TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Monday, June 3, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,576
Pain, anger one year after Dana plane crash • Victims’ families may seek more claims • Why compensation is delayed, by airline • Govt unveils monument today By Wole Shadare and Chika Goodluck-Ogazi XACTLY one year today, a E Dana Flight 0992 heading for Lagos from Abuja crashed into residential buildings in a Lagos suburb, Iju-Ishaga, killing all 153 passengers onboard. About eight others were also killed on ground. Today also brings back sad memories for families who lost their loved ones. One year after what many termed an “avoidable accident”, there are many issues that are yet to be addressed, according to stakeholders. They fear that the inability to resolve the issues up till this moment could mean that the victims died in vain. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Director of Flight Operations, Dana Air, Captain Oscar Wason (left); Director of Airworthiness Standards, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Benedict Adeyileka; Parish Priest, St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja, Rt. Rev. Msgr. (Dr.) John Aniagwu; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, George Ossi and Director of Dana |Air, Adedolapo Atekoja, during a special church service held in commemoration of the one year anniversary of the Dana Air crash in Ikeja… yesterday.
Panic in OPEC as China moves to exploit shale oil From Collins Olayinka, Vienna, Austria
• ‘Nigeria to explore African market’
S the second largest oilconsuming nation – China – is set to commence the production of shale oil and gas, the international oil market is expected to come under more pressure soon. Oil shale, also known as kero-
gen shale, is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil (not to be con-
fused with tight oil - crude oil occurring naturally in shale) can be produced. Shale oil is a substitute for conventional crude oil; however, extracting shale oil from oil shale is more costly than the produc-
tion of conventional crude oil both financially and in terms of its environmental impact. Deposits of oil shale occur around the world, including major deposits in the United
States (U.S.). Estimates of global deposits range from 2.8 to 3.3 trillion barrels of reoil. coverable The imminent commencement of shale oil and gas exploration in China reverberated at the just-concluded Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria, where the
Amigo Supermarket, Wonderland Amusement Park: Shadow of their old selves... - Page 12
international oil cartel raised a committee to “study the likely impacts of the discovery on the international oil prices and the likely economic impacts on the oil-producing countries.” Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, revealed the setting up of the committee to The Guardian at the venue of the meeting in Vienna CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Dana crash victims’ families may seek more claims CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The issues range from the difficulty of adequately compensating victims’ families in line with the Montreal Convention to which Nigeria is a signatory. Experts and aggrieved families carpeted Dana for shirking in its responsibility and not doing enough to lighten the pain the families are currently going through. The accident equally brings to the fore the issue of aviation safety and the role of various aviation agencies in terms of search and rescue and the oversight function of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as constituted. The alleged interference in the functions of NCAA by the Ministry of Aviation, coupled with manpower deficiency and alleged politicisation of the sector, among other issues, could prepare the ground for another disaster except the problems are urgently tackled. The NCAA was indicted for not removing all encumbrances to ensuring that compensation issues are quickly removed. An aviation analyst who preferred anonymity said the drive by the NCAA on the issue had waned seriously, stressing that in a situation as this, the regulatory body ought to have wielded the big stick like in the cases of Sosoliso and ADC Airlines in 2006 which remain grounded till today after their failure to offer compensation to victims’ families. There are indications that some families of the victims
could ask for more than the statutory $100,000 for the loss of their bread winners and relations if the accident was caused by negligence by the airline or any of the aviation agencies. Some of the families who spoke with The Guardian under the condition of anonymity said they had studied the “whole content of Montreal Convention as it relates to accidents and compensation.” They stated that they were waiting for the final accident report on Dana before the next line of action to take to seek justice. Last week, Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, promised in Abuja that the final report of the accident would be made public before the end of this year. The Montreal Convention, formally the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, is a treaty adopted by a diplomatic meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) memberstates in 1999. It amended important provisions of the Warsaw Convention’s regime concerning compensation for the victims of air disasters. It protects passengers by introducing a two-tier liability system and by facilitating the swift recovery of proven damages without the need for lengthy litigation. Article 17 of the convention stipulates that the airline or its servants or agents are liable to pay each passenger more than $100,000 Special Drawing Rights if it is proven that “such
damage was due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of the carrier or its servants or agents; or such damage was solely due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a third party.” According to former commandant, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Group Captain John Ojikutu (rtd), families of victims of aircraft accidents are entitled to unlimited amount of compensation within Montreal Conventions, especially if any of the operators responsible for providing established services are found to be negligent. His words: “Aside from the airline, air traffic control management could also be responsible in the area of how it co-ordinated emergency
alerting and search and rescue. In the case of Dana, negligence cannot be apportioned to the airline alone. “Remember, the pathologist said about 50 of the dead victims died of suffocation. They died of suffocation because help did not come in time. The alert was not timely.” According to Ojikutu, a trained air traffic controller, Nigerians may never know the cause of Dana crash unless a judicial inquiry is instituted, and that it would be difficult to sanction offending officials or bring their negligence to public view so that government or any other party could pay damages as part of the unlimited compensation. Ojikutu recalled that air traffic controllers’ negligence caused the crash of ADC Airline in 1996 after conflicting
directive from the tower almost caused collision in the air between the two air planes. The sudden diversion by the ADC captain to avoid collision with a Triax airplane made the pilot to lose control and crashed into the Ejinrin River in Ikorodu, Lagos, killing all onboard. The Spokesman of Dana, Tony Usidamen, disclosed that only 11 families had received full compensation of $100,000 (N15 million) each while 95 others received an initial $30,000 (N4.5 million) each. He said they all received the compensation as at May 25, 2013. A total of 153 passengers, including crew members, and six residents of the area died in the crash. Property worth millions of naira was
destroyed in the accident. He said compensation would be paid to all victims provided they had valid documents to back up their claims. Besides, the Federal Government will today honour the victims of the Dana crash and also unveil a cenotaph, built for them, to mark the one year remembrance of the tragedy. In a statement yesterday by the Head of Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, he said that the aviation industry had instituted a safety week which would be observed from June 3, 2013 and this would be done every year in the honour of those who lost their lives in one of the most tragic accidents in the history of air transport in Nigeria.
‘Nigeria to explore African market’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 at the weekend. The minister, who remains the only female voice among the member-nations, said the discovery of shale oil and gas had made exploration of the African market by Nigeria imperative. She said: “A committee has been set up to examine the impact of the shale oil production on our considerations in not too distant future. The shale oil discovery is a concern but we also respect the sovereignty and integrity of every country to provide sustainability in terms of their oil and gas, including their other hydrocarbon needs. I must say here that the discovery is also an opportunity for Africa as a continent to begin to look inwards with a view to creating an alternate market within
the continent. We have a very great scope for energy in Africa. “The demand is for product but there is a lot of refining existing with some coming up both within Africa and within the African region’s offshore. The issue now is that we must begin now to see the continent as an alternate market both in terms from both the supply and demand side.” Alison-Madueke stressed that Nigeria would continue to explore Asia but was quick to add: “Asia has always been an alternate market for quite a long time and it will remain so for the future. It is very clear that Asia itself will keep having growing energy needs for quite a while to come. But we must remember that China itself is likely to discover shale gas and oil pretty soon.” Meanwhile, going by the utterance from the Secretary-
General of OPEC, Abdullah alBadri, the emergence of a new scribe may not be determined solely by regional consideration, but the combination of experience and educational qualification will play equal measure. While he revealed that discussions were still ongoing in an attempt at finding a suitable scribe for the oil cartel, he insisted that the scribe that would emerge must be a qualified one. He added: “Yes, there are discussions among membercountries pertaining to the secretary-general but such a secretary-general must be a
qualified person, serious and must have the experience.” Because the international oil market fundamentals are expected to swing significantly, member-countries are admonished to, “if required, take steps to ensure market balance and reasonable price levels for producers and consumers, and member-countries reiterated their readiness to rapidly respond to developments that might place oil market stability in jeopardy. “Therefore, member-countries are enjoined to adhere strictly to the existing production ceiling of 30 million
Gambari urges investment, focus on youth for advancement From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin IGERIA’S former PermaN nent Representative at the United Nations (UN), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, has tasked African countries to clearly spell out the role of youths and direct conscious efforts at improving their socio-political and economic conditions towards a brighter economic future for continent. Gambari, who spoke at the first convocation ceremony of Kwara State University, Malete, at the weekend, said the continent has an advantage of greater youth population over most other continents and that investments in them would promote the continent’s socio-economic develop-
ment. The UN former official, who was inaugurated the university’s pioneer chancellor, said that Africa would soon control about one-third of the world youth population, and that a systematic and strategic investment in education, health, employment and civil participation of people would see the continent become a force to reckon with economically. According to him, Africa remains the only continent with a significantly growing youth population, as the UN estimates that in less than three generations, 41 per cent of the world’s youth would be African, and by 2035, Africa’s labour force will be larger than China’s.
Group seeks probe of JSC over alleged nepotism By Bertram Nwannekanma GROUP, called Lagos ColA lectives (LC), has urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam AlomaMukhtar, to immediately institute a probe into the alleged interference in the course of justice levelled against a justice of the Supreme Court (JSC), Clara Ogunbiyi, by a retired judge of a Federal High Court, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, during his valedictory ceremony. In a statement by its chairman, Prof. Tejumade AkitoyeRhodes, the group challenged the CJN to take a bold and immediate step to look into the allegation to save the nation’s
judiciary from immense ridicule. According to LC, Ogunbiyi’s silence on a serious allegation coming from such a high judicial rank meant a lot for the reputation of the nation’s judiciary. It added that no matter the outcome of the probe, “further silence on the matter basically calls into question the very integrity of the Nigerian judiciary.” The LC warned that Justice Okeke’s public allegation of abuse of office cannot and must not be swept under the carpet, as it was “quite detailed, very exhaustive in narration with specific names, dates and probing circumstantial illustrations.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3 2013
News Ohanaeze petitions govt over herdsmen alleged crimes From Lawrence Njoku, Enugu PEX Igbo socio–cultural orA ganisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said on Saturday that it has petitioned the Federal Government alleging increase in crimes and criminalities in the south east zone by the activities of Fulani herdsmen. Ohanaeze Ndigbo said it was worried by the increase in the activities of the herdsmen, which have resulted to the destruction of farmlands, robberies as well as killing of natives in the various communities, where their activities were challenged. Disclosing this in an interview with The Guardian, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo Igariwey, described the invasion of the zone by Fulani herdsmen as another form of ‘terrorism’, explaining that it was worrisome that farm crops and security of property of the people were no longer guaranteed following the activities of the group. He said: “We decided to petition the Federal Government over this development because, it is no longer something that we should sit down and watch, while our people are killed and have their crops in the farms destroyed by these herdsmen using their cows. I was in my community the other day, when a report came that two natives have been killed by the herdsmen as a result of disagreement that arose over their activities. Here in the southeast, we don’t have enough landmass, but it is sad that what is available is being occupied by these herdsmen. We believe there should be order in doing things, we cannot keep quite while they molest our people and destroy our farmlands and that is why we want government to intervene in the matter”.
S&P rates Access Bank ‘BB’ CCESS Bank’s long-term A credit rating has been upgraded to ‘BB-‘from ‘B+’ with a stable outlook. It was done by foremost global agency, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P). Similarly, the bank’s longterm Nigeria national scale rating was upgraded to ‘ngAA-‘ from ‘ngA’, attesting to its continued adherence to global best practices, sound corporate governance and best-in-class risk management framework. Access’ stability insulated it from the gale of rating downgrade witnessed by some of the world’s largest banks last year. This is the second consecutive upgrade the bank has received in two years. S&P said: “Access Bank completed the integration of Intercontinental Bank in 2012 to become the fifth largest Bank operating in Nigeria, and a highly systemically important financial institution. We believe that the Bank’s improved franchise, branch network, and cost of funds will enable it execute its strategy to lend increasingly to Nigeria’s most creditworthy institutions”.
I’ ll remain in politics even if APC denies me ticket, says Buhari From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief, Bashir Bello, Kaduna head of state and FtheORMER presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 presidential election, General Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said if the All Progressive Congress (APC) fails to give him the ticket for the 2015 Presidential election he would remain in politics, nonetheless. He also stated that he would back the party and support
anybody given the ticket. According to him, “If he is a member of my party I would support him because I would remain in politics and APC.” Speaking on a live programme “Guest of the Week” on Liberty Radio monitored in Kaduna, Buhari described the road to merger as quite rough saying, “it is rough in the sense that the ruling party has enormous resources and its capacity for coercion. “Personally, I realised these since 2007 that the only way the
opposition at all levels of representation from councillorship to representatives can counter the People’s Democratic Party is to come together to bring the dividend of democracy to their people.” When asked if he trusts the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct credible election in 2015, he said: “We as APC want, together with other parties and civil society groups, to make suggestions for amendment of Electoral Act 2010 for 2015 general elec-
tions.” He frowned at the state of decay of the nation’s infrastructure saying, “You will really be shocked by how resources were not credibly utilised because the railway, airways, roads, waterways are quite inefficient. “The solid infrastructure are virtually gone and then you ask what was the money used for? “Look at the universities, polytechnics and infrastructure we built during the military regimes.
But in spite of the resources, sustaining their development became a mirage in Nigeria which the governments are responsible for. “God has endowed Nigeria with abundant human and material resources but we have failed to organise ourselves. Virtually from First Republic there was no leadership in Nigeria because, going by the way our national resources were being squandered , no country can survive it except Nigeria,” he said.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy/Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (4th from right) and Unite States Vice President, Joseph Biden (7th from right) with other honourees at the 257th Commencement Ceremony of the University of Pennsylvania. Front and 2nd from left are: Chairman/CEO, the Xerox Corporation Ursula Burns, and Prof. Kwame Anthony Appiah of Princeton University.
PDP wants Fashola impeached over tolls on roads, ACN disagrees By Seye Olumide ITING abuse of power, the C Lagos State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday urged the State House of Assembly to commence impeachment moves against Governor Babatunde Fashola over plans to collect tolls on roads in the state, especially on the new Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge. In a statement, the Publicity Secretary of the party, Taofik Gani noted that Fashola had on Democracy Day announced plans to commence another tolling on Lagos roads especially the LekkiIkoyi link bridge. But in a swift reaction, the state Publicity Secretary of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Joe Igbokwe has dismissed the PDP’s call for Fashola’s impeachment, describing it as baseless and lacking in merit. He said Fashola’s administration had raised the standard of governance in the state “to such an extent that other governors including the PDP-led states now look up to Lagos for development plans in their states. That is why Fashola is being referred to as headmaster among the governors.” According to Taofik: “It was immoral to allow the gover-
nor toll roads that are wholly built with taxpayers’ monies. “Even the ongoing tolling of the Lekki-Epe Road that the lawmakers acquiesced to is morally wrong as they know well that a project ought to be completed and delivered before it can be paid for. In this instance, the tolling has started whereas the actual design and benefits from the said road have not even been completed which is exploitation.” Insisting that this was high time the state legislators stood for what was right by re-
moving the governor, Taofik said, “the lawmakers must find their ways back into the hearts of the people and particularly to prove to them that they are not stooges and puppets of the governor and the only way to prove this is to stop the tolling of the LekkiIkoyi link bridge. As a matter of fact, they must also commence the probe of the alleged N29 billion spent to construct the said bridge.” He added that the conception that Lagos was in bondage of a business syndicate ably aided and abetted by
Fashola could be put straight at this time “if the lawmakers remained resolute and rejected the tolling of the bridge. They must also at this point curtail Fashola’s arrogant posture in the governance of the state. “There is serious need for the Lagos House of Assembly to do a holistic review of all the antipeople policies by Fashola and find ways to reverse them. The party added: “Fashola’s imperialist system has pauperised so many people in Lagos and the time to stop it is now. The desperation to com-
mence the tolling of the LekkiIkoyi link bridge is indeed immoral, exploitative and further gives credence to the suspicion that even the purported repairs of some Federal Government roads in the state are indeed inflated to make extra profits into some private pockets. Igbokwe also cautioned the PDP against the implications of inciting the people against the government, saying that “Lagos has never had the type of positive development being witnessed under the present administration.”
Party faults Jonathan for backing Jang NGF’s faction From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba
• Ex-senator wants forum disbanded
LLEGING wrong-headedA ness, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has faulted
nised constitutionally. The party said it is a travesty of democracy for the President given the fact that Jang lost to Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State in what has been widely acknowledged as a free, fair and transparent NGF election. In a statement issued in Osogbo yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji ’Lai Mohammed, the
President Goodluck Jonathan’s recognition of Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State as chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). Meanwhile, a former Deputy Speaker of the Bendel State House of Assembly, Senator Francis Okpozo, has called for the immediate proscription of the NGF as it is not recog-
ACN said the President’s ill-advised decision has shown that he has little or no respect for democracy, and will stop at nothing to jettison timetested ideals on the altar of political opportunism. It said the recognition of the losing candidate for the chairmanship of the NGF has also shown that the President’s spokesmen either do not know the thinking of their principal or have chosen to
engage in downright lies in his defence. ‘’President Jonathan is frittering away whatever is left of his credibility by the day. His spokesman said in a statement the day after the NGF election that ‘the President has always shown a willingness to work harmoniously with any leadership freely and independently chosen by the Governors Forum for the collective progress and development of all sections of the country and will continue to do so’.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Senators oppose move to revoke President’s powers in emergency states From Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja MOVE last week by the House of Representatives to revoke the powers of the President in spending the statutory allocations of the three states under emergency rule is generating disagreement between the Lower Chamber and the Senate. Adopting a motion sponsored by Ibrahim El-Sudi, the House had last Tuesday, through a resolution, deleted Section 3(2)(e) of the Emergency Powers (General Regulations), which authorises the President to spend funds of the states under emergency rule as he considers desirable. The amendment is subject to the concurrence of the Senate. But some senators have started faulting the proposed amendment even ahead of its debate this week on the floor of the Senate. Senator Suleiman Adokwe (PDP, Nasarawa State), in an interview in Abuja at the weekend, said it was wrong and unfair for governors of the three states to seek to continue to enjoy all their privileges even when their domains are under emergency rule. He explained: “I believe that a state of emergency is a state of emergency. If you allow your state to get emergency rule, you can no longer enjoy all the privileges that are available to you before that state of emergency; otherwise it is no longer state of emergency. If the states and the local governments had the competence to deal with the situation with their funds, they would have dealt with it. “If they couldn’t or they were misapplying them, now when you have state of emergency, in my opinion, the implication is that you are now sharing your power with someone who can put his foot down. In this case, Mr. President is the one that is putting his foot down to ensure that peace and order are restored. If that is so, then certain powers that
you have must give way. If they don’t give way, then there is no emergency.” Adokwe continued: “Even the way you are going to spend your money will also reflect that you have a state of emergency. If you have your money and they are going to keep soldiers, who is going to pay them? It must be clear whether the state and Federal Government will bear the cost together or not. The governors are very quick at saying they are the chief security officers of their states. If you couldn’t maintain peace in your state and it warranted the Federal Government’s presence, you really must give some of your powers away.” According to Adokwe: “There are some governors that have tried very hard to maintain peace. You can commend the governor of Jigawa State, as close as he is to the trouble spot, he has been able to keep the peace there. People like that must be commended. “When Ahmed Makarfi was in Kaduna State, we had all sorts of explosions there but he was able to bring the situations under control. This shows some governors have some measure of power and authority to keep peace in their states. If you fail, then some of those powers must be taken away from you. That is why we have a state of emergency. That is my own philosophical understanding of state of emergency.” The Senate Spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, in his reaction to the development, said the House of Representatives was wrong in seeking to amend a position that had been jointly agreed to by both chambers of the National Assembly. According to him: “Once the conference committee of both the Senate and the House takes a position on any issue, the report is no longer subject to any debate and, therefore, cannot be altered by either of the two chambers.”
Fayemi, Oni trade words over planned probe From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado-Ekiti OVERNOR Kayode G Fayemi has disclosed that his administration is
President/Vice Chancellor, Babcock University, Prof. Kayode Makinde (left); the graduating student who lost her parents on their way to the campus in motor accident on Friday, Margaret Okwuikpo; her colleague, Rabiu Olabimpe Sakirat and Chancellor, Babcock University, Pastor Gilbert Wari, praying for the departed souls PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
Obasanjo, NEMA urge joint effort in crusade against flooding From Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Abeokuta S its own contribution towards the fight against flooding, the Centre for Human Security, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), at the weekend held a workshop where experts brainstormed on ways to mitigate effects of flood disasters in the country. The workshop, held at the auditorium of OOPL in Abeokuta, attracted participants from the civil society groups, non-governmental organisations, government agencies, ministries, private organisations and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). It was organised in conjunction with Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Shoreline Natural Resources and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human
Affairs. Resources persons were drawn from different fields to deliver various papers. The effects of last year’s flood in the country were devastating as 16 million persons were said to be affected while two million were displaced. Both the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency have predicted that there would be serious flooding again this year in some parts of the country. Prof. Peter Okebukola, one of the organisers of the event, in his speech, said the workshop was aimed at building a
more collaborative approach to proactive preparation for the “upcoming season and beyond”. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who declared the workshop open, stated that it was an indication that “we are learning our lesson from what happened to us last year”. He added: “There is a saying that a wise person learns from other peoples’ mistakes, but a fool learns from his own mistakes. Well, I won’t say we are fools because if we are now learning from what we did right and what we did wrong last year, I think we are on the part of wisdom”.
ready to probe the ousted governor, Segun Oni, for what he described as “monumental fraud” during the three-and-a-half years he governed Ekiti State. Fayemi, who spoke to the crowd that welcomed him back to the state after the Supreme Court judgment that dismissed the appeal filed by Oni, disclosed that his administration has uncovered a large-scale fraud especially on how Oni disbursed the micro-credit funds. Fayemi, who addressed the crowd at Ejigbo junction in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend, also pledged to revisit contracts awarded by Oni, which were allegedly used to massively loot the treasury and monies believed to have been stolen by officials of the ousted administration. But in his reaction, Oni challenged Fayemi to go ahead with the probe. He, however, urged the governor to constitute an independent probe panel, comprising the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Transparency International (TI) and other relevant agencies to probe the finances of Ekiti State from May 29, 2007, to date.
African varsities end summit, resolve to enhance graduate employment By Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi T was a major feat for Nigeria when the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, was appointed as president of the Association of African Universities (AAU) at the 13th general conference of the body, which was concluded in Libreville, Gabon, at the weekend. Oyewole will oversee the affairs of AAU for the next four years. At the event, the 300 delegates from 30 African countries that attended the conference recommended that African universities should pay serious and strategic attention to relevant curricula, teaching and research to guarantee graduate employability. They also, in a statement, insisted that African universities “must engage in socially-responsive and researchbacked activities, to make the need of our societies the centre of activities by universities,” using all the resources at their disposal. Noting the low level of graduate employment and the seeming unwillingness by African governments, universities, and the Organised
Private Sector to confront the problem, the conference urged African governments to declare the next decade as the period to, in a concerted effort, comprehensively deal with the high rate of unemployment of graduates on the continent. The forum insists that universities must now devise deliberate intervention activities to focus on graduate employability. Already, the participants agreed to also evolve and engage in available means that could provide effective solutions to graduate unemployment and transform higher education in Africa. They also agreed to encourage networking and partnerships among universities, with the private sector and other stakeholders, in the search for how to make graduates employable. Besides, they resolved to advise various African governments on the advantages of deepening the democratisation process, to engender development and to insist on transparency in elections and judicial systems. The forum said universities should be accountable through the public presentation of reports of their activities and be transparent in the management and allocation of resources.
Noting the need for more research on areas that could contribute remarkably to Africa’s development, participants recommended that stakeholders in African higher education should ensure that meritocracy, rather than mediocrity, be the prime driving factor in the selection of the leadership and management teams in universities. While commending the few African countries that have allocated up to 30 per cent of their annual budgets to education, participants urged other African governments to substantially increase their financial contributions to higher education. Although the conference commended the World Bank for shifting from placing emphasis on basic education to higher education, it advised funding agencies and international development partners to consult adequately with African universities in the setting of African Development Agenda. Oyewole, who was appointed UNAB vice chancellor barely a year ago, is replacing Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the immediate past vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin as AAU’s president.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Rep wants policeman tried for shooting student From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin HE House of Representatives Chairman of Committee on Justice, Dr. Ahmad Ali has called for prompt prosecution of the police officer that allegedly shot a student of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin. Ali, while viewing the development as a dent on the image of the nation among the comity of nations, said the police officer should be made to go through due process of law to serve as a deterrent to others, just as he said the taxi driver now at large who was the initial target of the policeman should equally be arrested and prosecuted. Although the House through Ali believed that many present-day Nigerian police officers lacked modern policing techniques, especially while dealing with the civilians, it said the Ilorin incident should be the end of such a case in Nigeria.
Fire explosion ravages Ijeododo pipeline again
‘How we will facilitate passage of PIB’ From Gordi Udeajah, Aba HAIRMAN of the Senate Gas Resources C Committee, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu has revealed the strategy the Upper House would employ to facilitate the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the National Assembly, which many have considered long overdue. Nwaogu said that there have been consultations with the senators from the northern part of the country who felt that the bill did not address the Frontier Basins in the North in terms of capital injection towards exploration. She, however, expressed optimism that the bill will be passed by the end of this year, saying “presently, we are consulting with our colleagues especially those who said that the document itself did not address the Frontier Basins in the North in terms of capital injection towards exploration. We will be able ‘to give and take’ and ensure that there is adequate capital provided for the Frontier Exploration.
By Tunde Akinola HE National Conscience Party (NCP) has urged Nigerians to actively participate in the country’s democratic activities ahead of the 2015 elections because their involvement would be a “major” determinant of their political fate. Addressing journalists at the party congress in the Lagos chapter yesterday, the NCP National Chairman, Dr. Yunusa Tanko said the party is galvanising Nigerian nationwide to ensure the party comes to the rescue of the masses by winning elections in the coming council polls in Lagos and the 2015 elections. Yunusa stressed that the congress was the starting point of the democratic agenda of the party ahead of the 205 polls. “We will revamp this party and today is the starting point. I use this opportunity to tell Nigerians that it is no more a child’s play.
By Abdulwaheed Usamah ARELY six months after a midnight explosion caused fire at Ijeododo in Ojo Local Council of Lagos State owing to activities of suspected pipeline vandals, residents of the sleepy community have again sighted a huge smoke, which is indicative of another fire outbreak. A resident told The Guardian, “As I saw thick smoke in the sky, I knew we are at it again, I do not need to be told that fire has occurred again.” Continuing, he said “the last time experience is still living with us and had thought many a lesson. When I noticed that the smoke was from the last explosion spot, I concluded that vandals had gone there to steal, taking advantage of the rain that fell several hours before. Another resident who spoke under condition of anonymity told The Guardian that the fire started after the uninterrupted heavy downpour that was witnessed across the state on Saturday and that nobody knows the people responsible for it. She said that explosion occurred at about 5:00 p.m. and the raging fire was yet to be attended to. Sources said that officials of the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC), who visited the site about two hours after the explosion, left due to lack of access road to the explosion point.
Sanjeev Chhetri of The Lacasera Company Limited (left); Managing Director, JOTNA Nigeria, Sushil Ranchandani; Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu and Head, Lagos Zone 1, SON, Elsie Ofili at the commissioning of the SON Lagos Zone 1 conference room renovated by The Lacasera Company Limited held in Lagos at the weekend. PHOTO: SUNDAY
Ex-NIMASA boss cancelled generator purchase contract, says EFCC witness By Joseph Onyekwere WITNESS for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Ahmed at the weekend told Justice Rita OfiliAjumogobia of the Federal High Court, Lagos that the former Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Raymond Omatseye cancelled the award of 200KVA generator contract. Ahmed also stated that they (EFCC investigators) did not investigate whether Omatseye stole money from a contract awarded for the supply of 100 Blackberry smart phones or not. Testifying at the continuation of hearing before the court, the EFCC witness said his enquiry indicated that the phones were actually delivered.
The contract was said to be worth N22, 050, 000. “I did not investigate whether the accused made any financial gain from the contract,” Ahmed said, adding that he did not also find out whether the contractor, Anchor Offshore Services Limited, was specially promised the contract by Omatseye. Before the trial judge adjourned further hearing to June 26 the witness said he didn’t know if the contract was referred to the board of NIMASA or not. Omatseye is being prosecuted by the EFCC on an amended 27-count charge bordering on contract scam. He pleaded not guilty to all counts. His re-arraignment was due to the transfer of the former judge Mrs. Binta
Murtala-Nyako. He was charged with alleged illegal transfer of the agency’s fund and contract splitting estimated at over N1.5 billion. During cross-examination by defence counsel Olusina Sofola (SAN), Ahmed said the other contractors who bidded for the supply did not make any complaints about the Anchor enjoying any special favours. Ahmed, who said NIMASA’s governing board, did not approve the supply, adding that he did not have evidence of the non-approval. “I made a statement on 3rd December 2010 when the matter was still fresh in my mind. “I did not indicate that I asked for minutes of the meeting where approval was given for the purchase of the Blackberry phones.
Senators task tertiary institutions on research, IGR Jang canvasses consistency in school system From Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin and Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos
NCP urges Nigerians to exercise voting rights in 2015
HE Chairman, Senate T Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije at the weekend said the only reasonable way Nigerian tertiary institutions could justify their existence was for them to invest more in research works relevant to the needs of Nigerians. Leading a team of four other members of his committee on oversight functions to University of Ilorin, Chukwumerije said it was high time Nigerian universities filled the yawning gaps making the nation to spend huge funds on importation of goods and services that could readily be made available in the country. Other members of the committee at the event are Senators Olusola Adeyeye, (Vice Chairman), Pius Ewherido and Abubakar Bugudu. “What we have seen at Unilorin showed that the leadership is highly focused especially by the quality of the services rendered. I hope they keep it up. But like Adeyeye
said, we want more works on research from all our universities to make them fulfill more of their mandate,” Chukwumerije said. Adeyeye canvassed more computerisation of the departments of the nation’s universities to accelerate the pace of processing results of students, adding that students should get access to their results “at least three weeks” after their exams. Besides, he said more research works should be carried out on health related issues especially in the area such as sickle cell peculiar to Nigerians and Africans. Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali said the university, a second generation one, despite its uninterrupted academic sessions, still receives lesser allocations from the Federal Government owner, in comparison with other universities of similar status. He said with the population of students at about 30,000, Ambali said the institution could only accommodate 3,000 on the campus, representing a mere 10 per cent of the total population.
At Federal Polytechnic Offa, another member of the Senate Committee, Senator Pius Ewherido urged authorities of tertiary institutions in the country to devise more means of boosting their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). According to Ewherido, any educational institution that has marked its 20th year of existence should have perfected ways of generating funds internally to complement the financial allocations to it by the government. Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Mufutau Olatinwo said the institution had grown 10 different varieties of potatoes on its demonstration farm in order to identify the very best variety for the bread production. Meanwhile, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State has identified inconsistency in the country’s policy as bane of future education system. He, therefore, called on the challenge by enacting laws that would stem the inconsistency before the problems get out of control, thereby destroying the future of the younger generation.
Security officers attached to Ijeododo pipeline who preferred anonymity said that the fire might have been caused as a result of four electric poles erected along the pipeline route that fell on it during the rain. However, Bale of Ijeododo community, Alhaji Tajudeen Subair, who visited the site, refuted the claim by the security officers, saying, “he lied to cover up their inefficiency.” He said that the poles were erected simultaneously with the pipelines for over 15 years and have never caused any pipeline explosion. Subair said that the explosion was caused by the activities of pipeline vandals, who have continuously vandalised the pipelines in the community. He lamented that the last explosion caused the community 45 days of power outage because it damaged over four electric poles and cables. Subair explained that each building in the community contributed N1,000 for the replacement of the damaged electrical equipment. Spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said that no casuality was recorded. Farinloye said that the agency will be visiting the scene today to ascertain the level of damage done by the explosion.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
‘PDP’s undemocratic ways will help APC’
Gunmen kill eight in Benue, displace 12,000 From Joseph Wantu, Makurdi HREE communities of T Guma Local Council Area of Benue State were attacked at the weekend by people suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. The attack claimed eight lives while over 12 thousand people were displaced from their area. The Guardian investigation revealed that the most affected communities –Tse Akor, Tse-Kondon and Tse Umega – were completely razed down by the marauders who were suspected to have invaded the areas in their numbers in speed boats before carrying out the attack and in the process destroying property worth millions of naira. Speaking with The Guardian, the local council chairman, Frank Usah Adi, expressed shock over the unending killings and damage of property of his people allegedly by Fulani mercenaries and called on the federal and state governments to act fast and adopt more proactive steps towards stopping the menace. Adi, who called on federal and state emergency agencies as well as other organisations and philanthropic individuals to come to the aid of the displaced persons quartered into three camps at Gbajimba, Daudu and NKST Primary School Igungu, also noted that the influx into the three camps was intimidating and giving
the council sleepless nights. “As we are speaking here, the influx of displaced people into the camps at Gbajimba, Daudu, Igyungu Aze and other villages is giving the council a lot of sleepless nights as farming and economic activities in the local council are completely paralysed due the herdsmen incessant attacks on the people,” Adi lamented. The chairman, however, warned the people of the area to avoid the temptation of embarking on any reprisal attacks on the Fulani herdsmen as that would be counter-productive; while assuring the victims of the council’s efforts to provide them with food items and some relief materials. He promised that a team of medical personnel would soon be sent to the camps to vaccinate children against communicable diseases. The Executive Secretary of State Emergency Agency (SEMA), Adikpo Agbatse, who has already sent a team from his office for on-the-spot assessment of the situation of the camps, expressed shock over the condition of the victims. He assured them of prompt government’s attention to alleviate their sufferings. Agbatse, however, advised the displaced persons to imbibe good hygiene practices so as to avoid the outbreak of diseases in the camps.
From Leo Sobechi, Abakaliki GROUP of former legislators within the Ebonyi State chapter of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP), the New Frontiers, has said that going by its undemocratic tendencies and despotic postures, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was making things easier for the soon to be registered All Progressives Congress (APC) to form the government in 2015. In a statement signed by the leader and convener of the group, Mr. Patrick Mgbebu, the New Frontiers called on the PDP leadership to go ahead and suspend all PDP governors that voted for Governor Chibuike Amaechi at the last Nigeria Governors’ Forum, (NGF) election, pointing out that “PDP’s reaction to the outcome of the NGF election betrays the party’s disregard for democratic ethos”. The group said PDP has become so inebriated with power that it has lost every sense of decorum towards the suffering Nigerian masses, stressing that the events of the NGF election and the utterances of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, Senator Ahmed Gulak, that nobody could upstage PDP in their life time, “shows the despotic mindset of PDP leaders”.
Parents waiting for their children who were writing the Command Secondary Schools entrance examinations at the Lungi Barracks in Abuja…on Saturday PHOTO: NAN
Govt set to raise cultivation of vegetable, others From Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia HE Federal Government’s T move to increase the country’s capacity to grow/cultivate and export Telfaria vegetable, known locally as Ugu, has been set in motion by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Umuahia, Abia State capital. First batch of two metric tons of the Telfaria/Ugu seeds were last Thursday at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development office at
Umudike, Umuahia, distributed for planting to already trained 200 farmers selected from five states namely: Abia, Delta, Cross River, Imo and Ogun, which states were adjudged to have comparative advantage over others in the cultivation of the seeds. Representative of the ministry, Mr. Mike Kanu, handed over the seeds to resident of the five states’ Federal Agriculture Ministry Directors, who were there in persons. Media Adviser to the
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Olukayode Oluleye, told The Guardian that the five states’ Federal Ministry’s Directors will in turn, on return to their states, hand them over to the registered seed farmers/growers, adding that the distribution is being effected under the Flood Recovery Programme while the Horticulture Value Chain is to do this on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as approved by the Minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.
ICPC seizes property of former NGO coordinator From Abosede Musari, Abuja HE Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has seized the property
belonging to a former coordinator of its non-governmental organisation (NGO), National Anti-Corruption Volunteers’ Corps (NAVC), “Ambassador” Akinyemi Badejogbin, who it says, diverted the NGO’s funds for personal use. The seizure order given by Chairman of the Commission, Ekpo Nta, was in response to a petition brought against Badejogbin and the then treasurer, Lanre Bakare, in 2011. According to Head of Media at the ICPC, Folu Olamiti, the seizure order was issued after promises to pay back the embezzled funds failed. The seized property is a three bedroom bungalow known as ‘Ambassador Cottage’ belonging to Badejogbin at Alhaji Abduwajeed Ejias Avenue, situated directly opposite Cherubim and Seraphim Church of Zion, off Reformation of Christ Street, Owode Elede Junction, Mile 12, Lagos. “The seizure order was signed by the Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, pursuant to Section 45 (4) (a)-(b) of the
Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Act 2000. “They were alleged to have used their former positions as coordinator and treasurer of the NAVC, Lagos chapter, to divert millions of naira from the official NAVC trustee account into an illegally opened account named “NAVC Senatorial Account. “The duo were said to have opened and operated the account purportedly on behalf of the NAVC in breach of official directives”, Olamiti explained. In a related development, the ICPC, in the course of an on-going investigation, seized several movable and immovable property belonging to a former banker, Mr. Olaniran Yemi-Aris, which in ICPC’s opinion is excessive, having regards to his past emoluments and current circumstances. The seized property include a bungalow with boys quarters at Plot 9, Doma D Series Extension Layout and eight plots of land located at Phase III, Residential Layout III and CKC Extension Layout, all at Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Stakeholders urge Customs to intensify border patrols By Moses Ebosele ESIDES facilitating trade and working towards meeting financial targets set by the Federal Government, stakeholders at the weekend advised the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to intensify its border post surveillance nationwide. According to the stakeholders, sustained surveillance at border points will go a long way to bring under control the security challenges currently confronting the nation. Under the aegis of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), the group argued that if not adequately curtailed, alleged influx of arms and ammunition is capable of undermining any gain recorded especially in the area of trade facilitation.
