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The promise of democracy 14 years ago… S if it were yesterday Dr. Anikulapo-Kuti, would have 14 years ago has been a boon or advance beyond 4,000 A Goodluck Jonathan was cried foul and shouted, bane? The Abuja people are like- megawatts in 14 years despite sworn in as elected president “demonstration of craze for ly to gather at the expansive Eatwo years ago. That too is within the context of the promise of democracy 14 years ago. Really, there is something to celebrate: Fourteen uninterrupted years of democracy. The legend, Fela

money.” Yes, more money for the Abuja people! Fela would have waxed a classic entitled, demon crazy! Is there any sense in which we can say democracy that the ruling PDP promised us

gle Square today to celebrate democracy. But there will be two giant electricity generators at the sprawling Eagle Square as a mark of achievement that the ruling party has not been able to

billions of dollars earmarked for electricity. We begin today a series of appraisal articles on 14 years of democracy and two years of GEJ’s administration. We are talking of our president whose men have started politi-

cal legwork for 2015 without democracy with the big housfear of the people who are ask- es, big cars, SUVs and trucks without big dreams, without More on Pages 6,9,10,11&14 big ideas? Some will say yes, some will shout an emphatic no! What are your own ing for critical infrastructure thoughts about 14 years of for our country 14 years after. democracy? We begin today Shall we really celebrate CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vol. 29, No. 12,571

www.ngrguardiannews.com

N150

Amaechi moves to quash suspension, heads to court • How Rivers helmsman rigged, by Suswam From Muyiwa Adeyemi(Ado-Ekiti), Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Madu Onuorah, Lemmy Ughegbe, Terhemba Daka (Abuja), Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos), Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt), Joseph Wantu (Makurdi) and John Ogiji (Minna) ETERMINED to quash his D suspension from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, may this week take his case to the Federal High Court, Abuja Division. The suspension was slammed on him by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP on account of his alleged CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Employees to pay more in reviewed Pensions Act

The three faces of 14 years of democracy or lack of it.

• Senate decries poor management of N2.93tr pensions fund

How ‘unforced errors’ dog democracy, by Soyinka By Kabir Alabi Garba, Yemi Ogunsola, Debo Oladimeji and Ajibola Amzat S Nigeria marks 14 years of Ademocracy today, Nobel

Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has described the nation’s democracy so far as one that has been hampered by “unforced errors”– that is, errors

that are quite avoidable if more care had been taken. He also alerted the public to terrorist cells long-established in the Southern parts of

the country through insidiroutes. cattle ous However, he insisted that May 29 is in no way Democracy Day but a mere “ego day”. June

12, according to him, remains the authentic Democracy Day. In an interview with The Guardian yesterday at his CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

• Rhodes-Vivour’s wife, daughter released • Delta unfolds model transport system for Warri – Page 4

From Bridget Chiedu Onochie and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja HE Senate yesterday enT dorsed a bill to re-enact the Pensions Reform Act even as it decried the appointment of poorly-trained and unprofessional individuals to handle the over N2.93 trillion accumulated pensions fund. Debating the bill entitled, “Bill for an Act to Repeal the Pensions Reform Act 2004 and Enact the Pensions Reform Act 2013,” and sponsored by Victor Ndoma-Egba, the Senate frowned that huge amount of money, which would have been channelled into financing infrastructural projects CONTINUED ON PAGE 4


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NEWS

Soyinka flays Jonathan’s policies, governors’ crisis CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 home in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the literary icon noted that in lawn tennis, from where he drew his analogy, unforced errors occur in moments of sloppy thinking and/or overconfidence. “There are many promises, first of all, unfulfilled. One, of course, is power (electricity), which is so essential to the generation of the economy… The problem till now has not been solved. There are many other infrastructure examples of that. It is scandalous, for instance, that the major artery that links Lagos to the rest of the country, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, remains in such decrepit state. It is a disgrace to any regime. Whether you talk of Yar’Adua or about Olusegun Obasanjo; it is humiliating for the entire nation. Nowhere else in the world can that happen. I repeat, nowhere else in the world, either on this continent or Asia or Europe.” According to Soyinka, such a disgraceful level of failure, in better climes, couldn’t have occurred without the culpable authorities “committing harakiri.” The eminent scholar also cited what he called “high-handed actions” totally unexpected from a democratically elected president. “I refer for instance to the action during the oil subsidy when suddenly armed police and the army were sent to take over a public square which does not even belong to the Federal Government but to a state where people were protesting a glaring deformity in governance…” Soyinka noted that in instances where it becomes inevitable to insert any “minuses” into citizens’ lives, responsible and responsive governments look for ways of compensating for such by including some pluses by way of palliatives. But this, he lamented, was ignored when the Jonathan Administration removed fuel subsidy back in 2011. “I said this confidently because I know that the president was advised at a time that

‘before you do this... do that and that and that. This wasn’t done. It was after the public rebellion broke out that things like transportation were introduced – buses were imported to be distributed all over the country. So that people like you and me will be quite happy to park our vehicle and take public transportation. This is what we are talking about the compensation pluses.” Soyinka came down hard on the Nigerian Governors Forum over the controversy that trailed its recent election, describing it as a ‘disgraceful’ anti-democracy debacle. “All of us must take a stand. For me, this issue is not a party matter, it is a national matter. This affects democracy. The governors, especially of the PDP have done great damage to the cause of democracy in this country. This is a disgraceful conduct. This in effect is their way of celebrating Children’s Day. In other words, this is their present for Nigerian children because there is no question that an election was held. To now suggest that a different result had been arrived at before the election is an insult to the intelligence, it is a sabotage of democracy and it is an act of contempt for the polity of this nation. “What is unacceptable and treasonable in my view to the cause of democracy is when an

ing at the moment. My favourite word is decentralization. Even if the centre is underdeveloping the nation, the governors have the responsibility to develop their own area – and they can do this by independent action, by decentralizing the process of development. We have seen how Lagos has been transforming itself. We have seen this kind of action also being taken by certain governors in terms of education, health, public transportation where the Federal Government has been dragging its feet.” While asserting that the emergency rule in force in three northern states of Adamawa, Yobe and Bornu, was long in coming, the professor of literature, citing discussions with the late National Security Adviser, Owoye Andrew Azazi, warned that insidious infiltration of the southern part of the country by terror groups, had been on for long through cattle routes that crisscross the region. He declared: “During my lecture at the 100th anniversary of King’s College about two years ago, I warned that there are already Boko Haram cells in the South. I used the expression that ‘we are all here speaking grammar. Until they come over the wall and scatter all of us, before we get serious’. I said that there are cells already ... Azazi confirmed it when we met. We

spoke for one and a half hours. Azazi revealed that we were being infiltrated via some of the cattle routes and this has been responsible for some of the clashes between the farmers that we have been witnessing and the ambushing of farmers in Oyo State in Ogbomosho even in Ogun State by Fulani herdsmen. “When we met, he was coming from the United States, where he had gone to negotiate some surveillance helicopters, because through a

number of these cattle routes, some of these Boko Haram people were already infiltrating into the South. The evidence is becoming quite open now and I don’t consider it a security matter any longer. People are waking up to the reality. When I go hunting, I move into the bush quite a lot. I see camps. I see cattle rearer settlements where they camp from time to time. It is some of those which have been, in many cases, converted to Boko Haram cells.”

Soyinka

How Amaechi rigged govs forum election, by Suswam CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 disobedience of the party’s regulations. The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, explained that Amaechi’s suspension was premised on a petition brought against him by the state chapter of the party accusing him of disobedience. But he said the NWC of the party had constituted an 11-man panel chaired by Chief Joe Kyrai-Gadzama (SAN) to investigate the said petition. It was learnt yesterday that Amaechi, who described his

The promise of democracy 14 years ago… CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 with the way the man called Baba in Abuja, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, promised us dividends of democracy 14 years ago! We also feature some articles from some of our elders, including the big man who set agenda for what the GEJ’s men call “transformation agenda” two years ago. Do you have a

election is held within an organisation of 35 members, the integrity of that election should be upheld as a service to democracy and as a lesson to the rest of the nation. In this case, what they have done has debased the meaning of democracy and set us back several years. “They are giving an indication of what will happen in the next election. And the nation, all of us, must be on our guard to defend democracy with the last drop of our blood because this is a very bad example to set for children everywhere that we are teaching discipline, who are being lectured all over the place by various governors to live up to the principle of equity, to be good players in school sports. To have done this on Children’s Day is blasphemous.” Declaring that true federalism is yet to be practised in the country, Soyinka urged governors to concentrate on developing their states in spite of whatever is happening in the centre: “That is why I say that the governors have the responsibility to push the envelope as far as they can. And to say sometimes to the centre: ‘go to hell. We are now concerned with our own salvation. We see you playing so much politics you have no time. Even to fulfill your responsibility to the state’.” He added : “The governors should also learn that they are in a position to act far more autonomously than they are do-

copy of the transformation agenda blueprint? Please, if you do, send us a copy to be printed this week. We will continue this week to publish thoughts of the people on 14 years of democracy and two years of GEJ in power. Enjoy your week and reflect on the way we are and send that to us at The Guardian. -Editor.

suspension from the party as “political witch-hunting”, had been in a closed-door meeting with a team of lawyers led by “one of the most respected senior advocates in the country on what legal remedy is available.” An impeccable source said that before the end of the week, a suit would be filed, seeking to quash the PDP’s decision. “The decision reached by the party’s NWC is clearly anti-democratic and borne out of illwill and malice to suppress, subdue and conquer the right to free speech and freedom of choice and personal convictions which the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended seeks to promote”, she stated. She added: “We are looking at the breaches of the governor’s constitutional rights to fair hearing and presumption of innocence occasioned by the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).” Two legal practitioners who spoke with The Guardian could not have agreed less as they described the decision of the NWC to suspend Amaechi even before the Gadzama-led committee has started its investigation of the petition against him as unlawful. According to Chris Atta, “Amaechi’s suspension without awaiting the finding of the panel is prejudicial and runs contrary to the provision of section 36 which guarantees the right to fair hearing of an individual. Even if he is guilty until he has been given a chance to defend himself, he should not have been suspended. “The suspension means that the governor has been prejudged as guilty of the allega-

tions in the said petition against him. I believe Amaechi should go to court because his constitutional right to be presumed innocent until otherwise proven has been breached”, Musa Inuwa stated. Amaechi said yesterday that it was only the PDP as a political party that could suspend a governor of a state in Nigeria without any justifiable reason. He, however, declared that he would not be perturbed if he was removed from office as history would vindicate him as a man who stood and fought for his rights. Amaechi stated this at the 2013 inter-party summit with the theme: “Inter-party relations as a panacea for peace and sustainable development in Rivers State”, organised by the Rivers State government in Port Harcourt yesterday. The governor stressed that Rivers people must come together to defend the state from external forces that are trying destabilise it. He said the crisis rocking the state was not about him and having served as a Speaker for eight years and a governor six years, if he was removed from office, he would at least be recognised in Nigerian history as a man who stood and fought for what he believed in.   “Somebody sent me a text and said my dear partyless governor:  It is only the PDP that has the guts to suspend a governor without a reason. But I will leave them to God and to you,” he said. Amaechi urged the people to make their own history by letting those in Abuja know that they could indeed stand up for their rights irrespective of political party affiliation. According to him, one way to become more politically assertive is to begin mobilising people ahead of 2015 in order to punish those

he referred to as irresponsible politicians with their votes. He stressed that the people of the state would not allow other people to intimidate them with police and soldiers. Also, the Association of Progressive Elites, Abuja (APE-A) yesterday decried what it called meddlesomeness of undemocratic forces outside the NGF as well as the resultant suspension of Amaechi from the PDP. Reacting to the suspension, the association condemned the ugly turn of events, saying PDP’s “high-handed decision is capable of destroying the NGF.” In a statement by its Chairman in Abuja, Odunze Darlington, APE-A accused the Governor Jonah Jang group of being bad losers, adding that their action “is a betrayal of trust, a rape of democracy as well as a show of shame.” The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaiye, also faulted PDP’s suspension of Amaechi and chided the party for playing “politics of terrorism and rascality.” In a statement, he said: “Amaechi has been suspended for his courage, popularity among his peers and for winning an election. Is this the way to celebrate democracy in Nigeria? Really, this is a practical example of politics of terrorism, politics of rascality.” The cleric expressed fear that some people were out to destroy the country at all cost by “adding to the man-made crises” being experienced in the country. Members of the civil society coalition in the North have expressed their support for Amaechi as the democratically- elected representative of the 36 governors in the country.

They have also urged Jang to refuse to do the bidding of those who may want to create political crisis in the country as a result of their ambition for 2015, by rejecting any offer to impose himself as the NGF chairman. A statement by the leader of the Northern Civil Society Coalition, Malam Shehu Sani, noted: “Governor Jang of Plateau State should stop parading himself as the chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum”, pointing out that “the outing and posturing of the governor is unbecoming of a state chief executive.” Sani, who is also the President of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC), said that it was unfortunate that Jang “has chosen to play the role of a devil advocate and an agent provocateur”, stressing that “it is obvious that the very Jang that is unable to restore peace and foster unity in his state has nothing to offer in the governors’ forum.” He insisted: “Nigerians recognise none other than Governor Rotimi Amaechi as the Chairman of the NGF. All those who are congratulating Jang are living in a world of imagination, deceiving and misleading themselves. Governor Jang has elevated his belligerent tendencies and penchant for disharmony and disunity to the national level. “Governor Jang is heading a fake forum of quislings, choristers, losers and stooges.” The Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI), the umbrella body of the about 1,560 participants of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, near Jos yesterday said it was “deeply saddened” by the crisis in the Nigeria Governors CONTINUED ON PAGE 4


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

News Minister defends cancellation of UTME results From Abosede Musari, Abuja INISTER of Education, Prof. Ruquayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i M has stated that the 16,000 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results that were cancelled was due to corrupt practices and other offences on the part of candidates. She vowed that there would be no sacred cows as the ministry works for the betterment of the education system. The minister spoke yesterday in Abuja at the presentation of the Teachers’ Guide for the teaching of the National Values Curriculum (NVC) in Basic Education, which was funded by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). “We shall be resolute in our decisions as there shall be no sacred cows. Nobody, no matter how highly placed will be allowed to get away with the breach of the law or perpetration of corruption and evil in our colleges and tertiary institutions”, she said.

Work on 700MWs Zungeru hydro-power plant begins From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja

• Jonathan assures on HYPPADEC bill

LMOST 32 years after, work A on the 700Megawatts (MWs) Zungeru Hydroelectric

the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu for the President to sign the amended Hydro Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), which has been passed by the National Assembly, Jonathan promised

power plant formally took off yesterday as President Goodluck Jonathan performed the ground breaking ceremony at the project site. And in response to the call by

that the bill would be looked into once he gets back to Abuja. Jonathan also announced that the challenges to private sector participation have been removed. He added that the various incentives such as a robust

regulatory framework, tax and cost holiday and cost reflective tariff for power sale have been put in place to attract more private investment to the sector. The construction of the plant is part of efforts to diversify the nation’s energy mix in the

Ex-Lagos gov’s wife, Foluke Mudasiru, dies By Joseph Onyekwere RS Foluke Asani Mudasiru, wife of the late Military M Governor of Lagos State, Air Commodore Gbolahan Mudasiru, is dead. She died on Monday, May 27 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States (U.S.) where she went for a medical check-up. She was aged 67. Until her death, Mrs. Foluke Mudasiru was the managing Chairman/President, National Institute of Management (Chartered), Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole (right); Senior Investment Officer, Manufacturing and Services, director of Adinyan Farms Africa Department, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Gravette Brown (middle) and Deputy President, National Institute of Management (NIM) (Chartered), Limited and the winner of the Dr. Nelson Uwaga at the NIM Corporate Breakfast forum held in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINOLU outstanding female farmer of the year 2007. She is survived by five children and grand children among whom are, Dr. Olaolu ceedings. If the ruling is motion wants the court to worst specie of the court.” Mudasiru, Olusola Mudasiru, By Joseph Onyekwere AMCON had secured a court against (Ogboru and others), declare that: “The acts of Tolulope Mudasiru, Mrs. order empowering it to thuggery, extreme hooliganI will proceed to hear the Openifolu Tejuoso (nee USTICE Okon Abang of the ism and outright lawlessness appoint a receiver/manager Mudasiru), and Mr. Oladapo Federal High Court, Lagos contempt application.” Joined in the contempt of the cited parties in violent- in the person of Kunle Mudasiru. yesterday said he will tomorrow decide if the Assets application are directors of ly breaking into all the prop- Ogunba (SAN) over the assets Management Corporation of Ogboru’s company, Fiogret erties in receivership in con- of Fiogret, which were used UNICEF gets N9b Nigeria (AMCON) can com- Limited. They are Turner junction with thugs, hood- to obtain a loan from for water, other mence with its contempt Ogboru, Victor Agbenrien, lums, area boys and all man- Equatorial Trust Bank (now proceedings against a for- Muibi Sunmonu, Mike ner of street urchins in spite Sterling Bank). projects in Nigeria mer Democratic People’s Ladesuyi, Roland Ogboru of the subsistence of a The loan portfolio had since By Chukwuma Muanya restraining order amounts been taken over by AMCON. Party (DPP) governorship and Raphael Uwhumakpor. After Ogunba had taken AMCON, in the contempt to grievous contempt of candidate in Delta State, HE European Union (EU) Great Ogboru for allegedly and United Nations flouting a subsisting order of Children Fund (UNICEF) have the Federal High Court, signed a five-year contribu- Lagos. tion agreement for a Rural The judge said he will on Water and Sanitation Project that day hear the motion for From Iyabo Lawal (Ibadan) and in Plateau, Ekiti and Adamawa stay of proceedings filed by Abosede Musari (Abuja) zlement of public fund has debunked insinuations states worth about N3 billion Ogboru and that if the N operative of the that it was not doing enough totalling N9 billion. as well as a four-year contribu- motion fails, AMCON could Economic and Financial in the probe of corruption At the resumed hearing of tion agreement worth about proceed with the contempt Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and the arrest of corrupt pubthe case yesterday, the proseN6.75 billion to scale up action. Ibrahim Ahmed yesterday lic officials. cution witness, Ibrahim improvement in maternal, Ogboru had filed a motion told the Federal High Court, Ahmed, who was lead in eviIn the same vein, the ICPC newborn and child health in seeking stay of proceedings Abuja, presided over by Director in Oyo and Ogun dence by EFCC counsel, Kebbi and Adamawa states. pending the determination Justice E. S. Chukwu that for- states, Mr. Olusesan Olukile Festus Keyamo said that in According to a statement of an appeal in respect of the mer Speaker of the House of yesterday identified discithe course of investigation, from EU made available to The matter. As a result, the judge Representatives, Dimeji pline as one of the most letters were written and sent Guardian yesterday, this is a fixed May 30, 2013 for hearBankole, used non existent pressing issues central to the to the Clerk of the House of follow up to the correspon- ing of the motion for stay of companies to divert public fight against corruption in Representatives, banks ding Financing Agreements proceedings. funds. where the House maintained the country. signed on April 30, 2013 Abang said: “I will issue a Meanwhile, the accounts, and the The former Speaker is facing between Nigeria and EU to bench ruling on the next Independent Corrupt a 16-count criminal charge Accountant-General of the strengthen their collaborative adjourned date after hearing Practices and other Related bordering on contract inflaFederation for the details of partnership and development the motion for stay of proOffences Commission (ICPC), tion and fraudulent embezthe releases made to the agenda.

amidst of uncertainty associated with thermal (gas) plants. The project will be the fourth major dam to be constructed in Nigeria and would be built at the cost of N162.9 billion with a completion period of four years. Similar take off ceremony for the 3,050MW Mambila Hydro Electric Power Project is also expected soon. The project is being financed through a long term credit from Exim Bank of China on a Debt Equity ratio of 75:25. This funding has been secured by the Federal Ministry of Finance at two per cent and the Federal Government has paid its equity portion of 25 per cent of the total fund, according to officials. Chief Representative of the consortium in Nigeria, Ju Shiquan said that construction work would commence immediately after the commissioning. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said: “Today, we have in place not just the designs, but the funding mechanism of all the major hydro schemes in the country. With the recent approval of $1.72 billion counterpart funding for the sector by the National Economic Council, not just for Zungeru, but Mambilla Dam in Taraba and Gurara 11 Dam in Suleja, Niger State will soon see the light of the day.’’

Court rules tomorrow in AMCON’s contempt charge against Ogboru

J

possession of the assets pursuant to the court order, Ogboru and his officers were alleged to have used thugs and street urchins to invade the premises, overpowered the security men and carted away several truck loads of fish to an unknown destination, despite an earlier advice to the contrary by trial judge, Justice Okon Abang.

T

Bankole used non-existent firms to divert funds, says witness ICPC denies alleged weakness over graft

A

Lower Chamber in respect of 2010 capital budget. Ibrahim added that a letter was also written to the DirectorGeneral of Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) for the current price of items mentioned in the petition against Bankole. Ibrahim further told the court that from the responses, the contractors were identified and a letter was sent to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), to verify the status of these companies.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

4 NEWS

Amaechi gets more support CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 Forum, calling on them to immediately put their house in order and refrain from any action that may threaten Nigeria’s collective security. Stating that “informal gatherings like the Nigerian Governors’ Forum is not a substitute to constitutional National Economic Council”, President of the Association, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Onoja (rtd), said that instead of unnecessary bickering, “all the postulations for 2015 should give way to good governance in 2013.” Onoja, flanked by members of the alumni executive, regretted that “the recent unfortunate outcome of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) election in which 36 governors could not count 36 votes is a setback for democratic process. Indeed, the incident that characterised the elections of the Forum deeply saddened the AANI. We strongly condemn the incident and wish to call on the governors to immediately put their house in order and refrain from any action that may threaten our collective security. “We, therefore, advise our leaders at all levels that the contestations, as good as they are, the ultimate remains public welfare and unity of Nigeria. We strongly recommend that governors have refresher leadership course in NIPPS, Kuru in Jos to enhance their capacity and broaden their patriotic and national look.” The alumni advised the governors to co-operate with the

Kidnappers release Rhodes-Vivour’s wife, daughter HE kidnapped wife and T daughter of Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour of the Supreme Court have been released, it was confirmed last night. Mrs Rhodes-Vivour and her daughter were abducted on their way to Benin on May 10, 2013.

President . The body expressed full support for the Federal Government’s declaration of state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, but noted that “there cannot be sustainable security without addressing the root causes of insecurity, unemployment, corruption and poverty. Part of the trillions of naira being spent on security can be proactively better invested in development which will in turn minimise the state of insecurity in the country.” Besides, the senator representing Plateau North, Gyang Pwajok, has stated that the fallout of the NGF election was not a threat to the survival of the PDP in 2015, adding that the party had the mechanism of resolving its internal problems. Speaking with journalists yesterday in Jos shortly after a peace parley between the Fulani and the native Beroms, the federal lawmaker said the logjam arising from the NGF election was part of the dynamics of politics and democratic process, stressing that such a disagreement was not new in a democratic setting. On his part, Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, denied spearheading a protest by militant groups in Port Harcourt who called for the removal of Amaechi as governor. While fielding questions from journalists yesterday at the State Police Headquarters, Mbu said that he was informed of the peaceful protest at about 5.30 a.m. the same day. He explained that immediately he got information about the protest, he deployed members of the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTC) to the Government House to contain the situation. Benue State Governor and Vice Chairman of NGF, Gabriel Suswam, alleged that Amaechi rigged to enable him to be declared as the winner of the forum’s election. Suswam made the claim during a live phone-in programme “On The Line” meant to answer questions from members of the public in commemoration of this year’s

Democracy Day on the stateowned radio yesterday in Makurdi. He further faulted Amaechi for making the position of chairman of NGF look like a birth right or do-or-die issue. “Being a governor’s forum chairman does not make him better than any of his colleagues. It was evident that Governor Amaechi printed ballot papers and brought them into the election venue, and the action of the governor shows that he is desperate for power.” Suswam maintained that because Amaechi had taken the NGF issue to be very personal to him, his colleagues had to say no and rather have Jang as chairman. Niger State Governor Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu said that he had no plan to decamp from the PDP and that governors of the party had no choice but to support President Goodluck Jonathan for the overall development of the country. Speaking for the first time after last weekend leadership crisis that greeted the NGF election in Abuja at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Zungeru hydro-electric power project in Niger State, Aliyu said he was loyal and not at war with the President and therefore appealed to other PDP governors to support the President towards the attainment of his vision for the country.

Senate decries poor management of pensions fund CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 and creating employment opportunities, were left in the hands of rookies. The new law, however, allows for upward review of the contribution rates by employees, raising it from 7.5 per cent of monthly salary in the extant law to eight per cent. The employer also has the discretion to pay additional benefits to the employee upon retirement. Other innovations include that it applies to federal, states, local councils and private sector organisations with as little as three employees or less, except judicial officers already exempted in the extant law under Section 291. Now, the Armed Forces, the intelligence and secrete service of the federation are equally exempted. “The chairman and members of the Board of Pensions Commission have been prohibited from owning or controlling any financial equity or other interest in any Pensions Fund Administration or Pensions Fund Custodian during their tenure of office and shall not be directors or shareholders in any pensions fund administration within three years after ceasing to be members of the board. The new law also proposed stiffer penalty for offenders, as such individuals will not only be sentenced or fined but shall also be made to re-

fund monies misappropriated and forfeit asset(s) obtained from the proceeds of any unlawful activity under the bill. “Contributions of the Federal Government and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to the retirement benefits of employees shall be charged on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and the Revenue Funds of the Federal Capital Territory respectively. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Establishment to look at how states and local councils could be brought under the new law, and is expected to submit report in four weeks. Urging his colleagues to support the bill, Senate President David Mark assured that the reform would ensure that only properly-trained individuals manage the fund, just as it will also save pensioners the rigours of accessing their benefits at retirement. “There is hardly any pensioner in this country who is not going through hell when he is accessing his contribution,” Mark said. “It is bad and we must do everything possible to make sure that those who have worked and contributed get their pension without stress.” In the lead debate, Ndoma-Egba informed that the new law, which successfully scaled second reading, would allow for a wider participation in the pensions scheme, timely remittance of pensions contribution, improved retire-

ment benefits, payment of retirement benefits as and when due, as well as strengthen the pensions commission to regulate the sector. Meanwhile, Mark lamented that the pensions scheme, which involves huge amount of money, is being managed by individuals who lack basic training and dynamism of funds management. He noted that it is a “very specialised area you cannot just wake up tomorrow morning and are appointed to manage.” “The national budget is N4.9 trillion and we have money in the pensions fund up to N2.9 trillion. So, you can imagine the amount of money at the disposal of few individuals who are not properly supervised, who have no training in management and who just dip their hands into it as and when they feel like.” The Senate has adjourned till Tuesday, June 4.

Mark

Delta unfolds model transport system for Warri ROM October next year, FneerWarri, the nation’s piopetroleum and gas industry hub, will have a new look as Delta State Government has concluded plans to  introduce the Bus Rapid Transit  (BRT) model in the ‘oil city.’ It is part of a radical transport development plan of the Uduaghan administration, which wants Warri to be the third city in Africa to develop the BRT initiative, after Lagos and Johanesburg.

State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan disclosed this at the on-going 60th Congress of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) in Geneva, Switzerland. UITP is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes as well as public transport supply, service industry and global advocates of sustainable mobility and promoter of innovations in the sector. It is a platform for worldwide co-operation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,400 members from 92 countries. Dr. Uduaghan, who was represented by Transport Commissioner, Ben Igbakpa, said the seven-month old idea from its conception, traffic surveys and feasibility studies, topographic surveys, detailed engineering designs to bill of engineering measurements and evaluation, would now be followed by award of contract, in July. Igbakpa added: “The Warri BRT scheme, which is personally driven by the governor, according to Igbakpa, is an expression of political will and recognition of the strategic importance of public transport on a large percentage of the populace, with its economic impact on the disposable income of the people. “With increasing population and economic activities, Warri is set to join the community of global cities with sustainable, integrated and affordable transport

system to meet its economic aspirations. “The project, which is aimed at creating jobs numbering in tens of thousands, would also through multiplier effect, require personnel and business transactions in the areas of traffic management and enforcement, bus shelters and terminals, segregated lanes constructions, public information/enlightenment, traffic signs and signals.” Also, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Planet Project Limited, a public transport development company, ‘Biodun Otunola, observed that the urgency of the project was premised on the assessed vehicular movement, which put the current traffic demand at 80,000 passengers per day on the four major routes. High occupancy vehicles, mini-buses and taxis are already put at 40 per cent of the total vehicles, carrying 76 per cent of commuters. He said that private cars have also increased from 25 per cent of total vehicles to over 50 per cent, carrying 30 per cent of the passengers due to the ban on commercial motorcycles and it is expected that the planned Warri BRT would capture a large part of this market. Otunola noted that the project was expected to commute 42,000 passengers per day at inception in 2014 and increase to more than 80,000 passengers per day in five years. Also at the UITP 60th Congress in Geneva, the President of Transport

Development Initiative, Ani Ojuyah, lauded Warri BRT project, which he said, could boost the state’s GDP by about 2.5 per cent yearly, create mass employment and enhance the on-going efforts at urban renewal. According to the governor, the project will induce yearly growth rate of five per cent in the state, as increase in transport infrastructure will boost the population, demand for more routes, buses, as well as employment. He said that the project would take off on the WarriSapele corridor and be extended to Jakpa, Udu and Airport Road in the subsequent phases. Uduaghan explained that the project would be financed by a combination of accruals from fuel subsidy removal fund (SUREP), bond issuance, statutory allocations and bridge financing. “This would be the climax of our on-going transport reform programme, which includes the delivery of Asaba Airport, introduction of 60 high occupancy vehicles (HOV), the purchase of 705 mini-buses (for city and inter-city transport), ban on commercial motorcycles for public transport, construction of 30 jetties, 30 bus shelters, four-mini-terminals, tw o-mega bus terminals, 12junction improvement works and setting up of Delta State Traffic Management Authority.” “We are really looking into  an integrated, flexible,  sustainable and cost-effective public transport solution for Warri, the state’s economic capital,” he added.


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kaduna House summons deputy gov over SURE-P From Bashir Bello, Kaduna ADUNA State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who doubles as the chairman of the Subsidy Re-investment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), was yesterday summoned by a nine-man ad-hoc committee of the state House of Assembly, to answer some questions over the implementation of the SURE-P programme in the state. The meeting between the deputy governor and the House ad-hoc committee on SURE-P held behind close-doors at the common room of the state House of Assembly, lasted for hours. Inside sources at the state House of Assembly disclosed that the deputy governor had earlier met with the nine man ad-hoc committee chaired by Irimiya Ishaku Kantiok, member representing Zonkwa Constituency and this is the second meeting.

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Arik crew-member charged to UK court over alleged drug possession From Tunde Oyedoyin, London RIK Air crew-member, A Temitayo Daramola, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrate Court charged

with possessing cocaine with a street value of £600,000, during the airline’s Lagos to London flight on the evening of Monday, May 20. Daramola was arrested by UK

Border officials on airport shuttle bus used to transport aircrew members after the plane had landed at Heathrow Airport. “The first hearing was on May

22 at Uxbridge Magistrate Court and she was in court today via video link,” one male staff disclosed. Before her case is transferred to a Crown Court where she will face a

Fidelity, GTB, four others for awards in Morocco By Chijioke Nelson IX Nigerian banks, Fidelity, Guaranty Trust, Access, Skye and First Bank, are among the financial institutions on the continent pencilled down for recognition at the African Bankers Awards holding today in Marrakech, Morocco. The awards, being organised by the United Kingdom (UK)-based African Banker magazine, are part of the highlights of the yearly general meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is currently holding in the North African country. The Nigerian banks are among 42 other African financial institutions nominated in various categories, with South Africa also with as many nominations as Nigeria. Fidelity is Nigeria’s only bank in the shortlist of five in the category of Most Socially Responsible Bank, out of about 56 entries, according to the organisers, who also disclosed that the judges were impressed with Fidelity’s Helping Hands Programme - the bank’s CSR platform in their various branches. GTB, which Chief Executive Officer, Segun Agbaje, is nominated as African Banker of the Year, is also in the shortlist for Bank of the Year on the continent.

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Sylva seeks court’s nod to travel abroad From Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja ORMER governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, yesterday prayed the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, where he is being tried for theft and money laundering, to grant him leave to travel abroad with his wife who needs medical attention. But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has opposed Sylva’s request, raising fears that the former governor might jump bail if allowed to leave the country. While presenting the request, counsel to Sylva, O.I. Olorundare (SAN), informed the court that Sylva’s wife was scheduled for surgery in a United Kingdom (UK) hospital on May 31, 2013, and required his presence in case urgent decisions need to be taken in the course of the operation.

