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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vol. 29, No. 12,570

www.ngrguardiannews.com

N150

Military captures 25 Boko Haram terrorists • Three insurgents, soldier killed From Madu Onuorah, Abuja FRESH crackdown on Boko Haram by the military has led to the capture of 25 members of the terror group in some communities at Nigerian borders with Chad and Cameroun. The military also said three insurgents, including a high-profile terrorist identified as Abba, were also killed. Abba has been on the list of most wanted persons released by the Federal Government. One military personnel was also killed in the encounter. The military also announced the rescue of a man who had been held hostage in the Sambisa forest base of Boko Haram in Borno State. The man was found in handcuffs in the biggest camp in the forest. He is now being treated by medical personnel of the

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CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 Children with national flags during this year Children’s Day in Bauchi... yesterday.

PDP suspends Amaechi, governor faults action From Adamu Abuh, Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja), Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt), Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu (Benin-City), Bertram Nwannekanma (Lagos), Joseph Wantu (Makurdi), Tunde Akinola and Wole Oyebade (Lagos)

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ITING disobedience and the need to ensure discipline in the party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday suspended embattled Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State from the party. But in a swift reaction, Amaechi said that his purported suspension was an act of political witch-hunting. Meanwhile, criticisms yester-

• Party raises probe panel • Criticisms persist over NGF’s crisis day continued to trail last Friday’s election to the chair of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in which Governor Amaechi and his Plateau State counterpart, Jonah David Jang, are claiming to have won. The PDP’s National Working

Committee (NWC), which took the decision after an emergency meeting in Abuja yesterday, anchored Amaechi’s suspension on a petition it received from the PDP Rivers Executive Committee against the governor regarding allegation of disobedience

to the state chapter of the party. A statement issued by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, pointed out that the matter had been referred to the party’s disciplinary committee for further investigation and action.

The party has equally set up an 11-member committee headed by Joe Gadzama (SAN) to investigate the petition that led to Amaechi’s suspension. The committee is also “to handle all matters in connection with the NWC decision sus-

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Govt debunks rumoured cancellation of Democracy Day - Page 6

NCP names bidders for Kaduna, Afam DISCO, GENCO • Three firms to liquidate NITEL, M-Tel From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja EVEN out of the 11 companies that submitted quotations for the Kaduna Distribution Company Plc and four out of the nine companies that bid for the Afam Power Generating Company (GENCO) Plc have scaled through the technical evaluation of the National Council of Privatisation (NCP). The council, chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, also slated three firms that would participate in the final liquidation of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and its mobile wing, M-Tel. The successful companies, which have been invited to the financial bid opening at a date to be announced, included Axis Power Distribution Limited; Nahco Consortium; Incar Power Limited; Aiteco Consortium; LEDA Consortium;

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THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013


THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

NEWS

Military captures 25 Boko Haram terrorists CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Military Special Task Force. The Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said yesterday in an update on the military operation in the North East States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa that the capture and deaths “happened during an encounter with troops of the special task force as the insurgents were finalising moves to carry out an extensive terrorist operation around Maiduguri.” Olukolade stated that all the 25 captured Boko Haram insurgents were apprehended with their weapons which included rifles, pistols, double-barreled guns and various calibres of ammunition during an operation of the JTF in Kumshe and Bulunkutu. The defence spokesman explained that the operation was as a result of the interception of “messages sent to fleeing insurgents urging them not to give up but fight to the end. The attempt by some of them to heed the

call was foiled during the weekend as they were trailed to some settlements and towns towards the border where they planned to regroup. Troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force carried out an operation which resulted in the capture and destruction of the insurgents assembly points sited on the outskirts of Kaneram Dan Katsina, Tumbu Dabino and Mallam Fatori area north of Baga. The towns and settlements have now been secured while cordon and search operation is also ongoing in the area after the insurgents have been dislodged. “Meanwhile, a total of 25 insurgents were rounded up while 3 died, including a high-profile terrorist identified as Abba - who has been on the list of most wanted persons. This incident happened during an encounter with troops of the task force as the insurgents were finalising moves to carry out an extensive terrorist operation around Maiduguri. The captured ones were all appre-

hended with their weapons, which included rifles, pistols, double-barreled guns and various calibres of ammunition during a raid of the JTF on Kumshe and Bulunkutu area. Although they succeeded in killing a secu-

rity operative of the task force, they were all apprehended before their main planned infiltration with more arms to cause mayhem in the city. “In Sambisa forest, troops combing the forest continue

to make more discoveries. A man who had been held hostage in the forest since last year escaped bound in handcuffs as his captors fled during the troops’ attack on the biggest camp in the forest. The freed hostage is be-

ing treated by the task force. The troops are dominating the forest as they find a number of fresh grave, more arms and ammunition, burnt vehicles and other equipment. More updates as the operation continues.”

NCP names bidders for Kaduna, Afam DISCO, GENCO CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Northwest Power Limited and Copperbelt Consortium. For the Afam GENCO Plc, Primeniza Energy Limited; Televeras Group; Foby Energy Limited and TES Power Limited have been invited to the financial bid opening stage after the submission of the required qualification security. Briefing State House correspondents in Abuja after the meeting, the Chairman of the Technical Committee of NCP, Mr. Atedo Peterside, however, said the list of the successful companies would be reviewed if the information contained in their submissions proved to be at variance with the reality on the ground.

He stressed that to be considered successful, a bidding firm needed to have scored 75 per cent or 750 or 1000, and that it was only those which passed that would be invited for the financial bid opening that would be televised live for Nigerians to witness. “Let me also explain that like in any other contract process, we do the evaluation as best as we can. But there is something called continuous due diligence and the rules are very clear in the sense that people have made submissions, we have scored them based on the information they gave but if you still find for instance that the information he gave you is at variance with the reality, they can still be disqualified.

“Which means that even though we have announced the names of those who passed, if it turns out that in any aspect of their submission they have given false information, they can still be disqualified.” On the telecommunications companies, Peterside said the council considered NITEL and M-Tel. He recalled that the NCP had previously approved that it should proceed with guided liquidation of the companies which was a similar process that was used for the defunct National Fertiliser Company of Nigeria (NAFCON) that later became Notore. According to him, “guided liquidation does not mean that everything is dead, it means

that you finish up with one new owner and you also get rid of the liabilities simultaneously, it is all about managing liabilities. “For that sector, what has happened is that we have looked at the possible liquidators and three firms were approved. There is no winner yet, because they will go to the mini-opening of the financials and eventually one form will emerge as the winner and the name will be made public.” But he declined to name the companies, insisting that it was not the practice of the council to name the identities of consultants and its advisers until they have emerged as winners.

him on the grounds that he has refused to reinstate the suspended Obio-Akpor Local Council chairman, Timothy Nsirim and 17 councillors, whereas it was the State House of Assembly that removed the chairman and others from office. He stated this while addressing a cross-section of Rivers State youths as part of evidence to mark his 48th birthday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday. He explained that prior to the suspension, he was not invited or given a fair hearing on the matter which was strictly a legislative function.

“There was no fair hearing. I was not invited. What was the reason for suspending me: that I have refused to reinstate Obio-Akpor council. Who suspended Obio-Akpor council? Who has power to reinstate Obio Akpor council chiefs? So, you see political witch-hunting. It is so ridiculous. My party must rise above political witch-hunting. The governor did not suspend Obio-Akpor council.   I hope you know. I  have powers. My power is to dissolve. I can get up now and dissolve Obio-Akpor council and remit it to House of Assembly. I have never done that yet”, he said. According to  him, the lawmakers had reckoned that allowing the council chairman and the councilors to remain in office while investigation was ongoing might result in vital evidence against them being compromised. He stressed that the party by calling for reinstatement of the suspended council officials under investigation appeared to be tolerating corruption. Amaechi described the suspension as strictly the business of the House of Assembly and wondered why the PDP NWC should victimise him. He also pointed out that the parties involved in the conflict were already in court and wondered what the party expects of him. Relatedly, the presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Party (NRC), Alhaji Bashir Tofa, has beckoned on Amaechi to dump the PDP and seek refuge in the APC. In a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu, he wondered how a political party that lays claim to democratic usages could rise to suspend one of its own for winning an election. The All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday described Amaechi’s suspension as an affront to the ideals of democracy.

Criticisms persist over NGF’s crisis CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 pending the governor.” Other members of the committee include Kwon Victor, Inalegwu Onche, Friday N. Nwosu, Udorji Amedu, Ola Kukoyi, Wakili Mohammed, Yusuf Jangwe, Bola Doherty, Tanimu Adamson and Anicho Okoro who is to serve as the secretary of the committee. The statement issued after

the NWC meeting reads: “The National Working Committee at its emergency meeting on Monday, May 27, 2013 considered the petition submitted by the PDP Rivers Executive Committee against Governor Amaechi for violating Articles 58 1 (b), (c), (h) and (m) of the PDP’s constitution following his refusal to obey the lawful directive of the Rivers State Executive Committee to rescind

his decision dissolving the elected Council of Obiokpor Local Council of Rivers State. “The National Working Committee after preliminary hearing, in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 57 (3), 59 (3), 59 (5) and 29 (2b), hereby suspends Governor Rotimi Amaechi as a member of the PDP and refers the matter to the appropriate disciplinary committee of the party.

“This is in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the party to enforce discipline at all levels within the party.” Explaining the action taken by the party at a briefing, Metuh said that the decision was taken to instil discipline in the party and make it stronger. He also said that President Goodluck Jonathan was not aware of the action taken against Amaechi because the NWC was constitutionally empowered to handle the matter. Amaechi said it was ridiculous for the party to suspend

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THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

NEWS 5

2013 CHILDREN’S DAY

First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan and Women Affairs Minister, Hajia Zainab Maina at the 2013 Children’s Day Party at the State House, Abuja … yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (middle) reading to pupils of State Primary School, Kpite, a rural community in Ogoniland, as part of activities to mark Children’s Day yesterday. He’s flanked by the State Commissioner for Education, Alice Nimi (right) and Mrs. Koko Kalango of Rainbow Book Club (left).

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State (left), symbolically registering five-year-old Ruth Asigo (right), as a pupil into primary one in Lagos public school at the 2013 Children’s Day in Lagos … yesterday.

Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha chatting with a cross-section of children from different schools in commemoration of the Children’s Day organised by Save A Child, Lend A Hand Foundation held at Women Development Centre, Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

Children and aesthetic display at 2013 Odu’a Children’s Day at Osogbo Stadium during 2013 Children’s Day in Osogbo, Osun State … yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Cross Section of students of Queens School, Enugu, during the 2013 Children’s Day Celebration in Enugu … yesterday.

The Winner of Tastee Fried Chicken (TFC), Spelling Bee competition Secondary School Category, Michael Madueke (left); Managing Director, TFC, Pamela Adedayo and winner in the Primary School Category of the TFC Spelling Bee competition, Ibim Obomani at the TFC Spelling Bee competition, to celebrate Children’s Day … yesterday.

Pupils of Fadu Group of Schools, Ejigbo during their 4,000 march for democracy in commemoration of the Children’s Day … yesterday.

PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU


THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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Govt debunks rumoured cancellation of Democracy Day From Mohammed Abubakar (Abuja) and Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri) OLLOWING media reports FDaythat this year’s Democracy celebration has been cancelled, the Federal Government has denied giving out such information, describing it as a “false and totally misleading news story.” According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sam Nwaobasi, President Goodluck Jonathan will present the mid-term report of his administration, entitled, “Transformation Mid-Term Report: Taking Stock, Moving Forward, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, today, as already announced. It read in part: “For emphasis, there is no truth in that story. Activities for the 2013 Democracy Day celebration have commenced since Friday with juma’at prayer at the National Mosque, Abuja. This was followed by an inter-denominational church service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, has stressed the need for political leaders in the country to close ranks to tackle the challenges facing the country, warning that failure to do so could spell doom for Nigeria. Interacting with State House Press Corps yesterday, he warned of grave consequences if political leaders fail to halt the growing acrimonies in the land, adding, as a matter of urgency, that leaders should put aside selfish interests and parochial

• Time for leaders to close rank, says Moro • Cleric wants 60 per cent of youths in leadership positions views and do what is right to keep Nigeria one. “This year’s Democracy Day celebration should not be another day for opposition parties and those who do not have the interest of Nigeria at heart to begin to demonise the President or other political office holders, rather, it should serve as a day when

political leaders must reflect on how Nigeria can attain greatness through positive and collective action,” Moro said. In another development, a cleric has called on relevant authorities and the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to ensure that 60 per cent of the

youth population in the country is either appointed or elected into positions of trust in the country. Addressing newsmen at Bishop’s Court yesterday, the Secretary of Anglican House of Bishops and Bishop of Okigwe South Diocese, Rt. Revd. David Chikezie Okechukwu Onuoha, regretted that politicians

of many decades were being recycled in power, stating that it does not portray the country in good light. He asked: “Does it mean we are not progressing?” Noting that the statistics he got from the Federal Office of Statistics showed the youths to constitute 70 per cent of the nation’s population, he re-

gretted their continual relegation and warned that the issue was aggravating corruption. “As the major stakeholders in the Nigerian project, the youths should stand up and demand a visible and recognised place in the scheme of things,” he said. “The 30 per cent affirmative action by Nigerian women is yielding good results. Likewise, the youths should make a strong case for 60 per cent of all appointive and elective positions in this country.”

PDP raises probe panel over Amaechi’s suspension CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 The party noted: “This action rubbishes PDP’s claim to any democratic credential, as it has clearly shown that it practises despotism and the tyranny of a cabal. “We worry at this dangerous development and ask Nigerians to take due notice of this charade and place it in perspective in view of the forthcoming 2015 general elections. We ask? What is the crime of Chief Amaechi? We proffer an answer: he won election as Chairman of the NGF by 19 votes to 16 scored by his closest challenger. “Even though we respect the internal dimension of the recent decision of the PDP, but as committed democrats, we are constrained to react in view of its wider implication in our nation’s democratic practice. We worry at this dangerous development and ask Nigerians to take due notice of this

charade and place it in perspective in view of the forthcoming 2015 general elections.” In a statement made available to The Guardian, Tofa is full of prayers that the latest crises rocking the PDP could lead to its disintegration. Former Minister of Transport and a member of Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has lauded Amaechi’s suspension. Babatope told The Guardian yesterday that the PDP has done well by suspending Amaechi from the party. He added: “I have been Amaechi’s fan because I have always been fascinated by his brilliance. Since it is now clear that opposition parties are now fighting his cause with the view to attacking our party and weakening our party’s strength, the PDP has no choice than to suspend him and picking the gauntlet of the

opposition parties.” Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday condemned the face-off between Governor Amaechi and a faction of the NGF as undemocratic and an embarrassment to the country. The House in a statement described the governor’s behaviour in the Jang-led faction as one that portrayed them as “political neophytes and enemies of democracy in Nigeria given their roles in last Friday’s NGF election.” Besides, the lawmakers have urged Amaechi not to hesitate in seeking redress from a law court, having described his suspension from the ruling party yesterday “as a demonstration of double standard and a display of the reac-

tionary tendency inherent in the PDP.” The statement signed by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Segun Olulade, said the governors who made pronouncement against the return of Amaechi as NGF’s helmsman acted in subversion of the ideals of democracy. Also, a Lagos-based human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, yesterday called for the scrapping of the NGF just as the Edo State House of Assembly Majority Leader, Philip Shaibu, has accused the Presidency of meddling into the governors’ affairs. Aturu said: “In all democratic settings, it is sacrilegious to question the procedure of an

election in which one took part after the result of the election, particularly when the procedure is not known to have violated the Constitution of the association or of any known democratic norm.” He added: “All said, it is clear to me that the NGF itself, and I have said this before, is an immoral assembly that ought to be dismembered by all means necessary. It is nothing but an avenue for unnecessary waste of public funds.” Former Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abubakar Tsav, has described the crisis that trailed the NGF’s recent election as ‘shame of a nation’. Tsav in a statement in Makurdi, Benue State capital yesterday, also berated the PDP NWC

Crisis looms in LASU over planned rationalisation of courses By Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi MAJOR crisis may erupt at A the Lagos State University (LASU) any moment from now following the planned rationalisation of courses by the institution’s governing council. The council had, at its 100th meeting held on April 30, noted that the decision for the rationalisation was consistent with the outcome of an interactive session between the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Mr. Olabode Augusto, the students, academic and non-academic staff. The council also approved the proposal at the meeting and authorised the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa, to rationalise the number of courses offered by the university, in conjunction with the dean of each faculty, using the criteria of the National Universities Commission’s (NUC) accreditation status, economic viability, needs of the society and the institution’s ability to teach the course well. The rationalisation is to take admission of students for the 2013/2014 session into consideration. The vice chancellor had two weeks to carry out the assignment and an emergency meeting of council was slated for yesterday to consider the outcome. However, the institution’s branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed shock at the decision. In a statement by its Chairman, Dr. Adekunle Idris, and Secretary, Dr. A. Adeyemi-Suenu, the union

denied agreeing with the prochancellor at any meeting that the university was overpopulated. The statement noted that while it was true that the prochancellor met with academic and non-academic staff members, “at no point in time did any staff opine that (the) Lagos State University is overpopulated.” According to the union, “at the meeting with the academic staff, the pro-chancellor stated humbly and honestly without ambiguity that he was not accustomed to the university rules, governance and procedures. ASUU-LASU, therefore, offered to assist our amiable pro-chancellor. “However, (the) academic staff noted that beneath the assistance sought by the prochancellor was an unclear but well gestated policy direction that could worsen the currently existing peace of the graveyard at LASU, necessitated by management’s disrespect for laid down rules and administrative procedures of the university. “For example, the implementation of any rationalisation exercise is under the purview of Senate as the highest academic body in the university. ASUU-LASU would like to place it on record that no academic staff ever mentioned that LASU is over-populated. We see a grand plan being played out irrespective of our informed output.” The union also asserted that the justification being advanced for the planned rationalisation “cannot withstand any serious intellectual and philosophical scrutiny for the existence of universities.” It

contended that the planned exercise “contravenes Nigeria’s constitutional provisions on social responsibilities of the state (and) also contradicts all known best practices in developing societies.” Augusto was said to have travelled out of the country when The Guardian enquired, but a competent source, speaking in confidence, insisted that the issues of rationalisation and over-population were indeed discussed during Augusto’s meeting with the unions and students. The source said it was a wellknown fact that many academic staff members do not teach any course in the institution at the moment, adding: “There are departments without students, yet you have over 10 academic staff there. What are they doing? “The Department of Economics is one example. They have so many academic staff members that are doing nothing. Also, there are many of the academic staff members who got their Master’s degrees over 10, 15 years ago and have not deemed it fit to get a doctorate degree; such persons have no business teaching in LASU. “The idea to rationalise is also supported by the state government which owns the university, because whether we like it or not, our proprietor has all the facts and has demanded that all those that are not relevant in the scheme of things should be identified. The facts to prove why rationalisation is necessary are also available.”


THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

NEWS

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2013 CHILDREN’S DAY

Yobe makes case for good moral upbringing From Njadvara Musa, Damaturu OBE State Government has Y called on the public and private sectors to concentrate efforts in making children become patriotic and responsible citizens in building the nation for prosperity and

development at all levels. State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Asma’u Kabir Kolo made the appeal Monday during the commemoration of this year’s National Children’s Day held at the Women Affairs Secretariat complex, Damaturu. She said that the ministry’s

Akpabio urges investment in children From Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo OVERNMENT at all levels in G the country have been charged to invest adequately to guarantee the future of our children as they are the backbone of today, hope for tomorrow and faith in the future of Nigeria. Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio gave this advice during the 2013 Children’s Day Celebration held at Uyo Township Stadium. Represented by his deputy, Lady Valeria Ebe, Akpabio stressed that, government policies, legislation and budget should be children-friendly, promising that, his administration would constantly mobilise resources towards addressing the educational, psychological, social and morals needs for the good of the children in Akwa Ibom State. According to him, the theme, ‘Our children, our future, our collective responsibility’, was timely because of the effort government is putting in place to eradicate the increasing incidence of child abuse in the country. “Our actions should be guided and motivated in the best interest of the child; children play a cardinal role in the development of every society. They are the backbone of our today, our hope for tomorrow and faith in the future. “Despite the invaluable role of children, they are daily discarded, neglected, abandoned and abused. There have been fetish beliefs that have existed

among the people for years that some children are possessed of devils and witchcrafts spirits which have led to what we see as street children who have been made homeless by parents and forced by circumstances to fend for themselves”, he said.

mandate was also to promote the welfare, development and survival of all children for meaningful development, while the state government policies and programmes, are geared towards care and development of children in the s t a t e . According to the commissioner, the sum of N82 million has been earmarked for the various projects and programmes of education of children to become responsible and useful for future generations in the state and the nation at large. She said that this year’s theme: “Treasure our children,” was in line and in accordance to the various policies and programmes on childcare, support, moral and educational upbringing of children to

become responsible citizens and future leaders of society. Asma’u listed the programmes to include the renovation of Dr. (Mrs) Maryam Abacha Clinic, construction of a befitting paediatric ward at the same clinic, the education

OVERNOR Jonah Jang of G Plateau State has assured the children of the state that their wellbeing and development is of utmost importance to his administration and beyond, adding that life itself is a transition from childhood to adulthood. Jang lamented that records have shown that quite a

number of children do not have access to quality education while five out of every 1,000 die before the age of five. He spoke yesterday at this year’s Children’s Day, which took place at the Rwanpam Township Stadium, Jos. Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Nanle Dashen, the governor said that in spite of the global situation, the state has done a

Okorocha seeks on leadership training From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri OVERNOR Rochas G Okorocha of Imo State has advised that a curriculum be designed and developed for school children to prepare them for leadership positions in future. Okorocha stated this yesterday during this year’s 2013 Children’s Day held at Heroes Square, Owerri, capital of Imo State that it has become neces-

sary to take the youth of today the rudiments of leadership training among others to adequately prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow and task of nationhood. He opined that well-grounded children in leadership principles would handle the problem of corruption in the country, urging the political leaders to liaise with relevant stakeholders to take the matter with seriousness it deserves.

From Niyi Bello, Akure NDO State Governor, Dr. O Olusegun Mimiko has reiterated his administration’s total commitment to more child-friendly programmes. Mimiko gave the assurance yesterday during the grand

lot to improve access and qualitative basic education through the provision of improved learning environment and facilities as well as teacher motivation. In the area of health, he said the state has made and is still making efforts to ensure that children between zero to five years are immunised and that the issue of malaria, measles and other child killer diseases are adequately addressed. According to him, other efforts are in the area of reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among children, which he said is in recognition of the fact that the provision will enhance the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Jang noted that the administration gives priority to the allocation of resources in the areas that affect children by making a deliberate effort to empower families and parents so that children will have access to basic quality health and educational care.

Shun drugs, cultism, says Fashola By Tope Templer Olaiya and Kamal Tayo Oropo AGOS State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday joined students in the state to celebrate this year’s Children’s Day with a charge to them to stay off drugs and shun cultism. Fashola who spoke shortly after inspecting the Children’s Parade at the Police College, Ikeja urged the children to remain focused on their studies and avoid distraction. He emphasised the need for children to avoid engaging in social vices as well as joining cult groups. He recommended Boys Scout, Red Cross, Traffic Club, Power Kids Clubs to the children, saying that government has endorsed and empowered these clubs to function in the state. Fashola noted that there have been some unpleasant reports of kidnapping in the state, just as he cautioned

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• Ejigbo marches for civil rule the children and urged them to be vigilant. “In order to avoid these people and to remain safe, you must desist from boarding any unregistered vehicle that is not painted in the state yellow and black colour.” He added that children “should also be wary of the type of company you keep. And be careful with how you associate with strangers by refusing to be tempted with gift and money.” The governor while commending the performance of students in last year’s West African Examination Council (WAEC) results urged them to strive hard to better the overall performance recorded in the state. “You doubled the figure to 38 per cent, your teachers are proud of you and so are your parents. Last year was good, but it is not enough, I want you to double that perform-

ance and record a 70 per cent performance this year”, he said. Earlier, the Senior Prefect of Agidingbi Senior Grammar School, Ikeja Shadeko Adejuwon commended the state government for exposing their teachers to training opportunities as well as ensuring regular payment of teacher’s salary It was a memorable Children’s Day yesterday for

In her words: “The 500 orphans of Yetim Care Foundation (YCF), Damaturu will be supported with learning materials, a bag of rice, carton of each of spaghetti, toilet and bar soap; and N5, 000 cash for their school uniform.

Ondo pledges commitment to child-friendly programmes

Jang assures on welfare From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos

and empowerment of 215 orphans, rehabilitation and care of 285 orphans, the building and equipping of an Amusement Park and Recreational Centre, Damaturu at the total cost of N51.93 million.

over 3,000 students in Ejigbo who embarked on a solidarity march to commemorate this year’s event in a parade tagged Children March For Democracy. In a remarkable difference from previous celebrations where a selected few are handpicked to represent the school in a march past, yesterday’s event was celebrated by all pupils of public schools in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA).

finale of this year’s Children’s Day celebration held at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Arcade in Akure. According to Mimiko, programmes such as Abiye Safe Motherhood, mother and child hospital, sustenance of mega schools and free shuttle buses among others would be vigorously pursued to alleviate the sufferings of parents and add values to the lives of the children. He said that the theme of this year’s celebration, “Our children, Our Future, Our Collective Responsibility” was timely in view of the unhealthy handling of children’s issues by some parents in the society. The governor assured that the state government would continue to frown at all forms of child abuse, including child abandonment and neglect, street hawking, using children as aides to beggars and denial of educational opportunities for children. His words: “As a people-oriented and child-friendly government, we shall not refrain from carrying out our responsibilities towards the children of Ondo State, whose humble prayers contributed immensely to our success at the poll as well as at the post-election tribunal.” He added: “We shall contin-

ue to be committed to the implementation of the Ondo State Child’s Right Law, while we shall also continue to frown at all forms of abuse of the child. The task of creating the desired future for the children of today should be seen as a joint effort and collective responsibilities”. He, however, urged the children to reciprocate government’s gesture by developing the right attitude to life, shunning deviant behaviours, immodest dressing and examination malpractice. Earlier in her welcome speech, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Ajayi, noted that the annual event provides opportunities for government at all levels, groups and non-governmental organisations to focus on issues concerning children. She added that it also provides avenue for children from the three senatorial districts of the state to share views, socialise and demonstrate their skills and abilities in various fields of human endeavours. Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Olukemi Mimiko presented prizes, certificates and trophies to winners of the various events at the occasion.


THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

8 NEWS

Court upholds Okwu, Okoye as APGA chairmen From Uzoma Nzeagwu, Awka HE stage is set, once again, for another protracted legal battle for the soul of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), as an Awka High Court in Anambra State, presided by Justice Hope O. Ozor, yesterday upheld the party’s national convention in Awka last month, which produced Mr. Maxi Okwu as national chairman and Egwuoyibo Okoye as state chairman. In his judgment in the suit filed vide originating summons by one Michael Joe Onwudinjo against APGA, Okwu and Okoye, Justice Ozor upheld the wards and state congresses conducted across the state on April 6 and validated the election of Okwu as the party’s national chairman. The plaintiff, Onwudinjo, was said to have contested for APGA national vice chairman and lost, but went to court challenging the validity of the April 8 national convention. He argued that he was shortchanged and made to suffer irreparable loss following the change of venue of the convention from Enugu to Awka without proper notice. However, the defendants, including Okwu, sought a declaration that the congresses and convention at which they were elected as officers of APGA, were valid and subsisting. They claimed that the exercises were conducted in line with the enabling laws and were supervised by officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). After reviewing both parties’ submissions, Justice Ozor dismissed the plaintiff’s case for lack of merit, but held that the APGA National Convention of April 8 and the wards and state congresses conducted in Awka were valid, having been conducted in accordance with the law.

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WHO members endorse new anti-polio plan By Chukwuma Muanya (who was in Geneva) EALTH ministers and delegates from the 194 World Health Organisation (WHO) member-states, including Nigeria, yesterday at the 66th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, endorsed the new Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 to secure a lasting polio-free world. They urged full implementation and financing of the plan. The ministers, attending the WHA, acknowledged the progress achieved in the past year in bringing polio to its lowest ever level, thanks to actions of member-states in placing polio eradication on

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• Nigeria reports no case in one week an emergency footing even as Nigeria, for the first time in a very long time, did not report any case of polio last week. According to the latest edition of Weekly Polio Update published yesterday by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), no new Wild Polio Virus (WPV) cases were reported in the past week. “The total number of WPV cases for 2013 remains 22. The most recent WPV cases had onset of paralysis on April 24, 2013, that is type one (WPV1s) from Borno and Taraba. “No new cases of circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus type two (cVDPV2) were reported in the past week. The most recent

cVDPV2 case had onset of paralysis in November 24, 2012, from Kebbi.” The report reads: “A rapid surveillance review was conducted in Kano. Slight improvements in surveillance were noted, particularly in areas with known deficits. Key recommendations to further strengthen surveillance activities were put forward, and activities will be monitored to ensure implementation. “Sub-national Immunisation Plus Days (IPDs) were held last week in northern and middlebelt states. Initial monitoring results suggest that overall quality has stagnated, particularly in traditional high-risk

areas. Preparations are ongoing for the next IPDs in midJune.” Health ministers called on all countries to do more to protect frontline health workers everywhere, and ensure access to all children no matter where they live. Deadly attacks on health workers occurred in some parts of Pakistan (in December) and Nigeria (in February), and the Assembly praised the dedication and heroism of health workers everywhere. WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, said: “Insecurity continues to compromise the eradication effort. We mourn the many polio workers who have lost their lives trying to administer vaccines.”