Taraba indigenes want Haruna immortalised From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo OME concerned Taraba State indigenes have emphasised the need to keep the dreams of the late Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Haruna John, who died in helicopter crash last year alive by completing the Police Headquarters in the state. The call came yesterday during a memorial service organised for the late DIG in his residence located at the Presidential Lodge in Jalingo, Taraba State capital, by members of his family. In a charge entitled: “The memory of the Just is a blessing”, Vice Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Taraba State chapter, Rev. Ben Ude, expressed sadness that since the death of the DIG, his plan to assist in the erection of a befitting office accommodation for the police in the state has become difficult.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
WorldReport Experts, others decry FBI’s push for U.S. Internet ‘wiretap’ law MOVE by the United A States’ (U.S.) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Protesters gather at Taksim Square after Turkish police pulled out of the iconic place following what started as an outcry against a local development project that snowballed into widespread anger against what critics said is government’s increasingly conservative and authoritarian agenda. PHOTO: AFP
Man admits threat to kill Prince Harry NE Ashraf Islam is being held in custody as at yesterday after admitting threatening to kill Britain’s Prince Harry, according to police. Agency reports claimed that Islam, 30, was arrested on May 23 – the day after a British soldier was butchered to death in a London street in a suspected Islamist attack – after attending a west London police station. Harry, 28, a British army attack helicopter pilot who has served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, is third in line to the throne. Islam was charged on Saturday with threatening to murder the prince, contrary to
Section 16 of the 1861 Offences against the Person Act. That section states: “A person who without lawful excuse makes to another a threat, intending that that other would fear it would be carried out, to kill that other or a third person shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.” Islam, of no fixed abode, appeared in custody at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in west London later Saturday and pleaded guilty. He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on a date yet to be fixed.
Pope appeals for release of hostages in Syria EAD of Catholics worldH wide, Pope Francis, has appealed to “the humanity” of kidnappers in Syria and urged them to free their hostages. The pope expressed deep concern for the kidnap victims of the two-year-old conflict. “I appeal to the humanity of the kidnappers and for them to release their victims,” the pope told a large crowd as he delivered the Angelus prayer on St Peter’s Square.
In late April, two Orthodox bishops were kidnapped in northern Syria, though the pontiff did not make any specific reference to their case. No group has claimed responsibility for their abduction. The pope said he was deeply concerned for “the defenceless population” caught up in the fighting in Syria, where over 90,000 people have been killed since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.
Uncertainty as Palestinian PM’s term ends ALESTINIAN prime minister Salam Fayyad yesterday evening met with his cabinet to discuss the way forward as his term as caretaker premier formally drew to a close. Fayyad, a political independent, resigned on April 13 after months of tension with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, despite United States (U.S.) efforts to keep him in place. He stayed on in a caretaker
role, which formally ends yesterday night. But sources in the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to Agence France Presse (AFP) that there had been no consultations on forming a new government so far. Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources said Fayyad’s outgoing government met yesterday evening to discuss the way forward after his term in office ended.
Police arrest over 1,700 as protesters occupy Turkish square, others HOUSANDS of people yesT terday occupied Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the epicentre of the worst demonstrations in a decade against Turkey’s Islamistrooted government, which have seen many people detained and scores wounded. Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler said yesterday that more than 1,700 people had been arrested in anti-government protests that have spread to 67 cities nationwide, though most have since been released. “A large majority of the
detainees were released after being questioned and identified,” he said in remarks carried by the state-run Anatolia news agency. He added that the country had seen 235 demonstrations since Tuesday. A sea of protesters from across Turkey’s political spectrum were camping out in the iconic square, chanting “Government, Resign!” and “Istanbul is ours, Taksim is ours!” as they celebrated after the police pulled out of the site on Saturday.
to get broader authority to put “wiretaps” on the Internet to catch criminals and terrorists has drew condemnation from civil liberties groups, technology firms and others. The concerned groups claim the effort could be counterproductive, by harming online security and imposing hefty costs on makers of hardware and software. The U.S. law enforcement agency has for years complained about the problem of “going dark,” or being unable to monitor Internet communications in the same manner as wiretaps, for which officials get a court order to tap into a local phone company. President Barack Obama said in a May 23 speech his administration is “reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication.” FBI General Counsel, Andrew Weissmann, told a recent Washington forum it would be “a top priority this year” to get expanded authority to tap communications such as “Gmail, Google voice (and) Dropbox.” “The way we communicate today is not limited to telephone companies,” Weissmann said. “What we don’t have is the ability to go to court and require the
U.S. law enforcement agency has for years complained about the problem of “going dark,” or being unable to monitor Internet communications in the same manner as wiretaps, for which officials get a court order to tap into a local phone company. recipient to effectuate the intercept. Most countries have that,” he added. The FBI can get a court order to monitor Internet-based communications under current law, and major companies like Google and Microsoft may be able to comply. But many other firms lack the technical capacity to allow this kind of surveillance. The proposal under consideration, according to published reports, would require firms to enable government access or face hefty fines. The U.S. administration has made no public proposal on wiretap authority, but even the hint of a change has sparked a heated response. Critics said such a move would be tantamount to giving the government a “backdoor” to every piece of hardware and software being used, which could be exploited by hackers, foreign governments or others.
Queen Elizabeth marks 60 years on throne UEEN Elizabeth II marked Q the 60th anniversary of her coronation in private yesterday after indulging in her passion for horses with a day at the races. The 87-year-old monarch and her husband Prince Philip spent Saturday at the Epsom Derby, echoing the events of a year ago that kicked off her four-day diamond jubilee party.
Queen Elizabeth took the throne on February 6, 1952 upon the death of her father king George VI, but to allow for a period of national mourning, she was only crowned 16 months later in London’s Westminster Abbey. The queen will be joined by the royal family and 2,000 guests at the abbey tomorrow for a service celebrating the anniversary.
At the Epsom Downs course, the monarch, an avid racing fan and a noted racehorse breeder, seemed in good spirits, while Prince Philip followed the action through binoculars. The queen and her 91-yearold husband were marking the actual anniversary day in a low-key fashion at Windsor Castle, west of London, where they regularly spend the
weekend. “They are spending the day privately,” a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman told AFP. “The main focus is obviously on Tuesday’s service,” she added. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will return to duty on Monday, attending a reception for the Royal National Institute for the Blind at St. James’s Palace in London.
Egypt’s top court nullifies Senate, constitution panel IGHEST court in Egypt, H Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), has invalidated the Senate and a panel that drafted the constitution, undermining the Islamists’ legitimacy in state institutions and throwing the country into fresh political uncertainty. According to a report by Agence France Presse (AFP), the court said the law governing the elections of the Shura Council was unconsti-
tutional, as were the rules for the selection of the members of a committee that drafted the constitution. The presiding Judge, Maher al-Beheiry, said that the Shura Council should remain in place until the election of a new parliament. Also, despite the ruling, the presidency said the Shura Council, a historically powerless body which was thrust into a legislative role when
parliament was dissolved, would maintain its powers until a new lower house is elected later this year. The Shura Council will “continue in its full legislative role until power is transferred to the new assembly,” the presidency said. As for the constitution, it will remain in place because it was adopted by a popular referendum. The text, which was criticised by opponents of
Islamist President Mohamed Morsi for failing to represent all Egyptians, was adopted by a popular referendum in December marked by low voter turnout. “The constitution, which the people voted for and was approved by a majority, is the reference that must be applied, defended, protected and respected by all state institutions,” the presidency said in a statement.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Politics The promise of democracy (1999 - 2013)
We need to invest more faith in Nigeria, says Akobundu Col. Austin Akobundu (Rtd) is the National Vice Chairman, Southeast Zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Chairman, Governing Council, University College, ibadan. he spoke to LAwRENCE NJOKU in Enugu on the country’s 14 years of democracy. HE unity of the country has come under T serious threats since the inception of this democracy, especially since the emergence of Jonathan administration. What do you attribute the problem to and why is it so? I will put it this way, Nigeria is presently facing serious security challenges and this is not peculiar to us. No country in the world is completely safe from acts of terrorism or internal security challenges. Sometimes, breakdown in law and order in neighbouring countries can trigger threats to internal security. The Boko Haram insurgency has raged on for too long and has caused untold suffering to people in the Northeast region. It has also forced the Federal Government to divert resources earmarked for socio-economic development to fighting the insurgency. Put it in mind that southeasters have borne the brunt of these attacks. Our people have been targeted and killed inside churches, which is a violation of the Geneva Convention, which protects places of worship, hospitals and schools from terrorism attacks. I would not say the unity of this country is under threat. The Nigerian Armed Forces, the Police and other security agencies are equal to the task of restoring normalcy. And because civilian populations are caught in between, it will be a little more difficult to put the situation under control, as quickly as we would like
it. Whatever action or decision the president takes or doesn’t take has implications for the civilian population and so, he has been careful. Nigeria has gone through a devastating Civil War and numerous internal crises. Nigeria will survive this present challenge too and emerge stronger. We need to invest more faith in this country. Nigeria’s unity is nonnegotiable. Certain Nigerians have called for a national conference to resolve contending issues. Do you support this position? Our democratic institutions are in place and should serve as a platform for discussing any national question. One advice to those advocating a national conference; they should go to their constituencies and contest an election to the National Assembly and when they get there, they have the national platform to themselves to canvass any position they deem fit. We have the National and State Assemblies, the political parties, the press and various other democratic platforms, which people can use to canvass their personal or group positions. You cannot by-pass the existing democratic institutions in proposing a national conference. I think we must respect the processes of democratic order. We should not encourage anarchy. There are divergent views over the state of emergency imposed in three states recently. Many believe it is wrong and cannot offer solution to disturbances in those areas. The position of the PDP in the Southeast is that the state of emergency was timely and long overdue. Most Nigerians and friends of Nigeria have also applauded the declaration. We have since congratulated the president for taking the bull by the horns. Those opposed to it didn’t offer any alternative; they were merely playing to the gallery. If
Civilians worse than military in terms of corruption, says Gaya Former Kano State Governor and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government Administration, Alhaji Kabir Gaya, an ANPP lawmaker representing Kano South senatorial District, reflects on the 14 years of democracy in Nigeria and governance under President Goodluck Jonathan, and on other issues national significance, reports SAxONE AKhAiNE, Northern Bureau OOKING at the events durLcy ing the 14 years of democrain Nigeria, is any reason for celebrations? Well, first of all, we will celebrate that God has made us to survive this 14 years of stable democracy and we thank Almighty Allah for giving us the life and energy. I also pray for those that lost their lives within this period of 14 years; that may their souls rest in peace. Then for those who had a lot of misfortunes, we pray for them to be successful more in life and recover what they have lost.
So, I think in terms of democracy; yes, we have a stable democracy, but the way I look at things, it seems we made one step forward and probably another three steps backward. Because what we have expected to achieve, we have not achieved it. We accused the military of corruption, but we are worse than the military in terms of corruption. We accused the military of non-development; maybe we are a little bit better than them in terms developments, but when there is corruption and indiscipline, it means we have more prob-
lems. You could remember we had serious insecurity; so we are worse than the military in terms of the security of the country. We are even waging war in some parts of the northern states with insurgents. So, I am saying we have made one step forward and three steps backward. But if we can improve on the issue of insecurity, on issue of good governance, on issue of providing dividends of democracy to our people; I think that will make a lot of impact. Certainly, for us in the legislature, I know that we’ve been able to amend the Constitution and gave a lot of independence to NEC. But the elections are still not free and fair. The elections have been marred, and you can see that the security agents are not helping matters. I remember that we had elections in Kano, but it was done in front of the police. And all the laws of INEC, all the electoral laws were violated in the presence of the police. Yet, INEC had to declare the results. So, this problem shouldn’t have arisen if we have a proper democracy.
you put everything in perspective, you will agree that the president followed due process and gave the governors and stakeholders in the state sufficient time to end the crisis much earlier. The state of emergency was a last resort measure and it is working, to the Glory of God. Our position is that the president deserves support in the measures he has taken so far to restore peace to any part of the country. You will recall that when kidnappers threatened to overrun Abia State, he ordered soldiers into the state and they restored order in record time. Boko Haram will not be different. Please, Nigerians should support the measures taken by the president to tackle the insurgency.
After 14 years of democracy, what can the PDP beat its chest about, and say Nigerians have benefited from? PDP has set the benchmark for good governance in Nigeria. This is the party that has united Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious or class differences. All other parties are ethnic, religious or built around individuals. The party’s manifesto promotes equal opportunities and expansion of the economic and artistic space so that every Nigerian can contribute in wealth creation. In the Southeast, successive PDP governments have worked hard to improve the lives of the people. In Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi States, PDP governments have delivered the dividends of democracy. They are also more stable and run inclusive governments. Even the opposition use PDP benchmarks to measure their own vision and performance. What can you say about the incursions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) into the polity? APC and other parties are welcome; the more the merrier. I am a staunch advocate of participatory democracy. They will meet a stronger, more united and more formidable PDP on the ground at every level. In the Southeast, APC will have its work cut out. By now, you must have noticed that the PDP is waxing stronger everyday in the Southeast. We have made progress in reconciling our aggrieved members. Old and returning members are joining hands to rebuild the party from the ward level. Remember that a former governor in the Southeast has been so desperate to rejoin the PDP. If the party hadn’t repositioned, as the one to beat in 2015, politicians wouldn’t be rushing to join its ranks. So, APC and other parties do not stand a chance in the Southeast, which is a fortified stronghold of the PDP.
‘We must work and fight for democracy’ FORMER Solicitor General of Kaduna State under the defunct Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) during the Second Republic and the National Legal Adviser of the party, Mallam Aliyu Umar, spoke to Northern Bureau Chief, SAxONE AKhAiNE, on the 14 years of democracy in Nigeria. HAT is your assessment of the nation’s W 14 years of democracy? Have your expectations been met? In response to this question, I can only refer to the Paper I presented in 2004 at a Dialogue organized by the Mandate Newspaper. In it, I made it clear that when General Obasanjo was elected the President of Nigeria in 1999, Nigerians began to entertain the hope that a new start would be made towards rebuilding the country. I even quoted from page 232 of my book, June 12 & The Cultured North, published in 2000, that the last chance for Nigeria as Nigeria is predicated on whether General Obasanjo could say that he is an agent of genuine economic, social and political change, notwithstanding the wishes of those who stage-managed his election. At this critical time in the history of Nigeria, the side General Obasanjo will take in this
epic struggle will have a decisive impact on whether the dreams of June 12, which promised a strong, stable, united, federal and genuinely democratic Nigeria without poverty and corruption could be realised under his leadership. In the Paper I referred to above, I made this point, that the side, which General Obasanjo took in this epic struggle under the guise of being in a learning process, was unmistakable. This clearly shows that my expectations have not been met. Nigerians cannot just be dreaming about democracy; we must work for it and even fight for it. As I always point out, what Nigeria has now is a rickety civil rule, which is being threatened by those who acquired power and wealth unjustly.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
The promise of democracy (1999 - 2013)
PDP must be strong, decisive, says Anenih Anenih
Being a speech delivered by Chief Tony Anenih, CFR, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the meeting of selected leaders of the party, on Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Abuja. WELCOME each and every one of us to this Icontinuation grand PDP family dinner. In a way, this is a of the highly successful Democracy Day celebration we had yesterday (May 29). Mr. President, the leader of our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), gave a most impressive account of his two years’ stewardship and we were all proud of his accomplishments. This gathering of selected leaders of our great party, drawn from the federal and state levels, could not have come at a more auspicious time. We are, therefore, gathered here as members of one family, the PDP, to remind ourselves of the common bond that unites us as a truly national party. However, in recent times, particularly in the media, emphasis seems to have been placed on issues that tend to divide us rather than those that unite us as a party. But I believe that the challenges are temporary and that at the end, we will come out a stronger and more united party. I am sure we all realise how important unity is to the development of our great party. If we want to continue to enjoy the solid support of Nigerians, we must show to them that we are deserving of their support. We cannot afford to continue to act unruly, create unnecessary tension in the party with the consequence of heating up the polity, and expect Nigerians to applaud us. Nigerians can only be encouraged to identify with us, if the promotion of harmony, cohesion and development of the party and our nation is topmost on our agenda. As party leaders, we must collectively commit ourselves, more than ever, to work selflessly and tirelessly, so as to reposition the party. We must seek to promote unity and enforce discipline. Consider the case of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum where there are now two Chairmen, both members of the PDP. This is an embarrassing situation, which must be urgently addressed. The supremacy of the party must be recognised and enforced. The leadership of the party will not tolerate a situation where it will preside over a divided house. If we expect the PDP house to stand the test of time, to withstand and overcome the
storms and crises being fuelled by the opposition parties, we must be united, focused, decisive and dedicated to a common cause. Mr. National Chairman Sir, we need a strong party. If the party is strong; if there is discipline and if there is reward for hard work and loyalty in the party, our government will be stronger and will not be easily distracted. In the last few weeks, members of the BoT have visited a number of PDP-controlled states in pursuit of reconciliation. There are four more states to visit. During these visits, we had frank discussions with our state governors and other party leaders. It is true that some governors have complaints against the leadership of the party. So, also have there been some complaints against the governors. In any case, the problems raised are not insurmountable, as the party leadership is already working hard to resolve them. At the end of our tour of the states, which will end soon, we will collate the reports of our reconciliation efforts, including appropriate recommendations, and submit to Mr. President, for all the issues identified to be holistically addressed. Communication between leaders and followers is a very important instrument of peace. Followers deserve to be carried along in governance and party affairs. It is, therefore, our duty as leaders to work out how best to do this and partake in the enterprise of charting a course that will bring maximum benefit to our party and our nation, especially now that 2015 elections are already in our national consciousness. Nigerians and the global community will judge our party and government by our performance in office at all levels. We all know too well that when, by circumstances beyond our control, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became the President of Nigeria on May 6, 2010, and was later officially inaugurated on May 29, 2011, after his victory at the general elections, the situation in many sectors of our socio-economic life, was very challenging, to say the least. The power sector was at the edge of a crisis, with power generation hovering below 2000 megawatts. Most of the key roads in Nigeria were almost impassable. The railway was still immobile; schools and health facilities were in total decay, while agriculture was in the throes of neglect. Today, the Transformation Agenda is already yielding great and beneficial fruits: the power situation has improved largely because of decisive and diligent implementation of power sector reforms and massive injection of new facilities as well as rehabilitation of old ones. The railway is now up and running with the Lagos-Kano track of 700 kilometres as the flag-
ship of this renaissance; most of the dilapidated roads, which the administration inherited, have been rehabilitated or reconstructed while new ones have either been completed or are near completion. So also has there been improvement in water transportation; agriculture has become a major contributor to the nation’s GDP and a veritable source of massive employment. Under this administration, the changes in the aviation sector have been quite remarkable. The rehabilitation of terminals across the country has transformed our airports into world-class standards. Also impressive and worthy of commendation are the administration’s policies and programmes for women, youths and other vulnerable Nigerians. With programmes such as the UWin, Sure-P and Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS), the Jonathan administration has radically expanded access to wealth creation for these categories of Nigerians. History will surely be kind to President Jonathan as the first Nigerian president to give women more than 30 per cent of the positions available in the Federal Council of Ministers. With the focused leadership and renovative programmes of this administration, it is not surprising that the Nigerian economy has grown in lips and bounds in the last two years. With an average growth rate of 6.5 per cent, Nigeria has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world and one of the most favourable investment destinations. The increasing potentials of the Nigerian economy are a product of sound financial management and, without any doubt, the credit goes to the PDP-led Government. It is remarkable that all these achievements have taken place in spite of the enormous security challenges, which the Jonathan administration has been confronting. The Boko Haram insurgency is clearly the most serious security threat to our country since the Nigerian Civil War. And, the administration has managed it well. Since the insurgency, the government has remained calm, focused and determined in the face of this enormous problem and, I dare say, it has overcome. We all have faith that the declaration of a State of Emergency in three NorthEastern States would lead to the extermination of insurgency and terror in our country. We must not forget the critical role, which the PDP has played and continues to play in sustaining Nigeria’s unity. Today, ours is the only national party in Nigeria with its members spread across all the nooks and crannies of the country. We, therefore, have a strategic obligation to put our house in order so as to sustain the peace, which we have enjoyed in the last 14 years.
I have said it, over and again, that there is a persistent negative profiling of the administration of President Jonathan. The opposition has been relentless in churning out damaging propaganda about this administration for the purpose of destabilising it. It is sad that a few members of our party are accomplices of this evil mechanisation. I enjoin all of us to assist in promoting the policies and projects of the Jonathan administration. Our historical and political experience demands that we give President Jonathan the maximum cooperation to succeed in transforming this country into a stable and prosperous industrial nation. If we do not cherish and sell our good product, nobody will help us to sell it. We must rally round and unite behind our President in the task of nation-building. Since this gathering is all-embracing and fully representative of our party membership nationwide, I would like to repeat what I said in Asaba about our party primaries. I did say that, over the years, our primaries have been the most serious sources of rancour and disunity in our ranks, and, that we usually invest so much resources and energy fighting ourselves in the primaries that should have gone into the larger battle against our political rivals. I had admonished that we could not continue this tradition of internal warfare and hope that we would have enough energy left to win elections. Consequently, I proposed that, “we must evolve a new system of selecting our flagbearers at the presidential and governorship levels that would preserve our unity and reserve our energy and resources for the greater battle for political power.” Soon after my address, I read in the media the positive reception and reactions to my proposition by some of our members, who believed that one of the ways to do that should be the granting of automatic tickets to sitting presidents and governors, who are seeking their second term. I concur with them, provided that the sitting presidents and governors must have performed creditably with tangible results. The same may apply to performing members of the National Assembly although they enjoy indefinite number of terms. The proposed arrangement would, I believe, help to forestall frictions and acrimony in the nomination process, in the overall interest of our party and the nation. Party leaders, brothers and sisters, listening to reports of Ministers of various sectors at the Democracy Day celebration held at the International Conference Centre yesterday, the 29th of May, 2013, I felt proud that Nigerians have not been disappointed by this administration. Fulfilled by his own achievements, President Jonathan confidently asked Nigerians to develop their own criteria in judging his performance during the last two years. I do not see anything wrong, if the PDP considers automatic tickets for the President and its Governors, who have performed well and are seeking for a second term. It is my view that with the outstanding performance of President Jonathan in the areas of Power, Rail and Water Transportation, Road Construction, Aviation Reforms, Education, Agriculture, Job Creation, etc., the party should not find it difficult in granting him the opportunity to serve a second term, if he so desires. As our party moves on in the next two years of President Jonathan’s first tenure, I urge that we all renew our determination to make this nation great and prosperous. We must not be distracted by the antics of the opposition parties, which have, in the past two years, shown that their understanding of being in opposition is to shoot down any policies or programmes of government, no matter how laudable. Mr. President, on behalf of the members of the Board of Trustees, and leadership at other levels, I assure you of our loyalty and support as you continue to carry the heavy burden of leading this great and complex country. With God on our side, we will surely succeed in moving our nation to the Promised Land. The beauty of the PDP lies in its resilience and in-built mechanism to re-invent itself, in spite of the glooming predictions of some prophets of doom. We have done it before and we will do it again! May God continue to bless us all. Long Live PDP! Long live Nigeria!!
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
TheMetroSection Shadow of their old selves... • Amigo Supermarket, Wonderland Amusement Park shut over alleged security challenges
Briefs Emmanuel Onwuachi dies at 74 HE death has occurred of T Chief (Dr.) Emmanuel Ifeanyichukwu Onwuachi. He died on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at the age of 74. Onwuachi was an employee of Shell Oil Company in Houston, Texas, United States and later joined the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), from where he retired in July 1996. He hailed from Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Council of Delta State. He held many chieftaincy titles including the Ochiligwe of Ibusa. He was a devout Catholic, community leader, a philanthropist, top socialite, a member of Ikoyi Club 1938 and Island Club among others. Burial arrangements will be announced by the family. He is survived by wife, Mrs. Felicia Onwuachi, children and
Wonderland...before the closure
From Madu Onuorah, Tsokar Karls (Abuja) and Muritala Mohammed (Kano)
WO of Abuja’s shopping and enT tertainment landmarks, Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park, have for two days running, been bereft of their usual activities. Instead of a long line of shoppers or fun seekers in the two business premises, they are now occupied by personnel of the military and the Department of State Security. Reason: Its co-owner, Fauzi Fawad, was alleged to be connected to a bunker in a house in Bompai, Kano, used by Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist cell to store a large cache of arms, including anti-tank guns, rocket propelled grenades, which was busted last Thursday. Three men already arrested in connection with the weapon cache all named Mr. Fawad as being an accomplice. Fawad himself is on the run. And the large Lebanese community in Kano has distanced itself from the actions of those arrested. Amigo Supermarket, located along Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2 Abuja is one of the busiest supermarkets in the nation’s capital while Wonderland Amusement Park is opposite the National Stadium. Weekends were usually a beehive of activities in the two centres. But all through the weekend, Wonder-
land was occupied by a team of Department of State Security (DSS) operatives and military personnel with one unmarked pick up vehicle parked in front of the premises. At the Amigo Supermarket, the area was cordoned off by DSS operatives, military personnel and some mobile police personnel. When The Guardian visited the two premises, they were deserted except for stern looking well-armed military and security personnel who were ‘politely’ restricting access to all entrances. Spokesman of the DSS, Ms Marilyn Ogar, explained that the shutdown of both business premises was part of the measures to ensure that investigations into the activities of the owners was not jeopardised. According to her, “On Thursday, the Joint Task Force JTF in Kano State briefed the press about its findings during an operation. It was discovered that the owners of Amigo Stores and Wonderland were indicted. As part of our process and in the course of investigation, the places needed to be shut down because we cannot afford to keep both places running.” An Assistant Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Inyang, stated that the Police was not directly involved in the operation. “It is a joint operation by the mili-
tary and the SSS. So, the police have no hand in the operation. It is completely out of our responsibility to begin to react to the situation. But both places have been condoned off from public access till further notice when investigations are completed.” Sources added that investigators were looking into all aspects of the owners business and personal operations including source of funding for their businesses, the businesses they were into, movement of cash, payments by their companies and persons and any possible relationship with suspected terror groups or individuals. Although the shutdown of operations was effected on Friday night, some intending shoppers and funseekers who assumed that they would be opened immediately were disappointed. A shopper, Ms Cynthia Allagh said the closure of the supermarket is sad as “I now have to look for a new place for my weekend shopping.” But she noted that if shutting the supermarket would help guarantee security, “so be it.” Another intending shopper, Ellen Audu stated: “The closure of the supermarket is a bad business for the owners because the security challenge in Nigeria today interests everybody. We all want the security
situation fully resolved so we appreciate the efforts of the military. It is good there are other supermarkets where we can shop.” Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko of the Human Rights Writers’ Association (HURIWA) is, however, worried about conforming with the right process before the premises were closed. “There should be a court order authorising the closure. else it would become a lengthy litigation issue in court. But I doubt if there is any because the accused person has not being convicted and his connection to the terrorist group still remains an allegation until proven otherwise. And the same with his business empire. The law is made to protect not to intimidate.” Onwubiko said he would understand the closure if the expected procedures were followed, adding that “in that case, there are alternatives for people to go. There are other supermarkets that also open on Sunday. They can go and shop there.” At the Wonderland Amusement Park, one of the workers who visited the area said that “the development (closure) is positive if it is in the interest of Nigeria. It should be carried out to its logical conclusion if it will give us security. But as soon as investigations are concluded, it should be reopened. Remember, this is where we earn our living.”
Why we sealed off Amigo, Wonderland Park, by SSS From: Terhemba Daka, Abuja HE authorities of the State Security Service (SSS) yesterday said that security agencies at the weekend sealed off the popular Amigo Supermarket as well as the Wonderland Amusement Park, both in Abuja so as not to jeopardize investigations into the cache of arms found in an armoury suspected to belong to a Lebanese businessman in Kano. Both business facilities are owned by Mustapha Fawaz, the Lebanese businessman linked to the armoury found inside a house located at No. 3, Gaya Road, off Bompai Road in Kano. The security operatives in Abuja on Saturday sealed off the park and Supermarket and prevented visitors and customers from gaining access to the facilities. SSS spokesman, Marilyn Ogar in a telephone chat with The Guardian in Abuja yesterday explained that the closure was a fall-out of the
FCT MIinister, Bala Mohammed
ongoing investigation into the matter by the security agencies. Ogar told The Guardian that the facilities
would remain sealed as the security agencies in Abuja continue investigations into large cache of arms. She said further that it was wrong for people doing business in Nigeria to use tax payers’ money to fund terrorism and thereby aiding to perpetrate insecurity in the country. “We are trying to transform Nigeria and some few elements in the society are using the resources at their disposal to weigh us down. “This is not right. So, for now residents should not be concerned with what they’d buy from the supermarket and amusement at the park. Our concern, collectively, should be on how we would achieve the security of all and sundry in the country,” she said. Ogar declined to disclose when the supermarket as well as the Amusement Park would be re-opened for public use, adding that “for now, we don’t want anything to jeopardise our investigation.”
Church begins crusade HIS year’s Joint Christian T Ministers’ Crusade (JCMC) holds from June 3-June 5, 2013 from 9.00a.m.-1:00p.m. daily and on Sunday at 8.00a.m. with the theme: “Signs & wonders Today,” at Faith Family Bible Church, along 17, Alhaji Kosoko Street, Ojodu Berger, Lagos. Host is Rev. David K. Aboderin.
St. Gregory’s College, Ikoyi, winsTastee Spelling Bee competition INNERS have emerged in W the fourth edition of the Tastee Spelling Bee competition organized by Tastee Fried Chicken for 50 secondary and primary schools in Lagos and its environs. In the Secondary School category, the first prize went to St. Gregory's College, Ikoyi as represented by Madueke Michael; second winner was Dansol High School, Ikeja as represented by Anako Oluwaseun and third prize winner was Emdee College, FESTAC, represented by Daniel Adindu) The Primary School category’s first prize winner was Pampers Private School, Surulere. Thw school was represented by Madueke Michael; second was Ocean Crest School, Lekki, represented by Tobechukwu Aniagboso and third position went to Golden Bunch Nursery and Primary School, Yaba as represented by Fatimah Mohammed. Consolation prizes for Secondary School included: Ipad Mini, Dictionary, N20,000 Tastee Gift Card, N5000 Laterna Gift Voucher, Trophy, Gold Medal; Play station 3, Dictionary, N10,000; Tastee Gift Card, N5,000 Laterna Gift Voucher, Silver Medal; Play Station Go, Dictionaryamong others.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Patron, the Light Bearers, Wesley Cathedral, Olowogbowo, Lagos, Ola Nicol (right), the Bishop of Lagos Methodist Church, Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Ajayi and the newly installed grand patron of the Society, Senator Anthony Adefuye at the Society’s anniversary...
Acting Company Secretary, Food Concepts Plc., Mrs. Bukola Olateru (left), the Chairman, Chief Dele Fajemirokun and the Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Deji Akinyanju at the 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company in Lagos… on Thursday
Govt bans street begging, empowers youths in Kano From Abba Anwar, Kano FFORTS are in top gear in Kano to ban street begging and send away all ‘Almajiris’ (child street beggars) that are not Kano indigenes to their states of origin. It is seen as a bold step taken to deal with one of the most debilitating cankerworms affecting, mostly, the northern part of this country. According to the Commander General of Kano State Hisbah Board, Malam Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa, all arrangements were in top gear to send an Executive Bill to the State House of Assembly to enact practical law that would ban all forms of street begging in the state. “Kano State is seen as the only haven for street beggars in the country. That must be stopped. And the most disturbing part of it is, when a black street beggar is arrested in Sa’udi Arabia, he is deported to Nigeria. And he is taken straight to Malam Aminu Kano Int’l Airport, thinking that all black street beggars are from Kano. This is embarrassing,” he complained bitterly. He further noted that, a recent survey of street beggars in Kano revealed that 65 percent of them were not Kano indigenes. They were brought to the state from other states across the north. Part of the reasons that necessitated for action from government is the fact that, according to Daurawa, some of the women who were street beggars were engaged in prostitution. That finally
A cross- section of National Optometry Students’ Association, Imo State University, (IMSU Chapter), among them are: Miss Prisca Odichi Israel (left), Ngozi Chukwu, Nkiru Onyepandu and Chiamaka Ibeneme during the just- concluded 2013 National Optometry Students} Association Conference, which ended in the University of Benin…recently
Managing Director, Justrite Superstores, Mrs Tosin Aderinwale (left), acting Assistant Director, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr Fidelis Ajibogun and winner of a car, Mrs Oladipupo Adeyemi, during the 2013 draws of JusPHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI trite Choplife promo, in Otta Ogun State ...on Wednesday
resulted in unwanted pregnancies. And eventually, more numbers of childstreet beggars. Street beggars are seen and categorised into two. There are the child street beggars, called ‘almajirai’ (almajiri, singular form). And adult street beggars, who are mostly disabled adult people. Those are the physicallychallenged. Of recent, Kano State Hisbah Board, cleared 100 women and child beggars from the streets of Kano. Among them, 70 of them were sent back to their states of origin. “This is a bold step in the right direction. People should be made to understand that begging is not and can never be a practice encouraged by Islam. Our noble religion abhors begging, the way it is done by such nuisance,” Baballiya, a good Samaritan, challenged. In a twist approach of dealing with the issue of street begging, according to an organization called Almajiri Foundation of Nigeria, another way of tackling the problem is to encourage each household to take the responsibility of one almajiri into their homes. A concept they called “One House, One Almajiri”. Sani Muhammad Ali, who is the Assistant Secretary of the Foundation, disclosed the foundation wanted the government to upgrade social policy, that could drastically reduce the menace of street begging in the state and elsewhere. “We advise and encourage
the state government and other state governments where street begging persists to establish rehabilitation centres for the able-bodied street beggars. And for the old ones that cannot make anything productive in the society, destitute centres should be established for them”, Ali maintained. He further concluded that, they were in the support of the Kano State government’s effort to put a halt to street begging, but their approach in on how to handle the beggars differed. While the state government called for total ban, the Almajiri Foundation called for people of the communities to take care of the beggars, especially children. To further discourage all forms of begging, the state government introduced so many youth empowerment programmes as part of the reasons some youths beg is because of youth restiveness. To avoid that, more than 20 craft schools have been established by Kwankwaso administration to curb youth restiveness. Kwankwaso has sponsored more than 1000 youth to go and study abroad. More than 500 of them are to obtain their second degrees. Out of the remaining, 100 were sent to study aeronautics engineering in Jordan. Another set of 100 were sponsored to go and read Pharmaceutical sciences. Apart from 25 that were sent to study marine engineering in India and United Kingdom.
Access Bank GMD, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, wins African Banker of The Year award Head Training and Technical Dept., RLG Communications Nig. Ltd, Mr. Elvis Osagiede (left), Chief Operating Officer, RLG, Mr. Taiwo Latilo, the best student of RLG/Oyestech Trainning Academy, Musibau Akinola, and Legal/Corporate Affairs Manger, RLG, Mr. Mandilas Bidam att the orientation programme for the students of RLG/Oyestech Trainning Academy, before their departure to Ghana.... PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU
Chaplains: Bode Adeloye (left), Taiwo Akinwale,l Obasi Onyebuchi andr Johnson Ajibade at the get-together of the Organization of Nigerian Chaplains with the children of the SOS Village, Isolo on Children’s Day. PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO
HE Group Managing DiT rector (GMD) and Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Aigboje AigImoukhuede, has emerged winner of the 2013 ‘African Banker of the Year’ Award. This was disclosed at the awards ceremony organized by African Banker Awards, the publisher of African Banker Magazine, IC Events and Business in Africa Events during the yearly African Development Bank (AfDB) meetings held on Wednesday, May 29, in Marrakech, Morocco. In its seventh edition, the African Banker Awards is one of the biggest landmark yearly events that recognize and celebrate the achievements of Africa’s banking and financial sector, bringing together over 500 key
Aig-Imoukhuede industry players and top government officials from Africa and around the world to celebrate excellence and best practices in African banking and finance. The Access Bank Chief Executive emerged winner in the ‘African Banker of the Year’ category, which had two other Nigerian bankers - Andrew Alli, President/CEO, Africa Finance Corporation, Segun
Agbaje, CEO/Managing Director, GTB Bank and other established bankers from both Mozambique and Tanzania, Joao Figueiredo, CEO and Chairman, Unico Bank; and Dr Charles Kimei, Managing Director, CRDB, as contenders. Citing some of AigImoukhuede’s achievements, an analyst said “Under his leadership, Access Bank transited from a lowly rated Nigerian bank to rank among Africa’s leading financial brands and Nigeria’s Tier 1 Banks, adding that Access Bank is the only Nigerian bank in the medium-sized category after the 2004/2005 N25 billion recapitalization that retained its brand identity and subsequently, transformed into a Tier 1 Bank”.