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Media Relations Manager, Dana Air, Mr. Sam Ogbogoro (left); Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Tony Usidamen and Head, Commercials, Mr. Obialor Mbanuzuo, at a press briefing to mark one year of Dana Air’s plane crash in Lagos…yesterday PHOTO: SOLA OJEDOKUN

Six-year-old girl killed, as task force averts crisis in Plateau From Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos took the prompt intervenIofTtion of the police and men the Special Task Force (STF) on Monday to avert what could have been a bloody crisis in Mangu Local Council of Plateau State. However, a sixyear-old girl died instantly in the process from gunshot. According to an eyewitness, Mr. Moses Timchak, suspected armed robbers stormed Chichim, behind the Mangu main Police Station, at about 7.30 p.m. on Sunday shooting at random and robbing the residents of their possessions. When the shooting and other untoward activities persisted without any security agent coming to their aid, he said, a youth leader within the vicinity, Emmanuel Dabit, summoned courage and fired a shot in the direction of the suspected bandits, who quickly took to their heels and ran towards the bridge, about half a kilometre from the police station. However, early Monday morning, while the Children’s Day celebration was on, the police in Mangu arrested the youth leader, claiming that he was one of the suspects terrorising the residents, and that he illegally possessed fire-arms. He was consequently detained at the station. According to the account, his detention infuriated the Chichim residents who mobilised themselves to the police station demanding the

immediate release of the youth, but the police would not have that, thereby leading to confrontation. Timchak said: “They threatened to burn the police station, so some policemen took to their heels, and noticing that they were being overpowered by the angry residents, they called for reenforcement. “On their arrival, the police

started firing shots in the air to disperse the crowd, and as well ran to people’s houses nearby, beat them up and arrested some of them.” In the confusion that ensued, he said, “a girl of about six years old was shot in the chest and she died instantly.” At about 5.00 p.m. on Monday, the situation was said to have been brought under control, though up till now, nobody

knows the whereabouts of the youth leader. Spokesman of the Special Task Force, Captain Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha, said he was aware that there was a protest and that the situation was under control, while the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Felicia Anslem, denied knowledge of the situation.

jury trial, Daramola, 37, will make one final appearance before magistrates at the same court on June 4. Home Office Press Officer, Simon Alford, also confirmed to The Guardian yesterday that Daramola would be in court on June 4. In a statement he sent following The Guardian’s enquiry, he revealed that Daramola was in possession of six kilogrammes of cocaine and that the colleague arrested with her had been released without charge. Titled: “Air stewardess charged over Heathrow cocaine seizure”, it stated that “An air stewardess has been charged following the seizure of around six kilos of cocaine at Heathrow Airport. It is estimated that the cocaine, if cut and sold on the UK streets, could have had a potential street value of around £600,000. “37-year-old Temitayo Daramola was later charged with attempting to import a Class A drug. On Wednesday, May 22, she appeared before Uxbridge Magistrates where she was remanded in custody until her next court appearance on June 4. A second crewmember arrested at the same time as Daramola has now been released.” Another member of the court, a lady, told The Guardian: “It will be a live video link hearing. There will be a link to the court from her prison. She can listen to the hearing and make her statements. You will be able to see her on the screen, but she will not be physically in court.” When asked what would happen next after next Tuesday’s hearing, the lady responded, saying: “She will be committed to a Crown Court and there will be a jury trial,” due to the nature of the offence. When asked who would represent her then, The Guardian source replied: “I don’t know. She doesn’t have a legal aid,” which would have entitled her to a solicitor.

Civil society coalition urges N’Assembly’s sanction on Jonathan over AU speech From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief EMBERS of the Northern Civil Society Coalition have asked the National Assembly to sanction President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to address African leaders on the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Union (AU), saying that his position at the occasion was an embarrassment to Nigeria. Rejecting Jonathan’s excuse through the statement from his Media Aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, leader of the Northern Civil Society Coalition, Mallam Shehu Sani, argued that addressing leaders of the AU from various countries during the anniversary should have superseded the

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committee’s work, which drew the attention of President Jonathan during the session of African leaders. Mallam Sani, in a statement in Kaduna yesterday, said that “the reported failure of President Jonathan Goodluck to deliver a speech at the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Union stands condemned”, adding that “it is a serious national embarrassment and a historic blunder for Nigeria”. According to him, “it demonstrates the level of unseriousness and negligence on the side of the Jonathan administration. The Jonathan administration has succeeded in putting our name, our image and our history to utter disrepute”.

Noting that the 50th anniversary of AU was an important and historic opportunity for the President to showcase and put on record for purpose of history the catalogue of achievements and contributions Nigeria has made over the years towards the African cause, Sani, who is also the president of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC), said: “But we have missed this golden opportunity”. Said he: “The explanation given by the President’s men is untenable. It makes no sense that excuses should take the place of responsibility. There is need for a legislative inquest into the circumstances behind this gaffe”. “It’s unfortunate that in the

future, our children and grand-children will play back the tapes of the 50th anniversary without the official presence of our President in the podium. President Jonathan has succeeded in exporting and elevating the incompetence and ineptitude of his style of mis-governance to the continental level”. Mallam Sani stated further that “Nigeria’s Senate needs to summon President Jonathan to officially gazette his excuses for history and posterity. Nigeria has in the last 50 years played an outstanding role in the liberation and the development of the African continent. We must not allow a blunder of an outgoing regime to stain our image and belittle our achievement”.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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Glo greets Nigerians, hopeful of better country ROM the national telecoms Fcome operator, Globacom, has congratulatory message for the government and people of Nigeria on the 14th anniversary of democratic rule in the country. In a message to Nigerians on the Democracy Day celebration, Globacom’s Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO), Mohamed Jameel, said there was so much to celebrate as Nigeria marks the 14th year of its return to democratic governance. “Every young democracy will experience development challenges in certain aspects of life. We are happy that, despite such challenges, Nigeria has, in the last few years, made appreciable progress in its journey to nationhood,” he noted. Jameel said he was proud of the ability of Nigerians to weather the storm and remain one united country notwithstanding temporary security issues, adding that the foundation for the emergence of a truly great nation was being laid by government. “We are happy to be part of our young and growing democracy. The improvements made so far since the return to democratic governance in 1999, with the reforms in the political, economic, financial and telecommunication sectors, are necessary steps to steady growth,” Jameel stated.

Ben Obi’s wife, Colette, passes on HE families of Ejumudo of T Effurun in Uvwie Local Council , Delta State and His Royal Highness Late Igwe J. O. Obi of Awka town in Anambra State, have concluded the burial plans for their dear wife, daughter, sister, mother and grand mother, Deaconess Chief Mrs. Colette Ojirhomu Ben-Obi who passed on during a brief illness, on Sunday 14th April, 2013 at the National Hospital, Abuja. Left to mourn her are her husband, Special Adviser to the President on Inter Party Affairs , Ojeligbo Senator Dr Ben Ndi Obi, her children – Mrs Julia Azike, Mr Jushua Chito Obi , Miss Uchechi Obi, grand children and a host of relations on both sides. The burial plans are as follows:Tuesday June,4 , 2013 – Service of Songs at St. Matthews Anglican Church, Maitama, Abuja, 5pm – 7pm;Thursday June, 6, , 2013 – Christian Wake at Senator Ben Obi’s residence in Awka, Anambra State Time: 5pm – 7pm; Friday June, 7th 2013 – 10am Burial Service and Interment at Senator Ben Obi’s family compound at 9/11 Onwubuya Close, Off Court Road Awka, Anambra State;Saturday June, 8th, 2013 – Condolence visits continue;Sunday June, 9th 2013 – 10am Outing Service at St Faith’s Cathedral, Anglican Church, Awka, Anambra State.

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Atiku urges action on poverty, unemployment • Wants leaders held accountable ORMER Vice-President, FhasAlhaji Atiku Abubakar, identified the high level of poverty and unemployment as the greatest challenges facing the nation’s young democracy, advising that tackling them should be the focus of elected officials. He, however, urged voters to be vigilant and hold their elected leaders more accountable as a means of halting the seeming indifference to good governance issues. In a statement to mark the 14th anniversary of Democracy Day, the former vicepresident said the time has come for elected leaders to stop giving excuses and instead focus their efforts on transforming the lives of the people for the better in line with their mandates. According to him, the worsening state of poverty and unemployment and uncertain future are factors that feed the cauldron of pervasive insecurity in the country. Atiku admitted that as a

former elected political office holder, he felt embarrassed every time he was confronted by the pathetic level of poverty, unemployment, hunger and disease in Nigeria, despite the huge resources available to leaders to improve the living standards of its people. The former leader, who did not make any excuses for the government in which he served, said no serious and committed leaders would spend 14 years giving excuses for their failures to deliver and that blaming past military rule is no longer tenable. “The success of democracy cannot be measured in terms of how well the leaders live, but how well the voters are doing economically, socially and materially,” Atiku said. According to him, “there is a limit to which leaders could convince the people to remain patient, especially at a time the lifestyles of leaders create an island of opulence surrounded by a sea of alarming poverty.”

He said when the electorate entrusted the leaders with the mandate, they did so with the hope that democracy would become a veritable vehicle to change their living conditions. He argued that there was no justification why political leaders pay themselves fat salaries and allowances

while the people who put them into office barely live from hand to mouth. Atiku aligned himself with the opinion of the late Prof. Chinua Achebe whom he quoted to have said: “Nigeria is what it is because the leaders are not what they should be.” Noting that voters’ apathy to governance issues could seriously undermine the quality of democratic rule,

Atiku said unless voters insist on service delivery by elected leaders, elected officials may behave like lords rather than servants of the people. He reminded elected leaders at all levels that democratic rule is a sacred trust between the voters and the leaders and that once the leaders fail to perform, the bond of such trust weakens.

Arik Air makes air return over bad weather By Wole Shadare N Arik Flight W 3788 conveying over 100 passengers from Lagos to Asaba yesterday made an air return leading to panic by passengers. The flight which was supposed to take off at 8:30 am was delayed in Lagos on account of bad weather. Though travellers had boarded the flight, but after about 2 hours inside the plane, they were asked to go back to the departure lounge as the plane could not take off on account of what the pilot called “terribly bad weather at Asaba.” After about 3 hours,

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the flight was boarded again because weather reports showed improvement within the internationally accepted landing standards. By the time it was boarded again, many people who sensed the situation as warning from Providence had already cancelled their trips. On getting to Asaba, the weather became bad again. Attempts at landing was difficult. Not wanting to take chances the pilot promptly returned to Lagos. On reaching Lagos, the weather there had already gone very bad by   aviation standard.  The plane had to circle

around for hours amidst dwindling aviation fuel. It finally landed at 4:45 pm amidst signs of relief from traumatized passengers who clapped in jubilation. The pilot, Captain Sandy Miller merely told passengers to thanks their God for His  mercies when they got home. Speaking to aviation correspondents at the Domestic Wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Gov. Obi, who travelled to South-Africa on Sunday and came back yesterday to Lagos said he was determined to make the flight to Asaba en route to Awka because he did not like staying

Politicians have rubbished sacrifice of democracy heroes, says Fasehun • Opposes govs’ forum By Kamal Tayo Oropo and Gbenga Salau FTER a critical look at the 14 years of uninterrupted civil rule, the founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, yesterday accused politicians of rubbishing the sacrifice of the martyrs and heroes of Nigeria’s democracy. Fasehun, who listed some of the heroes as Chief M.K.O. Abiola, Gen. Musa Yar’Adua and Chief Anthony Enahoro, called for the scrapping of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), arguing that it lacks democratic, nationalistic or progressive value.

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In a statement yesterday to mark Democracy Day, the Chairman of the Committee for the Resuscitation of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) said it was also painful that the Federal Government has failed to immortalise pro-democrats like Abiola, his wife, Kudirat, and Enahoro for paying the ultimate price for the civil government politicians now enjoy. Maintaining that Abiola especially would be disappointed at how the democracy he sacrificed his life for has turned out, the OPC leader said many of those who have been in power since 1999 were either minding their private busi-

nesses or hobnobbing with Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Sani Abacha while the struggle for democracy lasted. According to him, Nigeria would have fared better and witnessed greater development had pro-democrats in the vanguard of the June 12 struggle taken over power in 1999. “The democracy we run today is the worst in Africa, and it is a shame that it does not match what obtains in Ghana, South Africa and even Liberia. I can tell you confidently that this was not what we had in mind when we risked our lives, our limbs and our livelihoods against the military,” he said. Fasehun demanded immortalisation and rehabilitation of

those he described respectively as the dead and living heroes of Nigeria’s democracy, including Enahoro, Alfred Rewane, Bagauda Kaltho, Abraham Adesanya, Chima Ubani, Gani Fawehinmi, Beko Ransome-Kuti, Frank Kokori, Ayo Opadokun, Dan Suleiman, Joe Okei-Odumakin, Col. Abubakar Umar and Comrade Shehu Sani. Expressing dismay at the rancour characterising last Friday’s controversial election that produced two discordant chairmen for the Governors’ Forum, Fasehun described the exercise as an international embarrassment that portended ill for 2015 and for the country. “If 36 esteemed state gover-

nors cannot manage a small and exclusive election amongst themselves, how can they supervise free and fair elections involving 70 million voters during the 2015 general elections?” he wondered. He called for its scrapping. Recalling that the governors had backed the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, Fasehun posited that the NGF over the years had become a cultic, hydra-headed monster, exercising a penchant for subsuming the people’s interests, arm-twisting the Federal Government, demanding more money and yielding negligible dividends of democracy not commensurate with the huge budgets at the disposal of the states.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NEWS 7

Three feared dead as anti-monarch protest rages in Ondo community From Niyi Bello, Akure

NCONFIRMED reports U indicated yesterday that no fewer than three

Public Affairs Manager, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Clement Iloba (right); Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Education, Fatai Olukoga; Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Library Board, Tajudeen A. Lawal and Chief Liberian, Herbert MaCaulay Library, Bogunjoko Taiwo at the presentation of 1,000 books to public library as part of Julius Berger CRS in Lagos… yesterday.

Police debunk rumoured death of Kwara poly student From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin. WARA State Police Commissioner, Oshodi Glover, yesterday debunked the rumoured death of a student of the state polytechnic in Ilorin who was shot in the leg on Monday by a suspected policeman attached to the escort of a bullion van. Oshodi, through the spokesman of the command, Olufemi Fabode, in a chat with The Guardian in Ilorin, has personally paid “a get well visit” to the student identified as Ahmed Tayo, an OND Accounting student of the polytechnic. Besides, the police boss, at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) where Tayo is receiving treatment, promised to offset the medical expenses to be incurred in the course of treatment of the student.

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Fani-Kayode dumps PDP for APC From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti ORMER Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, has renounced his membership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he described as a “sinking ship that cannot be salvaged”. The former presidential aide disclosed that he has joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) to collaborate with other progressives he said are serious to rescue the country from the precipice. “What Nigerians need now is to join hands with the APC leaders, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Bola Tinubu to move the nation forward,” he said. The former minister who spoke at the Government House in Ado Ekiti on Monday during a visit to Governor Kayode Fayemi, said he had to take the decision because he was not sure that the PDP was worth salvaging.

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NUC scraps ‘Pass’ grading in varsities From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin. HE National Universities Commission (NUC) has scrapped the ‘Pass’ grading in the nation’s universities. The implications are that, 44 per cent rather than the initial 39 per cent will now be the mark for assessing failure just as ‘Third Class’ will now be the least grade for graduation in all the universities. According to the Vice Chancellor, Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Prof. Abdulrsheed Na’Allah yesterday at the pre-convocation press briefing of the university, the directive would be easier to implement at KWASU as the university had started the grading system since establishment three and a half years ago.

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He said: “The KWASU had technically eliminated the pass grading by making 45 per cent the least scores for success. Even the NUC had recently given the same order to all the nation’s universities.” No fewer than 231 students of the institution are to graduate on Saturday, June 1 this year during its maiden convocation ceremony. According to Na’Allah, five of the graduating students made the first class grade, 59 made the Second Class Upper list, 145 made second Class lower list and 22 are in the Third Class degree. He said those who are not graduating together with their colleagues will not be included in the graduands’ list due to the Senate’s decision to ensure that they

remedied their areas of deficiencies before graduation. He said the university was established to engineer development and it has been doing that in due course. He explained that the university started academic activities on December 17, 2009 and that since then it has implemented the vision and mission of getting to its glorious level. He said in pursuance of the mandate of the university, it has established Malete film village, Rana Power Company, among others to support the students and the host community. Already, the Rana Solar power when perfected would serve as veritable source of energy for the host community and the institution.

Fashola, CJ task judges on justice, fairness By Tayo Kamal Oropo and Bertram Nwannekanma OVERNOR Babatunde G Fashola on Tuesday admonished judges in the Lagos State judiciary to be upright and fearless in the discharge of their duties. Administering the oath of office on six newly appointed judges of the State High Court at Alausa, the governor lamented that impunity has become the order of the day in the country where looters and electoral crimes go unpunished. He urged the new judges, who include Ms. Folashade Bankole-Oki, Mr. Michael Savage, Mrs. Sedotan Ogunsanya, Mr. Wasiu Animahun, Mrs. Oyindamola Ogala and Mr. Ganiyu Safari, to restore the dignity of the judiciary as the last hope of the masses as well as use their office to bring hope to residents of the state. According to Fashola, the appointment of the new judges was necessitated by

the increasing cases of crime in the state and the need for efficient dispensation of justice in the state. While charging the new judges to be upright and fearless, the governor said their appointment was a demonstration of his administration’s commitment to law and order. Fashola also reinstated his commitment to rule of law. “This administration’s commitment to law and order remains unflinching. We will continue to ensure that the growing cases of crime in the state is tackled by every legal means” he said. The Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, threatened to sanction erring and corrupt judges in the state judiciary. According to Phillips, the new judges, must be disciplined, live above board and take their oath of office seriously or face sanctions. “I am therefore urging you to take your oath with seriousness because you are ex-

pected to be disciplined, incorruptible and generally express maturity in all aspects of your lives or you will be sanctioned. You are to ensure justice and fairness to all concerned and live within oath of office of your hallowed office,” she said The chief Judge, who said the new judges were chosen in a transparent process, said their appointment which has been confirmed by the National Judicial Commission, now brings to 56, the number of judges in the state, 40 of whom are females while 16 are males. Expressing gratitude to the governor on behalf our her colleagues for finding them worthy of the new appointment, a representative of the newly appointed judges, Bankole-Oki said they would dispense justice without fear of favour. She assured the governor that they will ensure that the good reputation for which the state judiciary is known is not tarnished.

persons may have been felled by police bullets when violence engulfed the sleepy cocoa-producing town of Ile-Oluji, headquarters of Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Council of Ondo State as protests against the town’s monarch, Oba Suulade Adedugbe, entered the second day. Four other persons, including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the only police station in the town, were confirmed injured in the clash between the protesters and a detachment of police drafted to maintain peace in the community. The development has led to the paralysis of socioeconomic activities in the town as shops were closed and the few banks suspended operations to avoid mob attack. Hundreds of youths drawn from various quarters of the town on Monday night staged a demonstration against the monarch, alleging that he was blocking the progress of the community before invading the palace located at the centre of the town to demand that the traditional ruler vacate the throne he ascended 21 years ago. One of the allegations against the monarch is that he refused to allow the siting of a federal polytechnic in the community on the ground that the government may not be able to pay compensation for the thousands of economic trees that would be destroyed at the proposed location of the institution. He was also alleged to have received monetary inducements from the people of Idanre, another cocoa-producing town for moving the location to the town, an action the protesting youths consid-

ered unpatriotic. Although the monarch had to flee the town to avoid harm, a high chief who addressed the protesters said there was no truth in the allegation against the traditional ruler and that the youths were only acting on rumour which was being spread by enemies of the palace. Trouble, however, started when the police on patrol fired tear gas to disperse the protesting youths, and the youths retaliated. This infuriated the police and they shot sporadically into the air to disperse the mob. A source said, “some youths were hit in the process and some of the youths went inside their houses to respond to the police attack, at least three of the youths were feared dead while some of them who were wounded were taken to hospital in Ondo town for treatment.” Another source who said the police officer may have been wounded while the protesters staged a reprisal attack on the law-enforcers added that some of the protesters were arrested on Monday night and that trouble started when the mobilised youths assembled at the police station demanding for their release. The protesters were said to have attacked some of the officers who tried to explain reasons for the arrest. This infuriated the police who were said to have fired some shots at the protesting youths. However, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Wole Ogodo, who confirmed the development said no fatality was recorded during the incident. He said the police officer who was attacked by the mob has been hospitalised and that armed mobile policemen have been drafted to the town to restore normalcy. “We are on top of the situation to restore normalcy in the area,” Ogodo said.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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WorldReport 100,000 Christians die for faith every year, claims Vatican ONSIGNOR Silvano M Maria Tomasi, a top Vatican official, has claimed that around 100,000 Christians are killed every year for reasons linked to their faith and pointed to the Middle East, Africa and Asia as the biggest problem areas. Tomasi was quoted by Vatican radio yesterday as saying that the figures were “shocking” and “incredible”. He said Christians were also forced to leave their homes and see their churches destroyed in some parts of the world, and were often subjected to rapes, kidnappings and discrimination.

The Vatican official made particular reference to the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops near Aleppo in Syria last month. Religious freedom is beset by “sectarianism, intolerance, terrorism and exclusionary laws,” he said, while also pointing to exceptions like Bangladesh where he said rights are protected. Another senior Vatican figure, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Mario Toso, said recently that discrimination against Christians “should be countered in the same way as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”.

20 suspects plead innocence over U.S. embassy attack in Tunis U.S. President Barack Obama (right) greets people along the boardwalk as he views rebuilding efforts following last year’s Hurricane Sandy in Point Pleasant, New Jersey…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Natural resources can fuel Africa’s growth, transformation, says report By Bola Olajuwon HE African Economic Outlook 2013 has asserted that Africa’s resources in the agricultural, mining and energy sectors can boost the continent’s economic growth and pave the way for a leap forward in human development. The report, produced yearly by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Development Centre of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was released in Morocco on Monday. It claims that the continent’s economic outlook for this year and 2014 is promising, confirming its healthy resistance to internal and external shocks and its role as a growth pole in an ailing global economy. The report states that African countries must take full advantage of their natural

T

• Ties sustainable progress to diversification, human capital • Ban Ki-moon pledges support for continent’s future resource wealth to accelerate the pace of growth and ensure the process can benefit ordinary Africans. It also stresses that this must be accompanied by inclusive social policies that seek to reduce inequality in the continent. According to its projection, Africa’s economy will grow by 4.8 per cent in 2013 and accelerate further to 5.3 per cent in 2014. But the report, made available to The Guardian by ECA yesterday, regrets that this growth has been accompanied by insufficient poverty reduction, persisting unemployment, increased income inequalities and in some countries, deteriorating levels of health and education. Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) SecretaryGeneral, Ban Ki-moon, has declared that while Africans

forge ahead with “a new narrative” for their continent, the United Nations (UN) will support them as they faced any challenges that remain on the path towards a prosperous future. In his message to mark Africa Day, which commemorates the founding in 1963 of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union (AU), Ban acknowledged that over the past decade, the continent had witnessed “unprecedented progress,” largely at the hands of the AU. “The launch of the AU’s Partnership for Africa’s Development and Peer Review Mechanism has helped to advance economic, social, political and institutional reforms,” he stated, referring to the self-monitoring mechanism by which participating African nations promote and

re-enforce high standards of g o v e r n a n c e . “Similarly, the African Union is playing an increasingly more dynamic leadership role in preventing, managing, and resolving Africa’s conflicts through its revamped Peace and Security Architecture,” he added. However, the authors of the African Economic Outlook 2013 said: “Now is the time to step up the tempo of economic transformation, so that African economies become more competitive and create more gainful jobs”, They added that “widening the sources of economic activity is fundamental to meeting this challenge.” The report argues that African countries must tap into their natural resource wealth to accelerate the pace of growth and ensure the process can benefit ordinary Africans.

HE 20 suspects implicated T in a deadly attack on the United States (U.S. embassy in the Tunisian capital last year insisted they were innocent as their trial opened yesterday. Hundreds of angry Islamist protesters attacked the U.S. mission in Tunis on September 14 after an American-made film mocking their religion was published on the Internet. Four of the assailants were killed and dozens wounded in the violence, which saw protesters storm the embassy and torch a neighbouring American school.

Questioned individually by the judge, the accused, nine of whom have been remanded in custody, denied having taken part in the protest or attacking the embassy and the police. Defence lawyers strongly criticised the trial and demanded the charges be dropped, saying the process was a result of the Tunisian judiciary bowing to pressure from the West. “These protests were part of a spontaneous reaction throughout the (Muslim) world against attacks on our sacred symbols,” said one of them, Slah Barakati.

France seeks action against Islamists in southern Libya RENCH government has Fmake urged African nations to a concerted effort to tackle a growing Islamist threat in the deserts of southern Libya. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, speaking on a visit to Niger where suicide bombers attacked a Frenchrun uranium mine last week, said there were signs that Libya’s lawless south was becoming a safe haven for Islamist groups in the Sahara. “It seems we must make a special effort on southern Libya - which is also what Libya wants,” Fabius said after meeting Niger President

Mahamadou Issoufou. “We spoke about the initiatives which neighboring countries can take in liaison with Libya.” A five-month French-led military campaign broke Islamists’ hold over the northern two-thirds of Mali, killing hundreds of al Qaedalinked fighters and pushing others into neighbouring states. Niger has said the Islamists who carried out Thursday’s twin attacks on an Areva mine and a military barracks, which killed 25 people had crossed the border from Libya. Tripoli has denied this.

Disputes over arms for Syria, rebels dim U.S.-Russian peace plan Alleged US. drone crashes in ISAGREEMENTS between until EU foreign ministers southern Somalia DRussia and the West over • Moscow moves to deliver air defence system to Damascus next meet on August 1. arming warring sides in Syria • Israel’s defence minister warns over new missiles But on plan to deliver an SUSPECTED U.S. reconnai- crashed. yesterday dimmed prospects protected Assad diplomati- ing fuel on the fire” and advanced S-300 air defence “Finally, they hit it and the A sance drone reportedly for peace talks just as disarray cally since the Syrian upris- directly damaging the system to Syria, the Russian crashed yesterday in southern drone crashed,” Nur told among President Bashar alAssad’s political foes also clouded the move. But Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah group have reportedly closing ranks behind him. As Western nations debate what action, if any, they should take on Syria, Assad’s main allies - Russia, which has

ing erupted in March 2011, said it would deliver an advanced S-300 air defence system to Damascus despite U.S., French and Israeli objections, arguing that it would help deter “hotheads” intent on intervention in the conflict. Moscow also accused the European Union of “throw-

chances of convening a peace conference by letting its own arms embargo on Syria expire. France and Britain, the EU’s strongest military powers and most ardent advocates of scrapping the embargo, said they had not yet decided to arm Syrian rebels, but did not have to delay such action

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said: “We think this (S-300) delivery is a stabilizing factor and that such steps in many ways restrain some hotheads... from exploring scenarios in which this conflict could be given an international character with participation of outside forces.”

Somalia, where African forces are fighting Islamist al Shabaab insurgents, the rebels and the provincial governor said. Lower Shabelle region governor, Abdikadir Mohamed Nur, said that al Shabaab militants had shot at the aircraft over the town of Bulamareer for several hours before it

Reuters. The insurgents confirmed that a drone had crashed but did not say if they had downed it. “A U.S. drone has just crashed near one of the towns under the administration of the Mujahideen in the Lower Shabelle region,” al Shabaab said on a social media account.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NEWS

9

DEMOCRACY DAY IN THE BEGINNING

Inaugural speech by His Excellency, President Olusegun Obasanjo following his swearingin as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 1999. ELLOW Nigerians, we give praise and Fspecially honour to God Almighty for this day appointed by God Himself. Everything created by God has its destiny and it is the destiny of all of us to see this day. Twelve months ago, no one could have predicted the series of stunning events that made it possible for democratic elections to be held at the Local Government level, the State level, and culminating in the National Assembly Elections. Thereafter, you the good people of Nigeria elected me, a man who had walked through the valley of the shadow of death, as your President, to head a democratic civilian administration. I believe that this is what God Almighty has ordained for me and for my beloved country Nigeria and its people. I accept this destiny in all humility and with the full belief that with the backing of our people we shall not fail. I wish, at this point, to thank all you good Nigerians for the confidence reposed in me. I wish to pay tribute to the great and gallant Nigerians who lost their lives in the cause of the struggle for liberty, democracy and good governance. They held the beacon of freedom and liberty high in the face of state terrorism and tyranny. We thank God that their sacrifice has not been in vain. We will always remember them. Our thanks go also to the friends of Nigeria in many lands for the commitment and unrelenting support they gave throughout the dark, ominous days of the struggle. Nigerians living in foreign lands deserve special tribute for not forgetting their fatherland and for making their voices heard persistently in defence of freedom. And I must commend you my home-based fellow Nigerians for the way you bore unprecedented hardship, deprivation of every conceivable rights and privileges that were once taken for granted. I commend General Abdulsalami Abubakar and members of the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) for the leadership they gave the country in the last eleven months and for keeping meticulously to their announced timetable of handing over to a democratically elected government today. As officers and gentlemen, they have kept their word. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also deserves the thanks of all of us. In the face of doubt and skepticism and great time constraints, the Chairman and his commissioners conducted elections right from Local Government level to the Presidential level. They acquitted themselves creditably and they deserve our gratitude. Nigeria is wonderfully endowed by the Almighty with human and other resources. It does no credit either to us or the entire black race if we fail in managing our resources for quick improvement in the quality of life of our people. Instead of progress and development, which we are entitled to expect from those who governed us, we experienced in the last decade and a half, a particularly in the last regime but one, persistent deterioration in the quality of our governance, leading to instability and the weakening of all public institutions. Good men were shunned and kept away from government while those who should be kept away were drawn near. Relations between men and women who had been friends for many decades, and between communities that had lived together in peace for many generations became very bitter because of the actions or inaction of government. The citizens developed distrust in government, and because promises made for the improvement of the conditions of the people were not kept all

Obasanjo takes over from Abubakar statements by government met with cynicism. Government officials became progressively indifferent to propriety of conduct and showed little commitment to promoting the general welfare of the people and the public good. Government and all its agencies became thoroughly corrupt and reckless. Members of the public had to bribe their way through in ministries and parastatals to get attention and one government agency had to bribe another government agency to obtain the release of their statutory allocation of funds. The impact of official corruption is so rampant and has earned Nigeria a very bad image at home and abroad. Besides, it has distorted and retrogressed development. Our infrastructures - NEPA, NITEL, Roads, Railways, Education, Housing and other Social Services were allowed to decay and collapse. Our country has thus been through one of its darkest periods. All these have brought the nation to a situation of chaos and near despair. This is the challenge before us. Fellow Nigerians, let us rise as one, to face the tasks ahead and turn this daunting scene into opportunities in a New Dawn. Let us make this the beginning of a genuine Renaissance. Fellow Nigerians, the entire Nigerian scene is very bleak indeed. So bleak people ask me where do we begin? I know what great things you expect of me at this New Dawn. As I have said many times in my extensive travels in the country, I am not a miracle worker. It will be foolish to underrate the task ahead. Alone, I can do little. You have been asked many times in the past to make sacrifices and to be patient. I am also going to ask you to make sacrifices, and to exercise patience. The difference will be that in the past sacrifices were made and patience exercised with little or no results. This time, however, the results of your sacrifice and patience will be clear and manifest for all to see. With God as our guide, and with 120 million Nigerians working with me, with commitment, sustained effort, and determination, we shall not fail. On my part, I will give the forthright, purposeful, committed, honest and transparent leadership that the situation demands. I am determined with your full cooperation, to make significant changes within a year of my administration. Together we shall take steps to halt the decline in the human development indices as they apply to Nigeria. All the impacts of bad governance on our people that are immediately removable will be removed, while working for medium and long term solutions. Corruption: Corruption, the greatest single bane of our society today, will be tackled headon at all levels. Corruption is incipient in all human societies and in most human activities. But it must not be condoned. This is why laws are made and enforced to check corruption, so that society would survive and develop in an orderly, reasonable and predictable way. No society can achieve anything near its full potential if it allows corruption to become the full-blown cancer it has become in Nigeria. One of the greatest tragedies of military rule in recent times, is that corruption was allowed to grow unchallenged, and unchecked, even when it was glaring for everybody to see. The rules and regulations for doing official business were deliberately ignored, set aside or by-passed to facilitate corrupt practices. The beneficiaries of corruption in all forms will fight back with all the foul means at their disposal. We shall be firm with them. There will be no sacred cows. Nobody, no matter who and where, will be allowed to get away with the breach of the law or the perpetration of corruption and evil. Under the administration, therefore, all the rules and regulations designed to help honesty and transparency in dealings with government will be restored and enforced. Specifically, I shall immediately reintroduce “Civil Service