Lagos seeks out-of-court settlement in suit over Hijab By Bertram Nwannekanma HE Lagos State government yesterday told an Ikeja High Court, presided over by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, that it is considering an out-of-court settlement in the suit filed by the state chapter of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) over an alleged ban on use of Hijab (veil) in secondary schools. The government had, through its Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, recently announced the ban on Hijab for Muslim female students in all its public schools. The purported ban sparked off what seems a religious controversy in the state, forcing the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, to deny the ban, saying the government was rather still consulting on the matter with a view to taking a stand on it. But not satisfied with Ibirogba’s statement, MSSN approached the court, seeking

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a restraining order against the government on the matter. Counsel to the state government, Samuel Muniru Ajanaku, informed the court at the hearing that the state has restrained from filing a response because it believes that the matter can be resolved out-of-court. But the applicant’s counsel, Taiwo Hassan Fajimite, in his response, said it was unfortunate that the state has not responded on the case until now. He expressed the Muslim community’s willingness to

meet the state government and consider the terms being offered to see whether or not is in tandem with their demand. After listening to both parties, Justice Oyewole urged them to explore the dialogue option and report back to the court in the next adjourned date fixed for July 10, 2013. Meanwhile, Muslim students in Lagos yesterday protested around the state capital, Ikeja, to register their displeasure over the purported decision by the government to ban the use of Hijab. Led by Muslim teachers and

clerics, the protesters, under the aegis of the MSSN, Lagos State chapter, carried placards with inscriptions like “Hijab is our right, it must be respected”, “Lagos State government, stop discrimination against our female students”, said they will continue to protest and explore every available means to ensure that the rights of Muslim students to wear Hijab in public schools is protected. Stern-looking policemen quickly mobilised themselves to the scene to avoid miscreants hijacking the rally.

Ukwa-Ngwa leaders insist on provincial rotation of Abia gov’s seat From Gordi Udeajah, Abia SPIRANTS to the governorship seat of Abia State in 2015 have been advised to note that going by the rotation among the Old Bende

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and Old Aba provinces, it should be the turn of the Ukwa-Ngwa block comprising nine local councils. By this arrangement, the issue of zoning of the office of

governor along senatorial lines should not apply, hence the contest should be thrown open to all interested persons of Ukwa-Ngwa extraction. Chairman of Osisioma Ngwa Traditional Rulers’ Council, His Royal Majesty, Eze Emmanuel Ikechukwu Chiavoghilefu of Amovo Nkwo, who is also the chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council’s Disciplinary Committee, made the declaration. He was corroborated by Senator Nkechi Nwaogu representing Abia-Central in the National Assembly. Both spoke separately with The Guardian. The monarch claimed: “What was agreed was that after Governor Theodore Orji, the governorship position will in 2015 go to old Aba province or Ukwa-Ngwa and not Abia-South senatorial zone. We signed this arrangement and I will challenge it if Abia-South senatorial zone arrangement is adopted.” He urged the Ukwa-Ngwas to “get united, take consensus position, bring out one candidate and leave the rest to God. It is disunity that kills everything; without unity, there shall be no progress, if we agree and say yes, God will stand by us”. The Guardian gathered that even when the slot comes to the Ukwa-Ngwa block, it should first be held by somebody who hails from the three Ukwa Ngwa councils. According to Nwaogu “the agitations or aspiration for the 2015 governorship contest should be for all Ngwa people. We Ngwa people have always been an indivisible block and anybody attempting to divide us will not have his or her way.

PDP defends senator, moves to stop recall From Ali Garba, Bauchi HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in BauchiSouth Senatorial District has made a move to stop the recalling of Senator Adamu Gumba by some groups and individuals for alleged nonperformance at the National Assembly. Addressing a press conference yesterday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ Secretariat, the Zonal Secretary of the PDP, Jidauna Tula, said those groups calling for the recall of the senator are not voters and are not from the zone. According to him, the groups, under the aegis of National Democracy Concern Forum “by their name, have members and branches all over Nigeria, which means that they are not from BauchiSouth Senatorial District and they have no right to recall the senator. The people should disregard them”. He described their allegation as baseless and unfounded, saying the procedure adopted by the group in the alleged propaganda for the recall is dubious and false. According to the zonal PDP, “most of the signatures were forged. “We are happy with the performance of our senator, we have no plan to recall him as a party because we are satisfied with his performance. Any group, which wants the senator to be recalled must come through us for normal procedure to be adopted and subsequently executed”. He said the group, in a letter to senator, alleged that he has not employed any person from the zone, and that he never participated during debate in the National Assembly and even to initiate a bill in favour of the people of his zone. “But we are aware that the senator has sank over 180 water pump boreholes for irrigation farming,” the secretary said.

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Unions seal off Champion newspapers By Templer Temitope Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor N continuation of its picketing exercise aimed at sanitising the media industry, the leaderships of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the NUPPPROW have sealed off the premises of Championship newspapers in Lagos. Led by the NUJ Zonal Secretary, Gbenga Lawal, who stood in for the NUJ Garba President, Muhammed, the media practitioners stormed the Ilasa office of Champion newspapers as early as 10am yesterday, making good their threat to indefinitely close the company. Addressing the workers, the Lagos State Chairman of the NUJ, Deji Elumoye, vowed that the group would seal off the place until the entire allowances and salary arrears owed the workers are paid. After sealing off the premises, some members of the management team, who were initially lurking around, apparently to see whether the unionist would be tired and leave, started going home. All efforts to pacify the unionists were rebuffed as they insisted that the exercise was a directive from the national body.

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THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Assembly worried about cult activities in Sagamu From Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Abeokuta GUN State government O has been urged to take steps to check the worsening security situation in Sagamu. A legislator, Solarin Samuel Olusegun, while speaking on the floor of the House, disclosed that in the past seven years, there had been frequent clashes between members of Eiye and Black Axe cults in the town, resulting in deaths of some innocent citizens. Olusegun, who represents Sagamu Constituency II, stated that the latest incident occurred last Friday evening when the Black Axe stormed Sagamu township looking for members of the Eiye confraternity who allegedly killed one of them. His words: “They (suspected Black Axe members) on Friday stormed the town at about 6pm and started shooting sporadically into the air, resulting in people running helter skelter to save their lives and at the end of it all many innocent people sustained various degrees of injuries, killing one Eiye.” “This has always been the method of operation of the cultists and the time has come to put an end to this; that is why I am calling on the government to find a way to stop this.” Adeyinka Mafe, representing Sagamu Constituency I who corroborated Olusegun’s assertion lamented the security situation in the area, saying: “In the last one week about three persons have been killed by gun-wielding cultists who go around brandishing dangerous weapons in broad day light and night.”

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Leaders end summit, pledge commitment to better Africa From Oghogho Obayuwana, Foreign Affairs Editor, Addis Ababa OT wanting to lose out of N the making of history of the moment, African Union (AU) leaders yesterday proclaimed a new focus that would see the continent taking its destiny in its hands in self-sufficiency, peace and security, as well as interregional trade. The leaders ended their 21st ordinary summit of the AU and the 50th anniversary of the receded Organisation of African Unity (OAU), pledging not to bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans. During the summit, economic experts had urged action

from the leaders in not only banishing conflict but in creating an economically sovereign continent. At the turn of the millennium, Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $600 billion. Today, it is $2.2 trillion. But adjusted for inflation, Africa’s GDP has doubled in 10 years while SubSahara Africa’s economic size has now doubled. Burgeoning conflicts have, however, continued to take the steam away from the road to more economic progress. Besides, about 14 million of the continent’s youth are entering the labour market each year and cannot find a decent job. But even as the leaders rose yesterday and settled for a rapid response strategy for

Africa’s conflict situations, in the absence of a full take off of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), they failed to take any meaningful action beyond the subsisting suspension of the military junta, which seized power from a democratically-elected government in Central African Republic (CAR) last march. Majorly, the leaders resolved to address the root causes of conflicts, put an end to impunity and strengthen

national and continental judicial institutions and accountability in line with collective responsibility to the principle of non-indifference. They also raised an instrument to deal with the recurrent and emerging sources of conflict including piracy, narco-human trafficking, all forms of extremism, including terrorism, trans-national organised crime and missing no opportunity to push forward the agenda of conflict prevention, peace-making,

Majorly, the leaders resolved to address the root causes of conflicts, put an end to impunity and strengthen national and continental judicial institutions and accountability in line with collective responsibility to the principle of nonindifference

Documents by subsidy fraud suspects forged, witness tells court By Bertram Nwannekanma PROSECUTION witness at A the on-going trial of some oil marketers over alleged fuel subsidy infractions, Hammed Lawal, yesterday told an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, that the analysis on the claims by the suspects showed that they did not supply the said products. The oil marketers, Samuel Bamidele, Abiodun Kayode Bankole and their company, A.S.B. Investment Company Limited, were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegation of fraudulently obtaining payments from the petroleum support fund as subsidy for the importation of premium motor spirit (petrol) to the tune of N1,341,471,735.67.

But the witness, in his evidence in chief led by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told the court presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu, that investigation revealed that the vessel conveying the petroleum product left Sweden on February 20, 2011, contrary to claims by the defendants that the vessel left Sweden on February 9, 2011. The witness, who was a member of the EFCC’s investigative team, also alleged that documents relating to the discharge of the mother vessel was forged. He said: “This particular claim of 20,000 metric tonnes of premium motor spirit from Sweden never got to Nigeria because there was no discharge from the mother vessel to the first daughter vessel.”

Lawal, a graduate of accounting from Bayero University, Kano, further told the court that the documents his team got from the Quality Marine Services, concerning the discharge of the said product, affirmed that the allegedly forged documents never emanated from Quality Marine Services. The letter to the Quality Marine Services and the Bills of laden were later admitted in evidence. But Lawal, while being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Anthony Idigbe (SAN), said he never confirmed the quantity of the products from the ship’s captain before discharge. He was also unable to answer questions put to him by the defence on the certificate of origin and the cargo manifest.

Lawal’s inability to answer the questions infuriated Idigbe, who told the court that the investigation done by EFCC about his clients was not comprehensive since it excluded the certificate of origin, certificate of quality and cargo manifest. “If all these are not being thoroughly investigated, then what are we doing here, you just went ahead and said some people are criminals,” Idigbe said. Further hearing on the matter has been adjourned to June 5.

peace support, national reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction and development, among others. Addressing the global media shortly after the closing ceremony, Chairperson of the AU Authority of Heads of State and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn, said: “We (African leaders) should take care of our own business by ourselves. We should not be waiting for handouts. We will now take care of all our programmes (security, economic integration and trade) among others, ourselves”. Referring specifically to the report submitted to the assembly by former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on unleashing Africa’s potential and finding alternative sources of funding, he added: “There is now a master-plan for infrastructure. We are not suggesting that we will not welcome support from our partners, but we must have our own mechanism for directing our march to progress”. The summit resolutions, which were earlier read by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, had referred the Obasanjo report to the Ministers of Finance of member-states for further inputs.


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THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

WorldReport Again, AU accuses ICC of ‘hunting’ Africans FRICAN Union (AU) has A accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) of “hunting” Africans because of their race and hence, it expressed opposition to plan by the court to try Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on charges of crimes against humanity. The chairman of the body and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who disclosed this yesterday at the end of the AU Summit, said African leaders would raise their concerns with the United Nations (UN). Also, following their deliberations, African leaders have decided to immediately establish a military rapid reaction force to deal with regional security emergencies, moving to reduce the continent’s reliance on outside forces and

• Creates emergency military force funds for its defence. However, Kenyatta is due to be tried in July on charges of crimes against humanity. He denies the charges, which arise from accusations that he fuelled violence after disputed elections in 2007. He was elected president in March, after defeating thenPrime Minister Raila Odinga in a tightly contested polls. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) cited Hailemariam as saying at the end of AU summit in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, that African leaders had expressed regret that out of those indicted by the ICC, “99 per cent are Africans”. “This shows something is flawed within the system of

the ICC,” he said. Hailemariam added that the ICC had been formed to end the culture of impunity, but “now the process has degenerated into some kind of race hunting”. According to the AU chairman, the ICC is “chasing” Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, despite the fact that the rival Kalenjin and Kikuyu ethnic groups – who had fought after the 2007 election – had come together to vote for them in the March polls. Kenyatta and Ruto were on opposite sides in the 2007 election, after which some 1,000 people were killed and 600,000 people fled their homes.

Analysts said the ICC prosecutions bolstered their campaign in the 2013 polls, as they presented it as foreign interference in Kenya’s domestic affairs. Meanwhile, the decision on emergency military force followed calls from several leaders for an African defence capacity to be created right away, given the persistence of a number of conflicts and rebellions on the continent. Plans for an African Standby Force have existed for more than a decade. But delays in the creation of this contingent has led to criticism that Africa has for too long been slow to do its own peacekeeping, relying instead on help and funding from the United Nations and Western donors.

UN peacekeepers lack troops, aircraft to protect civilians in South Sudan N official of United Nations A (UN), Hilde Johnson, has raised the alarm that the multinational peacekeeping force in South Sudan lacked sufficient troops and aircraft to protect civilians affected by fighting in the country’s eastern region. A report by Reuters yesterday claimed that tens of thousands of people have been uprooted by clashes between the army and rebel forces in Jonglei state. Almost all of the 10,000 residents of Pibor town in Jonglei have fled their homes, aid agencies said, following looting by the state security forces and rebel threats to attack it. Moreso, Sudanese army said

on Sunday it killed more than 70 rebels of the revolutionary front, which attacked AlDandaro area in South Kordofan state. “More than 70 of the rebels were killed and the rest fled the area,” Xinhua quoted AlSawarmy Khalid Saad, Sudanese army spokesman, as saying in a statement. He added that the armed forces are still chasing the rebels and continuing the combing operations to ensure security and stability in the area. Johnson, who is the head of the UN mission, said she has doubled the number of peacekeeping troops in Pibor.

South African policemen guard foreign shops after mob violence FTER a mob looted stores A overnight amid simmering anger at immigrants, South African policemen yesterday guarded foreignowned shops in an impoverished Johannesburg township. A report by Agence France Presse (AFP) stated that foreign shop owners packed their wares in trucks as armoured police vehicles patrolled the dusty Diepsloot township north of Johannesburg, where rubber bullet casings and burnt tyres littered the streets. On Sunday, police dispersed

more than 100 people who went on a rampage after a Somali shop owner allegedly shot dead two people, according to police. “Two people... were shot dead by a shop owner who alleged that they were trying to rob him,” Lungelo Dlamini told AFP, adding that the victims were from Zimbabwe. The crowd looted some shops in the area after the shooting, Dlamini added. “Police intervened and the crowd was dispersed,” he said. He denied that police fired rubber bullets to break up the mob.

Italian politicians, others docked in Sicily’s mafia trial ORMER senior Italian politiFyesterday cians and policemen were put on trial along-

United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague (left), Luxembourg Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn and Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger (right) prior to the Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on situation in Syria, common security and defence policy, the Middle East peace process and the situation in Mali and the Sahel…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

EU considers amending arms embargo to aid Syrian rebels HE European Union (EU) T foreign ministers yesterday met to discuss calls by United Kingdom (UK) and France for an easing of sanctions against Syria so that weapons can be supplied to the rebels. According to agency reports, France and the UK argued that the move would increase pressure on Damascus for a political solution. However, several EU states are totally opposed to ending the arms embargo, which expires on May 31. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stated that fierce clashes were reported in a Syrian border town just as more allegations emerged of chemical weapons being used. The meeting in Brussels came as the United States (U.S.), France and Russia pushed for Syria’s opposition to join

One of the main concerns in many European capitals is the impact any lifting or easing of the EU arms embargo might have on the fragile effort to fashion a political transition. President Bashar al-Assad’s government at an international peace conference in Geneva next month. The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, has added his voice to those urging Europe to ease restrictions on military support for the opposition. “Fine for him to say, but what is Washington willing to do?” one European foreign minister opposed to lifting the ban said Yesterday, Kerry met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Paris. Their talks are expected to focus on plans for the first conference to bring together representatives of the Syrian government and oppo-

sition. The meetings in Brussels and Paris are linked. One of the main concerns in many European capitals is the impact any lifting or easing of the EU arms embargo might have on the fragile effort to fashion a political transition. Syria’s foreign minister confirmed on Sunday that the government would “in principle” attend the summit. Members of the main opposition coalition yesterday met in the Turkish city of Istanbul to decide whether to attend the conference. Arriving for the EU talks in Brussels yesterday, several foreign ministers and EU foreign

policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said it was vital to give the planned Geneva talks a chance. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said first and foremost the EU had to “do everything to support as Europeans the American and Russian initiative”. Austria, in common with the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden, opposes arming the rebels. Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said the EU should remain as “a peace community by not being involved in such a conflict”. But UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Britain fully backed the Geneva conference, as “in the end there is only a political and diplomatically supported solution”.

side Mafia godfathers in Sicily. Prosecutors alleged that representatives of the state made secret deals with the gangsters in an effort to halt a series of deadly bombings in the early 1990s. But one of the politicians, former Interior Minister Nicola Mancino protested yesterday at being tried alongside Mafia bosses like the infamous Toto Riina, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported. “I have always fought the Mafia,” he insisted. “I can’t be in the same trial as where there is Mafia. “I have confidence and hope

that justice will be done, and that I can be out of the trial as soon as possible,” he said. He is accused of giving false testimony to prosecutors investigating the case – charges he denies. Another former minister, Calogero Mannino, is also being put on trial. Media reports claimed that the witnesses in the case might include top figures like President Giorgio Napolitano. About 20 years ago, the Mafia was making war on the Italian state. There were car bombings in Rome, Florence and Milan, and two leading anti-mafia prosecutors died in devastating explosions in

‘Al-Shabaab literally defeated but still threat to Somalia’ OMALI President Hassan Sclosed Sheik Mohamud has disthat Al-Shabaab has been literally defeated, but added that it was still a threat to Somalia, the region and to the world. Mohamud, at the 21st African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, told reporters that a lot of developments have been achieved in Somalia since the incumbent government took office eight months ago. He said Al-Shabaab is still alive despite the fact that its

command and control has been dismantled. “Al-Shabaab has been literally defeated; and they are on the run. But their threat is still there in Somalia. As far as there is that threat in Somalia, there is a threat to the region, and there is a threat to the world at large,” Xinhua quoted Mohamud as saying. “So, Al-Shabaab is still alive but their command and control is dismantled. Because of that failure now they are fighting each others,” he said.


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THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Politics How to save Nigeria from anarchy, by Nwabueze, Asemota Professor Ben Nwabueze, chairman of The Patriots, a group of eminent persons in Nigeria, and a member, Chief Solomon Adun Asemota (SAN), spoke on the state of the nation, including amnesty for Boko Haram members, and the need to convene a national conference as solution to the many challenges facing the country. They spoke jointly to Seye Olumide in Lagos. What are your fears for Nigeria? HAT is a very large question. We are in a very desperate situation in the country and everyday, the situation gets more and more worrisome. At a point, we were optimistic that things would get better but now, we are beginning to nurse some sense of despair due to the development around us, with the persistent fear whether we would get out of this. The economic problems are there; poverty, illiteracy, lack of development, poor infrastructure and others. Poor leadership, bad governance and what has complicated matters are things we have infringed upon ourselves. President Goodluck Jonathan has offered amnesty to the Boko Haram sect; do you see this as a panacea to the security problems in the northern parts of the country? The amnesty issue for Boko Haram sect is something I cannot understand. Should we be talking about amnesty for Boko Haram now? There is a dividing rank between amnesty and dialogue. If the Boko Haram people could be identified, then we can talk of dialogue. But dialogue does not say we must grant amnesty. We need to find out who they are and let us talk. They should tell the whole world their grievances. It is not right to compare the Boko Haram with the situation in Niger Delta. We all know the situation in the Niger Delta; we know what the anger of the Niger Delta militants are. Too much crude oil is being extracted from their region and serious pollution on their lands but government neglects them. These are the factors that pushed the boys to resist but still, they were able to come out and dialogue before amnesty was granted to them. In the case of Boko Haram, nobody knows what they are fighting for. What are their grievances? Nobody knows. They once talked about poverty but this is something general to the entire nation. Poverty is everywhere. Illiteracy and ignorance are also a general challenge to the country and government ought to address them. This is the position of The Patriots: that a national conference can best solve some of these issues because everything seems to have failed in this country and therefore, we need to sit on a round table to discuss. This is the only way we can address all the problems that affect all sections of the country. I found it very difficult to swallow that word ‘amnesty’ for people who committed criminal offences against their nation. The Niger Delta militants also committed criminal offences, terrorising, kidnapping, murders but they had good reasons and legitimate cause for doing what they did. But how do we describe the Boko Haram situation? The Sultan of Sokoto, who is the Supreme Head of Muslim Faith in Nigeria, came out to ask for amnesty for the northern militants. Of course, that simple call turned into a clamour and now dominating public discussions. We now talk about nothing but amnesty. Security in the nation is so precarious and this has given people like Dokubo-Asari the guts to

• Jonathan can transform the country if he does the right thing

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Nwabueze

Asemota

make statements that should not have come from anybody. Although the presidency disowned him but he has made his statement, and other people are making similar statements. So, where is the country heading? Where is Nigeria heading? To anarchy, of course! The Boko Haram insurgent is there despite the setting up of an amnesty committee to look into their grievances; they are still attacking. It is a pity that the northern leaders are pleading with the sects to buy into the amnesty programme. But still, they refused and continued with their crime against the nation and against humanity. And instead of concentrating on how to curtail them, we are talking about amnesty. But what is the position of The Patriot on the issue? The position of The Patriots on the matter is simple and straight. We have met several times, deliberated on the state of the nation and issued many statements that Nigeria was heading into a situation of anarchy. We may not yet be in the state of anarchy, like General Theophilus Danjuma said that Nigeria was already in anarchy; but we are certainly heading towards anarchy. Asemota cuts in… It is important to look critically the ideological implication of the present scenario in the country but before I delve into that, I will agree with all that Prof. Nwabueze has said. In 2011, I was at a meeting with Canon Steven Davis, who is still in Abuja; he came in a few days ago, where the call to surrender by Boko Haram was made and they agreed that time. Their grievance was that Yusuf, their leader, was murdered and that they also had about 8,000 Almajiris. We agreed in the meeting that the Governor of

Borno State should provide a settlement for them and other needs. The details of how they would hand over their guns were brought up. First, let me say that Canon Davis is an expert in reconciliation; he is in the Anglican Church in England and they have gone to various countries around the world to reconcile. He was the man behind the reconciliation of the Niger Delta, although most people do not mention him but he was the one who took Dokubo-Asari to Abuja to see the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the cleric is still in Abuja. The ideology has made it difficult for us to reconcile democracy and the Islamic extremism but what has happened over the years is that everything had been done to weaken democratic institutions. For instance, when you sack the National Assembly, you weaken democratic institution. So, we have weakened the democratic institution and replaced it with traditional institution, religious institution and all sorts of institutions that have no place in the document we wrote as Nigerian Constitution. Section 14 of the Constitution provides what government is set out to do and during our discussion for independence, we all agreed that we were going to have a democratic Nigeria, but in order to sabotage this, they set up an invisible government that promoted something outside the democratic institution. And if you have an invisible government, you must have an invisible army. So, it is sad that this has generated big problem and even though we have rules and institutions, they are all weak. For instance, we have a Nigerian Police Force but at the same time, we have militants’ army. You cannot reconcile the two. But the Nigerian Police Force has been so weaken today I begin to wonder whether it is the same police force that people like us were trained

This country can be transformed if we do the right thing and that is what The Patriots believe. President Jonathan has the unique opportunity to transform the nation. He can transform this country or at best, start the process to transform it. If Jonathan says he is ready today, we, The Patriots, will give him support. We will go with him to anywhere to address rallies or even dialogue on the need to organise a national conference. We will be there to help him.

before independence, to take over from the white people when they were leaving. My argument is if the ideological issues were not discussed and we continue the way we are going, Nigeria will collapse. Therefore, we need to convene a national conference. The National Assembly has tried to experiment the review of the 1999 Constitution but it has not succeed in bringing about any change. The Patriots are saying we should have a national conference of ethnic nationalities and if you read our position paper on it, you will discover why we want it to be on the basis of ethnic nationalities and not on political parties. I hope that those who are enjoying whatever they think they are enjoying today are working very hard towards reconciling aggrieved people so that they can come out someday to say, ‘yes, we will have a national conference but it must be on political parties.’ The question is; the parties we have today in the country are made up of whom? If you go to the National Assembly, we have soldiers, policemen and all former armed forces men. How many people, who were outside the establishment of the armed forces, are in the National Assembly? This is a big problem for us. So, I believe we must sit down and talk not just about Boko Haram but there is the need for us to reconcile ourselves, and point out those areas that are very cogent. Those that are benefiting from the present system do not want it, but I want them to realise that evil does not triumph forever. It is only the good that triumphs forever. The debate to convene a national conference is not new; has The Patriots found out why government has been shying away from it because, it’s a surprise that some of those who clamoured for it changed the tune immediately they found their way into government? The reasons that successive governments have been dodging the call may be different. For instance, the objectives of Obasanjo’s government were personal power. It was very clear that Obasanjo was pursuing an agenda of personal rule. He operated what we generally referred to as constitutional dictatorship. That was what Obasanjo operated for eight years and he wanted a third term of an indefinite tenure. He didn’t want anything that would diminish his stay as a dictator. He saw a national conference as something that would diminish his power and he subdued all the institutions of government and subordinated them — the judiciary, the National Assembly, anti-corruption agencies, even oil and gas, among others, to himself. He labeled some of us, who were clamouring for a national conference, as troublemakers; those who simply wanted to use a conference as an avenue to divide the country. But that is not true. A national conference will not divide the country. In 2007, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua took over but we cannot really say much about him because he did not last in power. Even the little period he spent in power, he was so ill that he could not perform. While he was in power, the demand for a conference was not so strong. When Jonathan took over, he said publicly that he was in support of a national conference. We have discussed with him and also written a letter to him on the subject of national conference and we are waiting for his reply. We expected that he would give our letter the necessary treatment. The memorandum we sent to the president contains all the arguments that could be advanced in support of a conference. We are not only after drawing up a Constitution, there are other important things we included in the memorandum, including the near collapse of Nigeria and how it could be addressed. Why would you insist on a conference based on

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THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tinubu says APC is a govt-in-waiting From Abba Anwar, Kano ORMER Lagos State goverFCongress nor and leader of the Action of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has described the newlyformed All Progressives Congress (APC) as a government-in-waiting. He said this is based on the popularity the organisation was getting and its acceptance across the nation, coupled with its ideological base. Tinubu stated this in a live radio programme on Freedom Radio in Kano at the weekend. Stressing that Nigerians were tired of lies upon lies of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he said, “what Nigerians want is a focused and purposeful leadership.”