14 | THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 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 Regional ‘leaders’ and the State of the Nation HEN a group of Nigerians from the southern part of the country met in W Lagos the other day, to deliberate on the national security crisis and the premature politicking ahead of 2015 general elections, their focus on regional and national interests did not immediately seem out of place. But some of the conclusions from their meeting raised serious questions about their intentions, however lofty they may appear. The meeting emphasized the need for unity of purpose in the south so that it could always square up with its northern counterpart which, in their opinion, had always employed divide and rule strategy to undermine southern solidarity on key national issues. With regard to the nation as a whole, it applauded the state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan and correctly reasoned that curbing insurgency in the north will not necessarily guarantee peace, given the plethora of social crises plaguing the country. Therefore, it underscored the need for a national conference on the way forward for the country. The meeting held the view that it was only dialogue that could take the country off its present perch on the precipice and enable it realise its destiny as the ‘giant of Africa’. Besides these pivotal issues, there were matters that also crept into the communiqué, such as the creation of two additional states in the south in order to level up with its northern counterpart favoured by the skewed state creation. The meeting of the self-styled southern leaders, however, raises a lot of important issues. First, who made them the leaders of Southern Nigeria? Second, they certainly do not have the mandate of the people to speak on their behalf. In the south and the north, all kinds of groups have mushroomed purporting to champion the interest of those parts of the country to the detriment of Nigeria’s national interest. This is condemnable. There may be nothing wrong with regional associations but only if such put the national interest above all else. It is not enough to throw up ad hoc organisations for the purpose of seeking attention and racketeering as many of these identity organisations across the country now do. Looking at the array of individuals at that meeting, claiming to be leaders of the peoples of the south, it is appropriate to even query the service credentials of some of them. A coterie of bashers of the nation cannot truly claim to be leaders of the south, east, west or the north! The meeting would have earned plaudits if it had taken an objective view of the state of the nation and not veered into the same primordial issues that have dominated national discourse and created divisive politicking in the country. Why, for instance, should any serious organisation be thinking about the creation of more states at this point when it is obvious that collapsing into regions the quasi states, many of which cannot exist independently without subventions from the Federation Account, ought to be more reasonable and convincing? As everyone knows, states were not created to address any imbalance in the Nigerian federation; they were either borne out of sheer brinkmanship or steeped in the politics of revenue sharing. Restructuring the skewed federalism in the country ought to be a priority and not compounding the anomaly by the creation of more mushroom states in the name of geo-balancing. True federalism in which each unit earns its keeps and fiscal autonomy would automatically rectify the contradictions of arbitrary state creation and this ought to be central to the demands of any group that seeks the good of Nigeria. Not the same lazy solution to age-old problems. The obvious call on President Jonathan to contest the 2015 general election underlined by the caveat: ‘if he so wishes’, probably exposes the real purpose of the meeting. Seeking a second term is the least of the problems of this administration that has just spent two years out of a four-year tenure and has yet to justify the mandate of the people by delivering the so-called ‘dividends of democracy’. Therefore, the call is far from being responsible and amounts to a distraction from the important goal of governance. The conferees ought to have occupied themselves with a scrutiny of whether the projects of the present administration have been achieved. For example, the EastWest coastal road project remains uncompleted; uninterrupted electricity for the country is still a dream, huge sums already spent notwithstanding, while road infrastructure is still in bad shape. Corruption, of course, is still the order of the day. In particular, kidnapping has become an industry in southern states, religious-cum political insurgency is continuing in the north, while other forms of insecurity haunt the entire nation. These are issues that need concrete solutions and on which the southern, eastern, northern or western leaders should have made suggestions. In the face of all this, the current administration’s ‘Transformation Agenda’ has remained a mere slogan with no identifiable content and signposts. It thus, requires rethinking and reworking. Therefore setting aside these weighty issues and calling on the president to run for a second term is prejudicial to potential candidates, undermines the entire electoral process, overheats the country’s democracy and is a disservice to the nation.
Kudos to Aregbesola on Gbongan-Akoda road IR: I crave your permission to use your well-regarded newsSpaper to express my delight with the news that Osun State Government under the leadership of Governor Rauf Aregbesola has awarded the contract for the construction of a 30km-dual carriage way from Gbongan to Akoda in Ede. As a businessman resident in Osogbo, I travel nothing less than two times every week to Lagos. This simply presupposes that I can’t avoid the GbonganAkodo single-lane road. From my experience, it can be very uncomfortable navigating through the road, what with its
narrowness and bumpy nature. Therefore, it is a soothing relief that the state government has decided to put a permanent end to the nightmarish experiences of motorists on that road. By reaching the decision to expand the road, construct about four pedestrian bridges at Gbongan Junction; erect streetlights, road markings and signs; build culverts and ditches; and do landscaping with quality aesthetics, this government has yet again demonstrated its unparalleled attentiveness to the yearnings and collective wishes of the people who by votes engineered its
Whither Nigerian education system IR: I was amazed when in March this year, I interSviewed a 20 year-old man, named Michael, for a day guard in our institution in Ogoja, Cross River State. He hails from Ukelle Local Government in northern Cross River State. He could hardly write his name. And I wondered where he had been in 21st century Nigeria. I asked him and he said he stopped schooling in primary 5 when his father died. Even at primary 5, he hardly could write his name. He can only speak pidgin English. With all the educational programmes our government – both state and federal – has in place, we could not catch this man and give him some modicum of education. Sunday is not alone. There are millions like him growing up in a major petro-dollar economy in the 21st century without any meaningful preparation to
meet the challenges of the day. Where are we on the Millennium Development Goals? And to talk of Ukelle in northern Cross River State, one can only access that place freely in the dry season. When the rains come, only Okada can go there with much trouble. And yet that is in Nigeria. Which teacher will agree to live and teach children there? Let us stop deceiving ourselves. Nigeria is a failed state. Do not mind the politicians of all parties with their claims. They are busy selling our country to China and Western capitalists through billion and trillion dollar contracts for one bogus construction or another. The scramble for Africa is still on. God save Nigeria. • Okpara Inworogu, Assemblies of God Seminary Anyikang, Bekwarra, Cross River State.
existence. From the reports I read about the project, the State Government is just not contented with expanding the GbonganAkoda motorway, it is genuinely interested in doing it with strict compliance with standard practices such that the road can endure for another 30 years after construction. The provision of viable road infrastructure and the accordance of quality periodic maintenance to it are very critical and inexorable to the actualisation of lasting and advantageous socio-economic advancement. This explains why I often get deeply horrified each time I travel on that highly portentous death path many occluded minds happily regard as Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. I get more particularly confounded when I hear the past and present leaders of Nigeria and their infantile poodles praise themselves for making life more comfortable for Nigerians when that major expressway remains an immoveable, lugubrious reference point of their starkest failings as leaders. If as important as that expressway is to Nigeria’s economic affairs, Nigerian leaders still find it intractable to repair and expand for our benefit, we don’t have to look for any other evidence of the incapability and hopelessness of the present ‘messiahs’ in Aso Rock to translate the vision of the oftquoted transformation agenda into reality! And while I applaud the State Government of Osun for this significant move, I encourage it to keep hoisted aloft the expansive banner of distinguishing governance. • Gbenga Awodele, Osogbo, Osun State.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Business Nigeria’s economic growth prospects higher than S’Africa’s Page 86
NEITI indicts agencies over flaws in oil, gas sector By Taiwo Hassan and Faith Oparugo HE Nigeria Extractive T Industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI) has recovered that about $1.99 billion (N316 billion) from International Oil Companies (IOCs) and paid into the Federation Account since its inception as an agency of the
. Recovers $1.99b debt from IOCs Federal Government. The recovery was however, a shortfall from about $9.6 billion being owed the Federal Government by IOCs operating in the nation’s oil and gas sector, for under payments, under assessment and vari-
ances in royalties, signature bonuses, levies and taxes over 10 years period (1999-2008). Executive Secretary, NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, who made this revelation at the Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoD)’s May
members’ evening meeting in Lagos, over the weekend, said the supervisory agency would make sure that corruption and abuse of corporate governance give way to best practices in the nation’s business environment, especially in the oil and gas sector, in all ramifications. Breakdown of the figures
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (left); Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Managing Director, IC Events, Omar Ben Yedder; and Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, CBN, Dr. Sarah Alade, at the African Banker Awards 2013, held at Taj Palace Marrakech, Morocco.
NCC may sanction operators, subscribers to switch off phones in protest By Adeyemi Adepetun XCEPT telecommunications service providers take urgent steps to address the persistent sharp decline in service quality, they risk the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) sanctions, The Guardian has learnt. Besides, the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has also said that failure by the operators to improve their service offerings, may compel subscribers in the country to switch off their mobile phones to press home their grievances. A top official of NCC, who spoke to The Guardian on the
condition of anonymity at the weekend, stated that virtually all service providers including MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat might not meet the commission’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the month of May, stressing that the services on the networks were nothing to write home about. Indeed, subscribers in the country have had it a raw deal this season, with increase in drop calls; uncompleted calls, among others. Besides, system generated messages, such as “all trunks are busy”, “the number you have dialed is not on the network”, “the number you have dialed is incorrect”, “please
check the number and dial again”, have been the order of the day. The NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Tony Ojobo, attested to the sharp decline in service quality and planned sanctions against erring operators, which failed to meet the commission’s set KPIs for the month of May. While not ruling out the fact the recently introduced Mobile Number Portability (MNP), which is already in its first month could have also contributed to service quality challenges, Ojobo said: “We have observed that the service quality has gone down again. We have received complaints from subscribers who
said they have tried to do one thing or the other on the networks, which was futile. Based on these complaints, NCC has asked the operators to explain why the situation is so. We are not stopping at that; we are also deploying our engineers to test their (operators’) facilities. “We are also carrying out test to determine the culpability of the newly introduced MNP. You are also aware that we recently lifted bans on promo and lotteries in the industry. We are going to measure KPIs for the month of May and any operator, which failed to meet up with the required standard will be adequately penalised.”
showed that $1 billion was recovered between 1999 and 2004, $550 million (2005) from the IOCs as underpayments and $447 million (2006-2008) as additional assessments on PPT respectively. According to her, the nation’s oil and gas monitoring agency has begun the process of recovering the $9.6 billion outstanding debts owing the Federal Government by the IOCs, as part of the shortfall of not remitting the actual proceeds from the crude oil sale. The Executive Secretary explained that for Nigeria to achieve global best practices and corporate governance, especially in the oil and gas sector, the Federal Government must ensure that it tightens the loopholes in the sector like poor record keeping and other leakages in the system. Ahmed, while pointing out the various steps taken by her agency to bring sanity, corporate governance and best practices in the oil and gas sector,
said that $1.73 billion for non call items were financed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/ Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) JP Morgan Chase cash call dollar account. According to her, such practice should be discouraged in all ramifications, observing that NNPC should apply funds meant for cash calls strictly for Joint Venture (JV) cash call operations. She pointed out that there have been several delays by companies in preparing and returning templates from entities such as DPR, FIRS, NDDC, NPDC, Pillar Oil and Pan Ocean Oil, admitting that several of the templates returned were either incomplete or wrongly classified. She however said NEITI is expediting the implementation of the information technology portal that would address the systemic data gathering mechanism and information sharing between the covered entities and government agencies.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Stakeholders lament Nigeria’s high Internet transmission cost By Adeyemi Adepetun TAKEHOLDERS in the telecommunications sector have lamented what they described as huge Internet transmission cost in Nigeria. This is coming on the heels of the presence of about four submarine cables put at about N347 billion in the country and an increase in the number of Internet. Indeed, Nigeria leads other African countries with about 47 million Internet users. The country also paraded fibre cables including MainOne; Glo 1; SAT3 and WACS. Speaking at the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) yearly conference and exhibition in Lagos at the weekend, the Vice President, Destiny Amana, said “In as much as we now talk about having increased access to the internet, people are still complaining about high cost of internet access in-country.” He stated that with estimated population of 174 million currently in Nigeria, having an internet user profile of 47 million at present was still unacceptable, saying efforts needed to be strengthened to drive ubiquitous broadband in the country. Amana said the need to focus on ubiquitous internet access has informed the theme of this year’s NIG conference titled “Broadband as Tool in Nation Building.” He, however, noted factors responsible for the high cost of internet in the country such as exorbitant Right of Way
charges by the government at all levels, vandalism and theft of cable infrastructures. “We need to address these issues as it cost more money to deploy network from Lagos to Abuja than it cost to link Nigeria to London,” he said. Though the forum witnessed as poor turnout just as it did in 2012, few key stakeholders who attended the forum also made major contributions on issues surrounding internet access and governance.
Besides, Nigerians have also been urged to leverage internet for positive activities that can contribute to legitimate personal gains and overall economic development in the country. This, according to former NIG President, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, has become imperative if the broadband facilities in the country must be fully explored. According to him, “without doubt, access to the internet should be declared a funda-
mental human right of every citizen in Nigeria, as it is the case in developed countries; yet, this access should not be abused by using internet for illicit activities.” Chief Executive Officer, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Sesan, who bemoaned the increasing wave of cyber security in the country, also wondered why Nigeria, as a country, had found it difficult to put in place cybercrime legislation.
OPEC explains crude oil price volatility By Roseline Okere RGANISATION of O Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has attributed the current global crude oil price volatility to continued uncertainty, stemming from the slow pace of global economic growth, continued Euro-zone debt crises, high unemployment in advanced economies and the risk of inflation in developing countries. Already, there have been fluctuations in crude oil prices going below $98 per barrel and this is setting off warnings about the ability of Nigeria to fund its yearly budget. The National Assembly passed a N4.987 trillion budget for 2013 last December, based on oil production of 2.562 million barrel per day; however the crude oil production assumption contained in
the 2013 budget was never achieved in 2012. The budget is also predicated on a $79 per barrel price, which is getting increasingly squeezed as oil prices retreat. OPEC 163rd Meeting conference President, Dr. Abedel All Al-Arous, who made this disclosure on Friday in a speech pasted on the cartel website, in Vienna, added that these factors have contributed to dampening what appeared as a clear momentum in global economic recovery at the beginning of the year. According to Al-Arous, there have been continuing fluctuations in the oil price, with a general downward trend in the last few months. “In midApril, we saw the reference basket price reach $98 a barrel. It then fluctuated for the remainder of the month, ending at $101.05/bbl from $106.86/bbl, a drop of $5.81/bbl
(5.75 per cent) and is presently averaging at $100.85/bbl”, he added. He disclosed that the world oil demand growth forecast is expected to increase by 0.8 mbpd in 2013. “Total nonOPEC supply has seen a slight upward adjustment to 1.0 mbpd for the year while OPEC natural gas liquids and nonconventional oils are also expected to grow by 0.2 per cent. This situation is likely to continue through the third and into the fourth quarters as we head into the driving season”. He assured that OPEC would closely monitor developments in the oil market in the coming months. It will also continue its efforts to achieve a stable oil market by ensuring that the market is well supplied to meet demand from consumers at fair and reasonable prices.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAn, Monday, June 3, 2013
How SMEs can access cheap credits, says Oputu By Femi Adekoya O aid accessibility of Small and Medium Enterprises to cheap funds, the Bank of Industry (BOI) has hinged the ability of many entrepreneurs to access such funds on the effective articulation and presentation of bankable
proposals. Specifically, the bank noted that many entrepreneurs were not adequately equipped with the necessary information needed to secure loans. According to a statement from the bank, its Managing Director, Ms. Evelyn Oputu, said this
during a programme organised by the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University (Lagos Business School) with the theme “Developing the SGB Sector held in Lagos at the weekend. Oputu noted that the inability of most SMEs to
secure funding for their businesses lay in their inability to present proposals that were rich and convincing enough for banks to fund. The programme organised for business executives, entrepreneurs and start-ups was aimed at identifying areas of fund-
ing constraints and how such could be mitigated from a knowledge based perspective of experts. Oputu explained further that entrepreneurs should endeavour to pay attention to details and gather enough information about any funding agency they intend to approach for support so that they were fully armed and abreast with questions that may follow suit. On the bank’s part, she said that the bank would continue to support the SME sector, which, she said, remained the engine room of growth of any economy because the real sector, according to her had the potentials of generating massive employment. In his presentation, General Manager, BOI, Mr. Mohammed Abdul-Ganiyu, informed the gathering of entrepreneurs that the bank, which had managed series of intervention funds aimed at repositioning the industrial sector had saved about 8,070 jobs in the textile sector, which led to the turnaround of 38 textile firms from imminent collapse. He advised that entrepreneurs who were into similar line of production could form themselves into a form of cooperative group to access funding from the bank because by so doing, it was easier for them to have cheap access to infrastructure through the industrial cluster ini-
tiative. Again, he said as a way of increasing funding to the SME sector, the bank in 2006, through its paradigm shift initiative dedicated 85 percent of its resources to the funding of the SME sector. On their part, the group of entrepreneurs lamented the high interest rates charged by commercial banks, saying this is killing a lot of businesses just as they urged BOI to consider funding of trading, arguing that those in the business of merchandizing are also adding value through the number of jobs they create.
Stanbic IBTC gets best sub-custodian award TAnBIC IBTC Bank, a member of Stanbic IBTC SHoldings, has been named the “Best Sub Custodian” in nigeria for the third consecutive year, by Global Finance magazine. The rating, which came on the seventh edition of the award, according to the organisers, was an affirmation of its expertise and leadership in the provision of custody services in nigeria. The award recognises the important role sub-custodians play in the safekeeping of clients’ assets, such as stocks, treasury bills and bonds. A formal presentation ceremony is slated for September in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. According to a statement from the organisers of the award, its editors and reporters did the selection of winners, with input from experts and institutions that reliably provide the best custody services in local markets, regions and the global. The criteria used included customer relations, quality of service, competitive pricing, smooth handling of exception items, technology platforms, post-settlement operations, business continuity plans and knowledge of local regulations and practices. “The sub-custody market is in a state of flux, with new regulations to deal with and a changing landscape of market players. “Sub-custodians are key to the safekeeping ofå client assets. With these awards, we evaluate those banks that do the best job of asset servicing and protection in highly complex global markets,” the Publisher and Editorial Director of Global Finance, Joseph Giarraputo, said. Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, said that the recognition further demonstrated Stanbic IBTC’s leadership of the nigerian investor services (custody) sector, which it pioneered about 17 years ago and provided an additional motivation for the bank to continue to redefine investor services in nigeria, while providing unrivaled services to its clientele. “We are very pleased with this recognition as it is a testament to Stanbic IBTC’s commitment to its clients. This independent endorsement from a globally respected institution is certainly heartwarming. “
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
At awards event, Sanusi tasks stakeholders on effective monetary system By Chijioke Nelson HE Governor of the Central T Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi, has called for a cohesive approach among the workers, managements and governments of various central banks in the continent, to ensure effective monetary policy outcomes. The apex bank governor made the call during his acceptance speech on the award as the African Central Bank Governor of the Year 2013, at Marrakech, Morocco. The award, which is the third for Sanusi in three years, was presented to him by the renowned IC Publications Group, in collaboration with Business in Africa Events. Sanusi, who noted that there have been challenges along the path of his achievements, attributed all the successes recorded under his leadership as the CBN governor to the teamwork of everyone at the apex bank, as well as the continued support of the Federal Government and the
Govt, UNIDO partner over youth unemployment O tackle youth unemployT ment, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (FMITI), and UNIDO are partnering to organise entrepreneurship and career fairs to train over 1,000 university and secondary school graduates. The programme will take place at the Velodrome in Abuja, on June 27, and at the Landmark Village in Lagos on July 4. This is contained in a statement issued by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on Saturday in Abuja and made available to newsmen. The statement said that young Nigerians who were eager to start their own businesses would have a chance to meet and interact with entrepreneurs and representatives of organisations, institutions and companies during the fairs. It said that the initiative, the first of its kind in Nigeria was aimed at facilitating job matching between job seekers and recruiters. The fairs would also showcase successful entrepreneurs and promoting alternative forms of employment, including self employment, it said. “UNIDO and FMITI are to utilise the partnership to establish public-private knowledge sharing platforms that will allow unemployed youths to access job opportunities in local businesses and institutions across the country,” it said. According to UNIDO, an inter-ministerial committee has been inaugurated in February by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom, to this effect.
National Assembly. “CBN and other central banks around the continent will continue to ensure macroeconomic stability, which central bankers beyond the shores of Africa could emulate,” he said. According to him, the award would provide him and his team the impetus to drive the reforms needed to enhance sound economic development and growth. The African Banker Awards is co-founded and co-organised with Business in Africa Events
yearly, is held alongside the African Development Bank (AfDB) yearly meetings and graced by Central Bank Governors, Finance Ministers and Bank Chief Executive Officers from across Africa and beyond. According to the Publisher, African Banker and Managing Director, IC Events, Omar Ben Yedder, the award is in recognition of Sanusi’s remarkable leadership role and consistent contribution to banking reforms in Nigeria, which
have inspired his peers to emulate him across the continent and beyond. “The African Banker Awards Committee commends you on your outstanding work in the past years in sustaining reforms, ensuring macroeconomic stability, protecting the independence of the Central Bank and enhancing many aspects of adoption of new technologies for financial inclusion, continuous modernisation and more transparent disclosures,
including adopting higher reporting standards to
banks”, Yedder said.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
How to end pipeline vandalism, by stakeholders By Roseline Okere TRINGENT punishment for Smodern offenders, application of technology and the use of electronic surveillance devices, have been identified as measures capable of tackling pipeline vandalism in the country. Stakeholders at 2013 Petroleum Downstream Group, Business Clinic organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) at the weekend in Lagos, which included Managing Director, Pipeline & Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Haruna Momoh, Chairman/Managing Director, Mobil Oil, Tunji Oyebanji, Commander General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, Ade Abolurin, believed that efforts of all stakeholders were needed to curb pipeline vandalism in the country. Speaking at the event, Momoh, who was represented by Executive Director, Commercial of PPMC, Gbenga Komolafe, said that the nation lost N162 billion to pipeline vandalism between 2009 and 2012. According to Momoh, the country lost N9.8 billion in 2009, N8.9 billion in 2010 and N10.4 billion in 2011. He explained: “We recorded 497 punctured points in 1999, 999 point in 2000, 2,300 in 2005 and over 4,000 vandalised points in 2012. He disclosed that the nation had lost a total of about N162.6 billion from crude oil and petroleum products pipeline losses from 20092012 alone not adding associated costs. He stated: “Over the years we have witnessed an increase in pipeline vandalism. This is in spite of the JTF, Army, IGP Special squad, community guards and the NCDC on our pipelines from the data above. “Valves have been seen to be drilled right beneath or close to the tents manned by security personnel only for them to say they were not aware. This does not in any way negate the fact of the good working relationship built over the years with these security agencies and the hard work by many of them.” To avert future vandalism of the pipelines, he said that PPMC had introduced the use of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) technology into the system. Momoh said: “In our continuous efforts to stem the activities of vandals and put a permanent stop to this menace, PPMC has decided to look inward for solutions and have decided on the use of technology as a way out. “Ijeodudu pipeline axis has therefore become the first petroleum products pipeline segment that HDD technology will be deployed. Hopefully, we will deploy this technology to other hot spot segment of our pipeline network.” He explained: “HDD technology has been proven to be a more durable and effective method of burying pipeline especially through swamps and difficult terrain, as it provides a more attractive alternative to conventional methods, which are easy targets for vandals, especially in swampy
areas. “Horizontal directional drilling is an innovative trenchless construction method utilising equipment and techniques from horizontal oil well drilling technology and conventional road boring. As an environmentally friendly, safe, reliable and efficient alternative to conventional construction methods, HDD construction is used to install petroleum pipelines where conventional open trench construction is not feasible or difficult.” Oyebanji said that the Nigeria legal system does not have stringent punishment to pipeline vandals. “We need a serious punishment for vandals to make puncturing of pipelines unattractive to the criminals. Government should begin to look into that direction in its effort to bring permanent solution to the
Cluster Head, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Banking, West Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Mrs. Ebehijie Momoh (left), Global Head, SME Banking, Tim Hinton, Cluster Head, Consumer Banking, West Africa, Mrs. Carol Oyedeji and Regional Head of SME, Africa, Vivek Uberoi, during a news conference on the bank’s newly introduced ‘Straight 2Bank’, in Lagos…recently.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Published in association with
InvestmentWatch Defensive and cyclical stocks Introduction HE stock market has continued to generate mixed reactions from investors and would be investors due to its very volatile nature and the account of its recent swing implies that investors must screen companies they invest in to ensure that their projected growth earnings are consistent and reliable. While the stock market has made many investors wealthy, an even higher number of investors have or nearly lost their invested funds or exited with huge depression of their capital. To mitigate this, investors need to look for ways to classify stocks. Though the various stocks have been categorised into several sectors, the popular sectors in the Nigerian stock market include Banking, Petroleum, Food & Beverage and Insurance and these can be broadly classified into defensive or non-cyclical and cyclical stocks. For investors who want to be successful, it is important to understand the difference between these two broad categories. Defensive Stocks Defensive stocks are known to remain stable during varying and difficult phases of the business and economy cycle. They provide constant dividend and stable earnings irrespective of the general state of the market. Defensive stocks are also known as “non-cyclical” stocks because during recessions or market contraction they tend to outperform the market; however during a period of expansion in the market they tend to perform below the market because demand does not increase as rapidly as the expansion. Defensive stocks include shares of companies involved in the business of food, tobacco, oil, and utilities. These stocks hold up in hard times because demand does not decrease as dramatically as it may in other sectors. Defensive stocks are usually found in industries that produce necessary and often relatively cheap products that consumers cannot go without. The utility, food, oil and tobacco industries are common sources for defensive stocks in this regard. In view of the fact that electricity, running water, food, and gasoline are basic necessities, demand tends to be fairly stable year-in year-out and these stocks hold up in hard times because demand does not decrease as dramatically as it may in other sectors. Due to the stability of the demand for their products, sales and earnings growth in defensive-stock industries tend to remain constant in good and bad times. These stocks provide investors with a veritable way to hedge their portfolio risk. Features of Defensive Stocks • They are relatively cheap and are stocks of companies that manufacture necessary products that a consumer cannot live without (food, clothing and shelter). i.e. non-discretionary expenses. • They are a veritable tool for portfolio diversification and offer protection in a falling market.
• The best time to invest in a defensive stock is just before the market or the economy enters a downturn. • It provides above average returns during a recession. • They are consumed by a large number of the population. • They are stocks with typically low price-toearnings ratios (P/E) • They fail to climb in a rising market scenario and rarely tend to see high rates of organic growth. Types of Defensive Stocks • Utilities Included in this group is natural gas, water, fuel, oil, electricity among others. They are irreplaceable and have few competitors within their industry. The utility companies are known to benefit from slower economic environments because interest rates tend to be lower and their competitiontoborrowfundsismuchless.Some of the Petroleum companies listed in the Nigerian equities market have potentials for exhibiting these traits. • Food and Beverages Production of food drinks and even tobacco has spurned some of the most profitable business concerns around the world and the Nigerian market experience is no different. People must eat food, families love beverages and must drink water, and it is arguable that in hard times people will drink alcohol even more. Even fast food restaurants have caught on and have now become a major factor when discussion defensive stocks. A few of them command the highest prices per share in the Nigerian stock market and are referred to as blue chip equities due to their small float and price stability. Housing though of variable nature can also be posited in this group. • Healthcare Health has been referred to as wealth and companies in this group include companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals and medical devices, testing laboratories, and insurance companies. Drug manufacturers have for long formed a part of the defensive stock sector because of the necessity of society seeking to ensure their health care. • Non-Durable Goods These stocks are made up of household consumables such as soaps, detergent, toothpaste and deodorant consumed on a huge scale and consistent level on a daily basis. These are essential household items that most consumers will purchase even in recession. Cyclical Stocks These are stocks that are sensitive to economic fluctuations and inclined to correlate with the overall trajectory of the business or economy cycle. They are also known as cyclical stocks because they have very strong performance in an expanding economy and this trend makes the price of cyclical companies to lead an upturn or downturn in the economy.
Offensive stocks relate typically to stocks of companies that sell discretionary items that consumers can afford to buy more of in a booming economy and cut back during a recession. These stocks move independently according to variety of a number of market conditions. The stock price of a cyclical company will often rise just before an economic upturn begins, and fall just before a downturn begins. Investors in cyclical stocks try to make the largest gains by buying the stock at the bottom of a business cycle, just before a turnaround begins. Essentially "Offensive stocks do exceptionally well when trends in the economy are moving in the right direction. These companies produce products that tend to go through cycles of greater profitability based on overall macroeconomic circumstances. Some investors specifically choose to invest in cyclical stocks at the bottom of an economic cycle based on the belief that the value of the shares of the company will go up as the economic cycle trends upward. Features of cyclical Stocks • They are luxury products whose consumption is determined by discretion. • These stocks are very predictable as their prices rise and fall with the business cycle • Investors usually try to buy these stocks just before the upturn and sell them before the downturn. • Cyclical stocks represent those items and services for consumers and businesses that they buy when confidence in the economy is high • They are a not durable tool for portfolio diversification and do not offer protections in a falling market. • Cyclical stocks are generally elastic goods that are wants rather than needs driven. • The prices of these stocks are partly based on the investors’ belief not the fact, of an imminent improvement in the economy. • Cyclical stocks allow investors to take advantage of large upward swings in the market. • Earnings patterns of cyclical stocks are unpredictable. Types of cyclical stocks include: • Financial stocks comprising of banking and related financial services • Communications stocks include the mobile phone connectivity and related services • Transportation stocks companies comprise of airlines, road and sea transport. • Technology stocks comprising of companies that provides hardware and software accessories. • Capital goods stocks comprising of companies that produce luxury goods. Factors to consider in choosing stocks include: • Earnings Stability The company should not have reported a loss over the past ten years. Companies that can maintain at least some level of earnings are, on the whole, more stable. • Dividend Record The company should have a history of paying
dividends on its common stock for at least the past twenty years. This should provide some assurance that future dividends are likely to be paid. • Adequate Size of the Enterprise In the world of investing, there is some safety attributable to the size of an enterprise. A smaller company is generally subject to wider fluctuations in earnings. • A Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition A stock should have a current ratio of at least two. The long-term debt should not exceed working capital. For public utilities, the debt should not exceed twice the equity at book value. This should serve as strong buffer against the possibility of bankruptcy or default. • Earnings Growth To help ensure a company's profits keep pace with inflation, net income should have increased by one-third or greater on a per-share basis over the course of the past ten years using three-year averages at the beginning and end. • Moderate Price to Earnings Ratio For inclusion into a conservative portfolio, the current price of a stock should not exceed fifteen times its average earnings for the past three years. This acts as a safeguard against overpaying for a security. • Moderate Ratio of Price to Assets Current price should not be more than 1 1/2 times the book value last reported. However, a multiplier of earnings below 15 could justify a correspondingly higher multiplier of assets. Cyclical companies have volatile earnings, with the volatility coming from macro-economic factors that are not within the control of these companies. As the economy weakens and strengthens, cyclical companies will see their earnings go up and down. Defensive-stock industries on the other tend to remain constant in good times and bad thanks to the stability of demand for their products, sales and earnings growth. Bearing this in mind, defensive stocks can provide investors with a great way to hedge their overall portfolio risk. However, investors should not expect huge capital gains from defensive stocks and instead should expect to pay up for the stability of non-cyclical earnings that defensive stocks offer. With the local stock market breaking New Year and 52 weeks high (as at the time of writing this article) on the floor of the NSE, investors activities picked up considerably in the month of May as the ASI broke the 38,000pts level for the first time since the 2008 market crash exceeding expectations. The recent rally in equity market across the globe has been linked to the current spate of quantitative easing along with the strong macroeconomic fundermetal on the local scene. This clearly confirms the unpredictability of the stock market and investors must be well guided by outlined principles and knowledge of the business or economic scenario.
Your decision to call a professional investment adviser may just be what you need to give you a broad and comprehensive feedback on how to invest in the stock market to help you achieve your investment plans. Please join us next week Monday to learn more on how you can successfully navigate the investment waters. Kindly let us know if you have found this article useful. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Chams unveil plans to extend operations across sub-Saharan Africa By Helen Oji HAMS Plc has concluded C arrangements to extend its business activities across sub-Saharan African in order to grow its revenue and enhance shareholders’ value. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Demola Aladekomo, while addressing shareholders at the company’s yearly general meeting in Lagos recently explained that the company would focus on Nigeria as its primary target, adding that significant efforts to localise its technologies through outsourcing and industry partnership has been concluded. He assured shareholders that the company will do everything within its powers to leverage on the steady growth of the payment industry in the country and increase its bottom line for future growth of the company. Aladekomo, while reviewing the company’s performance in the year under review, also assured that the company would deliver good returns to shareholders in the next financial year. “The identity management industry is also predicted to experience steady growth. Our concession agreement with the National Identity
Management Commission (NIMC) is increasingly stronger by the day as we continue to deploy more resources to the project. Our solutions and technologies have been variously adopted by NIMC for deployment nationwide.” He said the company was poised to leverage on its cutting-edge and innovative technologies to take full advantage of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s cashless policy, otherwise known as ‘cash-lite’ project. He disclosed that the company has already started rolling out its mobile payment solution, adding that this has enable the company to emerge as a major stakeholder in the electronic and transactional payment industry. “The mobile payment solution characterised by our usual innovativeness, ease of use and cutting edge technology promises to change the face of payment in Nigeria. It must be mentioned that this singular solution is the future of transactional and payment processes with its huge propensity to dramatically yield untold value for our esteemed stakeholders. We are primed to roll out in full force with a view to capturing a substantial size of the market.”
Mobil records N80.8 billion turnover in 2012 By Roseline Okere OBIL Oil Nigeria Plc M (MON) recorded N80.8 billion turnover as at 2012, representing 30 per cent increase from its previous earning in the preceding year. Chairman/Managing Director, Adetunji Oyebanji, who made this disclosure during the company’s yearly general meeting recently in Lagos, stated that the increase was mainly due to the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) price increase, which he noted, did not provide for any margin increase to marketers. According to him, profit after tax declined by 29 per cent to N2.9 billion when compared with prior year. “Some sales were lost in January as a result of the protests which followed the PMS subsidy reduction. PMS margins remained flat in 2012. There were supply constraints and stock-out of key lubricant products as a result of change in formulation. Closure of our Apapa Terminal PMS-pipeline for scheduled maintenance leading to the loss of the depot margin. Security issues affected a number of retail outlets in different parts of the country”, he added. Oyebanji said that completed the engineering design and preparatory works for the construction of a new PMS tank in its Apapa terminal. He disclosed that the construction work will commence shortly and we expect the tank to be commissioned within the 1st quarter of 2014.
“To maximise the use of the additional tankage, we have also commissioned engineering design and works for the installation of a world-class bottom loading rack which will further enhance our operational safety and increase our truck loading capability and efficiency. “To ensure the ongoing integrity of our operations, we continued to employ highimpact technologies and systems in the management of our existing assets. In the period, we completed the inspection and maintenance of our Apapa terminal PMS pipeline using the intelligent pigging method and extended the application of this technology in the inspection and maintenance of other pipelines in our operation”, he added. He said that the company has completed the upgrade of its Blending Control Software and Automated Software. “These are providing us greater efficiency in our blending operations and eliminating manual quality control processes in the Quality Assurance Laboratory”, he added. Oyebanji said that Government has an important role to play enforcing standards that will be uniformly applied to all operators in the industry. He called on the Federal Government to restore investment confidence in the oil and gas sector, meet energy challenges and stimulate economic growth.
Chief Executive Officer, Westlink Airline, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia (left); Director, Airworthiness Standards, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Benedict O. Adeyileka; and Certification Project Manager, (NCAA), Capt. Afaha Akpan, during the presentation of Air Operations Certificate to Westlink, at NCAA Annex, Murtala Muhammed Airport International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. PHOTO: SOLA OJEDOKUN
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Insurance WAICA Re shops for $25 million additional capital By Joshua Nse ETERMINED to strengthen operations to all the African markets, WAICA Reinsurance Plc has concluded plans to shop for additional capital of $25 million. The managing director, Abiola Ekundayo, said the necessity to raise the capital base further was informed by the desire of the regional reinsurance firm to bring its services to all parts of the continent. Currently operating with about $33 million from her first capital raise in 2011.