Obasanjo Rules”, and “Financial Instructions” and enforce compliance. Other regulations will be introduced to ensure transparency. The rampant corruption in the public service and the cynical contempt for integrity that pervades every level of the bureaucracy will be stamped out. The public officer must be encouraged to believe once again that integrity pays. His self-respect must be restored and his work must be fairly rewarded through better pay and benefits, both while in service and in retirement. Restoration of Confidence in Government I am very aware of the widespread cynicism and total lack of confidence in government arising from the bad faith, deceit and evil actions of recent administrations. Where official pronouncements are repeatedly made and not matched by action, government forfeits the confidence of the people and their trust. One of the immediate acts of this administration will be to implement quickly and decisively, measures that would restore confidence in governance. These measures will help to create the auspicious atmosphere necessary for the reforms and the difficult decisions and the hard work required to put the country back on the path of development and growth. The issue of crime requires as much attention and seriousness as the issue of corruption. Although the Police are in the forefront of fighting crimes and ensuring our security, it is our responsibility to help the police to be able to help us. The police will be made to do their job. All Nigerian citizens and residents in our midst are entitled to the protection of life and property. A determined effort will be made to cut down significantly the incidence of violent crime. Priority Issues I believe that this administration must deal with the following issues even in these difficult times of near economic collapse: (I) The crisis in the Oil Producing Areas (ii) Food Supply, Food Security and Agriculture (iii) Law and order with particular reference to Armed Robbery, and to Cultism in our educational institutions (iv) Exploration and Production of Petroleum (v) Education (vi) Macro-economic policies - particularly, Exchange rate management etc. (vii) Supply and Distribution of Petroleum Products (viii) The Debt Issue (ix) Corruption, Drugs, organised fraud called 419 activities, and crimes leading to loss of lives, properties and investment. (x) Infrastructure - Water Supply, Energy, Telecommunication, Ports, Airways, National Shipping, Nigerian Railways, etc. (xi) Resuscitation of the Manufacturing Industries (xii) Job creation, and creation of conducive environment for investment (xiii) Poverty alleviation (xiv) Housing both * Civilian Housing Programmes; and * Barrack Refurbishment and New Construction for the Armed Forces and the Police (xv) ECOMOG (xvi) Health Services (xvii) Political and Constitutional Dialogue

(xviii) Women and Youth Development In pursuit of these priorities, I have worked out, measures which must be implemented within the first six months. Details of the focus and measures of this administration on these and other matters, will be announced from time to time. I shall quickly ascertain the true state of our finances and the economy and shall let the nation know. In the light of resources available, I shall concentrate on those issues that can bring urgent beneficial relief to our people. Cabinet I will need good men and women of proven integrity and record of good performance to help me in my cabinet. I appreciate that the quality and calibre of the members of my cabinet and top appointments will send a positive or negative signal to Nigerians and the international community as to the seriousness of the administration to make salutary changes. Fellow Nigerians, the entire Nigerian scene is very bleak indeed. So bleak people ask me where do we begin? I know what great things you expect of me at this New Dawn. As I have said many times in my extensive travels in the country, I am not a miracle worker. It will be foolish to underrate the task ahead. Alone, I can do little. In our difficult and abnormal situation, great care and circumspection are called for in appointments to the cabinet and high public positions. To be appointed a minister or to any other public office is not a licence to loot public funds. It is a call to national service. It is one of the best ways of rendering dedicated service to humanity. In this administration, being a minister or holding any other public office will not deprive you of what you have before you come into office but you will not be allowed to have conflict of interest, abuse of office or illicit acquisition. Service to the satisfying must entail sacrifice. Regular weekly meetings of Cabinet will be reinforced to enrich the quality of decisions of government through open discussions of memoranda in Council. Before any issues are introduced to the cabinet, the time-tested procedure of inter-ministerial consultations would have been made. The conclusions of Council, circulated to all ministers and permanent secretaries will, as used to be the practice in the past, be the authority for executive action and for incurring expenditure of public funds. This will help the cohesion of the government, ensure discipline, and hinder corrupt intentions, since all major contracts must go to Council for open consideration. A code of conduct for ministers and other public offices will be introduced. Other measures for individual and collective self-control and self-discipline of ministers and other public officers will be introduced. Public Reconciliation I am determined to stretch my hand of fellowship to all Nigerians regardless of their political affiliations. I intend to reconcile all those who feel alienated by past political events and I will endeavour to heal divisions, and to restore the harmony we used to know in this country. Crisis in the Niger Delta A bill will be forwarded within weeks of the inception of the administration to the National Assembly, for a law providing for 13% derivation in Revenue Allocation to be used for ecological, rehabilitation, infrastructural and other developments. A competent group will be set up immediately to prepare a comprehensive Development Plan for the Niger-Delta Area. Dialogue will be held at all levels with the great representatives of all sections of the oil producing communities to improve communication and better mutual understanding. The responsibility and initiative for resolving the crisis rests with the Government. ECOMOG Nigeria has over the years played a very active role in ECOMOG for the restoration of peace in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Our national interest requires the establishment and maintenance of peace

and stability in the West African sub-region. Specifically in the case of SierraLeone, we shall endeavour to ensure a quick resolution of the crisis by dialogue and diplomatic means by increasing activity on the second track of peace and reconciliation. This will enable us reduce our commitments in both theatres but particularly in Sierra-Leone. External Relations Nigeria, once a well-respected country and a key role player in international bodies, became a pariah nation. We shall pursue a dynamic foreign policy to promote friendly relations with all nations and will continue to play a constructive role in the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity, and other international bodies. We shall continue to honour existing agreements between Nigeria and other countries. It is our firm resolve to restore Nigeria fully to her previous prestigious position in the comity of nations. Let me, once again, thank our international friends who fought for democracy alongside with us. Today, we are taking a decisive step on the path of democracy. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure sustenance of democracy because it is good for us. It is good for Africa, and it is good for the world. We call on the world, particularly the Western World to help us sustain democracy by sharing with us the burden or debt which may be crushing and destructive to democracy in our land. The Nigeria Armed Forces The incursion of the military into government has been a disaster for our country and for the military over the last thirty years. The esprit-de-corps amongst military personnel has been destroyed; professionalism has been lost. Youths go into the military not to pursue a noble career but with the sole intention of taking part in coups and to be appointed as military administrators of states and chairmen of task forces. As a retired officer, my heart bleeds to see the degradation in the proficiency of the military. A great deal of reorientation has to be under taken and a re-definition of roles, re-training and re-education will have to be done to ensure that the military submits to civil authority and regains its pride, professionalism and traditions. We shall restore military cooperation and exchanges with our traditional friends. And we will help the military to help itself. Harmony with the three arms of Government It is my resolve to work harmoniously with the legislature and the judiciary to ensure that Nigerians enjoy good and civilised governance. I am also determined to build a broad consensus amongst all parties to enhance national harmony and stability and thus ensure success in the long struggle ahead. Politicians have a duty, in whatever capacity they may find themselves, whether as legislators or ministers, to be committed, and be seen to be committed to the public good. Politicians must carefully examine the budget to ensure that public funds are judiciously spent. They must avoid damage to their own credibility and not vote for themselves special privileges. They must join in the campaign against corruption and help re-establish integrity in the conduct of public affairs. I assure you all that it is the policy of this government to ensure fair remuneration in service and in retirement to public servants, which includes legislators, civil servants, the police and members of the armed forces, parastatals and public-owned educational institutions. I call on all Nigerians but particularly on our religious leaders to pray for moral and spiritual revival and regeneration in our nation. Conclusion I shall end this address by stressing again that we must change our ways of governance and of doing business on this eve of the coming millennium. This we must do to ensure progress, justice, harmony and unity and above all, to rekindle confidence amongst our people. Confidence that their conditions will rapidly improve and that Nigeria will be great and will become a major world player in the near future. May the Almighty help us.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

10 NEWS

DEMOCRACY DAY

Celebrating borrowed times, 14 years on By Ehichioya Ezomon (Group Political Editor) ODAY is Democracy Day in Nigeria, a T day earmarked in 2000 to celebrate the return of democratic governance, as symbolised by representatives of the people freely chosen at an organised election that meets universal baselines. It would be the 13th time the occasion is marked with fanfare, splendour, entertainment and merriment. At public grounds and pavilions, the President of the Federal Republic and State Governors would take salutes at colourful parades by members of the Armed Forces, the Police, Para-military and Voluntary Organisations, and School children in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and at the various capital cities of the states, respectively. But all these may not be if the reported cancellation of the celebrations — which the Federal Government has denied — comes true. Such cancellation would be a sign of the times, as last year’s Eagle Square parades were equally cancelled due to security situations that had defined governance and the social lives of the people these past years. The celebrations are coming at a time Nigeria is going through a lot of stresses, which include, but not limited to the following: • Unprecedented unemployment of able-bodied youths put at over 40 million, and a record poverty level, both of which are associated with the insecurity plaguing the country. • Low power supply despite official claims of expending billions of dollars to bring the situation to a tolerable level. • Transportation with its concomitant failed road networks. • Education, represented by a marked fall in standards and exodus of students to neighbouring countries for quality learning. • Health has become a status symbol, with medical tourism the vogue for the affluent and top government officials. • Petroleum Resources is beset by sundry inadequacies with the result that a bill to give more voice and say in the industry to indigenous operators can’t fly in the National Assembly. • The National Assembly, the so-called ‘Guardian Angel’ of the Treasury, is looked at as a cesspool of corruption, as various probes it even instituted against public sleaze ended up roping in its members. • The Judiciary, the last hope of the common man, offers justice for sale to the highest bidder. Security Security is now at the centre of government’s policies and programmes, thus taking a chunk of the resources that would otherwise be deployed to provide basic infrastructure and facilities for the people. The various governments, at odds to deliver dividends of democracy, spare no amount to stipulate for security — whether real or imagined — such that they now allegedly hide under encompassing ‘Security Votes’ to fleece the states of their scarce resources. But who can tame these governors, when those who should show the way to prudency of resource allocation are themselves fighting to quell the insurgency that has enveloped parts of the country, with blood-letting and destruction of property and people’s means of livelihood becoming a pasttime of perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. Yet, in the midst of these confounding realities, governors and by extension, the President, have abandoned governance for politicking for an election that is two years away in 2015. A simple election by the governors, to choose the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), has turned into a do-or-die affair. Following the election of last Friday (May 24, 2015) in Abuja, the forum has been split in two, with each group laying claim to the chairmanship, and one side threatening to bring the house down if it was not recognised as the de facto and de jure body of the governors

in the country. They have upped the ante in the polity, and in no time, it would compound the security situation in the country when they unleash thugs and hired assassins on their opponents. Unemployment Nigeria turns out an average of 800,000 graduates from its universities and polytechnics yearly but only about 5,000 to 10,000 of this number get placement in jobs that can provide a living wage. What the various governments claim as employment for a teeming number is under-employment of professionally qualified people in menial jobs, such as street sweepers, and flower planters and tenders. The precarious unemployment situation is typified by a recent media report that three holders of Ph.D applied to be employed as drivers in a conglomerate of a business mogul. The question to ask: What is the use of going to school if one cannot be guaranteed employment in the end? Many people tend to blame the high rate of unemployment on the emphasis placed on theory rather than practical, which would make school leavers to be self-employed. Others argue that not everybody should go to school — that’s going beyond elementary or secondary school. Instead, the majority should learn trades. But how many of the millions of tradespeople are employed in the absence of adequate or non-existent infrastructure, such as power supply? Power Supply Nigerians are inundated with poor services from operators of the Global Systems of Mobile Communication (GSM). But these companies that pay billions of naira as taxes to government complain of lack of infrastructure, which they had to provide to run their equipment. The greatest of their problems is providing and fueling generating sets to hundreds of base stations scattered across Nigeria, even in hostile environments. What has the government done to improve the power supply in the country? Since the inception of the current dispensation in 1999, government has been harping on generating up to 10,000 Megawatts of electricity. Fourteen years after, it’s still struggling with barely 4,000 Megawatts while it keeps shifting the dates that milestone would be attained. Thus far, billions of dollars had reportedly been pumped into the system, with no tangible results. What the public hears from government is the existence of a cartel, in the form of generator importers, sabotaging its efforts. But who are members of this cartel that the government, with its awesome powers, cannot curtail or eliminate? You bet they are the same people in government, who know how to circumvent all rules and regulations! A local adage says, “When a thief joins you in looking for the item he has stolen, you will never find it.” The Oil Sector Another group of cartel, government claims, is embedded in the Petroleum Industry with the result that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), designed to give greater impetus to local operators in the downstream sector of the industry, is today stalled in the National Assembly, after years of its submission to the legislature. In the absence of workable refineries to produce finished products for the country’s millions of people and industries, government has resorted to importation of products from refineries abroad that take our crude, refine and resell to us at exorbitant prices. This has given rise to the notorious subsidy thieves that have swallowed billions of dollars they did not supply products for. In the meantime, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reportedly pocketed billions of naira of revenue to the Federation Ac-

Jonathan count, due to the manipulative accounting in the corporation, whose monitoring arm cannot keep track of how much oil is produced per day, how much is sold and how much is actually due to the federation. So, in the face of a weak institutional monitoring, the Joint Venture Companies (JVC) that dominate the industry from the onset, are literally given free rein to explore, exploit and appropriate the country’s patrimony. National Assembly They have apparently extended their tentacles to the National Assembly in order to frustrate the passage of the PIB, which, in any case, is also being resisted by a section of the country, which fears that the oil-producing communities (and states) would earn more money in addition to what they have “in abundance.” Which speaks volume of a rainbow coalition of lawmakers, who see everything from tribal and/or ethnic prism. Agreed that states in the oil region of Niger Delta and its axis take as much money from the Federation Account and the derivation based on their contribution to the national purse. But how much of the resources go down to the communities where the oils are produced, and which bear the brunt of the pollution and despoliation of the environment and ecosystem by oil spills and flaring of gas? The PIB was partially to cure these anomalies through a special allocation — 10 per cent — to the immediate communities housing oil wells, platforms and flow-stations. Now, the bill won’t walk, talk less of flying in the Assembly, some of whose members are also allegedly stalling for pecuniary consideration. And talking about pecuniary consideration, the Assembly has a hefty N150 billion allocation, which it uses to its fancy on the platform of self-accounting. Still, several salacious stories of corruption had emerged from the hallowed chambers, especially with regard to the many probes it had instituted over time in pursuit of its oversight functions of the agencies of government. It is true Nigerians want corruption to be fought and defeated, but not at the expense of giving them the dividends of democracy, which a quick passage of the PIB, making laws and amending the Constitution to serve the interests of the majority would guarantee. Judiciary Nigerians also want quick dispensation of justice, and for the Judiciary to be truly the last hope of the common man. Currently, the third arm of the government smells of corruption, which stems from the notion — or in actuality provable evidence — that it is a haven for the highest bidder. Nothing illustrates this better than the current purge of the system by the National Judicial Council (NJC), headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar. Several judges, whose

hands were soiled by particularly politicians, have been sanctioned, some with outright dismissal. Again, it’s not enough to talk about corruption in the Judiciary without a commensurate reform of the system that still relies on outdated laws; long-hand to record proceedings; poor remuneration of judicial officers; poor working environment; and non-assurance of a comfortable retirement. For instance, it would be suitable if, after retirement, judges are allowed to practice. This would give vibrancy to the practice of law, and enhance the longevity of such judges who suffer easily from loneliness, leading to early grave soon after retirement. Education Flowing from the above proposition is the dearth of qualified hands, especially new entrants into the profession, which is a consequence of the fall in the standard of education in the country. This has been a running commentary, which the coming of civil rule in 1999 was expected to arrest. Rather, things are getting worse. Today, Nigerian universities take the back stage in the ranking of similar institutions on the continent of Africa. It’s the same tale of woes from performances in the WAEC, and even in the homegrown NECO. Any wonder that the neighbouring countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic are the preferred destinations of the children of the rich and not so-rich, to escape the rot, especially in the publicrun schools. In the process, Nigeria, willynilly, is growing the economy of foreign lands, while ours is tottering. Government could argue that it is doing enough by establishing more universities, which, at best, are glorified secondary schools in infrastructure, equipment and staffing. But the best of these amenities are reserved for the privately established, funded and or sponsored universities by officials while still in government or soon after leaving government. Examples are the Bells University, Otta, owned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, sponsored by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Interestingly, while Obasanjo and Atiku held the nation by the jugular, with infightings over the 2003 and 2007 presidencies; they were able to see eye to eye on how to establish their private varsities of international standards. But the two cold not agree or did not even envision how to better the public ones they were supposed to superintend. Indeed, the worst crises in the universities, as epitomised by incessant and prolonged strikes by the Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), occurred on their watch. Health If education is in a sorry state, healthcare

services are in shambles. It is an era of socalled ‘Medical Tourism’ to advanced and not so advanced countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Those who can afford it abroad are seeking medical treatments for minor ailments as catarrh, headache and malaria fever. And to think that such ailments, even complicated ones, could be solved in Nigeria if our public health facilities are well-equipped and adequately staffed with accompanying remunerations! When former Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, forcefully took over power from the Shehu Shagari civilian government in 1983, he described the country’s hospitals as “mere consulting clinics.” Unfortunately, he, too, left the scene without improving on the sector he used as a poster child for his rebellion. Thirty years after, many people would argue that the conditions have not changed, or improved dramatically. In some cases, they are worse. Years ago, billions of hard currencies were expended on upgrading some Federal Government’s tertiary medical institutions, especially teaching hospitals. The huge allocations later became subject of controversy because of alleged delivery of obsolete equipment by the vending/contracting firm, which, nonetheless, denied the accusation. So far, no one is held liable, and the hospitals remain the same: mere consulting clinics that have not failed to attract the attention of doctors for upliftment of facilities and enhancement of their status, remuneration-wise, failure of which had led them, again and again, to embark on strikes, which sometimes resulted in unavoidable deaths of patients. Transportation Some of the nation are beginning tp look up to international standard, but there is still a long ay to go. However, the roads and transport sector that the different governments have been trumpeting do not fare better. The shouts of strengthening and modernising the railways are virtually that. We still have the standard gauge plied by locomotive coaches resembling the popular molues that were the face of transportation in Lagos a few years ago. Most of the federal roads, and state roads for that matter, are deathtraps. Is it in the North, West, South or East? Failed portions dogged the roads. Ownership and control of the roads have added to their dilapidation and total abandonment. State governments, in whose territories many of the roads traverse, have been denied authority by the Federal Government to fix them. This is due to the former’s paranoia that the states would claim credit for the rehabilitation, and perhaps, use them for campaign purposes. Consequently, states that did not get proper clearance and went ahead to repair such roads have had their reimbursements delayed or denied altogether on the instigation of Ministers from such states, for political expediency. One of the alleged numerous sins of the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, is his ‘effrontery’ to ask the Federal Government to allow states of the Niger Delta to take over the EastWest road, if the central government was not willing or incapable of doing it. The Presidency foot soldiers, including the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, who, ordinarily should be happy that the states want to remove one of his ministry’s burden, took umbrage and have since not relent in cutting Amaechi to size. This is the dilemma of Nigeria, as it celebrates, along with its over 160 million people, the Democracy Day today. At a time when everything seems to go bad — insecurity, high unemployment, increase in poverty, bad roads, lack of adequate health care, fallen standards in education, low supply of power and many more — the people in government are fiddling with inordinate ambitions and playing God. Nigerians deserve, indeed, demand a better deal from their leaders.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NEWS

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DEMOCRACY DAY PUBLIC SERVICE

Mid-term assessment of the Jonathan administration: The fault is not in our principals but in ourselves as civil servants By Goke Adegoroye, Ph.D S a retired public servant, one of the things A that make me most uncomfortable is when people meet me and start to praise me and my generation for our conduct while in service and, as their proof of how the service is now being run down, begin to cite some of the programmes or projects that were initiated and instituted under my leadership that have gone comatose Unfortunately for me, last week, I had to endure this type of comments over and over and they came like torrents of rain. First, it was a Senior Consultant at the National Hospital Abuja who had gone to the Federal Ministry of Environment to inquire if Government has a program of monitoring and control of vehicular emission so that his NGO could partner with government for public enlightenment and enforcement. He had thought that such a program was yet to be instituted as there was nothing to indicate otherwise. He came to me expressing surprise at the mention of my name as the person who, as Director General Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) instituted the program in collaboration with the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) as far back as December, 1996. Over the years the program could not be executed because of paltry allocations. Then a serving Director in the mainstream service came saying “Oga, things are no more the way you left them; the service has virtually broken down. The demands of the political office holders, many of who are nurturing their political ambition machineries, are weighing down on the various vote heads and this is making civil servants to also find their own way out”. He catalogued a new trend of civil service woes, including how in some Ministries funds for training are literally being “chopped” as officers penciled for training are made to collect their allowances to be shared in connivance with their superior officers. In the process, training courses are not attended but the Certificates of Attendance are however secured/ procured! He also pointed out the fact that beggars and street traders have once again taken over the streets of the Federal Capital City. Further still, came two fellow retired Permanent Secretaries, one reminding us of the marvelous work done by the Oronsaye Committee on the Restructuring of Federal Government Agencies and pointing out how, by the recent constitution of Governing Boards of parastatals and agencies, Government is jettisoning the far reaching recommendations of the Report. The discussion moved from there to the recent press statements by the Yoruba Unity Forum on the alleged “injustice of Yoruba marginalization by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan”. To our amazement, on examining the CEOs of the top 206 federal agencies, commissions and offices, we found that the SW account for only 17 (i.e less than 9%) against the other two southern zones with 30 and 32. Apparently, even the positive redress embarked upon early this month by the appointments of Gbenga Elegbeleye and Dr Wole Oluleye to the National Sports Commission and PTDF respectively, had been wiped out by the premature removal of Yomi Bolarinwa and Otunba Olusegun Runsewe as Chief Executives of National Broadcasting Commission and NTDC respectively. How much of this is explained by the ineffectiveness of the Political Affairs office under the SGF, an office that of recent has been merged with the Economic Affairs Office? I recall that in my days working with the then SGF, Mrs Titi Iroche as Director under Hakeem Baba Ahmed as Permanent Secretary had a compilation of all Federal Government Offices, agencies and commissions as a database of reference to know what post was due to be vacant and for people like me to refer to in order to ensure geo-political balancing when drafting memos for the SGF to recommend candidates for appointment by the President. Before departing, the other colleague reminded us that he was yet to receive the Certificate and Medal of the National Honour conferred on him last year because the number of awardees exceeded the certificates and medals available! My mind immediately went to Hajiya Aisha Dankani and others after her as Director in charge of National Honours and noted that not once in 8 years did this happen. I recall that one of reasons

Adegoroye given as basis for the cancellation of the National Honours approved by the General Abubakar regime in 1998 included the fact that the awardees were not decorated with the award as required by law! Without the Certificate and the Medal, both of which are the instruments of the award, how do we interpret the award of this my colleague? The signs of errors in simple bureaucratic processes and protocols are so common that they are almost becoming the norm these days; and one begins to wonder if we are not making it difficult for up and coming officers to know what is correct. Here are a few examples: At the Abuja Carnival last year with international participants and the diplomatic corps in attendance, we had two versions of Carnival Programme: the one distributed at the Eagle Square venue had the picture of the First Lady placed after that of the Vice President, while the version distributed at the Banquet Hall had it coming before that of the Vice President. As part of the transformation of our Airports we now have a new set of Official Pictures of the President and the Minister of Aviation, not in the standard size and format but in a form best suited for the sitting room of a private residence. At the Benin Airport for example the official picture of the Governor, which is less than a third of the size of those of the Minister and the President, is placed between the two and without the Nigeria Coat of Arms in sight. The Governor’s picture ends up, not only awkward to sight in relation to the size of the other two, but with the head of the Governor rising higher than that of our President! Our National Anthem protocol is a comic sight, even at Cabinet meetings. I fail to understand why some members cannot simply take cue from the President and would resort to adopting the American protocol by placing their right hand over their heart to their shoulder! The other day at a public function I saw a left-handed official doing this American style, intuitively with a right-handed man next to him in the midst others standing at attention the Nigerian way! Effective governance cannot be achieved without an effective bureaucracy. As Commanderin-Chief, the President does not need to know how to fire a gun, yet his confidence should never be in doubt that he can win a war, the na-

tion is duty bound to ensure that the same level of confidence is what should exude from the President in terms of the bureaucracy around him. The President’s men are expected to be composed of: “ the Best & Brightest; Confident men and women of Impeccable integrity, competent and efficient in their assigned duties, courteous to visitors and absolutely loyal to the President”. The inner ringof the Presidency (comprising the oval office and the President’s residence) is under the headship of the Chief of Staff to the President (COS-P) whose duty is to “manage the time and space of the President and coordinate all the principal staff of the State House to support the President to perform state duties in the most efficient and effective manner on a sustainable basis”. The COS-P works with a retinue of Special Advisers to the President, Senior Special Assistants, as well as the civil service complements of these political office holders. The COS-P is expected to “ have sound knowledge of the bureaucracy to facilitate the right linkage as may, on the spur of the moment, be required by the President ; demonstrate appreciable familiarity and comfortability with politicians, religious leaders, traditional leaders, social opinion leaders and other pressure groups ; as well as good disposition to manage and diffuse tension around the President”. The outer ring of the Presidency headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation “coordinates and monitors implementation of Government policies and programmes and serves as think tank and technical backbone of the Presidency”. The SGF is expected to have “a sound knowledge of the bureaucracy and structure of government to command the respect of the bureaucracy; leadership skills and ability for proactive initiatives that will drive the transformation agenda of the President; An analysis of the three occupiers of the post since 1999, based on their effectiveness and the reciprocal confidence of their principals point to the fact that pure technocrats/bureaucrats, without visible tendency for political ambition(rather than politicians) are likely to be more successful on the post”. The office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is at the fringe of the outer ring and flows directly to the Ministries, Extra Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Issue has been made of the Constitutional provision of Section 147 which prescribes “at least one Minister for each state of the federation”

whereas the Constitutional provision does not compel the President to have 36 or more Ministries; in the same way that it does not state that deployment of Ministers to Ministries shall be equitable in terms of the structural size, functional complexity, program volume, and budget size. Given the political will, it is possible to take cue from the United States of America which, from independence until the creation of the Department of Homeland Security after the 2001 “9-11” incident, had only 13 Departments (Ministries) to operate a Cabinet Structure made up of a maximum of 18 Ministries. This would have been in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee chaired by Gen T.Y Danjuma. Had that been done, Ministerial deployment after fulfilling the Constitutional requirement of appointing at least one Minister per State would have had to identify and pick the best 3 Ministers from each geo-political zone in order to get the total of 18 Ministers to be given full ministerial designation and deployment; and to assign the remaining Ministers from the zones as Ministers of State, with clearly defined responsibilities /portfolios within the Ministries of their assignment. That might have reduced the cost of governance a bit. Unfortunately, this was not done. The President’s team has been in place now for 2 years. In carrying out the mid-term assessment of this administration in terms of the performance, therefore, it may be instructive to recognize that the bureaucracy (public servants) carry the greater portion of whatever may be identified as shortfalls in the administration. The constitution does not prescribe any qualification for those to be appointed as Ministers, SGF and COS-P. Neither is there any school for the grooming of Ministers. The civil servants are the ones trained and groomed to serve as the engine of governance, by demonstrating at all times those globally-cherished public service values of: Helping their principals to, under the law, serve the public interest; Serving with competence, excellence, efficiency, objectivity and impartiality; Upholding, at all times, public trust and be responsive to the society; and Demonstrating respect, fairness and courtesy in dealing with the public and with fellow public servants. There is no average Director in the civil service that has not accumulated at least 25 years cognate experience along these lines. What is expected is that the bureaucracy will be able to engender the same level of confidence that the President has in his Military that enabled him to send them to go after the Boko Haram insurgents. Virtually all the examples of wrong bureaucratic processes highlighted earlier, including the pension saga, are within the purview of Directors in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Political Affairs office, Aviation, Establishment & Pension and other MDAs to set right. Happily, a new Head of the Civil Service has just taken over and it is hoped that his tenure will spell a new dawn for the service. If the efforts of Directors and their Permanent Secretaries in this regard are meeting a brick wall, the attention of the Head of the Civil Service should be called. Hopefully, his own efforts will not meet any brick wall at the gates of the President. The time has come for the service to rise up to the occasion of the current challenges. It is high time we stopped the public from romanticizing the past by recalling the names of the outstanding bureaucrats of old, the likes of Phillip Asiodu, Ahmed Joda etc The efficiency of the performance of public servants is a reflection of the efficiency and integrity of the heads of the four central bureaucratic coordinating offices of the SGF, HCSF, COS-P and FCSC as it is their efficiency and integrity, driven by their vision, depth of reasoning, courage and ability to take proactive actions, that will cascade down to the CEOs of agencies, the Directorate level officers and all others below them. I am deliberately throwing the weight of responsibility for rising up to the current challenges on the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation because, not only is he the only career appointee among the four and the one with both the moral and official responsibility for civil servants, he is indeed the face of the bureaucracy. Goke Adegoroye, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, is Chairman/CEO of Governance & Sustainable Development Initiatives (GSDI) Ltd, Abuja


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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TheMetroSection Lagos lawmakers fault tolling of LekkiIkoyi link-bridge, as bridge opens today • Concessionaire plans N100 to N400 toll rates, ban commercial vehicles By Wole Oyebade ROPOSAL by the Lagos State government to charge toll rates ranging from N100 to N400 on the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge was yesterday faulted by lawmakers in the state. Except for their Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, about 20 lawmakers present at the plenary, raised questions on why the state government should concession and collect tolling on a bridge built with taxpayers’ money and fully paid by the government. Besides, the lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction on why the state government chooses to present a voluminous document on terms and conditions of concession agreement and tolling to the lawmakers for approval, some days before the commissioning of the infrastructure in question. The bridge will be officially commissioned today. In a letter read on the floor of the Assembly on Monday, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye had on behalf of the state government written a letter, seeking the “Ratification of the electronic tolling system operation, maintenance, concession terms and conditions for the Lekki-Ikoyi toll bridge.” The letter also sought the approval of the lawmakers on initial maximum tolls set out in the agreement. The toll rates are N250 for saloon cars; N300 for mini vans, Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and light pick-up trucks; N400 for non-commercial buses with a maximum sitting capacity of 26 persons; N100 for motorcycles with 200 engine capacity and above. Presenting the proposal as a motion yesterday, Majority Leader, Dr Ajibayo Adeyeye noted that the bridge was built by the state government and has been concessioned to Lagos Tolling Company, working with two techni-

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HE Certificate of Occupancy T (C-of-O) for property situated at Plot 22, Block CXLI, Federal Site and Services Scheme Isheri Olofin, Lagos, belonging to Prince Ademola Adefala is reported missing. All efforts to trace the original copy with Registration Number: No. 45/45/13 has proved abortive. The matter has since been reported to the Police. If found, please contact the nearest police station.

Inauguration RIENDS of Kingdom MinFAgutan) istry (a.k.a. Ori-Oke Baba will on Saturday, June 1, officially inaugurate the ministry at the Faith Baptist Church, Plots 17-21, Block D, Chief F. A. Ladejobe Layout, off Imowo/Ibadan Road, Ijebu-Ode, at 10.00a.m. The event will also feature the launch of N10 million for developmental project.

The bridge

cal partners. By the agreement, 73 per cent of revenue generated goes to the state government, while 27 per cent goes to the tolling company. Also, 80 per cent of all incidental activities like adverts go to the state government, while 20 per cent goes to the operating company. The concession agreement is for 10 years, and has five years renewable period. Speaking on the motion, member of the House, Saka Fafunmi noted that construction of the bridge was a laudable initiative, but “must we always pay toll on every projects made by government?” “On this one-kilometre bridge, I’m not convinced at all, after all, we did not borrow money to have this done,” he said.

Apparently in agreement with Fafunmi, Deputy Speaker of the House, Taiwo Kolawole noted that the request of the government, as claimed in the proposal, was not in line with the 2011 Public-Private Partnership law. He said: “As far I’m concerned, this has nothing to do with PPP law. This is not about provision of infrastructure because the bridge has already been constructed using the taxpayer’s money. So, why should we still toll a road that we have built with our money? Rotimi Olowo, representing Shomolu I Constituency suggested that the House should invite the Special Adviser on PPP and Commissioner for Works to explain details of the concessioning, coupled with prohibition of some vehicles from plying the

bridge. Prohibited from the route are commercial motorcycles popularly known as okada, tricycles, commercial vehicles including Danfo and high capacity buses, heavy-duty trucks, articulated trucks and lorries, among others. Reacting to dissatisfactions raised by members, Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji said the House should be blamed for not raising these concerns earlier, when the state government was proposing the construction of the bridge. The lawmakers would not accept the blame, because, according to them, the government did not avail them the opportunity to ratify details of the project. The House, however, adjourned till Thursday, where they hope to take a stand on concessioning agreement and tolling.

Calm, apprehension, as Lakyo people await govt inquiry into killings From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja ELATIVE peace may have returned to Lakyo village, Nasarawa State, after the community’s encounter with security operatives on May 7, which left about 50 Policemen and officers of State Security Services (SSS) dead, but the people still live in apprehension. Their fear of reprisal attack by security agents was relayed to The Guardian last week when a federal lawmaker representing Nasarawa North, Senator Solomon Ewuga, made a tour of the village. Lakyo, translated to be “let peace reign,” has been in the news in recent times over an alleged ambushing and killing of security agents sent on official mission through the assistance of a militia or cult group called Ombatse. Unfortunately, efforts to get a vivid account of what transpired from the villagers proved abortive as they were very economical with explanations. Few of them who volunteered to talk to the Press called on the federal government to set up a committee to investigate the killings.

