conference succeeds or fails (may God forbid) there is no substitute or viable political option better than majority of Igbo people coalescing, embracing, supporting and facilitating the development and growth of a political party that is designed and tailored to address their peculiar political, economic and social interest in Nigeria and even in the Diaspora. By the special grace of the Almighty God we have initiated and formed another political party with the same vision and thrust of the moribund APGA registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the name United Progressive Party (UPP) with the head of the tiger as its symbol. The motto of this party is Love and Unity. UPP was registered on 2nd October, 2012, about 18 months ago. Just like APGA, UPP in its inaugural National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on 30th November, 2012 at its National Secretariat, Abuja, passed a resolution based on the consensus of the Committee members from the 36 States of Nigeria to zone the Presidential slot of the Party for the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria which is coming up on 14th February, 2015 or about eleven months from this date to the South-East geopolitical zone. I wish to remind Ndigbo that it was in 1983 that the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe last contested for the presidency of Nigeria. It took a whopping 20 years with Ndigbo and their leaders sitting helplessly at the popular side of the political arena watching their counterparts from other sections of Nigeria slug it out for the country’s most coveted office. Based on our righteous anger and action, another Igboman
in 2003, Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu was presented to the Nigerian people as a presidential candidate. There is no gainsaying the fact that that singular act restored a reasonable measure of respect to Ndigbo in Nigeria at least politically. It is tragic that a couple of Igbo sons were recruited and deployed to destroy the APGA initiative. Today, we are back at the starting block to resume our journey in Nigeria’s political wilderness. This time on the platform of UPP. History shows that Ndigbo achieved over 60% political unity on the platform of NCNC of the First Republic when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was the standard flag-bearer. In the Second Republic, Ndigbo also achieved similar political unity on the platform of NPP, again with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as the standard flag-bearer. In the 2003 effort, although Igbo elite distanced themselves from APGA either out of lack of self-confidence or fear of persecution by those in the ruling party, and denied APGA and its standardbearer, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu the much needed support, the ordinary Igbo people generally regarded as the masses enthusiastically responded to the political message of APGA and the Party nearly became a movement. This rising movement was of course halted by those who remain eternally scared of Igbo political resurgence. They used traitors among us to destroy a project that held so much promise to our people. I wish to believe that hard lessons had been leant. This is not the time to wallow in self-pity, sulk all day in lamentation or embark on the unhelpful search for who to blame. This is the time for a new beginning. Some of us that started this struggle at very young age are already getting old. We are disturbed that at this time there is not much we can boast of as a legacy for the young, upcoming Igbomen and women who are presently dejected, confused, disillusioned and tasting for purposeful leadership and direction. I do not pretend in any way to provide all the solutions to the Igbo Question in Nigeria through the political party system but I hope that this brief and sincere presentation shall provoke thoughts and actions that will re-awaken our political consciousness with regard to what we have been in Nigeria and what we may still become if we muster the will to rediscover ourselves and resume irreversibly our journey to political, economic and social emancipation and liberation. God Bless Ndigbo! God Bless Nigeria!! Chief (Dr.) Okorie (Oje-Ozi Ndigbo), founder and former National Chairman, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), is founder and National Chairman, United Progressive Party (UPP)
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Sports Glo Premier League
Keshi for TomTom’s Go to Brazil show