Ekundayo who spoke with journalist last week during the Africa Insurance Organization (AIO) conference in Caira, Egypt stated that it was discussing with EDC Limited as financial advisers to use their wide network to attract investors from across the African market to invest in WAICA Re. Precisely two years after establishment, regional reinsurer, the company has broken even with the projection to pay first dollar dividend in 2014. The company’s 2012
financial accounts approved in March, indicate beyond all expectations, positive results that put the company in a position to reward shareholders. He said: “We want to avoid the initial mistake we made in our first offer, which concentrated mainly in Sierra Leone, with lessw emphasis in Ghana and Nigeria, where there are heavy potential investors, this timd around, we are going to spread our market strategy to all the markets in the continent this
time around. According to Ekundayo, the organization has come to full operation with the support of cedents from the West African Region and beyond, having also enjoyed the goodwill of WAICA Poll as offshoot. Though he said quite a lot of the WAICA Pool funds are still not accessible to WAICA Re because of challenges of documentation on signatories, the new company, according to him, has continued to meet its obligations
to the extent of claims settlement on WAICA Poll cedents. He said, “Recently we paid $52,000 claims to Ghana Re from the account of WAICA Pool, which we will take back when part of the funds locked up in Union Bank of UK Limited, Commercial Bank of Ghana and some in Nigeria are accessed. WAICA Reinsurance plc, an organization belonging to insurance companies in the West African Sub-region, with head office in Sierra Leone, officially was commissioned in 2012 having been operating in skeleton form since 2011. The firm with investors across the continent was set to address the capacity challenge faced by the regional
market in its many years of insurance practice, where foreign counterparts had controlled larger share of the market. Ekundayo stated that WAICA Re was established to help minimize the effects of the lack of reinsurance capacity within the West African insurance industry. “With the establishment of the headquarters of WAICA Re in Sierra Leone in August 2011, the aim and objectives of the corporation is to set up a world class reinsurance cooperation, which will not only capacitate staff in various companies in West Africa, but also set a good example of regional socio-economic integration.”
Consolidated Hallmark sustains CSR activities N continuation of the comICorporate pany’s firm support for its Social
CIIN’s President, Wole Adetimehin and the council of the institute, during a visit to the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) secretariat in Lagos.
PENCOM begins enrolment of retiring govt employees Government Retirement advised to take part in the HE National Pension dates, grade level and step as Bond. The exercise will take exercise as only employees T Commission has conclud- at July 2007 as well as the curplace between June 3, and who have been enrolled will ed all preparations to con- rent grade level, authenticatduct an enrolment exercise for employees of Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that are TreasuryFunded. The Exercise which is meant for employees in the service of the Federal Government who are due to retire between January and December, 2014 by virtue of attaining 60 years of age or 35 years in service whichever is earlier or 65 years in service or 70 years of age for employees of tertiary institutions is for the purpose of payment of retirement benefits. This physical enrolment also covers those who have already retired but are yet to be enrolled. Employees are requested to attend the enrolment exercise with the originals and copies of letter of appointment, birth certificate/declaration of age, promotion letter and pay slip indicating grade level and step as at 30th June, 2004.Other requirements for the enrolment exercise include letter from the MDAs indicating retirement and first appointment
ed past records of service and current pay slip indicating grade level and step. They should also come along with evidence of registration with a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) indicating Personal Identification Number (PIN) and one passport photograph. To ensure a successful and hitch-free exercise, the Commission requires the services of at least, one Pension Desk Officer from an MDA so as to assist in identifying potential retirees as well as confirm the authenticity of the documents presented by the employees. Medically unfit employees are exempted from the exercise but the Commission advises their Pension Desk Officers to come with their documents and a letter from a suitably qualified physician or medical board certifying that the affected employees are not physically or mentally capable of carrying out the functions of his/her office. The exercise will take place at 14 centers across the nation. Employees are however
be issued with the Federal
July 11, 2013.
FBN partners Salaam to advance penetration By Helen Oji BN Holdings Plc has unfolded plans to partner with Salaam, a major insurance player in South Africa to advance its penetration in Nigeria. The Chief Executive Officer of the Group, Bello Maccido, said the value of insurance contracts which closed at N300 billion in 2012, representing one per cent of the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country has necessitated its decision to increase its penetration in the industry. Maccido, who expressed optimism that the future of insurance business in Nigeria remains positive, also explained that the bank was looking at the possibilities of penetrating into the non-life segment of the business. “We recognize that we need
to attract general insurance business by acquiring an existing insurance company to penetrate into the bigger market. To that effect, We are working with Salaam in South Africa to rid on their experience to put our bank assurance products together to drive the growth of the banking business. “In the light of the expected growth in the value of insurance contracts to N1 trillion by the end of 2017 and our early success in with FBN Life, as well as our continued believe in the synergies that our commercial banking business avails to insurance including broad and immediate distribution, a captive client base, a brand that is second to none in its perspective as being trustworthy, we would outwit challenges in the new environment.”
Responsibility initiatives, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, during this year’s Children’s Day Celebration donated various food items and provisions to the Nigerian Red Cross Society Motherless Babies Home in Yaba, Lagos. The visit to the Makoko Road, Adekunle, Yaba location of the home by executives of the company forms part of the Corporate Social Responsibility activities that the topmost insurer has supported in recent times, having pioneered intellectual development of insurance students through its annual essay competition, support to the University of Calabar and provision of free insurance cover for journalists, amongst others. Mr. Bode Opadokun, General Manager, Technical who led the Consolidated Hallmark team during the visit to the
Nigerian Red Cross Orphanage said the company embarked on the project as a way of showing appreciation, and giving back to the society it operates in. He disclosed that the company has been consistent in the past four years in its support to various government approved orphanage homes including the Lekki Motherless Babies’ Home and Hearts of Gold Hospice, Surulere. He expressed the company’s appreciation to the authorities at the home for their efforts in ensuring hope for abandoned and motherless children, and assured them of continued support in the future. Mrs Juliana Obanife, the Matron of the home who led the Red Cross team to receive the company executives thanked them for finding time to visit the home, and for the various items donated especially during the vital occasion of the children’s day celebration.
NCRIB collaborates with Canadian institute N a bid to forge greater Ipartnership, international strategic the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has collaborated with the Strategy Institute of Canada in order to raise the knowledge power of its members. During the 2013 international business visit to Toronto, Canada, the Council’s delegation, led by its President, Barrister Laide Osijo were taken through contemporary global dynamics in Captive and Corporate Insurance as well as oil and gas. Speaking on the roles of captives and the place of insurance brokers within the arrangement, Mr William knocked the bottom off the notion that captives were to edge out insurance brokers, rather he opined that the practitioners were supposed
to compliment the arrangement and in so doing ascribe to be ingenious in their delivery. He said captives had become the norm in most corporate organizations in advanced countries of the world and that they were usually established as a cost saving institutions to increase corporate tax savings and provide high risk coverage. In his address, the Managing Director of AON Morgan Insurance Managers, Mr Bill Morgan expressed delight at the presence of the NCRIB delegation at the Strategy Institute summit and noted that the experience that was gained by the delegates would translate into their robust professional practice and consequently improve the insurance industry’s contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Stockwatch In association with Lead Capital
Stock Market Report for the week Friday, 24th May to Thursday 30th May, 2013 N the week, the total vol- ANNOUNCEMENT AJOR equity markets around the I31.39% ume depreciated by M globe moved downwards as URING the period under review, forty (40) and value traded their various indexes lost marginal depreciated by 44.35%. A Dstocks recorded price appreciation compoints. In our universe of sample equity pared to forty five (45) that depreciated in the markets; the S & P 500 and Dow Jones lost points by 0.42% and 0.03% respectively, while the NASDAQ gained point by 0.12% at the end of last week. In Europe, The German Dax, FTSE 100 and France CAC 40 all lost points by 2.28%, 3.12% and 1.90% respectively. In the Asia/Pacific region, Nikkei 225 and Hangseng lost points by 6.18% and 0.82% respectively, while the BSE Sensex gained points by 2.75%. In Brazil, the Bovespa lost point by 3.18% while Russia’s RTS INDEX lost points by 6.97%. On the local setting, NSE ASI closed at 38,016.80 recording a 4.23% appreciation at the end of the week’s trading.
turnover of 1.53 billion units of shares valued at N14.44 billion was recorded, in contrast to a turnover of 2.23 billion units of shares worth N25.95 billion that was recorded in the previous week. Volume this week was driven by activities in the shares of UNITYBANK, UBA, TRANSCORP, ACCESS, SKYEBANK, COSTAIN, ZENITHBANK, FCMB, FBNH and GUARANTY.
previous week, MCNICHOLS was first on the top gainers chart to close with 31.21%, followed by EVANSMED with 30.80%, LEARNAFRICA with 21.21%, IPWA with 20.00%, COSTAIN with 16.91% and NEIMETH with 16.25%. Other gainers in the top ten categories were UTC with 15.28%, DANGSUGAR with 12.90%, TRANSCORP with 12.82% and RTBRISCOE with 11.90%. On the flip side, thirty (30) stocks depreciated in price last week compared to thirty five (35) that depreciated a week ago. CAP led on the price losers’ table with 30.77%, followed by UACN by 17.73%, UNITYBANK by 12.68%, MAYBAKER by 10.67%, BOCGAS by 10.00%, ACADEMY by 9.50%, PZ by 7.27%, ABCTRANS by 7.07%, CADBURY by 7.02% and INTBREW by 6.14%.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Lead Capital Stock Valuation
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Homes & Property Arbitrators award N401m against CITEC in FHA’s Abuja housing deal Litigation By Chinedum Uwaegbulam and Emmanuel Badejo OR failing to deliver its own part of a tripartite agreement that would have delivered 5,000 housing units at Mbora District, Abuja, an Arbitration Panel has held an Abuja based firm, CITEC International Estates Limited, liable and consequently ordered it to refund a sum of N401, 407,000, to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Cumulatively, the award is both the initial sum deposited by FHA to the developer and an agreed accrued interest due on the total outstanding sum at six per cent for five years. While FHA deposited N300, 000,000 for the housing estate, a total of N101, 467,000 was the agreed interest. Mainly, the case involves a dispute between the FHA, the claimant and CITEC, being the respondent relating to a tripartite agreement between the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory and FHA both named the “client” on one hand and the respondent named the “developer” on the other hand. Simply put, CITEC was to construct 5,000 housing units at Mbora District, Abuja within a period of 18 months in accordance with the terms of Exhibit A in furtherance of the agreement, and the claimant paid the respondent the sum of N300 million but the respondent allegedly did not fulfill its side of the bargain. The claimant then wanted the respondent to refund the said sum of money to it, failure of which it went to court and
Aerial view of CITEC estate in Mbora District, Abuja
The sum of N401, 407,000 awarded by an Arbitration Council against an Abuja based firm, was the conclusion reached in a dispute involving the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and CITEC International Estates Limited over the construction of 5, 000 housing units at Mbora, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja consequently arbitration. FHA filed its points of claim and bundle of documents dated September 7, 2011 and CITEC filed its points of defence, bundle of documents and cross claim dated
March 1, 2012. The claimant’s claims against the respondent is for the sum of N401, 407,000 with effect from January 1, 2009 until delivery of the award and thereafter interest at 10 per
cent per annum until the award is satisfied. It also claimed the cost of the arbitration. In the alternative, the claimant claimed damages in the sum of N401, 407,000
from the developer. The respondent denied liability for all the claims and counter (cross) claimed (hereinafter referred to as counter claim) for the sum of N193, 883,000 naira “being the net amount due to the respondent in all the circumstances of the transaction subject matter of this reference and balance of set-off, if any, and the cost of the arbitration which it puts at N300 million. Also, it argued in the alterna-
tive that the Joint Venture Partnership Agreement for the construction of and completion of 308 housing units in Gwarinpa was sufficiently close and tied to the respective rights of the claimant and respondent under the construction agreement of August 6, 2001, Exhibit A and it would be unfair to enforce the latter without taking into consideration obligations
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Surveyors urge govt to tackle corruption in construction sector Professional Practice From Nkechi Onyedika, Abuja ETERMINED to improve the value for money spent on the construction of public infrastructure, the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) has advocated the setting up of a Construction Sector Transparency Initiative [CoSTI] to check the problem of corruption in the building and construction industry in the country. The supply of construction services and equipment has become a major global business, with competition and
The quantity surveyors are calling on government to strengthen institutions and instruments responsible for enforcement of transparency and accountability as well as ensure impartial prosecution of violators; and dissuade measures that are dependent on to the predilections of those in authority partnerships between international and local firms and the global dissemination of technology and practices. The sector also receives high levels of foreign direct investment and of international and regional development aid. This means that the concerns about mismanagement and corruption in the sector have both local and international significance. It is estimated that upwards
Mandilas flagsoff N300m headquarters renovation Page 32
of $4 trillion annually is lost through mismanagement, inefficiency, and corruption in public construction globally - on average 10 to 30 percent of a project’s value. These losses have a negative affect on the quality, safety, and value of the built environment. Specific investigations have found much larger losses in some cases, including projects that were paid for but
never built and projects that collapsed with injury and loss of life. In a statement jointly signed by the president of the Board Mallam Husaini Dikko, and the Registrar Mr. Godson Moneke, noted that even though corruption in the building and construction sector is worldwide, the scale of the practice in Nigeria is not only scandalous and debilitating to
Prosper Gardens plans N8b Sunrise Lifestyle estate Page 33
the economy and seem to defy control. They pointed out that Nigeria has laws, rules, regulations and sanctions on transparency and accountability for the building & construction (B&C) sector but the enforcement of the laws and sanctions do not match the extensive, deep-rooted and increasingly sophisticated corrupt practices in the sector. The statement read in part, “the global watchdog, Transparency International (TI) has consistently rated Nigeria among the most corrupt nations of the world.
The human drivers are the most important in the enforcement of transparency and accountability for the building and construction sector. In the meeting held in Abuja, the board resolved that leadership at all tiers should demonstrate stronger political will and commitment to check and punish infractions against transparency and accountability in sector and wider society. While calling on government to strengthen institutions and instruments
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Salini bags Lagos Adiyan waterworks Phase II contract Page 45
HOMES & PROPERTY
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Mandilas begins N300m headquarters renovation Projects By Babatunde Oso to increase the Sty,PURRED value of its prime properthe Mandilas Group has commenced a massive renovation of its 16-storey headquarter complex, known as Mandilas House, located at Broad Street in the Lagos Central Business District. Already, Messrs. Tabak Construction Nigeria Limited, a building and civil engineering firm, has been selected to deliver the renovation project. Built in the 1940s, the foundation of the Mandilas Group was the provision for a wide range of first-class internationally renowned products and services, used in all spheres of life. The Group owns about 31 properties including the Mandilas Building, a modern eight-storey office building on Simpson Street, Lagos, which currently serves as its operations headquarters. These properties are used either for Group benefit or leased out. Owned by Nigerians, the Mandilas Group helps customers increase Nigerian content with the head office monitoring, co-ordinating and supervising at strategic level the activities of the operating divisions and companies within the group. The renovation and remodeling of the 16-floor edifice, which, the owners say, is as old as Broad Street itself, is estimated to cost N300 million “to make it competitive with other new
The renovation project, which starts from the eighth to the 16th floor, and includes both the interior and exterior of the building at a cost N300 million, is one major step towards increasing the marketability of the prime property buildings in the neighbourhood”. During a facility tour and a press briefing on the ongoing renovation project, Tabak Construction’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Akinyeye, described the Broad Street building as Mandilas’ flagship. Tabak’s Project Manager, Tajudeen Adedayo, said that his company was in Mandilas to change the face of the building in order to enhance its marketability. He added that the renovation project starts from the eighth to the 16th floor, involving both the interior and exterior of the building. “Before we embarked on this project, we undertook integrity test on the building and found it still strong. We also carried out a feasibility study, which shows that the building will sell after renovation”, Adedayo said, pointing out that two floors of the building would be converted to a car park. He added that the remodeling envisions additional car parks with shuttle buses that would be bringing people to the building. Giving specifics of the remodeling process, Adedayo informed that they have dismantled all partitions in the building to create open spaces from which
prospective tenants could partition their offices. He added that they were scraping off the floors and replace them with modern tiles; install central airconditioning system, change the three lifts in the building; install new toilet systems, and a 1000KVA generator. The exterior of the would also change as the company plans to use Alucobond cladding materials. Mandilas Property Manager, Ernest Onyeze, assured on the integrity of the building, stressing that the fabric of the old building was still very strong, adding that the renovation would be finished in good time and in the next eight to 10 months, the building would be ready for business activities once again. “The renovation will, of course, enhance the value of the building. Presently, we charge N15, 000 per square metre, but by the time the renovation is completed, the rent will go up, but will be competitive with what obtains in this neighbourhood which is N20,000-N25,000 per square metre”, he said. The floors being renovated have a combined floor area of 3,840 square metres, where each floor has 480 square metres space available for rentage.
Mandillas building at Broad street, recently
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Prime Estates Prosper Gardens plans N8b Sunrise Lifestyle estate Projects By Emmanuel Badejo LANS to commence construction works on the proposed Sunrise Lifestyle Estate, housing units homes, are on top gear, as the developer last week revealed that the preliminaries towards actualizing the project have almost been concluded, and physical work would soon start on the site. The Sunrise Lifestyle Estate is planned for Ayobo area of Ipaja, Ayobo-Ipaja Igbogila Local Council Development Authority of Lagos State. The proposed mass housing project, to be executed by Messrs Prosper Gardens Limited, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Housing comes under a private Public Partnership (PPP) initiative. It will produce 680 housing units for the populace. Already, the state government through its housing ministry has provided approximately 12.7 hectares of land under the PPP scheme, on which the project packaged in two and three bedrooms flats in 85 blocks of eight flats with requisite infrastructure and services would be built. One of the strategies put in place to ensure delivery of the project, as scheduled is its division into four phases. While Phase 1 will consist of 10 blocks of three-bedroom and two
blocks of two bedroom flats, phase two entails 16 block of three-bedroom and three blocks of two-bedroom flats has led to the developer. Phase III will consist of 20 blocks of three-bedroom and three blocks of two-bedroom flats and phase IV is packaged to deliver 28 blocks of threebedrrom and three blocks of two-bedroom flats. Going by the project plan, while phase 1 should be delivered in the first of 2014, phase II will be completed and delivered at the end of third quarter of the same year. The other two phases will be delivered within the first quarter and third quarter of 2015 respectively. When completed, Lifestyle Estate is boost of infrastructural facilities such as dedicated parking space for two cars per flat, central water supply, centralized power generating system, all essential load wired to inverters, central waste disposal, street lights, CCTV security cameras, fibre optic broadband internet, single source satellite T.V connection point and a police post. And the social amenities are crèche, nursery school, restaurant, shopping plaza, pharmacy, supermarket and beauty salon. Recreational facilities that will come with the estate are fully equipped children play ground with food court having indoor and outdoor sit-
The proposed units at the Sunrise lifestyle estate ting; club house with restaurant and bar as well as games room; two flood lit lawn tennis courts, two flood lit astro turf football pitches, flood lit basket ball court, commercial size swimming pool and commercial size gymnasium. Speaking on the project, Chairman, Prosper Gardens,
said the development, is geared towards carving a niche in real estate market by providing housing at optimum standards of development and professional facility management all within affordable cost concept. “Our lifestyle estate could fit perfectly into the highbrow
Ikoyi landscape and not look inferior, the only difference is we are able to achieve this standard at affordable prices.” He added that, CSB Construction Works, was the original concessionaire of the estate land site, before his firm was brought in to provide the development concept and financing for the project.
According to him, the project provides unique investment opportunity that gives the would be investor secure ownership documents from Lagos State Government, high rental income and capital appreciation, unique in concept, unique in price and control over what you spend on services.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Nigeria, others explore real estate innovations at FIABCI congress Professional Practice VER 1,100 global leaders O from the real estate industry from all over the world have ended its congress in Taichung, Taiwan, meant to network, build business, share experiences, advance industry knowledge and stimulate conversations. The 64th FIABCI World Congress is one of the most respected international real estate meetings in 2013. The Congress theme focused on “Innovation in Sustainable Development” and set a platform for international participants to recognize differences in development patterns and public policies and better understand prospects and trends for real estate progress in Asia. Sustainable development has always been a major goal of urban development in Taiwan, particularly in the innovation of green building technology. In addition to traditional approaches for sustainable development, the Congress focused on recent trends in real estate that advance theoretical and practical discussions, and which recognize sustainability through innovative applications of projects particular to Asia. The FIABCI congress also focused on efforts that Asian stakeholders have spent on groundbreaking technology to achieve green cities and look at means to apply these technologies throughout the world.
Nigerian delegates at the FIABCI congress held in Taichung,Taiwan Delegates also attended programmes filled with cutting edge and timely information pertaining to real estate as well as numerous opportunities for business development, international marketing and networking.
Several world-renowned experts and internationally recognized business leaders from the global real estate, investment and development industries were present to share ideas. Keynote Speaker was the
renowned Japanese Architect Toyo Ito, considered one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects. Forums, presentations and discussions by industry experts focused on state-of-the-art
topics related to real estate, development, investment and technology. “Taichung, Taiwan is the perfect location to hold this year’s World Congress,” explained FIABCI World President Judy
Shenefield.”With its vibrant technology, world famous culture and tradition, innovative spirit and leadership, Taichung is a great city which offers enormous potential for the future,” she said.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
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Salini bags Lagos Adiyan waterworks Phase II contract Contracts By Tunde Alao MAJOR boost may soon be witnessed in the provision of water infrastructure in Lagos State, as the state government had appointed Messrs. Salini Nigeria Limited to deliver Adiyan water works expansion project. The project location is Adiyan, north of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital city. It involves the construction of a water treatment plant to provide potable drinking water from the Ogun River, a pumping station and a cast iron raw water main, 8.2kilometres long and 1600milimetre in diameter. The construction of the plant, which will have a capacity of 340,000 cum/day, will have duration of 36 months and is designed to minimize the normally high costs of operation and maintenance. The contract is worth 250 million Euros. The project is one notable step towards ensuring sustainable and efficient water supply in the state. The city of Lagos will benefit from the increased daily amount and quality of drinking water as well as employment opportunities extended to linked industries during and after
The construction of the plant, which will have a capacity of 340,000 cum/day, will have duration of 36 months and is designed to minimize the normally high costs of operation and maintenance. construction. Government is targeting 100 per cent water supply in every part of the state before 2020. The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, made the revelation during his visit to the on-going expansion of Adiyan Water Works plant, designed to deliver 70 million gallons of water per day. According to him, the assurance is predicated upon the reticulation contracts that have been awarded, including water pipe networks laid across the state to receive the supply of water when the project is complete. The Governor explained that the expansion work at Adiyan, which has been on the drawing board since the 1970s, is expected to give the state 70 million gallons of water per day, being the combined capacity of all the mini and micro water works of two million gallons capacity per day, installed in 35 places across the state. According to the terms of the projection, Adiyan expansion will provide supply to areas
including Iju, Agege, Mushin, Ilupeju and locations close to Iju water works, which do not get water supply Fashola said: “Completion of the Adiyan expansion project is to relieve pressure from Iju Waterworks and the current Adiyan Phase One. Full implementation of the expansion that has been in the pipeline for almost three decades is capable of bringing water to people in those affected areas. Besides, the project will also increase our capacity to sustain life, prevent diseases, provide healthy living at affordable cost, reduce the dependency that our people currently have in purchasing water, some of which is of questionable integrity”, he explained. Speaking on the instability in power supply as it may affect water supply, the Governor said that has already been taken care of in all of the projects planned, citing Iju Power Plant and the Lagos Island plants as part of measures to address power supply. On how to tackle shortage of water in the suburb, he said
Lagos mini waterworks in Ojokoro LCDA work has just been completed upgrading to about 12 million on Ota Ikosi Water plant and gallons per day from about Lekki –Ibeju, assuring that the four million gallons. Work is plants would soon be handed on-going in Isashi and when that is completed we will dedover for use. He added that the new icate that to the whole of scheme in Ikorodu and Isashi Badagry”, he stated. that is undergoing testing He also informed that the would help in supplying water to people. “We are currently evaluating it for
Ministry sets up zonal road monitoring teams Roads By Chinedum Uwaegbulam RESSED to seek an enduring P solution to the problems of road maintenance in the country, the Federal Ministry of Works has established six Zonal Ministerial Independent Monitoring Teams. Members of the teams which are drawn from the private sector, provide independent quarterly report on projects in the zones to the minister. According to senior officials of the ministry, this has become a reliable project management tool in the administration’s efforts to improve service delivery in the road sector. Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen who confirmed the development recently during his presentation of the ministerial scorecard, under the two years of Jonathan transformation agenda said: “With this new structure in place, the Ministry under my watch has been able to make momentous improvements on the rehabilitation, reconstruction and dualization of the Federal Roads network in these past two years covering a
total of about 2,000 kilometres. “About two years on, Nigerian roads can no longer be described as “death-traps” due to the marked improvement in the condition of the roads as a result of the unprecedented and massive rehabilitation, reconstruction and expansion of major arterial highways. “Many road projects were abandoned and lots of interim certificates remained unpaid. Worse still, the morale of the engineers in the Ministry was very low. Our country came to that sorry state of affairs in the governance of the road sector because the leadership of our country in the past four decades failed to develop the right attitude to road development.” The ugly trend needed urgent reversal. In recognition of this compelling need, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Works sought urgent and far reaching changes and reforms, especially in the areas of policy, management and financing of the nation’s roads infrastructure. Onolememen said, “A paradigm shift became inevitable in the development of roads
infrastructure in our country, judging by the recent experiences of the near collapse of roads infrastructure. We needed to reclaim the national road network from its state of disrepair and elevate it to an enviable state, where it could once again help to promote economic growth and national integration.” Onolememen, an architect noted that “today, travel times between origins and destinations on most of these arterial
routes have been drastically reduced. Also maintenance costs of vehicles have been reduced as a result of improved driving surfaces, devoid of potholes that hitherto put “holes” in the pockets of vehicle owners due to frequent repairs, occasioned by bad roads. According to him, about 32 road projects have been completed and many more are
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state government is working on Odomola project to serve Epe area with the government looking at private participation there, explaining that with the reports he is getting so far is very good and indicative that all efforts are geared
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Ministry canvasses alternative funding for road projects CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45 nearing completion. “The “Operation Safe Passage” embarked upon by the Ministry in the fourth quarter of 2012 led to the recovering of failed portions of federal highways across the country; from Ilorin to Jebba, Lafia to Makurdi, Aliade to Oturkpo, Oturkpo to 9th Mile, Enugu to Port Harcourt, Kano to Katsina, Lagos to Ibadan, and Odukpani to Itu. Many other federal roads crisis-crossing
the length and breadth of our country have been maintained these past two years.” said, He disclosed that the federal government has proposed the use of money from petroleum tax and Public-PrivatePartnerships (PPP), but both systems require laws to enforce and make them implementable. “With such a huge project portfolio (N1.4 trillion) and outstanding commitments of about N850 billion, it is clear
that budgetary provisions alone will not be able to meet the funding requirement in road development in our country,” he said. On the Public Private Partnership projects, the ministry during the period under review embarked on the procurement of projects such as: the Second Niger Bridge in Anambra and Delta States; Apakun/Oshodi–Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road in Lagos State; Nupeko Bridge, across the
QSRBN seeks national cost data base CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 responsible for enforcement of transparency and accountability as well as establish both a National Cost Data Base and a Data Centre for the sector, the board said that systematic and impartial prosecution of violators; and dissuade measures that are dependent on to the predilections of those in charge. They however noted that quantity surveyor is at the core of instilling transparency, accountability in the building and construction sector as it manages all costs from the preliminaries to the final accounts. “Institutional structures and capacities appear inadequate to cope with the enormous challenges of large-
scale corrupt practices in the B&C sector. The authorities should foster and promote enabling conditions of public service to enhance professional and ethical standards.” According to the statement, reforms in the public services have to be vigorously and conclusively pursued; sustaining a psychology of service in political and public life.” According to the board, “ the public services can really play catalytic roles in enthroning transparency and accountability in the conduct of public affairs. There is the need to implement the approved master for the QSRBN as a body corporate to enable the agency perform its mandate as depository of cost expertise
and cost advisor to governments at all levels. “There is a strong case for mandatory cost audit to enhance the performance the quantity surveyor in instilling transparency and accountability in the sector. There should be increased synergy amongst relevant regulatory agencies on the enforcement of transparency and accountability in the B&C sector. “There should be open competitive bidding, including appropriate publicity for public procurements and Public Private Partnership [PPP] options should be progressively entrenched as means of ensuring decent levels of transparency and accountability. ”
Arbitrators back FHA in housing deal CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 and rights under the former. Following the parties’ inability to resolve their differences, FHA in May 2010, instituted a legal action against the respondent at the FCT High Court, Abuja but the respondent applied for stay of proceedings pending arbitration in accordance with Sections 4 and 5 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. On March 15, 2011, the court granted an order for stay of proceedings pending arbitration. By a letter dated June 26, 2011, the claimant appointed Chief Felix A. Okereke-Onyeri as arbitrator while the respondent appointed Chief Okey Jim Nwagbara as arbitrator. By a letter dated August 5, 2011, both party arbitrators appointed former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president, Chief Bayo Ojo, as the third and presiding arbitrator, which appointment he accepted A preliminary meeting with the parties and their representatives was held on August 12, 2011 at the FCT High Court Multi Door Court to establish a procedure and timetable for the reference. Determining the case, three issues were brought forward including whether the claimant had a separate and district interest under the tripartite construction agreement of August 6, 2001; whether the settlement in the court amounted to a novation of the tripartite agreement, thereby entitling the respondent to its counter claim and whether taking into consideration the circumstances of the arbitral reference, the claimant is entitled to the claims and reliefs sought?
On these three issues, arguments were taken from both counsels for the claimant and the respondent. Justifying its alleged nonperformance, the respondent said it had another related construction project from the same client and that the deposited sum had been used to provide infrastructure in the Gwarimpa project, but the panel held otherwise, saying: “We therefore find without any difficulty that Exhibit A is different, distinct, separate, unconnected and is not traceable to Exhibits R28 and R29 (Gwarimpa project)”, adding “We also find that the subject matter of the dispute before us is the Tripartite Agreement dated August 6, 2001, Exhibit A for the provision for the provision of 5, 000 housing units in Mbora
District and not the agreement on the provision of infrastructure in the Gwarimpa project of March 19, 2003.” According to the panel, any attempt to act outside Exhibit A amounted to misconduct and on that note the claimant’s preliminary objection to the respondent’s counter claim was upheld, as entertaining the said counter claim would mean acting without jurisdiction. The two other issues were resolved against the respondent. Four months after the award, the stalemate still remains and FHA at the weekend said its solicitors have already commenced the process to enforce the arbitration award through the FCT High Court.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
TheEnvironment Nations gear up for WED celebrations WED 2013 UNDREDS of thousands of H people are gearing up across the globe to take part in
Using biomass for energy can cut back on waste and can also help in reducing the landfill.
Govt, UNIDO plan N1.6b biomass based mini-grids project The Environment By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Assistant Housing & Environment Editor FTER the initial false start, the Federal Government has moved to promote renewable energy (RE) mainly in the form of small hydropower and biomass based mini-grids as viable options for augmenting the rural electrification programme. The project promoted by United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) and Green Environment facility (GEF) through partnership with the Federal Ministry of Energy, Energy Commission of Nigeria, and Federal Ministry of Environment, plans to convert plants, animal wastes and residues to power generation. There is currently an excess electricity demand of over 10,000MW being met by diesel engines with its concomitant negative effect on industrial competitiveness
If successful, the GEF support will enable the government to scale up and replicate the project’s achievements across the country and ensure commercialized development of renewable mini hydro power and GHG reductions are sustained by removing technical, policy and capacity barriers and climate change. This is a worrisome situation in view of the vast supply of renewable energy materials for power generation in the country. As an agrarian economy, Nigeria has ample opportunity to bridge the electricity demand-supply gap by utilizing its abundant biomass resources. However, the agricultural and wood wastes generated in the country are either dumped or burnt. This results in significant environmental hazards and health problems arising from methane and other harmful emissions. The Guardian learnt that the proposed project is expected to reduce a considerable amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, which other-
wise would have resulted from the use of diesel generators, as is currently the case in Nigeria (this is the baseline). In addition, this project has huge replication potential of up to about 15,734 MW using agro residues generated in the agro processing industries and SHP systems . Under the programme, GEF will contribute $2, 667, 273 while co-financing required is put at $7,360,000, totaling $10, and 027,273. The GEF resources will be utilized to support the development of mini-grids in terms of background studies, feasibility studies, engineering designs, and partial support in the procurement of equipment, thereby demonstrating the viability of RE based mini-grid systems.
“If this potential is realized, there will be a considerable reduction in the energy related CO2 emissions in Nigeria, while the energy supply situation in the country will be improved drastically. A more detailed analysis of the environmental benefits derived from this intervention will be made and documented during the PPG phase.” According to UNIDO officials, the demonstration of viable and sustainable RE based mini-grid projects will enable the Government to further establish the appropriate policy and regulatory framework and contribute to the development of a conducive market environment for increased private sector investment programmes. Given the country’s resource
EU seeks 2014 deadline for nations’ greenhouse gas plans Climate Change LL countries should outline A their long-term plans for curbing greenhouse gases next year, earlier than favored by Washington, to revive the stalled fight against climate change, the European Union proposed last week. After past failures, almost 200 countries agreed in 2011 to work out by the end of 2015 a U.N. pact to slow global warming with curbs taking effect from 2020. They have still to figure out what each nation will do. Preparing for a climate meeting of government delegates
next week in Bonn, Germany, the EU said all countries should sketch out national commitments for limiting rising world greenhouse gases beyond 2020 by the end of 2014. Deciding on commitments next year should allow time for a review of each national plan before the 2015 agreement, it said. National plans should be easily comparable so that they could be toughened if needed after a review, the EU said in an official submission to the United Nations. The EU approach is more demanding than a U.S. proposal last month that said each
nation should merely offer a “contribution” to the 2015 deal, perhaps by mid-2015, to allow a non-binding review lasting a few months. Washington says that governments are more likely to act if they can define greenhouse gas programs themselves, rather than be told what to do by outside reviewers. EU officials fear that such national policies will undermine ambition. The idea of each government setting its own goals means abandoning the format of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which set central goals for industrialized countries to cut emissions by
2012 and then let each work out how to implement them. Unlike its main industrialized allies, the United States stayed out of Kyoto and has not set caps on emissions. Economic slowdown has made many governments reluctant to take strong action to shift from fossil fuels towards renewable energies. All sides say emissions pledges should achieve a U.N. goal of limiting a rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, seen as a threshold for dangerous changes with more floods, droughts and rising seas.
endowment, the project will focus on promoting two SHP mini-grid demonstration projects with a capacity of 0.5 MW each and a biomass mini-grid project of 2 MW capacity), which have huge potential for scaling up in the country. A rough estimate of the combined potential for SHP and biomass residues for power generation in Nigeria is about 15,734 MW. Considering the fact that the supply-demand gap existing in Nigeria is about 12,000 MW, replication potential of proposed project is significant to meet this gap. The project is designed to provide support in creating an enabling policy and market environment for the attainment of the targets set for renewable energy, including the policy, regulatory and institutional framework and financing issues for setting up mini-grids; capacity-building; as well as public awareness. The various activities reflect a commitment to realize the target of the Master Plan for all the renewable energy sub-sectors. The activities will address database, market as well as capacity issues in realizing the target of the Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP), for instance, for scaling up installed electricity capacity based on biomass and SHP powered mini-grids to about 600 MW and 2,000 MW in year 2015 and 2025 respectively. The project will complement the efforts of UNDP’s supported Renewable Energy Master Plan, and World Bank projects such as off-grid lighting using cassava waste, the Nigeria National Energy Development Project to improve the efficiency of transmission and distribution lines, Aba 120 MW gas co-generation power plant.