Briefs Missing document

They maintained that the policemen came in a large number to annihilate the community but were defeated by their God. The community has regrouped after the incident and people were seen going about their normal duties. The only evident that something devastating occurred in the village were littered burnt Hilux vans that brought security operatives to the village. They were eight in number, and, according to the villagers, three had escaped. In spite of the presence of these vehicles at the centre of the village, Lakyo people denied any link with their destruction. Rather, they maintained that security agents stored timed explosives in the vans and they exploded accordingly. One of the villagers, who claimed to be at home at the time of the incident, said the Policemen came to the hamlet and opened fire at the indigenes, most of who died unreported. “He said: I was at home when they came. Immediately they entered our village, they started shooting and they succeeded in killing some of our people

Chief Priest, Ala Agu alia Baba Lakyo while others ran away.” But when asked who killed the Policemen, he replied: “I don’t know o. It might be that our god that fought for us. They put explosives in their vans to bomb us but instead, they bomb exploded and destroyed their vans. We did not touch them.” They all gave similar account as if already briefed on how to respond to curious ears and prying eyes. “You have seen our small village. There are no bushes. You have also seen where their vehicles were burnt; right at the centre of the village. So, how could we have ambushed the Policemen in this open land? “They said we have guns in our houses, which house here can we store arms and

from where did we get money to buy arms? Do we look like people who could afford the kind of arms they accused us of having?” asked another young man. President, Eggon Cultural Association, Mr. Chris E. Mamman, was also on hand but he declined joining issues with the state government until the federal government sets up an open judicial panel of enquiry. “Giving account of what happened there as opposed to what the government has said would be pre-judicial to the extent that we would be throwing words with the government and we do not have the resourses or the capacity to sustain that. Our belief is that the truth will come out when an independent team of the federal government comes.” “We would continually call on the federal government to set up a judicial panel of enquiry to come and investigate the truth surrounding the mystery of this carnage on Eggon land because we believe that it was done with mischief. It was a calculated, well-orchestrated and maliciously organized effort to demonize Eggon people and the peace loving people of

Nasarawa State,” he said. “We call on all Nigerians to bear with us instead of agreeing with the propaganda that is now in the news, to wait for the result. We would also call on the National Assembly to insist on open commission of enquiry so that network services would air it live for the whole nation to know the truth as to this mysterious death that occurred on our land”, he added. On the position of Ombatse as a militia or cult group, Mamman said: “Ombatse by all standards is an ancestrally handed down traditional deity of Eggon nation that has nothing to do with violence. It does not preach violence. On the contrary, Ombatse is a direct contradiction to the entire social vices that breed violence in Nigeria and the world at large.” According to him: “The basic tenets of Ombatse include that a member will not sleep with his brother’s wife, he will not steal or commit robbery, he must not engage in sorcery or secret society activities. In fact, a member cannot participate in anything that has to do with human blood. If he does, he will have the wrath of God.”

Marzwell School holds inter-house sports ARZWELL Int’l School in M conjunction with Parents/ Teachers’ Association will today hold its InterHouse sports/ Cultural Competition at LA Royale Event Centre, No. 2, Morin Street, Puposola Bus Stop, new OkoOba, Agege- Lagos at 10am. Tagged: ‘Unity In Diversity’. The purpose of the programme is to expose the pupils to different cultural heritage and the need for parents to encourage their children to speak in their local dialects.

Hannah Omai dies at 91 HE death has occurred of T Madam Hannah Olabisi Omai at the age of91. Burial arrangements would soon be announced by the family.

Omai

Youths celebrate Jersey Carnival May 29 GROUP, Ajia Ijesha Boys’ A Club in Lagos Island, is today staging the second edition of its Jersey Carnival, to mark this year’s Democracy Day. According to the organizers, the event seeks to properly channel soccer fanaticism to promote patriotism and national unity among thousands of football followers. Youths would converge on the Oshodi Recreational Centre, Oshodi Street in Lagos Island at4.00.pm. to celebrate football fanaticism in a grand style by donning football jerseys, mufflers, flags, banners and wristbands of the Super Eagles, other nations and club sides.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

METRO

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Photonews

Head, Legal Services, Stanbic IBTC,Angela Omo-Dare (left), Headmistress, Corona School, Victoria Island (VI), Ifueko Thomas, Head Girl of the school,Adi Shnayder, Head Boy, Kero Ogufere, and Special Duties, Seun Osiyemi, during an interactive forum on financial literacy with pupils of Corona School, VI, as part of the 2013 Children’s Day activities ...on Saturday PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Senior Programme Manager, Africa, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Celena Green (left); President/Chief Executive Officer, Vital Voices Global Partnership,, Alyse Nelson; Chairperson, Women in Management, Business and Public Service(WIMBIZ), Mrs. Adeola Azeez, Management and Strategy Consultant, Mr. Adedotun Sulaimon and Senior Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy, Open Policy Foundations, Obiageli Ezekwesili at the Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness (SPARC) Programme and Forum organised by Vital Voices Global Partnership and WIMBIZ in Lagos.

Manko warns against kidnapping and cultism in Lagos By Odita Sunday

ISTURBED by the increase in cultism and kidnapping in the Lagos, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Alhaji Umar Manko, has warned cultists and kidnappers in the metropolis to relocate or face the full weight of the law. Manko also decried activities of armed robbers and those who trade in children. He said that all extant laws would be invoked against them, even as he warned parents and school authorities on the need to ensure adequate protection of children and wards in their care. In particular, he condemned violent clashes among groups in Ajah in the outskirts of Lagos, which led to the death of some youths, stating the command would stop at nothing to bring the perpetrators to book. According to him, all persons must recognize the sanctity of life and refrain from taking the law into their hands. Manko, whose officers and men stormed the den of some kidnappers at Oyingbo and secured the release of the 61-year- old Lebanese woman, blamed such activities in insiders’ collaboration and in-

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Chairman, Bestman Games / former Minister for Petroleum, Odein Ajumogobia, hs brother, Chairman, General Merchant Investements, Soboma Ajumogobia, and Chief Executive Officer, Bestman Games, Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe, at the first yearly Lagos Edition’s Monopoly International Tournament in Lagos...PHOTO: CHARLES OKOLO

Cultural display during activities to mark the Children’s Day on Monday. It was organised by Imo State Towns’ Development Association, Lagos. PHOTO: KENECHUKWU EZEONYEJIAKU

despite the ban by the Inspector-General of Police, Manko said: “Road block, checkpoint and observation points are different things. What the IGP has banned is roadblock. We can set up observation points for surveillance in any black spot or crime-prone area, or carry out stop-andsearch at a particular area on reasonable suspicion. Even in exceptional circumstances, we can block the road”. He added that: ” In city policing, there might be need to block some points to prevent the criminal from escaping. If for instance there is a robbery at Maryland, and a car is snatched and the robbers are going towards Ketu, to connect Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and zoom off, at that point, we are at liberty to block all likely points of exit for a moment, so that my men can track down the vehicle on the basis of the description and arrest all occupants. That is necessitated by the operational duty we have at that particular point, but it is unacceptable to mount a road block at a point on regular basis.” With reference to cases of extortion by some policemen, Manko said the Police do not compromise on the issue of extortion.

Education, integrity emphasized as Imo indigenes in Lagos mark Children’s Day By Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku State children resiIgetMO dent in Lagos will not forthis year’s Children’s

President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, his wife, Lady Sia Nyama and Wife of Nigeria’s President, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan receiving a flower from a girl during the launch of Teenage Pregnancy Strategy and the Second National Conference of Traditional and Religious Leaders in Sierra Leone

flux of some kidnappers into the state. “Some of these crimes are carried out with insider’s connivance. In the case of the Lebanese, her nephew confessed that he duplicated the keys to the woman’s room and gave it to the kidnappers, who in-turn went in and took the lady without any hassle. The same thing occurred in the case of Prof. Kenene Okonjo, mother of Minister of Finance Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, whom we arrested in Lagos.” On cultism, Manko said that there had been pockets of cult activities in places such as Surulere, Ogudu and Ketu, where some casualties were recorded. According to him, “We are aware and are rising to the situation. You see even some residents are taking some measures. In Surulere, some residents have, on their part, imposed curfew there to stem the acts of these people. We also have our men there to forestall breakdown of law and order. We count on members of the public for timely information and we will swoop on the cultists and other hoodlum before they commit any act.” On reports of illegal checkpoints in some parts of Lagos

Day celebrations in a hurry as the Imo State Town Development Association, Lagos (ISTDAL), organized a special event for them. The event, which was held at the Imo State Liaison Office, Victoria Island, Lagos, witnessed children from all the communities in Imo, who live in Lagos, come together. Highlight of the event included cultural dances, disc jockey music and above all, lectures on their personal hygiene and career development, which were delivered by experts. With the theme: ‘Career Development and Integrity Building for the Children as the Future Leaders’, a lecture was delivered by an accomplished career

counsellor and an entrepreneur, who is also the Managing Director of Genesis Worldwide Shipping and Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Tony Iheanacho. The children were taught how to make the best choices in their careers and how to become successful people in future. The President General of the association, Evangelist Tony Ohakwe said that the aim of celebrating with the children was “to impact on them at their early stage the importance of education, the need to have integrity and grow up with it to become good people, because they are the future of tomorrow.” “We want to urge them to concentrate in their education, their career development and their future. They should know that their future is nothing without an integrity.

“We are here to urge them to lead a good life based on the best of character so that they will be good, positive and genuine leaders of tomorrow.” The representative of Imo State governor and the Liaison Officer, Mrs. Lisa Asuagha said that the welfare of the children of Imo state and most especially, their education is a passionate priority for the state governor. According to her, “The governor is so passionate about the education of Imo children. The Chairman, Planning Committee of the occasion, Rev. Dr. B. C Dimanozie urged the children to toe the part of those that have been successful in life, look inward and let the purpose of God in them prevail so that they could become shinning stars of their generation.   


14 | THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 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 Nigeria’s democracy: Fourteen years on S Nigerians mark the country’s fourteenth year of return to democracy, there are probably good reasons to celebrate, but there are just as many good reasons to deliberate on the turn of events so far to rue those years. If the longest stretch of civil rule in Nigeria’s history calls for jubilation, the failure of leadership at all levels, particularly at the centre, resulting in numerous missed opportunities, crashed hopes and unfulfilled aspirations, demands only one thing: sober reflection. The return to democracy after many years of military rule, characterised by absolute disregard for the rule of law, large-scale violation of human rights, monumental corruption, mismanagement of the nation’s economy and decay of infrastructure, has not brought much of the desired change. If anything, the system has changed, but not the attitude. The personnel has changed, but the vices continue. Elections have held, but hardly has there been genuine popular participation and inclusiveness. Democracy entails accountability to the governed. It also entails freedom and liberty, especially freedom of expression, political participation among others. Despite Nigeria’s claim to the values of liberal democracy, the jury is still out on how the nation has practicalised its tenets in the last 14 years. As for its rewards to Nigerians, there is no doubt that this has been abysmally low. With the return to civil rule, expectations of Nigerians were high. Against the background of the impunity of the past, they expected the rule of law, where all are equal before the laws of the land; against a tale of election rigging in the past, they expected that votes would count and those truly chosen by the people would emerge as leaders; against massive human rights violation, they expected the veneration of rights; against a history of assassinations even by the state, they expected to see respect for lives and dignity of man; against a background of poor social services, they expected to see working health centres, well-equipped schools, uninterrupted power supply and well-paved roads. After 14 years of civil rule, these expectations have, at best, remained forlorn hopes. Today, a baggage of contradictions has emerged. At its birth, the so-called democracy was compromised through unofficial pacts that not only threw up reluctant or unprepared leaders, those arrangements also shackled the emergent rulers to interests other than noble. Precious time necessary for governance was spent on seeking power for its own sake with the new leadership undermining the political parties or platforms that bought them into office. With such absolute disregard for its leadership and the emergence of President and governors as godfathers with executive powers and the party machinery in their palms, it was no surprise that manifestoes meant nothing. This trend remains a blow to the goals of democracy and the process of nurturing it in the country. This development has further compounded the problem of election rigging as desperation for power has turned politics from being a contest of ideas to a life and death game in which the killer, of men and ideas, is the winner who takes all. Fourteen years on, it is hardly possible to point to a totally free and fair electoral exercise ever held. In some cases, discerning observers of Nigeria have made the point that the country has gone far below the standard it set for itself. With political parties bereft of ideological underpinnings, coherent programmes, supremacy of the congress and internal democracy, nothing edifying could be expected from the men thrust into office on their platforms. While the current government basks in the euphoria of an economic growth, averaging more than six per cent a year in the last two years, all is not well with the economy. Growth in macro-indicators does not translate to development and is not so convincing in an environment of abject poverty. A major source of concern has been the need to diversify the national economy. Fifty-three years after independence and 14 years after a return to civil rule, the goal of economic diversification has remained a mirage while successive leaders bicker over the sharing formula amidst avoidable leakages. Current global trends portend ill for the Nigerian economy. As more energy sources are being discovered, it is only a matter of time for earnings from oil to plummet. Even as reliant on proceeds from crude oil as it is, the economy is further gravely undermined by bare-faced and monumental corruption at its commanding heights. The country’s war against corruption has been haphazard and a pandering to agencies of global governance rather than a conscientious project. Existing anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), are now seen as ineffectual having themselves been inexorably caught in the crime. Their efforts are selective and largely phony. The war against corruption, nothing more than a circus before now, seems to have simply stopped. While Nigeria labours for breath under bureaucratic overweight, political corruption, and a shaky economy, the country is now being asphyxiated by Islamic insurgency in the north. Sectarian in character, it has further deepened the ethnic and religious cleavages in the country. In response, the incumbent administration has had to declare a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. These dissonances have meant impoverishment for the people of this country. Unemployment soars amidst obscene display of opulence by the political elite. Of course, there is growing disillusionment among the teeming population, which some believe fuels the prevalent insurgencies in parts of the country. On this fourteenth anniversary, it is not too late for Nigerians, especially the leaders, to change and make democracy work for the people. And the job is simple: stop stealing from the common wealth, spend the people’s money on them, reduce cost of governance, entrench the rule of law, create abundant employment opportunities via production, respect the rules of the democratic game and let a culture of service reign.

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LETTERS

Don’t scrap Law School I was sad the other day, SpersIR:when I read in the newspaof Dr. Azinge, the DirectorGeneral, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies calling for the scrapping of the Nigerian Law School. Sad indeed, because Nigerian Law graduates are internationally recognised. The Law School is a member of the international Association of Law Schools (I.A.L.S) and currently collaborating with the United Kingdom Centre for Legal Education. There is also the training programme for the Inner Temple where eight members of the Law School academic staff participated in the inner advocacy training. Of recent and in the preceding years, the World Bank granted assistance to the Law School for installation of video conferencing facilities in all the campuses. From a simple campus in 1963 in Lagos, other campuses have sprung up in Kano, Enugu, Calabar, Yola and Yenagoa. There are six campuses. I was happy when I later read few days later that the Nigerian Bar Association condemned the call for the scrapping of the school. Unless someone is very dull and extremely below average, there is no how an individual will spend three years in the university and one year in any of the campuses studying the nittygritty of Common Law, Property Law, Criminal Law and others and he wouldn’t grasp these topics. The school has upgraded from

analogue to digital. What is needed as the Nigerian Law School celebrates half a century of existence is for our businessmen and technocrats to donate willingly and deliberately, so that the literary excellence may go beyond this point. We do not lack the great men and all alumni of the Law School who can enhance the international standards and best practice of the school. The capacity-building in the school in terms of one student one laptop, building of more hostel accommodation, donation of books by international organisations, usage of computer for downloading of VIP graded law materials are enough steps to say that the Law School has arrived. The current man-

agement of the Nigerian Law School is doing well and the support from the Council for Legal Education is positive. What the school needs now is enough funding from both the government and individuals, not scrapping it. Any productive education is welcome. No literary education is in vain. Literary empowerment worldwide enhances harmony, patience, peace, prudency, understanding, cooperation and prosperity. Therefore, as the bell rings for 50 years of the Law School, we should collectively think of what we can do for the school. We must move forward not backward. • Emmanuel Kwache, Jimeta-Yola, Adamawa State.

MEND: Planned attacks cancelled In order to allay fears and SareIR:re-assure the public that we sincere about suspending our May 31, 2013 planned attacks on mosques and related institutions that promote hate and religious intolerance, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) wishes to reiterate that “Operation Barbarossa” has been suspended and this decision is irrevocable. The appeal from well meaning Nigerians, religious bodies and the Nigerian government’s decision to free women and children related to Boko Haram members, giving room to

meaningful dialogue contributed to our decision. However, the final straw that broke the back of our resolve to go ahead came from the intervention of Mr. Henry Okah and Mr. Kingsley Kuku, who is the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and finally with the decline on attacks on Christians inside churches and other places of worship. We once again use this opportunity to call for the release of Henry Okah and others in detention over the October 1, 2010 car bomb blasts. • Jomo Gbomo, MEND.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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Govt shuns distribution of abandoned transformers

Again, World Bank tasks Nigeria on human index, economy By Bankole Shakirudeen Adeshina IGERIA’S harsh business N environment and its negative impacts on the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians were once again brought to the limelight. But this time around, by a global institution – the World Bank, which lent its voice, admonishing the Federal Government and stakeholders to adopt a more result-driven approach to tackling the challenge. At the inaugural Corporate Leaders breakfast meeting organised by the Nigerian Institute of Management

(NIM) yesterday in Lagos, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of World Bank Group, said the financial institution’s contributions to Nigeria and African countries would have made more impacts, especially on poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and education, had the governments paid better attention on key infrastructures to compliment them. Speaking at the parley, with the theme: the Impact of World Bank/ IFC Initiatives on the Nigerian Business Environment, the Senior Investment Officer,

IFC issued its first local currency bond in Nigeria to enhance financing flexibility and develop the local capital market to enable it efficiently channel long-term funding to the private sector; IFC’s issuance (N8bn) was the first by a non-resident issuer and was 100 per cent oversubscribed, pricing 61bps below comparable NGN treasury. Manufacturing and Services, Africa Department, IFCWorld Bank, Ms. Gravette Brown, lamented that insecurity, epileptic power supply and the deplorable state of the nation’s road networks among others, are,

for instance, deepening the woes and driving businesses in Nigeria elsewhere. These, including the abandonment or marginalisation of the agric sector, difficult or no accessibility to soft loans by entrepreneurs

for SMEs facilitation, according to her, have made Nigeria’s business climate very hostile for investors and subjects millions of Nigerian consumers to over exploitation, due to expensive price of products, a consequence of high cost of production. While stressing that government have demonstrated practical approach and willingness to improve the fortunes of the country, Brown insisted that statistics have shown that there is still a long walk ahead to eradicate poverty, unemployment and illiteracy facing Nigerian citizens. To justify Brown’s submis-

Managing Director Lafarge Cement Wapco Nig Plc, Joseph Hudson(left); Chairman, Olusegun Osunkeye; and Company Secretary, Uzoma Uja, during the yearly general meeting of the company in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU

sion, the 2010 report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), released in 2012 showed that 69 percent ( 112.519 million Nigerians) of the country’s total population (163 million) are living in relative poverty conditions The StatisticianGeneral of NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, had noted that the figure might increase to 71.5 per cent when the 2011 figure is computed, especially if the potential impacts of several anti-poverty and employment generation intervention programmes are factored in. In its 2013 report on countries where businesses do better, Brown said Nigeria’s low ranking was the justification of the challenging business environment that needs urgent attention to fulfil Nigeria’s economic aspirations. In the report, among the ranked 185 countries, Nigeria was rated 119 position. For instance however, Brown said in the last few years, World Bank has invested 4.66billion dollars in key sectors of Nigeria’s economy, saying this including IFC’s 1.4billion dollars comprehensive packages for Power, Transport, SMEs and Agribusiness for the country. The world bank official said her institution’s investment in the country include ‘’seven years US$70 m Convertible Subordinated Loan (IFC- US$47.2m & AMC US$22.8m) issued for business expansion for Diamond Bank in Nigeria ; Equity investment of US$13.3m to strengthen and expand the operational capacity of Leadway Assurance Limited; US$12.5m of convertible debt in Custodian Insurance Company; Equity investment by IFC African, Latin American and

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‘Africa can overcome her infrastructural challenges’ By Adeyemi Adepetun ITH an expectation of about 1.2 billion urban residents by 2050 in Nigeria, South Africa and other parts of the African continent, the need to intensify the continent’s megacities by making infrastructure one of the key strategic priorities has been stressed. According to experts at the Episode 9 of KPMG’s Africa

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Conversation Series in South Africa, who took a closer look at Prioritising Africa’s Megacities, focusing on the challenges surrounding development of Africa’s next major megacities, identified the importance of addressing these challenges and how to prioritise development to ensure maximum benefits for business and Africa’s growing urban population. Partner at City Insight, Sue

Bannister emphasised the importance of cities, “The world today is about cities. Cities are where it is happening these days. Research show that cities make people smarter and more creative.” A megacity, by definition, houses more than 10 million people a factor that has raised questions in several quarters. “There’s a debate around what constitutes a megacity. Cities are becom-

ing much more complex to manage and they are becoming as prominent and even superseding countries,” said, KPMG Associate Director for Government Advisory Services, Andile Skosana. Bannister believes that we cannot simply look at the numbers to determine whether a city is a megacity. “We have to consider the tone of a city. In many cities, we are not sure how many

people live there.... Although the administrative boundaries may say we have a certain number of people, there are usually many more.” KPMG Africa Head of Infrastructure, DeBuys Scott explained that cities contribute significantly to the economic development of countries. While Africa has massive potential for economic growth, infrastructure chal-

lenges remain a reality. “The gap between where Africa is and where we could be is huge.... Businesses cite road and transport infrastructure challenges as obstacles to functioning properly. Overcoming this will enhance the working environment for business,” Bannister added. Skosana noted that this is

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ThE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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Africa’s electricity deficit scaring away investments, says report By Roseline Okere FRICA’S energy, agricultural and mining resources could boost the continent’s economic growth and pave the way for a breakthrough in human development, according to the African Economic Outlook 2013, released on Monday. The report attributed low investment in the sub-region to serious energy deficit. The report is produced yearly by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). According to the report, the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, with a combined population of 800 million, are

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estimated to generate roughly the same power output as Spain, a country of 45 million. This energy deficit, it noted, is the result of the region’s limited generation capacity— the result, in turn, of a lack of long-term financing to cater for the sector’s needs. The lack of large-scale investment is a consequence of the limited participation of private players and the difficulties in mobilizing long-term financing from African financial systems to fund big-ticket items such as infrastructure. The continent’s economic outlook for 2013 and 2014 is promising, confirming its healthy resilience to internal and external shocks and its role as a growth pole in an ailing global economy. Africa’s economy is projected to grow by 4.8 per cent in 2013 and accelerate further to 5.3 per

cent in 2014. The report shows this growth has been accompanied by insufficient poverty reduction, persisting unemployment, and increased income inequalities and in some countries, deteriorating levels of health and education. “Now is the time to step up the tempo of economic transformation, so that African economies become more competitive and create more gainful jobs”, say the authors of the report, adding that “widening the sources of economic activity is fundamental to meeting this challenge,” it added. The report argues that African countries must tap into their natural resource wealth to accelerate the pace of growth and ensure the

process can benefit ordinary Africans. Director at OECD Development Centre, Mario Pezzini, stated: “Growth is not enough. African countries must provide the right conditions for turning natural resources into jobs, optimise

their resource revenues through smart taxation and help investors and locals to make the most of linkages.” According to the report, four key elements are needed to achieve that objective. Firstly, African countries should create the right conditions for

such a transformation to take place, including infrastructure, education and the creation of larger and more competitive markets. “Access to markets is fundamental to structural transfor-

Nigeria emerges best EITI implementing nation By Sulaimon Salau (Lagos) and Collins Olayinka (Abuja) OTWIThSTANDING the intrigues surrounding issues of corruption in the management of the hydrocarbon resources, Nigeria recently won the “best extractive industry transparency imple-

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menting country award” instituted by the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The award, created by the world body is to encourage resource-rich countries to embrace the principles of transparency, accountability and prudent management of revenues from oil, gas and mining to aid national development and support  poverty reduction.  According to a statement signed by the Director, Communications, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Nigeria was voted the best implementing country among 39 member countries that have so far embraced the initiative across the world. Announcing the award at the sixth global conference of group in Sydney, Australia, the Chair of the International Board of EITI, Claire Short, described NEITI’s implementa-

tion of the principles of transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors as the most comprehensive, courageous and ambitious. The Board explained that the award was in recognition of the increasing demands by Nigerians for accountability and massive reforms in the extractive industry. According to him, the EITI international commended NEITI for the timely provision of information and data through regular and independent audits of the oil, gas and mining sectors in Nigeria. It stated: “While implementation by other member countries was limited to reconciliation of revenue flows of what companies paid against what government received, the Nigerian government through parliamentary  legislation extended the mandates of NEITI to include independent  physical and process audits.”

‘Africa’s amenity shortfalls surmountable’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15

Managing Director, Total Nigeria Plc, Francois Boussagol (left) and the Senior Special Assistant to Lagos State Governor on Transport, Miriam Masha, during the company’s road safety cube campaign for children in Lagos.

not necessarily an impossible feat. “Although the challenges are big, Africa has the opportunity to learn and develop city systems that work somewhat better than our developed world counterparts. The opportunity on urban planning is to do things differently to make our systems work better. Africa was historically not capacitated sufficiently and the influx of people into cities is happening at a rate faster than what cities can do.” But Scott believed that the continent is going through a phase where there are more infrastructure development plans than at any time in history. Bannister noted that it is

important for African cities to learn from each other because “African countries have similar challenges...” Lagos is one of the African cities that fit into the official megacity definition. According to Director, Infrastructure Finance at UBA Capital in Nigeria, Wale Shonibare explained what works well in Lagos. “Lagos’s Eko Atlantic city is a public-private partnership (PPP) where the state has been very involved in mobilising private sector investment to develop that area. The plans are very ambitious and will be developed within a period of 20 years to reclaim the Atlantic and build a business-friendly environment.”

World Bank seeks better living for Nigerians CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 Caribbean Fund, LP (ALAC) of up to US$37m to fund development of 144,000 sqm modern business and retail infrastructure for Persianas; and its probability investment pipeline in Nigeria of approx US$800m. ‘’ For instance, in the Power sector alone, World Bank currently has $400m active in Partial Risk Guarantees for gas supply (Additional $200m planned); $600m$800m proposed as Partial Risk Guarantee for Independent Power Plants; and over 10 years of technical support and advice in Nigerian. These are besides IFC’s 1.4billion investment in the country. ‘’IFC issued its first local currency bond in Nigeria to enhance financing flexibility and develop the local capital market to enable it effi-

ciently channel long-term funding to the private sector; IFC’s issuance (N8bn) was the first by a non-resident issuer and was 100 per cent oversubscribed, pricing 61bps below comparable NGN treasury.besides, IFC focus on Equity investments. Emphasis on Corporate Governance, Climate Change and Energy Efficiency,’’ she explained. Speaking earlier, President and Chairman of Council, NIM, Dr. Michael OlawaleCole said the forum was organized to brainstorm on how best to promote best practices in the management profession in Nigeria and assists stakeholders to provide a strategic way to improve the economy and the general wellbeing of the masses through a highlevel of interaction with global experts.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BUSINESS

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Private sector operators seek abolition of import waivers …As Nigeria loses N500b yearly By Femi Adekoya in the priSof TAKEHOLDERS vate sector under the aegis the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) have called on the federal government to abolish the granting of waivers in order to stimulate growth of local manufacturers and curb the N500 billion yearly losses in revenue to such action. Besides, the chamber also urged government to increase investments in the food-processing sub-sector of the economy as part of measures to encourage value-addition, local capacity utilisation and growth of the agricultural sector. In a communiqué made available to The Guardian at the end of its yearly general meeting in Kano, at the weekend, the chamber noted that except development financial institutions began to divert funds to development projects, it might be difficult for the nation to attain the desired growth. Furthermore, NACCIMA advocated the reduction in the cost of treasury bills to below 40 per cent in order to aid the nation’s attainment of the desired single digit interest rate. The chamber said: “We have observed that inadequate infrastructural development has hindered the required rapid development in Nigeria; that waiver is not good for developing economy, and that the current CBN approved lending rate is deepening the poverty level in Nigeria. To address these challenges, we need to start examining key policies in a bid to reviewing them.” Immediate Past President of NACCIMA, Dr. Herbert Ajayi noted that for Nigeria, meaningful, long-lasting economic growth and development was almost entirely contingent

upon its embracing good governance structure that would serve as essential ingredient for attracting substantial amounts of foreign direct investments into the country. “Nigeria must address all impediments to growth through extensive political and economic reform. For instance, there must be a dramatic and comprehensive restructuring of Nigeria’s economy through a greater diversification of the economy and also diversification of the FDI it receives. Up until now, Nigeria’s FDI inflows have been almost exclusively in the natural resources sector, specifically in the oil and natural gas industries. “Obviously, such a concentration of FDI limits technology transfer and inhibits job creation, due to the capital-intensive nature of the extractive industry process. “Towards revamping the sector to ensure food sufficiency and food security in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), our association will again, reiterate its willingness to partner with government to put in place legislation on food security that would be in line with FAO standard. This should be complimented with a policy framework that should emphasise commercial farming for large-scale farmers and communal farming for smallscale farmers, including the value chain processes, and with each state and local government councils challenged and given needed support/incentives to produce those items in which they have comparative advantage. “Moreover, government needs to, as a matter of urgency, revisit and re-introduce the concept of commodity exchange market. This has become necessary in order to get the best out of our agricultural productivity,” he added.

Nigeria must address all impediments to growth through extensive political and economic reform. For instance, there must be a dramatic and comprehensive restructuring of Nigeria’s economy through a greater diversification of the economy and also diversification of the FDI it receives

Marketing Manager, Diageo Brand Nigeria. Sola Oke (left) Marketing and Innovation Director, Guinness Nig plc. Austin Ufomba. General Manager, Diageo Brand, Felix Enwemadu and Brand Manager, Baileys, Lola Ashafa at the unveiling the new Bailey’s Bottle in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Govt urges group to accelerate agro-business HE federal government T has urged the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NAG) to help accelerate the nation’s agro-business to enhance growth in the sector. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, made the call in Abuja on Monday when he formally inaugurated the group. He explained that the group would consist of major chief executive officers of leading agro-business companies in

the country. “The group will help drive and accelerate investment in the agriculture sector, and it will help formulate and develop policies for the sector. “It will also help identify challenges in agro-business investment and help proffer solution,” Adesina said. He said that the federal government would be meeting with the group periodically on how to improve on some of the achievements so far

made in the sector. According to him, the federal government had put in place the private sector as the centrepiece of all agriculture policy. The minister urged them to help unlock the potential in agriculture in order to make the country an industrial nation. He commended the chief executive officers for attending the meeting, saying that their attendance was a testimony of their support for the

Govt inaugurates boards of ITF, FRC HE Minister of Trade and wealth creation and industrial its parastatal agencies shared T Investment, Olusegun skill acquisition. a common mandate anchored Aganga, on Monday in Abuja “Government has engaged in on creating enabling environinaugurated the boards of Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). Aganga said at the occasion that the government was putting in place a mechanism to ensure steady growth of the economy. He charged the board members to complement the efforts of the government in the pursuit of its transformation agenda. He added that government was committed to promoting confidence in corporate reporting, governance,

wide-range reviews that recognise the importance of reassuring the markets and the public at large that corporate reporting and governance frameworks are sufficiently robust. “This is the place where the FRC is expected to deliver,” he said. “The government is passionate about wealth creation through industrialisation that accommodates skill acquisition, retention and enhancement. This is also at the door step of the ITF.” He said that the ministry and

ment to stimulate domestic investment and attract foreign, direct investment into all sectors of the economy. While congratulating the board members on their appointments, the minister, however, advised them not to interfere with the day-to-day running of their respective agencies. He said that their appointment was on part-time basis, hence were not expected to interfere or participate in the day-to-day running of the agencies. “I must stress that no chair-

Agricultural Transformation Agenda. In his remarks, Dr. Abdul Bello, a member of the group, appealed to the federal government to set up agric insurance companies that could share farmers’ risks in terms of losses. Bello added that the federal government should help promote local production of imported products to generate employment opportunities for the citizens.

man or board member is entitled to an official vehicle on permanent basis. Same goes for office or residential accommodation.” The board of FRC is chaired by the immediate past President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Hajia Maryam Ibrahim and that of ITF is chaired by Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro. Obanikoro assured that the new board members would not disappoint in delivering on their mandates. “We have joined your team to add value to your mandate. We will muster all in our capacity to get this done,” he stressed.

Emerging market regulators call for stronger voice in global reforms By Bukky Olajide MERGING market regulators have emphasised the need for stronger voice in shaping global regulatory reform to reflect emerging markets’ position. Global emerging market regulators met in Panama City recently to reinforce the need to play a more active role in global regulatory reform being involved at early stages of new regulato-

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ry reforms to ensure emerging markets views are reflected in the reform efforts. In defining the future role of the Emerging Markets Committee (EMC) of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the group also agreed to rename the committee as the Growth and Emerging Markets (GEM) Committee to reflect the nature of the markets in which members operate. The

86 members include some of world’s fastest growing economies and 10 of the G-20 members. The GEM Committee will seek to provide greater focus towards balancing growth and implementation of regulation, including looking at greater inclusiveness, strengthening channels of communication and developing greater regulatory capacity for emerging markets.