Crown, Lobi win, as Pillars, El Kanemi fall LO Premier League new G boys, Crown of Ogbomosho, yesterday in ibadan came from behind to beat 2004 champions, Dolphins, 2-1 in one of the week 3 games played across the country. Dolphins silenced the partisan ibadan crowd in the 11th minute of the game when ifeanyi egwim stylishly backheeled the ball into the net to put them ahead in the game nearly marred by rain. Dolphins held the lead all through the first half. On resumption for the second half, Crown upped the tempo and took the fight to the visitors. Their efforts paid off in the 52nd minute when Onyekachi Okafor blasted a loose ball beyond the reach of Dolphins’ goalkeeper, Austin Brown. After the equaliser, Crown continued to raid the Dolphins area and in the 80th minute, Okafor again came to the scene, shook off Chidiebere Okolie and shot behind Brown for the second and winning goal of the day. Speaking after the game, Crown coach, Lawrence Akpokona, said it was a big thing to beat Dolphins because they are the more experienced side with better players. “A lot of my players have never played in the top division before so it’s a big thing that we won today,” Akpokona said. “After we conceded the goal, i told them not to panic and take
things easy and i am happy with the win.” Dolphins’ defender, Joseph Douhadji was very depressed after the loss. “i am just sad that we lost a game we should have won. Our players should understand that we need to win games like these. i am not happy we lost this game. “Our players must sit up. we must all work together for the good of the team. i am not happy. we should not have conceded those goals,” Douhadji said. in another game played yesterday, Lobi Stars defeated Gombe United 2-0, just as Akwa United sent Kaduna United back empty handed with the same scoreline. namso edo gave the Uyo-based team the lead from the penalty spot, before emmanuel enize doubled the lead in the 66th minute. Lobi Stars’ goalkeeper, Terkaa Melai, opened the scoring from the penalty spot, before John Kollie made it 2-0 for the Makurdi team. On Saturday, enugu Rangers downed champions, Kano Pillars, 2-1 and fC Taraba stopped el Kanemi 1-0 after both teams lost last week in the nigeria league. emeka eze gave the hosts the lead with a cracking goal from 30 yards in the ninth minute.
WTTC: Oshodi sure of team, calls for NSC’s support By Adeyinka Adedipe ReSiDenT of the nigeria Table Tennis federation (nTTf), enitan wahid Oshodi, has predicted a good outing for nigeria at the world Team Table Tennis Championship, which begins in Tokyo, Japan on April 28. He, however, said that the nTTf would need the support of the national Sports Commission (nSC) in preparing the team better for the championship. The nigerian team is drawn against Czechs Republic, Belgium, Canada, indonesia and Bosni-Herzegovina in Group e of the Division Two of the championship. Oshodi, who is also the Commissioner for Sports in Lagos State told The Guardian that the nigerian team is a mixture of old and experienced players, a blend that can produce the right results in Tokyo. “i am convinced that we would be able to move out from the group and qualify for the next stage as well as pick one of the two tickets that will take us to Division One.” He said it was important for
the team to have the best training, while appealing to the nSC to provide funds needed for putting the players in the right condition for the championship. He stated: “i must admit that the players are in top form. Right now, the home-based players have been working out in nigeria. Ojo Onaolapo and Kazeem Makanjuola did brilliantly well in the Pilot national League by finishing first and second respectively.
eagles Chief Coach, StopUPeR Stephen Keshi, is among dignitaries in Lagos for
Stoke City’s Nigerian striker, Osaze Odemwingie, during his team’s English Premier League match against Aston Villa at Villa Park in Birmingham. He scored two goals in the 4-1 victory over Villa. PHOTO: AFP
Ahead Brazil 2014 World Cup
West joins call against foisting Uche on Keshi From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja ORMeR nigerian internafurged tional, Taribo west, has nigerians to allow Super eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, to decide the fate of villarreal of Spain forward, ikechukwu Uche and his Stoke City counterpart, Osaze Odemwingie, in the national team, rather than mounting pressure on him to include the duo in his Brazil 2014 world Cup squad. The former AC Milan defender said at the weekend in Abuja that nigerians should give Keshi the benefit of the doubt to pick players he believes can deliver for him, adding that the exclusion of the duo would not be counterproductive to the team at the world Cup. “we should try not to destabilise the team with the call
NFF inaugurates Electoral, Electoral Appeals committees today He nigeria football T federation (nff) will today in Abuja inaugurate the nff electoral Committee and the electoral Appeals Committee ahead of the federation’s elections later this year. nff President, Aminu Maigari and other members of the federation’s executive committee were elected into office on August, 26, 2010 for a four-year term. The federation has now slat-
ed this year’s elections to take place on or before August 25. According to a release by the federation, today’s inauguration, which comes up at the conference room of the fifA Technical Centre, Package B of national Stadium, Abuja, formally flags off preparations for the high-octane poll into executive positions in one of the most talked-about football federations in the world.