World Environment Day (WED), the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. This year the main event is hosted by the government and people of Mongolia, and focuses on the new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) campaign Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint, which is aimed at slashing food waste. Each year, an estimated one third of all food produced ends up spoiling in the bins of consumers, retailers, farmers and transporters. This 1.3 billion tonnes, worth around US$1 trillion, is enough to feed the 870 million people who go hungry each day several times over. This unconsumed food, much of which can be cut out through simple measures, wastes both the energy put into growing it and the fuel spent on transporting produce across vast distances. Additionally, significant amounts of the powerful greenhouse gas methane emanate from food decomposing on landfills, while livestock and forests cleared for food production contribute to global warming. The new campaign has already made inroads into spreading the message that every individual and organization can make a difference, and World Environment Day aims to further reinforce this idea. In Nigeria, Nestle Nigeria Plc has reaffirmed its commitment to environment sustainable business practice. The managing director, Mr. Dharnes Gordhon said that the company aims to be the most efficient energy user among food manufacturers as the Nestle continuously reduces its environmental footprint by ensuring efficient use of energy for manufacturing operations. Gordhon said that the company is committed to promoting sustainable consumption by helping consumers improve their own environment impact through clear portion guidance and preparation instructions. Similarly, Friends of the Environment (FOTE) in collaboration with the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) is organizing a one-day workshop at the Federal Government College, Ijanikin in commemoration of the WED. WED aims to be the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. WED activities take place year round but climax on June 5. WED celebrations began in 1972 and have grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
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You Are Forever In Our Hearts Exactly one year ago, your boisterous, brilliant and passionate life was brutally cut short in that unfortunate, clearly avoidable DANA plane crash in which some 152 other persons died. How we badly miss you, Ikechukwu Godwin Abugu, M.SC; PH.D!! How sorely we miss your wits, your erudition, your candour, your cerebral discourses and scholarly contributions to nation building, especially in the areas of SMEs,and Entrepreneurship. We miss your humour, and your loving role as a caring father to Ijeoma, Chinemerem and Ikechukwu and husband to Uzoamaka, your dear wife! How, indeed, we daily wish that all this had been but a bad dream, a terribly bad dream!!
Appreciation The wife, Mrs. Uzoamaka Abugu, Children- Ijeoma, Chinemerem, Ikechukwu and the entire ABUGU ONOJA family hereby profoundly thank Nigerians from all walks of life, corporate bodies, associations, churches and various individuals who have stood by the family through prayers, monetary contributions and/ or personal visits this past ONE YEAR… The List is endless but we shall mention but the following: 1. Umuida Group Lagos led by Dr Nick Idoko 2. Nsukka Professionals Group (NPG) led by Dr Basil ONUGU 3. National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises led by Alh. Garba Ibrahim Gusau, MFR 4. FUHOFRAC, Nigeria led by Senator Ayogu Eze, CON. 5. South South South East Professionals led by Mr Emeka Ugwuoju 6. Diamond Club Nigeria led by Barrister Frank Agbedo 7. SPUTNIK Nigeria led by Mr. Jerome Okolo 8. Eastern ProfessionalS Forum (EPF) LED BY Mr Chidi Nwokeabia 9. Umuida Progressive Union, Nation-wide. 10. National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) 11. Presidential Advisory Council on International Affairs led by Amb. Jibrin Chinade 12. Caleb International School, Magodo 13. Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) 14. Raw Materials Research Development Council (RMRDC) 15. Advisory Committee on Private Sector Development (ACPSD) 16. Enugu State Council for Private Sector Development 17. Government House, Enugu 18. Sir Emeka Offor Foundation for Widows 19. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 20. Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC) 21. Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) 22. Small and Medium Enterprises Development Association of Nigeria (SMEDAN) 23. Yaba College of Technology Centre for Enterpreneuship Devlpt.(CED) 24. Dr Ike Abugu Trust Fund chaired by Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju 25. AKA IKENGA, Lagos 26. Ogudu Residents Association rep. by Bishop Osita Ossai 27. Churches: • St Andrews Anglican Church, Ogudu, • Church of the Nativity, Parkview, Ikoyi, • Our Saviour’s Church, TBS, Lagos, • St Philip’s Church, Umuida, Enugu-Ezike
Ikechukwu Godwin Abugu, M.SC; PH.D (Jan 06, 1960 - June 03, 2012)
FONDLY REMEMBERED BY: Lady Roseline ABugu Mrs. Uzoamaka Abugu Miss Ijeoma Abugu Miss Chinaemerem Abugu Master Ikechukwu Abugu Jnr.
-Mother -Wife -Daughter -Daughter -Son
Mr. Dominic Abugu Mr. Michael Abugu Sir Emmanuel Abugu Dr Anthony Abugu Mr. Benneth Abugu Mrs. Comfort Eze
Mrs. Anthonia Abugu Dr (Mrs.) Ifeoma Onyia Mrs. Grace Ossai Mrs. Chinedu Ezea Mr. Boniface Abugu Jnr
SIGNED: SIR EMMANUEL ABUGU, FCA. for the family.
Mr. Amos Abugu Nze Jonathan Abugu Mr. Paulinus Abugu Madam Caroline Abugu Mrs. Alice Azegba
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BondWatch DLM BOND WATCH: June 3, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
The financial characteristics of a successful company T is often debated whether a commonly perceived "good" company, as defined by characteristics, such as competitive advantage, Iabove-average management and market leadership, is also a good company to invest in. While these characteristics of a good company can point toward a good investment, this article will explain how to evaluate the company's financial characteristics to make a final decision. The world of stock picking has evolved. What was once the duty of traditional stock analysts has become an internet phenomenon; stocks are now analyzed by all kinds of people, using all kinds of methods. Furthermore, the speed at which information now travels around the world, has led to increased volatility in stock prices and changes in the way that stocks are evaluated, at least in the short-term. While the short-term process may have changed, the characteristics of a good company to buy stock in have not. Earnings, return on equity (ROE) and their relative value compared to other companies, are timeless indicators of companies that might be good investments. EARNINGS Earnings are essential for a stock to be considered a good investment. Without earnings, it is difficult to evaluate what a company is worth, except for its book value. While current earnings may have been overlooked during the internet stock boom, investors, whether they knew it or not, were buying stocks in companies that were expected to have earnings in the future. Earnings can be evaluated in any number of ways, but three of the most prominent metrics are growth, stability and quality. Earnings Growth Earnings growth is usually described as a percentage, in periods like year-over-year, quarter-over-quarter and month-over-month. The basic premise of earnings growth is that the current reported earnings should exceed the previous reported earnings. While some may say that this is backward-looking and that future earnings are more important, this metric establishes a pattern that can be charted and tells a lot about the company's historic ability to grow earnings. While the pattern of growth is important, like all other valuation tools, the relative relationship of the growth rate matters, as well. For example, if a company's long-term earnings growth rate is 5% and the overall market averages 7%, the company's number is not that impressive. On the flip side, an earnings growth rate of 7%, when the market averages 5%, establishes a pattern of growing earnings faster than the market. This measure on its own is only a start, though; the company should then be compared to its industry and sector peers. Earnings Stability Earnings stability is a measure of how consistently those earnings have been generated. Stable earnings growth typically occurs in industries where growth has a more predictable pattern. Earnings can grow at a rate similar to revenue growth; this is usually referred to as top-line growth and is more obvious to the casual observer. Earnings can also grow, because a company is cutting expenses to add to the bottom line. It is important to verify where the stability is coming from, when comparing one company to another. Earnings Quality Quality of earnings factors heavily into the evaluation of a company's status. This process is usually left to a professional analyst, but the casual analyst can take a few steps to determine the quality of a company's earnings. For example, if a company is growing its earnings, but has declining revenues and increasing costs, you can be guaranteed that this growth is an accounting anomaly and will, most likely, not last. RETURN ON EQUITY Return on equity (ROE) measures the effectiveness of a company's management to turn a profit on the money that its shareholders have entrusted it with. ROE is calculated as follows: ROE = Net Income / Shareholders' Equity ROE is the purest form of absolute and relative valuation and can be broken down even further. Like earnings growth, ROE can be compared to the overall market and then to peer groups in sectors and industries. Obviously, in the absence of any earnings, ROE would be negative. To this point, it is also important to examine the company's historical ROE to evaluate its consistency. Just like earnings, consistent ROE can help establish a pattern that a company can consistently deliver to shareholders. While all of these characteristics may lead to a sound investment in a good company, none of the metrics used to value a company should be allowed to stand alone. Don't make the common mistake of overlooking relative comparisons when evaluating whether a company is a good investment. WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION In order to compare information across a broad spectrum, data needs to be gathered. The internet can be a good place to look, but you have to know where to find it. Since the majority of information on the internet is free, the debate is whether to use the free infor-
mation or subscribe to a service. A rule of thumb is the old adage, "You get what you pay for." For example, if you are looking at comparing earnings quality across a market sector, a free website would probably provide just the raw data to compare. While this is a good place to start, it might behoove you to pay for a service that will "scrub" the data or point out the accounting anomalies, enabling a clearer comparison. In conclusion while there are many ways to determine if a company that is widely regarded as "good," is also a good investment, examining earnings and ROE are two of the best ways to draw a conclusion. Earnings growth is important, but its consistency and quality need to be evaluated to establish a pattern. ROE is one of the most basic valuation tools in an analyst's arsenal, but should only be considered the first step in evaluating a company's ability to return a profit on shareholder's equity. Finally, all of this consideration will be in vain if you don't compare your findings to a relative base. For some companies, a comparison to the overall market is fine, but most should be compared to their own industries and sectors. INTRODUCTION TO EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS AS part of its efforts to offer investors new windows to diversify their portfolio, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), some time ago introduced Exchange Traded Funds and other products to enable investors to invest in a variety of asset classes. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a type of financial instrument whose unique advantages over mutual funds have caught the eye of many an investor. If you find the tasks of analyzing and picking stocks a little daunting, ETFs may be right for you. In this article we define ETFs, highlight their advantages, and list some of the most popular ETFs available to investors. What Is an ETF? Think of an ETF as a mutual fund that trades like a stock. Just like an index fund, an ETF represents a basket of stocks that reflect an index such as the S&P 500. An ETF, however, isn't a mutual fund; it trades just like any other company on a stock exchange. Unlike a mutual fund that has its net-asset value (NAV) calculated at the end of each trading day, an ETF's price changes throughout the day, fluctuating with supply and demand. It is important to remember that while ETFs attempt to replicate the return on indexes, there is no guarantee that they will do so exactly. It is not uncommon to see a 1% or more difference between the actual index's year-end return and that of an ETF. By owning an ETF, you get the diversification of an index fund plus the flexibility of a stock. Because ETFs trade like stocks, you can short sell them, buy them on margin and purchase as little as one share. Another advantage is that the expense ratios of most ETFs are lower than that of the average mutual fund. When buying and selling ETFs, you pay your broker the same commission that you'd pay on any regular trade. THE BENEFITS OF ETF INVESTING The easiest way to highlight the advantage of the ETF trading like a stock is to compare it to the trading of a mutual fund. Mutual funds are priced once per day, at the close of business. Everyone purchasing the fund that day gets the same price, regardless of the time of day their purchase was made. Because, like traditional stocks and bonds, ETFs can be traded intraday, they provide an opportunity for speculative investors to bet on the direction of shorter-term market movements through the trading of a single security. The ETF's stock-like quality allows the active investor to do more than simply trade intraday. Unlike mutual funds, ETFs can also be used for speculative trading strategies, such as short selling and trading on margin. In short, the ETF allows investors to trade the entire market as though it were one single stock. Low Expense Ratios Everybody loves to save money, particularly investors who take their savings and put them to work in their portfolios. In helping investors save money, ETFs really shine. They offer all of the benefits associated with index funds - such as low turnover and broad diversification (not to mention the often-cited statistic that 80% of the more expensive actively managed mutual funds fail to beat their benchmarks) - plus ETFs cost a lot less. Remember that because ETFs trade through a brokerage firm, each trade incurs a commission charge. To avoid letting commission costs negate the value of
the low expense ratio, it is advisable to shop for a low-cost brokerage. ETFs also make sense for a buy-and-hold investor who is in a position to execute a large, one-time investment and then sit on it. Diversification ETFs come in handy when investors want to create a diversified portfolio. In the United States, there are hundreds of ETFs available, and they cover every major index (those issued by Dow Jones, S&P, Nasdaq) and sector of the equities market (large caps, small caps, growth, value). There are international ETFs, regional ETFs (Europe, Pacific Rim, emerging markets) and country-specific (Japan, Australia, U.K.) ETFs. Specialized ETFs cover specific industries (technology, biotech, energy) and market niches (REITs, gold). ETFs also cover other asset classes, such as fixed income. While ETFs offer fewer choices in the fixed-income arena, there are still plenty of options, including ETFs composed of long-term bonds, mid-term bonds and short-term bonds. While fixed-income ETFs are often selected for the income produced by their dividends, some equity ETFs also pay dividends. These payments can be deposited into a brokerage account or reinvested. If you invest in a dividend-paying ETF, be sure to check the fees prior to reinvesting the dividends, as some firms offer free dividend reinvestment, while others do not. Tax Efficiency ETFs are a favorite among tax-aware investors because the portfolios that ETFs represent are even more tax efficient than index funds. In addition to offering low turnover - a benefit associated with indexing - the unique structure of ETFs enables investors trading large volumes (generally institutional investors) to receive inkind redemptions. This means that an investor trading large volumes of ETFs can redeem them for the shares of stocks that the ETFs track. This arrangement minimizes tax implications for the investor exchanging the ETFs since the investor can defer most taxes until the investment is sold. Furthermore, you can choose ETFs that don't have large capital gains distributions or pay dividends (because of the particular kinds of stocks they track). DRAWBACKS One of the biggest advantages to ETFs is that they trade like stocks. As a result, investors can buy and sell during market hours as well as put advanced orders on the purchase such as limits and stops. Conversely, a typical mutual fund purchase is made after the market closes, once the net asset value of the fund is calculated. Every time you buy or sell a stock you pay a commission; this is also the case when it comes to buying and selling ETFs. Depending on how often you trade an ETF, trading fees can quickly add up and reduce your investment's performance. No-load mutual funds, on the other hand, are sold without a commission or sales charge, which makes them advantageous, in this regard, compared to ETFs Liquidity The biggest factor in any ETF or stock or anything that is traded publicly is liquidity. Liquidity means that when you buy something, there is enough trading interest that you will be able to get out of it relatively quickly without moving the price. If an ETF is thinly traded, there can be problems getting out of the investment, depending on the size of your position in relation to the average trading volume. The biggest sign of an illiquid investment is large spreads between the bid and ask. With so many new ETFs likely coming to market, you need to make sure that the ETF is liquid. The best way to do this is to study the spreads and the market movements over a week or month. Capital Gains Distributions In some cases, an ETF will distribute capital gains to shareholders. This is not always desirable for ETF holders, as shareholders are responsible to pay the capital gains tax. It is usually better that the fund retains the capital gains and invests them, rather than distributing them and creating a tax liability for the investor. Investors will usually want to re-invest those capital gains distributions and, in order to do this; they will need to go back to their brokers to buy more shares, which creates new fees. CONCLUSION The reasons for the popularity of ETFs are easy to understand. The associated costs are low, and the portfolios are flexible and tax efficient. The push for expanding the universe of exchange-traded funds comes, for the most part, from professional investors and active traders. Nevertheless, long-term investors will find that the broad-market based ETFs can find a place in their portfolios when they have an opportunity for occasional large-size purchases of securities. Investors interested in passive fund management, and who are making relatively small investments on a regular basis, are best advised to stick with the conventional index mutual fund. The brokerage commissions associated with ETF transactions will make it too expensive for those people in the accumulation phase of the investment process. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can be a great investment vehicle for small and large investors alike. These popular funds, which are similar to mutual funds but trade like stocks, have become a popular choice. However, there are some disadvantages that investors need to be aware of before jumping into the world of ETFs.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
BusinessInterview Nigeria’s growth prospects brighter than S’Africa’s, says Botha Stephan Botha, until recently, was the Managing Director of Integrated Cash Management Services (ICMS) in Nigeria. Before leaving the country for South Africa at the end of his tenure, he spoke with Business Editor, ADE OGIDAN. Excerpts: OU ‘ve been in the country Y for five years. What was your perception about the nation’s socioe-conomic situation on your arrival and now? I was pleasantly surprised when I came to Nigeria the first time. The expectation was a dark, unsafe country and where you need to have policemen accompanying you, infrastructure not in place, among others. I was received by my friends the first time, afterwards, I came into the country on my own. I have told everybody that for the time I have stayed here, my family felt safer than they were in South Africa. But one thing that impressed me most was the development and the advances in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, in terms of infrastructure, development and making things more approachable with services working. Did you have the opportunity of going to the restive areas in the Niger Delta? I was advised not to go but I did go to Abuja, Katsina and the report is the same, that I feel safe here. It is a country with immense business opportunities. Cash generation is a result of activities within the economy, especially in production areas. How do you see the economic activities against the current policy regime? I am not an economist but in discussions with the vicechairman and just looking around, Nigeria has got the potential within a few years to be bigger than the economy in South Africa and if they do everything the right way, the Nigerian economy would grow tremendously. That should also be tied to the number of notes in circulation if that happens, more notes would be circulated and I also believe that more people would be financially included, thus having a positive effect on our specific business. I believe the Nigerian economy has a lot of potential, if it is well managed correctly. We know the role politicians play in this economy. However, if the young people get the economy running, I believe the potential would be relieved. How would you assess the financial inclusion programme of the CBN? The most important thing is the rollout of 40,000 ATMs. To me, the implication of this is that people would have increased access to cash but this can only be done when you have a bank account and I believe that it is the most important thing as it immediately creates 40,000 additional service opportunities that would grow the business environment that we are in.
To which extent have the policies of the CBN impacted on your business? As I said earlier, we support CBN’s drive towards cutting operational costs. One of the ways to do that is for the banks to manage cash, as well as cash-in-transit. Everything that CBN is doing would be in the long term to our benefit. What we do hope is that CBN would move forward on some of the policies they have already proposed, as that would promote the industry much faster. Specifically, what’s your assessment of cash-lite policy? The cash-lite policy is a policy we fully support because on the one side, we believe it will reduce the operational costs of banks. It has also changed the profile of our business because we also have to do more work for retailers but we believe it will be a very nice springboard in taking our business forward because it would create a totally new system within the cash environment. It will add to the safety of people within the retail store and people transporting cash. How do you mean, because we expected that the cash-lite policy will impact negatively on your business? It doesn’t matter where you look through the world, cash grows on a year-to-year basis. What will happen with the cash-lite policy is that we will be able to manage cash more effectively so that it will have impact on the banks as well as the CBN. So, in the long term, if it is managed properly, the CBN would have to print lesser notes, which will cost the taxpayer less. The banks will have to keep lesser notes in the vaults because you now have cash centres where you circulate and distribute between the parties. So, even if the numbers of notes go down, which we believe will go down, it will still have a positive impact on the growth of the business. Remember that, at the moment, the cash has only utilised about 20 to 30 per cent. We still have about 70 to 80 per cent scope of business as the banks come on board. You came into the country to manage a relatively new business. Describe your initial challenges? What happened was that we had to put together a Nigerian business with South African culture and we had to try and watch those things. To me, the most difficult thing in the whole merger was understanding the Nigerian way of doing business. The South African way of doing business is different, not because it is right or better, it is just different from the Nigerian way of
Botha doing business. So, the most important and difficult thing was understanding the cultural differences, getting the management team of South Africans and Nigerians to work together on the same goal, and we have been able to achieve that looking at the successes of the company. Can you elucidate on that? We started as a small company with contracts with banks. At the movement, we have five contracts with 16 of the banks in Nigeria. We started with 14 vehicles and at the moment, we have in excess of 70 to 80 vehicles and by June, we would have an excess of 150 vehicles in our fleet. We were one of the only two companies registered to do cash-intransit. Two more companies have been added but we are still one of the two companies registered to handle cash management. Our cash man-
agement licence is provisional and we believe that would be resolved before June. So, we also have regular interactions with the Central Bank of Nigeria and we have played quite a leadership role in Nigeria, in moving this industry forward. Against your initial projection, how would you assess the company’s operational profile now? The company grew slower than we anticipated due to two things. First of all, the CBN brought out a policy that banks can’t do cash-in-transit services themselves, especially not with soft vehicles. The banks are not adhering to that and the CBN’s cash-lite policy is rolling out slower than we hoped for. The third thing is that the IT footprint that everybody is working on is going to be 40,000 ATMs at the end of
If I can use the South African situation, the South African cash business is worth about N120 billion. In Nigeria, the cash in circulation is thrice that of South Africa. So, if you do a quick calculation, the potential in Nigeria is about N400 billion. If you look at the CBN, the apex bank alone spent N192 billion in the past year on cash operations that excludes any cost from the bank. So, N400 billion, we believe is a conservative figure compared to the potential in the market.
three years. That is also growing slowly than anticipated. In terms of the business environment and the expectations, we have certain limitations within that. One would have rather expected that you would be strategising towards building hubs around Nigeria for logistics reasons and improved operational efficiency. How far have you gone in that direction? There are two models you can implement in Nigeria. The first model is where you build big cash centre that is very expensive that will not necessarily provide the banks with cost benefits they can give the end user, the man on the street. The routes that we are following, which is the trend developing in the world and we are actually in Nigeria, a little ahead of South Africa because we are starting to implement this and that is, moving to the use of smaller cash centres with existing infrastructure. The implication of that is that you can move much faster and it would cost you less to move cash. With the interests off, it would cost you less to offer services to the banks. We have already identified six areas where we believe we can move and we grow the business with the banks, we believe we can have between
six to 10 cash centres. Which are these six areas? We would start off in Lagos, then move to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Onitsha and some states in the West and East. Can you state some of the incidents that have happened, because we believe you would be coping with some security challenges in moving cash around? What has been your experience so far? What I experienced in Nigeria was quite positive. The risk issue in Nigeria, specifically, from the cash-in-transit view is lower than in South Africa. So, it means there is less attack on cash-in-transit in Nigeria than in South Africa or England. From a strategic point, the vehicles must be protected from firearms smugglers with AK-47. All our vehicles are protected against the minimum of AK-47, and maximum against 556. The experience has been positive. There are some areas where it is more dangerous than others. For instance, in Port Harcourt, Harbour Road is a very dangerous area, but we have liased with the army and they have supported us to improve our services. So, it is about identifying the specific areas, the strategic points and working with the police and army to improve the services we need to provide.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
BUSINESS INTERVIEW 87
Path to SMEs’ development in Nigeria, by Hinton HAT is the place of Africa W in your business model and are we expecting more investments? Africa is a core part of the bank’s Group Strategic Intent, with more than 180 branches in 16 African countries (15 sub-Saharan) and over 7, 000 staff. The bank’s economic contribution to Africa has been the culmination of 150 years of sustained and increasing investment in the region. We are in a position of strength. The investments we have made in our distribution channels, in our products, our services, our people and our system are realising immediate value. We continue to differentiate our brand and have confidence in our strategy for long-term, sustainable growth. Standard Chartered in Africa remains well capitalised and in every country in the continent our capital position is above the regulatory minimum. With our well-intended products, services, distribution channels and system, the bank provides customers with increasingly sophisticated banking services that are unrivalled in Africa. We recently committed more $100 million to add another 100 outlets to our existing branch network by 2015, which will bring our total number of outlets to more than 250, with the majority of the branches to be opened in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. With this investment, Nigeria, in particular will more than double its branch footprint between 2011 and 2015. What is Nigeria’s profile in the group’s performance? Our recent investment of $76 million on the ongoing ultra modern head office complex is also a definite sign of the group’s commitment and the position of Nigerian market. The first occupants are expected to move in from Early December 2013.The Nigeria franchise is building a strong track record of performance and has the capability to deliver on its potential and aspiration. Nigeria was a star performing country in the group in 2012. Injecting $147 million capital into Nigeria in 2005 was a significant investment and a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to one of Africa’s major growth markets. Standard Chartered is excited by the long-term potential of Nigeria and the re-capitalisation is closely aligned to our bank’s growth strategy for Africa. A successful Nigeria will enable us to be well positioned to support the business opportunities in Africa’s fastest growing economy with our international expertise and global network. How about the bank’s agenda for SMEs? For Standard Chartered, the SMES segment is a vital part of our future strategy and indeed, it is a big business already today. SMEs typically drive most economies and
they are usually accountable for a large part of GDP of many countries and a major provider of employment. Not only that, what we see typically is that SMEs grow faster than the countries’ GDP growth. Most companies grow faster than the average seven per cent or six per cent of local GDP of any country. So it’s an important part of every economy today, but also a fast growing part of the economy. For us, we focus on the segment very carefully. I think with the advances in technology, what’s possible now is using system, cell phones and softwares and the digital agenda as a tool in helping SMEs is critical and absolutely fundamental if we are going to be the main bank. If we are going to be a core provider of services to our SMEs, we have to have a good electronic platform and Straight2Bank is our latest strategy for our corporate offering and most SMEs are ready corporate that want to have information at their finger tips. Nigeria is now the highest in the region in mobile and Internet usage. So, people are becoming tech-savvy here. The bank’s new propositionStraight2Bank is revitalising the usage of the technology and make it more familiar to the people and helpful for them. So, this strategy is across Africa, not Nigeria alone. The slogan is now “use fingers and not feet in banking” and that’s what we have brought. At the convenience of your office, you do payments, and payrolls and your office becomes your banking hall. It is secure, convenient, and user-friendly and can be done in lesser time. It is the same across the globe in Standard Chartered. What you see in Lagos is the same as in Nairobi, Singapore and this is where we defer from others. Businessmen in Africa are interested in absolute and immediate response to any payment that they make. This is another contribution to the country’s cashless initiative and a project that has worked well for many years in other places; so, we know what we are doing now and what customers want. To which extent has the bank been supporting SMES in Nigeria? Our loans to SMEs grew yearon-year by 117 per cent. This was on the back of our revamped value proposition and increased focus on sectors such as manufacturing and oil and gas. In 2012, we launched the first purposebuilt SME centre at Opebi, Lagos, which is essentially a hub for relationship managers specifically dedicated to serving our SME clients. We also continued to support local SMEs through trainings and workshops. The consumer banking has grown at a cumulative average growth rate of 22 per cent, against the general industry average of 15 per cent. We currently serve over 64,000 customers across the retail and SME segments. Over the past year, our cus-
Mr. Tim Hinton is the Global Head, Small and Medium Enterprises Banking at Standard Chartered Bank. He came to Nigeria as part of his oversight functions and had a chat with CHIJIOKE NELSON on the bank’s strategy to boost Nigeria’s economy through its SME-driven operations. Excerpts. tomer centric approach and best in class product offering have further enabled us deliver revenue growth of 16 per cent, while customer deposits and loans to customers grew by 21 per cent and 48 per cent respectively. Expanding our physical footprint remains top on our priority. We currently have 36 branches spread across the major commercial cities in Nigeria and also focused on enhancing our digital banking capabilities- ATMs, Internet access for i-banking and phone boxes for direct call centre access, which have been introduced at many branches. Collections have been a problem. This is because we don’t have many branches and what a typical SME customer will say is that his suppliers or contractors cannot see a branch to pay in cash. Now, these people do not even need to pay cash anymore, given the cashless initiative. So, we are saying don’t pay the cash, just transfer the money and that is what Straight2Bank is here to do. You introduced a new product known as Straight2Bank. What is it all about? Straight2Bank is a fully integrated global online banking solution that helps to add value to your businesses, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises. It is a tool to efficiently execute and monitor cash management, transaction and trade
finance. The product also offers a wide range of payment solution on a single platform, including domestic transfer, international transfer, and payroll, among others. The Straight2Bank platform revolves around the customer. With enhanced security features, it offers both flexibility and peace-of-mind for our esteemed customers. Indeed, digitisation has become the benchmark for success globally and we want to lead the way in this regard. As a business owner or SME, the product helps in cash reporting (account statement access); transactions initiation; account to account transfers- local bank
transfers to other banks through RTGS; direct credit transfers to other banks via NEFT; international bank transfers / telegraphic transfers; payroll payments; draft request; e-mail notifications on account activity; e-mail delivery of cash related telex copies; e-mail delivery of trade related telex copies and advises. With Standard Chartered Straight2Bank, effective management of multiple currencies, accounts and geographical locations is very possible. Why do you think the launch of this product timely? We have witnessed a huge increase in demand for remote banking services, just as customers want to do
At the convenience of your office, you do payments, and payrolls and your office becomes your banking hall. It is secure, convenient, and user-friendly and can be done in lesser time. It is the same across the globe in Standard Chartered. What you see in Lagos is the same as in Nairobi, Singapore and this is where we defer from others. Businessmen in Africa are interested in absolute and immediate response to any payment that they make. This is another contribution to the country’s cashless initiative and a project that has worked well for many years in other places; so, we know what we are doing now and what customers want
all banking activities on the go and at their own convenience. Huge increase in usage of smartphones will enable us to deliver a richer banking experience on the go. At Standard Chartered, our aspiration is to be the ‘main digital bank’ and having a superior digital offering is a key component to achieving the success, as it provides customers with a superior, convenient, personalized and seamless banking experience. Like I said earlier, our focus is to provide banking services that are characterized by convenience for our customers. Today’s consumers are techsavvy and mobile. They want banking that not only meets their financial needs, but also anticipates them. We believe that technology has to be useful, intuitive and most importantly, seamless and we continue to transform our business and invest for long-term growth, with a focus on digital technologies that we believe will shape the future of banking. The Straight2Bank platform is at the very core of our agenda of being the digital main bank in all of the markets we operate in. The world as we know it is now a global village and with it comes an increase in the speed at which business is done. Straight2Bank provides our customers with one-stop banking portal without the restrictions of doing business across time zones.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
14 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY
Our democracy and human rights By Dr. Sylvester Odion Akhaine UR authoritarian past O was egregious in terms of human rights violation. Violations were more or less committed by state officials, especially security forces. The country was so notorious for human rights violation that it was suspended from the Commonwealth organization while several multilateral sanctions were imposed by multilateral agencies. In a phrase, the country became a pariah state. There were expectations that the advent of democracy would foreground the respect for human rights and that the impunity of the past would cease. Our state elite have learnt nothing and gained nothing from history. Instead, the new set of state actors, after initial pretence of setting up the so-called Oputa Panel to look into violations of the past, morphed into new agents of violations. In a roll, Odi massacre took place and Zak-Ibiam followed. It was the case of a state violating the rights of its citizens the very rationale for its existence. These ill-fortunes of the military era were aptly captured by Journalist for Democratic Rights in a Publication, titled Hopes From Nightmares. Nonetheless, the scene has been set for the nightmares of civil rule. Fourteen years after, we are back to ground zero. Liberal democracy’s values lies in its guarantee of minimum civil and political rights. There have been attacks on freedom of speech while extra-judicial killing by security forces have become the other of the day. The assassins have returned with a vengeance; so are the kidnappers. In fact, life has become so cheap. The absence of internal democracy in the extant political parties denies the citizens the right to participate in the democratic process and the fact that votes do not count to a great extent robes the citizens of their political rights. It renders inane the prevailing democratic process in the country. Indeed, democracy mainstreams human rights as part of its internal logic. The non-respect of human rights and the failure of the public officials to perform their duties to the people through responsible policies have aggravated the debasement of the rights of Nigerians who have contin-
ued to clamour for the ‘dividends of democracy’. Our democracy has failed to make respect for human rights a defining element of its policies. State impunity preponderates and the rule of law the legal-cum-political mechanism to ensure the respect for humans has also been undermined. This call for remediation. To address the question of respect for the rule of law is more or less a scrutiny of the foundation of society. The social contract theorists like Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacque Rousseau underline the anarchical essence of the state of nature, which was not only ‘brutish’ but was also ‘nasty and short.’ The imperative for order therefore engendered the formation of the state—that entity derived from the general will standing over and above society. It is the holder of the general will of the people that prevents ‘the war of all against all’. The struggles of classes within society can only be meaningful in terms of who controls the state. The struggle for the rule law is a struggle to return the state to its lowly origin—the general will and as a general resource for all. Once the state is captured by a particular class, the rule of law has no general application. It is the rule of law for the class alienated from the security umbrella of the state and the class in control of the state. This is the central element of all authoritarian and anti-people regimes all over the world. And it is reason why the struggle for popular democracy is about the enthronement of the rule of law and the rule of law is its sustaining logic. The absence of the rule of law is the fundamental crisis of our society where elections are rigged and therefore the governors have no legitimacy as such and only accountable to themselves. The judiciary is compromised and nonstate actors are contesting the sovereignty of the state because it has been compromised and de-legitimated by the activities of state actors—activities such as the looting of the state coffers. State actors have been unable to provide employment for the unemployed and secure lives and property, an essential element or function of government.
Fourteen years after, we are back to ground zero. Liberal democracy’s values lies in its guarantee of minimum civil and political rights. There have been attacks on freedom of speech while extra-judicial killing by security forces have become the other of the day. The assassins have returned with a vengeance; so are the kidnappers. In fact, life has become so cheap.