The membership further reinforced strong support for the establishment of the IOSCO Foundation, which will assist members in their market development and capacity building efforts. Members urged industry to support the Foundation expeditiously so that emerging markets could benefit from the overall activities relating to three pillars: research, education and training, and technical assis-

tance. Increased funding of these activities will be of significant benefit to emerging market members, especially at a time of growing demand for market-based financing. The EMC also discussed, among other panels, the impact of global regulatory reforms on emerging securities markets. Panelists emphasised the need for better streamlining of conduct and prudential

regulation, and to ensure a strong and cohesive way to communicate these views at a higher level. The panel on Impact of High Frequency Trading and Algorithmic Trading on Emerging Markets acknowledged that HFT and algorithms are the new normal, and it is critical to have a sound regulatory framework to ensure markets continue to operate in a fair, orderly and transparent manner.


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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

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How NNPC Shot Down The Revolution

By Toyin Akinosho 1975, the Nigerian National Oil IbonNCorporation (NNOC) drilled seven hydrocarprospects in the south east shallow offshore Niger Delta, and encountered oil in four of them. It was a game changing result at the time: the discoveries opened up the south east offshore Niger Delta which was -with the geologic understanding of the time-considered a bad address. Yet the government refused to fund the appraisal -and as such-development programme. The thinking was “how much would government spend to develop the wells, when they could give the acreages to Shell, without spending money”. Since it is in the crucible of field development, production and crude oil/gas evacuation that a robust Exploration and Production (E&P)

company is forged, the NNOC missed the opportunity to convert those drilling successes into building a world class hydrocarbon company with an upstream arm that operates on its own steam. As Ben Osuno, 77, team leader of the project at the time recalled, the Federal Executive Council (the cabinet) didn’t exactly take ownership of the “success” and “within the constraints of the environment at that time, the decision was taken that NNOC should just keep on exploring”. NNOC was merged with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to form the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 1977, which even had a fairly respected Exploration and Exploitation unit, but the lack of “can do spirit” has gradually seeped in through the 38 years since those discoveries, such that today, with a subsidiary ambitiously named Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the NNPC has fallen far back in the race with rivals like Petrobras and

cannot beat its chest as a winsome, E&P operator. NPDC was established in 1988 as the “operating arm” of NNPC. It’s the subsidiary of the state hydrocarbon company with the mandate to explore, operate and produce oil in the Niger Delta basin. NPDC’s net equity production of 101,623BOPD, as of April 30, 2013, consisted of: 5,700 BOPD from Abura field, the company’s oldest asset, whose operatorship it took over from Mobil Producing with (then) production of 980 BOPD in 1988. 7,000BOPD from Oredo field in OML 111, which it has produced since 1996, (which is 17 years ago). 35,000BOPD from Okono and Okpono fields in the Oil Mining Lease(OML 119), developed under a service contract executed in 2000, by which ENI essentially put the field in production, and operated

Agreement: Atlantic Energy Drilling will receive, in the beginning of production, 60% of the volume of crude oil to which NPDC (NNPC)is entitled. This is cost oil. When that cost is fully recovered, Atlantic’s share will drop to 30% of the crude oil to which NPDC is entitled. Please read this carefully; if the entire volume of oil produced in that acreage before Shell’s divestment was 100,000Barrels per day, the NNPC , as a non operating partner, was receiving 55,000 Barrels of that production every day. Now, in the post-Shell operatorship phase, now that the NNPC equity has been transferred to its subsidiary NPDC, to become the “operator”, with so much fanfare, and NPDC has gone into an agreement with a company unknown to us until now to help it fund the operations, the share that will accrue to NPDC ( NNPC), and in effect, the National Treasury, will drop by at least CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


ThE GUArDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

20 AFrICAN OIL&GAS rEPOrT

KICKSTArTEr

How NNPC Shot Down The Revolution CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

Editor

Atlantic Energy And The Divestment: Follow The Money hErE has been more than a bit of misplacement of emphasis of issues by Communities protesting T the relationship between Nigerian Petroleum

Development Company (NPDC) and Atlantic Energy. The complaint, aired at the National Assembly a few weeks ago, was largely about Petroleum rights. The Communities accused the Minister of Petroleum of having secretly transferred production rights in four large oil blocks (OMLs 26, 30, 34, and 42) to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited. This claim is not true in the literal sense, but there’s a lot more in the transaction between Atlantic Energy and NPDC, the operators of those blocks, that the public ought to know about, and doesn’t. “The role of Atlantic Energy in the divestment issue is just the provision of funding, which both NNPC and NPDC have explained”, says Atlantic Energy chief, Jide Omokore. “The Strategic Alliance Agreement entered into between Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited was not a divestment of Assets nor transfer of Operatorship but simply an alternative funding agreement in order to meet the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited’s cash call obligations in the affected OMLs”. This is all very true, so why are we worried? We should be concerned because the details of the transaction hint at a hand over of free money, from the National Treasury, to a company to play with. Is this some slush fund? That’s what the National Assembly should be investigating. Prior to Shell’s decision to divest from OMLs 26, 30, 34, and 42, NNPC , as the government’s “eye” in these operations, had always had the 55% equity. Since they were not operators, they didn’t need upfront money. They paid their share of the expenses and received 55% of the volume of the crude produced. Then, suddenly, NNPC says it wants to operate those assets, fine. The operatorship would be done on its behalf by NPDC, its operating arm, fine. Now that it was going to operate (be the primary managers of the assets), it required funding. Couldn’t it find a way of raising the money on the back of the assets? Nigerian banks will rush to fund NPDC’s operatorship. These assets are producing crude oil, at $90+ a barrel at the time and they generate cash flow from Day 1!!!!!. No, NPDC suddenly and dramatically signs a funding agreement with Atlantic Energy, which ensures that, as its “fees” for funding NPDC, it is entitled to collecting crude oil, for the life of these assets. What this means is that the volume of crude oil, for which there will be money in the National Treasury, falls short by a size equal to what Atlantic Energy collects. Don’t take our word for it. Just take a look at the part of the Strategic Alliance Agreement, again, in one of the four pages of this pull out. This is what the Conversation in Abuja should be about, and not whether the minister has secretly transferred production rights to Atlantic Energy. The Africa Oil+Gas Report is the primer of the hydrocarbon industry on the continent. It is the market leader in local contextualizing of global developments and policy issues and is the go-to medium for decision makers, whether they be international corporations or local entrepreneurs, technical enterprises or financing institutions, for useful analyses of Africa’s oil and gas industry. Published by the Festac News Press Limited since November 2001, AOGr is a monthly, 40 page hardcopy publication delivered to subscribers around the world. Its website remains www.africaoilgasreport.com and the contact email address is info@africaoilgasreport.com. Contact telephone numbers in our West African regional headquarters in Lagos are 2348130733523, 2347062420127, 2348034449079, 234803652979, 2348023902519. Please enjoy what this edition of the Pullout has to offer. -Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

it for five years before NPDC took over. 1, 500BOPD from Oziengbe South in OML 111, which came on stream in 2002 0.00BOPD production from Egbema, shut down due to a reported spill at Assa manifold; the field had produced as high as 4,000BOPD on average as of 2011. It was grabbed from Shell in 2006. 0.00BOPD production from Aroh field, due to production challenges. The field was handed over by Chevron as an undeveloped discovery and put into production by NPDC. 29,090BOPD from Oben, Amukpe and Sapele fields in OMLs 4, 38 and 41 respectively, operated by Seplat Petroleum. Gross production was 52, 873BOPD. 0.00BOPD production from Ogini/Isoko fields in OML 26 operated by NPDC. The fields had produced as high as 10,000BOPD(gross) earlier in the month, with about 5,500BOPD net to NPDC; it was shut down on April 27 due to leakage on the export line. First hydrocarbon Nigeria is JV partner in this lease. 6, 862BOPD production from the Utorogu/Ughelli fields in OML 34, operated by NPDC. Niger Delta Western (NDWestern) is the JV partner in this acreage. Gross production was 12,476BOPD. 7, 261BOPD production from Batan field in OML 42, operated by NPDC. Neconde is the JV partner in this acreage. Gross production was 13,241BOPD. 9, 210BOPD production from Afiesere/Kokori fields in OML 30, operated by NPDC. Shoreline Natural resources is the JV partner in this acreage. Gross production was 16,746BOPD. The fields referred to in Numbers 8-11 in the numbered sentences above are the focus of this article. NPDC’s take over Egbema and Aroh fields, which were wrested from Shell and Chevron in 2005, marked the beginning of the current phase in which the NNPC began to take over operatorship of assets that had all along been operated by International Oil Companies in Joint Venture with NNPC. Just by looking at the figures alone, many would give a thumb up to NPDC. Just what is the hoopla around its competence?, some would ask. This is a company that operated Oredo field for 17 years. This is a government owned firm that took over a field of less than 1,000BOPD from Mobil 35 years ago and has kept it producing, even doing close to 6,000BOPD today. That’s productive, isn’t it? Oil industry technical folk who interface with NPDC, know that things are different. From subsurface consultants working for Schlumberger and halliburton, to welders constructing pipelines, everyone knows that this is a typical government organization beset with “issues”. People have stories of NPDC drilling a 10,000feet well for 90 days, not because of comprehensive geologic sampling or testing, but simply because supplies run out! The company hires some of the best technical minds from the best Universities around the world, then proceeds to waste them with de-motivation. NPDC’s key challenges over the years, have been that it never has been allowed space to breathe, outside of Abuja’s influence. It doesn’t have access to money it generates. And layers of bureaucracy make it difficult for it to raise money from the government treasury into which it returns the money it makes. This difficulty helps ensure poor quality of spending, such that, yes, money may be received and spent at the end of the day but the results have been, over the years, chronic-under achievement. It is against the background of this bleak performance that many have contextualized the government’s insistence on having NPDC take over operatorship of the four acreages(Nos 8-11 above) that were divested off by Shell, ENI and TOTAL as instructive of the willingness, or otherwise, of the Nigerian government to open up the space for investment, even to its own people. As important as the operatorship, espe-

In the event, this is what has happened: Output in OML 42 was 15,000BOPD when the Sales Purchase Agreement was concluded between Shell and Neconde in mid- 2011. As of April 30, 2013, roughly two years after, the production was 13,241BOPD. Production in OML 34, was 13,700BOPD in August 2012, when Niger Delta Western finalized its acquisition of 45% of the asset. Today, production is less than 13,000BOPD. OML 26 was producing 6,000 barrels of oil per day as of when FHN bought into the asset in late 2011. It increased to 10,000BOPD in a few months and hovered around 11,000BOPD, for a while. cially in the public interest, is the financial transaction involved in the process of ensuring that NPDC “gets the funds” to operate. A brief background. In 2010, Shell invited a number of Nigerian independents to bid for its 30% stake, as well as the combined 15% stake of its partners ENI and TOTAL in OMLs 30, 34, 40 and 42, in Delta state of Nigeria. Some 30 consortia, most of them incorporated joint ventures led by Nigerian independents with mid sized European IOCs as funding partners applied. In the end four of the companies that made the highest offers during the tender process executed share purchase agreements with Shell &Co but this was subject to the approval of NNPC, the senior partner in the JV. Conoil, a well honed 16 year operator producing 25,000BOPD from three fields, offered $1.29 billion for OML 30, Nestoil, which had proven itself in the oil (engineering)service sector, in partnership with Polish-based Kulczyk Oil Ventures Inc and Folawiyo Energy offered $800 million for OML 42; ElandStarcrest Consortium, offered $157 million for OML 40 and Niger Delta Exploration & Production, operator of the Ogbele field, which has produced on average 5,000BOPD for five years, offered $600 million for OML 34.   The Nigerian companies had proven track records. They don’t have the volume that NPDC has on its books, but they are more competent and this time, they were coming with funding. The opportunity to “operate” an asset confers on you the responsibility to take the technical decision and lead the funding, in the entire exploration and field development cycle. A non-operating partner is a passive one. NNPC was begged, by the investors, to waive its preemptive rights to operatorship of the blocks before the deals could be concluded. In the event, this is what has happened: Output in OML 42 was 15,000BOPD when the Sales Purchase Agreement was concluded between Shell and Neconde in mid- 2011. As of April 30, 2013, roughly two years after, the production was 13,241BOPD. Production in OML 34, was 13,700BOPD in August 2012, when Niger Delta Western finalized its acquisition of 45% of the asset. Today, production is less than 13,000BOPD. OML 26 was producing 6,000 barrels of oil per day as of when FhN bought into the asset in late 2011. It increased to 10,000BOPD in a few months and hovered around 11,000BOPD, for a while. All of these acreages are operated by NPDC. Victor Briggs, the friendly, likeable CEO of NPDC complained that a newspaper report was undermining the operatorship of NPDC. But look again, is thiscrawl from 6,000BOPD to 10,000BOPD not sub optimal for a company like FhN, which is partly owned and powered by Afren? Meanwhile, OMLs 4, 38 and 41 were collectively producing 30,000BOPD when Seplat bought into the leases in 2010. By

2011, production had zoomed beyond 40,000BOPD. Today, the output is 52,000+BOPD. The difference here is that SEPLAT, the Nigerian private company, is the operator of the assets. The company has added 22,000BOPD to the output it “inherited”. Seplat “escaped” being drawn into a partnership with NPDC in a relationship in which NPDC is the operator. Timing helped. The company had almost concluded all the negotiations before the current Minister came into office. The minister once told ThisDay that part of the reason for NPDC taking over operatorship of the assets was that some of them were so strategic to National Security in that they contained the key gas fields and infrastructure that supply most of the country’s domestic gas requirements. how does anyone respond to this kind of statement? That these assets were “safer” in the “hands” of the Anglo Dutch multinational named Shell, than, say, Niger Delta Western, a Nigerian company which is, to borrow a line from the poet Olu Oguibe, bound to this land by blood? By insisting on operatorship of those assets, which in effect renders those companies who have invested between 157Million and 1.29Billion dollars as passive partners, NPDC was swimming against the tide of history. In the last 15 years, a clutch of Nigerian independents have gone through stages of growth as E&P producers, and as a collective, become champions of indigenous capacity. To have homegrown companies who produce oil ranging from 1,000BOPD to 25,000BOPD does not happen anywhere else on the African continent the way it happens in Nigeria. African hydrocarbon economies, as a rule-whether it’s Libya, Angola, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, even Egypt- hardly have a thriving privately led E&P sector made up of homegrown producers. Angola has a clutch of E&P companies with some small output, but what the produce is infinitesimal compred with their Nigerian counterparts. (See: The African Independent Grows, Africa Oil+Gas Report, March/April 2013) What is homegrown, in these countries, is essentially the strong National Company, which crowds out indigenous private sector investment. That Nigeria has not grown that way should be treated as a plus. While the national hydrocarbon company is weak, we have a private sector E&P class that is raring to go. It’s a model that’s uniquely Nigerian. Still, most of the local, private E&P firms have had access only to small fields and in several cases, relatively unprospective acreages located on the flanks of the Niger Delta, the country’s sole producing basin. Shell’s divestment would have proven a revolution, but the Nigerian government is shooting it down. To fund its operatorship of the leases, OMLs 26, 30, 34 and 42, the NPDC signed a strategic agreement with Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept, which had, until then, never featured in E&P activities either in Nigeria or elsewhere, “to provide funds for carrying out Petroleum operations and support NPDC with technical expertise”. There are two things here. For one, as the Nigerian media has extensively insinuated, the agreement smacks of arbitrariness, was executed in a patronage manner and the terms are clearly a give- away of resources. Examined closely, the deal with Atlantic on the assets puts to the lie, the impression given by the minister of petroleum, that NPDC’s operatorship helps increase volume capacity of production for the NNPC group. In order to recover its cost in funding the NPDC part of the operations, Atlantic Energy Drilling will receive, in the beginning of production, 60% of the volume of crude oil to which NPDC (NNPC)is entitled. This is cost oil. When that cost is fully recovered, Atlantic’s share will drop to 30% of the crude oil to which NPDC is entitled. Please read this carefully; if the entire volume of oil produced in that acreage before Shell’s divestment was 100,000Barrels per day, the NNPC , as a non operating partner, was receiving 55,000 Barrels of that production every day. Now, in the post-Shell CONTINUED ON PAGE 54


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

COMPULIFE 21

CompuLife Developing mobile apps for SMEs growth in Nigeria Globally, Small and Medium Enterprises are leveraging mobile applications to strengthen their online presence. The SMEs in Nigeria have been encouraged to make more use of such applications to strengthen their competitiveness. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN writes OBILE technology has become an important instrument M for economic and business growth, helping to access, adapt, produce and apply information to managing not just the business itself, but also in the development of human capacities. The mobile technology has also been linked to increase in job creation globally because of the various opportunities that came with it. Undoubtedly, the explosion in mobile phone usage in Nigeria has placed the country as the fastest growing market in Africa, displacing South Africa and making it a major bloc in the world. The latest subscriber statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) buttressed this point. The NCC data as at February revealed that Nigeria currently had 116 million active subscriptions, with the GSM operators pulling the largest share of 113 million, while the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) had 2.7 million subscribers. Various forecasts have shown the robustness of the Nigerian market and potential, which are yet to be tapped. Consequently, this has increased the influx of various phone manufacturers and brands into the country. A World Bank study recently revealed that about two third of the global population had access to mobile phones, saying that the voice aspect of the mobile technology was gradually getting to its climax. Analysts have asked telecommunications service providers to shift their focus from the usual voice services to other technology on the mobile phone, which could also guarantee other streams of income. Indeed, the focus is gradually shifting to data services, with focus on applications development. Arguably, some analysts were of the opinion that it wasn’t until the launch of Apple Appstore that the mobile applications industry started to blossom in earnest. Already, it has been predicted that the total global mobile app market will be worth $25 billion by 2015 (up from about $6.8 billion in 2010), according to projections from MarketsandMarkets. Obviously, App Store holds nearly 20.5 per cent of this market share, while the global market is forecast to record a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 29.6 per cent from 2009 to 2014. In recognition of the potential yet untapped in the app market both in Nigeria and globally, an indigenous technology firm in the country, VConnect.com has taken up the gauntlet, with the launch of a mobile app targeted specifically at the Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs). To VConnect.com, its target is to assist the over two million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, most of which has no wherewithal to expend on billboards, newspaper adverts, television and radio adverts, among other traditional media platforms. VConnect’s plan is to assist in getting these SMEs through an app that will run on devices, such as a smartphone, tablet or even the computer. Interestingly, with the emergence of mobile applications with the primary objective of providing information on products, services or businesses for Nigerians, operators in this cadre of Nigerian business community can now interact with their target audience within their locality in large numbers. Experts believe that the use of mobile apps would help businesses reduce administrative procedures, improve productivity through efficient auditing to reduce waste as well as improve customer relations and attract new business. Speaking on the VConnect’s apps development, Marketing Manager, VConnect.com, Mr. Hiren Parikh, said that the local search engine termed VConnect Global Services Limited, was an application site, which had given opportunity to businesses and had grown a database of over 500,000 organised businesses in two years. According to him, in a country of majorly unorganised database, the search engine caters for large segment of smart phone users and is compatible with both blackberry and android devices providing information on the go. Parikh stated that the app organises business fora for SMBs to aid their growth and like the VConnect business slogan goes: “Largest Local Search Engine & Information Service Provider in Nigeria,” the application no doubt is an amazing website that

A mobile application

Already, it has been predicted that the total global mobile app market will be worth $25 billion by 2015 (up from about $6.8 billion in 2010), according to projections from MarketsandMarkets. Obviously, App Store holds nearly 20.5 per cent of this market share, while the global market is forecast to record a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 29.6 per cent from 2009 to 2014 brings a lot of prospects to the nation’s economic growth as well as easing the stress of the populace associated with looking for addresses. According to him, the technology is spreading very fast across the world, and businesses are gaining quick popularity because most of the apps can be downloaded for free by phone users. VConnect, as a player, he said, had continued to see huge opportunity in the market. Parikh, noted that the firm had boosted its network to facilitate good traffic management and easy access from anywhere in the world. Describing the platform as a reliable search engine for businesses, he said BlackBerry and Android phone users had unlimited opportunity in using their phones to do legitimate businesses. Explaining how the technology works, he said: “On clicking Near Me, for instance, if the GPS on a phone is activated for the user, a list of categories is shown to the user. These categories display businesses within the local government areas where the user is present. The user also has an option to view these businesses on map by just a click.” He said that users could also get category displays for best businesses in particular areas, and get suppliers calling them with their bids and offers when necessary details like name, email, description, phone number, location, among others are provided.” Parikh added: “With contemporary technologies, users are given an opportunity to add new businesses in their areas/local-

ity. Relevant details like name of the business, phone number, email, address, among others, are requested and submitted. “This information is further verified as the business owner is called for confirmation of the business information provided. Users may be required to log in or sign up with their login identity to access this.” Users can select specific businesses and constantly be provided with updates as they come on the businesses selected, he explained, adding that updates like new businesses, new reviews, new products, new locations, among others, could be supplied as mobile feeds. By and large, he said that the apps helped to create awareness as well as ease up stress by creating business profile and website designing and development services for SMEs for free. “Vconnect also has an SMS service, which could be used in contacting a large target audience at a very cheap cost. SMS marketing is one of the cheapest advertising channels to reach customers. More so, users can write reviews on websites, movies or events on the VConnect website if they like the app,” he stated. In one of his presentations titled, “Harnessing the potential of Internet and Applications on Mobile Devices”, at a Mobile Web conference, President, Cyberskuul news and a former president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Titi Omo-Ettu, said that the country had started seeing the mobile phone, in particular, as a device for change, a tool for closing the digital divide, an ultimate closer of the gap between the rich and the poor and between the rural and the urban. Omo-Ettu said that building the rapidly expanding mobile system to generate more business makes good sense, adding that millions of SIM cards existed in the market and were supposed to be doing quite a lot beyond voice. “Content creation is key and I am particularly concerned about how much of this can be locally targeted and locally produced.” Omo-Ettu, believed that if Nigeria must benefit immensely from the apps market, there was need for improved infrastructure, capacity building among others.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

22 COMPULIFE

‘ECC will reduce crime, address emergency issues’ From Ayoyinka Olagoke, Uyo HE Emergency Communication Centres (ECC) being constructT ed in the 36 states of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, will reduce crime and tackle emergency situations in the country, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Communication Technology, Dr. Henry Akpan, has said. Akpan who spoke with journalists shortly after inspecting facilities at the call centre in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State at the weekend said that when fully operational the centres would address some of the challenges being experienced in the country, especially in the area of security and emergency issues such as flooding, accidents and others. He said that the ministry was doing its best to fast-tract the com-

missioning of the centres throughout the country as way of keying into the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan and for the benefits of Nigerians. His words: “We wants to make sure that Nigerian can quickly see the benefits of these call centres that will assist us in getting across to government in emergencies cases also to have quick responses to those problems. “What we are going to do is to increase the awareness of these call centres so that when you have any emergency situation anywhere you can reach us on this call centre and we can reach out to the police or fire service or whichever agency that would be responsible for the solution of the emergency problem. “The centres will strengthen our democracy and take care of some of the challenges we have now on the area of security and

other emergency issues like flooding, accidents and so on.” Akpan said that the call centre had enough back up light facilities such as the UPS system which is capable of supplying light for upward of 12 hours when they are challenges of power failure in the state. The Operational Manager of the centre, Mallam Alkassim Umar, said that the centre was one of the mandates of the National Communication Commission (NCC) through which citizens in distress could dial number 112 and get attended to immediately. He said that it was a toll free number and customers were free to dial the centre at any given time whether they had money or not and they would be attended to by call takers who would receive the call and relate the call to the police or any agenda responsible for the problem.

...DBI Lagos sets July operational take-off date By Adeyemi Adepetun ARING any unforeseen circumstances, the Lagos Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), an initiative of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which seeks to train and educate future leaders and innovators in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and behavioural sciences, will begin operational from July this year. Director of Projects at the NCC, Nnamdi Nwokike, gave the information in Lagos at the weekend, during an inspection visit of the complex by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications Technology, Dr. Henry Akpan. Conducting the Permanent Secretary round the massive buildings at the site, Nwokike said that the project was already 90 per cent completed and that in the next six weeks, it would have attained full completion, equipped with modern facilities and opened for training activities. According to him: “The Lagos DBI will open for training in six weeks time and it will begin with the Federal Government Amnesty Programme, where people that were shortlisted for the amnesty programme will be trained at the institute. Apart from ICT training, it will also be involved in behavioral sciences.” In his remark, the ComTech Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Akpan, who expressed satisfaction over level of work done at the site, commended NCC for its initiative, while thanking the contractors for their diligence and commitment to work. “The Lagos DBI, when completed, will create economic wealth,

B

through gainful employment that will be created by beneficiaries of its training programmes,” Akpan said. The NCC has been operating DBI in Abuja, where it has graduated several people from different organisations across Nigeria, including government official. In a bid to expand the training activities, NCC decided to set up another DBI in Lagos and Port Harcourt.

The DBI initiative is part of a larger effort by the NCC to proactively sustain and drive growth trends of the Nigerian telecoms market place. The Lagos campus of DBI, according to Nwokike, would focus on professional certification at the lower to midlevels training, with emphasis on building a variety of lower to mid-level professional skills in ICT.

Free calls apps, others to enter Nigeria soon N application platform that is expected been launched in the UK, said that the services revenues to grow to $76.1 billion A products would enter Nigeria any to offer free calls, video calls, free mesby 2015. moment from now and it was expected Besides, Infonetics Research, in its latest saging, SMS, photo, video, audio, photo sharing, file transfer, conference calling, voicemail by email and others is to debut the Nigerian market any time from now. The application, called Zega does what Blackberry, Skype, Whatsapp and others can do, by integrating with users contacts on the go. According to the promoter of the new invention, Zegaphone Africa, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sam Fidelis, the app is a triple A or Rolls Royce platform for smartphones. Fidelis, who disclosed that the app has

to take the social network and business industry by storm. He also said that a local partner would be announced soon. While making reference to a recent research conducted by Fierce Enterprise Communication research, which revealed that while residential services continue to make up the bulk of VoIP service revenue, he said that the new research predicted major growth in the business segment, driving combined business and residential/SOHO VoIP

VoIP and UC Services and subscribers report, forecast revenues from SIP trunking services would reach a 52 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2011 and 2015; it projected the number of seats for hosted business VoIP and unified communications services is on track to more than double during the same time period. The number of residential and small office/home office (SOHO) subscribers to hosted VoIP services is expected to grow from 179 million in 2011 to 262 million worldwide by 2015.

Ericsson claims one billion users of managed service on network By Adeyemi Adepetun ANAGED service subscribers on Ericsson network have hit M one billion, the firm has stated. A managed service is the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities as a strategic method for improving operations. This can include outsourcing HR-activities, Production Support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities. Ericsson, a provider of managed services and telecommunications infrastructure said this at the weekend, with the Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit at the firm, Magnus Mandersson, saying that the firm signed more than 300 contracts worldwide, with three of the largest deals coming from Africa covering 24 countries. According to Mandersson: “We are very proud to have passed the one billion subscribers milestone, as this confirms our leadership in managed services. We achieved this goal by earning the trust of our customers with our high-performance operations and processes and our skilled people, which are at the heart of Ericsson’s services business.” He further said: “In an increasingly networked society, a growing number of devices are expected to use broadband connections to deliver a wide array of rich communication and multimedia services, anytime, anywhere. Even more advanced network solutions are required to meet the demand for superior performance, and the natural solution for operators is to sign managed services contracts with partners that assume responsibility for activities such as operating and managing their networks.” Ericsson pioneered managed services for telecoms and continues to be the frontrunner in this area. With well over 15 years of experience in managing multi-vendor, multi-technology networks, Ericsson industrialised the concept of delivering managed services for multiple operators through outstanding Global Service Centres and a strong field service organisation. Ericsson, according to Mandersson, “is also the leader in Africa for managed services, a position that was strengthened earlier this year when it was announced that Atlantique Telecoms, part of Etisalat Group, awarded Ericsson a 5-year multi-country managed services contract to span the continent.” He also said Ericsson pioneered the development of the Experience Centric Managed Services model, which offers operators benefits such as continuous service improvement, reduced time to market, access to technical competence, and a shared focus on user experience. The end result is satisfied users, lower subscriber churn rates, higher average revenue per user and a more cost-efficient operation, he said.


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Gov. Obi’s Giant

ANAMBRA

NCE in a long while, history throws up a man ahead of his time to use his foresight to lead his people to the Promised Land. And so it happened that Anambra State which had for long groped in the dark in search of a true, sincere, honest and God fearing leader finally found one in the person of His Excellency, Peter Obi, Okwute Ndigbo. In his many statements, Obi has said that his achievements were more than that of all Governors who had governed this state put together. This is not conjectural, because some of the projects he executed are there in black and white to speak for him. They are capable of convincing even the most gullible of persons. On assumption of office, the Governor adopted the Millennium Development Goals as the vision of Anambra State and went on to adopt the Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) as a vehicle through which the vision will be achieved. Today, he is the only Governor conscious of the MDGS and is doing everything possible to achieve it by the year 2015. With ANIDS, he is working on all sectors, developing them simultaneously. Thus, through ANIDS of Peter Obi, Anambra has made a quantum leap on development. Today, among other states, Anambra is regarded as a State of many firsts, because it has a governor who has done many things that ought to have been done in the State a long time ago. It will be difficult capturing all he has done in Anambra State, nevertheless, here we go even if only to clear the doubts which people are sponsored to create in the minds of those genuinely looking for what the Governor has been able to do.

O

STATE GOVERNMENT

Strides

Gov. Obi has completed the construction of the 1st and 2nd phases of the Ultra modern State Secretariat – the first Secretariat in the State since creation. He built the Onitsha Business Park adjudged as the first of its kind in the country. The second park has just been completed, because 75% of the cost of the first one realized from rent fees, was ploughed into the second. He has constructed the Faculties of Law, Engineering, Mass Communications and Social Science buildings at the State University. He has started the development of the permanent site of the University’s campus at Igbariam: a 7-km perimeter fence has been completed; three giant buildings are completed - faculties of Management Sciences, Agriculture as well as the Administrative/Senate buildings.

Obi has rebuilt all the structures burnt down in the State during the mayhem of November, 2004, when reactionary forces set the State on fire. He started and completed from the scratch, the burnt Umueri General Hospital, and over 20 different buildings in our Hospitals and Medical Institutions. Examples are: Heart Centre (Onitsha General Hospital), Kidney Dialysis Centre (Onitsha General Hospital), An Administrative Block (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Nkpor), Classroom Blocks (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Nkpor), Resident Doctors’ Quarters (Onitsha General Hospital), Medical and Pharmaceutical Stores (Amaku Teaching Hospital), Maternity Complex (Onitsha General Hospital), Special Medical Ward (Amaku General Hospital), Hostel Block (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Nkpor), New Auditorium

Governor Obi purchased and distributed over 50 ambulances to health institutions in the State.

SABmiller brewery, one of the many multinational companies attracted to the State by Gov. Peter Obi

Governor Peter Obi, Executive Governor Anambra State

Part of the 18 buildings at the new Amaku Teaching Hospital, conceived and built by Governor Peter Obi

Forging International Alliance: The Secretary-General of United Nations, His Excellency, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon (middle), flanked by Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra State (left) and the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Nigeria, Daouda Toure


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STATE GOVERNMENT

Gov. Obi’s Giant Strides

(School of Nursing, Nkpor), Classroom Blocks (School of Health Technology, Obosi), etc. As a result of this, Anambra State which did not have any accredited hospital and health institution now has Onitsha General Hospital and some health institutions accredited.

The Anambra State Teaching Hospital recently gained accreditation after the Governor erected more than 16 giant structures at the hospital some of which are: Consultants’ Clinic, General Outpatient Department, House Officers’ Quarters, Laboratory Complex, Administrative Block, Mortuary and Pathology Building, while Ekwulobia General Hospital is witnessing massive development preparatory to securing accreditation. Gov. Obi started the dredging of Nwangene, the first time this is being done since Independence. He also facilitated the on-going dredging of Sacamori. He provided over 40 new buses for the State Transport Corporation (TRACAS) and bought 90 vehicles for ANIDS Transport, which has, through plough back of profit, risen to over 200 vehicles. He started and completed two mini-stadia at Onitsha North and South LG Councils. Gov Obi was the first to start the planned equipping of all Secondary Schools in Anambra State with complete laboratories and computers. He has so far covered over 120 schools. He has also bought over 150 brand new buses for Secondary Schools in the State, the first of such a gesture since the state’s creation in 1991. He is systematically providing computers to schools in Anambra State, apart from providing them with INTERNET connectivity and water. He said that by the end of the year, all the secondary schools in the State will get brand new buses. When he came, no Water Scheme was functional in the State. He has revived the Amawbia Water Scheme; presently he is working on 17 water schemes some of which are: Obizi Water Scheme, Agulu-Aguinyi, Dunukofia, Nibo, Nimo, Ukpor and Azigbo Water Schemes. Some are already completed and waiting for modalities to start operations. Pre-Obi, no development partner operated in the State. Having restored confidence and integrity in Government business, they are all coming back: European Union, World Bank, UNDP, UN-Habitat, USAID, DFID, among others. Through deft diplomacy, he has attracted Federal Agencies to open shops in the State, such as the Corporate Affairs Commission, Central Bank, Standards Organization of Nigeria, the Federal High Court, the Federal Secretariat (Under construction), among others. He started and completed the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central Library, the first library in the State since 1966. The Obi administration is committed to the building of human infrastructure and is

championing training and retraining of civil servants and value re-orientation.