for the return of ike Uche and Osaze Odemwingie because we equally have good strikers like emenike. it is the choice of the coach to decide whether he wants to use Osaze or Uche. “if Keshi finally decides to drop them, my appeal to nigerians is that they should stop putting pressure on the coach. we should respect the decision of the coach because even as they are good at clubsides, they may not meet up what the coach wants. “All of us want two of them to be part of the team, but if the coach, who may have seen
beyond what we are looking at, decides that they lack what he needs in the team, we should respect his decision and pray for the team. “i want to believe that there are other players that can do better than them in the team,” he assured. On his general impression about the Super eagles squad for the world Cup, he argued that nigeria has a team capable of springing surprises, stressing that the unity, oneness and peace within the team would be the winning talisman during the tournament.
Team Nigeria begin campaign at WTF Junior Championships in the draw for the world fTeR a not-too-impressive A performance at the world Junior Championships, the Taekwondo federation trio of Ogeh Ogochukwu, (wTf) youth Olympics qualifiers, Team nigeria will again try their might at the international stage with the nineman team today begin their campaign at the wTf-organised Junior Championships holding in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei. At the youth Olympics Qualifiers concluded at the weekend with 39 countries securing their places at the global tournament holding late in the year in nanjing, China, Team nigeria’s athletes, who are all making their international debut, failed to progress beyond the first round.
esther Godwin and ekong iniobong will compete in the female -46kg, -63 and 55kg respectively. Ogochukwu will tackle Greece’s Christianna Tyrologou, while Godwin will battle DR Congo’s naomi Katoka in the first round. iniobong will also square up against United States’ Olivia Bryant. in the male event, Olusola Olowookere will battle Turkey’s emre Sayan in the 68kg, while Abdullah Adegoke will confront Syria’s Khaled Sadeka in the first round ties Today.
the TomTom Go To Brazil media launch scheduled for tomorrow. The African Coach of the year confirmed that he would be at the event as TomTom is one of the great brands behind the country’s football. He commended TomTom for its support for nigerian football through different initiatives and maintained that the brand’s support to the country’s national teams, particularly the Super eagles, has been a source of encouragement for them. “i commend TomTom for its enormous support for the country’s national teams, particularly my team, the Super eagles. it is an encouragement to us. i urge the brand to keep this up and i hope other companies would emulate this,” Keshi said. The Big Boss, who assured that he and his team would do their utmost best to perform well and make nigerians happy at all times, harped on putting in place proper arrangement, planning and making the players comfortable as recipe for making the Super eagles fly in Brazil. Also at the venue of the event, TomTom editors’ Roundtable, the popular noholds-barred session between Super eagles coach and senior sports editors, will hold. it is the first edition in 2014 and Keshi will face top editors and seasoned football administrators in a robust dialogue on his plans and how to make his team excel in Brazil.
25 states for Okenla-Ojeaga U-17 Table Tennis tourney By Adeyinka Adedipe wenTy-five States will begin hostilities today at the Molade Okoya Thomas hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, as the second Toyin Okenla-Ojeaga national U-17 Table Tennis championship serves off. each state is expected to register two boys and girls with an accompanying coach for the one-week tournament organised by the nigeria Table Tennis federation (nTTf). The players would be accommodated, fed and would win prizes that would have positive impact on their education, the nTTf boos, wahid Oshodi stated. Sponsors of the competition, Okenla-Ojeaga said the tournament was part of her support to sports development especially, table tennis, in which she made her name. “Like i said during the last year’s edition that the sponsoring of this championship is my own way of giving back to the society that made me and also to help the young ones fulfil their dreams as table tennis players.