Respect for the rule of law would mean a lot for our society. It would translate into a new social order devoid of impunity. It will change the democratic complexion of our country as leaders will begin to enjoy a degree of legitimacy and will be accountable to the people. The society will become friendly to foreign investors and open up new avenues for engagement with economic activities. Indeed, it will lead to increase in productivity because of the general confidence it will engender on the part of the people. It will curb, to a great extent, the social crimes and the proclivity to resort
to self-help by people because of the knowledge that there is a secure environment for justice which is no longer for sale. Nigerians will become truly citizens who are participating members of the community or society beyond their current status as ‘citizens of low intensity’ apologies to Guillermo O’Donnell. Our democracy will be enriched and predictability of governance will be achieved. So, the importance of the respect for the rule of law cannot be overemphasized. It is desirable and all hands must be on deck to achieve this in our society.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
14 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY
Infrastructure deficit as a metaphor By Tony JK Nnachetta IDYEAR in 2007, the analysis available M from usually redoubtable sources disposed that Nigeria would need to produce a Gross Domestic Product in the range of US$570 billion by year 2020 to qualify as one of the 20 largest economies of the World. It translated the country attaining a growth rate of 12.5% annually for about fifteen years to 2020. Only China is known to be performing at that stratospheric level. Nigeria was no China and the attributes of Chinese leadership was exhausting for our counterparts to assimilate. From the midterm of the Obasanjo Presidency substantial reforms were being imposed on the Nigerian economyPrivatisation and Commercialisation of Public Enterprises, Public Procurement, Deregulation of Pump price, a Federal Budget Office- culminating in the second term with the landmark Paris Club debt negotiations, a debt cancellation of 40% on the US$30billion principal. The import of the Paris Debt cancellation was lost on several components of our polity-policy makers, the Nigerian elite and the political class. It had no immediate meaning beyond the chest thumping and the scramble for accolades. A number of persons theorised, the media editorialised that this momentum should be maintained and that the particular avowal by Nigeria that it will spend the savings in specified social sectors towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals be adhered to. The then sitting Vice President, accompanied by aides in his conference room, was taking in a presentation on the State of Infrastructure deficit in Nigeria with scenarios on the screen for Public- Private Sector Cooperation and Financing prospects from several regions of the World. Burrowed into the details, the VP stops further running of the slides and directed that certain Ministers and Portfolio Chief resume in his Conference room tomorrow; that the presentation will begin afresh the next day. It held. Ministers of Finance, National Planning, Water Resources, and Transport were there. Managing Director of NNPC and a number of senior policy Advisors took notes and asked many questions about ‘where has this scheme been used before’ Response: precedents abound; replicate or invent your own solution and dig up the will to see it through; ‘Do we really have the expertise for this’ Response: Yes, we do, yes we can otherwise, we hire and import skills. The thrust of the presentation and conversation was the need to rethink the strategic choices available to Nigeria against the backdrop of the Paris Club Deal which enhanced the Country Credit Rating. In the aftermath of such game changing result, a key initiative included to systematize the public infrastructure sector towards enabling private sector investment; sensitize the world to the opportunities and high incentives available to these partnerships in developing Nigeria Infrastructure. Indeed, the proposition was to create a new product in the international financial markets to facilitate a Nigeria Infrastructure Fund as additional but, dedicated funding window for the Nigeria investment destination. Sufficient conditions further augmenting the argument include burgeoning crude oil prices (a high in 2007), improved Foreign reserves and the surfeit of Long tenor finance from both Infrastructure and Sovereign funds in the Middle East and Asia. Nigeria’s ever present political choir at this
time singing the litany of an inchoate 7 point Agenda that was evidently, and unfortunately, backed up by an unscripted (and perhaps unintended) growth rate of 7% and counting. Over shadowing all the political grandstanding and undermining the sustainability growth path in Nigeria was dilapidated infrastructure. Joseph Stiglitz remarked in his very interesting The Roaring Nineties that much of what happens to an economy does not depend on Government but Governments expect the economy to be favourable to it. He must have forgotten to insert an exception. In 2007 Nigeria, Government was in a most idyllic position to affect the economy but it baulked. The Government effect on the Nigerian economy is enormous and, in instances, horrendous. Only Government as Executive and Legislature, can drive Power Supply, Modern and safe Highways, Bridges, Rail, Water Supply, Dams, Inland Waterways, Pipelines, Refineries, Sea and Airports. Those are the cumulative total of an economy. In the embarrassing and an acute absence of widespread infrastructural support already threatens the current efforts and endangers the socio economic fabric for the future. There is a massive need to re order and engage this constraint in a most cost efficient model. With the ascendancy of the then VP to the Presidency, all the risks that were sterile or dormant in our 2007 presentation have all germinated and materialized! The market had moved! Firstly, the Funds have evaporated when their Europe and America portfolio was eviscerated by the financial crisis of 200810.Secondly, Nigeria’s country risk defined by everything and all things said or done by our Governments and compatriots has quadrupled; thirdly, each subsequent administration fights shy of taking a stand on a specific portion of the Infrastructure sector. Observe, for instance that in spite of the billions of US Dollar already spent , there are still tentative approaches to the Power Sector Generation, Transmission Management, Gas Pipeline Project, Coal Mines Exploration, Privatization of PHCN . The levity that appears to be attached to contracts, freely entered into by Government has been very unhelpful. For the medium term Nigeria posted an average GDP growth of about 7% and still growing. The quest to redress the substantial negative growth of the real sector while urgently addressing the unemployment debacle calls for even far more decisive economic reforms immediately. A most critical success factor is the renewal of physical infrastructure across the length and breadth of Nigeria. Currently, we have applied our scarce capital to rebuild or construct airport terminals. That is an example of a paradigm in the Public sector implementation where availability of cash appears as the beginning and end of policy options. These airports represent one sector lot that meet the parameters for private sector concessioning- physical address, traffic viability per airport, International Standards and Regulations. The policy choice to utilise only Nigeria’s equity funds on the project is not optimal because even in the strictures of foreign direct investment today , imaginative margins ranging from 10% to 40% contribution from Nigeria private sector or Public funds would have attracted several good track operators to build and operate the airports on win-win terms. Our seaports and Maritime terminals have witnessed concessions of a very rudimentary nature. A clear test is that the new operators have bulging cash flows to detriment of their
For instance that in spite of the billions of US Dollar already spent , there are still tentative approaches to the Power Sector Generation, Transmission Management, Gas Pipeline Project, Coal Mines Exploration, Privatization of PHCN . The levity that appears to be attached to contracts, freely entered into by Government has been very unhelpful. environment. Our Public-Private engagement at the ports does not meet higher national aspirations and ought to be driven more robustly. New ports development such as gave birth to Tin Can Island are not in the pipeline and yet we feel the congestion at Nigerian ports and excite users of other West African ports. Domestic Managers transparency in the matter of the Lagos –Ibadan Expressway may be more difficult in discerning than the assembling of credible operators to meet the challenge of this critical highway. Roads as infrastructure need not disturb the budget process as it amenable to all the technical prerequisites for amortisation over decades. EnuguOnitsha, Port Harcourt-Enugu-Makurdi and several other key roads are underfunded for the wrong reasons. Added to the prospect of technology and funding is the fact that the dread of political backlash from road toll could be offset by Public subsidy, the type of which is currently misdirected to unintended beneficiaries. As we mull over another Democracy day, it is pertinent to posit that capital expenditure is the grounding of democracy: Establishment and Improvement of public goods as distinct from the calamity of hyper recurrent expenditures. That the balance of funds be harnessed for partnerships and cooperation Minimum infrastructure development
finance still exists for Nigeria but it calls for more creativity than photo opportunity. In the equation where Nigeria holds out US$2billion as her own equity annually, there is mileage to go. For a start, there is the pension funds contribution of millions of individuals to solicit as partner. Within the sanctity of their contracts, without accentuating the risks, the law may find a role for that portfolio in the redress we badly require in the infrastructure sector. Infrastructure deficit in a land where the population advantage has re-emerged and the energy of the people literally covers the vast land mass is an adversity waiting to deteriorate. It is a metaphor for serious dislocation. China managed her future with an unparalleled export strategy yielding superlative indices for verifiable growth. Nigeria has the opportunity yet to rise to the challenge with a higher notch of aggression and talent. As Nouriel Roubini, while applauding Keynes has suggested since the 2008 crisis, that there are new orthodoxies for public spending and asking for more, which our Economy Managers ought to look at. On the evidence of it, the launch of employment initiatives inside the luxury of the Transcorp Hilton are not going fast or turning profound enough. An emergent Nigeria will be driven more readily by economic infrastructure resourcefully packaged followed closely by efforts of the Financial Sector reforms. Whereas the future of the finance sector is tied to infrastructure development, its participation is stemmed by the skewed nature of deposit liabilities in the system, short term in excess of 80%, serious long tenor (exceeding ten years) and big ticket items are prohibitive combinations. The possibilities exist and can be worked upon as we suggested in 2007. Six years on, we return to those concluding slides of our presentation to His Excellency to count the Projects viable in a PPP consummated with the highest political will and world best practices-Roads, Energy, Dams, Refineries, and Rail tracks. Those are investible Democracy Dividends. • Tony JK Nnachetta FCS, F.IoD, a Money and Capital Markets Advisor is a Visiting Member of the Guardian Editorial Board
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE DANA PLANE CRASH’S UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
One year after, Dana crash victims still The first anniversary of the Dana Airline accident, which claimed over 160 lives, including all members of the same family is today. While the full investigation report on the cause of the accident is yet to be released, WOLE SHADARE and WOLE OYEBADE report that families of the victims and those who lost property on the ground are yet to get full compensation. ODAY is exactly a year since Nigeria recorded T the tragic Dana Airline air mishap that claimed over 160 lives. The ill fated Dana Flight
or disembarking.” The Montreal Convention, formerly the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, is a treaty adopted by a diplomatic meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) member states in 1999. It amended important provisions of the Warsaw Convention’s regime concerning compensation for the victims of air disasters. The Convention re-established urgently needed uniformity and predictability of rules relating to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo. Whilst maintaining the core provisions, which have successfully served the international air transport community for several decades (i.e. the Warsaw regime), the new convention achieves the required modernisation in a number of key areas. It protects passengers by introducing a two-tier liability system and by facilitating the swift recovery of proven damages without the need for lengthy litigation. Article 17 equally states that the carrier would be liable for any damage sustained in case of destruction or loss of, or of damage to, checked in baggage upon condition only that the event, which caused the destruction, loss or damage, took place on board the aircraft or during any period within which the checked baggage was in the charge of the carrier. However, the carrier is not liable if and to the extent that the damage resulted from the inherent defect, quality of the baggage. In the case of unchecked baggage, including personal items, the carrier is liable if the damage
resulted from its fault or that of its servants or agents. If the carrier admits the loss of the checked in baggage, or if the checked baggage has not arrived at the expiration of 21 days after the date it ought to have arrived, the passenger is entitled to enforce against the carrier the rights, which flow from the contract of carriage. The convention stipulates that in the event of an accident, airlines are expected to immediately pay $100, 000 to the families of each of the victims. Paragraph 1, Article 17 of the Montreal Convention states: “For damages arising under paragraph 1 of Article 17 not exceeding 100,000 Special Drawing Rights for each passenger, the carrier shall not be able to exclude or limit its liability.” The carrier shall not be liable for damages arising under paragraph 1 of Article 17 to the extent that they exceed for each passenger 100,000 Special Drawing Rights if the carrier proves that: “Such damage was not due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of the carrier or its servants or agents; or that such damage was solely due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a third party.” Although, the final report of the accident is yet to be made public, families of the victims could claim more damages and ask for higher compensation if it is proven that the accident was caused by the negligence of the carrier. The previous Chicago /Warsaw Convention liability was fixed at $10,000 per passenger. Nigeria is a signatory to the Montreal Convention. There are indications that the airline may be compelled to pay more than
Dana has not responded at all. It is a pity. They destroyed my life, my means of livelihood. If you go and interview anybody from them (Dana), you will not hear any reasonable thing from them. The best they will tell you is that, they are working on it. So, how do I take that to be communication?
0992, which came down in Iju-Ishaga, on the outskirts of Lagos, shattered whatever remained of the low confidence reposed in the aviation industry. For more than five years before the tragic accident, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) did what it could to reposition a struggling sector, that had been badly dented by three accidents happening in quick succession: the Sosoliso Airline crash on October 22, 2005 and the ADC Airline accident six months later. The preliminary report on the Dana accident had suggested that the crash would not have occurred, if the captain of the ill-fated MD 83 aircraft had done what he was supposed to do. According to the report prepared by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), the pilot had alerted the Lagos airport authorities on the emergency situation, 11 nautical miles to the landing. It was further disclosed that the pilot’s cry was given priority, but the plane could not make it, as it crashed 4 nautical miles to landing. The memory of June 3, 2012 will for a long time remain in the minds of the families of both the 153 passengers on board the Dana aircraft and the six residents who were ground victims. Some of them who spoke with The Guardian recently, compared the accident to a scene from a thriller movie. But almost a year later, the stark reality of the crash had not only starred the victims rudely in the eyes, it has also brought shocking re-awakening. Many of them who spoke on the condition of anonymity, carpeted Dana Airline for the manner it had conducted and is still conducting itself, in the area of compensation, as stipulated by the law governing aviation. Majority of them are dissatisfied with the company, accusing the carrier of ‘deliberately stalling the process of compensating families and relations of victims of the ill-fated crash.” But Dana has exonerated itself, claiming that its insurers, Lyolds of London, was ready and willing to settle all claims whenever the claimants were ready. The airline, at a briefing this week, disclosed that only 11 families of the victims have received full compensation. According to Dana’s spokesman, Mr. Tony Usidiamen, the 11 families have received full compensation of $100,000 (N15 million) each, while 95 others received an initial $30,000 (N4.5 million) each, as at May 25. He said compensation would be paid to all the victims’ families, provided they have valid documents to back up their claims. He added that the families of 20 other victims had submitted their letters of administration from the Probate Registry of Lagos State High Court. His words: “The letters will be verified by the airline’s insurance firm, the Lyodds Insurance Company of London, for payment. However, eight families did not submit any claim in respect of their lost family members. They may file their claims later.” Article 17 of the Montreal Convention, which highlights the liabilities of airlines for the death and injury of passengers; damage to baggage states: “The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger, upon the condition only that the accident, which caused the death or injury, took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking
the statutory $100, 000 for each of the victims as compensation, if the final report finds it guilty of negligence. One of the ground victims whose losses were unquantifiable is Pastor Daniel Omowunmi, who lost all he had laboured to build for many years. The aircraft landed directly on his six-bedroom ensuite building and warehouse, which had about six containers with educational materials and other things inside them. Big fishponds and other properties were also involved. Omowunmi estimated his losses at over N500 million. “I have two container load of books that were printed abroad; four container-load of cooking utensils belonging to my clients. My jeep that was parked in the house is gone,” he lamented. The clergyman continued: “Dana has not responded at all. It is a pity. They destroyed my life, my means of livelihood. If you go and interview anybody from them (Dana), you will not hear any reasonable thing from them. The best they will tell you is that, they are working on it. So, how do I take that to be communication? These people are wicked and not responsible. I went to seal off their Ikeja premises. Can you imagine their spokesman, Tony Usidamen, saying that they do not have any business with me? Usidamen, who I believe is a Nigerian, went on air to say that they do not have any business with me but the insurance firm.” He further disclosed that his lawyer had advised him to collect the $30, 000 cheque after series of letters were written to the airline, alleging that Dana’s lawyer was “deliberately” stalling the process for the payment of full compensation. However, Usidamen, who defended the airline said: “We can confirm that Pastor Omowunmi and some others have received some initial payment, but like I said, negotiations are ongoing between the legal representatives of the insurers and the legal representatives of the victims. Both parties, as a matter of necessity, must reach an agreement. It is not in the hands of the airline but I can assure you that the insurers are sparing no effort in ensuring that an agreement is reached in accordance with applicable law”. He also said the allegation that the insurer of the airline had abandoned the Iju-Ishaga residents was untrue.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
in pursuit of full compensation
Workers and passers-by at the construction site of the Dana plane crash, in Lagos.
Chima Ileka, one of the ground victims who lost his brother-in-law living with him in the crash, also alleged that the management of Dana deliberately refused its insurers to facilitate the payment of the statutory compensation to them. He said: “The deliberate refusal is as a result of the wicked machinations of Dana Airline and its representatives. It is a very sad situation we have found ourselves in. June 3, 2013 will mark the first anniversary of the crash. And since then, we have not been compensated. The only thing we got from them was N200, 000 that they gave us about a month after the incident. They said we should it to secure accommodation. But it was not even enough for that purpose. We have been patiently waiting all these while, thinking that they would do something, but till this minute, nothing has been done so far. All we keep hearing is that we should be patient and that they are waiting for updates from their insurance company. “This is not fair at all. We are working on going to the state government to help us use their good offices to help us talk to Dana management to pay up the compensation. Life has been very tough for us since the incident. Ever since the death of my brother-in-law, my aged mother-in-law has been the one taking care of the three children he left behind back in the village. The government should please help us step into the issue and talk to the management of DANA to do something about our situation.” Adeola who lost a brother said: “For me, the anniversary should not be a time to just pour emotions and cry, but to examine what we have learnt since the incident. Yes, we went through the corona’s inquest, but what has happened since then? We have not learnt anything.” Adeola said she received a text message informing her of the first year remembrance service and asking her to send a response to “Special Duties” if she wanted an invitation. “We all should be bothered on how these
things are going,” she observed. “We all fly. If you don’t fly, your family member or someone you know flies. We all need to do something.” She added: “Moving forward, what do we do? Even with the site, what is happening? From what we have heard at the inquest, what have we done to correct the lapses? Some days after the crash, we had a situation where Dana officials were visiting bereaved families with a letter of condolence in the one hand and another letter of compensation on the other. You are coming to the bereaved and asking them to sign the letter straightaway? “Even Dana, as an organization, does not have a clue as how to deal with people. That is why some families were chasing them out with cutlasses and other things. Many fami-
We can confirm that Pastor Omowunmi and some others have received some initial payment, but like I said, negotiations are ongoing between the legal representatives of the insurers and the legal representatives of the victims. Both parties, as a matter of necessity, must reach an agreement. It is not in the hands of the airline but I can assure you that the insurers are sparing no effort in ensuring that an agreement is reached in accordance with applicable law
PHOTOS: SUNDAY AKINLOLU
lies that I was in touch with have signed some documents, waving some of their rights, because they are illiterates. At the mortuary, I found that out from the families. “To be fair to them, in Nigeria, most of them don’t know how to handle issues at times like this. I live in the United Kingdom and when it (crash) happened, my company offered me counseling straightaway.” In the aftermath of the incident, rescue agencies spent two days retrieving and documenting some personal belongings of the victims. The items include phones, bags, wallets, money, jewelries, shoes, documents among others, all of which had not been declared till date. Adeola asked: “how come we have not been able to go and check if, (for instance), I can find something like my brother’s Identification Card or something? That has not come up so far.” For Okafor, another victim, the story is not different. She said: “Since that incident, life has been extremely tough. We cannot even afford enough to get a befitting apartment to live ever since. The most painful part of the whole story is the fact that we keep reading and hearing that the victims have been compensated, whereas we have not got anything from Dana’s management. “The only money they gave was the N200, 000 they gave to us about one month after the incident. The only thing we have been hearing is that they are still working on the updates from their insurance company and this has been their song for months. As I speak with you, nothing positive has been done to that effect. Everywhere we go, people will be telling us that our compensation has been paid, but that is not the case. It has been very devastating for us.” Corroborating Okafor’s statement, Chike Okwuosa, another victim and member of the Community Development Association of the area, disclosed that instead of paying the actual compensation, the management of the airline has been talking about the updates they are compiling.
He said: “We have done so much and yet no positive result. As if the situation is not bad enough, there has been another havoc done to us in this area. They have been pulling down our fences in the name of constructing the roads. This added more to our frustration. We have decided to do a petition to the Lagos State government on DANA, so that the government can help us use their good office to instruct DANA to pay up the compensations. Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha said the National Assembly was not satisfied with the compensation paid by Dana Airline to the victims of the June 3, 2012 crash so far. Onyejeocha said: “We need to invite NCAA and know how far they have gone. I read in the papers that only few families have been compensated and I felt very bad. Next of Kin without a Will Death is one subject matter many people are afraid of talking about, yet it is inevitable. Some individuals draft their Wills stipulating whom their assets, including houses, land and property should go to. Others die without drafting a Will. When this happens, they are deemed to have died intestate. Intestacy means the deceased died without making a Will, in which case, the Law of Intestacy takes effect in determining who the property should go to and the order of priority. The Guardian learnt that some families are yet to present a common front to make claims for their relations. Some eight families are believed to be in this category. In some cases, there were many people who came forward to make claims of being the next of kin, brothers and uncles to victims of the accident. By Friday May 24, only 95 out of 125 families had received the initial payment of $30, 000. About 21 of the families have just submitted documents from the Probate Registry for full compensation. If they receive the final payment of $100,000, it would bring the total number of families fully compensated to 32.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at Friday PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS TRADED FOR 31/05/2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
CAPITAL MARKET 97
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 31/05/2013
Shareholders approve FBN Holdings N33 billion dividend By Helen Oji HAREHOLDERS of FBN Holdings Company (Holdco) Plc, on Friday, endorsed the company’s N33billion dividend, culminating to N1.00 per share due to every shareholders of the company for the 2012 financial year. The shareholders who spoke at the 1st yearly general meeting of the company in Lagos recently commended the management for the efficient running of the affairs of the group, as well as repositioning it to profitability amid harsh economic environment. The National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria, Sir. Sunny Nwosu who commended the management on the inaugural meeting
submitted that with capital adequacy of the group which had exceeded regulatory requirement and the current balance sheet which stood at N3 trillion, the future of the company was secured. Nwosu, therefore, advised the company to ‘work’ on its savings by accessing cheap fund in order to enhance its operations. He expressed the need for the company to plan ahead on the removal of Commissions on Transactions (COT) in the next two years, while urging them to ensure that the process involved in disposal of its assets would be done in a transparent manner. The National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie urged the
company to consolidate on the performance by ensuring that all the subsidiaries contributed to the overall growth of the company. “The awards received so far have shown that the bank and the company are doing well. I commend the board for transforming the bank especially in the area of service delivery and I urge you to sustain this aggressive banking to consolidate on the efforts.” Responding, Chief Executive officer of FBN Holdings, Bello Maccido said: “I am pleased to present the maiden results of FBN Holdings following its restructuring as a non- operational holding company with oversight of four major business groups; namely, commercial banking, investment bank-
ing and asset management, insurance and other financial services. During 2012, the group delivered robust results with a year-on-year increase in gross earnings of 31per cent, while profit after tax rose 306 per cent and the group delivered broad based improvement across all key ratios. “Having now restructured the business, the focus is on consolidating the group’s leadership position in Nigeria, providing financial solutions to our customers across the entire value chain and growing our different business lines. Strong natural synergies and cross-selling opportunities exist across the group, and we are intensifying our efforts to facilitate the realisation of these synergies, crytallise
cross selling opportunities and deepen the relationship with our customers. “The solid retail platform in the commercial banking business gives us the ability to harness latent growth in our insurance and asset management businesses. We believe the approach of revenue maximisation, underscored by implementation of robust risk management practices, will enhance shareholder value in the medium to long term.” He explained that with FirstBank taking a leadership position in sub-saharan Africa, the group had put structures in place that would put other subsidiaries at the fore to contribute to the overall growth of the company. In readiness for the COT,
which would take effect in the next two years, Maccido said that the group had last year reinforced its position as a retail franchise by adding 70 branches to the existing ones, thereby bringing the number of branches to 807. “This would drive the mobilisation of low cost deposit so that we locate ourselves to other areas and where we loose on COT, we compensate ourselves with volume.” He said that the group had obtained license to operate on mobile money transfer (First money) without any equity partnership with any telecomm firm in order to derive the benefits inherent in the business.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
west Link obtains AOC, promises safety standard By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi OwARDS boosting air T transport in the country, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has presented Air Operators Certificate (AOC) to another new airline, called west Link Airlines, over the weekend. The Chief Executive of the new airline, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia, who stated that obtaining the certificate was not an easy task, called for more additional manpower in the regulatory authority, to reduce the time spent in acquiring AOC in Nigeria. According to him, west Link Airline is going to be a chartered operator, which would also be licensed for lesser hajj flight operations. His words: “Sometimes we make errors in our documentation and it takes time to communicate it to the NCAA and time for them to communicate back, so with that time is spent. when the system has enough manpower perhaps it may cut down on the time spent to acquire the AOC.” Mshelia also said that the airline painstakingly went through all the hurdles, in an effort to give its customers and passengers the best of services. On manpower training, he revealed that his aviation training school, MishAviation, in Ghana will be graduating students in the next couple of days. Presenting the AOC to the west Link Airlines, the Director of Airworthiness Standards, NCAA, Benedict Adeyelika advised the airline team to ensure that the standard of safety do not fall below expectation and to maintain good safety records at all times.
Company Secretary, FBN Holding Plc, Tijjani Borodo (left); Chairman, Dr. Oba Otudeko; and Chief Executive Officer, Bello Maccido, at the first yearly general meeting of FBN Holding, in Lagos, at the weekend.
NDPHC attracts investors to 10 power plants By Sulaimon Salau HE planned privatisation T of 10 new power generating stations under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) scheme may have reached advanced stage, as the operators of the plants urged private investors to take opportunities of the brand new power stations and invest in the Nigeria’s
...Takes roadshow to London, Hong Kong, U.S.A power sector. The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), owners of the NIPP plants, said 80 per cent stake of the plants, located across the country would be offered to local and foreign investors in an open competitive bidding.
The Managing Director, NDPHC, James Olotu told journalists in Lagos at the weekend, that for a wider offer, the team would begin a road show in Lagos from tomorrow and subsequently to London, United Kingdom , Hong Kong and New York United States of America.
development agency in the financial industry. The group, she said, aims to surpass its achievements in pension management through its members who provide professional investment advisory and portfolio management services to investors both local and international. Advising all portfolio/wealth managers and financial advisors to come on board IAPM, she listed the objectives of the association to include promoting professionalism, high standards of integrity, superior capacity and competence in the wealth management industry through robust investment analysis
and sound portfolio management; Others are to promote and entrench global standards of best practices in investment advice and portfolio management education in our domestic industry through structured training programmes and self-regulation. She noted that IAPM adds value to its members as the appropriate forum for protecting the industry in the interest of investors and operator alike. It is also a platform for giving professional recognition to deserving members in terms of awards, certification and other relevant endorsements.
Exchange hosts IAPM delegates HE Association of T Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers (IAPM), formerly Association of Pension Funds of Nigeria (APFN), last weekend, was hosted by the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Stock Exchange Oscar Onyenma and his Executive Management members. The delegates of the association, led by its VicePresident, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Sanni, in a media chat at the event, chronicled the formation of the Association in 1981 by its founding President Dr. Gamaliel O. Onosode, along with other financial gurus. According to her, other
founding fathers were Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, the First Nigerian Actuarist, and the late Felix N. Akpe, who were also Presidents of the association. The Association, she said represents a body of investment and finance professionals at the forefront of the vanguard to instill discipline and entrench the highest level of professionalism in the practice of investment advisory and portfolio management. It has been very active in the capacity development and recently under its new identity, broadened its scope of operation as a capital market trade group and a major human capital
The power plants in which NDPHC is offering 80 per cent shares for sales are, Olorunsogo phase II, 750Mw (Ogun State), Ogorode 451Mw (Delta State), Gbarain 225Mw (Bayelsa State), Alaoji 1,074Mw (Abia State), Ihovbor 451Mw (Edo State), Calabar 561Mw (Cross River State), Egbema 338Mw (Imo State), Geregu 434Mw (Kogi State), Omotosho 500Mw (Ondo State), and Omoku 250Mw in Rivers State respectively. Some of the power plants (expected to add about 5000Mw to the national grid) are newly completed, while others are at various stages of completion. Olotu said most of the power stations would be commissioned by December this year, prior to handing over to prospective winners of the bid, which is slated for middle of next year. He said the Vice President, Arc. Nnamadi Sambo, had met with all the NIPP project contractors and consultants to ensure that the mandate of December 2013 deadline for the completion of all NIPP projects in Generation, Transmission and
Distribution are met . According to him, the agency, in conjunction with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) would drive the process, adding that both agencies along with the Transaction advisers have commenced due diligence and evaluation of the NDPHC assets to ascertain their current value, while arrangements have been made to create valuable incentives to encourage the would be investors. The Chairman Otis Energy, design consultant to NDPHC, Engr.Otis Anyaeji, assured that the plants are built to international standards, while some of them are newly commissioned and working effectively. The Transaction Adviser on privatisation to NDPHC, Arif Mohiuddin, said the submission of Expression of Interest (EOI) will elapse on July 19, 2013, while bidders’ conference will be held on September 18, submission of proposals to close on April 8. To announce qualified bidders in January 2014. The final hand over is expected to take place between June and July 2014. Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.
OPEC keeps oil output target at 30 million barrels By Sulaimon Salau RGANIzATION of O Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil ministers have reached agreement on keeping output targets steady but deferred solutions on how to deal with surging U.S. shale oil production and internal rivalries denting the organization’s image of unity. The 12-nation oil cartel’s decision on keeping the status quo on production of 30 mil-
Shale oil is not threat to OPEC, says IEA lion barrels a day was expected. The price for internationally traded benchmark oil is over $100 a barrel, a level most OPEC countries are happy with. That’s not the case for OPEC’s customers. with Europe fighting a stubborn economic downturn and recovery weak in many other parts of the globe, most governments
consider oil pricey, as do consumers at the gas pump. But OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badry said much of the end price was due to add-ons beyond producers’ control. `”You fill your tank with cost of oil plus taxes,” he told reporters. `’If governments want to.... do something to the price, they should reduce
their taxes.” The much anticipated gamechanger for the petroleum sector, otherwise known as Shale oil may not have any negative impact on the activities of the members of the cartel. The Director, International Energy Agency, Maria van der Hoeven, said recently that new crude-oil output from shale beds in North America will improve global energy supplies, but the importance
of OPEC won’t diminish as demand from developing countries is growing. “Given the known resources in OPEC, the importance of OPEC will not diminish, definitely not, but trade routes will change,” Hoeven said. This assertion would definately releif the apprehension of Nigeria, (an OPEC member) over a likely threat to its export base. Already, Nigeria has begun to feel the impact of declined
crude imports from the United States, as its exports fell by 42 per cent to 405,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012, the lowest level since 1985. The IEA scribe said, OPEC nations remain the world’s biggest producer, and while North American demand for imported oil will fall, demand from developing countries in Asia like China and India will continue to grow.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Opinion Boro and Jackson: Alliance across the Atlantic (1) By Godini G. Darah HE name of Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro enT tered the lexicon of world revolutionary mythology on February 23, 1966, when his guerrilla army declared the Niger Delta Republic to secede from Nigeria. This historic event occurred a few weeks after some young Nigerian army officers had, on January 15, overthrown the first post-independence government headed by Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa who was killed in the coup. The majors who staged the coup could not form the government of radical change they envisaged. In a few days, MajorGeneral Johnson Umunakwe Aguyi-Ironsi, the most senior Nigerian army officer, was made head of the military government. His assumption of office did not bring relief to the oppressed minority nations of the country who were victims of hegemonic politics by the populous ethnic nations. In fact some of the ethnic minorities suffered more in this period than they did under British colonial rule (1900-1960). The February 23 declaration of sovereignty for the Ijaw people of the Niger Delta was instigated by long neglect and reckless exploitation of the oil and gas resources of the area. Just before the uprising took place, Boro had complained that, “If Nigerian governments refuse to do something drastic to improve the lot of the people, a point of no return will be reached.” February 23, 1966, marked the point of no return. In proclaiming the all-Ijaw Republic, the Boro insurgents said: “Today is a great day, not only in your lives but in the history of the Niger Delta. We are going to demonstrate to the world what and how we feel about oppression.” With the above brave words, the Boro-led Niger Delta Volunteer Force sailed into the creeks from Kaiama, now in Bayelsa State. Within a few days the armed group took over several facilities of Shell, the major oil multinational company that had plundered the region from 1956 when oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in Oloibiri, also in Bayelsa State. Incidentally, Boro was born in Oloibiri in 1938. The military junta of Major-General Aguyi-Ironsi mobilised to crush the Boro-led rebellion. After 12 days of fighting, the better-armed federal troops overwhelmed the insurgents. Adaka Boro and his two comrades – Nottingham Dick and Samuel Owonaru – were tried for treason in a Port Harcourt federal high court. They were found guilty and sentenced to death. The trio were taken to Ikoyi Prison in Lagos to await death by hanging. But auspicious fortune and history intervened. In July 1966, Hausa-Fulani army officers killed Aguyi-Ironsi in a revenge coup. The then Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon became head of state. On May 27, 1967, the Gowon government created 12 states, including Rivers State, now Rivers and Bayelsa States. The demand for an autonomous state for minority nations of the Eastern Region had been made since 1947. This gesture of creating new
states was intended to assuage the fear of the oppressed minorities. Three days later, May 30, the besieged Igbo sections of the former Eastern Region declared the Republic of Biafra with Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu as head of state. In July, the Gowon administration began a war to bring down the Biafran rebellion. The Federal Government needed the support of the nations of the Niger Delta to prosecute the war and the Ijaw people on the Nigerian coastline became strategic partners. Inevitably, Gowon granted amnesty to Adaka Boro and his comrades and they opted to join the federal army to do battle with the rebels. Boro received the rank of major and went to the Bonny front en route to liberate Port Harcourt from Biafran control. In May 1968, Adaka Boro died mysteriously “in action” and his body was buried in Ikoyi cemetery in Lagos. Although Boro died at 30, his revolutionary initiative became a template for wars of national resistance against oppression and exploitation by the predatory Nigerian government and its multinational oil accomplices. By the time the Nigerian Civil War ended in favour of the federal army in 1970, the Nigerian state had tightened its noose of exploitation on the oil-rich Niger Delta region. The Petroleum Decree 51 of 1969 was the first poisoned arrow directed at the heart of the resource-endowed Niger Delta nations. It should be noted that from the 1950s the principles of derivation governed the distribution of revenue earned from each of the three regions. On the average, a region received at least 50 per cent of all government revenue derived from its territory. The formula of derivation also applied to money earned from crude oil exports from 1956 till 1969. The Petroleum Decree 51 abominated and dismantled this progressive, federal policy. In effect, the decree automatically converted the oil and gas areas of the Niger Delta into economic vassals or colonies of the federal military government. Four decades after the war, the legal instruments of resource dispossession are still intact. The essential features of the Petroleum Decree 51 are retained in Section 44 (3) of the 1999 Constitution thus: Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Section, the entire property in and control of all mineral oils and natural gas in, under or upon the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Nigeria shall vest in the government of the Federation and shall be managed in such a manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly. This is the slave mandate that has kept the oilrich states of Nigeria in bondage for decades. This is the prime cause of the mass poverty in the areas, the restiveness of the impoverished populace and the violent and bloody repression inflicted on the people by the Federal Government and its multinational oil collaborators. From the 1990s, the protests
against resource dispossession have included armed struggle, the destruction of oil facilities and the killing of innocent people by armed security outfits and wanton abuse of the environment. In the conduct of these self-determination struggles, Adaka Boro’s martyrdom has watered the trees of the freedom-seeking people. In veneration of Boro’s revolutionary heroism and sacrifice, the Ijaw people in Nigeria and overseas have instituted annual memorial events. Some of the events have taken place in Nigeria while others were hosted by Ijaw Diaspora associations in North America. Under Governor D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha, the first elected governor of Bayelsa State (1999-2006), the commemorations assumed more visible political character. The incumbent Governor, Chief Henry Seriake Dickson hosted this year’s version and expanded the scope. Fringe events took place in Lagos where Boro’s remains are interred and in Kaiama, his birthplace. The state’s College of Education was renamed after Boro. A colloquium took place in the Government House in Creek Haven, Yenagoa on May 17, 2013. The Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker was the indomitable Reverend Jesse Jackson from the United States of America. His invitation signifies a turning point for the Ijaw nation and the peoples of the Niger Delta. Jesse Jackson is the quintessential African American radical thinker and political icon. A veteran of the American Civil Rights Movement, he was the first Black African to seek the presidential nomination of a major political party, the Democratic Party, at the 1984 Convention in San Francisco. The theme of his 1984 Convention Address was “Our Time Has Come”, an aspirational expression that has political resonance for the Niger Delta. Jackson broke a racial myth with his nomination and his address was watched by over 35 million television viewers. Jackson opened his 1984 Convention Address by describing the Democratic Party as “the best hope for redirecting our nation on a more humane, just and peaceful course.” This statement was directed against the war-monger regime of President Ronald Reagan of the Republican Party who had taken America to a bloody imperialist war in Iran. Invoking the ideas of the Civil Rights martyr, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jackson fired American patriotism in these words: “We must turn from finger pointing to clasped hands. We must share our burdens and our joys with each other once again. We must turn to each other and not on each other and choose higher ground.” Owing to the excellent campaign programme of his 1984 “Rainbow Coalition” which brightened the fortunes of the Democratic Party, Jesse Jackson again qualified for nomination in 1988 and he themed his address, “Keep Hope Alive”. He focused his electoral appeal on minority women and working class voters of all races – Red, Yellow, Brown, Black and White – describ-
ing them as all “precious in God’s sight.” He offered to give a new leadership to new generations of Americans to restore fraternity with Latin America, the Middle East, South Africa and to support human rights anywhere everywhere. He challenged America to declare South Africa a terrorist state and to “get South Africa out of Angola, free Namibia, and support the frontline states.” The subjects and idioms of Jackson’s address demonstrated clearly that he understood the revolutionary obligations he owed Africa and oppressed peoples of the world. As in 1984, Jackson did not become the candidate of the Democratic Party in 1988, but he blazed a path for other African Americans to follow. His performance in the 1980s brought the African Americans from the penumbra of political obscurity into the sunlit highway of relevance and significance. It was Jackson’s heroic intervention that fortified Barack Hussein Obama to achieve the breakthrough in 2008 when he was elected the first African American President of the United States of America in more than 220 years of her history. President Obama again made history by being re-elected in 2012. The relevance for the Niger Delta This brief portrait of Jesse Jackson underscores the political import of his appearance at the Boro Day Celebrations in Yenagoa. Expectedly he powered his speech with the long heritage of African American radicalism, eloquence, ebullience and priestly pedigree. In the Yenagoa speech Jackson recalled the anecdotes about the dire situation of the Niger Delta as a region of marginalised minority peoples, the challenges of insecurity and turbulence plaguing Nigeria’s democracy. He alerted the audience about the historic responsibility of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to rescue the country the way President Obama is doing in the United States. Both Jonathan and Obama are redeemers subscribed by minority peoples in their respective countries wracked by socio-economic and racial-ethnic injustice. Jackson layered his delivery with the axiomatic remark that Nigeria will triumph over its crisis, including the insurgency of the terrorist group of Boko Haram raging in parts of the north of the country. At appropriate intervals, he read quotes from the Bible to illustrate his submissions. The largely Christian audience in the hall swooned in applause. His final message was: “Keep Hope Alive” taken from his 1988 Democratic Party Convention Address. A volcanic en chore greeted the poignant slogan across the acoustic-friendly chamber of the magnificent hall. This was a perfect mood for the rest of us to build on. What follows is a synoptic account of my comments and remarks on the theme of the colloquium. • To be continued. • Darah is a Professor of Oral Literature, Folklore, and African American Literature, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria.