“I sympathise with this woman called Nigeria, in these 13 years of maladministration and ineptitude leadership,” he said. “We want to control the party whose motive and whose value is power all the time. So, we want to correct the ineptitude.” Tinubu said he was very confident that Nigerians were tired of impracticable budgets of trillions upon trillions, unemployment, power failure, lack of health care for the ordinary people, lack of irrigation system, lack of value and infrastructural disintegration. Asked about the many internal conflicts that may overpower the emerging party, he explained that politics was all about conflict and conflict res-

To save Nigeria CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 ethnic nationalities? Why we emphasised that the conference must be on the basis of ethnic nationalities is because they are the ones that wear the shoes; they are the people whose interests are at stake. We should bring them together to discuss how this nation could move forward as one entity. Everybody wants this country to continue as one entity but we must discuss certain things, including the Boko Haram insurgents, the Niger Delta issues, marginalisation and others. Everybody has grievances; let us put them on the table and discuss with good intention. We believe that when this is done, an acceptable Constitution could be agreed on. This country is without ethical morality; no ethical justice; nothing, we are just going. We hear about dangerous cultism, kidnapping, corruption and money laundering everyday but we believe that all these can be properly discussed and addressed at the national conference. This country can be transformed if we do the right thing and that is what The Patriots believe. Jonathan, as far as I am concerned, has the unique opportunity to transform the nation. He can transform this country or at best, start the process to transform it. If Jonathan says he is ready today, we, The Patriots, will give him support. We will go with him to anywhere to address rallies or even dialogue on the need to organise a national conference. We will be there to help him. But the North seems not to agree with your position on a national conference, as the Northern Governors Forum once opposed such a conference? We are in a correspondent with the Arewa. We have exchanged in black and white; we have agreed on the need for a national conference but the modalities are what we are still looking at. We agreed on the ultimate need to hold a conference but the modalities are a bit different but that will be settled given goodwill. The Arewa wanted the conference to be on political party

basis but we say it should be a conference of ethnic nationalities. This must be the vocal point because it will make no sense if the ethnic nationalities are not the major point of consideration for the conference. They are the people feeling the pinch of the crisis. Nigeria does not contain one set of people; whosoever is saying that we are a set of one people is deceiving himself and the country. Nigeria contains peoples; peoples make up Nigeria and that is why it is necessary to come to a round table based on ethnic nationalities and not on political parties to discuss our differences. The Patriots also have modalities that will ensure that all the ethnic nationalities are wellrepresented. We have the number and list of all ethnic nationalities at hand. We have ascertained every ethnic nationality in this country, big or small; they are 389 in the list. We have included these in our Memorandum to the president. We will bring them one by one to the conference. Let the president give this opportunity for the people to speak one on one to themselves. Obasanjo has played his part and left; he did not want it for the reason best known to him. Jonathan is in position; let him demonstrate, in real term, that he actually supports the conference. Our letter is on his table and any day he calls us, we will go and meet him and talk to him. The title of the Memorandum is, ‘National Transformation Through National Conference’ A serving member of the National Assembly once said that it was a waste of time for anybody to think that the government or National Assembly would organise a conference… We are operating under the rule of law. The Constitution does not say a national conference should be convened without the backing of a law; otherwise, it becomes illegal. We must have a law to back the conference and that law has to be made by the National Assembly. In our Memorandum to the president, we also attached a Bill called the ‘National Conference Referendum Bill’, which urged the president to present the Bill to the National Assembly and we hope the president prevails on the lawmakers to pass the Bill into law.

olution mechanism. According to him, the issue of importing more conflicts into the merged party from the merging parties was normal in politics. The ACN leader urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make all necessary arrangements to use biometric system in the general elections in 2015, insisting on a system that could promote “one man, one vote.” Tinubu gave the assurance that the emerging party would be able to control any problem related to internal democracy, indicating that members would try as much as they could to see to “free and fair primaries when the time comes.” Emphasising that the joy of democracy is to do free and fair election, he recalled that there was a time internal democracy was not a problem in the

nation’s politics. “The day you register with the APC, you are the same with Tinubu,” he pledged. On how to do away with the problem of corruption in the country, Tinubu listed building institutions, making the judiciary independent, increasing the salary of the judicial staff and proper administration of their retirement benefits, and promoting the system of rule of law. “Let judgment fits the crime,”

he said. “We must make sure that courts are working according to the set rules.” He said he was proud of his legacy in Lagos State and other progressive states of the Southwest, urging, “just go there and see for yourself; my governors are not slaves.” “We share vision and mission; we collaborate for the progress of our states and our team in the Southwest is a hard working group. We really worked for it.”

On how to do away with the problem of corruption in the country, Tinubu listed building institutions, making the judiciary independent, increasing the salary of the judicial staff and proper administration of their retirement benefits, and promoting the system of rule of law.

Tinubu


THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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TheMetroSection Lagos marks Children’s Day

A cross-section of pupils at the Tastee Spelling Bee competition ..yesterday

PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

General Manager, GOtv Elizabeth Amkpa and Marketing Manager, Oludare Kafar with the chilPHOTOS: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI dren during the GOtv Children’s Day party in Lagos ...yesterday

Briefs Fayemi to deliver Ransome Kuti Memorial Lecture KITI State Governor, Dr. KayE ode Fayemi will speak on how to “tackle the challenge of health and social inequity” at the eighth yearly Professor Olikoye Ransome Kuti Memorial Lecture, on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), IdiAraba, Lagos at 11.00a.m. It is organized by the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and is named after Professor Olikoye RansomeKuti, who epitomized ethical standards and principles in health care throughout his ca-

Medical outreach in Abuja ISION Athletics Foundation, V in partnership with the True Church Of God (TCG), David Mark Bonaventure Initiative, Gede Foundation and others will tomorrow hold a medical outreach to provide primary medical care and educate the public at TCG auditorium, Leha Street, behind City College, Mararaba, Abuja at

Movement for launch

NEW group, Opeyemi FaA tola Solidarity Movement, (OFSM), will tomorrow be ofChildren of Apostolic Faith Church, Anthony Village during Children’s Day concert

Kings’ College boys being taught financial literacy as part of Children’s Day celebrations

By Eno Bassey, Isaac Taiwo and Toyosi Ajayi

Anthony Village, the Church organized a musical concert for the children in commemoration of Children’s Day. Speaking at the occasion, Director of Music, Youth Choir, Babatope Martins told The Guardian that the essence of the event was to enlighten the youth and guide them in the kind of best life to live. “Since man must be occupied with something as there is no vacuum in nature, we engage our youth in a celebration like this annually so as to get them engaged in what is profitable for both physical and spiritual exercise as this is quite life transforming. “This type of exercise helps them to overcome vices that are identifiable with youths and prepare them for a prominent future as working in partnership with Jesus is the best

PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO

ITH the showers of blessing W that poured heavily, Lagos State was agog with different activities at many locations to mark the Children’s Day yesterday. At the SOS Village, the Organisation of Nigerian Chaplains celebrated with the children in commemoration of the day. Speaking at the event, Chaplain, Brigadier Taiwo Akinwale on behalf of the Chaplain-General, Vincent Okafor said the organization was there to identify with the children. “We officers of the Organisation of Nigerian Chaplains are here to celebrate with these children with the token we have. Our Organisation is made up of professionals deeply committed to serving God and humanity and we are here today at

SOS Village to also perform our social responsibility.” He said: “Our Organisation is described as Pastors in Uniforms as we are committed to the ministering of the Word and rendering assistance to the less privileged. We seize this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of Lagos State Government in the area of taking care of children and encourage it to do more.” “We also call on parents to spend time with their children and not just running around in the name of acquiring money for their children’s education.” “These children need a close touch because without the parents’ personal touch and interaction, a big vacuum would invariably be created in the area of training,” he stressed. Also at the Apostolic Faith Church,

life to live, he added. Meanwhile, the Tastee Spelling Bee competition was also organized by the De-Tastee Fried Chicken Ltd., owners of Tastee Fried Chicken (TFC), for primary and secondary schools in commemoration of Children’s Day yesterday. The Executive Director, Mr. Olubunmi Adedayo, said: “TFC loves children and so our commitment to them is absolute. Hence, we celebrate them.” There was talent display by students of Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children and Atunda –Olu School. Gifts such as Ipads, Latptops, Play Station III, 32inch television sets, Tastee gift cards were given to winners. Computer sets, and encyclopedia were also distributed to participating schools.

Foundation leads crusade of free treatment for children with cancer By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor INCE being diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four, Ayokunmi Makinde, had made the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Mushin her second home before she lost the battle to survive to one of the deadliest childhood cancers known today. It is not only strange to hear, but pathetic to know that children, even as young as a month-old, could be afflicted with cancer – the world’s most dreaded disease. Childhood cancers, like all kinds of cancer, have a common disease process: body cells grow out of control, develop other cells and ultimately spread to other organs and tissues. For Ayokunmi, there was

S

no sign of a developing disease since birth, but few months after her fourth birthday, her parents noticed a swelling under her nose involving her upper jaw. She was immediately taken to a private hospital for treatment. When the swelling lingered and increased in size, her parents were advised to take her to LUTH, where she was diagnosed of leukemia. “After some series of tests, it was discovered that it is leukemia. The doctors couldn’t even break the news to me, it was on the third appointment we came for that I was told my daughter had cancer. I did not believe them but I couldn’t withdraw her as she was immediately placed on chemotherapy,” Ayo’s mum said. After two courses of

chemotherapy the swelling reduced and one could once again appreciate Ayo’s beauty. She was discharged to continue treatment at home. She honoured her appointment once but failed to show up again due to the biting debts her parents had incurred on her medical expenses. Six months after, she was brought back to LUTH bleeding and very pale. She eventually passed on before she could be transfused. According to a matron at the Pediatrics ward at the LUTH, an average of four children are admitted daily for cancer cases. A group, Children Living With Cancer Foundation (CLWCF) is reaching out to educate the public on the reality of childhood cancer in Nigeria and reduce the recovery rate of patients, which is very

low. The President of CLWCF, Dr. Nneka Nwobbi, said checking the scourge of childhood cancer required collective effort because of the huge amount of money involved in treating each case. “Childhood cancer is not a death sentence, it is curable though expensive to manage; but there should be enough money to make cancer treatment free for children in this country. If about 10,000 people contribute N1, 000 monthly and with N10 million, it would go a long way to bringing relief to parents because access to drugs is not the problem, but affordability,” she said. Consultant Pediatrician at LUTH, Dr. Edamisan Olusoji Temiye, underscoring the seriousness of the issue,

noted that: “Childhood cancer treatment is very expensive. For example, a complete treatment for kidney cancer (nephroblastoma), which lasts for less than six months and is not as costly as cancer of the blood, will cost parents of an affected child nothing less than N1 million. And we will have to monitor the child up to five years before we can say he is okay. It takes between N7 million and N10 million to cure blood cancer, which lasts two or three years. “So, it’s not feasible for an average Nigerian family to afford the cure for cancer. That is one of the reasons why our cure rate is very, very low because there’s a lot of treatment abandonment. The parents come and when they see the enormous cost, they just go

ficially launched at the Cliques Entertainment office, Joyce B Road, Ring Road, Ibadan, Oyo State at noon. Founded by the President of Cliques Group, Mr. Opeyemi Fatola, “it is not affiliated to any political party but is committed to advocating for the Nigerian masses on the issue of governance.”

Book presentation PUBLIC presentation of A two books entitled Our common environment: Un-

derstanding the environment, Law and Policy and Modern Nigerian family Law & Practice (with full commentary on the matrimonial causes Rules 1983) by Ajuzie C. Osondu holds tomorrow at Osun Hall, Lagos Airport Hotel, Obafemi Awolowo Way, by Allen Roundabout, Ikeja, Lagos at 11.00 a.m. under the chairmanship of Elder Paul Ananaba (SAN).

Oyibo, 102, for burial rites for Pa BenFdiedUNERAL jamin Otititi Oyibo, who at the age of 102, began yesterday with a commendation service at Oke Bola Shopping Complex, 7-Day Road, Oke Bola, Ibadan, Oyo State. A service of songs holds on Thursday, May 30, at Oyibo’s compound, Oghara Junction, Delta State at 4.00p.m. He will be buried on Friday, May 31, after a funeral service at his home town, Ogara Junction in Ethiope West Local Council, near Sapele, Delta State at noon.

Oyibo


THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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16 | THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

TheGuardian Conscience Nurtured by Truth

FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011) Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816

Editorial Oil theft and Nigeria’s oil output HE quantity of Nigeria’s oil output per day or annually has been shrouded in T mystery over the years. At the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held in Houston, Texas, USA, the other day, the matter came up and all Nigerian delegates could do was to lament the situation and attendant woes. According to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the problem of measurement could be blamed on the increasing sophistication of oil theft in the Niger Delta. Oil theft, according to her, accounted for an estimated total losses of over 300,000 barrels per day, or, about $1 billion (N160 billion) a month in revenue. Oil theft has reached an alarming dimension in the Niger Delta. The recent disclosure by Shell Producing Development Company (SPDC), which manages the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal, that the nation’s economy lost a whopping $4.3 billion to oil thieves in the last two years at an average rate of $2.3 billion annually, underscores the tragic nature of the problem. Nevertheless, there are now standardised measures of oil production the world over, thanks to advancement in science and technology. Good enough, the available technology, usually deployed to measure oil production directly from the wellhead, is reportedly not so sophisticated or difficult to apply. According to experts on oil production meters and well-flow management, a meter can be installed in just 30 minutes. And it does not need routine maintenance. Such meters are also powered by solar energy. Nigerian government officials do not appear interested in such technologies. Despite their lack of interest in benefits to the industry, the country keeps sending delegates to OTC annually. Why waste tax payers’ money attending the meeting, knowing that useful outcomes will never be appropriated? The absence of any standardised measure of oil production not only deters transparency requirements in the oil sector, but is also antithetical to the promotion of accountability. Given the spate of recklessness and corruption in the oil sector, this is totally unacceptable. If oil theft is a problem hindering Nigeria’s progress, the government must develop the political will to deal with the scourge. Ordinarily, such a battle cannot be prosecuted without adequate military involvement. However, as recent experiences of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta have illustrated, the military approach has not worked. It has become another avenue for patronage, illustrated by the fact that the rank and file of the military lobby intensively for deployment into the zone. While the JTF, despite its seeming ineffectiveness in combating the sabotage, will remain relevant to the war against oil theft, more attention must be devoted to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). In doing this, adequate efforts should be made to ensure that the resultant Petroleum Industry Act, apart from dealing clearly with the issue of measurement of oil production, has transparency, accountability and control measures as its nucleus. This is the right path to follow, if this scandalous theft is to be curbed.

LETTER

Jonathan was partially right President Goodluck was reported to ShaveIR:Jonathan told the Labour leaders to caution the workers about stealing, when the latter told him to fight corruption seriously. Jonathan was partially right, because at times, those in government cannot steal without the cooperation of some civil servants, such as permanent secretaries and accountants. Some or many workers also steal and frustrate the positive efforts of some leaders. Nevertheless, if a leader, director, or head of department is honest and diligent, those under him can hardly get away with stealing. Thus, it is crucial to have good leaders in government to minimize stealing and misappropriation of public funds. Good leadership was what the labour leaders were asking Jonathan to provide in himself and his ministers. That could put the legislature and

the judiciary as well on their toes. Corruption shrunk drastically during the regime of General Murtala Mohammed, because he truly had zero tolerance for it. Ditto Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Babatunde Idiagbon, who, in line with the policy of General Mohammed, declared War Against Indiscipline (WAI). Hardly any public official felt safe to indulge in corrupt practices during those two regimes. Hence I appeal to Nigerians to insist on having Buhari back in 2015. Any Igbo who would like to contest the presidency in 2019 may not push to be vice-president in 2015, because Nigerians may not tolerate anybody who will spend more than eight years in the presidency, either as president or vice. Although Bill Clinton did well, his two-term vice-presi-

dent lost the bid to succeed him as America’s president. It is pure selfishness and abuse of luck to intend to stay more than eight years in Aso Rock, not even as Secretary to the President. Meanwhile, President Jonathan is incapable of fighting corruption or engendering peace and order, because his regime is a product of destabilization and corruption. Reasonable Nigerians should not expect peace and progress in the absence of order and justice. Where corruption thrives any boast about positive transformation is empty and a sheer propaganda. We are told that everything will be okay in 2015. That means some deceptive measures have been designed to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians for another round of four wasteful years. • Pius Abioje, University of Ilorin.

LETTER

Ferguson: When to ‘step aside’    IR: As a Chelsea fan, Sir Alex SManchester Ferguson, the manager of United FC’s decision to quit his job fills me with great joy and relief. (Too bad for Man U fans). If there was any man who stood between Chelsea (ok, and other teams) and the English Premier League silverwares, it is Ferguson. The man straddled the league like a colossus. I know no greater joy than when he loses. And now the Fergie Time is over! When I say Fergie Time do not mistake it with the 27 years he spent as the manager of Manchester United. The Fergie Time I mean was first heard in the 90s. It is that extra period that referees add that drags a match long enough every time

Yet, no one can take his managerial capabilities away from him. He is got the charisma. His team looks on him like a father. It is always difficult to defeat a team that believes in a coach and plays for him. He instilled in his boys a comeback, it-is-not-over-till-the-fatlady-sings mentality that is unrivalled in football.

Manchester United needs a crucial goal. The first was in 1993 when United got seven whopping minutes of injury time against Sheffield Wednesday and scored to win a first top-division championship since 1967. And after that there have been many of them. To the opposition it is crazy, an injustice, but to Man U fans it is exciting, a miracle. Yet, no one can take his managerial capabilities away from him. He is got the charisma. His team looks on him like a father. It is always difficult to defeat a team that believes in a coach and plays for him. He instilled in his boys a comeback, it-isnot-over-till-the-fat-ladysings mentality that is unrivalled in football. Sometimes you think they get their cue, or even the match plan from the intensity in which Ferguson chewed his gum. Ferguson is also smart. He knows it is the last impression that lingers on. He wants history to be forever kind to him. He does not want to sully his status as a Manchester United legend and icon. He is leaving, or do I say ‘stepping aside’ at the right time. His 27 years as Manchester United manager remain glorious, and will be difficult to match. He

won 38 trophies with Manchester United. That included 13 league titles, two Champions Leagues, five FA Cups and four League Cups. Before this he tasted success in Scotland, first with St Mirren where he won the first division title in 1977, and then Aberdeen, with three Scottish Premier Division titles, four Scottish Cups, three League Cups, and a famous European Cup Winners Cup victory over Real Madrid in 1983. African leaders can learn from Ferguson. At first, African leaders may come with good intentions for their people. They may improve the lot of their people. Instead of leaving when they should they wait to be booted out in shame after destroying what they may have built. If only African leaders know that the best time to leave is when they are loved by the people, when they are doing well. This raises the bar for the incoming person. Yet I could not help the sneaky feeling that Ferguson knows that come next season Jose Mourinho could be coming back to Chelsea. And with Manchester City’s ever bigger dreams? Trophy starved Arsenal? Vengeful Liverpool? Surely there is a knight who knows the best time to ‘step aside’ is now. • Cosmas Odoemena, Lagos.


THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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Business Appointments P43 Sustaining corporate growth through employees’ loyalty

World Bank unfolds strategies to end poverty From Chukwuma Muanya, who was in Geneva HE World Bank has raised T alarm over the threat to human existence of poverty and ill health, even as it gave recipes on how to end poverty by 2030. Group President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, in his speech at the ongoing 66th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland on ‘Poverty, Health and the Human Future’ said to end poverty and boost shared prosperity, countries need robust, inclusive economic growth. And to drive growth, they need to build human capital

‘Out-of-pocket health spending forces 100 million people into extreme poverty every year’ through investments in health, education and social protection for all their citizens. The World Bank President said by current best estimates, worldwide, out-of-pocket health spending forces 100 million people into extreme poverty every year, and inflicts severe financial hardship on another 150 million. To free the world from absolute poverty by 2030, countries must ensure that all of their citizens have access to quality and affordable health services; and that countries can end the injustice of out-of-pock-

et health spending forces by introducing equitable models of health financing along with social protection measures such as cash transfers for vulnerable households. last month, the World Bank Group, committed to work with countries to end absolute poverty worldwide by 2030. For the first time, the organisation set an expiration date for extreme poverty. Kim said the World Bank Group has adopted five specific ways to support countries in their drive towards universal health coverage. These include:

continue to ramp up our analytic work and support for health systems; support countries in an all-out effort to reach Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5, on maternal mortality and child mortality; with WHO and other partners, the World Bank Group will strengthen their measurement work in areas relevant to universal health coverage; will deepen work on the science of delivery; and will continue to step up work on improving health through action in other sectors, because policies in areas such as agriculture, clean

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Lagos State, Mrs. Oluseyi Williams (left); Commissioner for Finance, Tokunbo Abiru; Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, and the Director (Press/Public Relations) Ministry of Informatio, Mrs. Ronke Osho, at the 2013 Finance Ministry’s press briefing to mark Governor Babatunde Fashola’s sixth year in office at Alausa…Ikeja

NCP denies handover of PHCN to investors, to privatise ASCE By Roseline Okere ATIONAl Council on N Privatisation (NCP) has debunked rumour making rounds that there has been a secret handover of PHCN successor companies to the investors without them completing the outstanding 75 per cent payment of their respective bid considerations.                        Besides, NCP has approved the commencement of the privatisation process of the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange  (ASCE) with the for-

mation of a steering committee to be chaired by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments. The Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) in a media statement signed by its spokesman,  Chigbo Anichebe stated;  “We would like to put on record that NCP had approved the constitution of Transition Committees for the 15 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies whose preferred bidders have paid 25 per cent of the bid value. “Following Council approval, the committees were inaugurat-

ed on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at a public ceremony attended by the media and all stakeholders in the sector at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja. At the inauguration ceremony, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Ezra Dikki, explained that each successor company has a three-member committee. The three-man transition committees have a BPE staff as Chairman, the CEO of the successor company and a representative of the bidder as mem-

bers. It said in consonance with the normal practice of NCP, core investors were only allowed to take over the companies they have purchased on completion of 100 percent payment of their bid consideration and PHCN successor companies will not be different.              BPE said that the Successor companies would be formally handed over to the bidders after full payment in a ceremony that will herald the takeover of the power sector by the private sector.

energy, education, sanitation, and women’s empowerment all greatly affect whether people lead healthy lives. Kim explained: “This means that, today as never before, we have the opportunity to unite global health and the fight against poverty through action that is focused on clear goals. “Countries will take different paths towards universal health coverage. There is no single formula. However, today, an emerging field of global health delivery science is generating evidence and tools that offer promising options for countries.” He said every country in the world can improve the performance of its health system in the three dimensions of universal coverage: access, quality, and affordability. “Priorities, strategies and implementation plans will differ greatly from one country to another. In all cases, countries need to tie their plans to tough, relevant metrics. And international partners must be ready to support you. All of us together must prevent ‘universal coverage’ from end-

ing up as a toothless slogan that doesn’t challenge us, force us to change, force us to get better every day,” Kim said. The World Bank President said today the world has resources, tools and data that our predecessors could only dream of and his heightens countries’ responsibility and strips them of excuses. “Today we can and must connect the values expressed at Alma-Ata to strategy and systems analysis; to what I have been calling a ‘science of delivery’; and to rigorous measurement. And we must actually build healthier societies.” He said the setting for this work is the growing movement for universal health coverage and that the aims of universal coverage are to ensure that all people can access quality health services, to safeguard all people from public health risks, and to protect all people from impoverishment due to illness: whether from out-of-pocket payments for health care or loss of income when a household member falls sick.


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Delta commends work pace at Oghara IPP From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba ITH N15 billion so far W spent out of the total contract sum of N23.2b, the Delta State Commissioner for Energy, Charles Emetulu, has expressed satisfaction with the extent of work done so far at the state’s Independent Power Project, Oghara, Ethiope West Council. Emetulu who spoke in Asaba said the project was on course as the government has taken delivery of virtually all equipment needed for the project while the  problem of access road was being addressed. He said that a lot of factors, which includes host community issues have combined to cause delay, saying after initially  agreeing to allow the project, the community turned round to refuse the cit-

ing of the project there.  As a result of squabbles with community, the project was relocated to its present site, leading to delay as it took quite  sometime  because government kept trying to reach common ground with the leaders. The Commissioner added that by the  time the project  with a combined capacity of 128 mega watts was moved to the new site, the company, Rolls Royce, which was contracted to supply the two turbines had moved up to Phase IV of the turbines from the Phase III model that was on board when the state government conceptualised it.  He said: “For those who are engineers, they would understand that this meant changes in such things as Engineering drawings and designs, Environmental Impact

Assessment and all of that. These take time. You also have to understand that, we didn’t just walk into Rolls Royce to pick up turbines. The turbines had to be ordered, paid for and manufactured from scratch for the Delta State Government. This also take time. When the equipment finally  arrived  Onne  Port in Rivers State, they also spent  sometime  there because of issues of access roads. The joyous thing for me is that we have crossed these hurdles and we should be delivering the project to Deltans soon.”

Even with a combined installed capacity of 1,882 megawatts, Emetulu said that the  government decided to embark on the power plants   as it currently get far less than 120 megawatts out of the daily need of over  1,010 mega watts. Against the backdrop of insinuation in some quarters that the project may just turn out to be a white elephant project, he wondered why top officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment visited the  site  last week  and issued us a license for the IPP. 

Mainland Oil to inject N2 billion in mega stations By Roseline Okere AINlAND Oil and Gas has M unveiled plans to invest N2 billion into the expansion of mega filling stations across the country. Managing Director, Mainland Oil and Gas.  Chris Igwe, said yesterday that  the expansion, which is in phases, would kick off in third quarter of the year. According to him, the company looking at additional 50 mega filling stations in the first phase, which will bring the company’s presence in the market to some 65 filling stations. Igwe said that the plan to build the mega stations was very strategic to the company’s growth agenda. “The stations will combine mega stations and regular ones depending on the location of the market”, it added. He said: “We stated with our first fuel service station at Umuoji Road in Onitsha Anambra State. Today we have over 14 stations carefully and consciously located in the rural areas because of our belief in and passion for the welfare of the rural dwellers. However we have some of our stations in urban areas. “So, we are driven by our pas-

sion to make fuel available to the ordinary Nigerians. That is the vision behind Mainland Oil, a vision that drives our business strategies,’’ Igwe added that the group has a strong logistics arm, adding that the company logistics business was one of the effective internal synergy in bulk transshipment of products. “We also have our tank farm which happens to be one of the biggest storage facilities in Calabar, Cross River State. With our wheeling and storage capacity we are licensed by the Department of Petroleum Resources to get products allocation from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for direct distribution in the market. “We also import directly to meet demand on our facilities in addition to holding strategic reserves to ensure that that all our storage facilities are wet with products to continuously and promptly respond to fuel demand from individuals and businesses”, he added. Igwe noted that given the company’s growth projections in the short term the company in a  has the ambition to grow the business so rapidly as to create new opportunities for employment. “In fact whenever I see Dangote employing Nigerians in their thousands, I nurse this strong feeling that our group should tie the same line; even if we do not employ the same number, we want to at least do


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NIMET advises pilots, operators on weather compliance for air safety By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi HE Nigerian Meteorological T Agency (NIMET) has advised pilots and airline operators in the country to regularly obtain meteorological reports in compliance with international aviation organisation standard and recommended practices. The Director General, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, who presented the 2013 Seasonal

Rainfall Prediction (SRP) to the media in Abuja, recently, warned pilots to exercise great caution and heed to the weather advisories provided by NIMET, especially during the onset and cessation periods of the rainy season, when thunderstorms would be prevalent and severe with associated turbulence. The NIMET boss explained that there would be above normal rainfall in four states of

the federation in comparison with that of 2012. Anuforom explained that Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and its environs were likely to have above normal rainfall and advised relevant authorities to always use NIMET’s updates to control possible adverse impact. He also explained that normal rainfall over large areas of the country with enough water in lakes, dams and rivers for both hydroelectric power genera-

tions as well as for irrigation. According to him, the expected changes in the predicted annual rainfall were below normal in Abeokuta and above normal in Ibadan and Yelwa adding that generally, a near normal rainfall amount would be witnessed this year. He declared that the prediction of normal rainfall for the country did not rule out chances of abnormal conditions in some states as experienced in the previous year, adding that catchment areas

of River Niger and parts of the Niger Delta in particular had higher chances of having more rains in 2013 than the previous year. Anuforom advised people around the areas to ensure early planning with respect to sensitisation, preparedness, mitigation and funding in order to reduce the risk of likely weather hazards anticipated over such areas. On agriculture, he said that the season would be good for farmers in crop production

across the country and advised them to commence field establishment of their crops within the period when the rains had fully set in except for tuber root crops. He noted that dry spells were likely to occur in Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Yobe and Borno states particularly in the month of June 2013 and advised farmers in these states to apply caution when planting and to seek guidance from appropriate authorities to prevent economic loss.

Illegal oil bunkering reduces revenue to states, says Shell From Gordi Udeajah - Umuahia OR states in the Niger Delta region that earn revenue from oil prospection, they have been told that illegal bunkering activities impacted negatively in the revenue accruable to them in recent times. This was made known in Umuahia, Abia State capital recently at a stakeholders’ forum by Dr. Chibuzo Anyim of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, organizer of the meeting at Hotel Royal Damgrete. He said that from 1995 2012, Shell awarded about 1,795 scholarships to stu-

F

dents of its host communities just as it impacted positively on them in other areas like health, education, infrastructure among others. The Company’s Community Relations Manager East, Mr. Akpomujere said that the forum was aimed at interfacing with stakeholders towards facilitating better partnership that would impact on further bettering of their lots. Government spokesman at the forum and Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Petroleum and Solid Minerals

Development, Mr. Ernest Ugorji, advised Shell to strive to create more employment opportunities for youths in the Niger Delta region to curb their restiveness. Additionally, that the company considered establishing a liaison office in Abia State through which the oil producing communities would be relating with it and pledged government’s determination to continue to safeguard Shell installations in the state. He, however, noted that the many development projects that the company had embarked upon and executed in the state including the recently commissioned 50 seater ICT centre at Owaza were evidences of existing cordial relationship between the communities, the state and the company.


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CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT OF NIGERIA Dignitaries At The Investiture Of Mr. Victor Famuyibo (FCIPM), as The 16th President/Chairman Of Council Of THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT OF NIGERIA Held On The 21st Of May 2013 At The Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.

(From Left to Right) Past President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management Of Nigeria: Dr. Christopher Kolade, Pioneer President, CIPM: Dr. Michael Omolayole, President/Chairman of Council, CIPM: Mr. Victor Famuyibo and Immediate Past President, CIPM: Mr. Abiola Popoola.