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Qatar 2022 scandal, another stench from FIFA’s house of corruption By Adeyinka Adedipe ORLD football governing body, FIFA and W scandals are like Siamese twins, joined together in such a way that it is getting extremely difficult to separate the two, as recent events have proved. The latest investigation into how money were paid for votes for the award of World Cup hosting rights to Russia in 2018 and Qatar 2022 is a further dent on FIFA’s battered image and has brought to the fore the level of rot in the largest sport federation. The first inkling of the rot in FIFA emerged after the collapse of discredited former marketing partner, International Sports Leisure (ISL), which went bankrupt in 2001 and was also at the centre of allegations regarding kickbacks paid to senior FIFA officials in the 1990s, dating back to when Joao Havelange held sway at FIFA. Bringing the allegation of corruption at FIFA to the fore, British investigative journalist, Andrew Jennings in his book Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-Rigging and Ticket Scandals caused controversy within the football world by detailing an alleged international cash-for-contracts scandal following the collapse of ISL, and revealed how some football officials have been urged to secretly repay the sweeteners they received. The book also alleged that vote-rigging had occurred in the fight for Sepp Blatter’s continued control of FIFA. Shortly after the release of Foul! a BBC television exposé by Jennings and producer, Roger Corke for the BBC news programme, Panorama was broadcast. In the hour-long programme, screened on June 11 2006, Jennings and the Panorama team agreed that Sepp Blatter was being investigated by Swiss police over his role in a secret deal to repay more than £1m worth of bribes pocketed by football officials. All testimonies offered in the Panorama exposé were provided through a disguised voice, appearance, or both, except one; Mel Brennan, formerly a lecturer at Towson University in the United States (and from 2001–2003 Head of Special Projects for CONCACAF, a liaison to the e-FIFA project and a 2002 FIFA World Cup delegate), who became the first high-level football insider to go public with substantial allegations of greed, corruption, failure to meet legal obligation and misconduct by CONCACAF and FIFA leadership. During the Panorama exposé, Brennan—the highest-level African-American in the history of world football governance—joined Jennings, Trinidadian journalist, Lisana Liburd and many others in exposing allegedly inappropriate allocations of money at CONCACAF, and drew connections between ostensible CONCACAF criminality and similar behaviours at FIFA. In a further Panorama documentary broadcast on BBC One on November 29, 2010, Jennings alleged that three senior FIFA officials, Nicolas Leoz, Issa Hayatou and Ricardo Teixeira, had been paid huge bribes by ISL between 1989 and 1999, which FIFA had failed to investigate. He claimed they appeared on a list of 175 bribes paid by ISL, totalling about $100 million. A former ISL executive said that there were suspicions within ISL that the company was only awarded the marketing contract for successive World Cups by paying bribes to FIFA officials. In November 2010, One of FIFA’s most senior figures, Nigeria’s Amos Adamu became the first official from the organisation ever to be banned for bribery after six officials were punished following a corruption scandal. Adamu received a three-year ban and 10,000 Swiss francs (£6,341) fine from FIFA’s ethics committee after being found guilty of breaching bribery rules. His fellow executive committee member, Reynald Temarii was suspended for a year and fined 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,170) for breaching rules on loyalty and confidentiality. The bans follow a Sunday Times expose, which alleged the officials had asked for cash in return for World Cup votes. None of the banned officials took part in the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. Four other FIFA officials, all former executive committee members, also received bans of between two and four years. The hammer came down harder on other corrupt elements, as FIFA banned for life Asian Football Confederation boss, Bin Hammam 2011 after he decided to quit all football related activities and suspended CONCACAF President, Jack Warner, who later resigned in 2011. Trouble started for Hammam when he challenged Sepp Blatter in FIFA’s 2011 presidential election, but he withdrew to fight bribery allegations, which he was later cleared of.