Authority lying, authority stealing By Femi Oyewole OME forty years ago, the inimitable musician and Afro beat Soutmaestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti went into the studio and came with one of the evergreen numbers titled – Authority Stealing – of which I am borrowing as part of the title of this piece. I guess Fela would be smiling or hissing in his grave if he can see that what he sang about over 40 years ago is now the order of the day and that under this yoke, we are suffering but not smiling at all. Lying is now becoming an art and a tool of governance. Let us take the recent election of the President of the Governors’ Forum. Is it not a big shame that governors cannot even organize a free and fair election and they are supposed to be less than 40 in number! It is even more annoying when two governors who were present at the election gave contradictory reports. We once had a teacher in Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti many years. The Reverend gentleman told us that two or more spectators at a football match may give two or more accounts of how the goals were scored, who passed to who, who headed the ball into the net or at what point a goalkeeper frustrated the efforts of the opposing strikers; but the different accounts will give the same concluding scores. Not with our governors! Is it possible for two people to report
on an incident such as an election with two varying outcomes? I think that even those who annulled the 1993 elections were even more ingenious than some of these governors. If these governors can brazenly lie about their own elections, any wonder why we are being fed lies by almost all of them in many of the states we look at? Unfortunately for us, the lying is at levels of government. When we were young and when we were raising our children, there was a maxim – anybody who lies will steal. Can we deny that this is not happening in our society? I recently had to pick a young man of 19 years at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. That was a day the heavens also opened up and we had to wade through what he called “dirty horrible water” to get to the vehicle. He was shocked when he realized that we had paid N400 to get a parking space. He turned to me and asked what normally happens to the toll which every vehicle is expected to pay. Guess who came to my rescue – Baba Fela himself – as at that time, thanks to technology, I had Fela on YouTube playing “Authority Stealing”. I asked the young man that this was a song written decades before you were born and the summary is that, according to Fela “pen has the power that the guns don’t have”. It is only in our country that leaders can talk to international media and tell the whole world that everyone in some ‘named’ major towns can attest to the fact that they are enjoying unin-
terrupted power supply only for the same leaders to be confronted with power outage in one of those towns! A friend said it was sabotage and my response was “really’? We tend to forget that the Yorubas have a saying that translates into something like: “two people cannot lose in a lie – if the person lying does not realize that he is lying, the one who is being lied to is aware”. Another level of lying was shown last week with governors taking tonnes of newspapers to congratulate their “Oga at the Top” or themselves on the celebration of “Democracy Day”. A governor who was supposed to have campaigned and to have made several promises to serve the people comes out to advertise that he has tarred roads or bought buses for transportation. You ask yourself – do you really to go to the pages of the newspapers to tell your own people what you are doing for them? Shouldn’t that be very obvious to them as the primary beneficiaries? I think we should conduct some research into the achievements of past and present governors and the amount of money spent on advertising these achievements. I cannot remember how many pages of newsprint someone like Alhaji Lateef Jakande took to eulogize himself while in office and yet the incumbent Governor Fashola still referred to the achievements of Jakande as recently as May 29, 2013, thirty years after Jakande left office. • Oyewole retired from the United Nations and now lives in Lagos.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Opinion Achebe’s legacy: We can say no! By Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo INALLY, the story ends. The story teller has Fa bagful. gone to sleep. He has gone with his stories – But then another story begins. It is telling the story according to the storyteller. It is the story of Chinualumogu Achebe and his stories. It is also about the stories of Chinua Achebe, the man with the stories. Ugo belu n’enu oji – the eagle on the Iroko. It is a story that thrills, enthrals and captivates – both sides of it. Children hear it and demand for more until they go to bed dreaming it. Adults too. They continue to cogitate over both the story and the story teller until a mental war begins to take place; an endless clash of which is the bigger – the story or the story teller. This was the story on Thursday, last week as the world virtually stood still for the man, his stories and how and where he told them. At that remote village of Nkwele Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State where the story began 82 years ago, it was a gathering of those who came to tell their own last stories, while others came to hear them. Yet others became the story. They came from all parts of the globe – Europe, Asia, The Pacific, Antarctica, Australia, Oceania, The Americas and Africa, where the story of the story teller had spread and is being retold in different tongues; written and verbally. Those who failed to make it to the ancient village, physically, had to rely on the varied media instruments to hear the story or tell theirs. The frenzy actually began on March 22, when the story teller told his last; when the eagle descended from the Iroko and took a permanent habitation with others before him. Sitting there in the crowded enclosure of St. Phillips Anglican Church, I could tell that though many struggled, there were and still are many stories to tell. Attempts will be made as they were indeed made on that occasion. But it will continue to be like the proverbial story of the blind men attempting to describe an elephant by feeling it, each telling his according to where he touched and felt. I even told mine. When confronted by those who wanted to know my own version, I said: “Chinua Achebe rose to become an iconic fig-
ure in the area of literary geniuses. He stood up for everything that was right, everything that was good, everything that had to do with accountability and transparency. Chinua Achebe was so bold, so great, so courageous that he could hold a whole country ransom whenever he was ready to call for accountability and transparency. Chinua Achebe was a man who never feared anybody and he spoke the truth from the profundity of his heart not minding whose ox was gored. So, we give God thanks that this wonderful man, one man Iroko tree and one man army squad has gone the way of all mortals. But before he did so, he made his mark globally and as an international figure of repute. Anywhere in the world, wherever you are, everybody is talking about Chinua Achebe and his book and his literary work. He was a literary genius and we thank God for him. I’m so glad to also give God glory that this iconic figure is a son of Igbo extraction. Glory be to God.” But I knew I was just scratching the surface like many others, because that was not the end of the story. In fact, even after that event, many more stories have been told and heard. So, for Achebe, the Eagle, the story will be endless. Generations after will continue to add to it until it grows into a monstrous edifice that will touch all parts of the earth. Yet, it will not end. That is the lot of great men. For Achebe was indeed a great man. Interestingly and strikingly, the story of Achebe is not about the number of houses he had or the cars packed in his garages in all parts of the globe, where he ought to have owned them, were he like just an ordinary man of means. No, it was not in the number of children or shares in companies. If he had any, very few people probably know. I know very little either. Rather, his story of greatness and riches was in what he left for humanity – his intellectual works and his exemplary lifestyle. To many, the fascination in the story of Achebe was that he told the story of Africa the way no other did – that indeed there was life and living in the continent; that Africans didn’t live on trees or hunted each other for meals; that it was actually the white man that came and put a knife in Africa, cutting the existing cord of sequence and order that bound those elements of life and living together. But he did not stop
there. From Things Fall Apart, a book he wrote at age 28, he went ahead to do other works, which basically pointed out the contradictions between life and living, man and his environment and the consequences of those contradictions. These were the import and purport of No Longer At Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, Anthills of the Savannah, The Trouble With Nigeria, There Was A Country, et cetera. In all, Achebe simply tried to re-establish the principle of the teaching of Jesus Christ that Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone. He tried to tell the world that man could indeed conquer his environment; that all that is needed is for him to follow the sequence as part of creation and not to attempt the impossible of re-creating it. He tried to point out the hugely destructive factor of man’s desire and attempt to own the world. Things Fall Apart, the book that put him in the eyes of the world must have sold in hundreds of millions and earned more proceeds for its translation into about 50 languages. Other works could have earned him fairly sizable amounts equally. This is apart from his other earnings from his work as a teacher and other engagements. Therefore, there is no doubt that he ought to be an extremely rich man. Yet, his riches translated more in his reflection of ordinariness and his closeness to humanity and his environment. At every point he perceived that environment drifting towards danger, especially man-made, he never failed to warn. That was the essence of those books. For him, any position must never be used to serve self more than the society. It was this demand that he made of me few days after my appointment as the Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), in 2003. He had called from the U.S. to wish me success. But beyond that he reminded me that I must strive to re-establish the standard of the institution and ultimately Restore the Dignity of Man, its motto. I must not fail, he emphasised, to use that platform I had to advance humanity. The effect of those words cannot be stated here. But it suffices to say that the modest achievements recorded in that assignment owes a lot to their direct impact. And for those who thought that such a demand was utopian, impossible and even obtuse, Achebe showed how it could be done,
using his immediate environment, Nigeria. Yes, some of the things he wrote, said or did, could be considered as, and were indeed controversial. But more important were the motives, principles and courage that drove those thoughts and decisions. Either in his controversial rejection of national honours or the fact that he, according to the Most Reverend Ikechukwu Nwosu, officiating minister at his funeral church service, described same sex marriage as alu (taboo) or his latest book – There Was A Country, Achebe was not only able to demonstrate unquestionable courage to speak his mind at all times, but that a man could and indeed, should say no to certain things no matter the attraction. Whether wrong or right, in the instant examples, Achebe was able to demonstrate the teaching that saying No! at a time it is needed could reduce greed, one of the greatest elements that have held Nigeria down and prevented the giant in it from rising. By writing his version of part of the Nigerian history in that book, he simply tried not only to state the truth as he knew it, but remind the country of the glorious past and the need to rediscover itself. Many actually miss the point by putting Achebe on the hot seat for those deeds. They do because they forget that he was an intellectual. And one of the most visible elements of intellectualism is that those who inhabit that elevated platform often disagree on virtually every issue, yet remain friends. The abiding lesson(s): We can say No! to a lot of things in this country, particularly the desire for mindless and obscene acquisition of wealth through corruption and obtrusively clogging the steady match towards making Nigeria the great country it deserves because of selfish agenda. More importantly and even more relevant to our present reality, Nigerians can disagree at every point and in all places, but must remain friends. We must never allow such disagreements destroy our unity. Those are what we owe Achebe as a legacy. That is the glorious end to the man and his story. We must, as President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, enjoined us all last Thursday, write another book in future, declaring in unison that: There Is Indeed A Country. • Nebo, a professor of Metallurgical Engineering, is the Minister of Power.
Impact of telecom sector expansion By Abdulahi Umar EAR on year the country rolls out drums to celebrate its liberaY tion from the throes of NITEL’s inefficient services, with news editors jostling to describe the glorious advent of mobile telecommunications services in Nigeria, aka GSM phone services in 2001. For their modest achievements, mobile service providers have attained deity status. Indeed, compared with our much celebrated 4,000 MW of power supply for 160 million people since independence (53 years), 107 million subscribers in 12 years must be quite an achievement worthy of commendation. On the flip side, much as the hordes of analysts would like us believe that telecoms sector contribution to GDP growth in the last few years has increased exponentially, so little of the wealth created by the over 107 million everyday Nigerian subscribers is retained in Nigeria. The structure of the Nigeria telecommunications landscape and the pervasive dominance by a few companies is such that the advance in telecommunications has not augured particularly well for the country in terms of real economic growth and wealth retention, commensurate with the level of escalation in telecoms spending over the last few years. As it is, the sector is dominated by foreign players, who account for over 80 per cent of the subscriber base, with only one of the four major network operators indigenously owned. MTN Nigeria, as the market leader, owns over 40 per cent of the subscribers in the voice segment and more than 50 per cent of the segment’s combined revenue. In terms of ownership, MTN Nigeria was about 79 per cent owned by the South Africans, and a recent acquisition by the South African Shanduka group further increased the foreign ownership stake in the Nigerian subsidiary. Using MTN’s financial results to illustrate the point, it becomes easy to appreciate the macro-economic disadvantages foreign dominance in the telecoms sector implies for Nigeria’s economy. Though MTN is licensed and operates in 21 countries with about 141 million subscribers globally, Nigeria alone accounts for about 30 per cent of its group revenue at $4.8 billion and almost 40 per cent of EBITDA margin (Earnings before Interest, Taxes and Depreciation) from its over 47 million subscribers in the country. Its operations in Nigeria generated an estimated yearly profit of over $1 billion last year alone. Other than its debt servicing and corporate taxes, for which it received exemption for the first 5 years on the
basis of a pioneer status advantage, its total expenditure in Nigeria is estimated at no more than 25 per cent of its revenue to cover local expenses. And then of course, the bulk of its profits are repatriated via Nigeria’s hard earned foreign exchnage to its home country in South Africa where the company is a bellwether of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The ominous effect of MTN’s dominance is even more glaring when its contribution to the Nigerian economy is compared with those of its contemporary in advanced markets such as the United States. As an example, Verizon with over 144 million subscribers generated $116 billion in year 2012, whilst MTN Nigeria with 47 million subscribers generated about $4.8 billion, a ratio of almost 25:1. Yet of that revenue amount, Verizon’s EBITDA margin is only $37.5 billion as against MTN’s EBIDTA margin at $7.2 billion with ratios dropping to 5:1 thus showing the skewed profitability ratios the MTN business enjoys in Nigeria. Similarly, Apple, which only recently lost the title of the most valuable company of all time, had achieved 0.4 per cent contribution to U.S. GDP. It is also the country’s largest tax payer, but recently faced congressional hearings to determine whether or not it is contributing enough to the U.S. economy. Whereas, in Nigeria, MTN, an international service company with its huge profits and revenues that are 2 per cent of GDP, is not listed in the Nigerian capital market, but continue to complain about multiple taxation. Without restrictions to protect the development of local businesses in the ICT sector, it is unlikely that any country would truly benefit from sector growth in terms of meaningful economic benefit and wealth creation for its citizens. It is on record that in emerging economies, where telecommunications has played a significant role, including trail blazers such as South Korea, Brazil and China, there is a 49 per cent threshold for foreign ownership or control in telecoms sector, and in Malaysia 50 per cent foreign ownership is permitted, but it must be reduced to 30 per cent within three years. South Africa, the home country of MTN group now allows foreign ownership but goes the extra mile of prescribing minimum requirement for black ownership of 35 per cent in ICT businesses in line with the Black Economic Empowerment Act (BEE). Advocates of unrestrained FDI will argue that the indigenous telecommunications operators that predated MTN made no impact in the sector for years and thus we should be grateful that we have MTN. Others may even argue that new breed mobile service
providers like MTN deserve more credit than they get given the harsh operating environment in Nigeria; and the absence of legacy infrastructure – both telecoms and non-telecoms – including power supply, in achieving as much as they have. However, in retrospect, no indigenous operator was offered five years exclusivity on mobile services prior to the GSM era or given the level of protection that MTN received to protect their investment and give them a good head-start in the market. Also, Globacom has since demonstrated that local companies can indeed thrive if given the requisite support and opportunity to particpate. Undoubtedly, FDIs are not necessarily pariah money. In fact, the level at which they come demonstrate investors’ confidence in a country. While FDIs are a required catalyst for economic growth, promoting unrestrained dominance by foreign companies, particularly in critical sector such as telecoms, is not only economically unhealthy, but strategically unsound, given the importance of these companies’ infrastructure and assets to national security. Above all, with the tendency of these operators to aggressively drive profitability at all cost, limited attention is being paid to building sustainable structures in the macro-economic environment in Nigeria e.g. the capital markets, technology transfer etc. since they are not real stakeholders. For them, the buck stops at the bottom-line. Furthermore, MTN has utilized its early-mover advantage to gain dominance, which it uses for undue market advantage even though significant public concessions were granted in allowing it to deploy such infrastructure. That has now started to stifle growth in the smaller, albeit indigenous segments of the telecommunications market. The NCC as the industry regulator is taking bold steps to address the challenges posed by dominant players like MTN, fully aware that this would only benefit consumers in terms of improved services and better affordability. Other policy makers need to support these efforts by reviewing existing laws to create a more competitive atmosphere and encourage local participation, job and wealth creation. At this time, when Nigeria is focusing on becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by creating a non-oil dependent economy and jobs, it is imperative that the wealth created from telecoms and increasing dependence on ICT is retained in the country if it is going to drive sustainable national economic growth and development. • Umar wrote from Abuja.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Media Real Deal… Legend’s touch of rewarding consumers Branding By Kabir Alabi Garba
As the second batch of winners in the ongoing Legend Real Deal National Consumer Promotion returns to Nigeria today after a three-day shopping spree at Deira City Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Nigeria Breweries, the brewer of the Legend Stout appears to have reinvented consumer promotion as an effective marketing mix of connecting the brand emotionally with its teeming loyalists scattered across strata of society and class. HEY left Nigeria last Friday almost emptyT handed, except with small hand luggage that contained clothing items and other accessories for the three-day trip. But the excitement of embarking on a lifetime experience in the second largest trade centre of the world etched boldly on their faces. They are 10 in number. And when their plane touches down at the Murtala International Airport today, they would create a spectacular scene similar to what obtained on May 20, 2013 when the first batch of seven winners returned from the same Dubai shopping ‘expedition’ with lorry load of bounty of goodies. In all, a total of 25 lucky winners would eventually be rewarded when the curtains draw on the promo on June 30. It began on May 1. The winners in the two batches emerged at draws staged in Lagos and Port Harcourt. The remaining eight winners will emerge at the third and final draw to be held also in Lagos soon. In fact, the Dubai shopping experiment is an improvement over the reward initiative launched last year. This year’s edition is tagged Season 2. Regarded as the first consumer promotion in the history of Legend Stout, consumers, through the promo, were rewarded, last year, with instant gifts prizes such as 32” television sets, generating sets, BlackBerry handsets and many more. Also in 2012, the brand created an engagement platform tagged Legend Real Deal Night, where consumers were invited to engage with the brand through music and comedy while instant gifts items such as refrigerators, generating sets, LCD, LED television sets and DVD were doled out. And to continue its giant stride in consumer reward system, a revamped and repackaged Legend Real Deal promo tagged Season 2 was unveiled early this year to further put smile on the faces of loyal consumers and Nigerians. The bumper harvest involves giving out 350 pieces of 32’ television sets; 720 pieces of 130 litres of refrigerators; 720 pieces of BlackBerry Bold 6;
Legend ambassadors… in Dubai on Saturday. In middle is Emmanuel Agu of Nigeria Breweries Plc 200,000 pieces of N500 airtime; 200,000 pieces of N200 airtime; 2.5 million free Legend extra stout and sponsoring 25 individuals to Dubai for shopping spree. To win, consumers will simply buy a 60cl or 33cl bottle of Legend Extra Stout, check under the crown cork and win whatever prize found printed there. But to qualify for participation in Dubai trip, consumers will need to look out for a numeric code under their Legend Extra Stout crown corks. They will then text this number to 30380 at the cost of N10 only. And their chance will be determined through electronic draws. Prizes under this category have included 32 inch TV sets to be won by 350 consumers, 720 units of 130 litre refrigerators and 720 BlackBerry Bold 6 handsets. This is in addition to airtime of various denominations, umbrellas, T-shirts, face caps and free drinks. And the star price is the sponsoring of 25 lucky consumers to Dubai for what the brand has termed the shopping experience of a lifetime. The lucky 25 are being referred to as legend. The first set of winners who returned on May 20 were Uchechukwu Dennis Chukwu from Ebonyi State; Nwabuoke Ikechukwu Ambrose from Delta State; Oluwabusuyi Kelvin Olubusuyi from Ekiti State; and Solomon Okoro Ike from Owerri. Others were John Akoji from Abuja; Temitope Ogunyemi and Austin Nwakaife from Lagos State.
In the second batch are Nwaoyoma Nweke, Emuejevoke Oputu, Ayodele Ishalaiye, Cyril Aghedo, and Miss Folasade Omoleye. The team also comprises Wilson Osah, Ikechukwu Ozioko, Sunday Odomoke, Oritsuwa Okotie, and Tom Madaki. The basic rule of the promo is that, each winner has only one minute, during which he can amass as many items of their choice as possible, as long as it does not go above the value of N1 million. Speaking at a special media parley, one of the winners, Mr.Temitope Ogunyemi, attributed his emergence to luck. His words: “I never wanted to go out that night because I was a little depressed as a result of long traffic. I called a friend of mine and we went to De Dems Park. People were drinking Legend Extra Stout and I chose to drink it so as not to spoil the fun. And that bottle of Legend won me this trip to Dubai.” Ogunyemi, who was the first to shop for one million naira at the shopping mall in Dubai stated that the he was able to amass quite a number of items including a ‘42’ Inch LG LED TV, a ‘32’ inch Toshiba LED TV, a projector, and a couple of other expensive items. Mr. Emmanuel Agu, Marketing Manager, Legend, Gulder and Life of Nigerian Breweries Plc, noted that the ‘adventurers’ would also have
opportunity to embark on a tour of interesting places in Dubai, during their stay. He also revealed that the items picked by the lucky consumers during the shopping contest would be delivered to their residential addresses in Nigeria. Mr. Agu used the opportunity of the media parley to assert that Legend Extra Stout is Nigeria’s fastest growing stout brand. He said: While the volumes are there to ascertain this claim, you can also do a simple test. Simply go to any restaurant, bar or locations where alcohol, especially stout brands are served. You will find that Legend Extra Stout constitutes a very significant percentage.” And at the breakfast session with the second batch on Saturday in Dubai, Agu had admonished the winners to be good ambassadors not only of the Legend brand, but also of the company as well as the country at large. “Be of good behavior. Rules and regulations are strictly enforced here (Dubai). As ambassadors of Legend, always remember that your conduct will have maximum impact on the brand, the company, and Nigeria.” Agu’s parting shots before members of the team dispersed for various activities leading to the shopping contest on Sunday, “it is your time, your chance, and it is real” was hailed by all and sundry with heavy
GOtv launches in Aba, Abia State N line with its vision to avail Nigerians the benefit of high Iquality digital television services, MultiChoice Nigeria has launched GOtv in Aba, Abia State on the latest Digital Video Broadcast (DVB-T2) technology. The Digital Terrestrial Television service was launched on Saturday 1 June at the Hotel Terminus Complex. To launch the service, GOtv deploys the latest DVB-T2 standard technology which leapfrogs the outmoded T1 system that is currently used by some pay television services in the digital migration process in Africa. The DVB-T2 technology allows for up to 21 channels per frequency while the DVB-T1 only allows for 12 channels per frequency. With the use of DVB-T2 technology, GOtv gives Nigerian subscribers a dramatic improvement on the dividend of terrestrial frequencies. It offers subscribers the most advanced technology and broadcast system in Africa and the rest of world to date, and
the first digital television pay service on DVB-T2 technology in Nigeria. Mrs. Elizabeth Amkpa, General Manager, GOtv, says that the brand provides great family entertainment at a prize that everyone can afford: “GOtv is the best value for money pay television offering on DTT in the country with a broad selection of local channels made in Africa for Africans; and these channels come in great picture and sound quality.” GOtv is offered via two bouquets: GOtv Plus, which has a total of 35 channels and GOtv, which has a total of 27 worldclass local and international channels. Also, the GOtv Plus bouquet is priced at a monthly subscription of N1, 500 while the GOtv bouquet goes for N1, 000 monthly. The complete system sells for N9, 900. However, as a special introductory offer, the GOtv Plus bouquet (which has 35 channels) with the hardware devices and three months subscription is available for only N9, 900. At
the end of three months, subscribers have the option to continue with GOtv Plus by paying N1, 500 monthly or downgrade to GOtv bouquet at a monthly subscription of N1, 000. Upon purchase, GOtv subscribers would have access to news, children’s programming, documentaries, series, sport, and movies with channels such as AfricaMagic, AfricaMagic Movies, AfricaMagic World, AfricaMagic Yoruba, AfricaMagic Hausa, E! Entertainment, Discovery World, eTV Africa, Select Sports, Al Jazeera, CNN, Channel O, Disney Junior, Kidsco, Islam Channel, One Gospel, Sound City and Black Belt TV amongst others. As part of special programming for the month of June, GOtv subscribers are set to watch a wide selection of programmes, which include: Kourtney and Kim Take Miami on E! Entertainment on Sunday June 2nd, Blade in
Marketing Manager, GOtv, Mr. Dare Kafar; General Manager, GOtv, Mrs. Elizabeth Amkpa; General Manager, Trade and Distribution, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Akinola Salu, and Head, Public Relations, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Segun Fayose, at the launch of GOtv held at Hotel De-Terminus, Aba, at the weekend. Hong Kong on Sony Max on Monday June 3rd, Cash Mafia on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) every Monday; including AfricaMagic programmes such as This Life (Season Four) which comes up every day at 7:30 starting from 1 June, Love Medicine on Sunday 2nd June and Narrow
Part (Season One) which airs every Monday at 5:30pm. The Children are not left out with Sofia The First on Disney Junior (on Saturday and Sunday June 1 and 2), Tuff Puppy (Season Premiere) on Nickelodeon, which starts on Monday June 3 at 12:45pm among others.
GOtv is currently available in Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Enugu, Benin and Aba; with expansion plans still ongoing. GOtv works on a plug and play system and is easy to install, requiring only a GOtv decoder and a grid antenna. For more info visit www.gotvafrica.com.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Issue By Gbenga Salau HE need for organisations to be T more socially responsible is growing by the day in Nigeria. And some corporate establishments in the country are responding positively to this call in different ways. This is why many organisations that see Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as just giving back to host communities, have stepped up the game with stakeholders’ engagement. One stakeholder many businesses in Nigeria are engaging with, in their CSR project, is the media. Some do this through organising training for journalists; some others instituted media awards. They often say they do this because of the critical role the media plays in the society and not because of the massive publicity they often benefit from partnering with the media. But many of the firms, which had instituted the media award to encourage and appreciate journalists, tend to be more concerned about using the reward project to better position their brand and products if the criteria designed for winning entries are put on spotlight. In most cases, winners emerged through the volume of patronage their reports have impacted on the organisations instituting the awards. Only few of the entries are immune from the toga of what critics have tagged ‘patronising and image laundering’ reports, which are intentionally targeted at winning these awards. A journalist x-raying some of the entries for one of the awards described the entries as “advertorials,” which actually rob the media organisations of revenue. According to him, the money invested into the award is got back in triple fold, if the number of advertorials published for the company is counted; yet the firm claims it is into CSR project. However one organisation, which appears to be unique and different in its approach to rewarding exceptional performance within the Fourth Estate of the Realm is Promasidor Nigeria Limited through its Quill Award. The first edition of the award was held in Lagos recently. The award has five categories: Brand Advocate of the year, Best Corporate Social Responsible Reporter of the year, Most Educative Reporter of the year, Best Report on Nutrition and the Best Photo Story of the Year. Five distinguished professionals were picked to screen the entries. Ambassador Patrick Dele Cole was
The winners in a group photograph with the Managing Director of Promasidor, Mr. Keith Richard and the chairman of the screening panel, Amb. Patrick Dele Cole
Using CSR to foster socially-responsible journalism practice the chairman of the screening committee. Other members of the panel were former Editor of Next newspaper, Kaderia Ahmed; Dean, School of Media and Communication, Pan African University, Prof. Emevwo Biakolo; Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Jide Ologun; and Kelechi Amadi, an international painter and photographer. The Brand Advocate of the Year was won by Ngozi Okpalakunne, a journalist with Champion Newspaper; Dan Obi of BusinessDay Newspaper emerged Best CSR Reporter of the Year; Tunbosun Ogundare of National Mirror Newspaper smiled home with the Most Educative Report of the Year prize; just as Alexander Chiejina of BusinessDay Newspaper won the Best Nutrition Report of the Year medal. The Best Photo Story of the Year went to Sadiq Adelakun of Punch Newspaper. But unlike other media awards instituted solely by a brand, the winning entries in the Quill Award were not just reports about the
company or its product. This was hailed as a departure from the practice of similar organisations that have come up with one form of award or other. For instance, the Best Photo Story was not about Promasidor, its activities or its products. It was about a man lamenting his loss in a fire incident. The Best Nutrition Report of the Year was also a story, which did not report Promasidor, its brand or directly its products. Although, the other two winners, besides the Brand Advocate Award which no doubt should be about its brand and its products, still had a national outlook and not just blindly reporting the organisation as many of the other companies expected the winning entries to be. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Keith Richard, in his welcome speech at the event, reiterated the resolve of organization to continue to improve upon the process until perfection is achieved. “When Promasidor starts something, it continues to grow it,” Richard stated, while promising that the award will be a reference
point in Nigeria. According to him, the award is meant to promote excellent performance in the media by responding promptly to capacity building challenge faced by journalists. It is on this note that the prizes came with training programme for the winners. Another unique aspect of the Quill Award as regards the training is the liberty given to winners to choose training package that will suit individual winners, while SMC of PanAfrican University has been engaged to facilitate the training programme. For Ambassador Patrick Dele Cole, there is no better time to reward journalistic excellence than now. He said that Promasidor is not into self-seeking endeavour just as he also promised that the award would be better as there are plans to improve on the categories. Cole, who commended some of the entries for being inventive, called on media owners and editors to put in place training for reporters because of the plagiarism noticed in some of the entries, which were not deliberate, according to him.
All the winners, who were elated after their entries were adjudged the best, applauded the firm for instituting the award. Some journalists who had entries that could go for any of the categories did not put in their entries because they said that the stories were not about company, its activities or products. But Promasidor proved them wrong as not all the entries and winning stories were about Promasidor. The Managing Director of CMC Connect, Yomi-Badejo Okusanya, said that the whole essence of CSR is to give back to the society with no aim to get anything back except the association from doing the project. “When you build a borehole or hospital, things that do not give you benefits in naira and kobo, that actually constitutes more of CSR, though the company is supposed to get some goodwill from it. But writing about them, I am not sure that qualifies as CSR because it should benefit the community a lot more than it should benefit the organization doing the project,” insisted Okusanya.
Media Rights Agenda commends judiciary for upholding right to information for citizens EDIA Rights Agenda (MRA) has applauded M the Nigerian judiciary for its unwavering vindication of the right of citizens to access information under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, saying effective implementation of the Law would ultimately depend on the courts. In a statement issued in Lagos to mark the second anniversary of the signing of the Act into Law, the freedom of expression organisation noted that there had been a progressive increase in the number of cases going to courts to challenge the refusal by various public institutions to disclose information, as required by the Law. MRA’s Deputy Executive Director, Ms Jennifer Onyejekwe, said: “We are happy to note that in almost all the cases that have gone to court, the courts have unequivocally upheld the right of members of the public to access information under the Act and have accordingly ordered the concerned public institutions to disclose the information requested. We are even more delighted that despite the notorious slow pace of adjudication of cases in Nigerian courts, all of these cases have been decided relatively speedily.” The organization cited some notable free-
dom of information cases for which the courts have upheld the rights of citizens and organizations as: Olasupo Ojo, Esq. (for himself and on behalf of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights) vs the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/754/11, decided by Justice B.F.M. Nyako of the Federal High Court in Lagos on March 1, 2012; Legal Defence and Assistant Project vs the Clerk of the National Assembly, in Suit No: FHC/ABJ./CS/805/2011, decided by Justice Balkisu Bello Aliyu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on June 25, 2012; Uzoegwu F.O.C. Esq vs the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation, in Suit No: FHC/ABJ./CS/1016/2011, decided by Justice Balkisu Bello Aliyu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on July 5, 2012. Other are Mr. Boniface Okezie vs the Central Bank of Nigeria, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/494/2012, decided on October 2, 2012 by Justice M.B. Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos. Mr. Boniface Okezie vs the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/514/2012, decided on February 22, 2013 by Justice M.B. Idris of the Federal
High Court in Lagos. The Public and Private Development Centre (For itself and on behalf of the Nigeria Contract Monitoring Coalition vs the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Plc and the Attorney-General of the Federation, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/582/2012, decided by Justice A.F.A. Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja on March 1, 2013. Ms Onyejekwe said although the organization was pleased by the response and attitude of the Judiciary, it was nonetheless concerned that the courts would be out of the reach of most ordinary citizens who are wrongfully denied their right of access to information and require effective remedies. According to her, “It is regrettable that most public institutions are leaning in favour of the option of being dragged to court, where they proffer ridiculous defences that are invariably slammed by the courts before they are ultimately compelled to disclose information which they have no legitimate reason to hide in the first place. Such an attitude is costly for citizens and costly for the public institutions themselves. It amounts to an unconscionable waste of public funds and ought to be checked.”
MRA also noted that the level of compliance by public institutions with the reporting obligations under the Act was very poor as only an insignificant number of public institutions submitted their annual statutory reports to the Attorney-General of the Federation, as required by Section 29 of the Act. The organization stated that the records obtained by it from the office of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation showed clearly that out of the thousands of public institutions in this country to which the FOI Act applies, only 16 public institutions filed their statutory annual reports for 2011 while only 32 filed their reports for 2012 by the deadline of February 1, 2013. Onyejekwe said: “This level of impunity in the form of a brazen disregard for the Law by institutions maintained with public funds is unacceptable. We call on the National Assembly and the Attorney-General of Federation, which are given oversight responsibilities by the FOI Act, to institute an administrative sanctions mechanism to enforce strict compliance by public institutions with the provisions of the Law.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Sports Countdown To Brazil 2014 World Cup Qualifiers
Mikel, Ogude arrive in camp, as Super Eagles move to Kenya UPER Eagles stars, Mikel SAhmed Obi, Fegor Ogude and Musa, who were not
part of the team that faced Mexico in an international friendly on Friday night, are expected in the team’s camp today ahead of their flight to Kenya this night. The team is scheduled to fly aboard a Lufthansa Airline flight to Addis Ababa this night, before connecting an Ethiopian Airline flight to Nairobi, arriving in the Kenyan capital in the early hours of t o m o r r o w . Officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) say they have been working in concert with the country’s High Commission in Nairobi to monitor arrangements and possible schemes by the hosts, adding that an NFF advance party flew into the Kenyan capital yesterday morning. Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Ambassador Akin Oyateru was scheduled to fly back to Nairobi yesterday evening after an official assignment abroad. Looking ahead to Wednesday’s clash with the Harambee Stars, Coach Stephen Keshi says the African champions have God on their side and will pick up the three points at the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kenya in
Nairobi. The 51-year old’s troops surprised the continent by winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in February and Keshi believes the team still has the divine support as they seek to reach the 2014 global showpiece in Brazil. “I am not saying anything (about Wednesday’s match) except to say that God is working with us and we will be prepared for this match. The focus is there and we have the determination to get a good result,” he said. Discountenanced by many before the Cup of Nations, and rated nowhere near the likes of Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana’s Black Stars, Keshi’s Eagles overcame an uninspiring start with focus and determination and swept to glory. “We showed good stuff against Mexico despite missing a number of players and we will even be stronger in Nairobi. I am looking forward to three points on Wednesday,” Keshi said as the Nigerian delegation boarded the plane in Houston to fly back to Frankfurt, Germany at the weekend. He was clearly upbeat following his team’s gutsy 2-2 draw with the Central American champions in a prestigious friendly at the weekend.
Mexico’s Gerardo Flores (left) tackles Nigeria’s Ezeh Emeka (middle) as Hector Herrera follows up at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. PHOTO: AFP
NIS holds key to Nigerian sports Williams through to quarter-finals revival, says Advisory Committee S By Adeyinka Adedipe HE dwindling fortunes of Nigerian sports can be halted if the Nigeria Institute for Sports (NIS) is equipped and put into good use, the Ministerial Advisory Committee, which recently inspected the Institute, has said. The committee headed by Professor Faruk Haruna, Provost of the College of Education, Minna, believes the institute, if well equipped with human and material resources, could draw up programmes that would enhance sports development in the country. Prof Haruna disclosed that his committee discussed with the members of staff of the institute on what is needed to turn the NIS around, adding that it was clear the institute lacked the necessary ingredient to move forward. He said: “Ours is an advisory committee and will give the government hints on how things should be done. We have seen countries with limited resources are doing well because they are better organised.”
According to Haruna, the trouble with Nigerian sports was the country’s inability to harness its potential. “It is clear that God has given Nigerians the natural talent that we need to excel but we have not been able to put to good use this natural endowments. And that is why the minister set up the committee to see if we can look at the institute and to see whether what we have on ground can take us to the promise land.” He revealed that the partnership between the NIS and the Australia Institute for Sports would be revisited with a view of making Nigeria benefit more from the arrangement. “Success does not happen by accident. It is something that is scientific and deliberate. I can tell you that we have everything that it takes to be at the top if we organise ourselves better. Definitely, we will talk to the government to revisit the partnership and see how we can benefit more from it. “We would also like Nigeria to partner with other institutes in the world so that we can gain from such arrangement,” Haruna added.
ERENA Williams remains the overwhelming favourite to land her second French Open title after beating Italy’s Roberta Vinci yesterday, to reach the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. The world number one was tested in the second set but came through 6-1 6-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier and is yet to drop a set in the tournament. In her four matches, the 31year-old has only spent four hours and four minutes on court, and her serve remains the dominant shot in the
women’s draw. She will play former champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova in the last eight after the Russian edged past Angelique Kerber 6-4 4-6 6-3. The only thing counting against Williams in Paris seems to be history, as her one singles title came back in 2002 and she has not made the semi-finals for 10 years. Kuznetsova is one of those, who has previously thwarted the American’s ambitions, having won their quarterfinal in 2009 on the way to lifting the trophy, but
Williams is in the form of her life this year. She took her career-best winning streak to 28 matches against Vinci, the doubles world number one who posed a few different questions with her sliced backhand and drop shots, but little real threat. A tentative start saw Williams rack up five unforced errors in the first game-and-a-half, and a double-fault offered up break point, but the American dismissed the danger with a backhand winner.
The clenched fist that followed suggested any early distraction had passed and Williams broke once again with a thumping smash that had Vinci leaping in vain to get a racquet on the ball. If the first set was one-way traffic for 29 minutes, the second at least saw Williams tested. A superb drop shot off a fizzing return at the start of the set showed that the top seed, too, could play with touch, and she needed to as Vinci began to mix up her game more.
SolidWorks/AFN Golden League
Obisesan sets new national record in Ilorin NEW national record of A 63.79 metres in the Women’s Hammer event was set by Queen Obisesan over the weekend at the fourth leg of the SolidWorks/AFN Golden League Meet held at the Sports Complex of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. The friendly weather, coupled with the cheering crowd, which included Minister of Sports and the Chairman of the National
Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi worked in favour of Obisesan as she broke the national record twice. Obisesan was not the only beneficiary of the friendly weather and cheering crowd as quite a number of other athletes also recorded their season’s best at the meet. Obisesan’s new record, which sent the former record of 61.75 metres to the athletics archives, would be rati-
fied, according to the AFN Technical Director Navy Commodore Omatseye Neisiama, once the necessary dope tests were conducted. Speaking with journalists after her feat, Obisesan gave thanks to God for helping her thus far even as she stated that she hoped to do more in the days ahead. “I am very happy to achieve this and I know it only means I should work harder to get better results”.
Also excited with the new record was the Sports Minister Mallam Abdullahi who told reporters that the NSC would work closely with the AFN to chart the way forward. “It’s really exciting for me especially in the year preceding the Commonwealth Games, that offers a very good prospect and I’m already discussing with the AFN board members on how can we build on all this.