He has asphalted over 750kms of roads, the highest by any administration since the creation of the State. He is also building about 20 bridges in different parts of the State, some completed, others on going. He has also distributed over 300 transformers as part of the measures to tackle energy problem. He has completed the Ministry of Justice Building and Judges’ Quarters in Onitsha and Awka. Gov Obi is tackling the menace of erosion in the State with the seriousness it deserves; working on over 27 erosion sites. The Nkpor (Agulu Avenue) and Ebenebe erosion sites were among the last that were completed. In his desire to open up the State to foreign investors, he has attracted many foreign investors, including two fortune 500 companies to Anambra State, one of them, SABmiller of South Africa, is already producing in the State.

THE AWARD WINNING GOVERNOR: Gov. Obi (Middle), being presented with the Business Hallmarks Governor of the Year Award (2011) by Senator Ben Obi (left). On his right is the Managing Director of Enterprise Bank Plc, Mr. Emeka Onwuka. He has also won Thisday Award as the Most Financially Prudent Governor, among others

Apart from prompt payment of salaries and pensions, he paid all the arrears owed during Dr. Mbadinuju’s Government. He has paid all gratuities owned since 1999 to retirees. Today, gratuities are paid within three months of retirement. Obi remains the only Governor to visit schools in the State, including primary and secondary schools. He has sustained the routine grant-in-aid to institutions owned by voluntary agencies that serve the interest of the people of the state such as hospitals and schools. He has donated communication gadgets, over 300 patrol vehicles and some Armoured Personnel Carriers to security agencies in the State as well as offering them logistics support. In 2012, he inaugurated the State Security Trust Fund for the security of the people of the State. He has provided all Government Functionaries, Ministries, Agencies, Commissions, etc with official and operational vehicles. Above all, the State Government does not owe any financial institution, a feat possible only in Anambra State for which Thisday newspaper acknowledged him as the most financially prudent, Peter Obi.

REACHING OUT TO DEVELOPEMNT PARTNERS: The President of the World Bank, Mr. Robert Zoellick (2nd left); the Nigerian Cordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (1st left); the former Nigerian Minister of Finance who is now an Executive Director at the WB, Alhaji Mansur Muhtar (2nd right) and Gov. Peter Obi (1st right) at the office of the WB President during the 2012 World Bank Spring meeting in Washington.

The result of all these and more is that Obi is silently re-branding Anambra State through good deeds that have made the State to be gradually shedding the toga of war for the toga of peace and development. Obi turned the College of Agric at Mgbakwu from a rodent-infested glorified institution to a modern College of Agriculture. He has also increased workers’ salaries four

Gov. Obi speaking to the youth of the State during one of the numerous orientation and skills acquisition programmes organised by the State for them to be gainfully employed.

Nmiri John road, Ojoto, one among over 700 Kilometers of roads constructed across the State by Gov. Peter Obi

times and lifted their embargo on promotion. He also became one of the first state governors in the country to pay the new Minimum wage. An ultra-modern mini stadium named after a late philanthropist, Pa Chuba Ikpeazu, was also built by Obi in Onitsha North, while a similar one is nearing completion in Onitsha South. An ultra-modern secretariat was also built by Obi in Onitsha North. Under Obi hitherto ignored parts of the state are getting attention. The people of Umueze Anam in Anambra West will not forget Obi in a hurry. This follows the construction of the Umueze-Anam to Mmiata road project. The road project is currently approaching Mmia-

ta, while the Otuku Bridge which has already been completed, has greatly enhanced movement in Anambra West. The government is also doing rural electrification there. Other on-going projects across the state include the building of a retaining wall on Atani Road, Ogbaru; construction of OkijaOgbaru road; construction of Lilu road, among others. Before now the government had built the longest bridge in the state’s history called the Odo River Bridge. It measures 165metres. He has also completed three giant bridges along the Ozubulu-Atani road under construction.


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Gov. Obi’s Giant Strides

Presently, work is going on at the Ezu Bridge Amansea/Ebenebe. Recently, the prime road access into the larger part of Awka North received a boost with the installation of massive steel beams across the Ezu River. This has now enable the over eight communities located across it easy interaction with the rest of the state and beyond. To cap it all, Obi handed over a total of 1, 040 primary schools back to their original owners, the churches, with N6 Billion Naira set aside for the rehabilitation the schools. This was after he had earlier returned 50 secondary schools to the church. Responding on behalf of Catholic bishops at the event which held at the Women’s Development Centre, Awka, the Archbishop of Onitsha metropolitan Province, Valerian Okeke, in an emotion laden voice, assured Obi that his action of handing back schools to their owners was one of the most popular decisions ever taken in the state. In his words, he told the governor, ‘you have written your name in gold and you have wiped the tears of our people. You have rectified the anomalies of the civil war and rectified the fault of past leaders. With this action the church has forgiven them for forcefully taking our schools,’ Bishop Okeke said. Also speaking, the Catholic bishop of Awka, His Lordship Paulinus Ezeokafor said, ‘I’m highly elated at the decision of the governor to return schools to their former owners. It was an injustice to take them in the first place and this created a monopoly but now it will change as missions have something to offer by offering both physical and spiritual growth. We thank Obi for the action. The Church will partner with the state government to do it because everywhere in the world education is a partnership.’ In his speech on behalf of the Anglican bishops, the Archbishop of the Niger Province and Bishop of Aguata Diocese, Most Reverend Christian Efobi, said Governor Obi’s action showed that when the righteous mounted the throne the people rejoiced and he pledged that they would continually pray for him A week after that, Obi embarked on a massive turnaround of the state’s health sector with a donation of N3 Billion Naira to selected mission and state owned hospitals in the state under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) project, just as the building of 10 new nursing school hostels in parts of the state costing N60m each is now undertaken by the mission hospitals funded by the state government. Some are completed and others nearly completion. Routinely, the governor gives N2m to each of the 177 communities in the state to carry out palliative work on their local roads and to provide security. This has been the practice for the past five years, something no government in the state has done. It is noteworthy that Governor Obi is no Father Christmas. The money he has been splashing on communities and the state all this while is certainly not coming from the meagre federal allocation which the state gets monthly. The money is a result of careful planning and the tremendous good will the hard working governor enjoys from international partners and friends of the state. These are people and insti-

tutions who know Obi as a man of integrity. As a former banker and trader, Obi has had course to meet and relate with them regularly and today he has continued to enjoy their trust. Thus, this trust is hard earned as he didn’t just wake up to start enjoying it. Indeed, Obi has been acknowledged everywhere as a man of vision. When he assumed office as governor of Anambra State, his first task was to expel all the mad men who masqueraded as politicians from the state. These people were seen in the motor parks as barons who sponsored touts to hijack money meant for the state for their private use. They were seen as contractors who did shabby jobs (if they finished them at all) and pocketed the money. They were the godfathers who expected every other politician to pay them homage and discuss terms with them. What is happening today in Anambra is certainly a vindication of the saying that when the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice. Anambra is surely rejoicing. A CITATION ON THE GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. PETER GREGORY OBI, CON 1. Born in 1961 2. Attended: * Christ the king College, Onitsha * University of Nigeria, Nsukka. * Lagos Business School. * London School of Economics. * Columbia Business School, New York. * Harvard Business School, Boston. * Kellogg Graduate School of Management. * Institute for Management Development, Switzerland.

3. He was the founder and former CEO of Next International Company Ltd, a foremost successful brand management and distribution company in Nigeria. 4. CORPORATE WORLD: He was Chairman and Director in many quoted companies, including three banks where he rose to become the youngest Chairman of one of the banks until he was declared the winner of Anambra State gubernatorial election of 2003 in 2006. 5. MEMBERSHIP OF BODIES: He is a fellow and member of many professional bodies and organizations, some of which are: Fellow, Nigeria Chartered Institute of Bankers; Chartered Director, British Institute of Bankers, Commonwealth Business Council (CBC); West African Business Committee (WABC); British Institute of Directors (IOD); British Nigeria Business Council (BNBC) and Nigerian/South African Chamber of Commerce (NSACC).

Gov. Peter Obi (left), with the Global CEO of Legacy Group of South-Africa, Bart Dorrestein (right) discussing on investment prospects in Anambra State in South Africa on the 27th of May, 2013

Gov. Peter Obi (middle), with Mark Bowman, SABmiller MD, Africa (right) and Simon Harvey, SABmiller Operations Director, West Africa (left), discussing about investment in Anambra in South Africa on the 27th of May, 2013

INTRODUCED FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES IN NIGERIAN POLITICS 1. The first Nigerian to reclaim his Governorship mandate after three years in courts. 2. The first Governor to come back from impeachment through the courts, after he was removed 6 months into his office by reactionary forces of Anambra politics of

ANIDS Transport that started operation with 90 fleet of vehicles now has over 200 vehicles bought with the money generated by the company in less than three years.

Gov. Peter Obi (right) being conducted round some of the Refuse Disposal Vehicles being produced for Anambra State by the CEO of Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company, Nnewi, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma (left), a company Anambra State has continued to give all necessary assistance including buying vehicle worth billions of naira from her.


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Gov. Obi’s Giant Strides

those days. 3. The first Governor to go for tenure interpretation when INEC allowed elections to take place in the State when his tenure had not ended. 4. The first Governor to serve 2nd term both in the new and old Anambra State, that is, almost 40 years after creation. 5. The first serving Governor to be appointed a Special Adviser (Finance) to the President. 6. The first serving Governor appointed into the Presidential Economic Management team. 7. Among the first Governors to be honoured with a National Award in 2011, when the honour was extended to serving Governors. 8. Though only the Governor from a minority party, but was the Vice Chairman of the Governors’ Forum. 9. Though the only non-PDP Governor in the South-East then, but elected the Chairman of the South-East Governor’s Forum. 10. During the presidential campaign, when the SouthSouth and South-East formed a common Forum of the Governors from both geo-political zones, he was elected the Chairman. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP IN THE LAST ONE YEAR: 11. Federal Government Committee on Negotiation with Labour on Subsidy 12. Federal Government Committee on Mass Transit 13. Federal Government Committee on Natural Resource Funds 14. A member of NEC Committee on Power Sector Reform 15. NEC Committee on Sharing Formula of MDGs funds 16. Federal Government Committee on Accurate Data on the Country’s Oil Import and Export 17. Federal Government Committee on Minimum Wage 18. Member, Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council ANAMBRA UNDER HIM 1. Under his tenure, Anambra State is no longer a pariah State that was scorned and laughed at. For the first time, Ambassadors of such countries as USA, Britain, Russia, European Union, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, Dutch, Canada, Venezuela, Ghana, among others, visited the State. 2. Many International organizations want to identify with Anambra State.

3. Anambra is held by development partners such as UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, European Union as the no.1 State committed to reforms and development. 4. Under him, the Debt Management Office rated Anambra as the least indebted State in Nigeria. In spite of the wonders he is performing in the State, he has not borrowed money from any financial institution. 5. Under him, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria rated Anambra State as the most financially stable. 6. Under him, the Federal Ministry of Works has adjudged Anambra as having the best network of roads in the country having asphalted over 750 Kilometres of roads. 7. He is building roads in areas of the State that did not have any single road before him because of their difficult terrain, eg, Anambra West, Anambra East and Ogbaru Local Governments. 8. To complement the impressive work on road construction, he is constructing 20 bridges across the State out of which 13 have been completed such as Odor Bridge, Otuku Bridge, Aghomili Bridge, Ogbonabo Bridge, Obibia Bridge, Ebenebe Bridge, Okpu Bridge, among others. 9. He is working on over 18 medium schemes water projects across the State. 10. Known as the Governor of many firsts, under him, Anambra State has the first Secretariat, first Business Parks, first stadia, witnessing the phenomenal development of the Permanent Site of her University, the first Master Plans for the State’s major cities of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi, among others. 11. He recently returned missionary schools, taken from them since 1970 to them, with the grant of 6 billion Naira to rehabilitate the schools. 12. He has entered into strategic partnership with the Churches for the services their various institutions offer to the State. In health, he has restored grants to them and has made available the sum of 3 billion for them to rehabilitate their hospitals. 13. Gov. Obi was the first to provide and distribute to Anambra Schools the following: over 13,000 desktop/laptop computers; over 120 30kva generators; internet access to over 200 schools; over 120 buses to schools and provided boreholes to over 300 schools. He built classroom blocks in all the 177 communities in the State.

PASSION FOR DEVELOPMENT: Gov. Peter Obi (right), discussing the Second Niger bridge and other Federal Roads in the East with The Hon. Minister of Works, Arc. Mike Onolomemem (left) in the Minister’s office recently.

College of Medicine Building, which is among the 18 new buildings at the Anambra State Teaching Hospital, Awka, which secured accreditation a few weeks

14. He has attracted a lot of foreign investors to the State. Among them are two Fortune 500 companies out of which one of them, SABmiller, has started operations. 15. Under him, after investing over 4 Billion Naira in Orient petroleum, the first by Anambra State Government, Anambra will soon join oil producing States with Orient petroleum set to commence production any moment. 16. He is also working on over 25 active erosion sites, some completed, others on-going, eg, Umuchiani Erosion, Ebenebe Erosion, Nkpor Erosion, Adazi-Nnukwu Erosion, Utuh Eroaion, Osumenyi Erosion, among others. 17. Among his many intangible achievements is the payment of all outstanding pensions and gratuities in the State since 1999. On this he has spent over 4 Billion Naira to over 4000 families that benefitted. Today retirees in the State get their full benefits within three months of retirement. 18. Under him, Dr. Magnus Kpakol of NAPEP said Anambra was the No 1 in terms of reduction in poverty. 19. The State Teaching hospital and College of Medicine conceived and built by him has secured accreditation from the medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. Also, he has been the object of positive commentaries from important quarters. 1. Anambra State is one of the topmost states in Nigeria in terms of getting things done and commitment to good governance. - Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Chris Cooter, 2. We found Anambra attractive for almost all our projects because of the strong commitment of Governor Peter Obi not just to governance, but to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). - Prof. Folusho Okumade (World Bank) 3. Gov Obi is committed to Anambra State the South-East and Nigeria. I am proud of his quality contributions to the Country. - Prof. Barth Nnaji, Former Minister of Power 4. Governor Obi is a man of vision and a dedicated leader whose contributions in meetings, local and international, are quite useful. Dr. Adewumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture. 5. Other States should go to Anambra and see where there is commitment to achieving the Millenium Developemnt Goal (MDGs) - Mr. Dauda Toure, UNDP Resident Representative

Odor Bridge; one of the 20 bridges completed or on-going in Anambra State.

Senate Building, one of the new buildings at the Permanent Site of Anambra State University at Igbariam, under construction.


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Gov. Obi’s Giant Strides

6. Under Gov. Obi, there are enormous physical and administrative development of Anambra State. He is highly rated in financial management across the country. Peter Obi is actually one of those who should be considered for the office of president, because he has done quite well. - Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State 7. Obi was the first and only Governor that had demonstrated genuine commitment to peace and development in Anambra. - Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth 8. Gov. Obi is the most youth, education, development and future-friendly Governor. He is human person driven. He has continued to show that he has the best interest of the State at heart. May Anambra State never lack a leader like him.

- His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, 9. When the righteous are on the throne, the people rejoice. - The Most Rev. Christian Efobi, Anglican Archbishop, Province on the Niger 10. Governor Obi is always thinking and working to make things better through acts of love and philanthropy and has remained unrelenting in trying to make a difference in the life of the people. He lives an exemplary life and remains committed to building a model society with fear of God. With him Anambra is experiencing true governance. - His Lordship, Most Rev. Hilary Okeke, Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, 11. What Anambra is witnessing under Obi is a revolution the like of which the State had not witnessed in the past. - Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, Anglican Bishop of Onitsha,

Otuku Bridge (Umuezeanam), one of the 20 bridges completed or on-going in Anambra State

12. The problem Anambra will face is getting somebody as good as Governor Obi to replace him. He is an example of what Christians in politics should be. - His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, Catholic Bishop of Awka 13. Obi has wiped away the tears of our people, when they had to bear the burden of incompetent and greedy rulers. He has inspired the youth unto righteousness. His sense of uprightness has reached far and wide. He has become a symbol of reference. - Archbishop Jude Okolo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Chad and Central African Republic, 14. Peter Obi is a special gift from God and should be celebrated for his passion for the people of the State, his commitment to good governance, provision of basic things of life such as good roads, water, and health and education facilities, among other. - Rev. Peter Akinola, Primate of Anglican Church, 16. Obi is a man of vision, mission, focus, compassion, piety and integrity. - Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka

The first and second phases of the newly constructed Secretariat buildings for Anambra State.

Krisoral Group of Companies that is into manufacturing of roll over pilfer proof caps

Alive to his responsibilities, Obi inspecting an errosion site

Obi has purchased and distributed over 120 buses to schools in the State


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Outstanding DG’s of Federal Parastatals and Agencies “We Are Poised To Make NAPTIN An International Refrence Point In Manpower Training” -ENGR. RUEBEN OKEKE, DIRECTOR GENERAL, NATIONAL POWER TRAINING INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA (NAPTIN) REATED by the Federal Government with the mandate to ensure that the workforce, those working in the power sector are given proper training to ensure that fiscal infrastructure that is being expanded by the Federal Government is matched with a human capital that will operate and equally retain the system. The National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) also holds the mandate of capacity building of the entire workforce whether technical non technical to guarantee quality service delivery particularly in ensuring constant power supply. Under the leadership of Engr. Rueben Okeke, the institute is poised to actualize Nigeria’s manpower needs in the power sector. In this interview, the Director General highlights his views. The primary function of the Institute is to “provide training for power sector personnel and coordinate training activities in the sector", with the level of manpower development in the country, do you think the Institute has really achieved most of its objectives? We are just about 4years old. But I can tell you that we are on the path of progress. We are making progress everyday though we have not achieved all; we are making progress every day. We have trained over 5,300 workers in the power sector both technical and non technical for the past 4years. We have improved so much with the support of the Federal Government and the Ministry of Power in particular. We have created a learning environment which was not there before and we have spread out. We have just commissioned two regional training camps in Kano and one in South-East at Ochi. These are the objectives why NAPTIN was created. Every training that is being undertaken by the power sector is being coordinated by us both within Nigeria and outside Nigeria. We have taken over 250 engineers out of this country to see what goes on elsewhere and come back here to replicate what they have seen. So when you look at all these I can tell you confidently that we are achieving our objectives, even though we have not reached there. What are the challenges the Institute is facing and how do you think government can assist? Capacity building in any company, in any outfit can never be

C

relegated to background. It takes the front role. And if you have to achieve your purpose obviously you need to put money, a lot of fund into it. Our biggest challenge is that even though Federal Government have identified that training of the workforce is key to improvement to the power supply not enough fund is put to back it . There so many other things that are required if we have to meet that world class standard. Things like getting credible instructors, giving us titles, employing people, and attracting talents that have experience who will accept to teach. That is one of the biggest challenges we are having because you have to post the young engineers whom you have trained to teach and take them to isolated areas like Kainji Dam. You have to enumerate them well and that needs adequate funding. Right now we are making use of industry experts especially those who have worked and retired. These are expert with experience. We need to have workshops, and laboratories to enable us train engineers and artisans we deploy trainees in various locations in the power sector, power station, and sub-station and transmission station and our teachers go there to teach them. We also use those who are working there to teach them because a major part of our training is done hands-on with hard equipment on the field. With the level of manpower development in the country by the Institute, do you see the vision 20:2020 programmes attainable by the government? NAPTIN is being positioned very well to meet that challenge .for the man power planning which we have done over 8,000 engineers is required to meet the 40,000 Mega Watts that is being envisage to be achieved by 20:20:20. And over 17,000 technical man power is expected to be available match that 40, 000 Mega Watts that is prepared for 20:20:20. Many of the power stations are coming up on board and they will require man power. So we are well posi-

tioned especially with the Federal Ministry of Power is making genuine effort to empower NAPTIN to provide man power for facilities that are set to be commissioned toward the end of this year. Despite the huge investment in the power sector over the years by different administrations but we are yet to achieve any significant progress, what do you think as a professional is the solution to this problem? I don’t want to agree with you that significant progress has not been made. Let me take for example 2009 when NAPTIN was established what we are having in the national grade is about 1,500 megawatts, today we are on 4,500 megawatts and that is a major improvement. So if you are saying no significant progress has been made, I don’t agree. But you know very well that a gestation period for you to build a power station is not the same as building a house. The eleven power stations of NIPP that are there are not things you can build over 2 or 3 years. And as you can see on TV every day, these power stations are being commissioned. It is just not significant progress that has been made but major significant progress has been made. I think before end of next year we should be able to have at least 10,000 megawatts or more. Where do we see NAPTIN in the next 10 years? We are looking at NAPTIN that in the next 10years NAPTIN will stand very tall among many equal outside the shore of this country .NAPTIN is expected to start awarding post graduate degree for some of the power related courses by the next 10years .Federal Government has given us a very big land of 10.69 hectares that is over 406,000 square meters here in Abuja for us to build our main campus and it’s being developed into a mini university. We have started. So in the next 10years we are looking at NAPTIN being able to develop annually turnout at least 4,000 skilled workers to man power facilities in the sector.


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MaritimeWatch

Jonathan

Joshua Okpo

Idris Umar

Minister tasks MAN board on transformation agenda By Moses Ebosele HE Minister of Transport, T Idris Umar, has inaugurated the board of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State with a charge on members to abide strictly with the institution’s enabling law. Members of the board are Chief Mike Abiotomere (chairman), Abdulmumini Yunusa, Chief Oliver Agbasoga, Reuben Aggo, the Rector of the Academy, Joshua Okpo and a representative of the Federal Ministry of Transport. Inaugurating the board, Umar according to a statement issued by MAN reminded members of Federal Government’s efforts to collaborate with World Maritime University (WMU) as part of measures to transform the Academy to a degree awarding

institution. He urged the board members to pursue the mandate of the Academy with ‘vigor’, adding that the maritime potential of the country need to be fully harnessed in line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. Efforts by the Academy to upgrade its status to that of degree awarding institution was given a boost recently by the visit of the president, World Maritime University (WMU), Prof. Bjorn Kjerlve, to Nigeria. Located in Malmö, Sweden, WMU  is a postgraduate maritime university founded by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations in 1983.  The aim of WMU is to further enhance the objectives and goals of IMO and IMO member

states around the world through education, research, and capacity building to ensure safe, secure, and efficient shipping on clean oceans.   The university operates on the basis of a Charter adopted by the IMO Assembly, and is accountable to the IMO Secretary-General, Council and Assembly, and to an international Board of Governors composed of representatives of some 50 different governmental, industry, labour and educational bodies. Kjerive, who was in Nigeria for the first time met with strategic stakeholders including Umar, Okpo and DirectorGeneral of  Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, among others and used the opportunity to access available infrastructure

at MAN. Kjerive had in August last year in Malmo played host to a delegation from Nigeria including the transport minister and MAN rector. The visit centred on ways WMU can collaborate with the

ministry of transport and MAN coupled with how Nigeria students can benefit from the numerous opportunities available at the institution. At MAN, Kjerive said: “We will establish a number of memo-

randum of understanding with the Federal Government and the Academy. We have been asked by the Minister of Transport to help evaluate and recommend making the academy even better”.

Umeh resumes as eastern ports police commissioner From Ann Godwin, PortHarcourt

OLLOWING the recent creF ation of two Ports Police Command in the country by the Inspector General of Police, the Eastern ports now have a police command and the Commissioner of Police is Mr. Sylvester Umeh. Umeh  who assumed office recently    in Port Harcourt  assured stakeholders that the Force was ready to tack-

le all security challenges in the Eastern Ports. He solicited for the support and cooperation of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)  and all stakeholders, pointing out that his priority is  to seek for the peace and progress of the business environment. The commissioner of police further appealed for adequate information from the public, noting that “security is everybody’s business”, while assuring

that the source of such information would be protected. Earlier, the General Manager, Eastern Ports, Sonny Nwobi, noted that it was the first time NPA Eastern Ports was having a resident commissioner of police. He pointed out that the ports as the gateway of the nation’s economy, need adequate security considering the enormous  challenges facing  ports in the country.

NIMASA pledges to sustain investment in capacity building By Moses Ebosele O fast track capacity buildT ing, the management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has pledged to sustain ongoing investment in the sector. According to the DirectorGeneral of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, the initiative is expected to position Nigeria strategically to effectively take control of its coastal trade within the next decade.              In his address during the send-off ceremony for 100 Nigerian youths sponsored by NIMASA to study various maritime courses at AMET University of Maritime Transport, Chennai, India, Akpobolokemi said Nigeria would benefit adequately

Partners NAEC on marine pollution from the training. He enjoined the beneficiaries to treat the opportunity given to them by the agency as a rare one by dedicating themselves fully to their studies and be guided by the rules and regulations of the university in addition to the laws of the host country.     A press statement issued by NIMASA’s Deputy Director (Public Relations), Isichei Osamgbi, quoted Akpobolokemi as saying that the Presidency was interested in the seafarers development programme and admonished the cadets to be good ambassadors of Nigeria while in India.      “In the years to come, as the

Philippines are exporting seafarers all over the world, Nigeria will replicate same in the next 10 years, and also become a hub of maritime activities in Africa as far as human capacity is concerned,” said Akpobolokemi. The statement also quoted Prof. Pat Utomi of the Lagos Business School as saying Nigeria will progress further if the government continues to place priority on human capacity development, adding that it is the catalyst for the sustainable growth of the economy.        Meanwhile, to monitor and control marine pollutants inimical to seafood and marine habit, NIMASA is to col-

Akpobolokemi laborate with the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC). Akpobolokemi and NAEC’s Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Erepamo Osaisai, in a joint statement resolved to deploy resources for the prevention and mitigation of marine pollution.   Welcoming the manage-

ment team of NAEC to NIMASA recently, Akpobolokemi lamented incessant marine pollution incidences occasioned by oil exploration activities and garbage discharged from ships into Nigerian waters. He stressed the need for a multi-pronged approach towards the control of ships waste disposal and oil drilling units operating in Nigerian waters, adding that “The agency is expanding capacity for marine research and investigation and atomic science solutions will be welcomed”. Osaisai requested necessary logistics support from NIMASA to promote the deployment of nuclear analytical techniques for marine pollution assessment. He explained that the request to NIMASA was on account of

the agency’s mandate in respect of marine pollution and prevention, pointing out that the commission was collaborating with the Centre for Marine Pollution Monitoring, University of Port-Harcourt. Already, the commission, according to Osaisai had identified ‘hot spots’ of marine pollution incidents. The capacity training  programme which is scheduled to start from India will according to NIMASA see the successful cadets proceed to the United Kingdom for a continuation of their studies “which will culminate in the cadets undergoing sea time training being the practical aspect of the comprehensive training. This ultimately gets them ready for an exciting life at sea”.   


AFRICAN OIL&GAS REPORT 93

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NPDC/ATLANTIC ENERGY STRATEGIC ALLIANCE AGREEMENT(OML 34) -EXCERPTS

Funding Of Petroleum Operations 8.1 ATLANTIC shall provide all the funds required for NPDC’s 55% share of Petroleum Operation Costs, subject to Article 8,2 and in accordance with approved Work Programme and Budget. A review of the Work Programme shall be concluded by Project Management Team subject to approval of the Management Committee within fifty (50) days from the Effective Date to estimate the capital investments for the Development and the required initial Working Capital. Based on this review the Management Committee shall within seven (7) days approve the amount for the capital investments, which shall be covered by the parent company guarantee. 8.2 The costs incurred by the Parties in carrying out Petroleum Operations shall be recovered by the Parties through Cost Oil or Cost Gas, in accordance with Article 10 and the Accounting Procedure as set out in Annex ‘C’. 8.3 All bank transactions shall be made through bank accounts opened and maintained by ATLANTIC exclusively for the Petroleum Operations. 8.4 ATLANTIC shall open and maintain project bank account(s) exclusively for funding Petroleum Operations and shall procure that NPDC shall have unlimited inquiry and audit mandate and a right to copies of all information and transactional documents including all accounts records and balances as they occur from bank accounts and project bank accounts referred to in Articles 8.3 and 84. 8.5 If additional Development Costs are required to add facilities not included in the development Programme, including but not limited to in-fill well, secondary recovery facilities, additional processing facilities, deeper wells and artificial lilt, ATLANTIC shall provide NPDC’s share of Petroleum Operations Costs required to carry out such additional development activities. 8.6 The additional capital investments referred to in Article 8.5 hereof shall be recovered by ATLANTIC through Cost Oil and Cost Gas in accordance with Article 10 and the Accounting Procedure, and ATLANTIC shall be entitled to receive a share of Profit Oil and Profit Gas over the additional production as provided for in Article 10.2 hereof. 8.7 ATLANTIC shall bear all losses associated with funding NPDCs 55% share of Petroleum Operations under this Agreement. ARTICLE 9. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME AND BUDGETS 9.1 ATLANTIC shall submit to the

Management Committee for approval within 60 days of the Effective Date, the development plan which shall include the Development Programme and relevant Budget appropriately apportioned into yearly phases. 9.2 At the meetings of the Management Committee to consider and approve the Work Programme and Budget for each year, ATLANTIC shall submit a report on organizational structure to be utilized for conduct at Petroleum Operations in accordance with Annex B. During such meetings, ATLANTIC shall report on the actual performance of the organizational structure for the previous year. 9.3 The Development plan shall include the Work Programme and Budget, apportioned into quarterly phases, to be carried out under the Development plan during the remainder of the financial year. In respect of subsequent financial years, the Work Programme and Budget shall be submitted not later than 31’ August of the preceding financial year. Such Work Programme and Budget shall comprise all requisite services including, but not limited to. environmental studies, drilling and completion programmes, construction and assembling of field installations and equipment, as may be necessary to permit the production, storage, transportation and delivery of Crude Oil and Natural Gas from the Contract Area. The Development Programme and Budget shall be detailed as necessary. 9.4 ATLANTIC shall submit to Management Committee any revision of the Annual Development Programme and Budget. Any such revision of the approved Development Budget shall be made by agreement of the PMT, In the event of emergency or extraordinary circumstances that require immediate action, ATLANTIC may take actions it deems necessary to protect life and property and the interest of Parties and shall promptly notify Parties in writing within forty-eight (48) hours notwithstanding the provisions of this Article 9.4 any cost so incurred shall be recoverable. ARTICLE 10 RECOVERY OF PETROLEUM OPERATIONS COSTS AND OIL AND NATURAL GAS ALLOCATION 10.1 Crude Oil and Natural Gas Allocation The allocation of Available Crude

Atlantic Energy CEO, Jide Omokore Oil and Available Natural Gas shall be in accordance with Annex “C”. Annex “D” and this Article 10, as follows: (a) Royalty Oil and Royalty Gas shall be allocated to NPDC in such quantum as will generate an amount of proceeds equal to NPDC’s Royalty applicable to the Contract Area. (b) Cost Oil and Cost Gas shall be allocated to the Parties in such quantum as will generate an amount of proceeds sufficient to recover the following: 1. Un-depreciated costs associated to Capital Costs as defined in the Accounting Procedures incurred prior to execution of this Agreement shall be allocated to NPDC: 1. Development Costs and Production Costs related to the Production of P1 Developed reserves as agreed in the production profile attached hereto as Annex H shall be allocated to ATLANTIC; Ill. Incremental Investment (Development Costs and Production Costs), made by ATLANTIC shall be recovered from incremental volumes (i.e. the monthly production from 2P reserves less the P1 Developed reserves as indicated in the production profile attached hereto as Annex 1-1) shall be allocated to ATLANTIC. NPDC Forty per cent (40%) ATLANTIC - Sixty per cent (60%) Thereafter, Profit Oil shall be located in the following ratio: NPDC — Seventy per cent (70%) ATLANTIC - Thirty per cent (30%) iv. Up to the full recovery of Development Costs regarding non associated gas by ATLANTIC. Profit Gas shall be allocated in the following ratio: NPDC - Thirty per cent (30%)

NNPC's Group Managing Director, Andy Yakubu ATLANTIC Seventy per cent (70%) Thereafter, Profit Gas shall be allocated in the following ratio: NPDC — Seventy per cent (70%) ATLANTIC - Thirty per cent (30%) v. Up to the full recovery of the Development Costs for the development of contingent resources, Profit Gas shall be allocated in the following ratio: NPDC - Thirty per cent (30%) ATLANTIC Seventy per cent (70%) Thereafter, Profit Gas shall be allocated in the following ratio: NPDC — Seventy per cent (70%) ATLANTIC - Thirty per cent (30%) 10.3 Each Party shall take in kind, lift and dispose of its allocation of Cost Oil and Profit Oil in accordance with the Lifting Procedure (Annex D). The PPT and Tax Gas payable under this Agreement represents the NPDC’s tax obligations as Concessionaire. ATLANTIC’s tax obligations which shall be paid under CITA shall be paid by ATLANTIC from its profit. 10.4 Either Party may at the request of the other, lift the other Party’s Cost Oil and Profit Oil pursuant to Article 10.1 and the lifting Party shall within thirty(30) days transfer to the account of the non-lifting Party the proceeds of the sale to which The non-lifting Party is entitled. Overdue payments shall bear interest at the annual rate of three (3) months LIBOR. 10.5 Either Party may, with the consent of the other Party, purchase any portion of the other Party’s respective allocation of Cost Oil and Profit Oil from the Contract Area. 10.6 Parties shall meet on a monthly basis as may be agreed to reconcile all Crude Oil allocated and lifted during the period as per Annex “E”. ARTICLE 11