President / Chairman Of Council, Chartered Institute Of Bankers Of Nigeria: Mr. Segun Aina, President, CIPM: Mr. Victor Famuyibo and President, Association Of Professional Bodies Of Nigeria: Mr. Bala Kaoje

Immediate Past President, CIPM: Mr. Abiola Popoola, Past President, CIPM: Dr. Oladimeji Alo, Past President, CIPM: Dr. Christopher Kolade, President, CIPM: Victor Famuyibo and Pioneer President, CIPM: Dr. Michael Omolayole and another Past President, CIPM: Mr. Victor Eburajolo

The Registrar / CEO, CIPM: Mr. Sunday Adeyemi, Mr. Bode Sogo and Mr. Ola Azeez

National Treasurer, CIPM: Mrs. Ijeoma Enekwa, President, CIPM: Mr. Victor Famuyibo and Vice President, CIPM: Mr. Anthony Arabome The President, CIPM: Mr. Victor Famuyibo and Immediate Past President, CIPM: Mr. Abiola Popoola

The Lagos State Head Of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe and President, CIPM: Mr. Victor Famuyibo Mr and Mrs Famuyibo

Fellows of the Chartered Institute Of Personnel Management Of Nigeria present at the Occasion

The MD / CEO, Airtel Nigeria: Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, President, CIPM: Mr. Victor Famuyibo and HR Director, Airtel Nigeria: Mr. Jubril Saba

...we deliver value through people


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NSE targets $1 trillion market capitalisation By Joseph Onyekwere

HE Chief Executive T Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema, has revealed that the Exchange has a target of achieving a trillion dollar capitalisation within the shortest possible time. Oscar made the disclosure at the Lagos office of the Exchange recently when he welcomed the new executives of the Capital Market Solicitors Association (CMSA) led by its chairman,

Uche Val Obi, who paid him a courtesy visit. The NSE helmsman, who congratulated the new executives of CMSA, explained that the Exchange cannot realise the goal of lifting the fortunes of the market alone without the collaboration of industry stakeholders such as CMSA. Also speaking, the Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology of the Exchange, Ade Bajomo, stated that the

Exchange wants to have a strong regulatory basis. “You will see more rules coming out, not to burden the operators but to raise standard”, he said. He listed some of the driving pillars of the current leadership of the Exchange. They include strong business development, to have the right technology to support the market, build strong regulatory environment as well as to have a strong investment protection scheme. “We want to involve the

association in developing rules and guidelines so that when interpretation comes, there will be no problem. We have to make you (CMSA) part of our decision-making, that it won’t be difficult for you when the rules are made. When the intent is clear, then interpretation becomes easier”, declared Haruna Jalo-Waziri, executive director, Business development of the Exchange while making his own remark. Earlier, Obi had introduced members of his exec-

utive and explained that the association comprises team of lawyers who are Capital Market solicitors. He stated that the association has a constitution, which regulates the activities of members and ensure that standards are maintained, adding that they usually embark on capacity building in order to ensure that lawyers are acquainted with capital market operations. “Our Association is ready to partner the Exchange in whatever form. We are

quite aware of all your efforts since the new management came which more like, have revolutionalised the industry and restored investor confidence”, he said, thanking the Exchange for appointing one of its own in the investment protection committee. Obi expressed the willingness of the association to participate further in the activities of the Exchange, pledging to assist the Exchange scale to higher heights.


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Nigeria industrial sector gradually picking up, say experts By Itunu Ajayi, Abuja N line with President Iformation Goodluck Jonathan’s transagenda, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment recently kicked off the implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan, based on areas where the country currently has comparative and competitive advantage. This, according to the Minister, Olusegun Aganga, is part of efforts aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy by increasing non-oil earnings and contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, create jobs and generate wealth for Nigerians. The minister’s efforts have yielded positive results going by latest statistics on the country’s economic performance recently released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) the National Bureau of Statistics and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, respectively. Specifically, the CBN noted that the Federal Government earned N179.5 billion ($1,136.33 million) revenue from the non-oil sector in the first quarter of 2013, driven mainly by receipts from the industrial sector. The apex bank revealed this in its Economic Report for the First Quarter 2013.The report noted that the $1,136.33 million, which represented an increase of 15.1 and 9.3 per cent over the preceding and corresponding quarter in 2012, respectively, was driven largely by receipts from the industrial sector and manufactured goods. The report stated: “Total nonoil export earnings by Nigerian exporters stood at US$1,136.33 million at the end of the review period. This indicated an increase of 15.1 and 9.3 per cent above the levels in the preceding quarter and the corresponding quarter of 2012, respectively. “The development was attributed, largely to the 66.9 and 70.3 per cent rise in receipts from the industrial sector and manufactured products, respectively”. The CBN added: “A breakdown of the proceeds in the review quarter showed that industrial, manufactured, agricultural, minerals and food products earned US$634.2 million, US$322.6 million, US$89.9 million,US$67.9 million and US$21.7 million, respectively. “The shares of industrial, manufactured, agricultural and food products as well as mineral and transport in non-oil export proceeds were 55.8, 28.4, 7.9, 6.0 and1.9 per cent, respectively.” Commenting on the CBN report in Abuja recently, the National President, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists, Chief Chuku Wachuku, said the report underscored the importance of the manufacturing sector as the pivot for the transformation of Nigeria’s economy. He said: “The CBN’s report, which said that receipts from manufactured goods was responsible for the significant increase recorded by the non-oil sector in the first quarter of 2013, is a very good development for not only the

manufacturing sector in particular, but also for the economy in general. “The report underscores the importance of manufacturing as the major driver of job creation and wealth generation globally.” Commenting on the CBN’s report in Abuja, the Country Representative of the United Nation’s Development Programme in Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Komawa, said the report bore testimony to the fact that the growth of the industrial sector was critical towards Nigeria’s inclusive economic growth and transformation. He said, “The report is very impressive. This is the first time in a long time that industrial sector is driving the nonoil export in Nigeria. It shows that investment in industrialisation will help to create jobs and generate wealth for the country. Also, by increasing the productivity of the industrial sector, the country will definitely increase its Gross Domestic Product”. In Improved Capacity Utilisation of real sector, according to MAN statistics, industrial capacity utilisation has increased from 46.44 per cent to 48.24 per between 2010 and 2012, while the textile, apparel and footwear sector has also recorded a significant increase in capacity utilisation, from 29.14 per cent to

52.01 per cent in the same period. The increase in capacity utilisation in the textile sector was due largely to the Federal Government’s Cotton Textile Garment Intervention Fund, which was disbursed to more 50 textile companies at six per cent interest rate. In the cement sector, due to the Federal Government’s policy on Backward Integration, the nation has increased its capacity from about two million metric tons of cement yearly in 2002, to about 28.6 million metric tons of cement currently. Also within this period, the country has received investment of about $6 billion com-

ing into the sector. It has also saved about N210 billion in foreign exchange, which was hitherto spent yearly on the importation of cement. The sector has also generated direct and indirect employment of about two million. The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Chief Kola Jamodu, noted, during the presentation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan to manufacturers, that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, had put in place manufacturing-friendly policies, which had enhanced performance of the real sec-

tor. Nigeria now has favourable trade figures as value of exports exceed imports. NBS statistics indicate that non-oil export rose by 25.5 per

cent between 2011 and 2012 while the contribution of oil to total trade declined from 71.7 per cent in 2011 to 69.2 per CONTINUED ON PAGE 25


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Nigeria industrial sector on the path to recovery CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 cent in 2012. Aggregate exports, according to the Bureau, rose by 8.2 per cent, from $22.53 billion in the third quarter of 2011 to $24.37 billion in the third quarter of 2012. This was just as aggregate imports nosedived by 42.7 per cent to $11.99 billion in the period under review. On investment climate reforms, in line with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment has, within the last one and half years,

embarked on far-reaching Investment Climate Reform Programmes aimed at attracting and sustaining local and foreign direct investments and also improving the country’s business environment. According to the driver of the ministry, Olusegun Aganga, “one of our strategies is to create the right enabling environment businesses to thrive while the second strategy is sharing the good news across the world thus making it easier for investments to flow into the country. “In terms of creating the right environment, we have

commenced an Investment Climate Reform Programme, which we are working close with the World Bank and DFID. We have the policy framework for investment, which covers seven policy areas. We are working with the OECD on that. Also, we have reviewed all the relevant laws governing investments in the country and the process of amending them.” These reforms have yielded significant results in many areas including ease of business registration and increased Foreign Direct Investment inflows.


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Shongai commences exports of plastic pallets to African countries Packaging SberHONGAI Industries Limited, a memof Sona Group of Companies, has commenced export of plastic pallets to neighbouring West African countries with the delivery of its first product consignment to Ghana this week. Speaking at the export takeoff, Executive Director of the company, Geoffrey C. Anyaso said: “Today, we have taken a giant step towards achieving one of our corporate goals which is to be an international manufacturer of plastic products. Shongai Packaging was recently restructured and expanded to facilitate market growth. We are excited at the effect of the restructuring on our sales and the fact that West Africa countries will start experiencing the unique quality of our products.” Shongai’s plastic pallets are made from both virgin and recycled materials processed from the company’s ultramodern recycling plant. Waste plastics materials are treated, ground, and polished before being used to make plastics pallets that can be used in stacking up crates, drums and cartons by manufacturers across various sectors. Anyaso added: “We are lever-

Simba group boss advocates investment in technology By Gbenga Salau HE Managing Director of T Simba Group, Chief Vinaj Grover, has said for Nigeria to leapfrog into a developed nation with viable businesses driving the economy, technology would play a critical role. He therefore suggested that there should be special attention and investment on technology to drive business growth and the economy. Speaking at an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the Simba Group, recently, Grover said that Nigeria could learn from countries that had leapfrogged their economies through technology. “We are very lucky in Nigeria that we do not need to reinvent the wheel, the wheel had been invented in many countries including India and all we need to do is leapfrog and go into the models these country have used, whether China or any country in the western world. And I think what is going to be helping us to achieve that leapfrogging situation is technology. So technology drives businesses forward today in many countries and it can also drive it in Nigeria.” He said though the company now has branches spread across Nigeria marketing different kind of brands, it had a humble beginning starting off with a small office in Idumota area of Lagos. Commenting on cost of doing business in Nigeria, he said that he would not want to make an assertion as to whether if cost of doing business in Nigeria is high or low because cost of operation being high or low is relative.

aging on our expertise to support the global effort to protect the environment. Plastic wastes utilize a very high percentage of both domestic and industrial wastes in Nigeria. We believe that these waste products can be converted to re-usable material which would help in reducing the quantity that is dumped at various landfills and ultimately ensuring a better environment.” He disclosed that the plastic pallets which come in three sizes of 1200 x 1000 x 153mm, 1200 x 1200 x 153mm, and 1250 x 1070 x 153mm are a suitable replacement for wooden pallets that is still very commonly used in Nigeria and that its advantages include preservation of forests, reduction of manufacturers’ long term

cost while also improving hygienic conditions within breweries and food industries since it is insect-free, washable and recyclable. Shongai Packaging Industry Limited started operations in Nigeria in 1991 as a plastic crates manufacturer. The company is into the manufacturing of crates, injection blow, flexible packaging and plastic pallets. It currently produces 390 pallets per day with its state-of-the-art European technology and has trained all its Nigerian operators to handle the machines well. Shongai Packaging was recently named amongst the top 50 fast growth companies in Nigeria 2011 Rankings by the All World Network and Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Company Secretary, Ms Ayomipo Wey, representative, Banwo and Ighodalo Chambers, Victor Etuokwu and Managing Director/CEO, CRC Credit Bureau, Ahmed Tunde Popoola at the company’s annual general meeting in Lagos.


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Sanusi canvasses infrastructure, technical education By Gbenga Salau HE Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), T Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said that the two major impediments to Nigeria’s development

Chairman, Caverton Offshore Support Group (COSG), Remi Makanjuola,(left); Director, HRM, Dr. Edmund Daukoru; and another Director, Akin Kekere-Ekun; at the forth yearly general meeting of the company in Lagos

NITDA boss seeks integrated policy framework for cyber security From Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja MAJOR breakthrough in the fight against A cyber crime in the country has been made as Nigeria has been designated as the host country for the International Telecommunications Union International Multilateral Partnership against Cyber Threat (IMPACT) Advanced Regional Cyber Security Centre. This would position the country as the key cyber security hub within the African region. Also, wife of the president, Dame Patience Jonathan has been appointed as the United Nations-IMPACT Global Champion for Child Online Protection. The Director General, National Information Development Agency (NITDA), Prof. Cleopas Angaye, who disclosed this in Abuja noted that cyber threat had become a serious economic and security challenge in the country adding that the world was calling on Nigeria to lead the fight against cyber crime. Angaye urged the federal government to put in place a consistent and integrated framework of policies, procedures and technical standards to ensure the protection of its information and ICT. He observed that the recent ranking of Nigeria as a country with significant abuse of Internet was disturbing adding that the world’s largest maker of Internet security software Symantec Corporation in its ranking placed Nigeria 69th on the list of countries with malicious Internet activities adding that its placement of Nigeria as number seven in the top bracket of cyber threat in Africa underscored the need for urgent steps to reverse the situation. Angaye explained that IMPACT is an arm of UN with 145 nations as member stressing that the regional Cyber Security Centre would provide an end-to-end cyber security solutions to African continent including federal, states and local governments, government agencies and corporate Nigeria among others

are poor infrastructure and lack of technical and vocational education to serve the economy. The CBN boss, who was one of the speakers at a public lecture to celebrate Deacon Gamaliel Onosode at eighty, said this in Lagos at the weekend. Other speakers before and after him also spoke in line with his position on education. To them, having an education system that is internationally competitive is critical to Nigeria’s drive to true development and a solution to the socio-political problems the country is grappling with. They unanimously agreed that standard had fallen due to neglect not only from government but also by stakeholders. They, therefore, maintained that apart from government getting more committed in terms of funding, provision of right supervision and enabling environment for learning, parents, students and teachers must double up their efforts and be ethically committed. In between their speeches, the celebrant was eulogised for being a role model to emulate and for always sticking to ethical standards. Professor Tam David-West, who gave the keynote speech with the topic, Subliminal regression in the education sector, stated that the retrogression in Nigeria’s education system was a reflection of the retrogression in the entire Nigeria’s system. “What is happening in the education system is a reflection of what is happening in the main society. We are in trouble. And no evil can succeeds in a place some of them are now happy that they are stealing Nigeria’s money, they are not going to survive. I have always said that God loves the poor so much, if the people in government do not care about the poor people, then they are fighting against God. Nigerians should rise up to their responsibility and fuel subsidy is a good example. We must stand up to fight until the corrupt structure is removed,” David-West said. Sanusi said: “If you ask me the two impediments for development in Nigeria, they are poor infrastructure and lack of technical and vocational education. The educational system needs to be structured to serve this economy, this is an economy we need artisans, mechanics, electricians. We need to be able to produce locally that which we are importing. Therefore, we need to look at what kind of education we are focusing on. The problem is so enormous that we all have to put heads together and contribute to the development of a sound education system.” Mr. Philip Asiodu talked about the drop in values, which had rubbed off negatively on the education system noting that apart from the actions of those in government sending wrong signals to the people, the leaders do not have moral authority to tell the people the right things. The Governor of Edo State, Comrade Aliu Oshiomole, said that the problem with the education system was leadership and the political class, arguing that if the country got its leadership right, and then every other thing including the education sector would fall in place. Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Patrick Obahiagbon, the governor prayed that the civil societies and the populace would rise up to interrogate and challenge the political class.

CBAN commends privatisation of Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange From Abba Anwar, Kano HE recent approval by the National Council T of Privatisation to privatise Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange, was commended by the Commodity Brokers Association of Nigeria (CBAN), which was seen as an effort that was run concurrently with the efforts by the Coordinating Minister of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, with full-scale collaborations of the World Bank team and Ethiopia Commodity Exchange. The National President Alhaji Altine Shehu Kajiji made the commendation at the Kano Zone Stakeholders Forum, of the Commodity Brokers Association of Nigeria (CBAN), in Kano, recently.

He added that the effort was made to hasten and facilitate the process of transforming the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange into a first class organ. According to him by the year 2014 the federal government transformation agenda would set the enabling environment for the lunch of a proper commodity trading and operations. “We at CBAN would be closely monitoring the developments in this exercise and look forward to working together with the new ownership of the privatised exchange once completed,” he revealed. He further observed, “...the potentials of the commercial agric markets and the commercial exchange are enormous. Analysing the economic performance of Nigeria in 2012 throws some lights on our GDP figures standing at approximately $297.24b (that is, N47.55

trillion Naira). Consequently, if we use this as a benchmark for allocating 38.4 per cent of GDP to agriculture in 2013, then that means the commodities market can easily be valued for $114.14 (N18.26 trillion).” Kajiji explained, “...by market capitalisation of N11.77 trillion as at 21st May, 2013 by 64.45 per cent, the latent clearly shows why FGN intends to increase the contribution of non oil revenue to overall collectible revenue and why the policy thrust revolves around commercial agriculture.” On the Central Bank intervention process, Kajiji disclosed that the Nigeria IncentiveBased Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) agreement packaged by the CBN had established an initial N50b Risk Sharing Fund. The fund according to him was designed to identify, redefine, measure, re-

price and evolve strategies for the risks of lending to the Nigerian agriculture chain. He further added that the intention of the federal government was to create incentives and catalyse processes to encourage the growth of formal credit (direct and indirect) for the agriculture value chain, as a mechanism for driving wealth creation among value chain participants. The mission of the CBAN in the chairman’s speech included the development of threeyear transformational agenda for CBAN, focusing on human capital development, policy incentives, programme designs and enablers, etc all targeted at enhancing the agro-commodities business value chain whilst simultaneously champion global best practices in professional commodities trading and operations in Nigeria.


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Govt pledges private sector-driven economy From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja He Federal Government has restated its T commitment towards creating a viable private sector-driven economy where citizens and foreigners alike would conduct their businesses without hindrance. Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo in his remarks at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Idu Industrial Park in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, said government had instituted series of reforms and incentives that would create competitive advantages for the private sector in the country particularly in the face of rapidly increasing globalisation. These include three to five year tax moratorium, 100 per cent Repatriation of Profit (100 per cent), 140 per cent Capital Allowances on Research & Development, 20 per cent Capital Allowances for five years on local raw materials utilisation and 30 per cent tax relief on expenditure in respect of public infrastructure”, he said. While commending the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Messrs Zerberced limited for the laudable initiative, ingenuity, altruism and for promoting the transformation agenda, directed relevant government agencies to assist them in the execution, operation and attraction of patronage from both local and foreign investors. According to him, “the Federal Capital Territory Administration has displayed a high sense of responsibility and responsiveness in the implementation of the Transformation Agenda. The collaboration with Messrs. Zerberced limited for the establishment of an industrial park is therefore in line with our National Implementation Plan under the Nigeria’s Vision 20: 2020.” In his remarks, the host of the occasion and the Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed, said that the initiative was a fallout from President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2011 State visit to Turkey. He noted that the project is wholly private sector-driven and factored under the FCT land Swap Policy. He added that the project when completed would provide over 40,000 jobs and over 170 small and medium scale industries. While calling on investors to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the FCT, he said, “those who sit back and drag their feet will have a rude awakening in no distant time, when the early birds begin to count their grains.” In his remarks, the Managing Director of Zerberced and the project investor, Mr. Adil Kurt, said that the project situated on 250 hectares of land would provide an integrated infrastructure to the tune of $200 million. He said the project, which is all encompassing, would boast of road network, sewage system, natural gas pipeline, a rail link to the national rail corridor and independent power supply. He further said that the project involves 177 factory plots and other sundry facilities. Present at the occasion were the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Olusegun Aganga and the Minister of State, FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide. Others were members of the National Assembly, royal fathers and other dignitaries.

National Sales Manager, Coscharis Motors Limited, Justin Ngini (left); General Manager/ Chief Operating Officer, Cutler Ogilvy, Laura Oloyede and Regional Sales and Marketing Manager sub-Sahara Africa Ford Motors Company, Ezio Tuniz, at the Ford Motor Media Parley in Lagos.

Delta releases N1.6 billion SURe-P funds to councils elTA State Governor Dr. emmanuel D Uduaghan has disclosed that the state government has released the sum of over 1.6 bil-

edo laments number of abandoned NDDC projects From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu and Michael Egbejule, Benin City DO State House of Assembly has lamented e the number of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) abandoned projects in the state with some dating as far back as 2003 including the sparse ones in edo Central and edo North senatorial districts which are not oil producing areas. Members of the house made this observation when the Commissioner representing the state in the commission, Henry Okhuarobo appeared before the house over a petition that a water project in Orhua community in Uhunmwonde local government council has been abandoned by the Commission and to also brief the house on

the state of other projects in the state. Speaker, Uyi Igbe however urged the Commission to make concerted efforts to complete them just as the leadership of the house said that members were prepared to stage a protest to the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. In his response, Okhuarobo said that the water scheme in question had not been abandoned but that the Commission was screening the contractor’s Interim Payment Certificate (IPC) which he said was at variance with actual work so far done adding that it wanted to ensure that what was quoted was commensurate to the work done so far before he would be paid to enable him return to site. He also told the house that there were 250 NDDC projects across the state with 77 completed and 37 already commissioned.

“The contractor left the site after he ran out of cash. He did not apply for mobilisation initially but when he ran out cash he came to our office and he had been issued Interim Payment Certificate. He will be mobilised very soon and the project will be completed.” He said that one of the challenges of the Commission was that the National Assembly was yet to pass its 2013 budget just as he said that youths’ restiveness in some areas had also been a challenge to the NDDC. “Again what is also delaying projects in some areas is the issue of our youths sometimes they don’t corporate with the contractors and that delays project execution. But I want to assure that I will not allow any abandoned projects and we appeal to the House of Assembly to assist us in some of our challenges,” he stated.

lion naira to the 25 local government Councils being their share of the SURe-P funds Uduaghan who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Ovuozorie Macaulay at the SURe-P Interactive Session/Town Hall Meeting with Stakeholders and Traditional Rulers in Asaba   at the weekend stated that some local government Councils were already implementing some of the approved programmes and projects after due consultation with the state government. The Governor said that the SURe-P initiative was an addition to the state projects and programmes which were all put in place to ensure that the down trodden, women and youths in the rural communities were not left out of the benefits and dividends of democracy. His words “Here in Delta State, we have put up a lot of projects and programmes to make sure that the down trodden, women and youths in the rural and riverine communities are not left out of the benefits and dividends of democracy. So, SURe-P is an addition to our schemes and everything will be done to ensure the success of this initiative”. Uduaghan informed the  audience that the government   was poised to tackle headlong the challenges posed by climate change explaining that the state was a member of the R20 Team, a body dedicated to tackling the issue of climate change. He called on the Royal Fathers to assist the state government in monitoring projects that would be set up by the SURe-P Initiative stressing that Dr Goodluck Jonathan has set up the Initiative to ensure that individuals at the grassroots were not neglected. “I employ our Royal Fathers who are the custodians of the people to help in monitoring projects that is set up by the SURe-P Initiative as Mr. President with all good intentions has put up the SURe-P Initiative so that people at the rural level will not be neglected”. Governor Uduaghan assured the delegates that the state government would continue to collaborate and cooperate with the Federal government and remained loyal to the People’s Democratic Party at the state and National levels. In a brief speech, the Minister of labor and Productivity, Chief emeka Wogu stated that the SURe-P Initiative was designed to transfer part of the wealth saved from the oil subsidy to provide employment opportunities to women, youths and people with disabilities in the various communities. He opined that the royal fathers  were the true advocates for the people at the grassroots stating that their presence would make the SUReP Initiative more meaningful to the people. Speaking on behalf of the royal fathers, the Ovie of Uwvie Kingdom, Abe I, said that the SURe-P Initiative should be properly formed in the state stating that the royal fathers should be carried along and be well informed on the priorities of the SURe-P Initiative.


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Lagos begins arrest of illegal commercial vehicles By Taiwo Hassan State Government has concluded plans LclesAGOS to clampdown on illegal commercial vehioperators in the state without the regis-

Group Head, Retail Loans, Sterling Bank, Kikelomo Kuponiyi; Chief Financial Officer, Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman; Country Manager, Intel Corporation, Olubumi Ekundare; and Intel Global Director, Carlos Martinez, during the press conference to announce the Sterling Bank, Intel and Westgate Smart PC purchase deal in Lagos. PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU 

tered yellow painted colour. According to the government, the clampdown became necessary because of two reasons: 1. To stem the disobedient of traffic laws; and, 2. To protect safety of lives and property of Lagosians. Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, who dropped the warning at a media briefing, said the government has directed Lagos traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) to impound and arrest any commercial without the yellow paint operating on roads in the state as they constitute security risk to the people.

Stakeholders seek leeway to growth of tourism industry By Femi Adekoya O aid the contribution of the nation’s T tourism industry to the economy, especially through foreign direct investments and contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), stakeholders within the industry have tasked government on the need to give the industry adequate priority in the course of policy making and fiscal allocations. Specifically, the stakeholders identified the lack of deliberate plan to sustain cultural transmission, especially to new generations, poor relationship and collaboration among stakeholders, inadequate fiscal plan for the industry, inadequate infrastructure, insecurity and poor maintenance culture of heritage site and cultural artifacts, as factors hindering the growth of the tourism sector. Speaking at the pre-centenary celebration lecture with the theme “Promoting cultural tourism in Nigeria: The past, present and the future” organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lagos, at the weekend, the President of the Chamber, Goodie Ibru, said that the current socio-political problems of insecurity, inadequate infrastructure and harsh business environment had continued to impact negatively on the tourism industry. According to him, if the nation was to reap the fruit of the various efforts in public and private sectors of the economy to boost tourism, government must pay attention to solving the problems mitigating the growth of the sector, as the sector could not stand alone neither was it immune to the various risks and challenges in the Nigerian economy. For instance, Country Director, British Council, David Higgs, while speaking on the future of tourism in Nigeria, noted that the future of the nation’s tourism sector lay in the nation’s ability to promote a sector that provided affordable and quality services, and also had ease of access to the country through a relaxed visa application framework. “Foreigners largely come to Nigeria for work rather than leisure. I can tell you it is a hard job to entice workers to come here, but once they get here, they usually relax into the place. Some never leave. It is not the internal travel opportunities. Roads are bad and flights expensive. It is not the arts scene. It is not the beaches. “Two factors. First, it is the nation’s earning potential. Nigeria has a major skills deficit that is partly filled by immigrant labour. Secondly, the Nigerian people are the source of attraction to foreigners. Foreigners find them accessible, warm, dynamic and friendly. If these factors are taking into consideration, combined with infrastructure development, Nigeria will become a destination point for tourists. Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Disun Holloway noted that there was a need to create linkages among stakeholders to aid tourism promotion. He added that the state government was working with stakeholders to make the state a preferable destination point in the country. President, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Olu Alabi advocated increased consumption of indigenous products by Nigerians Navy Commodore Kingsley Nwokenna of Nigerian Navy Command, Apapa (right); welcoming Director, Capacity Building, before foreign investments could be attracted Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Sola Obadimu, at the opening of a pre-retirement course for Naval Officers by into the country. the Institute at the Command Headquarters in Apapa, Lagos.

The commissioner said government would not be liable or accountable for any missing citizens who are found to have boarded such buses, adding that henceforth the two traffic agencies should get rid of such vehicles on the roads. Opeifa said all registered yellow buses being used for commercial operations in the state were duly registered and given licence/ permit to operate in the state. He noted that vehicles without the state colour paint were not duly registered and do not have the permit/licence to operate, thereby calling them ‘illegal’ since the state’s Ministry of Transport was not aware of their existence as a public transport in the state. According to him, “traffic information at my ministry indicate that many of the unpainted buses without the state’s registered yellow paint that are being used for commercial purposes on the roads are illegal. I can confirm to you that such buses do not have the permit or licence to operate commercial operation in Lagos State because they are illegal. Buses painted like Lasu bus, COWA, Millitary- Ojo Cantonment, disable welfare bus and many others constitute security threat to Lagosians. Now, we have directed LASTMA and VIO to arrest such buses without further ado, because they are not part of the state’s commercial buses.” He however said that government was not satisfied with the numbers of commercial drivers that turned up at the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI), adding that all commercial drivers operating in the state to proceed to LASDRI because it is only LASDRI certified drivers that would be allowed to operate commercial vehicle soon.