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Bayern Munich’s German defender, Philipp Lahm (left) vies with Borussia Dortmund’s German midfielder Marco Reus during the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium in London. PHOTO: AFP
Which is the strongest football league in Europe? By Christian Okpara, Adeyinka Adedipe, Eno-Abasi Sunday and Olalekan Okusan HE game of football, also known as soccer in many parts of T the world, is about the most popular sport on the face of the earth. Amongst other reasons, it owes its popularity to the fact that from Calabar in Nigeria to downtown Harlem in the United States and even to Bogota, home of ‘crack’ and legendary football clubs in Colombia, football at amateur level is played in street corners, concrete surfaces and indeed every found space. The reason for these include the fact that at that level, it requires very little equipment and effort to learn the basic skills required to toss the ball around and eventually shoot it into the opponent’s goal post. At the professional level, soccer remains the highest paying team sport even as it evokes immense passion and plays a great role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations. Added to this, the prize money for the winning team at the World Cup is as high as US $30 million as was the case at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The runner-up got $24 million, semi-final losers got $20 million, quarter-final losers went home with $18 million, second-round losers departed with $9 million and first-round losers $8 million, while each team received $1 million for preparation costs. In a survey conducted by the sport’s world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and published in the spring of 2001, over 240 million people regularly play football in more than 200 countries in every part of the world. To date, football remains one of the sports that has undergone some of the most astounding transformation, and has brought about unparalleled entertainment to its players and followers, as well as, generated multi-billion dollars in television rights. In addition to these, investments worth many more billions of dollars have sprouted up supporting the leagues directly or indirectly. As all these happen, club sides from major leagues from around the world have drawn followership from all parts of
the world and it is these followers that always brandish the clubs and leagues they follow as the best and the strongest amongst others, even though there is a body that computes figures to determine the strongest league in the world. However, some of the world’s best leagues, have operated for decades and in the process, recorded some landmark achievements. For instance, the Italian elite football league, the Serie A, located at the top of the Italian football league system, has been operational for over 80 years since the 1929-30 season. Organised by Lega Calcio until 2010, when a new league, the Lega Serie A, was created for the 2010/11 season, it is regarded as one of the best football leagues in the world. In fact, Serie A was considered the best league in the world in the 90s, up till mid-2000 and it has produced the highest number of European Cup finalists. In other words, Italian clubs have reached the final of the competition on a record 26 different occasions, winning the title twelve times. Currently ranked fourth among European leagues, according to UEFA’s league co-efficient (in European football, the UEFA coefficients are statistics used for ranking and seeding teams in club and international competitions). The coefficients are calculated by UEFA, who administer football within Europe, based on the performance of Italian clubs in the Champions League and the Europa League; it is also ranked fifth in world according to the first trends of the 2011 International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) rating. The Serie A plays host to three of the world’s most famous clubs- Juventus, AC Milan and Internationale Milan, all of whom are founding members of the G-14, a group, which represents the largest and most prestigious European football clubs. Apart from being the only league to produce three founding members of the G-14, more Serie A players have won the coveted Ballon d’Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any other league in the world, just as Milan is one of two clubs with the most official international titles in the world. Since Italy is currently rated as the fourth European country in terms of club football ratings, the top three teams in the Serie A qualified for the UEFA Champions League (from the 2012-13 sea-
son). The top two teams qualify directly to the group phase, while the third-placed team enters the competition at the playoff qualifying round and must win a two-legged knockout tie in order to enter the group phase. Teams finishing fourth and fifth qualify for the UEFA Europa League tournament. A third UEFA Europa League spot is reserved for the winner of the Coppa Italia. If the Coppa Italia champion has already qualified for the major European tournament by placing in the top three of Serie A, the third UEFA Europa League spot goes to the losing finalist. If both Coppa Italia finalists finish among the top five teams in Serie A, the sixth classified team in Serie A is awarded the UEFA Europa
CONTINUED ON PAGE 108
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
shifting to Germany? – Bayern and Dortmund — did in their domestic league really translated to their outings in the UEFA Champions League.” Another former international, Waidi, like Adepoju and Alao, is of the opinion that the Spanish league is the best in Europe considering hat Barcelona and Real Madrid have qualified for the later stages of the champions League in recent years. He also based his assertion on the fact that 10 of the teams in the La Liga could compete favourably with the best teams in Europe, adding that although Barcelona and Real Madrid are way up in the La Liga ladder, the likes of Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Malaga have shown that they have what it takes to do well in Europe. “I think the Spanish League is the strongest in Europe because their teams have proved to be some of the best in Europe. That is not to say that other leagues are not good but the way the game is played in Spain shows that they understand the way modern football should be played,” Akanni said. He added that the exploits of Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, who played in the final of the UEFA Champions League last season, does not mean that the league has become the strongest in Europe. “It only shows that the German teams have become consistent with their performance in the last five seasons.” According to Akanni, “many have said that the Germans have become a strong force in Europe due to the exploits of Bayern and Dortmund, but I guess dominating the game in Europe or in any other continent is much more than presenting two teams from a country in the final of a particular tournament on the continent. “I am impressed about the good developmental programmes put in place by the Bundesliga teams, but that does not make their league or their teams the strongest in Europe.” Apart from having good developmental programmes like the German and Spanish teams, the former international also said that a strong
league must have good entertainment value with their style of play just like the Spanish league. According to him, a good league should also have the power of television just like the English Premier League (EPL), adding, however, that the English league is not technically as sound as the Spanish league. Akanni dismisses the notion that power is shifting from the Spanish League to the Bundesliga, saying that the performance of Dortmund and Bayern would only make the UEFA Champions League more competitive next season as other clubs would be alive to the threat posed by the Germans. “I guess what the German teams have done is to tell the whole of Europe that they are now a force to reckon with. This will wake up other top teams on the threat posed by the Bundesliga teams. The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and other top teams from other leagues would be better prepared for next season by improving on their squad.” To Emeka Ezeugo, who played for the Super Eagles from 1986 to 1994, the question of which league is the strongest in Europe would only be answered correctly when every variable is considered. According to Ezeugo, who plied his trade in Asia, Europe and South America, Europe has become the preferred destination of elite footballers from all parts of the world, with Spain attracting players of Latin America origin more than the rest of Europe. “Players of African origin generally head to France, England, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Portugal because of their ties with the period of scramble for Africa and the colonisation of the continent. “When the players gain experience with the conditions of temperate region and European football, bigger clubs in England, Spain, Germany and most recently, Russia, rush in with astounding sum of money to pluck them. “When one talks of the strongest league in Europe, the word ‘strongest’ sounds ambiguous because strongest here may signify playing in the harshest wintry condition as in
Juventus and Ajax still command respect in EuropeVan Persie
Russia, the Scandinavia and some parts of Scotland. It could also mean who has the strongest defense like Italy’s ‘Catenaccio’ (the legend is an enduring legacy of Italy’s Calcio, a tactical system in football with strong emphasis on defense as an integral part of football, a sure tool or vehicle that guarantees success) that rolls in a trailer in front of their 18-yard box.” “We are talking style here. Strongest may mean a league that parades the cream of the crop in football. Strongest could mean where the publicity, glamour and parked arenas are. Strongest could equally mean where the money is.” Ezeugo says, “in my opinion, England should be given that tag. Conditions in England include winter’s harsh sides - cold, rainy, slushy, you name it. Style - long balls, wing play and great aerial strength. Don’t forget the fre-
netic pace. Tradition - the fans are an integral part of any club no matter the level. The demand from their insatiable fans, the media and the professionalism there is second to none. It is business first before considering the entertainment part. “In terms of wages, England is much better than other places in Europe. It is simply incomparable in global recognition, visibility and exposure. “All in all, if a player is looking for competition, challenge, visibility, recognition and exposure of global proportion, England is the destination. Football’s home is England and the English Premier League has done a better job in the area of propaganda than the rest of Europe. And with the influx of the best players of the world that have designated England as their preferred destination, I have to say that England has the strongest league.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Is balance of football power CONTINUED FROM PAGE 107 League spot. In Spain, José María Acha, a director at Arenas Club de Getxo, first proposed the idea of a national league in April 1927. After immense debate regarding the size of the league and who would take part, the Real Federación Española de Fútbol eventually agreed that 10 teams would form the first Primera División in 1929. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxo and Real Unión were all selected as previous winners of the Copa del Rey. Atlético Madrid, Espanyol and Europa qualified as Copa del Rey runners-up and Racing de Santander qualified through a knockout competition. Only three of the founding clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao, have never been relegated from the Primera División. A total of 59 teams have competed in the Primera Division of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), popularly known as La Liga, nine of which have been crowned champions. In the elite division, 20 teams contest for the diadem, with the three lowest placed teams at the end of the season being relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top three teams in that division. Since the 1950s, Real Madrid and Barcelona have dominated the championship. Real Madrid have won the title a record 32 times and Barcelona over 20 times. During the 1930s and 1940s and in the last two decades, however, La Liga has seen other champions, including, Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Real Sociedad, Deportivo, Real Betis, and Sevilla. FC Barcelona is the current champion. Over the past five years, La Liga has remained the strongest league in Europe, according to UEFA’s league coefficient and it is also reputed as one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world, with an average attendance of 30,275 for league matches in the 2011/12 season. According to Wikipedia, this attendance figure, is also the fifth-highest of any domestic professional sports league in the world and the third-highest of any professional association football league in the world, behind the German Bundesliga and English Premier League. The Fußball-Bundesliga, better known as the Bundesliga, is at the zenith of the German football league system and it is Germany’s primary football competition. Like the other major leagues in the world, the Bundesliga, which is contested by 18 teams, also operates on a system of promotion and relegation. While all of the Bundesliga clubs qualify for the DFB-Pokal. The winner of the Bundesliga qualifies for the DFL-Supercup. Since it was founded, a total of 52 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga with FC Bayern Munich winning the title 22 times, the most by any club. Other prominent past champions include Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart. Currently ranked third in Europe by UEFA’s league coefficient, based on recent European performances, the Bundesliga is ranked the number one football league in the world in terms of average attendance as an average of 45,134 fans attend each game during the 2011/12 season. This was ranked the second highest of any sports league in the world. Founded in 1962 in Dortmund, where the first season started in 1963, the Bundesliga is broadcast on television in over 200 countries. The German Football League now operates the Bundesliga, which was originally founded by the German Football Association. German football, to many, is on the ascendency and its palpable strength was recently highlighted when Bayern Munich took on Borussia Dortmund in last week’s first allGerman UEFA Champions League final in England. One thing that is manifest in the German league is the fact that the Bundesliga is more closely bounded by financial compliance and built at least in part by supporter ownership. This explains why it is arguably, the most sustainable league in the world. In terms of glitz, glamour and panache, the Premier League founded in February 20, 1992 is high up there. With England being home to the world’s first football league, which was founded in Birmingham in 1888, the birth of the Premier League, which is now being oiled by monies
from rich Americans, oligarch sheiks, has revolutionised the business of football as a professional sport. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders. Currently sponsored by Barclays Bank and thus officially known as the Barclays Premier League. Outside of Great Britain, it is commonly referred to as the English Premier League. The competition formed as the FA Premier League on February 20, 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from The Football League, which was originally founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. To date, the Premier League is the mostwatched football league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential television audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2010/11 season, the average Premier League match attendance was 35,363, the second highest of any professional football league other than the German Bundesliga, and stadium occupancy was 92.2 per cent capacity. The Premier League ranked second in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years. Since 1888, a total of 23 clubs have been crowned champions of the English football system. Of the 45 clubs to have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, five have won the title: Manchester United (13), Arsenal (3), Chelsea (3), Blackburn Rovers (1) and Manchester City (1). The current champions are Manchester United, who won the title in the 2012–13 season. Despite significant European success during the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 1980s had marked a low point for English football. This was a period where stadia were crumbling, supporters endured poor facilities, hooliganism was rife, and English clubs were banned from European competition for five years following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985. Consequent upon these and other factors, English league football fell way behind that of Spain and Italy. However, by the turn of the 1990s the downward trend was starting to reverse; England had been successful in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, reaching the semi-finals. UEFA, European football’s governing body, lifted the five-year ban on English clubs playing in European competitions in 1990 (resulting in Manchester United lifting the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1991) and the Taylor Report on stadium safety standards, which proposed expensive upgrades to create all-seater stadia in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, was published in January of that year. With all the statistics and figures provided by the UEFA and other bodies, there is still no agreement among experts on the strongest league in Europe. The opinions are as varied as tastes in style of football of those proposing them. Veteran sports journalist and Group Managing Director of Complete Sports newspaper, Mumini Alao, says deciding the best league in Europe would only be subjective. He said, “there are several parameters to be considered before drawing a conclusion on which European league is the ‘best’. Even at that, the overall conclusion may still be subjective because different people will attach greater importance to different parameters.” From a footballer’s point of view, the best league will most probably be the one that puts more money in his pocket or where he can play regularly or where he can win lots of trophies. “A football fan will pick the league that parades the largest concentration of superstar players; a coach may pick one where tactics are of very high standard; while a critical journalist may pick the one with the least incidents of scandal in terms of controversial refereeing decisions or match-fixing.” “However, the most generally accepted criteria is usually the awards and prizes won by the players and club sides in a league. On the basis of that, we can assert that the English and Spanish leagues were the best last (2011/2012) season because Chelsea won the European Champions League, while Barcelona and Real Madrid produced the best two players in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The German league will also be rated as the best in the just ending 2012/2013 season because two
German teams- Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund- contested the Champions. League final,” he said. But despite the Bundesliga domination this season, Alao said, “regardless of which leagues are winning the trophies, I personally rate the Spanish league as the best in Europe at the moment because their top two teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid, have consistently reached the Champions League semi-final in the last three years, while Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the FIFA World Player of the Year award during the same period. “The German Bundesliga will rate second in my reckoning because of Bayern Munich’s exploits (two UCL finals in the last three years), while the English Premier League will come in third in consideration of Manchester United and Chelsea’s recent achievements.” Also looking at the recent happenings in European football, Nigeria’s former Captain, Segun Odegbami says the fact that two German teams played in the final game of the UEFA Champions League does not make the Bundesliga the strongest league in Europe. Odegbami, who confesses his admiration of the Barcelona brand of football, adds, “that FC Barcelona (and Real Madrid for that matter) were not in the final of the championship surely does not mean the end of the Spanish Giants. “Far from it. Coaches in Europe will still spend the next few years contending with trying to understand and counter the impact of Barcelona’s unique style of play that has been the greatest innovation in football since the Dutch introduction of the ‘Total Football’ philosophy of the early 1970s. “Without question, that the two Spanish giants, Real and Barca, were beaten so badly by German Clubs in the manner they did, has elicited intellectual inquiry and must interpret as a genuine possible shift in European football from Spain to Germany. “How long that would sustain would have to be seen when the next football season resumes again, plus how the German national team
performs as the battle for the World Cup in 2014. Without question club football affects and influences national teams’ performances in many instances, with England as one of the few possible exceptions where its club football high rating is a far cry from how the national team plays.” Super Eagles’ former midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju, who plied his trade in the La Liga, agrees with Odegbami that the Spanish league is the strongest in Europe. “I want to say that Spain has the best league in Europe in terms of quality of play and players. Having played in Spain, I noticed that aside the quality, the league is well organised and most of the world’s stars play in the La Liga and this goes to show the quality in the league. “That the German teams ruled Europe this season does take away the quality in La Liga. I am not saying the German league is not good but in terms of quality you cannot compare it with La Liga. “The best player in the world plays in the La Liga. So for me the three top leagues in the Europe are La Liga, Bundesliga and English Premiership,” Adepoju said. Super Eagles former Assistant Coach, Fatai Amoo, posits that with the outcome of this year’s UEFA Champions League, the German league is the best in Europe at present. “For me the German league is the best because the two teams that played in the final of the UEFA Champions League are from Germany and they are also the top teams in their domestic league. They also accounted for the exit of giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona. So their making it to the final was no fluke because they faced some of the top teams in Europe before berthing in the final. “This goes to show that Bundesliga is the best. They might be not signing big players or paying huge money for their players but when it comes to organisation and quality of play, they are up there. “So it is suffice to say that Bundesliga is Europe’s best league now. What the two teams
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Bale can’t turn down Real Madrid or Barcelona, insists McManaman ARETH Bale cannot afford to turn down an approach from Real Madrid or Barcelona if he wants to reach his full potential, according to former Blancos star, Steve McManaman. Speculation is mounting over the future of the flying Welshman after a phenomenal season that saw him notch 31 goals for club and country and scoop both the FWA Footballer and PFA Player of the Year awards and PFA Young Player of the Year honors. “If he ever has the opportunity to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona I would never
say ‘no’ to them,” McManaman told reporters. “I think sooner or later, whether it’s this year or next year, he needs to be playing against the best people in the world. “He needs to be testing himself against the best players in the world because he is arguably one of the best players in the world on current form.” Bale’s agent has revealed his client would consider an offer from Madrid, whose President, Florentino Perez recently declared the Tottenham star was “born to play” at Santiago
Bernabeu. “Sooner rather than later he’ll want to be playing in the Champions League and if Tottenham can’t deliver that this year I think they’re going to struggle to hold on to him,” McManaman added. “But it all depends on whether he’s comfortable in London, whether he wants to play abroad and whether he fancies the challenge abroad. “He’s 23 at the moment, he’s still very young and he’s a new father – he has got time on his side. But it all depends on what he wants to do doesn’t it?”
Mourinho slams modern football values after Madrid exit OSE Mourinho has speak to the Spanish media losing is part of my profesJballing slammed modern foot- because of this.” sional life. values upon his exit Mourinho also said that “Defeat nowadays is no from Real Madrid, where he has experienced constant problems this season. Frustrations in the dressing room were being leaked to the press, much to Mourinho’s displeasure, and his decision to leave captain Iker Casillas on the sideline upon his return from injury caused discontent with players. Mourinho, who is set to return to coach Chelsea this summer having agreed to part ways with Los Blancos, says the lack of values has lessened the effectiveness of a collective attitude in football. “I believe success depends on objectives being reached for by a group, who are able identify, establish and fight for those goals,” Mourinho told Jornal de Noticias. “It’s becoming more and more difficult for a group to work as one. Values have been lost - education and professionalism are becoming worse and worse. It is a problem in current society and football in particular working as groups, not individually.” Regarding his silence in the days leading up to his final game as Madrid boss - a 4-2 win over Osasuna on Saturday - Mourinho insisted that he was keen to avoid speaking about the negatives of his stay in Spain. “I like to open and close my coaching cycles without talking about the downsides,” Mourinho said. “I’ll try not to
losing games is not the drama it once was to him and discussed the effect Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement as Manchester United coach has had on him. “Twenty titles in all the countries I have coached in are a lot!” Mourinho said. “I have learned that, no matter what, I want to win more times, but I’ve accepted that
longer a huge drama. With the departure of Ferguson, I realise that being a relatively young coach at the top has made me feel more responsible. “I have been at the top of my profession for over 10 years. I feel more and more responsible. The younger coaches expect it of me and I cannot disappoint.”
Real Madrid’s Portuguese coach, Jose Mourinho waves dafter his last game in the Spanish league at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. PHOTO: AFP
Van der Sar backs Rooney to stay on Bale
ORMER Manchester FEdwin United goalkeeper, van der Sar does not
Mourinho, Chelsea can rule England again, Robben predicts
believe Wayne Rooney needs a change of scenery to get back to his best. The 27-year-old striker has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford since it was revealed he had a transfer request rejected by the Barclays Premier League champions towards the end of the season. Big-spending Paris St Germain are reported to be interested in signing the England international but his former team-mate Van der Sar, who is now a marketing director with Dutch giants Ajax, feels Rooney
RJEN Robben believes Jose A Mourinho and Chelsea can once again rule English football, once the Portuguese boss completes his imminent return to Stamford Bridge. Mourinho won back-toback Premier League titles, a League Cup and an FA Cup in
three years with Chelsea, and Robben, who was with the club during that period, insists that with the right backing from owner Roman Abramovich, the Special One can re-establish the Blues as the dominant force in the Premier League. “It is a big move for Chelsea
Damiao won’t rule out Spurs EANDRO Damiao says Lmake Tottenham’s failure to it into the Champions League does not mean he will not move to White Hart Lane. Spurs have been chasing the Brazilian international for more than 18 months, and they have seen a couple of moves for him fail to materialise. The international striker is being strongly tipped to move to Spurs again this summer, but it has been suggested that their failure to make the top-four could hamper their bid. Whilst Damiao admits he would rather play in the Champions League, ‘ambition’ is the key factor for any suitor. “I know of Tottenham’s interest in me but I am happy to wait until the president of my club lets me know something official,” he told the Sunday Mirror.
“I would prefer to play in a team that is in the Champions League, but the most important thing is that they share the same ambition that I have.” Damiao is set to feature for Brazil against England yesterday, and he has delivered a damning verdict on the Three Lions. “I don’t see that there is any reason to fear England at the World Cup,” said Damiao. “Brazil always expect to win the World Cup - and even more so when it is being staged in our own country. And when you look at the nations, who are a threat to us doing that, we don’t see England as one of them. “Spain have dominated lately and Germany are clearly also a very powerful team. They are the teams, who I think will be our major competition. I do not rate England to be any where near that level.
with Jose coming back – but I know it is one the fans will welcome,” Robben told reporters. “He had very successful years at Chelsea – and he can have them again. The thing about Jose is that he will win at any cost – he doesn’t care how, he just wants to win. “I’ve not always been supportive of the style of football he plays, but he is a winner, who has achieved great success. “I am sure that with some big signings from the owner that Jose and Chelsea can rule England again.” Robben is also unsurprised by the fact that Frank Lampard has committed himself to one more year at Stamford Bridge after lengthy contract negotiations. Lampard had been heavily linked with a summer move to MLS and the LA Galaxy. “It is no surprise to me that Frank is now staying,” Robben said. “It can not be for football reasons that he was going – because he is still one of the best – it must have been a personal thing with the old coach. “As soon as it became clear Jose would return, there was never any chance Frank would go, because there is such respect and friendship between the two of them. “He sent me a text after we won the final – that is the sort of classy guy Frank is.”
could find a new lease of life under incoming United manager David Moyes. The Dutchman told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme: “There has been so much pressure on him, you build him up and put all your money on him to make England world or European champions. “So it’s also quite easy to cut him down again. Players have indifferent seasons and maybe Wayne’s been overtaken by Robin van Persie this year but it’s the hard work that he puts in for the team (that should be recognised).” Rooney scored 12 league goals to summer signing
Van Persie’s personal haul of 26 in the 2012-13 campaign. “It was maybe a lesser season (for Rooney) and he didn’t play the last couple of games but he’s really important for United,” Van der Sar added. “English players tend to stay in England to play their football and rightly so because you have big clubs, the tradition and the stadiums are always full. “With the change of manager and backroom staff it could be a big change for Manchester United but I don’t think you’ll find a better atmosphere at many other clubs.”
THE GUARDIAN, Monday, June 3, 2013
Super Eagles defence worries Siasia From Ezeocha Nzeh, Abuja Eagles’ former Chief SheUPER Coach, Samson Siasia says is worried by the poor form and cohesion in the defence line paraded by Coach Stephen Keshi in the international friendly against Mexico in Houston Texas at the weekend. Although Siasia admitted that the team had an impressive outing against the Mexicans, he urged Keshi to concentrate more on the team’s defence, adding that the defence required more attention as they prepare to face both Kenya and Namibia in crucial World Cup qualifiers away from home. Speaking after the rescheduled Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) between Kano Pillars and Heartland in Abuja, Siasia noted that the team would
miss Victor Moses and Emmanuel Emenike in the games against Kenya and Nambia, and urged those stepping in for them to prove that they are equally good. In the game against Mexico, there were “ lots of ball possessions. I wish they can continue like that and then work more on the defence because Chicharito had a couple of chances at the back all by himself. They have to shift from one area to the other to ensure that they stopped the possibilities of scoring such goals. My advice is that the crew have to watch out in the defence and ensure they stay close to checkmate the strikers.” Siasia said Keshi has done a good job of building a strong team, adding, “all I am just worried is the backline and how they defend. If Keshi could work on the defence to
work a bit better, I think our chances will be very great. “As for the new faces, it is going to be difficult prosecuting crucial matches with new faces because it takes a while to build a team. He has to keep changing and changing until he has a formidable team. All the same, the good thing is that Keshi knows that the friendly against Mexico was very important.” The coach, who won a silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics with the national Under-23 team, added, “I hope that majority of the players that played in that friendly should play against Kenya because they have achieved some level of understanding right now. It will not be good for Keshi to bring in new sets of players again because there would be a bit of confusion,” he noted.
Mexico’s Diego Reyes (left) contests with Nigeria’s Sunday Mba at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Abuja Stadium pitch almost ready, says NSC facilities director “The pitch would be ready HE contractor handling Commission’s Director of the topsoil, and planting the T the comprehensive reha- Facilities, Ibrahim Gusau, has approved specie of grass, has for light use from August 15 bilitation of the main pitch of been completed, adding, and we will observe it for two the National Stadium, Abuja, Julius Berger, would complete the job as scheduled, the National Sports
said. Gusau told journalists at the weekend that the first phase of the work, which includes removal and replacement of
“where we are at present is the nurturing of the grass and this will terminate on August 15 of this year.
NASCOM targets 2m kids with Rhythm N’ Play HE Nigeria Academicals T Sports Committee (NASCOM) believes with
Workers putting finishing touches to the turf of the Abuja National Stadium. The NSC says the stadium would be ready for use in August.
Emirates extends shirt sponsorship deal with Real Madrid MIRATES Airlines and Real E Madrid have announced a new agreement granting the airline a prestigious five-year shirt sponsorship of the club until the end of the 2017/2018 season. The announcement was made by Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The newly branded kit was introduced shortly after the announcement, and the white jersey will be worn by players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and Karim Benzema. The ‘Fly Emirates’ logo will appear on the front of Real Madrid’s playing and training kits, but the new agreement also containing a number of additional hospitality rights, including a branded VIP Lounge at the stadium, additional player access and further advertising rights. Emirates will also continue to enjoy highly visible brand-
ing at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. “The announcement of our shirt sponsorship propels our relationship with Real Madrid to a whole new level. Aligning ourselves with an international powerhouse like Real Madrid helps to amplify our brand message by creating more meaningful connections with sports fans around the world. In this case, we are engaging with one of the largest fan-bases in the world,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “Today, we are entering a new era as Emirates will become the Real Madrid shirt sponsor for the next five seasons, putting its signature brand name on our jerseys. This strategic alliance will have worldwide reach because our organisations touch millions and have a massive following. We are confident about what the future holds for our two global brands who see no obstacles and we are both passionate about leading the way in everything that we do,” said Florentino Perez.
Rhythm N’ Play, two million kids would voluntarily embrace sports across the country in the next two years. As President Goodluck Jonathan officially launches Rhythm N’ Play, an initiative of NASCOM, on Thursday June 6, 2013 in Abuja, efforts would be geared toward collaborating with stakeholders to achieve this target. According to Chairman of NASCOM, Yemi Idowu, the target is realistic, considering the collaboration with Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) and Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON). “With Rhythm N’ Play, we are targeting two million students in two years and we are hoping that the Rhythm N’ Play programme will cover about 60 students per school in at least 50 schools in each state of the federation on a monthly basis.
“We think it is a realistic target, which has been set by the Minister of Sports/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, when he approved the project. Children of school age are the primary participants of Rhythm N’ Play and this includes kids within and outside the formal education system. The campaign is intended to reach children between the ages of 12 – 17 years and encourage active participation in regular sporting activity,” he said. Idowu added, “after the launch, we will go to work at the state level by getting our ambassadors and stakeholders in each state to initiate the launching of the programme at the state level. NASCOM has decided to work through NSSF and YSFON at the state level. After the launch, we are also going to launch the harmonised calendar for our stakeholders and we will seek publicity and sponsorship for all their programmes.”
Idowu said Rhythm N’ Play is an exciting youth-friendly campaign aimed at enhancing mass youth participation in sporting activities and agegrade competitions. He explained, “Rhythm N’ Play will rely heavily on the use of music, celebrities, volunteers, new media and other elements of pop culture to amplify and realise its objectives.” For him, the campaign would be integrated into junior and secondary school sporting activities nationwide with Rhythm N’ Play Clubs set up in schools nationwide. Six sports – football, athletics, ball games, calisthenics, martial arts and racket sports are the sports that Rhythm N’ Play will use, while the best sporting talents discovered through the platform of the programme will converge, fraternise and participate at the National Youth U17 Games recently instituted by the National Sports Commission (NSC).
Heineken Brand Manager, Kehinde Kadiri (right), with the five Nigerian consumers sponsored by the NBL to watch the UEFA Champions League final live at the Wembley Stadium, London…recently.
weeks. After that, the pitch can be used regularly for football and other sporting activities.” On plans to regularly maintain the stadium, Shehu said the NSC had an arrangement with the contractor to maintain the stadium for six months after hand over to the commission, adding that the commission had in place systems to ensure that the stadium was well maintained all year round. “The problem we had was that the power cable used to power electricity to the stadium was vandalised. Without electricity we could not use the sprinklers to wet the grass. Now we have put systems in place to check all that. We now have water tanker for the manual watering of the grass.” Shehu also assured that the NSC had perfected plans to put the stadium to active use throughout the year.
Oladapo re-elected into ITTF board IGERIA Olympic N Committee (NOC) former Secretary General, Olabanji Oladapo was recently re-elected into the board of the world table tennis governing body, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Oladapo was re-elected as member of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Board of Directors at Hotel Marriott, Paris, France on May 15, with 202 countries attending the annual general meeting (AGM) of ITTF. Also, the incumbent President of ITTF, Canada’s Adham Sharara beat his challenger, Stephano Bossi, President of European Table Tennis Union from Italy by 149 votes to 53 votes to get another term as ITTF helmsman. In November 2012, Oladapo was also re-elected as the executive vice president of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF).
Monday, June 3, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Chuks Valentine Augustus
“By associating with wise people you will become wise yourself” – Menander
“When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so” – Prof. Chinua Achebe at every aspect of human exisLthatOOKING tence, one can hardly dispute the fact for everyone of those aspects, there are advantages as well as challenges; although, the advantages in one person’s opinion might be disadvantages in the opinion of another, but there are definitely conventional agreements. In life, no human being can live alone in isolation; we all need each other. The seller needs the buyer since he cannot be selling and at the same time buying his own goods; just as much as the buyer needs the seller to get what he wants since his money is worthless if there is nothing to buy with it. A leader needs people to lead since he cannot be leading and following at the same time; likewise, a follower needs someone to lead him so he can follow. Little wonder the assertion of philosophers that ‘man is a social animal’. The potency of socialising as a group under one umbrella can be seen in progressive social groups like the Ikoyi Club 38, Peoples Club of Nigeria, etc, where members watch the backs of each other.
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Socialisation: Advantages and challenges Of course, while we talk about socialisation, it must be noteworthy that only legal and progressive gatherings are advised and encouraged, as groups with motives, aims and objectives characterised by violence and activities that are unhealthy for the co-habitation of the society will do no tangible good. In truth, according to Chapter IV (40) of the constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, membership of an association is by choice and not by force, as enshrined under the Fundamental Rights – Right to peaceful assembly and association. However, for the protection of one’s certain interests, it is advisable to associate with progressive like-
minds – it definitely comes with a lot of rewards. Some years ago while I was observing my one year mandatory youth service, I got a phone call from a senior colleague back in school days who was already employed; he asked if I would like to work with the organisation where he works and I answered in the affirmative. When it was time, not only I but a large number of my friends got employed through his influence and one connection or the other as a result of the bond we all had. A resounding fact remains that “a face” is hardly forgotten, close rapport is always advantageous. In life, we all have challenges, some we can han-
dle alone, and some we need people’s assistance. Nobody will ever know what your challenges are if you don’t let them out and confide in trusted allies. Unfortunately, as beneficial as fellowshipping is, it is despised and neglected by a lot of people – I call this ignorance. Findings have shown that even when a lot of people would have wished to socialise with like-minds under an umbrella, they have been deterred for various reasons – finance being a major one. In this part of the world, people detach importance on “Return on Investment (ROI)” and attach importance to expenses. Findings have shown that even when a lot of people would wish to fellowship, the financial involvements serve as a discouraging factor to them, forgetting, however, that there are more to benefit by coming together and sharing ideas than the financial involvements. I am yet to see a better way to have positive connections and gain access to useful information than associating with legitimate and progressive social groups – certain problems of members are largely solved as a group, if not totally solved. However, what determines the potency of a social group is the effectiveness of its members as there can be nothing called ‘group’ if there are no ‘people’, and there cannot be ‘potency’ without ‘commitment’. Together as a group, there is a lot to learn, a lot to achieve. It is very easy to break a broomstick, but very difficult to break a bunch of broomsticks.
Rigidity of prepaid meter: A major factor impairing on its effectiveness By Adebiyi Adeyemi ERHAPS, the PHCN blew the trumpet of P victory when it came to the decision of introducing prepaid metre in the nation. She must have felt quite innovative and a sense of achieving for solving a milestone problem the nation has grappled with and suffered in the power sector. The midwives, our leaders in this sector, felt that they have delivered the nation from the pangs of pitiable state of electricity. This is all well and good, as the saying goes. In corollary, since the advent of prepaid metre, many believe that the manifold problems evident before its arrival would be gone. Alas, many are yet to have such positive testimony to share about it. Like a general writ goes, ‘’everything that has an advantage has a disadvantage.’’ However, what is rightly held justifiable and expected by this is that the advantages should evidently outweigh the disadvantages. For me, I go with a proposition that every solution has an omission. Thus, I might as well be omitting something and creating some sort of loopholes in my attempt at solutions. I believe, therefore, that anyone’s idea or contribution to patch up such is the essence of continuous knowledge and discoveries. It is of necessity to mention some praise worthy achievements brought about with the introduction of prepaid metre in the country. These include; Curbing of the common practice of leaving tenants to incur debt of electricity bill. Cost consciousness in the usage of electricity as everyone is always made aware of his consumption; he uses it only for what is needful. There is, therefore, the consciousness to curb wastage. With effective management, power supply is in turn made available to other people demanding it. Thus, the principle of substractibility and excludability plays a vital role in effective public consumption of it.
There is elimination of what has come to be generally known as crazy bills. On the contrary, the advent of prepaid metre in the country is greeted with a lot of complaints and dissatisfaction from the consumers. The complaint ranges from its high cost of purchase to high cost of service as well as malpractices of PHCN workers. The chain could go on. This problems sting the people; it is therefore necessary for one to make an attempt to relieve them of such social pain. One of the problems to quickly tackle is rigidity. What do I mean by rigidity? The rigidity of the prepaid meter is one that can be likened to a stopper valve in the effectiveness of this innovation supposedly geared towards a solution in the power sector. The traditional system which the prepaid meter works is rigid in the sense that a card is solely recognised by a particular meter which it is, from production, programmed with. Thus, the working system of the prepaid meter should be subject to scrutiny and review so as to get the best there-from.
On the other hand, flexibility has always engendered a high level of effectiveness and efficiency as it often follows the path of reduced cost and increasing options or avenues for things getting done. Take for instance, the Multi Choice Company (providers of the DSTV) do not operate a one card-one machine system. This may have been borne out of experience in the effort to provide optimum delivery, satisfaction and effectiveness in their service. They probably have seen the inestimable obstructing power of rigidity. Take also the banking sector. The advent of ATM and POS devices has never been a one card- one machine system undoubtedly to avoid rigidity. Even when we had the NITEL Phones, the oneway usability of it cards was inapplicable. Hence, it is perhaps binding on the power sector to make amends to give customer satisfaction and a better living standard. We have a huge population which makes for diverse dynamics in daily pursuits by people trying to meet their needs. This diverse dynamics is one reason why flexibility is required and,
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indeed, indispensable in most systems. The point being made is that the one cardone one machine system should be modified. There should be flexibility in the production and programming of cards and machines such that a card is used on any meter device nationwide just like the ATMs and DSTV decoders. Secondly, options should be created so that units (could be a bundle from say 20 units, 40 units) to be inputted in any meter of choice by the right card holder can be viable. This is quite similar to one withdrawing, for example, N20,000 from his account with an ATM card. Thirdly, a transfer and sharing mechanism should be made possible. This can be made practicable in two ways one of which is directly. That is by giving a bundle (e.g. 20 units) to any meter you so desire through actual physical insertion of a card into such meter. The second way is the indirect method which is more or less an online or IT practice. That is transfer of unit is done through online like the online banking. I’m not unmindful of the fact that the foregoing proposals may give rise to quite a number of negative vices such as gross theft of meter cards, unjustified transfers and others, but these can be with security pins. The security pin culture can be such that only the right holder of the card can perform any successful operation with it just like the ATM cards. Effective pin programmes should be infused in the operation of this such that frauds through meter cards and device can be effectively dealt with online and otherwise. If these proposals are given a chance, I believe the best of the benefits inherent in flexibility would be released to us hasslefree. Thus effectiveness is given a better chance and a happier satisfied public is constituted and cultivated. • @yemilluminati