Exercise Sovereign Control, But Ensure Efficient Management By Bello Aliyu Gusau, PhD DO believe that the sections of the Joint Operating Agreement(JOA) dealing with operaItorship of the divested assets is subject to different interpretations. What is, however, of concern is to be selective in the application of the relevant clauses of the Joint Operating Agreement, as indeed some reports that some companies that acquired similar assets from SPDC had been granted the much coveted operatorship do indicate. What I am particularly interested in, however, is what you referred to as “uniquely Nigerian model” in the development of the E&P sector, whereby private Nigerian firms gradually gain foothold and confidence to become responsible for an increasing share of Nigeria’s daily output. Permit me to take the liberty to bore you with some of my thoughts on this matter. Now, even the most charitable of observers cannot make the claim that the NNPC has really lived up to its billing as a functional national oil company. The business of an oil company is to “search,

produce, process and market hydrocarbons”. From the IDSL to NPDC, to all the four refineries and down to COMD/PPMC, the NNPC has failed spectacularly in discharging this mandate. This is not to talk of the E&P sector as a whole where even the simple task of managing the relationship with the operating IOCs in both the JVs and PSCs through NAPIMS has remained grossly inefficient. What is evident is that the OPEC sponsored business model that sought to exercise sovereign control over national petroleum resources through the medium of a State-owned national oil company is no longer viable in the contemporary Nigerian context. In my opinion, handing over strategic national assets to Government personnel and bureaucrats to manage is not the most optimal way of handling such resources. There is simply no adequate enough residual claims to motivate and ensure the most optimal development and utilisation of these resources. Prior to the operating agreement with ENI, NPDC has been sitting on many assets without making much use of them; one wonders really what happened since them to empower the

NPDC to optimally operate any asset? I cannot therefore but agree with you that shooting down the aspirations of some Nigerian independents to expand the quantum of daily output from domestic and indigenous sources is a decidedly counter revolutionary act. It is possible to both exercise sovereign control and ensure optimal and efficient management of this country’s hydrocarbon resources, and at the same time avoid the stultifying bureaucratic control over the sector by bodies such as the NNPC. This is where the private Nigerian independents you talk about come in. Many of these companies had, in the last one decade, acquired the necessary daring and boldness to venture into this, admittedly complex business territory. The financial and technical feats that companies such as Conoil and Oando upstream were able to muster in different projects in the last few years are a pointer to a future where the Nigerian industry can increasingly be domesticated without loosing its global competitiveness.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 54

VALUATION OF AVAILABLE CRUDE OIL 11.1 Available Crude Oil shall be valued in accordance with the following procedures: (a) On the commencement of production from new reservoirs, ATLANTIC shall engage the services of an independent Laboratory of good repute to determine the assay of the new Crude Oil. (b) When a new Crude Oil stream is produced, liftings shall be made for a trial marketing period of three (3) calendar months or the period required to lift the first three (3) cargoes, whichever is shorter, During the trial marketing period ATLANTIC shall: (i) collect samples of the new Crude Oil upon which the assay shall be performed as provided in Article 11.1(a) above; (ii) determine quality and yield pattern of the new Crude Oil; (iii) share in the marketing such that each Party markets approximately their proportionate share of the new Crude Oil, notwithstanding the fact That a Party’s share of Available Crude Oil may be lifted in the process; payments Thereafter shall be made in accordance with Article 0.5; (iv) exchange information regarding the marketing of the new Crude Oil including documents which verify the sales price and terms of each lifting; (v) apply the actual F,O,B. sales price to determine the price of each lifting. Such F.O.B. sales pricing for each lifting shall continue after the trial marketing period until a valuation of the new Crude Oil has been completed but in no event shall it be longer than ninety (90) days after conclusion of the trial marketing period. C) As soon as practicable but in any event not later Than sixty (60) days after the end of the trial marketing period, ATLANTIC shall review the assay, yield, and actual sales data. ATLANTIC shall present a proposal for the valuation of the new Crude Oil. A valuation method either spot related or any other method acceptable to both Parties shall be established for determining the price for each lifting of Available Crude Oil. Such valuation method shall be in accordance with the Official Selling Price published by NNPC or relevant government authority. It is the intention of the Parties that such prices shall reflect the true market value of the new Crude Oil. The valuation method determined hereunder (including the product yield values) shall be mutually agreed within thirty (30) days from the aforementioned meeting failing which; determination of such valuation shall be referred to an independent consultant.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

94 AFRICAN OIL&GAS REPORT

BACK PAGE/OPINION

Exercise Sovereign Control, But Ensure Efficient Management CONTINUED FROM PAGE 53 After all an E&P business is just about project management with all the component services readily available in the open market. It is probably too late to push this new experiment in the Niger Delta, or even in the deep offshore; the hinterland basins, however, provide an excellent virgin opportunity for this country to ensure the “uniquely Nigerian model” you alluded to takes roots and flourishes. This will require putting up the numerous acreages on Anambra, Benin, Chad, Bida, sokoto-Rima basins and the Benue trough on offer to Nigerian independents on extremely generous terms. Without doubt, the State can continue with its frontier exploration programme as a means of expanding the resource base of the country but not necessarily on the platform of the NNPC. The FES in NAPIMS has been more of wasteful effort than a serious exploration programme. The question that remains is that if we contemplate a future without an equity involvement by the State or even without the NNPC, how is the

provisioning of the State treasury going be handled? This is where the kind of robust fiscal arrangements proffered in the PIB come into play. The federation account can be adequately provisioned with this kind of fiscal framework without State equity or even the NNPC for that matter. The State therefore becomes essentially a regulating and taxing entity rather than an owner and operator of petroleum assets. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I do believe that we should have ensured a paradigm shift in the PIB by promoting our uniquely Nigerian model rather than focussing on ensuring the incremental optimality of the current business model that revolves around the national oil company. In my view, this is almost akin to becoming increasingly adept and efficient in moving in the wrong direction. This is an abridged version of a letter sent to Africa Oil+Gas Report by Dr Gusau, secretary of the Oil and Gas Reform Committee (OGIC), whose 2007 report formed the basis of the Petroleum Industry Bill

ELSEWHERE/FARM IN, FARM OUT

East Africa On Sale Soft Power: Government can exercise control without necessarily running everything.

How NNPC Shot Down The Revolution CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28 operatorship phase, now that the NNPC equity has been transferred to its subsidiary NPDC, to become the “operator”, with so much fanfare, and NPDC has gone into an agreement with a company unknown to us until now to help it fund the operations, the share that will accrue to NPDC ( NNPC), and in effect, the National Treasury, will drop by at least 30%, all throughout the duration of that agreement, which is, really until Atlantic defaults in anyway. By insisting on operatorship and bringing on board a funding partner, NNPC will help reduce the monies accruing to the National Treasury. This is what some people have done on our collective behalf: in the period that we expect increased crude oil proceeds, we have actu-

ally acted to reduce what is accruable to the national purse. Why, for instance, can’t NPDC construct a funding and training programme with the companies who have won the bid at no cost? Isn’t this quite curious? Why can’t NPDC sit with, say, Niger Delta Exploration Production, a company which had produced oil from a small field over the course of the last six years and say: You operate (do all the technical work)for the next five years, train our people and we’d take over operatorship five years after? Or Conoil, a company that currently produces 25,000BOPD, and has been in production without any foreign technical help for 20 years. There was a lot to be gained from engagement if the true reason for NPDC’s insistence to operate was to build technical capacity within the state hydrocarbon company.

By Sa’d Bashir, in Dar es Salaam AST Africa is experiencing a major sale season in the hydrocarbon property market, and it doesn’t matter whether Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique or Uganda has opened any bid round, although Tanzania has stated it would put more deepwater blocks on auction in 2014. China National Petroleum Corporation(CNPC)’s payment of $4.21bn for a 20% stake in Eni operated Area 4, off Mozambique, is major signal that the stakes are heavenward in those countries located in the vicinity of the Indian Ocean. The deal gives the Chinese giant a large share in the block’s massive gas reserves, and reduces Eni’s exposure to the development costs. Eni is the operator of Area 4 and now has a 50% participating interest. The other partners, apart from CNPC of the are Galp Energia(10%), KOGAS(10%) and ENH(10%, carried through the exploration phase). CNPC’s hefty investment typifies the fact that the buying up of East African tracts has largely featured Asian companies. Inpex, the Japanese independent, has farmed in to a 25 % working interest in Statoil operated exploration licence offshore Mozambique. The licence, which consists of two blocks, under one licence agreement, is located in areas 2 and 5 offshore Mozambique in the Rovuma basin. Anadarko itself is considering a joint venture to monetize up to 33% of its interests in Mozambique’s prolific offshore Area 1, where it has reported discoveries it claims may be over 65Trillion Cubic Feet of gas in reserves. John Colglazier, the company’s vice president for investor relations, told analysts at a conference recently that a joint venture would help the company share the costs of developing its massive gas discovery off the coast of Mozambique. “ It’s a pretty significant piece of the portfolio for something that’s not producing,” Mr. Colglazier said. Shell is reportedly interested in having a stake in this large pie. The Anglo Dutch major’s loss to Thailand’s PTTEP, in the $1.9Billion takeover of Cove Energy, which had 8.5% stake in the same block, has sent Shell scampering back to the drawing board. Gazprom, the Russian giant, has also indicated interest in the Eni operated Area 4, off Mozambique Meanwhile, the Mozambican government has decreed that “Foreign operators”, as African governments routinely, if discourteously, called IOCs, “will have a new tax applied to their operations”. The government is enacting a 32% tax on the future sale of hydrocarbon assets. It wasn’t immediately clear if the “future sale of hydrocarbon assets”, referred to government auctions alone or involved sale of stakes between companies, which ultimately has to have government sanction. But all the sale of hydrocarbon assets in Mozambique in the last three years have been company to company.In September 2012, French major TOTAL bought 40% interest in the PSC which covers Mozambican offshore blocks Area 3 and Area 6 from Petronas, the Malaysian state Hydrocarbon company. TOTAL has had significant E&P presence in After Kenya and Uganda and was now entering into the southern part of the prolific Rovuma basin, hoping that the reserves there might be as huge, or at least commercial sized, as the Northern part where ENI, Anadarko and Statoil led joint ventures have struck gold. The interest, however, is region wide. Kenya’s Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike said in March 2013 that the country was proposing to raise the signature bonuses companies pay for exploration and drilling licences to $1 million from $300,000.00 .Uganda has mentioned a possible bid round of hydrocarbon tracts in its Albertine Basin, once the current ban on licencing of new acreage is loifted. Speculations have been that the lift will happen before end of 2013. Mozambique’s last bid round, which focused on the less popular onshore tracts, ended in October 2010, with Norway’s DNO the only successful bidder for an acreage. There’s no word on the next round.

E

For participation in Oil & Gas section, contact: The Manager: Lagos: 01 7736351; Abuja: 07098513445


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at Tuesday PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 28/05/2013

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CAPITAL MARKET

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 28/05/2013

PRICE GAINERS

LOSERS

Investors flay NSE plan to devalue stocks By Helen Oji rked by the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s plan to devalue equities below the current trading par value, Shareholders’ groups in the nation’s bourse, yesterday faulted the move, urging the regulatory authorities to ascertain reasons behind the poor performance of these companies and its slow price movement. According to them, if the plan is executed, it would further erode investors’ confidence on these stocks and ‘give room’ for people to hijack and mop up the shares. The National Cordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, in an intervie with The Guardian, said, “this committee set up to devalue companies trading at par value must fail. The regulators should make to verify why they are not performing well, they are not doing it, now NSE has set up a committee devalue companies trading at par, they want the par value to be

I

removed so that the trading will return to 20 kobo or 30 kobo. “If they do that, they are going to kill the confidence of the company and those companies will go down, its unthinkable, we should not contemplate to do that, those stocks were sold at N5.00 or N10 during the boom days and the law said that the normal value at which a company was registered can not go below that

but they said no that on trading it can go below that; but it is a nominal value, it cannot be devalued more less than what it is. ‘If it become less, it means there is no confidence again and you have also eroded the value that shareholders would have sustained; that shareholders should have had by devaluing that equity. When you do that, you have given room for some people to hijack the company from

its original promoters because if you put it on 10 kobo, 20 kobo, somebody would take N1 million and mop up the shares and the promoter of that company will be thrown out of business.. “If you are bringing them down further to 10 kobo, you are invariably killing those company and putting the promoter out of business which will not encourage entrepreneurship, it will not

encourage investments because you are advising them to delete. You must take out time to find out why they are performing at that rate.” He said The President, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said the plans was not proper, as it portrays inconsistency on the part of the regulators. He noted that if the stocks are reduced below 50 kobo, some individuals would

hijack and mop up these share. He said” the rate the market is going, if there is another collapse, the market would experience much problem. The regulators must respect the system. Let these stocks remain, before now, some stocks like Union bank was 25 kobo and you can see the price today. It doesn’t give a level playing ground. The regulators can not continue to push us around.”

Shareholders laud Lafarge Cement’s dividend payout By Helen Oji and Femi Adekoya HAREHOLDERS of Lafarge Scommended Cement WAPCO Plc, have the company’s board for enhancing their returns on investment through dividend payout, while urging the management to ensure that it reduces the number of shareholders on its unclaimed dividend list. Speaking at the 54th yearly general meeting of the com-

pany in Lagos yesterday, the company shareholders urged the management to ensure that they plough back the proceeds from the unclaimed dividend into the company after 12 years to enhance its profitability and shareholders’ value. Specifically, the President, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Sir Sunny Nwosu who noted that the numbers of shareholder on the company’s

unclaimed dividend list is over 400million, expressed the need for the company to publish the names of these shareholders in order to make it public. “The best any company can do on this unclaimed dividend is to publish the list and after 12 years, if the owners fail to claim them, it should go back to the company for the benefit of shareholders. We will not allow the government to take over

the money.” Nwosu advised the management to put measures in place to enable it sustain its performance and become more viable in order to outwit competition in the industry. The National Coordinator, Shareholders United Front, Gbenga Idowu commended the management of the company for their prudent management of the affairs of the company amid harsh eco-

nomic environment, especially for reducing its debt. He urged the company to ensure that they propose a bonus issue for shareholders in the next financial year. The company posted a turnover of N88 billion in its 2012 operations, against N63 billion posted in the previous year. Its profit after tax increased to N14.7 billion, up from N8.6 billion recorded in 2011.


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Opinion Chinua Achebe, every inch a Nigerian By Frank Onyezili HE had met him only three times before, but unSthehesitatingly put pen to paper in celebration of “gentle-faced man in a wheelchair” who, then, had just turned 82. I speak of Chimamanda Adichie, the young enormously already-world-acclaimed author, and Professor Chinualumogu Achebe, who transited on March 21, 2013 and was laid to rest last Thursday. Of her, before the publication of her second novel, Achebe had written: “We do not usually associate wisdom with beginners, but here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers… She is fearless or she would not have taken on the intimidating horror of Nigeria’s civil war…” Of him, Adichie, who kept a respectful distance from her revered literary hero, then wrote: “His work was free of anxiety, wore its own skin effortlessly... (emboldening me) … not to find my voice, but to speak in the voice I already had”. Adichie, in addition to speaking up, must now, like the rest of us, including President Goodluck Jonathan who attended Achebe’s funeral in person, learn to live without the glittering presence in the flesh of Achebe. We, SSS and all, who trooped to Ogidi bearing fancy eulogy should now walk our talk, not simply only say tributes but, equally, act decisively on the eloquent truths and counsels of the eagle atop the Iroko tree. It’s now not so important anymore to wonder if what Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka described as the “insensate murder of Chinua’s people in Kano” hastened the demise of Professor Achebe. The man who would not accept an honour contaminated with bloodied hands and cloaked in mischief left enough for us to chew on, including in his The Trouble with Nigeria, Anthills of the Savannah and the biographical There was a country, which is still drawing the ire of those who box in themselves in their ethnic compartments With his There was a country, Achebe hit the cruciate nerve and ruptured the portal artery of writers, politicians, academics and even plain journeymen, particularly of the Yoruba kind. But let me be clear: Although the erstwhile de facto Vice Head of the

Nigerian state during the civil war was not your detribalised Nigerian by any figment of imagination, I don’t agree with Achebe when he blames Awolowo for the extermination, through malnutrition, of hundreds of thousands of children and women during our country’s civil war of which, having lived the entire duration of the conflict in Biafra as an adult in my twenties, I claim a hands-on perspective. My opinion is that most of the blame should rest on the General who committed his people to war propelled almost only by his own ambition and arrogance when fully aware his troops were illprepared and lacked even the most rudimentary of hardware to effectively prosecute the war. In the same vein, my view is that Achebe’s claim that Igbo are the most progressive people in Nigeria is thoroughly debateable, probably far more arguable than the question of the Igbo political class that, even right now, is still seemingly irredeemably mercantilist, consistently selling out its own for the proverbial mess of porridge. The civil war had much to do with ethnic hatred and, certainly, I wouldn’t rank Awolowo in the same league as Soyinka, Banjo or Ademoyega. In those three is ample testimony of Yoruba support for Igbos during the civil war. Equally true, I’d add, is the paucity of reciprocals citable on the Igbo side, either in the lead-up to the conflict or its aftermath. That we have continued to live in denial for over four decades, vaunting “no victor no vanquished” does nothing to diminish the crime or soothe its victim. Therefore, it should not be considered strange that an Igbo man feels aggrieved by the loss in the war of over two million of his kin, people who, even before the war proper, had been “abused, undergone genocide, and felt completely rejected by the rest of the community” to paraphrase Wole Soyinka. But we should grasp, not miss, the subtle point I make: the same deep ethno-regional sentiments that played out during the civil war, which Achebe’s There was a country captured so vividly in his inimitable way, are still being deployed by Nigeria’s leadership and followership

today, half a century later. Our social cancer, of widespread poverty, still reaching 70 per cent in urban areas and 80 per cent in the rural heartland of the country, is of a magnitude that is rare across the world. It’s doubly harrowing, given the stupendous wealth, pilfered from the treasury of our collective national natural endowments, of our political elite. And all in the face of our youth unemployment indices that still stagnate at alarmingly high levels, probably even higher than the 20 million given recently by no less an authority than Lamido Sanusi, current Governor of our country’s Central Bank. Or need we just keep bemoaning the violence and insecurity currently ravaging our people while our leaders waver, quibble and fiddle? Professor Achebe was wholly correct when he diagnosed the disease that has long afflicted project Nigeria as “An entirely avoidable mess…, birthed by cataclysmic civil war, precipitated by the bile of ethnic hatred and which created a clique of military class and political adventurers, with academia as purchased collaborators that, together, foisted the culture of anti-intellectualism and exploited the ethnic divisions to rob Nigeria of national resources needed for all kinds of things – health, education, roads opportunities to fulfil its mission in the world”. His curative prescription was equally on the ball: “A political class and intellectuals, including university professors who dare to base their actions on principles, rather than on opportunity, and a national leader with the imagination to deliberately and decisively transcend ethnic pettiness”. Even with the demise of Achebe and a few others, we haven’t completely lost the core intellectual, moral and technical capital required to rebuild our nation. If Obasanjo hadn’t gotten entangled by an inordinate third term ambition, the powerful team of committed technocrats he assembled during his second term might have succeeded in helping us attain the barest essential of sufficiency in power generation and, given that our civil service still possessed some of the best-trained minds, an anchor for good governance. And, unlike the present Jonathan (and Yar’Adua before him), those who aspire to lead us need to

settle mentally, beforehand, what to do with their power and not remain ad hoc, unprepared and accidental. Our leadership continues to shirk its responsibility to decriminalize politics in Nigeria, turn it, in the words of Professor Adejumo, “…from being a largely criminal project, mainly for those who can steal, maim, destroy and create an artificial sense of popularity, as criminality and good governance are mutually exclusive.” We dismiss Achebe’s diagnosis and prescription to our own peril in Nigeria, and stand to reap copiously much the same plagues that descended on Biafrans for failing to see through Ojukwu’s deceit. Deceit? Yes, when Ojukwu slyly eliminated views contrary to his own, right up to Ahiara where, suffocating with oratory and waxing lyrical, he recited the principles of a ‘revolution’ he deserted barely six months later at Uli in his dreadfully-hasty escape. There at Uli, reneging on his ‘principled’ Ahiara avowal to “stand by the decisions, no matter the vicissitudes of this war” against Nigeria, Ojukwu took flight, disappearing into the night and leaving Effiong, a non-Igbo, to bravely pick up the pieces. Although, at Ahiara, Ojukwu himself conceded “mistakes of the head and never of the heart”, I’d go so far as to say they were mistakes of both the head and heart. Yes, deceit when Ojukwu rejected a ceasefire followed by negotiations with no preconditions other than the integrity, not unity, of Nigeria, thereby pushing Biafrans deeper into the abyss. And yes again, deceit when he dismissed Raph Uwechue’s (he of 45 years ago as Biafra’s representative in France, not he of today’s so-called ‘Ndigbo’) “methodical pragmatism and moral rationalism” (to quote that man of letters, Leopold Sedar Senghor, erstwhile President of Senegal)” and continued to needlessly sacrifice the lives of vulnerable Biafran children and women. Professor Achebe has said he would want to return as Nigerian in his next reincarnation. Perhaps he expects that some things would have changed for better in the country he once described as “… a child, gifted, enormously talented, prodigiously endowed and incredibly wayward.” But only perhaps. Whatever, the man who beheld sights deemed only fit for gods remains every inch a Nigerian. A great Nigerian.

Phantom ‘chair’of governors forum By Emmanuel Onwubiko VENTS in the last few days in the political firmament of Nigeria E clearly show that our so-called new breed politicians have not learnt any lessons from the nation’s political experiences right from the first Republic when the same politicians through their greed and wanton disrespect for democratic tenets invited the military to destabilize the nascent democracy. These political shenanigans and reactionary attitudes that reared its ugly head in the last few days reached a considerable crescendo with the petty squabbles that characterized the outcome of the hotly contested position of chairman of the controversial Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). In that election, which took place at the weekend in Abuja, one person among the 36 state governors was expected to emerge to occupy the single chair of the chairman of the Governors Forum, but at the end of the exercise two men emerged to claim the right to seat on that ‘single chair’. A preponderant opinion emerging from the venue of that election is of the considered view that the River State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi was re-elected and therefore is the bonafide leader of the Nigerian Governors Forum. But the oldest man among the governors and the Plateau State helmsman, Jonah Jang, a retired military officer who benefitted twice from some coup plotters to emerge as military governor, has also emerged as the second claimant to the chair of the Nigerian Governors forum but not without the groundswell of opinion that he indeed is occupying a ‘phantom chair’ since the bureaucrats at the Governors Forum have indeed declared the Rivers State governor as the duly elected chairman.         There are two strands of opinions from this election which are diametrically opposed to each other and each of the proponents are holding on to their divisive positions regarding the accuracy of who indeed is the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum. Nigeria’s most media ‘friendly’ governor of Akwa Ibom State and a lawyer of several years of post call, Obong Godswill Akpabio, who was previously handpicked as chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Governors Forum is at the head of those governors championing the claim that Jonah Jang is the rightful occupant of the chair of the Nigerian Governors Forum.   Others who have supported him but are not active members of

his political platform are the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko and the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi. But the illogicality in their claim is that those who went into political battle and got bruised cannot at the same time lay claim to impartiality and therefore cannot be seen to play the role of an unbiased umpire. So their claim falls flat on its face irredeemably.   The second strand of argument led by the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi is the one that maintains that the River State governor is the real and only winner and therefore the rightful occupant of the only chair of the Nigerian Governors Forum’s hierarchy. This opinion finds favour with critics and other independent stakeholders who believe that since their claim corresponds factually and substantially with the position of the unbiased umpire and the Executive Director of the Nigerian Governors Forum, it is therefore very likely that they are right. An interesting dimension is that Jonah Jang’s occupation of what looks like a ‘phantom’ chair is said to have been endorsed by the President of the Federal Republic, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who was in Ethiopia to celebrate the golden jubilee of the African Union. From Ethiopia, the president was quoted conspicuously in the media as saying that his name brings ‘good luck’ to Nigeria. The trouble I have in accepting this presidential verdict of good luck is that his candidate for the Nigerian Governors Forum’s headship (Jonah Jang) did not seem to have benefitted from the ‘good luck’ that flows from our president’s name. Back to the issues relating to the actual election, Nigerians were told by the returning and/or presiding officer and the head of the forum’s bureaucracy, at the election that Governor Amaechi of Rivers State defeated Jonah Jang of Plateau with 19 votes to 16. However, Jang’s supporters said the entire body of PDP governors endorsed the candidacy of Jonah Jang prior to the election. But elementary logic and common sense tell us that endorsement prior to actual election is different from the real election.  For instance, before the kickoff of the European football league championship in Wembley Stadium in England between Bayern Munich and Barusia Dortmund, all of Germany, some of us endorsed Borusia Dortmund and prayed fervently that the team emerges victorious but our hope faded when Bayern Munich defeated our endorsed team. Do we then cry blue murder because our beloved and endorsed team did not win? Who tells the PDP governors that in secret balloting, some of those who had consented to a group accord may not betray the consensus

and go for their own consciences instead because they are not robotic items to be remote controlled from somewhere? My sincere advise to Governor Jang who is called “Baba” (meaning father) by his political supporters in Plateau is that he should fully concentrate on governing Plateau State, given that the beautiful State of Plateau has more than its own fair share of troubles. Inter-ethnic and inter-religious crises are tearing that most beautiful state in Nigeria apart even as terrorists have severally targeted Plateau State because of what it represents in the North. Plateau is home to the largest Christian and ethnic minority population in Northern Nigeria and is a target for destabilization by anarchists who parade about as religious fundamentalists of the opposing religion to the dominant religion of the people of Plateau State. Please Baba Jonah Jang, govern Plateau well and leave the political intrigues of Nigerian governors forum alone for young men to contend with.  When young men are engaged in hot debates, it is a sacrilege to find an elder statesman also take side in such argument because this biased intervention may rob off on his good reputation as a statesman who should remain as completely detached and unbiased as he possibly can. Although the president through his spokesperson has denied nursing ambition to coronate his own stooge as chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, the fact that Jonah Jang proceeded to pay a courtesy visit to the presidential villa to meet with the vice President whereupon he was introduced as chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum clearly shows that President Jonathan has interest in the entire scenario.   The opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has raised alarm that the rejection of the result of the election of the Nigerian Governors Forum by the Peoples Democratic Party is a dangerous dress rehearsal of what will happen in the much talked about 2015 election. My take is this: President Jonathan has pledged to conduct free and fair general elections in 2015 even though he hasn’t indicated if he will participate as a presidential candidate or not. I am prepared to give Mr. President the benefit of the doubt. The Peoples Democratic Party or indeed the opposition political platform must know that Nigerians will spontaneously embark on revolutionary revolts should the electoral commission deny the majority of Nigerians the fruit of a transparent outcome of the 2015 election. • Onwubiko is head, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria.


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Opinion Orji’s foreign trips and Amaechi’s plane By Anthony Otagba HEN the reputable The Guardian NewsW papers dedicated its daily back page column for Rise Youthspeak, I saw the innovation as a welcome development and unprecedented; an opportunity for the teeming youths in the country, who have no such opportunity before now in any print media in the country, to discuss and analyze critical leadership and governance issues affecting the country. Since then, I have been following articles on the page and it has been quite interesting, factual and constructive. But two recent articles published on the page were lacking in facts and figures, and they gave impression that the column is gradually being hijacked by hatchet writers of politicians who disguise as youths to deceive the public and feed them with misleading information. The articles were published on Friday May 24, 2013 with the title “Amaechi’s Plane: Where is the governor’s immunity?” and on May 27, 2013 with the title “Governor Orji and Foreign Trips”, They were written by one Odimegwu Onwumere who claimed to be an author/poet. In both articles, he claimed different location as his residence. But that is not the issue at stake. The issues are the misrepresentation of facts that were embedded in the articles by the writer, obviously aimed at achieving some hidden objectives, forget-

ting that such facts are bare and verifiable by Nigerians. On the article, Governor Orji and Foreign trips, it is important to note that since his election as Governor of Abia State in 2007, Governor Theodore Orji and his Enugu counterpart, Sullivan Chime could be assumed as the least travelled or travelling governors in the country today. Governor Orji is neither a globetrotter nor a junketer as Onwumere wanted the world to believe. He has always been around in the state most times attending to the urgent need of governance, which he was elected for. Of course sometimes, he travels out of the state briefly to attend to issues that are of importance to the country and the state. Onwumere’s wrong impression about Governor Orji was due to his lack of knowledge of the working of governments at all levels, and his open rabid hatred for Governor Orji apparently because of Orji’s political fallout with his predecessor in office who happens to be Onwumere’s benefactor. Before now, the same Onwumere has been on the blogs, Internet, online media and newspapers with several articles in favour of Orji’s predecessor in office and against Orji, his office, government and family members. Such hatchet jobber should be monitored closely before he ruins the beauty of the back page column The Youthspeak. To put the record straight, Orji’s recent visit to Canada was on the Federal Government delegation led by Vice President Namadi Sambo

alongside other selected state governors, on the invitation of the Nigerian Ambassador to Canada, Chief Ojo Maduekwe for an Investment and Trade Conference. Orji used the opportunity just like his other colleagues to interact with Nigerians in the country, especially the indigenes of the state whom he appealed to come home and invest in the state. Upon his return, he was received by his people in the state. There was nothing so wrong in the visit. Before then, he had visited U.S. on the invitation of the management of John Hopkins University, Baltimore to deliver lecture as guest speaker in an event. These were the two trips he has made overseas this year. On the issue of waste management in the state, the good governance team led by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku during their tour of the state adjudged the state the cleanest in the country today. It is clear that since Governor Orji liberated the state from the stronghold of his predecessor, the state has benefitted far much better in terms of good governance, infrastructural developments and security, thereby making it a haven for investors. A visitor to the state today will testify to the effect, but the likes of Onwumere and his benefactors have never see anything good in Orji’s government, or have simply refused to publicly acknowledge the good work. By criticizing the state government’s luring of the Canadian investors into the agriculture

sector in the state after millions of naira loan were given to the local farmers in the state, Onwumere exposed his ignorance, forgetting that Songhai farmers are in Rivers State, Enugu and other states of the federation, while Zimbabwe farmers hold sway in Kwara State. But such development did not stop the governments of the above mentioned states from empowering local farmers by giving them loans because the more the merrier. In his article on Amaechi’s plane, the writer laboured to portray the Federal Government, particularly the Presidency as a hater of Amaechi by grounding his plane, but he never cared to look at the aviation rules and regulations allegedly flouted by the Rivers State government in operating the aircraft in the country. To him, as far as it has to do with Amaechi and the Federal Government, the government is wrong and Amaechi is right because he is a sitting governor with immunity. What has immunity as enshrined in 1999 Constitution as amended got to do with the flouting of aviation rules and regulation? To the best of my knowledge and the rest of Nigerians, immunity only protects sitting governor or president from being prosecuted, while in office. The likes of Onwumere and others who are not necessarily youths, but politicians’ hatchet writers should be monitored before they abuse the column. • Otagba an undergraduate, wrote from Port Harcourt.