Auto firm targets 700,000 units of vehicles sales By Taiwo Hassan FAO CICA Nigeria Limited, authorised disC tributor of the Great Wall Motor (GWM) range of models in the country, has projected that it would achieve the selling of 700,000 units of vehicles and 15 per cent market share increase this year. The projection was coming on the heels as the company already prepared to also rollout about 13 new models into the Nigerian market to sustain its competition in the auto industry. According to the company’s 2013 business review, it plans to consolidate its existing product lines by updating the existing models, which include models in all its three vehicles categories: the SUVs, Passenger cars and Pick-ups. The company however announced that it sold about 620,000 units of vehicles in 2012. Breakdown of the figures showed that the company sold about 281,200 units of SUVs; 206,200 units of passenger cars; and 137,200 units of Wingle pick ups, thereby representing an increase of 71 per cent, 2.8 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively in year-on-year sales. GWM said that it recorded a year-on-year growth of 28.3 per cent above the average industry level. The company also reported that it exported 96,500 units of vehicles abroad, up by 16.1 per cent over the previous’s year. Specifically, the company’s enormous growth could be attributed to these fundamentals: focus, dedication and specialisation, international distributor partners, continual innovation and product developments. All three of GWM’s vehicle categories (SUV, Passenger Cars & Pick up) showed steady growth during the year under review. The SUV segment, which was up by 71 per cent is the company’s best-selling SUV in China for the 10th consecutive year. The passenger segment was up by 2.8 per cent and the Wingle Pick Up rise by 12.7 per cent. The company said the impressive growth performance has been carried into 2013, where in January alone; it sold about 34,000 Haval vehicles, 26,000 of Great Wall passenger cars and 12,000 Wingle Pickups. The company exported 5,856 units, up by 28 per cent year on year. As an outstanding representative of Chinese independent auto brands, GWM has got off to a flying start in 2013 by its superb product


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Appointments Sustaining corporate growth through employees’ loyalty By  Yetunde Ebosele O doubt, employees’ loyN alty and dedication to duty is crucial to the survival and sustainable growth of any organisation. Indeed, among the various factors of production, management experts have repeatedly identified the roles of loyal and dedicated employees as key to attaining set goals and objectives. But, the basic question that has over the years raised concern among observers is the possibility of measuring employee loyalty.    Besides, some argue that if loyalty is defined as being faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution or product, “then there seems to be a certain amount of infidelity in the workplace these days.” According to experts, loyal employees are the heart of successful companies. When people feel fulfilled at their jobs, they go the ‘extra mile’ to help the organisation improve, they share expertise, resolve conflicts, suggest improvements, boost morale, help co-workers, conserve resources, among others. “Those behaviours make groups and organisations more effective, sales are better, production loss is lower, everything is better,” says Diane Bergeron, an assistant professor at Case Western’s Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland.   To explore the benefits of loyal employees, management expert, Bergeron is of the opinion that organisations should take time to understand what their employees need and provide it for them, “As in any relationship, if you get what you need, you’re more likely to stay,” he added. Emphasising that loyalty is largely inspired by flexibility and individual attention, he identified techniques that should be adopted: “Invest more time in the hiring process. Hiring takes a lot of time, but a rigorous process pays off when you find the right person. “Person/organisation fit is huge,” Bergeron says, adding: “If you’re selective on the front end, you lose fewer people later.” Well-matched employees are naturally more loyal, so retaining them takes less effort.    “As you hire, introduce the candidate to several people on your team, ask them to complete a project or share samples of past work, and screen for personality. Make sure their values match the values of the organisations. “A good match will blend naturally with the others on your team, rounding out

their skills and fitting in with the overall culture. Make your employees marketable. A good working relationship must be beneficial for both of you, meaning that employees need regular opportunities to enhance their professional skills. Many companies worry about investing too much in employees in case they leave, but you want to do just the opposite. The more (employees) feel they can leave, the more likely they are to stay,” Bergeron added.     Managers are the most important source of growth and inspiration. “The relationship with the manager is the number one predictor of whether or not someone stays (at a job),” Bergeron says. Make sure your managers are trained to inspire their employees, share their expertise and offer opportunities for growth.   Allow many paths to promotion. Your employees’ needs are ever evolving, so you can help them grow and inspire loyalty by offering opportunities for advancement tailored to their skills and goals. For example, many computer programmers want to move up without shifting into management, so technology companies often offer a choice between a technical or managerial career path.  Go one step further by helping an employee create a new job based on their skill set, or

allowing them to rotate between different roles. “If people have the flexibility to tailor their job to their needs, they’re less likely to leave to find what they need.” Empower employees to make choices. Inspire loyalty by giving employees a sense of freedom and control. “When people feel that they’re trusted, they respond to that,” explained Bergeron. You might let employees work from home when needed, make decisions autonomously, or adjust their work schedule to balance family. Those freedoms show confidence and help employees tailor the job to their needs.     “Trust is this basic component of society,” said Bergeron, pointing out: “Without it, (organisations) cease to function.” Trusting companies have less rigid management, greater creativity, and higher employee satisfaction. They also inspire employees to go above and beyond, making the workplace better for everyone. While loyalty is clearly not

on the same level as revenues or profits, for example, which directly affect the bottom line, “there is some evidence that an organisation’s more satisfied employees perform better,” says another expert, Bidwell, “but the link is not that compelling.” Using employee loyalty as a performance metric has merit, adds Cappelli. “The issue has been to put a dollar value on this. How much is it worth if employees consistently place the company’s interests ahead of other factors in those situations where they have discretion? Probably a lot, but it’s hard to put into dollar terms.” According to a 2011 Career builder report, 76 per cent of full-time workers, while not actively looking for a new job, would leave their current workplace if the right opportunity came along. Other studies show that each year, the average company loses anywhere from 20 per cent to 50 per cent of its employee base. The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union

Make sure your managers are trained to inspire their employees, share their expertise and offer opportunities for growth. Allow many paths to promotion. Your employees’ needs are ever evolving, so you can help them grow and inspire loyalty by offering opportunities for advancement tailored to their skills and goals

Congress (TUC) have repeatedly emphasised need to create a conducive working atmosphere for workers. The apex labour movement in the country believes that creating more quality jobs in the long run would address adequately employees’ anxieties and by extension enhance dedication and loyalty. President of NLC, Abdulwaheed Omar identified unemployment, insecurity and corruption as some of the challenges confronting the country.   Omar said: “We (NLC) have chosen to focus specifically on three key challenges which, if not dealt with decisively and in a timely manner, could very well undermine the survival of our nation. These are the challenges of unemployment, insecurity and corruption.” He added: “Comrades, you will agree with me that today, the country is faced by a monumental unemployment problem. Official statistics put the national unemployment rate at approximately 24 per cent. As high as this rate is, it nevertheless camouflages the enormity of the unemployment crisis in the country. If underemployment and disguised unemployment were to be added to the figure, the monumental crisis will become more glaring. “More importantly, an analysis of the disaggregated

unemployment data shows that the youths bear the greatest brunt of the unemployment problem. The unemployment rate among the youths has been put at 37.7 per cent. Some estimates actually suggest that the figure is over 50 per cent! “Whichever way we look at it, it is obvious that we are facing an unemployment time bomb in our nation. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 197 million are unemployed worldwide in 2012. Of these, 74 million are young people between 15 and 24 years of age. “With an estimated 80 million youths in the total population, 30 to 40 million unemployed youths constitute a veritable army of the hungry, disillusioned and angry that can undermine the stability, security and peace of any nation if left unattended. “There is an urgent need for decisive intervention to rein in the unemployment problem. The signals of strife and insecurity today are warning banners we cannot afford to ignore. “To overcome the problem of unemployment, Nigeria must promote strong industrial policies that recognise manufacturing as a key engine of growth and decent mass employment for the national economy,” the NLC leader added. But President of TUC, Peter Esele, maintained that Nigeria’s economy had not come to grips with the common man, adding that it “has defied all logic.” He said: “Since the beginning of this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has repeatedly told us and the rest of the world that Nigeria’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is to reach $300billion within the year, with an annual GDP growth rate of 7.03 per cent mainly driven by the non-oil sector. “This is very good news. But one cannot help but ask some pertinent questions. Which are the non-oil sectors that have contributed so much to our economy? We are now in the second quarter of the year. How far has the economic growth postulated by the CBN reflected in the life of the average Nigerian? How much extra naira has it put in our pockets? Has it provided more food on the table? How much impact has it had on housing, education, job creation, and basic infrastructure, among others? Is it real or superficial? Is it the kind of growth that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer? Questions, questions and more questions! My fellow comrades, I leave them all for you to ponder on,” Esele said.


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Peoples’Digest

Published in association with

How schools can stimulate productivity, employment By Aruosa Osemwegie GPHR, SPHR Dear compatriots, become necessary for me to address you on IourTthehaseducation need to force/create an alignment between system, the school curriculum, the curriculum handlers (teachers/lecturers), the realities of our day and the opportunities of tomorrow. Given the spate of activities and challenges in our country, we are in urgent need of a school system that prepares our youth to solve today’s challenges in order to create tomorrow’s opportunities. In my last article, the abject dissonance between our current curriculum and the realities of our world was graphically depicted. I made the point that what we need is a school system that breeds young people with the ATTITUDES and COMPETENCIES for questioning and creating solutions. We need creators and questioners. Creators and questioners are intellectual dissidents. Questioners question every fact. They ask the golden question, “Why?” Questioning is the beginning of inventions. Creators on their part seek to birth new possibilities. They seek to create out of their imaginations and not out of their realities; creating new business ideas, business models, solutions to social ills, and life-enhancing drugs, etc. Today I deploy a troop of solutions that would help us create a school system that stimulates productivity and employment. Baseline Requirements (The Non-Negotiables) Specifically, if our tertiary education would help our country to arrive in the future, there are some non-negotiable courses or programmes that must be embedded into it. Extensive use of technology and actual teaching by teachers can easily shave off one year from our current academic programmes and more productive use can be made of such time. So what are the baseline requirements of any 21st century tertiary education? 1. Make them advanced users of existing productivity tools The 21st century is about productivity – achieving much in less time with less resource. Some of the chief productivity tools/skills are the use of Microsoft Office Suite; Maximizing the Internet; Planning and Goal-Setting skills; Time management; Financial literacy and Personal Financial planning. By the end of 100level, all students should have become intermediate users of Microsoft Office suite (MS Office). A person with increasing proficiency moves from beginner to intermediate then becomes an advanced user and is eventually referred to as an expert. Our students should have concluded computer appreciation in secondary school. With this kind of focus, by the time they get to 300L they would have become advanced users of MS Office. The implication is that before students leave university/polytechnic, they would have been accustomed to solving problems using MS Office. They may even have drawn up models and programmes to solve some seemingly intractable problems. I was in a private university the other day only to be told that a student was the one who designed the e-voting mechanism being used for student union elections. Nate Silver and Microsoft Excel Have you heard of a gentleman called Nate Silver? Or you’ve heard about his baseball prediction programme called PECOTA, or his book, The Signal and The Noise: The art and science of prediction. Excerpts from the book: “…The one advantage was that I had a lot of extra time on my hand. So in my empty hours, I started building a colourful spreadsheet (MS Excel) full of baseball statistics that would later become the basis for PECOTA”. PECOTA is the model he developed to predict and rank baseball players as well as how their clubs would perform in the season. It was hailed for its precision and predictive power, and was promptly acquired by a bigger rival company that lured him away from KPMG, making him a co-owner of the business. “Eventually, by stealing an hour or two at a time during slow periods during the workday, and a few more while at home at night, I developed a database consisting of more than 10,000 player-seasons (every major- league season since World War II was waged.)” 2. Need for advanced use of the Internet Just imagine the amount of productivity we would get from our students leaving school with

at least advanced level proficiency on the use of the internet? This skill will be useful to the student of Botany as well as the student of Business Administration. It would be useful to the one planning to be an academic, an entrepreneur or even a careerpreneur. Students will start businesses naturally. They would communicate with people in other worlds naturally. They would source for internships, jobs, and business opportunities naturally. Let me back track a little and explain something. This 21st century-maximisation curriculum achieves value on two fronts. It equips the STUDENT to provide solutions to herself, her school community and her world WHILE still in school. And it also equips the GRADUATE such that he/she immediately becomes a productive member of society right after school – one who is creating enterprises or adding immediate value to existing organisations as an employee. These are the very skills and attitudes that have differentiated great nations and individuals from others. 3. Imbue them with effective communication skills. In my opinion, in no other generation has the ability to communicate effectively been more important than now. It is such a mistake to exclude this from the curriculum or to include it lightly. Oral and written communication would enhance the life of the student and that of the graduate. While in school, this skill can be used to propagate ideas and enlist support for initiatives; and after school, the workplace and marketplace would certainly find this skill valuable. Organisations are represented by individuals. Services are provided by individuals (until the day of robots). How a service is perceived and even how an organisation is perceived are both intricately woven into how the service provider is perceived. No one would patronize a well-furnished eatery that has servers who look dirty, unkempt with body odour. Would you? The ability to communicate affects the way people are perceived. The ability to communicate impairs ones capacity to deliver premium results. Imagine what our campuses would look like if we had students who were adept at communication? If nothing, it would increase the quality of ideas, discussions and debates that emerge. And after school? The ability to communicate is one of the most common criteria used by employers to select people into their organisations. The ability to communicate is even what is stalling the promotion of some people within their organisation. Enough said. 4. Impart sales and marketing competencies upon them There are a hundred and one options of almost every item or service. Growing up, I recall that if you didn’t like Macleans then you are stuck with Close-up…no other options. It was Corn flakes or Corn flakes, then later Rice Crispies and much later Golden Morn. Now, even Corn flakes have various types based on manufacturer and country of origin. Let’s not even go into the possible number and variants of cereals that are now available. Today is the day of options. The implication is that the ability to sell and market so that people can notice and patronize you above the competition is of life-saving importance. How do you get noticed in a crowded world if you aren’t schooled in the art and science of sales and marketing? A database administrator (DBA) who knows about sales and marketing is better off than the one who isn’t. Secondly, in the career chain of a database administrator, there are different requirements at different phases. There is the database administrator who is a consultant or freelance agent, there is the one who is a business owner and these are different from the DBA who is an employee somewhere. At each phase, the job expectations and thus skills requirements are different. At one time in your career or the other, even if not at this very moment, your ability to sell or market

Can schools impart the needed tools? would be the limiter or the leverage. In addition, there are very few skills that are critical to all industries as Sales and Marketing. A deep training in Sales and Marketing, delivered through 100L to final year, prepares people to have distinguished lives as entrepreneurs and differentiated employees. 5. Inculcate problem solving, opportunity conversion The world we live in now doesn’t owe anybody anything. Sorry. In this world it is largely about how many problems you can solve or how much value you can add to people’s lives. Very simple. This is a cardinal truth that needs to serve as a curriculum on its own. And interestingly, developing countries have a milieu of developmental opportunities (I don’t want to call them problems) on whose back anyone providing solutions can ride into success. Right from the first year in school, we have to task our students to seek a connection between what they are studying and the needs and yearnings of their world. Today we have a comedy industry because people have need for entertainment and laughter. Through this course, right from 100L, students are taught the different models for problem solving, opportunity conversion and enterprise development. They are made aware of the different challenges within the human race, within Africa, Nigeria, the state where the school is located and even within their campus. These problems and opportunity areas are discussed and debated in great detail. Probable solutions are also discussed and debated in great detail. Groups of students in each department and even across departments are tasked to come up with solutions. 6. Initiate them into Enterprise Development In addition, teaching enterprise development (the study of business or organisation creation, growth and sustainability), from 100L is one of the best things that can happen to any individual in his/her entire life. We are all going to be part of many enterprises all through our lifetime. Indeed, human activities are all achieved through enterprises such as schools, NGOs, businesses, religious organisations, cooperatives, you name it. Since all initiatives would eventually be dispensed through organisations, then it is a huge waste of human potential not to equip our students ahead. Imagine what could happen amongst students when enterprise development based on problem solving and opportunity conversion is taught in our campuses? Students would come together to start enterprises aimed at solving problems and adding value to lives and institutions. And some of these enterprises would continue after graduation and where

Source: raymondsroom.blogspot.com they don’t, the participants would leave with emotional, intellectual and spiritual capacity to join or birth other enterprises. Enterprise development (sometimes called entrepreneurship) therefore is seen as a problem solving and value-adding endeavour and not just about being your own boss or about trading. 7. Need for a New School System? This discussion about how schools can stimulate productivity and employment obviously isn’t conclusive. The attempt is to provoke critical-non-political-future-focused solutions to a foundational cause of youth unproductivity and disenfranchisement. There are things I left unsaid. For example, I didn’t mention specifically what should be excluded from the present curriculum. Neither did we discuss the type of development or selection process for lecturers. We also didn’t discuss the overall design of the school system, sticking only to curriculum design. Helpfully, Prof Ogbimi in his book, Solutions to Mass Unemployment recommends that instead of the 6-3-3-4 education system, we should have SSS-2-U-4. “…graduates of the Senior Secondary School (SSS) would spend 2 (two) years to acquire practical skills before proceeding to the university; the SSS graduate should no more be rushing into universities as immature and unskilled people. This covers the ‘SSS-2’ portion of the code. On graduating from the university, having completed a 4-year programme, he or she should also undergo a 4-year practical skills training scheme. If he completes a 5-year engineering degree, his practical training should also last 5 years. This portion explains the ‘U-4’ portion of the new framework. The establishment of this practical skills-acquiring framework will link education and production directly in Nigeria. Setting up of the practical skills framework would solve mass unemployment and low productivity problems speedily and stimulate rapid industrialization in Nigeria”. This is a very insightful recommendation from Prof Ogbimi. Conclusion I am convinced that with intellectual contributions from all quarters (this problem is beyond the Ministry of Education or Labour and Productivity), we shall overcome the problem of unemployment and unproductivity of youths and together, we will restore every part of our country to the path of peace, growth and development. We have to win this war against the destiny of our children, against the destiny of our motherland. Thank you.


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Time management By Steve Pavlina IME management systems have become exceedingly popular in recent years... and with good reason. The ultimate potential benefit of such systems is the ability to optimize how you spend your time in order to extract the best possible results in the shortest period of time. Such systems do come with a price, however, and that price is the time you must spend first learning and then maintaining the system. Since the early 1990s, I’ve studied time management extensively, both by devouring existing knowledge on the subject and through firsthand trial and error. I’ve read a shelf full of books on time management, listened to hundreds of hours of time management audio learning, and read dozens of articles on the subject. I’ve used a variety of time management systems including Franklin-Covey, David Allen’s Getting Things Done, and Anthony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method (formerly called OPA for Outcome-Purpose-Action). I’ve used PC software like Microsoft Outlook, Palm computers, and paper-based planners. If there were such a thing as a Ph.D in time management, I’ve gone through the curriculum many times over. Studying time management has been an extremely worthwhile endeavor. As I wrote in the article “Do It Now,” I was able to earn two college degrees in only three semesters, largely by applying a variety of time management techniques, some of them to the extreme. I took the same classes in 1.5 years that other students took over a 4-year period, but I was able to compress them into a much shorter period of time by taking about triple the normal courseload. However, I don’t consider this to be an extraordinary achievement. I think someone else who studied time management as much as I did could achieve similar results. Time management systems It’s tempting to say that excellent time management is a result of having a great time management system. But I have not found this to be the case. I think the general mindset of time management is far more important than any system. And the mindset of time management is simply that you value your time. It’s really a self-esteem issue. If you see your life as valuable and meaningful, then you will value your time as well. If you find yourself wasting a lot of time, you probably don’t have a strong enough reason to manage your time well. What is time management? Let’s strip away all this complexity and get back to basics for a moment. What is time management? The essence of time management is the following: Decide what to do Do it These appear to be very simple steps at first glance. However, when we look at them through the lens of optimization, they become much more complicated. In order to optimize these steps, we must concern ourselves with identifying the “right” or the “best” way to complete each step. So our question becomes, “What is the best action to take right now, and what is the best way to do it?” When I first studied time management, I found that most of the existing literature was focused on step 2. There was a lot of emphasis on how to get things done. This is a fine model for employees whose tasks are given to them, but that’s an industrial age model, and it doesn’t suit knowledge workers today who have a lot more freedom in choosing their tasks and even their careers. If step 1 is done incorrectly, then it doesn’t matter how well you do step 2. If you decide to do the wrong thing, it makes no difference how well you do it. Deciding what to do Step 1 is a lot more difficult than step 2, which is probably why I’ve found so little adequate coverage of it. One of the most popular systems that attempts to tackle step 1 intelligently is the Franklin-Covey system, which concerns itself

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with the high level subjects of mission, roles, and goals more than the lower level of projects and actions. However, I don’t think Franklin-Covey goes nearly high-level enough. The next level up from roles, goals, and mission is the level of context. Think of this as your current understanding of reality as well as your role within it. If you change your context, then everything else changes as well. For example, if you change your spiritual beliefs, then you may experience changes in your relationships and career as well. Accuracy is paramount The most important aspect of context is accuracy. Either your context accurately models reality, or it doesn’t. This includes your most sacred spiritual beliefs, including the possibility that your beliefs may alter your external reality. If inaccurate beliefs guide your actions, then your actions may very well be pointless. A person whose high-level beliefs are inaccurate simply cannot be productive in any meaningful sense. I began learning of time management at the level of projects and actions, but I’ve since been approaching it from a top-down perspective. Now I’m far more concerned with doing the right thing than with doing things right. This is the process that led me to retire from computer game development and to start working in the field of personal development I believe the most important thing I can do to manage my time is to strive to understand reality as accurately as possible. Above all, this means I cannot ignore data. Everything I’ve experienced — everything I think I know — must somehow be integrated into my approach to time management. There can be no incongruencies. My beliefs, thoughts, and actions must all be in alignment with reality itself. Resolving incongruencies A big time management mistake people make is that they allow incongruencies to exist in their lives without ever consciously resolving them. People claim to hold certain beliefs as sacred, but they fail to act in accordance with those beliefs. I’ve gone through some major life changes as a result of pursuing this path, and it’s hard every time. But I cannot accept the logic of clinging to a belief system that I know to be inaccurate. Once new data presents itself (or a new understanding of old data), I have to find a way to integrate it. At the very least, I must drop the incongruent beliefs while I search for better ones. Despite the challenges, I’ve been extremely pleased with this approach. Problems that I struggled with for years simply evaporated once I adapted my beliefs to fit my own experience instead of blindly accepting what others told me. The world is full of so many false beliefs (especially from mass media), so it becomes a serious challenge to trust ourselves and our own thinking when everyone around us is telling us we’re wrong. For example, one of the first beliefs I found to be inaccurate was that I needed a job. Part of me felt I should get a job — it seemed like the right thing to do after college — but another part of me didn’t like the idea of having to go to work each day and have a boss tell me what to do. I’d look at a job application and just stare blankly at it. I could barely stomach the idea of working on my resume. Instead of accepting this incongruency like everyone else seemed to, I chose to resolve it. And this led me to find a way to make a good living without a job. By unraveling this incongruence in my beliefs and resolving it, I was able to achieve a better result for myself — abundant income generation, stellar career opportunities, and a fun social life without the confines of employment. Best of all, I’m ridiculously happy with my life. The ultimate simplification of time management has to do with accuracy. In order to use your time effectively, you must strive to create the most accurate understanding of reality you

Focus, and eliminate inaccuracies can. This means giving adequate consideration to all the data that presents itself to you: sense perceptions, facts, logic, intuition, emotions, etc. And the ultimate goal is to bring all of these things into alignment. So what you perceive, feel, think, say, and do is all congruent. Debugging beliefs I’ve made tremendous progress in this area, but I certainly haven’t reached the pinnacle of alignment. For example, the Million Dollar Experiment is intended to test the power of intention. What role does intention play in achieving results? I don’t know the answer to that, but I can’t overlook the potential of the intention-manifestation model because it could be very significant, and I’ve already seen some promising results. It isn’t enough just to write down a goal and work to achieve it. It isn’t even enough to create a mission statement and live your life in accordance with it. How do you know whether your mission and goals are intelligent to begin with? Haven’t you ever set a goal you later realized was stupid or pointless? What a waste of time and of life to put so much effort into achieving goals that ultimately won’t even matter. Accuracy is the standard for knowing whether or not your goals are well chosen. If your goals are based on the most accurate model of reality you can muster, then you have nothing to worry about. You’ve done the best you can, and you can expect no better results. But accuracy isn’t remotely easy. This is why many of my goals are directly targeted at increasing the accuracy of my beliefs. I figure that if I don’t understand reality well enough to be confident that my goals make sense, then my first priority should be to increase the accuracy of my current mental model of reality. To the degree my model seems accurate, I act within it, but when I find incongruencies, I refine the model itself. Now while you may not want to dedicate your whole life to the pursuit of accuracy, I think you’ll realize substantial improvements in your time management by moving accuracy to the top of your time management philosophy, as opposed to efficiency, effectiveness, or some other standard. Whenever you have to make a tough decision about how to use your time, take a step back and revisit your current understanding of reality. What do you know to be true? And what does that truth dictate is the correct course of action for you? Once you know the correct course of action, then you can

Source: www.empowernetwork.com strive to get it done effectively and efficiently, and that’s where modern time management systems can be of use. To improve accuracy, eliminate inaccuracies Although it’s very hard to know when your beliefs are accurate, it isn’t as difficult to detect inaccuracies, so focus your improvement efforts there for starters. Symptoms of inaccurate beliefs include chronic procrastination, mixed emotions, lying, self-sabotage, setting goals that fizzle, fear of failure, fear of rejection, timidity, depression, anger, frustration, resentment, and wearing excessively baggy pants where the crotch is down to your knees (you do NOT look cool in those; you look like a dolt). If you take care of the highest level of time management (accuracy), the other parts have a way of taking care of themselves. My purpose, mission, roles, goals, projects, and actions all filter down from my current understanding of reality. Based on my understanding of reality, my purpose is clear. Based on my purpose, my mission is clear. And so on down the line. When it comes to time management, the accuracy of your beliefs about reality will basically dictate your results. It doesn’t matter so much what particular system you use. The important thing is not to settle. Don’t settle for conflict in your life when you could achieve congruency. Steve Pavlina is author of ‘Personal Development for Smart People’, who through serious commitment, went from sitting in a jail cell to become a globally recognized author, speaker, and personal growth influencer.

FEEDBACK COLUMN We believe these articles contain great information that policy makers, business leaders, human resources practitioners and the general public can use for quality decisions. Your own reaction, positive or critical, can shed more light, in practical ways, on the body of knowledge that we are sharing. As such, your feedback is important to us. Please mail us at peoplesdigest@peopleprime.net to respond or expand the body of knowledge on any of our treated topics, including past publications. We appreciate your feedback. Please include the topic, date of publication along with your observations, questions or comments plus your contact information in the email.


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Govt spends N82.7m on Sure-P projects, says Wogu From Collins Olayinka, Abuja HE Federal Government T has spent about N83 million on employment generating activities out of its savings from partial removal of oil subsidy, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chukwuemeka Wogu, has said. He also revealed that the six South-South states have jointly benefitted N337.9 million from the windfall from the partial oil subsidy removal so far. Wogu stated this while speaking at a meeting with Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State at the Government House, Asaba during a sensitisation and appraisal tour of the Community Service, Women and Youth Employment (CSWYE) Project of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment (SURE-P) programme. He said the total sum of N82,656,750.00 utilised by the Federal Government from its subsidy savings was spent on monthly stipends to bene-

ficiaries, basic hand- tools, and other minor project management requirements. The minister, who was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of Information,  Labaran Maku, the Director-General of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mallam Abubakar Mohammed, and other stakeholders said: “I have brought these important stakeholders on the project with me on this visit to thank you and the good people of Delta State for having faith in the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to deliver on the oil subsidy promises by supporting the programme. “No doubt, without your support, the huge achievement recorded in Delta State on this project would not have been possible. The project recorded recruitment of 426 beneficiaries under the pilot scale and 3,000 under the first ramp-up phase, a total of 3,426 Deltans made up of 1,610 males, 1,816 females and 256 disabled persons. They are presently deployed to 256 project sites, spread across the three

Senatorial Districts and 25 local governments in the state, and a sum of N82, 656,750.00 has so far been utilised from the oil subsidy savings covering monthly stipends to beneficiaries, basic hand-tools and other minor project management requirements. “Similarly, the other states of Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Akwa Ibom and Rivers, in the South South have each engaged 3,000 beneficiaries and collectively, the geo-political zone has benefitted to the tune of N337,937,650.00 from the savings from the partial removal of oil subsidy so far. Going forward, each of these states would further engage additional beneficiaries to get to the annual target of 5000 beneficiaries per state.” He told the governor that the main purpose of the visit was to sensitise the general public on what the ministry has done and still doing to fulfill the promises of the President to Nigerians to alleviate the impact of the partial oil subsidy removal on the vulnerable members of the society.

Muslim graduates task govt on industrialisation From Niyi Bello, Akure ITH the call for Nigerian W graduates to focus on being employers of labour rather than lengthen the increasing queue of the unemployed in the labour market and with institutions of learning adjusting their programmes to reflect the new realities, the Federal Government has been urged to create conducive environment to achieve the new direction. According to the Federal University of Technology, Akure Muslim Graduates Association (FUTAMGA), which made the call, the new direction of self-reliance and entrepreneurship being canvassed for today’s graduates, is the best option to tackle the menace of unemployment and unleash the potentials of

the youth to bear on the socioeconomic development of the nation. The association, which held its fifth national conference at the university, said: “If Nigeria is to join the league of industrialised nations of the world, our government must propel the youths, particularly graduates of higher institutions, into exploiting the arrays of opportunities in entrepreneurship and industrialisation for personal and national growth. “Nigeria has immense human resources potentials particularly in those of us who were trained by specialised technology institutions like FUTA who already have the technical know-how but unfortunately we are constrained to perform optimally by an environment that is not industry-friendly.”

Central to this quest, according to the association in a communiqué released after the parley and signed by Engr. Buliamin Abdukareem, who headed the local organising committee, is the provision of infrastructures particularly electricity, “which drives the economy of the industrialised world and without which our attempt at industrial growth will remain a mirage.” The association also urged other institutions of government like banks to show interest in the development of the youths by investing by way of patenting and encouraging industrial innovations to kickstart the required industrialisation of the country, saying “what we need is a little help here and a little assistance there and the potentials for growth in us will be unleashed.”