Spain lifting the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa
Bin Hammam’s problems worsened when a report by FIFA executive committee member, Chuck Blazer accused him and former FIFA Vice-President, Jack Warner of trying to secure votes by jointly organising a special meeting of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) in which the organisation’s members were offered sums of cash for “development projects”. He was subsequently banned from “any kind of football-related activity” by FIFA, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) annulled the decision in July due to insufficient evidence. After the first failed attempt, a new investigation into his financial dealings, dating back to his time in charge of Asian football, was then launched by FIFA’s ethics committee. This led to a 90-day ban, which CAS refused to cancel in 2012. Now, a fresh allegation of corruption came up last week through a story by The Telegraph of London, which quotes Blatter as admitting that FIFA’s ethics committee is investigating revelations that Jack Warner, the former vicepresident of FIFA, and executive committee member, Mohamed Bin Hammam, were paid large sums of money just five days after the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup With this admission, FIFA has finally acknowledged new corruption allegations relating to the 2022 World Cup ballot disclosed last week. After failing to comment for three days, a statement by the head of its ethics committee, Michael Garcia was read out at a press conference in Zurich. It said: “The ethics committee is aware of the material identified in the article. As with all allegations of misconduct by football officials, the ethics committee will take whatever action it deems is appropriate.” Garcia has been to Zurich to interview the remaining FIFA executive committee members, who voted in the controversial 2010 ballot that awarded Russia and Qatar the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. Blatter was upbeat about the committee’s ability to do a good job, when he said: “I`m happy
that now we have an independent committee for ethics. This is a matter now to be dealt with by this committee. You have listened to a statement that the head of the committee has made. And I`m not going to make any comments on that.” Speaking from FIFA`s headquarters in Zurich, where the flags of its 209 member nations fly over manicured lawns, Blatter had convened with FIFA officials for the last meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee to be held before the June congress in São Paulo. Reacting to the recent allegation of corruption at FIFA, British Prime Minister, David Cameron labelled the World Cup vote outcome as “`sorted` before we went into it” with the former chairman of England’s World Cup bid, Lord Triesman branding FIFA “corrupt”. The Telegraph revealed last Tuesday that Jack Warner, the former vice-president of FIFA, appears to have been personally paid $1.2million (£720,000) from a company controlled by former Qatari football official and executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam - just five days after the decision to award Qatar the 2022 tournament. On Wednesday last week, a chorus of MPs called for an inquiry into Qatar`s World Cup ballot victory, while others said the bid should be rerun altogether. Major League Soccer commissioner, Don Garber said on Thursday that a Qatar World Cup could be a “monumental disaster”. Unperturbed, Warner, currently a politician in Trinidad, speaking on the Telegraph’s revelations on Wednesday, said: “I have no interest in joining in the foolishness that is now passing as news on Qatar and Jack Warner. “Nor do I intend to join those who are on a witch hunt against the World Cup 2022 venue. And do consider this as my final comment on this matter.” A spokesman for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee said: “The 2022 bid committee strictly adhered to FIFA’s bidding regulations in compliance with their code of
Warner ethics. “The supreme committee for delivery and legacy and the individuals involved in the 2022 bid committee are unaware of any allegations surrounding business dealings between private individuals.” Bin Hammam, on his part, declined to comment. Despite the denial by Qatar and Warner, a Conservative MP in England, Damian Collins, who is campaigning for reform of the world governing body, said FIFA should rerun the bid for the 2022 World Cup if an FBI investigation proves corrupt payments were made in connection with the vote. Collins, who used parliamentary privilege in 2011 to state allegations that two FIFA members had been paid to vote for Qatar 2022, said: “If the FBI investigation can prove that corrupt payments were made to FIFA executives in connection to the decision to award that country the World Cup, they should lose the right to host the tournament and the competition to stage World Cup 2022 should be rerun. “These reports will only fuel concerns that the decision to award Qatar the World Cup was made for money reasons, not sporting ones, and that’s wrong. “The report on the FBI investigation suggests a web of lies and corruption at the highest levels of FIFA. This is something FIFA has never fully investigated and if these allegations are proven, there has to be a top-to-bottom review of the roles and workings of members of FIFA’s executive committee.” There are fears by stakeholders that the ethic committee may be compromised and welcome and backed an independent body to do a better job. They wondered how Blatter, who has been the President of FIFA since 1998, could wash his hands off all these allegations. As the head of the federation, he must take responsibility for the actions of his executive committee,” they reasoned. What is clear from this latest development is that the last has not been heard of the shady deals at FIFA and if properly conducted, more heads may role as the investigation continues.