Achebe: A personal testimony By C. Don Adinuba P to the moment he breathed his last on Thursday, March U 21, 2013, Chinua Achebe, Africa’s most quoted raconteur, novelist, essayist and social critic, did not know he was the person who ignited my interest in the business of public affairs and communication consulting. When Okike, the African journal of new writing, which he founded in 1971 at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was getting ready to mark its 20th anniversary, the magazine was financially challenged. A fund raiser was needed. Achebe, a thorough person, had by 1989 begun in earnest to prepare for the anniversary. He spoke to me in his characteristically solemn voice, “C. Don, you know a lot of successful and prominent people and they respect you because you have talent and enthusiasm. I would like you to launch a revenue drive for Okike and get a commission on it”. A request from Achebe was, of course, like a command to most people who knew him on account of the man’s incomparable quick mind, intimidating personae and great virtues. But this request was somewhat difficult to process. I probably had some contacts in high places, but I had never regarded myself as someone with business acumen or even organisational abilities. In fact, Molara Ogundipe, the ebullient feminist and literary scholar, once famously described me as “too artistic” when I opposed her suggestion on how to run the affairs of a fledging circle of writers and critics she was leading at The Guardian. “I am allergic to rules!”, I thundered at the meeting, leading everyone to a paroxysm of Homeric laughter. We must give it to Achebe: he was clairvoyant, he possessed this stunning natural gift that seemed to border on divination. At the inauguration of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) at the University  of Nigeria in 1982, for instance, he told the audience that the greatest challenge facing the nation was “the rough beast of fanaticism”. This beast, he explained, was making both Nigerian religious adherents and members of the political class look like “dangerous lunatics”. He ruefully spoke of how some mullahs in Iran were passing fatwa on local poets for protesting against some excesses of the Islamic government in Teheran and a columnist with The New Nigerian newspaper in Kaduna was hailing the death sentences in the name of Islamic solidarity. Achebe also bemoaned the growing tendency of some Nigerian state governors acting like imperial lords, conquerors of their own people, rather than their servants. The import of Achebe’s speech appeared lost on even fellow writers and scholars. Only Stanley Macebuh, writing in The Sunday Punch, was to call national attention to the extremely dangerous phenomenon of extremism, which was then developing, describing Achebe as an original thinker and far-sighted analyst. It is a mark of the writer’s prescience that

the greatest threat to Nigeria’s survival today, 21 years after the Achebe soul-stirring speech, is fanaticism. Extremism accounts for thousands of violent deaths in the last couple of years and the ruination of socio-economic activity of a certain part of our nation. Back to my personal relationship with Achebe. When I saw how Macebuh, an exceedingly brilliant and urbane writer was getting along in life after he resigned from The Guardian as the founding managing director and after seeing George Okoro, another gifted top journalist, go by a decrepit commercial bus in Lagos, I knew my days in active journalism were numbered. Sunday Punch founding editor, Dayo Wright used to tell us in Enugu in the early 1980s when I was a rookie journalist but given the high responsibility of the chief editorial writer of the Satellite newspaper, “it is either you use journalism or journalism will use you”. Given the flattering comment I received from Achebe about my talent, enthusiasm, network and goodwill, I reached a conclusion about what to do with journalism, and so quickly moved into the related field of communication and public affairs consulting. Despite the difference of about three decades in age between Achebe and myself, we did get on very well. Achebe had no airs, no hang-ups. There was a night Okey Ndibe and I walked across Rangers Avenue from Hotel Presidential in Enugu where we were lodging to see Achebe who was then chairman of the governing council of the Anambra State University of Science and Technology and a personal guest of the vice chancellor, Chiweyite Ejike. Achebe was eating boiled maize and roasted local pear with Ejike and his wife. Before we could be invited, Okey and I descended on the traditional snacks with viciousness. We ordered Mrs. Ekije, a flabbergasted, bemused but cultured lady who hardly knew us, to the kitchen and prepare more maize and pears! Okey then turned to Achebe: “Prof, it is better to meet you here in Enugu than in Nsukka where you would not invite us to the table because you would wait for every family member to be around before anyone can eat. You know C. Don and I are bohemians who have no time for protocol and niceties”. The entire living room was engulfed by laughter. I took over: “Two weeks ago we went to see Prof without notice, without even calling him on the phone”. Okey cut in: “C. Don has over two hundred local and foreign telephone numbers in his head. He has the memory of an elephant”. “Rather than call 042-770513 which is Prof’s number”, I resumed the story, satisfied to see the pleasant surprise on everybody’s face that I effortlessly mentioned Achebe’s residential telephone number, “we bumped into his home. Prof was in poor health in his bedroom, attended to by a doctor. But when he was told we were around, he quickly got up and joined us in the living room; for the next two hours we were discussing all kinds of issues under the sun –and even above the sun! All of a sudden,

his wife appeared from the lecture room and was surprised to see the husband discussing heartily with us. She screamed: ‘Chinua, what are you doing outside the bedroom? The doctor ordered you to have complete bed rest, not even to take calls. I am not happy at all!’ Prof responded: “I came less than two minutes ago to dismiss my friends who came all the way from Lagos and Enugu”. It was laughter galore. I continued, this time with mischievous comments. “The world has, indeed, come to an end. Things have fallen apart. How can a woman be calling her husband by the first name, especially in public? How can a woman order her husband back into the bedroom in broad daylight? Okonkwo of Things Fall Apart must be turning in his grave. Who knows whether highly educated women are not on top of their husbands when they want to produce babies?” The commotion of laughter in this huge living room was still on when Okey rhetorically asked: “C. Don, are you sure you are not already engaged in this sacrilegious practice, even though you are not yet married, let alone to a very educated woman?” I remarked to the audience about Okey who was, as usual, in jeans: “Don’t mind him. Okey is the boy in jeans; the boy wiser than his father”. Ejike, a professor of fisheries, was visibly confused. Okey spoke to him and his wife in particular, “The Boy in Jeans – or The Boy Wiser Than His Father is the title of one of Achebe’s poems in the poetry collection Beware, Soul Brother. You know C. Don is a Nigerian journalist, so he doesn’t give credit to authors!” The dominant issue in the Nigerian print media then was the charge of plagiarism against a foremost journalist and columnist, accused by Kunle Ajibade and Dele Momodu, then two graduate students of literature at the University of Ife, of lifting without acknowledgement whole passages from Thomas Paine’s  classic, The Rights of Man. I responded to Okey: “You are a Nigerian journalist, so can you cast the first stone?” As Achebe and Ejike were seeing us off, the latter said: “You guys have succeeded in making my place so warm this evening. I have never seen Prof so relaxed, so comfortable with people. You are exceptional. By the way, I have noticed your high intelligence, eloquence and confidence. Feel free to come to my house anytime of the day.” Immediately we got to a poorly lit spot on the way back to the hotel, Okey and I began to hum, sing and dance: “This vice chancellor who has at least two beautiful, tall, fair skinned and elegant daughters has given us a rain cheque. Providence has buttered our bread!” A fierce argument soon erupted between Okey and myself over who would first approach which girl; we had just caught a glimpse of these girls for the first time and didn’t know anything about the damsels except that they should be the daughters of our host! • C. Don writes from Lagos.


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Sports NFF Federation Cup draw holds tomorrow

Countdown To Brazil 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Kenyan FA increases Harambee Stars’ allowances

HE 63 clubs left in the 2013 T Federation Cup will know their preliminary round

Ambrose fully focused on World Cup ticket O ensure that players and T officials of the Harambee Stars are fully motivated for victory against the Super Eagles when the teams clash on June 5 in Nairobi, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has increased their allowances ahead of the crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier. Kenya FA President, Sam Nyamweya said on Monday  that the increase by over 100 per cent is aimed at motivating the team for the June 5 home game against the African champions. “The players have been earning Kshs 3,000 per day (US$35.30) and now the increase to Kshs 10,000 per day (US$117.65) should motivate the team better to be able to beat Nigeria,” said Nyamweya. The Harambee Stars of Kenya will host Nigeria at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani. The home side will have to be at their best to revive their hopes of making it to the next round of the qualifiers. Kenya is bottom of Group F, a point behind Namibia while Nigeria is joint top with Malawi on five points. Nyamweya has also requested the government to announce June 5 a public holiday to allow Kenyans to watch their national team in the stadium and TV. “I kindly request the president and his deputy to make

this great day a public holiday so that Kenyans can get time to throng into Kasarani Stadium and see for themselves our boys taking on the African champions, because it’s another chance for Kenya to qualify for the World Cup,” said Nyamweya Meanwhile, Super Eagles defender, Efe Ambrose has dismissed Kenya’s threat to Nigeria, saying the Super Eagles’ main ambition is to qualify for the World Cup. Efe, who said the Brazil 2013 Confederations Cup does not particularly bother the Eagles, added that the team was taking the friendly game against Mexico seriously. The Celtic defender, who won the Scottish league and cup double, also expressed his delight to rejoin the Super Eagles as he dedicated his trophies to his wife and daughter. He said, “I am fully ready for Mexico and that is why I am in camp now.  By his grace I am looking forward to be part of the action.  “The Confederations Cup and the World Cup qualifiers are all important matches, but as far as I am concerned the World Cup qualifiers are the most important, they are my priority. We need to advance to next round of qualifiers. “The Confederations Cup is also important and I won’t rule us out of winning it, but the World Cup ticket is the ultimate.” 

Ogwashi Uku School wins Delta Governor’s Cup GWASHI Uku O Comprehensive Secondary School yesterday at the Warri Township Stadium defeated Alegbo Secondary School, Effrum by a lone goal to win the maiden Delta State Governor’s Cup. In an interesting final broadcast live on Supersport, AIT and Channels television stations, the Ogwashi Uku boys proved book makers right when Victor Odiwanor scored a brilliant goal in the second half to send their supporters celebrating. Alegbo Secondary School were expected to enjoy greater support in Warri since they are from Effurun, near Warri, but Ogwashi Uku hearkened to former international, Austin Jay Jay Okocha’s plea for them to win the trophy. For their victory, Ogwashi Uku went home with a 30seater bus and N2 million, as well as, a foreign training tour.

Alegbo and Edjekoka schools, which emerged second and third respectively, also went home with the buses.

France’s Gael Monfils returns to Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych during their French Tennis Open first round match at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, on Monday. PHOTO: AFP

opponents tomorrow when the draw for the national competition holds at the FIFA Technical Centre, National Stadium Complex, Abuja from 12 p.m. According to Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, no club from Yobe State registered for the annual glamour competition, while Ranch Bees FC of Kaduna would be disqualified from the ceremony should the club’s management fail to off-set by this morning an outstanding debt of N200,000 payable since last year. “The management of Ranch Bees have failed to pay this money, which is their fine for late registration for last year’s competition, despite several written undertakings to pay,” said Sanusi. All the 20 Premier League clubs in the country, plus 22 clubs from the second-tier National League, nine clubs from the Nationwide League and 12 non-League teams will be involved in the draw. A special feature will be added to this year’s draw, with the draw for the Women’s Federation Cup competition also taking place alongside that of the men’s event.

French Open

Dimitrov marches on, Date-Krumm out as rain swamps Paris IGHLY-RATED Bulgarian, H Grigor Dimitrov reached the French Open second round while Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm bowed out yesterday as torrential rain caused havoc at Roland Garros. Dimitrov, dubbed ‘Baby Federer’ because of his similar style to the 17-time Grand Slam winner, went through to the last 64 when Colombian opponent Alejandro Falla retired with the Bulgarian 26th seed 6-4, 1-0 to the good. The 22-year-old Dimitrov, the boyfriend of Maria Sharapova, could face world number one Novak Djokovic in the third round. Dimitrov was just one

of three winners in early action on Tuesday after heavy rain caused a three-hour delay to the start of the programme. Barely 90 minutes of play was possible before the rain returned. “I am happy that I finished the match. It’s never easy to play the first round in a Grand Slam especially with the weather the way that it was,” said Dimitrov, who is seeded at a major for the first time. He has enjoyed a break-

Open winner. Date-Krumm became the third oldest player to compete in women’s singles in the tournament — Martina Navratilova holding the record at 47 and 232 days from her 2004 showing. Fully 57 players in this year’s women’s singles draw were not even born when DateKrumm made her Roland Garros debut. “Stosur is so strong and she’s a specialist on clay,” said Date-Krumm.

Nations Cup victory celebration could cost Eagles dearly in Kenya, Chukwu warns By Eno-Abasi Sunday Head Coach of the FballORMER Kenyan senior national footteam, the Harambee Stars,

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (left) hands over the trophy to Captain of Comprehensive Secondary School, Ogwashi-Uku, who defeated Alegbo College 1-0 to win the Delta Governor’s Cup…yesterday.

through year, defeating Djokovic in the second round in Rome and making a first Masters quarter-final in Monte Carlo where he lost to Rafael Nadal. World number 83 DateKrumm, who played her first Roland Garros in 1989 — three years before Dimitrov was born — probably wished it had kept on raining. The 42-year-old Japanese lost 6-0, 6-2 to Australian ninth seed Samantha Stosur, the 2010 runner-up and former US

Christian Chukwu, has warned of dire consequences should the Super Eagles still bask in the euphoria of their victory when they confront the Kenyans in the second leg of the 2014 World Cup qualifier. He has also urged handlers of the team to use the forthcoming Confederations Cup as preparations for the World Cup qualifiers rather than treat it with kid gloves. Chukwu, who also coached the Eagles, in an interview with The Guardian said, “In the first leg of the World Cup qualifier against Kenya in Calabar, Cross

River State, what really pulled us back was the fact that we were over celebrating the victory we in South Africa. That affected our performance, because we sort of lost concentration, focus and the needed seriousness.” On what kind of encounter he sees of the match against the Kenyans, he said, “I see a very tough game because getting a draw in Nigeria has given them a very big morale boost. So we should not underrate them the way we did in Calabar. If we do, we may pay dearly for that. “However, I know that we have an edge over them because of the experienced and more exposed players that we have. This is where we have a big advantage over them and

I believe that if we capitalise on that advantage, we would overcome them in Kenya. But in terms of fitness, stamina and the rest, the Eagles should be ready for the Kenyans, who are very athletic,” the Rangers of Enugu legend stated. Reacting to Coach Stephen Keshi’s comment that qualifying for the World Cup was more important to him than the Confederations Cup, Chukwu said, “the two exercises were important, but the World Cup qualifier is more important to us because as African champions, we need to be at the World. But if I were to be in his shoes, I would focus on the Confederation Cup as part of preparations for the World Cup qualifier.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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CricketWeekly Pepsi ICC Africa Under 19 World Cup Qualifying Series

Kenya pegs back Nigeria, as Namibia maintains unbeaten run By Christian Okpara HE Nigerian national T Under-19 team, which defeated Sierra Leone by four wickets at the on-going Pepsi ICC-Africa U-19 World Cup qualifying series in Uganda, suffered another setback yesterday when they lost to Kenya in their third match by 142 runs. The team had lost to Botswana by 65 runs in their opening game on Sunday, defeated Sierra Leone on Monday before getting this reverse result yesterday. In their first Pool B match against Botswana on Sunday, the Southern Africans won the toss and opted to bat posting a modest 195 for 10 in 50 overs, beating Nigeria 130 for nine in 50 overs by 65 runs. Huzaifa Babar top scored with 48 runs that included five boundary fours in 68 balls. Ameer Saiyed and Amir Mehraj came in handy with 39 and 35 respectively each with three boundary fours apiece.

Nigeria’s bowling attack had Alfred Tajay three for 15 in 10 overs and Joseph Adedeji three for 36 in nine overs as the best bowling figures. Botswana, led by Man of Match, Aarnav Ram three for 11 in 10 came hard on Nigeria, restricting them to 130 for nine in 50 overs. Botswana’s opening bowlers partnered to wipe out the top batsmen leaving them at six for 39 in 19.4 at one time. Thatayaone Tshoshe returned figures of two for 31 in nine overs. Batting at eight, Bimbo Adu stuck at the wicket securing 40 off 89 balls while Adedayo Ogunbayo came in handy with 20 off 59 balls. Meanwhile, Namibia posted the qualifier’s highest score of 334 runs for seven wickets in 50 overs en route to a 244-run Duckworth and Lewis Method win in a rain-shortened Pool A game against Tanzania at the University Oval in Kyambogo. A second wicket partnership of 161 runs that lasted 29.3 overs between Xander

Pitchers and Michau Du Preez was the highlight of the encounter. Man of match, Pitchers, finished on 161 off 143 balls, peppering the boundary rope with 16 fours and 3 sixes in the process. Stylish Michau Du Preez was also among the runs with 61 off 90 whereas captain Gerhard Erasmus, who only stepped onto the crease after 36.3, didn’t miss out on the carnage with 30-ball 51 runs that comprised of two boundaries and four mighty blows out of the park. Only Kenswa Omala (3/46) stood out from the bewilZambian attack. dered More salt was rubbed onto Zambians’ wounds when rain forced the match officials to reduce the 50-over clash to 40 with a revised target of 292. Namibian bowlers Kobus Brand four for nine in three, Janu Coetzee 2/3 in two and Jj Smit two for nine in five skittled through the Central Africans’ batting line-up.

New Zealand’s Hamish Rutherford tried to be aggressive against England’s Graeme Swann during their Test game…on PHOTO: ESPNCRICINFO.COM Monday.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013 110 SPORTS

Nigerian Professional Football League

Iorfa, Gombe officials trade words over Week 15 clash From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja ICE Chairman of Lobi Stars of Makurdi, Dominic Iorfa has described as hell what his team saw in Gombe during last weekend’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match, which ended in a draw. Iorfa disclosed that but for the prompt intervention of a detachment of the Joint Task Force (JTF) to rescue the players, officials and supporters of the Lobi Stars FC from the hands of the fans of Gombe United at the Gombe Township Stadium, the league would have recorded serious casualties. The Week 15 game ended in a 2-2 draw. The vice chairman, who made the claim while speaking in a telephone interview from his based, lamented that

V

their cameras and at least two of their official cars were damaged, adding that they also lost their cell phones. He praised men of the JTF, who rescued and escorted them on a 50-minute journey to Bauchi State. While threatening that he would petition the authority concerned about the excruciating torture they passed through in Gombe, Iorfa lamented that his team lost to Kwara United at the mid week without Lobi fans molesting anybody. “I want Nigerians to join me in celebrating our escape from the hands of Gombe fans on Sunday. We are alive to tell the story because of the intervention of the Joint Task Force (JTF). They damaged and seized our cameras and tele-

phones, stoned our official cars, shattered the windscreen of the technical crew’s car and broke the side mirror of the players’ official bus. We have pictures to prove our claim. “In fact, it took the intervention of the JTF to rescue us and they even escorted us from the stadium to Bauchi State, about 50 minutes drive from Gombe, where we stayed for the night. “We thank the JTF members, especially the commandant, for rescuing us from the fans. It would have been a different story.” According to Iorfa, “trouble started for us when we led in the first half. They stoned the assistant referee 1, who threatened to pull out of the match, resulting in the intermittent interruption of the match. They also stoned us and made the situation unbearable that the centre referee had to give them another goal to save his life. “Let me, however, make it clear that the officiating was okay in the circumstances the referees found themselves. The referee understandably gave eight minutes extra time to save his life. We are certainly going to petition the authorities on the hell we passed through in Gombe.

Lobi Stars and Heartland trade tackles during the 2012 Federation Cup final. Lobi Stars have accused Gombe fans of maltreating them during their Week 15 clash…at the weekend. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI.

Edovie retains FHA tennis title EFENDING champion, D Lucky Edovie retained his FHA Tennis Championship singles title after beating last year losing finalist Charles Didimakon 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to win his fifth crown. Backed by spectators, which included the President Okey Agu, the sponsor

Fans hail Dubic as Enyimba, 3SC clash OOTBALL fans, who FInternational trooped to the Enyimba Stadium, Aba,

MC Dauda (left), winner of a deep freezer during the game between Enyimba and 3SC, Chukwudi Nwafor and Brand Manager, Lager, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Gbolahan Sanni, during the Week 15 game at the Aba Stadium.

Coaches, scouts flood Edwin Clarke tourney for talents From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja RGANISERS of the Edwin Clark U-18 football tournament has expressed satisfaction at the turn out of coaches and scouts, who stormed the Uyo, venue in search of players for their teams. Among the coaches was Super Eagles former Chief Coach, Samson Siasia, who disclosed that it did not take him much time to discover several players that can fit into the various national teams. Siasia, a technical partner to the organisers of the tournament aimed at honouring elder statesman, Edwin Clarke, showered encomium on the government and Akwa Ibom State people for their hospitality throughout the duration of the championship. “I am really impressed with the talents I saw here. It was a confirmation that the national teams will not lack the raw materials if we properly guide the quality of players I saw here. I am sure that the players we have seen in this tournament have all it takes to pick a starting in the various

O

national teams,” he noted. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) chairman of chairmen, Effiong Johnson, who represented the federation during the tournament, praised the organisers of the championship for contributing towards football development in the country, adding that the Edwin Clark Championship has helped in exposing the abundance of skill and soccer artistry of the participating teams. Effiong, who is also the Akwa-Ibom State FA chairman, assured that he would recommend some of the players to the technical committee of the federation for trials with the various national teams, adding that the number of club coaches, who stormed the championship to scout for talent has proved that its product will be meaningfully engaged in Nigerian football in the future. “I enjoyed the tournament and would urge the organisers and the state government to give the people of this state more of this tournament,” he said. In the same vein, Aniete

to watch their team against 3SC of Ibadan, went home fulfilled as Dubic Lager beer thrilled them with lot of fun and entertainment during the star match on Sunday. Dubic, which is the official kits sponsor for both teams, stormed the stadium with their product and had Eastern Nigeria’s number One rapper, Mr. Raw, on stage to thrill the Aba fans and the travelling supporters of the Oluyole Warriors. Some of the fans, who narrated their experience, commended Guinness Nigeria for their contribution to Nigerian Football, especially Dubic Beer’s effort in bringing the fans back to the stadium. According to Tochukwu Emmanuel, a final year student of Abia State University, “I want to commend Dubic Beer for this great idea of adding musical entertainment to football and this will go a long way in attracting the

fans back to the stadium. “I came from my school because of Nigga Raw and I really enjoyed the football artistry displayed by both teams.” To another fan, Chijioke Nsobudu, a trader in Umuahia, “football mixed with music is just the best combination for entertainment. Thanks to Dubic Beer for making my weekend a success.”

and the Grand Patron of the club, Vincent Obianodo and Vice President, Models Ezeamama, both players produced scintillating performance, powerful serves, tremendous backhand and great strokes to the delight of thousands at the club house. Edovie drew the first blood by winning the first set after 35 minutes but Didimakon powered back to win the second set 6 – 4 despite needing 10 minutes for medical attention. The third set was, however, a one-sided affair with Edovie using his wealth of experience to dismantle Didimakon 6 – 1 to take home his third straight and fifth title overall. The singles winner also partnered Evans Madu to beat the pair of Amobi Udoye and Evans Nwachukwu to win the

double final 6 – 3, 6 –0. The veterans’ title went to Caesar Osubu, who celebrated his sixth title in the category. Osubu has also won the men’s single title six times a record he jointly hold with Emmanuel Dike. In the table tennis event, Peter Okechukwu thrashed Ralph Odunukwe 21 – 7, 21 – 13, while Ezenwafor Emmanuel retained his draught Grand master title. The Grand finale also witnessed the induction of two new members, Architect Ernest Ewuzie and Steve Okafor. Meanwhile the club will begin its swimming competition for members in 2014. President of the club, Agu, who revealed this, also confirmed that plans are on the way to construct a pavilion that can seat 2,000 spectators.

Why we are not staging tournaments, by NASCOM By Olalekan Okusan IGERIA Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM) says it is not currently organising competitions because it does not want to derail from its objectives. According to the Chairman of NASCOM, Yemi Idowu, one of the key mandates include the need to support stakeholders in school sports, as well as, develop a sustainable

N

structure for school sports and not to compete with already organised bodies like Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) and other relevant stakeholders in staging tournaments. “For us at NASCOM we will like to support stakeholders in school sports because we believe that they are relevant to improving sports in

Managing Director of MRS Oil, Paul Bissohong (left), with captain of Joker Stars, Alli-Balogun Mustapha and Chairman, National Youth Soccer Association (NYSA), Paul Freeman after the inaugural MRS U-12 soccer cup at Campos Mini Stadium in Lagos… on Monday.

schools. We are not going to rival any of these bodies but to support them in their efforts to improve sports in schools. “The board of NASCOM has been charged with the mandate of reviewing and evolving a structure, as well as, organization of academicals sports competition in the relevant sports disciplines in order to strengthen school sports,” he said. “NASCOM is also charged with the responsibility of enhancing talent identification, establish effective private sector participation by seeking sponsorships for academicals sports competitions while collaborating and partnering with key stakeholders. The body is also expected to carry out effective Diaspora grassroots talents discovery and nurturing in the relevant academicals sports,” Idowu added. In furtherance of its mandate to revolutionalise grassroots sports, Idowu said NASCOM has initiated an exciting youth-friendly campaigned tagged: Rhythm ‘N’ Play, which is aimed at enhancing mass youth participation in sporting activities and age grade competitions.


THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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TheGuardian

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Conscience, Nurtured by Truth

By Roberts Belema HE issue of granting amnesty to the Boko Haram sect by the Federal Government of T Nigeria under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan has now become the channel of choice that most Nigerians are tuned in to on the bouquet designated, ‘Nigeria’. It is the matter at the fore of our collective national consciousness at the moment; everyone has something to say about the issue and most will present their opinions with such blind rage that makes it very difficult to engage in constructive exchanges with them. Nevertheless, many Nigerians believe that the Federal Government lacks the moral justification to offer amnesty to the Boko Haram sect and that instead, the government should be committing resources to the extermination of the sect and the threat they pose to the country. Despite opposition from many fronts, the Federal Government, under the auspices of the President, has gone ahead with its plan to pursue amnesty for the sect and there appears to be growing support for the President’s decision, even from the most unlikely of corners. If the secret of greatness is to admit that one’s position is not infallible and that one could very well be wrong, then it presupposes that it would be very much worth the effort to try and understand the President’s motivation, on the off chance that the position represented by the opposition to the amnesty agenda may be flawed in some way. The truth is best discovered by powerful statements on both sides of the equation, so I offer a brief examination of the position of the opposition to the amnesty agenda before presenting my thoughts as they apply to the Federal Government’s position on the granting of amnesty to the Boko Haram sect. In order to bring an end to internal conflict, a nation’s government may hold negotiations with the very people who are responsible for committing egregious acts against humanity in the country, and the basis for amnesty is generally because the war or other conditions that made the acts criminal no longer exist or have faded in importance. In world history, there are various documented cases where governments have offered amnesty to opposition in order to facilitate peace and reconciliation. From the instances in Ancient Greece to those in Haiti, South Africa, Liberia and even the United States of America, two things are particularly evident: First, in amnesty negotiations, there is usually a party in ascendancy and a party in a more disadvantaged position, and amnesty is offered by the former to the latter and not the other way round. Second, both parties agree to co-operate in order to end the fighting and halt further commission of violent acts. In the light of these, the Boko Haram situation in Nigeria is unique because they are certainly not the disadvantaged party in this conflict; in fact, they seem to be holding all the aces at the moment, which may have informed their confidence in boldly stating that they ought to be the ones who would offer the Nigerian government amnesty. Furthermore, they have evidenced no clear signs that they would be amenable to reconciliation for the sake of peace. The arguments against granting amnesty to the Boko Haram sect are very valid and are shared by not only a majority of Nigerians, but by the international community as well. Recently, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reiterated its earlier recommendation that Nigeria be labelled ‘a country of particular concern’, stating that President Goodluck Jonathan-led Nigeria deserved designation given its failure to hold accountable the perpetrators of religiouslyrelated violence. The USCIRF Chair, Katrina Lantos Swett, further stated that the Nigerian government’s failure to prosecute the perpetrators of religious-related violence only encourages reprisals and intensifies local tensions and mistrust, and that Boko Haram uses this impunity as a recruitment tool and to justify its attacks on Christians. In essence, if the government fails to punish the Boko Haram, it will invariably encourage cynicism about the rule of law and increase the already significant distrust towards the political system. Also, to the victims of the Boko Haram violence, the amnesty represents the ultimate hypocrisy, a grave travesty of justice and a devastating betrayal by their government. National reconciliation cannot take place as long as justice is foreclosed and it is the responsibility of the government to provide justice to the victims and their families. The bloodshed and abject horror that the members of the sect have wrought on the nation require that they be held accountable for their acts, and if the peace being sought by the government is not intended to be a brief interlude between conflicts, then it must ensure that justice prevails. The conundrum, however, is that to the victims, justice would be served by the prosecu-

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Amnesty: Heroism or cowardice?

tion of the Boko Haram sect, but the very premise upon which the amnesty is advanced precludes all possibility of such prosecution, because it is tantamount to wiping their slate clean and declaring them free of any wrong-doing in the eyes of the law. There is another very disturbing aspect of the Boko Haram situation in Nigeria that begs audience. It is not unlikely that the sect enjoys the support of some Northern elements who see the group as a viable weapon for political harassment of the Presidency (Adewale Adeoye, Boko Haram: A people’s alternative to peace (2); March 27, 2013). Suppose the group does eventually accept the Federal Government’s offer of amnesty; what is the guarantee that the same or even another group of Northern elements may not silently back another sect that is intent on perpetuating havoc in the nation in order that they may accomplish their selfish purposes and satisfy their egocentric interests? This is another reason why opposition to the amnesty agenda is so strong. It is generally believed that without properly identifying and prosecuting those who operate in the shadows to silently provide support for the sect, the amnesty is a sham perpetuated by a weak-willed government that is afraid of excising the rot that has eaten deep into its systems. The government is no doubt knowledgeable of all these arguments against its decision to grant amnesty to the Boko Haram sect but has, nevertheless, gone ahead to commit itself to pursuing the agenda. The question remains, why? I tasked myself and

was able to come up with three reasons that could logically explain the government’s decision even though the logic figuratively screams that the government’s position is one of ineptitude, cowardice and insincerity. Firstly, I believe that by announcing that it was pursuing amnesty for the Boko Haram sect, the Federal Government has tacitly admitted that it is unwilling to publicly identify and prosecute those in positions of influence and authority who may be the sect’s political benefactors. Furthermore, I posit that the Federal Government has analysed the strength and effectiveness of the nation’s security structure with respect to the threat Boko Haram pose and have concluded that the security system in the country lacks the skilled intelligence, resourcefulness, law enforcement capability and tactical, disciplined military defence to successfully counter and bring to an end the sect’s campaign of violence. Secondly, and I may be accused of being cynical for this, I cannot help but think that the possible success of the amnesty agenda would be a solid boost to President Jonathan’s bid for re-election in 2015, and given that he would have solid results to justify his decisions and validate his consequent actions before even the fiercest opposition and those most critical of his administration, the logic of it is very attractive. It would be like killing two birds with one stone because improving the insecurity situation in the country by negating the threat of the Boko Haram even if it means offering them amnesty allows him to build a firm foundation upon which he could stand and even successfully woo the elec-

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torate come 2015. However, the entire reasoning is, to a large extent, predicated on the amnesty agenda being successful and remaining so until at least immediately after the 2015 polls. Thirdly, the most salient reason I could come up with to explain why the government has chosen to pursue the amnesty agenda for the Boko Haram is that the Federal Government is genuinely distressed by the insecurity situation in the country and is willing to explore all feasible, lawful avenues that may lead to enduring peace across the polity. Unfortunately, the government and the opposition to the amnesty agenda have significantly different definitions of ‘feasible, lawful avenues’ that may be employed towards the successful resolution of the Boko Haram situation in the country. Nevertheless, any democratically elected government must take very seriously the responsibility of ensuring the welfare and security of the nation’s law-abiding citizens and legal inhabitants. It must use whatever means possible under the law to actively protect and defend the lives of the citizens against all conflicts and threats that seek to cut short said lives. In this peculiar case, the threat is the Boko Haram and as per its responsibility, the government must explore all legal avenues that could potentially lead to the cessation of this threat. But consider the reality of the situation: The government is unwilling or unable to successfully tackle the issues of complicity amongst its own ranks with respect to the Boko Haram. Next, the nation’s security and intelligence system cannot effectively combat the threat the sect poses. Logic would support the inference that if the present Administration is to remain in power and is also to bring an end to the human carnage resulting from the Boko Haram insurgency without dealing with the problem of insidious complicity within its ranks, and also without upgrading the nation’s security, threatresponse and intelligence system, then some other means of conflict resolution must be resorted to. And so even though it smacks of shocking cowardice, and it is akin to taking a very bitter experimental drug that has only a small chance of curing a terminal illness, there is a perverse logic in the government’s decision to pursue the amnesty agenda. In conclusion, in spite of the Federal Government’s much maligned decision to offer amnesty to the dreaded Boko Haram sect, it ought not to so easily dismiss the arguments the opposition have raised because those arguments actually provide crucial details as to why the amnesty agenda may very possibly fail spectacularly. I believe that the Federal Government’s offer of amnesty should be strategic and also that steps must be taken to ensure that a recurrence of the situation or any variation of it in the future will be impossible. The Federal Government needs to make it abundantly clear that amnesty does not grant anyone or any group a licence to commit future crimes and it certainly does not forgive crimes not yet committed. The Federal Government will need to act urgently to ensure that we are capable of dealing with any future threats to our national security by upgrading our security system and associated intelligence protocols. Our security and defence organisations must attain a new and crucial level of adeptness, backed by a functional system of jurisprudence to assiduously investigate and successfully prosecute corrupt and complicit elements even within the government itself. This will go a long way in restoring confidence in our system of law-enforcement and it will also help in checking impunity, because potential militants and other lawbreakers will have to think twice about flagrantly contravening the law of the land, perpetuating mass chaos and senseless murder in the name of whatever creed, thinking that they will get away with it if they pose enough of a significant threat because the government would be forced to offer them amnesty on their own terms. Further, I believe that Adewale Adeoye (CNN African Journalist of the year, 2000) was spot-on when he opined that the Islamic population in the North ought to be given a voice in government, and that an Islamic party controlling a part of the country should not be seen as antithetical to democracy, once the party enjoys the full support of the population. This invariably suggests that some form of dialogue will need to take place involving all stakeholders, influential Northern leaders who are genuinely seeking peace and regrettably, even representatives of the Boko Haram sect as well. If in due course, the Boko Haram sect do accept the government’s offer of amnesty and the agenda is eventually successful, it should not be construed as heroism and triumph for the nation. Rather, it should be considered a pyrrhic victory at best and it labels us as cowards of the worst kind regardless of how logical our cowardice may seem. • Belema is an Electrical/Electronics engineer, Rewards & Conflict Managers, Mowe, Ogun State

Wed 29 May 2013 The Guardian Nigeria  

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