Adeboye commends RCCG’s CSR programme, insists on improvement By Isaac Taiwo HE General Overseer, The T Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adejare Adeboye, has commended the Church’s programme on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) nationwide and its impact on the beneficiaries and also commented that the Church could do better. Speaking at a press conference through the Special Assistant to The General Overseer (Administration and Personnel) and the Pastor in Charge of the RCCG Headquarters, Pastor Johnson Odesola at the RCCG, Ebute-Metta, the cleric declared that not less than an approximate sum of N433.3 million between August last year to date was expended on various activities ranging from digging boreholes, education which include provid-

ing books for both primary and tertiary institutions across the country, procurement of drugs, gift of glasses for those with eyes problems, care-giver for HIV positive and drugs, provision of toilets, libraries, classrooms among others. He disclosed that the CRS activities covered 255 local councils, which is about 33 per cent of the 774 local councils in the country with no less than 353 communities, which cut across various ethnic groups benefited. “The Church started in 1962, but we have gone beyond spirituality to impacting on the society in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility with a view to giving relief to the underprivileged. “About a year ago, the Church in her determination to reach the less privileged across the country, made a

move to select Senior Pastors as well as Assistant Provincial Pastors to be in charge of Corporate Social Responsibility both in rural and urban areas. We have been able to cover a lot of places including Jigawa, Bidda, Katsina, Taraba, Maiduguri and impacted on state schools according to the Lord’s command to freely give. “Our scholarship scheme with an annual budget of between N150 and N200 million is free for anyone to apply provided the candidate sits for the qualifying examination and comes out successfully which is to ensure that scholarships are given to those who are qualified. “Interested candidates are free to obtain free forms, fill in the name of his or her school and how much is needed which we will of course work upon” he said.


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More skills acquisition training centres ready soon, says NDE From Collins Olayinka, Abuja HE National Directorate of T Employment (NDE) is putting finishing touches to ensure more skills acquisition training centres begin operation very soon, the Director General of the NDE, Mallam Mohammed Abubakar has disclosed. speaking in Rimaye, Katsina state, at the commissioning of a skills acquisition training centre, Mohammed identified skills acquisition as for-

midable instrument that could help turn the tide against massive unemployment trend. The NDE chief said that the training centre had the capacity to train 200 trainees per training cycle in the areas such as auto-tronics, computer operations and engineering, welding and fabrication, plumbing, electrical installation, GsM handsets repairs and fashion designing. He said that the skills set was deliberately chosen in order to

effectively equip the young artisans with skills of the 21st Century, adding: “It is our sincere belief in the NDE that the desire of the federal government to position the country among the 20 strongest economies by the year 2020 is not only a legitimate aspiration but an achievable one.” The NDE helmsman was quick to point out that the goal could only be met when the country had in place a vibrant and properly skilled workforce that was equipped

to service a 21st Century economy under a globalised world. In his remark, the Governor of Katsina state, shehu shema, commended the job creation and poverty alleviation drive of President  Goodluck Jonathan and assured of the state commitment and support for the President’s Transformation Agenda. He added: “We in Katsina state are working in tandem with the transformation agenda of President Jonathan. I thank the president, the min-

ICPC, group hold anti-graft workshop for perm secretaries From Abosede Musari, Abuja ITH the aim of reducing W corruption in the civil service, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with Justice For All (J4A) recently organised a workshop for federal permanent secretaries. The idea was borne out of the need to put in place mechanism that would prevent corrupt practices in the system.    Country Manager of J4A, Dr. Bob Arnot in his opening speech at the workshop explained that corruption was prevalent among officials in  ministries and agencies, adding that there was an urgent need to highlight these infractions so as to keep the system clean.   “This training  is for permanent secretaries and senior staff of MDAs  to enlighten them on the role of AntiCorruption and Transparency Monitoring Units (ACTUs) established in all the agencies by the ICPC,” said Arnot.     He added that it was also to assist them in the prevention of corruption in the civil serv-

Ibeto begins payment of Nigercem retirement benefits EsPITE the frustrations D being faced by the Ibeto Cement Company in its move to begin operation at its recently acquired plant, Nigercem Plc, the company has announced commencement of payment of outstanding retirement benefit to former staff. The company in a statement said that pursuant to the emergence of Ibeto Cement Company Limited as the core investor and majority shareholder in the Nigerian Cement Company Plc it has put measures in place to fulfill its obligations to various stakeholders. “The company has commenced the payment of final withdrawals payment being retirement benefit scheme due to seventy two staff members of Nigercem Plc from their contribution and that of the company from Crusader Life Insurance Limited,” said the statement. The payment, according to the statement, “is presently taking place at the company’s liaison office at No. 3 Leck Avenue, G.R.A, Enugu” and is scheduled to  “last from Monday 20th May 2013 to Wednesday the 22nd day of May 2013.”

ice so that they could desist from committing corrupt practices with impunity. “Even though we cannot eradicate corruption completely, but the point is that we can manage the processes in such a way the menace will be mini-

 

mized,” he said. Chairman of ICPC, Ekpo Nta, who was represented by Barnabas Gaji, said that the workshop was aimed at getting the permanent secretaries to buy-in into the ACTUs initiative.   

He said: “It is also an opportunity to create a forum to foster increased support and collaboration within the MDAs, ensure greater operational efficiency and help you identify corruption-prone processes.”

ister and the NDE for taking this development to Katsina.” For his part, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chukwuemeka Wogu said that the various policies and initiatives embarked upon by his ministry were aimed at creating millions of jobs in realisation of the President’s Transformation Agenda. Wogu described skills acquisition as a critical ingredient in the chain of job creation. In the last 26 years, the minister said that NDE had been at the forefront of mass job creation in Nigeria through skills acquisition in various fields. He pointed out that the challenge posed by unemployment to any society was such that no government acting alone could mitigate its effect. The minister therefore stressed the need for all tiers of government to commit themselves to the job cre-

ation efforts as contained in the transformation agenda of President Jonathan. He said that the present administration had re-doubled its efforts at meeting the Millennium Development Goals targets, saying that the commissioning of the centre was a practical demonstration and step in that direction. The minister explained: “The cost of youth unemployment is very high and indeed unbearable. Therefore, government’s response to this high social cost is through the systemic and celebrate establishment of skills acquisition centres across the nation. This initiative is informed by the strong conviction of the federal government that skills acquisition is critical and effective tool for mass job creation which will in turn lead to wealth creation, poverty reduction and reduction in violent crimes.”


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NIPCO tasks stakeholders on HSE standards By Sulaimon Salau HE Nigerian Independent T Petroleum Company (NIPCO) has reiterated its commitment to Health Safety and Environmental Standards (HSE) in delivery of petroleum product marketing services. The Managing Director of the Company, Venkataraman Venkatapathy, who made this commitment at the company’s Safety Week in Apapa recently, tasked oil workers and other stakeholders in the business to ensure strict compliance with safety standards in other to ensure accidentfree operations. He said Nipco has established several measures aimed at achieving zero tolerance for unsafe acts, to protect human and material resources necessary for achieving organizational objectives. “With the vision of being the first choice company in the oil and gas industry, Nipco has remained resolute in providing quality services in petroleum products storage and handling in an environment that is friendly, safe and dignifying. All workers are being provided with Personal Protective Equipments (PPE), adequate information, training and a well serviced clinic. Additionally, several hospitals across Lagos, aligned with international standards, have

Association urges govt to ensure women’s access to inputs under GES HE National Association of T Smallholder Farmers has urged the Federal Government to ensure that women accessed inputs under the Growth Enhancement Support scheme (GES) , the flagship programme of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that under the new agricultural subsidy regime, farmers receive fertiliser allocation at half the price and free seeds through an electronic system known as the ewallet. The Federal Government, in collaboration with the states, pay 50 per cent of the cost of the input while private sector agro-dealers distribute the inputs. Mrs. Sarah Yapwah, the National President of the association, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Addis Ababa. Yapwah called for efficient and effective implementation of the scheme, claiming that most women farmers were not benefiting. ``I registered for the GES last year and I got a call to come and collect the input; so I went and queued up but I did not get the inputs; several other women experienced the same thing. `` So, women get frustrated and we see the fertilisers going out. People are accessing it but most women are not getting and we resort to buying from the market. ‘’

partnered with Nipco to medically manage accidents. “Most importantly, our safety policy, which applies to all stakeholders, is designed to minimize the number of inci-

dents. Two key indicators of our robust safety policy are embedded in our PPE culture and housekeeping, which have received tremendous support from management,”

he said. Fire and safety chief, Nipco plc, Mr. Vitalis Ofoegbu, said the company has recorded safety milestone of nine years of continuous operation with

zero Lost Time Injury (LTI) noting that health and safety of employees are of utmost importance to the organization. He asserted that the compa-

ny is committed to using best practices that are in with global standards in its operations across the country in conformity with international best practices.

Coscharis to supply local dealers with auto spare parts By Taiwo Hassan OSCHARIS Motors, distribC utor of Ford range of automobiles in the country, said, it has concluded plan with it foreigner partners- Ford Motor Company, USA, to commence the delivery of genuine Ford spare parts to some appointed certified parts wholesale dealers nationwide. The move, according to the

company, was aimed at strengthening its after-sales services specifically for Ford vehicle owners in the country. The company also said the plan was to bring Ford certified vehicles parts closer to the doorsteps of spare parts dealers. Coscharis Motors had recently taken several strides aimed at improving ownership experience for Ford customers, these include: the

establishment of world class auto sales and service facilities in Awoyaya, Lagos and Central Business District (CBD) in Abuja, respectively; embarking on intensive inplant; local and international manpower developmental programmes; introduction of the first quick lane tyre and auto centre; providing of light repairs, which include: air conditioning, auto service, brakes, tires, batteries and many more.

These developments made the company to appoint some credible auto parts dealers, who are operating in the country and to supply them with genuine Ford certified parts, in order, to make the auto parts more accessible to the ever-growing number of Ford vehicle owners who may choose to buy their parts from such auto dealers and take them to any qualified service centre for installation.

Business Development Manager, Certified Auto Parts business, Coscharis Motors, Olalekan Adenuga, who made this disclosure in Lagos, said the initiative would be launched in phases to cover the six geo-political zones before the end of the year. According to him, the first phase is coming up in the second quarter of this year and would cover the SouthEast, South- West and SouthSouth geo-political zone.


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Opinion NGF crisis: Let there be dialogue By Luke Onyekakeyah HE crisis rocking the Nigeria Governors FoT rum (NGF) in the run up to the election of its chairman is an ill wind that blows no one good. The crisis in the country is being downplayed in favour of the NGF election that ordinarily should not make big headlines. It is unthinkable that while the nation is embroiled in unprecedented insecurity that led to the declaration of a state of emergency in three northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, and the prosecution of a counter “war” of attrition against Boko Haram, the governors and indeed the presidency could afford to bicker over who becomes the chairman of the NGF, thereby diverting their attention from the problem at hand. There can be no unity of purpose in tacking the insecurity question when the chief security officers cannot sit together to strategize on how to tackle the problem. I am particularly piqued that the Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, allowed himself to be drawn into contesting the chairman of the NGF. Here is a governor whose state is in deep crisis of insecurity accepting to have his attention divided by another assignment. What time has Governor Jang to give to the NGF? Or is he not minding the killings and destruction going on in his state? My people say a person whose house is on fire does not chase rats. Why can’t the governor concentrate on tackling the insecurity challenges in his state and leave the NGF chairmanship to others? The surprise outcome of the just concluded chairmanship election of the NGF in which the incumbent, Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi won shows the fast changing political landscape of the country. The days are gone when powerful individuals swayed over the people and foisted their unpopular wishes and desires on the polity. Those days are fast becoming history. Nothing is absolute. This changing state of affairs has resonated in several of the recent elections across the country. Nigerians are becoming wiser as a result of decades of political deceit, cheating and deprivation. People are fed up with the abject state of affairs in the country. The days when people were easily bought over with money are fast passing away. Nigerians have learned bitter lesson from their unbeneficial political experience. Over the years, money-

bags thought that money is all that is needed to win election. But let it be known that nowadays, people are ready to openly and wholeheartedly collect your money and still vote against you. They regard the money as “our stolen money” and not your money. People reason that no one can use our money any longer to mortgage our conscience to his own selfish advantage. What the people want today is concrete and verifiable achievements that leverage their lives. The suffering must be reduced to barest minimum. That is the only way to win votes now and in the future. The re-election of Amaechi as chairman of NGF shows that in politics, anything could happen. Quite often, those things happen at the last minute. It needs to be understood that in any enterprise that has to do with humans, surprises cannot be ruled out. The veteran Shakespeare rightly said, “There is no art to find a man’s construction on the face”. Suddenly, Governor Amaechi lost favour with the powers that be. But many of the governors still remained solidly behind him. Somehow, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the presidency had thought that the election was a walk-over; that the defeat of Amaechi was a forgone issue. The intrigues and high wire politics that culminated in the formation of a rival PDP Governors Forum (PDPGF), was meant to break whatever backbone was left of Amaechi’s re-election bid. All of Amaechi’s calculations as far as the election was concerned were thought to have been thwarted. Even at that, the strategists didn’t fathom that there could still be some Amaechi loyalists within their fold. That is the extent man could go with his limited knowledge. No man knows everything. Everything backfired at the venue of the election. There are lessons to be learned from the NGF election drama. First, as already highlighted above is the changing political thinking in the country. No one should be deceived that the inglorious political past would remain the template for political enterprise in the country. The old order is changing to give way to the new. The change instinct manifests at all levels. Anyone who doesn’t recognize it would

be left behind. Both the people and the leadership are inexorably geared towards change. The governors are not left out. They also want change. Some may feature in forums that champion different thinking from what they believe in. But when it comes to voting, they vote according to their conscience and not follow to the bandwagon. That was what happened at the NGF election, which is a big lesson to learn. So, it’s not over until it is over. Second is that you don’t have to over flog an issue otherwise you inadvertently force people to switch their sympathy. Two wrongs, they say, don’t make a right. From the moment Governor Amaechi was perceived to be nursing political ambition for 2015 against what many in the South-South see as betrayal and sabotage against President Jonathan, his kinsman, to the point his plane was grounded with subsequent allegations of fraud over the aircraft ownership and documentation, people began to sympathise with him. Many are asking why an aircraft that has been flying suddenly became not airworthy again. Why the infringements being pointed out were not discovered earlier is the central question. Many think it is witch-hunting of a man who apparently has lost favour with his political leadership. Thirdly, somehow, the governors wanted to protest any form of interference in their forum’s internal affairs. The NGF, which was founded early in this dispensation as an independent body that cuts through party lines unexpectedly appeared to have been influenced by the presidency. This scenario changed under the Obasanjo regime when the NGF became a formidable force that could be used to achieve political goals. But there are governors who felt that their forum should not become the stooge of the presidency for whatever reason. Those thinking that way felt that if the presidency is interested in who their chairman becomes; it means that the forum will henceforth dance to the dictates of the presidency. That would automatically rob it of its independence and non-partisanship. The vote against whoever appeared to be the choice of the presidency was therefore partly in

protest. Protest votes can upstage political calculations. The NGF wants to be left alone to do the work it has assigned to itself. Many people are wondering at what point the governor’s forum became a political bulwark that can no longer be ignored. At inception, the forum was more or less obscure. Not many Nigerians knew about its existence. The mission of the NGF states that the forum was established “to provide a common platform for collaboration amongst the governors on matters of public policy; to promote good governance, sharing of good practice and enhance cooperation at the state level and with other arms of government and society”. Promoting good governance was the overriding objective of the NGF. This it has been doing through its innovative and proactive State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM), a sub-national assessment of what the states are doing. The issue of providing a common ground on matters of public policy cannot be equated with dictating who becomes the president or principal officers of the National Assembly (NASS). Public policy in this case, to my mind, refers to issues that pertain to good governance in terms of social and economic well being of the country. While the NGF is committed to issues of good governance, it has unwittingly been dragged into destructive politics that now dominates its affairs. Thus, over the years, the NGF was involved in the Obasanjo’s second term election; the defeat of the third term bid; the emergence of Umaru Yar’Adua, a member of the NGF in 2007; the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan, first as interim president under the doctrine of necessity of the NASS and eventual emergence as president. These landmark roles of the NGF would naturally make President Jonathan believe that once he has his man as the chairman of the NGF, his mooted intention to re-contest in 2015 would be easy ride. The election would put the presidency pondering. It is needless forming another rival NGF chaired by Governor Jang in addition to the already formed PDPGF chaired by Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State. Both essentially are made up of the same PDP governors. State resources will be wasted. It is unhealthy for Nigeria to be contending with three parallel NGF at this stage. The country stands to lose. There should be dialogue to resolve the differences. The welfare of the people should be the ultimate goal.

Lagos State and the corporate challenge By Moses Obaloju HE Lagos State House of Assembly recently held a public T hearing on “A Bill for a law to provide for regulation of smoking in designated places in Lagos State and for connected purposes”. The Bill, which was sponsored by Honourable Gbolahan Yishawu, seeks to legislate smoking within designated areas in the city. Stakeholders at the hearing included members of the organised private sector, government officials from the key ministries, tobacco control advocates and representatives of the tobacco industry. Though the legislators were lauded for taking the initiative to prohibit smoking in certain areas, they were also asked to ensure that all stakeholders’ views were taken on board. The former Lagos State Attorney General (AG), Prof. Osibajo, in his submission at the hearing said the state government is currently thinking of empowering citizens to sue tobacco companies for distribution of harmful products. This is in addition to the on-going civil charges levied against several tobacco companies by the state for similar reasons.  Though this may look like a practical solution to addressing the issue of tobacco smoking, many will see it as setting a legislative precedence, which other companies such as the alcohol and sugar manufacturers may most likely, become culpable. Driving policies to protect public health is a laudable move that should always be approached within the context of the issues at play. Looking critically at the tobacco industry and the regulatory, strategies deployed in several countries, many have not succeeded in curbing the incidence of tobacco

smoking, but have instead ended up in allowing unscrupulous tobacco smugglers to gain foothold in the trade. Canada, which has one of the harshest tobacco regulations, is currently battling with the problem of smuggling. “Contraband tobacco is still a big problem in Canada... Despite new powers given police to crack down on contraband dealers, sales of bootleg smokes are on the rise in Atlantic Canada, the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco said Tuesday (May 7) at an Ottawa news conference. The coalition said criminal organisations in Ontario and Quebec have also adapted to new laws designed to curb the problem. “The Canadian, Ontario and Quebec governments have all given police new powers to investigate and charge those that traffic in the trade,” said coalition spokesman Gary Grant. “But the illegal cigarette industry continues to evolve to compensate.” Whilst the former AG may have good intentions, this in itself is not the answer to the solution; the reality is that several other products today are deemed to be as injurious as tobacco. In a Sunday Morning Herald article titled “Sugar as harmful as tobacco and alcohol”, three U.S. scientists from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) maintain sugar is more than just “empty calories” that makes people fat. They argue that high calorie; sweetened food is indirectly responsible for 35 million annual deaths worldwide due to lifestyle related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Professors Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt and Claire Brindis call for restrictions and controls on sugar that mirror those on tobacco and alcohol.” This call for controls on the use of

sugar invariably affect so many beverage companies, who have been restricted from marketing in schools in the U.S. and have started to look at driving low calorie alternatives, a strategy which is similar to the production of alternative and harm free tobacco products. Also recently, Coca-cola in a pledge on responsible marketing said they would not market their products to children under the age of 12. An Economist article entitled ‘No Smoke, Why the fire’ spoke about the introduction of ‘E-cigarettes’ into the market, thereby bringing in more health related benefits accruable to public health: “some inventions are so simple, you have to wonder why no one has come up with them before. One such is the electronic cigarette... E-cigarettes do not just save the lives of smokers: they bring other benefits too. Unlike cigarettes, they do not damage the health of bystanders. They do not even smell that bad, so there is no public nuisance, let alone hazard, and thus no reason to ban their use in public places. Pubs and restaurants should welcome them with open arms.” Appropriate and effective legislation coupled with educational campaigns and corporate accountability or responsible practices should be the main focus for the government on all these products.  Instigating legal actions against businesses will simply add to the list of negative economic policies such as multiplicity of taxes which investors face in Lagos State. Question is how many companies will be sued? Alcohol companies, energy drinks, beverage companies with high calorie content or fast foods? Also who stands to benefit, the government, the people or the litigators? • Obaloju wrote from Lagos.


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Opinion Olikoye Ransome-Kuti: Ten years after By Friday Okonofua th

UNE 1, 2013 will mark the 10 anniversary of the Jnationalist, passing away of the medical icon and foremost Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti. The event will be marked with a public lecture titled: “Tackling health and social inequity in Ekiti State” to be delivered by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. The lecture is being organized by the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) in collaboration with the RansomeKuti family and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). The event promises to attract family members, friends, associates and students of our dear Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti and will enable a re-enactment of the passion and deep fervour that he so well demonstrated for social change in his life time. For those who were too young in 2003 to know this man, Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti epitomizes the best and the most profound in the delivery of health care services that this country has ever witnessed. He has been Nigeria’s longest serving Minister of Health, holding the portfolio during the military era, 1985 to 1993. Of all the things that have been said about the military regime of President Badamosi Babangida, the appointment of Professor Olikoye Ransome Kuti as Minister of Health proved to be a masterstroke and one of the most instructive selling points in his entire presidency. Kuti’s major contribution to health care was his entrenchment and domestication of the principle of primary health care in Nigeria – an approach that was first introduced into the international health lexicon in 1978. To date, Professor Ransome-Kuti remains the foundational architect of primary health care in Nigeria, which the country adopted early in its formation. He has been the sole advocate, the principal doctrinaire and the grandfather of this philosophy, which he nurtured from the beginning until his death. Indeed, almost all practitioners of primary health care in Nigeria today are either his students or his disciples.

Additionally, it must be remembered that Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti has done more than anyone else to position Nigeria’s health problems in national and international consciousness. Apart from being the Minister of Health, he was an international ombudsman that placed the nation’s health problems in the agenda of several international agencies. He spoke passionately and eloquently at several international meetings, which meant that the country could not be ignored when it came to the allocation of global resources for the promotion of health. Indeed, some of the benefits the country is witnessing today in terms of increasing in-flow of global funds for health promotion are partly attributable to the strong foundation laid by Professor Olikoye RansomeKuti during his tenure as minister. He also made sure that health, which was hitherto invisible in the development agenda of the country, received priority attention by all successive governments. This priority attention peaked during the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo, partly due to the advice and support offered by Kuti to that administration in the first four years of its existence. Someone once asked me why I have been so resolute in talking and writing about Kuti several years after he died, especially when I was neither his student nor his contemporary. The answer I often give is that he mirrors my way of life, someone with whom I share similar philosophy and ideology about how Nigeria can and should be transformed. These are principles based on social egalitarianism, transparency and accountability, concern for the less privileged, a worldview that is objectively analytical and not ethnically driven, and a devotion to personal integrity. Professor Ransome-Kuti epitomized all of these, and as I am also an advocate for social transformation myself, I regard him as a worthy role model that can help the country identify a purposeful and focussed direction of growth for itself. There were two encounters I had with Professor

Kuti in his lifetime that remain indelible in my mind till this day. The first was when as a junior lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University in 1988, I sauntered into his ministerial office in Lagos demanding to be offered a scholarship to enable me present a paper that elucidated the determinants of the high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria at a conference in London. In less than five minutes, my request was approved by Honourable Minister Ransome-Kuti. He only needed to confirm that my paper had been accepted for oral presentation and that I had no other support for the conference. He however requested that I should forward a report of the conference to his office as soon as I returned, and that if I published the paper, he would like to read it. I later published the paper and forwarded a reprint to him, which he acknowledged in writing. He also subsequently established a programme for the compulsory reporting of maternal deaths by all teaching hospitals to the Federal Ministry of Health. I do not know, but I suspect that the reading of my paper may have encouraged him to do so. As I have now increasingly grown in the discipline, my experience is that this kind of dispassionate and kind treatment of a citizen and of an issue by a public official is extremely rare in this country, and can only be done by someone strongly devoted to social change. The second encounter I had with Kuti was when I met him at a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002, about 10 months before he died. I had entered the hotel restaurant and saw him sitting alone on a table. I immediately went to him, introduced myself as a Nigerian and requested to join him. I ended up spending two hours with him, and having the opportunity to listen to him narrating his experiences in administering the health sector in Nigeria. He recounted how he raised several funds for the health sector and started several positive initiatives for health promotion, but how these have been mismanaged by those charged with the responsibility to manage the sector, in particular the Primary Health Care Development Agency at the time. I saw a thoroughly disappointed man,

visibly angry at the wastefulness and corruption of policy makers and programme managers in managing the health resources of the country. It was from him I first learnt the doctrine which I now profess around the country that Nigeria’s health problems, especially our inability to meet various health development targets is not due to lack of funds but is due to the mindless and inappropriate deployment of available funds and the lack of experience and capacity of those charged with managing health resources. Actually, I think I became Kuti’s ardent disciple from that discussion I had with him in Nairobi, because I reasoned that it is only when we do things differently and manage our resources more professionally and accountably, that we would be able to improve the nation’s health sector. Unfortunately, since he died the situation has not improved, with no one of high note willing to speak for the sanitization of the sector. In conclusion, the tenth anniversary of the death of Professor Ransome-Kuti provides an opportunity for this country to re-dedicate itself to those basic principles for which he offered patriotic services to the country. A strategic re-focussing on the principle of better management of the health sector, using simple but effective methods in addressing the health needs of all citizens is one way to remember him. A Kuti doctrine of health promotion encompasses several domains in health governance, including the following: a commitment to improving primary health care, increased political prioritization of the health sector, improved health care financing with a determination to deploy available resources more wisely and more accountably, ensuring that only the best and experienced managers with proven track record are allowed to manage our healthcare institutions, and finally a resolute devotion to reducing the level of corruption and impunity at all levels of our national life. May the gentle soul of Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti continue to rest in perfect peace. Amen. • Okonofua is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Benin.

Image issue in Nigeria’s foreign policy (2) By Akin Oyebode Continued from yesterday IGERIA’S perception of itself and others’ perception of the country IT is stating the obvious that Nigeria is abundantly blessed in terms of both human and material resources. Regrettably, the country has hitherto been unable to actualize its tremendous potential on account of bad, irresponsible and unaccountable leadership and on account of the fact that Nigeria has been suffering from what Claude Ake had described as a “disarticulate economy,” that is to say, an economy that produces what it does not consume and consumes what it does not produce. Yet, the optimism of its people is very high so much so that not only do they believe that the country is “the Giant of Africa,” they also argue that Nigeria has been ordained by providence to lead Africa and the entire black race. In fact, when a few years ago, Nigerians were adjudged among the happiest of people in the world, not many disagreed with that proclamation since, in the face of all challenges, they usually respond, “E go better!” A country which has found it almost impossible to guarantee 24 hours electricity supply at any part of the country, enduring insufferable poverty in the face of incredible wealth, high levels of unemployment, unbelievable scourge of disease and squalor, mass ignorance, with among the highest infant mortality and maternal morbidity rates in the world, widespread corruption, general homelessness, coupled with stagflation, armed robbery, rape, vandalisation of public infrastructure, religious strife, kidnapping and terrorism, it is really a miracle that Nigeria is still standing. The halfhearted and belated emergency proclamation by the President a few days ago on the North-East of the country would seem to have finally put a seal on the precarious state of affairs in the country. To many, in the country, the votes are not yet in on whether the country had indeed become a failed or failing State. However, Nigeria, like a cat with nine lives, has always managed to wriggle out of unpleasant circumstances. Crises that would have worsted other nations only bruise the country since Its leaders, being celebrated compromise-makers, can be trusted upon to drive the country to the edge only to draw back from the ravine at the last minute and engineer a modus vivendi that would endure until the next crisis. Thus, the rumour of the country’s imminent demise, like Mark Twain’s death could well have been slightly exaggerated. This, perhaps, explains the doggedness of votaries of the Nigerian project who have continued, in the face of all odds, to pursue laurels such as both rotational and permanent seats on the UN Security Council as well as other high profile positions at international

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institutions. However, undoubtedly, the success (or failure) of such endeavours would necessarily depend on the perceptions of the rest of the world about the “ugly Nigerian.” Now, the image of Nigeria as a country of brash, loud-mouthed, arrogant, corrupt, criminally-minded individuals has stuck in the memory of the international community. When to that is added credit card fraud, drug and human trafficking and all manner of shenanigans, with the addition “419” to the lexicon of the world, it becomes clear why Nigerians have become people that others love to hate. Indeed it was not too long ago that Gen. Colin Powell described us as “marvelous scammers,” to the chagrin of his numerous fans here. That this negative characterization has endured for so long should not come as a surprise to anyone who is well aware of the truism that an opinion once formed becomes very difficult to reverse. Some consequences of Nigeria’s battered image abroad Admittedly, there is an element of jealousy or envy in the love-hate relationship between Nigeria and other countries but what we, Nigerians contribute to the whole issue is not infinitesimal. The braggadocio of some of our people coupled with dare-devilry and boastfulness has not endeared them to some of their hosts abroad. In fact, things had gotten so bad that the green passport has tended to trigger alarm bells at foreign immigration desks. The number of Nigerians languishing in foreign jails keeps increasing while the government has been generally unable to rescue many of its citizens from death rows abroad. The insecurity in the country as a whole and criminality, especially within our sea flanks have become a disincentive for direct foreign investment, with deleterious consequences for both growth and development of the Nigerian economy. Nigeria’s inability to float an official shipping company as well as an official airline has reduced the country’s profile in aviation, import and export of goods, resulting thereby in loss of invisible income and other accruals of international trade. Furthermore, the waning role and influence of the country even in UN peace-keeping and peace enforcement in recent times is indeed worrisome. Nigeria’s fifth position in terms of contribution to such efforts is now being threatened on account of our domestic challenges and poor maintenance culture. Nigeria has had to contend with some other countries that are positioning themselves to upstage the country’s enviable position in this critical sector. Nigeria can continue to gloat at the number of visits paid to it by foreign leaders and visits by President Jonathan and Dame Patience abroad, but the truth is unmistakable that Nigeria’s scorecard in the foreign domain is less than salubrious. The fact that Nigeria has proven unable to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

set by the UN in 1999 as well as its abandonment of the Vision 20-2020 targets is definitely no cheering news. Nor can Nigeria celebrate its exclusion from BRICS, the coterie of the most promising among emergent economies of our time. That we have had to be contented with membership of a second-order Group of 15 developing countries is indicative of the declining status of the country as well as its peripheral and subsidiary status and role in the global scheme of things. In fact, it would require much more than loud noises regarding a so-called transformation agenda and quixotic re-branding of erstwhile bad and ugly Nigerians into a great nation of good people for there to be a turnaround in our circumstance. And for what it is worth, we should remember that it was not too long ago that signs were hung on restaurants’ windows in Shanghai saying, “Dogs and Chinese Not Admitted!” However, with the success of Chairman Mao’s Long March and Xiao Den Ping’s socioeconomic and political transformation agenda, all that has since become history. Today, China is a global economic superpower, which in the nearest future is sure to assume the world’s number one position in industrial production, commanding tremendous geo-political power and influence across the world. Moral? Seek ye first the kingdom of economic power and all other things shall be added unto you… Summary It is very difficult, if not impossible to conclude on a topic like this, which is very much a work in progress. Accordingly, we might have to settle for only a summary. Nigeria is, no doubt, a huge socio-economic formation with huge potential to become a strong and powerful nation if only its leadership can get its acts together. Others would argue that once we put our house in order, not even the sky can be a limit to what is achievable. Regrettably, like most things in life, there is no free lunch in international relations and the poor image which Nigeria had carved for itself cannot just be wished away. It is quite obvious that the country would want to occupy its rightful place within the international community. However, for this to happen, Nigeria must put into effect a gargantuan scheme of socio-economic and political transformation, the proof of which should be self-evident so as to generate much-needed support and respect from other members of the international community. The revolution being contemplated here would perforce be long and arduous but its benefits to the generality of the populace should clearly outweigh the inevitable painful cost that the people would have to bear. • Concluded • Prof. Oyebode is member of the Governing Council, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA).