Monday, March 24, 2014
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NIGERIA CASSAVA GROWERS ASSOCIATION (NCGA) Reg. No. RC 6421 1019 Gimbiya Street Area 11 Garki Abuja E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, GSM: 08037125019, 07065691995 Website: www.ncgaonline.org
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT Appreciation The Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) uses this medium to express appreciation to the Executive President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Azikiwe Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, the father of Nigerian Farmers, our Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the Permanent Secretary, Pastor Mrs, Ibukun Odusote, The Team Leader, Agricultural Transformation Agenda, Dr Martins Fregene and the entire Cassava Value Chain Team for the under-listed landmark achievements in the past one year. 1. The ongoing disbursement of micro loan to Cassava Farmers through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA). 2. The disbursement of Cassava Loan/Grant for 29,500 hectares (Disbursement shall commence as soon as rainfall is stable). 3. Arrangement of 190 Tractors, 10 Cassava Planters, 10 Boom Sprayers and 10 Cassava Harvesters for the NCGA. 4. The ongoing Bush/Land Clearing of 5,000 hectares as first phase of a 500,000 hectares land clearing programme for massive production of cassava all over the country. 5. Setting up of 20 HQCF Factories each of which will produce 60 metric tons of HQCF daily. 6. Directing the Flour Mills to set up ten (10) 60 metric tons of HQCF daily. We appreciate you and wish you God’s guidance to deliver more dividends to the Nigerian farmers and the Nation. Commissioning of New Facilities To complement, and in appreciation of the above wonderful achievement of FMARD, Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA) quickly raised fund from among members to finance the under-listed facilities (the first of its kind by Nigerian farmers) 1. The National Office of the NCGA at Plot 1019 Gimbiya Street Area 11 Garki Abuja. 2. The NCGA Guest House at Sun City Estate Abuja. 3. 7 New Utility Vehicles consisting of a Bus, A Hilux van and 5 Sienna Cars purchased to facilitate the smooth operations of the Association. 4. Other vehicles purchased by the State chapters of the Association. 5. The Official website of the Association.
for each participant. b. A consultant will register 240 Youth Farmers in each HQCF Production centre. c. Participants will earn monthly allowance of N10,000 each, the total sum of which will be deducted from the proceeds of the sales of his harvest. d. Programme will be financed through a tripartite arrangement between the Banks, Farmers and off-takers. The off-taker will pay for the products directly to the Bank while the profit of farmers will be worked out and paid to them. e. Every successful farmer will receive additional 5 ha yearly until he has 25 ha and can realise N3 million profit in a year. Participants will also form Cooperatives that will own Specialised Equipment and Processing factories. f. The arrangement will be purely commercial and will not require financial aid from the government Collaboration with Existing Factories NCGA shall collaborate with the existing Cassava Factories to arrange adequate, regular and affordable cassava supply for them. We have also set up a department that will organise partnership with local and foreign investors and Technical Partners to establish Ethanol, Industrial Starch and other relevant factories.
What to do We request also for collaboration with organised communities, Churches and Islamic groups, Corporate bodies, Cooperative unions, Primary and Secondary schools, especially those in the rural areas. Investors by proxy (those who may not actively participate), unemployed graduates, retirees and those who are about to retire and others who may be interested in cassava prosperity are to register with NCGA in the following banks in corporate or individual categories. Account name: Nigeria Cassava Growers Association We therefore, with courtesy, humility and respect, invite the father Bank Account No of Nigerian Farmers our dear Honourable Minister for Farmers, Dr. Union Bank Plc 0037233874 Akinwumi Adesina (CON) and the entire Agricultural Value Chain First Bank Plc 2020748041 Team to commission these facilities on 4th April 2014 at 10am. Zenith Bank Plc 1010766357 VENUE: 1019 Gimbiya Street Area 11 Garki Abuja Unity Bank 0020742614
We also use this medium to invite all stakeholders, including Banks, Cassava Processors and the general public to witness the occasion. NCGA Strategies of Operation in 2014/2015 Cropping Season NCGA has mapped out programmes for three categories of farmers. 1. The Smallholder Farmers These are Peasant Farmers that cultivate between 1 to 10 hectares who will be given loan facilities, subsidised inputs through GES and rewarding market for their products. 2. Corporate Farmers: These are farmers that cultivate 10 hectares and above. Loans will involve a tripartite arrangement between farmers, the Bank and off-takers of cassava. As soon as rain stabilises, this category of farmers will receive already approved loan/grants to produce cassava for HQCF centres.
NCGA Information Desk For enquiries please call the following people. Please do not call the National President who may be too busy to answer your call. Abubakar Chika Aliyu (Vice President) - 08032110025 Sylvanus Irondi (National Secretary) - 08037125019 Yinka Opatola (National Treasurer) - 08035958998 Austin Maduka (National P.R.O) - 09032544711 Secretariat Oluwaseun Apo - 08037263811 Segun Ilori - 08037201126 Bola Idowu - 07065691995 Grace Eyo - 08035011628 Stella Obasola - 08030730938 Blessing Enudeme - 08059771341
Pastor Segun Adewumi Mr Sylvanus Irondi 3. Graduates and Youth Farmers: National President National Secretary a. NCGA will arrange 3,000 ha farmland for each of the 30 pro- (08039425631) (08037125019) posed HQCF Factories. Land will be demarcated into blocks of 10 ha
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Monday, March 24, 2014 | 79
Monday, March 24, 2014
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Hussain Obaro
A special lecturer disciplinary tribunal should be set up by the NUC, which will always hear cases ranging from molestation, verbal and physical assaults against students or against lecturers themselves. The tribunal should be able to try other issues of student-lecturer relationship
the almost five months of strike by Fover,inally, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is while that of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) is yet to be called off. One can only hope and wish that the situation is resolved within very shortly to allow our polytechnic lecturers go back to work and students back to school. In recent years, analysts and concerned individuals and cooperate bodies have decried the unfortunate falling standards of education in our tertiary institutions. Many have suggested several remedies to arrest the decline. The quality of graduates produced by Nigerian universities leaves much to be desired. Most of our graduates cannot construct simple sentences in English. It is even said that some of them cannot write their names without first racking their brains. The consequence is that, although we decry the high level of unemployment in the country, we have graduates who themselves do not feel confident or bold enough to apply for jobs even with high grades such as second class upper degrees they brandish. Many highly placed people have, at different fora, and at different times stressed the fact that most of the Nigerian graduates are not employable. This assertion is not completely far from the truth. The situation has led to many people wondering what the National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation is all about and what the several visitations have achieved. Little wonder all such exercises are dismissed as mere jamboree. There have been reports of accreditation teams getting carried away as soon as they reach a university, and they are warmly received; they are compromised. Although sales of handouts have been banned, lecturers in several tertiary institutions have
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practice that often creates room for sharp practices, lobbying and acrimony. The situation is better experienced than imagined. If a lecturer has the power to fail or pass a student at will regardless of his/her intellectual capability and performance, then all is not well with the system. There should be an interface between the students and the NUC or the relevant agencies of the Federal Ministry of Education through opening Private Mail Bags, Emails and Phone numbers to which students can send complains and grievances. A special lecturer disciplinary tribunal should be set up by the NUC, which will always hear cases ranging from molestation, verbal and physical assaults against students or against lecturers themselves. The tribunal should be able to try other issues of student-lecturer relationship. The N200 billion recently released to the universities will achieve little or nothing if urgent steps are not taken to address the moral decay, gross indiscipline and other negative attitudes in our tertiary education systems as all these have a direct impact on the standard of education and the attendant quality of graduates.. Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike The time to check these anomalies and do the instances lecturers leave exam scripts to be right things is now. marked and collated by their fellow students, a • Obaro lives in Ilorin.