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Expert hinges stock market growth on upward revaluation of GdP By Helen Oji HE Head of Equity Primary T Markets, Middle East and Africa, London Stock Exchange (LSE), Mr. Ibukun Adebayo has said that an upward revaluation of Nigeria’s Gross domestic Product (GdP) may have a positive impact on the stock market, even as the worth of certain Nigerian companies would be made more attractive than the current value. Adebayo, in an interview with The Guardian, pointed out that Nigeria’s stock market capitalisation to its GdP ratio has historically been low, noting that an upward rerating of Nigeria’s GdP will in the short term lower this ratio even further, thus making Nigerian stocks undervalued relative to peer economies and hence attractive for investment purposes.  He added that this would also attract multinationals operating in Nigeria and other key sectors like maritime, telecommunication, and oil and gas to list in the nation’s bourse According to him, “higher investment in Nigerian stocks will in turn increase the overall market capitalization until the Market Capitalisation/GdP ratio reaches the level where it accurately reflects the fundamentals of the Nigerian economy. He however added that the long term growth in this regard also depended on list-

ed companies demonstrating sustainable level of good corporate governance and stewardship that match their business growth prospects. “Nigeria’s stock market capitalisation/GdP ratio is too low and doesn’t reflect the fundamentals. revaluation of GdP may present an opportunity

for investors to take advantage of undervalued stock but only if companies listed on the market can demonstrate sustainable levels of good governance and stewardship to match their enticing growth prospects”, he said. Adebayo, who noted that

the LSE has a cordial relationship with the NSE also added that the Nigerian stock market is currently one of the best performing stock markets in the world, even as Nigeria is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He commended the changes instituted by the Nigerian

Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) such as strengthening the regulatory framework, introducing new products & best practices, which, according to him has proven successful in restoring investor confidence after the 2008 recession.

“Key features of development such as the introduction of stock lending, market making and an investor compensation scheme are part of tremendous strides since 2008. Their impact will be felt most when the market goes through a re-enforcement of interest. “

Lafarge Cement’s turnover hits N88 billion, posts N14.7 billion profit By Helen Oji AFArGE Cement WAPCO Lturnover Nigeria Plc has posted a of N88 billion in its 2012 operations, against N63 billion posted in 2011. The company’s profit after tax increased to N14.7 billion, up from N8.6 billion recorded in 2011. Addressing shareholders at the Pre-yearly general meeting of the company in Lagos at the weekend, the company’s Chairman, Olusegun Osunkeye explained that the percentage increase in turnover is 41 per cent while PAT grew by 70percent. According to him, Operating profit of the company stood at N26 billion, from N13 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 98 per cent while earning per share rose from N288 kobo to N490 kobo during the year under review, which represent 70 percent increase. Based on the improved performance, according to Osunkeye, the directors of the company are proposing a dividend of N1.20kobo due to

every shareholders of the company. ‘Giving the cash flow requirements to repay the bank loans and to pay down the corporate bonds at maturity, it is important to maintain dividend pay-out to shareholders

at a level which ensures repayments can be achieved with no risks of default and impairment of the operations of the company.” He attributed the company’s steady growth to the various initiatives deployed by the

management, adding that the company would continue to introduce innovative building material products based on opportunities offered by the market. To consolidate on the performance, the Chairman

explained that the company has introduced a new cement product called Powermax which, according to him, would cater for the demands of large construction projects, as well as individual home builders.

Govt plans to issue more bonds from international market By Bukky Olajide EdErAL Government has Fmore concluded plans to issue bonds from the international markets (that is, Eurobonds). This is expected to increase the demand for domestic bonds from this period. Also the debt Management Office (dMO) during the week announced the Federal Government’s decision to reduce domestic borrowing in the second half of 2013. Last week, the Over The Counter market was characterized by speculative intraday volatility as yields moved up due to a slowdown in

demand as witnessed earlier in the week when compared to the previous week. This trend was however not sustained as there was a reversal on the back of demand that filtered into the market. The market saw another phase of slowdown later in the week following the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting and sales of treasury bills. Analysts expect the current level of activities in the market to continue in the week ahead in the absence of any major economic event. Meanwhile, Lekoil Limited has been admitted to the London Stock Exchange to its

growth market, AIM Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Lagos, Lekoil is an independent, Africafocussed oil and gas exploration company. While most of its assets are in Nigeria, it also has interests in offshore Namibia. The company raised approximately $50 million and has a market capitalization of $112.1 million at admission. It is the largest capital raising on AIM this year, and the latest Nigerian firm to float in London following recent admissions by Zenith Bank and Eland Oil & Gas. In the words of the head of Primary Markets for Africa,

London Stock Exchange Group, Ibukun Adebayo, “We are delighted to welcome Lekoil to AIM. This is the third Nigerian company in eight months to raise money and issue shares on our markets, highlighting London’s role as the leading international equity finance centre for the economic development of Nigeria.” In the words of Lekan Akinyanmi, Chief Executive of Lekoil, “This is an important step for Lekoil on our journey towards becoming a leading E&P company with an aim of shaping the future of oil exploration and production in Africa.”


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Law

Quote of the week I am confident that, in the end, common sense and justice will prevail. I’m an optimist, brought up on the belief that if you wait to the end of the story, you get to see the good people live happily ever after. ———-Cat Stevens judicialeditor@yahoo.co.uk/ 08033151041 Desk Head: Ibe Uwaleke

Technology key to addressing delay in justice delivery Interview By Bertram Nwannekanma

In what appears as a tacit acquiescence with the maxim that justice delayed is justice denied, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, recently charged judges in the country on quick and thorough dispensation of justice.  She also introduced a new policy directive that would see judges, who are not able to deliver a minimum of four judgments in a year, to leave the scene. But GBENGA OYEBODE, a revered Lagos- based business lawyer, in this interview, said the use of technology plays a vital role in quick adjudication of cases in Nigeria. Oyebode, who is the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA SBL), also spoke on the need for continuous legal education, as well as the coming SBL yearly conference in Lagos. N the problems of delay in judicial process in O Nigeria, Oyebode said delay in the justice system has remained a big issue, which all stakeholders in the justice sector are concerned about. “ NBA is looking at it. The judiciary as a whole is looking at it and the state governments as well as the Federal Government. It is a topical issue everybody is looking at. People are looking at how to solve the issue of delay. Today, you file an action in court; it could take anything between five to 10 years to take it from the High Court to the Supreme Court. Obviously, it is of special interest to SBL, but also of special interest to all stakeholders in the justice system and so it will form part of our deliberation during our conference”. Asked to react to the CJN’s directive to judges asking them to deliver four judgments a year or leave the scene, the revered business lawyer said he was not sure that was what the CJN meant. According to him, one of the key issues in checking delays in our justice delivery system is the use of technology. He said: “ Technology is the key. I think we should make use of technology. Today, our judges still record court proceedings in longhands. Obviously, that takes time. As quickly as we can, we should be able to get court reporters, that can aid judges in taking of witnesses’ statements in court proceedings, it will speed up deliberations in court. These kind of things will help”. On the recent CBN guidelines directing all law firms to register with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), Oyebode, said “what is necessary is the position taken by the NBA to challenge the directive.” “ I had the privilege to be in the NEC meeting where a position was taken that NBA should brief Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN). So already, there is litigation on the matter. What we have to understand is that anti-laundering has become a big issue. This is not about NBA; it is a case of how we can deal with antilaundering in such a way that it does not breach the confidence and trust of clients. This is the biggest issue that the NBA has problem with. We are not saying that we should be allowed to practise our profession in an unrestricted manner. What we are saying is that one of the tenets of the legal profession is confidentiality of clients’ information.  And we must work around a system where the confidentiality of the clients is protected. “Rather unfortunately, when the legislation went through the National Assembly, there was no debate, both by the NBA and other stakeholders. But now that it is part of the law, we are saying that there is a part of the law that breaches an age-long tradition of the legal profession with respect to the confidentiality of clients. That is the issue we are trying to bring up in the whole matter” Asked to comment on the ebbing relationship

Oyebode between the Bar and the Bench, Oyebode was of the opinion that the relationship between the Bench and the Bar has not ebbed because the two need each other. “You need to understand that the Bench is part and parcel of the legal profession. Before you become a judge, you must be called to the Nigerian Bar. So, there is no distinction, there is no friction. I think, we all stand for the same issue, which is justice, saner and equitable approach to achieving the same objectives. I do not subscribe to the view that there is any friction between the Bench and the Bar”. On the alleged falling standard of the legal profession, He said the Council of Legal Education was tackling the issue with the setting of curriculum for the Nigerian Law School. According to him, there has been a lot of concern as whether people are maintaining the standard but that is not isolated to the legal profession, it cuts across board. Issues of the criteria of admission of students and the ability of the proprietors to concentrate on issues that are important should be addressed. “ We must continually focus on the whole process of the faculty of law in the universities on how they should take their students. “We must look at the students and see if the present curriculum in the Law Schools has met with the challenges. A situation where we still have people going to school for almost two years, especially foreign graduates to be admitted to Nigerian legal profession, a situation where there are a lot of issues to the admission to the Bar. It must be amended to make it things easy. There are jurisdictions, where Nigerian lawyers are admitted to the Bar just

by attending the Law School for three months. I think we have to look at this because there is nothing special about Nigeria, about the law we practice, and it is the same British common law. Even around us, like in Ghana, the country allows for easier access for Nigerian lawyers and the fact that Nigerian lawyers can get admission, for instance in the state of New York, just on the basis that you are eligible to practice in Nigeria. This is the kind of things we should constantly look at. It is not about making life difficult, it is about making life easier, it is about making sure that the rules that have been set are acceptable and up to global standard. We must ensure that making things difficult does not enhance the quality of lawyers. On the coming seventh NBA SBL conference, Oyebode said the focus of the conference scheduled for June 17, with the theme: “The legal profession in an Emerging Market” is to allow lawyers interact on the growth of the legal profession, especially in a market that is very similar like ours. “The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is one prominent Indian lawyer and the focus is to tap from the Indian market. India and Nigeria are very similar in terms of growth and that is why we have decided that we would bring a representation of the Indian legal profession to be a keynote speaker.  We also have the International Director of the Law Society of England, to speak on the same theme. The idea is to see how the English Common Law jurisdiction generally affects the growth of the legal profession. On ways to check the decline in law practice in Nigeria, Oyebode said, the key is in Continuing

Technology is key. I think we should make use of technology. Today, our judges still record court proceedings in long- hand. Obviously, that takes time. As quickly as we can, we should be able to get court reporters, that can aid judges in taking of witnesses’ statements in court proceedings.

Legal Education. When people graduate from the Law School, we have to train them constantly because the law is also constantly in motion. There are changes in law, particularly in business laws. The fact that some of the counterparts we deal with come from other jurisdictions, make it expedient for us not just in law but also in the other key issues that our counterparts are looking at. So the NBA SBL has continued to look at the issue of training, continuous legal education international and global best practices in our sector. Nigeria must not be left out in international law, we must participate in the global scene that we see around, especially in common law jurisdiction whether in Australia, South Africa, Canada, USA, United Kingdom. There are significant steps that we must take in the market, some of these we have not followed.    On the Impact of the conference on legal practice in Nigeria, the revered lawyer said one of the key factors when the NBA SBL was set up, was the issue of continued legal education. “Our view about legal practice is that so long as in this country we are able to increase the knowledge of our lawyers, I do not subscribe to the idea that the quality of legal education has continuously gone down. A lot of issues we have about education, continuous legal education only borders on ethical issues. The NBA under the leadership of Okey Wali (SAN) has dealt with that. The NBA has taken up the ethical and disciplinary roles, which will bring a change in the management of the association. You will see that the CJN has also taken up the issue of corruption and discipline in the judiciary at the forefront. I think there is a collision of efforts to make sure that the legal profession and the issues that affect all of us are well taken care of. For us, our biggest issue is continuous legal education and all our committees are constantly having sections, where they train people, where they try to bring up the practice to global standard and that for me would ensure that the standard continues to improve.


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LawReport Courts are not permitted to suo motu raise issues, resolve same without hearing from parties In the Court of Appeal, In the Lagos Judicial Division, Holden at Lagos, On Friday, March 22, 2013, Before their Lordships: Aminu Adamu Augie, Justice, Court of Appeal; Chima Centus Nweze, Justice, Court of Appeal; Chinwe Eugenia Iyizoba, Justice, Court of Appeal; CA/L/400/2009 Between Professor Olugbemiro Jegede (defendant/appellant) and Mufutau Bamidele Akande (claimant/respondent). view, the lower court arrived at ItheNtheour correct conclusion employing wrong procedure. As noted earlier, a court is not permitted to raise an issue suo motu and resolve it without hearing from the parties. Thus, we take the view that the said proceeding of February 9, 2009, conducted without the input of the parties was wrong. However, there is a caveat here. In this case, we are not in doubt, from the court’s findings that the Lagos High Court had no jurisdiction, that the prayer order in the circumstance should have been an order striking out the suit. So held the Court of Appeal, Holden at Lagos in a unanimous leading judgment delivered by his lordship: Chima Centus Nweze (JCA), his learned brothers, Aminu Adamu Augie and Chinwe Eugenia Iyizoba (JJCA), concurring while allowing the appellant’s appeal. The appellant was represented by A. R. Fatunde, with him are M.O. Abdulkadir and T. Bakre, while the respondent was represented by A. O. Okorie. At the Lagos High Court, Igbosere, General Civil Division, the respondent in this appeal (claimant at the High Court), took out a writ of summons against the appellant in this appeal (defendant as he then was). In the suit,

originated on December 28, 2006, the claimant entreated the court to favour him with the sum of N50,000, 000:00 (fifty million naira), damages for libel contained in the respondent’s letter dated November 20, 2006. The defendant (now appellant) Justice Bulkachuwa, Acting PCA filed a memorandum of condition- learned trial judge, Nicol-Clay J real appearance; statement of opened the matter; took the appearances of counsel and delivered defence and other processes. In particular, he intimated the another ruling striking out the appliclaimant of his intention to greet cation that was, earlier dismissed. Aggrieved by the second ruling, the his suit with an objection. Subsequently, the defendant for- defendant appealed to this court. He mally moved the court to dismiss formulated two issues for the deterthe case in its entirety. In its ruling mination. When this appeal came up for hearof January 26, 2009, the said High Court (Coram Nicol-Clay J) (here- ing on January 14, 2013, A.R. Fatunde inafter referred to as the lower of counsel for the appellant, leading court) allowed the application and M. O. Abdulkadir and T. Bakare, dismissed the claimant’s case in its adopted and relied on the appellant’s brief filed on June 15, 2009. In entirety. The registrar of the lower court, on the said brief, he argued that when a January 29, 2009 (that is, three High Court, in the performance of its clear days after the above ruling), adjudicatory roles, concludes the issued hearing notices to the par- hearing and determination of a matties. The said notice indicated that ter placed before it (as in this case) the application (which was dis- and reaches a final decision, the missed on January 26, 2009) would court is forbidden from opening the come up on February 2, 2009. True case file again much less re-hearing it indeed, the application was called and substituting the final order of up on February 2, 2009. The dismissal with an order for striking

out, Anyaegbunam v Attorney-General of Anambra State (2001) 6 NWLR (pt 710) 532 at 540. Learned counsel further argued that the proceedings and second ruling of February 2, 2009, raised one fundamental issue, which is that the appellant’s right to be heard before the court delivered its said ruling. He submitted that the proceeding was conducted suo motu without hearing the appellant. Learned counsel for the respondent, first drew attention to the ruling delivered on January 26, 2009. He explained that after the said ruling had been delivered, the lower court discovered that the order dismissing the case for want of jurisdiction did not reflect what it intended. It directed hearing notice be served on both parties. He argued that every court has the inherent power to correct accidental slips, omissions and mistakes in judgments, citing Umanna and Ors v Okwuraiwe (1978) 6-7 SC 1. He submitted the order made on February 2, 2009, was to correct the inadvertent error of the order of dismissal. He pointed out that the lower court, in the earlier ruling, found that the cause of action (libel) arose in Abuja. Thus, the action should be commenced in that jurisdiction. In order words, the High Court of Lagos State had no jurisdiction to try the case. Learned counsel for the appellant, first, adopted the earlier submissions on the consequences of breach of fundamental rules of natural justice and fair hearing. He emphasised that having delivered the final judgment on January 26, 2009, the lower court became functus officio. He urged the court to set aside the latter order, Agbomeji v Bakare (1998) 9 NWLR (pt. 564) 1, 8. Arguing this issue, the respondent’s counsel submitted that the

above second order striking out the case did not occasion a miscarriage of justice to warrant the interference of the Court of Appeal. He took the view that where a court had no jurisdiction to try a case, it should strike it out, Owner of MV “Arabella” v Nigeria Insurance Corporation (2008) 4-5 SC (pt 11) 189, 209. In his brief of argument, the respondent greeted the appeal with what he termed a “Notice of Preliminary Objection.” He contended that Ground 3 of the Notice of Appeal was a ground of mixed fact and law challenging the said ruling of the lower court, citing Section 242 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). He explained that, in the instant case, no leave of the High Court or the Court of Appeal was obtained before the said ground was included in the notice of appeal. He submitted that the said ground was incompetent and ought to be struck out, Igidi v Igba (1999) 6 SC (pt 1) 1, 119. In reply, the appellant’s counsel observed that the respondent inserted a notice of preliminary objection in his brief of argument. The said objection attacked only ground three of the notice and grounds of appeal. He submitted that the purported notice of preliminary objection was misconceived, irregular and amounted to an abuse of process. Thus, a respondent who had issues with one or two more grounds of appeal was required to file a separate notice challenging the ground of appeal. He maintained that the courts frown at the approach which the respondent adopted in this appeal, citing Order 10 Rules 1 and 3 Court of Appeal Rules 2007 (applicable when the said brief was filed); Okoye v Anyawoko (2011).

To be Concluded

Applying spirit of Land Use Act: The Lagos example Workshop By Ibe Uwaleke, Head, Judicial Desk AGOS State Government L said hence forth it is going to invoke Sections 96 and 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011, the sections that deal with criminal infraction of falsification of documents of land titles, to prosecute people who while applying to the governor to regularize their interest on land titles either provide forged documents or supply false information to deceive public officials to grant them consent. According to the government, it is taking this action because this said wrong practice is inhibiting government’s efforts to promote certainty and proper documentation of land titles and to establish a comprehensive and reliable database of landed properties in Lagos State.

This option was disclosed by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye at a stakeholders meeting held at the Bankers’ House on Adeola Hopewell Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The one-day event was organized by his ministry in conjunction with the Lands Bureau of the state under the title: “Land Use Act (Title Documentation) Regulations 2012.” Ipaye, while explaining the difficulty the state is encountering with this problem, said the instances are daily occurrences in the land registry whereby many applicants both corporate and individuals apply for certificate of occupancy using receipts or other documents which are backdated or forged in order to create the impression that their transactions predated the Land

Use Act of 1978. According to him, this kind of practice is an attempt to circumvent the provisions of the Land Use Act by giving the appearance that the land was vested in the applicants prior to the enactment of the 1978 Act. He therefore urged those engaged in this unwholesome practice to desist from doing so as the Act makes sufficient provisions to safeguard the interests of persons in whom land was vested immediately before 1978, as well as the interests of subsequent transferees or assignees under Sections 22 and 34 of the Land Use Act (LUA). It is as a result of this confused situation, Ipaye, said, Lagos State introduced a new land regime called LUA (Title Documentation) Regulations in 2012 which closing date for submission of relevant information on land titles will be

by July 31, 2013 having been extended by another six months from February by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashols (SAN). The A.G. in his remarks stated that his government recognizes the fact that many assignors or purchasers of interests in land, though in exclusive possession, do not hold properly executed deeds on which governor’s consent can be endorsed and for this reason the current regulations become necessary to guide the documentation and perfection processes and to prevent parties in land transactions entered into after March 29, 1978 from using false documents and information. Under the new regulations, Ipaye explained, parties to land transactions are expected to declare the true details of such transactions in their applications for certificate of occupancy or governor’s consent on oath and present

Ipaye, AG, Lagos deeds of assignment or similar documents with their respective applications. The stakeholders meeting was meant as part of the sensitization exercises by government to spread awareness of the new regulations and to facilitate the documentations of land titles in the state.

Those who were also present at the event included the executive secretary, Land Use and Allocation Committee, Mr. Aina Salami, Registrar of Titles, Lands Bureau, Mrs. Dayo Akintoye and the Director of Lands, Mr. Biye Oyebola.


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Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve each other promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. ———-Jack Kingston

How to cope with loss and pain By Ibe Uwaleke (With Agency report) HEN you lose someone, a pet or a dream W that has been very precious to you, the grief is intense. Pain, memories, and questions can easily haunt you. You may feel that you’ll never be the same again. Never really laugh, never recover, never be whole again. You may feel that life will never be the same because this gaping big hole where that person once was, will swallow you up and never let you see the happier side of life again. Have faith in the promise that you will see the sun shine on your life again. It is possible to heal emotionally and to grow stronger mentally, physically and in spirit. You will become a compassionate, feeling, laughing and hopeful human being once again in time. Allowing the pain to flow through and onward is key to your recovery and while it may feel both hard and even disloyal to the memory of that which is now lost, the ultimate loyalty and honoring of what is lost is in remembering well and forging ahead by taking with you the best of your memories to inspire your way forward. Remember to live well and to honor both yourself and those now passed. Face the loss. It can be easy to sedate yourself with distractions such as drugs, alcohol, oversleeping, internet overuse, promiscuity or any other habit that threatens your well being and

leaves you vulnerable to addictions and confusion. And while other people around you may help you temporarily to forget your pain, you’ll never truly heal until you confront the loss and what it means to you personally. Ignoring the pain caused by the loss, sedating your feelings so that they cannot be worked through will bring more serious repercussions later, including depression, trauma and addictions. Allow yourself some time to hurt deeply but don’t allow yourself to get stuck there; even as you’re hurting, you also need to start working out how to cope and find resilient pathways through your pain and loss. Don���t ban wallowing completely. Your pain deserves attention and soothing in the beginning. However, be sure to draw a line on prolonging any state of wallowing because ultimately it keeps you stuck right in the time of loss, unable to move forward and only capable of self-pity. Remember at all times that you’re not alone in your feelings. At one point or another we all deal with loss and pain, sometimes fathomless emotional pain. We all have to go through our cycle of life, death and feelings. Grieve for as long as you need to no matter what anyone says. This is your time. Share your feelings with others. You’re suffer-

ing, and it’s okay and it’s healthy to seek out people who will take care of you. If you can’t find a friend, lean on a compassionate stranger. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside carries enormous risk because there will come a point where you can’t even articulate the real feelings to yourself, let alone to anyone else. Even if you feel as if you’re rambling, confused and uncertain, talking to someone you trust is one form of allowing yourself the space to think out loud and to start dumping out some of the pain you’re experiencing. See talk as a sorting action, in that it doesn’t need to be coherent or rea-

soned, it just needs to be expressive of whatever needs to come up and out of you. If you’re worried others listening to you might be confused or upset by what you’re saying, a simple warning up front can alleviate this concern. Just let them know you’re feeling sad/bad/upset/confused, etc., and that some of the words you say aren’t always going to make a lot of sense but that you appreciate having someone listen. A good listener and caring friend or supporter will not mind in the least. Ignore people who say unhelpful things such as “get over it”, “stop being so sensitive”, “I got over it quickly when it happened to me”, etc. They are expressing their inability to cope, their frustration or guilt and it has nothing to do with you. They’re not inside your head, so don’t give their throwaway lines any credence. If it becomes evident to you that they just want you to take your pain somewhere else, let them go. Tell them “You don’t have to be around me while I’m going through this if it’s too much for you to bear. But I need to go through it, regardless of how you’re feeling, so please allow me this space.” You can reconnect with such people when you’re feeling stronger; until then, you don’t need their impatience knocking against you.

TO BE CONTINUED

YOU AND THE LAW —-With Dupe Ajayi Derogation from fundamental human rights on sedition The Scenario OR every general rule, there is an FFundamental exception. The enjoyment of Human Rights is not left out of the application of this law of nature. Hence, the fundamental human rights listed under chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and those listed under the African charter on Human and People’s Rights are subject to a number of limitations, restrictions or as it is commonly referred to, derogation. The reason for the derogation is not far-fetched. The protection of human rights is first and foremost in the interest of the individual and general members of the society especially as a form of safeguard from the members of the society who are in possession of force and might and may tend to abuse same by deploying it at their whims and caprices. As one of the 19th Century English Judges, Lord Atkinson put it, “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It should be noted that as absolute power corrupts absolutely, so also absolute freedom can be intoxicating absolutely. Thus guaranteeing fundamental human rights in absolute terms is a recipe for chaos and anarchy and that will be counter-productive. Accordingly, section 45 of the 1999 constitution makes an omnibus provision dealing with derogation on the rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The section provides thus, “nothing in sections 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of this Constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society (a) in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or (b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.

Section 45(2) equally provides as follows: “An Act of the National Assembly shall not be invalidated by reason only that it provides for the taking, during period of emergency, of measures that derogate from provisions of sections 33 or 35 of this Constitution, but no such measures shall be taken in pursuance of any such Act during any period of emergency save to the extent that those measures are reasonably justified for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists during that period of emergency”. Some of the provisions of the Constitution that guarantee fundamental human rights contain immediate derogation from the very rights they guarantee. The import of this provision is that there can be no derogation from the very right guaranteed under the Constitution unless there is a law passed to that effect. Secondly, the derogation has to be in the interest of public safety, order, health, security etc. An interesting issue that may arise from the provision of the law above is whenever there is an Act of the National Assembly or a law of a State that derogates from any of the fundamental human rights, who or what determines whether that law is reasonably justifiable or it is made in the interest of the public. Prof Ben Nwabueze expressed the opinion that in view of the opening phrase of the section, there is presumption of validity in favour of such a law, thereby placing the burden of proof on whoever asserts the contrary. See Nwabueze, B. O. A Constitutional History of Nigeria, (London: C. Hurst and Co Ltd. 1982). P. 18. The preferred alternative however is that the protection of the rights stipu-

lated under the Constitution is the general rule while derogation of whatever nature is the exception. Therefore, the onus of proving that a law is reasonably justifiable and that it is made in the public interest lies on the authority that made the law. See Osita Ogbu, Human Rights Law and Practice in Nigeria, 19999, Enugu, Nigeria, p 223. An example of the provision of the law that derogates from fundamental human rights guaranteed under the Constitution is section 51 of the Criminal Code Act, cap 57 LFN, 2004, which prohibits the altering, printing, publishing, selling, distributing or reproducing of any seditious words or materials. It should be noted that the above section is a derogation of the provision of section 39 of the 1999 Constitution on the Freedom of expression to disseminate information, ideas and opinions. The pertinent question is, is this provision reasonably justifiable in a democratic society? The answer to this question depends on what interpretation is given to the word, ‘seditious’. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 7th Edition, ‘sedition’ which is the noun derived from the adjective ‘seditious’ means, ‘the use of words the words or actions that are intended to encourage people to oppose a government’. What constitutes seditious publication came up for determination in DPP v Chike Obi (1961) All NLR, 186. In that case, the defendant was charged for the distribution of a seditious publication in form of a pamphlet entitled, The People, Facts You Must Know, with the following content, Down with the enemies of the people, the exploiters of the weak, the oppressors of the poor! The days of those who enrich themselves at the expense of the people are numbered. The common man

in Nigeria can no longer be fooled by sweet talk at election time only to be exploited and treated like dirt after the booty of office has been shared by the politicians. The Supreme Court found the defendant guilty of sedition by the publication of those words. Conversely, in State v Ivory T r u m p e t Publishing Co Ltd (1984) 5 NCLR, 736, the charge against the defendant was the publication of an article titled, Before the Battle, with an intention to bring hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the person of the then Governor of Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo. The publication in question reads as follows: he has been keeping and spending party money without giving account and has in the past three months paid staff salaries direct through the Secretary and has refused to pay the Chairman. We have called him to give account of election expenses, more particularly the foundation membership certificate signed by D. G. Mbanugo. He does same in the women’s wing through his financial emissary. Nearly 2 Million Naira has been paid to him from sales of Premier beer. He has not paid the money into party account nor rendered a statement to the executive. In holding that the above publication is not seditious, Araka J, held,

“ I feel no doubt that any construction of the law on sedition in this country should be against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debates on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide-open and that it may well include vehement, caustic and unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials”. In our view, it does not serve the public interest to narrow down the meaning of sedition to a publication that criticizes the government or a government official or makes allegation against the government or any of its officials or a publication that has a great adverse effect on the government. A publication that is critical of the government and is so incisive as to create a general negative impression of the government should not be considered seditious so long as it does not contain incitement to violence against the government.