A look beyond N200b to save education system devised other means of exploiting the students through the sale of text books they author or they are promoting at exorbitant prices. Students are forced to pay between N500 to N5000 to buy text books which ordinarily should cost no more than between N200 to N1, 200. The students often have to choose between failing a particular course and buying the textbooks. Female students are harassed and exploited sexually and the wayward lecturers get away most times with these acts even when some of the students are able to summon courage to report their experiences to the authorities. Indeed at the end of the day such students often end up being victimised, to deliberately discourage others from speaking out. Some lecturers often turned themselves into semi-gods threatening students that they can make or mar their future. In few
Nigeria: Half a thousand languages and MDGs (2) By Samuel Okopi Continued from Friday, 21/03/2014 HE English language has become a wonderful heritage shared by all Nigerians; one that greatly enhances communication and helps position us advantageously on the world stage. Notwithstanding, our indigenous languages are still necessary tools for the development and enlightenment of a large part of our population. A third MDG is that of developing a global partnership for development. This is where a diversity of languages becomes really important as an industry that will boost the economy and create jobs. Nigeria’s many languages are being spoken by different peoples within a 162 millionstrong population. Now, as the world is becoming increasingly globalised, and products travel around the globe, many multinational companies, NGO’s, governmental agencies and businesses, are investing in lan-
So why can’t we ride on the backbone of our many languages so we replicate this kind of economic success in Nigeria? We can go on to create jobs for thousands, if not millions, of Nigerians who can be translators, interpreters, teachers, writers, technology developers, and localisation service providers to multi-nationals, NGOs, advert companies, government agencies, security outfits and world bodies like the United Nations
Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dr Precious Gbeneol guage services to contextualise their messages and better reach out to their target
audience. This is even so because it has been shown from many studies that small investments in multilingual versions of content to be sold or disseminated, leads to a higher ROI. As Nigeria’s economy grows, many businesses and organisations within and without Nigeria will be seeking to reach out to the large Nigerian market with their products or investments. If the right structures are created, it means these countries will have to employ Nigerians who can speak, read and write in Nigerian languages so as to create multilingual content for their products and services. In an article on language, economic growth, and jobs in the United States, Hans Fenstermacher (Chairman of GALA, the largest non-profit language industry association in the world), gave in 2011 alone, companies in North America outsourced $15 billion worth of jobs to thousands of companies specialising in language services. He went further to say that the language services industry was responsible for 190,000 full
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time North American jobs in 2011, and a greater number of part-time jobs in same North America. In fact, he asserted that without languages there will probably be $1.5 trillion missing in total goods sold in the U.S., and that languages and the businesses they are responsible for, might be the most powerful force for job creation in the U.S. today! So why can’t we ride on the backbone of our many languages so we replicate this kind of economic success in Nigeria? We can go on to create jobs for thousands, if not millions, of Nigerians who can be translators, interpreters, teachers, writers, technology developers, and localisation service providers to multi-nationals, NGOs, advert companies, government agencies, security outfits and world bodies like the United Nations. Billions of naira is spent monthly on media content. The bulk of this is structured in English and the remainder is mostly presented in the three major languages even though the target audience is many times Nigerians of every tongue. MediaReach OMD, in their 2011 Mediafacts report, put advert spending for that year at N102 billion. Imagine if many of these adverts were communicated in hundreds of Nigerian languages, especially by the major GSM operators who spent the largest part of N20 billion, that year. The messages would be clearer to millions of the receivers, more meaningful, and ultimately create greater ROI for the companies, not to mention the many jobs that would be created and distributed across Nigeria. Our 521 languages can become great instruments of advancement and development if, as a nation, we will it to be so and act. As we do so, we should remember and be guided by the golden words of the great Nelson Mandela: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his native language, it goes to his heart.” • Concluded.