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Sports Keshi drops five Eagles ahead Mexico friendly • Team departs for U.S. today From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja Eagles Chief Coach, Sto UPER Stephen Keshi is expected drop about five players  as the team prepares to depart Frankfurt today for the international friendly match against Mexico in Miami, Florida, U.S. Super Eagles’ Team Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Atta told The Guardian from the team’s Novina Hotel camp in Frankfurt that about 20 players are currently in camp, adding that the players have intensified their efforts to convince the coach that they deserved to be in the team. He added Efe Ambrose and Ogenyi Onazi, who were permitted to stay back and help their clubs in their separate FA Cups, were expected in camp today. Attah confirmed that Mikel Obi, Kalu Uche, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Fengor Ogude have officially pulled out from the friendly, assuring that only Uche and Moses will be out of the entire busy June

season, while Mikel, Musa and Ogude have notified that they would be fit and available for the World Cup qualifiers and Confederations Cup respectively. He disclosed that Keshi would release the names of players chosen for the Mexico friendly after dinner today, adding that about five players will remain in Frankfurt, while the rest will travel to the United States for the international friendly match. “Ideye Brown will join the team in the U.S.A. Right now, we have a total of 21 players in camp and we had two hours training session this morning.  “But not all the players in camp will make the trip to the USA for the match against Mexico. Some will be dropped, but they will remain in Frankfurt and wait for the next phase of the preparation for the World Cup qualifiers,” Atta stated. The team was expected to play a friendly against an Adidas selected side, and fly to Florida today from Frankfurt.

NBBF invites 12 players for Afrobasketball Championship By Adeyinka Adedipe WELVE home-based players started camping yesterday in Abuja ahead of the African Nations Cup Afrobasketball for men. The players invited from Savannah Conference are Stanley Gumut of Markmentors, Ohiero Michael (Markmentors), Abubakar Usman (Kano Pillars), Mathew Onmonya (Kano Pillars), Abdulwahab Yahaya (Markmentors) and Mohammed Baba Shehu (Niger Potters). Players invited from the Atlantic Conference are Edem Ekpenyong (Union Bank), Atisele Victor Ozoemena

T

(Royal Hoopers), Balogun Kayode Olakunle (Islanders), Ojougboh Nkem Nkechukwu (Comets), Ugo Victor James (Comets) and Azuoma Dike  (Dodan Warriors). The men’s team coaching staff are Ayo Bakare  (head coach), Sani Ahmed (assistant coach), Ayinla Johnson  (assistant coach), Abdulrahman Mohammed (assistant coach) and Ogoh Odaudu. The women’s team will be headed by Scott Nnaji, Lateef Erinfolami (assistant coach), Adewunmi Aderemi (assistant coach) and Emmanuel Odah (assistant coach). The players are expected to leave for their clubs on Thursday.

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (left); and Governor Uduaghan of Delta State (second right), applaud as the Captain of Ogedegbe Primary School, Warri, Obukowho Sheriff, lifts the Channels Kids Soccer Competition trophy on Children’s Day at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

French Open

Edgy Nadal stumbles through after Brands test ITH a piercing flat foreW hand and a serve launched from high in the Parisian sky, Daniel Brands laid out a blueprint for how to upset clay court king, Rafa Nadal, in his own backyard. For the best part of two sets on Court Philippe Chatrier yesterday, Nadal was lost for ideas and looking up into the ether for a drip of inspiration to help him fathom a solution to Brands’ hard hitting, heavypressure tennis. It was not the first time the seven-times champion had been shaken by a big server with the hammerhead approach shot. American John Isner led Paris’s imperious matador by two sets to one in 2011 while the Spaniard’s only defeat in 53 previous matches at Roland Garros came in 2009 at the hands of Robin Soderling, who was a honed and refined version of Brands. It also bore a striking similarity to the way Lukas Rosol sent Nadal packing in the second

Eagles former Captain, Segun Odegbami; Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, MasterCard, Omokehinde Ojomuyide; Vice President, Marketing, Sub-Sahara Africa, MasterCard, Tarek Abdelnabi, and Bolton Wanderers’ former captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, at the UEFA Champions League 2013 final fan viewing experience hosted by MasterCard at the Eko Hotel Conference Centre, Lagos… on Saturday.

round at Wimbledon last year, firing huge forehand winners under the roof lights of Centre Court. While the German, ranked a modest 59 in the world having lived out the majority of his tennis career in relative obscurity, eventually succumbed 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3, he laid out a road map for others to follow. “I think if you play against Rafa you have to play aggressive from the beginning,” was the

German’s simple take on how to trouble Nadal. “Just try to put some pressure always. I think that’s the main goal. If you can do this, I think you have a chance to compete against Rafa. “I was trying to hit with a lot of pressure to break his rhythm. I did it quite well until the third set.” Having entered the tournament on the back of a 15-match winning streak with five titles

won on clay in 2013, Nadal is an overwhelming favourite to win a record-extending eighth French Open title. Unsurprisingly, he was keen to play down the fact that his opponent may have stumbled upon a tactical device to shake him out of his comfort zone on clay. What fans witnessed was merely a player who had decided to come out swinging and for a brief period, pulled it off.

Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup

Del Bosque wary of Nigeria, Mexico, names provisional squad By Christian Okpara, with agency reports PAIN Coach, Vicente del Splayers Bosque has warned his to be ready for the battles of their lives if they hoped to add the Confederations Cup to the World Cup and European Championship’s titles in their custody. Spain is drawn in the same group with Nigeria, Uruguay and Tahiti in the first round of the Confederations Cup. The world champions was beaten in the second round of the competition four years go in South Africa, and Del Bosque says the same fate might befall them if they did not gird their loins well. Looking ahead to the tournament, Del Bosque told FIFA.com: “Not only are there four world champions, but there are countries who are Olympic champions like Mexico and African champions like Nigeria. Japan is one of the countries, who have

made great progress and any of the teams could be uncomfortable opponents. We will try to be at the level we need to be.” Spain’s first game is against Uruguay in Recife on June 16.  Four days later the reigning world and European champions play Tahiti in Rio de Janeiro, before taking on Nigeria in Fortaleza on June 23. Group A comprises hosts Brazil, Italy, Mexico and Japan. Prior to the tournament, Spain has friendlies against Haiti and Republic of Ireland in the U.S.A. Del Bosque has admitted he was left with a virtually impossible task to find a place in his provisional squad for all the players who deserved to be called up. He named a 26-man preliminary squad for the tournament in Brazil next month, with three players set to drop out following this weekend’s final round of La Liga fixtures. Fernando Torres and Javi

Martinez have both been recalled, while Javi Garcia, Benat Etxebarria and Roberto Soldado are also in the provisional group, along with captain Iker Casillas, who has not played for Real Madrid since January. A number of hopefuls were left disappointed, though, including Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo, who was a member of Spain’s UEFA EURO 2012-winning  squad and has scored 21 league goals this season. “It’s almost impossible to have every player who merited a place,” said Del Bosque. “(Cesc) Fabregas, (David) Villa, Torres and Soldado are our four strikers. You could just as easily ask why we didn’t include (Imanol) Agirretxe, Iago Aspas, Michu. “We can’t bring in everybody. We’ve deemed it fit to call up Soldado because he’s had a great season. We’ve called up those players, who are going to help us have the best tournament,” he said.


THE GUARDIAN, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SPORTS

Pellegrini mulls Man City ‘option’ EPARTING Malaga boss, D Manuel Pellegrini has described taking the Manchester City job as “an option.” The Chilean has already confirmed he is to leave Malaga at the end of the season and has been widely tipped to take over from Roberto Mancini at the Etihad. And speaking after the Spanish club’s last home game of the season on Sunday night, a 3-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna, Pellegrini admitted City is in his thoughts. “I am lucky to have good options and Manchester City is an option,” he was quoted as saying on marca.com. City sacked Mancini after

the club failed to kick on from their Premier League title win last year, with performances in the Champions League particularly disappointing. Speaking on the club’s tour of the United States, Chief Executive, Ferran Soriano said recently that City would be targeting five trophies in the next five years under their new boss. City have not yet confirmed the 59-year-old is the man they want but, when asked, Soriano did nothing to deny the intense speculation linking them with the Chilean. Pellegrini, also a former Real Madrid coach, has taken both Malaga and Villarreal to the latter stages of the Champions League while

earning plaudits for his style of play and man-management. Soriano said, “I think the boxes are right. You know what we want. The analysis of the candidates goes beyond the results that we can see. Age is not relevant at this point, but with the kind of squad we have, we want a senior manager. “We want a manager who knows about football but we want somebody who knows about man management and this is something we are convinced about - myself, the board, the owner - that it is impossible for us to win, win the Champions League, if we don’t have a group that behaves like a family.”

Neymar will improve Barcelona, Rosell admits ARCELONA President, B Sandro Rosell has little doubt that Neymar will prove to be a valuable addition for the Liga champion. The Catalans announced at the weekend that they have reached an agreement with Santos over the summer transfer of the 21-year-old, who will sign a five-year deal on Monday, and Rosell is confident that Neymar will strengthen the team. “Each year we try to improve the team and we believe that Neymar can help us with our style (of play), even though this year has already been fan-

Neymar

tastic,” Rosell told TV3. “We don’t sign players to mess people around, we do it to improve our team even more.” The Barca president then went on to say that the club has yet to set a date for Neymar’s official presentation as the attacker will play with Brazil at the Confederations Cup.

Cavani silent on transfer speculations APOLI striker, Edinson N Cavani continues to read little into the ongoing speculation regarding his future. With the summer transfer window soon to throw open its doors, rumours are intensifying as to where Cavani will be come the end of August. The Uruguay international is among the most sought-after front men in European football - having taken in productive spells in Serie A with Palermo and Napoli. He has become accus-

Moses, Torres, others counsel youths at Samsung’s Dream the Blues By Olalekan Okusan UPER Eagles star, Victor Steam-mates, Moses and his Chelsea Fernando Torres, Oscar and Juan Mata have described the Samsung Dream the Blues Campaign has a worthwhile experience for kids. The quartet, who are Dream the Blues ambassadors were excited about the efforts being made by Samsung to expose the 14 youths drawn from seven countries to be part of the exercise held at Stamford Bridge. The Dream the Blues Campaign is Samsung’s corporate social responsibility initiative aimed at supporting and motivating youths to discover and expand their potentials through football. Among the 14 kids, Jeb Mallam and Moses Magnut represented Nigeria, while 12 others were drawn from Brazil, China, Ghana, Mexico, South Africa, and Thailand. After training and mentoring sessions with the boys at Chelsea’s training pitch, Spaniard Torres said, “it is wonderful to have the chance to play with the kids. I think the chances that Samsung

“We have to talk it over with the Brazilian federation,” he said. “We’ll present the player as soon as possible. The important thing is that we have an agreement.” Neymar had also caught the attention of Real Madrid, but eventually opted to join Barcelona in a deal worth 28 million euros.

and Chelsea Football Club give to them are huge. I wish I had this chance when I was a kid.” Nine year-old Mallam is from SOS Village, Abuja, while 13 year-old Magnut is from Compassionate Home Orphanages in Lagos. An excited Magnut said, “my life has changed forever. I know now, for sure that all my dreams can come true. I will never forget this moment.” According to the Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Bravo Kim, “we are proud to continue our support for the dreams of the youths through football experience. Samsung believes in supporting and motivating youths to discover and expand possibilities for themselves. We hope this camp in London is a meaningful step and a great opportunity for the participants to come closer to their dreams.” The meeting with Torres, Moses, Oscar, and Mata inspired Dream the Blues team to beat Chelsea FC Foundation youth team to the delight of their parents and chaperons; their biggest

tomed to fending off endless rounds of gossip, with each passing window bringing fresh reports of bigmoney bids. Cavani insists he is paying no attention to the latest rumours, with his focus locked on events at Napoli until told otherwise. He told Ovacion Digital, “Real Madrid, Chelsea and (Manchester) City are interested in me? I just think about Napoli. “If an important offer were to come in, I will talk with president (Aurelio) De Laurentiis. I’m fine in Italy, I have grown as a man there and as a player with the Serie A experience.”

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110 SPORTS

17 clubs ready rumble as Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tourney gallops off By Christian Okpara HE Fifth Chukker Polo T Club, Kaduna, now wears a new look waiting for the arrival of horses and players billed to feature in this year’s Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield polo tournament, the organisers have said. The competition is in its sixth year, and according to officials of the club, this year’s event promises polo lovers the best of times with 17 clubs already confirmed for the competition. Speaking on the preparation for the competition yesterday, Manager, Fifth Chukker Polo Club, Babangida Hassan disclosed that clubs from across Africa, U.S.A and Europe would feature in the tournament, which kicks off tomorrow, adding that the teams are already on ground waiting for the matches to commence. He said the club, which has already become a tourism option for polo lovers across the world, has put together some events to entertain the players and teams, as well as, visitors to Kaduna.

According to Hassan, “in the country for the competition is the Work-to-ride, a team of vulnerable street kids from Philadelphia, U.S.A, who are in the country to play against Nigerian children. “We also have the students of American University, Yola, in the UNICEF Cup. There is also the Access Bank Cup, which features nine teams of professional players…these are some of the best players in the world some of who are up to +7 and +8 categories. “I want to assure all polo lovers that they would be treated to best of the game in an environment conducive for family and corporate enjoyment.” Also speaking on the competition, Access Bank’s Executive Director, Private Banking, Victor Etuokwu disclosed that the bank sponsors the competition because of the similarities in the tournament’s objective, including its campaign against the HIV/ AIDS pandemic, and the appreciation of the contribution of the Kaduna Royal Family to the development of polo in

Ahmedu, zonal reps fault NBBF election procedure, threatens legal action By Adeyinka Adedipe baffled by the way SwereTILL the federations’ elections conducted, Proprietor of Dodan Warriors Basketball Club, Sam Ahmedu and the zonal representatives have vowed to use all means available to correct the anomaly during the election. Ahmedu said the National Sports Commission (NSC) breached his fundamental human right by denying him the opportunity of being on the board despite meeting the requirements. Showing a letter written to the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) by FIBA Africa and signed by the Secretary General, Alphonse Bile, Ahmedu stated that he was cleared alongside Muktar Khaleh as elected members of FIBA Africa. He said he was taken aback when a letter signed by Khaleh said he was nominated and not elected contrary to what the African body, which said he was elected in 1997 as president of FIBA Africa Council of Marketing and also a member of the central board. “What Khaleh’s letter has done is to slander me and portray FIBA Africa as a corrupt body. He is saying that FIBA Africa’s letter is fake and I am also not happy that I was not given the right to defend myself before being omitted from the board. “I believe the ministry has not been fair to me and its painful that those that orchestrated this move against me are people I respect so much. If we failed

to solve the problem through every administrative procedure, I have resolved to take the case to court to ensure I get what is due to me,” he added. Babs Ogunade, who spoke on behalf of the zonal representatives, said it was an aberration that people representing over 24 states of the federation were denied their rights in a strange election process. He said the four zonal representatives were the real stakeholders and it was a sad development that they had to stage a walk out when it was clear that the path had been cleared for the emergence of a particular candidate. “We are not fighting any individual but the fractured electoral process, which led to the emergence of the new head of the NBBF. If they didn’t want an election, they should not have come out with guidelines. What they did at the elections is like shifting the goal post when the game is on,” he added.   Ogunade also wondered why DCP Moses Jitoboh was taken to the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) when the Police authorities through a letter nominated him to be on the NBBF board. The quartet- Ogunade, Musa Kida, Igoche Mark and Osita Nwachukwu- are asking that the stakeholders onto the board of the NBBF be properly reconstituted with qualified persons and that the election that brought in the current leadership of the NBBF be annulled and a new one conducted.      

Nigeria. “In terms of similarities in objectives, as you are aware, Access Bank is a socially responsible institution with commitment to social and environmental wellbeing. The sponsorship provides the bank with yet another opportunity through its partnership with UNICEF and Fifth Chukker Polo Club to intensify the campaign against HIV/AIDS pandemic and care for over vulnerable and orphaned children in Kaduna.” Etuokwo disclosed that the over all winner of the tournament would get $20,000 as prize money.

Group Head, Commercial Banking, North, Speedwell Ngoka, Manager, Fifth Chukker Polo Club, Babangida Hassan, Group Head, Private Banking, Angela Jide-Jones, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Victor Etuokwu, and Tournament Manager, Adam Taylor, at the Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield pre-tournament press briefing held in Lagos…yesterday.


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TheGuardian

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Somadina Ibe-Ojiludu, OFM Cap HO ever imagined 15 years ago that Nigeria W would today be a hot bed for terrorism? The situation is so serious today that a simple googling of ‘Nigeria’ mostly yields frightening uncomplimentary news results. These feed international public opinion. Interactions with non-Nigerians show how the country is negatively viewed. For them, Nigeria is – to borrow from the Biblical book of Numbers (13: 32) – ‘a country that consumes its inhabitants’, a land flowing with violence and blood. Many of them consider all living in Nigeria great. Of course, they are right: imagine ordinarily surviving in such a violent environment! The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was founded in 1964 by the Arab League for ‘the liberation of Palestine’. The Arab league, obviously, did not classify it as a terrorist group. But PLO undertook some armed struggle against Israel. Thus, the United States and Israel viewed it as a terrorist group until 1991 during the famous Madrid Conference. The conference aimed at brokering peace not only between Israel and Palestine but also between Israel and her Arab neighbours. What of the now-revered Nelson Mandela? With his activities and membership of African National Congress (ANC), was he a terrorist? Among the South Africans, one’s answer to this was/is coloured by one’s membership of any of the sides in the apartheid environment. Back home here in Nigeria: few years ago, we experienced the activities of the Niger Delta militants. Principally, they targeted oil installations and kidnapped those with link to oil exploration. Perhaps only a few from the Niger Delta region or oil producing states agreed to dub these ‘terrorism’. But it was exactly that in newspapers and magazines in the Americas and Europe and in the minds of quite a substantial number outside the area. The above shows that defining ‘terrorism’ is a difficult task. What a group considers a terrorist act is viewed as a legitimate arm struggle by another. ‘Terrorism’ is a highly politically charged term. Thus, finding a generally accepted definition has eluded the most august of academic communities. Even the United Nations has no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Yet, we all know that

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The Nigerian youth and fight against terrorism ‘terrorism’ comes from the French ‘terrorisme’ which is rooted in or derived from the Latin terrere. Terrere, according to Casselles’ Latin Dictionary means ‘to frighten, to terrify’. The above brief etymological highlight shows that any activity which intentionally threatens people is terrorist. Inflicting physical or mental wound, killing and indeed any action that would further a ‘reign’ of terror are employed by the terrorist. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, therefore, rightly says that ‘Terrorism threatens wounds and kills indiscriminately’. Yes, terrorist activities are indiscriminate. They often target places that attract normal day to day activities: Churches, mosques, markets, car parks, restaurants, schools, buses, aircrafts etc. Every sane person agrees that no meaningful development can take place in such an atmosphere of insecurity. One wonders how much of investments Borno and Yobe states in NorthEast Nigeria have attracted since the beginning of the terrorist campaign in the area. What one sees instead is the withdrawal of businesses, and this only yields further poverty in an area already impoverished. Such poverty makes the land more fertile for recruitment into terrorist activities which will further worsen the security

situation. We see thus a dangerous perpetual cycle. Is there any role for the youth in checkmating terrorism? The youths cannot, like Pontius Pilate at Christ’s trial, wash away their hands, thus throwing the responsibility on the government’s shoulders. It is often very easy to put every blame on the government. Please, get this writer right: No one is here denying that the most fundamental function of every government is security of life. Freedom of movement, freedom of worship/conscience, right to descent housing, right to being fed and fed well etc are all dependent on life. Only a living person enjoys these rights. Thus, securing life is the number one duty of the government. But this is not an invitation to complacency on the part of the youth. All over the world, terrorism appears youthdominated. And this is largely because of the juvenility factor in propelling violent-oriented activities. Old people do not usually fight! By practising true religion, the youth begins to see terrorism as less attractive. The society, therefore, needs religion. As a matter of fact, most of the laws followed in the society today are based on religious principles. This writer is not ignorant of the hackneyed belief of some that religion does

not necessarily make one good in the society. But there is no much scholarly dissent that religion has provided many of the principles upon which good laws are based. The logical conclusion from the above is that today’s society could be different without religion. Since many of today’s good laws are based on religion, a deep religious inclination would naturally breed respect for laws of decent living in the society. Many of these laws discourage violent tendencies. Venerated saints of the Catholic Church, for example: St Francis of Assisi, St Anthony of Padua, St Clare etc, are so venerated because of their practice of love, among other virtues, to a heroic height. A youth who practises true religion, therefore, is a model and preacher of good neighbourly love. Also, we are in an era of youth-led digital revolution. The Internet and social networking apps are the platforms for expressing this revolution. New found expressions like facebooking, tweeting, blogging, emailing etc are pointers that the world would not remain like it was 15 to 20 years ago. The correct use of these modern social communication media by the youths would go a long way in the building of bridges among people. This reduces communication gap arising from different leanings, thus making resorting to violence a remote possibility. Through the digital world, therefore, the youth can build a culture of tolerance. In addition, the Internet and digital social networking are modern squares for marketing products and services. This explains, for example, the rise in online trading. But the Internet and social networking apps can also be channels for ‘marketing’ ideas. According to a popular saying, ideas rule the world. By constantly offering ideas of peace, tolerance, love etc in the digital environment, the youth can really transform the society. It is enough to think of the success – in terms of increase in demand for goods/services – of the repetitive pattern of advertising jingles in the world of commerce. It is, therefore, clear that the Nigerian youth is far from being passive in the campaign against terrorism. He has a role in making our society an oasis of peace and security. God save Nigeria! • Ibe-Ojiludu, OFM Cap, a Catholic Priest of the Capuchin Franciscan Order, wrote from 3 Junction, Nkwele Ezunaka, Anambra State.

Will modern slavery really end in Nigeria? By Dami Adeoye The desire expressed by the House of Representatives late last year that it wants the Executive arm of Government to urgently address the issues of casualisation, contract staffing and expatriate quota was lauded as a step in the right direction. Months later, this wish many hoped would help curb these issues that have been described as slavery in modern times is still a mere desire as there is no significant change. N retrospect, Nigeria’s story depicts that of the Midianites reaping from the sweat of the IIsrealites in the Bible. This is because many people wonder why the citizens of a country with vast wealth should continue to wallow in abject poverty, considering the fact that each of the 36 states of the Federation is blessed with one or more mineral resources. Foreigners also wonder why Nigerians emigrate in droves abroad to become hewers of wood and drawers of water; citizens of a country where they come to live like kings and queens. Not a few thereby heaved a sigh of relief when the House of Representatives announced sometime late last year that it wants the Executive arm of government to quickly address the issues of casualisation, contract staffing and expatriate quota which continue to rear their ugly heads due to the high rate of unemployment and poverty in the country. Casualisation is a form of work practice whereby a person works without the full benefits an employee is entitled to get; he only gets stipends agreed on with his employer at the outset of employment. The alarming rate of unemployment in the country, and the despondency resulting from inability to afford a good standard of living lead people to become casual workers as a last resort. Also, some in a bid to assuage hunger and avoid idleness earn stipends barely able to sustain them. A majority of these workers endanger their lives working in factories where chemicals that are inimical to their health are used. In the occurrence of an accident, no proper or adequate medical care is given to them since they are not recognised and given the full benefits entitled to an employee. There is no job security and they are often exploited and cheated through irregular salaries and responsibilities not aligned with their posts. They get laid off and replaced by the management whenever it suits them even if they have spent years working for the organisation. Their employers threaten them with the situation of unemployment in the country,

and they are reminded at every given opportunity that they are fortunate to be employed as casual workers in the first place. As a result, these workers conform to everything incongruous doled out to them for fear of being sacked; as they resolve to the sayings, “Half a loaf is better than no bread’’ and “beggars can’t be choosers.” In the same vein, there is no disparity between casualisation and contract staffing as far as exploitation is concerned. Contract staffs are regarded as third parties because their jobs are based on contract. A contractor deals with them directly and not the owners of the organisation. The contractor employs, trains and pays their salaries. They have no access to incentives given to a full member of staff of the organisation. They do not have a stake at pensions, gratuities, loans, staff buses, medical care, official houses and cars etc. They can also be retrenched at anytime by their employers because there is no job security unless fought by the company’s labour union. It is therefore not unusual to see labour union members clamouring for more benefits for these workers. According to findings, there is segregation in organisations that have contract staff and direct staff who are the recognised members of staff of the organisation. This breeds resentments in the work place which is not a good work ethic. Some local and foreign employers are guilty of maltreating their workers. In some multina-

tional companies, Nigerians are paid lower than their foreign counterparts. Foreign employers based in other countries may be aware of this or not. On the other hand, workers in these firms have accused their Nigerian bosses of complicity with the foreign ones, to rip them of their full benefits and entitlements. Discrimination in the workplace did not just start today; in fact, it has been on since independence. A foremost politician who experienced it had said, “While a foreigner could arrive and walk in to a furnished house, have a chauffeur-driven car on the first day of his employment, a Nigerian supposedly much more senior to him and quite obviously, much more qualified, must wait for six months to be confirmed before he could have a car loan - not even an official car. The question of company house did not even arise at that time for the Nigerian staff.” He went further by quoting his expatriate boss as saying, “This company belongs to us and our people. Its location in your country is a mere accident of geography. We’ll always do what we want to do here. And, mark you that will not change for a 100 years. People like you may read all the books in the world but companies like these were not founded by your people. If you cannot thank God about the opportunity we give people like you, you can do me the greatest pleasure of leaving my office.” Apparently, his boss was right because this scenario is still playing itself in the country today even as Nigeria prepares her centenary celebrations designed around key con-

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cepts of unity, indivisibility, virility, progress and promise of the Nigerian Federation. It also has the vision to project a progressive and respected nation eager to lead in world affairs. In Nigeria, a foreigner or an indigenous person with connections in high places that has a Diploma certificate could supersede a Nigerian staff with a PhD in the work place; with huge difference in their salaries. This kind of maltreatment may not end soon because most of the thriving multinational companies are owned by the elite and foreigners who have the expertise and advanced technology. Some years back, it was unheard of that graduates would be employed to do menial jobs. But today, they are gladly employed as gatekeepers, cleaners, drivers etc. This may sound incredulous yet it is true, especially when illiterate employers deride their educated employees that they wasted years studying. This pathetic situation makes one lachrymose considering the fact that parents strove to send their children to school. With the present situation of unemployment in the country, respite may not come soon for these graduates of a country that boasts as the Giant of Africa and one of the top producers of petroleum in the world. A lot of people have blamed these issues on government for not taking proper actions on stipulated laws, and the high rate of unemployment which leads to poverty and crime; the rigours and vagaries of unemployment have made many youths become vicious. One wonders what the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) is doing to make sure that laws governing exploitation of workers are well implemented even at the remotest work place. For example, the law says a worker should work for eight hours, but some employers make them work for more and if they complain, they are sacked immediately. “Casualisation and contract staffing should be eliminated. Expatriates working in the country encourage foreign investments which are good for the economy, but the quota should be checked so they would not mine all the gold and cart them away,” says Nini Smith, a social analyst. However, it is really tragic for someone to spend most of his years working for an organisation where there is no job security; no gratuity, and pension scheme or better still, nothing tangible to show for his years of labour. If this administration can put an end to these vile sufferings of Nigerian citizens involved, it would be a laudable effort.


Tue 28 May 2013 The Guardian Nigeria